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JULY, 1886. 

Art. I.— novelists AND NOVELS. 

" Novels, as they were long manufactured, form a library of illiterate 
authors for illiterate readers; but as they were created by genius, are 
precious to the philosopher." — I. D'Israeli. 

NOVELS form so large a portion of the literature now pub- 
lished, and hold so wide a circulation among all classes of 
society, that a sweeping condemnation of novelists and their 
works would be at variance with the pronounced verdict of the 
literary world. In truth, all writers have considered fiction as 
one of the most appropriate methods of imparting to mankind 
great principles and important moral lessons. The reason is 
obvious. The writer of fiction has at his command many charm- 
ing illusions in which to drape the most unpalatable truths of 
religion or morality, and thus present them in a form attrac- 
tive to the most fastidious. Seeds of goodness are thus easily 
sown broadcast in the world, and as the novelist can play 
largely on the softer passions, he may by a judicious manage- 
ment so warm the heart as to produce an artificial hotbed in 
which the germs of virtue fructify, strike root, and develop 
into the finest exotics that the garden of our soul is capable of 

But fiction has another advantage, which, as it is less generally 
known, deserves to be the more carefully considered. On study- 
ing the psychological constitution of man, we find that his 
education, especially his earlier education, depends very much on 
the power of the phantasy or imagination. It is this faculty 
which receives, aids to reproduce, separate, and combine those 
sensible pictures (phantasmata) on the fecundity, clearness, and 
brilliancy of which the success of intellectual operations greatly 
depends. Without a rich and strong imagination the orator 

' L. xvi. — NO. I. [Third Series.] B 

2 Novelists and Novels. 

would be feeble and the artist barren ; the author would fail to 
write with graphic lucidity, and the poet would no longer charm 
us with the beauties of fancy ; the philosopher would be unable 
to ascend to the heights of speculation, and the inventor would 
never produce his marvels of skill and ingenuity ; in a word, all 
the politer arts would be paralyzed, and the lower branches of 
industry would suffer in proportion. It is therefore easy to 
understand how great is the necessity that the imagination should 
be cultivated and perfected while it still retains the flexibility of 
youth. To this end fiction is eminently suited. Its charac- 
teristics are animation of language, brilliancy of description, 
richness of colouring, excitement of incident, and play of passion ; 
all of which powerfully excite the imagination and urge it to 
take that exercise which is necessary to its development and 
perfection. The novelist causes the young reader to wander 
through the wildest plains of romance, such as can be crossed 
only by the springs and flights of fancy, and thereby supplies to 
the mind what physical exercise gives to the body. 

The object, therefore, which the writer of fiction should always 
hold in view is to exercise the phantasy in pleasant but lawful 
subjects, to fill it with novel and happy images, and by this 
indirect, as well as by a direct, appeal to the heart, so to temper 
and control the passions as may be most suitable to the formation 
of virtue and the extirpation of vice. For this reason, his 
representations should be chaste, his sentiments pure, and his 
leading characters noble-minded and virtuous. 

The great variety of virtue which the human soul can acquire 
place at the author's disposal so many springs of action by which 
the plot may be kept moving, and so many labyrinths of 
sentiment through which the reader may be conducted, that the 
novelist never need look beyond the sphere of every-day life for 
his subjects, nor fear to weary by harping on the often-touched 
strings that run through every heart. 

It will, of course, be understood that the representations of 
virtue are usually accompanied by the descriptions of vice. The 
author must follow the same principle as the artist. His high 
lights must be brought out by shadow, and the brightness of his 
picture be toned down by judicious shading. But in the intro- 
duction of human weakness, crime, and sin, he must be realistic 
in his moral, and, as he cannot conduct the reader beyond the 
stage of this world, he must anticipate the final end of sin, and 
this is misery. 

In connection with the depicting of vice there is a point in 
which vitiated writers constantly offend. As concupiscence is 
rooted in fallen nature, and as its desires are inflammable and 
violent, allusions to this passion and descriptions of its play are 

Novelists a'iid Novels. 3 

among the most frequent means by which indifferent authors 
seek to arouse their reader^s interest. Yet no literary process is 
more opposed to the principles of art and morality. The office 
of the artist is to raise and elevate, to excite a hatred of the bad 
and inspire a love for the good, to aid mankind in overcoming 
sin and in winning virtue. Moralists, however, unanimously 
agree that the lusts of sensuality are not to be conquered by pon- 
dering on their lowness and brutality, but by ignoring their 
existence, by occupying the mind with other subjects, and turning 
a deaf ear to their seductions. To introduce the reader, then, ta 
vices that are not named in polite society, and to surround them 
with all the seductive paraphernalia of love and beauty, is to 
quit the path of art and to violate a well-founded rule of ascetical 
life. The virtue of innocence is, in fact, like a highly polished 
mirror, before which, no dark object can pass without casting a 
stain on its burnished surface, and sullying the lustre of its 
brightness. Immoral books present the greatest danger to the 
frailest virtue. This fact, acknowledged by all that have had a 
painful experience in such matters, is easily explained. Shame 
hinders such as are not entirely abandoned from indulging freely 
in licentious talk, but the book is a companion so confidential 
and private that modesty is soon reconciled to its language. 
The spoken word, too, is transient, and its meaning often 
ambiguous ; but the printed page is durable, and may be studied 
until its full sense has thoroughly penetrated the mind. The 
one, moreover, is mostly the product of the moment, but the 
other is long premeditated, artfully composed, carefully coloured 
and dressed, so that innocence is lost before the peril is fully 
remarked. The former, again, has only a narrow circle of 
auditors ; but the latter can speak to thousands in the present 
and in the future. The reproduction by the press can give it a 
multitude of tongues, and the pens of translators can teach it as 
many languages. Without a conscience, remorse, or fear, the 
book as readily betrays the innocence of youth as it pampers the 
sensuality of old age ; and, reckless of consequences, it produces 
in the world confusion of ideas, loss of principle, knowledge of 
sin, perversion of morals, irreligion, and practical paganism. 
There is a very charming fable illustrative of the permanent 
and widespread misery immoral books produce : A robber and 
an author are in hell ; both are enclosed in huge iron cauldrons^ 
beneath which fires burn ; yet with this difference, that beneath 
the robber is continually decreasing, while that beneath the 
author is ever growing worse. The author deems his sins to 
have been less than those of his companion ; he complains of the 
gods' injustice, and one of the infernal Sisters is sent to vindicate 
the sentence of Providence. 

B 2 

^ Novelists and Novels, 

*' Wretch I '' she exclaims, " dost thou compare thyself with ihe 
robber ? His crime is as nothing compared -with thine. Only as long 
as he lived did his cruelty and lawlessness render him hurtful. But 
thou ! Long ago have thy bones crumbled to dust, yet the sun never 
rises without bringing to light fresh evils of v/hich thou art the cause. 
The poison of thy writings not only does not weaken, but, spreading 
abroad, it becomes more malignant as years roll by. Look there! " — 
and for a moment she enabled him to look upon the world — " Behold 
the crimes, the misery, of which thou art the cause. Look at these 
children who have brought shame upon their families, who have re- 
duced their parents to despair. By whom were their heads and hearts 
corrupted ? By thee. Who strove to rend asunder the bonds of 
society, ridiculing the right of authority and law, and rendering them 
responsible for all human misfortunes ? Thou art the man ! Didst 
thou not dignify unbelief with the name of enlightenment? Didst 
thou not place vice and passion in the most charming and alluring 
lights ? And now, look ! A whole country, perverted by thy teaching, 
is full of murder and robbery, of strife and rebellion, and is being led 
onward by thee to ruin. For every drop of that country's tears and 
blood thou art to blame. And now, dost thou dare to hurl thy 
blasphemies against the gods ? How much evil have thy books yet to 
bring upon the world ? Continue then to suffer, for here the measure 
of thy punishment shall be according to thy deserts." Thus spoke the 
angry Fury, and slammed down the cover on the cauldron.* 

To the uses of fiction as a medium for education might be 
added its services for the purposes of affording relaxation and 
amusement, of enabling us to forget for the time the hard 
realities of life in the ideal pictures of romance. But what has 
already been said of novelists as teachers equally applies to 
them as providers of innocent recreation. We may therefore 
now pass on to consider several disadvantages that attend the 
perusal of novels, and that must accordingly be weighed by such 
authors as earnestly desire to improve their readers. The charms 
of fiction, in the first place, are calculated to kindle a love for the 
unreal and romantic, to make readers discontented with the dull 
routine and the burdensome duties of their daily life. Thus the 
wayfarer through the world is removed from the sphere in which 
Providence has placed him, to a society and a life into which the 
fancy of the novelist has transplanted him. There he lives, and 
thinks, and feels. The affections of his heart, the light of his 
intellect, and the energy of his will — in a word, all that should be 
devoted to the benefit and the happiness of his fellow-creatures, 
is transferred to a set of beings that exist only in imagination. 
Thus are produced that listless, sentimental class of persons who 
are as much a burden to themselves as to the world in general. 

♦ "Krilof and his Fables." By W. R. S. Kalston, M.A. 

Novelists and Novels, 5 

Their energy, love, compassion have been squandered on the ideal, 
and for the reality of life, with all its misery and woe, they have 
no sympathy left. The heart that has become accustomed to the 
thrillinjr sensations of fiction no longer vibrates on contact with 
their counterparts in real life. 

On mental training the continued perusal of fiction has an 
effect well worth notice. When we read for pleasure, we shall 
remark that we soon learn to skim the pages, and, like the 
butterfly in the flower garden, to fly from point to point in quest 
of honey. This is especially the case in the reading of fiction. 
The plot interests us ; we wish to know its continuation, develop- 
ment, and termination ; and in our interest in these points we 
are apt to skip over the intervening matter, and to consider 
as dry what is probably the most instructive portion of the 
book. In this way we readily fall into the habit of desultory 
and superficial reading, and this accompanies us when we turn to 
;j:rave subjects, so that all serious study is rendered a work of 
infinite difiiculty. 

The novelist, then, who would as far as possible guard his 
readers against these dangers, must endeavour to give the mind 
and will a practical turn, to inspire a knowledge of life as it is 
and a compassion with actual miseries, and a desire to think and 
feel and labour for this world around us. Few writers, perhaps, 
have so fully grasped the true scope of fiction as Charles Dickens. 
We defy a reader to peruse his v/orks without at least desiring to 
become a practical philanthropist. What Dickens wrote was in 
one sense apostolic, and what a former Bishop of Manchester 
judged of his writings was not. far wrong. "I believe," he 
said, " that the literature of which he was the author has been 
pregnant with consequences of incalculable benefit to our people. 
It has made us see truly simple virtues under rugged exteriors. 
It has taught us the great lessons of Christian sympathy ; and 
though in all things Charles Dickens is not what we might have 
desired or what he might have been, yet we are not his judges. 
We do not know the circumstances of trial through which his 
life was passed. But I feel that England owes a debt of grati- 
tude to her great novelist for what he has done to elevate and 
purify the human life where it most needs elevation and purifi- 

But let me now turn to a specific disadvantage of novel- 
reading — a disadvantage arising from the prevailing character of 
modern novels. Frederick Schlegel remarked of the Press in his 
day : 

The art of printing, in itself one of the most glorious and useful, has 
become prostituted to the speedy and universal circulation of poisonous 

6 Novelists and Novels, 

tracts and libels. It has occasioned a dangerous influx of paltry and 
superficial compositions, alike hostile to soundness of judgment and 
purity of taste — a sea of frothy conceits and noisy dulness, upon which 
the spirit of the age is tossed hither and thither, not without great and 
frequent danger of entirely losing sight of the compass of meditation 
and the polar star of truth. 

These observations are eminently true of the present. We live 
in a realistic age, and realism in a bad sense has set its mark on 
the literature of fiction. The Press teems with realistic novels. 
To establish this fact by an exhaustive analysis of current 
works would here be out of place. I shall therefore rather seek 
to establish it by a process of classification. To begin with the 
incipient novel, the fairy-tale for the young. The libraries for 
youth are flooded at the present time with a class of juvenile 
stories fraught with evils. In these fanciful tales there are no 
fairy-like personifications of virtue, nor beautiful religious truths, 
nor charming moral fables, such as may serve to awaken and 
foster noble sentiments and generous love of goodness. The 
ideal in such books is Uealism — Materialism. There is a plentiful 
supply of gold and silver, of feasting and love-making. The 
heroes and heroines are mostly princes and princesses, whose 
great business in life is to wed one another, after surmounting the 
difiiculties that strew the path of love. The inspirations derived 
from such books are " the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eye, 
and the pride of life,'' and the little readers, before they have 
scarce entered their teens, have learned from their perusal how to 
dress and flirt with all the art of a vain and amorous coquette. 
Heaven, it is said, lies about us in our infancy : what heavenly 
notions do these books inspire ? 

But it is in the novel, properly so-called, that realism is most 
apparent. A favourite theme for novel-writers of the present age 
is the realism of fallen nature. The novelist no longer chooses 
an idealized phase of life nor even the better and purer aspects 
of actual society ; but, on the plea that the path of virtue is too 
sterile for fiction, or that the light side of nature has been sufii- 
ciently treated, he selects life as it is lived by the refuse of 
mankind. The insincerities of friendship, the arts of deceit, the 
frailties of love, the stratagems of intrigue, and the sensualities 
of debauch supply the material for his pen. These subjects readily 
find access to the soul of the reader. There is so much sympathy 
between the eye and the heart that what the one consents to 
read the other agrees to receive. Why should it not ? What is 
printed cannot be so dreadful. It is perused by thousands ; why 
not by us also ? It is, after all, knowledge — new and curious too : 
why should we not know what others know ? Thus the reader. 
And the author ? He must of course live. Refined descriptions 

Novelists and Novels. 7 

of vice are easily written ; they require no originality, very little 
wit ; they stimulate curiosity, they flatter human weakness, and 
they sell : so they are written. Authors throw the responsibility 
on the public, and the public casts it back on the authors. Yet 
both are guilty. For how can man conscientiously give or seek 
knowledge of a society that he is bound to avoid, or risk attach- 
ment to vanities and sins which he has vowed to renounce ? If 
an individual has already reason to deplore his own vicious 
inclinations, will they become less by familiarity with the vices of 
others, and by initiation into the mysteries of iniquity? 

There is, however, another type of novels still more injurious 
because more seductive, and this is the realistic art novel. Here 
the author — usually a woman — appears as the artist. As a word- 
painter the writer professes to follow in the footsteps of the 
sculptor, the modeller, the painter, and delineates in writing the 
outline, the colouring, and the plastique of human, and chiefly 
feminine beauty. Pages and pages of graphic sensualism are laid 
before the reader's eye ; the bath, the dressing-room, the sleeping 
apartment are thrown open, and the technology of the purveyor 
of the toilet, of the costumier, and even of the anatomist, are 
exhausted in depicting the charms of a Juliet or Romeo. It is 
needless to say that realism is here, as elsewhere, a degradation of 
art and a departure from its right principle. True art every- 
where aims at depicting the ideal and spiritual side of nature, 
and it uses the material only so far as is necessary to render the 
immaterial sensible and intelligible to the human mind. To 
invert this process is to flagrantly violate all that the great 
masters have laid down on art under whatsoever form. The 
refined realistic or sensualistic novel is some way more pernicious 
than the vulgar, obscene compositions in which all regard to 
decency is abandoned, and the expressions of slang must supply 
the deficiency of recognized language for the turpitude of the 
contents. Obscenity may revolt us by its grossness, but covert 
impurity, decked in sprightly, brilliant language, allures with the 
voice of a siren. How many a reader, bewitched by its entice- 
ments, has said : 

" Sing, siren, to thyself, and I will dote." 

Besides those classes of novels which have just been mentioned 
there are certain religious — or, more properly, impious books which 
are more distinctively characteristic of French novelists. There 
are several writers who can make no other use of religion than 
to clothe vice. They place guilt within the very pale of the 
Church ; their sinners rave in the words of Scripture, and invoke 
the Deity in the act of sin ; their unconverted Magdalens dream 
of the sacred ceremonies of the altar and the sanctuary. 

6 Novelists and Novels. 

and mingle a polluted love with all that is most pure and holy ; 
their stories of dark crime are whitewashed with a mock 
sanctity, and all that mankind is most bound to revere is 
suborned to prostitute the creature and to blaspheme the Creator. 

There is, in regard to the practical effect, scarcely a distinction 
between thes3 works and the professedly antichristian tendential 
novels, in which the mysteries of faith are cast down, and in their 
stead the most fantastic systems that have ever sprung from 
misguided reason are set up for the worship of mankind. 

Few as the above remarks are, and briefly as they have been 
stated, they may perhaps in some way serve both novelists and 
novel-readers. The author of fiction has a great field and a great 
work. Both are increasing. There is now an inseparable con- 
nection between reading and every sort of education. Not so 
many years ago, books, except in the highest education, were 
unusual; but nowadays they are general in all branches of 
instruction. If not the widest, at least one of the most important 
spheres of mental and moral training lies within the range of 
fiction. Men are social beings, destined to live and work in society. 
A vast portion of their duties are thus social obligations, and as 
such are best learned from and in contact with society. It is 
this conjunction with society that novels are mostly destined to 
affect : they should treat of life as it ought to be conducted ; 
they should inculcate social lessons that purify and refine, raise 
and ennoble mankind. Did novelists understand this task and 
attempt conscientiously to fulfil it, there might be fewer works 
of fiction, for high-class, moral, yet interesting novels require 
study, knowledge, and talent ; but the world would be better for 
such as were written, and would gratefully endorse of their authors 
the words of Lockhart on Scott. " We may picture to ourselves 
in some measure,^' he says, '^the debt we owe to a succession 
of books, unapproached in charm, and all instilling a high and 
healthy code ; a bracing and invigorating spirit ; a contempt of 
mean passions, whether vindictive or voluptuous; human charity 
as distinct from moral laxity or from unsyrapathizing austerity ; 
sagacity too deep for cyniciam, and tenderness never degenerating 
into sentimentality ; animated throughout in thought, opinion, 
feeling, and style, by one and the same pure energetic principle, 
a path and savour of manhood ; appealing to whatever is good 
and loyal in our natures, and rebuking whatever is low and 
selfish." To such tributes of grateful esteem authors may in 
their lifetime be indifferent, but there will surely come a moment 
when they would desire to say, with the great author of " Waver- 
ley " : "I am drawing near to the close of my career. 1 am 
fast shuffling off the stage. I have been, perhaps, the most 
Toluminous author of the day ; and it is a comfort to me to 

The Progress of Nihilism, '9 

think that I have tried to unsettle no man's faith, to corrupt 
no man's principles, and that I have written nothing which on 
my deathbed I should wish blotted out." 

But it roust not be supposed that the public are altogether 
innocent of the frequent abuse of literature by novelists. Did 
readers refuse to open the book that was not fit to pass the 
censorship of a moralist, writers would have little inducement 
to abuse their art. Yet how many reasons have not readers to 
maintain the purity of fiction. It is this class of literature 
which is widest spread and most perused, and as such is one of 
the most powerful formatives of society. Both young and old 
are readers of fiction : no age, no position, is so reduced or so 
elevated as not to owe its highest pleasures to the sentiments of 
the heart and the conceptions of the mind, nor is there any 
character which is impervious to the influence of novels. 

Speaking of the moral power of a single l>ook, Benjamin Frank- 
lin has said : ** When I was a boy, I met with this book."^ .... 
It gave me such a turn of thinking as to have an influence on 
my conduct through life ; for I have always set a greater value 
on the character of a doer of good than any other kind of repu- 
tation ; and if I have been a useful citizen, the public owes the 
advantage of it to that book." Franklin has but expressed 
what with still greater truth applies to the influence of novels 
on novel-readers. 




VARIOUS observers, not given as a rule to admiring the 
works and ways of the Catholic Church, have begun 
to wonder why the French Republic persecutes it with such 
deadly and increasing violence. A notable answer has been 
suggested in the columns of the Spectotor. It is there said 
that this new fanaticism springs from a new religion; that 
Republicans look on the Church as thwarting their religious 
even more than their political propaganda, and hinc illcB 
lacrymce; that is why Christianity, as represented in the 
universal and living system which has its centre at Rome, must 
be destroyed root and branch. A new religion, not a sect 
of the old, which might arise to-day only to come to an end 

• ♦• Essays to do Good." 

10 The Progress of Nihilism. 

to-morrow ; a religion as doirmatic, peremptory, exclusive in its 
claims, as full of promises and threatenings as Christianity itself, 
and much more level to the capacity of the multitude which both 
address. If, on the negative or protesting side, we term the 
Trench Republican system Atheism, we shall go not a step 
beyond its adherents, whose boast it long has been that in their 
discerning eyes every belief which transcends the earthly and 
the visible is superstition. To what lengths their impatient zeal 
has carried them against all that is worshipped or called God the 
public journals bear witness ; nor is it a part of my undertaking 
just now to dwell on it. For I would rather call attention to the 
human, ethical, and social aspect of that most portentous move- 
ment of our time, which would effect little and last but a 
moment, did it not substitute its own beatitudes for those of the 
Sermon on the Mount. Denying God, it affirms the rights of 
man ; it aims at a present heaven ; and its official name is the 
Religion of Humanity. It cannot rest within the borders of 
France. It has spread East and West, creating Socialism beyond 
the Rhine and the Alps, and in Russia making of the young, the 
enthusiastic, the better educated, that forlorn hope of this new 
crusade which fought under the banner of Nihilism, and hurled 
the lightning upon its adversaries till itself also was utterly 
consumed. What else has it wrought ? It has broken down the 
party walls between nation and nation, outstripped the wings of 
culture, discovered or made its own the most formidable agencies 
of science, swept away local associations, traditions, and rivalries, 
absorbed or compelled to serve its designs the older societies, 
such as Freemasonry, which arose in the Deistic stage of the 
movement, and, as a token of all this, has ranged side by side 
on the Paris barricades in 1871 men of every nation under 
heaven. Its disciples are Poles and Italians, Germans and 
Russians and Irishmen, whose sole bond, they tell us, is that all 
alike have been trodden under foot by the mighty world-rulers. 
And it is found everywhere. 

Here, then, are signs of a false religion coming to the birth, 
surrounded and followed by its diabolic martyrs, confessors, 
workers of lying marvels and prodigies, to whom no enterprise 
seems impossible, and the round world is a field for their sowing 
and reaping. Of what kind the harvest shall be, whether of life 
or death, is indeed the question. But they do not falter. A 
type of them is that insignificant mortal (his name history 
has already' forgotten) who, when his comrade cast the horrible 
fire between the feet of Alexander II. of Russia, stepped forward, 
and, to make all sure, flung a second phial, which as it burst 
shattered the Emperor and killed himself. A belief that kindles 
such enthusiasm — 

The Progress of Nihilism. 11 

Atque metus omnis et inexorabile fatum ^ 
Subjecit pedibus, strepitumque Acherontis avari — 

may well be deemed the instrument of boundless good or ill, 
according to its nature. This creed, which I propose to 
consider in its origin and prospects, is not good but evil ; a 
doctrine of anarchy, and a spectre menacing civilization with a 
bloody hand. But it fascinates men and women alike. The 
revolutionary frenzy has its Msenads, its Furies, its loathsome 
Harpies, unfeminine bearers of the dagger and flaming torch, 
to whom murder, fire, and rapine appear the natural means of 
inaugurating a golden era. Protestantism, as we know it, is a 
weak reminiscence of the faith from which it revolted, a negation 
for the most part, or, in the words of Dr. Fairbairn, a method 
rather than a religion. But anarchy is positive, rests on its own 
foundation, and appeals to facts. We may grasp the meaning of 
it, if we lay to heart such words as the following, written by 
Thomas Carlyle, forty-three years ago, of England, but now too 
sadly applicable to most European countries : — 

The condition of England [he says] is justly regarded as one of the 
most ominous, and withal one of the strangest, ever seen in this world. 
England is full of wealth, of multifarious produce, supply for human 
want in every kind ; yet England is dying of inanition. With 
unabated bounty the land of England blooms and grows, waving with 
yellow harvests, thick-studded with workshops, industrial implements, 
with fifteen millions of workers, understood to be the strongest, the 
cunningest, the willingest our earth ever had ; these men are here ; 
the work they have done, the fruit they have realized, is here ; abun- 
dant, exuberant on every hand of us : and behold, some baleful fiat 
as of enchantment, has gone forth, saying, ** Touch it not, ye workers^ 
ye master-workers, ye master-idlers ; none of you can touch it, no man 
of you shall be the better for it ; this is enchanted fruit." * 

Carlyle compares our civilization to Midas, whose touch, turning 
all things to gold, left the too covetous rich man to die of 
hunger. For he could not eat gold. As I think of another 
characteristic of our age — of the blatant rhetoric which finds 
acceptance with so many— I am tempted to say that it resembles 
Midas, not only in his power of creating the precious metal, but 
in the pair of asses' ears with which mythology has garnished 
him. As much talk as gold, and little wisdom with either. 
Franchise, free trade, compulsory education, whatever be the 
worth of these things, it remains true that, in a world teeming 
with resources, endlessly fruitful, with a blue sky over it, and the 

* " Past and Present," introduction. 

12 The Progress of Nihilism. 

great ocean ways bringing wealth to every land, the multitudes 
must not only work, but too often must work and starve. Or say 
merely — for my argument requires no more — that the relations 
between work and wealth on one side, and work and want on the 
other, appear at first blush to many in the highest degree 
anomalous and unjust. It is this feeling which has called up 
from the deep the red spectre of Nihilism. 

Political economists talk, in their easy way, of the accumula- 
tion and distribution of wealth, assigning its laws to each. But 
they are not alive as yet to the great fundamental difficulty of 
their science, or rather of human society, which they disguise and 
turn to an abstraction by their terms of art. Here is the problem. 
One set of men accumulate wealth by their hard labour, and 
another, much smaller set, distribute it more or less according to 
their good pleasure. The new religion — call it anti-religion if 
you please — begins by asking, " Why should I toil that thou 
mayest eat? Is it not fairer that both thou and I toil, and then 
we may both eat the fruit of our labours ? " " Paucis vivit 
humanum genus,^' it has been said, either as a cynical piece of 
philosophy or the statement of an undeniable fact. Whichever 
way we take it, I cannot think that reason will approve. Each 
man should live for himself and for his fellows ; and no man 
simply for another who happens to have chained him up in 
a mill and bidden him grind. Liberty I That is the first 
word of the Revolution: the right to live for oneself. We may 
ask how far we, as Christian men, can allow such a right, how 
it is to be distinguished from selfishness. But at present 
what we shall do wisely to observe is the striving in every land 
for a liberty which shall go beyond the too often ridiculous power 
of voting at a Parliamentary election. Men having tasted of 
that so-called franchise, begin to ask, as the philosopher does of 
a new system when he comes upon it, " In what can .you help 
me ? '' Nor v/ill the satisfaction of reading your member's 
speeches in St. Stephen's make up for an empty cupboard, want 
of work, a cold hearthstone in winter, and tools in pawn to 
furnish the children with a morsel of bread. Dives has long 
gone clad in purple and fine linen, while Lazarus lies, full of sores, 
at his gale. True ; but Lazarus during many, many ages could 
only lie at the gate : he was helpless, ignorant, isolated. A 
mighty change has come over the world. There is a social 
organism forming in the depths, with its own laws, instincts, 
powers, and sentiments. We may, if we will, see these new 
barbarians — for so they have been called — rising up towards the 
light, arnied and confederated, aware that they have been nothing, 
and convinced that when they choose they can be everything. 
It is a part of their creed that the aristocracy overturned the 

The Progress of Nihilism. 1^ 

throne, the middle classes the aristocracy, and that fate has chosen 
them to overturn the middle classes. They believe in reading- 
and writing, in science, in a social philosophy of which the out- 
lines, to their thinking, may be clearly sketched ; and they da 
not believe in religion, art, culture, refinement, manners, marriage, 
political forms, inequality of birth, poetry, or anything whatso- 
ever of the ideal order. The things they do not understand 
they despise. Long acquaintance with misery in its acutest 
forms has made them impatient of the delicate observances with 
which we veil over our common infirmities; and they are gross, 
cynical, violent, and unclean. It is their delight to know only 
so much of history as will warrant them in pulling down the 
Tuileries and turning its site into a potato garden. The chivalries 
and courtesies of mediaeval usage are to them more than suspect; 
they irritate and madden like beauty when it disdains an ill- 
favoured suitor. The French proverb says, " Les absents ont 
toujours tort." Revolutionists say, '^ Les riches ont toujours 
tort." They quarrel as vehemently with capital in the stocks as 
with property in land ; both are in their moral teaching, robbery, 
sins against mankind such as shall never be forgiven. They 
look down upon a soldier as the vile creature who forgets that 
he is a man, and suffers himself to be made a machine and a 
weapon in the hands of injustice. And a priest is to them only 
a baser species of soldier, wanting in the courage to face artillery, 
but seduced by the prospect of an easy life to become the defender 
on the altar-steps of institutions which perpetuate slavery. The 
Pontiff and the King — whoever cares to know what the new 
religion has to say of them, how it compares and how it con- 
demns both, let him read a book which prophesied half a century 
ago of what has since become an international propaganda 
throughout Europe — let him read, " Les Paroles d^un Croyant,^* 
by the unhappy Abbe de Lamennais. 

For these men are not only the new barbarians ; they are the- 
new Mahometans, warring against established religions as being 
a part of the doomed regime. A logic as clear as it is pitiless 
compels them to recognize in the preachers of any and everv 
supernatural doctrine their resolved opponents. Priests, they say, 
offer the people Heaven as a bribe to be quiet and submissive ; 
the churches take this world to themselves and leave the next to- 
any one who can get thither. It is no part of the revolutionary 
tactics to treat hoar antiquity with reverence, to distinguish be- 
tween the teaching of Christianity and its corruptions, to be 
just, or discriminating, or generous in assailing social order» 
The very name Nihilism, which truly expresses the genius of the- 
whole movement, is a fiery sign, threatening to burn up good 
and bad alike. Its power is intensified by the melancholy which 

14 The Progress of Nihilism. 

has inspired it. The Nihilist philosopher is subject to an un- 
heard-of disease, which is, to use Aristotelian language, the excess 
of a healthy feeling ; he suffers from Welt-schmei^z, the pain of the 
world ; and this, it will be granted, whatever its direful effects, 
is in the beginning of one nature with philanthropy. But 
^' virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied/^ The feeling for our 
kind, which, going beyond creed and country, embraces all that 
suffer in this lower world, is noble, human, Christ-like. It has 
made saints and heroes ; it is, perhaps, the one quality which 
softens and exalts that hard English character so little loved by 
foreign races. In the English man or woman it shines out in 
its clearest light ; but abroad, especially among down-trodden 
peoples, to whom hope has been denied for ages, it takes on the 
colour of pessimism, and despairing of individual efforts under a 
cast-iron system, appears lawless and even unfeeling. Like 
Orestes about to slay Clytemnestra, it becomes " pitiless, not to 
lose pity." Its idol, which tends by a very strange reaction to 
become that mere phantom, " the people,^^ instead of the millions 
upon millions of suffering creatures whose sad contemplation first 
gave rise to the " pain of the world,^^ cries out without ceasing 
for blood. And blood has been given it — the blood of friends and 
enemies. Neither passive obedience nor passive resistance will 
content it. The " sacred right of insurrection '' has been deve- • 
loped into a yet more terrible right of assassination. Tender- 
ness for the famine-stricken has armed itself with dynamite ; a 
kind of frenzied passion to right all wrong has sent on every 
pathway the modern Don Quixote, sometimes ridiculous to 
iook at, often pitiable and even cowardly, yet a danger to the 
world which no Government is able to control. 

And these men hate religion with a deadly hatred. They see 
in it the main hindrance to realizing their hopes. Nor is there 
a form of religion they detest as they do the Catholic Church, 
for it preaches order, obedience, authority, and has long been 
associated in the popular mind with the powers that be. It is 
looked upon as essentially Conservative ; and the overthrow of the 
Pope's temporal sovereignty was brought about in large measure 
by those very societies which have since shaken the world to its 
foundations. Though once and again the Church has been in- 
volved in disputes with secular Governments, these have seldom 
arisen, since the Middle Ages, on questions of popular rights ; 
they were diplomatic quarrels between high contending powers, 
and, like thunderstorms on the Alps, broke out in regions too lofty 
for the common man. This is the great, unmistakable, porten- 
tous fact, which few of us can as yet have grasped, that to 
multitudes Church and State in European lands appear as two 
functions of the same authority, equally foreign and equally 

The Progress of Nihilism. 15 

opposed to the classes held in check by them. Astonishing 
confusion, it will be said. I answer, No, not so astonishing if we 
look at things from below, which is all the multitude can ever 
do. Their dim vision is not exercised in perspective ; what they 
feel is that the State presses them on one side and the Church 
will not let them put forth their power on the other. Hence 
they conclude that churchmen and politicians are all in a tale. 
Now comes this dangerous, enthusiastic, secret propaganda, 
abounding in sympathy and troubled with no scruples of con- 
science, asserting that the whole order of things is unjust, that 
it is nothing but organized selfishness in State policy, organized 
hypocrisy in religion, offering the round world and the fulness 
thereof to men whose bread has never been sure, declaring that the 
obligation to labour carries with it the duty on the part of rulers 
to find work, and reiterating Fourier's demand, that employments 
«hall be made proportionate to capacities ; in fine, scorning the 
golden age of the poets as a fable, laughing at Eden as a myth, 
and bidding all men look forward, instead of backward, to the 
true golden age which is yet to come. Is not this a religion in 
its power to move, to excite, to create man to its own likeness, 
in its bold afiirmations, and swift diffusion, and readiness for the 
•combat, and tremendous anathemas, and appeal to what is deepest 
in the human heart — to love, and pity, and hunger ? Let us con- 
sider it well ; for the problem of the future must be solved here, 
in the chaotic tumult of class against class, and not in windy 
debates, where the eloquent Premier " cannot tell what o^clock 
it is under half a column,'^ and then does not know. The ques- 
tion is not, *'' Who is to vote, and whom is he to vote for ? " but 
one far more elementary, " What is there to devour, and who 
shall devour it?" Wolves against wolves, such are men as the 
philosophy of the revolution pictures them. 

But stay a moment. Is there not a watchword of the Revolu- 
tion called Fraternity ? How does that allow of man becoming 
a wolf to his fellow ? The paradox is only apparent. This new 
religion does really look upon men as brethren one of another; 
but it requires a condition precedent. They are all brethren, if 
all consent to be equal, to labour in the same society on the same 
terms, to abdicate the privileges which caste, and riches, and 
education have bestowed on a few and denied to the millions. 
Fraternity is the badge, if I may venture on the similitude, of 
that great religious order, commensurate in idea with mankind, 
which every one is called to enter, but of which none becomes a 
member without renouncing property and the distinctions of the 
past. These are the brethren; and those who cling to their 
privileges are to be hewn down like heathen or heretic, until not 
one of them is left. Such was the fraternity of Marat, of 

16 The Progress of Nihilism, 

Robespierre, clothing these hideous creatures with a terrible 
beauty in the eyes of their followers even now. A.narchy is its 
prelude and its condition ; but we shall understand it better if 
we bear in mind that anarchy is to the Nihilist what " the pomp 
and circumstance of glorious war^' have long been to the ambi- 
tious statesman, a necessary means for working out his plans. 
Were we not accustomed to the sight of uniforms, the parade, 
and glitter, and martial music which fill the everyday life of 
cities, especially foreign cities, with colour and sound, we should 
perhaps find it no less diflScult to acquiesce in the notion of war, 
as a normal function of the State, than we do to comprehend 
anarchy as the beginning of an immense social regeneration. 
Count von Moltke loved, as a Christian, the French regiments 
that his artillery overwhelmed at Gravelotte; but he blew them 
out of existence all the same. And such is the genuine, not 
satirical, meaning of Chamfort's gloss on Fraternity, as he saw it 
applied in 1793 — Sois man fr^rCj ou je te tue. The sword of. 
Mahomet gave a similar choice ; but his God was transcendental, 
the Creator ; whereas the God of the Revolution is one we can 
see and feel. Humanity. 

On a previous page I have written the word caste. It is 
well known that in India, where we may view the thing 
most clearly, caste is founded on the deepest race-distinctions, 
going back bej'Ond the dawn of history. But learned men 
have lately suggested that our European social order rests on the 
same foundation, and that the ruling classes, taken as a whole, 
are of difi'erent descent from the ruled, both in town and 
country. In the great foreign aristocracies, Aryan blood pre- 
dominates; the common people represent, on the other hand, 
populations which entered Europe before the Kelts or the 
Pelasgi. And the remarkable movements of the fourteenth and 
fifteenth centuries, which may be summed up as so many 
Jacqueries, or revolts of the peasants, and which paved the way 
for the Reformation, are now looked upon as uprisings, in large 
measure, of the pre-historic peoples, consequent on the decay of 
Norman and Frankish blood. However this may be, it is im- 
possible to deny that the barriers to intermarriage between class 
and class, of whatever origin, have in course of time distinctly 
led to the formation of sub-races, so to call them, whose 
instincts are antipathetic and between whom fusion is now almost 
hopeless. There has even grown up a royal caste, to which every 
reigning family in Europe, whether Catholic, Greek, or Protes- 
tant belongs, and of which the " clannishness " could perhaps no 
more strongly be indicated than by the circumstance that our 
own royal family speaks, not English, bat German, within the 
domestic precincts. It is, in fact, a High German caste, with 

The Progress of Nihilism. 17 

marked characteristics, such as Mr. F. Galton may some day 
think it worth his while to note. 

Now the races which are breaking away from Government, 
whether political or religious, have in them a definite, perhaps 
prevailing, tendency to split into numberless factions. They 
have hardly come under the modifying influences of education, 
their constructive genius is little, and guided much more by 
passion than by interest or reflection. Their Christianity, also, 
has consisted very much in traditional observances, without in- 
sight into the spirit or meaning of the New Testament ; it has 
been, and still is, largely compounded of the superstitions of a 
bygone time, of crude paganism, and in many parts of Europe 
of devil-worship. Literary education, rare until the Revolution 
even in Germany, and in England not quite a matter of course 
as yet, has touched the working classes of our great cities, but 
remains in that opening stage when the lowest branches of know- 
ledge seem the most certain, and Materialism makes its way as a 
pre-eminently intelligible and therefore true philosophy. These 
phenomena may be studied in Florence or in Berlin ; they are 
not peculiar to one country nor lacking under any form of the 
Christian faith. Whole Protestant populations around us are 
sinking into heathenism ; the artisan class tends to be fiercely 
and fanatically anti-Christian ; it has been said, and, so far as I 
can see, with entire truth, that, " despite the efforts of the 
churches, the speculations of the day are working their way down 
among the people ;" and again, that " those among the working 
class who eschew the teachings of the orthodox, slide off towards, 
not the late Mr. Maurice, nor yet Professor Huxley, but towards 
Mr. Bradlaugh." But we should greatly err if we supposed that 
only Protestant populations are thus falling off. The French 
ouvriers, descended from Catholic grand-parents, are Positivists, 
and born with a passion for anarchy. Catholicism among the 
Irish race, all the world over, is passing through a difficult crisis. 
It has been in conflict these many years with the new forms of 
unbelief on both sides of the Alps ; whilst the Slav peoples are 
the very hotbed and focus of that incendiary Nihilism which, 
most energetic in Russia, has spread a flame of discontent far 
and wide into the neighbouring States. Evidently we see here 
the outcome of causes which lie beneath the whole order of thing?, 
and are at work in every church. If one is to blame, all are to 
blame. But, instead of discussing an idle question, and raking 
up the ashes of the past, our duty is to fully estimate the forces 
ranged against religion, and then to ask how they should 
be met. For we have not, even now, exhausted the resources of 

One of the most formidable, in a sense I shall jroaeed to ex- 
voL. XVI.— NO. I. [Third Series.] c 

18 The Progress of Nihilism. 

plain, is, to my thinking, education. Let it not be supposed for 
an instant that I would shut up a single school, or deny one 
poor man in this world the right to educate his children. But we 
must bear in mind that, as the invention of printing revolutionized 
Europe, so the spread of education will do even more. It will 
assuredly create a new world ; we can see it now making an end 
of dialects and village customs, abolishing superstition, and 
eliciting individual traits, whilst bringing men into the closest 
intimacy and kindling sympathies where before there were none. 
It stands to reason that the development of mind under the 
most imperfect education will make a man less dependent on 
authority than before ; he will often require to be persuaded as 
well as commanded ; and the method of government suited to him 
will be more human and less mechanical. With the multiplica- 
tion of books and newspapers we enter on the reign of " public 
opinion ;" and a despotism, tempered in France by epigrams, in 
Turkey by the bowstring, cannot but be seriously modified when 
its acts are discussed by millions on both sides of the Atlantic 
with entire freedom. '^ The fierce light that beats upon a 
throne " is the light of education, which has almost done away 
with privacy, and opens a window from the street into every 
man's house. But observe the danger. In what degree a man 
is educated, in the same he becomes critical of existing insti- 
tutions; he cannot help trying them by the standard of his own 
judgment ; nay, he feels a pleasure in doing so. His knowledge 
of what the world is like grows from day to day ; and he begins, 
even if domestic troubles and privations do not force him, to 
inquire into the reasonableness of social arrangements and to note 
their defects. Suppose him young, ardent, unselfish, with little 
or nothing to lose, his affections not bound up in any form of 
religion, whilst the course of his education has divested him of 
the old unconscious loyalty to King or Kaiser which survives 
among us from earlier ages — is not this the very stuff of which 
Nihilists are made ? Educated they must be, but only in a certain 
degree ; members of a class that hangs loosely upon society, as 
being a voluntary profession, not a rank inherited ; and they 
must feel with those who have no privileges, nothing assured for 
the morrow or old age. " The pain of the world " comes as 
natural to a man of this stamp as political ambition to a peer, and 
earth-hunger to a French or Irish farmer. He sees just far 
enough to comprehend that many things of long-standing name 
and venerable appearance are simply relics of the past, with 
neither life nor spirit in them. The unreality, the hollow- 
ness of social arrangements is what strikes him, not the necessity 
which created and still accounts for imperfect institutions. His 
eyeSj fixed on a distant ideal, overlook the everyday faults. 

The Progress of Nihilism, 1& 

limitations, and ignorance of most men, who make so little pro- 
gress because they are incapable of serious sustained thought and 
original action. I am taking the pattern Nihilist, endowed with 
the qualities for which he gives himself credit ; and of such a one 
I say that it is the very passion of pity which turns him to evil 
courses, awakes murderous anti-social instincts, and deafens his 
€ar when the shocked and outraged conscience of mankind cries 
aloud that no wrongs endured will justify the vengeance or the 
acts of war in which he engages. What we must endeavour to 
grasp is, therefore, the undeniable fact that education, in its 
<;arlier stages and divorced from religion, tends to anarchy with 
as great a force as culture tends to individualism. It is love that 
says with the Buddhist, ** Thou art I." Intellect throws each 
man back upon himself, into a solitude from which he looks out 
with absolutely strange eyes on society. And if the spectacle 
touches him, if it rouses interest and compassion, his feeling will 
be for those tender ones of the great human flock whom the 
shepherds shear, and starve, and sell, but do not feed. 

Imperfect education makes the rank and file of revolutionists ; 
but from time to time a leader steps down to them out of the 
highest circles — a Mirabeau, a Rochefort, a Prince Krapotkine. 
The desire of the sons of anarchy is, indeed, to dispense with 
leaders ; for since all men in the formula are equal, it is un- 
reasonable that one should lead rather than another. I believe 
there are curious revelations to come of the attempts which have 
been made repeatedly in this direction, by Nihilists, to carry on 
war without generals; and perhaps the failures of Socialism 
in several countries are due to the unnatural efibrt. Leaders 
there must be, men of science, learning, marked individual 
character, and indomitable genius ; and though M. Rochefort 
is little more than a journalist, and Prince Krapotkine has been 
described as an uninteresting, be-spectacled German professor, 
these high-born conspirators against society are evidence that 
the spirit of revolt will find a way into the most exclusive circles, 
and there make its disciples. No doubt the aristocracies of the 
world are a serried rank, but we should deceive ourselves if we 
supposed that all the riches, science, education, and social 
training are on their side. Science, that mighty engine of 
change, has made a present of dynamite to anarchy, and its 
loud explosion has startled, if not thrown down, our cities. As 
usual, men have looked for the greatest consequences where 
there was most noise. But dynamite is not the chief product 
of science, nor the worst revolutionary weapon. Science breeds 
thought, strips off illusions, brings out the true and exact 
bearings of one thing upon another, makes it impossible to 
narrow one's convictions to party issues^ shows that wovds like 

c 2 

20 The Progress of Nihilism, 

Liberalism, Conservatism, Radicalism, are mere labels, not 
definitions, and cannot stand as the final account of society or 
even of polities. It helps, therefore, in the general process of 
dissolution begun by bad government, famine, ignorance, 
irreligion, and the other thousand causes which led to '89 and 
'93. Science is now a potent factor in the world, and who will 
say that it testifies to the reasonableness of existing forms or is 
altogether friendly to the establishments under which men are 
governed? The study of the physical sciences gives a rude 
shock to many deep-seated conventionalisms. It has again and 
again suggested the application of its own methods in politics, 
and discovered affinities with Jacobinism and the more mechanical 
or Spartanlike forms of Socialist theories. And what may be 
called the Social Sciences — for we are a long way off" any such 
grand generalization as would be entitled to the name of tlie 
Social Science — have enabled us to criticize with severity the 
haphazard, make-shift, and too often hopelessly unjust laws and 
institutions which are all that mankind has to show after its 
thousands of years upon earth. The scientific genius, like the 
poet, looks forward. He observes that " the processes which 
have brought things to their present stage are still going on, 
not with a decreasing rapidity, indicating approach to cessation,, 
but with an increasing rapidity that implies long continuance 
and immense transformations ; " and to him there follows ^* the 
conviction that the remote future has in store forms of social 
life higher than any we have imagined ; there comes a faith 
transcending that of the Hadical, whose aim is some re-organization 
admitting of comparison to organizations which exist.'' "^ And 
though, as would be easy to prove in its place, there are reasons 
why a man of science cannot, if he is loyal to his own teaching, 
abet anarchy, or wish to promote revolution with its senseless 
pulling-down of Bastilles which have long been empty of 
captives, his analytic instinct, if left unchecked, may easily 
make of him a partisan on the destructive side; or at least 
one of the indifi'erent multitude whose coldness in the day of 
battle means victory to the anarchist. Meanwhile, the feeling 
which has spread into many lands, that there exists an essential 
affinity between science and revolution, warns us of a real and 
a growing danger. For the common man (perhaps even more 
than the cultivated) believes in science as holding the keys of 
truth. Infallibility, ascribed of old time to religion, has found, 
he thinks, a new seat ; it appears to him as an attribute, not of 
science in the abstract, but of the science which is actually 
taught in our universities, and to a large extent of the men 

* H. Spencer, " Study of Sociology," p. 399. 

The Progress of Nihilism, 21 

that profess it. Thus public opinion, in one of its most for- 
midable shapes, has begun to pronounce that science and anarchy 
are one in principle, differing only as action does from ''the 
bookish theoric." Is it not indeed a token of at least a passing 
alliance between them that the same horrible formula will 
express unbelieving science and Nihilist politics, the war-cry 
so often raised of late years — Ni Dieu ni maitre ? And so we 
come round to what I said at the beginning : there is a new 
religion, but it denies God ; it is a militant Atheism, which has 
for its purpose, if not to make all things new, at any rate to 
make an end of all things old. And the oldest thing now 
existing in Europe is the Catholic Church. 

Let us see how the matter stands. When I say anarchy, I do 
not mean the unorganized lawlessness that has ever been in 
the depths of society. Vulgar, unprincipled thieves, murderers, 
chevaliers d'industrie, may be dealt with by the police ; and al- 
though, as should be well known, these outcasts tend to form a 
society of their own, intermarry, and transmit their evil pro- 
pensities through a series of generations, they have but an 
accidental connection with anarchists, and know nothing of 
philosophic systems. We must think of anarchy as a sect, a 
religion, a crusade. It is not the insurrection of entire peoples 
against their rulers, which happens only once in a century, and 
is at all times of the briefest duration. It corresponds rather to 
the old Gnostic propaganda throughout the Middle Ages, with 
one important distinction — viz., that, owing to the spread of edu- 
cation, many more are capable of becoming intelligent proselytes 
of a secret movement than was the case in any former time. 
And like all societies which go below the surface, it has degrees 
of initiation, of membership and enthusiasm ; it has friends, and 
half- friends, and well-wishers, and enemies who do not quite 
know what to make of it. The Templars, the Assassins, the 
freemasons, the Carbonari, suggest parallels, but on a local or 
merely national scale, to that immense and confused (because not 
completely organized) movement which at one side of the globe 
becomes visible as Nihilism and at the other as Fenianism, 
traversing all the grades between, of comparative guilt or inno- 
cence, to arrive at the two extremes which concur in the worship 
of nitro-glycerine. Their common principle is dissatisfaction 
with government. They are against the powers that be. It is 
their aim to sveep them away and begin a new era, when society 
shall govern itself, and kings, aristocracies, oligarchies — whether 
official like the Russian, or hereditary, like the Austrian and 
English — shall cease to exist. But with the new federation must 
come, they say, not a fresh distribution of property, but its 
abolition. All things shall be in common ; not land only, but 

^2> The Progress of Mhilisni. 

.every species of capital ; nay, the very labour exacted from each 
shall be regulated with a view to the good of all. The destructive 
formula, as we have seen, is '' neither God nor master ; '' the 
constructive is already a hundred years old, but has not been 
realized. " Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity "—such is the 
aurea cetas ventura. 

And what of the Catholic Church ? It is only just to remember 
that while the anarchist hates Catholicism, he does not hate it 
alone. He means, if possible, to get rid of "^ all religion and all 
religiosity ; '^ and he includes in the common destruction every 
sect which turns men's thoughts away from earth to what 
he calls " the priest's heaven.^' An admirable specimen of this 
anti-religion among ourselves is Mr. John Morley; from his 
writings, tempered as they are with English gravity, we may 
estimate with what raorino^ fanaticism the anarchists of the 
Contment pursue religion to its last retreat, and would fain put 
the knife to its throat. Indeed, a philosophic atheist has 
rebuked his violent brethren for " hating God as if He really 
existed. '^ They certainlj- do, and thereby excite a suspicion 
that "religion and religiosity^' have still some terrors for them. 
But whilst breathing out threatenings and slaughter against 
every Church, they look upon Rome as the head and front 
of that which they mortally detest. If they could employ the 
language of the Apocalypse, we should be astonished at the 
likeness between their way of thinking and that with which we 
are so familiar when the Scarlet Woman of Babylon is identified 
with Home, and is seen making drunk the kings and rulers of the 
earth with the wine of her fornications. The Scriptural language 
is become obsolete in these men's mouths ; but the spirit which 
dictated its application stirs in their bosoms. They are the off- 
spring of the earliest Protestant fanatics and law-abolishers, of 
the Lollards, Hussites, Poor Men of God, and of the Anabaptists 
whom Luther savagely trampled upon, though he could not extin- 
guish them. The filiation is easy to establish ; the aims are not 
dissimilar ; and a bold theorist would say that the Atheism 
which in our day is manifest was latent yet active in these great 
Antinomian outbursts. We cannot overlook the remarkable 
fact that in all of them the reigning religion was assailed on 
social rather than spiritual grounds. It has been recently 
pointed out, with as much acuteness as accuracy in my opinion, 
that there is a close kinship between Wickliffe and Mr. Henry 
George. The attack five hundred years ago was directed 
against the feudal system, daily becoming more oppressive and, in 
the growth of civilization, less defensible. But with the system 
of land tenure and service the Church seemed to be inextricably 
bound up. Monasticism, too, was feudal; the bishops were 


'The Progress of Nihilism. ' 23 

barons, abbots sat in the House of Lords, and tithes hdd become 
a kind of rent. We know what the end of these thihigs was : 
the feudal system perished, and the monasteries weie pulled 
down. But the great mass of the people gained little or nothing 
by the change. What the Church lost was on the wbole lost 
to them. Still, it seemed, down to the French Revolutibn, that, 
however kings might smite and plunder her, the Church would 
shield them with her sacred text, "^ Nolite tangere Christos 
meos.^' She became identified in the minds of the educated 
vulgar, and in many places of the uneducated also, with a system 
of absolute rule and never-ending injustice. She was taken to be 
a part of the ancien regir)ie. The prejudice is still against her, 
and after 1815 was for a time strengthened. Legitimists 
claimed the Church for their own; the Bourbons forgot that 
she had crowned Napoleon ; and King Ferdinand of Naples was 
not antiquarian enough to remember that his own dynasty was 
steeped to the lips in Febronianism. Despite her priesthood 
taken from the people in France and Ireland, the Church was 
summed up and characterized as anti-popular, aristocratic, a tool 
and mouthpiece of so-called paternal governments when they 
wished to terrify their subjects into obedience by means of the 

Certain it was that Rome condemned anarchy in all its forms ; 
she began to cry out against the secret societies ere any govern- 
ment was well aware of them; and she has kept up her protest 
from Clement XII. to Leo XIII. She has held out the right 
hand of fellowship to Courts which take a perverse delight in 
refusing her advances ; and at this moment she is making 
treaties, or striving to keep them, with Germany, Russia, and 
France — countries in which her existence for years has been a 
lingering martyrdom. No wonder that anarchists in Paris as 
in New York detest a power which they see always at work to 
repress their efforts, and which they have no means of pro- 
pitiating. Nor is it perhaps more wonderful if, in their hatred, 
they cannot distinguish between her principles and the methods 
of the Governments which, as a matter of fact, she helps to 
maintain ; nor discern the spiritual elements in her teaching 
that enable her to acquiesce in the most unsatisfactory forms of 
social organization, while she is incessantly occupied in difiPusing 
those true ideas whereby even the most imperfect may grow better. 
On this point I wish to lay the utmost stress. It is the premise 
of my reasoning that we must distinguish between what is tem- 
poral in the Church and what is eternal, between the accidents 
of an age and the message entrusted for all time to apostolic keep- 
ing. And, therefore, those grievously misunderstand our faith, be 
they friends or enemies, who cannot see that the alliance between 

24 The Progress of NihilisTn, 

Kome and any mere human institutions is of its nature transi- 
tory. Rome cannot be the bond-slave of an imperial house ; she is 
not for one people against another ; her politics are not a part of 
her infallibility, and we should err in taking them for a guide as to 
her future action. She was obedient to Constantine the Great j she 
shook from her the yoke of his feeble successors on the throne of 
Byzantium. She acted a bold part all through the Middle Ages, 
and told Caesar his place and warned him within his limits. Her 
theologians, in tracing a prince's duties, make him, not indeed the 
delegate^ but yet the designate, of the nation's voice. And when 
absolute monarchy erected its crest in Spain — a disastrous day for 
Spain as for the world — there were found religious men to qualify 
its claims, not only by insisting that the end of government is 
the public good and not the king's private pleasure, but, as in the 
illustrious example of Suarez, by declaring, that while all power 
comes from on high, society, as a whole, is invested in the 
beginning with the right to choose its depositary. 

This is no anticipation of the " Contrat Social '^ of E-ousseau. 
It is something better; it implies, once for all, that men 
are neither brutes nor chattels ; that reason, not violence 
or caprice, is the originating principle of the social organism, 
and should determine the place of every member in it, from 
the least to the greatest. It is the direct negation of that 
doctrine of passive obedience and unlimited divine right 
which was for so long the badge and the disgrace of the 
Church of England. A wise and good man, the late Dr. 
Arnold, used to say that there was a text in the Psalms which 
no English Churchman could read without blushing. How 
did it run? "Loquebar de testimoniis tuis in conspectu regum 
et non confundebar.'^ The Church of Henry, of Elizabeth, of 
Charles II. was silent in the presence of kings, or opened its 
mouth only to extol their sacred and inviolable majesty. Not so 
has it been with the Catholic Church. For good or for evil, that 
contest between the Sacerdotium and Imperium which fills so 
many pages of history, is a standing demonstration that Rome 
had a stern message to the highest of crowned heads, and 
delivered it with the straightforward eloquence of a prophet. It 
is no part of my contention that in all disputes the Holy See 
had reason on its side ; nor that it spoke at all times when the 
duty of speaking was, so far as events have since declared, im- 
perative on it. I do not conceive that theology rec^uires or the 
facts will allow such an assertion. But this, I think, no candid 
student of the past will deny, that, even when her interests 
seemed knit up with those of absolute monarchy, the Church 
kept her old free doctrine, set a limit to arbitrary power in the 
State, and, in her parochial clergy and many Orders of religious 


The Progress of Nihilism. 26 

men and women, showed that tenderness to the poor and miser- 
able which, in a less degraded time, was her chief characteristic. 
But she did more. She preserved the Gospel teaching for an 
«poch when, human authority being at its lowest ebb, there is an 
urgently felt and growing need that the kingship of Christ 
should be everywhere acknowledged, and become the keystone of 
social order. The ancien regime ? It is nearly extinct in the 
outward forms by which men knew it ; but that centralizing 
despotism which was its heart survives as ever, and keeps many 
nations in bondage. England alone, of European lands, has till 
now been free from it. But was the Church ever a friend to the 
system which made the estates of the realm a tool in the hands 
of Richelieu and Mazarin, as it now prostrates the noble and 
long-suffering French clergy at the feet of a Minister of Public 
Worship, wlio is not even a pious heathen, let alone a Christian? 
So much for the political alliance imagined between Rome and 
her inveterate foe, State Absolutism. Had it been part of the 
Socialist effort to break down that overweening power, then, 
putting aside the question of means, we cannot fancy the Church 
disapproving. But no, the Socialist would make it sheer omni- 
potence; his State is to be everything, and the individuals com- 
posing it automata. He cannot rise to the idea of rational 
freedom, and though his brother, the Nihilist, recognizes no 
leader, and his creed is absolute equality, yet he too is a despot 
over the souls and bodies of men. 

But now look at the question of questions, which concerns 
not political supremacy, but the distribution of wealth. How 
stands the Church towards that multitude which is learning 
from Nihilist and Socialist that in the coming era there will 
be neither rich nor poor? To every man draws near this 
Red Spectre, and, showing him the kingdoms of the world and 
the glories thereof, whispers, ''All this will I give thee, if, 
falling down, thou wilt adore me." What countervailing 
promise has religion to make ? And here when I speak of 
rehgion I am thinking of Christianity and its historical 
embodiment, the Catholic Church. No vague sentiment will 
cope with the power which has given itself a shape, and taken 
deadly weapons in hand, and wrecked palaces, and assassi- 
nated emperors, and sent a thrill of expectant horror through 
civilization, as though the last hour of European society were 
oome. Neither can I believe, on the other hand, that a power 
which is merely military or secular, which has no religion to 
hallow it, will in the long run hold up against a fanaticism that 
has arisen from the nether deeps, and is infra-natural and diabolic. 
The sword alone cannot lay this spectre. If it has the nature 
and peculiarities of a religious propaganda, there must be religion 

26 The Progress of Nihilisni, 

to meet it. The question of the day requires a double solution, 
for it is a twofold problem ; it concerns the spirit as much as tlie 
flesh. And the beginning of social redemption is ever a change 
of ideas. I believe, indeed, that other and far-reaching changes 
are destined to follow, of which hardly any man has more 
than a dim presentiment. But we need not fear the greatest 
material changes, if they are undertaken in accordance with Chris- 
tian principles. Our confusion and distress this moment are due, 
in my opinion, simply to this, that during the last hundred 
years spiritual progress, the true inward civilization, has not 
kept pace with physical. We have been enriched by science, by 
the planting of colonies, and discovery of gold in two continents ; 
the disparity of condition, however, which these new and multi- 
plied resources should have lessened, has to a fearful extent been 
increased ; while, to borrow an apt though exaggerated saying 
of Mr. Bright's, " The lower classes have not known the Ten 
Commandments, and the higher have not kept them.'' We 
want, therefore, a Gospel for the nineteenth century ; not a new 
one, for it has been in the world this many a day, but to have 
that brought home to the millions " of the word of life which 
we have seen and handled'-' from the beginning. There is a 
" word of life '^ in the treasure-house which we call God^s Church ; 
and there is a whole world of poverty, crime, and spiritual 
ignorance waiting for it. 

The message uttered by Divine lips eighteen hundred years 
ago must have sounded strange in the ears that first heard 
it ; for it was like a two-edged eword. It began with con- 
solation, " Beati pauperes ; " such was the healing exordium; 
but it went on solemnly as the prophetic warning that 
judgment was at hand, " Vse vobis divitibus.''' Mark then 
how Nihilism has taken to heart the second part of the 
message, imagining that it understood and had received a com- 
mand to fulfil that woe upon the guilty. Blind and passionate, 
how could it enter into the mind of Christ, or comprehend that 
He meditated no vengeance, but would have saved the rich from 
the consequences of their injustice and luxury, as He taught the 
poor how from their sufferings they might reap salvation ? If 
we may venture to speak of a master-principle in the New Testa- 
ment, surely it is this : " Be not overcome of evil, but overcome 
evil by good." What is the Nihilist principle ? It is the old 
hard doctrine, " Smite him back that smiteth thee.'' With 
astonishing patience, founded on a knowledge of its own power, 
Christianity has forborne to alter the decaying or corrupt in- 
stitutions with which it has come in contact. It found slavery in 
the world ; and slavery must cease if the brotherhood of all men 
in Christ is to be realized. Yet the New Testament will not 

The Progress of Nihilism. 27 

directly assail slavery ; and an apostle contents himself with 
saying', " Art thou a slave ? care not for it/' The need of the 
day was a sense of spiritual freedom ; when that was gained, all 
other freedoms would follow, as we know they did. It is the 
great mistake of Socialism to underrate the individual,, to begin 
at the wrong end, by endeavouring to create a public order for 
which, supposing it an indefinite impuovement on the present, 
men are not prepared, and to see in a change of material condi- 
tions that path to happiness which lies only in the bettering of the 
human character by religion, virtue, and self-sacrifice. The pro- 
cesses of Nature are slow, yet irresistible; they are silent, and 
achieve their ends little by little. Christianity in this is like 
Nature ; a silent, inward, continuous power, acting always, equal 
to every fresh emergency if the spirit does not refuse its aid ; 
building up a new character, line upon line, till the old is utterly 
transformed. It destroys as little as possible ; and what some 
have considered a blot on historical Christianity, that it absorbed 
into itself so many of the customs, usages, festival rites, and 
family institutions of the pre-Christian world, is to me a proof 
of its wise largeness and acquaintance with human nature. "A 
people is no more capable of suddenly receiving a higher form of 
religion than it is capable of suddenly receiving a higher form 
of government.^' There is so much truth in this sentence of 
Mr. Herbert Spencer's, that it would serve to condemn the 
methods of Socialism, taken at its own valuation, and whether 
looked at as a form of religion or a scheme of politics. 

Yes, of course ; but I do not hold that Christianity, addressed 
as it is to the individual, and proceeding by ways of peace, con- 
tains no message to society at large. It is meant for all tribes, 
and tongues, and peoples, and nations. It is not too high for the 
Australian savage, whom St. Benedict is even now taming and 
civilizing under the Southern Cross. Nor is it too low for the 
pioneers of science or the ruling spirits in the Press and the 
Senate. It must therefore contain social principles applicable 
under all forms of government and independent of them. It has 
nothing to say about franchises, or the laws which regulate supply 
and demand, or even about the rate of interest — in themselves* 
These things are the subject-matter of their own sciences. Where 
it gives light is in the spirit ; first, by showing the true value of 
this phenomenal world — for it has a true, but only a relative 
value ; and next, by insisting that self-interest shall not be the 
standard of judgment in legislation. I might illustrate my 
meaning in detail, were it necessary, and point out that the 
Christian axiom, " Do as you would be done by,'' has a worth 
for society as for every member of it, and is incumbent on all. 
But I would rather indicate how larjre a field is here for 

£8 The Progress of Nihilism, 

theologians and practical workers, as yet unoccupied. It is not 
enough to recognize that a Christian " social science '' is 
possible ; we must endeavour to ascertain its elements. Without 
advocating the introduction into our pulpits of those perplexed 
questions, on which the wisest may differ, touching land, capital, 
and labour, I would remark that Socialists are spreading their 
cathechisms and fly-leaves broadcast, and that religious teachers 
would do well to note it, and, while there is time, to supply the 
antidote. Oar position is one of great difiiculty, standing as we 
do betvveen Governments which are far from corresponding 
with the Christian ideal, and visionary fanatics ready to 
draw a blank cheque on the future, who delude the people with 
golden promises and involve the Church in one condemnation 
with the State that has tyrannized over her. Such is our 
danger ; we are assaded on both sides. But see the resources of 
Christianity. It makes no promises about this lower world ; it 
discourses of the kingdom of heaven, and tells men to renounce 
all things. Poverty and obedience, say the Socialists, have been 
the necessary conditions under which a few flourished on the toil 
and sufferings of the multitude. And the Gospel makes of 
poverty a beatitude, and of obedience a counsel. Does it, then, 
perpetuate the servile past ? Let history, a faithful witness, 
give the answer. 

In that mysterious way which is proper to a living organism, 
the Christian faith seems to combine impossibilities. It is 
severe, unworldly, ascetic ; and yet it has built up, by virtue 
of its own principles, a civilization which abounded in wealth, 
individual energy, and artistic power, and which, moreover, 
possessed in itself the germs of progress since unfolded. The 
crisis of that civilization is upon us ; and only those principles 
which created will preserve it from ruin. Christian poverty does 
not mean starving millions ; nor does the obedience of the saints 
imply a cowardly yielding to the powers of darkness in high 
places. The fever-dreams of Socialism are but reminiscences 
of a fair ideal, which religion alone can bring down from 
heaven to earth. On the venerable gates of Notre Dame 
at Paris one may read, in the coarse print of the Republic, 
** Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite/'' as if the new religion would 
proclaim in these words, set up in such a place, its triumph 
over the old. What a strange, suggestive thought! For if 
we desire to learn the sense of that much-abused formula, 
and how it may become real in the lives of men to their lasting 
good, we must pass through the gates of Notre Dame, and listen 
to the Gospel which resounds in its far-echoing aisles. But 
they are few that enter. The stream of nations sweeps by; and 
to most who catch sight of the words on the portal it seems that 

The Progress of Nihilism. 39 

Christianity is yielding to a more humane if less imposing creed. 
Our duty, then, is unmistakable. We may not preach a sensual 
or earthly doctrine, as neither do we need ; but preach we must 
that the beginning of the kingdom of heaven is here and now^ 
E/cdemption from sin brings with it social regeneration ; for 
mankind, as for the individual, there are sacraments of healing. 
We have long taught that " One is our Father in Heaven ; '^ it 
is required now to prove by every means in our power that men 
are brethren. Point by point we must take the Socialist 
doctrine, which assumes to start from this very principle, and 
show that its conception of man's brotherhood, however like in 
terms to that of the Gospel, is diametrically the opposite, because 
it does not recognize the deepest foundation of our nature, which 
is spiritual. The same Gospel which condemns inhuman greed 
of wealth, teaches us that we cannot live by bread alone. But 
the supreme social duty is justice, apart from which neither rich 
nor poor can be what they ought to be, servants of the Eternal. 
"What is justice? That, on the whole, is the question of the 
Sphinx for us." The Gospel does not enter into infinite detail ; 
but surely, even now, in a time when " men and nations perish 
as if without law,''' it is possible for Christian teachers, thinking 
steadily over the matter, to deliver righteous judgments on the 
problems under which we stagger. This, I say, it is our bounden 
duty to attempt. We have no message to the thirteenth or the 
sixteenth centuries, now gone before God with all their imper- 
fections on them. Our message is to our own day or to no day.. 
We cannot pretend that it may be learnt by merely opening 
the Bible, quoting the Fathers and Doctors, or uttering by rote 
what is affirmed in schools of theology. A living doctrine reveals 
itself only to a living spirit which is constantly engaged in 
translating the dead words of the past into such language a& 
men will understand. What is more, the grander that past, the 
larger the inheritance it has bequeathed us, so much the more 
likely are we to sit down contented with the thought that it is 
all there, and we need trouble no further to make it ours. 
Between possessing the faith and comprehending it lies the 
whole immense difference which divides the implicit from the 
explicit, or, in plainer terms, the acorn from the oak under 
whqse wide-spreading leafy branches a host may find shelter. 
There are in the Christian social doctrine a multitude of 
unfolded germs, waiting to be tended and made to yield 
their increase. Religion has raised up the saints who devised 
and propagated Monasticism ; the saints who eonsecrated 
to Christian uses Greek philosophy and Latin literature ; the 
saints who sent out missionary orders all over the world. At 
this day we are sorely in need of loyal and devoted spirits, filled 

30 [The Progress of Nihilism, 

with enthusiastic love for the brethren, who shall discern the 
signs of the times, and help to make that new social order which 
is surely coming '^ the kingdom of God and His Christ." It 
will not resemble the state of things we have hitherto known ; 
it can be founded neither on slavery nor on a proletariat 
crowded into unwholesome cities, neither on aristocracies that do 
not work and are wanting in light, nor on military despotism : so 
much, I think, we may safely affirm. If, as high authorities 
hold, the law of progress is from status to contract, from fixed 
hierarchies, where each man abides as he was born, to the largest 
individual freedom, then it is clear the Gospel principles of 
justice, charity, and brotherhood will be needed more than ever. 
Equally clear it is that the problem of their application, becom- 
ing so much more complex and delicate, will demand a higher 
wisdom than politicians as yet have dreamt of. The ultimate 
purpose of industries, inductive sciences, and the whole machinery 
of civilization is, we know well, " the glory of God and the relief 
of man's estate." Socialism, which takes not into account God's 
glory, can do nothing for man except plunge him into war with 
his kind till confusion reigns without check. But the Gospel, 
in revealing a Divine Incarnation, has given us principles which 
establish the only true social order and union of each with his 
fellow in wealthy rest. I do not say that words without the 
'' chivalry of labour '' will avail much. But yet, again, " it is 
€0 easy to act, so hard to think.'"' There will go a great deal of 
strenuous thinkinjr to this task of ^^etting^ the multitudes imbued 
with a genuine Christianity, and convincing rich, as well as 
poor, of sin, and justice, and judgment. It means no less 
than the second conversion of Europe, and is " work for a 
god.'"* Yes, truly. But it remains to be done. "The sooty 
hell of mutiny and savagery and despair can, by man's energy, 
be made a kind of heaven ; cleared of its soot, of its mutiny, of 
its need to mutiny; the everlasting arch of Heaven^s azure 
overspanning it too, and its cunning mechanisms and tall chimney- 
steeples, as a birth of Heaven ; God and all men looking on it 
well pleased." This noble vision of the day when science and 
industry, consecrated to God, shall make an end of Nihilism, is 
for times, alas ! far distant. But there is a Catholic Church in 
the world ; and it will be due to blindness, cowardice, self-in- 
dulgence, and disloyalty to their own ideal on the part of 
Catholics, if, sooner or later, it be not in a measure realized. 

William Baeuy. 


( 31 ) 


1. The Region of the Eternal Fire. By Chaules Marvin-. 

London : W. H. All^n & Co. 1884. 

2. Report by Consul Lovett on the Petroleum Trade of Baku, 

Parliamentary Papers. 1882. 

3. The Petroleum Industries of Europe, By Herbert 

TwEDDLE, Jun. Engineering, Jan. 29, 1886 et seq, 

4. Petroleum and its Productsf. By A. Norman Tate, F.C.S. 

London : John W. Davies. 1863. 

THE allegories by which popular fancy has in all ages symbo- 
lized the mineral wealth of the earth seem in this realistic 
century translated into sober fact. The dragon-guarded gold of 
Teutonic fable, the jewel fruits of Aladdin^s garden, the Nibelung's 
shining hoard, the treasure of Morgana's realm, are fetched from 
the nether world, 'no longer by gnomes and sorcerers, but by 
adroit financiers and speculative joint-stock companies. These 
modern wizards wield spells not less potent than those of the 
older necromanc}', for steam-perforator and dynamite charge are 
as efficient rock-openers as were ever magic wand or mystic 
chafing-dish. Nature^s subterranean treasure-house still holds 
the secret of a charm as powerful as that conferred by lamp and 
ring on the fortunate son of Mustapha the tailor ; nor are the 
genii of the cave less active and zealous now than in those 
days of yore in ministering to the will of those who have divined 
the method of their subjugation. 

But folk-lore dealt only in such glittering spoil as suggested 
riches to the eye no less than to the mind, and would have 
scorned fairy gifts in the unprepossessing form of pitchy oils or 
petrified charcoal. Yet nature in these latter has conferred 
boons on man more substantial far than in largesse of dazzling 
gem or yellow ore, for while the so-called precious stones and 
metals have a purely adventitious value, the reserve of light and 
heat stored in the more unpretending mineral deposits is an 
indispensable auxiliary in the battle of humanity. 

Rock-oil and rock-carbon, or petroleum and coal, are in a sense 
rivals, since they vie in the same field of usefulness ; while many 
contend that the reign of the latter is passing away, and that to 
the former will fall the chief share in controlling the economic 
future of the world. Though closely resembling each other in 
their chemical constituents and products, these two carbon com- 
pounds differ essentially in outward and visible characteristics. 

82 The Future of Petroleum, 

Petroleum belongs to the class of substances generally known 
as bitumens ; a group of hydrocarbons varying in density and 
darkness of colour in the direct degree in which oxygen or pro- 
ducts of oxidization enter into their composition. At one end of 
the scale is solid bitumen, or asphalt, and at the other, naphtha — 
a light and volatile fluid, perfectly limpid or tinted only with 
pale straw-colour ; while intermediate between the two, and 
passing into them by insensible gradations, are maltha, or 
mineral tar, a dark and pitch-like substance as its name implies, 
and petroleum found in its natural state in varying degrees of 
density from that of molasses to that of fine olive-oil. Its hue, 
which has also many gradations, is due entirely to the inter- 
mixture of impurities; its true constituents being absolutely 
colourless. Among these a large place is filled by paraffin, which 
derives its name, parum ajffinis, from its refusal to combine with 
any other body. Of the distinctive properties of petroleum the 
most striking is its fluorescence, or capability of rendering visible 
the ultra-violet rays of light, shown in a blue glare from its 
surface wherever massed in considerable quantity. 

Chemists are at issue as to its origin, for though obviously a 
product of organic life, it is an open question whether it be due 
to animal or vegetable decomposition. The actual manufacture 
of similar oils from the artificial distillation of coal seems to 
countenance the supposition of its having been derived from a 
similar process naturally carried on. Its origin is thus referred 
to the distillation of coal and other bituminous minerals at very 
low temperatures, and it is asserted that though frequently found 
remote from coal deposits, carbonaceous shales are always disco- 
verable in its neighbourhood. 

Another conjecture seeks its genesis in the decay cf woody 
fibre ; a process in which are evolved such volatile hydrocarbons 
as marsh-gas, parent of the familiar will-o'-the-wisp, and typical 
of a large class of the constituents of petroleum termed hydrides. 

Those who see in it a resultant of animal life base their theory 
on its occurrence in the lower palaeozoic strata, where no traces 
of land plants exist, and where its formation is supposed to be 
due to marine organisms. But whatever the process carried on 
for its elaboration, it is probably still in operation, since a sub- 
stance, whose lighter constituents are so easily volatilized, could 
scarcely continue to subsist in the liquid state in situations 
whence the gases evolved from it frequently find an outlet to the 
open air. It is, as a rule, thicker and heavier when near the 
surface, from having undergone partial evaporation, and more 
fluid when found at greater depths, since it has not there parted 
with its lighter elements. 

In colour it is generally dark-greenish, brown, or nearly black. 


The Fioture of Petroleum. 33 

from the presence of impurities, eliminated by a protracted 
process of refining. Exceptionally, however, it is drawn from 
the well as bright and limpid as the best purified oil. Such a 
spring exists at Smith's Ferry, Pennsylvania; others in the 
Caspian region yield naphtha clear and pale as Saulerne, and 
much of the Persian oil is devoid of colour, and fit to be burnt 
crude. That of Rangoon, on the contrary, is dense and dark as 
pitch, and that produced in Africa is equally heavy. In odour, 
too, it is not less distinctively varied, Canadian oil being remark- 
able for a peculiarly offensive smell, like that of garlic. 

Petroleum is not, as commonly supposed, explosive, and as 
long as it remains in the liquid form will, even when ignited, 
burn gradually and steadily. It is the inflammable vapour 
evolved from it, which forms a fulminating compound in combi- 
nation with oxygen or atmospheric air, and even this mixture 
requires contact with actual flame to kindle it, the passage of a 
spark or of incandescent metal not being sufficient. The fitness 
of oil for domestic use is determined by the temperature at which 
it gives off inflammable gas, technically known as its " flashing- 
point/' and various methods have been devised to apply this 
criterion. The earliest used was the " open test,^' so called be- 
cause the oil, with a thermometer immersed, is heated in an open 
vessel, above the surface of which a flame is passed. As soon as 
the volatile vapour is given off" in sufficient quantity, a pale-blue 
flash or flicker follows, proving the oil dangerous at that tempera- 
ture. The Petroleum Act of 1868 prescribed a flashing-point of 
100° Fahr. by this test, as the minimum for safety in general use. 
The " close test,'-* invented by Professor Abel in 1876, consists of 
a covered vessel, an orifice in which is disclosed at intervals by a 
slide, at the same moment that a lamp swings across it. The 
vapour thus confined breaks into flame much sooner than when in 
free contact with the air, and a flashino'-point of 73" Fahr. in the 
Abel apparatus, corresponds to 100° Fahr. in the open test. 

It is a curious fact that petroleum has an affinity for lightning, 
which frequently explodes the surface gas and kindles the oil. 
Ordinary conducting-rods are found useless as a protection, and 
from April to August 1876, 242,41^ barrels were thus destroyed 
in the United States, the tanks struck being invariably those 
with wooden covers. 

Though deposits of mineral oil and bitumen are widely distri- 
buted over the globe, the great petroleum zone, where it is found 
in large quantities, lies mainly between the 35th and 45th parallels 
of north latitude. Within these comparatively narrow limits, it 
can be traced at intervals round the entire circuit of the earth, 
with a focal point, or centre of greatest production, in each 
hemisphere. The line of the prodigious deposits of the 

VOL. XVI. — NO. I. [Third Series.] d 

34 * Tlie Future of Petroleum. 

Caucasus is tlius continued westward across the Black Sea to 
the Crimea, lloumania and Galieia, and eastward beyond the 
Caspian to Turcoraania, Tashkend and China; while the great 
western oil-fields of the Alleghany slopes have outlying prolon- 
.s2:ations in Upper Canada, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee, 
Colorado, Oregon, Montana and California, giving a total area 
of bituminous production estimated at 63,000 square miles. In 
both hemispheres, again, the main belt throws off feebler ramifi- 
cations to the south ; following in Asia the peninsular formation 
of Burma to reappear in Java, and in Europe, that of Italy 
reached through intermediate connecting links in Dalmatia and 
Zante; while in America it tracks the main axis of the continent 
to Mexico, and outlines the intermittent land ridge enclosing the 
Caribbean Sea by appearances in Cuba and Trinidad. The 
island of Java is the only portion of the southern hemisphere 
where it is yet known to exist in any appreciable quantity. 

With petroleum deposits are associated other evidences of 
mineral activity, such as natural gas-jets, brine and sulphur 
springs, beds of asphalt and asphaltic limestones, gypsum, rock- 
salt, salt lakes and mud volcanoes. In regard to the geological 
distribution of rock-oil, it is not easy to generalize, since though 
found principally, according to Mr. Herbert Tweddle, in the 
cretaceous formation, it exists in every formation from the 
granite and volcanic rocks to the highest and most recent 
deposits in the Aral-Caspian region. 

It is thus assumed [he says] that one or more great cracks or faults 
in the earth's surface run east and west from a point in the central 

Caucasus, where the uplift attains its greatest height There 

can be little doubt that petroleum exists more or less freely along the 
base of all the great volcanic uplifts. Its great fluidity and the 
enormous pressures under which it is produced, diifuse it through 
strata which it can penetrate for long distances from the cracks by 
which it can find a vent to reach the earth's surface. In the bitumi- 
nous schists and argillaceous rocks it is absorbed and held fast, while 
in the sandstones and sands enclosed by impermeable rocks, it is 
stored up ready to be released by the miner's drill. 

According to this theory it percolates underground, often for 
long distances, until stopped by impermeable strata, and the 
accumulation at any given spot may represent the subterranean 
drainage of a large area. The oil-bearing stratum in the Old 
World is generally a bed of sand, and the last slope of a mountain 
range where it subsides into sea or plain, is almost invariably the 
spot where the deposits approach the surface. 

Somewhat different are the geological conditions of its exist- 
ence in the New World, where the rocks of the oil districts 

Tke Future of Petroleum. 35 

belong principally to the Silurian, Devonian, and Carboniferous 
series. The wells are for the most part sunk in the sandstones ; 
but the oil-springs of Ohio and Western Virginia rise through 
the coal measures overl>4ng the Devonian strata, and the oil- 
wells of Enniskillen in Canada are sunk in the Hamilton shales, 
overlying the Devonian limestone. 

Among superficial signs of oil are inflammable gas-jets, surface 
oil floating on water or impregnating the soil, and in many cases 
brine-springs. In the Crimea its presence is supposed to be 
indicated by the colour of the vegetation, showing in bands of 
more vivid green in spring, and of sicklier yellow in summer 
than elsewhere. The oil-belts in America run in roughly parallel 
lines from north-east to south-west, while the petroleum cells are 
supposed to lie in transverse fissures inclined obliquely to the sur- 
face. Immediately above the oil is a layer of gas, which generally 
■escapes first, and below it one of water^ whose appearance heralds 
the failure of the supply. This order may, however, be reversed 
iiccording to the point of the fissure first reached by the boring. 

The Pitch Lake of the island of Trinidad, three miles in cir- 
oumference and of unknown depth, is one of the most singular 
asphaltic deposits. The bitumen, which is supposed to float on 
water, is solid on the surface, but spongy when cut into, and 
perforated with cells containing petroleum. At one point it wells 
up freshly as though from a subterranean source, and flows over 
the more compact masses. 

As the semi-fluid and sulphureous mineral advances [says Dr. 
Oesner]* and is exposed to the atmosphere, it becomes more solid, but 
€ver continues to advance and encroach upon the water of the harbour. 
The surface of the bitumen is occupied by small ponds of water, clear 
and transparent, in which there are several kinds of beautiful fishes. 
The sea near the shore sends up considerable quantities of naphtha 
from submarine springs, and the water is often covered with oil which 
reflects the colours of the rainbow. In the clifEs along the shore there 
are strata of lignite, in which it has been supposed by some the 
bitumen and naphtha had their origin. 

Mixed with grease this natural pitch is found useful for caulk- 
ing the sides of vessels, but does not seem to be turned to account 
in any other way. Of a somewhat similar character is the bitu- 
minous region of California, where oil of a tarry consistence is 
produced, and the principal well, thirty feet in diameter, kept 
in constant ebullition from the escape of marsh-gas, occupies 
the centre of a field of asphalt nearly a square mile in extent, 

* "A Practical Treatise on Coal, Petroleum, and other ])istilled Oils.** 
By Abraham Gesner, M.D., F.G.S. New York. 1861. 


36 The Future of Petroleum. « 

The tardy modern development of the natural supply of 
mineral oil seems the more strange, as its utility has been recog- 
nized from the earliest ages. A bituminous cement, still trace- 
able in the remains of ancient Babylonian buildings, was drawn 
from the fountains of Hit, on the right bank of the Euphrates, 
visited, as a natural curiosity by Alexander, Trajan, and Julian. 
Bitumen, mixed with saline sulphurous water, poured forth from 
this source, may still be seen floating on the surface of the 
Euphrates, and is turned to account in caulking the wicker 
coracles in use on that river. A passage in Herodotus is supposed 
to refer to the still existing oil-springs of Zante, and Pliny and 
Dioscorides mention the oil of Agrigentum, commonly burned 
in lamps in Carthage and elsewhere, under the name of Sicilian 
oil. Petroleum was known to the Chinese from the date of their 
earliest records, and the fountains of the Caucasus are described 
by Marco Polo as furnishing the oil supply of all the neighbour- 
ing countries. 

Yet it is only within the last quarter of a century that rock- 
oil has begun to figure largely as an industrial product, owing to 
the impulse recently given to its use by its discovery, in 
extraordinary abundance, in two localities — the slopes of the 
Apalachian ranges in one hemisphere, and of the Caucasus in the 
other. Should the prodigious drain on the first of these sources, 
amounting, since 1859, to two hundred million barrels, or thirty 
million tons, tend in any measure to exhaust the supply, it can 
be indefinitely supplemented by the illimitable resources of the 
second centre of production, which far transcends it in copious- 
ness. Petroleum seems thus likely, in a very short time, to take 
as large a place in all industrial enterprise as has been hitherto 
held by coal ; and the New World, which has played the part of 
pioneer to the Old in so many of the arts of modern mechanical 
civilization, has also led the way in the introduction of the new 

The existence of petroleum was well known to the aborigines 
of North America, and under the names of Seneca and Gennessee 
oil it was recognized as possessing valuable curative properties. 
The idea of searching for it systematically never, however, occurred 
spontaneously to any one, and it was in boring for brine-springs 
that it was first accidentally tapped in Ohio in 1814, and in 
Kentucky five years later. Its appearance, so far from being 
welcomed, was looked upon as an unfortunate intrusion, since it 
impeded the flow of brine, and necessitated the abandonment of 
the wells. But it was not till 1(S29, in a well drilled for brine, 
near Cumberland County, Ohio, that the first great outflow took 
place, 50,000 barrels having here gushed forth down to 1860. 
Even on this hint, however, no one suspected that Fortunatus's 

The Future of Petroleum, 37 

purse lay waiting to be picked up among the grimy ooze of the 
Alleghany valleys, and the black treasure soaked away unheeded, 
only a small quantity having been bottled for sale as a liniment, 
under the name of American oil. The talismanic words ^' struck 
ile " had not then acquired their significance, and thirty years 
were yet to elapse ere the drilling of Drake's Well made an epoch 
in the industrial history of a continent. 

Oil Creek near Titusville, Pennsylvania, was the scene of this 
•experiment, a favourable report by Professor B. Silliman, of Yale 
Oollege, on specimens of oil from the district, having led to the 
formation of a company for its extraction, with Colonel E. L. 
Drake as its organizer and guiding spirit. How the preliminary 
difficulties were overcome, and labour and machinery started in a 
wilderness — how springs and quicksands presented apparently in- 
surmountable obstacles, and perseverance, nevertheless, triumphed 
in the end, is now matter of history. On August 29, 1859, 
the iron-pipe after being sunk only 69 feet, suddenly dropped 
six inches into a crevice, and the drill-hole next day was found 
full of oil, which nowhere in the entire district could have been 
met nearer to the surface. The great " oil rush " followed. 
Pennsylvanian farmers left the plough in the stubble, and New 
York merchants the ink wet on the ledger, to seek a readier road 
to fortune, with drill and boring-rod. Land in the favoured dis- 
tricts rose to fabulous prices, and before the close of 1860 over 
2,000 wells had been sunk near Oil Creek, seventy-four of which 
were giving an aggregate daily produce of 1,165 barrels, worth 
10,000 dollar.^. 

Meantime the manufacture of illuminating oil from petroleum 
was already a branch of trade, having been established in England 
as far back as 1847, by E. W. Binney of Manchester, with James 
Young and others, from crude material scantily furnished by the 
sources at Alfreton in Derbyshire, and Bathgate in Scotland. 
Introduced into America, it had languished there for want of 
raw material, until it received a vast stimulus from the result of 
the operations at Titusville. 

The speculative fever in the oil districts runs through regular 
and recognized phases. The first preliminary to opening a new 
district is the sinking of an experimental, or "wild cat," well, 
whose progress is eagerly watched not only by those immediately 
interested, but' by an outside public waiting to calculate their 
own chances. No sooner is oil struck than a wave of vagabond 
adventurers surges over the spot, to give place to more substantial 
speculators, and an epoch of steady development, after the really 
productive districts have been defined by their haphazard labours. 
The bustle of a great workshop, with its machines and engines, 
resounds in the silent valley, and towns spring up in the wilder- 

38 The Future of Petroleum. 

ness, with names such as Oil City or Petroleum Centre, su<^gestive 
of their origin. Last scene of all is the stai^e of exhaustion and 
decay, when mushroom cities wither as rapidly as they had grown, 
and the unsightly wreck of abandoned machinery shows ruin 
robbed of every element of the picturesque. 

Finally [says the writer in the " Encyclopaedia Britannica"] the wave 
passes over, and nature restores, as she restores after the ruin of 
battlefields.' A visit to Pithole City, which in 18G5 was, next to 
Philadelphia, the largest post-office in Pennsylvania, showed, in 1881, 
fields of maize and timothy where some of the most famous wells had 
been ; and of the city, a score of houses, tumbling to decay, and not a 
single inhabitant.* 

Meantime colossal fortunes have been won by the fortunate 
prize-holders' in the great lottery, and all the vicissitudes of the 
gaming-table have been enacted round the greasy wells. The 
rapidity of these changes is illustrated by a characteristic anec- 
dote, telling how a tardy suitor on proposing at last to his fair 
one was met by the prompt and crushing rejoinder, "You're late, 
James. Father struck oil yesterday." 

The land is usually leased by the oil-speculator for thirty years^ 
the proprietor receiving a royalty of from a tenth to half the 
produce, and sometimes a bonus of some thousands of dollars as 
well. Land with show of oil in West Virginia and Pennsylvania^ 
originally worth 20 dollars an acre, rose to 200 or 1,000, accord- 
ing to probabilities of productiveness. The lirst process in well- 
sinking is the erection of a derrick, a wooden framework steeple 
40 feet high, shaped like a factory chimney. This is rigged with 
a pulley at the top, to which are attached the boring-rod and 
drilling machinery, resembling those used for artesian wells, and 
worked by a steam engine. The boring, which continues night 
and day, progresses, under favourable circumstances, 6 to 8 feet 
in twenty-four hours, and the cost of sinking 600 feet is estimated 
at 7,000 dollars. 

When drilling has been completed [says the writer last quoted] the 
well is torpedoed. From one to twenty-five gallons of nitro-glycerine 
are lowered into the well in tin cylinders, and exploded, usually by 
percussion. The eifect of firing such a large amount of this powerful 
explosive is not apparent at the surface, but soon a gurgling sound is- 
heard approaching from beneath, the oil rises from the well and falls 
first like a fountain and then like a geyser, forming a torrent of yellow 
fluid, accompanied by a rattle of stones and fragments of the canister 
in a shower of spray 100 feet in height. The generation of such an 

* " Encyclopedia Britannica." Ninth edition, vol. xviii. Art, 

The Future of Fetvoleum. 39 

enormous volume of gas in a limited area, the walls of which are 
already under a very high gas-pressure, and which is held down by 
2,000 feet of motionless air, must be followed by an explosion into 
the porous rock, that drives both oil and gas before it until a point of 
maximum tension is reached. The resistance then becomes greatest 
within the rock, and reaction following, oil and gas are driven out of the 
rock and out of the well, until the expansive force is expended. 

As soon as the spontaneous outflow ceases, the oil is raised by 
pumping, and when the source is sucked dry, the boring is carried 
down deeper. Some of the wells in the Bradford region have 
now reached depths of from 2,000 to 3,000 feet, and one in West 
Virginia approaches 5,000 feet. Five years is assigned as the 
average term of productiveness of a well, but while some run dry 
at the end of two years, others have been pumped for fifteen 
without showing signs of failure. The yield of individual wells 
has in some cases been prodigious. Thus a single farm in Butler 
County, Pennsylvania, contained twelve sources so prolific as to 
give an aggregate yield in ten years of three-quarters of a million 
barrels, 110,000 barrels having been drawn from one alone. 
Among historic founts is the great Shaw Well of Enniskillen, 
Canada, whose proprietor, in tJie morning refused credit for a 
pair of boots, was ere night the lord of millions. He had tapped 
a vein so copious, that its outflow, when it could be controlled 
and estimated, came to fifty-five gallons a minute, and its sponta- 
neous flow during ten months gave a total of 35,000 barrels. Fate 
exacted a heavy penalty for the favour of fortune, as Shaw himself, 
not long after his success, having been lowered into a shaft to 
inspect som.e workings, fainted from the mephitic vapours, and 
was drawn out lifeless. ^Within a year thirty wells were drilled 
round Shaw's, producing at one time 12,000 barrels a day, a 
single spring having started with a gush of 2,000 barrels in 
twenty-four hours. One of the Pennsylvanian wells has sur- 
passed this figure by 1,000 barrels, but the average production 
of the whole Pennsylvanian region for the year 1861-62 was no 
more than 8,000 barrels a day. No preliminary symptom heralds 
the failure of supply, until a flow of brine instead of oil announces 
its total cessation. The average allowance of space is five acres 
to every well, but they are sometimes much more thickly planted. 

The total production of the United States and Canada from 
1859 to 1884 is set down at 250,000,000 barrels, and for the 
single year 1883 at about 35,000,000. This very exuberance of 
supply necessitated a revolution in the old methods of distribu- 
tion, for facility of transport is the breath of life to the petroleum 
trade, dependent for profit entirely on vast and universal con- 
sumption. Its earliest vehicle, the barrel, containing forty gallons, 
and rendered oil-tight by a coating of glue inside, was soon 

40 The Future of Petroleum. 

abandoned for carriage in bulk, barges on the rivers and tank- 
cars on the railways being its new modes of conveyance. The 
streams in the oil districts were dammed up to give the requisite 
depth of waterj and in the artificial freshets created by opening 
the sluices, fleets of petroleum lighters were swept down to the 
great rivers. The railway tanks, originally wooden, are now invari- 
ably made of iron, and are cylinders 24 feet 6 inches in length by 
Q^ inches in diameter, containing from 4,000 to 5,000 gallons. 

But a fresh revolution in transport soon superseded these 
methods, and the bulk of the crude oil in the United States now 
flows through pipes, laid down from the wells to the great 
centres of commerce. Main lines of six-inch tubes jointed 
together like gas-pipes, and connected by branch lines with the 
individual wells, run from the oil regions to Cleveland, BufTalo, 
New York, Pittsburg, Philadelphia, and Baltimore. The oil is 
pumped into the pipes at a pressure of 900 lbs. to the square 
inch, and powerful pumping engines are stationed along the line 
at intervals of fifteen miles to maintain the propulsion. 

Connected with the pipe-lines are 1,375 iron tanks, containing 
from 1,000 to 38,000 barrels each, and with an aggregate 
capacit}' of 30,000,000 barrels. In these reservoirs vast quan- 
tities of petroleum (estimated in 1882 at 30,000,000 barrels) are 
held in reserve, production in recent years having been in 
advance of demand. Such deposits of oil are liable to be fired by 
lightning and other causes, and are said to present when burning 
a spectacle of unsurpassed splendour. 

The whole conditions of the petroleum trade have been revo- 
lutionized by the last change in the method of transport, and it 
is now conducted almost exclusively through the carriers by 
means of the system of pipe-line certificates. 

When oil is received into the line from a well [says Mr. Peckham, 
the writer in the " Encyclopasdia Britannica "] the amount is ascer- 
tained and passed to the credit of the well-owner in the books of the 
company, less three per cent, to cover loss in handling. When such 
an order has been accepted by an officer of the company, it becomes an 
"acceptance," or ''certificate," and is then negotiable like a certified 
cheque. As the exchanges deal only in certificates of 1,000 barrels, 
they are made of that amount as far as possible. When oil is delivered 
by the pipe-lines, a pipage charge of twenty cents per barrel is paid, 
and a storage fee of twelve and a half dollars per 1,000 barrels per 
month must be paid at least once in six months. The issuing of cer- 
tificates by the pipe-lines has made speculation in oil, brokerage, and 
exchanges possible to an extent vastly beyond the requirements of the 
trade itself. 

The oil passed through the pipes is still in the crude state, and 
has to undergo a series of distillations in the refineries before 

The Future of Petroleum. 41 

being fit for use. In the first process are given off volatile 
gases, which are solidified into two substances — rhigolene, an 
anaesthetic, sometimes substituted for chloroform ; and cymogen, 
used for artificial freezing. The next product is crude naphtha, 
redistilled into gasolene, or light naphtha, and benzine, which com- 
bine into the substance known in commerce as turpentine substitute 
or petroleum spirit, useful for mixing oil-colours, as well as for dis- 
solving india-rubber and waterproof materials, and as a solvent for 
grease. The third distillation gives the pure illuminant oil, variously 
termed kerosene, photogen, paraffin, petroleum, and mineral sperm 
oil, which is still further purified by being agitated in a vessel 
with sulphuric acid. A heavier oil used as a lubricant is next 
obtained, and from this, when treated with intense cold and 
pressure, is crystallized a white flaky substance called petroleum- 
wax or paraffin, from which candles are manufactured superior 
to wax or sperm in appearance as well as in illuminating power, 
while considerably lower in price. Vaseline and cosmoline, use- 
ful as healing ointments and especially efficacious in small-pox, 
are a form of petroleum jelly, obtained from some of the residues, 
purified by filtration in the liquid state through animal charcoal. 
The final residuum is a sort of pitch or coke, in America gene- 
rally treated as waste. The proportions of the principal results 
vary in different analyses, but are approximately given as 
follows : — 

Price per gallon. 

9c?.-18</. Air-gas lamps. 

. 2d.-M. 

. 6d.-8d. Paints and varnishes. 

. 10d.-l2d. 

. 7d.-9d. 

A little powdered soap- wort (Saponaria officinalis) mixed in 
water, has the property of solidifying petroleum into a mucilage, 
which is again liquified by the application of a little phenol (car- 
bolic acid). The superior forms of mineral oil are very powerful 
illuminants, and from experiments made by Dr. Chandler of New 
York, and others, it appears that the kerosene flame, in flat- 
wicjied lamps of the ordinary size, has the same illuminating 
power as from eight to nine sperm candles ; with the round wick 
(Argand), of from eleven to fifteen ; with the dual burner (duplex), 
of from nine to seventeen ; and that a gallon of oil, lasting from 
59 to 109 hours, gives an amount of light corresponding to 
that afforded by 14 J to 20 lbs. of sperm candles. The relative 
degrees of inflammability, and consequent danger in use, of 
various forms of petroleum, are registered as follows in the 
Board of Health Ordinance, starting from 100° Fahr. by the open 
test as the safety minimum : — 



• H 

Naphtha . . 

. 10 . 

Benzine . 

. 4 . 


. 55 . 

Paraffin oil . 

. 19i. 

42-' The Future of Petroleur)h 

Flashing Point. Burning Point. 

Inflammable vapour evolved. Oil takes fire. 

Standard kerosene . . US'" Fahr. . . . . . 128° Fahr. 

Astral oil 125° „ 138° „ 

Mineral sperm . . . 262° „ 300° „ 

Although the first fever of oil speculation in America has sub- 
sided, the production goes on increasing year by year, and the 
export, calculated in 1860 at a million and a half of gallons, had 
risen in 1868 to ninety-nine millions, and in 1870 to a hundred 
and forty-one millions. This figure has since been more than 
quadrupled; the export for 1882 and 1883 having amounted to 
475,796,482 and 498,381,219 gallons respectively. American 
oil is indeed an article of cosmopolitan consumption, being im- 
ported not only into all parts of Europe, but into North Africa 
and the East, including China and Japan. 

But a formidable rival has of late years begun to dispute its 
monopoly, threatening by a phenomenal exuberance of produc- 
tion to oust it from many of its existing markets. The future 
centre of the world's oil supply will be the neck of land between 
the Caspian and the Euxine, where it seems as though an inex- 
haustible reserve of light and heat for the whole earth were 
hidden away beneath the foundations of the " frosty Caucasus." 
Here, on the verge of the great steppe region of Europe and 
Asia, a towering ridge runs transversely for 700 miles across the 
isthmus dividing the two inland basins, and along its axis, and 
following its submarine prolongations at either end, are subter- 
ranean reservoirs of oil on a scale hitherto never conceived of as 
possible. The deposits crop up most abundantly at both ex- 
tremities of the chain, where it carries out a jutting spur of land 
into both seas, and there amid a Stygian landscape, charred and 
seared by the harsh forces of the under- world, the pitchy dregs 
of nature^s mysterious distillations have flowed for ages, and the 
eternal fires fed by their gaseous exhalations have perennially 
flared and burned. 

A spot so visibly consecrated to the divinity especially vene- 
rated in the East could not fail to be regarded as holy, and the 
blazing gas escaping from the rock-fissures in the Apsheron 
peninsula has been an object of adoration to Persian fire- worship- 
pers for at least 2,000 years. Heraclius, indeed, in his campaign 
of A.D. 624, proscribed their rites, and destroyed their temples j 
while they were subjected to a still * sterner persecution twelve 
years later, when Iran was converted to Islam by the sword of 
the Mohammedan conqueror. Yet nothing could obliterate the 
veneration in which the Surakhani shrine, the Mecca of the 
Guebers, was held, and hither down to our own times pilgrims 
still repaired to where the rock-fire was tended on the rock-altar 

The Future of Petroleum. 4d 

by the last priest of Zoroaster. It is only within the last few 
years that this long survival of the Magian worship has disap- 
peared, and that modern commerce has finally elbowed ancient 
superstition from the fire-scathed ledges of the Caucasian scarp. 

The Apsheron peninsula thus immeraorially celebrated, juts 
into the Caspian for about seventy miles, and at its base 
where Baku lies on the southern shore, measures some twenty 
miles across. It includes, with its outlying shoulders, an area of 
1,200 square miles of territory, so impregnated with naphtha and 
petroleum that in many places, if the sod be stripped off, the 
application of a match will kindle a flame, which if fanned by the 
wind will leap eight or nine feet high. Lime is habitually 
burned in this way, and the gaseous emanations are taken advan- 
tage of by the natives to cook food in the open air, over two or 
three hollow canes sunk in the ground from which jets of flame 
may be kindled. Nor is it only the soil of this strange region 
that is thus inflammable, for whole acres of the Caspian may be 
set fire to on a windy night by kindling the petroleum gas 
constantly bubbling out from the surface of the water. These 
flames are comparatively innocuous, and a steam launch has 
sometimes been experimentally driven through them without 
damage to herself or crew. The petroleum reef extends beneath 
the Caspian to the opposite shore, and the rocks wherever they 
protrude stream with oil. Holy Island, off" the extremity of the 
Apsheron peninsula, was long the petroleum depot of Persia, 
and Tcheleken Island, near the eastern mainland, is sodden and 
saturated with oil and earth-wax. The same rich vein continues 
through part of the Trans-Caspian territory, hence called by the 
Russians the "Black California/' and terminates in the Neft 
Gora, or Naphtha Hill, a mountain block of petroleum and 
ozokerit, valued by the Russian Government at thirty-five 
million sterling. 

The development of these remote sources of supply may be 
looked forward to in the future, but for the present Baku on the 
Caucasian mainland monopolizes the petroleum industry of the 
district, and has taken its place as the oil capital of the Old 
World. Mr. Marvin's fascinating volume gives a history of its 
growth and progress, which is not the least of the many wonders 
recounted by him. To-day a city of 50,000 inhabitants, the 
terminus of a railway and centre of a mighty trade, it was ten 
years ago a drowsy Persian village, all unconscious of its future ; 
and its splendid crescent bay, seven miles across from horn to 
horn, sheltered only a few coasting smacks and a handful of native 
fishing craft. Now hundreds of ships crowd the anchorage, and 
eight miles of quay frontage and twenty-five great landing-piers 
scarcely furnish accommodation enough for the fleet of steam 

44 The Future of Petroleum, 

cisterns that transport their liquid cargo to the mouth of the 

Oil and its products are all-pervading; the sea is tarnished 
"with a greasy scum, which seems nowise to disagree with the 
fish teeming in it ; and the air is darkened with a pall of smoke 
from the two hundred refineries of the Tchorni Gorod, or Black 

The site of the actual wells is about eight miles distant, in the 
centre of the peninsula, where the Surakhani and Balakhani 
plateaus lie about ]70 feet above the sea. Here within an area 
of two square miles are crowded together the 400 wells, which 
since 1832 have yielded the enormous total of four million tons 
of petroleum. 

Geologically little is known of the conditions governing the 
supply, beyond the fact that the oil is found in tertiary beds 
overlying Miocene, and science has been utterly at fault in 
seeking to guide the engineer. The reports of two learned 
professors in succession, defining, the one 70, the other 150 
feet, as the limits below which oil would not be found, have 
been utterly falsified in practice, as the irrepressible fluid is now 
flowing from a depth of 850 feet; and the rule seems rather to 
be that the deeper the borings the more copious the supply. 
The cellular character of the deposits is proved by the fact that 
notwithstanding^ the crowdino^ of the wells on the Balakhani 
plateau, there are but few instances of two having tapped the 
same source, while borings only a few yards apart strike oil at 
depths varying by hundreds of feet. The Apsheron promontory 
is described as ''honeycombed with thousands of oil cells,^' one of 
which, the Kokereff boring, after furnishing a million and a half 
barrels of oil, still yields as freely as when first reached by the 
drill. The oil-bearing stratum is a bed of light sea-sand, greenish 
in colour, the withdrawal of which often causes subsidences of the 
soil, as much as 10,000 tons having been ejected from a single 

Mr. Marvin describes the approach to the oil district as lying 
through a desert, where the stunted carael-thorn is the sole 
attempt at vegetation, and the only other variety in the land- 
scape is afforded by the black patches marking some of the 
petroleum springs dotting the peninsula. Through this arid 
scene the track climbs upward, leaving the Black Town, with its 
smoke-belehing chimneys, on the right, and giving a fine view 
of Baku Bay, with its multifarious shipping. The railway is 
crossed, and a tangle of pipe-lines met, running in irregular 
fashion to Baku, while over the hill-sides reservoirs are scattered, 
containing tons of oil. Not a single house or village is passed, 
but the road does not want for traffic, as donkeys and camels are 

The Future of Petroleum. 45 

driven in strings along it, bringing pannier-loads of grapes and 
vegetables into the town from the gardens stretching along the 
sea on the northern shore of the peninsula. 

Close to Balakhani [says our author] depressions are observed 
covered with a dazzling white efflorescence ; these are salt Jakes, of 
which there are any number in this part of the Caucasus. When one 
gets into Balakhani itself the white lakes are replaced by black ones — 
lakes of crude petroleum oil, in many of which there is plenty of room 
for boats to row. These lakes are often set on fire and burnt to get 
rid of the oil, while millions pine for more light and fuel in Western 

Europe After driving a few miles the traveller sees before him 

a whole series of wooden sentry-box-looking structures clustered 
together. These are the 400 derricks surmounting the w^ells of 
Balakhani. Should a fountain be spouting, a black cloud will be 
observed hanging over one of the derricks. The Droojba Fountain, 
which during the first few days spouted 300 feet high, I saw easily 
without a glass from some rising ground near Baku eight miles 
distant. It had the aspect then of the conventional eruption of 
Vesuvius. The roar of the oil could be distinctly heard two or three 
miles before I got to the derrick. 

Following the pipe-lines, the traveller approaches closer to Shore 
Ozera, a saline lake five or six miles long by a mile and a half broad, 
flanking Balakhani, and after a detour finds himself on the Balakhani 
Saboontchi plateau, with a panorama spread before him of dingy tall 
derricks, low one-story Persian stone buildings, log shanties, iron 
reservoirs in shape like gasometers, and greasy wooden engine sheds, 
mingled in groups in inextricable confusion, and having no visible 
mark or barrier to separate the one property from the other. 
Throughout the plateau no intelligible road exists. In place of high- 
ways are innumerable paths and tracks, and these seam the oil- 
soddened surface in every direction, and, with a network of pipe-lines^ 
petroleum channels, and ponds and lakes of oil, utterly bewilder the 
stranger. To make confusion worse, many of the well-owners, and 
particularly Nobel Brothers, have not got their wells all in one spot, 
but possess several in different parts of the plateau, which for adminis- 
trative purposes is divided into about twenty "groups" of wells. To 
the west of the plateau is the village of Balakhani. This consists of 
several hundred white one-story stone houses of the Persian style of 
architecture, and is large enough to claim the designation of town. A 
considerable number of people employed at the wells live here. 

Ground in this favoured locality now sells at from 10s. to £^ 
the sajine, or Russian fathom of seven feet. The original selec- 
tion of the spot as the field of operations was doubtless deter- 
mined by the loose and friable nature of the surface soil, consisting 
of mingled rock and sand. The greatest difficulty in working is 
experienced from the small boulders intermixed with the latter, 
which slip under the boring tools, and impede their action. The 

46 The Future of Petroleum, 

bore-pipes are of sheet iron J inch to -/^ inch thick, with a 
diameter of from 18 to 14 inches at the top, decreasing slightly 
downwards, and are subjected to a pressure of from 50 lbs. to 
300 lbs. on the square inch. The cost of 600 feet of pipes of 
16, 14, and 1^ inches diameter, is £600, and that of the labour 
of sinking to that depth, £1,000. The workmen are usually 
organized in gangs composed of a foreman, two assistants, and 
ten men, whose aggregate wages are £30 a month. Employers 
prefer Mohammedans, both from their greater sobriety and the 
smaller number of holidays they indulge in. There are 400 
pit- wells, not exceeding 50 feet in depth, but the 400 drilled 
wells range between 300 and 800 feet from the surface. The 
average depth, which is constantly on the increase, was placed in 
1882 at 350 feet, a point at which oil rarely begins to be found 
in America. The practice of '' torpedoing ^' used in Pennsylvania 
to promote the first discharge, is rarely resorted to, and a furious 
blast of hydrocarbon gas usually follows spontaneously as soon 
as the oil-reservoir is broken into. The blowing of the gas is 
the signal for withdrawing the boring-rod and fitting over the 
orifice a kalpak, or iron cap, with a sliding valve to regulate the 
outflow. The oil spouts after the first violent blast of gas in 
the form of finely divided spra}", and continues to rise to the 
surface for some time under subterranean gas-pressure. When 
this force is spent, it is lifted by pumping cylinders, of ten 
feet long and as many inches broad, fitted with a valve at the 
bottom, which closes as the tube rises. Wooden troughs or 
channels conduct the oil into ponds, which are merely natural or 
artificial pits in the ground ; and in these it is allowed to stand 
some time to deposit some of its impurities before being pumped 
into the great iron reservoirs, whence it is passed through the 
pipe-lines to the refineries at Baku. 

In all these details of the routine of ordinary mechanical 
extraction, the Balakhani plateau does not difi'er essentially from 
the other oil-producing countries of the globe. The unique pheno- 
menon of the Caucasus region, known only there and within 
recent years, is the occurrence of those gigantic oil-spouts, which 
deserve to rank among the great wonders of the world. That 
the earth's crust is traversed in places by veins, which on 
being punctured jet forth their liquid contents like a severed 
artery, is certainly one of the strangest facts revealed to us 
by modern discovery. 

It was in July 1873 that the first oil fountain or spouting 
well was tapped at Baku, by the Khalify Company of Armenian 
merchants. On the subterranean reservoir being penetrated, the 
oil shot up with irrepressible fury, most of it being lost for want 
of storage. The commercial result was the permanent deprecia- 

The Future of Petroleum. 4i7 

tion of the value of crude petroleum^ which fell immediately from 
forty-five to five copecks the pood (36 lbs.), and has never again 
risen higher than ten copecks. Oil fountains have since then 
been a constant feature of the Balakhani plateau, and Mr. Marvin 
gives a detailed history of the more remarkable of the series. 
One of these, owned by the Company of Petroleum Participators, 
spouted 600,000 gallons a day during its brief but active career. 
At first an ordinary well, giving 8,000 gallons a day from a 
depth of 196 feet, it was only on the failure of this supply that 
Boormeister, the German engineer, proceeded to bore deeper. 

At 250 feet [continues our author] he lost oil altogether, although 
plenty of gas came to the surface. At 315 feet he reached a bed of 
rock. This was so hard that he had to put on eight men to drill 
through it. Suddenly, on the 20th October 1875, the boring tool 
broke through the roof of the subterranean reservoir, and only one 
man was then needed instead of eight- To ascertain the cause of this 
sudden facility of working the tool was withdrawn, when a small 
fountain of oil began to spout. This ceased after a few minutes, and 
then the gas began to roar, accompanied by a sort of explosion 
below, producing perceptible tremblings of the earth round about the 
well. Afterwards oil and gas spouted at intervals. To keep both 
down a cap of half-inch boiler-plate was placed over the tube ; but in 
the night the oil suddenly broke it off and began to spout 40 feet 
high. The next day oil flowed at the rate of 600,000 gallons in 
twenty-four hours. Four huge lakes were formed in the course of a 
month, the fountain not being closed over until the 23rd of November. 

The following year the same company had another fountain. This 
was 280 feet deep, the tube being 6| inches in diameter and composed 
of J-inch iron. Directly the oil was touched, it burst up into a 
fountain with a force of four atmospheres, lasting three months, during 
which it formed a lake which still exists to this day. None of the 
oil was sold, there being no market for it. The fountain spouted 
about 270,000 gallons daily for ninety days, and it was estimated that 
the lake contained twenty-four million gallons of crude petroleum. 

Nearly double this quantity was belched forth in 1877, from a 
well 210 feet deep, with a bore of 10 J inches, the property 
of Orbelovi Brothers. The explosive force having blown off the 
cap of the well, the oil gushed out, filling in half an hour a 
forty-thousand-gallon reservoir, and thence overflowing, to form 
a series of lakes. It continued to flow at a rate fluctuating 
between 40,000 and 1,200,000 gallons a day, the waste before it 
was controlled amounting to 40,000,000 gallons. One of Nobel's 
wells surpassed even this maximum, having at one time spouted 
nearly two million gallons a day from a depth of 582 feet, under 
a pressure of 200 lbs. to the square inch, and continuing to give a 
steady produce of a million gallons in twenty-four hours, long 
after its first impulse had spent itself. 

48 The Future of Petroleum, 

In May 1883 a very violent eruption took place from a well on 
the Liozonoff property with a tube twelve inches in diameter. 

At 430 feet in [Mr. Marvin's words] there was a terrific explosion 
of gas, which was repeated at 490 feet, the oil each time rising to the 
surface, but disappearing after the cap was fixed. The third time, at 
546 feet, the explosion of gas was terrific, hurling the pumping 
cylinder into the air, and smashing the top of the derrick to pieces. 
Afterwards dry sand began to spout with terrific force, forming a 
fountain of grit from 350 to 400 feet high. Bits of rock were hurled 
so high as to be lost to sight. All the windows of the neighbouring 
engine-hoiises were smashed, and the metal roof of a boiler-house was 
broken through by a falling stone. This " sand volcano" lasted forty- 
five minutes, and was succeeded by a blast of gas which poisoned the 
atmosphere at Balakhani the rest of the day. After considerable time 
a cap was fixed on the tube, and directly afterwards the oil began to 
spout. There being no demand for crude petroleum just then, 
Lionozoff stopped the flow and left the well capped over. 

But the most stupendous of these oil geysers was the Droojba 
Fountain, called from the name of the Armenian company that 
owned it, to their utter misfortune, as the sequel will show. AVe 
will let Mr. Marvin, who witnessed its first outburst, tell its 
story in his own spirited fashion. 

In America [he says] there are over 25,000 drilled petroleum wells. 
Baku possesses 400. But a single one of these 400 wells has thrown 
up as much oil in a day as nearly the whole of the 25,000 in America 
put together. This is very wonderful ; but a more striking fact is that 
the copiousness of the well should have ruined its owners, and broken 
the heart of the engineer who bored it, after having yielded enough 
oil in four months to have realized in America at least one million 

" In Pennsylvania that well would have made its owner's fortune ; 
there's £5,000 worth of oil* flowing out of the well every day. Here 
it has made its owner a bankrupt." 

These words were addressed to me by an American petroleum 
engineer, as I stood alongside a well that had burst the previous 
morninrr, and out of which the oil was flying twice the height of the 
Great Geyser in Iceland, with a roar that could be heard miles round. 
The fountain was a splendid spectacle — it Avas the largest ever known 
at Baku. When the first outburst took place the oil had knocked off 
the roof and part of the sides of the derrick, but there was a beam 
left at the top against which the oil broke with a roar in its upward 
course, and which served, in a measure, to check its velocity. The 
derrick itself was 70 feet high, and the oil and the sand, after 
bursting through the roof and sides, flowed fully three times higher, 

* A rough guess : the real value would have been £11,000- 

The Future of Petroleum, 49 

forming a greyish-black fountain, the column clearly defined on the 
southern side, but merging into a cloud of spray thirty yards broad at 
the other. A strong southerly wind enabled us to approach within a 
few yards of the crater on the former side, and to look down into the 
sandy basin formed round the bottom of the derrick, where the oil was 
bubbling and seething round the stalk of the oil-shoot like a geyser. The 
diameter of the tube up which the oil was rushing was ten inches. On 
issuing from this the fountain formed a clearly defined stem about 
eighteen inches thick, and shot up to the top of the derrick, where in 
striking against the beam, which was already worn half through with the 
friction, it got broadened out a little. Thence continuing its course over 
200 feet high, it curled over and fell in a dense cloud to the ground 
on the north side, forming a sandbank, over which the olive-coloured 
oil was running in innumerable channels towards the lakes of 
petroleum that had been formed on the surrounding estates. Now 
and again the sand flowing up with the oil would obstruct the pipe, or 
a stone would clog its course ; then the column would sink for a few 
seconds lower than 200 feet, to rise directly after with a burst and a 
roar to 300 feet. Throughout the previous day a north wind had been 
blowing, causing the oil and sand to fall in a contrary direction from 
that pursued while we were there. Some idea of the mass of matter 
thrown up from the well could be formed by a glance at the damage 
done on the south side in twenty-four hours — a vast shoal of sand 
having been formed, which buried to the roof some magazines and shops, 
and had blocked to the height of six or seven feet all the neighbouring 
derricks within a distance of fifty yards. Some of the sand and oil had 
been carried by the wind nearly 100 yards from the fountain — the 
Band-drenched roofs of the adjacent buildings showed how far. the 
cloud of matter had extended. From this outer boundary, where the 
oil lay an inch or so deep on the ground, the sand-shoal rose gradually, 
until at the rim of the crater it was about 20 feet deep, the surface 
being hard and soddened, and intersected with small channels along 
which the oil was draining off to the lakes. On the opposite side a 
new shoal was forming, and we could see the sand as it fell drifting 
round the neighbouring derricks and burying all the outhouses in the 
way. Here and there gangs of men were at work with wooden spades, 
digging and clearing channels round about the mouth of the well to 
enable the oil to flow away. Their task was no easy or agreeable one. 
Upon their heads and shoulders oil and sand never ceased to fall, and 
they had to be careful to avoid being drawn into and engulfed in the 
vortex round the base of the crater. Luckily no stones of any size 
were being thrown up with the oil. Sometimes blocks weighing 
several pounds are hurled up from the depths below, and then it 
becomes a dangerous matter to approach a petroleum fountain. Stand- 
ing on the top of the sand-shoal we could see where the oil, after 
flowing through a score of channels from the ooze, formed in the dis- 
tance a series of oil lakes, some broad enough and deep enough to row 
a boat in. Beyond this the oil could be seen flowing away in abroad 
channel towards the sea. 

VOL. XVI. — NO. I. [Third Series.] n 

50 The Future of Fetroleum. 

This prodigious oil-spout, hurled upwards from a depth of 574» 
feet, under a gas-pressure equal to thirteen atmospheres, played 
unintermittingly from September 1, 1883, when it first burst 
forth, until the 19th of the following December. The pipe 
having then become temporarily obstructed, it ceased to play for 
three hours, but having again cleared its throat, resumed its dis- 
charge, which continued for ten days longer. Meantime, all the 
resources of science were set at nought by the eruption ; a con- 
gress of well-owners sat helpless at Baku, unable to devise re- 
pressive measures, and the engineer of the company broke his 
heart at his inability to check the devastation. The Government 
of St. Petersburg were preparing to intervene by the despatch 
of two engineers to the spot, when, on December 29, the fountain, 
by that time somewhat spent and weakened, was at last got 
under control. A kalpak was fitted on the tube by Zorge, a 
neighbouring well-owner, and the struggling giant remained as 
securely throttled down in its narrow cell as the genie of the 
Arabian Nights in the leaden chest under Solomon''s seal. 

The discharge, which for some time after the first outburst 
amounted to from a million and a half to two million gallons a 
day, was in the middle of November still nearly a quarter of a 
million, and the total quantity of oil ejected by the well is 
variously estimated at from 220,000 to 500,000 tons, which in 
America would have fetched from £616,000 to £1,400,000 ster- 
ling. But the effect of such a glut on the local market was to 
render the article nearly valueless, the price of the pood (36 lbs.) 
which had previously been 2 or 3 copecks, falling to \ copeck. 
One merchant filled his reservoirs with 2,800,000 gallons for the 
sum of 300 roubles, or £30, but the rest was absolutely wasted, 
part of it being burned, and part turned into the Caspian to get 
rid of it. The owners, who did not possess sufficient land for its 
storage, had to pay heavy damages fov the havoc it made on other 
people's property, and were thus literally ruined by the excessive 
bounty of fortune. 

When one of these great oil-spouts catches fire, as occurred on 
September 3, 1881, it presents a spectacle of awful magnificence. 
For ten days the lurid fountain burned, playing in a pillar of 
flame oOO feet high, and trailing a pall of smoke forty miles 
out to sea. " The spectacle,'' says Consul Lovett in his Report, 
" afforded sightseers at Baku a perfect representation of an active 
volcano, and the conflagration served as a beacon to ships 100 
versts out on the Caspian." 

The ordinary course of the spouting wells is to become 
intermittent, after a continuous flow of from two to eighteen 
months, and finally to subside into ordinary pumping wells, 
from which the oil is lifted by cylinders. But owing to the low 

The Future of Petroleum,. 51 

price of crude petroleum, a great many owners prefer to keep 
their fountains plugged, and Nobel Brothers have as many as 
fourteen wells sealed up in this way, in expectation of the time 
when the price of oil must rise, with the extended market 
opened to it by improved communication. 

A gagged fountain [Mr. Marvin tell us] has now become one of the 
sights of Baku. The visitor is shown a deserted derrick, in which, 
he is told, a Tcalpah keeps down with the grip of a vice millions of 
gallons of oil in the cellular basin, 600 or 700 feet below. On 
removing the slide of the cap there is a furious blast of gas, followed 
by an outrush of petroleum a considerable height ; which is suppressed 
with equal ease by gradually closing the slide again. When 
Admiral Shestakoff, the Minister of Marine, visited Baku last autumn 
(1882) he was taken to see one of Nobel Brothers' gagged fountains. 
For ten minutes the gas roared so loudly that nobody could hear the 
other speak, and then the oil spouted higher than the derrick. When 
the Minister's curiosity was satisfied, the oil fountain was turned off 
as easily as the water fountains of Leicester Square. 

The local value of Baku petroleum has been reduced almost to 
zero by the vast production of recent years, estimated in round 
numbers, in a paper recently contributed by M. Vassilieff to the 
Institute of Civil Engineers, at a million tons a year. Crude 
oil sometimes sells as low as a halfpenny the pood, or a few pence 
a ton, and the refuse is used to sprinkle the streets, being more 
abundant than water. The Baku industry, first heavily handi- 
capped by restrictive legislation, and next by its isolation from 
the great systems of communication, has been hitherto unable 
to compete with its American competitor, which has gained 
the start in preoccupying the markets of the world. Originally 
a Crown monopoly, farmed out to a merchant named Merzoeff, 
the oil production of the Apsheron peninsula, in this stage of its 
development, never passed the figure of 24,800 tons in the year. 
When this system was abolished in 1872, the oil trade, though 
still burdened with heavy excise duties, made a rapid stride, and 
the production was multiplied nearly tenfold, reaching 242,000 
tons. The emancipation of the petroleum trade in 1877 from all 
imposts or other restrictions, led to the still further expansion 
since witnessed, in which the last figure has been again quad- 

To this great development, however, another cause contributed 
as well, and the cosmopolitan importance now assumed by the 
Caucasian industry is due to individual energy and genius. 
Freedom from fiscal shackles was doubtless a preliminary con- 
dition of its growth ; but even this was of secondary importance 
compared to the impulse received from that greater fosterer of 
commerce, cheap transport. To introduce this reform the 

52 The Future of Petroleum. 

initiative of a creative brain was required, and few men liave 
been more lar<^ely endowed with that potent fulcrum of progress 
than the Swedish engineer, Ludwig Nobel. The great dis- 
tributive organization extended by him throughout Southern 
Russia is among the marvels of modern enterprise, and the 
outline of his career in Mr. Marvin's pages is one of the most 
fascinating chapters of industrial romance. He comes of a 
family among whom mechanical genius seems handed down as a 
birthright, entailed from generation to generation. The elder 
Nobel (Emmanuel) patented, an improved torpedo for land and 
naval warfare ; his son Alfred has gained world-wide renown as 
the inventor of dynamite ; and the remaining brothers, Robert 
and Ludwig, are hardly less eminent as the creators of the 
petroleum industry of Baku in its present enlarged form. 

Emmanuel Nobel, a Swede by birth, sold his patent to the 
Russian Government in 1838, and four years later, when his son 
Ludwig was twelve years old, removed his family finally to St. 
Petersburg. Here he established great workshops, in which the 
future oil king of Baku received his mechanical education, 
working with his own hands at the great forgings turned out 
during the Crimean war, when engines for the Black Sea 
flotilla, as well as submarine mines for Cronstadt and Sveaborg, 
were supplied to the Government. 

But Emmanuel Nobel was not fortunate as a speculator. When 
the public requirements diminished, the vast scale of his estab- 
lishments could no longer be supported ; bankruptcy and ruin 
overtook him, and he retired to Sweden to die of a broken heart. 
His sons, however, were not made of the stuff that breeds failure. 
Alfred persevered in his own career as an experimental chemist, 
and Ludwig, after two years' employment in managing his 
father's concern for the benefit of his creditors, had saved a little 
capital of £500, with which he started as a manufacturing 
engineer on his own account. At the end of twelve years he 
had realized £400,000, and still more admirable to relate, had 
satisfied all his father's unpaid liabilities. When Robert Nobel, 
during a journey through the Caucasus in 1874, in search of 
walnut-wood for rifle-stocks, divined the great possibilities of the 
oil industry there flourishing, his younger brother was able to 
furnish him with capital to start a small refinery at Baku ; and 
thus, in 1875, was laid the foundation of the business which now 
overshadows all competition in a mighty branch of trade. 

The conditions under which it was carried on were then suffi- 
ciently primitive, as we gather from Mr. Arthur Arnold's* 

Through Persia by Caravan." London : Tinsley Brothers. 1877. 


The Future of Petroleum. 5 3 

description of the mode of carriage in vogue when he visited 
Baku in the same year : — 

All day long petroleum rolls into Baku in carts of the most cUrious 
pattern imaginable. A Neapolitan single-horse two- wheeled carriage 
for fifteen people is imique, but it is commonplace in comparison with 
an oil-cart at Baku. Few men would have the courage to import a 
Baku oil-cart and drive it, even for a very high wager, through 
Eegent Street or Pall Mall. Where is the man who would dare to pose 
himself there, perched and caged in a little railed cart big enough to hold 
one barrel of petroleum, and lifted so high on wheels seven feet in 
diameter that another tub can be slung beneath the axle, the whole 
thing being painted with all the colours of the rainbow, and creaking 
loudly as it is drawn by a diminutive horse, the back of which is 
barely up to a level with the axle? Yet the exploiteurs say that 
already they pay collectively not less than £100,000 a year for the 
cartage of oil in carriages of this sort. 

Against this picturesque but inefficient mode of transport 
Ludwig Nobel immediately rebelled, and by the construction of 
a pipe-line on the American plan from the wells at Balakhani to 
Baku, inaugurated the first phase of the commercial revolution 
wrought by him. The superseded carriers were up in arms to 
defend their vested interests, and the line had to be guarded 
against their attacks by watch-towers, planted at intervals of every 
few hundred yards. In a single season it had repaid its cost of 
£10,000, and within a very short time the last arba or oil-cart 
had vanished from the road. There are now seven lines of 
pipes, with an aggregate length of sixty miles and a discharge 
of two million gallons a day, connecting the wells at Balakhani 
with the refineries on the Caspian, to the obvious economy of 
labour and money. The pipes are principally home manufactured, 
those produced abroad paying a duty equivalent to about £1,000 
a mile. 

NobeFs second reform was the introduction of an improved 
method of boring. This consisted of a modification of the 
American process to suit local conditions, resulting in the plan 
now in use known as the composite system, producing a yield of 
oil previously unprecedented. 

These first innovations were felicitous adaptations of existing 
methods; but Ludwig Nobel, in carrying out his third great 
measure of reform, was himself the creator of the instrum.ent by 
which it was effected. This was the cistern-steamer or floating- 
tank, by which water-carriage of oil in bulk superseded the 
clumsy and expensive system of transport in barrel. Among 
the drawbacks of the latter were the scarcity of wood, rendering 
the vehicle more costly than its contents, loss by leakage from 
the warping inevitable in so dry a climate, and heavy freight 

54 The Future of Petroleum. 

charges for goods so inconvenient to stow and handle. Now the 
oil is constantly being pumped on board NobeFs steamers at the 
cpays at Baku, the work being continued at night by electric 
light, and the entire load of 200,000 gallons is shipped in four 
and a half hours. The danger of the liquid cargo shifting is 
obviated by an ingenious arrangement of compartments, so con- 
structed as to place no impediment in the way of loading. The 
first steam-tank, which appeared on the Caspian in 1879, cleared 
her cost, like the pipe-line, in a single season, and ere long the 
Swedish firm owned twelve similar vessels, some over 250 feet in 
length. Their rivals had perforce to follow their example, and 
the Caspian has now a fleet of seventy or eighty cistern-steamers, 
carrying each about 750 tons of oil. The system of liquid trans- 
port is fast spreading to other seas, and already the first tank- 
vessel has crossed the Atlantic with a cargo of oil in bulk. 

The destination of the Baku oil steamers is the mouth of the 
Volga, where the shoal water of the Nine Foot Soundings com- 
pels them to transfer their cargo to steam barges or lighters for 
conveyance 400 miles farther to Tsaritzin, the first railway-station 
on the great river. Here the economy eflected by the new method 
of carriage is shown by the fact that whereas oil as formerly 
conveyed sold at 9d. a gallon, it now realizes a profit at l^d. 
But at Tsaritzin the Swedish innovator was once more met by 
his old enemy the barrel, still in use for railway carriage, and had 
again to wage war single-handed against the adherents of an 
obsolete system. The railway directors refused, as had the steam- 
boat company, to make arrangements for the liquid transport of 
the oil, and this had to be done by Nobel himself in the con- 
struction of tank-cars at his own expense. Of these he has now 
1,500, each carrying ten tons of oil, constantly running in sixty 
trains of twenty-five cars each. 

But another step was required to perfect the organization and 
meet the peculiar conditions of trade, described by Mr. Marvin as 
follows : — 

In winter the Volga is frozen over, and no oil can be carried for four 
months from Baku to Tsaritzin. In summer, on the other hand, when 
the boats can run freely, twilight prevails all night long, and the public 
need no kerosene. As a result of this it was necessary to form in different 
parts of Russia great storage depots where the oil could be collected in 
summer and whence it could be distributed in winter. The central 
place chosen for this operation was Orel, which is conveniently 
situated in Middle Russia, for distribution in the most populous 
districts. Here the reservoirs were made to hold 18,000,000 gallons 
of burning oil at the time, and with the oil station, the sidings, and the 
repairing shops for the tank-cars, cover several hundred acres of 
ground. Four other large depots were erected at Moscow, St. 

The Future of Petroleum. , 55 

Petersburg, Warsaw, and Saratoff. Scattered between these, and 
between the Baltic and Black Sea on the one side, and Germany and 
the Volga on the other, are twenty-one smaller depots. In this 
manner in summer the sixty oil-trains run from the Volga to the 
twenty-six depots in every part of European Russia, including 
Poland and Finland, filling up the reservoirs, and in winter they 
change their base of operations from Tsaritzin to these depots, and 
convey the oil to the various intermediate railway-stations where 
a. demand exists for kerosene. No barrelling is carried on by 
the firm. They sell the oil by the train-load to the petroleum dealers 
in provincial Kussia, who bring their own barrels to the railway- 
station and carry it away in this form to their stores. A fortnight 
is allowed for this operation. A remarkable fact is, that although 
Nobel Brothers are able to send to Russia over 200,000 tons, or 
more than 54,000,000 gallons of petroleum every year, not a drop is 
sold except for ready cash ! By arrangement the railway companies 
undertake to receive payment for oil consigned to any station, receiving 
a small commission for their trouble, and until the money is paid to 
the booking-clerk the petroleum dealer is not allowed to touch the oil. 
At St. Petersburg large-scale maps are kept in the central office ot 
Nobel Brothers, and a clerk is posted in charge, whose duty is to 
receive telegrams from the guards of the various trains, and note with 
flags on the maps their whereabouts. All the year round the sixty 
oil-trains are continually running over an area twenty times larger 
than Great Britain, yet at any moment of the day Ludwig Nobel can 
go into the office and see at a glance the actual whereabouts of every 
one of them. 

The control of this great vascular system enables the Swedish 
firm, who manufacture more kerosene than the entire of the other 
Russian refiners put together, to rule the market at will, and 
undersell all competitors. They are said to use their power with 
generosity, in many cases preferring to come to friendly terms 
with their rivals instead of ruthlessly crushing them. 

The scale of their business, carried on under the name of Nobel 
Brothers^ Petroleum Production Company, may be judged from 
the facts that they dispose of a capital of £1,500,000, paying an 
average dividend of 20 per cent., and that out of the 400 wells 
at Balakhani they own forty, including fourteen '^ fountains,^' 
one of which spouted 112,000 tons of crude oil in a single 

Their refinery [to quote Mr. Marvin once more] covers over a mile of 
ground, and is able to turn out daily, in the busy season, 220,000 gallons 
of kerosene or burning oil, 80 tons of lubricating oil, and 1,300 tons of 
liquid fuel ; a yearly rate of 65 million gallons of illuminating oil, 
27,000 tons of lubricating oil, and 450,000 tons of liquid fuel. Each of 
its large refuse reservoirs holds 4,000,000 gallons of liquid fuel at a time. 
On the Caspian the firm have twelve large cistern- steamers, costing over 

56 The Future of Petroleum. 

£250.000 sterling, twelve steamers and forty barges on the Volga, and a 
dockyard at Astrakhan costing collectively £180,000; besides which 
they charter a large number of schooners and barges every season from 
other owners. At Tsaritzin, and twenty-six other points in Russia, they 
have established depots for 35,000,000 gallons of kerosene, and have 
placed on the railways 1,500 tank-cars at a cost of more than £275,000. 
The railway freight alone they pay yearly exceeds a quarter of a million 
sterling. Altogether their organization gives employment to not less 
than 5,000 people, and at times this has been raised to double the 

For their chief employes at Baku they have built a handsom& 
suburb called Petrolia, with fifteen villas, giving accommodation 
to several hundred people, enclosed in a walled park, and pro- 
vided with gardens, billiard-rooms, and a general library. 

Meantime the system of liquid railway transport inaugurated 
by the Swedish engineer is rapidly extending. A German firm 
has concluded an arrangement for the importation of the Baku 
oil in tank-cars, and the Black Sea Navigation Company are 
now building a large fleet of tank-steamers to convey the Caspian 
oil to Europe. Thus Mr. Marvin seems justified in his anticipa- 
tion of seeing petroleum trains running from one end of Europe 
to the other, and cistern-ships issuing from all the Russian ports 
with the produce of the Caucasian wells. 

To facilitate these larger developments of the trade, added 
means of transport from the Caspian to the Black Sea are 
urgently required. The Baku-Batoum line, opened in 1883, 
already proves insufficient, constant congestion of* traffic being 
caused by the steep gradients over the Suram Pass, 3,200 feet 
high, up which only a limited number of goods trucks can be 
drawn at a time. To meet this difiiculty, the Government have 
already sanctioned a scheme for tunnelling the Pass, while a 
second line north of the Caucasus, from Novorossisk, on the 
Euxine, to Petrovsk, on the Caspian, is also in contemplation. 
The project of a pipe-line for the entire length of 560 miles from 
Baku to Batoum has been favourably entertained by the Russian 
authorities, but the recent Petroleum Congress at Baku inclined 
to Ludwig Nobel's alternative plan of a pipe over the Suram Pass 
alone, about a third of the whole distance. A concession for the 
transport of the Caucasus oil has meantime been obtained by the 
Austro-Hungarian Petroleum Company, and they have distributed 
200 large tanks along the Baku-Batoum line. 

Thus the markets of Europe are being rapidly opened up to 
the product of the Russian wells, which, from their more lavish 
production, must eventually prove formidable rivals to those of 
the United States. The best refined oil is sold at Baku for Id, 
a gallon, while in England the prices range from 6cZ. and '6d. to- 


The Future of Petroleum. 57 

lOd. and Is. for the superfine qualities called " water white." As 
far as Stettin and Berlin, the Caspian oil nan already undersell 
the American to the amount of 1|(Z. a gallon, their respective 
prices being Qd. and 7 id. The raw material of the two articles, 
shows differences in many important points, and the subjoined 
analysis, by Ludwig Nobel, of the crude petroleum of the Cau- 
casus varies considerably in its constituent proportions from those 
of the ordinary American oil. 

Per cent. 

Benzine, light oil 1 

Gasolene 3 

Kerosene, burning oil ... 27 

Soliarovi 12 

TV. . / Veregenni 10 

Lubricants { x v • ^- trr 

\ Lubricating 17 

(^ Cylinder 5 

Vaseline 1 

Liquid fuel 14 

Lost in refining 10 

Total 100 

The Caspian oil is here seen to be at a considerable disadvan- 
tage in regard to the proportion of illuminating oil obtained 
from it, the percentage being only 27 as compared with 65 
or 76 given by the Western petroleum. This deficiency, 
however, is counterbalanced by the greater value of the 
residues, a double quantity of lubricating oil being derived 
from it. The number of its useful products is stated in Consul 
Lovett^s Report at 115, among which are, in addition to kerosene, 
and machine, or lubricating oil, tar, alcohol, benzine, benzoline, 
paraflfin, ozokerit, gasolene, aniline, eupion, damaline, usurusine, 
and anthracine. From the latter, alizarin, the red colouring 
matter of madder, as well as the blue of indigo, can be obtained, 
and large French and English orders are received for it. 

But the essential point is the relative quality of the illumi- 
nants derived from the two sources, and in this respect the product 
of Baku compares, on the whole, favourably with that of the 
United States. The latter had indeed of late years so deteriorated, 
that the American Standard Oil Company were compelled in 
1883 to send a commission to Europe to investigate the com- 
plaints of their customers. Mr. Boverton Redwood, chemist to 
the London Petroleum Association, in an elaborate report on the 
rival oils, gave the preference to the Russian in regard to odour 
and colour, while as to illuminating power he found that it had 
the superiority, after burning for a greater length of time, though 
the American oil in a recently tilled lamp was capable of yielding- 

58 The Future of Petroleum. 

a larger amount of light. In light-producing power, per gallon, 
the Kussian article had the advantage of three out of every live 
samples of the ordinary American oil tested, and was in this 
respect but little inferior to the best high-priced water- white 

More important still, it stands a very high flashing test, usually 
ranging from 86° to 88° Fahr. by the close test, while the ordi- 
nary American oil breaks into flame at a much lower temperature. 
This superiority promises to secure it the German market, and 
measures are being taken to maintain the high character the oil 
has acquired abroad, by establishing a uniform standard for all 
descriptions exported from Baku. The Technical Commission 
have recommended as requirements for this, a specific gravity not 
higher than 0*821, and a flashing-point not lower than 77° Fahr., 
combined with water — white colour, and freedom from unpleasant 
smell. The larger firms at Baku sell as kerosene only the result 
of the third distillation, rejecting the lighter oils evaporated at 
lower temperatures, but the smaller manufacturers use these latter 
to adulterate the better qualities, lowering the flashing-point, and 
rendering them proportionally dangerous to use. A large 
foreign trade is already done in lubricating oil, of which four 
million gallons were exported in 1883. With enlarged facilities 
for transport, a great increase in the consumption of this article 
is certain to take place, as it can be produced at such a price as 
to render competition hopeless. 

Should the Caspian oil district ever be worked out, a reserve 
supply, probably as great, exists at the opposite extremity of the 
Caucasus. Here the Taman peninsula, protruding into the 
Euxine, forms a pendant to the Apsheron promontory on the 
Caspian coast, and here, too, oil fountains have spouted forth 
from similar subterranean reservoirs. On its shore was the 
ancient city of Phanagoria, probably the port which supplied to 
Greece the petroleum enumerated among the ingredients of Greek 
fire. It is a forest-mantled country, intersected with numerous 
lakes and streams, and studded with mud volcanoes, many of them 
in a constant state of eruption. A vast oil-bearing district of 
two million acres, extending for 200 miles up the Kuban river, 
is held in concession by a French company, the Standard Russe. 
A pipe-line connects their principal workings with Novorosisk 
on the Black Sea, but the production as yet amounts to no more 
than 70 tons a day, only the light gravity oil, which is compara- 
tively scarce, being fitted for pumping through the tube. 

Among the petroleum deposits of Asia, that of the Irawadi 
valley comes next in importance to those of the Caspian region. 
The annual Burmese production amounts to over 10,000 tons, 
extracted from some hundreds of wells in and about Pagan by 

The Future of Petroleum. 59 

the most primitive methods. The boring is a simple shaft, into 
which an earthen pot is lowered, to be lifted to the surface by 
the movement of either two men or a horse harnessed to the 
other end of the rope, and retreating from the well to a distance 
equal to its depth. The vessel is emptied into a little pool, where 
the water settles to the bottom, leaving the oil to be skimmed 
off the top. About 2,000 lbs. a day is the highest, and 1,200 to 
1,500 the average produce of each well. The purified oil is 
called belmontine, and the solvent for grease prepared from its 
more volatile constituents, sherwoodole. 

The only considerable European petroleum fields are those on 
the slopes of the Carpathians in Roumania and Galieia. The 
deposits in the former country are lodged in beds of tough blue 
clay, with intruded veins of salt and gypsum, and from the 
principal wells, about fifty miles from Bucharest, with two other 
groups, there is a production of some sixty tons a day. The oil, 
extracted by the natives from time immemorial by digging pits 
into which it drained, is largely diffused throughout South- 
Eastern Europe as a lubricant for the shrieking axles of the 
country carts. 

Petroleum in Galieia is even more strikingly associated with 
saline deposits than elsewhere, since in this province are found 
the greatest salt mines in Europe. It was the question of a pro- 
tective duty in favour of this oil that caused the recent Cabinet 
crisis in Vienna (May- June, 1886) on the occasion of the 
renewal of the decennial treaty of commerce between Austria 
and Hungary. The latter country is interested in the importa- 
tion of petroleum, for m.anufacturing which the Austro-Hungarian 
Petroleum Company has established two large and fourteen 
smaller refineries at Fiume and Pesth. The Russian oil, though 
part refined, was adulterated so as to pass as crude, and conse- 
quently paid only the inferior duty on the latter article, at the 
rate of sixty-eight kreutzers to two florins per 100 kilogrammes. 
The product of the Hungarian refineries was thus enabled to 
undersell the Galician oil as well as the American, the impor- 
tation of which forms a lucrative branch of trade to the Austrian 
merchants at Trieste. The explosion of anti- Hungarian feeling 
called forth by this question in Austria as soon as the treaty 
came before the Reichsrath for ratification, was a revelation of 
the extreme tenuity of the bond which unites the dual empire. 
After threatening resignation, dissolution, and all the other 
terrors of political coercion, the Taaffe Ministry were compelled 
to accept a modification of the treaty imposing an enhanced duty : 
on crude oil, which has yet to be sanctioned by the Diet of 

The two most recently discovered petroleum sources are those 

60 The Future of Petroleum. 

at Sibi on tlie north-western frontier of India, and at Djemsah 
on the Red Sea, where the Grovernraent of the Khedive hope to 
find a much-needed El Dorado in the sands. The use of rock- 
oil in Egypt is coeval with the Pharaohs, as mummy cloths have 
been found saturated with it, and its virtues as a specific for 
rheumatism and skin diseases have been always recognized by the 
natives. An isolated mass of dark rock flanking the western 
mouth of the Gulf of Suez, was presumably the source of supply, 
since its name, Djebel-ez-Zeit, is the Arabic synonym for Oil 
Mountain. Not till the close of last year, however, was a 
systematic quest organized here under the auspices of a Belgian 
engineer, of the name of Debay, with the Egyptian Government 
as paymaster up to March 1, 1886. A spot, about forty yards 
from the coral reef bay where the party landed, was chosen 
almost at haphazard, but with fortunate results, for success, with 
a touch of dramatic completeness, crowned the enterprise just as 
the last hours assigned as its term were running out. The drill 
had been descending only at the rate of half a metre a day, when, 
in the words of the Times correspondent * — 

On the morning of the 28th of February, cursing the luck which 
had given them the shortest month in the year, the little colony went 
ashore to work conscientiously but despairingly for the last time. At 
noon the drill was still working with its irritating monotonous groan, 
when suddenly it fell 15 in. — a slight hiss, a bubble, and then the 
unmistakable sound of running liquid ! Water or oil ? A glance 
was sufficient — the brown turbid liquid showed them that at the 
eleventh hour they had " struck ile." For that day they struck work, 
and contented themselves with bathing their hands in the precious 
liquid, smelling it and igniting it. 

A hasty telegram summoned the Egyptian Premier to the 
spot, as fast as steam could bring him, to gaze fondly on the 
dark and greasy ponds which might perhaps furnish the ransom 
of his country from her latter-day plagues of financial controllers 
and commissioners. Further borings promise a yield of fifty tons 
a day of an oil, which a rough analysis on the spot, pending that 
of the experts of London and Paris, shows to be similar in quality 
to the petroleum of the Caucasus. 

The interest of the British public in the mineral oil supply of 
the world, is represented by the increase in its consumption in 
England, during the decade 1871-1881, from eight million, in 
round numbers, to fifty-eight million gallons. The relatively 
smaller increase in value of the import, during the same period^ 

* " Petroleum in Egypt." From our Cairo Correspondent. Times, 
April 24, 1886. 

The Future of Petroleum. 61 


of from over half a million to not quite two million sterlint^- 
shows a very large reduction in price to have given the stimulus 
to the enlarged consumption. America has hitherto had a 
monopoly of the English market, but within the last year or two 
the Russian oil, and especially Nobel's brand, has begun to find 
favour there. British India has also been a very large consumer 
of American kerosene, imported direct from the United States, 
to the amount, in 1883-84, of twenty-one million gallons. 
Owing to the heat of the climate, a flashing test of 76° Fahr., 
three degrees higher than in Europe, is there considered requisite 
for safety in general use. 

Meantime the oil trade in England has entered on the revolu- 
tion, already accomplished elsewhere, in the substitution of bulk 
for barrel transport and storage. Early in the present year the 
Crusader, a timber-built barge of 642 tons register, delivered the 
first cargo of petroleum in bulk despatched from America to 
England. Her hold is occupied by forty-five cylindrical iron 
tanks with a capacity of 177,400 gallons, into which the refined 
petroleum was pumped at New York from cistern-lighters 
brought alongside. In London the converse operation was 
performed at the Regent's Canal Docks, where Messrs. Ingall, 
Phillips & Co. have constructed extensive reservoirs. Thence 
it is distributed to the metropolitan retail dealers in tank- 
waggons, now seen for the first time in the streets of 

The forthcoming Petroleum Exhibition in St. Petersburg, of 
which the date is not yet fixed, ought to afford an opportunity 
for the display of the many English improvements in oil- 
burning machinery. Among these is the Defries Safety Lamp, 
so efficacious in use that it has superseded gas-lamps in some of 
the great provincial railway-stations. Consul Lovett points out 
in his Report that the best lamp for burning the Baku oil, 
which requires to be treated differently in some respects from the 
American, has yet to be invented, and suggests that if Birming- 
ham could devise a suitable one — cheap, strong, and serviceable — 
the foundation of a very large trade might be laid. 

The future of the Baku oil [he says] is promising in the extreme. 
The area of its utility is yearly increasing ; it is now used in Warsaw 
•and St. Petersburg, where by its reduced price it competes with 
American oil. At Bokhara and Meshed it finds a ready sale, and 
lamps of the most trumpery German description are imported largely 
into Khorasan, and sold at large profits. It is, moreover, expected by 
some that on the completion of the through line between Baku and 
Batoum (since opened) the Levant and Italy will be supplied from 
Baku. On the other side, the completion of the railway from 
Krasnovodsk to Geok Tep6 and a cart-road to Meshed will enable 

62 The Future of Petroleum. 

the inhabitants of Herat and Central Afghanistan to use the Russian 

Nor it is merely from its rapidly extending use as an illumi- 
nant that petroleum promises to prove so large a factor in the 
workVs industry, but rather from the decision in its favour of 
the literally " burning question '^ of Liquid versus Solid Fuel. 
As a combustible, furnishing the motive power for steam-driven 
machinery, oil seems likely to supplement, if not to supersede, 
coal, particularly in regions remote from the natural supply of 
the latter. Here, too, the Caspian engineers have been first in 
utilizing and appropriating a discovery, to whose value Western 
science is only tardily beginning to awaken. 

In the Caspian basin [says Mr. Marvin, in a valuable chapter on 
this subject] petroleum refuse is the only fuel used in the furnaces of 
steamers, locomotive and factory engines. Liquid fuel has throughout 
this region replaced wood and coal, and the use of it is now extending 
as far as Moscow on the north, Teheran to the south, Merv and Khiva 
to the east, and Batoum to the west. Baku is the centre of the liquid 
fuel system. It is the Newcastle of the Caspian. Ere long it promises 
to become the fuel source of the Euxine also, in which case there will 
be an end to the exportation of English coal to the Black Sea. 

Neftiani astatki, or naphtha dregs, in Tartar mazoot, the 
heavier residue left after the distillation of kerosene, is the form 
of petroleum most advantageously used for fuel. As its price 
fluctuates between a few pence and half-a-crown a ton, while in 
a good hydrocarbon furnace it will, weight for weight, do 
nearly three times the work of coal, the economy of its use 
is obvious. The first attempt made in Russia to use petroleum 
as fuel was in the condensed form, solidified into pitch-like bricks 
burned in an ordinary furnace. To an Englishman named Aydon, 
and a Russian, Shpakovsky, belongs the credit of having almost 
simultaneously devised the apparatus for burning it in the liquid 
state, now, with sundry minor modifications, in universal use on 
the Caspian. This consists of the steam pulverizer, the principle 
of which is the discharge of oil and steam from two pipes on 
opposite sides of a diaphragm or plate. The oil, dropping in a 
continuous stream from the lip of the latter, is met and shattered 
by the steam jet, which blows it in a cloud of finely divided 
spray into the furnace, there to be vaporized and consumed. 
The steam blast roars like an on-rushing hurricane, and the fire- 
box is a vortex of leaping and whirling flame. 

In May 1870 the Iran, a steamer of 45 horse-power, 
appeared on the Caspian, fitted with this apparatus, and her 
example was quickly followed by others. Four years later the 

The Future of Petroleum. 63 

Russian Government adopted the system, and the engines of the 
Caspian fleet are now fired exchisively with astatki. The mer- 
cantile marine of the same basin, consisting of forty steamers, 
some over 240 feet long, are using the same fuel, as are also 
100 steamers on the Volga. A modification of the pulverizer has 
been adapted to locomotives as well as to factory engines, and on 
the Trans-Caspian railway and in the principal refineries of Baku 
no other combustible is burned. The produce of the newly 
discovered wells at Sibi is likely to be utilized in the same way 
in the Indus valley, and all the Indian frontier railways will soon 
derive their fuel from this source. 

The advantages of liquid fuel may be epitomized under the 
three heads of economy of space, of labour, and of money. As a 
ton of petroleum dregs, while little more than half the bulk, will 
in improved furnaces give nearly thrice the heat of a ton of coal, 
the gain under the first head is somewhere about 500 per cent. 
Facility of manipulation of a fire which needs no stoking or 
feeding, and can be controlled by the supply-cock as easily as a 
gigantic gas-jet, represents a saving of labour which speaks for 
itself. Economy in price is of course a varying quantity, depen- 
dent on distance from place of production and cost of transport 
of the fuel ; but as the supply is practically unlimited, the area 
of its cheap difi'usion will widen with increased facilities for 
carriage. It has the additional recommendation of undergoing 
complete combustion, so as to leave no smoke, soot, or other 
residue. Chief Engineer Isherwood, of the United States Navy, 
enumerates its chief advantages as follows : — 

1. Reduction of 40 '5 per cent, in Aveight of fuel. 2. Reduction o£ 
36*5 per cent, in bulk. 3. Greater facility of storage. 4. Reduction 
of number of stokers to a quarter. 5. Greater speed in raising steam. 
6. Fires can be extinguished instantly. 7. No smoke, no ashes, no 
waste. 8. No loss of heat from opening furnace doors to feed with 
coal. 9. Ability to command increased temperature without forced 

There are of course countervailing objections alleged against 
its use, of which its supposed liability to explosion is the chief. 
The experience, however, of fifteen years, during which it has 
been burned throughout Southern Russia in locomotives and 
steamers without the slightest accident, seems of itself to refute 
this argument. Petroleum refuse, moreover, the form best 
adapted for fuel, being heavier and less easily volatilized than 
the refined oil, bears a much higher flashing test, ranging 
between 176° and 270° Fahr., while even the high-test burning 
oils break into flame at 96°. Crude petroleum, also used as fuel, 
though more inflammable than astatki, loses so much of its 

64 The Future of Petroleum. 

dangerous qualities from mere exposure to the air, that a fire- 
brand may be safely thrust into the oil-lakes of Baku. Crude 
oil that flashed at 104° when freshly drawn from the well, bears 
a test of 140° after standing for a week, or of 158° at the end of 
a fortnight. 

Another argument against the use of the oil-furnace is the 
waste of power involved in kindling a preliminary fire to start 
the steam jet; but this is minimized in the Walker apparatus, in 
which hydrocarbon gas is stored for the purpose. Minor draw- 
backs, such as the deafening roar of the steam-blast, and the 
rapid destruction of the boiler from the intensity of the flame, are 
matters of detail which may be, and to some extent already are, 
remedied by mechanical improvements. 

Even in England, public opinion, always slow to admit foreign 
innovations, is being gradually aroused to the advantages of oil 
as fuel. The establishment of Tarbutt's Liquid Fuel Company 
is in itself a proof that the subject has entered on the domain of 
practical speculation, and the adoption of the system in a trading 
vessel, the Himialaya, of 100 horse-power and 800 tons burden, 
with satisfactory results as far as her trial voyage was concerned, 
shows that the idea of its general applicability is gaining ground. 

Experiments are being conducted with a view to the adoption 
of liquid fuel in the Royal Navy, and in this quarter, where 
economy of storage and labour are of supreme importance, its 
advantages are certain to prevail. In the merchant marine the 
change will be longer delayed, as the question of cost is here all- 
important, and oil fuel is still expensive in England, where the 
abounding refuse of the Caspian wells has not yet made its way. 
But the revolution now begun is certain to be a progressive one, 
and the eventual triumph of petroleum as fuel is assured. 

The causes here touched upon as tending in the immediate 
future to render mineral oil so large a factor in the world's 
industry are, then, briefly three. 1. The opening up of the 
markets of Europe, by increased facilities of communication, to 
the illimitable fields of production in the Caucasus region. 2. 
The reduction in price and consequent increase in consumption 
everywhere effected by the substitution of bulk for barrel trans- 
port and storage. 3. The extending use of petroleum as fuel for 
all steam-driven machinery. 

We thus seem to be on the eve of an age of oil, in which 
nature's second great reserve of accumulated light and heat 
material will be largely drawn upon. There is no use to which 
coal has been put for which petroleum is not equally available, 
and the wonderful economy of creation, in which organic decay 
is made to subserve the purposes of fresh organic life, will be a.s 
strikingly illustrated in the utilization by man of the one pro- 

Pro Viuls et Difti lotis. 


duct as of the other. In cycles of growth and destruction, in 
unrecorded cataclysms and silent abysmal throes of the nether 
world, in obscure processes of distillation continued through vast 
geological epochs, the latent energies of matter have been slowly 
stored up, to spend themselves yet again in the service of man 
in thpse latter days of ours, and wing with speed of elemental 
fire the toiling engines of the nineteenth century. 

E. M. Clerke. 



I TAKE it to be a primary rule of sound criticism that a book 
should be judged, as far as possible, from its author's point 
of view. F. Amherst, in his preface to these two volumes, tells 
us how, eleven years ago, he accidentally discovered that the year 
1874 was the centenary of the first Act of Parliament which 
relaxed the Penal Code against Catholics. This discovery sug- 
gested to him the idea of collecting all the facts which should 
come under his notice connected with the progress of Emancipa- 
tion, and of the Catholic Church in England, daring the last 
hundred years. A friend advised him to work these notes into 
a history. He took the advice. Hence the book now before 
us. F. Amherst confesses that his history is " very imperfect 
and very incomplete ;" and that it is ''most incomplete precisely 
where a history of Emancipation ought to be least defective '^ 
— namely, " in the details of the agitation in Ireland.^'' Still, he 
hopes that if his attempt " should have no other value, it may at 
least induce some one of more ability, and of greater powers and 
opportunities of research, to enter more fully into the details of 
one of the most remarkable events of modern times." 

Rigorous criticism of a work so modestly introduced to us 
would be out of place. The public is F. Amherst's debtor for 
thus making it partaker of the results of his note-taking. Nor 
can the sincerity and zeal to which every page of his volumes 
bears evidence be other than edifying. It seems to me, however, 
to be matter of regret that F. Amherst has given to his per- 
formance so lofty a title. " A History of Catholic Emancipation " 
implies a great deal, and, to be adequately written, would demand 
the exercise of some of the highest. qualities of the historian. It 

VOL. XVI.— NO. I. [Third Series ] y 

66 Pro Vivis et Defunctis. * 

implies not only an accurate account of the actual facts and of 
their proximate causes, but a correct estimate of the spiritual and 
intellectual movements of which they were the phenomenal ex- 
pression ; of the principles which are the quintessence of the 
facts ; the very law of their succession and connection, as mani- 
fested in their working. It demands not only the critical tact 
resulting from familiarity with the methods of scholarly research, 
but also that peculiar power of self-eifacement whereby a writer 
is enabled to merge himself in his subject, and to let events tell 
their own story : that creative gift — poetic in the true sense of 
the word — which enables him to recreate a past phase of civili- 
zation : that philosophic balance of mind and judicial impar- 
tiality, raising him above the passions and prejudices of the 
hour, which enables him to view persons and things in the dry 
light of science. It is a pity that F. Amherst has bestowed 
upon his work a designation which leads us to think what a 
history and a historian of Catholic Emancipation should be. 
To try it, or him, by such a standard as that which is thus sug- 
gested would be unkind. His volumes belong to the class which 
the French «;all ^'Memoires pour servir,^^ and contain many 
particulars of interest, gleaned chiefly from the works of Bishop 
Milner and Mr. Charles Butler, and from the Orthodox Journal, 
regarding the acquisition of civil rights by British and Irish 
Catholics between the years 1774 and 1820: for, curiously 
enough, F. Amherst's narrative stops short by nine years of the 
passing of the Emancipation Act. They contain also many 
** reflections " as to which we may cheerfully allow the writer's 
claim to say with King David, " Credidi, propter quod locutus 
sum ; " although, with regard to not a few of them, it must 
be added that, like the Psalmist upon another occasion, he has 
spoken "in excessu suo." It appears that F. Amherst's work 
was originally commenced "as a serial for ' CathoHc Progress;^" 
a periodical which I confess I have never seen, but which, as 
I learn, is especially designed for the edification of Catholic 
young men. I suppose this accounts for the abundance of the 
^* reflections^' which the author scatters throughout his volumes, 
and for the hortatory tone which pervades them. In what I am 
about to write I shall consider, first, F. Amherst's historical 
method, and then examine one or two of his practical conclusions. 

By way of exhibiting F. Amherst's historical method, I will 
confine myself to one example, ia which he may be seen both at 
his best and at his worst. In 1778 the British Parliament 
passed a statute which may be regarded as the first substantial 
measure of Catholic relief. To borrow Mr. Lecky's succinct 
account, it abolished "those portions of a well-known Act of 

Pro Vivis et Defunctls. 67 

William III. which related to the apprehending of Popish 
priests, bishops and Jesuits, which subjected them, and also 
Papists keeping^ a school, to perpetual imprisonment, and which 
disabled all Papists from inheriting or purchasing land. In 
order to obtain the benefit of the law, it was necessary that the 
Catholics should take a special oath, abjuring the Pretender, the 
temporal jurisdiction and deposing power of the Pope, and the 
doctrine that faith should not be kept with heretics, and that 
heretics, as such, may be lawfully put to death.'' "^ Now, in 
treating of this Act, F. Amherst tells us what Catholics, at the 
time, thought of it. And here he is at his best. He also tells 
us what he himself thinks of it and of them. And here he is at 
his worst. 

F. Amherst enables us to see what British Catholics thought 
of the Act of 1778 by the very simple course — far too seldom 
adopted by him — of placing before us a few original documents, 
which tell their own story, and bring before us with singular 
vividness the condition of English Catholics a hundred and eight 
years ago. The first is the following Address, which was pre- 
sented to George III. before the passing of the statute, and 
which no doubt largely contributed to secure its enactment : — - 

To the King's most excellent Majesty. The humble Address of the 
Roman Catholic Peers and Commoners of Great Britain. 

Most gracious Sovereign, 

We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the 
Roman Catholic Peers and Commoners of your kingdom of Great 
Britain, most humbly hope that it cannot be offensive to the clemency 
of your Majesty's nature, or to the maxims of your just and wise 
Government, that any part of your subjects should approach your 
royal presence, to assure your Majesty of the respectful affection which 
they bear to your person, and their true attachment to the civil con- 
stitution of their country, which, having been perpetuated through all 
changes of religious opinions and establishments, has been at length 
perfected by that revolution which has placed your Majesty's illustrious 
house on the throne of these kingdoms, and inseparably united your 
title to the crown, with the law and liberties of your people. 

Our exclusion from many of the benefits of that constitution has^ 
not diminished our reverence to it. We behold with satisfaction the 
felicity of our fellow- subjects, and we partake of the general prosperity 
which results from an institution so full of wisdom. We have patiently 
submitted to such restrictions and discouragements as the Legislature 
thought expedient. We have thankfully received such relaxations of 
the rigour of the laws as the mildness of an enlightened age and the 
benignity of your Majesty's Government have gradually produced, and 

* " History of England in the Eighteenth Century," vol. iii. p. 508. 

1' 5i 

68 Pro Vivis et Defunctis, 

we submissively wait, without presuming to suggest either time or 
measure, for such other indulgence as those happy causes cannot faii 
in their own season to effect. 

We beg to assure your Majesty that our dissent from the legal 
establishment in matters of religion is purely conscientious, that we 
hold no opinions adverse to your Majesty's Government or repugnant 
to tbe duties of good citizens. And we trust that this has been shown 
more decisively by our irreproachable conduct for many years past, 
under circumstances of discountenance and displeasure, than it can be 
manifested by any declaration whatever. 

In a time of public danger, when your Majesty's subjects can have 
but one interest, and ought to have but one wish and one sentiment, we 
humbly hope it will not be deemed improper to assure your Majesty of 
our unalterable attachment to the cause and welfare of this our common 
country, and our utter detestation of the designs and views of any 
foreign power against the dignity of your ^lajesty's crown, the safety 
and tranquillity of your Majesty's subjects. 

The delicacy of our situation is such, that we do not presume to 
point out the particular means by which we may be allowed to testify 
our zeal to your Majesty, and our wishes to serve our country ; but we 
entreat leave faithfully to assure your Majesty that we shall be perfectly 
ready, on every occasion, to give such proofs of our fidelity and the 
purity of our intentions as your Majesty's wisdom and the sense of 
the nation shall at any time deem expedient.* 

This Address was drawn up by a comniittee of which Lord 
Petre, Sir John Throckmorton, and Mr. William Sheldon were the 
most active members, and was signed by the Duke of Norfolk, 
the Earls of Surrey and Shrewsbury, by Lord Linton for the 
Scotch, by Lords Stourton, Petre, Arundell, Dormer, Teynham, 
and Clifford, and by a hundred and sixty-three Commoners. 
No doubt it faithfully expresses the feelings of the great majority 
of British Catholics. Butler,t in his "Historical Memoirs, ^'' 
describes the " general anxiety" of Catholics while the measure 
was in its progress through Parliament. And F. Amherst justly 
remarks that 'Hhe manner in which the Act was received by our 
ancestors will perhaps best appear in the two following Pastorals 
of the English Vicars- Apostolic, which cannot fail to be interest- 
ing to the reader '': — 

To all the Catholic Clergy, both S'-jcular and regular, residing in the 
Southern District of England. 

Dear Brethren, — The great Apostle St. Paul, writing to his beloved 
disciple Timothy,^ and in him instructing all Christian pastors of souls, 
desires first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanks- 
givings (Eucharists) should be made for all men, for kings and all that 

* Vol. i. p. 95. t Quoted by F. Amherst, vol. i. p. 108. 


Pro Vivis et Defunct is. 69 

are in liigh station and authority; that we may lead a quiet and peace- 
able life in all goodness and chastity. For this is good, saith the 
Apostle, and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. It is a duty 
we owe princes by His Divine ordinance, and the very principal part 
of that honour, which we are to give them, which is so much insisted 
upon in the Word of God.* Wherefore, dear brethren, that both you 
and we may religiously comply with the mast indisputable precept of 
God's own law, we take this occasion of addressing these lines to you 
in this public manner, requiring that all and every one of you should 
offer up your most ardent prayers to the Almighty for our most 
gracious Sovereign King George III. and his Koyal Consort Queen 
Charlotte, and all their royal family, and also that in your respective 
congregations (when you shall be able to meet, without danger to 
yourselves or your flocks from the many grievous penal laws which 
stand out against the Catholics of this kingdom) you shall recommend 
the rest of the faithful to offer up also their prayers for the same 
intentions : this being a duty which by the law of God all Christian 
people owe to their respective sovereigns. 

Given at London this 4th of June, 1778. 

+ ltichard Deboren, Y.A.t 
+ James Birth.J 

Published and signed also for the Midland District. 

4- John Philomel, V. A.§ 
-I- Thomas Aconen.|| 

Published and signed also for the Northern District by 

+ William Trachou, V.A.<[ 

To the Catholic Clergy, secular and regular, residing in the 
Western District of P^ngland. 

Dear Brethren, — The duty of praying for sovereign princes is fully 
recommended by the two great Apostles SS. Peter and Paul ; and it 
has been the constant practice of the Christians from the first ages of 
the Church, as all ecclesiastical records testify. Moreover, the Koman 
Catholics of this kingdom have at this present time a further induce- 
ment to the same, arising from the extraordinary favour newly granted 
to them by the Act of Parliament. On these motives, therefore, we 
think it necessary to require that you offer up your fervent prayers to 
the Almighty for our most gracious Sovereign King George HI., his 
Koyal Consort Queen Charlotte, and all the royal family, and that you 
recommend the same to your respective flocks. We ordain that on all 
Sundays to the last Collect be added, " Et famulos tuos," &c. ; as in 
the London District. Let a memorial of the King by name be made 
every day in the Canon. Lastly, after the Divine Service in the 
morning on Sundays add Psalm xix., and, the prayer as in the London 

* Komans xiii. ; 1 St. Peter ii. 13 seq. 
t Dr. Chalmers. + Dr. James Talbot. § Dr. Ilornyold, 

Ij Dr. Thomas Talbot. ^| Dr. Walton. 

70 Pro Vivis et Defunctis. 

District. The great humanity of Government towards us suggests a 
propriety of behaviour on our part, in using the present indulgence 
with caution, prudence, and moderation. We, therefore, strongly 
recommend to you that line of conduct, and to be careful in avoiding 
what may tend to raise disputes or give offence. 

+ Charles Raraaten, V.A.* 
Bath, July 3, 1778.t 

In giving us these interesting documents F. Amherst is, 
I think, at his best. In his comments upon them, and upon 
the measure of which they were the occasion, he appears to me 
to be at his worst. He remarks upon the " timidity, not to say 
obsequiousness, of the Address," while admitting, indeed, that 
" no fault can be found with those who composed or with those 
who signed it ; *' he takes exception to what he calls " the 
unnecessary praise of the Revolution which placed William III. 
on the throne," in the first paragraph, and is much in wrath at 
the use of the word "expedient" in the second and in the 
preamble of the Act. As it stands in the Address, he observes, 
" the word is rather suggestive of the idea that we thought the 
Legislature had some excuse for the ferocious laws which were 
enacted against the members of the Catholic Church." J As it 
stands in the preamble of the statute, it witnesses " that 
Catholics were relieved, not because relief was an act of justice, 
but because it was expedient to pass the Act." § Let us con- 
sider a little r. Amherst's criticism upon the use of the word 
"expedient" in the statute. And then we will inquire how far 
the Address is open to exception for its praise of the Revolution 
of 1688, and for its admission that there was some excuse 
for the penal legislation of the last century against Catholics. 

" The word ' expedient ' in the preamble to the Act of 1778," 
P. Amherst writes, ^' was meant in its strict sense. It implied, 
and was intended to imply, that we had not a strict right to relief, 
but that under the circumstances it was a proper thing to relieve 

us The motive for relieving us was because it was expedient, 

and not because it was our right." || This is a point upon which 
F. Amherst abounds in sensii suo. Thus in another place he 
wu-ites, " Mark the word 'expedient.' Catholics were relieved in 
1778, as they have been relieved at various times since that year, 
not because our right to redress was admitted, but because it was 
expedient,"^ and so on, for half a page. And elsewhere he 
explains that relief to Catholics was thought expedient because 
our Protestant fellow-countrymen were afraid of us — ''Fear has 

* Dr. Walmsley, O.S.B. t Yol. i. p. 109. t Hid. p. 97. 

§ Ihid. p. 111. II Hid. p. 113. H[ Hid. p. 98. 

J^ro Vivis et Defunctis. 71 

been the prevailing? motive of all Acts of Relief/'* ]Now upon 
this I am led to remark that the phraseology of the preamble of 
the Act of 1778 is precisely that usually employed in our Statute 
Book. ^' Whereas it is expedient/"' is the common formula. 
Into questions of abstract right the British Legislature does not 
enter. It leaves them to the doctrinaires of Revolutionary 
France. The whole of F. Amherst's declamation about the use 
of the word "expedient'' in the Act of 1778 is therefore beside 
the mark. But, more than this, it appears to me that 
F. Amherst is treading upon very dangerous ground when he 
asserts that, as a matter of principle, and upon d priori con- 
siderations. Catholics in England, in the last century, were 
entitled to equal political rights with members of the Established 
Church. The old theory of civil society, generally received 
throughout Europe until the French Revolution diffused another 
conception, was that the State has a conscience and should pro- 
fess a religion. A common creed was regarded as the chief bond 
of civil polity. This was so in England, as elsewhere. Hence 
the well-known judicial dictum that Christianity was part and 
parcel of the law of this country. And, like Mr. Thwackum, 
when the learned judge said Christianity, he meant the 
Protestant religion, and not only the Protestant religion, 
but the Church of England. To the principle itself no 
Catholic theologian, as I suppose, can take exception, although 
he may of course deplore the application given to it in nations 
separated from Catholic unity. "The State," as the present 
Pontiff teaches, in his Encyclical *' Tmmortale Dei," " is bound to 
satisfy its many and great duties towards God, by the public 
profession of its religion." And unquestionably, if this be so, 
the State may guard its religion by its laws. Nor has any 
subject a right to complain if it visits him with aniuia, or 
deprivation of political privileges, for refusing to profess its creed 
and to conform to its worship. If Mohammedanism be the 
established religion of the country, can any Christian reasonably 
claim, as a matter of right, to be a member of a polity based 
upon the law of Islam ? or can a Catholic maintain that it is 
unjust if he labours under civil disabilities in a polity professing 
the religion enshrined in the Thirty-nine Articles, or in the 
Catechism of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster ? I con- 
ceive therefore that British Catholics in the year 1778 were well 
advised in not basing their claim for relief upon any ground of 
abstract right, and that the Legislature could not possibly have 
conceded the existence of such right in view of the theory of 
Church and State upon which the Constitution formally rested. 

* Vol. i. p. 69. 

72 Pro Vivis et Defunctls. 

That theory has gradually g'lvan. way to another with which 
Locke first familarized men'o minds in this country, and which 
the legislators of the French Revolution first solemnly formulated 
and carried into practice : the theory that politics ought to 
be divorced from religion ; or as the late Pope succinctly expressed 
it in his famous Encyclical " Quanta Cura/^ " that the best con- 
stitution of public society and civil progress, altogether require 
that human society be constituted and governed, without any 
regard to religion, any more than if it did not exist." As a matter 
of fact, it was under the influence of this theory — little as most 
of our legislators suspected it — that the Act of 1778 lor our 
relief was passed. The new doctrine was, so to speak, in the air. 
The political Revolution in France, ten years later, was but the 
expression of an intellectual revolution which had been silently 
undermining the foundations of the old public order. In England, 
as elsewhere, the view expressed by the great poet of the last 
century, was winning its way into general acceptation : 

For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight ; 
He can't be wrong whose life is in the right. 

F. Amherst's own pages bear evidence — the significance of 
which he appears to have quite overlooked — how largely this new 
philosophy had taken possession of the minds of British legisla- 
tors. It was to '* the principle of civil and religious liberty,'^ 
to the feeling in favour of *^a universal toleration by law,''^ to a 
detestation of "the cruel policy that reduced men, by nature 
free, to a state of slavery,''^ that the advocates of the Relief Act 
of 1778 appealed, and appealed successfully, in its passage through 
the two Houses of Parliament. And Hume, one of the most 
clear-sighted observers of his time, describes the English people 
as " settled into the most cool indifference with regard to religious 
matters that is to be found in any nation in the world." As a 
matter of fact, every fresh concession of political privileges which 
has been made, whether to Catholics or to Protestant Dis- 
senter.«, is due to the progress of the new irreligious theory 
of the public order, which is now triumphant throughout Europe. 
The secularization of the State is a most marked characteristic 
of the age in which we live. It is the special work of the French 
Revolution. In France itself, the great measure of the year X. of 
the Republic, substituted for a State religion the principle of 
payment of cults in proportion to the number of their adherents, 
and that principle is the direct afiirmation of the incompetence 
of the State in matters of dogma. In the same country, civil 
marriage has replaced the Sacramental foundation of society 
by a purely secular contract; and baptism has lost its old signi- 
ficance in the eye of the law before which all citizens, Catholic 

Fro Vivis et Befunctis, 73 

ami Protestantj Jew and Atheist, are upon a perfectly equal footinn^. 
And what has been carried out most completely and systema- 
tically in France, has been done, in greater or less measure , 
throughout Continental Europe, and in England too. Every- 
where the public order has been divorced, more or less complete!}-, 
from the Christian law ; everywhere the tendency is to reducii 
religion from an objective fact to a subjective speculation ; to 
make of it a mere private thing for each man's conscience. 
This is what Cardinal Newman in his Address at the Palazzo 
delle Pigne called " the great European apostasy/' " one and 
the same everywhere," though " in detail and in character it 
varies in different countries.'' Of that apostasy the acquisition, by 
Catholics, of political privileges is a result. This is a fact which 
we should do well to recognize, and of which I find no recognition 
in the pages of F. Amherst, who, as we have seen, is of opinion 
that the relief accorded to us by our Protestant fellow-countrymen 
has been invariably prompted by fear. Most important is it, as 
it seems to me, that we should correctly apprehend the conditions 
of this new age, in which our lot is cast. I know well that, as 
Cardinal Newman tells us, in the Address from which I have 
previously quoted, " the liberal principle is forced upon us by 
the very necessity of the case." We cannot help ourselves. We 
must make the best of our position, and use, as good Catholics 
and loyal subjects, the prerogatives and opportunities which we 
enjoy. But, assuredly, we must be upon our guard against 
anything which may, even remotely, resemble an assent to the 
doctrine that a purely secular constitution of civil society is the 
best : that progress requires it. Assuredly not the least sacred 
part of our duty to our faith and to our country, is the bearing 
witness, to higher conceptions of the public order than it is 
possible adequately to realize, in an age when expedience is setup 
as the one measure of right and wrong for the State, and temporal 
well-being as the sole end of its action. I am persuaded that 
F. Amherst would entirely agree with me here. But he must 
pardon me if I say that his argument, upon which I have been 
dwelling, may easily receive a contrary interpretation ; and so 
seems dangerous to set before the Catholic young men to whom 
it was originally addressed, without explanation and qualification 
which I do not find in his pages. 

I pass on to consider F. Amherst's strictures . upon the 
language of the Address presented to George III. by British 
Catholics in 1778. He takes exception to what he calls *' the 
unnecessary praise " which it bestows upon '' the Revolution 
which placed William III. upon the throne." Here again I must 
differ from him. It appears to me that the eulogistic language 
in which the signatories to the Address of 1778 spoke of that 

74 Pro Vivis et Defitnctis, 

great event, as *' perfecting the Constitution of the country/' 
as '^ inseparably uniting the title to the Crown with the laws 
and liberties of the people/^ is strictly accurate and admirably 
well chosen. Perhaps I may be allowed to quote, on this subject, 
a page from a recent work of my own, which somewhat fully 
unfolds my view: — 

The English Revolution was the death-blow, in this country, to 
the system in which the Tudors had embodied the political idea of 
the Renaissance, and which the Stuarts had fortified, chiefly through 
the help of a subservient clergy. It was a vindication of the old lines 
of the Constitution, which the Puritan Rebellion had unsuccessfully 
endeavoured to maintain. It was the proclamation to Europe that, 
in one nation at least, there were left freemen who would not bow 
the knee to the Baal of Absolutism. Time was it that a deliverer 
should come to the rescue of our perishing liberties, and preserve to 
the world one example of the free monarchy of the Middle Ages. 
Under James, the system of government in England had approximated 
very closely to the French model, which he loved. After the sup- 
pression of Monmouth's Rebellion, he had at his absolute disposal 
close upon twenty thousand regular troops. The judges, headed by 
Jeffreys, were his creatures. The corporations had been packed 
with his nominees. The House of Commons consisted, for the most 
part, of High Tories. The doctrines of immediate divine right and 
passive obedience still formed the staple of the teaching of the clergy. 
With such advantages, any monarch, endowed with ordinary tact and 
discretion, might have made his position practically absolute. James, 
instead of ordinary tact and discretion, possessed a dulness of appre- 
hension and a dogged obstinacy of temper, for the union of which, in 
one man, it would be difficult to find a parallel in history. It was this 
character which led him to endeavour to compass his ends by the 
most hazardous means — means that alienated from him the support 
of the classes in which he most trusted, and exhibited him to the 
world as a prince devoid of faith and honour. Looking to the issue. 
Englishmen, as a body, certainly have no reason to complain of the 
policy which delivered them from the sway of a race incapable — as 
four successive monarchs had shown — of ruling constitutionally, and 
which substituted a Parliamentary title for a hereditary one. But 
there is one class of Englishmen — the class whose interests, after his 
own, James undoubtedly had most at heart — who owe mainly to him 
the withholding of their civil rights, and the continuance of oppressive 
laws, for more than a century. It is matter of history that the more 
weighty of Enghsh Catholics, at the time, disapproved of the arbitrary 
measures of the Sovereign. It was from converts, whose characters 
were doubtful, or whose motives were obviously open to suspicion — 
the Tyrconnels, the Castle maines, and the Jermyns — that James found 
encouragement and approval. The saintly Pontiff who then sat in 
the chair of Peter, openly blamed his policy. It is a curious and 
significant fact that WilHam of Orange, if not aided in his expedition 

Pro Vivis et Defunctis. 76 

by the money of Innocent XI., which is a doubtful point, had certainly 
the Pope's sympathy and diplomatic support.* The immediate con- 
sequence, then, of the Kevolution of 1688, so far as the internal 
history of our country is concerned, was to rescue from utter destruc- 
tion the old medigeval liberties of England, still, thank God, so full of 
vigorous life ; to expel from Great Britain the Renaissance idea of 
monarchy, and to divert her from the course in which the politics of 
the Continent were to flow unchecked for another century. The 
immediate consequence to Continental Europe was to bring about the 
organization of those powerful leagues which broke the power of 
Louis, dispelling his dreams of European dominion, and shaking his 
monarchy to the very foundations. These were the direct results of 
the Revolution of 1688. Its indirect results were even more 
momentous. There can be no doubt that by it, chiefly, we were 
saved from participation in the French Revolution of a hundred years 
later ; and I think I shall be able to show reasons for believing that 
we owe to it, in large measure, the preservation of the masses of our 
people, during the next century, from the contagion of the last phase 
of Renaissance philosophy, so fatal to religion and morals throughout 
the Continent ; and consequently the exceptionally large amount of 
Christian faith and practice at present to be found among us.t 

Again, F. Amherst objects to the word " expedient '^ in the 
second paragraph of the Address. "We have patiently sub- 
mitted to such restrictions and discouragements as the Legislature 
thought expedient.^'' "The word ^expedient,'" F\ Amherst 
remarks, "is suggestive of the idea that the Legislature had some 
excuse for the ferocious laws which were enacted against the mem- 
bers of the Catholic Church." Well, I confess I am of opinion that 
the Catholics of 1778 were right in thinking, and in owning, 
that the Legislature had "some excuse "J for the penal legislation 
against Catholics. And here again I shall cite what I have 
previously written, as it expresses my mature judgment upon 
the matter : — 

It is certain that nothing would have been more agreeable to 
William III., both as consonant with his own wise principles of policy, 
and as acceptable to the Pope and Emperor, to whom he was under 
such great obligations, than the extension to his Catholic subjects of 
the same measure of religious freedom which he was able, in spite of 
Tory opposition, to secure to Protestant Nonconformists. "No 

* Much exceedingly valuable information on this subject will be found 
in the seventh volume of Droysen's " Geschichte der Prussische Politik,'* 
It has long been known that Innocent saw with pleasure the downfall of 
James. But Professor Droysen's researches have thrown a floo4 of light 
upon the Pontiff's share in bringing about that event. 

t " Chapters in European History," vol. ii. p. 86. 

X The question is, it will be observed, of some excuse, not of a complete 

7-0 Pro Vivis et Defunct Is. 

measure," Hallarn justly observe?, "w<.uld have been more politic, for 
it would have dealt to the Jacobite cause a more deadly wound than 
any which double taxation or penal laws were able to effect." And 
that was, probably, one of the main reasons why the High Tories 
persistently opposed it. So far as the Whigs were concerned, it is 
quite certain that their hatred of Catholicism was rather political than 
religious. They saw it, not as it had existed in the Middle Ages — the 
mother and nurse of civil freedom — but cis it was presented to them 
in contemporary France, Italy and Spain, the accomplice and instru- 
ment of despotism; they saw it in the light in which James 11. had 
exhibited it, as the object for which he had sought to overthrow the 
ancient liberties of England. The worst foes of Catholics at that 
period, as indeed often before and since, have been those of their own 
household. Their cause was identified in the popular mind — and not 
unreasonably — with that of the worst of kings ; the shepherd of the 
people, whose favourite under-shepherds were Jeffreys and Kirke : 
the vassal of the tyrant who had revoked the Edict of Nantes and 
ordered the dragonnades. Still, as a matter of fact, terrible as is the 
show which the anti-Catholic legislation in force up to 1778 makes in 
the Statute Book, there can be no question that the position of the 
small and unpopular remnant that adhered to the ancient faith in this 
country, was far better than that of their brethren in any foreign 
Protestant land, except Holland and the dominions of the Hohen- 
zollerns, and infinitely superior to that of the Protestant minority in 
any Catholic State.* 

Mr. Hallarn with justice observes, "The laws [of England 
against the Catholic religion] were perhaps not less severe and 
sanguinary than those which oppressed the Protestants of France ; 
but, in their actual administration, what a contrast between the 
government of George II. and Louis XV., between the gentle- 
ness of an English Court of Queen's Bench and the severity of 
the Parliament of Aix and Toulouse." t Indeed, it may be worth 
while, for the sake of fairness, which, apart from the moral 
obligation to it, is always the best policy in the long run, to 
show how this matter presents itself to the judgment of one of 
the most able and impartial of living historians — most certainly 
he is not under the dominion of vulgar anti-Catholic prejudice 
— I mean Mr. Lecky. Thus does he deliver himself regarding 

There were, however, still two classes of laws upon the Statute 
Book, which were grossly persecuting, and which, during the early 
Hanoverian period, w^ere entirely unmitigated. I mean, of course, 
those against the Catholics and the disbelievers in the Tiinity. The 
measures against the former class may no doubt derive a very con- 

* " Chapters in European History," vol. ii. p. 172. 
t " Constitutional History," vol. iii. p. 173. 

Pro Vivls et Defwnctis. 77 

siderable palliation from the atrocious persecutions of which Catho- 
licism had been guilty in almost every country in which she triumphed, 
from the incessant plots against the life and power of Elizabeth, and 
from the intimate connection, both before and after the Revolution, 
between the Catholicism of the Stuarts and their political conduct and 
prospects. Catholicism, indeed, never can be looked upon merely as 
a religion. It is a great and highly organized kingdom, recognizing 
no geographical frontiers, governed by a foreign sovereign, pervading 
temporal politics with its manifold influence, and attracting to itself 
much of the enthusiasm which would otherwise flow in national 
channels. The intimate correspondence between its priests in many 
lands, the disciplined unity of their political action, the almost absolute 
authority they exercise over large classes, and their usually almost 
complete detachment from purely national and patriotic interests, have 
often in critical times proved a most serious political danger, and they 
have sometimes pursued a temporal policy eminently aggressive, 
sanguinary, unscrupulous and ambitious. Nor should it be forgotten 
that, in the closing years of the seventeenth and in the first half of the 
eighteenth century, the spirit of Romish persecution, though gradually 
subsiding, was still far from extinct. Thus we find Stanhope writing 
from Majorca in 1691 : — "Tuesday last there were burnt here twenty- 
seven Jews and heretics, and to-morrow I shall see executed above 
twenty more ; and Tuesday next, if I stay here so long, is to be 
another Jiesta, for so they entitle a day dedicated to so execrable an 
act." In 1706 Wilcox, who was afterwards Bishop of Rochester, but 
who was at this time minister of the English factory at Lisbon, wrote 
a letter to Burnet describing an auto-da-fe in that city, in which four 
persons were burnt in the presence of the king, and of these one 
woman remained alive for half an hour, and one man for more than 
an hour in the flames, vainly imploring their executioners to heap 
fresh faggots on the fire in order to terminate their agony. Every 
considerable town in England, Holland and Protestant Germany, 
contained a colony of Frenchmen, who, after the Revocation of the 
Edict of Nantes, had been driven from their homes by a persecution 
of extreme ferocity ; a long course of the most atrocious cruelties had 
kindled the flame of rebellion in the Cevennes, an:l at the time of the 
Peace of Utrecht, 188 French Protestants were released by English 
intercession from the galleys. In 1717, an assembly of seventy-four 
Protestants being surprised at Andure, the men were sent to the galleys 
and the women to prison. In 1724, in the corrupt and generally 
sceptical period of the Regency, a new law was made against the 
Protestants of France, which aggravated even the atrocious enactments 
of Louis XIV. By one clause all who assembled for the exercise of 
the Protestant worship, even in their own homes, became liable to life- 
long servitude in the galleys, and to the confiscation of all their goods. 
Another condemned to death any Protestant minister exercising any 
religious function whatever, and to the galleys any witness who failed 
to denounce him. A third enjoined all physicians to inform the priest 
of the condition of every dying patient, in order that, whether he 

78 Pro Vivis et Defunctis. 

desired it or not, a Catholic priest should be present at his death-bed. 
A fourth, with a rare refinement of ingenious malice, rendered any 
Protestant who, by his religious exhortations, strengthened a dying 
relative in his faith, liable to the galleys and to the confiscation of his 
goods. A Protestant pastor was hung at Montpellier in 1728; another 
would have suffered the same fate in 1732 had he not succeeded in 
escaping from his prison; and 277 Protestants in Dauphiny were 
condemned to the galleys in 1745 and 1746. As late as the Peace of 
Paris, a Protestant minister at Nismes wrote to the Duke of Bedford 
imploring the intercession of the English Government in favour of 
thirty-three men, who were in the galleys of Toulon, and of sixteen 
women, who were imprisoned in Languedoc, for no other offence than 
that of having attended Protestant assemblies. Many of them, he 
added, had remained in captivity for more than thirty years. Similar 
complaints came from Hungary, where the interference of the Emperor 
with the religious liberty of the Protestants contributed largely to the 
insurrection of Rakoczy ; from Silesia, where the same interference 
prepared the way for the ultimate severance of the province from the 
Austrian rule ; from Poland, where the persecution fomented in 1724 
by the Jesuits at Thorn aroused the indignation of all Protestant 
Europe, and where the complete exclusion of religious dissidents from 
political power in 1733 was sowing dissensions that were the sure 
precursors of the approaching ruin. In the course of 1732 and the 
two following years, about 17,000 German Protestants were compelled 
by the persecution of the Archbishop of Salzburg to abandon their 
homes, and to seek a refuge in Prussia or in Georgia. Ten persons 
were burnt for their religious opinions in Spain between 1746 and 
1759. Two persons were executed, and many others condemned to 
less severe penalties, by the Inquisition in Portugal in 1756. These 
things will not be forgotten by a candid judge in estimating the policy 
of the English Government towards Catholics. On the other hand, 
he will remember that the English Catholics were so few and so incon- 
siderable that it was absurd to regard them as a serious danger to the 
State ; that they had in general shown themselves under the most 
trying circumstances eminently moderate and loyal, and that although 
the Catholic priests, whenever they were in the ascendant, were then, 
as ever, a persecuting body, Catholicism, as a whole, had ceased, since 
the Peace of Westphalia, to divide the interests of Europe.* 

And now let us turn briefly to the practical conclusions which 
F. Amherst engrafts on his narrative. They are, mainly, that 
the Catholic young* men of the present day are a very inferior 
race to the Catholic young men of F. Amherst^s youth ; and that 
the institution for the defence of Catholic interests, founded by 
desire of the late Pope, sanctioned by the Episcopate, and 

* "History of England in the Eighteenth Century," vol. i. p. 268. I 
need hardly say that my citation of this passage does not imply my 
entire or unconditional acquiescence in the whole of it. 

Pro Vivis et Defunctis. 79 

governed by the leading Catholio laymen of Great Britain and 
by the clerical delegates of the English and Scotch Hierarchies, 
I mean the Catholic Union, does not adopt the right way of 
accomplishing its objects. 

First, then, as to Catholic young men. " Five-and-forty years 
ago," F. Amherst tells us, there was in young Catholics '^ joy and 
an eager desire for action ; " " their minds and hearts had been 
prepared by Kenelm Digby's famous works, the ' Broad Stone of 
Honour,' and tbe 'Mores Catholici,"'' although "narrow-minded 
and unenthusiastic people discouraged the reading of these most 
Christian books.'''* And " when the Catholic young men of those 
days had been thus prepared and were ready to act, they found 
older men ready to receive them and to welcome them to manly 
life. There was the loyal, the vigilant and practical Langdale, 
to show, in its greatest perfection, how clergy and laity could 
work together; there was the large-hearted Wiseman, whose 
abiding thought was not * How can I, alone, discharging every 
one else, conduct English Catholic affairs,' but, on the contrary, 
* whose services can be engaged to-day in the grand work, to 
forward which the services of all who can give help are needed ?' 
There was the enthusiastic and energetic Pugin, who was enlist- 
ing all he could in a crusade to revive Christian taste, and banish 
the spirit of Paganism which was threatening to destroy the 
beauty of God's house ; there was Father Ignatius Spencer, 
rallying all together in a holy league to pray for the conversion 
of England ; there was Frederick Lucas arguing, beseeching, and 
upbraiding in the pages of his journal : " f there were also — to 
condense into a few lines F. Amherst's next half-page — the 
Oxford Movement, the Irish immigration, and the Cambridge 
Camden Society ; and there were, on the Continent, " many 
signs of a Catholic revival." Now, all is changed I " 1 must 
deliberately say," F. Amherst writes, " that the action of the 
young Catholic men of England in Catholic affairs, at the present 
day, is mere idleness and sloth, as compared with the energetic 
action of their fathers." He adds that he says this " advisedly," 
and that " a layman, in every way qualified to judge, has made 
the remark that, as far as he can judge, the Catholic youth of this 
day is * as worldly as his Protestant neighbour,' as shown parti- 
cularly in his disinclination ' to giving up any of his time beyond 
his own personal enjoyment.' "J The expression " disinclination 
to giving up any of his time beyond his own personal enjoyment " 
is rather odd. Perspicuity would not appear to be among the 
endowments of this innominate censor of our Catholic young men. 
But F. Amherst's general meaning is clear enough. Throughout 

* Vol. i. p. 2. t lUd. p. 2. . X Ihid. p. 6. 

80 Pro Vivis et Dejunctis, 

his volumes his dissatisfaction with youn<y Catholics is constantly 
indicated. Thus, in one place he complains, " the little interest 
which the Catholic youn^ men of Eno^land take in Catholic 
affairs is a sad aug-ury for the future."* In another, he deplores 
" the spirit of inactivity '^ which " pervades the mass of those who 
are almost of age to take their fathers'' place/'f And, again, 
he laments that " revulsion from the heroic is one characteristic 
of the present generation." J Not to multiply unnecessarily 
quotations, it is evident that F. Amherst thinks Catholic young 
men wanting in public spirit, in religious zeal, and in intel- 
lectunl cultivation. The question is — and it is a very grave 
question — whether this dissatisfaction is warranted. I observe 
that F. Amherst writes from Stonyhurst. I do not know how 
far he is entitled to speak with authority regarding the young 
men sent into the world by the magnificent college directed 
there by the Fathers of the Society of which he is an ornament. 
But if his complaint is well-founded it should surely suggest 
serious misgiving to those devoted and accomplished men. It 
is a true dictum of a great poet : 

'Tis education forms the common mind : 
Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined. 

The twig must indeed be bent amiss, if our Catholic young men 
are mere grown-up boj^s, with no sense of the obligation incum- 
bent upon them worthily to uphold the august name of Catholic 
among a people separate from the unity of the faith, with no 
feeling of the responsibilities attaching to the position of an 
English gentleman, intent only on idle amusements and the 
frivolous gratifications of the passing hour. Radically wrong 
must be a system of which such is the outcome, for that, and 
that only, as a great English writer has told us, is ^' a complete 
and generous education, which fits a man to perform justly, 
skilfully, and magnanimously, all the duties, both public and 
private, of peace and war." At the risk of being accounted 
*^ narrow-minded" and " unenthusiastic," I confess that I do not 
share F. Amherst's boundless admiration for " Kenelm Digby's 
famous works, ' The Broad Stone of Honour,^ and ' Mores 
Catholici,' ^^ although I am by no means insensible to the 
chivalrous spirit and exuberant fancy displayed in them. Still 
it is much to be desired that these treatises may find place in the 
curriculum of Stonyhurst and our other Catholic colleges, if it was 
the study of them which infused into the young men who were F. 
Amherst's contemporaries that "joy and eager desire for action" 
whereby they differed so favourably from the young Catholics of 

* Vol. ii. p. 49. t Vol. i. p. 205. I Yol. ii. p. 122. 

Pro Vivis et Defunctis, 81 

the present day. Certainly this, or perhaps some more drastic 
remedy, is absolutely required, if F. Amherst's indictment of our 
Catholic youth is well founded. But is it? So far as my own 
observation enables me to judge, I cannot help thinking that F. 
Amherst has written on this matter in ewcessu suo. I will 
concede to F. Amherst that the loss is immense which a young 
Catholic gentleman suffers, who is debarred from participation 
in the quite unique advantages of a University training. Even 
Stonyhurst, sustained, as it is, by the resources of the great Society 
of Jesus, provides a poor substitute — I am speaking, of course, from 
a secular point of view — for that " complete and generous educa- 
tion '' which Oxford and Cambridge offer to those who know how 
to use the incomparable gift. But to me the wonder is that 
the youths, trained in our Catholic colleges, hold their own so 
well. It is my duty to testify that those young men of our 
leading Catholic families with whom I have the pleasure to be 
acquainted — and I do not believe that my experience is ex- 
ceptional — are, for the most part, by no means deficient in zeal 
for the Catholic religion, in patriotism, or in skill and energy 
in the conduct of affairs, public or private. I shrink from men- 
tioning names : or it would be easy enough to point to many 
young Catholics, who in Parliament, in the Qivil Service of the 
Crown, in the Army and Navy, at the Bar, as country gentlemen, 
in literature, are quitting themselves like men, at once a credit to 
their faith and to their country : conspicuous examples, it may 
be said, of what young Englishmen should be. And well assured 
am I that among the older Catholics they will find laity as loyal, 
as vigilant, as practical as Langdale, prelates as large-hearted as 
Wiseman, architects as enthusiastic and as energetic as Pugin, 
priests as devoted as Father Ignatius Spencer, and journalists no 
less powerful than Frederick Lucas in arguing, beseeching and 
upbraiding ; while of the " stern orthodoxy and manly spirit of 
the doughty champion Milner, who almost single-handed kept 
the lists against all comers,"^ even a double portion would seem 
to have fallen upon the Most Eminent Metropolitan. 

I go on to F. Amherst's second grievance. He is discontented 
with the Catholic Union of Great Britain. The reason of his 
dissatisfaction will be best seen if I draw out, in his own words, 
his ideal of what that institution ought to be. 

F. Amherst lays it down that " when political parties wish to 
preserve their traditions, or to carry a certain measure, or to 
keep their followers together, when particular trades wish to 
preserve some special interest (like the Licensed Victuallers at 
the general election of 1874), they form what is called an 

♦ Vol. i. p. 6. 
VOL. XVI. — NO. I. [Third Series.] g 

82 Pro Vivis et Defunctis, 

organization.""^ '^If we were to act as others who have 
a special interest to attend to, we should in reality be a 
very considerable power in the State/'' f "The fact is 
that, in the use of political power, we want educating." :|: And 
the first lesson which F. Amherst would have us learn is that 
'' it is clearly the duty of English Catholics, not only to keep up a 
good understanding with our Irish fellow-subjects, but to interest 
ourselves in their affairs, and to value the power and influence of 
Ireland ."§ " One great evil to be guarded against, and most 
carefully shunned by Catholics in the United Kingdom, is any 
serious difference between the Catholics of Great Britain and 
Ireland in any important matter, equally affecting both countries. 
If, on either side of the Channel, a disposition should be shown 
to allow the prejudice of nationality to weaken the spirit of 
Catholic union, such a disposition would be but a poor counter- 
feit of patriotism, and it would be treason to the Church."^ || 
" The power and influence of Ireland is the power and influence 
of the Catholic Church in the United Kingdom." H ^'When 
the united action of Catholics shall make it expedient to grant 
to the Irish what they want, and what they reasonably demand, 
then, but not till then, will their undoubted rights be obtained.'"** 
" As it is desirable that Catholics should thoroughly understand 
their position in the United Kingdom, and amongst other 
things the motives from which concessions to them have sprung, 
it may be well, at the outset, to fix steadily in the mind, the 
truth that fear has been the prevailing motive of all Acts of 
Relief." f f " If the Catholics of the United Kingdom had been 
a united body from the time that a common interest should have 
bound them toe^ether, their numbers and importance would not 
have been, by fits and starts, a motive for fear, but they would 
have been continually in action." t+ Finally, the organization 
which F. Amherst dreams of must understand that its '^most 
pressing duty is to attend to the registration " of voters.§§ It 
must " agitate," |||| must be "continually keeping up our protest 
and our claim," ^^ must "publish to the world all its proceed- 
ings,"*** and must be "always ready to bring political power 
to a focus." fit 

One great blemish by which F. Amherst's many excellences 

* Vol. i. p. 73. t Ibid. t Vol. i. p. 74. 

§ Vol. i. p. 67. II Vol. ii. p. 47. 

t Vol. i. p. 67. ** Vol. i. p. 99. 

tt Vol. i. p. 69. Here F. Amherst has a note in which he explains 
that he does not mean fear "caused by the grossest violation of the laws 
of God and man." 

U Vol. i. p. 73. §^ Vol. i. p. 75. nil Vol. i. p. 117. 

^% Vol. i. p. 119. *** Vol. ii. p. 49. ttt Ibid. 

Pro- Vivis et Defvbuctis. 83 

are much marred, is the non-sequacious character of his 
composition. Hence I have been under the necessity of collect- 
ing and piecing together, from various parts of his volumes, 
these details, in order to exhibit the main outlines of his ideal of 
a Catholic Union. It will be seen that the organization which 
he desiderates is essentially political. His dream — and a bad 
dream it seems to me to be — is of a Catholic j^cc'i'ty in Great 
Britain ; a party which, relying upon the power and influence of 
Ireland, shall intimidate the Parliament and people of this 
kingdom. I trust I may say, without offence, that when 
a man begins to advocate the formation of a Catholic 
party in Great Britain, I know at once what to think 
of him — SriXog Bi /jlovcttI (tkulov bicXvctwv (TTo/ua. Is it con- 
ceivable that any one at all practically acquainted with public 
affairs, with the facts of life, can regard as possible the political 
amalgamation of British Catholics, whether Liberals, Radicals, 
or Conservatives, and the followers of Mr. Parnell? What 
F. Amherst calls ''^the prejudice of nationality '"^ is the deepest 
feeling of the Celtic people of Ireland. I do not know who has 
given more authoritative and perspicuous expression to it than 
their recognized leader. " Speaking for myself," said Mr. Parnell 
at Mayo, on the 5th of November last, '^speaking for myself, and I 
believe for the Irish people and for all my colleagues in Parlia- 
ment, I have to declare that we will never accept, either expressly 
or impliedly, anything but the full and complete right to arrange 
our own affairs, to make our land a nation, to secure for her, free 
from outside control, the right to direct her own course amongst 
the peoples of the world." * The brutal tyranny under which 
thirty generations of Irishmen have groaned has but served to 
root more deeply this aspiration for nationality in the popular 
mind, and with it a deep detestation of the tyrant. As Cardinal 
Newman has pointed out in words, each of which is as a groan 
wrung from his lacerated heart, the feeling of profound, ineradi- 
cable, deadly enmity against England, is universal among the 
Irish peasantry. ^i.^tJ. i^uf^> ,-, 

[An English visitor to Ireland] if he happens to be a Catholic 
[his Eminence writes], has to be recalled to himself, and to be 
taught by what he hears around him, that an Englishman has no right 
to open his heart and indulge his honest affection towards the Irish 

race, as if nothing had happened between him and them 

As to the population, one sentiment of hatred against the oppressor, 
manet altd mente repostum. The wrongs which England has inflicted 
are faithfully remembered ; her services are viewed with incredulity 
or resentment ; her name and fellowship are abominated ; the news 

* I quote from the report of the speech in United Ireland, 

84 Pro Vivis et Defunctis. 

of her prosperity heard with disgust ; the anticipation of her possible 
reverses nursed and cherished as the best of consolations. The 
success of France and Russia over her armies, of Yankee or Hindoo, 
is fervently desired as the first instalment of a debt accumulated 
through seven centuries ; and that, even though those armies are in 
so large a proportion recruited from the Irish soil. If he ventures at 
least to ask for prayers for England, he receives one answer — a prayer 
that she may receive her due. It is as if the air rang with the old 
Jewish words, " O daughter of Babylon, blessed shall he be who shall 
repay thee as thou hast paid to us." ^ 

Such is the fact. And it i« not in the least, altered by assert- 
ing that the grievances of Ireland are sentimental, traditional 
race grievances. Even if that were an entirely correct account 
of them — which it is not — such grievances are much deeper and 
much more enduring sources of enmity than personal injuries. 
They are "portions and parcels of the dreadful past^^ which is the 
sad inheritance of Celtic Ireland. But '^the prejudice of nation- 
ality " is as stronji^ upon this side of St. George^s Channel as 
upon the other. So far as my opportunities enable me to judge, 
the convictions on the Irish question which have found expres- 
sion in the recent speeches of the Duke of Norfolk, are firmly 
held by no inconsiderable number of English and Scotch Catholics. 
They believe that it is our duty to offer uncompromising resist- 
ance to those whom Mr. Gladstone described, not so very long 
ago, as '' marching, through rapine, to the dismemberment of 
the Empire, and even to the placing of different parts of the 
Empire in direct hostility one to the other.'^ They believe that 
the best reparation for past misrule in Ireland is to rule her justly^ 
firmly, and beneficently in the present. They believe that to 
abandon this task, at the bidding of Mr. Parnell and his followers 
would bring a load of infamy upon the country, che fece per 
viltate ilgran rifiuto. Whether these beliefs are right or wrongs 
I do not now inquire. I am, at present, merely concerned with 
the fact of their existence among us. What common political 
action, then, between Irish and British Catholics is possible, 
when so grave a difference exists regarding this most '' important 
matter, equally affecting both countries ? " '' Clergymen, who 
understand the least, and take the worst measure, of human 
affairs, of all mankind that can write and read,^^ said Clarendon. 
He had in view, of course, the Anglican clerisy. It is surpris- 
ing to find a member of the Society of Jesus in the same 

One of the special claims of the Catholic Union upon the 
Catholics of Great Britain is that from its foundation it has per- 

* '* Historical Sketches," vol. iii. p. 250. 


Fro Vivis et Befunctis, 85 

sistently eschewed this impracticable and dangerous chimera of a 
Catholic party. Efforts have been made from time to time to 
drag it into the political arena. But the firm resolve of the 
governing body, strenuously supported by the vast majority of 
the members, has always opposed a non possuvius to these sug- 
gestions. The last time when they were prominently brought 
forward was at the Annual General Meeting of 1882, when the 
Rev. Dr. Laing emitted the aspiration " that the Catholic 
Union do make an agitation in the country," and two other 
speakers pleaded for a relaxation of the very stringent rule 
against party politics; one of them further desiring that 
the Union should undertake the duty of registering Catholic 
voters throughout the country, or at the least in London. 
These suggestions were received with much disfavour by 
nearly all the members present, and drew from many who 
were not present strongly worded letters of protest. One 
of these, addressed to the Tablet newspaper, and written 
with great ability and knowledge, but, it' I may say so, with 
defective temper, I shall quote, only omitting certain personal 
references of questionable taste and of unquestionable injudi- 
ciousness : — 

I have just received the July number of the Catholic Union Gazette^ 
containing the Report of the recent Annual General Meeting. I am a 
resident in the country, and am seldom able to attend the half-yearly 
meetings of the Union in Willis's Rooms, and such is the condition of 
the vast majority of the members. Hence it is that, whilst there are 
some nine hundred names on the list, the average attendance at those 
meetings is confined to some thirty or forty gentlemen, mostly resi- 
dents in London with time on their hands. The small attendance at 
these meetings is, indeed, in one respect, of little practical consequence, 
for, by the Rules, the whole power of administration is vested in the 
Council, a body elected by general suffrage of the members throughout 
Great Britain, by means of voting papers forwarded to them to be 
filled up and returned ; so that the discussions at these General Meet- 
ings are of no more real account than are the debates in the Anglican 
Convocation. But, on the other hand, it might be supposed by the 
outside public, if no disclaimer were forthcoming, that members absent 
from these meetings acquiesce in views put forward by gentlemen 
present there ; and therefore on behalf of myself and a good many of 
my friends resident in this part of England, I venture to offer a few 
remarks upon certain things said at the last Annual General Meeting 
of which the Report is before me. With most of the things said there 
I fully agree. 1 am at one with Mr. E. Randolph in his view — for 
which he adduced ample warrant — that " the Union does its best, 
according to the means within its reach, according to its powers " in 
the disposal of the business brought into its otfices. I assent to Mr. 
Ryley's assertion that " good, great good, has been done by the 

S5 JPfo Vivis et Lefunctis. 

Union." But I totally disagree with two sugp^estions which were 
thrown out, and they are these, that the rule of the Union against the 
introduction of party politics should be abolished or relaxed, and that 
the Catholic Union should itself take up, and carry on, the registration 
of Catholic voters. I cannot think that the gentlemen who made and 
endorsed these suugestions were acquainted with the constitution and 
history of the Catholic Union. As to party politics, their exclusion 
from the proceedings of the Union is a fundamental rule, and, as is well 
known, was insisted upon, as such, by the Hierarchy, when the Union 
was originally established ; and Mr. Ryley was well warranted when 
he said that if that rule were not in existence, and were not maintained, 
there would necessarily be an end of the Union. Then as to registra- 
tion, surely the gentlemen who sought to bring up again that ill- 
omened spectre can hardly have known the trouble there was some 
years ago in laying it. In a very full discussion of the subject, 
embodied in the Annual Eeport of 1877, the Council explained and 
vindicated the policy of the Union on this matter, which, as they 
observed, from first to last has been consistent. That policy, they 
said, has been that the Union should " not itself engage in registra- 
tion," but should "promote the formation of societies which should 
imdertake that work." Every man of ordinary intelligence knows, 
and every man of ordinary candour will allow, that it is impossible to 
separate registration from party politics. Local Catholic Societies may 
engage in such politics if they will, and, as a matter of fact, they do so 
engage ; but for the Catholic Union to take part in any election, in the 
preparation for any election, in the selection, recommendation, or sup- 
port of any candidate, in the preparation of a register, in -the making 
of claims for individual voters, or in conducting the defence of those 
clainas, would, as Mr. Ryley well said, " put an end to any Catholic or 
other union among us." Let me illustrate from my own case what 
I mean. I am a Conservative. I certainly would not consent that an 
institution which I joined on the express understanding that it was 
non-political, should use my name, influence, and subscription in sup- 
port of any candidate opposed to the Conservative cause. If it did so, 
I should at once withdraw from it ; and vny Liberal friends, with 
equal reason, would object to the Union giving any sort of countenance 
to the Conservative cause ; while neither Liberals nor Conservatives 
would endure that the Union should be made a tool for strengthening 
the Home Rule movement, which certainly would be the real effect 
produced by any registration it might accomplish — for it would 
register none but poor Irishmen — and which, as I take leave to assert, 
is the real object sought by most of those who urge registration upon 
it. The Catholic Union was founded by the express wish of the late 
holy Pope Pius IX., and with the approbation of our bishops, upon 
certain well-defined lines. The wisdom and prudence of the illustrious 
President of the Union, and his very distinguished colleagues, whom 
we have elected from time to time on the Council, have so far guided 
the Union on those lines. Hence it is, if I may once more avail 
myself of Mr. Ryley's " old experience," that the Union has hitherto 

Pro Vivis et Defunctis, 87 

accomplished satisfactorily — most satisfactorily — a very difficult task. 
Should the Union ever desert those lines, should it engage in party 
politics, or in registration, which is merely a form of party politics, I, 
for one, should immediately say, "Non hsec in foedera veni," and such, 
as I have good reason to know, is the general feeling among its mem- 
bers in this part of England. But this is a wild supposition, which I 
at once put aside. I have too great confidence in the governing body 
of the Union to suppose that they would allow it to be converted into 
a bad imitation of a Ritualistic caucus, or into a covert auxiliary to the 
Land League. 

The Tablet commented upon this letter in a leadin^^ article of 
some length, which it may be well to present. I shall, however, 
take the liberty to abridge it somewhat : — 

We print elsewhere in our present issue a communication from a 
correspondent who has contributed, from time to time, some very 
valuable letters to our columns. His theme, upon the present occa- 
sion, is " a proposed new departure upon the part of the Catholic 
Union," which is criticized by him with a certain amount of causticity, 
not to say acerbity. We shall return by-and-by to his remarks. Let 
us first say a word or two about the work of the Catholic Union, as it 
actually is. We shall then be better able to follow our correspondent 
in his remarks upon the proposal for its starting upon a new line of 

The Catholic Union of Great Britain, then, was founded eleven 
years ago, shortly after the late Pope, of glorious memory, was 
despoiled of his Civil Princedom. It was felt by the leading English 
Catholic laity — to adopt the words used some years later by the 
Cardinal Archbishop and Bishops of England — that " the cause of 
God, which the statesmen of this world call the Roman question, is not 
a matter which belongs as a domestic question to Italy, but is altogether 
Catholic and universal, and belongs to the jurisprudence of the whole 
Christian world." Rightly, therefore, did the founders of the Catholic 
Union give to this great question the first and most prominent place, 
at the head of the statement of the objects of their Association, and 
rightly has it since then maintained that first and most prominent 
position. But besides the restoration of the Holy Father to his Civil 
Princedom, the promotion of Catholic interests generally — and Catholic 
interests alone — was declared to be the end and aim of the Catholic 
Union, and from time to time valuable and emphatic testimony has 
been given as to the prudence, zeal, and large measure of practical 
success with which its labours for the promotion of those interests have 
been conducted. We have ourselves in these columns dwelt upon this 
matter as occasion has suggested. And a few years ago the strictures 
of certain ill-informed critics elicited a public declaration regarding it, 
from a Catholic gentleman whose intimate association with the Union 
— he has from the first, we believe, been a member of its Council — no 
less than his great knowledge of the actual business of public Ijfe and 
of the conditions under which that business has to be discharged, gives 

88 iVo Vivis et Defunctis. 

peculiar weight to his opinion. Speaking in 1877, in Willis's Rooms, 
Mr. Henry Matthews declared that " there was no great public event 
touching the interest of Catholics since the foundation of the Union 
in which the Union had not taken part, actively, prominently, use- 
fully ; " and his declarations were confirmed by some of the most 
distinguished of his colleagues then present. And certainly since that 
date the sphere of the action of the Union has not been contracted, nor 
have its operations been less earnestly or less fruitfully conducted. Of 
that, its Annual Reports, most of which, we believe, have been com- 
mented upon from time to time in these columns, afford ample evidence. 
And, in particular, if we turn to its last Annual Report, it is impossible 
not to be struck with the importance of the subjects which have been 
dealt with by it, the sagacity with which those subjects have been 
handled, and the good results which have been achieved. This 
indeed was fully admitted by the principal speakers at the last 
Annual General Meeting. " It will bear looking into," the member 
who moved the adoption of the Annual Report [Mr. E. Ran- 
dolph] is stated to have assured his hearers, *' and will meet 
your approval as satisfactory:" which, indeed, was proved to be 
a correct anticipation, for it was accepted without a dissentient 
vote. And again the same speaker, who had devoted considerable 
attention to his subject, having, as he said, personally inquired for him- 
self into the working of the Office, expressed his surprise at " the 
number of matters which had been dealt with, and at the amount of 
labour they must have entailed." And so the speaker who came next 
— and Mr. Ryley will pardon us if we add that the speaker in question 
is usually a somewhat severe critic — bore testimony to '^ the good, the 
great good," that had been done ; while the member who followed him 
observed that *' the Council had taken up and pushed forward in a 
spirit of earnestness, during the past year, much useful and important 
work." That this is so, any one who will take the trouble to peruse 
the Report may easily see for himself, and therefore we need not dwell 
upon it further. 

There were, however, members present at the Annual Meeting who 
desiderated "greater activity" upon the part of the Union. It is by 
no means a new demand. In 1879, we find, the same aspiration was 
expressed at the Annual Meeting of that year. " More energetic action " 
was then declared by some to be called for. It was upon that occa- 
sion, as we read in the report of the proceedings, that a member of 
the Union who has for some years taken a warm interest in its affairs 
— not merely a platonic interest, for he has devoted much valuable 
time to its service as auditor — made a remark, which is worth recalling, 
as to the real signification of that cry. " When I hear more energetic 
action called for," Mr. Gresham Wells is reported to have said, " I 
cannot help thinking that what those who raise the cry really mean is 
some form of political action." And so it appears that the greater 
activity which some of the speakers at the last Annual Meeting de- 
manded imports the abolition or relaxation of the rule of the Union 
against the introduction of party politics and the direct and active 

Pro Vivis et Befunctis. 89 

participation by the Union in the work of registering Catholic voters. 
This is the new departure which a few of its members desire for the 
Catholic Union, and it is against such new departure that our corre- 
spondent very strongly protests. And we must say that the reasons 
which he assigns appear to us to be quite unanswerable. "As to 
party politics," he writes, " their exclusion from the proceedings of the 
Union is a fundamental rule, and, as is well known, was insisted upon, 
as such, by the Hierarchy when the Union was originally established." 
And certain it is, considering how very widely Catholics in this country 
differ in political questions, that the entire avoidance of them, nay, of 
anything that touches upon them, is an absolutely necessary condition 
of any common action. Repeal or weaken that rule, and you most 
assuredly will convert your Catholic Union into a Catholic disunion, 
destined, inevitably and very speedily, to succumb, with more or less 
scandal, to the fate of every previous Catholic association of the same 
kind ; for all, we believe, have split upon this very rock of party 
politics. Then, as to registration. The position and policy of the 
Union on this subject have from the year 1873 been very clearly and 
precisely laid down. In 1875 four important Resolutions regarding 
it were put forth by the Council, in one of which it is declared : 
" That the Council of the Catholic Union, having for its objects not 
local interests as such, but the general interests of the Catholic com- 
munity, does not act in any sense as a local registration society, not 
even in regard to the metropolis, where it holds its sittings." The 
same principle was reiterated, with much emphasis, in the Annual 
Report of 1877, in words stated, at the time, to be due to the Marquis 
of Ripon, and in consequence the most prominent Irish members of the 
Union, who for reasons best known to themselves were very desiroua 
that it should engage directly in the work of registration, at once left 
it. It is certain, however, that any other policy would have been 
followed by the loss of the great bulk of its English and Scotch sup- 
porters. Religion in England is one thing, politics are quite another. 
And that an institution ostensibly Catholic, and Catholic only, should 
use its influence in favour of any political party, would be a monstrous 
breach of faith and a fraud upon its members. To this we may add, 
in words which we find in the speech of Mr. Henry Matthews, from 
which we just now quoted, that for the Union which has continually 
to appeal to public bodies — most of them hostile — to take a part in 
political agitation, would be to make itself impossible. Considerations 
such as these seem to us to be altogether conclusive, and we do not 
for a minute doubt that they are felt to be so by the governing body 
of the Catholic Union. 

It may be freely conceded, then, that the Catholic Union by 
no means corresponds with F. Amherst's ideal. The object of 
the late Pontiff in desiring its establishment, the Cardinal 
Archbishop of Westminster has told us, " was not to form any 
political association, or any association of Catholics that should, 
in any way, dabble in politics. It was to promote the solemn 

90 Pro Vivis et Defunctis. 

union of faithful Catholics for Catholic work and Catholic 
interests. And I believe" — his Eminence added, turnino^ to the 
President of the Union — " I believe^my Lord Duke, that you have 
done wisely and well in gathering together so many earnest 
Catholics, who should learn how to serve our common welfare, 
not by engaging in conflicts in the Union itself, but by studying 
the relations of the Catholic Church to the commonwealth in 
■which we live, and how they can be useful to the Church and 
the commonwealth with the greatest intelligence and the 
greatest force. I look upon the Catholic Union as an uncon- 
querable section of our army/' ^ Such is the Catholic Union 
as it exists and works : its ranks freely open to Conservatives, 
Liberals, or Home Rulers, who choose to lay aside, for the time, 
their Conservatism, Liberalism, and Home llule, in common 
action for purely Catholic ends; its modes of operation not 
copied blindly from any political parties, nor from the Licensed 
Victuallers Association, but chosen with discretion, according to 
varying circumstances and exigencies. It agitates when good 
cause is discerned for agitation. For example, it organized the 
great meeting in St. James's Hall, which, with the proceedings 
consequent thereon, did so much to influence public opinion, 
both at home and abroad, in the matter of the Kulturkampf. It 
does not agitate where — as in the question of Primary Education 
— it knows that the highest ecclesiastical authority in this 
country considers other means of action to be more expedient. 
Most assuredly it does not publish to the world all its proceedings, 
or there would soon be an end of it and of them. But it does 
publish in its Gazette, from time to time, accounts of its transac- 
tions, which F. Amherst would have done well to consult before 
recording against it his judgment of malediction. He would 
then have found that it is daily engaged in doing — and doing 
successfully — many things which he censures it for not doing, 
while, on the other hand, its occupation is not in the least such 
as he is pleased to suppose.! Whether or no it is heroic, certainly 

* Speech of the Cardinal Archbishop of "Westminster in Willis's 
Rooms, Feb. 10, 1885. 

t 111 his Introduction (p. 43) F. Amherst mentions a case of refusal by 
a Board of Guardians to provide for a CathoHc priest, a room wherein 
to give religious instruction to the Catholic paupers of the workhouse ; 
and adds, " As the Catholic Union was established, not merely to present 
addresses to the Holy Father, at particular times, but to attend to the 
general interests of British Catholics, such unfairness in the administration 
of the law as that mentioned in the text, and which, no doubt, frequently 
occurs, might very properly be taken up." '* This case," he further observes, 
*• is mentioned merely to illustrate the action of prejudice." As a matter 
of fact, the Catholic Union is constantly and successfully engaged in the 
redress of wrongs to our workhouse poor ; and has been directly instru- 

Plato's " Atlantis " and the " Periplus " of Hanno. 91 

it is not mock heroic. It does not endeavour to work upon the 
overwhelming Protestant majority in this nation by the motive 
of fear. Its attitude towards them is not iu the least that of the 
champion in the burlesque : 

Whoever dares these boots displace, 
Must meet Bombastes face to face : 
Thus do I challenge all the human race. 

On the contrary, it ever endeavours to guide itself by the 
wisdom, one note of which is peaceableness. Animated by that 
spirit, I content myself with these gentle animadversions upon 
F. Amherst's volumes, oux y)^^raL ^riirovOev Elprivri at^ayaiQ. 

W. S. Lilly. 


1. The Secret of Plato's Atlantis. By Lord Aeundell of 

Waedour. London : Burns & Oates. 1885. 

2. Mdmoire sur le Periple d'Hannon. Par Auguste Mer, 

Capitaine de Vaisseau en retraite. Paris : Perriu, 35 Quai 
des Augustins. 1885. 

SOME time ago, Lord Arundell published a book in answer to 
Mr. Donelly on the subject of the Atlantis and the Deluge. 
The work was entitled *^ The Secret of Plato^s Atlantis." We 
cannot at present pretend to offer any opinion on Mr. Donelly's 
work, which as yet we have beeu unable to become fully ac- 
quainted with. Judging from the quotations and from Lord 
Arundell's own opinions, its conclusions might be safely accepted. 
All that we are asked for are our own thoughts concerning Lord 
Arundell's theories. On this point alone does our judgment 

Lord Arundell proposes to himself two things. He wishes, 

mental in vindicating their right to the use of the workhouse chapel for 
religious services — including Mass — on equal terms with other dissidents 
from the Established Church. Of addresses to Leo XIII., the Catholic 
Union has presented exactly one — namely, upon the election of his 
Holiness to the Pontifical throne — if, indeed, a congratulatory telegram 
can be called an address. It is somewhat singular that P. Amherst 
should take exception to this manifestation of our loyalty to the Pope. 
Unquestionably his remarks serve admirably " to illustrate the action of 

92 Plato's " Atlantis " and the " Periplus " of Hanno, 

in the first place, to prove against Mr. Donelly that the Mosaic 
Deluge has no connection with the submersion of Plato's Atlantis; 
in the second, to prove that the universality of the biblical 
cataclysm is established by the universality of popular tradition. 
To accomplish the first task, he undertakes to show — (1) That 
the submersion of Atlantis, accepted by Mr. Donelly as his- 
torical, is nothing more than a pure legend ; and (2) that this 
legend has for basis the Periplus of Hanno. To our mind, how- 
ever, Lord Arundell establishes neither one nor the other of these 
two affirmations. 

As regards the first : if it is not without reason that Lord 
Arundell refuses to attach a serious value to the testimony of the 
" old original '' Cosmas, who, according to Mr. Donelly, makes 
*' the traditions of the first ages about the deluge point to the 
part of the world where the Atlantis was fixed,^^ neither does he 
advance by any means his thesis by saying that Berosus, 
Josephus, Nicholas of Damascus, and St. Epiphanius pretend that 
in their time debris of the ark were still to be found on Mount 
Ararat, and in the country of the Kurds. All this is too uncri- 
tical and legendary to have any force for or against. The study 
of the direct arguments brought forward by Mr. Donelly and 
based principally on Plato's account, is of greater importance. 

Here the thesis presents a double aspect. After having tried 
to prove the reality of Atlantis, Mr. Donelly starts from this as 
from a firm and solid basis, and then seeks to attach on to his 
hypothesis a certain number of ideas, which are not wanting in 
importance— -for instance, the appearance of man and the local- 
ization of the terrestrial Paradise in the Atlantis, and the legendary 
character of the Mosaic Deluge. According to the author, this 
is only a distant echo of the submersion of the island, which 
occurred at a much remoter date than that indicated by Genesis. 
When Lord Arundell objects to these latter affirmations, his 
reasoning has a value which is undeniable. He shows well 
enough to his opponent that the greatest number of the reasons 
alleged Tor locating the terrestrial Paradise in the midst of the 
submerged island, can also agree with its localization in the 
plains of Mesopotamia. He has good reason also in stating 
that the diluvian tradition is not at all a recent variation of the 
catastrophe handed down by Critias to Plato ; but what he fails 
to accomplish, is to prove that the engulfing of the island can. 
have no connection with the deluge. 

If we are to judge by his quotations, Mr. Donelly seems to 
have formed a very wrong conception of the possibility of this 
connection. According to Plato, we see Poseidon occupied in 
Atlantis, enclosing the central island with zones of earth and sea 
alternately ; and in the description of his palace there is mention 

Plato's " Atlantis " and the " Periplufi " of Hanno, 93 

made twice of canals which he dug-. These facts are necessarily 
prior to the subsidence of the island. If the traditions of the 
deluge of Cronos and Poseidon allude to these facts, says Lord 
Arundell, we must admit that we have traditions of the deluge 
anterior to the engulfing of the island. This he finds to be im- 
possible; but perhaps he forgets that the deluge of Mr. Donelly 
is not universal, and that those who escaped may have been able 
to hand down traditions of earlier date than the deluge. How- 
ever that may be, Lord Arundell seems at times to show very 
clearly that his opponent's proofs are weak and his deductions 
not in accordance with logic. But does he not likewise err as 
much himself, when, after having examined in detail the special 
arguments of Mr. Donelly, he concludes in a general manner to 
the absence of any relation between the sinking of the famous 
island and the deluge? This relation can be conceived in a very 
catholic manner, and quite different from Mr. Donelly 's. In 
order that Lord Arundell might firmly establish his own solution, 
it was needful for him not only to destroy his opponent's argu- 
ments, but likewise every possibility of a connection between the 
two facts. 

He endeavours to do so, but does he succeed? Let us judge 
for ourselves. To show the account of Moses and that of Plato 
as contradictory one to the other, he asserts that, according to 
the former and to tradition, the sole cause of the deluge of Genesis 
was the rain, whereas the geological catastrophe is due to a 
geological accident, a subsidence of land. Thereupon Lord 
Arundell courageously launches into a strange sort of argumen- 
tation. In order to identify the two facts, he says, we must 
recognize a geological cause for the deluge. But how can it be 
supposed that for 9,000 years people were ignorant of the truth 
of an event, about which all men have spoken, and that at the 
present day we have succeeded in discovering that geology and 
Plato are right, in opposition to every one else ? 

Truly, Lord Arundell astonishes us. Where then did he find 
either in Moses, or in the Fathers, or the ancient and modern 
exegetes, that the rain was the sole cause of the deluge? Moses 
does not speak only of the cataracta coeli, but he likewise speaks 
of the fontes abyssi, which burst forth. All tradition bears 
witness to it. If the Fathers do not read clearly beneath these 
words the mention of a geological displacement, the reason is that 
a knowledge of this kind of phenomena was not familiar to 
them. Instead of a subsidence of earth, produced by natural 
causes, they, like the exegetes of the Middle Ages, supposed the 
intervention of an angel or the hand of God himself; none of 
them, however, forgot to attribute, under some form or other, a 
large part of the work of a cataclvsm to subterranean ao^encies. 

94 Plato's " Atlantis " and the " Periplus " of Hanno. 

As soon as these phenomena were perceived by science, exegetes 
availed themselves of them to interpret this passage, and with 
the exception of a savant like M. Moigno, one may seek in vain 
for a modern exegete of worth, even were he a partisan of the 
universality of the deluge, like Lord Arundell, who does not 
fall back upon a sabsidence or rising of the earth — in some cases 
upon both^ — for an explanation of the Mosaic words. 

Lord Arundell is much surprised that after such a long time 
a new and correct solution should be found. This astonishment 
reveals a state of mind which explains his book/and several other 
works of his also, but which afford little guarantee for the value 
of his exegetical criticisms. Is it, then, the first time that such 
a thing has happened ? And is a great effort of mind necessary 
to understand that geological science must exist before it can be 
made use of to interpret Moses ? Lord Arundell then fails 
altogether to show that there can be no relation between the 
submersion of Atlantis, as related by Plato, under a more or 
less legendary shape, and the authentic narration of the deluge 
given by Moses. 

If he succeeded in proving that the sinking of the island is a 
legend, his thesis would be valid all the same, for a connection 
cannot be admitted between two facts, the first of which is shown 
to be imaginary. Unfortunately, the efforts of Lord Arundell 
are in this case weaker still ; we have not been able to find in his 
book a single valid argument against the reality of the sub- 
mersion, and we acknowledge that we have never found a con- 
vincing one anywhere else. 

At times he criticizes Mr. Donelly with reason for details as 
to dates, or for facts which, though clearly legendary, are too 
easily accepted. But when it is proved that imagination has 
played its part in the narrations of Solon, Critias, or Plato, it 
does not follow that the facts contained therein are invalidated. 
A learned French writer, M. Th. H. Martin of the " Institut," in 
his masterly and celebrated work on the " Timseus '^ of Plato, 
has likewise endeavoured with incomparable erudition to reduce 
to nothing the " fable '^ of Atlantis. In spite of his learning 
and efforts, however, he succeeds only in discovering the errors 
committed on this subject and the legendary side of the recital 
of the Greek philosopher, without destroying the nucleus of the 
narration — namely, the existence of Atlantis, f 

We may even remark en passant that, over and above the 
other reasons given by Mr. Donelly, Lord Arundell mustacknow- 

* See the admirable article of M. Jean d'Estienne, iu the Revue des 
Questions Scientifiques. Brussels, October, 1885. 
f Yol. i. note xiii. p. 257 seqq. 

Plato s " Atlantis " and the " Periplua " of Hanno. 95 

ledge that he was struck with the passage in which the author 
gathers together a certain number of facts, which he remarks 
cannot rest on nothing, and which are susceptible of a very 
natural explanation on the hypothesis of the island's existence. 

Upon that part of the African continent [he says] nearest to the 
site of Atlantis, we find a chain of mountains known from the most 

ancient times as the Atlas Mountains Look at it ! An Atlas 

Mountain on the shores of Africa ; an Atlan town on the shore of 
America; the Atlantis living along the N.W. coast of Africa; an 
Aztec people from Agtlan in Central America ; an ocean rolling 
between the two worlds called the Atlantic, a mythological deity called 
Atlas holding the world on his shoulders, an immemorial tradition of 
an island of Atlantis. Can all these things be the result of 
accident ? * 

No ! Lord Aruiidell on this point does not answer Mr. Donelly. 
Even if he did, the cause would not be gained, for at the present 
day it has many other aids and champions. Important scientific 
and historical works published in France, Spain and Germany, 
have given reality to the recital of Plato. It was only recently 
that we read a memoir presented in 1884 to the International 
Congress of Americanists in Madrid, by D. Fred, de Botella, 
who on this point upholds the conclusions of MM. Unger, 
Ooffarel, Marcon, &c., in the afiirmative. We believe that the 
reality of Atlantis is unfolding itself more and more from the 
mists of legend ; and Lord Arundell, before passing to the posi- 
tive part of his thesis, should have overthrown the arguments of 
all kinds presented by those who oppose him ; otherwise the most 
he can do is to draw conclusions against Mr. Donelly — not, how- 
ever, against Plato and his Atlantis. He does not do so ; he 
asserts the non-existence, of the celebrated island, and tries to 
demonstrate that Plato's account is nothing: more than a 
purely imagmative variation executed by the philosopher on the 
Periplus of Hanno. 

Lord Arundell appears here more unfortunate than ever. Not 
one of the comparisons he attempts between the Timseus and the 
Periplus is substantial or capable of giving support to his strange 
hypothesis. Taken by themselves, they are more suited to 
establish the diflferences than the resemblances. 

Lord Arundell has an exaggerated liking for this kind of 
argument. The most distant connections, the most hazardous 
comparisons, which are most insignificant and visibly accidental, 
form for him the strongest evidences of certainty. 

The following are some of the grounds on which he rests his 

* Donelly, p. 172 ; Lord Arundell, p. 8. 

96 Plato's " Atlantis " and the " Periplus " of B anno. 

In Plato, Poseidon, to whom in the division of the earth 
made by the gods Atlantis fell, builds in this island a city 
fifty stadia distant from a hill where an autochthonous inha- 
bitant, named Edenor, lives. Hanno founds upon the shore of 
the modern Morocco his first town called Thymoterion. The 
former is founded upon an island, the latter upon the shore ; but 
as they are both foundations, the connection satisfies the author, 
for this reason, that at the foot of both the one and the other a 
plain extends. That which finally determines Lord Arundell iff 
that the plain which Hanno speaks of was fertile, and that 
Poseidon made springs of hot and cold water to appear in 
Plato's plain. It must be added, however, that this last con- 
nection seems in the author's mind to be accompanied with 
considerable uncertainty ; for he admits that Plato imagined 
this latter trait in order to reproduce the mythological tradition 
of Athens to the effect that Poseidon had called forth with his 
trident a well on the Acropolis. Accordingly, he is no longer 
copying Hanno. Hanno continues his journey, and at a little 
distance from the shore discovers a lake. Now, Plato says that 
Poseidon surrounded the hill of Atlantis with several concentric 
zones of water, which ensured its freedom from invasions. There 
is water and land in both countries, and in both narrations ; there- 
fore one is derived from the other! It would be impossible to be 
more easily satisfied. 

Plato speaks of five couples of male children begotten by 
Poseidon, who divides his island among them. Now, Hanno, 
continuing his journey, establishes along the shore five new 
colonies, whose sites may be seen at the present day. Does it 
follow from this that the Greek philosopher, seeing the Cartha- 
ginians founding Caricum-Teichos, Gitte, Acra, Melitta, and 
Aramba upon the African coast, conceived the idea of giving to 
Poseidon ten sons, who divided among themselves one island? 

Hanno finds elephants and other animals in his travels. There 
are also elephants and other animals in the Atlantis. It is 
Hanno, then, whom Plato has copied, says Lord Arundell. Would 
he otherwise have thought of putting animals into his island, 
immense though it was, and would he not rather have supposed 
it a desert ? 

The island of Cerne, discovered by Hanno, is five stadia in 
circumference; there is no palace in this African island ; but the 
island in which is found the monument of Neptune in Atlantis 
is five stadia in diameter. Our author thinks this a sufficiently 
striking resemblance. In the same way the three harbours of 
which Plato speaks must be three islands signalized by Hanno- 
under absolutely contrary conditions. One of them is in the 
interior of a gulf, which also encloses another islet. Notice that 

Plato^s " Atlantis " and the " Periplus " of Hanno. 97 

these two last are some hundred miles from the other in the 
Gulf of Guinea. But little matter the distances, the positions, 
the situations, the differences, and even the contradictions, since 
the number three, by a skilful addition, is found in the two 
narratives ! 

This is not all. Hanno perceives wooded mountains where the 
savages at night light fires, around which they utter yells, 
accompanied by pipes, cymbals, and drums, in order to frighten 
the Carthaginian fleet. There are also wooded mountains in 
Atlantis. They are not savages who inhabit them, but good 
people who offer sacrifices; but in doing so, they burn the flesh of 
bulls, and the fires of these sacrifices recalls immediately to the 
mind of our author the fires of the savages. It is true that those 
of the latter appear only at night, and that the former are 
extinguished by the libations exactly at the time when the 
others were enkindled. However, since there are fires in both 
cases, the resemblance suflSces for the learned author in spite of the 
^contradictions which characterize them ; and moreover, if the 
contradiction is increased by the absence of the cymbals, pipes, 
and drums, in Plato's account, " we cannot doubt," he says, 
" that they existed all the same." In short, Hanno, in con- 
tinuing his journey, passes through a storm, and makes ac- 
quaintance with tornadoes in the Bights of Benin and of Biafra ; 
then arrives opposite the crater of the volcano Camaroos, which 
he perceives in the distance. Plato says nothing like this ; 
but since his Atlantis ends in a subsidence, " we may suppose,'' 
says Lord Arundell, " a volcanic phenomenon to be the cause, and 
thus recognize the same ending in both recitals.'' 

If we were to bring out in relief the difference in the two 
recitals, we could certainly oppose all the similarities discovered 
by Lord Arundell. And how would it be if we brought forward 
the other numerous and palpable contradictions ? In truth, it 
appears to us a strange thing to attempt any comparison 
between two such works. The work of Plato would be in- 
explicable. Would he have wished to deceive his fellow- 
citizens ? " No," replies our author, " but to collect the 
traditions which prevailed on the subject of the Carthaginian 
admiral's voyage." Now, if we take the average of chrono- 
logical differences, there is perhaps less than a century between 
the Periplus and the birth of Plato ; the relation of Hanno 
preserved in the very language of the philosopher is still in 
existence, and yet the traditions have been altered to this 
extent ! And people had come to believe that more than 9,000 
years had elapsed since the submersion of Atlantis, that is, since 
the voyage of Hanno. 

This is absolutely, impossible, and we are not astonished that 
VOL. XVI. — NO. I. [iVew Series.] bl 

98 Plato's " Atlantis " and the " Ferijplus " of Hanno. 

Lord Arundell has not found any one until now to express the 
idea of such a resemblance. The writer does not appear to us 
more happy when he attempts another hypothesis^ namely, that 
Plato simply wished to reproduce according to his fancy the 
Periplus of Hanno. At such an epoch, so near to the time of 
the admiral, the thought would not have occurred to him, and 
the enterprise would have been very strange and very impracti- 
cable. Above all, he could not have dreamed that such a thing 
could be realized in this form. Moreover, Lord Arundell introduces 
a contradiction in his own work ; for admitting this supposition, 
it is necessary to make the philosopher a forger, since Plato 
makes no apparent allusion to the Periplus, and he pretends to 
draw his history from the Egyptians through Solon and Critias. 

The savants who have treated this matter most thoroughly, 
whilst they deny the existence of Atlantis, cannot help remarking 
the necessity of admitting that the tradition spoken of by Plato 
really came to him from Solon his ancestor, who had it from the 
priests of Egypt^ who themselves already held it as an ancient 
tradition. Sow Solon, not to speak of the priests of Egypt, 
lived probably before the time of Hanno's voyage. 

We conclude that the first part of the work is without any 
solid foundation^ and that the reality of the submersion of 
Atlantis, as also the possible connection it has with the Mosaic 
Deluge, has not been affected by the arguments of Lord Arundell. 

The second part of the book must aim, we think, according to 
the intention of the author, at proving that the deluge of Noah, 
and of Genesis is the real deluge — a deluge absolutely universal, 
according to the idea elsewhere expressed by Lord Arundell. 
But we acknowledge that we do not see how the writer arrives 
at this conclusion, even in accepting his argument ; still less do 
we comprehend how such an argument can be admissible. 

The author tries to find in the Indian festivals, and in those 
of the Greeks, a souvenir of the Mosaic Deluge ; and by means 
of the system of interpretation he follows, he finds it to his 
own satisfaction. 

Supposing he is right, Mr. Donelly would easily reply that 
this only proves one thing — namely, that the catastrophe of 
Atlantis was not known in a direct manner in the Indian and 
Greek world, but indirectly through the legends to which it gave 
birth, legends resembling to a certain extent that which was 
known to Moses. Thus we cannot easily, by such reasoning, 
attain the direct end. 

But it seems to us that the chief fault of Lord Arundell in this 
work on the diluvian traditions is not that of having failed in 
entirely refuting Mr. Donelly's arguments, but in employing, in 
order to create traditions upon the flood of Genesis, reasons and 

Plato's " Atlantis " and the " Periplus '' of Hanno, 99 

arguments which are wanting in logic and criticism. Tiie mind 
of the learned author is certainly haunted by the spectre of the 
universal deluge, and he discovers in the countries which his vast 
erudition makes known to him everywhere reminiscences of the 
scourge. All the Greek festivals one would suppose to have been 
instituted in its memory. The principle from which he draws his 
conclusions is a very convenient one, but it does not suffice to affirm 
it, and needs a more serious justification than that which is presented 
in his work. The principle is as follows : — The primitive feasts 
consisted of sacrifices and offerings of fruits, and these sacrifices 
were originated in memory of the deluge. The second part, at 
least, of this assertion is not demonstrable to any one, and logic 
does not permit the author on the strength of it to affirm that 
the harvest feast at Athens related to the deluge, or that the 
feast of Ceres the Lawgiver, celebrated in honour of the institution 
of laws, had for primary object the re-institution by Noah of a 
regular order of things after the great flood. 

Lord Aruudell appears to us to fail still more completely in the 
attempt he makes to discover, in all the feasts, titles and portraits 
of Bacchus, the patriarch Noah, or his son Cham, for he hesitates 
at times on this point. Even his title of ** god of tragedy and 
protector of theatres " can be explained by identifying the 
mythological being with the patriarch. All this is overdrawn, 
proves nothing, and recalls to our mind the pantheist maxim, 
"All is in all." But the learned author appears still more to 
exceed the limits of strict and forcible logic when he piles 
resemblances on resemblances in order to connect the Indian 
and Greek festivals with the deluge. It would take too long to 
follow him in detail on this point ; we will confine ourselves to 
one of his arguments. 

The Mandan Indians, at a certain time of the year, celebrate in 
one day three distinct ceremonies. The first seems to have some 
relation to the deluge ; in the third they make their young men 
pass through severe trials to test their courage, for the purpose of 
selecting those who are deemed worthy to follow their chiefs in 
their warlike expeditions. Now, as it was at the feast of the 
Apaturia, in which there was also an assembly (but of another 
kind), that Plato heard the history of the submersion of Atlantis, 
therefore, the feast of the Apaturia among the Greeks is in 
memory of the Mosaic Deluge. Besides the violence done to 
history* and to logic in this page, let us add that Lord Arun dell, 

* Lord Arundell is quite mistaken when he supposes that Plato, at the 
age of ten years, heard the history from Critias. It was to the grandson 
of Critias, also named Critias, that the narration was made hy Critias, 
then ninety years of age. Lord Arundell has confounded here the young 
Critias with Plato. 

H 2 

100 Plato's " Atlamtis '' and the " Periplus '' of Hanno. 

in using this comparison, is oblio^ed to contradict himself, since he 
admits elsewhere that the narrative of Plato was his own 
invention, that consequently it was not related to him at the 
festival of the Apaturia, that it has no relation to the deluge 
whatever, that the submersion described is fictitious, and, in fact, 
that it is all simply the recital of a tradition on the subject of 
the Periplus of Hanno. In fine, the comparison of the feast of 
the Apaturia with the feast of the Mandans, apropos of the 
deluge, is the more strained from the fact that this feast (as the 
learned writer is aware) has an historical origin — an origin which 
relates neither to Atlantis nor to the narration of Moses — since 
its end is simply to commemorate the artifice * used by 
Melanthus, by which he succeeded in killing Xanthus in a duel 
proposed by the latter. Also the intervention of the children in 
the Greek and Indian ceremonies, by means of which our author 
endeavours to mark the connection between the two feasts, has no 
resemblance whatever. Among the Mandans, it is a ceremony to 
enrol the young adults into the army. With the Greeks it is 
the young boys and girls of '' three and four years who come to 
be inscribed on the list of members of the same tribe," (^ypaTopiq, 
when the most studious of the children strive to obtain a prize 
by singing verses from the poets. f We repeat, then, this manner 
of conducting a thesis is altogether objectionable, both its course 
and its principle. 

Lord Arundell is logical as soon as his principle and minor are 
admitted, but the latter as well as the former are unjustifiable 
hypotheses. It is no more certain that all the Greek feasts 
(except those which are historical) are only new forms of 
primitive feasts, than it can be shown that all the primitive 
feasts which honour Diana and Ceres relate to the deluge. It 
would have been more advantageous to Lord Arundell if he had 
devoted his profound learning to establishing these principles, 
instead of merely asserting them ; but even had he done so^ 
the conclusion would still be wanting. 

He meets, in fact, with divinities upon his path, who seem to 
him new kinds of divinities — different to Diana and Ceres — Zeus, 
for example. What can he do with them? He employs a mere 
hypothesis — and an hypothesis already much weakened — in order 
to connect them with the deluge. " It is said,^' he writes, " that 
the deluge of Deucalion happened because of the anger of Zeus, 

* The real etymology of the word airarovpia, says M. Th. H. Martin, is 
that which derives it from anaTT) (treachery). He rejects the idea of 
deriving it from the word ofxoTrdTpia, and thus making it signify the 
ussembly of the fathers to enrol their children. In either case, we are a 
long way from the deluge. 

t " Tiraaeus," by Tb. H. Martin, vol. i. note ii. p. 249. 

Plato's " Atlantis^' and the " Feriplus " of Ranno, 101 

who resolved to destroy the human race. Hetiee the feast of this 
god is imtnediately connected with the Mosaic flood/^ Here is 
an on dit very convenient, but unhappily it is only an on dit. 
We would gladly admit it, but we are unable to see how the 
conclusion is drawn. It is necessary, first of all, to prove, against 
those who think, the contrary, that the deluge of Deucalion was 
not a partial deluge, which is the opinion of many modern 
authors, and which the ancients themselves have declared. 

A book recently published by Mr. Lang, entitled " Custom and 
Myth/' furnishes our learned author with the matter and occasion 
for a new chapter under the name of " Kecent Testimonies.'^ It 
is impossible for us to follow him through the inextricable net- 
work of comparisons, often hazardous and arbitrary, which he 
adopts with a certainty we cannot share, in order to identify in 
the sense of a diluvian tradition the Mandan rites with the 
Australian ceremonies. In I'act, it is always the same process 
and the same principles which are used. 

There are three Mandan festivals celebrated in one day. One 
of them has the semblance of a diluvian remembrance ; the others 
have no such semblance, and have a different object in view. 

There are also feasts among the Australians ; and because some 
of the details resemble more or less the Mandan feasts, which do 
not refer to the deluge, why conclude that the former relate to 
that event? Before drawing such a conclusion, with what 
probability could Lord Arundell have established the identity of 
intention aud object in the three Mandan feasts? And to us he 
appears to have failed in doing so. To be frank, let us say at 
once more than this — namely, that the author, on the faith of 
certain writers, Messrs. Lang and Catlin, recalls the diluvian 
traditions which exist in several nations. But it would appear 
to us necessary to establish several things forgotten by Lord 
Arundell, in order to form a solid basis and to prove the univer- 
sality of the deluge. He ought to have proved that the Mosaic 
Deluge, and not the local floods, was the subject in question. But 
failing in this respect with regard to several nations, the con- 
clusion remains still uncertain. 

No one doubts that here and there are to be found traces of 
diluvian catastrophes preserved as traditions, but who knows if 
partial and even gigantic floods were not of Irequent occurrence 
on the globe during the quaternary period, which is the human 
age? Moreover, what would be proved by the existence of a 
tradition of the Mosaic Deluge spread over the inhabited face of 
the world, except the universal dispersion and the remembrance 
preserved in the memory of mankind through the recollections 
of the race of Noah ? 

But this is not the question which need be brought to fight 

102 Plato^s " Atlantis " and the " Periplus " of Hanno. 

in order to add strength to the traditional proof, which becomes 
less and less in spite of the efforts to preserve it. 

Those who strive to establish it often commit, even in a 
Catholic point of view, a serious fault in giving to all the tra- 
ditions duly verified an equal value. It must not be forgotten 
that there are two quite distinct traditional currents. The first 
is that of the Noachian tradition handed down by Moses ; the 
second is that of profane writeis and peoples. Now this latter 
in its course and in its transmission has not received the special 
assistance of Divine Providence, and it is easy to conceive that 
the remembrance of a gigantic inundation which was strongly 
impressed upon the terrified minds of the first witnesses, should 
in course of time be transformed into a universal cataclysm. 
These profane recollections, we must remember, take their chief 
value from their conformity to the Mosaic tradition. Now 
the Mosaic tradition, when properly understood, contradicts 
them, and does not in any way confirm them. It is Moses who, 
by his ethnographical table, his narrations in Genesis and other 
books of the Pentateuch, makes known his intention of speaking 
only of a deluge Noachian and patriarchal, but not universal. 
It is he, again, who explicitly informs us of the survival of the 
antediluvian races.^ The recital of the sacred tradition contra- 
dicts in itself alone all the arguments, all the comparisons, so 
laboriously attempted by Lord Arundell. Let us conclude with 
a final consideration. 

The learned author, up to this time, is not one of those who 
recognize in the writings of Moses the revelations of which we 
have just spoken. Let us for a moment consider these revela- 
tions as not having come to pass ; his thesis would not on that 
account be in the least degree more demonstrable, even to those 
who desired to believe in the certainty of his teaching and of his 
identifications. He forgets, in fact, that in studying the Indians 
of the nineteenth century, and in consulting the traditions pre- 
served by them, he does not go back to the primitive race and 
the source of Indians. The actual natives are conquerors who at 
the time of their post-diluvian immigration found these places 
inhabited by races different from and more ancient than their 
own. According to the latest works of celebrated missionaries, 
this race bears a stamp quite distinct from the present races ; and 
let us remark en passant, this stamp has a singular likeness to 
all we know of the nations to which the Bible gives an ante- 
diluvian physiognomy. It is these traditions of this primitive 
stock which we ought to make use of. Did they know of the 

* See " Le Deluge Biblique devant la Foi, TEcriture et la Science." 
Par Al. Motais. Paris. 1885. 

Plato's " Atlantis " and the " Periplus " of Hanno, 1 03 

deluge ? We are told nothing of it; yet it is precisely this which 
it is important to know. Let us add, that even while resting on 
the traditions of a secondary date, we cannot help remarking that 
the belief in a universal deluo^e amons^ certain distant descendants 
of Japhet recently made known to us, has considerably less im- 
portance in a question of this nature than the absence of traditions 
of the kind would have in a contrary sense among the Chamite 
peoples whose annals we possess from the most distant times, of 
which the science of Egyptology has investigated the archives. 

To be brief, we shall have fully expressed our mind by saying 
that Lord ArundelFs work, though very interesting in a certain 
point of view, does not appear to us to have succeeded in throw- 
ing light on any fundamental questions which he endeavours to 
elucidate. We consider his method faulty, and at best only 
capable of creating in the mind superficial ideas, mists and 
mirages, and we can scarcely doubt that the difficult path he 
follows will never lead to a clear solution of the problems laid 

We have above had occasion to speak of the Periplus of 
Hanno. The readers of the .DuBLm Review who are acquainted 
with this ancient document, also know how many different and 
even contradictory commentaries it has been the subject of. But 
it has lately been treated under conditions which we may call 
new, and which carry with them a guarantee of competency and 
correctness. Almost all the authors vvho have written upon the 
matter have studied the question upon maps, and in their own 
study. But to understand Hanno properly, to discover with 
certainty the places he visited, to recognize the traces of the 
colonies he founded, the various halts indicated in his narration, 
and the total extent of his voyage, it would be necessary to follow 
him, to certify cle visu the truth of the information he furnishes — 
in a word, to repeat the celebrated Periplus. Now these excellent 
conditions have just been realized. M. Mer, the new interpreter 
of the story of Hanno, is not only a traveller, but a mariner, and a 
distinguished mariner. Formerly captain of a vessel, he has three 
times coasted Africa, and repeated the voyage of the celebrated 
Carthaginian. His book has not been written afterwards and 
from memory, but it was studied upon the spot. Hence it 
offers a particular interest to the geographer, and furnishes 
information of indisputable import. 

Let us take an example. 

Hanno speaks, towards the end of his narrative, of torrents of 
fire which rolled down into the sea. Most commentators have 
regarded this passage as badly translated, invented by the Greeks, 
or in any case fabulous. M. Mer, in traversing the same places, 
has witnessed the same phenomena, has described them with 

1 0-i Plato's "Atlantis " and the ''Perlphis " of Ilanno. 

exactitude, and has given with the explanation a proof of the per- 
fect veracity and integrity of Hanno's narrative. In proceeding 
in this manner, that is as an eye-witness who has examined and 
verified for himself, M. Mer has proved that the Carthaginian 
admiral penetrated to the end of the Gulf of Guinea. He com- 
bats all the former contrary assertions by reasons which seem to 
us absolutely convincinj^. He indicates the places in which 
Hanno settled his colonies, seeks the river named Lixus, 
of which the narrative speaks, and considers it to be the 
Senegal. He proves that Cerne cannot be the island of Arguin, 
as has been said many times, still less the island of Fedal, which 
does not exist. Cerne, in his opinion, is the island of Goree, 
which exactly corresponds in everything to that described by 

The Theon-Ochema, or Car of the Gods, which throws up to 
heaven a stream of fl:jmes, as before mentioned, is no other than 
the volcano of Camaroons^ then in activity, and which is 4,197 
metres high. 

Lastly, the ^' western horn '* is the river Benin, the southern, 
the mouth of the Calabar river, and the celebrated island Gorillas, 
the island of Fernando Po, where M. Mer himself re-discovered 
the hairy men and women of the Carthaginian admiral. 

Notwithstanding his unexceptional competency to treat the 
subject, M. Mer has had the modesty to present his work to a 
savant who had ah-eady written on the sul)ject. The objections 
which M. Felix llobiou has submitted to him have been the 
sources of iresh explanations, which enhance the value of the 
woik. M. Mer has rendered, we think, a real service, and it is 
by labours undertaken in this manner that the difficulties of 
the text are elucidated. Old errors are corrected, and truth i>» 
firmly established. If the statements made by M. Mer are ad- 
mitted by science, he says there will be some geographical errors 
to rectify upon the maps of ancient geography, and also in the 
history of discoveries. But, in any case, we thank M. Mer for 
having cleared up some dark spots, and freed us from erroneous 
opinions. Error is not a mental inheritance ; truth alone 
enriches the human intelligence. 


* We deeply regret that the talented and erudite writer of the above 
review died before he had an opportunity of seeing his article in proof. 
His death is a distinct loss to Catholic science, especially in France. 

( 105 ) 



IT may perchance be asked, on reading the title of this paper^ 
what interest the lucubrations of a Chinese who lived more 
than twenty-three centuries ago can afford to European and 
Christian readers, and if it be worth while to spend one's time in 
speaking or reading of them. 

If we were to judge according to received, ideas, the answer 
would certainly be negative. But I am convinced that those 
readers of the Dublin Review who will peruse these pages will 
discover with me, that the meditations of the ancient doctor of 
the Celestial Empire are worth, at the very least, as much as 
those of a large number of the sages of Greece; that Anaximander,. 
Anaximenes, Anaxagoras, Democritus, and others, who place the 
origin of things (primordial existence) in water, fire, or earthy 
are far behind the Chinese thinker. 

However, that is not the real interest of the question, which is 
to be found especially in the opposite uses that have been made 
of the work of Lao-tze, and the consequences it has had for 
humanity. Some see in him a predecessor of Schelling and Hegel, 
the first father of the philosophy of the non-existent ; others, a 
c?/cZass^ Epicurean. On the other hand, there are some who 
attribute to him Judseo-Christian ideas, the knowledge of the 
Trinity, of the Divine Word, and so make him into a witness ta 
primitive revelation. On yet another side, an ignorance of the 
part played by Lao-tze has caused a false appreciation of certain 
facts, whence have been drawn false consequences dangerous to 

The Chinese is an atheist, it is said, and has always been so. 
We have clearly shown the falsehood of the second assertion.* 
Further on, it will be seen that Lao-tze was the first to attack 
the primitive monotheism of the Chinese. 

Again, the rapid propagation of Buddhism has been loudly 
vaunted, and its astonishing extension throughout that vast 
empire of 400 millions of men. It was not known that Lao-tze 
had prepared the way and opened the gates for it, and, moreover, 
that Chinese Buddhism had scarcely anything in common with 
that of India — with the religion of (^akya-muni. 

!From all these points of view the system of the old Chinese 

* "Primitive Religion of the Chinese: " Dublin Review, July 1884. 

106 The First Chinese Philosopher ; 

philosopher presents the greatest interest. Unfortunately, it has 
been for the most part wrongly appreciated, as we have just said, 
and that because it has been expounded in an incorrect manner. 
However, this need not astonish us. The book which contains 
the resume o( the system, and constitutes the sole source whence 
its principles can be drawn, is of great obscurity, and that for a 
triple reason. The language, in the first place, is very obscure. 
The master, creating a new system, introducing into his country 
ideas altogether new, had to give to ancient words meanings which 
they had not of themselves, and that without leaving in writing 
an exact indication of these unusual meanings. Moreover, his 
disciples have altered his doctrine, and have not preserved by tra- 
dition the sense which the founder of the school had attached to 
them. Lastly, in the course of time Chinese had undergone 
notable modifications, which render many ancient writings par- 
tially obscure. Certain words and characters have changed their 
meanings, or fallen into disuse ; their exact value has been lost. 
Add to this the difficulties necessarily caused by the figurative 
character of the Chinese writing and the multiplicity of the 
meanings of words, and it will be understood how arduous is the 
task of seeking to interpret an ancient Chinese book. Happily, 
each new interpreter finds before him the works of his pre- 
decessors, which circumscribe his task, tracing a circle of ever- 
shortening radius. Again, the native commentators are often of 
great assistance. 

We think, therefore, that we shall be doing a useful service in 
exposing anew the system of the most ancient Chinese philoso- 
pher. The interest inspired by his history is all the more 
legitimate, as there is not question of a fact whose influence has 
been limited to the Celestial Empire. " Taoism,^' the system of 
which we desire to speak, has not only exercised a decisive 
influence on the religious and political history of its own country ; 
it has also opened the way for Buddhism, allowed it to spread 
and take root in China, and to extend thence into Japan and 
countries farther still. 

Probably, on hearing mention of the most ancient Chinese 
philosopher, it will be thought that Confucius alone can be meant 
by this title. It is not he, however, who is the object of this 
short study, but his rival, less known, but probably worthy of 
being more known, the " Old Boy,^' Lao-tze. This expression, 
which may have caused astonishment, has not been chosen with- 
out reason. For, on the one hand, Kong-fou-tze (or Confucius) 
is less a philosopher than a moralist ; on the other, his birth and 
the date of his first teaching are more recent than those of his 
lival, although he preceded the latter in the publicity given to his 

or, The System of Lao-tze. 1 07 


To understand the part played by an historical personage, and 
the nature of the ideas which he diffused around him, we must, 
of course, realize exactly the medium in which he lived, the 
influences he underwent or against which he struggled. Let 
us therefore say a few words on the state of China at this time. 

From its very origin, the Celestial Empire had had, more than 
any other country, a fortune both happy and unhappy at the 
same time ; that of witnessing the succession to supreme power 
of dynasties which all began with kings as full of virtue as of 
talent, and all ended with princes who were imbecile, corrupt, 
and cynically tyrannical. The Chow dynasty, which in the 
seventh century B.C. had been reigning for well nigh 500 years, 
had been no exception to the rule. At this epoch it was repre- 
sented by weak and unprincipled emperors, who had let the 
empire disintegrate and almost be dissolved. The great 
feudatories had rendered themselves well nigh independent of the 
central power, and their residences were so many sovereign 
courts, leaving to the central power but a nominal authority. 
In this point of view the condition was that of France under the 
first Capetians. But besides this, corruption had spread on all 
sides. The simple manners of ancient times had been superseded 
by unbridled luxury and an unquenchable thirst for pleasures. 
The paternal and moralizing government of the ancient emperors 
had been succeeded by a power all the more tyrannical as it was 
divided among a host of petty princes, each of whom thought 
only of gratifying his prid.e and his appetites. The picture given 
by native historians of these unhappy times is truly distressing. 
As may well be believed, the ministers and other ofiicials 
imitated their august masters, and rivalled them in tyranny and 

China, however, even at that time, was not wanting in superior 
men, who had escaped the general contagion, and who tried to 
resist the evil. By the side of examples of debasing degradation 
she offers us other men of heroic courage, who do very great 
honour to their country, and even to humanity. Let us quote 
but one. The last of the race which then dishonoured the throne, 
the infamous Chow, as he is called, was distinguished by his 
cruelties and his debaucheries. His uncle, the feudal sovereign 
of Ki, came to admonish him at his own court, and was cast into 
a narrow dungeon. He was advised to escape. " No,^^ said he, 
*' my escape would disclose the step I have taken and the faults 
of the Emperor.^' Another prince, seeing this failure, thought 
himself obliged to return to the charge at the risk of his life ; 

108 The First Chinese Philosopher ; 

the Emperor had him cut in two and his heart torn out. Yet 
this did not keep back other ministers no less couraj^eous.^ 

Among these men there are two whose fame wipes out, so to 
speak, the disgrace branded by history on this epoch. Both, 
though of different ages, worked at the same epoch, and exercised 
on the destinies of their nation an influence which has lasted to 
the present day, and will end only with the nation itself. These 
were Kong-fou-tze, or rather Kong-tze (Confucius) and Lao-tze. 
But though these two had a common aim in view, their particular 
views and characters were in striking contrast to each other. 
Kong-tze was a man of the Court, and belonging to the past ; 
Lao-tze, a man of the present, and of the people. Kong-tze was 
above all things a moralist, and occupied himself exclusively 
with the reformation of morals ; an embodiment of the past, he 
had ever before his eyes the examples of the ancient princes and 
their renowned wisdom ; he sought to revive them, and to bring 
back his fellow-countrymen to the manners and virtues of ages 
long passed. Lao-tze, persuaded of the uselessness of these 
generous efforts, smiled at them, and sought a remedy for his 
countrymen in a new doctrine. Despairing of gaining the people 
who were busied with worldly matters, he was content to form in 
solitude a few tried disciples. 

At this juncture, then, were born and lived these men, who,, 
under very different conditions, made their country illustrious. 
For, if history has preserved the remembrance of the least events 
which marked the life of Kong-tze, on the other hand it has 
transmitted hardly anything relative to the chief of the Taoists. 
The books of his disciples, it is true, are filled with incidents 
of which he is the hero ; but they are Only imaginary incidents, 
marvellous deeds, invented to please, and, later, to raise the chief 
of the school to the level of the Buddhist saints. All that can be 
known that is real and authentic is limited to a few lines 
of the She-Ki, or historical annals written by the illustrious 
Sse-ma-tzien at the end of the third century B.C. The Ibllovving 
is a literal, or almost literal, translation of this passage : — 

Lao-tze was born in the village of Kiu k-zhin, in the district of Li 
and in the township of Khu, in the kingdom of Chow. Li washis, 
family name ; El, that of his infancy ; Pek-yang, that of his youth ; 
and Tarn, his posthumous title. 

Nothing is known of his youth; no trace is left of it; even that 
which is known of his after-years is very uncertain and unreliable. 
[Our author continues :] He was archivist of the State of Chow. At 
that time Confucius had set himself to traverse the different States 

* This example, and several similar ones, will be found in the transla* 
tion of the ** Siao Kio," wliich is being published at present. 

oVf The System of Lao-tze. 109 

into which China was divided, to endeavour to awake in the hearts of 
princes and ministers sentiments of justice and humanity, and to arrest 
the torrent of passion by recalling the virtues o£ the ancient princes. 
In this journey he went to Lao-tze, to consult him, and Lao-tze said 
to him : " Master, these ancients of whom you speak are only rotten 
bones ; their word alone remains. When a great man comes at his 
proper time he rises ; otherwise he is tossed about like a plant upon 
the sands. Give up your pride, your ostentation, aud your ambitious 

Here the history abruptly terminates. 

We can now understand how it is that Lao-tze's life remains 
shrouded in obscurity, and how it may be comprised in a very 
few pages. Nothing more is said of it, because nothing more 
remains to be said. We know, however, that, in his obscurity, 
Lao-tze left to his disciples a resuriie of teachings, and that 
finally, disgusted with the world, he buried himself somewhere 
in the West, and thus disappeared."^ We can also understand 
that the disciples of a school, whose founder had hardly been 
ever heard of, would deem it necessary, in order to propagate 
that founder's doctrine, to bring his person and his acts some- 
what to the fore. First, they attributed to him a marvellous 
birth, and from the signification of his name they drew a legend 
which was calculated to surround his birth with a miraculous 
halo. Lao-tze means simply " the old man ; '* but " tze,'^ taken 
literally, signifies " infant." From both they made up the word 
*' old boy," and deduced that he was born by the effect of a 
supernatural cause, after remaining eighty years in his mother's 
womb, whence he issued with his hair quite white, and with all 
the appearance of an aged man. Later on he was turned into 
a celestial being, without beginning or end — an Avatara, or 
incarnation of the eternal wisdom which formed the base of his 
system ; and this, in order to oppose him to the Avataras of 
Vishnu and Buddha, the knowledge of whom had been brought 
into China during the first centuries of the Christian era. All 
this, however, has little to do with our subject, for we have only 
to occupy ourselves with the primitive doctrine. 

That which Lao-tze strove to create was a system whose 
adoption might heal both hearts and minds by attacking the 
very root of evil. Radical in the strongest meaning of the term, 
he aimed at the very foundations of the social edifice, in the 
expectation of undermining it, and pulling down along with it 
Avhat he believed to be the cause of all the vices and evils of his 
time. But let us not anticipate. 

* It is, however, more probable that he returned to his own country, 
and died there in obscurity, leaving to his disciples the resume of his 
discourses. He was born in 604 B.C. 

110 The First Chinese Philosopher ; 

As we intimated above, the endeavours of Lao-tze in the pro- 
vince of philosophy is especially interesting from the fact that, 
on the one hand, it has been thous^ht probable that a connection 
between his and Schelling's teachings might be made out ; and, 
on the other hand, that ideas purely Christian or biblical might 
be traced in him. Some profess to see in them the divine Trinity ; 
others the Yerbum of the Sacred Writings ; others, the name of 
Jehovah. Not only Catholic missionaries have imagined this, 
but also Protestants. Even the distinguished Sinologue, Abel 
Remusat, falls into this error. Finding in a chapter of the " Tao-te- 
King " the three words y, tvei, hi, designating three qualities of 
the first principle, he affirmed that these terms do not belong to 
the Chinese language, and that they could be nothing else than 
the three consonants (or semi-consonants) of the sacred name of 
Jehovah. Of course, there would be nothing impossible in the 
idea that Lao-tze had had a more or less extensive knowledge of 
the Bible ; recent discoveries made by the illustrious Sinologue of 
London, Professor Terrien de la Couperie, have shown that 
Lao-tze^s disciples had drawn largely from the books of the 
West, and especially from those of the Accadians. However, it 
is not difficult to convince oneself that these comparisons are 
illusory. Not only have the words y, wei, hi sl meaning in the 
Chinese language, but this meaning, moreover, adapts itself 
perfectly to the passage in which the words are all found.* 
Besides, the use on this occasion of the letters of the sacred tri- 
gamma of the Hebrews, thus divided and parcelled, cannot be in 
any way explained, as will be seen later on. Not less imaginary 
is the knowledge of the Divine Verbum attributed to Lao-tze. 
It is very true that we can say, ** In the beginning was the Tao '^ 
(the first principle, according to Lao-tze) ; but that can by no 
means be connected with the Aoyog, because, similarly, it might 
be said " the Verbum is an atom,'' after the fashion of Epicurus, 
who taught " the atoms were in the beginning.^'' 

It is even true that the authors of the Anglican Bible, trans- 
lated into Chinese, rendered the first verse of St. John, " In the 
beginning was the Tao ; " but the only conclusion to be drawn 
is that it is merely a jeu de mots. If Tao can signify Verbum, 
H has other mtanings also, and the meaning of Verbum is quite 
foreign to the language of Lao-tze. Lao-tze himself never 
imagined anything which approached, even from a distance, the 
personification of the intelligence of the Divinity. But all this 
will be clear from an expose oi the system. 

In order to give a clear and comprehensive idea of the 

*"Y" means "multiplicity"; *'hh" the " supra -sensible"; "wei," 
" infinite snhtility." 

or, The System of Lao-tze. Ill 

other point of view, and the principal subject of this paper, we 
consider it needful first to present in a few words the fundamental 
idea of Schelling's system. We borrow this resume from the 
iJnGydopcedia Britannica, to avoid a personal appreciation, 
formed under any influence whatsoever : 

That Absolute which we cognize only through the identification with 
it, and which we name Deity, is to be regarded in its original condition 
as neither object nor subject, neither nature nor mind ; but is the union, 
the indifference, the slumbering possibility of both. It has become 
all that exists by a process of self-movement, continually potentiating 
itself higher and higher, from the lowest manifestations of what is 
called matter, up to organic existence and the activity of reason itself 
in the guise of humanity. In this movement of Deity, or the Absolute 
One, there are two modes : first, the expansive movement of objecti- 
vizing tendency, by which the Absolute rushes forth, so to speak, into 
actual existence, and out of the natura naturans there comes the 
whole variety and complex of the natura natwata ; and secondly, the 
contractive movement, or subjectivizing tendency, by which the natura 
naturata falls back on the natura naturans^ and becomes conscious of 
itself. (Compare Chalmers on the " Speculations of the old Philosopher 
Lao-tze," Introduction, p. xvi., where Chalmers admits the identity of 
the systems.) 

In this, then, I think,^ we have a resume , an exact " argu- 
mentum" of the German philosopher's doctrine; later on, we shall 
see in what it differs from the Chinese philosophy. We must 
also remember, in order to be complete in our view, that Lao-tze's 
system is generally considered to bear a close resemblance to that 
of Epicurus. In fact, its author is ordinarily termed the " Epi- 
curean Philosopher of the Celestial Empire.^' What follows will 
prove, I think, that this qualification is by no means exact. 
There is no doubt but that Lao-tze preached calm and moderation 
of the passions in a fashion which recalls Epicurus to a certain 
extent ; but it could never be said of any of his disciples, " Lao-tze 
de grege porcus ^' : on the contrary, his doctrine leads to quite 
another result. But this suffices for these exterior considerations ; 
let us now investigate the expose of the doctrine itself. 

As said above, we know nothing of it except from the book 
which the disciples of the old philosopher inherited, and which 
they have handed down to us. Without doubt it contains very 
faithfully the doctrine of the master; but it is also very certain 
that the disciples have made additions to it, without, however, 
changing the substance. The book being very short, might, 
indeed, in its entirety be given here ; but small as it is, it is 
anything but an easy task to study it, and in consequence, would 
prove a not very agreeable offering to our readers. It has neither 
order nor method ; the different subjects are treated pell-mell, 

112 The First Chinese Philosopher ; 

in sentences more or less isolated from each other.* A complete 
study alone allows us to reconstruct and systematize the 
doctrine which it contains. We gladly undertake the work for 
the benefit of our readers. Also, after comparing the different 
works which have preceded it, and having revised the text 
itself, we deem it better to translate straight from the text. 
The reasons which oblige us to differ in some cases from those 
who have issued works on this subject, will be mentioned in 
points which are of greater importance. The obscure parts of 
the original are often removed by the discussions of the different 
commentators, of whom Stanislas Julien furnishes an abundant 
harvest. We shall pay due regard to them. 


The book left us by Lao-tze bears the title of Tao-te-King. 
King means a book declared to be the true and authentic fruit of 
the wisdom of superior men. Te is virtue. Tao, the principal 
word, and the one which forms the base of the whole system, is 
more obscure. It has three significations — " way/' *' reason " or 
"justice,'' and "word." The first meaning cannot at all have 
any place here, since it is the primordial being that is treated of; 
"word " (verhuni) cannot in any way be looked at in the light in 
which Tao can be considered. Tao neither produces by thought 
nor by the internal word, as will be seen further on. " Reason " 
and ''justice," taking them in the acceptation in which they 
coincide, wnll be the only suitable expression. Nevertheless, as it 
is a question of a substantial being, reason or justice should be 
taken as such, and not as abstract terms. "Intelligence" would 
be still better. But to avoid all inexactness, it would be best to 
simply keep the Chinese word Tao, Hence the Tao-te-King is 
**the canonical book of intelligence and virtue." This title 
immediately points out that this classical book of Taoism treats 
of two distinct matters, ontology and morals. Let us add also 
that from this latter point of view it treats likewise of public law 
and the government of nations, and we shall thus have the three 
divisions of Lao-tze's system : *' ontology, morals, politics." These 
three subject-matters are developed in aphorisms thrown together 
without order or method. We shall begin with the first subject, 

* The Tao-te-King is divided into eighty-one chapters, very short, more 
or less detached, and composed of sentences. It appears to be a manual 
for containing the theme tor the oral lessons, like the Sutras of the Hindu 
philosophers. It is, morever, divided into two sections, the one treating 
principally of Tao ; the second of virtue, Te, although mention is made of 
both in each section. 

or, The System of Lao-tze, 113 

but before doing so let us say a word about the general aim of 
the book. 

The end which Lao-tze mainly had in view was to remedy the 
evils of his time, and correct its vices. He saw the uselessness of 
the efforts of Kong-tze, and other preceding sages. He thought 
it was not enough to recall the examples of the ancients, and to 
perpetuate the ancient beliefs, so restricted and so simple. Man 
had stra3'ed from the right path, and was falling into all kinds of 
errors; hence it was necessary to bring him back to the proper 
path. The various kinds of disorders arose from man's ignorance 
and passions ; hence the knowledge of truth was to be restored to 
him, and he was to be taught to govern himself, the requisite means 
being pointed out to him. But these disorders reigned also in 
Government quarters; hence it was necessary to regulate the 
affairs of Government, and to restore the laws. In these consisted 
everything, according to Lao-tze ; around these three principles 
everything in his teaching gravitates. Before him no philosopher 
had gone beyond religious beliefs. The doctrine of one God, 
Sovereign Master of heaven and earth. Author of general and 
individual nature. Creator and Former of the universe ; then, in 
material nature, five elements, or rather five principles of move- 
ment [Hing = movement, act], viz., fire, air, water, mineral, and 
wood; below God, inferior spirits, dependent upon Him, but 
good and worthy of honour and sacrifice, or more or less wicked 
and capable of doing mischief : such were almost all the philoso- 
phical riches of China. Speculation had hardly made any advance 
except in the province of ethics. 

Lao-tze was the first to seek the causes of existence, the origin 
of things, their changes and their end. He retained the notion 
of God such as the Chinese had always understood it, but he had 
the idea of studying the origin of this God. It is true he speaks of 
Him only once in his book. The idea which he had of God is 
clearly indicated to us by the word, or rather by the character, 
which he employs to designate Him. As every one knows, the 
Chinese writing was originally representative, and many of the 
symbols, having ret-aiued their signification, might form a collec- 
tion of moral sketches, or satires. Thus, two women mean 
"a quarrel;" three women, " misconduct ;" one woman and an 
open half-door indicate jealousy ; a pencil and a mouth (a talking 
pencil) mean a " book,'' or " to write ; " a mandarin and aheart 
{the heart of a mandarin) mean *' hard," " wicked ; " a mouth 
talking between two dogs means a "lawsuit;" a staff (or 
sceptre)* placed across three parallel lines, marking the three 
degrees of humanity, means the sovereign authority, or the 

VOL. XVI. — NO. I. [Third Series.] 

114 The First Chinese Philosopher ; 

monarch. This brings us back to onr subject. The character 
which represents God is composed of four parts. At the top is 
a line with points above it, the symbol of authority ; below is a 
kind of roof, representing heaven ; under this roof is a square 
with one of the sides wanting, and denoting the earth ; finally, a 
staff or sceptre placed perpendicularly across the last two sides 
adds to the other meanings the idea of sovereignty. The whole 
thus indicates the Sovereign Master of heaven and earth, I'i.^ 

Lao-tze retains the idea, but adds that he believes the first 
principle, TaOy anterior to Ti (see chap. iv. end) . In this is em- 
braced all he has to say of it. The object of his meditations is the 
Tao ; it is by it that he thinks himself to be able rerum cognoscere 
causas. Let us, then, see what he has to tell us of this latter idea ; 
but let us not forget, in order not to be misled, that Lao-tze, pos- 
sessing a poetical genius, frequently employs metaphors, and that, 
moreover, the Chinese language, in his time being without words 
for expressing the new ideas which he wished to present to the 
men of his day, the expressions he uses are sometimes obscure. 

Ontology of Lao-tze. — In the beginning, at the origin of 
all things, is the Tao, What is this Tao ? It is the primordial 
being — universal, absolute — which cannot have a real name nor 
be attained by reasoning. In fact, as it is the absolute being, 
and possesses the plenitude of being, it has no distinct qualities ; 
there is no higher idea which might be used to describe and 
explain it: the human mind cannot therefore understand it. 
Hence it is that Lao-tze begins his book in the following 
manner : — 

The Tao which can be comprehended by the understanding, is not 
the eternal Tao, The name which can be uttered is not the eternal 
name. Without name (i.e., being in the state in which it cannot be 
named) it is the origin of heaven and earth ; when named (i.e., suscep- 
tible of a name) it is the mother of all things. In the eternal non- 
existence of desire we see its essence infinitely subtle (spiritual); in 
the eternal existence of desire its productions are seen. These two 
objects have the same origin, but different names. This identity is 
called " the abyss " (obscure and incommensurable depth), the abyss of 
abysses. It is the door of all mysterious and spiritual things. (" Tao- 
te-King," chap, i.) 

Thus, according to Lao-tze, the origin of all things is the 
absolute, eternal being ; not ideal being, but concrete, real, 
substantial being. In itself it is unknowable and unnameable; 
but in producing contingent beings it manifests itself, and 
shows the qualities which furnish material for a name. In itself 
— in its spiritual essence-=^it has no desire; in producing con- 

oVf The System of Lao-tze, 115 

tingent beings, it is moved by the desire to produce. But 
inasmuch as it exists in itself, and inasmuch as it creates beings, 
it is identical with itself; and in this unity of subjective and 
productive nature it is an immeasurable and unfathomable 
abyss, and all is in the highest possible degree. 

Had Tao any beginning ? Has it an origin ? No ; it is eternal, 
it is the father of all beings, it subsists eternally, it preceded 
the God whom the Chinese adore (" Tao- te- King," chap. iv.). 
It is worth noticing that here Lao-tze expresses himself with 
reserve, and simply says, " it seems to me." 

We have already seen some of Tao's qualities. Lao-tze gives 
more of them. He says : " Looking upon it, we do not see it : 
it is imperceptible ; * listening to it, we hear it not — it is inacces- 
sible to the senses ; * wishing to feel it, we do not touch it — it is 
infinitely subtle.* These three ideas cannot be considered sepa- 
rately ; hence it is that they are confounded in one (chap. xiv.). 
The Tao is infinite. Above it is no brightness, below it no 
obscurity ; in front we cannot see its face, behind it we cannot see 
its back (chaps, xxi. and xiv.). The Tao is empty — that is to 
say, there is no particular being within it; but it is able to 
contain all beings ; it is immense ; its being and its productions 
are inexhaustible (chap, iv.) ; it is eternally the same. 

The Tao is a '^spirit." Lao-tze calls it the spirit of the 
valley, because, like a valley, it holds within itself beings (chap, 
vii.). He also compares it to a vase (chap. xi.). Subsisting 
without interruption, unnameable, it corresponds to, or enters 
into, the absence of particular beings.f It is a form without 

* These are the three terms, Y, Hi, Wei, of pure Chinese, which 
have been changed into the three fundamental consonants of the name of 
Jehovah. Is it necessary to refute such an assertion ? What a curious 
idea to attribute to Lao-tze ! Assuredly non erat is locus, and the truth 
is not served by such means. 

t If we follow the interpretation of Chalmers, Lao-tze speaks in two 
passages of non-existence as the father of being, and thus he evidently 
resembles Schelling. Stanislas Julien's translation is altogether different. 
Chalmers' explanation is evidently faulty, and that of Stanislas Julien 
must certainly be modified. I give both of them here : they are speaking 
of the first chapter t—O^aZmers : "Now, non-existence is named the antece- 
dent of heaven and earth, and existence is named the mother of all things. 
In eternal non-existence, therefore, man seeks to pierce {he primordial 
mystery, and in eternal existence to behold the issues of the universe.'* 
Stanislas Julien : " The being without name is the origin of heaven and 
earth ; with a name it is the mother of all things. This is why, when 
man is constantly free from passion, he beholds his spiritual essence ; 
when man is constantly under the control of passions, he sees himself under 
a limited form (beholds his limits)." 

It is plain that we cannot accept the second phrase of Stanislas 
Julien. The context forbids us to allow man or his passions to intervene 
where we are only concerned with the Tao ; and further, this sense does 

I 2 

116 The First Chinese Philosopher ; 

form, an image without image {i.e., without material quality). 
It is vague and confused (that is to say, without any particular 
forms); but within it are forms and beings; in it there is an 
infinitely subtle (spiritual) essence, and this essence is truth ; it 
has truth within it; it sees all beings issuing out of itself (chap. 
xxi. to chap, xxv.) : 

It is an undiscernible and perfect being, existing previous to heaven 
and earth ; it is in repose and incorporeal. Alone it subsists and does 
not change ; it penetrates everywhere and experiences no hurt. I do 
not know its name. I call it Tao. 

To give it a name, I call it by its qualities : ''' great," on account of 
its immensity and universal superiority ; " fleeting," inasmuch as it 
escapes from the grasp of the mind or senses ; " distant," by reason 
of its superior nature ; " he who returns " (it has the appearance of 
fleeing from him who seeks it, and comes back to him — it goes and 
comes in the creatures). In its acts it takes pattern from its own 
nature (chap xxv.). Eternal and nameless, it is small by reason of the 
simphcity of its nature, yet the entire world cannot subjugate it 
(chap, xxxii.). 

Finally, in one passage Lao-tze seems to qualify the Tao as 
*' non-being '^ when he says : " Non-being penetrates into that 
which has no interstices.^' That this word does not mean *^ non- 
being '' in the sense of Schelling it would be useless to prove, 
after what has been said of the nature of the Tao. What follows, 
however, will show this still more clearly. 

The Origin of Things, — Following in this, the customary 
Chinese terminology, and the mode of thinking which for 
ages had reigned in China, Lao-tze divides all produced 
Deings into two parts — Heaven and Earth. The earth em- 

not agree with the rest of the doctrine. Chalmers' version is no better. 
His explanation is forced, and takes no account of the conception of the 
absence of name in the Tao, when considered in himself — a conception 
which is found elsewhere. The words *' man seeks to pierce " makes the 
sentence very lame. In order to understand the difficulty, it is necessary 
to call to mind that Chinese has no grammatical forms, and that the 
same word is a noun, adjective, adverb, or verb, and a verb in any mood, 
tense, or person. Thia is how the Chinese phrase reads in Latin, regard 
being had to these facts : " Non nomen, coelum terra prius ; est nomen, 
omnium rerum mater *, in aeternum non desiderium videre eius spirituali- 
tatem, in asternum desiderium videre eius exitus ; " which ought to be 
explained thus : " Cum non nomine (sine nomine) est cceli et terras 
prius; si habeat nomen, est mater rernm. In aeterna non-cupidine videtur 
eius essentia spiritualis, in seterna cupidine videntur eius exitus." This 
is the natural and grammatical explanation of the text, and agrees per- 
fectly with the rest. 

Chalmers makes "non-nomen" = "Non ens est nominatum." 
In the eleventh chapter Lao-tze speaks of the usefulness of the non- 
existing. " The holes in one half of a belt, the windows of a house, the 
hollow of a vase, are useful ; therefore non-being is not to be despised." 
This is not, I fancy, the non-being of Schelling. Lao-tze boasts of having 
discovered this precious truth. 

or, The System of Lao-tze. 117 

braces our globe and all it contains; all else belongs to 
heaven. It is somewhat difficult to determine the exact idea 
which the Chinese wish to convey by the latter word — now, 
it means the material heaven ; now, God himself; now, the 
spiritual world — God and the spirits. In a second sense, the word 
fien (heaven) is used indifferently for Ti (God), and the two 
terms succeed each other in one and the same sentence, and that, 
even in the most ancient Chinese books.* Lao-tze takes up this 
idea of " heaven and earth " without defining it. Heaven and 
earth for him are perpetual ; all other beings are transitory, and 
either die or are destroyed (ch. vii.). He believes also in good and 
evil spirits : " When the empire," he says, *' is ruled by the Tao 
men are not tormented by wicked spirits (chap. Ix.) ; not that they 
are incapable of doing harm,^' he adds, " but that the saints (the 
rulers) do no harm, and spirits have no cause for interference/' 
The space between heaven and earth is empty. Lao-tze compares 
it to the interior of a pair of bellows (chap. v.). 

All the beings comprised within the heaven and the earth owe 
their existence to Tao. According to the figurative expressions 
of Lao-tze, Tao is the creative ancestor and mother of all beings ; 
it contains within itself forms and beings; it watches them 
issuing from itself as from a gate (ch. xxi.). It is the mysterious 
mother whose gate is the root of heaven and earth — i.e., of 
all things (chap. vi.). How have beings been formed ? Lao-tze 
answers incidentally, in perfect simplicity ; the absolute, the Tao, 
spread itself and formed all beings (chap, xxviii.). When the Tao 
became divided, it took a name (xxxii.). The Tao is the principle 
of the world, because the mother of the world. The philosopher 
does not explain himself more clearly. Does he mean by this that 
beings emanate from Tao's substance ? It is possible, though we 
must not accept his figurative terms to the letter. In any case, 
pantheism would be here simply emanationism ; when once pro- 
duced, contingent beings have a nature of their own, quite 
apart from the Tao. They are quite separate from it. 

As to the way in which beings are produced, Lao-tze is not 
much clearer. This is what he says (chap, xlii.) : The " Tao 
produced one; one produced two; two produced three; three 
produced all beings.^' This is very vague and does not well accord 
with what precedes. Lao-tze also says that the Tao is spread 
through all beings ; this can be understood if he means that Tao 
is spread among them in the sense of sustaining them. Com- 
mentators explain this one, two, three thus : One is the manifes- 
tation of the Tao outside of itself; two are the two principles of 
the Chinese philosophy, the male and female principles, who share 

* Vide my article on ** The Primitive Rehgion of the Chinese," Dublin 
Review, July, 1881 

118 The First Chinese Philosopher ; 

the universe between them; Three must be the two former 
principles plus a third, mentioned further on — " the principle of 
harmony among things." One might suppose also that the first 
time '^ three " means '' third/' and the second time, " these three/' 
Besides which, these three have formed beings by the superior 
action of Tao, Thus everything falls into agreement. The one 
would have produced the two principles, and these would have 
engendered the third, the principle of harmony, and all three 
would have given existence to all things else. 

Finally — and here alone Lao-tze touches Schelling — in chap. xl. 
he says : " All things in the world are born from being ; being 
is born of (or in) non-being.^' In the first chapter, besides, 
owing to a change in the punctuation, some commentators read : 
*' In the eternal non -being, its spiritual essence is seen ; in the 
eternal being its productions." This reading is not tenable * but 
even admitting it, it may be asked. What in reality is this 
eternal non-being, in which is seen the essence of the Tao, 
and which sustains the beings that are? If we consult the 
commentators, the answer will be easy, for without exception all 
agree that by "non-being '' Lao-tze means the spiritual nature, and 
calls it thus, because it has no form — nothing that admits of man 
grasping it, and which for him seems to have no existence. Ought 
we to accept this explanation ? The unanimity of the various 
writers is already a guarantee of their truth ; however, let us not 
be satisfied with it, but draw a sure conclusion from the very 
doctrines of the philosopher, a by no means easy task. 

We have seen that Lao-tze always speaks of the Tao as of 
a being complete and perfect, having its existence in itself, 
entirely distinct from all other; also that it exists before all 
things, and has produced all things ; that to produce, it has not 
developed itself, but in some way issued out from itself. By the 
creation, and after the creation of beings the Tao does not 
develop or increase ; it remains the same, entire in itself; it is the 
conserver, support, pattern of all beings ; all must act through 
and by means of it; they must draw from it, and it is in- 
exhaustible. To act, it takes pattern from its own spiritual, 
infinite, and eternal nature. All that is evidently the very reverse 
of the simple " power of being,'' of the " non-being,'' such as we 
understand it. 

The sense of the sentence, then, we are now considering 
is, " the visible beings come from the spiritual being ; or, *^ the 
particular beings proceed from the unique, absolute, perfect 
being; and this does not come from anything, but exists of 
itself.'"' Lao-tze was inspired with the term of non-being by an 
image which he often uses. The Tao contains all, just as the space 

* See preceding note. 

or, The System of Lao-tze. ^ 119 

inside a valley or a vase contains all that may be there ; hence he 
styles Tao sl vacuum and non-being. 

Such, then, is the origin of beings according to Lao-tze; their life 
is explained by him in the following manner. 

The one absolute infinite being, unnameable by reason of 
its perfection, produced all distinct and contingent beings — viz., 
heaven and earth and all the particular beings they contain. 
Heaven and earth are unchangeable and perpetual, all other beings 
perish, after living in a state of constant and protracted activity; 
all return to their origin and re-enter into repose (xvi.) . The life, 
the activity of particular beings during their existence does not 
depend directly upon Tao, but upon the earth and the heavens, 
and only mediately upon the former. Having returned to their 
origin, to repose, beings fall again into non-being, and the Tao 
again draws them from it. It is in this its action consists. In 
itself it is in constant repose (chap. xiv.). And in chap, xxxii, 
Lao-tze says : "All beings return to Tao just as the brooks flow inta 
the rivers, and the rivers into the sea.^' 

Still, the action of the earth and the heavens upon the develop- 
ment of the life of beings does not exclude that of Tao, for 
in chap. xli. it is positively asserted that Tao gives them birth, 
nourishes them, causes them to grow, perfects and protects them. 
One may reconcile these texts by saying that Tao does this 
through the intervention of heaven, which it has produced for this 
purpose, and which works under its direction. Yet a few lines 
above this it is stated that Tao bestows a body and perfection of 
form by an intimate impulsion. These words are certainly 
of Lao-tze, for they are written in his peculiar style. But the text 
which treats of the action of heaven may have been added by his 
disciples ; it is primitive and instinctive Chinese philosophy. The 
last passage, however, may be thus rendered : " Beings assume a 
body, and perfect it by a powerful and intimate activity .''' This 
is better sense, but the context requires that this impulsion should 
come from Tao. And chap, xxxix. is entirely devoted to in- 
forming us that heaven and earth, spirits, and all other beings, 
subsist by the Tao, which it calls the One. 

In several places Lao-tze speaks of the employment of Tao by 
man, and of its inexhaustible resources. Considered in relation 
to the whole system, these obscure words mean to say that the 
primitive infinite being, sustaining and preserving all beings, 
co-operates in their activity. Men return to it by their imitation 
and their practice of virtues ; having recourse to it in order to 
attain them, they morally force it to a special co-operation. When 
we place our strength in it, it becomes our support ; when we 
have recourse to it, when we make it the object of our imitation, 
it co-operates in our acts, and helps us to accomplish them. We 

120 The First Chinese Philosopher ; 

may have recourse to it without fear, for we can never fatigue or 
exhaust it, since it is infinite. 

Ethics. — The moral system of Lao-tze is founded on the 
three essential principles of the free-will of man, of the original 
excellence of human nature, and of the absolute perfection of 
Tao, the model of all beings. (1) That in this system man is 
considered as being endowed with free will is proved by each 
and every one of the moral precepts, which suppose this without 
contradiction, and have no raison d'etre except upon this hypo- 
thesis. Moreover, it is expressly affirmed in chapter xxxiv., 
where it is said that Tao is the sovereign lord of man, but that 
he does not enslave man, but leaves him free. (2) The second 
principle leads Lao-tze to consequences that are sufficiently 
curious. Man being naturally good, must have been born good, 
and the human race at its origin must have contained none but 
just and excellent men. Then the virtues were practised by all 
with perfect completeness and spontaneity. As yet men did not 
know what was meant by virtue in general, or by the virtues in 
particular; for there being none who had committed any kind of 
crime, it never occurred to any to bestow a laudatory name 
upon conduct that was universal and natural, nor to speak of 
vices as yet unknown. This state of justice and perfection was 
disturbed by the passions, which excited and stimulated the 
desire of things visible. And these desires disturbed the absolute 
calm of the soul. Thus were the vices and the faults they 
engender known, and in this way also, by opposition, did the 
virtues become known. Man has therefore but one task to fulfil — 
to calm and stifle his passions and return to the state of original 
excellence. Here the third principle comes in. 

(3) Perfection of Tao. Man must imitate it. This is the 
supreme and final principle of the system of Lao-tze. Tao 
is the last term of the activity of man, who must go back 
to it as to his principle and model ; and to imitate it is 
the means of attaining this end. When men were separated 
from Tao, that great virtue known by its opposite arose. 
It is much inferior to Tao, but it is the degree which leads 
to the supreme principle. He who makes acts of virtue is 
virtuous, but the imitation of Tao alone is perfect (chaps, v. xxiii. 
XXV. xli. xlvi.). The chief characteristics of Tao, known by his 
manifestation to particular beings, are — interiorly, calm and 
perfect repose ; exteriorly, benevolence, without bias or partiality. 
It is necessary to give to the soul the unity that does not allow 
it to be divided amongst different objects, and the calm that 
prevents all interior disturbances. For this end it is necessary 
that the passions be under the control of the intellect (chap x.). 
Man should be like a child. He oujjht to free himself from the 

or y The System of LaO'tze. 121 

narrow world of his own intelligence, and to repose in Tao alone 
(chap. X.). For he who holds last to his own views cannot be 
enlightened (chap, xxiii.). Man ought to cultivate his interior. 
Let us quote chap. xlvi. : 

When Tao was in this world, they let their war-horses go free, and 
cultivated their fields ; and Tao being no longer in the Avorld, their 
war-horses are upon the frontiers. There is no greater crime than to 
follow one's desires; there is no greater misfortune than discontent 
[with one's lot] and a desire of further acquisitions. 

He who knows how to content himself is ever content. 

The chief virtues prescribed in the moral code of Tao are : 
(1) Interior quiet, calm, repose, non-action. It is necessary to 
make a vacuum in oneself, to attain to the repose that is in view 
(xvi.). He who exists in Tao, is every day diminishing his 
passions and desires, and he continues diminishing them 
until he arrives at non-dctionf after which point, though he na 
longer acts, still there is nothing he could not do. We become 
masters of the world by continual non-action. It is not by long 
discourses that we can correct others; it is by an example of repose, 
by non-action (Ixviii. 7). (2) The virtuous man, free from 
passions, ought not to keep any view before him ; he ought to be 
content with his lot, but to advance with a constant fear of 
failing (Ixii. Ixxv.) He ought to deny himself, to govern his 
body and his appetites; his body ought to weigh upon him as an 
unlbrtunate incumbrance (xiii.). (3,) The other particular 
virtues are : humility and simplicity, moderation, purity, 
justice, kindness, generosity, beneficence, gentleness, clemency, 
the absence of all particular and personal affection, economy, the 
instruction of others, efforts to make others better — all these are 
prescribed alike. But this last ought to be done by example and 
not by argument. All the efforts oF man ought to be directed 
towards his interior; his own intimate nature ought to be his- 
chief study ; he ought to know as little of the exterior world as 
possible. He ought to be like the new-born child, which has nob 
yet smiled upon its mother, and is consequently free from all 
passion and desire (xxviii.). 

The wise man ought to renounce glory, honours, all ambition, 
and live simply and unknown. Even though he knows himself 
to be strong, enlightened, and celebrated, he ought to act as 
though he were weak, ignorant, obscure, and never seek to gain 
authority (xxviii.). He despises all luxury and magnificence 
(xxix.). He has a small opinion of his own merits (xxxiv.). He 
is perfect, upright, talented, eloquent, &c. ; but he allows nothing 
of this to appear. Pure and tranquil, he is the model of this 
world (xlv.). He completes great works, yet does not take any 
advantage of them; he does not allow hi3 wisdom to be seen. 

122 The First Chinese Philosopher ; 

Moderation is the quality which man needs before any other. 
He ought to be beneficent, without seeking his own interest, 
charitable without considering those upon whom he lavishes his 
alms, and who are under an obligation to him (x.) . In doing 
good he ought not to favour any, but do good for its own sake, 
indiscriminately to all (Ixxix.), and love to bestow charity (ibid.) . 
Nothing is weaker and nothing more irresistible than water; 
such ought to be the kindness of man (Ixxviii.). 

We shall not stop to particularize these different virtues. We 
shall merely give a few examples of the method in which Lao-tze 
developed his nature. " Practise non-action ; let your occupa- 
tion consist in not-doing ; you will relish that which is without 
savour, both great things and the small, things that are abundant 
and things that are scarce. Pay back injuries by benefits. Begin 
difficult labours by doing what is easier. .... A saint does not 
seek difficult tasks because he knows how to accomplish them.'^ 

Such is the explanation of virtue with which he begins the 
second part (" te "). Great virtue does not think of virtue, and 
this it is which makes it true virtue. Inferior virtue does not 
allow the idea of virtue to disappear from its view, and for this 
reason it is not true virtue."^ True virtue does not act when 
it applies itself to action. Inferior virtue t both acts and 
applies itself to action. Superior goodness acts, but does not 
think of applying itself to action. Inferior goodness acts, and 
applies itself intentionally to its acts. Superior justice acts and 
thinks, applies itself to its act. Superior propriety X acts, and 
no one answers to it, because it stretched forth its arms [the 
strength of its arms] and repels with violence [those who fail in 
it].§ This is the reason why, when one loses the Tao, one 
immediately obtains virtue. When virtue is lost, kindness takes 
its place ; when goodness or kindness is lost, justice enters in 
its stead ; when one loses justice, one consequently obtains 
propriety, for propriety is nothing but the attenuation of up- 
rightness and sincerity, and the source of disorder. 

The knowledge which shows itself and thrusts itself forward is 
the flower of Tao ; \\ it is the beginning of folly. This is why the 

* Eeal virtue performs its work without knowing that it is virtue, 
without any particular thought of virtue ; it works naturally and spon- 
taneously, by its own internal dispositions. 

t Inferior virtue feels that it is virtue, and only acts by aiming at 

X The virtue which observes all the exterior rules of acts— respect, 
courtesy, ceremonies, &c. 

§ Or also, divests itself of the appearances of propriety, receiving 
nothing in their place. 

II That is to say, a brilliant appearance, but without consistency, as is 
the flower iu relation to the fruit. 

or, The System of Lao-tze, 123 

man who is truly great stops only at what is solid, and not at the 
superficial ; he stops at the fruit, and not at the flower. Thus 
it is that he rejects the one and accepts the other (xxxviii.). 
Of humility he says : 

Why are the seas and rivers the kings of all waters? Because 
they are placed beneath them. This is why they are the kings of all 
waters. So also, when the holy man wishes to be above the common 
throng, he must proclaim himself beneath it. If he wishes to lead 
the people, he must take his place behind them all. This it is that 
raises him above them, without their experiencing any unpleasantness. 
He seizes upon his more exalted station, and the people undergo no 
loss from this (Ixv.). The world delights to serve him. 

Let us see how he arrives at the notion of non-action : 

Things that are the most feeble carry off with them in their course 
those that are strongest. The non-being * passes through that which 
has no interstices. This it is that teaches me how useful is non- 

This sentence is also worthy of notice : 

True words are not beautifully embellished, and words that are so 
embellished are not true. The saint does not gather together; 
rather does he use those goods he has in the interest of others; 
the more his fortune increases, the more he gives and the more he 
enriches himself (Ixxxi.). 

The final cause of all these virtues is the imitation of Tao : 

The infinite Tao is good and merciful ; he loves all beings without 
distinction ; he sustains and nourishes them ; he makes them great 
and prosperous; he keeps man under his special protection, and 
mercifully raises up the sinner and assists him in his return to 
virtue ; he is the asylum for all (Ixii.). Yet he is always in repose, 
and ever works with disinterestedness. He neither seeks after glory 
nor after any private interest. Infinitely great, he places himself at 
the service of the most lowly. After the most mighty displays of his 
power he seeks neither glory nor profit, &c. 

The sanction of this morality is the return to Tao, and the 
happiness it brings. Lao-tze does not seem to have been in- 
terested in the state of the soul after death. Though he 
distinguishes the spirit from the body in man, and preaches the 
strife waged between the two, he says nothing of what happens 
to the soul after their separation. There is nothing to tell us 
of what he thought of this point, if indeed he ever thought 
about it at all. Did he believe that soul was absorbed by the 
Tao, or that it lived in it, still remaining distinct from it ? We 
may believe so without affirming it. 

Politics. — The work of Lao-tze would not have been com- 

* Te— the infinitely subtle being, tao, or ether. 

l'^^ The First Chinese Philosopher ; 

plete if he had omitted to treat of the politics and government 
of his nation. His object was to stigmatize the tyranny and 
corruption that reigned supreme in the courts and every class 
of administrative order, to supply a remedy for the inveterate 
evils from which the country had suffered so much. The laws 
which he had to establish were not merely political — the 
principles of morality had to form part of them. Thus we find 
these latter everywhere scattered throughout the whole of the 
''Tao-te-King^^ in the most indiscriminate fashion. 

The fundamental law is simply the first law of his code of 
ethics. ^ Princes and the great of the land are bound to imitate 
the TaOy and have recourse to it ; make use of it, according to 
the expression of the philosopher. They ought to reign without 
pride or ambition, and to govern as though they governed not. 
If princes and kings possessed and cherished the Tao, all beings 
would learn to submit to their power. Heaven and earth would 
bestow upon them a fertilizing dew, and their peoples would 
live in harmony (xxxii.). The king should love the people and 
govern his nation, all the while remaining unknown (x.). If he 
employ others, he ought to be as though he were beneath them 
(Ixviii.). The first duty of a chief is to calm the passions of the 
people and restore human nature to its primitive state. Then the 
people would know nothing of their kings but the fact of their 
existence — to such a degree would they render their administra- 
tion insensible ; but in this way they would not seek for the 
applause of the people. Rarely indeed would the people hear 
their voice, and, when the State was prosperous and the people 
virtuous, they would begin to say, " We are so naturally " — so 
little would the administrative power make itself felt. From 
the time when princes have sought for praise and glory, they 
have first been flattered, then feared, and afterwards despised 
(xvii.). In order to calm the passions of the people, and re- 
establish the reign of nature or justice, it is necessary to refrain 
from exalting dignities, from extolling riches, and from allowing 
objects that excite cupidity to be seen. Thus would all rivalry,, 
dissensions, and troubles be prevented. The good king empties 
hearts and fills stomachs. He mortifies desires and strengthens 
the bones. He avoids the knowledge of things that excite 
covetousness, and practises non-action (iii.)>* ^"^ ^hen every- 
thing is properly governed. For when evil desires are extin- 
guished and disorderly actions prevented, the empire rectifies 

* Wou-vjei. This is not absolute idleness, but the absence of excessive 
activity — the tendency to exterior inactivity, when action is not useful. 
It is a reaction against the inventions of time, rather than a principle. 

or. The System of LaO'tze. 125 

The fifty-eighth and following chapters contain these precepts 
for governing : 

An empire is governed by uprightness. War is caused by deceit ; 
by non-action one becomes conqueror. When the Government in- 
creases its prohibitions and defences, the people become poorer and 
poorer. When the people have many ways of acquiring riches, the 

empire falls deeper and deeper into trouble The more the laws 

are multiplied, the greater is the number of thieves. But if the king 
practises non-action, loves repose, and detaches himself from all 
desires, the people become better, enrich themselves, and of their own 
accord return to their first simplicity. When the administration is 
indulgent, and closes its eyes to small things, the people are rich. 
When the administration sees too much, the people want for every- 
thing. It is by the example of those in power that the people ought 
to be governed. The good king is just, disinterested, upright, en- 
lightened, and neither injures, nor rebukes, nor beguiles any one. 

The sixty-fifth chapter censures that excessive prudence that 
makes the people difficult to manage and misleads the prince. 

In the seventy-fourth and seventy-fifth chapters he sets him- 
self against the tyranny that disposes arbitrarily of man's life, 
against heavy taxes, the continual action of the Government, and 
the too great ardour for gain. Finally, he inveighs most ener- 
getically against warlike passions and unnecessary war. On 
this subject he has his own peculiar maxims ; for example, that in 
chapter Ixix. : 

When two armies of equal strength fight one another, it is the com- 
passionate warrior who gains the victory. When the wise man is 
forced to wage war, he deplores its necessity ; he strikes a decisive blow 
and puts a stop to it ; he does not abuse his victory, and only does 
that which is necessary. He strikes his decisive blow, but does not 
boast of it ; he does not wish to appear mighty. A triumph gained at 
the cost of shedding blood does not gladden him. To him who, 
without regret, destroys human lives power cannot be entrusted. 

Finally we have his description of a Government after his own 
heart : 

A small kingdom and a people not very numerous, if there be arms 
only for ten or a hundred men, ought not to make any use of them. 
I should impress upon the people the fear of death, the dislike for long 
voyages, in order that they might live in repose and the practice of 
justice. Even if they possessed boats and chariots, they should make 
no use of them ; even if they possessed shields and lances, they should 
never draw themselves up in battle-array. I should bring the people 
back to the use of knotted cords ; * they should relish their nourish- 
ment, and please themselves in their clothing. They should be happy 

* Knots tied upon cords were the first means used by the Chinese to 
express their ideas. 

126 The First Chinese Philosopher ; 

in their dwellings, and love manners that are simple and without 
ostentation. If another kingdom were situated close by, so that the 
crowing of the cocks and the barking of the dogs might be heard from 
one to the other, still the people should live to a good old age, and 
even die without coming and going between the two places (Ixxx.). 

Let us stop here : longer details could only be of interest to 
specialists. Nevertheless, let us add a reflection upon the non- 
action of Lao-tze. He evidently does not speak of a complete 
inactivity. Lao-tze only condemns any excess in action, but, it 
must be confessed, he seems to discover this excess rather easily. 
This tendency of our author may be explained by the great 
excesses which were committed in his time, when twenty petty 
princes, each with an army of attendant functionaries, displayed 
without intermission a feverish activity, and when on all sides 
there was nothing but trouble, and the most violent and tyran- 
nical passions held complete sway. Lao-tze, who belonged to the 
side of the oppressed, wished to apply an effectual remedy to these 
evils by cutting out their root. 


After what has been said, I believe I am justified in concluding 
that the system of Lao-tze has been badly appreciated. If there 
are points of contact between him and Schelling, they are in 
merely accidental matters, and occur oftener in the words than in 
the ideas. Furthermore, Lao-tze knew nothing of the doctrine of 
the Holy Trinity, nor that of the Divine Word, nor the name of 
Jehovah. And lastly, there is nothing in his teaching in com- 
mon with that of Epicurus, except certain mere appearances. The 
philosopher who preached humility, self-denial, abstinence, com- 
bating the passions, disinterestedness and love, and upheld the 
imitation of a personal and spiritual first principle, was certainly 
not an Epicurean. 

Ought we then to deduce from this that the system of Lao-tze 
was entirely original, and that he was indebted to no one for 
theories at that time so novel in China ? 

It would be very difficult to give any answer to this question. 
That which is certain, and which has not yet been remarked, 
is that the Brahmanical philosophy has many traits that recall 
the doctrines of Lao-tze. It is in India that we find the ideas 
of being sprung from nothing, action presented as a fault, and 
inaction as a perfection. It is there also that we find the pri- 
mordial absolute being, without form, inaccessible to the senses, 
without movement as without name or quality of any kind. The 
TaOj like the Tad of the Brahman s, does not become cognoscible, 
and only acquires a name and character when it goes forth from 
itself in order to produce contingent beings. There are certainly 


or J The System of Lao-tze. 127 

differences between the fundamental conceptions of these two 
systems, but the resemblance is everywhere so great that in 
perusing the " Tao-te-King," the reader forgets in many passages 
that he has not in his hands the laws of Manu, the Bhagavad- 
gitdj or some other book of Indian Brahmanism. It would be 
rash to affirm that Lao-tze knew these latter, or that he borrowed 
anything from their works. It is to be noticed, nevertheless, 
that tradition or legend attributes to Lao-tze a voyage to the 
remote regions of the West. 

Such, then, in its general character and principal details, is 
the system of the first Chinese philosopher, who taught at a 
period when Grecian philosophy was still in its infancy. If the 
system which he gave to his country is not perfect in all respects, 
we cannot but remember that it would not have disgraced the 
sages of Greece. If at times he allows his imagination an undue 
influence over reason, we cannot forget that his expressions are 
figurative, and conceal under images thoughts that are not 
wanting in profundity. Such was the custom at that time in 
China — they spoke in metaphor ; and Kong-tze, after he saw his 
rival, said himself to his disciples : 

I know that with nets we can ensnare the birds that fly in the air, 
that with a line we can catch the fish that buries itself deep in the 
water, that with an arrow we can overtake the fleetest animal upon 
earth. But as for the dragon who raises himself up to heaven, I 
know not how we can seize it j and to-day I have beheld a dragon. 
(SseMateien; " Sse Khi.") 

Certainly, for the thinkers of our own day Lao-tze is no dragon, 
but there is more than one system, to which men devote their 
attention, that is no better than his ; and I do not think that I 
have been engrossed in useless labour in endeavouring to make his 
work better known. There have been few works of the human 
mind that have produced greater or more lasting results. The 
teachings of Lao-tze did not merely open the way for philosophy ; 
they also prepared the triumph of Buddhism, and, side by side 
with analogous philosophies, gave birth to that sect of charlatans 
and astrologers which has spread throughout the whole of China, 
and which so often has held in its hands the destinies of the 
empire. The return to Tao which was taught by the master 
became with the rude disciples of his school, and with those who 
made use of them, the immortality which they sought to procure 
for themselves by alchymy, by the consultations of lots, and by 
other means, all as scientific as legitimate ; for, to use the words 
of Lao-tze, " the hideous insect is born from the ray of the sun, 
and the unclean maggot from the beautiful butterfly." 

C. DE Haelez, 

( 128 ) 


IT is safe to say that, from the consummation of the existing 
legislative union between Great Britain and Ireland, the wish 
and the hope for a sundering or modification of that Union have 
never been absent from all Irish hearts; while it is equally 
undoubted that the people of the larger island never, before the 
late general election, gave their minds to the serious consideration 
of the propriety of granting what, since O'Connell's Repeal 
agitation, the great majority of their fellow-subjects on the 
western side of Saint George^s Channel have heartily desired. 
Since the election, it has been otherwise ; and, an early change 
in the constitutional relations between the two islands being 
looked upon as probable, or at any rate not improbable, the 
subject has been much discussed, i'rom various points of view, 
hy Englishmen, Irishmen and Scotchmen. This is a hopeful 
sign ; for, when once a subject has come to be looked upon as 
legitimate matter of discussion, the love of fiiirplay and truth 
and the practical wisdom, which are as much characteristics of 
the people of Great Britain as their conservatism and their 
disinclination to theorize, are reasonably sure to lead — slowly, it 
may be, and after few or many stops and mis-steps — to a 
satisfactory dealing with that subject. The example of Canada 
has been often referred to during the existing discussion ; and 
perhaps it may be well to put before the Briton, who is honestly 
trying to see his way to a right conclusion, what may be regarded 
as the average Canadian view of the proposed constitutional 
chanfje. The average Canadian — unlike Mr. Goldwin Smith — 
has no strong prejudices in the matter ; his judgment is not 
biassed by party feeling : his only wish is that that shall be done 
which is most in the interests of the United Kingdom and of the 
Empire of which Canada forms a part; and he has had nearly 
nineteen years' experience of the practical working of one form of 
that federal system which it is now thought may be applied to 
the case of the United Kingdom. 

What is the spectacle now presented by the United Kingdom 
to the eye of the unimpassioned student of politics and con- 
stitutional law? He sees that all, or substantially all, legislative 
power and the control of the administration of all public affairs 
are vested in the House of Commons. The smallest local matters 
and the most important Imperial questions, everything, from the 
drainage of a town to the federation of the Empire, come within 
its field of action, and can be dealt with by no other body. It 

Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Rule. 129 

would seem hardly necessary to inquire whether or not the work 
of the House is completely and satisfactorily done. No single 
assemblycould so do the work which the lapse of time, the growth 
of the Empire in extent and population, and the increasing 
complexity of public business have placed in the hands of the 
House of Commons, But is this great Assembly specially adapted 
to the work which it is called upon to perform ? At the first glance, 
an intelligent onlooker would decide that it was not. It is made 
up of some six hundred and seventy gentlemen, most of them 
without any special training for public business or any particular 
fondness for it — most of them, too, lovers of their own ease and 
pleasure — giving their services to the State without pay, and for 
that reason feeling that they are not bound to strict regularity of 
attendance ; divided into parties, and led, the majority by a few 
paid official leaders, and the minority by gentlemen who hope to 
oust those leaders and take their offices and their salaries. It 
may be said, by way of parenthesis, that it is not intended to 
advocate the payment of members for their services as such. 
Irregularity of attendance and indisposition for work on the part 
of the majority are perhaps more than compensated for by an 
elevation of the tone and character of the whole House ; while 
honourable ambition, natural love of congenial work and pure 
patriotism secure, each, the attendance of enough members to 
make together, when added to the salaried officers of Government, 
a fair working assembly. But experience has verified the natural 
conjecture of the intelligent onlooker. Local measures have 
been in a great degree smothered or crowded out ; and when, 
after much delay and expense, they have reached the stage of 
parliamentary discussion, it has been in a House very few of 
whose members feel or show any interest in what affects only one 
place or one section of the country. Business affiicting the 
United Kingdom or the Empire at large, as a rule, finds the 
House better disposed to give it time and attention ; but such 
business is often interfered with by private and local work, while 
the powers of the Assembly are liable to be paralysed by obstruction. 
How often do we not see important and valuable measures of a 
general character, as to which there is almost unanimity of 
feeling amongst the members, but which do not form good material 
for electioneering, allowed to perish session after session, because 
the House cannot conveniently find time to deal with them. No 
doubt, owing to the practical good sense and business tact of the 
House of Commons, as a whole, and particularly to that admirable 
political contrivance, a responsible Ministry, the most pressing 
public business continued to be done as long as there was no 
organized and deliberate obstruction. But yet the necessity for 
some change became gradually clearer. The present system 
VOL. XVI.— NO. I. [Third Series.] k 

130 Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Rule. 

mio-ht have been borne with for some time longer, had the House 
of Commons contained none but English and Scotch members ; 
but Irish dissatisfaction, represented by a large and compact body 
of gentlemen prepared to render the Assembly powerless by 
systematic obstruction, has made immediate action necessary. 
Before attempting to indicate what that action should be, one 
may be pardoned for devoting a short time to looking at the 
question of Ireland from an Imperial as well as from an 
Irish standpoint. How has Ireland been governed since the 
Union ? There have been almost innumerable Coercion Acts and 
suspensions of the right of Habeas Corpus, a fact the reverse of 
creditable to liberty-loving England. General poverty and 
frequent famines, combined with a keen sense of wrong, have led 
to an emigration from Ireland, for which it is not rash to say 
that modern history furnishes no parallel. In most cases, the 
Irish emigrant takes with him to his new home an intense and 
lasting hatred to the British Government, and, with his fellows, 
goes to make up, in the United States for instance, an element, 
which may at any time lead to a war between the nation in which 
it exists and England, and which has already caused some loss of 
life and a considerable expenditure of money to Canada. 
Providence has so far . favoured England, by preventing serious 
foreign wars during acute periods of Irish discontent ; but this 
good fortune cannot be calculated on as permanent ; and we must 
look at what might happen were it to cease. What would be 
the result if England became involved in a great war with Russia, 
France or the United States, while the feeling amongst Irishmen 
was what it has been during the past few years ? We should 
hear again the declaration that, " England's difficulty is Ireland's 
opportunity." England would either be obliged to grant under 
the pressure of something akin to fear demands exceeding those 
which had been refused to reason and peaceful agitation ; or she 
would be obliged to fight like a man with one arm tied behind 
him, and to detail from thirty to fifty thousand of her small army 
to garrison the sister island. This state of things constitutes a 
standing reproach to British statesmanship. Nor is the reproach 
to be got rid of by laying all the blame to the natural perversity 
of the Irishman. In various European countries, in the United 
States of America, in Australia, in Canada and in other colonies of 
England, the Irish are not disloyal to the governments under 
which they live, and after a time learn to hold their own in the 
social, political and financial worlds. 

And how does the history of the past eighty-five years impress 
the average Irishman? In addition to those things which 
strike the outside observer, he sees that the administration of 
the British Government in Ireland has been dominated by the 


Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Rule, 131 

exclusive and anti-Irish sentiment of the "Castle," which has 
also given tone to the fashionable social life of the country. The 
money wrung from a poverty-stricken tenantry has been spent 
abroad by absentee landlords. Business has been chronically 
dull and manufactures almost non-existent. The fetters of the 
penal times have been stricken off, one by one, until now an Irish 
Catholic is in the eye of the law the equal of his Protestant 
neighbour ; but the various concessions by which this result has 
been brought about have, as a rule, been made slowly and 
ungraciously, and seem to the Irish mind to have been wrung 
from the fears of English statesmen rather than granted through 
a spirit of justice or goodwill. This impression, which as to 
some recent measures is probably not well-founded, has been 
deepened by the unfriendly, contemptuous and offensive tone too 
often adopted by English speakers and writers towards Ireland 
and the Irish. The administration of justice and of local govern- 
ment has, until recently, been almost altogether in the hands of 
the Protestant minority; while the Imperial Parliament and 
Government have legislated for, and administered the public 
business of Ireland, not according to the views of Irishmen, who 
knew the wants and sympathized with the feelings of their 
people, but according to the ideas of Englishmen ignorant of 
both and seemingly not anxious to be informed. We all know 
how differently Scotland has been treated. Englishmen are 
satisfied that Scotland should be o^overned accordins: to Scotch 
ideas ; and when a decided majority of the members irom the 
northern kingdom are united upon any question affecting their 
country, the line of action which they recommend is in 
most cases adopted almost as a matter of course. Englishmen 
assume that Scotchmen know better what suits Scotland than 
they do themselves ; but there is hardly one of those same 
English members who does not seem to take it for granted that 
he knows, better than any Irishman, the best policy to adopt 
when Ireland's interests are under consideration. And then, 
what is the natural effect upon an affectionate and sensitive 
people, of the apparently deliberate and studied neglect with 
which Ireland has been treated by the Royal Family since the 
Union? It is not to be wondered at if Ireland looks upon 
herself as being, relatively to the two sister countries, a kind of 
political Cinderella. 

It must be acknowledged that the word * ' failure " seems to be 
written upon every page of the history of the Union between 
Great Britain and Ireland, and that, as to the latter kingdom, 
the existing state of things cannot continue. It would not be 
rash to assert that, as to Scotland, Wales and England, a great 
constitutional change is in store in the not remote future ; but 

K 'Z 

132 Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Rule. 

as to Ireland the necessity for some such change is great and 

The task now before British statesmanship is to find a satis- 
factory answer to the question, "What shall this change be?''' 
No new policy can be deemed satisfactory which does not provide 
for satisfying the reasonable portion of the Irish people without 
injurious interference with the authority of the Imperial Govern- 
ment and Parliament. It may be well before attempting to give 
an answer to this question, to consider very briefly some of those 
already submitted. 

One is that vigorous measures of repression should be 
adopted. This is not a new policy. It has been tried upon almost 
every occasion since Ireland became subject to England, when a 
pretext could be found for its introduction ; and it has utterly 
tailed. Besides, it is altogether opposed to the spirit of the age, 
and more than ever unsuited to the circumstances of the 
case, while its application is certain to lead to outrage and 
anxiety in Great Britain as well as in the smaller island. Another 
is the establishing of elective provincial or county boards for the 
transaction of purely local business. This is something which the 
leaders of the Irish people have not asked for, and which they 
have positively declined to accept as in any sense a compliance 
with their demands. In the language of Mr. Bryce's article in 
the February number of the Nineteenth Century j "The policy of 
small concessions in the way of local government v/ill solve 
neither branch of the present problem, and will whet rather than 
appease the appetite for legislative independence. It is trying to 
stop half-way down an inclined plane." There is another 
objection to entrusting extensive powers of law-making or 
administration to such bodies as the proposed boards. Seats on 
county boards would not as a rule be sought or accepted by men 
whose character, ability and solid stake in the country's welfare 
would be likely to make their legislation or administration such 
as would be calculated to further as much as could be wished the 
interests of their respective districts. 

Nor would the establishment of such boards any more than 
some other suggested half-way measures effectually relieve the 
parliamentary deadlock. As Mr. Hill says in his admirable paper 
in the March number of the Nineteenth Century, " The institu- 
tion of grand committees, the extension of the powers of muni- 
cipalities, the establishment of county boards would not sufficiently 
relieve the pressure of parliamentary work.'' 

No scheme will, in any appreciable degree, satisfy the Irish 
people, or remove existing difficulties, which does not recognize 
.the existence of Ireland as a distinct national whole ; and that 
scheme will be best for the general interests which will give to the 

Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Rale. 133 

Irish people the largest amount of self-government consistent 
with the strength, prosperity and dignity of the United King- 
dom. Nor need there be any dread that this remedy would 
be worse than the existing disease. As Mr. Hill says in the 
article already quoted from, " If the Irish have not a lawful Par- 
liament in Dublin, they will have a lawless one as they have now. 
They have got Home Rule and Local Self-Go vernraent already, 
but it is the Home Rule of the National League, and Local Self- 
government is exercised by its branches. Great alarm is expresed 
at the idea of giving Ireland control over her own police ; but the 
real police is completely in her hands, and the official police 
is practically helpless. Nor is this all. In default of a Parliament 
in Dublin, the Irish have succeeded in establishing a Parliament 
in Westminster. The Imperial Parliament deals with little else 
than Irish business, and it deals with that unsatisfactorily. 
Scarcely anything else can be attended to. Imperial affairs are 
neglected because Ministers are absorbed in the eternal Irish 
difficulty. Self-rule in Ireland is the condition of self-rule in 
England and Scotland. Great Britain is practically governed, or 
deprived of its power of government, by Ireland. The votes of 
Irishmen in the constituencies determine the balance of party re- 
presentation in the House of Commons. The Irish parliamentary 
party decides the fate of governments." 

From the Irish point of view. Home Rule — the right of self- 
government in purely Irish matters — is most desirable ; and, from 
the British standpoint, while it is just and right that the 
reasonable claim of Ireland should be conceded, "the main 
object,^' as Mr. Hill says, " of granting Home Rule to Ireland 
is to strengthen the union between that country and Great 
Britain, to give force on Imperial matters to the authority of the 
Imperial Parliament, to supply further guarantees for the 
supremacy of the Crown." 

That Home Rule should be granted to Ireland being then 
indisputable, the important question arises as to the form which 
it should take. As to the precedents on the Continent of 
Europe not much need be said. The case looked upon as the 
most in point is that of Austro-Hungary ; and the objections to 
taking that as a precedent are very forcibly stated by Mr. Hill 
in the paper already cited. There are besides, the facts that the 
Austro-Hungarian Constitution has been in existence only a few 
years, and seems to lack the element of stability, and that a 
system which suits the Continent is not necessarily adapted to 
the British Isles. The relations of the various self-governing 
colonies of England to the mother country form better prece- 
dents ; but no one dreams for a moment that, if Canada, for 
instance, were as close to Great Britain as is Ireland, she would 

134 Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Rule. 

be allowed the powers she now possesses, including the power to 
levy heavy import duties upon British productions. 

The only practicable solution of the difficulty will be found in 
the adoption of the federal system in a form akin to those which 
we find at work in the United States and Canada. In each of 
these countries we have a strong central government dealing 
with matters common to all the members of the federation, and 
local governments doing the business peculiar to the several 
members much better, more cheaply, more promptly, and more 
satisfactorily to their people than the central government could 
do it. We need not go beyond those two countries to find the 
system sought for. In the United States, a people of the same 
blood, habits and traditions as the people of the United 
Kingdom, have for a century governed themselves with excep- 
tional success, under a federal system based largely upon the 
constitutional practice of the England of one hundred years ago; 
and in Canada we have had a federal system based upon that of 
the Great Republic, and embodying the essential features of the 
English practice of the present day, which has enabled a number 
of communities difiering in character and interests to work 
together for nineteen years. It is true that in the cases of both 
countries time has brought to light certain defects in the consti- 
tutional machinery ; but these defects are not great enough to 
counterbalance its advantages : they are not irremediable ; and 
they can be avoided in framing a system for the British Isles. 
If the federal plan of government has worked well in the United 
States and Canada, why should it not work well in the mother 
country ? There are greater diversities of interests and national 
character to be harmonized, both in the Republic and in the 
Dominion, than in the United Kingdom ; and why should not 
the difficulties of the situation be overcome in the old countries 
as well as in the new ? Most Canadians who think seriously 
upon the future of the mother country are satisfied that, once 
Home Rule is granted to Ireland, it will not be long before the 
application of the federal system is extended to other portions of 
the United Kingdom. It will be found that Scotland and Wales 
will claim the same privilege as Ireland ; while England herself 
will probably be divided into two Provinces, if London and its 
suburbs are not set off to form a third. If it is thought 
advisable to apply the system to Ireland alone at first, let the 
measure for so doing be a final one so far as that country is con- 
cerned; so that the future extension to other portions of the 
kingdom shall not involve any disturbance of the Irish settle- 
ment. In other words, treat Ireland, at the outset, as she would 
be treated if a federation were being established in which there 
were three or four other members. 

Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Rule. 135 

Before proceeding to f^ive an outline of the system, proposed, 
it is well to call attention to a marked difference between the 
cases of the United States and Canada and that of the British 
Isles. The thirteen united colonies were, after the peace of IT 83, 
thirteen separate, independent, sovereign States, whose people 
surrendered certain of their powers to a new central government 
which they had deemed it well to erect ; and consequently, all 
powers, not by the Constitution expressly conferred upon the 
central government, were reserved to the several States. The 
Dominion of Canada was also made up of several members pre- 
viously independent, except so far as limited in their powers by 
the paramount authority of the Imperial Parliament. The 
"British North America Act ''■' of 1867 does not proceed upon 
the theory of the United States Constitution, that the reserved 
powers are vested in the local governments — and it is perhaps to 
be regretted that it does not — but attempts in the ninety-first and 
ninety-second sections to enumerate the powers of the Dominion 
and local authorities respectively. The defectiveness of this enu- 
meration, it may be remarked, has already led to much difiiculty 
and litigation. In the United Kingdom we have a sovereign 
Parliament proposing to divest itself of a portion of its unre- 
stricted power in favour of local governments and legislatures. 
It will probably be necessary in this case to enumerate only the 
powers which devolve upon the local legislatures, the residuary, 
unmentioned powers remaining where they are now, just as in 
the American Constitution only the powers of the central govern- 
ment were enumerated. The one is a case of devolution, and the 
other, if one may use an ordinary word in an unusual sense, an 

Following generally the arrangement of the " British North 
America Act,"" the Executive Power of the several members of 
the proposed system comes first to be considered. As a matter 
of convenience, Ireland alone shall be named — there being no 
difiiculty in extending the provisions applied to her to the other 
subdivisions of the United Kingdom. 

The head of the Irish Executive should be a Viceroy or 
Governor appointed as is the Governor-General of Canada, and 
responsible only to the Crown. This governor should have the 
same veto power as the President of the United States or the 
governor of a State, and subject to the same limitations. He 
should be perfectly free and uncontrolled, and should exercise his 
own individual discretion in the use of the power of vetoing biUs 
passed by the Legislature ; while the Legislature should have the 
power, enjoyed by the Congress of the United States, of passing 
a measure over his veto by two-thirds votes of both Houses. The 
veto power has been found of signal value in the United States; 

136 Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Rule. 

it gives time for reflection, and often prevents improper legislation 
for partisan or selfish purposes, and can hardly do much harm in 
its limited form, in which it is incapable of withstanding a 
general and deliberate popular feelinj;]^. The practical absence of 
the same power has been seriously felt in the Dominion. The 
Governor should also be secured from removal during his term of 
oflSce for any constitutional act done within the scope of his 
authority. The necessity for such a provision may not be clear to 
Englishmen, but the Canadians, who remember the removal 
of Lieutenant-Governor Letellier of Quebec, at the bidding of a 
party majority in the House of Commons, for the alleged reason 
that his *' usefulness was gone," it needs no demonstration. The 
Governor should be aided and advised by a council or cabinet, 
framed on the British model, and responsible to the more popular 
branch of the Irish Legislature. It seems hardly necessary to urge 
the superiority of the system adopted in JEngland and her 
colonies, of governing by a Ministry bound to have the support 
of the popular branch of the Legislature, over the United States 
plan of governing, partly by a cabinet outside of the Legislature 
and responsible only to the head of the executive, and partly by 
committees of the Legislature who are practically responsible 
to no body and almost beyond the reach even of popular opinion. 
The superiority of one large res()Ousible committee over several 
small and irresponsible ones is unquestionable. The Government 
and the Legislature are both strengthened by the presence in, and 
responsibility to, the latter of the former; the executive and 
legislative functions are in great part combined, and the result is 
a purpose, vigour and regard for public opinion, both in the 
making and administration of laws, which form a strong contrast 
to the results of the American system. Nor is this the view only 
of the enemies of that system. It will be found that most modern 
writers on the American Constitution admit the superiority 
in this regard of the British plan, and indicate, if they do not 
clearly express, the hope and desire that the present system 
of governing and legislating by irresponsible cabinets and com- 
mittees may before long give way to the better one adopted by 
the mother country and copied by so many of her colonies. 

The Governor should not have the power of reserving Bills for 
the signification of Her Majesty's pleasure thereon ; nor should 
the Crown or the Imperial Cabinet have the right to disallow 
Insh legislation. If any Bill passed by the Dublin Legislature 
were ultra vires it would be of no effect and could be declared null 
by the proper court; and it is essential to the permanence 
and good working of the federal system that the local and central 
legislatures should each be sovereign and uncontrolled within its 
Qwn jurisdiction. Slmbarrassments have already arisen in Canada 

Canadian Opinion on the Question of Rome Rule, 137 

through the disallowance by the Dominion Ministry of Bills 
passed by local legislatures within the spheres of their legitimate 

The Irish Legislature should consist of the Governor and two 
Houses, to be styled, respectively, the Senate or Legislative 
Council, and the House of Commons, of Assembly or of Repre- 
sentatives. The need of a second Chamber hardly calls for proof. 
Such a Chamber exists in every one of the United States and iil 
all the large self-governing colonies. The well-known warmth and 
impetuosity of the Irish character would seem to render its 
presence especially desirable in the Dublin Legislature with a view 
to preventing hasty and ill-considered legislation. Its powers 
should correspond to those of the House ot Lords ; and it should 
not have the right of amending money bills enjoyed by the 
United States Senate, or at most its powers in this respect should 
be confined to the lessening of taxes and appropriations. The 
members of the Upper House might be elected by larger con- 
stituencies and for a longer term than those of the lower. There 
might be, for instance, one member for each county, besides 
a member each for Dublin, Cork, Belfast, and the Universities, 
elected for eight years, instead of four, as would be the case with 
the members of the House of Assembly. In order to prevent the 
Upper House from getting out of touch with the people, one-half 
of its members should go out of office every four years. A plan 
similar to this was in operation in the province of Canada 
for some years before the Union of 1867, and seems to have 
worked fairly well. At the same time strong arguments, which 
it would be tedious to discuss here, can be urged in favour of a 
different constitution for the Legislative Council. Both in 
Canada and the United States special qualifications as to age and 
otherwise are required in the members of the Upper Houses. 

The Lower House should, until otherwise provided, be composed 
of the same number of members as are at present elected to the 
Imperial House of Commons and should be chosen by the same 
electors. Its powers and privileges should, as to all matters 
within the jurisdiction of the Irish Legislature, be the same 
as those now enjoyed by the House of Commons. With a view 
to allaying fears for the Protestant minority, provision might be 
made that the limits of certain Ulster constituencies should not 
be altered without the consent of a majority of the members 
representing all those constituencies. A similar provision, 
intended to protect the Protestant minority in the province 
of Quebec, was inserted in the " British North America Act ; " 
but it has not so far served any useful purpose. The term of a 
House of Assembly should be not less than four nor more than 
five years. The frequency of elections in the United States has 

138 Canadicm Opinion on the Question of Home Ride, 

been found to deter many of the best men from entering or 
remaining in public life ; and it has been found that, instead of 
devoting himself to honest work in the service of the country and 
his constituents, the representative is likely to give his attention 
chiefly to providing for his own re-election or making the best 
personal results from his short tenure of office. Another in- 
jurious effect of frequent elections is to form a class of professional 
*' bosses/' " wire-pullers/^ and electioneering agents, who constitute 
SL most undesirable element in the population. 

It has been already spoken of as desirable that the local 
legislature should be sovereign within its own sphere. Expe- 
rience, both in the United States and Canada, has shown that it 
is most desirable that the spheres of the central and local 
legislatures should be as far as possible distinct. The fewer 
cases of doubtful or concurrent jurisdiction there are, the less 
will be the opportunities for friction and dispute in the working 
of the federal machinery. Bearing this in mind, and remember- 
ing that every power not expressly assigned to the local 
jurisdiction would remain with the central government, the 
powers of the proposed Irish Legislature will now be considered. 
Such consideration must of necessity be brief and not in detail. 
Speaking generally, all matters afi'ecting Ireland alone should 
be dealt with in Dublin ; while only matters in which the in- 
terest of Britain was direct and appreciable should remain with 
the Imperial Parliament. Consequently, the sphere of the new 
Legislature would more nearly resemble that of a State Legisla- 
ture in the American Republic than that of a provincial 
Legislature in the Dominion of Canada. Our experience in 
Canada, it may be mentioned, goes to show that business left 
to the Local Legislatures is dealt with more promptly, cheaply, 
and, as a rule, more satisfactorily, than that controlled by the 
Federal Parliament. 

The following matters would fall within the jurisdiction of 
the proposed new Legislature meeting in Dublin : — 

The raising of money for local government purposes by any 
and every mode of taxation (except the imposition of Customs 
or Excise duties), and the transaction of all the necessary financial 
business of the Irish Government. 

Offices and officers under the various departments of the Local 

Criminal law ; including Courts, trials, and punishments, with 
such limitations as might be deemed expedient. 

Charitable and eleemosynary Institutions. 

Municipal Institutions. 

Licenses of all kinds, including the dealing with the sale of 
intoxicating liquors. 

Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Rvie, 139 

Local public works and undertakings. 


Property and civil rights, including the dealing with land in 
its widest legal sense. 

Administration of Civil Justice. 

Inland fisheries. 

Banking, including savings banks. 

Bills of Exchange and Promissory Notes. 


Religion; perhaps with a provision that no discrimination 
should be made in any way in favour of any particular denomi- 
nation of Christians. 

Education, with a provision somewhat similar to that con- 
tained in the ninety-third section of the " British North 
America Act/' guaranteeing to the Protestant minority the 
same privileges as Catholics with regard to separate schools and 
education generally. 

The amendment of the Constitution, except as to the office of 
Governor; with a provision that no amendment should be made 
unless upon two-thirds votes of both Houses, and possibly only 
after the intervention of a general Election between the propos- 
ing of the amendment and the taking of the vote upon its 
adoption. For greater security, and in order to calm the fears 
of nervous people, an express declaration might be inserted that 
nothing should be construed as enabling any authority other 
than the Imperial Parliament to alter the powers conferred by 
the Constitutional Act. Any other restrictive provisions that 
might be deemed necessary to prevent serious abuse of the 
powers granted to the Irish Parliament could be inserted. 
Several will be found in the tenth section of the first article of 
the United States Constitution, of which some at least should 
be adopted — that, for instance, forbidding the passing of " any 
bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obliga- 
tion of contracts/' There should also be a provision for free 
trade between the members of the federation ; and the expe- 
rience of Canada and the United States would go to show the 
wisdom of providing that the compensation for the services of 
Senators and Representatives should not be changed until an 
Election should have taken place after the proposal of such change. 

Care should be taken to preserve the independence of the 
judiciary; and a right of appeal to a strong court sitting at 
London should be guaranteed. In Canada, the right of appeal 
to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council has been found 
of incalculable value — chiefly, it may be added, in restraining 
encroachments by the Dominion Government upon provincial 

140 Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Rule, 

The total number of members in the United States House of 
Representatives is 325 ; and if that number is found enough for 
a country with a population of 55,000,000, and an area of 
over 3,000,000 of square miles, surely one-third of the present 
House of Commons would be capable of dealing with the 
general business and representing the Imperial interests of 
36,000,000 of people, inhabiting a territory of less than 
121,000 square miles. If the federal system was carried out 
by the subdivision of Great Britain upon this basis, the members 
of the House of Commons would not exceed 230 in number. 
This reduction would involve a large increase in the size of the 
constituencies. The effects of the decreased number of members 
and the increased size of constituencies would be to add im- 
mensely to the working power of the House, and to raise its 
tone and the character and status of its members. And it may 
be remarked, in passing, that the adoption of the federal system 
would give occasion for a much needed reconstruction of the 
House of Lords. 

If the basis just indicated w^ere adopted, the representation of 
Ireland in the Imperial Commons would be reduced to a number 
not exceeding thirty-five. 

Of the financial measures with which it might be deemed 
well to accompany the grant of a local government, there is not 
space to speak ; and they have already been discussed by those 
much better qualified to deal with them than the writer. In 
connection with certain proposals which have been made, it may 
be mentioned that the little province of Prince Edward's 
Island had a land question of relatively nearly as great magni- 
tude as that of Ireland, and that it was solved by buying out 
the landlords and selling the land to the tenants, without 
entailing any appreciable loss upon the public treasury. But, in 
truth, the settlement of the land question does not seem to be an 
essential condition precedent to the granting ot Home Rule. It 
is a matter which would belong of right to the local government 
and legislature to deal with — subject to the restrictions as to the 
violation of contracts already mentioned. 

In the United States Constitution there are no provisions for 
payments by the central to the local government, or vice versa ; 
but each is allowed to raise its own revenue from the sources 
placed under its jurisdiction and control. The same might well 
be the case under the Constitution which has been briefly outlined 
above. As to one point there is no doubt : the financial arrange- 
ments should be such that there should be no open accounts 
between the two Governments, no yearly or half yearly payments 
to be made by the United Kingdom to Ireland, or by Ireland to 
the United Kingdom. This latter system, which has unfor- 

Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Rule. 141 

innately been adopted in Canada, produces pernicious results 
to the country as a whole and to the several Provinces. It is 
bad for the central government, because it opens the door to 
irresistible party pressure for increases to the provincial subsidies, 
places the party which advocates economical administration and 
the keeping down of the public burdens at a great disadvantage as 
compared with the more extravagant and unscrupulous one, and 
enables the latter to purchase Parliamentary support for impro- 
vident and otherwise objectionable measures by promises of such 
increases of subsidy. It is bad for the Provinces, because it tends 
to destroy their spirit of self-reliance and independence, and to 
encourage them to extravagant expenditures from the conse- 
quences of which they expect the interference of the central 
government to relieve them, and because it enables that govern- 
ment to induce the representatives of a province to vote for a 
policy injurious to that province or to the country at large, by 
the promise of what is substantially a huge bribe to the people 
whom they represent. If the experience of Canada has shown 
that it is most desirable that the legislative spheres of the central 
and local governments should be kept distinct, it has shown still 
more clearly that their financial orbits should not intersect or 
overlap one another. In the case of a comparatively poor country 
like Ireland, lying beside the richest country in the world, the 
results of financial connection of the kind deprecated would be 
particularly serious and objectionable. 

Of the objections to Home Rule some have been incidentally 
noticed in the foregoing pages, and some seem to require to be 
discussed, necessarily with the utmost brevity. 

It is often said that federal governments are essentially weak. 
This is not the case. It would not be easy to point out a govern- 
ment stronger, whether for resisting foreign aggression or 
suppressing domestic revolt, than that of the United States. 
As to the purposes of general administration, is not that Govern- 
ment all the stronger, because it is not called upon to attempt to 
reconcile the conflicting local interests of all parts of a territory 
nearly as large as the whole of Europe? 

It has also been said, in condemnation of that form of govern- 
ment, that it is conservative. In a general sense, this statement 
is hardly correct. No one would say that either the United States 
or Canada was a particularly conservative country. Speaking 
solely of constitutional changes, the statement may be allowed to 
pass. Of the United States it is no doubt true that important 
changes in the Constitution are made slowly and deliberately, 
and only in obedience to overwhelming popular feeling. But is 
that to be deemed a defect at the present day, or is it not rather 
a quality worthy of special praise? Is not the case of the 

142 Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Rule, 

United States in this respect better than that of the United 
Kingdom, of which an observer such as Sir Henry Maine can 
say — " The mechanism by which small changes are made — by 
which the humble daily work of legislation ought to be done — 
is rusty and inefiBcient to the last degree. But the mechanism 
by which large and revolutionary changes are carried out is 
singularly rapid and effective in its action, and requires a very 
small preponderance of force to set it in motion ? " 

There is the objection which Mr. Bryce puts in the following 
words : " Nothing will be gained by giving any form of Home 
Rule which the bulk of the National party is not prepared to 
accept as a settlement. There is, therefore, little use in discussing 
schemes till the demands of the party have been specifically for- 
mulated.^^ There is doubtless much force in this ; but it does 
not constitute so fatal an objection to action as one might be 
disposed to think. The natural and reasonable course under 
ordinary circumstances would be that the parties seeking a con- 
stitutional change should formulate their claim; and this the 
Irish leaders have been in vain asked to do. Their refusal has 
been, no doubt, based upon substantial grounds ; and it throws 
upon the Imperial Government the duty, unfair and onerous it 
may be, but yet absolute and necessary, of devising a scheme 
which will meet the requirements of the case. The plan of Home 
Rule herein briefly and imperfectly sketched, or one like it, will, 
it is believed, while serving the Empire, satisfy the majority of 
the Irish people. It will, it may be confidently hoped, satisfy 
the bulk of the clergy and the business men and the majority of 
the farmers, who would be only too glad to end a state of things 
under which they have for years suffered much, socially and 

A further objection is that Home Rule would leave the land- 
owners at the mercy of Irish elective bodies. This would not be 
the case if the British Government bought out the landowners, 
and even if that Government did not do so the landlords would 
be protected by the clause in the Constitutional Act forbidding 
the violation of contracts. In any case, it may be doubted 
whether the Irish Government would be guilty of the injustice 
of confiscating the property of the landowners. 

A still further objection is that an Irish Parliament would 
probably tyrannize over the Ulster Protestants. This seems an 
idle fear. The interests of the people of Ulster are substantially 
the same as those of their fellow-countrymen in the other pro- 
vinces ; and there is little reason to believe that exceptional 
legislation would be adopted to injure them. The Catholics of Ire- 
land do not in political matters show much denominational feeling; 
and such legislation might be forbidden by the Constitution. 

Canadian Opinion on the Question of Rome Rule. 143 

Before parting with the subject of the proposed constitutional 
change, it may be well to ask those, who have looked at pictures 
of its results which bear no more resemblance to the true state 
of things under a federal system than the visions of delirium do 
to the reality, to consider calmly what the real condition of 
affairs would be after the change had taken place. As to the 
Departments of War, the Admiralty, Customs, Excise, Post 
Office, India, Foreign Affairs, and the Colonies, there would be 
absolutely no change. Comparatively unimportant modifications 
might be made in the working of the Departments of the Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, and the Lord Chancellor, and of the 
Board of Trade ; while much of the work now done by the 
Home Office, the Board of Works, and the Local Government 
Board, would devolve upon the Local Government at Dublin. 
All questions relating to land, education, religion, the liquor 
traffic, county government, in fact all the questions now most 
embarrassing to the Imperial Government, and most calculated 
to prevent it from dealing satisfactorily w^ith matters of Imperial 
interest, would be relegated to the Local Administration. The 
bulk of the private Bill work would be disposed of in the same 
way. All these matters would be dealt with more promptly and 
cheaply, and more to the satisfaction of the people most directly 
interested, than at present. 

The Imperial Parliament, being freed from Irish obstruction, 
and from the local business of Ireland, and ultimately from all 
the local work which now clogs the Parliamentary machinery, 
would have time and opportunity to devote itself to measures of 
general or Imperial interest. 

Ireland, having the same power of self-government as a State 
of the American Union, would have no substantial or plausible 
ground for complaint, and would probably govern itself with 
an unexpected degree of wisdom and good judgment. The Irish 
in the United States, seeing their fellow-countrymen in the old 
land enjoying the same rights as themselves, would have neither 
pretext nor motive for taking part in any agitation in Ireland, 
and would ere long cease to form a dangerous anti-British 
element in the Republic. The new generation of Irishmen in 
Great Britain and Ireland would be as good citizens as they are 
in Canada, Australasia, and the United States, and would con- 
tribute, as in former years, a large number of admirable soldiers 
to the Imperial army. Canada would be relieved from all fear of 
attack, and would receive her fair proportion of Irish emigrants, 
who would still, although in diminished numbers, seek new 
homes in the Western Continent. 

The foregoing paper may be regarded as setting forth what is 
substantially the general sentiment of Canada upon the subject 

Hiis Canadian Opinion on the Question of Home Mule, 

of Home Rule, a sentiment which found expression in the 
Address to the Queen, adopted almost unanimously by both 
Houses of the Dominion Parliament, during the Session of 1882. 
The current of events since that time has been such, it is respect- 
fully submitted, as to justify the adoption of the Address, rather 
than the polite official reprimand which its reception called forth 
from the Colonial Minister. A smaller measure of self-govern- 
ment than that advocated would probably have contented the 
great majority of the Irish people in 1882. Now it would 
not be likely to do so ; and any further ungracious delay will 
be the occasion of increased demands. It is to be hoped that 
the Imperial Government and Parliament will not now be 
unmindful of the proverbial blessedness of the prompt and 
cheerful giver, and of the evil results of their past shortcomings 
in that regard. 

L. G. Power. 
Ottawa, 23rd March, 1886. 

[Senator Power's article, although written some months ago, has been 
delayed and did not reach us until within a few days of our going to press. 
It retains, however, its interest and value, and we are glad to make 
room for it ; but it has to appear as we receive it — without the benefit of 
revision of proofs by its author. It may be remembered that it was Mr. 
L. G. Power himself who seconded in the Canadian Upper House the 
resolution for an Address to the Queen, alluded to above. — Ed. D. i2.] 

( 143 ) 

ftotes of i;xM Jinb ^i-pluratifln. 

New Britain and New Ireland. — Mr. Romilly has put tog-ether 
in a compact form much useful and interesting* information about 
the innumerable scattered archipelag-os which dot the surface of the 
Western Pacific* New Britain and New Ireland forming- part of 
the New Guinea group, are included in his study, and he gives a 
lively sketch of their savage inhabitants. In the former island the 
prevailing currency is shell-money, composed of small cowries 
threaded on strips of cane, and known to the natives as de-warra. 
A monopoly of its manufacture is enjoyed by a particular tribe, and 
the orig-inal habitat of the shells is a mystery ; but the author believes 
them to be widely distributed, though the fact of their being" only 
found in deep water enhances their price. Each piece of money is 
about thirty feet long, and as twelve cowries g-o to the inch, ejlch 
such strip contains 4,;320 shells. A. fathom is the general unit of 
exchange, a pig and a man's life being equally assessed at seven 
fathoms. Some chiefs amass large quantities of this form of wealth, 
and of one in particular, who has two large treasure-houses crammed 
with it from roof to floor, Mr. Romilly says that he '• must count his 
wealth by miles." 

Cannibalism in New Ireland. — In New Ireland, where the 
natives are reputed most treacherous savages, the traveller had the 
unusual experience of assisting at the repulse of a hostile invasion, 
and at the subsequent feast when the bodies of the slaughtered foes 
were greedily devoured. He witnessed the entire process of the 
preparation of the banquet, and though he spares the reader some 
of the minutiae, he goes sufficiently into detail to suggest a very 
horrible scene. The loathsome repast underwent a three days' 
cooking in ovens, and was served wrapped in the green leaves in 
which each separate piece was baked. The natives speak of such 
feasts with sickening relish, but seem to attach no sort of super- 
stitious meaning to them. The brains are reserved to give additional 
flavour to a national delicac}^ termed sak-sak, of which the ordinary 
ingredients are sago and cocoa-nut. 

Solomon Islanders. — The population of the Solomon group is 
rapidly diminishing, not only from diseases introduced by foreigners, 
but also from the strange custom prevailing in some of them of 
destroying all, or nearly all, their children immediately after their 
birth, so that it becomes necessary for them to buy children of less 
tender years from other tribes. The aged men when they become a 

* " The Western Pacific and New Guinea." By Hagh Hastings Ronailly. London : 
John Murray. 1886. 

VOL. XVI. — SO. I. [Third Series.] l 

146 Notes of Travel and Exploration. 

burden to the community are also killed, as there is no sentimental 
tenderness for inuches inutiles. It was among these islanders that 
Mr. Benjamin Boyd, who visited them in the yacht Wanderer in the 
year 1854, is believed to have met his death. The skull of a 
European having- a tooth stopped with gold, seen by a ship's captain 
adorning one of the taboo-houses, is supposed to be his, but no 
account of the manner of his death has ever been received. The 
natives nearly all suffer from skin diseases, ascribed by them to a 
small worm bred in the palm-tree. This creature, our author says, 
^' is as fond of white men as he is of natives, and it is much to be 
regretted that life in his palm-tree should not be sufficiently varied 
to offer him inducements to remain there." The scenery of the 
Solomon Islands is described as magnificent, but the climate 
detestable, the constant rainfall producing fever in white men. 

Pearl-shell Fishery in Torres Straits. — Thursday Island, be- 
longing to the colony of Queensland, is the headquarters of this trade, 
which ^-ives employment to a large number of natives from all parts 
of the Pacific. The settlement here is described as presenting an 
attractive appearance from a distance, but the town, on closer 
inspection, is found to consist entirely of stores and grog-shops, as 
there is no restriction on the trade in liquor. The boats employed, 
ranging from five to twelve tons, are mostly built in Sydney, and 
entirely manned by natives, the diver being the captain. 

Good divers [says Mr. Romilly], men who can stay down many 
hours in fifteen fathoms, are scarce, and are most eagerly sought after by 
the master shellers. Inducements of every sort are offered them to 
change their masters, at the expiration of the term for which they have 
engaf^ed. The wages they get are enormous, as much, I believe, as 
twenty pounds a month, and a heavy " lay" on every ton they bring up. 
When sober these men are very good fellows, but when drunk they are 
the most foul-mouthed, objectionable brutes I know. 

The boats go out for from ten days to a fortnight at a time, well 
supplied with food and spirits. In fact, the length of time they stay out 
is regulated by the time the grog lasts. It is a common thing for a diver 
to go down three-parts drunk. The dress is supposed to have a very 
sobering effect. 

The fishery extends to the coast of New Guinea, and the divers 
have every year to go further afield as the shallow waters im- 
mediately round Thursday Island are fished out. Hence the 
expenses of an establishment are very large, as only the best native 
divers, who can stay under water for a considerable time at great 
depths, are of any use, and they can command almost any wages. 

New Guinea. — The first view of the north-eastern coast of New 
Guinea is described as magnificent, the mountains rising to an 
altitude of 14,000 feet within fifteen miles of the coast, so that the 
sheer height of the peaks is visible from the sea. The vegetation is 
luxuriant and the soil evidently rich, but there is a great want of 
harbours, and the climate of the coast is generally unhealthy. The 
southern shores are visited by fleets of trading canoes^ which come 

Kotes of Travel and Exploration. 147 

from distances of two or three hundred miles laden with pottery and 
ornaments to be bartered for cargoes of sag-o. The principal articles 
of commerce produced in the other islands of the Pacific, are copra, 
a preparation of cocoa-nut dried in the sun, and trepang* or beche de 
mer^ much in favour as a comestible in many parts of the ^lobe. 

White Traders. — Solitary white traders live on many of these 
islands either as agents for a firm, or on their private speculation. 
Their manners by all accounts are not such as to raise the standard 
of the natives. The character of the trader class has, however, 
improved very much during' the last few years, and the Germans in 
particular are generally well-educated young* men, with a command 
of French, German, and English, offering in this respect a humiliating 
contrast to the British traders. 

Cricket in the Pacific. — The Tonga islanders are the champion 
cricketers of this part of the world, having been instructed and 
supplied with bats and balls by H.M.S. Emerald some few years 
ag'o. Mr. Romilly believes they have never sustained a defeat, 
though they play an eleven of every man-of-war that visits them. 
Such indeed is their passion for the game, that it has become 
necessary to restrict by legislation the number of days on which it 
can be played to two in the week, else all other affairs would be 
neglected for it. 

German New Guinea. — Captain Dickson, an old trader to the 
South Seas, gives the following description of the German settle- 
ments on the coast of New Guinea, extracted from the Australian 
papers in the Times of April '24. 

Finsch Haven, where he arrived in the steamer Truganine on 
January 25, 1886, is at present an open roadstead, but could be 
made a good harbour with a considerable outlay. The settlement 
consists of six Germans and fourteen Malays, living on a small island 
in the bay connected with the mainland by a causeway. They have 
begun to cultivate the soil on the mainland, but as yet only to the 
extent of planting yams, corn, and other necessary products ; only a 
few acres being as yet cleared of timber. The soil is splendid, the 
land high and not densely wooded, while a large river about a mile 
to the north provides an abundant supply of water. The natives are 
numerous and not very friendly to the Germans, who have had to 
erect four sentry-boxes on the island, to be occupied at night, in 
consequence of a recent attempt by the natives to surround and 
massacre the settlers. The opportune arrival of the steamer Samoa 
frustrated this design, at the moment when it was about to be put 
in execution. No force was used, but the natives were driven away, 
and are no longer allowed to approach the island, so that all trade 
with them has been suspended for about three months. 

Scenery and Capabilities. — After a stay of five days at Finsch 
Haven the Samoa steamed along the north-west coast, 250 miles to 
Samoa Haven. The scenery along the coast is beautiful, surpassing 
anything in the South Seas ; the coast is bold, and vessels can steam 
close in-shore, the water being deep and free from impediments to - 

L 2 

148 Notes of Travel and Exjploration. 

navigation. No river or creek was passe i during the whole voyage^ 
but several islands were sighted, all densely inhabited, the land being 
cleared and studded with houses built in regular New Guinea fashion. 
A number of natives were visible on the mainland, parts of which 
were thickly wooded and parts covered v/ith luxuriant grass. Samoa 
Haven, though a far better harbour than Finsch Haven, would still 
require a considerable expenditure to convert it into a thoroughly 
good port. The natives, who are very friendly and numerous, follow 
agricultural pursuits, and have w^ell-cuitivated gardens. The German 
settlement is on an island about half a mile long by a quarter of a 
mile wide, communicating with the mainland only by boats j and the 
colonists, fifty in number, are occupied in clearing their little territory 
preparatory to laying it out as a township. Their efforts have not 
yet been directed to the mainland, except in the way of trade; 
tobacco-leaf, grown in large quantities by the natives, being the prin- 
cipal article dealt in, for which pieces of hoop-iron, apparently their 
only requirement, are taken in exchange. The settlers are healthy 
and contented, so the climate seems promising for colonization. 

Propects of the Colony. — The Truganiiie, after a two days' stay^ 
returned to Finsch Haven. At both these settlements, the houses 
and buildings in course of erection are of wood covered with iron, 
and are brought from Germany. Considering the shortness of the 
time, and small number of hands employed, the progress made is 
surprising. According to advices received, a shipload of emigrants^ 
doubtless arrived long* ere this, had been despatched from Germany to 
occupy the settlement, and form parties to explore the country, so as- 
to open it up and establish trade with the natives. The climate, 
though warm, is well spoken of by the pioneers, and the outlook of 
the settlement seems generally bright, while agriculturists in par- 
ticular would be likely to reap rich harvests there. The great draw- 
back is the want of harbours, which only a very large outlay can 

Great Britain and Germany in the Pacific. — A Parliamentary 
paper, issued on May 3, contains declarations of Great Britain and 
Germany as to their respective influence, trade, and commerce in the 
Western Pacific. A map of that region of the ocean accompanies 
the paper, and on it is traced a line of demarcation between the 
several spheres of the two countries. This line starts from a point 
on the north-east coast of New Guinea, near Humboldt Bay, runs 
thence southward, turns westward to Treasury Island, and then 
southing again, passes to the lower end of Ysabel Island, near the 
middle of the Solomon group. Thence it doubles to the north-east 
to Keats Bank, passing to the east of the Marshall Islands. 

The contracting Powers mutually engage not to make acquisi- 
tions of territory, accept protectorates, or interfere with each other's 
influence within the portions of the Pacific reserved to each ; but the 
declaration does not apply to the Friendly and Navigator Islands, 
to the Island of Nine, or any islands belonging to other civilized 
powers. The second declaration provides for reciprocal freedom of 

Notes of Travel and Exploration. 149 

trade between the British and German possessions and protectorates 
in the Western Pacific, with the most favoured nation treatment, 
while both Governments eng-ao-e not to establish penal settlements, 
or transport convicts to any spot in this region. 

Massacres of Explorers on the Abyssinian Frontier. — 
Official news, which reached Cairo on April :25, 1886, announces the 
massacre by the Emir of Harrar of the members of an expedition 
sent out by the Geographical Society of Milan, contrary to the advice 
of the Italian Government, and despite the energetic remonstrances 
of the Eng-lish authorities at Aden. The party, consisting- of Counts 
Porro and Montig-lio Professor Sicata, Dr. Gethardi, Signori 
Eomagnoli, Janni, Bianchi, and two servants, left Zeila on March 27, 
tind having been treacherously persuaded to pack up their arms, were 
attacked and massacred by a party of 200 soldiers, between Geldessa 
and Artow in the Somali country. The Emir, a native of Harrar, 
tind a descendant of the old Emirs, was restored to power on the 
Egyptian evacuation of the country. After the massacre, he pro- 
ceeded to occupy Geldessa, disarming fifteen Anglo-Indian soldiers 
who formed its g-arrison. 

A letter from Aden to the Journal des Dehats^ gives details of the 
second massacre, that of a French party, attacked by the Danakils 
on the frontier of Shoa. The caravan, including M. Barral and 
his wife, M. Savoure, and Dimitri Righas, an interpreter, started 
from Obock to explore and establish commercial relations with 
Abyssinia, carrying 3,000 muskets and a large supply of ammu- 
nition. Within two days' march after leaving Harrar, M. and 
Madame Barral, with a brother of the Sultan of Loitah, and 
nineteen well-armed Abyssinians, separated from the main body 
to go in search of water, and had gone a little more than a mile» 
when a number of native Assaimaras emerged from the brush- 
"wood, evidently meditating an attack. With the hope of intimi- 
dating them, M. Barral desired his Abyssinians to fire into the 
air, and as they were reloading the natives fell upon them with 
their spears, overpowering and massacring the whole party. 
They then attacked the rest of the caravan, but the camel-drivers 
cut the belts binding the loads of the camels, and made for Harrar. 
Another caravan arriving two days later on the spot, finding 2,000 
muskets on the ground, and boxes rified and broken open, gave the 
alarm, and Mgr. Louis de Gonzague, Vicar- Apostolic of Shoa, 
sought for the remains of M. and Mme. Barral, and gave Christian 
burial to all that had been left by the hyenas and jackals. 

A French. View of the Kocky Mountains. — The Far West 
from a Parisian point of view is somewhat of a novelty in literature, 
and M. de Mandat-Grancey's volume* is certainly not the least 
entertaining contribution to our knowledge of this region. Many 
of the strange incongruities of its social aspect, due to the semi- 

* *' Dans les Montagnes Eocheuses." Par le Baron A. de Mandat-Grancey 
Paris : E. Plon, Nourrit et Cie. 1884. 

150 Notes of Tra vel and Explora t io n . 

relapse into savag-ery of the white man on this border-land of 
civilization, are sketched by the author's incisive French wit with a 
vividness that makes the facts seem new. His experiences were 
principally in the rich mineral district of the Black Hills, an isolate^ 
mountain group in advance of the great Kocky chain. This auriferous 
region is situated in the nevrly admitted State of Dakota, the thirty- 
ninth and youngest member of the American Union. It is an 
interesting- fact, recalled by the author, that the mineral riches of 
Dakota were known to P. de Smet, the great Jesuit apostle of the 
Sioux, as was proved by the papers found after his death, but that 
he concealed his discovery, from his foreknowledge of the misfor- 
tunes it would bring upon his Indian disciples. 

But the mining- industry of Dakota is only one of many of its 
gTowing* sources of wealth, and cattle-breeding- is making- rapid 
strides among- the Black Hills. In 1878, two years after their 
cession by the Indians, 100,000 head of cattle w^ere grazing these 
mountains and the plains at their foot, while in 1882 this number 
had risen to 500,000, and in 1883 to 800,000. One settler kills 
from 200 to 250 animals a day, sends every day a refrigerator 
waggon laden with meat to New York, a distance of nearly 2,000 
miles, and makes on every carcase a net profit of five dollars. The 
humbler emigrants, however, live wretchedly enough, and Dakota is 
said to be " not a poor man's country." 

New Russian Fort on the Caspian. — Tlie shallowness of the 
harbour of Michaelovsk at the head of Krasnovodsk Bay, the 
western terminus of the Trans-Caspian Railwa}' , has hitherto been a 
formidable obstacle to traffic with Central Asia, compelling the 
transhipment of goods and passengers from steamers into barges 
before nearing the shore. The construction of a further section of 
eighty mi-es of railway to Krasnovodsk, a good harbour at the mouth 
. of the bay, had been heretofore recognized as a necessit}-, but an easier 
solution of the difficulty has been found in General Annenkolf s 
discovery at Urzambada, only a few miles to the south-west of 
Michaelovsk, of a new harbour which a little dredging has rendered 
fit for vessels drawing ten feet of water. As most of the Caspian 
steamers are of light draught, to enable them to pass the Nine Foot 
Soundings at the mouth of the Volga, this depth is sufficient for the 
ordinary traffic, and obviates the break in steam transit previously 
existing. It thus rivets the last link in Russia's rapidly extending 
line of communications with Central Asia, already nearly complete 
from the Caspian to the Oxus. 

A New Oasis in Central Asia. — Nor will the revolution in 
progress under the guidance of her engineers be confined to the 
increase of facilities for traffic, as they contemplate transforming the 
face of the steppe itself, and largely increasing its cultivable area. 
A project is in contemplation for the creation of a new oasis like 
that of Merv, by the diversion of a portion of the waters of the 
Oxus or Amu Darya, from a point near Chardjui through the 
neighbouring desert, where ancient channels can be traced for a 

Notes of Travel and Exploration. 15'1 

distance of seventy miles. The task of reconducting- the waters 
throug-h these would be a comparatively easy one, and the elabo- 
ration of a complete canal system might then be left to the natives, 
who are adepts in the science of artificial irrigation. Water alone is 
required to convert the Central Asian desert into a garden, and the 
creation of a second fertile tract like Merv in the heart of the Kara 
Kum, or " Black Sands," that girdle Khiva, would be of incalculable 
benefit to Russia in her future military and administrative designs. 

Artesian Wells. — Meantime an attempt is being made to supply 
the parched Trans-Caspian region with water by means of artesian 
wells, and a successful series of borings, beginning" about forty miles 
inland from the port of Michaelovsk, has been made by Herr Grote, 
the constructor of the railway to Merv. Water was reached in many 
places at seventy feet, and the continuance of the experiments seems 
to establish the possibility of obtaining- it in sufficient quantity, not 
only for the railway but tor irrigation. 

The same system is being adopted to increase the water-supply of 
London, and artesian tube wells are being fixed by Messrs. Isler & 
Co., of Southwark, for the supply of the flats and offices of the Albert 
Hall Mansions, South Kensington, and the Westminster Chambers,^ 
Victoria Street. The borings will have to be carried to a depth of 
over 400 feet, through layers of London clay and Woolwich and 
Reading- beds, before the water is reached, and as the tubing* will be 
absolutely impermeable to contamination by the upper polluted 
springs, the supply will be free from all impurities. — Engineering, 
April 23. 

New Cotton Plant. — After a series of experiments extending" 
over a number of years, Mr. A. A. Suber of Macon, Georgia, has 
succeeded in hybridizing the cotton-plant that grows wild in Florida 
with the common okra. The result is a shrub, combining the okra 
stalk and the foliage of the cotton-plant, but with a fruit and flower 
totally dissimilar from both. A single magnificent blossom, resem- 
bling the great magnolia in size and fragrance, is the product of each 
bush, which grows about two feet high. At first white, it changes 
after a few days, like the flower of the cotton-plant, to a pale pink, 
thence deepening into red, Avhen it drops, disclosing- a large boll, 
resembling' then the ordinary cotton-pod. After a few days, how- 
ever, it begins to increase rapidly in size, until it attains the magni- 
tude of a large cocoa-nut, when the snowy filaments begin to burst 
out, but are kept in place by the okra like thorns or points that line 
their envelope. Two pounds of very long-stapled cotton, said to be 
superior to that of Sea Island, are thus produced, and as the seeds 
to the number of four or six, resembling- persimmon-seeds, remain in 
the bottom of the boll, and do not adhere to the lint, the latter re- 
quires no ginning, while the saving of labour in gathering- it is so 
great, that the most clumsy hand can pick 800 lbs. a day, and the 
expert ones proportionably more. Should its cultivation prove a 
success, the cotton industries of the Southern States would receive 
an enormous impulse. — Iron, January 1, 1886. 

152 Kotes of Travel and Exploration. 

Rheea Fibre. — A larg-e tract of land has been acquired in the 
territory of Johore (Malay Peninsula) by a recently formed company 
(Rheea Manufacturing- Company), with a view to the cultivation of the 
plant producing- this fibre. It is of the nettle family ( Urtica nivea), 
and the fibre is contained in the bark. The Sultan of Johore has 
g-iven a firman and promises every facility to the company, who are 
also making- arrangements for establishing- plantations in India and 
Southern China. Burma is likewise said to afford the necessary con- 
ditions of soil and climate, and the plant is already grown in Egypt 
and in Southern Europe. The difficulties attending its utilization 
have been surmounted by recent discoveries, principally due to the 
experiments of M. Fremy, Member of the Institute of France, and 
Director of the Encyclopedie Chimique, Paris j the Fremy-Urbain 
process, as it is called, consisting of decorticating the stems by the 
application of steam. Two of the directors of the English company, 
with a party of experts, have visited Louviers, where there is a 
factory capable of converting a ton of '* ribbons" of bark a day into 
filasse, and thence into slivers and yarn. It is said that the use of 
the staple in every fabric for which flax, wool, and even silk are 
used, will be only limited by the supply of the raw material, and the 
factory it is proposed to establish in England will be capable of turn- 
ing out two tons of " ribbons " a day. — Irofi, January 16, 1886. 

Journey through Western Persia. — Mr. Rees, Under-Secretary 
to the Government of Madras, in his " Notes of a Journey from 
Kasvin to Hamadan " (Madras, 1885), describes a portion of Persia 
little visited by ordinary travellers. His observations lead him to 
believe that considerable regions of this country are both more fertile 
and more populous than is generally believed, and that the districts 
lying- west of the beaten track of travel differ widely from those 
traversed by the latter. Fertile and well-watered plains, covered 
with vineyards, cornfields, and orchards, extend right up to the 
Elburz range, while even on the hills wheat may be grown without 
irrigation. His route covered 120 miles from point to point, but 
included many lateral deviations, and as he travelled without any 
official status, associating freely with the people, he gathered a more 
intimate knowledge of their habits than is acquired on more expedi- 
tious journeys. The villages, inhabited by a hardy and prosperous 
race, he found pretty thickly scattered over the plains, among fruit- 
gardens and cornfields, and he infers that the official estimate of the 
population of Persia at 7,500,000, is much too low, and might 
probably be raised to 10,000.000. The country traversed was 
undulating and hilly, the highest level attained being 9,700 feet, at 
a point about eighty miles south-west of Kasvin. On the higher 
slopes many familiar flowers, such as iris, buttercup, dandelion, blue- 
bell, forget-me-not, and mallow were seen, with many others un- 
known in England. Animal life was scanty, and none of the larger 
species were encountered. 

The geography of Western Europe is very imperfectly understood 
by the natives, and Inglestan and Franoestan, with London, believed 

Notes on Novels. 153 

to be the capital of the first of these countries, or vice versa, are the 
only names associated with the Occidental world, while the Russians, 
€alied Ooroos, have a better defined identity. A glimmering of 
English politics has penetrated here, and " Vigs " and " Toarees '' 
are recognized as the names of opposite factions, believed to be con- 
stantly engaged in actual hostility ; the country of the Ooroos being- 
regarded as better governed by a Shah, who allows no civil war in 
his dominions. The town of Hamadan, though so little known to 
European commerce, is a flourishing community with 30,000 inhabi- 
tants, and the impression made by the entire region is one of greater 
comfort and prosperity than are generally associated with the 
dominions of the Shah. 

Itolfs on '^Ms. 

Mostly/ Fools. A Romance of Civilization. By Mr. Randolph. 
In three vols. London ; S. Low & Co. 1886. 

rPHERE is an abruptness, a ^'jumpiness" (if the word be 
X allowed) about Mr. Randolph's novel which will perhaps 
make it more difficult for his readers to give him the attention he 
deserves. '^ Mostly Fools " is a bad title, associated as it is with a 
cynical saying of Carlyle's which may surely at this time of day be 
l-eft to its rest. Mr. Randolph's cover is a startling motley of 
crimson and white ; and he dedicates his book (in three words) " to 
my adversaries." To have arrived at the importance of having 
'' adversaries " is enough to secure the sale of one's book, and it 
may be hoped, in Mr. Randolph's interest, that his adversaries are 
real and not imaginary. He certainly writes as if he had a " cause," 
and had many opponents whose bitterness was only equalled by 
their fatuity. A novel which is written for a '^ cause " is heavily 
handicapped ; for the disquisitions with which the author (through 
his wiser characters) is obliged to favour a frivolous world are very, 
very apt to swamp whatever interest there is in the story. There 
are three aspects under which these volumes may be considered — 
first, as a novel ; secondly, as a novel " of civilization ;" and, lastly, 
as the novel of a Catholic writer. As a novel, judged by the 
ordinary laws of art, it is disjointed, scrappy and without any 
dramatic power ; but it is at the same time always clever, generally 
lively, and even brilliant, and in many passages noble and pathetic. 
The writer cannot draw a character ; perhaps he does not care to 
draw any except his own. The hero, Roland Tudor, is sketched at 
school, in London, in the country, and in several outlandish 
foreign countries j he is an Admirable Crichton, with a tremendous 

154 Notes on Novels. 

biceps — who invented that useful muscle ? — wonderful digestion and 
heroic coolness j romantic in love, eloquent in the House of 
Commons, and terrible in war. To match him there is a heroine, 
whose name is Sybil Grey; of mysterious antecedents, preternatural 
beauty, and brilliant talents of repartee; who lives mostly in a 
romantic country-house, is of course accompanied by two great 
" hounds," and is (very badly) looked after by an unsatisfactory old 
gentleman whom she calls '* Guardy," and who is just going to 
*' reveal" something when he dies. Roland Tudor arid Sybil Grey, 
it need not be said, fall in love — instantaneously, wildly, over head 
and ears. Their proceedings under these circumstances are described 
with spirit and etfect ; the usual storm on a lake is well done, and 
the various dreams and other disturbing visitations are given with 
much power of language ; whilst the end of the whole episode — the 
renunciation by Sybil of her love and her bright worldly prospects 
for the religious habit — is really pathetic, giving the author a 
chance, of which he fully avails himself, of touching the depths of 
emotion and the realities of serious human concerns. We have 
called the story of Roland and Sybil an episode, and so it is ; but 
the whole book consists of episodes. As for the hero, he goes off to 
South America, becomes dictator of the whole place (apparently), 
does the most wonderful things with smokeless and soundless 
automaton guns, electric field-pieces and electro-explosive mines, 
and dies mysteriously in the hour of triumph. Besides Roland 
Tudor there is a sort of Sidonia — (Mr. Randolph surely must be 
acquainted with the novels of the late Lord Beaconsfield ?) — called 
Lord St. Maur, who builds a Pompeian palace in Park Lane, 
masquerades a good deal, makes some very long speeches and keeps 
reappearing in various parts of the world. Nearly all the other 
characters are excessively disagreeable — Major Lickpenny (a 
simulacrum of another Major called Pendennis), the Squeed family, 
Lady Victoria Nage, &c. &c., none of whom have much to do with 
the story of Roland, or with any story, but whose vulgarity, vice 
and folly are described with the purpose, as may be supposed, of 
justifying the title of the book. Whether it is these pictures of 
unpleasant people, or the quasi-scientific excursuSy which make the 
author call his work a romance ^' of civilization," we cannot say. 
It is as the novel of a Catholic writer with reforming or lecturing 
proclivities that it will most interest our readers. Koland Tudor is 
a Catholic, and we begin with him at school. It would be unfair to 
say that Mr. Randolph, in describing St. Augustine's, Jiad any 
particular school in view. There are some traits in the picture 
which we would devoutly conceive as never having belonged to any 
school whatever. For instance, we are not aware that, after the 
rattle at the morning calling-up, it anywhere was or is the custom 
for "a great voice, like an organ-pipe," to break forth into the 
*' Laudate pueri Dominum " and sing it right through. There is 
no need to quote from Mr. Randolph's description of school-life. 
There is not much of the usual " new boy " business, the games are 

Notes on Novels. 155 

sparinj^ly referred to, and though there is a fight, it is not of the 
ordinary type. But Mr. Randolph lets us plainly see what in his 
opinion are the deficiencies of Catholic schools. He does not write 
ungenerously. But he seems to think that Catholic boys are 
badly fed, and narro^vly brought up ; that in Catholic colleges there 
is much bullying and toadying and too little drill ; and that they do 
not prepare boys for politics and the world. Here is a passage 
which will serve as a specimen of his statement of his case : — 

Brought up in a quaint and dangerous asceticism of thought, both 
cleric and lay were turned out upon a woi'ld of which they were as 
ignorant as babes, and at an age when the consequent revulsion of 
feeling was likely to be greatest. If here and there scandals came it was 
no wonder ; the wonder was rather that they did not come in scores. 
At St. Augustine's the only breath that reached the students from the 
outer world was through the illn=!trated papers, the dailies were not 
admitted. Here they found in detail the latest movements of royalty^ 
the latest arrangements in dress improvers, and so forth. The papers 
that catered for women and children were, with the exception of the 
religious prints that were laid upon the table in the various libraries, the 
only ones from which these boys and grown men in leading-strings had 
to extract their necessary knowledge of the world. Within the walls no 
hint as to a coming citizenship, no hint as to the right of every man with 
a stake in the country to raise his voice in the government of it ; no 
suggestion as to a possibility of any public usefulness, was ever dropped ' 
(i. 70). 

This kind of thing is surely both exaggerated where it is true 
and mainly false. At Catholic colleges, even a quarter of a century 
ago and more, boys got a very fair idea of general political truth and 
of citizenship. True, the Tiines was not taken in the boys' libraries j 
but the w^eekly papers, whether Catholic or "illustrated" (why 
should they not be illustrated ?) furnished useful summaries of 
current events, without the objectionable leading articles and party- 
ridden commentaries which make the '^ dailies " anything but 
wholesome education. Some thirty years ago the writer of this 
notice remembers, year after year, how great parliamentary debates 
and other interesting newspaper matters were regularly read aloud 
by this master or that, in a circle of boys, for the express purpose of 
this general social and political education which Mr. Randolph says 
was so utterly neglected. The truth is. Catholic educators, 
whether secular priests, or Benedictines, or Jesuits, have never been 
utter fools, though they have often been much hampered by want 
of means. They have quite understood, as a rule, the weak points 
of Catholic education, without waiting for a novelist to put these 
into epigrams for the edification of strangers. Mr. Randolph is 
mostly in the right in his principles; though we doubt whether he 
has realized what is meant by education as distinct from its results j 
but where he is right, the large majority of Catholic teachers are at 
one with him, and have been so from the beginning of the century. 

But Mr. Randolph's zeal does not expend itself on Catholic 
education. In an elaborate scene he describes a session of a society 

156 Notes on Novels. 

which he calls the Catholic Centre, and which is evidently intended 
for the Catholic Union. His hero, Koland Tudor, makes a speech 
(amid interruptions which are too fanatical and too much in the spirit 
of broad farce to keep up the illusion intended) j and it may be 
presumed that the author endorses his own hero. The speech is 
discursive. Catholics do not bear their share of public burdens ; 
they do not lead the way ; they take no enlightened action ; they 
make no ^' impress " on the national legislation ; they are defective 
in some of the qualities which make up an Eng-lishman ; they make 
no effort to popularize the faith ; the way they deal with the masses 
is unintelligible and un-English. In conclusion he says : — 

One thing we lack; a leader, or rather many leaders — laymen who, 
while respecting due authority, will go forward fearlessly in the path of 
public duty, who will be unsparing of criticism, and unresting in their 
efforts to set right what may be wrong among ourselves ; who will form 
for us as a body something like a truly representative constitution, and so 
gain not only our confidence, but that of the outside public ; and who, 
putting forward no irrational claims, will maintain the Church in Eng- 
land in her public place, as a fountain-head of light and leading, of 
honour and example, a main-spring of the health and happiness of the 
nation itself (ii. 115). 

Afterwards, talking with his friend St. Maur, he moralizes on 
Catholicism : — 

We are entangled in a network of circumstances. One man cannot 
epeak because he is tied in this way, another in that ; bread and butter, 
you know, very often. Then there is the fear of scandal outside, and this 
is the only serious part of the w^hole affair. . . . After all, we are in no 
worse plight than other societies of men, it is a mere matter of discipline. 
It is partly that we have no experience of collective action, we laymen. 
Take these people we have met to-day, and you will find them one and 
all (almost) worthy Christian gentlemen, but they are not the men to 
drive such an engine as modern Catholicism. Authority mistrusts any 
public proceeding on our part, and ^pon my honour, I entirely side with 
Authority, at present. Still, leading-strings are for babes ; we must 
train, organize, educate ourselves towards virility (ii. 122) . 

Further on an "ex- Minister" thus delivers himself about 
Catholics :— 

Here in our midst is a great religious organization of the highest class, 
though of a foreign character, and numbering about two millions. 
Socially speaking, it is excellent in every way ; so far as one can judge, it 
is on the side of law and order, on the side of government in fact, yet it 
may be said to be wholly unrepresente(?, and without a voice in any 
public department, for Irish members don't represent it here. If it be 
a question of Eoman Catholic pauper lunatics, instead of finding an 
accredited spokesman of their own on the board, we have to go round 
and unearth a cardinal or a peer, and the peer certainly won't know too 
much about it. This is awkward for us, if it isn't for them. It is their 
own concern if they don't care to have that voice in the government to 
which their numbers and social status entitle them. But it appears to 
me to be a question whether this really is the case among them, whether 
there may not be men whose abilities and position would not naturally 

Notes on Novels. 157 

force them to the front, if the cold chill of ecclesiastical censure did not 
fall on any attempt at a forward movement. How is it that never a 
man among them has taken a place before the country ? They have men 
who should be leaders, but they are without followers, they represent no 
authority, and the Church of Rome wants authority, and doesn't much 
care where it comes from. Hence individual action is always discredited, 
until it reaches that pitch of success which means authority, when it is 
accepted blindly. Certainly the man who first succeeds in amalgamating 
the Catholic vote in this country, becomes a power of the first order 
(ii. 198). 

Mr. Eandolph has expressed his views very calmly, and no one 
will say there is nothing* in them. Let us take one or two of his 
points. He is afraid of ecclesiastical censure if he or another comes 
to the front. This seems to us an undiluted chimera, if such a 
terrible mixture of metaphors may be allowed. There are matters 
connected with education and with church organization in which the 
bishops must necessarily lead ; Mr. Randolph, who writes through- 
out as an uncompromising Catholic, would be the first to admit this. 
But to make a man a leader, it is not enough that Authority — with 
a capital A — should refrain from chilling ; a man must be able to 
lead. As it happens, the Catholic masses in this country are very 
much interested in politics, but very little in English would-b& 
politicians. We merely state the fact, without comment ; but it 
explains why there are so few English Catholics in the House of 
Commons. There are plenty of us in the army, in the civil service^ 
in literature, at the bar, on the bench ; but because representative 
institutions require a person to represent, and because the ordinary 
English Catholic gentleman does not represent the Catholic voting 
power, there are next to none of us in the House. It may be a 
pity ; it is partly the result of overpowering political circumstances,, 
which we may hope will alter; but it is not the fault of Authority. 
Mr. Randolph has a good many ^' hits " at men who build large 
churches in remote places, at the too constant use of Latin services,, 
and at shortcomings in the way of preaching. There can be no 
great harm in saying what he does ; it contains a good deal of 
truth, and the clergy as well as the laity see it well enough. It is 
very one-sided; it leaves an opening for endless retorts ; and the 
end is, that there is imperfection in all directions. Still it may da 
good to say it between the boards of a white-and-red novel. There 
is one sentence of Mr. Randolph's which goes a long way to redeem 
his somewhat crude criticism, and we conclude by quoting it. " Na 
man," he says, ^' will ever be leader or spokesman with us who 
has failed to identify himself with us, faults and all, from first to 
last ; there is enough virility in us for that at any rate " (ii. 

158 Notes on Novels. 

Demos: a Story of English Socialism. In three vols. London : 
Smith, Elder & Co. 1886. 

THIS is a work of decided power and originality, and should 
achieve a considerable success. Vivid descriptions hoth of 
persons and localities; language always flowing, sometimes eloquent; 
a plot depending on one of the most interesting social problems of 
the day, combine to raise it above the level of the ordinary three- 
volume novel. The main current of the narrative is simple and 
•clear, and the complications introduced by the minor characters are 
skilfully interwoven. 

As a representation, indeed, of Eng-lish Socialism, we fear that 
the story cannot be accepted as a trustworthy guide. If the forces 
and motives were really as feeble, and the leaders of the movement 
as ignorant, as they are here described, society would have nothing 
to fear from this disintegrating tendency ; but it is from its human 
nature, not from its political economy, that we expect a successful 
reception by the public. 

In outline the story is as follows: — A rich old merchant of the 
name of Mutimer, who has selected as his heir young Hubert Eldon, 
being dissatisfied with the conduct of the latter, gets his will from 
the solicitor with the intention of making new dispositions. He 
dies suddenly, in his pew on Sunday in church ; no will is forth- 
coming, and the inference is that he destroyed that which was 
known to exist without executing another. Hubert Eldon of course 
loses his fortune, and the whole estate goes to distant relatives — • 
artisans in London. This family consists of an old and ignorant 
mother, whose character is admirably sketched, and three children — 
viz., Richard, the prominent leader of the Socialist movement at 
working men's clubs ; Alice, a vain and empty-headed girl ; and 
'Arry, a feeble and dissolute youth of seventeen. The access of 
wealth is disastrous to all three ; but vve need only advert to its 
effects upon Richard, as the others are merely side-liglits, throwing 
occasional shadows on the page. Richard Mutimer, a fine specimen 
of the English workman in point of physique, is devoid of education; 
his reading has been almost exclusively confined to the deleterious 
stuff known as " socialistic literature," and yet he has such a natural 
facility of language and such strength of character, and above all 
such faith in his own abilities, that he is a leader of prominence and 
power in gatherings of discontented artisans. When he suddenly 
finds himself a capitalist he resolves to carry his theories into 
practice, and accordingly founds a Socialistic mining enterprise on 
his recently acquired property at New Wanley. With admirable 
skill the author traces the subtle effects upon his character of the 
possession of wealth and i:he development of larger schemes. He 
gradually comes to regard questions from the standpoint of the 
capitalist rather than of the labourer, and the mines of New Wanley 
accordingly very soon lose their character of a socialistic experiment. 
It is also necessary for him, in order to forward the movement, to 

Notes on Novels. 159 

marry a lady ; and the prl of the working* classes, to whom he was 
enj^aged, is heartlessly discarded for the beautiful and accomplished 
Adela Waltham. 

We may wonder how a girl so refined and hig-h-principled as she 
is can be coerced or cajoled into a marriage with an illiterate and 
uncultured brute like Mutimer, but we cannot deny the ability with 
which her feelings in her married life are analysed and described. 

The denouement is striking and dramatic in the highest degree. 
How it affects the fortunes of the chief character and leads to a 
pleasant termination, shall be left, as is only fair, for the book itself 
to tell. 

A Tale of a Lonely Parish. By F. Marion Crawford. 
London: Macmillan & Co. 1886. 

MR. CRAWFORD'S latest work is a fresh proof of the versatility 
of his genius. Instead of transporting us in the very exube- 
rance of imaginative power to the pomps of the Persian Court, as in 
*' Zoroaster," or to the shadowy realms of Indian mysticism, as in 
^* Mr. Isaacs," he has chosen for the setting of his picture a remote 
part of Essex, and for subject the homely detail of rural life in 
England. Of course, however, the routine of the " Lonely Parish " 
is interrupted during the period of the story by the arrival of the 
heroine, an interesting lady with a background of mystery, developed 
in the course of the story into a convict-husband, undergoing penal 
servitude for forgery and fraud. His escape from Portland, stained 
with murder in addition to his former crime, brings on a crisis in 
her fate, and the struggle in her mind between pity, horror, and the 
remembrance of former attachment, is very well portrayed. The 
complication is finally solved by his death, attended and watched 
over by her to the last, while the detectives are waiting to re-arrest 
him in case of his recovery. The widow is eventually consoled by 
a happy marriage to her staunch friend, Mr. J uxon, the squire of 
the parish, a manly and true-hearted gentleman, who conscientiously 
endeavours to save the convict's life, even after he has attempted 
his own murder. The undergraduate's boyish passion for the heroine, 
and its sudden extinction when superseded by other interests in his 
mind, is described with quiet humour, and forms a lively episode. 
Although the tale is not invested with the peculiar glamour of some 
of Mr. Crawford's earlier works, it has a charm of its own, and will 
not diminish his reputation. 

Chantry House. By Charlotte M. Yonge. London : 
Macmillan & Co. 1886. 

MISS YONGE'S readers, who generally expect from her a 
faithful transcript of family joys and sorrows, will not be dis- 
appointed in this last addition to her series of domestic romances. 
To literary palates, trained to the highly seasoned art of sensational 

160 Notes on Novels. 

fiction, such simple fare may appear a little insipid ; but novels of 
this type fill a place of their own, as they may be safely put into the 
hands of all readers, from the schoolroom upwards. '* Chantry 
House " carries us back some fifty years to follow the fortunes of a 
number of boys and girls, whose characters are individualized with 
a power of delicate discrimination^ recognized as one of the authoress's 
chief gifts. The narrator is a boy, who, having* been crippled by an 
accident in childhood, plays the part of a sympathizing- spectator of 
his brother's more active career. How the scapegrace of the family, 
disgraced on his first start in life, conquers his defects, and becomes 
a model son and brother, while the handsome, dashing eldest son, 
the darling of the nursery, develops from the unregarded selfishness 
of boyhood the graver faults of undisciplined manhood, is skilfully 
shown in the coarse of the narrative ; though we should have thought 
that a character like the first of these tj^pes, early undermined by 
the radical vice of untruthfulness, would rarely have the retrieving 
power required for complete self-reformation. The tone of the book 
is throughout religious from the ultra-High Church standpoint, but 
it is quite uncontroversial, and contains nothing to hurt the suscep- 
tibilities of the adherents of any creed. 

The Mayor of Casterhridge. The Life and Death of a Man of 
Character. By Thomas Hardy, Author of " Far from the 
Madding Crowd." London : Smith, Elder & Co. 188G. 

MR. THOMAS HARDY'S latest book having stood the trying 
test of division into weekly parts in the Graphic as well as in 
an American illustrated paper, is now published in two volumes, and 
gains greatly from the increased interest afforded by consecutive 

We think that in " The Mayor of Casterbridge " Mr. Hardy not 
only sustains his already high reputation, but most materially 
enhances it. The book has wonderful dramatic power. Its story 
marches and its characters develop with unflagging effect; the 
supernumeraries speak, act, and move with admirably fitting sub- 
ordination, while the descriptive word-pictures furnish such a 
beautiful scene-setting, that one lays down the Tolumes with some- 
thing of the feeling with which one sees the act-drop fall on a play 
perfectly acted. 

While a ver}' young man, Michael Henchard, influenced by ill- 
temper and drink, sells his wife by auction to a sailor for five 
guineas at a country fair. Though he speedily repents his folly and 
lives to be " a prosperous gentleman " and Mayor of Casterbridge, 
the consequences of his sin pursue him like a vengeful fate. Even 
after the lapse of twenty years, as he sits in the mayoral chair, he is 
twitted with his early disgrace by an old woman whom the town 
" Dogberry " had " comprehended " and " charged, sir, with the- 
offence of disorderly female and vagabond." She lets out the story. 

Notes on Novels. 161 

adding, *' And the man who sold his wife in that fashion is the man 
sitting- there in the great big* chair." " The speaker concluded by 
nodding her head at Henchard, and folding her arms. Everybody 
looked at Henchard. His face seemed strang-e, and in tint as if it 
had been powdered over with ashes. * We don't want to hear your 
life and adventures,' said the second magistrate, sharply, filling the 
pause which followed. * You've been asked if you've anything to 
say bearing on the case.' ' That bears on the case. It proves that 
he's no better than I, and has no right to sit there in judgment upon 
me.' * 'Tis a concocted story,' said the clerk^ ' so hold your tongue.' 
* No — 'tis true.' The words came from Henchard, ' 'Tis true 
as the light,' he said slowly. ' And, upon my soul, it does prove 
that I'm no better than she ! And to keep out of any temptation 
to treat her hard for her revenge, I'll leave her to you.' " 

Mr. Hardy deals out even-handed justice to his creations, reward- 
ing good and punishing evil with severe impartiality; giving, 
indeed, a morality to his book as valuable as it is distinct. One 
cannot help pitying Henchard as trouble treads on trouble, even to 
the upsetting of his waggon of hay, and loss succeeds loss, enough 
" to press a royal merchant down," but w^e follow his almost tragic 
fate with more of awe than the pity which is akin to love. 

Lucetta, whose "inconsequent passion for another man at first 
sight " brings her such sorrow, is, like " Bathsheba," of the type of 
wayward woman Mr. Hardy makes us frequently familiar. Apart 
from the green of trees and meadow sheen, the story is of so sombre 
hue, that we have little of the " green " w^hich " is the colour of 
lovers ;" yet there is at last a joyous wedding, and good " Elizabeth- 
Jane " mates with the husband of her heart. With the chorus of 
Wessex rustics we renew acquaintance with pleasure. They are as 
delightfully quaint and admirably limned as ever. We are much 
mistaken if " The Mayor of Casterbridge " does not widen the circle 
of Mr. Hardy's readers. 

Court Royal: a Story of Cross Currents. By the Author of 
" Mehalah," " John Herring," &c. In three volumes. London : 
Sbith, Elder & Co. 1886. 

'* /^OURT ROYAL" is sure to be popular ; the author baits his 
\^ hook for every kind of novel-reader. In the first place, as 
admirers of " Mehalah " and '' John Herring " will remember, his 
style is graphic, his language plain. He who runs may read. 
The great desire of to-day being to combine as much amusement 
with as little trouble as possible, the writer w4io will speak his mind 
in clear sentences and short paragraphs is sure of an audience. In 
the second place, the author of *' Court Royal " really has a 
mind to speak. Like Charles Reade, he writes with a purpose ; 
and like Charles Reade he can disguise that purpose so skil- 
fully that the inveterate novel-reader (who of course will skip the 
explanatory preface) may remain in blissful ignorance of any pur- 
voL. XVI. — NO. I. [Third Series.] M 

162 JS^otes on Novels. 

pose at all. It is for the sake of tliis insatiable, quick-devouring-, 
sensation-loving" personage, who unfortunately constitutes nine- 
tenths of the novelist audience, that " Court Royal " is seasoned 
with incidents which touch now and again on the grotesquely 
improbable. Such are the circumstances chosen to introduce 
Johanna the pawnbroker's pledge, to Charles Cheek the idle son of 
the ready-money tradesman. The '^Golden Balls" is on fire, and 
Johanna goes up to the roof armed with mop and pail to extinguish 
it. Sitting astride the centre ridge her efforts meet with more 
success than would be possible, with such ludicrously inadequate 
means. Mr. Cheek passing by in the street below, observes her, 
and mounts to the roof likewise. She, wild, dirty, and wet through ; 
he in fine evening suit of black, patent leather boots, white tie and 
diamond studs j sit facing each other, and their conversation under 
such peculiar conditions could hardly fail to partake of a very un- 
conventional character. It is in fact extremely racy. By this we 
mean nothing more than humorous, for while '' Court Royal" is as 
fertile in incongruities as a Gilbertian libretto, its author may like- 
wise share Mr. Gilbert's boast, that no line of his is unfit reading for 
youth or maiden. 

The serious part of the book is the antagonism between the new 
order and the old. The author contrasts the coming men, the 
coming democracy, the coming worship of individualism, which, 
according to him, is to sweep away all restraint — moral, social and 
religious — with the old, aristocratic class, devoted to church and king, 
wherein the utmost limit of refinement has been reached, with the 
result that every spark of God-given individuality is extinguished, 
and each unit has become but a part of the whole, bound to think 
and act, to move and breathe, according- to the fixed rules of 
adamantine custom. 

To which side, the old or the new, our author's proclivities tend, 
is not altogether clear ; he is severe and tender with each in turn. 
But while all thinking men may agree with him that vast social 
changes are closing in upon us, it would be well to set ourselves a 
higher ideal than the apparent one with which "Court Royal" 
closes. May we not, even when " the "Protestant Church is dis- 
established," "the House of Lords abolished," and '^ the army gone 
to the dogs," still hope for something better than the apotheosis of 
Impudence, the worship of Money, and the deification of Self? 

Salammbo. By Gustave Flaubert. Englished by M. French 
Sheldon. London : Saxon & Co. 1886. 

THE wide sale of this English translation of M. Flaubert's cele- 
brated work, published in the original more than twenty years 
ago, necessitates a w^ord of warning to our readers. The book, 
despite its great literary merit, is one to be avoided on. moral 
grounds, as it is tainted with the false realism that degrades all 

Notes on Novels. 16iB 

modern French art. Having- said this much, we need say no more ; 
though in justice to the book as a work of art we admit the pro- 
digious wealth of descriptive power which resuscitates in its pages 
all the sumptuous pageantry of ancient Carthaginian life. 

Mrs. Peter Howard. By the Author of " The Parish of Kilbv," &c. 
London : Smith, Elder & Co. 1886. 

A CERTAIN amount of rude power gives interest to a work 
which is nevertheless painful both in its subject and in 
the manner of its treatment. The characters are nearly all repulsive, 
and the details of their utterly loveless and sordid lives are portrayed 
with grim realism. The main theme is an ill-assorted marriage, in 
which indifference develops into aversion under the strain of the 
close proximity of everyday life. There seems an antecedent im- 
probability in the consent of a lady with any refinement of feeling 
to marry a man of such coarse fibre and unredeemed vulgarity of 
nature as Mr. Peter Howard, even under the persuasion of a strong- 
minded mother j and on a girl so insensible as not to shrink from 
such a union, we decline to waste any pity for its after consequences. 
Of course the inevitable complication ensues of the affections not 
given to the husband being diverted to another, and it is here we 
object to the moral tone of the book; for though the heroine shrinks 
from the final step of leaving her husband's roof, all the preliminary 
phases leading inevitably to such a result are described without 
reprobation, and indeed with apparent approval. The situation, 
when strained beyond endurance, is saved by a timely accident to 
the obnoxious husband, and Mrs. Peter Howard develops into the 
most patient of sick-nurses to the hateful cripple whose helplessness 
even fails to excite a feeling of tenderness in the reader's mind. 

The household of the money-grubbing old father, with its absence 
of all the graces or affections of home, is a strongly lined though 
harsh and repellent picture, not to be taken we should hope as a 
faithful presentment of English life in the commercial classes. We 
should be equally loth to accept as typical the two young ladies — 
if such a term can be applied to them — who play secondary parts, 
and whose ways and manners would disgrace the most untutored 
factory girl. 

A Country Gentleman and his Family. By Mrs. Oliphant. 
London : Macmillan & Co. 1886. 

IT is characteristic of Mrs. Oliphant's genius to choose for its 
subject the sudden disturbance of placid everyday lives by 
the occurrence of some abrupt and unlooked-for tragedy in their 
midst. The family of Mr. Warrender, the " Country Gentleman " of 
the title, when left by his death in occupation of " The Warren," a 
residence in a dull rural neighbourhood, seems to offer as little 

M 2 

164 Notes on Novels. 

material for sensational effect as the most devout advocate of the 
prosaic school could desire. Yet in its tranquil and monotonous 
life tragic emotions and stormy incidents find a place, appealinf^ 
perhaps not less forcibly to the imagination because of their homely 
accessories. Theo Warrender, the eldest son, a sombre-tempered 
young* man, somewhat embittered by the failure of his Oxford career 
to justify the expectations formed of him, is a strongly realized 
figure, and the development of his character from the more un- 
amiable side, under the maturing influence of courtship and matri- 
mony, is portrayed with force and truth to nature. The relation 
between Lady Markland, the young widow successfully wooed by 
him, and her sickly boy heretofore the sole confidant and companion 
of his mother, is rendered with poetic sympathy, and the struggle of 
little Geoff to bear wath patience the deprivation of the exclusive 
love which had been all the sunshine of his baby-life, is a deep and 
tender study of childish nature. 

Side by side with Theo's romance runs that of his younger sister, 
" Chatty " (Charlotte), and if the interruption to her wedding by the 
startling announcement of her bridegroom's previous marriage be a 
somewhat hackneyed incident, it is invested with a modicum of fresh 
interest by the manner of the telling, since it is skilfully led up to by 
a series of those suggestive incidents which it is part of Mrs. 
Oliphant's art to use with such dramatic effect in unfolding the events 
of her tale. The unexpected reserve of dignity called forth by cir- 
cumstances in the gentle nature of the simple country girl, is we 
imagine intended as a pendant to the growth of her brother's 
character in the opposite direction through the evolution of his 
worse qualities, and if so, is artistically contrived. The self- 
assertion and arrogance of the elder sister, as Mrs. Eustace Thynne, 
would surely be only possible to the ill-breeding of a parvenue, 
not to a girl brought up in the position of a gentlewoman. 

The Fall of Asgard. By Julian G. Corbett. London: 
Macmillan & Co. 1886. 

THIS is a stirring and romantic tale of the last struggles of Norse 
heathendom against St. Olaf, the Christian conqueror ; Asgard, 
whose fall it celebrates, being the abode of the Aesir, or gods. With 
the historical deeds of Olaf and his contemporaries are interwoven 
the fortunes of Gudrun, the heroine, and her son Thorkel, for years 
fugitives and exiles from their home, and then again playing a con- 
spicuous part among the defenders of the old order of things. The 
manners and feelings of the time and country are vividly depicted, 
and many of the details of the rites of Scandinavian paganism will 
be new to the majority of English readers. Among these is the 
sacrifice of a horse on solemn occasions, while the flesh of the 
animal was regarded as so sacred to the gods that partaking of it 
w^as equivalent to a relapse into paganism. The style is simple and 
effective, and avoids suggesting the incongruity of modern language, 

Notes on Novels. 165 

while free from the affectation of archaism. The following- passage 
is descriptive of the passage of Olafs fleet of galleys before the 
ambush of his foes : — 

Their preparations had not been completed many minutes before a 
large ship shot out from behind the point. It was a long ship of twenty 
benches, which many recognized as belonging to Gunnar of Gelmin, and 
it was clear from the way in which the sun, now just peeping over the 
hills, glittered upon its crew, that it contained Olaf and his body-guard. 
Hardly had they noticed this one to the other, when out came another, 
and then another, till five ships, each with forty oars swinging like music, 
were striding over the fjord, followed by some half-dozen craft of less 
degree. It was a glorious sight in Thorkel's eyes, and yet an anxious 
one, for the great red sun rose higher and higher, kissing away the 
blushing mist so fast, that none could tell if it would hold long enough 
to conceal the shelter they had so hastily constructed. They plainly 
heard the beat of the oars, and the laughter and singing of the crews as 
they fared on towards the islands. 

Full of picturesque incident and adventure the tale moves as 
rapidly as though unencumbered by archaeological trappings, and we 
doubt not that it will contribute to enhance the interest of the public 
in the times to which it relates. 

Dagonet the Jester. London : Macmillan &, Co. 1880. 

THE scene of this story, which is attributed to Mr. Malcolm 
Macmillan, is laid in the days of the Commonwealth, when the 
gloomy creed of the Puritans was busily engaged in chasing from 
human life every trace of the innocent, if frivolous, gaiety which 
lightens men's burthens, and enables them for a time to forget their 
sorrows. We have been somewhat puzzled to discover whetiier the 
author intends in the person of Dagonet — chased from a baronial 
hall, seeking refuge in the quiet life of a village, and finally frozen 
to death in the churchyard — to present an allegory of the decay of 
that excellent fooling which he so much admires. However that be, 
the story is in itself a simple one, and is told with artless quaintness 
by Master Aaron Blenkinsop, the learned and travelled son of the 
village blacksmith. Not without art, indeed, is the quaintness of its 
carefully maintained diction, which is always that of a sedate 
scholar of the olden time condescending for a moment to speak the 
vulgar tongue. A passage taken at random will illustrate our 
meaning : — 

For as the years came rolling on, and after men had well-nigh 
forgotten even that bloody deed at Whitehall in the weariness their own 
lives suffered from the Commonwealth, there was no more mirth in Thorn 
Abbey than in the great world outside it. Our rector was a true bred 
Presbyterian at last, no trimmer like Master Crape, who held the Gospel 
anterior to the Confession, but one hard and sour as Master Knox 
himself. Yet while all the reverend youths went with long faces and 
took the lashing of the discipline with a sigh of thanks, as indeed they 
well might if it would clear them at all from that heinous guilt of 

166 Kates on Novels. 

regicide whicli as rebels they had incurred, the older ones sought still for 
some balm, after the chastening, in the cheerier discourse of Master 

This passage also serves to show the leaning-s of our author 
towards the mirthful phase of life, typified, as we think, in the person 
of Dagonet quondam jester, but later the cobbler of Thorn Abbey. 

Snorv-lound at Eagles. By Bret Harte. London : 
Ward & Downey. 1886. 

MR. BRET HARTE'S vivid power of description enables us to 
condone a certain amount of improbability in his incidents, 
though we confess to a little surprise at finding the highwa^^man hero, 
an extinct fossil-type in British literature, resuscitated among the 
modern varieties of vagabondage on the Californian border. 

The action opens with the robbing of the mail-coach, or stage, as 
it is called in Americfa, by a group of daring men, wlio afterwards in 
their retreat take refuge, with one of their number badly wounded, 
in the ranch of one of the passengers, whose wife and sister-in-law, 
ignorant of their true character, give them a most hospitable recep- 
tion. A sudden snowstorm isolates the mountain plateau on which 
Eagle's Court, the settler's station, is situated, for eight or ten days, 
during which the highwaymen make rapid progress in the good 
graces of their hostesses, and frustrate a plot for their robbery by their 
own farm servants. 

Of course, the restoration of communications reveals their true 
character, but does not obliterate the impression they have made ; 
and the story ends with the engagement of Miss Scott, the young lady 
of Eagle's Court, to one of the pair who had only temporarily taken 
to the road as a means of redressing the wrong inliicted on him by 
a commercial swindler. Mr. Bret Harte's incidental glimpses of 
border life and scenery are in his usual picturesque fashion. 

Indian Summer, By William D. How^ells. Edinburgh : 
David Douglas. 188G. 

MR. HOWELLS' last book misses the solid grasp of character 
which elevated triviality of incident in his previous work. 
True, the trifling is throughout of the prettiest and most graceful 
description, and the small episodes that carry on the movement of 
the story have no lack of charm for the reader. The purposeless 
character of the hero, and the helpless entanglement into which he 
allows himself to drift, are sufficient, however, to mar to a great 
extent the interest of the book, and leave a general sense of dissatis- 
faction with its tenor. The name, " Indian Summer," is the 
American term for those belated days of sunshine on the edge of 
winter, known in Europe as the summer of St. Martin. Its appro- 

Notices of Catholic Continental Periodicals. 167 

priateness to the story is furnished by the mature ag-e of the hero, 
Theodore Colville, who returns at the lapse of twenty years to 
Florence, the scene of his early love disappointment, to find 
eventual compensation for the loss of his youth. His affections 
waver, indeed, between two charming- ladies, Mrs. Bowen, a lovely 
widow, associated with the trag-ed}' of his early life, and her friend, 
Imogene Graham, an enthusiastic girl of twenty, who, in her 
romantic desire to console Mr. Colville's middle age, scarcely leaves 
him a free choice on the subject. A kindly fate releases him in the 
end from his engagement to her, and allows him to find a more 
suitable companion'for his future life in Mrs. Bowen, on whom his 
somewhat halting affections are really set. Perhaps the most 
graceful episode of the book is the instinctive attachment of little 
Efiie Bowen to her future stepfather, as its highest artistic effect 
is reached in the subtle touches with which the pretty child's ways 
and character are realized. Florentine society is brightly though 
superficially described, and Italian scenery is rather suggested by the 
narrative than depicted in detail. 


By Dr. Bellesheim, Canon of Aachen. 

1. Katholik. 

The Gallican Liturgy from the Fourth to the Eighth 
Century. — Professor Probst, of Breslau University, continues, in 
the March issue, his important study on this interesting* subject. 
His first article showed that the Gallican Liturgy was considerably 
abridged about the beginning- of the fourth century. This abridg- 
ment was effected by breaking up the lengthened prayers of the_ 
one Mass then used every day, whence came a large number of 
Masses preserving the original type. These several branches soon 
were further and strikingly changed, as the old prayers were gradu- 
ally adapted to the •wnviovm feasts which, with time and the develop- 
ment of Christian life, were admitted into the Kalendar. A special 
feature of the Gallican Liturgy, mentioned at length by Professor 
Probst, w^as the high honour paid to the Gospel. Whilst the deacon 
proceeded with it to the Ambo, the choir sang the Trisagion, an 
impressive ceremony which 8. Germanus of Autun describes as an 
imitation of the angels who preceded our Lord and sang-, '^Tollite 
portas, principes, vestras." 1 may remark that the time-honoured 
custom of singing the Gospel from the height of the Ambo is still, at 

168 Notices of Catholic Continental Periodicals. 

the present day, in use in the minster of Aix-la-Chapelle. In the 
Gallican Liturg-y of the sixth century the custom prevailed of bread 
and wine bein^* offered by the faithful during; the Mass. Another 
peculiar feature mentioned by S. Greg-ory of Tours (De Gloria 
Martyr., 1. 1, c. 26) was that, at the time of the oftiertory, the deacon 
took the tower (turris) '^ containing* the mystery of the body of our 
Lord " to put it on the altar. Part of the consecrated bread was to 
be mixed with the wine. That was enjoined by the Synod of Orange,, 
but as to the time at which this took place — whether before or after 
the consecration — Professor Probst does not decide. What we call 
the Preface was styled " Contestatio," or " Immolatio." It, too, had 
impressed on it the character of the feast, and S. Gregory of Tours 
mentions it as part of the Mass in which were commemorated the 
virtues and intercession of the saint whose feast Avas being kept. I 
must not omit to mention that the Gallican Liturgy had its Epiklesis 
— viz., that prayer, after the consecration, in which the Holy Ghost 
was invoked to effect the ** transformatio." The oft-discussed 
question as to how the Holy Ghost can be invoked to effect any 
change in elements which are already consecrated is thus an- 
swered by our author : — The Consecration is the work of the 
three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, but since the sanctification of 
mankind is especially attributed to the third Person, it seems to be 
most convenient to invoke the Holy Ghost as distributor of God's, 
graces after the consecration. 

Education of the Faithful in the Middle Ages. — Reformers^ 
old and new, like to taunt the Catholic Church with having wilfully 
neglected the education of the faithful in the days when she was all- 
powerful in Europe. Professor Jansen, of Frank fort-on-Main, has- 
thoroughly refuted these unfair accusations. Yet, after the treat- 
ment he could give the topic in his celebrated history of the German 
people, ample room is left for those historians who can enter into the 
details connected with each separate German province. The Rev. 
Lesker, in the March and April issues of the Katholih, gives us 
noteworthy information as to the Church's efforts for elementary 
education and for science in what is now sailed the Grand Duchy of 
Mecklenburg. It was comparatively very lately that this country 
learned the Christian religion, for up to the twelfth and thirteenth- 
centuries it w^as still buried in the darkness of heathenism. As soon, 
however, as it received the light of Christian doctrine, we note the 
noble conduct of the Church as regards the lower and middle classes. 
Rostock still possesses that university which originated in Catholic 
times; Wismar, Gustrow, and the other principal towns each 
possessed their schools. Luther's saying, that under the Pope's 
reign the devil, by founding churches and convents, had everywhere 
spread his nets so that not a single boy might escape (Works^ 
Erlangen, xxii. 17.), may, with some change of terms, be safely 
applied to Mecklenburg as described in the ages of faith by 
unimpeachable documents. Only, the laudable efforts of bishops, 
priests and monks were not confined to boys. Mecklenburg could 

Xotices of Catholic Continental Periodicals. 169 

boast of numerous convents devoted to the education of girls ; 
whilst the nuns of Citeaux and the Beghines deserve special 
mention. There are still existing old catechisms of the fifteenth 
century, and as a scarcely less direct witness of the exertions of 
churchmen of that period may he counted the Confession hooks, 
which contained instructions how people were to prepare themselves 
for properly receiving the sacrament of penance. 

2. Eistorisch-politische Blatter. 

The Reformation and Art. — Three able articles treating this 
theme seem to be worthy the attention of thoughtful Protestants 
even more than of Catholics. It is a serious mistake on the part of 
modern Protestant historians of Art to claim for Protestantism 
as such the privilege of having favoured Art and its lofty aspira- 
tions and ideas. Few religions, on the contrary, have so keenly 
hated Art as Protestantism. It may be readily granted that indi- 
vidual Protestants of our century are exceptions, and that, influenced 
by Catholic ideas, they begin to disagree with their fathers of the 
sixteenth century. But the fact remains that the very authors of 
the new religion, partly by force of their antagonism to the old 
Church they set themselves to pull down, and partly by force of 
religious opinions which were totally subversive of external rites, 
were outspoken enemies of Art. These ideas are ably treated by our 
author, who has collected numerous incidents in the insane attack 
made by the Reformers on the countless specimens of Christian 
art in churches. 

Hefele's History of the Councils. — The learned Bishop of 
Kottenburg, burdened with years and his episcopal duties, was 
unequal to the labour of bringing out a second edition of the fifth 
volume of his History of the Councils. An able pupil of his, there- 
fore. Dr. Knopfler, professor in the Lyceum of Passau, has under- 
taken the task for him. Since the first appearance of this volume, 
historical science has made considerable advances. Hence the 
remarkable fact that the second edition, just brought out by 
Herder of Preiburg, contains no less than forty-seven synods more 
than were in the first edition. Amongst them may be mentioned 
those of London, 1143; Edinburgh, 1197; St. David's, 1197 j 
Bristol, 1216 ; Hui, 1230 ; and Oxford, 1231. Students will be inte- 
rested to learn that the word "transelementatio,"or ^' ixeTao-Toixeicocnsy* 
was adopted by a Synod held in Constantinople in a.d. 1156, fifty- 
nine years before it was used by the fourth Council of Lateran. 

3. Stimmen aus J^Iaria Laach. 

In the March number, Father Meyer comments on the Pope's 
letter, " Immortale Dei," whilst Father Beissel traces the history of 
the old cathedral of Treves, founded by St. Helena, the mother 
of Constantine, the first Christian emperor. Father Longhorst has 

170 Notices of Catholic Continental Periodicals. 

a criticism on Max Miiller as a philosopher of religion. Most of 
Max Miiller's writings are now before the German public in transla- 
tions, and it was a duty for German Catholics to test his doctrines 
by the standard of Catholic philosophy. Miiller's theory of Heno- 
theism, his denial of a primitive revelation of God to mankind, his 
totally false view on Christianity as one of the many religions, 
equally good or false, are tenets as little in accordance with the 
teachings of history as of all past philosophy. 

4. Historisches Jdhrhuch der Goerres-Gesellscliaft. 

Cardinal Otto Truchsess, Bishop of Augsburg. — Perhaps no 
historical review anywhere rivals the Jahrbuch for Catholic thorough- 
ness and scientific merit. Scholars interested in the Reformation 
period will particularly appreciate the article contributed by Father 
Duhr, S.J., of Ditton Hall, England, on Cardinal Truchsess, Bishop 
of Augsburg. The trials of this eminent man, who like a pillar of 
granite withstood the waves of anarcliy and infidelity at the time 
of Luther, are told by F. Duhr, as also the labours he generously 
undertook for the Holy See. A remarkable fact in his life was the 
high esteem he entertained for Cardinal Pole. When turned out of 
his episcopal See, Truchsess fled to Rome, where Pole at once 
generously cared for him. The English cardinal is described by 
Truchsess as *Hhe most pious, learned and ascetic cardinal of 

Monsieur Gachard. — Baron von Reumont, the learned author 
of the History of the City of Rome, furnishes a loving tribute to the 
memory of the late general keeper of the Belgian State Archives. 
The paper is a piece of thorough work, such as one would expect 
from a historical writer who is M. Gachard's equal. There is an 
appreciative list of the numerous books and essays published by 
M. Gachard, and the portrait of the late historian is cleverly traced. 

La Civilta Cattolica, 2 Geunaio — 1 Maggio, 1886. 

The Nuraghi of Sardinia. — A series of articles, commencing 
January 2 of the current year, is appearing in the Civiltd Cattolica 
on the subject of those wonderful monuments of bygone ages, the 
Nuraghi of Sardinia, accompanied by elaborate illustrations. These 
towers, of which there are no less than 3000 in the island, have long 
puzzled the heads of antiquarians. The size of many of them, 
gigantic even in their ruins, the singularity of their construction, 
which seems to have excited the admiration of the ancient Greeks, 
their number, and their undeniably great antiquity, have combined 
to render them a subject of much curiosity and careful study. The 
total absence of inscriptions, which, in the case of Egyptian and 

Notices of Catholic Cordinental Periodicals. 171 

Assyrian monuments, decipliered in recent times, enable us to com- 
pute their date, has seemed hitherto to render the mystery involved 
in the origin of the Nurag-hi hopelessly inscrutable. The learned, 
indeed, long- entertained the persuasion that their erection must be 
referred to pre-historic times, and that the earliest inhabitants of the 
island, dwellers in forests and caves, and armed only with implements 
of stone, constructed these Cyclopean monuments. This opinion, 
however, has in late years been shaken through a more diligent exa- 
mination of their structure, and by the discovery of some idols in one 
of them which must have needed the use of metal in shaping them, so 
that we may consider this view as well-nigh exploded, although the 
question of origin, dates, and precise destination of the Nuraghi 
remains in the same state of uncertainty. 

The writer of the review entirely dissents from the opinion which 
would attribute the erection of these towers to a tribe of people 
isolated from the rest of the world. In his argument he proceeds 
from the known to the unknown, and takes for his basis the result 
of observations made by himself personally seven years ago. Although 
the stones are themselves speechless, while history is silent, and tradi- 
tion transmits to us no reliable record, there are a few points well 
ascertained ; and one of no slight importance is the uniformity, with 
a few and secondary differences, of the plan upon which these fortresses, 
whether small or great, have been built, pointing to a common object 
and interconnection. The Nuraghi, in short, he thinks bear testi- 
mony to a system of reductions or colonies, having for their object 
the stable possession of the territories in which they stand, and the 
pacific use of their products for commercial purposes. For the reasons 
he alleges in support of this view we must refer the reader to the 
articles in question. So far, then, from thinking that the Nuraghi 
are the work of an utterly unknown, savage, and isolated people, he 
considers that they oli'er one among many other proofs of the rela- 
tions subsisting between the East and the West at a period when 
the latter had as yet no history, binding relations, which were silently 
laying the foundations of that future unity of nations which Rome by 
its widespread dominion was to effect, and which in the overruling 
designs of Providence was thus preparing the way for the evangeliza- 
tion of the heathen world. The reviewer sees reason to attribute the 
erection of these buildings to the Phoenicians of Tyre, and, if he be 
correct in his surmise, they would furnish a striking example of the 
method and system by which this famous commercial city was 
enabled to hold the monopoly of the western portion of the Mediter- 
ranean, and, still more, of the trade of the Atlantic, without allow- 
ing the knowledge of their transactions in these distant regions to 
reach the Italo-Grecian peoples. 

Various have been the speculations of antiquarians regarding the 
use made of these singular constructions. Some have supposed them 
to have been temples, while others have regarded them as places of 
sepulture ; but to neither of these opinions does the writer incline, 
although he believes, considering the style of their architecture, 

172 Notices of Catholic Continental Periodicals. 

that they might, according- to time and place, have been appHed to 
various purposes^ the above included. It may well be deducible 
from their general character of reductions or colonies, also from 
special examples, that the united Nurag-hi of each territory might be 
available for all the several uses to which edifices could be applied 
in a society fairly civilized, and might often combine them all, par- 
ticularly as society in those remote times would have retained in its 
customs something of the patriarchal character. Although they are 
generally built with a manifest view to the exclusion of intruders^ 
and therefore for incidental refuge and defence, nevertheless he gives 
cogent reasons for believing that they were not designed, nor indeed 
well calculated, for the resistance of foreign invasion by a powerful 
force ; nor were they, apparently, ever used for that end, as when 
the Sardinians had to contend for their national independence, it 
was to their natural fortresses, their own mountain fastnesses, that 
they betook themselves, together with their Hocks and herds. 

The writer has promised another article, with further statements 
and elucidations of his views as to the origin and uses of the 

15 Maggio, 1886. 

Prospects of the Italian Kingdom. — Bonghi, in his paper, the 
Nuova Antologia, has been indulging, with a view to the coming 
elections, in one of his usual jeremiads over the past, present, and 
future fortunes of the political parties, and, consequently, of those 
institutions which, for men of his sort, constitute the whole of the 
Italy of to-day. He is convinced that, if all who are possessed of 
sense, judgment, liberality, and moderation, and who have engaged 
in public life, not for personal gain, but for a high national end, do 
not at the present crisis unite in one party who will thus form a 
government morally, intellectually, and materially strong, ^^ we," he 
says, ** shall have had at once the glory and the shame of having 
made and unmade Italy within a brief span of time." But is it con- 
ceivable, under present circumstances, that a party such as Bonghi 
has idealized, should issue from the electoral urns ? Depretis, now 
discarded and condemned, was perhaps the only man capable — and 
that purely by dint of artifices and self-contradictions — to manu- 
facture a working majority out of the discordant materials at his 
disposal. He has relied mainly, it would appear, upon the help of 
a fiction called transformation^ a political recipe for, getting on some- 
how, which consists in the Government pretending to favour the 
Left, from whom the Ministry were understood to be drawn, and 
who have had a majority in the Chamber, while in fact conforming 
its ideas to the Eight. The Progressist party were to have the 
government in their hands, but to be content to be swayed by the 
notions of the minority, and the Right were to be content with 
exercising this influence without aspiring to rule. This could not 
last, and the result has been that Depretis is now denounced by his 

Notices of Catholic Continental Periodicals. 173 

Masonic brethren as a traitor, who instead of labouring", as he was 
bound, to demolish the throne and the altar, has been all along their 
disguised supporter and defender. The prospects are certainly very 
discourag'ing for legal Italy. Excluding', as we well may, the for- 
mation of a national party, as desiderated by Bonghi, Depretis being 
set aside, it is difficult to see how any one can replace the latter, 
to serve like him as a lightning-conductor for the protection of 
revolutionary Italy, or can offer any similar guarantee for its con- 
tinued toleration on the part of the two great central European 
empires. The programme initiated by the Piedmontese Cavour 
seems about to have its collapse in the Piedmontese Depretis. 
It is a bad look-out for the Quirinal. 

Since the above was written the Italian elections have resulted in a 
triumph for the Depretis Cabinet. The Ministry have conquered for 
tlie present, but their majority is composed of the most discordant 
elements j so that the difi&culties which beset them are greater than 
ever. " All things considered," says the Ego d! Italia, '' it seems to 
us that Depretis, in spite of his unquestionable victory, is in a worse 
position than he was before." 

We can specially recommend to notice an article in the number 
of May 15, entitled '^ Young Italy and the Old Papacy," in which 
the decrepitude of the former, by the confession even of its own 
leading journals, and the glorious vitality and indefatigable vigour 
of the latter are forcibly contrasted. Also two articles on Socialism 
in Italy, where it is making alarming progress. In the first of 
these articles, which appeared on April 17, the evil itself is 
strikingly set forth. In the second, which appeared on May 1, 
the remedy is prescribed, which may be summed up in the Holy 
Father's recent declaration. Let society be maintained Christian 
or re-Christianized, and the dreaded evil will disappear. This is 
the remedy j there is no other. 

Bevue des Questions Historiques. Avril, 1886. Paris. 

The Authenticity of the Pentateuch. — M. F. Vigouroux, the 
well-known professor at Saint Sulpice, opens this number of the 
Bevue with an article entitled '* Etude Critique sur I'authenticit^ du 
Pentateuque, d'apres I'examen intrinseque de son contenu." The 
word " intrinseque " indicates the character of the article ; it is the 
writer's own study of the sacred text itself, and not a study or 
criticism of the criticisms of others. He has never himself^ he says, 
doubted the Mosaic origin of the Pentateuch, but having read many 
proofs in various treatises, he wished to work out for himself a 
conviction on the point, and, as far as could be, an independent one. 
Treatises were left aside ; the text was read and re-read, ^' thus to 
learn the secret of the Pentateuch from itself." We need not add 

174 Notices of Catholic Continental Periodicals. 

that an independent examination of the indications given by the 
sacred text as to its authorship, coming; from so accomplished a 
scholar as the Abb6 Vig-ouroux, is very interesting-. Each ag-e has 
its own special ways and manners ; and no work, he contends, can 
escape bearing- the mark of the age in which it was written, whether 
the writer was conscious or unconscious of such result — even malgre 
lui. But the age of Moses can be distinctly characterized ; it is one 
of those well-marked periods — crises — in history that are highly 
distinguished from other periods. The Pentateuch is an (Buvre de 
cir Constance, and can be sufficiently characterized as belonging to the 
time of Moses. Thus far does the writer get in the present article, 
occupying some sixty pages : " De ce que nous avons deja dit, nous 
sommes du moins en droit de conclure que I'ensemble des recits du 
Pentateuque convient parfaitement fi Vepoque de Moi'se, et ne pent 
convenir aussi bien a aucune autre epoque de I'histoire d'lsrael." It 
need scarcely be said that no idea could be given within these very 
brief limits of the minute examination of portion after portion of the 
text in pursuance of this proof. The author having promised to 
pursue his theme, ends with some severe remarks on modern critics 
of Germany and France who adopt rationalist views on the Penta- 
teuch with a false air of independence — accepting them all the while 
without discussion. Speaking of his own country, he says there is 
less independent study than in Germany. ^' In France the Bible is 
scarcely read ; the greater part of the incredules who hold that Moses 
did not compose the five first books of Scripture do not know the 
reasons for their opinion^ and simply rest upon the authority of 
German critics whose names they only just know, and of whose 
works they have not read a word ! " 

The Elements of Pontifical Diplomatics. — 'I'his is the title of 
the next article, which is from the pen of le Comte de Mas Latrie, of 
the Institute, and it will be of concern and value to the growing num- 
ber of students in the original records of Church history. The science 
of diplomatics generally — the science, that is, of reading, classifying-, 
testing, &c., original diplomas and documents^ — has advanced of late 
years, and pontifical diplomatics has particularly developed and 
grown in precision, whilst the opening of the Vatican archives has 
lent still fresh impetus to the historical movement of which it is so 
important an instrument. Here the reader will find, after a passing- 
reference to what has lately been done by students in the Vatican 
archives, the history and description of the various kinds of docu- 
ments which furnish matter for the history of the Popes and their 
acts, and a general idea of the rules and methods followed at various 
periods in the construction and naming of these documents. Diplo- 
matics has been said to be the better half of the criticism of text3, 
and readers of the article will soon see illustration of how much 
these technical matters have to do with the value of a parchment or 
a letter. The author divides the history of papal documents into 
three epochs : the first from early times to the eighth century and 
the changes made by Adrian 1. 5 the second, the period of the 

Notices of Catholic Continental Periodicals. 175 

Middle Ages, is '' the epoch of Bulls," and ends with the introduction 
of briefs under Eugene IV. in the middle of the fifteenth century ; 
and the third period embraces modern times. To each of these 
belong' documents well marked from those of the other epochs, 
not only by name, but still more by manner of writing-, style, 
method of being dated, signed, and promulgated. There is much 
in the writer's treatment of each of these three divisions which 
would be of interest to others besides the technical student, but it 
would be impossible to repeat them here. There is quite a history 
of the names of pontifical documents. Thus a Letter, Epistle, 
Authority, Precept, Decree, Decretal^ Rescript belong to or began 
in the first period j Briefs and Motu Proprios belong- to the third. 
Under his second division the author treats at great length of Bulls. 
The Benedictine editors of the Nouveau Traite Diplomatique divided 
the Bulls of the Middle Ages into two classes — the greater, or 
Solemn Bulls, and the less (Grandes ou Solennelles et Petites BuUes). 
M. Delisle, in his " Memoires on the Acts of Innocent III.," did not 
consider the distinction worth anything ; and, as the writer says, '^ a 
naturellement fait ecole," Cardinal Pitra having become to some 
extent a follower. The Count Mas Latrie goes back to the Bene- 
dictine division and defends it. He gives the characteristics of the 
Solemn Bulls (p. 434). Bulls were generally sealed w4th lead, but 
occasioaally with precious metals, to mark some memorable event, 
and Leo X. appended a seal of gold to the Bull in which Henry VIII. 
of England was declared Defender of the Faith ! 

Authenticity of Papal Briefs. — One other sentence from the 
Count Mas Latrie's article may be interesting. Treating of" Briefs," 
he defines a Brief to be " a letter or apostolic ordinance sealed with 
red wax and the ring of the fisherman, in addressing which the 
Sovereign Pontiff takes the title of Papa instead of Servant of the 
Servants of God, noting also his own number in the list of Popes of 
his name." Generally Briefs were very short, at least the more 
ancient j but the Benedictines have justly observed that this "brief- 
ness" of composition is not the mark of a Brief, but rather the 
simplification or abbreviation of the process of its being expedited. 
The passage of a Bull through the four bureaux took time; a 
special office was created for the expedition of Briefs under a 
Secretary of Briefs. An advantage ; yet it became infinitely easier 
for an unscrupulous official to send to its destination a false Brief than 
to pass a fraudulent Bull through its preliminary authentications ! 
And we read that one Bartholomew Florido, Secretary of Briefs 
under Alexander VI., was degraded and condemned to death, the 
Pope commuting the sentence to imprisonment for life ; while a 
certain Mascanbrun, " sous-dataire " under Innocent X., having 
been convicted of sending off a large number of forged Briefs, was 
beheaded. How many forged or tampered Briefs, one wonders, 
were sent off by others who were never detected ! 

Among the articles in the same number are — one by M. Paul 
Fournier, *' Le Royaume d'Arles et de Vienne," sketching its relations 

176 Notices ofBooJca. 

with the Empire from the death of Frederic II. to the deatli of 
Rudolf of Hapsburg" (1250-1291) ; and another by M. Leon Lecestre 
on " Marie Antoinette's attempts to escape from the Temple and the 

ftotttts of §o(rhs. 

Chapters in European History. By William Samuel Lilly. 
Two Vols. London : Chapman & Hall. 1886. 

THESE two volumes have been so widely noticed and so higlily 
praised by the general press of the country, that we need add 
nothing to show that the}^ are both brilliant and profound. Mr. 
Lilly not only writes clearly, forming his sentences perfectly and 
choosing his words with very great felicity j but he has the faculty 
of saying what people will listen to. This is a gift quite distinct 
from that of making correct sentences. Mr. Lilly is eloquent, pro- 
found, philosophical, analytic, and many more things ; but he is 
able to put his foot down every minute or two with an audible 
tread on good solid earth ; and the reader feels very grateful to him. 
No doubt, he has one or two qualifications which make it easy for 
him to be interesting. He has read a great deal, and he seems to 
remember and to be able to reproduce all that he has read just at 
the very moment when it is wanted. His power of apt quotation is 
really marvellous — of quotation which is neither hackneyed nor too 
recondite, but just sufficiently new to cause a pleasant shock of sur- 
prise, and nearly always justifying itself by the new light which it 
brings along with it. 

We consider these pages as one of the best fragments of Christian 
" apology" in the English language. Indeed, it would not be easy 
to find in any other language an argument so thoroughly honest, so 
firmly founded on facts, and so admirably expressed. A short 
account of the work will suffice to give the grounds of this judg- 

It consists of three well-defined divisions — although the various 
chapters which make it up have all (even the introductory dialogue) 
done duty in a previous state of existence as magazine articles : 
first, Christianity; secondly, the Renaissance; and thirdly, the French 
Revolution. But the spirit, the soul, of the book is one and one 
only ; it is the demonstration that a belief in God and in Christ is 
absolutely necessary for society, under penalty of death and putre- 
faction. The theme seems trite ; but in Mr. Lilly's hands it is 
fresh and fascinating'. The preliminary dialogue introduces three 
speakers — Grimston, Temperley, and Luxmoore ; the latter being the 
writer himself It is devoted to a demolition of Goethe's cynical and 
unworthy view, that to a thinker the history of the world is 

Notices of Books, 177 

nothing but a tissue of* absurdities, a mass of madness and wicked- 
ness — that nothinof can be made of it. Mr. Lilly maintains that the 
'^ philosophy of history " can be understood, and ought to be under- 
stood, if you will only look into your own mind first, and read the 
great world by the light of the little world within a man's own 
breast. There is such a thing as progress, evolution, in physical 
things and in moral ; but as to the latter, ^' man's advance is due to 
his following the dictates of eternal righteousness." The following 
keenly expressed invective is a sort of motto for the whole work : — 

Look at France if you wouli see an example of tho hell which a people 
proposes for itself when it maketh and loveth a lie. I know the country 
well; and every time I visit it I discern a terrible evidence of ever- 
increasing degeneracy. The man seems to be disappearing. There is a 
return to the simious type. The eye speaks of nothing but dull 
esuriency. The whole face is prurient. The voice has lost the virile 
ring, and has become shrill, gibberish, baboon-like. Go into the Chamber 
of Deputies, the chosen and too true representatives of the people. The 
looks, the gestures, the cries, remind you irresistibly of the monkey -house 
in Regent's Park. The nation — for it must be judged by its public acta 
— has for a hundred years been trying to rid itself of the perception 
which is the proper attribute of man ; to cast out the idea of God, which 
Miohelet has well called the progressive and conservative principle of 
civilization ; to live on a philosophy of animalism ; and it is rapidly 
losing all that is distinctively human, and is sinking below the lead of 
animals (27-30). 

The first chapter was originally contributed to the Contemporary 
Review. It contains a striking- description of the teaching of our 
Blessed Saviour, and a brilliant sketch of the great St. Augustine 
and the Ve Civitate Dei : 

It was no doctrine of sweetness and light, no enthusiasm of humanity, 
but the Person of Jesus Christ, at once human and divine, which, as they 
gazed upon it, uplifted on the Cross, smote down in masterful contrition 
the orthodox Pharisee and the Sadducean materalist of decadent Judsea, 
the agnostic philosopher of captive Greece, the stately magistrate and the 
rude soldier of imperial Rome. He it v/as — His head crowned with 
thorns. His eyes full of tears, His visage marred more than any man's, 
His limbs dislocated and rent— in whom tender virgins discerned the 
fairest among ten thousand, the altogether lovely, and would have 
no other spouse for time or for eternity. Women whose whole lives 
were a pollution did but look on Him, in His ineffable sorrow, and 
the passion of desire was expelled by the stronger passion of com- 
punction. Old men and little children, by the vision of Him, were 
inspired with a love stronger than death. The aged Bishop, journey- 
ing to the place where the lions waited him, " still alive but longing 
to die," writes to his flock : " Now do I begin to be Christ's disciple." 
The sweet Syracusan maiden looks calmly upon her bleeding bosom, 
mutilated by the persecutor's knife, as she reflects : " I shall not be 
less beautiful in the eyes of my heavenly bridegroom." Sanctus the 
deacon, his limbs covered with plates of burning brass, so that his 
body was one entire vvound and deprived of the form of man, would 
but say to all the questions of his tormentors, " I am a Christian ; " and, 
as those who stood by testified, remained upright and unshrinking, 
VOL, XVI. — NO. I. [Third Series.} N 

178 Notices of Boohs. 

" bathed and strengthened in the heavenly well of living water which 
flowed from the Head of Christ." They endure, that noble army of 
martyrs, in the strength of Him whom, not having seen, they loved. . . . 
It was as though man had acq^nired a new sense. . . . The victory of 
Christianity was the personal victory of its founder (pp. 57-58). 

In a second chapter, the life and times of Pope St. Greg:ory VII. 
are re-narrated with great spirit and line discernment. Mr. Lilly 
well terms this great Pope's pontificate the turning--point of the 
Middle Ages. Hildebrand, under God, saved the world from re- 
lapsing into heathenism. The essay entitled " Mediaeval Spirit- 
ualism," which follows, is chiefly occupied with the hymns of the 
great hymn-writers of the ages of Paith. But here, as everywhere 
else in these volumes, the writer by no means contents himself with 
surface criticism, or with aesthetic or literary points of detail, but 
seizes the opportunity to point out the deep spiritual significance of 
that whole splendid line of poetic achievement which unites St. 
Thomas of Aquin with Prudentius. He next passes on to consider 
the Renaissance — a period of history which no one has done more to 
make intelligible than Mr. Lilly. With most people the difficulty 
in understanding the Renaissance has arisen from its presumed 
literary character. To serious persons an epoch which merely 
indicated a change of taste was not worth anxiously considering. 
It w^as certainly bad taste to call Almighty God by the titles of the 
Roman Jove, and to alter the text of the Vcxilla Begis ; but, after 
all. Heaven does not judge men by their grammar or their syntax. 
Mr. Lilly lets us see that, in religion, in the political order, in art 
and in literature, the effect of the Renaissance was to impose fetters 
on the mind, the heart, and the fancj''. He boldly meets such men 
as Michelet, Mr. Pater, Mr. Symonds, and Mr. Freeman — men who 
have followed or set the fashion of lauding the sixteenth century as 
a time of ^' sunrise," of '^upheaval," of '' casting away of fetters," 
and of liberty generally. Mr. Lilly enters on a definition of liberty. 
The definition he gives is a very good one : Liberty is " the absence 
of restraints upon the true development and right exercise of the 
human faculties" (i. p. 257). With this definition he has little 
difficulty in showing* that the principles of the Renaissance really 
led to absolutism, to the enslavement of Europe, to a new Caesarism, 
to a servile imitation of classical models and a rejection of Christian 
spirituality, and to mental, social, and literary " fetters " of every 
kind. There is plenty of interesting detail here as elsewhere, and 
the reader will enjoy the chapter. But we cannot help thinking* 
that Mr. Lilly's opponents would themselves accept his description 
of liberty and yet hold to their thesis all the same. What is the 
true development, the right exercise "of human faculties and 
powers ? " Answered in one way, the question leads to Luther, to 
Protestantism, to rationalism ; answered in another, it leads to the 
Holy Office and the Index. Mr. Lilly is probably right in omitting 
to discuss religious liberty ; yet it is just this kind of liberty which 
especially makes the common run of critics and historians fall down 

Notices of Books, 179 

and worship the Renaissance. - He does mention the word from time 
to time J but he generally means by it simply freedom from secular 
control, as in the interesting chapter on St. Gregory VII. (i. p. 185). 
His opponents would mean something very different from this. The 
omission to make the distinction perfectly clear may perhaps afford 
grounds for a hostile critic to charge the Catholic apologist with 
disingenuousness. But no doubt he was right in considering that 
a formal discussion on such a polemical topic would change the 
character of his book, and also that the aspects of the Renaissance 
which he does treat are sufficiently important and sufficiently ignored 
to make it well worth his while to devote the brilliancy of his pen 
to their illustration. For any one who wishes to understand the 
Renaissance on its political, its literary, and its artistic sides, there 
can be no better guide than the concluding chapter of the first 
volume, entitled '^ The Renaissance and Liberty," and the opening one 
of the second, in which we have a most striking sketch of the life and 
work of Michael Angelo. 

In chapter vi. Mr. Lilly comes to the eighteenth century — a 
century of his special aversion. This century is described by him as 
a time of the progress of absolutism, of the deepest servitude and 
ignominy of the Catholic Church, of the sophistry of the pkilosophes^ 
of materialism and licentiousness — relieved only by the effects of the 
revolution of 1688 and the preaching of John Wesley. It sounds 
quaint ; and Mr. Lilly might have just mentioned the tremendous 
(and victorious) struggle of the Church against Jansenism, and such 
a life as that of St. Alfonso. Still, the century is very strikingly 
described, and if there are sins of omission, the picture is true as far 
as it goes. The succeeding chapter, on ^' The Principles of '89," is 
full of sound and useful philosophy ; and the true effect of the revo- 
lutionary declaration is illustrated by the help of M. Taine's great 
work. A very good chapter on the works of Balzac closes the 
volume with excellent effect, and enables the writer to draw out still 
more completely his views on the godlessness and savagery of modern 
society. The work concludes with the following lines which we may 
use as a summing-up of the second volume : — 

The chief note of (modern) civilization is the absence from it of faith ; 
and if there is any lesson more emphatically taught than another by the 
history of man, it is this, that faith of some sort, be it religious, political, 
or philosophical, is as necessary to his moral being as air to his physical 
organism — a faith shared by others, and forming a spiritual atmosphere. 
It was the work of the eighteenth century to dry up the sources of faith 
alike in its divine and human expressions. The French Revolution, the 
inevitable result of Bourbon Caesarism and the sensualistic philosophy — 
which were the manifestation in different spheres of the great Renaissance 
idea of Materialism — was the outward visible sign of the overthrow of 
the principles upon which the old order had rested. It was then that 
Napoleon arose to proclaim, amid the roar of his victorious cannon, the 
new gospel that force was the measure of truth, success the test of rights 
and personal interest the law of action. The teaching was greedily drunk 
in by the generation into which Balzac was born. And we have the out- 

180 Notices of Books, 

come of it in the civilization which found in him " its most original, most 
appropriate, and most penetrating historian " (ii. 327). 

To estimate aright the work which Mr. Lilly has done in these 
volumes we must remember that he undertakes a defence of Chris- 
tianity and not of Catholicism. He lets it be seen clearly enough 
that he is a Catholic ; but his immediate concern is with unbelievers, 
sensualists, and materialists, rather than with non-Catholic Chris- 
tians. And therefore, although his book would not bring a man 
further than the very threshold of the Catholic Church, we consider 
it none the less a necessary book ; and it is none the less a matter for 
congratulation that the writer has so well caught the ear of the 
country. This point of view, when fairly understood, explains why 
Mr. Lilly uses certain religious terms in a very vague and even 
misleading way ; why he calls Mohammed, Confucius, or Gotama 
^' prophets of the Most High " (i. 37-8) ; calls the lessons of great 
men *' revelation ; " and uses the word "faith" (as in our last 
extract) for any or every kind of mental discernment which rises 
above brute force and sensual desire. Unfortunately, nothing can 
be done with a generation which hearkens to Mr. Herbert Spencer 
until you have shown it that the human race has an immaterial 
soul, made after such a fashion that its very make proves the 
existence of a light outside of it. Mr. Lilly's main object is to 
bring this home to his readers. In doing it, he carries them 
with rapid step over wide fields of history. Some of his views, 
no doubt, are questionable, and some of his generalizations too 
hasty. We do not think he does justice to what he calls the 
*' feudal system " (i. 113). " Feudalism recognized little else than 
matter and force." To us it seems as if this were equivalent to 
saying that the present land laws recognize little else than matter 
and force. Feudalism meant merely a division of the soil and an 
assignment of burthens which such a division carried with it. A 
feudal chief was no more a brute by virtue of his feudalism than a 
landlord is a brute by virtue of his owning land. There was much 
disorder and brutality, no doubt, in the days when the ** feudal 
system" was being slowly developed j but that system, in itself, 
was very far from being a consecration of violence ; it was rather an 
attempt to regulate by law or system the state of things which 
always ensued whenever there was conquest, and therefore division 
of land. The cities and towns were not affected by the feudal 
system. The serfs, at the low end of the scale, were certainly badly 
off for the most part ; but they were a thousand times more 
fortunate than the Roman slaves. The king, at the higher end, 
was so far from being an irresponsible despot that the history of 
mediaeval kings consists for the most part of efforts to get rid of 
their barons — that is, the great feudal chiefs next in order to them- 
selves — in order to be free from the constant check to their courses 
which the barons administered. It seems to us, therefore, that the 
series of sharp antitheses in which Mr. Lilly sets the feudal system 

Notices of Books » 181 

ao^ainst the Church are insufficiently grounded on fact. The Church's 
law — and the civil law, too, for the matter of that — could and did 
work under and with the feudal system with a success which was 
not marred by that system itself, but simply by the usual obstacles 
of evil men and rough times. Mr. Lilly, again, never loses an oppor- 
tunity of extolling the Prince of Orange and the revolution of 1688. 
Without defending the Tudor or Stuart despotism — in most of 
what he says about which we heartily agree — one may well think 
that it is rather tame of him to acquiesce so profoundly in a change 
of government which simply destroyed every hope of restoring to 
England the greatest of her treasures, the holy Catholic faith. 
James might be bad and foolish j but there was always a chance 
that the English baronage and commonalty might have brought 
him or his successor to reason without hanging the dead weight of 
Protestantism round the neck of the country. We are far from 
saying that the re-conversion of England would have been a con- 
sequence of the retention or restoration of the Stuarts ; but at any 
rate their expulsion was, among other things, in odium fidei, and we 
do not find ourselves called upon to join in Mr. Lilly's rejoicings. 

In a work where so many citations occur, a mistake or two may 
well be overlooked ; but there is one important passage which seems 
to have been hastily written. Mr. Lilly says (i. 188 note). '^ St. 
Thomas Aquinas, commenting upon this verse of the Epistle to the 
Romans, points out, ' Omnis potestas a Deo est, sed ijotestas ipsa at 
non potcntes.'' " The italicized words are so very unlike St. Thomas 
that one naturally turns to the text. We have no hesitation in 
saying that nothing like them occurs in this chapter of St. Thomas's 

Library of St. Fra?icis de Sales. Works of this Doctor of the Church 
translated into English. By the Rev. H. B. Mackey, O.S.B., 
under the direction of the Rt. Rev. John Cuthbert Hedley, 
O.S.B._, Bishop of INewport and Menevia. III. The Catholic 
Controversy. Now first edited from the autograph MSS. at 
Rome and at Annecy. With a hitherto unpublished section on 
the Authority of the Pope. London and New York : Burns & 
Gates. 1886. 

FATHER MACKEY has not only translated a very valuable work 
of St. Francis de Sales, but he has brought out for thejirst time 
an integral and authentic text. Indeed, he has here done for this 
great Doctor of the Church a critical service of the utmost import-'^ 
ance, and has done it with a patience and acumen that we venture 
to say are token that he possesses the spirit of the great Benedictine 
editors of France two centuries ago. To save this word of deserved 
praise from the appearance of inconsiderateness or of mere flattery, 
it will be necessary to explain as briefly as we can what difficulties 
Father Mackey had to face in the eft'ort to ascertain what the 
original French text of the Saint really was. " Les Controverses," 

182 Notices of Books, 

as the treatise was entitled by the first French editor, has, we 
believe, appeared in four, and only four, editions of the works of St. 
Francis de Sales in French — Leonard's edition of 1672, Blaise's 
edition of 1821, and the two more recent editions of Viv^s (1858) 
and Migne*(1861). Now the state of the case will be understood 
when we say that, had Father Mackey translated any of these 
editions, " The Catholic Controversy " would have shown the English 
reader a work utterly imperfect, a misleading and misrepresentative 
work, and a work, it is not too much to add, unworthy of the repu- 
tation of the learned and zealous Catholic bishop whose name it bore. 
This may seem a strange fate to have overtaken any writing of a 
Doctor of the Church who lived since the invention of printing, and 
who wrote not among unscrupulous Greeks of Byzantine days, but 
in post-Reformation Europe. The explanation is easy. " Les Contro- 
verses " represents the short addresses which the Saint wrote from 
time to time to the people of the Chablais after they had been 
forbidden to go to hear him preach. These little addresses, or 
^^ leaves," written and passed about, were never published by the 
Saint nor named by him, though a Collection of them was progressing 
towards completion in a Treatise when he died. The MS. original of 
this treatise found after the Saint's death was sent to the Pope, 
Alexander VII., and by him was deposited in the archives of the 
Chigi family, to which he belonged :and it is still preserved in the 
Chigi Library. Some copies were made of it at the time, and one of 
these copies, w^hich was also preserved alongside the original, has 
been lent to Father Mackey by Prince Chigi, and, so far as it goes, 
it has been used for the present edition. It was imperfect, however, 
and the omitted ])arts have been transcribed from the original Chigi 
MS. by the translator's brother in Rome, the Rev. Father Peter 
Paul Mackey, O.P., who is a member of the Vatican Commission for 
the new edition of St. Thomas Aquinas. The same learned Domini- 
can has also, with great patience and pains, collated the whole text. 
Finally another original MS. of portions of the treatise kept at Annecy 
has been largely used by the translator ; and thus we have, at last, 
the genuine text of St. Francis de Sales published for the first time. 
How widely it varies from the printed texts will soon be apparent. 
One of the copies before mentioned, made probably with great 
fidelity for publication, was put into the hands of Leonard, of Paris, 
the editor of the saint's works, who published it in 1672. 

Leonard himself says : *' We have not added or diminished or changed 
anything in the substance of the matter, and only softened a few of the 
words." But such an editor puts his own meaning on the expressions he 
uses. As a fact, there is not a single page or half-page which does not 
contain serious omissions, additions, and faulty alterations of matters 
more or less substantial. The verbal changes are to be counted by 
thousands ; in fact, the nerve is quite taken out of the expression, the 
terse, vigorous and personal sixteenth-century language of the man of 
genius being buried under the trivial manner of the every-day writer 
employed by Leonard eighty years later. The style and wording of the 
original make it a monument of early French literature and the nascent 
powers of the French tongue. 

Notices of Books. 183 

Leonard, again, lias garbled the Saint's quotations, and almost 
habitually given the wrong references to the Fathers. In the MS. the 
citations are, in almost every case, correct as to the sense though free as 
to the words, and the references are most exact, though too hastily and 
briefly jotted down to be of much use to a careless and self-sufficient 
editor. Finally, Leonard has made most serious mistakes as to order. 
(Translator's preface, xii.) 

Blaise's edition of 1821 was worse ; the notes, which were the 
special feature, being- also the special disgrace of the edition. He 
afterwards republished a part of the section on Papal authority 
amended, but only a portion ; whilst the most recent editions of 
Vives and Migne omit indeed the obnoxious Gallican notes, but give 
the text of previous editions. One cannot help expressing- the hope 
that Father Mackey would also bring- out (for the first time) the 
correct French text itself. In one place in ^^ Les Controverses," as 
is well enough known, where St. Francis contends against the Cal- 
vinists that '' the Church has always need " that the successor of St. 
Peter should be ''an infallible confirm er to whom she can appeal," 
the French editor had substituted for " infallible " the word " perma- 
nent," the discovery of which fraud led many of the bishops at the 
Vatican Council to subscribe without further delay to the doctrine 
of Papal infallibility. 

All these particulars we gather from the translator's very interest- 
ing- preface, where the vicissitudes of this controversial treatise are 
treated of at length. We must be content to refer the reader to that 
preface to learn further what a multitude of minor but very puzzling; 
difficulties arose in the text as the translation proceeded (chiefly from 
the bad German handwriting- and bad spelling of a portion of the 
original, which is in the handwriting- of a secretary of the Saint). 
More labour and ingenuity has been spent in the effort to solve all 
these difficulties than would be easily believed, except by > those who 
have themselves attempted similar work. The Scripture and Patristic 
references also— and they are frequent — have been verified at no small 
cost of time and labour. And, lastly, the whole treatise has been 
recast from the confused rearrangement of the French editor into 
the general order of sequence of minor parts which was originally 
intended. We are thus constrained by our inspection of what Father 
Mackey has here accomplished to repeat that his critical editing of 
the text of St. Francis is an achievement of which he may well be 

On this point we have said so much that there remains little 
space at our disposal in which to speak of the translation. We shall 
be content therefore to say that it appears to us to be a highly suc- 
cessful translation. It is evident that as the translator progresses 
he acquires greater facility in doing his work, and even fresh power 
in the very difficult task of representing in English somewhat of the 
simple quaintness of the old French. And until such time as the 
original old French is published in a genuine text his English ver- 
sion will be of unique value. 

But of what practical worth will this book be as a manual of 

184 Isotices of Boohs, 

controversy ? It may appear at first sight that it can be of very 
little. We venture to think, having- read it with some such fear, 
that it will be found of singular service — eminently a work full of 
what the French call actualite. And this because of the Saint's 
method. He is concerned with the central doctrines, with the 
Catholic position as such ; and these remain in all their importance 
amidst the shifting-s of minor controversies, however these last may 
assume exagg-erated importance at the moment from circumstances. 
In fact, the work is, as the translator claims, ^'the defence of Catho- 
licism as such," and he rightly continues : " At the same time it is 
incidentally the defence of Christianity, because the Saint's justifi- 
cation of Catholicism lies just in this that it alone is Christianity." 
The whole of Part I., in which the Saint proves that the Reformers 
lack *' mission," whether ordinary or extraordinary, and are doomed 
because not sent, and that the Catholic Church, on the other hand, 
alone has ^^ mission," is alone sent to teach, and that therefore other 
teaching is but that of man, not of God, is of great value, and is not 
generally found specially treated apart as it is here. The volume is, 
further, a model of controversial style. Here the Saint of gentlest 
charity will hold no truce with heresy, is as strong- in his convictions 
and as outspoken on matters of faith, and on what as a minister of 
God he teaches, as St. Paul himself, who was ready to anathematize 
not only otherwise g-ood men, but an angel himself Everywhere 
the Saint insists on the duty of seeing the Church of Christ and 
obeying it. *' The Rule of Faith " — that is the concern of the 
greater portion of his pages ; and he shows that the Catholic Church 
alone has the Scriptures, has tradition, has the promises, has St. 
Peter's successor, has the Councils and the Fathers, has miracles^ 
and has the Pope, and it is quite remarkable how Ibrcibly and re- 
peatedly this last point is urged and the need there is now more 
than ever before for the Pope. We must forbear from, quotations^ 
which we should like to multiply, to show the Saint's wonderful con- 
siderateness for heretics whilst, however, enforcing, with every eltbrt 
of his energetic mind and with touches of his own good-natured wit, 
the imperious claims of revealed teaching. In the article on Purga- 
tory, which occupies thirty pages, the truth and consequences of that 
doctrine will be found stated with much force and originality. 
Lastly, in an appendix, we find the original French of a hitherto 
unpublished fragment on the authority of the Pope from the Annecy 
autograph, of which fragment we also have an English translation 
in the body of the work. 

Monseigneur Dupanloup on Liberal Education. By the Rev. Edward 
CuTHBERT Butler, O.S.B., M.A. Lond., Classical Master at 
Downside College. Dublin : M. H. Gill & Son, 1886. 

IN this pamphlet we have five essays, reprinted from the Downside 
lieviewj on the subject of liberal education and the comparative 
merits of classics on the one side and " useful" studies on the other. 

Notices of Books. ISS 

Father Butler's title by no means prepares us for the varied informa- 
tion and really valuable views which he has managed to compress 
within the space of forty- five pages. Mg-r. Dupanloup's great work on 
education, and especially the latter half of it, " La Haute Education 
intellectiielle," is too little known amongst us, and it was a useful task 
to analyse it and lay its main conclusions before those concerned i» 
education. But we have here not only Dupanloup, corroborated by 
Newman, Wheweli, and J. S. Mill, but also interesting references 
to the views of modern " educators " in Germany and elsewhere. 
The first paper is called by the writer the "Groundwork of a 
Liberal Education," and is occupied in stating the late Bishop of 
Orleans's ideas as to the absolute necessity for the predominance of 
Latin and Greek in a boy's school-years. It was Dupanloup's very 
just argument that the great object of school ought to be to train 
and strengthen the learning faculty itself, and not to place a load 
prematurely on the back of a rickety colt. The second essay, called 
a " Lesson from Berlin," draws attention to a very remarkable 
report published by the Prussian Education Department which has 
not received in this country the notice it deserves. The Prussian 
Government, assisted by twenty or thirty of the ablest professors of 
the country, has had the results of the Gymnasia or classical schools 
carefully compared with those of the Realschulen or " modern " 
seminaries ; and the verdict of six-and-thirty professors, many of 
them European in their reputation, is that the young men trained in 
the classics learn the arts of life — professions, trades and business 
generally— better, and in the long run more quickly, than those who 
are taught on more utilitarian principles. This report was presented 
in 1880. "Examination and Cramming" is the title of the third 
essay; there are some capital remarks of the writer's own on 
the subject of examinations at page 24. The fourth paper^ 
which treats of " Culture and Viewiness," necessarily devotes a good 
deal of space to extracts from Cardinal Newman ; but Dupanloup 
is not neglected, and the writer here gives an account of that 
" Rhetoric " class which in that enthusiastic theorist's scheme was 
to crown the education of the schoolboy. A fifth and concluding' 
paper treats of "Utilitarianism in England;" without presenting 
anything particularly novel it gives a handy and terse exposition of 
the real " uses " of a classical training. 

Father Butler's Irochure^ which is well and clearly written, with 
no attempt at fine writing-, but with a very honest and definite 
grasp of the subject in hand, will help young teachers in our 
colleges, and perhaps also parents and guardians throughout the 
country, to right views about education. When Prussia pronounces 
that Greek and Latin make better lawyers, doctors, and stock- 
brokers than French, mathematics and chemistry ; and when London 
University, only last January, adopts the view that the " utiliUj of 
Latin" is axiomatic, we ought to hear no more of the disappearance 
of the classics from the modern curriculum. But we wish Father 
Butler would go a little further and show us how to frame a time 

186 Kotices of Books. 

table which shall include the classics and all those other matters which 
he himself admits to he not only useful but necessary — mathematics, 
science, history, geog-raphy, and a modern language. Our own 
opinion is that to insist on a "liberal" education for youths who 
have to begin serious work at sixteen — army, navy, medicine, law, 
civil service — is to insist on jumping over an eight-foot wall. Here 
is Bishop Dupanloup's description of the effect of a good course of 
classics, mathematics and modern languages : '' it forms and fertilizes 
all the powers of the soul ; judgment, good sense, penetration, 
reason, imagination, sensibility, ardour, enthusiasm, character, heart 
and will.^* There is no doubt a sense in which a boy of sixteen may 
reasonably be expected to show all this ; but it is not the sense in 
which we should look for it in a young man who has had leisure to 
carry through his school course for three years longer. A young man 
of the present day who has to adopt a business or profession to live by, 
must pick up " culture " as he goes along the road of life. His Latin 
or Greek may have made him sharper or more patient, but as he has 
used the grandest literary monuments of the world only as exercises 
for memory and analysis, they will never give him any deep or lofty 
" culture." A certain vagueness which runs through this very able 
pamphlet may be attributed to the writer's upholding on the one 
hand the "usefulness" of classical studies, and, on the other, in- 
dulging- in such highflying visions of "culture" as Newman and 
Dupanloup have seen and described — ideals in which usefulness 
was rather a drawback than a recommendation. No one can 
possibly be more anxious than ourselves that the highest ideal of 
liberal education should be realized, or at least aspired after, by as 
large as possible a number in every community. But it seems 
rather a confusion in terms to advocate the classical languages on 
utilitarian principles, and in ttie next page to say they are the best 
possible libe?^al training. Or can it be that a distinctly " liberal '* 
training is of necessity the most " useful ? " — that it is a mistake to 
prepare young boys for anything in particular ? — and that the longer 
the national youth can be kept to general studies and the later we 
put off professional and special training, the stronger will be the 
national intellect in every profession and every business ? 

Qeschichte der P'dpste seit dem Ausgang des Mittelalters. Mit Be- 
nutzung des papstlichen Geheim-Archivs. Erster Band : Ges- 
chichte der Pajjste im Zeitalter der Renaissance Ms zwr Wahl Pius II. 
Von Professor Dr. Pastor. Freiburg : Herder. 1886. 

ENGLISH students are well enough acquainted with the late 
Professor Ranke's " History of the Popes in the Sixteenth and 
Seventeenth Centuries." That gifted author, although a Protestant, 
sought to do justice to the Holy See, yet Ranke did not enjoy the 
opportunity of searching into the secret archives of the Vatican, that 
vast storehouse of documents illustrating the history and deeds of 

Notices of Boohs. 1^7 

the Popes. Hence his treatment of his subject was imperfect, even 
where it was free from the bias of his education and prejudices. 
Also, it should be noted, that Ranke's book is least scientific where 
he treats modern times ; he has only a meag-re sketch of the history 
of the Catholic Church from 1829 to 1870, the Vatican Council being 
regarded by him just as might be expected from a Protestant author. 
The opening' of the Vatican archives marks an epoch in the writ- 
ing of history j and already one of our younger German historians 
has set himself to reconstruct the work which Eanke attempted 
under less favourable circumstances. We are glad to point out to 
English readers this work, the first volume of which Professor 
Pastor has completed, and which will certainly be ibund deserving 
of the attention of all students of history. It has two things which 
recommend it : first, the author has exhausted the Roman and other 
Italian archives, besides those of France, England and Germany ; 
and, secondly, he has handled his immense store of material in a 
really masterly manner. Light is thrown from the principles of 
Catholic dogmatic theology on intricate points connected with the 
baneful schism that originated after the election of Urban VI., 1378. A 
new document bearing on the validity of Urban's election is given in 
the Appendix (688). Quite a feature of the work is the history of 
the rise, development and influence of the Italian humanism. Truly 
the study of the old Latin and Greek classics as indulged in by 
Valla, Beccadelli and Poggio, was only too fertile a source of mis- 
chief to both faith and morals. But, on the other hand, there was 
also a Christian " Renaissance," which was seconded by the most 
pious men of that age. Tommaso Parentucelli, who ascended the 
See of St. Peter as Nicholas V., may be looked upon as the type of 
a Christian humanist. The portion of Professor Pastor's work which 
treats of this Pope, may unhesitatingly be pronounced to be one of 
the most splendid pages of history written in our time. All modern 
researches in the several departments of history and art have been 
duly used, and all converge to throw into prominence the wonderful 
activity of the Holy See in promoting the spiritual welfare of the 
Christian family. Far from defending every act of the Popes in 
their private life, or as temporal princes. Professor Pastor, like a true 
historian, and acting on the principles laid down by the present Pope, 
not unfrequently censures certain institutions and enactments which 
have dimmed the lustre of the Roman Pontificate. This remark 
mainly refers to the reign of Calixtus III., who, however, viewed 
from another side, is so remarkable for the crusade he undertook 
against the Turks. No less than eighty-six hitherto unprinted 
documents appear in the Appendix. We conclude with the hope 
that the second volume, beginning with Pius II. (Eneas Silvio 
Piccolomini) will be given to the public without long delay. The 
work is to be completed in six volumes, 


1^8 Notices of Books. 

Bibliograpliia Liturgica. Catalogus Missalium Kitus Latini ab anno 
MccccLxxv. impressorum. Collei>it W. H. Jacobus Weale. 
Londini : apud Bernardum Quaritch. 1886. 

*' TN the course of the liturgical studies which occupy the intervals 
X of leisure snatched from a busy life, experience fully confirmed 
what I had long thought," writes the '^ collector " of the present 
work, " namely, that without a catalogue of liturgical books nothing 
really complete could be written either in regard to the cultus of 
any particular saint, or on the ceremonies observed in the sacred 
liturgy, the administration of the sacraments, or the divine office." 
There are few persons who have given any attention to these sub- 
jects but must have felt a sort of despair on finding continually re- 
curring difficulties in ascertaining the actual existence of ancient 
office books, the proverbial rarity of which is sufficiently explained 
by their local circulation and constant use. The hagiologist may 
remember that one of the cares of Bollandus in starting the *' Acta 
Sanctorum " was to take stock of the local breviaries and propers in 
his hands ; and the list he gives may still be usefully consulted. 
Zaccaria is more ambitious, but after all he soon leaves the inquirer 
in the lurch ; that his information is commonly vague is no fault of 
his, for he had never seen the greater number of the books he men- 
tions ; it would be a compliment to say merely that he is very in- 
complete. Of late years a few works have appeared dealing with the 
books of particular dioceses. The English uses have of course been, 
well looked after ; the Abbe Carron of St. Sulpice gave an excellent 
" Notice" on the Paris use ; quite recently Mdlle. Pellechethas syste- 
matically described the books of Autun, Chalon-sur-Saone, and 
Mdcon. In the absence of any general essay of the same kind the 
*' Bibliotheque Liturgique " of M. Ales was thankfully received. 
The collection which he describes is, as he says with some pride, 
" the richest and most complete " ever brought together, " compris- 
ing 341 liturgical manuals (missals, breviaries, horae, ^c. &c.) of 92 
dilferent dioceses, and of 30 monasteries of different orders ;" and in 
addition to these, which are all in Gothic type, modern books of 47 

Mr. Weale's Catalogue of Missals of the Latin Rite gives, unless 
we have made an error in counting, a total of 1376, or (putting 
aside the Ambrosian and Mozarabic books as of non-Roman origin) 
881 separate editions of missals of 178 dioceses or collegiate 
churches, 21 missalia itinerantium, 13 so-called sjjecialiaj 210 editions 
of the Roman missal up to the issue of the Planum in 1570, which 
practically fixed that rite, and 223 missals of different religious 
orders. Dut of the total of 1376, the author has actually examined 
857, and can speak of them from personal knowledge. So much for 
the figures, which will readily gain credence for the statement in the 
preface that the work now issued, unpretending as it is in form, is 
the outcome of tedious labour, the fruit of long journeys; those who 
know the difficulties attending the use of libraries in small provincial 

Notices of Boohs. 189 

towns, where alone so many liturgical books are now to be found, 
will understand how much patience must have been spent, and, so 
to speak, time lost, in gathering- the materials. 

The Catalogue is divided into two unequal parts — missals of 
churches and missals of orders, the former arranged alphabetically, 
the latter according to hierarchical grading:, regular canons first— a 
scanty show — then monks, friars, &c. Under each heading is a 
chronological list of missals, date, title, printer, collation, references 
to books containing detailed descriptions or notices, and a list of 
public or quasi-public libraries (some 300 libraries are accounted for) 
where a copy is to be seen. This last is a boon indeed ; the days of 
"liturgical journeys" are not yet over. True, local uses and cus- 
toms are not commonly to be seen in churches, though more of such 
practices survive than most people are aware of. Their records, 
however, lie safely on the library shelves ; hitherto the difficulty has 
been to know where. The inquirer has had to confine his attention 
to one or two great and well-known collections like the Nationale 
and Ste. Genevieve in Paris ; in future he has in hand an index 
and a guide, he will know where to go, and what to expect. For 
the first time it is made possible to study the later rites and liturgi- 
cal varieties with method and order, to trace their history in parti- 
cular churches, or groups of churches, or again back to their common 
source, the early rite of the Church of Rome. To some this may 
seem a trivial pursuit ; those who have once fairly entered on the 
study will know its fascination. On the special bibliographical value 
of the work we have no inclination to dwell ; it of course must 
interest librarians, and the booksellers who cater for wealthy ama- 
teurs. As Mr. Weale anticipates and hopes, the '^ Catalogue " will 
doubtless call attention to many a volume now lying in dusty neglect 
simply for want of such a handbook as this to refer to, and may lead 
to the discovery in many a seminary library or country sacristy of, 
say, those excessively rare seventeenth century French office books, 
of some of which not even a " unique copy " is now forthcoming. 
We are disposed to think that the time and trouble spent in this 
colleclion will really issue in what is vastly more important, the 
much-to-be-desired renewal of ritual learning. 

Special attention seems to have been devoted to missals of German 
churches, whole series of which, from the first edition to the last, 
Mr. Weale seems to have himself examined. The Spanish missals 
are almost entirely printed in the tell-tale italics indicating that he 
has never seen them. But we are glad to get the book even so, and 
to find that that proverbial ennemi du Men, le mieuxj has this time 
been made to stand aside. The elaborate indices " compiled with the 
utmost care " are the concern of the bibliographer — a chronological 
list of printed missals up to the year 1533, an index of printers 
and publishers with lists of their productions, a local index of prin- 
ters up to 1533. From the preface it appears that a companion 
Catalogue of Breviaries is nearly ready for the press, and that two 
volumes on rituals, ceremonials, &c , are in prospect. It is greatly 

190 Notices of Boohs, 

to be wished that the programme thus sketched may be carried out. 
Only with exceptionally favourable opportunities would it be possible 
to entertain such a project ; something better than opportunities is 
required to turn, as here, a task so thankless into a labour of love. 
The restriction of the edition of this volume to three hundred copies 
may, however, be the cause of some unchristian heartburnings. 

Commentar uder das Evangelium des H. Johannes. Von Dr. Paui. 
ScHANz, Professor der Katholischen Theologie an der Univer- 
sitat Tiibingen. Tiibingen : Fues. 1885. 

THIS is the last volume of a commentary on the Gospels which 
has occupied Dr. Schanz, a professor in the Catholic Faculty 
of Tiibingen, for six years. His object has been to combine tradi- 
tional Catholic exegesis with the results of modern study of the lan- 
guage and text. The work differs therefore, in many respects, from 
ordinary Catholic commentaries. The Greek, and not the Vulgate, 
is the basis of the exposition, and the received text is amended 
throughout by comparison with Tischendorf s, Tregelles', and West- 
cott and Hort's recensions. Thus the notable passage, vii. 53-viii. 
11, is ascribed by Dr. Schanz to an early apostolical tradition, pro- 
bably of St. John's school, the Tridentine decree being considered 
decisive of the canonicity, but not of the immediate authorship of 
the Apostle. At the same time, the context (especially of viii. 15 
and 20) is used to show it is rightly inserted here. The delicate 
shades of meaning- conveyed by the grammatical forms of the 
Greek are traced out with a minute care and attention not inferior 
to those we are accustomed to in the best English commentaries. 
For the logical order and connection of the text St. Thomas is 
mainly followed ; in all matters of detail Catholic and non-Catholic 
writers are alike laid under contribution. It has a strange effect 
to see Fathers, Scholastics, Jansenius, Maldonatus, and a Lapide, 
ranged side by side with Calvin, JBengel, Luthardt, or Godet, 
however convenient such an arrangement may be for purposes of 
comparison. There are some notable gaps in the extensive learn- 
ing which these notes show : Beelen does not seem to be referred 
to at all, and Westcott's considerable work only once. With these 
exceptions the reader will find the fullest assistance in studying any 
of the difficult passages which abound in this Gospel. The dogmatic 
side of the commentary is equally developed. The greatest promi- 
nence is of course given to defending- the points attacked by modern 
German rationalists, especially of the Tubingen school. In particu- 
lar, St. John's \6yos is discriminated with great care and fulness from 
Philo's Platonism and the Jewish " Memra." But the points in 
controversy with ordinary Protestants are also very satisfactorily 
dealt with, and all with much learning and scholarship. The syna- 
gogue discourse at Capharnaum is of course the most important of 
these. Other examples are the bearing of xiv. 26 and xvi. 12 on 

Notices of Books. 191 

the '* re^ula fidei," of ii. 4 on the position of the Blessed Virg-in, and 
of xxi. 15-18 on the primacy of Peter. It is to be regretted that a 
work of such interest and vahie is likely to be closed to many 
readers, owing to its being written in German. We notice that 
there is no episcopal " imprimatur " to the volume. 

King Edward the Sixth : Supreine Head. An Historical Sketch. With 
an Introduction and Notes. By F. G. Lee, D.D. London : 
Burns & Gates. 1886. 

THERE exists at present a strong desire to learn the true history 
of the latter half of the sixteenth century. Everything that is 
published tends to show that the events of those reigns during 
which the Catholic faith was stolen from the English nation, have 
yet to be presented in their true light. It is an encouraging sign of 
the times when Protestants show themselves even more desirous 
than Catholics to study the origin and progress of the great national 
revolt from the Church of Rome. We would willingly, indeed, see 
Catholics realize a little more than they apparently do how im- 
portant for the advancement of religion at this time it i^, that the 
history of those evil days should be made public in all its naked truth. 
We fear, however, that for the last fifty years Catholics have done 
little to enlighten their fellow-countrymen on these matters ; in truth, 
since the days of Lingard and Tierney, in spite of the advantages 
now afforded us by liberty to search every document of State that 
exists, we have stood still. 

The Holy Father has, on more than one occasion in late years, 
earnestly commended these studies, as a means for the promotion of 
the Catholic faith, and we trust that such an appeal will stir up 
English Catholics to do something to further his desires. 

Dr. Lee is well known already by his historical studies and 
researches into this period of English history. His works are all of 
them characterized by a fearless desire to tell the truth about the 
early days of the Church by law established. In fact it has always 
appeared to us that in his endeavour to make the body, of which he 
still remains a member, ridiculous in the eyes of the world he is apt 
to overstep the boundaries of legitimate history. The motto he has 
chosen from Holy Scripture and placed at the commencement of his 
present volume, " Benedictus Dominus Deus mens, qui docet mantis 
meas adiwcelium et digitos meos ad helium,^' seems admirably chosen to 
express the spirit in which he works. It is more important to take 
notice of this than it may at first appear. The kind of history 
which people are now disposed to read is a calm unvarnished state- 
ment of fact, which can be substantiated by careful, exact and 
copious references. Dr. Lee unfortunately has not got the self- 
restraint or the calm judgment necessary for an historian. He is so 
fond of drawing a picture that we confess we often find it difficult to 
tell what the reality is, and what the Doctor's admirable imagination. 

192 Notices of Boohs. 

On the whole, we believe that this kind of history is calculated to 
do more harm than good to the cause which he seems to have at 

We will give a couple of instances of what we object to : by the 
title of *^ Supreme Head" paraded in this volume most people would 
be led to suppose that it had been first invented for the youthful 
Edward the Sixth, and would never suppose that it had been used for 
many years of the reign of Henry the Eighth. Dr. Lee does not say 
so, but it is this kind of implication which we object to. 

A sample of the want of accurate reference may be seen at p. 50. 
Dr. Lee there says that many who were being* prepared for the 
priesthood ^' in the schools and cloisters of the monasteries, or in 
local parochial schools, subsequently shrank back from its responsi- 
bilities ; " and in proof of this he quotes " Cotton MS., B. Museum, 
Cleopatra E. IV." Those who are unacquainted with this MS. will 
be surprised to loarn that it is a thick folio of some 300 sheets, 
while those who are familiar with it will hardly be disposed to think 
that it contains ^^ much information on this point." 

We have no doubt, however, that Dr. Lee's book will be found 
both useful and interesting, and we must be grateful for. what has 
been done. It deals with the short six and a half years of the reign 
of the boy-king. Well may the author exclaim with Holy Scripture, 
** Woe to the people who have a boy for their king." If ever the saying 
has been proved true, it was at this period when the death of Henry 
the Eighth left his son Edward, then only nine and a half years, to 
inherit his temporal and assumed spiritual authority. Throughout 
the few years of his life the boy remained a mere puppet in the 
Lands of such unscrupulous ministers as Somerset, Cranmer, and 
Latimer, who were thus enabled for their own ends and objects to 
force the so-called " Reformed Faith " upon a people at heart as 
Catholic as their fathers. It is an exceptionally instructive though 
saddening period of our national history. 

The volume consists ot but four chapters : The first opens with 
the .death of Henry the Eighth, and shows how Catholic the so-called 
founder of the religion " by law established " was at heart. Nothing 
can be more Catholic in spirit than the provisions of his will, which 
however, were in the main ignored by the sixteen " duly appointed 
executors ; " and although the dead king was carried to the grave 
with all the pomp of the old ceremonial, his pious desire for masses 
for the repose of his soul was ignored " as superfluous." In this 
chapter of the book may be found a great deal of what will be new 
information for most readers as to the state of the poor in the 
country now that the monastic lands were in the hands of those who 
did not regard themselves as their guardians, in spite of the express 
declaration of the Parliament who confiscated the property, that the 
land should still be burdened with provision for the poor. The 
account of how Protector Somerset wasted and destroyed the pro- 
perty of the Church for the purpose of building up his own palace, is 
a sample of that tyrant's method of acting. Towards the close of 

Notices of Books. 193 

this chapter there is a short passage, which to our mind is the best 
in the book, putting in a nutshell the grounds of the ditference 
between the old and the new. 

" The whole point in dispute, the real kernel of the Church 
question being discussed, lay in the subject of authority — of eccle- 
siastical authority directly, o^all authority in the long run. The old 
and true spiritual order, as ordained by our Blessed Redeemer, was 
uprooted and marred under Henry the Eighth, made logically absurd 
under Edward the Sixth, rendered still more ridiculous under Elizabeth 
Boleyne, and has remained in England vague and undetermined 
ever since " (p. 6?). May we venture to say how admirably to our 
mind Dr. Lee's own position illustrat3s the closing portion of this 
sentence. The faith must b3 " vague and undetermined " which 
can permit a man to draw the emoluments of a living in the Estab- 
lished Church, whilst he scoffs at its position and censures the 
spiritual authority under whose jurisdiction he is still supposed to be 
working (see Introduction, p. (3). 

The second chapter is chiefly taken up with a description of the 
means adopted to rob the people of the ancient religion. This to 
our mind is the most important portion of the book, and would have 
formed a volume by itself. We cannot wonder that the Church 
should raise the question of Anglican Orders, when we read about 
the supreme indifference displayed at this time for all rites and 
ceremonies. Twice in this volume (pp. 73, 151) we are told that 
ordination was not accounted as much as the king's license. 

The third chapter treats of the various insurrections and their 
suppression, and also of the disputes concerning the newly fashioned 
doctrines of the Protestant faith. We cannot read this chapter 
without being struck with the rapidity with which these differences 
of opinion on the most vital questions of doctrine, overshadowed 
from the first the schismatical Church of England, and came as the 
natural consequence of the renunciation of authority. Whilst 
Henry the Eighth lived as Supreme Head he did not allow any open 
difference from his belief, but when the boy Supreme Head took his 
place these differences, which in these days has resulted in the 
hopeless medley of doctrine and practice tolerated in the bosom of 
the Anglican Establishment, first began to show themselves. 

The fourth and last chapter is principally devoted to notes on the 
chief actors in this brief reign. In it is told the fall and execution 
of Somerset, and the death of Edward himself. The author inclines 
to the belief that he was poisoned by those in power, in order to 
substitute one they believed would be another puppet in their hands. 
There is also a strange tale (p. 241) that " before his death, his body 
is reported to have become so repulsive and offensive that it was 
buried in a paddock, and another corpse — that of a murdered youth — 
with the customary ceremonies solemnly interred at Westminster in 
its stead." The sole authority for this statement, so startling in its 
nature, is " Origiaal Letter's of John Burcher to Henry Bullinger, 
dated from Strasburg 16th August, 1553," and this is mere hearsay 
VOL. XVI. — NO. T. [Third Series.] o 

194 Notices of Boohs. 

report. We must profess to disbelieve this unless it is founded on 
better evidence than that upon which Dr. Lee takes it ; but this is 
only one of the many instances there are throughout the book, 
which will, we feel sure, prevent it being taken as altogether 
reliable history. 

In conclusion, we may note that the story told of the cold-blooded 
way in which Henry VIII. gave orders to sacrifice the life of Queen 
Jane, in order that Edward VI. might be given to the world, is not 
now generally credited. The date given by our most ancient historians 
— Stow, Grafton, Hale, and Godwin, &c., for the death of the queen 
has been, no doubt, the foundation for the story ; but contemporary 
evidence, to our mind, completely disproves it. A letter in the 
Record Office, from Sir J. Russell to Thomas Crumwell, says that 
the death took place on October 24, 1537, and not on the 14th 
of that month, as stated by Stow and others, upon which the 
statement of the birth of Edward VI. through the Cesarean opera- 
tion is based. In the contemporary " Wriothesley Chronicle," now 
published by the Camden Society, we find that the birth of 
the prince is corrisctly stated (p. 66) to have taken place on 
^'Friday, being the eve of S. Edward the Confessor" (October 12). 
The christening* is described (p. 67) as taking place on the 15th, 
and on Thursday, the 18th of October, on the proclamation of the 
young prince (p. 59), is noted ^' a solemn procession through 
London, which was done for the preservation and welfare of the 
Prince and the health of the Queen." On the 18th of October, 
therefore the Queen was alive. Lastly, in proper position for the 
24th, but written 14th of October, *' beinge Wednesday,'' the death 
of the Queen is told. There is every probability that this date 
was changed when the chronicle was copied to make it agree 
with the date to be found in the histories given above j because 
in this year the 14th of October was not a Wednesday, but a 
Sunday, whereas the 24th, which would be the correct date, accord- 
ing to its position in the chronicle, was a Wednesday. The con- 
clusion that Queen Jane did not die till twelve days after the birth 
of her son is borne out by an entry in "London Chronicle" (B. 
Museum, Cotton MS. Vesp. A. 25), " On Saynte Crispyn's Eve, 
Wensday, dyid Queue Jane in childbed." 

1. Comvientarius in Prophetas 3Iinores. Auctore Josepho Knaben- 


2. Ejusdem Commentarius in Lihmm Job. Forming part of the Cursus 

Scripturce Sacrce, Auctoribus R. Cornely, J. Knabenbauer, 
F. DE Hummelauer, aliisque Soc Jesu Presbyteris. Parisiis : 
P. Lethielleux. 1886. 

I HAVE not read any large portion of these three volumes con- 
secutively, but I have examined them with some care in a 
number of difficult passages, and even such a cursory inspection 


Notices of Books. 195 

furnishes abundant evidence that they are a very solid contribu- 
tion to Catholic literature. A few words will suffice to put before 
our readers the kind of work Fr. Knabenbauer has done. 

He represents the most rigid school of Catholic orthodoxy. Men 
who look for any concessions to the critical spirit of modern times 
will assuredly be disappointed. He adheres to all the ancient 
methods, and nowhere do the ideas of modern commentators appear 
to have exercised any decisive influence on his own mind. He is 
entirely out of sympathy with them. In his introduction to the 
various books of the Old Testament, Protestant works are scarcely 
mentioned, and even when critical theories are introduced, they are 
set aside so summarily that no one could learn what the precise 
nature of these theories is or what the arguments are on which 
the}'' rest. Hence, as a refutation of prevailing- views, or as an 
answer to the difficulties felt even by the orthodox, the volumes 
before us are useless. Nor can it be said that they have much life 
or interest of their own. There is no real attempt made here to 
trace the development of Hebrew theology, no real enthusiasm 
about the individual character of the prophets. Latin too, and 
more especially the heavy, clumsy Latin, which !Fr. Knabenbauer, 
like most moderns, writes, is altogether inadequate for the delicate 
work of discriminating' the finer shades of meaning in the great 
Hebrew authors. To do such a task well, a man must write in 
his own language, and besides, the construction and the genius 
of English and German are far more akin to Hebrew than Latin 
can possibly be. 

On the other hand, a great advance is made on the old-l\ishioned 
Catholic commentators. The Hebrew text is here made the basis 
of the exposition, and a fair effort is made to grapple with gram- 
matical difficulties. Diligent use has been made of the ancient 
versions. Special commendation is due to the attention bestowed 
on the cuneiform inscriptions whenever they illustrate Hebrew 
history. This, indeed, is the besjt feature in the book. And, 
having gained so much, the devout lover of " Catholic " interpre- 
tation iinds that he has lost nothing, for everywhere familiar 
names of Fathers and schoolmen, and commentators of the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries, recur here. W. E. Addis. 

Leaves from St. Augustine. By Mary H. Allies. Edited by T. W. 
Allies, K.C.S.G. London: Burns & Oates. 1886. 

IN a series of about a hundred chapters, chosen from the works of 
St. Augustine, Miss Allies has sought to give an idea of the 
personal character, the sanctity, and the doctrine of a great Saint 
and Doctor of the Church. The idea was happily conceived, and 
has been ably carried out, the selection of passages being a judicious 
one, and the translation exceedingly well done. The benefit to be 
gained from the writings of a master mind like St. Augustine's is 
far greater than would at first thought be imagined. He brings 

o I 

196 Notices of Books. 

home to us the spirit of the Church, and expresses the intcllectus 
catlioUcus with a vig-our, a freshness, and an orig-inality not easily to^ 
be found in the writings of the Schoolmen. Then, again, it is only 
in the original writings of the Fathers that we can realize in its 
fulness the unity in faith and practice of the Church in the days of 
Damasus or Celestine and in the days of Leo XIII. And taking up 
at random any of the chapters in Miss Allies' volume, we find, for 
example, such a charming explanation of the primitive institute of 
Canons Regular, under the title of " Episcopal Life at Hippo," as- 
quite refreshes and pleases us after the endless disputes and discus- 
sions on the difference between Monks and Regular Canons with 
Avhich we are all familiar. One feels oneself, here, at the fountain-head. 
Then, in the "Death of St. Monica" we have one of the most 
exquisitely beautiful chapters ever written; in the " Stone Cut from 
the Mountain without Hands" a nobly eloquent sermon; while the 
doctrinal extracts on the Eucharist and on communion with the 
Holy See, on prayer for the faithful departed, on sacrifice and the 
honour paid to the martyrs, written ages before the unhappy errors 
of our own day, have a convincing power with educated Protestants 
far above that of controversial treatises. It has been said of St. 
Augustine that his nervous and somewhat involved style requires an 
attentive reader, and easily fatigues the mind. This quality is 
entirely absent from the collection of extracts comprised in "^this 
volume. Most of them are singularly interesting, and the general 
impression they leave is that of having conversed with a spirit of 
great sweetness and unction. Augustine always lays open his heart 
to his readers, as, for example, when he tells of his anguish at his 
mother's death, and adds : 

Then I slept, and on awakening found my grief not a little softened ; 
and being, as I was, in the solitude of my bed, those true verses of thy 
servant Ambrose occurred to my mind ; for Thou art the 

Maker of all, the Lord 

And Ruler of the height, 

Who, robing day in light, hast poured 

Soft slumbers o'er the night, 

That to our limbs the power 

Of toil may be renewed. 

And hearts be raised that sink and cower 

And sorrows be subdued. 

Short Papers for tjie People {Alethaurion). By the Rev. Thomas C. 
Moore, D.D. New York : Benziger Brothers. London : 
R. Washbourne. 1886. 

WE have here a collection of 129 short controversial papers. As 
the Bishop of Little Rock writes in his letter of commenda- 
tion, it is well they are so short, as nobody reads long ones in this 
telephonic and telegraphic age. A vein of American humour runs 
through the essays, which are powerfully and interestingly written. 

Notices of Books. 197 

In matters of erudition there is something* to be desired. We doubt 
very much, for example, if the name ^' Guy " comes from the Latin 
'^ Caius " ; we thought it came from the Gothic " Wido " or " Guido." 
And we note with uneasiness a passage on page 3^2 to the effect 
that 'Hhe Church has not defined that the fire of hell is corporeal." 
Very true, if an explicit definition is referred to ; but, as Cardinal 
Mazella writes ("De Deo Creante," n. 1280), "Nequeo intelligere, 
quomodo unus vel alter e recentioribus catholicis theologis potuerit 
banc qutestionem in ancipiti relinquere." What Suarez says on the 
subject is the morally unanimous and certain teaching- of Catholic 
the'olog-ians : " Certa et catholica sententia est ignem inferni . . . . 
verum et corporeum ig-nem esse " (apud Mazzella ibid.). 

Anecdotes of a strong-ly American type abound in these pages. 
We give one as a very fair sample (p. 66), which will illustrate the 
style of the work : 

They tell a story of an old negro woman who had stolen a goose from 
her preacher. On the following Sunday she came up along with others 
to receive the *' sacrament." '' Aunt Dinah," said the preacher, "ain't 
you forgot 'bout dat goose ? " " Oh, you jist git out," said Aunt Dinah. 
"' Think Tse gwine to let an old goose stand twixt me'n de Lord? " 

The Christian State of Life; or, Sermons on the Principal Duties of 
Christians, (fee. By the Rev. Father Francis Hunolt, S.J. 
Translated from the original German edition of Cologne, 1740, 
by the Kev. J. Allen, D.D. 2 vols. New York, &c. : Benziger 
Brothers. London : R. Waslibourne. Dublin: W. H. Gill. 1886. 

THESE two large octavo volumes contain some seventy-six sermons 
on the general duties of a Christian, and on the particular rela- 
tions of parents and children and of husband and wife, on the duties 
^f the rich and poor, on contentment, on prayer, and other kindred 
topics. The sermons are worked out in detail, but they are so 
orderly and in such simple language that a busy priest need find 
neither delay nor difficulty in availing himself of the help they offer — 
whilst he is further helped by the running analysis of the arguments 
which are placed as marginal notes throughout. Father Hunolt is 
fond of examples and is happy in his choice wherever we have looked. 
Incidentally there are other advantages to be noted : first, an abun- 
dance of Scripture and patristic texts, all given in the Latin as foot- 
notes ; though, as we regret to see, the references are often omitted 
from the Scripture texts, and are scarcely ever given to those from 
the Fathers. There are also an Index of Sundays and Feasts, show- 
ing the sermons available for each, and a very full Index of Subjects. 
Type, paper, and get-up leave nothing to be desired. 

Bishop Rickards, the Vicar Apostolic of the Eastern Vicariate of 
Cape Colony, in an introductory letter, speaks highly both of the 
value of the matter in these volumes and of the manner in which the 
translation has been accomplished by Dr. Allen, King William's Town, 

198 Xotices of Books. 

at his instigation. We g'ladly quote a word or two from the bishop's 
letter, because Bishop Kickards' own writings have shown him to be 
a prelate quite aware of the needs of our time and a scholar able to- 
speak in keeping- with them : 

My consolation [he says] arises from the fact that the priest to whom 
I confided the task of translating the work has accomplished it with 
remarkable ability. My long experience of twenty-five years on the 
missions enables me fully to understand how difficult it is for ]n-iests, 
engaged all day and often far into the night with the labours of the con- 
fessional and attending the sick, to prepare their sermons with that care 
and study which so important a function demands. They must often 
feel, as I have felt, the want of a work in which sound matter is con- 
densed in fitting order and easily consulted This, it appears to me^ 

is admirably supplied in the sermons of Father Hunolt I wish [the- 

translation] heartily the success which I believe it deserves ; and earnestly 
commend it to the priests of all countries where English is the language- 
of sacred instruction. 

The Church of the Apostles. An Historical Inquiry. By J. M. Capes^ 
M.A. London : Kegan Paul, Trench & Co. 1886. 

THE object oF the author is to present a picture of the Apostolic 
Church, drawn from a careful study of the letters of the Apostles, 
After describing the condition of the lioman Empire in its relation 
to Christianity, he takes each Apostolic Epistle in its chronological 
order, and strives to make his readers realize the actual condition of 
the Church addressed. He brings his interesting work to a close 
with special chapters on the Millennium, on Predestination, and on 
the credibility of Miracles. As the author intends his book for the 
general reader, and not for the biblical student, there is an inten- 
tional omission of the thousand-and-one critical questions which 
present themselves in connection with the Epistles. As to the order 
in which St. Paul's Epistles were written, we observe that Mr. Capes- 
puts the Galatians very early, almost immediately after the Thessaio- 
nians, and the Pastoral Epistles very late, holding as he does that the 
Apostle was set free from the first imprisonment in Rome, described 
in the Acts, during which he wrote the so-called Captivity Epistles- 
— Colossians, Ephesians, and Philippians. But the special praise of 
the work lies in the interesting style in which the author expresses- 
his thoughts. As an instance we may quote the following : — 

This visit [of St. Paul} to Athens has also a special interest for us who- 
are of the English race, as we have in our possession the actual sculptures 
of the superb temple which was the glory of Athens and the envy of all 
Greece. When we stand before these wonderful marbles, our pulse throbs 
quicker and our eyes glisten as we remember that, when the great Apostle 
of the Gentiles walked through the streets of Athens and watched the 
devotions of the people he had before him, those identical bas-reliefs 
which then adorned the frieze of the Parthenon, and which, now known 
as the Elgin Marbles, are among the most precious relics of antiquity 
that time has spared to show us what Greek art was in the days of its 
glory (p. 61). 

Notices of Books. 11)9 

The End of Man. In Four Books. By Albany James Christie, 
S.J. London : Kegan Paul. 1886. 

The End of Man ; the reign of Christ our Lord ; 
God's greater glory ; man's supreme i-evvard ; 
Such is my theme, so God attune my chord. 

THIS is the opening- stanza of Fr. Christie's version of the Exer- 
cises of St. Ignatius in rhymed triplets ; and it is a very fair 
specimen of the whole. There are many different kinds of poetry. 
The o-reat thou^-hts which lie at the root of all life and intellectual 
being- are as overpowering- and as fascinating-, in certain moods of 
the mind, as any lyric of the heart or epic of heroic deeds. Fr. 
Christie's achievement is a meditation helped by the charm of sober 
verse, presented with the chastened g-races of form and melody. It 
is never trivial, but its gravity is always sweet and sonorous. It is 
a book to use in prayer, for its presentment of the great truths is as 
if a solemn and gifted preacher uttered meditative sermons in a mono- 
tone under the roof of a sanctuary, where lights and Howers signified 
the presence of the Most Holy. The book is large and sumptuous, 
and illustrated by some good photogravures. 

The Sarum Missal done into English. By A. Harford Pearson, 
M.A., B.C.L. Second Edition, Revised and Enlarged. London: 
The Church Printing Company. 1881. 

IT is a noteworthy sign of the times that a second edition should 
be called for of a bulky volume of nearly 700 pages giving a 
translation of the most widespread of the ancient English missals. 
This is not an appeal to a select company, to a handful of persons 
who find amusement or instruction for leisure hours in liturgical 
research ; but it betokens interest on the part of a considerable 
public desirous to learn something authentic of the way in which 
their forefathers in the days of Catholic unity joined in the public 
services of God. It is a sign hopeful and encouraging, calculated 
to give unmixed pleasure, were it not for a reflection otherwise 
suggested that whereas thirty or forty years ago it was Catholics 
who in England were (as they should be) masters and teachers in 
all that concerns the liturgy of the Church, and Anglicans were 
disciples and learners, the case is likely to be soon in great measure 
reversed. Whilst those without have been active and have 
striven to do their best to remove the reproach of ignorance 
or want of understanding, we have been supine. This is not 
all; many have been deterred by an idea spread of late years, 
that the study of liturgy tends to '' unsoundness," whatever pre- 
cisely that may mean. But our present business is with Mr. 
Pearson's book. Prefixed to the translation proper is a sort of 
concordance of rubrics (the parallel passages from York and Here- 
ford not being forgotten), which, instead of being merely inserted in 

200 Notices of Books. 

their proper places in the body of* the missal, are here hrouo-ht 
tog-ether '^ so as to present a connected view of the ceremonial." This 
is by no means an easy task, for by some ill fate it seems to happen 
that rubrics are drawn up in clumsy fashion, leaving* ambiguity of 
expression just at the point where we desire certitude and exact- 
ness. Is not the collection of decrees of the Congregation of Rites 
a standing witness to the difficulties of rubrical interpretation ? 
What then shall we say in the case of a use in which the guidance 
of traditional practice is no longer to be had ? The course taken 
by the translator in keeping as far as possible to the forms of the 
Authorized Version and the Common Prayer-book as familiar to 
the majority of his readers is commendable ; in regard to the 
" farced " Kyries, surely it w^ould have been better to leave the 
words '' Kyrie eleison " as they stand instead of turning them into 

The (separate) introductions to the first and second editions call 
for special remark. The earlier (pp. xxi.-xxxvi.) occupies little 
space J but it is one of the most satisfactory liturgical disser- 
tations written in England of late years. Not but that it oilers 
occasion for critical observations on points of detail or even on 
questions of import; but it is a g-enuine attempt to realize the 
history of the rise and development of the Sarum rite, and it is to 
be regretted that essays of more pretension than this one have not 
profited by its author's good sense and general soundness of view. 
Here we seem an age from the time (though that is not so long* 
ago) when we were told that S. Osmund " left behind him the 
famous ' Portiforum ' or Breviary of Sarum, containing- the daily 
services, together with the Sarum Missal, and probably the Sarum 
Manual," all ''first adopted a.d. 1085," ifec. It must be admitted 
that Mr. Pearson has not wholly freed himself from the trammels of 
the Osmundian leg-end. The bishop was, we are told, '* a Norman 
Count, Earl of Dorset, and Chancellor" (p. xxii.). We have not 
been fortunate enough to find earlier authority for the first two 
statements than the fifteenth century antiphons of the office 
for the translation, or for the tliird tlian Higden, and (probably 
his copyist) the " Historia Monasterii de Gloucester." Mr. 
Pearson, though unable to accept the current stories, seems half 
frightened at his own rashness, and harks back every now and then 
to the old lines. S. Osmund is certainly not the author of the 
" Tractate," and his undoubted charter " contains not a word 
respecting ritual " (p. xxx.) j yet he is represented (in a note) as 
'' compiling a use " (p. xxvi. note §), possibly (though we are not 
sure of the author's drift) under the august patronage of Lanfranc 
and the Avhole episcopal college (p. xvi.). It is surely time to bring- 
the ordinary methods of historical criticism to bear on the question 
in a spirit free from prepossessions. A candid review will lead to the 
conclusion that there is no evidence, which will stand the ordinary 
critical tests, that S. Osmund ever laid down any ritual prescrip- 


Notices of Books, 201 

tions for his clergy, or compiled any ceremonial, or use, or missal j 
and his name accordingly must be struck out of the list of liturg-ical 
reformers, purely and simply. His claims, however, to the grateful 
recollection of his own church of Sarum and the English Church 
also, are of another and not less urgent kind — viz., as the first 
institutor in this country of a regularly organized cathedral chapter 
of secular canons, new style, having independent rights and 
revenues, his foundation serving as a model, according to which, in 
course of time, the other secular chapters Avere fashioned. His 
real place is among not liturgical but (in a wide sense) disciplinary 
reformers. A misunderstanding must be noticed here. S. Osmund's 
charter does not contain any reference to a *^ small old book," which 
Mr. Pearson thinks " doubtless contained the original draft of the 
Consuetudinary." The real state of the case is this : at the end of 
the copy of the charter in the most ancient Salisbury reg'ister is 
this note: "Hoc invenies scriptum in quodam textu parvo et 
veteri, pauperis pretii ; " that is, " There is a copy of this charter 
in an old Gospel-book " (Dayman & Jones, " Statuta Eccl. Cath. 
Sarisb." p. 7.) 

It may seem captious to take exception to statements in them- 
selves probable or possible enough, only lacking proof; but we 
are convinced that in the present elementary state of liturgical 
research, at least so far as England is concerned, there is only one 
safe rule — to stick to the text. Here is an example (one of several 
that might be brought forward) : — '^ The use of Rouen and that of 
Sarum were almost identical in the eleventh century " (p. xiii.). 
Of the use of Rouen at that date we are certainly informed ; but 
what do we know of that of Sarum 'i Mr. Pearson seems not to 
have noticed (what is clear on comparison of texts) that the " Rouen 
manuscript missal, assumed to be 650 years old," summarized by 
Le Brun Desmarettes (" Voyages Liturgiques," pp. 282-313), is 
nothing else than the tractate of John of Avranches, '' De Officiis 
Ecclesiasticis," mentioned in his note *, p. xxiii. (Moreover, to be 
nice in small points, it may be observed that the " Voyages 
Liturgiques" was written by 1698, not 1717, and that the passages 
quoted, p. xxiii., are Rouen practice of that date and not of the 
eleventh century.) But it does not do to rest even on John of 
Avranches, whose tract is, after all, only a modification of the Roman 
Ordo spread abroad, even then witli considerable variations in 
different copies, under the first Carolingian emperors, which became 
modified in the course of the tenth and eleventh centuries to suit 
local needs or preferences. If we are to understand the course of 
liturgical history, it is from these that our studies must start j it is 
only thus that we can learn, in the present case, to distinguish in 
John of Avranches between the communis usus (a convenient ex- 
pression, though we do not find it in Osmund's Charter, p. xx.) 
and what was specifically of Rouen. The precise indebtedness, 
whether of Sarum, York, or Hereford, to Rouen or to other Norman 

202 Notices of Books. 

churches, is a subject that will demand a close and patient investi- 
gation of the whole field of liturgical changes brought about in 
England in the eleventh century. It will be necessary to take 
seriously into account also the intiuence exercised by the Lorrainers. 
It would be well if attention were not so concentrated on Sarum ; 
Exeter, for instance, or Winchester, affords much better material to 
work on. That a Rouen Consuetudinary, however, as an actual 
book, existed in England, and was passed from hand to hand about 
this time, is evidenced by a Royal MS. (8 D. viii.), seemingly from 
Old Lanthony, which contains (if. 132-3) an extract, ^' Ex Con- 
suetudinario Rotomagensi," in a twelfth-century hand. In this 
connection we may recall the strongly marked affinities to Rouen in 
the Hereford rite. It is unfortunate that for Sarum no MS. exists 
which can be compared with the twelfth century Rouen missal at 
the British Museum (Add. 10.048), which, at all events, shows that, 
w4th the exception of two prayers immediately before the commu- 
nion (the first and third of the later Sarum) and the final Placcat 
tiM, the ancient order of the Mass was unaltered (f 67), and that 
the Rouen rite was at that time unaffected by ^^the individual 
peculiarities lying in the prayers of oblation .... and the begin- 
ning and end of the Mass." At Rome these devotional interpola- 
tions, which formed no part of the original rite and varied according- 
to fancy from church to church, were stoutly resisted, and up to the 
time of Innocent III. not one had been able to find admission to the 
Roman liturgy. With the advent of the Mendicant Orders a new 
chapter opens there also. 

It is necessary to meet with a distinrjuo the statement that '^ the 
ceremonial of the Church of Rome does not ever appear to have 
attained the splendour of Teutonic Christianity " (p. xix.). This is 
correct so far as regards the Divine Office, which at Rome certainly 
was never celebrated with the same elaborate and studied pomp as . 
in our glorious Gothic choirs. A.s regards the Mass, we demur ; 
in this respect, the grandest effort of ceremonial splendour in 
the churches of France (which excelled in ritual observances 
those of England and Germany) were imitations of the Roman {not 
of the Curial) rite, which rarely did not fall short of the original. 
In the great French cathedrals the days of the ancient elaborate 
ritual (their ceremonials are the proof of it) were closed only by the 

The Introduction to the second edition is chiefly interesting ns 
showing how the legend of primitive Anglicanism is being formed. 
A few passages may illustrate what we mean : — 

S. Augustine's questions to S. Gregory clearly demonstrate that 
there was a liturgy existing, to supplant which S. Gregory entirely 
failed. According to S. Gregory's policy, Augustine is to blend the 

Roman and the national uses, not to substitute one for the other 

The question at once arises, What was the Roman use P .... To 
assume that the Roman canon was adopted in Britain in 597 a.d., in 
lieu of the national rite, appears to me flatly to contradict the instruc- 

JS^otices of Books. 303 

tions given to S. Augustine ; nor does the fact that the Roman ofiice- 
books were sent to the new mission at all interfere with this theory. Of 
course, S. Augustine and his coadjutors used their own office-books. He 
appears, however, to have insisted on the use of Gregorian chants instead 
of the native music, on which they were a decided improvement. But 
even this raised a storm of opposition from the native bishops (pp. IS- 
IS) The earliest notice of the existence of a liturgy in England is 

involved in the inquiry addressed by S. Augustine to Pope Gregory, 
601 A.D. — what should be done when the E-oman and the national missal 
disagreed ? 

Surely, the interesting- question which at once arises is^ " What 
was the national use ? " in discussing- which some of the very proper 
caution shown in dealing* with the so-called Leonine and Gelasian 
books would have been quite in place. Again, why not stick to the 
text ? S. Augustine's question runs : " Since there is only one 
faith, how comes it that churches have different customs, and that 
in celebrating- Mass one custom is followed in the holy Eoman 
Church and another in that of (Jaul ? " Looking at the circumstances, 
and taking' the words as they stand, it is surely more rational to 
suppose that S. Augustine was thinking, not of national uses or 
missals, but of the Prankish queen and the Gallican rite followed 
at S. Martin's. He might well have felt puzzled how to act, 
since he was teaching his royal neophyte to pray in one form and 
the already Christian queen worshipped in another. There is 
something about the later Introduction which savours of the 
"• Church Defence" tract. E. B. 

RosminHs Psychology. Vols. I. & II. London : Kegan Paul, 
Trench & Co. 

ONE cannot complain at the present day that psychology is a 
neglected study. IS ot to speak of the numerous treatises dealing- 
with it in general, special psychological questions of the highest 
moment are discussed, not seldom with considerable ability, in our 
various periodicals j but, as we observe, too often with a marked 
absence of that vigorous and exhaustive method, which has raised 
less important sciences to a high degree of perfection. To this- 
kind of treatment Hosmini's Psychology presents a favourable con- 
trast. Whatever opinion be held ^of the learned philosopher's 
characteristic tenets, it will be acknowledged that he deals with his 
subject thoroughly, whilst few will refuse him recognition of the 
vast erudition, patient investigation, clear intellect and close rea- 
soning powers displayed throughout this voluminous work. These 
qualities entitle its illustrious author to take his place among the 
greatest thinkers of the age, and to rank with the most thoughtful 
and original writers of the present day. And yet Rosmini's Psycho- 
logy will not prove easy reading, except to such as are advanced 
students in philosophy, accustomed to think for themselves, and 
willing slowly and patiently to follow the author's strict method 

204 Notices of Boohs. 

step by step from conclusion to conclusion. Moreover, the Psycho- 
logy forms part of a system of which the principles were laid "down 
in his " New Essay on the Origin of Ideas," a translation of which 
was published by Messrs. Kegan Paul & Co., more than a year 
ag-o ; so that the latter doctrine, being a development of the former, 
pre- supposes in the reader some notion of Rosmini's Ideology: 
althoug-h, as occasion requires, short but clear explanations are given 
•of that doctrine in the Psychology itself for the convenience of the 
student. The first volume of the work now before us was published 
Si, little more than a year ag-o ; a second volume, larger than the first, 
has now made its appearance, and a third is to follow. The two 
octavo volumes already issued comprise together (in more than a 
thousand pages) the substance of Rosmini's Psychological doctrine 
translated into good readable English. With regard to Rosmini's 
doctrine, it is not intended, in such a short notice as the present, to 
attempt anything like a full exposition or a criticism of doctrines 
which the author himself has carefully elaborated with such detail 
and at such length. We will, therefore, simply point out the main 
outline and order of the book, running very summarily through its 
contents, stating what is here set forth, not judging one way or the 
other thereupon. 

Rosmini classifies the philosophical sciences under three general 
heads — namely, the sciences of intuition, the sciences of perception, 
and the sciences of reasoning ; although into all these, as he observes, 
reasoning must necessarily enter ; but they are so classified because 
some of them receive their object from simple intuition, others from 
intellectual perception, and others again from reasoning. According 
to this order, then, the sciences of perception start with Psychology, 
whence also the method adopted by Rosmini throughout this work 
of basing his entire argument on the observation of common and 
universally experienced psychological facts. The psychology is 
divided into two main parts, which at once suggest the natural 
division of the first two volumes, leaving a third, which has still to 
follow, for collateral matter in the form of two appendices. The 
purpose of the first volume is to establish on facts of experience, 
aided by a rigorous logic, the firm basis and first principle of 
Psychology, by determining the Nature and Essence of the Human 
Soul, the properties and relations of which are exhaustively 
examined and discussed in five books. In the first of these are 
carefully gathered up the elements from which results his definition 
of the Human Soul, and which are supplied by aid of a critical 
examination of the '' Ego " or intellectual perception man has of 
himself. As a result of this examination, Rosmini defines the 
Human Soul to be '^ a Principle of substantial-active-feeling, having 
for its terms the body in extension, and the Idea of Being or 
Existence, so that the Human Soul is at once substantially sensitive 
and intellective.'* 

Considerable care is taken to impress the reader with two remark- 
able consequences of this definition, upon which indeed Rosmini's 

Notices of Books. 205 

system in great measure depends. The one is that since it helono-s 
to the essence of the soul continuously and uninterruptedly to feel, 
this feeling- must be " fundamental," so as to pre-exist as the very 
condition of all transient sensations, which are but mere modifica- 
tions of the " fundamental feelings." The other observation regards 
the mind, concerning which he draws a like conclusion— namely, 
that since it belongs to the essence of the soul continuously and 
invariably to think the intuition necessary to constitute thought — 
i.e, the intuition of the idea of being or existence in general must be 
" fundamental," so as to pre-exist all ideas of particular things, as 
the condition without which these would not be possible. But just 
as he finds that this '' fundamental feeling/' that it may be a basis 
of particular feelings is necessarily indistinct and vague, so likewise 
does he find that the " fundamental intuition " of ideal being', which 
belongs, like the fundamental feeling, to the very essence of the 
soul, is again necessarily indeterminate or without particular limita- 
tions, precisely because it forms the basis of all human knowledge ; 
so that the essence of the human soul is further circumscribed to an 
indistinct feeling of its invariable term, and an indeterminate intui- 
tion of its invariable object, ideal-being or the idea of being. The 
remaining' four books of the first volume discuss at length the great 
questions of the unity of the soul, her Identity, Spiritualit}', and 
Immortality, which latter properly receives a totally new proof from 
Rosmini's evidence drawn from the relation of the soul to her in- 
tellectual object — ideal being- or the idea of being or existence — 
which, itself incorruptible and unchangeably fixed before the soul, 
constitutes man's spirit of its nature everlasting. Many highly 
interesting questions are here dealt with concerning the union of 
soul and body, and their reciprocal influence, the organization of 
animal existence, &c. As regards the burning question whether 
the primary elements of matter be living-, and what is to be said 
about spontaneous generation, Rosmini has an explanation to offer 
by way of hypothesis, which is well worthy of consideration from 
a scientific point of view. He has much also to say concerning 
the various degrees in the order and development of sensitive 

The second volume treats of the development of the human soul 
by means of her own essential activities, which are exercised by 
powers subject to certain fixed laws. These are carefully deduced 
and examined at length. Four books are dedicated to these investi- 
gations. Of these, the first is for the most part devoted to the 
accurate definition and genesis of these activities and powers, and 
particularly to elucidate their relations to the body and to matter, in 
which the action of the soul in part terminates. Here Rosmini 
treats of Extension, the Body, Substance, and Materia Prima all 
which subjects have engaged so much of the attention of the greatest 
minds ancient and modern, and which he here considers in their 
relation to the human soul, with which they have, directly or 
indirectly, a physical influx of action. It is important, however to 

206 Notices of Books. 

observe that Rosmini derives all the activities, powers, and faculties 
of the human soul imiiiediately from the essence of the soul itself, in 
which they are rooted ; for according- to him a " power " is nothing- 
else but the relation of a '^ first and essential act" to " second acts," 
while the " first act " is that which constitutes the substance and 
essence of the soul itself. But on this point our author shall speak 
for himself: — 

In the very essence of the soul we fonnd all those elements that 
cause and that divide its activities, all the germs of its powers. We 
saw, indeed, that the human soul is the permanent seat of those entities 
that are different from it, but yet stand in diverse intimate relations to 
it : (1) Ideal being united to it through intuition ; (2) Animality coupled 
with it by a fundamental immanent perception. In this animality we 
distinguished several elements: (1) a sensitive 'principle, which in like 
manner contains other entities foreign to it, and to which it is united 
through special relations of its own ; (2) the corporeal extended contained 
in the said principle through the immanent relation of sensibility; 
(3) Matter, or a virtue which does not act directly upon the sensitive prin- 
ciple, but upon the corporeal extended, and forcibly alters it in such a way 
as to be indirectly felt by the sensitive principle itself. Thus we have in 
the very essence of the soul all the roots of human activities, the ground 
of all the various powers and faculties ; and these powers and faculties 
are by their roots distinguished and determined to be these rather than 
those, just so many and neither one more nor one less (vol. ii. p. 7). 

The application of these principles is reserved for the next book, 
where it is shown that as the soul's primary and essential act which 
constitutes her being- consists in sense and intellect, which, united in 
one principle as they are, result in reason, so her primary powers, 
which, as was observed, are nothing but the relation between this 
primary and fundamental act and the second acts, may be reduced to 
three primitive Powers — namely, those of sense, of intellect, and of 
reason — which combines the two ; whence the reason, considered as a 
power, starts from the ^' Eg'o," or the intellectual perception the soul 
has of herself. To each of these powers again correspond Faculties, 
active and passive, called Instincts and Passions ; the former arise 
from the activity of the soul on the terms to which she extends her 
action, while the latter spring- from the activity of these upon the 
soul. With reference to the primary power of sense, there is much 
interesting matter concerning- the Vital and Sensual Instincts, as also 
with regard to Sensations. Under the head of the Power of Intellect 
Rosmini treats of the Will with its primacy and secondary functions, 
this latter power being- but the activity of the intellect itself. The 
law of activities is that to every passiviti/ there corresponds an activity 
which arises out of the passion itself; the same law, in fact, which in 
Optics requires that the angles of incidence and refraction should be 
■equal, and which in Physics generally makes the reaction equal to 
the action, as Galileo gathered from the swing of the pendulum. 
Thus from the passivity which receives the intellectual light there 
springs up an activity to embrace it. Such is the human Will, the 
supreme active Principle which constitutes the soul's personality. 

Notices of Books. 207 

We have thus presented the reader with an outline, however 
meao^re, of the contents of these two large volumes, without venturino;" 
to pass a judgment on the merits of Rosmini's Psychological doctrines, 
For these manifestly form part of the system which starts from his 
fundamental ideological principle of the innate idea of Being or 
Existence, which he maintains to be the obvious primal fact of human 
thought established a 2Josteriori by observation. We leave the 
patient examination of them to the studious reader. This, however, 
we may say, that the work before us can scarcely fail to create an 
impression in the scientific world, since there can be no doubt that it 
offers an explanation of some of the most arduous of psychological 

Breviarium Bomantini ex decreto ss. Concilii Tri dentin! restitutum, S. 
Pii V. P. M. jussu editum, Clementis VIII., CJrbani VIII., et 
Leonis XIII. auctoritate recognitum. Editio typica. 4 vols. 
Eatisbonai : Pustet. 1886. 

MR. PUSTET, the well-known liturgical printer to the Holy See, 
published in March last the splendid new Breviary now before 
us. It is in four volumes 12mo (paper being about 7 by 4| inches, 
and the print about 6 by 3J inches). The type is beautiful, and 
of a good deep black — quite a boon to weak eyes— printed, it 
need hardly be said, with the highest finish, with very artistic 
woodcuts, perhaps superior to anything yet published by Pustet. 
The Breviary has the approval of the Congregation of Rites, dated- 
Rome, September 12, 1885, and worded thus : " That this edition is 
most accurately shaped on the most recent rubrics, is to be con- 
sidered typical, and any future editions to be conformed to it." Of 
course it contains the text, rubrics and lessons lately reformed by 
Leo XIII. , and all the offices of newly canonized or beatified saints 
up to date ; among others, S. John Baptist de Rossi, S. Laurence 
of Brindisi, and S. Clare of Montefalco. The editor has also 
included in this edition not a few of the indulgenced prayers for 
priests in their preparation for Mass and thanksgiving, some of which 
the present Holy Father has recently indulgenced. Lastly, there is 
a " Proprium " for England, same size and type. 

Series Episcoporuvi Ecclesiae Catholicae^ qua series, quae apparuit 
1878, completur et continuatur ab anno 1870 ad 20 Februarii 
1885. A pluribus adjutus edidit Pius Bonifacius Gams, 
O.S.B. Ratisbonae : Manz. 1886. 

IN the Dublin Revievt for April, 1880, I called attention to F. 
Gams's " Supplementum Primum," to his large work, the 
*' Series Episcoporum " from St. Peter to our own time. The present 
second supplement, like the first, does the double work of correct- 
ing and supplementing its predecessors. As we read the venerable 

208 Notices of Books. 

editor's preface — written, as becomes a learned Benedictine, in elegant 
Latin — we realize the immense difficulties he must have experienced 
in collecting- accurate and reliable record of the years of each bishop's 
consecration, translation and reign. We feel therefore the more 
grateful for what F. Gams has given us in the above ^vork. I may 
call the attention of students to the lists of Irish bishops (pp. 64- 
70). Bellesheim. 

De rationihus Festorum Sacratissimi Cordis Jesu et purissimi Cordis 
Marice libri IV. auctore Nicolao Nilles, S.J., editio V. novis 
accessionibus adornata. 2 vols. CEniponte : Wagner. 1885. 

JUST at the close of last year Father Nilles, Professor of Canon 
Law and Sacred Liturgy in the University of Innsbruck, brought 
out the fifth enlarged edition of his great work on the devotion to 
the Sacred Hearts. It consists of two thick volumes, whose contents 
are both theological and devotional. From the late Pius IX. the work 
received this proof of esteem, that his Holiness had a large quan- 
tity of copies bought and distributed among the students of the 
Roman seminaries. 

In this new fifth edition Father Nilles is to be congratulated on 
having made an exhaustive collection of official liturgical documents 
bearing on the subject of his treatise. He gives us an accurate 
historical account of the growth of the devotion w^hich resulted in 
the solemn petition of 525 bishops to Pius IX. to consecrate the 
Catholic world to the Sacred Heart, w^hich the Pope did in 1875. 
Every heresy throws into stronger relief true Catholic doctrine, and 
our author, with great pains, details the attacks which were directed, 
in the course of three centuries, against a devotion that was thus 
shown to be linked with the most essential facts of Christianity. 
We may also mention the minute list sent to the Congregation of 
Rites in 1765 of such ecclesiastical bodies as were dedicated to the 
Sacred Heart (i. 266-322), their total number amounting to not less 
than 1089. Also we call attention to the long catalogue of all books, 
treatises, or periodicals bearing on this subject published in any part 
of the Catholic world (ii. 517-642). Of more practical interest is 
the collection of such liturgical documents as Masses, hymns, litanies, 
prayers relating to the Sacred Hearts (ii. 1-512), which collec- 
tion affords ample matter both for meditations and sermons. We 
may safely recommend this solid work both to the scholastic and 
mystical theologians Bellesheim. 

At Antioch Again, By the Eight Rev. Lord Petre. London 
and New York : Burns and Gates. 

THIS is a sermon which was preached at the Cathedral, Salford^ 
in aid of the schools. The title may, at first sight, seem- 
fanciful, but in reality it is not so. The Right Rev. preacher gives, 

Notices of Boohs. 209 

in these pages, a vivid and striking- picture of the corruption and 
decay of society in the East in the time of St. John Chrysostom, and 
then draws out, with a bold and vigorous pen, the parallel between 
those days and our own. The sermon is worth reading; it is full of 
earnest thought, and contains some powerful passages. 

The Pulpit Orator. By Rev. John Evangelist Zollner. Trans- 
lated by Rev. A.Wirth, O.S.B. Third Edition, revised and 
enlarged. Six vols. New York and Cincinnati : F. Pustet 

THESE are six volumes of " elaborate skeleton sermons." There 
are seven " sketches " for each Sunday in the year : two homi- 
letic {i.e., one on the Epistle and one on the Gospel), one dogmatical, 
one symbolical, and two moral. The sixth volume contains "sketches" 
for the principal feasts of the year, giving three and sometimes four 
*' sketches" for each feast. It must not be supposed that, because 
these are " sketches/' there is anything scanty or meagre in them 
either in matter or form. On th^e contrar}^, they are very full and 
substantial in every sense. Each *' sketch " occupies at least five 
pages, and, indeed, reads like a complete sermon. It often happens 
that, in "plans" and "sketches" of sermons, the hard work is left 
to the preacher — that is, the thinking out of the matter and the 
clothing of the ideas with suitable language. In the " elaborate 
sketches " here presented to us, all is done that can be done. The 
divisions of the discourse are made, and the matter so fully given, 
and that in simple and forcible language, that little or nothing 
remains to the preacher but to deliver what is thus supplied to his 
hands. A preacher who has the facility of amplification and the 
gift of expression will find plenty of material ready for his purpose. 
We have carefully examined many of these " sketches," or rather 
*' sermons," and have found them good, sensible, solid, and practical. 
This is the third edition of the work, which speaks well for the 
welcome it has already received. We consider Father Wirth has 
done an excellent service to his brethren in the mmistry by pre- . 
senting them with this very useful and valuable "Pulpit Orator." 
This edition seems very free from errors, but we may be allowed to 
point out one on page 202 of vol vi., where the General Council of 
Vienne is called the Council at Vienna. 

SS. D. N. Leonts XIII. Litterce Apostolicce quihus Extraordinanum Jubi- 
IcBum indicitur^ In Usum Cleri, cura A. Konings, C.SS.R., Ed. H. 
KuPER, Ejusdem Cong. Neo-Eboraci : Benziger Fratres. 1886. 

IN this little brochure is reprinted the commentary of the late 
learned Redemptorist, Fr. Konings, on the Brief of the Jubilee 
us it affects the practice and the faculties of the clergy in charge of 

VOL XVI.— NO. I. {Third Series.] p 

210 Notices of Books. 

Essays on Ireland. By W. J. O'Neil Daunt. Dublin : 
M. H." Gill & Son. 1886. 

THE name of Mr. O'Neil Daunt is well known an the pages of 
the Dublin Review. He has fought for many a long year 
on the National side in Ireland. He was one who contributed more 
to disestablishment than any other man, except perhaps the late Sir 
John Gray of the Freeman's Journal. More than half a century ago 
he was prominent in the Repeal Association. It was in 1861 that 
he commenced — "■ almost single-handed," says Mr. A. M. Sullivan^ 
in " New Ireland " — to arouse public opinion against the Irish State 
Church. He has here reprinted in a handy and convenient form the 
papers on *' Ireland in the time of Swift," " How the Union robs 
Ireland," and " Tithe Kent-charge in Ireland/' which have appeared 
in our own pages. In addition to these, we have here " Ireland 
Tinder the Legislative Union," contributed to the Contemporary 
Review; "The Irish Difficulty" and "Ireland in the time of 
Grattan," from the Westminster of last year and this, and other 
papers, including a criticism of Mr. Lecky's ^' England in the 
Eighteenth Century," which seems not to have been before published. 
These essays, like all Mr. Daunt's writings, are sober and serious, 
and full of facts, incidents and figures. 

Histaric Aspects of the h. priori Argument concerninp the Being and Attri- 
butes of God. By J. G. Cazenove, D.D. London : Macmillan 
& Co. 1886. 

THESE are four lectures, with additions, delivered in Edinburgh 
in 1884 by the Chancellor of the Protestant Episcopalian 
Church of that city, on a foundation established by one Mrs. 
Honyman-Gillespie, in memory of her husband, who, in 1833, 
wrote a work on the same subject. The lectures give evidence of 
much wide reading and conscientious labour on Dr. Cazenove's part : 
perhaps little more is to be looked for in a matter that has been so 
completely exhausted. The author's treatment of it has rather 
suffered from his not discriminating clearly between such essentially 
diff'erent arguments as those given by St. Anselm in his two 
treatises. Among other results, Dr. Cazenove has been unable to 
come to any definite conclusion as to St. Thomas's attitude towards 
them. Much of his difficulty seems due to his having learned St. 
Thomas's opinion at second-hand. Had he read for himself, he 
could hardly have missed seeing that the proof given in the Mono- 
logium (previously employed by St. Augustine and Plato) was fully 
accepted by St. Thomas ; while the strictly ontological, Cartesian, 
argument was rejected by him as decidedly as by Kant. Mr. 
Honyman-Gillespie's argument is naturally dwelt upon in some 
detail ; as far as can be gathered from the account here given, it 
seems to have been Clarke's argument from infinite time and space, 

Notices of Books. 211 

which was refuted (it is g-enerally thought, conclusively) by Leibnitz 
and Butler. 

One point in Dr. Cazenove's book calls for special notice here. 
He quotes a passage from this Keview (July. 1884, p. 147), in which 
it was said that " the man who does not believe in these things " 
(the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, sin and grace) " cannot believe 
in God, in the true and catholic sense of that word." This he 
characterizes as ** a somewhat extravagant enlargement in the mean- 
ing of the term Theism."' Yet surely, supposing the dogmas men- 
tioned to be true, they add a large amount of information to the 
knowledge of God obtainable by natural reason alone ; and our 
statement was therefore a simple truism. The full and catholic 
belief in God of a Christian is as different from the belief of a simple 
Theist, as the knowledge of a triangle in the mind of a mathemati- 
cian differs from a triangle as known by a rustic. J. R. G. 

Scientific Theism. By F. E. Abbot, Ph.D. Second Edition. 
London: Macmillan. 1886. 

THE main conclusion of this work is, that the universe is an 
'^ infinite self-created and self- evolving organism." In fact, 
it is a consistent and ably developed scheme of Pantheism. As such 
it will not commend itself to our readers ; but the first part of the 
volume contains a very powerful attack upon the leading principles 
of modern philosophy, which may be found of service. The exa- 
minations of Spencer's "Unknowable," of Clifford's "Ejects," and 
of the tendencies of Kant's system are particularly trenchant and 
conclusive. J. R. G. 

Catholic Historical Researches. Edited by Rev. A. A. Lambing, 
A.M. July, 1885, &c. Pittsburg : Myers, Shinkle & Co. 

THE publication of printed records like these will be very 
valuable to the historian of the Church in the New World. 
The editor has already written the " History of the Catholic 
Church in the Dioceses of Pittsburg and Alleghany ; " and in 1884 
he began a quarterly series of publications, containing in brief 
space original, documents and traditions never before printed, 
chiefly regarding Catholic history in Pennsylvania. The title is 
now changed to " Catholic Historical Researches," and the ground 
widened so as to include the whole country j and it is hoped that it 
will remain as an established historical magazine, to collect the 
history of the Church in North America. Its low price ought to 
give it a large circulation, and as proof of its excellent editorship 
we may note that it will contain no quotations at second-hand, but 
that its records will be taken from the original works, and references 
will send the student to the right quarter for following out any 
subject of inquiry. It is also to contain essays, to give a synopsis 

p 2 

212 Notices of Books. 

of the proceeding's of liistorical societies with the most interesting 
papers read hefore them ; and there is a very useful department for 
queries and their answers. 

Flora, the Roman Martyr. Two vols. London : Burns & Gates. 

THIS work is sold for the benefit of the nuns of Italy expelled 
from their convents. The author explains that it was written 
many years ago, when a visit to Rome suggested to him at various 
shrines and among the remains of the ancient city the impressions 
which he wove into this story. A martyr, bearing his heroine's 
name, suffered in the persecution of Gallienus; beyond this fact 
Flora is an ideal character. She is here represented as the cousin 
of Saint Laurence, and with him lineally descended from that young 
Hebrew, who in the Gospel heard the Master's call, and turned 
away, sorrowful. Cecilia and Valerian, Agatha, Martina, and other 
saints are introduced in the unwinding of a plot which is avowedly 
imaginative. There are fragments of true history all along the 
way ; glimpses of Roman life ; worship in the Catacombs ; house- 
hold scenes ; the consecration of a vestal virgin, and her doom of 
living- burial for alleged infidelity to her vow j city illuminations ; 
and, of course, the games in the amphitheatre, which are shown 
with a strength of colour that makes the old theme new. 

On the marble tripods ornamenting each balteus fires were lit simul- 
taneously, and burning perfumes emitted a sweet odour. A pleasant 
shade fell over the amphitheatre, as the cerulean awning, studded with 

golden stars, was drawn over the spectators The ground yawned 

where she had stood but a moment before, and displayed those huge 
mechanical contrivances so loved by Nero, and concealed in the vaults 
beneath the arena of the Coliseum. Artificial trees rose above the soil ; 
also a hill constructed of wood, but so covered with verdure as effectually 
to conceal its foundation ; it was overrun with hares and inoffensive 
animals. From adjoining cages were heard the lion's roar and the 
panther's howl. This was a spectacle prepared for the amusement of 
the Eoman people, in which the martyr was to figure ; but beside her, 
VenatoreSf richly clad, appeared on the arena. 

There are some sketches of suffering, quite terrible in their 
realism, especially the martyrdom of St. Laurence. As for the con- 
struction of the plot, there is an emharras de richesse of Christian 
virgins ; but criticism is disarmed by the author's explanation, and 
the book has great claims upon our convents, and upon the choosers 
of prizes. 

The WorJcing Boy. Published by the Rev. D. B. Roche, Working 
Boys' Home, 113, Eliot Street, Boston, Mass. 

WE wish we had on this side of the Atlantic a paper like The 
Working Boy for our boys' clubs, schools, and workshops. 
At present it is published monthly, and we wish it success enough 
to warrant weekly publication. It is edited with a thorough know- 

Notices of Books, 213 

led^e of the reader's nature -, and there is a fronte and fearless tone 
in its religious advice which are just the qualities to commend it to 
a poor boy's liking, and to make the flimsy sheet of newspaper as 
helpful as a good companion near. 

The Keys oj the Kingdom ; or^ the Unfailing Promise. By the Rev. 
James Moriaty, LL.D., Pastor of St. John's Church, Syra- 
cuse, N.Y. New York: The Catholic Publication Society 
Company. 1885. 

THIS is an intelligent and fluently written treatise on the Marks 
of the Church j embracing in addition to chapters on the usual 
notes of Unity, Sanctity, Catholicity and Apostolicity, two interest- 
ing chapters, '" Is Religion worthy of Man's Study?" and "What 
Rule of Faith was laid down by Christ ? " The author is successful 
in his clear statements of Catholic principle, and makes some good 
points by contrasting it with the evil practices deduced from the 
perversities of Protestant private judgment. The subjoined comment 
on divorce is quoted by him from a Protestant preacher : — 

Laxity of opinion and teaching on the sacredness of the marriage- 
bond and on the question of divorce, originated among the Protestants of 
Continental Europe in the sixteenth century. It soon began to appear in 
the legislation of Protestant States on that Continent, and nearly at the 
same time to affect the laws of New England. And from that time to the 
present it has proceeded from one degree to another in this country, 
until especially in New England and in States most directly affected by 
New England opinions and usages, the Christian conception of the nature 
and obligations of the marriage-bond finds scarcely any recognition in 
legislation, or, as thence must be inferred, in the prevailing sentiment of 
the community. 

The volume is an evidence of the activity and enterprise character- 
istic of our brethren across the Atlantic ; and, like most American 
books, is beautifully printed on good paper. 

Gesta Christi ; or, a History of Human Progress under Christianity, 
By C. LoRiNG Brace. London : Hodder & Stoug-hton. 

J 886. 

THE Holy Father, Leo XIII., in his great Encyclical Immortale Dei 
has told us that the Church, " although mainly and by nature 
concerned with the salvation of souls, and their future happiness in 
heaven, nevertheless, even in regard to the transitory things of this 
world, is by her own accord the source of so many and so great 
advantages, that she could not be more so had she been primely and 
chiefly established to ensure for man prosperity during bis life here 
on earth. In truth, wherever the Church has set her foot, she has 
forthwith changed the aspect of affairs, and not only has she imbued 
the manners of the people with virtues hitherto unknown, but she 

214 Notices of Books. 

has endowed them with a new civilization, which has caused all 
those nations who have adopted it to excel in gentleness, in justice, 
and in prowess." Mr. Brace's book may be consulted with great 
profit in proof of these statements. He shows how much the 
teaching of our Lord has done for the protection of the weak, the 
succour of the poor, the elevation of woman, the emancipation of the 
slave, the promotion of education, the preservation of peace, and the 
mitigation of the horrors of war. Unfortunately, he draws a 
distinction between Christianity and the Church, and often speaks- 
strongly against the action of the latter. Even in his favourite 
subject, Arbitration, his antipathy to the Church makes him overlook 
the intervention of the Popes which called forth the praises of such 
an opponent as Bentham. We can, however, almost forgive him 
when we read his many appreciative remarks on the Middle Ages, 
and above all his chapter on the Influence of Christianity upon Art. 
The reader will thank us for quoting the following beautiful passage : — 

The great religious and aesthetic conception of the Middle Ages was 
undoubtedly that of the holy Madonna. The Madonna, so far as we can 
recall, has no exact counterpart in Classic or Pagan Art. It is the con- 
ception of the glorified woman, whose passions, affections, and whole 
nature have been purified and beatified by suffering and devotion, by the 
pangs of earth and the joys of heaven. It is the wife unstained by sin, 
hearing in sweet humility and unspeakable joy from the Infinite Spirit 
that she is to bear in her bosom the hope of the human race ; it is the 
mother first looking upon the face of the blessed Infant who is to be the 

joy of the whole earth In all the best schools the Madonna is the 

highest Christian conception of woman, of woman indeed exalted and 
beautified by being chosen to be the mother of the Lord; but woman 
softened by sufferingy elevated by consciousness of divine union, bearing 
the burdens of humanity as her Son had done, purified of human dross by 
love, sharing human weakness, but made almost superhuman in having 
been permitted to bring forth into the world the Holy One (pp. 478-479). 


Memoir es snr les Eegnes de Louis XV. et Louis XVI. et sur la Bevolutimi. 
Par J. N. DuFORT, Comte de Cheverny, Introducteur des 
Ambassadeurs, Lieutenant- General du Blaisois (1731-1802) : 
publics avec une Introduction et des Notes par Egbert de 
Creveccetir. Paris: E. Plon, Nourrit et Cie. 1886. 

"IT DE CREVECCETIR has done well to publish these memoirs. 
lu , Many eminent historians, notably M. Taine, have already 
drawn largely upon them while they were in manuscript. The 
author's post at Court gave him favourable opportunities of meeting 
the chief personages of the ancien regime^ and these opportunities 
he turned to excellent account. He was not a politician or a 
philosopher, or even a historian. He did not write to uphold a 
party or to prove a theory. The Seven Years' War and the War 
of American Independence were almost unnoticed by him. His 
memoirs are simply the record of what he saw and heard. He is an 

Notices of Books. 215 

interesting story-teller, and his numerous sketches of the personal 
appearance and character of those Avhom he met show that he was a 
close observer. The reader, however, will note that M. Dufort, 
like most of his class, had not the least suspicion of the coming- 
catastrophe. The world in which he lived was far removed from 
the world of the bourgeois and the peasant, and thus he knew 
nothing of the tremendous forces at work sapping the foundations 
of the monarchy and aristocracy. We have said that the author is 
not a historian ; still, there are few historians who give us more 
vivid pictures of the gaieties of Court life and the terrors of the 

A word of praise must be given to the editor for the manner in 
which he has performed his task. He has enriched the volumes 
with many useful notes and (what is rare in French books) a 
copious index. He has also exercised a wise discretion in omitting 
certain narratives and details. Even after the expurgation, enough 
is left to make us doubt both parts of Burke's famous saying that 
vice had lost half its evil by losing all its grossness. 


Fax Vobis. A Popular Exposition of the Seven Sacraments. By 
the Author of " Programmes of Sermons and Instructions," &c. 
Dublin : Brown & Nolan. 188G. 

THIS work, besides being intended as a help to those engaged in 
public instruction, is also designed for family reading j and is 
therefore partly instructive and partly devotional. The instructions 
though somewhat diffuse in manner, are very practical. The book 
is full of matter, and commendable for the large use made of Scrip- 
tural illustration. It will doubtless prove serviceable to many. 

'The City of God : a Series of Discussions on Religion. By A. M. 
Fairbairn, D.D. Second Edition. London : Hodder & 
Stoughton. 1885. 

TT7HY should this volume of " Discussions " be dignified by so fine 
V T a title as the *' City of God ?" That name has long ago been 
taken possession of by one of the grandest Fathers and geniuses of 
the Western Church and given to an immortal book, which the world 
has known these fourteen hundred years to be a chef-dJmivre of 
philosophy, sublime moral teaching, and noble eloquence. We should 
not have thought that any writer would readily give the same title to 
a volume of his own production, which apparently has no more title 
to be called " The City of God " than any ordinary collection of dis- 
cussions on matters connected with religion. The subjects here 
discussed have no striking unity in them as a series, but have 
been tieated at diiferent times in the form of lectures, articles and 

216 Notices of Books. 

In speaking- of the merit of these "Discussions," we must say that 
they are the outcom.e of a vig-orous and highly cultured mind. It 
is easily seen that Dr. Fairbairn is a powerful thinker and a very elo- 
quent writer. After an introduction entitled " Faith and Modern 
Thought," the " Discussions " are ranged in four parts. The first part 
contains, " Theism and Science " and " Man and Religion ; " the 
second part, " God and Israel," " The Problem of Job," and "■ Man 
and God ; " the third, " The Jesus of History and the Christ of 
Faith," " Christ of History," and " The Riches of Christ's Poverty ) '' 
the fourth part, " The Quest of the Chief Good " and " The City of 

In his Introduction, Dr. Fairbairn, in exalting* modern thought^ 
seems to depreciate, in some sense. Divine Faith. He would lead 
the reader to think that he puts reason on a level with faith, whereas 
objectively faith is immeasurably above reason. He speaks of 
reason being the complement of faith, whereas surely it is just the 
opposite : faith is the complement of reason. He speaks of tho 
" reverent religious spirit of modern thought." Is it quite certain 
that the agnosticism of to-day, with its respectable exterior and its 
well-chosen phrases, is not a more deadly and bitter enemy of religion 
than the out-spoken coarse atheism of the eighteenth century?' 
Again, we are astonished that Dr. Fairbairn should consider that 
religion in our day owes a debt of gratitude to Mr. Matthew Arnold. 
Some would say that religion in England has not had, in modern 
times, a much worse enemy than the smooth-tongued, rationalizing* 
author of " God and the Bible " and '^ Literature and Dogma." In- 
exalting- the claims of reason, Dr. Fairbairn seems to minimize the 
authority of faith. Surely faith must always be authoritative ; re- 
duced to reason or science it is no longer faith ; it is no longer the- 
" argument of things that appear not." How did the Apostles, sent 
by Christ to preach the truth and guided by the Holy Spirit, pre- 
sent the Christian dogma to the world ? Not explained by reason. 
Believing, then, was a submission of intellect and will to Divine 
authority. Such will faith always be. It comes not, in its origin, 
from reason, but from God Himself: it is His gift. 

We are glad to admit that Dr. Fairbairn does excellent service 
for religious faith in the discussion on "Theism and Science," in 
which he reduces Mr. Herbert Spencer's evolution theory, used in its 
author's sense, to an absurdity. He shows clearly and convincingly 
that evolution is a 7?iodal not a cavsal theory of creation. 

Dr. Fairbairn seems at his best in the " Discussions " treating of 
Christ, in which he often rises to a lofty and captivating eloquence. 
In spite of his narrow and defective theology, his pages glow with 
an enthusiastic fervour and fascinating beauty when Jesus Christ is his 
theme. We give a short extract from a finely eloquent passage, in 
which he contrasts the grandeur and splendid success of Christ's 
teaching "with the comparative failure of that of Plato : — 

But the conditions under which Jesus lived and worked stand in 
absolute contrast to Plato's — descent, birth, people, country, time, cir- 

Notices of Books. 217 

cumstances, education, opportunities, all were as opposite as they could 
be, and disadvantageous in the degree that they were opposite. The free 
air of Athens was not His, nor the joy which makes the teacher creative 
of susceptible and sympathetic disciples. Time grudged^ Him His brief 
ministry, sent want and suspicion and hatred to vex him, loaded Him 
with sorrow, burdened Him with disciples slow of heart and dull of wit. 
And He lived as one whose work was to suffer rather than to teach. 
He made no book, wrote no word, caused no word to be written ; but 
with a confidence calm and steadfast, as if He had been the Eternal 
casting into immensity the seeds of worlds yet to be. He spoke His words 
into the listening air, that they might thence fall into the hearts of men. 
And then came the miracle of their creative action, the work which makea 
them so mighty a contrast to the Platonism which was so splendid in 
its promise, but has been so poor in its achievements. 

Vagrant Verses. Bv Rosa Mulholland. London : Kegan Paul, 
Trench & Co. 1886. 

THIS little volume will be no disappointment to those who already 
know its author as one of the most graceful and charming 
of contemporary writers of fiction. The fleeting- impressions of a 
mind sensitive to all gracious aspects of Nature and humanity are 
here set to versified cadences with a wild woodland music of their 
own. The themes are of the simplest : the nightingales in summer, 
the dreaming woods in June, a sleeping homestead, a child at play, 
are sufficient to sug-gest a song as tenderly harmonious as its subject. 
A deep religious feeling- underlies them all, and many are inspired by 
sacred subjects, like the following poetic rendering- of a religious, 
vocation, from the little ballad entitled ^' Sister Marv of the Love of 

A lovely maiden of a high estate, 

She danced away her days in careless glee ; 
A bird beside her window came and sate, 

And piped and sang, " The Lord has need of thee." 

Deep in the night when everything was still, 

The restless dance, the music's merry clang, 
That bird would perch upon the window-sill ; 

** The Lord hath need of thee," it piped and sang. 

She rose and fled her chamber in affright. 
And roused with eager call the minstrel gray ; 

" The birds are singing strange things in the night; 
Tune me, O minstrel, something blythe and gay ! " 

The minstrel struck his harp with ready power ; 

The laughing echoes wakened merrily : 
The lady turned as white as lily-flower — 

The music trilled, " The Lord has need of thee ! " 

Her guests came round her and her ball-room blazed, 

While lively footsteps on the floor did beat ; 
The lady led the dance with looks amazed — 

" The Lord doth need thee I " said the dancers' feet. 

^18 Notices of Books. 

The feast was spread, and flowed the rarest wine 

In golden goblets clinking round the board : 
The flashing cups from hand to hand did shine, 

And rang and chimed, " Go, give thee to the Lord." 

This extract is suflicient to show that musical utterance has not been 
denied to one whose thoughts and fancies always seemed, even when 
clothed in prose, peculiarly fitted to be rhythmically expressed. 

AmkVs Journal. Translated b}^ Mrs. Humphry Ward. London : 
Macmillan & Co. 1885. 

MRS. WARD has done a good service to that section of the 
English public who do not read French with facility by giving 
them the opportunity of making acquaintance with a work which has 
created considerable interest in France. The class, indeed, can scarcely 
supply a very numerous public, but perhaps there may be more than one 
would at first sight suppose who, like M. Jourdain, would say, while 
disclaiming ignorance, '' Faites comme sije ne le savais pas." The 
effect produced by the original publication of Amiel's" Journal Intime" 
was heightened by surprise at its posthumous revelation of unsuspected 
power in a man who had been in life regarded rather as a failure. 
The Genevese Professor, whose lectures had been dry and ponderous, 
and his previous writings scanty and insignificant, appears in these 
pages as a critic of the subtlest acumen, a thinker of no inconsiderable 
philosophical ability, and a writer with the command of finished 
felicities of language and expression deserving- the name of epigrams. 
The riddle why these gifts remained hidden in life, is to some extent 
solved by the following extract from the Journal itself : — 

\st September, 1875. — I have been working for some hours at my article 
on Mme. de Stael, but with what labour, what painful effort ! When I 
>yrite for publication, every word is misery, and my pen stumbles at every 
line, so anxious am I to find the ideally best expression, and so great is the 
number of possibilities which open before me at every step. 

Composition demands a coucentration, decision, and pliancy which I no 
longer possess. I. cannot fuse together materials and ideas. If we are to 
give anything a form we must, so to speak, be the tyrants of it. We must 
treat our subject brutally, and not be always trembling lest we are doing it 
a wrong. This sort of confident effrontery is beyond me ; my whole nature 
tends to that impersonality which respects and subordinates itself to the 
object ; it is love of truth which holds me back from concluding and 

This passionless impartiality of mind, this many -facetted dispersion 
of intellectual vision, pursued him through every department of life, 
and marred his usefulness as well as his happiness. The ideal, as he 
says elsewhere, spoiled the real for him, the intellect overbore the 
will, and the result was paralysis of energy and impotence of pro- 
duction. Indecision of character kept him unmarried to avoid the 
risks of choice, and left him, while full of religious aspirations, with- 

Kotices of Boohs. 219 

out a definite relig-ion. A passion for introspection was indulged 
until the habit of brooding- excluded all other forms of mental activity, 
and pag-e after page of minute self-analysis reflects the morbid 
attitude of one reg'arding the universe through the prison-bars of 
exag-g-erated individual consciousness. The prismatic shafts of 
luminous thought that touch here and there the sombre web of 
gloomy speculation make one regret all the more the many gifts 
here neutralized by want of singleness of purpose. His pages are 
strewn with gems/ like the saying that '^ the Frenchman's centre of 
gravity is outside him — he is always thinking of others, playing to 
the gallery j " and his verdict on Doudan, another fastidious author, 
summed up thus : — "■ He scarcely lacked anything, except that frac- 
tion of ambition, of brutality and material force, necessary to success 
in this world." Again, in wandering by the seaside, he found, he 
says, " in a hidden nook a sheet of fine sand, which the water had 
furrowed and folded like the pink palate of a kitten's mouth, or like 
a dappled sky. Everything repeats itself by analogy, and each little 
fraction of the earth reproduces, in a smaller and individual form, 
all the phenomena of the planet." His critical acumen is shown in 
his estimate of Victor Hugo, who, he says, 

superbly ignores everything he has not foreseen. He is vowed to the 
Titanic ; his gold is always mixed with lead, his insight with childish- 
ness, his reason with madness. He cannot be simple ; the only light he 
gives blinds you like that of a fire. He astonishes a reader and provokes 
him, he moves him and annoys him. There is always some falsity of 
note in him, which accounts for the malaise he so constantly excites in 
me. The great poet in him cannot shake off the charlatan. 

These extracts are sufficient to show the high quality of the trans- 
lation, which, as well as the able Introduction, has evidently been a 
labour of love, and makes the book worthy to rank as an English 

Odile, a Tale of the Commune. By Mrs. Frank Pentril. 
Dublin : M. H. Gill & Son. 1886. 

A STORY for young people. The main interest is in the affection 
of a brother and sister. The Vicomte de Foug^res is stopped 
oy ill-health in his studies for the priesthood. Odile's love for her 
brother is her safety amid the worldliness of Parisian life ; and her 
high principles triumph when she is offered marriage at the cost of 
another's broken engagement. The Commune scenes are not very 
vivid; but it will be enough for young readers that the hero and 
heroine act bravely in the face of death, and that all ends well in 
peaceful Brittany. The final moral of the story is that marriage in 
a quiet Christian home is happy and blest; but that misery is hidden 
behind the brilliant life of women who elect to shine before the world, 
indifferent to the claims of home. 

220 Notices of Books. 

The Life and Times of John Kelly, Tribune of ilie Peoiile. By J. 
Fairfax McLaughlin, A.M. New York: The American 
News Company. 1885. 

IT would be difficult to cono-ratulate Mr. McLaughlin on the 
manner in Avhich he has compiled this book. A short memoir 
of the man who did something to overcome the antipathy of 
American politicians towards foreigners in general, and Irishmen in 
particular, might have been made sufficiently interesting ; verbatim 
reports of speeches which were delivered, and of altercations which 
transpired in Congress, some thirty years ago, between persons of 
whose very names most readers have never even heard, would 
require the digestive organs of the ostrich to assimilate. 

Fortunately, however, Mr. Kelly and many of his friends and 
admirers are still living, and to him and to them Mr. McLaughlin's 
Memoir may be warmly recommended ; only here it is to be feared 
the recommendation comes somewhat late in the field. 

1. The Acts of the Apostles : being the Greek Text as revised by Doctors 

Westcott and Hort, with Explanatory Notes by Thomas E. 
Page, M.A. London : Macmillan & Co. 188G.' 

2. St. Paul, the Author of the Acts of the Apostles and of the third GospcL 

By Howard Heber Evans, B.A. Second Part. London : 
Wyman & Sons. 1886. 

rpHESE works are classed together because they treat of the same 
JL subject, although they treat of it in a very different way. 
Mr. Page's book is intended for schools. The notes occupy about 
two hundred pages, and are a real help to those who wish to 
thoroughly master the text. Mr. Page's experience as a Professor 
of Classics at Charterhouse ooth fits him to be a good exponent of 
the Greek text and to compress his knowledge into concise and 
clear notes. The care with which the different discourses in the 
Acts are analysed, and their logical bearing pointed out, is an 
especial feature of this learned but unpretending little work. Not 
unfrequently Mr. Page has occasion to correct the revisers' trans- 
lation. It is a matter of surprise that he should adopt such mistaken 
readings as m ePdofirjKovra e$ (xxvii. 37) and MeXiTTjvr) (xxviii. 1) 
on the authority of Drs. Westcott and Hort. We must, of course, 
protest against the explanation of our Lord's d8e\c})6L (i. 14) as an 
heretical following of Dr. Farrar. 

The Rev. H. Evans has added a second part to his former work, 
published two years back. It consists of lists of words and phrases 
found in the Third Gospel, in the Acts, and in St. Paul's Epistles, 
also of Notes on some of the difficulties brought against his view, and 
an elaborate analogy between St. Paul and Esdras, printed in parallel 
columns. As this analogy, like the work of which it forms a part, 
is somewhat original, we may be allowed to give our readers a 

' Notices of Boohs. 221 

4. Ezra was an unique personage in point of character. St. Paul was 
ati unique personage in point of character. 5. Ezra was an unique per- 
sonage in point of 'position. St. Paul was an unique personage in point 

of position 21. Ezra, at Jerusalem, besides writing a complete 

religious history, made additions to the existing books of the Old Testa- 
ment. St. Paul, at Rome, besides writing a complete religious history, 
made an addition to one of the existing books of the New Testament— viz., 
the last tvjelve verses of St. Mark's Gospel ! 

This is an entirely new idea, Dever thought ofeven by Dean Burgon. 
No doubt, with regard to him, as to other *' very respectable autho- 
rities, who failed to see " certain portions of his argument, Mr. Evans 
would reply, '^ So much the worse for these very respectable autho- 
rities " (p. 206). Certainly Paley, the author of " Horse Paulinae," 
might have saved himself the trouble of pointing out ** undesigned 
coincidences " between the Acts and the Epistles, if St. Paul was 
the author of both. And other ^- very respectable authorities" need 
not have laboured so hard to reconcile the Acts with the first 
chapter of the Epistle to Galatians. We are surprised at Mr. Evans's 
moderation in not claiming the first Epistle of St. Peter as the work 
of St. Paul. It seems to us that this original writer would do 
greater service to the cause if, instead of robbing St. Luke and 
St. Mark of what a venerable tradition attributes to their authorship, 
he would vindicate St. Paul's claim to the Epistle to the Hebrews 
— a poi!it which has so often been called in question. 

The Pentateuch, its Origin and Structure, an Examination of Recent 
Theories. By Edwin Cone Bissell, D.D., Professor of the 
Hebrew Language and Literature in the Hartford Theological 
Seminary. London : Hodder & Stoughton. 1884. 

IT is a matter of congratulation to find a work in defence of the 
traditional and orthodox view hailing from America. Dr. 
Bissell studied in the University of Leipsic, and then became 
familiar with all the potent results of German criticism in connec- 
tion with the Pentateuch, or rather Hexateuch, for it is the fashion 
now to count in the Book of Josue. The object of the present work 
is to examine and refute the theory of Graf and Wellhausen. It is 
composed of various essays written for periodicals from 1882 to 
1884. In dealing with the Pentateuch, the " higher criticism " has 
evolved many hypotheses, documentary, fragmentary, and supple- 
mentary. It has at length culminated in the Wellhausen theory — 
*'an hypothesis," as Dillman calls it, ^' of some perplexity." The 
Hexateuch, according to this view, is composed mainly of three 
documents, the work of different authors at different times. First, 
the Eloho-Jehovistic document, as it is called, from the names 
therein given to God. This is the work of two or more writers in- 
corporated into one by the Jehovist author about the time of the 
earlier kings. It comprises Genesis (from ii. to iv.), and the so-called 

222 Notices of Boohs. 

Book of the Covenant (Exodus xx. to xxiii.). Next, the Deuteronomist 
in the reig'n of Josias (b.c. 621) supplies the legislative parts of 
Deuteronomy, and is busy with the Book of Josue. The third and 
most important document is called " The Code of Priests " com- 
prising the Levitical legislation of the middle books of the Penta- 
teuch, with parts of Genesis (ch. i.) and Exodus. This may have 
been written about the time of Ezechiel, but did not see the light 
till after the Exile. But the writer who combined all the documents 
into one and thus gave the finishing- stroke to the Hexateuch, was 
the Redactor or Editor. This unscrupulous person after ^' trimming- 
here and interpolating there " palmed off the whole work upon 
Moses. Who the Redactor was is not stated, but it implied that 
Esdras, who published the Hexateuch in b.c. 444, was at least a 
party to the imposition. From this astounding theory, it would 
follow that the great Lawgiver of Sinai is a mere name, his honoured 
Law the invention of a Jewish sect at the time of the Exile. It would 
follow that the Temple preceded the Tabernacle, the Prophets the 
Law. That a German professor should, out of his '^ inner conscious- 
ness" evolve such a theory as this, need not surprise us, for a German 
professor can evolve even a camel ; but it is surprising to learn from 
an English professor — Robertson Smith — that it represents "the 
growing conviction of an overwhelming weight of the most earnest 
and sober scholarship.^' Dr. Bissell tells us that in Germany 
*' heavy reviews have been started in defence of the new hypothesis, 
and voluminous commentaries written, saturated with its spirit and 
methods," that it has crossed the English Channel bodily, that it 
finds adherents among Christian churches in America, and that it 
'^ has even found its way in a series of Biblical articles, how and why 
I know not, into the most prominent of English Encyclopaedias — the 
* Encyclopaedia Britannica.' " Dr. BisselFs learned work in refutation 
of the theory is therefore very opportune. He points out the in- 
consistencies and contradictions which result from such a complete 
reversal of all our traditional ideas about the Pentateuch. Follow- 
ing in the footsteps of Archbishop Smith in his learned defence of 
the Pentateuch, he shows how the Law of Moses is presupposed, 
and not unfrequently quoted in the historical books, such as Judges 
and Kings, in the pre-Exilian Prophets, and in Psalms, written long 
before the time of Esdras. He points to the intimate acquaintance 
shown by the sacred writer with all the wisdom of the Egyptians, 
to the corroborative evidence adducible from Assyrian sources, and 
above all to the Samaritan Pentateuch. And with good reason he 
derides the presumption of these German critics, who, with but that 
slender acquaintance with Hebrew literature possible in their day, 
claim to overturn the tradition of centuries, and to decide the exact 
age and the varied authorship of ancient records solely on the basis 
of characteristics of style or linguistic peculiarities. Very truly 
does Professor Green say : 

The criteria of this proposed analysis are so subtle, not to say 
mechanical, in their nature, so many purely conjectural assumptions are 

Notices of Books. .223 

involved, and there is such an tntire absence of external corroborative 
testimony, that no reliance can be placed on its conclusions, where 
these conflict with statements of history itself. Genesis may be made up 
of various documents, and yet have been compiled by Moses. And the 
same thing is possible in the later books of the Pentateuch (p. 78, note). 

One defect of Dr. Bissell's otherwise excellent work is the sin of 
its origin — the American phrases and words which abound. The 
following are some examples : — " come-outer," ^' abnormity," 
'' trend," '' exulant," " un-sin." 

\. Dtiribar; the Kings Advocate. By Thistledown. Edinburgh: 
Waddie & Co. 

2. In the Watclies of the Night. Vol. V, Poems in Eighteen Vols. 

By Mrs. Horace Dobell. London : Remington & Co. 

3. ^^ Inter Flumina;^^ Verses Written among Rivers. London and 

Oxford : Parker & Co. 1833. 

*' "T^UNBAR " is a five-act tragedy in blank verse. The plot is 
I ) founded upon what the author calls a tragic episode in the 
Reformation. The piece is written in a spirit of intense hatred 
against the Catholic Church, and at times the author allows himself 
to use expressions that are coarse and even indecent. Even if the 
play were cleansed from its oifensiveness it would hardly prove a 
success on the stage. The only character well portrayed is that of 
'^ auld Elspeth," the reputed witch, who treats Her judges to a few 
specimens of Scotch Billingsgate. 

The fifth volume of the " Watches " contains poems that display 
considerable poetic ability, but most of them are spoiled by an un- 
healthy bitterness that persists in seeing only the darker side of human 
nature. Sadness is indeed a prevailing characteristic of these 
nocturnal musings, but at times Mrs. Dobell is not wanting in true 

There are many pretty things in the little volume, " Inter Flumina,'* 
but the author's style is very laboured, and at times his meaning is 
too obscure. Occasionally it is difficult to extract any meaning at 
all from his verses. 

A History of the Jewish People in the Time of Jesus Christ. By Emil 
ScHtJRER, D.D., M.A., Professor of Theology at the Univer- 
sity of Giessen. Translated by Sophia Taylor and Rev. 
Peter Christie. Two vols. Edinburgh : T. & F. Clark. 

THIS is one of the most valuable books that could be chosen for 
translation. It is pre-eminently a student's book and a work 
of reference. The marvellous erudition of the author, the wide 
extent of his reading, and the scrupulous care with which he sets 
forth his authorities, combine to make it the text-book of the subject. 

224 Notices of Boohs. 

Writers like Drs. Farrar and Edetslieim have drawn largely on 
Rabbinic sources to illustrate the life of Christ. A desire to know 
more of Jewish thoug-ht and custom has been created. Now Dr. 
Schiirer's learned work is a collection of all that can be gathered, 
both from the original authorities and the varied dissertations of 
scholars. Moreover, the translators seem to have done their work 
very carefully. Another volume, which will complete the work, 
remains to be translated ; on its publication Ave hope to treat of it 
at greater length. 

1. A Village Beauty, and other Tales. With Nine Illustrations. 

London : R. Washbourne. 1885. 

2. The Treasure of the Abley. Translated from the French of Raoul 

DE Navery, by Alice Wilmot Chetwode. Dublin : M. 
H. Gill & Son. 1886. 

S. Truth in Tale : Addresses chiefly to Children. By W. Boyd- 
Carpenter, D.D. London : Macmillan & Co. 

THE little book, named from its first tale, ^' A Village Beauty," 
comprises three stories of sin, suffering and repentance. 
They have special reference to the homes of the Good Shepherd, 
and are dedicated to the Venerable John Eudes, in order that, 
through his intercession, they may promote the work he had at 

" The Treasure of the Abbey " is a sensational story, dealing with 
a castle and abbey in Brittany at the time of the First Revolution, 
and the fate of "The Blue Child," who has been saved from the 
castle dungeon, consecrated to the Blessed Virgin, and sheltered in 
the abbey. 

"Truth in Tale" contains several sketches by the Protestant 
Bishop of Ripon. They contain no anti-Catholic doctrine; their 
teaching is too general and indefinite to be strong — a commendation 
of the good and the pure, of faithfulness and heavenward aims, put 
into poetical language in the form of parables. 

1. The Catholic MoJithly Mar/azine. No. 1. February, 1886. Birm- 

ingham : E. & M. Cannino'. Manchester : T. Walker. London : 
Laslette & Co. 

2. Merry and Wise : a Magazine for Children. Nos. 1, 2, 3. January, 

February, March, 1886. London : Burns & Gates. 

THE tone of the new magazine. The Catholic Monthly^ is dis- 
tinctly serious and religious, though it contains the extra 
attraction of the beginning of a ghost story. The first number 
contains a portrait of the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, and 
a few prefatory words telling the raison d'etre of the publication : — 

Notices of Boohs, 225 

The consideration of the fact that so many worka are published, 
which are secretly or professedly anti-Catholic, has induced us to come 
forward and offer our humble aid to the noble Catholic press on the side 
of Truth We shall be happy at all times to act upon any sugges- 
tion of the clergy, and shall 1)6 ever ready to obey the commands of our 
ecclesiastical superiors. 

The new magazine for children is a fresh series of the Catholic 
Childrens Miigazine^ under the title of Merry and Wise. If 
we may make a sup^gestion, the monthly letter in the old series 
was a favourite feature with children, and it is missed now. Also, 
there are stirring" stories wanted — exciting and amusing. The 
present magazine is, of course, only a small beginning. It rests 
with Catholic parents and schools to make it larger and more fit to 
cope with the success of non-Catholic publications. Enterprise and 
good-will on the part of its proprietors cannot do everything ; if 
this beginning receives support, it will have a chance of advancing 
to better things. 

Dulce Dmnum. London : Kegan Paul, Trench & Co. 1886. 

WE believe it is the author of ^' The Life of a Prig " who here 
reprints in a small volume a number of papers which he 
originally contributed to the Saturday Review. Unlike so many 
" collections " of essays, those which make up *' Dulce Domum " have 
a real unity of purpose and plan, and they form a sequential series 
developing the three g-eneral headings into which the book is 
divided:—!. "The Pleasures of Home;" 2. "The Pleasures of 
PayingforTliem; " 3. " The Pleasures of Sharing Them with Others." 
It need hardly be said that this is not a serious work on economics ; 
it is a collection of pleasant chatty papers on some phases and inci- 
dents of social life ; not without an underlying domestic philosophy 
perhaps, but notable chiefly for the healthy animation of the writer 
and the quiet flow of more or less delightful stories told, with- 
out " acceptation of persons," to illustrate the weaknesses of both 
masters and mistresses, the butler and the other servants, and their 
respective guests. It is a very charming book of gentle social 
satire, and its pages show from beginning to end the faculty of quiet 
observation which, letting nothing escape, makes a note of what is 
amusingly true, and ^fQt does not seem to have been said before. Of 
course, for Catholic readers qud Catholics, it will not have the deep 
interest of " The Life of a Prig," the popularity of which is not yet 
on the wane. But " The Prig " — as people speak of it — deals with 
a higher theme, even if it be not in every way a cleverer book ; in 
proof of which one need only allude to the story, now g'oing the 
rounds, that a gentleman, having- read it, presented himself to a 
priest to be received into the Catholic Church, with the laconic 
explanation, '• I am the Prig" — a story which, even if it should be 
only ben trovato, yet pays a high tribute to the book. 

In " Dulce Domum " the aim is lower, but has its own merits; and 
VOL. XVI. — NO. I. [Third Series.'] q 

226 Notices of Boohs. 

the treatment exhibits tokens of the same kind of cleverness as is 
conspicuous in " The Prig-." 

In the first part of "Dulce Domum " — on the Pleasures of Home — 
we have amusing* chapters on house-hunting- (in which, by the way, 
there is no hint to inquire about those bugs which Mr. Justice 
Mathew has just admitted may be present to some extent without 
making the house " unfit for human habitation "), on servant-hunting-, 
and on a variety of topics concerning- our homes, the varied contents 
of which are inadequately suggested by such titles as " Old-fashioned 
Masters '' and ^' A Quiet Day at Home " (we italicize the ironical 
particle). The chapter on ^^ The Luxuries of Illness " shows still 
Detter work, as far as reflective power goes : 

We are inclined to believe [we read] that very few people really know 
when they are enjoying themselves. Many persons suppose themselves 
to be supremely happy when they are partaking of amusements which 
afford them little pleasure, and imagine themselves to be undergoing a 
sort of semi-martyrdom when they are in reality pleasing themselves 
according to their own tastes. Now, people who have time to be ill often 
enjoy themselves in no mean degree without knowing it. . . . In other 
ways also there arc pleasures peculiar to illness. One of the highest 
enjoyments in life to certain temperaments is the receipt of sympathy, 
and we get more sympathy when suffering from illness than whea 
enduring any other misfortune. 

There are, however, other luxuries of illness besides those about 
which we have quoted these words ; but the reader will do well to 
pursue the subject if he cares for it at first hand. '' The Pleasures 
of Paying for the Pleasures of Home," is a theme discussed in three 
very amusing chapters, headed respectively *' What becomes of a 
few thousands a-year," "Things that come cheaper in the end," and 
" Hard up " — the latter an expression " difficult to parse," although 
'* most people find it easy to understand its meaning." But the 
author is not all sympathy for those who are " hard up " ; it is a 
relative evil ; it varies widely in its nature and virulence ; it is 
sometimes transient, sometimes intermittent, and sometimes 
chronic. " Like other maladies, too, it is often feigned by those who 
are free from it. It is by no means uncommon for people to sham 
illness, but to sharn poverty is even commoner." The third part of 
this volume opens with certainly one of the most entertaining 
chapters in it, on " Callers." Other chapters on such suggestive 
topics as '' The Difficulties of Dinner-giving," "■ Country House 
Banditti," '' Dancing Men," " Dull People," and *' Trapped Lions"— 
the latter being social *' lions " whom you have succeeded in getting 
to your house, and who behave there about as courteously as caged 
beasts would — are all excellent. The author has some severe 
remarks — far from undeserved, however — on '^Low^Life above Stairs " 
and the growth of vulgarity and questionable amusements. The 
following short extract from this chapter explains itself: — 

This leads us to contemplate the fashionable relations of husband and 
-wife. There is certainly nothing new in the infidelities of married 


Notices of Books. 227 

people, and the present -unusual pressure of business in the Divorce Court 

is merely a matter of degree. But the general view of society concerning 
such subjects reminds us of the answer given by an undergraduate 
under examination, on being asked the sequel of the story of the woman 
taken in adultery. The intelligent youth replied, "There was great joy 
among the ninety-and-nine just persons who needed no repentance." 
And so ia our own day, if we are to judge from the current talk of 
society, there appears to be " great joy " among — we will not say the just 
persons, or those who need no repentance, but a large proportion of 
ladies, when a case of this kind has been discovered. 

We are reminded by the last chapter inthe book, on *' The Art of 
Going Away," which we recommend to the attention of guests 
who feel the difficulty of ending- a visit, that there is also an art of 
ending* a review ; and having said so much of the pleasure we feel 
in turning* over the pages of " Dulce Domum," we leave it to its own 

History of the Catholic Church. By Dr. Heinrich Bruck. Trans- 
lated by the Rev. E. Pruente. Vol. II. New York, Cin- 
cinnati, &G. : Benziger Brothers. 1885. 

WE are very glad to, receive this goodly volume, excellent in 
every sense — in substance, in paper, in type, and in bind« 
ing*. It completes Dr. Bruck's work, bringing the history of the 
Church down from Gregory VII. to our own times. The Introduce 
tion which was promised by the Right Rev. Dr. Corcoran for the 
first volume appears prefixed to this. The learned professor speaks 
in very high terms of Dr. Bruck's History, and earnestly recom- 
mends it as a text-book in our Catholic colleges. In our notice of 
the first volume, in the number of this Review for October 1885, 
we also spoke highly of its many merits. Our opinion, then sa 
confidently expressed, is confirmed by the appearance of this second 
volume. We have still something to add to the praise we then so 
freely gave. We cannot but commend very strongly the excellent 
and beautifully clear order in which the historical matter is treated. 
Each period is divided into two larize main headings : " The History 
of the Exterior Condition of the Church," and "The History of the 
Interior Affairs of the Church." Under the first of these main 
headings we have — (1) " The Spread of Christianity; " (2) "Church 
and State." Under these two sections we have brought before us, in. 
a clear, succinct, yet interesting form, the active energy of the 
Church in her missionary work, showing* us how she is ever 
advancing into the darkness of error with the torch of truth in her, 
hand; how she is attacked at ever}' step by the spirits of evil ; and 
how she fights valiantly the battle of right against wrong, of 
civilization against barbarism ; liovv, in fine, animated by the 
irresistible Spirit of God, she bears down before her all opposition, and 
establishes everywhere centres of light and spiritual life. Under the 
"History of the Interior Condition of the Church," we have— (1\ 


228 Notices of Books. 

"The Constitution of the Church" in which the mysterious inward 
mechanism of this divinely organized society is displayed before us, 
showing us the wise action of Councils, the struggles and victories 
of the Popes, the special manifestations of God's Providence in the 
salutary influence of Religious Orders, and other various ways in 
which the Divinity works in His wonderful mystical Body ; (2) we 
have the " Development of Doctrine," exhibiting the various 
"Ecclesiastical Studies" of the period, and the "Heresies and 
Schisms " which trouble from time to time the internal peace of the 
Church's life ; (3) we have " Worship and Discipline," in which 
we are made acquainted with what is done with regard to promoting 
the power and influence of the Sacraments on the lives of the 
faithful, how religious art is fostered in the Church, how Christian 
instruction is carried out, and by what means, moral and religious, 
life is maintained in the souls of her children. This clear order 
and these divisions are observed throughout every period, giving us 
a lucid and interesting* picture of the Church's action, progress, 
struggles, and victories through the course of ages. It is evident 
how convenient this clear order is, both for the student who is 
striving to master the history of the Church in a continuous 
course, and for him who wishes to consult the author on a particular 
period or special point. The latter knows at once where he can find 
the matter he is in search of. 

If it were necessary, we could point out many points which illus- 
trate the excellences we have already alluded to, in general, in 
Dr. Bruck's History. We may, however, mention one or two. For 
example, in the section on "Ecclesiastical and Spanish Inquisition," 
the author sets out by stating a principle which places in a clear 
light and justifies the action of this tribunal. "The Christian 
State," he says, " could not be indifferent to the admixture of error 
with the divine revelation. Necessarily it was compelled to 
consider every attempt of this nature as an attack on the highest 
good possessed by the human race, and one which called for 

Starting from this principle, which is in itself correct, the Christian 
Emperor declared heresy to be also a crime against the State" (p. 103). 
Here we have, in a few lines, a statement which throM^s a flood of 
light on the nature and object of this much-maligned tribunal. This 
is the same mode of treating this great question of history as was 
adopted by Count Falloux in his excellent Life of St. Pius V., 
where this author, in the beginning of his work, puts before the 
reader, with unanswerable force, the reasonableness of the Inquisition. 
Again, if we consult Dr. Bruck on the " History and Meaning of 
Scholasticism," we shall find all the satisfaction we desire. The 
scholastic method of treating theology is seldom properly under- 
stood, and hence is frequently misstated by historical writers. It is 
not simply a special arrangement of arguments. It would not be 
satisfactory to say that it was throwing theology into a logical 
orm. Such definitions or descriptions do not touch the real nature 


Notices of Books, 229 

of scholasticism; it is something- deeper and more subtle. Dr. 
Briick gives it us in a few simple words : " The object of scholastic 
theology is, (1) to demonstrate the interior coniiection of the several dogmas 
of faith J and thence deduce other truths; (2) to refute the objections of 
heretics ; and (3) by means of human wisdom to illuminate and 
strengthen the truths of faith " (p. 75). 

If we have any faults to find with this excellent History of the 
Church, they are only of small dimensions. At p. 239 Dr. Bruck 
speaks of Sisters of Mercy of St. Vincent of Paul, instead of Sisters 
of Charity. It is well known that Sisters of Mercy are quite a 
different Order of nuns. Again, in giving an account of the revival 
of Catholicity in England, the sketch is meagre, and does not take 
in all the principal forces at work in this great event. For instance, 
it would be only just to mention, by the side of Stonyhurst, Ushaw^ 
and Oscott, the Benedictine colleges of Downside and Ampleforth, 
quite as old in point of time as the others, and institutions which 
have sent forth learned bishops and many priests to help in the great 
work of building up the walls of Sion. 

Taking, then, Dr. Bruck's *^ History of the Church " as it is here 
presented to us, in two handsome volumes, we consider it in many 
points worthy of high praise : it is most clearly arranged, interest- 
ingly written, and compact — indeed, taken altogether, for the prac- 
tical purpose of a collegiate course, the best work of the kind yet 
placed in the hands of the English-speaking student. 

Saint Pierre et les Premieres Annees du Christinism£. Par L'Abbe 
C. FouARD. Paris : Victor Lecoftre. 1886. 

THE work of the Abbe Fouard possesses a double claim to be read 
and studied by Catholics and truth-seeking Protestants. It is 
not only a book on a popular and important subject, but it is also 
a treatise of great historical, critical, and dogmatic erudition. The 
great Pastor of the Church is a historical personage, about the 
dogmatic position of whom all Christianity in every age is desirous 
of receiving new proofs and fresh illustrations, and Abbe Fouard has 
offered to this laudable curiosity a work as solid as it is interesting 
and instructive. The history that he relates is clear and luminous, 
and strict as to exegesis and facts, without being either hypercritical 
or even what is usually termed dry. Indeed, the chapters that are 
devoted to an exposition of the character of the religious and pagan 
deities of Rome, the importance of their cult and its ceremonies, the 
decline of belief among the higher classes, the lively religious senti- 
ment among the lower orders, the decadence of morality among the 
women in the family and public life under the pagan empire at the 
time of Augustus, are in the highest degree attractive. The author's 
account of the introduction of Christianity, also of its progress and 
development among the Romans, and of the part played by St. Peter, 
contain much that will scarcely be found in popular works referring 

25SO Notices of Boohs. 

to the same subject. Thoug-h chiefly treating* of the early Church 
in its specific relation to St. Peter, Abbe Fouard, as is evident from 
the above remarks, has touched on • several points that tend to 
illustrate and explain the position of the Church in the first century. 
Thus the le^al position of the Christians, the respect of the Eomans 
for a foreig-n religion, the toleration of the civil magistrates, and the 
civic enfranchisement of the Christians in the first century, all find 
notice in turn, and serve to throw additional light on the origin of 
the Church and the first years of Christianity. Nor does the author 
omit those ecclesiastical characters who were prominent in the early 
work of evangelization. Several chapters are devoted to the work 
of St. Stephen, to the missions of the Deacon Philip, and to the con- 
version and labours of St. Paul. The Gospels also, in so far as they 
are marked by peculiarities that require comment and explanation, 
are treated historically and exegetically ; the geography and topo- 
graphy of the various countries traversed by the Apostles in founding 
and diffusing the Church, are illustrated by a coloured and accurate 
map ; while numerous appendices and foot-notes supply additional 
information, and give the sources from which the author has compiled 
and authenticated its statements. The work is prefaced by the 
approbation of the Archbishop of Eouen, whose eulogy of the 
author's vast and conscientious research is in itself sufficient to 
ensure for the book a favourable reception from the Catholic world. 

Christianity^ Science^ and Iiifidelity. By Rev. W. Hillier, Mua. Doc. 
Second Edition. London : James Nisbet & Co. 

THIS book is made up of a series of '' Letters " which originally 
appeared in the Bucks Advertiser. As these letters were meant 
to be popular, they cannot be expected to deal with the important 
subjects of which they treat in a profound and exhaustive manner. 
The author has an excellent object in view in publishing these 
letters — viz., to supply a ready and popular answer to the diffi- 
culties brought forward in these days against Christianity, in 
magazine, newspaper, and conversation. There is no doubt that 
most persons who so glibly parade their atheistic views are quite 
unable to defend them for five minutes by an^^ serious argument. 
Hence the answers supplied by Dr. Hillier, though in some cases, 
inadequate against a learned adversary, would be sufficiently effectual 
against those of the ordinary shallow type. There are weak places 
here and there in these pages, but for the most part they are pun- 
gent and full of sharp hits, and on the whole are well calculated to 
attain the object which the writer has in view. 


Notices of Books. B^i 

Translations from Horace, S)-c. Bj Sir Stephen E. de Vere, Bart, 
London : G. Bell & Sons. Dublin : M. H. Gill & Son. 1885. 

IN these days of bustle and excitement on the one hand, and of 
ultra-scientific philology and sometimes pedantic criticism on 
the other, it is, we own, refreshing" to come upon the calm, dignified, 
old-fashioned scholarship recalling the best days of the '^polite 
learning" " of the old school, which characterizes this little volume of 
Sir Stephen E. de Vere. The gifted author might fittingly adopt as 
his motto the opening lines of the first Horatian ode which he 
translates : 

Odi profanum volgus et arceo : 
Favete linguis .... 

Yirginibus puerisque canto. 

Fond as we are of the exactitude of modern science, we confess it to 
be a positive relief to get back from the monstrosities of Thoukudides 
and Aischulos, k.t.X., to the graceful poetry of Sir Stephen 
de Vere. But this little volume is 'not only the pleasant 
distraction of a ripe and elegant scholarship, it also professes to be 
in some sort an experiment. In his Preface Sir Stephen states his 
theory of translation. Speaking of the translator in his relation to 
his author, he writes : 

To be true to his spirit, he must claim liberty as regards the letter. 
The true canon of poetical translation — that which such men as Dryden 
and Shelley understood and obeyed — is to lay before the reader the 
thoughts that breathe in the original, to add nothing that is not in entire 
harmony with them, and to clothe them in such language as the author 
would have employed if writing in the tongue of those who have to read 
the translation. 

This precept is, of course, that of Boileau, and Sir Stephen adds 
that his specimens have been published ^' with the purpose of testing* 
Boileau's precept." Naturally there will be some considerable 
difference of opinion regarding the extent to which this canon may 
be applied j many will prefer to follow E. Newman and A. Lang- 
rather than Dryden or Shelley. But few, we think, will question 
that Sir Stephen has been eminently successful in the task he has set 
himself — that of " endeavouring to transfuse into English verse some 
of the vigour, thought, and tenderness — a tenderness often blended 
with an apparent harshness — of the great Roman lyrist." The 
spirit of Horace he has certainly caught in a most happy manner, 
xmd his ten odes are exceedingly agreeable and invigorating reading. 
The selection is made with great skill, and presents Horace to us in 
all his best and most powerful moods. We have not space to quote 
many extracts which we should much like to reproduce here, particu- 
larly the fine version of the Hymil to Bacchus (Carm. iii. 25), in 
which the translator seems to us to have caught much of the wild 
fire and impetus of the original. But we must content ourselves 
with a few pleasing lines from the well-known Integer vitae ; 

^32 Notices of Books. 

UusullieJ honour, pure i'rom sin, 

Roams the wide word, serene, secure; 

The just man needs nor javelin, 
Nor poisoned arrows of the Moor. 

Fearless where Syrtes whirl and rave ; 

Where from Caucasian summits hoar ; 
Or where the legend-haunted wave 

Of old Hydaspes laps the shore. 

These last two lines — endino- 

. . . vel qu8B loca fabulosus 
Lambit Hydaspes — 

seem particularly happy. In the subsequent verses, however, the 
single word ''lupus" is expanded into 

A tawny wolf, all dashed with gore, 

Fierce from a neighbouring thicket sprung : 
He gazed. 

This will appear to many readers almost too g-reat an '^expansion."" 
However, to quote the concluding- verses : 

Place me where never Summer's breath 
Wakes into life the branches bare ; 

A cheerless clime, where clouds and death 
Brood ever on the baleful air. 

Place me where 'neath the fiery wheels 

Of nearer suns a desert lies, 
A homeless waste that pants and reels, 

Blighted and burnt by pitiless skies ; 

I reck not where my lot may be : 

On scorching plam, in desert isle : 
I'll love and sing my Lalage, 

Her low sweet voice, her sweeter smile. 

The versions from Horace are closed by a spirited and jovial ren- 
dering- of the Bacchanalian verses of Archdeacon Walter de Mapes 
of Oxford, which to many will appear the most successful attempt 
in the collection. 

The Valiant Woman. Conferences addressed to Ladies living* in the 
World. By Mgr. Landriot, Archbishop of Rheims. Trans- 
lated from the French by Alice Wilmot Chetwode. Dublin : 
M. H. Gill & Son. 1886. 

THIS translation will introduce to English readers a valuable 
and pleasant book. In seventeen conferences the author 
carries the " Valiant Woman " of the Book of Proverbs into the 
nineteenth century, and shows how she acts and looks in the new- 
surroundings. In describing the heroine of the inspired penman 
the Archbishop of Kheims displays wonderful knowledge of humaa 

Notices . of Boohs. 2S'd 

nature, and power of applying- the treasures g'athered from Lis 
patristic reading ; and wherever he has to make any apparent con- 
cessions to the " requirements " of modern society and manners, he 
cleverly contrives to turn the concession to advantage. Lively and 
good-natured these conferences continue to be in their English 
dress j in the original may be enjoyed also their polished style and 
the delicate flavour of literary elegance. That the latter qualities 
show quite as much as they might have done in a translation, we 
should not like to say ; but considering how reall}' difficult it is to 
represent very choice and idiomatic, and to some extent familiar 
Prench in idiomatic English, we acknowledge that the present 
translation is on the whole fairly done. 

The most conspicuous quality of " The Valiant Woman " is perhaps 
the one which we should least expect to find ia French conferences 
to ladies — i.e., the golden medium of good, plain common sense. 
The conferences are also eminently practical in treatment, and full of 
practical suggestions. 

On the subject of manual labour, as on that of intellectual, the 
author has some excellent pages. As to the latter, whilst he claims 
for woman the right to cultivate her mind and acquire learning, he 
has severe words for the mere blue-stocking, and he lays down some 
practical rules for guidance in the matter of study. These are three : 
first, the rule of " time"; intellectual studies should never interfere 
with others that are and always will be primary — household duties, 
&c. Secondly, the rule of " measure "; he recommends each young 
aspirant after literary excellence to consult the extent and quality of 
her mental powers, and choose her studies accordingly. And thirdly, 
the rule of " reserve," which Eenelon calls " decency " in learning, 
or the golden rule of what to avoid. The author acknowledges the 
advantages of literature, but shrewdly reminds his fair hearers that 
the beneficial influence of woman at home and in society will con- 
tinue to be due rather to qualities of heart, to her natural goodness 
and attractive sweetness of manner, and her true virtuousness. He 
is outspokenly severe on the mere " devote,'' small-minded often, 
and generally full of petty passions, who is a dishonour to religion. 
Her husband, " not having made a vow of patience," has Mgr. Land- 
riot's cordial sympathy ! (p. 50). One of his remarks in another 
place, worthy of note, is that women are seldom mediocre in any- 
thing, and must therefore help themselves to real excellence where 
deficiency would be most regretable. Equally good remarks are 
scattered through the conferences in which the author successively 
treats of duties to husband, to children, to servants, friends, society, 
and self, and in the matter of dress. His remarks on firmness are 
excellent, as decidedly is the whole of the conference on Sleep. 
However, in that " morning battle " w^ith the pillow, we fear that 
many others besides '' ladies of the World " ingloriously allow them- 
selves to be conquered ! 

We think that " The Valiant Woman " will make an admirable 
gift-book, especially for a newly married wife, or for girls entering 

234 Notices of Boohs, 

or already entered into society. With delicate candour the author 
treats themes that must quickly rouse interest ; he rebukes with 
pleasant earnestness ; he is careful not to " preach ; " whilst at the 
same time never forgetting- his purpose of raising' his audience, who 
are to remain " ladies in the world," to the elevation of true Chris- 
tian women. 

In the Light of the Twentieth Century. By Innominatus. 
London : John Hodg-es. 1886. 


IT is to be feared that " In the Light of the Twentieth Century " 
reading* will have become a severer mental strain than it is at 
present, judging from the little metaphysical skit lying before us. 
Doctrines concerning* God, immortality, the soul, the origin of 
matter, if easy to accept on faith, are hard of discussion ; while, 
when it comes to refuting such arguments as that the apparent 
You and I are mere thought-creatures of the infinitely real Ego ; 
that every individual man is but a manifestation of the Ego, who 
is the one and the many — the one in pure reality, the many by 
creative emanation — it really requires a conciseness of style and a 
simplicity of language to which Innominatus has not altogether 
attained. To the reader of mere average powers his uneasily fol- 
lowed arguments make, as Lady Themis observes on page 50, 
" one's brain reel and one's heart sick." Innominatus predicts, with 
many other true prophets, the great impending social and political 
changes, but in the frenzied struggles of the present time he sees 
no chance of a safe landing on terra Jirma, but rather a deeper 
sinking into the mire. He looks at life at through sad-coloured 
glasses, and, noting certain facts through their pessimistic medium, 
he deduces therefrom certain effects which about the middle of the 
twentieth century Avill reduce us to a condition of the most pitiable 
coerced decadence, and to the brink of final ruin. His chain of 
cause and eifect is good, but then those spectacles of his magnify 
and distort the cause. For instance, our devotion to Japanese fans 
and blue china is certainly foolish, and may have exercised a dete- 
riorating influence — say, in the parish of Kensington j but it has 
not yet corrupted the vital sources of English life ) there is abso- 
lutely no fear of its overthrowing* religion ; the extension of the 
franchise need not necessarily lead to a servile subjection to the will 
of majorities ; we may discourage indiscriminate almsgiving, and 
still hope to preserve Christian charity and brotherly lo\re amongst 
us. It is true that at the present moment it seems as if social and 
moral restraints were loosened ; it is true that a wave of mental 
insubordination is passing over the country; but Innominatus makes 
allowance neither for any aspirations after higher things, nor any 
sort of natural goodness, nor for that groundwork of common sense 
on which Englishmen not unjustly pride themselves. And even 
should the evil days which Innominatus dreads come to pass, surely 
the great body of Catholics in England will not, as he would have 

Kotices of Books. 1^ 

us believe, retire, mouse-like, to holes and corners, and never raise 
a voice ag-ainst the blasphemous rubbish of the Infinitely Real Ego ? 
If so, they would for the first time be false alike to their principles 
and their traditions. 

Handbook of Greek Composition. By Henry Browne, SJ. 
Dublin : Browne & Nolan. 

THE main purpose of the author of this excellent little book is to 
give a concise treatment of the rules of Greek Syntax with 
clear arrangement. To accomplish this end, the rules are written 
with the greatest possible brevity, the more important parts being 
pointed out by a thicker type, and the examples are all separated 
jfrom the rules by being placed on the opposite page to the rules. 
The author has succeeded admirably in his attempt to combine 
brevity with clearness. Occasionally, however, clearness suffers 
from excessive brevity — e.g., in the explanation of the difference 
between the Aorist Subjunctive and Present Imperative in prohi- 
bitions, and also in the' treatment of the Conditional Prepositions. 
The arrangement would, we think, scarcely admit of improvement. 

1. Euphorion : being Studies of the Antique and the Mediaeval in the 

Renaissance. By Vernon Lee. Second and Revised Edition. 
T. Fisher Unwin. 1885. 

2. Baldwin : being Dialogues on Views and Aspirations. By 

Vernon Lee. London : T. Fisher Unwin. 1886. 

WERE it not that there is an entire absence of evil motive, we 
should call "Euphorion" a bad book. As it is, there is 
such outspoken presentment of the grossest vice — for reprehension 
it is true — such license in the use or abuse of language, that 
pure-minded men and women had much better leave its pages 
unexplored. Although the treatment of these unsavoury subjects 
is grave and severely critical, never for a moment displaying the 
slightest trace of sympathy with morbid sentiment, or lingering 
with zest over unholy passion, we cannot excuse the authoress for 
deliberately selecting such themes as the subject of her essay. 
We repeat the question which the essayist, after minutely examining 
the garbage of trouveres, troubadours, and minnesingers, puts into 
the reader's mouth, " But where is the use of telling us all this ? " 
and in Vernon Lee's attempted justification we find no satisfactory 
reply. Independently of this, we have to protest against the 
open irreverence in which the authoress occasionally indulges. Such 
a passage as. the following-, though too silly to be regarded as a 
serious utterance, illustrates the reckless self-confidence with which 
Vernon Lee promulgates her opinions and impressions : 

Had the arrangement of the universe [she says] been entrusted to us, 
benevolent and equitable people of an enlightened age, there would 

236 Notices of Eooks. 

uoiibtless have been invented some system of evolution and progression 
differing from the one which incUides such machinery us hurricanes and 
pestilences, carnage and misery, superstition and license. Renaissance 
and Eighteenth Century. But, unfortunately, nature was organized in 
a less charitable and intelligent fashion, and among other evils required 
for the final attainment of good we find that of whole generations of men 
being condemned to moral uncertainty and error in order that other 
generations may enjoy knowledge peacefully and guiltlessly. Let us 
remember this, and let us be more generous towards the men who were 
wicked that we might be enlightened ! 

If we pass from the morals of the work to its artistic contents, 
we find the enlig-htenment to which the authoress has just referred 
scarcely worth the sacrifice of countless mediaeval souls. Impres- 
sions of books, and allusions to the works of writers and artists, 
make up the principal part of these 450 pag-es. Vernon Lee has no 
message to deliver, no artistic capacity which enables her to ex- 
plain or to elucidate the subtle problems to which the Renaissance 
gives rise ; but she has to an extraordinary degree the rush and 
power of words, which would be eloquence if they were arranged in 
order, but which in their present condition resemble the exuberant 
vegetation of a tropical forest. So self-satisfied is the authoress, that 
she seems to think any word good enough for her reader ; and we 
find, accordingly, '^ scribbly illustrations," " happy-go-lucky practi- 
calness," an incident in a story introduced by a " tluke," and other 
vulgar colloquialisms, wholly unfit for serious composition. We 
wind up this notice with a choice specimen of her style: — " Marston, 
in the midst of crabbedness and dulness, sometimes has touches of 
pathos and Michelangelesque foreshortenings of metaphor worthy of 

In the six Essays which compose Vernon Lee's newest book, 
Baldwin — " a rather abstract personage," as he is described in the 
Introduction — converses with equally abstract personages on 
Morality, Art, and Metaphysics. Baldwin's opinions, indeed, are 
not such as Catholic readers will care to examine j for they are 
essentially irreligious, as we understand them, and are occasionally 
expressed in an offensive form. In point of literary skill, however, 
it must be said that this book is a decided advance upon Vernon 
Lee's earlier productions. 

The Lepers of Molokai. By Charles Warren Stoddard. 
Notre Dame, Indiana: *^ Ave Maria" Press. 

THE lepers of the Sandwich Islands are gathered by order of 
the Government into two villages, entirely peopled by them, 
on the island of Molokai. The death-rate per annum is one hundred 
and fifty, and the number at the settlement is always seven or eight 
hundred, in all stages of the slow and repulsive disease. These 
pages are record of the writer's impressions during a visit to the 
leper villages. His descriptions of the sunny luxuriance of Molokai 
redeems the narrative from the gloom of its subject j but still more 

Notices of Boohs. 237 

is it brightened by the example of Christian heroism in Father 
Damien, of the Society of Picpus, who was the writer's g-enial host, 
and who, after more than eleven years of voluntary exile among his 
leper flock, has become, as we learn from the concluding pages, a 
victim of the disease — beginning to sufl^er a living martyrdom. Very 
touching, too, is the description of the Walshes, the Irish family, 
who for some lime were keepers at the settlement, and who drew 
comfort in their affliction, hardship and isolation, from a worn 
volume of "■ All for Jesus." The condition of the lepers is made as 
endurable — we had almost said as happy — as possible, mainly 
through the tender care and the energy of their heroic pastor ; and 
the villages of suff*ering show a bright aspect, white cottages with 
gardens ablaze with flowers. The little book ought to be read to 
enlarge our horizon and show what the charity of Christ can do 
through the hearts of His servants. 

A Summer Christmas^ and a Sonnet upon the s.s. Ballaarat. By 
D. B. W. Sladen, B.A., Oxford and Melbourne, Author of 
'' Frithjof and Tngeborg," &c. London : Griffith & Farran. 

HjlHE scene of ^' A Summer Christmas" is laid in Australia, where, 
_L as every one knows, Christmas falls in the middle of summer. 
A number of people gathered together at the house of a squatter 
to spend Christmas agree to tell tales by way of whiling away the 
evenings. Each tale is a separate poem, and the Christmas fireside 
is used to weave them into an harmonious whole. The story of ^' A 
Summer Christmas," ^' told in Hudibrastic verse, gives succinct 
pictures of life on an Australian sheep station," and we have descrip- 
tions of rabbit and kangaroo driving*, bush races, &c., intermingled 
with the usual love story. Some of the verses are vigorous and 
telling, and we have been much pleased with the poem entitled 
'' Ethel 5 " but must sternly set our faces against the " Chaucerian " 
character of certain passages in some of the other poems. These 
passages spoil a book otherwise readable and well got up, and in con- 
sequence we hesitate to recommend it as suitable for young persons. 

America, and other Poems. By Henry Hamilton. New York 
and London : G. Putnam's Sons. 1885. 

THE poems contained in this little volume are chiefly of the 
introspective order, and clothe in verse, often graceful and 
melodious, the thoughts that pass through many minds when in 
their best and most serious moods. The following extract will give 
anidea of the writer's tone of thouR-ht : — 

Inaudible move day and night, 

And noiseless grows the flower; \ 
Silent are pulsing wings of light, 

And voiceless fleets the hour. 

238 Notices of Books, 

The highest thoughts no utterance find, 

The holiest hope is dumb, 
In silence grows the immortal mind, 

And speechless deep joys come. 

Kapt adoration has no tongue, 

ISTo words has holiest prayer; 
The loftiest mountain peaks among 

Is stillness everywhere. 

With sweetest music silence blends. 

And silent praise is best ; 
In silence life begins and ends, 

God cannot be expressed. 

The second part of the volume, entitled " God and the Soul," is a 
religious monologue, written in a thoughtful and devotional strain, 
the form being that of a series of sonnets. They may well fulfil the 
mission claimed in the following aspiration : — 

Yet in these songs there may be found a note 
Which to some dolorous heart will solace bring, 

A tone which with high hopes will blend and float, 
A line which to some memory will cling. 

And therefore to their fate I them devote, 

Like seeds sown in the shifting winds of spring. 

^m\% of gtktion an^ S^irituitl Jleabing. 

1. The Little Gift far First Communieants. By Canon G. Allegre. 

London: Burns & Oates. 

2. Servers Missal. A Practical Guide for Boys serving at Mass- 

London : Burns & Oates. 

3. A Course of Lenten Sermons. By the Rev. P. Sabela. London r 

Burns & Oates. 1886. 

4. The Graces of Mary. London : Burns <^ Oates. 1886. 

5. The Sodality Manual. Dublin : M. H. Gill & Son. 1886. 

6. Prayers for the Visits to a Church required for the MUlee. Arranged 

by the Rev. W. J. B. Richards, D.D. London : Burns & 
Oates. 1886. 

7. The Virgin Mother of God. By St. Bernard. Arranged and 

Translated by a Secular Priest. London : Richardson & Son. 

8. Life of the Ven. Joseph Marchand, Martyr. By the Abbe J. B. S. 

JACQUiNET. Translated by Lady Herbert. Dublin: 
M. H. Gill & Son. 1886. 

Books of Devotion and Spiritual Reading. 239 

9. Life of Margaret Clitherorv. By L. S. Oliver. London : 
Burns & Gates. 1886. 

10. Preparation for Death. By St. Alphonsus de Liguori. 

Edited by the Rev. Eugene Grimm, C.SS.R. INew York: 

Benzig-er Brothers. London : Washbourne. Dublin ; M. H. 

Gill & Son. 1886. 
1\. The Following of Christ. By John Tauler. Done into English 

by J. R. MoRELL. London: Burns & Gates. 1886. 

12. The Lay of St. Barbara. London : Burns & Gates. Sheffi.eld : 
Pawson & Brailsford. 

13. What is the Holy Cincture? By the Compiler of the Augustinian 
Manual. Dublin : M. H. Gill & Son. 1886. 

14. The Birthday Book of Our Bead. Dublin : M. H. Gill & Son. 1886. 

1. QjGME one has here translated a number of stories and legends 
J5 about the Blessed Sacrament, gathered from the ^' Petite 

Corbeille Eucharistique " by Canon Allegre, of Calais. They are not 
all absolutely authentic ; and the translation is not quite faultless. 
For example, we are told that the " King* of Ithaca," in order to 
escape the snares of the Sirens, " attached a mast to his vessel." 
The French text is not before us, but surely it cannot have furnished 
this novel reading of the ancient stor}^ The little brochure, however, 
will be useful. 

2. " A Sacristan " has compiled a small and handy manual for the 
use of a server at Mass. He has added one or two things to the 
rubrics; but, this apart, we can recommend the little book. 

3. It is only necessary to say that the Rev. P. Sabela's Lenten 
Sermons on the Passion are seven in number, average about ten 
pages in length, and bear the imprimatur of the Bishop of Notting- 

4. A prettily got-up book for the Month of May, containing 
instructions, prayers and examples. The instructions are mostly 
based on M. Menghi d'Arville's Annuaire de Marie, and the examples 
seem to be gathered from various sources, chiefly modern, and 

5. The Rev. Father Callen, S.J., has here edited a very complete 
^' Manual " for the use of those students who are members of the 
Sodality of Our Lady, and of the children of Mary in convents. 

6. A very useful and handy manual for the present Jubilee. 

7. These are the celebrated Homilies of St. Bernard on Missus est 
and de AquaductUj with others on Our Lady's prerogatives and 
mysteries, well translated and carefully edited. The book comes 
from Mount St. Bernard, Charnwood Forest, and a short note reminds 
us that (in 1885) the Cistercian Fathers are keeping the jubilee of 
their settlement there. The translator is the "Secular Priest'* 
who translated the " Visions of B. Angela of Folegno." 

8. Perhaps there is a little too much mere political history in the 

240 Books of Devotion and Spiritual Reading. 

Abbe Jacquinet's life of the Ven. Joseph Marchand ; but as a record 
of the life and career of a devout seminarist, an enthusiast for the 
foreign missions, and a martyr to the faith in Tonkin, it is interesting 
and acceptable. 

9. We are inclined to think that the form in which the writer has 
cast this history of Margaret Clitherow will prevent some readers 
from appreciating it as much as it deserves. We have here a regular 
*• story," with conversations, descriptions, and a certain amount of 
plot. Yet the actual and authentic records of this heroic life are so 
numerous and so vivid that nothing more was required, except a little 
local colour and explanation, to make the book absolutely fascinating. 
In reading Miss Oliver's pious "romance," those who are unacquainted 
with their Challoner will hardly guess that so much of the narrative 
is not fiction at all, but history. But the book is charming-, stirring* 
the pulses of every reader who thinks ever so little of that faith which 
this glorious martyr confessed beneath the shadow of York Minster. 

10. The American Redemptorist Fathers send us the first volume 
of a centenary translation of the ascetical and practical works of 
their great founder. The editor is the Rev. Father Eugene Grimm, 
C.SS.R. The present volume contains the "Preparation for Death." 
It seems to be well and carefully done. We do not quite under- 
stand why in a few instances the Scripture and other references are 
not given. Once or twice the editor has been evidently at a loss, as 
for example as to the identity of the " devout Pelbart." It seems 
a pity the work has been translated from the French instead of the 
original Italian. English readers, although they have good trans- 
lations of many of St. Alphonsus' works, have very little idea of the 
masculine and pointed style of the original. " La puzza si fa sentire" 
is rather feebly rendered by, ^' The body has already begun to ex- 
hale an oifensive smell." When the dying man has to leave all 
things, the introduction of the laAvyer to make the will is lyrical in 
its simplicity, " Gia e venuto il notaio, e scrive questa licenziata, 
Lascio, lascio!^' But the English, filtered through the French, is 
commonplace — " The lawyer is already come and writes this last 
farewell: I bequeath such- a-thing and such-a-thing, Sj-c.^' (p. 79). St. 
Alphonsus exclaims, when the blessed candle is brought in, " 
candela, candela, quante verita che allora scoprirai ! " The 
sonorous Italian carries this off perfectly ; but there was no necessity 
for making things more difficult by rendering it, " candle, how 
many truths will you then unfold !'' (p. 85). But the translation of 
a masterpiece is not easy work, and we ma}^ be well content with 
what we have. The succeeding volumes will be awaited with 

11. The " Following of Christ," by the great Dominican, John 
Tauler, is a very different book from that of Thomas a Kempis, with 
which it seems to have been almost contemporary. If Tauler really 
wrote the book— which Denifie, its most learned modern editor, is 
inclined to doubt — it is hardly worthy of his great reputation. It 
is a treatise on unity with God, and it follows the justly suspected 


List of Books Received. 241 

lines of the teachings of Eckart. At the same time, the almost 
unanimous voice of Catholic historians refuses to pronounce Tauler 
unorthodox. Many of his expressions go dano^erously near the 
denial of any difference between the soul of the just and the sub- 
stance of God, and there is no doubt he seems to make too little of 
external works. But, on the other hand, his theoretical or mystical 
views are not his main purpose, as they were with Eckart 5 he 
writes for moral and ascetical ends, and in order to lead the heart to 
God. Besides, he expressly repudiates, in many passages of his 
works, both pantheism and what we may call quietism; and we 
must remember that the condemnation of Eckart's teachings, though 
pronounced during Tauler's life-time, cannot have been widely or 
distinctly known in those troubled times of schism and interdict. 
The book before us will not do much harm by the strain of perverted 
mysticism which runs through it. On the other hand, its true in- 
terest will hardly be appreciated, for its language is very hard to 
follow. Mr. Morell has probably done as well as any one could do ; 
but to give an English dress to an old German text, which itself is 
full of technical scholastic philosophy, is a very difficult task. When 
Dr. Schlosser published in 1833 his edition of the '' Following," he 
added a Lexicon Taulerianum. If the reader could carry as he reads 
this book a mental lexicon of words and phrases — if he could 
readily construe Taulerian as he goes on — he would appreciate the 
warm piety, the profound earnestness, the eloquent beauty, and the 
strange raciness and smack of mediaeval life by the banks of the 
Rhine, and in the valleys of the German Switzerland, which the 
work presents. 

12. The writer of this hymn on St. Barbara has succeeded in 
being pleasing and devout, and the introductory essay is interesting, 
and serves usefully to remind us of this virgin patroness of the 

13. A pamphlet explaining the origin and excellences of the 
arch- confraternity of the Sacred Cincture of SS. Augustine and 
Monica, established in churches of the order of St. Augustine. 

14. The compiler of the " Birthday Book of our Dead " has had 
the idea of putting together a number of " mortuary " extracts from 
all sources — old and new, sacred and profane, poetry and prose — 
and distributing them among the days of the year, leaving blank 
spaces for the n^mes of departed friends. 


*^ The Life of Frederick Lucas, M.P." By his brother, Edward 
Lucas. 2 vols. London & New York : Burns & Oates. 

" La Coalition de 1701 contre La France." Par le Marquis de 
Courcey. 2 vols. Paris : E. Plon, Nourrit & Cie. 

VOL. XVI. NO. I. \_New Series.] e 

242 List of Books received. 

" The Rule of St. Benedict." Edited, with an English translation, 
&c., by a Monk of S. Benedict's Abbey, Fort- Augustus. London 
and New York : Burns & Gates. 

**The Theory and Practice of Banking." By H. Dunning 
Macleod, M.A., &c. Fourth edition. 2 vols. London : Longmans, 
Green & Co. 

" The Final Science ; or, Spiritual Materialism." New York and 
London : Funk ik, Wagnalls. 

" Une Invasion Prussienne en Hollande en 1787." Par Pierre de 
Witt. Paris : E. Plon, Nourrit & Cie. 

^* History of the German People from the end of the Middle 
Ages." By Johannes Jansen. Authorized translation by M. Riamo. 
Part II. London : Hanson & Co., 26 Oxford Road, Hammer- 
smith, W. 

" The Way of Salvation and of Perfection." By St. Alphonsus de 
Liguori. Centenary edition. Vol. 11. New York : Benziger 
Bros. London : R. Washbourne. 

*' Golden Sands." Fourth series. Translated by Miss Ella 
McMahon. New York, &c. : Benziger Bros. 

" King, Prophet, and Priest. Lectures on the Catholic Church." 
By the Rev. H. C. Duke. London and New York: Burns & 

"The Revelation of S. John." By W. Milligan, D.D. London : 
Macmillan &. Co. 

" Henry Bazely, the Gxford Evangelist. A Memoir." By the 
Rev. E. L. Hicks, M.A. London : Macmillan & Co. 

"The Apostolic and Post- Apostolic Times." By G. V. Lechler, 
D.D. Translated by A. J. K. Davidson. 2 vols. Edinburgh : 
T. & T. Clark. 

" The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles." With Illustrations 
from the Talmud. By C. Taylor, D.D. Cambridge : Deighton, 
Bell & Co. London: G. Bell & Sons. 

"The History of Interpretation." The Bampton Lectures for 
1885. By the Ven. Archdeacon F. W. Farrar. London : Mac- 
millan & Co. 

"The Growth of the Church." Tlie Croall Lectures for 1886. 
By John Cunningham, D.D. London : Macmillan & Co. 

" Ecclesiastical English. Criticisms on the Old Testament 
Revisers' English." By G. Washington Moore. London: Hatchards. 
"The O'Connell Press Popular Library." No. 1. J. C. Mangan's 
Poems. 2. Goldsmith's Vicar of W^akelield. 8. Moore's Melodies. 
4. On Irish Affairs, by Edmund Burke. Dublin : M. H. Gill <fe Son. 
(3rf. each). 

( 13 ) 

'^tm)i of lionmii §ocunitnts. 

Altar Stones. — ^Altar stones cut from any compact and hard 
stone are to be considered lawful j those made from pumice-stone or 
plaster, or from any similar material, are decidedly unlawful. Altar 
stones with sepulchres in front and not in the middle, cannot be 
admitted. (S. R. C, Nov. 4, 1885.) Vid. Tablet, May 29, 1886. 

Blessing, The Last. — The Last Blessing- may be given when 
the Last Sacraments have been administered^ thoug-h the danger of 
death be not imminent. (aS'. Co7iff. Ind., Dec. 19, 1885.) Vid. Tablet, 
April 24, 1886. It may not be repeated in the same sickness even 
though received in mortal sin ; not even in cases where the Ritual 
would permit or even prescribe a repetition of the Extreme Unction, 
{S. Cong. Ind., June 20, 1836.) Vid. Tablet, May 15, 1886. 

Catholic Truth Society. — Indulgences granted to the 
members of this Society, and to those who write, print, distribute^ 
or otherwise help in the diffusion of Catholic Truth papers. {S, Cong. 
Indulg. et SS. R.R., June 23, 1885.) Vid. Tablet, May 1, 1886. 

Confession required for Plenary Indulgences. — When 
several Plenary Indulgences are to be gained in one week, each 
requiring Confession, one Confession will suffice. Weekly Con- 
fession {per singulas hebdomadas), which is required as a condition for 
gaining the Plenary Indulgences of the week, is interpreted to mean 
onfession within a period of seven, not eight days. {S. Cong. Indulg., 
Feb. 25, 1886.) Vid. Tablet, May 22, 1886. 

Exeat, An. — Sufficient reasons are declared by the Sacred Con- 
gregation to exist for the exeat of a priest from his own diocese, 
although the Bishop had refused to grant it. Vid. Tablet, Feb. 13, 

Heroic Act, The. — 

I. Indulgences, declared by the Holy See to be "applicable to 

the Souls m Purgatory," are included amongst the opera satis^ 
factoria^ which by the Heroic Act are offered for the faithful 

II. Those who apply to themselves Indulgences granted to the 
living do not satisfy the conditions, but are bound to apply 
them all to the holy souls in accordance with the terms of the 

III. It is not an integral part of the Heroic Act that the dis- 
pensation of these favours should be placed in the hands of 
Our Lady. 

IV. The Plenary Indulgence to be gained by receiving Holy 
Communion, or by hearing Mass on a Monday, ma}^ be applied 
to any of the poor souls at the discretion of the donor. 

V. The Plenary Indulgence attached to Mass offered at a privi- 
leged Altar, must he applied hy a priest who has made the 

( 14 ) 

Heroic Act to the soul for whom he is celebratino^ the Mass. 
{S. a Ind., Dec. 19, 1885.) Vid. TaUet, March 27, 1886. 

Index of Prohibited Books. — " Souvenirs of a French Journ- 
alist in Rome," by Henri des Houx, has been added to the list. 
{S. Cong. Indicis, April 1, 1886.) Vid. Tablet, June 5, 1886. 

Indulgences. — Vid. Third Order of S. Francis, Morning 
Offering", Confession, Catholic Truth Society, Heroic Act. 

Jubilee, Fasting for the.— The two fasting* daj^s, required as 
a condition for gaining- the Jubilee, need not be kept in one and the 
same week. (S. Pwn., March 11, 1886.) Vid, TaUet, April 10, 

Jubilee, Good Works Prescribed for the. — The Sacred 
Pcenitentiaria has decided that a Confessor has power for sufficient 
reason to commute the good works required for the Jubilee as often 
as the penitent wishes to gain it {S. Fcen., March 18, 1886.) Vid. 
Tablet, April 17, 1886. 

Mausoleums, saying Mass in, is declared to be lawful as practised 
in the diocese of Potenza. (>S'. i?. C, May 29, 1885.) Vid. Tablet, 
Jan. 23, 1886. ^ J . / 

The answer is declared " authentic " which stated that it is not 
lawful for a priest who has not gained the Indulgence of a privileged 
Altar to seek to fulfil his obligation by applying another plenary 
Indulgence. {S. C. Ind., July 24, 1885.) Vid." Tablet, Nov. 7, 1885. 

Morning Offering. — A form of prayer for a Morning Offering 
of one's self and actions has been enriched with an Indulgence of 
100 days. {S. Cong. Indulg., Dec. 19, 1885.) Vid. Tablet, May 8, 

Patrons of Hospitals. — Saint Camillus and S. John of God 
nominated Patrons of Hospitals, and their names to be inserted in 
the Litany of the Dying after that of S. Francis. (5. R. C.) Vid. 
Tablet, June 5, 1886. 

Priest's First Mass. — Plenary Indulgence granted to a priest 
saying his first Mass, and also to his relations, as far as the third 
degree inclusively, who assist at the same mass ; to the rest of the 
faithful present, an Indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines. 
Indulgence asked for, but refused, for those who devoutly receive 
the blessing of a priest, especially of one newly ordained. {S. C. 
Indulg., Jan. 16, 1886.) Vid. Tablet, June 12, 18*86. 

Prussian Bishops, Letter of the Holy Father to. — For 
the more crucial parts of this letter, vid. Tablet, Jan. 23, 1886. 

Stations of the Cross, Conditions for gaining the Indul- 
gences of the. — Fi^. Tablet, Oct. 3, 1885, quoting from Jarlath's 
" New Franciscan Manual." 

Third Order of St. Francis. — To those members of the Third 
Order, who cannot attend Church on the Feast Days fixed for 
receiving the General Absolution, or Blessing, with Plenary Indul- 
gence, power is given to receive the same privilege on the Sunday 
or Holiday of Obligation within the Octave of the said Feasts. 
{S. C. Ind., Jan. 16, 1886.) Vid. Tablet, April 3, 1886. 



OCTOBER, 1886. 


THE land question has become a part of practical polities, and 
every newspaper must be prepared to give to its readers ex 
cct^/iecZra judgments on the lawfulness or unlawfulness of land- 
owning ; whether a private person may have any at all, or as 
much as he can get hold of; whether he may use it as he likes 
or not; and if he is to be controlled, who is to control him, and 
how much ; whether the present landowners have any business to 
be where they are, and had not better be turned out and others 
put in their place. And do all our woes spring from the 
monstrous appropriation of the soil by individuals, and must our 
salvation be sought in the nationalization of the land ? Or is the 
survival of an eflete feudal system our bane, and free trade in 
land the remedy ? Or must we at all hazards put peasant pro- 
prietors and small holdings in the place of tenant-farmers and 
large holdings, and for ever afterwards live in peace ? However 
this may be, we are forced to listen to a great deal of strong 
language and much calling of bad names ; so that if we are to 
believe what we hear, half our countrymen are tyrants, exter- 
minators, greedy monopolists, revolutionists, socialists, breakers 
■of the Decalogue, stirring up to their own profit the passions of 
the multitude ; or again, making their profit out of the necessities 
of others, and trampling on the poor and the weak. And besides 
this mutual vituperation, there is the din of watchwords and 
phrases, the various political and economical shibboleths ; such as 
the land for the people, unearned increment, three acres and a 
cow, the right to the fruits of your labour, the laws of political 
economy, the law of demand and supply, free trade in land, 
security of capital, application of capital to land, the rights of 
property, the liberty of the individual, the freedom of contract. 
Einally, it is scarcely possible to discuss many of the recent laws 
VOL. xvi.~NO. II. \ThiTdi Series.] s ' 

244 What to do luith the Landoivners. 

and proposals dealing with land without raising a violent storm 
of denunciation, or being lost in an incense cloud of praise. 

Amid all this clamour and discord, amid this labyrinth of words, 
we are in evident need of some clue for our guidance. It is little 
use giving us advice to be calm and impartial, and avoid extremes ; 
and nothing is more feeble and unpractical than eclecticism, 
which declares there is much to be said for all parties and opinions, 
and proceeds to ojffer you a select mixture, being so much of 
Messrs. George and Hyndman with an equal quantity of Messrs. 
Chamberlain and Arch, added to a strong composition of Lord 
Bramwell and Sir James Stephen. There is nothing to be done 
with such an indigestible compound. No doubt a great many 
people are eclectics — that is, they pick and choose, not on any 
principle, but as the fancy strikes them. And so we find excel- 
lent people holding opinions that lead straight to socialism, and 
Others holding opinions that would justify any tyranny, and yet 
who would never dream themselves of committing any act of 
plunder or oppression. They are better as men than as logicians, 
and must be judged by their practices rather than by their pro- 
fessions. But after all we cannot permanently set logic at 
defiance, and the incoherent or contradictory views on social 
questions that are held by so many of our contemporaries 
are an accidental phenomenon not likely to be repeated. Oar 
young men call on us to set before them something more clear 
and reasonable, and there seem but three social doctrines that we 
have the opportunity of teaching them. One is the socialistic or 
humanitarian theory, aiming at abolishing the poor and weak by 
equalizing property and power, and based on the assumption of 
man^s natural goodness and equality. The second is the 
Darwinian or scientific theory, based on the doctrine of the sur- 
vival of the stronger and the elimination of the weak ; it refuses 
to protect the poor and feeble, so as not to interfere with the free 
development of higher organisms and the decay of lower. This 
is the suitable doctrine for the freethinkers (and there are such) 
among the Conservatives ; while the socialistic theory is adapted 
for freethinkers among the Liberals; and both theories are 
equally opposed to Christian teaching, which recognizes inequality 
as providential, and will not admit that the rich are vampires 
and the poor are victims; nor again will admit the poor and 
weak and suffering to be inferior types, but, on the whole, puts 
them on a higher level than the rich and powerful, and seeks to 
bind both classes together by preaching submission and content, 
paternal care and fraternal charity. These are the three theories — 
the Socialist, the Darwinian, and the Christian — that are the only 
serious competitors for our allegiance; pull down the rich, or keep 
down the poor, or bind the two together by the bonds of religion. 


What to do luith the Landowners. 245 

Now, the question of the ownership of land being one of the 
chief among the social questions, will naturally be answered 
differently by each of these theories. With the two irreligious 
theories we are not now immediately concerned, for we are 
asking whether the Christian theory of society can give us clear 
and definite principles on the ownership of land which we can 
apply to the present circumstances of our country. I think it 
can ; and the principles seem to me to be something as follows. 

The right of every family to occupy and hold as its own 
so much unoccupied land as it can itself cultivate is a right that 
so obviously flows from the Christian view of man's position on 
the earth, and the nature of the family, that it needs no defence 
or illustration. The point of interest is whether any more may 
be occupied. Now, there is one kind of occupation that cannot 
be recognized — namely, where immense tracts of land fit for 
cultivation are claimed as their own by individuals, or families, or 
tribes, and kept out of cultivation. For this contradicts the end 
for which the earth was given over to men — to increase, multiply, 
and subdue the earth ; and such nominal occupancy confers no 
title to exclude others from becoming genuine occupants of the 
land. This is a matter of no slight practical importance. For 
example, the greater part of the tFnited States a few generations 
ago was in the occupation of tribes of Indians. Had they the 
right to exclude all settlers, and keep the vast valley of the 
Mississippi as their hunting-ground for ever ? Not at all ; for 
they were not using it as it was given to man to be used, and 
were keeping the earth unpeopled. For many hundred men 
could live by agriculture on the space that one man required to 
support him as a hunting-ground. I know well, indeed, that 
the Indian tribes have been treated with much cruelty and 
injustice, but this does not alter the fact that they had no claim 
to exclude agriculture from North America, and keep it as a 
perpetual wilderness for hunters and game. This is an extreme 
case, but the same principle applies in other cases, notably to the 
gigantic sheep-runs of the Southern Hemisphere. I am not 
saying a word against the temporary use of vast regions for 
raising wool, as is done in Australasia, as long as the temporary 
character of such occupation is recognized, and no serious 
hindrance put to the settlement of the country and the increase 
of population. But where there is such a hindrance — and there 
seems to have undoubtedly been such in Tasmania, where millions 
of acres are owned by a few dozen sheep-farmers, and settlement 
is blocked"^ — such occupation should be restricted, and the 

* See the interesting account given in the Times for September 4, 1884. 
The vast, healthy, and fertile island, after nearly a century of settlement, 

S 2 

246 What to do luith the Landoivners. 

occupants have no more cause for complaint at their dispossession 
than the tribes of the aborigines. 

But why tell us, you may exclaim, about squatters and Red 
Indians ? We want to know about our landowners at home : are 
we to go on touching our hats to them, or to take them and hang 
them, moi^e Gallico, on the nearest lamp-post ? Well, if you 
will have a little patience, I will tell you plainly which of the 
two courses I recommend. And first, because it is not right or 
tolerable that one man or a few men should keep vast regions 
permanently uncultivated, it does not follow in the least that one 
man or few men should not hold vast regions of cultivated land 
as their own. No doubt there is a political danger if very much 
land or very much of any kind of power is in the hands of one 
or two people. There is a well-known sentence in Roscher^'s 
" Economics ^^ : ^^ A dreadful lesson is to be learnt from history, 
when we read how six men owned half the province of Africa, 
and then Nero had all six put to death.-" But this does not 
prove that it is unjust and wrong to own a vast estate — only 
impolitic; and may justify measures to restrict gigantic owner- 
ship, but does not touch the ordinary rich landowner, whom you 
are in doubt whether to salute or to hang. Now, what is the 
meaning of a rich landowner? He is one who is the legal owner 
of much more land than he can cultivate with his own hands and 
with those of his family, and this land is cultivated by his servants 
or dependants, who work on his land, and after getting from it 
enough to support themselves, get a surplus above, which goes 
either in part or wholly to the landowner, and forms his revenue. 
Thus he can be freed from all labour except that of superinten- 
dence, and even this he can delegate to an agent. He has, 
therefore, both leisure for himself and his family, and can live in 
a fine house full of fine things, and (an essential requisite) with 
servants to take care of his goods and enable him and his family 
to enjoy them and live a cultured life. It may be noted, by the 
way, that not only landowners but every man who is above the 
poorer classes, in proportion as he is rich, must have others who 
are poor working for him ; his revenue, as far as it exceeds the 
salary that he would pay an agent to do his work, must come from 
the surplus produce of the labour of the poor — call it rent, call 
it profit, call it interest : it can come from no other possible 

has no more than 126,000 inhabitants ; and in the twenty years from 
1860 to 1880 the increase was only 27,000 : manufactures remained next 
to none. The wheat produced was between six and seven hundred 
thousand bushels less, and the average number of sheep to each inhabi- 
tant sank from twenty to fifteen. The more energetic among the young 
men leave their country, as it can give no scope to their energy. 

What to do ivith the Landoivners. 247 

source. To attempt to justify the rich under false pretences, as 
though they were only recipients of wages for their services, is a 
paltry deception, and quite out of date. Every one of them, and 
not merely the landlords, are i^j^so facto, by the force of terms 
and the necessity of the case, receivers of '^ unearned increment/^ 
and the sooner we make up our minds to meet this fact the 
better. And, indeed, the three social theories I have named are 
all quite prepared to meet it, only in different ways. You ras- 
cally plunderers, says the Socialist, you are found out at last. 
Nonsense, says the Darwinian ; one cultured life is worth many 
rude lives, and the existence of a cultured class with leisure for 
scientific research is essential to the progress of the race. And 
as it seems that these cultivated lives presuppose (in our present 
state of evolution) a squalid serving class below them, we must 
accept their presence as a necessity, instead of grumbling. This 
theory, indeed, has a weak point — namely, the difficulty of per- 
suading the inferior organisms to play their part properly and 
minister to the development of the higher organisms. How are 
we to reason with Israel Hands, that famous coxswain in " Trea- 
sure Island '' : '^ Tve had a'most enough o' Cap\»i Smollett. I want 
to go into that cabin, I do ; I want their pickles and wines, and 
that.'^ Even if you got him to admit the general beauty and 
advantage of culture and progress, still there is the particular and 
delicate matter to be explained why he, Israel Hands, should be 
below Smollett, instead ot Smollett being below Hands. And 
there is just the same trouble with the land. Why should yow 
have all that large estate, and not me ? Nor can I think of any 
convincing reason you can give me why I should not try and 
oust you from your place, except only that I shall be sent to prison 
if I try. 

Now, the religious theory is able to justify the accumulation of 
much property — of land, for example — in the hands of one man, 
without issuing in any such brutal and violent conclusion. It is 
quite right to say there ought to be culture — that is, science and 
literature and art and refined social life — and that there must be 
great inequalit}' of wealth as a pre-requisite ; but then the 
Socialists are also quite right in thinking that if you say no more 
than this, and offer to the vast masses who are not rich no other 
compensation than to be the ministers of the cultivation of the 
few, the situation for these masses is intolerable. Now, precisely 
Christian teaching does say a great deal more. The rich and 
cultivated are not irresponsible ; on the contrary, exactly in pro- 
portion as they exceed others in wealth and cultivation they incur 
a responsibility for the use of these gifts. They hold these gifts 
from God in trust for the general good, and are bound to dis- 
pense them by a useful life and abundant alms-deeds. Thus the 

248 What to do with the Landowners. 

distinctions of class and education, of wealth and power, are 
destined to be a means of binding men together by a number of 
friendly ties, and of giving the opportunity for the exercise of a 
number of virtues that would be impossible if we had socialistic 
equality. And both rich and poor among all Christian people 
know well that every neglect of duty by the rich will receive in 
some way or other its punishment. Moreover, in a Christian 
State, the more mischievous neglects of duty will be restrained in 
various ways (which we will presently consider) by the law. Then 
besides,, v/e are being always reminded of the paltry and trifling 
character of these temporal goods, and of the all-importance of 
spiritual goods, in gaining which the poor and simple have 
greater advantages than the rich and learned. Indeed, a life of 
poverty is held up as an ideal to our admiration, and we are 
taught that obeying is better than commanding. Nor have 
we any difficulty in meeting each particular case of inequality. 
When I begin to clamour for your estate, and complain that you 
have ten thousand acres and I not ten perches, you can give me 
a better argument than mere threats ; you can tell me to go back 
to my catechism, and be contented with the state of life to which 
Providence has called me. It is a good answer to me, and is the 
only good one. 

Before going further, it may be well to clear up one particular 
point, lest we let in Socialism by a back door. For we may 
have an historical argument brought upon us, and be confronted 
by a dreadful catalogue of misdeeds. We may be told that the 
actual owners at law have really no rightful claim to their pos- 
sessions, being descendants of publicans and harlots, usurers and 
extortioners, petty thieves and public plunderers. It is a shock- 
ing tale, we say, and would that we could have prevented those 
misdeeds or punished the perpetrators; but does that past 
iniquity, assuming that it is all as you tell us, give you any 
claim to the land, even supposing that you in your turn can show 
that your own pedigree is quite stainless ? If the present holders 
are personally not guilty, why punish them for the sins of their 
forelathers ? Or why should not they be rich people as well as 
any one else? And in truth there is much wealth that has not 
been accumulated by iniquity ; nor is it possible in ninety-nine 
cases out of a hundred to distinguish clearly which estates have 
sprung from a pure source, and which from a corrupt source. If you 
refuse to admit prescription, no title is secure, and social order is 
dissolved. And remember that, as many a muddy stream grows 
clear by running, so we find the grandchildren of the usurer the 
defenders of the widow and the orphan. I do not wish indeed 
to be an apologist of all accomplished facts, or to say that in 
particular and exceptional cases, especially where there has been 

What to do vjith the Landowners. 249 

a foreign conquest, the actual owners may not many of tliem be 
unlawful owners, or have only a claim to slender compensation ; 
hut this is a (plicate question of politics and nationality which 
cannot be treated in a mere digression, requiring a discussion of 
what constitutes a nation, who is a native, who an alien, and 
what are the steps that may be taken to preserve a nationality 
and the rights that can be claimed by aUens. So this question 
I will altogether pass by, as it is not necessary for our purpose 
to discuss it. 

We have now, I hope, reached a secure position, and can take 
for granted that the landowners have a valid claim to their lands, 
and are by no means to be restricted to what they can cultivate 
with their own hands. But the same train of reasoning that 
ought to make them secure in their rights, simultaneously 
fastens upon them their obligations. They can take the whole 
of the " unearned increment " as their own, with easy conscience 
and the law approving ; but then they are responsible for the 
moral and material welfare of all who work on their land, of all 
their servants and dependants, and more responsible the lower 
down in the social scale, the weaker and the poorer these are ; 
nor should their conscience or the law allow them to disregard 
this obligation. All these dependants have a claim to live a 
decent and secure life according to their station ; not in idleness 
and insolence, not as partners in the property, not as co-operators 
and co-proprietors, but in honest service, with a proper home 
and security against sickness and accident, and with a refuge in 
old age ; and the outlay (it need not be an extravagant outlay) 
for all this should be a first charge on the estate, no one else 
receiving one farthing's worth of the produce till all this has 
been secured. How this can be done — and it is no Utopian 
novelty — we will consider in due course. Here it is the place to 
make two very necessary explanations. First, when I speak of 
an obligation in conscience, I am not presuming to trespass on 
the domain of moral theology, still less to condemn any indivi- 
dual, but only to state the general and normal relations that 
should exist between landowners and their dependants. In the 
present diseased state of society, and after political economists 
have been leading rich and poor astray for a century with their 
false and immoral doctrines, there may be a hundred excuses and 
a hundred modifying circumstances in any particular case, and 
if the servants are to be independent of the master, we cannot 
expect the master not to be independent of the servants. Only, 
this unnatural separation and hostility, this casting-off of sub- 
mission and fidelity, of care and responsibility, is already a social 
calamity, and will lead us, unless we amend, to a social 

250 Whrt to do ivith the Landowners. 

The other point to be explained is this, that in speaking of 
rich landowners and their duties, I do not wish to restrict the 
term landowner to its legal sense, but to include under it all 
those of the richer classes who derive any of their revenue from 
land, and in particular mortgagees. Many a so-called lando^vner 
is really little more than a channel for conveying the proceeds of 
the estate to others who have claims on it, and there is an obvious 
unfairness in allotting all the duties and responsibilities to him, 
and all the profits and pleasures to them. No doubt it is im- 
possible, and perhaps not even desirable, to prevent every case of 
wealth being enjoyed without legal responsibility ; but this parti- 
cular abuse can be made much smaller. For the power of mort- 
gaging land can be very much and very beneficially restricted ; and 
if the Government is making a call on the rich, either for national 
defence or for giving the poorer classes a decent existence, or for 
any other great and urgent necessity, all should pay alike in 
proportion to their receipts, and the landowner who hands over 
three-fourths of his rents to mortgagees should only have to pay 
on the quarter he retains, and they should not escape paying (all 
contracts notwithstanding) on the three-quarters they receive. 

I have spoken of Government and how certain of the duties 
of landowners can be rightfully enforced by the law^ Let us 
endeavour to see what is the field for the interposition of Govern- 
ment, and whether we cannot get some true principle to guide 
us, instead of either avowedly having no principle at all and 
deciding each case according to our fancy, or else nominally 
adopting some unsound principle, and then running away from 
it, and escaping its pursuit by hiding in a forest of exceptions. 
All such unprincipled courses are to be avoided ; for if we follow 
them we shall be in imminent danger, either of being seized hold 
of by the Scylla of laisser-faire, which means the tyranny of the 
strong over the weak, or else we shall be sucked down by the 
Chary bdis of Socialism, which means the tyranny of the Govern- 
ment over all the members of the State ; whereas by taking the 
right course of Christian politics we can steer safely through this 
dangerous strait. Now, the end of the civil power or government 
is the true temporal welfare of all the members of the State, such 
welfare, namely, as is not a hindrance but a help to their eternal 
welfare. The State is not a voluntary association for a particular 
aim, and the Government its chairman and board of directors. 
On the contrary, the State is a necessary association for the 
proper fulfilment of man's destiny on earth, and aims at all good 
in the temporal order, and the Government derives its authority, 
and all its claim to our obedience, from God. Hence it is an 
error to limit the action of Government to particular functions, 
such as keeping the peace and preventing theft ; but it is an 

What to do with the Landowners. 251 

equal error to think that, because its end is all j?ood, it may do 
anything it thinks conducive to that end. For God, from whom 
it draws all its authority, has not given it a monopoly of rights ; 
on the contrary, He has given to man as an individual, to man 
as a member of the family, to man as a member of other asso- 
ciations, a number of rights which are as genuine and valid as 
those of the Government, and which the Government is bound 
to respect as springing from the same source as its own authority. 
But on no account let us imagine a constant state of antagonism 
between these private rights and the right and duty of Govern- 
ment to promote the general welfare. For precisely by making 
these private rights clear and determinate, and by giving them 
enforcement and security. Government is fulfilling its own end 
of promoting true temporal welfare ; indeed, so great a part of 
the task of Government is done when it has protected these 
rights, that the rest it can do for the public good can be looked 
on as supplementary, though indeed a very valuable supplement. 
It is possible, no doubt, and occasionally happens, that a real 
conflict arises between private rights and public welfare, and the 
duty of the Government to promote that welfare comes in conflict 
with the duty to protect those rights. In such cases a reasonable 
Government will weigh the particular circumstances, not sacrificing 
important private rights to slight or uncertain or partial public 
good, nor again allowing great and general good to be hindered 
by private rights of comparative unimportance. 

But let us again observe that such cases of conflict are excep- 
tional ; and since they are difficult to illustrate in a brief space 
without causing misapprehension, it will be better to pass them 
over and to explain a little more, and illustrate the ordinary and 
habitual duties of Government (sometimes miscalled the province 
of the State) before applying our principle to the landowners. 
The individual has a right to life and health. Hence the 
Government has the duty to determine and enforce that right, 
in general by punishing murder and assault, and in various 
other ways according to times and circumstances : for example, 
in countries liable to famine through failure of crops, compelling 
each district to keep a store of grain ; and in thickly peopled 
countries enforcing various precautions against the spread of 
infectious diseases. Again, every individual man or woman has 
a right to be protected against attacks on his or her moral 
integrity. Hence every Government is bound to prevent crimi- 
nal assaults and preserve public decency. In spite of some 
recent amendments, our law and its enforcement still falls shame- 
fully short of what it ought to do for our protection ; while in 
France there is scarcely a pretence of the Government fulfilling 
the elementary duty of suppressing filthy plays and publications. 

253 What to do ivith the Landoivnevs. 

Then, further, the family has various rights of the utmost 
importance, guarding its permanence and independence, binding 
together its members, and securing each in his proper position of 
superiority or subordination. Moreover, each small locality, as each 
village and town, is not to be held a mere administrative division, 
deriving all its rights from the Government, but as a body with 
rights of its own, and a certain autonomy which the Govern- 
ment is bound to respect. And then all private associations for 
all lawful ends, conducted in a lawful manner, can claim from 
Government such recognition and protection as is requisite for 
their proper working. Finally, we come to the duty of the 
Government to promote the public welfare by other means than 
by simply protecting the rights of the various members of the 
State. On this matter let me quote from the excellent work of 
the German Jesuit, Father Cathrein, on the office of the civil 
power : 

This direct promotion of public welfare by Government should be 
confined to such necessary or very useful goods, which the private 
activity of families is not sufficient to procure, or which by their 
nature require single direction ; for example, to avert floods, fires, 
and other similar disasters from the elements, to build bridges and 
other means of communication, hospitals, schools and similar institu- 
tions. The local authority is indeed naturally the first that should 
complete and give a helping hand to the family in these matters, and 
the central Government should only step in when the Avork is too 
much for the local authority."^ 

And in another place he marks the fitness of Government 
promoting learning and art by establishments that would be too 
much for private efforts, such as observatories, institutions for 
anatomy and physiology, natural history and other museums, 
great libraries and collections of works of art.f 

The foregoing illustrations will, I hope, make clear the manner 
in which Government is to fulfil its duties. No doubt in these 
matters, as in most questions of ethics, it is impossible to deter- 
mine every particular duty with exact precision ; and a certain 
vagueness, justifying differences of opinion, must prevail about 
the exact point where the Government exceeds or falls short of 
its duty. But it is poor reasoning to conclude that because 
everything is not clear the greater part cannot be clear ; we may 
differ on the exact time when daylight begins and ends, but this 
does not prevent us being perfectly agreed that it is daylight at 
nine in the morninir or at three in the afternoon. We are all 

* Die Aufgaben der Staatsgeivalt und Hire Grenzen. Freiburg in 
Breisgau, 1882. P. 93. t lUd. p. 123. 

What to do tuith- the Landowners, 253 

liable, indeed, to make mistakes in the application of our prin- 
ciples , but if only the principles are right, and we are constantly 
proclaiming them and referring to them, we cannot go far wrong. 
Thus, if we are always repeating that all authority is from God, 
and that individuals and ftimilies and bodies of men, united in 
associations or by the bond of neighbourhood, have natural 
rights which every Government is bound both to respect and to 
protect, we shall be in no danger of falling into State Socialism ; 
for State Socialism is but a form of Csesarism^ and the essence 
of Csesarism is to put man in God's place, to make the Govern- 
ment (they call it the Sovereign Power,, or the State) the source of 
all rights, and bound by no duties; while all natural rights are to 
be held a silly figment — indeed, a contradiction in terms. The 
followers of Christ and of Csesar may agree in many particular 
measures of government — we shall have a striking example pre- 
sently before us — but their agreement is accidental, for their first 
principles are irreconcilable antagonism. 

Let us return now to the landowners and the land, and inquire 
how, in this important department of State, the Government can 
fulfil its duty. But we are not yet in a position to answer the 
inquiry; for although we have examined in general the duties 
and position both of landowners and of Government, we cannot 
judge of particular measures till we are agreed on another ques- 
tion ; and the question is, whether it matters how a country is 
inhabited and cultivated, and if so, what is to be desired ? On 
this point, which is partly physical, partly moral, there is the 
same confused controversy as on the question of the ownership of 
land. We have idyllic pictures drawn of the happiness and 
virtue of rural life, and the happy peasantry where there are no 
landlords to oppress them ; and Utopian schemes are propounded 
of transplanting the crowded inhabitants of our cities into the 
country, and reforming them by the transplantation. On the 
other hand, we are shown dark and dreadful pictures of the 
squalid misery and moral depravity of peasant proprietors and 
cottiers, till we begin to wish for every land the largest possible 
farms and the fewest possible cultivators. Now, part of these 
contradictory pictures comes simply from wrong observation : 
people look for what they have preconceived, and cannot see any- 
thing else ; or they are struck by some good or bad feature that 
is in fact quite exceptional, and reason as though it was the rule. 
But these errors of observation account for only a little of the 
diversity of view ; there are deeper causes behind. For example, 
much of the extravagant praise of country life and extravagant 
expectation of the happy and virtuous life that would be led 
were England filled with small cultivators, is built on the false 
doctrine of man's natural goodness, and that the vice of towns is 

254j What to do luith the Landoiu 


forced and artificial. Against such a doctrine we can cite 
experience^ and point to those dismal poems of Crabbe, "The 
Village ^' and " The Parish Register '' ; or, if we are told that 
the English village a century ago was artificially corrupted by 
landlordism, then let us point to the French peasantry depicted 
by Balzac and Le Play. A kindred error is to imagine that the 
land can be repeopled and a virtuous peasantry formed out of a 
corrupt town population. Julius Csesar tried it, and others 
before him and after him ; but the attempt was vain, and we 
may adapt to our purpose an old quotation, and say : Nascitur 
non fit — agricola. Those bred in a town,]a modern large town 
in particular, and even those long accustomed to its life, though 
reared in the country, become unfit for a husbandman's life — 
unfit to a certain extent in their body, and still more in their 
mental and moral dispositions. The comparative silence, 
solitude, and darkness of the country; the slow speech and 
manners ; the monotonous plodding life, the early rising and 
early rest, all repel them, even the better among them ; while 
the vicious have an additional abhorrence of a place where evil 
pleasures are more difficult to get, and vice is less easy to hide. 
Quite another form of error and source of false conclusions is to 
be found among those who give us such black pictures of the 
physical misery of peasant proprietors, cottiers, and crofters. No 
doubt a good deal of ink is unconsciously employed to make them 
appear worse off than the English agricultural labourers. No 
doubt also the peasantry in much of Europe is now very wretched, 
notably in Hungary and Italy, because they have been for many 
years shockingly oppressed and plundered by an un-Christian 
middle class. But these explanations still leave a great deal of 
dark colouring, which cannot be explained as exaggerated or 
exceptional. And here the error appears. They reason as though 
it were not part of the nature of things that the bulk of the 
cultivators in any land under any system must altogether do 
without servants, and change their shirt not oftener than once a 
week. But it is so. The mass of men must be rude and 
squalid, alike whether they are living in virtue or vice, in con- 
tentment and security, or in misery and apprehension. And 
thus to object to any system of land tenure, that it does not allow 
the rural population, to take life easily, and appear washed and 
brushed in a best front parlour, is to make no valid objection at 
all. But because we are no dreamers, because we recognize that 
all wealth and refinement is of necessity the slender apex of a 
great pyramid of poverty and rudeness, because we call a spade 
a spade, and if a man is not washed we decline to tell him that 
he is: all this is no reason for falling into another error, and a. 
worse and more irremediable error than the cheerful delusion that 

What to do ivith the Landowners. 255 

every one can lead a pleasant and easy life. For the second 
error implies that our moral judgment is impaired. Now, the 
error is this ; namely, to judge wrongly of squalor and rudeness, 
making them evils of the first magnitude, and making a well- 
tended body and a cultivated mind essential to a decent and 
endurable existence. This is a pagan error, and so opposed to 
Christianity that our religion has been accused (quite falsely 
indeed, but still accused) of fostering ignorance and dirt. What 
Christianity has really taught is that squalor and rudeness are 
indeed evils, but comparatively mere trifles, that can co-exist with 
all the essential qualities of a good life ; that the weighty matters 
are that a man be an obedient son, a faithful husbandj a careful 
father, honest and charitable towards his neighbours, contented 
with his lot, and living in the fear and love of God, and that no 
amount of perfume and polish, of accomplishments and erudition 
will compensate for any deficiency in these essential qualities. 
Refinement is not an evil, but assuredly it is something very 
different from happiness or virtue. A word more indeed must 
be added for English readers. We must not judge of the 
necessary condition of the poorer classes from those we too often 
see around us, who are sunk in intellectual and moral degradation. 
By the word rude which I have used, I mean rough and uncouth, 
clumsy, ignorant, and unrefined. But rude in this sense does not 
mean coarse, and brutal, and intemperate, and insolent, and 
vulgar, and insensible to higher things, and ignorant of all higher 
literature. On the contrary, rustic rudeness can co-exist, and 
wherever Christianity has got the upper hand has co-existed, 
with much knowledge and appreciation of high things, exalted 
doctrines, heroic examples, beautiful liturgies and ceremonies ; 
and beneath a rough exterior there can be so much true courtesy 
and kindness that astonished travellers return and tell us they 
have found the ragged dwellers in hovels and huts behaving like 

Having cleared ourselves from some of the most common 
misapprehensions about country life and the poor, we are in a 
position to see the real state of the case, and what we really ought 
to wish. Now, the conclusion seems irresistible, that for every 
State it is much to be wished that the great bulk of its members 
should live in the country, and have some part in the cultivation 
of the soil ; both religion and patriotism are agreed on this point, 
and give on different grounds the same recommendation. For 
in the country the life of poverty, which from the nature of 
things the great bulk of mankind must lead, can be led in the 
manner most favourable to virtue and contentment, inasmuch as 
each family can be more separate and self-contained, the children 
reared in habits of industry and obedience, apart from the 

256 What to do ivith the Landoivners. 

contagion of vice, their work and their pleasures alike under 
parental control, and every youth and every girl as well as their 
elders being personally known, not lost as nameless units in a 
crowd, or able to do shameful things without being put to shame. 
Again, a country-bred population (with but a few exceptions) is 
physically stronger than a town-bred population ; though this 
truth is often obscured by the most vigorous of the country youths 
flocking by thousands into the towns, leaving the weaker behind, 
and giving an appearance of strength to the towns which rests 
on a delusion. But a wise statesman looks to the future, and 
asks what will be the physical strength of the children and 
grandchildren of these country youths— of the future generations 
reared in great cities or in those manufacturing districts which 
have the character of cities ; and he will answer that for per- 
manent health and vigour the bulk of the inhabitants ought to 
be country bred. No doubt, country populations can be degraded 
morally, like much of England and some of France ; or degraded 
physically, like the unhappy victims of oppression and 'pellagra 
in the plains of Lombardy ; but we must look at the rule and 
at probabilities, and not judge by exceptions. No doubt also 
the vice and misery of modern great cities is in part remediable, 
and not a necessary concomitant of every great city ; but this 
does not alter the general advantage of the country. No doubt, 
too, that a nation of mere agriculturists, with scarce any town 
population, is lacking in centres of learning and invention, art and 
literature, nor is any better physically or morally than if a certain 
proportion of its members were collected in towns. But the need of 
a certain number of townsfolk does not imply that the more you 
have the better ; for then, because bread and butter is a better 
meal than bread, butter by itself would be the best meal ; and it 
is precisely the aim of a wise statesman to preserve a proper 
balance between town and country, and not to suffer urban life 
to be stinted as in India, or overgrown as in England. On this 
aim, and on the particular measures for reaching it, an infidel State 
Socialist and a Christian politician may be agreed, only for 
different reasons : the one seeking for his country the maximum 
of physical vigour and military power ; the other seeking to fdl 
it with the maximum of virtuous lives.^ Nor need we, having 
such convincing reasons for preferring country life for the great 
bulk of our countrymen, be disturbed by the murmuring of effete 

* The advantages of a country life, over a town life, for the physical and 
national, and above all for the moral and religious welfare of a nation, 
have been well set forth, with especial regard to America, by Bishop 
Spalding in a previous number of this Review (Dublin Review, January 

What to do luith the Landowners. 257 

economists, who pester us about division of labour, and reason 
as though man was created in order to exchange, and that every- 
thing was the better for being bought and sold before you use it, 
and the best if carried from the furthest distance and passed 
through the greatest number of hands. It is enough to say that 
division of labour, like all other things, has its abuse as well as its 
use ; that trade and traffic are only contrivances to make up for 
our deficiencies, and the less we want them, the closer the produce 
is to the consumer, the greater the saving in cost ; that, further, 
with men as they are, the less buying and selling, the less the 
occasions of dissension and dishonesty ] that the dictum now 
quite common in the newspapers, " that small tenants and 
peasant proprietors, to succeed, must have something else than 
the land to depend upon,'^ is a tardy and imperfect recognition 
of the truth to which we have so long shut our ears, that 
the countryside should be filled with industry, and primarily 
with industry for home consumption, exempting the petty farmers 
from much buying, from many occasions of debt, from much hasty 
and untimely selling ; that each petty homestead should afford 
occupation at home to a numerous family : brewing, baking, 
keeping bees, poultry, pigs, goats, and often a couple of cows ; if 
not spinning or weaving, at least only buying materials, and 
making, and mending, and washing all clothes at home ; con- 
structing and repairing buildings, making and mending tools ; 
that besides these industries of independence there are many 
others, according to the district, which could be undertaken in order 
to sell the proceeds (such as knitting stockings or carving wood), 
and many local employments even now to be fulfilled, while the 
more the country is peopled the more are the opportunities (of 
course within certain limits, which I can leave to common sense) 
of supplementary employments. Hence each step forward in 
this great reform of giving the rural districts life once more will 
make the next step easier. 

If we are agreed on the foregoing principles of private property 
and national well-being, we ought to be able without much 
difficulty to answer the question of how Government should treat 
the owners, the tenants, and the cultivators of land. We may 
differ indeed about particular laws and customs, because it is 
difficult to acquire the accurate knowledge of local circumstances 
on which the right applications of our principles depends ; these 
circumstances vary in different times and countries ; one province, 
county, or district may be quite unlike another. But the 
principles are simple. The Government is there for the general 
good and for the protection of all rights. Hence to take away 
land from the rich and give to the poor, with the aim of equaliz- 
ing wealth, is plunder under the guise of philanthropy. Hence 

258 What to do with the Landoiuners. 

also to allow the rich to deal as they like with the tenants and culti- 
vators on their estates, without holding them responsible for the 
well-being of these serving classes, is oppression under the guise 
of liberty. No clamour about one man being as good as 
another shall make me withhold from the rich owners the entire 
surplus produce of the labour of the poor tenants or labourers ; 
but then no clamour about the rights of property shall make me 
allow that surplus to be reckoned for the landowner, till enough 
has been set aside for the decent (not luxurious and indolent, 
but frugal) life of the husbandmen. This is the first charge 
on every property ; let me add that just the same principle 
applies to all workmen in factories, on roads and railways, to 
all in shops and at sea, and that landowners are not the 
only people who have responsibilities. Hence neither rent nor 
interest, profit, dividend, or any kind of income is fair, if 
it encroaches on this first charge, and consequently does not 
leave enough to the dependants from whom it is drawn to 
live a decent life according to their station. Now, every Christian 
Government is bound to see as far as it can that this first charge 
is met; the method of enforcement indeed must vary according 
to times and circumstances, and may often, though not of 
necessity, take the shape of periodical assessments of fair wages 
(as formerly common in England), or of fair rents ; and such 
assessments require to be supported by laws against reckless 
borrowing and usurious lending, lest that necessary minimum 
of income, which you have secured against landlord and employer, 
be seized by the creditor. Another way to the same end is to 
make each landowner legally responsible for all who ever work on 
his property, and to repay to the local authority whatever it may 
have to spend for the widows and orphans, the imbecile, 
the sick, and the aged, who can be reckoned among his 
dependants. Or he may be directly called on to provide all with 
decent habitations, or show that they are so provided. And 
there are various other methods of enforcement. Only remember 
once more, that after that first charge has been met, all the rest 
belongs ^rima/acie to the landowner. To go on subtracting 
more and more from his income is not in harmony with what you 
have been doing before, but in contradiction ; you were doing 
justly in protecting the poor, now you are doing unjustly in 
plundering the rich. And remember also that the good Govern- 
ment which enforces one part of the duties of landowners, and 
hopes they will perform the other part, will put them as far as it 
can in a position to fulfil these duties. Now, all reason teaches 
us that a landed nobility, or gentry, or yeomanry that is sunk in 
debt, cannot fulfil the duties of their position ; and all history 
teaches us that the landowning classes have the money-lenders 

What to do ivith the Landowners. 259 

as their peculiar foes. Hence Government should come to their 
defence — for example, by narrowly restricting the powers of 
mortgage, or by prohibiting and punishing usury, or by 
holding all mortgagees and all who draw any income from the 
land co-responsible with the nominal landowner for the well-being 
of the cultivators, and unable to contract out of their responsi- 
bility ; or again, by adopting the Homestead Exemption Laws, 
so common in America, whereby house and home, and enough to 
live decently therein, are exempted from seizure for debt, and are 
preserved inalienably to the family on the death of the head till 
the youngest child is of full age. So Christian legislation by no 
means consists in doing everything for the tenants and nothing 
for the landlords. And the same can be said of the other duty 
of Government, one which obviously follows from the superiority, 
moral and physical, religious and national, of rural over urban 
life — the duty, namely, to keep or make the country well peopled, 
to avert the evil of rural depopulation. I will not discuss the 
various measures, preventive and remedial, of depopulation ; for 
the point I wish to mark is that in general such measures are not 
blows directed against the honour and power and wealth of the 
landed gentry, still less the seizure of their property and its 
deliverance to the poor. They are indeed blows against the 
enjoyment of riches without responsibility, against leading a life 
of ease without recognized duties, against drawing an income 
tvithout thought or care for those from whom it is drawn. It is 
less trouble, I grant, to deal with a few pastoral tenants and 
scanty herdsmen than with a crowd of farmers, cottiers, and 
agricultural labourers ; it is scarce possible to fulfil all the duties 
towards them without dwelling in their midst, or at least visiting 
them often. But then the end of life is not to save ourselves 
trouble ; and let us ask, whether, being dispensed from 
eating our bread hke the multitude in the sweat of our brow, the 
trouble, the care, and the responsibility of ownership, mastershipA 
and rule are not to be held as our manner of taking part in the 
common lot, and as the salt without which our riches would : 
turn to corruption. Is it not a nobler office, though it may be 
more trouble, to rule men than cattle, and instead of slumbering 
in luxurious solitude, to be honoured in a hundred homesteads and 
to have the love of a thousand hearts ? Surely we are agreed on 
these points ; and then as we know our own weakness, it is not 
reasonable for us to resent the salutary pressure of laws and 
customs that are a bridle to our passions, and a spur to our 
indolence, and a help to us to fulfil those duties of wealth and 
culture for which assuredly, however much the Civil Power may 
allow us to neglect them, a Higher Power will call us to account. 
And the time has now come when we ought to be more united on 
VOL. XVI. — NO. II. [Third Series.] t 

260 Longfellow. 

this matter of landowning, as indeed- on all social questions. 
Tliat we are apparently much at variance with one another is 
indeed natural, mingled as we are with an ill-principled or 
unprincipled crowd. We have been misled by our companions^ 
or by forgetting our principles have been confused by phenomena. 
For example, amid cultivated evolutionists we have learned to 
detect and deride the follies of land reformers — their ignorance of 
human nature, ignorance of rural life, their presumption, their 
flattery, their self-contradictions, and vain hopes, and impossible 
nostrums ; and we forget that our friends are no less in error. 
Or again, we witness the course of a Christian family compelled 
to leave the country for the town, and see with impotent horror 
how all their faith and morality yields to the surroundings, and 
gives place to licentiousness and blasphemy ; or we watch the 
dismal^ discontented, and evil life of an English country village; 
and in our indignation against the abuse of riches and power, 
forget that because this is wrong, it does not follow that revo- 
lution is a remedy or that Socialism is right. But it is time for 
us to be more reasonable, for social questions are urgent, and it 
has at last become plain that all social questions are religious and 
philosophical questions. So it is sadly to demean ourselves if we 
figure as the half-hearted followers of the gospel of Mr. Hyndman 
or the gospel of Mr. Herbert Spencer ; and is quite unnecessary. 
'Fox we have something better of our own. 

C. S. Devas. 



Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfelloiu. With Extracts from his 
Journals and Correspondence. Edited by Samuel Long- 
I'ELLOW. London : Kegan Paul, Trench, & Co. 1886. 

THE first printed verses of Longfellow appeared in a local 
paper when he was thirteen. The boy and his sister waited 
till their father had read the newspaper by the log fire, and then, 
with secret triumph, found that Henry's poem was actually 
printed. But that evening he went with his father to visit a 
neighbour, Judge Mellen, and the old judge happened to say : 
*^ Did you see the piece in to-day's paper ? Very stiff — remark- 
ably stiff! Moreover, it is all borrowed — every word of it.'' 
The poet of thirteen felt ready to sink through the floor ; but he 
got away as soon as he could, without betraying himself. He 


Longfellow, 261 

was not of a temperament easily diseoiiragecl, and he was crushed, 
but not extinguished, by his first critic. The career that fol- 
lowed has now been sketched by the poet's brother, with extracts 
from letters and journals enough to make it an autobiography. 
We find the sources of his poetry ; we are let by the alchemist 
himself into his laboratory to watch the secrets of making the 

The poetic side of his nature came from his mother, the de- 
scendant of John Alden and Priscilla Mullens, of the Mayfloiuer. 
His father, a hard-working barrister, and at one time a member 
of Congress, gave him industry and hospitality ; but his char- 
acter repeats his mother^s — her piety, her cheerfulness, with a 
gentle fortitude, goodness to the poor, hatred of war, and delight 
in the country, in music, and in poetry. Both the Wadsworths 
and Longfellows were originally from Yorkshire. 

His native town was Portland, in the State of Maine, New 
England. There, from the streets overarched with elms, he saw 
" the sheen of the far-surrounding seas," and became enamoured 
of " the pearly sea with its irresistible attraction.^' There, too, 
the ships of his verses were first seen : 

The black wharves and the slips. 
And the beauty and mystery of the ships 
And the magic of the sea, 

The forests of his fancy began in Deering's "Woods, " the breezy- 
dome of groves '^ seen from Portland. The stars, like the forests, 
had a fascination for him always. At his grandfather's, during 
the holidays, he saw the village smithy and the spinning-wheel 
— that wheel at which the shadowy Evangeline and Priscilla 
were to sit. Swimming and outdoor games were his pastimes ; 
but from violence and rough noise he shrank with almost physical 
drearl, like the young Mozart's fear of the blast of a trumpet. 
An impetuous and lively boy, eager at everything, his truthful 
blue eyes looked one square in the face. Happy he was by nature, 
but very sensitive. He gave up shooting expeditions with his 
elder brother, and came home liquid-eyed, because he had shot a 
redbreast — a fitting beginning for the poet who described the 
Birds of St. Francis : '^ God's poor who cannot wait," with their 
crimson hoods and cloaks of brown. As a boy, to use his mother's 
words, he was "remarkably solicitous always to do right." A 
college classmate says, " From his very nature it appeared easy 
for him to avoid the unworthy." Hence those guileless poems 
that become, to the children of the household, life-long friends. 
A hatred of injustice was another characteristic of his boyhood; 
afterwards, it took the form of his abhorrence of slavery. 

Writing to him at college, his mother says that she cannot 


262 Longfellow. 

think obscurity favourable to the sublime in poetry. " It may be 
so, but I am much better pleased with those pieces which touch 
the feelings and improve the heart, than with those which excite 
the imagination only, and raise perhaps an indistinct admiration.'" 
Consciously or not, his taste followed hers. 

At this time he was taking evening walks in the woods with 
his fellow-student, Nathaniel Hawthorne ; and both were noted 
for never taking a shot at the flocks of wild pigeons. In Port- 
land papers^ verses were appearing signed H. AV. L. 

Sorrow is for the sons of men 

And weeping for earth's daughters, 

said one effusion ; another lamented that spring was renewing 
the trees " but not my joys again.^^ No wonder that a corre- 
spondent wrote : ''With your poetry lam much amused; but that 
our cheerful and laughter-loving friend should write in strains of 
melancholy was an enigma to me.''^ It proves that Longfellow,, 
like the rest, did not soar to the summit ; in his youth he climbed 
by slow degrees to the expression of genuine feeling — to true- 

Three elements appear in his works — religion ; culture, includ- 
ing a wide knowledge of European literature ; and lastly, what, 
we may call the domestic element : he is the laureate of home- 
life. One sees in his career how naturally these three things — 
religion, culture, home affections— came to be the spirit of his-- 

His father, a staunch Unitarian, suggested that he should 
study for the ministry. He declined to enter the vineyard unless 
the vine would flourish more for his care ; in other words, he had 
too much earnestness to choose rehgion merely as a profession. 
To medical studies he had a positive aversion ; and as for law, he 
said he had no talent for argument. The father did not think 
anything of the " poetical productions ; '*' but the son's heart was 
set upon literature : " My whole soul burns most ardently for 

it Whatever I do study ought to be enga^red in with all 

my soul, for / ivill he eminent in something.'^ His present wish 
was to study " history and Italian, a taste that he kept through 
life. He had ^^a most voracious appetite for knowledge;^' and 
he had dreams of crossing the ocean to see France and Italy. 

Just in time, a new professorship of modern languages was 
founded and offered to him at Bowdoin College, and the student 
of nineteen was to spend three years in Europe as a preparation. 
Before the end of his travels, he spoke French and Spanish like 
English, read Portuguese easily, and, despite his brown hair, 
bright complexion, and blue eyes, he was mistaken for an Italian 
in Italy, " I assure you/' he wrote home to his sisters, " that 

Longfelloiv. 2G3 

by QwQYy language you learn a new world is opened before you." 
At twenty-two he entered upon his professorship, and two years 
after his marriage took place to Mary Storer Potter. It was 
happy, but brief. During his second European tour she died at 
Rotterdam, saying with her last breath, ^'I will be with you and 
watch over you." Of her he speaks as " the being beauteous " 
in " Footsteps of Angels/' a poem written during reveries of loneli- 
ness, and finished many years after. Strangely enough, the first 
time we hear of consolation, it is in a Catholic church. Three 
days after her death, he strayed into a church at DUsseldorf ; 
"and the solemn stillness at the elevation of the Host, the kneel- 
ing crowd, and the soft subduing hymn chanted to the music of 
the organ soothed and cheered him." The journey had been 
undertaken to perfect his German and the Northern languages 
before accepting a higher and more lucrative post, given to him 
by the retirement of Ticknor from the Chair of Modern Languages 
at Harvard University, Cambridge. The American Cambridge 
was then a village, with a square shaded with elms, whence the 
omnibus started for Boston. Longfellow's college duties there 
began in 1836. His residence was Craigie House, a spacious 
mansion, where, after Bunker's Hill, a regiment had found quarters, 
and where Washington had spent a winter during the War of 
Independence. Surrounded with blossoming fruit trees and luxu- 
riant gardens, and with a meadow and the river Charles seen in 
front beyond the elms and lilac hedge, it was to the poet "a 
paradise," and few poets have had such fortunate surroundings. 
But though the first professorship seemed made for him, and the 
second given for his advancement, it must not be forgotten that 
as a student he had earned the choice that fell upon him in the 
first case ; and, because he did far more than was asked of him at 
Bowdoin, Harvard College had been anxious to secure him. Again, 
after college work, if his poetry won the world's praise easily, 
praise or fame never made him careless. In a word, he earned 
liis success, and he kept his fame, not only by possessing a cul- 
tured and beautiful mind, but by being an ardent and persistent 

For the third time he crossed the Atlantic, in 1842, for the res- 
toration of his health. A fortnight in London was spent with 
Dickens, and one of his letters was dated " from Dickens' study, 
with the raven croaking in the garden." On his return to America 
he was married, in July, 1813, to Frances Elizabeth Appleton, 
the daughter of a Boston merchant. Gifted with tastes like his 
own, as well as beauty, wit, and abundant sympathy, she was the 
helpmate of his most fruitful years. She was eyes to the blind 
when he sufi'ered from bad sight ; in the garden under the lindens, 
or by the fireside, she read aloud every evening, and, sharing 

264 Longfelloiu. 

the pleasure of new books, he kept pace with modern literature 
told through her voice. Their life was busy with social pleasures 
and hospitality, and with the care of a circle of children — the 
" living poems '■* of the famous verse. He liked the seaside better 
than the country, because the idea of liberty was stronger there ; 
and their favourite summer resort was Nahant — " cold roast 
Boston," as his witty brother-in-law called it. The rest of the 
year he spent between Craigie House and the lecture-hall. When 
he walked down the street to the college he felt the difference 
between the prose world and his ideal world of poetry, and, as 
he said, the scaffoldings about the palace of song came rattling 
and clattering down. In his journal he wrote : 

It seems like folly to record the college days — the working in the 
crypts of life, the underground labour. Pardon me, O ye souls, who, 
seeing education only from afar, speak of it in such glowing words ! 
You see only the great pictures hanging in the light ; not the grinding 
of the paint and oil, nor the pulling of hair from the camel's back 
for the brushes. 

Sometimes his lectures were given with such a headache that 
he spoke of Metastasio or Goldoni as in a dream, till, after in- 
definite time, there was somewhere a bell, and he was free. 
Examination day he called "dies irce, dies ilia" — a proof that 
the unfortunate victims of the questions have not all the trouble 
on their side. Evidently he was a most kind Professor, glad to 
be consulted, and giving to the slow or perplexed student an hour 
of such inspiring talk as turned work henceforth into pleasure. 
But there was not time for lectures, and study, and poetry, with 
eyesight for but half the day. He himself notes with glee the 
story of a white man who complained that he had no time to do 
anything, and got his answer from an old Redskin : '^ Why, you 
have all the time there is, haven^t you ? " But with his bad 
eyesight, Longfellow had not all the time there was. The day 
had not space in it for the college, the study, the home circle, and 
the visits that began to be a heavy tax on his time; and he 
delivered his last lecture in 1854. 

From his professorship dated his best friendships — with Felton, 
^' heartiest of Grreek Professors," as Dickens called him ; with 
Charles Sumner, whom he at first knew lecturing in the law 
schools ; with Hillard, Sumner's legal partner, and Cleveland, 
another litterateur. They were all of about the same age, and 
at the beginning they were all more or less dabbling in literature. 
At first they made a group or club of five, and then, by a play 
upon the word, they were known as the Five of Clubs. Long- 
fellow's wife wrote of them : "They praise and criticize each 
other's performances with a frankness not to be surpassed, and 

Longfellow. 265 

seera to have attained that hajDpy height of faith where no mis- 
understanding, no jealousy, no reserve exists." Truly, a noble 

Beside a large circle whom he knew, he began to have un- 
known visitors. The first drop of the shower came in 1846 — 
two travellers from the English York ; and he noted in his diary 
that this visit to him as an author was to be looked upon as an 
honour. Little did he imagine the invading honours in store for 
him ! There was the youth with a carpet-bag, requesting five 
minutes and taking two hoijrs. There was the English poetess 
with long fair curls, who arrived in the twilight, manuscript in 
hand ; and the " weedy woman," who swept up to his family 
party out walking, and introduced herself as an admirer, and 
requested them to notice how very remarkable it was that she had 
met him. There was the young man from Michigan, who arrived 
after dinner, collecting money and books for a college, and said, 
" I don't mind if I take a cigar with you ; " and, after a pause, 
putting off his overcoat, " If my horse were hitched, I would sit 
down and have a talk with you." There was the exasperating 
seller of scent, who would give him a dollar's worth in return for 
a poem, recommending himself and the scent to the bounteous 
Jenny Lind ; and of course there was the young man who bor- 
rowed money to get home. Of his patience we may judge hy 
the journal : 

This afternoon a youth entered my study, and, throwing down 
with vehemence a red printed paper, exclaimed, " There, that's 
what I want to do ! " and then, without pause, dashing a pocket- 
book upon it, continued, "And that's why I can't do it — that empty 

purse ! " On the handbill, in large letters, was " G C will 

give a Select Reading," &c. He then began to recite Emerson ; then 
" The Building of the Ship," in fragments. In fine, he wanted funds 
to go on with his poetic readings, having an eye to the stage, with 
great plans of reform in the drama ! As I could not furnish the 
funds, his face changed; he rose, and shut the pocket-book, buttoned 
his coat across his breast, and said, " I don't want you to do it, unless 
you had rather do it than not ! But I thought, it it turned out well, 
this might be the beginning of a friendship between us." I calmed 
him a little ; he sat down again ; we talked of his plans ; and he 
stayed to tea. 

Then there was the Polish Count, who first smokes a cigar on 
the summer verandah — a droll figure with round face and blue 
glasses, slouched hat, loose clothes, and white buckskin shoes. 
He is a mysterious personage, who has written books on America, 
and lives in good society, with a large experience and empty 
pockets. The writer of the diary is " weak enough" to ask the 
Count to dinner — they dine early ; and he stays all the afternoon 

^QQ Longfelloiu. 

and till eleven at night, and leaves the family feeling as if a huge 
garden-roller had gone over them. Next morning before sunrise, 
when the hard-working Professor is breakfasting by candle-light, 
there is a ring at the door-bell and a letter signed " The Homeless 
G/^ Worse still, next morning again, and earlier, before the 
poet has even got down to breakfast, " il terribile Conte,^' just to 
know if his letter has been received. It does not concern money, 
which he refuses afterwards with " great delicacy of feeling," lest 
their relations of friendship might be changed. But the early 
hours were very precious to Longfellow, and if they were invaded, 
he thought, '' what will become of me ? " 

Sunday was always Sumner^s day; without him, as his host 
said, the pudding behaved like Macbeth's Amen ; but 

After dinner ^' il terribile Conte " came in, and the smokers turned 
my study into a village tavern, much £o my annoyance. The Count 
stayed till ten o'clock, and expatiated amply on the corruption of 
European society — like an old rake who has lost all faith in virtue. 

And next Sunday again ^' il terribile Conte '^ arrives ; but this 

very pleasant in his European chat. There was no violent discussion, 
so that the Count did not so often as usual clasp his round head with 
both hands, and say " Ouf ! " 

Finally, Longfellow makes a journey to town, and gets him an 
appointment with one of the Boston papers. The whole interlude 
of the terrible Count shows the courteous host and the patient 
friend. The income-tax returns are public property in America, 
and constant applications were made from men of all nationalities 
to the owner of Craigie House. Once on the piazza outside his 
windows he had met an Italian beggar with a printed petition. He 
regretted the impulsive refusal, and wrote in that day's journal a 
touching thought that is too often forgotten : ^' 1 have no doubt 
his story was false ; yet one thing was true — his poverty." 

The days became ^' worm-eaten with letters " — not from friends 
in whose correspondence he delighted, but from '' the perfect 
stranger, as he is fond of calling himself, who always wants you to 
turn his grindstone.''' Some enclosed manuscripts, others de- 
manded poems. One misguided young man requested an acrostic 
on a lady's name, and marked at the end of the note, " Send bill." 
To a little schoolgirl who asked for an original poem, he wrote a 
kind letter in his tenderness for children, and ^' tried to say No 
so softly that she would think it better than Yes." But he was 
obliged to leave half the letters unanswered ; and even if there 
were time, what could he have said to the people who wanted to 
know — from two different towns on the same day — who was 

Longfellow. 267 

Evangeline and what was the place of her birth, and to the very 
precise reader who could not rest until he knew, " Did the youth 
in ' Excelsior ' attain his purpose or die before he had crossed the 
pass ? " Seventy autographs were written, sealed, and directed 
in one day; in later years he wrote them in leisure moments, 
and applicants had to send envelopes ready directed, or it would 
have been impossible to satisfy all. 

He kept the door of his study always open, both, literally and 
figuratively, unlike his friend Hawthorne, who had above his 
house at Concord a tower, reached by a trap-door, upon which 
trap-door he set his chair when he wanted to write. It would be 
a mystery how Longfellow got through his work if we did not 
hear how early he began. At six o'clock on winter mornings 
he was awakened by the apparition of a tall Negro with a lantern. 
This was lor college duties, and he heartily disliked the reveilU 
and the breakfast by artificial light, with the red sun gleaming 
through the curtains. But at other times he rose still earlier by 
choice; often he saw the dawn like "an earth-surrounding hedge 
of roses •/' and pleasant to his eyes was the kindling of the early 
fire in the study. Let us follow him into that laboratory to 
watch his method of work. 

The short poems were inspirations of genuine emotion. The 
^' Psalm of Life" was written one morning on the back of a note 
of invitation, and kept long in manuscript as sacred for his own 
soul. It was printed as " What the Heart of the Young Man 
said to the Psalmist ; " and the psalmist was himself, whose 
heart was victorious over a mood of depression. It is well said 
that, if the ideas in this poem have become commonplace, it is the 
poem itself that has made them so. " Young men read it with 
delight," says his biographer; "their hearts were stirred by it as 
by a bugle summons. It roused them to a new sense of the 
meaning and worth of life." Thirty years after, a man '' high in 
the community for integrity and generosity '' declared he could 
never be grateful enough to his college teacher, who had read 
it for the class, because that day had been the inspiration of 
his life. 

The triinslating of the poem saved the reason of an unhappy 
father, an old man, whose son was a prisoner during the Franco- 
Prussian War : " I feel that my mind is saved," he said, " and 
that faith and hope have taken the place of despair ; I owe it 
all to Longfellow.'''' In another case it prevented suicide. 

Whatever may be said of fine distinctions between the poetic 
and the didactic, there can be no doubt of the power of those few 
verses. The " Psalm of Life " went all over the world. Among 
the poet's treasures was a Chinese translation of it on a fan. 

268 Longfellow. 

The origin of " Footsteps of Angels ^' lias been already told. 
The stanza. 

He, the young and strong, who cherished 
Noble longings for the strife, 

refers to the husband of one of his sisters, George W. Pierce, 
the dearest friend of his youth. After twenty years, he said 
one day he had never ceased to miss his dear friend from his life. 
^' The Bridge '''' was written long before the calamity that 
overshadowed his last years. The burden greater than he could 
Lear was probably his first grief at Rotterdam. The old wooden 
bridge was over the Charles, on the way to the port; and he 
never crossed without pausing there. In his diary he wrote of 
the long black rafters, the reflection of the stars like sparks of 
fire, the floating seaweed, and even of a better thought than that 
enshrined in the popular poem. After walking there with his wife 
in the early moonlight, he wrote : 

We leaned for awhile on the wooden rail, and enjoyed the silvery 
reflection on the sea, making sundry comparisons. Among other 
thoughts, we had this cheering one — that the whole sea was flashing 
with this heavenly light, though we saw it only in a single track; the 
dark waves are the dark providences of God ; luminous, though not 
to us ; and even to ourselves in another position. 

'^ Excelsior " — where he sets an image of all human aspiration 
in clear Alpine light — was suggested by seeing the heading of a 
newspaper bearing the seal of the State of New York, a shield 
with a rising sun and the motto " Excelsior."" It was pointed out 
that the refrain ought to be Excelsius ! or Ad excelsiora ! but 
the word he had first used seemed to be the sound the poem 
needed, and he explained that it might be part of the phrase : 
My goal is higher — " Scopus meus excelsior est ! '' The first 
draft of it had only four stanzas, written on the back of a letter 
from his friend Sumner; it was dated "Sept. 2S, 184j1, half- 
past three o'clock.^ 

*^The Arrow and the Song " flashed into his mind one Sunday 
while he stood waiting with his back to the fire before going to 
church. It was an improvisation, and " glanced on to the paper 
with arrowy speed.^' Other poems after their conception were 
worked out laJjoriously ; such was " The Occultation of Orion,'' 
begun with the fresh recollection of a view through a telescope, 
and, after despairing days, finished suddenly, the long-desired 
finale occurring to him as he came down from his dressing-room 
to dinner. Often he sketched out his ideas and afterwards put 
them bit by bit into verse. The most ordinary things gave 
inspiration : it was truly said of him, he translated life into 
music, and heard its echoes take the sound of fame. Like Gaspar 


Longfelloiv. 269 

Becerra, he snatched the brand from the hearth to carve from it 
a statue: 

That is best -which Ueth nearest, 
Shape from that thy work of art. 

''The Old Clock on the Stairs" was seen during the wedding 
journey after his second marriage ; and on the same tour, at 
Springfield Arsenal, the bride suggested how like an organ the 
musket-barrels looked, and what dismal music war would make. 
Tlie same weapons were very soon to raise in the American War 
"the loud lament and dismal miserere." The only love-song he 
ever wrote was the sonnet "To the Evening Star; '^ it was addressed 
to his wife, and he composed it one evening on the rustic seat 
under an apple-tree in his garden. Looking upon that garden 
from the house, he thought of the rapturous verses, " A Day of 
Sunshine." When such days came, he w-rote in his diary, " It 
is delicious to live,"" and ''Out, out into the free air, ye book- 
worms, revel in the sunshine, and thank God for the Spring ! " 
On another " perfect day " he needs must take a holiday, and 
goes to see a friend. Gratefully he rejoiced, with a beautiful 
thought, calling it a gift : 

O gift of God ! O perfect day : 
Whereon shall no man work, but play : 
Whereon it is enough for me 
Not to be doing, but to be. 

Blow winds ! and waft through all the rooms 
The fragrance of the cherry-blooms ! 
Blow winds ! and bend within my reach 
The fiery blossoms of the peach. 

O Life and Love ! O happy throng 
Of thoughts whose only speech is song ! 
O heart of man ! canst thou not be 
Blithe as the air is, and as free ? 

As his feelings were genuine, his impressions of travel were 
truly painted. Spain was the land of his predilection ; its cos- 
tumes, customs, scenery, were the pages of " Don Quixote " come 
to life ; and the Alhambra was a romance in stone and colour, 
upon which he could have gazed for ever. In his young ardour 
he had travelled through Spain, and, though he was three times 
in Europe afterwards, he would never touch that ground again 
lest the glow might fade from his remembrance. To write " The 
Spanish Student ■" was a labour of love, so easy that he himself 
wondered. " At present my soul is wrapped up in poetry,''' he 
wrote to a friend. " The scales fell from my eyes suddenly, and 
I beheld a beautiful landscape with figures, which I have trans- 

270 Longfellow, 

ferred to paper almost without an effort, and with a celerity of 
which I did not think myself capable." 
Take, again, his sonnet on Venice : 

White phantom city, whose untrodden streets 

Are rivers, and whose pavements are the shifting 
Shadows of palaces and strips of sky ; 
I wait to see thee vanish like the fleets 

Seen in mirage, or towers of cloud uplifting 
In air their unsubstantial masonry ; 

and compare this with his diary after approaching Venice from 
the lagoons by moonlight : 

There was something so like enchantment in the scene, that I almost 
expected to see it sink into the sea and disappear like an optical 
delusion or some magic city in the clouds. Indeed, all is so visionary 
and fairylike here, that one is almost afraid of setting foot upon the 
ground lest he should sink the city. 

The scenes in the Dutch picture where Simon Danz walks and 
smokes were also described from memory — the house by the 
Maas, with its weathercocks and roof of tiles, and its tulip 
garden, and 

The windmills on the outermost 
Verge of the landscape in the haze. 

Actual experience gave vivid colour also to the poems of 
Bruges and Nuremburg, where his historical knowledge was as 
rich as his poetic sympathy. " The Belfry of Bruges " was the first 
of his dissolving views — a style which has been copied widely, 
especially in America : for example, in Bryant^s " Song of the 
Sower; " his own " Keramos " is, perhaps, its perfection. 

His method of work with long poems, was a beginning in love 
with his subject, and afterwards careful labour with much study 
and fitful glows of enthusiasm. The chief name was chosen at 
the outset, mainly by its musical sound, and often altered after- 
wards. Evangeline was Gabrielle at first, and Celestine was also 
running in his mind. At least a line was to be added every day 
to his idyll of Acadie ; but, after all, it was sometimes untouched 
for a month. His friends doubted the success of English hexa- 
meters, and be turned a few couplets of the second part into 
rhyme — trying heroic metre. The shortening and rhyming sacri- 
ficed the beauty of ideas. 

As after showers a sudden gust again 

Upon the leaves shakes down the rattling rain, 

is a poor substitute for 

As when, after a storm, a gust of wind through the tree tops 
Shakes down the rattling rain in a crystal shower on the branches. 


Longfelloiu. 271 

At that time he could only use his eyes in the morning for 
reading or writing. Portions of "Evangeline " were written in 
the early clear daylight, while be stood at his desk in the window ; 
and these needed no copying. The rest was scrawled with a 
pencil, while he sat by the fire in a darkened room with a port- 
folio on his knee — a plan that he thoroughly enjoyed. The 
hospital, where the last scene was to be laid, was remembered 
from the time of bis first journey to Europe, when he filled up 
the delay of waiting for the New York packet-boat by a visit to 
Philadelphia, where he was shown through the Pennsjdvania 
Hospital. A panorama of the Mississippi w^as advertised, and 
he called it a special benediction, as the river was to flow through 
his story. He went to see the three miles of canvas, the *^ forest 
primeval,^' the cotton plantations by moonlight ; and the result 
was that transcript of scenery for which Americans welcomed 
the poem as well as for its tender human interest. It was 
finished on his fortieth birthday, February 27, 18i7. In correct- 
ing the proofs, he noted that " some of the lines want pounding. 
Nails are to be driven and clinched." 

Hearing of " Der Armer Heinrich " of Hartmann von der Aue, 
the tale seemed to him exquisite and the heroine as sweet as 
Imogen if he could but paint her. He would try. The result 
was **The Golden Legend ; ^"^ and the further result was that 
while writing it he noted in his diary, in November, 18il : 
" Thought of a long and elaborate poem by the holy name of 
Christus — the theme of which would be the aspects of Christen- 
dom in the Apostolic, Middle, and Modern Ages.''' The Legend 
was written between the end of 1839 and 1851 — a long span. 
But there was no hurry in his work, and often a few short poems 
and a scene of a long one were the fruits of a year — college 
duties, and visitors, chiefly strangers, made heavy demands upon 
his time ; and his anxiety always was to produce something of 
value rather than to produce much. There were hot summer 
days when the artist had him prisoner in the morning and the 
sculptor all the afternoon ; " and so," he lamented, " ' The Golden 
Legend * waits.-*' The first scene had been written in blank verse ; 
and, thinking his blank verse heavy, he ran it into rhyme. 
" Copied some parts of * The Golden Legend.' Oh ! for a pair of 
eyes to work with ! " This is one entry in the diary. And 
another, " In the evening wrote a passage on the Virgin in 
* The Golden Legend ' " — the famous verses of praise — and of 
all dates it was written on the 8th of September — an im- 
mortal birthday gift from one who had never been taught to 
honour her, but who had found her for himself with a brave 
reverence. As it was composed in the evening, it must have been 
part of the work pencilled without using the eyes. The whole 

272 Longfelloiu. 

poem was now to be but a part of something greater, that was 
still a secret dream. Lougfellow had a strong belief in keeping 
secret the plan of any great work. '^ Those plans we form," he 
said, '^are of so ethereal a nature that the moment we uncork 
them the flavour escapes." More than thirty years passed before 
the "Christus^^ appeared — "a loftier strain, the sublimer song 
whose broken melodies have for so many years breathed through 
my soul in the better hours of life."'-' It was in the order of 
subjects the first part of a great whole, but it was written last in 
order of time. The second part was " The Golden Legend " — 
Mediaeval Christianity ; the third part, the " New England 
Tragedies,^^ published in 1871. The three composed " The Divine 
Tragedy,''"' which appeared complete in 1873. In the " Christus " 
he reverently used only the Gospel words for the central figure, 
and worked up the incidents with poetic fancy, so as to present 
a few scenes from the public ministry of Our Lord in a sort of 
iofty dramatic form. It is the least known of Longfellow's more 
important works ; and yet it was the one that he had meditated 
upon most, tasting, as he said, the delight of the poetic vision, 
without the pain of putting it into words. Evidently his con- 
ception was very far above the " Christus " that he wrote in two 
months of his later years. 

Always, in his own judgment, the execution fell short of the 
conception. He felt " a cruel pang " whenever he opened a page 
of his own writing ; and his consolation was that " to be fully 
satisfied with what one has done is a bad prognostic of what one 
is going to do." In "Epimetheus,^^ the poet's after-thought, he 
arraigns his Sybil, his deceiver, lamenting that the beautiful 
dancing fancies that came to him unbidden, sunny and bewilder- 
ing, the moment he had grasped them looked haggard, cold, and 

But if he found them "fade and perish with the capture," he 
worked on undaunted. It made him miserable to find himself 
" building up life of solid blocks of idleness," even at the lazy 
seaside; and in times of sadness he counted it a distinct good to 
have no idle time to mope and grieve. It seemed to him sheer 
laziness for a poet not to write because he was not in the mood ; 
for, as he said, he could not tell whether he was in the mood or 
not unless he began, and the excuse meant reluctance to the 
manual task of writing, or to the mental labour of setting one^s 
thoughts in order. '^It must not be forgotten that the mind 
grows warm by exercise. Always try ! " Yet after '' The Golden 
Legend," as far back as 1853, there came a time when he turned 
back to "dear old Dante ''^ in despair of writing anything 
original. There had been helpless seasons, but none as hopeless 
as this, and he feared all faculty of song had gone out of him 

Longfellow. 273 

for ever. Yet often before he had *' found an unexpected passage 
through the adamantine wall." Every artist and every author, 
every one whose life is made up of intellectual effort^ must have 
come at some time to that sense of powerlessness ; and there are 
seasons when the only course is^ as Longfellow said, to " let the 
mind lie awhile in the rain and sunshine of heaven, un vexed by 
laborious ploughshare.''^ At last a happy idea came ; and the 
poet conceived the plan of joining together the old Indian myths, 
and he escaped '^ through the adamantine wall " with ^^ Hiawatha" 
— or " Manabozho," as it was at first, another name for the same 
legendary hero. A friendly critic thought it lacked human 
interest at the outset ; ^o did his wife ; " so does the author," he 
reflected ; ^' I must put a live beating heart into it." And then 
he brought in '^ Minnehaha, laughing water." Bayard Taylor 
wrote to him : " It will be parodied, perhaps ridiculed, in many 
quarters. But it will live after the Indian race has vanished 
from our continent, and there will be no parodies then." When 
it appeared in Boston, the Indian tribes were by no means a 
remote subject. Not long after, he noted some of the prose in 
his journal : — 

There is a grand display of Indians in Boston — Black Hawk and 
some dozen other bold fellows, all grease and red paint; war clubs, 
bears' teeth, and buffalo scalps in profusion ; hair cut close like a brush, 
and powdered with vermilion ; one cheek red, one black ; forehead 
striped with bright yellow, with a sprinkling of flour between the 
eyes — this will fit almost any of them. They are to have a pow-wow 
on the common to-morrow. 

" Hiawatha " was the subject passed through a poet's crucible, 
shining, with all the dross rejected, and the cruelties of history 
left aside. In two years, fifty thousand had sold, the greatest 
immediate sale of any of his works. The least sale was for 
^^Outre-Mer" — travels — and" Hyperion " and " Kavanagh," prose 
romances, which he himself liked intensely, though critics fell 
foul of them and the world forgets them. 

In early years he saved himself " the momentary pang arising 
from abuse " by never reading what was written against him. 
Later, he could afford to joke at his critics. Of one who 
quarrelled with " Hyperion," he pleasantly remarks, " What an 
unhappy disposition he must have to be so much annoyed." 
And in 1846, " Read an abusive article on my poems, by Mr. 
Simms the novelist. I consider this the most original and in- 
ventive of all his fictions." A fine example this last of the 
disparity between critic and author. It was well he was too 
strong to be wounded, for where is " Mr. Simms the novelist " 
now, when Longfellow is popular in both hemispheres ? 

274 Longfelloio. 

But if he was proof against the pricks of newspaper criticism, 
he was sensitive in an extreme degree to the influence of the 
weather and the seasons. Cold and heat, gloom and glow, in- 
fluenced him mentally as well as physically. Sunshine brought 
the thoughts whose only speech was song — poetic visions coming 
as sound comes out of silence, as the appearing stars, as the white 
sails in sight on the verge of the sea. But in hitter weather,. 
Lalf-crazed with pain from " the cold steel arrows of the east 
wind/' or shrouded with a cold '' like a monk with his hood/'' he 
cowered by the fire, wondering how the old Icelandic skalds could 
sing at all. Dismal days made him " prodigiously low-spirited,''' 
crushed as if he were one of the four dwarfs who in the Northern 
mythology upheld the dome of heaven on their stooped shoulders. 
Snow was beautiful, but inexpressibly sad ; he liked a clear winter 
with brown branches. But, of all seasons, autumn was his 
harvest-time, and he wrote the first date of October with — to 
use his favourite word — " infinite delight." The diary is full of 
poetry among the prose of life. 

Autumn has written his rubric on the leaves. The wind turn& 
them over and chants like a friar. 

The vines are red on the hedges and in the trees, and golden leaves 
gleam all over the landscape. But where are the golden fancies? . . . ► 

If I write no poems, yet I indulge in many fair poetic dreams. 
When the dull rainy November comes, I may put them into 

Welcome, O brown October ! like a monk with a drinking-horn, like 
a pilgrim in russet 

The leaves begin to turn, and the creeper is blood-red among the 
lilacs and the hedges 

Beautiful is now the harvest moon, set like a ruby in the horizon's- 

And what perfect descriptions of the wind are these: — 

In the evening we had a tremendous gale from the south. Broken 
branches from the old trees were flying about in all directions. Down 
came a dead tree crashing in the darkness. Blinds got loose, and 
banged about like mad. Anon, the wind lulled, and with one great 
expiring blast exhaled its soul. 

Again : 

A great wind to-day. Sat on the back piazza and heard it rave and 
roar. The trees seemed to turn their backs upon it and try to run ; 
but their roots were fast planted in the ground, and they struggled as 
in a kind of nightmare. 

The tides under the wooden bridge had a fascination for him, 
and his thought flowed into verses that were only entered in hi& 
journal^ beginning — 

O faithful indefatigable tides, 

That evermore upon God's errands go. 

Longfellow. 275 

He was full of the idea of Nature doing the bidding of God — 
" God sent his messenger the rain.'"' The sound of summer rain 
was a positive pleasure, and at night he lay awake making 
hexameters to describe its pouring on the roof. Bat of all things 
and of all times, the sunshine of the spring brought joy. " The 
whole country is a flower-garden/^ he wrote in exultation when 
his own grounds were clouded with pink and white peach and 
cherry bloom, " and all the birds are singing, singing, singing !" 
Common sounds had poetry for an echo in his mind. Who 
has ever found such an image as this for a prosaic fog-horn ? — 

A rainy day with mist on the sea, through which the steamer blows 
its horn like a Triton's conch. 

Or this for the noise of trains ? — 

I see the red dawn encircling the horizon, and hear the thundering 
railway-trains radiating in various directions from the city along 
their sounding bars, like the bass of some great anthem — our national 

Common things took in his record quaint, fantastic turns. 
A snow-storm after spring weather was winter coming back for 
his umbrella. *' Begone, old man, and wag not thy hoary head 
at me ! " He caught cold at the Opera : *' Some demon always 
holds a door open at such places." Thackeray, Ole Bull the 
Northern violinist, and others came to supper, but two guests 
failed him : their places were empty, and their plates looked on 
^'with hollow hungry eyes.'' One day he " went through the 
domestic offering of burning out the chimneys, a rather wild 
spectacle out of doors, and a roaring within as of pent-up bulls 
and lions." After which we may observe that he was no 
dreamer, but a practical man with a prose side to his life ; nor 
were his surroundings always the most ethereal. For a poet 
and a lover of music, it was hardly the best situation to be 
lodged, as he was at one time, with Beethoven Hall in front full 
of discordant musicians practising, '^ and in the rear a circus — 
the band placing ' Zip Coon ' and ' Clar' de Kitchen ' 1 " 

He relished a good story, such as the anecdote of the discus- 
sion in Congress, in 1796, when a red-hot member moved that 
the English language be abolished, and Sherman seconded the 
motion, with the amendment — " that we compel the English to 
learn Greek, and keep their language for ourselves.'' Ludicrous 
things, heard or read, were noted in his journal ; he picked out 
from an article in an American magazine the story of the lady 
playing an andante of Pleyel on the organ, and the Malagasi's 

VOL. xvj.— NO. II. [Third Series. \ u 

276 Longfelloiv. 

criticism, " Dat's a beautiful noise as ever I see ! " And it was 
he who discovered a miserable pun even in " Paradise Lost " : 

Nor could his eye not keu 
The empire of Negus to his utmost port. 

Many of Longfellow's pages are clearly the work of a mind 
with a charmingly delicate sense of humour; but his diary is 
absolutely alive with it. And yet the earnestness, in his poetry, 
his life, his daily notes, outbalances the lighter quality. His 
brother says that sympathy was the secret of his success. In 
his works and in his life he faced the realities of the struggling, 
aspiring, sorrowing world : 

O suffering, sad humanity, 
O ye afflicted ones who lie 
Steeped to the lips in misery ! 

His sympathy roused him to an interest in political life, 
though he began by having no more taste for politics than for 
newspaper advertisements. He was glad he was not a politician, 
*' nor filled with the rancor that politics engenders.^'' But the 
question of Slavery called from him a protest in a public cause. 
He thought out the anti-slavery poems during sleepless stormy 
nights crossing the ocean. It is difficult to realize now that 
their publication was a brave act, that brought down upon him 
a shower of arguments and of condemnation from intelligent 
and otherwise benevolent men. The burning question was not 
for him a mere discussion of events far off. He saw exhibited 
in a jeweller's window the iron collar of a slave, with a huge 
piece of iron to fill the mouth, and every drop of blood in his 
body quivered with rage. He saw at his house the fugitive of 
years before, with a disabled arm once broken by a blow. He 
heard the frequent news of fugitives captured in the city close 
by — heard of the failure of a forlorn attempt at rescue, and all 
the day was ^^sick and sorrowful with this infamous business/' 
His friend Sumner, who had now plunged into political life with 
a tremendous earnestness, became doubly dear to him for his 
championship of the black race. The slavery laws were to the 
poet a dead weight covering infinite evil : " Whenever you lift 
it, what reptiles crawl out from under it ! "'* He watched the 
A.merican War chiefly as an anti-slavery struggle ; but war in 
itself he abhorred. From one day's entry in his diary his whole 
view may be gathered. On the 1st of September, 1862 : 

Yesterday we had report of a great battle at Manasses, ending in 
defeat of the Rebels. The moon set red and lowering; and I thought 
in the night of the pale upturned faces of young men on the battle- 
field, and the agonies of the wounded, and my wretchedness was very 

Longfellow. 'Z77 

great. Every shell from tlie cannon's mouth bursts not only on the 
battlefield, but in far-away homes North or South, carrying dismay 
and death. What an infernal thing war is ! Woe to him by whom 
it cometh ! 
Compare this with his ballad, '' Killed at the Ford '■' : 

And I saw in a vision how far and fleet 

That fatal bullet went speeding forth, 

Till it reached a town in the distant North, 

Till it reached a house in a sunny street. 

Till it reached a heart that ceased to beat :- 

Without a murmur, without a cry. 

But tbough the diary illustrates his poetry and his opinions, 
he himself calls it a brief chronicle of his outward life, " and of 
my inner life not a word." The case would be different, he 
wrote, if he was sure the journal would never get into print, 
" but death picks the locks of all portfolios, and throws the con- 
tents into the street for the public to scramble for/^ One is 
glad to see the diary, thus written, laid open by no stranger, but 
only in chosen portions by his brother's hand ; and, if there are 
subjects of vital interest hardly touched, one is content to receive 
the few words of explanation which is added by the brother and 
editor. The question is naturally asked, What was Longfellow's 
religion ? while he showed such an attraction for Catholic ritual, 
such a sympathy with Catholic faith. The narrative tells us : — 

In the congregation of the First Parish of Portland, the moderate 
Calvinism of the old preachers .... had gradually passed into the 

early form of Unitarianism It was in the doctrine and the 

spirit of the early Unitarianism that Henry Longfellow was nurtured 
at church and at home, and there is no reason to suppose that he ever 
found these insufficient, or that he ever essentially departed from them. 
Of his genuine religious feeling his writings give ample testimony. 
His nature was at heart devout ; his ideas of life, of death, and of 
what lies beyond were essentially cheerful, hopeful, optimistic. He 
did not care to talk much on theological points, but he believed in the 
supremacy of good in the world and in the universe. 

The remaining shreds of Calvinism seem to have given him 
an impression of hardness, and Unitarianism and the other sects 
were to him human systems, for he knew no divinely appointed 
centre of truth. His words were, that men by their human 
systems had made it difficult for the wayfaring man to walk in 
the light and liberty of the Gospel, and that it seemed to him 
that religion ought to be a cheering and sociable companion, 
instead of a stern and chiding taskmaster. When he heard of a 
New York architect who, for reasons of conscience, had declined to 
make a design for a Unitarian church, he reflected that, if the 
man^s mind was full of the sublime idea of his profession, build- 


27S Longfellov:. 

ing temples for tlie Lord, it would be profanation to build for 
any but Christians, "and such he deems Unitarians not to be. 
There is the meanness and the narrowness of the matter, that 
his soul does not embrace all sects of Christians." His mind 
was religious, but not logical; and he failed to see the vital im- 
portance of truth in worship, or the unity that truth implies, or 
the infinite difference between the position of worshippers of 
Christ the Incarnate God, and believers in Christ as a merely 
human teacher divinely sent. He himself notes, one Sunday, 
*' a good sermon on the character of Christ, which is wonderful 
even if looked upon as a mere humati character — inspiring 
cheerfulness, encouragement, hope." The «'ords which he under- 
lined in his comment clearly imply that the sermon treated of 
a view not habitual to his own mind. His whole writings are 
full of what we may call a personal devotion to Jesus Christ and 
to His public ministry, with confiding faith in His reign in 
heaven. There is every evidence that " our dear Redeemer ^' 
was to his heart and mind infinitely above the Unitarian view of 
" a mere human character.'^ In the only poem relating to the 
chapel, he tells of the hay-scented wind turning the leaves of the 
hymn-book on the window-ledge, and the sunshine coming 
through the laths of the blind, making a dusty Jacobus ladder of 
light ; but these are externals that he might have seen in any 
room, and of the service the only words are, " long was the good 
man's sermon," and " long was the prayer he uttered." One 
cannot escape the impression that so religious-minded a man 
fled from the idea of doctrine because he had heard doctrines 
confused and unpalatable to the common needs of the lives of 
men ; and, judging from his own comments in brief and his 
poetry at length, it is plain that even if he " never essentially 
departed " from Unitarianism, the '^ system " did not satisfy his 
soul, and the whole current of his spiritual sympathies went 
beyond the Sunday service in the chapel. 

The ritual of the Church, all the accessories of her worship, 
are meant to touch the human senses, and through them to reach 
the heart and lift it heavenward. After all, a poet has always 
one of the most sensitive of human hearts; so it is no wonder 
that, even when he kneels as a stranger, he feels the mystic 
touch, the heavenward influence, of morning Sacrifice or evening 
Benediction. Longfellow always knelt — that is, he was too 
noble to scoff, and too well informed to mistake the meaning 
of Catholic services, too true to feign contempt, too earnest 
to gaze uninterested. He felt the influence; but alas ! only with 
a vague poetic appreciation, and with a life-long yearning after 
the glories of our faith and the beauty of our ritual. At first, 
during his travels in Spain, he forgot that, if the literature and 

Loiigfelloiu. 279 

the customs of countries must differ, far more must national ways 
in the externals of devotion; and he counted simple garish 
Spanish altars as ludicrous as " a small grocery store full of 
smgar hats and gingerbread images/' But he soon perceived 
that, no matter how the gaudy display might surprise his 
national taste, there was a reality of faith behind it such as no 
earnest man could ridicule. In the streets he had seen the 
passing of the Host to the sick, the crowd upon their knees with 
heads uncovered, the ringing bell, the approaching tapers and 

But the other night [he wrote in a letter home] I witnessed a 
spectacle far more imposing. I was at the Opera, and, in the midst of 
the scene, the tap of a drum at the door and the sound of the friar's bell 
announced the approach of the Host. In an instant the music ceased ; 
a hush ran through the house ; the actors on the stage in their brilliant 
dresses kneeled and bowed their heads ; and the whole audience turned 
towards the street, and threw themselves on their knees. It was a most 
singular spectacle ; the sudden silence, the immense kneeling crowd, the 
group upon the stage, and the decorations of the scene produced the 
most peculiar sensations in my mind. 

We have seen him, at Diisseldorf, years before, soothed and 
consoled by the Elevation scene, in his first sorrow. At the 
Church of the Escurial, he notes, " theefiect was most powerful." 
The facts are beyond question — that he was solemnly impressed 
whenever he witnessed the adoration of the Blessed Saprament, 
and that he reverenced, as natural, just, and ennobling, the 
Catholic devotion to the Blessed Virgin. 

Both subjects enriched his poems. Thus in the Sagas : 

Then over the waste of snows 

The noonday sun uprose 
Through the driving mists revealed, 

Like the lifting of the Host, 
By incense-clouds almost concealed. 

And, again, in one of the five magnificent sonnets on the '^Divina 
Commedia,'' viewed as a vast cathedral, the same idea makes the 
supreme climax : 

I lift mine eyes, and all the windows blaze 
With forms of saints and holy men who died, 
Here martyred, and hereafter glorified ; 

And the great Rose upon its leaves displays 

Christ's Triumph, and the angelic roundelays 
With splendour upon splendour multiplied; 
And Beatrice again at Dante's side 

No more rebukes, but smiles her words of praise. 

And then the organ sounds, and unseen choirs 
Sing the old Latin hymns of peace and love, 

280 Longfellow. 

And benedictions of the Holy Ghost ; 
And the melodious bells among the spires 

O'er all the housetops and through heaven above 
Proclaim the elevation of the Host ! 

Then in ^' The Golden Legend '■' he showed his reverence for 
Catholic devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and his clear under- 
standing of its spirit. First the familiar passage spoken by 
Prince Henry on entering Italy : 

" This is indeed the blessed Mary's land, 
Virgin and Mother of our dear Redeemer ! 
All hearts are touched and softened at her name ; 
Alike the bandit, with the bloody hand, 
The priest, the prince, the scholar, and the peasant, 
The man of deeds, the visionary dreamer, 
Pay homage to her as one ever present ! 
And even as children, who have much offended 
A too indulgent father, in great shame, 
Penitent, and yet not daring unattended 
To go into his presence, at the gate 
Speak with their sister, and confiding wait 
Till she goes in before and intercedes ; 
So men, repenting of their evil deeds, 
Offer to her their prayers and their confession, 
And she for them in heaven makes intercession. 
And if our Faith had given us nothing more 
Than this example of all womanhood, 
So mild, so merciful, so strong, so good. 
So patient, peaceful, loyal, loving, pure, 
This were enough to prove it higher and truer 
Than all the creeds the world had known before." 

Less often quoted is the outburst of gratitude by the peasant woman 
Ursula, in the midst of the news that her daughter still lives : 

/'Virgin, who lovest the poor and lowly, 
If the loud cry of a mother's heart 
Can ever ascend to where thou art. 
Into thy blessed hands and holy 
Receive my prayer of praise and thanksgiving ! 
Let the hands that bore our Saviour bear it 
Into the awful presence of God ; 
For thy feet with holiness are shod. 
And if thou bearest it, he will hear it. 
Our child who was dead, again is living ! " 

" I have been so long in Catholic countries,^^ lie wrote, '^ that 
the abuses in this religion have no effect upon me. Its principles 
are as pure as could be wished.'^ In estimating abuses he*seems 

Longfelloiv. 281 

to have forgotten to make allowance for nationality. He would 
not have expected the same literature and taste from the grandees 
of Castile and the brown Basque peasants as from the students 
of Boston or the society of New York — not the same externals of 
life in the glow of the Old-World South as in the colder culture 
of the North ; and in a religion, which is part of the very life of 
the people, one must expect customs and accessories with a 
national colouring. He was anxious that the meaning of his 
sympathy should not be mistaken ; and after the publication of 
*^ The Golden Legend/' when it seems some talk arose about him 
and his friend Sumner, he wrote to him that they were on the 
same road, and about as near getting to Rome as that guide-board 
in the Tyrol pointing the way there. 

His poetic leaning towards things Catholic was the cause of one 
of his earliest mistakes. Having read that Count Pulaski's 
banner was embroidered by the Moravian nuns of Bethlehem in 
Pennsylvania, at once he wrote the well-known verses, ignorant 
that the identical banner was far too small for either a cloak or a 
shroud, and that the Moravian Sisters, who lived partly by em- 
broidery, were not Catholic nuns, and had neither solemn 
functions of blessing, nor burning censers, nor dim mysterious 

Words were judged by their music to his ear. '^ Christe 
Eleison ! " sung by snow-white choirs was a fitting close for the 
music of the sea, when the very stars were listening. " Ave 
Maria Purissima ! '' was the right sound for the right thought 
where the watchman calls through the night in the love-scene of 
" The Spanish Student.'' But his poetic sympathy and his fancy 
for Catholic words and ideas had a basis of deep reading and of 
observation that saved him from error ; he was never superficial 
— never wrote of the Church as those artists paint who imagine 
that a nun consists of black and white and a pale face with coldly 
clear eyes. Some false notes he touched, but in his earnest 
writing very few. No Catholic reverses the names, like the Black 
Robe of " Evangeline," " and tells them of Mary and Jesus ; " the 
habitual order has a meaning beyond mere chance. Nor would 
any Catholic in any country say, like the Spanish Student, "the 
cross she prayed to ere shefell asleep," In "TheLegend Beautiful" 
there is a slight flaw to prevent it from being one entire and 
perfect chrysolite. All the thought of the poem is supposed to be 
in harmony with the mind of the monk who sees the vision of his 
Lord, but when the bread and wine doled out at the gate tasted 
that day like a sacrament, there is an image from Protestantism, 
a momentary discord. 

"Evangeline" and "The Golden Legend" abound with imagery 

282 Longfellow. 

from Catholic life; and the successful throwing in of this side- 
light is more remarkable than the direct description : 

The bell from its turret 
Sprinkled with holy sounds the air as the priest with his hyssop 
Sprinkles the congregation, and scatters blessings upon them. 

And even more striking than the abundant imagery is the heart- 
felt sympathy that gives a clear understanding of the Catholic 
spirit. There is a wonderful instinctive knowledge in his 
description of Evangeline's after-glow of serenity : 

But a celestial brightness — a more ethereal beauty — 
Shone on her face and encircled her form when, after confession, 
Homeward serenely she walked with God's benediction upon her. 
When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music. 

And the practical use of the crucifix appears in the scene of 
the tumult in the church, written at a time when even the cross 
was far less familiar to the outside world than it is now : 

Lo ! where the crucified Christ from his cross is gazing upon you ! 
See ! in those sorrowful eyes, what meekness and holy compassion ! 
Hark ! how those lips still repeat the prayer, ^* O Father, forgive them ! " 
Let us repeat that prayer in the hour when the wicked assail us, 
Let us repeat it now, and say, " O Father, forgive them ! " 

The sketches of Catholic missionaries are sympathetic, both in 
'^ Evangeline '' and " Hiawatha.''^ None but an unprejudiced and 
reverent mind could have imagined the closing scenes of the 
Indian epic : peace and hope give to its end a kind of sunset 
splendour before the hero of his people disappears into the purple 
twilight j and the peace and hope in which he leaves them are the 
gift of 

The Black Robe chief, the Pale Face 

With the cross upon his bosom. 

It reminds us of an entry in the poet's diary — a glimpse of " the 
scaffoldings round about the palace of song '' : " Looked into Kip's 
early Jesuit Missions in North America — a curious and very 
interesting book.'' 

Thus it is not the description of Catholic scenes which is remark- 
able, but their sympathetic and instinctively right description. In 
" The Golden Legend " there was a tendency to exaggerate what 
we may call a grotesque view; just as, in describing a foreign 
carved oak pulpit, he might have had a weakness for making too 
much comment on the intrusion of monsters and goblin-demons 

" I have endeavoured to show in it, among other things,"" he 
wrote, *^ that through the darkness and corruption of the Middle 

Longfellow. 283 

Ages ran a bright deep stream of Faith, strong enough for all 
the exigencies of life and death." He looked upon the life of 
the Middle Ages very much as he looked upon a great Gothic 
church. When he entered a Gothic cathedral, his feelings were 
so delighted, so ennobled and lost in admiration, so intricate, 
and so grotesque withal, that he never found words to describe 
them ; they were like an inner reflection of the building itself. 
Strasbourg cathedral enriches ^'The Golden Legend" with its rose- 
window, " the" perfect flower of Gothic loveliness, its Pillar of the 
Angels, and its vastness where generations built their very hearts 
into the sculptured stones; " and he had the same admiration for 
the Faith of the " days gone by, that knew no doubt and feared 
no mystery." But as the quaintly grotesque in Gothic ornament 
strikes us with surprise, being the part we in our times least 
understand, so did the eccentricities and the occasional abuses 
in religion strike him with surprise and become sketched in his 
picture, not as a minor part, as they really were, but as objects 
of too great prominence. After all, it was not upon the carven 
monsters that the people gazed ; but upon their angel pillars, 
the evangelists above, and *' the blessed Christ." 

The poem contains whole passages that win surprise and 
gratitude, as if a stranger showed us the likeness of a familiar 
face. Such is all the flrst part of Elsie's prayer, through the 
sufferings of her Redeemer and Lord, and through " those 
bleeding wounds" upon His hands and side; and the priest's 
night thoughts in the darkening church ; tlie legend of the 
monk Felix and the happiness of heaven ; and of the Sultan's 
daughter and the Master of the Flowers. The unrhymed short 
lines of the last are exquisitely pathetic : 

" Love, how red thy heart is, 
And thy hands are full of roses ! " 
" For thy sake," answered he, 
" For thy sake is my heart so red, 
For thee I bring these roses ! 
I gathered them at the cross 
Whereon 1 died for thee." 

And the sultan's daughter 
Followed him to Paradise. 

Elsewhere he illustrates from the history of St. Cecilia and of 
St. Dorothea. He makes Prince Henry know the legend of the 
lily, quoted by St. Liguori ; the Prince exclaims to Elsie ; 

" pure in heart ! from thy sweet dust shall grow 
Lilies upon whose petals shall be written 
' Ave Maria ! ' in characters of gold ! " 

284 Longfelloiu, 

And St. John Nepomucen of the German bridges is well known 
to him ; Prince Henry at the castle balustrade stands 

Like St. John Nepomuck in stone 
Looking down upon a stream. 

He understands the peace of monastic life, and sees that the 
"peace of God that passeth understanding reigns in these 
cloisters and these corridors." He appreciates conventual life ; 
after her passionate tale of a former time, the nun tells of a love 
turned to higher things in the security of the present. 

*^ In this sacred and calm retreat 
We are all well and safely shielded 
From winds that blow and waves that beat, 
From the cold and rain, and blighting heat, 
To which the strongest hearts have yielded." 

And there, as the poem says, like " the virgins seven '' — no 
doubt the five were meant — they wait for the bridegroom with 
their hearts as lamps for ever burning. 

Humility, the one virtue unpraised by the poets, is not for- 
gotten by him — the " self-forgetfulness of lowliness.^' "The 
Legend of the Monk Felix,^' "The Tale of Count Robert of 
Sicily," and " The Saga of King Olaf ^■' are all in praise of it. 
There is the true ring in his voice, too, when he speaks of pain ; 
he sees its mystery from the Christian point of view : 

Faith alone can interpret life, and the heart that aches and bleeds 

with the stigma 
Of pain alone bears the likeness of Christ, and can comprehend its 

dark enigma. 

And again : 

But now our souls are more subdued ; 
The hand of God, and not in vain, 
Has touched us with the fire of pain. 

Where other poets make capital out of revolt and lamentation, 
he only sees the divine meaning. 

Then, in "The Golden Legend," one difference between the 
priest and the demon confessor is really worth remark. The 
devil enters scoffing at everything in his own way : 

" Here stands the holy water stoup ! 
Holy water it may be to many. 
But to me the veriest liquor Gehennae, 
It smells like a filthy fast-day soup ! " 

And then he proceeds to the carved confessional, where he 
absolves Prince Henry from the sins he is about to commit : 


Longfellow, 285 

"Ay! and from whatsoever sin 
Lieth around it and within, 
From all crimes in which it may involve thee, 
I now release thee and absolve thee.'' 

Ill some quarters it was an old-fashioned mistake to talk of 
Catholic absolutions and indulgences as a permission for evil yet 
to come. This is precisely what Longfellow makes Lucifer do in 
'^ The Golden Legend.-" The priest absolves the sinner departing 
— " a new and better life begin ; '' but the demon masquerading 
adopts the plan which the ignorant believe to be the meaning of 
absolution or indulgence. 

Some of Lucifer's observations are very shrewd. Flying over 
the city at night, he rejoices in the reproach : 

" I have more martyrs in your walls 
Than God has, and they cannot sleep." 

And again, in a very diflPerent scene, where he in his disguise 
does not relish the story of " St. Dunstan of old " : 

" Ha ! ha ! that story is very clever — 
But has no foundation whatever." 

Monastic subjects had an attraction for the poet. In " Mid- 
night Mass for the Dying Year/' the hooded clouds, like friars, 
tell their beads in drops of rain. The whole of that poem is 
deeply religious in its own weird wild way. He had been seeing 
'^ King Lear ■''' acted in Boston, and his thoughts of prayer for the 
dying mingled with the idea of the despised old king out in the 
tempest. The end of the year, the falling of the leaves, reminds 
him of a more awful ending : 

Howl ! howl ! and from the forest 

Sweep the red leaves away, 
Would the sins which thou abhorrest 

O soul ! could thus decay 
And be swept away ! 

For there shall come a mightier blast, 

There shall be a darker day, 
And the stars from heaven down cast 
Like red leaves be swept away ! 
Kyrie eleison ! 
Christe ele\?rr. ! 

This brings us to his confidence in immortality beyond all death 
and decay. "Where the modern minor poets, and some of the 
greater ones, are morbid with doubt, he is alive with strong 
faith in God and in His promises. To take his own words, death 
meant transition, a beginning, not an end ; gratitude is due to 

5^86 Longfellow. 

him for fillinp^ popular verses with that truth, and more praise 
than if he bad been tlie master of all music, tbe sweetest of all 
singers. " Footsteps of Angels " is tbe longing of a soul in tbis 
world for communion with those gone before ; the transition has 
broken for tbem no tie of kindred^ nor, in a world where all they 
were here is but perfected, bas it cbanged the love that was part 
of their individual selves. They will not grieve for us till we join 
them; but bow could they cease to love us without ceasing to be 
themselves ? 

It were a double grief, if the departed 
Being released from earth should still retain 

A sense of earthly pain ; 
It were a double grief, if the true-hearted 
Who loved us here should on the further shore 
Remember us no more. 

And, in a corresponding way, he could not help thinking that bis 
remembrance of his dead child would reach her where she lived, 
thus keeping the bond of nature unbroken. In all tbis he is 
writing in the spirit of the Church ; and one does not wonder 
that he honours the Mother of Our Redeemer, when " the bond 
which nature gives," the tie of kindred, and the affections of the 
heart were to his mind formed on earth to endure for ever. 

The religious spirit of his work has two other great charac- 
teristics beside faith in immortality. There is always the sug- 
gestion of rising b}^ effort and aspiration — rising after fall and 
failure. Adelaide Proctor's catholic thought would have been 
after his own heart : ^* We always may be what we might have 
been." He is the Laureate's singer of hope : 

I held it truth with him who sings 
To one clear harp in divers tones 
That men may rise on stepping-stones 

Of their dead selves to higher things. 

And the third cbaracteri.^tic of tbe reli^i^ious side of his writino^s 
is faith in Providence. We have read his own secret thoughts 
on the bridije when tbe brio^bt track on the water reminded 
him that every wave of the sea and every hour of life would 
he radiant and sparkling if one could view it from the right 
point; even ^^ the dark waves — tbe dark providences " would be 
bright seen from elsewhere. Noble words and beautiful imagery 
filled his mind when he wrote of the possibility of trial and the 
certainty of divine care : 

All is of God ! If he but wave his hand, 

The mists collect, the rain falls thick and loud, 

Till with a smile of light on sea and land 

Lo ! he looks back from the departing cloud. 

Longfellow. 287 

III the sonnet called ^^ To-morrow ■" he has too much confidence 
to question anxiously. The nij^ht advances with chiming hours 
towards sounds of morning, and '' through the opening door that 
time unlocks " he feels the fresh breath of another day, a mys- 
terious unknown guest : 

And I make answer : " I am satisfied." 
I dare not ask : I know not what is best, 
God hath already said what shall betide. 

He had evidently a habit of looking at life in a supernatural 
light, and he took the highest vievv^ of a poet's work even when 
it was in parts gay and trivial. 

God sent his singers upon earth 

With songs of sadness and of mirth, 
That they might touch the hearts of men 

And bring them back to heaven again. 

We must now take a glance at the other side of the religion 
that is in his poetry. Puritan life is somewhat too cold for him ; 
he makes Priscilla a winsome and worthy little maiden, but " the 
hundredth psalm ^' is too heavy for her lips, and "the excellent 
elder of Plymouth" is a stiff companion portrait. In fact, the 
poet never seems to warm into his subject for long together ; it is 
uncongenial air, and his fancy tries in vain to enrich a background. 
** The Courtship of Miles Standish '' was meant, perhaps, to coun- 
terbalance the Catholic effect of " Evangeline ; '' and as a Puritan 
story it is perfect in its way, only a Puritan story was not the 
poet's own way. The loveliness most touching of '' The Legend 
Beautiful ^^ was placed among the '^ Tales of a W^ayside Inn" to 
balance off the grim story of Torquemada. So we may conclude 
that the poems in monologue called " Martin Luther " and " St. 
John " were a little weight thrown into the scales against the 
impression of a Catholic leaning in " The Golden Legend.'^ Com- 
pared to the countless passages in sympathy with us, the few 
pages with an opposite tendency are quite insignificant. It 
sounds even unnatural in Longfellow's verse, somewhat rough 
and forced, when Martin Lather says hard things of Pope and 
priest, and of convent life ; in Longfellow's own mind convents 
were places of peace and heavenward desires, priests were devoted 
men, and monks were mildly looked upon as obsolete perhaps, 
but picturesque. '^Martin Luther" deals with the conflict 
against mediaeval ideas ; " St. John " is made to deny the necessity 
of truth — even in the worship of the God of Truth. There is 
almost a condemnation of doctrinal religion. W^e are coming here 
to the poet's own views, perplexed, no doubt, by the contradiction 
of pulpits outside Catholic unity. 

288 Longfellovj. 

The clashing of creeds and the strife 
Of the many beliefs that in vain 
Perplex man's heart and brain. 

Poor sad Humanity, 
Through all the dust and the heat, 
Turns back with bleeding feet 
By the weary road it came, 
Unto the simple thought .... 
Not he that repeateth the name. 
But he that doeth the will. 

The Theologian in the " Tales of a Wayside Inn " is made to 
expand the idea further. He gives thanks that the reign of 
violence is ended — '^the war and waste of clashing creeds'' : 

*' I stand without here in the porch, « 

I hear the bell's melodious din, 

I hear the organ peal within, 

I hear the prayer, with words that scorch 

Like sparks from an inverted torch, 

I hear the sermon upon sin, 

With threatenings of the last account. 

And all, translated in the air, 

Eeach me but as our dear Lord's prayer 

And as the Sermon on the Mount. 
• • • > • • 
*' I know that yonder Pharisee 

Thanks God that he is not as me ; 

In my humihation dressed, 

I only stand and beat my breast. 

And pray for human charity. 

"Not to one church alone but seven 
The voice prophetic spake from heaven ; 
And unto each the promise came 
Diversified, but still the same ; 
To him that evercometh are 
The new name written on the stone. 
The raiment white, the crown, the throne. 
And I will give him the Morning Star ! " 

This is the best possible description of the poet's quiet-minded 
but illogical creed. It is complete, if we add to it a personal ] 

devotion to Our Lord in His public ministry. This last is summed 
up in the " Christus." The third part of '' The Divine Tragedy " 
was the " New England Tragedies/' concerning the persecution 
of Quakers in seventeenth-century Boston, and the old laws 
against witchcraft — an inadequate conclusion for ^' The Golden j 

Legend " and the '' Christus ; " the author himself was never i 

Longfellow. 281) 

content with his third part. Of the "Christus^^ there is at 
least one scene which deserves to be better known, and that is the 
wonderful scene describing Mary Magdalen. She sits '^com- 
panionless, unsatisfied, forlorn''' in the tower of Magdala, 
looking upon " the hills that swoon with heat," and seeing her past 
life pass before her as in a vision. Yesterday One landing from 
the boat, and followed by the people, had raised His eyes towards 
her window, and the look of mercy made her past life hideous, 
and she recoils from the possibility of an eternity continuing her 
sinful pleasures, lost among the lost, their slave in decrepitude and 
repulsiveness. What if this were to be her lot "hereafter, in the 
long hereafter " ? 

" I look upon this raiment that I wear, 
These silks and these embroideries, and they seem 
Only as cerements wrapped about my limbs ! 
I look upon these rings thick set with pearls 
And emerald and amethyst and jasper, 
And they are burning coals upon my flesh." 

Again, this morning, she has seen the Figure in white with wind- 
tossed garments walking on the lake. She has heard Him say, 
" It is I — fear not ! '' and to one of His own followers, " O thou 
of little faith, why didst thou doubt ? '' Sick of the past, she 
has seen hope in Him, and impetuously comes the resolve : 

''01 must follow him, 
And be with him for ever ! 

" Thou box of alabaster in whose walls 
The souls of flowers lie pent, the precious balm 
And spikenard of Arabian farms, the spirits 
Of aromatic herbs, ethereal natures 
Nursed by the sun and dew, not all unworthy 
To bathe his consecrated feet, whose step 
Makes every threshold holy that he crosses, 
Let us go forth upon our pilgrimage, 
Thou and I only ! Let us search for him 
Until we find him, and pour out our souls 
Before his feet, till all that's left of us 
Shall be the broken caskets that once held us." 

If the whole of the *' Christus '' had been equal to this magnificent 
passage, it would be to poetry what the paintings of the great 
masters are to Christian art ; but with few exceptions it fell 
short of the author's conception and of the reader's ideal. It was 
a late work, written in the aftermath, when his long life had 
already given its best. 

Besides the religious element, which has done much for the 
popularity of Longfellow's poetry, there is also a domestic 

290 Longfelloiv. 

element, which did still more. His religion appealed to one 
large class^ his culture to another ; but as the singer of home 
affections and the poet of the children he appealed to all the 
world. His own children were the beginning of his interest in 
all others, and his diary shows unconsciously what a tender 
father he was, and how he entered into the " beautiful world " of 
their fancy, sharing alike the making of the snow-house with tlie 
boys or the keeping of the doll's birthday with the girls, and 
laying open his house and garden and hay-field for merry- 
makings with the children of others. They had Maypoles and 
Christmas trees, and played at correspondence in Liliput letters 
exchanged between night and morning, with some little sleeper's 
pillow for a post-office. " Come to me_, O ye children/' tells his 
joy in their caresses when he was tired with work ; and a visitor 
to Craigie House says no description of his study would be com- 
plete without the children coming in now and again to put an 
arm round their father's neck and whisper a coaxing question. 
If one of them was ill, he could not give his mind to anything 
else J and the poem " Resignation " was written out of his own 
heart in moments of '* inappeasable longing '' after the death of 
his first daughter as a little child. 

The mother of these children was the companion of his 
happiest years, and with personal beauty she possessed the greater 
treasures of a beautiful mind and soul. In 1861 there was a 
break in his journal. The great sorrow had fallen suddenly, and 
the wonder was, as he said afterwards, not that his own life was 
shattered, but that in any way he was able to live on, having 
seen what he had seen. On the 9th of July his wife was 
sealing up small packages of her children's curls, when a fallen 
match set fire to her summer dress ; the shock was too great, 
and she died next morning. Her face, untouched by the flames, 
was crowned with a white wreath, for she had died on their 
marriage anniversary; her husband was unable to go to the 
grave, so badly was he burnt in his struggle to save her; she 
had literally perished by fire in his arms. 

Even after months he was hardly able to speak of it, except to 
say, '* God's Will be done ! " To a friend who hoped he would 
be able to bear such a cross, he answered, " Bear the cross, yes ; 
but what if one is stretched on it ? " The very brightness of 
summer was melancholy now like the brightnessof empty rooms. 
In letters, if he dared to speak of himself, it was only as *' wretched 
and overwhelmed — outwardly calm, but inwardly bleeding to 
death Perhaps some day God will give me peace." 

Eighteen years after, looking over a book of Western American 
scenery, he was struck by a picture of a rounded rocky height 
where furrows filled with snow made distinctly a vast cross spread 

Longfellow, 291 

in immensity, clear and white, on the side of the dark mountain. 
At night, watching the picture of the lost face in the lamp-light 
on the wall, he wrote a sonnet, dated July 10, 1879. It was laid 
by in his portfolio ; as his brother says, death has removed the 
seal of secrecy now. 

The Cross of Snow. 
In the long sleepless watches of the night, 
A gentle face — the face of one long dead — 
Looks at me from the wall, where round its head 
The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light. 
Here in this room she died ; and soul more white 
Never through martyrdom of fire was led 
To its repose ; nor can in books be read 
The legend of a life more benedight. 
There is a mountain in the distant West, 
That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines 
Displays a cross of snow upon its side. 
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast 

These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes 
And seasons, changeless since the day she died. 

To turn back through that long lapse of time — w^e find that in 
his crushing sorrow, next to the thought of God's Will and His 
Providence, his best resource was in his children. They diverted 
him from the one great grief; and, when holidays were for him- 
self no longer, he provided their Christmas trees, and softened 
their loss by sharing their small household pleasures. Soon he 
felt the need of continuous occupation, and he returned to Dante, 
the dearest study of his life, and day by day worked through his 
complete translation : 

I enter here from day to day, 
And leave my burden at the minster gate. 

In translating Dante, he saw that one should either sacrifice 
the beautiful rhyme " that blossoms all along the Imes like a 
honeysuckle on a hedge," or else give up fidelity, truth — the life 
of the hedge itself. His unrhymed translation is beyond all 
others in accuracy and the music of words, if not of rhymes ; and 
his five sonnets on the " Divina Commedia " ought to be reckoned 
among the glories of our language — the grandest tribute it has 
ever paid to " that mediaeval miracle of song." 

While he was occupied with Dante, in 1863, he was called to 
Washington to bring home his eldest son, wounded in the last 
battle on the Rapidan. The young lieutenant of cavalry, not 
yet twenty, was, in his father's words, a brave boy. " Not a 
single murmur or complaint, though he has a wound through bim 
a foot long. He pretends it does not hurt him." 

In 1868 Longfellow and his family visited England, every- 
VOL. XVI.— NO. II. \JIhiTd Series.] x 

292 Longfellow. 

where welcomed and feted. Cambridge conferred on him the 
honorary degree of Doctor of Laws, and when he appeared in the 
red robes to address the University he was the very reaHzation 
of the glory of old age, with his noble eyes deep sunken under 
massive brows, and with long white silken hair and beard of 
patriarchal whiteness. 

In London there was one round of hospitable welcome and 
friendly homage, from a breakfast with Mr. Gladstone to mid- 
night calls from Bulwer and Aubrey de Vere. The Queen sent 
for him, and received him at Windsor " cordially and without 
ceremony ; '^ and, by request, he visited the Prince of Wales. 
There was a Sunday at Gadshill, and two days with the Laureate 
— " King Alfred,^^ as he used to call him — in the Isle of Wight. 
The fountain, like a pile of stones, near the Crab Inn at Shanklin 
was given an inscription by him ; it had been asked for, and was 
perfect of its kind, beginning like Scott, but in the end touched 
by his own spirit : 

O traveller, stay thy weary feet, 
Drink of this fountain pure and sweet ; 

It flows for rich and poor the same. 
Then go thy way, remembering still 
The wayside well beneath the hill, 

The cup of water in His name. 

Writing to a friend long before this last visit, he had said, 
" You are not wrong in supposing that England is to me a 
beloved mother country, for which I have a strong affection.^^ 
With a winter on the Continent these his last travels ended ; 
henceforth he had only " Travels by the Fireside " — hearing 
again, from his books, the Alpine torrent, the mule-bells on the 
hills of Spain, and seeing afar off the castles of the Rhine and 
the Italian convents. If he had not been at once a lover of 
travel and of culture, Longfellow's poetry would have lacked half 
its riches. 

In 1870 he brought out the second series of the '^ Tales of a 
Wayside Inn.-'' In November, 1871, the subject of the "Christus^^ 
— so long planned — took possession of his whole mind. It was 
finished at the end of the next January, 1872 ; never had he so 
many doubts about any book, but, as we have seen_, it contained 
passages worthy of his most vigorous years. 

He himself had once said no poet could write much after 
fifty; but, considering his advanced age, the close of his life was 
wonderfully prolific ; nor had his bounty relaxed, and the sale of 
his works made a noble charity fund. To increase it, a friend, 
unknown to him, sold ^^ The Hanging of the Crane '' for three 
thousand dollars. Then came "Kdramos,'' bought for a 

Longfellovj, 293 

thousand, to appear, with illustrations, in Harper's Magazine. 
It was the last and greatest of his dissolving-view poems ; one 
flies over the earth from Delft to France and Italy, old Africa, 
far China and Japan. 

His memory recalled the old pottery still standing in Portland, 
near Deering's Woods, where it had been a delight of his boyhood to 
stop and watch the bowl or pitcher of clay rise up under the work- 
man's hand, as he stood at his wheel under the shadow of a thorn- 
tree. There within doors, amid the shelves of pots and pans, he may 
have read the inscription upon a glazed tile : 

" No handicraftsman's art can with our art compare, 
We potters make our pots of what we potters are." 

He hears the wheel murmur between the visions — that some clay 
must follow, some command — " so spins the world away ; " and 
the furnace flame is to try the vessels of clay and stamp them 
with honour or dishonour. 

Turn, turn thy wheel ! All life is brief; 
What now is bud will soon be leaf, 

What now is leaf will soon decay ; 
The wind blows east, the wind blows west. 
The blue eggs in the robin's nest 
Will soon have wings and beak and breast. 

And flutter and fly away. 

Turn, turn thy wheel ! This earthen jar 
A touch can make, a touch can mar ; 

And shall it to the Potter say 
What makest thou 1 Thou hast no hand ? 
As men who think to understand 
A world by their Creator planned, 

Who wiser is than they. 

The end was approaching for the poet also. On his seventy- 
second birthday the children of Cambridge (U.S.) gave their 
famous present of the carved chair made from the '^spreading 
chestnut-tree " that had overhung the village smithy of his early 
verses. In 1880 came the thin volume, '' Ultima Thule," the 
last published under his own eyes. "Never was your hand 
firmer,'^ Mr. Lowell wrote to him. And certainly up to that 
time he could make a witty speech as well as a brilliant poem. 
Proposing the health of Agassiz at the Saturday Club, he began 
with a hit worthy of Dickens up for a speech : — " Wordsworth 
once said that he could have written Shakespeare's Plays * if he 
had a mind to;'* and I suppose I could make a speech if I had 

* Charles Lamb said, " So all he wanted was ths mind." 


^•94 Longfellow. 

a mind to. But I shall do nothing of the sort." Neither time 
nor disaster had robbed him of his cheerfulness, his generous 
reception of strangers, and his delicate humour ; they all 
remained to the last. His affection for the young remained also 
undimmed. One of his last pastimes was to play at playing 
backgammon with a little grandson ; one of his last acts to 
receive and show round his study some schoolboy visitors who 
had asked permission to come. His " long, busy, blameless 
life '^ ended peacefully on March 24, 1882: and, as his brother 
well says, " the world was better and happier for his having 
lived." Wherever our language reaches, his poems have gone, 
with their teaching of faith in God, their tendency to a pare 
happiness for man. He does not rank among poets of the first 
magnitude ; but there are few, even of the highest, who deserve 
so much praise. While modern poetry throws a halo over doubt, 
have we not reason to prize him whose verses worship God, 
whose simple lucid poems persuade human hearts to trust in His 
providence, to look to immortal life, to make a brave struggle 
upward and rise on the ruins of failure? And while other poets 
illuminate unreal pictures, impossible earthly hopes, have we not 
reason to be thankful to him who threw light about home 
affections and the common experiences of life ? Again, it is the 
style of the time to suppose sorrow and bitterness of heart 
poetical and beautiful ; ought we not to hold as a good gift these 
works of a long life, all tending in the main most distinctly to 
contentment, to hope and happiness ? His grandest achieve- 
ment was this — to have made popular the poetry of faith and of 
joy, for, if there is sorrow in his voice, it is only enough to 
soften the heart, not to depress the soul. Speaking in public 
on " The Education of the Poor," Cardinal Wiseman long ago 
pointed out that England has no poet who is to its labouring 
classes what Goethe is to the German peasantry, unless it be 
the one who has "gained such a hold on our hearts that it is 
almost unnecessary to mention his name. Our hemisphere 
cannot claim the honour of having brought him forth, but he 
still belongs to us, for his works have become as household 
words wherever the English language is spoken." There is 
doubt enough in the world, and sorrow enough and weariness ; 
it is a true blessing that this poet of the household came laden 
with faith and hope, and with refreshment, courage, and joy. 

Helen Atteridge. 

( 295 ) 


THERE have been periods in the history of Christendom sa 
marked by danger and disaster that hostile observers 
have fancied the crisis would prove fatal, if not to the Church's 
existence, at least to her vitality. Such was doubtless the 
case when the Reformation shook the fabric of religious and 
social order, and overthrew the traditions of ages ; such also was 
the case at the time of the French Revolution ; such again in our 
own days when the Civil princedom of the Pope was overthrown ; 
and other instances might be easily gathered from the records 
of the past. There is, however, one calamitous event that has 
almost been forgotten, because it is separated from our own times, 
not only by the interval of six or seven centuries that have 
since elapsed, but by the still greater interval that divides the 
ideas, the manners, and usages of modern Europe from those of 
the Middle Ages. 

After the capture of Jerusalem by the Crusaders in 1099, the 
Latin kingdom was established with the Holy City for its capi- 
tal, and the Catholic Church reigned in triumph in the land 
which had been its cradle a thousand years previously. Yet so 
bright an episode was not permitted to last long ; in October 
1187, Salah-ed-Dine, or Saladin, as he is commonly called, cap- 
tured the city, and reduced it under Mussulman rule. The third 
crusade, undertaken in the hope of regaining Jerusalem, failed, 
owing in great measure to the dissensions among the Catholic 
princes ; and eventually, though twice given up by treaty to the 
Christians, and remaining in their possession at first for ten, and 
a second time for five years, the Holy City fell into Mahometan 
hands in the year 1244, and so has continued — not, however, 
without several changes of masters — down to the present day. 
The Latin kingdom survived the seizure of Jerusalem by Saladin 
for more than a hundred years. The town of Acre, or Akka, 
as it is now called, having been retaken by the Crusaders in 
1191, became the head-quarters of the Franks, receiving the name 
of St. Jean d'Acre ; but just a century later, in 1291, the Egyp- 
tian Klalife, Ibn-Kalaoun, laid siege to it and took it by assault, 
thereby extinguishing the last remnant of Latin domination. 
Thus it was that the shock felt by all Europe when Jerusalem 
was lost in the twelfth century, was followed by another, though at 
an interval so great that the memory of no man then living could 
bridge it over, when at the close of the thirteenth century the king- 
dom that the Crusaders had founded fell to rise no more. The 
first of the two events was probably the one most keenly felt. The 

296 Facilities of Modern Filgrimage. 

Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem had been the centre of the hopes 
and aspirations of Christian chivalry ; it had been wrested from 
the hands of the Mussulman and had been under Catholic 
guardianship for three generations (as we commonly reckon 
them), so that the pang caused by its loss was a bitter one in- 
deed. And yet the second blow must have been very severe, for 
with the fall of Acre the hope of rescuing the Holy Land from 
Mahometan sovereignty was finally extinguished. 

It is curious that this town of Acre was the scene of the last 
warlike operations that took place in Palestine. Mehemet Ali, 
Viceroy of Egypt, had obtained possession of it, and also of a 
part of Syria, but in the year 18i0 some of the European Powers, 
including England, intervened on behalf of Turkey, an English 
fleet bombarded Acre, which was almost destroyed, and the whole 
country was restored to the Porte. 

We need not discuss the merits or demerits of Mehemet Ali, 
whose government is said to have caused discontent among the 
inhabitants, but it is probable that, so far as material civilization 
is concerned, it would have been better for Syria and Palestine to 
be under Egypt than under Turkey ; and if we may imagine 
events to have run the same course in other ways that they have 
since done, those countries would have come indirectly under 
English influence and tutelage. Things, however, might bo much 
w^orse than they now are : the Turkish Government undoubtedly 
operates in a manner unfavourable to agriculture, commerce, the 
making of good harbours and roads, and the establishment of 
safe and rapid means of communication ; but so far as rehgion is 
concerned, the Catholic Church is in as good a position, and pro- 
bably a much better one, than she would be under certain Euro- 
pean Governments. The modern Turks, though they can be 
fanatical and even cruel when excited by religious or political 
passions, are not, generally speaking, tyrants or persecutors, and 
they are amenable to the Powers of Europe for the treatment of 
Christians living under their sway. 

We turn, however, from these questions of high politics to the 
humbler but more practical inquiry how it is that Catholics of 
the present day, especially among ourselves, have ceased to take 
in the Holy Land and its sacred shrines that vivid interest which 
animated the Crusaders and the mediaeval pilgrims ? 

After the loss of Jerusalem, permission was obtained, b}^ 
agreement with the Mahometan authorities, for Catholic priests 
to officiate at the Holy Sepulchre; and the Franciscans 
eventually came, under the personal guidance of their great 
founder, to take charge of the sanctuaries ; a charge which, 
notwithstanding occasional persecutions, they have ever since 
retained. But the custom of making pilgrimages to the Holy 

Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage. 297 

Places appears to have gradually abated. There was a time ia 
the Middle Ages when it was a not uncommon act of devotion, 
and was done sometimes as a penance for sin, sometimes in 
performance of a vow, sometimes for other reasons ; but whether 
it was that faith became colder, or that dangers and difficulties 
were more formidable, as the centuries rolled on few pilgrims^ 
comparatively speaking, found their way from Western Europe 
to Jerusalem. And then came the Renaissance and the Reforma- 
tion, and men's thoughts were diverted into other channels. 
The present age, however, has seen a partial revival of the 
ancient and time-honoured usage. Almost every year a large 
body of French pilgrims are conveyed from Marseilles to Jaffa, 
where they disembark, and proceed to the Holy Sepulchre and 
other sanctuaries. Moreover, the great facility and rapidity of 
travelling now existing tempt many persons in the same direc- 
tion, who are devoid of any high sympathy with Christian 
traditions or any true appreciation of the historical significance 
of what they see. 

Yet it is remarkable that much as Englishmen delight in 
travel, only a small proportion of them ever make their way 
to the Holy Land, and that proportion includes very few 
Catholics. A recent pilgrim met not one single English or 
English-speaking Catholic among his chance companions in those 
regions. There were Anglican clergymen ; there were Methodist 
missionaries ; there were the inevitable American tourists ; also 
a few Catholics from the Continent — French, Belgians, and 
others : from England none. 

May it, then, be my humble mission to encourage the timid 
or the irresolute among our Catholic countrymen by explaining 
to them how very small is the difficulty of the pilgrimage and 
how great the advantage. This is not the place for entering 
into details as to expense or other matters, but I may say, in 
passing, that I am persuaded that many people spend as much 
or more in less interesting and less profitable voyages. Un- 
doubtedly those who have an antipathy to the sea must be 
prepared for some disagreeable contingencies — a drawback 
existing in many other journeys. This may be minimized by 
taking the route through Vienna to Varna, and so going to 
Constantinople, and thence by Smyrna, Rhodes, and Cyprus, to 
Beyrout ; but it cannot be entirely escaped. 

The pilgrim just alluded to, who had visited Constantinople 
many years previously, chose the other route — that from 
Brindisi to Alexandria, and from thence to Port Said and 
Jaffa. Those to whom time and money are no object can, if 
they please, go out by one route and return by the other. 

The most economical way of travelling in the Holy Land is 

298 Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage. 

to go from one religious house to another, including under this 
designation the residences of secular priests, which are some- 
times large enough to accommodate three or four strangers ; 
but this supposes a small party and an absence of ladies, for 
though in some places the Franciscan Fathers have hospices 
detached from their own conventual buildings, where ladies can 
be entertained as well as men, yet in other places that is not 
the case; and if there be a large or mixed party, tents must 
be taken and an encampment made each night.^ Any one who 
may be desirous of seeing all the principal spots connected with 
the history of the Israelites as related in the Old Testament, will 
have to spend five or six weeks in doing so ; less ambitious 
persons may complete their pilgrimage in about thirty days ; 
whilst, lastly, those who wish merely to visit the chief of the 
Holy Places may go to Jerusalem, which is one long day's 
drive from Jaffa ; may stay there for a week — allowing a day to 
Bethlehem (only six miles distant) — may return by road to Jaffii, 
and go on by carriage to Haifa, or by sea, if they meet the 
fortnightly steamer ; from Haifa they may go also by carriage 
to Nazareth; from thence, if they wish to go to Tiberias, they 
must ride on horseback — it is but one day's journey — or, if 
unable to bear such a fatigue, they may go in a palanquin 
carried by two mules ; they can then return to Nazareth and 
Haifa, and to JaiFa; and they will have visited the principal 
places without much fatigue in the space of about twenty-one 
days. This is a supposed minimum for persons of infirm health 
or shattered nerves. Those who are blessed with health and 

* There are two well-known firms, Messrs. Cook and Messrs. Gaze, 
who undertake the entire care of travellers; both of them are good, but 
of the former I can speak with a greater personal knowledge ; and for 
those who are not acquainted previously with the country, and who are 
not bound to very rigid economy, the advantage of sailing under the flag 
of Messrs. Cook is considerable. At Alexandria, Jaffa, Beyrout, a boat, 
mth men in red jerseys, appears, ready to land passengers without 
trouble or expense ; at all the principal places there is an agent whose 
services are at the disposal of the " tourist;" sufficient food and shelter, 
horses and baggage-mules, all provided, and a dragoman to accompany the 
party. Some people have a sort of religious dread of all this, but it is 
to be noted that it is only for temporal necessities that you resort to this 
celebrated firm ; for spiritual advice and consolation, if you need them, 
you must go elsewhere. It is true also that you run a real risk of being 
bound compulsorily to uncongenial companions, and this (particularly in 
the case of sensitive persons) is the one serious drawback. Those, however, 
who have time at their disposal may contract with either of the above- 
named firms for conveyance to and from Palestine, and on arriving at 
Jaffa or Jerusalem may make their own arrangements as to the party 
they join, going even by themselves, if they do not object to the additional 
cost of such a journey. 

. Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage. 299 

vigour ought to ride through the country, particularly between 
Jerusalem and Nazareth, where they will pass through several 
places that cannot fail to interest them, among which the principal 
is Nablous, the ancient Shechem, near to which you may see 
" Jacob's well/' the almost undoubted scene of our Lord's con- 
versation with the Samaritan woman. Nablous is mainly a 
Mahometan place, notorious for the fanaticism of its inhabitants; 
it contains, however, a small Catholic Chapel (of the Latin rite) 
and also Greek and Protestant places of worship. One of the 
curiosities of this ancient town is that it is the seat of a singular 
sect, now small and languishing in numbers, the old Samaritans. 
Here resides their chief priest, Jacob Shellaby by name, an 
intelligent man, of handsome person, and speaking English fairly 
well. Every year they go to the summit of Mount Gerizim to 
celebrate their Paschal feast. Here the lambs are slain and 
morsels of the meat distributed to the people, and all that 
remains is publicly burnt. This remarkable spectacle frequently 
attracts strangers, from the fact that it is almost the only occasion 
on which one can see that most ancient of all ceremonies, the 
offering up of a burnt sacrifice. Not long ago, two English 
travellers rode to the summit of Mount Gerizim in company with 
this Samaritan patriarch, who pointed out to them the spot 
where the rites were celebrated, and described to them the 
manner of keeping the passover practised by himself and his flock. 
The weather was bad, or the view from the summit would 
probably of itself have well repaid the ascent of the hill. 

After leaving Nablous on their way to Nazareth, those who 
follow this route pass near the town of Sebatieh, which stands 
nearly on the site of the ancient Samaria; it is beautifully 
situated on the slope of a hill surrounded by fertile valleys. 
Before reaching Nazareth the traveller comes down on the fertile 
plain of Esdraelon, or Jezreel, 250 feet below the level of the sea. 
So much of the Holy Land is barren, rocky ground, that a 
plain such as this is a relief and a delight to the eyes. Of 
Nazareth itself I will speak later on ; I may remark in passing 
that it is a ride of at least four days from Jerusalem. 

Reasons of health, time, or economy that would prevent a 
person from riding over the steep, stony paths of the hills of 
Judaea and Galilee, need not, as already remarked, discourage him 
from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, any more than one need be 
prevented from visiting Switzerland, because one has not the 
strength and activity to ascend the higher peaks of the Alps. 
Such a traveller should land at Jaffa, or otherwise at Haifa. I 
take the first and more usual alternative, the only difficulty about 
which is that, since Jaffa has no sort of harbour, it is impossible 
to land there when there is a very heavy sea running. The 

300 Facilities of Modern Pilgriniage. 

pilgrim, however, having happily disembarked, will go either to 
the hospice of the Franciscan Fathers, or to a very respectable, 
though small, hotel, kept by a civil and intelligent German. 
While at Jaifa he will visit the house of Simon the tanner — at 
least the place that claims to be so — he will even see the stone 
cistern of water which Simon probably used for the purposes of 
his trade ; and he will go up to the roof of the building and so 
stand almost on the spot where St. Peter was praying when the 
messengers sent by Cornelius the centurion arrived ; and he will 
look on that view of the " Great Sea^"* (as the inhabitants in 
those days termed it) on which the Apostle must also have gazed, 
perhaps enabled by Divine illumination to foresee that vast 
spiritual empire beyond the sea over which he and his successors 
were to rule. The pilgrim then, if he can descend to things 
terrestrial, will visit the orange gardens of Jaffa, where this fruit 
is produced in great perfection and abundance, and the groves of 
lemons that flourish luxuriantly in this genial climate. Early 
the next morning he will start for his long day's drive to Jeru- 
salem ; he will cross the rich plain of Sharon, and, after a midday 
halt for refreshment, will ascend gradually the mountains of 
Judasa, bleak and desolate, and if the weather should be bad, he 
will have to exercise much patience while the feeble horses drag 
his carriage along the rough and soaking road. Indeed, it has 
happened to travellers who were making the journey somewhat 
early in the year, when the rain was falling in torrents, to be 
obliged to descend from their vehicle and literally put their 
hands to the wheels and help the tired horses in drawing their 
burden over heavy pieces of ground. Once arrived at the Jaffa 
gate of Jerusalem, he will descend from his carriage, and entering 
the gate on foot, will proceed to the Franciscan hospice called 
the Casa Nuova — a building entirely separate from the house of 
the Fathers — or else he will go to an hotel, or to the hospice of the 
Knights of St. John. But wherever he takes up his abode, he 
will do well to put himself under the guidance of the good Fran- 
ciscans, one of whom will probably show him all the sacred sights 
in and about Jerusalem. If he content himself with following 
the lead of Messrs. Cook's dragoman, he will indeed see the same 
places, but accompanied as he will naturally be by a party of a 
somewhat miscellaneous character, he will not be able to enter 
very intimately into the religious associations ; not that even so 
he would probably hear any offensive remarks made, at any rate 
so far as the dragoman was concerned — many of these men are 
Catholics ; all of them would understand the propriety of respect- 
ing the feeling of Catholic pilgrims, if they hneiv them to he such ; 
but it is far better to make the round of the Holy Places with the 

Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage. 301 

help of the Franciscan Brother, who it need not be said is a more 
sympathetic guide than any professional cicerone. 

Thus accompanied, the pilgrim will visit the Church of the Holy- 
Sepulchre, and will kneel on the very spot where ancient tradition 
teaches that his Redeemer was laid in the tomb, and rose again 
from the dead. The actual sepulchre is hidden by the marble 
slab placed over it, but you are on the very place where this 
mighty mystery was worked. And should the scornful or the 
sceptical be at hand to suggest to the visitor at the sacred shrine 
a doubt as to its genuineness, he may answer that a spot conse- 
crated by the tradition of fifteen centuries carries with it a right 
of credibility until it shall have been clearly disproved ; he may 
add, too, that even were there a well-founded doubt, it is only a 
question of a few hundred yards, and you must inevitably be in 
close proximity to Calvary and the Holy Sepulchre; which were 
outside the ancient wall, but only at a short distance from it, as 
is evident from the words of the Gospel. 

And if, before visiting in detail the hallowed sites of the city, 
the pilgrim should prefer seeing the whole at one comprehensive 
view, he will go to the Mount of Olives, from which Jerusalem can 
be surveyed as from no other point. Between the observer and the 
city lies the valley of Jehoshaphat, with the brook Kedron running 
through it (whenever the rain has filled its channel with a suffi- 
cient flow of water), though its bed is not identical with that of 
the ancient stream as it was 1800 years ago ; and beyond this 
valley is the Holy City surrounded with its wall, and some 
conspicuous buildings on the outside ; it is needless to say that 
neither town nor wall are the same as those on which our 
Lord's eye rested as He foretold the catastrophe impending over 
the Temple. Jerusalem has been destroyed more than once, and 
the line followed by the modern wall is quite difierent from that 
of the ancient capital. 

The summit of the Mount of Olives is about 2700 feet above 
the level of the sea ; while Jerusalem itself is about 2500 feet. 
The spectator who gazes on the latter has therefore a slight 
advantage in point of elevation. Some of my readers may perhaps 
have perused the description of the city as seen from this spot by 
moonlight, given in Disraeli's "Tancred;" it is not without its 
beauty, but is somewhat inflated and fantastic ; there are, how- 
ever, one or two remarks which ought to strike every thoughtful 
mind. The scene brings before his imagination the host of great 
men that have sprung irom the Hebrew race — among them the 
legislator of old whose laws are even still obeyed, the king who 
has ceased to reign for 3000 years, but who is still a proverb of 
wisdom, the Teacher who has remodelled Europe ; and that is 

302 Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage, 

one of the grand associations of which the Holy Land is so full : 
it is the cradle of that religion which hascbano-ed the face of the 
whole civilized world. It is difficult to picture to oneself what 
Europe would be without Christianity ; what \vould be, for 
instance, the laws of war, or what the relations between husband 
and wife, parent and child, master and servant. They might be 
one thing or another ; but never could they possibly be what 
now they are. And as the stranger from Western Europe looks 
at Jerusalem, and remembers that the religion which has worked 
such moral wonders took its rise from certain great events which 
occurred at the Feast of the Passover, and at that of Pentecost, 
in some year, the date of which is not precisely known, but only 
that it was in the reign of Tiberius, and when Pontius Pilate 
was Governor of Judaea, and as he recollects that this religion 
has in its turn subdued that Imperial City of Rome, the destroyer 
of Jerusalem with its Temple, he must surely admit that 
(whatever his own religious convictions may be) the historical 
associations suggested by this sight are such as are not to be 
found in any spot of this earth besides. Here, then, lies before 
him modern Jerusalem, differing of course from the ancient one, 
but recaUing all its memories — the area where the old Temple 
stood now occupied by the Mosque of Omar ; the Church of the 
Holy Sepulchre with its unsightly cupolas, yet covering most 
hallowed ground ; Mount Zion with its buildings ; the Tower of 
David, the churches, the synagogues — truly such a coup d'oeil will 
be felt by many a traveller to be a reward for labour and fatigue far 
greater than those that fall to the lot of the modern pilgrim. 

Then having surveyed Jerusalem, he will remember that he is 
close to the traditional site of the Ascension, now occupied by a 
small mosque. There are other buildings on the Mount of Olives. 
On the place where our Lord is said to have taught to the 
Apostles the prayer called by His name, there is a square cloister 
built by the Princesse de la Tour d' Auvergne, in which are thirty- 
two slabs with the Pater Noster inscribed on them in thirty-two 
languages. It is believed that this devout lady (who is still 
living) intends this to be the place of her burial, and indeed 
her monument has been already erected there. Close by is a 
convent of Carmelite nuns with its church. 

The pilgrim, however, having seen all these sacred localities, 
will not omit to turn his eye in another direction, where, at a 
depth of nearly 4000 feet below his own position, he will see the 
Dead Sea, with the Mountains of Moab on the opposite shore. 
The distance is scarcely fifteen miles in a direct line, but it takes 
several hours to make the journey. He may then descend the 
Mount of Olives on the side of Bethany, visit the traditional 
tomb of Lazarus, and return to Jerusalem from Bethany by a 

Facilities of Modern Pilgrima'je. 303 

route that his Lord and Redeemer must often have trodden. 
But he must not omit, either on this or another occasion, to visit 
that part of the Mount of Olives which lies on the side of Jeru- 
salem where the Garden of Gethsemane is still to be seen — a small 
piece of ground walled round, and now possessed by the Francis* 
cans, who place a lay-brother in charge of it. A grotto, the scene 
of the Agony, is shown, and the spot where the Apostles slept ; and 
whatever may be our belief in the exact locality, as shown by the 
good Franciscan, certain it is that these awful mysteries were 
enacted somewhere m the immediate vicinity. 

There are many other objects at Jerusalem that demand the 
attention of the pilgrim ; one of the chief of these is the Coznacu- 
lum, the site of that memorable " upper room,^' where the Last 
Supper was celebrated, where the Apostles assembled after the 
Resurrection and the Ascension, where in all probability the 
descent of the Holy Spirit took place on the day of Pentecost. Here 
was built a Christian Church, a portion of which is still standing, 
now in the hands of the Mahometans, who have converted the 
place into a mosque. There is, I believe, no doubt that the site 
is the genuine one. The tomb of David is shown within, the 
genuineness of which is in the highest degree doubtful ; it is, 
however, the object of Mussulman veneration. The Coenaculum 
stands outside the present wall of the City. 

Then again, there is the "Ecce Homo," the place where formerly 
stood the house of Pilate, and where our Lord was shown to 
the people, close to which traditional site there is now a church 
and a convent of the Dames de Sion, founded by the late Pere 
Ratisbon. Here commences the Via Dolorosa, which is far 
from being (as some persons perhaps picture it to their imagi- 
nation) a very long straight road, but a comparatively short and 
tortuous way, not more than about 500 yards of distance from 
the tirst station to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where of 
course it ends. The tomb of the Blessed Virgin, close to the 
Mount of Olives, is not so certainly authenticated as some other 
Holy Places, but the pilgrim will not omit to visit it with due 

Last, but not least, there is the site of the old Temple. The 
Mosque of Omar, which now stands there, was formerly considered 
by the Mussulmans so sacred a spot that no Christian was 
allowed to enter it under pain of death ; but now European 
travellers obtain permission easily enough through their respec- 
tive consuls. It is a truly remarkable building, the dome, its 
most conspicuous feature, being called the Dome of the Rock, 
on account of the holy rock underneath it, supposed to be the 
veritable Mount Moriah, where Abraham came to sacrifice Isaac. 
Many Mahometan legends centre round this spot. Here^ it is 

304 Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage. 

said, stood that portion of the Temple called the Holy of Holies. 
It was a vast area taken altoojether, tlie Temple with all its 
courts and the buildings attached to it^ covering several acres 
of ground. In another part stands the Mosque El-Aksa, a 
building of considerable size. The foundations of the Temple 
are still to some extent visible; huge blocks of stone may be 
seen, such as are never used in modern buildino^s. Outside the 
enclosure, and close to these massive stones, is the place where 
the Jews on each Friday afternoon assemble to wail. It is 
known as the wailing-place of the Jews ; strange sight to 
witness, as they mourn and weep over the lost glories of Israel. 

It is needless to say that no pilgrim omits to visit Bethlehem, 
which is about six miles distant from Jerusalem ; it is inhabited 
almost entirely by Christians, of whom about one-half are 
Catholics, and the rest Greeks or Armenians. It probably 
looks much as it did on that great Christmas Day, nearly 
1900 years ago, excepting that a church is now built over the 
memorable stable. The church is divided into separate por- 
tions, one belonging to the Greeks and Armenians, the other to 
the Catholics, represented here as elsewhere by the Franciscan 
Fathers, Underneath lies the Grotto of the Nativity. Other 
interesting memories surround the place. St. Jerome lived and 
died here ; and he was not the only one who chose Bethlehem 
for an abode. 

It is not desirable to abridge too much the time allotted to 
Jerusalem itself. Many endeavour so to arrange their move- 
ments as to pass the Holy Week and Easter there. Those who 
happen to be present at the Greek Easter can witness a pro- 
ceeding which generally produces a painful impression — the 
supposed miraculous fire. It has often been described, and need 
not be dwelt upon at any length. Nevertheless, I may remark 
that a traveller who saw it this present year was struck with the 
picturesque effect as the lights, kindled originally at the Holy 
Sepulchre, spread from hand to hand through the mass of people 
in the church. This gentleman, being a Protestant of strict type, 
was not likely to be impressed with religious ceremonies on any 
sesthetical ground. Also he saw disorder and fighting going on 
— probably before the light was given out of the Holy Sepul- 
chre — and yet the whole thing left a somewhat pleasing picture 
on his memory.* I should add that on this occasion no serious 

* This same energetic traveller — an officer returning from India — 
sailed up the Persian Gulf, then ascended the Tigris in a steamer as far 
as Bagdad, disembarked there, rode to visit the sites of Babylon and 
Nineveh, and then to Damascus, from whence he rode on to Tiberias and 
other places in the Holy Land. He was also so fortunate as to be present 
at tlie curious ceremony of the Samaritan Passover, alluded to already. 

Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage. 305 

tumult occurred at all resembling those that caused great 
scandal in former years, and even once or twice resulted in loss 
of life. 

Few travellers in the Holy Land would willingly omit an 
expedition to the Dead Sea ; nor indeed ought they easily to set 
it aside. The Dead Sea is perhaps not quite so remarkable an 
object as is generally supposed ; you might stand on its shore, 
and even bathe in it, and yet fancy it was only a bay of the 
Mediterranean, were it not for its bitter taste, caused chiefly by 
chloride of magnesium, which, together with a very large pro- 
portion of common salt and also bitumen, is held in solution 
by the water. The view of the mountains of Moab on the 
opposite side is very fine, and the whole scene is a singular one. 
There is a sort of solitude on these banks ; very little vegetation 
exists, for there is a want of fresh water; no water-lbwl are 
visible, for there is nothing for them to feed upon ; no fish ever 
lives in the deadly sea, true in this respect to its name. No one 
knows where the wicked Cities of the Plain once stood ; some 
think they were at the southern end of the sea ; others, with 
more probability, place them at the north. It is scarcely 
necessary to add that every trace of them has disappeared. The 
sea certainly filled a much larger basin at some remote period ; 
the traveller rides over a sandy plain, formerly a part of this 
singular lake. Possibly he passes over the very site of the guilty 
cities. The Dead Sea was once a body of fresh water, as is 
inferred from the fact that in its upper terraces, far above the 
present level of the water, fresh-water shells have been found. 
In a certain book of travels in the Holy Land a theory has 
been started that the volcanic eruption (if such it were) that 
destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, threw up from the earth below 
the bed of the sea salt rocks, which have impregnated the water 
and have imparted to it its present intensely saline character. 
The ordinary scientific explanation is, that, there being no outlet 
to the lake, the fresh water that flows into it is evaporated into 
the air, but the various mineral salts carried by the inflowing 
water (in this case the Jordan) in solution from rocks and soils 
are not evaporated. They remain in the lake, which gradually 
becomes more and more salt as evaporation constantly goes on. 
The same thing has occurred in the great Salt Lake of Utah. 

The Dead Sea (as it now exists) is about forty-six miles 
long and its greatest breadth is ten miles; it lies about 1300 
feet below the level of the Mediterranean. In the neighbour- 
hood of the site of the old but now ruined and desolate Jericho 
has been founded a small Kussian colony, with a little inn, 
afibrding rough but fairly comfortable accommodation. Here 
travellers may rest, and may ride to the Jordan and the shore of 

306 Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage. 

the Dead Sea, and back again to Jericho in one easy day. Another 
plan is to go to the Greek monastery of Mar Saba, and return by 
that route to Jerusalem. It is a strange place, this plain of 
Jericho, lying so far below the general sea-level, in a deep hollow, 
of which the bed of the Dead Sea forms the lowest portion. The 
heat is said to be great in summer, and the vegetation is sub- 
tropical in its character. There is a striking scene on the road 
between Jerusalem and Jericho, where, on the banks of a stream 
called the Wady-el-Kelt, and supposed to be identical with the 
brook Cherith (the Carith of the Vulgate), is the traditional spot 
where the prophet Elias was fed by the ravens. Here, in a wild 
and romantic position, stands a Greek monastery. 

The travellers who have made this expedition to the Dead Sea, 
will generally return to Jerusalem, and from thence will take 
routes varying according to their health and their powers of 
endurance. Those who do not ride will drive to Jaffa, and go 
from that place by sea or by road to Haifa. Here they may (if 
no ladies are of the party) be received at the monastery of Mount 
Carmel, which stands on the height forming the promontory, or 
else they may remain below at Haifa, a beautifully situated and 
flourishing little town, which looks across the bay to Acre, now no 
longer the capital of the Crusaders, but a Turkish fortress, with 
an abundant Mahometan population. In either case they will 
doubtless visit the monastery, and will see the places where the 
great prophet Elias probably taught his disciples ; they will 
admire the great natural beauty of the scenery, and on a fine spring 
day they will see the snowy summit of the Greater Hermon and 
the range of the Lebanon rising in the distant background on 
the opposite side of the bay. Those who either ride or are good 
walkers will visit the supposed scene of Elias^s sacrifice and the 
slaughter of the prophets of Baal. Here, at the summit of the 
hill, the Carmelite Fathers have built a small chapel, where Mass 
is occasionally said ; the probable site of the sacrifice is a little 
lower down^ where the ground seems to show that two rival sets 
of worshippers might have placed themselves on opposite 
eminences at no great distance apart, and where there is a well 
that would have furnished water to pour over the sacrifice. The 
River Kishon runs some way below ; it is but a small stream, 
great as is its historical renown. " That ancient river, the River 
Kishon .'' Here we are not very far from the scene of Barac's 
victory over Sisera. 

Travellers who find themselves unequal to further fatigue may 
drive by carriage to Nazareth. Here they can be lodged in the 
hospice of the Franciscan Fathers, which is quite detached from 
their own monastery. The latter adjoins the Church of the 
Annunciation ; and here, beneath the high altar, is the sacred 

Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage. 307 

spot where tradition teaches us that the archans^el Gabriel 
appeared to the Blessed Virgin, announcing to her the message 
with which he was charged for the redemption of mankind. Here 
the pilgrim is told (as he probably has long before heard) that 
the holy house itself is at Loretto ; but the grotto hewn out of 
the rock, in which it is supposed that our Lady actually was at 
the moment of the Annunciation, is of course at Nazareth still. 
It was in the holy house (an exceedingly small building, as is 
evident) that the archangel stood to deliver his all-important 
message. There is an altar here, at which Mass is constantly said. 

There are about 2000 Catholics in this most interesting town; 
but not all of the Latin rite, some being United Greeks, and 
many being Maronites. You are shown the traditional workshop 
of St. Joseph, where there is now a chapel in possession of the 
Franciscan Fathers. You also visit the synagogue, where it is 
said that our Lord taught ; it is now a church belonging to the 
United Greeks. There is another place of no small interest — 
namely, the fountain called Mary's Well ; here the inhabitants 
still draw their water, and you may see the native women carry- 
ing heavy pitchers on their heads, returning to their homes after 
having drawn the water required for their families. Probably 
the fountain was there in the time when the Holy Family lived 
at Nazareth, when one might have seen the Blessed Virgin in her 
simple, humble way carrying, like these women, the heavy water 
pitcher. From the hills in the vicinity of the town you get a 
view of the Mediterranean. 

For those who do not attempt to ride, the pilgrimage of the 
Holy Land must end here ; they must drive back to Haifa, at 
least, unless they travel in a palanquin. Such persons, however, 
as do not object to riding, should on no account whatever omit 
the expedition to the Lake of Galilee. There are two routes, one 
by Mount Thabor, which makes a long day's journey, or if you 
please, two short days ; another by the supposed Cana of Galilee, 
which is one moderately long day. The ascent of Mount Thabor 
will reward any one by the beauty of the natural scenery ; the 
hill is covered with trees and shrubs and flowers blossoming on 
all sides, and from the top in fine weather is an extensive and 
magnificent view. There is a Franciscan hospice there, with 
two or three lay brothers. You are here shown the remains 
of the three churches, built apparently at the time of the 
Crusades ; one dedicated to the Transfiguration, one to Moses, 
one to Elias. Mount Thabor, as is well known, is the traditional 
site of the Transfiguration, but its authenticity is disputed by 
some writers. The Greeks have also a chapel here. 

Whichever route the pilgrim follows, he will at length, as he 
rides over the hills, see the town of Tiberias below him, standing 

VOL. xvL—No. II. [Third Series.] y 

308 Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage. 

on the margin of the beautiful sheet of water which bears its 
Dame, and on arriving he will be received in the Franciscan 
hospice. Tiberias is now the only town out of the many which 
once surrounded the lake. As it now exists it dates from the 
period of the Crusades, there being no remains of the ancient city 
founded by Herod Antipas. It is a small place, chiefly inhabited 
by Jews; in fact, after the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, it 
became the head-quarters of Judaism and the seat of the Sanhe- 
drim. The lake abounds with fish as it did formerly, but there 
are not many fishermen to capture them, those that are at 
Tiberias being all Mahometans. 

We are here somewhat over 600 feet below the level of the 
Mediterranean and the climate is consequently warm ; the Jordan 
(as is well known) flows through the lake. The pilgrim will 
naturally visit Tell-Hum, generally supposed to be the site of the 
ancient Capharnaum, and now in ruins, and he will stand on the 
spot where very probably once stood the synagogue in which 
our Lord taught — where, in fact, he dwelt for some time, making 
it the centre of His missionary work, the Sea of Galilee being 
then surrounded by a large population, many villages and 
towns bordering its banks. The pilgrim will also see some 
ruins at a place called Khan-Minyeh, which it is conjectured are 
those of the ancient Bethsaida. He will not fail to reflect that 
the towns on which so awful a woe was pronounced — Capharnaum, 
Chorazin, Bethsaida — have all passed away, scarcely to be identified 
by the ruinous piles that mark the spots. These sites can in 
propitious weather be visited by boat, and the traveller who does 
this, as he sails back to Tiberias in the still hours of some spring 
evening, may well ponder both on the sacred associations of the 
lake, and on its natural loveliness ; for the two together combine 
to lend a singular charm to this most remarkable place, such as 
one seldom meets with elsewhere. There are other lakes with 
far grander scenery, and other spots equally sacred ; but for the 
union of the two, the beauty of nature and hallowed associations, 
the Lake of Galilee is unrivalled. The plain of Gennesareth lies on 
the north-west border of the lake ; and is profoundly interesting 
from its being the scene of so many of the miracles, and so much 
of the teaching, recorded in the Gospels. As you quit Tiberias 
and again ascend the hills, you may see in the rocky ground 
which is so plentiful, in the thorny bushes which are so abundant, 
and in the good and fertile ground which also exists in this fine 
plain, a full exemplification of the parable of the Sower. 

Travellers who are provided with horses and camp equipage 
may, if they please, ride from Tiberias by Safed and Banias 
to Damascus, others will return to Nazareth, and from thence 
to Haifa. Here ends the pilgrimage of the Holy Land properly 

Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage. 309 

speaking; but those who have time to spare will not fail to 
proceed by steamer to Beyrout, or they may prefer to ride 
aloutr the coast by the way of the ancient Tyre and Sidon. The 
steamers do not go very frequently, or with great regularity ; but 
the passage is a short one, and time is saved in this way. 

Beyrout is one of the most charming spots in this most striking 
country, and you see the snowy heights of the Lebanon in the 
distance, and the rich and beautiful hills in the vicinity of 
Beyrout studded with houses. This town is a sort of mis- 
sionary centre; the Jesuits have a magnificent college, and 
a good-sized church, the Sisters of Charity have also a large 
school for girls : the Protestants have also some establishments. 

In this part of Syria, the Christians are chiefly Catholics, 
owing in great part to its being the country of the Maronites. 
This is so well-recognized a fact that the Governor of the 
Lebanon appointed by the Porte is generally, if not always, 
a Catholic. 

There is a good road between Beyrout and Damascus; a 
diligence runs there every day, and a smaller one every night, 
the whole managed by a French Company. Damascus is re- 
markable for its vast antiquity ; for there was a town here in the 
days of the Patriarch Abraham. It is now, too, very curious 
as being a specimen of a thoroughly Asiatic town. Oriental 
costumes are almost universal, and so are Oriental habits and 
manners. In the hotel, which is just outside the town, and 
in front of which flows the river Abana, called also Barada, 
you have, indeed, European customs ; but when you go out you 
leave Europe altogether behind you, and see Eastern dress. Eastern 
habits, Eastern everything, a partial exception to this being 
visible in the missionary establishments at the further end of the 
city, where the Lazarists have a large college for boys, and the 
Sisters of Charity, for girls. The " street that is called Straight '^ 
still exists, altered though it has been at different times, and 
runs for a long way through the town. Then there are the bazaars, 
for which Damascus is celebrated, where are sold the well-known 
sword- blades, as also many articles beautifully worked with silk 
and gold thread, and various works in metal. A place is shown 
as being the probable scene of St. PauFs conversion, but it is 
most doubtful ; so also is shown the place where the Apostle was 
let down the wall in a basket, and so escaped the hands of 
his enemies. 

A fine view of Damascus can be obtained by driving through 
a suburban village called Salahtyeh to some high ground, beyond 
which rises the hill of Kasiun ; here you see well the fine Orien- 
tal city with various villages surrounding it, and groves of 
apricot, almond and other fruit trees growing close to the walls, 

T 2 

810 Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage. 

and the lake in the distance beyond. Damascus is a great 
military station, and there was recently a large body of Turkish 
troops quartered there. Between Damascus and Beyrout is a 
small place called Shtdra, near which the Jesuit Fathers have 
established a large farm, aided, it is said, by the French Govern- 
ment, which persecutes them at home. From Shtora those who 
wish to visit the remarkable ruins of Baalbec, with the vast 
stones that one still sees in the outer wall, one of which is said to 
be sixty-four feet long, and several to be nearly thirteen feet 
high, and this at some nineteen feet above the ground, can do 
so with great facility. As one returns to Beyrout the scenery 
well repays the traveller, and striking indeed is the view 
as you descend the hills and come down on this most 
lovely of seaports. From Beyrout there are two ways of 
returning home, one by Cyprus, Smyrna, and Constantinople, 
and the other by Egypt ; those who choose the former will see 
in Constantinople a city, not only of great historical interest, 
but affording, as seen from without, perhaps the most striking 
and magnificent view of any city in the world. Those who select 
the latter will have the opportunity of looking at Cairo, than 
which there are few more remarkable places, as ibr other reasons 
so especially from the curious juxtaposition of European and 
Oriental life. In the European quarter are to be found all the 
various accompaniments of modern civilization, while the native 
town is a thorough picture of the East and its ways. Cairo is 
indeed a great centre of Mahometanism, as is shown by the new 
mosques erected and in process of erection. In such a place you 
see a wide variety of costumes and manners, the equipage of the 
Englishman with the smartly attired ladies such as you meet 
every day in Europe, and, on the other hand, the close carriage 
with the blinds half drawn down, containing the wives of some 
rich Mussulman, attended by a black eunuch, who sits on the 

The voyage back to Europe is sometimes full of charm. The 
vessel that conveyed the pilgrim already mentioned from Alexan- 
dria to Brindisi ran close to the island of Crete, or Candia, as it is 
now usually called, and afibrded to the passengers a fine view of 
the lofty mountains covered with snow, which are so striking a 
feature in this island. The course of the vessel also lay between 
the mainland of Greece and some of the Ionian islands, Zante and 
Cefalonia. It would be difficult to exaggerate the beauty of the 
prospect, with the snowy mountains of the Morea on the east, and 
the exquisitely picturesque islands on the west, the whole pro- 
ducing — whilst you are really at sea, and have beneath you the 
deep blue waters of the Mediterranean — the eifect of the finest 
lake scenery. The more usual course of the Peninsular and 

Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage, 311 

Oriental vessels is to the west of the Ionian islands, so that those 
who were on the homeward voyage on this occasion were singu- 
larly favoured. The arrival in the harbour at Brindisi may be 
said to terminate the Oriental pilgrimage. Truly, as of old, 
" Brundusium long® finis chartaBque viaeque." 

Those who have followed me so far will I trust acquit me of any 
endeavour to inflict on them, on the one hand, a pious diary, or, on 
the other hand, a string of information such as one finds in ordi- 
nary guide-books. The task I propose to myself is to expostulate 
with those who take so little interest in a country like the Holy 
Land, which deserves better treatment at their hands, and to 
encourage the irresolute who shrink from the imaginary difficul- 
ties of the pilgrimage, by assuring them that the accomplishment 
of it is comparatively easy, and the reward great. As for the 
strictly spiritual advantages, it is not in my province to expatiate 
on them, and indeed they do not require it. But I may say that 
it is not possible to travel in Palestine without gaining some in- 
formation that throws a light on the Gospels and other portions 
of Scripture, new to the pilgrim, and scarcely to be attained else 
where. A friend of much learning and ability, now deceased, once 
remarked to me that it was like reading a fifth Gospel ; and ex- 
ajj-gerated though this expression may be, it yet conveys a truth 
Not only do the events recorded in Holy Scripture, the parables 
of our Lord and His teaching receive a fresh and more vivid 
illustration, but mistaken impressions on minor matters are cor- 
rected, and greater accuracy of thought acquired. For instance, 
the place where our Lord was crucified is frequently called Mount 
Calvary ; one learns that it is really only a slight elevation ; it is 
not called a mountain or hill in any one of the Gospels, nor is 
there any reason to suppose it was so. I have heard an objection 
made to the traditional site of Calvary, on the ground that from 
the higher part of the present city, near the Jaffa gate, you not 
only do not ascend but rather go down hill towards it : now, what- 
ever may be thought of other objections, this is plainly a most 
futile one."^ And so in other incidents of sacred history, appa- 

* A rival site has been suggested by modern theorists — a small hiU 
at a little distance from what is called the Damascus gate of Jerusalem, 
near to which is what appears to be an ancient tomb. This idea owes its 
origin, if I mistake not, to a man of whose memory one must speak with 
great respect, but who was certainly not free from religious eccentricity — 
the late General Gordon. I do not, however, know that there is any in- 
trinsic improbability in this site excepting the important point that it has 
no tradition in its favour; it is a modern imagination. In any country it 
would be improbable that tradition should have so entirely lost sight of 
such a spot as Calvary. In Asia, where ancient associations are so much 
venerated, it is simply incredible. But 1 refrain from discussing this 
much-vexed question,which would involve a long and intricate dissertation. 

312 Facilities of Modern Pilgrimage. 

rent discrepancies or difficulties may be reduced to very small 
proportions by the more accurate knowledge that is gained by 
personal inspection of the localities. 

Segnius irritant animum demissa per aures, 
Quam quae sunt oculis subjecta fidelibus. 

But apart from religious impressions and Christian sentiment, 
there is a circumstance of Eastern travel which cannot fail to 
interest a thoughtful mind. And be it remembered that when 
I use the words " Oriental " or " Eastern/' I intend to apply them 
to those Asiatic or African countries that bound the Mediter- 
ranean Sea, and not to the far East of India, China, and Japan, 
where life again assumes a different aspect. The inhabitants, then, 
of Syria and Palestine, to whom I am alluding, contrast in some 
respects strongly with Europeans ; less advanced in civilization, 
as we commonly understand it, they are free from that restless- 
ness, that incessant thirst for change, which are the bane of our 
own unfortunate country. Their fault, such as it is, lies in the 
opposite direction ; with them a rigid adherence to the past and 
a blind, clinging to the traditions of their fathers are carried, 
to excess. This habit of mind goes a long way to account for 
the continuance of religious systems and sects, some non-Christian, 
others spurious forms of Christianity, which in Western Europe 
would probably die out gradually. This, too, accounts for much 
listless indifference as to the various improvements that the 
spirit of modern invention supplies in such abundance amongst 

An attractive instance of the adherence to traditional usage 
in the East is the costume of the native population, the 
picturesque variety of which is a most pleasing relief to an eye 
weary of European monotony. So far as male dress is concerned, 
it may fairly be said that if our English and Western garments 
are less attractive in appearance, they are at least convenient 
and well fitted for our requirements ; it may even be said that 
the richer class among the Turks and Egyptians have in a 
more or less modified degree adopted them. But who that has 
ever seen the decorum of costume and the modesty of deportment 
that prevail generally among Oriental women, and compared it 
with much that he sees at home, can deny that here at least the 
East sets us an example not wholly to be despised ? 

I am not touching on questions of high morality ; nor am I 
guilty of such presumption. I am confining myself to matters of 
exterior conduct, such as meet the eye of every traveller. Such 
things are but imperfect indications of the inward life ; yet it must 
not be forgotten that exterior propriety is a kind of safeguard to 
interior purity, and is in some way like a sentry posted on the 

Facilities of Modern Pilgriiiiage. 313 

outwork of a citadel, whom one does not expect to resist, unaided, 
an attack in force, but whom one requires to give timely notice 
of the enemy's approach. 

It is the habit of the Mahometan women in Syria and the 
Holy Land to cover the whole face with a veil, differing 
in that respect from the usage of Constantinople, where the 
yashmak is worn so as to allow the eyes to appear, and also from 
that of Egypt. But the Christian women also wear a dress at 
once picturesque and decorous, a sort of mantle, usually white in 
colour, which covers the head (without concealing the face) and 
reaches nearly to the feet. The effect of these white figures, as 
they crouch on the floors of the churches is at once pleasing, 
both to the artistic and moral sense. A pilgrim who on his 
return from the East landed recently in Italy and passed a 
Sunday in Naples, was affected with a feeling of repugnance, if 
not disgust, as he looked on the Italian women, with their heads 
completely uncovered, walking about, as they do, in the streets, 
and even entering the churches. So, again, the same pilgrim 
(whose prejudices are perhaps not entirely to be defended) con- 
trasted the ladies who drive dog-carts through the streets of 
London, with the Egyptian ladies passing along the streets of 
Cairo in the closed vehicles with half-drawn blinds, and drew 
concluvsions not v/hoUy in favour of his own countrywomen. 
And yet we must not forget that Mahometan usages are based on 
a false principle, and could not possibly be carried out in a highly 
civilized community, even were they desirable. One is inclined to 
ask if it might not be practicable to find some happy mean between 
the publicity of life and forwardness of deportment, which are 
encouraged in the modern society of Europe, and the gloom of 
Oriental seclusion ; perhaps such medium has been attained by 
some of the Oriental Christians, perhaps, too, it has been known 
in England as she was in days gone by, and possibly in other 
<50untries of the West ; but at the present day it seems like a 
hopeless ideal. Meanwhile let this brief digression upon Eastern 
manners and Western morals be excused — even by those to whom 
its tone may seem exaggerated — as a result of that fascinating 
vision of Oriental life which on the wanderer^s return to Europe 
vanishes from his eyes, however it may linger in his memory. 

F. R. Wegg-Pbosser. 

■B UmH ai 

( 314 ) 

Aet. IV.— where was ST. PATRICK BORN? 

1. The Birthplace of St. Patrick. By the Right Rev. P. F. 

MoRAN, Bishop of Ossory (now Archbishop of Sydney). 
Dublin Review, April, 1880. 

2. Docunienta de S. Patritio, Hihernorum Ai^ostolo ex lihro 

Armachano. Edidit E. Hogan, S.J., in Universitate 
Catholiea Dubliniensi, linguae HibernicsB et historise lector. 
Bruxellis. 1884. 

S. An Inquiry cts to the Birthplace of St. Patrick. By 
T. H. Turner, M.A. A Paper read for the Society of 
Antiquaries of Scotland, and published in " Archaeologia 
Scotica,^^ vol. V. part i. Edinburgh. 1874. 

4. Loca Patriciccna. By Rev. J. F. Shearman. Published in 

the R.H.A.A.I. Series 4th. Vol. iv. No. 35, p. 435. 

5. Essays on Religion and Literature. — The Birthplace of 

St. Patrick. By J. Cashel Hoey. Edited by H. E. 
Manning. London. 

A SAYING which has passed into a proverb, " that the 
unexpected generally happens," is illustrated from a 
statement in the " Book of Armagh " concerning St. 
Patrick. The writer of that venerable book, in the ninth 
century, traced a likeness to Moses in the apostle of Ireland, by 
reason of his angelic communications, his fast for full forty days 
and nights, his long life of 120 years, and his burial in an 
unknown grave. His burial-place is known, however, whilst 
his birthplace, which was probably known to the writer in the 
'' Book of Armagh,'' is at present anything but generally 
agreed upon. Yet in this age of ours, when so much has been 
discovered with the progress of science and scientific criticism, 
it is surely time to ask yet once again, Where was Saint Patrick 
born ? And if we cannot with certainty point to the country 
of his birth, though we hope so to do, we shall at all events 
show that the last word has not been said on the subject, and 
that further inquiry is still necessary. 

When we take into account the filial reverence with which 
every step of the Irish apostle has been traced by his loving 
followers, it is strange that any doubt should exist as to his 
birthplace. Whilst he yet lived several Lives of him are said 
to have been drawn up ; so that it looks like the irony of fate, 
that although four of these Lives are attributed to his four 
nephews,* the locality of his very birthplace is still a moot 

* "Trias Thaum." Scholium, Hymn of Fiacc. 

Where was St. Patrick Born ?- 31- a 

question. Not to speak of the many learned Lives and notices 
oF the Saint that have appeared in modern times, no (ewer than, 
sixty-six Lives had been written by the tweltth century. These 
sixty-six Lives have been substantially embodied into seven:; 
and on these seven is founded most of what has been vvrittea 
since the twelfth century. 

It may not be uninteresting to the general reader to state that 
several places have laid claim to the honour of being St. Patrick's 
birthplace. A Gallic origin has been claimed for him ; also an Irish 
origin ; a claim has been set up for Rosnat valley and Pepediac 
in South Wales ; also for Cornwall ; and lastly, for Scotland by a 
far more considerable number of writers. Before the close of 
this article we shall have occasion to bring forward a seventh 
place, whose claims we have not yet seen advocated ; and in 
doing so we are actuated by no national or polemical prejudices. 

The settlement of the point is of no small moment to the 
many millions of devoted children of St. Patrick throughout the 
world, and not uninteresting to those Catholics everywhere who 
feel interested in all that concerns one who singly and personally 
left a more enduring record than any other Saint, perhaps, since 
the days of the Apostles. 

The learned editor of a work which heads this article intimates 
that the claim to the honour of being St. Patrick's birthplace 
may be confined to two places — Boulogne in France and Killpatrick 
in Scotland. The learned Jesuit refers those who wish to see the 
claims of France advocated to Dr. Lanigan and Mr. Cashel 
Hoey, while for the claims of Scotland he refers to Dr. Moran;; 
and he adds that the evidence, it appeared to him, was in favour 
of ScotlaniJ.* Accordingly, I shall chiefly confine my remarks to 
these claimants. 

Most of what has been written on the point is grounded on & 
few words found in all the Lives of St. Patrick, with some slight 
variations. These words describe his birthplace as " Henithun, 
Bonnaven Tabernice, Nentria ; ■'•' one party connects Nentria 
with France, the other with Scotland. The learned Dr. Lanigan 
and his followers maintain that the words mean that he was 
born in '^Boulogne, in the district of Tarabauna, the modern 
Terouanne, in the province of Neustria.^' Now in changing 
Bonnaven into Boulogne, Tabernise into Tarabauna, and Nen- 
tria into Neustria, Dr. Lanigan offers a violence to language 
which cannot well be allowed. Moreover, it is stated in the Patrician 
documents (p. 24) that St. Patrick, after escaping from captivity 
to his home in order to go to Italy, had to cross the British sea. I 

* " Documenta," p. 21, n.c, "Killpatrick, prope Dunbarton in Scotia, 
ut videtur.' 

316 Where ivas St. Patrich Born ? 

need not say that if he had been in France, he need not have 
crossed British waters. Again, we read among the sayings 
of St. Patrick, that he " entertained a fear of God as a guide in 
his journeys through France, Italy, even in the islands of the 
Tuscan sea/'' Here we see that France and Italy have been viewed 
in the same strange light by him. The same idea is expressed 
in the gleanings (Collectanea) of Tirechan. He says that St. 
Patrick spent seven years in journeying by land and sea over 
champaign countries and mountains and valleys through France 
and Italy. It is stated in all the Lives and by their scholiasts 
that St. Patrick was a Briton. He himself makes the same 
statement in his " Confession.' ' '^ After a few years,'' he says, 
**I was again in Britain with my parents"* (In Britanniis 
eram cum parentibus meis). And subsequently he confesses to 
a great anxiety to go to Britain as unto his parents, and not only 
thither, but as far as Gaul to visit his spiritual brethren. All 
this and much more that might be quoted establishes beyond 
doubt that France was not the birthplace of St. Patrick. Dr. 
Lanigan and his supporters may, indeed, say that Boulogne is 
situated in Britanny, and that this is a proper translation of the 
word " Britanniis.'^ But it cannot be denied that Britanny or 
little Britain was not applied to any part of France, at least the 
northern part, for a hundred years subsequent to the death of St. 

Having briefly disposed of the claims of France to the birth- 
place of St. Patrick, we have to consider the only rival claim 
that has been championed in later years. The Bishop of Ossory 
has been justly considered the great advocate of this theory. 
He does not fail to advance everything that can be said in its 
favour, with a clearness, fulness, and tact peculiarly his own ; 
and if his theory does not recommend itself to us, it is not from 
lack of able advocacy, but from its intrinsic weakness. The learned 
bishop, before working up his argument, lays down the grounds 
of his proofs. This he does with great ability. He ranges his 
argument under twelve heads ; and, as his proofs appear to have 
been marshalled so as to give each other mutual support, I have 
no objection briefly to meet them in the order in which they are 

I. His first witness is Marianus Scotus. He says very justly 
that the name of Marianus enjoys the highest reputation as 
a chronicler, and that he states St. Patrick to have been a Briton. 
We agree with Marianus, although not for the reason assigned 

* Though ** parentes " could in other contexts mean near relatives, 
here the word is translated by parents, the more so as St. Patrick is spoken 
of as a son. Besides Jocelin says, '^jpaternis laribus constitutus" ch. iv. 

Where luas St. Patrick Born ? 317 

by Dr. Moran — viz., "that the various entries in his Chronicle 
which have reference to Ireland are all found to bear with them 
the impress of indisputable authority ; " for we know that he 
maintained that St. Boniface was an Irishman, and we have good 
reason for thinking that Marianus was mistaken. Yet we admit 
his statement in regard to the nationality of St. Patrick ; but he 
only says that he was a Briton. 

2. The bishop^s second proof is taken from a statement in 
the '' Confession '' to the effect that St. Patrick was a Briton. 
This would tell against France, but not in favour of Scotland. 

3. The third proof is that manuscripts of the tenth century 
state that St. Patrick was born in Nemthur, and that the scho- 
liasts on this passage explain it by Alclyde. 

The identification of Nemthur with Alclyde in Scotland by a 
nameless scholiast may be admitted. The scholium appears on 
a hymn attributed to St. Fiacc, who died in the beginning of 
the sixth century. But what is the authority of the scholiast ? 
Who was he ? Let us judge of him by the other scholia. He 
says that St. Patrick " had as brother Sannan, and five sisters, 
Lupita, Tigris, Liemania, Darerca, and Cinneneve ; that all 
having gone on business to Armoric Gaul, their mother being a 
near relative of St. Martin of Tours, seven sons of Facthmaide 
having been banished by the Britons, made a descent on Gaul, 
killed the parents of St. Patrick, and carried Lupita and Patrick 
captives to Ireland ^' ("Trias Thaum.,^' app. 5, ch. iv. p. 225). 
Now let us read the gloss of the scholiast on the Book of 
Hymns : " Ocmius was his mother, and the mother of his five 
sisters, namely, Lupita, Tigris, Darerca, Liemania, and Cinneneve; 
his brother was Sannan. They all went from the Britons of 
Alclyde.^' Then the story of the above scholiast is repeated — 
the visit from Alclyde to the friends in France, the connection 
with them through St. Martin, the descent on the Gaulish coast 
by the British princes, and the captivity of St. Patrick and that 
of his sister to Ireland. All that concerns us at present is the 
identification of Alclyde with Nemthur. But the whole story is 
substantially open to objection. First, St. Evin, one of the 
oldest biographers of the Saint, and Jocelin state that St. 
Patrick had only three sisters, not five ; and hence the learned 
Colgan says that the scholiasts' statements cannot be reconciled 
either with fact or with each other, and that there is strong 
reason for doubting whether Lupita and Cinneneve were sisters 
of St. Patrick. 

Secondly, there is good reason for doubting if St. Martin — 
who was a Pagan soldier when he came from Pannonia — ever had 
a sister or near relative in France so as to have established a 
connection with St. Patrick's family. And then, indeed, the 

318 Where ivas St Patrick Born ? 

journey of an entire family, and in those days, from Scotland to 
France! Furthermore, Probus, whom the bishop styles "the 
most accurate of the historians of our apostle^s life '' (p. 309), 
differs from the scholiasts by saying that the Saint had only one 
sister, and that she was none of those above named, but Mila ; 
that the name of our apostle's brother was not Sannan, as sa)' 
the schohasts, but Ruchti, and that the parents were slain, 
whereas other Lives state that they had been only wounded. If 
then so many mistakes can be objected against the scholiasts, 
surely it is not too much to suspect a verbal mistake as to 
Nemthur or Alclyde. Furthermore, in contradiction to the Gallic 
descent, on the mother^s side, from St. Martin, I may refer to 
the genealogy of the mothers of the Saints of Ireland, attributed 
to the venerable Oengus the Culdee, who traces St. Patrick, on 
the mother's side, to a British source.^ 

4. The fourth proof, like the third, is the testimony of a 
nameless scholiast on the Hymn of Fiacc. To his statements, 
being only a repetition of those by the other scholiasts, the same 
answer applies as given under the former heading. 

During the lifetime of St. Columbkille in Scotland, and for 
centuries subsequently, the Irish were accustomed to visit lona. 
There and in the surrounding country they saw the churches 
and holy wells dedicated to St. Patrick. Even the very rock 
from which his boat pushed away for Ireland was pointed out. 
Palladius, who was called Patrick, had, too, been in Scotland. 
Besides, it may be that our St. Patrick came as far as was possible 
by land from Britain to Ireland. What then with this familiarity 
with so many objects said to be connected with St. Patrick in 
Scotland, and forgetfulness of the Saint's real birthplace during 
times of confusion and irruption from pagan barbarians, we can 
easily see how a remark, even from a nameless scribe, would be 
taken up and repeated in the tenth century. I am only giving 
a probable origin of the connection of Nemthur with Alclyde. 
I have proved by Dr. Moran's own witnesses that the scholiasts 
were mistaken on several important points in connection with 
Alclyde, and I shall prove by-and-by that they were mistaken 
in the identification of Alclyde with Nemthur. 

But before showing positively the mistake as to Nemthur, let 
us see how Dr. Moran and his supporters handle the proof. 
Some of them make Nemthur mean a " heavenly tower,^^ and 
say that the miracles performed there before, after, and during 
St. Patrick^s birth entitled it to this heavenly character. I have 
never heard that Dunbarton or the original fortress of Alclyde 
was called a " heavenly tower." O'Flaherty says it got its name 

* "Bookof Lecan,"fol..43. 

Where was St. Patrick Born ? 319 

from the Taath-de-Danaan hero, Nemidh, and that it was from 
Alclyde he and his followers passed over into Ireland ; hence, 
Nemidh's tower or Nemthur ! Dr. Moran himself prefers to 
derive it from Nemiath (chapel) and tor, a tower; and that thus 
Nemiaththor when contracted hecomes Nemthur. The learned 
Brehon scholar, Eugene O'Curry, is quoted by Dr. Moran as 
saying that he met with the word written Emptor, or Entor ; 
that the first syllable was merely an emphatic prefix, and that 
the word means the tower by excellence, or the isolated tower ; 
and Dr. Moran adds that since O'Curry's time it has been 
decided that the n in Nemthur is merely euphonic, and that the 
word means simply a tower. 

If there has been such an acquiescence in O'Curry's opinion, 
as stated, what becomes of the Nem portion on which Dr. Moran 
founded his chapel-derivation ? The author of '^ Ogygia " gives 
a Tuatha-Danaan derivation, while, according to Dr. Moran, 
another genealogist derives the word " Nemthur " from some 
forgotten hero Nen, to whose history we have not been intro- 
duced. Now what does all this prove ? Simply that the locality 
of " Nemthur,^-' where St. Patrick is said to have been born, is 
quite uncertain, and that the word is likely to turn out to be a 
misprint. The allusion alleged to have been made to the word 
" Nentur ^' in a Welsh romance is only a repetition of the Irish 
MSS., and found only in comparatively modern manuscripts. 

5. Archbishop Moran relies on the explanation already given 
of "Taburnia." It will be remembered that the words in 
St. Patrick's " Confession " are that he or his father was from the 
village " Bonnaven Taberniae.^' It is generally agreed that 
" Bonnaven " means the river's mouth, and the several writers 
of the Life of St. Patrick explain '^ Taberniae " as '^ the plain of 
tents,'' because the llomans used in winter to pitch their tents 
there at the mouth of the Clyde. Such is indeed the explana- 
tion given by writers who lived 500 years after St. Patrick, an 
explanation made to fit in with the theory of a Scottish birth- 
])lace. The archbishop appeals to the authority of O'Flaherty 
for the fact that the valley of the Clyde was called the " plain of 
Tabern," not from the Roman encampments, but from a Tuath- 
Danaan hero, Tabarn, who passed over, like our old friend Nemidh, 
into Ireland. Another to whom Dr. Moran refers says it 
comes from Tabh, the sea, and Erin ; and hence the plain of the 
Clyde was called " Taberniae," or the plain (not of Erin but) of 
the Irish Sea ! We need not lose time in following these wild 
conjectures, but confine ourselves to the explanation generally 
given by the Irish writers of the Lives. 

I may observe that there is nothing peculiarly distinctive in 
the epithet " Taberniae " as explained by 'Hhe plain of tents or 

320 Where wus St. Patrick Born ? 

tabernacles." The second Life has, '^ He was born in the city 
of Nemthor, in the plain of Tahern or tents/^ The third, 
fourth, fifth, and sixth Lives give the very same explanation of 
*' Tabernise" as referring to Roman encampments. But, as I have 
remarked, no distinctive feature is gained by such an explanation. 
Indeed, it may be observed that the Romans encamped on British 
soil not during the winter merely^ and that there was no part of 
the Roman road or its surroundings, from Sandwich to the wall 
of Antoninus, on which they did not pitch their tents. They 
encamped not only in winter, but also in summer. They en- 
camped, and a city grew about their encampment, and hence the 
name of Chester and of many other towns in England. The 
thirty-three large towns and nine colonies that sprang from 
their encampments prove how childish it would be to describe a 
district by a mere Roman encampment. The author of the fifth 
Life says that " Tabern" is British, and signifies tents. Now, as 
"Bonnaven^^ or "Bunoun" is Irish, would it not have been 
more natural to use some Irish word in conjunction with it to 
express tents ? We have had in fact the word tabernacul used as 
an Irish word to express that very word " Tabern," which the 
writers of the Lives translated into Tahernacula, tents ; and so 
much at home was the word tabernacul^ that we find it inflected 
into the genitive case tabernacuil* On that account, then, we 
should expect that Irish writers would have translated the word 
''Tabern,^' which they say was British, into an Irish word in 
harmony with *' Bonnaven" rather than into the Latin Tabernice 
or tabernacula. Or if they rejected the Latin loan word Taber- 
nacuil, they had at command the genuinely Irish words sgor or 
fuar-boit to express tents. Thus, the pure Irish writer. Dr. 
Keating,in his History of Ireland (Cashel: O'Callaghan), speaking 
of the Danes, says that the fields on each side of the road were 
full of tents [sgoraib). Again, the prince-bishop, Cormac, in his 
Glossary, says f that Finn came in the evening to the tents 
{Juar-boit). Thus an Irish word would have been at hand to 
express tent in conjunction with the Irish word " Bonnaven " 
rather than *^ Tabern," on the supposition that it stands for a 
tent. Then also why do we find the Latin termination in the 
word Tabernice f as found in the *' Book of Armagh ^^? Further- 
more, " Taberna '^ meant an inn rather than tents. Dr. Moran 
refers to Festus as saying that the tabernacle was so called from 
its likeness to the taberna (= inn), and that this originally 
meant anything useful for habitation.^ But who does not know 

* "L. Breac," pp. 121, 251, col. h. f. Sub voce, Ore. 

X Oalerus, a hat, may come from galea, a shield ; annulus, a ring, 
may come from annus, a year ; casula, a vestment, may come from casa, 
a house ; but it would not follow that subsequently or originally they 
were the same, however like, words. 

Where was St. Patrick Born ? o21 

that things may be like without being identical, and that the 
words (taherna) inn and tabernacle {tahernacula) were not iden- 
tical in meaning or in form in St. Patrick's time, nor, if ever at 
allj for centuries previously. This difficulty struck the Irish 
writers ; for after converting " Tabern " into " Tabernise/' they 
further added the gloss ^' Tahernacula." They felt that the first 
word did not express the meaning intended by them. Then, 
too, no ancient manuscript gives any countenance to the word 
*^ plain," which is gratuitously inserted to make "tabernise'^ 
even intelligible — ^' the plain of Tabern.'' There would have 
been as great an appearance of probability in designating it the 
house or citadel of Tabern, on the supposition that Nemthur, in 
which St. Patrick was said to have been born, had been equi- 
valent to Alclyde fortress ; and then it would mean the city 
of Tabern, whether the word was to designate the Eoman 
encampment or the Tuatha-Danaan hero. 

Thus one Life represents the Saint as born in Nemthur ; the 
second, third and fourth Lives, as born in Nemptur, in the plain 
of Tabernise ; the fifth, as born in (the region of) Taburnia, the 
sixth in the plain, not in but near the city of Nemthur. Now 
as a sentence is all-important in deciding the meaning of a 
passage, a single letter is no less important in deciding the 
meaning of a word. Change letters and the meaning changes 
with them. The various writers are relied upon for a certain con- 
clusion, and that from a word on which they ring many changes. 
They give us Tabern, Tabernise,, Tabernaculorum, Tabuerni, 
Tibernia, Taburnia ; also we have a region from one, a "plain from 
another, a country district from a third ; one places the birth- 
place in Nemthur, another near Nemthur. The conclusion 
forced on me from this discrepancy is, that if the best scholars 
have given so many various versions of two words, they have not 
hit on the true original reading. 

6. The sixth of Archbishop Moran^s proofs is founded on the 
remarks, in reference to the plains of Taberniae, of Probus, whom 
his Grace styles " the most accurate of the historians." And as 
a practical proof of his appreciation of him, he founds five of his 
twelve proofs on the words of Probus alone. Probus says that 
the parents of the Saint were from the village Baunave, in the 
Tiburnian district, not far from the Western Sea. This, in 
connection with some remarks of a Scottish writer on St. 
Patrick's birthplace, leads Archbishop Moran not to Alclyde, 
which his previously quoted authorities identified with Nemthur, 
but some miles away from Alclyde. And on this change of 
front the Archbishop says that the distance of a few miles " does 
not seem to me an insurmountable difficulty in the case.'' He 
might as well have removed it a hundred miles; for his argu- 

^^2 Where ivas St. Patrick Born ? 

jnent depended solely on making Nemthur identical with 
Alclyde. " No name," he writes, " could be more appropriate to 
this precipitous rock of basalt, which rises to the height of about 
three hundred feet on the north of the Clyde ; ' it stands 
eompletely isolated from any other elevation/ " 

7. Dr. Moran makes a distinct link in the chain of his argu- 
ment from the remark of Probus — that Baunave and Tibernia 
were not far from the Western Sea. In reply, I have to remark 
that the Western Sea stretched along an extended line of coast. 
The Irish Sea is spoken of in the '* Book of Armagh'''' by an Irish 
writer as "our sea." It was called the Irish Sea because it 
separated Ireland from Great Britain, just as the sea separating 
Britain from France was called the British Sea."^ Hence in 
the ancient maps (descriptio antiqwa) the Irish Sea is made to 
extend from the north in Ireland, opposite Scotland, down to the 
southern coast of Wales. In proof, I need only refer to the 
Irish story told in " The Battle of Moira " ; f— 

At this time the sway of the Gaels was great among the Britons. 
They divided Albion between them as to holdings, and each one 
knew the habitation of his friends. And the Gael did not carry on 
less agriculture on the east side of the sea than at home in Scotia ; 
and they erected habitations and regal fortresses there, and hence 
Glastonbury, &c. 

This surely does not confine the Irish Sea, as the bishop would 
fain have it, to the points between Dunbarton and Antrim. 

8. The Archbishop finds an additional proof in the other words 
of Probus. He states that the Tiburnian district was in the 
province of Nentria. The learned prelate infers from this that 
Nentria is a Latinized form of Nemthur, another name for 
Alcjyde ; and that the whole province was called Nentrian from 
the capital Nentria or Alclyde. 

Now, I feel bound to say that this is the wildest conjecture. 
And even though there were the appearance of authority for his 
assertion, the bishop should have suspected it. For it would be 
as much as to say Alclyde or Nentria, the capital, is in the 
Nentrian district ! Who requires to be told that the capital of 
a province is in the province to which it gives its name ? 

9. Dr. Moran remarks that Probus adds, in connection with 
the Nentrian province, that " there giants are said to have 
dwelt in olden times," and that this circumstance points to the 
valley of the Clyde; especially as St. Cadoc, in building a 

* " DocTimenta," &c., pp. 21-24. 

+ " Magh Rath," published for the Irish Archaeological Society, n. G, 
p. 229 ; Cormac's Glossary, sub voce Eime, &c. 

Where ivas St. Patrick Boim ? 323 

monastery there many long ages ago, found the '^ grave of a 
giant;" and as O'Flaherty states that it was from this spot 
our old friends^ the Tuatha-Danaans, passed over into Ireland ; 
finally, that the Danaans were the giants and heroes of " our 
mythological history/^ 

But if finding a large grave establishes a race of giants, we have 
them in Ireland. The "Book of Armagh " tells us that St. Patrick 
came on a grave, 120 feet long, where a gigantic Norwegian 
was buried,* and that the Saint raised him to life. If the 
country from which the Danaans came may be called one of 
giants, surely Ireland also may, into which the Danaans came 
and lived till exterminated by our Milesian ancestors. Tradition, 
indeed, connects the Danaans with feats of skill and witchcraft; 
and many stories would lead us to attribute the advent of the 
Danaans to us from other quarters than the banks of the Clyde. 
But I concede all the advantages that can be derived from 
" mythological history " to this theory. 

10. The words of Probus supply a tenth argument. Speaking 
of St. Patrick's father and family and captivity, he says " that 
the Britons plundered his city Arimuric and the neighbouring 
places." Now, the learned prelate "thinks it sufficiently 
probable"" that there is question here of the Eoman rampart 
called "Arimuric," which stretched from the Forth to the 
Clyde. He produces no authority for this statement. Now, if 
Probus be a witness, let him tell the whole truth : — 

While as yet he (Patrick) was in his country with his father 
Calpurnius and his mother Concessa, his brother Ruchti, and his 
sister Mila, in their city Arimuric, there took place a great sedition in 
these parts ; for the sons of Eethmit, King of Britain, devastating 
Arimuric and other adjoining places, killed Calpurnius and his wife 
Concessa, and carrying away captives their children, Patrick and his 
brother Ruchti, with their sister, landed in Ireland. f 

Now, if I were disposed to reject the testimony of Probus, I 
might do so on the ground that he differs from all the other 
Lives as to the number and names of St. Patrick's sisters and 
the name of his brother ; and this would not be captious 
criticism, for the compiler and publisher of the Lives tells us 
that this discrepancy shakes our confidence in the testimony of 
Probus.J But I will abide by his testimony. Does not Probus 
say that St. Patrick was in his country and city when the 
sedition took place, and that it consisted or resulted in the 
British princes devastating Arimuric, where St. Patrick was, 

* " Documenta," &c. p. 82. f " Quinta Vita," chap. xii. 

t Si aliquam veri apparentiam voluerit author ejusve transuniptor 
hie habere, in Armorica erat scribendum cum, &c. — Trias Tliaum. 
TOL. XVI. — NO. 11. [Third iSeries.] z 

324 Where was St. Patrick Born ? 

and leading him thence captive ? Does not this imply that the 
place of his captivity and his tlirth was one, whereas Dr. Moran 
would have the place of captivity different from the birthplace ? 
When it is stated that Arimuric was devastated by princes from 
Britain, is there not an implication that Arimuric was not in 
Britain ? And the profoundly learned Colgan, who has published 
for us these Lives, says that if the words of Probus deserve any 
credit, we must suppose that " Arimuric " was a misprint for 
" Armorica." Yet Dr. Moran appeals to this as a proof that 
Arimuric was in Scotland ! Furthermore, if Arimuric meant 
the Roman rampart-termination in Alclyde or Dnnbarton, how 
could Dr. Moran fix miles away from it the place of St. Patrick's 

The advocacy of a Caledonian origin for St. Patrick involves 
a puzzle and self-contradiction. For the authors of the second 
and third Lives state that in one of the descents regularly and 
frequently made by an Irish army "^ and fleet on Britain (British 
isle) St. Patrick was led captive into Ireland ; and thus gleams 
of truth break through the ill-patched legend. 

IL A brief reference to St. Patrick by the late O'Curry 
supplies the eleventh point of evidence. It says "that in a 
village the name of which is Urnia, in Britain, near the city of 
Emptor, Patrick was born." Dr. Moran asserts that Hurnia 
means a place for prayer, which we may admit, and that Scottish 
documents state "that the church of Old Killpatrick, near 
Dunbarton, was in olden times a famous place of pilgrimage.'^ 
He draws no inference, nor indeed could he do so. If we may 
venture to draw one, it will be adverse to him, and it is this — 
that if Old Killpatrick, being a place of pilgrimage, be fixed on 
as the birthplace of St. Patrick, it contradicts the conclusion to 
which older authorities had led him. For we saw, under his 
fourth head of proof, that the birthplace should be, not near 
but identical with Alclyde or Dunbarton. And this Dr. Moran 
has so markedly emphasized as to flatly contradict one of our 
most distinguished hagiographers, who said that ancient manu- 
scripts pointed to a place near Alclyde as the birthplace of St. 

12. The twelfth and last of Dr. Moran's arguments is adduced 
from Jocelin's supposed words. Dr. Moran thus writes : " Jocelin 
makes mention of the village Taburnia, and this is perhaps a 

* " Scotensis exercitus classe de more conducto," &c. 

t " Eev. John O'Hanlon, * Lives,' &c., vol. iii. p. 419, refers to some of 
these texts as saying that Nemthur was near Alclyde. There is nothing, 
however, in any of the texts to justify this statement." — Dublin Review, 
he. cit. p. 304. 

Where ims St. Patrick Born? 325 

mistake for Urnia/^ Dr. Moran, however, is himself more likely 
here to he mistaken than Jocelin. If an argument can be 
manufactured by saying that Taburnia was perhaps a mistake 
for Urnia, there is nothing that may not be proved, or rather, 
nothing can ever be proved. If all the old writers have been 
quoted to prove that Taburnia meant a district in which the 
town of which Dr. Moran was in search was situated, why now 
make it out to be a village (Urnia), so called not from Roman 
encampments, but from prayer and pilgrimage? If the bishop 
would have Jocelin speaking of a village where others can 
discover only a plain; some connecting a place with Roman 
encampments, while others connect it with a mythical Tabarn. or 
plain of the sea ; some making out that the word is British, while 
the "Book of Armagh '' presents it in a Latinized form, I can only 
infer that his Lordship's premisses are uncertain and his conclu- 
sion untenable. 

I may now add briefly some direct proofs against the assump- 
tion that Killpatrick in Scotland was the birthplace of St. Patrick. 
And first we are told in the "' Book of Armagh '^ that when St. 
Patrick had returned home after his captivity, his parents begged 
that he would never again leave home. He would not comply, 
but in order to qualify himself for the apostolic mission set out for 
the Apostolic See; "having," as the writer next adds, "sailed 
across the British sea on the right." Now this implies that he 
began his journey at once by water. Well, this could not have 
happened, the British sea being on the right, if he had embarked 
from Alclyde.* 

Secondly, St. Patrick in his " Confession'''' declares that he would 
have wished to go to Britain and see his country and parents, 
not only thither but as far as Gaul : now the form of expression 
suggests, as appears to me, that his country was on his way to 
Gaul ; but surely if Dunbarton were his country, he would in 
going there from Ireland be only turning his back on Gaul. 
Thirdly, it is admitted that the Irish and Scots belonged to the 
same Gaelic branch of the Celtic stock. Besides, it is an 
undoubtedly historical fact that in the third century there set in 
such a tide of emigration from Ireland to Scotland that the 
opposite coast of Scotland got the name of Argyle (Airer Gael), 
the region of the Gael. Now the region of Argyle included, 
along the western coast, the country from the Humber to the 
Clyde. All this leads us to conclude that the language of Ireland 
and Scotland did not differ. Nay^ more ; down to the sixth 
century there was no essential difference between the Gaelic and 
the Erse. In the fourteenth century, the Remonstrance of the 

* " Documenta," «fec., p. 24. 

2 2 

326 Whe7'e tvas St Patrick Born ? 

Irish princes addressed to Pope John XXII. states the language 
of the Irish and Scotch to be in a manner the same.* 
So late even as the sixteenth century an Irish scholar 
could easily understand the Erse Catechism of the Reformed 
Common Prayer which was published by the Protestant bishop, 
Carsuel. From all this I infer that the Irish language 
was not different from the language at the Clyde in St. Patrick^s 
time; and indeed it could scarcely be otherwise in the circum- 
stances, as there was no greater distance between Fair Head in 
Antrim and the opposite coast of Scotland, the Mull of Cantire, 
than between the opposite coasts in Kerry and Clare. If, however, 
St. Patrick had had to learn the Irish language in order to pre- 
pare for his future mission in Ireland, as his biographers assure 
us, we must infer that he was not from Argyle or the Clyde. 

Again, St. Patrick in his letter to Coroticus says that he 
had made converts at the end of the world : now how could 
he complain of being thrown at the end of the world, extremis 
terrce, if he were a native of Alclyde? " Ultima Thule," the end 
of the world in the North as known to the Romans, was nearer 
to the Clyde than to Ireland, and therefore a native of the Clyde 
could not complain of being at the end of the world in Ireland. 
Hence I infer that St. Patrick was not of Scottish birth. 

Once again, it is to be remarked that Bede says that Alclyde 
stands on the margin of a gulf of the Irish Sea which runs 
inland. Now, if Alclyde or Nemthur stands beside the Irish 
Sea, how could it be said to be any distance, as implied by the 
" Book of Armagh '"' ?J We are led to the same conclusion by an 
interesting story in the " Book of Armagh.^' St. Patrick left his 
nephew St. Lomman at the mouth of the Boyne, who after 
some time went up to Trim. Foirtchern, the son of Feidlimidh, 
a prince of the district, saw St. Lomman celebrating Mass, or 
reading his Office — admired, believed, and was baptized. His 
mother on meeting St. Lomman was converted. The mother 
and son having told Feidlimidh what had happened them, he was 
pleased ; and as his mother was a native of Britain, he saluted 
St. Lomman in the British language. And having inquired 
about the faith and his race, he received the following answer 
from St. Lomman : '^ I am a Briton, and Christian, and a 
disciple of Patrick.^' Now I infer from this that the British 
language was different then from the Irish, and that St. Lom- 

* " Scotochronicon," vol. ii. p. 281 : "linguam nostram quodamodo 

t Jocelin, ch. 185. "Venerable Bede assures us that the Franks and 
Saxons sprung from the same Teutonic stem, but separated in the fifth 
century, understood each other in the seventh century. — Lib. i, ch. 25. 

I " Documenta," &c., p. 21. 

Where ivas St. Patrick Born ? 3:27 

man did not understand the latter. Furthermore, if St. Lomman^s 
mother were taken captive in A^lclyde, as Dr. Moran would 
have Probus prove, was it not natural that he would have learnt 
Irish from his mother, as Feidlimidh spoke the British language 
because his mother was a Britoness ? 

Besides, if we are to believe Probus, St. Patrick^s sister was 
carried captive with him to Ireland. If so, does it not look 
singular that she was not able to get a husband in Ireland 
without having gone to Britain? Then too we find that St. 
Patrick's nephew, Patrick Junior, though he had been for 
some time on the Irish mission with our great apostle, yet was 
buried in Glastonbury. And the name of another nephew by 
Darerca was Carantocus, British : does not all this argue a 
British rather than Scottish origin for St. Patrick^s family ? 

Here I must say a word in reply to an objection or statement 
made by Father Shearman — that Coroticus, to whom St. Patrick 
addressed a letter of reproof, was from Strathclyde, and that on 
this account St. Patrick addressed him not as a fellow-citizen, 
but as a companion of the apostate Picts and pagan Scots. 
The statement implies that St. Patrick and Coroticus were fellow- 
citizens from Strathclyde.* But in reply it can be said that 
from the time of the Emperor Adrian, all Roman subjects 
received the right of citizenship ; so that fellow-citizenship 
meant connection only with the city of Rome. Moreover, the 
being from the same province would not, strictly speaking, 
mean fellow-citizenship. Furthermore, Coroticus, who killed 
or captured St. Patrick's neophytes, was not, as stated by Father 
Shearman, from Strathclyde. The " Book of Armagh " intimates 
that he was from Wales ; it states that he was king of Aloo.-|" 
The omission of an initial letter in a word was not uncommon. 
Thus we find the Gallobriges written Allobroges. Welsh 
meant a stranger, a term applied to them by the victorious 
Anglo-Saxons, when hunted into the mountains of Wales; and 
it is very curious that the term, in Irish, for what is strange or 
foreign is the same as that designating a Welshman.^ Besides 
the positive statement of Jocelin that Coroticus hailed from 
Wales, puts the matter beyond any doubt. § 

Finally, we learn from the "Book of Armagh ^^ that St. 
Patrick's coming to Ireland was foretold by the Druids, and him- 
self described as a foreigner coming over seas from afar.\\ !Now 

* " Loca Patriciana," published for the E.I.A.A., 4th Series, vol. iv. 
p. 435. " tFol. 206«. 

I Baxter's Glossary. Alluid (Alloo). 

§ " Sexta Vita," cli. cl. In tinibus quibusdam Britannise quaa mode 
Wallia dicitur tyrannus Cereticus. 

II " Externum longinquo trans maria." Fol. 26a. 

328 Where was St. Patrick Born ? 

whether this be regarded as a prophecy or a historical narrativCj. 
it does not appear applicable to one born on the Clyde, and 
separated from Ireland by merely thirteen miles of water. 

We have now seen the various versions and contradictory 
incidents connected with the few words intended to point out 
St. Patrick's birthplace. The words have been handled by the 
ablest and most ancient scholars. What, then, must be our 
inference ? This, that their premisses are false. Our conviction 
is that so early as the eighth century, and even earlier still, a 
corrupt text was adopted. There had been many Lives of our 
national Saint before the seventh century. They were so per- 
plexing and unsatisfactory, that at the command of the Bishop of 
Sletty, Maccu-mactheni, directly connected with the famous 
*' Book of Armagh,'^ undertook to write a consistent narrative. 
This happened before the end of the seventh century. The 
venerable writer in his preface to the Life of St. Patrick expresses 
his diffidence, owing to the great difficulty of the work, and 
" the diverse opinions and doubts of many who had never hit on 
one uniform plan of a history." He goes on to state that the 
difficulty was increased by the fact that the authors whom he 
had to consult were uncertain. Now, if before the year 699 there 
had been such uncertainty and confusion, what wonder that some 
verbal mistakes should have crept in subsequently. Hence, in 
the *^ Book of Armagh " one's attention is attracted by a notice, 
to the effect that owing to the effaced character of the manu- 
scripts from which the " Book " was compiled, there was need of 
doubting here and of further inquiry there. 

And in order fully to appreciate the " Book of Armagh " we 
should bear in mind that it was a national muniment, and under 
the guardianship of prince and primate. In a word, it contained 
documents said to have been written by St. Patrick^s own hand. 
Supposing, then, that the Lives had been written soon after the 
Saint^s death, as some are said to have been even in his lifetime, 
what wonder that there should have been a mistake or an efface - 
ment of some words, especially in that portion supplied by the 
Saint himself in his " Confession ? '■' As then the authorized com- 
piler of the *' Book of Armagh " found some words effaced or unde- 
cipherable in the manuscripts bearing on the various portions of 
the Saint's life, we should be prepared to meet with them more 
frequently in the " Confession -" so often handled by his loving 
disciples. In point of fact, it has been found that some copies of 
the " Confession " are far fuller than others. This, perhaps, hap- 
pened from the degree of effacement in the several manuscripts. 

St. Patrick in his "Confession^' says that he was the son of 
Calpurnius, who was of the village *' Bonnaven Tabernise.'^ As 
I had occasion before to observe, I consider that as Bonaven is 

Where was St, Patrick Bom ? 329 

Irish, the next word should naturally be Irish too, and that 
Thaher or Tahur may be such word. For if the word follow- 
ing Taber in the MSS. were inde we should before long 
have Taberniae. For we know tbat in old manuscripts it is 
difficult to distinguish between in and m ; and if we consider 
how easy it is to mistake de for ae, the stem of the letter d not 
rising above the horizontal level of the surrounding letters and 
faintly curving back to the left, we can easily without any great 
effort of the imagination see how Taberninde might become 
Taberniae. And I now proceed to give some proof of this 
process having being gone through. The first page of the 
'' Book of Armagh " containing the Life of our national apostle 
is missing, but fortunately we can supply the deficiency from the 
Bollandists^ copy, which corresponds almost literally as it does 
substantially with the rest of the " Book of Armagh/^ Now 
the Life thus opens : — " Patrick who was also called Sochet was 
a Briton by birth, being born in Britain, the son of Calpurnius 
a deacon, son, as he says, of Potitus a presbyter, ^vho was of the 
village Bonnaven thabur indecha, not far from our sea, which 
village we have frequently and unquestionably ascertained to be 
(uentre) Nentre/^ Here we have the words out of which 
Taburniae was formed ; and to facilitate the transformation the 
last syllable of indecha (cha) began a line, as given in the 
*•' Documenta,^' and thus was separated probably by a line from 
the first part inde, and thus the natural fusion of inde in course 
of time with thabur instead of with cha.^ Or we can naturally 
suppose that the contraction-mark for cha placed over inde 
would be easily lost sight of. 

Now that we have, as I imagine, the correct reading, does it 
lead us to the Saint's birthplace ? I thus translate the phrase : 
" He was of the Avon's mouth-village of the Indian well." 
This does not, I apprehend, lead us to Caledonia or Alclyde. 
Though Bunown, as it is generally spoken, or Bunavon means 
in general the river's mouth, I prefer to think that it means here 
a particular river — the Avon. If I rightly interpret indecha, 
it means thermal or Indian. The thabur indecha would be 
" Indian or thermal springs.'' 

The idea of old was that the sun rose in the east; hence, orient 
or rising and east were synonymous. The sun after being bathed 
in the ocean was supposed to rise full of freshness in the east, 

* Patritius qui et Sochet vocabatur, Brito nomine, in Britanniis natus, 
Cualfornio diacono ortus, filio, ut ipse ait, Potiti presbyteri, qui fuit vico 
Bonnavem Thabur indecha, baud procul a mari nostro, quern vicum 
constanter indubitanter comperimus uentre (Nentre). — Documenta, &c., 
p. 21. 

330 Where was St. Patrick Born ? 

where his heat and energy were strikingly manifested. The 
belief that thermal springs were not uncommon in India is 
brought out in an Irish life of Alexander the Great. In his 
description of the country, a writer in the " Lebhar Brenc " aUudes, 
among other phenomena, to a well which each night "boiled 
from very heat." It may be remarked that while the noun is 
written India, the adjective is not incZ^cha but incZecha.* Now the 
*^ Book of Armagh '^ tells us that the village so described was called 
as of Nentre. The writer describes the place as familiar to Irish 
ears and Irish tongues ; but as a historian he felt bound to state 
its original name or that of the country in which it was situated. 
This was very proper. Now " Nentre '' is British, and means 
the "heavenly waters,'' nen-diuyre. Well, would it not strike 
a person that our old familiar Nemthur orNenthur was, after all, 
only a corruption of Nen-divyr / Any person in the least 
acquainted with the Irish language can perceive the disposition 
to connect h with the letter t, and to insert a musical vowel 
between the harsh consonants. This is quite apparent in persons 
who usually speak Irish, and pronounce the words " countrj^ " 
and "troth" as " counthery " and "thuroth.'"' The genius 
of the language as it is at present, so it was of old ; and, if we 
are not mistaken, by such a process Nentria became Nenthur 
and Nemthurri, Nen in British and Nemi in the Irish language 
signifying heavenly. In fact, the scholiast on St. Fiacc's hymn, 
which is assigned so early a date as the year 500^ uses the word 
Nemthurri. We can easily conceive how this was translated 
into the " heavenly tower '' in which the Lives have placed the 
birthplace of St. Patrick. 

If we judge, as I think we may, that Avon was not merely 
generic but particular and descriptive, we can find several rivers 
that still retain that name. From amongst these we may notice 
one that rises in Wiltshire and falls into the Bristol Channel. 
Not far from its confluence with the Frome is Bath, famed for its 
thermal springs. Bath was called Aquae CalidsB by Pliny, Aquae 
Solis by the Romans in the time of Claudius. Bath would 
correspond with the heavenly waters of the British, and to the 
hot or Indian waters of the Irish language. One viewed it from 
the thermal property of the waters, another would view it under 
the peculiar influence of the sun ; a third considered it under its 
beneficent heavenly effects ; the perfervid imagination of the Celt 
would connect it with Eastern climes by association; and the 
practical Anglo-Saxon, from the sensible application of its waters 
to the body, named it Bath. 

If we place St. Patrick's birthplace near Bath to the east, we 

~~ * "Leabhar Bieac," pp. 207&, 209a. 

Where ivas St. Patrick Born ? 331 

cannot, perhaps, be much astray. No doubt Bath is some eleven 
miles from the confluence of the Avon with Frome, and nineteen 
miles from the Bristol Channel, and as such could not literally be 
said to be at the river^s mouth. But we should bear in mind 
that the literal meaning of bun, as in Bonavevi, is not a mouth 
but a bottom. And even should there be any necessity of placing 
the Saint^s birthplace near the Frome, there too thermal springs 
are to be found, 74° Fahrenheit, and remains of Roman encamp- 
ments at Clifton, Abbots-Leigh, and Rownham. There the tide 
rises to thirty feet on an average, and sometimes to the height of 
forty-nine fleet, so that to all intents the Avon could be supposed 
to have lost its identity at its confluence with the Frome. But 
the meaning of bun in Irish, in its literal and even conventional 
meaning, is very elastic. Thus a river in Clare county, the Raite, 
falls into the Shannon on the right, some four or five miles on the 
west of Limerick. Well, this river gives its name not only to 
the lowlands through which it falls into the Shannon, but even 
to an extensive barony sixteen miles in length, and distinguished 
into Upper and Lower Bunratty from the character of the 
ground through which the river flows to the Shannon. But 
by connecting Bonnaven of St. Patrick^s birthplace with Bath, 
it is possible to place it some miles lower than Bath on the 
Avon. For it is only reasonable to suppose that a gentleman 
or nobleman (St. Patrick says that he forfeited his nobility) 
would have his country seat or villa at a convenient distance 
from the capital, Bath. This is what might be expected from 
senators, who would love to copy the fashion as well as the laws 
of the Imperial city. This villa would be to Bath what Baise or 
some more convenient watering resort had been to Rome. This 
circumstance gives a key to the proper translation of the opening 
sentence in tne "" Confession '' of our national apostle : *' Who 
(his father) was of the village Bonnaven of the Indian wells 
(Bath) : for he had a villa near (Bath), where I was made a cap- 
tive.^^ The Saint went on to explain how his father, though a 
decurion of the senate at Bath, should be said to belong to or con- 
nected with one of a cluster of seats or a village at Bonnaven. 

Much credit need not be claimed for translating the plainest 
Latin sentence ; but that theory is self-condemned which would 
not allow such a translation. Dr. Todd was divided between the 
rival theories, none of which he championed. He was puzzled 
by the Lives which stated that St. Patrick was born in Nemthur, 
and immediately after stated that he was born in the *' Campo 
Tabernise." All he had to say was that both places were identical 
or that the former was situated in the latter. His disjunctive is 
not correct. Neither was the case. 

Dr. Toddy knowing that St. Patrick's father was of high 

332 Where was St. Patrick Born ? 

senatorial rank, would have him reside in a place of some import- 
ance, and accordingly translated his seat, vicus, by " town/' In 
giving some extracts from the '' Confession " of St. Patrick, the 
learned Professor, while giving a preference to the Bollandists' 
edition of the " Confession," yet strangely follows that in the 
" Book of Armagh/"' The present Archbishop of Sydney says and 
does the same. He gives in his allusion to the '^ Confession ■" one 
line, and only one line, of the original ; and his translation of that 
is more faulty than that of Dr. Todd. The line at the beginning 
of the " Confession " which Dr. Moran quotes runs thus : — " Qui 
fuit vico Bonaven Tabernise, villulam enim habuit/' His translation 
is, '' who (Calpurnius) lived in the village Bonaven Tabernise. 
He had, close by, a small villa." Here he states that the senator 
lived in a village, that he had a small villa near (the village ?), 
and he omits the translation of the word 6mm altogether. There 
is no room for the word in the Gallican theory of Dr. Lanigan, 
who, copying Ware, suggests Enon (the village) for enim, and 
asks what could be the meaning of eniini there. Nor is there 
more room in the Scottish theory of Archbishop Moran for the 
word given in the several copies of the " Confession."* But the 
Saint gave a reason why he himself, born perhaps in Bath, and 
surely connected with it as was his father, should have to state 
that they had a claim on the village Bonaven where he was 
captured, for {enim) his father had a country-seat there. Dr. 
Todd's and Bishop Moran's great mistake lay in following 
implicitly the old Lives which made Nentur synonymous with 
Bonnaven, whereas it was synonymous only with Tabernise or Tohur 
indecha, and in indissolubly linking Bonnaven and Tabernise, 
whereas they referred to different places — to a villa, and to a city 
by which that villa was individualized. The " Confession" does 
not oblige us to depart from the Lives, most of which assign 
the Saint's birthplace to Nentre or Bath. 

If, then, the text directs us to Bath, let us see how the context 
and the historical surroundings will harmonize with it. Bath 
was an important Roman town. It was on the Avon. It was 
one of the chief nine cities representative of the nine colonies 
in Britain. t It was at Bath that the old Boman road from 
London on to Wales was intersected by the road leading to the 
north of the island ; and so famous were its springs that vaulted 
aqueduct?, covering many acres and conveying the waters from 
the wells into the Avon, have been discovered twenty feet deep 

* An able writer in translating the passage in the Scottish Bcvieiv for 
July 1884, in graceful language, helps himself selfishly to the use of 
both Enon and enim. He leans towards Paisley as St. Patrick's birth- 

+ Eichard of Cirencester, de situ Britannicz. 

Where was St. Patrick Born ? 8S3 

under the present surface. Their waters average in temperature 
from 70^ to 117° Fahrenheit. 

The '' Book of Armagh " states that the birthplace of St. Patrick 
was not far from the Irish Sea ; nor is Bath. We have only to 
get through the Bristol Channel, and we are launched on the 
Irish Sea ; or rather, we may say that the waves which wash the 
southern coast of Ireland sweep within the same parallel of 
latitude, into the mouth of the Avon, so as to cause the tide to rise 
sometimes to the height of forty-nine feet. In fact, a writer at 
the present day, giving a description of the locality, could not 
describe it more accurately than by saying to an Irishman that 
it was not far from the Irish Sea. 

Then all the Lives speak of a wonderful well in connection 
with St. Patrick^s birthplace. Surely we have something very 
suggestive in the '' Indian," " heavenly '''' waters of Bath. 

Then, again, we are told that Patrick Senior was buried in 
Glastonbury, and that he was the tutor of our apostle.* This 
tutorship must have happened before his ordination. For the 
" Book of Armagh '' tells us that the Saint left home for the Con- 
tinent at the age of thirty, and began his mission in Ireland at 
sixty, after returning from the Continent. Now where but con- 
venient to his home could we expect the Saint in his younger 
days to have gone to school, and Glastonbury is only seventeen 
miles from Bath ? 

Then, too, we are told that St. Patrick, when leaving home for 
Rome, at once had the BHtish sea on his right ; and this should 
happen from the time he embarked on the Avon till he touched 
the Continent. 

We have been also told that giants dwelt in the province of 
Bath or Nentre. The Avon, on which it stands, takes its rise in 
Wiltshire. Who is not aware that there is Stonebenge on 
Salisbury Plain, a stupendous structure, and naturally attributed 
to a giant race ? Or if we turn our eyes south of Bath, we shall 
find within seventeen miles in the valley of Avilion the grave of 
the founder and leader of a race of giants — the Knights of the 
Round Table. The feats of these mighty men of yore have been 
for ages the theme of ballad and romance. The faint echoes of 
the high renown of these giants with which the old world rung 
have not yet quite died out. 

'^ Nay, nay," said Hall, 
*' Why take the style of these heroic times, 
For nature brings not back the mastodon, 
Nor we these times ? " . . . . 

* Festclogy of Oengus Ceile de, Aug. 24. 

334 Where teas St. Patrick Born ? 

The sequel of to-day unsolders all 

The goodliest fellowship of famous knights 

Whereof this world holds record. 

So whether we look to Stonehenge in the east or the famous 
grave of the hereditary prince of the Siluri in the south, we 
can connect Bath with the reputed abode of giants. 

The probability of Bristol being the port from which pirates 
carried off young Patrick to Ireland is not lessened by the fact 
that an active traffic had always been maintained between it and 
Bristol. Even during Anglo-Saxon times and subsequently the 
sale of children by parents is said to have formed one of the 
items in trade on the shores of Bristol. So much was this so, 
that such traffic was alleged as a cause of the Anglo-Norman 
invasion in the twelfth century, and it is certain that on that 
occasion the Irish bishops are represented as having met in 
synod, declared that the invasion was a punishment on the in- 
human traffic in human kind, and directed all slaves to be made 
free. In this, one can see a proof, a coincidence, and a Nemesis. 
St. Patrick was led captive from Bristol to Ireland, and from it 
he would return, when free, to Ireland, in order to take au 
apostle's vengeance. The captivity of St. Patrick led to the 
ransom of millions from the thraldom of sin. The subjugation 
of Ireland, seven hundred years subsequently, has been the occa- 
sion of having St. Patrick's children, in the old and new world, 
instrumental in making millions free with the freedom of the 
children of God. If there be not in this poetic justice, there is 
at all events some compensation. 

It is quite clear to my mind that Scotland, or northern Britain, 
is not the birthplace of St. Patrick. It is equally certain that 
South Britain, and most probably Somersetshire, was his native 
country ; and with the evidence before us we cannot avoid con- 
necting the particular spot of his birth with Bath, on the banks 
of the middle Avon. If we are correct in this judgment, if we 
have lifted the veil in which corrupted texts of more than a 
thousand years have shrouded the birthplace of our illustrious 
apostle, our labours shall not have been in vain : and, as a result, 
a chapter in the life of St. Patrick, dealing with his birth, 
captivity, and alleged visit to the Continent and that of his 
family in connection with his captivity, has to be yet written. 

Sylvester Malone. 

(335 ) 


"Hodie naturalismi fautores propagatoresque creverunt; qui vim et 
seditiones in populo probant : agrariam rem tentaut : proletariorum 
cupiditatibus blandiuntar, domestici publicique ordinis fundamenta 
debilitant." — Pope Leo XIII., Encyclical on The Third Order of 
S. Francis. 

TO judge from the harangues of some of the most notorious 
demagogue orators of the century, or even from the inflam- 
matory articles in some of their most influential periodicals, one 
would naturally conclude, not merely that all inequality must be 
intrinsically wrong and iniquitous in itself, but that it must be 
quite a special form of iniquity which has no existence anywhere 
but in the case of wealth and material advantages. Communists 
speak and argue for the most part^ as though there were some 
grave infringement of an otherwise universal law, in one man 
being richer than another. They lay such stress, not 
merely upon the duty of the rich to distribute their pos- 
sessions among the poor, but upon the right of the poor 
to help themselves to the goods of the rich, that one might 
well conclude that every inequality were a sin of a wholly 
exceptional character to which no parallel can be found in any 
other department of human experience. Their writings, their 
denunciatory proclamations, their public utterances, are strongly 
tinctured with this view. It lies on the surface of all their 
treatises, and may be gathered with little trouble from the 
attitude they are everywhere accustomed to assume. 

Yet so far from such a view being the true one, we find the 
law that universally obtains is just the very opposite. Not 
equality, but inequality everywhere prevails. It is a law that 
governs all things; more universal in its operation than the law of 
gravitation, since it includes the spiritual as well as the material, 
and more irresistible even than the moral law, for human perver- 
sity is powerless either to control it or to oppose it. It exists in 
every portion of creation, and so far from being a malicious con- 
trivance or an evil consequence of man^s malevolence, it nowhere 
so conspicuously asserts itself as where man's power cannot 
penetrate, and where his influence is least felt. This general 
inequality too is concerned with possessions far more valuable in 
themselves, and even in the estimation of the multitude, than any 
material wealth. Thus all admit that health and strength, a 
robust constitution and a long life are greatly to be preferred to 
a large estate or an ample fortune. What consolation indeed 

336 Social Disturbances — their Cause and Cure. 

can mooey offer even to the wealthiest aristocrat, when 
tormented with dispepsy or hypochondria? Thouj^h he possess 
the treasures of Croesus and the wealth of all the Indies, he will 
still be a pitiable and unhappy object compared with the lowest 
tenant on his estate, whose mind and body are at ease ! Yet 
what are more unevenly distributed than health and bodily 
vigour? Or we may consider any other gift of nature, and 
we shall observe the like diversity prevailing. How exhaustless, 
for instance, are the degrees of mental ability possessed by 
different men, from the born idiot and the simpleton, who 
can hardly be taught the rudest trade, to the highest genius 
who maps out the heavens, reads the secrets of nature, or 
sways and shapes the destinies of nations. Are not Homer, 
Shakespeare, and Dante among the poets, and Aristotle, Plato, 
and S. Thomas among the philosophers, as far removed above 
their fellows in the wealth of their respective intellectual posses- 
sions, as any one class of men we may mention, is raised 
above another in material wealth? Yet who complains? Who 
revolts against such pre-eminence, or condemns Him who im- 
parts His gifts to one in one measure and to another in another ? 
We might go further and extend our investigation even to 
matters of lesser moment. How does God act in respect to gifts 
of an inferior order ? Does He endow every man with the same 
physical strength, or clothe each child with the self-same beauty 
of form and feature ? Are there to be found any two human 
countenances in all respects identical ? Or may we not rather 
ask if anything admits of such endless variations in form and 
expression, in grace and dignity? From the professional beauties 
whose portraits smile out upon the passer-by from the shop 
windows, and who till the theatre and the opera-house with 
admiring throngs, down to the poor deformed and decrepid 
creatures of the blind-alley or the gin-shop, the degrees of beauty 
and loveliness are indeed all but infinite. Yet beauty — though 
a fragile flower — is undoubtedly highly prized ; while to many 
it has proved a real fortune and even a passport to honour as well 
as to position and wealth. Similar considerations may be made 
concerning still less conspicuous gifts, for instance, the human 
voice. What a totally different thing it is when pouring and 
gushing forth in pure and limpid streams from the throat of 
a Patti or an Albani and when creaking in the asthmatic 
organs of some superannuated town-crier. Or compare the rich 
melodious sounds of a Santley or a Sims Reeves while they hold 
an audience of many thousands spell-bound, to the music of 
the shaggy-headed Jew, croaking out in hectic tones into the ear 
of night, '^old clo', old clo^,^' and say how great is the contrast. 
We hear much urged now-a-days against the landed gentry of 

Social Disturbances — their Cause and Cure. 337 

Great Britain and Ireland, and the rich revenues that their 
estates bring in, yet there is no doubt but that a good voice 
often pays higher rents to its owner, and secures a more certain 
revenue in these times of general depression than an estate 
of many acres. 

If we descend still lower and come to examine the minutest 
particulars, the same law of inequality still confronts us. 
Differences of height, of symmetry, of complexion, are as 
numerous as the number of different individuals among whom 
the comparison is made. 

The colour of the hair, the brightness of the eyes, the shape of 
the mouth, the delicacy of the skin vary in each. Then there 
are differences in the power of endurance, in quickness of sight, 
in acuteness of hearing, in sensitiveness of touch, and keenness 
of smell; differences in every organ, limb, muscle and nerve, 
which only need pointing out to be at once recognized. In- 
equality is in fact the law of every created being. "If we 
ascend into heaven, it is there; if we descend into hell it is 
there.'^ In the kingdom of God itself there is a hierarchy. The 
brightness of the cherubim is outshone by the beauty and the 
glory of Christ's virgin Mother, and each angel shares in an ever 
varying measure in the fulness of God^s being, and in the 
brightness of His glory, while the entire spiritual host is 
ranged in varying positions of dependence and subordination, 
forming choir above choir, and tier above tier ; none equally 
rich, great or beautiful, bub each occupying its proper position, 
like the stones in some vast edifice, and contributing to the 
perfection, and magnificence of the whole. Thus from the first 
of God^s creatures down to the last, inequality is the law. So 
that if we begin with the highest angels in heaven and continue 
our examination till we reach the tiniest leaves of the forests, or 
the minutest grains of sand that lie in countless myriads along 
the shelving beach, we shall find that no two are in all respects 
equally endowed or equally enriched. 

The law of inequality which affects all else, will therefore 
naturally and inevitably affect the distribution of wealth. 
Indeed this must follow as a necessary result of man's inequality 
in other respects, for since wealth is a consequence of certain 
antecedents, and we have seen, that no antecedents are alike in 
any two individuals, it follows that wealth must differ likewise. 
Indeed, to suppose that it were possible to make an equal distri- 
bution of wealth, or at least, to suppose that such an equal 
distribution when made could be maintained, while inequality in 
everything else continued, is so obviously absurd that time would 
be ill spent in attempting to disprove it. 

From the dawn of creation to the present hour, men have 

338 Social Disturhances— their Cause and Cure. 

always been obliged to recognize such distinctions as superior 
and inferior, ruler and subject, master and servant. Some have 
invariably held subordinate positions, while others have as in- 
variably ruled and directed. And wisdom is as often shown, in 
knowing when to obey as in knowing when to enjoin obedience. 
Differences of wealth have also always existed, and all that is 
consequent upon them. In every age we find the poor and 
indigent forming an important section of the community, and 
there seems little likelihood of their number decreasing as the 
world grows older, and the struggle for existence be- 
comes more keen and universal. In sooth as long as human 
nature remains what it is, and the spirit of competition 
and emulation continues, it must stand to reason that many 
millions of the human family will be left behind in the race, and 
sink into positions of comparative misery and want. We are 
not defending such a state of things; indeed, we most fervently 
wish it were otherwise. All we are doing is to state what we 
believe to be the fact, that poverty and want will ever exist, and 
that though much may be done no doubt to alleviate its 
bitterness and even to diminish its amount, still it will never 
altogether disappear from our midst. Have we not indeed the 
divine assurance to the contrary ? " The poor you have ever 
with you,'' said the incarnate Wisdom of God, and His words 
alone might suffice^ but even apart from His divine promise 
we see little reason to doubt but that while the world lasts, 
the well-to-do will ever find an abundance of outstretched arms 
and open hands seeking their aid and supplicating charity. Is 
it not, in fact, a part of the economy of God's providence to 
allow the poor to form a sensible element even within the Church 
itself? Not alone that there may be some to represent the 
position He himself once deigned to occupy when He wandered 
a stranger and an outcast upon earth, and " had not whereon 
to lay His head;" but also, that while the rich may glorify Him 
by their generosity, the poor may no less magnify Him by 
their patience and resignation.^ This_, however, supposes, 
especially on the part of the poor, a certain heroism and 
spirit of sacrifice not altogether natural to man. For voluntary 
poverty is, after all, a supernatural virtue, and not indigenous 
to the soil or clay of which we are formed. It does not 
spring up spontaneously in our hearts. There is no inherent 

* How beautifully the Holy Father points out our duty when he says, 
"Divitem misericordem et munificum, pauperem sua sorte industriaque 
contentum esse oportere : cumque neuter sit ad haec commutabilia bona 
natus, alteri patientia, alteri Hberalitate in coelum esse veniundum." — 
Encyclical Letter of Pope LeoXIIL on Third Order of S. Francis. 

Social Disturbances — tJieir Cause arid Cure. 339 

tendency in man to choose privation and penury, and the 
hard life and the coarse food and the scanty clothing that 
poverty invariably enjoin. According to nature, he is even 
further from being a saint than he is from being a philosopher. 
He will not love poverty, therefore, for its own sake, nor call it 
his bride, like S. Francis, since he has not the heart of S. Francis ; 
nor will he even, like Bretherton,* prefer the wealth of few wants 
to the wealth of great possessions, for his mind is sensuous rather 
than philosophic. No; man, according to nature, shrinks from 
hardship, and heavy work, and tedious occupations, and long 
hours, and scanty pay, and all weariness and fatigue are hateful 
to him. He prefers abundance to scarcity, riches to poverty, 
pleasure to pain, and rest to labour. What is the result? Well, 
if he has got little, he will try to get more; he will endeavour to 
raise himself above want ; he will better his position and exert 
himself to grasp the golden cup of affluence, which he sees with 
envious eyes others around him are pressing with such evident 
relish to their lips. Thus, in those who are deficient in this- 
world's goods, and who feel the pressure of poverty, there Avill 
ever be a strong craving to possess, at least in part, the wealth 
they see in such profusion around them. They will become 
daily more conscious of an aching desire to share in the con- 
veniences and pleasures that money commands ; and this desire, 
strong already, will grow stronger and stronger in proportion to 
the extent in which they realize their own miseries on the one- 
hand and the power of wealth to relieve them on the other. 

This tendency to appropriate what is such a source of happi- 
ness is inevitable-t As a tendency it must remain, and man- 
can not free himself from it, nor pluck its root out of his heart. It 
can no more be destroyed than the fear of death, or the shrinking 
from shame. But what is more, it is almost certain to assert 
itself, and to impel to action, unless some counter-check be 
interposed between the desire and its object; for man naturally 
follows his inclination unless some sufficient reason presents 
itself and overrides it. What is it, then, we may ask, that keeps 
the indigent multitude from rising in a body and taking 
forcible possession of the wealth and capital of the country? 

* Under Bretherton's statue in Peel Park, Manchester, are written, 
these words : — " My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions 
but in the fewness of my wants." 

t The following remarkable words of the great saint and pontiflf, 
Gregory, will strike familiarly upon the ears of many of our readers : — 
" Quid enim vetus, quid carnalis homo noverat, nisi sua retinere ; aliena 
rapere si posset ; concujpiscere, si non posset ? Sed coelestis medicus 
singulis quibusque vitiis obviantia adhibet medicamenta." — Breviariuim 
— In III. nocturno Com. unius Marty ris. 

VOL. XVI. — NO. II. [Third Series,} a a 

340 Social Disturbances — their Cause and Cure. 

It is not so long ago that our ears were tingling vvitli the news 
of riots and risings among the dissatisfied orders in Belgium and 
America, and even in the very capital of England itself. These, it is 
true, were but futile and ill-concerted attempts on the part of a few; 
but they show the spirit of the times, and partly indicate its far- 
reaching action. And that spirit may grow in intensity, as it 
is certainly growing in extent,* till at last these vague, uncertain 
rumblings in the lower and more hidden strata of society, may 
develop into a general upheaval of its entire crust, and the 
formation of a volcano that will spread desolation and confusion 
on every side. In any case, it is clear that a tendency so natural — 
and, consequently, so universal — as the tendency to covet what is 
pleasurable, and to seize what is coveted, needs a strong counter- 
check to prevent it issuing in the most disastrous results to 
society at large. 

The question then at once suggests itself — what are the 
hindrances, or checks, we have to rely on ? When a mere 
animal is attracted by an. object, it must, by its very nature, 
obey the attraction ; and man, in so far as he is an animal, has, 
like all other animals, a spontaneous inclination to obey his 
attraction also, and to seize what he covets, but always with this 
fundamental difference, that while an animal can offer no 
resistance, a man may easily overcome his inclination. Thus, for 
instance, the inclination to drink when he is thirsty, or to eat 
when he is hungry, is as strong in the man as in the beast, 
but unlike the beast the man may restrain himself, even though 
the means of indulgence are not wanting, and refuse to be 
guided by his natural instinct. Yet even that power can only 
be exercised on one condition — only on condition that some 
motive is suggested by the intellect which may set in 
motion an " anti-impulsive effort,^^ as, Dr. Ward terms it ; for 
man^s freedom consists in a choice of motive, not in the power 
of acting without a motive. What then are the motives that 
induce Poverty to conquer the inclination of thrusting its hand 
into Wealth's pocket, and rifling it of its treasures? What 
keeps back the millions of the poor from appropriating to 
their own use the goods of their more fortunate brethren? 
Many motives may be suggested, but they may all be 
reduced, for our present purpose, practically to two. First, 
a sense of impotency ; and, secondly, a sense of duty. If 
one or both of these motives possess the mind, the tendency 
may be successfully overcome; but if neither motive be 

* " Se la statistica non e stata esagerata, noi abbiamo nel mondo 
nostro diciotto milioni di cosi detti operai comunisti e sociahati." — 1 
Foveri e i Bicchi, p. 345. 1885. 


Social BistvLvhances — their Cause and Cure. 341 

present, then, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, the ten- 
dency will be obeyed. A concrete example will, perhaps, do more 
to make this clear than many words of explanation. 

We will suppose then that we are at the close of a bleak and 
wintry day. The streets are dreary and deserted, and the gloom 
of night is settling over the town. The heavy tread of a weary 
loiterer falls upon the ear, and presently his stalwart form 
emerges from the darkness. He is cold and wet and faint with 
hunger, for he has been exposed to the elements all day, and has 
tasted nothing since morning. His footsteps continue to sound 
in monotonous cadence, till he stands at last before a comfortable 
restaurant, where a number of revellers are taking their evening 
meal. Here he pauses, and sniffs the smoking joints that load 
the hospitable board ; the savoury odours of stevvs and curries, 
fricassees, and ragouts are wafted towards him through the half- 
open casement; he catches provoking glimpses of sparkling 
hock and fizzing champagne, and of wines and. liqueurs red and 
white, and as he looks, a strong inclination to share in the feast 
takes possession of him. In spite of himself, he feels a violent 
impulse to draw nearer and appease the hunger which is tor- 
menting him. The inclination is unavoidable. He can no more 
extinguish it by an act of the will than he can by an act of the 
will create a basin of hot mock-turtle soup, or a bowl of 
usquebaugh. Do what he may, the inclination remains unabated, 
undiminished. Further, were he a mere animal instead of a 
rational being, he would not merely feel the stimulus of hunger, 
and the desire of gratifying it, but he would be at once guided 
and controlled by that desire ; but being a man and not a beast, 
he may, in deference to a suitable motive, withstand the prompt- 

inors of his lower nature. 

• • • • 
Now, to one in his position two motives will probably suggest 

themselves. Firstly, the utter uselessness of any attempt that 

could be made; and secondly its undoubted unlawfulness; for we 

are not now supposing a state of " extrema necessitas " in which 

to help oneself to bare necessaries would be permissible. Thus, 

if he fully realize that as soon as he makes the smallest effort to 

snatch at the viands, or even to introduce one foot into the room, 

he will be ignominiously expelled, and that so far from securing 

any food he will arouse against himself general wrath and 

indignation, and finally be marched ofi" to jail, and arraigned 

before the judge as a thief and a robber; he will have a very 

strong motive — and generally a sufficient one — to resist his 

inclination. In a word, he implicitly or explicitly measures his 


it to be insufficient, and that no fair chance of success can be 
expected, so he wisely abandons the project, and goes on his way 

A A 2 

342 Social Disturbances — their Cause and Cure, 

to break a crust with his youthful consort in Pig-sty Alley 
Seven Dials. 

But let us, merely for the sake of argument, suppose it were 
otherwise. Let us suppose that no inconvenience would arise 
from his helping himself to his heart's content to every dish 
upon the table, beyond an impatient gesture or an indignant 
exclamation from the persons seated around it. Let us suppose 
that he might eat and drink and be filled without fear of excit- 
ing any more serious consequences than the repellent glances 
and muttered curses of the jovial revellers. What then? Well, 
his position would be entirely changed. The hrst motive can 
influence him no longer ; the sense of impotency has dis- 
appeared, and all the strain of inclination must be held in check 
by the second motive. 

The famishing man has the power, or thinks he has, to glut 
his appetite at the expense of his neighbour, so that but one 
thing will now restrain him, and that is conscience ; and " con- 
science doth make cowards of us all.^' If he has faith and 
believes in an all-seeing Judge, and a place of future reward and 
punishment, and the sinfulness of robbery and theft, he may 
still be restrained — at all events the motive is there, and of 
sufficient strength. But once remove that last barrier, and his 
inclinations will bear him away as surely and as swiftly as a 
boat which has been cut from its moorings is borne away by the 
swift sweep of the rushing torrent. This is a mere illustration, 
but it admits of an easy application, for the individual is a 
faithful miniature of the multitude, which is but a collection of 
units swayed and controlled by similar passions and propensities. 
" The little waves make the larger waves," says George Eliot, 
" and are of the same pattern,-''' which, after all, is only a poetical 
rendering of the old scholastic axiom, " Totius et partium eadem 
est ratio." 

Instead of a single hungry man we must substitute in thought 
the indigent multitudes, and in place of a well-spread table we 
must put the accumulated wealth of the higher orders, and then 
work out the problem as before. 

There is, spread out over the world, a great and ever-increasing 
mass of men — poor, ill fed, hard worked — who look with envious 
eyes at the wealth, the abundance, the luxury, and the ease of 
the more privileged classes — men who would gladly lay their 
hands upon the goods and possessions of their more fortunate 
brethren, who are clamorous for food and clothing and the very 
necessaries of life, which they can hardly procure even by hard 
and prolonged laljour. This class has always existed, and always 
will exist, in a greater or less proportion. Many among them 
have been good and sincere Christians, and borne their labours 
and sufferings with truly Christian virtue, sometimes even making 

Social Disturbances — theii' Cause and Cure, 343 

of their poverty a veritable ladder on which to mount to the 
highest places in heaven. Others, on the contrary, have grown 
weary of bondage, and have become discontented, resentful, and 
rebellious, without patience, without religion, without God. 
What is it that has kept them from wholesale rebellion and 
general pillage ? Why have their efforts been so sterile, and 
their attempts so spasmodic and partial ? The answer is plain 
and full of significance. Evidently because they have not 
known their power. Because they have been incapable of 
reasoning out their position, and estimating the force and 
momentum of numbers. Nor have they been able to coalesce, 
or form themselves into a solid and compact whole, ruled by one 
ivill and informed by one purpose. They were but discontented 
units ; but isolated, and therefore helpless factors, and wholly 
unconscious of the resistless might of many parted streams, 
which, when drawn and bound together into a single broad and 
headstrong torrent, can force their way with ease through rocks 
and barriers which have for centuries defied the feebler action of 
slowly moving runnels. But now times are changing, and the 
vivifying waters of knowledge have been filtering through the 
middle strata of society down to the very lowest. The ''' great 
unwashed^' can read and write; and what is more, can think 
and reason and compare, and even combine with one another, and 
assist one another in one common cause, not merely by expres- 
sions of sympathy and interest, but by a voluntary supply of 
money and means. In fact, in the more important strikes and 
contests at elections, comrades who have been arrested as so-called 
*' victims of the reactionary bourgeois " and organs of the party 
are supported by free contributions, made, it must be understood, 
with considerable personal sacrifice: — 

Thus in France the demonstrative election of the social revolutionary 
Communist Blanqui (who had been excluded from the amnesty as 
deputy of Bordeaux) had been made possible solely by the munificent 
contributions from Germany, England, Belgium, and Italy, and as 
recently as the beginning of last year (1883) a strike of 5000 
porcelain workers at Limoges was supported from London ; while 
about two years ago the Society of the " Red Cross " was founded at 
Geneva, for the purpose of assisting the " victims of Kussian des- 
potism," Von LavrofF and Vera Sassulitsch, and its appeals went the 
round of the whole Socialist press, and did not fail to meet with 
success. Germany especially seems to be favoured in this respect in 
consequence of its many foreign connections, so that not only are 
subscriptions continually arriving from Paris, London, Switzerland, 
and especially from America, in support of the organs of the party, the 
*^ victims of the Socialist law,'' and the larger strikes, but also the 
expenses of the election for the Reichstag in 1881 were met for the 
most part by the money brought by Fritzsche from America, and 

3i4< Socicd Disturbances — their Cause and Cure. 

more recently money has been received for the election of Bebel at 

Hence, if not wholly freed from the bonds of ignorance, they are 
at least loosening its fetters more and more, day by day. They 
are beginning to appreciate their position, to measure their 
strength, and to realize that they are a power of no inconsiderable 
magnitude. What will be the consequence? The more fully 
they realize their power the readier will they be to assert it. 
Already signs are not wanting to indicate both the spread of that 
knowledge and the growtb of that power. For a power they 
undoubtly possess, as a moment^s reflection will serve to make 
evident. Power, in the only sense which has any meaning in 
the present connection, is mainly the resultant of two factors, 
knowledge and force. Where knowledge is equal in all, the 
greater the number, the greater the strength. The higher 
classes owe their ascendency in its last analysis to their higher 
education, and greater mental development. As in an individual 
the mind controls the motions of the hand and foot, so in a State, 
intellect controls labour. Knowledge is seated chiefly in the 
dominant classes, labour in the subject classes. Thus where the 
difference of intellect is very strongly marked, numbers go for 
little or nothing ; but the more this diff*ereuce is diminished, 
— and it is being diminished every day — the more will the strength 
of numbers weigh in the balance. The better educated the 
people are, the more will their influence tell, and the more 
irresistible will it become. Hence their strength is already 
beginning to be felt and feared to an extent never before known. 
The first check to their rebellious tendency, i.e., impotency, is 
thus vanishing, so that if conscience goes too, and the last check 
is removed, then God defend the rich and the prosperous. 

Let us listen to a few extracts from the great Anarchists' organ, 
the Freiheit, which will show us their advance in knowledge, and 
the use they are prepared to make of it : 

Science now puts means into our hands which makes it possible 
to arrange for the wholesale destruction of the brutes in a perfectly 
quiet and business like fashion. Princes and ministers, statesmen, 
bishops, prelates, and other grand dignitaries, a good part of the 
officers, the greater part of the higher bureaucracy, sundry journalists 
and lawyers, in fine all the more prominent representatives of the 
upper and middle class, these will be the subjects over whose heads 
we shall have to break the staff" (pp. 23-4). 

* The above quotation (p. 142) and the succeeding ones are taken from 
'* The Eed International," by Dr. Zacher, assessor to the Government. — 
Authorized translation by Hev. E. M. Geldast, M.A. London. 1885. 


Social Bisturhances— their Cause and Cure. 345 

So Eudes, who may be considered a representative of the class, 
exclaimed at a meeting attended by