(navigation image)
Home American Libraries | Canadian Libraries | Universal Library | Community Texts | Project Gutenberg | Children's Library | Biodiversity Heritage Library | Additional Collections
Search: Advanced Search
Anonymous User (login or join us)
Upload
See other formats

Full text of "The Irish monthly"

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at http : //books . google . com/| 



Digitized by 



Google 






Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by VjOOQLC 



THE IRISH MONTHLY. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Digitized by 



Google 



THE 



IRISH MONTHLY 



% Htega^tite of (Setters! %ittxntuxt 



FOURTEENTH YEARLY VOLUME 
1886 



LUBLIN 
M. H. GILL A SON, O'CONNELL STREET 

LONDON: BURNS * OATE8; SIMPKIN, MAB8HAU. ft CO. 



Digitized by 



Google 



M. H. GILL AND SON, PRINTERS, DUBLIN. 



Digitized by 



Google 



CONTENTS. 



Stories. 

The Chaplain of St Denis. By the late C. W. Russell, D.D. 

Mr. Baker's Domestic System 

The Five Cobblers of Brescia. By Rosa Mulholland 

Bet's Matchmaking. By the Same 

Maureen Lacy. By the Same 

An Arcachon Comedy. By Mrs. Frank Fentrill . 

An Arcachon Tragedy. By the Same . 

The Fit of Ailrie's Shoe. By Rosa Mulholland . 

Molly the Tramp. By the Same 

The Haunted Organist of Hurly Burly. By the Same 

Marigold. By the Same 

The Ghost at the Rath. By the Same . 

Little Jack and the Christmas Pudding. By M. E. Francis 

Sketches of Places and Persons. 

A Curious Relic of Thomas Francis Meagher 

The Last of the Shanachies. By Mrs. Morgan John O*0onnell 

A Family of Famous Celtic Scholars. By the Most Rev. Dr. Healey 

A Convert'! Reminiscence. By F. B. A. 

A Web of Irish Biographies • 

John Mitchel's Daughter. By the Editor 

An Idyll of the City. By T. F.W. 

Nutshell Biograms ..... 164, 

Another Irish Nun in Exile • 

Richard Robert Madden. By M. R. . 

Augustus Law, S.J. Notes in Remembrance. By the Editor 185, 

Irish-American Poets. By Daniel Connolly 

Gerhard Sehneemann, S. J. By the Rev. Peter Finlay, S. J. 

The Ursulines of Tenos. By Hannah Lynch 

Frederick Lucas. By the Rev. Peter Finlay, S J. 

November in a Greek Island. By Hannah Lynch 

Abbe* MaoCarron. By the Rev. Matthew Russell, S. J. 

The Last Martyr of the Confessional. By Frank Hugh O'Donnell 

At Nasareth House ..... 

Leibnite. By the late C. W. Russell, D. D. 

The Round Tower of Blbannon. By Richard J. Kelly . 

Sir Samuel Ferguson. By the Editor . 

Last Relics of Augustus Law, S. J. By the Editor 

Leaves from the Annals of Dublin. By W. F. Dennehy . 

Carlyle'e Irish Tours. By T. Griffin ODonoghue 

The Hospital of Our Mother of Mercy. 



201, 
277, 



489, 



PAGB 
. 17 

. 70 
. 117 
. 175 

233, 299 
. 265 
. 316 
. 345 
. 401 
. 457 

513, 573 
. 629 
. 655 



. 11 
. 27 
. 59 
. 82 
. 108 
. 134 
. 150 

398, 482 
. 164 
. 171 

319,430 
. 194 
. 247 
. 269 
. 368 
. 377 

445, 648 
. 441 
. 470 

537,595 
. 601 
. 529 
. 349 
. 565 
. 613 
. 678 



3' 



Digitized by 



Google 



▼1 



Contents. 



Essays and Reviews. 

Miss Miilholland's Poems 

Reflection. By the Ber. William Sutton, S.J. . 

Sir Stephen de V ere*e Translations 

Fitipatrick's « Father Burke w 

Everyday Thoughts. By Mrs. Fran* Pentrill— 

No. X Angels Unawares 

No. XI. Old Age . 
Keeping a Diary. By the Ber. William Sutton, S. J. 
Harmless Novell. By the Present Writer 
An Irish Poet's American Critics 
June in the Famine year. By John Hitohel 
Something about Sonnets. By the Editor 
Mrs. Piatt's Poems. By Katharine Tynan 
The Work of the Poor Churches. By the Present Writer 
Goings Forth and Home-comings. By M. B." 
In Everlasting Remembrance. By the Same ' 



PAOS 



1 
23 
33 

48 

44 

6o8 
100 
206 
274 
289 
335 
385 
420 
476 
590 



Notices of New Books. 

The Poet in May.— Odile.— Monsabreon the Rosary.— Queen by Bight Divine.— 
Life of St Philip Benisi.— The Chair of Peter — Theodore Wibaux, SX— 
Authority and Conscience.— Christmas ttevels and the Wanderers.— Little 
Dick's Christmas Carol.— Louis et Augusts Buellan, SJ.— The Mad Peni- 
tent of Todi.-Jubilee Hymn of Leo XIIL— The Last Carol.— GiUow's 
Dictionary of English Catholics.— The Birthday Book of Our Dead.— 
Bason's Almanac for Ireland, Ac., . . .51 

Lord 0*Hagan's Speeches.— Waifs of a Christmas Morning.— The Treasure of 
the Abbey.— True Wayside Tales.— English Catholic Directory.— The 
Scholastic Annual — Culwiok's Te Deum — Bacques on the Divine Office.— 
Principles of Government of St Ignatius. Miss Mulbolland's Edition of 
" Robinson Crusoe."— Miscellaneous Pamphlets, Ac., . . . 113 

Sonnets of this Century.— English Nonjurors of 1715.— Studies of Family Life. 
—Life of St. NorberU— Odile.— The Birthday of Our Dead.— Joseph 
Marchand, Martyr.— Catholic Soldier's Guide.— American CatholioQuarterly, 
— Socialist, Protestant, Catholic — Cleanliness. — Joy and Laughter, Ac, . 160 

Flora the Roman Martyr.— The Keys of the Kingdom.- Vapid Vapourings.— 
American Criticism on Miss Mulholland's Puems.— The Lepers of Molokai, 
—The Server's Missal.— Life of St. Patrick.— Little Month of St Joseph.— 
Rev. John Behan on Dr. Maguire's Pamphlet.— Ellis's Education Guide.— 
The O'Connell Press Popular Library, Ac., . . . . 216 

Edward VI. Supreme Head.— The Synods in English.— Leaves from St. Augus- 
tine—Birthday Book of Our Dead.— The Three Sorrows of Story-Telling. 
— Discourses on the Divinity of Jesus Christ— Miscellaneous Pamphlets. — 
Liverpool Irish Literary Institute, Ac, . 285 

Santi on Canon Law.— Pax Vobis.— The End of Man.— Verses on Doctrinal and 
Religious Subjects.— The Valiant Woman.— The Castle of Ooetquen.— 
Christian Symbols.- The Birthday Book of Our Dead.— Preparation for 
Death. — Margaret ditherow. — Essays on Ireland. — Parvum Missale. — S. 
Anselmi Mariale.— Dupanloup on Education.— The O'Connell Press Popular 
Library.— Catholic Truth Society.— Catholic School Hymnbook.— Tauler's 
Following of Christ— The Sodality Manual.— Life of Henrietta Kerr, . 390 



Digitized by 



Google 



Contents. 



Tttr 



- . PAOK 

Amherst's History of Catholio Emancipatioito-- Short Papers*forthc People.— - 
The Cardinal Archbishop of Westndnster.— AtUs das Mission© Oatholiques, . 
—The Virgin Mother of God. —Sketches of the Royal Irish Constabulary. 
-JThe Flight of the Harls.— Bdmund Burke on Irish Afisirs.--At Antioclr 
A«ain.— Canon Crofty on Continuity of the Church.— Pomfret Oakes^r * 
Three Pamphlets— Hundred Best Irish Books.— Bodesinstieal Bnglkh—A \. 
National Song.— Merry and Wise, • • ,. 

Mr. J. J. Piatt's Poems.— Miss Jordan's Echoes from the .Pines.«-Golden Sano> 
Gerald Griffin's Poems.— Catechism in Examples.— The Clothes of Religion. 
-Comorford's Kildare and Leighlin.— King, Prophet, and Priest.— Moore's 
Melodies.— Chronicles of Castle Cloy ne.— The Boston Stylus.— The Flower 
of Holywett, . . • ... 462 

Handbook of Christian Symbols.— Hunoltfs Sermons.— American Catholic 
Quarterly.— Catholio Monthly Magaiine.— Centenary ^Edition of St. 
Alphonsus—Oompanion to the Catechism.— The Children's Mass—History 
of the Society of Jesus.— Six Seasons on our Prairies.— Judges of the Faith 
and Godless Schools.— CConneil Press Popular Library.— Monrignor Grad- 
weU's St. Patrick.— Glltbauer's Cornelius Nepos.— Amon* the Fairies, 

The tittle Bosary of the Sacred Heart— Bishop Ullathorne's Curistian Patience. 
—St Columba and Other Poems.— OathoKc Truth Society's Publications.— 
Lalla Rookh.— The League of the North and South.— Toser's Catholic 
Hymns.— Today's Gem for the Casket of Mary.— '• Catholic World "and 
"Merry England, * ....-• 

Father Gerard's Stonyhurst Latin Grammar.— The Late Miss Hollingford.— 
Marcella Grace.— Historical Notes on Longford.— Budimenta Linguae 
Hebraicae.— The School of Dirine Love.— Life of St. Oare.— Thoughts from 
St. Francis.— The Bible and Belief .— Eucharistic Hours.— The Month of 
the Souls in Purgatory, ...••• 

Most Rer. Dr. Walsh's Addresses.— Centenary Edition of St Alphonsus.— 
Augustus Law, S.J. — Notes in Remembrance.— During the Persecution. — 
Canon Monahan's Ardagh and Clonmacnoise,— Purgatory, Dogmatioand 
Scholastic— Souls Departed.— Hymn to the Eternal, &c.— Simple Readings 
on the Parables.— Catholio Home Almanac.— Donahoo's Magasine.— 
St Augustine.— The Saturday Review on " Marcella Grace."— Gems of Ca- 
tholic Thought— Kickham's Last NoyoL— Catholio Truth Society.-Life of 
Muard,&c — Miscellaneous . . 



608 



661 



670 



Poems and Miscellaneous Papers. 

In the Desert ByBrelynPyne 

To Cardinal Newman. By Lewis Diummond, S.J. 

My Song and L * By R. M. . 

The Lord's Messenger. By Erelyn Pyne 

To St. Rose of Lima. By Mary 0. Crowley 

The O'Connell Papers. Parts XXI., XXII., XXm. 

A Few Repartees. ByT. B.B. 

Winged Words .... 

The King. By Cassie CHara 

Thou who hast made me, hare mercy on me. By S. M. S. 

The Bishop of Down. By A. Harkin, M D. 

Estrada's Spouse. By Eleanor E. Donnelly 

Sonnet by Arrers. Translated by W. H. E. 

A Curious Little Relic of '48 . 

Digitized by 



. 16 

. 26 

. 69 

. 81 

. 91 
92,166,229 

. 105 
111, 312 

. 132 

. 149 

. 183 

. 192 

. 215 

. 220 



Googk 



VU1 



Content*. 



Pigeonhole Paragraph! . 9 224 

To Cardinal Newman. By T. H. Wright . .232 

Pictures from the Rotary By Katharine Tynan . .245 

The Cottage Gate. By Ethel Tene . .256 

The Leaping Procession at Eohternach. By G. O'C. B. .267 
The Prisoned Song. By Caseie O'Hara .... w 260 

Unpublished Poems of the " Certain Professor " . . . .261 

Filiesy's Proridenoe of God. By W, H. E. .268 

To a Musician. By Anna X- Johnston . .284 

Lore's AdTent. By Evelyn Pyne . . . 288 

The Touch of a Mother's Hand. By Richard B. White . .297 

At Midnight A Sonnet in Dialogue. By Evelyn Pyne . .411 

An Old Man's Reverie. By Attie O'Brien '. . . 314 
Snow in May. By Eugene Daris ..... 329 

The Roman Poet's Prayer. By Sir Stephen de Vere, Bart • 367 

Remembrance. By W. B. Teats . . .376 

Filicaja's Crowning with Thorns. By O. . .384 

The Queen's Favourite. By C. O'C. B. . . . .390 

Martinui Hugo Hamill, Thomae Longo $uo .... 392 

A Maiden. By E. E. T. . . . . . 419 

Martyr Thirst. By Evelyn Pyne . . . .429 

L'Oeuvre des Tabernacles. . . .440 

Vittoria Colonna's Sonnet to Our Lady. By W. H. E. . .444 

The Heart of a Mother. By Katharine Tynan . .450 

Kindness. ByEUy. . . .469 

Consummates in BrevL By H. L. M. . . 475 

Nursery Rhymes in Latin. No. 1— Three Blind Mice. By 0. . 481 

No. 2— Sing a Song of Sixpence . . 668 

Footprints. By James J. Piatt . .488 
Watch and Pray. By Anna I. Johnston .... 500 

Meditation of the Old Fisherman. By W. B. Teats .528 

My Wife's Birthday. By M. B. . .530 

Two Little Angels. By M. R. . .537 
In Honorem Eduardi Confessoris ..... 560 

Christus Oonsolator. By Sister Mary Agnes .... 564 

A Poet's Love. By Evelyn Pyne .589 

All Saint* By Sister Mt ry Agnes .594 

Novembribus Horis. By J. G. . .607 

True to the Bead. Bj Helena Callanan . . .611 

Eros. ByE. E. T. . . . . . .625 

Songs from Shakspeare in Latin. No. I— Full fathom Jivt thy father lies . 628 

The Stolen OhUd. By W. B. Teats . . . . .646 

Rebecca at the Well. By the Rev. W. H. Kent, O.S.C. . . .653 

The Soul's Offering. By M. W. Brew . . . . .679 

Eden. ByE.E. T. . . . .677 

Bitterness. By Evelyn Pyne. . .677 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 1 ) 



MISS MTTLHOLIAND'S POEMS.* 

THIS book and this name are thus made the opening words of 
our fourteenth yearly volume in order that the readers of 
this Magazine may have no excuse for ignoring a noteworthy event 
in our Irish literature. Miss Mulholland's name indeed has 
occupied a similar position before in more than one of our New 
Tear Numbers, linked with the opening chapters in the history of 
one or other of her delightful, pure-minded Irish heroines, Nell or 
Fanchea or Maroella — the latest of whom seems to have won more 
hearts than even any of her predecessors. No person with the 
faintest glimmering of insight into the subtle mechanism of literary 
composition in its higher forms could study the prose writings of 
the author of "The Wicked Woods of Tobereevil," of "Elder- 
gowan " and many other dainty fictions, without being sure that 
the writer of such prose was a poet also, not merely by nature but 
by art ; and many had learned to follow her initials through the 
pages of this and of certain London magazines, though the famous 
periodical most frequently favoured by her muse is in the habit of 
suppressing even the initials of its contributors. The present 
work contains nearly all of these scattered lyrics ; and, along 
with them, many that are now printed for the first time combine 
to form a volume of the truest and holiest poetry that has been 
heard on earth since Adelaide Procter went to heaven. 

The only justification for the too modest title of " Vagrant 
Verses " which gleams from the cover of this pretty volume lies 
in the fact that this most graceful muse wanders from subject to 
subject according to her fancy, and pursues no heroic or dramatic 
theme with that exhaustive treatment which exhausts everyone 
except the poet. The poems in this collection are short, written 
not to order but under the manifest impulse of inspiration, for the 
expression only of the deeper thoughts and more vivid feelings of 
the souL Except the fine lyrical and dramatic ballad, " The 
Children of Lir," which occupies eight pages, and the first five 
pages given to " Emmet's Love/' none of the rest of the seventy 
poems go much beyond a page or two, while they range through 
every mood, sad or mirthful, and through every form of metre. 

* " Vagrant Verses." By Rosa Mulholland. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, 
and Co. 

Vol. xit. No. 151. January, 1886. 2 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



2 Muss MulhoUantfs Poems. 

We have named the opening poem, which is an exquisitely 
pathetic soliloquy of Sarah Curran, a year after the death of her 
betrothed, young Robert Emmet — a nobler tribute to the memory 
of our great orator's daughter than either Moore's verse or 
Washington Irving s prose. But the metrical interlacing of the 
stanzas, and the elevation and refinement of the poetic diction, 
require a thoughtful perusal to bring out the perfections of this 
poem which therefore lends itself less readily to quotation. We 
shall rather begin by giving one shorter poem in full, taken almost 
at random. Let it be " Wilfulness and Patience," as it teaches a 
lesson ^which it would be well for many to take to heart and to 
learn by heart : — 

I said I am going into the garden, 

Into the flush of the sweetness of life ; 
I can stay in the wilderness no longer, 

Where sorrow and sickness and pain are so rife ; 

So I shod my feet in their golden sandals, 
And looped my gown with a ribbon of blue, 

And into the garden went I singing, 
The birds in the boughs fell a-singing too. 

Just at the wicket I met with Patience, 

Grave was her face, and pure, and kind, 
But oh, I loved not her ashen mantle, 

Such sober looks were not to my mind. 

Said Patience, " Go not into the garden, 

But come with me by the difficult ways, 
Over the wastes and the wilderness mountains, 

To the higher levels of love and praise ! " 

Gaily I laughed as I opened the wicket, 

And Patience, pitying, flitted away; 
The garden glory was full of the morning— 

The morning changed to the glamour of day. 

sweet were the winds among my tresses, 
And sweet the flowers that bent at my knees, 

Ripe were the fruits that fell at my wishing, 
But sated soon was my soul with these. 

And would I were hand in hand with Patience, 

Tracking her feet on the difficult ways, 
Over the wastes and the wilderness mountains, 

To the higher levels of love and praise 



Digitized by 



Google 



Miss MulhollaruTs Poems. 3 

The salutary lesson that the singer wants to impress on the 
young heart is here taught plainly and directly even by the very 
name of the piece. But here is another very delicious melody, of 
which the name and the purport are somewhat more mysterious. 
It is ^called " Perdita." 

I dipped my hand in the sea. 
Wantonly — 
The sun shone red o'er castle and cave j 
Dreaming, I rocked on the sleepy wave 5— 
I drew a pearl from the sea, 
Wonderingly. 

There in my hand it lay j 
Who could say 
How from the depths of the ocean calm 
It rose, and slid itself into my palm P 
I smiled at finding there 
Pearl so fair* 

I kissed the beautiful thing. 
Marvelling. 
Poor till now, I had grown to be 
The wealthiest maiden on land or sea, 
A priceless gem was mine, 
Pure, divine 1 

I hid the pearl in my breast, 
Fearful lest 
The wind should steal, or the wave repent 
Largess made in mere merriment, 
And snatch it back again 
Into the main. 

But careless grown, ah me ! 
Wantonly 
I held between two fingers fine 
My gem above the sparkling brine, 
Only to see it gleam 

Across the stream. 

I felt the treasure slide 
Under the tide ; 
I saw its mild and delicate ray 
Glittering upward, fade away. 
Ah ! then my tears did flow, 
Long ago 1 



Digitized by 



Google 



4 Miss Mulho Hand's Poetns. 

I weep, and weep, and weep, 
Into the deep ; 
Sad am I that I could not hold 
A treasure richer than virgin gold, 
That Fate so sweetly gave 
Out of the wave. 

I dip my hand in the sea. 
Longingly; 
But never more will that jewel white 
Shed on my soul its tender light ; 
My pearl lies buried deep 

Where mermaids sleep. 

Some readers of this paper are no doubt for the first time 
making acquaintance with Miss Mulholland under this character 
in which others have known her long ; and even these newest 
friends know enough of her already to pronounce upon some of 
her characteristics. She is not uninfluenced by the spell of modern 
culture which has invested the poetic diction of recent years with 
an exquisite expressiveness and delicate beauty. But, while her 
style is the very antithesis of the tawdry or the commonplace, she 
has no mannerisms or affectations ; she belongs to no school ; she 
does not deem it the poet's duty to cultivate an artificial, rechercM, 
dilettante dialect unknown to Shakspeare and Wordsworth— if we 
may use a string of epithets which can only be excused for their 
outlandishness on the plea that they describe something very out- 
landish. Her meaning is as lucid as her thoughts are high and 
pure. If, after reading one of her poems carefully, we sometimes 
have to ask " what does she mean by that ? " we ask it not on 
account of any obscurity in her language but on account of the 
depth and height of her thoughts. 

The musical rhythm of our extracts prepares us for the form 
which many of Miss Mulholland's inspirations assume — that of 
the song pure and simple. Those last epithets have here more than 
the meaning which they usually bear in such a context ; for these 
songs are not only eminently singable, but they are marked by 
a very attractive purity and simplicity. There are many of them 
besides this one which alone bears no other name than " Song/' 

The silent bird is hid in the boughs, 

The scythe is hid in the corn, 
The lazy oxen wink and drowse, 
^ The grateful sheep are shorn. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Miss Mulholland's Poems. 5 

Redder and redder burns the rose, 

The lily was ne'er so pale, 
Stiller and stiller the river flows 

Along the path to the Tale. 

A little door is hid in the boughs, 

A face is hiding within ; 
When birds are silent andt oxen drowse. 

Why should a maiden spin ? 
Slower and slower turns the wheel, 

The face turns red and pale, 
Brighten and brighten the looks that steal 

Along the path to the vale. 

Here and everywhere how few are the adjectives, and never 
any slipped in as mere adjectives. Verbs and nouns do duty for 
them, and the pictures paint themselves. There is more of genius, 
art, thought, and study in this self-restraining simplicity than in 
the freer and bolder eloquence that might make young pulses 
tingle. 

This remarkable faculty for musical verse seems to us to 
enhance the merit of a poem in which a certain ruggedness is 
introduced of set purpose. At least we think that the subtle 
sympathy which in the workmanship of a true poet links theme 
and metre together is curiously exemplified in " News to Tell." 
What metre is it P A very slight change here and there would 
conform it to the sober, solemn measure familiar to the least poeti- 
cal of us in Gray's marvellous " Elegy in a Country Churchyard." 
That elegiac tone already suits the rhythm here to the pathetic 
story. But then the wounded soldier, who perhaps will not recover 
after all but may follow his dead comrade — see how he drags 
himself with difficulty away from the old gray castle where the 
young widow and the aged mother are overwhelmed by the news 
he had to tell ; and is not all this with exquisite cunning repre- 
sented by the halting gait of the metre, in which every line 
deviates just a little from the normal scheme of five iambics P 

Neighbour, lend me your arm, for I am not well, 
This wound you see is scarcely a fortnight old, 

All for a sorry message I had to tell, 

I've travelled many a mile in wet and cold. 

Yon is the old grey chateau above the road, 

He bade me seek it, my comrade brave and gay ; 

Stately forest and river so brown and broad, 
He showed me the scene as he a-dying lay. 



Digitized by 



Google 



6 Miss Mulholland's Poems. 

I have been there, and, neighbour, I am not well; 

I bore his sword and some of his curling hair, 
Knocked at the gate and said I had news to tell, 

Entered a chamber and saw his mother .there. 

Tall and straight with the snows of age on her head, 
Brave and stern as a soldier's mother might be, 

Beep in her eyes a living look of the dead, 
She grasped her staff and silently gazed at me. 

I thought I'd better be dead than meet her eye ; 

She guessed it all, I'd never a word to tell. 
Taking the sword in her arms she heaved a sigh, 

Clasping the curl in her hand she sobbed, and fell. 

I raised her up ; she sate in her stately chair, 
Her face like death, but not a tear in her eye ; 

We heard a step, and tender voice on the stair 
Murmuring soft to an infant's cooing cry. 

My lady she sate erect, and sterner grew. 
Finger on mouth she motioned me not to stay ; 

A girl came in, the wife of the dead I knew, 
She held his babe, and, neighbour, I fled away ! 

1 tried to run, but I heard the widow's cry. 

Neighbour, I have been hurt and I am not well : 
I pray to God that never until I die 

May I again have such sorry news to tell ! 

The next piece that we shall cite has travelled across the 
Atlantic and come back again under false pretences and without 
its author's leave or knowledge. Some years ago an American 
newspaper published some pathetic stanzas to which it gave as a 
title " Exquisite Effusion of a Dying Sister of Charity." One 
into whose hands this journal chanced to fall read on with interest 
and pleasure, feeling the verses strangely familiar — till on reflec- 
tion he found that the poem had been published sometime before 
in The Month over the well-known initials R. M. As the American 
journalist named the Irish Convent where the Sister of Charity 
had died — not one of Mrs. Aikenhead's spiritual daughters, but one 
of those whom we call French Sisters of Charity — the reader afore- 
said went to the trouble of writing to the Mother Superior, who 
gave the following explanation. The holy Sister had been fond of 
reading and writing verse; and these verses with others were 
found in her desk after her death and handed over to her relatives 



Digitized by 



Google 



Mits MulhollancPs Poems* 7 

as relics. They, not comparing them very critically with the 
nun's genuine literary remains, rashly published them as " The 
Exquisite Effusion of a Dying Sister of Charity." The foregoing 
circumstances were soon afterwards published in the Boston Pilot; 
but the ghost of such a blunder is not so easily laid, and the poem 
reappears in The Messenger of St. Joseph for last August, under 
the title of " An Invalid's Plaint " and still attributed to the 
dying Nun who had only had the good taste to admire and tran- 
scribe Miss Mulholland's poem. In all its wanderings to-and-fro 
across the Atlantic many corruptions crept into the text ; and it 
would be an interesting exercise in style to collate the version 
given by The Messenger with the authorised edition which we 
here copy from page 136 of " Vagrant Verses," where the poem 
of course bears its original name of u Failure." 

The Lord, Who fashioned my hands for working, 

Set me a task, and it is not done ; 
I tried and tried since the early morning, 

And now to westward sinketh the sun ! 



Noble the task that was kindly given 

To one so little and weak as I — 
Somehow my strength could never grasp it, 

Never, as days and years went by. 

Others around me, cheerfully toiling, 
Showed me their work as they passed away 5 

Filled were their hands to overflowing. 
Proud were their hearts, and glad and gay. 

Laden with harvest spoils they entered 
In at the golden gate of their rest; 

Laid their sheaves at the feet of the Master, 
Found their places among the blest. 

Happy be they who strove to help me, 
Failing ever in spite of their aid ! 

Fain would their love have borne me onward, 
But 1 was unready and sore afraid. 

Now I know my task will never be finished, 
And when the Master calleth my name, 

The Voice will find me still at my labour, 
Weeping beside it in weary shame. 



Digitized by 



Google 



8 Mm MulhollancCs Poems. 

With empty hands I shall rise to meet Him, 
And, when He looks for the fruits of years, 

Nothing 1 have I to lay before Him 
But broken efforts and bitter tears. 

Yet when He calls I fain would hasten — 
Mine eyes are dim and their light is gone ; 

And I am as weary as though 1 carried 
A burthen of beautiful work well done. 

I will fold my empty hands on my bosom, 

Meekly thus in the shape of His Gross ; 
And the Lord Who made them frail and feeble 

Maybe will pity their strife and loss. 

It might have been expected that so skilful an artist in beauti- 
ful words would be sure occasionally to find the classic sonnet- 
form the most fitting vehicle for some rounded and stately thought. 
About half a dozen sonnets are strewn over these pages, all cast 
in the true Petrarchan mould, and all very properly bearing names 
of their own, like any other form of verse, instead of being 
labelled promiscuously as " sonnets." The following is called 
" Love." What a sublime ideal, only to be realised in human love 
when in its self-denying sacredness it approaches the divine ! 

True love is that which never can be lost : 

Though cast away, alone and ownerless, 
Like a strayed child that wandering misses most 

When night comes down its mother's last caress ; 

True love dies not when banished and forgot, 

But, solitary, barters still with Heaven 
The scanty share of joy cast in its lot 

For joys to the beloved freely given. 

Love smiling stands afar to watch and see 
Each blessing it has bought, like angel's kiss, 

Fall on the loved one's face, who ne'er may know 
At what strange cost thus, overflowingly, 

His cup is filled, or how its depth of bliss 
Doth give the measure of another's woe. 

As this happens to be the solitary one among Miss Mulholland's 
sonnets which in the arrangement of the quatrains varies slightly 
from the most orthodox tradition of this pharisee of song, I will 
give another specimen, prettily named " Among the Boughs." 



Digitized by 



Google 



Mm Muttiollantfs Poems. 9 

High on a gnarled and mossy forest bough, 

Dreaming, I hang between the earth and sky, 

The golden moon through leafy mystery 
Gazing aslant at me with glowing brow. 
And since all living creatures slumber now, 

O nightingale, save only thou and I, 

Tell me the secret of thine ecstasy, 
That none may know save only I and thou. 

Alas, all vainly doth my heart entreat ; 
Thy magic pipe unfolds but to the moon 
What wonders thee in faery worlds befell : 
To her is sung thy midnight-music sweet, 
And ere she wearies of thy mellow tune, 
She hath thy secret, and will guard it well ! 

Unstinted as our extracts have been, there are poems here by 
the score over which our choice has wavered. Our selection, 
while passing over the poems which might already be familiar to 
some readers, and therefore passing over many of the best, has 
been made partly with a view to the illustration of the variety and 
versatility displayed by this new poet in matter and form ; and on 
this principle we are tempted to quote " Girlhood at Midnight " as 
the only piece of blank verse in Miss Mulholland's repertory, to show 
how musical, how far from blank, she makes that most difficult 
and perilous measure. But we must put a restraint on ourselves 
and just give one more sample of the achievements of the author 
of " The Little Flower Seekers" and " The Wild Birds of Kil- 
leevy " in what an old writer calls " the mellifluous meeters of 
poesie." This last is called "A Rebuke/' Was there ever a 
sweeter or gentler rebuke ? 

Why are you so sad P (ring the birds, the little birds,) 

All the sky is blue, 
We are in our branches, yonder are the herds, 

And the sun is on the dew; 
Everything is merry, (ring the happy little birds,) 

Everything but you ! 

Fire is on the hearthstone, the ship is on the wave, 

Pretty eggs are in the nest, 
Yonder sits a mother smiling at a grave, 

With a baby at her breast; 
And Christ was on the earth, and the sinner He forgave 

Is with Him in His rest. 



Digitized by 



Google 



10 Mm MulhollaruTs Poems. . 

We shall droop oar wings, (pipe* the throttle on the tree,) 

When everything is done: 
Time unfarleth yours, that you soar eternally 

In the regions of the sun. 
When our day is over, (sing* the blackbird in the lea,) 

Yours is but begun I 

Then why are you so sad P (warble all the little birds,) 

While the sky is blue, 
Brooding over phantoms and vexing about words 

That never can be true; 
Everything is merry, (trill the happy, happy birds,) 

Everything but you I 

The setting of these jewels is almost worthy of them. The 
book is brought out with that faultless taste which has helped to 
win for the firm of No. 1 Paternoster-square such fame as poets' pub- 
lishers. A large proportion of contemporary poetry of the highest 
name, including till lately the Laureate's, has appeared under the 
auspices of Kegan Paul, Trench, and Company, who seem to have 
expended special care on the production of " Vagrant Verses." 

And now, as we have let these poems chiefly speak for them- 
selves, enough has been said. We do not hesitate to add in con- 
clusion that those among us with pretensions to literary culture, 
who do not hasten to contribute to the exceptional success which 
awaits a work such as even our brief account proves this work to 
be, will so far have failed in their duty towards Irish genius. For 
this book more than any that we have yet received from its author's 
hand — nay, more than any that we can hope to receive from her, 
since this is the consummate flower of her best years — will serve to 
secure for the name of Rosa Mulholland an enduring place among 
the most richly gifted of the daughters of Erin. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



( 11 ) 



A CURIOUS RELIC OF THOMAS FRANCIS MEAGHER. 

A THICK, strongly bound, and well filled manuscript-book lies 
before us, which bears the title " Six Tears in Clongowes, 
by a Rhetorician of '40," and on the page before the title is 
written crosswise : " To D. V. Donegan I present this old scratch- 
book in token (and a queer one it is) of my sincere affection. 
Thomas Francis Meagher, Richmond Prison, June 8th, 1849." 

Mr. D. V. Donegan of Cork, whose kindness allows us to make 
this use of his treasured keepsake, first made Meagher's acquaint- 
ance when the latter returned on a visit to Clongowes in 1843. 
This acquaintance ripened into friendship, the more readily because 
Meagher's bosom-friend was a cousin of Mr. Donegan's, Charles 
Murphy, a younger brother of Father Frank Murphy, S. J., still 
well remembered in Ireland, though his work for many years has 
lain in Australia. Charles Murphy died while Meagher was in 
Richmond Prison under sentence, and Mr. Donegan at Meagher's 
earnest entreaty visited him there to console him and to tell all 
the particulars of their poor friend's death. He was with him as 
often as he could, and he was with him the night before Meagher 
was transported to Van Dieman's Land. When he was leaving at 
the usual hour, the Governor of the gaol, Mr. Marquis, met him 
and told him to go back and bid his friend a last farewell, as in 
the morning he was to sail, the convict-ship then lying ready for 
the prisoners at Kingstown. Mr. Donegan returned^*) Meagher's 
cell, which he found empty ; so, acting from a generous impulse 
of affection, he crept under the bed, determined, if he could, to 
pass with his friend his last night in Ireland. The prison seems to 
have been loosely enough managed at that time, for Mr. Donegan 
remained undisturbed until after a considerable interval Meagher 
returned. When he came in, the cell was locked up for the night. 
He then seated himself at the little table, leaned his head on his 
hand and sighing deeply said aloud : — " My last night in Ireland, 
and alone!" "No, Tom, not alone," said his faithful friend, 
emerging from his uncomfortable hiding-place, " I am here, and 
will remain with you to the last." "Good God!" exclaimed 
Meagher, "what will become of you if you are discovered?" 
forgetting his own sad condition in anxiety for one who had shown 
gaoh devotion to him. They spent the night together, and then it 

Digitized by VjOOQ LC 



12 A Curious Relic of Thomas Francis Meagher. 

was that Meagher presented the curious manuscript-book from 
which the following extracts are taken. On the same occasion he 
gave him his uniform as a member of the '82 club, both which 
relics of one he loved so much Mr. Donegan, it is unnecessary to 
add, moat highly prizes and cherishes. In the morning, when 
Marquis discovered what had happened, he took Mr. Donegan aside 
and said to him : — " I understand what has prompted you to do 
this ; but, remember, if it is found out, I am ruined." The tale 
was never told till Marquis was beyond the reach of injury from 
its being known. This act of friendship was near costing the 
doer of it very dear. That night a rescue, as was afterwards 
ascertained, was to have been attempted, which, if unforeseen causes 
had not prevented it, would in all probability have marked Mr. 
Donegan out as an accomplice, and so consigned him to share not 
only in his friend's prison-cell but later in his sentence of trans- 
portation. 

When Mr. Justin Mac Carthy lately delivered a lecture on Irish 
eloquence, after Burke, and Sheridan, and Sheil, and O'Connell, 
he named Thomas Francis Meagher as the orator of the Young 
Ireland movement, This scratch-book, as the young orator calls 
it, gives no hope of his fascinating eloquence, except in showing 
the care with which he drafted his speeches and even his letters. 
He does not name the person to whom the following letter was to 
be addressed : — 

You use me cruelly : you have sent me but two letters since I have been 
at Stonyhurst, and these too agreeable not to make me sensible how great my 
loss is in not receiving more. Next to seeing you is the pleasure of seeing your 
handwriting ; next to hearing you is the pleasure of hearing from you. Duties 
of no ordinary weight which devolve npon you oblige me to excuse you : and 
this I do the more willingly because I know you desire to keep up a constant 
correspondence with me. 

To-day closed the third term, and, as you will see by the accompanying 
programme, there was an academical exhibition given by the First of Gram- 
marians.* (l The Death of Nelson '* was performed in brilliant style and was 
received with loud and prolonged clapping. When the piece was ended, the 
reading out of the names took place — only of the compositions, as the Examen 
report is not made till next week, as is always the case. I am gratified to tell 
you I got sixth place. As there is no distinction given of the several themes, 
I cannot tell you whether I got first for the poem or not, but this I can say that 
my English composition must have been chiefly instrumental in raising me 
so high. W.B. If I who was always one of the last at Olongowescan get 
so good a place, how much superior would not [one name illegible] M. 

* The members of the first class of grammar. 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



A Curiam Belie of Thomas Francis Meagher. 13 

Coghlan and Power be oyer the Stonyhurstians, were they to come here. The 
subject of the English poem was " The Foundation of Venice 5 " that of the 
Latin was " The Death of Brian Boru." The elegy was a translation from 
Moore. 

Our opinion of the worth and interest of this " scratch-book " 
of poor Meagher has grown during the short time that we have 
spent turning over its leaves. The Vergniaud of '48 was capable 
of spelling incorrectly, but one can trace the orator in the rounded 
and (sooth to say) stilted periods which the lad prepares here to 
inflict on his correspondents. Highly effective speakers are some- 
times effective by reason of qualities which unfit them for a good 
sober style of writing — although, if both speakers and hearers had 
good taste and judgment, the best speaking would generally be the 
best writing also. In after years Meagher often wrote what he 
intended to be read ; but we think he never escaped from the plat- 
form style. It was with a special significance that The Nation 
supplement which first gathered together some of Meagher's most 
brilliant speeches called them " The Orations of Thomas Francis 
Meagher." 

The spell which these speeches once exercised over a certain 
little lad who used to spout them out in the solitude of certain 
mountain braes to the astonishment of the sheep, his only listeners — 
these hallowed associations will not allow me to publish here such 
unfavourable samples as drafts of schoolboy speeches in Debating 
Societies, or the letters which Meagher wrote under the signature 
of " Henry Grattan " in a college controversy with someone signing 
himself " Ninu-cd." One of his embryo essays begins : u In the 
month of June, 1835, I visited the ruins of Dunbrody Abbey." 
Then follows a page or two full of blottings and interlineations. 
But he succeeded better with " A Visit to the Lakes of Killarney," 
to which he devotes some twenty pages in .which he exercises per- 
petually " that last and greatest art — the art to blot." As another 
date in his early life we give the opening words : " It was late in 
the evening of the 6th of August, 1837, that I arrived at the 
Kenmare Arms.' 1 

The most elaborate part, however, of this curious relic of 
Thomas Francis Meagher consists of some sixty pages which go 
further than any other portion of the volume to justify the title- 
page with its amateur printing : " Six Tears in Clongowes, written 
by a Rhetorician of '40" — though the narrative does not go 
beyond six days. Was it in mercy to his little boy that his father 
allowed his school-life to begin so very near to the summer 
vacation P 

Vol. xiv. No. 151. Dig i tized by Gt>CK 



14 A Curious Belie of Thomas Francis Meagher. 

" Late in the evening of the 12th of June, 1834, 1 drove up 
the Naas avenue leading to dongowes. The sun was declining/' 
Ac. [two pages of very boyish reflections follow, which we omit]. 
" Bather concealed by some intervening trees rose the towers of the 
castle, while the rest of the building appeared now and then through 
the woods which form a grand enclosure round this noble demesne/ 9 

Then comes another page of reflections too puerile to quote 
even as a curiosity, attributed by a rhetorician of sixteen years to 
a boy of eleven. He describes the room into which they were first 
shown — "a handsome and elegant apartment, lit by a dome of glass, 
while the walls of a noble height were richly ornamented with 
workings in stucco." The young writer proceeds to describe his 
uncle, Father Meagher, S J., whom at first he and his brother 
Henry cannot recognize, because, as the juvenile writer pretends, 
he was so utterly changed by his religious habit from the wit and 
the dandy who had been a prominent figure in the club-room and 
the ball-room. One cannot help suspecting that the lad was only 
trying to make sentences out of the scantiest materials, condescend- 
ing to describe very minutely his first dinner at Glongowes, more 
elegant than many that he afterwards partook of with a heartier 
appetite. His account of persons and things is so melodramatic 
that one takes the liberty of supposing it to be more an effort of 
imagination than of memory ; and there are no characteristic 
touches in the boyish composition which might tempt us to single 
out any further specimens. 

During Meagher's sojourn at Glongowes Wood his Alma Mater 
celebrated in the year 1839 her noces cTargent, her silver jubilee, 
the twenty-fifth anniversary of the foundation of the college. On 
the "academy- day" of that year the event was sung in heroic 
metre, with a due proportion of classic allusions. As an accident 
has placed in our hands at the same time the young Clongownian's 
" scratch-book " and a scrapbook of Clongowes compositions, we 
may insert here this extract from the latter collection : — 

Scared by the din of war that shook the world, 
When first Napoleon to the breeze unfurled 
Ambition's banner, meek-eyed learning sought 
Some spot congenial to the peaceful thought, 
And peaceful language of the Muse's strains, 
But vainly sought it o'er Europa's plains 
Where to repose once more her virgin choir 
And tune to joy's wild pathos all her lyre. 
Mourning she turned— when lo 1 a distant isle 
Based midst the ocean's foam is seen to smile j 

Digitized by VLjOOQLC 



A Curious Relic qf Thomas Francis Meagher. 15 

Where perfumed gales their dew-dropt winge expand 
And sprinkle fragrance thro* that happy land, 
Where lovelier rills than bright Meander flow 
And flowers with nature's loveliest colours glow, 
Where brighter hills than Ida deck the scene 
And slope to valleys of perennial green ; 
Where hallowed oaks of stateliest growth deride 
Dodona's fame and frown in classic pride. 
And here a spot arrests her wandering gaze, 
Throned mid the woodland vista's flowery maze ; 
Streams circle near, while farther Liffoy's tide 
Is seen in sombre majesty to glide ; 
While trees, with shrubs commingling, form a shade 
For fancy's dreams and contemplation made. 
All seemed to woo delay — " Here, here," she said 
41 Shall fount Pierian gush from where I tread." 
Then viewing near a castle's stately dome — 
" Here," she exclaimed, *' shall be my favourite home. 
And here assisted by my fostering hand 
Shall virtue rear the youth of Erin's land. 
And as the eagle towering o'er the height 
Of Glendaloch's wreathed cliffs, instructs for flight 
Her generous young, and points the way to rise 
On heavenward pinions to the sun-lit skies, 
So shall I teach my favourite youth to soar 
And grasp at truth on wings of classic lore." 
She said — nor vain her seraph accents fell 
In the full unison of lyre and shell. 
For since that hour of happiest omen shone 
Ne'er from that spot has learning's genius flown, 
Ne'er ceased the Muse to tune her harp sublime, 
And laugh to scorn the palsying arm of time. 
Yes, Clongowes, oft since then has glory shed 
Its loveliest halo round thy beaming head 
And with thy children's praises linked, thy name 
Has shone emblazoned on the rolls of fame. 
Since then the quarter of an age has passed, 
Nor hath time's wing its envious shadow cast 
To dim the lustre of thy youthful brow, 
Still brilliant as thou wert we view thee now, 
Nor tremble for thy glories. No, even we 
With new-born rays shall swell thy brilliancy, 
And fired by those whom men with wond'ring eyes 
Have seen like stars in learning's sphere arise 
Shall press still forward in the paths of fame 
With youth's warm zeal to vindicate thy name 
To fadeless laurels— whilst in letters bright 
Stamped on thy walls, illumed by memory's light, 
Shall live the name of him whose parent eye 
Watched with a parent's fondness o'er thy infancy. 



Digitized by 



Google 



16 In the Desert. 

These concluding lines allude to the first Rector of Clongowes, 
Father Peter Kenny, S.J. A manuscript diary kept at Clongowes 
when the college was only two years old lies here before us, 
beginning with the names of the members of the community, the 
first being of course Father Kenny's and the last being that of 
Brother John Curtis who came to the college on the 22nd of 
November, 1816, after his two years in the novitiate of the Society 
— namely, that venerable patriarch who has only just passed away 
from us, dying at St. Francis Xavier's, Dublin, on the 10th of 
November, 1885, in the ninety-second year of his age. 

The poem that we have quoted would have a better right to a 
place in this article if it bore (which it does not) the same endow- 
ment as a prose paper in the same volume, namely an essay on the 
" Importance of Time " read by Thomas Meagher in the Concer- 
tatio, November 9th, 1837. One of the sentences preaches the 
old lesson in these terms : " Were we even secure of reaching a 
happy old age, and even taking it for granted that we should be 
blessed with the longest period of life ever allotted to man, we are 
not hence licensed to run into debt with time, nor are we privileged 
to burden to-morrow with the business of to-day." When the 
boy " spouted " this sonorous period, he little dreamed of all the 
various fortunes that lay for him between that moment and his own 
untimely death on an American river. 



IN THE DESERT. 

" VTIGHT closes round me, Lord, and black despair, 
iN . Even than the freezing night-tide bitterer! 

How shall 1 banish these foul things, that stir, 
Loathly and fierce, until the encircling air 
Grows but one choking horror I Where, oh where 
May my strest soul find refuge P Lo I to her 
In terror of this darkness, fiends aver 
Thou and thine heaven, but mocking dreams, and bare I " 

" Raise thy dim eyes ; breaketh the golden morn 

Across yon shadowy hill — the black night flies — 
And lo, I waiting stand to lead thee home ! 
Child, I forsake not— leave no soul forlorn— 

Nor mocking dream, but sun -filled Paradise 
Awaits thy weary feet ; mine own child, come ! * 

Evelyn Pyse. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 17 ) 



THE CHAPLAIN OF ST. DENIS. 

BY THE LATE C. W. RUSSELL, D.l). 

ON a lovely Sunday evening in the end of August, 1792, a 
party of fierce-looking strangers seated themselves with an 
insolent and swaggering air under the awning in front of a 
cabaret in the square of the little town of St. Denis. They were 
all more or less armed, and all, without exception, wore the bonnet 
rouge. The provincial accent in which the greater number of 
them spoke, showed that they were new arrivals in the capital ; 
and the patois with which two or three interlarded their conversa- 
tion betrayed a Marseillaise origin. A few of the villagers who 
had been sitting quietly in the shade before they arrived, made 
way at once for the swaggering strangers ; and though curiosity 
detained a few listeners, the majority slunk off with an evident 
expression of fear, if not dislike, at their approach. 

Nor, indeed, was it any wonder. It was an awful period. 
May we never, dear reader, know anything of its horrors except 
from history! Men had learned, from the reckless atrocities 
then daily and hourly committed, that no institution, however 
venerable, could be regarded as staple, that no ordinance, how- 
ever sacred, was secure from profanation. And especially it was 
no wonder that the poor burghers of St. Denis should tremble in 
this inauspicious presence ; for it was but a short time before that 
a similar gang had broken into the old cathedral of their town — 
the burial-place of the royal line of France — profaned its altars, 
rifled its tombs, scattered the ashes of the kings to the winds, and 
destroyed in a few hours some of the noblest monuments of anti- 
quity, of which not France alone but Europe could boast. 

The strangers, however, took no notice of the consternation 
they occasioned ; but after ordering a supply of wine and eau-de- 
vie, to which they addressed themselves with no unpractised air, 
they continued the conversation in which they had seemingly been 
engaged before they arrived. 

" That was a clever job at the St. Esprit in Troyes last week," 
said one, apparently the leader of the party. " The croaking old 
nuns refused for a long time to leave the convent, till at last 
citizen Pettica coolly set fire to it over their heads ; and then, I 

Digitized by vjOOQ IC 



18 The Chaplain of St. Denis. 

promise you, they scampered off like rats from a smoking corn- 
stack." 

" But did you hear of the glorious doings at Bordeaux P " said 
one of the Marseillaise. " Balmat is just back from the south, 
and told it to us last night at the club, in proposing a new mem- 
ber. The day before he came away, he saw no less than three of 
the ringleaders of the priestly gang quietly disposed of. The first 
was beheaded, the second drowned, and the third flogged to death ; 
and the brother of one of them, the gallant fellow whom Balmat 
proposed for the club, was the very first to plant the * Tree of 
Liberty ' on the spot still red with his brother's blood."* 

" Bravo/' replied Mortier, the first speaker. " We are picking 
down the crows out of the old rookery by degrees. They have 
cawed too long for liberty/ ' 

" Never mind/' said a fierce, red-whiskered fellow, more than 
half drunk already, though he still plied the bottle steadily. 
" Never mind! This slow work will never do. We must burn 
them out by wholesale, and pay off all scores at once." 

" Well said, Bichaud ! " echoed two or three of the Marseil- 
laise voices. " Give us the wholesale work ! Here's to Meslier's 
immortal toast : ' Que le dernier dee rats soit etrangU avec lee boyaun 
du dernier dee prStres /' "t 

It is revolting to relate that the brutal toast was received with 
acclamation by the infatuated wretches. Alas, where is the depth 
of depravity too deep for the human heart when abandoned to its 
own wicked will! Alas, alas, if the gates of the infernal abyss, 
had been flung open, and its foulest fiends had walked the earth 
uncontrolled, what is the possible enormity their hellish ingenuity 
could devise, that has not actually been exceeded by the incarnate 
fiends of this unhappy time ! 

During the clamour which succeeded the toast, one of the 
party rose, and withdrew from the cabaret. He had hardly yet 
reached the prime of manhood, but his stern and gloomy features 
wore a dark and sullen, though not utterly depraved, expression. 
Of a rank evidently superior to that of his companions, he was an 
amateur in the work of violence for which they were hired. He waa 
a professed lover of liberty, though he could hardly conceal from 
himself that his feelings were strongly warped by misanthropy 

* This is literally true. 

t u May the last of the Kings be strangled with the bowels of the last of the, 
Priests ! " This brutal wish of Meslier is actually recorded of him with approval 
by Naigeon in the article on his life. 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Chaplain of 8t. Deni*. 10 

and disappointed ambition. Still, he had wrought himself up to 
a degree of enthusiasm in his new career, and regarded the cruelties 
by which it was marked as but the wild justice of an insulted 
people, whose sense of wrong, pent up for centuries of oppression, 
had at length burst out with a violence which it was idle to re- 
strain. The present expedition had been undertaken by direction 
of the higher powers for the arrest of several non-juring priests, 
who were reported to have taken refuge in the neighbourhood of 
St. Denis ; and Ferrand (for so he was called) had joined it from 
some undefined feeling which he could not himself fully analyze. 

He strolled from the square towards the old cathedral, the 
towers of which were gorgeously lighted up by the declining sun. 
I dare say but few of my readers have seen the cathedral of St. 
Denis, and those who may happen to have seen it of late years, 
must remember that at the time of which I speak, now fifty years 
ago, its appearance was very different from that which it now 
wears. The whole building bore numberless traces of recent vio- 
lence: the exterior, now so tastefully and successfully restored, 
was not only time-worn — that one would not have minded in a 
church of six or seven centuries' standing — but hideously shattered 
and dismantled. The pinnacles were broken, the fretwork was 
destroyed, the niches were despoiled of their sacred occupants, 
which lay in fragments upon the ground, the gorgeous windows 
were shivered into pieces, the roof, now so exquisitely finished in 
" blue powdered in stars of gold," was then cold, bare, and in part 
blackened ; the pillars and frieze bore the fresh marks of the pick- 
axe and the sledge hammer, the statues were mutilated and hurled 
to the ground, the boxes were rifted and flung down, the monu- 
ments were torn open, and fragments of the coffins and other 
memorials of the dead strewed the floor, the choir-stalls were 
hacked and disfigured, the altars were stripped of their sacred 
ornaments, and one or two of them overthrown ; in a word, the 
whole scene was an illustration, and even so did it force itself upon 
Ferrand's mind, of " the abomination of desolation standing in the 
holy place." 

Still, even in its desolation, it was a venerable old pile. Fer- 
rand, who sa w it for the first time, was struck, in his own despite, 
by the exquisitely light and graceful proportion of the exterior, 
the rich ornamental work of the tower, and the gorgeous tracing 
of the doors and windows. He could not withdraw his eyes from 
the startling, though grotesque, sculptures which adorn the 
entranoe, and exerted all his skill in trying to decipher (what was 



Digitized by 



Google 



20 The Chaplain of St. Denis. 

then a difficult task) the legend which surrounds it. I may take 
this opportunity, while he is so engaged, to tell a few words of his 
history. 

Jules Ferrand (he had dropped the aristocratic Be) was a 
younger son of a noble family in the Tourraine. The eldest 
brother, as a matter of course, was destined to succeed to the 
family estates. Jules, with a second brother, was born to com- 
parative dependence. Still his prospects to distinction were suffi- 
ciently flattering. The utmost pains were bestowed upon his 
education, and he was carefully trained up in the strictest prin- 
ciples of religion. From his boyhood, however, he had displayed a 
degree of sensibility almost bordering upon moroseness. He bitterly 
felt his inferiority to his more favoured brother ; and some chance 
allusion to his dependent prospects, intended merely to stimulate 
his industry, fixed the barb of discontent in his heart for ever. 
Ambitious and aspiring, yet without the perseverance which would 
enable him to win his way unaided to eminence, and too proud to 
accept, much less to seek, the assistance which he thought was 
only extended as a favour, he dreamed away his early youth in 
unavailing repinings at his lot. The more pliant temper of his 
younger brother, Jean, opened a way for him to distinction ; and 
his early success, which was sometimes put forward as a model for 
Jules, and the favour with which he was regarded by all who 
knew him, tended still more to embitter the lot of the sensitive 
and unhappy young man. His repinings soon ripened into dis- 
content. Evil companions completed the work of disaffection. 
He became gradually estranged from his family and friends. His 
religious principles were one by one undermined. The flatteries 
of false friends taught him to believe that in another state of 
things his talents could not fail to secure him fortune and distinc- 
tion; and when the hour of change arrived, and the revolution burst 
out in all its fatal fury, he was among the first to hail the prospect, 
and the .most violent in urging it on to a speedy crisis. Once in- 
volved in the whirlpool, he was drawn from abyss to abyss, till at last 
the natural feelings of humanity were almost totally obliterated, 
and he could herd with the vilest and most brutal of the revolu- 
tionary mob on terms, not alone of toleration, but even of fellow- 
ship and fraternity. Thus he advocated, or professed to advocate, 
upon principle, all the violence into which the more menial instru- 
ments of revolutionary cruelty plunged from the mere instinct of 
brutality and thirst of blood. 

That one such as he should be struck with anything like regret 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Chaplain of St. Denis. 21 

at the sight which awaited him in the interior of the cathedral, it 
would hardly be natural to expect. Yet so it was. Hardened as 
he was, a feeling akin to shame, if not to remorse, stole over him 
as he contemplated the scene of ruin. He could not help asking 
himself what the cause must be, which it was sought to uphold by 
means like these ; and the gloomy silence of the hour, the melan- 
choly plight of the venerable old aisles, the shattered and mutilated 
fragments of what once had been bright and beautiful, gave weight 
and force to the reflections which his better feelings suggested. 
But he yielded not to the impulse. He passed on with a rapid 
and determined step, as though he sought to fly from the thoughts 
to which he was resolved not to give way. 

Insensibly, however, his pace slackened, as he passed around 
the back of the choir, and he paused to examine, now the rude 
sculptures which adorn the enclosure, now the antique and strange 
looking altars which rest against the wall of the church. The dim 
and unsteady light of the evening hour heightened the effect 
which they were calculated to produce, by bringing out more 
mysteriously their strange and uncouth forms, and concealing the 
injuries which they had sustained from the recent violence of the 
mob. 

He was irresistibly impelled to pause at every step, and, in the 
interest which the examination created, he forgot for a moment 
the purpose for which the visit had been made. 

Suddenly, however, his attention was recalled by the sound of 
suppressed or distant voices, and he stood still, in the hope of 
discovering whence it issued. It was as if immediately beneath 
his feet ; and after a moment's reflection, he concluded that it 
came from the crypt, a subterraneous chapel. Returning cautiously 
from the rear of the high altar, he descended once more into the 
aisle, and, to his surprise, discovered that the massive iron gate of 
the crypt lay open. He entered without hesitation, and threading 
his way through the dark passage at the entrance, he soon reached 
a spot from which he was able to see distinctly what was passing 
within. 

A number of little children were assembled in the small chapel 
which lies immediately below the high altar in the upper church, 
and which is used for the mass of the dead. An old and vener- 
able priest, assisted by another clergyman still very young, was in 
the act of addressing the little flock. They had evidently selected 
this spot for their Sunday evening's devotions, for the purpose of 
concealment ; and the priest was giving them a few words of in- 



Digitized by 



Google 



22 The Chaplain of St. Bents. 

struction on the duties oi Christiana, jttevious to dismissing them 
for the night. 

These, then, were the men of whom Ferrand's party were in 
quest, and his first impulse was to return and bring them to the 
spot without delay. A certain undefined curiosity, however, in- 
duced him to hesitate for a few moments, and listen to the dis- 
course of the old man. It was upon the horror of sin, and the 
terrors of God's judgment. Simple and unstudied, it was addressed 
direct to the hearts of his little hearers, and from the trembling 
lips of the venerable old man it came with a sort of unearthly 
power. The whole scene was almost overpowering. The darkness 
which reigned all around, save in the single spot where the 
preacher and his little auditory stood ; their eager and awe-struck 
young faces as they gazed with breathless interest upon the speaker; 
the zeal, and charity, and paternal affection which gleamed from 
his eyes, and trembled in his faltering accents ; the simple earnest- 
ness with which he proposed the terrific truths which he laid 
before them, all came upon the unseen stranger with a force which 
he himself could never have anticipated. They touched a chord 
which for years had lain silent and neglected. He strove to laugh 
off the feelings this excited, as he had done a thousand times. He 
recalled all the fallacies by which he so often quieted the " still 
small voice," of his inward monitor. But it was vain. The 
impression was too strong to bo thus summarily dismissed. He 
would fain have withdrawn ; shame, pride, anger urged him to re- 
turn to his companions. But he was withheld by an impulse which 
he could not resist, and remained rapt in the subject of the 
preacher's address till he had concluded, with even more unction 
than he had manifested in any previous moment. 

Scarcely had he closed, when the little crowd fell upon their 
knees, and all with one voice, began to repeat, along with the 
venerable priest, their evening prayers — the very prayers which 
Ferrand in his better days had been taught to say. Their little voices 
chimed harmoniously together. The deep and solemn, though 
trembling, tones of the old priest were heard distinctly above them. 
They spoke to Ferrand's heart of many a long-forgotten feeling, 
of many a touching and tender memory long passed away. And 
while he gazed with intense anxiety upon the scene, he saw a mother, 
who was among that crowd, take the little hands of her child within 
her own, and try to teach its young lips to join in the prayer which 
it could barely articulate. This simple incident completed the 
triumph of grace in the softened heart of the long-lost man. He 



Digitized by 



Google 



Meflectivn. 33 

flung Himself upon his knees, and, after a brief and almost die- 
pairing prayer, he rushed from the spot. 

In a few minutes after Ferrand left the church, a hurried 
messenger was observed to enter the cabaret, where his companions* 
still continued their carousal, and addressed a few words to the 
leader of the party. He started up with an air of alarm, and the 
whole company hastily quitted the shop and returned in confusion 

to Paris. 

* * . * * * 

About a dozen year since* an Irish traveller heard the above 
story related in a very affecting sermon on the religious education 
of youth, from the pulpit of the cathedral of St. Denis. The 
preacher — a venerable old man, bowed down by the weight of years 
and apostolic labours — was the long-lost but penitent Ferrand him- 
self. He died in a few months afterwards, a most holy and edify- 
ing death, and is still affectionately remembered by the villagers as 
the good old Chaplain op St. Denis. 



REFLECTION. 

BY THB REV. WILLIAM SUTTON, S.J. 

A PHILOSOPHER, when asked what philosophy had done for 
him, replied : — " It has taught me to talk with myself." 
That is a man's own reward for all the labour implied in becoming 
even something of a philosopher. And it is a great one. Congenial 
society is one of the greatest blessings we can enjoy ; uncongenial, 
among the greatest and most clinging miseries, almost as bad as 
ill-health or habitual heart-heaviness. Wisdom reconciles incom- 
patibilities or what seem so. Man is social or communing. 
Unphilosophic man only knows himself in others, thinks of 
himself as related to others, instinctively flees from himself ; being 
by himself is living death to him. Inconsistently he loves and 
prizes himself as only such men can, and at the same time hates 
and despises his own conscious company, that is when he is not 
occupied in or planning what will enlarge his life with others. 

* This sketch was written more than forty years ago, when Dr. Russell was 
a young professor in Maynooth College. — En. I. M. 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



24 Reflection. 

Philosophic man is a world to himself — never less alone than when 
alone, for as such omnia sua secum portat. His possessions are one, 
— reflection. How he got it, is not easy to say. He spent a good 
number of years reading and mastering what others had thought 
and taught. He found great difficulty in coming at their minds 
and experienced great pleasure after the toil, as thought revealed 
itself to his thought, like far-off stars which one sees through a 
telescope when he looks long into the black firmament. They 
come out from the deep dark sky around — so small, so still, so 
clear, meaning so much, so easily lost, if one is careless. After 
awhile he found himself seeing the same thing in different ways, 
dividing, combining, comparing. He began to understand how 
language was to be used in order to command attention, how word* 
were to be combined, that would give new things the solidity and 
power of maturity, and old things the freshness and pleasing 
vigour of youth. Coleridge says philosophy begins and ends in 
wonder. Men are but children of a larger growth. If a child 
could express its emotions, its fresh surprises and wondering 
imaginings, it would be, not indeed a philosopher, but a literary 
genius, for wisdom is separable from and often unpossessed by 
masters of expression. The puzzles of the child become the 
problems of the philosopher. How came we into the world P 
Why are we here? What is the meaning of Roman, Greek, 
Egyptian, Asiatic History P Why are there so mauy and so con- 
flicting religions in the world P How can people be idolaters P 
Why are men so cruel P Why do they kill and torture one 
another P Why so much suffering, cold, hunger, disease P And 
savages, has God care of them P Does God really mind what we 
do P Are his rewards and punishments so vast P What is God P 
What are we P What is the soul P The answers that will stop a 
child's inquiries will but stimulate the philosopher's obstinate 
questionings. One of the most curious results of philosophic 
research is that the ideas of children on the most fundamental 
truths are perfectly sound, while the ideas of numberless philo- 
sophers on the same points are utterly wrong. Two very striking 
examples of this are the notions of causality and free will. These 
are simple, self-evident ideas, overwhelmingly clear to the unpre- 
judiced, unsophisticated intellect. But as the notion of and 
belief in God is easy and natural for the child and unsophisticated 
reasoner, which a little surface philosophy renders difficult and 
often undermines and practically destroys, which again much and 
deep philosophy strengthens and developes, so in their own way 

Digitized by G00gle 



ion. 25 

with these ideas. No one indeed can help acting and thinking, as 
if his theories of causality and moral responsibility were not all 
that they should be, and St. Augustine says hcec est vis verce 
Deitatis, ut nunquam possit penitus abscondi. The idea of God is so 
natural that it never can be completely extinguished. 

We must not think that thinkers are necessarily professed 
metaphysicians, musing on abstractions and all the necessary truths 
connected with every mode of being. We have a famous example 
of this in one of the greatest geniuses and thinkers of the age, 
Cardinal Newman. All his writings are redolent of the full 
flavour of thoughtfulness, throbbing with the stimulating power 
of " the words of the wise, which are like goads and like nails 
deeply fastened in." Writing and speaking as he does with vast 
intellectual power and vast erudition his simple language conveys, 
such wide-reaching meaning that we return again and again to his 
poems, and sermons, and essays with renewed, varying, un- 
exhausted delight, certain each time to see what we never saw 
before, certain to take away fresh energy and subject for thought. 
And still he seems to make it his deliberate purpose to bring what 
is behind the mysterious veil as far as possibly can be done into 
the world of shapes and symbols, which the intellectual imagina- 
tion may figure to itself and realize. With this object when 
treating of abstract ideas he does not inquire what they are in 
themselves, but how we store them and consider them in the 
algebra of practical thought and reasoning. 

Genius is a large word. It is originality of conception and 
expression. To some it comes without effort, in others it is the 
fruit of "accumulated reflection/' Buffon says: — "Le genie, 
c'est la patience." Newton, when asked how he discovered the 
universality and the formula of the law of gravitation, replied, 
" By constantly thinking about it." I remember reading in a 
review of some work in the Times, that it gave signs of careful 
work, of the exercise of that infinite capacity for taking trouble 
which is but another name for genius itself. On the other hand 
Shakespeare is said to give us his own method of writing when 
describing how Hamlet "devised a new commission." "Ere I 
could make a prologue to my brains, they had begun the play." 
Mozart tells us when a little boy melodies and harmonies he had 
never heard came surging through his brain, sounding on his 
mental ear unbidden. Nevertheless for the production of their 
balanced work Shakespeare and he and all such had need of accu- 
mulated reflection, of trained and indomitable will, no less than of 



Digitized by 



Google 



26 To Cardinal Newman. 

the consciousness of genius and its seasons of inspiration. Talent 
is receptive, genius is creative* Talent takes in and expresses the 
minds of others. Genius throws its own silver light on all it 
assimilates. Cardinal Newman says it is the work of genius to 
give old things the freshness of new, as well as to produce what 
is wholly new, and he himself is great in both performances. For 
conveying truths that will work on the mind like leaven, an ounce 
of originality or genius is worth a ton of talent. Often too, the 
simple little words in which a new view of an old truth is con- 
veyed are an explosive bullet which strikes at first like any other 
message, but straightway then proceeds to shatter preconceived 
notions and encrusted prejudices. Thoughtful work, though not 
always genius as commonly understood, is fed at least on the crumbs 
that fall from its table, and produces analogous effects. Hence 
the utility even of spending years in acquiring the habit of 
reflection. 



TO CARDINAL NEWMAN. 
Born in Feb. 1801, converted in Oct. 1845. 

QCARCE forty years of energising brain 
L> Had set thee king o'er all that walk sincere 
Without the fold. A loss thou didst not fear 
Of kingship seemed thy joining us ; a gain 
Immense it proved : then thousands felt thy reign, 
Now loving millions hail thee Prince most dear, 
And countless alien slaves of style thy peer 
In soul-compelling prose have sought in vain. 

These other forty years of life mature, 
How vastly nobler in their silent sway 

O'er England's heart and English-thinking mind ! 
Decoy divine, thy deeds, thy words ! they lure 
To God. The «• kindly light " that led thy way 
Full oft through them on searcher true hath shined. 

Lewis Drummond, S J. 
St Boniface College, Manitoba. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 27 ) 



THE LAST OP THE SHANACHIES. 

BT MRS. MORGAN JOHN o'cOKNELL* 

THE teller of old tales was a recognized character in Ireland 
long ago. When the bard vanished from the scene, the 
thanachie preserved whatever traditions of song and story still 
linger in the land. 

I spent an hour to-day in Kildysart workhouse with the last 
of the Shanachies, blind Teague M'Mahon. He must be as old 
as the century, if not older ; but his broad, bent figure and his 
ruddy well-featured face are still full of vigour. The sightless 
eyes are closed, the white hair is long and thick, and only the 
wrinkled hands, somewhat wasted from enforced illness, show how 
old the ihanachie must be. The purely rural Workhouse of Kildy- 
sart, twelve miles from any large town, is no bad place of shelter 
for the denizens of the infirm wards. Blind Teague is quite a 
personage among them, especially as a kind gentleman sends him 
newspapers and tobacco all the way from Dublin, and it is known 
that his stories have been written down in books and his name 
printed by the learned Dr. Petrie. He is, in fact, the only 
thoroughly happy person I ever saw in a workhouse. 

Though born near Kildysart, Teague hails from further west 
in Clare — from Kilmurry M'Mahon, where his people were fol- 
lowers of the extinct family of M'Mahons of Cloneena. When 
Teague grew up, he took service with one Oonnell, who, besides 
his farming, worked a quarry near Money Point, not very far from 
Kilrush. This Connell was brother to Peter Connell, a famous old 
hedge-schoolmaster, and a very shanachie of shanachies, at whose 
feet the sturdy hewer of flagstones sat. Peter was an old man 
then and Teague a very young one : so the gleaner of old tradi- 
tions flourished in the last half of the last century. 

Teague only knows a limited amount of English. He speaks 
like a foreigner, with difficulty and deliberation, using the most 
dignified idioms and with a tantalising slowness but with a 
wonderful good accent. He evidently picked it up late in life 
from educated people. As his vocabulary is limited, he needs 
an interpreter. Once he turned to him in the middle of a 
broken sentence of his halting but picturesque English, to exclaim 
in Irish : " Why cannot Morgan John's wife speak Irish P " But 

Digitized by G00gle 



28 The Last of the Shanachies. 

this was said more in sorrow than as a reproach for my degeneracy. 
In his young days country ladies had to know enough of Irish to 
manage the large number of servants then kept when the killing 
and curing of meat, the opening and carding of flax and wool, 
and the making of bread and cider, had all to be carried on 
at home. Except silk, broadcloth, saddlery, and wine, almost 
everything was produced in the household. 

Blind Teague, partly himself in English, partly in Irish to 
his interpre ter — told me of Peter Connell. Now, that schoolmaster 
in his youth not only crossed into Oonnaught to study " all the 
old talk, and the old stories " but visited every part of Ireland and 
even spent a long time in Scotland from whence he brought back 
much matter of song and story. We know how the heroic cycle 
of the Legends of Fionn and Cuohulain and the doom of the 
Children of TJsnagh live in Scotland as in Tigh Lore. How 
many years Peter Connell spent thus I cannot tell, but Teague 
assured me " he spent ten years in Limerick sitting on the one 
bench with Dr. O'Reardon," writing it all down, the doctor was to 
have found the means of publishing the book, but he died, and the 
M.S. was still unpublished ; and Teague often saw the outside of 
it in the farm-house where he worked with Peter's brother who 
sheltered his old age. 

One time Peter was keeping school at G-ower, three miles from 
Kilrush, when he gave the following proof of his acquirements. 
He must have had access to documents quoted by the late learned 
Father Shearman in the pedigrees in his Loca Patriciana. For I 
identified some of the particulars given by Teague, but he does 
not seem to have informed his disciple whence he derived them. 
Peter Connell's aid was indirectly sought to rescue from a serious 
dilemma one Murtagh M'Mahon of Cloneena, of whose family 
Teague's people were followers. This gentleman's only daughter, 
Margaret M'Mahon, was married to the O'Donoghue of the Glen, 
the great-grandfather of the present chieftain. On the birth of 
their eldest son the Kerry gentlemen is reported to have said that, 
if the child's lineage on the mother's side were equal to that of 
the O'Donoghues few Irish noblemen would be above him. These 
words reached Madam O'Donoghue's ears, who indignantly appealed 
to her father for proofs of the antiquity of her own family. Now 
Murtagh was a pleasant gentleman who had made a runaway match 
in 1750 with " Fair Mary M'Donnell " of the New Hall family— 
a lady whose courage, beauty, and charity are recorded in Irish 
verses translated by Professor O'Loony. This gentle and " Fair 

Digitized by G00gle 



The Last of the Shanachies. 29 

Mary M'Donnell " and stem "Bed Mary M'Mahon" the terribly 
strong-minded lady of Liemenegh of a century earlier are the 
idyllic and epic heroines of West Clare tradition even yet. Now 
the chiefs of both branches of the M'Mahon sept had disappeared in 
the long struggles culminating in Cromwell's wars, and the various 
junior branches who held on to their own castles and lands were 
unable to claim the chief tancy : so, Murtagh was sorely puzzled. 
In his perplexity he appealed to a certain poet of his clan, 
Michael, the son of Murrogh. The son of Murrogh was quite 
ready to chaunt the praises of his race, but was no better prepared 
than Murtagh himself with dry genealogies. So Murtagh then 
appealed to a certain learned Irish scholar named Considine, who 
had not the courage to avow his incompetence, but asked for time 
and visited the hedge-school where Peter Connell held sway. 
Peter, who told Teague, who told me, knew where to come at 
the required information, but he had no notion of telling it to his 
brother scholar. He raised difficulties and said, "I could gather 
it in ten days through the country if anyone would mind the 
craythureens," i.e. little creatures. Considine volunteered ; so for 
ten days the young scholars of G-owran passed from Peter Connell's 
ferule, while, as he told his disciple, he ranged the country far and 
wide gathering the links of the pedigree. I suspect, however, he 
simply got at the papers of Hugh M'Curtin, who died in 1755, 
leaving many precious documents preserved by his family the 
hereditary historians of Thomond. This last of their line lived 
by teaching a small school near Lisoanor Bay. Whether Peter 
Connell really travelled far and wide as he stated, or simply got at 
M'Curtin's clan pedigrees, he presented himself not to his brother 
pedagogue, but to Murtagh M'Mahon of Cloneena, armed with a 
voluminous document to which he casually alluded as containing 
all the fathers since Brian Boru, but only the mothers sinoe 
one Brian M'Mahon who was grandfather to Murtagh's ancestor 
of Cromwell's time. He professed his willingnesss to produce 
sundry more details if required, and if he got ten times more and 
the overhauling of O'Donoghue's pedigrees, he professed his ability 
to pick out any number of errors in the Kerry document. Con- 
sidering that Irish pedigrees not unfrequently ran up to very near, 
the days of the Ark, it was not very hard to pick holes in the 
early part of them. Peter Connell's services were not required 
either for the dissection of the claims of the Kerry Milesian or 
the further addition to the document he produced, and though 
Madam O'Donoghue's father was not a chief himself, Peter Connell 
You xiv. No. 151. r* * 

Digitized by LiOOgLe 



SO The Lattofthe Bhanaehie*. 

succeeded in tracing her desoent to chiefs enough to satisfy even 
a Ketryman's wife. What reward Peter got, though it was an 
ample one, I am unable to state. It was years and years after, in 
extreme old age, that he sought his brother's fireside with his pre- 
cious volume the labour of a lifetime. Many a song, and many a 
story, and many a queer tradition blind Teague, then a stalwart 
young peasant, learned from the sage. I tested several of them 
as to dates and names by looking them up in authentic records, 
and allowing for exaggeration and certain dements of ghostly 
and diabolical nature, nearly all the people were living at the times 
stated, and performed the feats of bloodshed, love-making, or 
drinking, from which the legends spring. 

How long Peter Connell dwelt with his nephew I do not quite 
know, but while there he received a visit from a gentleman who 
offered him fifty pounds for the precious book he had been so long 
compiling on condition it should bear the purchaser's name — an 
offer refused with scorn by the poor old pedagogue, saying, 
" What I worked at these thirty years I will not part with it." 
He was kindly treated by various people, and had many learned 
books, some in Irish, from which he derived much solace, nor was 
he by any means insensible to the comforts of the national bever- 
age. He was a tall, gaunt, swarthy man, large limbed and blade- 
haired, dark-eyed, and strongly built, like nearly all his family. 
I asked his disciple how he spoke English — for his Irish was of 
course perfect. Teague' a disciple's reply was that he was " flat in 
his tongue that you would never think he could speak a word of 
English." To this most accurate description of a strong brogue 
Teague added all good Irish speaking men were of necessity 
" flat " in their English, i.e., spoke it with broad open sounds — but 
that Peter Connell ' had ' every word of both Irish and English 
in the big dictionary, could talk fine English, and once when his 
English was impugned, swore, the king himself could not beat 
him in English speech. The year Teague spent at Moneypoint 
quarrying for his brother was " the year whfen the oats was pulled 
out of the ground," some year of phenomenal dryness, before the 
great Clare] election of 1826. Teague was strong about 26, but 
whether it was apropos of the great election of O'Connell, or that 
he himself was 26 the year he spent under the rooftree of the 
Connells, or that Peter died in 1826, 1 could not unravel. Dates 
are very hard things to get interpreted. At all events some time 
about that momentous date Peter Connell was gathered to his 
fathers. A Protestant clergyman, the Rev. Mr. Martin, erected a 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Last <tf the Shmachm. 31 

tombstone over his remains, and the old Irish scholar's hones sleep 
in Barrane churchyard, quite near the Colleen Bawn's grave. 
All the Gonnells hut one had voted for their great namesake, and 
Peter's own nephew, Andrew, was dispossessed in favour of the 
kinsman who had pleased the Protestant middleman under whom 
they held. Andrew had inherited the precious volume, and kept 
it though he sold the printed books. Seven pounds' worth of the 
Irish ones were bought by the O'Gorman Mahon. He set off to 
the Tralee assizes in the hopes that the Liberator would buy the 
MS. book. But Andrew at home and abroad had a weakness for 
whiskey, and he imbibei freely in Tralee, and Was finally reduced 
to pledge the precious MS. for ten shillings to pay his score. 

Someone, however, redeemed it. The busy Tribune of the 
people had no time to examine it and did not buy it, and Andrew 
and the volume returned to the West. He eventually sold it, 
Teague grandly says to " the English Government " and went to 
America on the proceeds. Teague returned to his own country, 
where his people seem to have been cottier tenants working as 
labourers but holding some land. He was getting on so well he 
was offered to have his holding enlarged to twelve acres, when his 
sight failing, he gave up the little bit he had, got money from his 
landlord, who gave the little bit to add to some other farm, and 
went to Dublin. He recovered his sight on being couched for 
cataract, and made a fine living " hauling timber out of the bog." 
Bog timber is most valuable for roofing purposes and greatly 
prized even now. However, the wet nature of his work affected 
his eyes again and he returned to Dublin — this time doomed to 
slow and gradual extinction of sight. 

Teague was walking one day outside Dublin talking Irish to 
another man when he was stopped, accosted in Irish, and asked 
where he was from — Teague immediately named his remote birth- 
place. " I am a Kilmurry man too," said his interlocutor in Irish, 
and this was no less a person than poor Eugene O'Curry, probably 
the best Irish scholar of his day. 'The Irish professor of the 
Catholic University took up his old neighbour and was good to 
him, and made him known to richer men interested in Irish lore, 
and then Teague had fine times. He is fully convinced that but for 
his blindness they would have made him porter in the Royal Irish 
Academy. He knew Dr. Todd, and Dr. Lyons, and " Dr. Stokes 
and his son the Councillor/' and the late Mr. Pigott, and Mr. 
O'Mahony who keeps him in newspapers and tobacco, and Mr. 
Joyce ; but his man is " The Doctor," not the great lexicographer 

Digitized by G00gle 



32 The Last of the Skanachies. 

but gentle, kindly Dr. l*etrie. Many a tumbler of punch has 
Teague partaken of in a corner of his diningroom while " singing 
songs, and the doctor playing them on the fiddle/' and some 
other tricean " taking them down." Great was his pleasure when 
I told him I had been playing over some of them the other day, 
and he says Mr. Joyce has " translated them finely.' 1 

Teague looks on the Royal Irish Academy as a sacred shrine, 
and it is his great boast that his was the only single knock that 
was ever answered at that learned door. Once a policeman ordered 
him off the steps as having no business there. The indignant 
shanachie responded : " It is I that have business there with the 
gentlemen, and not the likes of you that would be let inside." 
Teague's emphatic rap was repeated and he was let in, in the very 
teeth of the guardian of law and order. 

Long after his various patrons had got all the songs and stories 
and old pedigrees they wanted, they continued their benefactions, 
and Teague says he never wanted for anything in all the years 
*' he gave in Dublin." But when he got very old he felt smother- 
ing in the city, and a longing came on him to go back to the 
breezy west country. He was so old his people were scattered, 
but in Kildysart workhouse he found various contemporaries, 
plenty of people to speak Irish to him, and the finest breezy air 
blowing over ridge upon ridge of rocky hills, and coming from 
the Shannon, five miles wide, where the Fergus joins the wider 
stream. There are few finer inland views than this world of 
waters, the near hills and distant mountains, distant plantations) 
and the many isles, one with a ruined abbey, all spread out before 
Kildysart workhouse. Teague's sightless eyes cannot profit by 
these beauties, but the air and sunshine reach him, and the last of 
the shanachies, as I before stated, is that phenomenon, a thoroughly 
cheery and contented pauper. 

If any gentle reader appreciates the old Gaelic tongue, let him 
add to its votary's happiness by a little more tobacco. Four ounces 
go so cheaply by post ; and may I also commend to him the grave 
and respectable old man who interpreted between me and Blind 
Teague M'Mahon P 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 33 .) 



SIR STEPHEN DE VERE'S TRANSLATIONS * 

HORACE made two prophecies concerning the fate of his own 
writings which have been singularly fulfilled. The first 
was the famous ode predicting their immortality. He had achieved, 
he proudly said, a monument more durable than bronze, and loftier 
than the royal height of the pyramids; a work which bade 
defiance to wasting rain and tempest, to the innumerable series 
of years and the flight of time. The other was that they should 
fill the lowlier function of being taught by the faltering lips of 
old age to boys in suburban schools, f How soon this latter pre- 
diction was verified we learn from Juvenal who, in less than a 
century afterwards, speaks of both Horace and Virgil as school- 
books. This doom of great writers has been often mourned over. 
It has seemed like setting the gallant steed to drag ignoble wheels 
when the sublime language of a poet has to be declined and parsed 
and crammed into unwilling minds, so as to be associated after- 
wards in memory with mental, and, it may be, with corporal 
indignities. A poet amongst the highest in fame and genius 
expresses this sentiment towards Horace in resonant Spenserian 
verse, recording his abhorrence of 

Aught that recalls the daily drug which turned 

My sickening memory, and though time hath taught 

My mind to meditate what then it learned, 

Tet such the fixed inveteracy wrought 

By the impatience of my early thought, 

That with the freshness wearing out before 

My mind could relish what it might have sought 

If free to choose, I cannot now restore 

Its health, but what I then detested still abhor. 

Then farewell, Horace, whom I hated so, 
Not for thy fault but mine,! &c, &c 

And it has been asked what relish we should have of Hamlet 
or Lear if they were made the staple of a daily verbal exercise 
before the mind approached the capability of comprehending their 

* Translations from Horace, &c., by Sir Stephen de Vere, Bart. London : 
George Bell and Sons. Dublin : M. EL Gill and Son. 
+ Hoc quoque te manet ut pueros elements docentem 

Occupet extremis in vicis balba senectus.— Epist. I., 20. 
t Ohilde Harold, Canto III. j 



Digitized by 



Google 



34 Sir Stephen de Vere's Translations. 

greatness. Yet, notwithstanding all these protests, the judgment 
of mankind for eo many centuries has been clearly right. Putting 
aside the primary argument that a language is best taught from 
its best writers, it is certain that, if the great authors of antiquity 
were not read at school and college, they would run very little 
chance of being read at all, save by an extremely select few. The 
majority of men drop their classical reading altogether when they 
embark in active life ; and even of those 

qtribua arte benign& 
Et meliore luto finxit prscordia Titan,* 

there are few whose taste leads them to range outside the circle of 
authors with whom they had become familiar in their youth. For 
these they may attain a higher and still higher appreciation as 
their taste, culture, and imagination expand. The mechanical 
acquisition of their boyhood becomes thus instrumental in leading 
to an enlarged and intimate sympathy and delight. Let us then 
be thankful that the fate which Horace playfully dreaded of 
becoming a daily lesson in the schools has really befallen him. 

Of him, almost beyond all other authors, it may be said that he 
is the eternal temptation and despair of translators. How great 
is the temptation may be gleaned from the multitude of aspirants 
from the sixteenth century down. A few years ago Mr. Charles 
Cooper published a collection of translations of the Odes of 
Horace drawn from different sources early and late, and the 
separate names number about sixty. Towards the end of the 
seventeenth century Creech published a translation of the entire 
of the poet's works, odes, satires, and epistles, In the course of 
the last century Dr. Francis, the father of the famous Sir Philip 
Francis, gave to the world another complete translation ; and, be 
it said without disparagement, amongst those who have attempted 
that most arduous of tasks, Dr. Francis may still hold up his 
head. In our own day several distinguished men have entered the 
same lists, among whom we will only name the late Professor 
Conington and Sir Theodore Martin. 

There are many who do not deem the odes of Horace the 
highest achievement of his genius and who prize the epistles 
before all his works. The latter with their mature yet playful 
philosophy, the matchless knowledge of the world and the ways of 
men which they exhibit, their inimitable art of narrative, their 

• " Whose heartr the divine power has formed with benign art and of 
better clay." 



Digitized by 



Google 



Sir Stephen de JW« Translations. 95 

strong and abiding good sense conveyed with singular urbanity 
and polish as well as .ease and graoe of diction, have an undefinable 
and imperishable charm. When P&re Hardouin broached his 
famous paradox that almost all the great works which we prize as 
classics were forgeries of mediaeval monks, one of the few excep- 
tions he made was the Epistles of Horace. But the poet's own 
prevision of immortality rested on the Carmina — on his being the 
first to attune the Eolian lyre to Italian strains. He boasts to be 
first, princepz, in order of time ; he has remained not only first but 
without a second in order of supremacy. Of all the lyrics in the 
Latin tongue, alcaics, sapphics, asclepiads, which have been pro- 
duced either in the decline of Roman literature or since the revival 
of letters by Latin versifiers in Italy, Germany, France, and 
England — many of them correct, tasteful, and elevated, many 
possessing tenderness and vigour, is there even one which the 
world at large has accepted and agreed to place side by side with 
one of the great lyrics of Horace f No doubt the Odes taken as 
a whole show much and inevitable inequality. Many of them 
are dictated by trivial and transient themes, are love-songs or 
bacchanalian songs ; and one book, that of the Epodes, said to 
have been written in his youth, contains compositions utterly at 
variance with the good taste and dignity of thought and language 
which distinguish his maturer works, But the heroic odes which 
have become the favourites of mankind, stand unapproached in 
their excellence by any subsequent Latin lyrics. 

This excellence, into the causes and characteristics of which 
it would be far beyond our present task to enter and which has 
been the theme of so much Horatian criticism, forms the shoal of 
the translator as it is his lure. The " curious felicity ;" the concen- 
trated meaning to which the Latin language lends itself, the wealth 
of apposite and never-inflated illustration, the supreme skill by 
which so much is left unsaid which a lesser artist would be sure to 
say, and the Roman character and Roman patriotism which breathe 
throughout — how are all these traits and lineaments to be trans- 
ferred into another tongue for the delight of men of a distant age 
and clime P 

In speaking thus we have in view a work assuming to be a 
translation of the Odes as a whole. In such an undertaking no 
success has been yet achieved, and we doubt if it could be possibly 
achieved even by a poet of a high order. Far be it from us to 
suggest that translations of great beauty and spirit as well as of a 
genuine fidelity to the original may not be made of particular 



Digitized by 



Gopglc 



88 Sir Stephen de jWs Translations. 

odes. If we desired a refutation of such an idea, we need not go 
farther than the little volume which forms our theme. But what 
we say with full conviction is that any man, however gifted, who 
lays before him as his achievement to translate all the odea of 
Horace will soon find his genius grow barren and commonplace 
from the mechanical straits and contrivances into which he will be 
inevitably driven. 

Or, to put the same thought into other words, no man ought 
to attempt a lyric of Horace unless he feels that he cannot help it ; 
unless the beauty of the original so sinks into his mind, so per- 
vades his imagination, so haunts, and dominates, and possesses 
him, that, almost as it were in his own despite, a reproduction in 
some lyrical measure and idiom of his own language breaks forth 
from his lips and pen, to be wrought with great and necessary 
labour into the desired perfection. Once more, in briefer words, the 
translation of an inspired original needs to be itself inspired. 

Sir Stephen de Yere — the son of a poet-sire and the elder 
brother of a still better known poet, of whom it has been truly 
said that his life has been " devoted in equal measure to his 
faith, his country, and his muse" — is himself one in whom the 
hereditary faculty of poetry has not, as in the case of his brother 
Aubrey, become the vocation and devotion of a lifetime, but has 
been made manifest in verse, whether original or translated, of 
rare delicacy and polish, feeling and refinement. 

The volume before us contains translations of half a score of 
the odes, each of the originals a masterpiece, and the translations 
fulfilling the ideal we have endeavoured to indicate, in this respect 
that the Latin poem had through genuine admiration and reverence 
become fused and molten in the mind of the translator and flowed 
from thence into the form and symmetry of English lyric ?erse. 
This result Sir Stephen de Yere considers incompatible with a 
merely literal and verbal rendering. He cites on this point the 
judgment of Boileau who says : 

"To translate servilely into modern language an ancient 
author phrase by phrase and word by word is preposterous; 
nothing can be more unlike the original than such a copy. It 
is not to show, it is to disguise the author ; and he who has 
known him in this dress would not know him in his own. A 
good writer, instead of taking this inglorious and unprofitable 
task upon him would . . . rather imitate than translate, rather 
emulate than imitate. He will transfuse the sense and spirit 
of the original into his own work, and will endeavour to write as 

Digitized by G00gle 



Sir Stephen de VerS* Translation*. 87 

the ancient author would have written, had he writ in the same 
language/ 9 

To this weighty opinion may be added that of Chapman, the 
•translator of Homer, who urges that " it is the part of every 
knowing and judicious interpreter not to follow the number and 
order of words but the material things themselves, and sentences 
to weigh diligently, and to clothe and adorn them with words, and 
such a style and form of oration as are most apt for the language 
into which they are converted." 

The typical instance of absolutely literal translation is Milton's 
version of the song " To Pyrrha :" 

What slender youth bedewed with liquid odours 
Courts thee in roses in some pleasant. cave P 
Pyrrha, for whom bind'st thou 
In wreaths thy golden hair P 

Plain in thy neatness, O how oft shall he 
On faith and changed gods complain, and seas 

Bough with black winds and storms 

Unwonted shall admire, &c., &c. 

A rendering like this may give pleasure to scholars who have 
the original line by line in their memories, but to what mere 
English reader does it not seem stiff and stiltified, the effusion 
of a pedant rather than a lover P Or take Professor Conington, 
whose translation of Virgil, though very un- Yirgilian, has yet a 
good deal of the freedom and ring of one of Scott's metrical 
romances. He has translated Horace upon system— take his 
version of the ode, " Laudabunt alii," 

Let others Rhodes or Mitylene sing 

Or Ephesus, or Corinth set between 
Two seas, or Thebes or Delphi for its king 

Each famous, or Thessalian Tempo green. 

There are who make chaste Pallas* virgin tower 

The daily burden of unending song 
And search for wreaths the olive's rifled bower ; 

The praise of Juno sounds from many a tongue, &c, &c. 

Now, with all respect for an eminent scholar now departed, is not 
such verse almost enough to set the teeth on edge P If out of 
the Latin lyric an English lyric cannot be produced with lyric 
fire and movement, better let it alone and be content with Smart's 
translation in bald prose. Sir Stephen de Vere is therefore justi- 

Digitized by G00gle 



8Q Sir Stephen de Veri% Tramlatiom* 

fied in his protest against servile fidelity to the letter, and justified 
all the more by the examples he has given of fidelity to the mean* 
ing and spirit of his author. 

We have far too long detained our readers from the opportu- 
nity of judging for themselves as to the merits of Sir Stephen de 
Vere's reproductions of Horace, and we have to consider a little as 
to the best means of doing so. To give isolated passages and 
stanzas would be unjust both to author and translator. The odea 
of Horace are distinguished by a pervading unity of conception. 
The unity is of a kind which m&y be exemplified by the type of 
a perfect sonnet. Starting with one great idea and from thence 
rising to an apposite simile or illustration, or some historical or 
legendary parallel, it ends there, leaving the link which binds it 
with the original theme not expressed but to be added mentally 
by the reader. As Keats begins with Chapman's Homer, and ends 
with Nunez gazing on the Pacific 

" Silent upon a peak in Darien * — 

so is the conclusion of one of these odes. But we must hear what 
Sir Stephen de Yere himself says in his preface : — 

" Horace, in his Lyrics, has two distinct styles. His shorter poems are light, 
graceful, and easily understood. They are in fact songs rather than odes, and 
remind us of the tenderness and simplicity of our great Scottish lyrist, Burns. 
The heroic Odes are of a very different class. They seem to have been written 
with the intention of effecting some large social or political purpose, or of 
developing some principle of moral philosophy. A thread of consecutive pur- 
pose, often obscure, runs through each. The first duty of the translator, that 
which he owes to the original author, is to assure himself of the scope of this 
veiled purpose ; his second, which he owes to his readers, is to frame his render- 
ing so as to present to English ears what Horace intended to present to the 
Romans. In the latter lies his main difficulty. If by inserting words under- 
stood, though not actually expressed in the original, he attempts to make clear 
the object and full meaning of the whole ;— if he seeks to elucidate what to 
English ears may be obscure, and to complete and transfuse the thoughts and 
images which though only half developed were intelligible to the Roman, he is 
taxed with presumption, he is called a paraphraser, not a translator. To be 
true to the 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 in such language as 
the author would have employed if writing in the tongue of those who 
have to read tne translation. " 

We could not, as we said, do justice to Sir Stephen de Yere by 
mere extracts, and yet, when we come to lay before our readers 
some of the entire odes, we are puzzled by the choice, all of them 

Digitized by G00gle 



. Sir Stephen de Vere's Translations. 89 

seem to us to be of such excellence. We will, however, confine 
ourselves to three. The first is the magnificent address in which 
the poet cites the martyr-spirit of Regulus as a protest against an 
ignominious treaty with the Parthians, the conquerora of Grassus. 

TO AUGUSTUS. 
Ccdo tanantem credidimu* Jovem.— Book IIL Ode 5. 

Jove rules the skies, his thunder wielding : 
Augustus Caesar, thou on earth shall be 

Enthroned a present Deity; 
Britons and Parthian hordes to Rome their proud necks yielding. 

Woe to the Senate that endures to see 

(O ore extinct of old nobility I) 

The soldier dead to honour and to pride 
Ingloriously abide 

Grey-headed mate of a Barbarian bride, 

Freeman of Rome beneath a Median King. 

Woe to the land that fears to fling 

Its curse, not ransom, to the slave 

Forgetful of the shield of Mars, 

Of Vesta's unextinguished flame, 

Of Roman garb, of Roman name ; 

The base unpitied slave who dares 

From Rome his forfeit life to crave : 
In vain; — Immortal Jove still reigns on high : 
Still breathes in Roman hearts the spirit of Liberty 

With warning voice of stern rebuke 

Thus Regulus the Senate shook : 

He saw, prophetic, in far days to come, 

The heart corrupt, and future doom of Rome. 

*' These eyes," he cried, " these eyes have seen 

Unbloodied swords from warriors torn, 

And Roman standards nailed in scorn 

On Punic shrines obscene ; 
Have seen the hands of freeborn men 
Wrenched back ; th' unbarred, unguarded gate 
And fields our war laid desolate 
By Romans tilled again. 

What! will the gold-enfranchised slave 
Return more loyal and more brave P 

Ye heap but loss on crime ! 
The wool that Cretan dyes distain 
Can ne'er its virgin hue regain j 
And valour fallen and disgraced 
Revives not in a coward breast 

Its energy sublime. 



Digitized by 



Google 



40 Sir Stephen de Vereh Translation*. 

The stag released from hunter's toils 
From the dread sight of maa recoils, 
Is he more brave than when of old 
He ranged his forest free ? Behold 
In him your soldier! He has knelt 
To faithless foes ; he too has felt 
The knotted cord; and crouched beneath 
Fear, not of shame, but death. 

He sued for peace tho' vowed to war 
Will such men, girt in arms once more, 
Dash headlong on the Punic shore ? 
No ! they will buy their craven lives 
With Punic scorn and Punic gyves. 
O mighty Carthage, rearing high 
Thy fame upon our infamy, 
A city, aye, an empire built 
On Roman ruins, Roman guilt 1" 

From the chaste kiss, and wild embrace 
Of wife and babes he turned his face, 

A man self-doomed to die : 
Then bent his manly brow, in scorn, 
Resolved, relentless, sad, but stern, 

To earth, all silentlyl; 
Till counsel never heard before 
Had nerved each weavering Senator ; — 
Till flushed each cheek with patriot shame, 
And surging rose the loud acclaim ; — 
Then, from his weeping friends, in haste, 
To exile and to death he passed. 

He knew the tortures that Barbaric hate 
Had stored for him. Exulting in his fate 

With kindly hand he waved away 

The crowds that strove his course to stay. 
He passed from all, as when in days of yore. 

His judgment given, thro' client throngs he pressed 

In glad Venafrian fields to seek his rest, 
Or Greek Tarentum on th' Ionian shore. 

The next is the invitation to Maecenas, in which the translator 
has the difficult task of competing with Dry den. That parts of 
Dryden's paraphrase are splendidly executed no one can deny, but 
it is deformed with vulgarities about " the new Lord Mayor " and 
other temporary trivialities which Dryden dragged in after his 
accustomed fashion. Sir Stephen de Yere's version is throughout 
as dignified as it is musical. 



Digitized by 



Google 



(Jir Stephen de Vere's Translation*. 4i 

TO MAECENAS. 

Tyrrkena regum progenies tibi.— Book III, Ode 29. 

MtBcenas, thou whose lineage springs 

From old Etruria's kings 
dome to my humble dwelling. Haste ; 

A cask unbroached of mellow wine 
Awaits thee, roses interlaced, 

And perfumes pressed from nard divine. 
Leave Tibur sparkling with its hundred rills ; 

Forget the sunny slopes of iEsul®, 
And rugged peaks of Telagonian hills 

That frown defiance on the Tuscan sea. 
Forego vain pomps, nor gaze around 

From the tall turret of thy palace home 
On crowded marts, and summits temple-crowned, 

The smoke, the tumult, and the wealth of Rome. 
Gome, loved Maecenas, come ! 

How oft in lowly cot 
Uncurtained, nor with Tyrian purple spread, 
Has weary State pillowed its aching head 
And smoothed its wrinkled brow, all cares forgot P 
Gome to my frugal feast, and share my humble lot. 

For now returning Oepheus shoots again 

His fires long-hid ; now Procyon and the star 

Of the untamed Lion blaze amain : * 
Now the light vapours in the heated air 

Hang quivering : now the shepherd leads 

His panting flock to willow-bordered meads 

By river banks, or to those dells 

Remote, profound, where rough Silvanus dwells, 

Where by mute margins voiceless waters creep, 

And the hushed Zephyrs sleep. 

Too long by civil cares opprest, 
Snatch one short interval of rest, 
Nor fear lest from the frozen North 
Don's arrowed thousands issue forth, 
Or hordes from realms by Cyrus won, 
Or Scythians from the rising sun. 

Around the future Jove has cast 

A veil like night ; he gives us power 
To see the present and the past, 

But kindly hides the future hour, 
And smiles when man with daring eye 
Would pierce that dread futurity. 



Digitized by 



Google 



42 Sit Stephen de Vene'a Tramtofom$. 

Wisely and justly guide thy present state 
Life's daily duty : the dark future flows 
Like some broad river, now in calm repose, 
Gliding untroubled to the Tyrrhene shore, 

Now by fierce floods precipitate, 

And on its frantic bosom barring 

Homes, herds, and flocks, 

Drowned men, and loosened rocks; 
Uprooted trees from groaning forests tearing ; 
Tossing from peak to peak the sullen waters' roar. 

Blest is the man who dares to say, 
11 Lord of myself, I've lived to-day : 
To-morrow let the Thunderer roll 
Storm and thick darkness round the pole, 
Or purest sunshine : what is past 
Unchanged for evermore stall last 
Nor man, nor [Jove's resistless sway 
Can blot the record of one vanished day." 

Fortune, capricious, faithless blind, 

With cruel joy her pastime plays 

Exalts, enriches, and betrays, 
One day to me, anon to others kind. 

I praise her while she stays ;— 
But when she shakes her wanton wing 
And soars aloft, her gifts to earth I fling, 
And wrapped in Virtue's mantle live and die 
Content with dowerless poverty. 

When the tall ship with bending mast 
Reels to the fury of the blast, 
The merchant trembles, and deplores 
Not his own fate, but buried stores 
From Cyprian or Phoenician shores ; — 
He with sad vows and unavailing prayer 

Rich ransom proffers to the angry gods : 
I stand erect : no groans of mine shall e'er 

Affront the quiet of those blest abodes : 

My light unburthened skiff shall sail 

Safe to the shore before the gale, 
While the twin sons of Leda point the way. 
And smooth the billows with benignant ray. 

The last which we can cite is the ode to Grosphus, in which 
the thoughtful philosophy of the poet, his abiding sense of the 
brevity of life, of the unsatisfying and tainted nature of worldly 
aspirations, and of the blessedness of peace in a humble condition, are 
strikingly brought out — ideas which have often made Horace 
dear to the Christian reader. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Sir Stephen de Veris Translations. 48 

TO GROSPHUS- 

When the pale moon is wrapt in dond, 

And mistB the guiding stars enshroud; 

When on the dark JEgasan ahore 

The bunting surges flash and roar ; 

The mariner with toil opprest 

Sighs for his home, and prays for rest: 

80 pray the warrior sons of Thrace; 
So pray the quivered Mede's barbaric raee : 

Grosphus, not gold nor gems can buy 
That peace which in brave souls finds sanctuary; 

Nor Consul's pomp, nor treasured store, 

Can one brief moment's rest impart, 

Or chase the cares that hover o'er 

The fretted roof, the wearied heart 

Happy is he whose modest means afford 

Enough — no more: upon his board 
Th' ancestral salt vase shines with lustre clear, 
Emblem of olden faith and hospitable cheer: 
Nor greed, nor doubt, nor envy's curses deep 

Disturb his innocent sleep. 
Why cast on doubtful issues life's short years? 
Why hope that foreign suns can dry our tears P 

The Exile from his country flies, 
Not from himself, nor from his memories. 

Care climbs the trireme's brazen sides; 
Care with the serried squadron rides ; 
Outstrips the cloud-compelling wind 
And leaves the panting stag behind : 
But the brave spirit, self-possest. 
Tempers misfortune with a jest, 
With joy th' allotted gift receives, 
The gift denied, to others_frankly leaves. 

A chequered life the gods bestow • 
Snatched by swift fate Achilles died : 
Time-worn Tithonus, wasting slow, 
Long wept a death denied : 
A random hour may toss to me 
Some gifts, my friend, refused to thee. 

A hundred flocks thy pastures roam : 
Large herds, deep-uddered, low around thy home 

At the retclose of day : 

The steed with joyous neigh 
Welcomes thy footstep : robes that shine 
Twice dipt in Afric dyes are thine. 



Digitized by 



Google 



44 Everyday Thoughts. 

To me kind Fate with bounteous hand 

Grants other boon ; a spot of land, 

A faint flame of poetic fire, 

A breath from the JBolian lyre, 

An honest aim f a spirit proud 

That loves the tiuth 9 and scorns the crowd. 

The success which has crowned Sir Stephen de Vere's efforts 
in these few odes makes us naturally crave for some others done 
in the same fashion, such others as he may equally have at heart. 
We own we should rejoice to see the Archytas, and the Quakm 
ministrum fulminis alitem in Sir Stephen de Vere's rendering. 



EVERYDAY THOUGHTS. 

BY MRS. FRANK PENTRILL. 

No. X — Anobls Unawares. 

MY friend and I were sitting on the lawn, beneath the trees ; 
enjoying that mixture of tea and talk, so dear to the 
feminine heart, and so sneered at by the lords of creation — 
though I notice that these latter enjoy both tea and talk quite as 
much as we do ; and it is certain that our husbands always drifted, 
towards four o'clock, into the little harbour of refuge, where we 
took shelter from the heat and fatigue of the autumn afternoons. 

We had talked of many things in lazy desultory fashion, and 
were now discussing my friend's German governess — a square- 
headed, square-shouldered, square-minded daughter of the Father- 
land, whom one could not lopk at without thinking of butterbrot 
and boiled veal, and knitted stockings, and the many other useful 
but unattractive things, beloved by our Teutonic cousins. 

" A worthy creature," my friend, Mrs. Leaderly, was saying, 
" a worthy creature, as patient as Griselda, and as truthful as a 
photograph." 

" And almost as ugly," put in Mr. Leaderly, Botto voce. 

" Excellent for the children while they are young, 19 continued 
Mrs. Leaderly," but when they grow older, they will require some 



Digitized by 



Google 



Everyday Thoughts. 45 

one better fitted to form their characters — someone who will teach 
them to love great and noble things. Now, poor Fraulein is a 
mere machine — without a spark of feeling or sensibility." 

While my friend was speaking, the German governess passed 
down the avenue, three little girls clinging to her skirts, and a 
golden-haired boy perched aloft on her sturdy shoulders. 

%i There goes Fraulein Butterbrot," said my husband, " and it 
must be confessed that the children seem very fond of her." 

" Oh, yes," answered Mr. Leaderly, " 'tis an age that loves 
thick bread and butter/' 

Then bur talk wandered to other things, and we had, for the 
time, forgotten both governess and children, when the clank of the 
gate made us look in that way, and we saw a labouring man run- 
ning towards us, across the lawn, water dripping from his clothes, 
his hands outstretched, his face of a ghastly paleness. 

" The boy, sir — the boy — the river — " he gasped. 

In another moment the two gentlemen and the labourer were 
running down the road towards the river ; and we hurried after 
them, as fast as we could ; I trying in vain to soothe my friend's 
hysterical excitement, for the boy was her only son, the darling of 
her heart, the long prayed for, long waited for heir. 

Soon we met our husbands returning ; Mr. Leaderly carrying 
his son in his arms, and dear Henry following more slowly, bur- 
dened as he was with Fraulein's substantial weight. By my 
husband's side walked the labourer who had given the alarm, and 
who was now volubly describing the accident. 

Fraulein and the children, it appeared, had sauntered by the 
river side ; the steady little girls in front, the wild, wilful boy, 
held by the governess' hand. But suddenly, he sprang away, his 
fancy caught by a flower, growing at the waters edge ; and in a 
moment he had fallen from the steep bank into the river below. 
Scarcely another moment and Fraulein had followed the boy and 
had caught him in her arms. That was easy enough, but the 
bank was so steep that she vainly strove to climb it ; again and 
again the loose earth gave way, and she fell back into the water ; 
then, by a supreme effort, she raised the child in her arms and 
flung him upwards with all her strength. 

" And, faith," concluded the labourer, " it's drowned the poor 
foreign Miss would be this minute, if I hadn't been working on 
the hill. I seen it all, and got down just in the nick of time ; for 
she'd put all the strength that was left in her to fling up the boy. 
The rising so far out of the water was a great risk entirely, and 
Vol. xiv. No. 151. > c\ha\o 

Digitized by vjUUV Lv, 



46 Everyday Thoughts. 

she knew it too, as I could see by the pale determined face of 

her But sure, them quiet ones they generally has a power of 

pluck/' 

All the household gathered anxiously round the rescued boy, 
and I whispered to Henry to oarry Praulein to my room, where 
with the help of a good-natured housemaid, I soon restored her 
to consciousness. When she opened her eyes her first words were : 

"The boy, is he safe ?" 

And when I assured her he was she fell asleep with a smile 
that beauty might have envied — and envied in vain. 

From that day we became friends, and my " angel in mufti," 
as Henry called her, often spent part of her holidays with us ; so 
that I learnt her history ; one of those sad commonplace tragedies, 
which no audience heeds, though they are being acted over and 
over again on the world's gloomy stage. 

Fraulein is the daughter of a German professor, living in 
London ; a clever and cultured man, but whom drink has dragged 
down, through long years of misery, till he is both unfit and un- 
willing to work. Sorrow and disgrace have soured and hardened 
her mother, and for home, poor Fraulein has only a sordid London 
lodging, unbrightened by that domestic love which can gild the 
bare walls of garret and cabin. 

Among these surrounding's had the girl grown up, deprived 
of the tenderness, and praises, and caresses which seem the birth- 
right of youth. With patient gentleness she bore her mother's 
ill- temper and complainings, her father's deeper sins. At fourteen 
she was already working to support them both ; teaching German 
to other children scarcely younger than herself, and faithfully 
carrying home the earnings which would probably be spent in 
one night's excess. Now, at twenty, she is still working hard 
for those unloving parents, dressing like a servant, and denying 
herself all the pleasures and harmless frivolities of girlhood, that 
she may pour more money into their thankless hands. 

Do you remember the sorrow and dismay with which all 
Dublin received the news of Sergeant Fitzgerald's sudden death P 
He was pleading in court and felt a strange faintness, followed by 

a few minutes' agony, and then the awful stillness of death. 

My husband was his friend, and had to convey the dreadful 
tidings to his wife and little children, and to his eldest son, a 
clever handsome boy, whose studies were just ending. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Everyday Thoughts. 47 

It seems but yesterday that all this happened, and this after- 
noon I met the brilliant boy coming down the steps of the 
Hibernian Bank, where he is now a clerk. He walks with a slow 
and weary step, his eyes are dim, his shoulders bent, and already 
there are wrinkles on his brow, and grey streaks in his hair. The 
heads of the bank speak of him as trustworthy and diligent, but 
the other clerks call him an old fogey, an old muff, and despise 
him for his stinginess, his unsociableness, his indifference to all 
the ordinary pursuits and pleasures of manhood. 

But as he turns into the shabby street where he lives, his step 
becomes lighter, his face less pale and sad. There are eager young 
faces watching for him at the window, and he answers their smiles 
with a smile almost as bright. When he enters the little sitting 
room, his invalid mother is cheered by his coming, and his 
young brothers and sisters crowd round him for sympathy and 
help. 

The poor hard- worked clerk is very tired after his long day's 
drudgery. How he would enjoy a little peace, an hour's rest. 
But he never thinks of escaping from his young tormentors ; with 
kindest sympathy he listens to their account of the day's events ; 
with gentlest patience he helps them to prepare the morrow's 
tasks. His one dream, that his brothers may have the chances 
which were denied to him ; his one prayer, that, till then, he may 
live to support them. 

Poor bank clerk, with the stooping shoulders, and the thread- 
bare coat ; poor hard- worked toiler with the worn face and the 
weary heart, in very truth thou art an angel unawares ! 

Last week I spent an hour at the CrSche, among the little 
children and their gentle nurses ; and I amused myself watching 
the mothers who came to fetch their babies home. 

Among them was a woman, who looked miserably poor and 
wretched. Her clothes were shabby to the verge of raggedness, 
her eyes were swollen with weeping, and, across her pale cheek, 
was a bruise which told of recent blows. Altogether she had 
that aspect of utter misery, which our minds instinctively associate 
with vice, and I could not help shrinking back a little, when she 
passed me on her way to the cot where her child was lying. Then 
I saw the crowing delight of the baby, as he nestled in his mother's 
arms ; and the look of unutterable love that brightened the 
woman's poor plain face, while she tenderly wrapped her old shawl 
round the cbild. 



Digitized by 



Google 



48 Fitzpatrick'a L\fe of Fxt&er Burke. 

I learnt later that this poor woman is one of those daily 
martyrs, whose humble sufferings are recorded in the Book of 
Life. She is a charwoman, that servant of our servants, who 
stands on the very last rung of the ladder of servitude ; and she 
has a drunken husband, who spends his wages at the public 
house. Then when there is no more money, come the blows of 
which I had seen the trace. 

All this she bears uncomplainingly ; loving her child, loving 
even her drunken husband, and offering to God the constant 
suffering of her sunless life. 

"lis ever so ; God's chosen ones pass by, unnoticed and un- 
praised, as they patiently toil up the rugged hill, whose summit is 
in heaven. Angels are all around us and we know it not ; they 
are kneeling at our feet, standing at our side, dwelling in our 
kitchens, stretching forth their hands by the roads we daily pass ; 
but we do not recognise them, blinded as we are by the bondage 
of our worldliness. 

We stoop with half contemptuous pity to some poor creature, 
who, simple soul, looks up admiringly to the little pedestal on which 
we stand. She thinks us kind, and generous, and gracious, to 
notice her. But the angels watching us from heaven, how 
different is their verdict ! They often claim kinship with this 
world's outcasts, and I fear, as often turn away — alas, how sadly 
— from the whited sepulchre of our life, with itspharisaical piety, 
its daily deceptions, its selfishness, its meanness, and its greed. 



FITZPATRICK'S LIFE OF FATHER BURKE.* 

THE author of " The Life, Times, and Correspondence of the 
Right Rev. Dr. Doyle, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin," 
of " Ireland before the Union," of " The Sham Squire, and the 
Informers of 1798," of the " Life of Charles Lever," and of many 
other books and papers on similar subjects, has manifestly a very 
strong vocation for the biographical department of literature. 
The chief elements of a vocation are inclination and aptitude. In 

• The Life of the Very Rev. Thomas N. Burke, O.P. By William J. 
Fitzpatrick, F.S.A. London : Kegan Paul, Trench & Oo. 

Digitized by G00gle 



Fitepatrick's Life qf Hither Burke. 49 

the present instance, the overmastering inclination is proved by 
the perseverance which has brought out a whole library devoted 
to the biographical history of Ireland in this nineteenth century, 
from Dr. Lanigan to Father Burke ; and, if the aptitude were 
wanting to back up the inclination, the reading public and the 
critics would long ago have undeceived Mr. Fitzpatrick. The 
vote of thanks after each of his performances may not have been 
absolutely unanimous, but the Ayes must certainly have had it, 
for otherwise, not even Mr. Fitzpatrick's enthusiasm for his art 
could have carried him through the toil of compiling such stately 
volumes as the tfro which lie before us. 

In his preface, Mr. Fitzpatrick apologises for having under- 
taken a task which might seem to belong more naturally to a 
Father of the same Order, as in France Father Chocarne wrote 
the Vie Intime of Father Lacordaire. One child of St. Dominick 
was pre-eminently qualified for such an office — the gifted English- 
woman who has given us such masculine works as " Christian 
Schools and Scholars." But no one could collect for another the 
materials of a work like the present, and, if an Irish layman had 
not come forward, no such record might have been left to pos- 
terity of the man who perhaps did most in our time to maintain 
the tradition of Irish eloquence. 

For the undue prominence given' in these sketches to one side 
of his hero's character, his quaint humour and bright social 
qualities, Mr. Fitzpatrick pleads in excuse that his soul in its 
highest moments of inspiration had expressed itself in his sermons. 
It would be very well indeed, if Father Burke's printed sermons 
could be read by the readers of these amusing volumes, though 
his printed discourses give to those who never heard him, no idea 
of his unction and the solemnity of his demeanour. We were 
about to apply to Father Burke what Mitchel in his Last 
Conquest of Ireland says of O'Connell's oratory ; but we pass on to 
Father Burke's biographer. A writer in United Ireland says with 
truth that " Mr. Fitzpatrick's plan is not to sketch the great Friar 
as a colossal figure and use his facts as an artist would his paints 
to fill in the colouring. He chiefly lets Father Burke's speeches, 
sermons, and deeds tell their own tale, helping them out with the 
boundless illustrations of his inner life, for which Mr. Fitzpatrick 
seems to have ransacked every convent of the Order, and racy ana 
of his lighter hours for which almost everybody who ever dined 
or chatted with him, seems to have been laid under contribution. 
The result is, upon the whole, a most entertaining, inspiring, and 



ioogl 



e 



50 FitzpatricV* Life of Father Burke. 

roughly faithful portrait of the big-limbed, big-hearted Galway 
Friar, with the rich organ- voice, the golden tongue, and the dark 
eye that sometimes filled with heaven's lightnings, and sometimes 
with the rollicking drollery of his race." 

It is plain that such a plan of writing biography has its 
perils as well as its advantages. People will always differ in 
their notions about the line of demarcation which separates gossip 
from twaddle. Father Burke's admirers — and who that ever 
came in any way under the spell of his bright genius and kind 
heart could help admiring him? — will wish that some things 
had been left unsaid, and that other things had been said 
differently. But there can be only one opinion as to Mr. 
Fitzpatrick's indefatigable zeal in accomplishing his task, his 
marvellous industry in amassing materials from far and near, and 
his equally marvellous ingenuity in piecing together the scattered 
fragments into a biographical mosaic, to which every slight per- 
sonal allusion in any of Father Burke's sermons or lectures is forced 
to lend its little streak of colour. If any Irish Pere Ghocarner 
would supplement these volumes with some more sacred reve- 
lations of the " Interior Life" of this Irish Lacordaire, we should 
approach to the full idea of this most devoted son of St. Bominick, 
who was not only regular and edifying, but almost austere in his 
asceticism. But as it is, the student of these varied pages, who 
gives due weight to the Rev. Father Burke's influence with the 
gravest audiences in conventual and sacerdotal retreats, will form 
from the two fine tomes, which Messrs. Kegan Paul, and Com- 
pany have produced excellently in all mechanical details, almost 
as accurate a picture of the great preacher's life and character as 
the frontispiece gives us of his thoughtful features, and of his 
clear, manly handwriting.* 

* A mistake occurs at page 820 of the second volume. Father Burke's first 
panegyric of St. Ignatius was preached, not in London but in Dublin, in the 
year 1873 ; and it was the invitation of an Irish Jesuit that he accepted eagerly 
with the remark that this would gratify an unsatisfied desire of his heart. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 51 ) 



NEW BOOKS. 

4t Thb Poet in May, by Evelyn Pyne," is another claim on the part of 
Messrs. Kegan Paul, Trenoh, and Company, to the title we have 
elsewhere conferred upon them, in calling them the Poet's Publishers. 
The Laureate, indeed, has recently transferred its allegiance from them 
to the Macmillans ; but ohangeableness has always been Lord Tenny- 
son's policy in this matter. Moxon was hardly his first publisher ; 
and since then, he has had others beside Strahan, King, Paul, Macmillan. 
Perhaps his next move will be into O'Oonnell Street/ Miss Evelyn 
Pyne is fully worthy of the good company that she meets in the 
catalogue of this favourite firm of Parnassus. Our readers must take 
our word for this for the present, as so many of the early pages of 
this present number are devoted to a minute discussion of the claims 
of the latest Irish poet, that we must defer to another month our 
review of her English sister. Miss Pyne's new volume has a much 
greater variety of matter and treatment than " A Dream of Gironde," 
her first publication, which the Westminster Review, The Saturday 
Review, The Scotsman, and other critics, welcomed with warm and judi- 
cious praise, and of which our own magazine last year gave a satis- 
factory account at page 267 of the volume just completed. Though 
her decided dramatic talent breaks out in some fine fragments of 
blank verse in which she excels, the present collection is chiefly 
lyrical, in every form of metre, according to the changing nature of 
the thoughts. The thoughts are always noble and pure, though we 
must confess we grudge such fine poetry to such melancholy themes as 
the self-inflicted deaths of Charlotte Stieglitz and Chatterton. We* 
suspect that this true poet is at her best in the " Leaves from Mary 
Merivale's Diary," and " At the Gate of Death," and these are both in 
that stately and perilous metre which Professor Conington says can be 
managed properly by only one or two in an age, and of which the Ettrick 
Shepherd said that, whenever he attempted it, he never could tell 
whether he was really writing prose or poetry. But this present book- 
note, as we have said, is only meant to pledge us to a careful study of 
" The Poet in May," long before May comes round. 

We defy the Christmas season of '85 to produce a better book of 
its kind than Mrs. Frank Pentrill's " Odile : a Tale of k the Commune " 
(Dublin : M. H. Gill and Son). It is aimed at more mature readers 
than those for whom the author catered last year in her "Lina's 
Tales." She, too, like Miss Kathleen O'Meara, shows that she has a 
right to lay the scene of her tale in France where she is sufficiently at 
home to avoid those little exhibitions of collateral ignorance into which 
many clever writers fall in similar circumstances. " Odile/' besides 
being very interesting, is very instructive and edifying, without a 



Digitized by 



Google 



52 Notes on New Books. 

trace of the goody-goody in style and sentiment. The O'Connell 
Street Press has produced the book in that festive garb which suits 
the Christmasbox season. 

Father Monsabre, a member of the same order which has given to 
the Church such orators as Laoordaire and Thomas Burke, has long 
been one of the most eloquent of French preachers. An Irish Ameri- 
can priest, also a Dominican, Father Stephen Byrne, has published 
through the New York Catholic Publication Society, an excellent 
translation of the French Dominican's " Meditations on the Mysteries 
of the Holy Rosary." 

Among the shorter stories which have enlivened the pages of this 
Magazine there is hardly one that seems to have caught the fancy of 
our constituents more than '* Eobin Redbreast's Victory," with which 
our fifth volume opened in January, 1877. We recall it for the sake 
of those readers whose memory goes so far back, in order to prejudice 
them in favour of a new work by the same author, Miss Kathleen 
O'Meara, who has done injustice to her fame by linking some of 
her works, such as the excellent " Life of Thomas Grant, first Bishop 
of Southwark," not with her own sweet Irish name but with the pen- 
name of " Grace Ramsay." Her new book is called " Queen by Right 
Divine, and other Tales." (Burns and Oates). Why is it called so ? 
It consists simply of three biographical sketches — Sister Rosalie, the 
famous Parisian Sister of Charity, the still more famous Madame 
Swetohine, and Father Laoordaire. The lives and characters of these 
two noble and saintly women, and of this great sacred orator are 
drawn with Miss O'Meara's wonted liveliness and solidity of style, 
with many life-like touches and some idioms also which show her to 
be more a Frenchwoman than an Irishwoman. 

The Servite Fathers have been for twenty years at work in London, 
and one of them has just published there a very complete and satis- 
factory biography of their holy Founder — "Life of St. Philip Benizi 
of the Order of the Servants of Mary, with some account of the first 
disciples of the Saint." By the Rev. Peregrine Soulier, Priest of the 
same order (London : Burns and Oates). This year, 1885, is the sixth 
centenary of the Saint's death, a fitting occasion for this act of filial 
piety. Father Soulier's work, written in French, has been already 
translated into Italian and received with great favour. The French 
censor states that the narrative is founded on a wide and solid erudi- 
tion, and it is not only an extremely edifying Life of a Saint, written 
in a style at once dignified and easy, but also a valuable and very- 
interesting fragment of monastic history, and of the history of the 
Italian republics in mediaeval times. It is the fullest and most 
satisfactory piece of hagiography that has of late years been added 
to our literature. The English version is admirably executed and fills 
a very portly volume of 566 pages, not spread out like a magazine- 



Digitized by 



Google 



Notes on New Books. 53 

poem of the Laureate's, but printed with type compact and economical 
though pleasantly clear and readable. A writer in Notes and 
Queries said lately that the reason why reviews never mentioned the 
prices of books was merely a tradition coming down from times 
when a paragraph of that nature would be taxed as an advertisement. 
Advertisements are no longer taxed ; and publishers ought to enable 
reviewers to mention the interesting particulars of price. The price 
of the "Life of St. Philip Benizi" is, we think, eight shillings. 

A popular edition, with much new matter, and the statistics brought 
down to the present time, has just been published of the very learned 
work, " The Chair of Peter, or the Papacy considered in its institution, 
development, and organization, and in the benefits which for over 
eighteen centuries it has conferred on mankind. By John Nicholas 
Murphy, Roman Count, author of ' Terra Incognita/ " (Burns and 
Oates). Even in this less expensive form it is a fine tome of 720 
ample pages, of which fifty are devoted to a minute and most 
serviceable index. Count Murphy has taken immense pains to 'secure 
fulness and accuracy in the treatment of his supremely important 
subject, and all the incidental questions mixed up with it. Very 
valuable and interesting information is frequently given in the notes, 
which sometimes furnish brief accounts of the authors quoted and 
supply dates and particulars of the highest utility to the careful 
reader. Non-catholic critics such as The Standard and the British 
Quarterly Review have borne emphatic testimony to the moderation of 
the historian's tone. Count Murphy writes in a clear and calm style 
well suited to his theme and his purpose. 

" Theodore Wibaux, Zouave Pontificale et Jesuite," (Paris : Betaux- 
Bray) is far the most interesting piece of biography that has come to 
us from France for many a day. The author, Father C. Coetlosquet, 
S.J., has fulfilled his duty admirably. This beautiful life occupied 
only the thirty-three years between 1849 and 1882. The glimpses we 
get of Theodore' s family are most amiable and edifying. After a 
brilliant boyhood Theodore became a Papal Zouave, and his letters 
and journal, which are here edited very judiciously, give the best 
accounts to be found anywhere of a Zouave's life in Italy. In the 
unhappy war with Prussia the young man served under General de 
Charette among the •• Volunteers of the West." In 1871 he entered 
another regiment — the Company of Jesus — and died on the eve of 
priesthood. We hope at some time or other to enter into the details 
of this short .but full and varied life, which is of quite exceptional 
interest. 

" Authority and Obedience," by J. Augustus J. Johnstone (London : 
Burns and Oates) is a pamphlet which will hardly be read by any one 
who does not accept beforehand its very orthodox political and social 
doctrines. One of Mr. Johnstone's remarks is worth quoting. "I 



Digitized by 



Google 



54 Notes on New Books. 

fear posthumous almsgiving is of little avail to the giver. Charity, 
to be efficacious, should be aocompanied bj a little self-denial, and 
therefore for our own sakes we should support the clergy and the 
Church during our lives and out of our own savings, and not lay that 
part of our duty on our heirs." 

Mr. Washbourne of 18, Paternoster Bow, London, has added two 
new sixpenny plays to his large repertory of " Dramas, Comedies, and 
Farces." Things of this sort, that seem very dreary in the reading, 
pass off very pleasantly, we are told, when properly mounted and 
Performed. It is a striking proof of the power of the stage. Even 
with a good moral and a religious tone, it might be possible to produce 
a bright, clever little play ; but we have not seen such. The two 
present attempts — " Christmas Revels," and " The Wanderers " — 
seem to be below a very low average. " The Wanderers" is far the 
best. Both are in rhymed couplets, like Dryden's plays or the French 
theatre. The rhymesters show skill enough to avoid such rhymes as 
f< Craze " and " Rage," " Time " find Fine," if they cared. 

The same publisher, who always does his part of the work admir- 
ably, has sent us another little book of which we can speak in a more 
genial Christmas tone. Under the same cover (an exceedingly pretty 
one), we have " Little Dick's Christmas Carols, and other Tales," by 
Miss Amy Fowler. There are half a dozen little stories, each teach- 
ing a very good lesson, which young readers may understand all the 
better from being taught in a rather oommonplace fashion, without 
any of those bright, fanciful touches which we are accustomed to in 
such writers of juvenile tales as the authors of " The Little Flower 
Seekers," or of the more famous but hardly more brilliant <( Alice in 
Wonderland." 

There are very many of our readers in oonvents, and in Catholic 
homes, who by choice or by necessity have recourse for their spiritual 
reading to the language of Bourdaloue, and of St. Francis de Sales. 
For this reason, French books are occasionally sent to us for review. 
The latest of these is a very cheap volume (costing only a franc and a- 
half),.of 160 close but clearly printed pages, containing a full and 
most interesing account of Father Lewis Ruellan, S. J., with a collec- 
tion of his edifying letters, and then a sketch of Father Augustus 
Ruellan by the younger brother who survived him a few years. 
Those last few years were spent as a Jesuit missionary in the Rocky 
Mountains, chiefly working among the American Indians. The letters 
sent home to Europe are extremely interesting, interlarded quaintly 
here and there with words and phrases from that terrible English 
language which the French Jesuit was then compelled to learn. It is 
touching to read how he was sometimes consoled amid his rude priva- 



Digitized by 



Google 



Notes on New Books. 55 

tione by the faith and goodness of Irish women and children who are 
found in those wild places and everywhere. 

The fifth of the well-printed ten cent volumes issued at Notre 
Dame, Indiana, as " The Ave Maria Series/' is u The Mad Penitent of 
Todi, by Mrs. Anna Hanson Dorsey." To use a curious word of Mrs. 
Dorsey's, we cannot enthuse over it very much. It purports to be a 
dreadfully picturesque sketch of the conversion of the Franciscan 
Jacopone, the supposed author of the Stabat Mater. We should have 
liked the story told in a very different manner. As one little mark of 
poor workmanship, why does the writer mix up French and Italian by 
calling her hero Jacques dei Benedetti ? Tet there are many different 
palates to be pleased, and some may prefer these florid pages to 
Maurice Egan's simple little tales, of which we are promised a batch 
in the next number of " The Ave Maria Series," and to which we 
promise a hearty welcome. 

Mrs. Eleanor Donnelly of Philadelphia is the author of a beautiful 
" Hymn for the Jubilee of the Priesthood of His Holiness Pope Leo 
XIII." Vincent Joachim Pecci was ordained priest on the 23rd of Decem- 
ber, 1837, by Cardinal Odiscalchi, in the chapel of St. Stanislaus, in the 
Church of St. Andrew, on the Quirinal. This was the Jesuit novitiate, 
and it reminds us that this holy Cardinal renounced his ecclesiastical 
dignities to become a member of the Society of Jesus. As the fiftieth 
anniversary of the Pope's ordination is still in the future, there will 
be time for this Jubilee Hymn to circulate among the English-singing 
nations. But wide as the sphere is of this very convenient language 
which we speak and write, Miss Donnelly's Jubilee strains address 
a wider audience. A very perfect German version, and also one in the 
language of His Holiness to whom the work is about to be presented, 
accompany the English text; but the Italian cannot be sung to the 
original musio which has been composed for the English and German, 
by Professor Wiegand. It is arranged as a duet or trio for equal 
voices, and as a chorus for soprano, alto, tenor, and bass, with piano or 
orchestra accompaniment. As many of our readers will draw a 
practical conclusion from this notice, we may add that the publisher is 
T. Fisher, 7, Bible House, New York, and that the price of the score 
is forty cents, of the orchestral part, one dollar. What these prices 
may become in the idiom of O'Connell-street, or Orchard-street, 
the present deponent wotteth not. With regard to the music which 
Herr Weigand has wedded to Miss Donnelly's poetry, our musical 
critic reports that the" air is in style like a German Yolkslied, simple 
and tuneful, and will be acceptable in schools and convents. A more 
original composition is " The Last Carol ; song written by C. E. 
Meekkirke ; composed by Odoardo Barri " (London : Playfair and Co.) 
It may be had in two keys, C and E, is both musically and effectively 



Digitized by 



Google 



56 Notes on New Books. 

written for the voice with an organ or harmonium acoompaniment 
ad libitum. The change of harmony from the minor to the major is 
pleasing and appropriate. Mrs. Meetkerke*s stanzas are very sweet 
and touching and quite in the spirit of these Christmas times. 

The largest and most learned tome that this month has brought 
under our notice is the second volume of Mt. Joseph Gillow's " Liter- 
ary and Biographical History, or Bibliographical Dictionary of 
English Catholics, from the breach with Rome in 1534, to the present 
time " (Burns and Oatee). This volume carries the work from " Lord 
Dacre," to Bishop Gradwell. In many respects it is an improvement 
on its predecessor. It is impossible to turn over ten pages without 
being impressed with Mr. Gillow's extraordinary diligence in gather- 
ing materials for such minute notices of so many thousands of persons 
and tens of thousands of books. The accounts of such moderns as 
Father Dalgairns and Lady Georgiana Fullerton, are very satisfactory. 
English Catholics especially are deeply indebted to Mr. Gillow, and we 
trust they will not confine themselves to a barren admiration of his 
labours. When shall something similar be done for Ireland ? We 
should have liked an index for each volume ; but at any rate, we 
entreat the author to furnish us with a very full index of the whole 
work at its conclusion. And may that conclusion be happily reached 
before as many years shall have elapsed as there are volumes in this 
excellent " Bibliographical Dictionary of English Catholics." 

"The Birthday Book of our Dead" (M. H. Gill and Son) is an 
excellent idea admirably carried out. Few care to have their birth- 
days remembered, as the years glide on ; but there are many advan- 
tages in keeping a record of the anniversaries of the deaths of departed 
friends. In this book a page is assigned to each day of the year, and 
a sufficient space at the bottom of each page is left blank for the 
insertion of names and dates, the rest of the page being occupied 
with two or three extracts in prose and verse, generally teaching in a 
terse and vivid way some of the great lessons of life and death or 
suggesting motives of consolation to mourners. The present collection 
differs from ordinary birthday books, not only in turning our thoughts 
to the other end of life, but also in furnishing us with full and sugges- 
tive passages instead of mere soraps and catoh words. The compilation 
shows a great deal of taste and originality. The last quality will appear 
from a glance at the index of authors. In this index we have counted 
up the number of times that the most frequently quoted are quoted, 
passing over all those who are represented here by less than half a 
dozen extracts ; though this rule excludes many who rank high when 
suffrages nan solum numerantur sed pmdtr oritur, when quality is taken 
into account as well as quantity. Our minimum is just reached by 
Washington Irving, Pfcre Besson, Abbe Gay, and Cardinal Manning, 
while even Fathers Burke and Lacordaire, St. Chrysostom and Denis 



Digitized by 



Google 



Notes on New Books. 57 

Florence Mao Carthy, fall short of it by a unit. Those who are quoted 
seven times are (in alphabetical order) Father Collins, Dr. Grant of 
Southwark, Pere Gratry, Katharine Tynan, and the American 
Whittier. The number 8 is represented by Ellen Downing, Canon 
Gilbert, Thomas Moore, Rosa Mulholland, and Wordsworth. The 
nines are Mrs. Browning, Carlyle, Oliver Wendell Holmes, the Rev. 
Matthew Russell, S. J., and Thackeray. " L.E.L.," Russell Lowell, 
Father Ryder, and Aubrey de Vere, each furnish half a score of 
quotations. A strange trio comes under the number eleven — Dickens, 
Father Joseph Farrell, and Shakespeare. The even dozen has no 
representative, whereas the baker's dozen has Byron, Father Abraham 
Ryan of Mobile, and Madame Swetchine to stand for it. And now 
the field (in sporting phrase) grows thinner; only St. Augustine 
having 14 marks, Fenelon 15, Mrs. Remans and Pere de Ravignan 
16 each. Eugenie de Guerin, St. Francis de Sales, Mrs. Craven, and 
Lord Tennyson have 22, 23, 24, and 25 extracts respectively. Finally, 
Longfellow figures 28 times in this anthology, Cardinal Newman 31 
times, Adelaide Procter 32 times, and Father F. W. Faber is far ahead 
of all with exactly fifty specimens, nearly all of his prose. The records 
entered in this beautiful book ought not to be confined to one's own 
family but to include many known to us only by name, for whom we 
shall be reminded to pray, seeing their names in "The Birthday 
Book of our Dead." 

The Art and Book Company of Leamington have brought out for 
1886 a Catholic Prayerbook Calendar, a Church Boor Calendar, and an 
Order of Vespers for Sundays and Holidays. 

The Illustrated Catholic Family Annual (New York Catholic 
Publication Society) is now in its eighteenth year, and the issue for 
1886 is one of the most interesting of the series. It is crammed with 
biographical and miscellaneous sketches, and copiously illustrated with 
excellent engravings, giving successful portraits of the new Archbishop 
of Dublin, and Dr. Corrigan the new Archbishop of New York, 
Cardinal Moran, Father Peter Beckx, S.J., Lady Georgiana Fullerton, 
A. M. Sullivan, Cardinal M'Cabe and Cardinal M'Closkey, and some 
American notabilities, such as the first Bishop of Mobile and Father 
Badin the first priest of the United States. 

A Sermon preached by Father Humphrey, S.J. at the clothing of 
two Sisters of Mercy in St. Catharine's Convent, Edinburgh, has been 
published under the title of " The Spouses of the King/' 

Sir James Marshal, late Chief Justice of the Gold Coast Colony, 
has published in a neat little sixpenny pamphlet his " Reminiscences 
of West Africa and its Missions," .Extremely interesting and edifying 
the reminiscences are. We heartily agree with Sir James Marshall 
that the Annals of the Propagation of the Faith are ''in general too 
depressing and dull, giving nearly always the gloomy side of things, 



Digitized by 



Google 



58 Notes on New Books. 

dwelling on trials, dangers, difficulties, and revelling in martyrdoms 
and cruelties." The good Chief Justice's experience is that Catholic 
Missionaries are as happy and cheerful a set of men as he ever met. 
" The pluck of a soldier (he adds) made even the Ashanti Expedition 
a sort of amusing picnic to those who really had pluck, and they were 
decidedly the majority. So also the vocation of the Missionary keeps 
him happy and cheery through everything, and if this spirit prevailed 
more in missionary letters and literature, I think it would take better 
with the general public." 

Messrs. Browne and Nolan are the publishers of a little pamphlet 
entitled " An Olive Branch." It is well- written and well-intentioned ; 
but it is political and therefore beyond our sphere. 

Denvir's Penny Irish National Almanac, published at Liverpool, 
is kept up cleverly. 

" Eason's Almanac for Ireland for the year 1886 " (Dublin : "W. 
H. Smith and Son) fully maintains its high reputation for accuracy, 
research, and great practical utility. One of the most interesting 
items in this thirteenth yearly issue is a clear summary of the views 
of some leading politicians on the important question of Irish Self- 
Government. 

But even at Christmas we cannot go on for ever noticing new books. 
One very cheap and very attractive book for the season is a handsome 
quarto entitled "Good and Pleasant Heading for Boys and Girls," 
containing Tales, Sketches, and Poems (M. H. Gill and Son). A 
Christmas-box of a different kind is the very newest of new prayer* 
books, "The Dominican Manual." It has been compiled by the 
Dominican Nuns of Cabra near Dublin, and a pioture of the Convent 
fronts the titlepage. It is an admirable collection of prayers and 
devotions, and the publishers, Brown and Nolan, have brought it out 
with extreme care and skill. The binding of the copy before us is a 
luxury to the sight and touch. 

Here, if nowhere else, we breathe our best Christmas wishes for all 
our readers and writers ; and, when Christmas is over, we wish them a 
happy New Tear. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 59 ) 



A FAMILY OF FAMOUS CELTIC SCHOLARS. 

ON the eastern shore of the Bay of Killala, about ten miles 
north of Ballina, are the ruins of the old castle of Leacan. 
The site was well chosen, for it was to be the home, not of warriors, 
but of scholars, and so they built their stronghold in the hearing 
of the sea, fronting the gales from the west where they could see 
from the windows the fierce Atlantic billows spend their wintry 
rage against the bleak cliffs of Benmore. And many a fearful 
scene of shipwreck they must have witnessed, when the dismantled 
vessels flying from the outer gales were forced to seek the inhos- 
pitable shelter of Killala Bay; for a dangerous bar stretches 
across its mouth, and when the rising tide swept up the estuary 
in the teeth of the south-west wind and the Moy's full current, 
small chance of escape remained for the doomed ship, when she 
got amongst the breakers that barely covered the treacherous 
shoals. 

Yet for the Celtic scholar that old castle of Leacan is classic 
ground. It was the home of a family of learned Irishmen, 
who, with the single exception of the O'Clerys, have done 
more for Celtic literature than any other race of our ancient 
hereditary ollaves. We propose in this paper to give a short 
sketch of the Clan Firbis of Leacan, and of their literary labours 
in the cause of Irish history and archaeology. 

The Clan Firbis came of an illustrious stock, for they trace their 
descent to Dathi, the last pagan king of Ireland, who is said to 
have been killed by lightning at the foot of the Alps. Awley> 
his son, a prop in battle, brought home the body of the arch- 
chieftain through battles and marches by land and by sea, and 
buried him with his fathers at Cruachan of the Kings, where the 
tall red pillar-stone still marks the hero's grave. The original 
seat of the family was in Magh Broin between Lough Conn and 
the river Moy — a district that was then, and is still known as the 
" Two Baos." Gilla Iosa Mor Mac Firbis describes it in his topo- 
graphical poem as a sweet and fertile land, where the crops grew 
quick and rich ; it was embosomed in delightful woods, the seat of 
poets, who loved to wander in their shade and compose their songs 
for feast and battle. The Clan Firbis dwelt near the margin of the 
lake to the east, as well as on the opposite side in fair Glen Nephin, 
Vol. xrr. No. 152. February, 1886. * r\^\o 

Digitized by VjUUv IC 



60 A Family of Famous Celtic Scholars. 

where the scarlet hazel dipped its hundred tendrils into the lake's 
pellucid waters. 

It was probably the advance of the English settlers towards 
the close of the thirteenth century that drove the Clan Firbis 
from their beloved homes around the lake somewhat further to the 
north at Rosserk, which was the extreme limit of their ancient 
territory. This place was originally called Bos Scarce, the ros, or 
wooded promontory, of the Virgin Searc, whose church was built 
thereon. The primitive edifice of the virgin saint has disappeared, 
but its site is occupied by the ruins of a small but very beautiful 
abbey, which John O'Donovan thought was built about five cen- 
turies ago. He was nearly right, for Father Mooney, tho 
Franciscan Chronicler, tells us that " Rosserk was founded in the 
fifteenth century by a chieftain of the Joyces, a powerful family 
of Welsh extraction, remarkable (as they are still) for their 
gigantic stature, who settled in West Connaught in the thirteenth 
century." 

The site was certainly well chosen on a promontory running 
into the river Moy, " the stream of speckled salmons." A graceful 
square-built tower of blueish stone, as in most of the Franciscan 
churches, surmounted the centre of the sacred edifice, which 
sees itself reflected in the waters of the river, and commands 
a magnificent prospect of all the surrounding country — the dark 
irregular range of the Ox mountains to the east, to the south- 
west Hephin's stately form throwing at evening its shadow over 
the waters of Lough Conn, while far to the north the eye wanders 
over river, and bay, and swelling waves, and frowning cliffy out 
to the boundless blue of the Atlantic. The Clan Firbis are described 
by Gilla Iosa Mor MacFirbis in 1418* as poets of Hy Amhalgaidh 
( Awley) of Rosserk. Whence we may conclude that in the begin- 
ning of the fifteenth century the family had already left Magh 
Broin and were then established at the old abbey on the western 
bank of the Moy just where the river begins to widen to an estuary. 
How long they remained here cannot be exactly determined. 
Probably the Joyces who founded the Franciscan abbey in the 
fifteenth century drove them across the river, for the Welsh giants 
were men of war and blood who knew no law but force. But then if 
they expelled Clan Firbis they brought in the Franciscans and 
built them that beautiful abbey at Rosserk, and endowed it with 
a share of the lands plundered from the harmless bards and 

* Hy Fiaihrach, page 287. 

Digitized by VjOOQ LC 



A Family of Famous Celtic Scholars. 6l> 

ollaves of Tyrawley. True, indeed, the western shore of the 
river was fertile and " quick-growing/ 9 whilst the eastern shore 
towards the sea was bleak and bare ; but it was good enough for 
the mere Irish, and they ought to be thankful that the strong- 
handed Welshmen of Tirawley, the Barretts, Lynotts, and Joyces, 
left them so much of their ancient inheritance. A worse day was 
to come when both victors and vanquished were overwhelmed in a 
common ruin, and the troopers of Cromwell became lords of all. 
Yet although the O'Dowd himself, by ancient right the ruler of 
these territories, was robbed of all his lands in Tyrawley, and 
henceforward confined to Tireragh, he gave a new grant to the 
hereditary historians of his family, not so fertile or so. wide 
indeed as their ancient inheritance, but large enough to maintain 
them in competence and with a dignity becoming their high office. 
Here it was by the shore of the bay that " the brothers Ciothruaidh 
and James, sons of Diarmaid Caoch MacFirbis, aided by their 
cousin John Og, the son of William, built the castle of Leacan 
Mac Firbis, in the year of the age of Christ, 1560."* And there 
it was they wrote books of history, annals, and poetry ; and more- 
over kept a school of history long before that castle was built. 
So the family must have crossed the Moy from Eosserk many 
years before 1500, and established themselves at Leacan, although 
the great stone castle was not built for their protection down to 
the stormy period at which Elizabeth commenced her reign. Here 
it seems they continued to reside until the Cromwellian settlement. 
Then the Castle of Leacan came within the mile line of territory 
all round the province of Connaught, which was planted by Crom- 
wellians in order to deprive the natives of all access to the sea. 
And so Duald Mac Firbis, the last and greatest scholar of that 
ancient race, was driven from his ancestral home, his lands were 
confiscated, and he himself became a wanderer and a beggar 
depending for his daily bread on the bounty of the stranger. 
When he was an old man bowed down with the weight of eighty 
years, he was one night stopping in a wayside inn at Dunflin* 
in the parish of Screen, county Sligo. A young gentleman of the 
name of Crof ton, one of a family enriched by the plunder of the 
old Irish proprietors, came into the shop and began to take 
some improper freedoms with a young girl behind, the counter. 
She tried to stop his advances by pointing to the old gentleman in 
the inner parlour, who, perhaps, overheard what was taking place, 

* Hy Fiaohrach, page 167. 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



62 A Family of Famous Celtic Scholars. ' 

and uttered some remonstrance. Thereupon the licentious savage 
seized a large knife, and, rushing at the old man, stabbed him to the 
heart. And so the last of our great Irish scholars was foully 
murdered in cold blood by a young gentleman of the county Sligo. 

The Clan Firbis were for many centuries at once bards, 
brehons, and historians to their kinsmen the O'Dowds, the heredi- 
tary princes of Tireragh, and Tyrawley. In this capacity they 
held large freehold estates, they exercised considerable power, 
and discharged various functions. As hereditary historians they 
kept an accurate and faithful record of the descent and subdivi- 
sions of the various families, of the territories assigned to each, 
the privileges which they claimed, as well as the charges to which 
they were liable: They were present in the battles of the clans to be 
witnesses of the prowess of the chiefs ; they sang the praises of 
the victors, and recorded the names and deeds of those who had 
fallen on the field: These songs they chanted at the banquet of 
the chiefs when the field was won, and stimulated the clansmen to 
battle by recounting the great deeds of their ancestors and the 
wrongs inflicted by the enemy which it was their duty to avenge. 

Then when family disputes arose, or private wrongs were to be 
remedied, it was the duty of the annalist to divide and limit 
the territory of each family, for he alone had the custody of the 
records that fixed their titles, and he alone was sufficiently trained 
in the complex code of the Breon law to fix the eric or compen- 
sation for the wrong done. 

Moreover, at the inauguration of the O'Dowd, MacFirbis always 
played an important part. The Irish sub-kings were solemnly 
inaugurated on the summit of some green hill under the 
open sky, with the principal chiefs, and the clergy, and the 
people assembled round about them. This ceremony, in the case 
of the O'Dowd, generally took place on Carn-Amhalgaith,* 
which is supposed to be the hill of Mullagh-carn, not far 
from Killala, on the western bank of the Moy. We have an 
account of this most interesting ceremony written by one of the 
Clan Firbis. 

First of all, it seems, when the chiefs and the coarbs of the 
principal churches and all the people had selected their future 
ruler, who was that member of the royal family best qualified in 
their estimation for the office, MacFirbis read for the prince elfect 
a summary of his duties and privileges as contained in the interest-* 

: * See Ey Fiachrach, page 489. 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



A Family of Famous Celtic Scholars. 63 

ing work called the " Institutions of a Sing " (Teaguso High) of 
which a manuscript copy still exists.* According to O'Sullivan 
Bearef the prince elect was then required to swear that he would 
observe these ordinances, and, above all, that he would preserve the 
rights and liberties of the Church, and if necessary, shed his blood 
in its defence. Mass was then celebrated, and the white wand of 
inauguration was solemnly blessed. 

It was the high privilege of MacFirbis to bring the body of 
this white wand over the head of the new prince, who stood with 
sword ungirt, then to present it to him, as the symbol of kingly 
authority, and solemnly salute him by name as The O'Dowd. 
O'Caomhain, the representative of the senior family of the tribe, 
next pronounced the name, and after him all the coarbs, and all the 
chiefs pronounced the same name and offered their homage to the 
new ruler. The people then took up the name in one loud shout of 
approval, and the white rod was broken to signify that all authority 
thenceforward centered in the O'Dowd. This white rod was the 
symbol of authority from the most ancient times ; its whiteness 
and straightness were the emblems of the purity, truth, and recti- 
tude of the ruler. A sword would imply the power of life and 
death, but the rod signified that the ruler meant to govern his 
people as a father does his children, and that they would be so 
docile and obedient that the ruler would need no other weapon 
to govern them. The prince elect had previously put off his 
sword and cloak to give greater significance to this ceremony. 
Sometimes, too, one of the sub-chiefs put off his sandals in token 
of obedience, and threw a slipper over the head of the new chief 
for good luck, but these ceremonies were not everywhere 
observed. Lastly, the new chief turned round three times back- 
wards and forwards in honour of the Holy Trinity, looking out 
over his territory and his people, as their divinely chosen father 
and protector, and then the ceremony was complete. 

Of course a banquet followed — drink and feasting, and song. 
The privilege of first drinking at this royal feast was given by The 
O'Dowd to O'Caomhain, the senior representative of the tribe, but 
O'Caomhain might not taste the cup until he had first given it 
to the poet MacFirbis to drink, where he sat at the right hand of 
his king. Moreover, O'Dowd gave to O'Caomhain the weapons, 
battle-dress, and steed, which he was wont to ufte before ; and 
O'Caomhain in turn presented his own battle-harness to M'Firbis 
the pfoet. 

* Library of Trinity College, H. 1, 17. f Historia Oath. 

Digitized by vjUUV Iv, 



(H -4 Family of Famous Celtic Scholars. 

. As might be expected, Clan Firbis produced several distin- 
guished scholars who have rendered most important services to our 
Celtic literature. The references to the family in ancient times 
are few and brief, for with very striking modesty these great 
annalists make little reference to themselves. From other sources, 
however, as well as from incidental references in their own books, 
we gather the following summary of their literary history. 

The earliest reference dates from a.d. 1279, when, according to 
the Four Masters, Gilla Iosa MorMacFirbis, ollaveof Tireragh,died. 
Gilla Iosa — servant of Jesus — and Gilla Iosa Mor, were favourite 
names with the Mac Firbis family, and show that their learning 
was inspired and elevated by a truly Christian spirit. He was 
succeeded be another Gilla Iosa Mac Firbis, probably his son, 
whose death is assigned to 1301, and who is described in the quaint 
language of the translators of the old annals of Clonmacnoise, 
" as chief chronicler of Tyrefeaghrach, wonderful well-skilled in 
histories, poetry, computation, and many other sciences. 1 ' This 
wonderful scholar was succeeded in his office by Donnach 
Mao Firbis, who died in 1376, and who is described in more mode- 
rate language as " a good historian." This Donnach was one of 
the compilers of the great work called the Yellow Book op 
Lkacan to which we shall presently refer. Three years later, in 
1379, they record the death of Firbis Mac Firbis, a " learned 
historian " who no doubt also aided in the compilation of the same 
great work, although no special mention is made of his name. 
Then in 1417 we have recorded the death of another Gilla Iosa 
Mor Firbis, the son of the above named Donnach, who according 
to Duald MacFirbis, was " chief historian to O'Dowd of Tireragh, 
and composed a long topographical poem on the tribes and districts 
in the ancient territories of his ancestors." This is the work 
which, under the title of Hy Fiachrach, has been most ably edited 
by John O'Donovan, and published by the Irish Archaeological 
Society in 1844. 

Several members of the family, too, became ecclesiastics, and 
under date of 1450, Archdale tells us that " Eugene O'Cormyn 
and Thady Mac Firbis, eremites of the order of St. Augustine, 
received a grant of the lands of Storma in Tyrawley from Thady 
O'Dowd, to erect a monastery thereon under the invocation of the 
Holy Trinity ; and Pope Nicholas V. confirmed the same by a 
Bull dated the 12th of December, 1454." Then we have the 
entry of the erection of Leacan Castle in 1560, to which we have 
already referred. But the following year a great calamity befell 



Digitized by 



Google 



A Family of Famous Celtic Scholars. 65- 

Oiothruadh, the principal builder of the castle, for the Annals of 
Lough Ce tell us that €t Naisse, the son (probably of this) CicL 
thruadh, the most eminent musician that was in Erinn, was 
drowned in Lough Gill, near Sligo — and also his wife, the daugh- 
ter of M'Donogh, with some other/' who likely accompanied 
them in the same boat 

Fortunately for our Celtic literature and history, many of the 
great works composed by the Clan Fir bis still survive, although 
not yet published. 

First of all we have the great compilation called the Yellow 
Book of Lkacan (Leabhar Buidhe Lecain) preserved in Trinity 
College Library, and classed H. 2. 16. This immense work con- 
tains some 500 pages of vellum manuscript, and was not com- 
posed, but rather transcribed from existing materials so early as 
1390, by Donnach and Gilla Iosa MacFirbis to whom we have 
already referred. O'Curry tells us in his " Lectures" that it 
begins in its present condition with a collection of family and 
political poems mostly referring to the great Connaught septs — 
the O'Xellys, O'Connors, &c, &c, as well as to the O'Donnells of 
Donegal, who were neighbours of Tir Fiachrach in the north — 
the ancient boundary between the two tribes being the Codhnach 
river which flows into the sea close to Columcille's monastery at 
Drumcliff, under the shadow of Benbulbin, four miles to the north 
of Sligo. O'Curry says, however, that these pieces formed no part 
of the original work. Then we have some early monastic rules of 
great interest for the ecclesiastical historian written in verse- 
some of which have been published in the Irish Ecclesiastical 
Record, 1864-66 from copies made by O'Curry himself . These 
are followed by a great variety of legendary and historical pieces, 
like the battle of Magh Rath (Moyra) and the voyages of Maelduin 
in the Atlantic Ocean, which it is unnecessary to particularize here, 
but which are exceedingly valuable for the topographical and histo- 
rical information which they contain. Some of these tracts have been 
already published, but several, almost equally valuable, still 
remain in manuscript. 

The second great work which we owe to the Clan Firbis is the 
Book of Leacan, a distinct compilation, composed some 26 years 
later, and mostly in the handwriting of Gilla Iosa Mor Mac Firbis. 
It is a still larger work, containing more than 600 pages of fine 
vellum manuscript, but its contents, though highly valuable, are 
almost identical with the contents of the famous Book of Bally- 
mote, from which it was probably copied, at least in part. The 

Digitized by G00gle 



W A Family of Famous Celtic Scholar** 

most original and therefore the moat valuable tract in the entire 
work is that to which we have already referred to as the " Tribes 
and Customs of Ht Fiachrach " published by the Irish Archaeo- 
logical Society. These two great works sufficiently prove that the 
historians of Tyrawley must have had a perfect acquaintance with 
our entire Celtic literature, and were indeed wonderfully well skilled 
" in histories, poetry, computation, and many other sciences." 

Next we have the writings of Duald MacFirbis, the most 
learned and the most unfortunate of his name and race. His 
entire life was a chronicle of woe for himself, for his family, for 
his religion, and for his country. 

Duald M'Firbis (Dubhaltach) was the son of another Gilla 
Iosa Mor, and was born at his father's castle of Leacan Mac Firbis 
about the year 1580. If, as O'Curry tells us, he went to the south 
of Ireland to study so early as 1595, he must have been at least 
fifteen years old at that time. The latter was the year in which 
O'Donnell made a fierce raid from Donegal on Southern Connaught, 
burning and pillaging all before him. The schools of Thomond 
were at this period very famous, and attracted native scholars from 
all parts of Ireland. The MacEgans of Redwood Castle in Lower 
Ormond were the most famous Brehon lawyers in Ireland, and 
here young MacFirbis came to perfect himself in the study of Celtic 
jurisprudence. The O'Davorensof Burren, county Clare, had also 
a famous school of law and poetry, and MacFirbis spent some time 
there also, po that he neglected no opportunities of mental culture, 
which could render him better qualified to discharge the high func- 
tions of hereditary ollave in his native territory. That he profited to 
the full by these opportunities is abundantly manifest from his writ- 
ings. Not only was he a distinguished Irish scholar and antiquarian 
but he was also familiar with the Latin and English languages, and 
what is more extraordinary still, and furnishes a striking proof of 
the excellence of our Celtic schools even at that unhappy period, 
he was very well acquainted with Greek also. For in his copy 
of Cormac's Glossary in T.C.D. MacFirbis explains the meaning 
of several of the Irish terms by giving in the margin the Latin 
and frequently the Greek equivalents, written, too, in Greek 
characters, and with an accuracy and freedom which prove that 
beyond doubt the writer must have not only understood Greek 
but was well able to write that language ! 

It was probably in the school annexed to the Collegiate Church 
of St. Nicholas, in Galway, that M'Firbis acquired his familiarity, 
such as it was, with the English and classical languages. Certainly 

Digitized by vjUUV I v. 



A Family of Famous Celtic Scholar*. 67 

very little English was spoken on tha banks of the Mo y about the 
year 1590, for the Welsh and Norman invaders of Tyrawley had 
become more Irish than the Irish themselves in customs, dress, 
and language. But Galway always continued to be an English 
city ; English was always spoken, although not perhaps exclusively 
by the citizens ; and the writings of Lynch and O'Flaherty prove 
that beyond doubt the study of the classical languages was culti- 
vated with a high degree of success in the City of the Tribes. 

At any rate MacFirbis himself tells us that it was in the Col- 
lege of St. Nicholas, Galway, about the year 1650, " during the 
religious war between the Catholics of Ireland and the heretics of 
Ireland, Scotland, and England," that he composed his great 
work on " The Branches of Relationship and the Genealogical 
Ramifications of every colony that took possession of Erin traced 
from this time up to Adam . . . together with a Sanctilogium, and 
a catalogue of the Monarchs of Erin ; and finally an Index which 
comprises in alphabetical order the surnames and the remarkable 
places mentioned in this book which was compiled by Dubhaltach 
MacFirbis of Leacan, 1650," " and the cause of writing the books," 
adds the pious author, " is to increase the glory of God, and for 
the information of people in general." In those evil days of 
Ireland, it was not love of fame or gain that inspired her scholars 
to transmit to posterity the history of their bleeding country — it 
was the nobler purpose of God's glory, and the instruction of 
their countrymen in the better days that yet might dawn on their 
native land. 

The autograph of this splendid compilation is in the possession 
of the Earl of Roden, and a copy made by O'Curry is in the R.I. 
Academy. It is a most valuable repertory of the highest autho- 
rity on all those subjects of which it treats, and has been univer- 
sally recognised as such by our ablest Irish scholars.* In 
1666 MacFirbis drew up an abstract of his larger work including 
some additional pedigrees, of which work O'Donovan tells us there 
were two copies to be had, although he himself had seen neither 
of them. 

MacFirbis compiled two other most valuable works, no copies 
of which are now known to .be extant, on6 a Glossary of the 
Ancient Laws of Erin, the loss of which is irreparable, and also 
a Biographical Dictionary of the writers and distinguished 
scholars of ancient Erinn, "of which," says O'Curry, "unfortu- 
nately not even a fragment has yet been discovered." 

* See Dr. Petrie's Paper in Vol. XVIII. of the Transactions of the 
B. I. Academy. 

Digitized by LiOOgLe 



68 A Family of Famous Celtic Scholars. 

Historian and lawyer as lie was by virtue of liis office, 
Mac Firbis was also a poet, and O'Curry tells that he himself had 
in his possession two poems of considerable pretension written by 
MacFirbis, in praise of his patrons the O'Shaughnessys of Gort, 
who were sprung from the same stock as MacFirbis himself. He 
was also the author of a collection of Annals which are quoted by 
his patron and friend, Sir James Ware, but which are not now 
known to exist. 

We have, however, a most valuable summary of our Annals 
distinct from the former work compiled by MacFirbis, and lately 
published in the series of the Master of the Rolls. It is known 
well to students of Irish history as the Chronicon Scotorum, 
a work of great value for its historical accuracy. The author 
apologises for its meagre character, and tells us that it is merely 
an abstract, or compendium of the history of the Scots, omitting 
all lengthened details. Still it is of great value and contains 
several novel scraps of important historical information. In its 
present form it only comes down to the year 1135, and unfortu- 
nately even in that period a large deficiency occurs from 722 to 
805. 

The life of Duald MacFirbis corresponds with the most calami- 
tous period of Ireland's chequered history. When he was yet a 
boy he heard of the disastrous defeat at Kinsale, in 1601. The 
Flight of the Earls and the confiscation of Ulster followed a few 
years later, about the time when he had arrived at man's estate. He 
doubtless shared in the bright hopes that the Confederation of 
1641 inspired in the breasts of his countrymen ; but he saw all 
these bright promises fade away before the breath of the angel of 
discord. He saw Cromwell's fiery sword sweep over the land, and the 
persecuted Catholics, who had hoped so much from the Restoration 
again doomed to disappointment by the perfidy of the faithless 
Stuarts. 

There is no sadder chapter in literary history than the fate of 
this old man in his declining years. To his honour be it for ever 
remembered, Sir James Ware, to whom Irish literature owes so 
much, was, while he lived, the patron and friend of Mac Firbis. 
He received him into his own house in Dublin ; he employed him in 
the work which he loved — translating and elucidating the old 
manuscripts of his forefathers. But that noble knight, as 
Mac Firbis justly calls him, died in 1666, and once more the old 
man became a pauper and an outcast. He dare not remain in 
_ Dublin without a friend to protect him, for he would be perse- 
Digitized by VjOOQLC 



My Sang and I. 69 

cuted as a Catholic, and perhaps persecuted as a scholar. So like 
every hunted animal, he strove to reach his old home again, and 
travelled all the long ragged road from Dublin city to the hanks 
of Moy. But the stranger was in the home of his fathers, and 
the friends of his youth were like himself persecuted paupers ; 
even O'Dowd, the chieftain of his race, was without lands and 
without castles. For a few years more the venerable scholar lived 
on amidst the scenes of his childhood a broken-down old man, 
until, as Eugene Curry thinks, when, striving to make his way on 
foot to Dublin to visit the son of Sir James Ware, he met his 
tragic fate in a wayside inn at the hands of a savage and licentious 
youth. 

Yet, in spite of poverty and persecution during all these 
disastrous years, Mac Firbis devoted his best energies to the preser- 
vation and illustration of his country's history, " for the glory of 
God, and the instruction of his countrymen in future years." 
May you rest in peace, faithful son of unhappy Ireland, and in 
the better days that are dawning upon us, we may hope that your 
countrymen will tenderly remember the name of Mac Firbis, and 
look with reverence on the ruined walls of Leacan Castle. 

^ John Healy. 



MY SONG AND I. 

ALOFT, above the sea, by the tall cliff's winding path, 
A flitting foot treads down the sweet wild thyme, 
When its fragrant bloom runs over all the mossy rath 
And tides are full and the year is in its golden prime. 

No flush of pomegranate, no breath of rich musk rose, 

Or reddens or perfumes these regions where 
My song and I go, singing, while the keen north wind blows 

And birds fly low, and the widening skies are cool and fair. 

But with the fresh sea-odours floating towards us here 
And wild thyme's scent, out pressed by climbing feet, 

And gleam of grey wings winnowing through the sunlight clear, 
Travel my song and I, in a lone world cold and sweet. 

R. M^-> 

Digitized by LiOOgLe 



70 ) 



MR. BAKER'S DOMESTIC SYSTEM. 

A STORY. 

MRS. Ball and Mrs. Baker had put the little Balls and the 
little Bakers to bed, and for the first time during the winter 
season were spending an evening together. It seemed very cosy 
and sociable to sit down in front of the fire, with its bed of glow- 
ing coal, and talk familiarly of matters interesting to wives and 
mothers. And so thought Mrs. Ball, who affirmed that her little 
ones had been so cross and wayward that day, that she needed just 
such a quiet period to calm her irritated nerves ; which remark 
was seconded by Mrs. Baker, who added, that Frank, Frederick, 
and Fanny had behaved shockingly all day, wearying her patience 
sadly, and preventing her from sewing, reading, or even thinking. 

" I don't know that my boys and girls differ from other boys 
and girls, but I get very tired with the care of them all the day," 
said Mrs. Ball, sighing softly. 

" And so do I ; yet my husband thinks the duty a very slight 
one," returned Mrs. Baker, sympathetically. 

"That I do!" said the person alluded to, emphatically, 
abruptly entering. " That I do ; and as soon as I get on my 
slippers, I'll give you a good reason for it. Good evening, Mrs. 
Ball. I didn't intend to be a party to your innocent remarks, but 
the last one of my wife's I couldn't avoid hearing ; an assertion* 
by the way, which I am ready to make again." 

'• As she rendered your views so correctly, I presume no harm 
is done," laughingly returned Mrs. Ball. 

" Discussing children, were you not, and the tremendous bur- 
den of care and trouble they impose upon tender mothers ? ** 
inquired Mr. Baker, half seriously. 

'* We stand convicted of the heinous crime. Pray, what have 
you to say against it P " retorted both Mrs. Ball and Mrs. Baker. 

" Nothing, certainly, of the right of every lady to talk about 
what pleases her ; but a great deal against the erroneous opiniona 
you maintain. The truth is, Mrs. Ball, the truth is, wife, you 
magnify your motherly duties ; you look at them through a glass 
which increases their dimensions wonderfully. Tou make a 
mountain of a molehill and then imagine you are climbing up its. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Mr. Baker's Domestic System. 71 

ragged sides when you are simply walking on level ground. You 
complain because it has become habitual ; you talk of fatigue and 
nervousness because every other mother does the same. There 
isn't one woman in ten who knows how to take care of children 
properly." 

"Have you any experimental knowledge of the matter P" 
asked Mrs. Ball. 

" No, indeed ! he knows nothing at all about it," cried Mrs. 
Baker. 

" I see I am in the minority, but I don't mean to be frightened 
out of my argument," quoth Mr. Baker. " In the first place, I 
advance that women don't understand children." 

Mrs. Ball and Mrs. Baker looked volumes. 

" They make," he continued, undaunted by two pair of sharp 
eyes, " a great fuss about a very little matter. Children do not 
need continual talking to ; one word is as good as ten, if rightly 
applied. Begin right, and there need be no trouble in managing 
them. When they cry, make them be quiet ; when they want 
anything, make them wait on themselves." 

" What if they can't walk P There is supposed to be a period 
in a child's life when its feet are of no possible service," remarked 
the listening wife, in a tone the least bit malicious. 

" As I have two such critical listeners it behoves me to choose 
my words more carefully. To amend my remark, teach children 
to wait upon themselves as soon as they can walk." 

" A difficult theory to put into practice," said Mrs. Ball, with 
the air of one confident of the soundness of her position. 

" Not at all, madam, I assure you ; nothing easier." 

"Did you ever try itP" pursued the lady, surveying her 
masculine theorist as though she compassionated his ignorance. 

" Why— no — not exactly," he stammered, " but that doesn't 
militate against the facts of the case. I'm confident I can take care 
of children without tiring myself, or thinking it a burdensome 
duty. I should start right, Mrs. Ball." 

The man in the dressing-gown and slippers contemplated the 
fire with great apparent satisfaction. 

" Then why not take your wife's place to-morrow, and let her 
spend the day with me P " queried the mother of the four little 
Balls. " She needs relaxation ; and as you maintain that children 
are no trouble when rightly managed, they will not interfere with 
your happiness in any degree. You oan * start right/ and I have 

Vol. xiv. No. 152. 7 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



72 Mr. Baker 9 8 Domestic System. 

no doubt everything will go on swimmingly. What say you to 
my proposal P " 

Mr. Baker eyed her attentively for a moment, then slowly 
replied : , 

" I don't know but it's reasonable. Should you like it P" he 
added, turning to his wife, who had been exchanging speaking 
glances with Mrs. Ball. 

He received a hearty assent. 

" Then it's settled ; I'll keep house, and you shall go visiting. 
I'm not particularly wanted at the business premises, and it will 
be a fine chance to write several letters and look oyer a book of 
accounts. I'll wager a new hat against a new bonnet — and the 
bonnet, with your permission, shall belong to Mrs. Baker — that I 
will get through the day grandly, without fretting and scolding 
or worriment and weariness," was the brave rejoinder. 

" You hear, Mrs. Baker— a beaver against a two guinea bonnet. 
I wish I was as sure of a new velvet as you are P " exclaimed the 
merry Mrs. Ball. 

" Don't be too positive ! a hat may be called for before you are 
aware of it," briskly retorted Mr. Baker. " I'll demonstrate my 
system, or confess myself in error." 

Mrs. Ball smiled in a peculiar way, spoke a few words in an 
under-tone to her ally, and bade her friends good-night. 

Mr. Baker was awakened at a late hour the following morning 
by baby Fanny, who was amusing herself by pulling his whiskers. 
Glancing at his watch, he found it was past eight o'clock. Where was 
Mrs. Baker P Why were not the older children dressed and out of 
the way, instead of jumping about the room, clamouring for their 
clothes P Mr. Baker did not make a very elaborate toilet. He ran 
down stairs, found a good fire in the stove, a pot of hot coffee, and 
the table spread ; but the party instrumental in bringing about this 
comfortable state of things was non est. He went through the 
rooms, glanced into the parlour, looked into the outhouse, into the 
cellar, and called "Ellen" several times. No response being 
given, he was driven to the conclusion that his better half had 
taken an early departure for the mansion of Mrs. Ball, leaving 
him to get a " right start " without her interference. He was 
rather unprepared for this punctual introduction to domestic life, 
but being somewhat of a philosopher Mr. Baker set about having 
the best of it. He was reflecting upon the propriety of refresh- 
ing the inner man, when two small voices were heard at the top of 
^ the stairs : 



Digitized by 



Google 



Mr. Baker' 8 Domestic System. 73 

" I want to be dressed — I want to be dressed ! " 

These were certainly reasonable requests, and hurrying up to 
the chamber, he collected together an armful of juvenile garments, 
and bidding the little ones follow, he went back to the warm room 
below. He was progressing very slowly in enrobing the miniature 
men (for Mr. Baker, like many other husbands, had but an im- 
perfect idea of children's needs), when a scream caused him to 
drop a boy suddenly and run to the assistance of baby Fanny, 
who, indignant at being left alone, had crept from the low bed and 
started to descend the stairs ; but an unlucky mishap caused her to 
come bumping down on her head and shoulders, to the dismay of 
her father. Fortunately, she was not much hurt ; a little sooth- 
ing and a lump of sugar soon dried up her tears. 

" I wonder why children can't stay where they're put ! " 
thought Mr. Baker, as he wrapped a blanket about the baby, and 
sat her in a high chair, preparatory for breakfast. " But I'll get 
started right directly." 

He went on with the dressing business so summarily disturbed. 
What a number of small shirts, dresses, pinafores, socks, and shoes 
the young Bakers wore ! And the pinning and buttoning that his 
awkward fingers so bunglingiy achieved, was by no means a trifling 
item. And then Frank and Freddy helped him by "turning 
round *' the wrong way, and thrusting their arms everywhere but 
into the right sleeve. The shoes seemed several sizes too small for 
the feet they were to cover ; yet, by much pulling and working 
the task was completed. Meantime, Miss Fanny was occupying 
her leisure moments by strewing the sugar about, crumbling the 
bread, and spreading butter on the cloth. 

" How can a man look behind him, I wonder ! " muttered Mr. 
Baker, surveying the disordered table; but the complaints of ( two 
older boys ( who now made their appearance) that they should be 
late for school, made eating a paramount duty. Banging his five 
charges about the family, board, he stationed himself at the head 
to attend to their wants. He had no previous experience in that 
department, and therefore was astonished at the number of pieces 
of bread he was called upon to " spread," and the quantity of 
drink he was requested to prepare. 

"And Mrs. Baker does this three times a day! Why, I 
shan't get a chance to eat a mouthful ! " mentally ejaculated the 
husband and father, going to the closet to replenish the butter- 
plate. 

When he returned, three of his heirs were quarrelling over the 



Digitized by 



Google 



74 Mr. Baker 8 Domestic System. 

last piece of bread. Mr. Baker thought it time to " lay down " 
his rules and " get a good start " for the day. 

" Children/' he said, with as much dignity as though he were 
delivering a speech at the vestry, " children, your mother has gone 
away, and will not return till night ; but I shall stay at home with 
you, and everything will go on as usual. I trust you will make 
no noise, and prove obedient children." 

These words were undoubtedly heard, but no perceptible effect 
was manifest. The listeners were very quiet, however. There- 
was no doubt that he had " hit the nail on the head." Encouraged 
by this " good start," Mr. Baker cleared away the dishes with 
alacrity, pausing only to ask William and Charles why they didn't 
go to school. 

" 'Cause we ain't ready," replied both at once. 

" Why not P" 

" Mother brushes our clothes, and puts on our collars, and gives- 
us apples for lunch, and reads over our lessons with us, and picks, 
out the hard places on the maps, and mends our pencils, and sews 
up the holes in our pockets — I've got a great one in mine — and 
bends our hats into shape — mine's all jammed now — and " 

" Stop — that'll do," interrupted Mr. Baker, frightened at the 
length of the list of offices required of him. 

It was nothing to wield a clothes-brush, but to adjust collars- 
was another affair. He pinned and unpinned, fixed and unfixed ; 
sometimes the subjects of his operations declared that he " pricked," 
sometimes they insisted that he " pinched." But the poor collars- 
fared the worst of the three. By the time they were satisfactorily 
adjusted, Mrs. Baker would have consigned them to the wash-tub 
without an instant's hesitation. Apples were easily found, but 
they needed wiping ; whereupon the officiating manager sent one 
of the boys after a cloth — the first clause of his new system beings 
to make children wait upon themselves. Soon Charley made hia 
appearance with one of his mother's damask napkins. Mr. Baker 
said "pshaw!" not very amiably, and went for a proper article 
himself. As for the lessons and the " hard places on the map,'" 
they were left to the care of themselves. The "hole in the 
pocket " could not be so easily disposed of, for Charley declared 
that his pencils would slip through if it wasn't " run up." Up 
stairs again went the patient father, to consult Mrs. Baker's work- 
box. After marbles, nails, knives, strings, fish-hooks, and a 
dubious pocket-handkerchief had been emptied, and the receptacle 
for this heterogeneous mass duly turned (Charley had gathered up 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



Mr. Baker 8 Domestic System. 75 

one corner and tied a piece of twine around it), Mr. Baker pro- 
ceeded to repair the rent with something greatly resembling a 
darning-needle. . 

" Running down " would have been as intelligible as " running 
up " to the puzzled-looking man who had placed the owner of the 
pocket in a chair that he might be reached more conveniently! and 
now stood contemplating the ." hole" with evident misgiving. If 
he had been about to sew up a wound in the boy's flesh, he could 
not have taken the first stitch with less reluctance. His needle 
unthreaded twice (it took him in the first instance five minutes to 
thread it), and once rolled out of his large fingers to the floor, 
where it required father and two sons to find it ; but after Mr. 
Baker had worked himself into a profuse perspiration by his 
efforts, Charley was of the opinion that it would " hold : " of 
which his progenitor was by no means certain. Next the 
"jammed" hat was produced. Mr. Baker manipulated it this 
way and that, but its crushed proportions defied his skill ; it went 
" jammed" to school. Flattering himself that nothing more was 
wanted, the demonstrator of the new system wiped his face, and 
breathed a sigh of relief. 

" What are you waiting for now P " he demanded, impatiently, 
perceiving that the boys still lingered, as if wishing, yet half 
afraid to speak. 

" School's been begun most an hour ; must have an excuse ; 
get punished for being late, if we don't," spoke up Charley. 

" I've half a mind to make you go without one, for spoiling 
hats and breaking shoe-strings," responded the impatient father. 
** However, one of you go and get the inkstand, and I'll write one ; 
I can't wait upon you any longer." 

A boy bounded up the staircase, seized the inkstand and 
bounded down, spilling half its contents over a smaller boy. 

" Why can't boys (and he might have added men) carry any- 
thing without slopping?" grumbled Mr. Baker, surveying the 
black circle which the inkstand left on the table-cloth. " I wish 
1 had gone myself ! " 

The remedy for lateness being put upon paper, Charles and 
William went on their way rejoicing, to the great satisfaction of 
the senior Baker. 

It must not be supposed that the three smaller juveniles were 
inactive during his relaxation of surveillance. Rare reasoners are 
-children. Perceiving no watchful eyes upon them, they commenced 
amusing themselves in their own way. Their chubby hands and 

Digitized by VjvJOVt l^. 



76 Mr. Baker's Domestic System. 

the bed of ashes under the grate were soon in contact ; while tiny 
heaps began to multiply upon the floor under their nimble fingers, 
between which they made railroads, placing chips thereupon for 
cars, and a large piece of coal for an engine. 

That his eyes could not be everywhere was fully obvious ; that 
children required more watching, much stricter attention than he 
had before imagined, was another evident conclusion ; and that 
the labour of attending to the wants of the five young Bakers 
was not inconsiderable nor to be performed without fatigue, he 
was also, just then, inclined to admit. He had assuredly " started 
right," yet for some singular reason, his system didn't work tohia 
mind. It had met with unexpected obstacles, and was rapidly 
running ofE the track. Half the day was nearly spent. What 
had he accomplished P Nothing — absolutely nothing ; or at least, 
that was the word he felt sure Mrs. Baker would have chosen to- 
apply to his morning's work. * 

Still there was yet time to redeem his mistakes ; between that 
and night, he promised himself to take a new tack ; to triumph- 
antly walk over the difficulties relating to the management of 
children. 

After proper reprimands, the trio of offenders were placed 
upon chairs, where they remained perched until Mr. Baker's back 
was turned, when they slid down noiselessly to look about for 
amusement. The culinary department required attention ; five 
hungry children would soon be wanting dinner ; he proposed try- 
ing his skill at a soup. Mrs. Baker made very good soup, but he 
was confident he could make a better. He was some time in getting 
the materials together, and once he came very near scalding one 
of his male heirs, who persisted in disregarding his directions to 
" keep off ; " but the necessary articles were at length collected in 
a pot and put to simmering over the fire, which he made of such 
intensity that he burned his compound. in less than half an hour. 
That accident didn't add to the fineness of its flavour, which he- 
was a little suspicious of before, from the fact that he had, in an 
unlucky moment, substituted ginger for pepper. But congra- 
tulating himself " that the children wouldn't taste it," he 
poured his preparation into a large tureen, and seating his noisy 
boys and girls, who were clamouring for " something to eat," he 
proceeded to divide the spoils. All being duly served, Mr. Baker 
stirred the soup thoroughly, and helped himself to a ladle full. 
The first mouthful was smart— the next smarter — the third 
smartest. That was owing to the ginger. But then ginger was. 



Digitized by 



Google 



^ Mr. Baker' 8 Domestic System. 77 

highly sanitive, and prized for many purposes ; that was no dis- 
paragement to the soup. His mouth felt uncomfortably warm, 
while an incessant call for "drink" kept him trotting busily 
between the pump and the table. 

But though he slily wet his own lips with the cooling liquid, 
he was not going to retire vanquished from the field, albeit the 
bitter mingled with the sweet. He made another dive at the 
bottom of the dish, bringing up a suspicious-looking object, which 
he deposited upon his plate for closer inspection. It proved to be 
one of Fanny's shoes ; and it was neither nice nor tender. T/iat 
did not increase his appetite, or add to his admiration of that 
young lady's behaviour. No one participated in his discovery but 
Charley, whose astonished exclamations were cut short by a frown 
from his father, who dexterously pushed the dripping shoe between 
the tureen and a large pitcher, that eight other eyes might not 
detect it. 

" What torments children are ! " mentally ejaculated Mr. 
Baker, wiping his moist forehead after dinner. " It isn't possible 
the little plagues act like this all the time ! If they do, I shouldn't 
blame the women for committing suicide or going crazy ! Here 
I've questioned the mischievous imps, and not one of them knows 
anything about the confounded shoe. I've a good mind to whip 
them all and put them to bed ! '' 

But the performance of this threat would prevent a satisfactory 
demonstration of his system ; therefore it was given up as inex- 
pedient. 

Stepping out a moment for something which he needed, he 
charged his charges (Charles and William having gone to school 
again) to be very quiet and do no mischief in the interim. A 
sheer waste of words ! Mischief lurked in their eyes, smiled on 
their lips ; mischief was largely represented in their compositions, 
and it must have an outlet. Scarcely had the door closed behind 
the retiring Mr. Baker, than the trio started on a voyage of dis- 
covery. Frank, being the oldest, led the expedition, which took 
for its first field of operations the kitchen closet. Pushing a chair 
before him to render less difficult the pleasant task in prospective, 
he mounted it and took a peep into the sugar-bowl. Generously 
giving his brother and sister two small lumps apiece, he stuffed his 
own mouth to repletion, casting, meantime, longing glances at a 
jar of jam beyond his reach. A logical mind had Master Frank 
for a boy of five. He thought that if he had a high chair, or was 
as tall as Charley, he could touch the coveted article ; the next 



Digitized by 



Googk 



78 Mr. Baker'* Domestic System. 

link in the chain of his reasoning was, how could he make the 
chair he was in higher P A square box stood on the shelf on a 
level with his feet. He jumped down, pushed it on to the chair, 
and climbed up again. Now for the jam ! His little mouth and 
two other little mouths watered for the delicious compound. He 
knew he was " doing mischief," but that very knowledge made 
him more eager to touch the earthen jar ; for is it not a truism 
that stolen fruit is the sweetest P Standing on his toes, and stretch- 
ing his body as much as convenient, he was about grasping the 
treasure when down came boy, box, and chair — chair uppermost. 
The young climber was not heavy, yet his weight was sufficient to 
break the slight box cover, plunge his feet into a layer of choice 
honeycomb, slide the box off, and overturn the chair. 

Much surprised at this unlooked for manifestation, but not a 
bit hurt, Master Frank essayed to rise. That, however, promised 
to be a matter of some difficulty, inasmuch as both feet were firmly 
imbedded in the sticky substance. ' By struggling he extricated 
himself, and the expectant ones, having no scruples against the 
contact of honey and leather, set about regaling themselves in a 
very primitive mode with their fingers. Freddy, stretching over 
Fanny for his share, dropped a liberal allowance on her hair and his 
own pinafore, and then tried to repair his mistake by rubbing both 
with his hands, to the detriment of the silky hair, which assumed 
at every brush of his fingers a still gummier aspect. 

In the midst of this sweet repast Mr. Baker returned. One 
glance at Frank's feet, Frederic's apron, and Fanny's head, includ- 
ing their hands and faces, and the dripping box upon the floor, 
explained the nature of what presented itself. He shook one, 
boxed a second, and slapped a third, before recollecting that he was 
opposed to physical punishment. And Fanny's hair! What 
would Mrs. Baker say ! How should he get the honey off P He 
was undecided where or how to begin. He had just taken her 
locks in hand when the door-bell was heard to ring. * Commanding 
the offenders on no account to leave the room, he started for the 
door. It was a lady whose acquaintance he valued. He shook 
hands with her heartily, and invited her in. The lady was polite, 
but eyed her glove furtively. Our founder of a new system 
thought of his hands and apologised, telling some out-of-the-way 
story, extremely improbable. 

The disagreeable subject was hardly disposed of before the 
three victims of honey appeared, bashfully sliding in, one after 
the other; Frank with his shoes sticking to the Brussels at 



Digitized by 



Google 



31 r. Baker 8 Domestic System. 79 

every step, Frederic with dripping apron, and Fanny in her night- 
dress (Mr. Baker hadn't been able to find time to put on more 
presentable apparel) and bare feet (one shoe was under the stove 
drying). 

The father of this interesting group peremptorily ordered them 
out, and wished himself in Japan. Was there ever a man so 
harassed by adverse circumstances and — children P The lady not 
finding her host very talkative, and somewhat flurried in manner 
withal, took leave very soon, thinking the little Bakers not at all 
attractive, and shockingly neglected ; while the disturbed master 
of the mansion took his way to the kitchen, lamenting the 
inauspicious chance that had shown her his progeny in such a 
plight. Mrs. Baker would never forgive his agency in the unfor- 
tunate occurrence, priding herself as she did on the general clean- 
liness and tidiness of her offspring. What could possess the 
little torments to come trooping in unbidden, with their fingers in 
their mouths and said mouths very dirty P To plague him, doubt- 
less, and make their mother miserable when she came to hear 
of it. 

It was somewhere in the vicinity of four o'clock when Mr. 
Baker got time to sit down. His limbs ached with weariness, and 
his head felt fit for nothing but a pillow. Yet desirous of show- 
ing his wife that he could find leisure for what he had proposed 
doing, he produced pen, ink, and paper, and commenced a letter ; 
writing to begin with, with one eye on the sheet and the other on 
the children, who were penitently sitting in a row, just still enough 
to be meditating more mischief. The indefatigable but unfortu- 
nate Baker was soon absorbed in his occupation, forgetful of the 
responsibility resting upon him. Casually raising his eyes at 
length, he beheld Fanny with a suspicious-looking vial to her lips, 
and hastened to take it from her. Unlucky child ! it was labelled 
" Laudanum." 

The effect of this terrific discovery upon the nervous system of 
the father was most startling. It was the grand climax of his 
experiment — fatal alike to that and to Fanny. The vial was empty, 
but still emitted a flavour of the execrable drug which it had con- 
tained. No time was to be lost. The paternal Baker caught up 
his hat and ran for medical aid at a speed truly, indicative of the 
present emergency. He was tearing by Mr. Ball's house at a 
frantic pace, when he was hailed by Mrs. Baker, who, from the 
window of her friend's dwelling, had perceived his hurried 
advance. 



Digitized by 



Google 



80 Mr. Baker" 8 Domestic System. 

" What, for pity's sake, is the matter, Mr. Baker P " cried the 
anxious wife. 

" Fanny — laudanum — doctor ! " replied he, much out of breath. 

"There's not a drop of laudanum in the house," added Mrs. 
Baker. 

"The vial — the vial!" exclaimed the husband, in tones so 
tragical that they were frightfully Othello-like: 

" There was nothing in it." 

" Are you sure P " 

Mrs. Baker assured him that she was perfectly sure, and the 
alarmed father began to live again. After enjoying the revulsion 
of feeling, he said, with as much coolness as he could summon : 
" Perhaps you are thinking of coming home, and, as I am here, I 
may as well wait for you." 

Mrs. Baker was quite ready to accompany the founder of the 
new system for the training of children. 

" I'm afraid, Mr. Baker, that you didn't get a good start," she 
remarked, on getting home, and glancing at the children and their 
various occupations. 

There were traces of the day's march of confusion, disorder, 
and destruction in every direction the prudent housewife could 
turn her eyes. Mr. Baker shrank into himself in absolute dismay ; 
and when he saw Mrs. Ball glide in, with an expression mercilessly 
quizzical, he attempted to make a desperate rush out of the 
premises. But he couldn't do it ; his egress was prevented by 
Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Ball. 

" The system is demonstrated ! " quoth Mrs. Ball. 

" And a wonderful system it is ! " said Mrs. Baker. u There's 
no honey on Fanny's hair ; no blacking on Franky's face ; no ink 
on Freddy's hands ; no ashes on the floor ; no grease nor butter 
on the table-cloth ; no chips on the stove ; no water on the chairs ; 
no crumbs on the shelves; no confusion and disorder anywhere 
prevalent ! How stupid women are, not to- know how to take care 
of children, and how silly they are to complain of troubles and 
trials, when the whole thing can be reduced to a science !" 

" What kind of hat do you prefer, Mr. Baker — an ordinary 
beaver, or a Wide-awake P " queried his fairer half. « 

"A Wide-awake most probably," asserted Mrs. Ball. 

Mr. Baker said not a word, but nervously drew forth his 
pocket-book and took therefrom two sovereigns which he handed 
to his wife with a subdued manner that was very significant ; it 
was an appropriation for a new velvet bonnet — an eloquent con- 
Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



The Lord's Messenger. 81 

f 6881011 of the fallibility of his system. An elegant piece of head- 
gear, which attracted much attention, appeared in the Baker pew 
the next Sunday. 

The moral of the story is obvious. Woman's life is, to the 
majority of men, a profound secret ; they know little of its trials. 
Its cares, labours, and perplexities are an arcanum so deep and 
mystical, that they pass on through the trodden way of existence, 
receiving of her ministrations without pausing to ask the cost of 
what is enjoyed without cessation from the cradle to the final 
resting-place of humanity. 



THE LORD'S MESSENGER. 

ALL night the passionate sobbing of the rain 
Bade me arise, and let some angel in ; 
Fierce, like the anguish of an unshrived sin, 
Rose that wild summons at my window-pane : 
I stirred not in my fear ; it strove again, 
And yet again, its weary way to win 
Through the closed casement — strove with wail akin 
- To some lost soul in hell — alas, in vain ! 

Would I had hearkened I Now the day is here, 
And lo ! one cometh, not to be denied. 
" The Lord have pity on thy bitter need ! 
Last night He sent, while death held poised his spear 
O'er thy beloved, who had perchance not died, 

Hadst thou but prayed ;— alas, thou wouldst not heed !" 

Evelyn Pynb. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 82 ) 



A CONVERT'S REMINISCENCE. 

AS the Jews of old time had their great central Temple, in 
which were celebrated those more solemn rites forbidden 
to the local Tabernacles ; so we, the " Anglo-Catholics " of the 

" Anglo- Catholic " stronghold of could boast of our Temple ; 

whither, at certain stated seasons, but more especially on the great 
annual " Day of Atonement," we were wont to repair, for the pur- 
pose of participating in those more sacred functions denied us 
nearer home. Let not my reader suppose, natural or even reason- 
able though such supposition might be, that our " Temple " was 
known either as St. Paul's Cathedral or Westminster Abbey. True ; 
we had grown somewhat less ashamed of the " Protestantism " of 
the Metropolitan Cathedral, since, by a daily celebration of the 
" Holy Communion or Lord's Supper," it had given us occasion to 
sing " Te Deum " for the " restoration to England's great 
Cathedral of the daily Sacrifice of the Mass ; " still, spite of this 
step in the right direction, it was only a step ; and although of 
-course, in a change of so " Catholic " a nature, we read prophecies 
of still greater things to come, we did so only in the sense in which 
the fond mother may, read prophecies of the future orator in 
the first whisperings of her lisping babe. As for Westminster 
Abbey, I think there were but few amongst us who did not regard 
that " Home of Heresy " with such a holy horror, that, save an 
occasional pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Edward, we rarely ven- 
tured within its unhallowed walls. 

When I inform my readers that the particular functions for- 
bidden to the " local Tabernacle " consisted of the more distinctive 
and " consoling rites of the Sister Communion of Rome," they will 
no longer wonder that we found our "Temple" in neither Protestant 
Cathedral nor Parish Church, but in a certain modern conventual 
pile known as "St. Matilda's Convent," or in presence of the 
weaker brethren, " St. Matilda's Sisterhood.*' Yes, here was our 
" Temple," the dwelling-place, as of fight things, so of right names ; 
where the " Mass " was no longer the " Celebration," where 
41 Vespers " ceased to be " Even song," and where the " Virgin 
Mary " put off her too homely attire for the more queenly apparel 
of " Our Blessed Lady," for, were we not, here, far away from the 
tainted atmosphere of our "heretical" Bishops, those naughty 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



A Convert's Reminiscence. 83- 

Bishops, who could never understand that candles were ordained 
for other purposes than that of dispelling the darkness of the night ; 
who, when appealed to by the more inconsistent, compromising 
few, would persist in their denial, that the " Church of England 
as by Law Established " either imposed on her children in general 
the duty of fasting, or upon their Lordships in particular the 
power of dispensing ; who would, in a word, appear to go out of 
their way to give the lie to the teaching of those who were never 
tired of telling us, their " spiritual sons," that they, and they alone, 
were the true expounders of the doctrines of the u English Branch 
of the Church Catholic P " Yes, and what a relief too, to be far 
away from Lord Penzance and his " usurping court," and those 
" arch-heretics," the " Church Association," who supplied the fuel 
for the fires enkindled by the Representative of Her Majesty sitting 
at Westminster ; indeed, were we not far away from everybody 
and everything, that might or could come between us and that full 
mid-day blaze of Catholic splendour, in whose life-giving heat and 
light we might bask to our heart's content P For what desire, how- 
ever extravagant, was not fulfilled within those walls, that enshrined 
the very " Holy of Holies " itself P Had we not our " Benediction 
of the Sacrament of the Altar P" Were we not blessed with 
" Perpetual Reservation P " Did not the sacred cloisters echo to the 
strains of the ancient Yesper Chant P 

In a word, could we not imagine ourselves enjoying all that 
even Rome could give, combined with that which Rome could not 
give — freedom from the fetters of .her own "superstitions," re- 
surrection from the whited sepulchre of her own " corruptions P " 

Alas, such is the blinding power of heresy ; for blinded indeed 
we were, not insincere, but believing we could see in the dark, or 
rather, not knowing we were in the dark. How strange for us who, 
through the mercy of Heaven, have been borne aloft from the 
valley of dead men's bones, to the Sion of life and light, to look 
down upon that more than Egyptian darkness, and to tell our- 
selves that we have passed through it, not only as through the 
" valley of the shadow of death," but that we have been able to 
say of it, " It is good for us to be here, here will I dwell, for I have 
chosen it." 

I have made allusion to the great " Day of Atonement.' 1 Be 
it known, then, that " St. Matilda's Day " was regarded as such, 
by those thirteen or fourteen hundred privileged " Catholics " who, 
on that day, in response to the special invitation of the " Reverend 
Mother," and the " Father Chaplain," found themselves gathered 



Digitized by 



Google 



84 A Canverfs Reminiscence. 

together, at the shrine of the " Most Holy/' for the purpose, among 
other sacred duties, of making reparation " for all the injuries done 
to our Blessed Lord in the Adorable Sacrament of the Altar/' by 
all the Eight Reverend Bishops, most of the Very Reverend Deans, 
Archdeacons and Canons, the great majority of Vicars, Rectors and 
Curates, nine hundred and ninty-nine out of every thousand of the 
lay portion of the " faithful " — in a word, the exceptions so few as 
to be unworthy of notice, by the whole body of the " English Branch 
of the Church Catholic, the one lawful guardian and expounder of 
Catholic Truth, within these realms." " I, and I only, am left, 
and they seek my life to take it away," would have made an appro- 
rate text for the sermon on such an occasion. 

Besides those who took part in the great annual pilgrimage, 
there were a certain more highly favoured few who would pay this 
" Fountain of refreshment to pilgrims far away " more lengthened 
visits. They were, for the most part, affiliated to the " Convent " 
as Associates in imitation of the Third Orders of the Church. 
During their stay, which might last a week or even more, as the 
" Convent " itself furnished accommodation only for the " lady " 
portion of the " Associates/' the " gentlemen," unless invited to 
partake of the hospitality of the "Father Chaplain," would "put 
up " at the little old-fashioned town, about two miles distant from 
the "Convent." 

Both among the one class and the other, I boasted many friend s, 
and, whenever, in my youthful fervour and the greatness of my 
romantic love for the Church of ancient days, I ventured to express 
my fears that our efforts to restore her would end in disappoint- 
ment, or even in disaster, I was reminded that I had not yet been to 
" St. Matilda's." There I should learn what restored, uncorrupted, 
primitive Catholicism, did mean ; there I should behold, not the 
birth of good things indeed ; for the English Church of to-day, 
being identical with the English Church of St. Augustine and St. 
Thomas, it followed that the old English Carthusians, and Bene- 
dictines, and Friar8,were as truly the children of the English Church 
of our day, as of their own ; but, more glorious than even the birth, 
which brings with it the seeds of corruption and death, I should be- 
hold the resurrection from that corruption, and from the death to 
which it led. I resolved to make my first pilgrimage to this modern 
temple of ancient wisdom, there to see with my own eyes, and to 
hear with my own ears, the many and great things that had been 
told me. 

Having sought and obtained a letter of introduction to the 



Digitized by 



Google 



A Converts Reminiscence. 85 

" Father Chaplain" of St. Matilda's, from my friend "Father 

," I set out for my journey, on a fine morning about the 

beginning of August 187 — . 

An enthusiastic youth of eighteen, turning his back upon the 
dry dreary sands of the desert of a lifetime, and his face towards 
the land of promise ; where, instead of gall, should be found honey ; 
instead of ashes, bread ; where the sackcloth should be exchanged 
for the garment of feasting and the wailing of the. mourner for the 
song of the victor. Imagine, gentle reader, if you can, the flush of 
joy and pride that suffused his brow, the hope that illuminated his 
soul, as with the rosy hues that wake the summer-day ; the peace- 
ful restlessness, I had almost said, of that journey that seemed so 
l° n g> yet too fruitful of joy to be tedious ; and can you wonder that 
he found no time to give admittance to the dreadful doubt, that did, 
through the mercy of heaven, succeed in passing the open portals 
of later days P 

The train at length stopped at the small and sleepy station of 
the proportionately small and sleepy town of — — . At least, I 
have learnt since that such it is ; for not the soul of Dante, nor 
even of Shakespeare himself, could have painted aught half so fair 
as the picture which greeted my imagination, perhaps, rather than 
my eyes, on alighting upon that platform, on that sunny August 
afternoon, not quite ten years ago. Was it then really come to 
pass, that which seemed all too good for life P Could it be, that, in 
a few short moments, and I should actually enter the land, which 
up to this, had found a place in my imagination only as the land 
that was " very far off P " My readers will appreciate the feeling ; 
the feeling that refuses to believe in the realization of any long- 
anticipated, long-desired event. The day at length dawns and 
too swiftly brings us face to face with the hour we have not had 
time to prepare for ; and, in our bewilderment, the dreadful doubt, 
whether we must not be dreaming, enters our mind ; we stagger, 
rub our eyes to make sure they are open, and — thank heaven ! no ; 
parts are too harmoniously one, the march of events is too clearly 
visible, for what our longing eyes at last see, and our ears hear, to 
be anything but the reality it is. True ; life has few such happy 
surprises in store for her mourning children ; but, surely, of that 
few, all have tasted. 

I looked about me ; and I think there was not a single official 
whom I did not regard with envy, as being an unconscious Minister 
at the Shrine of the Most Holy. 

In less than half an hour, and the spires of " St. Matilda's " are 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



86 A Converts Reminiscence. 

pointing with hallowed finger to that heaven whose silent preachers 
they are ; and not ancient Sion's marble domes and shining turrets 
ever rejoiced the heart of seer or prophet more than that first 
glimpse, that earnest of good things to come, rejoiced the heart of 
that poor wanderer, who, like some storm-tossed mariner, whom the 
darkness has made its victim, took the island of quicksands for the 
land that was, indeed, still " very far off." But, it was night. 

And now the Convent is reached. My hand is on the bell ; 
and, oh, what music echoes and re-echoes, along cloister and quad- 
rangle and cloister again, to be taken up by the music, hardly les» 
joyous, of the monastic rattling of keys, and the slow soft tramp,, 
tramp, tramp, of the solemn lay-sister, who at leogth unbars and 
throws open the great Gothic door. Yes ; I may enter. Reverently^ 
with bowed head and throbbing heart, I obey. I am ushered 
into the presence of the " sister-porter," who smilingly rises to- 
receive me. Our first greeting over, I remark, with tremulous 
accent, that I believe they are blessed with " perpetual reserva- 
tion." " Yes," the good Sister replies — " we could not live with- 
out it." 

Behold, gentle reader, in these words, spoken, I verily believe, 
in sincerity deep as ever sent martyr to the stake, the raison 
d'Mre of this paper. Spite of my anticipations, unexpectedly 
wonderful the things I both saw and heard, during my sojourn in 
that strange place ; but nothing is so fresh in my memory, at thia 
distance of well-nigh ten years, as those heart-rending words of that 
poor woman. 

The scene is before me as I write. The little room, with its 
bare white walls and uncarpeted floor, the small wooden table, the 
couple of wooden chairs, the high, narrow, Gothic window, and, that 
which always furnishes the barest room, the Crucifix over the fire- 
place ; but, more vividly than all, the pale worn face of that mis- 
taken, misguided woman, and the thin accent of that silvery voice, 
whose every word told unmistakably of the high-bred English 
lady, the child of English refinement, and one of the truest children 
of English sincerity. 

" We could not live without it/' She was filling up the long 
hours of her unwelcome office with needlework, and as she uttered 
the most affecting half-dozen words it has ever been my lot to 
give ear to, she looked up from her work ; and I saw that the pale- 
ness had given place to the gentle flush of joy, the eyes were shin- 
ing with the thoughts the tongue could not utter, a smile that 
spoke of rest after toil was playing about the lips, and the whole- 



Digitized by 



Google 



A Convert? 8 Reminiscence. 87 

countenance proclaiming in tones too loud to be misunderstood, 
the truth of her earnestly spoken words. 

When a child of the Church, mindful of the high idea which 
his own divinely-guided Mother has of her awful responsibility 
with regard to religious congregations, and more especially con- 
gregations of women ; how careful she is to see that her religious 
daughters have full liberty to address themselves not only to their 
own superiors, but if need be, to their Bishop, or even to Rome 
herself ; how jealous she is about admitting them to life-long vows ; 
how only those institutes she has approved, only those rules she 
has sanctioned, are even tolerated ; how stringent are her laws in 
respect of visitation of convents by the higher superiors for the 
redress of possible evils and for the solving of doubts and diffi- 
culties ; when, I say, a child of the Church, mindful of the con- 
stant and loving care, and even anxiety of his mother, in behalf 
of her religious children, remembers such institutions as that to 
which I have introduced my readers — the self -ordained Superiors, 
" unsent," unprepared, without law or lawyer, destitute alike of 
experience, precedent, and tradition, yet wielding the sceptre of a 
power, simply absolute and final ; and those forty or fifty women, 
their subjects, bound over, in conscience, to obey the fiat of that 
power, simply unique on this earth, in virtue of their vow; would 
he not prove himself all undeserving of his own deliverance from 
the house of bondage, did not a holy indignation fire his breast, 
and make him almost yearn for the right to do what that One 
alone can do, who said : " It is written, My house shall be called 
the house of prayer, but ye have made it a den of thieves P " 

Alas, that the innocent and generous should be decoyed from the 
substance that can never be stolen, to the shadow that has been. 
" We speak that which we know ; we testify to that which we have 
seen." I knew one, and none knew him better than myself, who, 
as far as human judgment can see, owes his present freedom, his 
present obedience to lawful authority, to his happy disobedience to 
unlawful authority. And I do not forget that that was one told by 
the said unlawful authority, that such happy disobedience was proof 
patent that his yearning after the authority that was lawful was from 
the Evil One. " Providence has placed you in my hands," were 
his words ; " and to consult a Romish priest or open a Romish book 
when I forbid you, is to disobey not me, but God." 

Another I knew, who of the same unlawful authority humbly 
and earnestly sought permission to read Dr. Bagshawe's " Thresh- 
old of the Catholic Church." Her prayer was angrily rejected ; 
Vol. xnr. No. 162. * 8 

Digitized by LiOOgLe 



88 A Convert* Reminiscenoe. 

and she was told, that, should she dare read the book, she would be 
guilty of mortal sin. Another was absolutely forbidden even to 
receive a " Romanist" into her house ; and, during the space of well- 
nigh four years, was the subject of a tyranny so oppressive, so 
universal, that not an hour of the day but was blighted by its bane- 
ful shadow ; and in neither of these cases waa the conscience bound 
by vow or semblance of vow. But " if they do these things in the 
green wood, what will they do in the dry ? " 

To return to St. Matilda's. After learning that I had come in 
time for all the good things of the " Feast of the Holy Name," I 
left the sister- porter to find the Father Chaplain. He inhabited a 
picturesque little cottage, in the Gothic style, within the Convent 
grounds, but detached from the Convent itself. Here I found him ; 

and after reading my letter of introduction from " Father " 

he expressed his regret that he could not himself entertain me, as 
his only spare rooms were occupied by two friends, who like myself 
were on a visit to the " Convent." One of these, whom I saw much 
of later, was an American " Priest/' the other a young man, some- 
what older than myself, and an " Associate " of St. Matilda's. On 
asking the " Father Chaplain's " leave to visit the " Blessed Sacra- 
ment," I was told, to my great disappointment, that he would have to 
intercede for me with the " Reverend Mother ;" but that he thought 
I might hope for the best ; this meant waiting till the morrow. 

My readers must understand that the " Convent " boasted two 
chapels ; the " Great Chapel," where the functions were performed, 
and the " Secret Chapel," where were reserved the " consecrated 
elements," and known as the " Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament." 
To the former, I was conducted by the " Father Chaplain " on the 
evening of my arrival; and, on entering, was surprised to see 
what bore all the resemblance of a Tabernacle ; but, on inquiry, 
I learned that it was simply a solid block of wood, used as a 
" Throne" for the monstrance at "Benediction." By-the-by, 
there was a clever bit of management gone through on the Sunday 
evenings, with the intention of deceiving the neighbourhood as to 
the nature of the " Convent doings." At seven o'clock (note the 
orthodox hour), the unregenerate public of the town and sur- 
rounding villages were admitted to the " great chapel " to take 
part in the service of " Evening Prayer," as " appointed to be 
said or sung in all the churches and chapels of England and 
Ireland." Nothing could have been more satisfactorily "Pro- 
testant ; " nothing in more ridiculous contrast to what followed, 
as soon as the last of the " Dearly Beloved Brethren " had passed 



Digitized by 



Google 



A Converts Reminiscetocb*. 89 

beyond the sacred precincts, and the bolts safely drawn behind him; 
But of this anon. 

Being anxious to see and enjoy as much of St. Matilda's as 
possible, I was enabled, by the kind hospitality of the " Father 
Chaplain/ 1 to spend the greater part of each day of my stay at the' 
" Convent " itself, whither I arrived each morning from my 
lodging in the town, in time for the first of the two " Masses." 

There is but little to remark a prapos of the "Low Mass*' 
except that the great difference between the " Romish original " 
and the " English adaptation/' consisting of omissions rather than 
more direct corruptions, did not here prevail, for such omissions 
were faithfully supplied. 

A word as to the " Secret Chapel." It opened off the " Great 
Chapel/' from which, indeed, it was separated, only by a series of 
heavy curtains, so arranged that one might have passed them 
again and again, as I myself did, without suspecting the presence 
of anything behind. The Father Chaplain's intercession proved, 
as he had predicted, successful ; so, under the guidance of the 
young "Associate" of whom I have already made mention, I 
was admitted to this " abode of mystery." The Chapel, Gothic 
in style, was small, but artificially divided into two parts of about 
equal size, that in which the altar, with its tabernacle, all aglow 
with gold and precious stones was placed, being treated as the 
sanctuary, although, architecturally speaking, it formed but the 
half of what would be more correctly described as a very beauti- 
ful but small family-oratory. The decorations, the colouring, 
the gilding, all contributed to the mysterious awe that seemed to 
pervade the atmosphere. To the left of the sanctuary, in an 
exquisitely carved niche, stood a remarkably beautiful statue of 
the Blessed Virgin, before which lights were kept always burning. 
I need hardly add that the lamp found its place before the Taber- 
nacle. 

I frequently availed myself of the privilege afforded me by 
the " Reverend Mother " of visiting this chapel ; and I think I 
never passed beneath those mysterious curtains, but through the 
" dim religious light " amounting, indeed, to a faint twilight, my 
eyes fell on the prostrate forms of some six or seven of the 
" watching sisters." Gentle reader, does not your heart bleed for 
them P And do you not pray that they and all such as they may 
yet say with St. Thomas Aquinas before the altar of the true 
Church — " Adoro te devote, latens deitas ? " With regard to the 
" Benediction " there is little to add to what Hay readers are already 

Digitized by G00gk 



$0 A Converts Reminiscence. 

80 familiar with ; the rite as performed at " St. Matilda's " beings 
almost the counterpart of that of the Church. The "Priest," 
bearing the "host" in a pyx, was preceded from the "Secret 
Chapel/- by the acolytes, clad in white and scarlet, and by the 
"Novice- nuns" bearing lighted lamps and the fragrance of the 
choicest incense, and to straine of the softest music. Suffice it to 
add that the vestments were of the richest, the altar ablaze with 
light and colour, and the monstrance as of precious stone itself, in 
the flashing of its myriad diamond and sapphire. Besides the 
"Benediction," there was "Exposition" in the "Secret Chapel" 
twice during the week, " Missa Cantata " on Sundays and feast- 
days ; and, of course, recitation of the " Canonical Hours " at the 
seven orthodox times of the day. These were presided over by 
the "Reverend Mother," English translations of the Catholic 
original being always employed. I was much struck by the 
seeming wealth of the " Convent." Everything was of the richest. 
I must, however, except the Refectory, where, judging from the 
tables which I saw one day set for the dinner, I should say 
poverty certainly was practised. Indeed, I have reason to believe, 
both from what I myself witnessed, and from what 1 have heard 
from others who know " St. Matilda's " better than myself, that 
their vow of poverty is no more a pretence than certainly is their 
vow of obedience. But the altar-plate, the vestments, the altar- 
antependia — of which, I heard, there were none under the value of 
three hundred pounds — and the chapel appointments generally, 
were such that I fear he would be. charged with exaggeration who 
should attempt a description of them. 

For obvious reasons, I forbear giving a more detailed account 
of the architectural features of the Convent, beyond saying that 
the style was early English and arranged both without and within 
and in all respects, as a properly-disposed convent of any active 
Order within the Church. The situation of " St. Matilda's," sur- 
rounded by its own park lands, and bordering on one of the most 
beautiful of the southern counties, was perfect. 

And now, I hear my readers asking themselves : " Can they be 
in earnest P Can they be happy P " If earnestness is compatible 
with fear, to the first question, yes. If happiness is not 
compatible with fear, to the second question, no. Fear ; for the 
very " raison d'&tre " is that it should act as a breakwater, to keep 
back that impetuous stream of aspiring souls, ever issuing forth 
from the " stony ground " with which it cannot combine, from 
gaining the "good ground" of the one only Church of God. 



Digitized by 



Google 



To St. Base of Lima. 91 

" What can you want more than the Church of your Baptism can 
give youP" is the sophism, hollow as it is cruel, which has 
enkindled within many a seeking soul those fierce fires of the 
doubt which tortures even to the moral ctaath ; and from which, 
alas, too often, it is to be feared, there is no resurrection. 

Is not the " father of lies " true to himself in the nineteenth 
century, as when he said in the first : " All these things will I 
give thee if thou wilt fall down and adore me P "* 

F. E. A. 



TO ST. ROSE OF LIMA. 

"Wten a strange race shall oonquer Peru, the son Trill claim his bride from among the 
daughters of the Inoas."— Peruvian Prophecy. 

HAIL I Treasure of the Incaa true I 
Fairer than golden dross; 
Ruse jewelled with celestial dew, 

Beneath the Southern Cross 1 
Hail I flower of peerless charm and grace, 
Hail ! blossom of the desert place, 
Bride of the Sun ! 

Sweet Rosemary I the blessed name 

Christ's Mother bade thee wear ; 
Still rosemaries (ah, precious fame !) 

The holy Cross do bear. 
Type of the sinless Virgin's dole, 
The Calvary of Mary's soul ; 

Love's martyred One. 

For aye thou liv'st, O mystic bud, 

Within a soil divine; 
Liv'st by the shower of Precious Blood, 

The beams that on thee shine I 
Bloom of the thorny crown thou art t 
The Spouse, the Rose of Jesus' Heart H* 

Bride of the Sun I 

Mabt C. Obowlky. 

* We have had doubts whether this paper would be intelligible to many of 
our readers. How can those whom it describes remain outside the One Church 
wherein God has promised (in this Eucharistio sense also) to abide for ever P 
But noblesse oblige ; and what solemn responsibilities press upon us who axe 
within t— Ed. L M. 

t In the Office of her feast, August SO, we read that Our Lord deigned to say 
to this first Saint of South America : " Rosa cordis mei, tu mihi sponsa esto." 



Digitized by 



Google 



r: ( 92. ) 



r . THE O'bONNELL PAPERS. 

PART XXI.* 
Mobqan O'Connill— Spbing Riok—Smtth O'Bbibn— Thomaa Davis. 

THE twentieth day of January just past was the first anni- 
versary of the death of Mr. Morgan O'Connell, to whose 
great and persevering kindness this Magazine owes the privilege 
of being the medium of giving to the world many interesting 
relics of his illustrious father, the Liberator of Ireland. The 
world has not a long memory, but Daniel O'Connell is one of the 
few whom the world' will never forget ; and many will in time 
to come turn to these pages for the fragments of the diary of his 
early manhood, for some of his own letters, and many addressed 
to him by Cobbett, Brougham, and many others. 

Before resuming our transcription of documents, which must 
be taken almost at random, and which we do not deem it necessary 
to arrange in chronological order, it is fitting to pay a brief tribute 
of affection and respect to the memory of the excellent man who 
confided to us a trust to which we now promise to be more 
faithful than we have been. Morgan O'Connell was the second 
of O'ConnelTs sons, being born in 1805. Maurice, the eldest, 
and John, the third son, died many years before him, and the 
only one of O'ConnelTs sons % how living is the youngest, Daniel. 
In one of Mrs. O'ConnelTs most wifely and motherly letters, the 
perusal of which has given us a high opinion of her head and 
heart, she writes to her husband: "Your doats were all in 
the drawingroom when we got your letter last night. They had 
twenty questions to ask, the chief one being when will their father 
come home P I believe no children ever loved their father as yours 
do, heart. When they speak of you, their little eyes sparkle with 
pleasure — even silent Morgan and saucy Kate." The next reference 

* The immediately preceding: instalment of this series will be found at page 
589 of our twelfth annual volume. Through our own fault, not through any 
dearth of materials, the series was suspended during the whole of the past year 
1885. At page 102 of the volume just referred to we said that in spite of the 
negotiations with Henry Brougham, O'Connell had never actually become poor 
Queen Caroline's Attorney-General for Ireland. Mr. W. J. Fitzpatrick has been 
good enough to mention to us that lie possesses letters signed formally by 
O'Connell as Attorney-General to the Qmen. 



Digitized by 



Google 



The ffCmneU Paper*. «93 

"we find ocours in a letter from the venerable Father Peter Kenny, 
whose memory even still is respected and not by those alone who 
look up to him as one of the founders of the Society of Jesus in 
Ireland. Writing to O'Oonnell from Clongbwes Wood on the 3rd 
of August, 1817, he says at the end of his letter : 

Of Maurice I have everything good to ear. His improvement in classical 
knowledge has been very considerable. If you and we can form him to steady 
habits of application, we shall get him to do anything. God has given him very 
ample talent. Exertion and cultivation will make him a solid and conspicuous 
scholar. Of good Morgan I cannot say so much. Less talented, he wants 
application which alone could supply for the deficiency. His dispositions are 
good, generous, bold, independent — if he had industry, he would be no incon- 
siderable character. Let me entreat you, my dear sir, not to indulge them too 
much. 

Evidently Father Kenney (we have looked again at his auto- 
graph to ascertain his own way of spelling his name) feared that 
the brilliant barrister was too affectionate a parent. One sign of 
his affection is the care which preserved the schoolboy letters 
which lie here before us after seventy years. On the 27th of 
June, 1818, Maurice O'Connell writes to his mother from Olon- 
gowes : 

I know that I need not remind you that this is my birthday. On this day 
twelvemonths you told me in a letter I received from you that that day fourteen 
years was one of the happiest of your life. It shall be my care, my dear 
mamma, that nothing shall ever occur that may induce you to change your 
opinion. It shall be my care, whilst I live, to endeavour to repay that love and 
tenderness with which you watched over my childhood and endeavoured to instil 
the seeds of virtue into my breast. Nor am I less grateful to my father, not 
only for his love but for that brilliant example which his conduct has placed 
before my eyes — an example which it shall ever be my pride to imitate, as I 
know that that will make me beloved and esteemed here and happy for eternity 
hereafter. 

He then goes on to speak of new clothes and guns, and ends 
" with love to all friends, in which I am joined by Morgan." 
Before we follow Morgan, we may quote the welcome given by 
the Rector of Clongowes to the next of his brothers. Father 
Kenney writes as follows : — 

Clongowbs Wood, Clafb, 
December 16, 1828. 
Drab Sib, 

I was from home when your son arrived yesterday, and I now 
hasten to express the pleasure which I feel in adding your third son to the 
number of our pupils. You may wry -onr every exertion ter Impart tcrhis 
young mind and heart that knowledge and piety which will dispose him to 



Digitized by 



Google 



$4 The (yConnell Papers. 

discharge the duties of the station to which God may call him with credit and 
advantage. 

When this object is attained hy your parental care and our aid, then you 
judge rightly in deciding, that he is to be left to those inclinations by which 
the great Author of society will direct his steps to the path in which he wishes 
to be served by him. I am much gratified by your promise of spending a day 
here before the expiration of the Ohristmas holidays. As the days are short, I 
hope that you will make up your mind to sleep here that night, that we may 
have more leisure to enjoy your company and conversation. 

It were well that some decision were made relative to the future education 

of the B . They are both very deficient in talent; at least in that talent, 

which is required for literary pursuits. Alexander the elder is now growing 
very big, and it would be much more useful to him to attend solely to an 
English education, than to spend his time in the elements of languages of 
which he never will know much. He says too that he is to be removed shortly, 
and this hope does not encourage him to greater application. 
I am, dear sir, with great regard, 

Most sincerely yours, 

Pktkb Kbknby. 

We may here take leave of the most distinguished Irish 
preacher* of the early part of this century by giving another note 
which O'Gonnell preserved among his papers, and which our 
printers set up in type from the original dingy sheet. He already 
spells honor in that American fashion : — 

Olongowks Wood, Clank, 
July 26, 1825. 
Dear Sib, 

If your numerous and important avocations at this season 
would allow you to rest one dsy at Clongowes Wood, we should be most happy 
to see you amongst those friends who are expected to honor our academical 
exercises and to dine with us on Monday, August 1. The exercises of the 
higher classes will not begin before two o'clock, and if this house could serve 
you as a resting-place on your way to Galway, we should be most happy to 
reserve a room for you that night. You know, that we are within five miles 
of Maynootb, the high road to Connaught, which you can easily regain at any 
hour you like the next day. Whilst I thus express my wish to obtain the 
deserved gratification, I feel that no desire or speculation of mine should regu- 
late movements with which both public and private interests are so closely 
connected. 

Knowing the value of your time. and thoughts, I beg that you will not 
occupy either in writing an answer to this invitation* Delegate the task to our 
friend Maurice, whom we expect to see on the academy-day : and to whom I 
beg to be most kindly remembered. 

John will of course be in Merrion-square either the night of the 1st or 



early on the 2nd of August. 



Yours most sincerely, 

Pbtkr Kknkxt. 



• Strangely omitted by Mr. W, J. Fitzpatrick in his enumeration of Father 
Burke's predecessors. 



Digitized by 



Google 



The O'ConneU Papers. W 

In October, 1826, John O'ConneU writes a very earnest letter 
to his father, expressing his strong repugnance to the legal pro- 
fession and a strong partiality for the navy, but promising to 
obey the final wishes of his parents. O'Connell seems to have 
decided that his favourite son, as Mr. Alfred Webb calls him, should 
follow his own steps more closely, whereas he allowed Morgan to 
enter on a more romantic career. When a mere lad of fifteen or 
sixteen years, he served under Simon Bolivar in the struggle for 
independence carried on by the South American States. Of his 
adventures, especially on his voyage home, Mr. O'ConneU aUowed 
ns not long before his death to read an account which we hope to 
lay before our readers. As early as December 22nd, 1821, he is 
nearing home after his wanderings, for a letter Ues before us, 
written on that date, on board His Majesty's ship Raleigh, at 
Spithead. No chance in those days of reaching "30 Merrion 
Square " in time for Christmas. 

Young Morgan lost no time in resuming his mflitary career. 
The next of his letters, exceUently written in every sense, is dated 
* Paris, June 25th, 1823,'* when he was on his way to Italy, where 
he had got an appointment in the Austrian army in the fourth 
regiment of light horse. " I suppose you heard (he says) that 
Lady Holland, Lady Oxford, and Mrs. Hutchinson were ordered 
by the police to quit Paris : they were accused of seeing people 
at their houses who were hostile to the Bourbons and the govern- 
ment. I saw old Louis drive out the other day. The carriage 
was open, and the poor old man looked very ill indeed, thin and 
yeUow. I also saw the Duchess of Berri, an ugly, squint-eyed 
little woman." 

On the 7th of September, 1824, the young man writes from 
Vicenza to his father, who evidently ordered him to give up his 
position and to return, much to his regret. This change was pro- 
bably caused by money difficulties. "I also wrote to Baron 
O'ConneU at Vienna in order to let him know of my departure. He 
wishes me to pass through Vienna in order that (as he says) he 
may have the satisfaction of embracing before he dies the grand- 
son of his beloved cousin Morgan. The route he has marked out j 
is from Venice, one day — from Venice to Trieste in the steamboat 
a few hours — from Trieste to Vienna in the newly established di- ' 
ligence, 36 hours — and then from Vienna to Paris through Frank- 
tort, Lille, Cologne and Brussels." Nous avons changt tout cela. ; 
Who could dream then of Mount Cenis tunnels P Butin February* 
1826, we find him writing from the garrison at Ghirs in Hungary i 

Digitized by LiOOQ LC ? 



06 The (TConneU Papers. 

and rejoi6ing at having (to use his own phrase) " resumed the pomp 
oi war/' On the first of January following, writing from the same 
place, after wishing them all a happy new year in old Ireland, he 
announces his appointment as Lieutenant. The next letter is in 
July of Emancipation year and shows him still busy with his foreign 
soldiering. But after Emancipation Morgan O'Connell engaged in 
another sort of warfare. The remaining letters presented by the 
Liberator relate chiefly to electioneering affairs in Meath and at 
Athlone. One dated November 13, 1840, is the first in which we 
perceive an allusion to his happy marriage to Miss Kate Balfe of 
Southpark, County Roscommon. " My little wife desires me to give 
you her fondest and most dutiful love." Those who know her will 
not need to be told that the society of this youngest daughter was one 
of the sweetest consolations of the great Tribune's declining years. 

Resuming the publication of these O'Connell Papers on the first 
anniversary of the death of the friend to whom we owe them, it 
will not, we trust, be deemed indiscreet to add that that death was 
a fitting close to a virtuous Christian life. Morgan was much more 
than a Catholic of an ordinary virtuous life ; he was a man of re- 
markable piety and holiness, and many edifying things might be 
told of his lively faith, his devotion, his charity in word and deed, 
and his earnest anxiety, not merely during the last days of his life, 
but for many years, to be ready in the minutest particulars for his 
last account. His deathbed was made happy by all human and 
divine consolations. 

To carry out the policy announced a few pages back, the rest 
of the space which this month can lay at our disposal may be 
devoted to as many letters as we can crush into it, without regard- 
ing order of time or nature of subject. Mr. Spring Rice writes 
in the following terms, just as parliament was about to assemble at 
the same time which has now again seen it reassemble under very 
different circumstances. Many things have happened since 
January 15, 1828, when Spring Rice writes thus from Whitehall : 

My dear Sib, 

I apprehend I date from Whitehall for the last time, and that 
the meeting of Parliament will Bee me on niy old bench. I came here in hopes 
that I might be of service to Ireland, and when that hope ceases I shall quit 
office without at least the consciousness of having done or omitted any act 
that could compromise the great interests to which I am pledged. I may there* 
fore at present venture suggestions which I never made so long as they might 
have been attributed to motives of political or personal convenience. A. Tory 
•end Exclusive Government cannot certainly claim any sympathy from me, 
should such a monster be formed, as I consider is most probable. But even then, 



Digitized by 



Google 



The & Cornell Papett. 97 

4f despair were in our hearts, my word would be still the same, that the Irish 
Catholics should be calm in their strength and moderate ia all their determina- 
tions. Attempts will be made, I have no doubt, to goad and irritate; hut the 
quarter they come from should be our safeguard and protection. 

I trust you will not take these few precautionary words amiss ; they are 
dictated solely by the earnestness of my attachment to the good cause not of 
Catholics only but of Protestants, of Irishmen, of all British subjects, and 
indeed of the just throughout the world. 

Believe me, my dear sir, 

Ever most truly yours, 

T. Spring Rick. 

For information as to the position Thomas Spring Rice occupied 
when he wrote this letter, we torn to that invaluable oook which 
we not for the first time recommend earnestly to our readers — Mr. 
Alfred Webb's " Compendium of Irish Biography/' — and we find 
he was then MP. for Limerick and Under-Secretary for the Home 
Department. He was Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1835 to 
1839 when he became Lord Monteagle. 

William Smith O'Brien furnishes the next item. Even if we had 
not formally renounced all pretensions to consecutiveness, Dromo- 
land and Mount Trenchard are linked closely enough to justify the 
transition. Smith O'Brien had opposed O'Connell's second election 
for Clare and had fought a duel with Tom Steele ; and it was only 
in 1844 that he threw his lot in with the Repealers. It is no wonder 
that in 1839 O'Connell thought harshly of him. Of two other 
Irishmen who ought to have been united but were not, I have 
heard a wise man suggest as one of the causes of their mutual re- 
pulsion that one of them was very proud and the other very vain. 
Few men have a better excuse for an amiable love of admiration 
than O'Connell had ; and, if his charges against Smith O'Brien 
can be disputed, it would only be to give another name to the flaw 
in his character. The following letter was addressed to an in- 
fluential priest of the county of Limerick, the Yery Rev. Thomas 
O'Brien Costello, V.G. and P.P. of Murroe : 

London, 16*A May, 1839. 
My bbspbgtkd Fbiknd, 

What are you to do with Smith O'Brien ? In asking the question I have 
no personal resentment or personal feeling to gratify. All I want to know is 
what do you think best for the county in particular and the country in general. 
I easily forgive his foolish imprudence towards myself. The question remains 
—what is best to be done with him P lie is an exceedingly weak man, proud 
and self -conceited ; and, like almost all weak men utterly impenetrable to advice. 
You cannot be sure of him for half an hour. But are you in a condition to get 
rid of him and have you a candidate to supply his place P The answer to these 



Digitized by 



Google 



98 The ffConne.U Paper*. 

two questions ought to be decisive as to the mode of proceeding, and to you 
I apply for such answem and for suggestions as to the steps which ought to be 
taken. It would be at all events most desirable that he should be pledged not 
to oppose the present ministry. 

I am happy to tell you that, if we were free from desertion in our own 
camp, the Tories would not have the least chance of resuming power. Indeed, 
my own opinion is that we are quite safe 5 but then it is the part of wise men to 
make, if they can, assurance doubly sure. 

I intend, please God, to hear Mass in Dublin on Sunday next, and to remain 
there until the ensuing Saturday. If you deem it necessary to write to me, 
address your answer to my house in Merrion-square. Nobody knows the 
resources of the country as well as you do, and nobody has the head and heart 
so capable as yours of devising and carrying out the measures most suited to 
critical times such as those in which we are now involved. Your advice and 
assistance are in such times invaluable. 

We should, I think, address the Queen on her escape from the Tories, and to 
pray her to come to visit Ireland. We will set about these things when 1 arrive 
in Dublin. 

I have the honour to be very respectfully, my revered friend, 

Yours very faithfully! 

Daniel O'Cokkkll. 

Smith O'Brien was not disturbed in the representation of 
County Limeriek. He and O'Connell came to understand one an- 
other better. Mr. Webb, in his " Compendium of Irish Biography," 
omits to mention O'Brien's imprisonment in the House of Commons.* 
The following letter, of which the first sheet is lost, refers to this 
famous incident : — 

I have no hesitation, therefore, in saying that I prefer to owe my discharge 
to you rather than to him, and that, if you fail in obtaining it to-night upon 
the grounds upon which I have claimed it in my letter to the Speaker, you have 
my consent to give notice of a similar motion for Monday. 

It is, however, of the utmost importance not to me alone but to Ireland and 
Repeal that every possible effort should be made to obtain a successful debate 
and division to-night. If I can be released without owing anything to the 
indulgence of the House, our triumph would be great indeed. The next best 
result would be to raise an impression by an effective debate and legal argu- 
ment that the House has strained its powers, notwithstanding an obvious irregu- 
larity, for the purpose of keeping me in prison. 

I take for granted that the House will allow you at five o'clock to move 
"That the order of the day for taking Mr. O'Brien's letter into consideration 
be now read," and that upon its being read you will be permitted to move 
* That Mr. O'Brien be forthwith discharged from the custody of the Sergeant- 
at-arms." If the Government should refuse to give precedence to this motion 
you ought to move M That the House do now adjourn," and upon this motion 

* In his sketch of tfOonnell he says : " He left four sons, now dead "— 
whereas Morgan was living at the time, and Daniel is still living. 



Digitized by 



Google 



The 0' Conneil Papers. 99 

state the whole legal argument, protesting against my imprisonment as a wrong 
done not to me alone but also to my constituents.. If the decision of the House 
upon your motion for my release should he unfavourable, I am disposed to think 
that a motion should be made for an adjournment, with a view to record your 
protest against any proceeding being allowed to take place in the House whilst 
the electors of Limerick remain deprived of their representative. 

I have thought it better, in order to avoid misunderstanding, to commit my 
ideas to paper in reference to the subjects to which this letter relates. 

Believe me, 

Yours very sincerely, 

William S. O'Bbirn. 
D. O'Oonnell, Esq. 

Is the numbering oi the houses in Baggot Street unchanged 
since forty years ago P If so, a special interest attaches to No. 61, 
for there Thomas Davis lived till his death. The following letter 
is a very private one addressed to Mr. John O'Connell ; but the 
need of secrecy has long ceased : 

61 Baggot Street, 

8th March, 1044. 
My dear O'CoffNXLL, 

I meant to have called on you, hut, being unable to do so, I must 
write instead. I, for one, recommended your father to go to London on Sheil s 
and Pigot's repeated assurance that he was not to be asked to recede, but, on 
the contrary, would be urged to take a peculiarly bold and Irish course, and to 
return immediately after the debate. The reverse of all this has happened. 
His speech in the debate was able and dignified though surely not very strong. 
No Repealer, however, could complain of it ; but I am certain that his present 
course is not politic He roused Ireland by staying at home ; is he not letting 
her spirit sink by going abroad P While he was holding monster meetings, he 
breathed the most fiery and jealous nationality. He now praises the cheers, the 
rights, and the feelings of the British as much as or more than the Irish. .Repeal 
and Federalism all go on the doctrine of leaving England to settle her internal 
affairs and Ireland her own internal affairs exclusively, and he expressly avowed, 
and publicly and repeatedly preached, that we would neither depend on the 
aid nor meddle with the business of England. He is now interfering with it 
in all important matters, he calls Ireland and her representatives to interfere, 
he attends anti-corn law meetings, has brought in a bill in the Commons, and 
seems to rely on English sympathy for redress. Now, I do not complain of this 
(though if Mr. Sheil or Mr. Pigot are parties to the course, I would have reason 
to complain of them) but I question the policy of it. I see that he has not got 
one sympathizer more now than he had a year ago. These men are powerless 
to achieve their own end. The league may use your father's name and 
oratory, and seek in exchange to keep him from prison, but it will not help 
Repeal. I know this. Mr. Sturge is very amiable, but he has little ability 
and less influence. The late and coming meetings and speeches are contradictory 
to the whole policy of the past Repeal agitation, and equally opposed to what 
that agitation must be if vigorously resumed. They, therefore, shake the Irish 
people now and will embarrass them hereafter, for, believe me, John O'Connell, 



Digitized by 



Google 



100 Keeping a Diary. 

•very single inconsistency injures the character, and weakens the power of a 
statesman. If all this be true, the only effect of this English movement wilt 
be to check and embarrass Repeal. I do not and cannot suppose that your 
father even dreamt of abandoning Repeal to escape a prison—yet that is 
implied in all the Whig articles. If he had such a purpose, this partial 
conciliation of Leagues and Demi-Chartists would not accomplish it Peel* 
not Sturge, wields the judgment. Nothing but a dissolution of the Association 
would, we are directly told, prevent the sentence. To dissolve the Association 
would be to abdicate his power and ruin his country. He is incapable of it; 
you, of whose fidelity to Ireland no one feels a shadow of doubt, you would be- 
no party to it ; 'tis not thought of, and so I gladly pass from this insultingr 
suggestion of the Whigs. 

Then, why should your father embarrass his future Repeal policy by a 
sojourn in England, and still more by identifying us with the English as if he 
were a Precursor and sought to cement the Union, not to dissolve it P Why for 
a momentary and delusive gain, why for the hurrahs and " never, never " of 
London or Birmingham, which are powerless to prevent his imprisonment, why 
cloud the future P In six months or twelve he will be obliged to throw aU 
this overboard with much loss of time, labour, and strength. Ireland is not 
what she was a month ago. If this continues, we shall have neither a Repeal 
agitation nor a Liberal Government, whereas a vigorous pursuit of Repeal now 
would retain the one and would give the only chance of the other. 

I am anxious to avoid this subject in public ; I entirely rely on your personal 
kindliness and your devotion to our country ; I want to see if we cannot pull 
more surely together, and 

I remain, most truly yours, 

Thomas Davis. 
John (yConnell, Esq., M.P. 



A 



KEEPING A DIARY. 

BY THE REV. WILLIAM SUTTON, S.J. 

WELL kept diary is one of the most interesting productions 
of human industry. The possession of a faithful record of 
two or three years even of our life, especially if it be of a period of 
moral or intellectual struggle and development, or of both com- 
bined, is an ample and abiding reward for the steadiness of effort- 
required. All well- written biography is delightful and profitable 
reading. Autobiography is by far the most so, and our own 
becomes to us in after-years peculiarly pleasing and useful. We 
change so much and we forget so much, while still remaining the 
same self, that only they who have put themselves on paper can 
understand the charm of renewing our acquaintance with our 
long ago selves. Hence the interest of a dream which carries ua 
back twenty years and puts us in places and among faces when 
life was fresh, before " the philosophic mind which comes with. 

Digitized by G00gle 



Keeping a Diary. 101 

age " gave us a new peace oi heart by teaching us to hope for 
little and to be tolerably satisfied with less. Hence, too, the 
peculiar pleasure of meeting early friends and acquaintances, and 
having a long talk about old times. 

It would not be wise to write a diary for the eyes of others : 
such a one would hardly be a true reflection of our thoughts ; but 
neither would it be wise to write what we should feel much pain 
in meeting strange readers. Accidents must be prudently guarded 
against. A certain caution must be observed. Suppose we are 
students and want to become thinkers and philosophers, what will 
a diary profit us ? If we are working with the object of commu- 
nicating in after-years the results of our labours, we could not 
adopt a better means for acquiring facility of literary expression, 
than keeping a diary for the special purpose of putting into it an 
account of our interior progress. Thus is learnt the way of mental 
growth and moral too. A genuine student must know himself 
thoroughly. He must constantly try to see what he knows and 
what he does not know in those things he is engaged about. By 
the time the true love of knowledge is developed and fixed in him, 
he has learnt the marvellous weakness of the human mind and he 
should have ceased to be ashamed of his ignorance. Idlers should 
be ashamed of their ignorance, students should not. Honest con- 
fession of nescience or uncertainty on the part of a student raises 
him in the estimation of all whose esteem is worth having. A wise 
interrogation is the best half of science, says Bacon. A simple 
question declaratory of ignorance is indicative of a clear head, solid 
progress, and the stuff that philosophers and better than philosphers 
are made of. Putting what seems the most important or most in- 
teresting results of our study in writing brings home to us how little 
we know, gradually makes us intellectually honest with ourselves, 
and thereby inclines us to be so with others too. When a man 
knows a great deal, he can without risk reveal himself. Still, it is 
not an easy thing to do, no more than other most useful conduct in 
intellectual training, such as listening instead of thinking what we 
shall say next, and taking a good answer instead of arguing. The 
small advantage of a present dubious display, or seeming avoidance 
of a profitable defeat requires long self -discipline to negative their 
fascination. As we get the habit of expressing in our own words 
what we learn and think about the subjects we are particularly in- 
terested in, our minds become accustomed to patient acquiescence 
in their very imperfect but always progressing state ; ceasing to be 
ashamed of ourselves in ourselves, we get over our mauvaise honte of 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



102 Keeping a Diary. 

others, and we acquire that intellectual ease which marks the 
thoroughbred scholar. Intellectual advantages of diary keeping 
are analogous to moral ones. Describing to ourselves the ups and 
downs, the phases oi despondency and hopefulness of the emotional 
and voluntary life, provides us with remedies, besides being a great 
help in acquiring that strength of will which acknowledges no de- 
feat to be final but makes of failures materials forultimate victory* 
It is a great possession, skilled knowledge of our 

" Misery's birth, and growth, and signs, 

And how the dying spark of hope was fed, 
And how the heart was soothed and how the head, 
And all the hourly varied anodynes. 

Let all sincerely wishing to improve themselves keep a diary. 
Their grateful experience of its benefits will in a short time 
make it for them a pleasant and instructive companion. They will 
be amazed to find after no long time how different things are when 
they happen, from what we afterwards conceive them. How much 
fuller our lives were than after awhile we are inclined to think. 
What seems to us dull while we write, gains flavour with time, 
the simplest remarks upon persons and events become mysteriously 
interesting, we rise from the perusal of our diary pleased at having 
written and preserved it and stimulated to keep it with still greater 
care for the future. 

We should record our mistaken notions. We often work for 
years at grammar, mathematics, philosophy, with a completely 
wrong idea on very fundamental matters. When the true con- 
ception is discovered, trace the genesis of error and how it was 
escaped from. It will be a remedy for our own and others' dis- 
couragement. Nothing can be more interesting than such a reve- 
lation. Did we but know what those who have attained to 
eminence in virtue have gone through in the way of trial and 
failure on even small points, we should learn never to be much or 
long disheartened by our own stumbling struggles and falls. We 
should learn (as I have seen it expressed somewhere) how to fall 
forwards, not backwards, how to pick ourselves up ahead of where 
we fell down, not behind ; how to pull ourselves together more 
braced and compact than before, to renew the fight. We should see 
and feel that hope and trying again are the secrets of success. It is 
the same in intellectual development. For intellectual and moral 
encouragement the perusal of our diary of previous years, put to- 
gether as suggested, will be found, I repeat, one admirable means. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Keeping a Diary. 10S 

Understanding of difficulties, lights on what we. study are 
flashed into consciousness* without regard to time or place. Fara- 
day used to be seen in the streets of London stopping and drawing 
out a note book and dotting down his thoughts in it. Experience 
had taught him that thoughts worth keeping fly away and are lost, 
if we do not put them into a cage when we catch them. Some 
men make it a practice to deliberately watch for their flight and 
alighting. If a man's trade is thinking and thought-catching, why 
should he not imitate his humble brother bird-catcher? Emer- 
son's writings are largely the fruit of this patient pursuit of ideas. 
He describes himself as waiting for days sometimes for a thought 
worth recording. His delightful essays, which give us back so 
frequently the image of our minds, show how well he worked thus 
at his trade. Make your diary your cage for thought. It will 
soon be an aviary well stocked with valuable specimens, whose 
native wood-notes wild may be with no great difficulty trained 
utterance of harmony. What shall I write about, is a question we 
ask ourselves when the craving for intellectual sympathy comes 
upon us from time to time. Turn over the leaves of your diary 
and you will find plenty of subjects, plenty of matter, plenty of 
references. Whether Shakespeare kept a diary or not I do not 
know, but one of his sonnets, the seventy-seventh, illustrates very 
happily a great deal of what I have been saying. 

Thy glass will show thee how thy beauties wear, 
Thy dial how thy precious minutes waste 1 
The vacant leaves thy mind's imprint will bear, 
And of this book this learning mayst thou taste. 
The wrinkles which thy glass will truly show, 
Of mouthed graves will give thee memory; 
Thou by thy dial's shady stealth mayst know 
Time's thievish progress to eternity. 
Look, what thy memory cannot contain, 
Commit to these waste blanks, and thou shalt find 
Those children nursed, delivered from thy brain, 
To take a new acquaintance of thy mind. 
These offices, so oft as thou wilt look 
Shall profit thee, and much enrich thy book. 

An admirable inscription for the fly-leaf of our diary. 

It often happens when we commence writing, though there 

is plenty to say, it puzzles us what to take first, " like a man to 

double business bound, we stand in pause where we shall first begin, 

and both neglect." Then the thing is thrown up in disgust. 

Vol. xiv. Ho. 162. 9 



Digitized by 



Google 



104 Keeping a Diary. 

Now in a diary especially there is no need for caring how or where 
a thing is begun. Write right on. Whatever comes first 
down with it, as clumsily or as neatly as it comes. Let the 
pen run on. It is not for others' reading. Unfinished sentences 
will do if they will not finish themselves. Even when writing 
an essay, this is a good plan. Thoughts come to the per- 
sistent pen that the pausing one will wait for vainly. Matter 
for printing requires careful recasting and resetting, but plenty of 
good matter is produced by keeping the pen going. It is a way of 
supplying to a writer the stimulus of association of ideas which gives 
a talker his most brilliant opportunities. Things dull and rusty in 
themselves will often let us into some secret recess in the storehouse 
of our ideas, and enable us to bring forth valuable articles, other- 
wise hardly to be got at. It is curious to observe how thoroughly 
disgusted we are generally when reading over what has been lately 
written. It seems stiff, affected, trite, unstimulating, unsuggestive. 
A month after it will seem to have recovered its elasticity and 
suggestiveness, which of course it never lost. The effort of packing 
thought into suggestive words seems to deprive the writer for 
awhile of the power of appreciating the very thing he had imparted. 
Not the least benefit of a diary is that it produces a taste for writ- 
ing. This is the natural result of finding out that we have thoughts 
and words to express them ; and that they seem to us instructive 
and interesting. If we find out that we have interested and helped 
others by what we may have written, our taste for and pleasure in 
writing are greatly strengthened, so as to make it very likely that 
they will, not fitfully but habitually, sooner or later overcome the 
reluctance and aversion to face the toil of composition which all 
who have what is worth communicating have to struggle often long 
against. This delicate pleasure mixed with pain, since it is to be 
had, like all high intellectual delight, only through effort, is a 
precious possession, a sad loss, like the love of study hard to get, 
easy to lose, therefore jealously to be guarded by the wise once it 
is had. 

A literary and philosophically observant diary, regularly and 
continuously kept, or at any rate one in which the entries are con- 
siderable and not far between, is therefore a great treasure excel- 
ling, like wisdom and knowledge, in this, that it gives life, increase 
and preservation of the higher life, to them that possess it* 



Digitized by 



Googk 



( ios ) 



A FEW REPARTEES. 

A COLLECTION of English Epigrams chanced lately to fall 
into our hands, over which we spent some pleasant half- 
hours. But there were in the collection a few that, without exactly 
stirring our bile, pricked a little the vein of sarcasm. Perhaps the 
result may amuse our readers. The editor of the book is the Rev. 
John Booth, B.A. Cambridge. He states in his preface that a 
few epigrams will be found in his pages that have not been hitherto 
printed ; which appears to be a modest way of saying that they are 
his own contribution to English wit. Mr. Booth remarks that an 
epigram, however witty, should never be directed " at anything that 
is stamped with the Divine approval/ 1 and that it should never be 
personal. As, however, his opinions and ours regarding the Divine 
approval seem to differ, he has admitted to his collection several that 
we should have excluded ; while his canon of personal courtesy does 
not include popes and cardinals, as will be evident from the follow- 
ing, which, as it bears no name, is probably his own : 

On the Fapal Aggression. 

With Pius, Wiseman tries 

To lay us under ban s 
O Pius, man unwise ! 

impious Wise-man ! 

The following mild rejoinder immediately occurred to us : 

To the Editor. 

Reverend John Booth, 
Your piety to soothe 
With epigrams like this, 
Is certainly a-miss. 

Mr. Booth gives the following not very brilliant effort on 

Catholic Absolution. 

It blew a hard storm and in utmost confusion 

The sailors all hurried to get absolution ; 

Which done, and the weight of the sins they'd confessed 

Transferr'd, as they thought, from themselves to the priest, 

To lighten the ship and conclude their devotion 

They tossM the poor parson souse into the ocean. 



Digitized by 



Google 



106 A Few Beparteea. 

Those who do not recognise in the above the exact Catholic 
doctrine or practice of absolution, will not be able to deny the cor- 
rectness of the following version of Mr. Booth's theory and practice. 
We offer it under the title of 

Protestant Plenary Indulgence. 

Although your wit should highly shine, 
Forbear to mock at things Divine 5 
Yet Plenary Indulgence hope 
For any trash against the Pope. 

The next specimen of Protestant amiability is not from the pen 
of Mr. Booth. It belongs to eighteenth century ferocity. But Mr- 
Booth has thought it worthy of transmission to the nineteenth. 

Our three great enemies, remember, 

The Pope, the Devil, and the Pretender ; 

All wicked, damnable, and evil, 

The Pope, the Pretender, and the Devil. 

I wish them all hung on one rope 

The Devil, the Pretender, and the Pope. 

We shall scarcely be accused of malignity if we retort by the 
following : — 

Parson, Protestant, and Bigot, 
Such flaming epigrams you dig out, 
That, Bigot, Protestant, and Parson, 
Your crime is spiritual arson. 

Mr. B. gives the following 

On JSrtn* 

" Justice for Ireland ! " rends the sky, 
Shouted by many a Popish traitor ; 
" Justice for Ireland 1 " too, we cry, 
" Hang every agitator ! " 

It was not without some " agitation " that we indited the fol- 
lowing 

On sarin Mr. JB« 

Now prythee, Mr. Booth, 
Your angry passions smooth ; 
The dog-gerel verse you write 
Can bark but cannot bite. 



Digitized by 



Google 



A Few Repartees. 107 

On Borne. 
(Mb. Booth's). 

Hate and debate Rome through the world hath spread, 
Yet Roma amor is if backward read. 
Then is it strange Rome hate should foster P No, 
For out of backward lore all hate doth grow* 

On Booth. 

(Our Own). 

If the truth's to be got by reversing a word, 
Let's see how our Editor's name may be blurred : — 
Since a " booth in a fair " is of jesters the home, 
It's quite M fair in a Booth " to make faces at Rome. 

The pious, orthodox and spiritual clergyman has given the fol- 
lowing short essay on fasting and abstinence. His title is : 

Religion not in Eating. 

Who can believe with common sense 
A bacon-slice gives God offence ? 
Or that a herring hath a charm 
Almighty vengeance to disarm P 
Wrapt up in Majesty Divine, 
Doth He regard on what we dine ? 

Beply 1. 

A u common sense 1 ' that sounds so nice, 
Came it not straight from Paradise ? 
It did : 'twas there the first great cheat 
Said : u God regards not what you eat." 

Reply 2. 

By reason similar I prove 
It matters not what wives men love, 
Their own or yours — for God's too high 
Such paltry matters to espy. 

Reply ^ 

Though there's nought in the stye, nor the sea and the sky 
That can wjn us Gods love or His vengeance defy 
Yet, if for your meals 'gainst the Church you conspire, 
Ton may go from the •* frying-pan " into the fire. 

T* E* B. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 108 ) 



A WEB OF 1BISH BIOGRAPHIES. 

IS this present sentence the first that has contained the word biogram t 
Has the present writer the luck of inventing a word which will 
become current in the English language? Surely biography cor- 
responds with telegraphy, and telegram ought to have for its counter- 
part biogram. Biography is "the writing of lives," and "the life 
written n is a biogram. ~ Let this word, therefore, be henceforth and 
forthwith added to the English language. 

We propose soon to begin a series of " Nutshell Biograms," con- 
densing into a paragraph the chief facts in the careers of various 
interesting persons. Naturally these will be for the most part Irish ; 
and it will be well to pay most attention to those who are not found 
in the storehouse of Irish biography, lately built up with such labour 
and zeal by Mr. Alfred Webb, in his admirable " Compendium of Irish 
Biography," published by M. H. Gill and Son. We have derived so 
much pleasure and profit from our habitual use of this great work 
that, though we have more than once introduced it to our readers, we 
will use now the acoount given of it to English readers by one of our 
contributors, which, we hope, will determine many of our own readers 
to obtain possession of this most interesting and most valuable hook, 
one of the very best ever published in Ireland. 

For those who feel curiosity or interest regarding Ireland and its 
people, and who, while regretting ignorance on the subject, complain 
that the history of the country is unreadable, we would recommend 
the book before us, as conveying a vast amount of information in a 
terse and attractive form. In one large volume we find gathered 
together sketches, long and short, of an extraordinary variety of 
individuals, all more or less distinguished, who have either been Irish 
themselves, or through their writings or actions have exercised an 
influence over the fortunes of the sister island. As we turn over the 
clear, simple record of soldiers, saints, sculptors, statesmen, poets, 
painters, actors, patriots, novelists, and even kings and queens, we 
gather without effort a large amount of knowledge of what has been 
going on in and about the country during the progress of centuries, 
and are able to form our own ideas of the character of the persons 
brought under our notice. The book is written with remarkable 
fairness, scrupulous care having been taken to avoid anything like 
colouring of creed or parly, and it is evidently the result of long and 
conscientious labour, as well as patient research. The style is clear 
and effective, and there is no unnecessary diffuseness, the biographies 
being more or less extended, in proportion to the importance of their 



Digitized by 



Google 



A Web of Irish Biographies. 109 

subject. Following an alphabetical arrangement, the names succeed each 
other in curious array, and the startling varieties which occur make 
the volume a pleasant one for the most desultory reader. The saint of 
old gives place to the brilliant actress of the last century whose erratic 
career is vividly outlined. Side by side with a stirring and well-con- 
densed sketch of Oliver Cromwell's career in Ireland (drawn from his 
own letters and the pages of Mr. Froude), we find particulars of the 
establishment of the linen trade in the north by Louis Crommelin, a 
Huguenot refugee. Under the letter " S," the striking group of the 
Sheridans conies before us, the poets Spenser, Sterne, Swift, Steele, 
Erasmus Smith, Sheil, and others hardly less interesting, including 
the late Dr. William Stokes. The letter " B " introduces us to many 
names with associations of the most varied kind. The picturesque 
and interesting St. Bridget, with her quenchless fire — 

" The bright lamp that shone in Kildare's holy fane ; " 

the ardent St. Brendan, voyaging in search of the mystical island of 
Hy Brasail, and Brian Borumha, the king who ruled at Tara, make 
a cluster of ancient names, which find their place near Barry the 
painter, Balfe the composer, the Brothers Banim, Edmund Burke, 
George Anne Bellamy the actress, the Countess of Blessington, and 
the Beresfords. Under the same letter we have two names which 
transport us to the banks of the placid river Nore, with the fine old 
castle of the Ormondes on one side, and on the other the green and 
shady lawns of Kilkenny School, where Bishop Berkeley passed his 
boyhood, before his entry into Trinity College. The account of 
Berkeley is very attractive, and offers a pleasant contrast to the annals 
of the warlike Butlers. In the record of Theobald Walter, founder 
of the House of Ormonde, we learn the origin of the family name, 
being told that "he was in 1177, as a mark of Royal favour, made 
Chief Butler of Ireland, with a perquisite of two tuns of wine out of 
every cargo of eighteen tuns or upwards breaking bulk in Ireland." 

The descendants of Theobald Walter, though keeping the title of 
Butler, do not continue to tap the wine, for in 1810 the Government 
bought back from the family " this right of prisage," as it was 
called, for the sum of £216,000. Besides his Irish property, this won- 
derful Butler possessed large estates in Norfolk and Suffolk, and 
founded abbeys and churches in various parts of Ireland and England. 
Following his, we have stories of the various earls and dukes, with 
their wives, who lie in effigy to-day on their black-marble tombs in 
St. Canice's fine old Cathedral of Kilkenny, which Cromwell turned 
into a stable for his horses, and which has lately been restored, with a 
good-taste that is remarkable in those days of pitiable so called res- 
torations. We are told of one who was called the "Noble Earl,' 
another who was the " White Earl," and after them comes the " Black 



Digitized by 







HO A Web of Irish Biographies. 

Earl," who was in such high favour with Queen Elizabeth that she 
called him her "black husband," thereby bringing down upon him the, 
wrath of Leicester, whose ears he on one occasion boxed, " and was 
therefore sent to the Tower." 

The sketch of the " great Duke " who warred 'with the Irish, and lies 
buried in Westminster Abbey, presents a stirring page of the history 
of his time; so also does that of the " Red Earl," and his wife, the 
great Countess of Ormonde, who was one of the most beautiful and 
remarkable women of her age and country, and who, even at the 
present day, is remembered with such awe and fear among the poor, 
that mothers will say to their children, " Be quiet, or Margaret will 
get you ! " This powerful pair, whose well-preserved effigies in black 
marble adorn the handsomest tomb in St. Canioe's, brought workmen 
from Flanders, and enriched Kilkenny Castle with tapestry, diapers, 
Turkey carpet?, and cushions." Taking them all in all, these Butlers 
are a striking race ; and we are told by O'Callaghan, historian of the 
Irish Brigades in France, that General Lafayette said (during the 
war for the independence of the United States of America) that when 
he wanted anything particularly well done, he always got a Butler to 
doit. 

Annals of other remarkable families are dealt with by Mr. 
Webb in the same spirited manner. Pages from the lives of 
the Dillons, O'Neills, McDonnells, M'Carthys, Fitzgeralds, are 
full of the romance of history. The Dillons, who were for the 
most part soldiers, distinguished themselves again and again in the 
service of France, and one of their race was that Lord Roscommon of . 
whom Johnson writes that he is the only correct writer of verse before 
Addison, and whom Pope describes as the only moral writer of the 
reign of King Charles II. For the last forty years the name has been 
not unmarked in Irish politics. 

This book is brightened by many sketches of lively ladies, for Mr. 
Webb has given a fair share of his attention to the women who have 
in any way left a mark upon the annals of their country. From Queen 
Meave and the Fair Geraldine, and the beautiful Miss Ambrose, who 
was pronounced by Lord Chesterfield " the most dangerous Papist in 
Ireland," we pass on to Peg Wofnngton, Lady Beecher, Julia Kavanagh, 
the authoress of the Children of the Abbey, &c Of the vivid glimpses of 
varied lives given us among the many authors, actors, painters, sculp- 
tors, poets, and statesmen who have been born, or who have dwelt in 
Ireland, we have hardly room to speak ; but the volume is alike solid 
and entertaining, equally desirable whether read with a view to 
acquiring information, or taken up to wile away an idle hour. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Ill 



WINGED WOHDS. 

We are such deplorably sensitive creatures after all, so easily cheered 
or distressed by the mere fact of the sun shining or not. Life seems 
easy one day because the sky is blue, and difficult the next because it 
is grey ; and yet the grey day may bring us better things than the 
blue one, and the gift will be the more precious from being the less 
anticipated.— J 1 . D. Gerrard. 

The Irish cause, which is a subject for a sneer to the political " philis- 
tines," has always had for me an irresistible fascination. The Irish 
Celt — whom English caricaturists usually picture either as a gorilla or 
a baboon — has noble qualities. He loves the scenes where he was 
born, and the roof which sheltered him from birth. He is a dutiful 
son, a faithful husband, and a kind father. If his dwellings are 
unclean, his affections are pure. He is patient in suffering, and un- 
wavering in trust, when trust is given. Like Ixion at his wheel, he 
eternally traces the same circle of woes. He tills a few sad acres for 
bare life, wears a few poor rags for bare warmth, and he softens the 
hard leaven of his lot with the dews of a simple faith in heaven. The 
chivalry, the romance, the tenderness, and faithfulness of his nature 
has often captivated his conquerors, and turned the descendants of 
English planters into the foremost of Irish patriots ; and it has made 
one member, at least, of the British Parliament as faithful a friend of 
their cause as ever the green flag fluttered over — Joseph Cowen, M.P. 

People who are not willing to suffer for what they pray for, do not 
know how to pray. — Wafted Seeds. 

Some men can do without the praise of others because their own is 
so unfailing. Vanity is the most comfortable of vices* — Frederick 
Faber. 

One does not readily pity those who pity themselves. — Attie O'Brien. 

Those who are impatiently trying to shift their cross, instead of 
lessening its weight, only wound their shoulders. — The same. 

Regard no vice as so small that thou mayest brook it, no virtue so 
small that thou mayest overlook it. — Oriental. 

Both liberty and property are precarious, unless the possessors 
have sense and spirit enough to defend them. — Junius. 

Have a purpose in life ; and, having it, throw into your work such 
strength of mind and muscle as God has given you. — Carlyh. 

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write 
things worth reading, or do things worth writing. — Franklin. 

Sufferings are needed to turn men into saints, but the perfection of 
a few would perhaps be dearly purchased, at the expense of the sins. 



Digitized by 



Google 



112 Winged Words. 

of many* Hence Providence has so fashioned the human kind, that 
pain and shame may abound without sin. It is therefore a com- 
fortable thought that the world has no lack of well-meaning persons, 
who, without offending God, do the work of cutting and stinging with 
a native adroitness which malice itself might envy.— Bev. William 
Hughes, S.J. 

The man who does not unceasingly pray to see the face of his God, 
desires not to see Him ; and he who desires not to see Him, loves 
Him not ; and he who loves him not, no longer lives, but is dead. — 
Cardinal Bellarmine. 

More failures are brought about by a want of faith and patience 
than by anything else. — Anon. 

Adam's children must work ; Eve's children must suffer. — Abbot 
Nikis. 

The uselessness of almost every branch of knowledge may be easily 
proved to the complete satisfaction of those who do not happen to 
possess it. — John Stuart Mil/, 

Man is a being placed between two moments of time, one of which 
no longer is, and th« other is not yet; [Le moment oil je parle est deja 
loin de moiJ] — Louis Veuillot. 

It is not only by doing the right thing, but by doing the right 
thing in the right way and at the right time, that we achieve the 
great triumphs of life. [Ce n'est pas assez de fairs Is bien ,• ilfaut le bien 
faireJ] — Anon. 

Augustus wondered at Alexander's dread lest he should have no 
more worlds to conquer — as if it were not as hard a matter to keep as 
to conquer. In the spiritual warfare, to carry our advantage further 
and further is the only way to secure our conquests, to hold our own. 
— Anon. 

Some people have a habit of forgetting to think of the possible 
wants and comforts of others, but easily forgive themselves for what 
they euphemistically call " abeence'of mind." They save themselves 
a good deal of trouble and expense by that convenient furlough. — 
Shirley Brooks. 

We must sow many seeds to procure a few flowers. — Anon. 

Work is the substratum of our daily blessings. Without it there 
may be brief spasms and convulsions of excitement, which we may 
call pleasure, but no continuous happiness or content. Wherefore, 
thank God, praise God, my friends ! — ye who are born to work, 
and have work to do. — Anon. 

A Christian whose heart is pure, is upon earth like a bird which 
is held by a thread. Poor little bird ! He waits but the moment 
when the thread shall be out to fly away.— Fen. J* A Vianney. 

The good God makes greater speed to pardon a penitent sinner 
than a mother to snatch her child out of the fire. — The same. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 113 ) 



NEW BOOKS. 

Lord O'Hagan, towards the close of his life, published a volume of his 
*• Occasional Papers aud Addresses ; " and he left, in a forward state 
of preparation, a collection of his speeches. These have now been pub- 
lished by Messrs. Longmans and Company, of London, under the 
editorship of Mr. George Teeling. The volume consists of the follow- 
ing divisions — Speeches on various occasions, speeches and arguments 
at the bar, and Parliamentary speeches. Only special classes of 
readers will be able to take an interest in many of these discourses, 
admirably effective though they were on the occasions which drew them 
forth. Many of them may be studied for the light they throw on the 
recent history of our country. Thomas O'Hagan, when a mere boy in 
his native Belfast, attracted attention by his faculty of graceful speak- 
ing; and this power, together with the fascination of his personal 
character and demeanour, had no small influence in making his career 
so brilliant a success. It is well that this memorial exists of the 
eloquence of the first Catholic Chancellor of Ireland. This splendid 
volume has for its frontispiece a very perfect portrait of Lord 
O'Hagan. 

Messrs. M. H. Gill and Son have brought out in a large and very 
handsome quarto, " Waifs of a Christmas Morning, and other Tales," 
by Miss Josephine Hannan, illustrated by Miss Isabel Whitgreave. 
It is difficult to fix on a standard by which to judge books intended 
chiefly for the young. Miss Hannan's tales are sure to be innocent 
and edifying, and the present volume is besides pretty enough exter- 
nally to lie on a drawingroom table. The illustrations do not seem to 
throw much light on the subject ; but young people like pictures. 

Kaoul de Navery is a French writer, who has considerable reputa- 
tion as the author of sundry harmless romances. Miss Alice Wilmot 
Chetwode has translated, and Messrs. M. H. Gill & Son have published 
one of these, "The Treasure of the Abbey," a long tale of more than 
three hundred pages. There is plenty of the romantic element in it, 
and food must be served up with such condiments as will please 
various palates. M. Baoul de Navery' s cookery pleases many French 
palates, and he has no reason to complain of his English translator. 
But there are epochs of history which need the light that clever fiction 
can throw on them far more than the overwritten period of the French 
Revolution. 

Mr. Washbourne of London has published, with his usual elegance, 
a third series of Lady Herbert's " True Wayside Tales." They are 
seventeen in number, and the scenes are laid in various countries. 



Digitized by 



Google 



114 Notes on New Books. 

Many of them are mere anecdotes, without any attempt at a plot ; and 
bo much the better. A prayer of St. Bernard to the Blessed Virgin 
comes in oddly enough among the stories. It is given in English 
and Latin, not as accurately translated as it might have been, and 
-with two glaring misprints in the Latin title. Many readers will find 
more to interest them in the matter-of-fact account of Lady Herbert's 
Two Months in the West Indies, than in the made-up stories that fill 
the rest of this pleasant little book.. 

With its usual punctuality and its usual fulness and accuracy, the 
" English Catholic Directory " comes to; us from Messrs. Burns and 
Oates, in its forty-ninth year of publication. It is admirably compiled 
and printed. The same praise must be bestowed on " The Scholastic 
Annual/' which Professor Lyons has sent to us all the way from 
Notre Dame University, Indiana. 

Messrs. Cramer, Wood & Co. of Dublin have published Te Deum Lau- 
damu8 and Jubilate Deo, composed by James C. Culwick. Mr. Culwick is 
already favourably known as the composer of a clever organ Sonata 
(Novello,Ewer & Co., London,) and of a Quartet, for Pianoforte 2 Violins 
and Violincello (an original, spirited, and interesting work) inscribed 
to the Dublin Instrumental Club. It is to be regretted that a more 
numerous and appreciative audience for such a high and thoughtful 
class of music as the Instrumental Quartet, is not to be found in our 
city, and that such works are not more frequently heard in it, either 
privately or publicly. The above compositions contain much good 
music. They also evince such heartiness and lofty aspiration as would 
entitle their author to consideration were their intrinsic merits much 
less. Though rather limited, we like best the Jubilate, its construction 
being clear and original and thoroughly vocal. A few misprints in 
the Te Deum, easily noticed, will doubtless be corrected by the author 
in next edition. The work is with permission dedicated to his H.E.H. 
the Prince of Wales. 

We earnestly recommend to priests, especially to young priests, a book 
on " The Divine Office considered from a Devotional Point of View," 
by M. Bacquez, Director of the Seminary of St. Sulpice at Paris. The 
English translation is edited by Father Ethelred Taunton, Oblate of 
St. Charles, and published by Burns and Oates. It forms a fine volume 
of six hundred pages, and very properly it appears in what the Saturday 
Review lately denounced as " the Philistine hideousness of cut edges." 
The price is marked at six shillings. Cardinal Manning begins his 
brief preface by quoting St. Leonard of Port Maurice, who, when asked 
by a priest to give him a rule of life, said : " Say your Mass and your 
Office well." St. Joseph of Cupertino said almost the same thing. 
This excellent book in its English dress will help many to say the office 
well. We hope that a second edition may soon be required, for this 
reason and for another not quite so complimentary— namely, that an 



Digitized by 



Google 



Notes on New Books. . 115 

opportunity may be afforded for the correction of the enormous 
number of misprints that disfigure the Latin quotations. It is very 
strange that in such a book, so admirably produced, the proof-read- 
ing has been neglected in this respect. We suspect that a dozen 
closely printed pages might be filled by a conscientious table of 
errata. This little peculiarity caught our attention first at page 568 
where we have in a single sentence primis qui for primi*que, primcevum 
for primcBvam, and eumpeerent for eumpeerunt. Turning over the 
leaves, we have muletetur for muletetur, caneUos for cancelloe, and sundry 
like variations. We thought at first we had been unlucky and had 
alighted on a passage towards the end where vigilance had fallen 
asleep ; but further examination showed that these blunders, so irritat- 
ing and distracting to any reader with a proof-reading eye, are sprin- 
kled impartially over all the book. The printer evidently confounded 
very often e with an accent and i with a dot ; and, thus we getpleni 
for plenb, feri for fere, die fidilee for dee fidelee, and so on passim ; 
and even without the excuse of an accent didici appears as dedici, and 
Nicole as Nicoli. Can the poet Sartelon, quoted at page 51, be San- 
tolius ? The note at page 99 has pecUmo jeue operi tribunt for peaimoe 
<ejue operi tribuunt. We cannot even conjecture the proper emenda- 
tion of these words which form a complete sentence at page 85. 
" Prosunt haec vel non sufficient ;" or at page 234, " siout apes eedul 
mel de floribus," where, on the opposite page, majestatis is disguised as 
magistatis. A little earlier, at page 211, enarras is harder to recog- 
nise under the form of enduras. This curious reading occurs in quoting 
the seventeenth verse of Psalm 49, quare tu enarrae justttias meae, and 
when it is quoted a second time at page 217, the verb is all right, but 
the noun is all wrong ; quare tu enarras justitiam tuam ? On the oppo- 
site page it is stated that Blessed Peter of Luxemburg died a 
Cardinal Bishop at the age of eighteen. Did he P Some words are 
stretched out like pessumsumdant, and others are shortened, as 
reeponeia and in reprehendo. There would be no difficulty in pointing 
out many such unusual forms of Latin words as crediderent, eequenter, 
carmena, profitibatur, pealtere, por, majoro, nevim, etc., etc. The well- 
known words of St. Augustine receive some improvement here at page 
209, "Si orat psalmus orate; et si gemit gemiti, et si gratuletar 
gaudite ; et si sperat sperati ; et si timet timeti." The editor very pro- 
perly has not thought it necessary to give always a literal version of 
the French author : why does he follow him in quoting the " Ch&teau 
•de l'Ame " of St. Th6r£se, and mentioning Father Dalgairns' Life of 
St. Stephen Harding, as published at Lyons P Very much more care 
-ought to have been taken in seeing through the press so fine an edition 
of so excellent and edifying a work, which we earnestly recommend to 
all whose *• divine duty " it is to recite every day the Divinum Officium. 
An Irish American Sister of Mercy has translated " The Principles 

— 



116 Notes on New Books. 

of Government of St Ignatius 1 * New (York: Oatholio Publication 
Society). The excellence of the work is guaranteed by the fact that 
it was compiled by Father Peter Bibadeneira, the favourite disciple of 
the founder of the Society of Jesus ; and the excellence of the transla- 
tion is guaranteed by the fact that it is from the pen of the author of 
the best " Life of Mother M'Auley," of " Leaves from the Annals of 
the Sisters of Mercy," and of so many other good books, that an 
enumeration of a dozen of them on the title-page is followed by a 
double et cetera. The present little book contains no developments or 
disquisitions, but only principles, maxims, and examples. It will be 
found, we think, extremely interesting and useful. 

Messrs. M. H. Gill and Son have brought out, in large, readable 
type, with a few illustrations, " The Life and Adventures of Robinson 
Crusoe," by Daniel Defoe, edited by Eosa Mulholland. Miss Multiolland 
in her short preface explains why this edition of the famous old book 
has been specially prepared for the use of Catholic schools and the 
pleasure of Catholic firesides. Sundry passages in the original are 
"not quite desirable reading for little ones of the faith to which 
Daniel Defoe did not belong, though he shows us Crusoe struck with 
wonder at the devotion and heroism of a Catholic priest." All such 
passages have been left out, " so that neither teachers nor parents need 
hesitate to put the present volume into the hands of boy or girl under 
their control." Miss Mulholland might have added that the Second 
Part, which alone is suppressed, was only an afterthought, that suoh 
continuations are invariably failures, and that Mr. Minto and all modern 
critics agree that the dramatic symmetry of the work is complete at 
the point where this edition ends. Three hundred and fourteen pages 
are enough to tell to young readers the " Life and Adventures of 
Robinson Crusoe." 

" The Christian Priesthood " (Burns and Oates) is a sermon preached 
by Dr. Hedley, Bishop of Newport, at the consecration of the Bight 
Rev. George Vincent King, O.P. 

" Popular Objections to Catholic Faith and Practice Considered," 
by William Dods worth, M.A. (Burns and Oates), is an excellent 
summary of the chief controversies with English Protestants. 

"The City of Refuge, or Mary Help of Christians " (Burns and 
Oates), is a little collection of favours received from the Blessed Yirgin 
invoked by that title. Richardson and Son have published a little 
book of " Catholic Religious Instruction," suitable to Standard III. 
And, finally, " Merry and Wise " is No. I. of a Magazine for Children, 
which begins with a picture of the Pope, and a few kind words from 
Cardinal Manning. 

Though we have written "finatty* we must not omit to recommend 
the volume of The League of the Cross Magazine for 1885 as very 
interesting, very useful, and very ol.eap. 

Digitized by VjOOQIC 



( 117 ) 



THE FIVE COBBLERS OF BRESCIA. 

BY ROSA MULHOLLAND, 

AUTHOR OF " VAGRANT YZBfl»," " XXLLKXYT," w XARCZLLA O&ACSy" 1T0., *TC. 

RADIANT summer was reigning over the ragged and 
picturesque old city of Brescia 1' Armata. Italian sunshine 
wrought its magic on everything. A blue elysian haze encircled 
the town, with gold-green acacias peering sleepily through it, 
olive-hued poplars piercing it, and the fairy-like towers of rock- 
borne fortresses shining rosily across it out of the sky. Red roofs 
and chimneys burned ; tall, dingy houses lifted their painted brows 
out of black depths of shadow and grew brilliant with gazing at 
the sun. Narrowest vicoletti breaking the blocks of the dwellings 
looked like dark fissures in a mountain ; fresco pictures on the 
fronts of the houses in the open streets blazed with — almost— 
their original colour, and oleanders in the rusty balconies flashed 
out pink, and scarlet, and crimson, making garlands of fire all 
down the time-darkened walls. 

A young girl was entering the town by a hilly road on the 
outskirts, a solitary figure, threading the tall poplars, and stir- 
rounded by a background of scenery, like that of one of Titian's 
pictures. A blending of the gay, the fantastic, and the sombre were 
noticeable in the face and apparel of this maiden, making her pecu- 
liarly picturesque, as she advanced out of the ethereal blues and 
greens of the distance and took her way through the deep-coloured 
streets of the town. 

It was evidently all new to her, for she gazed at everything as 
a foreigner gazes. In the market-place she peeped curiously 
under the great white umbrellas of the fruit women, and spoke in 
broken Italian when she purchased a piece of ripe melon, to 
quench her thirst of travel. The two strange men of metal who 
hammer out the hour on the face of the great clock made her start 
as they stepped forward to their work, and the paintings on the 
f ronte of the houses, with their curious stories told in half -bril- 
liant, half -blotted colours, had a fascination for her as she leaned 
against a wall and enjoyed her refreshment. The market was 
going on at the time. Carts rolled about, voices sang and shouted, 
the yellow curtains fluttered out from the black shadows of the 
Vol. xit. No. 163. March, 1886- 10 

— 



118 The Five\C<tbbters o/Bretcia. 

little shops at the side of the street, figures of young girls, of 
mothers with children, appeared among the fire-flowers in the 
balconies and nodded down to other people who were gazing up 
from below. A stone pierced the girl's shoe, which was worn with 
walking, and she sat down on the steps of a church and examined 
it ruefully. There was an ugly hole : the owner made a little wry 
face as she looked at it, then laughed, and put it on again. " I 
shall earn a pair of strong ones before long/' she said to herself, 
though not in Italian. " I must pick my steps until then." The 
shoe was certainly not a peasant's shoe, yet the girl was dressed 
iike a peasant. Her brown skirt, black bodice, and white chemisette 
were of the coarsest materials. Bare and sunburned were her 
pretty round arms and delicate hands ; a scarlet sash hung round 
her waist, and scarlet ribbons tied up her hair — silky dark hair, a 
little bronzed at the edges. Her face was plump, dimpled, and 
exquisitely moulded ; her eyes were dark, luminous, and full of 
humour. A white coif sheltered the eyes at present, and threw a 
transparent, flickering shadow all round the face. After the 
accident to her shoe the young stranger walked cautiously and 
with a little limp through the streets of Brescia, and the people 
looked after her as she went. 

In a street which descends a hill five cobblers were sitting in 
the open air, busily engaged with their work. They sat on five 
wooden stools, which were close together in a line, and each man 
supported his feet on the rail of the seat of his neighbour. It 
almost seemed as if they all rode a single wooden horse down the 
brow of the hill, in so close and straight a file had they ranged 
themselves. First in the row was a very old man, with white hair 
and a placid countenance, who waxed his thread often, and was slow 
at his work ; next, his sons, two elderly men, singularly like each 
other, except that the expression of the one was morose and 
abstracted, while that of the other was nervous and fierce ; fourthly, 
a good-looking young man, with lively eyes and a confident air, 
who gazed about the street between every two of his stitches ; and, 
last of all, a second young man, with an earnest, intelligent face, 
who seemed to give all his attention to his work. As our limping 
maiden came down the street she caught sight of this group, and, 
hastening up to them, pointed to her broken shoe. 

" Ciabattini P " she asked, eagerly. 

" Yes, they were cobblers," answered the men, raising their 
five heads, and gazing in surprise at the liveliness and beauty of 
her face. TJbaldo, the old man, looked at her kindly ; Trifonio, 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



The Five Cobblers of Brescia. 119 

r 

the morose, and Grifone, the fiery, regarded her with grudging 
admiration ; while the two young men, Prisco, the son of Trifo- 
nio, and Silvio, the apprentice, gazed round at her over their 
shoulders with the liveliest interest and delight. As they all 
stared, with their thread suspended, the young stranger suddenly 
broke into a peal of the most delioiously mirthful laughter, which 
shook in the air like the song of a lark, and made the five cobblers 
also laugh, though they did not know what they were laughing at. 

" Tou all look so funny ! " cried the girl, drawing forth a fine 
white handkerchief and wiping the tears of merriment from her 
eyes. 

" This is not business ! " growled Trifonius. " Can you pay P " 

" We do not work for nothing," said Grifone. 

" I have no money at present," said the girl ; '• but I mean* to 
pay you afterwards." 

" It will not do," said Trifonio. 

" You can go elsewhere/' said Grifone. 

" Trust her, my sons I " said Ubaldo. " She is a stranger." 

The girl looked np and down the street, bending the broken 
shoe back and forwards in her hands, and then she glanced wist- 
fully at the row of men who refused to help her — 

" If I had a needle and thread I could do it myself/ 9 she said. 

"That you could not! " cried the old man. "Give it to me ! " 
And he turned it over and over on his knees* It was a dainty 
little thing, made of finest leather, embroidered in coloured silks* 
"Pretty, very pretty!" said Ubaldo; "but not like what a 
peasant maiden wears. The work is too fine for my trembling 
fingers." 

And he handed it on to Trif onius, who surveyed it suspiciously. 

" Stolen ! " he said, and flung it to Grifone, who tossed it to 
Prisco. 

" Gentlemen," cried the girl, " if you will not help me, do 
not hurt me. I will go further and find kinder fellow-creatures/ 9 

" Not so fast, little one ! " said Prisco. " It is a pretty shoe, 
and deserves to be mended/' 

And he fell to work upon it clumsily. He was not at all skil- 
ful, and tore the delicate leather with his handling. 

" A curse on it !'" he cried. " It is too nice for me ! " 

" Give it to II Gorzone ! " said Ubaldo. 

And Silvio, the other young man, took the vexatious shoe in 
his hands, smiled at its neatness, chose a fine bit of leather, and 
put a delicate little patch upon the rent. Then he presented it 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



J20 The Five Cobbler* of Brescia. 

with a look of simple goodwill to the stranger maiden! who drew* 
it oh her foot and dapped her hands with delight to see how 
strongly it was mended. 

"I will repay — I will repay ! Will you trust me P " she cried,, 
fixing her eyes upon Silvio. 

" That I will," he said, earnestly. 

" It is nothing to him/' said Prisco, quickly. " He is only 
our apprentice. Without our permission he could not have put a 
stitch in it." 

" I thank every one," said the girl ; " but him the most. Ah ! 
now I can walk further and look for work." 

" Are you looking for work P " cried Prisco. " What can you 
do P Can you mend my boots P " 

" No ; but I can scrub a floor, cook a dinner, dance, sing, and 
tell the truth." 

"She is a lively creature," whispered Prisco to his uncle 
Grifone. " Why not hire her at once to supply our need P " 

" Well thought on ! " said Grifone. " So friendless and poor,, 
she would work for next to nothing." 

" And we can send her away without notice if she offends," 
growled Trif onio. 

" It were a charitable act," said Ubaldo ; " but here comes La 
Mugnaia, returning from her search." 

A tall, meagre-looking woman came up the street and joined 
the group. La Mugnaia was gaunt and sallow, with a square,, 
wrinkled face, white teeth, and large brown eyes, her head com- 
pletely bound up in a yellow handkerchief. She looked stern and 
wary, like an old soldier ; but when she smiled, her fine brown 
eyes softened, and a surprising sunshine warmed up the weather- 
beaten countenance. 

"Well, Orsola ! " said Trif onio, " have you succeeded in find- 
ing us a maid to take care of our house P '' 

" No, indeed," said Orsola. 

" There is a young girl here who is seeking for work," said 
Ubaldo. " Question her/' 

" What can you do P " asked the woman of the girl. 

" Put me in a house and try me." 

" What payment do you expect ? " 

" Food and shelter, and anything you like. I have to work 
Up the price of mending my shoe." 

"I will take her with me to Verona," said La Mugnaia, " and 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Five Cobbler* qf Brescia. 121 

there I will provelier. If you see her coming back yon may hire 
her." 

" It is a great deal of trouble for nothing/' grumbled Prisco. 

" La Mugnaia is a sensible woman/ 9 said Ubaldo. " Let her 
manage our affairs/' 

" If the signora will allow me to add some strong sandals to 
her shoes/' said Silvio, " she will be better able for the journey.' 9. 

The two women departed for Verona, and the cobblers went 
on with their work. During the week that followed many a glance 
was cast up the street by which the stranger maiden was expected 
to return, till, at last, one day, Silvio startled the rest by crying 
out: 

" Here is La Scarpetta coming over the hill ! " 

" Bravo!" said Ubaldo. "It is a good name — the 'Little- 
Shoe.' " 

" I foresee she will torment us," said Grifone. 

"Bob us, perhaps/' said Trifonio. 

" Or make us very happy," said Silvio, whose gaze was fastened 
gladly on the merry eyes and twinkling feet of the girl who was 
tripping down the hill. 

" You are a pair of old grumblers/' said Prisco to his father 
and uncle. "As for you," turning to Silvio, " remember, you are 
only the apprentice." 

" Nay, Prisco ; you surely do not want to fight again," said 
Silvio, good-humouredly. And Prisco frowned, but pretended not 
to hear. 

Now, tell us where you have been since/' said Trifonio, 
" that we may know if you have been really with Orsola." 

" I have been living in her little mill out in the Adige," said 
the girl. " The water rushed under our feet and all round us. 
The streets were above us, and people gazed down at us from dark 
arches over the water. We reached our* mill by a plank, swinging 
on ropes, across the river. At night we carried a lantern, that we 
might not walk into the flood. La Mugnaia was hard as flint on 
the first few days, and sweet as honey at the last. She sent you 
a cake I have baked, a shirt I have washed, and a stocking I have 
mended." 

The cake was tasted and eaten to the crumbs, the shirt was 
white as snow, the stocking was sound and no lumps on the sole. 

" Go into the house," said Ubaldo ; and La Scarpetta became 
housekeeper to the cobblers. The next evening Prisco and Silvio 
each presented her with a pair of sturdy shoes of his own making. 



Digitized by 



Google 



122 The live Cobblers of Brescia. 

Frisco's were large and clumsy, and fell off Her feet ; but Silvio's 
fitted Her to a nicety. Strongly and safely shod, she danced about 
the floor in delight while Silvio whistled a tune for her, and Prisco 
gnawed his lips in the corner. 

"I am deeply in debt/ 9 said the little dancer, looking at her 
shoes, and then at the Garzone. 

" Give me the old ones, and I am paid," said Silvio. 

" I also have a right to them," said Prisco ; " for my shoes 
would fit if she would only go soberly." 

" You shall each have one," said the maiden. 

" I will have both," said Prisoo. 

" She shall do as she pleases," said Silvio. 

" Shall P" cried Prisco, insolently. "You who came to us a 
pauper — you think to give law in the house ! " 

" Give up the shoes," said Silvio, determinedly. 

" Come, come ! " cried Ubaldo. " They belong to the house, 
and we will use them as a sign of our trade.*' 

And the little shoes were hung up in the window, with their 
broken soles hid from view, and their embroidered toes turned out 
to the light. 

After this the house of the Five Gobblers proved to be the 
merriest house in Brescia, La Scarpetta was found quick, active, 
and with a genius for making people comfortable. She was more 
•child than woman in her frolicsome ways; yet had wit and 
shrewdness enough to carry on her business, and give point and 
liveliness to her speech. She had, also, a certain dignity and 
independence of manner which won her the respect of her many 
masters. She made her markets before they were up in the morn- 
ing, served their food delicately, kept the place garnished with 
flowers, and often sat at the door, in the cool of the evening, 
chatting to them while, she mended the household linen, or helped 
with the finer parts of the cobbling. 

" Our sister-in-law has suited us well," said Ubaldo. " This 
woman was really born for the comfort of man." 

" Most of them being torments/ 1 said Trifonio. 

*' She will torment us yet ! " growled Grifone. 

The ancient Ubaldo was held in much esteem among his 
friends in Brescia; also his sons Trifonio and Grifone. They 
had all followed the cobbling profession from their youth, had 
laid up some money, and walked in honest ways. Prisco, who 
was their pride, was to be endowed with their savings, being already 
crowned with the halo of their good name. The future welfare of 



Digitized by 



Google 



The live Cobblers of Breecia. 423 

Prisco was the constant theme of their thoughts. Anything fras 
good or bad, according as it affected the glory of Prisco. 

" This servant-maid has bewitched our son," whispered Qrifone 
into the ear of Trifonio, one holiday, as they set off for a walk 
round the town, Prisco was always known as " our son " among 
the elders. 

"Nonsense!" cried Trifonio. "It is Silvio who is in love 
with her/ 

" You take this too easily," said Grifone. " Prisco, I tell you, 
is also infatuated. And do you think she will prefer Silvio, the 
penniless, to our son, who will inherit our property and fine position 
in the town P » 

"This is too absurd/' said Trifonius. "A foreigner, who 
dropped from nowhere upon us ; a beggar, who cannot even tell 
who were her parents. What do you propose to do P " 

" Send her away, of course." 

" Ah," said Trifonio, " she has made us so very comfortable. 
Let us first reason with the young people." 

" You are a fool; but here is Prisco." 

"Prisco," said Trifonio, "I am anxious to tell you that you 
must not think of marrying La Scarpetta." 

" I do not think of it," said Prisco, moodily, " though I 
cannot deny it would make me happy. If she were the daughter 

of a rich tradesman now ! There must be some little honour 

and show about my wedding." 

" Our son ! our true son ! " cried both the fathers. 

" You will give her to the Garzone," said Grifone, joyfully. 

" Are you mad P " cried Prisco. " He has not a friend in the 
world, and has not even learned his trade yet. Besides, she keeps 
us both at an equal distance." 

" Good girl ! " said Trifonio. " It is better thus, as she makes 
us so very comfortable." 

La Scarpetta was standing at the fountain in the market-place, 
with her empty pitcher poised on the brim, looking down into the 
quivering, golden water. The diamond ripples broke over the 
piquant face, the warm neck and arms, and the colours of her 
dress ; then melted away and allowed her eyes to meet their own 
gaze in the tranquil depths of the basin. 

"And this is I!" said the servant-maid, looking at herself . 
" Ah, they will never find me out. How sweet it is to taste liberty 
and to be loved ! " 

Voices caught her ears, speaking close beside her, distinct from 

Digitized by G00gle 



121 The Five Cobbler* of Breecia. 

the noise of the street. Some men stopped to read a large-lettered 
bill, which, was posted on the wall of the fountain. 

" Who can this be P " said one. " Is she some thief, whom 
they want to catch, or is it a wilful lady who has run away from 
her friends P" 

" I cannot guess/ 9 said another. " They have worded it so 
Tery carefully.'* 

La Scarpetta turned round, and eyed the men with a frightened 
stare, hurriedly filled her pitcher, and then, suddenly, all the 
strength went out of her arms. As the men passed on she was 
left standing quite alone, motionless — gazing at the bill on the 
wall. Silvio found her thus as he passed by the fountain, coming 
home from his holiday walk. The anguish of distress in her face 
filled him with amazement. Never had he seen the saucy, mirth- 
provoking maiden look like this before. 

" Scarpetta I Carina ! Fellow-servant ! " he exclaimed, in 
wonder. " Is she suddenly changed to stone, that she does not 
even hear when one speaks to her P " 

" Oh, Silvio, is it you P Lift the pitcher to my mouth, will 
you P I am so thirsty. That will do. And have you, also, been 
keeping holiday all alone P " 

" Yes ; and do let me say it once : I have been longing to have 
you with me. I have been out in the vineyards, where they are 
gathering the grapes. I have been haunted by a picture of La 
Scarpetta with a basket of grapes on her head. That is how you 
ought to live, playing about in the beautiful open country, instead 
of being shut up in this vulgar town." 

" How odd you are, Silvio ! Imagine any of my other masters 
taking the fancy to put a basket of grapes on my head ! Where 
do you get these pictures, I wonder, being but a cobbler P I see 
them shining behind your eyes, sometimes, when you do not give 
them forth." 

" Being but the apprentice of a cobbler, and not even one of 
your masters, you might say. Well, I would rather be your 
fellow-servant than the finest master-cobbler in Brescia. As for 
the pictures, I suppose they come from my father, who was a 
famous artist, and through whose fault I am now where I stand. 
I am too proud to speak of this to the vulgar ; but I feel no pride 
towards my little fellow-servant. I was brought up by relations 
in bitter dependence, and I left them to learn a trade. With the 
help of that lowly trade I shall place myself where I like." 

11 And you have learned it well ; for I notice that they give 



Digitized by 



Googk 



The Five Cobblers qf Brescia. 125 

you all the delicate work. But, Silvio, will you read for me what 
is printed on this bill upon the wall P " 

"It is an advertisement for the capture of a young girl who 
has hidden herself — either from justice, her friends, or her enemies. 
A reward is offered for her discovery. She has a beautiful face, 
and is supposed to have crossed the Alps all alone Scarpetta ! " 

The girl had turned white as death, and caught at his arm to 
keep herself from falling. 

" Silvio, Silvio ! where shall I hide myself P " 

Silvio supported her to the fountain and dipped her little ice- 
-cold hands in the water. 

" Poor child, poor child ! " he said, in amazement. " And 
this is your story P" 

" Hide me, my friend ! '* 

" That would be madness, poverina ! '* said Silvio. " You are 
safer at your work as the cobblers' servant, than you would be in 
the cunningest hiding-place. You must stay indoors as much as 
possible for awhile, and I will watch for you all I can." 

" You do not ask me why I am so terrified, and what I have 
done. ,, 

" You shall tell me what you please, and when you please. I 
cannot love you more than I do, and I will not love you less. You 
have forbidden me to speak to you like this " 

" Ah, it was so good to be at peace.'* 

" I will not spoil your peace. Let me be your friend in this 
difficulty.'' 

" Heaven bless you, my friend. Now, Silvio, go, and let me 
get home in my own fashion.'* 

Left alone once more, the young girl lifted her pitcher and 
took her way bravely, though with pale cheeks, through the streets, 
which, late a refuge, had now grown a terror to her. She shrank 
a little at sight of every bill posted on a wall, and fancied that 
the people gazed strangely at her as she passed along the path. 
When she returned to the cobblers* dwelling she found Frisco alone 
in the house, leaning dejectedly against the doorway, and reflect- 
ing how hard it was that his position in the world would not 
allow him to bestow his hand on La Scarpetta. 

" Here she comes, looking as pale as a ghost. Never was a 
girl so changed. I can no longer have any doubt that she frets at 
my coldness ; yet I dare not tell my elders that she is in love with 
me. Ah ! why am I so delighted P I would not have her sent 
out on the world because of the warmth of her heart ! " 



Digitized by 







12$ The Five Cobblers of Brescia. 

Frisco sighed as the young girl set down her pitcher and 
silently began her accustomed occupations. It had been too pain- 
ful to this self -loving youth to believe that La Scarpetta preferred 
Silvio, and he had gradually endowed her with an imaginary 
devption to himself. He found it pleasant to dwell on the fancy 
that he had tenderly rejected her. This idea, at first a plain, 
fallacy, had imperceptibly become a delusion of his mind ; f or* 
when we will what to believe, we can believe what we will. The 
appeal of his uncle and father, their earnest request that he would 
not marry La Scarpetta, had given a reality, as of proof, to his 
faith. As he watched the young girl, who had forgotten his 
presence, she sighed bitterly ; and he sprang to her side. 

" Have courage, ma bella ! " he said. " It is, indeed, a hard 
fate } but time will cure this wound." 

" What do you mean P " asked Scarpetta, turning whiter than 
before, and thinking that the secret of her identity was discovered. 

" I am grieved that I cannot offer you my hand. It is not for 
want of affection — that I swear to you ; but the world requires 
some sacrifice of our feelings." 

The girl stared at him— at the self-complacent, sentimental 
look on his face — and catching the full absurdity of his meaning-, 
broke into a fit of such merry laughter as brought the colour to 
her cheeks again, and transformed her for a moment into the old 
Scarpetta once more. It was delightful to her to hear the sound 
of her own laughter again ; and she laughed and laughed to the 
echo, with the most exquisite sense of fun and enjoyment of 
Prisco's discomfiture, who blushed and frowned, and at last stamped 
with his feet, and walked away to the door. He saw through the 
fury of his confusion a horseman riding up to the door, while 
Scarpetta' s irritating laughter was dying away in gasps of 
ecstasy over his shoulder ; and then there came suddenly a quick 
sharp cry of anguish from within, snapping the music of those 
mirthful sighs, followed by a crash of something breaking. Prisco 
turned his head in astonishment. The dish that Scarpetta had 
been holding was smashed upon the floor, and she had vanished. 

" Diavolo ! " cried Prisco, " the girl is a witch ! " and then he 
saw the strange horseman beckoning, and went out to the street to 
speak to him. 

La Scarpetta was on her knees in an upper chamber, peeping 
with one eye from behind the window-curtain. The strange horse- 
man was richly dressed and of haughty bearing, with a dark harsh 
countenance and a sottish complexion. 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Five Cobblers of Brescia. 127 

" It is lie ! it ia lie t " wailed the girl, quailing as his eye * 
roved over the house ; and she retreated, wringing her hands, 
into the darkest corner of the room. 

" Ah ! " she moaned, " what folly, what ill-luck is mine t 
Were I Silvio's wife, I need not suffer this anguish of fear. Oh, 
now indeed I know that I love him since this agony is upon me ; 
but I have made him afraid of me, and I am given up to my 
fateP" 

At the same moment the evil-looking horseman was pointing 
with his finger to the pretty little embroidered shoes, which had 
been taken from La Scarpetta, and hung up as a sign of their 
trade in the window of the cobblers. 

" These shoes are stolen goods/' he was saying. " I command 
you to give them up to me, and to tell me how you came by 
them." 

" You are under a mistake, Signor," said TJbaldo, who had 
come up, and was holding the stranger's horse by the head, merely 
as a mark of attention, for the poor animal looked too tired to 
have any wish to run away. " We came by the shoes honestly ; 
but if the Signor cares to buy them " 

" You bought them, perhaps, from a young woman who cam& 
travelling through the town. You have seen the walls placarded 
with inquiries regarding her. Tell me where to find her, and you. 
shall be handsomely rewarded." 

" It is many weeks since she called on us here, and got a 
strong pair of shoes in exchange for these," said TJbaldo. " She 
was in a hurry to be off, and inquired about the road to Milan." 

It is dreadful to think of an old man telling falsehoods like 
this. Let us pray that Heaven forgave him. Frisco, with Scar- 
petta's irritating laughter still ringing in his ears, had a sterner 
regard for the truth, and called the stranger as he rode away — 

" I advise you do not leave the town without searching it well. 1 ' 
He was not wicked enough to give her up on the spot to her foe, 
but he was pleased to avenge himself by prolonging for her the 
torment of whatever danger beset her. As the stranger nodded 
back at him meaningly and rode away, a faint peal of thunder 
disturbed the serene evening air, as if those rosy fortresses that 
looked so ethereal in the distance were opening a fairy cannonade 
upon the town. 

" Who was your noble visitor P " asked Trifonio and Grifone, 
breathlessly, hurrying up to the door as TJbaldo and Prisco stood 
looking at one another in amazement. 



Digitized by 



Google 



128 The Five Cobblers of Brescia." 

"It is of our poor Scarpetta that these "bills are posted over 
the town," cried Ubaldo. " Can it all be for the stealing of a 
pair of shoes?'* 

U* "Poor, indeed ! " cried Trifonio. " How pitiful you are, my 
father ! A thief harboured in our house ! And here is Frisco, 
who might have married her if he had not been a miracle of 
wisdom. 

" We must get her out of this," said Grifone. "How nicely 
we may be shamed before the town." 

"Harbour her a little while, my sons," said TTbaldo. "She 
is such a young creature, and you do not even know what her 
fault is." 

" It is plain that she is escaping from justice. Not another 
hour shall she stay in our house." 

Scarpetta did not ask what charge was against her, but took 
up her small wages and went into the street. XJbaldo dropped 
tears in the corner ; but he was only a weak old man, with no 
power in the house of his sons. All the heart that Prisco had 
was aching, but he liked his revenge. 

" The Garzone will protect her," muttered Ubaldo to himself. 

Scarpetta, afraid of the town, fled to the country ; then the 
sun set, a thunder-storm came down, and the terrified girl ran 
frantically back into Brescia. Lifting the curtain that hung 
before the entrance of a queer little church, she saw that a dim 
light shone out of the place, which was filled with people, who 
seemed to the frightened girl to have taken refuge there in terror 
like herself. They were singing a shrill, wild litany, one verse 
taken up by the men, and the next by the women— a weird, mono* 
tonous chant that filled the ear at intervals, and was lost again in 
the roar of the thunder. La Scarpetta cowered on her knees in a 
corner of the church, the thunder cracked over her head ; and with 
her hands clasped over her closed eyelids she seemed to see plainly 
the harsh-looking horseman, his piercing gaze fixed on her and 
his finger pointing cruelly to her unlucky little shoes in the 
cobblers' window. Every time the curtain stirred in the doorway, 
she started, expecting to see him enter to drag her forth. The 
people at last departed ; the fugitive crouched further into the 
shelter of the shadow of a confessional ; and, looking up with a 
wild glance, saw Silvio, the Garzone, who was standing beside her. 

" Have they found me, Silvio P Are they coming to take me P " 

" Nobody has found you but me; and I am coming to take 
you — if you will let me." 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



The Five Cobtlers of Brescia. 1?9 

" Take me where P " 

" Over the mountains — out of this trouble." 

" And your work, Silvio P — and your masters P " 

" I have broken with my masters, and I have my work at my 
finger-ends. Be my wife at once, and we will seek our fortune 
together." 

" Yet you do not know whom you are taking for a wife." 

" Kneel down with me here, Scarpetta, and put your hand in 
mine. Say, * Silvio, I am an honest woman.' You dare not, if 
it were untrue." 

" Silvio, I am an honest woman." 

They remained kneeling hand-in-hand, like two children pray- 
ing in the loneliness and darkness of the church. The one dim 
red lamp burned, the thunder ceased, the deathlike hour of the 
night went past, dawn peered through the rudely painted windows, 
and an old, white-haired priest, half- vested for mass, opened the 
«acristy door and looked into the church. 

This old priest stopped muttering his prayers when he saw the 
two pale-faced young people standing before him. 

" Marry us, holy father ! " said Silvio, " We are going a long 
journey, and must get away betimes." 

" This is the girl who is flying from justice," said the priest, 
sternly. 

" I will help her to fly," said Silvio, " for I am satisfied that 
■she is good." 

" You are a youth of good birth, and will rise in the world," 
said the padre. " Remember, I know your story. Will you not 
-afterwards repent of having married a servant-maid P " 

11 1 cannot give her up to her enemies," maintained Silvio. 

" You have not confessed even to him P " said the priest, turn- 
ing to the girl. 

" No," said La Scarpetta. 

The old man's cheeks flushed, and his eyes brightened — 

" Be grateful to him, my daughter," he said. " I know your 
secret, and I will give you to him. May God make you both happy 
ior evermore!" 

And the apprentice and the little maid-servant went out into 
the morning sunlight man and wife. 

Silvio was quite surprised to see how, as they went along the 
streets, his bride seemed to forget her terror, and smiled back at 
the people who stared at her. She even lingered, here and there, 

Vol. xiv. No. 163. 11 



Digitized by 



Google 



130 The Five Cobblers of Brescia. 

to gaze up at the paintings on the houses, saying she had never 
seen them look so handsome before. 

" But you are still in Brescia, my dearest, and your enemy is 
close by. Let us hasten and get out of danger." 

" I am saying farewell to Brescia, Silvio. It has been good to 
me, since I am leaving it with you. As for my enemy, I no longer 
fear him.'* 

The young people took the road to Verona, and late one 
evening they arrived there, going to seek for La Mugnaia in her 
little mill out in the Adige. They stood on the bridge which 
carried the town across the river, and saw the dark water rushing 
and the twinkling lights sliding along through the air, like falling 
stars, as people passed to or fro on the swinging planks that led 
out to the little water-bound dwelling. They discovered the mill 
they were in search of, and, lantern in hand, went riding across 
the night, as it seemed, on the rickety plank that led to La 
Mugnaia's door. 

The milleress gave them a hearty welcome, but looked 
extremely grave when she heard the whole of their story. 

" That is all very pretty," she said, squaring her arms and 
fixing her wary brown eyes on the little wife, " trust and gene- 
rosity are good in the right place ; but you ought to have told 
what this cloud is that hangs over you. And you, Silvio, I have 
known you many years ;. you are a respectable young man, and 
ought not to have married a girl who has done anything improper/* 

u She shall speak when she likes," said Silvio. 

" Let her speak now/' said La Mugnaia. " If she has done 
wrong, and is sorry, we will try and shield her ; but let there be 
no secrets between a man and his wife." 

La Scarpetta stood twisting the corner of her sash, and glancing 
shyly from one to another of the faces, on which the lamp-light 
shone at each side of her ; and she said to the miller-woman — 

" I will tell my story here, and you shall be my judge. If 
what I have done has wronged him, he shall put me away. One 
thing I must set right for you ; I have not stolen anything from 
the horseman who is searching for me, not even the shoes in the 
window, which were my very own till I gave them to TJbaldo. ,, 

" I knew that," said Silvio. 

"The Signor is my uncle, and the guardian of my pro- 
perty " 

" Ah — we have here a noble lady ! " said La Mugnaia, aghast. 

" Silvio may perhaps make me one, but he found me a maid- 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Five Cobblers of Brescia. 131 

servant, suspected of crime. As it is, I am almost totally unedu- 
cated and ignorant of the world. I ran away from my home 
because I found it a place of horror. The Alpine precipices had 
no terrors for me, though I travelled by them alone. I was 
escaping from a living death, and my freedom was delicious to me. 
You must be filled with curiosity, and I do not make my story 
plain. My castle is on one of those mighty rocks that overhang 
the Upper Rhine. Heaven help the poor creature there walled up, 
who pines to escape ! Yet I escaped. I was a prisoner there, 
indeed ; for by my father's will all his fine possessions were to be 
enjoyed by his brother until my marriage ; and my uncle was 
resolved that I should never deprive him of what he chose to call 
his own. I did not wish to marry. I feared all men, having 
known none but the harshest of their kind ; but I loathed to be 
within sight and sound of the wicked and riotous living of my 
uncle and his chosen companions. I longed to be free, like the 
peasants who walk on the hills ; and by the help of a faithful old 
nurse I escaped. I dressed myself like a peasant, and crossed the 
Alps alone. In putting on a strange costume I forgot to change 
my shoes." 

Silvio and the woman of the mill stood gazing at the girl in 
utter amazement. 

" And knowing that you were a noblewoman, you chose to 
marry a cobbler,' 9 said La Mugnaia. 

" Heaven never made him to be a cobbler," said La Scarpetta. 

" That is true/' said La Mugnaia. " Be you what you may, 
he is good enough for you. Excuse me, lady, but I cannot forget 
that I gave you lessons in baking bread and sweeping floors." 

" Ah, Scarpetta ! " said Silvio, " what a wrong you have done 
yourself — you who ought to have married a nobleman/' 

" And so I have, Silvio, else I can tell you I should not have 
married at all. Prisco could never have saved me as you have 
done ; for one great misery is as bad as another. I thank Heaven 
that by your act of generosity you have unconsciously enriched 
yourself." 

Whilst they were yet talking the daylight broke, and looking 
out of the window, La Mugnaia saw a whole company of strangers 
on the river-side. They were the four remaining cobblers, with 
the haughty horseman and his servants. 

" These friends have travelled so far to see my downfall," said 
Scarpetta, mournfully. " Ah, Silvio, your sex are unkind." 

" Nay, some of them may hope to help you," said Silvio. " I'll 



Digitized by 



Google 



132 The King. 

%j my. life that the old man, TJbaldo, does. My good Orsola, 
these visitors will sink your little mill with their weight." 

" Let them come over/' said La Mugnaia, gleefully. " The 
mill must take its chance. It will be rare sport tp see them all 
walking back, one by one, across our plank, hanging their heads 
with vexation." 

" Enter, gentlemen," said Orsola, opening her door. 

" Caught now, I think," cried the fierce-looking Signor, grasp- 
ing La Scarpetta rudely by the hand. '* Ah, my runaway maiden, 
I shall trouble you to follow me to your home.'* 

"No, my lord," said Silvio, "for the law allows a wife to 
follow her husband." 

" Fool ! " cried the enemy, turning pale ; " this girl is no wife." 

At this moment the old priest was seen hurrying across the 
river, clutching the rope in both hands, as the plank danced under 
his feet. 

€t Go away, Signor ! " he cried, " and leave this noble youth 
and his wife in peace. Go across the Alps, and make straight 
your accounts of the moneys and lands which were left in your 
charge. Your niece and her husband will give you just one 
month to betake yourself and your fellows from her dwelling 
In the name of the Church and of the law of the country, I, who, 
married these young people, knowing fully both their histories, 
command you to begone and to interfere with them no more." 

La Mugnaia had the satisfaction of seeing the company of 
strange visitors departing across the plank, TJbaldo alone being 
invited to remain with the victorious and happy bride and bride- 
groom. 



THE KING. 

A YOUNG heart sang in the summer dawn : 
" O breeze, float swift and free 5 
streamlet, play — rose, bloom on, 
For life is fair to me t " 



A young heart sang in the summer dawn : 
' u O flower, bird, O spring, 
I have made a throne so bright and lone, 
And who will be its King ? " 

Digitized by 



Googk 



The King. 133 

A young heart *ang in the summer dawn, 

When love with golden wing 
Flew softly on to the waiting throne 

And said, " I am its King I " 

The dawn flushed into a lustrous noon; 

The hours with glow and gleam 
Thrilled warmly 'neath the skies of June, 

A passion-laden dream. 

A young heart sang to its chosen king : 
" Love, how blest am I ! 

Ohl fold my fate 'neath thy strong, soft wing- 
Thus folded, let me die ! " 

The day sailed on down its westward path, 

But the shadows thronged amain 
O'er an empty throne, a broken faith, 

And a memory steeped in pain. 

A sad heart wept in the midnight gloom ; 

u O flowers, veil your shine ; 
streamlet, hush, for a dark, dark doom 

And songless lot are mine." 

A sad heart mourned in the starlight lone, 

When Sorrow glided nigh 
And made his home on the ruined throne, 

And said, "Its king ami!" 

His crown was of thorn, his mantle red, 

And a cross his bitter load 5 
But his touch was strength, and his glances shed 

Soft light on the darkened road. 

A strong heart held, through a lightless day, 

A pain that had lost its sting ; 
A brave life sped on the heavenward way, 

For Sorrow was crowndd King ! 

Oassib M. O'Haba. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 134 ) 

JOHN MITCHEL'S DAUGHTER. 
By the Editor. 

r[S is very like the title of a story, but it is only meant to 
link the memory of an Irish girl, of whom the world has 
never heard, with that of an Irishman of whom the world has 
heard a great deal. There lies before me one of those paper- 
covered books which French publishers issue so prodigally. It 
contains a hundred and thirty pages and bears this title : " Notice 
but la Conversion au Catholicisme de H. M., morte au Couvent du 
Sacrfi Ccbut & Paris le 18 Avril, 1863." This "H. M." was 
Henrietta Mitchel, daughter of the famous author of the "Life 
of Aodh O'Neill " and of the marvellously clever " Jail Journal," 
and editor of the short-lived but by no means still-born " United 
Irishman" of 1848. 

Almost every one who will care to glance at these pages is 
acquainted with at least the outline of Mitchel's strange career. 
A sketch of his life and a selection from his writings ought to be 
published. The most accessible account of him is to be found in 
Mr. Alfred Webb's lc Compendium of Irish Biography," but it 
begins with a mistake in stating that Mitchel was born in Newry. 
Richard Dalton Williams, writing in the Irish Tribune on June 
10, 1848, a week or two after Mitchel's conviction, speaks of his 
having been " brought up in Newry, and hence the prevalent error 
of his having been born there ; " but he himself falls into another 
error in making the town of Deny his birthplace. John Mitchel 
was the eldest son of a Presbyterian minister who had been one of 
the United Irishmen in his young days, and who was living at 
Camnish near Dungiven in the county of Deny, when his son. 
was born on the 3rd of November, 1815. Having become a 
Unitarian, he was invited to take charge of the congregation in 
Newry. Young Mitchel took his degree of B.A. in Trinity 
College, Dublin, which he entered about his fifteenth year. He 
became an attorney, and, as partner with Mr. Samuel Eraser of 
Newry, lived at Banbridge, a small town in the neighbourhood. 
But, before this, during his apprenticeship, he married Miss Jane 
Yerner, against the wishes of her father, Captain Yerner, brother 
of Sir William Yerner, Bart., well known among the Orange 



Digitized by 



Google 



John MitcheTs Daughter. 135 

Ulster aristocracy of that bygone day. The bride was a school- 
girl, not yet sixteen years old, and only in this respect disqualified 
for Longfellow's hexameter : 

" Fair was she to behold, that maiden of seventeen summers." 
Webb gives 1835 as the date of his marriage, when he was twenty 
years of age ; and this is more likely than the statement of the 
writer in the Irish Tribune that the bridegroom had only attained 
the age of Evangeline mentioned a moment ago. 

I have not forgotten that the subject of this paper is John 
MitchePs daughter. At some future time something may be said 
about John Mitchel himself ; but, as it often happens that those 
future times never become present, I will venture, without daring 
to ask leave, to print here an extract from an extract which I 
made surreptitiously from some notes which had the misfortune to 
pass through my hands, which were jotted down without the 
faintest idea of publication in any form, and to which the name of 
the writer would add interest and value. Henrietta Mitchel was 
born in October, 1842, and, when she was a " toddling wee thing '' 
of three or four years, her father made the following impression 
on an observant lad eight or nine years older : 

"The only time I ever recollect seeing John Mitchel was 
when the railway from Dublin reached no further north than 
Drogheda. We were both going to Dublin, and both got on the 
coach together on the Ballybot side of the town, close to Turners 
Glen. He was a man not easily forgotten, and his conversation 
and appearance made a deep impression upon the little lad his 
fellow-traveller that day. I well recollect his dark straight hair, 
almost whiskerless face, and sallow, colourless, bloodless complexion, 
which, combined with a certain sharpness of feature and nobility 
of b'row gavejiim a peculiarly intellectual appearance, with a look 
almost of the ascetic. The square character of his jaw and the 
firmness of his mouth conveyed the notion of a resolute, not to 
Bay obstinate man — a notion which was not removed by the look 
of his dark grey eyes which seemed full of dreams and melan- 
choly. 1 still think him the most brilliant journalistic writer I 
have ever known, He had not perhaps the breadth of Frederick 
Lucas, nor the wide information of Gavan Duffy, nor the tender 
pathetic imagination of Thomas Davis ; but his style was more 
terse, vigorous, and to the point than theirs, and was wholly free 
from affectation of scholarship foreign to the matter in hand. 
Occasionally in a sentenoe he could condense a world of argument. 
One instance occurs to me. In one of a series of letters addressed 



Digitized by 



Google 



136 John MitcheVs Daughter. 

to the Orangemen of the North, lie is pointing out to them why* 
they should be in the van of the National movement as their 
fathers had been in 1782 and 1798, and he is meeting an objection 
supposed to be. made by an Orangeman then and certainly fre- 
quently made for him since, namely, that to join with the Irish 
Papist would be to join the children of Antichrist, and so on. 
Each Twelfth of July celebration makes us familiar with this kind of 
thing. John Mitchel did not proceed gravely to argue that, after 
all, the evidence was not quite conclusive that the Pope was really 
Antichrist, and that, at all events, all Irishmen, even Irish Papists,, 
were bound up with the weal or woe of their country. He did 
none of these things. In the language of the now defunct 
special pleader he put in a plea of confession and avoidance. He 
wrote a single line : * The Pope may be Antichrist, but, Orange- 
men of the North, he serves no ejectments in Ulster.' " 

Let me emphasise one little point in this extract. Mitchel is 
described as waiting for the Dublin coach at " Turner's Glen," as it 
was called at that time, just beside Dromalane and the house where 
Mitchel had spent his boyhood — the very house to which through a 
strange combination of circumstances he was to return in the last 
week of his life after all his vicissitudes and all his wanderings — 
after "Nation," and "United Irishman," and Green-street, and the 
Shearwater, and Spike Island, and the Bermudas, and Van Diemen's 
Land, and New York, and Richmond, and Paris, and at the end his- 
election for Tipperary. And so he died at home at last on March 20th, 
1875. Let the reader's memory supply Goldsmith's beautiful simile. 

The tribute paid here to Mitchel's power as a public writer may 
be paired with a still higher compliment which I rescue from a 
newspaper scrap a year or two old. Mr. Thomas Sexton, M.P., in 
a mere incidental speech as chairman at a lecture in which editors- 
were referred to, recalled some of the chief names in Irish journal- 
ism, " going back to the days of Thomas Davis— the days of the 
man who, by the beautiful enthusiasm of his own soul, inspired a 
people who, through long suffering and shameful wrong at the 
hand of overwhelming power, had sunk into what seemed before 
his day to be a hopeless lethargy — the man who by the creative 
energy of his genius cast ideas and hopes of the Irish people into- 
such shapes of beauty that they thrill the hearts of men even now, 
though for two score years the grass has been growing on the 
grave of Thomas Davis. And speaking here to-night in no narrow 
or fierce political spirit, I would mention the name of Charles. 
Gavan Duffy as the name of a man who brought to the service of 



Digitized by 



Googk 



John MitcheTs Daughter. 137 

the Irish cause a logical power that has been unsurpassed since hi* 
day, and who expounded the ideas and hopes of the Irish people, 
from year to year in the columns of the Nation, with an eloquence 
which even now, when their immediate political use is past, com- 
mends them as models and examples to the thoughtful literary 
student. Can I, in speaking of Irish editors, pass by the name of 
John Mitchel P Can I pass by him who shares with John Henry 
Newman, the great Cardinal, the fame of having written the 
strongest, the simplest, the most fascinating English pronounced 
in our generation P Can I pass by the name of the man whose- 
sentences ring out like the blows of a hammer on the anvil, by the- 
name of the man who gave to the feelings of the Irish race a 
passion which reverberates long years after he has been laid in his 
grave P The utterance of Irish passion by the tongue of John 
Mitchel was like the cries of fighting men in the thick of battle. 

This is enough for the present about Henrietta MitcheFs 
father. The French friend and biographer of the Irish girl, 
Madame Zulime Bramet, says that Henrietta told her that she 
remembered being brought by her mother to see her father when 
in prison and under sentence of death. This was in her sixth 
year, and to her childish mind and to the beautiful young wife's 
heart fourteen years' penal servitude beyond the seas was the same 
as death ; but, as a fact, a death-sentence was never passed upon 
Mitchel, as it was upon Meagher and later viotims of the '4& 
movement. After the convict had been sent to Bermuda and then 
to the Cape of Good Hope, and finally to Tasmania, finding he had 
some sort of fixity of tenure in his compulsory exile, he sought to 
turn exile into home by sending for his brave little wife and his 
five young children. In his journal, on the 21st of June, 1851, 
we find this entry: "To-morrow I commence my research for 
house and farm wherein to set up my ticket-of -leave penates." The 
entry of the previous day is still briefer: " To-day I met my wife 
and family once more. These things cannot be described." Our 
little heroine, Henrietta, was nine years old when she made that 
first of many long voyages. Isabella, who was, like her, to become 
a Catholic, was born before they left Tasmania. And now we shall 
go on with the daughter's story after giving one sample of the 
father's diary, belonging to an earlier date than we have reached* 
for the 13th of September spoken of in this extract was in 1848, 
three months after his conviction : — 

" The glorious bright weather tempts me to spend much time 
on the pier, where I have been sitting for hours, with the calm 



Digitized by 



Google 



138 John M&heTs Daughter. 

limpid water scarce rippling at my feet Towards the north-east, 
and in front of me where I sit, stretches away beyond the rim of 
the world that immeasurable boundless blue; and by intense 
gazing I can behold, in vision, the misty peaks of a far-off land 
— yea, round the gibbous shoulder of the great oblate spheroid, 
my wistful eyes can see, looming, floating in the sapphire empyrean, 
that green Hy Brasil of my dreams and memories — ' with every 
haunted mountain and streamy vale below.' Near me, to be sure, 
on one side lies scattered an archipelago of sand and lime-rocks, 
whitening and splitting like dry bones under the tyrannous sun, 
with their thirsty brushwood of black fir-trees ; and still closer 
behind me, are the horrible, swarming hulks, stewing, seething 
cauldrons of vice and misery. But often while I sit by the sea, 
facing that north-eastern art, my eyes, and ears, and heart are all 
far, far. This thirteenth of September is a clear, calm, autumnal 
day in Ireland, and in green glens there, and on many a mountain- 
side, beech-leaves begin to redden, and the heather-bell has grown 
brown and sere : the corn-fields are nearly all stripped bare by 
this time; the flush of summer grows pale, the notes of the 
singing-birds have lost that joyous thrilling abandon inspired by 
June days, when every little singer in his drunken rapture will 
gush forth his very soul in melody, but he will utter the unutter- 
able joy. And the rivers, as they ^go brawling over their pebbly 
beds, some crystal bright, some tinted with sparkling brown from 
the high moors — ' the hue of the Cairngorm pebble ' — all have got 
their autumnal voice and chide the echoes with a hoarser murmur, 
complaining (he that hath ears to hear let him hear) how that 
summer is dying, and the time of the singing birds is over and 
gone. On such an autumn day to the inner ear is ever audible a 
kind of low and pensive, but not doleful sighing, the first whispered 
8usurrus of those moaning, wailing October winds, wherewith 
Winter preludes the pealing anthem of his storms. Well known 
to me, by day and by night, are the voices of Ireland's winds and 
waters, the faces of her ancient mountains. I see it, I hear it all 
— for by the wondrous power of imagination, informed by strong 
love, I do indeed live more truly in Ireland than on these 
unblessed rocks. 

" But what avails it P Do not my eyes strain over the sea in 
vain P my soul yearn in vain P Has not the Queen of England 
banished me from the land where my mother bore me, where my 
father's bones are laid P " 

If the writer of this " Jail Journal " had never been in gaol 



Digitized by 



Google 



John Mit chefs Daughter. 139 

— to give also the other less phonetic spelling of the word, which 
would have spoiled the title of the book so much — if Mitchel had 
lived and died a prosperous attorney in Banbridge or Newry, his 
eldest and his youngest daughter would not have come under the 
influences of which God made use to draw them into the Catholic 
Church. Mitchel's own religious sentiments were far (I fear too 
far) removed from bigotry. I have heard on excellent authority 
that he once said that, if he could pray, he would be a Catholic ; 
but he had never learned really to pray. Perhaps it was the 
generosity of his nature and his undying hatred to everything 
English that made him argue earnestly and eloquently in defence 
of the Pope in many public writings, just as at the outset of his 
career he was the champion of the Catholics round Banbridge, 
especially when poor, and, ever after, the lifelong friend of their 
pastor, Father Bernard Mooney, afterwards P.P. of Rostrevor. 
His friendship for Father John Kenyon is more readily under- 
stood, for they were kindred spirits ; but Father Mooney, an 
excellent, laborious, self-sacrificing priest, was decidedly unliterary, 
unromantic, and seemingly uncongenial. 

These Catholic sympathies, or at least this freedom from Pro- 
testant prejudice, may serve to explain how the political exile, 
when he settled down in Paris, entrusted the education of his 
daughter to the Nuns of the Sacr£ Cobut, although he was already 
aware of her strong impulse towards Catholicity. This will best 
be told in his own words. He continued his " Journal," after it 
had ceased to be a jail journal, and published portions of the con- 
tinuation in his newspapers in the United States, which must con- 
tain very many things that it would be desirable to rescue from 
oblivion. The following was published in the Irish Citizen on 
March 19, 1872, and refers to a period ten years earlier : — 

" Our eldest daughter, Henrietta, has this winter become a 
Catholic. It is no new whim on her part, for long since, while we 
were living at Washington, she had formed the same wish very 
strongly, influenced partly, as I suppose, by her intimacy with 
two young ladies of a Maryland Catholic family, who were our 
next-door neighbours. I know, also, that she was greatly influenced 
by her very strong Irish feeling, and had a kind of sentiment that 
one cannot be thoroughly Irish without being Catholic. For that 
time, however, we had objected to any decided and public step 
being taken in this direction. She was too young to have duly 
studied the question and to know her own mind thoroughly, but I 
said that if, after two or three years, she should entertain the same 



Digitized by 



Google 



140 John MitcheV 8 Daughter. 

wish, I would not utter one word to dissuade her. Since our 
arrival in France she had been placed in school in the convent of 
the Sacr£ Cosur, and has become greatly attached to one of the 

good ladies of that house, Madame D , a very excellent and 

accomplished woman. This condition of things was not calculated 
to abate her Catholic zeal, and, in short, the time came when my 
dear daughter declared that she must be a Catholic — could not livfr 
without being a Catholic. I did not think her parents had the 
right — and, indeed, they had not the disposition^-to cross her wish 
any further. So on a certain day she and another young lady were 
to be baptised in the chapel of the convent. The Archbishop of 
Paris, Cardinal Morlot, heard of it and wrote to the Reverend 
Mother of the house to the effect that, as several conversions of 
Protestant pupils which had lately taken place in the convents 
had given rise to imputations of undue influence and conversion 
by surprise, as it were, and had afterwards given umbrage to the 
relatives, he should require that, before any further steps were 
taken, I should be asked for a written consent. Madame 

D showed me the letter, and I instantly wrote the required 

consent. For this acquiescence I was most earnestly blamed by 
some of my connections in the north of Ireland, who wrote to me, 
urging that I ought to exert my authority to stop any such apos- 
tasy. What would they have me to do P Shut up my daughter 
in her ioom and give her the Westminster confession to read P 
How should I like this usage myself P Here was a girl of nine- 
teen, full of intelligence and spirit, gentle and affectionate, who 
had never given to her father and mother one moment's uneasiness 
on her account, deliberately declaring that she desired to embrace 
the ancient faith of her forefathers. In short, I believe that I 
acted right. For the short remainder of her days she remained a 
devout Catholic, and so died. She lies buried in the cemetery of 
Mont Parnasse." 

I am not sure which of the two is more to be trusted on this 
point ; but Mitchol in the foregoing account differs a good deal 
from Henrietta's friend, Zulime Bramet. After speaking of her 
American friend, " Miss Emma," whom she made a better Catho- 
lic while still a Protestant herself, and after attributing her Catho- 
lic tendencies partly to the reading of Cardinal Wiseman's 
"Fabiola," the biographer pays a compliment which must 
not be passed over. "Henriette avait quinze ans, et £tait, 
£ cette 6poque, dans toute la fleur de cette beauts si remar- 
qnable chez lee Irlandaises." Mr. Webb also speaks of her 



Digitized by 



Google 



John MitcheV a Daughter* u\ ■ 141 

mother's " extraordinary beauty." Madame Bramet allows us to 
understand that Henrietta became a boarder with the Religieuses 
of the Sacr£ Coeur not before but after her conversion. After 
receiving long instruction from P6re de Ponlevoy, S. J., which were 
interrupted by an illness and a visit to her Protestant relations in 
Ireland, she was received into the Catholic Church and baptised in 
the Convent chapel on the last day of 1861, making her First Com- 
munion on that day also, and her second on New Year's Day, 1862. 
When the Civil War in America made John Mitchel join his 
sons in fighting for the Southern States, Henrietta, instead of 
going with the others to her Irish friends, obtained leave to stay 
in the convent and to keep her youngest sister, the little Tasmanian 
Isabella, with the purpose of preparing her to become a Catholic 
like herself. The parents found that this was the fixed resolve of 
their youngest child ; and they gave their consent. 

One of Henrietta's recreations was the making of verses. Her 
father's prose often shows that he could have been a poet if he 
liked. But, as a fact, the only bit of rhyme that we have ever 
heard of from Mitchel' s pen was merely extemporised in one of 
those ingenious drawingroom games which we fear have gone 
utterly out of fashion. This little relic would be much more 
interesting if we could name the distinguished man whose mar- 
vellous memory has preserved it so long — like that song which 
Longfellow sang into the air and which long afterwards he found 
in the heart of a friend. In the game which occupied several 
bright intellects on a certain evening forty years ago, in a house 
in our Donnybrook suburb, each person in turn was required to 
introduce a certain word in giving an answer to a question proposed 
to him. The question proposed to Mitchel was: " Why wasnotFather 
Kenyon at the meeting to-day P "—-and the word to be brought into 
his answer was colure, an astronomical term for which the reader is 
referred to his dictionary, and which Mitchel thus introduced with 
•consummate art : 

" The motions of this very reverend priest 
Defy the skill of human calculator ; 
From north to south he Bhoots, from west to oast. 

From pole to pole, from colure to equator ; 
And, when you deem you firmly have your eyes on 
This slippery priest, he's off beyond the horizon." 

As Mitchel so rarely sacrificed to the muses, the muses in turn 
paid him few tributes. I remember nothing but these lines by 
"Lia Fail," dated March 20, 1876, the. first anniversary of 
Mitchel's death : 



Digitized by 



Google 



142 ~ John MitcheT slaughter. 

u Then sleep, John Mitchel, in your Irish grave ; 

Tour name will live amid the good and true — 
For when did earth behold a heart more brave ? 

And when had chief a nobler cause than you* P 

Your rivals in earth's story are but few. 
Among the heroes Erin calls her own — 

And they are many, aye and mighty too— 
Your equals, leader high, are these alone : 
O'Neill, O'Donnell Hoe, Fitzgerald, Emmet, Tone." 

The last of these Irishmen to whom Mitchel is here compared 
is hard to recognise at page 48 of the French brochure before us, 
where two separate names, Wolfe and Rowe, are twice repeated, 
Rowe being a misprint for Tone. Other mistakes have evidently 
crept in through Madame Bramet's ignorance of English. These are 
the reflections of an Irish maiden in the backwoods of America: — 

Twas a holy sabbath even, in the autumn of the year; 
On a fallen pine-tree sitting, in the backwoods dark and drear, 
Where no church steeple met the eye, or bells swung in the air, 
Sat a little Irish maiden dreaming sad and lonely there. 

The birdswere singing vespers t'o the music of the rills, 

The wind sang its wild anthems as it swept down pine-clothed hills ; 

But the grand old choir of nature fell unheeded on the ear 

Of the Irish maiden dreaming in those backwoods dark and drear. 

No song of bird or wind she heard, no pine-hills near were seen, 

Her thoughts were far, ah ! far away in the land of the shamrock green ; 

'Twas of her distant native land, of her home so dear and fair, 

That this Irish girl was thinking as she sat dreaming there. 

She thought of its ruined shrines, of its priesthood hunted down. 
Of those who for faith and country were lying cold and lone : 
She thought of many a martyr in an unhonoured grave — 
Of Owen Roe and Aodh O'Neill the bravest of the brave. 

Of the olden time when Erin held her head among the free, 
When no land could boast of prouder or nobler sons than she, 
That little Irish maiden sat fondly dreaming there 
With nought to break the stillness of the Sabbath evening air. 

She thought of Tone and Emmet and of the patriot few 
Who, even at the present hour, with hearts as warm and true, 
In exile on a foreign shore their lives were doomed to roam 
In vain and weary longings for their own loved native home. 



Digitized by 



Google 



John MitcheFs Daughter. 149 

She slipped from off the fallen tree, and, kneeling on the sod, 

She breathed an earnest prayer for them, that Irish maid, to God. 

In heartf ul supplication she lifted high her hand — 

" Qod help," she said, " God help thee now, my own dear native land.* 

Above the anthems of the wind and the vespers of the bird, 
Above the music of the rills, oh 1 surely will be heard 
By God on high the murmured words, the earnest heartf ul prayer 
Of that little Irish maiden who kneeleth lonely there. 

Did poor Mitchel ever see his daughter's verses P Care will be 
taken that at least in their newest •form they may reach her 
mother. The only other poem given by Madame Bramet is still 
more likely, on account of its theme, never to have come under the 
eyes of her parents. Henrietta cherished a most tender devotion 
to the Blessed Sacrament of the altar. Many pages of the French 
life are filled with fervent meditations on the Holy Eucharist found 
among her papers, written in French which was almost more fami- 
liar to her now than English. To a Protestant friend, describing the 
feast of the Sacred Heart, 1862, she writes: "Almost all the 
pupils received Holy Communion, and this was the real feast of 
our hearts. But you who do not believe in the Real Presence 
cannot understand me. Ah ! my dear friend, I can only pray for 
you, that you may one day have the consolation of tasting the 
inconceivable happiness of the Holy Communion which surpasses 
in beauty and grandeur all that is most beautiful and delightful 
on earth." One day (September 5th, 1862) she brought to her 

favourite nun, Madame Adele D , the following "Lines 

composed on seeing a Nun returning from Communion." 

Keturning from the table of the Lord, 

Her heart, I knew, was full of secret prayer ; 
For He the mighty and eternal Word, 

Incarnate once again, reposed there. 
A sense of awe, of reverential fear, 

As then she passed me by, stole o'er my spirit ; 
I sought to touch her robe, her joy to share. 

For in that act I felt there might be merit. 

So intimate the union that existed 

Between Him the Almighty God of heaven 
And her the loving soul that ne'er resisted 

The grace divine or inspiration given ; 
Most sacred union and communion mystic, 

Fountain of every bright and holy vision, 
thou most blessed banquet eucharistic, 

Sweet glimpses given of the Land Elysian ! 



Digitized by 







144 John Mitchef s Daughter. 

Yes, thou hast fed her soul with viands rarest, 

Whilst, sad and famished, here I sit and moan. 
Ah ! she is happy with her Saviour dearest, 

Whilst I am weeping all alone, alone. 
But she — full well I know her touching story — 

The proudest daughter of the proudest nation, 
She with proud scorn has spurned all human glory 

To seize the cross, the cross of sure salvation. 

So is she consecrated to the Lord, 

To God's own service all her life is vowed ; 
He calls her now unto His festive board 

And He of her pure soul becomes the food. 
But I so base, so full of earth's pollution, 

I love but what is earthly, passing by ; 
Where is my courage P where my resolution P 

Where is my love or generous impulse high P 

God, my God, when with thy dear beloved, 

When in the midst of Thy elect I pray, 
Have mercy on the sinner sore reproved, 

Take pity on Thy child that goes astray. 
And you who know the grief 'twould be to lose Him, 

In prayers for me your charity will show, 
That one day He may take me to His bosom 

And on my brow the kiss of peace bestow. 

On the 3rd of December, 1862, Feast of St. Francis Xavier, 
Isabella Mitchel, after careful instruction and full of faith, was 
baptised, and Henrietta was her godmother. About this time the 
elder sister expressed some idea of joining the community who 
loved her so much ; but the religieuses did not think she had a 
vocation and they advised her not to cause this pain to her 
parents. She continued to pursue with great ardour her studies 
which had necessarily been neglected during the wanderings of 
her earlier years. Many letters and essays printed in the French 
sketch show her great intelligence, her ardent faith, and her almost 
seraphio charity ; but " le secret d'ennuyer est celui de tout dire," 
and we have space for no more than two other relics of this 
exquisite soul. The only remaining scrap of English in the 
volume is her note of her interview on St. Patrick's Day, 1863, 
with Madame Barat, the venerable Foundress of the Order of the 
Sacred Heart : 

" St. Patrick's Day passed over tranquilly. We did not forget to pay that 
tribute which we owed to the dear old land and to the cherished memory of her 
patron saint. Although on a foreign strand, a little sprig of Irish shamrock 
decorated our dress ; it was grown on Irish ground, and, when culled to be sent 



Digitized by 



Google 



John MitcheFs Daughter. 145 

across the water, it was covered with crystal drops of IrUh rain. All this L 
•can vouch for on the faith of the friend who sent it, a stout-hearted patriot, by 
the way, who sent the precious shamrock enveloped in Moore's song, and who 
would as soon go without breakfast every day of the year, as without 
the shamrock on St. Patrick's Day. But, as I was saying, the little sprig of 
ehamrock decorated our dress and drew forth more than one exclamation and look 
of surprise from these good-hearted French girls unaccustomed to see what 
they took for clover-leaves occupying such an honourable place of distinction. 

" Of the many festivals which I have passed none will be for ever so deeply 
engraved on my memory as this one, on account of my interview with Madame 
Barat, the foundress and beloved mother of the entire Order. She looked up as 
I entered the room and smiled kindly as I knelt to kiss the hand she held out to 
me. Never shall I forget the impression produced upon me when I found myself 
in the presence of a living saint. She was sitting at a table writing. This 
woman of eighty-four years, whose body seems literally to be mouldering away 
with age, but whose soul retains ail its vigour and its superior faculties, seems 
but to await the opportunity of breaking forth from its earthly prison. I would 
have remained willingly in contemplation of the kind face before me, but she 
broke the silence by wishing me in the cordial French manner a happy feast ; 
she then tried to show me the manner in which St. Patrick had explained the 
mystery of the bles3ed Trinity by means of the shamrock. It seemed strange 
to me to see a foreigner so conversant with this point of our history which, 
mingled with our national legends, had long been so familiar to me, but which 
beyond the ocean-bound land is but little known by any, except the sons of her 
own green hills. I had forgotten however that a great part of our annals 
belongs to another history, the history of that country of which she before me 
was the devoted daughter, the glorious country of the true faith. Yes, the 
Church counts in her foremost ranks many Irish apostles, saints, and surely, ah ! 
surely, many many martyrs. But she before me has often come in closer and 
personal contact with the children of Erin. Many an Irish daughter has been 
-confided to her arms by St. Patrick : such is the communion of saints ! These 
were my thoughts naturally awakened in my mind by the topics of our conver- 
sation. She spoke to me of Ireland, of my brave true countrymen, their faith, 
their courage, until the tears overflowed my eyes and coursed their way down 
my cheek, thus to see them so well appreciated by a stranger. But she spoke 
with all the enthusiasm of the truest, warmest patriotism, so closely are allied 
those two noblest sentiments of which the heart of man is capable ; the love of 
God and the love of country, and which both awake alike the noblest and most 
generous devotedness. So I thought and so I felt. Ireland, dear Ireland, be my 
witness. As I left the room of Madame Barat, did I love thee less, if I loved 
my God the more ? Did I feel less proud of thy glorious struggles, if I had 
learned to appreciate more deeply the devoted sacrifices which the cross inspires P 
Above all, did I forsake thee or thy cause, if I enrolled myself for ever beneath 
the banner of my Saviour and in vowing myself to live and die in the service of 
that greatest of chieftains, of patriots, of martyrs, who had shed his blood for 
me ? Ireland 1 how happy am I that the festival should be at once religious 
and national, and that thy St. Patrick's Day should have the double charm of 
recalling to me the sweet remembrance of our duty towards our country and 
our God!" 

Vol. xiy. No. 153. 12 



Digitized by 



Google 



140 John Mitchell Daughter. 

The second last of these sentences seems to imply that on this 
occasion Miss Mitchel offered herself to the religions state. 
Towards the beginning of the memorandum she says that the 
memory of that particular feast would remain for ever indelibly 
engraven on her memory. In reality the impression was not to be- 
allowed time to fade out. The ardent maiden had some presenti- 
ment of an early death, but no doubt she imagined she had years 
before her on earth instead of one bare month. The following 
letter to her spiritual director, Father Armand de Ponlevoy, the 
biographer of Father Ravignan, was her last : 

" There is one thing, dear Father, which perhaps I ought not to hide from 
yon, but I have always been too much ashamed of it to speak to you about it, 
so I take the expedient of writing to you. It is that from time to time I find 
myself in such a transport of love for God that I am almost beside myself. 
Yesterday I felt it very vividly. You can conceive nothing stronger than the 
divine love which animates me in these moments. Our Lord seems to be quite- 
near me* I am prostrate at His feet, I kiss them, I wash them with my tears,. 
I would wish to die there. My soul appears to have strength enough to carry my 
body away and flee to heaven. I would wish to live only for Jesus, to live only 
for Jesus. I say to myself at these moments : what matter where I live or 
with what persons, whether with saints or with demons? My vocation is 
between God and me, and no object without can determine it or change it. I 
wish only to suffer and to be the beloved of Jesus : in this I find an unutterable 
delight. This is the reason why I always fear that these raptures may come 
rather from nature than from grace and be merely an illusion : I am so ardent 
by nature, and I often find myself tired and almost sick afterwards. Also I 
don't see that these spiritual consolations have the effect which they ought to 
have on my character ; they do not help me to acquire solid virtues. I have 
felt the need of telling you that I want to rise above all these miseries. I want 
to be a saint. Am I too ambitious P I want to be a saint, and I must be one. 
I am not afraid like a little Breton girl who told me the other day that she was 
afraid to become a saint because she would not be happy : for the saints con- 
sider themselves very bad people. I answered her that it was necessary to < 
have this feeling in order to prevent pride, but that it could not prevent the joy 
of feeling oneself to be a child of predilection, the well-beloved of God ; the 
saints are afflicted at their faults because they have received more favours- 
than others, and this very affliction must be itself full of delights. O my dear 
Father, I must be a saint ; will you make me a saint P 

Oh ! il me faut Ure une sainte, mon phre ; faitee de moi une 
eainte, wukz vow ? This is the fervent cry of John Mitchel' s 
daughter in the last month of her short and innocent life. During 
the last weeks of Lent she spent long hours before the Blessed 
Sacrament. One day she did not appear at dinner, and the 
refectorian, going in search of her, found her kneeling before the 
tabernacle in the same position in which she had observed her 



Digitized by 



Google 



John MUeheP* Daughter. 147 

boors before. On Thursday in Easter week she fainted, and, on 
recovering consciousness, felt a violent headache which never left 
her. After some alternations the disease developed into brain fever ; 
but, while she still retained the use of her faculties, she received 
all the sacraments of the dying, on the Thursday after Low 
Sunday, and then sank into an unconscious state from which she 
never recovered, passing peacefully away at two o'clock on Satur- 
day morning, April 18th, 1863. 

She had sorrows and partings enough, but she was spared the 
grief of hearing, while in this vale of tears, of the death of her 
brothers, John and William, who were killed fighting in the Con- 
federate army, one at Gettysburg, the other at Fort Sumter. 

Writing to Mrs. A. M. Sullivan from New York on the 23rd 
of April, 1868, when Henrietta's fifth anniversary had just 
passed by, John Mitchel thus concludes a letter much more 
amiable than the ones he addressed to Lord Clarendon twenty 
years before : — 

"We are now living at Fordham, a village about eight miles 
from New York, in a very pretty country, which is just putting 
on its spring robes, and is going to be an Elysium all summer. 
But we have passed through the most savage winter ever 
experienced here — and have survived it. We have, living all 
together in one house at Fordham, my son James and his Virginia 
wife, my daughter Minny and her Virginia husband, my own wife 
and youngest daughter Isabella — not forgetting myself. All join 
in sending greetings to you, and some of them can do this feelingly, 
having gone through something analagous, ' only more so.' " 

Of this family group two more have been removed by death — 
Mitchel ^himself in 1875, Isabella, only two or three years ago. 
She must have been less than ten years old when her godmother 
died ; but she remained true to the promises made by her and for 
her in baptism. In 1875 she accompanied her father to Ireland, 
and prayed beside his deathbed. Her grace and singular beauty, 
we are told, charmed all who came in contact with her. On her 
return to America she married Dr. Sloane, a nephew of the famous 
Irish leader of the American bar, Charles O'Connor. In the 
midst of a happy life she was attacked by typhoid fever and 
(so the newspaper account ran) died in her 27th year, comforted 
in her last moments by the sacred rites of the Catholic Church, 
of which she was a devout member. Of John Mitchel's family of 
three sons and three daughters, a son and a daughter still survive 
— Captain James Mitchel and Mary, wife of Colonel Page of 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



148 John Hit chefs Daughter. 

Kentucky. With Mrs. Page lives her mother, the fragile and 
gentle woman who seemed least fitted to cope with so many hard- 
ships and dangers, but who has borne them and braved them all 
so admirably. 

Such, then, is the link between the memory of a man whose 
name was in many mouths, and that of a maiden who never before 
was mentioned outside her own narrow circle. Strange that 
reputation and especially posthumous reputation should be such a 
powerful motive among men ! " Fame ! fame ! next grandest 
word to God ! " Yet what matters fame, when life is over, unless 
obtained by deeds and qualities that stand the test of death? 
Would that a visible response had been given to Henrietta's 
prayers for her beloved father ! I do not know that Mitchel and 
Longfellow ever met. Richmond and New York were his Ameri- 
can homes, not Boston. They were dissimilar in career and 
character, yet they had this in common that they both exhibited 
towards the Catholic Church a generous admiration which in both 
cases made many pray during their lives that the full gift of faith 
might be bestowed upon them as it was upon kijiswomen of each 
of them. The reader has heard a good deal now about the 
politician's daughter, and he may have heard before of the con- 
version of the poet's niece. The unknown maiden or the famous 
man — which of the two is most to be envied P Fame, after all, 
seems a very dreary, ghastly thing when the light of eternity is 
thrown back upon it. It does one very little good to be talked 
about during life and still less after death. Yet Longfellow 
himself, when his own heart was young, told us what " the heart 
of the young man said to the psalmist ; " and some such youthful 
heart may be at this moment drawing quite another moral than 
that which I am pointing to in thus coupling together for 
contrast's sake Ada Longfellow and the author of " Evangeline," 
John Mitchel and John Mitchel's daughter.* 

* If it had fallen under my eye at the proper moment, I should have joined 
with Mr. Sexton's appreciation of Mitchel's style the following passage from 
John Augustus O'Shea's " Reminiscences of a Special Correspondent." 1 quote 
a little more than is needed for the present purpose. 

* In Mitchel a great writer was lost. His style was as strong and clear as 
that of Swift or Bolingbroke, his logic forcible, his humour cutting, his sarcasm 
merciless, and withal he could soar into realms of imagination the most purely 
poetic, or unbend from his accustomed rigidity and indulge in passages of florid 
description that might turn many a word-painter by vocation green with envy. 
His short life of Clarence Mangan is one of the most touching pieces of 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 1*9 ) 



O THOU WHO HAST MADE ME, HAVE MEROY ON ME. 

11HEKE are times, bitter times, full of doubt and despair, 
. When we almost abandon the language of prayer ; 
When our lips and our heart scarcely venture to frame 
Even His, our dear Master's own merciful Name; 
When Mary our Mother seems deaf to our cry, 
And angels and saints seem too far and too high. 
Ob I when God in His wisdom such moments shall send, 
Let one cry from our hearts in His presence ascend — 
A cry full of anguish yet trust let it be — 
'• O Thou who hast made me, have mercy on me ! " 

O Thou, who hast made me I Thou only canst know 

The depth of my weakness, the weight of my woe ; 

And I feel Thy tribunal will prove in the end 

More indulgent than verdict of best earthly friend ; 

For, Workman divine and all wise as Thou art, 

Thou hast made this weak mind and this cowardly heart, 

Nor can folly of mine mix a shade of surprise 

In the grave, tender love of Thy pitiful eyes. 

All wisdom, all power, all love is in Thee — 

O Thou who hast made me, have mercy on me ! 

Thou, who hast made me I Thou hadst a design, 

Thou didst mark out a special life-labour as mine ; 

A work to be finished ere setteth life's sun — 

A work, which, I failing, shall never be done. 

Then rouse thee, my soul, for all weak as thou art, 

Thou must play in life's drama a Heaven* set part. 

Thy God, thy Creator, thy service doth claim — « 

He calls thee, He needs thee, He nameth thy name : 

Dear Master, 1 hasten, Thy handmaiden see — 

Thou who hast made me, have mercy on me ! 

biography with which I am acquainted, and his portrait of a Creole beauty in 
his "Jail Journal" is perfect — one to bring up a vision of luscious loveliness as 
first perused, and to dwell in the memory forever after. In person Mitchel was 
tall and gaunt ; his eyes were grey and piercing, his expression of countenance 
self-contained, if not saturnine, his features bony and sallow, with an inclination 
to the tan-tint ; high cheeks and determined chin, short and grizzled whiskers, 
and a thick moustache complete his photograph, as he was when I met him. In 
manner, he was reserved, as unlike the Celt as may be ; indeed he was not a Celt, 
but one of the Ulster stock, and in his accent and his deliberate and distinct 
enunciation, his Northern birth and training were traceable." 

Lady Wilde, writing to Mr. W. J. Fitzpatrick, describes an evening spent 
with her in Merrion-equare by John Mitchel, " who was fated so soon after to 
end his sad, brilliant life of genius, passion, and suffering. His lovely 
daughter was with him. She was born when he was a prisoner, and he called 
her 'Isabel of the Fetters,' but I said she was the ' Angel of the Captivity/ " 

Digitized by VjUUV Iv, 



150 An Idyl of the City. 

O Thou who hast made me— -so wretched in sooth, 

So wanting in gracefulness, goodness, and truth, 

Yet in whom, O strange marvel I Thy wisdom can find 

Expression of thoughts of Thine Infinite mind ! 

By that something mysterious Thou seest in me, 

By that which Thy grace may assist me to be, 

Have pity, have patience a little while stilly 

Oh ! let not our enemy frustrate Thy Will. 

In myself I despair, all my hopes are in Thee«— 

O Thou who hast made me, have mercy on me ! 

6. M. 8. 



AN IDYL OF THE CITY. 

READER, thou who livest in thy country home with the scent 
of the flowers all about thee, dost thou know what London 
is like in that glorious summertime that thou prizest so much, ana 
mournest in the long winter nights P For thee the sun rises over 
gently murmuring woods, over shady scented grass-carpeted lanes, 
over rippling brooks, over quiet, quaintly gabled little houses, that 
seem all ivy or passion-flower, with latticed windows peeping 
through; for thee the sun is merciful at noontide; for thee 
are spreading trees and shaded nooks till the shadows lengthen, 
and the west is glorious, and he setteth in a golden wealth of 
nature's cunningest cloud-painting. Such is the summer. 

But for me, who am a child of the great city, the Sun-god has 
no pity. His rays strike the hard polished pavements, and are 
reflected back in mockery of us, a sweltering crowd of human 
beings that are completely at his mercy. The very atmosphere 
seems to glow, and one's breath almost chokes one, so thick and 
stagnant is the air. We must suffer in silence, and with what good 
grace we may. 

I am a toiler of the city. All day I labour in its busy heart, 
and in the evening am well pleased to return to my home 
in a quiet suburb, and try to cool myself after the heat and 
languor of the day. Then it is that I have my pleasures, for even 
in the great city itself I can find a recreation. 



Digitized by 



Google 



AnldyloftheCiiy. 151 

Often of a summer's night do I push up the casement, and 
gaze far across the flat roofs into the darkness, and imagine a faint 
line of blue hills in the distance. Sometimes I can hear the soft, 
sad plashing of the waves on an ocean beach, and sometimes it is 
a vision of undulating fields, and quiet hedgerows lit with soft 
moonlight. Sometimes it is a dark forest of pine trees, and the 
dull muffled moan from the great city is the mournful rush of the 
wind sighing in its branches — sometimes it is a mighty lake that 
seems illimitable, for it fades into the heavens, and the ribbed 
clouds are the sands on its shores. London is sometimes beauti- 
ful in the summer nights, but the rude awakening to all its 
hideousness is a sore wrench. 

Thou, my good country cousin, needest no imagination. 
Nature does it all for thee: she appeals to all, educated and 
uneducated, cultured and uncultured ; and she has nought to do 
with art or imagination. 

Come thou with me in spirit, and I will show thee men that 
thou wottest not of ; men who know not what the country is, who 
-cannot even imagine it ; for whom the great city is the be-all and 
the end-all. Canst thou realize what it is to be such a one — never 
to long for the country P How can one long for what one has not 
seen ? One cannot even dream of it. 

I will show thee such a one ; aye, a million such, within a 
-couple of square miles. I will lend thee my wings of imagination, 
and we will take a flight together into the heart of the great city 
-and see what manner of men are her children. For she is a cruel 
mother, the Great City, a cruel, relentless mother. Come, let us 
view her as she lies with her children on her breast. 

We pass those brightly lit streets, with dark patches between, 
for those are the homes of her wealthier children, who visit her 
twice in the year, and are well content to leave her for the country, 
when their short perfunctory visits are over. They have their 
grouse moors, their salmon rivers, their deer forests, and their moun- 
tains, they are not the real children of the city, they are rather 
her guests. " Let thy guest feed though thou hungerest thyself/' 
says the eastern maxim ; but it is the real ohildren of the city that 
hunger and die for her guests. 

See the river as it lies in the moonlight. That, too, has come 
from the country ; does it not speak to thee with familiar voice P 
No P Ah, it is not like the country stream ; it has become foul 
^nd disfigured — the fate of all that have to do with the city — the 



Digitized by 



Google 



152 4n Idyl of the City. 

air, the very sky, do not escape* What chance then for him that: 
spends his life with her P 

The busy traffic has ceased to pour oyer the bridges. Here is- 
London .bridge that is so thronged with a human tide all day — 
silent and untenanted now. Nay, not untenanted, for what are 
those dark masses huddled up in corners P Aye, what indeed P* 
Approach and look at them. See this undefined mass in this- 
alcove; one, two, three — six separate bundles of rags! Look 
closer — they are human beings ; men and women in God's own 
image and likeness ! This shapeless collection of filth : — this is a 
man — one of the sons of the Great City, and there — and there — 
and there — is another. Even as we look at him, he stirs, and a 
muttered curse and foul imprecation rises to heaven. Here at thy 
feet lies one of the Great City's daughters — aye, good cousin,, 
believe thou me, that is a woman, although thou knowest not such ;. 
true, she is the City's daughter, but still a woman. Thou turnest 
from the sight P I will show thee worse. 

Ah ! what was that shriek and that splash, thou askest P I 
will tell thee. Look again in that alcove, and count the bundles of 
rags. One, two, three, four, five — the sixth? In the river. 
Nay, 'tis common enough. 

Come, let us leave the river then, and turn down to this dark 
patch of houses. Nay, fear not — 'tis a trifle unsavoury, I confess, 
but I will show thee worse. Let us take this lane, leading as it 
seems into a filthy courtyard. There are more of the City'a 
children in that archway; aye, children indeed, some of them; 
you can hear them cry. 

Approach this attic window, and look in at the home of one of 
the children of the city. It is a garret ; see how the roof slopes, 
till it is barely two feet from the floor. Thou wilt not look P 
Well, I will, for my eyes see more than thine. 

It is a child of the city on that bed. One does not want much 
insight to see that. The stunted form, the withered, anxious, 
careworn face, the rags that serve for clothes, all betray the 
parentage. Here is one, cousin, who has never seen the country, 
who only knows a river as a festering mass of corruption ; — who 
has never known the presence of Nature or heard her voice, whose 
foster-nurse is Drudgery, and life-companions Poverty and Squalor^ 
He is old for the city ; some forty years perhaps ; his hair is grey, 
what there is left of it. He has been old in all but years since he* 
was twenty. 



Digitized by 



Google 



An Idyl of the City. 15$ 

He is asleep ; in sooth it is not unlike the deep of death, but it 
ifl not so yet. I will tell thee his dream, for he is dreaming now. 

There is a woman's face in it, and it haunts him all through. 
A face of a daughter of the city, but withal not ill-favoured* 

He is standing on his threshold, and she is kneeling at his feet. 
It is a wild wintry night ; and the biting wind is driving the 
whirling sleet round the woman, as she shiveringly wraps herself 
and her child in a rag of a cloak. She seems to plead earnestly, 
and there are tears in his eyes, and he takes her in. And dream- 
like the scene changes. 

A still cold form lies on a bed under a white sheet, motionless ; 
and he is standing by it. He raises the cloth from the dead 
woman's face, and kisses her once, twice, thrice. He has a child 
in his arms, and he kisses it too. Again the scene changes. The- 
sleeper stirs in his sleep and I can hear him murmur : — 

" Annie, my child ! Come back to me ! My child ! " 

It is another face that now appears to him, and it is like the* 
first. But there is a daring, reckless, abandoned look on it, and 
there is nothing womanly in it. Stay ! As I look, the expression 
changes, and a light of unutterable tenderness comes into its eyes. 
The dream-form beckons to him, and the lips move. I cannot tell 
what they say to him, but he rises from the pallet and the dream 
vanishes. He is awake now. 

He passes his hand across his feverish brow, and turns to leave- 
the room. He descends the crazy stairs with an uncertain step, 
and crosses the courtyard. 

Hearest thou that burst of ribald merriment up the street P* 
Canst thou wonder at men retaining all the passions of brute 
beasts, when there is no saving influence in their everyday lives to- 
restrain them from evil ? 

Mark him now as he totters into the street. His steps are 
faltering, and he looks round appealingly, as if in search of some 
one. Mark him well ; thou wilt not see such elsewhere ; it will 
be a wholesome lesson for thee. 

He looks up the street and down, and at last wanders up it in 
an aimless sort of way. As we follow him, the voices grow louder 
and louder, till the drunken group comes in sight. Drunken men 
and reckless women ! Five of them reel down the street bawling 
a filthy song at the top of their voices ; scarce can the women's- 
voices be distinguished from the men's, they are so coarsened with 
drink. 

He hears them at length, and looks up at them as they near 



Digitized by 



Googk 



164 Nutshell Biogram, 

Turn. Three men and two women. He stands as one struck blind; 
for the face of one is that of the woman of his dream, and he 
recognises her. He steps forward, and throws himself at her feet 
in the midst of the noisy group, and I can hear him wail : 

" Annie, my child ! Gome with me, my child." 

For a moment she stands in stupid amazement ; then, suddenly 
sobered, she gently endeavours to raise him, and the dream- 
-expression comes into her eyes. But one of the men with a curse 
strikes him to the ground, and the moment of grace is past, and 
the throng reels on down the street. 

Strange how still he lies there on the pavement ; he has not 
moved since he was struck down. A stream of blood begins to 
trickle from his temple, and forms a little pool under his head* 
He is dead, but his dream was true ; for his deathblow came before 
the rude awakening, and it is the tender look in his child's eyes 
that he will remember through eternity. 

Dost like the scene, cousin P Such things happen every day, 
and thou wilt not forget it in future. In thine own peace and 
happiness remember that there are children of the Great City that 
suffer for thee and me. 

T. F. W. 



NUTSHELL BIOGRAMS. 

First Hakdful. 

[The name and nature of this little series bare partly been explained in the opening 
paragraph of "A Web of Irish Biographies" in our last Number. These brief 
•biographical notes will chiefly be confined to persons whom Ireland in some way 
claims as her own, those especiallj who are not found in Mr. A. Webb's excellent 
" Compendium " which excludes all the liying and omits some notable dead. Eren 
the most distinguished persons pass from the first of these classes to the second ; for 
instance, the Irishman we begin with has only just died. The second of these notes 
appeared in the Boston Pilot of which Mr. O'Reilly is editor, so that it is a sort of 
miniature autobiography.] 

1. Dr. Richard Robert Madden was born in Dublin in 1798, the 
youngest of twenty-one children of an eminent Dublin merchant. He 
studied medicine and in 1829 became a member of the Royal College 
of Surgeons of England, of which he was afterwards a Fellow. In 
1833 he was appointed special magistrate in Jamaica, and in 1836 



Digitized by 



Google 



Nutshell £iogram§. 156 

superintendent of liberated Africans at Havana, and subsequently 
Judge Advocate. His official position enabled him to serve the cause 
of the negroes with Wilberforce, Clarkson, and Buxton. In the midst 
of his labours in these and other offices he found time to write a large 
number of works, the best known being his " Lives and Times of the 
United Irishmen," in seven volumes. He also wrote " The Life and 
Martyrdom of Savonarola," " Memoirs of the Countess Blessington," 
•" Travels in Turkey and Egypt," "The Mussulman," "The Infir- 
mities of Genius," "Travels in the West Indies," "Shrines and 
Sepulchres of the Old and New World," and many others. One of 
the most useful of his works is the " History of Irish Periodical Litera- 
ture." His distinguished son, Dr. Thomas More Madden, has confined 
his literary skill to professional subjects. Richard Robert Madden 
-died on the 5th of February, 1886, aged 87 years, and was buried in 
the old graveyard of Donnybrook, near Dublin. 

2. John Boyle O'Reilly, was born at Dowth Castle, County Meath, 
Ireland, June 28th, 1844. His father, William David O'Reilly, was an 
Accomplished scholar and successful teacher. The future journalist 
learned to set type on the Drogheda Argus. Later he was employed 
48 type-setter or stenographer in various English cities ; till finally at 
the breaking out of the revolutionary movement in Ireland, he re- 
turned to his native land, intent on doing his share to advance her 
desperate cause* Enlisting in the Fourth Hussars, he set himself to 
«pread republican principles in the ranks, with the result that he 
was brought to trial, June 27th, 1866, pronounced guilty of high 
treason, and sentenced to be shot. This sentence was eventually com- 
muted to twenty years' penal servitude. Confined successively at 
Chatham, Portsmouth, Portland, and Dartmoor, subsequently Boyle 
O'Reilly, with other political convicts, was part of the life-freight 
-of the crowded convict-ship that sailed from England in November, 
1867, and reached West Australia, January 10th, 1868. A little more 
than a year later he effected his escape, but through a tangle of dangers 
and hardships almost incredible. Taken on board the " Gazelle,'' 
from New Bedford, Captain GifFord commanding, he had a six months' 
experience of a whaler's life. Returned from this cruise, and ere yet 
falling in with a ship for America, he had several hair-breadth escapes 
from re-capture. Finally, he landed in Philadelphia, November 23rd, 
1869. In 1870, he came to Boston and took a position on the Pilot, 
-contributing also to other publications at home and abroad. In 1873 
his first volume, " Songs of the Southern Seas," appeared. In 1876 
he became, with Archbishop Williams, owner of the Pilot, of which he 
was already editor. In 1878 appeared " Songs, Legends and Ballads ; " 
in 1879, the novel, "Moondyne," in 1881 another volume of poems, 



Digitized by 



Google 



156 Nutshell Biograms. 

41 The Statues in the Block." All these books have gone through 
many editions. 

3. Daniel Connolly was born in Belleek, County Fermanagh,. 
Ireland, in 1836. Since 1851 he has lived for the most part in New 
York. During the Cival War, he acted as Washington and Virginia 
correspondent for the New York Daily News. After the war, he became 
associate editor of the Metropolitan Record. In 1872, Mr. Connolly 
gave up journalism as an exclusive occupation ; though he has con- 
tinued to act as correspondent for several papers, among others the 
Detroit Free Press. His poems have attracted much notice. They 
are full of real feeling ; and there is a manly strength in his choice 
and treatment of topics, most refreshing in these days when boudoir 
poets abound. Some of the best of Mr. Connolly's poems have ap- 
peared in the Pilot. They have not yet been published in book form. 
He is about to publish in New York a very full cyclopedia of Irish 
Poets. 

4. Rev. Abram J. Ryan, the poet-priest of the South, was born in 
Virginia in 1840, of Irish parents. He made his ecclesiastical studies 
at St. Vincent's College, Cape Girardeau, Missouri. All through the 
Civil War he was an ardent champion of the cause of the South, and 
by speech and pen did all he could to advance it. Among the best of 
his poems are " The Conquered Banner/' and others on the " Lost 
Cause." Father Ryan was at one time editor of the Banner of the 
South, a democratic paper, published in Augusta, Georgia. He had 
also editorial connection with the New Orleans Morning Star. For 
some years, Father Ryan was pastor of St. Mary's Church, Mobile, 
Ala ; but latterly he has been released from parish work, and though 
retaining his connection with the Diocese of Mobile, resides at Biloxi, 
where he gives himself mainly to literary pursuits. Father Ryan'a 
poems were published in book form in 1879 and had a great and im- 
mediate success. He has another volume nearly ready for publication. 
Father Ryan is also a thoughtful and vigorous prose writer. He is a 
frequent contributor to Donahoe's Magazine, the Baltimore Mirror, and 
other Catholic publications. He is accounted among the foremost of 
American Catholic poets. 

5. Geneeal John Sullivan, of the American Revolutionary War, was 
son of an Irishman. He was born in Berwick, Maine, Feb. 17, 1740, 
and died in New Hampshire, January 23, 1795. For several years 
before the war he practised law with great success in Durham, and 
from 1772 held a provincial Commission as Major. His heroic career 
through the war is well known in the United States. After the war, 
on returning to New Hampshire, he was appointed Attorney- General,, 



Digitized by 



Google 



Nutshell Biograms. 15T 

and was thrice elected President of the State. His life was written 
by 0. W. B. Peabody, in Sparks' •« American Biography." 

6. Jakes Sullivan, Governor of Massachusetts, brother of General 
John Sullivan, was also born at Berwick, Maine, April 22, 1744, and 
died in Boston, December 10, 1808. In 1776, he was appointed a 
Judge of the Superior Court. In 1807 he was elected Governor, and 
was re-elected in 1808. 

7. Thomas W. M. Marshall was born in the year 1815, and was 
educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. 
about the year 1840. Haying been ordained by the Bishop of Salis- 
bury, he held the living of Swallowcliffe, Wilts, until his reception 
into the Catholic Church, which took place in the private chapel at 
Wardour Castle about the year 1848. When he was twenty-eight 
years of age, and still a clergyman of the Anglican Establishment, 
Mr. Marshall brought out a bulky volume called Notes on ike Catholic 
Episcopate, a work showing extensive reading and considerable powers 
of reasoning. While collecting his materials for this book, Mr. Mar- 
shall's mind was gradually prepared to accept the Catholic Faith. As 
soon as he became a Catholic, Mr. Marshall placed his brilliant talents 
at the service of the Church. While filling , the position of H.M. 
Inspector of Schools he wrote his Christian Missions, a work of 
recondite research, and written in the purest English, which has gone 
through several editions in this country and in the United States, and 
which has been translated into several European languages. In pre- 
paring his materials for this grand book Mr. Marshall consulted nearly 
5,000 volumes, and by this work his reputation as a writer of vigorous 
English was established. Subsequently he wrote My Clerical Friends, 
Church Defence, and Protestant Journalism. Besides these works, and his 
numerous contributions to The Tablet, Mr. Marshall wrote occasion- 
ally in the Dublin Review, and in several magazines, English 
and American. He was an indefatigable writer, but all his 
powers were consecrated to the service of religion, notwithstanding 
many tempting offers from secular publications. As a controversialist 
Mr. Marshall was perhaps unequalled among writers of our time, and 
his sarcasm, while never ill-natured or personal, was keenly felt by 
the enemies of the Faith. In all things, and above all things, Mr. 
Marshall was a sincere and devout Catholic, and in matters of faith he 
was as simple as a child. About the year 1872 or 1873 Mr. Marshall 
visited the United States, and lectured in most of the large towns on 
subjects connected with the interests of the Church and in defence of 
her .doctrines* For his work on Christian Missions the Sovereign 
Pontiff conferred on Mr. Marshall the Cross of St. Gregory, and he 
received the degree of LL.D. from the College of Georgetown, U.S., 
in consideration of bis services to the Church in America. Mr. Mar- 
shall died at Surbiton, Surrey, on December 14, 1877. 



Digitized by 



Google 



15S Nutshell Biograms. 

8. Cornelius Mahowt was born in Ireland in the year 1818. He- 
was blind from infancy. He was brought by his parents at an early 
age to the United States. He was highly esteemed for the probity 
and honesty of his life, which was mainly devoted to the work of 
ameliorating the condition of the blind. Himself a fine musician, he 
knew what comfort his art could bring to those deprived of sight, and 
after much study he devised and perfected some thirty years ago a 
system of musical notation from which by means of lines and figures- 
embossed on thick music-paper, the blind can by the sense of touch 
study musical scores as readily as they now read print in the same 
way. Professor Mahony was for the last twenty-five years an instruc- 
tor in the Institution for the Blind at New York, where he died, 
October 27, 1885, aged 67 years. 

9. John Edwabd M'Cullagh was born in Coleraine, County Lon- 
donderry, Ireland, November 2, 1837. His father was a small farmer, 
who died in poverty. At the age of fifteen John, who had helped to- 
support himself by labouring in the fields, and had received but little 
instruction, emigrated to America. In New York he found no- 
encouragement, and with a few shillings in his pocket he made his way 
to Philadelphia. Here he found an uncle who had emigrated before 
him. He had hard work until Forrest, recognising his talent, took 
him up. He fell heir to Forrest's characters, and soon became the 
leading tragic actor in America. His roles were remarkable for 
strength and purity. He died in Philadelphia, November 8th, 1885. 

10. Richard Dowling was born at Clonmel, June 3, 1846. He> 
was a pupil of the Jesuits at Limerick, and was at first intended for 
the legal profession and then for commercial life. In 1870 he followed 
his inclination for literary work and made the press his profession. 
He was first on the staff of The Nation, and afterwards engaged with 
the clever Dublin artist, Mr. John Fergus O'Hea in sundry attempts 
to establish a comic paper in Ireland — Zoxmus, Ireland's Eye, <fcc. 
Some of his quaint humorous papers were reprinted in book form in 
London by [Camden Hotten (now Chatto and Windus), under the 
eccentric title of " On Babies and Ladders : Essays on Things in Gene- 
ral. By Emmanuel Kink, Esq."-- of which this Magazine expressed 
its opinion so' long ago as February, 1874 (Imsh Monthly, Vol. II,. 
page 125). At page 139 of the same volume will be found an 
exquisitely written little tale by Mr. Dowling, called "Mary of 
Inisard." In 1874 Mr. Dowling went to London where he has since 
followed his laborious vocation, supplying romantic stories to city and 
country papers, leading articles, descriptive sketches, verse, and the 
usual miscellaneous work that falls to the lot of the all-round writer 
for the press. His special bent is towards the romantic school of fiction, 
of which Victo Hugo is a chief.. Among his three-volume novels are> 



Digitized by 



Google 



Nutshell Biogrwn*. - 159» 

"The Mystery of Killard" (of which the scene is laid in County 
Glare), "The Wierd Sisters," "The Duke's Sweetheart" published 
originally in TtnsUy's MagMine under the more poetical name of 
" Strawberry Leaves." The Weekly Freeman onoe heralded the appear- 
ance of a Serial Tale in its own columns from Mr. Dowlingfs pen by 
stringing together criticisms on his former works from The Academy, 
Morning Post, Illustrated London News, World, Ath&naum, Globe, 
Examiner, Whitehall Review, &c. This litany of praise was so strong 
and earnest that one is surprised that this Irish novelist is not more 
widely appreciated than he seems to be, especially in his own country. 
Is Clonmel proud of being his birthplace ? 

11. Mast Austin Carroll is another native of Clonmel, The 
excuse for making her the subject of a nutshell biogram is her great 
devotion to literature under circumstances which might seem to Lave 
no leisure for writing books. She was born at Clonmel on the 23rd 
of February, 1836; entered the Cork Convent of Mercy, St. Marie's 
of the Isle in December, 1853, and soon after her profession was sent 
to America in October, 1856. At first her work lay in some of the 
northern States of the Union; but in March, 1869, she was sent to 
found a convent of her Order in New Orleans.- Yellow fever and 
other trials came on the young foundation. In 1871 Mother Austin- 
was the only professed Sister surviving. Since then the Institute has 
prospered and sent out eight flourishing branches, of which our pages 
have contained some account in the " Southern Sketches " contributed 
by their Foundress ; for with all these cares and toils she found time 
and spirit to use her pen also. Though yellow fever has decimated 
them again and again, the New Orleans Sisters now number eighty 
between mother-house and branches. The majority of Sisters and 
pupils are Irish by birth or descent ; but all nations are represented 
among them. At St. Martinsville, in the country of Evangeline's 
wanderings, French is spoken, and schools for "coloured" children 
are attached to most of their houses. And yet in a climate where it 
might seem sufficiently creditable to be able to live on, this Sister of 
Mercy from the banks of the Suir besides keeping all these works in 
working order, has found leisure to compose and publish quite a library 
of original and translated books. By far the most readable and 
fullest "Life of Mother Catherine Macaulay" is from her pen ; and 
she is also the historian of her Order* She has devoted two large and 
agreeable volumes to her " Leaves from the Annals of the Sisters of 
Mercy " in Ireland, England, and all the rest of the world except the 
United States. On the concluding volume she is still engaged We- 
need not enumerate her other writings, among which are included 
an edifying collection of stories. In this respect she resembles another 
literary Nun, who, like her, has managed to find literary leisure amidst- 



Digitized by 



Google 



160 Notes on New Books. 

the responsibilities of governing several religions houses. We refer 
to the English Dominicaness, Mother Raphael Drane, author of 
"Christian Schools and Scholars/' "Songs in the Night," " Uriel, " 
" Lady Glastonbury's Boudoir/' and many other works of the most 
•solid literary merit. 



NEW BOOKS. 

Wjb sometimes put in a good word for books that are sent to us for 
review, without any hope that our readers will at once draw a practi- 
cal conclusion from our remarks and take steps to obtain a copy of the 
book in question. But in the present instance we desire and expect to 
produce an immediate effect of this kind among a certain class of our 
readers — namely, the "loyal minority," the small but intelligent 
minority who in this prosaic generation continue loyal to the study of 
poetry and have even an appetite for sonnets. The book before us is 
" Sonnets of this Century," edited and arranged, with a critical Intro- 
duction on the Sonnet, by William Sharp. It is the latest addition to 
the series of " Canterbury Poets " brought out by a new publisher 
who has lately risen into prominence and who bears an auspicious 
name — Walter Soott, 24 Warwick Lane, Paternoster-row, London, and 
Newcastle-on-Tyne. The neat little quarto has 325 pages, is elegantly 
printed with red borders, and very tastefully and serviceably bound, 
all for a single shilling. With a view to our country readers and the 
practical conclusion suggested above, we may add that the postage 
costs two pence. Not only is it by far the cheapest but it is in 
several respects the most complete or at least the most satisfactory col- 
lection of sonnets within reach of the ordinary reader. For such a 
cheap and popular volume we might have expected only a slight and 
brief introduction, whereas Mr. Sharp discusses in eighty compact 
pages almost every point connected with the history, organism, 
and literature of the Sonnet. His biographical and critical notes at 
the end are extremely interesting, and the small, clear type compresses 
a great deal of matter within the limited space. The editor has been 
wise in following the alphabetical order of authors and in confining 
himself to this century. Milton's sonnets we can find elsewhere ; and, 
as for Shakespeare's, a previous volume in this Canterbury Series, 
edited by Mr! Sharp also, gives those marvellous sonnets in a very 
readable form along with an excellent selection of Shakespeare's songs, 
And, better still, all those portions of • his minor poems which can bo 



Digitized by 



Google 



Notes on New Books. 161 

safely read by young and old. It is good to have these exquisite 
snatches of poetry separated from the sensuous descriptions which un- 
fortunately surround them in the original. A cultivated writer in The 
Tablet, reviewing very favourably Miss Evelyn Pyne's " Poet in May/' 
after referring to one of her sonnets, spoke of another sonnet as 
" another poem of about the same length." He evidently did not 
recognise them as sonnets at all, and his appreciation of them would 
have been increased if he had understood the perfection of their form. 
Those who know little and those who know a great deal about sonnets 
will both derive much pleasure and profit from reading carefully Mr, 
Sharp's excellent anthology of the "Sonnets of this Century." 

Mr. John Orlebar Paj ne, M. A., has completed the publication of a 
valuable work partly edited by the late Very Rev. Edgar Escourt, F.S.A. 
Canon of St. Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham : " The English Catholic 
Nonjurors of 1715, being a summary of the register of their estates 
with genealogical and other notes and an appendix of unpublished docu- 
ments in the Public Record Office." It is of great interest and value for 
English Catholics, but of course not so much " for those who have no 
friend or brother there,' 9 unless they have very decided antiquarian 
tastes. The editing is admirably done, and the book is finely pro- 
duced by the publishers, Messrs. Burns and Oates, with even the 
aesthetic luxuries of uncut edges and gilt tops. 

One of the most solid and most learned works produced of late by 
any Catholic writer is " Studies of Family Life, a Contribution to 
Social Science," by Mr. C. S. Devas, M.A. Oxon, (London: Burns and 
Oates.) Mr. Bevas is the author of a very able book on a kindred 
subject, " Groundwork of Economics; " and we advise the reader of 
the present book to turn to the end of the index and look over the two 
pages which contain the high appreciations of the author's former work, 
given not only by Catholic authorities such as The Dublin Review, The 
Month, The Catholic World, The Tablet, and The Weekly Register, but also 
by the Saturday Review, The Spectator, The Guardian, and many other 
Protestant reviewers. The same patient research and the same skill 
in marshalling the resources of his learning are displayed in the present 
^volume, which will be often found of particular value to the preacher 
and the publicist. The immense array of facts and statistics is rendered 
more readily available by.being grouped into compact and well arranged 
paragraphs. To these, not to the pages, are the references made in an 
excellent index of twenty pages. 

There were formerly Premonstratensian Monasteries in Ireland on 
Trinity Island in Lough Oughter, Co. Cavan; on another Trinity 
Island in Lough Key, to which the Most Rev. Br. Healy some years ago 
devoted a very learned and interesting paper in this Magazine in May 
1878 (Irish Monthly, voL vi., page 273 j) at Goodborn or Woodborn 
near Carrickfergus ; at Enagh-Dure or de Portu Patrum near Tuam ; 
Vol. xiv. No. 153. 13 



Digitized by 



Google 



168 Notes on New Books. 

at Kilamoy or Atmoy in Sligo ; and at Ballymore m Westmeath. The- 
Oder of Prftmontrfc has lately been re-established In England at 
Oowle near Doncaster, and one of St. Norbert's sons, the Ber. Martin 
Genders, has thought it expedient to publish a fuller life of his 
Founder in English than that contained in Alban Butler's great work. 
This " life of St Norbert, Founder of the Order of Pr&nontre' and 
Archbishop of Magdeburg " is brought out attractively by Mr. Wash- 
bourne the Publisher. 

We are delighted to perceive the wide appreciation that Mrs. Frank 
PentrilFs excellent story of " Odile " is receiving from the critics. The 
Saturday Review dropped its habitual sneer in mentioning it ; and the 
Academy gave it emphatic praise and prominent notice among novels 
of much greater length and greater pretensions. The Tablet of January 
30 describes it as "a pretty little story, exceedingly simple, but told 
with a charm that maintains its interest throughout." Our own opinion 
of " Odile " has been expressed before, but we may add that we believe* 
it to be by far the bost tale that has issued from the O'Connell-street 
Press since the publication of " The Walking Trees," and even thai 
wonderful phantasy, so vivid a triumph of imagination and of a magical 
style, will be considered less interesting than the present story by 
matter-of-fact readers old and young. 

Another book which we lately recommended to our readers is thus 
spoken of in The Weekly Register of February 13 : — 

"A daughter of our Irish poet of happy memory, Denis Florence Mac Carthy» 
herself a poetess, and also a nun of the Dominican Order, has worked out a quaint 
and tender idea of her own by giving us The. Birthday Booh of Our Dead, in which 
she has collected many of the most soothing and beautiful thoughts that have been 
suggested to poets and prose-writers by the death of those for whose loss their hearts 
had bled. Many eyes from which the tears are yet flowing for irreparable loss will 
rest gratefully on the pages of this book ; and many who have learned to look gladly 
towards heaven when the dear face to be seen no more on earth arises in the memory, 
will seek out eagerly the consoling verse which reads like an angel's message between* 
soul and soul. The compiler of this book deserves the thanks of all who have loved 
and lost, for her ingenuity in inventing a new and quite original form of comfort for 
the sorrowful." 

Lady Herbert introduces with an interesting preface " The Life of 
the Venerable Joseph Marchand, Apostolic Missionary and Martyr," 
translated from the French of the Abbe Jaequenet (Dublin : M. H. Gill 
and Son). This holy Missionary suffered a terrible martyrdom in China,, 
in 1835. The process of his beatification was introduced during the 
pontificate of Gregory XVI. In the English edition too many 
quotations from Scripture and A Kempis are left in Latin, and in a 
well known text we notice the misprint in reliquio. This little book is 
interesting and edifying beyond the average. 

Messrs. M. H. Gill and Son of Dublin hare issued a second edition 
of " The Catholic Soldier's Guide during his stay Abroad n by Father 
George "Wenniger, 8.J. Please God, it will run through many an 



Digitized by 



Google 



Xotm m Nm Book*. 16S 

•flftfon, for it i» an admrakfe book, and is interesting reading for 
others besides soldiers. It is thoroughly practical and brought down to 
date, as, where the author is encouraging a soldier to utilise even his 
tine in prison if he shonld unfortunately get into trouble, he adds: "Itis 
well to know how many have during their stay in prison acquired great 
Warning and other accomplishments, as Mr. Davitt." The sixth chapter 
is devoted to a calendar of soldier-saints. It has often been said that 
the soldier's trade is more largely represented than any other profession. 
Let us count up, adding together not only the individual saints but 
also the bands of soldier-martyrs whose names are not given separately. 
The soldier-saints whose names are given number 185 ; and in addi- 
tion there are 12,784, made up of bands and regiments, like the Theban 
Legion, martyred wholesale. 

The American Catholic Quarterly Review continues to maintain its 
place in the front rank of periodical literature. The January Part 
consists of two hundred large octavo pages divided among fourteen 
articles mostly of an elaborate kind. The lay writers predominate 
largely this time — St. George Mivart, Arthur Marshall, Gilmary Shea, 
Bryan Clinch, and others. Dr. Chatard, Dr. Corcoran, and Father 
Treacy, S.J., represent the clerical element. This Review is a literary 
work of the highest and most solid merit, worthy of the marvellous 
development of the Catholic Church in the States. 

" Socialist, Protestant, Catholic," is a brochure of forty pages, well 
printed by W. H. Barrett, Chichester, giving an account in a very art- 
less and amusing way of the writer's conversion by very slow stages. 
She was born of irreligious parents in France, whose only religion was 
Socialism. She became a Protestant while acting as a governess in 
England, and was then for the first time baptized. Some time after 
she was led on to embrace the Catholic faith after painful and careful 
study and preparation, and evidently trials not a few. Such narratives 
have more than one instructive lesson for those who are born in the 
bosom of the true Church. Non fecit taliter omni nationi. 

Monsignor Capel has published in the United States several clear 
and able pamphlets and books on controversial points. Pustet and 
Co. of New York and Cincinnati, have issued the fifth thousand of his 
little treatise, " The Pope, Vicar of Christ, Head of the Church." 
Other tracts, by the same author, are in their 25th thousand. 

u Cleanliness of Person and Home" is the very practical subject 
of lecture delivered before the Young Ireland Society in Dublin last 
December, by Mr. L. Ginnell, and published by Sealy, Bryers, and 
Walker, of Abbey-street. It is a far better and more useful subject 
than public lectures are generally devoted to, and it is very cleverly 
handled. " Would that its tones might reach the rich ! " sang poor 
Hood. Would that these kindly counsels were taken to heart by the 
poor and the artisan classes. Cleanliness costs something, but poverty 



Digitized by 



Google 



164 Another Irish Nun in Exile. 

does not excuse all our shortcomings. This lecture is full of Tory 
useful observations and suggestions. 

Another lecture is on " Joy and Laughter/' by Y. M. (Burns and 
Oates)— very ingenious, exhibiting not a little erudition, and teaching 
withal many a serious lesson. 

Father Sebastian Keens of the Congregation of the Passion, has 
issued a sixth edition of his very complete " Manual of the Seven 
Dolours " (James Duffy and Sons). 

We must end for this month with St. Barbara. No, 5 of the Lays 
of St. Joseph's Chapel gives us for fourpenoe an account of St. Barbara 
and her literature, a lay in her honour, a translation of her " Little 
Office," and of another Latin hymn — all very devout and written with 
good taste, if not quite such exquisite poetry as the " Saint Barbara " 
of Miss Mulholland's " Vagrant Verses." What the critics are saying 
about the last named book may be seen on the advertising pages 
which follow at the end of this Number. 



ANOTHER IRISH NUN IN EXILE. 

OUR pages have more than once paid the tribute of admiration 
to daughters of the Irish race who have devoted their lives 
to God's work among souls in countries far away from " the fair 
hills of holy Ireland." The new Chief Secretary for Ireland has 
written somewhere that " the type of St. Vincent de Paul is as 
indispensable to progress as the type of Newton." Those brave 
and devoted women do more for the real progress of humanity 
than a thousand " fireside philanthropists great at the pen." The 
heroism of such a life is greatly increased in those who add to 
their other sacrifices the enduring hardship of voluntary exile. 
This sacrifice again is immensely greater for women than for men, 
and greater even than it is now was it forty or fifty years ago 
when the subject of this notice bade adieu to Innisfail. We have 
learned meanwhile that Ireland is not so big as we once thought it 
and that the rest of the world is not quite uninhabitable. 

Mary Ursula Frayne — to give her the only name we are 
acquainted with — was born in Dublin in 1816. In her eighteenth 
year she joined the . newly-formed Sisters of Mercy in Baggot- 
street, so that, taking her vows two years and a half later, she had 
at her death reached the golden jubilee of her religious life. When 
she had been seven years under the personal influence of the holy 



Digitize'd by 



Google 



Another Irish Nun in Exile. 165 

Foundress of the Order, Mother Catherine Macauley, volunteers 
were invited for the first establishment beyond the Atlantic — in 
what was supposed to be the home of snows and fogs, Newfound- 
land. Sister Ursula volunteered and led out the first band of 
Sisters as Superior, in 1842, and there they have been at work 
ever since. When initial difficulties were over, she was recalled ; 
and so she was ready in 1846 to play the same part under still 
more difficult circumstances. Mother Ursula was again Superioress 
of a brave little band of Sisters who arrived in Perth in Western 
Australia in the January of that year. During the forty years 
since then, the Sisters of Mercy have been at work in that colony 
in which the difficulties are much greater and the aids and 
advantages much fewer than in such prosperous cities as Sydney 
and Melbourne. All honour to the brave novice who broke through 
very tender ties to follow this arduous vocation so far away, and 
who is still toiling there ! And all honour to the young Irish 
maidens who lately left happy homes to join her in the work ! 

Mother Ursula herself had meanwhile passed on to another 
sphere of labour. When the early hardships of this mission, 
which were exceptional in their nature and in their grievousness, 
bad been to a certain extent overcome, and an orphanage and 
schools had been established, Mrs. Frayne was summoned to found 
a house of her Order in Melbourne in 1857, upon the pressing 
invitation of the Most Reverend Dr. Goold. A splendid convent 
in Nicholson-street, in that city of the Yarra Yarra, is only one of 
her works in Victoria. St. Vincent's Orphanage at Emerald Hill 
was under her immediate care for exactly a quarter of a century. 
One of the last branches sent out from Melbourne is flourishing at 
a place called Kilmore — evidently called so from love of the old 
country at home. Mother Ursula died the happy death which 
might be expected to crown so holy and so self-sacrificing a life on 
the ninth day of last June. For her surely that last beatitude of 
the cjead who die in the Lord must mean a great deal — " their works 
follow them." How much has followed her ! It seems too little 
to pray for such a one that she may rest in peace. And this, thank 
God, is nothing very much out of the common, but is only a sample 
of the heroism displayed every day as a mere matter of course by 
hundreds and thousands of the daughters of Eve — of the Second 
Eve, Mary — and especially by the daughters of St. Brigid, all the 
world over, God be praised ! 



Digitized by 



^" 



( 166 ) 



THE O'CONNELL PAPERS. 

PART XXU. 

Irish Liberals Fifty Years Ago— John O'Conxkll — Dr. Crollt, Archbishop 
or Armagh— John Rkogh — Lord Devon. 

At this particular crisis of Irish history there is a special interest 
in recalling the names of the most advanced Liberal politicians at a 
date not very remote. And yet it will be considered very remote. I 
am not able to fix the year, for the document is not dated, but it would 
be easy, with a little research, to approximate to the exact date, for 
replies to the circular are to be sent to Sergeant Woulfe, M.P., 11 Ely- 
place, Dublin — namely, that Catholic lawyer, who was soon to be 
Chief Baron Woulfe, and whose name has been printed in every copy 
of The Nation, week by week, since the 15th of October, 1842, with a 
short break after '48 : for the motto of The Nation consists of these 
words of Chief Baron Woulfe : " To create and foster public, 
opinion in Ireland and make it racy of the soil." During 
what year or years was Woulfe a member of Parliament? The 
circular issued in his name was for the purpose of creating a 
Liberal Registration Committee to cope with the activity of the 
Tories in securing the franchise for their party. To the requisition 
are affixed facsimiles of the autograph signatures of the following 
Irishmen : — Clements, P. Bellew, O'Connor Don, M. S. Chapman, 
Stephen Woulfe, John H. Talbot, Charles A. Walker, B. L. ShiaL 
Cornelius O'Brien, R. M. Bellew, C. Fitzeimon, James Grattan, <J. W. 
Evans, Henry Grattan, Dominick Bonayne, Gonville Ffrench, James 
John Bagot, Henry Arabin, James Lewis OTarreii [one name illegible], 
E. Lawless, James Power, David B. Pigott, Joseph Hone, Killeen, 
Thomas Esmonde, Bichard Trench, W. W. Eitzwilliam Hume, Wn. 
Murphy, Robert Tighe, John Fetherston Haugh, C. J. Trench, T. C. 
Morgan, J. M. Somerville, Sam White, Henry White, Edward Wol- 
stenholms, Henry B. Westrenra, Robert Chaloner [torn off] Musgrave, 
William Sharman Crawford, J. Parnell, D. Henry, John Power, 
Bichard P. O'Reilly, John Ennis, Christopher McDonnell, Percy 
Nugent, Bart., Gerald Dease, Hugh M. Tuite, Richard Nagle, William 
J. Brabazon, Robert Cassidy, Robert Arohbold, W. A. Vigors, Win. 
Yilliers Stuart, Leonard Dobbin, Charles Pentland, George Taaffe, 
Stephen Grehan, Wm. John Hancock, David Roche, B. Keane, N. Bali 
This representative list of the " great Liberal party" in Ireland in 
those days would require a good deal of annotating to bring out 
its points of interest; but we can only remark the absence of 
O'ConnelTs name, and pass on. 



Digitized by 



Google 



The (TOotmeU Papers i«T 

A little space may at this point be oocupied by *n uiurathoriseJi 
extract from a private letter sent to the editor of these O'Coaatell 
Papers by one who is deeply skilled in all literary matters, those 
•specially whioh •concern Ireland : — 

u Those discursive jottingB called the ' O'Cooaell Papers' give <a* 
great pleasure. I am glad to learn something about Mrs. Fitesimon, 
much as her ordinary verse fell below the level of • The Woods of 
Kylinoe.' By the way, this is not a Nation poem: we commonly 
attribute too muoh to that treasury of ' Young Ireland/ When the 
* Woods' first appeared I cannot say — but it is to be found, under the 
title of 'Song of an Irish Emigrant in North America (ait— The 
Woods of Kylinoe)' in The Citizen, for April, 1840. I think this was 
its first appearance. I may add, that this and many other poems in 
The Citizen are signed 'L.N.F.' — having a full stop between the first 
two letters. The ' Woods' re-appeared, of course, in Daffy's * Ballad 
Poetry,' in 1845 (and were there signed LNJF.). There seems indeed 
a conspiracy (headed by G-avan Duffy) to claim everything good for 
the Nation : e.g., I have found that pretty song, the ' Peasant Girls/ in 
Kennedy's [Glasgow] ' Catholic Magazine,' for February, 18*37, but 
in 1843 The Nation coolly 'marked it for her own,' and it duly ap- 
peared in the ' Spirit.' 

" The ' Recollections' [by Mrs. Fitzsimon] are exceedingly interest- 
ing. I hope you may be able to give us plenty of such matter, from 
the same bureau. The references to Charles Phillips reminds me of 
my own conflicting feelings about that man, who could speak so well 
and so badly, be such a lover of liberty, and such a malignant enemy 
of his friends. His ' poetry' savours, like the man himself, of quackery. 

" John O'Oonneli's rhymes in the Nation — ' What's my Thought 
Like?' and 'The House that Paddy Built/ were indeed miserable 
(that's too strong a word for the first) ; in the later editions oi the 
4 Spirit' a more * symmetrical' song called ' Was it a Dream,' is attri- 
buted to him. It seems, indeed, a graceful transformation of his non- 
sensical prose, ' Vision.' In his ' Recollections and Experiences' he 
says of his writing in the Nation — ' Although I had the honour of 
being mentioned in the programme of the newspaper as one of its 
intended contributors, I never was so beyond three articles, one of the 
most veritable and truly prosaic prose, and two of rhyme, doubtless still 
more prosaic and heavy/ (The italics are his). His metrical letter 
is very amusing. Too olever to be called ' doggerel/ is it not ? 

" John O'ConnelTs reputation has suffered painful ill-usage (at the 
hands of 'Young Ireland') ; it was already burdened with a heap of 
his 'unsaleable copies/ it stumbled along shockingly in trying 
political courses; and Oavan Duffy, who forgets none of his early 
antagonisms, has just laid the ' last straw* on its fteader back. Yet 
I have a singular and interesting proof— to be divulged some time— • 



Digitized by 



Google 



168 The ffConnell Papers. 

both of John G* Conneli's great ability, and of his passionate love of 
Ireland." 

These not very envenomed comments were called forth by the 
tenth instalment of these O'Connell Papers, in April, 1883 (Irish 
Monthly, vol. xi., page 219). To justify the epithet "discursive," 
applied to the series in the beginning of this extract, the letters to fill 
the rest of our space will be of a very miscellaneous kind, and wholly 
unconnected with one another, except in being addressed to O'Con- 
nell. When Lord Mayor of Dublin, in 1842, he received the 
following letter from the Primate, Dr. Orolly, Cardinal Cullen's im- 
mediate predecessor : — 

Armagh, 14th April, 1842. 
My dear Lord Mayor, 

A petition to the House of Commons has been forwarded 
to your care by the Catholics of Armagh, who entertain the hope that you 
will, in Parliament, support the reasonable prayer of their Petition with 
your extensive influence and powerful advocacy. From the circumstances in 
which all the Catholics on the panel were excluded from the jury-box at the 
late trial of Francis Hughes for the murder of Thomas Powell, you will easily 
perceive that, if such an exclusive system be not altered, neither the lives nor 
the character of Her Majesty's loyal Catholic subjects will be safe in this part of 
Ireland. I am intimately acquainted with some of the respectable Catholics 
who were set aside by the Crown Solicitor at the trial of Francis Hughes, and 
knowing their integrity, I do not hesitate to declare, that their exclusion was 
calculated to fill the minds of the Catholics of Ulster with alarming apprehen- 
sions, that trial by jury will not afford impartial protection to their properties,. 
their liberties, or their lives. You have always endeavoured to obtain even* 
handed justice for your fellow-countrymen, and your friends in this ancient city 
join me in the request that you will use your most strenuous exertions to obtain 
from Parliament that legal redress, which is so fairly claimed in the Petition, 
which will be entrusted to your care. I have the honour to remain, with the 
highest respect, 

My dear Lord Mayor, 

Your faithful and obedient servant, 

•ji W. Crolly. 
Daniel O'Connell, Esq., Lord Mayor of Dublin. 

Dr. Crolly has often been blamed for being too moderate, and yet 
see how he feels. If a fair attempt at just and equal government had 
been made in Ireland in bygone days, many things which have 
happened sinoe would have been prevented. 

Lord Devon wished well to Ireland, and the Devon Commission did 
good, and is still referred to. The following letter relates to it : — 

4 Bayswatrr-sqtjare, 
December 2. 
Sir, - 

I beg to thank you for your letter of the 25th November. 
The pressure of the County Cess, and the whole of the Grand Jury System 
as to its fiscal operations, are strictly within the scope of our inquiry, and we- 



j 



Digitized by * 



The (TConnell Papers. 169 

shall be thankful for any information which you can give us relating to that 
subject. 

. It would be very unfair to infer from your consent to be examined that you 
either approve the Commission or entertain any hope of a good result from it. 
I take it only as an evidence of your desire not to throw any obstacle in the way 
of any proceeding which has for its professed object an improvement in tho 
condition of the people of Ireland. 

I have written to Ireland upon your wish to see some portion of tho 
evidence. 

I will not omit this opportunity of expressing my acknowledgments for the- 
very hospitable reception given to us at Derrinane. The fine scenery and perfect 
retirement of that place must be a source of great enjoyment to you. 
I have the honour to be 

Your faithful and obedient servant, 

Dkvon. 
D. O'Connell, Esq. 

From the Devon Commission to the Veto Question is a long 
leap backwards. The following letter was addressed by John Keogh^ 
the Catholic leader at the beginning of the century which is now 
hastening to its close, to the young man who was already taking his 
place in the van of Irish Catholics. The Catholic leader's suburban 
demesne at Harold's-cross -is now the Protestant burying-ground,. 
where Hogan's statue of Thomas Davis is also buried. 

Mount Jkbomk, 

12th February, 1810. 
Dbab Sir, 

I am extremely obliged by your kind attention, in favouring me 
with the perusal of Mr. Jerningham's letter which I return herewith. 

It seems that Lords Grenville and Grey have yielded the important point, 
of not calling a Vkto by that name. These statesmen and candidates for power 
are content with the substance, under any other title ; the English Catholics 
also approve of the terms in their 5th resolution — being u vague and general," 
and appear happy in this " unexpected turn in the minds of our public friends." 
How weak and childish is this if they are really serious! 

I entertain no doubt that if a similar measure should be proposed to the 
Catholic body, it will be reprobated. They will not, I hope, agree to arrange- 
ments to be made for them by any others, but first demand what are those 
arrangements or concessions to which Lord G. alludes. 

The situation of the Catholics of Ireland is critical and dangerous. The 
precipitate conduct of the English Catholics will increase our difficulties. Con- 
fidence and union between clergy and laity may yet save both. One false step 
may [divide and ruin us for ever. May God direct our humble efforts or the 
efforts of those who act for the body. 

I am very respectfully, 

Your obliged, 

John Kbooh. 



Digitized by 



Google 



170 Tke 0€<m*eil Paper*. 



While fiiese paper* have Veea ia. eons* of pwUioafoa, Mn« 

our readers hare kindly sent letters of the Liberator, which had ' 
treasured up in their domestic archives. Mr. Edtnond Fitzgerald 
Ryan, who has lately resigned the office of Resident Magistrate «t 
Wexford, was Mayor of his native city, Limerick, in the year 1846. 
One of his first duties was to invite O'Connell to a banquet to be 
given to the county and city members. Here is O f Council's "kind 
No." :— 

MERRIOK-8Q17AR1C, 

31rf December, 1845. 
My dbab Ma yob, 

I received with great satisfaction the invitation you trans- 
mitted to me, to attend the dinner to be given to your patriotic members for 
the county and city of Limerick. 1 am sincerely sorry that I cannot accept 
that invitation, as the Parliament meets for the despatch of business on the 22nd, 
the day after that intended for the festival. I fee) it a sacred duty to attend at 
the opening of the House, in order to give the best support in my poor power to 
the Cheap Bread Bill, to be brought in either by Lord John Russell or Sir 
Robert Peel, I care little which ; either shall have my active support for that 
measure, deeming it as I do of paramount importance to the labouring classes 
in Ireland, as well as in England. Nothing but a pressing necessity of this 
kind would prevent me from fulfilling the pleasing duty of paying the tribute of 
respect and gratitude to the truly patriotic members for your city and county. 

As to your saying, my good friend, that Mr. Smith O'Brien is second only 
to me, permit me to tell you a fact that all Ireland recognizes that Mr. O'Brien 
is not second to any living man in the noble disinterestedness and practical utility 
of his patriotism. 

Your grandfather, respected by all, was my friend ; your father, esteemed by 
all, was my friend ; and I am proud, Mr. Mayor, to subscribe myself with 
affectionate regard, 

Your obliged and faithful friend, 

Daniel O'Connell. 
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Limerick. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( Ml ) 



EICHAED EOBEET MADDEN. 
In Memoriam. 

CUBING the last month an Irish literary veteran has passed away, 
whose name has a right to be recorded in these pages. He is 
indeed commemorated already on an earlier page of this present 
number where the incidents of his life are condensed into the first of 
our " Nutshell Biograms." It was speoially characteristic of his gene- 
rous nature that his marriage with the daughter of Mr. John Elmsley, 
which made Him the owner of property in Jamaica, instead of enlist- 
ing him on the side of the slave-holders, made him join in the philan- 
thropic labours of Clarkson and Wilberforce. The same feeling 
made him in his writings take a tone that would hardly be expected 
in a government official towards those who " rose in dark and evil 
days to right their native land." 

The chief facts of Dr. Madden' s life are his books, and of these 
by far the most original and the most important is his " lives and 
Times of the United Irishmen." Extraordinary enthusiasm for his 
subject was needed to make him persevere through some twenty 
years in amassing the materials for these seven octavo volumes. To 
take one example, we have examined the pages devoted to the pathetic 
story of Sarah Curran, to whom attention has quite lately been 
directed by the exquisite poem, "Emmet's Love," which is placed 
first among Miss Rosa Mulholland's " Vagrant Verses." This is only 
one brief episode, yet to clear up some little points involved in it, Dr. 
Madden incurred the expense and fatigue of more than one journey 
to the further extremity of Ireland.* 

In the place referred to we have enumerated most of Dr. Mad- 
den's works. The first of his publications which fell into our hands is 
omitted in all lists of his writings. It was a small quarto which under 
the name of " An Easter Offering " put together sundry poems of 
consolation for the death of children, the finest of all being the lines 
of Mrs. Browning on a " Child's grave at Florence." Dr. Madden 
himself figured as a ;poet in his little volume, which was indeed a 
tribute to the memory of a son whom he had lost. His not very 
ambitious muse may here be represented by some more oheerf ul lines 
which have never been published and were sent as "a birthday 

* It is hardly known sufficiently that Amelia Oorran, another daughter of 
our great Orator, 'became a Catholic. A painting of hers, copied from Murillo, 
was presented by the second Lord Oloncurry to the Catholic Gfcvreh of Black- 
rock, County DuUro. 



Digitized by 



Google 



172 Richard Robert Madden. 

present on the 79th anniversary of B. K. Madden's first appearance 
on the stage of life, to his dear son Thomas More Madden : 20th 
August, 1877." 

" Pity the sorrows of a poor old man," 

In the year " '98 ". whose troubles began ; 

Who wandered all over the world, and yet 

To scramble up stairs is now quite hard set. 

To Naples from Rome in five days he had walked ; 

In Asia o'er deserts on camels had stalked ; 

On African coasts, in America too, 

In West Indian Islands the years were not few ; 

He battled with slave-trading scoundrels, and warred 

With slave-holding tyrants, whose deeds he abhorred. 

But now all his powers for such conflicts are gone, 

His wand'ring adventures and duties are done ; 

Six years' anti-slavery labours are en ded, 

And thirty years more of brain-toil he expended 

On work of the kind that is called literary, 

On u Travels " and subjects that very much vary. 

With gout and lumbago tormenting him too, 

He hardly can crawl, his poor limbs fail him so ; 

Yet crutches to use he will not condescend ; 

He hates them as much as Sir Dominick his friend. 



To walk from the Castle to Westland-row Station 

Would seem to him now a vast perambulation. 

The Traveller, in short, is so crippled and lame, 

So wholly done up, his old book-loving game, 

Once so loved, is abandoned : you'll meet him no more 

At auctions or stalls ; all his visits are o'er 

To the rag-shops in Cook-street, to rummage for tracts 

And pamphlets, especially treating of facts 

About " '98 " and " The Lives and the Times " 

Of its " Boys * and their exploits, call'd commonly crimes. 

Oppression he warred with, wherever detected — 

Of rulers and ruled all just rights he protected. 

Wrongs done to the weak, while the poor man was strong, 

He'd fight against, write against, all the day long ; 

But he'll do so no more 5 our old " '98 Boy " 

Has no energies now to command or employ ; 

His memory fails j he remembers alone 

The friends he once loved, whether living or gone. 

So of poor old Ricardo then pity the ailings, 

And " blame not the Bard " for his rhymes or his failings. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Richard Robert Madden. 173 

The old man — who had still eight years before him, and who 
perhaps expected to reach the ninety-three years of his father before 
joining him in the family-vault in the old graveyard of Donnybrook — 
alludes in these lines to his love of old books. Seventeen years before 
he had dilated on this master-passion of his heart in another un- 
published poem to which he prefixed as a motto the inscription of the 
Guelf erbylanian Library — wherever that may be found : " Quando 
omnes loquuntur et deliberant, optimum a mutis et mortuis est con- 
silium. Homines quoque si taceant, vocem invenient libri, etquae 
nemo dicit, prudens suggerit antiquitas." 

I must confess I love old books ! 

The dearest, too, perhaps most dearly ; 
Thick, clumpy tomes, of antique looks, 

In pigskin covers fashioned queerly ; 

Clasped, chained, or thonged, stamped quaintly, too, 

With figures wondrous strange of holy 
Women and men, and cherubs, few 

Might oft from owls distinguish duly. 

I love black-letter books, that saw 

The light of day at least three hundred 
Long years ago ; and look with awe 

On works that live, so often plundered. 

love the sacred dust, the more 
It clings to ancient lore, enshrining 
Thoughts of the dead renowned of yore, 
Embalmed in books; for age declining. 

Fit solace, food, and friends most sure 

To have around one, always handy, 
When sinking spirits find no cure 

In news, election brawls, or brandy. 

In these old books, more soothing far 

Than balm of Gilead or Nepenthd, < 
I seek an antidote to care — 

Of which most men indeed have plenty. 

" Five hundred times at least,' * I've said — 

My wife assures me — " would never 
Buy more old books ; " yet lists are made, 

And shelves are lumbered more than ever 

Ah ! that our wives could only see 

How well the money is invested 
In these old books, which seem to be 

By them, alas! so much detested! 



Digitized by 



Google 



1?4 Btekmr* Urieri Madden. 

There's nothing hath enduring youth, 

Eternal newness* strength unfailing,. 
Except old hooks, old friends, old truth, 

That's ever battling— still prevailing. 

In lands like this, a nation once, 

Of freedom lost and prized too cheaply 

Let no man speak! — we must renounce 
Such themes, and in old books dive deeply. 

'Tis better in the past to live 

Than grovel in the present vilely, 
In clubs and cliques, where placemen hive, 

And faction hums, and drones rank highly. 

To be enlightened, counselled, led, 

By master minds of former ages, 
Come to old books— consult the dead — 

Commune with silent saints and sages. 

Dearly beloved old pigskin tomes I 

Of dingy hue, old bookish darlings! 
Oh, cluster ever round my rooms, 
And banish strife, disputes, and soar n^s ! 

Space fails for a third poem, of which the pious sentiments would 
afford some consolation to the friends who are in mourning for thia 
good and gifted man — better consolation than the full obituaries which 
hare appeared in The Times, The World, and the chief journals of 
London and Dublin. One of these has noticed the coincidence that 
Dr. Madden was bora in that very year '98 which was to be the 
subject of his most interesting work. Like the death of John 
Cornelius O'Callaghan, author of " The Green Book" and historian 
of the Irish Brigades, his departure is the breaking of another link 
with the past. Many things have happened in, Ireland since the sad 
year 1798, and many more are still to happen before the coming ronyd 
of 1898, the centenary of the birth of Richard Robert Madden. 

MR. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 175 ). 



BET'S MATCH-MAKING. 

BY ROSA MULHOLLAND, 

AUTHOR OF "VAORAMT VZBftES," «« KILLSKVT," "MARCELLA ORACB," ETC., ETC. 

THE only time I ever tried match-making in my life was when 
I was seventeen, and I then so burnt my fingers over the 
business that I took care never to meddle with it again. I was 
living at the time with my stepmother on her farm near Bally- 
inena. My father was dead, and my stepmother did not like me. 
She had placed me for a time with a milliner in the town, but find- 
ing it expensive supporting me apart from her, had taken me away 
again. She was thinking of a second marriage, though I did not 
know it at the time. But this I did know : — that she had written 
to some distant friends of my father in America, who had unwill- 
ingly consented to take me off her hands. 

I don't think it would have been half as hard for me to have 
made up my mind to die ; for I was a shy little thing, without a 
bit of courage to deal with strangers, and my heart was fit to burst 
at the thought of leaving the very few friends whom I had to love, 
and my own little corner of the world, where the trees and the 
roads knew me. But I felt it would have to be done, and I lay * 
awake all night after the letter arrived, trying to think how I 
should ever be brave enough to say good-bye to my dear friend 
Gracie Byrne, and to Grade's lover, Donnell M'Donnell. 

Gracie was the cleverest of all Miss Doran's apprentices. She* 
was an orphan without a friend to look after her, and she was the 
loveliest girl in the country. People said she was proud and vain ; 
but I never could think she was either. She and I loved one 
another dearly, though I cannot think what attracted her to poor 
little plain me. She had plenty of admirers, and she queened it 
finely amongst them ; but the only one to whom I had given her 
with all my heart was Donnell M'Donnell. And, oh dear ! he was 
the very one whom she would not look at. 

Donnell and I were great friends, and I had promised to do all 
I could to help him with Gracie. He was young and strong, and 
as bonny a man as could be seen. He had a fine farm, all his own, 
some three miles across country from my stepmother's place. If 
Grade would but marry him, she might live like a lady, and drive 
Vol. xiv. No. 164. April, 1886. v r^nn}i> 

Digitized by VJUUVLt 



176 Bet's Match-making. 

into Ba lymena on her own jaunting-car. But she was always 
saying that she would go away to London, and be a great " West- 
end " milliner. This terrified me badly, seeing that London is 
such a wicked place. 

My stepmother was always crying out that Gracie would come 
to a sorrowful end, which made me wild ; and as I lay awake that 
wretched night I thought a great deal about what might happen 
to her if she went away to London by herself, and she so hand- 
some, and not having a friend at all. And I wished with all my 
strength that she would marry Donnell M'Donnell before I went 
away to America, which would ease my mind about her, and also 
about him. For I felt the greatest pity in the world for kind big 
DonnelTs disappointment. * 

My stepmother was provoked at my sad face next day, and 
called me ungrateful. But when I cried bitterly she got a little 
kinder, and in the evening allowed me to go into Ballymena to see 
my friend Gracie. So towards sundown, when the snow was 
getting red upon the fences, I wrapped my shawl about me and 
set off for the town ; sobbing loudly to ease my heart, all along 
the lonely road, where there was no one to hear me but the robins. 
The brown trees against the dusky red sky, the white swelling 
lines of the fields, the dark chimneys of the town on before me, 
were all blent in a dismal maze, when who should leap over a stile 
and stand beside me but Grade's great lover, Donnell. I told him 
my eyes were only watering with the cold, and he turned and 
walked alongside of me for a good way, while we talked of Gracie 
of course. He was very angry at her, and said she was playing 
fast and loose with him, and making him the sport of the town and 
country. I took Gracie's part, and so we went on till we came to 
the last white gate on the road, and began to meet the townspeople. 
Then I told him I was going away, and he looked so vexed that I 
nearly cried again. I felt so glad to see him sorry. 

" Well, little Bet," said he, " we must give you a good dance 
over in yon big farm-house of ours before you go. And, in the 
meantime " „ 

" 111 see to your business, Donnell," said I, smiling. " Never 
fear but I'll do your business to the last." 

Then he shook my two hands till he nearly squeezed them into 
jelly, and left me. 

When I went into Miss Doran's it was past the work hour, and 
the girls were putting on their bonnets to go away ; Gracie only 
wfe sitting close to the candle, putting the flowers on a ball-dress 

. "n^ ■ Digitized by VjvJVJVJ Lv, 



waq 



Bef 8 Match-making. 177 

for one of the county ladies. She, having the nicest taste, had 
always the honour of giving the finishing touches to the most 
particular work. She looked very tired, but oh, so handsome, 
with her pale cheek against the yellow light, and her dark head 
"bending over a mass of white and rose-colour tulle. 

"A. bud here," said she, "and spray there, and then I have 
done. You'll come home with me and sleep. That cross step- 
mother of yours won't see you again to-night/' 

" Don't talk that way, Grade,'* said I ; " but I came intend- 
ing to stay." And the work being finished, we went home to her 
lodging*. 

, A lovely bunch of flowers was lying on her table, and she 
laughed and blushed, and looked beautiful when she saw it. 
\ " Who is that from, Gra£<=i P " said I. " Donnell P " 

' No, indeed," said she, tossing her head. But I was sure that 
a fib, for she looked as happy as possible, resting herself 
in Jier arm-chair beside the fire, while I set out the tea-things. 
She looked so glad, and the shabby room looking so snug, and our 
littlf tea-drinking being so cozy, I could not bear to tell her the 
bad pews now, and began to set about Donnell's business. 

T Gracie," said I, " I wish you would marry Donnell soon." 

+ SoonP" said she, opening her eyes, and looking at me 
angily. " I'll never marry him ! " 

4 But you know, Gracie," said I, getting hot about it, H that 
jou aught to marry him. He says — that is, I know — you have 
mad* him the laughing-stock of the country, and " 

"•Very fine ! " cried she. "And so he has been complaining 
to yok, has he P " 

"L did not say that,* said I; "but, oh, Gracie, I know you 
like atme one. I saw you smiling over a letter the other day, just 
the my you are smiling now." 

"j^nd what if I doP" said she, laughing and tossing her 
head £" that does not prove that it must be Donnell." 

"^here is no one else so good," said I, eagerly. "It could 
not beany one else." 

" 7on my word," said she, staring at me, " I think you had 
•betterjfo and marry him yourself." 

" I? Oh, Gracie ! " said I, starting up and sitting down 
again, ind beginning to cry, " I wanted to tell you that I am 
going t> America." 

Yoi may be sure we talked no more about Donnell that night. 

Dotnell did not fail to keep his word about giving me a feast 

Digitized by vjUUV Iv, 



178 Bet's Match-making. 

before I left the country. He invited three pipers to play, an<T 
half the country-side to dance. Gracie and I met at the cross- 
roads, and walked over to the farm together, she bringing a troop 
of beaux with her from the town. The farm is a dear old place* 
with orchard-trees growing up round the house, and it looked so 
homely that frosty night. Donnell's mother met us at the door, 
and unpinned our shawls in her own room. Gracie looked beauti- 
ful in a pretty new dress and bright ribbon. Donnell's mother 
stroked my hair with her hand, and stuck a bit of holly in tie 
front of my black frock. She kept me with her, after Gracie had 
gone down stairs, holding my hand, and asking me about ny 
going to America. And the place felt so safe and warm, and the 
was so kind and motherly, after what I was accustomed to at hone, 
that my heart got so sore I could scarcely bear it. 

We had a great tea-drinking in the parlour, and then we vent 
oat to the kitchen, and the pipers fell to work, and Gracie wss as 
amiable as possible to Donnell. But just in the middle of our 
dancing the latch of our back door was lifted, and Squire Haanan 
walked in in his top-boots. 

" I wanted to speak to you on business, M'Donnell," he said, 
H but I shall not disturb you now." 

" Will you do us the honour of joining us, sir P " said Don- 
nell. Squire Hannan needed no second invitation. He was soon 
making his bow before Gracie, and Donnell saw no more d her 
smiles that night. She danced with the squire till it was tine to 
go home, and then, after she had set out for the town, escorted by 
him and her other beaux, Donnell's mother kissed me, and Dinneli 
drew my arm through his, and walked home with me acr$s the 
snowy fields to my stepmother's house. He was abusing ftracie 
all the way, and I was, as usual, taking her part. 

He came to see me one day soon after, and brought me abasket 
of lovely winter pears. He leaned against the wall and etched 
me making the butter. He was disgusted with Gracie, hi said ; 
she was a flirt, and he did not care a pin about her, only hd would 
not be made a fool of. She had refused to let him walk with her 
across the hills next Sunday, to the consecration of the new jhurch, 
and if he did not get some token that she had changed hej mind 
between that and this, Le would never, he swore, look l£r way 
again, but go and marry some one else for spite. 

" Oh no, Donnell/' said I, " promise me you won't dojthat ! '* 
For I was sure that Gracie liked him all the while. 



Digitized by * 



Zc ogle 



Befs Match-making. 179 

"But I will/ 1 said he, smiling ; " at least, if other people wiU 
have me/' 

" Oh, don't, don't ! " said I ; but he would not promise. 

•'It's my mind," said my stepmother, after he had gone, 
u that yon lad's more like a lover of yours than hers. Why don't 
you catch him, and then you needn't go to America." 

" Mother ! " I cried, and felt the room spinning round with me, 
tOl I caught and held on by the door. 

" "Well, well," she said, " you needn't look so mad. Many a 
girl M be glad of him." 

I thought a great deal about how he had sworn that he would 
marry some one else if he did not hear from Gracie before Sunday. 
11 I'm sure she likes him," I thought ; " she cannot help it. She 
must have seen how mean even Squire Hannan looked beside him 
the other night. And it would be a most dreadful thing if he was 
married to some one he did not care about, and if she went off to 
London, with a broken heart, to be a ' West-end ' milliner." I 
thought about it, and thought about it. There was no use going 
to Gracie, for she would only laugh and mock at me. All at once 
a bright idea came into my head. 

I was afraid to think of what I was going to do ; but that 
night, when my stepmother had gone to bed, leaving me to finish 
spinning some wool, I got out a sheet of paper and a little note of 
Gracie's which I had in my work-box, and began to imitate Grade's 
handwriting. I had not much trouble, for we wrote nearly alike ; 
and afterwards I composed a little letter. 

" Dear Mr. M'Donnell," it said, " I have changed my mind, 
and will be very glad if you will join me on the road to the con- 
secration on Sunday. 

" Yours sincerely, 

"Grace Bykne." 

" What harm can it do to send it P " thought I, trembling all 
the while. I folded it up, and put it in an envelope directed to 
Mr. M'Donnell, The Buckey Farm. " And it may do such a great 
deal of good ! In the first place, it will prevent his marrying for 
spite before Sunday, and then she will be so glad to see him coming, 
in spite of her crossness, that she will be quite kind to him. He 
is always so stiff and proud when she treats him badly, that I am 
sore it makes her worse. She will never find out that he got a 
letter— not, at least, till they are quite good friends— married, 
perhaps— and then they will both thank me." 



Digitized by 



Googk 



180 Bet* 8 Match-making. 

So the next evening, about dusk, I slipped quietly into the 
town and posted my letter. I was dreadfully afraid of meeting 
Donnell or Oracle ; but I saw no one I knew. I dropped the note 
in the letter-box and rushed off towards home again at full speed. 
I ran nearly all the way ; the snowy roads were slippery in the 
evening frost, and near our house I fell and hurt my foot. A 
neighbour found me leaning against the stile and brought me 
home. I was to have sailed for America the very next week, but 
now I was laid up with a sprained ankle, and my departure was 
put off. 

On Sunday evening, a neighbour woman who had been at the 
consecration came in to tell us the news : This one had been there 
of course, and that one had been there for a wonder. Gracie 
Byrne had been there in a fine new bonnet (the girl was going to 
the mischief with dress), and Squire Hannan had been there, and 
given her the flower out of his button-hole. 

" And Donnell M'Donnell was with her, of course P " said I. 

" Ay, 'deed you may swear it," said the woman. " That'll be 
a match before long. He walked home with her to the town, and 
her smilin' at him like the first of June ! " 

" They'll be married before I go away," said I to myself ; and 
I leaned back into my corner, for the pain of my foot sickened me. 

Donnell' e mother brought me a custard and some apples the 
next day. 

" Donnell's gone to the Glens, my dear," said she, " or he 
would ha' been over this mornin' to see you. He went before we 
heard of your foot, and he won't be home for a week." 

" What's he doin' there P " asked my stepmother. 

" He has land there, you know," said Donnell's mother, " and 
he goes whiles to settle his affairs with them that has charge of it. 
I don't know rightly what he's gone about now. Something has 
went again him lately, for he's not like himself these few days 
back. He said somethin' about goin' to be married when he came 
home, but if he is, it's not afther his heart ; for I never saw a 
bridegroom so glum on the head of it Bet, dear, I thought it 
was you he liked." 

" So he does, Mrs. M'Donnell," said I, " but not that way— 
not for his wife." 

" Well, well, my dear I " said Donnell's mother, wiping her 
eyes. 

Everybody was coming to see me now, on account of my foot. 
Gracie came the next day or so, and surely I was amazed at the 



Jigitizea oy \^jkjv~s 



S LV 



Bet 1 * Match-making. 181 

glory of her dress ! My stepmother, who did not like her, left us 
alone together, and Grade's news came out. She was going to be 
married on next Tuesday. 

"I know that," said I. 

" How do you know it P " said she. 

" Donnell's mother told me." 

"Donnell's mother! Nothing but Donnell and Donnell's 
mother from you for ever ! How should she know P " 

" Oh, Gracie, his own " 

" Why," she burst in, " you don't imagine that he's the man P 
Why, it's Squire Hannan ! Only think, Bet, of your Gracie 
being the Squire's lady ! " 

I was quite confounded. " Oh, oh, Gracie ! " I stammered. 

" Well," said she, sulking, " are you not glad P " 

"Oh yes," I said, "very, on your account; but what will 
become of Donnell P " 

" Donnell again ! Now listen to me, Bet. I know when a 
man likes me, and when he doesn't like, just as well as any other 
girl ; and I've seen this many a day, that Donnell didn't care a 
pin about me. Not he. He only wanted me to marry him that 
the people might not say I jilted him. I told him that the other 
day, when he asked me to have him. ' No matter what I want 
you for/ said he ; * I want you/ * Thank you,' said I. And then 
what had he the impudence to say ! If I changed my mind before 
Sunday I was to send him word, that he might come to the con- 
secration with me. Then he would set off for the Glens on 
Monday, and settle some business there, and be home for our 
wedding in a week ! " 

I screamed out, seeing what I had done. 
. " The poor foot ! " cried Gracie, thinking I was in pain. " Is 
it bad?" 

" Never mind it ! " said I. " And what did you say P " 

" I said," Grade went on, " that whatever morning he got up 
■and saw black snow on the ground, that day he might look for a 
message from me. And yet he had the meanness to walk with me 
on Sunday, after all. And the best fun of it is, they say he's 
gone to the Glens." 

" Oh, oh ! " said I, beginning to groan again, and pretending 
it was all my foot. After that, Grace talked about herself and 
Squire Hannan until she went away. And somehow I never had 
felt as little sorry to part with her before. She seemed not to be 
my own Gracie any longer. 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



182 Bet's Match-making. 

And now I was nearly out of my senses, thinking what mis- 
chief might come of my meddling. I was sure that Donnell 
and Squire Hannan would fight and kill one another, and all 
through me. I thought I would give all I had in the world to see 
Donnell before any one else had told him the news, and confess to 
him what I had done. On Tuesday, about mid-day, a countryman 
from the Glen came in to light his pipe, and he said he had passed 
M'Donnell, of Buckey Farm, on the way. 

" An' I think things must be goin badly with him," said he* 
" for he has a look on his face as black as the potato blight.' 9 

" Somebody has told him, maybe ! " said I to myself. And I 
put on my shawl, and, borrowing a stick from an old neighbour, I 
hobbled off secretly up the road towards the Glens. I soon got 
tired and dreadfully cold, as I could not walk fast, and I sat down 
on a bit of an old grey bridge to walbh for Donnell coming past. 
At last he came thundering along, and although it was getting 
dusk I could see that he had his head down, and looked dreadfully 
dark and unhappy. 

" Donnell ! " said I, calling out to him. 

" Who's that ? " he said. " Why, it's never little Bet ! " 

" But indeed it is," said I. " Ah, Donnell, did you hear P I 
came to tell you. Gracie was married this morning to Squire 
Hannan." 

" Whew ! " he gave a long whistle. " The jilt ! " said he, 
snapping his fingers. But his whole face brightened up. 

" She's not so much a jilt as you think, Donnell,'* said I, " for 
— oh, how can I ever tell you ! — it was I* who wrote you the note 
you got last week, and she had nothing to do with it. I did itior 
the best, I did indeed, for I thought that Gracie liked you ; I did 
indeed ! And oh, Donnell, sure you won't go and kill Squire 
Hannan?" 

" Won't I," said he, looking awfully savage. " I cut a great 
blackthorn this morning in the Glens for no other purpose but to 
beat out his brains." 

I gave a great scream, and, dropping my stick, fell along with 
it ; but Donnell picked me up, and set me safe on his horse behind 
him. 

"Now," said he, "I'll tell you what it is, little Bet. I'll 
make a bargain. You'll marry me, and I won't touch Squire 
Hannan." 

" I marry you P " cried I, " after — after Gracie. Indeed I will 
not, Donnell M'Donnell." 



Digitized by 



Googk 



The Bishop of Down. 183 

"I've behaved badly," said be, "but I'm very sorry. It's 
long since I liked you better than Qracie, but the devil of pride 
was in me, and the people were saying she would jilt me. When 
I got your bit of a note, I felt as if I was goin* to be hung. God 
bless Squire Hannan I Now will you marry me, little Bet P " 

" No/' said I. And with that he whipped up his horse, and 
dashed off with me at the speed of a hunt. 

" Stop, stop ! " cried I. (i Where are you taking me to P 
You've passed the turn of ourToad." 

But I might as well shout to the wind. On we dashed, up 
hill and down hill, through fields and through bogs, with the 
hedges running along by our side, and the moon whizzing past us 
among the bare branches of the trees. He never drew rein till 
the horse stopped at the dear Buckey Farm-house door, when he 
•carried me straight into the bright warm kitchen where his mother 
had the tea set out, and the cakes smoking ready for his return. 

" Talk her into reason," said he, putting me into his mother's 
arms. " I want her to marry me, and she says she won't." 

I did my best to keep sulky for a proper length of time, but it 
was the hardest thing I ever tried to do, and they both so kind, 
and the place so bright and cozy, and I being so happy 
all the time ! So the end of it was that I did not go to America, 
and that I am Mrs. M'Donnell of the Buckey Farm. But I 
-never tried match-making again. 



THE BISHOP OF DOWN. 

BY ALKXANDBB BARK1N, M.D. 

ON the grey morn of a Noyember day, 
Ere the loud chimes had toll'd the hour of seven, 
Stretched on hie bier, the patriot Prelate lay, 
His body to the earth, his soul resigned to heaven. 
Hushed were those lips to meek devotion given, 
And many a homily on grace and prayer, 

And still that hand which seemingly had striven 
To pardon and to bless the sinner there, 
All through that live- long night till breathed the morning air. 



Digitized by 



Google 



184 The Bishop of Down. 

Robed in the purple, Tested with the stole, 

Id the tribunal where he loved to be, 
As Qod's vicegerent with the contrite soul, 

The mandate reached him, " Patrick, oome to me ! 

Well hast thou done the work assigned to thee, 
Thy peril's past, thy years of labour o'er. 

Thy Patron Saint hath longed this day to see,* 
With thee his feet to keep, his God adore, 
And loud Hosannas sing with tbee for evermore ! " 

Galled by the Sovereign Pontiff to his aid, 

In a great crisis of our country's fate, 
No friendly counsel could his steps dissuade, 

Nor from his purpose make him hesitate. 

Despite his age and his enfeebled state, 
Steadfast his solemn duties to fulfil, 

No toil of travel did his zeal abate ; 
Feeble of body, but robust of will, 
Dared the Sirocco's breath and the Mar em ma's chill. 

But soon by grave anxieties oppressed, 

Protected councils an£ mephitic air, 
Upon the bed of sickness he was cast, 

And death approached and poised his javelin there, 

But he was rescued by the might of prayer : 
And, as St. Patrick, feeling death at hand 

In the Primatial See, did then prepare ; 
Did from the Angel Victor understand 
Not at Armagh he'd die, but Saul in Dicho's land. 

Not in the Holy City, not in Rome, 

Were our great Prelate's obsequies to be, 
But to his native country, to his home, 

Was be to journey by divine decree, 

And once more have the privilege to see 
His faithful people welcome his return 

With gratulation and festivity. 
His ashes soon with solemn rites were borne 
To Patrick's Church, at once his monument and urn. 

His was a life of labour and of prayer, 

That for God's glory had untiring striven ; 
Of apostolic fervour, faltering ne'er, 

No wish for life if not to duty given, 

No hope for rest but in the courts of heaven. 
When warned, his active life he must forego, 

From sacerdotal work he must be riven, 
He meekly answered, " Lord, if it be so, 
Then, if I may not labour, Father, let me go 1 " 

* Dr. Patrick Dorrian, Bishop of Down and Connor, died on the Feast of St* 
Malachy, Patron of the Diocese, November 3, 1883. He was born at Ifowii- 
patrick in 1814, ordained priest in 1837, and consecrated bishop in I860. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 18ft ) 



AUGUSTUS LAW, S.J. 

Notes in Remembrance. 

By the Editor. 

TWICE, and twice only, it has been my privilege to live- 
for a year or two under the same roof with persons whose 
" Life " has been thought worth writing ; and it happens that 
both the Frenchman and the Englishman might be described by 
the phrase on the French title-page — " Marin et Jesuite." Both 
of my friends graduated in the navy before entering the Society 
of Jesus. 

Of Alexis Clerc, shot as a hostage by the Commune when 
Paris was taken by the Prussians, some account was given in our 
eighth volume (pp. 271, &c.) Augustus Law's father has devoted 
three small volumes to his memory, besides a fourth volume of his 
meditation-notes which is not given to the public like the other 
volumes. Let us see how much of these letters and notes we can 
weave into a brief sketch along with our own recollection of our 
saintly and amiable brother. 

" Law " is a very appropriate name for a lawyer, and two 
eminent lawyers have borne it in this century. In Ireland Hugh 
Law was the immediate predecessor of Lord Chancellor Naish, 
who has just entered for the second time on his high office ; and 
eighty years ago Edward Law was Lord Chief Justice of the- 
King's Bench in England. He was created the first Lord Ellen- 
borough, and in the House of Lords in 1805 he strenuously 
opposed all concessions to the Roman Catholics. One of his sons, 
the Hon. William Towry Law, served in the army from 1826 ta 
1831, when he married Augusta, daughter of the second Lord 

Graves, took out his M.A. degree at Cambridge, a~* 1 

minister of the Established Church, reaching prettj 
dignity of Chancellor of Bath and Wells. Why h 
went no further we shall see presently. 

Augustus Law was born on October 21st, 1883, at 
ton. a village near Cambridge. He the eldest and 
youngest of eight children were evidently named 
mother. She died when he was just eleven years ol 



Digitized by 



Google 



186 Augustus Law, B.J. 

letter — for these memoirs are built tip out of letters with only a 
very scanty grouting of explanations and of names and other 
remarks — the earliest of the letters printed here with hardly any 
omissions and no alterations is dated from Somerton School two or 
three weeks after the funeral. " I have just counted, and I have 
had exactly thirty-seven letters from dear mamma. I have not 
lost one." He mentions that the first was when he was six years 
old— which to the boy of eleven seemed so long ago. He little 
thought that the childish affectionate letter he was then writing 
would be preserved and printed forty years later. And not his 
own letters only. The next is from his uncle, Henry Law, who 
had no notion of what we call in Ireland by the beautiful name of 
Month's Mind, but who, when the little boy's mother was exactly 
a month dead, writes to him : " Your poor little baby sister is 
quite well and would send her love to you if she could speak. 
Oood-bye, my dear boy. Never forget your poor mother, and 
always do whatever you think would have given her pleasure." 

Cardinal Newman, after reading the first of these three volumes 
{which were published separately at intervals of a year or so), 
wrote to Mr. Law: "Thank you for your most interesting 
Memorials of your son. There is not a word too much in them, 
as you fear. It is a favour we are not often given to be able to 
follow year by year the formation of a saintly mind. How God 
has blessed you in giving you such a son 1 It is a consolation for 
much suffering, and a sort of pledge of other mercies yet to come. 1 ' 
We quote these words here, for they justify Mr. Law's plan of 
giving not merely such edifying things as the meditation on the 
judgment at page 9 (wonderful for a little lad of less than twelve 
years) but also on the opposite page a completely childish letter 
of the same date, with such short, clear, jerky, unperiodic sentences 
as " My dear papa, I have not much to say. The new usher is 
coming here on Monday. I began the Second Book of Euclid on 
Wednesday. I hope Twit [his sister] is very well. Give my love 
to all. Easter is very early this year " — and a few more indepen- 
dent statements of this kind, ending with the injunction, " mind, 
write to me soon." 

In January, 1846, Augustus's father married Matilda, the 
second daughter of the first Sir Henry Montgomery, Baronet, of 
Donegal, who, in spite of her Christian name, is the " dearest 
May " that plays so important and so attractive a part through 
all the rest of these memorials. Seventeen years later Augustus 
writes to his father on the 1st of January, 1863 : 



Digitized by 



Google 



Augustus Law, 8. J. 187 

"Deabist Fatheb— Happy New Year to dearest May and all at home, 
I was just thinking the other day how much all of us eight, from Helen to 
Augusta, owe to dearest May's motherly kindness. The thought occurred 
on thinking that. Augusta was the last of the eight and had married. Do 
thank dearest May, in the name of us all, for her tenderness and kindness to 
us alL Ever your most affectionate son, 

•'Augustus H. Law/' 

The Earl of Ellenborough, who had been a very distinguished 
Governor- General of India, was First Lord of the Admiralty in 
1846, and in February he wrote to his brother: "My dear 
William, why should you not make that fine eldest boy of yours a 
midshipman P He is old enough, and there are a good many to be 
appointed at once, so that he could go to sea immediately." The 
letters which passed between father and son on this occasion are 
all given, and the letter also of a friend whom Augustus consulted. 
Strange that they should all be preserved so carefully, but this 
wonder follows us all through these simple memoirs. The little 
lad had thought of being what his father was, but he ended by 
saying : " will you thank Lord EUenborough for me, for giving 
me such a jolly chance P " and Lord Ellenborough in turn tells 
his " dear William : " "lam much pleased with your boy's readi- 
ness to serve afloat " — while the good parson, in his next letter, 
calls him his dearest sailor boy. Both the correspondence at this 
crisis and the letters given on other occasions leave on the reader's 
mind the most amiable impressions not only of the two or three 
whom we name so frequently but also of others who are only 
quoted incidentally. They gave the young cadet of thirteen years 
more substantial marks of kindness than this good advice of the 
Rev. William Newbolt : "Now, mind you are a good boy and be 
a comfort to your father and a credit to the service, and I should 
not be surprised if I should live to see you ushered in, one day, 
to the Vicarage of Somerton, as Sir Augustus H. Law, K.C.B., 
Vice- Admiral of the Red. Do what you can to make my pro- 
phecy come true, and one step towards it will be to act up to the 
advice contained in the little book I gave you the last night I saw 
you at Somerton." The brave little boy, going away from such 
loving friends, to be tossed about for an indefinite period on the 
homeless waves, keeps up his heart stoutly, or pretends to do so, 
ending his first letter from shipboard: " Write to me soon. 
Hurrah ! Best love to all." And his next letter ends : " Please 
God, we shall meet again all happy together. God bless you all/' 

There is hardly one of these simple, unaffected, affectionate 
Vol. xiv. No. 164. ^ 15 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



188 Augustus Law, 8. J. 

letters from which we should not wish to quote at least a phrase 
or two ; but we have as yet made very little way in our story, and 
it is best to hurry on. At an age when an aunt who sees him at 
Madeira, speaks of being "delighted with the little fellow, the 
nicest child she ever saw/ 1 he is able to speak in this manly way 
of the prospect of several years' absence. " I have been three 
months now in Her Majesty's Service, and I must say I like the 
navy very much. I don't think there's any one in the ship 
happier than me ; and I hope some day (D.V.), in about three or 
four years' time, I may be safe on old England's shores again." A 
month later the chaplain writes to his father : " Mr. Augustus 
Law promises to be an ornament to his profession, and has evinced 
even in this short time a great desire to obtain a perfect knowledge 
of the nautical part of his education, and by his amiable and 
affectionate disposition he has won the esteem and regard of all 
the officers in the frigate." Lord Ellenborough, in returning a 
long letter Augustus had sent home from the Cape of Good Hope, 
congratulated his brother on having such a son. " It is as agree- 
able a letter as a father could receive : it is the sort of letter the 
Duke would have written at thirteen, and as good a one as Nelson 
could have written at any time. You see I have no overweening 
respect for the nautical hero. I should be sorry to think that the 
navy had not a hundred Nelsons at all times, and I should be too 
happy if I could think that I should ever see another Wellington." 

In a long letter home from Valparaiso, telling* of his experiences 
on board and at Sydney (which he liked) and New Zealand (which 
he didn't), he notes a very interesting date : " October 21st. It 
ismy birthday to-day — thirteen years old." Brave little fellow ! He 
shows that he remembers other birthdays besides his own, though 
still some months ahead : " Tell Graves I shall drink his health 
on December 4th, and Franky's too, on January 9th." Yet it is 
just at this date, or a couple of months later, that his uncle " the 
Peer " calls him a " young man," and gives him this stern, pro- 
fessional fillip : " I hope you may have the good luck to be under 
fire before you come home. The wind of a shot is better for a 
young man's face than rose-water. You will feel yourself to be a 
man when you have heard them whistling by you. It is a new 
pleasure, and I hope you will be worthy of it ; indeed I know you 
will." Aye, all very well to hear them whistling by you ; but 
what if they took to whistling through youP 

Under the date of August 25th, 1847, occurs abruptly a very 
curious sentence that bears upon the politics of the present time. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Augustus Late, 8.J. 189 

The sentence which precedes it is, "Helen must play her duets for 
me when I come home, and Twit, too ; " and the sentence which 
follows, it is equally innocent, and there is no justification in the 
context for this declaxtttibn on Home Rule : " What is the good of 
Englnpd holding on to Ireland and spending so much money on 
it P But I suppose the French would prig the island directly 
then." 

Critics are said to be authors who have failed. "What we have 
set down up to this goes far to prove that, if Augustus Law can 
be described, like Alexis Clerc, as " marin et J^suite," he did not 
take up with the second vocation merely because he had failed in 
the first. But we are still very far from the transition point, and we 
must, as the young middy would say, put on more steam. Towards 
the end of November, 1847, Augustus began a letter with an 
announcement, the more joyful because unexpected : " I cannot 
express my joy, you will hardly believe what I say — the ' Carysf ort ' 
is homeward bound ! ! I ! Hurrah ! ! Hurrah ! ! ! " 

The meeting and the doings at home during the five or six 
weeks of holidays, we leave to the imagination of the sympathetic 
reader who will kindly suppose the midshipman started on his 
second voyage in H. M. S. Hastings, from which his first despatch 
announces that " I am all right now — of course I was down in the 
mouth at first ; " and administers subtle flattery to his father by 
mentioning that "some of the fellows asked me whether that 
young fellow with the red whiskers was not my brother, ha ! ha ! " 
The 15th of August, 1848, was not for him the Feast of the 
Assumption, but his fifth time for crossing the Line, before his 
fifteenth birthday. The diary of his second term of naval service 
shows that his heart was not hardening as he grew older. It is 
full of little touches of the tenderest home-affections. Not only 
does he note that October 5th is his sister Augusta's birthday, but 
on October 27- we read that, " this day six months ago was my 
dear sister Helen's birthday." Let us be guilty of a gross anach- 
ronism by mentioning that Helen is now Sister Mary Walburga, 
in the Convent of Mercy, Bermondsey, and that another sister, 
who in these letters is never called Maude, but generally " dearest 
old Twit," is now a Visitation Nun at Westbury. Writing from 
Hong-Kong on the 27th of January, 1849, the wanderer, who 
evidently " drags at each remove a lengthening chain " and who 
ends his letter with the prayer " may God preserve us all to meet 
again in three years' time all well ! " not only speaks of " dearest 
old Twit" but of "dearest old May" — namely the excellent 



Digitized by 



Google 



190 Augustus Late, S.J. 

lady of whom he subscribes himself in good faith the " affectionate 
son-in-law/ 1 Already he had the habit of using this disagreeable 
epithet " old " as a term of endearment, just as twenty years later 
he would playfully apostrophise " le vieux Causs£que." But while 
thus grateful to the second mother, who made even the ugly word 
" mar&tre " amiable, the young lad does not forget to chronicle 
October 16, 1849, as " the anniversary of my dear mother's death 
live years ago," and he writes on the same page the words which 
on her deathbed she told him ever to remember, " Thou God seest 
me " and the number of the psalm she asked to be read to her, 
our 102nd psalm : " Bless the Lord, my soul, and let all that is 
within me praise His holy name." 

The phrases that we have .quoted here and there from these 
letters and memoirs have for the most part aimed at proving two 
points — how good a son and brother Augustus Law was, and how 
good a sailor. On the latter point we have Sir Henry Montgomery, 
writing from Madras, in August, 1849, to his sister, the Hon. Mrs. 
W. T. Law : " We were very much pleased with Augustus. Indeed 
I never saw so well-disposed a boy. He bears the highest charac- 
ter possible from his shipmates, and Lora will send you the Com- 
modore's note about him." And Commodore Plumridge, in the 
note referred to, says : " He eeems a fine lad, and I hear be has a 
well-regulated mind; indeed the Admiral told me he was the 
flower of his flock." 

On the other point a few last words may be cited from the 
diary for February, 1850 : u How thankful I ought to be to God 
for His blessings, in having given me such a dear father, step- 
mother, and brothers and sisters, and may my constant prayer be 
that I may be more thankful to God for His blessings, and also 
show it by following His blessed Will in all things that I do." 
Another conclusion may well be drawn from our quotations — 
namely, how expedient it is for mothers and sisters and others at 
home to pursue with a ceaseless, affectionate correspondence the 
exiles of the household, whom various circumstances may banish 
to the ends of the earth. Ah! dear stay-at-homes, keep the 
wanderers constantly in mind of the lovingness and holiness of 
home. 

Before passing on to the second part of Augustus Law's life, 
on account of which the preceding part has been described, it ia 
well to notice that in all these letters and private journals there ia 
not the slightest grumbling about bad food, want of sleep* or any 
other hardship. No doubt such things are better managed in Her 



Digitized by 



Google 



Augustus Law, 8. J. 191 

Majesty's ships than in ordinary merchant vessels ; but certainly 
Augustus's breakfast and dinner at sea were very different from the 
same institutions in Harborne Vicarage. Making due allowance for 
the superiority of the Royal Navy, it will not be irrelevant to give 
my notes of a conversation with a young gentleman after his first 
voyage. From early boyhood ships had a fascination for him ; he 
haunted the docks, climbed the masts, proved that the sea was his 
vocation, and finally extorted his parents 9 reluctant consent. I 
questioned him as to his first experience of a life at sea. He said 
that Dana's " Two Years before the Mast " is a genuine picture of 
sailor-life, but that " tarry novels " in general are outrageously 
untrue to facts. T.B. was an " apprentice " in a big ship, JBianca, 
from London to Calcutta and from Calcutta to New York. Appren- 
tices have not to work at the wheel [steering] which is not the 
hardest work, but brings you in for a good deal of cursing from the 
captain, &c. Once, in bad weather the captain sent T. B. up four 
times to do better the reefing of a certain sail. He was so exhausted 
that he had to rest several minutes above before venturing to 
descend. They have never more than four hours' sleep at a time. 
He never once got up thoroughly refreshed. When off duty every 
four hours, they can turn in if they like. Sailors are not allowed 
to dry their clothes at a fire — they must wear them and wait for dry 
weather. Bread horrible, crawling with little maggots, which only 
some take the precaution of killing by baking the bread over again. 
Salt beef — no butter, or eggs, or anything. If sailors are not 
canonised, it is not for want of austerities. The captain of a small 
merchant vessel told me that most of the wild lads who run off to 
sea would, after their first voyage, be very glad to relapse into 
landlubberdom if shame or necessity did not make them go on. 

These realities of sea-life do not altogether apply to a cadet in 
the royal navy ; but Augustus Law must have suffered many a 
hardship which a less brave-hearted boy would have complained of, 
taken as he was so early from a loving and happy home. I have 
heard him describe the severe and often whimsical penances 
imposed for faults. He was himself left standing in the " bits " 
(even when the Admiral came on board to inspect the ship) for 
nothing more serious than flinging a book at a brother midshipman. 
We may be sure that he went through a hard-enough novitiate on 
board Her Majesty's ship " Carysfort." 

But the story cannot be finished this month. As Augustus 
Law said, in ending one of his letters abruptly : " I am afraid I 
must let go my anchor here for a short time." 

(To be continued). 



( 192 ) 



ESTRADA'S SPOUSE. 
The Legend of the Persian Peincess. 

Bt Elkako.1 C. Doskelly. 

WITHIN her palace, in the Hall of Mirrors, 
One glorious day in Spring — 
'Mid all the glamour of the glittering mirrors, 
The daughter of the King, 

A Princess, young and innocent and tender, 

Sat silent and alone, 
In satin robes whose wealth of trailing splendour 

Half veiled her ivory throne. 

Her lustrous eyes like liquid sapphires gleaming, 

Her white hand 'neath her head*— 
The noble maid was dreaming — dreaming — dreaming 

Of him she soon should wed. 

Her Persian prince ; how grand his royal bearing ! 

How grave his manly face ! 
His soul so full of chivalry and daring ! 

His form so full of grace ! 

'Mid all the flower of her father's courtiers, 

Was none as fair as he ! 
"0 prince of men! " she sighed, and blushing faltered t 

" Who can compare with thee ? " 

Lo ! on the instant, swift as though it lightened, 

A glory filled the air ; 
And all the lofty room was warmed and brightened 

By one grand Presence there ! 

No mortal eye had peen the stranger enter. 

No ear had heard his tread, 
Yet there, resplendent, in the chamber's centre, 

He stood unheralded. 

A tall and stately shape, divinely moulden, 

In regal vestments clad ; 
His floating hair and beard, a halo golden, 

Around a visage glad. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Estrada* 8 Spouse. 193 

Beep, earnest eyes, supremely true and tender, 

A brow majestic, mild. 
Upon the startled maiden fair and tender, 

The radiant vision smiled. 

M Behold!" He sighed, and (strange to say) as slowly 

He raised His gracious Hand, 
Across the velvet of its palm all holy, 

She saw a Wound expand* 

A deep red Wound, which, like a flaming jewel, 

Shone with a ruddy light : 
Ah ! who (she thought) had dared with weapon cruel 

That beauteous Hand to smite ? 

" Look round ! " He said, and then the king's fair daughter, 

Turning, beheld it all ! — 
Like clearest streams of calm, unruffled water, 

The mirror on the wall 

Reflected back the beauty and the glory, 

Of that Eternal King— 
Whose endless praise in sweetest song and story 

The Bards of Heaven sing. 

44 Hear, and take heed, child of my affection ! " 

The dulcet voice pursued, 
"Each faithful mirror's pure and true reflection 

Of Mine own pulchritude : 

" Each curve, and tint, and line— each shining shimmer 

Of robes reflected there ; 
The Brow, the Lip, the Eye — the golden glimmer 

Of every single hair, 

41 Are symbols, dear Estrada, of my creatures 

In whom my beauties shine ; 
The human souls' celestial form and features, 

Reflecting the Bivine ! 

'' And wilt thou love the unsubstantial shadow 

More than the substance true, 
O virgin Princess ! innocent Estrada, 

Wilt thou, in vain, pursue 

" An apparition fair, but fake and fleeting, 

Which fades before 'tis won ; 
A bright chimera evermore retreating 

Before the changeless One P 



Digitized by 



Googk 



194 Irish-American Poets. 

" Look on My Wounds, and tell Me, young Estrada, 

Shall phantoms claim thy vows ? 
Wilt thou, indeed, prefer this mortal shadow 

To thine immortal Spouse P " 

The Persian princess heard, and swift uprising 

Drew close her Tirgin zone 5 
With burning love, with faith and hope surprising, 

She stepp'd from off her throne. 

Her lovely face aglow with glad decision, 

(0 maid, supremely blest !) 
Her arms like lilies, twining round the Vision, 

Her head upon His breast. 

In ringing tones, she cries : " The dream is over ! — 

No bride of earth I'll be ; 
Lord, my God! my first Eternal Lover! 

I leave all loves for Thee /" 



L 



IRISH-AMERICAN POETS * 
By Daniel Connolly. 

IRELAND has contributed largely to the poetical ranks of 
America, as to all others in which distinction is gained. The 
earliest Irish- American poet whose merit received recognition was 
Richard Henry Wilde. Wilde is claimed by some American com- 
pilers of poetry as of American birth, but this is an error. He 
was born in Dublin in 1789, and taken to America in his child- 
hood. He educated himself, and became Attorney-General of the 
State of Georgia, in which he had made his home. He also 
represented that State in Congress, where he gained reputation as 
an eloquent and effective speaker. By his habits of study, which 

* By a curious coincidence, while the following contribution was coming 
to us across the Atlantic, certain pages of the present Number were already in 
print in which two or three names figure which occur again in Mr. Connolly's 
article.— Ed. J. M. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



Irish-American Poets. 195 

continued through life, he was enabled to acquire a good know- 
ledge of languages, including Spanish and Italian, and it was in 
the field of translation from those languages that his most im- 
portant poetical work was done. He also, however, wrote a num- 
ber of original poems, showing fine taste and fancy, and graceful 
power of expression. One that became a general favourite, and is 
still reprinted, is entitled, "My Life is like a Summer Rose." 
He wrote a poem on the Tomb of Napoleon that is worthy of a 
place beside Bartholomew Simmons' noble poem on the same sub- 
ject. Mr. Wilde died in 1847. He was the first American poet 
of note belonging to the Irish race. 

There is no more perfect elegiac poem in any language than 
the " Bivouac of the Dead," written by Colonel Theodore O'Hara. 
It has been quoted thousands of times, and stanzas from it are 
inscribed on granite and marble in American "national" cemeteries, 
wherein lies the dust of heroes of the great Civil War. Colonel 
OUara, born in Kentucky, in 1820, was a son of Kane O'Hara, a 
cultured Irish gentleman, who settled in America in early man- 
hood. His mother was an American lady, connected with the 
family of the famous frontiersman, Daniel Boone. One of Colonel 
O'Hara's poems, similar in spirit to " The Bivouac of the Dead," 
but not equal to it, and entitled " The Old Pioneer," was written 
as a dirge for Boone. He wrote many other poems, which were 
collected after his death, for publication in book form, but in 
some way they became mislaid, and finally lost ; and the two here 
named are the only ones now extant. The poet-soldier was an 
officer in the war with Mexico, and prominent in the Confederate 
service, during the war between North and South. He died in 
Alabama, in 1867, and his native State did him the honour of 
having his ashes brought home for final rest. He was a true poet 
and a brave man. 

Another Southern State — famous old Virginia— is the birthplace 
of the gifted poet-priest, the Rev. Abraham J. Ryan. Father 
Ryan's place among American poets is fixed and secure. There is 
not one among the whole number whose melodious lines go more 
directly to the heart, which all true poetry must not only touch, 
but enter. As the poet of the " Lost Cause " of the South, he 
stands foremost, if not alone. It is not the purpose of this last 
paper to analyse the quality of Irish- American poetry, but it may 
at least be said that Father Ryan's verses contain the choicest and 
purest poetical elements. Their pervading sadness, to which 
exception is sometimes taken, is merely pathos in its deepest 

Digitized by G00gle 



196 Irish-American Poets. 

expression. This poet, although of American birth, is of direot 
Irish extraction, and hardly second to his love for his native 
South is his affection for the fair land of his fathers, as some of 
his poems eloquently show. " Erin's Flag " is undoubtedly one of 
the most intensely Irish poems ever written, not a whit less national 
and passionate than Davis's "Green above the Bed." It is a 
worthy companion-piece to " The Conquered Banner/' than which 
there is no more exquisite poem of its kind in the literature of 
any land. 

Thomas Darcy M'Gee had probably done the best work of 
which he was capable, as a poet, when the bullet of an assassin 
ended his life. He was one of the most prolific of writers, and 
almost every line traced by his restless pen throbbed with fervid 
love for his native land. In so far as his patriotism can be judged 
by his poetry, it must be considered as earnest as that of the 
boldest spirit of Forty-eight. A Celt to the heart, and a loving 
student of all that related to his race, he was almost over-ardent 
in his impassioned outbursts of national song. M'Gee lived in 
America some twenty years, and though his latter years were 
passed in Canada, and as a member of the Canadian Government, 
he must be ranked as an Irish- American. Soon after his death all 
his poems were collected by the Irish- American authoress, Mrs. 
Mary A. Sadlier, who held him in especially warm esteem, and 
wrote an appreciative biographical sketch for the volume. His 
age at the time of his assassination was forty-three years. 

Genial, witty, versatile, popular Charles G. Halpine, whose 
other self, " Miles O'Reilly," became everybody's friend, was an 
Irishman in every fibre. His first literary work was done in 
Dublin, but it was in New York that he expanded, developed, and 
gained all his celebrity. Halpine had rare powers and was capable 
of superior work. His mind was of the kind that neither sleeps 
nor tires. But the man who writes verse rapidly, under the stress 
of newspaper duty, can rarely do himself justice. That was 
Halpine' s case. He was an editor a great part of the time, when 
his pen was most active, and editors have but few hours for fine 
finishing touches. Nevertheless, Halpine wrote some poems of 
excellent quality. One, entitled "Janet's Hair," is a gem in 
delicious and tender feeling. " A Vesper Hymn " is another that 
shows him at his best, and the last poem of his life, written im- 
mediately before his death — " On Raising a Monument to the 
Irish Legion " — is a truly noble production. Many of his poems, 
however, were written on topics of the moment, chiefly political, 

Digitized by G00gle 



Irish- American Poets. 197 

and therefore evanescent. These were " thrown off " in haste, 
and though full of clever points and happy hits, their interest was 
not of a kind to endure. Halpine was taken away in his prime, 
even before he had counted his fortieth, year. He was a staff- 
officer in the Civil War, when he began using the sobriquet of 
" Miles O'Reilly." 

New York was the working-field of FitzJames O'Brien and 
Charles Dawson Shanly, both of Irish birth and men of excellent 
talent. O'Brien was the more brilliant and gained most distinc- 
tion, part of which was due to the remarkable quality of several 
short tales, somewhat in the style of Edgar A. Poe, which he con- 
tributed to the magazines. He was a native of the county Lime- 
rick, and educated in Dublin. Some time after his death, his poems 
and stories were collected by his friend, the well-known dramatic 
critic, William Winter, and published in a handsome volume. His 
poems are not equal in artistic finish to his stories, but they show 
imagination, pathos and a dramatic spirit that borders on the tragic. 
A monody on the Arctic explorer, Dr. Kane, is probably the best. 
Shanly was a more careful writer, and not so picturesque. He 
was more essentially a critic and essayist than a poet, but he wrote 
some poems of superior quality nevertheless. " The Walker of 
the Snow," "Civile Bellum " and "The Briar- wood Pipe " are 
marked by characteristics certainly of no common kind. O'Brien, 
like Halpine, became a staff-officer in the great war and was killed 
in Virginia, at the age of thirty-four. Shanly died in 1875, aged 
sixty-four. 

Boston possessed, a few years ago, two Irish- American poets 
of wide and well deserved reputation — namely, Robert Dwyer 
Joyce and John Boyle O'Reilly. Dr. Joyce has passed to another 
world, but Mr. O'Reilly remains and continues to be a thoroughly 
live man. Joyce had written a number of spirited ballads before 
he left Ireland, about 1865, but it was some years after he settled 
in Boston that his best work was done. His splendid epics, 
"Deirdre" and "Blanid," brought him honours from all quarters, and 
were received with delight by both the critics and the public. The 
appearance of " Deirdre," although the work came out anonymously, 
was hailed as a poetic revelation. " Blanid " also had a cordial wel- 
come though it did not awaken quite as much interest as the previous 
poem. Joyce wrote very little after "Blanid" was published. 
His health failed and he dropped the pen that had proved a wizard's 
wand in his hand. Returning to Ireland, sadly broken, he died 
in Dublin in 1883. 

m Digitized by VjOOQLC 



198 Irish-American Poets. 

John Boyle O'Reilly has been an American twenty years or so. 
It may be said that he is now the foremost Irishman connected 
with literature in the United States. Besides being a poet and 
editor, he has made his mark as a novelist, and is a successful 
lecturer. In all his literary work the quality of forceful expression 
is paramount. But with the expression there always is vigorous 
thought ; the writer never speaks unless he-has something to say. 
Mr. O'Reilly's merit as a poet was recognised even before his first 
book appeared. Judged by the accepted canons, his best poem is 
4i The King of the Tasse," though it is not the best known. This 
poem relates a weird and-richly coloured story, purporting to be 
an Australian legend. "The Amber Whale" is' another admir- 
able production, with enough of the marvellous to awaken an 
interest as keen as that of a child in a fairy tale — in the long, long 
ago, when children were young. His Irish poems are bold, ardent, 
throbbing with earnest purpose, but never extravagant either in 
thought or diction. Mr. O'Reilly is now forty-two years old, and 
at his best. 

Among other names on the list of Irish- American poets, men- 
tion should be made of those of John Savage and Joseph Brenan. 
Mr. Savage has written extensively, and one of his poems, "Shaun's 
Head," is widely known. Brenan died nearly thirty years ago, 
leaving many fine pieces, including one of the sweetest and 
tenderest ever written, entitled " Come to me, Dearest." Richard 
Dalton Williams might also be set down as Irish- American, 
inasmuch as he lived several years in America, wrote many poems 
in his adopted country, and died in it. It is proper, moreover, 
to name Hugh Farrar M'Dermott, whose " Blind Canary " has 
been much admired ; William D. Gallagher, son of one of 
the United Irishmen ; John Augustus Shea and Edward Maturin 
(both dead) ; John Boyle, a true poet (also dead) ; James Jeffrey 
Roche, of the Boston " Pilot " staff ; Rev. Patrick Cronin, and 
William D. Kelly. Nor should Maurice F. Egan be omitted. 
Mr. Egan is of American birth and Irish parentage. He has 
written some exceedingly fine poems and is regarded as one of the 
most promising of the younger authors. 

Place am- dafnes, by all means ! And first, by right of the 
intense national fervour of her songs, is Fanny Parnell, the 
" Speranza " of the new Ireland in America. The early death of 
this spirited singer was a sad loss. No other hand has yet taken 
up the harp that fell from hers. She struck its chords with fingers 
of fire, and brought forth sounds which thrilled and burned. Her 



Digitized by 



Google 



Irish-American Poets. * 199 

love for Ireland was deep, passionate, boundless, overwhelming. 
All her poems were the result of impetuous inspiration. She wrote 
rapidly, and rarely made any change in the throbbing lines whioh 
rushed swiftly from her pen. " Post Mortem/' " Dragon's Teeth," 
and "Ireland, Mother" are fair specimens of her power and 
pathos. It is needless to speak of Miss ParnelTs personality. 
Probably half of her brief life was passed in America, chiefly in 
New York. The family residence at Bordentown, New Jersey, 
once the home of her grandfather, Commodore Stewart, is within 
a couple of hours of the metropolis, by rail. When death came, 
her age was about twenty-seven years. 

Mrs. Yincenzo Botta is a name still occasionally heard. A 
generation ago, the lady who bears it was a central figure in the 
literary and art circles of New York. Her home was the resort 
of celebrities of both professions, and approached more nearly to 
the character of the French salon than any other in the city. Mrs. 
Botta was originally Miss Anne Charlotte Lynch, and her father 
was one of the United Irishmen who shared the prison and 
the exile of Thomas Addis Emmet, her mother, however, being of 
an American family. A neat volume, published by a leading 
New York house, contains the poems of Mrs. Botta. Most of 
them were written a good many years ago. They are chiefly 
reflective, graceful in form, and marked by clear and choice 
expression. The home of this lady is still frequented by many 
persons of literary and social distinction. She is the wife of 
a learned Italian gentleman, Professor Vincenzo Botta. 

Boston countq among her many accomplished women Mrs. 
Mary E. Blake, wife of a leading physician. The poetical abilities 
of Mrs. Blake are already known to the readers of the " Irish 
Monthly.*' They are of a high order and have brought her much 
distinction. She excels in singing about children, but she writes 
well on all themes and she never forgets that she is both Irish and 
Catholic. Boston is also the home of two other ladies who write 
excellent poems and belong to Irish-American company — Miss 
Katharine E. Conway and Miss Louise Imogen Guiney. Mrs. 
Blake was born in Ireland, but Miss Conway and Miss Guiney are 
of American birth, though Irish by parentage. Both are young, 
but each has published a collection of poems, and the modest book 
of each has been well received. Miss Conway is a writer of 
indefatigable industry, and much more active in general literature 
than in the special domain of verse. Miss Guiney's talent also 



Digitized by 



Google 



200 * Irish-American Poets. 

shows versatility. She is a daughter of the late General Patrick 
Guiney, an able Irish- American soldier. 

Eleanor G. Donnelly, of Philadelphia, has had a creditable 
place among poets for several years. She has published three 
volumes of poems, each of which has had a good reception. She 
writes chiefly on religious subjects and always with the devotional 
spirit of a truly pious Catholic. She is, in fact, essentially a 
Catholic poet, whose pen is always guided by a sense of Christian 
love and duty. Miss Donnelly is a native of the city in which she 
lives, but Irish by parentage, at least. Mary Ainge De Vere is 
another lady who has made valuable contributions to poetical 
literature. She, also, is of Irish parentage, but born in America. 
Her poems appear in the leading magazines and some are widely 
reprinted. Although her name might suggest relationship to the 
poetical De Veres of Ireland, she is not of that family. The 
name of Mary E. Mannix is also entitled to a place. Mrs. Manniz, 
whose maiden name was Walsh, is a native of New York and 
now a resident of Cincinnati. She has written a number of very 
choice poems. Esmeralda Boyle, likewise of Irish extraction, has 
been known some years as a writer of pleasing verse. Mrs. Mar- 
garet F. Sullivan, who was born in Ireland, is the author of some 
strong poems, but is better known as a writer of vigorous prose. 
Mary A. M'Mullin, who wrote under the name of " Una," and 
published a volume of very fair poems in Cincinnati, a number of 
years ago, was also of Irish birth. One of the younger writers, 
who promises well, is Minnie Gilmore, a daughter of the well- 
known musician, Patrick S. Gilmore. There are other writers of 
both sexes who might be mentioned, but the names here given 
show that the Irish race is well represented in the production of 
poetry in America.* 

* Some samples of Mrs. Blake's poetry are given at page 663 of our volume 
for 1885. The combination of names " Kane O'Hara " is so peculiar as to point 
to a relationship between the father of Theodore O'Hara, who is mentioned 
second in the foregoing paper, and the musical composer, Kane O'Hara, who 
died in Dublin, in 1782. 

Mr. Connolly's readers will be glad to hear that his great collection of Irish 
and Irish- American poetry is at last completed and will speedily be published. 
It will form by far the amplest anthology of Celtic song ever yet given to the 
world.— Ed. /. M. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 201 .) 



NUTSHELL BIOGRAMS. 

Second Handful. 

12. Annie Keary was the daughter of Mr. William Keary, an Irish 
Protestant gentleman of Clough, near Taam, in the county of Gal way. 
She was born on the 3rd of March, 1825. Though she spent all her 
life in England, where her father, who had been in the army, became 
a clergyman, she had warm Irish feelings and Catholic tendencies : 
aud her Irish novel " Castle Daly " was singled out by so un-English 
an Irishman as Mr. John O'Leary, in a lecture at Cork, as singularly 
and almost solely worthy of high praise out of the hosts of so-called 
Irish novels written of late. Her other books (besides a delightful 
story for children, " A York and Lancaster Rose ") are " Oldbury," 
" Janet's Home," " Clemency Franklyn," and " A Doubting Heart," 
which she had not quite finished, when she died in 1879, on the 3rd of 
March, her birthday. 

18. Robebt Ffrench Whitehbad was born in Lower Dominick- 
street, Dublin, July 28th, 1807. He entered the Humanity Class in 
Maynooth College, August 26th, 1820, only a month after his thirteenth 
birthday. Dr. John O'Hanlon, afterwards the distinguished Prefect 
of the Dunboyne Establishment, entered at the same time for Rhetoric. 
He was ordained sub-deacon, August 24th, 1828, and the next week, 
after a public examination, appointed Professor of English Rhetoric, 
though he was not ordained priest till March 6th, 1830. Before priest- 
hood also he had been promoted to the chair of philosophy, though 
his competitors were Dr Joseph Dixon, afterwards Archbishop of 
Armagh, and the Rev. Francis M'Gennis, an eloquent preacher. On 
this occasion he extemporised this prophetic hexameter : — 

" Vici facundum hoetem Primatemque f uturum." 

In 1 845 Dr. Whitehead was appointed Vice-President of the College, 
and he held this office till 1872, when he resigned through failing 
health, after having had an important part in the ecclesiastical train- 
ing of thirty-five bishops and more than three thousand priests. He 
died on the last day of the year 1 878. . No stone as yet marks his 
grave in the College Cemetery. 

14. William Elliot Hudson was an Irish scholar ardently devoted 

« to Irish antiquities, and a bosom friend of Thomas Davis. He was a 

munificent patron, according to his means and beyond them, of every 

literary enterprise redounding to the glory of Ireland. The ancient 

Irish music in The Citizen was printed at his expense, and we believe 



Digitized by 



— - 



202 NuUhett Biograms. 

that the original airs in " The Spirit of The Nation " are partly due to 
him. This Irish spirit makes one less surprised at the information 
given by the Rev. Matthew Kelly of Maynooth College, at page 49 of 
his " Calendar of Irish Saints/' published in 1857, a compilation, he 
says, " made many years ago, at the suggestion of the late William 
Elliot Hudson, eujue animce propitietur Deui. He had attended Mass 
punctually after the death of his brother the Dean of Armagh, and 
announced to the Rev. Mr. Wall, C.C., Cork, his wish to become a 
Catholic, in November, 1852. He was reoeived into the Catholic Church 
in January, 1853." We have wished to record this important circum- 
stance about a true-hearted Irishman, lest it should be overlooked if 
we waited to ascertain other dates and circumstances in his life. 

15. Fixz JiMEs O'Bbien was born in the county Limerick, in the 
year 1828. His father was an attorney, and he was educated in 
Trinity College. His American biographer, Mr. William Winter, 
does not describe his birth-place more definitely. He claims for him 
the authorship of poems in Hayes's Ballads of Ireland, " Lough Lie," 
and " Irish Castles." Having, it is said, spent a pretty large inheritance 
in London, O'Brien in 1852 made his way to New York. There he 
spent ten years as a literary Bohemian, contributing very clever things 
to Harper's Magatine, the Atlantic Monthly, and other less widely known 
periodicals. Many of these have been gatbftlCd into separate volumes. 
The Saturday Review compares him to Edgar Allan Poe, saying " he 
is less powerful than Poe, but more attractive," and attributing to this 
Irishman greater originality. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, 
O'Brien joined the army of the North, was wounded On the 26th 
February, 1862, and, lingering on, died on the 6th of April at Cum- 
berland in Virginia ; but his body was brought to New York and 
buried in Greenwood Cemetery — laid finally in the earth so late as 
November 27, 1874, with no stone to mark the spot, it seems, for Mr. 
Winter adds that his grave is No. 1183, in lot No. 17,263. Mr. William 
Winter is too much of a Bohemian himself to allude to religion in 
even the remotest manner. Was poor Fitz James O'Brien a Catholic P 
Did his mother teach him the HaU Mary after the Our Father in his 
childhood ? If so, no matter how he may have strayed, the mercy 
of Ood gave him time to think and to look back and to look forward 
during the six or seven weeks that he hovered between life and death, 
death winning at last. 

16. Richabd Baptist O'Brien was born at the West-gate in Carrick- 
on-Suir, September 30th, 1809. When seven years old he was sent 
to Limerick where one of his schoolmates was John MitcheTs friend, 
Father John Eenyon of Templedeny. After spending some time in 
business, he determined to become a priest, and after a year in Carlow 



Digitized by 



Google 



NuUhell Bbgratns. 203 

College, lie entered Maynooth in 1833, and, having completed a very 
distinguished course, was ordained priest, in December, 1838, by Dr. 
Ryan, Bishop of Limerick. He was soon after placed over the College 
of Halifax in Nova Scotia, where he worked with great earnestness 
for five years. After a year or two as Professor in All-Hallows 
Missionary College, near Dublin, he returned to Limerick. It was at 
this time that he founded the Young Men's Societies which still 
continue in Cork and some other places. He closed his life as Dean of 
Limerick and P.P. of Newcastle-West. He was a man of great piety 
and great ability. His best literary work is an Irish story "Alley 
Moore." He died on the 10th of February, 1885, a day before 
Cardinal M'Cabe, and a year before his venerated bishop, Dr. George 
Butler, his college contemporary and life-long friend. May they rest 
in peace I 

I^Mattbiok Frajtgib Egan, born at Philadelphia, May 24, 1852, 
still living, and, please God, with many years of good work before hinx. 
His father was a native of Tipperary ; his mother, though born at her 
son's birth-plaoe, was of a purely Irish race. After his schooldays, 
Maurice Egan was one of the lay professors at Georgetown College, 
as Richard Dalton Williams had been in his time at another Jesuit 
College further south. He studied law, but finally became a journalist, 
and then a Catholic journalist. He once said : " If I could only be in 
America what Louis Yeuillot is in Prance, I should be satisfied." A 
lofty ideal, which perhaps prompted him to translate Veuillot's epitaph 
on himself, a miniature apologia pro vita ma. After working at The 
Catholic Review and other papers, he is now assistant editor to Mr. 
James M'Master, of the New York Freeman 9 $ Journal, who. might be 
called the Frederic Lucas of the United States inasmuch as he is a 
very uncompromising convert and a very vigorous writer, but he lacks 
Lucas's splendid literary culture. A domestic point of resemblance 
may be noted— Lucas's only son is a priest, M 'Master's three daughters 
are nuns. Several volumes of Mr. Egan's graoeful stories have been 
collected ; and he published earlier a small volume of poems of great 
promise, called " Preludes " — a name already belonging to a very 
'exquisite volume of poetry, illustrated by the painter of The Boll Call, 
and written by her sister, Miss Alice Thompson, who has since confined 
herself to brilliant prose, chiefly on artistic subjects, under her new 
name, Mrs. Wilfrid Meynell, It was not merely Longfellow's most 
generous appreciation of young poets that made him recognise in Mr. 
Egan's poems "a certain freshness in the thought and manner of 
expression which is very attractive." Here is his sonnet on Fra 

Angelico : — 

Art is true art when art to God is true, 

And only then : to copy Nature's work 
Without the chains that run the whole world through 
Gives us the eye without the lights that lurk 
Vol. xiv. No. 164. 16 

Digitized by dOOgle 




204 Nutshell Biogram. 

In its clear depths : no soul* no troth it there. , 

Oh, praise your Rubens and his fleshly brush ! 
' Oil, lore your Titian and his carnal air ! 

Give me the trilling of a pure-toned thrush, 
And take your crimson parrots. Artist-saint ! 

Fra Angelico ! your brush was dyed 
In hues of opal, not in vulgar paint; 

You showed to us pure joys for which you sighed, 
Your heart was in your work, you never feigned : 
You left us here the Paradise you gained ! 

Though such extracts are out of place in this nutshell series, let us 
put side by side the epitaph and its translation referred to above. The 
French verses were placed as a preface before one of his delightful 
books by the redoubtable editor of the Univere : — 

Placez a mon cdte* ma plume, , 

Sur mon cceur le Christ, mon orgueil ; 
Souk mes pieds mettez ce volume, 
Et clouez en paix le cercueil. 

Apres la derniere pridre, 

Sur ma fosse plantez la croix ; . 

Et si Ton me donne une pierre, j 

Graves dessus : J 'ai cru t je writ, * 

Dites entre vous : " II sommeille ; -* is * 

Son dur labeur est acheve\ " *';; v>> 

Ou piutot dites : "lls'ereffle; 
II voit oe qu'il a tant r6ve\" 

Ne dlfendes pas ma mlmoire, 
Si la haine sur moi s'abat ; 
Je suis content, j*ai ma victoire ; 
J'ai combattu le bon combat. 






Ceux qui font de viles moreures 
A mon nom sont-ils attaches, 
Laisse* les faire ; oes blessures 
Peut-£tre couvrent mes pecbis. 

Je suis en paix ; laisses-les faire ! 
Tnnt qu*ils n'auront pas tout vomi, 
C'est que,— Dieu soit b6ni !— poustiere, 
Je suis encor leur ennemi. 

Dieu soit b^ni ! ma voix sonore 
Persecute encor oes menteurs ! 
Ce qu'ils insultent, je l'honore, 
Je d6mens leurs cris imposteurs ; 

Je fais un chemin dans leur fanges, 
A leurs captifs je rends le jour ; 
Je suis l'envoye des bons anges 
Vers les eoeurs ou naltra 1'ainour. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Nutshell Biograms. 206 

Quant a ma Tie, elle fufc doaoe : 
Lea ondes du ciel font fleurir 
Sur Parade pierre la mousse, 
Sur les remords, le repentir. 

Dans ma lutte laborious©, 
La foi eoutint mon ccaur oharrae* ; 
Ce f ut done une vie heureuse, 
Puisque enfin j'ai toujour* aime. 

Je fus pecheur, et sur ma route, 
H6las ! j'ai chancel^ souvent ; 
Mais grftce a Dieu, vdnqueur du doute, 
Je suis mort ferme et penitent 

J espfcre en Jesu* Sur la terre, 
Je n'ai pas rougi do sa loi ; 
Au dernier jour, deyant son Pere, 
H ne rougira pas de moi. 

Let my pen be at my side, 

At my feet this book be hid, 
And the Crucifix, my pride, 

On my heart ; then close the lid. 

After the last prayer is said 

Put the dear Cross over me, 
And these words above my head, 

" I believed, and now I see." 

Say among you, "Peace, he sleeps, 

His hard labour now is o'er," 
Or, rather, M Banquet now he keeps, 

He has waked to sleep no more." 

If man's hatred then attack, 

Make you no defensive *ign, 
Do not strike, I pray you, back; 

I have fought; the victory's mine. 

Heed not the vile bites they take 

On my name ; I heed them not ; 
I have sinned, their wounds may make 

Cover for some sinful spot. 

I am at peace ; then let them rage— 

If they have venom yet to spill ; 
War against them I still wage, 

And, though dust, they fear me still. 

God be praised! My voice still loud 

Gives the lie to men of lies ; 
My Treasure's hated by this crowd, 

I scorn their false and devilish cries .' 



Digitized by 



Google 



206 Harmless Novels. 

I made ft pathway through their mud, 
To their slayes I showed the mora, 

Bent by good angels; and the flood 
Of light struck hearts where Lore is born. 

In my life, sweet Heajen's rains 
On hard stones made soft moss grow , 

From m j heart remorseful pains 
Brought penanee-flowers bj their flow. 

In my hard and f errant strife. 
Faith up-bore my charmed heart ; 

Mine was, then, a happy life, 
I hare always lored my part. 

I was a sinner ; in the road, 
Alas ! sometime, I leaned towards wrong, 

But God, the victor, raised doubt's load ; 
I died, repenting, in faith strong. 

I hope in Jesus ; never here 
Hare I of Him denial shown — 

Before His Father, now no fear 
That He will shame His child to own. 



HARMLESS NOVELS. 
By the Present Writer. 

THERE is one class of the community which is, I think, very 
unfairly judged and, in fact, slandered — namely, the novel- 
reading public. Novel-reading ladies are generally denounced as 
indolent idlers. They seem to me, on the contrary, to be most 
laborious and indeed courageous. It is no joke to get through a 
three- volume novel; but to keep pace with the supply of new 
novels furnished by a circulating library, like Mudie's in London, 
or Greene's in Dublin, requires a courage and perseverance and 
strength of mind and body which might achieve very solid work 
if applied in some other sphere of labour. 

This is a branch of intellectual labour from which the present 
writer shrinks. His novel-reading days are over, and they can 
hardly be said to have ever begun. Not that he can claim on this 



Digitized by 



Google 



Harmless Novels. 207 

point any resemblance to the late Dr. Whitehead, so long the 
distinguished Vice-President of Maynooth, who once told him that 
he found it morally impossible to get through a novel. He tried 
conscientiously even so late as the publication of " Middiemarch." 
He applied his mind to it as he would to Horace in one depart- 
ment, or De Lugo in another ; but he broke down utterly — when 
he had reached the fifth chapter, he could not remember who the 
various characters were. Very different was the " President " of 
those days, Dr. C. W. Russell ; and very different, indeed, is the 
difficulty that the present writer feels in the matter. But still he 
cannot urge the plea, experto crede Roberto, as regards all the 
observations he may venture to make about harmless novels. His 
judgments will generally be formed on external authority. But 
where he is able to vouch personally for a novel he will not be 
slow to do so. 

The question may practically arise in two ways: first, with 
regard to the books to be admitted into parochial libraries and 
libraries of Children of Mary, &c. ; and, secondly, with regard to 
•the books that might be recommended or permitted to those who 
subscribe to any ordinary public lending library. 

It was the first of these occasions which suggested the present 
paper. A bishop wrote to me, two years ago : " It is proposed to 
add the enclosed to a parochial circulating library. Would you 
kindly tell me if there be any objectionable volume in the. list f 
* David Copperfield ' is the only one I have read of the lot." And 
some years earlier, a young priest — who has just been named as 
" one of three " (like the Ancient Mariner's victim), and not last 
of the three, but at the other end — wrote to the same purport. I 
give his words in full, though some of them are irrelevant : — 

" "Would you be so good as to give me the names of a few 
Catholic novelists whose books are readable f Perhaps my request 
might suggest a little paper for the Irish Monthly, which, by- 
ithe-way, goes beyond all our expectations. I hope that financially 
it has not disappointed you. The reason of my inquiry just now 
is, that I am trying to put a library together for our Catholic 
Institute, and I feel rather squeamish about the books I set in 
•circulation." 

If I had known that my correspondent was to be raised to the 
•episcopate, I might not have allowed his suggestion to simmer in 
my mind and his letter to lurk in one of my pigeon-holes for eight 
jeare, especially as it puts the question in its easiest form— "Name 
4 few Catholic novelists whose books are readable/ 9 

Digitized by GoOgk 



208 Harmless Novels. 

Catholic and readable may here have two principal meanings- 
assigned to them. " Readable *' may mean, " sufficiently moral to 
be read without danger ;" and, again, " sufficiently clever to be 
read with some intellectual profit/ 9 I once, in the book-notices of 
this Magazine, expressed surprise why a publisher of taste and 
repute would take the trouble to publish certain stories which 
were innocent, indeed, in the ordinary sense, but also innocent in 
the other sense of being brainless. Neither publisher nor book 
was named ; but a postcard came from the firm really aimed at : 
"because authors pay for the printing thereof/' Still, it is a pity 
that such tares should spoil the character of good Catholic wheat. 

In the second place, a Catholic novelist may either be a Catholic 
who writes novels for the general literary market, or else one who 
lays his or her story in Catholic scenes, alludes to Catholic feelings 
and customs, and this without aiming at the construction of a 
strictly religious novel. And it is one of the proofs of Protestant 
ascendency in literature, as everywhere else, that Catholics are 
supposed to receive parsons and other Protestant dignitaries as 
parts of general literature, whereas any fair delineation of a priest 
or any discussion of Catholic subjects, would be likely to mark a 
book off as distinctively Catholic and meant only to be read by 
Catholics. 

Let us make a first attempt at a list of Catholic novelists, in 
the widest sense — Catholics who have written novels. We need 
not, for the present, mind the translated stories of Manzoni, 
Veuillot, Conscience, Fenian Caballero, and Mrs. Craven (in spite 
of her English name). The following Catholics have contributed 
to the literature of fiction in the English language: — Cardinal 
Wiseman, Cardinal Newman, Lady Georgiana Fullerton, Lady 
Herbert, Mrs. Cashel Hoey, Cecilia Caddell, Rosa Mulholland* 
Miss Drane (Mother Raphael), Julia Kavanagh, Mrs. Charles 
Martin, Fanny Taylor, Alice O'Hanlon, Theo. Gift, Miss Laffan, 
Frances Noble, Kathleen O'Meara (the real name of " Grace 
Ramsay"), Clara Mulholland, Fanny Gallaher, Miss Brew, Miss 
Alice Corkran, Miss Owens Blackburne, Lady Gertrude Douglas,. 
Miss M. A. Tincker, Christian Reid, the Hon. Mrs. Alfred Mont- 
gomery, and many others whom we may add hereafter, like the 
clever author of " Addie's Husband ;" Gerald Griffin, John Banim, 
Charles Kickham, Richard Dowling, Percy Fitzgerald, Justin 
McCarthy, E. H. Dering, .Stephen J. MacKenna, Maurice Egan, 
John Boyle O'Reilly, with a long etcetera in the masculine gender* 

We put first the authors of " Fabiola " and of " Callfeta" ; and 

Digitized by VjVJUVJ l\^ 



.Harmless Novel*. 209 

we moat not omit the author of " Ailey Moore/' and of two other 
less successful tales, Dean O'Brien, of Limerick, whose life is 
summarised in the sixteenth of our Nutshell Biograms, in another 
page of this number. Father Anderdon's " Braoton " deserves a 
place also in our list, with Father Thomas Finlay's " Chances of 
War.?', 

We have taken no pains to make this list complete ; for, in any 
case, we should certainly be obliged hereafter to notice omissions 
in it Miss Mary Healy, who, according to the reviewers, seems 
to have done some excellent work, has a very Catholic and Irish 
name, and so has Miss May Byrne, of whom we know nothing, 
but whom we notice in a recent catalogue. 

The first remark that may be made upon the foregoing list is, 
that, with the exception of the two cardinals and some of the 
ladies mentioned, these writers are Catholic novelists only in the 
wider sense described before. Percy Fitzgerald and Justin 
M'Carthy write for the same world as Edmund Yates and Wilkie 
Collins. Mrs. Cashel Hoey's novels have generally run their 
course in A U the Tear Round, before entering on an individual 
existence in the circulating library. We need not, therefore, 
expect anything directly Catholic in them; but her faith has 
excluded the objectionable things to be found in the writings of 
several clever women of the day. We do not purpose holding up 
any names to reprobation ; for this reason, amongst others, that 
such denunciations often, in this fallen world, serve merely as an 
advertisement for the thing denounced. 

We have purposely refrained from including in our list of 
Catholic writers two names which, we are glad to say, ought to 
find a place there — E. D. Gerard and Stella Austin. The latter 
has* only entered the Catholic Church quite recently ; but even 
before that happy change we find her name in a list issued by St. 
Anselm's Society for the Diffusion of Good Books — which, indeed, 
puts this disclaimer in front : — " This List has no claim to any 
authority, but the books thus selected have been suggested by 
persons whose judgment is entitled to respect." In page 3 of 
List E, Parochial library, are enumerated the following tales by 
Stella Austin: "Stumps," "Somebody," "Bags and Tatters," 
"For Old Sake's Sake," and "Our Next Door Neighbour." If 
these were recommended to young Catholic readers before, there is 
greater comfort and security now that the author has become one 
of ufr~a child of our Mother. 



Digitized by 



Google 



210 Harmless Novek. 

Many of our novel-reading readers will be surprised and 
delighted at the other announcement— namely, that E. D. Gerard 
is a Catholic. We ought, indeed, to use the plural ; for some of 
the literary journals announced, last year, that the initials before 
this name represent two sisters, the joint authors of the three 
very successful novels which, having first brightened Blackwood's 
Magazine, have continued their success in three- volume editions 
and, finally, in cheap one- volume editions. The three books are 
44 Beggar My Neighbour,'* "Reata," and, finally, u The Waters erf 
Hercules." Plenty of interesting plot, of lively chat, of vivid 
scenery — chiefly foreign, not described at second-hand — these are 
some of the qualities which have made these three novels bril- 
liantly successful, and which guarantee for their successors a brisk 
demand at the circulating libraries. Though, of course, they do 
not touch on anything religious and are of the world worldly, it is 
a comfort that their Catholic authorship excludes everything like 
that dubious treatment of dangerous topics which certain feminine 
writers affect as a proof of originality and masculine vigour. 

Even those among the readers of this paper who are patrons 
of circulating libraries will be unfamiliar with some of the names 
that we grouped together a moment ago. For instance, Miss M. 
W. Brew needs to be introduced as the author of a novel published 
rather recently by Chapman and Hall, in three volumes, under the 
title of " The Chronicles of Castle Cloyne ; or, Pictures of the 
Minister People," of which two English authorities, not unduly 
prejudiced in favour of Irish literary work, have judged as follows. 
The Athenceum says : 

One could hardly wish for a better Irish story, more touching, more amusing, 
more redolent of the soil, than " The Chronicles of Oastle Cloyne." There 
can be no doubt that the author is a pleasant romancer, who knows how to set 
down what he has seen and heard, and who has a heart to appreciate both the 
>ad and the lively moods of humanity. 

And according to the Morning Post : 

There is a genuine tone in this well- written novel which renders the author's 
" Pictures of the Munster People " deeply interesting. . • . There is humour 
and pathos in these sketches of the Irish peasantry. . • • Works of this kind 
as rich in " backbone " as excellent in detail, are assured of being well received 
by the intelligent portion of the novel-reading public, already weary of mere 
sensational romance* 

We have reason to believe that Miss Brew's Irish pictures are not 
painted with the gloomy colours of which JohnBanim was too loud. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Harmless Novels. 211 

It is strange that one of the best stories of Irish life was written 
"by one who scarcely spent in Ireland a month out of all her life, of 
which a slight summary is given in our second handful of Nutshell 
Biograms. We mean Miss Annie Keary, author of "Castle 
Daly/ 9 which is laid in Ireland about the eventful year 1848, and 
refers in no ungenerous spirit to the Young Ireland movement. 
We can give our personal guarantee for the high merit of this 
book and its suitableness for any library that admits fiction. We 
•can also give high praise to Oldbury by the same author, as well 
-as to a smaller work meant for younger readers "A York and 
Lancaster Rose." " Clemency Franklyn " and •' Janet's Home " 
we can only recommend on the ground of being written by Miss 
Keary, who always shows a good, religious spirit, especially in her 
last work "A Doubting Heart." Her life by her sister does 
not seem very successful, and it shows that Annie Keary was 
not so near to the Catholic Faith as we had imagined. Her 
•dearest friend, with whom her mind had travelled step by step, 
became a Catholic and then a Carmelite nun; but she remained 
behind. 

There is a caution which may be given at this point. After 
reading a book written in a very pure and good spirit, one is prone 
to generalise and to be well disposed to all the works of the same 
writer. Mrs. Burnett's " Louisiana " is most innocent and beauti- 
ful, and so, too, is the more lively and more worldly " Fair Bar- 
barian ; " but we believe that other works by this clever American 
lady are not so absolutely unobjectionable. In the same way The 
Month, which is properly austere on this point, praises highly " A 
Village Commune " by a certain famous lady whose other works 
are such that we do not care to print her name in the present con- 
text. So also the French author, Hal^vy, wrote " the Abta Con- 
«stantin," a pure and simple tale, says the New York Tablet, but 
-everything else written by this witty Frenchman is bad, utterly 
had. 

One of the women novelists ennumerated earlier in this paper 
is Miss Tincker, whose peculiar name is represented on her tide- 
T»ges by the initials " M. A. T." Many Catholic lending libraries, 
even in this country, possess her " House of Yorke," her " Grapes 
-and Thorns " and her " Six Sunny Months." Many shorter tales 
from her very graceful pen have appeared in The Catholic World* 
jmd have been gathered into separate volumes in the United States. 
The three that we have named are the best rivals that our American 
brethren can pit against Oranthj Manor and Constance Sherwood. 

Digitized by VjUUV I v. 



212 Harmless Novels. 

This gifted lady is a convert from some sect of Transcendent alia te.. 
We are sorry to say that we have been warned against some later 
tales of hers written in a different spirit. 

Two ladies with such Irish names as Julia Kavanagh and 
Kathleen O'Meara, have very few traces of the Irish accent in 
their writings ; but this is accounted for by the fact that both of 
them have chiefly lived on the continent. Miss Julia Eavanagh was 
born at Thurles, about the year 1824, and died two or three years 
ago. Miss Kathleen O'Meara (who was so ill-advised as to call 
herself " Grace Ramsay " on some of her title pages) is still living 
and working ; we do not know where she was born and still less 
when. Miss Eavanagh's long list of books of fiction and biography 
may safely be used in ordering new books for &. Catholic Lending 
Library, though she does not put forward her faith or her country 
in any of them. On the other hand Miss O'Meara is as Catholio 
in her tales as in her admirable biographies of Frederic Ozanam 
and Dr. Thomas Grant of Southwark. 

" Theo. Gift " (who ought to allow herself to be known as Miss 
Dora Havers) is a frequent contributor to the best London maga- 
zines, and ber novels have appeared under the auspices of the regular 
novel-publishing firms. Two at least of them have come out also 
among Tinsley's two shilling novels — " A Matter-of-Fact Girl/* 
and " Visited on the Children." We need not expect in them 
therefore, as we have said of another writer, anything distinctively 
Catholic, but we believe they can all be recommended as written 
in a good spirit, and free from everything objectionable in plot or 
language. 

Another pseudonym or pen-name in our list, is Christian Reid, 
whom many, we are told by an American newspaper, regard as the 
best writer of fiction among American women. She lives at 
Salisbury, in North Carolina, and a newspaper correspondent 
writing from that place to the Raleigh Chronicle, oonfides to us the 
following personal details : — 

When the body of Colonel Charles Fisher was brought home from the battle- 
field of Manassas, his sister, Miss Christine Fisher, forbade any one entering the 
room where he lay until she had finished a portrait of him. Then, when he 
was buried, she made herself a mother to his children. She is a devout Roman 
Catholic and a recluse. But for the care of her brother's children she would 
have taken the veil. The children were Miss Frances Fisher, and Mr. Fred 
and Miss Annie — the latter being twins. Miss Frances Fisher became " Christian 
Keid;" and war, which wrought her irreparable loss, brought us our chief 
literary renown. 

Miss Fisher herself lives an almost retired life, not from inclination so- 



Digitized by 



Google 



Harmless Novels. 21& 

much as because she is very busy. Dnrxng those years since she began to write 
fiction she has been as industrious as the busiest man in North Carolina. The 
work has not been a recreation, but a creation, aod therefore hard and con- 
tinuous labour. The people of Salisbury, without reference to creed, not only 
esteem her highly, but even regard her with a sort of homage. " Bless your 
life," said a gentleman to me, " tnere isn't a man in Salisbury who would not 
pull off his best coat for Miss Fanny Fisher to walk on, and wish it were made 
of better cloth to be so honoured I " 

The latest publication of Christian Reid is " A Child of Mary " 
reprinted from the Ave Maria ; but her larger and more elaborate 
works are pure novels, in both the meanings of that phrase. The 
most easily procurable in this country is Armine ; and the names 
of others are "Hearts and Hands," " Mabel Lee,° "Morton 
House/' "Valerie Aylmer," "A Daughter of Bohemia/' and 
" Bonnie Kate." We have not read them, but we have no hesita- 
tion in accepting the careful and highly favourable estimate of 
such conscientious American critics as Mr. Maurice Egan and the 
reviewers in the fine Paulist Magazine of New York, The Catholic 
World, one of whom wrote as follows in July, 1884 : — 

The author of Morton Home has made a name in American fiction which is 
synonymous with purity of feeling, elegance of style, keeuness without satirical 
sharpness of observation, and the quality of interest. Morton Howe had every 
quality that constitutes a good novel. Valerie Aylmer % A Daughter of Bohemia, 
and Bonnie Kate were novels which, if they formed a genre for American 
writers, would raise American light literature from the slough of despond in 
which it wallows. It is a great deal to have a pen like that of Christian Reid 
wielded on the side of truth. She is skilful in all the resources of an art so 
potent in a time when everybody that reads reads novels, more or less. She 
possesses taste and knows how to be reticent in the use of her resources, ft is 
rarely that a work of fiction so pure and elevated in tone, and so worthy of the 
pen of an artist in words as Armine is issued, even from the Catholic press. 

When preparing to prosecute Palmer, the Hugely murderer, Sir 
Alexander Cockburn studied minutely the effects of the various 
poisons, and submitted himself to cross-examination on the subject 
by friendly experts. We do not consider it our duty to study 
poisonous literature ift order to be qualified to prosecute criminate 
or to warn our readers against special dangers. Nor do we feel 
called upon to enter into the delicate question of the limitations 
within which such reading can be indulged in, all this differs so 
much in different circumstances. To Mr. Mallock's famous query 
Is Life worth living ? Mr. Punch replied that it depended greatly 
on the liver. So, too, the goodness and badness of such reading. 

Digitized by G00gle 



214 Harmless Novels. 

depends to a certain extent on the disposition, education, and duties 
of the readers. Addressing lately young University students, 
Lord Iddesleigh (Sir Stafford Northcote) exhorted them to apply 
to novels especially the art of dipping and skipping. 

There is probably no form of idleness so seductive or so enervating to the 
mind as indiscriminate novel reading. Tet some of the best and most truly 
instructive works in the world belong to this class. From'" Don Quixote " to 
41 Waverly, M from "The Vicar of Wakefield" to "The Oaxtons," from Miss Austen, 
or Miss Edgeworth, or Miss Ferrier to Charlotte Bronte" or George Eliot, you 
will find what Horace found in those great Homeric poems— humour and wisdom 
and a keen insight into the strength and the weakness of the human character. 
Think what a mine of wealth we possess in the novels of your own great 
master. What depths he sounds, what humours he makes us acquainted with I 
From Jeanie Deans sacrificing herself to her sisterly love in all but her uncom- 
promising devotion to truth to the picture of the family affection and over- 
mastering grief in the hut of poor Steenie Mucklebackit, or again from the 
fidelity of Meg Merrilies to that of Caleb Balderstone, you have in these and a 
hundred other instances examples of the great power of discerning genius to 
seize upon the secrets of the human heart and to reveal the inner meanings of 
the events which history records upon its surface, but which we do not feel that 
we really understand till some finer mind has clothed the dry bones with flesh 
and blood and presented them to us in appropriate raiment. 1 will permit myself 
to make but one more remark on Sir Walter Scott, for I am always a little in 
danger of running wild about him, and it is this : — Our ancestors and ancestresses 
read for their light literature such books as the " Grand Cyrus," and the 
Countess of Pembroke's "Arcadia." I never tried the former. I have made 
one or two attempts in the latter without much success. But I have much 
sufficient general knowledge of their dimensions and of their character to be 
sure that no one with a volume of Scott at hand would ever deliberately lay it 
aside in favour of either of them. May I not hope that the same preference 
which you instinctively afford to him over works such as those I have referred to 
you will also extend to him in comparison with the great floating mass of un- 
substantial and ephemeral literature, which is in truth undeserving of the name, 
but which is unfortunately attractive enough to tempt you to choke your minds 
with inferior rubbish. 

This extract will not be considered too long by our readers, 
whatever they may think of the discussion which precedes it and 
which it must for the present bring to an end. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 215 ) 



A SONNET BY ARVERS. 

MON &me a son secret, ma vie a son mystere ; 
Un amour 6ternel en un moment concu: 
Le mal est sons espoir, aussi j'ai da le taire, 
Et celle qui Pa fait n'en a jamais rien su. 

Hllas I j'aurai passe* pres d'elle inapercu, 
Toujoura a ses cdtes, et pourtant solitaire, 
Et j'aurai jusqu'au bout fait mon temps sur la terre, 
N'osant rien demander et nfeyant rien recu. 

Four elle, quoique Diea l'ait faite douce et tendre, 
Elle ira son chemin, distraite et sans entendre 
Ce murmure d'amour e*leve* sur see pas ; 

A l'austdre devoir, pieusement fiddle, 

Elle dira, lisant ces vers tout remplis d'elle : 

" Quelle est done cette femme P " et ne comprendra pas. 

The Sams in English. 

My soul its secret bears, to all unknown — 

A love eternal by a look conceived ; 
My cureless wound shall be to no one shown, 

E'en she who gave it is the most deceived. 

Ah ! me, I live nigh to her unperceived — 
Though ever at her side, still quite alone, 
And, when I die and all my days have flown, 

Shall never aught have asked nor aught received. 

But she whom God has loving made and kind 
Will tread her quiet path, for ever blind 
To love which fain her every step would bless. 

Sweet maid t her heart is fixed on God above. 
Shell read these lines I've written of my Love — 
" Who is she P " she will ask, nor ever guess. 

W. H. E. 



Digitized by 







( -216 ) 



NEW BOOKS. 

Two large and handsome volumes, published by Burns and Oates, tell 
the story of " Flora, the Roman Martyr," of which the authorship is 
not disclosed. Many of the characters are fictitious, but Origen and 
St. Laurence appear on the scene. Though the eccentric punctuation 
creates a bad impression in some places, the writer seems to have taste 
and learning ; but something like genius would be required to give a 
living interest to a half classical half Christian historical romance of this 
description. If " Flora " can be called a novel, it may certainly be 
classed among the " harmless novels " of which there* is question some 
pages earlier in this Magazine. 

The imprint of the New York Catholic Publication Society is upon 
the title page of "The Keys of the Kingdom, or the Unfailing 
Promise," by the Bev. James J. Moriarty, LL.D., of Syracuse, New 
York, whose previous works "All for Love," and " Stumbling-Blocks 
made Stepping-Stones on the road to the Catholic Faith," have secured 
a very large circulation. Dr. Moriarty' s new book is a treatise on the 
Notes of the True Church, thrown into a popular form for American 
use. The type is very large, the spaces between the lines unusually 
wide, and the lines in a page unusually few. The matter might be 
very readily printed in a very much smaller and cheaper volume. But 
the author perhaps knows his public best. May God make use of this 
book to bring some souls into the bosom of the One Church Holy, 
Catholic, and Apostolical. 

Another American book of a very different kind is "Vapid 
Vapourings" by Justin Thyme. It is published at the press of th» 
Notre Dame University, Indiana, and may fairly be laid to the charge 
of one of the learned Professors thereof. The author indeed does not 
pretend that his real name appears on the title page, for on hearing 
of Miss Rosa Mulholland's " Vagrant Verses " he relieved his feelings 
to the following effect in an American Magazine : — 

I scarcely had issued my pages 

Of slight, unpretentious rhyme, 
When a man in New York it enrages, 

liy theft of his name " Justin Thyme." 
He writes horticultural verses 

On celery, spinach, and such ; 
And I think neither of us the worse is 

For the innocent error — not much. 
But I fancied my alliteration 

Was something unique in its way, 
That a marvellous imagination 

And a powerful brain would display. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Notes ^on New Books. 217 

Yet here once again I'm checkmated — 

Cast, down from my throne in the air ; 
Environed by trials, I'm fated 

To give up my work in despair. 
The difference, however, is small, and 

Great intellects always agree, 
So I think I'll conclude, Miss Mulholland, 

To leave you the duplicate V. 

Mr. Justin Thyme, at .any rate, has given us one of the brightest 
little books thatvwe have ever come across. His wit is very innocent 
and genial and yet very pointed, though no doubt we miss many points 
that tickle oonsumedly those who *dwell near South Bend. Some of 
the pieces, like the address to a Neighbouring Editor, remind us of 
Dalton Williams' " Misadventures of a Medical Student " (of which 
probably the American humourist has never heard) ; others, like 
" Ask me not why," remind us of Frederic Looker and Austin Dobson, 
whom he has certainly studied. Why is there more fun in the books 
and newspapers of the United States than anywhere else P In Ireland 
we are far graver in our tone. 

As allusion has just been made to " Vagrant Verses," by this 
" vapid " American, we may quote a more serious American criticism 
on Miss Mulholland's Poems. The Boston Pilot is one of the cleverest 
journals in the world and has a man of genius for its editor. An 
elaborate review in its issue for March 6th, begins thus : — 

"For some years past, Rosa Mulholland, the novelist, has been a veritable 
Scheherasade to the sea-divided Gael. Her stories, appearing in London or Dublin 
publications, have been promptly reproduced in journals and magazines throughout 
the United States, Canada, and Australia. Multitudes of readers have thus been 
charmed with her " Hester's History," ••The Wicked Woods of Tobereevil," " Dun- 
mara," " Eldergowan," " Hetty Gray," and « The Wild Birds of Killeevy." 

As a writer for children, too, Miss Mulholland has won enviable fame. Christian 
childhood in two hemispheres has grown in spiritual and temporal well-being from the 
perusal of her " Prince and Saviour," " Holy Childhood," "The First Christmas," 
"The Little Flower-Seekers," "Puck and Blossom," "Five Little Farmers," "Gems for 
the Young from Favourite Poets," " TheWalking Trees," "Four little Mischiefs," &e. 

Put Rosa Mulholland, the poet, is thus far, everywhere a less familiar character ; 
though, reading the collection too modestly entitled " Vagrant Verses," we feel that 
on her poems will much of her fame rest." 

The reviewer then analyses the contents of the volume, giving 
several extracts from what he calls " the finest poem in the collection," 
the opening one, "Emmet's Love:" with which he names as Ids 
favourites "Love and Death," "Stowaways," "Two Strangers," 
"The Children of Lir," "The Builders/' and " Sister Mary of the 
Love of God ; " and he concludes his criticism with this summing up : — 

" Miss Mulho'land's poetry is characterised by grace, sweetness, and rare artistic 
finish. It is oftentimes exquisitely tender and pathetic. Borne of the poems impress 



Digitized by 



Google 



218 Note* on New Books. 

one with a sense of forces in reterYe, and a conrietion that, fine at if the work already- 
done, there is even better to be looked for. To all this M iei MulhoHand addi a spirit 
purely Catholio and ferrently Irish." 

The opinions of critics nearer home will be found farther on. 

The seventh- volume of "The Ave Maria Series" (Notre Dame,. 
Indiana) pleases us more than any of its predeoessora — " The Lepers 
of Molokai " by Charles Warren Stoddard. It is mot a mere literary 
compilation, for Mr. Stoddard had been for more than three years a 
resident in the Sandwich Islands, and he had visited Molokai sixteen 
years before the visit which is described in this picturesque and pathetic 
little book. This settlement is reserved for those who are stricken 
by the terrible malady, Asiatic leprosy, who are rigidly separated from 
all the rest of the world. Here, too, we find our countrymen — no 
need to ask the nationality of Mr. and Mrs. Walsh, who have devoted 
themselves to the nursing of these poor creatures. The little book, 
which we earnestly recommend, ends by announcing the news just 
received from Molokai, that Father Damien, who has served in this- 
terrible mission since 1874, has himself at last been hopelessly smitten 
by the loathsome and incurable disease. 

It is strange that the "8acristan," who has compiled "The Server's- 
Missal, a Practical Guide for Serving Boys at Mass'' (Burns and 
Oates), has unfitted it for use in Ireland, by omitting the part that 
boys need most to have under their eyes, the De Profundi* at the end 
of Mass. Otherwise it is ingeniously arranged. 

Some people carry punctuality to such an extent as to make it 
pedantic and almost offensive; others, on the contrary, have such a 
dread of being a little too soon that they very often manage to be a 
good deal too late. We find this happening frequently with book* 
that are intended to be out for a certain month or day ; for instance, 
the "Life of St. Patrick" and "The Little Month of St. Joseph," 
which ought to have been in time to be announced in our March issue. 
The former is a carefully executed miniature by Father Arthur Ryan, 
of Thurles; and the latter, translated by Mrs. Edward Hazeland r 
from Father De Boylesve, S.J., has been turned out by Burns and Oates 
as neatly and prettily as St. Joseph's most fastidious client could desire. 

Dean Swift showed great ingenuity in his "Reflections on a Broom- 
stick/' and the Rev. John Behan has made a great deal out of an equally 
unpromising subj ect — " Dr. Maguire's Pamphlet. " A malicious forger, 
setting himself to fabricate a document as damaging as possible to 
T.C.D., could hardly have rivalled its first and only Catholic Fellow. 
His critic wields a witty and a vigorous pen. 

The Bev. P. Sabela, has published " A Course of Lenten Sermons 
on the Sacred Passion and Death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ" (Burns and Oates\ A greater amount of solid matter could 
hardly be compressed into eighty pages. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Notes on New Books. 219 

" Ellis's Irish Education Directory and Scholastic Guide" (Dublin ; 
Ponsonby), is a wonderful mass of educational statistics and faces, 
which those engaged in the arduous work of eduoation will iind in- 
valuable. 

Messrs. M. H. Gill & Son have published, in a very cheap form, an 
Irish translation of the Catechism, together with the most necessary 
prayers. 

The Catholic Truth Society has published some useful "Notes on 
the History of the Catholic Church in England." Merry and Wise, the 
little magazine for Catholic children, is improving; and the " Catholic 
Family Annual for 1886," published by the New York Catholic Publi- 
cation Society, is as full as usual of interesting sketches of Catholic 
men and women and of other useful matter. 

We can do no more than announoe two new songs, which have 
been sent to us from San Francisco and from London. Mr. Richard 
E. White's " I love the old songs most," published in our pages, has 
been set to music by Carlos Troyer ; and Odoardo Barri has composed 
a song holy enough for this sacred season — " The Sacrifice of Tears,' 
by Mrs. Meetkerke. In both cases the words and the mu<iic are well- 
mated and worthy of each other. 

Small but clear type, good arrangement, and a concise style have 
compressed into 113 pages a very complete Manual of Chemistry for 
Beginners (Dublin : M. H. Gill & Son). No hint is given as to the 
authorship of this excellent little handbook. 

Messrs. M. H. Gill and Son of Dublin have started a new candi- 
date for public favour in the spirited race in which many London 
publishers are now competing. Certain series have been commenced 
in which excellent works are given at a very low price. The 
O'Connell Press Popular Library gives a hundred and fifty well 
printed pages for three pence in an attractive cover, and very neatly 
bound for sixpence. The first of the series is " Irish and Other Poems 
by James Clarence Mangan," and the second is Goldsmith's " Vioar 
of Wakefield." We wish the fullest suooess to this new enterprise of 
the O'Connell Press. 

The first book on our list for next month is the very important 
volume by Dr. Frederick Geo. Lee, just published by Messrs. Burns 
and Oates — " King Edward the Sixth, Supreme Head : an Historical 
Sketch." A first glance shows that it is written in the spirit of the 
famous " Historical Sketches of the Reformation." Why does not 
the author forswear all complicity with the Church of Henry and 
Edward and Elizabeth and others just as ludicrously unfit to be 
supreme heads of any Ohuroh? 

Vol.. xrv. No. 164 17 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 220 ) 



A CURIOUS LITTLE RELIC OF '48. 

PROBABLY it was not 1848, but a year or perhaps two years 
earlier. And yet not two years, for the Irish Confederation 
was in being, as will be seen from one of the following souvenirs of 
a pleasant, social evening spent together by certain members, 
masculine and feminine, of the Young Ireland Party. If they 
were plotting a revolution, they were very amiable revolutionists. 

Some writer complained lately that in London no tablets mark 
the spots where famous men have lived. In Genoa the house where 
O'Connell died bears such a memorial, and places where dis- 
tinguished strangers have tarried only for a time make a boast 
of this distinction. The only public memento of this kind in 
Dublin is that which marks the birthplace of Thomas Moore in 
Aungier-street. Why not distinguish the home of Thomas Davis, 
61 Baggot-street ; or the house in Dawson-street where Mrs. 
Hemans died ? Besides his beautiful Summerfield, at Dalkey, 
the poet Denis Florence MacCarthy at one time lived at a house 
which has since changed its number, in Upper Gardiner-street, 
where Upper Sherrard-street now meets it, nearest to St. Francis 
Xavier's. 

A similar interest clings to Heathfield, in Upper Leeson-street, 
for there John Mitchel lived. He refers to it in one of his auto- 
biographical papers in the Irish Citizen. Writing in New York, 
mark how he gloats over the names of the very streets of Dublin ! 
He is describing his first acquaintance with T. F. Meagher, whom he 
first met at the '82 Club : — " Next day he came to me at The 
Nation office in D'Olier-street. We walked out together towards 
my house in Upper Leeson-street ; through College-green, Graf ton- 
street, Harcourt-street, and out almost into the country, near 
Donnybrook. What talk ! what eloquence of talk was his ! how 
fresh and clear and strong ! What wealth of imagination and 
princely generosity of feeling ! To me it was the revelation of a 
new and great nature, and I revelled in it, plunged into it, as into 
a crystal lake." 

It was in this modest and happy home that John Mitchel was 
fond of gathering a few intimate friends around him. In our 
account * of his daughter Henrietta we gave a sample of one of 

* Our account falls into a few mistakes. Henrietta's biographer was Mademoiselle 
Bratnet. Isabella was not present at his deathbed. She had accompanied him to 
Ireland the year before ; but the last time he had been accompanied by hi* son James 
who returned to New York before his last brief sickness declared itself. 



i by Google 



A Curious Little Relic of '48. 221 

the ingenious little games which in that day served to amuse people 
of simple and intellectual tastes. Father Kenyon and the others 
who were present the same evening, little imagined there was "a 
chiel amang them takin* notes/' and the chiel herself had still 
less notion that her notes would creep into print. A clever girl 
in the company seems to have pounced on the scraps of paper on 
which the gentlemen scribbled their contributions to the pastime. 
Of the ladies' achievements no record has reached us. The friend 
whose memory furnished us with Mitchel's rhymes, in the paper 
referred to, has completely forgotten his own share of the entertain- 
ment ; but the note-taking child aforesaid has kindly supplied 
this omission. Our readers may remember that each person taking 
part in the game had to introduce a certain given noun into his 
rhymed answer to a certain given question, and, of course, the 
nouns were very often words difficult to weave into any answer 
to any question. For instance, the clever youth whom we may 
call Morus, and who will be greatly astonished at seeing his 
" unconsidered trifles " snapped up in this fashion, was required to 
introduce the word culmination into his answer to the question : 
What are you to do with your raw material in exchange for your drain 
of gold? His muse, not plying her trade in a poetic solitude 
beside a purling stream, but in the midst of a noisy roomful of 
young men and maidens, produced the following : 

When Mars in conjunction is nigh culmination, 
Then take on the top of Slieve Donard your station, 
And watch the aspect of that bright constellation, 
And thus he'll reply to your interrogation : 
" Gather up all the cattle and corn in the nation, 
Then summon a meeting of monster starvation 
And bid every man take an adequate ration." 

These rhymes may have had more meaning in those days 
when " monster meetings " had a familiar sound. So, too, the 
Sikhs were frequently spoken of, and Father Kenyon seems to 
have pronounced the name like six instead of rhyming it with 
strikes. He had to bring elixir into his answer to the question — 
" Why don't the Irish encourage their own manufactures P" He 
achieved a very moderate success : — 

Why is the sun not dark ? Why do pansies grow ? 

Why are questions asked ? No answer ! Even so 

The Irish act like all, savages, sages, Sikhs or 

Many another race. What next? " You're out ! " Elixir. 

The P.P. of Templederry answers somewhat better the ques- 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



222 A Curious Little Belie of '48. 

tion : Where is woman's bright story told ? But the notin tea is too 
easy for such a feminine context. 

Where woman is to tell it — there 

'Tie told, and worth the hearing. Where 

Is woman then to tell it? See 

The board when stored with creamy tea, 

And you've her whereabouts to a T. 

For some of our readers the name " Father Kenyon " has no 
associations either of sympathy or antipathy ; and such will see 
nothing but folly in this fooling. But surely his youthful lay com- 
petitor, whose honoured name we disguise under that of Morns, 
deserves credit for introducing the noun Eukeirogeneion, while 
answering the query : Who is the man in the moon ? 

« Who is he ? Ah, who is he, 

That mystic being wild and strange 
That glideth o'er the pearly floor 

With ever shifting chance and change — 
The Lord of lovers' lofty lays, 
Of lunatics and lilting lyres, 
Who sheds Diana's purest rays 
And kindles cold and caustic fires ? 
That amiable gent I have never set eye on, 
But he uses, I hear, Thwaites' Eukeirogeneion." 

I have looked in vain for this last learned word in a dictionary, 
and I have not time to pursue its component parts through 
a Greek lexicon.* When, in his turn, colure was proposed to 
Mitchel, as the catchword or stumhling-hlock of his muse, was he 
able off-hand to recall that the colures are the two great circles 
which pass through the equinoctial and solstitial points of the 
ecliptic P — information, for which the present writer is indebted 
to the late Mr. Stormonth. But in those days even young ladies 
were supposed, at least in school prospectuses, to learn the Use of 
the Globes; and Mitchel himself in that delicious rhapsody 
which we quoted last month, talks glibly about "the gibbous 
shoulder of this oblate spheroid" — a phrase which would occur to 
few other political firebrands as a pleasantly pedantic name for 
our mother Earth. How proud his little sister — who was busily 
picking up the crumbs that fell from the master's table, to serve 
them up for our readers after many years — how proud she must 
have been when this formidable astronomical term was safely 
imbedded in the neat verses which answered the question — 

* See the last of our Pigeonhole Paragraphs at page 228 on this point and on the 
pronunciation of "Sikhs." 



Digitized by 



Google 



A Curious Little Relic of '48. 223 

" Why was not Father Kenyon at the meeting to-day ?" They 
may be given again, as six lines of bourgeois will not occupy 
much of our valuable space, and as they are the only extant 
specimen of John Mitchel's verse-making, though our chronicler 
mentions that he and his mother often took part in this and 
similar games : 

" The motions of this Tory reverend priest 
Defy the skill of human calculator ; 
From north to south he shoots, from west to east, ( 
From pole to pole, from colure to equator ; 
And, when you deem you firmly have your eyes on 
This slippery priest, he's off beyond the horizon. ' 

This is the best of the whole set of nugae, better even than any 
by the prolific Morns who was commanded to mention a boa 
constrictor while replying to the question — Are you an Irish 
Confederate ? I alluded lately, in conversation, to the Irish 
Confederation, and a man of mature years imagined I was going 
back to the Confederation of Kilkenny. He had quite forgotten 
this as the chosen name of the Seceders of forty years ago. Still 
less does the really young Ireland of these days know or think 
about the men and things of those days. 

*« Yes, on my word I am a confederate — 
Our cause will continue to grow at a steady rate 
Till it whips all our foes, like an old Roman lictor, 
Or swallows them up like a boa constrictor." 

Only one more trial of skill is recorded. The same Morus 
was summoned to bring honest Tom Steele into his answer to the 
query — " Why was not I born a poetess F 

" Why was I not gifted (how deeply I feel 
The depth of my loss) — with thy genius, Tom Steele ? 
1 would sing of volcanic, sublime conflagration 
And balmiest ethical regeneration ! " 

The young poet copies the oratorical style of the Head Paci- 
ficator ; but he slurs over the difficult point of gender, poetess, not 
poet — which might lead us to suppose that this last question was 
in reality the despairing exclamation of one of the young ladies 
who had failed to execute her allotted task — perhaps that little 
maiden herself, whose notes of the proceedings of that evening, 
so long gone by, have survived many years and many wander- 
ings, to furnish at last to our readers this curious little relic of 
*48. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 224 ) 



PIGEONHOLE PARAGRAPHS. 

Do you know what a boomerang is P A curved, wooden war-club 
thrown by the natives of Australia with wonderful precision, so 
as, after hitting its aim, to come back to the person who throws it, 
ready for use once more. Now it strikes me (ominous phrase !) 
that exhortations, counsels, and spiritual admonitions are very 
often like boomerangs which make a slight mistake on the return 
journey, and which, instead of bounding back ready to the hand 

of the thrower, aim just a little higher and hit him on the nose. 

# * * 

Father Alexander de Gabriac, S.J., the biographer of Father 
de Ponlevoy, evidently knew nothing about John Mitchel and the 
vicissitudes of his career. The story of John Mitchel's Daughter 
told in our last Number is condensed by the French Jesuit into 
these lines. " En 1861 le Pere de Ponlevoy re9ut Tabjuration 
d'une jeune Irlandaise protestante, type charmant de la terre des 
Saints, kme g^nereuse et virile autant que delicate et po6tique» 
Elle entra alors au pensionnat et continua & se faire diriger par 
celui qui lui avait ouvert les portes de TEglise Catholique. ' Oh ! 
mon pSre,' lui ecrivit-il un jour, * il me faut £tre une sainte, faites 
de moi une sainte, le voulez vous P ' Le Pere de Ponlevoy n'eut 
pas de peine & le vouloir ; il coop^ra & la perfection d'une &me que 
Dieu pressait de se sanctifier pour la couronner plus tot. Elle 
mourut & dix-huit ans, et son directeur put dire d'elle apres sa 

mort : * Henriette 6tait vraiment une heroine Chrttienne." 

* * * 

Some of our contributors are suffering from a too strict applica- 
tion of the saying, noscitur a sociis. They are put down as belong- 
ing to the country and to the Church which this modest periodical 
is ambitious to serve. For instance, an American magazine spoke 
of " The Poet in May " as the work of " a new Catholic 
poet." But Miss Evelyn Pyne is not a Catholic, neither is 
the sonneteer who in another page of this Number addresses 
the great Oratorian Cardinal so reverently. Miss Pyne is 
charged moreover with being an Irishwoman. This alas! is 
another calumny, of which a writer in the Dublin University Review ' 
for March is unwittingly guilty in the opening sentence of his 
review of Miss Mulholland's " Vagrant Verses." " Miss Katha- 
rine Tynan, Miss Evelyn Pyne, and Miss Rosa Mulholland, from 



Digitized by 



Google 



Pigeonhole Paragraphs. 225 

what may be called the Rossettian School of Anglo-Irish Poetry ; 
though, indeed, in Miss Mulholland's case the kinship to Rossetti, 
real as it is, is but a distant one." 

* * * 

The criticism just referred to is a very able one, though written 
from a slightly Olympian standpoint. The qualification appended 
to the above charge of belonging to the Rossetti School makes it 
mean nothing worse than that the author of " Vagrant Verses " is 
so far modern, so far under the influence of the contemporary 
spirit, as to be attentive to the subtlest purity and refinement of 
poetic diction, while shunning all artificial mannerisms and all that 
is unwholesome in thought, feeling, and suggestion. And indeed 
this Dublin University Reviewer himself adds that "there is 
absolutely none of the insincere catching at effect, the pseudo- 
poetic vulgarity, to which verse- writers whose true sphere is not 
poetry are commonly so prone." He also expresses admiration for 
the "powerful and various intellect revealed in those poems" and 
for " the calm and sober strength with which the English language 
is used in such poems as Failure, The Builders, After the War, or 
A Stolen Visit " — which last piece he describes as " a poem which 
will delight all who can find pleasure in pure English and flawless 

workmanship." 

* * * 

The rest of the March Number of the Dublin University Review 
is ardently political, except a very elaborate lecture on Albert 
Durer, and a serial story which is evidently well translated but is 
still very Russian. Mr. Yeats himself calls his " Two Titans " (of 
which I do not understand a syllable) " a political poem ; " and 
even the paper signed " Sophie Bryant " is sternly logical and 
political. A frivolous reader might be tempted to remark that 

Mrs. Bryant's reasoning is somewhat Sophie-istical. 

* * * 

An English Jesuit visited Iceland last summer, sailing from 
Edinburgh on a certain Saturday and reaching Reykjavik, the 
capital of Iceland, on the Thursday following — which shows that 
Iceland and Ireland are pretty far apart. The name of our own 
dear little island is not brought in here simply because out of the 
fulness of the heart the mouth speaketh, but because it is on 
account of an allusion to Ireland that I venture to allude to an 
unpublished letter of Father Cyprian Splaine, S.J. " Here we have 
(he writes) near home a civilized people, and a mission founded and 
permanently endowed, recently neglected, though there is reason 

Digitized by G00gle 



226 Pigeonhole Paragraphs. 

to believe that Catholic missioners would now be welcomed there, 
even by non-Catholics. A raissioner, stationed at Reykjavik, 
would be able to look up, from time to time, some five hundred 
poor people who live, utterly destitute of religious aid of any sort, 
on one of the "Westmann Isles. These Vestmenn are Irishmen 
or of Irish blood originally, and one at least of a few that boarded 
our vessel when we touched at the islands was of a decidedly Irish 
type of countenance. The language spoken by them is a kind of 

vulgar Icelandic." 

* * * 

Some puzzling questions are suggested by this passage. One 
is a small point — how the inhabitants of a Westmann Isle came to 
be called Vestmenn. This ourious plural may be a blunder of 
writer or printer. But the serious question is when and how this 
Irish settlement took place. Do they speak nothing but Icelandic ? 
What traditions live amongst them connected with Faith and 
Fatherland P Can nothing be done for this offshoot of the Irish 
race P I have known an Irish priest make his way to Algiers 
during the summer vacation. Perhaps some one might turn for his 
holidays in the opposite direction and look up these "five 
hundred poor people of Irish blood who are utterly destitute of 

religious aid of any sort." 

* • * 

It is extraordinary (yet is it extraordinary P) how Irishmen 
turn up everywhere where there is question of Catholicity. Father 
Splaine says that, when he celebrated Mass in the deserted chapel 
at Reykjavik, it was filled, though there were only three Catholics 
present — Mr. and Mrs. Tierney and their little son whom he had 
on the previous evening taught how to serve Mass. Mr. Tierney 
keeps a store in the town. How long is it since he left the old 
land P May he prosper, and may God save Ireland and all the 

scattered race of the sea-divided Gael I 

* ♦ * 

The following lines, composed by Father Joseph Shea, S.J., 
were found on his desk when he died in New York, in December, 
1881 :— 

When I am dying, how glad I shall be 

That the lamp of my life has been burnt out for Thee ! 

That sorrow has darkened the path that 1 trod ; 

That thorns, and no roses, were strewn o'er the sod ; 

That anguish of spirit full often was mine, 

Since anguish of spirit full often was thine. 

My cherished Rabboni, how glad 1 shall be, 

To die with the hope of a welcome from Thee! 

Digitized by G00gle 



Pigeonhole Paragraphs. 227 

• * * 

I will punish both parties by gibbeting them in a Pigeonhole 
Paragraph. The two " parties " are the Mother Superior of a 
French conyent, and one of her nuns who is an " exile of Erin." 
Writing to a friend at home in the Green Isle, she says : " I heard 
of you lately quite unexpectedly through the Irish Monthly, as 
one of the songstresses whose silence was a cause of regret to the 
readers of the Magazine. Are you not going to write any more, 

dear P It would be a pity not to have your share in the good 

work done by that excellent little periodical [" Excellent " added 
over the line by a polite after-thought]. We get it through a 
friend, and it is the only English journal that I can see. Imagine 
my horror the other day to hear Reverend Mother say, when hand- - 
ing me the number for February : ' There ! I see an incorrection 
[sic] in your magazine. Who knows how many more I should 
find if I knew English P ' It was a quotation from Racine that 
was attributed to Louis Veuillot. If you are in correspondence 
with Father So-and-so, it would be a charity to make him see the 
mistake. What should I do, were my only English reading to be 



Whereunto the said Father So-and-so maketh answer and 
saith, that there is no mistake at all in the passage, and that 
the only u incorrection " is the correction suggested by Madame 
la Sup£rieure. It is all about a " winged word " in our February 
number, in the middle of page 112 of the present volume : — "Man 
is a being placed between two moments of time, one of which no 
longer is, and the other is not yet." This saying is quite correctly 
assigned to Louis Veuillot. But a parallel passage is slipped in 
between square brackets : — " Le moment oil je parle est d£j& loin 
de moi." 

Why did not our constant reader explain to her French 
Superior that this would be translated quite differently P " The 
moment in which I am speaking is already far away from me." 
And again this is not from Racine, but from Boileau's third 
epistle : — 

Hd tons-nous : le temps f uit et nous truine apres soi : 
Le moment ou je parle est deja, loin de moi. 

The French poet keeps very close to the last line of the follow- 
ing passage from Persius, part of which would remind one of the 
old conundrum about " To-day :" " What was To-morrow will be 
Yesterday." 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



228 Pigeonhole Paragraphs. 

Oras hoc fiet Idem eras fiet Quid P quasi magnum 

Nempe diem donas ? Sed cum lux altera venit, 

Jam eras hesternum consumpsimus. Ecce aliud eras 

Egerit hos annos, et semper paullum erit ultra. 

Vive memor leti ; fugit hora; hoc quod loquor inde est. 

To the same effect is Martial's fine epigram Ad Posthumum ; 
but we have emptied out enough of our pigeon-holes for the 

present. 

* * » 

Yet we must add another paragraph, promised in the footnote 
of page 222. One of the most marvellous memories we have ever 
heard of was able offhand to illustrate the pronunciation of 
" Sikhs " by quoting Clarence Mangan's " Song of Sixpence': " — 

" Pens of all The Nation's bards, 

Up and do your duty ! 
Sing, not Valour's meet rewards 

In the smiles of beauty : 
Sing, not landlordism laid low 

'Mid its burning ricks, pens ! 
Sing of Britain's overthrow — 

Sing a song of Sikhs, pens ! " 

But few of our readers are old enough to remember that Indian 

warfare. 

* « * 

The same marvellous memory was able, without a moment's 
warning, to explain that the eukeirogeneion celebrated in one of 
the nonsense- verses a few pages back was a shaving paste invented 
by a Cork man and sung by Father Frank Mahony : — 

"Eukeirogeneion 
Whoever sets eye on 
May firmly rely on 

A capital shave ; 
And as for the water, 
It maketh no matter 
From whence derivator — 

The well or the wave." 

But here another difficulty arises. At page 90 of Bohn's edition 
of " Father Prout's Keliques," I find half of this quotation but 
not the other half. At page 77 Bob Olden (not Thwaites) is said 
to be the inventor of this incomparable lather, whose praise he 
sings in the Watergrasshill carousal. The form in which we have 
quoted it is an improvement on the authorised version. Und* 
derivator ? 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 229 ) 



THE O'CONNELL PAPERS. 

PART XXIII. 

Unpublished Letters op Henry Gbattan. 

The following note appears in Notes and Queries of February 20th, 
1886:— 

W. T. asks whether any letters of Daniel O'Connell are in existence. The 
Liberator's second son, Morgan O'Connell, who died just a year ago in Dublin,, 
gave a large quantity of his father's papers to the editor of a sixpenny magazine, 
published in Dublin by M. H. Gill & Son — the Ibish Monthly— of which I 
send you the current number, containing the twenty-first instalment of " The 
O'Connell Papers," in the shape of unpublished letters, by Spring Rice (the first 
Lord Monteagle), Smith O'Brien, and Thomas Davis. The publication of these 
*' O'Connell Papers" began in the Ibish Monthly for May, 1882, with a diary 
kept by O'Connell, from 1798 to 1802, and giving some of his earliest letters. 
As O'Connell long survived his wife, he probably destroyed the letters which 
she had treasured up, whereas there are piles of Mrs. COonnell's letters care- 
fully preserved. Naturally, also, this collection chiefly consists of the letters 
addressed to O'Connell. Among those published in the volumes of the Magazine 
for 1882, 1883, and 1884 (there are none in that for 1885), the most noticeable 
are several letters from Jeremy Bentham, William Cobbett, and Henry Brougham. 
The series will be continued henceforth without interruption. 

Not to break this engagement just after making it, we continue 
our selection from our archives, though the remaining space is very 
scanty. 

There may be a few (will there be even a few ?) of our readera 
who will remember having at least heard of John Morgan, Editor of 
the Newry Examiner, fifty years ago. He was a man of great ability, 
who, in better times and in a wider sphere, might have attained dis- 
tinction. I wish there was a museum containing perfect sets of all 
provincial newspapers, dead and living. Many a curious and many a 
clever thing could be dug out of such a mine. How invaluable would 
a museum of this sort be to historians and to the literary workers in 
the future ! But even living journals hardly keep up unbroken the 
tradition and the records of their bygone years— and then journals 
die — and who cares to preserve their huge dusty folios ? The tra- 
dition that has reached me of the cleverness of the Newry Examiner, 
in its early days, made me read the following, which O'Connell pre- 
served, or at least did not destroy : — 

Netory Examiner Office, 

23rtf November, 1834. 
Deab Sir, 

A Mr. , an attorney, who lives at Tanderagee, has obtained a con^ 

ditional order for a criminal information against the proprietors of the Newry 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



230 The O'Connell Papers. 

Examiner, in consequence of our having copied from the Dublin Evening Fott a 
report of the Orange Meeting in Dublin, in August last wherein Colonel Verner is 
made to say, that the late Government had dismissed from the Commission of the 
Peace a gentleman of the first respectability, on "the perjured evidence of a hedge* 

schoolmaster and his son. " I am perfectly convinced that Mr. is actuated 

by vindictive motives, in selecting the Newry Examiner for prosecution. The 
reasons for my belief in this being true, are embodied in the accompanying 
pages, which I scrawled out, in order to embody them in the affidavit, but which, 
by the advice of Mr. John Henry Quin, Attorney, who takes a friendly interest 
in the welfare of the establishment, we have altogether omitted in the affidavit 
we have sworn. It is confined to the actual fact, that neither I nor Mr. Stevenson 
read the three or four lines attributed to Colonel Verner until we got notice of 
the conditional order being obtained, nor would we, had we read them, have 
known to whom they were applicable. Although I have no respect for this 

Mr. , from the little I know of him, I would be sorry to do him injustice 

to gratify the rascally faction of which Colonel Verner is a sample. The man, 
I think, has no principle only what pique gives him. He was originally a 
Catholic ; he quarrelled with his parish priest about a seat in the chapel — he 
broke into the chapel, wrecked seats, altar, and all ; and, having thus qualified 
himself for becoming a Protestant, he was adopted as the protege* of Dean 
Carter. The " New Reformationists n thought they had got a great prize ; but 
he has been a thorn in the side of Tanderagee Orangeism and Conservatism ever 
since; and, to give the fellow his due, he has " done the State some service " — 
the dismissal of Colonel Blacker and Dean Carter to wit, which was effected 
chiefly through his agency. But he is, in other respects, no better than a 
common Barrator ; and I am convinced, as I am writing this, that the cause of 
his enmity is the non-publication of letters, which would have furnished grounds 
for libel prosecutions that would have kept us in gaol for the rest of our natural 
lives. 

May I request that you will plead for us, and get the conditional order set 
aside P I know the multitudinous business you have on hands at present ; but 
your moving in the affair would, I am sure, quash the proceedings ; and, though 
I have no fear as to the result, I dread the annoyance and the costs of the Four 
Courts. 

Mr. Charles Cavanagh will call upon you to-morrow with the affidavit. 

I have just finished reading with delight the proceedings at the great 
Dublin Meeting. I was at Dundalk on Wednesday. All at sea, in storm and 
confusion. Sharman Crawford has been written to. I know hell refuse: 
unless Sir Patrick Bellew can be driven to the hustings— and it will require 
driving — the Orange party will have an easy victory. I wish you had time to 
give some advice to the Louthians. 'Twill be the first battle, and it will be 
bad if it be lost. I have no room for what would not be words of course in 
expressing my respect; but I feel honour in subscribing myself of Ireland's 
Friend 

The faithful servant, 

John Morgan. 

Daniel O'Connell, Esq., M.P. 

The Colonel Verner referred to here in uncomplimentary terms was 
Sir William Verner of Armagh, the typical Orangeman of the period. 



Digitized by 



Google 



The (y Cornell Papers. 231 

Yet we saw last month how closely oonneoted he was with John 
Mitohel who was by no means an Orangeman, but who went perhaps 
a little too far into the opposite extreme. 

Among these letters preserved by O'Connell are several of Sir 
Jonah Barrington's, very illegible and seemingly not very interesting ; 
and many by Mr. James Birch, Lord Clarendon's friend, legible 
enough and perhaps too interesting, but not to be published without 
more careful examination than can now be given. But anything by 
Henry Orattan — the great Henry Grattan — is worth publishing for his 
very name's sake. 

Stephen's Green, 

3rd January, 1819. 
My dear Sib, 

I thank you for your kind communication, and am happy that the speech 
hat giren satisfaction. I hope it will produce good and reconcile all parties. 

I enter into your sentiments on the state of this country. Ireland has ceased to 
exist as a nation, and I fear it is more likely that other nations will fall than that 
Ireland will rise. But of this I am certain that nothing national or useful can ever be 
effected without a cordial union of both classes in this country. Therefore it is that 
the speech seeks to unite us. The principle of our question being carried, such a 
useful discourse will tend to effectuate its final accomplishment. 

As to the Society that you allude to— I had sucb an idea in my mind long ago. I 
attempted to lay the foundation of a club whose objects should he constitutional and 
patriotic. Many of my friends know the efforts I made. I regret that they proved 
unsuccessful, and that the difficulties that were started caused its abandonment. 

As to the one in question, perhaps during the lifetime of the individual it would 
be premature. That it should be connected with the period of '82 (the only period of 
Irish History) I am decidedly of opinion. From peculiar circumstances it would not 
be proper that I should be the mover of such a project ; but whenever it. should be 
effected, whether during the lifetime of the individual or after his termination, I 
trust I shall not hang back when the opportunity presents itself of upholding principles 
which I shall ever hold dear and which I conceive breathe attachment to the country 
and the constitution. 

As to what you mention of poor Curran, I quite coincide. Every honour should 
be paid to him. He loved liberty ; he upheld it in the times of danger, and stood by 
his country when others sold her. 

I remain, dear sir, 

Very truly your obedient servant, 

Hekby Gbatta*. 

Does this letter refer to a projected Oharlemont Club ? Nine years 
later Grattan writes again to O'Oonnell ; and this is the only other 
letter we van at present discover among the O'Connell Papers bearing 
this illustrious name : — 

22Centick Snuotr. 
19th Jan, *28 
Drab Sib, 

Tou will read the fate and failure of my motion. 

I tried all I could, but in vain. Government is incorrigible. Tlie opinion of the- 



Digitized by 



Google 



232 To Cardinal Newman. 

Solicitor-General was thought good law in St. Stephen's; Qucert, will it be so 
thought in the Orange North ? _ 

I hope the Catholics will nor Jail into the trap of Securities and Veto. These 
, words should be banished from their mouths. 

In my opinion the simultaneous meetings should be held, but in a more solemn 
and effectual and general manner than the last. 

The Dissenters' Dinner yesterday was a grand triumph for us. Nothing could 
be better. Their support of Emancipation bordered on the spirit of chivalry. 

Youre yery obedient, 

Henry Grattan. 

Emancipation! That grand word which Gurran had used long 
before so grandly in the famous oratorical burst which keeps its 
fire better than most bursts of eloquence — " redeemed, regenerated 
and disenthralled by the irresistible genius of universal Emancipa- 
tion." The associations which cling to the word lend pathos to the 
anecdote which Father Prout tells of O'Connell's deathbed at 
Genoa. Finding he could raise one of his arms again, he said 
feebly to the physician : — " Doctor, this arm is emancipated." 



TO CARDINAL NEWMAN. 

" T EAD, kindly Light." This was thy prayer, andlo ! 

JJ Through devious paths thy childlike steps were guided. 

The angels smiled, while shallow men derided ; 
They the mysterious leading could not know. 
Men marked one track ; God would not have it so; 

Their way was not the way He had provided, 

And so He took thy genius many-sided, 
And planted it where fitly it might grow. 

That Light which thou didst follow shall not fail 

Till in the shining of the perfect day 

Lost in full splendour sinks the single ray. 
There shall be no more night within the veiL 

And 'mid a rapture that can never fail 

Thou wilt forget the sorrows of the way. 

T. H. Wright. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 233 ) 



MAUREEN LACEY. 

BY ROSA MULHOLLAND, 

AUTHOE OF " VAORAST TBR.1ES," " KILLKITT," " HAKCILLA GRACE," RC, RTC. 

CHAPTER I. 

IT was Hallow Eve in the island of Inisbofin, off the coast of 
Connemara, seven miles out in the Atlantic. There had been 
a ruddy sunset, and the sea round the tall grey crags was still 
heaving with wonderful colours. The blazing crimson, vivid purple, 
and tawny gold, that had burned on cloud, hill, and wave, were 
getting toned down to deeper, staider hues. Maureen's long day'e 
work in the open air was almost over, and she stood knee-deep in 
the heather, binding her bundle of broom with a rope of straw. 

Hound and round about her swept the sad barren island, 
very sad and very barren at such a season, and such an 
hour. High, bleak, wandering uplands, deep purple hollows, 
long brown flats of treacherous morass, dark melancholy pools 
studded with clumps of lonesome rushes : only here and there a 
soaring crag still rosy. Maureen raised her head and looked around, 
pausing a moment before swinging her fragrant burden on her 
shoulders. She was scarcely musing upon the beauty of the scene ; 
she knew nothing about the artistic splendour of its desolation- 
More likely she was thinking of whether the frost was coming 
yet, and how long the potatoes would last, as she stood there 
making a picture herself in her crimson petticoat, and nappi- 
keen of chequered blue, knotted under her chin. She rested, 
not to enjoy anything, but to draw breath. She looked like a girl 
who had worked a good deal, and who meant to work more. Her 
steady mouth in its silence said this ; so did her quick blue eye ; 
.so did every motion of her lithe active figure. Her face was round 
and comely, and there was beauty in the wreath of rich yellow 
hair that crowned her shapely head. A few years more of such 
hardships as Maureen had endured since her childhood, would 
take the softness from her cheeks and the lustre from her locks. 
Still, rack must be carried from rock to field, potatoes planted, 
turf cut and stacked. Bent must be paid, and meal bought when 
Vol. xiv. No. 156. May, 1886. ni L iti7 18 



234 Maureen Lacey. 

the potatoes failed. Maureen would have little time to think of 
her looks. 

Maureen had a good walk before her, for she was now standing 
in what is called the West Quarter, and her home was at the North 
Beach. Swinging her burden on her shoulders, she set out at a 
brisk pace. There was not a sound in the air but the screaming 
of some seamews round a pool, or now and then a whirring noise 
of wings, as a sudden flight of moor-fowl rushed past overhead. 
Even the break of the sea on the shore was lost , except for that 
almost imperceptible sighing which is perpetual in the island of 
Bofin. Maureen took heed of nothing as she hastened on. Her 
thoughts were full of the potatoes. 

Presently a more homely sound stole over the air. Some one- 
was whistling on tho path behind Maureen. Hearing this, she 
quickened her steps, with a sudden heat in her face, and tightness 
of breath. But the following foot came surely on. Its pace was 
swifter than hers. 

" Save ye, Maureen ! " said a genial voice beside her. " Give 
us the bun'le, Yer fair broke in two halves with the weight of it." 

This speaker was a stalwart young fisherman, with as much 
eagerness in his bronzed kindling face as there had been haste in 
his pursuing step. Maureen stopped short, and looked at him 
with a proud troubled directness in her eyes. 

« What for should I give you my bun'le, Mike Tiernay ? ** 
she said, sternly. "You just carry yer own bun'les, and I'll 
carry mine. That's the safest that I can see betune us two." 

She gave her burden a resolute jerk, and began plodding on 
more steadily than before. But Mike kept by her side. 

"It's always the hard word with you, Maureen," he said,, 
bitterly. " It's often a throuble to me wondherin' if I was to- 
work for a hondhert years for wan smile, would you give me that 
same in the end P " 

" Just as likely not," said Maureen, shortly. " If ye have so 
little to do with yer time, begin and work for girls that has the 
world light on their shouldhers. There's plenty in Bofin "11 give 
you smiles for nothin' without waitin' for the hondhert years to be 
up. Maureen Lacey hasn't time for sich foolery ! " 

« Whisht, Maureen ! " cried Mike. "You know well that I 
care as little for the smile that isn't on your face as the hungry 
man cares for the stone by the roadside. Ye know that the sight 
o' you's mate an' dhrink to me the longest day that iver I fasted, 
an' the smallest word you'd spake in the winther is sweeter to me 

Digitized by VjvJOVt l^. 



Maureen Lacey. • 235 

than the larks' singin' in the spring. But if my corpse was waked 
to-night you'd thramp over my grave to-mprrow, an' think more 
o' the daisies ye hurt with yer foot, than of me lyin' below." 

" Yer not dead," said Maureen, sullenly, " nor dyin' neither, 
nor likely. But if ye were, an' yer grave lay in the road o' my 
work, I suppose I'd thramp over it all as wan as another. An* 
as for smilin', it's little good smiles 'd do betune you an' me. They 
wouldn't boil the pot for the dawny stepmother an' the weeshie 
waneens at home. I've given ye this answer many's the time 
afore, though wanst might have been enough, a body 'd think." 

" Well, Maureen," said Mike, drawing himself up, " I'm not 
the mane wretch to keep botherin' a girl wanst she said in airnest, 
1 Mike, I don't like you, there's others I could like betther.' But 
that's what you niver said to me yet, Maureen, an' in spite o' yer 
hard words there's a glint I've seen in yer eye, ay, faith, a weeshie 
glint, that keeps me warm the cru'lest day that iver I put in on 
yon waves. There's news I wanted to tell ye to-night, an' a bit of 
a question I wanted to ax ye. But when ye come slap on me with 
yer crass talk, it just chokes the courage down my throat." 

"I'm glad it does," said Maureen. "I neither want to hear 
yer news, nor to answer yer questions. An' now we're comin' to 
the village. Here's my path, an' there's the road to the East Ind. 
Ye'd betther let me go home my lone." 

" Go your lone, then ! " said Mike, fiercely, " an' I'll go mine. 
I'll be betther aff than you, anyways, that hasn't as much as the 
sore heart for company. Sorra bit, but such a thing was left out 
clane the day ye were made. Maureen," he added, eagerly, as she 
turned away, his angry voice falling to a coaxing whisper, "there's 
to be a Hallow's Eve dance at Biddy Prendergast's to-night. 
Hurry the childher to bed, an' give yer mother her beads to count 
at the fire, an' come. Will you P " 

Maureen had stopped short. " No, I won't," she said, in alow 
voice. 

" Feth ye will now, avourneen ! " 

" Feth I won't ! " persisted the girl, doggedly, with her eyes 
on the ground. 

"An' ye plase, then," cried Mike, with another burst of 
passion. "There'll be plenty of likely girls at Biddy's— Peggy 
Moran for wan, the best dancer in the island. Bad scran to the 
bit af my ould brogues that I won't dance aff my feet to " The 
Little House undher the Hill" with her. No, but ye'll come, Mau- 



Digitized by 



Google 



236 Maureen Lacey. 

reen. I'll take my oath that I'll see you comm* walkin' in like a 
May mornin' afore I'm up on the floor a crack with Peggy." 

Maureen gave her bundle one final jerk, and Mike one final 
glance, as she turned away. 

" An' if you do," she said, " I'll give ye lave in full to take as 
lies every word I've said to-night, an' every cold word that iver 
I said since you begun to spake to me this ways. A pleasant dance 
to you, then, with Peggy Moran. Good evenin' ! " 

She turned off abruptly, and struck out on her homeward 
path. Mike gave one passionate look after her, and then marched 
away in the other direction, whistling " The Little House under 
the Hill," with all his might. 

The defiant echoes shrilled about Maureen's ears as she hastened 
on. She was near her home now. The rough shingle of the 
North Beach opened grey and wide before her. Here and there a 
tall crag stood up like a ghoul and wrapped the shadows about it. 
Inland, falls and hills had changed from brown to black. A 
purple darkness had settled over the track she had travelled. The 
sound of the tossing surf became more loudly audible at every 
step, and the " village," an irregular mustering of cabins, sent 
forth a grateful savour of turf smoke upon the raw lonely air. 
Lights twinkled here and there from windows, and the red glow 
of the fire shone under every open doorway. Before passing the 
first of these doors, Maureen stopped and wiped a hot tear or two 
from her cheek with her apron. Then she hurried on, lightening 
her step as she trod the rough causeway of the " village," thread- 
ing her way amongst her neighbours' houses, and hearing from 
many an ingle as she passed the ruddy thresholds, " There's 
Maureen Lacey gettin' home, poor girl ! " 

At one of the furthest cabins facing the sea Maureen stopped, and 
stepped over the door-step into the firelit shelter. Her eyes, accus- 
tomed to the red smoky atmosphere, saw her stepmother sitting at 
the hearth-stone with a child upon her knee, and some four or five 
other little ones grouped about the embers at their play. These 
Maureen had expected to see, but her eyes went straight from 
them to two other figures, less familiar. Two visitors, a man and 
a woman, were seated properly on chairs, visitor-like, at a respect- 
ful distance from the fire. On these, for the sin of their presence, 
Maureen's glance passed severe judgment. 

" Save ye, Con Lavelle ! " she said, slowly, as she closed the 
door behind her. " Save ye, Nan ! " 

And then, without heeding their response, she went to the 

■ Digitized by VjOOQLC 



Maureen Lacey. 237 

furthest corner of the cabin, and threw her bundle of heather from 
her back upon a heap of turf. Straightening her bent figure with 
a sigh of relief, she untied the blue kerchief from her head, and 
knotted it loosely round her ner.'k. She passed her hand over her 
hair, damp with the dew, and smoothed back a straggling lock or 
two. Then, with her arms full of turf, she came silently over to 
the hearth, and began to " make down " a good roaring fire to 
boil the potatoes for the supper. The visitors drew back tc give 
her more room, and the stepmother whispered, as she bent forward 
to the blaze. 

" Who was walkin' on the bog with you, Maureen P " 

A flash leaped out of the girPs eyes. She went on with her 
task in silence for about a minute, and then she said, in a steady 
voice, loud enough for the others to hear : 

" If ye hard there was any wan, mother, ye hard who it was 
and so I needn't tell you what you knowed before." 

" What was he sayin' to you, asthore P " 

" It's no matther to anybody what he was sayin\ He's plottin 
no murther, that his words should be kep' an' counted." 

" An* what did you say to him, avourneen P " 

" Nothin' that went again my promise to you, mother. An' 
now that you've sifted and sarched me before strangers, we'll talk 
about somethin' else, an' ye plase ! " 

So saying, Maureen rose to her feet with a brusqueness of 
manner that cut the dialogue short. The visitors, uneasily silent 
while it had lasted, now shuffled in their seats with relief. Con 
cleared his throat, and Nan clattered her chair closer to the hearth. 
Maureen drew a stool from the corner and sat down, leaning her 
back wearily against the ingle wall. Nan Lavelle, a good-humoured 
looking, rugged-faced young woman, in a bran-new green gown, 
was the first to speak. 

" We come, Con an 1 me," said Nan, " to see if you'd go with 
us to the dance at Biddy Prendergast's. There's to be two pipers, 
no less, wan Tady Kelly, from Mayo side, f orbye our own Paudeen ; 
an' the two's to be at it hard an' fast for which has the best music. 
They say that this Tady has great waltzes an' gran' fashions, but 
Paudeen's the best warrant for the jig-tunes afther. An' there's 
to be tay up in Biddy's new room, an' duckin' for apples, an' 
jumpin' at candles. Sorra sich a turn-out ever you seen ! You'll 
come, Maureen P " 

At the beginning of this address, Maureen had changed 



Digitized by 



Google 



238 Maureen Lacey. 

colour quickly, and, seizing the tongs, had commenced a fresh 
attack on the fire. Now she answered readily : 

" I thank you, Nan," she said, " for comin' so far out o* yer 
way for me ; an' I'm obliged to yer brother, too. But I think I'll 
not stir out again to-night." 

" Och now, Maureen, yer not in airnest ; yer not goin' to spen' 
yer Hallow's Eve at the fireside yer lone. Sorra wan o' you ! " 

"I'm goin' to my bed, by-an'-by," said Maureen. "Fm 
thinkin' it's the fittest place for me that's been workin' hard since 
four this morninV 

" Ay, Maureen, you work too hard," 6aid Con Lavelle, speak- 
ing for the first time, shading his eyes with a brawny hand, while 
he shot a glance of tenderness at her from under his massive 
rough-hewn brows. 

Maureen flushed again as she felt the glance. " That's. for my 
own judgment," she said, impatiently. " I'm young an' strong, 
an' if ever I'm to work it's now for sure ; an' I thank you, Con ! " 

" But you'll come to the dance ? " said Nan, coaxingly. 

" No, Nan ; I'll go to my bed." 

" Well, if ever I seen or hard of such a girl ! " said the sickly 
stepmother, fretfully. " Heavens above ! when I was yer age, 
there wasn't a dance in the island that I wouldn't be at. Come, 
none o' yer laziness, Maureen ! Bed, indeed ! I tell ye there's 
nothin' on airth for restin' young bones afther a hard day's work 
like a good dance. Up with you, girl, an' put on yer shoes, an' 
take the cloak." 

" Mother ! " said Maureen, looking up in amazement, " don't 
bid me for to go to-night. You don't know what yer doin'." 

" But I do bid you for to go, an if you gainsay me now, it'll 
be the first time in yer life. As for not knowin' what I'm doin', 
it's a quare speech, Maureen, an' wan I didn't expect from you. 
Be off with ye, now ! " 

" An' I'm to go, mother P " 

" You're to go, an' be quick ! " 

" Then let it stan' so," said Maureen, rising up suddenly, and 
looking down at her stepmother with a queer expression on her 
face, " I'm doin' yer biddin', an' come good or come ill of it, ye 
must bear the burthen. I'll go." 

Down to the room went Maureen, with a lighted candle in 
her hand, which she stuck in a sconce on the wall. 

" I have sthrived an' I have wrought," muttered she, as with 
trembling hands she began to put on her grey worsted stockings, 

Digitized by VjUUV I v. 



Maureen Lacey. 23ft 

and the shoes that on Sundays and state occasions only, covered 
her nimble feet. " I have toiled for her, an' she niver would give me 
my will as much as to the sayin' of I'll go or I'll stay. . Now I'm doin* 
her bidding as I still have done it, an' if ill comes out of it, let her 
look to 't. I've hardened mysel', an' I've hardened my seT, but I'm 
not as hard as the rock yet. An 1 if I go at all, feth I'll go dacent, an' 
not be danced undher foot by the grandeur of Peggy Moran, with her 
genteel airs, an' her five muzlin flounces, stickin' out all round her, 
starched as stiff as the grass in a white frast. Oh ! " 

Here Maureen gave one desperate gasp of impatience to the 
thought of Peggy Moran, and struck her heel on the ground to 
drive it home in the unaccustomed shoe. Who should keep her 
from going to Biddy Prendergast's dance now P Not all the men 
in Bofin, armed to the death with shillelaghs. 

She opened an old painted chest in the corner, and produced 
a gown. This gown had belonged to her own dead mother, and 
was the one piece of finery which Maureen possessed in the world. 
It was a grand chintz, with blue and gold-colour flowers on a 
chocolate ground, and fitted her figure to a nicety. This was 
quickly assumed, and her long amber hair rolled round her head 
in as smooth a wreath as its natural waviness would permit of. 
When this was done, a little cracked looking-glass over the hearth 
declared her toilet complete. Then she came back to the kitchen, 
and while Con Lavelle's admiring eyes devoured her from a 
shadowy corner, she served out their supper of potatoes to the 
children, and placed " the grain of tay " in a little brown tea-pot, 
burnt black, on the hearth within reach of her stepmother's hand. 
These things done, she put the key of the house in her pocket, 
and taking "the cloak," a family garment, she followed her 
friends out of the cabin into a calm moonlit night, which had re- 
placed the gloomy twilight. 

Biddy Prendergast's house was in the Middle Quarter village, 
a good walk from the Widow Lacey's. When Maureen and the 
Lavelles arrived at the festive scene, operations had already com- 
menced. Screams of laughter greeted their entrance, from a 
crowd of boys and girls who were ducking for apples in a tub of 
water behind the door. The kitchen was lighted by a huge turf 
fire that roared up the reeking chimney. In the smoky rafters 
hens dozed, and nets dangled* Flitches of bacon and bunches of 
dried fish swung in the draught when the door was opened. Biddy 
Prendergast was a well-to-do woman, one of the island aristocrats. 
In the ingle nook two or three colliaghs, anglic£ crones, were toast- 

Digitized by VjUUV I v. 



240 Maureen Lacey. 

ing their knees and holding their chat, while the light leaped over 
their worn red petticoats and withered faces and hands. In a 
retired corner was Paudeen, the island piper, wrinkled and white- 
haired, sitting with his knowing eyes half closed, droning and 
tuning at his pipes, holding commune with fchem, as it were, rally- 
ing and inspiring all their energies for the coming struggle with 
the rival pipes and piper, who had come to dispute the palm for 
skilful harmonies with the Bofin instrument and the Bofin musician. 
Tady, the other performer, was " down in the room " at his tea. 
And "down to the room" went our party from the North 
Beach. 

In this room a notable assemblage was convened. A long 
board, contrived by means of se\eral small tables, was spread with 
tea, soda cakes, " crackers," and potato cakes, several pounds of 
butter in a large roll being placed in the centre on a dish. A bed, 
with blue checker curtains and patchwork counterpane, choked up 
one corner of the room, leaving no space for chairs. This difficulty 
was comfortably ignored by the guests sitting on the bed, and 
nursing their cups and platters on their knees. Those opposite 
were less fortunate, as the heels of their chairs were nearly tread- 
ing on the hearth. All the Mite of Bofin were here. There was 
Timothy Joyce, the national schoolmaster, about whose learning 
there were dark reports. It was whispered that he had a crack 
right across the top of his skull, occasioned by too reckless a pro- 
secution of abstruse studies in his youth, and that this was why he 
wore his hair so long, and brushed so smooth and close above his 
forehead. There was Martin Leahy, the boat-maker, the ring of 
whose cheerful hammer on the beach, late and early, helped the 
larks and the striking oars in the harbour to make music all 
through the summer months. There was Mick Coyne Mack, the 
last name signifying " son," an Irish way of saying " junior." 
He was clerk in the chapel, a spare grizzled man, a great hand at 
praying and discoursing, a famous voteen (devotee), and almost as 
good at an argument as the schoolmaster himself. Then there was 
Tady, the strange piper, who having penetrated as far as Dublin 
and Belfast in the course of his scientific researches, and picked up 
odd polkas and operatic airs from hurdy-gurdys and German bands, 
was looked upon with much awe, as a superior professor of music, 
There was a youpg man, a cousin of an islander, who had just 
returned from America, with genteel clothes, a fine nasal twang in 
his speech, and plenty of anecdote about foreign lands. And 
though last, not least, there was the captain of a trading sail ship 

Digitized by VjUUV I v. 



Maureen Lacey. 241 

which, on her way from Spain to Liverpool, had been driven out 
of her course and taken refuge in Bofin harbour. 

Biddy Prendergast, a plain-faced woman in a grand dress cap 
and plaid gown, was making tea at the head of her board, in high 
spirits. She was talking volubly, joking and laughing at Mike 
Tiernay, who with a huge black kettle in hand was replenishing 
her earthen teapot. Every now and again she winked at Peggy 
Moran, who sat close by, with her back to the fire, in all the glory 
of the five muslin flounces, a knot of red ribbons blazing under 
her chin, and her great black eyes dancing responsive to Biddy's 
winks, or falling demurely on her teacup when handsome Mike 
looked her way. Not a doubt, but Mike was the best-looking man 
in the house, tall, and manly, and bronzed ; with his coaxing voice, 
and his roguish smile, and his frank way of tossing the dark hair 
from his forehead by a fling of his head. Peggy, the belle, had 
long desired to count him on the list of her admirers. Peggy had 
three cows and two feather-beds ta her dower ; the finest fortune 
in Bofin. Biddy, through pure good will to Mike, her favourite, 
was trying to make a match between him and the heiress, all 
unknown to the elder Morans, who would sooner have seen their 
daughter mistress of Con Lavelle's fine farm at Fawnmore. Biddy's 
hints and Peggy's handsome eyes had until to-night remained 
unheeded. Now there was a sudden change. Mike was remark- 
ably civil to both of these ladies. He tucked Peggy's flounces 
carefully away from the fire, and helped her twice to crackers* 
Peggy dimpled and blushed, and Biddy laughed and winked, and 
Mike was in the act of pouring the water into the teapot, when the 
door was pushed open and Maureen and her friends came in. 

A scream from Biddy greeted their entrance. "Bad manners 
to it for a kittle ! " cried Mike, getting very red in the face. " Is 
the finger scalded aff o* you entirely ? Sure if it is I'll put a ring 
on it for a plasther, an' if that doesn't mend it, sorra more can I 
do." 

The finger was suitably bound and bemoaned, and Biddy par- 
doned the offender, forgot her pains like a heroine, and attended 
to her new guests. 

u Come down, Con, come down, man, here's a sate by the fire. 
The night's could. Good luck to ye, Nan, hang yer cloak on the 
door there, an' come down an' ate a bit o' somethin'. Yer welcome, 
Maureen Lacey ! Make room, girls, an' let her come down. It's 
seldom we get you to come out. An' how's the rumatics with yer 
mother P" 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



242 Maureen Lacey. 

Con Lavelle being an important man, the richest farmer in the 
island, was soon forced into a seat by the fire, and he and his 
sister had their wants quickly attended to. Maureen, who was 
looked on by the hostess as rather an interloper, was not so eagerly 
noticed. Maureen felt this with a swelling heart. The next 
moment Mike had shouldered his way to her, had cleared a place 
for her on the bed, and taken his seat beside her, just at the corner, 
where he could draw back his head behind the looping of the 
curtain, and look at her proud downcast face as much as he pleased. 
Maureen, with a huge cup and saucer in her hands, trembled so, 
that she spilled the tea all over her grand chintz gown. Sitting 
there opposite to Peggy Moran's jealous eyes, with Mike leal and 
true beside her, Maureen struggled in the toils of the temptation 
to turn round and smile in his face, and ask him to hand her a 
piece of cake. She knew that Mike was thinking of her last 
words to him on the bog, knew it by his jubilant air, and the fire 
from his eyes that shone on her from behind the looping of the 
curtain. The temptation fought within her to let him have it his 
own way. In the whirling vision of a second she saw herself 
Mike's wife, mistress of a snug little shelter at the East End, 
making ready the hearth for Mike coming home from his fishing. 
No more drenching in the high spring tides, battling with storm 
and rain, carrying home the sea-rack on angry midnights. No 
more long days of labour in the fields of strangers for the wretched 
earning of sixpence a day. No more lecturings from a fretful 
stepmother, but always these strong hands beside her, and always 
these tender eyes. Oh, for Mike she could gladly work, with him 
could starve if need be. These things strove within Maureen as 
she sat spilling her tea over her grand chintz gown. But the old 
strain of duty, of pity for those depending on her, of fidelity to 
her promise to her stepmother, still kept its echo sounding in her 
ears, though but dimly and from afar off. The temptation shook 
her ; but when the gust allayed itself, she regained her vantage 
ground, breathless, but sure of foot. The habit of restraint was 
-strong within her. She did not turn and smile on Mike ; neither 
did she ask him for a piece of cake. 

Peggy Moran, sitting with her back to the fire, was beginning 
to get very red in the face. Biddy Prendergast's wit had fallen 
♦dead. There was no one to tuck Peggy's flounces away from the 
blaze, nor to hold the kettle gallantly for Biddy. Maureen sitting 
there, filling the moments for herself with the intense vitality of 
flier own hard struggle, was looked upon by her two female neigh- 



Digitized by 



Google 



Maureen Lacey. 243 

"hours as an unpardonable poacher on their promising preserves. 
But tea was over now, and the two pipers were sending forth 
rival squeaks and groans in the kitchen. Young feet were restless, 
and old feet too. The " room " was deserted, and the dancing 
began with spirit. 

Maureen had made one gallant struggle, but it was hard to be 
proof against all the enchantments of this most trying night. 
When Mike, whom many glancing eyes coveted for a partner, 
eagerly pressed her for the first dance, her customary short reply 
was not ready ; and she found herself up on the floor by his side 
before she had time to think about it. As for Mike, he was wild 
with spirits. He saw Maureen's conduct in the light in which she 
knew he would see it. He thought she had relented at last, and 
made up her mind to smile on him for the future. By-and-by 
Maureen caught the spirit of the dance ; panting and smiling, she 
tripped it with the nimblest amongst them. Everything began to 
slip away but the intense delight of the moment. Blushing rosy 
red, her eyes sparkling, her hair shining and shaking out in little 
gleaming rings about her forehead her face developed a radiant 
beauty that hardly seemed to belong to the grave Maureen. An 
overheard whisper from some one to another — " Lord ! such a 
handsome slip as that girl of poor Lacey's is growm'," did not 
tend to sober this hour of elation. The flush of conscious youth, and 
health, and beauty, glowed on Maureen's cheek. All the sunny 
ardour of her Irish nature, so long kept under, the smouldering 
love, the keen relish for harmless pleasure, the laughter-loving 
enjoyment of wit and humour, burst forth from within her for this 
one glorious evening, and shone in her beautiful face, and made 
music in the beat of her brogues on the floor. 

Peggy Moran and the young man from America with whom 
she consoled herself, tried to get up one genteel round of the 
waltz. This being finished, Paudeen the piper asked Maureen, 
in compliment to her dancing, to tell him her favourite 
tune. Whereupon Maureen, with a sly laugh in her eyes, asked 
for The Little House under the Hill. This was Paudeen's greatest 
tune, and at it he went with the will of a giant, his white hair 
shaking, his wrinkled cheeks bursting, and his one leg with its 
blue-ribbed stocking and brogue, hopping up and down under his 
pipes with might and enthusiasm. How he shrilled and shrieked 
it, how he groaned and wheezed it, and how all the company 
joined in at last and danced it ! How it was stamped, and shuffled, 



Digitized by 



Google 



244 Maureen Lacey. 

how the deafening clatter of feet, and the " whoops ! " and 
" hurroos ! " rose up to Biddy Prendergast's smoky rafters and 
wakened the hens, and set them a clacking, and how Tady, the 
vanquished professor, sat sad in the corner and mused on the 
primitive state of uncivilisation in which these benighted Bofiners 
were plunged ! There was only one other who did not join in the 
dance, and who stood with his long loose figure drawn up against 
• the wall in a corner, his wistful eyes searching the crowd of 
bobbing heads for the occasional glimpse of one face. Con Lavelle 
was full of uneasiness. Only once had he smiled to-night, and 
that was when the Liverpool captain (who, ignorant of Irish jigs- 
and their mysteries, had until now kept him company in his 
corner) had delivered his weighty opinion that Maureen Lacey was 
the best dancer, and the prettiest girl in the house. But the 
captain had caught the contagion at last and joined the crowd, and 
Con Lavelle was alone. 

After this jig was over, the house being literally " too hot to 
hold " the dancers, they turned out in couples, some to go home, 
others only to cool themselves in the moonlight, and return. Of 
these latter were Mike Tiernay and Maureen Lacey. Under the 
shelter of Biddy's gable wall Mike got leave at last to " spake "' 
all he had tried to say so often, and Maureen cut him short with no 
cross answers. He told his news, and he " axed" his question. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 246 ...) 



A RHYMED ROSARY. 
L Thjb Five Joyful Mystkribs. 



A MAIDEN'S bower and a lily in bud— 
A maid in her stainless maidenhood ; 
South wind blowing, and young leares showing : 
'* Are, Mary,'' an angel sayeth 
Whose rapt look prayeth. 



Grey-blue sides, and the hills are clear, 
Mary greeting her cousin dear, 
Raiseth her as she kneeleth in fear, 
" Whence is it to me the Lord's Mother cometh P 
Saith Elizabeth. 

in. 

Silver of frost, and the stars are cold, 
But the singing angels are winged with gold, 
O desolate is the new King's state, 
His palace a stable ! but warm his rest 
In His Mother's breast. 

IV. 

The Temple white in the noon-eun's glare ; 
Mary the Spouse of the Carpenter 
Fair and mild, with her nine-days' Ohild, 
The old priest lifteth his sightless eyes — 
Lo, he prophesies ! 



Up and down, through the hot streets' stir, 
She seeketh the Child who hath strayed from her ; 
In the Temple's gloom are lilies in bloom, 
By the fount stands the Boy, and the Rabbis hoar 
Drinking His lore. 

II. Thb Fivr Sorrowful Mysteries. 

i. 
Out in the night, on the wet ground prone, 
Christ dreeth His agony all alone ; 
Grey shapes are these that glide through the trees, 
World's sins for whose burden He travaileth, 
Tea, bleedeth to death. 
Vol. xrv. No. 155. 19 



Digitized by 



Google 



216 Ptdure+fnmthe.Itosarff. 



Why do they scourge IJim so terribly P 
That you and I, for ever, go free. 
His body's one wound that purpleth the ground ; 
Sweet Blood, drip on me kneeling below 

Wash me like snow ! 

• ' ' * /. 

mi 

Purple robes for the King of the land, 
A thorny crown, and a reed in His hand. 
O world's disgrace ! one spat on His face 
Where the blood was flowing, but my meek Lord 
Said never a word. 



IV. 

Heavy the Gross that His shoulders bear — 
All sin and sorrow, all shame and care, 
There is blood on His path, He reeleth to death ; — 
"Child, wilt thou help Me up Calvary's steep hill ? " 
Yea, Lord, I will! 



Two arms stretched wide on their torture-bed, 
A sky grown black, and a sun blood-red 
Most f orsakenly rings His broken cry ; 
His Mother hears it, and shudders at it, 
Her face to His feet. 



ni. The Five Glorious Mysteries. 

i. 

O Easter morn's like a rose new-blown ! 
And at dawn the angels have lifted the stone ; 
The three-days' Slain is arisen again ; 
His mother sees Him all glorified 
like the sun at noon-tide. 



xx. 

For forty days they looked on His face, 
And He was tender those forty days. 
When a gold cloud took Him, their eyes were dim, 
Yet some gazing up, through a rift in the skies, 
Saw His Paradise. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Gerhard Sohneemann. 247 

in. 

The twelre and Mary yearning with lovef. 
Lonely, pray Him to send His dove ; 
In the dawning grey of the white Sunday, 
It flieth in flame where in prayer they bow 
And kiaseth each brow, 

iv. 

u How long, Son? n she hath prayed with tears, 
Keeping her vigil through twelre long years ; 
Then Gabriel came, with hie torch aflame, 
Who bore her far, and she saw her Son 
Ere the day was done. 



With twelve great stars is she aureoled, 
And her floating raiment is cloudy gold ; 
Her throne of bliss by her Son's throne is, 
And ever she gazeth up to His face. 
Hail, full of grace! 

Katharine Tynan. 



GEEHAED SCHNEBMANN. 
By the Ebv. Peter Finlay, S.J. 

GEEHAED Schneemann's name must be quite unknown to most 
Irish readers. Those, perhaps, who are familiar with the 
■Church History of Germany during the last twenty years will 
know something of the man, or at least of the work he helped to 
accomplish ; and a very few may remember him as the friend 
whom they learned to esteem and love at Laach, at Bonn, or at 
Aix-la-Chapelle. But to Catholics in general his name can be 
only an empty sound. We are not used to take any eager interest 
in foreign religious struggles; our thoughts are given almost 
wholly to the contest in which we are engaged ourselves ; and we 
have long ceased to look either for sympathy or example to our 
co-religionists on the European continent Still, a brief sketch of 
Father Schneemann's life will, probably, be acceptable to many, 
-and must be rich in lessons for us all — for all of us, at least, who 



Digitized by 



Google 



248 Gerhard Schneemann. 

know what German Catholicism was some half a century ago, and 
what a power it is to-day. It is to men like him that the Church 
in North Germany is indebted for the proud position she has won 
and holds — for the fact that she is a Church of fervent millions, 
pure in faith, strengthened by trial, devoted to Rome, knit together 
in an unconquerable organization, which all the might of false 
brethren and civil tyranny, with wiles, and threats, and violence, 
has failed to break or weaken. 

He was born in 1829, at Wesel, on the Lower Rhine. The 
Catholics of that old Hanseatic town, hemmed in by an heretical 
majority, were jealous guardians of a faith which it had cost them 
many a struggle to preserve. Weak natures yield readily to the 
influence of unfavourable surroundings ; strong ones, in the same 
circumstances, put forth all their strength and reach a perfect 
development, to which they otherwise could never have attained. 
The Catholicism of Ulster, in our own country, owes something of 
its frank manliness and generosity to the contact and the hostility 
of Puritanical error, though elsewhere we see faith weakened and 
even lost from association with less intolerant forms of misbelief. 
In Wesel, Catholicism was of the Ulster type ; and its influences 
left an enduring mark on Gerhard Schneemann's character. Ten- 
derly devout like his mother, " the most prayerful woman in all 
Wesel," as he used to speak of her in after-life, earnest in every 
good work for the good of souls, singularly kind to the poor, 
patient and gentle with all who were honestly seeking for the truth,, 
or striving, however imperfectly, to realise it in action, he would 
never sacrifice principle to expediency, never purchase the friend- 
ship or the tolerance of his enemies by any faint-hearted betrayal 
of the Church's cause. 

After brilliant classical studies at the w Weseler gymnasium/* 
young Schneemann was sent to the university of Bonn, in the autumn 
of 1845. He joined the Faculty of Law, and his legal studies made 
rapid progress. But Bonn had a Faculty of Theology also ; and 
his intimacy with some of the theological students seems to have 
soon directed his thoughts towards the priesthood. During the three 
years he lived at Bonn, his vocation ripened secretly ; the fourth 
year, even, of his university course, which he spent at Miinster, 
was given to the law ; but in the autumn of 1819 his final decision 
was taken and announced, and he entered an ecclesiastical seminary. 
It was characteristic of the man that he should wish to fit himself 
for the Church's work, and drink in her spirit, at her life's centre*. 
He was Roman and papal to the heart's core. In 1850 he set out 



Digitized by 



Google 



Gerhard Schneemann. 249 

lor Rome, and took up his residence there, in the German College, 
then, as now, under the direction of the Jesuits. An interesting 
letter, of which we can give only a brief extract, explains his new 
position, his motives for choosing it, and his state of mind in it. 
*" You seem to think," he writes to his parents, " that I am quite 
undecided, unable to judge for myself, and following blindly the 
advice of others. This is not the case. The truth is I have long 
been anxious to become a Jesuit ; even before starting for Rome, 
I had almost quite resolved to do so ; and one of my reasons for 
selecting the German College was that I might be able to see and 
examine their life closely, and so judge for myself. All this I 
explained in detail to some of my Miinster friends. Since coming 
here, I have spoken on the matter only to my confessor and the 
Rector, whose kindness and prudence have been beyond all praise- 
Not only have they not urged me to enter among them, but they 
seemed rather to put difficulties in the way, impressed on me the 
danger of coming to a decision hurriedly, and counselled me to 
give it time and calm consideration. I have done so ; and the 
result is a decided resolve to enter : I shall be able to labour most 
safely for my own salvation and for that of others/' &c. 

It was a painful sacrifice for his family, especially for his mother. 
" I knew nothing of religious life," she said afterwards, " and I 
thought my son's love was to be estranged from me ; but I soon 
learned that his heart was all ours still, and that there was neither 
a joy nor a sorrow in our home, in which he did not share." Ger- 
hard Schneemann was no false ascetic : he could not believe that 
love of God should weaken love of kindred, or that the counsels of 
the Divine law freed men from the obligation of its commandments. 

In November, 1851, he entered the noviceship at Friedrichsburg ; 
and for the next few years there is nothing to chronicle in his 
quiet life of prayer and study. After his ordination, at the close 
of 1856, we find him as a Missionary Priest at Cologne, and a little 
later, part professor, part missioner at Bonn and Aix-la-Chapelle, 
until the German Jesuits opened a house of higher studies at 
Laacher See. 

Between Bonn and Mayence, in one of the most beautiful of the 
Rhine valleys, and within a short distance of the great river, there 
was an old Benedictine Abbey. Far back, in the eleventh century, 
Henry II., Count Palatine of the Rhine, had given over Laach and 
its surroundings to St. Benedict. The monks were well pleased to 
make their home beside the deep wide lake which had welled up 
in the crater of a dead volcano. They cut a channel through the 

Digitized by vjVJwVJ Lv, 



250 Gerhard Sehbeemanft. 

lava hills io carry off the surplus wafers to the Rhine; they gained 
upon the lake, and formed fertile fields around its margin ; the- 
encircling hills were clothed and crowned with dark green forests 
of oak, and fir, and pine ; and on the western shore, between the- 
wbods and water, they raised their exquisite Roman Church and 
Monastery of St. Mary, a gem almost worthy of its setting. For 
more than seven centuries they retained their ownership ; but in 
1802 they were dispossessed by the French Republic, and Church 
and Abbey were given over to decay.* After sixty years of deso- 
lation the cloisters were restored to their old uses, though not to 
the Monks of St. Benedict : the Jesuit students of philosophy and 
theology were transferred from Paderborn and Aix-la-Chapelle to 
the half -ruined abbey, and soon filled it with life and labour. 

No one who has seen the spot, and believes solitude to be* 
suited for all intellectual pursuits, can have failed to recognise its 
fitness for such a purpose. I do not think that educational isola- 
tion is without serious disadvantage to the best mental progress. 
Contact of mind with living mind, contact even with the views 
and feelings and prejudices of the age in which we live, as well as 
with the history of the past, is needed to fit us for a useful part in 
the battle of the present. It seems about as wise to go out into 
the struggle, armed only with the ponderous learning of the 
sixteenth century folios, as to meet needle guns and rifled cannon 
with the matchlocks and armour of our ancestors. Mental isola- 
tion throws the worker back on books, and books almost necessarily 
give an undue prominence to the past ; for the past is fixed and 
may be painted, while the ever varying colours of the present are only 
to be seen. Books, moreover, even the very best of them, can never 
fully take the place of living thought. There are minds, it has 
been said, which can never shine with their fullest and clearest 
light, unless in rivalry with others. This is true of nearly all, in 
matters which divide opinion. There are few so gifted as to con- 
ceive dispassionately an adversary's position, and give his theories 
and arguments a form which would command his own approval ; 
those are fewer still who can frame an answer to his case, even aa 
stated by themselves, which would stand the test of a personal 
discussion with him. The German Kriegspiel is a useful prepara- 
tion for actual war ; and yet it leaves the soldier still very unprepared 
for the stern reality. But whatever could be done was done at 
Laach to foster study — study, too, of a very high order. A new 

* For an account of Loach, see Ihish Monthly, Vol. V. (1877), p. 618* 

Digitized by VjvJOVt l^. 



Qerhard Schneemann. 251, 

wing was built ta serve as a library, which: soon counted .over 
30,000 volumes; collections were formed, and lectures given in 
mineralogy, botany, and other natural; sciences; philosophy and 
theology, of course, were specially attended to ; and what was of 
great importance — students flowed in, not from Germany alone, 
bat from France and .Belgium, from Ireland, Switzerland, and 
Italy. The rivalry of schools of thought was wanting, and its 
loss was felt both by students and professors ; but the rivalry of 
individual minds abounded, and did much to make the loss as little 
hurtful as it ever can be. 

About this time the representatives of German theological 
science were attracting a very widespread attention. For many 
years two schools had been in process of formation amongst them ; 
one filled with reverence for the great Catholic Doctors of the 
Middle Ages, and anxiotis to follow out and perfect their teaching 
on the lines which they had traced ; the other given over to a 
worship of modern thought, and bent upon laying a new founda- 
tion for the Faith, in recent theories of philosophy and critical 
historical research. It was impossible each should develop, at 
peace with its neighbour; for, however willing the new scho- 
lasticism, as it was called, might be to accept all that was best in 
modern science, it could not but protest against a method which 
claimed to be Catholic, while insisting on absolute freedom of 
inquiry, uncontrolled by the obligation of harmonising its results 
with the mind and teaching of the Church. War was openly 
declared between them at the Munich Congress of 1863. Osten- 
sibly called together for the purpose of uniting all the energies of 
Catholic learning against a common enemy, Dr. Dollinger, its 
president, made it serve almost entirely to glorify himself and his 
followers, to decry and vilify those who would not accept his 
leadership and methods, and to attack more or less openly the 
Church's right of influencing and moulding opinion in any matter 
not within the narrow limits of defined dogma. Soon after ap- 
peared Dollinger's " Mediaeval Fables of the Popes, 1 ' the whole 
object of which was to show the utter untrustworthiness of 
Church history criticism in the Middle Ages, and to prove Papal 
Infallibility a mere invention of modern ultramontanism. It 
abounded with references and seemed a work of immense erudi- 
tion. 

. Strange as it may seem, an effort was made to interest the 
English-speaking world in the dispute. A small and gifted body 
of Catholic .writers, .first in. the Rambfei\ and afterwards, in the 

Digitized by vjUUV Iv, 



252 Gerhard Sfoftmutm. 

Some and Foreign Review, explained and defended Dr. Dollinger's 
position. But a British Public, even — or perhaps especially — a 
Catholic British Public, was not likely to be deeply moved by 
rather recondite discussions of theological principles ; and it heard 
with an amused equanimity, Cardinal Wiseman's scathing condem- 
nation of the Review, for "the absence of all reverence in its 
treatment of persons and things deemed sacred, its grazing ever 
the very edge of the most perilous abysses of error, and its habi- 
tual preference of nn-Catholic to Catholic instincts, tendencies, 
and motives. 1 '* Our purpose, however, is not to dwell on the English 
aspect of the controversy — nor is there any need ; for it has no 
history. The brief of Pope Pius IX. to the Archbishop of 
Munich, in December 1863, put an end to the Review and to the 
movement it was meant to foster. 

In Germany it was quite otherwise. There the condemnation 
of the Munich School excited very bitter feelings. It became 
utterly impossible for earnest Catholics to preserve neutrality, and 
Father Schneemann began his life of authorship by a contribution 
to the controversy. " I was librarian at the time," he writes, 
" and as the library shelves were not ready for all the books, I had 
a number of them taken to my room. We had no kneeling- 
stools as yet ; so I put some folios beside my table, to serve 
instead. These chanced to be volumes of d'Argentr£, whom 
Dollinger quotes so frequently. Through curiosity I opened one, 
to verify a reference, and was surprised to find d'Argentr£ main- 
tain quite the opposite of what Dollinger imputed to him. A 
whole series of citations gave me similar results ; it was to be pre- 
sumed that other references were equally mendacious ; and I saw 
how easily a man with time and talent could defend the Popes 
from charges so dishonestly brought against them." He was him- 
self to be the man. A friend, who had undertaken to write some 
articles for a Catholic Review, and became unable to fulfil his 
promise, begged Father Schneemann to take his place, leaving him 
free to write on whatever subject he might choose. One subject 
had already taken hold upon his mind ; there was no need for 
deliberation ; and in a short time the articles were ready. But 
then a difficulty arose. So great was the strain upon men's minds, 
and the longing not to add to the perils of disunion, that the 
Review for which they were first written, and another to which 

* It may not be out of place to note that the Home and Foreign Review, in 
marked contrast to nearly all English Catholic publications, was singularly fair- 
minded and even sympathetic in its treatment of Irish questions. 

Digitized by G00gle 



Gerhard StbneeMann. 255 

they were afterwards off ered, refused the articles. A good many 
even of Schneemann's fellow-Jesuits opposed their publication. It 
was felt that suoh an attack on Dr. Dollinger's honesty as an 
historian must be fruitful in bitterness. In the summer, however, 
of the following year (1864), they were published, in book form, 
by Herder, of Freiburg, with the title, " Studies on the Question of 
Honorius ; " and gave rise to even angrier feelings than had been 
looked for. The form, the matter, the animus of the book, were 
all attacked ; but its reception by Dr. Dollinger's friends proved its 
need and its value ; and Father Schneemann had reason to be fully 
•satisfied with its success, even before it met with high approval as 
a book of reference among the Fathers of the Vatican Council. 

In the December of 1864, the Encyclical " Quanta Cura" 
•and the Syllabus were sent to all the Bishops of the Church. All 
the world knows what a tempest they evoked. It has not wholly 
•died away as yet ; on occasion, even politicians can " refurbish and 
parade anew the rusty tools " which did service against Borne 
then. Argument, invective, insults, and threats were freely 
lavished upon her by those without the Church, and by a small 
party within it ; the doctrines she had laid down were studiously 
misrepresented by enemies, and misunderstood even by not a few 
whose allegiance was beyond all question. Hence, naturally, arose 
the idea of explaining the true meaning of the propositions of 
the Syllabus ; these explanations, it was decided, accompanied by 
a defence of- the doctrines involved, should appear, periodically, 
in pamphlet form ; and the whole series was to bear the name of 
" Stimmen aus Maria Laach," — " Voices from Maria Laach." The 
publication has outlived the temporary want which it was created 
to meet, and is now one of the best known and most highly 
valued of Continental Catholic Reviews. At first it was agreed 
that Father Schneemann should take, as his share, the propositions 
on Christian marriage ; and the third number of the Stimtnen was 
the result of his labours — a pamphlet of 120 pages on the " Errors 
•concerning Marriage." But the sixth, seventh, and eighth 
numbers, which were also wholly written by him, must have been 
far more of a labour of love to him. " The Freedom of the 
Church " " The Church's Jurisdiction," " the Pope as Supreme 
Head of the Church " were subjects on which his heartfelt devo- 
tion to the Church and to Borne, could find full expression. The 
spirit of the man and of all his work is in the words with which 
he closes the number on the Primacy: "Like Augustine, the 
•other Fathers recognise this rock (Matt xvi. 18) in the Chair at 

Digitized by V^jOOQ IC 



26*4 Qerhard Schneemann. 

Peter . . . We, lob, will test upon it, in days when everything- 
seems tottering to a fall ; we will seize fast hold of it, that the 
torrent may not whirl us away; we will lean against it in the 
struggle with godlessness and unbelief ; and when death shall come,, 
after life's weary labour, we hope to lay our head in sleep upon it, 
filled with a great trust in the promise of our Lord, that hell's, 
gates shall not prevail against it." It was difficult to write satisfac- 
torily upon the constitution of the Church, and quite impossible to 
explain the twenty- third proposition of the Syllabus, without treating 
the doctrine of Infallibility. This Father Schneemann did very 
fully in the tenth number of the Stimmen — a double number, of 
over two hundred pages, on " The Teaching Power of the Church." 
The existence of this teaching power, its object, and its infallibility 
were first discussed ; then the subject in whom it was vested had 
to be determined, and, after some few pages upon General Councils, 
the question of Papal Infallibility was taken up. The truth which 
the Vatican Council soon afterwards defined was clearly put for- 
ward and warmly defended by Father Schneemann : Christ's pro- 
mise, the belief and the practice of the Early Church, the consent 
of the Middle Ages, the history of Jansenism, and the formal 
pronouncements of later times formed an unanswerable argument. 
No wonder the little treatise excited a host of enemies. Friedrich,. 
Michelis, Janus, Dollinger himself, attacked it bitterly ; it was 
denounced in public meetings, and quoted even in the German 
Reichstag as a justification for expelling all Jesuits from the 
empire. His other writings on those and kindred subjects wa 
shall not dwell upon. It would be wearisome here to even cata- 
logue them all. He wrote frequently, of course, for the Review % 
which he had helped to found ; he wrote many articles for the 
newspapers during the first days of the Kulturkampf ; he pub* 
liflhed pamphlets in defence of the Society, against Freemasonry,. 
in explanation of the Vatican decrees. He found time even to 
contribute an interesting volume to a scholastic controversy about 
the nature of Divine Grace. But his best work was of a more 
lasting character ; and we may be allowed a brief reference to it. 
He conceived the plan of it and began his preparations for it 
about 1866 ; it was, in fact, suggested by the heated discussions. 
in which he was then engaged. In drawing out the proofs of 
Papal Infallibility, he had dwelt emphatically on the hold which 
the doctrine had taken upon the mind of the Church during the 
last three centuries, and had appealed to the testimony of national 
and provincial synods* But there was no collection of the acts ot 

Digitized by vjUUV I v. 



Gerhard Schneemann. 255- 

such synods. The great collection of Hardouin, the most com- 
plete ever published, reached only to the early part of the seven- 
teenth century: Father Schneemann planned its continuation 
down to our own days. It was an arduous enterprise, for it waa 
to comprise all the local Councils approved by Borne in every 
quarter of the Church. Thousands of letters had to be written, 
weary journeys undertaken, manuscripts deciphered and collated, 
and an immense mass of printed matter gone through, in order to- 
select whatever was required to make the work a perfect one. Of 
course other Fathers were appointed to give him aid ; but still the 
main burden had to be borne by himself. We need not speak of 
his success. Six large volumes, published in his lifetime, met with 
universal praise, even from those who heartily disliked the editor ; 
the seventh and last was ready for publication when he died. 
" Can you send me Father Aymans P" he wrote from his death- 
bed ; " the material for the last volume is ready now, and I will 
show him how it is to be arranged. The printing can go on, no 
matter what happens me." He did not live to see it printed. 
Ceaseless labour had been gradually wearing him away. It had 
been hoped that a visit to Italy, in the spring of 1879, might give 
him new strength, but the hope was not realised. A dangerous 
illness in 1882 left him still weaker, and the summer of 1884, 
spent in Roman libraries and archives, broke his health down 
utterly. He returned to Holland — for, like all his German 
brother- Jesuits, he had to live and labour in banishment — only to 
die. The end came to him in the little hospital of Kerkrade, on 
the 20th of last November, a peaceful, happy ending to a singu- 
larly happy life. He had given himself unreservedly to the 
Church's cause, and we may well trust that the blessing of Christ's 
Vicar, which was sent him at life's close, was only the harbinger of 
thehigherblessingswhichtheMasterhad Himself inwaitingfor him. 
It has not been our aim to sketch Father Schneemann's life in 
its entirety. We have said nothing of his private virtues, of his 
priestly work for souls, of his amiable social gifts, and of the very 
weaknesses which endeared him to his friends. We could, indeed, 
wish to say something of his love for the Society, a love as sensi- 
tive and tender and as strong as any of the earthly loves which 
seize on passionate hearts, and shape their lives for joy or wretched- 
ness. But our only object was to show, in Father Schneemann, a 
devoted, earnest defender of the Catholic Faith, which is that of 
the Holy Roman Church ; and that he strove to be this, and not. 
in vain, the little we have already said will be enough to show. 

Digitized by vJUUy I v. 



( 256 ) 



THE COTTAGE GATE. 
By Ethbl Tank. 

IN the sultry time of mowing, 
When the field* are full of hay, 
Pretty Janet bring* her eewing 
To the gate at close of day. 

Do you wonder that she lingers, 
Often glances down the lane P 

Do you ask me why her fingers 
Seem to find their work a strain P 

Love-dreams hold her in their tether ; 

Love is often, as we know, 
Idle in the summer weather, 

Idlest in the sunset glow. 

Now the toil of day is over ; 

Janet has not long to wait 
For a shadow on the clover 

And a footstep at the gate. 

How is this P The slighted sheeting 

Has been taken up anew ; 
Very quiet is her greeting, 

Scarcely raised those eyes of blue. 

Now he leans upon the railing, 
Tells her all about the hay : 

Still his pains seem unavailing — 
Very little will she say. 

Is it but capricious feigning P 
Learn a lesson from the rose, 

Peerless 'mong her sisters reigning, 
Fairest flower that ever blows ; 

Not at once she flaunts her petals — 
First a bud of sober green, 

By-and-by the stretching sepals 
Show a dash of red between. 

Breezes rock her, sunbeams woo her, 
Wide and wider does she start j 

Opens all her crimson treasure, 
Yields the fragrance at her heart. 

Ah ! the rosebuds will not render 
All their secrets in one day ; 

And the maiden, shy and tender, 
Is as diffident as they. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 267 ) 







THE LEAPING PROCESSION AT ECHTERNACH. 

("Lea saints damants?) 
NE of the most curious relics of the Middle Ages, existing in 



its primitive form to the present day, is the annual proces- 
sion in honour of St. Willibrord, held at Echternach, in Luxem- 
bourg, and popularly known as '* The Leaping Procession." The 
Tillage was once a famous place of pilgrimage, and still is crowded 
at Pentecost by sufferers from St. Vitus' dance, epilepsy, and 
similar disorders, accompanied by their friends and relations. The 
greater number come from the Eifel, Upper Moselle, and Saar, 
but a good proportion from much greater distances, and they 
generally arrive in bands of thirty, forty, or more, headed by their 
parish priest and a banner-bearer. Many march the whole way, 
singing hymns and litanies ; others come by train, are met at the 
station by the clergy of Echternach, and conducted to the places 
prepared for their reception — great barn-like rooms, roughly fitted 
as dormitories, with beds of straw, and each capable of containing 
about sixty persons, divided according to sex. There they make 
themselves as comfortable as may be, and eat the provisions brought 
with them. Curious sight-seers of a better class are few, and, 
consequently, have no difficulty in getting accommodation at the 
inns or in the houses of well-to-do villagers. On Whit Monday 
strangers pour in all day long, until the Echternachers are lost in 
the crowd. In 1880, a correspondent of the Cologne Gazette 
reckoned the pilgrims at nine thousand, and felt assured he had, 
if anything, understated their number : this comprised those alone 
who took part in the procession, without counting the large body 
unable, through age or infirmity, to leap with the others. Every 
train that enters the little station brings a fresh contingent, but 
the greatest order prevails, there is no disturbance nor noisy 
mirth, for the priests have thoroughly organised the smallest 
details, and rough peasant lads obey them like children. Early on 
Whit Tuesday morning, each year, the town is astir. By six 
o'clock many are on their way to the church in small parties, 
whose energetic chanting serves to rouse the lazier portion of the 
community. At seven all are assembled round a wooden pulpit, 

Digitized by G00gle 



*258 The Leaping Procession at Echternach. 

erected near a bridge over the Saar, that connects Belgian with 
Prussian territory, many avoiding the crush by hiring boats on the 
river. A little before eight, about fifty clergymen, in albs and 
stoles, preceded by a cross-bearer and acolytes, advance from the 
town, singing the " Veni Creator' 9 One of their number mounts 
the pulpit and preaches on the life and virtues of St. Willibrord 
(an Englishman, by-the-way), who, born of rich and pious parents, 
in the year 673, left home, country, and kindred to preach the 
Gospel in Frieeland and Denmark. He usually concludes by 
exhorting the people to perform their devotion in a spirit of faith. 
That over, a priest crosses the bridge, followed by all who cannot 
bear the exertion of the dancing procession, singing the litany 
«nd hymn to St. Willibrord. He is invoked as "Destroyer of 
Idols ; Continual Preaoher of the Gospel ; Untiring Labourer in 
the Vineyard of the Lord ; and Health of the Sick.' ' The hymn 
runs thus : — 

Mit Mitra und Stab Ton Petrus gesaudt 
Zoget hin du auf Wegen und Stegen 
Zum friesischen Yolk und in's dinUche Land 
Begleitet vom gbttlichen Segen. 

'Which may be freely translated — 

By Peter sent with pastoral staff 
And guided by th' Almighty's hand. 
Thou earnest o'er rude and stony ways 
To Friesian homes and Danish land. 

The way is now cleared for " lee saints dansants" After a few 
preliminary chords, the Echternach local band strikes up a well- 
known air, called " Adam he had seven sons/' and simultaneously 
the thousands of heads begin bobbing from side to side in time to 
the music. The short tune is played in quavers, almost chromati- 
cally up and down, the effect being monotonous in the extreme. 
In a few minutes the vast crowd is ranged in procession, five or 
eight abreast, holding handkerchiefs to keep the ranks unbroken, 
or, better still, taking arms, a necessary support where so many 
are epileptics. They advance but slowly, because of the rule from 
which the procession derives its name — that, with the ascending 
melody, they should spring three steps forward, but by the de- 
scending two back, producing a curious kind of dancing movement. 

The origin of this strange devotion is doubtful. Though 
Willibrord was honoured as a saint immediately after his death by 
processions, Ac, he has no connection with the leaping, which pro- 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Leaping Proceeston at EchternacK '2&0 

"bably took its rise and was. incorporated 'with the olden devotion 
after the plague of St Vitus' dancto, that spread through Europfe 
in 1376. In the Ages of Faith any national calamity was looked 
on as a punishment from heaven, and the people, like the Nini- 
vites, humbled themselves before God, seeking by prayer and f asfc- 
ing to avert His chastisement, and atone for the sins that drew it 
down. Thus sufferers from the above epidemic and their friends 
hoped to be cured or spared by imposing on themselves as a penance, 
the convulsive movements and contortions accompanying the 
dreaded illness, and a confraternity (suppressed later on) was 
founded, that practised this mortification. 

Each body of pilgrims brings its own band, consisting usually 
of an old violin, a clarionet, and a dram, in some instances of ear- 
piercing fifes, and here and there a concertina ! They all play in 
different keys, and as fast as possible ; in most positions, two or 
three can be heard at the same time, with dreadful effect. Itinerant 
musicians, attracted by the fame of the procession, are hired by 
those who come unprovided, for without music of some kind no 
system of nerves and muscles could hold out. The Echternachers 
head the procession, preceded by their band and banner. In their 
van march, or rather dance, a number of lads and lasses, sixteen 
years of age and under, who leap and jump not for themselves but 
for others, being hired by pilgrims who are unable themselves to 
take part in such vigorous exertions. Early in the morning they 
accost strangers asking in the native patois : 

" Wolt Ihr mich dangen fur zu sprangen f " ' Will you hire me 
to jump for you P " and a few sous is the fee for their services. The 
more prudent among, the pilgrims are watchful to see the conditions 
carried out, and postpone payment till the end of the procession, 
or till their deputies dance from a certain point to some other agreed 
on. In some instances one lad is hired by three or more strangers, 
in which case he springs and bounds with such energy as on divi- 
sion would leave a fair share for each, but no one can be sure of 
having a substitute entirely to himself. 

From the bridge i&iQcort&ge makes its toilsome progress through 
the village street, up a steep hill crowned by an old church, which 
is reached by a double flight of sixty- two steps. On the people go, 
up three steps and down two, the whole way, through the right 
aisle of the church, round the altar with its quaint reliquaries con- 
taining the bones of St Willibrord, down the left aisle, through the 
churchyard. Thrice round a great cross erected there, and then 
the exhausted crowd scatter, for the leaping procession is over. 

Digitized by G00gle 



260 The Prisoned Sang. 

They disperse as quietly as possible, and after refreshment and 
repose make their way home as they came, so that by night-fall 
Echternach has settled down into its usual state of sleepy placidity. 

Many of the pilgrims go to Echternach in fulfilment of a vow* 
others in thanksgiving for a spiritual or temporal blessing, and a 
large number to obtain the cure of themselves or some relation 
from epilepsy or any kindred disorder. The devotion is very 
popular amongst the Luxembourg peasants, and it is common for 
them to promise to take part in the next procession if a sick child 
recovers or a drunken husband reforms, and should the child die* 
or the man continue to drink, they hold that the promise is not bind- 
ing, but the priests teach that such vows ought to be unconditional, 
as befits the relation of man to the Creator. All the pilgrims are 
expected to confess and communicate that they may observe more 
solemnity in an exercise which might without care degenerate into 
a frolic, and have to be suppressed. 

Traces of a similar custom may be found in different German 
towns, notably in Cologne, where every year a dozen lads and lasses, 
under the name of die heilige Madchen und Knechte, dance in the 
Carnival procession. 

C. O'C. E. 



THE PRISONED SONG. 

A SONG lay still, and prisoned in a heart, 
And years passed on, and never knew its strain ; 
And summer glow and gladness shook its chain 
Yet moved it not. And Love with keen bright dart 
Came laughing nigh, and aimed with surest art 
To wake the silent lay — yet still in vain, 
And love spread out his sunny wings again 
And sailed away, all heedless of that heart. 

Then Sorrow came, with drooping downcast mien, 
And softly touched the captive melody, 
And lo ! it stirred — it leaped to sound; a queen 
Out to the world in passioned throbs did flee, 
And spirits paused, and listened tranced, I ween, 
To that sweet song that Sorrow had set free ! 

Cassis &f • O'Hara. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 261 ) 



UNPUBLISHED POEMS OF THE "CERTAIN 
PROFESSOR." 

ON the twenty-fourth day of March, 1885, Father Joseph 
Farrell died. His first anniversary escaped the notice of 
one who had a right to remember it. To make this omission less 
likely in future years, that ungrateful friend has set down the date 
in his copy of " The Birthday Book of Our Dead," which is 
already a standard classic wherever there is question of com- 
memorating departed friends. In making this entry he detected 
another of the hidden felicities of arrangement in that delightful 
compilation. On the same day Longfellow died, three years 
before Father Farrell; and accordingly the prose and verse 
selected for that day are from the American poet and the Irish 
priest. Longfellow's lines are taken from one of his less familiar 
passages : — 

Upon a sea more vast and dark 
The spirits of the dead embark, 
All voyaging to unknown coasts ; 
We wave our farewells from the shore, 
And they depart and come no more, 
Or come as phantoms and as ghosts. 
Above the darksome sea of death 
Looms the great life that is to be — 
A land of cloud and mystery ; 
A dim mirage with shapes of men 
Long dead and passed beyond our ken. 
Awestruck we gaze and hold our breath 
Till the fair pageant vanisheth, 
Leaving us in perplexity, 
And doubtful whether it has been 
A vision of the world unseen, 
Or a bright image of our own 
Against the sky in vapours thrown. 

The parallel passage from " The Lectures of a Certain Pro- 
fessor " is as follows : — 

When that sorrow, the commonest of all that comes through others, the 

tforrow that comes from the death of those we love, strikes people for the first 

time, they are apt to think, and even to say, that it were better to love no one 

than love those who die. But oh, how false t How ungrateful to forget the 

Vol. xiv. No. 155. 20 ^W 

Digitized by VjUUVLv 



262 Unpublished Poems of the " Certain Professor." 

former joys that were possible only to a heart capable of mfesing them so 
bitterly. The friend is dead ; but not dead, for it cannot die, is the memory of 
the days that were hallowed by affection, and that give earnest of a future 
where the parted streams shall flow together again and for ever. 

That devoted friend of the brilliant curate of Monasterevan, 
who reminded us of his first anniversary, entrusted us at the same 
time with a small book in which Father Farrell wrote, in pencil, 
bat with his usual care and completeness, a few of his poems. 
There is no preface or title or remark, but on the third page the 
date "August, 1872," follows the heading of the first poem, "By 
the Seaside/' August, 1872 — just one year before the com- 
mencement of The Irish Monthly, which can boast that, were it 
not for its existence and its importunity, Father Farrell would 
have published little prose, and probably no poetry. 

" By the Seaside " appears, with hardly three words changed, 
at page 290 of our first volume (November, 1873), but it is signed, 
not with the initials, but with the last letters of the poet's name, 
"H.L." 

In the little manuscript book follows an unpublished piece, 
which is headed with the numeral 2 as a continuation of the preced- 
ing, and followed by a few asterisks to mark its incompleteness. 

Green spreads of wave, as if vast emerald fields 
Were moved by mimic earthquakes, and a smile, 
A thousand smiles hurst upward to the sky. 
Beyond the foam's white fringe a reach of sand, 
And from the sand, in many a stair of streets, 
Up climbs the town. 

To me a vision came — 
To me a vision, but to those who dwell 
By rock-bound seas no vision. 

Wintry waves 
Held furious revel, and, like tyrant kings 
Who wake the rage of peoples, lashed the sea 
To moaning, then to madness, and the rage 
That wreaks blind vengeance, not upon the thing 
That did the wrong, but on the blameless thing 
That finds itself, though blameless, in the place 
Where wrong was done and suffers for the wrong. 
And so the ship that lay beyond the bar, 
Bearing her freight of hearts and all their hopes, 
Was sailing her last voyage to her doom. 
As sunk the sun, the clouds came sailing up 
And veiled the stars that hang in happier hours 
Like gems set in the dusky crown of night 
The sun sets daily, daily open graves; 



Digitized by 



Google 



Unpublished Poem of the " Certain Prqfeuor," 268 

Death comes to tilt—yet would I look my last 
Upon the world from some less desolate point 
Than is the wave-swept deck of a doom'd ship. 

And there the poet broke off his seaside reverie and never 
returned to it again, nor did he ever send the fragment to stop the 
importunities of an editor who often besought him for "anything/* 
either prose or verse. 

The next piece has no title here, but begins with the musical 
alliteration : — 

The wash of the waves on the shingle, 
The fringe of the foam on the sand, &o. 

It will be found at page 455 of our second volume (1874), 
under the name " What the Sea Said," with the addition of a final 
stanza, which seems not to add to the effectiveness of the poem, 
especially as it ends with the same word as the preceding stanza. 
I think Father Farrell objected to this addition afterwards. This 
poem shows that his fondness for blank verse was not due to any 
want of skill in managing the most musical metres. 

Next comes, " My Books," which is called " What My Books 
Do," at page 444 of our third volume ; and it is followed in the 
manuscript book by this unpublished stanza : — 

Visions of bright impossible things, 

Fairy dreams that fleet, 
A music of hope in the heart that sings 

Low, soft, and sweet — 

While on the opposite page the poet seems to answer himself in 
his favourite blank verse : — 

The dreams are idle dreams, the visions fade, 
And hope's sweet music onds in heart-drawn sighs. 

The fine lines on " Fame " are here, and the song " Remem- 
brance and Regret," of which the former will be found at page 253 
of the third volume of this Magazine, and the latter at page 329. 
And then, before the manuscript book is nearly half filled, these 
lines come last of all, which bear no name and which have not 
been printed before : — 

Go, carve thy name upon the yielding bark 

Of some fair tree, 'neath which thy childhood played. 

Grave deep the letters that there may remain 

A record of thyself for times to come ; 

Saying mayhap, while thy unskilful hand 

Smoothes down the roughened edges — " when the yean 



Digitized by 



Google 



264 Unpublished Poems of the " Certain Professor." 

Have oome and gone, when I am far away 
Or lying i' the mould, some Toiee may read, 
And though my memory perish from the earth, 
My name at least will sound on living lips." 

And after many a summer, when the heard 
Of manhood bristles on thy bronzed cheek, 
Come hack to read, and lo I the bark overlapped 
Has changed the letters into shapeless scars, 
Without a voice to tell what once they meant 

Go, make thyself a friend in sunny youth 
And bind thy soul to his by every link 
That generous boyhood hath the skill to forge, 
Make him the sharer of thy inmost thoughts, 
Make him the listener to thy brightest dreams. 

And after many summers when life's sun 
Hath three parts journeyed to life's fateful West, 
When boyhood's impulse wakens but a blush, 
Go seek thy friend. 

A busy, careworn man, 
He'll shake thy hand and strive to bring thy name 
Up from the world of long forgotten things ; 
And when his memory sheds a frosty gleam 
Upon the past you shared together boys — 
Not finding thee a borrower, he will smile 
And mutter hollow forms, and seek to give 
Mock pathos to the talk about old times, 
But still your heart unsatisfied will aek 
u Where is my friend P " and echo answers " where ? " 

One of the most pathetic poems in the language, and also one 
of the most recent, begins with the apostrophe, "0 year-dead 
Love I" A year is a long time for grief, and even for keen regret. 
Few hearts, except mothers' hearts, are expected to be faithful to 
anniversaries. Besides the alliteration there is this special fitness 
in our phrase, " Month's Mind." A year would be too long a 
space to bear the departed thus in mind. As we began by confess- 
ing, we have exemplified this tendency of man's selfish nature by the 
tardiness of this commemoration of the first anniversary of Father 
Joseph FarrelTs death. May he rest in peace ! 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 266 ) 



AN ARCAOHON COMEDY. 
By Mrs. Frank Pbntbill. 

rE pine trees were covered with yellow blossoms; on the 
ground a yellow powder ; in the air a yellow mist ; and 
overhead a yellow sun, bright and pitiless. It was enough to 
-drive any one mad ; so at least thought Miss M'Witley, as she 
wandered to and fro, or stopped at intervals to moan out her 
piteous " oh, dears." 

Miss M'Witley had started after breakfast to take, she thought, 
a quiet stroll ; but she had soon lost her way among the pines, 
straying further and further from Arcachon, till now she stood in 
the very heart of the forest. Her blue spectacles were stained 
with tears, her curls hung limp, her round hat was all on one side, 
her feet were bruised and swollen ; she looked the very type of 
the British spinster in distress; but, alas! there was no one to 
see, or, at least, to pity her, and the green caterpillars crawled on 
unheeding, while, overhead, a thrush poured forth his exultant 
song and seemed to mock her misery. But what was that curling 
^among the trees P Was it only the summer mist P or could it be 
smoke P Yes: smoke undoubtedly, and there, too, were the white 
walls of a cottage. At the sight Miss M'Witley felt her courage 
return, and, struggling through the sand, soon arrived at the open 
door. The room semed empty. " Some one is sure to come ; I'll 
wait," thought she, sinking into a chair ; and then she began to 
wonder what she would say ; for "French of Paris"— or, indeed, 
any French — " was to her unknown." 

While she sat wondering, something darkened the door, and 
she looked up, expecting to see a r&inier or his wife ; but, oh, 
horror ! on the threshold stood a man in a black coat, and with a 
moustache twenty times blacker. 

"A robber ! a brigand I " flashed through Miss M'Witley* s timid 
mind, and then she cried aloud, " Monsieur ! Monsieur ! " 

" Anatole," said the stranger, with a bow and a smile. 

"They're always civil when they mean to murder you," thought 
poor Miss M'Witley, and, in her despair, she poured forth the tale 
of her woes in English, while Monsieur Anatole went on bowing 
and smiling in a manner decidedly French. At last she pointed 
to her swollen feet. 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



266 An Arcachvn Comedy. 

" How Madame must suffer ! I will cat the boot lace/' said 
the Frenchman, rushing to a cupboard and seizing a knife. 

i€ Mercy ! Mercy !" cried Miss M'Witley, who made sure her 
last hour was come. 

" Permit me," said Mr. Anatole, with a flourish of the knife. 

" Spare me I spare me !" cried Miss M* Witley, throwing her- 
self at his feet. " Here is my purse, take it — and my watch" — 
snatching it from her waist. 

" Sapristie," said the Frenchman, pushing her hand away, and 
down fell the purse, and its glittering contents rolled out on the 
floor. Mr. Anatole knelt to pick them up. " Poor thing, I wonder 
if she's mad," thought he, as he replaced half a dozen Napoleons. 

"The sight of the money has softened him," thought she, 
stealing a timid glance. 

" What pretty eyes these English have," thought he, picking 
up the blue spectacles. 

" He wouldn't look so wicked only for that moustache/' thought 
she, growing bolder. 

" Upon my word, she's rather nice ; but what a dress ! " thought 
he, restoring the last franc to its place in the purse. 

"I believe he's smiling," thought she, venturing on another 
look ; and then, as they still knelt, their eyes met, and the absur- 
dity of the situation striking them both, they burst into a hearty 
laugh. 

" Permit me," again said Mr. Anatole, and, this time, Miss 
M'Witley allowed him to lead her to a seat by the fire. A large 
pot was simmering among the embers, and, lifting the cover, the 
Frenchman looked in. 

" It's not bad," said he, inhaling the savoury smell, and, for 
the first time, Miss M'Witley remembered that she was very 
hungry. Her face must have told it ; for, in a moment, he had 
brought platesand spoons, and, ladling out the soup, invitedherto eat. 

How often they passed each other the salt, how often he bowed, 
how often she smiled, nobody knows ; but both declare to this day 
that a more delicious soup was never eaten. In the pauses of the 
meal, Monsieur Anatole told his simple tale. He was a clerk at 
Bordeaux ; his foster-brother, Pierre, who lived in the cottage and 
had charge of the telegraph wires, had gone to be married ; and he, - 
Anatole, had taken his place for the day ; hence the pleasure of ~ 
Madame's acquaintance — and so on and so on — to all of which 
Miss M'Witley said " oui," and nodded energetically, though she 
understood not a word. 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



An -Arcachon Comedy. 267 

* Suddenly Monsieur Atmtole etruok his forehead wifli his Open 
hand. " Am I not bfite," cried he, and rushed out of the froom. 
Presently he returned, saying something about telegraph and 
Aroaohon, and 'after that he ran every five minutes to the door 
and lo6ked up and down the road, till, at last, was heard the 
tinkling of bells, and, in a cloud of dust, appeared Jacques, the 
favourite fly-driver of Arcachon. Just as Miss M'Witley had 
been helped into the carriage, for which the Frenchman had tele- 
graphed, the bridal pair were seen coming, arm-in-arm, over the 
sand. The foster-brothers greeted each other warmly, and then 
Monsieur Anatole began a long explanation : there was no train 
nearer than Arcachon ; he wanted, if possible, to reach Bordeaux 
that night ; would Madame think it a liberty if he asked for a 
place in her carriage P And, as Miss M'Witley kept to her rule of 
saying "oui " to everything, they were at last seated side-by-side, 

■and driving back through the wood. 

* * * 

Soon after this the gossips of Arcachon noticed a great change 
in Miss M'Witley *8 appearance : the round hat and the spectacles 
were cast aside ; the curls, too, disappeared ; so that now one could 
see that in her cheeks still bloomed pretty roses, though they were, 
perhaps, a trifle iaded. It was also remarked that Monsieur 
Anatole's business brought him very often to Arcachon ; that he 
was always sauntering in front of Desaix's Hotel, where Miss 
M'Witley lived ; and that whenever she and Mademoiselle Desaix 
took a walk, he always happened to be going the same way. One 
day Mr. Desaix, his wife, and daughter were sitting in the bureau 
of the hotel, and Mr. Anatole was, as usual, loitering outside with 
the inevitable cigar. 

" There he is again," said the landlord, pettishly, and then, 
turning to his daughter : " Ah, 9a, Louise, Anatole is a charming 
boy, charming ; but two thousand francs a year won't suit me for 
a son-in-law.? 

Upon hearing this, the pretty Louise tossed her head, and 
whispered something to her father, which made him laugh till he 
almost choked. Then Monsieur told the secret to Madame, and 
they all three laughed more heartily than before; but Miss 
M'Witley happening to pass through the hall, they suddenly 
. stopped, and Madame said "bon jour" with the utmost demureness. 

Three weeks later Miss M'Witley and Louise went off myste- 
riously to Bordeaux, and, in a short time, Louise returned alone, 
wearing at her neck a huge locket, in which were two portraits— 

Digitized by vjUUV Iv, 



268 The JPtwidence of God. 

the one a pleasant-looking English lady ; the other, a young 

with a very black moustache. 

♦ • # 

Every year, when the pines are in blossom, 'Monsieur and 
Madame Anatole Lamotte spend a week at the Hotel Desaix, and 
on the morning after their arrival, Jacques and Jacques's carriage 
are at the gate, ready to convey them to the cottage in the wood ; 
there they receive a joyous welcome from the foster-brother and 
his wife, and there they spend the day, eating soup and making 
merry ; and when the moon has risen they drive back to Aroaohon» 
under the whispering pines. They do not talk much on the way ; 
for Monsieur Anatole has not yet been able to learn English, and 
Madame's French still leaves much to be desired, but Jacques 
declares that in all Bordeaux there is not a happier pair than 
Monsieur Anatole and his English wife. 



THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD. 

From the Italian of FUicaja.* 

A S when a mother, in her children blest, 
•** Sees all with love, which glows as each she sees, 
One presses to her cheek, one to her breast, 
One places by her feet, one on her knees ; 
By each one's sigh or look knows each request, 
And seeks each many, varying wish to please. 
Fats, by a word or glance, each care to rest, 
And feels, in smile and frown, her love increase : 
E'en so, our God, all infinite, most high, 
Watches, in grief consoles, for each one lives, 
Grants all our wills, and lists each suppliant cry, 
But if, denying aught, He sometimes grieves, 
It is because He loves our love to try, 
Or feigns denial, and, denying, gives. 

W.H. E. 



* The original of this beautiful sonnet has been already printed in our Meganim 
voL 5, 232) with a translation by '< W. W. M — namely, the late Mr. William Wood- 
lock, father of our present Metropolitan Magistrate and brother to the Bishop of 
Ardagh and Clonmacnoise. — Ed. /. M. 



Digitized by 



Google 



(,SflP ) 



THE TJESULTNES OF TENOS. 

. By Hannah Lynch. 

TWENTY-THREE years ago there started from France four 
TJrsuline nuns with the intention of founding a convent of 
their prder in the island of Tenos, in the Greek Archipelago. The 
first idea had been to found this establishment in Syra, the chief 
♦commercial town of the Cyelades ; but insuperable difficulties 
turned their hopes to Tenos, known to the ancient Greeks as the 
island of Serpents. Nothing could be more picturesque and 
lovely than the island, nothing less civilised. These four ladies 
of high courage and energy, left the shores of the most civilised 
-country in the world with the small sum of six hundred francs, 
upon which they resolved to start a school of Catholic education 
and charity in an island which had ceased to be universally 
Catholic from the time of Venetian rule. Having gone over the 
.ground and realised (only dimly) their enormous difficulties, the 
complete sacrifice they were compelled to make of all bodily 
-comforts, and the unendurable conditions of existence they bravely 
iaced, I can only compare their courage with that which formed 
the annals of the earliest stages of Christianity. Becalmed upon 
4 whimsical sea, they arrived at Tenos a little before eight in the 
•evening. Tenos was the spot selected, or rather its village, Lutra, 
because the bishop had consented to the erection of a convent in 
iis diocese. To readers accustomed to the resources of civilised 
travelling the hour of arrival is a detail of no consequence. Not 
•so even to-day in Tenos. Judge, then, what it must have been 
twenty-three years ago ! Four delicately nurtured women had to 
iace a dark, rocky road, more of the nature of a sheer precipice 
than a road, late at night, upon mules. I made the same journey 
•at midday and felt more dead than alive after it. There is 
positively not a vestige of roadway up the whole steep mountain 
pass, nothing but large rocks and broken marbles, though the 
traveller in search of the picturesque is amply repaid the dis- 
comfort of the ride. But, compared with the village of Lutra, 
which was the destination of the nuns, this wild and dangerous 
looking path is a kind of preliminary paradise. No word-painting 
of the most realistic school could do justice to the horror of Lutra 

Digitized by vjUUV Iv, 



270 The Ursujme* ofTeno*. 

to-day — and what most it have been there before the refining- 
influence of those nuns touched it P This dirty stone-built and 
tumble-down Tillage the four nuns entered at eight o'clock, when 
darkness covered its ugliness, but greatly increased its dangers. 
The first entrance winds under an intricate line of stone arches, 
the pavement uneven; the mingling of odours unimaginable. 
Through this unearthly awfulness they bravely struggled and 
reached their destination at last. A Father from the neighbouring 
community had heard of their expected arrival, and was already 
superintending the rough and hurried details of their reception. 
I saw the house which stands just as it was when the Ursuline 
nuns first made it their residence. A mud cabin containing two 
rooms : kitchen and dining-room, bed-room and chapel. The roof 
is made of stones thrown loosely over wooden beams placed far 
apart, the two rooms separated by a whitewashed arch instead of a 
door. There are no windows; but spaces are cut in the walla 
which served to let in the light and air, and at night were covered 
by shutters. Hail, rain, or snow, it was necessary to keep these 
spaces open by day, in order to see, and it is not surprising that 
one of the nuns was soon prostrated by a dangerous fever. The 
beds were mattresses stuffed with something remarkably like 
potatoes, and laid on the mud floor at night, upon which the nuns 
slept a short, ascetic sleep. 

Here they remained for some time, going among the villagers, 
and soliciting that the poor would send their children to be taught. 
This the poor did, and gradually the children began to fill the 
kitchen of the mud cabin. If it rained during class, umbrellas 
had to be put up as a protection under a nominal roof, just as the 
nuns had to sleep under umbrellas in wet weather. Indeed, some- 
times it rained so hard that they were obliged to take up their 
mattresses at night, and seek a more sheltered spot elsewhere. 
At last the number of their charity pupils increased ; and the 
bishop, as poor as they were almost, offered them the only asylum 
in his power, his own paternal home, also a mud cabin ; but instead 
of two miserable rooms it contained four. This was an immense 
improvement, and the nuns felt like exchanging a cottage for a 
palace. But here the protection of umbrellas was still necessary, 
as the roof was also made of loosely set stones and beams. In 
time other nuns joined them from France, until they formed a 
community of eleven, with eighty village school children and one 
bbarder. It grew daily more and more necessary that something 
Bhould be done to raise money to build a convent. Their oouehefe 

Digitized by VjUUV I v. 



The UksnKnet of Turn. pU 

had been slowly raised from a mind floor to tables, upon which 
they slept the sleep of Trappists ; but a proper establishment waa 
now indispensable to the work they bad laid themselves out to do. 
With this object, two nuns set out on a supplicating mission round 
the Levant. They were less successful than they had perhaps . 
anticipated, for they returned after their ardous task only enriched 
by eight thousand francs. With this sum they were enabled to 
build a small portion of the present establishment ; but building 
in a Greek island is slow and costly work. Each stone has to be 
carried up the long mountain pass from the quarries ; the way is. 
difficult, the men unaccustomed to prompt work. • 

However, in due time the nuns were enabled to leave the 
bishop's homely roof, where their chapel was a tiny closet separated 
from the class and dining-room by a curtain, and the beds the 
tables used during the day, with umbrellas for a roof. 

Two nuns later made the tour of France in search of funds, 
and were rewarded for their unpleasant undertaking by the sum 
of twenty-five thousand francs* which added something more to 
the building already commenced, and smaller sums, together with 
pupils, came afterwards. Now they have between fifty and sixty 
pupils who are paid for, and almost as large a number of charity 
children and orphans who are supported at the expense of the 
convent. These children are all Greeks or Levantines; but as. 
the language of the Order is French, they speak French 
fluently. 

So much for a general idea of the immense difficulties in the 
way of foundation, and for an outline of the personal sacrifices 
and admirable courage which has carried it through. I will now 
try to give an outline of what has been done. To begin with, the 
island of Tenos, although extremely picturesque, with its marble* 
rocks, its clear, bare hills shadowed lightly by purple thyme and 
gray olives and torrent beds in dry weather forming zigzag lines 
of pink-blossomed oleanders, fig-trees, mulberries, tall, feathery- 
headed reeds and orange and lemon trees, is as devoid of all th& 
necessary adjuncts of modern existence as it is possible to imagine 
any place. As you approach it, it lies npon the deep, blue Medi- 
terranean, a stretch of dimpled brown hills, curve laid inextricably 
upon curve, its apparent barrenness softened in the beauty of shape, 
as Hie morning sea mist, which has rested upon its base like a fine 
white veil, gradually lifts itself into the clouds. From an. 
testhetic point of view, the picture is admirable ; but the least 
fastidious of travellers must at once recognise the almost impossi- 



Jigitizea oy \^jkjv~s 



S LV 



$72 The Ursulirux of Teno*. 

bility of raising upon it anything like a comfortable European 
home. Yet, nevertheless, this gigantic feat is what the nuns, by a 
peculiar genius, patient perseverance, and severe economy, have 
accomplished. The two-roomed mud cabin of twenty-three yean 
ago is now a tradition, and they have made themselves a lovely 
^centre above the dirty village of Lutra. They have cultivated the 
stony, impoverished soil till their gardens are thickly foliaged by 
lemons, oranges, figs, pomegranates, cactuses, oleanders, oaks, 
olives, apples, pears, and apricots. These fruits are consumed in 
the convent partly, and the surplus is sold in Syra for a mere song, 
which, if they could export to England, would yield them a profit- 
able interest. Their gardens are arranged with great taste, French 
and English flowers blooming side by side with the luxuriant 
growths of the country. Nothing more lovely than the site upon 
which their mountain home is built can be imagined. The hills 
roll one above the other in different colours, and the valleys, with 
their stains of verdure and dusky foliages upon the red soil and 
marble rocks, are unfolded like a perpetual panorama. If you 
mount the terrace or the castra higher up — once a Venetian fortress 
— you will see the dreamy Mediterranean, responsive to the 
slightest emotions of the Eastern sky, and you will be surrounded 
oy soft, blue touches of land breaking above its waves of intenser 
colour — the Grecian Isles, Syra, with its white town half hidden 
by the cloud-shadowed hills, Syphona, a misty margin of gray 
upon the clear horizon, ancient Delos, so dim as to appear neither 
wholly sky nor land ; desert Delos, with darker, fuller curves of land 
upon a silver edge of water, and nearest Mycono, a blending of 
the purest blues, with the famous Naxos behind, washing which, 
whatever its mood in general, the Mediterranean is sure to take its 
own distinctive colour — sapphire. 

The convent is built in the shape of the latter S, with the new 
building recently added for the pupils — a long line of class-rooms 
and music closets below and the dormitories above admirably 
arranged so that each girl is enclosed in a kind of cell, or cabin, 
numbered on the door outside, with a general ceiling. It is original 
and much better than the old system, by which twenty or thirty 
.girls felt themselves in a general bedroom. This building has 
proved the most expensive of all, and the undertaking leaves the 
community considerably in debt ; and if any of my readers feel 
sufficiently impressed by the endurance, courage, and self-sacrifice 
I have indicated in this short sketch to desire to be of any help in 
•a most deserving cause, donations to enable the convent to pay off 

Digitized by G00gle 



The UhuUne* cf Tenos. 273- 

its debt will be very gratefully received by the superior.* Their 
charities and hospitalities are necessarily great, and their isolated 
position precludes them from the enjoyment of those resources and 
assistances which the communities in Catholic countries may justly 
rely upon* 

The features of the island of Tenos gather beauty with 
familiarity, and the inhabitants are as simple and pure and primi- 
tive as the old ideal of Arcadia, without, however, the picturesque- 
shepherd costume and crook. They have the greatest respect for 
the French nuns, teach their little brown-faced babies to salute 
them by kissing their hand, and with the untutored courtesy of 
their peasant race, are willing and anxious to render the sisters 
whatever service lies within their power. They wonder greatly 
at the taste and artistic beauty of the convent grounds ; at the 
perfect neatness and cleanliness of all the domestic details, and 
those who have come under the personal influence of the nuns are 
already endeavouring to beautify their own homes. A servant 
man who had worked in the convent has gradually turned his pig- 
sty home into a charming little cottage, with a neat terrace- 
covered with trellised vines, the poles which support it wreathed 
in fragrant basilica. He is quite proud when you stop in the 
dirty village to admire the incongruous effect of his pretty house, 
and tells you frankly that he owes his taste to " la Mire Assistante.'* 

The influence of these ladies throughout the primitive island 
is remarkable, and by the simple-minded peasants who have 
benefited so greatly by their charity and labours, are gratefully 
recognised as the one oasis of civilization in their midst. Unfor- 
tunately they are not rich enough to give any more practical 
evidence of gratitude than sincere love and devotion. 

* If any readers of The Irish Monthly wish to act upon this hint and to 
have a share in this holy work, its Editor will gladly convey their offerings to the 
Mother Superior. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 2M ) 



AN IRISH POETS AMERICAN CRITICS. 

A FEW pages of excellent type* writing have just come to us 
from the capital of Pennsylvania, or, we should rather say, 
from its chief city, for the seat of government in each of the 
States is not its biggest, but often one of its smallest towns. 
These type- written pages are dated "Philadelphia, March 15," 
and we are not certain whether they have been published in the 
Standard of that city or in some other transatlantic journal. In 
any case, we give them a cead mile failte, for they are by one of 
the most deservedly popular of the younger race of American 
writers. The statement, " Who rules o'er freemen should himself 
be free," was supposed to be refuted by the parallel statement, 
"Who drives fat oxen should himself be fat;" and perhaps it 
would be equally unreasonable to stipulate that the critic of poetry 
should himself be a poet. But this condition would not disqualify 
Miss Sarah Trainer Smith, of Philadelphia, for she has written 
some beautiful poetry, though her ordinary medium is bright and 
picturesque prose. We leave this American critic to reveal who 

the Irish poet is whom she wishes to introduoe to her readers. 

* * * 

Poets, they say, are those who put into words the thoughts 
of all other men. The truer the poet, the higher, the deeper, the 
wider, the purer the source from whence the inspiration is drawn, 
the greater the multitude for whom he interprets. The masters, 
therefore, have lovers and listeners everywhere, since each who 
reads may find himself — his very inner self — exquisitely reflected. 
For a man likes to see himself in a mirror that has no flaw and is 
fairly luminous with the light of heaven. After the first pang of 
disappointment which such truthful portrayal sometimes brings, 
he is well pleased to know what manner of man he is, and he 
carries with him a dim and sometimes vague vision of that man 
which helps — at least, it does not hinder. 

All poets are not masters, but to be even the least of a poet — 
to hold unwittingly the key to other souls' hidden treasures, to 
gather the pearls from unexplored depths and bring them, fair 
and pure, into the sunlight, to set to music the unwritten songs 
of lonely and silent lives, and sing them where their very echoes 
cheer sad hearts — is no small matter in this life, no light matter 
for the next There shall surely be a sterner woe than common 



Digitized by 



Google 



Ah Irish Port* American Critic*. 276 

for the poet who profanes Ms gilts, as there shall burely be an 
*dded glory ior him who exalts it. Any poet who has given 
happiness and comfort may well take " heart of grace" and sing 
on, sure of an echo that cannot die. 

Rosa Mulholland is no stranger in America where Catholic 
Tiearts beat true. But not many among us know her quite as her 
*" Vagrant Verses," show her to us. In a dainty little volume, she has 
-sent forth a collection of the songs-birds she has loosed from time 
to time over the stormy sea of the world. She is certainly a poet, 
for she has a message for many moods, those quite hours of 
twilight thought, sometimes peaceful, sometimes yearning, some- 
times pathetic, sometimes hopeful, but never passionate or strong, 
■eager or joyous. One must seek her at certain seasons, and find 
rest. She does not chord in with every moment, and one is blind 
to many delicate beauties and tender effects of word-shading in a 
hurried reading of her best poems. But taken at their own time, 
that is, when the heart is softened and shadowed, even by a passing 
mist of vague regrets or sadness — there are lovely lines, lovely 
jwems among them, hidden under quaint and simple names. " The 
Wild Geese," " Cast Out ! " and " In the Dawn," have more that 
is new and strange and sweet in their utterance than one looks for, 
and "Christ, the Gleaner," "A Rebuke," and "Failure," are 
lessons worth the teaching. 

Her choice of words is most musical, yet far from eccentric, and 
she leaves an occasional phrase like a perfect picture in the memory. 
There is not much story to this unfolding of herself. There is 
not much teaching, still less preaching, such as poets too often 
■" set out " to do. Tet she does teach, and the Divine Preacher 
speaks through her words in sermons to be heeded. Seed by the 
wayside springs and thrives after her pages are sown. Or, to finish 
with the simile of the beginning, her song-birds fold their wings in 
quiet nests, and chirp and twitter, warble softly and flute sweetly 
in broken strains from out of the night stillness and darkness, until 
one sighs the faint content of restful thought such piping brings, 
and " waits for day," to find it beautiful, since God has made so 
much that is fair in other souls as in one's own life. 
* * * 

The foregoing is only one out of many indications which have 
already reached us that Miss Mulholland's poetry is sure to receive 
in the United States as cordial and constant a welcome as her prose 
fiction has already received in that greatcountry,m which, as the Rev. 
J. Keegan states in Donahoe's Magazine, " hundreds of thousands of 

Digitized by vjUUV I v. 



276 An Irish Poet's American Critics. 

young people owe to this most graceful, pure, and tender of writers, 
some of the most pleasant hoars that brighten happy youth.'" 
Nearer home than the Susquehanna a young physician has expressed 
in vagrant verse which he did not intend to be thus captured the 
feelings he experienced " On reading Vagrant Verses." 

Sweet singer of our Irish land ! 

Thy fervent notes are fresh and clear, 
Like morning breezes pure and bland 

O'er hill and Tale and lonely mere. 

Thy song to sorrowing hearts is balm, 

To troubled souls it breathes repose, 
It brings the love and hopeful calm 

And bliss which heaven only knows. 

Sing on, fair poet ! Thy pure lay 

Has brightened hours of grief and pain : 
Sing on ! — the throstle on the spray 

Can trill no softer, sweeter strain. 

We must find room for another American criticism of " Vagrant 
Verses," for it is from the authoritative pen of Mr. Maurice Egan 
whose high position among men of letters across the Atlantic was 
partly indicated in our Nutshell Biograms last month. In the 
course of his article in the New York Freeman 9 s Journal of March 
27, he says : — 

" It is not often that the writer of such prose as we find in 
< The Wicked Woods of Tobereevil ' or ' The Wild Birds of El- 
leevy ' excels in the more condensed poetical form of expression. 
Miss Rosa Mulholland's * Vagrant Verses ' are real poems, noble 
in conception, musical in utterance, and marked by perfect taste 
and an exquisite understanding of technical difficulties to be over- 
come in writing good poetry. Miss Mulholland is no longer a 
writerjof promise ; she has more than fulfilled all the promises of 
her earlier work." 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 277 ) 



AUGUSTUS LAW, S.J. 

Notes in Remembrance. 

Bt the Editor. 

Part II. 

Taking up again these memorial notes of my holy and amiable brother 
dn religion, I am furnished with an appropriate text from a very un- 
likely quarter. "King Solomon's Mines/' which has suddenly put 
Mr. Rider Haggard forward as a rival for even Robert Louis Stevenson 
and his " Treasure Island," reminded me of Father Law's Memoirs 
with such words recurring as " spoor " and " kraal " and " out-span " 
and " in-span." But we are still far away from the African phase 
of Father Law's life. We left him in the Royal Navy, completely at 
home there, and feeling like the Allan Quartermain of Mr. Haggard's 
strange and clever tale. "I asked, a page or two back, what is a 
gentleman ? I'll answer it now : a Royal Naval officer is, in a general 
sort of a way, though, of course, there may be a black sheep among 
them here and there. I fancy it is just the wide sea and the breath 
of God's winds that washes their hearts and blows the bitterness out 
of their minds and makes them what men ought to be." 

Augustus Law cherished similar sentiments towards the Royal 
Ifavy ; and certainly he himself realised this ideal. We should like 
to bring out many excellent traits of his character as shown in the 
record of his seafaring days ; but we must hurry on to the event which 
-changed the current of his life. With few advantages except early 
training and the atmosphere of a refined Christian home clinging 
round him morally, while physically he was far away from it, he had 
grown up a pious and pure-minded boy. " Blessed are the clean of 
<heart, for they shall see God." This beatitude is frequently verified 
in the close connection between faith and purity. The first hint that 
we get in Augustas Law's diary of any unsettling of his faith in the 
" Church of his baptism " is found under May 12th, 1850, when he 
-expresses his great sorrow for the disagreement between Mr. Gorham 
and the Bishop of Exeter, and his surprise that such a thing is not 
^brought before the Bishops but before a council of laymen. July 23, 
«t Malacca, was, perhaps, his first visit to a Catholic Church, and 
certainly his first sight of a Missal. No Protestant horror of images, 
but horror at the enormity of our Saviour's sufferings : — " There were 
three recesses in the north of the building ; the one nearest the west 
end 00 at lined images of St. Peter (with the keys) and St. Paul; the 
Vol.. xiv. No. 155 fii 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



278 Augustus Law, 8.J. 

next recess contained an image at foil length, lying down, of our mostr 
Blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, the holes were made in the hands and 
feet, and the blood running down, etc., ete. It made me quite shudder 
when I first looked at it. The next recess was the vestry, and there,, 
we saw the Latin prayer books. I looked for the Collect, Epistle,, 
and Gospel for this week, and saw it was the same." Not many lads 
in his circumstances and at his age would hare known whether they 
were the same or not, and fewer still would have cared to know. But 
Augustus Law evidently had the anima naturaliter Christiana ot which 
Tertullian speaks, probably in a different sense — he had a Catholic- 
nature and was manifestly one of those whom God draws to Himself, 
not by a sudden and violent wrench, but sweetly and gradually, en- 
abling them to use the graces that are in their hands so as to deserve- 
higher graces later on. Yet, two months afterwards, he writes un- 
suspectingly to his father : " Dearest Papa, I am glad you have got 
another curate as good and better than Mr. Pritt. I am very glad you 
like the life you are leading so much and are never in low spirits."' 
His father's change had already begun. 

Monday, 21st October, 1850, is marked in his Diary as his seven- 
teenth birthday. Let us give in full the entry for the next day :— 

Tuesday, 22nd October, 1850 — Began taking charge of the main-deck. May God 
give me grace to begin this eighteenth year of m y existence, go through it, and end it, 
in His fear. May I constantly remember that God's all-seeing eye is on me at all 
times. May I " keep my heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life."' 
May I " in all my ways acknowledge Him, for He shall direct my paths/ 9 and may 
the Holy Spirit's sacred fire burn everything contrary to Itself out of my impure 
heart ; and may God, of His infinite goodness and mercy, forgive me all my sins, andi 
give me true repentance for all my wicked and sinful deeds, through my blessed and 
merciful Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. Amen. 

On the 18th of May, 1851, the Vicar of Harborne wrote to his son 
a letter, from which the following is said to be an extract, though it 
seems to be complete : — 

My dearest Augustus,— The controversies which have taken place, and are still- 
going on in England on religious subjects (I may as well frankly tell you), have very 
much shaken my confidence in the English Church, and in obedience to the wishes of 
dearest Matilda (who is all kindness to me in the matter), I am going to see the 
Bishop of Oxford.* When I began this letter I did not intend alluding to the subject 
but have thought it right to give you early intimation of my anxiety of mind. 
Manning, late archdeacon, having left us to join the Catholic Church, has had a 
great effect on my mind. So saintly a man cannot, in my opinion, have been led 
otherwise than by the Spirit of God to the step he has taken. My eldest brother has 
been told, or will be told to-morrow, of my doubts and difficulties. Of course, in my 
present state of mind, it would be gross and awful hypocrisy in me to return to officiate- 
as a minister of the English Church. Though what I believe to be the True Light 
has apparently, perhaps, somewhat suddenly burst upon me, I can now plainly eee 
that, unknown to mytelf, the work has been gradually going on within me since your 
• Ultimately had interview instead with Dr. Pueey. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Auguatui Law, B.J. 279 

Minted mother's departure, perhaps even before that I ean now tee God's hand in 
everything that has happened, in my resigning East Brent and going to Harborne, in 
my becoming President of Church Union, Ac My sermon, which I sent yon, against 
" Papal Aggression," as it is called in England by the Protestants, you may think 
inconsistent with my present feelingp, and so it must be considered, I own ; but I wrote 
that sermon Terr hastily, and tried to believe that the view of the subject taken by 
all high church persons was the true one. Do not allow yourself, my dear boy, to be 
distressed on my account, for though I feel full well that it is " through much tribula- 
tion we must enter into the Kingdom of God," yet I even now possess, thank God, in a 
great degree, a foretaste of thnt perfect peace which passeth understanding. I now only 
ask you to be more than ever " instant in prayer " to God to guide yourself and me and 
all we love into all truth. I will (D.V.) send you a book as soon as I can, which I 
should wish you to read. All your brothers and sisters are, thank God, very welL 
Dearest Wissy (who long ago, you know, became a Catholic) of course Tery much 
sympathises with me at the present moment God's mercy and grace hare done much 
for her. — Ever, my Tery dearest son, your most affectionate father, 

W. T. Law. 
Augustus wrote in his diary, after reading this letter, " All I can 
say is, that I hope he will be guided by God to the truth. I am very 
anxious for my next letter." He answered the foregoing on July 2nd 
from H.M. S. Amazon, at Singapore : — 

Dearest Father,— And now, dearest papa, I will answer your dear kind letter 
of May 18th, which I received yesterday. I am so glad you liked the Exhibition 
so much. I should (as you said I would) hare liked Tery much to see the 
model ships, Ac. . . . Concerning your change of religion, I hardly know whether I 
ought to say anything or nothing, and so I think I will only say that I hope, with all 
my heart, dearest father, God will direct you to the truth. 1 am Tery anxious to get 
my next letter to hear the result of your conference with the bishop. ... I will try 
to be what you wished me to be in your letter, continuing instant in prayer to God to 
guide ns all to the truth, and may I scire God better than I haTe of late. . . . Dear 
May seems to be as if sent down from Heaven in the place of my dear mother. Giro 
my Tery best lore (and thanks for all her loving kindness to you) to dearest May* 
to . . . and the other dear babies. — Believe me to be your most affectionate and dutiful 
son, 

Augustus H. Law. 

Later in that month the midshipman, reading the " History of the 
Popes/' by some Protestant writer, notes the part about the founder 
of the Order of the Jesuits : — " Ignatius Loyola was wounded at the 
defence of Pampeluna ; then commenced his labours." St. Ignatius 
and he were destined to become better acquainted. The date of his 
next letter is July 31, which, of course, he did not recognise as the 
feast of St. Ignatius. His father had told him of his interviews with 
Lord Ellenborough, who was most kind to him— with Dr. Pusey and 
the Bishop of Lichfield — and how he had promised them to take no 
decided steps for six months. He mentions incidentally that he was 
writing on his forty-second birthday; and he concludes his letter 
thus: — 

I forgot to say that I saw Mr. Manning the other day. I send you two pamphlets, 
one by Mr. Wilberforce and another by Mr. Newman. I will write more fully next 
mail. All are very well, thank God. My own most firm conviction I believe to be 

Digitized by vjUUV I v. 



280 Augustus Law, S.J. 

exactly similar to Mr. Wiiberforee's, and to I, of course, nerer contemplate retunrissr 
to duty at a clergyman of a Church which I look upon at schismaHcaL I mutt leave 
my temporal affaire to the merciful Providence of God, but, I feel assured, among 
Catholic families I thall ultimately find friends who will And me tome honest occupa- 
tion, by which I may earn money for my family. If not, I have food and raiment 
for them all, and, by God's grace, will be therewith content God bled you, my 
dearest Augustus, Ac., Ac. 

These last words allude to practical considerations, which must have 
terrible weight in such a discussion. The poor mendicant's plea far 
craving a more abundant alms — "For the sake of her and three 
childre" — must make itself felt in many a disturbed Anglican 
conscience. I have been told that, when poor Keble was hard pressed 
by an argument, he used to say : " Let us see what answer Charlotte 
has to this." Of another it was said that he placed his mother and 
sisters among the notes of the true Church. Certainly these human 
ties are often hard to break through. May God be blessed for 
enabling so many to sacrifice for his sake what to weak human nature 
seems a great deal. 

These remarks regard less the subject of our sketch than his father ; 
but Augustus also had his share in the sacrifice. He begins by cutting 
off the Illustrated London News ! 

H.M.8. Amazon, Singapore, 
July 31, 1851. 

Dbabbst Father, — I received your dear kind letter of the 17th June, to-day. I 
have read nearly all of Mr. Wiiberforee's pamphlet already. I am very glad, dearest 
papa, that you have decided upon delaying for six months, — as, of course, you will have 
plenty of time to think about it. I hope, dearest papa, you will be able to get some 
occupation, as from what you say, it seems you do not intend ever again returning to 
duty at Harborne, and also, I suppose, you will ultimately join the Roman Catholic 
Faith. Do not think at all of me (I mean concerning my outfit when I get home 
£>. 7.) as far as regards money affairs, as I will save up enough for what I shall 
want I hare now more than £60 clear, and I hope by the time I get home to have 
saved £20 more. And, dearest papa, as any unnecessary expense, however small, 
ought to be avoided, as far as I am concerned, I do not care about the " Illustrated 
London News " being sent out. In fact, the captain is always kind enough to lend it 
to us, and all his other papers. I am now very anxious, more than ever, to see you 
and all dear to me, — May, and all my dear brothers and sisters. I hope God will 
grant us all a happy meeting in less than a year. 

August 1. — I have now finished reading both those pamphlets, I look forward 
very much to your next letter, in which you say you will write more fully, as I wish 
to know all your reasons, dearest father. And now, dearest papa, I will tell you what 
is, and what has been going on here. I think, I told you of the loss of the " .Reynard." 
. . . Give my VERY BEST love to dearest May, . . . and kiss the two other dear 
babies for me. Tell them all how happy, happy I shall be to see all their dear faces 
again soon. Please our gracious and kind God to grant it Kiss them all for me, 
dearest father, and give my best love to all my uncles and aunts, the Noons, and New- 
bolts.— Believe me to be your most affectionate and dutiful (I hope) son, 

Augustus. 

May God bless and preserve you, and guide us all to the truth through Jesus 
Christ. Best love again to all. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Augustus Law, 8. J. 281 

His diary for August 1, 1851, contains this little prayer: " God* 
direct my dear father to the Truth, for Jesus Christ's sake, and grant 
that I may be much more constant in prayer and in reading Thy 
precious Word, and grant that I may form my life by it. Oh I hear 
me, through my dear Saviour." 

Mr. William Towry Law was received into the Catholic Church on 
the 19th of September, 1851. Augustus ends with these words his 
answer to the letter giving this news : " I am very glad, dearest father, 
that you are so happy. May God bless you for ever ! If ever a son 
ought to be grateful to a dear father, for his kindness and trouble 
about him, it is me." 

As the son, not the father, is our hero, we must resist the tempta- 
tion of quoting the letter in which the ex- Chancellor of Bath and 
Wells described his reception into the Church, and his happy First 
Communion. Boom must be found for one little extract : 

There is one circumstance, as it long weighed with and influenced me, so it natu- 
rally cannot but influence you. I mean your blessed mother baring tired and 
departed in communion with the English Church. But the Catholic faith was never 
presented to her mind for acceptance, and to such the Catholic Church does not deny 
(as some Protestants assert it does), an assured hope of eternal bliss, if they live, as 
•he (God be praised) did lire, faithfully up to the light she had received. I cannot 
say what a comfort it is to me now as a Catholic to mention her beloved name day by 
d*y in my prayers, and especially at Holy Communion, and then to repeat the Catho- 
lic petition : " May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest 
in peace." 

From a later letter these words may be quoted : — 

I will only give you all the news, without further allusion to my conversion, except 
•eying that every day I find more and more reason to thank God for His great mercy 
to me. The worldly trials, — low of friends, coolness of others, and insults from some, 
— I regard as nothing, in comparison to the spiritual gain of which I hare become 
partaker. 

Almost on the very day (December 23) that Mr. Law was writing 
thus at Boulogne, Augustus wrote this prayer at Singapore, on 
Christmas Bay, 1851. 

Almighty God, I beseech Thee to hear the prayer that I am about to offer to Thee. 
remember not my former sins, but forgive them, and wash them out with the 
blood of the Lamb, and withhold .not Thy grace from me. I pray Thee to giro me a 
quiet mind and resolve my doubts concerning the true religion. Lead me to the truth 
as it is in Christ Jesus. Give me grace to watch and pray, lest I enter into temptation. 
Let me henceforth lead a new life, directing my whole life and duties by that Holy 
Word thou hast given us. Stay my mind on Thee, and let me trust in Thee, and keep 
me in perfect peace. Finally, I pray Thee to direct my dear stepmother, and all my 
brothers and sisters, relations, and friends to the truth ; and if my dear father has 
erred, let it not be too late, but bring him back again, and hear my prayer for the 
sake of Jesus Christ, who came into the world on this day to save miserable sinners. 

Thirty-five years afterwards, that " dear father n blessed God for 
having allowed his son to live and die a holy priest of the Catholic 

Digitized by vjUUV Lv, 



282 Augustus Law, 8. J. 

Church, into which he was drawn through such unlikely ways, and 
about which he had reasoned so well in his boyish diary, December 1 7, 
1851. 

Oh ! can the Church who can prove the succession of popes from St Peter (no 
one doubt* it), can that Church be the wrong one ? Did not Christ say He would be 
with the Church all days ? Certainly great abuses had crept into the Church about 
the time of Luther. Are they there now ? These thoughts are constantly recurring 
in my mind again and again. And there is one thing, it may be wrong to think it, 
because all men are liable to error, but my dear father having gone over to that 
Church, I can't imagine that he would have left the Anglican Church for that one, if 
there was anything wrong in that Church. He brought me up certainly in the 
Protestant faith, and, in the same manner, if he had been a Roman Catholic, I should 
have been one. God, direct me to the one true faith through Jesus Christ. Oh, 
hear my prayer, most gracious God. 

Just before this passage, he mentions that he had not read the 
whole of Allies' " See of St Peter," he was so convinced on that point. 
The other books sent by his father at first were, Cardinal Wiseman's 
"Lectures on the Catholic Religion," Keenan's "Controversial 
Catechism," and Orsini's " Life of the Blessed Virgin." After getting 
full marks in navigation, he unbends his mind over " The Garden of 
the Soul." He questions a Catholic (Quarter-master Grant), and 
records his conviction that "the Roman Catholic Church is not as 
black as she is painted." His watch stopped and be went to Singapore 
to " get it under weigh again." After " cruising about the church " * 
for a time, he found out the house of the Priest, li. Barbe, whom he 
describes as a true Christian. But though he studied, and prayed, and 
inquired, he made up his mind that he would not make up his mind 
till he had talked over everything with his father. For, luckily, after 
his four years' voyaging, his ship had been ordered home. This good 
news reached the anxious parent eighteen days later than it ought to 
have done, because the Protestant friend of thirty years' standing, to 
whose care the returning exile's letter was addressed, had the barbarity 
to write " Not known " over the name of " the pervert," whose address 
he knew perfectly. We shall only give the last words of the p&rvtrfs 
letter of welcome. " You will land in the month of May, a month very 
dear to Catholics, and I rejoice to think of your arrival amongst us at 
such a propitious period of the year. God bless you." But we must 
give, not merely the last words, but the whole " welcome home " of 
his sister Matilda, who, we think it well to remind our readers, is now 
Sister Jane Margaret Mary, of the Order of the Visitation, at Westbury, 

near Bristol. 

Roehamfton, April 24, 1852. 
My darling Gutta, — You may well fancy how happy I am at the thought of 
eoon seeing you. As I haje not written to you since clearest papa has had the great 
happiness of becoming a member of the Holy Catholic Church, you will most likely 

* These nautical idioms used to break out in after-life. When shown into the 
chapel at Hodder, he was surprised to " find all hands on their knees." 

Digitized by CiOOgle 



Augustus Law, SJ. 283 

like to know what I think about it. I thought retry differently at first to what I do r 
now, but at length, by Almighty God's grace, I have come to the light of the truth, 
as I hope, ere long, you will, my own darling brother. As I am no theologian, I 
will enclose one of dearest papa's letters to me on that subject, which I think you will 
like. You must take care not to lose it, my darling. I suppose papa has already told 
. you that I am at school in a convent of the Sacred Heart, and also that it is the same 
house which grandpapa and all my aunts and uncles lired in for a long time. By what I 
have said in the former part of my letter, you will most likely conclude that I hare 
become a Catholic. I and dear little Augusta were received into the Catholic Church 
on the 25th of March, which, as you know, is the Feast of the Annunciation of the 
Blessed Virgin ; I am also going to have the intense happiness of making my first 
communion next month. How thankful I ought to be for all the graces Almighty 
God bestows upon me I I hope and pray, my darling brother, that you also will 
soon be received as one of the members of the Holy Catholic Church. I think and 
hope you will hare great influence with dearest Franky, who does not think much of 
that subject, I am afraid, either way. He may be waiting to see what you will do. 
... I long to see you and talk to you on that subject, but, as it is impossible, I must 
wait until I can. Little Geraldine and Agnes are very dear little things. They have 
lately had the hooping-cough, but are now getting better. Tou will find them at 
Kensington. They have been staying at Hampton Court while the house was prepar, 
tng, but have now gone home. My other brothers are at Oscott All are quite well, 
■and join with me, I am sure, in their prayers that you may become a fervent Catholic 
Little Augusta sends her best love and kisses, and believe me to remain ever your 
most affectionate 

Little Twittt. 

The writer of this letter made her First Communion a few days 
after, May 2nd, and the news of her brother's arrival, which had been 
kept from her, for fear of distracting her too much during her retreat 
of preparation, was first told to her by her father who came to share 
iier joy on that holy epoch of her young life. 

Mr. Law had expressed his joy that his sailor would reach 
JEagland in the Month of Mary. In the very heart of that month, 
•his diary contains those two entries : — 

Saturday, 15th May, 1862.— Saw the Bishop of South wark in the evening, and 
-after two or three hours' talking, he convinced me that the Holy Catholie Church was 
that in communion with the See of Rome. Made my general confession. My 
father . . . very much delighted. 

Sunday, 16th May, 1852. — I was received by the Bishop of Southwark in the new 
church at Mortlake. There was a Confirmation there also before I was received, and 
the bishop gave a beautiful exhortation to those about to be confirmed. We stayed a 
ehort time at the priest's house, and then went home. 

This Bishop of Southwark was an Irishman, the son of a private 
.soldier, and his life has been sketched in our Magazine (Vol. VII., page 
•89), partly because he teas an Irishman, but chiefly because ample 
materials were furnished by Miss Kathleen O'Meara's excellent life of 
this first Bishop of Southwark. " Dear Dr. Grant " received Mrs. Law, 
-also, into the Church before the end of that month. 

With that eventful May of 1852 it will be best to pause in our 
.story ; but the last page of the May diary has a few items which for 

Digitized by vjUUV I v. 



284 To a Musician. 

various reasons we are unwilling to pass over. The first Bishop of 
Southwark, when he received Augustus Law into the Church, had not 
completed the first of his twenty years of episcopacy. He was succeeded' 
by Dr. Danell, to whom a much shorter term was allotted ; and he by 
the Redemptorist, Father Coffin, who almost began his last sickness- 
at the same time. The present Bishop of Southwark figures in 
Augustus Law's diary on the same page with Dr. Grant May 27,. 
we read : " Attended evening devotions at Hammersmith Chapel, and 
afterwards had a talk with Mr. Butt about Confirmation. I like him, 
very much. I have chosen St, Aloysius Gonzaga for my patron saint, . 
he having had those virtues which I most stand in need of." 

The next day "Miss Gladstone called. She seems a very nice- 
person " — namely, the Catholic sister, lately deceased, of the great 
statesman, who, in his old age, dares to attempt the renewal of the 
youth of Ireland, A few pages further on we have another amiable- 
reference to this lady, who lived and died a fervent Catholic ; " I am 
very glad old Helen is enjoying herself on the Rhine. How very kind, 
of Miss Gladstone to take her." 

But this is breaking our agreement not to go beyond May, 1852,. 
which ends with this memorandum : " Bought a rosary at Burns's, and 
the Cardinal sent me yesterday a crucifix blessed by the Pope — so E 
am now complete." 



TO A MUSICIAN. 



THY hand strays slowly o'er the trembling wire,. 
Touching it softly, yet with master-grace ; 
I marvel at the passion on thy face, 
Thy gray eyes glowing with unwonted fire. 
Ah ! thy ambition seeks for something higher 
Than level life in this calm country place, 
Its quiet charms have in thy heart no space — 
Go forth! — into the world of thy desire. 

Go forth and win applause. The proud will come 

In mute obedience to thy music's power; 

Perchance, friend, thou shalt miss, in some great hour f 
The tranquil pleasures of thy boyhood's home. 
The wild lark's melody from sky-blue dome — 

The perfect scent of half-blown apple-flower. 

Anna T. Johnston. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 286 ). 



NEW BOOKS. 

We ended our book-notes last month by announcing the very remark- 
able work, just published by Messrs. Burns and Oates for Dr. Frederick 
George Lee, Vicar of Lambeth—" King Edward the Sixth, Supreme 
Head : an Historical Sketch, with an Introduction and Notes." Dr- 
Lee has expended great pains and labour on this work, which begins 
with a most interesting " illustrative genealogical chart," and the fol- 
lowing noteworthy dedication : "To that venerable prelate and holy 
witness to the truth, John Cardinal Fisher, sometime Bishop of the 
ancient diocese of Koch ester; in memory of his solemn warning to the 
Convocation of Canterbury against change, falsehood and wrong ; a 
warning long ago proved to have been so timely and needful ; and in. 
remembrance of his fidelity, patience, and faith, even unto death, 
this volume is inscribed with sincere veneration, in the fervent hope 
that Authority may soon decree to him the beautiful aureole of the 
Beatified, and, in the face of the Church Militant, seal for him the 
abiding dignity of the saintly martyr crowned." Strange, indeed, that 
an Anglican Vicar can thus speak of the beatification of Cardinal 
Fisher by the Holy See, and can still remain an Anglican Vicar. What* 
ever the author's position may be as a theologian, his industry as an 
historian is shown at the outset by seven pages enumerating the 
existing portraits of Edward VI. and the more important personages- 
mixed up with his history. That history is told with great minuteness,, 
and with the vigour and piotureequeness which the readers of Dr.. 
Lee's previous writings have learned to expect. What conclusion 
does he draw from his own work ? Has he heard of the admonition 
given by Pius IX. to one who tarried outside the visible communion 
of God's Church, in the hope of drawing many out of error along with 
himself ? " Save your own soul, my child," said the amiable Pontiff. 

A work which will be of great utility to priests working in England,, 
and which will interest English-speaking priests in other parts of the 
Church, has been published at Shakspere's town, Stratf ord-on-Avon ; — 
" The Synods in English, being the text of the four Synods of West* 
minster, translated into English, and arranged under headings, with 
numerous documents and references." The translation has been made 
by the Bev. Robert E. Guy, O.S.B., under the supervision of another 
English Benedictine, Dr. Hedley, Bishop of Newport and Menevia. 
Bishop Hedley introduces the work in an interesting preface. The- 
printing is very creditable to St. Gregory's Press. 

A few particularly graceful words of preface are placed by th* 

Digitized by VjVJwVJ Iv, 



~286 Note* on New Book*. 

learned and distinguished convert, Mr. T. W. Allies, in front of the 
goodly tome of five hundred pages, in which his daughter has gathered 
her " Leaves from St. Augustine." Miss Mary H. Allies has trans- 
lated for herself from the original. Her father has only revised her 
work when completed. The arrangement and the divisions of matter 
ihelp greatly in calling our attention to points of interest; but we 
wonder how the index to so copious a selection of passages can have 
<been crushed into two or three pages. It is a valuable and interesting 
-vrork, and, brought out so excellently, it is very cheap for six shillings. 
We hope the writer of the following tasteful notice of " The 
^Birthday Book of our Dead" (Dublin : M. H. Gill and Son), which 
w* copy from the American Ave Maria, did not intend a pun in his 
ifirst sentence : — 

Now that the fashion of birthday books has become almost a passion, it is 
.gratifying to find one compiler whose sentiment is so deep that it takes a most 
grave and natural turn. The result is a little volume bound in olive, stamped 
with ink and gold, and bearing, above a vignette of solemn emblems, thia 
.legend, " Death-Days are Birthdays of the Real life." The numerous appro- 
priate poetical and prose selections allotted to each day in the year, are gathered 
.from many quarters, and evidence a liberal and elegant taste in the editor. At 
'the foot of each page there are four blank lines, upon which may be inscribed 
the names of the loved and lost Surely no more wholesome reminder of the 
. joys that are past, and of the greater joys that are to come to the deserving, 
< can be found than is offered in this modest volume. And no one can turn its 
\pages, even where they are still uninacribed, without an emotion at once 
..pathetic and humanizing, as the eye glances at the ominous vacant line, and the 
tstill, small voice of the heart whispers, •* Who next, I wonder P " 

"The Three Sorrows of Story-telling" is a lecture delivered by 
Mr. James Murphy, before the National League Institute of Deny, 
and may be had for sixpence, from the printer, James Montgomery, 
Carlisle-row, Deny. We do not agree with the lecturer's remark 
-about not altering the substance or form of his composition ; no one 
"would have found fault with any change which further study showed 
to be desirable. But, as it stands, it is very interesting and will help 
to prepare its readers for the study of a portion of our country's 
history, from which some of our poets have drawn and others are sure 
to draw their most poetical themes. 

The eloquent Bishop of Angers, when he was simply Abbe Freppel, 
•and professor of sacred eloquence at the Sorbonne, preached to the 
students some " Discourses on the Divinity of Jesus Christ," of which 
a good translation has just appeared in a book which is sent post free 
ior one shilling. Though brief and unpretending, it is one of the 
.soundest and most effective books of its kind. Its title page is the first 
on which we have noticed the name of the publisher, James Masterson, 
-48 South-street, Qrosvenor-square, London. 

The names of some brochures which lie before us will be enough 

Digitized by VjUUV I v. 



Notes on New Books. 287 

"to recommend them to those for whom they are intended: " A Lecture 
on Oatholio Ireland," by the Rev. J. P. Prendergaat (Dublin: M. H. 
•<3ill and 8one); " The Gospel Story of the Passion, of our Lord," by 
'the Rev. Arthur Ryan (London : Oatholio Truth Society) ; " Notes on 
the History of the Catholic Church in England " (same publishers) j 
the Bull for the present Jubilee in Latin, with notes by a Redemptorist 
Theologian (Benziger, New York) ; and " Prayers for the Jubilee," 
by the Rev, Dr. Richards (Burns and Oatee). "The Child of Mary 
before Jesus abandoned in the Tabernacle" (Burns and Oates) is 
almost too holy and too small to be mentioned here. One of the most 
wonderful investments for threepence is the O'Connell Press edition of 
Goldsmith's " Vicar of Wakefield." No. 6 of the " Lays of St. Joseph's 
Ohapel " is devoted to St. Agnes and St. Dorothy (Burns and Oates). 

Just in time for May, Burns and Oates have brought out a very 
pretty new edition of " The Graces of Mary," one of the best books 
- of its kind, showing more literary skill and certainly a better taste in 
English verse than any other. Why is not the compiler named on the 
title page, especially if he or she be dead P For it is many years since 
this little book came out first, though there is no sign here that the 
present is not its first appearance.* Father Kenelm Digby Best, of the 
London Oratory, has also very opportunely published through the 
same publishers a third edition of his "May Chaplet," very sweet 
translations of a collection of May canticles, written in French by 
Father Philpin de Riviere, another disciple of St Philip. 

The last item on our list is not a book but only a very neat pro- 
gramme of work to be gone through in April, May, and June of this 
. year by the Irish Literary Institute of Liverpool. A very appetising 
bill of fare is set forth. It strikes us as very judicious to appoint only 
two speakers for each debate, one on each side. When several com- 
batants engage on each side, the fight is unduly prolonged, especially 
when the chairman thinks with Persius that he ought not to be semper 
auditor tantum. The subjects of the essays to be read by various 
members, are "Richard Dalton Williams," "Dr. Doyle (J.K.L.)," 
44 Gerald Griffin," "Scientific Irishmen," "Blaine on England," 
■" Richard Lalor Sheil, a type of Irish character," "Irish Folk 
Xore," " Charles Dickens," " John Mitchel," " Victor Hugo," " Terence 
Bellew Mac Manus," and, finally, " The Making of Books." Part of 
this programme has already been carried out; but to such of the 
members as have still before them the pleasant task of drawing up 
and elaborating their essays we may venture to give a hint which may 
be found useful now and hereafter. In such a city as Liverpool they 
no doubt have access to some large library like the King's Inns in 
Dublin, or Trinity College, where the back volumes of the magazines 

• We perceWe that The Tablet of April 17 falls into the blunder of retiewing it 
-expressly as the newest of new books instead of thirty years old. 

Digitized by G00gle 



288 Love's Advent. 

and reviews are preserved. These contain an inexhaustible treasury of 
materials for biographical essays and other papers of the sort Use- 
less treasures, if it were not for a marvellous enterprise undertaker* 
and achieved by Dr. Poole, Librarian of the Public Library of Chicago,, 
with the co-operation of many American and European librarians and 
literary men. We have long intended to give some account of this 
^reat " Index to Periodical Literature.*' At present we have only con- 
tsulted it to inform the gentleman of the Irish Literary Institute who- 
is to discuss John Mitchel's life and writings on the 1 1th of June, that 
he may find useful information in the Gentleman's Magazine (New 
Series) vol. 14, p. 593, and the Dublin University Magazine, vol. 85,. 
p. 481, besides two articles in the Democratic Review which is probably 
inaccessible at Liverpool. As for " Charles Dickens " (June 4), threes 
large and close columns are devoted to exact references to magazines, 
and reviews discussing him and his writings from every point of view. 
Finally, Sheil is to be discussed on May 21st ; the essayist might get 
valuable information in the Dublin Review, Iraser, Blackwood, and the. 
other periodicals indexed by Dr. Poole. The writer on " Irish Folk 
Lore" (May 28), may hear of something to his advantage in the- 
Dublin University Magazine, vols. 68, 69, 88, and 89, and in CornhilU 
voL 35. We have not time to specify the pages given in this wonder- 
ful " Index to Periodical Literature," which ought to find an honoured, 
place in every large library. 



LOVE'S ADVENT. 

" "I I* Y dreamful hills, purple with heather flowers, 
JjJL Wax radiant 'neath the passing of His feet ; 
And God's dear sunshine, amber-clear and sweet, 

Clings to His blown gold hair ; from green cool bowers 

Wing the small birds, a-thrill with song that dowers 
The sapphire day : how shall my vain lips greet 
This mighty Lord, whose eyes I fear to meet P 

My soul, will He, in sooth, heed word of ouraP " 

" Master and king and tenderest comforter 
Is He, who loveth heather-flower and bird, 
Blue sky, sweet sunshine, and least things that be ! 
No meanest soul but He hath died for her — 
No faintest prayer but this Crowned One hath heard — 
Love is His name, love only asketh He ! " 

EVELTN PyKK- 

Le 



iooglc 



\ 



( 289 ) 



JUNE IN THE FAMINE YEAB.tf.\ 
By John Mitchel. 

AGAIN the great Sun stands high at noon above the greenest 
Island that lies within his ken on all the broad Zodiac road 
he travels ; and his glory, " like God's own head," will soon blaze 
forth from the solstitial tower. Once more, also — even in this 
June month of the rueful year — the trees have clothed themselves 
in their wonted pomp of leafy umbrage, and the warm air is 
trembling with the music of ten thousand thousand singing-birds, 
and the great All-nourishing Earth has arrayed herself in robes 
of glorious green — the greener for all the Dead she has laid to 
rest within her bosom. 

What ! alive and so bold, Earth ! 

Art thou not over bold P 

What ! leapest thou forth as of old, 
In the light of thy morning mirth ? 

Why, we thought that the end of the world was at hand ; we 
never looked to see a bright genial summer, a bright rigorous 
winter again. To one who has been pent up for months, labouring 
with brain and heart, in the panic-stricken city, haunted by the 
shadow of death, and has heard from afar the low wailing moan 
of his patient, perishing brothers borne in upon every gale, black 
"Visions of the night might well come swarming : to his dulled eye 
a pall might visibly spread itself over the empyrean, to his weary 
ear the cope of Heaven might ring from pole to pole with a muffled 
peal of Doom. Can such s winkt labourer believe that days will ever 
be wholesome any more, or nights ambrosial as they were wont to 
be ? — for is not the Sun in sick eclipse and like to die, and hangs 

* To the recent discussion in The Freeman's Journal, concerning " The 
Hundred Best Irish Books," Judge O'Hagan contributed a long and valuable 
letter, which ends with these words. " There is a paper in The Nation, by 
Mitchel, written in the despairing time of the famine of 1847, to which for 
beauty of description and depth of pathos I hardly know an equal It is 
difficult to read it without .tears." 

This high testimony sent us in search of the essay of twice •' twenty 
golden years ago ; " and we have deemed it right to share our happiness with 
those for whom such a search is impossible. — Ed. I. M. 

Vol. xiv. No. 156. June, 1886. Digitized by GoO^fe 



290 June in the Famine Tear. 

there not upon the corner of the Moon a vaporous drop profound, 
shedding plague and blight, and the blackness of darkness over 
all the world P 

Not so, heavy-laden labourer in the seed field of Time. Sow 
diligently what grain thou hast to sow, nothing doubting ; for 
indeed there shall be hereafter, as of old, genial showers and ripen- 
ing suns, and harvests shall whiten, and there shall verily be living 
men to reap them, be it with sword or sickle. The Sun is not yet 
turned into darkness, nor the Moon into blood ; neither is the 
abomination of desolation spoken of by Jeremy the Prophet yet 
altogether come to pass. Heaven and earth grow not old, as thou 
and thy plans and projects and speculations will all most assuredly 
do. Here have you been gnawing your own heart all winter, about 
the "state of the country," about a railway bill, about small 
rating districts, or about large ; — casting about for means to main- 
tain your own paltry position ; or else perhaps devising schemes, 
fpoor devUJJfor the regeneration of your country, and dreaming 
tEat in your own peculiar committee, clique, confederacy, caucus, 
council, conclave, or cabal, lay Ireland's last and only hope ! — 
until you are nearly past hope yourself — until foul i 
creeping over your Light of life, and insanity is \ 
parietal bone. Apparently you will be driven to this \ 
— to commit suicide, or else, with a desperate rush, to : 
country, leaving the spirits of evil, and the whole rout 
the first running stream. 

We advise the latter course : all the powers of Nat 
and conjure thee to it : every blushing evening 
ward % every blue morning sends its Favonian airs to i 
out in thy study and fan thy cheek, and tell thee over 
whispering woods, what banks of breathing field-floi 
heathy hills fragrant with bog-myrtle and all the ~~ 
moors, what tracts of corn and waving meadows, 
wandered before they came to mix with the foul city-a 
dim with coal-smoke and the breath of multitudinous scon 
On such blue morning, to us, lying wistfully dreaming ^K eyes 
wide open, rises many a vision of scenes that we know to be at 
this moment enacting themselves in far-off lonely glens we wot of. 
Ah ! there is a green nook, high up amidst the foldings of certain 
granite mountains, forty leagues off and more, and there is gur- 
gling through it, murmuring and flashing in the sun, a little stream 
clear as crystal, — the mystic song of it, the gushing freshness of 
it, are even now streaming cool through our adust and too cineri- 




Digitized by 



Google 



June in the Famine Tear. 291 

# 

tious brain ; and, clearly as if present in the body, we seek the 

gray rock that hangs over one of its shallow pools, where the sun- 
rays are broken by the dancing water into a network of tremulous 
golden light upon the pure sand that forms its basin ; and close by, 
with quivering leaves and slender stem of silver, waves a solitary 
birch-tree : and the mountains stand solemn around, and by the 
heather-bells that are breaking from their sheaths everywhere 
under your steps, you know that soon a mantle of richest imperial 
purple will be spread over their mighty shoulders and envelope 
them to the very feet. Lie down upon the emerald sward that 
banks this little pool, and gaze and listen. Through one gorge 
that breaks the mountain mass to the right hand, you see a vast 
cultivated plain, with trees and fields and whitened houses, stretch- 
ing away into the purple distance, studded here and there with 
lakes that gleam like mirrors of polished silver. Look to the left, 
through another deep valley, and, — lo ! the blue Western Sea ! 
And aloft over all, over land and sea, over plain and mountain, 
Tock and river, go slowly floating the broad shadows of clouds, 
rising slowly from the showery south, borne in the lap of the soft, 
wind, slowly climbing the blue dome by the meridian 
; the path of the sun, nimbus after nimbus, cirrus and 
every other cloud after his kind, each flinging his 
as he passes, and then majestically melting off 
at battalions and broad- winged hosts of cloud are 
have we lain but two hours, and there have been 
oming upward from behind the wind, continually 
rard beyond the northern horizon, such wondrous 
led-up mountains of vapour as would shed another 
luge and quench the stars, if the floodgates were once 
I the windows of heaven opened — yet this fragrant, soft- 
buthern gale bears them up bravely on its invisible 
Land softly winnows them on their destined way. They 
f&ission ; — they are going to build themselves up, some- 
rer the Hebrides, into a huge many-towered Cumulostra- 
to-morrow or the day after will come down in thunder 
and storm, and hissing sheets of gray rain, sweeping the Sound 
of Mull with their trailing skirt, and making the billows of Cor- 
rievreckan seethe and roar around his cliffs and caves. Ben 
Oruachan, with his head wrapped in thick night, will send down 
Awe river in raging spate, in a tumult of tawny foam ; and Mor- 
ven shall echo through all his groaning woods. 

But one cannot be everywhere at once. We are not now 




Digitized by 



Google 



292 June in the Famine Tear. 

among the western Isles, buffetting a summer-storm in the Sound 
of Mull ; but here in this green nook, amongst our own Irish granite- 
mountains, at our feet the clear poppling water, over our head the- 
delicate birch-leaves quivering in the warm June air ; and the far- 
off sea smooth and blue as a burnished sapphire. Let the cloud- 
hosts go and fulfil their destiny ; and let us, with open eye and 
ear and soul, gaze and listen. Not only are mysterious splendours- 
around us, but mysterious song gushes forth above us and beneath 
us. In this little brook alone what a scale of notes ! from where- 
the first faint tinkle of it is heard far up as it gushes from the 
heart of the mountain, down through countless cascades, and pools,, 
and gurgling rapids, swelling and growing till it passes our grassy 
couch and goes on its murmuring way singing to the sea : but this 
is only one of the instruments. Hark ! the eloquent Wind, that 
comes sighing up the valley, and whispering with the waving 
fern ! And at intervals, comes from above or beneath, you know 
not which, the sullen croak of a solitary raven, without whose 
hoarse bass you never find Nature's mountain symphony complete r 
— and we defy you to say why the obscene fowl sits there and 
croaks upon his gray stone for half a day, unless it is that Nature- 
puts him in requisition to make up her orchestra, as the evil beast 
ought to be proud to do. And hark again ! the loud hum of' 
innumerable insects, first begotten of the Sun, that flit amongst 
the green heather-stalks and sing all their summer-life through : — 
and then, if you listen beyond all that, you hear, faintly at first as- 
the wierd murmur in a wreathed shell, but swelling till it almost 
overwhelms all the other sounds, the mighty voice of the distant 
Sea. For it is a peculiarity ever of this Earth-music that you can 
separate every tone of it, untwist every strand of its linked sweet- 
ness, and listen to that and dwell upon it by itself. You may shut 
your senses to all save that far-off ocean murmur until it fills your 
ear as with the roar and the rush of ten thousand tempests, and 
you can hear the strong billows charging against every beaked' 
promontory from pole to pole ; or you may listen to the multitu- 
dinous insect hum, till it booms painfully upon your ear-drum, and 
you know that here is the mighty hymn or spiritual song of Life,, 
as it surges ever upward from the abyss : louder, louder, it booms, 
into your brain, — oh, Heavens! it is the ground-tone of that 
thunder-song wherein the Earth goes singing in her orbit among 
the stars. Yes, such and so grand are the separate parts of this- 
harmony; but blend them all and consider what a diapason! 1 
Cathedral organs of all stops, and instruments of thousand strings*. 



Digitized by 



Google 



June in the Famine Tear. 293 

• 
and add extra-additional keys to your pianofortes, and sweetest 

silver flutes, and the voices of men and of angels ; all these, look 
you, all these, and the prima donnas of all sublunary operas, and 
the trills of a hundred Swedish Nightingales, have not the com- 
pass, nor the flexibility, nor the pathos, nor the loudness, nor the 
sweetness required for the execution of this wondrous symphony 
among the hills : — 

11 Loud, as from numbers without number, sweet 
As of blest voices uttering joy."— — 

Loud and high as the hallelujahs of choiring angels — yet withal 
what a trance of Silence! Here in this mountain dell, all the 
while we lie, breathes around such a solemn overpowering stillness, 
that the rustle of an unfolding heath-be ll, tftO_ ^ ft y r -breaks it 
offensively ; and if you listen near enough-+b£ Heavenjj you can 
hear the throb of your own pulse. For indeed the divine Silence 
also is a potent instrument of that eternal harmony, and beara 
melodious part. 

" Such concord is in Heaven ! " Yea, and upon the Earth too,. 
if only toe, we who call ourselves the beauty of the world and 
paragon of animals, did not foully mar it. Out of a man's heart 
proceed evil thoughts ; out of his mouth come revilings and bitter- 
ness and all evil- speaking. In us, and not elsewhere, lies the fatal 
note that jars all the harmonies of the universe, and makes them 
like sweet bells jangled out of tune, rwho w ill show us a way to- 
escape from ourselves and from one another P I Even you, reader ! 
whom we have invited up into this mountain, we begin to abhor 
you in our soul : you are transfigured before us— your eyes are 
become as the eyes of an evil demon — and now we know that thia \ 
gushing stream of living water could not in a lifetime wash away I 
the iniquity from the chambers of thine heart ; the Arch-chemist ■ 
Sun could not burn it out of thee. For know, reader ! thou hast ! 
a devil ; it were better thy mother had not borne thee ; and almost 
we are impelled to murder thee where thou liest. 

" Poor human nature ! Poor human nature ! " So men are 
accustomed to cry out when there is talk of any meanness or weak- 
ness committed, especially by themselves : and they seem to make 
no doubt that if we could only get well rid of our poor human 
nature, we should get on much more happily. Yet human nature- 
is not the worst element that enters into our composition ; — there- 
is also a large diabolic ingredient,— also, if we would admit it, a 
vast admixture of the brute, especially the donkey nature ; — and 



Digitized by 



Google 



1294 June in the Famine Tear. 

• 
then, also, on the other hand, some irradiation of the godlike, and 
by that only is mankind redeemed. 

For the sake whereof we forgive thee, comrade; and will 
for bear to do thee a mischief w juvr^tliA present occasion ^ But note 
well how the very thought of all these discords has silenced, or 
made inaudible to us, all those choral songs of earth and sky. We 
listen, but there is silence, mere common silence : it is no use 
•crying encore ! either the performers are dumb, or we are stone 
•deaf. Moreover, as evening comes on, the grass and heath grow 
somewhat damp, and one may get cold in his human nature. Rise, 
then, and we will show you the way through the mountains to 
eeaward, where we shall come down upon a little cluster of seven 
or eight cabins ; in one of which cabins, two summers ago, we 
supped sumptuously on potatoes and salt with the decent man who 
lives there, and the black-eyed woman-of-the-house, and five 
small children. We had a hearty welcome, though the fare was 
poor ; and as we - toasted our potatoes in the greeshaugh, our ears 
•drank in the honey-sweet tones of the well-beloved Gaelic. If it 
were only to hear, though you did not understand, mothers and 
children talking together in their own blessed Irish, you ought to 
betake you to the mountains every summer. The sound of it 
is venerable, majestic, almost sacred. You hear in it the tramp of 
•clans,' the wise judgments of Brehons, the songs of Bards. There 
is no name for "modern enlightenment" in Irish, no word cor- 
responding with " the masses," or with " reproductive labour : " 
in short, the "nineteenth century" would not know itself, 
•could not express itself in Irish. For the which let all men 
bless the brave old tongue, and pray that it may never fall 
silent by the hills and streams of holy Ireland, — never until 
long after the great nineteenth century of centuries with its 
-" enlightenment " and its " paupers " shall be classed in its true 
category, " the darkest of all the Dark Ages." 

As we come down towards the roots of the mountain, you may 
feel, loading the evening air, the heavy balm of hawthorn blossoms : 
here are whole thickets of white-mantled hawthorn, every mystic 
tree (save us all from fairy thrall !) smothered with snow-white 
flowers and showing like branching coral in the South Pacific. 
And be it remembered that never in Ireland, since the last of her 
Chiefs sailed away from her, did that fairy tree burst into such, 
luxuriant beauty and fragrance as this very year. The evening, 
too, is delicious : the golden sunset has deepened into crimson, 
over the sleeping sea, as we draw near the hospitable cottages : 



Digitized by 



Google 



June in the Famine Tear. 295 

almost you might dream that you beheld a vision of the Connaught 
•of the thirteenth century, for that — 

" The clime indeed is a clime to praise, 
The clime is Erin's, the green and bland : 
And this is the time — these be the days 
Of Cahal Mor of the Wine-red Hand " 

<Jahal Mor, in whose days both land and sea were fruitful, and the 
yeanlings of the flocks were doubled, and the horses champed 
yellow wheat in their mangers. 

But why do we not see the smoke curling from those lowly 
^chimneys P — And surely we ought by this time to scent the well- 
known aroma of the turf fires. But what (may Heaven be about 
us this night !) — what reeking breath of hell is this oppressing the 
•air, heavier and more loathsome than the smell of death rising 
from the fresh carnage of a battle-field P Oh, misery ! had we 
forgotten that this was the Famine Tear ? And we are here in 
the midst of one of those thousand Golgothas, that border our 
island with a ring of death from Cork harbour all round to Lough 
Foyle. There is no need of inquiries here, no need of words ; 
the history of this little society is plain before us. Yet we go 
iorward, though with sick hearts and swimming eyes, to examine 
the Place of Skulls nearer. There is a horrible silence ; grass 
.grows before the doors ; we fear to look into any door, though 
they are all open or off the hinges ; for we fear to see yellow 
•chapless skeletons grinning there; but our footfalls rouse two 
lean dogs, that run from us with doleful howling, and we know 
by the felon gleam in their wolfish eyes, how they have lived, 
after their masters died. We walk amidst the houses of the 
Dead, and out at the other side of the cluster, and there is not one 
where we dare to enter. We stop before the threshold of our host 
•of two years ago, put our head, with eyes shut, inside the door- 
jamb, and say with shaking voice " God save all here ! " — No 
■answer — ghastly silence, and a mouldy stench, as from the mouth 
of burial-vaults. Ah ! they are all dead ; they are all dead ; the 
strong man and the fair dark-eyed woman, and the little ones, 
with their liquid Gaelic accents that melted into music for us two 
years ago ; they shrunk and withered together, until their voices 
dwindled to a rueful gibbering, and they hardly knew one another's 
faces, but their horrid eyes scowled on each other with a cannibal 
.glare. We know the whole story ; — the father was on a " public 
work/' and earned the sixth part of what would have maintained 

Digitized by G00gle ^— 



296 June in the Famine Tear. 

his family, which was not always duly paid him ; but still it kept 
them half alive for three months, and so instead of dying in 
December they died in March. And the agonies of those three 
months who shall tell P — the poor wife wasting and weeping over 
her stricken children, — the heavy-laden weary man, with black 
night thickening around him — thickening within him, feeling his 
own arm shrink, and his step totter with the cruel hunger that 
gnaws away his life, and knowing too surely that all this will 
soon be over. And he has grown a rogue, too, on those public 
works: with roguery and lying about him, roguery and l ying 
above him, Re has begun to say in his heart that there is no i±oo£\f 
from a poorbut honest farmer he has sunk down into a swindling 
sturdy beggar : for him there is nothing firm or stable : the pillars 
of* the world are rocking around him : " the Sun to him is dark 
and silent, as the Moon when she deserts the night/' Even ferocity 
or thirst for vengeance, he can never feel again : for the very 
blood of him is starved into a thin, chill serum, and if you prick 
him he will not bleed. Now, he can totter forth no longer, and 
he stays at home to die. But his darling wife is dear to him no 
longer : alas ! and alas ! there is a dull, stupid malice in their 
looks : they forget that they had five children, all dead weeks ago 
and flung coffinless into shallow graves : nay, in the frenzy of 
their despair they would rend one another for the last morsel in 
that house of doom ; and at last, in misty dreams of drivelling 
idiocy, they die utter strangers. 

Oh ! Pity and Terror ! what a tragedy is here, — deeper, darker 
than any bloody tragedy ever yet enacted under the sun, with all 
its dripping daggers and sceptred palls. Who will compare the 
fate of men burned at the stake, or cut down in battle, men with 
high hearts and the pride of life in their veins, and an eye to- 
look up to heaven, or to defy the slayer to his face — who will com- 
pare it with this i 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 297 ) 



THE TOUCH OF A MOTHER'S HAND. 

4t VOU may go now and sit by his bed, 
J- Step noiselessly in, and silent keep. 
Do not disturb hiin ; the doctor has said 
It may be death if you break his sleep." 

"I will keep most still, you can trust me to go; 

I can nurse him better than any one — 
Don't think me ungrateful— your kindness I koow; 

God will reward you for what you have done 1 " 

She passed through the ward ; and jokes and mirth, 
And murmurs and cries of anguish cease ; 

And there came a calm, such as falls on earth 
When an angel speeds on a mission of peace. 

Many a dying one, as she passed, 

To bless her feebly lifted his head ; 
And she came where a young soldier lay at last, 

And she knelt down silently by his bed. 

He was only a boy, wounded and weak ; 

And one could scarcely discern, in truth, 
Whether the ruddy hue on his cheek 

Was the fever-flush, or the flush of youth. 

As she knelt by his bed, on the oaken floor, 
He spoke in his dreams to an absent one ; 

" Lillie, I will come back once more, 

And we will be wed when the war is done." 

Her hand on his forehead, unthinking, she laid, 

As his feverish face she gently fanned; 
.And the dying soldier, awaking, said : 

" That feels like the touch of my mother's hand." 

' Then around the ward his eyes wildly roam, 

Till they rest on a pale and wrinkled face — 
* Mother ! w u My child ! " "I knew you would come ! 
And she clasped her boy in a fond embrace. 

" And so the romance of love is o'er ; 

When I am gone, you must bid her not fret- 
Tell her to think of me no more ; 

Mother, I will not ask you to forget. 



Digitized by 



Google 



298 The Touch of a Mother's Hand. 

" A moment since, I was dreaming of home ; 

A child once more, 1 lay down to rest, 
And I thought to my bedside that you had come 

And blessed me as you often blessed. 

" I wake to find that my dream is true, 

And that oTer many a weary mile 
The old fond love has guided you 

To see your boy for a little whiie. 

" I did not think that life had in store 
For me such an exquisite joy as this — 

To feel the touch of your hand once more, 
To feel on my brow once more your kiss. 

" Then rest your hand on my fevered brow ; 

Kiss me again — but you must not weep ; 
Smile as of old — I am happy now , 

Good-bye for awhile, I will go to sleep. 

«' Good-bye, good-bye I I am reconciled ; " 
And she kissed his brow ; " but 'tis hard to part ; 

Ah ! do not blame these tears, my child, 
They are welling up from a mother's heart." 

M Good-bye, good-bye I I will soon awake 
Where again we will meet, in the better land." 

Then he slept : 'twas the sleep that nought could break- 
Not even the touch of a mother's hand, 

Richard E. White. 
San FranciKo. 



JDigi 



( 299 ) 



MAUREEN LACEY. 

BT K08A MTJLHOLLAND, 

AOTHOB OF H TAORANT T«M«8," " XILLUTT," ** KABCILLA OBACB," «TC, ETC. 

CHAPTER II. 

The next night a yellow moon hung high over Bofin, gilding the* 
spars of the Liverpool trader, rocking still in the harbour. The* 
headlands lay like good-natured giants smiling in their dreams, and 
an ocean of silver glimmered out of the obscurity of space and 
washed their feet. Along the road to the North Beach a man was 
plodding with a parcel under his arm. There were few in the 
island who would walk abroad, alone, once the night had set in, for 
the spiritual population of Bofin is said to outnumber those who 
are counted in flesh and blood, and the night is the elfin day. Men 
and women shut themselves into their cabins at twilight and love 
not solitary walks. But Con Lavelle was one of the few. It is. 
customary to bring a friend for support upon the mission on which 
he was bent. Con had his reasons for going alone. His expedi- 
tion was a forlorn one. Why should another behold his 
defeat P 

Con Lavelle had loved Maureen Lacey long. Last night had 
shown him that if his chance were not speedily improved, it would 
very quickly become nothing. The Widow Lacey smiled on him 
he knew, for she reckoned on Con's soft nature and Con's good farm 
to help her out of many of her difficulties. This was little, however,, 
while Maureen was cold. Last night he had seen her melt and 
brighten, and though the change, he knew, had not been wrought 
by him, his heart had so ached at her more than wonted beauty, 
that he could not, like a wise man, turn his face the other way and 
think of her no longer. No, he would have his chance out. He would 
offer her his love, and if she would not have that, he would bribe 
her with his comfortable house, his goodly land, and help and pro- 
tection for her family. If Maureen could not give him her love, he 
would grieve ; but, if Maureen could be bought, he would buy 
her. 

This was the state of Con's mind when he lifted the Lacey* 
latch. As ever, the place was lighted by the fire, and there was an 

Digitized by G00gle 



: 300 Maureen Lacey. 

air of hush and tidiness within that betokened expectation of some- 
thing unusual. The children were all in bed, the house was swept, 
the bits of tins' and crockeries were all straight on the humble 
■dresser, the few rude chairs were ranged with precision along by 
the walls. Maureen's stepmother was dozing in her little straw 
chair in the warmest corner. Maureen stood on the hearth, 
in her work-a-day crimson petticoat and loose bodice of print, 
with the blaze playing over her pretty bare feet, not yet 
spoiled by exposure, and deepening the rose flush on her cheeks, 
and gilding the wilful ripples of hair that would creep out and 
keep straying about her forehead. Twice Maureen had slipped 
" down to the room," and pressed her face to the one little pane of 
the window, and peered forth at the night without, where the yellow 
moonlight fell rich and flat on the rugged causeway, and the 
silver Atlantic shifted and glimmered between the grey stonewalls 
of the neighbouring cabins. And the last time she had withdrawn 
frer face with a gesture of dismay. This was not the shape she 
wanted to see, this loose, swinging figure coming along with its 
awkward shadow. 

Con lifted the latch and came in. The noise wakened the 
widow, who hailed him with glad surprise. "What can bring 
him to-night again?" flashed through the minds of both the 
women, followed also by the same surmise, only the latter was 
with one a hope, with the other a fear. Maureen's " Save ye, 
Con ! " was only a feeble echo of her stepmother's greeting, wrung 
from her by the absolute requirements of hospitality. Curiosity 
was quickly allayed, and hope and fear confirmed. Advancing to 
the dresser with a sheepish air, the visitor set down a bottle of 
whiskey, pipes, and tobacco. Thus his errand was at once declared. 
Con Lavell had come " matchmaking." 

The stepmother rubbed her wasted hands with delight. " You're 
welcome, Con, agra, machree ! " she said. " Maureen, set out the 
•table, an' fetch the glasses, an' fill the pipes." 

Maureen did as she was bidden, uncorked the bottle, and 
handed the glass and kindled pipe to her mother, all with a set 
defiance on her face, which did not escape the timorous suitor. 

" Ye'll be come on business, Con P " began the widow. 

" Ay," said Con, blushing and fidgeting. " I come, Mrs. 
Lacey, to ask yer daughter for a wife. God sees I'll make her as 
good a husband as iver laid all he had in a girl's lap and only axed 
for hersei' in return." 

" It's thrue for you, Con dear," said the stepmother, " Oh, 



Digitized by 



Google 



Maureen Lacey. 301 

can' ye have her with my heart's best wish. Come down, Maureen, 
-and give yer han' to yer husband." 

Maureen had been standing, pale, over in the shadows, at the 
•dresser. Now she moved down to the hearth, " Not my husband," 
she said, " an* niver my husband. In my heart I'm thankful to 
ye, Con Lavelle, for thinkin' kindly of a poor girl like me, but I 
•cannot take yer offer." 

" Good Lord, sioh talk ! " cried the widow, enraged. " Don't 
mind her, Con, asthore, it's only a way girls has, likin' to keep 
themsel'8 high, an' small blame to them ! She'll be yours, niver 
fear, an* willin' an' plased on her weddin'-day." 

•' Mother," said Maureen, " where's the use of talkin' this ways ? 
Yer not my God, nor my Maker, that ye have a right to han' over 
my soul an* body to this man or that man again my will. An' 
you, Con Lavelle, yer a dacent man, an' ye wouldn't be for takin' 
a girl to yer wife that had her heart set in one that wasn't you. I'm 
a pledged wife, an 1 as good as a wife this minit in the eyes o' the 
Almighty above ; an' thrue and fast 1*11 stan 1 to my word, so help 
me Christ, my Saviour ! " 

Slowly, and with a stern reverence in her tone, Maureen 
uttered these last words, her eyes on the ground and her 
'hands squeezed together. Con hung his head and hoped no more, 
:and the stepmother rocked herself to and fro in her feebleness, 
and raged with disappointment. 

" You bould hizzy," she cried. " Oh, you bould, shameless 
hizzy, that's been decavin' me all this time ! Goin' jiggin to yer 
dances an' makin' yer matches, an' throwin dust in the eyes of 
the poor sickly mother at home. Oh, you bad, onnatural 
* daughter ." 

" Aisy, aisy, Mrs. Lacey," put in soft-hearted Con. 4< Throth 
I'll not listen to that from ye. If Maureen cannot like me, I'll 
tell the truth o' her. She's the good hard-workin' daughter to 
you, whatever ! " 

" Hould yer tongue ! " shrieked the passionate woman. " What 
do you know about it P Troth ye take yer answer kindly. It's 
always the likes o' a soft fool like you that gets the worst of it 
while the world's goin' roun'. Oh, wirra, wirra, that iver I 
should rear sich a daughther ! " 

Maureen stepped up to Con and put out her hand. " I thank 

ye," she said, eagerly, " for puttin' in that kind word for me. I 

have thried to do her biddin', an' God sees it's her own fault that it's 

.come to this so soon. I'm rale grateful to ye, Con, an' if I could 

Vol. xiv. No. 156. 23 i 

Digitized by VjUUV Iv, 



302 Maureen Lacey. 

make two women o' myself wan o' me should be yer wife. Bern* 
only wan, I must go afther my heart." 

Big tears swelled up in Con's eyes as he shook her hand and 
let it drop. " It's thrue for you, Maureen/' was all he said. 

" Oh ! " cried the stepmother, fiercely—" oh ! if I could just 
get my tongue about that limb of the divil, Mike Tiernay " 

" God save all here ! " said a hearty voice, as the latch was. 
lifted, and Mike himself stood amongst them. Maureen, blushing, 
fell back into the shadows and left the battle to him. 

" Lend us yer arm, Con," cried the stepmother, trying to stand. 
" Begone ! " she shrieked, shaking her puny fist at Mike, " begone 
from my house, you thief, you beggar ! " 

" Troth, yer not well, Mrs. Lacey, dear," said Mike, "yeimot- 
well at all. An' it's Con's fault here for givin' you too sthrong a 
taste o' this fine whiskey o' his, an' you so wake about the head* 
Sit down now, Mrs. Lacey, asthore, an' rest yersel' a bit," he went 
on coaxingly, slipping her hand from Con's arm, settling her in 
her chair, and drawing a seat confidentially beside her. " An* 
f eth ye may make yer mind aisy about thieves an' beggars, for there- 
isn't a sowl of sich a crew in the house at all : sorra wan ; nor out 
bye neither, for the moon's as bright as daylight, an 9 1 couldn't 
miss but see them if they were there." 

All this was poured forth in Mike's own rolling, coaxing,, 
devil-may-care tone, completely drowning any attempt of the 
widow's to finish her interrupted volley of abuse. She sat grasp- 
ing the sides of her chair, in silence, and mentally scratching his. 



" Oh, the imperence of ye ! " she hissed between her teeth, at 
last, " to think to come round me with your blarney. I know yer 
errand " 

" You do, Mrs. Lacey P " said Mike, " you know that Mau- 
reen " here his eyes deepened and flashed, and a smile 

overspread his brave face as he glanced at a shadowy corner op- 
posite, " that Maureen has promised me her own sel' for a wife gin 
this day year when I come home from my voyage ? Ye ve heard 
of the sthrange vessel that's been lyin' below all week. Well, the 
captain is a dacent man, an' he's offered to take me with him in 
his ship, and promised to put me in a way of earnin' in a year as. 
much money as 'U do all I'll want it to do. On this day twel'month 
I'll come back a well-to-do man, plase God, an' I'll buy the best 
holdin' in Bofin, save an' exceptin' Con Lavelle's here. Maureen 
has give me her word to wait for me. An' that's my errand, ta 
ell ye all this that's arranged betune us." 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



Maureen Lacey. 303 

This information of Mike's threw a light on the widow's per- 
plexity, and the storminess of her wrath became somewhat 
calmed. 

u Ye'll niver come back/' she said, with a sneer, u wanst yer 
off out of Bofin with yer blarneyin' tongue an' yer rovin' ways, 
aorra fnt will ye iver set in it again." 

"Don't say that, Mrs. Lacey," said Mike, gravely. "You 
mnsn't say that, an' me ready to swear the conthrairy." 

" Ay," she sneered again ; " the likes o' ye'll swear to any- 
thing ; but who'll heed ye P I say it would be better for Maureen 
to take up at wanst with a dacent man like Con Lavelle there, 
sitting peaceable at home on his farm, than to be waitin' for years 
till a rover like yon takes the notion to turn up again from the 
other ind o' the world. Which ye niver will." 

" Well, Mrs. Lacey," said Mike, drawing himself up, and 
speaking solemnly, " III give Maureen her lave, full and free, to 
marry Con Lavelle come this day year, if I be not here to claim 
her first myselV 

" Ay," said Maureen, looking suddenly out from the shadows ; 
" an I'll give my word full and free to marry Con Lavelle come 
this day year if Mike be not here to claim me first." 

" Ye'll swear that P " said the stepmother. 

" Ay, we'll swear it both if you like," said Mike, smiling 
proudly down on Maureen. 

" He's ready enough to han' you over, Maureen," said the 
widow, with another of her sneers. " Ye'll be 'feared to do the 
same by him, I'm thinkin'." 

Maureen made no reply, but, slipping her band out of Mike s 
went over to the dresser and reached up for something, to a little 
cracked cup on the shelf. 

" Here's two rings," she said, coming back to the hearth, 
" wan I got on the last fair day, an' the other I got last fright in 
Biddy Prendergast's cake. There's for you, Con, an' there's for 
you, Mike. Wan o' you men '11 put wan o' them rings on my 
finger come this day year ; Con, if I'm left for him ; Mike, if he's 
home in time. This I swear, mother, in spite o' yer tants, an' by 
the Blessed Vargin I'll keep my oath ! " 

A silence fell on the group. The blaze of the fire dropped 
down, and a shadow covered the hearth. A momentary cloud 
passed over Mike's proud face in the flush of its rash 'happy confi- 
dence. Was it a whispered reminder of the perils that beset the 
sailor abroad on the seas — of storms, of great calms, of ships 

Digitized by G00gle 



304 Maureen Lacey. 

drifted out of their tracks P But Mike was not one to fret his 
mind about shadows. 

"Ye'U dhrink to that all round P" said Con Lavelle, 
presently. 

"Ay, we'll dhrink to 't," said Mike, gaily; and Maureen 
mending the fire, a jovial glow lit up the house once more. 

Con Lavelle had become a different man within the last few 
minutes. His dejected face was kindled, and his brawny hand 
shook as he poured the whiskey into the glasses. 

" Here's to Maureen's happy weddin' on this day year ! " he 
said, knocking the glass against his teeth, as he raised the spirit to 
his lips. " Amen, amen," went round in reply, and matters being 
thus concluded, the two men presently took their leave, and quitted 
the cabin together. 

"Look ye here, Mike Tiernay," said Con Lavelle, stopping 
short, as the two walked along in the moonlight, " I'll give you 
wan warnin' afore I part ye. I have loved Maureen Lacey since 
iver she was able to toddle. Seem she liked ye the best, I would 
not have made nor meddl't betune ye. But with yer own, an' her 
own free will, she took an' oath to-night, afore my face, an' 
mind I'll make her stick to her bargain. Look to 't well, an' come 
home for yer wife in time, for sorra day, nor hour, nor minit o' 
grace will I give you, if so it falls out that ye fail her P " 

Mike Tiernay drew up his towering figure, and looked con- 
temptuously into the feverish face of his rival. 

"When yer axed for day, or hour, or minit o' grace, Con 
Lavelle," he said, " then come an' give me yer warnin's. Ye may 
wish me what evil ye plase, but the Almighty himsel' will blow 
the blast that '11 bring me o'er the seas to make ruin o' yer evil 
hopes. I'm lavin' my wife in His hands, an' heed me, man, ye 
shall niver touch her ! " 

Shame fell on Con for a moment, and his better nature was 
found. 

" I do not wish ye evil, Mike Tiernay," he said, sulkily, " but 
only to have my chance." 



Digitized by 



Google 



Maureen Lacey. 305 



CHAPTER III. 

Maureen's year of trial began in peace. Her stepmother's tongue 
was leas harsh than usual, and Con Lavelle had left her un- 
troubled. There was a light in her eye as she faced the blast of 
a morning, and a pride in her step as she moved through the 
house, that bade defiance to all external powers to make her less 
happy and blest than she was. She repaid her mother's for- 
bearance with extra care and exertion. Hard work was play to 
her now. Christmas season was Midsummer- time. Whistling 
winds were but music to dance to, and pelting rains like the light 
May dew. All the frost of her nature was thawed. She laughed 
with the children at supper-time, and told them stories when her 
work was done. Her eyes were brighter, and her lips more softly 
curled. Her words to all were less scant than they had been, and 
the tone of her voice sweeter. Her days went quickly past, because 
every task that she wrought, and every hour that she filled, 
brought her nearer to next Hallow Eve. Her trust in Mike was as 
whole as her trust in God. 

So the winter passed, and the months of early spring, and then 
this happy phase of her life wore, bit by bit, away. The widow 
began to sigh, and cast up her eyes when Mike was mentioned, 
and Con Lavelle to oome dropping in in the lengthening evenings 
to smoke his pipe, and to question Mrs. Lacey concerning her 
" rumatics." Maureen pretended to take no notice, only went to 
bed earlier of nights to be out of the way, gave shorter answers 
when spoken to, and began to creep gradually back again into her 
old reserved self. This went on for a time, and then the step- 
mother began to speak openly of Mike as a deserter, sneering at 
Maureen for putting her faith in him, or congratulating her on 
having won a thrifty man like Con Lavelle. Still Maureen en- 
dured, going steadily on with her work, never seeming to hear 
what was said, nor to see what was meant. 

Presently Con Lavelle began to ohange his demeanour ; growing 
regular and systematic in his attentions ; sending boys to cut her 
turf and carry her rack, and do odd rough jobs for her by stealth. 
Her stern rejection of these real services made very little difference 
to Con, who went steadily on laying siege to her gratitude in a number 
of subtle ways. The stepmother grew more sickly ; and how could 
Maureen, who had little to give her, turn Nan Lavelle from the 
door, when she came smiling in of an evening with a nice fat 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



306 Maureen Lacey. 

chicken under her cloak, or a morsel of mutton for broth f Or 
how could she throw in the fire the gay new nappikeen bought on 
the last fair day, which the widow wore tied on her head, and 
which Con had not dared to present to Maureen P Con was not 
bold, but sly. He did nothing that Maureen could resent, but he 
kept her in constant remembrance of her promise. Often, as he 
smoked his pipe at his farm-house door at sunset, he would slip 
out a little brass ring from his pocket, twirl it on the top of ftis 
own huge finger, and smile at the vacant Atlantic, lying sail-less 
and sunny before him. Why should Mike Tiernay return P 

So the year went on, and October came round again. There 
was much speculation in the island as to how it would go with 
Maureen Lacey. Some vowed that Mike would be true to his 
time, and others that Maureen ought to bless her stars that would 
leave her to Con Lavelle. Of Maureen herself the gossips could 
make little. " He'll come/' was all she would say in answer to 
hints, and inquiries. As the end of the month drew near, public 
excitement ran high. Men made bets, and kind-hearted women 
said prayers for Maureen. Con Lavelle went about his farm with 
feverish eyes and a restless foot, whilst in-doors Nan already made 
rare preparations. At the North Beach the stepmother talked 
incessantly about the wedding, and her pride that a daughter of 
hers should be mistress of Fawnmore Farm. As the days narrowed 
in about her, Maureen struggled hard to go and come like one 
who was deaf and blind. She made ready her humble trousseau, 
knitting her new grey stockings, and stitching her new blue 
cloak, bending her sharpened face over her work, contradicting no 
one, and questioning no one. Neighbours who chanced to meet 
the flash of her eye went away crossing themselves. People began 
to feel afraid of Maureen Lacey* 

At last Hallow Eve arrived. Biddy Prendergast gave another 
of her dances, and Peggy Moran figured at it, as the bride of the 
young man from America, on whom she had bestowed herself, her 
three cows, and her two feather-beds. But Con Lavelle and his 
sister Nan were busy at home, making ready for that wedding of 
the morrow, which was the subject of eager discussion at Biddy's 
tea-table to-night. The wedding feast was to be spread at Fawn- 
more, and many guests had been invited. 

It was a rough wild night. If the Bofiners were less hardy 
a race, or if the storm had commenced in its violence an hour or 
two earlier, Biddy Prendergast must have had few guests at her 
dance that Hallow Eve. About eight o'clock, Nan Lavelle ' 

Digitized by VjOOQu 



Mamtten Looey. 307 

lending over her pot-oven inspecting the browning of her cakes, 
and Oon was nailing up a fine new curtain on the kitchen window 
to make the place look more snug than usual. The wind bellowed 
•down the chimney, and its thunders overhead drowned the noise 
of the hammer, and the sound of some one knocking for ad- 
mittance outside. Suddenly the door was pushed open, and 
Maureen Lacey came whirling breathless over the threshold, 
with the storm driving in like a troop of fiends let loose after 
her heels. Her face was white and streamed with rain; her 
dripping hair and the soaked hood of her cloak were dragged back 
from her head upon her shoulders. She tried to close the door 
behind her, but could not, and the yelling wind kept pouring in, 
•dashing everything about the kitchen as though the place were 
invaded by an army of devils. 

" God save us ! " cried Nan, dropping her knife, and rushing to 
ahut the door. 

" Maureen ! " said Con, with a blaze of surprise on his face, 
•coming eagerly to meet her, and attempting to draw the wet cloak 
-from her shoulders. " If ye had any word to say to me, asthore, 
.ye might have sent one o' the childher airly an' let me know. I'd 
have walked twenty mile for yer biddin' f orbye wan, an' the night 
was ten times worse than it is." 

Maureen shook off his touch with a shudder, and retreated a 
«tep or two. 

" I haven't much to say," she said, hoarsely, " only this. What 
ctime o' day have ye settl't for to-morra P " 

" Ten o'clock," said Con, sullenly, his glow all extinguished, 
and his face dark. 

" Ten ! " echoed Maureen. " O Con," she cried, clasping her 
hands, and raising her wild eyes to his face in a pitiful appeal, 
« Con, make it twelve ! " 

Con glanced at her and cast his eyes on the ground in dogged 
shame. " Let it be twelve, thin," he said. "I cannot stan yer 
white face, though the same white face might harden a man, 
seein' what's to happen so soon. This much I'll grant ye, but ye 
needn't ax no more. I have stood my chance fair an' honest, an' 
I'll not let ye off with yer bargain." 

Maureen's supplicating face at this, was crossed by a change 
that made the bridegroom start 

" You let me off P" she said, scornfully. "If you, or any man 
or mortal had it in their power to let me off, I wouldn't be comin' 
jprayin' to ye here to-night But I swore an oath to my God, an' 



Digitized by 



Google 



308 Maureen Lacey. 

to Him I must answer for 't. An 9 that was the rash s wearin' wEe» 
death wasn't. put in the bargain. For mind ye, Con Lavelle, 
there's nothin' on land or say, but death only, '11 bring me to yer 
side to-morra in yondher chapel. Whisht 1 " she said, as a long- 
thundering gust roared oyer the roof, " there's death abroad to- 
night. Las' night I saw a ship comin' sailing sailin', an 9 some- 
body wavin', wavin', an' a big wave rolled over the ship, an' thin 
there rose wan screech. I woke up, an' there was the storm 

koenin', keenin' Nan Lavelle, will ye give me a mouthful o*~ 

could wather P " 

She drank the draught eagerly, and then she gathered her wet 
cloak around her. 

" Thank ye," she said. " I'll be goin' now. Good night to ye/*' 
Con wakened out of his black reverie and sprang to the door» 
" Maureen ! " he cried, grasping her cloak to detain her. " Ye^ 
dar not go out yer lone in the rage o' yon wind. Stop a bit* 
an' " 

" Let me go ! " said Maureen, fiercely, shaking him off. " You'd 
betther let me go, for I will not answer for all my doin's this 
night." 

Her hands were wrenching at the bar, and the door flew open 
as she spoke. Again the blast poured in with its frightful 
gambols. Con Lavelle and his sister fell back, and Maureen'* 
white face vanished in the darkness. Nan Lavelle made fast the- 
door again, and returned to her pot-oven with a weight upon her- 
heart. Thoroughly matter-of-fact as was this young woman, it 
did not occur to her now for the first time that to-morrow's 
wedding would be an ill-omened event. There was an hour of 
silence between the brother and sister, and then Nan cried, aghast, 
as the crashing overhead arose to a horrible pitch. 

" God keep us, Con ! it's thrue what Maureen said. There'll 
be death abroad afore mornin' P" 

" Ay ! " muttered Con, as he stalked restlessly up an' down 
with his hands in his pockets. " But it's thrue as well what she 
said forbye — they did not put death in the bargain. Dead or alive,. 
if he beant here, 'fore Heaven I'll have my rights ! " 

The people of Bofin are accustomed to storms. The tempest is. 
their lullaby, their alarm, their burly friend, or their treacherous- 
enemy. It rocks the cradle when they are born, rings the knell, 
when they die, and keens over them in their graves. "When there 
is no storm the world seems to come to a stand-still. Yet the oldest 
islander cannot recollect so awful a night as this eve of Maureen's. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Maureen Laeey. 3<M> 

wedding. Few will understand all that this means, for few can 
imagine the terrors of a Bofin hurricane ; how the sad barren 
island is scourged by its devastating rage ; hew the shrill cries of 
drowning hundreds come ringing through its smothering clamour ; 
how the tigerish Atlantic rushes hungrily over its cliffs, roaring 
" Wrecks ! wrecks ! " and goes hissing back again to do its deeds of 
destruction. 

A night like this brings spoils to the island shore, and many 
are abroad, looking right and left, by break of day. On this 
particular morning, at early dawn, two men were hurrying along 
the north-east headlands. The might of the storm had subsided, 
and the black night was blenching to a pallid grey. Streaks of 
purple and green rode over the seething ocean, tinging the foam of 
the tossing surges, whose blinding wreaths thickened in the air like 
angry snow-drifts. Now rosy bars began blushing out from the 
eastward, glowing and spreading till the sky seemed as swept by the 
trail of fiery wings — the fiery wings of the Angel of Death, passing 
in again at the gates of heaven. Coming along in this splendid 
dawn, the two men saw a female figure hastening, as if to meet 
them. 

It was Maureen in her wedding-gown and her wedding-cloak, 
with a new azure kerchief tied over her pretty gold hair. Her 
face was turned to the sea, and the men saw only the rim of her 
thin white cheek as she passed them by without seeming to see 
them. 

" Presarve us ! " said one ; " she's ready for her weddin' airly. 
Where is she boun' for at this hour, do ye think P " 

" God knows! " said the other. " I niver seen a sowl got so 
wild-like. If I was Con Lavelle, I would wash my hand's o' 
her." 

" Sorra fears o' Con doin' any such thing ! " laughed the 
other. " But where ondher heaven is she gettin' out to now P 
Mother o' Marcy ! it's not goin' to dhrownd herself she is P " 

The men were still on the headlands, but Maureen had de- 
scended to the beach. Ploughing her way through the wet, 
slippery shingle, she had gained a line of low rocks, on which 
the surf was dashing, and she was now clambering on hands and 
knees to reach the top of the farthest and most difficult of the 
chain yet bared. 

" Och, it's lookin' for Mike she is, poor girl ! " said one of the- 
men, " an' feth she may save hersel' the throuble. The safest ship 
that iver he sailed in wouldn't carry him within miles o' Bofin 



Digitized by 



Google 



310 Maureen Lacey. 

last night Whisht ! what's yon black thing out far there agin the 
sky P Show us yer glass." 

The other produced an old battered smuggler's telescope, and, 
turn about, ihey peered long and steadily out to sea. 

" Oh, throth it's a wreck ! " said the one. 

" Ay, f eth I " said the other. 

" Well! " said the first, "God rest the poor sowls that are 
gone to their reck'nin, but it's an ill win' that blows nobody 
good. There'll be many's the bit of a thing washin' in afore 
nightfall. Maureen ! " he cried out, suddenly, raising his voice to 
a roar. 6t My God ! I was feared she was mad. Maureen ! " 

A long, unearthly cry was the answer, ringing through the 
dawn. Maureen had been crouching on her knees, dangerously 
bending to the foam, as if searching under the curve of each 
breaker as it crashed up and spilt its boiling froth upon the rock. 
Now she rose up with her terrific cry, and, throwing her arms 
wildly over her head, leaped into the sea and disappeared. 

Running swiftly down the headlands, the men gained the 
beach, and there they saw Maureen, not floating out to sea upon 
the waves, but standing battling with them, up to her waist in the 
seething foam, clinging with one hand to the rock beside her, and 
with the other tugging in desperation at something dark and heavy 
that rose and sank with the swelling and rebounding of the tide. 
Dashing into the water the men were quickly at her side. 

" It is Mike ! " gasped Maureen, half blinded, half choking 
with the surf. " Bring him in ! " 

They loosened her fingers from that dark, heavy something, and 
found that, indeed, it was the body of a man. They laid him on the 
beach, drew the hair from his face, and recognised their old com- 
rade, Mike Tiernay. Maureen uttered no more wild cries. She 
took the cloak from her shoulders and spread it up to his chin. 
She put her hand into his bosom, found the ring she had given 
him, attached round his neck by a string, and slipped it at onoe 
upon her finger. Then she sat down and laid his head upon her 
knee. 

" Will you go," she said, calmly, to the men, " and tell Con 
lavelle that Mike Tiernay has come home P Will ye tell him," 
she added, holding up her hand — " will ye tell him Maureen Lacey 
has a ring upon her finger P " 

And this was all the wedding that Bofin saw that day. 

But little further of Maureen Lacey is known to the writer of 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



At Midnight. 311 

this history. The wreck of the ship in which Mike had been re- 
turning was one of those disasters whose details fill the daily 
newspapers in winter-time. Sewn in the poor fellow's jacket was 
found a note for a good little sum of money. The following year 
a fever visited the island, sweeping off, amongst others, Maureen's 
stepmother, and all her children but one. After this Maureen sold 
all their worldly goods, and departed for America, carrying her 
little brother in her arms. 



AT MIDNIGHT. 
A Sonnet ik Dialogue. 



A Dying One. 

IN this dark hour, who standeth bj my aide P 
Christ, 
One who hath loved thee even unto death ! 

Dying One. 
Why comes He now, ere the new daj cometh ? 

Christ. 
To lead thee through Heaven's gate, at morningtide : 

Dying One. 
Lord, is it Thou, gold- vestured and glad-eyed ? 

Christ. 
Yea, for " Thy child bring home/' the Father saith : 

Dying One. 
Blest be those words fulfilled of Thy sweet breath ! 

Christ. 
Take up thy cross, thou must be crucified : 

Dying One. 
O Lord, dear Lord, is there no way but this ? 

Christ. 
My child, pierced hands and feet do I not bear ? 

Dying One. 
Master, have pity, if my faint heart quail ! 

Christ 
To Paradise, this the one pathway is t 

Dying One. 
And wilt Thou guide my shivering spirit there ? 

Christ. 
Yea, mine own child, I leave Thee not, nor fail ! 

Evkltn Ptns. 



Digitized by 



Google 



313 ) 



WINGED WORDS.* 

1. God — my God ! — God is all forgotten ; and men try to turn 
into an everlasting tabernacle this Arab's tent raised for a night's, 
shelter in the wilderness. 

2. The first beginnings of passion are small ; but, like a rebel 
army, it swells as it advances. 

3. Souls travelling towards eternity must not let themselves 
be dazzled by the silly fopperies of life. 

4. Begin your spiritual training early. You cannot ride that 
steed dashing wildly across the pampas ; but even he would have 
been amenable to the rein, and become a strong, high-spirited 
courser, if caught in time and trained skilfully. 

5. After confession one should feel and act like a schoolboy 
who, after being punished for soiling his copybook, gets a new 
one to start afresh, and takes special pains to do better. 

6. By cutting off the sprouting leaves constantly, the root of' 
the plant is gradually killed ; for nature is unequal to this incessant 
reproduction of foliage. So with our faults and the particular 
examen. Nip off the first tender shoots — the little outward 
ebullitions of pride, &c, and the root of the evil — the passion- 
within — in the end dies out. 

7. Judge of nations by their peasantry ; the nobles are every- 
where nearly alike. 

8. The devil loves listless, loitering moments. When you 
feel particularly dull and stupid, take a fling into the active life 
somehow. 

9. Those who aspire to eminence in God's service must begin 
from the ranks. 

10. Do nothing for the mere sake of enjoyment. But relaxa- 
tion without some degree of enjoyment is not really relaxation. 

11. An actor among puppets cares not for them, but for the 
applause of the spectators. So we amongst our fellow-men. God 
is looking on. Is He pleased with us P 

12. God here is a King in exile. When the Restoration comes,. 

* These ore phrases from the spiritual exhortations of Father Tracey Clarke,. 
S J., to his novices in 1867 and 1868. See the sketch of Augustus Law, S. J. 
in the present number of this Magazine. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Winged Wards. 313 

how magnificently He will reward those who have proved them- 
■selves loyal through the worst. 

13. Those who have given up all for God must not let their 
affections be taken up with any duty or employment, or anything 
else, however good and holy, outside God : as the ivy, when the 
oak to which it has clung is fallen, will creep along the ground, 
ready to climb up any shrub or stick it may encounter. 

14. Temptations, afflictions, seasons of darkness, often advance 
us in the spiritual life : as a hurricane, which one fears will over- 
whelm the vessel, may, when skilfully grappled with, drive the 
•ship that is strong enough to bear it, forward in her course with 
astonishing rapidity. 

15. Anything, however good seemingly, that tends to take us 
out of our actual sphere of duty, is from the devil. God loves 
order. 

- 16. (Of retreats, &c.) Fill your cruise out of the spring at 
the appointed resting-place: else you will. not have strength for 
the remainder of your journey across the desert. 

17. We should let no day pass without some deliberate act of 
mortification, interior or exterior — some check to nature, to show 
the lower part of the soul that it is subject to the higher : as a 
-coachman chucks the reins occasionally, for no special purpose but 
just to remind the horses that they are not jogging along the road 
for their private gratification. 

18. When a person begins to think himself very useful in his 
particular sphere, it is bad enough ; but there are some who come 
to look on themselves as absolutely necessary, and their case is 
hopeless. Deus est Em nece&sarium. Only God is necessary. 

19. We must beware of every trace of that idolatry of the 
body which, under many disguises, is so rampant over the civilized 
world now-a-days. 

20. Particular Devotions are like dishes at a feast — meant to 
be looked at and admired by all, out some suited for certain palates, 
others for others. He who devours them all will presently be very 
sick. The wisest plan is to confine your attentions to one or two 
solid dishes, with a little simple custard. 

21. As a man with the plague upon him spreads the contagion 
by going out into the town ; so in a community one who has no 
restraint over his tongue. He talks about difficulties as to obedi- 
ence, or something else ; and his companion who never thought of 
such a thing begins to fancy he feels the same. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 314 



AN OLD MAN'S REVERIE .♦ 

'TIS sixty yean since first beneath this tree 
•L I stood a boy of ten, 
And here what time has left, or made of me, 
I stand again. 

Let me retrace the path which I have made, 

A path too quickly found ; 
For it is marked by many a cypress shade, 

And rising mound. 

I was the youngest of a group whose mirth 

Made us a merry home ; 
I sit alone beside my silent hearth — 

Where are they gone P 

Father and mother long have fallen asleep— 

The grass grows on each breast, 
Brothers and sisters I have had to weep ; 

They are at rest. 

A gentle wife upon my happy heart 

Rested her golden head— 
I watched her fade and silently depart, 

And kissed her dead. 

Three little children clung around my knee. 

Bright-haired and earnest-eyed, 
But none of them doth now remain to me, 

They too have died. 

The friends of youth no more with tales of old 

The pleasant past recall, 
In dreamless sleep they lie serenely cold— 

I've outlived all. 

Yet, as I sit while shadows to and fro 

Around me softly steal, 
I live again the happy long ago, 

And happy feel. 

* This relic of one whose name was once so familiar to the readers of this- 
Magazine has just come back to us after a long furlough ; for it was sont to us- 
hv the author, who died April 5, 1883, and we seem to have counselled concen 
tration, as this copy is niaiked as being " shorter by seven stanzap.*— Ed. J. AT 



Digitized by 



Google 



An Old Man's Reverie. 315. 

Again, with playmates, on the velvet lawn 

I triumph strive to gain, 
And climb the mountain at the break of dawn, 

With throbbing vein. 

I 'swim the lakes, and roam the leafy wood; 

Soft was the setting sun, 
Ah t nowhere did I then find solitude ; 

My heart was young. 

And, golden time! again I woo my bride, 

My withered pulses stir, 
Among the fairest in a world so wide 

Who was like her P 

Uow well I see her, that soft summer even 

When in the bending skies 
The stars stole out, less bright to me in heaven 

Than her dear eyes. 

I spoke my love, and her quick- waving blush 

Her own to me confessed ; 
Well, well, perchance 'tis better I should hush, 

Such thoughts to rest. 

After the dust and heat of life's long way, 

Now when the night is near, 
The stars shine out, that had been hid by day, 

Divinely clear. 

By them I see life's silver cord held fast, 

Clasped by a wounded Hand : 
The deep significance of grief, at last 

I understand. 

Attik O'Bbikn.. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



( S16 ) 



AN ARCACHON TRAGEDY.* 
By Mrs. Frank Pentriix. 

I CANNOT tell how long I had sat in the old boat, but my 
musings were gliding into a doze, when a laugh awoke me. 
The sands were growing gray in the waning light ; behind them 
the pine trees looked more dismal than usual ; and the only bright 
spot was across the bay, where the sun was disappearing in the 
sea, his red face glowing with fair promises for the morrow. " I 
think 'twill be fine," said I ; and looking that way again I saw two 
people standing where the waves met the sand : at their feet lay 
a little boat, a pretty newly painted thing, with the name of 
" Mariette " in large white letters on its prow ; and the two peo- 
ple stood beside it, hand in hand, the sun's last beams resting on 
their faces, while they smiled back at him, and seemed to beg that 
he would shine on the morrow ; for the morrow was to be their 
wedding day. At last the man got into the boat, and rowed a few 
yards from the shore ; then he stopped, looked back, and waving 
his blue cap, cried gaily : " & demain ! & domain ! " And from 
the shore the girl answered, with happy voice : " & demain ! " I 
went home, half filled with a lonely woman's envy at their happi- 
ness ; yet praying for it with all my soul ; for Mariette, the pretty 
bride, had wound herself round my heart. At first, when I had 
met her in my walks, her pitying eyes had said how sorry she 
felt for the lonely invalid; later came a smile, and a timid 
" bonjour ; " till at last we grew into friends, and I learnt from 
her the simple story of her life and hopes. Her father, Pierre 
Lafont, was a risinier, and worked among the pines in the forest 
of Arcachon ; while Jean, her betrothed, followed the same trade 
on the opposite shore. The two children had grown up together, 
had made their first communion on the same day, and for years 
had met every Sunday, when Jean rowed over to hear Mass at 
Ndtre Dame d' Arcachon. As for Marie, she had passed the whole 
of her life in her whit$ cottage among the pines ; working, sing- 
ing, 'making the sunshine of her father's days, and she looked 
forward with delight to spending the same simple existence in 
that other white cottage, Jean's home, across the bay. " Perhaps 

* See w An Arcachon Comedy " at page 266. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



An Arcachon Tragedy. 317 

"Madame," she had said, her eyes glistening with pleasure; 
'" perhaps my father will give up his work here, and live with us 
on the other side. Ah ! then I think we should be too happy ! " 

The sun has kept his word, thought I, as I hurried along the 
•" Boulevard de la Plage " on my way to the church. Passing by 
the cross, I saw that the wedding guests had gathered round it. 
Old Pierre, his bronzed face beaming, his blue dress and red sash 
resplendent ; Marietta's aunt, an old woman with a bright hand- 
kerchief round her head; and her son, evidently a shepherd- 
Mariette herself was all in white, her sweet face half hidden by 
.her veil, her hand straying nervously over her dress, like a little 
brown bird fluttering in the snow. Their faces were turned to the 
bay, across which the bridegroom's boat was doubtless coming ; so 
I walked on to the church, and took my place in a corner of Our 
Lady's chapel. The sacristan came and went in his list shoes ; 
now arranging the heaths on the altar ; now polishing the brass 
candlesticks ; going, returning, and at last disappearing altogether. 
Then came the Cure in cotta and stole, and he looked wonderingly 
round the church ; knelt a moment at the altar and also went 
away. It was getting late ; the sun shone brightly through the 
stained glass, a bird, perched on the open window, sang a marriage 
hymn, but no bride came. 

Tired of waiting, I returned to the cross, and found that the 
bride and her friends were still there, and that the Curl and the 
sacristan had joined them. Pierre and his old sister were talking 
loudly ; their heads nodding, their arms pointing to the sea ; the 
young man was gone, and Mariette sat beneath the cross, her eyes 
fixed on the opposite shore. 

" My nephew is gone to learn why he tarries," said Pierre, in 
explanation, and then we waited in silence. To me it had seemed 
an hour, to Mariette, perhaps a day, but at last a boat was seen 
.returning. The shepherd rowed it silently to the shore, and then 
we saw that, behind it, was another boat, keel upwards, and with 
the name of Mariette, in white letters, on its prow. 

The young man came towards us quickly, and in his hand he 
held a blue cap, wet through, and stained by the sea water. He 
stopped before Mariette, tried to speak, failed, and gently laid the 
cap at her feet. Then Pierre broke into loud cries; stamped, 
•shook his clenched hands at the sea, called on Jean by a hundred 
loving names, and sobbed aloud ; the old woman and the sacristan 
.mingled their lamentations; the Curl laid his hand kindly on 

Vol.. xiv. No. 156. ^24 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



318 An Arcachon Tragedy. 

Mariette'8 shoulder : " God comfort thee, my child/' said the old! 
priest, " and give thee strength." 

But Mariette did not answer : she picked up the cap, kissed it 
gently, and, taking her father's arm, led him back into the dark- 
ness of the forest. 

" Poor child, poor little one ! " said the Cur6, with the tears- 
in his eyes ; and then perceiving me, " Ah, Madame, you knew 
them ! so good, so happy ! " 

" Is he drowned, are you sure P " asked I, bewildered. 

" Alas, but too sure ! He is not the first of my children who- 
lies buried in the sand of the bay. God only knows how many 
rest in that sad cemetery." 

" But the sea was so calm. How could it happen P " said I. 

"Who can tell, Madame P I always thought the boat too* 
small. Perhaps he was looking back to see the last of Mariette ; 
the last indeed, poor boy ! " and raising his hat with a courteous 
gesture, the Cur6 went sadly back to the presbytery ; and presently,, 
through the noonday stillness, came the tolling of the bell ; the- 
same bell that should have rung their marriage peal. 

For a month I did not leave my room, but in my first walk,. 
I sought the path which led to Mariette* s cottage ; and among the- 
trees I met Pierre, returning from his work. He looked an old 
man now, bent and wrinkled, and my "bonjour" brought no- 
smile to his face, though he stopped, and seemed pleased to meet 
me. 

" How is Mariette P" asked I. 

" Poor little one,' 1 said he, sadly, " I think she will never be- 
well again. What has she to live for now P " 

" She still has you," I said. 

" Yes, Madame, that is true ; and she struggles with her grief. 
She works as usual ; she even tries to cheer her poor old father, 
and she is good. She says * Le bon Dieu knows best ; ' but one 
cannot live when one's heart is dead ; and I think hers died that 
day, when Jean's boat came empty to the shore. Poor Mariette I 
poor Mariette ! " and the old man hid his face in his hands and 
wept with a Frenchman's unrestrained sorrow. 

" To think," continued he, " that she cannot even go to his 
grave ! To think that he lies there in the sand, without a cross,, 
without a name, without a resting-place ! " 

" God will give him one/' I said. 

" Ah yes, I know ; and Monsieur le Cure* says so too ; but it 



Digitized by 



Google 



Augustus Law, 8. J. 819 

is hard all the same. Every evening Mariette goes to the shore, and 
prays there. She is gone now ; hut it is getting late, I must fetch 
her home/' 

" Shall I go with you P" ashed I ; and my offer brought a 
brighter look to his face. 

"If Madame would! it would please Mariette." So we 
walked silently to the shore, while the Angelus bell rang out from 
the church tower, and the little waves rose and fell with a low 
murmur on the sand. Mariette was kneeling against a boat ; her 
hands clasped, her head bent down upon them ; and, as we drew 
near, she did not move. 

"How tired she is ! I think she sleeps," said her father, laying 
his hand gently on her shoulder, and then, stooping to look in her 
face, he saw that she was dead. 



AUGUSTUS LAW, S.J. 

Notes in Remembrance. 

Bt the Editor. 

Part III. 

The next change in Augustus Law's career was foreshadowed in the 
last of the extracts from his diary, stating that he had taken Saint 
Aloysius as his patron. We are not told where he had made the 
acquaintance of that most amiable young saint. It is not till after- 
wards (June 6, 1852) that we find the purchase of Alban Butler 
recorded : " Yesterday, I got Butler's Lives of the Saints— twelve 
shillings the lot." 

Pains and penalties were not slow in falling on the youthful con- 
vert. He can hardly have declared himself a Catholic when the will 
of " dear Aunt OolvUle" was drawn up. She died on May 30, 1852. 
bequeathing £500 to Augustus and each of his brothers, and £200 to 
each of his sisters, on condition that each .of them should sign a 
promise not to give any of the money to Catholic charities either 
directly or indirectly. It is only fair to add that Mr. Law seems to 
have generally been treated by his relatives with as much kindness as 
another convert-parson, Father Ignatius Spencer, the " Uncle George M 
of the present Earl Spencer. Augustus, indeed, at the end of one of 



Digitized by 



Google 



320 Augustus Law, S.J. 

his letters (which will not turn up when it is wanted) sends remem- 
brances to the friends who have been kind as well as to "the enemy 
people." The absence of such allusions is not conclusive in these 
Memoirs, for they have been edited very scrupulously in the matter of 
charitableness. When everything that Augustus hears about one of 
his sisters gives him the impression that she is a little saint, and on 
the other hand when he speaks of certain devils being let loose 
upon the Pope, both saint and devils are represented here by discreet 
dashes. Kay, when he transfers his patronage from one weekly news- 
paper to another, a charitable dash again spares the hurt feelings of 
the poor journal that is set aside. 

The present Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster is frequently 
named at this part of Augustus's diary. " Thursday, June 10, 1852. 
Still unwell, but went with papa and May to hear Manning preach his 
first sermon as a Catholic, at the Convent of the Oood Shepherd. It 
was a beautiful sermon." 

Though not quite recovered from the illness here alluded to, he sailed 
in the Encounter for the Mediterranean the next day, of course 
announcing himself a Catholic, and devoting himself to " The Garden 
of/the Soul," &c, during the religious services to which he had 
previously been so faithful. It is edifying to notice what the young 
midshipman thought of when first touching land. "July 6, 1852. 
All I like of Lisbon is the English College ; that is the only attraction 
for me." And what was its attraction ? The entry for the 9th July, 
tells us. " Went on shore at six to the English College. I first went 
to the church and prepared myself for confession, and then went into 
a room and confessed to Mr. Richmond. I received the Most Holy 
Sacrament at his Mass. Afterwards remained in the church for a 
short time, then went out, and Mr. Richmond said to me, ' Now you 
feel comfortable ' — which I did indeed." Father Richmond says of 
his visitor in answering a letter from his father : " Tour son Augustus 
was treated here with no more kindness than he deserved. He was at 
home on his very first introduction. His guileless confidence and 
childlike dooility soon won for him the favour and affection of all 
at the college." So it was with all whom Augustus Law met, even in 
a passing way, all through his life. 

Resuming his diary after a break on December 10, 1852, the young 
gentleman, who had just become a mate in Her Majesty's Service, 
records several events, such as his beginning to learn the violin, and 
then ends for the day thus : " However, as it is now 10.15 p.m., I must 
shut up with saying that I am more rejoiced than ever at becoming a 
member of the Holy Catholic Church, and may Cod make me thank- 
ful for His great blessings." And he winds up the year with these 
words : " Thanks be to Ood for all His mercies to me during the past 
year, and ever since I was born, and above all for bringing me into 



Digitized by 



Google 



Augustus Law, S.J. 821 

His own most holy Catholic Apostolic Church. Thanks, thanks be for 
ever to Him for all His great mercies. Oh, all je saints, and, above 
ali mj dear Mother, join with me in hearty thanks to God, the merci- 
ful and gracious God." 

I despair of being able to quote a tithe of the phrases and passages 
I should wish to quote from the holy youth's letters and journal, as 
indications of the way in which God drew him on at this crisis, 
" disposing ascensions in his heart." But the following letter to his 
uncle marks another turning point in his career, and must needs be 
given in full : — 

H.M.S. " EXCELLENT," PORTSMOUTH 

AprU 27, 1863. 
My drab Uncle, — I believe it to be my duty to inform you of something which 
may rery much surprise you at first, which is my haying formed a resolution of 
becoming a priest Perhaps it will not be out of the way to mention the circumstances 
that hare led me to desire to become one. I must first commence with the time when 
I was a boy at Somerton school. I had always preferred and wished to be a clergy- 
man, but in February, 1846, you were so kind as to offer my father a cadetship in the 
navy for me, which, as circumstances had much changed by my dearest mother's death, 
I accepted. I got on tolerably in the navy, and liked it pretty well, but several times 
I thought seriously of writing to my father and asking him to take me out of the 
navy, and educate mo for a clergyman, but knowing it would be a great difficulty for 
my father, in the pecuniary point of view, to educate me at one of the universities, I 
at last gave the idea up altogether. In May, last year, I became a Catholic, and in June 
scaled in the " Encounter." When at Lisbon, I visited the college where some English 
students prepare for priesthood. I then contrasted their life with a life on board a 
man-of-war, aad thought I should much prefer the former. The desire occupied my 
mind constantly then, and from time to time afterwards, till, when I was on leave the 
other day, I thought it was high time to decide either for one or the other, and so 
having recommended the matter earnestly to God, I decided finally upon becoming a 
priest, and then told my father of my wish. He wished me to wait for six or eight 
months, that I might be quite sure that my mind was quite made up before I left my 
present profession, and consequently, according to my father's wish, I am still in the 
" Excellent," preparing for the usual examination mates have to pass on leaving the 
■hip. I am well aware how greatly you, and others of my kind relations, will dis- 
approve of my leaving the navy, but having well reflected, and at length decided upon 
its being more conducive to my eternal interests that I should become a priest, I must 
only be sorry that it should be displeasing to my dear relations. In conclusion, dear 
uncle, I must thank you heartily now, and hope I shall always be grateful, for your 
▼ery great kindness to me ever since I have been in the navy. Of course I cannot 
expect that you would continue the allowance you have for the last seven yean made to 
me, after my leaving the navy. My dear uncle, I am convinced that the great object 
of life is to prepare to die, and I wish to do it in the best possible way, and believe me 
to be, your most affectionate nephew, 

Augustus H. Law. 

The Earl of Ellenborough's reply, as his young kinsman remarks, 
44 was kind and free enough from bigotry." 

113 Eaton Square, 

<4prtf28,1853. 
My dear Augustus,— I certainly am very sorry to hear that you think of leaving the 
navy in rder to become a priest. A man may be good and do good to others by his advice 

Digitized by VjUUV I v. 



322 Augustus Law, S.J. 

and example in whatever situation he may be placed, and the more he Is brought into 
communication with large numbers of persons exposed to great temptations, the mors 
good he may do, by showing that they can be effectually resisted. I doubt whether 
any priest was ever a better man than Lord Oollingwood, and you will not easily find 
one better than Captain Chads. Solitude and celibacy, although they may diminish 
in some cases the number of bad actions, may not impose restraint upon bad thoughts, 
and God knows men's thoughts, and will judge them by those, as well as by their 
actions. You are making a great mistake as to happiness here, without at all 
improving your chance of happiness hereafter. — Yours affectionately, 

Ellknborough. 

We should wish to make room also for the very creditable letter 
which the Hon. Henry Law sent of his own accord on this trying 
occasion. But, though we 'are glad to exemplify the kindly feeling 
shown by his Protestant relatives, Augustus himself is the object of 
our study, and we cannot omit a meditation which he wrote when 
making up his mind as to his special calling in life. It is dated June 
26, 1853, in the middle of his nineteenth year. 

St. Philip Neri used to say heaven is not made for the slothful, and let me take 
care that I do not come under that head. If I hare been slothful and idle, seldom 
exerting myself to do anything for the glory of God, let me arouse myself. Stir 
yourself up, my soul ! Lament your defects. Beseech God to pardon them, and 
endeavour to lead for the future a better life. And as, O Lord, following the vocation 
that Thou hast marked out for me is necessary for my salvation, show me Thy will ;. I 
will do it. If I have made a mistake in believing I am called to the priesthood, let 
it not be too late. Call me back before it is too late, Lord. But, O Lord, if it is 
Thy blessed will that I should be one, let me devote myself to Thee more and more, 
and try to make Thee loved by every one. Give me the graces necessary for such an 
awful office, and then, O Lord, Thy will be done, with regard to whether I shall be a 
regular or secular, and if I am to be a regular, Thy will be done again with regard to 
what order— whether Jesuits, Bedemptorists, Passionists. Let Thy will be always 
beloved and sought after by me. Lord, hear my prayer. St. Teresa said to her reli- 
gious : — " One soul, my daughters, one eternity." If one only considered in his heart 
these words, "One soul, one eternity." What volumes they express ! Yea, I have 
only one soul, and if that is lost all is lost, and for ever, too. How precious ought 
this soul to be to me then. How careful I am of my body that nothing hurts it, that 
it never wants for anything ; but how differently I behave with regard to my soul. 
I don't mind my poor soul going through all sorts of dangers, and if it wants food 
(prayer or meditation), it must wait till it is convenient for the body. How long is it 
to be this way ? One soul, one eternity. Think on these words, and you will say it 
should be no longer. my blessed Saviour, forgive my many treasons and infidelities. 
Come Thyself and feed, my soul, spiritually, with the bread of life. Grant that I 
may not erer be separated from Thee. Mary, my dear mother, intercede for me, and 
obtain final perseverance for me. St. Joseph, St Aloysius, St F. Xavier, St Peter 
and St. Paul, obtain for me the love of God. 

Father Coffin had been his director, and all that he had seen at 
Glapham attracted Augustas to the Bedemptorists. But Francis 
Xavier and Aloysius, to whom he here appeals, seem to have had other 
views about him ; and after a retreat at Hodder (near Stonyhurst), 



Digitized by 



Google 



Augustus Law, 8 J. 323 

<which was then the Jesuit novioeship, the following letter was sent to 
this father : — 

Hoddeb, November % 1853. 
My dbab Sib,— I consider that your son, Augustus Law, has a decided call to 
^religious life. I consider it a duty for your son, as soon as conveniently possible, in 
.preference to any other state of life, to embrace some religious institution. The par- 
ticular institute must be left to his own choice. . . . For obvious reasons I hare 
abstained from giving more detailed advice on this head. — With great respect, yours 
•in Christ, 

T. T. Clarke. 

The writer of this brief note was the Rev. Thomas Clarke — Father 

Tracey Clarke, as he was generally called to distinguish him from 

another Jesuit working in England — his cousin, I think — whose name 

also was Thomas Clarke. I have avoided the phrase "another English 

-Jesuit : " for Father Tracey Clarke was an Irishman, a native of 

Dublin, brother of Dr. Clarke, who was, for many years, the medical 

attendant of Clongowes College, County Kildare. He had at this time 

been for several years Master of Novices in the English Province of 

the Society ; and he continued to discharge that onerous and by no 

means honorary office till a short time before his holy death, which 

happened on the 1 1th of January, 1862. May he rest in peace ! One 

-of the last children of his old age is happy in being able to pay even 

this passing tribute of affectionate veneration to the memory of a 

.man who, in his day, was highly esteemed for his sanctity, judgment, 

experience, and force of character. 

After sundry delays and difficulties in retiring from the navy and 
♦retiring from the world, Augustus Law entered the noviceehip of the 
-Society of Jesus, in the first days of 1854 ; and on the Feast of the 
.Holy Name of Jesus, he writes to his father: "I commenced the 
jioviciate this morning and am very happy.*' A month later he writes : 
"lam very, very happy here, and, by the assistance of God's grace, 
I hope to live and die in the Society of Jesus ; " while a postscript 
adds : "lam getting happier every day. But love to all again. Tou 
-can't think what beautiful exhortations Father Clarke gives us." 

A few years after the date which we have now reached, another 
-of Father Clarke's novices took down with Boswellian accuracy a good 
, many of those spiritual exhortations, especially any picturesque 
phrase that struck his fancy. The " Winged Words," in another part 
of this present issue of our Magazine,* are samples of these notes and 
-are given specially at this moment as a link between the revered names 
of Thomas Tracey Clarke and Augustus Law. 

Many of the letters which follow in the third part of Mr. Law's 

anemoir of his son show, among other things, that religious life 

•does not deaden the affections. The long and minute counsels to his 

jyoung brother Frederick, who was just entering on the career that he 

• See <' Winged Words " at page 312. 

Digitized by G00gle 



924 Augustus Law, 8. J. 

himself had abandoned, would furnish many edifying extracts. They 
fill ten pages : " on attending to the duties of religion, on respect to* 
superior officers, on going on shore, on swearing, on learning your pro- 
fession, on employing your time." If it were not that his heart was- 
big enough for ail, he might be suspected of cherishing a peculiar 
tenderness towards this second sailor-boy of the family, to whom he 
writes on September 23rd, 1862 : " I hope my dear Fred keeps up to 
the mark in his spirituals. Go to your duty, that's a dear old boy,, 
before you sail. I feel great interest in you, dearest brother, and, from 
the chats we had together at Glasgow, I thought to myself, ' Freddy 
loves his religion and will stick to it.' " 

Go to your duty — just the phrase that might occur in a letter from, 
a good Irishwoman to her son studying medicine (for instance) in. 
Dublin. Is it not a very unconvertlike way of inculcating the frequenta- 
tion of the sacraments ? But before this date the ex-midshipman had. 
been working as a Jesuit in Glasgow, and, though not a priest, had 
probably heard many an honest poor Irish sailor say, " I wasn't atmy~ 
duty these three years, but I'll go next month, please God." Father 
Law assimilated readily and naturally more important points than 
these expressions of a simple faith. One of his prof essors of theology,, 
an Italian, Father Paul Bottalla, remarked that he was one of the 
most Catholic-minded men he had ever met. 

In the happy monotony ox a novice's life a thrilling interest 
attaches to much less exciting events than the bodily removal of the 
Novitiate some hundreds of miles from the north to the south of a 
country. In 1854, this novel "flitting" was effected by Father- 
Clarke. It was, therefore, from Beaumont Lodge, near Windsor, that 
the novice sent home this report of himself when half way through 
his probation, in the first week of 1855 : " The fifteenth of this month 
ends my first year in the noviceship. Thanks be to God, I am still of 
the same mind, only much more strengthened in it than when I first 
joined, and I hope, by the grace of Jesus, who mercifully brought me- 
here, to live and die in this same dear Society of His." 

Accordingly, in January, 1856, the fervent novice pronounced his 
vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience in the minima Societas Jesu. 
I trust that even those who only know him through these pages know 
him sufficiently to conjecture the quiet intensity of the enthusiasm.* 
with which he made this entire dedication of himself to the glory of 
God and the saving of souls. He kept nothing back; there was no- 
pilfering in his holocaust. 

The next year was spent in France, completing his classical studies 
at St. Acheul, near Amiens ; but his health was not satisfactory, and 
August, 1857, finds him brought home to Stonyhurst, to apply himself' 
for two years to the study of philosophy. This he did with great 
earnestness and success. On All Saints Day, 1 859, he writes from the* 



Digitized by 



Google 



Augustus Law, S.J. 326» 

preparatory school at Hodder : " I am very happy, have lota to do* 
always, and I like my occupation very much. I thank God for the- 
happiness I find here at Hodder. Perhaps God, so good, has blessed, 
the little place for the sake of its having been a noviciate for fifty 
years." 

But this'»Hodder class was merely a temporary arrangement, and,, 
after a few weeks, his first regular term of external work began at 
Glasgow, under the invocation of the amiable young saint whom he 
had so promptly chosen as his patron, immediately after his conversion^, 
before he had any notion of becoming his brother. To this period of 
his teaching in the College of St. Aloysius, at Glasgow, a letter refers 
which came to Mr. Law from a stranger in Canada, after the publica- 
tion of the first two parts of his " beautiful memoir of a soul for 
nobler by grace than by birth." We may venture to supply the 
writer's name, omitted by Mr. Law — Father John A. Conway, S.J. , 
of Woodstock College, Maryland, United States. 

It ii now twenty -three yean since I had the good fortune of becoming acquainted, 
with your saintly son. I was then a mere child in his school in the Jesuit College of 
Glasgow, during his first years of teaching, but the impression he then made upon me 
by his pure self-denying life has never been effaced. There was no one who did not 
lo?e Mr. Law, as we called him ; but on account of his special kindness to me, I am 
sure no one loved him more dearly than I did. He it was that prepared me for my 
first communion, and I still preser?e in my bre?iary the little picture he gave me on 
that occasion. It, together with some of his letters, written to me in after years, are- 
my most precious treasures. To the deep impression he made upon me by his genuine 
piety, and to the great interest he took in me, I owe, under God, my call to the society 
of which he was so exemplary a member. It is no slight favour to be admitted to life- 
long intimacy with so choice a soul, and for your labour of love I, at least, feel that I 
owe you a debt of gratitude. His life was just such a one as might be expected — 
marvellous in the working of grace from his earliest years, and under all circumstances. 
I gave your book to one of our fathers to read, and he returned it to me with the 
remark, " That is certainly the life of one of God's predestined." 

His noble death was a fitting crown to his noble life. Zeal and self-sacrifice - 
merited for him a death of neglect and abandonment, far away from those he lovedV 
and with no friendly hand to minister to his extreme needs— a death terrible in the 
world's eyes, but glorious to those who view things in the light of faith. It is with 
reluctance that I remember him daily, when I offer up the Holy Sacrifice ; for did he* 
not lay down his life for the Infallible Master who has promised the eternal crown as 
# the reward of such generosity ? I am more disposed to pray to him than for him ; 
and I feel happy in being able to revere as a saint, him whom I first learnt to love ae- 
a friend. The highest ambition of my religious life has ever been to be like him, and. 
the two volumes of the Memoirs have only served to heighten this desire. 

After three years' teaching he returned again to the class-room to 
be taught himself; beginning his four years' course of theology at 
8t. Beuno's* College, near St. Asaph, in North Wales, in October, 1862. 
It was here, the next year, that the writer of these notes, as he men- 

* This Welsh saint pronounces the first syllable of his name like the verb " to* 
buy/' 



Digitized by 



Google 



•326 Augustus Law, 8. J. 

Honed at the beginning of theip, had the grace and happiness of know- 
ing intimately this holy man, who was very dear to us all and whose 
holiness had not a trace of gloom, or stiffness, or self- consciousness. 
A writer in The Messenger of the Sacred Heart for June, 1881, putting 
together expressly the reminiscences of several witnesses, speaks thus of 
this part of his life : " While all loved him for his thorough goodness 
-and innocence of heart, the scholastics of other provinces — Irish, 
French, Belgians, and Italians — were not slow to appreciate his large- 
hearted sympathy with them in any little matters which were more 
trying to strangers. 'One and all carried away with them/ asau 
Irish Father observes, ' feelings of deep affection and gratitude for 
'the unselfish generosity of the Captain,' as they generally called him. 
No name is so affectionately enshrined in the hearts of our foreign 
Fathers as that of Father Law. 9 ' 

In this beautiful Home of Study in the Yale of Clwyd [phonetically 
€loo-id], he worked from 1862 to 1866 — " dear old St. Beuno's (he 
calls it, writing home some years later from British Guiana), a place 
I love and where I certainly spent the happiest four years of my life. 
For where shall we meet with more of ours again, and, if we do, 
where shall we meet with greater charity ? " 

Some little relics belonging to this time, which escaped notice when 
•other materials were sought out and forwarded to our friend's 
biographer, may be best placed by themselves hereafter, apart from 
what is already in print But a little anecdote which I notice in his 
•clear, compact handwriting, may be copied here as an indication of 
his feelings with regard to the great epoch in his life which was now 
approaching. " St. Francis of Assisi, when a deacon and thinking of 
becoming a priest, had a vision, where an angel showed him a vase of 
water as clear as crystal, to represent the purity which becomes a priest. 
The Saint was so struck with this that he would never be a priest." 

A year before the termination of his theological course, as is usual, 
Augustus Law was ordained priest The previous summer he had 
borrowed from his father the journal of his old naval times, and he 
wrote at the end : " August 20, 1864. Whoever has read so far in this 
journal of mine, pray for me that I may persevere in the Society of 
Jesus and that I may be a holy priest. I have now been ten years 
and seven months in the Society, and am miles off being a true Jesuit."* 

Mr. Towry Law, of course, was present at his son's ordination, and 
prepared by a spiritual retreat for the dignity of father to a priest. 
It was, therefore, several days before the ordination, that Augustus, 
-who had met his father at the nearest station on the main line to 
Ireland — as exiles of Erin would say — reported his safe arrival at 

once to Mrs. Law. 

Rhyll, Monday afternoon^ 6 o'clock. 
Dearest May, — Here we are both sitting in a Rhyll Hotel, and papa trying what 
«he can matter in the way of grub before starting for St Asaph and 8t Beano's in one 



Digitized by 



Google 



Augustus Law, 8. J. 327 

Ihour's time. He ha* had a pretty dusty journey. Good-bye, for the present, dearest 
May, and hoping to see you soon at Hampton Court, I remain ever your most 
affectionate stepson, 

Augustus. 

This may seem a very commonplace note to quote at this solemn 
-crisis of the little story we are telling; but we have an. object in 
•quoting it and following it up with another very domestic epistle. In 
describing Father Law's conversion, we made use of a letter written 
by a sister of his who became a Visitation Nun ; and now we may 
•commit a similar indiscretion, with regard to another who became a 
-Sister of Mercy. 

Convent of Mercy, Bebmondsey, 

September 20, 1865. 
My dearest Father, — I am glad dearest Augustus's ordination day is still to 
•be the 24th, as it is our own dear feast-day. I am delighted it is to be on that day, 
for I am sure our Lady will take particular care of him. You must give him my 
heartfelt congratulations, and tell him I hare given him an intention in our Novena 
in preparation for the feast. I shall not write, as I shall see him so soon. What an 
immense pleasure and consolation for you, dearest father, to be present at bis first 
Mass. I think your plan a very good one, in giving us, in religion, two of our 
brothers or sisters to pray for. As you say, Maude will have the most to do for poor 
Frank. I am glad you went to Su Winifred's Well. . . . With affectionate love to 
-dearest Augustus, believe me, dearest father, your most affectionate daughter, 

Sister M. Walburga Law. 

The family arrangement alluded to in this letter, by which certain 
sisters were appointed to pray for certain brothers, reminds me of a 
passage in a letter of another young nun of a different order, race, 
and country. Writing home from a far distant and perilous mission 
to her sister, she said about their brother : " Tell Michael (will you, 
Margaret?) that I think of him morning and evening, as I promised; 
I offer his day to God with mine, and I ask God's pardon for Am daily 
faults as well as for my own." What a nice way of putting it! I 
.suspect that in this partnership the nun's contribution of faults was 
less numerous and less grievous. 

We must not, this month, carry these memorial notes on Father 
Law beyond the day which gave him that title, except to mention that, 
as his ordination took place on the feast of Our Lady of Mercy, his 
•jfirst sermon was on Rosary Sunday. He had a singularly tender 
•devotion to the Rosary. The following which we take from his notes 
of his private meditations must substantially have formed part of his 
first important sermon : 

There is no devotion in the Church sweeter than the Rosary, and none more 
powerful. Why this is we now consider. And first, it breathes nothing but Jesus 
and Mary, than whom nothing can be sweeter. Its fifteen scenes place them before us 
and put us in their blessed presence. Saying the Rosary is holding sweet converse 
4vith Mary, and speaking to her about her Dirine Son, and about herself. And what 
»n be more powerful to keep us from sin, and to plant virtue in us, than to lire with 



Digitized by 



Google 



328 Augustus Law, B.J. 

Jesus and Mary, to talk with them, to accustom ourselYw to their ways of thinking,, 
speaking, and acting, which we do by being much in their company, — at one moment 
being present at the manger, at another at the foot of the cross, at another seeing our- 
Lord and His blessed Mother in heaven. But then we are reminded in the Rosary 
that this meditation and contemplation of our Lord's life is not to be a mere specula- 
tion, but it is to bear its own proper fruit, — that fruit is expressed in the petitions of 
the Our lather and Hail Mary. We look at our Lord and our blessed Lady, and our 
hearts get warmed and seek for an outlet in words. At once there are the ardent 
petitions of the Our Father and Hail Mary, which will express the most ardent desires 
that any saint ever had. In a word, there is nothing like the mysteries of the Bosary 
to excite us to pray ; nothing like the two prayers, Pater and Are, to express what we 
would pray for. For, whether you are in joy or in sorrow, in hope or in fear, near 
God or far away from God, still those two prayers will always fall in with your desires, 
and exactly suit your particular circumstances. But all this and much more is better 
understood by using the Rosary than by talking of its use. 

Little did Father Law imagine on Rosary Sunday, 1865, while- 
dining with his family at Hampton Court Palace, after his first sermon 
— little did he dream that his last Bosary Sunday would be spent in. 
the midst of privations which would, in another month, cause his death. 
But it is precisely on Bosary Sunday, fifteen years later, that the 
dying missionary records as a great boon and a great charity conferred 
by two poor native Africans : " They gave me a bit of meat" Though 
it will not be quite intelligible yet, I will end for the present with this- 
extract from the diary which Augustus Law resumed in the last year 
of his life ; 

Sunday, October 3, 1880, -Rosary.— Thank God, Brother Hedley is much better. 
Happiness of Mass. Both Isihlahla and Amalila are still sick with fever. I wish I. 
had more opportunities of learning the language, but it requires I should cross the 
river and go over to the kraal, and 1 am too weak for the exertion often. I went over 
to the kraal and called on Intabaezi and Amakakp, the two ambassadors, who have- 
been so kind. — They gave me a bit of meat 



Digitized by 



Google 



329 ) 



SNOW IN MAY. 

WHERE be all the poet's visions of a summer's peerless glow P 
May hath come— the minx ! — but brought us leaden clouds and wreaths 
of snow! 

• Stepping from the Dents du midi* to the infant vines below, 
She hath spread Death's winding mantle o'er the valleys of the Vaud. 

While I gaze upon the snow-flakes wafted hither from Tyrol, 
'Strangest thoughts steal on my fancy — stranger feelings thrill my soul ; 

For to me these white-robed foundlings seem sweet messengers of love- 
Mystic flowers dropped by angels from the azure fields above ! — 

Flowers of another springtide, far beyond earth's prison-bars, 
Garnered on the breast of planets 'mid the glory of the stars ! 

Yet the full-leaved trees look gruesome in their weird Siberian pall, 
Like the spectres seen at midnight, in some lone ancestral hall ; 

-But the summer zephyr cometh, sly and furtive, from the hills — 
Breathing balm upon the vineyards, and a blessing on the rills ; 

Then he rushes, clad in anger, o'er the plaintive dells and leas — 
■ Sweeping icicles and snow-flakes from the branches of the tiees. 

Loudly laugh the stately lindens in a "gaudeamw! " meet, 

As they see the white wreaths falling on the heather at their feet ! 

And they seem to thank the zephyr — rustling gaily to and fro, 
- Chaunting : " Praises to the west wind— he hath saved us from the snow ! " 

Where be all the poet's visions, like his dreams long, long ago P 
. Ah, for him they're wrapped and buried in bleak cerements of snow ! 

Yet, methinks, although his future "—lit with dim despairing gleams— 
May be peopled with chimeras grim as satyrs seen in dreams. 

: Summer waits him on the threshold, ready with Life's counterpart, 
Sweeping care and melancholy from the deserts of his heart 1 

Then he scales the heights Olympian — he hath reached the destined goal, 
While a Maytide's " gaudeamus ! " wakes the echoes of his soul ! 

Wherefore be it that these snow-wreaths, flitting, floating spirit- wise, 
-May be bouquets sent to greet him from the springtide in the skies ! 

Eugene Davis. 

* A range of mountains overlooking Lake Leman. 

Digitized by GoOgle 



( 330 ) 



NEW BOOKS. 

Mb. Fredebick Pustet, the great ecclesiastical publisher, whose chief 
establishment at Ratisbon, in Germany, has branches so far away as- 
New York and Cincinnati, has published, in five volumes, a new work 
on canon law — " Prselectiones Juris Canonici "—of which pages like* 
ours can hardly venture to give any account except to call attention to- 
them, as the most recent authority on the subject. The author is 
Francis Santi, Professor in the Pontifical Seminary at Home, and his 
work appears with the official sanction of the Pope's Vicar, Cardinal 
Parocchi. To those of our readers whom it conoerns, this information 
is sufficient. 

A somewhat larger class of our readers will be interested in the 
publication of a new work in pastoral theology by the author of " Pro- 
grammes of Sermons and Instructions." It is entitled " Pax Vobis : 
being a Popular Exposition of the Seven Sacraments, furnishing ready 
matter for public instruction, and suitable at the same time for private* 
or family reading." It is prefaced by a very cordial letter of appro- 
bation from the Archbishop of Dublin, whose authoritative testimony 
is enough to show us how worthy this work is of its predecessors, and 
how successfully the learned and pious author has carried out the- 
objects mentioned on his titlepage. The paper and printing are of 
the high excellence that Messrs. Browne and Nolan have led us to 
expect in their publications. 

One of the most splendid volumes that have ever been laid on our 
table is "The End of Man. By Albany James Christie, S.J." 
(London : Kegan Paul, Trench, and Co.) It is a poem in four books, 
developing with great exactness and fulness, in due order, the Spiritual 
Exercises of St. Ignatius, the four books corresponding with the four 
" weeks " into which a complete Retreat is technically divided. The 
metre chosen is the ordinary heroic verse of Pope, arranged in triplets. 
The grave and dignified measure is well suited to the solemn themes 
discussed, and the monotony which cannot be avoided is partly remedied 
by the interlacing of stanzas, in which the sense is not allowed to be 
completed at the end of each triplet, but made to run on from one into 
another. The ear is relieved also by the recurrence of certain refrains, 
such as the lines which represent the well-known prayer Anima Chruti. 
The eight thousand lines which fill this royal quarto are the fruit of 
many years of pious meditation, and, apart from their high merit as 
poetry, form a valuable commentary on the text of the Exercitia 
Spiritualia. The distinctive features, for instance, of the contempla- 
tions on the Kingdom of Christ and of the Two Standards are well 



Digitized by 



Google 



Notes on New. Books. 331 

brought out; and the Three Degrees of Humility are expounded 
without any leaning towards that common but erroneous interpretation 
which Father Caswall has put into rhyme. With such thick, ample- 
pages, and such stately binding, and with illustrations few, but worthy, 
we are astonished that the price of this volume is not twice as high as 
we have seen it stated to be in an advertisement. 

Another volume of religious verse, much less sumptuously produced, 
but in a manner well suited to its practical aims, is the new series of 
"Verses on Doctrinal and Devotional Subjects," by the Rev. James 
Casey, F.F. of Athleague, in the Diocese of Elphin. Father Casey'* 
previous publications have gained a large amount of favour; and we 
think the present volume is equal to the best that has gone before it in 
variety of theme, in freedom and accuracy of versification, and in the 
simple and fervent piety which animates the whole. The success which 
awaits this new venture will, we are sure, force the poet-pastor to 
relent in the decree which he threatens at the end of his preface, though 
with no very stern determination. This book of verses will not behislast*. 

Miss Alice Wilmot Chetwode has exercised her very considerable 
skill as a translator upon two French works of very different character, 
both translations being well brought out by Messrs. M. H. Gill and 
Son. The first is "The Valiant Woman *— " La Femme Forte," of 
Monseigneur Landriot, late Archbishop of Bheims. Ladies of educa- 
tion and intelligence will read these conferences with much pleasure 
and advantage. They are solid and at the same time unusually enter- 
taining. Miss Chetwode has done her part admirably. We have 
examined her execution here more carefully than in the other translation 
— " The Castle of Coetquen," by Raoul de Navery. The lady who- 
wrote under that name has an established reputation in France and 
Belgium as a purveyor of pleasant and innocuous fiction; and we have 
good external evidence that the present is a favourable sample of ber 
handicraft favourably presented to us. 

Messrs. Ticknor and Co., of Boston, are bringing out a very 
interesting work, sure to be welcomed in our Catholic educational 
institutions, entitled " Christian Symbols, and Stories of the Saints.'* 
It is by a well-known art writer, Mrs. Clara Erskine Clement,, 
author of "Handbook of Legendary Art," "Handbook of Painters 
and Sculptors," &c. Associated with Mrs. Clement in this work is 
Miss Katharine E. Conway, of the editorial staff of The Boston Pilot. 

The Irish Ecclesiastical Record for May, 1886, bestows warm praise 
on a work in which many of our readers are interested — " The Birth- 
day Book of our Dead " — of which also the following notice was lately 
given in The Tablet : — 

The compiler of this attractive little book has turned a familiar idea to new and 
happy account. Popular as they have been of late yean, the exact raison cCitre of 
the ordinary " birthday books " was never perfectly clear ; and certainly it was not 



Digitized by 



Google 



332 Note* on New Books. 

-commonly understood that they were intended for any pious purpose. The book 
before us is designed to serve as a record of departed friends, formed on the plan of 
4b birthday book. A page is given up to every day in the year, part of which is left 
blank to enter the names of our dead at the date of their entrance into rest; while 
the remainder contains appropriate readings in prose and verse, taken chiefly from 
"Catholic and religious sources, including numbers of maxims from the saints and 
spiritual writers. The sources of these selections have been as various as may be. 
For instance, if we take, quite at random, the present month of April, we find that 
-the list of writers includes Father Faber, Tennyson, Mrs. Craven, Mgr. Gilbert, 
Leigh Hunt, Father Ryder, Lord Beaoonsfield, Ben Jonson, St. Francis de Sales, D. 
F. MaoCarthy, Adelaide Procter, Charles Dickeus, Bugenie de Guerin, Moore, Barry 
'Cornwall, Frederio Ozanam, Pere de Bavignan, Mrs. Barbauld, Miss Katharine 
Tynan, Lady Wilde, Miss Emily Bowles, St. John Chrysostom, Charles Lamb, St. 
Augustine, Aubrey de Vera, Father Matthew Russell, S. J., Dr. Pusey, St. Catharine 
of Sienna, and Mgr. Gerbet It will thus be seen that the little book contains the result 
of a wide and varied reading, and it must be added that this has been turned to 
•excellent account. This birthday book will, we are sure, become very popular among 
Catholics* as well as among many outside the Church who have learned in some 
•degree the doctrine of the Communion of Saints. 

The American Redemptorists are bringing out a Centenary Edition, 
in English, of the Ascetical and Moral Works of their Founder, St. 
Alphonsus Liguori, which will occupy seventeen good-sized volumes. 
The editor isjthe Rev. Eugene Grimm, C.SS.R., and the publishers 
Benziger Brothers, of New York, St. Louis, and Cincinnati. The 
Preparation for Death, and a few smaller treatises form the first volume, 
-produced with that ponderous binding and that glossy paper which 
seem to delight book -buyers in the United States. It is well that 
such saintly writings should be propagated in every form. 

The " Life of Margaret Clitherow," by Miss Letitia Selwyn Oliver 
'(Burns and Oates), is not quite so good as Father John Morris's 
extremely interesting preface would lead one to expect, but it is much 
letter than one might fear from the opening sentence, which with its 
"' solitary horseman," reminds one of " the late Mr. G. P. R. James." 
Miss Oliver calls her book simply the Life of Margaret Clitherow, but 
she has attempted to give it the form of a novel, which throws a 
suspicious air on details that have really been sought out diligently in 
authentic records. It would require, if not a Walter Scott, at least a 
Georgiana Fullerton, to make this blending of fact and fiction quite 
successful ; but Miss Oliver's contribution to English Catholic litera- 
ture has far more merit than several similar works which have gained 
•considerable reputation. This neat volume will, of course, have 
additional interest for those who are familiar with the various places 
linked with the memory of the brave Elizabethan martyr of Ouse 
Bridge. 

No more seasonable moment could have been chosen by Mr. W. J. 
O'Neill Daunt for the publication of a collection of his "Essays on 
Ireland " (M. H. Gill and Son), which have appeared at various dates 
in the Dublin Review, the Contemporary Review, and other periodicals. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Note* on New Booh, 633 

The reader might, perhaps, have been assisted by a closer adherence to 
chronological order than appears in the following enumeration of the 
subjects discussed ; " Ireland under the Legislative Union, Ireland in 
the time of Swift, How the Union robs Ireland, The Irish Difficulty, 
Tithe Bent-charge in Ireland, Ireland in the time of Grattan, The 
History and Financial Results of the Union, the Vioeroyalty, England 
in the Eighteenth Century, and the Disestablishment of the State 
Church." Mr. O'Neill Daunt, of Kiloascan, made his mark as an Irish 
political writer more than forty years ago, and his latest publication is 
another proof of the inspired proverb, " A young man according to 
his way, even when he is old, he will not depart from it" 

" That day he overcame the Nervii." We are reminded of the 
marvellous speech that Shakespeare makes for Mark Antony, when we 
*ee Tournay, in Belgium, represented by " Tornacum Nerviorum," on 
the title-page of an admirable Parvwm Missale, published by Desctee, 
Lefebvre, and Co., otherwise known as the Imprimerie Liturgique de 
St Jean l'Evang61iste. This is by far the cheapest and most service- 
able Latin Missal that we have seen ; and we wish it had been further 
cheapened by the omission of pictures and needless ornamentation. 
In ecclesiastical seminaries, and even in ordinary schools, this little 
missal will, we trust, be in great request ; and priests also, and many 
laymen, will be glad to have the Missale Romanum in a form so com- 
*nodious and portable. 

A still more exquisite piece of typography from the same press, is 
the Sancti Anselmi Mariale, edited by Father Ragey, who claims for 
.fit. Anselm the authorship of what has been known as the Hymn of 
St Oasimir, Omm die die Mariae. The complete edition consists of 
thirteen hymns, each containing some thirty or forty of these wonder- 
fully rhymy stanzas. This little book is a very jewel of devotion to 
the Blessed Mother of God. 

The Rev. Edward Cuthbert Butler, O.S.B., M.A., Classical Master 
4tt Downside College has reprinted, in a sixpenny pamphlet from the 
Downside Review, some papers to which he gives the heading " Mon- 
seigneur Dupanloup on Liberal Education, 9 ' but which embrace a 
wider range of subjects, namely the Groundwork of Liberal Education, 
a Lesson from Berlin, Examinations and Cramming, Culture and 
Viewiness, and Utilitarianism in Education. These topics are illustrated 
not only from the educational writings of the Bishop of Orleans, but 
very copiously from Caadinal Newman, Dr. Whewell, Stuart Mill, and 
•other practical authorities. The abundant quotations, in small type, 
from the illustrious Oratorian which light up many of these pages are 
worth far more than the half-dozen pence charged for the whole. In 
preparing this reprint, greater prominence ought to have been given 
to an article referred to more than onoe— the recent dissertation in The 
Month on "Education and School/* by Father John Gerard, S.J., 

Vol. xiv. No. 156. 25 



Digitized by 



Google 



334 Notes on New Books. 

who wields, we think, the liveliest pen that ie at the service of Catho- 
lic literature, since Father Frederick Hathaway became a West Indian 
Missionary. Some of onr readers have still, no doubt, after many 
years, a vivid recollection of Father Hathaway's brilliant exposure of 
certain proselytising agencies in and near Dublin, under the title of 
" Irish Birds 9 Nests." Sinoe then our periodical literature has had no- 
such readable writing as Father Gerard's. Dom Butler does not aim 
at such brilliancy ; but the solid merits of his papers on education' 
make them useful not only for professors, but for students and even* 
schoolboys. 

The present writer remembers the distant time when he had to 
save up half a year's pocket-money to buy Moore's Irish Melodist r 
and here, for three pence Messrs. M. H. Gill and Son give in a large 
and clear type, a much more complete edition, as the third volume of 
their O'Oonnell Press Popular Library. 

The Catholic Truth Society, 18 West Square, London, S.E., has 
published for a penny Mr. James Britten's exceedingly useful and 
practical essay on " Catholic Lending Libraries," and also " St. George,- 
Protector of England," by the Rev. J. W. Reeks ; while for twopence 
they give Canon Croft's able essay on the Continuity of the English 
Church. 

Messrs. James Duffy and Sons have sent us their useful little book 
for the Jubilee of 1886, and Mr. P. Goodman's •• Catholic School 
Hymn Book," a collection of English and Latin hymns, with music in 
tonic sol-fa notation, for use in Catholic schools and choirs. 

We hardly know for what class of readers " The Following of 
Christ, by John Tauler, done into English, by J. R. Morell " (Burns 
and Oatee), is intended. The very neat garb whioh the publishers- 
have given to it might lead one to think that it is meant for the daily 
use of devout persons, whereas it is not fitted at all for the ordinary 
purposes of devotion, but belongs to what might be called antiquarian 
asceticism ; and for this latter purpose, also, the translating and editing 
to which the quaint old treatise has here been submitted, appear some* 
what inadequate. How differently a page of it reads from a page of 
the real " Following of Christ," by Thomas aKempis, which is for all 
times and all countries, and can never grow obsolete. 

The Rev. J. A. Cullen, S.J., has published through M. H. Gill and 
Son, " The Sodality Manual, or a Collection of Prayers and Spiritual 
Exercises for the Members of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
affiliated to the Congregation Prima Primaria, founded in the Roman- 
College of the Society of Jesus. 1 ' Beside the usual devotions given in 
the best compilations of prayers, this very carefully arranged volume 
contains many instructions not readily to be found elsewhere, m 
addition to the special rules and devout exercises of the sodalities to* 
which it is specially but not exclusively adapted. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Something about Sonnets. 335 

We must not wait till next month to say that the hurried glance 
that we have, at the last moment, thrown oyer a few pages of " The 
Life of Henrietta Kerr, Religions of the Sacred Heart " (Burns and 
Oates), showB that we have here one of the holiest and most exquisite 
pieces of contemporary biography. Of course, our readers will hear 
of it again from us ; but w« trust that the book will already haye 
become familiar to many of them. 



SOMETHING ABOUT SONNETS. 
By the Editor. 

THIS Magazine would haye little difficulty in establishing its 
claim to the distinction of being the most beeonneted periodi- 
cal in the world. We haye just gone oyer the annual volumes, 
sinoe it began its course fourteen years ago, and we find three 
sonnets in the first yolume, none in the second, and four in the 
third ; but then the contagion spreads, and from the year 1876 to 
1881, the numbers in due succession are 16, 17, 20, 28, 12, and 29. 
In 1882 and 1883 the production of sonnets fell to 11 and 8 
respectively, while in the following year the total output seems to 
have been a solitary sonnet Last year the number rose to nine ; 
and the current volume would find it easy to outtop the highest 
figure and complete a total of two hundred sonnets. 

This calculation has been made as a reason for attempting to 
enable a larger number of our readers to take an intelligent 
interest in a species of poetical composition which is distasteful 
even to many who have a fair relish for poetry. With those, of 
courete, who prof ess, as M. de Pontmartin says, "une horreur 
eyst&natique pour les vers," the sonnet is the object of peouliar 
contempt and abhorrence, although it might plead, in mitigation, 
that it occupies but little space. Now, like many good things, the 
sonnet is loved most by those who understand it best, and hated or 
despised by those who misunderstand it. Indeed, we might venture 
to apply to it the observation which we have heard, but never read > 
about a certain "little girl, who had a little curl, which hung 
down the middle of her forehead, and, when she was good, she 
was awfully good, but, when she was bad, she was horrid." Even 



Digitized by 



Google 



336 Something about Sonnets. 

thus also, when a sonnet is good, it is, if not " awfully/ 9 at least 
very good, but, when bad, it is little short of "horrid/' As 
Cassiodorus says of Origen : " ubi bene, nemo melius ; ubi male, 
nemo pejus." 

To be really good, a sonnet must be good in substance and good 
in form. Let us begin with the form, the anatomy, the organic 
structure of the sonnet. Our remarks shall be very elementary ; 
for the present paper is for beginners and may be considered one 
of those " easy lessons in verse-writing " with which we have some- 
times threatened contributors and would-be contributors, who 
seemed not to know the difference between a trochee and an 
iambus. 

It is a great saving of time and trouble to master a few techni- 
cal terms at the start ; and the structure of a sonnet is most 
conveniently described by words which have a rather pedantic 
sound. We are speaking of that form of sonnet which now-a-dayB 
is generally understood by the name of Petrarchan* sonnet. 
Every one who is likely to read these pages knows that a sonnet 
consists of fourteen lines ; and that in English each of those lines 
is the ordinary heroic verse, as it is called, like any line of 
Milton's "Paradise Lost," of Pope's "Essay on Man," of Gold- 
smith's "Deserted Village," of Moore's "Veiled Prophet of 
Xhorassan," of Longfellow's "King Robert of Sicily," or of 
Allingham's "Laurence Bloomfield in Ireland." This ordinary 
heroic line consists of five iambics ; that is, each pair of syllables, out 
of the ten syllables which make up the line, has the accent or stress 
of the voice falling on its second syllable. In other words each of 
the fourteen decasyllabic lines is accented on the alternate syllables. 
But a poem consisting of fourteen lines of this sort would not be 
a sonnet There would be no oneness, completeness, finality about 
it, to constitute it a special entity. Leigh Hunt, who knew Petrarch 
well and was so full of the Italian spirit, can surely not have 
intended " The Angel in the House " for a sonnet But it is very 
suspicious that among a score of sonnets of the strictest Petrarchan 
form, we find another little poem, addressed to Charles Dickens, 
consisting also of exactly fourteen lines, with no attempt at sonnet- 
form, but just seven ordinary oouplets, each with its independent 
rhyme. And yet, if the poet has said all he wanted to say in seven 

* Mr* Sharp, whose excellent collection, " Sonnets of this Century," we 
referred to in March, and shall often refer to again, calls the poet "Petrarca,'' 
and spells the adjective u Petrarcan ; " but, surely, he is naturalised among us as 
* 4 Petrarch " and the English adjective is " Petrarchan." 



Digitized by 



Google 



Something about Sonnets. 337 

heroic couplets, it seems hard to make him add another, in order to 
avoid the appearance of having intended a sonnet. That the 
greeting to Household Words is placed among the sonnets, may have 
been some editor's mistake. As an example of a poem of fourteen 
lines, which, nevertheless, is not a sonnet, let us give this " Angel 
in the House." In Forster's " Life of Dickens " we are told that 
Leigh Hunt took the idea from Dickens's epitaph on his wife's 
youngest sister, Mary Hogarth: "Young, beautiful, and good, 
God in His mercy placed her among his angels in her eighteenth 
year/' In 1848, Dickens writes: " This day eleven years, poor, 
dear Mary died." 

How sweet it were, if without feeble fright, 
Or dying of the dreadful beauteous sight, 
An angel came to us, and we could bear 
To see him issue through the silent air 
At evening in our rooms, and bend on ours 
His divine eyes, and bring us from his bowers, 
News of dear friends and children who have never 
Been dead indeed, as we shall know, for ever. 

Alas ! we think not what we daily see 
About our hearths — angels that are to be ; 
Or may be, if they will, and we prepare 
. Their souls and ours to meet in happy air— 
A child, a wife, a friend, whose soft heart sings 
In unison with ours, breeding its future wings. 

An additional reason for imagining that the poet really meant 
this guatorzaine for a sonnet, is, that he introduces a long pause 
just where it ought to be, at the end of the eighth line. For a 
legitimate Italian sonnet consists of two parts. The first eight 
lines are often, for shortness' sake, called the octave, and the last six 
lines the sestet ; but there is no use dignifying these two divisions 
with the title of major and minor systems, and it is more con 
venient to speak of them as two quatrains and two tercets. 

The two quatrains are almost always arranged like the stanzas 
of In Memoriam; but, of course, in Tennyson's poem, the lines 
are shorter by two syllables. Also, it is desirable and almost 
obligatory to have only two rhyme-sounds in all the eight lines ; 
namely, the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 8th, all rhyming together, and the 
2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 7th. English sonneteers, even of the strictest 
observance, allow sometimes a new third rhyme for the 6th and 
7th lines. 

The two tercets which complete the sonnets are allowed either 
two or three rhymes, and these may be arranged in many different 

Digitized by VjVJwVJ l\^ 



338 Something about Sonnets. 

ways, but the most approved is, to have thtee distinct rhymes in 
the first three lines, and then the three corresponding rhymes in 
the same order, or else with that order exactly reversed. When 
only two rhymes are nsed in the tercets, let the six lines rhyme 
alternately and not in couplets. Most experts dislike to have the 
last two lines rhyming together, for they contend that this ending 
has an epigrammatic sound. It gives the little poem the air of 
winding up with a self-satisfied smirk, as if it were an overgrown 
Spenserian stanza. Yet, for all that, many an excellent sonnet 
ends with this forbidden couplet. As regards this little point, and 
also for their own sake, let us contrast four sonnets on prayer. The 
first is by Hartley Coleridge, the gifted but weak-willed son of the 
Ancient Mariner. 

Be not afraid to pray — to pray is right. 

Pray, if thou canst, with hope ; but ever pray, 

Though hope be weak, or sick with long delay. 
Pray in the darkness if there be no light. 
Far is the time} remote from human sight, 

When war and discord on the earth shall cease ; 

Yet every prayer for universal peace 
Avails the blessed time to expedite. 
What it is good to wish, ask that of heaven, 

Though it be what thou canst not hope to see. 
Pray to be perfect, though material leaven 

Forbid the spirit so on earth to be. 
But if for any wish thou darest not pray, 
Then pray to God to cast that wish away. 

Let us contrast with this another sonnet on prayer, by Arch- 
bishop Trench, who was lately buried in Westminster Abbey. 
Richard Chenevix Trench was a very pure and refined poet, and we 
are glad to claim him as an Irishman. 

Lord, what a change within us one short hour 

Spent in Thy presence will prevail to make, 

What heavy burdens from our bosoms take, 
What parched ground refresh, aa with a shower ! 
We kneel, and all around us seems to tower ; 

We rise, and all, the distant and the near, 

Stands forth in sunny outline, brave and clear. 
We kneel, how weak ! — we rise* how full of power 

Why, therefore, should we do ourselves the wrong*— 
Or others — that we are not always strong? 
That we are ever overborne with care, 

That we should ever weak or heartless be, 
Anxious or troubled, when with us is prayer, 

And joy and strength and courage are with Thee P 

Digitized by G00gle 



Something about Sonnets. 389 

That seems to me a simpler and stronger ending, more like a 
sonnet and less like an epigram, than if it ended with a couplet ; 
and I think the couplet with which the sestet begins, spoils the 
49onnnet-f orm a little. Why did the author of " The Study of 
Words " use heartless in the peculiar sense it seems to bear in the last 
tercet — not " unfeeling," but "disheartened," "without spirit or 
strength P " The fifth line hardly makes its meaning clear enough ; 
which of course is that, before we kneel in prayer, difficulties and 
temptations rise up high and terrible, but, when we have knelt 
and prayed, and rise up from prayer, we see things in their true 
proportions, both the things around us and before us, temporal and 
eternal things. The outward little phrase, interjected into the 
tenth line, is a reproach to ourselves for neglecting prayer and 
other resources of graces, and so doing wrong to others, by leaving 
ourselves less qualified to do them good. 

" We want f aith in prayer. We want faith in prayer ! " was a 
frequent saying of an Archbishop of another sort, who probably 
never wrote a line of verse — Cardinal Cullen's holy successor in 
the Primacy, Dr. Dixon. It is well to learn something about 
prayer, even in sonnets, and I will fulfil my threat of giving four 
sonnets on prayer. But, by way of variety I will seize this excuse 
for following up Archbishop Trench with his successor, Lord 
Plunket, from whom for more reasons than one, we should never 
expect such a piece as " The Patriot's Rebuke." 

Te sons of Erin I who despise 

The motherland that hare you, 
Who nothing Irish love or prize, 

Give ear, 1 will not spare you 1 
The stranger's jeer I do not fear, 

But can I pardon ever 
Those who revile their native Isle P 

Oh ! never, never, never 1 

That persons so refined and grand 

As you are, should belong to 
This very low and vulgar land 

Is sad, and very wrong tool 
But 'tis too late to mend your fate, . 

Irish you are for ever — 
Yonll wipe that shame from off your name, 

Oh 1 never, never, never t 

Well, then, what do you hope to win, 

In spite of all your labours, 
By meanly cutting kith and kio 

And courting prouder neighbours f 

Digitized by G00gle 



340 Sotnething about Sonnets* 

Ah no ! dear sirs, he sadly em 
Who tries to be too clever ; 

Mark what I say, it will not pay — 
Oh ! never, never, never ! 

From Irish soil you love to roam, 
But just let me remind you 

You'll nowhere find a happier home 
Than what you leave behind you ! 

The world explore from shore to shore r 
'Twill be a vain endeavour, 

On scenes so bright you'll never light- 
On! never, never, never t 

Go point me out on any map 

A match for green Killarney, 
Or Kevin's bed, or Dunlo's gap, 

Or mystic shades of Blarney, 
Or Antrim's caves, or Shannon's waves;. 

Ah me ! I doubt if ever 
An Isle so fair was seen elsewhere — 

Oh I never, never, never ! 

Where will you meet with lads more true 

And where with truer lasses P 
Those genial hearts, those eyes of blue, 

Pray tell me what surpasses P 
You may not grieve such joys to leave. 

Or care such ties to sever, 
But friends more kind you'll never find — 

Oh ! never, never, never ! 

When strutting through some larger town 

Than your own native city, 
Some bigger men you may hunt down 

And bpre them — more's the pity ! 
But 'tis not State that makes men great, 

And, should you fawn for ever, 
You'll never rise in good men's eyes — 

Oht never, never, never. 

And now, my friends, go if you will 

And visit other nations, 
But leave your hearts in Erin still 

Among your poor relations ; 
, The spot of earth that gave you birtk 

Resolve to love for ever, 
And you'll repent that good intent— 

Oh ! never, never, never ! 

Digitized by 



Google 



Something about Sonnets. 341 

We do not know whether the Hon. Mm. 0. N. Knox is Irish, 
like the new Protestant Primate of that name. We give the 
following extract from her "Sonnets and Other Poems/' for the 
sake of the useful doctrine, urged too far, that we must not hope 
to be able to pray effectively at any given moment, that there must 
be remote and proximate preparation, and that they pray best who- 
pray always : 

Yon lift your hands, and pray to God for grace 

To tread down Satan underneath your feet, 

When a fierce struggle with him comes ; you cheat 

Yourself with hopes that now, that for a space, 

You may be noble where your life was base, 

Have strength bestowed by God, whom you despised, 

Obtain that mercy which you never prized, 

And overcome a foe you dared not face. 

Ah, fool and blind ! canst thou not yet perceive 

How equity is found in all God's ways P 

Thou shrinking, burdened one, He will not raise 

The load thou dost not strain at. This believe : 

That prayer is weak when born of present need ; 

It should be life-long, shaping word and deed* 

The last sonnet that we shall give on the subject of prayer, is* 
by our own contributor, S.M.S. It has already appeared in our 
fifth volume, and (not accidentally) on the same page with a sonnet 
by Denis Florence Mac Carthy : 

Art thou still young, and dost thou glance along 
Life's opening pathway with a timid dread P 
Make sure of prayer, thence be thy courage fed, 
And in the midst of strife thou shalt be strong. 

Or do the cares of middle life-time throng 
In all-absorbing force round heart and head P 
Make sure of prayer ! Our Master erstwhile said, 
" One thing sufficeth, over-care is wrong." 

Or hast thou reached old age's twilight drear P 
Make sure of prayer, the die is not yet cast. 
In sight of port sank many a vessel fair : 

If thou dost hope — and hope supposeth fear— 
If thou dost hope for God and heaven at last, 
In life, in death, .make sure, make sure of prayer/ 

The reader of taste will not relish this sonnet less bat more*, 
when he finds that Sister Mary Stanislaus has here versified 
some words of Father Faber, which may be found at page 159 of 
the second volume of " Notes on Spiritual Subjects/' 

* If you are young and look onward to the opening trials of life ; if you 
desire to find yourself strong in God's grace and established in holiness, you*. 

Digitized by vjUUV I v. 



342 Something about Sonnets. 

must be rare of prayer; if you ore middle-aged and not so holy as you feel 
jou should be, and look on to old age and its peculiar difficulties, you must be 
sure of prayer ; if you are old and look on to death, &a, be sure of prayer* 
Let us all look into the bright heaven above us ; are you to be there P Is it to 
*be your everlasting home P Be sure of prayer." 

In like manner has this most skilful sonneteer dealt with a 
sentence which occurs at page 320 of the book which some con- 
eider Father Faber's best, " The Creator and the Creature : — " Not 
a day passes in which our Blessed Lady does not interest herself 
i or us. A thousand times and more has she mentioned our names 
to God, in such a sweet persuasive way that the Heart of Jesus 
: sought not to resist it, though the things she asked were very 
.great for such as we are/' Here is this view of "Mary's Inter- 
cession, 19 recast in sonnet mould : — 

Oh, thought to set the coldest heart on fire 1 
Ob, thought to cheer the most despondent breast ! 
A thousand times within the regions blest — 
A thousand times the bright anjrelic choir 
Have heard my name in accents of desire, 
To Jesus' ear, by Mary's lips addressed ; — 
And always coupled with some grand request, 
Some grace not all my life-toil could acquire ; 
And with such pleading in her voice and eyes, 
Persuasive grace, maternal majesty, 
That He who ne'er her slightest wish denies — 
(Although the boon be far too great for me, 
Unworthy as He knows me), He replies : 
" As thou dost will, My Mother, let it be r 

The sonnets we have grouped here together illustrate one small 
-point which it is useful to remark, though it is only a mechanical 
detail, a mere direction to the printer ; but, as Mr. Oscar Wilde 
•observed once in calling our attention to the " vile setting " of a 
sonnet in proof sheet, " sonnets are meant to be looked at as well as 
Tead." The reader may have noticed a difference in the manner 
of printing the foregoing specimens of sonnet literature. With 
some of them the lines all begin evenly from the margin ; and this 
is the easiest plan, requiring no special attention. But many like to 
.aid the mind through the eye by indenting the lines according to 
the changing rhymes, making the first line and all that rhyme 
"with it start evenly from the margin, while the second line and all 
its corresponding lines are a little further in. A compromise be- 
irween these two arrangements makes the first lines of the two 
♦quatrains and of the two tercets begin uniformly from the outer 



>gle 



Something about Sonnet*. 343 

margin, and all the other ten lines from the same inner margin, 
: irrespective of rhymes. As a farther guide to the eye and to the 
intelligence of the reader, many strongly advocate the expediency 
*of placing a " white line " — a blank space — between the two com- 
ponent parts of the sonnet, between the major and minor system, 
or (as the learned reader may now prefer to say) between the octave 
■and the sestet. Nay, some are inclined to mark in this manner 
also, the division between the two quatrains and again between the 
two tercets. 

These mechanical devices are, in reality, no restriction to real 
inspiration. The form helps to secure the substance ; and even a 
partial compliance with such regulations tends to increase the 
-strength and clearness of the thought. A thoughtful and refined 
•critic in the Tablet (December 18, 1875), has put this point well. 
" As we are told that the mere obedient observance of a rule of 
religious life contains and unfolds high, unguessed, and mystical 
spiritual virtues, so the mere obedience to the metrical laws of the 
sonnet implies and brings with it the beauties of the crescendo, the 
•evolution of thought, the climax, the fall — and beauties more 
-hidden and subtle than these/' 

A quotation from Emerson, which is common to both, and their 
agreement in more than a quotation enable us to recognise, in the 
•critic whom we have just quoted, the writer of a yery brief essay on 
•sonnets, which we rejoice at being able to rescue from the forgotten 
pages of a short-lived and long-dead periodical ; and we rejoice all 
the more, because we believe we are thus giving the theory of one 
whose practice aims, not unsuccessfully, at the most exquisite per- 
fection. But is not " Preludes " a misnomer, if the fuller music 
»be not more prompt to follow P The miniature essay which follows, 
•appeared on March 3, 1877, in Yorick, a little journal which 
•blended literature and humour of too quaint and delicate a flavour 
ito prosper in this rough, noisy world. 

How far are English sonneteers bound by the Italian laws of sonnet con- 
struction P Probably no rale belonging to one language, and formed by its 
.peculiarities, can ever be adopted without modification by another. We u*e 
*oow, conventionally, the nomenclature of ancient versification, while the metrical 
miles of the ancients are impossible to uq. In the same way, we speak of English 
eonnets of the Petrarchan form, although only a certain number of the rules 
which are infrangible in Italian are practicable in English ; among those which 
.are not practicable is, for instance, the law of dissyllabic rhymes — monosyllabic 
rhymes being restricted in Italian to comic or rather to grotesque subjects. No 
sure line can be drawn, then, at the limits of our liberty, but it would be well if 
something like unanimity could be arrived at in England. Thi*, we think, can 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



344 Something about Sonnets. 

only be reached by a tetter appreciation of the character of the sonnet thought,. 
which k the cause of the sonnet form ; it is its cause, and it is guarded by the 
form it had created. A fonnet thought should be complete — round, not long, 
not capable of being cut off at any length, but a whole organism. Other organ- 
isms there are of different shapes to that of the sonnet, which, as we have said, 
is round » long poems, or poems of long shape rather, each of which, if it has a 
truo life, has its own determinate length. We remember, by the way, a pas- 
sage in one of Buskin's earlier works, in which he compares the length of a 
sea-weed, organized and whole in its system of veins and its living form, with 
the length of a ribbon, "a vile thing/' without shape, or growth, or system*. 
We apply the comparison, which Mr. Kuskin made in its literal sense, in a 
criticism of design, to organized and unorganized poems. 

We nlay conclude that the necessary sonnet-thought — which is the very 
inspiration and the cause of the sonnet — is guarded by a correct Petrarchan 
sfaps, but depends less for its preservation upon the rhymes. If the division 
into quatrains and tercets, with the proper pauses, be carefully observed, the 
sonnet will hardly suffer from the use of a greater variety of rhymes than Italian 
laws permit. Italian, with its regular conjugations, abounds and superabounds 
in rhymes, and so can hardly make rules for a language which has no regular 
verb-terminations. Against the shape of the sonnet the gravest offences, ami 
the most common in English, are these — the neglect of the pause of a semicolon: 
at least (preferably of a full point), at the end of the second quatrain, which, 
neglect confuses the evolution of thought ; secondly, the separation of the two 
final lines in a couplet, which gives or suggests epigrammatic point— out of 
harmony with this noble form j and, thirdly, the use of a final Alexandrine, 
which is every way fatal to the equality, roundness, and simplicity of the- 
sonnet. 

The Shakesperian sonnet, with its six alternate rhymes and its final couplet, 
has nothing in common with the Italian, except the number of its lines ; it 
opposes fancy to thought, fitfulness to evolution, epigram to serenity. 

Most English sonneteers, Milton and Wordsworth, for example, have aimed 
at the Petrarchan form, and finding it too difficult for continued composition, 
in English, have patched it with scraps of the Shakesperian poem. This la- 
why we propose a relaxation ss regards the Italian rules of rhyme, and as regards 
shape (t.s. the grouping, growth, and pauses of the sonnet) an obedience to the 
infrangible Italian law which has formed this most exquisite of poetic forma 
with something of the power and spring of a natural law in the growth of a 
plant. This strait correctness and submission retains the emotion which gathers 
strength in retention ; for it is not joy alone, but all strong passion, which 
delights in " suppression of the heart ; " whilst in these narrow bounds the 
imagination is emancipated, and the happy poet speaks " wildly, or with the 
fiower of the mind." 

As a true sonnet contains more substance than many a long 
poem, so this essayling condenses all that went before it and adds 
much of its own. If this and our other extracts should help to propa- 
gate the orthodox doctrine, as to the structure of the sonnet, we 
shall not (as the prefaces to dull books used to end) have written. 
in vain. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 845 ) 



THE FIT OF AILSIE'S SHOE. 

BY ROSA MTTLHOLLAND, 

AUTHO* Or " TAOSAKT TUSU," " XXUUXTT," " IHMW.1,1 OUCg," XTC., «TO. 

CHAPTER I. 

ON a certain mellow August afternoon an old woman was travel- 
ling along the sea-girt road between Portrush and Dunluce. 
She wore a long grey cloak, and a scarlet neckerchief thrown over 
her white cap. Her face was unusually sallow and wrinkled, with 
small, shrewd, furtive eyes. She carried a stick, and halted now 
and then from fatigue. 

She looked often from right to left, and from left to right, 
over the sea, heaving helplessly under its load of blazing brooding 
glory, and inland, over the stretches of green and golden, where 
cattle drowsed and corn ripened. She seemed like one not assured 
of her way, and looking for landmarks. Presently she stopped 
beside some boys who were playing marbles under r a hedge to ask 
whereabouts might stand the house of one James MacQuillan. 

" Is it Jamie's, you want P " said the eldest lad ; " there it's, 
up the hill yonder, with its shoulder agin the haystack. But if 
you're goin' there, I'll tell you that Ailsie's out at the fair. 
Mother saw her pass our door at sunrise this mornin'." 

From the way he gave his information, the urchin evidently 
thought that, Ailsie being from home, it was worth no one's while 
to climb the hill to Jamie's. No way staggered in her purpose by 
the news, however, the old woman proceeded on her travels, and 
took her way towards the haystack. 

She plodded up a green-hedged lonan, and emerged from it on 
a causeway of round stones bedded in clay. Here stood "Jamie's," 
a white cottage smothered in fuchsia-trees. There was a sweet 
scent of musk and sitherwood hanging about, and a wild rose was 
nailed against the gable. A purple pigeon was cooing on the 
russet thatch, and a lazy cloud of smoke was reluctantly mingling 
its blue vapour with the yellow evening air. Overtopping the 
chimney there rose a golden cock of new-made hay. The old 
woman snuffed the fragrant breath of the place, poked at the 
fuchsia-bushes with her stick, and peered all about her with her 
Vol.xiy.No.157. July, 1886. v ^rJ,> 26 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



346 The Fit of Aikie's Shoe. 

shrewd bright eyes. At last she approached the open door and 
looked across the threshold.* 

There was a small room with a clay floor, a fire winking on 
the hearth almost blinded out by the sun, a spinning-wheel in the 
corner, an elderly woman knitting beside the window, and a check- 
curtained bed standing in the corner, in which a sickly man sat up 
with a newspaper spread on his knees. 

" God save all here t " said the visitor, pushing in her head at 
the door. " An' is this Jamie MacQuillan's P " 

" As sure as my name's Jamie," said the weakly man, taking 
off his spectacles. " Take a seat, ma'am. You'd be a thraveller 
maybe, comin' home from the fair P " 

The old woman had dropped into a chair, panting with fatigue. 

" It's no shame for ye," she gasped, " that ye don't know me, 
seein' that ye never set eyes on me before ; but I'm wan o' the 
McCambridges, from beyont Lough Neagh, an' I've walked every 
foot o' the road to see you an' yours." 

" Why, you don't mane to say that P " cried Jamie, his pale 
face lighting up. "You don't mane to say you're Shaun 
McCambridge's sisther, Penny, own cousin to my father's second 
wife, that was to have stood for our Ailsie at her christenin', only 
she took a pain in her heel and couldn't stir from home P Faith, 
an' I might haveknowed you by the fine hook o' your nose, always 
an' ever the sign o' the rale ould blood. Throth that same blood's 
thicker nor wather. Mary machree, it's Penny McCambridge, 
from Lough Neagh side ! " 

Mary, the wife, now lifted her voice in welcome. 

" Good luck to you, cousin Penny," she said. c< The sight o* 
wan o' your folks is the cure for sore eyes. Come over an' give us 
the shake o' your han', for not a stir can I stir this year past with 
the pains, no more nor Jamie there that's down on his back since 
May. Och, it's the poor do-less pair we'd be only for our Ailsie, 
that's han's an' feet to us both, an' keeps things together out an' in." 

A great hand-shaking followed this speech, and then the visitor 
began to inquire for Ailsie, her god-daughter, that was to have 
been, only for the unfortunate pain in the heeL 

" Wait a bit, wait a bit," said the father ; " she'll be in from 
the fair by-an'-by, an' then if ye don't give her the degree for 
han'somest girl and the best manager that ever stepped about a 
house, I'll give ye lave to go back to Lough Neagh an' spend the, 
rest o' your days sarchin' for her aiquals." 

" Whisht, Jamie," said the mother ; " self praise is no praise, 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Fit of Aikie's Shoe. 347 

no more is praise o' yer own flesh an 9 blood. All the same, I 
wisht Ailsie was in to make cousin Penny the cap o' tay afther her 
thravels. She was to bring a grain o' the best green from Misther 
McShane's, in Portrush, as well as all the news from Castle Craigie, 
an' of the doin's of ould Lady Betty MacQuillan, more power to 
her!" 

" Is that the ould lady that's oome home from Ingia p " asked 
she who was called Penny McCambridge. 

"Ay, ay/' said the wife of Jamie, eagerly. "Ye've passed 
through Portrush, an' ye'll maybe have the f oreway of Ailsie with 
the news. What are they saying in the town P " 

" Well, ye see/' said Penny, " bein' a sthranger, and spakin' to 
few, I heard but little. But they do say that her husband was 
the last of the MacQuillanB of Castle Craigie, an' that as she has 
ne'er a child of her own, all the MacQuillans in the counthry are 
claimin' kin with her, an' fightin' among them about which '11 be 
her heir." 

" An' is that all ye know, Penny dear P " said Mary. " Why, 
I have more nor that mysel'. Sure she's written round an' round 
to every MacQuillan o' them all, biddin' them to a grand house- 
warmin' on Wensday come eight days, when she'll settle it all, 
an' name who's to come afther her. An' though she's in London 
now, she'll be at Castle Craigie afore then to resave them. An' 
sich a resavin' as that'll be ! Sich fixin' an' furbishin' as there is 
at the ould castle. They say there never was the likes o' it seen 
since the day Sir Archie MacQuillan brought home his fairy bride, 
an' then it wasn't painters an' bricklayers, but the ' good people ' 
themselves that laid han's on the rooms." 

11 She must be a queer sort of a body," said Penny. " But I 
hope, Jamie, that you, as honest a man, an' as good a MacQuillan 
as ever a wan among them, I hope you haven't been shy of sendin 9 
in your claim." 

" Och, Penny, if you'd only put that much spunk into him ! " 
cried Mary, with energy, " it's what I'm sayin' to him mornin', 
noon, an' night, an' it's no more to him than the crickets chirpin'." 

"Stop your grumblin', Mary," said the husband, "there's 
richer nor us, and there's poorer, but we're not so mane yet as to 
go cravin' for what we're not likely to get It's not to MacQuil- 
lans like us that Lady Betty has sent her invite." 

"An' more shame for her!" cried Mary, waxing wroth. 
" listen to me, cousin Penny. When Lady Betty's husband, Sir 
Dinis MacQuillan that's dead an' gone, was nothing but plain 

Digitized by G00gle 



348 The Fit of Aikie's Shoe. 

Dinis, an' the youngest of seven sons, lie went off an' married 
wan or'nary-faoed, low-born lass, called Betty O'Flanigan, an' 
brought her all the way from County Wexford to Castle Craigie 
here, thinkin' he had nothin' to do in the world but ring the gate 
bell, an' walk in with his wife. It was Christmas-time, an' hard 
weather, an 9 sich f eastin' an' visitin' goin' on at the castle, when 
all at wanst the news o' the marriage come down like a clap on the 
family. It took six men to hold ould Sir Patrick, he was in that 
mad a rage, an' you may guess it was little welcome poor Betty 
got when Dinis brought her to the door. The two o' them had 
just to turn back the way they come, an' it beginnin' to snow, when 
Jamie there, that was then a lad of fifteen, he was standin' out by 
his mother's door, an' he spied them comin' down the road. Betty 
had on a fine gown, but she looked very lonesome, poor body, an* 
Jamie knowin' what had happened, he up an' he says : 

" ' Mrs. MacQuillan,' says he, ' it's comin' on a storrm, an' it'll 
be hard on you goin' further the night,' says he. l And if you'll 
be so good as to step inside,' says he/ ' it's my mother '11 be glad 
to see you.' 

" Poor Betty was glad to hear the word, an' in she went, an* 
stay there she did for two weeks, till her husband got their passage 
taken out to Ingia. An' when she was goin' away, an' biddin' 
good-by, she says to Jamie, she says, * Jamie, my boy, if ever 
Betty MacQuillan comes home from Ingia a rich woman, she'll 
find out you an' yours, if you're above the arth, an' mind you, 
she'll pay you back your good turn ! ' 

" Many's the time I hard the story from Jamie's mother, rest 
her sowl ! " Mary went on. " An' it's the fine fortune Dinis an' 
Betty made in Ingia. Two years back, when the last of the 
brothers died without childer, we hard that Sir Dinis was comin' 
back to end his days in Castle Craigie. But that news wasn't stale 
till we hard o' his death, poor man ! An' now Betty's comin' 
back her lone, a rich woman, an' a fine lady. An' I'll just ax you, 
cousin Penny, if it wouldn't fit her betther to be lookin' afther 
Jamie there, that offered her the shelter o' the roof when she was 
in need o't, than to be huntin' up a pack o' highflyers, the very 
set that sneered an' sniggered over her disgrace in the dhrawn-rdom 
at the castle, the day she was turned from the gates P " 

Cousin Penny had given attentive ear to the wife, and now she 
turned to the husband. 

"What do you say to that now, Jamie P" she asked, with a 
knowing twinkle of her shrewd bright eyes. 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Pit of Aikies Shoe. 849 

" I say this/' cried Jamie, crackling and folding at his paper 
with energy. " I say that the man or boy, it's all wan, that does 
a good turn expectin' to be paid for it, desarves no more thanks 
than a man that sells a cow and dhrives a good bargain. An 9 1 
say that Mary ought to be ashamed to sit there talking of sich a 
thing that happened forty year ago, an' if Ailsie was here she 
wouldn't — but good luck to her ! there she is herseT, gone past 
the window." 

All the three pair of eyes were now turned to the doorway, 
whose sunny space was obscured for a moment by as pretty a figure 
as any lover of fresh and pleasant sights could wish to see. This 
was a ripe-faced, dark-haired, country girl, with her coarse straw 
bonnet tipped over her forehead, to save her eyes from the sun, and 
her neat print gown tucked tidily up over her white petticoat. 

" Come in, Ailsie ! " cried Jamie, " come in an' see your cousin, 
Penny McCambridge, from Lough Neagh side, that was to have 
been your godmother, an' has come every fut o' the road from that 
to this, to see what sort o' lass you've turned out." 

" Make haste an' make us the cup o' tay," said her mother. 
" I hope you didn't forget to bring us a grain o' the best green 
from Misther McShane's P Good girl ! An' how did yer eggs an 9 
butter sell P I'll lay you a shillin' you haven't the sign o' either 
wan or the other to set before the sthranger this day 1 " 

" Maybe I haven't though ! " said Ailsie, laughing. " It's by 
the fine good luck I put by two nice little pats undher a dish, afore 
I went off this mornin'. An' as for eggs, if Mehafly hasn't laid 
wan afore this time o' day, I'll put her in the pot for a lazy big 
hen, an' Cousin Penny '11 stay an' help to ate her." 

A nice little meal was set, and Ailsie flung herself on a bench 
to rest. 

" An' now you'll have breath to tell us the news, Ailsie," said 
Mary, the mother, sipping her tea complacently. " What's doin' 
an' sayin' in Portrush about Lady Betty P " 

" Oh throth, mother ! " said Ailsie, tossing her head, " troth 
I'm sick, sore, an' tired, hearin' o' the quare old house she's pulled 
down on her back, poor body ! Sich gregin' an' comparin' you 
never hard since the day you were born. The f rien's o' wan 
MacQuillan, an* the frien's o' another, at it hard an' fast for 
which'll have the best chance of comin' in for the ould lady's 
favour. An' sich preparations! Mrs. Quinn, the housekeeper, 
took me all through the castle to see the new grandeur ; an' sich 
curtains, an' pictures, an' marble images, an' sich lookin'-glasses ! 

Digitized by G00gk 



350 The Fit qf AiMe's Shoe. 

feth, when I went to the dhrawn-room door, I thought I'd gone 
crazy, for half-a-dozen other Ailsies started up in the oorners an' 
all over the walls, an' come to meet me with their baskets on their 
arms. An' then there's the ball-room where the dancin's to be, 
all hung round with green things, an' the floor as slippy an' as 
shiny as the duck pond was last Christmas in the long frost An 9 
I went into Miss O'Trimmins, the dressmaker, to see if her tooth* 
ache was better, an' I do declare she could hardly reach me her 
little finger across the heaps of silks an' muzlins that she had piled 
about her there in her room. An' while I was there, a carriage 
dashed up to the door, an' out stepped the five Miss MacQuillans 
from Bally Scuffling, an' in they all came to have their dresses 
tried on. An' Miss O'Trimmins kept me to hold the pins while 
she was fittin' them, for all her girls were that busy they could 
hardly stop to thread their needles. An' sich pinchin' an' screwin' ! 
When they went away, I said to Miss O'Trimmins, * I'm thank- 
ful/ says I, ' that none o' these gowns is for me.' An' she laughed, 
and says she, ' I wouldn't put it past you, Ailsie, to be right glad 
to go to the same ball if you got the chance.' 

" ' I'm not so sure o' that,' says I, ' but, as for chance, my 
name' 8 MacQuillan as well as its theirs that were here this minute 
lookin' at me as if I was the dirt undher their feet. An' put it to 
pride or not,' says I, ' but I do think, if I was done up grand, I 
could manage to cut as good a figure in a ball-room as e'er a wan 
o' them red- nosed things that are goin' to dress themsel's up in all 
this fine grass-coloured satin ! ' It was very impident an' ill done 
o' me to make such a speech," said Ailsie, blushing at her con- 
fession, which had sent cousin Penny into fits of laughter, " but 
my blood was up, somehow, with the looks o' them old things from 
Bally Scuffing, an' I couldn't hold my tongue I " 

" Go on, go on, Ailsie dear ! " said Penny, wiping her eyes. 

" Oh, then," said Ailsie, " she began talkin' the same kind o* 
stuff that they were botherin' me with the day through, axin' me 
why my father hadn't sent word to Lady Betty like the rest o' the 
MacQuillans, tellin' me we were the only wans o' the name that 
hadn't spoken. It's just the wan word in all their mouths. Mrs. 
Maginty, that buys my eggs, she was at it an' ouldDan Carr, that 
takes my butter from me, I thought I'd never get him talked down, 
an' Nancy McDonnell that was sellin' sweeties in the fair, an' 
Katty O'Neil that was goin' about with me all day, an' Mrs. 
McShane that I bought the tea from. Och ! I couldn't remember 
the wan half o' them ! " 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Fit of Ailsie'* Shoe. 351 

" An' what did you say to them, Aikie dear P " asked Mary 
the mother, insinuatingly. 

"Why," said Ailsie, " I tould them first, that all the rest o' 
the MacQuillans about were ladies an' gentlemen, an' would be 
creditable to Lady Betty when she made her choice, but that my 
father was a poor man that had nothin' to do with the comin's an' 
goin's o' genthry. But when that wouldn't do, I up an' told them 
that he had too much f eelin' for a lonely old woman comin' home 
without a friend in her ould age, to think of beginnin' to worry 
her about what would be to divide af ther her death, afore ever she 
set foot in the counthry. ' It's an ill welcome for all their fine 
talking/ said I, ' an' if they hadn't put her an' peschered her to it, 
she would never be for doin' the quare thing she's goin' to do on 
Wensday week night.' An' what do you think she is goin' to do, 
father P " said Ailsie, turning to Jamie, " but she's to have a big 
cake made, an' a ring in it, an' every MacQuillan at the feast gets 
a piece o' the cake, an' whoever finds the ring, as sure as he's there 
he's the wan to share Lady Betty's fortune, an' come afther her in 
Castle Craigie ! " 

Here Mary the mother began to groan and rock herself, and 
complain of the obstinacy of people who would not stretch out 
their hands for a piece of that lucky cake, when it might be theirs 
for the asking. Jamie was getting very red in the face, and 
crumpling his paper very fiercely, when Penny, who had been 
laughing again, once more wiped her eyes, and taking her stick 
from the corner, prepared to depart. 

" It's getting far in the day," she said, " an' I have a good 
bit further to go afore night, to see my old friend Madgey 
Mucklehern, that lives in the Windy Gap ; good luck is hers she 
hasn't been blown out o't house an' all afore th^s ! But I'll be 
back this way/' she added ; " don't you think ye've seen the last 
o' Penny McOambridge, cousin Jamie, for feth ye'll know more o' 
me shortly, if the Lord spares me my breath for a wheen more o' 
weeks." 

And Penny McCambridge shook hands with her kinsfolk, and 
trotted away down the lonan, as she had come. 



Digitized by 



Google 



352 The Fit of Ailsie's Shoe. 



CHAPTER II. 

It was only a few evenings after this that Ailsie was sitting on 
the end of the kitchen-table, reading the newspaper to her father. 

" Na — na," said Ailsie, stumbling at a word, " v i — vi, g a — ga 

Och, my blessin' to the word, I can't make head or tail o't. 

Ye'll read it betther yersel', father ; an' it's time I was goin* 
f eedin' my hens, anyhow ! " 

"Ailsie," said Jamie, rubbing his spectacles, "I'm feared 
you'r turnin' out a bad clark afther all the throuble Misther 
Devnish has taken wi' you. Ye'r getting* a big woman, Ailsie, 
an' there's not a thing ye'r bad at but the clarkin'. Go off to 
school, now, this very evenin', and give my respects to Hughie 
Devnish, an' tell him to tache you how to spell navigation afore 
you come back." 

Ailsie coloured, and her thick black lashes rested on her russet 
cheeks while she tucked up her gown and kneaded the wet meal 
for the hens with her gipsy hands. But as she left the house she 
looked back with a wicked little toss of her head. 

" Then you an' Hughie Devnish may put it out o' yer heads 
that ye'll ever make a clark o' Ailsie," die said ; " for if ye wer 
to boil down all the larnin'-books that ever cracked a school- 
masther's skull, an' feed her on nothin' but that for the next ten 
years, ye wouldn't have her wan bit the larnder in the hinder end ! " 

So saying, she stepped out into the sun, and was busy feeding 
her hens under the shelter of the golden haycock, when she saw a 
servant in a showy livery coming riding up the lonan. 

" Can you tell me where Miss MacQuillan lives about here, my 
good girlP" he asked, with a supercilious glance at Ailsie's 
wooden dish. 

" No," said Ailsie, looking at him with her head thrown back. 
"That's Jamie MacQuillan's house" — pointing to the gable — 
" an' I'm his daughter Ailsie, but there's no Miss MacQuillan here ; 
none nearer by this road nor Bally Scuffling." 

" I beg your pardon, miss," said the man, with an altered 
manner, " but I believe this must be for you." And then he rode 
off, leaving her standing staring at a dainty pink note which she 
held by one corner between two mealy fingers. "Miss Ailsie 
MacQuillan," said the ink on the back of the narrow satin envelope. 

" That's me ! " said Ailsie, with a gasp. •' The rest o' them's 
all Lizabeths, an' Isabellas, an* Aramintys. An', as thrue as I'm 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



The Fit of Ailsie's Shoe. 353 

a livin' girl, it's the Castle Craigie liveries yon fine fellow was 
dressed up so grand in, an' here's the Castle Craigie crest on this 
purty little seal/ 9 

It was a note of invitation to Lady Betty's ball, and, in spite 
of her bad " clarkin'/' Ailsie was able to read it, spelling it out 
word after word, turning it back and forward and upside- down, 
and feeling sure all the time that somebody had played a trick on 
her by writing to Lady Betty in her name. She sat on a stone 
and made her reflections, with the sun all the while burning her 
cheeks, and making them more and more unfit to appear in a 
ball-room. 

" An' she thinks I'm some fine young lady in a low neck an' 
satin shoes, waitin' all ready to step into her ball-room an' make 
her a curtsey. Good luck to her ! What 'd she say if she heard 
Ailsie's brogues hammerin' away on yon fine slippy floor o' hers P " 
And Ailsie, as she spoke, extended one little roughshod foot and 
looked at it critically. " Then thank you, Lady Betty ; but I'm 
not goin' to make myseT a laughin'-stock for the counthry yet ! " 

" Who came ridin' up the lonan a bit ago, Ailsie P " said the 
mother, when she went in with the note safely hidden in her 
pocket. 

" Ridin' up the lonan is it P " said Ailsie. 

"Ay, ay," said Mary, "I thought I hard a horse's fut on the 
road, but it be to been yer father snorin'." 

" Me snorin' ! " cried Jamie, starting and rubbing his eyes, 
" Te'r dhramin' yerseP, Mary. Ailsie, ye witch, are ye not gone 
to school yet P " 

"Well, I'll go now, father," said Ailsie. "Maybe," she 
thought, " Hughie 'U tell me what to do with that letter afore I 
come back." 

A thatched house, with a row of small latticed windows blink- 
ing down at the sea in the strong sunset, with a grotesque thorn, 
looking over the more distant gable, and an army of fierce holly- 
hocks mustering about the little entry-door. This was the school,, 
and Mr. Hugh Devnish was at this moment standing at his desk, 
writing "head-lines" in the copy-books of his pupils; a young* 
man with a grave busy face, and one hand concealed in the breast 
of his coat. That hand was deformed, and so Hugh Devnish had 
been brought up to teach school, instead of to follow the plough* 
That such breeding had not been wasted, his face announced. 
Even the country people around held him in unusual respect, 
though he did not give them half as many long words, nor talk 

Digitized by G00gle 



354 The Fit of Aikie's Shoe. 

"Latin to them, like his predecessor, Larry O'Mullan, who had 
died of hard study, poor boy ! at the age of eighty-fire. 

Hughie glanced through the window before him, got suddenly 
Ted in the face, and cried " Attention ! " in a voice which made all 
the lads and lasses look up from their copy-books. The next 
moment a gipsy-faced girl walked in, hung up her bonnet, and sat 
•down on a form. 

" What's your word, Ailsie MacQuillan P " asked the school- 
master, taking her book with a severe and business-like air. 

" Invitation, sir — navigation, I mane," said Ailsie, demurely, 
studying her folded hands. 

The master looked at her sharply, and afterwards frowned 
severely, when, on going the rounds of the desks, he found " Lady 
Betty MacQuillan," "Castle Craigie," and other foolish and 
meaningless words, scrawled profanely over the page which was to 
have been sacred to navigation alone. Ailsie was " kept in " for 
bad conduct, and locked up alone in the school after the other 
pupils had gone home. And there, when the schoolmaster came 
to release her, she was found plucking the roses that hung in at 
the window, and sticking them in the holes for the ink-bottles 
along the desks. A crumpled note lay open before her. 

We should hardly have said the schoolmaster came in, for, 
though it was Hughie Devnish, he appeared in a new character. 
This punished girl was his wildest and least creditable pupil, and 
yet, when he walked up to her in her disgrace, he was trembling 
jtnd blushing like his own youngest " scholar" coming up for a 
whipping. His eye caught the crumpled note, and he picked it 
up and read it. 

" I guessed how 'twas," he said, " but you're surely not think- 
in' of goin'P" 

Now Ailsie had intended to ask his advice, but the mischief 
that was in her would come out. 

"Why should I not go as well as another?" she asked, 
pettishly. 

" Aroon, you know I would not like it," he said. 

" An' that's a reason, f eth ! " said Ailsie, tossing her head, and 
beginning to piok a rose to pieces. 

" Ailsie," said the young man vehemently, " it was only the 
other day you told me here that you could like me betther than all 
the world, betther than Ned Mucklehern, for all his fine land and 
his presents o' butther an' crame ; betther than Mehaffy the miller, 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Fit of Ailsie s Shoe. 855 

that gave you the fine 8j>eckled hen ; betther than MacQuillan o* 

the Keek " 

" Bad manners to him ! " struck in Ailsie, angrily, flinging a 
shower of rose-leaves from her hand over the desks. 
" You promised to be my wife, Ailsie." 

" It all come o' keepin' me in for had conduct/' said Ailsie, 
swinging one foot with provoking unconcern. 

" No matter what it came of/' said Hughie, " you promised 
me. And you promised me as well that you wouldn't go thrustin' 
yourself among these people, that would only laugh at you for 
your pains." 

" I don't know why you should think I'd be laughed at/' said 
Ailsie, " barrin' you're ashamed o' me ! " 

The schoolmaster's face blazed up, and with all his heart in his 
eyes he gazed at her where she sat with her ripe face half turned 
from the sun coming through the lattice, and her dark head framed 
in the roses. 

" Ashamed o' you, mavourneenP" he said, tenderly. "No; 
but there might be some there that I wouldn't like you to come 
across, an' you alone an' unprotected. MacQuillan o' the 

Beek " 

" I slapped his face wanst ! " cried Ailsie, firing up again, 
41 an' it's not likely he'll come axin' me to do 't again." 

" And there'll be others there," he went on, " that'd fall in 
love wi' you maybe, an' snatch you up from Hughie before he has 
enough earned to marry you out o' hand." 

" An' what if they did P " said Ailsie, with wicked coolness. 
" What if they did P " repeated Devnish, slowly, looking at 
her with a pained appealing look, as if expecting her to retract 
the cruel words. " I tell you what it is, Ailsie," he broke out 
passionately, drawing his left hand from its concealment, <4 I 
believe it's this that's workin' at the bottom o 1 all your coldness. 
You're tired already of a deformed lover. Go to Lady Betty's 
ball then, an' find a husband for yourself that you'll not be 
ashamed of. Go— " 

Just as Ailsie was getting pale, and the tears coming into her 
eyes, a little door opened, and a good-humoured-looking country 
woman came into the schoolroom. 

" Gome in to your supper, Hughie," she said. " Och, is it 
Ailsie MacQuillan in penance the night again P Girl alive ! is it a 
love-letther you're showin' the masther ? " 

"No, indeed, Mrs. Devnish," said Ailsie, erecting her head ; 

Digitized by G00gle 



356 The FU of Aikie's Shoe. 

"it's a note of invitation from Lady Betty MacQuillan, axin' me 
to do her the honour of dancin' at her ball at Castle Craigie on 
Wensday come eight days.'* 

" Oh, then, then ! but you're the lucky girl," cried the Widow 
Devnish, clapping her hands over the note, while Hughie stalked 
away silently to a window by himself. " I declare it's as grand 
an' as beautyful as if it was written to the Queen. Asthore ! an' 
has your mother any sense left at all, with the dint o v the joy P " 

" She didn't see it yet,' 9 stammered Ailsie, seeing now the 
scrape into which she had got herself through yielding to her 
reckless whim of tormenting her lover. " I got it just as I left 
home, an' she didn't see it yet." 

" An' you're stan'in' up there as if nothin' had happened you, 
you ongrateful colleen," said the Widow Devnish, pocketing the 
note. " Wait a minute, then, till I get the cloak, an' it's myseT 
'11 go home wi' you, an* help to tell the news." 



CHAPTER HI. 

It was speedily settled between Mary MacQuillan and the Widow 
Devnish that Ailsie should go to the ball. 

" I have a fine piece of yellow Chaney silk," said the Widow 
Devnish. " that Sailor Johnny sent me from beyont the says. It 
would make her a skirt, barrin' it wasn't too long, an' a hem o' 
somethin' else lined on behind." 

"An' I've a ducky bit o' chery tabinet," said Mary, the 
mother, " that brother Pat, the weaver, sent me from Dublin to 
make a bonnet o\ It'll cut into a beautyful jockey for her, 
barrin' we don't make the sleeves too wide." 

So on the eventful night Ailsie was dressed out in the yellow 
silk skirt and cherry-coloured bodice, with a fine pair of stockings 
of Mary's own knitting, with magnificent clocks up the sides. 
Her little bog-trotting brogues wqre polished till you could see 
yourself in the toes, and a pair of elegant black silk mittens 
covered her hands up to her little brown knuckles, stretching up 
past her wrists to make amends for the scantiness of her sleeves. 
Then, she had a grand pair of clanking earrings as long as your 
little finger, which the Widow Devnish had worn as a bride ; and 
the two mothers, taking each a side of the victim's head, plaited her 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Fit o/Ailtie's Shoe. 357 

thick black hair into endless numbers of fanciful braids, which 
they rolled round the crown of her head, and into which they 
planted a tortoiseshell comb, curved like the back of an arm-chair, 
which Jamie's mother had worn at his christening, and which 
towered over Ailsie's head like Minerva's helmet put on the wrong 
way. Ned Mucklehern of the Windy Gap was to take her to Castle 
Craigie in his new spring cart ; and two good hours before dark 
Ailsie was standing at the door, looking longingly for a glimpse of 
Hughie coming over the hill, to see how handsome she looked in her 
strange finery. But Hughie did not appear, and vowing vengeance 
on him for his " sulks," Ailsie submitted to be packed up in the 
cart. 

" But it's no use takin' the rue now," said she. " I be to go 
through with it ! " And with desperate bravery she said " good 
night " to Ned Mucklehern, who, at her command, set her down at 
a little distance from the entrance gates, out and in of which the 
carriages were rolling at such a rate as made poor Ailsie's heart 
thump against her side, till it was like to burst through Pat-the- 
weaver's tabinet. 

She crept in through a little side-gate, and up the avenue, keep- 
ing as much as possible in shelter of the trees ; but it was not quite 
dark ydt, and the coachmen coming and going stared at her, taking 
her, maybe, for some masquerading gipsy or strolling actress, whom 
Lady Betty had engaged to amuse the company. She arrived at the 
hall door just in time to see a flock of young ladies in white robes 
float graoefully over the threshold, and the absurdity of her own 
oostume came before her in its terrible reality. Covered with con- 
fusion, she looked about to see if she could escape among the trees, 
and hide there till morning ; but one of the grand servants had 
•espied her, and under his eyes Ailsie scorned to beat a retreat. 

" What is your business here, young woman ? " asked this awful 
person, as she stepped into the glare of the hall lights. 

" I am one of Lady Betty's guests," said Ailsie, lifting her head. 
But a horrible tittering greeted this announcement from a crowd of 
other servants, who were all eyeing her curiously from head to foot. 
Ailsie was ready to sink into the earth with shame and mortification, 
when, happily, the arrival of a fresh carriagef ul of guests diverted 
the general attention from herself, and she heard some one saying, 
" This way, miss." Glad to escape anywhere, she followed a servant 
whose face she could not see, but whose voice was wonderfully 
familiar. Passing through an inner hall, her hand was grasped by this 
person, and she was swiftly drawn into a pantry and the door shut- 
Vol. xiv. No. 157. rO0g 



358 The Fit of Ailsie' a Shoe. 

" Oh, Hughie, Hughie ! " cried Ailsie, bursting into tears, and 
clinging to his arm. " Then where did you dhrop from, anyways P " 

" Whisht, avourneen ! " said Hughie, " we haven't a minute to 
stay, for yon chaps '11 be runnin' in an' out here all night. But 
do you think Hughie could rest aisy at home an' you unprotected 
in this place P Wan o 1 the fellows was knocked up with all the 
wine that's goin', an' they were glad to give me his place, an' his 
clothes. Ye won't feel so lonesome." 

" Oh, Hughie, I wisht I'd stayed at home as you bid me. An" 
your han', Hughie ? " 

" Och, never mind it, asthore. I'll only carry small thrays, and 
the wan hand '11 do beautiful. Come now, aroon." So, resuming- 
his character of servant, Hughie squired his trembling lady love 
up Lady Betty's gilded staircase. 

The ball was held in an old-fashioned hall whose roof was- 
crossed with dark rafters, from which gloomy old banners were 
swinging. The door was partly open, and Ailsie peeped in. 

" Oh, Hughie, Hughie ! " she whispered, " take me back to the 
panthry ! I'll lie close in a cupboard, an' never stir a stir till 
morning." 

" It couldn't be done, darlin'," whispered Hughie. " Te must 
put a bold face on it, an' take your chance." 

He opened the door wide, and Ailsie felt herself swallowed up 
in a blaze of light and colour, with a hum in her ears as of a thousand 
bees all buzzing round her head at once. When she recovered from 
her first stunned sensation, and regained consciousness of her own: 
identity, she found herself seated side by side with the five Miss- 
MacQuillans from Bally Scuffling, all dressed in their grass-coloured 
satin, all with their noses redder than ever, all eyeing her askance 
from her comb to her brogues, and tittering just as the servants had 
done in the hall. 

A band was playing, and a crowd of people were dancing, but 
it seemed to Ailsie, whenever she looked up, that nobody had got 
anything to do but to stare at her. JW^hen she saw the elegant 
slippers of the dancers she was afraid to stir lest the " hammerin' " 
of her feet should be heard all over the room ; and when MacQuillan 
of the Reek came up to her, and, making a low bow, begged the 
honour of dancing with her, Ailsie's ears began to sing with con* 
fusion, and her teeth to chatter with fright. But as she did not 
know how to refuse, she got up and accompanied him to where 
there was an empty space on the floor. The band was playing & 
lively tune as a quadrille, and Ailsie, thinking anything better than 

Digitized by G00gle 



The Fit of Aihiea Shoe. 359 

standing still, fell to dancing her familiar jig with energy. She had 
once slapped this gentleman's face for his impertinence, and she 
believed that he had now led her out to avenge himself by her 
confusion. So Ailsie danced her jig, and finding that the clatter 
of her brogues was drowned by the music, she gained courage and 
danced it with spirit, round and round her astonished partner, till 
the lookers-on cried " Brava ! " and the laugh was turned against 
MacQuillan of the Reek, who was, after all, very glad when she 
made him her curtsey, and allowed him to take her back again to 
the Bally Scuffling maidens, who had not been dancing at ail, and 
who held up their five fans before their five faces in disgust at 
Ailsie's performance. 

A magic word, supper, acted like a charm on all there. The 
crowd thinned and disappeared, and nobody noticed Ailsie. Every 
gentleman had his own partner to attend to, and no one came near 
the little peasant girl. Ailsie was very glad, for she would rather 
endure hunger than be laughed at, and she was just beginning to 
nod asleep in her seat, when in came Hughie. 

" I'm goin' to fetch you somethin' to ate, darling" he said, and 
hurried away again. And Ailsie was just beginning to nod asleep 
once more, when in came MacQuillan of the Reek, saying that Lady 
Betty had sent him to conduct her (Ailsie) to the supper-room. 

Lady Betty was sitting at the head of the most distant table, 
with a knife in her hand, and a huge cake before her. The more 
substantial eatables seemed to have been already discussed, for every 
guest had a slice of this cake on a plate before him or her. They 
were nibbling it, and mincing it up with knives. All were silent, 
and all looked anxious and dissatisfied. Ailsie thought the silence 
and the dissatisfaction were all on account of her audacious entrance. 

" This way ! " said Lady Betty MacQuillan, in a voice that 
made Ailsie start, and the august hostess cleared a place at her side 
for our blushing heroine. The wax-lights blazed on Lady Betty's 
golden turban, and Ailsie did not dare to look at her face. She sat 
down, and Lady Betty with her own hand helped her to a small cut 
of the wonderful cake. Ailsie was very hungry, and the cake was 
very good. She devoured a few morsels eagerly ; then she ceased 
eating. 

" Why don't you eat, child P " said Lady Betty, in a voice that 
again made Ailsie start ; and this time she ventured to look up. 

She looked up, and stared as if the clouds had opened above her 
head. There was a little withered yellow faoe, with twinkling 
black eyes, looking down on her— a lace that she had seen before. 

Digitized by VjOOQ IC 



360 The Fit of Ailsie' s Shoe. 

It was Penny MacCambridge, from Lough Neagh side, who was to 
have been her godmother only for the unfortunate pain in her heel, 
who was sitting there, dressed up in purple velvet and a cloth-of- 
gold turban. Oh, murther ! What would be the end of this ? 
Penny McOambridge befooling all the gentry folks of the country 
round, pretending to be the lady of Castle Craigie ! Or, stay ! 
Whether was Penny McOambridge acting Lady Betty MacQuillan, 
or had Lady Betty MacQuillan been acting Penny McOambridge P 

"Why don't you eat, child P " repeated Lady Betty, as Ailsie 
sat turning her piece of cake about on her plate. 

" I'm hungry enough," said Ailsie, " but I cannot ate this, my 
lady, barrin* you want me to choke mysel' ! " 

And Ailsie held up her bit of cake in which was wedged the ring 
that declared her the heiress of Oastle Craigie. 

Well, I need not tell how, after supper, some of the guests who 
were spiteful ordered their carriages and whirled away in disgust ; 
how others, who were not spiteful, stayed and danced the morning 
in ; how some, who were good natured, congratulated Ailsie on her 
good luck ; how others, who were quite the reverse, yet fawned on 
the bewildered heroine of the evening. How Ailsie was kept close 
by the wonderful Lady Betty all the rest of the time ; how she 
watched in vain for another glimpse of Hughie ; how, in the end, 
she was conducted to a splendid bedchamber, where she was 
frightened out of her senses at the grandeur of the furniture, and 
could not get a wink of sleep for the softness of the stately bed. 

The news was not long in travelling over the country, and 
next day, when a carriage dashed up to the foot of the lonan, Jamie 
and his wife thought they were prepared to receive their fortunate 
(laughter with dignity. But when Ailsie walked in to them in a 
white pelisse and sandalled slippers, her bonnie dark eyes looking 
out at them from under a shade of a pink satin hat and feathers, 
this delusion of theirs was dispelled. Mary's exultation knew no 
bounds, and Jamie said, " Can this fine lady be my daughter P " 
nervously, and with tears in his eyes. And Ailsie sat on a chair 
in the middle of the floor she had swept so often, and cried, and 
pulled off her fine hat, and threw it to the furthest corner of the 
kitchen, vowing she would never leave her father and mother to go 
and live with Lady Betty. And Lady Betty, who was present, was 
not a bit angry, although the beautiful hat was spoiled ; but began 
telling how she would educate Ailsie, and take her to see the distant 
world, and how she would dress her like a princess, and marry her 
to some grand gentleman, who should either bear the name of 
MacQuillan, or adopt it. 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



The Fit o/Aihie's Shoe. 361 

But Ailsie only crying worse at this than before, she threw a 
purse of gold into Mary's lap, and began describing all the good 
things she would do for Jamie and his wife if Ailsie would only 
come with her ; how she would build them a pretty house ; how 
they should have servants to attend them, and horses and cows, 
and money at command. And Ailsie, listening to this, cried more 
-violently than ever, with her swollen eyes staring through the 
door, out to the hill that led across to Hughie's. Then, when Lady 
Betty had done, Mary the mother began.* 

Ailsie took her eyes from the open door, and looked at her father. 
But Jamie, afraid to mar his child's brilliant prospects, only hung 
his head, and said never a word at all. 

Then Ailsie's heart seemed to break with one loud sob. " I'll go, 
feth ! " cried she, " an' may God forgive ye all ! " and rushed out of 
the cottage and down the lonan, bareheaded and weeping. Midway 
she stopped on the road, and, pulling off one of her pretty shoes, she 
flung it from her with all her might till it struck the trunk of a far 
tree growing on the hill that led to Hughie's. 

" That's the slipper to you, for good luck, Hughie Devnish ! " 
she said ; " an' if ever I forget you to marry a fine gentleman, may 
the Lord turn my gran' gowns into rags again, an' the bit that I 
ate into sand in my mouth ! " 

So Ailsie said good-bye to home. The next day Lady Betty 
and Miss MacQuillan departed from Castle Craigie for the 
Continent. 



CHAPTER IV. 

Four years passed away, and Jamie and Mary had grown 
accustomed to their improved circumstances, Lady Betty having 
proved as good as her word in bestowing on them all those benefits 
which she had enumerated when coaxing Ailsie away with her. 
Whether they were quite satisfied with the freak that fortune 
had played with them, they themselves knew best. When a neigh- 
bour went in to see them, Mary had always some grand talk about 
" my daughter, Miss MacQuillan ; " but the Widow Devnish often 
shook 'her head, saying they were dull enough when nobody was 
by, and feared Ailsie had forgotten them. 

Ned Mucklehern and Mehaffy the miller, had each consoled 
himself with a wife long ago. Hughie Devnish still taught his 
school, and his mother still called him in to his supper of evenings ; 
but he was not the same Hughie, the widow vowed, never since 



Digitized by 



Google 



862 The Fit of Ailsie' s Shoe. 

the night of Lady Betty's ball, when he had taken the strange 
whim of going serving at the castle. That some one had put a 
charm on him that night, from the effects of which he had never 
recovered, was the Widow Devnish's firm belief. He was " as 
grave as a judge," she said, from morning till night, all wrapped 
up in the improvement of his school, never would go to a dance or 
a fair like other young men, and, say what she might to him, would 
admit no thought of taking a wife, though his means would allow 
of it now, since he had got some tuitions among the gentry folks 
of the neighbourhood. The Widow Devnish was very proud of 
her son, but she was sorely afraid there was " something on him.*' 
For, strangest of all, once, when she came into his schoolroom at 
dusk unnoticed, she saw him looking at a little kid shoe, with long 
silken sandals hanging from it. " She'll forget/' he was saying, 
as he turned it about, and wound the sandals round it, " of course, 
of course she'll forget." 

All this time, while things had been going on so with these 
vulgar and insignificant folks at home, neither Ailsie nor Lady 
Betty had been seen at Castle Oraigie. Lady Betty surrounded 
her prot6g6e with French, Italian, drawing, and music masters. 
But with these had Ailsie concerned herself but little. " Hughie 
Devnish could never tache me," she would say, coolly, when they 
were ready to wring their hands with vexation, " an' I don't think 
it's likely ye're any cleverer than him." However, there were 
some things that Ailsie did learn in time. Being observant and 
imitative, she acquired a habit of speaking tolerable French, and 
when talking English she modified, though she did not by any 
means give up, her brogue. She very soon learnt to flirt a fan, to 
awry her handsome gowns with ease, and to develop certain original 
graces of manner, which were considered by many to be very charm- 
ing in the pretty heiress of Lady Betty's Indian thousands. 
Altogether, the patroness found herself obliged to be content, 
though the young lady could read neither French nor Italian, nor 
yet could she play on the spinnet or guitar. 

Ailsie's education being thus finished, Lady. Betty set her heart 
on an ambitious marriage for her favourite. She introduced her to 
society in Paris, and saw her making conquests right and left at 
the most fashionable watering-places on the Continent. Ailsie's 
sparkling eyes were enchantingly foiled by her diamonds, and 
proposals in plenty were laid at her feet. But Ailsie, though 
-enjoying right merrily the homage so freely paid her, only laughed 
at the offers of marriage, as though it were quite impossible to 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Fit qfAihie's Shoe. 368 

regard them as anything but so many very capital jokes. Lady 
Betty did not join in this view of the matter, but she had patience 
with her heiress for a considerable time, as Ailsie always mollified 
her displeasure by saying, on her refusal of each " good match," 
4i 1 will marry a better man still, Lady Betty." 

After four years, Lady Betty, who was a wilful old lady, and 
whose patience was exhausted, quarrelled with her about it, and 
before she recovered her temper she took ill and died, 'and Ailsie 
found herself one day sad and solitary in Paris, without the pro- 
tection of her kind indulgent friend. 

Tears would not mend the matter now, nor would they alter 
the will which Lady Betty had left behind her, the conditions of 
which were fair enough, said Ailsie' s suitors, when the contents of 
the important document became known. One year had the impatient 
old lady given her chosen heiress, in the space of which time to 
become a wife. And if at the end of that year she was still found 
to be a spinster, not a penny had she, but might go back to the 
cottage at the top of the lonan, and take with her her father and 
mother to work for them as before, to milk her cows, and feed her 
hens, and persuade herself, if she liked, that her wit, and her 
diamonds, and her beauty, and her lovers, had all had their 
existence in a tantalizing dream, which had visited her between 
roosting-time in the evening and cock-crow of a churning morning. 
But, should she marry before the year was out, bestowing on her 
husband the name of MacQuillan, then would the shade of Lady 
Betty be appeased, and the Indian thousands and the Irish rentals, 
together with the old ancestral halls of Castle Craigie, would all 
belong to Ailsie and the fortunate possessor of her wealthy little 
hand. 

Very fair conditions, said the suitors, and proposals poured in 
on Ailsie. But lo and behold ! the flinty-hearted damsel proved 
as obstinate as ever; and, in the midst of wondermentand disappoint- 
ment, having attained the age of twenty-one, and being altogether 
her own mistress, she wrote to her retainers at Castle Craigie to 
announce her arrival there upon a certain summer day. Great was 
the glory of Mary MacQuillan when she received a letter from her 
daughter, desiring that her father and mother should at once take 
up their abode at the castle, being there to receive her at her arrival. 
Great, indeed, was her triumph when Miss O'Trimmins sat making 
her a gown of brown velvet, and a lace cap with lappets, in which 
to meet her child, and when Jamie's blue coat with the bright gold 
buttons came home. 



Digitized by 



Google 



364 The Fit of Ailsie' a Shoe. 

Ailsie brought a whole horde of foreigners with her, brilliant 
ladies of rank, who called her pet and darling in broken English — 
and needy marquises — and counts with slender means, who were 
nevertheless very magnificent persons, and still hoped to win the 
Irish charmer. Balls, plays, and sports of all kinds went on at the 
Castle, and those of the gentry-folks who, from curiosity, or a 
better feeling, came to visit Ailsie, found her in the midst of a room- 
ful of glittering company, dressed in a blue satin sacque and pearl 
earrings, with her hair dipping into her eyes in very bewitching 
little curls, and seated between Mary in the brown velvet 
and lappets, and Jamie in the new coat with the buttons. They 
went away saying she was wonderful indeed, considering, delight- 
fully odd and pretty, and they wondered which of those flaunting 
foreigners she was going to marry in the end. Meantime the year 
was flying away, and old neighbours of her mother's began to shake 
their heads over the fire, of nights, and to say that if Ailsie did 
not take care, she might be a penniless lass yet. 

Things were in this position, when, one fine morning, Miss 
MacQuillan driving out with some of her grand friends, thought 
proper to stop at the door of Hughie Devnish's schoolhouse. The 
schoolmaster turned red and then pale, as he saw Ailsie's feathers 
coming nodding in to him through the doorway, followed by a 
brilliant party of grandees, and two footmen dragging a huge parcel 
of presents for his girls and boys. Ailsie coolly set her ladies and 
gentlemen unpacking the parcel and distributing its contents, 
whilst she questioned the schoolmaster upon many subjects with 
the air of a little duchess, whose humour it was to make inquiries, 
and who never, certainly, had seen that place, much less conversed 
with that person before. 

Hughie endured her whim with proud patience, till, just before 
she left him, on opening his desk to restore a book to its place, she 
demanded to see a certain little dark thing which was peeping out 
from under some papers. Then, with evident annoyance, he 
produced a little black kid shoe. So the story runs. 

" Why, it's only a slipper ! " said Ailsie, turning it about and 
looking at it, just as the Widow Devnish had detected Hughie in 
doing. " What an odd thing to keep a shoe in a desk ! But it 
looked like the cover of a book. Good morning." 

As the party drove off, it is said that one of the gentlemen 
remarked that the schoolmaster was a fine-looking intelligent fellow, 
fit for a better station than that which he filled. And it is further 
said that next day Ailsie made a present to this gentleman of a 
snuff-box worth a hundred guineas. 
• 



The Fit of Ailsie 1 8 bhoe. 365 

When Ailsie went to her room on her return home on this 
August afternoon, she walked over to a handsome gold casket which 
stood upon her table, unlocked it, and took out a little kid slipper 
which looked as if she must have stolen it out of Hughie's desk. 
In the sole of it was pinned a slip of paper, on which were scrawled, 
in a crude hand, the words : 

" If ever I forget you, Hughie Devilish, to many a fine gentle- 
man, may the Lord turn my gran 1 gowns into Rags agen, and the 
bit that I ate into Sand in my mouth." 

" And the Lord's goin' to do it very fast," said Ailsie, falling 
back into her old way of talking, as she looked at this specimen of 
her old way of writing, " if I do not look to 't very soon, an' be 
keepin' my word ! An' God knows, Hughie Devnish," she added, 
as she locked her box again with a sharp snap, " you're more of a 
gentleman any day the sun rises on you, than ever poor Ailsie '11 
be of a lady ! " 

And I am given to understand that shortly after this, the lady 
of the castle sent a message to her guests to say she was indisposed 
(Ailsie had picked up a few pretty words) from the heat, and must 
beg them to excuse her absence from amongst them for the rest of 
the day. 

It was on this very evening that Hughie Devnish was walk- 
ing up and down his schoolroom floor, musing, I am told, on the 
impossibility of his enduring in the future to have Ailsie coming 
into his school at any hour she pleased, to play the mischief with 
his feelings, and the lady patroness amongst his boys and girls. 
He had just come to the point of resolving to give up his labours 
here, and to go off to seek his fortune in America, when click ! 
went the latch of the door, and (of course, thinks he, it must be a 
dream), in walked Ailsie. Not the Lady Bountiful of the morning, 
in satin gown and nodding feathers, but the veritable old Ailsie of 
four years ago, in the same old garb, cotton dress, brogues, straw 
bonnet tipped over her nose, and all (where on earth did she get 
them P) in which she had tripped in to him on that other August 
evening, of which this was the anniversary, when she had shown 
him her invitation to Lady Betty's ball. 

Now, the gloaming was just putting out the glare of the sunset 
behind the latticed windows, and when Hughie had pinched himself 
and found that he was not dreaming at all, he next became very 
sure, that he had gone out of his senses with trouble, and that he 

Digitized by G00gle 



366 The Fit of Ailsie's Shoe. 

was looking at an object conjured up before his eyes by his own 
diseased imagination. However, the apparition looked very sub* 
atantial as it approached, and sitting down on the end of one of the 
forms, it displayed a paper which it unfolded in its hands — hands 
that were white instead of brown, making the only difference 
between this and the old Ailsie. 

" I've got a letther here, Misther Devnish," said Ailsie's old 
voice, speakiDg with Ailsie's old brogue, and in the sly, mischievous 
tone that Hughie remembered well : " an 1 , if ye plase, I want ye 
to answer it for me. I'm a bad dark mysel', ye know." 

Not knowing what to say to her, he took the letter out of her 
hand and glanced over it. It was a proposal of marriage from 
Ailsie's old tormentor, MacQuillan of the Reek. 

The schoolmaster was trembling, you may believe, with many 
confused ideas and sensations when he folded the letter and returned 
it ; but he inked his pen manfully, and produced a sheet of paper, 
then sat waiting with much patience for his visitor's dictation. But 
Ailsie sat quiet, with her eyes upon the floor, and so there was a 
cruel pause. 

" Well P " says Hughie, at last, with a bewitched feeling, as if 
he were addressing only his pupil of old days, " what am I to say 
in the answer P " 

" Feth, I don't know," says Ailsie. 

"But what regply do you mean to give P " asked Hughie, striving, 
we are assured, to command himself. " Am I to say yes or no in 
the letter P " 

" I tell ye 1 don't know, Hughie Devnish," said Ailsie, crossly. 
" I gave a promise to another, an' he never has freed me from it 
yet. I b'lieve ye'U know best what to put in the letther yersel'." 

" Ailsie ! " cried Hughie, rising to his feet, " did you come here 
for nothing but to dhrive me mad P Or, avourneen, is it possible 
you would marry me yet P " 

" Feth it is, Hughie," said Ailsie. 

And after the letter was written they went in and had tea with 
the Widow Devnish. 

The next morning Miss MacQuillan appeared amongst her 
guests as if nothing had happened, but before night a whisper 
flew from ear to ear that the heiress was engaged ; while the lady 
herself did not contradict the report. Every man looked darkly 
at his neighbour, and " Who is he P " was the question on every 
lip. At last " It is not I," said one noble drone, and flew off to 



Digitized by 



Google 



The Roman Poefs Prayer. 367 

seek honey elsewhere : and " It is not I," said the others, one by 
one, and followed his example; and by-and-by Ailsie was left 
peacefully in possession of her castle ; whereupon there was a quiet 
wedding, at which Mary, Jamie, and the Widow Devnish were the 
only guests. 

A nine days' wonder expires on the tenth, and after a few years 
Hugh Devnish MacQuillan, Esq., was looked upon as no despicable 
person by many who thought it their duty to sneer on his wedding- 
day. 



THE ROMAN POET'S PRAYER. 

(Horace, Book L, Ode 31.) 

WHEN, kneeling at Apollo's shrine, 
The bard from silver goblet pours 
Libation due of votive wine, 
What seeks he, what implores ? 

Not harvests from Sardinia's shore 5 

Not grateful herds that crop the lea 
In hot Calabria ; not a store 

Of gold, and ivory. 

Not those fair lands where slow and deep 
Through meadows rich, and pastures gay 

Thy silent waters, Liris, creep 
Eating the marge away. 

Let him to whom the Gods award 

Calenian vineyards, prune the vine ; 
The merchant sell his balms and ware, 

And drain the precious wine 

From cups of gold j to Fortune dear 

Because his laden argosy 
Crosses, unshattered, thrice a year 

The storm- vexed Midland sea. 

Ripe berries from the olive bough, 

Mallows, and endives, be my fare, 
Son of Latona I Hear my vow j 

Apollo ! grant my prayer. 

Health to enjoy thejblessings sent 
From Heaven ; a mind unclouded, strong ; 

A cheerful heart ; a wise content ; 
An honoured age ; and Song. 

Stxphkn DB V*M. 



iby Google 



( 368 ) 



FREDERICK LUCAS-* 
By the Rev. Peter Finlay, S, J. 

CATHOLICS are deeply indebted to Mr. Edward Lucas for his 
brother's Life. It is a most welcome addition to our scanty 
store of good biographies. We have translations from the French 
in plenty — in too great plenty, many think, who regret that literary 
ability should be so often wasted in clothing very commonplace 
foreigners with an English dress. But, if we except Saints' lives, we 
have very few biographies which can be of real interest to readers of 
our own time and country, and we have scarcely any that can interest 
an educated Catholic layman, or set before him a higher purpose in 
existence than money and position. We need books that will show 
us men who have lived noble lives in our own days and in our own 
land, who have been in the world, yet were not of it, who have 
fulfilled every duty to their country, their family, and their friends, 
and have been guided always and everywhere by the principles of 
their Faith. The " Life of Frederick Lucas " shows us one such 
man ; and we thank his brother for it. 

Lucas was born in London, in 1812. Both his parents 
belonged to the Society of Friends ; and he himself, during youth 
and early manhood, was fully satisfied with the religion they had 
taught him. But not long after his call to the bar, in 1835, his 
thoughts began to turn towards Catholicism ; the Oxford Move- 
ment helped to stimulate his inquiries ; and early in 1839 he was 
received into the Church. From that moment his religion became 
the controlling influence of his life. It was not a garment for 
Sunday wear, to be kept sacred from the desecration of week-day 
work. It was a part of the man, which he could as little put away 
from him as the sense of truthfulness and honesty by which he 
shaped his public and his private actions. He did not believe in a 
purely speculative theology. He did not even accept the theory that 
religious truth has achieved its purpose, when it dictates our choice 
of a place for public worship. He held that religion, if it be any- 
thing better than a mere philosophy, must colour a man's whole 

* "The Life of Frederick Lucas, M.P.,by his brother, Edward Lucas."' 
(2 vols. Burns and Oates, 1886.) 



Digitized by 



Google 



Frederick Lucas. 369 

life, must be the test by which everything is tried, must be the 
supreme interest for which the man will do and suffer. This entire 
devotion to religion, and the duties which religion points to, I 
believe to have been the leading feature in Frederick Lucas* 
character, the secret of much that is most admirable in it, and the 
explanation of all that appears liable to blame. It cannot be with- 
out profit for us to dwell at some little length upon it. 

The state of Catholic affairs was far from satisfactory at the 
time of Lucas' conversion. O'Connell and the Irish had won 
Emancipation just ten years before. They were eager to make 
their triumph a tangible reality, to verify in facts the language of 
the statute book; and for the redress of religious grievances, 
which were many and intolerable, the Catholics of Ireland were 
practically united. In England it was far otherwise. The English 
Catholics had taken little part in the struggle for Emancipation. 
The Gordon riots had as utterly undermined their courage as the 
Revolution had undermined that of the old nobility of France. It 
was a tradition amongst them that protest against injustice should 
never become vehement or loud-voiced, and that the safest remedy 
against governmental wrong, as the doctors of " divine right " had 
taught them, was patient suffering and prayer. The upper class 
amongst them looked on O'Connell and his associates as rather vulgar 
agitators. Co-operation with him was impossible. It was degrada- 
tion enough to owe their freedom to him, to have shared in the 
spoils of his victory* And yet they were anxious to possess an 
organ in the Press — one, however, that should plead their cause in 
gentle words, and pay for every crumb of justice with effusive 
thanks, and maintain, generally, the best traditions of Catholic 
■" respectability." Singularly enough, Mr. Lucas was invited to 
conduct the paper; and so the convert of one year's standing 
became the prominent representative of Catholicism in England. 
The case is partly paralleled by Disraeli's leadership of the Tories ; 
but Disraeli was able to educate' his party, while Lucas tried and 
failed to do as much for his. The very motto of the first Tablet — 
Burke's saying " My errors, if any, are my own ; I have no man's 
proxy " — might have shown, at the outset, that he was not quite 
fitted for the position. This became still more clear, some three 
years later, when he placed an image of Our Lady and the Divine 
Infant at the head of the leading columns. Such open and 
unnecessary profession of a peculiarly Catholic belief — one, too, 
which the Protestant public misunderstood and misrepresented — 
was distasteful to many of his English co-religionists. "The 

Digitized by G00gle 



870 Frederick Lucas. 

sacred privacy of religion " formed the text for many a pressing 
appeal to him, and for many a threat. But Lucas held firm. 
"Privacy of religion" he detested heartily; and he answered 
to the threats that " all the subscribers within the four seas should 
not tempt him to a change." His attitude, again, towards the 
Tractarian Movement gave much offence to many " charitable * 
Catholics. There was then, as there is still, a disposition on the 
part of some, to minimize religious differences, to dilute Catholic 
doctrines, soften down truths that grate upon heretical susceptibili- 
ties, and make the most of whatever shreds of revealed dogma the 
sectaries have retained. Well-intentioned and zealous 'Catholics 
looked to such means for a " reunion of the Churches." But Lucas 
was not of the number. He could not be convinced that there is 
anywhere a divine commission to compromise the truth ; he laughed 
at " the Churches," for Jie knew there can be only one ; he set 
little value on the remnants of belief which heresy has preserved, 
for he had learned that Faith is not an inheritance which may be 
divided into lots to suit thfe varying tastes of purchasers. Then, 
too, his treatment of Catholic Parliamentary politics created much 
dissatisfaction. The man who wrote of an Education Bill, which 
the Earl of Arundel and Surrey declared, "as a Catholic," in the 
House of Commons, to be " framed in a most just and fair spirit/* 
that it was " infernal ; w who wrote of Lord Surrey himself : " we 
believe him to be utterly disqualified by habits and education to 
pronounce a rational opinion on what is and what is not consistent 
with the tenets and discipline of our Church ; " who said of 
the " good society " that was scandalized by his plain speaking : 
u we regard it as a corrupt heap of religious indifference, of half 
faith, of cowardice, of selfishness, of unmanly impotence/* and 
then added: "if the Tablet were to sink to-morrow, our only 
regret would be, that we have not found words acfequate to 
express the indignation with whjch the conduct of ' good society' 
in these matters inflames and overwhelms us " — such a man was 
surely a strange spokesman for the Catholics of England. 

Naturally, Mr. Lucas met with opposition. Bitter opposition 
from those without was, of course, to be expected ; and, in the 
circumstances, opposition even from some " of the household of 
the faith" was unavoidable, if his work was to be thorough. St. 
Philip Neri it was who held that the enmity of some good men is 
a necessary test of all great religious undertakings. It must, how- % 
ever, be admitted that Mr. Lucas* methods had no tendency ta 
conciliate an adversary. It was made a charge against him that 

Digitized by VjUUV Iv, 



Frederick Lucas. 371 

lie could not be induced " to catch flies with honey ; " and, possibly, 
in some instances, his immediate success would have been greater 
had his controversial phraseology been less plain and vigorous. It 
would have been better, perhaps, to trust more to his readers' 
imagination and powers of inference. But it should be borne in 
mind that the tone of English Catholic opinion was deplorably 
low, when he entered upon public life. " We actually stood tremblings 
in presence of Englishmen and Irishmen, as if we owed them an 
apology for being Catholics/' said the Rambler, some years later, 
describing the change which had been wrought by Lucas. He had 
to teach men to use their rights, to think and to speak as freemen ; 
to force upon them a policy and a language that ran counter to all 
their feelings and traditions. He adopted such means as military 
commanders use when young soldiers waver under a heavy fire ; 
and his indignation and his ridicule were ultimately far more 
beneficial to the Catholic cause than the most varied forms of 
gentle exhorjtation. 

His zeal, however, was not all polemical. The Society of St. 
Vincent de Paul, which now counts 137 conferences in England, 
was established mainly through his exertions; though press of 
occupations made him decline the invitation to become its president- 
He aided powerfully in the formation of the Society of St. Thomas 
of Canterbury, intended to replace the Catholic Institute, which 
had grown effete. He gave earnest attention to the religious and 
social condition of the poor, and laboured to organize means for 
the building of Catholic churches a&d schools, and for the educa- 
tion of the clergy. In fact, no plan could be suggested for the 
advancement of the Faith and the salvation of souls which Lucas 
was not prompt to advocate by voice and pen, and to assist with 
money and personal co-operation. 

Yet his position became more and more untenable. The 
enemies of his policy within the Catholic body and even among the 
clergy, on whom the Tablet largely depended, became so numerous 
and so embittered, that he resolved on removing to Dublin. 

He had come to Ireland in 1843, at the crisis of the Repeal 
Movement. An anti-Repealer at first, on the ground that " in the 
Supreme Legislature of the Empire the Catholic Church would be 
shorn of nine-tenths of its strength/ 9 if the Irish Members were 
withdrawn, he had changed his views, when convinced that the 
f Union was unjust. On the questions of the " Godless Colleges " 
and the " Charitable Bequests Act " he had sided strongly with 
Dr. MacHale and his fellow Bishops against the two Primates, 

Digitized by vjUUV I v. 



372 Frederick Lucas. 

Dr. Murray and Dr. Crolly. During the terrible years of famine, 
there were no more touching appeals for the Irish poor, or fiercer 
denunciation of Ministerial criminality and folly than those 
written by him. His interest in Irish affairs, especially Irish 
Catholic affairs, had been unceasing. He, the English Catholic, 
had shown a fairness and a sympathy towards Catholic Ireland, 
which was as rare then as it is now ; and when he finally decided 
on coming to live in Dublin, he was assured of a heartfelt welcome. 
He came in 1850, and brought the Tablet with him. It remained, 
of course, a distinctively Catholic paper ; but it gained at once an 
influence and a recognition which it never had before. The 
London Times, which had ignored it while in London, began to quote 
its pages as the accredited organ of Catholic opinion ; and Lord 
Clarendon complained to Lord Shrewsbury, then in Borne, that the 
Tablet " one of the most virulent and most offensive newspapers in 
Europe ... is known to speak with authority " about ecclesiastical 
measures. Just then, even before Lucas had been m^de " free of 
the country," as he termed it, by an action for libel, " tried accord- 
ing to the manner prevalent here, by a packed jury and a judge 
whose charge was more effective than the speeches of counsel for 
the plaintiff/ 1 "Papal Aggression" set England in a flame. 
Lucas 9 view of the situation was characteristic. "As a mere 
religious question," he wrote in a private letter, " I would willingly 
— if I could afford it — have paid down £1,000 to purchase Lord 
John's letter and its consequences." It stirred up religious feeling, 
it gave promise of some religious persecution, it forced Cardinal 
Wiseman into opposition to the Government, it compelled the 
Catholic Members of Parliament to unite in defence of the 
Catholic causes-all of them, things which Lucas held to be of 
very great importance. It led also to another result, which, if 
Lucas' policy had been adopted, would have been more important 
stillr— the formation of the Catholic Defence Association, and of 
the Independent Parliamentary Opposition. It is not intended 
to deal in these pages with Mr. Lucas' political career ; though it 
should give him a place beside Thomas Drummond in the hearts 
and memories of all who know Ireland's history and are touched 
by her wrongs. I mention the Independent Opposition only 
because Lucas became a member of it by his election for Meath, 
in 1852. 

It is a miserable epoch to look back upon. Too many of the 
ohief Irish actors in it are ignoble figures ; but it is pleasant to 



Digitized by 



Google 



Frederick Lucas. 37£ 

find that they feared and hated LuCas. In a private letter to a 
friend, lie writes : "I go into the House of Commons to stand, 
I fear, very nearly alone, a member of an unpopular minority, an 
unpopular member of that minority, and disliked even by the 
greater number of the small party with which I am to act, and 
having cast upon me in a prominent manner the defence of the 
two noblest causes in the world — that of a religion which requires 
great learning to defend properly, and that of the most ill-treated 
and (in all essential qualities of heart and character) the noblest 
population that ever existed on the face of the earth." He entered • 
Parliament under most serious disadvantages. He was a convert, 
an Englishman with Irish sympathies, a member for an Irish 
constituency, a Catholic who believed in his religion and acted fully 
up to it, a politician who had no price. Not long before his election 
he had written of the English Commons in a way which would be » 
pronounced vehement even now. An English Protestant Member, 
during the debate on the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill had described 
" Catholic Nunneries as either prisons or brothels," and had gone 
on to speak of our Lady in words which I dare not transcribe. 
Of course a wild tumult followed. George Henry Moore and 
other Irish Members insisted on an apology; but the Speaker 
decided that the language was quite allowable, and the House 
applauded his decision. In his comments on the scene, Lucas first 
characterised the Protestant member as " a filthy person/' and then 
went on to excuse the action of the Speaker. This is the excuse : 
" The House of Commons, it seems, is a house of gentlemen and 
has a dignity to preserve ; but both its dignity and gentility are of 
a very peculiar kind. Neither of these things is in any way 
offended by coarse sarcasms against religion or the filthiest ribaldry 
against the honour of women. If these outrages had been at 
variance with the notions entertained in Parliament of dignity and 
decorum, Mr. Henry Drummond would have been out of order ; 
but he was not out of order because the majority of the House do 
not stand upon such trifles, and have tastes as foul and filthy as 
himself." 

Yet his success in Parliament was signal and immediate. His 
earliest set speech gave him rank in the very first line of 
Parliamentary debaters, and succeeding speeches only added to his 
reputation. Even prejudice went down before his singular ability, 
his disinterestedness, and earnestness of purpose. In a short time he 
came to be regarded as a power in the House. " He was not only 
listened to and respected," the Rambler says; "he was urftfally 

Vol. xiv. No. 167. ^ 28 T 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



374 Frederick Lucas. 

replied to b y a Cabinet Minister/' And this position was all the 
more remarkable, because, while he used it almost solely for two 
objects — the advantage of the Irish poor and that of the Catholic 
Religion — it was notorious that several of the chief ecclesiastical 
dignitaries of Ireland were entirely opposed to his Parliamentary 
policy. In Parliament itself, he stood almost alone; he clung 
unchangeably to the principles which the Irish Catholics, lay and 
clerical, had publicly adopted, and the wisdom of which time has 
clearly vindicated. Recent history offers no more perfect pattern 
of lofty-minded self-sacrificing courage. His " extreme Catholic 
views/' as they were often called, had alienated many of his former 
friends. No worldly gain, but rather serious loss, was to be expected 
in the path he had selected. He oould command a high price in 
the political market ; and, judging by the approval bestowed on 
others who had gone over to the Government, he need have feared 
no very marked censures if he followed their example. There 
were men, too, religiously disposed and thoroughly sincere, who 
believed that Catholic interests might be safely trusted to the 
honour and the justice of an English Ministry. Nearly every 
motive pointed to the expediency of burying decently his principles. 
But he was no worshipper of expediency. He fought the Parlia- 
mentary battles of the Church and of the poor, while liberty to 
fight remained ; and when that, too, seemed threatened, he went to 
plead the cause at Rome, where the ultimate decision lay. The 
Roman climate and the anxiety and labours connected with his 
business told fatally upon his already weakened health j and in 
May, 1855, he returned to England only to die. 

" At such an age," wrote Father Whitty, one of Mr. Lucas' 
earliest and staunchest friends, " if it was God's will, it was hard 
not to wish him to live. But for one who knew him intimately, 
who knew how little he cared for this world even at its best, and 
how much he longed for the other, it was harder still not to wish 
him to die/' " Thank God, I have no wish to live," Lucas wrote 
himself to Father Tom O'Shea ; " I ask for no prayers for restora- 
tion to health. I have never valued life very much, and now less 
than ever." Then, after referring to the sad persecution which 
had fallen on Father O'Shea, he adds, what must have been his 
dying judgment of his own career : " As sure as God is in heaven, 
your cause is the cause of truth and honour; and when your last 
hour comes you will feel what consolation it gives a man never to 
have flinched in the worst of times — as I may say of you — or 



Digitized by 



Google 



Frederick Lucas. 375 

given way in the public service to selfish personal considera- 
tions." 

To some it seemed as though he were passing away under the 
shadow of defeat. Memory goes back to Hildebrand dying at 
Salerno, because he had " loved justice and hated iniquity/' 
when we think of Lucas on his deathbed in the little English 
village. But such men never are defeated. Their real greatness 
lies in this, that their work lives and fructifies ; later generations 
reap its best fruits. We ourselves are harvesting what Lucas 
sowed. And further, the happy results of his policy and of his 
labours were great and abundant even within his lifetime. " On 
the Catholic mind of England/' as a hostile critic said, " no man 
since Dr. Milner had imprinted so deep a mark." By his writings 
and by his example he taught them what single-minded, fearless 
advocacy of right can bring about. Catholic schools. Catholic 
military and naval chaplaincies, the treatment of Catholic poor in 
workhouses and orphanages, and of Catholic criminals in prisons, 
Irish Church Disestablishment, all these and many other questions 
had been dealt with by him in Parliament as well as in the Press. 
He had spoken as no English Catholic ever spoke before ; he had 
won respect for himself, and substantial benefits for religion. The 
benefits remain ; and the lesson has not been quite forgotten. 

In Ireland his influence was unbounded. " Give my love to all 
my friends in Meath," he said to an Irish priest, who saw him 
some days before he died — " that is," he added, pleasantly, "if you 
can. 9 ' And Meath only held first place in the long list of Irish 
dioceses. Mr. Cashel Hoey implied a simple truth, when he said : 
" Better his green sod bedewed with a nation 9 8 tears, than the 
ermined honours of corruption." The people loved and trusted 
him as they have probably never loved or trusted any man except 
O'Connell ; the priesthood almost to a man were with him heart and 
soul ; and the wisest and best of the bishops, with Dr. Cantwell of 
Meath and the great Archbishop of Tuam, never wavered in their 
support and friendship. We had already learned in Ireland to 
bear ourselves as Catholics. O'Connell had taught us that, and 
the lesson had taken firm hold upon the hearts of the people. But 
there were still many civil and religious rights to be acquired ; 
and ite spent himself in striving for them. Above all, " at a time 
of base political morals, when venality was the rule and principle 
the exception ; when the renegade and apostate were smiled upon 
and applauded; when the question was rather how to sell than to 



Digitized by 



Google 



376 Jiemenibfattoe. 

serve' one's country," his truth; and honesty, and public virtue were, 
of inestimable value. 

May the story of his life, as told in his brother's most interest- 
ing volumes, produce the result which he himself would have most 
earnestly desired — a zealous love of religion and of Christ's poor, . 
and a conviction that there catit be no nobler cause in which a man- 
may toil and suffer. 



REMEMBRANCE. 

EEMEMBERING thee, I search out these faint flowers 
Of rhyme ; remembering thee, this crescent night, 
While o'er the buds, and o'er the grass-blades, bright 
And clinging with the dew of odorous showers, 
With purple sandals sweep the grave -eyed hours — 
Remembering thee, I muse, while fades in flight 
The honey -hearted leisure of the light, 
And hanging o'er the hush of willow bowers, 

Of ceaseless loneliness and high regret 
Sings the young wistful spirit of a star 
Enfolden in the shadows of the East, 
And silence holding revelry and feast J" 
Just now my soul rose up and touched it, far 
In space, made equal with a sigh, we met. 

W. B. Yeats. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 377 ) 



W 



NOVEMBER IN A GREEK ISLAND. 
By Hannah Lynch. 

HILE skies at home are grey and the land enveloped in 
winter's cold, dark shroud — flowers, foliage, sunshine 
equally past — here we enjoy the lovely summery colours and long 
bright days. We have had one week of cold and rain, which, but 
for the tropical nature of the rain that poured upon the earth in 
volumes, rather resembled that which one might remember in the 
front of June, and at the end of the week everyone was sincerely 
thankful for what the heavy moisture had brought. All the newly- 
sown grain started up in waves of clearest emerald, making a rich 
velvet shine of the brown and whitish-mauve hill-sides. Through 
the gardens and orchards the green of the trees took a deeper tint, 
and the maiden-hair, which makes curtains of its own delicate 
tracing along the torrent-beds, sometimes edging the marble rocks 
as they run down to the valleys, sometimes festooning itself with 
unimaginable grace from the top of the waterfalls, became the 
loveliest memory from fairyland. On the second of November I 
spent the entire day wandering up craggy mountain-sides and 
down steep valley pathways. It seems like a joke to say out of 
Australia, that the day was almost as warm as that of my first 
acquaintance with Syra. It is needless to speak of the colour of 
the Mediterranean or the Grecian skies. We are in December 
now, and except under the transient influence of rain I have not- 
seen either, other than the proverbial sapphire tint, unless when 
the hours grow cooler, and then the intense depth of sapphire 
changes to the softest azure. The hill-tops were ablaze in the 
early sunshine, and where a shoulder of mountain broke over 
another, it lay upon the sea of golden light, a mighty shadow-like 
a wing. The dark cypresses and silver fields of olives made traces 
of wavering shade across the bright paths. High up upon a marble 
-ledge, overlooking the breathless, awful stillness of Bolax Valley, 
the air blew across from the furthest mountains with a stronger 
touch of sea-breeze through its own purity. Its fresh message in 
that scene of brilliant colour was gratefully received. At the 
iurthest edge of the long valley vista, the Mediterranean cut 



Digitized by 



Google 



378 November in a Greek Island. 

bluely into the picture, with a scarcely perceptible line of horizon 
dividing sea from sky, except under the far-off hills of Andros, 
which melted on a bank of fluffy cream clouds, rose-painted, and 
vaguely-shaped. Between Andros and Tenos a solitary white sail 
made a sunlit division upon the crystal blue of the waters. The 
circling line of mountain-tops breaking from the sea-edge on either 
side of the valley, and enclosing all within the cold brilliance of 
their marble sides, and the long roads of shadowless, colourless light, 
intensified by the remoter touches of cypress-stain and silver 
waves of olive, and the bare branches of the fig-trees making a 
purple mist rising above the more fragrant mist of the purple 
thyme, formed a kind of oppressive imprisonment, and, as I was 
turning away in search of a less lonely and more shaded spot, a 
lark suddenly broke the breathless trance of silence. The effect 
was magical. The song was not sustained nor even piercingly 
sweet, but the notes rose and fluttered spasmodically through the 
air, and the very sense of irritation each pause created in the 
listener lent the renewed song a dreamier, unanalysable charm. 

When I climbed down the other side of the marble ledge in a 
zigzag mulepath, upon which only the goats ought to feel them- 
selves at home, I found myself in a paradise of moist green. A 
torrent with a thin, fine line of clear water breaking over a heap 
of marble and alabaster rocks, covered thickly with maiden-hair, 
and running with its waterfall music of sound through its glisten- 
ing bed of white stones, kept cool and silver by the inextricable 
branches of myrtle and oleander that shade it from the sunlight, 
down as far as Lazaro, where it is content to turn itself into a 
public fountain. Its banks are made fresh and pleasant by every 
kind of green plant. Unfortunately I have no means of discover- 
ing the English for all the wild flowers that grow about in pro- 
fusion. The loveliest are the cyclamen, which I think may be 
appropriately called the eyes of the mountains here, as the thyme 
may be called their scent. One meets them everywhere in varying 
shades, from the faintest mauve to a violet bordering centrewards 
on rose. Then comes a less delicate star-shaped flower, also pale 
violet with points of red flame starting like thin tongues from its 
heart, which is called the saffron ; and the purple wild lilies rising 
out of a beautiful cluster of rich polished leaves. There is another 
starry wild flower, purple too, but so frail that it fades almost the 
moment it is plucked. The daisies, larger and taller than ours 
are more plentiful now than when I first came. In some places 
they wave bends of earth white, just as the cyclamens gather 



Digitized by 



Google 



JSovember in a Greek Island. 379 

their purple eyes closely together and shut out all colour but their 
own from one particular spot. Down in this torrent the air and 
colouring were so exquisite, and the fulness of silence, made more 
eloquent by the goldfinches and thrushes and linnets chattering 
and singing to their heart's content, that one unconsciously felt all 
the instincts and pleasures of unrestrained childhood clamouringly 
rise. No higher pleasure seemed realisable than that of wading 
through the clear silver water with its inviting prattle over the 
stones and its running movement, or the chase of the white butter- 
flies that seemed like bright flying radiances through the air, 
pausing now on an oleander or myrtle branch, and starting again 
suddenly, like joyous fluttering sensibilities quickened with life to 
the wing tips. 

It was Sunday, the hunting-day of the island. Upon the 
dangerous-looking paths breaking over a shoulder of mountain or 
veering down into a sheer precipice, the island huntsmen looked 
picturesque stains, with their leathern bags and guns and various 
costumes, shouting their Greek patois across to recognised friends. 
After an hour of idle musing among the beauties of sight and 
sound down in this torrent-bed, I climbed up with many pauses to 
Lutra, wisely skirting the villainous village-— of all villages on 
the face of this earth, I honestly believe the most ineffably dirty-^- 
and made my difficult way round an enormous cactus hedge, 
bordering another torrent, rich in foliage and colour, but as yet 
barren of water, up to a kind of narrow table-land. This is a 
favourite seat of mine for reading or idle make-believe at reading. 
The windmill behind with its sprawling arms, like a mighty spiders' 
web, turns itself into an acceptable sunshade, and above, if you 
are not too lazy to look round, you may see the bishop's village, 
my pen shrinks humbly from these massive Greek names — a 
luminous spot of white under the frowning shadows of the desolate 
purple Castro, once the Venetian fortress by which Tenos was 
betrayed to the Turks. On the Sunday I write of, the Castro— 
an appalling purple-grey rock — was partly hidden by the opaline 
white fog that lay upon it like a thick bridal veil wedding it to the 
sky, and through this haze the points of the rock were unevenly 
visible. But one could see it rapidly melting under the bars of 
gold that the sun shot down upon it, marvelling, doubtless, that his 
royal message of light and clearness should so long have been 
resisted by this melancholy fortress, held in its gloomy memories of 
far-off days of pride and glory, and Venetian splendour and 
importance. 

Digitized by VjOOQLC 



380 November in a Greek Island. 

From this point Myoone, Delos, Syra, and Naxos, are distinctly 
marked upon the horizon, Myoone and Syra standing out in special 
illumination upon the picture ; the latter with its white eccentric 
town, peeping out from under its cloud-shadowed hills, and the 
former a lovely blending of. purple and blue. Syphona rises 
further, a misty margin of grey land, and it is hard to say if 
Delos looks more like sky or sea. But there where the sea is 
touched to silver radiance, reaching across a stretch of vague blue 
until, turning again into sapphire, it washes the immortal shores of 
Ariadne's Island, Naxos rises in fuller, clearer, desolately golden 
curves of hillside, for no wavering shadows seem to break upon 
this spot of blue and gold. The air is thick with the poignant 
scent of the thyme, lavender, and rosemary, and other aromatic 
plants whose names are unknown to me. Farm-sounds break above 
the silence, and the cries of the noisy rooks, pursuing through the 
air bands of frightened pigeons, whose pure wings gather an 
intense illumination from the light. 

The last bloom of the oleander upon a tree near, reminded 
one of Moore's melody, and seems to remain long after the depar- 
ture of its odorous companions, to give us a faint idea of what the 
torrents and gardens must be in their summer decoration of 
oleander-roses. The borders of solemn cypresses are as still as 
death, and down through the valleys the countless villages are 
half-hidden in the olive groves, and the golden and yellow points 
of the orange and lemon trees, and the clearer green of the fig- 
trees, the poplars, and myrtles, which, upon the hills, grow as free 
and wild as brushwood. Mixed with the purple mist of thyme 
and rich spaces of myrtle and a delicate thorny furze, are the 
stains of dark grey, pale green, silver and golden mosses, growing 
thickly upon the marbles and rocks, and the lines of stones cutting 
their way across the land- like furrows, and over the hills the stray 
shadows of the clouds travel in lines of wavering shade, veiling 
momently the wild desolate contours, and making wide paths of 
blue and rich purple upon brown earth and grey rock. Through- 
out this month the weather has continued exquisite, but for that 
week of rain, already alluded to, when it certainly was not colder 
than I have known it in August at home. I have been able to 
write and read out in a summer-house every morning without 
extra clothing— which work I vary by pausing to gather an occa- 
sional orange — and even on the terrace at night the cautious 
muffler is rather a nuisance than a necessity. Within doors the 
long windows are kept open all day ; and sometimes when riding 



Digitized by 



Google 



November in a Greek Island. '381 

'the glare of. this November sun is too strong to European eyes, 
and the discarded coloured glasses are called out of retirement. 
'In the gardens flower stars and brilliant colours continue to 
flourish in a way thfet in Ireland we would describe as royal. On 
the first of December I gathered a monster bouquet, composed of 
tea-roses, double and single geraniums of every colour, carnations, 
•lavender, rosemary, marguerites, heliotrope, verbena, mignonette, 
.snapdragon, bachelor's buttons, maiden-hair, and the three first 
violets that have appeared. Just as I came in from the garden 
with my fragrant burden, I received a letter from home describing 
the sharp winter that had set in. With my flowers, and the sen- 
sation of a very decidedly sun-scorched face, I found it difficult 
to conceive the picture and feelings of winter. 

Having spent the first Sunday of November wandering about 
on foot, I resolved to spend the last wandering still further upon 
muleback. A young Greek lady, who is staying here for her 
health, and who has been leading the life of a melancholy recluse 
for the past few months, consented, under the influence of my 
'overbearing will, to join me in an expedition to Pirgos — a ride of 
four hours and a half from Lutra. We started at seven. There 
was something weird in the fact that the sky was at that hour a 
pale illumination of starlight, gradually vanishing into wistful 
brilliance, and the clear crescent stood sharply out above the 
moonlit velvety clouds. Then the night lights fainted away, and 
the moonlit clouds were touched with rose, which, mounting higher 
and higher, grew into carmine in the east. Then up sprang the 
sun and smote down upon the banks of rose and purple, and 
beating upon the fields and mossy edges melted their dewy shine. 
Once his despotic sway was assured all the cold of the sweet 
morning air vanished magically, and by the time the Castro and 
the grey points of Bolax were out of sight, and the wide, long 
landscape of unfamiliar shapes and colours stretching over hill 
and valley to the sea-edge, the reign of heat began. As a pre- 
caution we had put on some extra clothing, and wildly did We 
learn to regret that sin upon the other side of wisdom. Wonder- 
ful it was to hear the birds sing, especially one exigent self -inflated 
fellow, with whose notes I have become familiar — not his name— 
for I always notice that he only condescends to sing when the 
rest are silent; to watch the prevailing tints of grey upon 
the hillsides, and distinguish each : the olive is the tallest and 
most silvery mist ; a grey furze, which melts into the grey rocks 
and is hardly distinguishable but for its delicate pattern of thorn*; 



Digitized by 



Google 



382 November in a Greek Island. 

which are shaped like pointed stars ; this mint and a greyish weed 
wonderfully leaved, with special facilities .for catching the dews 
and preserving them, long after its companions have succumbed to 
the majestic will of the sun. Down through the valleys the newly 
sown grain made patches of brilliant lawny velvet, sometimes as 
flat squares, sometimes rising like steps of carpeted stairs, with 
ridges of brown earth separating each step. The bare fig-trees 
intermingle deep purple shadows among these luminous colours, 
and the Mediterranean was its own special stirless blue. 

But our undivided attention could not, unfortunately, be given 
over to the contemplation of beauty of sight and sound. There 
was the extreme inconvenience of sensation to reflect upon perforce. 
Anything more primitive than the roads of Tenos could not well 
be imagined by the hardiest explorer. I pretty freely expressed 
myself upon the subject to the Greek gentleman who courteously 
undertook to serve us as guide, relieving my wrath, to his and the 
muleteers' infinite delight, with all the Greek exclamations I have 
learned, copiously dispersed through my burst of unpremeditated 
eloquence. It is almost worth while being shaken from head to 
foot on a wretched mule, who tranquilly jerks you down an awful 
precipice, for the pleasure of airing such a classical exclamation as 
wavayta pov, etc. My guide was so delighted with my unflatter- 
ing comments on the backward condition of Tenos that he con- 
templates putting them into an indignant letter and forwarding 
copies to each of the three Members of Parliament and four Mayors 
of the island, to show them what a distinguished foreigner thinks 
of them. I may mention that it is my private belief that he is at 
daggers drawn with those three members and four mayors, if one 
may judge from his acrimonious criticisms. But he was a very 

interesting and courteous guide, whom Kyria B and I mean 

to engage regularly. He waited upon us with cavalier attention, 
and provided us with most excellent Malmsey wine, which gave 
me an insight into the Duke of Clarence's delicate discrimination 
in the matter of his last choice. A pleasanter and more desperately 
fatiguing day I have never spent. It was just midday when we 
encamped under the shadow of a line of windmills, heading the 
village of Firgos below. We passed the seashore where the land 
breaks into innumerable small bays, and is made a blue clear edge, 
pebble and shell swept. The Greek islands rose in confused folds 
of land upon the sea, and which was which even our guide did 
not rightly know. Ysternia is undoubtedly the prettiest and 
largest village I have yet seen in Tenos. Here rival boats start 



Digitized by 



Google 



November in a Greek Island. 383 

for Syra, Paros, and Naxos, and a little below are the famous 
marble quarries. Looking at them carefully I grew to understand 
why the colour of the hills has so much mauve and golden mixed 
with the white. Where the marble has been cut or broken it 
takes this peculiar golden tint; where it remains intact time 
blends the white with mauve, and both together produce the 
wonderful effects of curve and shadow and luminous light that 
makes those Grecian hills an everlasting and nameless wonder. 

After dinner we sat until near three, resting after our long 
ride, high upon the mountain-side, indolently musing, and 
watching sky and land and sea — it were difficult to admire one 
more than the other — and then our lovely solitude was disturbed 
by the reappearance of our guide with a Greek priest, who had 
brought from the village some antiquities he wished to dispose of. 
For a moderate sum I bought a broken earthen vase, pale brown 
with painted black figures representing heaven knows what, and 
remarkably like those ancient atrocities of the British Museum, 
and a small stone bellows-shaped lamp, both supposed to be 3,000 
years old — 3,000, or 300, or 30 is all the same to me, fori fear 
I am as devoid as Mark Twain of the bump of reverence. I 
cannot say I feel greatly exhilarated or awed whenever my eyes 
fall on my purchases. At three we started homewards. It was 
astonishing to see how rapidly the river of starless gold upon the 
sea deepened in colour ; and as we passed the fields the birds rose 
from the hedges and fluttered homewards through the air filling 
the silence afar and near with their last sweet burst of song. But 
increasing fatigue blinded our eyes to the wonders of the sky and 
the immense vistas of valley, deepening into a thick palpable dark- 
ness, as the stars started out like blue points upon the dark polished 
sky, and the far-away hills melted into the shadowy horizon. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 384 ) 



FILIOAIA. 
Coronadone di Spine. 

CHI dal tronco vi avelse e chi v'imprease 
Nel divin Oapo, e di voi, spine, ordio 
L'aspro Diadema P Al duro uffizio e rio 
La eorte voi, me la mia colpa elesse. 

Con quette man, con qneete mane istease % \ 

L'empio serto io composi, e questo mio 
Petto f u'l troneo ond'io vi svelsi e end' io 
Porai alimento alia malnata mease. 

Coei con crescer de* gran falli miei 
Cresceste infette di crudel veleno, 
Finche* ministre al mio furor vi fei. 

Ma se d'insania e di barbarie pieno 
Passar le tempie al Redentor potei, 
Qual fia di voi che a me non pass! il seno ? 

Translation. 
The Crowning with Thorns. 

Who plucked jou from your stem, je thorns, to twine 
The ruthless Diadem P Whose fingers pressed 
Your downward points upon His forehead blessed ? 
'Twas chance that chose you, but the guilt was mine. 

These hands, these hands, around that brow divine 
Did plait your cruel crown ; the root my breast, 
Wherein your evil harvest reared its crest ; 
And thence I took you for the fell design. 

For there, as grew my deadly sins, did ye 
Grow too, envenomed for your barbarous part, 
The ministers of my iniquity. 

But if with savage and perfidious art 

I pierced my Saviour's temples, shall not He 

With every thorn among you pierce my heart ? 

O. 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 385 ) 



MKS. PIATT'S POEMS * 

r[S woman-poet's poems oome to us with a New World 
freshness and fragrance, superadded to the sweetness and 
tenderness, which are among the things that never grow old. 
Some of the poems, in their largeness and freedom, their boldness 
in seizing, and crying aloud the vague doubts and marvellings, 
which Lave wearied and pained us all at times ; not the less that 
we have scarcely dared to look them in the face — read like a reve- 
lation — a revelation of one's own heart, of a woman's heart. The 
book is essentially a woman's book, though, in its breadth of treat* 
ment, it has often a masculine quality of strength — it is the book 
of a woman who is also a wife, and the mother of children, and in 
the noble attributes of a developed womanliness, the poetry of it 
must rank almost with the highest. The age is notable in that 
women have advanced so greatly in Art ; it has produced, at least,. 
two women who stand with men in the very forefront, George Eliot 
and Elizabeth Barret Browning, and, in other departments of Art 
than literature, prose or poetry, the advance has been marked and 
distinct. Three women's names suggest themselves to the present 
writer, as those of distinct and individual singers in our own day 
— Christina Rossetti, Jean Ingelow, and Alice Meynell, whose 
one exquisite volume '' Preludes," is an embodiment of the purest 
poetry; and to those three names, Sarah Piatt's may now be 
added as a fourth, for her marked originality and freshness are 
wonderful, in an age more than a score of hundred years after 
Solomon bewailed the staleness of all things under the sun. The 
tenderness, the purity of the book, is beyond all praise ; and the 
curious current and undertone of pathos running through the 
highest strain — a sadness entirely natural, and not at all a literary 
quality, as so much present-day sadness seems to be, gives the 
work an ennobling gravity. From this true, sweet poet, one 
wishes to quote largely, feeling that the poems speak best for their 
own excellence ; but where all is perfect, there is a difficulty in 

*"A Voyage to the Fortunate Islea, and Other Poems." London: 
Kegan Pan], Trench and Co., 1885. "An Irish Garland." David Douglas* 
Edinburgh, 1884, « In Primrose Time." London ; Kegan Paul, Trench and 
Co., 1886. " The Children Out-of-Doors," by Two in One House. Edinburgh : 
David Douglas, 1884. 



Digitized by 



Google 



386 Mrs. Piatt a Poems. 

selection. The child-poems of this mother of children, this mother 
of dead babes, are a marked feature ; but taking the poems as 
they come, our first quotation shall be this, full of infinite 
pathos : — 

Madonna eyes looked at him from the air, 
But never from the picture. Still he painted. 

The hovering halo would not touch the hair ; 
The patient saint still stared at him — unsainted. 

Day after day flashed by in flower and frost ; 

Night after night, how fast the stars kept burning 
His little light away, till all was lost ! — 

All, save the bitter sweetness of his yearning. 

Slowly he saw his work; it was not good. 

Ah, hopeless hope 1 Ah, fiercely-dying passion 1 
" I am no painter/* moaned he as he stood, 

With folded hands in death's unconscious fashion. 

" Stand as you are, an instant ! * some one cried, 

He felt the voice of a diviner brother. 
The man who was a painter, at his side, 

Showed how his folded hands could serve another. 

Ah, strange, sad world, where Albert Diirer takes 
The hands that Albert Diirer's friend has folded, 

And 'with their helpless help such triumph makes! — 
Strange, since both men of kindred dust were moulded. 

The poem which gives the first book its name, is wise and beauti- 
ful, and " A Wall Between/' contains some of the best things the 
poet has given us ; but in the latter poem it is difficult to catch 
the meaning, and one feels a certain need of keeping the mind 
chained to the text, in order to trace the story, which detracts 
from the great qualities of the poem. It has some wonderful 
passages. Witness this : — 

(A crucifix to kiss ?) 
Another world may light your lifted eyes, 

But, by my heart that breaks, I am of this. 
Are you quite sure those palms of Paradise 

Do shelter for me one sweet head P 

Or, are the dead — the dead P 

Pray, would you give one rood 
Of your dark, certain soil, where olives grow, 

For all those shining heights on heights, where brood 
The wings you babble of that shame the snow P 

* * * * 



Digitized by 



Google 



Mrs. Piatt's Poems. 387 

Dead, and for many a year P — 
Can a dead baby laugh and babble so P 

Do you not see me kiss and kiss him here. 
And hold death from me still to kiss him P — No P 

Yet I did dream white blossoms grew— 

Bo cruel dreams come true ? 

. . . As the tree falls, one says. 
So shall it lie. It falls, remembering 

The sun and stillness of its leaf -green days, 
The moons it held, the nested bird's warm wing! 

The promise of the buds it wore, 

The fruit — it never bore. 

Perhaps the short poems are the most perfect, and the style at 
its best is limpidly clear. How lovely, with its solemn lesson, is 
this, the Memento Mori of a king : — 

Into the regal face the risen sun 

Laughed, and he whispered in dismay : 
u How is it, Victor of the World, that none 

Remind you what you are, to-day P 

" Your sword shall teach the slave, who could forget 

That men are mortal, what they are ! 
How dared he sleep, — he has not warned me yet, — 

After that last, loth, lagging star P " 

. • . Across his palace threshold, wan and still, 

His morning herald, wet with dew, 
Stared at him with fixed eyes that well might chill 

The vanity of earth clean through. 

" Good-morrow, King," he heard the dead lips say, 

" See what is man. When did I tell 
My bitter message to my lord, I pray, 

So reverently and so well P " 

Any notice of this book would be incomplete, however abun- 
dant its citations, if it failed to quote from the poems concerning 
children, which, perhaps, more than any other feature, set the 
book apart from any other book we have ever read. Its insight into 
child-life, the naivetJ of a child's thoughts, here so accurately 
rendered, will make the book especially lovable to grown lovers 
of children, though here, perhaps, it stops short : it will hardly 
reach the children themselves, as Hans Andersen, the prophet of 
children, does ; but rather like Mr. It. L. Stevenson's " Child's 
Garden of Verses," it will make the grown reader sigh and 



Digitized by 



Google 



388 Mrs. Ptatfs Poems. 

wonder at the vivid reflection from his own childhood. We will 
make two excerpts here, feeling still the difficulty of selection where 
all is so good :— 

At Hans Andbbsen's Funeral. 

Why, all the children in all the world had listened around his knee, 

But the wonder-tales must end 5 
So, all the children in all the world came into the church to see 

The still face of their friend. 

" But were any fairies there ?" Why, yes, little questioner of mine, 

For the fairies loved him too ; 
And all the fairies in all the world, as far as the moon can shine, 

Sobbed, " Oh ! what shall we do P " 

Well, the children who played with the North's white swans, away in the North's 
white snows, 

Made wreaths of fir for his head; 
And the South's dark children scattered the scents of the South's red rose 
Down at the feet of the dead. 

Yes, all the children in all the world were there with their tears that day ; 

But the boy who loved him best, 
Alone in a damp and lonesome place (not far from his grave) he lay — 

And 'sadder than all the rest 

'* Mother," he moaned, " never mind the king — why, what if the king is there? 

Never mind your faded shawl : 
The king may never see it ; for the king will hardly care 

To look at your clothes at all." 

So, close to his coffin she crouched, in the breath of the burial flowers, 

And begged for a bud or a leaf : — 
41 If I cannot have one, sirs, to take to that poor little room of ours, 

My bo£ will die of his grief ! " 

My child, if the king was there, and I think he was (but then I forget), 

Why, that was a little thing. 
Did a dead man ever lift his head from its place in the coffin yet, 

Do you think, to bow to the king P 

" Bat could he not see him up in Heaven ? " I never was there, you know ; 

But Heaven is too far, I fear, 
For the ermine, and purple, and gold, that make up the king, to show 

So bravely as they do here. 

But he saw the tears of 'the peasant-child, by the beautiful light he took 
From the earth in his close-shut eyes ; 

For tears are the sweetest of all the things we shall see, when we come to look 
From the windows of the skies. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Mrs. Piatfs Poem. 889 

Little Christian's Tboublb. 
His wet cheeks looked as they had worn, 
Each, with its rose, a thorn, 

Set there (my boy, you understand P) 
By his own brother's hand : 

"Look at my cheek What shall I do?— 
You know I have but two ! " 

His mother answered, as she read 
What my Lord Christ had said; 

(While tears began to drop like rain :) 
u Go, turn the two again." 

And now, with little farther quotation, we must leave this 
lovely and lovable book, in which is contained the cream's cream, 
the best perfection of the author's work. Let all who love poetry, 
and happily they are many, read the book for themselves, and 
know the delight we have felt in its reading. For the delicate 
grace of the book, the yearning sadness which fills one with a 
pain better than pleasure, for this laying open of a beautiful 
heart, we are deeply thankful. Our quotations have been too 
long to allow of our quoting from the other precious little volumes, 
"In Primrose Time," "An Irish Garland," and the share in 
" The Children Out-of-Doors," which Mrs. Piatt has given us ; 
but it is the same heart beats through all, the same singer's voice, 
singing with a sound of tears, singing with a flash of laughter in 
tear- wet eyes. We have tried to say little and quote much, 
because we felt how poorly we could say all the book makes us 
feel — one could say it, perhaps, better in verse than in prose, where 
enthusiasm finds hardly a fitting vehicle of expression. Only we 
thank the writer for the gift she has given us and the world — a 
gift as perfect and spontaneous as the song of a blackbird, as 
passionate and innocent as the heart of a rose. And here is our 
last quotation from the exquisite double quatrains, which close the 

second portion of the book : — 

• 

Bbokek Promise. 
After strange stars, inscrutable, on high ; 

After strange seas beneath his floating feet; 
After the glare in many a brooding eye,— 

I wonder if the cry of " Land " was sweet P 

Or did the Atlantic gold, the Atlantic palm, 

The Atlantic bird and flower, seem poor, atgbesV 
To the grey Admiral under sun and calm, 
After the passionate doubt and faith of quest P 
You. xrr. No. 157. 29 



Digitized by 



Google 



390 The Queen's Favour^. 

. Th* Happier Gift, 
' Divinjest Words that eter singed eaid r 
Would hardly tad your mouth a eweeter. rid } 
Her aureole, eTen here whoee book you hold, 
Could give your head no goldener charm of gold. 
Ah me ! you have the only gift on earth 
That to a woman can he surely worth 
Breathing the breath of life for. Keep your place — 
Even she had given her fame to have your face. 
In Doubt. 
Through dream and dusk a frightened whisper said : 
" Lay down the world : the one you love is dead." 
In the near waters, without any cry 
I sank, therefore — glad; oh so glad, to die 1 

Far on the shore, with sun, and dove, and dew, 

And apple-flowers, I suddenly saw you. 
Then — was it kind or cruel that the sea 
Held back my hands, and kissed and clung to me? 

Fob Another's Sake. 
Sweet, sweet P My child, some sweeter word than sweet, 

Some lovelier word than love, I want for you. 
Who says the world is bitter, while your feet 

Are left among the lilies and the dew P 

... Ah P So some other has, this night, to fold 
Such hands as his, and drop some precious head 

From off her breast as full of baby-gold ? 
I, for her grief, will not be comforted. K. T. 



THE QUEEN'S FAVOURITE. 

EVERYONE agrees that the French Revolution is an almost 
exhausted theme. Everything to be said on either side has 
been said by historians or romancers, censors or apologists, yet 
now and then, in the private history of noble families, incidents 
are related as sensational and romantic as any that have become 
public, and hair-breadth " 'scapes " as wild, as apparently impro- 
bable as ever novelist depicted. As for me, I fancied there was 
not a tale, good, bad or indifferent, relating to poor, frivolous, 
generous, impulsive Marie Antoinette, which had not been fami- 
liar from my earliest school-days ; but, in turning over the pages 
of a quaint old magazine, " L'Ange Gardien," I found something 
new to me, and I hope to my readers, a little story that gives its 
name to this paper. 

The ill-fated Queen loved all animals, but her special favourite 
was a pretty spaniel, named Thisbl, which displayed unbounded 
affection in return for her care. When the royal family were 
imprisoned in the Temple, in the August of 1792, the queen was 

Digitized by VjOvJVJ Lv, 



The Queen's Favourite. 391 

sometimes cheered amid her sorrows by the gambols of her pet. 
Heavier trials than imprisonment were in stbtfe for her, in whose 
defence Burke fondly hoped a thousand swords would leap from 
their scabbards. Her husband perished on the 21st of January, 
1793 ; and the following July, the little Dauphin was taken from 
her care, to be placed in the hands of Simon, the brutal shoemaker. 
On the 5th of. August, Marie Antoinette was removed by night, 
from the Temple to the Conciergerie, where her captivity became 
harder. Poor Thisb£ was left behind, but not for long. The faith- 
ful animal tracked its beloved mistress to the door of her gloomy 
prison, coming day-by-day to crouch at the entrance, howling 
piteously. It somehow came to be known whose property the spaniel 
was, and a good-natured young milliner, named Madame Arnaud, who 
lived opposite, took care that it did not starve. To her it crept for 
shelter at night, but as soon as her doors opened in the morning, 
resumed its station, watching and waiting for the Queen to come. 
Sympathy with Marie Antoinette's dog was then very dan- 
gerous, and the young milliner's friends represented to her that 
she was seriously imperilling herself and them, by injudicious 
humanity. At first, she did not heed them ; but, when the result 
of the Queen's so-called trial, a foregone conclusion, was officially 
announced, Madame Arnaud, yielding to the entreaties of her rela- 
tives, yet attached to poor faithful Thisb£, compromised by securing 
the dog, and sending it for safety to her sister, who lived near the 
Pont St. Michel, to be kept till the execution was over, and the 
little animal forgotten in the neighbourhood. In this new home 
Thisbfe was miserable, barked and whined all day, refused food, 
and vainly sought to escape, till one morning, a door being acci- 
dentally open, it slipped out, and found its way back to the gate of 
the Conciergerie. The tumbril was just issuing with its load of 
prisoners, on their way to the guillotine. Amongst them, a joy for 
poor, unconscious Thisb£ ! was the beloved form of its mistress. 
If dogs see the changes wrought by sorrow, the little animal must 
have mourned the Queen's snow-white hair, and the deep-marked 
lines of suffering on her brow, as it followed the cart, jolting rapidly 
over the stony pavement. Arrived at the fatal Place de la Con- 
corde, the spaniel sniffed uneasily around, but no one noticed, 
so occupied were sam culottes and tricoteuses, by the ghastly tragedy 
about to be enacted. The Queen's head fell — there was a moment's 
dead silence — then the loud, agonising howl of a dog. In an 
instant, a soldier's bayonet pierced its heart. " So perish all that 
mourn an aristocrat," he cried; and mourning, indeed, an aristocrat, 
died, Thkbi le chien de la Heine. D mz e6$<$^§£ 



MARTINUS HUGO HAMILL THOlLE LONGO SUO 
Roics Stxjdioedm Causa Dbgbntl 

TANDEM optata mibi tua venit epistola, Long©, 
Tarda quidem venit, aed mihi grata tamen ; 
Teque valere docet atudiisque ardere Minerva 

Sorte tua cod ten turn et meminiase mei. 
Tu quoque pieridum venerari numina prodia : 

Macte ammo felix iogeniumque cole. 
Sed nimium vereu ne delectere canoio 

Neu meliora illi et seria posthabeas. 
Namque et ai ingenuos deceat fovisse camoenam 

Et qui deapiceret barbarua ille foret, 
Saepe baec ignavo juvenilia pectora cantu 

Paulatim alliciena in sua jura trahit. 
Ergo cave, atque animo noctuque diuque recurrat 

A te auaceptum, Longe, miniaterium ; 
Et aiquando gravi te Muaa abducere tentat 

Consilio, mentsm sic revocare velia; 
Ad majora, puer Longe, ad majora vocaria, 

Altiua a te aliquid munera sacra petunt. 
Optima quaeque lege ; baud multoa volviase libelloa 

Prof uit, assidue aed atuduiase bonis ; 
Fruatra te torquet variis mens dedita curia 

Et rerum hnud aequo pondere victa labat; 
At veterum imprimis animo venerabere acripta 

Quoa aut Italia aut ora Pelaaga tulit : 
Hob aequere, horum tu ante alios vestigia serve, 

Una crede mibi hie itur ad astra via. 
Qui8 furor eat rivum puteumve exquirere, puro 

Cum tibi aora dederit f onto levare aitim ? 
Sed quid ago P Bene nota tibi exauditaque saepe 

Dum refero, en celeri labitur hora pede. 
Interea coeptia faveat votisque benignus 

Adsit et aatherea te Deua auctet ope. 
Bonomium salvere meum Byanumque jubeto 

Gonoridaaque ambos. Optime Longe, vale t * 



• The author of this epistle, Dr. Hugh Hamill, was P.P. of St FraiwnV, Dublin, 
and Vicar-General to Archbishop Troy. The Rev. C. P. Meehan, to whom we are- 
indebted for the poem, identifies one of the names in the penultimate line as the 
Italian surname Bonomi. Does the last line salute " two students from Down and 
Connor ? " The letter was probably addressed to a kinsman of another oontempoBar* 
of Dr. HamiU's— Father Paul Long, P.P. of St Catherine's, Meath-street,. 



Digitized by 



Google 



{ 8#* ) 



NEW BOOKS. 

Okb of the most important additions made to Catholic literature for 
these many years is a The History of Catholic Emancipation and the 
Progress of the Catholic Church in the British Isles, chiefly in England, 
from 1771 to 1820. By W. J. Amherst, S.J." (London, Kegan Paul, 
Trench & Go.) Father Amherst has been described by Mr. S. N. 
Stokes, in Merry England for April — who, by the way, betrays a 
curious hankering after the Veto— as "one who was well known, 
thirty years ago, at the bar and in Catholic society, related by birth 
with some of the actors* in the scenes which he describes, the brother 
of a bishop, and himself a Jesuit ; " and the reviewer concludes that 
44 Father Amherst combines quite unusual qualifications for penetrat- 
ing the motives and interpreting the policy of the men who sought 
and obtained Emancipation." We may add that he is all the better 
qualified from the fact which his book abundantly proves, that, although 
an English Catholic, not by conversion but by birth, the representative 
of one of those families who clung to the Old Faith in spite of tempta- 
tions more perilous-, in some respeots, because more seductive than the 
similar trials of Irish Catholics whom patriotism helped to confirm 
in faith — nevertheless, this English historian shows himself able to 
enter fully into all the phases of Irish feeling, and to appreciate 
O'Connell as generously as he appreciates Milner. When the reader 
is informed that each of these two large octavos contains some three 
hundred and fifty pages, he wonders that the story has not been con- 
tinued down to the end in 1829. Perhaps a third volume is in con- 
templation ; and indeed there is ample material for it, especially 
according to the plan of Father Amherst, who by no means confines 
himself to a bare narration of facts, but discusses motives and con. 
sequences, and practically inclines to that definition of History which 
makes it to be Philosophy teaching by example. His style is admirably 
adapted to his object, being calm, clear, and earnest. This " History 
of Catholic Emancipation," whether or not we accept all the views 
put forward, cannot but be pronounced to be a work of great interest 
and value. 

The Rev. Thomas C. Moore, D.D., seems to have intended to call 
his book " Alethaurion," which title runs along the tops of all the 569 
ample pages ; but perhaps his publishers (Benziger Brothers, of New 
York, Cincinnati, and St. Louis) counselled the adoption of the simpler 
name — " Short Papers for the People." The papers are certainly short, 

• • In a manuscript list of members of the famous Cisalpine Club which we found 
lately among O'OonneU's prifate papers, the name of Father Amherst's father stands 
second. 



Digitized by 



Googk 



394 Note* mi New Hooks. 

tot there are one hundred and thirty of them, and they are written in a 
popular style, with certain peculiarities which naturally are more likely 
/to be relished by American readers. For instance, the little chapter 
devoted to Cornelius the Centurion begins with a funny nigger story, 
whioh does not at first seem particularly relevant, and was never meant 
to be dignified ; and of the four very effective pages devoted to the 
Blessed Virgin, one is taken up with a certain Kanturk blacksmith, 
Ned O'Hara, who, however, has something useful to say on the sub- 
ject. There is on the whole a good deal of cleverness in this big book, 
not only in the unusual range of its theological topics but also in its 
very unconventional way of discussing them. Both priests and people 
may turn over its pages with pleasure and profit. 

" The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, with Notes, by John 
Oldcastle " (Burns and Oates) is an exact counterpart of the work 
lately issued as a record of Cardinal Newman's career. It contains 
several well executed portraits of Cardinal Manning, at various dates 
in his life, from 1812 to 1886. The literary portion of the thin royal 
octavo consists of an account of " The Event of Passion Sunday, 1851 n 
(when Archdeacon Manning was received into the Church) and then 
an extremely interesting selection of the Cardinal's letters, during the 
last thirty -five years. The volume ends with " Landmarks of a Life- 
time," the first of which shows that on the fifteenth of this month of 
July the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster completes his 78th 
year. 

We recommend very earnestly to our brethren in the priesthood 
and to all who take an interest, or wish to take an interest, in the 
propagation of the faith, the work which the great Friburg house of 
the Herders has brought out, in a French edition — "Atlas des 
Missions Catholiques," by Father Werner, S.J. It consists of twenty 
large coloured maps, with minute statistical papers illustrating the 
actual state of the Catholic Church in all its missions in every part of 
the world. This work is the fruit of immense labour and research, 
and deserves an honoured place in every ecclesiastical library. 

" A Secular Priest " has translated in a readable and well arranged 
volume, " The Virgin Mother of God," published by Richardson of 
London and Derby, all that St. Bernard of Clairvaux has written 
expressly in praise of the Blessed Virgin. He has executed his pious 
task with great care and taste, and the result is, in itself, enough to 
vindicate the claim of the first Abbot of Clairvaux to the title of the 
Mellifluous Doctor. 

Mr. Michael Brophy, ex-sergeant of the Royal Irish Constabulary, 
has published, through Burns and Oates, a volume of professional 
reminiscences, which can hardly feel at home in Granville Mansions. 
These sketches of the R. I. C. are written racily enough, but we think 
that a knot of policemen off duty would form the best audience to 
read them to. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Ntteton Niw Books: 39& 

The Rev. 0. P; Meehan is about to issue the third edition of his 
fine historical monograph, u The Flight of the Earls." He will in- 
corporate with the appendix many valuable materials discovered sinoe 
the first edition was published ; and other improvements and additions 
trill be made in this definitive edition of Father Meehan's beet work. 
Messrs. M. H. Gill and Son have made an admirable selection of 
Edmund Burke's writings " On Irish Affairs," the new number of 
their O'Connell Press Popular Library. A hundred and fifty pages of 
Edmund Burke on Ireland for threepence ! 

The printers who set it up in type are the persons who, we imagine, 
have profited most by "Lost in the Forest : a Temperanoe Tale" 
(Richardson and' Son). We have sought in vain for a reason why it 
has been translated from the French. 

A Sermon preached in Salford Cathedral by the Bight Rev. Lord 
Petre, in aid of the parish schools, has been published in a very dainty 
booklet, under the name of " At Antioch Again " (Burns and Oates). 

We called attention before to Canon Croft's tract on the " Con- 
tinuity of the Church." It would be very amusing if it were not so 
terribly sad, involving the eternal interests of millions of souls, to 
study the differences of doctrine prevailing in the Church of England. 
The writers and readers of " The Church Times" pretend to believe 
in very much that is blasphemed by the writers and readers of " The 
Rock ; " and in every Sunday gathering of English Protestants what 
a different creed is held by many a pair of worshippers, kneeling or 
sitting side by side. The extreme absurdity is reached when the 
Queen, who is the very Head of the English Episcopal Church, crosses 
the border and becomes Head of the Scottish Presbyterian Church, 
which denies episcopacy and orders. Not only two members of the 
same Church, but here one individual holds different doctrines. This 
is one of the difficulties of controversy. Our adversaries have no 
common ground. Many of them give up readily the point which 
Canon Croft proves convincingly, in the little treatise which the Catholic 
Truth Society is circulating; but there are others who claim to be 
the successors of St. Anselm and of St. Thomas of Canterbury and of 
Venerable Bede. Little they know about the writings or the lives of 
these saints, or else they could not, even they — illogical though they 
be, and blinded by prejudice, self-interest and lying traditions — they 
could not possibly pretend that Henry VIII. and Oranmer were on 
the side of ancient Catholic truth, and not Sir Thomas More who died 
for what they reject. 

A very pretty little book is " Pomfret Cakes' 9 (London: Wash- 
bourne). These " Poems by John Wilson " show a good deal of taste, 
piety, and amiable feeling. The Pontefraot muse is not ambitious, 
but rather is so simple betimes as to provoke a smile at verses which 
do not mean to be comic, as Mr. Wilson often means to be. He calls 



Digitized by 



Google 



390 Note* on New Books. 

himself a Yorkshire man, in one place, but he shows a very kindly 
feeling towards Ireland, and his muse is at her best when she tries to 
speak with an Irish accent. 

A small book of 130 pages contains " The Holy Bule of St 
Benedict. Translated by a Priest of Mount Melleray " (London and 
Derby: Richardson). 

Three sixpenny pamphlets published by Messrs. M. H. Gill and 
Son may be announced in one paragraph. The first is a lecture on 
Bent, delivered in the Catholic Institute of Limerick, by the Bev. 
Thomas A. Finlay, S.J. The question is discussed from the scientific 
point of view of sound political economy. "The Alleged Bull of 
Pope Adrian IV." is also a lecture, delivered by the Bev. P. A. Yorke, 
CO. in the Catholic Commercial Club of Dublin, and is a very in- 
teresting contribution to a controversy which will probably be carried 
on into the twentieth century. Of much more practical interest is 
Father Charles Davis's essay on the Deep Sea Fisheries of Ireland. 
Father Davis is the well-known Parish Priest of Baltimore, through 
whom the Baroness Burdett-Coutts has done so much for the hardy 
fishermen of Cape Clear. 

" The Best Hundred Irish Books " has also been reprinted from 
the Freeman's Journal, as a large sixpenny brochure. The letters of 
Mr. Alfred Webb, Most Bev. Dr. Healy, Judge O'Hagan, Sir 0. G. 
Duffy, Mr. John O'Leary, Dr. Sullivan, Dr. Molloy, and Professor 
Stokes were particularly worthy of preservation. "We prefer the 
summing up of •' Historicus " to his original presentation of the 
subject. 

It is a score of years and more since the grammatical duel raged 
between Queen's English and Dean's English. Dean Alford is dead, 
but his antagonist, Mr. Washington Moon, lives and flourishes, and it 
seems from certain advertisements appended to his latest publication, 
'•Ecclesiastical English" (London: Hatchards), that he is now pro- 
fessionally consulting grammarian to all the world, correcting manu- 
script at so many shillings per thousand words. His animadversions 
on the use of tenses are, we think, often well founded ; but many of 
his criticisms seem foolishly hypercritical. Mr. Moon's own English 
is sometimes cumbrous and a little stilted. " It would have been suffix 
oient with which to put a girdle round the world." " Our silence, 
pardonable, as emanating from respect," &c. Can a negative thing 
like silence emanate ? As the Authorised Version and its revision do 
not concern us, we have not thought it necessary to examine carefully 
in detail Mr. Moon's disquisitions, which are certainly ingenious, enter- 
taining, and instructive. 

Mr. E. Oomerford could not have chosen a more appropriate time 
for publishing his very spirited setting of the well-known song by 
Thomas Davis, " A Nation Once Again." In order that it may be 



Digitized by 



Google 



.Notes an New Booit. 397 

eong by feminine voices also, lie prints childhood as an alternative 
reading for boyhood in the opening stanza : — 

When boyhood's flre>aa in my blood, 

I read of ancient freemen 
For Greeqe and Borne who proudly stood, 

Three hundred men and three men ; 
And then I prayed I yet might see 

Our fetters rent in twain, 
And Ireland, long a province, be 

A Nation once again. 

The publishers of this national song are Novello, Ewer, and Oo. of 
London and New York : but " Dublin" appears also on the titlepage, 
followed by no name except " William Tempest, Music Publisher, 
Dundalk." It is well to have Davis's doctrine of nationality sung, or 
read, or spoken ; for he was never tired of inculcating that the high 
and holy service of Ireland would be profaned by passions vain or 
ignoble : 

For Freedom comes from God's right hand, 

And needs a godly train ; 
And righteous men must make our land 

A Nation once again. 

Since the Catholic Children's Magazine, formerly published by 
Messrs. James Duffy and Sons, crossed the Irish Sea, it has, we must 
confess, improved in many points. The new name, Merry and Wise, is 
better for practical purposes; and indeed we should wish the great 
American magazine published at New York, the largest and in some 
respects the cleverest and most varied of all Catholic periodicals, had 
some more neutral name than The Catholic World which almost brands 
it as " a pious book." The pictures in Merry and Wise are at present 
often good. We might, no doubt, desire fresher matters than Joan 
of Axe or St. Francis and the Birds ; but perhaps these will be new 
enough for many children. The poetry is poor ; and is it right even 
for poets to be ungrammatioai P In June one poet has "stole" in 
opposition both to Lindley Murray and the Decalogue, and another 
acts uncivil. * With every inclination to be easily pleased and with 
full advertence to the difficulties of such enterprises, we cannot help 
thinking that a higher literary standard ought to be aimed at in these 
days when the most skilful pens and pencils on both sides of the 
Atlantio are enlisted in the service of Children's Magazines. 



Digitized by 



Google 



(388 ) 



NUTSHELL BIOGBAMS. 
Third Handful. 

18. Edmund Burke, born at Dublin, January 12, 1 729 (just a hundred 
years before Catholic Emancipation); went to England 1750; came 
back to Ireland as Private Secretary to Single-Speech Hamilton, 1761 ; 
Private Secretary to Lord Rockingham, 1765; M.P. for Wendover, 
1765; M.P. for Bristol, 1774; M.P. for Malton, 1780; Paymaster- 
General in the second Rockingham Ministry, from April to July, 1782, 
and in the Coalition Ministry, from April to December, 1783 ; retired 
from Parliament, 1794 ; lost his clever son, 1794; died at Beaconsfield 
(which Disraeli chose for his title), July 9, 1797, aged 68 * 

19. Richard Challoneb was born on the 29th of September, 1691, 
in the Diocese of Chichester. His father died while the boy was young. 
We are not told what became of his mother, Grace Willard. Her son 
was converted by the Rev. John Gother, whose name is preserved by 
his "Instructions on the Mass," and by his "Papist Misrepresented and 
Represented." In the summer of 1704 the young convert was sent to 
the English seminary at Douay, where he remained as student, pro- 
fessor, and superior for twenty-five years. No coming home for 
vacation in those days. He was made Professor of Rhetoric and then 
of Philosophy before he was old enough to be ordained priest. His 
ordination took place on the 28th of March, 1716, though he waited a 
fortnight till Easter Sunday, April 12th, to celebrate his first Mass. 
His first visit to his native country was on urgent private business, 
after an uninterrupted absence of fourteen years. During his stay at 
Douay as Professor and Vice-President, he wrote his famous little book 
" Think Well OnV* He did not come on the English mission till 
1730. In the midst of his toils and real dangers he found the time and 
the courage to compose and publish a great many learned and pious 
works, which are still doing good. In 1738 he was made Coadjutor to 
Dr. Benjamin Petre, Bishop in the London District, whom he succeeded 
twenty years later. He died on the 12th of January, 1781, some 
months after the No Popery Riots that are linked with the name of 
Lord George Gordon. During his life of ninety years, many famous 
and brilliant men lived and died in England, thinking a great deal of 

• These are the salient facts which Mr. John Morlej (who now fills the post in 
Ireland, in which Burke helped Single-speech Hamilton) thinks it worth while to 
prefix to his historical study, written twenty years ago, the first of his works. He 
remarks that it is grievous to think that such a man was allowed to do no more than 
hold a fifth-rate office for sometime less than a twelTemonth. He himself is a proof 
that that order of things has passed away. 



Digitized by 



Google 



Nutihell Biogram*. 399 

themselves and thinking nothing at all of this holy and learned man, 
who quietly did bo much to keep the faith alive in England of the Four 
Georges. 

20* Jambs Mac Akdle was born, in 1728, in Cow-lane, afterwards 
called Greek-street, Dublin. He learned mezzotint engraving from a 
Dublin engraver, John Brooks. In 1746 he removed to London where 
he practised his art with great success till his death in 1765. His fame 
and his works have survived so well, that they were the subject of a 
lecture by Mr. Chaloner Smith, M.R.I.A., in 1885, in the College of 
Science, Stephen's-green. 

21. The Bisv. John Francis Shearman was born in Kilkenny, in 
1830. After his schooldays at Clongowes, finding he had no vocation 
for the Society of Jesus, to which he was to the last devotedly attached, 
he entered Maynooth College, and at the end of his course of theology 
was ordained priest, and sent as curate to Dunlavin, County Wicklow, 
in 1862. Much earlier he had displayed his antiquarian tastes ; and 
in this curaoy he published his curious investigations as to the famous 
battlefield of Glen Manna, near Dunlavin, where Brian Boru in the 
year 1000 inflicted a crushing defeat on the combined armies of the 
Leinster men and the Danes of Dublin. At this time also he discovered 
a bi-lingual Ogham inscription, at Kathleen Oormac, in County Kildare, 
which has since formed a subject of discussion for such scholars as 
Sir Samuel Ferguson, Whitley Stokes, Ac. Father Shearman was soon 
removed to Howth where he was curate for twenty years. His vicinity 
to Dublin enabled him to devote his leisure to his favourite studies, 
especially in the Library of the Royal Irish Academy, of which he 
was a member. In 1879 he published " Loca Patriciana," containing 
very minute discussions concerning the dates in the Life of the Apostle 
of Ireland, and showing also marvellous acquaintance with the 
ancient Irish septs and tribes, and with the genealogies of the Welsh, 
Scotch, and Breton branches of the Celtic race. He was a most pious, 
charitable, and amiable priest. He was appointed pastor of Moone in 
County Kildare, in November, 1888 ; but his health soon failed, and 
he died on the 6th of February, 1885. 

22. Patrice Donahoe was born at Munnery, Parish of Kilmore, 
County Cavan, on St. Patrick's Day, 1814 His father brought hisf amily, 
in 1825, to Boston, in the United States, where young Donahoe became 
a printer. After some preliminary ventures he established the Boston 
Pilot, which has ever since done good work for Catholicity and the 
Irish race. The great fire in Boston, in November, 1872, destroyed 
his property to the extent of two hundred and fifty thousand dollars 
(£41,000), and he was finally obliged to place the residue in the hands 
of his creditors. The Pilot belongs at present to the Archbishop of 



Digitized by 



Google 



400 Nutshell Biogramx. 

Boston and Mr. Boyle O'Reilly. Mr. Donahoe has for some years 
published only Donakoe's Magazine. Throughout his career he haft 
shown great energy and perseveranoe, and a benevolent and patriotic 
spirit. 

23. The Bet. Johk O'Haxlon was born at Stradbally, Queen's 
County, in the year 1821, though his grandfather belonged to Armagh. 
Be was educated at Carlow College and afterwards in an American 
theological seminary. He was ordained priest at St. Louis in 1847, by 
Dr. Peter Richard Kenrick. Even at that date began his labours for 
Irish literature. His Abridgment of Irish History was published at 
Boston in 1849, and in 1850 his "Irish Emigrant's Guide to the 
United States." In 1853 he returned to Ireland in poor health, which 
his native air soon restored to vigour. In 1857 he published the 
"Life of St. Laurence O'Toole, Archbishop of Dublin," and soon 
after the "Life of St. Malachy." Father O'Hanlon was one of the 
Curates of SS. Michael and John's from 1859 to 1880, when he was 
made Parish Priest of St. Mary's, Star of the 8ea, Sandymount, one of 
the suburbs of Dublin. During those twenty-three years he devoted 
all the leisure he could take from the conscientious discharge of his 
priestly duties to literary labours, always connected with Catholic 
Ireland. His " Catechism of Irish History" appeared in 1869; and 
later, his "Legend Lays of Ireland" (for he is "Lageniensis"), a 
"Life of St. David of Wales," and some other small works leading on 
to his magnum opus, the " lives of the Irish Saints," which is still 
alas! far from completion. May Father O'Hanlon be spared long 
enough to publish all the materials which his pious and persevering 
industry has accumulated. He, too, deserves the title bestowed on Dr. 
Matthew Kelly of Maynooth — sanctorum indigitum client devotusimw, 
" a devoted client of the native saints of Ireland." 



Digitized by 



Google 



( 401 ) 



MOLLY THE TEAMP. 

BY ROSA MULHOLLAND, 

AUTHOR Or "VAOBAKT YSMM," " ULLSBVY," "XARCZLLl. 0BACB," STO, «TC. 

rlY late on a dark wet night in June, two persons entered 
together a pawnbroker's shop in Dublin. One was a low- 
sized countryman, with a fox-like faoe, quick eyes, hanging brows, 
an unscrupulous mouth, a narrow forehead, and a large ear 
-set so against his bristling hair, that it suggested habitual eaves- 
dropping. He was clad in two huge coats of grey frieze, and 
wore a consciousness of responsibility. He looked hard at the 
other customer entering with him, who shrank away and cowered 
into a corner by the counter. The pawnbroker, coming from a 
little room behind the shop, directed his attention to the country- 
man at once, with only a glance at the timid figure in the back- 
ground. 

The man in frieze was a west-country drover, who had arrived 
from the mountains only a few hours before with a drove of sheep 
for market. He found himself unexpectedly in need of money 
until next day , when his stock was to be sold. He pulled off the 
outer of his two coats, and flung it on the counter. 

The pawnbroker examined the coat, and a discussion arose as 
to the amount of money to be advanced upon it. It was thrown 
from one to the other, shaken out, folded up, and finally tossed 
down on the counter, while the pawnbroker, himself in a passion, 
almost dragged his bullying customer into his little room behind, 
for the purpose of showing him articles of equal value, for which 
he had advanced smaller sums than that which he now offered on 
the coat. The other customer, a woman, was left standing in the 
«hop alone. 

She was a woful specimen of womanhood : a figure whose out- 
lines were lost in miserable wrappings of rags, a soiled trailing 
gown, and a tattered shawl. Her bonnet, fit only for a gutter, 
had two or three grimy red roses flaunting dismally under the 
brim. Her skin was dark, either by nature or from want of care 
•and cleanliness. She was quite young, though one could hardly 
.know it, looking on her thin sallow face, deadened eyes, and 
•colourless lips. 

VoL.xiy.2fo.158. August, 1886. digitized Google 



402 MoUy the Tramp. 

She had in her hand what can only be described as a rag. A 
wobegone look had fallen over her face when the two men left her 
unnoticed: a look which was crossed now and then by one of* 
impatience, which burned up and went out of her sallow face again, 
leaving the stolid weariness to come back. Of what use was it for 
her to be angry, who only existed in the world upon sufferance P 

Presently lite pawnbroker oomes bustling back to the shop to 
fetch something, takes in her wretchedness with a keen eye, and 
roughly asks her business. She offers him her rag, calling it & 
mantle. It is perfectly worthless, and he is out of temper. He 
flings it back to her with an oath, and returns to his more 
important customer. 

The slight figure shakes as if blows had come down upon it, the- 
light of eagerness fades out of the eyes, the hands mechanically 
fold up the rejected garment. This is no new scene that she is 
passing through : no unexpected trial that has come upon her ; it 
is part of the daily routine of her life. Harsh words are as 
familiar to her as the taste of bread and milk to a child who 
has never suffered hunger. She accepts the award of her patience 
with the meekness of habitual dejection, but behind it there is. 
something stirring which is not habitual; something which make* 
the cowed spirit rise up again, which awakens persistence out of 
the passiveness of despair. She turns again from the shop door, 
towards which she had set her face, and takes her stand by the- 
counter once more. She will wait to have another word with the 
pawnbroker. 

Now, the root of this girl's purpose was holy, and yet her next 
act was the drop of evil that overflowed the cup of her misery,, 
and turned trouble into sin* 

She was so weary, that the earth seemed to drag her failing 
limbs towards it. Her eyes were fixed on the opposite wall, look- 
ing at a filmy picture present to them — a dying man, struggling 
with his death, alone in darkness. She heard not the shouts and 
curses in the street outside, nor the bargaining of the two men in 
the inner room, but a weak voice calling "drink! drink!" heard only 
the horrible, greedy cry, " whisky ! " gurgling in a dying throat. 
Her sunken eyes started forward, her hands wrought with one 
another. She gazed all around the shop. No one near her, no 
one TwniidiTig her ; and the coat still lying on the counter. 

For one moment she was raised to the dignity of resisting 
temptation. Only one moment; need was too great, habit too- 
strong, misery too deep. The coat was snatched, and the gir| 
vanished. Digitized by Qqqc 



MoUy the Tramp. 405 

- The two men returned only about a minute too late, and rushed 
into the street crying " Stop thief ! " The cry was echoed and 
tossed from lip to lip in the dirty lanes and alleys. Drunken men 
reeled out of taverns and caught it, wretched children yelled it 
along the gutter. It clamoured in the hunted, creature's ears aa 
she strained her weak limbs along the pavement, or huddled herself 
into some corner to let the pursuers go by. " It is the last time, 
the last time I " she muttered. So it was, the last sin of many ; 
but not to go unpunished. 

The cry had- long ceased, and the chase had been abandoned, 
when the dark figure crept in at a miserable doorway, and up a 
dirty, crazy flight of stairs. She had no coat in her hands now, 
but some money, and a small bottle. She looked from right to 
left with scared eyes, and then entered a squalid room where the 
dawn was stealing wanly through a broken skylight in the roof. 
The walls were perfectly bare ; there was no sign of food, furni- 
ture, nor clothing. The > girl looked eagerly towards a corner 
where the figure of a man lay stretched upon straw. She went 
forward, listening and gazing intently, and dropped on her knees 
beside the figure. 

" Here it is," she said, in a voice of fright that matched her 
face ; " here is the whisky. I could not get it any sooner." 

There was no answer by sound or movement. 

"Father!" she shrieked, with a wild sob. She lifted an 
awful-looking hand from the straw, and dropped it *gain. The 
figure on the pallet was a corpse. The cries that had rung 
through the room when she left it were still for ever. 

She drew a covering over the body, looked round the bare 
walls of the den, and sat down on the floor with a passive despair 
in her white face. Her foot touched the bottle of spirits. She 
snatched it up and half emptied it at a draught, stretched herself 
on the straw at the feet of the corpse, and soon fell into a state of 
unconsciousness that answered with her for peace. 

Such is the history of Molly's crime. It is quite useless for 
the purposes of this story to go back any further into her past. 
It is not easy to get at the true antecedents of such creatures. 
One would have told you that Molly Cashel was a charwoman ; 
another, that she was a ballad-singer ; another, that she was a 
street- vagrant ; another, that she was a thief. Each account 
would have been true, for she had been all of these things in turns. 
She had been dragged through every kind of misery from her 
jrretched motherless childhood until now, her nineteenth year. 

Digitized by VjUUyiv 



404 MoUy the Tramp. 

She had been ill-treated and made a slave of by a brutal step- 
father — the man whose last desire she had sinned to strive to satisfy. 
A worn-out, battered creature, who had never had any youth, who 
had never been taught, who had been driven on all her life by the. 
instincts