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Catholic Quarterly 

Under the Direction of 


Bonum est homini ut eum Veritas vincat volentem, quia malum est homini ut eum Veritas 

vincat invitum. Nam ipsa vincat necesse est, sive negantem sive confitentem. 


From January to October, 1906. 

211 SOUTH Sixth Street. 

Entered according^ to Act of Congress, 

in the year 1906, 

By P. J. Ryan, 

In the OflSce of the Librarian of Congress, at 

Washington, D. C. 



Ahern, S. J., Rev. M. J. Scientific Chronicle 185, 379, 585 

Algeria, The French Conquest of— R. F. O'Connor 457 

Altar, The Christian — Ellis Schreiber 658 

Ancient Ireland and Its Queens— Mrs. Gregory Stapleton 48 

Angels," The Angelic Doctor on "The— Rev. E. Aveling, D. D. 359 
Angelic Doctor on "The Angels," The— Rev. E. Aveling, D. D. 359 

Arc, Joan of — A. J. McGillivray 309 

Are the Other Planets Inhabited ?— Rev. Charles Coupe, S, J. . . 699 
Aveling, D. D., Rev. E. The Angelic Doctor on "The Angels". 359 

Aveling, Rev. F. The Neo-Scholastic Movement 19 

Bacon as a Poet, Lord — Rev. George O'Neill, S. J 91 

Barry, C. SS. R., Rev. Albert. The Birthplace of the Magi. ... 175 
Barry, Rev. D. The Witness of Conscience to the Existence 

of God 331 

Barry, James — R. F. O'Connor 637 

Basil Valentine, a Great Pre-Reformation Chemist — ^James J. 

Walsh, M. D., Ph. D 342 

Birthplace of the Magi, The— Rev. Albert Barry, C SS. R 175 

Brock, S. J., Rev. Henry M. The Logical Basis of Physical 

Laws 107 

Brule, Etienne, Explorer and Discoverer — Rev. Walter Dwight, 

S.J 48s 

Burke on Religion and the Church— Prof. W. F. P. Stockley. . 61 

Calvin and the Author of "The Prince"— John J. O'Shea 680 

Canadian Problems, Some — F. W. Grey 694 

Catholic Progress in Ireland — E. Leahy 3^4 

Causes of South American Suspicion, The— John J. O'Shea. . . 2'j'j 

Christian Altar, The— Ellis Schreiber 658 

Church, Burke on Religion and the— Prof. W. F. P. Stockley. . 61 

Clinch, Bryan J. Irish Names and Their Changes 81 

Clinch, Bryan J. Our Lady of Guadalupe ' 240 

Conscience to the Existence of God, The Witness of— Rev. D. 

Barry 33i 

Coupe, S. J., Rev. Charles. Are the Other Planets Inhabited?. . 699 

Coupe, S. J., Rev. Charles. The Good Faith of Unfaith? 131 

De Lamennais, Felicite: A Sketch— Rev. R. H. J. Steuart, S. J. 157 
Dennehy, William F. "Pacata Hibernia" 257 

iv Table of Contents. 


Dwight, S. J., Rev. Walter. Etienne Brule, Explorer and Dis- 
coverer 485 

Edward the Confessor, The Shrine of St.— Louise Imogen 

Guiney 5^3 

Egypt, A Tour in— Rev. James Kendal, S.J 671 

Elizabeth's Dying, The Story of Queen— John J. O'Shea 531 

Encyclical — ^Vehementer Nos 57^ 

Encyclical Letter to the French 209 

England, The Sanctuary Literature of Mediaeval — Rev. G. E. 

Price 440 

Etienne Brule, Explorer and Discoverer — Rev. Walter Dwight, 

s. J 485 

Eucharistic Sacrifice, St. Thomas of Aquin and the— Very Rev. 

Alexander MacDonald, D. D 555 

Ewing, A. G. A Harmony of the Resurrection 721 

Faith of Unfaith? The Good— Rev. Charies Coupe, S. J 131 

Felicite de Lamennais : A Sketch— Rev. R. H. J. Steuart, S. J. 157 

Fitzherbert's Vindication, Mrs. — ^John J. O'Shea i 

Fourviere, Notre Dame de — E. Leahy 543 

France, The Religious Situation in — The Abbe Hermeline 734 

France, Separation of Church and State in — F. W. Parsons 494 

Free Will, Some Aspects of — Rev. William F. Murphy, S. T. B., 

B. C. L 292 

French, Encyclical Letter to the ^ 209 

French Bishops, Reply of the 751 

French Conquest of Algeria, The — R. F. O'Connor 457 

French Revolution, Pius VL and the — Donat Sampson. 220, 413, 601 
Gardner, Monica M. Sigismund Krasinski, the Polish Mystic 

and Poet 1 19 

Good Faith of Unfaith? The— Rev. Charles Coupe, S. J 131 

Grey, F. W. Some Canadian Problems 6^4 

Guadalupe, Our Lady of — Bryan J. Clinch 240 

Guiney, Louise Imogen. The Shrine of St. Edward the Con- 
fessor 513 

Harmony of the Resurrection, A — ^A. G. Ewing 721 

Hermeline, The Abbe. The Religious Situation in France .... 734 

Hibernia," Pacata"— William F. Dennehy 257 

Ireland and Its Queens, Ancient — Mrs. Gregory Stapleton 48 

Ireland, Catholic Progress in — E. Leahy 304 

Irish Names and Their Changes— Bryan J. Clinch 81 

James Barry— R. F. O'Connor 637 

Joan of Arc— A. J. McGillivray 309 

Kendal, S. J., Rev. James. A Tour in Egypt 671 

Table of Contents. 


Krasinski, Sigismund, the Polish Mystic and Poet— Monica M. 

Ga^^^e^ .119 

Leahy, E. CathoHc Progress in Ireland 304 

Leahy, E. Notre Dame de Fourviere r^^ 

Leahy, E. A Transformation ^^2 

Logical Basis of Physical Laws, The— Rev. Henry M. Brock, 

^- J 107 

Lord Bacon as a Poet — Rev. George O'Neill, S.J 91 

Loughlin, D. D., Right Rev. Mgr. J. F. Within the Penumbra 

of the Thirty Years' War c^^ 

MacDonald, D. D., Very Rev. Alexander. St. Thomas of Aquin 

and the Eucharistic Sacrifice 555 

Magi, The Birthplace of the— Rev. Albert Barry, C. SS. R. . . . 175 

McGillivray, A. J. Joan of Arc 309 

Mrs. Fitzherbert's Vindication— John J. O'Shea i 

Murphy, S. T. B., B. C. L., Rev. William F. Some Aspects of 

Free Will 292 

Names and Their Changes, Irish — Bryan J. Clinch 81 

Napoleon's Gunner — Wilfrid C. Robinson 33 

Neo-Scholastic Movement, The — Rev. F. Aveling 19 

Notre Dame de Fourviere — E. Leahy 543 

O'Connor, R. F. James Barry 637 

O'Connor, R. F. The French Conquest of Algeria 457 

O'Neill, S. J., Rev. George. Lord Bacon as a Poet 91 

O'Shea, John J. Calvin and the Author of "The Prince" 680 

O'Shea, John J. Mrs. Fitzherbert's Vindication i 

O'Shea, John J. The Causes of South American Suspicion 277 

O'Shea, John J. The Story of Queen Elizabeth's Dying 531 

Our Lady of Guadalupe^ — Bryan J. Clinch 240 

"Pacata Hibernia"— William F. Dennehy 257 

Parsons, F. W. Separation of Church and State in France 494 

Physical Laws, The Logical Basis of — Rev. Henry M. Brock, 

S. J 107 

Pius VI. and the French Revolution— Donat Sampson. .220, 413, 601 
Planets Inhabited? Are the Other— Rev. Charles Coupe, S. J. . 699 

Preaching and Popular Action 744 

Price, Rev. G. E. The Sanctuary Literature of Mediaeval Eng- 
land • 440 

Religious Situation in France, The— The Abbe Hermeline 734 

Reply of the French Bishops 75^ 

Resurrection, A Harmony of the— A. G. Ewing 721 

Robinson, Wilfrid C. Napoleon's Gunner 33 

St. Thomas of Aquin and the Eucharistic Sacrifice— Very Rev. 

Alexander MacDonald, D. D 555 

vi Table of Contents. 

Sampson, Donat. Pius VI. and the French Revolution . 220, 413, 601 
Sanctuary Literature of Mediaeval England, The — Rev. G. E. 

Price 440 

Schreiber, Ellis. The Christian Altar 658 

Scientific Chronicle— Rev. M. J. Ahern, S. J 185, 379, 585 

Separation of Church and State in France — F. W. Parsons 494 

Shrine of St. Edward the Confessor, The — Louise Imogen 

Guiney 513 

Sigismund Krasinski, the Polish Mystic and Poet — Monica M. 

Gardner 119 

Some Aspects of Free Will — Rev. William F. Murphy, S. T. B., 

B. C. L 292 

Some Canadian Problems — F. W. Grey 694 

South American Suspicion, The Causes of — ^John J. O'Shea. . . 2yy 

Stapleton, Mrs. Gregory. Ancient Ireland and Its Queens 48 

Steuart, S. J., Rev. R. H. J. Felicite de Lamennais : A Sketch. 157 
Stockley, Prof. W. F. P. Burke on Religion and the Church ... 61 

Story of Queen Elizabeth's Dying, The— John J. O'Shea 531 

Thirty Years' War, Within the Penumbra of the — Right Rev. 

Mgr. J. F. Loughlin, D. D 564 

Tour in Egypt, A— Rev. James Kendal, S. J 671 

Transformation, A — E. Leahy 632 

Valentine, Basil, a Great Pre-Reformation Chemist— James J. 

Walsh, M. D., Ph. D 342 

Vehementer Nos, Encyclical 571 

Walsh, M. D., Ph. D., James J. Basil Valentine, a Great Pre- 
Reformation Chemist 342 

Within the Penumbra of the Thirty Years' War— Right Rev. 

Mgr. J. F. Loughlin, D. D 564 

Witness of Conscience to the Existence of God, The— Rev. D. 

^^^^y 331 


Political History of England— Hunt and Poole 193 

Theory and Practice of the Confessional— Schieler 195 

Church Music log 

Of God and His Creatures— Rickaby 202 

Humility of Heart— Vaughan * 204 

Prayer— Bolo ' ' ^05 

Addresses to Cardinal Newman— Neville 206 

Table of Contents. 



Addresses — Coudert 207 

Rituale Romanum 208 

Life of St. Patrick — Healy ^87 

Key to the World's Progress — Devas 380 

Geschichte de Paepste — Pastor 302 

Life of Count Moore — Barry 304 

St. John — Fouard 305 

Unseen World — Lepicier ogy 

Beati Petri Canisii, S. J., Epistulae — Braunsberger 398 

Organum Comitans ad Kyriale — Mathias 399 

What Catholics Have Done for Science — Brennan 400 | 

Lourdes — Clark 401 

St. Francis of Assisi — Dubois 403 

Throne of the Fisherman — ^Allies 405 

Thoughts and Affections of the Passion — Bergamo 406 

Jurisprudentia Ecclesiastica — Mocchegiani 407 

Tradition of Scripture — Barry 408 

Lex Levitarum — Hedley 409 

Life of Sir John T. Gilbert— Gilbert 410 

Rex Mens 411 

Mary the Queen 411 

II Libro D'Oro — Alexander , • r • • • 4^2 

Meditations — Girardey tltvi,^ • 4^2 

Law of the Church — Taunton 59^ 

Lives of the Popes — Mann 59^ 

Neo Convessarius Practice Instructus — Reuter 593 

Life of Christ — Le Camus 594 

Geschichte des Deutschen Volkes — Michael 595 

Matilda, Countess of Tuscany — Huddy 59^ 

Modem Pilgrim's Progress 597 

Exempel- Lexicon fur Prediger — Lampert 597 

Enchiridion Symbolorum — Denzinger 59^ 

Self-knowledge and Self-discipline— Maturin 59^ 

Christ the Preacher— Phelan 59^ 

Studies from Court and Qoister— Stone 599 

Missale Romanum 599 

Jesus Crucified— Elliott ' ^^ 

Der Roemische Katechismus "^^ 

Great Catholic Laymen— Horgan 75^ 

Essays in Pastoral Medicine— O'Malley 7^0 

Free Will— Rickaby ^62 

Living Wage — Ryan ^^ 

Ecclesia — Matthew • ^ 

viii Table of Contents. 


Lives of the Popes — Mann 767 

Principles of Religious Life — Doyle 768 

Catholic Churchmen in Science — Walsh 770 

Summa Theologica — Bonjoannes 771 

Golden Days of the Renaissance in Rome — Lanciani 772 

Jesus of Nazareth — Loyola 773 

Canzoni — Daly 774 

Short Spiritual Reading — Cecilia 774 

Lover of Souls — Brinkmeyer 775 

Gospels of the Sundays — Ryan 775 

Geschichte des Vatikanischen Konzils — Granderath yyy 

Religion of the Plain Man — Benson 779 

Lectures on the Holy Eucharist — Coupe 781 

Lectures — Malachy 783 

Manual of Bible History — Hart 784 

Sister Mary of the Divine Heart — Chasle 785 

Manual of Theology for the Laity — Geiermann 787 

Outlines of Sermons — Schuen 788 

New School of Gregorian Chant — ^Johner 789 

Manual of Pastoral Theology — Schulz 790 

Glories of Sacred Heart — Hausherr 791 

Praxis Solemnium — Favrin 702 

Compendium Theologiae Moralis — Gury 793 

Medicina Pastoralis — ^Antonelli 70-^ 

Snow Bound — Whittier yg. 




John J. O'Shea, i 


Rev. F. Aveling, 19 


Wilfrid C. Robinson, 33 


Mrs. Gregory Stapleton, • 48 


Prof. W. F. P. Stockley, 61 


Bryan J. Clinch, 81 


Rev. George O'Neill, S. J., 91 


Rev. Henry M. Brock, S. J., 107 


Monica M. Gardner, 119 


Rev. Charles Coupe, S. J., 131 


Rev. R. H. J. Steuart, S. J., I57 


Rev. Albert Barry, C. SS. R., I75 


Rev. M. J. Ahern, S. J., 185 


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"Contributors to the Quarterly will be allowed all proper freedom in the ex 
pression of their thoughts outside the domain of defined doctrines the Review nS 
holdmg Itself responsible for the individual opinions of its contributors.' ' 

(Extract from Salutatory, July, 1890.) 

VOL. XXXL^JANUARY, 1906— No. 121. 


THE inimitable Thackeray, in his satire on the Four Georges, 
asks, of the last of the bad lot, "What good in knowing 
that he actually did marry Mrs. Fitzherbert according to 
the rites of the Roman Catholic Church; that her marriage settle- 
ments have been seen in London ; that the names of the witnesses 
to her marriage are known?" The satirist, after a fashion, uncon- 
sciously becomes an object for satire himself, if he set down such 
a question in all seriousness. There is no higher good in all the 
world than the vindication of truth with regard to a woman's fair 
fame. As there is no blacker crime than the larceny of that most 
precious of all gems, so there can be nothing more grateful to the 
good than the restoration of what has suffered from the guilty con- 
nivance or the poisonous whisper of interested plotters. 

Thackeray's picture of George the Fourth is so complete that 
one must think that no additional touch of any other artist could 
improve it in point of hideousness. Every toothsome trait of 
villainy is seen in the portrait of the "first gendeman of Europe." 
But the hand of the writer of the "Greville Memoirs" gave the 
finishing stroke that few would deem needful. Under the date of 
March 31, 1837, the writer makes an entry which brands George as 
the arch-scoundrel of his time or any other time. Among the many 
old people who have been taken off by the seve re weather (he notes), 

JEntered according to Act of Congrress^lirthe year 1906, by P. J. Ryan, In 
the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 

2 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

one of the most remarkable is Mrs. Fitzherbert, who has died at 
Brighton at above eighty years of age. She was not a clever 
woman, he went on to say, but of a very noble spirit, disinterested, 
generous, honest and affectionate. He adds other fine qualities, 
and then proceeds to say that she was treated with uniform distinc- 
tion and respect by the royal family (that is, William IV. and his 
consort). But the late King (George), he adds, who was a despic- 
able creature, grudged her the allowance he was bound to make her, 
and he was always afraid lest she should make use of some of the 
documents in her possession to annoy or injure him. This mean 
and selfish apprehension led him to make various efforts to obtain 
possession of those the appearance of which he most dreaded, and 
among others one remarkable attempt was made by Sir William 
Knighton some years ago. Although a stranger to Mrs. Fitz- 
herbert he called at her house one day when she was ill in bed, 
insisted upon seeing her and forced his way into her bedroom. 
She contrived somehow to get rid of him without his getting any- 
thing out of her, but this domiciliary visit determined her to make 
a final disposition of all the papers she possessed, that in the event 
of her death no advantage might be taken of them, either against 
her own memory or the interests of any other person. She accord- 
ingly selected those papers which she resolved to preserve, and 
which are supposed to be the documents and correspondence relat- 
ing to her marriage with George IV., and made a packet of them, 
which was deposited at her banker's, and all other letters and papers 
she condemned to the flames. For this purpose she sent for the 
Duke of Wellington and Lord Albemarle, told them her determina- 
tion, and in their presence had these papers burned. She assured 
them that everything was destroyed, and if after her death any 
pretended letters or documents were produced, they might give the 
most authoritative contradiction to their authenticity. 
' Now, it might well be inferred from this statement of the writer 
of the Memoirs that a piece of deception was practised by the old 
lady upon the agents of the sovereign. Lord Stourton, Mrs. 
Fitzherbert's relative and biographer, gave a somewhat dififerent 
version of the transaction. He relates how, on the death of George 
IV., he (Lord Stourton) and Lord Albemarle, at the request of the 
Duke of Wellington, who was the executor for the late King, went 
over all the correspondence between the Prince of Wales and Mrs. 
Fitzherbert and destroyed all save what she desired to preserve. 
These were collected, sealed by the Duke, Sir William Knighton, 
Lord Albemarle and Lord Stourton, and deposited in Coutts' bank. 
From the Greville papers it would appear that the old lady had 
taken the precaution of depositing the letters she held most sacred, 

Mrs. Fitzherhert's Vindication. 3 

for the purpose of protecting her own reputation, and then pre- 
tended that those which she submitted to the new King's emissaries 
were all that existed. This is a curious discrepancy— perhaps not 
intentional, but only the result of slovenliness in composition. But 
a discrepancy it certainly seems. If Mr. Greville be correct in his 
memorandum, there ought to have been another packet in Coutts' 
bank beside that placed there by the royal commissioners. 

Amongst the points which the examination of the papers may 
elucidate is the question whether from the union of the Prince and 
this lady any issue proceeded. This point is now the subject of 
widespread discussion. Here in the United States there are several 
members of a family named Ord who believe they are descended 
from the present British royal dynasty by reason of that union. 
Should the claim be established, as a result of the revelations of 
the long-hidden papers, it can have no tangible effect on the suc- 
cession, inasmuch as the British line was secured from the effects 
of comminglement with any but royal blood by the provisions of 
the Royal Marriage Act, which was passed in the reign of George 
II. for the specific purpose of barring out all inferior strains and 
making unions such as that of George IV. and Mrs. Fitzherbert, 
if not unlawful, at least what are known in Germany as morganatic. 
The Brunswick family may be said to have had the "morganatic" 
habit in a very aggravated form. Another member of the family, 
the Duke of Clarence, who afterward became King William IV., 
had picked up with an Irish actress known as Mrs. Jordan, and by 
her had ten children, all of whom were ennobled and became the 
Honorable Fitzclarences. The Duke of York, his brother, had a 
similar entanglement, though in a minor degree. 

By that celebrated enactment it was decreed that no descendant 
of George II., except the offspring of such of the princes as were 
married to or might marry foreign princesses were incapable of 
marrying till the age of twenty-five, without the sovereign's con- 
sent, or after that age, in the event of the sovereign's refusal, with- 
out the consent of both houses of Parliament. The remarkable 
circumstance in connection with this sweeping enactment was that 
George II. was himself the grandson of a French lady, Miss Eleanor 
d'Oibreuse, who though of very inferior birth, was in comfortable 
circumstances. She captivated the second son of Duke George of 
Celle; and she had a pretty daughter, with whom, or the large 
fortune she inherited, the Elector George of Hanover fell m love 
and married; and from this union sprang the House of Hanover, 
and from that the House of Brunswick, by the marriage of Ernest 
Duke of Brunswick with Sophia, niece of the Elector who mamed 
the rich daughter of the plebeian French lady, Eleanor dOibreuse. 

4 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

So that there was no small share of irony as to his own origin in 
the act of the Dutch monarch who got the British Parliament to 
pass a measure forbidding such unions as that which procured for 
the British people the blessings of a line so gifted with harmless 
mediocrity as the Guelphs. However striking the irony in the case 
may be, there is no getting over the fact that the law thus enacted 
eflfectually barred out the claims of any possible candidates for the 
honors of British royalty who could not show such credentials as 
that law insisted on. Hence it is not easy to understand the 
grounds upon which those who appealed, and successfully appealed, 
to the slumbering bigotry of the English populace, at this particular 
epoch, based their incitement to alarm. 

The immediate cause why the Royal Marriage Act was introduced 
and passed was the marriage of the Duke of Cumberland with Mrs. 
Horton and of the Duke of Gloucester with the Countess Walde- 
grave. Both these matches the plebeian-blooded monarch, George 
H., regarded as beneath the dignity of the House of Brunswick. 
The effects of the Royal Marriage Act have been tragical on many 
occasions. It prevented the course of natural affection, and substi- 
tuted state policy for the highest and purest emotion of human 
nature — the love that makes marriage the grand sacrament of 
humanity and consecrates it as a pledge of perpetuity while the 
world lasts. It gave rise to a hideous crop of immorality, sullying 
the noblest English houses, by restricting the choice of the royal 
princes and princesses to the narrow circle of petty German royal- 
ties. Writers of the day denounced the Act as an odious one, con- 
trary to the laws of God and nature, and fraught with actual peril 
to the British Empire, by exposing it to the danger of having the 
crown, at some critical period, left without a legitimate successor. 

One of the most flagrant examples of the iniquity of the Act 
was its operation in regard to the marriage of the Duke of Sussex 
to Lady Augusta Murray. They were first wedded in Rome, 
according, doubtless, to the Catholic rite, and when they returned 
to England in 1793 they were again married, according to the forms 
of the Established Church, in St. George's, Hanover Square, Lon- 
don — the most fashionable church in the metropolis. But old 
George III. set his face against the union and was determined to 
dissolve it, at whatever cost — on the empty plea of preserving unim- 
paired the succession to the crown. He got a suit instituted in the 
Court of Arches, wherein all ecclesiastical causes were tried; and 
the complaisant Judges acceded to his wishes by finding that not 
only was the Roman ceremony invalid, but even that conducted 
according to the English law in the English church ! The result 
of that monstrous finding was that the King's own grandchild, the 

Mrs. Fitzherherfs Vindication. e 

offspring of the union, was rendered illegitimate. Could human 
injustice any further go ? 

George III. himself, it is interesting to note, had in his early 
life resolved to break through the brazen fetters of this atrocious 
Marriage Act. He had fallen in love with Lady Sarah Lenox, 
and would have married her if his father the King had not barred 
the project. The result was, according to the gossip of the day, 
that insanity that for several years made George's reign a period 
of serious danger to the country. 

It was under such conditions that the Prince of Wales, who 
afterwards became King George IV., met the fascinating Mrs. 
Fitzherbert. If she was beautiful, he was handsome. He was just 
come of age, one of the most accomplished and magnetic of men. 
He was witty, learned, a master of languages, of elegant manners 
and fine speech. These dangerous accomplishments — to the hol- 
low-hearted, such as he — had already worked havoc with the virtue 
of several susceptible beauties and brought dishonor to the domestic 
hearths of decent people. 

Mrs. Fitzherbert, though twice a widow, was only twenty-five 
years old when the Prince of Wales first met her. It was at the 
opera house in London. She was in the box belonging to her 
relative, Lady Sefton. The moment the Prince laid eyes on her he 
was incurably smitten. He had no difficulty in obtaining an intro- 
duction, and he immediately proceeded to bring into play those 
batteries which he had found effective in overcoming the resistance 
of matron and maid. But he soon discovered that the open sesame 
of royalty which had proved fatal to poor "Perdita" (Mrs. Robin- 
son) and a score of other victims was ineffectual in this case. The 
lady was a Catholic — and that made a world of difference. She 
belonged to an old' English family — the Smythes, of Bambridge, 
Hampshire. She had been married, at the age of nineteen, to Mr. 
Edward Weld, of Lulworth Castle, Dorsetshir^-another of the old 
English stock. He died within a year; and after a period of mourn- 
ing she was wooed and won by Mr. Thomas Fitzherbert, of Swin- 
nerton, Staffordshire. He died within three years of the marriage, 
and the event left her a second time a widow, at an age when most 
English giris deem it best to begin married life. She was the 
inheritor of a fortune sufficient to maintain her in elegance— a 
couple of thousand pounds a year. When she discovered the mean- 
ing of the Prince's attentions to her she immediately rejected them. 
He persisted in his importunities ; wrote ballads, Hke "Sweet Lass 
of Richmond Hill," on her beauty, and sent them to her by some 
of his usual go-betweens. But, determined not to be annoyed by 
attentions she knew to be dishonorable, the lady packed up her 

6 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

trunks and hied her off to France, where she had friends. Gossip 
at that particular time was by no means mealy-mouthed or chary 
of its pleasures. Though there was a stringent press law, there 
was a boldness in defying its provisions that denoted an impatience 
of restraint and a high public spirit. These were the days of 
"Junius" and the "Drapier Letters," or not far removed from that 
celebrated period, and John Wilkes and Home Tooke were striking 
sounding blows on the shield of tyranny and clearing the way for 
the coming emancipation of the press. If the political writing of 
such a time demands our admiration because of its ability as well 
as its courage, it must also elicit our reprobation at times because 
of its license and the scandalous way in which it dealt with private 
character. Anonymous writers were allowed to pursue a course 
of open defamation toward the highest personages such as would 
not be tolerated now. Mrs. Fitzherbert was made the subject of 
such a villainous method of journalism. A pamphlet signed 
"Nemesis" gave currency to a slander affecting her reputation. The 
writer pretended to be familiar with her private life in France, and 
asserted that she had formed a friendship there with the Marquis 
de Bellois, which, it was hinted, was of too warm a character. It 
would seem that the motive of this vile attack was to turn the 
Prince of Wales against the lady. He had indeed manifested his 
regard for her so unmistakably that some desperate measures must 
be resorted to, in the belief of those to whom this attachment gave 
concern, to change his sentiments. Religious animus, it would 
seem, was the prime factor in the system of intrigue and calumny 
upon which they determined. The Prince was unremitting in his 
endeavors to discover her retreat, they knew ; and so the story was 
started that she had retired from Plombiers, where she had been 
staying, and hidden herself in Paris under some assumed name, as 
a result of her acquaintance with the Marquis de Bellois. There 
was no mincing of words by the concocter of this vile attack ; and so, 
in order to disprove its gravamen and give the scandal its quietus, 
we are at liberty to conclude, Mrs. Fitzherbert's kinsman, Mr. 
Errington, and her friend, Mr. Bouverie, advised her to return imme- 
diately to England. 

According to "Nemesis," the Marquis de Bellois followed her to 
England and blackmailed her, on the threat of publishing certain 
letters of the Prince of Wales to Mrs. Fitzherbert, to the extent of 
a couple of hundred pounds. The fraudulent character of such a 
statement is shown by the fact that one of the details given in sup- 
port of it was that Mrs. Fitzherbert's brother, Mr. Walter Smythe, 
was one of those who had given stories disgraceful to the Prince of 
Wales, in connection with the ladv, and that he, too, had to be 

Mrs. Fitzherherfs Vindication. y 

bought off by large sums of money and valuable presents, and that 
much more was expended in the bribing of newspapers to suppress 
scandal and publish matter complimentary to Mrs. Fitzherbert. 
What was the meaning of this premeditated and methodical course 
of scandalum magnatum? The onslaught of the anonymous libeller 
who described himself or herself as ''Nemesis" will supply the clue. 
It said : Mrs. Fitzherbert was at this time said to be in correspond- 
ence in France with the gros Abbe, the bastard brother of the Duke 
of Orleans, the Abbe Taylor and some Irish friars in many parts of 
Italy. The aim of this correspondence was said to be to harass the 
existing Administration, and to pave the way for the introduction 
of Catholics into Ireland." 

"Said to be!" This is ever the elusive weapon of the slanderer 
and the poisoner of the mind. It is an old resort and as much in 
vogue to-day as ever. It was lately used in this country, more than 
once, by traffickers in this sort of merchandise, for a purpose as 
foul as in the days of George III, But let us consider the situation, 
the victim and the objects : 

The period was toward the close of the eighteenth century — a 
time when nearly every penal statute ever passed against professors 
of the Catholic faith was in full operation. It was only a little time 
before that England had shown that the silent statute-books only 
expressed the living, active and destructive hatred of the Catholic 
system and Catholic people that burned in the hearts of the majority 
of Englishmen. The terrible riots associated with the name of 
Lord George Gordon testified to the depth and power of that fierce 
fanaticism ; and that spirit was quite likely to assert itself once more 
in case it could be proved that the heir to the throne had entered 
into an alliance, regular or irregular, with one of the detested 
Papists. Lord George Gordon himself was actively at work stir- 
ring anew the smoldering fires that had already laid a large portion 
of London in ashes. He was under prosecution before the King's 
Bench for a libel on the Queen of France and the French Ambas- 
sador at the English Court, the Count d'Adhemar. During the 
trial Lord George commented with very great freedom on the 
connection said to exist between the Prince of Wales and Mrs. 
Fitzherbert— so busy had the tongue of scandal been in transform- 
ing a royal repulse into a royal victory over honor.- He had stated 
that while in Paris he had held a conversation with Mrs. Fitzherbert, 
and he desired to have her testimony as to this, in order to prove 
an intrigue between the French and British Courts-the subject, 
he asserted, of that conversation. This, of course, was a renewal 
of the No Poperv tactics, but it failed. Lord George actually 
attempted to serve a subpoena on the lady himself. He called at 

8 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

her house for that purpose, but was turned out by the servants. 
Mrs. Fitzherbert's brother, Mr. WaUer Smythe, accompanied by a 
friend, Mr. Orton, went to Lord George's residence next day and 
threatened him with serious consequences if he attempted to molest 
the lady again or take any Hberties with her name — a fact that 
shows that the spirit of the Cathohc gentry was in nowise cowed by 
the truculence of Lord George and his murderous henchmen in 
that time of brutal terrorizing and persecution. The fanatic lord 
•wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, Mr. Pitt, describing the inci- 
dent and closing with a minatory sort of demand that the matter be 
brought to the attention of the House of Commons in order to show 
"the overbearing disposition of the Papists." This was the old 
story of the wolf and the lamb with a vengeance, all the circum- 
stances taken into account. 

Lord George's action in the matter attracted to the case of the 
Prince and Mrs. Fitzherbert an instant and widespread interest. 
It immediately began to be discussed in the newspapers, in the 
coffee houses, in the drawing rooms. Everybody was asking his 
or her neighbor had there been really a marriage. Then appeared 
on the stage a firebrand of a worse type than Gordon because more 
able and logical. This was the celebrated, or, more properly 
speaking, notorious person known as Home Tooke — a poulterer's 
son whose real name was John Home, but who had Tooke added 
to it in order to qualify for a legacy left him on that condition. He 
put forth a pamphlet, in which he addressed Mrs. Fitzherbert 
repeatedly as the Princes of Wales, asserted that a marriage had 
taken place, that it was celebrated by a priest whose name he knew, 
and pronounced it to be a nullity because of the law forbidding 
unions between people of royal blood and subjects. This pamphlet 
created a tremendous sensation — ^not so much because it related to 
a fact forbidden by statute, but because of the religion of one of 
the parties. The excitement over the publication was not confined 
to England; it spread over Europe in the courts and fashionable 
circles. It created something like a frenzy among the English 
masses. Some mysterious pressure appeared to have been exerted 
over Tooke and unknown agents seemed to have bought up the 
pamphlet, for no copy of it could be had a few days after it was 
suddenly sprung on the public. Tooke was pressed to repeat or 
confirm what he had previously stated, but he preserved a rigid 
silence. It was a most serious thing to allege that the heir to the 
crown had married a Papist ; it almost amounted to treason against 
the Constitution, under the Act of Settlement. The matter did 
find its way into Parliament when the discussion of the debts of 
the Prince of Wales came on in the course of the estimates. Mr. 

Mrs. Fitzherherfs Vindication. 9 

Fox was put up to say that there was no truth in the rumored mar- 
riage, and that the lady who was known to be living with the Prince 
had no canonical claim to be his wife ; and Richard Brinsley Sheri- 
dan, who was as great a friend of the Prince as Fox was, delivered 
a speech in eulogy of the lady referred to which charmed the House 
by its elegance but left everybody in a state of mystification as to 
tvhat the status of the lady really was. 

But despite the Prince's denial, by proxy, and despite what Fox 
and Pitt and Sheridan had affirmed, a marriage had taken place — 
a perfectly valid marriage, though contrary to the provisions of the 
Royal Marriage Act — a marriage unprecedented in the conditions 
^hich led up to it and by those with which it was surrounded. All 
the particulars connected with it have now come to light, through 
the liberality of King Edward in allowing the papers on the sub- 
ject, after seventy years of repose in the vaults of Coutts' bank, to 
be used for publication. Mr. W. H. Wilkins takes up the story of 
Mrs. Fitzherbert's life which Lord Stourton, her relative, had left 
unfinished, and we are now in full possession of all the facts relating 
to this unexampled romance of royalty. The marriage took 
place on the 15th of December, 1785, at Mrs. Fitzherbert's resi- 
dence, in Park Lane, London, the bride being given away by her 
uncle, Mr. Henry Errington, and one of her two brothers, Mr. John 
Smythe, acting as witness. The Rev. Robert Burt, a young Church 
of England clergyman, officiated. Mrs. Fitzherbert wished to have 
the ceremony performed by a Catholic priest, but the law at that 
time made it a serious oiifense for a priest to join in marriage a 
member of his own Church and one of the English Church ; in the 
case of the Prince of Wales such an act would probably be con- 
strued as treason. But the marriage, as it was, was in every respect 
valid; and so Prince George genteelly lied when he told Fox, on 
his honor, there was no marriage with the lady, so that the House 
of Commons might have no hesitation about paying His Royal 
Highness' debts, that he might be enabled to go on untrammelled 
in his pleasant career of dalliance with sirens and singers. 

How the marriage was contrived is one of those romances in 
real life which eclipse the effort of dramatist or fiction writer. It 
was brought about by a bold trick. The Prince had become quite 
an adept in inventions intended for the accomplishment of his plans 
either to entrap female innocence or indulge his low tastes with 
pugilists, horsey men and betting men. One time he would be the 
Honorable Mr. Elliott, another a night watchman, another a lackey, 
and so on. Like the Caliph Haroun al Raschid he loved to roam 
around big cities at night time, but with a far different purpose ; 
and his nocturnal amusements frequently got him into scrapes that 

10 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

required a good deal of money to hush up or escape from. He 
had laid siege in vain to the heart of the beautiful widow of Edward 
Weld. She was as prudent as she was beautiful. When she saw 
that his attentions and compliments meant more than the accepted 
persiHage of society she plainly discouraged them. When he pro- 
tested his devotion she reminded him of the Royal Marriage Act and 
the Countess of Waldegrave's reply to his brother, the Duke of 
Gloucester, under similar circumstances, that "she was too incon- 
siderable to be his wife and too considerable to be his mistress." 
She took care to emphasize her earnestness of purpose by leaving 
the country and putting the sea between them; but this only 
inflamed the Prince, accustomed to have neither resistance nor 
denial where his passions were concerned, all the more violently. 
Mrs. Fitzherbert had been brought up in a convent in France, and 
was deeply imbued with the Catholic sentiment and principle. Not 
for any consideration whatever would she give up her faith ; and 
she was well aware that the Prince could not change his and remain 
heir to the throne. But she could hardly resist his pleadings when 
he made her believe that his life was at stake in the matter. He 
got up a story that he had stabbed himself in desperation and would 
die of his wounds imless she consented to come and see him at 
Carlton House and give him some hope. She relented, and getting 
the Duchess of Devonshire, a lady of unsullied reputation, to accom- 
pany her, she went there and found the Prince, with Lord South- 
ampton and three other friends. Who the three were Mr. Wilkins' 
narrative does not say, but other authorities give the names of 
Charles James Fox, Richard Brinsley Sheridan and Edmund Burke. 
We do not believe the latter to have been a performer in such a 
disgraceful deception ; he was a man of the highest honor; the others 
were the very opposite, in many ways. The idea was that "some 
sort of a ceremony" should be gone through before these witnesses. 
To some extent this piece of black villainy was successful. Mrs. 
Fitzherbert, on seeing the Prince pale, exhausted and blood-dabbled, 
believed that he had really endeavored to play the part of Romeo, 
and she almost fainted. When she came to herself, the Prince 
began a series of passionate protestations that nothing would induce 
him to live unless she consented to become his wife. Alarmed at 
the terrible alternative, she gave a half-hearted assent; a ring was 
borrowed from the Duchess of Devonshire, the Prince put it on her 
finger before all the witnesses. This was taken as a betrothal cere- 
mony, and the lady with her friend then left the house, the Prince 
feeling very much better and calmer. The truth of the matter 
seems to be that the Prince had made no attempt on his life, but 
had been bled by his doctor — for bleeding and cupping were much 

Mrs. Fitsherbert's Vindication. n 

in vogue at the time as a means of relieving pain ; and he had got 
the royal blood daubed about his clothes in order to pretend that 
he had really stabbed himself in a paroxysm of despair for love 
of her. This play was carried to perfection on the stage of real life. 
Reading of it at this day, the story appears almost incredible. But 
it is cold, hard, stolid fact — a sober chapter from the history of the 
present royal family of great Britain. 

We doubt that the annals of base rascality ever recorded a 
parallel for this vile plot against a noble woman, with a royal 
prince and heir apparent as the principal conspirator. It is one 
of the blackest chapters in the life of that handsome profligate on 
whom a cynical fate had bestowed the palm of "first gentleman in 

Mrs. Fitzherbert was not long ere she realized the mistake into 
which her commiseration and weakness had inveigled her. On 
reaching home she wrote an indignant letter to Lord Southampton, 
reproaching him and his companions for their unmanly conduct and 
repudiating any sort of obligation as accruing from such a farcical 
ceremony. To emphasize her displeasure, she immediately quitted 
England again. She remained in France for more than a year. 
This was the time when the libeller "Nemesis" was busy with her 
good name in the interests of the anti-Catholic party. 

But the "first gentleman" was not to be balked of his quarry so 
easily. There were some tricks left him still. He sent letter after 
letter to Mrs. Fitzherbert imploring her to return and promising 
her a real marriage that would fulfil every requirement of her 
Church. He wrote her a letter thirty-seven pages long— the long- 
est amatory missive, probably, ever penned— urging his suit and 
his reasons^ why she should favor it. It was a lying letter. The 
Prince stated the deliberate falsehood that his father "would con- 
nive at their union," notwithstanding the Royal Marriage Act, for 
the reason that he (the King) hated him (the Prince) so much that 
he would like nothing better than an excuse for settmg aside his 
claim to the crown in favor of his favorite, the Duke of York. It 
would be difficult indeed to imagine any device more malignantly 

artful than this. i j ^ -ru uA^ 

It was successf ul-and this is hardly to be wondered at. 1 he laay 
was now persuaded that she was really loved and i-espected by this 
persistent, passionate wooer and that she was necessary to his exist- 
ence, as he had, she believed, once painfully demonstrated. She 
did not believe that a Prince could fall so low as to tell a he^ She 
did not know that he had confessed that he did not know how to 
speak the truth, and blamed his mother, the Queen, for havmg 
taught him and his brothers the art of equivocation-a terrible 

12 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

charge in the mouth of a son. He was determined to marry her, 
even though by doing so he forfeited his right of succession. He 
would grant every condition she demanded; all that he asked in 
return was that the union should be kept secret. She was at length 
satisfied ; if it were a secret marriage it was a valid one, satisfying 
her conscience and her honor. She was, after all, only woman; 
and how few women there were who would have resisted a royal 
suitor so strenuously under similar circumstances ! This is a very 
important point to consider before apportioning the blame in this 
royal drama or tragedy. 

Mr. Wilkins, in endeavoring to explain how it came about that 
a woman of so pure and noble a character could be induced to make 
such a surrender of her principles as to assent to a secret marriage, 
formulates the theory that she really loved the Prince of Wales. 
It is not at all improbable. All chroniclers describe him as a very 
fascinating personage. There is no doubt that he had a wheedling 
tongue 'as well as a charming way among both men and women. 
She may, too, have thought that she would be serving the interests 
of her persecuted co-religionists in England and Ireland by entering 
into such an alliance with one who was to sit on the throne of 
Great Britain. That paragraph in "Nemesis' " letter about Irish 
monks and the plan for "introducing Catholics into Ireland" throws 
a lurid light upon the episode. Though the writer seemed to have 
been under the impression that all the Catholics in Ireland had, as 
a high judicial authority had declared, no longer any legal exist- 
ence, they might be restored to life by a little encouragement such 
as the union of one of their co-religionists with the heir to the 
EngHsh crown would undoubtedly afford. The meaning of Lord 
George Gordon's appearance on the stage must not be overlooked. 
This fact, taken in connection with the libel of "Nemesis," has a 
tremendous bearing on the significance of the case. It shows us 
the underlying motive for the hostility of the press of the time 
toward Mrs. Fitzherbert and explains the villainy of the libels on 
her stainless character. 

Much Hght on this interesting phase of the subject is to be derived 
by a perusal of a work that appeared many years ago dealing with 
the affairs of the English Court in the reigns of George III. and 
George IV. It was written by an historian named Robert Huish, 
and entitled "Memoirs of George the Fourth;" and the spirit in 
which the work was carried through suggests an appeal to pruriency 
rather than any love of genuine historical inquiry. But despite 
this unsavory tendency the work is extremely valuable because of 
the evident pains the author took to pick up every scrap of tittle- 
tattle bearing on his subject and the remarkable attention with 

Mrs, Fitzherhert's Vindication. i^ 

which he followed every movement of all the personages who filled 
the stage during the memorable period with which he deals. Mr. 
Hnish professed to be acquainted with every detail of the royal 
mesalliance; he even put forward as semi-authentic some versions 
of private conversations between the Prince of Wales and the lady 
after they had been married— not as Thackeray said, according to 
the Catholic rite, but still validly— and yet he is shown by the papers 
recently disclosed to have been on an entirely false scent. Mr. 
Fox himself was present at the marriage, he asserted ; likewise Mr. 
Sheridan and Mr. Burke; also Mr. Errington and Mr. Throg- 
morton ; and the priest who performed the ceremony was the Abbe 
Seychamp. This belief, given as history, is now shown to have no 
basis but the merest gossip of the coffee houses. We can form 
some opinion of the ideas of honor entertained by those who were 
at the bottom of this plot to inflame the animosity of the mob and 
the mob leaders' — fanatics like Lord George Gordon^ — from the fact 
that Home Tooke, who asserted emphatically that he knew the 
name of the clergyman who performed the marriage ceremony, 
remaining silent while it was being discussed whether it was a Cath- 
olic priest, when he knew — unless he was a liar — all about the case. 

To offset the effect of those inflammatory appeals to bigotry a 
new campaign was begun with the object of showing that if there 
was any danger of a lapse of faith in the connection of the Prince 
with the lady it was not on her part it was to be feared. Huish's 
"Memoirs" give at some length the particulars of a private con- 
versation between the pair, obtained through some mysterious chan- 
nel — an eavesdropping domestic or a page, it is hinted — over the 
disavowal of the marriage by the Prince through the agency of 
Mr. Fox, in the House of Commons. The lady was very indignant 
at this disavowal, but the Prince succeeds at length in soothing her 
ruffled feelings, and he says : 

''We might reasonably have expected long ago to be traduced for 
impiety, for I believe, Fitzherbert, you have not been at Mass since 
our union." 

''No," replied Mrs. Fitzherbert, "nor do I purpose to attend the 
celebration any more; the Catholic faith was the religion of my 
ancestors and of those men to whom I gave my hand. ... I 
am now in a new relation of life, and disposed to consult the honor 
and happiness of my present connections. ... Not that re- 
ligion is a matter of indifference, far from it. It is the heart which 
constitutes the essence of true religion; without it ceremonies are 
absurd, and with it they are unnecessary; at least they form so 
unimportant a part of public and private devotion that I can con- 
scientiously conform, and I will conform, to the established modes 

14 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

of the realm. Besides, I have no present objection to share my 
George's fate in future life ; the idea of a separation, even there, is 

There is not much to excite admiration in this apparent mag- 
nanimity of soul, as the composer of it intended to be understood. 
If the lady had shown her disregard for the faith for whose forms 
she had been so pertinacious a stickler before their union, the 
Prince, on his part, had elicited the sentiment by the declaration 
that it would be ludicrous if either of them had been censured for 
"a, predilection for any particular form of faith." At least this was 
what the reporter of the interview, or the concocter, had given as 
his sentiments on a matter concerning which, as the future head of 
the Established Church in England and Ireland, he would be called 
upon at some time to deal. 

There is nothing in the authentic records of the lady's career to 
show that she ever adopted such an attitude toward her own 
religion or that of her liege lord and husband. The story is mani- 
festly an efifort of Mr. Huish's imagination. In several passages of 
the "Memoirs" his bitter anti-Catholic bias is plainly manifested. 

That Fox denied emphatically that the marriage had taken place 
is a matter of public notoriety ; and that in the course of the denial 
he had given it to be understood that the denial was based on the 
authority of a letter he had received from the Prince himself is 
equally well known. Mr. Huish affirms his belief that no such 
letter ever existed, but that does not establish anything one way 
or the other. The Prince, as we have seen, would not hesitate at 
mendacity when such a course would seem to serve his immediate 
purposes. He was at that particular time in desperate straits for 
money, and his denial of the marriage would clear the air and help 
him to get relief. These facts would easily explain the tangle that 
ensued over the incident. Fox and the Prince soon fell out over 
the occurrence, and never after were they on the same friendly 
terms as they had been before it. 

Notwithstanding denials and equivocations, however, the belief 
that Mrs. Fitzherbert and the Prince were really wedded obtained 
such widespread credence that some desperate expedient, was 
necessary on his part to avert disastrous consequences. Immense 
pressure was put on Mrs. Fitzherbert, as people still called her, in 
order to coerce her or induce her to leave the country, so that the 
Prince of Wales might be at liberty to comply with the wishes of 
the King and Queen that he might marry a member of some of 
the European royal families. She was subjected to threats of being 
prosecuted for high treason ; she was offered an annuity of twenty 
thousands pounds a year and the rank of duchess. All these bland- 

Mrs. Fitzherhert's Vindication. je 

ishments and menaces the lady steadfastly resisted, until a coolness 
arose between her and her inconstant husband over attentions he 
had been paying to another lady. This led to an estrangement, 
and then, but not until then, did he consent to form an alliance 
such as his parents desired. The announcement of his engage- 
ment to the Princess Caroline of Brunswick soon afterwards came; 
and later on the Princess arrived in England for the purpose of 
fulfilling the engagement. It was an ill-starred event. Neither of 
the parties liked the other, and soon the Prince found that he had 
perjured himself and committed bigamy only to begin a life of 
misery and remorse — if any such feeling could arise in so callous 
and sensual a breast. 

It is not relavent here to enter into any survey of the miserable 
years that ensued upon this most remarkable of royal marriages. 
It began by the Prince of Wales getting drunk during the festivities 
and ended by his accusing the Princess of the same shameful con- 
duct as he himself had exhibited since he came to man's estate. 
The ill-assorted pair separated, and then the Prince reverted to his 
old passion. He endeavored to effect a reconciliation with the 
lady whom he had previously wedded. In June, 1796, after he had 
definitely parted from the Princess Caroline (who had borne him a 
child, the Princess Charlotte) he again approached Mrs. Fitzherbert 
with a view to resuming marital relations. She yielded. For this 
she has been severely blamed. No doubt the case looks extremely 
bad on the surface. Condonation of bigamy, not to mention 
numerous other offenses against morality, is a course hardly to be 
defended or palliated. But in this case there were conditions that 
had no parallel. Mrs. Fitzherbert did not yield until she first con- 
sulted the Roman Court, and, after weighing all the evidence most 
carefully the authorities there decided that her first duty was to her 
husband, whenever he claimed it. The most powerful reasons that 
ever prompted any woman to comply were involved in this unex- 
ampled dilemma of divided duty. The Prince, for instance, had 
actually threatened that, if the lady did not return to him, he him- 
self would make public the fact of their marriage and bring down 
the law of Praemunire on herself and her family and have their 
property confiscated. 

The abyss on the edge of which the chief actors' in this strange 
drama were actually standing at the time can only be perceived by 
the light of events that have since transpired. We get a ghmpse 
of it in the ferocious appeals to the dormant dragon of bigotry made 
bv Lord George Gordon ; and a still clearer one in Lord Brougham s 
Memoirs. That distinguished lawyer confesses that it was his 
intention, as counsel for Queen Caroline, in case George IV. pressed 

i6 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

his charges against her to the last extreme, to use the marriage 
with Mrs. Fitzherbert as a dernier ressort, and so getting the King 
tumbled from his throne as a violator of the Act of Settlement. It 
is true that Brougham had no proof of this marriage, but he in- 
tended to put it forward as a matter accepted and throw the onus 
of denial on the King's counsel. We now know how near he was 
to the wind in steering this bold course, and how narrow was the 
escape of England from another great civil war with a religious 
question at the bottom like the two preceding ones. 

An incident that occurred in the year 1804 vividly illustrates the 
strength and intensity of the stream of bigotry then flowing in 
English society. Lady Horatia Seymour, who had been a close 
personal friend of Mrs. Fitzherbert's, had manifested the esteem 
in which she held that lady by confiding to her the guardianship 
of her youngest daughter. Mrs. Fitzherbert had taken charge of 
the little girl when she was a mere infant, and it was Lady Sey- 
mour's wish, expressed to her on her death bed, that Mrs. Fitz- 
herbert should continue to be her guardian until the young lady 
had attained her majority. This request Lady Seymour had sol- 
emnly conjured the Prince of Wales to see carried out — no doubt 
for good and sufficient reasons distrusting her husband and rela- 
tives, as Protestants, to respect her dying wishes in the matter. 
The Prince undertook the duty, and moreover took on himself the 
whole cost of the child's maintenance and education, since her own 
fortune was a very limited one. Lord Hugh Seymour, who was 
an admiral, was absent in West Indian, waters at the time his wife 
died, died shortly afterwards himself, and by the terms of his will 
he bequeathed the guardianship of the child to his lady, he being 
ignorant of her death. Had Lady Seymour survived him but a 
single day she would be empowered in law to intrust the child's 
guardianship to whomsoever she pleased, but as the matter stood 
her relatives determined to take the child from the care of Mrs. 
Fitzherbert. Tlie little Miss Seymour was a very weakly, fragile 
girl, and it was with the utmost difficulty her tender-hearted 
guardian kept her alive. This fact was strongly urged upon the 
court when the litigation over the question was in progress. The 
relatives were unmoved by this very serious consideration. They 
cared not whether the child lived or died, so that she was removed 
from the influence of one who was a member of the detested Church 
of Rome. An affidavit from the Prince of Wales and another from 
the Bishop of Winchester were exhibited, testifying that the girl 
was being educated in the religion of her parents, according to the 
stipulation upon which the guardianship was undertaken. Mr. 
Huish, the American chronicler of court scandals, does not hesitate 

Mrs. Fitzherhert's Vindication. 17 

to mingle the vulgarest bigotry with the most prurient depiction 
in his narrative of this transaction, talking of priestly intrigue and 
dark superstition, while, in contradiction of his own admission that 
the Prince of Wales had failed to make any impression on the heart 
of Mrs. Fitzherbert until he had pressed for her hand in marriage, 
he does not hesitate to ventilate the foul rumor prevalent at the 
time of the trial that the child in question was not really the child 
of Lord and Lady Seymour, but of the "illicit connexion" between 
the Prince and Mrs. Fitzherbert. "We know not, in the whole 
range of human society," he writes, referring to the Bishop of 
Winchester, "a more execrable character than that of a time-serving 
priest, a man of holiness and sanctity, who for the sake of present 
or future emolument will truckle at the feet of his superiors and be 
ready at their command to further their designs, however deep those 
designs may be steeped in infamy and vice." Such an ecclesiastic 
may indeed merit the contempt of honest men, but there is a 
creature compared with whom the subservient priest is as an angel 
of light — and this is the retailer of vile and unfounded slander upon 
the fairest and most delicate thing in all creation, a woman's honor. 

This remarkable case of guardianship was withdrawn from the 
court by consent and left to the settlement of the Marquis of Hert- 
ford, as head of the Seymour family. His decision was that the 
child be left under the guardianship of Mrs. Fitzherbert, according 
to her mother's wish, and so the bigots were foiled in their scheme 
of heartless vindictiveness. 

The Prince and Mrs. Fitzherbert finally parted in the year 1808. 
Some other star — Lady Jersey or the Marchioness of Conyngham — 
had swum into the ken of the satiated George, whose facility for 
dropping those who had served his turn in any way made him 
notorious, if not unrivalled, among royal inconstants. But George 
acted better by Mrs. Fitzherbert, to his credit be it said, than to 
most others on whom his dangerous admiration was bestowed. He 
made a will in her favor, attesting his loyalty to her in most im- 
pressive and indeed, all things considered, what may be described 
as manly fashion ; and when a good many years later he lay dead 
his courtiers found a locket containing a miniature of Mrs. Fitz- 
herbert lying close to his heart. He was a rascal, but he had some 
little redeeming grace after all. 

In literary style the will of George IV. could not, probably, be 
surpassed bv his severe critic, Thackeray himself, who described 
him as being unable to compose a letter in tolerable English. It 
is fervid and forceful in its sincerity, for when he wrote it the Prince 
believed himself to be a dying man, having been overcome by some 
sudden and inexplicable form of illness, for which copious bleeding 

i8 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

became immediately necessary, even though the effect of such 
treatment might be grave, if not fatal. It was while his life thus 
hung in the balance that he felt impelled to make some reparation 
for the wrong that he and his friends in the Ministry had done Mrs. 
Fitzherbert, and so drew up the remarkable document which now 
for the first time has seen the light of publicity along with the 
marriage certificate and the other papers bearing on the episode. 
The subjoined few sentences taken from the document will prove 
that George could write when he so desired : 

By this, my last will and testament, I now bequeath, give and settle at 
my death all my property of every description, denomination and sort, per- 
sonal and other, to my Maria Fitzherbert, my wife, the wife of my heart and 
soul. Although by the law of this country she could not avail herself pub- 
licly of that name, still such she is in the eyes of heaven; was, is and ever toill 
be such in mine. And for the truth of which assertion I appeal to that grac- 
ious God whom I have here invoked to witness this my last disposition of 
my property, together with such explanations and declarations as are 
necessary for me to make to enable me to quit this life with a clear con- 
science and even without a sigh, except at the thought of leaving her (and, 
perhaps, too, without first receiving the blessing of her forgiveness), tcho 
is my real and true wife, and who is dearer to me, even millions of times 
dearer to me, than that life I am now going to resign^- 

The passages printed in italics were underscored by the royal 
testator as he drew the instrument. 

The London Tablet, which has devoted considerable space to 
and displayed commendable spirit in the vindication of Mrs. Fitz- 
herbert, had asked why the lady did not insist on being married 
by a Catholic priest, and answered the question itself by saying 
that the question would hardly have occurred to any one in 1785. 
But the fact that it did occur actually to Mrs. Fitzherbert has been 
elicited by the raising of the question. A letter from a Brighton 
priest, the Rev. T. Johnston, to the editor of the Tablet throws quite 
an interesting light on the matter. It is in a sense an historical docu- 
ment : 

May I give another answer by saying that I believe the question did 
really occur to Mrs. Fitzherbert herself, that she did ask for and actually 
got a Catholic priest who blessed the marriage? Probably no record was 
kept of this, as there were complications enough already. 

The ceremony according to the Church of England was necessary to give 
her any chance of position before the world, and therefore she accepted it. 
But she thought of her Catholic conscience, too. There was no need to 
publish the ceremony by the priest; she would trust to tradition by the 
mouths of her friends, and that some one some day would say what I am 
saying now. 

The tradition here is very strong. Father Cullen came to Brighton in 
1818 and died in 1850. He was the intimate friend of Mrs. Fitzherbert; 
Indeed, they put their heads and purses together to build our church and 
to give a house to the priest. Father Cullen would certainly have known 
the details of the marriage. Before he died Canon Rymer came, with whom 
afterwards I was curate for several years. In all our conversations on the 
subject, the Canon always told me that the marriage lines were in Coutts' 
Bank, but that the marriage had been blessed by a Roman Catholic priest. 

Having Mrs. Fitzherbert's body in my keeping, I feel that, in a sense, 
her fair fame is in my keeping, too, and therefore I venture to write. 

This is no reflection on the work of Mr. Wilkins, who has so admirably 
vindicated her honor before men. I want only to add my word, that her 
good name may be perfect before her Catholic brethren. 

Much discussion is now going on over the problem whether any 

The Neo-Scholastic Movement, jq 

issue resulted from this royal union. It is stated that there are 
certain descendants who pass under the name of Ord In George 
town College it is a tradition that one of the pupils who passed 
under the name of James Ord was the son of George IV and Mrs 
Fitzherbert, and there are living Ords— all Catholics, it is stated- 
who claim descent from him. This is, however, a matter that need 
not be discussed here or now. It will be recollected by readers of 
English fiction of the early Victorian era that a great many romantic 
novels bore the name of "G. P. R. James." Common rumor inter- 
preted these initials as the denotement of a royal parentage— George 
Prince Regent. The surname agrees with the Christian name of 
the Ord claimant. This is a suggestive little sidelight on a very 
obscure question. 

John J. Q'Shea. 



THE pontificate which ended with the death of Joachim Pecci 
on: Monday, July 20, 1903, was in many respects the most 
noteworthy of a series of striking Papal reigns. For more 
than the traditional "years of Peter" the Apostolic Chair had known 
an occupant who united in his person the farsightedness of the 
diplomat, the elegance of the man of letters, the ripe judgment of 
the scholar and the reasoning power of the trained logician. 

Leo XIII. commanded the attention and compelled the admira- 
tion of the world as a statesman and as a ruler. Assuming the 
triple crown and the pastoral staff of the city at a time when the 
strife of the national Italian crisis seemed almost to have passed 
away, he succeeded to a legacy of political difficulty peculiarly em- 
barrassing. Rome was the capital of the new kingdom ; the Popes 
were no longer masters in the Eternal City ; people were becoming 
accustomed to the new order of things, and whatever deep feelings 
may have been stirred by the thunder of the cannon at Porta Pia, 
they were fast being forgotten again in the ordinary daily routine. 
Many were the forecasts, many the auguries for the future reign. 
How the august Pontiff faced the dangers of his time and wrung 
even from the lips of those whose sympathy and ideals had little or 
nothing in common with his own a measure of commendation and 

20 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

praise is well known. His singleness of purpose amidst a multi- 
'plicity of detail, his high and far-reaching moral influence, his 
indomitable patience and ready tact have gone far to make that 
Church over which he ruled for a quarter of a century more appre- 
ciated and less misunderstood by the non-Catholic world than any 
mere courtly splendor or regal success could have done. Leo 
XIIL, while protesting, as Pius IX. had done before him, against 
an intolerable state of affairs and reminding the world by a per- 
petually uncompromising non possumus of the political injustice of 
his position, did far more to advance the true interests of religion 
and further the cause of humanity than did many of his predecesso/s, 
to whom the peculiar situation in which he found himself placed 
was foreign and undreamed of. 

But the efifects of his pontificate within the Church are perhaps 
even more striking than the growth of appreciation without. His 
rule was characterized by expansion. The ceaseless activity of his 
pastoral care found scope not only in the creation of new dioceses 
and in the administration inseparable from his hierarchical position. 
His political relations with the States of Europe and Asia as well 
as with the countries of the New World and his government of 
the Church itself in its varied environment earned for his judgment, 
tact and breadth of principle the highest encomiums from students 
of the political sciences. Question after question, during the 
twenty-five years of his reign, was brought to him for solution or 
was forced upon his consideration by the circumstances that gave 
it birth. One has only to glance through the collected epistles, 
allocutions, encyclical letters tO' realize the vast and varied range 
of the problems, religious, moral and social, with which he grap- 
pled. Hardly a country to which a share of his thought and solici- 
tude was not given. Scarce a burning question debated in the 
arena of politics or agitated by public opinion that does not find a 
solution couched in the elegant language and polished style of the 
Pontiff. Education and social theories, separated Eastern Christians 
and the provisions of the French Concordat, Catholic schools in 
Manitoba and the Kulturkampf in Germany — these are but samples 
of the problems that claimed his attention and care. Was it, we 
may ask, the accademia and the diplomatic training that he received 
there that fitted him for the work that he performed, or was it to 
his teachers of the "Society," both at Viterbo and at the Roman 
College — humanities, philosophy, theology — that he owed those 
luminous guiding principles which directed his policy, influenced 
his judgment and characterized his whole pontificate? 

It would be impossible to estimate accurately all the causes that 
came into play. The natural gifts of a ready wit, a marvelous 

The Neo-Scholastic Movement. 


memory and a logical application of facts and their import were 
united in Leo XIII. with a profound grasp of the great principles 
of the Thomistic system of philosophy. If he did not owe all, he 
owed much to the luminous teaching of Thomas Aquinas, saint 
and doctor of the Church. Indeed, he recognized this debt, and 
in so doing at once paid a graceful tribute to St. Thomas and' used 
the prerogative of his high station in the interests of the flock com- 
mitted to his care. 

In one of the earliest of his encyclicals, the famous "Aetemi 
Patris," of 1879, the language in which he sums up his estimate of 
the works of the Angelic Doctor might be considered too full of 
hyperbole and superlative, if the encyclical were not so terribly in 
earnest. He proposes the writings and principles of St. Thomas 
as possessing ''a full selection of subjects, a beautiful arrangement 
of their divisions, the best method of treating them, certainty of 
principles, strength of argument, perspicuity and propriety in lan- 
guage and the power of explaining deep mysteries.^ He upholds 
"the pure streams of wisdom which flow from the Angelic Doctor 
as from a perennial and copious spring"^ as the argument and 
foundation of faith, the antidote to social, political and moral evils, 
the true safeguard of all the sciences and arts. In this connection 
he carefully and wisely notes the complementary nature of the 
physical sciences and of philosophy. "For the fruitful exercise and 
increase of these sciences," he continues, "it is not enough that we 
consider facts and contemplate nature. When the facts are well 
known we must rise higher and give our thoughts with great care 
to understanding the nature of corporeal things, as well as to the 
investigation of the laws which they obey and of the principles from 
which spring their order, their unity in variety and their common 
likeness in diversity. It is marvelous what power and light and 
help are given to these investigations by scholastic philosophy if 
it be wisely used."^ 

We recognize in this letter addressed to the whole episcopate the 
earnest student and ardent admirer of Thomas Aquinas risen to 
the position of a master in Israel. We perceive with what a sharp 
and clear-cut distinction he metes out to each its proper sphere of 
usefulness. Looking, as he does, to the natural sciences for the 
discovery, tabulation and investigation of facts ; appealing to phil- 
osophy for the laws and principles which illuminate and explain 
them. In much the same strain has a recent writer in the Con- 
temporary Review shown the eternally misunderstood relationship 

1 "Aeterni Patris," translated by Father Rawes, D. D., p. 26. 

2 76i(?., p. 34. 

3 Ibid., p. 37. 

2.2 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

in something of its right proportions— the new facts that the experi- 
mental sciences are continually bringing into view and the unalter- 
able nature of the laws of thought, the shifting conditions of society 
and the eternal sanction of the natural moral code.* 

The new learning — or, rather, the new phases of the old errors — 
takes form in the monism of Haeckel, or the one evolution thesis 
of Herbert Spencer, and invades the realm of philosophy. And 
because all really popular hold on a theology other than that in- 
cluded in the natural science is well nigh lost, it invades the province 
of theology as well, and with characteristic audacity cuts all the 
gordian knots of real difficulty by appealing to principles of science 
of which science, as science, knows absolutely nothing. Thus all 
things vanish in a chaos not of facts or even of sober speculations, 
but of doubt. One of the most metaphysical of metaphysical ab- 
stractions — matter — forms the groundwork, the beginning and the 
end of a ''scientific" monism. A metaphysical and transcendental 
concept, as yet improperly conjured out of sparse indications of 
variation, forms the evolutionistic scheme to which the solution of 
the world of physical beings must be squared. All things must 
fall into line. They must be forced to fit in with the plan. 

But this is not science. It is philosophy masquerading. The 
quarrel is not and can never be with the facts, but with inductions ; 
not with science, but with speculation wilder than the worst that 
ever disfigured the decay of scholasticism. Leo XIII. , pursuing 
all through a consistent line of policy, did undoubted service to 
humanity in recalling the minds of men to sane principles and to a 
healthy system of thought. 

The encyclical praises, urges, exhorts, commands. *'Let, then, 
teachers carefully chosen by you (the Bishops) do their best to 
instil the doctrine of Thomas Aquinas into the minds of their hear- 
ers, and let them clearly point out its solidity and excellence above 
all other teaching. Let this doctrine be the light of all places of 
learning which you may have already opened or may hereafter open. 
Let it be used for the refutation of errors that are gaining ground."^ 
It would be difficult tO' couch the recommendation of any doctrine 
in stronger language. A traditional system such as that of St. 
Thomas, weighty on account of its own convincing force in the 
domain of natural thought, praised by a succession of Pontiffs, 

*76id., p. 39. 

6 Of. the interesting essay, "The Being of God in the Light of Physical 
Science," in Cambridge Theological Essays, Macmillan, 1905, which, while 
proceeding on lines widely divergent from those of scholasticism, gives an 
excellent appreciation of the scope, work and tendency of science as science 
and not worked arbitrarily into part of a metaphysical system. 

The Neo-Scholastic Movement. 23 

honored by the assembled fathers in more than one ecumenical 
council— at Trent the "Summa Theologiae" lay open upon the 
altar — would not seem to have been in need of such an encyclical 
as the ''Aeterni Patris." And yet, all this notwithstanding, there 
was a reason to justify it, a reason given naturally upon the broadest 
lines, since in such a document it is not necessary for a Pope to 
particularize. Such a reason might be found to exist in the philo- 
sophical innovations of the sixteenth century. 

Outside the Church the world does not stand still. Conservatism 
is necessarily, by the very march of events, a waning principle, and 
in the hurried rush for new truth, old truths not seldom are thrown 
aside. Time is needed for the equaling up of new and old, for the 
nice adjustment of a newer range of scientific fact to the principles 
of a standard system of philosophical thought. Facts may have 
to be reconsidered, principles may need restatement. Caution and 
prudence ought to prevail, but human nature is impatient, and time 
is short at best. More than a span of life is needed for the con- 
struction of a science that is perpetually bringing new data into 
view, and the impatience of man must find a philosophy at once to 
square with his growing half knowledge of science, or else he will 
not stop to consider — philosophy must shift for itself, discredited 
and thrust into the lumber room of antiquated notions. 

Such was at least one of the causes of innovation. 

Within the Church, too, as well as without, philosophy was 
undergoing a process of multiplication, though, perhaps naturally, 
to a less extent. It is always allowable to speculate upon questions 
that are open. It is permissible to modernize what is old, to restate 
in terms understanded of the people. In this there is no novelty 
of doctrine, no departure, even, from old methods; for to speak 
intelligibly the teachers must speak the language of the taught. 
To explain to the rude, uncouth terms may legitimately be em- 
ployed. But there is a danger, and the best intentions are not 
always able to avert it. 

Long before Descartes had flung the lighted torch of his doubt 
into the tinder of the philosophic world. Within as well as without 
the Church new systems and accommodations began to be made, 
apparently upon the ashes of the old. For the time was ripe. 
Philosophy had fallen from her high estate. The solid work of the 
great scholastics had dwindled to the proportions of vam specula- 
tion in their followers. True, following on the religious crisis of the 
Reformation, the scholastic discipline was revived and expanded 
as a powerful and keen weapon in the hands of the theologians 
The work of Cajetan and Suarez was not mere comment. But 
there were mere commentators, and the commentaries .grew upon 

24 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

the shelves, cramping what might have been a natural circulation 
of blood in a living system. Though philosophy stagnated, the 
world was not ready for Giordano Bruno. It hailed the advent of 
Descartes, and systems multiplied. Hence the condemned proposi- 
tions; for philosophical speculation touched upon the dogmas of 
revelation. Hence, also, far more than on account of any progress 
in the physical sciences, the words of Leo XHL: "Some Catholic 
philosophers, . . . undervaluing the inheritance of ancient 
wisdom, have chosen rather to invent new things than to extend 
and perfect the old by new truths."^ 

Thus it was his work to call the attention of the Christian world 
to the philosophical dangers peculiar to the time, and to direct the 
rulers of the dioceses to follow the example he was setting for them 
at Rome. 

He traced the rise and growth of materialism, socialism, anarchy, 
atheism to their sources in false and misleading Systems of human 
knowledge, and he proposed as a remedy for the intellectual evils 
that made possible such unhappy doctrines and their miserable 
practical outcome the "golden wisdom of St. Thomas." 

So the encyclical bore its note of warning and its summons to 
action to all the "patriarchs, primates, Archbishops and Bishops of 
the Catholic world," and the reform of philosophy, the return to 
the ancient tradition, the renewal of the teaching, pure and simple, 
of Aquinas was inaugurated. To Rome Lorenzelli was called from 
Bologna. Satolli came from Perugia. The text of St. Thomas was 
placed in the hands of the students at Propaganda. The name of 
the great Cardinal Franzelin added lustre to the Gregoriana. He, 
indeed, was no longer actually a professor. Certain changes were 
made in the teaching staflf and in the same direction. Palmieri, the 
noted theologian, retired ; but a few years later saw him preaching 
the panegyric of St. Thomas at the Minerva, showing his approval 
of the movement. Other illustrious names might be added — Remer 
C. de Mandato, Billot and de Maria. And Lepidi expounded St. 
Thomas at the Minerva. 

Not, indeed, that Thomistic lore was anything really new to the 
Catholic schools. To no small extent the ground for the move- 
ment had been prepared beforehand by Liberatore, Sanseverino, 
Talamo and others. Father Harper had already given to the world 
his monumental "Metaphysic of the Schools." Scholasticism could 
not be an innovation in the homes of Catholic theology. But, apart 
from the purely theological aspect, it was in danger of becoming 
in the worst sense stereotyped. The dicit sanctus Thomas, like the 
ipse dixit of the Pythagoreans, threatened to be a stumbling block 

fi Ibid., p. 32. 

The Neo-Scholastic Movement. 2K 

in the way of the understanding. St. Thomas himself would have 
been the first to perceive the dangerous tendency and to guard 
against it. 

And now twenty-six years have passed since the "Aetemi Patris" 
was written. More than three generations of ecclesiastical students 
have come and gone— not from the universities of Rome alone, but 
from all those colleges and seminaries in which the encyclical bore 
fruit. The Institute at Louvain, the Catholic University at Wash- 
ington, Freiburg, Inisbruck, the Institute at Paris, the Diocesan 
Seminary at Rochester, in the State of New York, can be cited as 
typical institutions in which the instructions of the Holy Father 
have been followed, and with no slight success. The Stonyhurst 
Manuals of Philosophy, the work of the essayists in English and 
American periodicals — to speak only of English writings— the 
"Aquinas Ethicus" and recent translation into English of the "Sum- 
ma contra Gentiles" are monuments of the ready response and devo- 
tion to the express wishes of Leo XIII, They are more than that. 
They are evidences of the possibility of giving the work of St. 
Thomas to the English-speaking people in an English garb, and 
their reception at the hands of the public has justified the under- 
taking. The thinking world, alien to Catholic thought or trained 
upon other lines than ours, has begun to place some hitherto 
unrealized value upon the scholastic principles and method. 
Writers are seen to be approaching a standpoint not unfamiliar to 
scholastics, and, through Kant and Hegel, and even from men of 
scientific rather than philosophical training, a reaction seems to be 
setting in towards the system of Aristotle and Aquinas. For the 
most part, though there are exceptions, it is not acknowledged, 
because it is not appreciated by those in whose work it is most to 
be recognized. There is not often a definite setting forth of the 
argument and conclusions of St. Thomas as in the fourth dialogue 
of Alciphron,"^ except in some of the more modern works which 
include many systems of philosophy under one definite topic, and 
which cannot reasonably omit a mention of the leading philosopher 
of the schools. It will be remembered that Lewes in his "History 
of Philosophy" passes over scholasticism as unworthy of mention, 
noting that it has a theological bearing and is presumably, therefore, 
entirely untrustworthy. Nor is his the only opinion to the same 
effect. The whole period is not even yet one to which over much 
attention is paid in the universities, though the "Summa contra 
Gentiles" can be offered in the schools at Oxford, and it cannot be 
denied that there are signs justifying the thought that the influence 
of the scholastic forms of thought is ste adily growing. 

7 Dialogue IV., sec. 30. 

26 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

But, on the other hand, if the scholastic system in its most perfect 
form of exposition be passed over without more than at most a 
cursory attention, it cannot be denied that several strong currents 
of thought are setting in the direction of its principles. One at least 
may be cited. From such apparently diametrically opposed a basis 
as that upon which the science of psychophysiology was originated 
comes one of the most striking testimonies tO' the worth of the 
Thomistic system as opposed to more modern philosophies. The 
laboratory of Wundt was begun in 1878. It is the starting point 
of a trajectory of thought through materialism to a psycho-material 
theory of being. From a possibility of matter explaining itself in 
terms of matter observation has run through the gamut of possibil- 
ities to the old system admitting two orders, a physical and a 
psychical. As long ago now as 1892 Dubois Reymond asserted 
that no conceivable arrangement or movement of material particles 
could aid us in understanding the realm of conscience. The ma- 
terial, in other words, cannot be made the formula of the immaterial. 
The physiometric appliances of Leipsig and of all those other centres 
which have sprung from the laboratory of Wundt are now being 
put to their legitimate use. These appliances, marvelous in their 
ingenuity and adaptation, measure the requisite bodily states pre- 
ceding, concomitant with or succeeding to the mental or psychic, 
and the attempt to reduce psychical states to any formula expressed 
in material terms is well nigh entirely given up. The physical 
investigations, if they have not found the soul, have made their pro- 
fession of faith in its existence. The installation of laboratories of 
psychophysiology at the Institute of Louvain and the Catholic Uni- 
versity of Washington, has, far from militating against the received 
teachings of the school, gone far to confirm the principles of 

Still, scholasticism is not a word of good reputation ; the old mis- 
understanding has grown into a fixed idea. It is held to be synony- 
mous with unfounded a priori reasoning, vain and trivial speculation 
and "hair-splitting." That is its unfortunate heritage from the de- 
cadent scholastics, and perhaps even to a greater extent from the 
warring schools of the sixteenth century. But the name and title 
do not so much signify; and, provided the system be appreciated 
at something approaching its true worth, it does not matter whence 
or how the appreciation arises. 

We have already seen the strong tone of the Papal document 
which gave direction and impetus to the Neo-Scholastic Movement. 
Certain of its more palpable results during the last quarter of a 
century are before our eyes. We have noted the perhaps uncon- 
scious reaction in favor of the Thomistic philosophy taking place 

The Neo-Scholastic Movement. 27 

in other centres of thought. In the theological school of Propa- 
ganda Cardinal Satolli has been followed by the subtle Servite 
Lepicier. Laurenti, the ready logician, and Stagni have taken the 
schools of Archbishop Lorenzelli. And so at the other centres of 
Roman learning— the Gregorian, the Appolinare, the Minerva. 
With whatever resources they had they threw themselves into the 
work, and the first teachers prepared their successors for the chairs 
which they themselves vacated. Teachers have come and gone in 
the universities of Rome as elsewhere ; many of them men of broad 
and enlightened views, sound Thomists who have listened with 
profit to the teachers of other schools. Spain and Portugal were 
traditionalist to the core, but their zeal for the traditional teaching 
received fresh life from the encouragement. In Belgium, Germany 
and America the reply to the encyclical took the form of new 
schools,2 class rooms, laboratories. The Institut Catholique at 
Paris had its Mgr. d'Hulst; Louvain, Mgr. Mercier, with his able 
staff of helpers. Reviews were founded — the Juris Thomas, the 
Revue N eo-S cholastique , the Revue Thomiste. The movement was 
inaugurated and much was done to ensure its welfare, but it has 
not been altogether the magnificent success that it might have been. 

The Polity of the Church is one that is admirably adapted to all 
times and places. Her work is to spread abroad the kindly light 
of Christianity and to safeguard the deposit of faith. Indirectly, 
indeed, but none the less happily and authoritatively, she preserves 
and safeguards human philosophy as well. She takes note of and 
accepts all truth from whatsoever source, not to incorporate it into 
the already complete sum of Divine Revelation, but to bend it to 
the service of theology. In its light she gradually unfolds the 
treasures originally committed to her keeping. By its principles 
she defends the faith, and she illustrates dogma by examples drawn 
from science. No truth can offend her nor can any contradict her 
teaching, for all truth, natural and supernatural alike, is unified in 
its divine origin. 

It might be asked, in view of the development in the natural 
sciences, if the return to scholasticism was not to be considered a 
retrograde movement. Was it not giving up much that had been 
gained, ignoring the work of scientific progress ? On the face of it, 
it looked such. To go back to the twelfth centur'y for principles 
of knowledge when the lore of five hundred years and more had 
been heaping up its rich stores of discovery; to hark back to a time 
when the scientific method, in popular opinion at any rate, was 
totally unknown. It looked like shirking the burden of possible 
conflict, finding a refuge by closing the eyes to scientific achieve- 
ment. Certain it was that dangerous opinions, anarchical theories 

28 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

and destructive speculations were rife, and, apparently, no system 
of thought was sufficiently strong to cope with them. Europe had 
known the crisis of revolution, but because thrones were not then 
actually falling it did not at all follow that anarchy and socialism 
were not an instant menace to society. There were in 1879, as 
there are to-day, presages of coming evil. The problems press 
upon all, rulers and citizens alike. 

Again, it might be asked, was the revival calculated to cut the 
knots of all problems and provide an antidote for the moral sick- 
ness of the nations ? Was the appeal to reason to have more effect 
than Leo's previous admonitions in the name of the faith ? Where 
the encyclicals "Inscrutabili" and "Quod Apostolici" did not strike 
home, would the "Aeterni Patris" be heard ? 

The miasma of the French Revolution — to the philosopher more 
an indication than a fact — was still hanging over the world. The 
march towards anarchy in the name of reason was, with halts and 
stops, nevertheless steadily advancing. What system could stop it ? 
Was it at all probable that a revived scholasticism could deflect the 
advance of ideas? 

Less than a year after his coronation the Pope had issued his 
encyclical, in the name of religion condemning communism, social- 
ism and nihilism as fruits of the Reformation ; and now, in the face 
of the three questions just indicated, he unhesitatingly points 
towards the true scholastic philosophy as the champion of truth 
and the defender of the faith. Properly understood, he was right. 
The course which he recommended was in no sense a retrograde 

There are certain principles of knowledge, old as reason itself, 
that are to be found embedded in the foundations of all philosophies. 
Without them there can be neither order, nor system, nor, for the 
matter of that, even thought. There are others not to be found 
anywhere and haphazard, but, like the first, principles legitimately 
inferred from the meanest and most meagre data, principles that 
no new facts or discoveries can wreck. It is no question of a 
defense of faith and morals alone. The fate of knowledge is bound 
up in the fate of these principles. Without them, or with substi- 
tutes for them, the mind, proclaiming itself free and flaunting its 
liberty, runs a riotous course. The call of Leo XIIL was to go 
back to the principles and to the system of St. Thomas. It was 
not to move the hands of the clock back through five centuries. 
That would have been useless as well as retrograde, for the aspect 
of the problems to be dealt with was a new one. The dangerous 
theories and subversive opinions were not those precisely with 
which St. Thomas had to contend in his day. They were only a 

The Neo-Scholastic Movement. 20 

phase of the restless spirit of novelty. He had proposed just such 
a task and based his work upon the perennial principles of sound 
reason. Leo XIII. made his appeal to those same perennial prin- 
ciples and luminous truths. The twentieth century was not to be 
forced back into the twelfth, but the stereotyped, or disregarded, 
or abandoned principles belonging to no age or place were to be 
properly reinstated and interpreted anew, and their best extant 
exposition was to be found in the works of St. Thomas. If the 
human mind, cramped and warped as it was and is by the false 
views of materialism and socialism, could be made to see and under- 
stand the true principles of science and philosophy, there was no 
reason why its suicidal course should not be moderated, deflected, 
arrested even. 

Still, though the neo-scholastic movement was a thing to be 
desired, and, indeed, was in no small measure necessitated by the 
disintegration of philosophy and the threatened collapse of the 
social fabric, it has not altogether fulfilled the sturdy hopes that 
were raised upon it. Perhaps there has not yet been time for it 
to accomplish much, and its results are as yet to be looked for 
rather in the study than in the market place. As a system it has 
not yet been recognized as it should be by the professors of other 
schools, and, what is more to be deplored, of those in whose train- 
ing its influence has been chiefly exerted, there are many who affect 
to despise the scholastic philosophy and prefer to take their valua- 
tion of its merits from those who stigmatize it as a tissue of wordy 
speculation and hair-splitting dialectic. The mere fact that one 
can say ''many" in this connection shows that something is amiss. 
Omitting those whose talents are naturally given to other branches 
of knowledge and whose interest leads them to fields of study other 
than philosophical, there is still a very considerable margin to be 
accounted for. It seems strange that one should find to-day, not 
laymen only, but priests who have been through the mill of the 
schools, closing their text-books and writing finis to their notes on 
leaving the class of philosophy with a genuine sigh of relief. "Now 
we are free! Now for the subjects of interest! Now for true 
priestly studies !" They may or may not have drunk deep of the 
perennial spring. The text, at least, was in their hands. Their 
teachers, presumably, did their best. But— to adapt the quotation, 
"simul ac ratio tua coepit vociferari natura rerum"— the terrors of 
the mind did not take flight, nor did the walls of the world fall. 
And there was— there must have been— a reason for the lack of 
interest, the insipidity of those two or three years spent in the pur- 
suit of divine philosophy. 

If I may be permitted to venture an opinion as to the nature of 

30 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

this reason, I should unhesitatingly put forward the fact that no 
system can prove interesting or even useful to its full extent that 
lacks its historical setting and chronological environment. And it 
may, perhaps, be said that, as a result of the encyclical "Aeterni 
Patris," the philosophy of St. Thomas was restored to its legitimate 
sphere of usefulness, but, divorced from its thirteenth century set- 
ting, imported into a wholly alien atmosphere. Instead of recon- 
structing as did the angel of the schools, drawing the eternal truths 
of reason into touch with the state of scientific knowledge, such as 
it was, of his own time ; instead of levelling up the products of the 
Zeitgeist to the principles of the schools, the system of St. Thomas 
was imported en bloc and opened — a black letter page of the Middle 
Ages in the electric light of the nineteenth century — to the be- 
wildered gaze of inquiring students. The text was in their hands, 
the professors expounded, but there was no coloring, no context, 
no adaptation, no framework of historical setting. The student 
who plodded industriously through his work went out into the 
world to find that the world spoke a jargon unintelligible to him. 
Doubtless the worldly mind understood as much of his thought 
as he did of its new systems. For the critique of the pure reason 
cannot be pulverized in two lines of Latin, nor can Hegel's idealism 
be refuted in a mere wave of the professional hand. One may laugh 
at the absurdities of Haeckel if one pleases, but a smile will not 
be of much use in freeing those who have been caught in the 
astounding maze of his assertions or in helping them to truer views. 
There may have been — there were — honorable exceptions. But the 
truest end of the "Aeterni Patris" has, in the main, not been at- 
tained. The life-giving touches have been left out, and the real 
restoration of Catholic philosophy has hardly yet begun. St. 
Thomas has still to appear in the frock coat and silk hat of the 
present day, and, thus garbed, he will be as much the Angelic Doctor 
as in the white habit of the Dominican friar. 

If the spirit of St. Thomas is to do the work now that he so ably 
performed while he lived, it must descend to the arena of twentieth 
century questions and give them battle on their own ground. The 
spirit will be the same, living and vigorous. The system will not 
be in any sense a new one. No principles need be imported, none 
rejected. As it is, the principles are taught, but more or less out 
of harmony with the questions to which they are applied. They 
must be understood if any real or permanent advantage is to be 
looked for in an up-to-date form. It is idle to present the system 
with the crude science to which it is related. People have not the 
patience to distinguish between the really valuable and the worth- 
less in which it is embedded, and if crudities of science are offered 

The Neo-Scholastic Movement. 


to the twentieth century along with no matter how excellent a 
doctrine, they will, if not actually damn it, at least minimize its 
force to the last degree. We need the whole framework of the 
Thomistic philosophy filled in with all the work of modern science. 
This in itself is no slight task; it is enormous. And it needs an 
intellect like that of St. Thomas to accomplish it. A clever man 
may do much walking in or near the beaten track. Something of 
a genius is required here. 

Moreover, any philosophical system as such is impersonal. Even 
were we in actual possession of a scholasticism brought up to date, 
it would only be useful in the class room in the hands of a good 
professor. He could make it of enthralling interest by supplying 
the historical framework. Thomas Aquinas is not a mere system, 
no matter how wonderfully complete and speculatively true. He 
was a man, a personality of striking features, and he has a history. 
We all know a little about him, his studies, his master, Albertus 
Magnus. But do many of us know what he learnt from that same 
Albert the Great ? What of his teacher's work he employed in his 
own; why he expanded here, omitted there; leant rather to one 
metaphysic than to scattered dissertations on natural science? 
Aristotle? Yes; and Plato and the Alexandrians, the Fathers 
Eastern and Western. Every scrap of his teaching has a history, 
a history as absorbingly interesting as can well be, for it is the 
record of human thought. 

We profess our firm belief in the articles of the Apostles' Creed. 
But our understanding of its meaning is broadened and deepened 
in the complex structure of sentiment, emotion, imagination, to no 
harm of that true intellectual understanding in which these have 
root, in proportion as we group around its abstract statements of 
the theological fact, the circumstances of its origins, its historical 
setting and the vicissitudes through which it has been handed on 
to us. Nothing of this changes their meaning in the least degree, 
but it helps us undoubtedly to a precision of thought in its regard 
which is not readily obtained without it. Not for nothing are the 
old heresies exposed and studied in the class rooms of theology. 
The solid structure of dogma is filled in and colored and presented 
strikingly to our mind as having something more than a mere 
theoretical meaning. And it is the same with the doctrines of the 
school of St. Thomas. The world in general— the polite world at 
any rate— knows that there is a system of philosophy called by his 
name. It is acquainted with the fact that his, out of the many 
schools that flourished during the Middle Ages, is that which has 
received the approbation of the Church Catholic. The rank and 
fde of our own students know a little more than this. There was a 

32 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Boethius, a Scotus, a Cajetan, a Suarez. There is also a de Maria, 
a Mercier, a Mill and, it might be added, a Bain and a Haeckel. 
But the perspective is all wrong. The environment of history is 
lacking. As well might one attempt to get a true grasp of Greek 
philosophy by reading no more than the writings of Diogenes 
Laertius — better, for there is a sketching in of circumstantial history 
in the ''Lives of the Philosophers." 

To accomplish its work thoroughly and efficiently Neo-Scholast- 
icism awaits a philosopher and a historian capable of setting the 
scenes and binding the scattered parts into a philosophical and his- 
torical unity. 

I do not for an instant presume to say that the Neo-Scholastic 
movement has in any sense been futile or useless. It has undoubt- 
edly already done a great work in the service of truth, and in some 
cases has done a work that can only be characterized by the epithet 
of excellence. But it has not done all that it might have accom- 
plished, and it might have accomplished so much in twenty-five 

Historical works were necessary, and they have been slow to 
come. There is Gonzales, there is Wulf and there is Turner. An 
adaptation of St. Thomas was required. There is Mercier and 
Lorenzelli and de Mandato and Maher and Rickaby. In theology 
— where the need of adaptation is hardly so apparent — there is 
Paquet and Pesch and Billot and Hiirter. But neither has the 
history nor the adaptation of philosophy as a whole been conclu- 
sively satisfactory. The call to arms was sounded in 1879. ^^ 
are in 1905, and the last edge and polish has not yet been put upon 
the trusty ancient weapons. 

From a purely human standpoint and quite apart from the divine 
authority of the teaching Church, two things are necessary for the 
understanding of the faith as well as of secular knowledge — its 
history and its meaning. The historians have outstripped the 
philosophers in their zeal for the things of God. But history is 
worthless, impotent and even misleading when a question of utter 
truth is agitated unless it has the direct support of reason, and 
philosophy is paralyzed without the help of history. They must 
work together. Speculatively, perhaps, philosophy can stand alone 
— but in a magnificent isolation that will attract few to her shrine. 
Practically, and to accomplish the end and aim of Leo XIII. as 
expressed in the "Aeterni Patris," philosophy must call in the aid 
of history to be of any practical use in stemming the broadest 
dangers of the age in which we live. Once more, a Thomas 
Aquinas was wanted in the thirteenth century to collect the scat- 
tered fragments of truth, to weld the good and the true of all 

Napoleon's Gunner. 

human knowledge into one coherent and concordant system to 
relate the human to die divine. A Thomas Aquinas was found, 'and 
his work, like that of Aristotle before him, will endure forever In 
this twentieth century a Thomas Aquinas is needed again to collect 
anew the newer gifts of nature; to blend the results of the experi- 
mental method with the enduring fundamental principles- to relate 
the modern problems, physical, logical, metaphysical, moral and 
social, to the eternal verities, and to gather up and focus all the rays 
of light that are streaming from the natural sciences and historical 
studies upon the truth that is beyond all truths precious; which is 
obscured by materialism, atheism and false moral, social and polit- 
ical theories ; which constitutes the natural happiness and safeguards 
the welfare of man. 

Thus, and thus alone, will neo-scholasticism fulfil its high destiny. 
Thus alone will research and industry bear fruit, for philosophy and 
science must live in wedlock. Thus alone can the far-sighted policy 
of Leo XIIL, expressed succinctly and authoritatively in the ency- 
clical "Aeterni Patris," take shape and steer the bark of human 
wisdom clear from the dangers that beset it. 

Chelsea, London, S. W. 


IN THE last quarter of the eighteenth century there dwelt at 
Nancy, in France, a hard-working, God-fearing baker named 
Drouot, blessed with a large family if not with wealth.^ Of 
his twelve children one was destined to win fame in times when 
there were many famous men. This was Antoine Drouot, bom 
at Nancy on January ii, 1774. Of him long afterwards the French 
historian Thiers remarked that "no man in our times has better 
deserved the attention of history." Antoine Drouot early showed 
promise of future distinction by his eager desire for knowledge 
and his love of work to attain it. A quite little child he sought 
admission of his own accord to a school kept by Christian Brothers, 
but was refused as too young. He went through the entire course 

1 The sources from which this brief biogrraphical sketch have been drawn 
are: 1. "Biographie du G€n6ral Drouot," par J. Nollet, Paris, 1850. 2. 
"Le G4n6ral Drouot," par H. Lepag-e, Nancy, 1847. 3. "Notice Historique 
sur le General Drouot," en t§te de son proces, Paris, 1816. 4. "Eloge 
FunSbre du G6n6ral Drouot," par le R. P6re Lacordaire, O. P., Bruxelles, 

34 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

given at the college of Nancy, and in his last year was at the head 
of the class of mathematics out of sixty pupils. He knew his Latin 
authors well, to whom he devoted his early mornings and evenings, 
studying by the light from his father's oven at morn and by the 
lamp round which the family gathered of an evening. 

Antoine was of a pious and retiring disposition, and his wish as 
a boy was to become a Carthusian. But the flood of revolution 
had swept away the monasteries from France. A life of discipline 
and self-sacrifice could only be found then in the army. Drouot 
became a soldier and, as Lacordaire said, under the brilliant uniform 
of an officer he was what he would have been under the cowl of a 
monk. In 1793 he left his native place to gain on foot Chalons, a 
town eighty miles away, and there in the humble dress of his class 
presented himself before Laplace, the greatest mathematician of his 
day, to be examined for admission to an artillery school. The other 
candidates were mostly army cadets, and they ridiculed the idea of 
the poor Nancy boy passing. But though Laplace pushed his 
examination beyond its strict limits, he could riot puzzle Drouot, 
and at .last, contrary to his custom, told the lad that he had passed 
among the first. With the generosity of youth, to efface their 
previous scorn, his fellow candidates chaired him through the streets 
after the examinations were over. Long afterwards Laplace told 
Napoleon that never had he known an examen more brilliantly 
passed than by Drouot. Of that day Drouot used to say that it 
was the best of his life. The result was that France being in want 
of officers for its artillery, Drouot immediately received a com- 
mission as second lieutenant in the First Artillery Regiment at 
Metz. There he devoted himself entirely to his profession, and so 
kept aloof from dangerous amusements and dangerous political 
intrigues, in which too many young officers at that time got 
entangled and were ruined. One day some of his joyous comrades 
tried to entice him forth from his humble lodging. They found 
him busily studying the movements of an artillery battery with the 
help of some blocks he had made to represent guns and ammunition 
wagons. They saw that it was not surliness that kept him from 
their company, and thenceforth they left him to his studies. 

The student was quickly called to put his theoretical knowledge 
into use in action. It was at Dunkirk against the English on 
September 8, 1793, that Drouot was for the first time under fire. 
In the absence of his captain and lieutenant he led his battery into 
action, drove the enemy from a redoubt, installed his guns therein 
arid played so heavily with them on the foe that they were forced 
to leave a position that commanded Dunkirk, then held by the 
French. Drouot was then barely nineteen, and General Moreau, who 

Napoleon's Gunner. or 

witnessed the capture of the redoubt, said it was one of the finest 
feats of arms of that campaign, and done, too, he added, by a mere 
boy. It is said that in this action a civil commissary of the French 
Convention told Drouot he had better desist— his men wanted rest. 
"Not so," replied the boyish officer; "victorious troops need no 
rest." He took part in the remainder of the campaign, being 
present at the battle of Fleurus, which handed Belgium over to 
the French Republic. His early promotion was rapid, and in 1799 
we find him with rank of captain inspecting the armament of 
Bayonne. There, while examining with a lighted taper the cham- 
ber of a cannon, some undischarged powder exploded and injured 
one of his eyes so that for six weeks he was in hospital. He next 
took the field in Italy, and at the battle of La Trebbia he handled 
his battery so well that Macdonald, his commander, never forgot 
what he owed Drouot on that occasion — a debt that the marshal 
repaid Drouot with interest, as we shall see. 

Drouot's bat'tery of artillery was reputed the smartest and best 
disciplined in his regiment. He was an exacting yet just com- 
mander. His men feared and loved him. Never, unlike too many 
other officers, did he bully and swear at his men. Once, greatly 
provoked, he let slip an unseemly word. His soldiers, astonished, 
exclaimed: "Tiens, our captain must be vexed indeed." The 
secret of his self-command lay hidden in his deeply religious prin- 

Appointed to the artillery staff of the army of the Rhine under 
Moreau, he was present on December 3, 1800, at the battle of 
Hohenlinden, where 

Louder than the bolts of heaven 
Far flashed the red artillery. 

During the armistice that ensued Drouot was sent to inspect the 
Austrian arsenals in Styria. He had to make the return journey 
on foot, for his three horses were heavily laden with objects of 
interest to the French artillery. His report on this scientific mission 
was so highly thought of by Monge and other scientists that it was 
ordered to be kept for reference in the archives of the French War 
Office. General Pernety, who as colonel was at this time Drouot's 
chief, describes him as zealous, exact, never idle, devoting his spare 
time to mathematics, beloved and honored by his equals and by 
his superiors, simple and modest, though unequaled in his profes- 
sional acquirements, temperate in his habits, and never asking 
others to do what he would not do himself. In drillmg his men 
to throw up field works he was as ready with pick and spade as 
any private among them. 

About this time Drouot was put in command of the artillery 

36 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

attached to the mihtary school at La Fere. At the same time he 
had to look after the clothing of his regiment, a post where even 
honest men thought they might add to their scanty pay. One day 
a clothier offered Drouot a gift of six hundred francs, saying that 
all the predecessors of Drouot had accepted such gifts. "You can 
afford to make such gifts?" replied Drouot. "Then I accept it, 
but take this sum and put it to the credit of the regiment." The 
man was rebuked and the regiment enriched by Drouot's honesty. 
Soon after this incident Drouot was called to the bedside of his 
dying father, and he never left it until his father had breathed his 

Drouot longed for active service, to which his comrades and 
even many of his own men were daily being drafted. His turn 
came, but it was to go afloat on board the forty-gun frigate Hor- 
tense. He took part as gunner in an action in which two French 
frigates captured, after a sharp fight, two British war vessels con- 
voying a fleet of merchant ships. He accompanied an expedition 
to Martinique and was in the action fought with Sir Robert Calder's 
squadron. He would have been on board the Berwick at the battle 
of Trafalgar had he not been ordered back to France. Drouot 
was no sailor and suffered terribly on shipboard if it was at all 
rough. The one thing that roused him then was a fight. He 
was glad to be ashore, to enjoy the woods and fields of France, 
which he wrote had never seemed to him more lovely. His new 
work was to superintend the arms factories at Maubeuge and 
Charleroi, a business task he did thoroughly well while disliking 
it. His whole heart was with his artillery in the field. An accident 
near Maubeuge nearly cut short his career. He was riding, and 
as was his wont, was reading as he rode, when his horse stumbled, 
threw him and bolted. He was dragged along by a foot caught 
in a stirrup, his head banging against the cobbles of the road. 
When the horse at last was stopped, all expected to find Drouot 
dead. His head had been protected by the long skirts of his coat, 
its pockets filled with official documents, that had acted as a pillow 
for his head. He was senseless and much shaken, but escaped with 
a month in bed. 

In March, 1808, Drouot was sent to Spain. Soon after reaching 
Madrid its people rose against the French, but the insurrection was 
quelled with stern severity. Drouot had a narrow escape. He 
had endeared himself to his landlord in the house where he lodged, 
as he had done wherever he dwelt. He was somewhat surprised 
that his host one day gave him notice to quit, alleging some lame 
excuse. The man knew of the coming insurrection, could not as 
a patriot warn Drouot, as his friend did not want to see him killed 

Napoleon's Gunner, 37 

under his roof. Drouot left early next day, when he was hunted 
through the streets by two bands of insurrectionists and barely 
regained headquarters in safety. He was charged, in consequence 
of this rising, to convert the Retiro, a suburban palace of the Span- 
ish Kings, into a citadel to overawe their capital. Early and late 
he worked at his task, never allowing himself time to partake, as 
other officers did, in the gaieties of a gay town, and yet, quaintly 
remarks his biographer, Drouot was not yet thirty-four years of 

Their defeat at Baylen forced the French to evacuate Madrid. 
Napoleon himself came to restore the French position. The Em- 
peror was quick in discerning men's merits, and he soon discovered 
Drouot's abilities. He employed him to reorganize the artillery 
that had suffered in the French retirement north; he saw him at 
work with his guns in the field ; he saw him bombard and capture 
the Retiro, the Madrid citadel he had constructed and which the 
Spaniards sought to retain. The Emperor rewarded Drouot by 
promoting him to be colonel major of the Foot Artillery of the 
Imperial Guards. Thenceforth all his service was to be done under 
the Emperor's own eyes. Drouot had become Napoleon's gunner. 

It is doubtful if ever Napoleon felt personally interested in the 
Peninsular wars, Spanish guerillas, Portuguese peasants, British 
red-coats might be left to one of his marshals ; he would war with 
a Kaiser or a Czar on the banks of the Danube or the Vistula, with 
hundreds of thousands of pawns — each with a man's soul in it — on 
the board. Anyhow Napoleon soon left Spain and ordered his 
guards to follow him. He had decided on war with Austria. 
Drouot left Valladolid with the artillery of the guard on March 20, 
1809, a-i^d passing through Paris, Strassburg and Ulm, reached 
Vienna on the last day of May, having covered the march at the 
rate of at least seven leagues a day — rapid movement of troops in 
pre-railroad days. Drouot spent all June in bringing his batteries 
to perfection. At daily guard mounting before the imperial palace 
one or other of the batteries was passed in inspection by the 

On the eve and during the battle of Wagram, fought on July 6, 
1809, artillery took a leading part. At a critical moment the Em- 
peror, riding on his white Persian steed along his lines, shouted, 
"Where is Drouot?" That officer was with his batteries and had 
dismounted the better to direct the fire of his pieces. The Emperor 
bid Drouot support with all the artillery he could collect the 
columns that he was about to hurl on the enemy. "Crush the 
enemy, Drouot, even if you have to expend ten thousand rounds." 
Drouot quickly got one hundred guns into line and opened with 

38 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

grape shot on the foe. Largely by this Wagram was won by the 
French. It was a costly and indecisive victory. The artillery 
suffered much, losing 326 officers and men killed and 971 
wounded. Drouot was wounded by a musket ball, but having had 
his wound bandaged, he continued fighting. One battery of his 
regiment out of ten guns and eighty men had at nightfall only five 
guns uninjured and one officer and ten men left alive, but nearly 
all wounded. The Emperor said to Drouot that the victory was 
due to his gunners. At St. Helena he regretted that he had not 
after Wagram named Drouot in his despatches. He promoted him, 
however, to be a colonel in the Guards, a rank that was equivalent 
to that of a general of brigade in the army. Drouot was also pro- 
moted to the rank of officer of the Legion of Honor and made a 
baron of the Empire. None deserved his honors more than ''the 
conscientious Drouot," as England's most recent historian of 
Napoleon calls him;^ none sought honors less than he did. "De- 
siring neither glory nor power, all sorts of favors came to him 
unasked," wrote one of Drouot's brother officers at this time. 
"Where others are urged by ambition and self-love, he is guided 
by duty." The high opinion of Drouot held by his superiors and 
equals was held by those he commanded. An artilleryman who 
had served under him, having heard a false report that Drouot was 
dead — it was towards the close of Drouot's life — ^wrote to congratu- 
late his old commander on the report being unfounded. 'T hold," 
said the writer, "that science is a fine thing, but not all. A man 
will not risk his life for one he loves not. At Wagram, would we 
have fought so well had we not loved you? ... I never met 
a colonel who could handle men as you did. You were strict, I 
know, but just. You never spoke roughly nor swore at us ; you 
never lost your temper with us ; you always treated us as men like 
yourself." How many acts of kindness Drouot did to his men God 
alone knows. Some have come to light, as, for instance, that when 
he had now and again a regimental fund to dispose of he sent it to 
the Mayors of the villages to be distributed to the needy relatives 
of well conducted men of his regiment. The delig;ht of the men 
on hearing of such acts reconciled them to the hardships of their 

Drouot's love for his regiment was intense. 'T love the artillery," 
he wrote to General Evain, "with all my heart. My greatest happi- 
ness would be never to leave it." A stain on the honor of his corps 
was more than he could bear. While in garrison at Vincennes 

2 J. H. Holland, "Life of Napoleon I.," London, 1904. For much about 
Napoleon's religious belief see the same author's "Napoleonic Studies," 
London, 1904. 

Napoleon's Gunner. -.g 

several soldiers committed suicide, among them two of his corps 
As a Christian and as a soldier these cowardly crimes revolted him 
so that he went beyond the limits the law allowed and buried the 
corpse of one of the self-slain men in a ditch by the roadside. For 
this the Emperor summoned Drouot before him. Pleased with 
Drouot's determination to stop suicides among his men, Napoleon 
simply warned Drouot to respect the civil law and let him off with 
a reprimand inserted in the orders to the army, but without men- 
tioning Drouot by name. 

Drouot's life in garrison as colonel at Vincennes was simple. 
He rose daily at four, breakfasted on coflfee and bread such as his 
men had served to them, and then spent some hours in his office 
in letter writing and accounts or in professional studies. He 
assisted at all the drills and target practices of his regiment. He 
neglected nothing to make his men good gunners, and organized 
schools and lectures for their intellectual improvement. His only 
relaxation was a ride or a visit to a fellow-officer in garrison in 
Paris, the General Evain, whom we have already named — a man 
after Drouot's own pattern. Under the gorgeous uniform of 
colonel of the Horse Artillery of the Guards, Drouot remained what 
he had been as a simple lieutenant at Metz. But, as Tennyson says : 

Kind hearts are more than coronets, 
And simple faith than Norman blood. 

Officer of the Legion of Honor, Baron of the Empire, colonel of 
a crack corps of the most crack division of an army commanded by 
the greatest of soldiers, Drouot was ever the same religious, hard- 
working, simple-hearted baker's son. 

The Russian campaign of 1812 and the retreat from Moscow 
brought out all Drouot's best qualities, professional and moral. On 
the march of his regiment across Germany and Poland, whenever 
it halted in some interesting locality, he invited his officers to visit 
with him here a cathedral, here a factory of importance, or it might 
be, as at Freyberg, in Saxony, some man of science like the famous 
mineralogist Werner, who was not a little surprised at a body of 
French officers calling on him, until he understood that they 
belonged to a scientific corps. Drouot was a student of mineralogy, 
and later on pointed out the value of the iron ores of Elba, since 
so profitably worked. He kept up his studious habits even in this 
campaign. A French dragoon officer has recorded how one night 
Napoleon arose at midnight from his couch in a peasant's hut that 
was his temporary palace, and going to its door gazed at the silent 
bivouac of the army that slept around him. Seeing a lamp burning 
in the direction where his artillery were, he sent an aide-de-camp 
to inquire who watched so late. "Sire, it is General Drouot at his 

40 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

work," reported the officer. Yet Drouot had fought all that day 
and was up at dawn to take part in another long day of fighting. 

At the battle of Borodino, on September 7, 18 12, his artillery 
carried on a long duel with that of the Russians. When at last the 
Great Redoubt was captured by the French cavalry, Drouot lim- 
bered up his guns and at a gallop took position near it, only to find 
it menaced by a mass of Russian horsemen. "Gentlemen," cried 
Drouot, "yonder cavalry is about to charge us. The artillery of 
the Guard never retires." And his brave gunners plied their can- 
nons so well that the great mass gallantly riding at the guns were 
thrown into confusion and forced to retire. The whole Russian 
army then retreated and Napoleon was lured on to Moscow. After 
the burning of that city Drouot's regiment was quartered in a 
neighboring village. Drouot found corn and a mill to grind it, and 
his men had their daily ration of bread arid a double one of meat. 
He had also laid by stores for the winter. It was discipline that 
kept his men in comfort while their comrades of other regiments 
starved amid the booty of an imperial capital. Unfortunately, when 
the retreat began Drouot had to abandon his stores for lack of 
transport. During the retreat to keep up the spirits of his men by 
his example, in spite of the frost he shaved daily in the open air, 
his mirror hung at the back of a baggage wagon. He encouraged 
his men to warm themselves by chopping wood or even by breaking 
blocks of ice to circulate their blood before going to sleep, instead 
of roasting themselves by bivouac fires when these were to be had. 
His generosity was shown on many occasions. Receiving one day 
a small but under the circumstances a rare gift of some ground 
cofifee and sugar, he shared it with his comrades. Meeting a half- 
frozen French family flying from the ruins of Moscow, he gave it 
all the contents of his brandy flask. Not a man of any great 
physical strength, his health was never better than at the end of 
this fatal campaign. Asked once to account for this, he replied: 
"Ah, two things have always helped me in this and in all the diffi- 
culties of life. I have never feared poverty nor death." Napoleon 
christened him rightly "The Wise Man of the Grand Army." For 
his services in the retreat Drouot was promoted to be general and 
one of the Emperor's personal aide-de-camp. Thenceforth until 
after Waterloo he was to be constantly at the Emperor's side. 

Shortly after the fatal passage of the Berisina, after having had 
the honor of firing the last shots fired by the French on Russian 
soil, Drouot had to abandon his guns and blow up the caissons, 
which he had dragged through the retreat, for he had not horses 
enough left to drag them further. When Napoleon returned to 
Paris Drouot followed him and was charged to supervise the reform- 

Napoleon's Gunner. ^^ 

ing of the artillery of the Guard. Astonished Europe, which had 
seen the Grand Army destroyed by the frosts of Russia, found in 
the spring of 1813 Napoleon provided with a fresh army. It 
seemed as if he had only to stamp his foot on the soil of France and 
soldiers sprung up. He opened the campaign in Saxony with five 
army corps, composed, however, mostly of recruits, notably of weak 
physique, perhaps from having been born in the year of the reign of 
terror, stiffened by some thirty thousand veterans drawn from Spain 
or from garrisons in France and Italy. This campaign, deeply 
iiileresting to the military student, need not detain our attention 
except to mention Drouot's part in it. He was mostly employed 
by the Emperor in directing the movements of the artillery, espe- 
cially at the battles of Liitzen, Bautzen and Dresden, the last great 
battles Napoleon was destined to win. In an artillery combat at 
Dresden Drouot was directing the fire of his young gunners in a 
way that Napoleon did not think the best. Leaping oflf his horse, 
the Emperor actually rushed up to Drouot and pulled his ears as 
he might those of a peccant school boy. Drouot coolly continued 
his work, pointing out to the Emperor that he was doing it in the 
best possible way. The Emperor's unseemly rage melted into a 
smile and Drouot had the best of it both with his master and with 
the enemy. In September, 181 3, he was promoted to be aide major 
general of the Imperial Guard, a post equivalent to chief of the 
staff of that picked army corps. "God grant," he wrote to his 
friend Evain, "that I may fulfill well my new duties. I shall not 
lack zeal and devotion in the Emperor's service, but will they suf- 

In the three days' "Battle of the Nations" at Leipzig, on October 
16, 18 and 19, Drouot was constantly in the field directing the 
artillery. He accompanied the Emperor in his retreat to France, 
and at Hanau with his guns forced a way for the Emperor through 
an opposing force of Austrians and Bavarians which tried to bar 
the way. The Emperor had even doubted that Drouot's attempt 
could succeed, and indeed it was won by much skill and courage. 
.The gunners had to defend themselves with their carbines, swords 
and handspikes against a desperate charge of Bavarian dragoons. 
Drouot had to fight for his life, sword in hand, and was about to be 
cut down by a Bavarian trooper when the latter was bayoneted by 
a French artilleryman. The brush of Horace Vemet has put on 
canvas this episode, and his picture hangs in the galleries of Ver- 

CQ ill pc 

Drouot, who had been made a Count of the Empire immediately 
after Leipzig, took part in Napoleon's defensive campaign m 1814. 
Its plan was to beat in detail the armies of the allies advancmg 

42 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

along the Marne and Seine on Paris, then to march eastwards, draw 
together the garrisons in the south and east of France and the 
French troops shut up in Germany, and with the whole combined 
force to fall on the rear of the invaders of France. But the plan 
was doomed to failure when once the allies were united on rapidly 
marching on Paris. Napoleon's forces were as weak as those of 
the invaders were overwhelming. For one man he lost, they could 
afiford to lose ten. He had no reserves. Every day brought them 
fresh troops from the plains of Hungary, from the forests of 
Pomerania and the steppes of Russia. Drouot, as usual, showed 
his skill in the various battles of this campaign, but he knew its 
futility. Once at supper with his officers on a day that the fighting 
had been favorable to the French, Napoleon exclaimed : "Another 
such a victory and I shall be on the Vistula once more." His 
officers were silent and hopeless. "I see, gentlemen, your enthusi- 
asm has died out. But you, Drouot, don't you think that to suc- 
ceed I need only a hundred men of your stamp ?" With much wit 
and modesty, Drouot replied: "Say, sire, a hundred thousand 
men." Napoleon thought highly of Drouot's military abilities. At 
St. Helena he said that he did not know two men to equal Murat 
and Drouot, the one in handling cavalry, the other artillery. He 
added that Drouot was fit to command a hundred thousand men. 
Drouot never obtruded his advice. Had Napoleon asked for it, 
perhaps the abdication of the Emperor at Fontainebleau on April 
4, 1814, might never have come to pass. 

So far we have seen what Drouot was as a soldier. We shall 
now see what he was as a man. The test of a man is adversity. 
When Napoleon fell all his marshals left him. Some because they 
were glutted with glory and wealth and wanted tO' enjoy their 
laurels and gold, others more nobly because they loved their coun- 
try better than its alien Emperor, Drouot, poor and faithful, fol- 
lowed his master to Elba, was its governor for ten months, for 
which he refused any salary except board and lodging and the loan 
of a horse, although his private fortune did not exceed five hundred 
dollars a year! Much against his judgment, out of loyalty to his 
sovereign, Drouot accompanied Napoleon on his return from Elba. 
He fought at Ligny and at Waterloo, wearing out a whole stable 
of horses in seeing to the execution of Napoleon's orders on those 
two days. It was by Drouot's advice that Napoleon delayed until 
midday his attack on the English position at Waterloo, the ground 
being too sodden to allow of artillery acting until the sun had dried 
the soil. The advice from an artillerist's point of view was good, 
but Drouot reproached himself for it and believed it had contributed 
to the loss of the battle. He returned with Napoleon to Paris. 

Napoleon's Gunner. 4^ 

In the Chamber of Peers, of which Napoleon had made him a mem- 
ber, Drouot in reply to some wild words of Ney's, made his one 
solitary speech in Parliament and gave a clear, vivid account of the 
success at Ligny and the defeat at Waterloo. The provisional gov- 
ernment obliged Napoleon to abdicate, to retire to Malmaison, and 
thence to begin his last journey that was to end at St. Helena.' 

Drouot would have gone with his master had not a higher duty 
kept him back. He had been put in command of what remained 
of the Imperial Guard, for it was known that he alone could prevent 
that formidable body of veterans from making a last desperate attack 
on the allies. He led them away across the Loire when Paris 
capitulated and kept them disciplined. Drouot saw that this was 
his present duty; later he would rejoin his master in prison or in 
exile, whichever it might be. While Drouot is carrying out this 
noble duty we may endeavor to find an answer to a question that 
his conduct suggests. 

Drouot was all his life a man of austere virtue and practiced his 
religion. Much has been said, and more we shall have to say, that 
proves this assertion. Taking it as exact, let us ask ourselves how 
it was that Drouot was so devoted to Napoleon ? It is easy to reply 
that Drouot was fascinated by his master's military genius, that he 
was grateful to him for his favors. But others had been so fasci- 
nated and so favored, and had left their master to his fate. Besides, 
Drouot was too calm to be moved even by the glitter of genius, and 
he really owed Napoleon little for favors, for all he had received 
from the Emperor were rewards that scantily repaid his services. 
We think there was in Napoleon some stronger attraction than 
genius and gratitude which drew Drouot towards him. We would 
suggest that the loadstone that attracted him was Napoleon's 
religion. Certainly Napoleon was not a dutiful son of our Holy 
Mother the Church. His conduct towards the gentle and saintly 
Pius VII. alone would suffice to prove this. Even his work, now 
being destroyed, of restoring CathoHc worship in France, does not 
prove his Catholicity. His motive may have been to use the Church 
as a sort of moral gendarme in the service of the State. He knew 
the power of the Catholic Church and its Head. He wrote to 
Cacault, his agent in Rome, to treat the Pope as if His Holiness 
had two hundred thousand bayonets at his command. All this 
proves that he valued the Church as an instrument of government, 
just as he had for a like reason approved o^ and adopted Mahom- 
medanism in Egypt. The notes attributed to Comte de Montholon 
on Napoleon's religious sentiments expressed at St. Helena are 
unfortunately of no historic value. Bertrand, with Drouot, the 
Emperor's most faithful companion in adversity, has shown their 

44 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

imaginary character.^ A passage from them on the divinity of 
Christ has become famous from having been "enshrined in New- 
man's prose," exalted by Lacordaire's oratory and set forth in 
Nicolas' philosophical studies of Christianity. But if Bertrand has 
robbed us of this which we prized, he has left us a glimpse of 
Napoleon's religious belief. He tells us that as Emperor and as 
exile Napoleon always practiced, no doubt to a very limited extent 
indeed, his religion. As to his belief, he constantly repeated in 
court and camp that he believed all that his parish priest believed. 
M. Frederic Masson, of the French Academy, an authority on all 
that concerns Napoleon, lately published in the Paris Gaulois an 
article in which he shows that Napoleon was a believer. He con- 
siders the first words of the Emperor's will, "I die in the Apostolic 
and Roman religion in which I was born," to be a solemn and exact 
profession of faith. He points to the extreme care with which 
Napoleon insisted on his relatives being married according to the 
laws of the Church. Even his own resistance to such a marriage 
with Josephine and his refusal to receive Holy Communion before 
his coronation, M. Masson contends, proves that Napoleon's con- 
science refused to profane the sacraments of the Church. An unbe- 
liever would not have hesitated in such a way. Had Napoleon used 
in his will the usual formula, "I die in the religion in which I have 
lived," it would have been a falsehood ; but with the help of a Corsi- 
can priest he died as he had not lived, a Catholic. M. Masson 
concludes that the Emperor held to the faith of his forefathers even 
when he did not practice it, and even worse, persecuted it. 

There is a story which we should like to think true, told at third 
hand, on Drouot's authority, that Napoleon once said to his ofhcers 
after a great victory that not that day, but that of his First Com- 
munion, was the happiest of his life. All except Drouot expressed 
surprise. "Ah," said the Emperor, "you, Drouot, at least under- 
stand me." May we not think that Drouot pierced the mask under 
which his master hid his faith? This would explain the extra- 
ordinary devotion of Drouot to the Emperor — a devotion that led 
him to Elba, that was on the point of leading him to St. Helena 
when Napoleon's death supervened. To fan into flame the slum- 
bering embers of his master's faith, Drouot would have lived and 
died in exile, though the dearest wish of his heart, often expressed, 
was to retire and to await death in the parish where he had been 

That wish was now to be gratified. The Bourbon government, 

8 See the "Precis Historiques" of Brussels for the year 1870, pp. 20 and 
38, for General Bertrand's refutation of the widely accepted errors con- 
cerning Napoleon's religious belief. 

Napoleon's Gunner. ^e 

neither forgetful nor forgiving, placed Drouot's name on the list 
of those to be prosecuted for taking part in Napoleon's return from 
Elba. Drouot at once relinquished his command of the Guards, 
to whom he had set the example of taking the white cockade and 
the oath of allegiance to King Louis XVIIL, and went to Paris to 
give himself up at the military prison. He was refused admission 
until he had demanded it on three successive days. "I never in 
my life," he would say laughingly, "asked but two places, first a 
seat in a school, then a cell in a prison. I was refused both at 
first." He was kept seven months in prison awaiting trial. At 
last the day came when he had to plead in defense of his life. His 
defense was that he had previous to the return from Elba been 
concerned in no conspiracy to bring about a return of which he 
disapproved; that as a soldier in the service of the sovereign of 
Elba he was bound to obey that sovereign's commands, and that, 
even according to French law, he was then no longer a French 
subject and so no traitor. Some witnesses appeared of their own 
accord and bore out Drouot's statement that he had disapproved 
of the Emperor's return. One witness only had Drouot called, and 
that was the loyal Marshal Macdonald. He testified to Drouot's 
important services to France and the dynasty in pacifying the 
Guards after Waterloo. Drouot was acquitted. Next evening the 
King sent for Drouot, spoke to him with much of that tact his 
friends wanted, and assured the general he would allow of no appeal 
being made against the finding of the court-martial. Then, at the 
early age of forty-two. General Drouot sheathed his sword and 
retired to Nancy, the place of his birth. 

There he spent his remaining years, living a laborious simple life. 
He studied much such subjects as fortifications and agriculture. 
He wrote much, but except a few papers in specialist periodicals, 
all he wrote is lost, his manuscripts having been burned by himself. 
He fulfilled to the letter what Napoleon said of him to Dr. O'Meara 
at St. Helena: ''Drouot is a man who would, so far as he was 
personally concerned, live as happily on forty sous a day as on the 
revenues of a kingdom. Full of charity and religion, his morality, 
honesty and simplicity would have done honor to the purest days 
of the Roman Republic." It was only in 1824 that the government 
paid Drouot the pension due to him as a retired general. It offered 
him the arrears of this pension. This he refused. At Napoleon's 
death he became entitled under the Emperor's will to a legacy of 
two hundred thousand francs. Napoleon's estate did not suffice 
to pay the legacies in full and Drouot only received less than half 
the above amount. He received a small pension as Grand Cross of 
the Legion of Honor. His whole income amounted to about twelve 

46 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

thousand five hundred francs, or about two thousand five hundred 
dollars annually. Of this he reserved for his own wants a sum of 
five hundred dollars. This, with his modest house and garden, suf- 
ficed him. The rest he gave away in charities. His pension from 
the Legion of Honor was paid over to private soldiers in need who 
had won the cross of the legion. It was not until after his death 
that they learned the name of their well-doer. The hospitals and 
orphanages of Nancy greatly benefited by his charity, as an inspec- 
tion of their records shows. But he was of those who "do good 
by stealth and blush to find it fame." In the practice of his religion 
he was most exact, attending regularly the services in his parish 
church and receiving Holy Communion in it several times in the 
year. On his death-bed he stated that all through life he had prac- 
ticed his religion whenever he could, but that he had been in cir- 
cumstances where its practice was impossible. 

In his civic duties he was an example to all his fellow-citizens. 
He who had commanded a hundred and fifty guns in action, in 
times of civil trouble donned the uniform of a simple lieutenant of 
artillery of the National Guard of Nancy. As such he saved the 
workmen of the place from being involved in a sanguinary conflict 
with the troops. In 1830, at the request of King Louis Philippe, 
he put on his general's uniform once more and took command of 
the troops at Metz. He saved the Cathedral from desecration by 
a revolutionary mob and received the thanks of its Bishop for this. 
His infirmities, however, compelled him to relinquish the command 
as soon as the place was pacified. Louis Philippe made him a Peer 
of France, but his health prevented him from ever taking his seat 
in the Upper House. His fellow-citizens had wished to send him 
to the Chamber of Deputies. He was found ineligible, as he had 
not the property qualifications required ! But he took an indirect 
part in legislative labors, and when it was proposed to fortify Paris, 
a long memorandum he sent to the committee of the Upper House 
was carefully considered and in part adopted. 

He was an active member both of the Agricultural and of the 
Royal Scientific Societies of Nancy, and the papers he contributed 
to their transactions are models of style and even now not devoid 
of interest. One paper is of special interest, dealing with the history 
of the Polish troops in Napoleon's service. It makes us regret 
that we have not more papers from his pen on subjects connected 
with the great Napoleon. His devotion to him never waned. He 
was on the eve of starting for St. Helena when the news reached 
him that the Emperor was dead. Ordering his horse and sending 
for one of Napoleon's veteran captains, who was his constant com- 
panion in his rides, the two old soldiers rode out to some woods far 

Napoleon's Gunner. aj 

from the city and there dismounting wandered in silent, tearless 
grief amid the trees. "He is dead— he is dead— the Emperor, and 
I shall never see him again in this world" were Drouot's only words. 
His companion has recorded his belief that that day was the most 
cruel in Drouot's life. Every year on the anniversary of the Em- 
peror's death, as on that of the defeat at Waterloo, Drouot denied 
himself to all visitors and spent the day in solitude and prayer. It 
was some consolation to Drouot when his master's ashes were 
brought back to France, but what consoled him most, even at the 
hour of his own death, was the hope that he would meet Napoleon 
again in a happier world. A few days before the end he said : "If 
you could assure me that I should die to-morrow, weak as I am, I 
should leap with joy, for then I should be about to meet my father 
and mother and my Emperor." 

During the last years of his life Drouot was so stricken by infirmi- 
ties that he was often a prisoner in his room, and he was obHged 
to renounce his one great relaxation — ^riding on horseback. He 
then took to gardening until he became totally blind, and he could 
only take exercise by walking in his garden guided by a wire he 
had had stretched across it. After receiving with great devotion 
the last sacraments, Drouot went to his reward at 6 o'clock in the 
morning of March 24, 1847. He desired that no honors should be 
paid him after death. His city and his country disregarded his 
wish. A public funeral was given him with military honors. 
Nancy placed in one of its public squares the statue of him whose 
likeness an artist had only been able to take by stealth. His bust 
was placed in the palace of Versailles among those of France's most 
illustrious soldiers. Paris gave his name to one of its streets. The 
greatest pulpit orator of France in the nineteenth century, Lacor- 
daire, preached his funeral oration, and what was then the first 
newspaper in the world, the London Tirnes, paid a lengthy tribute 
to the memory of the greatest artillery officer of one who had been 
England's greatest enemy. Drouot died poor. Even his gold 
laced uniform of general he had sold to give away its value in alms. 
When his brother protested that it should be left as an heirloom in 
the family, Drouot replied that it were better his nephews should 
forget that their uncle had been a general and remember only that 
their grandfather had been a baker. Truly, as the great Dominican 
orator had said, General Drouot was "the rarest if not the most 
perfect man the first half of the nineteenth century had produced." 

Wilfrid C. Robinson. 

Bruges, Belgium. 

48 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 


THERE is a curious legend that about five thousand years 
ago Ireland was colonized by a woman, who is called in 
some of the old histories the granddaughter of Noah. The 
seventeenth century transcription of the ''Chronicum Scotorum" 
says she was "the daughter of one of the Greeks," and bore the 
names of Heru, Ceasair or Berva (Banva). An important four- 
teenth century compilation known as the book of Ballymote and 
another noteworthy manuscript, the book of Lecain, quote a work 
of the fifth century as authority for the story, while the "Annals of 
the Kingdom of Ireland," which were collected and edited in the 
seventeenth century by the four Franciscan friars known as the 
"Four Masters," begin by telling us that A. M. 2242 (according to 
the chronology of the Septuagint), "forty days before the Deluge, 
Ceasair came to Ireland with fifty girls and three men, Bith, Fintan 
and Lavra." The latter is styled their conductor and is mentioned 
as the first man ever buried in Erin. In one version of the tale he 
is represented as Ceasair's brother and Bith as their father, and we 
are told that they were of the race of Cain, but Fintan, who figures 
as husband of this antediluvian lady pioneer, was a descendant of 
Seth, and therefore an adorer of the true God. The whole party 
are supposed to have originally dwelt on the banks of the Tigris, 
but while endeavoring to escape the Deluge in a boat built by 
Fintan, they reached the Irish shore, where, according to some 
accounts, they perished of pestilence, notwithstanding that among 
their number was a lady physician named Eaba. A sequel of the 
legend, however, narrates that Fintan's life was miraculously pre- 
served through thirty or forty centuries, during which he under- 
went various transmigrations. 

The whole fable seems to have a mythological foundation with 
Scriptural additions. 

The significant legends of the original peopling of Ireland must 
be chiefly sought in such versions or abstracts as we still possess 
of the lost "Books of Invasions." The oldest resume extant of 
these is to be found in the twelfth century manuscript known as 
the "Book of Leinster," one of the great treasures of Celtic litera- 
ture. Other editions are in the "Book of Ballymote," and the 
"Book of Lecain," while a particularly valuable one belongs to Lord 

We are told that the first inhabitants of Ireland after the flood 
came through the Mediterranean from Scythia of Middle Greece, 
led by a chief named Partholan. They arrived, according to the 

Ancient Ireland and Its Queens. 49 

''Annals of Clonmacnoise" (a compendium of Irish history of which 
one copy is in the British Museum), "in the twenty-first year of 
the age of Abraham, and in the twelfth year of Semiramis, Empress 
of Assyria." In an old work on the "Antiquities and Origin of 
Cambridge" it is stated that the ships of "Partholyan" and his fol- 
lowers encountered during their wanderings upon the seas the ves- 
sel of a British prince, who gave them a grant of lands in the then 
unpeopled Ireland. This romance was in Queen Elizabeth's reign 
made one of the grounds whereby the sovereigns of England laid 
claim to Ireland. 

Partholan was supposed to have resided at one time on an island 
in the river Erne with his Queen, Elgnatha on Delgnait. Her 
favorite grayhound, Saimer, was one day slain there by her husband 
(so at least it is recorded), for which reason the spot received the 
name "Inish Saimer," which it bears to this day. This colony is 
also supposed to have been wiped out by pestilence. 

Nemedius, the leader of the next band of immigrants, is also 
called a Greek or a Scythian. It is related that Macha, his wife, 
was buried near Armagh, which word is a compound of the Gaelic 
for hill and Macha. Nemedius, or the "Holy One," is, like Par- 
tholan, a mythological personage; indeed, he is sometimes repre- 
sented as a descendant of the latter. He is probably "Dia," the 
chief deity of the Celts, and Macha is one of the appellatives of 
"Ana," the mother of the gods. This colony was almost annihilated 
by the "Fomorians," a race of "African pirates," descendants of 
Cham. The few Nemedians who escaped divided into three bands, 
one of which migrated to Northern Europe, while another colonized 
Britain and the third made its way back to Greece, returning again 
thence, however, under the name of "Firbolgs" to retake possession 
of Ireland. 

We are told that Achy (or the "Chevalier"), the last King of the 
Firbolg race, espoused the daughter of Magh Mor, monarch of the 
Celtiberians (a valiant people of mixed Celtic and Iberian blood), 
of Spain. Her name was Taillte, a form of which is said to survive 
in Telltown, the name of a village in Meath, near where her foster 
son, "Lewy of the Long Hand," who was really a war god of the 
ancient Irish, was supposed to have instituted national games in 
her honor. Taillte's husband fell in the battle of South Moytura, 
near Cong, in Mayo, which, according to the Four Masters, took 
place A. M. 3303, and of which there are minttte accounts in some 
exceedingly ancient manuscripts, one of which is in the British 

Of course, such descriptions must be imaginary, but several 
graves of the cremation period have been found on the spot, show- 

so American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

ing that ethnic struggles did undoubtedly take place in the neigh- 

Probably the Firbolgs were really Iberians, a short, swarthy pre- 
Celtic race believed to have come from Egypt or Arabia, and whose 
descendants yet form part of the population of Connaught. 

As mentioned above, another company of the survivors of the 
Nemedian colony went to Scandinavia. In time they, too, returned 
to Ireland under the name of "Tuatha de Danaan," or the tribes of 
pe (God) and Ana (the mother of the gods). Modern research has 
repudiated the notion that these Tuatha de Danaan were a human 
race, and has proved them to be the divinities of the ancient Celt. 
Between ten and fourteen centuries before Christ, according to the 
Irish chronologists, came the Milesians into Ireland. The latest 
authorities on the subject, however, aver that this immigration 
took place at a period just preceding the Christian era. 

Three Tuatha de Danaan Queens — Eire, Banva and Fiola — are 
mentioned in the old histories as having fallen in the battle against 
the new invaders. With them fell their husbands, MacCuill, Mac- 
Cecht and MacGriene, who were really the gods of the sea, of the 
plough and of the sun. Each was known under various appella- 
tions, and MacCuill, under the name of "Lir," appears undoubtedly 
to be the prototype of "King Lear," while his son, another Celtic 
Neptune called "Mananaari MacLir," is yet commemorated in the 
name of the Isle of "Man." 

Many authorities consider that the names of "Ireland" and "Erin" 
are derived from "Eire," which word is thought to be etymologically 
connected with "Aryan." In the bardic poems the island is also 
called "Fiola" and "Banva." 

The "Four Masters" and other annalists in describing the strug- 
gle between the sons of Milesius, or the "Noble One," and the 
Tuatha de Danaan mention that in the battle of Slieve Mis (in 
Kerry) fell Scota, the daughter of Pharoah, wife of Milesius, and 
tradition still points out her grave in a glen near Tralee. 

The legend that Scota was the daughter of a Pharoah received 
official notice in the fifteenth century. For when Edward I. claimed 
the overlordship of the Kings of Scotland on the grounds of his 
descent from the elder son of their common ancestor, Brute the 
Trojan, the matter was referred to the Papal Court, and the Scotch 
commissioner in Rome alleged that his sovereign traced his ancestry 
back to the Pharoahs through Heremon (son of Milesius and 
Scota), from whom, or from whose brother Heber, nearly all the 
Kings of Ireland and Scotland, including those of the House of 
Stuart, boasted descent. 

The story of Scota's Egyptian birth may, however, have easilv 

Ancient Ireland and Its Queens. 


grown out of another myth wherein Gadhelus, the eponymous 
ancestor of the Gaels or Milesians, figures as a contemporary of 
Moses and as the husband of "Scota," daughter of the Pharoah who 
was drowned in the Red Sea. 

Up to the eleventh century Ireland was called "Scotia," and 
"Scotia Major" up to even a later date, Scotland being known as 
''Scotia Minor ;" but there seems no satisfactory explanation of the 
similarity between the words Scota and Scotia, unless Scota, like 
Britannia, be an allegorical personage. 

In the "Dinseancus Mor," a topographical poem by a bard of 
the sixth century, and in another piece of verse ascribed to the 
eleventh we learn that Tara, which many authorities claim to have 
been the oldest royal residence in Europe of whose site we can be 
certain, was named after "Tea," the cousin and wife of Heremon. 
This princess, even before landing, obtained a promise from her 
lord that he would give her "her choice hill of Erinn," where every 
prince of her race should dwell forever. She chose Drum Cain, or 
the "beautiful hill," which, although only five hundred feet in 
height, commanded a view of nearly the whole limestone plain of 

According to the bardic tale Tea had a sepulchre prepared for 
herself outside the fortress modeled on the pattern of one of a Brit- 
ish Queen of Spanish birth, whose body was taken back to her 
native land for burial. Tea is supposed to have seen this tomb 
before coming to Ireland, and she marked out from memory with 
the pin of her brooch the proportions of a similar grave mound on 
Drum Cain. Hence the hill acquired the name of "Tea-mur," or 
Tea's mound, which through the Latinized form of the word became 
Tara. It seems a pity to spoil this pretty story by confessing that 
"Teamur" is really an archaic Gaelic term for a balcony or a place 
commanding a wide view. 

It is difficult to find even such legendary accounts of the consorts 
of the other more or less mythical Irish Kings who reigned before 
the Christian era. We read, however, that "Hugony the Great" 
married Ceasair, daughter to a King of the Gauls. The "Four 
Masters" state that Hugony ruled over the whole of Western 
Europe as far as "Muir Torrian," which means either the Mediter- 
ranean or the Tyrrhean Sea, and died A. M. 4606, that is about 

Ugony's great-grandson, "Lavra of the Ships," King of Ireland 
about B. C. 550, married Moriath, daughter of the King of West 
Munster, and the tale of their courtship, found in the "Yellow Book 
of Lecain," is full of that charm peculiar to the old Celtic composi- 
tions Larva's father and grandfather were treacherously slam by 

52 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

his uncle, ''Coffey the Slender," and he himself was so cruelly 
treated that he lost in early childhood the power of speech; but 
it returned to him suddenly one day after he had reached man's 
estate, whereupon his uncle, who had usurped the throne, en- 
deavored to drive him out of the country. But he only fled, accom- 
panied by his faithful harper, Craftine, into West Munster, where 
Scoriath, a petty sovereign, took them under his particular protec- 
tion. Now, Scoriath had a beautiful daughter, whose heart Lavra 
won, but he could find no opportunity to declare his love for her, 
as her parents never trusted her out of their sight. One evening, 
however, Craftine played so exquisitely on his harp that the King 
and Queen became fascinated and inadvertently withdrew their 
attention from the princess, whom Lavra hastily persuaded to follow 
him to a more retired spot. As soon as the lovers were out of 
hearing Craftine proceeded to lull the whole company to sleep by 
the power of music, nor suffered them to awake until his master 
and Lady Moriath had plighted their vows and reappeared in the 
hall. Nevertheless, the Queen's suspicions were soon aroused by 
the demeanor of her daughter, and presently the story of the ruse 
had to be confessed. At first Scoriath was infuriated, but quickly 
calmed down and bestowed the maiden's hand on the royal exile. 
Sihortly afterwards Lavra made a voyage to Gaul and induced his 
cousin, the King of that country, to supply him with a band of 2,200 
warriors, by whose aid he defeated and slew Coffey. These Gaulish 
troops were armed with broad-headed green spears called ''Leigh- 
lin," from which word the name of Leinster has been derived. 

At a period which the eleventh century annalist Tigernach (copies 
of whose works are in the Bodleian Library and the British Mu- 
seum) considered the beginning of authentic Irish history, "Macha 
of the Golden Tressses" reigned in Ireland. Although modern 
authorities regard her as a mythological personage, she figures in 
her romantic story, which is to be found in the "Book of Leinster" 
and other manuscripts, as a mortal Queen. Her father, Hugh the 
Red, was one of three Kings "who were upon Erin in co-sovereign- 
ty," and who made a compact whereby each should reign seven 
years in turn. This arrangement lasted for sixty-three years, when 
Hugh was accidentally drowned in the river Erne. The two other 
princes, Dithorba and Kimbay, considered now that the kingship 
lay between them, and refused to recognize the rights of Hugh's 
heiress on the grounds of her sex, whereupon Macha got together 
an army, vanquished and slew Dithorba and drove his sons into 
exile. She then made peace with Kimbay, who presently married 
her. Finding herself now securely seated on the throne, this ener- 
getic princess journeyed into Connaught to seek the banished off- 

Ancient Ireland and Its Queens. 53 

spring of her dead rival, and having discovered their retreat she 
enslaved them and made them build her a palace called Emania, 
from ''Eo-Muin/' a breastpin, for it was with such an implement she 
traced out the plan. 

The remains of this celebrated residence of the Ulster Kings cover 
a space of twelve acres close to Armagh City. It was called 
"Emania the Golden," in allusion to its magnificence, although the 
buildings must have been only of wood, since merely earthworks 
and ramparts and no traces of stonework have survived. It was 
destroyed in the fourth century of our era. Some of the annalists 
state that Macha flourished some four centuries before Christ, but 
the "Four Masters" date her reign three centuries earlier, and 
mention that she was foster-mother to Hugony the Great. 

About the tirqe that the Romans conquered Britain there reigned 
in Ulster a King Fachtna, who was wedded to a beautiful lady 
named Nessa, by whom he had a son called Conor. While Conor 
was still a child Fachtna died and the sovereignty of Ulster de- 
volved on a prince named Fergus MacRossa, probably because he 
was judged more fit to govern, having reached man's estate. This 
was quite in accordance with the ancient Irish laws of succession, 
v/hereby the fittest ruler among the late King's kinsfolk was con- 
sidered his rightful heir. 

Fergus sought Nessa in marriage, but she would accept his pro- 
posal only on condition that he would resign the throne for a year 
in favor of the fifteen-year-old Conor, so that the latter's children 
should be called ''the children of a King." Fergus agreed to do 
this, and Nessa at once set about winning over the principal chiefs 
to support her son. She also surrounded him with wise counsel- 
lors, and consequently the boy's administration of affairs gave such 
satisfaction that the Ultonians insisted on retaining him as their 
permanent monarch. He is the hero of many legends under the 
name of "Conor MacNessa." 

The most famous of all the Irish Queens was Maev of Con- 
naught, daughter of Achy the Sigher, King of Ireland, whom the 
eleventh century historian, "Flann of the Monastery," synchronized 
with Julius Csesar. This princess was first married to Conor Mac- 
Nessa, but, notwithstanding his mental and physical perfections, 
she soon left him to return to Tara. About the same time Achy's 
three sons fell in a rebellion against him. They had been assisted 
during the insurrection by the people of Connaught, and to reduce 
the province to submission the monarch set up his beautiful strong- 
minded daughter as Oueen of the West, providing her from among 
the native chiefs with a consort named Aillil. Maev was, however, 
soon left a widow, whereupon she journeyed in state to Naas, the 

54 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

residence of the King of Leinster, and selected her third husband, 
another Aillil, from among his sons. 

Most of Maev's history is embodied in "Tain-Bo-Cuailgne," "the 
IHad of Ireland," which was transcribed in the eleventh century, 
from yet older sources, into the ''Book of the Dun Cow." There 
is also a copy of the tale in the "Book of Leinster," and fragments 
of it can be found among various old manuscripts. The story of 
this "Cattle-spoil" runs as follows : Maev and Aillil disputed over 
the relative value of their possessions, and decided to hold a kind 
of exhibition of their jewelry, drinking vessels, robes and cattle. 
Their respective belongings were all judged to be equal in number 
and excellence until it was discovered that Aillil's herds included 
a young white-horned bull, which, although calved by one of the 
Queen's cows, "had not deemed it honorable to remain under a 
woman's control." 

Maev promptly proceeded to seek an animal to replace the "white- 
horned," and soon learned that a certain Ulster chief owned an 
equally fine beast, the "Tain-bo-cuailgne," or "Brown Bull of 
Cooley." But her embassy and request of the loan of the bull not 
being successful, she got together an army of 54,000 men to take 
it away by force. A body of exiled Ultonians and many troops 
from both Leinster and Munster came to Maev's assistance, and to 
each petty leader she secretly promised the hand of her only 
daughter. On arriving at the frontier of the Northern Kingdom 
the brave warrior Queen found herself opposed by Cuchulain, a 
celebrated hero and nephew to Conor MacNessa, but by vioalting 
the ancient Irish rules of chivalrous warfare she contrived to ravage 
the country up to the gates of Emania, and then, having already 
obtained possession of the dun bull, she began to retrace her steps. 

Up to this time the Ultonians had been suffering from a "debil- 
ity," the result of a curse, but now, awaking from their lethargy, 
they followed the invaders with a mighty force and fully avenged 
themselves in a terrible battle. Yet, notwithstanding the defeat 
inflicted upon her army, and despite the loss of her seven sons, Maev 
was filled with savage exultation over the humiliation she had 
brought upon Conor, her quondam lord. 

The "white-horned" and the "brown bull" likewise indulged in 
a combat on their own account, in which the latter was victorious, 
but in his frenzy he afterwards mistook a rock for a fresh opponent 
and dashed his brains out against it. 

Maev's palace was Cruachan or Rath Crogan, near the present 
town of Carrick-on-Shannon, and the remains of a fort can still be 
seen there. Close by is situated the burial place of several ancient 
monarchs and heroes. Maev is supposed to have reigned ninety- 

Ancient Ireland and Its Queens. 


eight years and to have been treacherously slain, at the age of one 
hundred and nineteen, by a son of Conor MacNessa. 

One of her sons, Ciar, is reputed to have obtained possession of 
a district in Munster, to which he gave his name, and it is still called 
"Ciarradthe," or Kerry. 

Modern research has proved the "Tain" to be a mythological 
tale and Maev to be the original fairy queen "Mab." Indeed, the 
Irish accounts make her, at best, but semi-human, and a mediaeval 
piece of Welsh literature, the "Mabinogion," which is really a col- 
lection of old Celtic legends, fully convinces us that she was a 
divinity and the two bulls merely forms taken by inimical mytho- 
logical personages. 

The beginning of the authentic Irish history is now reckoned 
from the accession of Toole the Legitimate, head-king of Ireland 
about A. D. 1 60. His father was killed during the insurrection 
known as the rising of the Attacotti, and he is said to have been a 
posthumous son, born at the court of his maternal grandfather, a 
King of Scotland. Perhaps he may have passed part of his early 
life in Britain, since the passage in Tacitus which refers to the 
proposed Roman invasion of Ireland mentions that Agricola had at 
one time with him an Irish prince expelled by faction from his own 
country. Toole was recalled to his rights at the age of twenty-five, 
and, acording to O 'Flaherty's "Ogygia," married Bania, daughter 
of the King of Finland. 

We read in the "History of the Boromean Tribute," one of the 
earliest examples of prose historical narrative, copies being in the 
"Book of Leinster" and the "Book of Lecain," that Toole had two 
daughters "more beautiful than the clouds of heaven." The 
younger, Dairine, was married to Achy Ainchiam, King of Lein- 
ster, but this monarch became persuaded in time that the elder, 
Fethir, would have been preferable as a consort, so he shut his wife 
up in a secret chamber of his palace at Naas, gave out she was 
dead and requested the hand of Fethir. As the law "against mar- 
riage with a deceased wife's sister" unfortunately did not then exist, 
Achy's courtship proved successful. But ere long Dairine escaped 
from her prison chamber and her sister met her face to face, where- 
upon the horror of their situation cost them their lives. 

When Toole received news of the tragedy he gathered together 
a great army and, assisted by the foster-fathers of the maidens, the 
Kings of Ulster and Connaught, he burnt and ravaged Lemster 
until Achy was forced to agree to a treaty whereby the sub-kingdom 
was bound to deliver over every three years to the head Kmg of 
Erin 5,000 cows, 5,000 sheep, 5,000 vessels of brass, etc. etc. inis 
called the "Boromean Tribute," from the large number of kme 


5^ American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

it included, and its payment laid the foundation of an enmity be- 
tween the supreme monarchs and the provincial Kings of Leinster, 
which culminated in the eleventh century in the invitation given 
by Dermot MacMorrogh, of Leinster, to the English to come and 
take possession of Ireland. 

Though the majority of ancient Irish Kings married com- 
patriots, a few made foreign alliances. Queen Alexandra is not 
the first Queen of Ireland of Danish nationality. The "Annals of 
Clonmacnoise" record that King "Lewy of the Red Circles" died 
of grief for his wife Devorgilla, daughter of a King of Lochlinn 
(Denmark). Bania, wife of Toole the Legitimate, is also some- 
times called a Danish princess, and her son, Felimy the Lawgiver, 
is also said to have espoused a daughter of the Danish royal line 
named Una, by whom he had the celebrated Conn of the Hundred 
Battles. Again, in the third century Cormac Cas (or "the Be- 
loved"), of Munster, took for his second wife Oriumd of Denmark, 
and they had a son who invaded his mother's country to seat his 
maternal uncles, Osna and Airid, on its throne, as we read in the 
"Psaltair of Cashel" and other records. The "Book of Munster" 
mentions that Cormac's first wife was the daughter of the giant 
Finn MacCoole and sister to the poet Ossian. 

In the second century Eugene the Great, of Munster, having 
been worsted in a struggle with Conn of the Hundred Battles for 
the crown of Ireland, fled to Spain, where he espoused Beara, or 
Momera, daughter of Heber, King of that portion of the peninsula 
which afterwards formed the Castilian Kingdom. With the help 
of one of the lady's brothers Eugene obtained the sovereignty of 
half Ireland, the boundary line being the ridge of low sand hills 
running from Dublin to Galway. Beara's name is yet borne by a 
district in Cork, from which a local chief adopted the designation 
of "O'Sullivan Beare." There is a curious tale still extant which 
minutely describes her courtship by the Irish prince. All the great 
families of the South of Ireland, such as the MacCarthys, O'Sulli- 
vans and O'Briens, claim descent from Beara's son, "Oilliol Oluim," 
whose Queen, Sabia, daughter of Conn of the Hundred Fights, 
bore him seven sons, one of whom was the already mentioned King 
Cormac. Sabia, who is called in an ancient poem "one of the six 
best women in the world," was married to a Munster prince before 
she became Oilliol's consort, and had a son named Lewy MacCon, 
a turbulent youth, who was banished from Munster. We read that 
he fled to Scotland and Britain, but after a time returned with a 
large company of warriors, who on landing were joined by a party 
of his Irish friends. In reality MacCon probably made his way 
to South Wales, where the Munstermen had important settlements, 

Ancient Ireland and Its Queens. 


and persuaded a body of men of his own race to enlist under his 
rebel standard. Art, King of Ireland, MacCon's uncle, his step- 
father, the King of Munster, and his seven half-brothers marched 
with an army against the invaders, but the latter were victorious in 
a battle near Galway, and Art, Oilliol and at least six of the young 
princes were slain. MacCon then assumed the crown of Erin, 
although its rightful owner was Cormac, the son of Art. 

When Cormac reached manhood he came incognito to Tara and 
chanced one day to be present while MacCon was sitting in judg- 
ment upon a poor widow whose sheep had strayed on to the 
Queen's private lawn and eaten some of the grass. The usurper 
declared the animals forfeit, whereupon young Cormac sprang up 
and contended that as the sheep had but injured the "fleece of the 
land," they ought merely to be deprived of their fleeces. 'That 
is the judgment of a King," cried MacCon, completely taken aback, 
and at the same moment recognizing the youth, he ordered him 
to be seized, but the prince managed to escape and fled out of the 
country. He appears to have subsequently fought in Britain and 
Gaul against the Romans. The "Four Masters," quoting Tigher- 
nach, say he obtained the sovereignty of Alba A. D. 240. It is 
believed that his fame and that of his father, Art, formed the basis 
of the Arthurian legends. 

In time the people wearied of MacCon's hard rule and insisted 
upon the recall of their rightful prince, who began a reign of great 
prosperity A. D. 254. The ancient historians and bards vie with 
one another in extolling Cormac's wisdom and learning and the 
magnificence of Tara in his time. 

There is a pretty story that he was pleased to play the part of 
"Cophetua," and, seeing a fair maiden cutting rushes by the way- 
side as he rode by, he sought her for his bride, but the maiden, 
who was named Ethnea, at first refused his attentions, as she did 
not wish to abandon her foster parents, a poor cow-herd and his 
wife. However, when the King promised to provide for them, she 
consented to accept the honor offered her, and became the mother 
of Cormac's heir, Carbery of the Liffey. Cormac MacArt had 
also, among other children, two celebrated daughters, one of whom, 
Ailbe, was regarded as the wisest lady of her time. Some poetry 
ascribed to her pen is still extant. She was wooed by the com- 
mander of the Fenian force (a kind of national militia), the cele- 
brated giant Finn MacCoole, who also sought her elder sister, 
Grace, in marriage. The latter, however, induced Dermot, another 
"Fenian," to elope with her, and the narrative of their wanderings 
have furnished both ancient and modern authors with a favorite 
literarv theme. A few years ago a dramatic piece by the Duke of 

58 American Catholic Quarterly Reviezv. 

Argyll, then Marquis of Lome, and Mr. Hamish McGunn, describ- 
ing the flight of "Diarmid" and "Grania" was produced in London. 
By the way, this Diarmid, or Dermott, is the eponym of the Mc- 
Callum Mor, and the boar's head which forms the Campbell crest 
is in allusion to the fable that the hero met his death by the tusk 
of an enchanted boar. Dermott's history bears a notable resem- 
blance to that of the Greek Adonis. Among the other Irish Kings 
who led the Picts and Scots against the Britons and Romans were 
"Niall of the Nine Hostages" (379-405) and his great nephew 
Dathi (405-428). 

Niall, the progenitor of the O'Neills and O'Donnells, was the 
son of Achy the "Cultivator" by a British or Saxon princess, 
Carinna of the Dark Hair. Some writers state that during one 
of Niall's foreign campaigns there fell into the hands of his soldiery 
a youth named Patrick, who in after years became the Apostle of 
the Irish. King Dathi broke through the walls of Severus and 
marched through Britain and Gaul on his way to Italy itself, as 
we read in the ''Book of Ballymote" and other records, but he was 
killed by lightning at the foot of the Alps. According to the "Book 
of Leinster," Dathi had wedded a lady named Ruadth. 

Perhaps no royal lady ever had so eventful and romantic a life 
as Gormlaith, daughter of Flann Siona, hereditary King of Meath 
and supreme monarch of the Irish Pentarchy. She was born rather 
over one thousand years ago, and in early youth was betrothed to 
King Cormac MacCullen of Munster, but he afterwards refused to 
complete the marriage contract, as he desired to enter Holy Orders. 
Then Gormlaith's hand was bestowed, against her will, upon Car- 
roll of Leinster. Some time afterwards both Carroll and Flann 
made war upon Cormac, who had become Archbishop of Cashel, 
and in a battle in Carlow the latter was slain and Carroll severely 
wounded. Gormlaith dutifully tended her husband, but one day 
when he was nearly recovered the death of her first betrothed be- 
came the subject of conversation, and she remonstrated with Carroll 
for exulting over the cruel mariner in which the holy man's body 
had been mutilated, whereupon her lord kicked her so rudely off 
the foot-rail of the bed, where she had been sitting, that she fell 
in an undignified manner before all her attendants. Filled with 
mortification, the Queen fled to her father, but Flann, having his 
hands full trying to keep the Danes in check, sent her back to her 
husband. However, her chivalrous young kinsman, "Niall Black 
Knee," of Ulster, constituted himself Gormlaith's champion, and 
though she objected to his using violence, he forced Carroll to 
agree to a separation, and shortly afterwards, when the Leinster 
monarch was slain by the Norseman, Gormlaith became the wife 

Ancient Ireland and Its Queens, 


of Niall, who in 916 succeeded Flann as supreme monarch. Three 
years later he, too, fell fighting the Danes. Gormlaith's brother 
was the next King, but in 942 the sceptre passed out of her family, 
and no provision having been made for her, she was driven to sub- 
sist upon alms for the remaining five years of her life. During her 
long last illness she wrote some curious poetry describing her 
romantic, albeit mournful, career. It is to be found in the "Book 
of Leinster," and there is also mention of Gormlaith in other manu- 
scripts, notably in the "Annals of Clonmacrioise" and in those of 
the "Four Masters." 

This "fair and virtuous" lady's history has not infrequently been 
somewhat confused with that of a notorious namesake of hers who 
lived a few years later and also possessed the "fatal gift of beauty." 
This second Gormlaith, a Leinster princess, was first married to 
"Olaf of the Sandal," who had at one time ruled Northumbria, but, 
being expelled thence, came to Ireland, where he succeeded before 
long to the Danish kingdom of Dublin, which included Man and 
the Isles. Before his alliance with Gormlaith this Scandinavian 
prince had been wedded to the widow of King Donnal of Ireland, 
and now Malachy II., her son by the first husband, made war on 
his step-father and inflicted on him such a severe defeat that Olaf, 
broken spirited, started on a pilgrimage to lona, whence he never 
returned. Gormlaith had borne her Danish lord a son named Sitric, 
who succeeded to the Kingship of Dublin, and now, when widowed, 
she espoused her dead husband's enemy, Malachy IL, he of whom 
Moore wrote that he "wore the collar of gold which he won from 
the proud invader." In time they, too, had a son, who was named 
Conor, but before very long Malaqhy found cause to repudiate 
Gormlaith, who probably then went to live with Sitric, while the 
Irish King took for his consort her step-daughter, Sitric's half 
sister, Malmaria. 

In addition to the Danish leaders, the great and good King 
Malachy had an important foe or rival in the King of Munster, the 
very celebrated "Brian Boru," who after some twenty years' warfare 
wrested from him in 1002 the supreme Kingship of Erin, which had 
for at least six centuries been vested in Malachy's race. 

A couple of years previous to this the Munster monarch had 
formed an alliance with Sitric of Dublin, to whom, in order to 
cement their friendship, he gave his only daughter in marriage, 
while he himself, we are told, wedded Sitric's mother. As we have, 
however, evidence that Brian had already had a son by Gormlaith, 
it is quite possible that he was merely reunited to her at this period. 
Be that as it may, Gormlaith would appear to have consented to 
marry Brian as a political expedient, since even the Norse Saga 

6o American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

notes that she was "grim" against him, and she s(X)n proved her- 
self his most dangerous enemy by inciting her brother, Maelmurra 
of Leinster, who was already more or less hostile to his over-lord, 
to rebel against him. Maelmurra sought as allies the Norsemen, 
who, being already established in Normandy arid having just seated 
a prince of their race on the English throne and made themselves 
masters of practically all the islands and part of the mainland of 
Scotland, desired nothing better than a chance of becoming para- 
mount in Ireland, where they had long possessed strong coast set- 
tlements. At this stage of affairs Gormlaith left Brian and went 
back to Sitric, who shortly afterwards promised secretly, but with 
her own consent, his mother's much-coveted hand, not only to 
Siguard, the great Earl of the Orkneys, but to two or three powerful 
vikings as well, as an additional inducement to them to come and 
fight against Brian. 

On Good Friday, 1014, there was fought close to Dublin the ter- 
rible Battle of Clontarf, between a mighty Danish force and their 
degenerate Leinster allies on the one side and Brian and Malachy, 
reinforced by troops led by the great Scotch lords, or "Marmoais" 
of Lennox and Mar on the other. The writer of the "Njala Saga," 
Marianus Scotus, and other chroniclers describe this desperate 
struggle, in which Brian Boru was victorious, although he did not 
survive the day. 

What was the eventual fate of Kormloda, as Brian's evil Queen 
is called in the "Saga," is not recorded. The Four Masters record 
her death under the entries of the year 1030. 

Donogh, son of Brian and Gormlaith, succeeded his father as 
King of Munster and also claimed the crown of Ireland. He mar- 
ried for his second wife Driella, daughter of Earl Godwin and sister 
to Edward the Confessor's Queen. During the rebellion of Godwin 
Harold came to Ireland and Donogh placed nine ships at his dis- 
posal, and after the battle of Hastings we find Harold's sons seeking 
a refuge with their Irish kinsfolk. 

During the period of increased disunion which prevailed in the 
country after the death of Brian, the O'Neills of Ulster, the 
O'Briens of Munster (the head of which family is now represented 
by Lord Inchiquin) and the O'Conors of Connaught contended 
with one another for the supreme crown of Ireland. Roderick 
O'Conor, who abdicated in 11 84, was the last Milesian King of all 
Ireland, although the provincial rulers remained monarchs, in name 
at least, until the reign of Elizabeth. 

Mrs. Gregory Stapleton. 

St. Paul, Minn. 

Burke on Religion and the Church. 6i 


SIR EDMUND BURKE says that man is a religious animal. 
When Wordsworth notes that Shakespeare's plays are not 
so much interested in or occupied with religion as men really 
are, he quickly gains our assent. Those who say they do not think 
of the matter do protest too much. The more irreligious an assem- 
bly pretends to be, the greater its excitement about religion. 
Burke's day saw that ; and we see the same. Religion touches on 
everything, our plain man Matthew Arnold said. '*It is indeed 
quite astonishing how we ever stumble on theology in all our politi- 
cal questions" — but the only astonishing thing in that remark is 
M. Proudhon's astonishment. Still his socialism knows how things 
stand and what men are. It, too, is a doctrine, a religion — that 
men are sinned against, not sinning; the fault is in our stars, not 
in ourselves. 

Burke's doctrine was the opposite, the Christian. He accepted 
an imperfect state, never to be wholly re-made in this world, full 
of evils which it is our duty to mitigate, though they cannot be alto- 
gether removed. The ideal for eye, ear and heart is to be reached, 
but not here. He would have happiness for all ; he thinks it a states- 
man's interest to make men happy. But how? "He is not de- 
prived of a due and anxious sensation of pity to the distresses of the 
miserable great." Even if we have what the world can give, yet 
"to the great the consolations of religion are necessary, . . . 
and its instructions. . . . Religious instruction is of more con- 
sequence to them than to any others ; from the greatness of tempta- 
tions to which they are exposed; from the important consequences 
that attend their faults; from the contagion of their ill example; 
from the necessity of bowing down the stubborn neck of their pride 
and ambition to the yoke of moderation and virtue ; from a consid- 
eration of the fat stupidity and gross ignorance concerning what 
imports men most to know, which prevail at courts, and at the 
head of armies, and in senates, as much as at the loom and in the 
field." Religion is a condition of lasting happiness— for all. 

In this matter Burke was consistent throughout. And again his 
words of self-criticism apply: "I believe if he could venture to 
value himself upon anything, it is on the virtue of consistency that 
he would value himself most. Strip him of that and you leave him 
naked indeed." 

As early as 1773, in a speech on a bill for the relief of Protestant 
dissenters, he had maintained what religion is in society. "The 
most horrid and cruel blow that can be offered to society is through 

62 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

atheism. Do not promote diversity; when you have it bear it; 
have as many sorts of religion as you find in your country; there 
is reasonable worship in them all. The others, the infidels, are 
outlaws of the constitution ; not of this country, but of the human 
race. . . . How shall I arm myself against them? By uniting 
all those in affection who are united in the great principle of the 
Godhead, that made and sustains the world. They who hold revela- 
tion give double assurance to the country. Even the man who 
does not hold revelation, yet who wishes that it were proved to him, 
who observes a pious silence with regard to it, such a man, though 
not a Christian, is governed by religious principles. Let him be 
tolerated in this country. Let it be but a serious religion, natural 
or revealed. Take what you can get ; cherish, blow up the slightest 
spark. One day it may be a pure and holy flame.^ By this pro- 
ceeding you form an alliance, offensive and defensive, against those 
great ministers of darkness in the world who are endeavoring to 
shake all the works of God established in order and beauty." 

There are but two attitudes of mind, Burke would say — the 
proud intellectual, or defiant, restless and dreaming of perfection on 
earth, or paralyzed morally, wholly disheartened by false principles 
that turn difficulty into doubt; and, on the other side, the accept- 
ance of our middle state, the submission, the wonder and awe, with 
reverence, the intellectual sanity, the welcoming of all truth, the 
acknowledging of difficulties impossible to answer, the trust, the 
act of faith as an effort of intellect and will. That is, he lives and 
moves by Catholic principles. 

"I confess I trust infinitely more (according to the sound princi- 
ples of those who have at any time meliorated the state of mankind) 
to the effect and influence of religion than to all the rest of the 
regulations put together." So when the churches were shut up in 
France, the people (he so expressed it) were hungering and thirst- 
ing for religion. And by educating without religion you neglect 
the chief means to the end proposed. Religion of all subjects is 
the most interesting to the statesman. And he calls "atheism the 
great political evil of our time." Guarding himself, he goes on: 
"I hope I need not apologize for this phrase, as if I thought religion 
nothing but policy. It is far from my thought, and I hope it is 
not to be inferred from my expressions. But in the light of policy 
alone I am considering the question." And he adds, as one might 
expect: "I speak of policy in a large light; in which large light 
policy, too, is a sacred thing. The State is to be looked on" with 

1 Burke fitted up a place of worship on his own property for some 
Brahmans who, being- in England, were exposed to coldness and contempt 
as to religion, and thus fearful or disheartened in practicing the only 
religion they knew or would live by. 

Burke on Religion and the Church. 63 

reverence, because it is not a partnership in things subservient only 
to the gross animal existence of a temporary and perishable nature 
It is a partnership in all science; a partnership in all art; a partner- 
ship in every virtue and in all perfection. As the ends of such a 
partnership cannot be obtained in many generations, it becomes a 
partnership not only between those who are living, but between 
those who are living, those who are dead and those who are to be 
born. Each contract of each particular State is but a clause in the 
great primaeval contract of eternal society." And: "An alliance 
between Church and State in a Christian commonwealth is, in my 
opinion, an idle and fanciful speculation. An alliance is between 
two things that are in their nature distinct and independent, such 
as between two sovereign States. But in a Christian common- 
wealth the Church and State are one and the same thing, being 
different integral parts of the same whole.^ We have consecrated 
the State. ... He who gave our nature to be perfected by 
our virtue willed also the necessary means of its perfection. He 
willed therefore the State ; He willed its connection with the source 
and original archetype of all perfection. They who are convinced 
of this His will, which is the law of laws and the sovereign of 
sovereigns, cannot think it reprehensible that this our corporate 
fealty and homage, that this our recognition of a seigniory para- 
mount, I had almost said this oblation of the State itself, as a 
worthy offering on the high altar of universal praise, should be 
performed, as all public and solemn acts are performed, in buildings, 
in decoration, in speech, in the dignity of persons, according to the 
customs of mankind, taught by their nature; that is, with modest 
splendor, with unassuming state, with mild majesty and sober pomp. 
For those purposes they think some part of the wealth of the 
country is as usefully employed as it can be in fomenting the luxury 
of individuals. It is the public ornament. It is the public consola- 
tion. It nourishes the public hope. The poorest man finds his 
importance and dignity in it, whilst the wealth and pride of indi- 
viduals at every moment makes the man of humble rank and fortune 
sensible of his inferiority and degrades and vilifies his condition. 
It is for the man in humble life, and to raise his nature, and to put 
him in mind of a state in which the privileges of opulence will 
cease, when he will be equal by nature and may be more than equal 
by virtue, that this portion of the general wealth of his country is 
employed and sanctified." 

The Church of the poor; the home of the poor; and this in- 
structor in lofty ideals, in art and its hidden, maybe unrecognized 
teachings, the devotion to something apart fr om the sphere of our 

2 Speech on the petition of the Unitarians. 

64 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

sorrow ; the ever present witness against our materialism, the super- 
natural, the incarnate as it were in our midst ; the champion of the 
oppressed ; the bold face towards the rich and powerful ; the maker 
of Christian marriage laws, the protector of women ; the equalizer, 
under whose civilization none feel degraded ; the institution whose 
Popes are, it may be, princes or sprung from the poor and the 
humble, whose priesthood and orders hide all distinctions and carry 
out the fraternity the cruel world raves about — who is this ? What 
is this ? With how much greater force Burke's words apply to her 
of whom Lecky writes: "That Church which often seemed so 
haughty and overbearing in its dealings with Kings and nobles 
never failed to listen to the poor and the oppressed ; and for many 
years their protection was the foremost of all the objects of its 
policy," than they apply to the product of the Reformation-triumph 
of Kings and nobles, of rack-renters and those who could be hence- 
forth at their will either employers or despoilers of the championless 
poor; that modern Church of England (Burke's Church), described 
in its origin even by Arnold of Rugby when he wrote: "Our 
Church has ever borne the marks of her birth, the child of regal 
and aristocratical selfishness arid tyranny." 

But Burke writes as the statesman, though he says he knows 
that religion must first be looked at otherwise. He found no time 
to bring his mind well to bear on this earlier aspect. And finding 
the noble and just men, past and present, who had settled into con- 
formity with the body that originated in' Macaulay's "political job," 
or who had given a being, by their piety and godly traditions, to 
what they would have shrunk from as an ill-looking spiritual non- 
entity at its inception, Burke therefore accepted what he found thus 
beautifully ennobled by its members' works ; just as he had accepted 
the Establishment in Scotland. It is as it was with the English 
Prayer Book, once so scorned by the Catholic English, but when 
forced upon them then accepted, and gradually gathering round its 
fragments the holy associations of personal devotion and the piety 
of those beloved, not without the traditions of the sacred dead, and 
the halo of a national institution. In a letter to his own much- 
loved son he writes : "I do not pretend to take pride in an extrava- 
gant attachment to any sect. Some gentlemen in Ireland afifect 
that sort of glory. It is to their taste. Their piety, I take for 
granted, justifies the fervor of their zeal, and may palliate the excess 
of it. Being myself no more than a common layman, commonly 
informed in controversies, leading only a very common life and 
having only a common citizen's interest in the Church or in the 
State, yet to you I will say, in justice to my own sentiments, that 
not one of those zealots for a Protestant interest wishes more sin- 

Burke on Religion and the Church. 


cerely than I do— perhaps not half so sincerely— for the support 
of the Established Church in both these realms. It is a great link 
towards holding fast the connection of religion with the State and 
for keeping these two islands, in their present critical independence 
of constitution,^ in a close connection of opinion and affection. I 
wish it well as the religion of the greater number of the primary 
landed proprietors of the kingdom, with whom all establishments 
of Church and State, for strong political reasons, ought, in my 
opinion, to be warmly connected. I wish it well because it is more 
closely combined than any other of the Church systems with the 
Crown, which is the stay of the mixed constitution, because it is, as 
things now stand, the sole connecting political principle between the 
constitutions of the two independent kingdoms. I have another, 
and infinitely a stronger reason for wishing it well — it is that in 
the present time I consider it as one of the main pillars of the 
Christian religion itself. The body and substance of any religion 
I regard much more than any of the forms and dogmas of the 
particular sects. Its fall would leave a great void which nothing 
else of which I can form any distinct idea would fill. I respect the 
Catholic hierarchy and the Presbyterian republic. But I know 
that the hope or the fear of establishing either of them is in these 
kingdoms equally chimerical, even if I preferred one or the other 
of them to the Establishment, which I certainly do not. I wish to 
see the Established Church of England great and powerful ; I wish 
to see her foundations laid low and deep, that she may crush the 
giant powers of rebellious darkness ; I would have her head raised 
up to heaven, to which she conducts us. I would have her open 
wide her hospitable gates by a noble and liberal comprehension; 
but I would have no breaches in her wall. I would have her cherish 
all those who are within and pity all those who are without; I 
would have her a common blessing to the world, an example, if 
not an instructor, to those who have not the happiness to belong 
to her ; I would have her give a lesson of peace to mankind, that a 
vexed and wandering generation might be taught to seek for repose 
and toleration in the maternal bosom of Christian charity, and not 
in the harlot lap of infidelity and indifference. Nothing has driven 
people more into that house of seduction than the mutual hatred of 
Christian congregations. Long may we enjoy our church under a 
learned and edifying episcopacy. But episcopacy may fail and 
religion exist. ... The cause of the Church of England is 
included in that of religion, not that of religion in the Church of 
England. I will stand up at all ti mes for the rights of conscience, 

» From 1782 to 1800 the only link between Great Britain and Ireland being 
the holding of the two crowns by the same prince. 

66 American Catho^k Quarterly Review. 

as it is such, not for its particular modes against its general princi- 
ples. One may be right, another mistaken; but if I have more 
strength than my brother, it shall be employed to support, not 
oppress his weakness ; if I have more light it shall be used to guide, 
not to dazzle him."* 

Newman almost echoes Burke, but with what a different inten- 
tion. It illustrates his own steady words : that I will not admit 
anything until I know what use you are going to make of what I 
say; and again, that most arguments are useless because men do 
not agree about the premises. As to the Church of England : *'For 
the first time I looked at it from without, and (as I should myself 
say) saw it as it was. Forthwith I could not get myself to see in it 
anything else than what I had so long fearfully suspected — a mere 
national institution. ... I recognize in the Anglican Church 
a time honored institution of noble historical memories, a monu- 
ment of ancient wisdom, a momentous arm of political strength, and 
to a certain point a witness and teacher of religious truth. "^ But, 
as indeed Burke had implied, if we place him with Newman at the 
supernatural and thence judge : "It has no traditions ; it cannot 
be said to think; it does not know what it holds and what it does 
not; it is not even conscious of its own existence. It has no love 
for its members, or what are sometimes called its children. . . . 
Its fruits, as far as they are good, are to be made much of as long 
as they last, for they are transient and without succession. Its 
former champions of orthodoxy are no earnest of orthodoxy now; 
they died, and there was no reason why they should be reproduced.® 
I have said all this not in declamation, but to bring out clearly why 
I cannot feel interest of any kind in the National Church nor put 
any trust in it at all from its past history, as if it were, in however 
narrow a sense, a guardian of orthodoxy. It is as little bound by 

* Speech on a bill for the relief of Protestant dissenters. 

5 "Apologia," p. 339. 

« At any time since Newman wrote one may hear words — are they pathetic 
or only plaintive; or are they proved a little silly? — such as these from a 
tormented ritualist: "Surely what is necessary is a real collective episcopal pro- 
nouncement on the doctrine of the Church of England. . . . We do not want 
the opinions of individual Bishops, because it is notorious that they are not 
agreed amongst themselves, and that the opinion of the Bishop in no wise 
binds the successor in his see. We cannot keep on changing our religion 
to satisfy the variant views of an unlimited number of infallible Isic'l 
Popes." (The Rev. H. Evans, Church Times, Nov. 14, 1902.) The poor man 
would also echo a ritualist brother's cry: "I am heartsick and weary of 
having part or lot with the inheritance of those bold, bad men, the 
reformers, and of dwelling in the tents of the English Establishment." But 
the first quoted writer has done more since that note was taken, as he has 
left off wailing at self-imposed tortures and has come to his realities of 
Rome and is now a priest. But others, in the weekly Church Times, still 
echo his old self, woefully. 

Burke on Religion and the Church. 67 

what it said or did formerly as this morning's newspaper by its 
former numbers, except as it is bound by the law. ... As the 
nation changes its political, so it may change its religious views." 

To a typical English churchman that is, I think, no unreasonable 
relation between a nation and its religion. I remember hearing 
Mr. Gladstone make a speech, pleading for the religious life of the 
Church as something independent of connection with state or 
nation ; and, incidentally (in the presence, by the way, of the present 
Protestant Primate of all Ireland, then disestablished Bishop of 
Derry), the author of the Irish Church Disestablishment Act spoke 
of the advantages of a free life for the Church. Full of religious 
enthusiasm the speaker seemed to be. However, all the effect the 
eloquence had on an ex-Governor from Australia was that this 
gallant Imperialist made a speech, agreeing, he said, with Mr. Glad- 
stone that the English Church was, indeed, to be cherished as a 
link that bound the colonies to the mother country. If I did not 
misunderstand Bishop Wescott of Durham, neither did he seem 
to follow Mr. Gladstone in his flight to that upper region, where 
Manning and Hope Scott had wondered, as they longed, whether 
Gladstone would not maintain himself. But indeed even good 
Roman Catholics are sound only materially when they quote from 
the "Idea of a University" Newman's description of a perfect gen- 
tleman of the world and dwell on it as the highest state a Christian 
can be supposed to reach, while the author wrote it to show how 
grateful, noble and just can be that man who is a pagan. 

So true is it that most of us need daily reminders that God's 
ways are not our ways ; that things are not what they seem ; that 
natural goodness is beautiful and as often hollow and insincere, 
deceiving and deceived. Things are what they are. Therefore 
the Puritan did not feign at all, nor the cynic, when they told these 
home truths, though in their proud or uncharitable fashion. And 
therefore even their philosophy or religion is more interesting than 
any sentimental or inspiring appeals to the shifting notions that 
our family or friends or nation may happen to have. A national 
religion is of all the least interesting to poet, philosopher, saint or 

Burke has, indeed, indicated a preference in matters of religion. 
And he does go one step anyway, as we have seen, behind legisla- 
tive establishment, while, as he said before, generally treatnig 
religion as a statesman's affair. He does say : "Legislative author- 
ity cannot be the ground of religious persuasion. . . • Re- 
ligion, to have any force on men's understandings— indeed, to exist 
at all— must be supposed paramount to laws and independent for its 
substance on any human institution. . . . Religion is not be- 

68 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

lieved because the laws have estabHshed it; but it is established 
because the leading part of the community have previously believed 
it to be true. To claim religious assent on mere human authority is 
absurd and preposterous.'' That places him with Newman on the 
road to the Church, though he stopped by the way. 

Let us bear those words of his in mind and his exact old-fashioned 
use of the last adjective. 

What, then, in Burke's mind, is the Church ? We have seen that 
he speaks of the truth of religious teaching as something ante- 
cedent to its estabHshment. But as for forms of Christianity, 
though he considered that there were better and worse, yet once you 
had Christianity, then came the nation; and while your difference 
in religion did not suffice to cut you off from other members of the 
Christian commonwealth, it at the same time gave you within the 
borders of your own state (also a sacred entity) a form of the 
religion to which all within that nation might well bow. And so 
Church establishments, even if made by states, as the Whig doc- 
trine seems to imply, were yet sacred, because life was sacred, 
because the nation was sacred, because Christianity in general was 
the truth, and State and Church were really one. If that was Whig- 
ism, it was Whigism lifted out of its commonplace, glorified by 
imagination and made beautiful by reverence. It might even satisfy 
a Tory of old, unless he were already a High churchman in a more 
modern sense. 

Burke could not, indeed, make light in one sense of differences 
between Christians: *T shall never call any religious opinions 
which appear important to serious and pious minds things of no 
consideration. Nothing is so fatal to religion as indifference, which 
is at least half infidelity." It is the helplessness or madness of 
atheism, implying a state of moral being as well as of speculative 
intelligence, a total inversion of the true kingdom of man within. 
That is what Burke was always considering — as statesman, and also 
as individual responsible man, as Englishman, husband, father, 
friend. "What is Jacobinism? It is an attempt (hitherto but too 
successful) to eradicate prejudice out of the minds of men for the 
purpose of putting all power and authority into the hands of persons 
capable of occasionally enlightening the minds of the people. 
. . . As the grand prejudice, and that which holds all the other 
prejudices together, the first, last and middle object of their hos- 
tility is religion. With that they are at inexpiable war. They 
make no distinction of sects. A Christian as such is to them their 
enemy. What, then, is left to a real Christian (Christian as a be- 
liever and as a statesman) but to make a league between all the 
grand divisions of that name; to protect and to cherish them all, 

Burke on Religion and the Church. 


and by no means to proscribe in any manner, more or less, any 
member of our common party? The divisions which formerly pre- 
vailed in the Church, with all their overdone zeal, only purified and 
ventilated our common faith, because there was no common enemy 
arrayed and embattled to take advantage of their discussions ; but 
now nothing but inevitable ruin will be the consequence of our 
quarrels. ... All the principal religions in Europe stand upon 
one common bottom. The support that the whole or the favored 
parts may have in the secret dispensations of Providence it is im- 
possible to tell; but, humanly speaking, they are all prescriptive 
religions. They have all stood long enough to make prescription 
and its chain of legitimate prejudices their mainstay. The people 
who compose the four grand divisions of Christianity have now 
their religion as a habit, and upon authority, and not on disputa- 
tion — as all men who have their religion derived from their parents, 
and the fruits of education, must have it, however the one, more 
than the other, may be able to reconcile his faith to his own reason, 
or that of other men. Depend upon it, they must be all supported 
or they must all fall in the crash of a common ruin. The Catholics 
are the far more numerous part of the Christians in your country 
[Ireland], and how can Christianity (that is now the point in issue) 
be supported under the persecution, or even under the discounte- 
nance of the greater number of Christians? It is a great truth, 
and which in one of the debates I stated as strongly as I could to 
the House of Commons in the last session,^ that if the Catholic 
religion is destroyed by the infidels, it is a most contemptible and 
absurd idea that this or any Protestant Church can survive that 
event. Therefore my humble and decided opinion is that all the 
three religions, prevalent more or less in various parts of these 
islands, ought all, insubordination to the legal establishments as 
they stand in the several countries, to be all countenanced, pro- 
tected and cherished, and that in Ireland particularly the Roman 
Catholic religion should be upheld in high respect and veneration, 
and should be, in its place, provided with all the means of making 
it a blessing to the people who profess it ; that it ought to be cher- 
ished as a good (though not as the most preferable good, if a choice 
was now to be made), and not tolerated as an inevitable evil."' 
"The Protestant Church's religion, which the King' is bound to 
maintain, has a positive part in it as well as a negative; and the 
positive part of it (in which we are in perfect agreement with the 
Catholics and with the Church of Scotland) is infinitely the most 
valuable and essentiaL;;^__CathoHcs^'me^^ 

7 1794; during the Reign of Terror in France. 

8 Letter to William Smith, 1795. 

9 Letter to Sir Hercules Langrishe, 1(9^. 

70 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

every iota in every one positive doctrine which all of us who profess 
the religion authoritatively [sic] taught in England hold ourselves, 
according to our faculties, bound to believe. The Catholics have 
the whole of our positive religion ; our difference is only a negation 
of certain tenets of theirs. If we strip ourselves of that part of 
Catholicism we abjure Christianity." 

It is evident that there are two men here in Burke. He would, 
I take it, readily assent to Newman's basis of self-evident truths : 
the existence of God and his own existence. He would meet unbe- 
lief on another basis also, and would assert the absolute in morals. 
He might refuse to argue here, but refuse intellectually, seeing that 
there is an impossibility in utter negation, or agnosticism, as now 
he might be forced to say. Action is necessary, and man acting, 
immediately distinguishes, rejects, prefers, and reflecting on his 
action asks why he so acts and sees in the answer he must give the 
foundation of belief, even in the instinctive choice which by the 
constitution of our nature we find that we make. 

If, then, there is a distinction between right and wrong, between 
objective falsehood and truth, there does yet remain a difficulty in 
facing varying religions and their claims, but only the difficulty 
already met and faced, the existence of evil. Having come up to 
Christianity, to suggest, then, that the rival claims of doctrines 
taught must be disregarded, seeing that Christianity in general is 
true, this is really to cast the mind down again to the denial of 
objective truth or right — that impossible state from which, as Burke 
agrees, the facts of our existence drive us upward. He spoke as 
a statesman, he spoke as an opportunist, in his own humane and 
noble sense, and then as a conservative, as a lover of order, in dread 
of disturbing men's beliefs and basis of action, as a philosopher who 
knew so much of men's weakness, of their thoughtlessness, their 
good instincts, their dangerous passions, their ready yielding to 
wickedness freely taught. But, as Aubrey de Vere says of Bacon, 
whenever the question of authority in religion was posed, as between 
Catholics and Protestants — shall we now say Rationalists? — he put 
it by. And yet here we are face to face with the question. What 
is our answer? 

Burke lays firm a groundwork for the Theist, for the Christian. 
Religion he finds the great fact, the most real part of man's nature ; 
revelation is neither impossible nor unlikely ; the burden of proof 
is on the denier of that to which the best that is in man has borne 
testimony, from within and from without. Then there is an appeal 
made by the earliest Christian witnesses to facts. And of all men 
Burke must feel the full force of what the Church means by tradi- 
tion in its organic life. And so, further, as reason within its limits 

Burke on Religion and the Church. 71 

works its way, he would be the first to look up for the ray of grace 
by which faith (as one may put it)— reason further enlightened- 
makes acts of holy confidence. The Christian religion comes by 
authority, received by us more passively now, or less. Burke's 
statesman's fear of questioning the basis of things took possession 
of him, having said so much ; and where he had reached the less 
difficult part of the problem these discussions between Christians 
became to him puzzlings in things hidden. Yet they are far less 
of a puzzle than his own disputes with the atheists. As he said, 
''with reverence"— in words almost identical in spirit with Cardinal 
Newman's — ''the truths of Christianity are not so evident as are 
some of men's mutual duties to one another."^<^ It is otherwise 
evident that you must have authority to witness to Scripture, and 
that Protestantism as such is neither witness nor teacher. Not to 
see this is ridiculous, Burke himself declares in words quoted further 
on. But "straightway he forgetteth." "He who has seen a ghost 
cannot be as if he had never seen it." But perhaps Burke never 
saw the "wafture of the hand," nor understood the beckoning if he 
saw. As I have just said, he has indeed admitted this and has here 
condemned himself. 

Religion is authoritatively taught in England, he maintains — the 
established religion. So it was before this present religion of the 
country came into existence. So it is in the Scottish established 
religion. The old and the new differ in what it is vain to call trifles, 

10 However, compare Butler's "Analog-y," end of Part II., chap. vi. The 
state of religion implies state of probation. Credibility of a state of proba- 
tion admitted, then there is no peculiar difficulty in supposing it to be just 
as it is. 

The objections of the spirit of the revolution are really objections to the 
facts of existence. You cannot escape from this middle state. The objec- 
tions might lead you to a nothingness, as Butler says. But that being 
impossible, you are started again (1) by facts without, (2) by facts within^ 
and thus you must admit distinctions, and admit "difficulties, not doubts." 
"The evidence upon which we must act, if we will live and act at all. Is 
perpetually doubtful to a very high degree." Newman's tribute to Butler 
is well known. But his early guide did not act as consistently as the 
disciple who "believed in a God on a ground of probability . . . believed 
In Cbiristianity on a probability . . . and believed in Catholicism on a 
probabilitp"— the last act of faith the easiest, the most imperative, as nearly 
all men judge who think well on it. There are: "Les tenfibres meme, si je 
I'ose dire, et les saintes obscurites de la foi." But. in Newman's words in 
the "Apologia:" "Absolute certitude we are able to possess ... 
whether as to the moral truths of natural theology or as to the facts of a 
revelation . . . [as] the result of an assemblage of concurring and con- 
verging probabilities . . . which did not reach to logical cerUinty 
[but] might suffice for a mental certitude. He who has made us has so 
willed . . . He cooperates with us . . • ^"^ ^^^^^^^f f ^f "' 
to do that which he wills us to, do. and carries us on. if -^ J^" f ^^ 'a 
coooperate with His. to a certitude which rises higher than the logical 
force of our conclusions." 

72 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

if so be that Burke's own devout acceptance of revealed religion be 
a rational act at all. Nor is it less vain trifling to doubt for a 
moment that Burke's place would have been with Fisher and More. 
And yet in things of eternity they all stand or all fall together. Here 
is no time, but a thousand years are as one day. 

Again, he did question Protestantism. By whose authority? 
Who made thee a judge of these Scriptures? For, as his subse- 
quently quoted words but fairly state, they can be known to be 
what you say only by divine authority. He has asked that fatal 
question, fatal to him who cannot be a rationalist, who dares not 
be a Catholic or whose eyes are holden. He must give up further 
inquiry as puzzling; he must turn to his work in the world, it may 
be, with an honest and true heart. No wonder that a rumor grew 
up that Burke, thus at the threshold of the consistency of the 
Church, had taken the hand of his priest friend, Dr. Hussey, presi- 
dent of Maynooth, and had entered in. But doubtless he followed 
not the path to the Holy Doors, or else they were hid from his eyes. 
"Thou knowest not now ; thou shalt know hereafter." 

He frequently seems angered at the use of the word "Protestant ;" 
not theologically, but because he was pleading with those who used 
it to justify or gratify themselves in persecution, arid also because 
of its negative force. So he greatly disliked the use of the word 
"non-Catholicism" — in a toleration act in France in 1787 — as if it 
meant to shelter all or any impiety. In a letter to his son (178-) 
he speaks against the new word Protestant ascendency in Ireland, 
the which in plain old English signified, he declared, pride and 
dominion on one part of the relation, and on the other subserviency 
and contempt. "By the use of this term the name Protestant be- 
comes nothing more or better than the name of a persecuting 
faction, with a relation of some sort of hostility to others ;" and, 
continuing, he expresses a certain irritation seemingly against the 
word at all as being a negation — ^"but without any sort of ascer- 
tained tenets of its own upon the ground of which it persecutes 
other men; for the patrons of this Protestant ascendency neither 
do, nor can by anything positive, define or describe what they mean 
by the word Protestant. It is defined as Cowley defines wit, not 
by what it is, but by what it is not. It is not the Christian religion 
as professed in the churches holding communion with Rome — the 
majority of Christians ; that is all."^^ He goes on to say that this 

11 "We sometimes hear of a Protestant religion, frequently of a Protestant 
interest. We hear of the latter the most frequently, because it has a posi- 
tive meaning-. The other has none." In the "Reflections" (1790), however, 
are the words, expressing his ideal: "Violently condemning- neither the 
Greek, nor the Armenian, nor, since the heats are subsided, the Roman 
system of religion, we prefer the Protestant; not because we think it has 
less of the Christian religion in it, but because, in our judgment, it has 
more. We are Protestants not from indifference, but from zeal." 

Burke on Religion and the Church. 73 

negative attitude makes their persecution worse than that of the 
old persecutors, strong dogmatists. And still more eagerly he says 
this of the Jacobins who would go as far as the enforcing of no 
religion, or at least as the patronizing of such a state. But, "This 
much, my dear son, I have to say of this Protestant persecution in 
Ireland, that it is a persecution of religion itself." And, scoffing 
at this "junto" of ascendency in Ireland, he wrote in the "Regicide 
Peace" (Letter iv.) that when the anti-Christian republic sends its 
ambassador to London "we shall then have a French ambassador 
without a suspicion of popery. One good it will have: it will go 
some way in quieting the minds of that synod of zealous Protestant 
lay elders who govern Ireland on the pacifick principles of polemick 
theology, and who now, from dread of the pope, cannot take a cool 
bottle of claret or enjoy an innocent parliamentary job with any 
tolerable quiet." So in the last year of his life: "Without in the 
least derogating from the talents of your theological politicians, or 
from the military abilities of your commanders (who act on the same 
principles) in Ireland," he says that for attacks on the Pope and all 
his adherents, they may think themselves inferior to "the Protestant 
Directory of Paris as statesmen and the Protestant hero Bonaparte 
as a general, . . . and to that true Protestant Hoche, with an 
army not infected with the slightest tincture of popery."^^ "I ought 
to suppose that the arrival of General Hoche is eagerly expected 
in Ireland; for he, too, is a most zealous Protestant, and he has 
given proof of it by the studied cruelties and insults by which he 
put to death the old Bishop of Dol [in Bretagne], whom (but from 
the mortal fear I am in lest the suspicion of popery should attach 
upon me) I should call a glorious martyr, and should class him 
amongst the most venerable prelates that have appeared in this 
century. It is to be feared, however, that the zealots will be disap- 
pointed in their pious hopes by the season of the year and the bad 
condition of the Jacobin navy, which may keep him this winter 
from giving his brother Protestants his kind assistance in accom- 
plishing with you what the other friend of the cause, Bonaparte, 
is doing in Italy; and what the masters of these two pious men, 
the Protestant Directory of France, have so thoroughly accom- 
plished in that, the most Popish, but unluckily whilst Popish, the 
most cultivated, the most populous and the most flourishing of all 
countries — the Austrian Netherlands."^^ 

Burke was evidently angry enough when he wrote thus. His 
scorn was reserved, however, for what he thought at bottom an 
irreligious persecution, excited by interes t rather than religion. 

12 A letter on the affairs of Ireland. 

13 A letter to the Rev. Dr. Hussey, 1796. 

74 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

And about different religions as such he was serious, in his way. 
But, as we have seen, he would not concern himself deeply with 
the differences between Christians. At least: "I do not wish any 
man to be converted from his sect. The distinctions . . . may 
be even useful to the cause of religion. By some moderate con- 
tention they keep alive zeal."^* 'Whereas, people who change, 
except under strong conviction (a thing now rare. No converts 
will now be made in considerable numbers from one of our sects 
to the other upon a really religious principle. Controversy moves 
in another direction.), the religion of their early prejudices, espe- 
cially if the conversion is brought about by any political machine, 
are very apt to degenerate into indifference, laxity and often down- 
right atheism. "^^ 

Burke would not put country above some form of religion, some 
form of Christianity even. But, once you had that, you observed 
"with some concern that there are many whose minds are so formed 
that they find the communion of religion to be a close and endear- 
ing tie, and their country no bond at all." And they are led so 
far by these sympathies in religion that the nature of essential 
justice for them seems changed, acording as the men concerned are 
Catholics or Protestants. He is appealing to Protestants in Eng- 
land to have sympathy with English and Irish Catholics, as they 
have with Protestants in France. "This hunting after foreign affec- 
tions is a disarrangement of the whole system of our duties. This 
no one would help observing who has seen our doors bountifully 
thrown open to foreign sufferers for conscience,^® whilst through 
the same ports were issuing fugitives of our own, driven from their 
country for a cause which to an indifferent [impartial] person 
would seem exactly similar."^^ 

What, in his mind, was that national form of English religion to 
which he seemed sincerely attached? 

If you alter her symbols you do not destroy the being of the 
Church of England. "The Church, like every body corporate, may 
alter her laws without changing her identity. As an independent 
church, proposing fallibility, she has claimed a right of acting with- 
out the consent of any other; as a Church she claims, and has 
always exercised" — "the national Church of my own country ;" "an- 
other Church, "^^ he terms it, from the one plundered by Henry 
VIII.^ — "a right of reforming whatever appeared amiss in her doc- 

14 Remarks on the policy of the Allies, 1793. 

15 Letter to Sir Hercules Lang-rishe, 1795. 

16 Some eight thousand Catholic priests had been hospitably received in 
England when in danger of their lives in France. 

17 Tracts on the Popery laws. 

18 Letter to a noble lord. 

Burke on Religion and the Church. 75 

trines, her discipline or her rites." He instances rejection of papal 
supremacy under Henry VHL, thinking of that "other Church " 
also, in Its national aspect/^ and then twice changing the liturgy 
under Edward VL; establishing "articles which were themselves a 
variation from her former profession;" reducing 42 articles to 39; 
"and she certainly would not lose her identity nor subvert her funda- 
mental principles, though she were to leave ten of the 39 which 
remain out of any future confession of her faith." Perhaps he 
seems half to wish that were to do; for he says that though "I will 
not enter into the abstract merit of our articles or liturgy, yet per- 
haps there are some things in them which one would wish had not 
been there. They are not without the marks and characters of 
human frailty." Following history, he says to Parliament— urging 
members not to alter the liturgy without due cause, but riot think- 
ing of denying their competency now, as in the past, and not 
doubting that he would accept alterations— "you altered the liturgy 
for the Directory. ... At the restoration, both sides rejected 
the Directory and reformed the Common Prayer. . . . Two 
thousand clergy resigned their livings in one day rather than read 
it; and truly, rather than raise that second idol, I should have ad- 
hered to the Directory as I now adhere to the Common Prayer. 
. . . I have an high opinion of the doctrines of the Church. I 
receive them implicitly, or I put my own explanation on them, or 
take that which seems to me to come best recorrimended by author- 
ity [sic] .... Some persons think more rigidly of the doctrine 
of the articles relative to predestination than others do. They sign 
the article relative to it ex animo, and literally. Others allow a 
latitude of construction. . . . These two parties are in the 
church, yet we live quietly under the same roof. I do not see why, 
as long as Providence gives us no further light into this great mys- 
tery, we should not leave things as the Divine Wisdom has left 
them. . . . Instead of puzzling ourselves in the depth of the 
Divine counsels, let us turn to the mild morality of the Gospel." 
. . . But, "point your arms against men who, not contented with 
endeavoring to turn your eyes from the blaze and effulgence of light, 
by which life and immortality is so gloriously demonstrated by the 
Gospel, would even extinguish that faint glimmering of nature, that 
only comfort supplied to ignorant man before this great illumina- 
tion—them who, by attacking even the possibility of all Revelation, 
arraign all the dispensations of Providence to man."-" 

19 *'But you ought to think your conscience erroneous when you have 
against you the whole council of the nation." And the martyr, Sir Thomas 
More, answered: "I should if I had not for me a still greater council, the 
whole council of Christendom." ,. . , p 

20 Speeches on the Act of Uniformity and the bill for the relief or fvo 
testant dissenters. 

76 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

It is like the good folks who complain of the Church formulating 
a Creed of Pope Pius, or those who are sorry she amplified the 
Nicene into the Athanasian, or like J eremy Taylor, who would have 
her content with that called the Apostles'. Well, it may not be 
the duty of every one to think a matter out, or seeing he may not 

The question of religious Toleration is treated by Burke in three 
speeches : 

1772. On the Act of Uniformity; on the petition of some clergy- 
men, lawyers and doctors to be relieved from subscription to the 39 

1773. On a bill for the Relief of Protestant Dissenters. 

1792. On the petition of the Unitarians to repeal the test acts. 

*Tf there was anything to which, from reason, nature, habit and 
principle, I am totally averse, it is persecution for conscientious 
difference of opinion." This, we might suppose, Burke would say, 
and this he does say in the speech on the Act of Uniformity. But 
he rejects the petition. He says there are only a few petitioners. 
Shall we for them change the constitution established in Church 
and State and alter our Hturgy and articles ? "Dissent, not satisfied 
with toleration is not conscience, but ambition." Let them go out- 
side the establishment and be perpetually free. We have peace; 
let us keep it. They say that subscription usurps the rights of 
Providence. Yet if we have a religion publicly practised and pub- 
licly taug^ht, we must have a power to say what that religion will 
be, and to distinguish it by such marks and characteristics as you 
in your wisdom shall think fit. Sensible of the force of these argu- 
ments, they answer that they admit of our subscription, that is, to 
Scripture. 'T shall not consider how forcibly this argument mili- 
tates with their whole principle against subscription as an usurpa- 
tion against the right of Providence. I content myself with sub- 
mitting to the consideration of the House that if that rule were 
once established it must have some authority to enforce obedience, 
because you well know a law without a sanction will be ridiculous. 
. . . They dispute only the extent of the subscription; they 
therefore tacitly admit the equity of the principle itself. Here they 
do not resort to the original rights of nature, because it is manifest 
that those rights give as large a power of controverting every part 
of Scripture, or even the authority of the whole, as they do the 
controverting of any article whatsoever. When a man requires for 
you to sign an assent to Scripture he requires of you to assent to a 
doctrine as contrary to your natural understanding and to your 
rights of free inquiry as those who require your conformity to any 
one article v/hatsover. The subscription to Scripture is the most 

Burke on Religion and the Church. 77 

astonishing idea I ever heard, and will amount to just nothing at 
all Gentlemen have not, that I heard, ever thought of answering 
a plam obvious question-What is Scripture to which they are con- 
tent to subscribe? They do not think that a book becomes of 
divme authority because it is bound in blue morocco. The Bible 
IS a vast collection of different treatises— no one summary of doc- 
trines m which a man could not mistake his way; . . . a man 
who holds the divine authority of one treatise may consider the 
other as merely human. What is his canon? The Jewish— St. 
Jerome's— that of the 39 articles— Luther's? . . . To ascertain 
Scripture you must have one article more, and you must define 
what that Scripture is which you mean to teach. ... It is 
necessary to sort out what is intended for example, what only as 
narrative, what is to be understood literally, what figuratively, 
what is temporary, and what of perpetual obligation, what appro- 
priated to one state and to one set of men and what the general 
duty of Christians. If we do not get some security for this, we not 
only permit, but we actually pay for all the dangerous fanaticism 
which can be produced to corrupt our people and to derange the 
public worship of the country.''^! So he refused to grant the peti- 
tion that asked for change within the Established Church, on 
grounds illogical and practically disturbing. 

And so of religious toleration. Yield all you can. And it is 
possible to yield much. If I thought toleration to be against the 
interests of Christianity, I might be for intolerance. "God forbid ! 
I may be mistaken, but I take toleration to be a part of religion. 
I do not know which I would sacrifice. I would keep them both ; 
it is not necessary I should sacrifice either." By intolerance you 
reach the conscientious ; you let go free those with weaker con- 
sciences, or none. I consider this doctrine of toleration the best 
part of Christianity." "And I will not," as some ask me, "give 
heathens the glory" of it. Their tolerating spirit has been praised. 
However, "heathens, polytheists must permit a number of divini- 
ties. . . . But was it ever heard that polytheism tolerated a 
dissent from a polytheistic establishment, the belief of one God 
only? They tolerated also Epicureans, who "made it a principle 
of their irreligion outwardly to conform to any religion." . . . 
Now, "I do not like the idea of tolerating the doctrines of Epicurus, 
but nothing in the worid propagates them so much as the oppres- 
sion of the poor, of the honest and the candid disciples of the 

21 "If we do not get some security." Much virtue in if. What good 
security is there but the one? "People should not marvel that I hold to 
the interpretation of the Church in explaining the Holy Scriptures, for it 
is her authority that makes me accept those same Scriptures and which 
induces me to believe them," (Erasmus to Ribaldus, 1527.) 

78 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

religion we posses in common, I mean revealed religion. . . . 
My opinion is that in establishing the Christian religion wherever 
you find it ... a man is much better justified in [thus] saying, 
Tolerate all kinds of consciences, than in imitating the heathens 
. . . in tolerating those who have none."^^ He maintains, 
therefore, that the dissenters outside have a right to toleration. 
They do not ask to teach what they like within the established order. 
They say: "Tolerate us — we desire neither the parochial advant- 
ages of tithes, nor dignities, nor the stalls of your cathedrals." 

Twenty years later he resisted the petition of the Unitarians for 
repeal of the test acts, not only because he thought they were a new, 
until then unheard of society of persons, not yet having prescriptive 
rights to be heard, but also because he thought the petition to be 
really an effort of the faction desirous of subverting the English 
Constitution, after the manner of recent doings in France. The 
first duty of statesmen is to ask what are the circumstances. When 
he spoke of toleration and the Revolution he said : "We hear these 
new teachers continually boasting of their spirit of toleration. That 
those persons should tolerate all opinions who think none to be of 
estimation, is a matter of small merit. Equal neglect is not impartial 
kindness. The species of benevolence which arises from contempt 
is no true charity. There are in England abundance of men who 
tolerate in the true spirit of toleration. They think the dogmas of 
religion, though in different degrees, are all of moment, and that 
amongst them there is, as amongst all things of value, a just ground 
of preference. They favor, therefore, and they tolerate. They 
tolerate not because they despise opinions, but because they expect 
justice. They would reverently and affectionately protect all 
religions, because they love and venerate the great principle upon 
which they all agree, and the great object to which they are all 
directed. They begin more and more plainly to discern that we 
have all a common cause as against a common enemy. It is im- 
possible for me to say what may be the character of every descrip- 
tion of men amongst us. But I speak for the greater part ; and for 
them I must tell you that sacrilege is no part of their doctrine of 
good works."^^ 

22 Speech on the petition of the dissenters, 1773. 

23 What would Burke not have felt and said in his heart had he lived 
through the sacrilege of the "great pillage?" Think of him as he saw 
"missals chopped in pieces, college libraries burned and plundered," when 
"plunder became the general law of the land" (Proude) ; or listened to "all 
the blasphemous mocking and scoffing which disgraced the Protestant 
party at the time of the Reformation" (Maitland) ; or watched them "throw- 
ing the country into convulsions, committing public robbery on an enormous 
scale and shedding streams of innocent blood" (Goldwin Smith — for a third 
Protestant historian). He would have judged the "national church" then. 

Burke on Religion and the Church. 79 

This intolerance for what seems to cut at the root of society is 
inherent m Burke's estimate of this society as the great moral band 
enclosmg the life of the civil man, within which he finds his nour- 
ishment, his means of right living here and his severe preparation 
for a world without evil. We must hate evil if we love good. We 
are not born to speculate, but to live, reflecting and accountable, 
and to die. Action is needful now and ever. We have received a 
guide, let us follow it. And anything further seems so confusing 
that, as Chaucer would say, the answer of it I leave to divines." 

and its altar-smashing Bishop of London, Ridley, as he judged his contem- 
poraneous constitution civile and its "mountebank" Bishop Gobel, of Paris 
The old sacrilege would have been judged as he judged the new. Of course, he 
had a vision of his own as he looked back through the years: "The teachers 
who reformed our religion in England bore no sort of resemblance to your 
reforming doctors in Paris. Perhaps they were (like those whom they 
opposed) rather more than could be wished under the influence of a party 
spirit; but . . . these men would have disavowed with horror those 
wretches who claimed a fellowship with them upon no other titles than 
those of their having pillaged the persons with whom they maintained 
controversies, and their having despised the common religion." "It was long 
before the spirit of true piety and true wisdom, involved in the principles 
of the Reformation, could be depurated from the dregs and feculence of the 
contention with which it was carried through." So now there are ascribed 
to the Revolution, with something of the same truth and error, principles 
which existed before it, and have happily survived both it and its elder 
sister fury. As to which elder's day, with all due respect to Burke, we now 
know that "it is true enough that each party abused the other, and that 
many keen, severe, false and malicious things were put forth by the Romish 
party; but for senseless cavilling and scurrilous railing and ribaldry, and 
for the most offensive 'personalities' for the reckless imputations of the 
worst motives and most odious vices. In short, for all that was calculated 
to render an opponent hateful in the eyes of those who were no judges of 
the matter in dispute, some of the Puritan (1 e., early reformers) party 
went far beyond their adversaries. I do not want to defend the Romish 
writers . . . but it really appears to me only simple truth to say that, 
whether from good or bad motives UiCi, they did, in fact, abstain from that 
fierce, truculent and abusive language and that loathsome ribaldry which 
characterized the style of too many of the Puritan ('reforming') writers." 
(Maitland, "The Reformation," pp. 47-48, ed. 1849.) "We cannot but 
remember that libels scarcely less scandalous than those of Hubert, mum- 
meries scarcely less absurd than those of Clootz, and crimes scarcely less 
atrocious than those of Marat, disgrace the early history of Protestantism. 
(Macaulay, "Bayys" I., p. 227.) Consult Green, Froude, Gairdner for the 
facts, anyway, for blasphemy written and spoken for proposals of Poly&amy 
and for stabbing of priests at the altar in the days of that eariier French 
Revolution." Of what Catholic priest leader could any one m his senses 
say what Lecky says of Knox-"this great apostle of murder? ( Hist. 
Rationalism," II., p. 48.) . ^. n.^^y^a. /-nnnA 

.4 The great heart and soul of Johnson-in whose ^^Th thrri^T of 
less great) lived, "except in opinion, not disagreemg. ^^^^^^;j^^^.;^^^',;„' 
his in Old common sense and the worship of fit humjuty-hav^^a^^^^ 
brought before us again in his republished Players sucn ^ ^^, 

willingly have learnt of that religious and reverent friena^ ^^ ^,^^j. 

maker and protector, who ha^^ jraciousb^ sent me im^^^^ 
out my salvation, enable ^^^ t°^f ^^^/er^^fn Ike Practi?e of those duties 
ing thoughts as may mislead or hinder me in lu« y 

8o American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

"I will not enter into the question how much truth is preferable to 
peace. Perhaps truth may be far better. But, as we have scarcely 
ever the same certainty in the one that we have in the other, I 
would, unless the truth were evident indeed, hold fast to peace, 
which has in her company charity, the highest of the virtues." 

It might hardly be uncharitable to smite Burke here ''between 
the joints of the harness." They are gaping wide. He himself 
loosed them, tore them asunder. 

Burke, in the modern period of revolution, has been compared 
(by Mr. John Morley) with Sir Thomas More in the revolution of 
the sixteenth century. Both full of learning, both earnest for 
reform, both judging widely of human affairs, both reverent, yet 
unwearied in efforts for their fellow-creatures; both, too, men of 
deep principle, but practical, keeping the place of the moral above 
that of the metaphysical. The real rights of the civil social man 
found in each their champion. 

But there was this difference, to be seen even of men, expressive, 
perhaps, of that hidden difference between the man who was and 
the man who was not a saint. When the basis of religious authority 
was questioned, Burke seemed not to dare to inquire. Blessed 
Thomas More set himself to investigate into that, too, with the 
same energy which he, like Burke, gave to law, to Parliament, to 
the ruling of his family and the training of youth. At the end of 
seven years the disciple of the Carthusians came out, he tells us, 
convinced that what he had thought might be only an opinion was 
indeed part of the basis of Faith, and so he was prepared to suffer 
death for the divine authority of the Holy See. 

Burke seems to us to open the door, then close it again. He 
seems confused and distressed, or even petulant, or scornful, at 
men's ignorance ; or he helplessly wonders ; thus influenced, it may 
have been, by the thought, or the lack of thought, of his time. 

Therefore he turned at each opportunity to try to work for the 
laudable ambition (in some ways, if not in all, nor in the highest) 
of getting people to live by truth, and of himself leaving the world 
the better for having lived in it. 

That within the limits he proposed to himself he succeeded, no 
one who considers human society has good reason to doubt. 

W. F. P. Stockley. 
Cork, Ireland. 

which Thou has required, . . . And while it shall please Thee to con- 
tinue me in this world, where much is to be done and little to be known, 
teach me by Thy Holy Spirit to with draw my mind from unprofitable and 
dang-erous enquiries, from difficulties vainly curious, and doubts impossible 
to be solved. Let me rejoice in the light which Thou hast imparted; let 
me serve Thee with active zeal and humble confidence, and wait with 
patient expectation for the time in which the soul which Thou receivest 
shall be satisfied with knowledg-e." 

Irish Names and Their Changes. 8i 


IT IS something- more than an antiquarian curiosity to trace 
here in America the variations of family names in the modern 
Irish race. There are good grounds for thinking that the 
Irish Celts are the largest numerical element in the mixed popu- 
lation of our land, and family names are a valuable historical help 
in examining the question scientifically. We know from docu- 
mentary records that an Irish immigration, mainly Celtic, has been 
crossing the Atlantic from a date scarcely later than the Puritans 
of Plymouth Rock. Governor Winthrop's journal in the reign of 
the First Charles records the exploration of New Hampshire's 
White Mountains by "Darby Fieldagh, an Irish Papist." The list 
of soldiers in King Philip's War shows at least two hundred dis- 
tinctly Irish names, less than forty years later. Many of them have 
been handed down in disguised forms, like Field and Patrick, as 
genuine English, but the race characters are not to be effaced as 
easily as the spelling of words. In Pennsylvania, too, we know 
from the records that the immigrants classed as English-speaking- 
before the Revolution were in a large majority of Irish birth. How 
far they were of Celtic race can best be traced now by their names, 
making due allowance for the phonetic and other variations which 
have come in them by changes of time and place. 

Those variations have excited a good deal of comment of late 
years since the Gaelic revival in Ireland itself. Most of it has been 
unfavorable, and considers the changes made, voluntarily or other- 
wise, in the old Irish names as an evidence of degeneracy or 
servility. The reproach may be deserved in some cases, but we 
think not in the majority, further than as a result of subjugation 
of the Irish people by a foreign power, a fact which needs no discus- 
sion. The present sketch will try only to set forth what the changes 
are in fact and how they have come. It may help to tell what 
the extent of the Irish race really is in the modern world of English 
speech. In that world it is certainly a distinct factor in many 
points, notably in that of religion. If we could pronounce accur- 
ately in the proportion of the Irish, English and Scotch elements 
in the general population of the United States, we would be helped 
to learn how the former has been affected in a religious point by 
the new conditions of life. We may also learn what part Celtic 
race character has played and is playing in the national character 
of the American people. Both are worthy of study. 

Distinctive surnames were well established in Ireland before the 
Norman invasion. They are commonly attributed to the policy 

82 Americajt Catholic Quarterly Review. 

of Brian Boru at the beginning of the eleventh century. He is 
stated to have urged each tribe to fix a name from its actual chief 
or one of his ancestors with the prefix of either "Mac," son, or 
**Ui or O," grandson or descendant of. The monarch's own family- 
adopted his name as O'Brien, the dominant family of South Munster 
that of their King as MacCarthy. The O was much more com- 
monly selected than Mac, but there was no distinction of rank 
involved. Duald McFirbis in the seventeenth century reckoned 
over two thousand different families whose name was completed 
by an O and less than three hundred by the prefix Mac. The 
conditions were reversed in Celtic Scotland, where Mac was almost 
universal and only three clans assumed an O as their designation. 
The two prefixes were so characteristic of the Celtic race at that 
time that a common Latin distich declared "Per O et Mac Hibernam 
scias genlem," and rejected from Irish nationality any name without 
either. The following two centuries of English dominion, how- 
ever, were distinctly hostile to^ the old Celtic names, and especially 
the celebrated prefixes. In consequence they have been dropped 
by the majority, but the Celtic stock can still be traced in the 
mutilated modem forms very extensively. 

Besides the pure Celtic names, a considerable number of Norman 
or Welsh origin were introduced by Strongbow's invasion, and have 
become thoroughly naturalized since among the Irish race. Of 
this class are Fitzgerald, Butler, Fitzmaurice, Fitzsimons, Grace, 
Rothe, Stephens and many others, often described as more Irish 
than the Irish, The Reformation may be said to have marked the 
absorption of the old Norman element, which had till then been 
called English Irish, with the native race among which they had 
long been intermarried. Both Celts and Norman Irish rejected 
the royal supremacy over the Church in Ireland in the sixteenth 
century. The term Scoto-Irish until then had often been applied 
distinctively to the first class. From the reign of Elizabeth it was 
replaced commonly by the terms recusant or Papist Irish as a 
general designation for the Catholic population without race dis- 

The actual amount of Norman blood, including under that name 
the French, Flemish and Welsh followers of Strongbow, was not 
large, but their names were extended by conquest and feudal cus- 
toms to many of their Celtic tenants and connections. It is worth 
note that on the other hand many Normans adopted the Celtic 
"Mac" as part of their names. The Burkes of Connaught became 
MacWilliams ; the Berminghams, McFeoris and Macjordan ; the 
Stauntons, MacAveely; the Barrets, McWattin; the Nangles or 
Nagles, MacCostello'. Some branches of the Fitzgeralds, the most 

Irish Names and Their Changes. 83 

powerful of all the Norman nobles, took the names of McThomas 
and MacGibbons, one of the Butlers that of MacPierce. Marrying 
among the Celtic population and speaking their language during 
the four hundred years from Henry the Second to Elizabeth, the 
first Normans in Ireland became as completely a part of the old 
Irish race as the Howards and Talbots became English from a 
French ancestry in the same time. Their names, whether modified 
or unchanged, are to-day in most cases as clear an evidence of Irish 
race as the Celtic O's or Mac's. The same may be said of the older 
Danish names Plunket, Coppinger and Sigerson as of the Joyces, 
Burkes, Bodkins, Barrets and Nugents of Welsh or French descent, 
-but in almost no case of Saxon English. 

Even in the Celtic names the prefix O or Mac has been often 
superseded by sufifixes given in Gaelic to distinguish branches of 
large clans. The MacCarthys of South Munster were thus divided 
into clans known as Moore, Reagh and Muskerry, the Connaught 
O'Connors into Don, Roe and Sligo, the O'Sullivans into More and 
Beare. The last designation in each of these cases is simply a 
name of place, and when used as a family name did not admit the 
prefix O or Mac. The most notable instance of this peculiarity is 
found in the name Cavanagh. It was adopted by the MacMur- 
roughs, the royal family of Leinster, after the English invasion, 
from the circumstance that one of its chiefs was reared at the mon- 
astery dedicated to St. Kevin at Kilcavan, in Wexford. It has 
been retained now for over seven hundred years, and has almost 
entirely displaced the original name McMurrough, though the latter 
was one of the most famous in mediaeval Irish history. Desmond, 
Costello, Carbury and Finn are other instances of Celtic names to 
which no prefix can properly be given. The first three are taken 
from localities, the last merely an epithet, the fair, like Don, brown, 
and Roe, yellow. 

Mac was often used in connection with a trade or profession to 
form a family name, but O never. MacGowan, Maclntyre, Mac- 
Baird, MacSaor or Seery are respectively "son of the smith, car- 
penter, poet and builder." This did not imply, however, that the 
first prefix had any inferiority in dignity, as the royal families of 
Leinster and Desmond were both Macs, McMurroug and Mac- 

Another peculiarity in Irish names of the old time offers nearly 
as certain a guide to their Celtic origin as the prefixes. In adoptnig 
the names of saints of the Church in baptism it was usual to put 
the words "giolla or maol," servant, before the real title. Patrick 
was hardly ever given in other form than Giolla Patrick, and Mac 
was prefixed to the compound word to form the family name of the 

84 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

chiefs of Ossory. Gilchrist, Gildea, Gilciaran, the servant respect- 
ively of Christ, of God and of St. Ciaran were other cases of family 
names formed from baptismal ones. Maol appears in Mulconry, 
Mullally and Mealoughlin. Either is sufficient evidence of genuine 
Celtic origin wherever found. 

The formation of family names in Ireland between the eleventh 
and sixteenth centuries was thus carried out on a more definite 
system than in other European countries at the time. In both 
England and France surnames were little used by any but the 
aristocratic classes or the wealthy burgesses. A workingman's 
trade or place of residence was counted sufficient for all purposes in 
ordinary life. The clan system of Ireland, among both Celts and 
Normans, made the use of surnames universal there. It was noted 
as a national characteristic by the English Government as early as 
the fifteenth century, and as such was marked for proscription. An 
act of Edward IV. in 1465 took up seriously the suppression of 
Irish names in nearly the same spirit as the Russian and Prussian 
Governments in our own time have undertaken to suppress the 
Polish language in their empires. It runs in the following quaint 
but precise language : 

"At the request of the Commons it is ordeyned and established 
that every Irishman that dwells betwixt or among Englishmen in 
the County of Dublin, Myeth, Uriel! and Kildare (the whole extent 
then of English dominion) shall goe like to one Englishman in 
apparell, and shaving off the beard above the mouth and shall take 
to him an English surname of one town as Sutton, Chester, Trym, 
Skryne, Corke, Kinsale ; or color, as White, Black, Brown ; or art 
or science, as Smith or Carpenter; or office, as Cooke, Butler, and 
that he and his offspring shall use this name under peyne of forfeit- 
ing of his goods yearly till the premises be done, to be levied two 
times by the year to the King's warres, according to the discretion 
of the lieutenant of the King or his deputy." 

A hundred and thirty years later Spenser, the author of the 
"Faerie Queen," urged the revival and extension of this policy, 
which evidently had not so far won much headway. In his "View 
of the State of Ireland" he wrote, in 1585 : 

"Moreover, for the better breaking of these heads and septs, 
which was one of the greatest strengths of the Irish, methinks it 
should be very well to renew that old statute of Edward the Fourth, 
by which it was commanded that from henceforth each one should 
take on himself a several surname, either of his trade and faculty, 
or of some quality of his body or mind, or of the place where he 
dwells, so as every one may be distinguished from another, whereby 
they shall not only not depend on the head of their sept as now 

Irish Names and Their Changes. 85 

they do, but also in time learn quite to forget his Irish nation. And 
herewithal would I wish also all the O's and Mac's, which the heads 
of septs have taken to their names, to be utterly forbidden and 
extinguished. For that being an ordinance (as some say) of 
O'Brien for the strengthening of the Irish, the abrogation there of 
will as much enfeeble them." 

Though Spenser's wishes were not embodied in legislation, they 
are a faithful expression of the sentiments of the English governing 
class towards Celtic Irish names and speech. They are further 
singularly like the views of the French Jacobin legislators of the 
Reign of Terror towards the cidevant noble names of France and 
even those of its historic provinces and festivals. 

In the same work Spenser made a curious though groundless 
claim that several of the leading Irish septs were actually of English 
or Norman descent. The MacMahons, the MacSweenys, the Mac- 
Namaras, the MacSheehys, the Cavanaghs, O'Tooles and O'Bymes 
were asserted to be of Norman or Welsh stock. The first he identi- 
fied as Fitzursulas, the second as DeVeres. The poet added regret- 
fully that many families of high rank bearing English names had 
become wholly Irish in sentiments. "Other great houses there bee 
of the English in Ireland which through licentious (illegal) con- 
versing with the Irish, or marrying or fostering with them, or lacke 
of meet culture, or such other unhappy occasions, have degendred 
from their ancient dignities and are now grown 'as Irish as O'Han- 
lon's breech' as the proverbe there is." 

It was a strange irony of history that less than seventy years 
after this complaint Oliver Cromwell was called to grant protection 
to "an Irish Papist" as the grandson of the poet Edward Spenser. 

The century that followed the publication of Spenser's "View" 
was one of unmixed misfortune for the Irish race. The struggle 
for independence on the old tribal system, carried on through the 
last years of Elizabeth by Hugh O'Neill, was crushed by Lord 
Mountjoy. That for Home Rule, by Celt and Norman combined 
in the Confederation of Kilkenny, fell before Cromwell fifty years 
later, and the defeat of James II. by William of Orange at the close 
of the century was followed by a century in which the whole Cath- 
olic population was reduced to a state lower than the Christian rayas 
of Turkev. Though no special new legislation was directed agamst 
the Irish" language or names, both fell under the ban of the Penal 
Code against the national religion. Schools and teachmg were 
both forbidden by law to the Irish Papists, and literary cultivation 
of their national language became thus impossible. No important 
work in Irish was published after the close of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, and scarcely any printing of the old works attempted. Dr. 

86 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Hyde's remarks in some recent lectures on the literary activity of 
the Irish-speaking population in the eighteenth century have, it 
must be said, but a slight base of fact. The assertion certainly that 
every well-to-do farmer in that time could read and write Irish is 
not warranted by the tradition of the old Catholic families who have 
preserved a share of literary culture. The language, indeed, was 
preserved to a considerable extent, but only by spoken usage. That 
the original names should sufifer marked phonetic changes under 
such conditions was a necessary result, and they have done so. The 
dropping of the once universal O's and Mac's to a large extent 
may, however, be set down largely to their unpopularity with the 
English ruling and landlord class, which in that has shared for the 
last two centuries the sentiments expressed by Spenser. Yet with 
all these forces of opposition the Celtic element still predominates 
in the names of the Irish race. It can be recognized if we take the 
right tests of recognition, and it is mainly for that end that we go 
into the various modifications of old Celtic names to their existing 

The late Dr. O 'Donovan in a series of papers published in 1840 
in the Dublin Penny Journal gives a remarkable list of changes 
made at that time in many Irish names, and also enumerates the 
causes of such change. He believed that in Dublin and the counties 
near it the translation or assimilation of Irish names to English 
forms had been largely made in consequence of the legislation of 
Edward the Fourth already mentioned. He quotes Sir Henry 
Piers, of Westmeath, in the reign of Charles II., for the change of 
MacGowan to Smith, Mclntyre to Carpenter and Shinnagh to Fox 
by translation, and of MacSpallane to Spenser and McCogry to 
L'Estrange by mere supposed likeness of sound. O'Donovan fixes 
the period after the Battle of Aughrim, in the end of the seven- 
teenth century, as that when disuse of the O's and Mac's became 
general. They were mainly preserved during the eighteenth cen- 
tury by the Irish emigrants on the European continent in the service 
of the Catholic powers, France, Spain and Austria. O'Donovan, 
whose authority on the subject is unquestioned, stated that sixty- 
five years ago no Celtic family in Leinster had its ancient name 
unchanged. The resumption of the prefix O, according to the 
same authority, had been made largely in the nineteenth century. 
The revival of patriotism in this matter is certainly more than half 
a century older in Ireland that the last Gaelic revival. The fact 
involves no lessening of credit for the latter, but should be men- 
tioned for that of an older generation of Irishmen. O'Donovan 
adds that Daniel O'Connell's father always used the name of Connell 
in writing, and the head of his own clan had only resumed the use 

Irish Names and Their Changes. 87 

of the O in 1829. That prefix appears to have been banned fiercely 
by the ruling landlord class all through the eighteenth century, and 
consequently to have only been retained by a few families of suffi- 
cient standing to defy official opinions on the subject. 

The list of name changes given by Dr. O'Donovan is a singular 
one and throws much light on many modern Irish names which 
belong in race to the Celtic stock. In addition to the changes 
which naturally follow in the course of years every spoken language, 
he gives two special reasons for those alterations in his own time. 
The principal one in O'Donovan's belief "was the difficulty felt by 
magistrates and lawyers unacquainted with Irish language in pro- 
nouncing Irish names, and their constant habit of ridiculing them 
in consequence. This made the Irish feel ashamed of names diffi- 
cult of pronunciation in English, and led them by degrees to change 
them, either by translation into what they thought their meanings 
in English, by assimilating them to local English surnames or by 
paring them so as to be easy of pronunciation to English organs." 

He added in 1840 : "The families of the lower ranks who have 
changed their ancient surnames are very numerous and daily be- 
coming more. Besides the cause already mentioned we can assign 
two others for the rage which prevails at present among the lower 
classes for the adoption of English surnames. First, there are 
many Irish surnames that do not sound euphoniously in English, 
which is now becoming the common spoken language of these 
classes. Secondly, the names changed are, with very few excep- 
tions, of no celebrity in Irish history, and when they do not sound 
well in English, the bearers wish to get rid of them that they may 
not be counted of Attacottic, or plebeian Irish origin." He goes on : 

"In the County Sligo the ancient name O'Mulclohy has been 
changed into Stone from a guess translation that such is the mean- 
ing of 'clohy,' the latter part of it. In Leitrim McConnava has 
been made Forde, from the mistaken notion that its last two sylla- 
bles are a form of 'atha,' of a ford. In Munster the ancient name 
O'Knavin is anglicized Bowen, because 'knavin' signifies a small 
bone. In Terconnell O'Mulmoghery is now rendered Early, be- 
cause moch eirghe means early rising. In Thomond O'Marcacham 
is translated as Rvder by some, but anglicized as Markham by 
others. O'Lahifif is made Guthrie without any reason. In Tyrone 
O'Rory is invariablv made Rogers because it is supposed that the 
English Christian name Roger is the same as the Irish Ruadri or 
Rorv. The ancient name McConry in Connamara is now translated 
to King because its last syllable sounds like rigJu the Irish term for 
that dignitv. The ancestor from whom their surname came was 
Curoi, in the genitive Conroy, and had nothing to do with King. 

88 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

The cases enumerated above are all attempts at translation accord- 
ing to the real or supposed meaning of the original names in Irish. 
The list of names changed to English form by mere approximation 
of sound is a far longer one. O'Donovan gives the following as 
only a few of many: 

In Monaghan MacMahon, the very name which Spenser had 
claimed as an Irish translation of Fitzursula, was anglicized as 
Matthews, MacCawell as Campbell, Howell and Cauldfield, 
O'Haughey to Howe, O'Hir to Hare, McFirbis to Forbes, 
O'Creighan to Graham, O'Sesnan to Sexton, Kinsellagh to Kings- 
ley, O'Cirey to Curry, O'Conaing to Gunning, O'Hargadon to 
Hardiman. The last, by the way, was the name taken by the com- 
piler of the Irish minstrelsy and author of the "History of Galway." 
O'Cluman is little changed as Coleman, O'Conagan as Cunning- 
ham or O'Clery as Gierke, but none of the last suggest their real 
origin. Hand for MacLave, Fox for Shanahan and Merryman for 
MacGillymire are translations simply. 

O'Donovan's statement shows how far the changing in Celtic 
names had been carried out in Ireland itself before the great emi- 
gration caused by the famine. The same process to some extent 
has been continued on in the United States. Dr. Hyde mentions an 
O'Gara translated to Love, Brehony to Judge, O'Hea to Hayes, 
Mclr to Shortall and Short. Others changes mentioned by him 
in Ireland are Gilespie to Bishop or Archibold, MacGillree to King, 
MacGauran to Somers, MacGinty to Noble and Mac an Baird to 
Ward. The list is far from a complete one, but it gives a sufficient 
idea of the way in which Irish origin may be disguised under Anglo- 
Saxon forms in our country to-day. To a certain extent Irish 
names have shared the fate of the n'ational tongue, but as the race 
character has survived the loss of the last, so it can that of the first. 
The facts may be regrettable, but at least it is well to know them 
when we inquire how far this country is really Anglo-Saxon in its 
race elements. 

The disappearance of Irish Christian names has kept pace with 
that of the clan titles, and even more so. Some continue in modi- 
fied forms with sufficient distinctness to show their origin in Gaelic 
times. Thus Aneslis is perpetuated among the O'Grady family in 
Ireland as Standish, Finghin among the Sullivans and MacCarthys 
as Florence, Morlagh as Mortimer. In Thomond O'Hiomair was 
anglicized as Howard by the gentry when bearers of it and as Ivers 
by the peasantry. O'Beirne was variously turned as Bruin in Ros- 
common and Byron in Clare, though kept in its original form by 
the gentry in the first county. In Connaught O'Donovan found 
O'Heraghtys changed to Harringtons, and in Limerick an 

Irish Names and Their Changes. 89 

O'Shaughnessy who took the title of Sandys. The same name in 
the early history of the United States was turned into Chauncey. 

The changes in Ulster in O'Donovan's lifetime were still more 
numerous. O'Brollaghan had become Bradley; O'Creighan, 
Creighton; O'Fergus, Ferguson. MacTeighe was Montague; 
O'Mulligan, Molyneaux; MacGilclusky, Cosgrove. MacGillyglass 
was translated to Greene, from its last syllable, MacShane to John- 
son. Stranger was the transformation of Carolan to Carleton, of 
O'Hea to Hughes and OTuathalain to Toland. Hughes was also 
substituted for Mackey in many places. The change was made on 
the supposition that the Irish Christian name Aodh, from which 
Mackey was formed in Gaelic, was equivalent to Hugh. 

In some cases the new names were coined so peculiarly that their 
Irish character remains evident under the new dress. Of this class 
are Hearne and Heron, Hynes, Rooke, Owens, Hussey, Reynolds, 
Norton, Conway, Agnew and Leonard, which are commonly recog- 
nized as Irish, though scarcely Celtic. They all, however, are of 
that class, and seventy years ago were Ahearne, O'Heyne, 
O'Rourke, O'Howen, O'Heosa, MacRannal, O'Naghton, O'Conwy, 
O'Gruve and MacGillyfineen. The name Leonard was also adopted 
by a branch of the MacGuires, of Fermanagh, and has a distinctive 
Gaelic origin there. In Connaugh, according to O'Donovan, Mul- 
ligan was often turned into Baldwin. 

The selection of English forms is more marked in the changes 
from MacGuigin to Goodwin, O'Luain to Lambe, Eoghan as 
Eugene. In Ulster the last name is Owen in modern form, as Aodh 
or Ed is Hugh. Other names formerly common were Cormac, 
Conn, Tirlough, Art, Rory, Coll, Cathal, Randal, Eochy, Eamon, 
Manus, Teige, Donough, Murrough, Diarmud, Domnall, Felim 
and Connor. Donnough and Murrough are only preserved among 
the O'Briens in their original form. Dr. Hyde thinks that Patrick, 
Brian, Owen and Cormac are the only ancient Irish names that hold 
their place in general use to-day. Teigue has become Thadeus or 
Tady in the families which preserve it in a way for tradition sake. 
Cathal has become Charles, Diarmud Jeremiah or Darby, Domnall 
Daniel, Felim Felix, Turlough Terence and Eamon Edmund. Of 
female names Bride has become Bridget, Nora Honora, Una 
Winny, Mave Maud, Eileen Ellen. Efee, Sive, Nuala and Fionuala, 
once common, are now scarcely found even in Ireland. 

Of changes in historic Irish names to other than English forms, 
and which may be supposed to have been a natural development 
apart from official interference, O'Donovan gives some curious 
particulars. MacGiolla Patrick of Ossory was changed to the 
French looking Fitzpatrick. O'Dorcy in Galway took the French 

90 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

form D'Arcy; O'Dulaine, a family settled from time immemorial 
in the Queens county, is now Delany. A former editor of the Lon- 
don Times of this stock further altered it to Delano. O'Mullaville 
in Connaught in like way has become Lavelle and McCogry, 
Lestrange. Most of the French names in Ireland to-day are, how- 
ever, of Huguenot origin and identified closely with the English 
element. LaTouche, Dubedat and Lefanu are prominent examples. 
On the other hand, a German element introduced under the first 
George as a Protestant colony from the Palatinate of the Rhine 
has been absorbed into the Irish Catholic population in all but name. 
Henricken, Brann, Brownrigg and Delmege are of this class. 

The origin of the Murphys, the largest in number of any name 
in Ireland to-day, is traced by O'Donovan to two stocks. One 
was the royal family of Leinster, MacMurrough, the other an off- 
shoot of it long distinguished as O'Murchadoo. Both the original 
forms have almost disappeared, but the Celtic type is clearly pre- 
served in the Murphy form. 

The list of changes of Celtic names given by O'Donovan and Dr. 
Hyde is so long that one might be inclined to believe it included 
the majority of the race. Such is very far from the fact. The 
families who readily swapped their surnames for others were mostly 
of small clans. The great body of the population fell into larger 
divisions — the O'Neills, O'Briens, MacCarthys, O'Connors, O'Fer- 
ralls, O'Donnells, O'Kellys and other powerful clans. These have 
rarely changed except by omitting the prefix O, which was gen- 
erally dropped after the Williamite Conquest. It evidently was 
regarded with special disfavor either as aristocratic or connected 
closely with the clan system. The Mac was less strictly proscribed, 
probably on account of its prevalence in Scotland as well as in 

It is strange to find O'Donovan in 1840 writing: "In Leinster 
it is certain there is not a single instance in which the O or Mac 
has been retained by any of the aboriginal inhabitants. I mean the 
ancient Irish Leinster not including Meath." Nevertheless, in 
Leinster, as in the rest of Ireland to-day, the great majority of the 
names show unmistakably a Celtic origin. It may be regretted 
that a certain proportion of the Irish people have shown a readiness 
to change their fathers' names for motives like those given by 
O'Donovan, but it must not be assumed that anything like a ma- 
jority have done so. The change of language from Irish to English 
during the nineteenth century led to most of the alterations. 

A similar result follows in nearly every case where a population 
is brought by migration or other causes under the influence of a 
new tongue. It is marked among the Scandinavian and Portuguese 

Lord Bacon as a Poet. oi 

immigrants to our own land to a much wider extent than among 
the Irish, even those from Irish-speaking districts. On the whole, 
the Irish race abroad retains its national names almost as it does 
at home, and its extent may fairly be traced in any district by their 

A curious list was prepared by the Irish census authorities a few 
years ago which confirms this view. We have not it under our eyes 
at present, but it showed an overwhelming predominance of Celtic 
names. The largest in numbers was Murphy, the second Kelly, 
neither with the national prefix for the most part, but neither mis- 
takable for any but Gaelic origin. The first numbered sixty-two 
thousand, about one in eighty of the whole population ; the Kellys, 
fifty-six thousand, or one in ninety, approximately. Sullivans and 
O'Sullivans were somewhat over a half per cent, in the whole popu- 
lation, and O'Neills not much less numerous. Spenser's desire for 
the total abolition and forbidding of the hated prefixes is yet very 
far from accomplishment ; indeed, they have revived very consider- 
ably since the very time when O'Donovan wrote. It may be an 
earnest of a wider national revival in other ways. In the mean- 
time it may be interesting for any one interested in tracing the 
Irish element's extent in this country to try the proportion of 
Murphys, Kellys or Sullivans in a city directory. 

Bryan J. Clinch. 

San Francisco, Cal. 


THE immensity of Bacon's genius is a sore trouble to his 
biographers. So say two of them, Professor Gardiner and 
Dr. Edwin Abbott in his preface to Bacon's Life. The 
truth of the saying has been practically illustrated with regard to 
the poetic aspects of Bacon's mind and works. That aspect has 
been for centuries usually taken for granted rather than discussed 
or denied. Recent controversies, however, have brought it mto 
prominence and elicited contradictory views. Into the general 
merits of those controversies this paper does not mean to enter. 
What I wish to examine is how far a weapon serviceable for any 
cause or a breastplate of truth against any attack can be forged ou 
of the belief that Bacon was little or nothing of a poet That beliet 
has sometimes been expressed with considerable emphasis 1 con- 
sider, however, that it implies a total misconception of Bacons 

92 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

peculiar genius. The immensity and many-sidedness of his powers, 
his ambitions and his efforts have caused a certain number of writers 
who speak as having authority to misconceive and deny one of the 
most essential, if perhaps least obvious, characteristics of his genius 
and its manifestations. Not only is the question "Could Bacon 
have written the Shakespeare plays?" a perfectly reasonable one, 
but to answer it in the negative seems to me, after much study of 
both great writers, very much more difficult than some recent anti- 
Baconian advocates have found it. I am indebted to so many and 
various books, that I feel at liberty to mention none of them in par- 
ticular. I may refer, however, to Mr. Read's "Francis Bacon Our 
Shakespeare" as one of the best of "Baconian" books, and I may 
say that I owe nothing to Mr. Stronach's article in the current 
Fortnightly Review on "Bacon as a Poet," which singularly coin- 
cides in every respect, as far as its brevity permits, with the present 

I have been asked to justify myself for speaking of "Lord Bacon." 
No such title, I am reminded, was ever known to the Heralds Office. 
It is enough for me, however, that this convenient appellation is 
justified by a long line of the highest literary authorities. The 
following are the more important writers whom I have noted as 
using the form "Lord Bacon:" Pope, Swift, Hume, Dr. Blair, 
Dugald Stewart, De Quincey, Hallam, Macaulay, Coleridge, Shel- 
ley, Emerson, Lord Byron, Lord Mahon, Alex. Smith, Edgar Poe, 
Francis Palgrave, Stopford Brook, Spedding, Ellis & Dixon 
(Bacon's biographers), Matthew Arnold and Thomas Arnold. 
Even a shorter list would probably have satisfied the minds of my 
inquiring friends. 

In fact, the vehement negative, garnished with abusive rhetoric, 
which has been put forth by some influential critics — English, 
American and German — almost compels me to believe that its sup- 
porters had taken no trouble to become really acquainted with the 
works of Bacon. In some unexpected cases there is further evi- 
dence for so believing. Take, for example. Professor Wiilker, 
known as an authority on Anglo-Saxon matters, as a writer against 
the Bacon-Shakespeare theory and as the author of a well-known 
history of English literature. This latter work gives me serious 
reason to doubt whether Professor Wiilker has more than a nodding 
acquaintance with Lord Bacon and his writings. It will be hardly 
believed, but it is a fact, that in this history of English literature, 
which devotes a dozen pages to Lord Lytton, sixteen or seventeen 
to Dickens and one or two, oddly enough, to the Bacon-Shakespeare 
controversy, Lord Bacon is otherwise completely ignored. 

Take, again. Professor Heusler, of whose knowledge of Bacon 

Lord Bacon as a Poet. o^ 

I know nothing except what I conclude from some of his state- 
ments. For example, that "Bacon was not only not a poet, but 
his manner of thinking and feeling was eminently prosaic 
and so are his most original images." 

In England and America we come across Mr. Churton Collins 
and Mr. R. G. White, who have courageously committed themselves 
to statements of the utmost plainness and directness. "Bacon," 
they say (more or less in these words), "was utterly devoid of the 
poetical faculty even in a secondary sense. He was a cautious 
observer and investigator, ever looking at man and things through 
the dry light of cool reason ; a logician, a formalist, a man without 
a spark of genial humor, without a trace of dramatic imagination, 
without any light play of wit and fancy, any profound passion, any 
aesthetic enthusiasm, anything, in fact, which goes to make up a 
poet of any kind." Then there are other popular arguments to the 
same effect. Bacon was a busy lawyer, who could not have time 
or interest to spare for the quiet doings of the muses. He was a 
scientist, though in truth a somewhat unaccountable one; he was 
the champion of a philosophy which aimed at bringing down phil- 
osophy from soaring in the heavens to walk upon solid earth, and 
therefore was produced by an unpoetical mind. He was an ambi- 
tious man, full of Machiavellian saws, keenly set on office, favor and 
promotion ; obviously the antithesis of a poet ! 

It appears to me that these views are due, on the part of those 
who know something about Bacon, mainly to controversial heat, 
and on the part of the many who know little or nothing, to the 
customary unwillingness to accord to any individual preeminence 
in more than one or two things, to ignoring the vagaries of human 
inconsistency and to forgetting the power of great genius to break 
way for itself in many directions at once. 

Let us begin, then, by remarking the evidence which Bacon, 
lawyer, judge, philosopher and scientist as he 'was, gave, neverthe- 
less, of his interest in works of pure literature, even of light litera- 
ture. There seems no doubt that his propensities in that direction 
seriously hampered his advance in his chosen profession. He was 
looked upon as a dreamer and a theorizer, one from whom it was 
not safe to expect the concentration of the practical lawyer or the 
tact and push of the man of business. Hence for lohg years he was 
by no means "a busy lawyer" (as we have seen him frequently 
styled), and, consequently, far indeed from being a wealthy lawyer. 
He was constantly in dire straits for money, and once in prison for 
debt. I have spoken of the law as his "chosen profession," but in 
reality, as he did not choose it of his own free will, so neither did 
he love it at all for its own sake, but merely regarded it as a steppmg- 

94 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

stone to power, wealth and leisure which might then be utilized for 
far nobler aims than law. He declared emphatically that he was 
bom for literature rather than for active life. He had taken all 
knowledge for his province; it was his ambition to promote the 
highest good of all men, and with that object in view, and no other, 
while acknowledging himself "more fit to hold a book than to act 
a part on the public stage," he embraced the law and became an 
importunate, a too importunate, suitor for advancement to high 
legal and political place. He tells us this himself; we know most 
of it from other sources also. 

Still the literary proclivities of this bright and active mind were 
apparently too strong to be wholly kept from public manifestation. 
We possess various records of Bacon's share in the preparation of 
masques and other theatrical performances presented at- the Inns of 
Court. In 1589 he designed the ''dumbshow of the misfortunes 
of Arthur," performed before Queen Elizabeth. In 1592 he is one 
of the authors of the "Conference of Pleasure," a mask in which 
the story of Julius Caesar is touched on (as his biographer, Spedding, 
remarks) in a manner suggestive of that developed in Shakespeare's 
"Julius Caesar." In 1594 he writes the speeches of six councillors 
for the masque of the "Order of the Helmet," and speaks of himself 
in a letter to Essex as "drinking the waters of Parnassus." 

In 1595 he is part author of the "Devise of the Indian Prince," 
which has been noted for an ingenious passage of flattery to Queen 
Elizabeth. A couple of years later he joins in writing and produc- 
ing the "Devise of Philautia" in honor of Lord Essex, his friends 
Southampton and Tobie Matthew also taking part in the entertain- 
ment. Again, he tells a friend how, although "he did not profess 
to be a poet," he had "indited a sonnet in honor of the Queen." 
When he became Solicitor General his fondness for active theatrical 
work does not desert him. In 161 2 he occupies himself with a 
gorgeous masque entitled "The Marriage of Rhine and Thames," to 
celebrate the wedding of the Princess Elizabeth. As Attorney Gen- 
eral he is joint author of a "Masque of Flowers" to greet the ill- 
omened union of Lady Essex and the royal favorite, Somerset. 

We have in all this the evidence of strong taste for poetry and 
the drama, if not of distinguished poetic or dramatic faculty. That 
Bacon, however, was gifted with that dramatic faculty which Mr. 
Collins so expressly denies him we find good reasons for thinking. 
He was a singularly versatile conversationalist. To quote what his 
biographer Mallet says of him: "In his conversation he would 
assume the most different characters and speak the language proper 
to each with a facility that was perfectly natural ; for the dexterity 
of the habit concealed every appearance of art." His friend 

Lord Bacon as a Poet. gc 

Osborne speaks in still more striking terms: "I have heard him 
entertain a country lord in the proper terms relating to hawks and 
dogs, and at another time out-cant a London chirurgeon." The 
same gift was manifest in letters which he wrote in the name of 
others. Of these letters Dr. Abbott says : **The wonderful exact- 
ness with which he has caught the somewhat quaint, humorous, 
cumbersome style of (his brother) Anthony, and the abrupt, incisive, 
antithetical and passionately rhetorical style of Essex, makes the 
perusal of these letters a literary treat." "Few men," continues 
Abbott, ''have shown equal versatility in adapting their language 
to the slightest change of circumstance and purpose." Elsewhere 
this careful biographer says that the^ leading peculiarity of Bacon's 
style is its sympathetic nature, its versatile adaptation to every 
slightest variation of subject and aspect of subject. Such evidence 
as this should make us cautious in our assertions as to what Bacon 
could or could not have done had he devoted himself to the drama. 

A curious and mysterious proof of Bacon's general interest in 
the muses is contained (apparently) in his brief letter to John 
Davies, afterwards Attorney General for Ireland, and already well- 
known both as poet and lawyer, which was written as James I. was 
leaving Scotland for his new realm of England. Bacon's object 
is to engage Davies (as he says) to "imprint a good conceit and 
opinion of him in the King;" and he concludes: "So desiring you 
to be good to concealed poets, I continue your assured friend &." 
Spedding, like preceding biographers, admits his inability to explain 
these words. 

Let us, in the next place, take by the horns a difficulty which 
meets every advocate of Lord Bacon as a poet. It is the argument 
that Bacon has actually committed himself to poetry, in the strictest 
sense of the word, and that the few pieces known as his are so poor 
as poetry as to destroy the writer's claim to any kindred with the 
muses. We may ask, however, whether the production of two or 
three worthless pieces necessarily negatives the possibility of their 
author's being a great poet ? If it were so, some of the most famous 
names in literature might suffer eclipse. If Milton were known 
only by his version of the Psalms, who would not scoff at the rash 
speculator who should claim for him the authorship of "Paradise 
Lost?" There are few works of Shakespeare more certainly his 
own than the miserable epitaph on his grave and the disgusting 
lampoon on "Lousy Lucy." These are things far below any pro- 
duction credited to Bacon. But no one judges Shakespeare by 
them. In the next place, we may flatly deny the general badness 
of these acknowledged pieces of Bacon's. We shall find on our 
side the encouraging authority of Mr. Palgrave, editor of the 

96 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

"Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics." In that admirably chosen 
anthology figure Lord Bacon's meditative stanzas beginning : 

The world's a bubble, and the life of man 

Less than a span; 
In his conception wretched, from the womb 

So to the tomb; 
Cursed from his cradle, and brought up to years 

With cares and fears. 
Who, then, to frail mortality shall trust 
But limns on water, or but writes in dust.* 

That piece is fairly well known. But what of the translations of 
the Psalms? They are mostly poor; but they were written, be it 
remembered, in Bacon's declining years and to while away the 
enforced leisure of a sick bed. Few who have endeavored, even 
in the height of their powers, to render in modern verse these sub- 
lime but obscure and abrupt songs of David, have enjoyed any 
greater success. "For our French versifiers," says a recent French 
critic in the Etudes, "it always seems to have been a superhuman 
task to translate the Psalms." The same might be said of English 
versifiers or of English great poets. 

Here are some verses of Milton's, written in the prime of his 
powers, between "Gomus" and "Paradise Lost :" 

For cloyed with woes and trouble sore 

Surcharged my soul doth lie:; 
My life at death's uncheerful door 

Unto the grave draws nigh. 

Thou dost my friends from me estrange 

And mak'st me odious; 
Me to them odious, for they change 

And I here pent up thus. 

And here is one of Bacon's psalms, which I venture to give you 
at length : 

PSALM 137. 

When as we sat all sad and desolate 

By Babylon upon the river's side. 
Eased from the tasks which in our captive state 

We were enforced daily to abide; 
Our harps we had brought with us to the field, 
Some solace to our heavy souls to yield. 

But soon we found we failed of our account; 

For when our mind some freedom did obtain, 
Straightways the memory of Sion's Mount 

Did cause afresh our wounds to bleed again. 
So that with present griefs and future fears 
Our eyes burst forth into a stream of tears. 

As for our harps, since sorrow struck them dumb, 
We hang'd them on the willow trees were near; 

Yet did our cruel masters to us come. 

Asking of us some Hebrew songs to hear; 

Taunting us rather in our misery, 

Than much delighting in our melody. 

* There is insufficient reason for questioning Bacon's authorship of this 

Lord Bacon as a Poet. 07 

Alas! (said we) who can once force or frame 

His grieved and oppressed heart to sing 
The praises of Jehovah's glorious name 

In banishment, under a foreign king' 
In Sion is His seat and dwelling-place" 
Thence doth He show the brightness of His face. 

Jerusalem, where God His throne hath set, 

Shall any hour absent thee from my mind 
Then let my right hand quite her skill forget, 

Then let my voice and words no passage find; 
Nay, if I do not thee prefer in all 
That in the compass of my thoughts can fall. 

Remember, Thou, O Lord! the cruel cry 

Of Edom's children, which did ring and sound, 

Inciting the Chaldean's cruelty; 

"Down with it, down with it, even unto the ground." 

In that good day repay it unto them 

When Thou shalt visit Thy Jerusalem. 

And thou, O Babylon, shalt have thy turn 

By just revenge, and happy shall he be 
That thy proud walls and towers shall waste and bum, 

And as thou didst by us so do by thee. 
Yea, happy he that takes thy children's bones 
And dashes them against the pavement stones. 

It seems to me that if Milton had written that, even Milton need 
hardly be ashamed of it. 

The next set of evidences to be considered is that of contemporary 
panegyrics on Bacon's poetic powers. And here, though its im- 
portance has probably been exaggerated, I cannot pass over Ben 
Jonson's curiously worded testimony to Bacon's literary excellence. 
After Shakespeare's death Jonson had written of him : 

When thy socks were on 
Leave thee alone, for the comparison 
Of all that insolent Greece or haughty Rome 
Sent forth, or since did from their ashes come. 

Now, after Bacon's death Jonson writes of him : "He hath filled 
up all numbers and performed that in our tongue which may be 
compared or preferred either to insolent Greece or haughty Rome." 
Jonson was not a man usually short of words, and it is odd, unques- 
tionably, that he should give to the world two panegyrics so simi- 
larly worded on two persons apparently so different, and whom he 
knew so well as the Chancellor and the Player. Still more, how- 
ever, has been made by Baconian advocates of the fact that the 
panegyric bestowed on the Chancellor should seem of the two the 
one better fitted for the Player. For, "to fill up all numbers," said 
of Bacon, seems a natural expression of praise anly for a poet. 
"Numeri" in Latin, "Numbers" in English, applied to literature 
mean nothing else than verse and even seem to exclude prose. Thus 
Tibullus writes: "Numeris ille, hie pede libero scribit." (One 
writes in verse, another in prose.) And Shakespeare has the same 
antithesis in "Love's Labor Lost" (IV., 3) : "These numbers I will 
tear and write in prose." Yet all this does not settle the matter. 

98 American Catholic Quarterly Reviezv. 

For "Numeri" is also used in the sense merely of "parts." Pliny 
speaks of a prose work as perfect in all its parts : "Omnibus numeris 
absolutus." And Cicero says of a plan of life : "Omnes numeros 
virtutis continet." (It contains every element of virtue.) So that 
Jonson may have merely meant to say in slightly pedantic phrase 
that Bacon had passed away, "all parts fulfilled," the expression 
actually used by Pope of Queen Caroline. 

But if we refuse to attach much importance to these expressions 
of Jonson, a similar difficulty presently meets us. We have to 
examine a singular and even mysterious cloud of witnesses. These 
are the writers of elegiac verses on the death of Bacon, collected 
and edited with a brief preface by Dr. Rawley, Bacon's chaplain and 
secretary. Here we have writer after writer apparently extolling 
the illustrious departed as a poet. Among the writers are George 
Herbert, Henry Feme, afterwards Bishop of Chester, and Thomas 
Randolph, the dramatist, then only twenty-one years old. Though 
they had appeared collected together in the forefront of Black- 
burne's edition of Bacon in 1730, no particular attention was paid 
to them until 1896, when Dr. George Cantor, professor of mathe- 
matics and doctor of philosophy at the University of Halle- Witten- 
berg, a savant of European reputation, was struck by their peculiar 
form and edited the longest of them. They appear to have led Dr. 
Cantor into the Baconian camp, of which he is now a chief orna- 

Yet I think we should be extremely rash if we allowed them to 
carry us so far. The Baconian argument is that these elegies point 
so distinctly to Bacon as a poet — a great poet — that their writers 
must have held him to be the author of some mighty poetical works 
that have not come down to us under his name. But to this posi- 
tion there is the obvious answer: How is it that so many men 
could have known or at least guessed his authorship of these mys- 
terious works and not have published their knowledge of the secret, 
or at least allowed it to leak out by the ordinary channels of human 
indiscretion? Again, if these mysterious great works were really 
the Shakespearean plays, we come into conflict with another por- 
tion of the Baconian argument, namely, that those plays were not 
then, about 162,5, at all looked upon as the great works they have 
since come to be considered, that consequently their true author- 
ship might remain undetected and uninquired into. Here, on the 
contrary, we are asked to believe that these funeral versifiers knew 
the secret and looked to the plays as an unsurpassed title to fame. 
We cannot, then, allow the Baconians to build arguments on 
premises that are mutually destructive. At the same time, it must 
be allowed that these elegies are curious and deserve that limited 

Lord Bacon as a Poet. 00 

amount of attention that has lately been bestowed on them. One 
begins : 

Plangite Jam vere Clio, Cliusque sorores; 
Ah decima occubuit Musa, decusque chori. 

Now weep indeed, Clio and ye sisters of Clio; the tenth Muse has sunk 
in death, the glory of your choir. 

Another describes Melpomene, the muse of tragedy and elegy, 
as indignant with the cruel Fates, and hails Bacon as "Musarum 
phosphorus," "the morning star of the muses," and now "the grief 
of Apollo." Another declares that Apollo will henceforth have to 
be content with nine muses. But another indignantly asks: 
'•'Thinkest thou, foolish passer-by, that the leader of the choir of 
the muses and Apollo lies buried in this cold marble? No; he has 
gone to join their company on Olympus, a muse more rare than 
the noted nine. Another calls him "Reconditarum gemina pretiosa 
litterarum" (the precious gem of hidden or abstruse letters), an 
expression which, as we might expect, has been eagerly seized on 
by the Baconian advocates. Another exclaims: "If thou wilt 
claim, O Bacon, all thou hast given to the world and to the Muses, 
then love, the earth, the Muses, Jove's treasury, prayer, heaven, 
song, incense, grief will become bankrupt." Nothing about science 
or law — love, the Muses and song — ^with these has Bacon enriched 
the world. Another, the dramatist Randolph, declares that 
"Phoebus did not heal Bacon lest he (Bacon) should become King 
instead of himself." 

All this reads like language that had missed its address when it 
found its way to the tomb of a lawyer, a philosopher and a scientist. 
Curious, too, is a lament where the imagery of the drama is em- 
ployed in connection with Bacon's treatment of philosophy, and 
v^here Aristotle, of all unlikely people, is brought in to swell the 
chorus of praise: "Verulam found philosophy creeping on low 
socks (the footgear of comedy), he rose on a loftier cothurnus ; and 
Aristotle, alive again, flourishes in the Novum Organum." 

Another poet exclaims : "Yield, then, ye Greeks, give place, O 
Virgil, first in Latin story." And finally we have this curious pane- 
gyric : "He taught the Pegasean arts to grow, he grew like the 
spear of Quirinus, and in a short time was a bay tree . . . and 
therefore no ages shall dim his glory." The Pegasean arts are, of 
course, the arts of poetry. "But why," asks Dr. Cantor, "is the 
spear dragged in here apropos of growing, and whence comes the 
significant name Quirinus, the spear-shaker?" We need not follow 
Dr. Cantor along the daring path of conjecture thus opened up, if 
we are satisfied that the spear of Quirinus might come in here appo- 
sitely enough without any arriere-pensee about "Shakespeare," that 

loo American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

the Muses are here taken as the patrons of learning and genius in 
general, and that an age of undeveloped criticism confounded learn- 
ing and poetry in a way that for us has become impossible. One 
recalls the well-known passage concerning "the thrice three Muses 
in mourning for the death of Learning late deceased in beggary," 
and an Elizabethan lyric beginning, "O that the learned poets" — 
that is, simply, the great poets. I confess, however, that this ex- 
planation hardly seems quite adequate to explain the vehemence 
and insistence of the language in these panegyrics. 

Passing on from these outbursts of valedictory grief, we scarcely 
again find the distinctly poetic laurel assigned to Bacon with the 
same emphatic fervor. Praised as a poet he continues to be, but 
it is as a poet in the broader sense of the word, a poet because of 
the poetic spirit throbbing beneath the prose veil of the Novum 
Organum and the Fables of the Ancients. The denial to him of 
any poetic spirit whatever was reserved for critics of our own day. 
Addison finds that Bacon "possessed at once all those extraordinary 
talents which were divided amongst the greatest authors of an- 
tiquity. . . . One does not know," he says, "which most to 
admire in his writings — ^the strength of reason, force of style or 
brightness of imagination." "His prayers and private devotions," 
says Addison, himself a devout man, "are more like the devotion 
of an angel than of a man." These testimonies of the "Spectator" 
are in startling contrast with Mr. Churton Collins' view of Baconian 
characteristics. Among other eighteenth century panegyrists we 
may quote Pope, who, besides his rather notorious and oft-mis- 
quoted antithesis concerning the "wisest, brightest, meanest of man- 
kind," also said that Lord Bacon was "the greatest genius that Eng- 
land or, perhaps, any other country produced." But perhaps my 
reader will discount the verdict of the eighteenth century. He may 
say that their notions of genius, of imagination, of poetry destroy 
the value of their poetic diploma. Well, then, let us hasten on to 
the "romantic" poets and critics of the nineteenth century ; and here 
we meet Macaulay, whose deplorable misrepresentations of Bacon's 
life and philosophy need not destroy the value of his opinions on 
Bacon's literary merits. "No man ever had an imagination," says 
Macaulay, "at once so strong and so thoroughly subjugated. . . . 
In truth, much of Bacon's life was passed in a visionary world, 
amid things as strange as any that are described in the Arabian 
Tales. . . . The small fine mind of La Bruyere had not a more 
delicate tact than that large intellect of Bacon. His understanding 
resembled the tent which the Fairy gave to Prince Ahmed — fold it, 
and it seemed the toy of a lady; spread it, and the armies of a 
powerful Sultan might repose beneath its shade." Mackintosh 

Lord Bacon as a Poet. 


assigns to Bacon: 'The utmost splendor of imagination." Dr. 
Shaw remarks that "in his style there is the same quality that is 
applauded in Shakespeare — a combination of the intellectual and 
the imaginative, the closest reasoning in the boldest metaphor." 
Sir Alex. Grant says : "It is as an inspired seer, as the prose-poet 
of modern science, that I reverence Bacon." Lord Lytton finds 
Bacon's "thoughts and style pervaded and permeated with poetry." 
Taine declares that "Bacon thinks in the manner of artists and poets 
and speaks after the manner of prophets and seers." Very inter- 
esting is the dictum of Alex. Smith, himself a poet and an essayist, 
in reference to the Essays, which I consider, in opposition to Mr. 
Stronach, as amongst the least poetic of Bacon's works: "Bacon 
seems to have written his Essays with the pen of Shakespeare." 
More striking still is the splendid testimony of Shelley in his admir- 
able "Defense of Poetry." It is true, of course, though the Bacon- 
ians do not refer to the fact, that in that Essay Shelley shows the 
broadest charity in his application of the name "Poet." In one 
place he goes so far as to say that "all great historians, Herodotus, 
Plutarch, Livy, were poets." Yet this, though it impairs, does not 
destroy the dignity of the special rank he assigns Bacon. In one 
passage he ranks him with the supreme poets and artists, in anti- 
thesis to such leaders of positive thought as Locke, Hume, Gibbon, 
Voltaire and Rousseau. Benefactors of humanity as these undoubt- 
edly were, according to Shelley, still the world could have got on 
without them. "But it exceeds all imagination to conceive what 
would have been the moral condition of the world if neither Dante, 
Petrarch, Boccaccio, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Calderon, Lord Bacon 
nor Milton had ever existed; if Raphael and Michael Angelo had 
never been born ; if the Hebrew poetry had never been translated ;" 
and so forth. Here this most quintessential poet sets Bacon among 
the typical poets, between Calderon and Milton, near Shakespeare 
and Raphael. Elsewhere in the same eloquent essay he says: 
"Lord Bacon was a poet. His language has a sweet and majestic 
rhythm which satiates the sense no less than the almost super- 
human wisdom of his philosophy satisfies the intellect; it is a strain 
which distends and then bursts the circumference of the reader's 
mind, and pours itself forth together with it into the universal ele- 
ment with which it has perpetual sympathy." SKelley's meaning 
may not be very transpicuous, but its general purport is plain 
enough for our present purpose. 

Confronted with these critical utterances and with the facts on 
which they are based, some of the depreciators of Bacon's poetical 
glory adopt subtler plans of attack than fiat negatives or pointless 
ridicule. Bacon was not really (they say) a great poet, but only an 

I02 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

excellent counterfeit. His contemporaries testified that he had the 
tongue of a splendid orator ; we find that he has the pen of a splendid 
rhetorician. He had a rare imagination' — of a kind, but not that of 
a poet. "We must not," says Professor Kuno Fischer, "mistake 
the enthusiasm of the orator for the sacred fire of poetry." 

Well, let us take some of his images and see whether, except for 
their prose garb, they essentially differ from those of the acknowl- 
edged great poets : 

Thus Shakespeare writes — ^what we all quote : 

There is a tide in the affairs of men 
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune, etc. 
And we must take the current as it serves 
or lose our ventures. 

Bacon writes : 

"In the third place, I set down reputation because of the per- 
emptory tides and currents it hath, which, if they be not taken in 
their due time, are seldom recovered." 

It is surely fine poetry when the love-sick Orsino recalls the 
enchanting strain of music : "O ! it came o'er my ear like the sweet 
south (or is "sound" the reading?) that breathes upon a bank of 
violets, stealing and giving odours." 

But is our unpoetical Bacon so far behind? "The breath of 
flowers," he writes, "is far sweeter in the air (where it comes and 
goes like the warbling of music) than in the hand." 

Again, the heedless, thoughtless ^ Shakespeare opposed by Mr. 
Grant White to the judicious Bacon, was wise enough to write : 

Before the times of change . . . men's minds mistrust 

Ensuing- danger; as, by proof, we see 

The waters swell before a boisterous storm. (Rich. Ill,, IL, 3.) 

And the unpoetical Bacon of the same Mr. White expresses with 
no ungraceful brevity the same image: 

As there are . . . secret swellings of seas before a tempest, 
so there are in states. (Essay on Sedition.) 

Let me show you a few more bricks as proof of the house. This 
is how our unpoetic Bacon writes in the dedication of a grave legal 
treatise : "The reasons of laws severed from the grounds of nature, 
manners and policy are like wall-flowers, which they grow high 
upon the crests of states, yet have no deep roots." Can we find 
in any poetic couplet a happier union of profound truth and apt 
fancy? When Bacon refers to the earth-circling navigators of his 
day he does it in this style : "Memorable voyages after the manner 
of heaven about the globe of the earth." In this phrase the har- 
monious words seem trembling into verse. So also when he speaks 
of the themes of the antiquary: "Remnants of history which have 

Lord Bacon as a Poet. jq-j 


casually escaped the shipwreck of time." He speaks of the 
changing "Ocean, the solitary handmaid of eternity." Has any 
singer thrown a loveHer flower upon ocean? All the poetry of 
the sea appealed to him, as I could show by many quotations. But 
Bacon has not merely short swallow flights of poetic expression; 
he has also sustained elevations. Take his famous passage on the 
"end of studies ;" observe its grandeur of moral sentiment as well 
of imagination. "Other errors there are in the scope that men 
propound to themselves ... in the mistaking or misplacing 
of the last and furthest end of knowledge. For men have entered 
into a desire of learning and knowledge sometimes upon a natural 
curiosity and imaginative appetite, sometimes to entertain their 
minds with variety and delight, sometimes for ornament and reputa- 
tion and sometimes to enable them to victory of wit and contradic- 
tion, and most times for lucre and profession, and seldom to give a 
true account of their gift of reason to the benefit and use of man, 
as if there were sought in knowledge a couch whereon to rest a 
searching and restless spirit ; or a terrace for a wandering and varia- 
ble mind to walk up and down with a fair prospect ; or a tower of 
state for a proud mind to raise itself upon ; or a fort or a command- 
ing ground for strife or contention; or a shop for profit and sale, 
and not a rich store-house for the Glory of the Creator and the relief 
of man's estate." 

This wealth of imagery, never diluting, but always enriching the 
thought, cannot, I think, be fairly ranked as the mere exuberance 
of the rhetorician. 

Nor is Bacon incapable of sympathetic and tender strains. He 
does not lack that "sense of tears in mortal things" without which 
a poet is but a tinkling cymbal. Read, for proof, Bacon's pathetic 
exposition of the fable of Memnon, son of the dawn goddess, early 
slain and turned to ashes beside the walls of Troy. He sees, pic- 
tured in all the mythical details, the unfortunate destinies of young 
men, "who," he says, "like the sons of Aurora, puflfed up with the 
glittering show of vanity and ostentation, attempt actions above 
their strength. For among all disasters that can happen to mortals, 
there is none so lamentable and so powerful to move compassion 
as the flower of virtue cropped with too sudden a mischance. . . . 
Lamentation and mourning flutter around their obsequies, like those 
funeral birds around the pyre of Memnon." 

Or hear his tribute to the value of true friendship : "A crowd 
is not company, and faces are but a gallery of pictures, and talk 
but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love. . . . It is a mere 
and miserable solitude to want friends, without which the world is 
but a wilderness." One is reminded of an exquisite passage m 

IC4 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

"Prometheus Unbound," where Shelley speaks of "the happiness 
which comes with the voice of one beloved and leaves this peopled 
earth a solitude when it returns no more." 

Let me finally quote a longer extract from the Essay on Death, 
which, following some previous examples, I have turned into blank 
verse. The changes made are of the most trifling character ; I have 
not, for example, added a single epithet : 

Oft have I thought on Death, and find it still 

The least of all our evils. Why is man 

Enamoured of his fetters, though of gold? 

But art thou drowned in security? 

Then thou art dead indeed. For though thou movest, 

Thy soul is buried in thee, and thine angel 

Either forsakes his kindly guard or sleeps. 

Naught lives upon this earth (save a true friend, 

Whom never may I count with things that perish) 

To which my heart yet leans. And this dear freedom 

Hath gotten me this peace, that I mourn not 

That end which must needs be, nor spend one wish 

To add one hour to my uncertain years. 

Yet there are few that have bespoken death. 

Death arrives gracious only unto such 

As sit in darkness, or lie heavy-burdened 

With grief and irons; to the poor Christian 

That sits bound in the galleys, to despairful 

Widows, pensive captives, kings deposed; 

To those whose fortune runneth back, whose spirit 

Rebels at destiny; to such comes death 

As a redeemer, and the grave appears 

A harbour of retiredness and rest. 

Had these conceptions and images of Bacon's had the good for- 
tune to be ranged in verse by a Shakespeare, we might, perhaps, 
have ranked them with the noblest passages of Hamlet and Mac- 

I can only touch briefly in this paper on those profounder aspects 
of Bacon's character and work which affect the question of his poetic 
equipment. As to his character, without our entering into the vast 
difficulties which its study raises, a glance through his most author- 
ized biographers will show how much of the distinctively poetical 
peculiarities he held ingrained. His inattention to facts, combined 
with power of observation, his prehensile yet slippery memory, the 
self-possession and self-satisfaction with which he wraps himself 
up in a world of his own, his "sanguine and restless disposition," 
his zeal for the abstract and remote, combined with his assiduity in 
walking the crookedest paths of the courtier ; his "portentous power 
of adapting his mind to the mind of others," his singularly high- 
flown ambitions and daring purposes, his unusual combination of 
eloquence and humor with the speculative faculty — all these become 
more and more evident to the student of his life and character, and 
all these belong to the marks and the promise of a poet. 

Turning with similar brevity of observation to his treatment of 
his themes as a philosopher, we find what we have already glanced 

Lord Bacon as a Poet. 105 

at, the irrepressible, incurable propensity to construct fairy worlds 
of imagination. In the fables of ancient paganism Bacon finds 
mysterious adumbration of profound moral and scientific truths. 
He seeks to explain to us the origin of the world from atoms by 
the myth of Cupid. His explanation of the fable sets forth a form 
of the atomic theory which he flatters himself is **more severe and 
sober than that of Democritus." 

Never surely was doctrine so weighty set forth in guise less 
severe or sober. Cupid stands for matter itself in its most element- 
ary conception. He has, acording to the fable Bacon selects, no 
parents, that is to say, primary matter has no natural cause of any 
kind. Cum sit, post Deum, causa causarum ipsa incausabiles. "Noth- 
ing," he continues, "has more corrupted philosophy than inquiry 
after the parents of Cupid." Philosophers decline to take things 
simply as they are in nature, but confuse issues with dialectical and 
mathematical notions. 

Bacon quotes Scripture to explain why Cupid was fabled to be 
sprung from an egg hatched by Night. "God made all things 
beautiful in their seasons and gave the world to their desputes." 
But yet so that the supreme law of being can only be understood 
by the human intellect through negative, not positive demonstra- 
tions. As negative demonstrations are a kind of ignorance and 
night, "the truths proved by them are justly signified by eggs 
hatched by Night." 

Dr. Kuno Fischer is indignant (perhaps excusably) at the "utter 
worthlessness" of these interpretations. "Bacon is no more an 
interpreter of the myths (he says) than ^sop is a zoologist." Take, 
for another ilustration, Bacon's development of the myth of Pan. 
The god Pan represents (so he expounds) the aggregate of earthly 
things. These are doomed to be transient, and a definite period 
of duration is assigned to them by nature. Therefore the Parcae or 
Fates are the sisters of Pan. The horns of Pan are pointed 
upwards ; and in like manner does nature ascend from individuals 
to species, and from species to genera, after the fashion of a pyramid. 
These horns, retaining their pyramidal form, reach to the sky; thus 
do the highest generic ideas lead from physics to metaphysics, from 
physics to speculative theology. The body of Pan is covered with 
hair, symbolizing the rays of light that emanate from shining bodies. 
It is composed of the human and the brute forms, to correspond 
to the transition from lower to higher grades and that mingling 
of them that everywhere appear in nature. The goats' feet of Pan, 
suited as thev are for steep climbing, denote the upward tendency 
of the terrestrial bodies; his pipes express the harmony of the 
world; the seven reeds signify the seven planets; the curved staff 

io6 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

represents the "circular" operations of Providence (which Bacon 
elsewhere explains). Lastly, Echo, the spouse of Pan, is a symbol 
of science, which should be the echo and reproduction of the cosmic 

Here, surely, we have the "fairy tales of science" in their most 
shining glorification. It is but a specimen of Bacon's prevailing 
methods of scientific and philosophic investigation. The very titles 
which he strews throughout his most grave and abstruse works tell 
the same story of his prevalent turn of mind. "The thread of the 
labyrinth," "the male offspring of time," "the ante-chambers of 
death," "the ladder of the intellect" — such are his headings of 
treatises where the discussion, as we have seen, though concerned 
with the gravest topics, is sometimes more strangely fanciful than 
even such fanciful titles could have led us to anticipate. 

Whatever, then, may be the value of Bacon's contributions to 
science and philosophy from the point of view of the scientist and 
the philosopher, when we come to estimate them with the eyes of 
the student of poetry we can hardly resist Taine's verdict: "This 
man thinks in the manner of artists and poets, and speaks after the 
fashion of prophets and seers." 

The severest judgment we may be inclined to pass upon Bacon's 
life-work will hardly be severer than that delivered by Joseph de 
Maistre from his standpoint as a Catholic philosopher. Yet his 
two volumes of hostile analysis are none the less an eloquent testi- 
mony to Bacon's poetic temperament and poetic power. "Parement 
il resiste," says De Maistre, "a lenire d'etre poete." An image, an 
analogy, a fanciful trope presents itself to Bacon's mind, and he 
seeks no better argument, but rather proceeds to prop up fancies 
with sophisms. "C'est la mainere eternelle de Bacon." It is an 
element in nearly all the misdemeanors wherewith De Maistre 
charges him. The stern champion of conservative orthodoxy, run- 
ning full tilt against Bacon's philosophy, and the dreamy revolu- 
tionist Shelley, who would enthrone Bacon beside the "divine" 
Plato, are at one in their recognition of Bacon as a poet. They 
would be equally amazed at such unfortunate specimens of literary 
criticism as those we quoted at the outset from some prominent 
"anti-Baconian" controversialists. 

George O'Neill, S. J. 
Dublin, Ireland. 

"The Logical Basis of Physical Laws" 107 


THE advance of physical science may be truly said to be one 
of conquest. In the face of difficulties often formidable, 
and at the cost of untold and persevering labors, men have 
penetrated farther and farther into the region of the unknown, have 
laid bare the secrets of nature and have discovered the laws which 
rule her actions. Like the heroes of ancient Greece, of whom 
Pericles speaks, who received their empire from their ancestors 
and handed it down to posterity, not only unimpaired, but enriched 
with new and distant territories, each generation builds upon the 
inheritance left it by its predecessors and in turn contributes its 
mite to the world's store of knowledge. So it comes to pass that 
many things which now seem almost self-evident to us in their 
simplicity were mysteries and fertile topics of speculation to those 
who have gone before us. 

Physical science, however, is not content with the mere observa- 
tion or investigation of isolated facts. It seeks unity in complexity, 
identity amid diversity. It strives to connect passing phenomena 
to make known the constancy and uniformity that characterize 
them, and to determine the forces which underlie them. To these 
constant and uniform modes of action and — in so far as they may 
be ascertained — to the causes from which they spring, it gives the 
name of laws. By means of these laws it expresses in simplest form 
the great truths of nature so as to make it possible to determine 
not only what is, but also — supposing, of course, no exception or 
change — what has been and what will be. 

If, now, we regard the development and establishment of the laws 
of nature from an historical point of view, we are confronted by a 
curious fact. Laws which were once supposed beyond all question 
to exist have come to be disproved completely, while others, though 
admitted to possess some truth, have in time called for extensive 
modification. Thus, for example— to take an instance in the history 
of astronomy — it was the belief of the ancient astronomers that 
the heavenly bodies moved with uniform motion in circular orbits. 
The grounds for this belief seem to have been of an a priori nature, 
and the validity of the law, for such it was considered, was not ques- 
tioned until the time of Kepler, who was the first to show that it 
had no foundation in fact. 

Again, in the life of Galileo we read of his oft-quoted quarrel 
with his fellow-professors of the University of Pisa, who upheld 
the law commonly taught at the time regarding falling bodies. 
According to this law heavy bodies fall with a velocity proportional 
to their masses, or, in other words, in any given locality the heavier 

io8 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

a body is the more swiftly does it fall to the earth. At first sight 
this seems plausible enough to preclude all doubt, but Galileo, with 
true scientific instinct, if not with equal scientific calm and dispas- 
sion, proved to his colleagues that the velocity of a freely falling 
body is independent of the amount of matter that it contains by his 
historic experiment of dropping cannon balls of different sizes from 
the top of the leaning tower of the city. The proof was as simple 
and direct as it was conclusive, for his discomfited adversaries could 
not deny the testimony of their senses, and so their cherished law 
passed from the domain of reality to that of fiction. 

These instances might be multiplied. Even in our own day 
scientific research often brings to light phenomena which make 
imperative the amendment of some of our enunciations regarding 
the laws of nature. A realization of this change in our views of 
physical laws has led to a reaction. Thus Professor Langley, in a 
paper^ read in Washington a few years ago, remarked : "There is 
growing to be an unspoken, rather than clearly formulated admis- 
sion, that we know little of the order of nature and nothing at all 
of the laws of nature." He also cites an example to illustrate his 
point. It is the supposed establishment of the existence of phlogis- 
ton, an essential constituent of all combustible bodies, which was 
given up by them during combustion. After quoting Priestley's 
confident words, 'Tf any opinion in all the modern doctrine con- 
cerning air be well founded, it is certainly this, that nitrous air is 
highly charged with phlogiston. If I have completely ascertained 
anything at all relating to air, it is this," he continues : "Phlogis- 
ton, then, was to the science of a former age in this sense a law 
of nature, and at least as great a generalization as the kinetic theory 
of gases is to us, as widely accepted, as firmly believed and as cer- 
tainly known — but what has become of it now?" It must, indeed, 
be admitted that not only has plogiston long since disappeared from 
the field of science, but many other supposed facts have met a 
similar fate. If, however, it be true that we are often compelled to 
modify our concepts of the laws of nature and at times even to 
abandon them altogether, we may well ask, what is after all their 
logical basis? Can we ever rest secure in our knowledge of them, 
or must we always place ourselves in an attitude of doubt ? 

Before entering upon this question it will be of advantage to 
determine precisely what is meant by the expression "physical law," 
since it is clear that there are various aspects under which it may 
be considered. To the physicist it commonly represents a constant 
relationship existing between certain phenomena. It may, for 
example, be the relationships existing between the pressure volume 

1 Smithsonian Report, 1901. 

"The Logical Basis of Physical Laws" 109 

and temperature of a gas, or between the current, electro-motive 
force and resistance, or between the resistance and temperature of 
an electrical circuit. Numberless instances could easily be cited. 
Or, again, it may be some great generalization, such as the law of 
universal gravitation, or the law of the conservation of energy, 
which connects and accounts for many particular laws and phe- 
nomena. It is the province of the physicist to investigate the divers 
relationships which research has brought to light, to formulate 
them and to endeavor to explain them, at least proximately, by 
theory. The metaphysician goes further and philosophically ex- 
amines the causes of which constancy and uniformity of action are 
but an effect. He studies the essential nature of a law, its varieties 
and the possibility of its suspension in the present order of things. 
There is also another way of viewing a physical law, which we may 
term that of the logician. For him it takes the form of a judg- 
ment which professes to contain a certain degree of truth, or, to 
put it technically, a certain degree of conformity between the intel- 
lect and its corresponding object in the order of nature. He 
examines this conformity and inquires especially into the validity of 
the methods by which it has been obtained and the extent to which 
we are justified in asserting it. 

Regarding, then, physical laws simply according to their scientific 
definition, and independently of their metaphysical aspect, or of 
the technical methods which the scientific investigator employs in 
his experimental researches to determine their existence and char- 
acter, it is evidently a question of some interest to establish the 
logical basis upon which they are founded, according as they are 
obtained by the various methods provided by logic for arriving at new 
knowledge. Our problem, then, is primarily one pertaining to logic, 
though it may perhaps also justly claim a place within the province 
of that new and rapidly growing field of thought — the methodology 
of science — which received special recognition at the late Interna- 
tional Congress of Arts and Science, where the sessions devoted to 
it were addressed by scholars such as Ostwald and Erdmann. 

For the sake of clearness, but one class of physical laws will be 
considered, viz., those which admit of quantitative, i. e., of mathe- 
matical expression. Concreteness, moreover, will be gained by 
taking a particular law of physics and inquiring ' into its logical 
basis while at the same time tracing its development. An apt 
example is furnished by the well-known and fundamental Boyle's 
law, which expresses the relationship existing at any given tem- 
perature between the volume and pressure of a gas. It is a matter 
of common experience that the volume of a mass of gas, as, for 
example, air, varies with the pressure. Increase of pressure is 

no American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

accompanied by a proportional decrease in volume. The law in its 
mathematical expression takes the simple form pv = c, in which 
p := pressure of the gas, v = its volume and c = a constant or the 
more general form, when combined with the law of Charles or Gay 
Lussac, pv = RT where R = constant and T = the absolute tem- 
perature. At any given temperature, then, whatever may be the cor- 
responding values of p and v, the pressure and volume respectively 
of the gas, their product, according to the formula, will always be 
equal to the same constant quantity. 

This law is evidently the expression of a mediate judgment. To 
arrive at it, therefore, the methods provided by logic for obtaining 
mediate judgments must be employed. It is hardly necessary to 
state that the two great methods are the analytic or inductive and 
the synthetic or deductive. To these a third may be added which 
holds a high place in scientific discovery, viz., the combination of 
the two methods just mentioned, which may be characterized as the 
analytico-synthetic method. 

The various branches of mathematics furnish perhaps the best 
example of the workings of the deductive method. Thus geometry 
starts with a series of postulates or axioms which are regarded as 
so evident as not to need proof. From them as first principles all 
succeeding propositions are derived by syllogistic reasoning, and 
upon them they ultimately depend for their truth. It is obvious, 
however, that this method cannot be employed in the immediate 
study of natural phenomena. The analytic or inductive method, 
on the other hand, has found its greatest application in the study 
of nature. It adopts an opposite mode of procedure and consists 
in the derivation of a general principle or law from particular 
instances. It was by this method that Boyle's law was established 
— first by Boyle in 1662 and seventeen years later by Mariotte. 
The method itself was well known to Aristotle and the scholastic 
philosophers of the Middle Ages, but it was raised to a higher plane 
and perfected by Lord Bacon and his school. 

Bacon, in the study of nature, insisted upon the empirical collec- 
tion and classification of facts and the subsequent inference from 
them of general laws. Many of the principles laid down by him 
are of high value and have had most far-reaching consequences. 
It has been the fashion, however, to laud the English philosopher 
to the skies and to bestow upon him the title of "the father of the 
inductive method," while the marvelous advances in physical science 
in modern times are ascribed mainly to the results of his teaching. 
Without detracting in the least from the credit due to Bacon, it is 
worth noting that his influence on modern scientific and industrial 
progress and the method which bears his name have both been 

"The Logical Basis of Physical Laws.' 


greatly over-rated. Stanley Jevons, indeed, takes the view, which 
he admits is extreme, that "Francis Bacon, although he correctly 
insisted upon constant reference to experience, had no correct 
notions as to the logical method by which from particular facts we 
educe laws of nature/'^ Whatever be the truth of this second state- 
ment, we must agree with him when he says : "The value of this 
method may be estimated historically by the fact that it has not been 
followed by any of the great masters of science. Whether we look 
to Galileo, who preceded Bacon; to Gilbert, his contemporary, or 
to Newton and Descartes, Leibnitz and Huyghens, his successors, 
we find that discovery was achieved by the opposite method to that 
advocated by Bacon. "^ 

We have now to consider the analytic method more in detail 
and see how it works in practice. As the purpose of the scientific 
investigator in employing it is the derivation of some general law 
connecting a number of particular instances, the first step to be 
taken is evidently the collection of the necessary data. This is done 
by simple observation when the phenomena in question are beyond 
his control, or by experiment and observation when their conditions 
can be varied at will. At the very outset, however, he will find 
himself confronted by a serious difficulty. It may happen that the 
constant relationship which he is investigating does not depend 
solely upon the phenomena themselves, but is also effected by other 
causes which, if not taken into account, may completely vitiate his 
results and so make them worthless as material upon which to base 
any inductive reasoning. 

Our gas law is a case in point. We notice, for example, that the 
volume of any gas depends in some way upon its pressure, and 
we wish to determine how these two factors are connected. As a 
matter of fact, as the pressure of a gas is increased its volume is 
diminished. Precisely the same volume change, however, may be 
brought about by keeping the pressure constant and lowering the 
temperature. Moreover, if the gas be suddenly compressed, the 
temperature rises, and in this case pressure and temperature tend to 
produce opposite effects on the volume. Here, then, is at least one 
element which may exert a considerable and undesired influence 
upon our results. Others, too, may be present, though perhaps 
not to so great an extent and will at least call for careful investiga- 
tion in order that error may be avoided. Evidently, then, there is 
need of some principles which may serve as a guide in eliminating 
all such disturbing factors, in order that the precise relationship 
which is being sought may be attained. 

2 "Principles of Science," preface to first edition. 
3/&M., Book IV., chap, xxiii. 

112 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Tjhese principles have been developed by John Stuart Mill in his 
"System of Logic," Book III., chap. 8. The first he calls the 
method of agreement, which is thus enunciated: "If two or more 
instances of the phenomenon under investigation have only one 
circumstance in common, the circumstance in which alone all the 
instances agree is the cause (or effect) of the given phenomenon." 
Apply this now to the determination of Boyle's law. It gives some 
aid, but clearly it is not sufficient to establish the law. For the 
instances of the phenomenon of volume change have not the one 
circumstance of pressure change in common, but the phenomenon 
of temperature change also plays a considerable and as yet unde- 
termined part. Our next step, then, will be to eliminate the tem- 
perature effect as we wish to discover the influence of pressure alone 
upon the volume of the gas. In other words, it will be necessary 
to make a series of simultaneous measurements upon the volume 
and pressure of our gas at constant temperature and, as far as possi- 
ble, under identical conditions. The successive measurements then 
will have every circumstance in common except that of volume and 
pressure change, and consequently we may expect to receive more 
light upon the relationship existing between them. Now this way 
of proceeding is an application of Mills' method of difference, viz. : 
"If an instance in which the phenomenon under investigation occurs 
and an instance in which it does not occur have every circumstance 
in common save one, that one occurring only in the former, the 
circumstance in which alone the two instances differ is the effect, 
or the cause, or an indispensable part of the cause of the phenome- 
non." The one instance in our case is the pressure, and hence it 
is "the cause, or an indispensable part of the cause of the phenome- 
non" of volume change. We cannot, then, be certain yet of the 
precise nature of the relationship between pressure and volume. 

A third method may be tried, viz., "the method of concomitant 
variations," which is thus stated: "Whatever phenomenon varies 
in any manner whenever another phenomenon varies in any par- 
ticular manner is either a cause or an effect of that phenomenon or 
is connected with it through some fact of causation." By varying, 
then, the pressure of our gas — all other conditions remaining the 
same — we notice a corresponding change in the volume — the greater 
the pressure of a given mass, the smaller the volume, and conversely. 
In fact, there is apparently a yuantitive relationship, for if the 
pressure is doubled the volume is reduced by a half ; if the pressure 
is made four times as great the volume is reduced to one-fourth of 
its original value, etc. Mill has given still a fourth method, which 
may also be taken into account before formulating the precise 
nature of this relationship. It is termed the method of residues, 

The Logical Basis of Physical Laws! 


viz.: ''Subduct from any phenomenon such part as is known by 
previous inductions to be the effect of certain antecedents, and the 
residue of the phenomenon is the effect of the remaining antece- 

Boyle and, after him, Mariotte, by following at least equivalently 
these canons established their law for air. Expressed mathemati- 
cally as pv = c, it is universal and exact and it naturally represents 
the concept of the law which we form. But what is the logical 
basis of such a concept? We cannot, of course, doubt the exist- 
ence of some definite law if the requisite conditions in determining 
it have been fulfilled. To what extent, however, are we justified 
in accepting this simple mathematical formula as an expression of 
what actually occurs in nature ? The subsequent history of the law 
has furnished the best answer to this question. 

The experiments of Boyle and Mariotte were naturally some- 
what crude and were made only upon air. Nevertheless, the rela- 
tionship established was regarded as exact. It was not until the 
nineteenth century that more extensive studies were made, and 
Despretz, in 1826, was the first to disprove its universality by show- 
ing that such common gases as carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, 
hydrogen and ammonia deviated quite sensibly from it. But was 
the law exactly and universally true even for air? The French 
physicists Dulong and Arago were led to investigate this question 
a few years later. Their main purpose was to study its validity at 
comparatively high pressures without, as it seems, doubting its 
exactness at ordinary pressures. They carried the pressure up to 
2y atmospheres and "observed that the volume of air always dimin- 
ished a little more than is required by Boyle's law. But as these 
differences were very small, they attributed them to errors of 
observation and concluded that the law was perfectly exact, at any 
rate up to 2y atmospheres." (Ganot, Book IV., chap. 2.) 

The logic of their reasoning — an observation for which the writer 
is indebted to Professor C. R. Cross — was characteristic of a time 
when scientific men were inclined to hold that the laws of nature 
were capable of simple and exact expression by mathematical form- 
ulae, and it is worthy of notice, since it brings out a point of funda- 
mental importance in the employment of the inductive method. 
The sole data upon which Dulong and Arago could base a legiti- 
mate conclusion were the results which they had obtained in their 
measurements. Now, the close agreement between the observed 
volumes of air and the volumes computed by the formula pv = c 
justified them in concluding immediately that Boyle's law was very 
nearly exact for air up to 27 atmospheres. The small deviations 
which they found certainly contained the errors of observation, but 

114 American Catholic Quarterly Reviezu. 

they might also have been caused in part by the departure of the 
law from the simple mathematical form. To proceed a step further, 
then, and assume without proof — where proof was clearly needed — 
that the deviations in their results were due to errors of observation 
alone and, in consequence, to infer that the law was exact within 
the rang-e of pressure investigated was to go beyond their premises, 
and such a conclusion could find no warrant in the inductive 
method. In other words, they possessed no objective evidence to 
justify them in passing with certainty from the one judgment, 
"Boyle's law is nearly exact for air up to 27 atmospheres," to the 
other very different, as was shown later ; in point of truth, "Boyle's 
law is exact up to this pressure." 

The conclusions of Dulong and Arago were accepted, and it 
remained for Regriault in his classic investigations in 1847 to settle 
beyond all doubt the question of the validity of the law. His work 
was carried out with an elaborateness and thoroughness that were 
characteristic of this French physicist. Profiting by the experience 
of his predecessors, he sought to eliminate as far as possible every 
known source of error, however slight it might be. His results, 
therefore, possess a high degree of precision. Regnault, moreover, 
removed all doubt regarding the source of the deviations which they 
indicated by showing that these were greater than any possible 
errors in his observations. He was forced to conclude, therefore, 
that they were caused by a departure of the law from the simple 
form pv = c. Besides air, other gases were studied, and it became 
evident that Boyle's law holds exactly for no actual gas, and con- 
sequently cannot be represented exactly by the formula pv := c, 
except in the case of the so-called perfect, i. e., hypothetical gas. 
Later investigations have all served to confirm this conclusion. 

Some stress has been laid upon this single instance from the 
history of physics, because it is typical of the establishment of a 
physical law arid because it shows the working of the analytic 
method better than an abstract discussion could do. It indicates, 
too, the tendency to hasty generalization which seems characteristic 
of the method, and which experience and advancing knowledge 
have so often proven to be unwarranted. Moreover, it emphasizes 
the fact that our certain knowledge of the laws of nature is limited 
by the data regarding them at our disposal. This is the sole evi- 
dence upon which we can build a certain judgment without fear of 
having to change it. When we argue beyond this evidence we 
enter the region of probabilities. Such further inference is, no 
doubt, in many cases quite legitimate, provided that we bear in mind 
that we are dealing simply with probabilities. It must be said, 
however, that as research advances this probability regarding the 

''The Logical Basis of Physical Laws." 115 

enunciation or universality of particular laws becomes very hio-h. 
In the case of some — as, for example, that of gravitation, at least 
within the limits of the solar system, where even the apparent devia- 
tions have been shown to be in accordance with the law itself — the 
probability of their exactness and universality approaches well nigh 
to certainty. Still as it is physically impossible to verify experi- 
mentally any law or even any single instance of a law with absolute 
exactness, there is some ground, however slight, for doubting the pre- 
cise formula by which the law is expressed or at least its universality. 

Not only is there danger of unwarranted inference when the 
actual data determined by experiment or observation are subject 
to analysis, but the liability becomes even greater when extrapola- 
tion is resorted to, i. e., when, after plotting such data, the curve 
upon which they lie is extended beyond the limits of actual observa- 
tion, and conclusions are drawn from the knowledge — purely 
hypothetical, it is to be noted — which it affords. Professor E. L. 
Nichols has pointed out ("Concepts of Physical Science," Popular 
Science Monthly, November, 1904) the uncertainty attendant upon 
such procedures and cites in confirmation several striking instances. 
When direct observation is impossible and the speculative element 
enters as a factor in our conclusions, "we are compelled," as he says, 
"to make use of analogy. We infer the unknown from the known. 
Though our logic be without flaw and we violate no mathematical 
principle, yet are our conclusions not absolute. They rest of neces- 
sity upon assumptions, and these are subject to modification indefi- 
nitely as our knowledge becomes more complete." 

Great care, then, is required in the use of the inductive method, 
and the experienced physicist in employing it will not readily com- 
mit himself to broad statements which have no real foundation in 
fact. So, for example. Gay Lussac, in striking contrast to Priest- 
ley's confident words quoted by Professor Langley, ends his account 
of his important researches on the free expansion of gases with the 
modest statement : "I think I may repeat that I present these con- 
clusions only with great reserve, knowing myself how I need to 
vary my experiments and how easy it is to go astray in the interpre- 
tation of results." 

The purely synthetic method, as has already been noted, cannot 
be employed in the immediate study of natural phenomena, and so 
the analytico-synthetic method next claims attention as a logical 
basis of physical laws. It seems paradoxical at first sight to speak 
of the use of any kind of deductive reasoning as a means of arriving 
at the truths of nature. Yet it is rather to this latter method, and 
not to the purely inductive method, that the great advance of 
physical science since the days of Newton is chiefly due. Newton 

ii6 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

himself excelled in its application and was among the first to make 
extensive use of it. Briefly stated, it consists in anticipating nature 
rather than groping blindly in the dark to solve her mysteries. 
Intellect and imagination, as well as the senses, are brought into 
play in the quest for new truths. The scientific investigator by a 
study of the facts at his disposal, and often with the aid of analogy, 
pictures to himself what may be and then proceeds to see whether 
his suppositions or their legitimate consequences have any founda- 
tion in fact. 

The method of procedure is simple in principle and may be stated 
in a few words. Its first step consists in the framing of some plaus- 
ible hypothesis which will account for some, at least, of the phe- 
nomena in question. This hypothesis, generally speaking, always 
remains an hypothesis, since it is usually made up of assumptions 
which from their very nature cannot be directly proven. Starting 
from these assumptions as first principles, a body of conclusions 
and laws is derived which constitutes the theory. The reasoning 
employed in the exact sciences is commonly mathematical and of 
course rigid. But what is the value of the conclusions which are 
thus obtained? As far as the reasoning itself goes, they are un- 
doubtedly exact, but viewed in the light of their actual correspond- 
ence with nature, they must be regarded as purely hypothetical until 
subjected to verification, inasmuch as they are conditioned by the 
assumptions upon which they are based. 

Boyle's law will also serve as an apt illustration of the deduction 
of a physical law by means of the analytico-synthetic method. As 
is well known, the kinetic theory of gases has for one of its first 
consequences this fundamental gas law in its exact form pv = c. 
This theory explains and develops the properties of gases upon 
mechanical grounds. It is based upon the assumption that the 
molecules, of which, according to the molecular hypothesis, all 
gases are composed, are perfectly elastic and, while moving about 
with rectilinear motion, are so far separated as to exert no appre- 
ciable attraction upon one another. Starting, then, with this 
assumption and the laws of mechanics, this relationship between 
the pressure and volume of a gas might have been derived without 
a single experiment. But it never could have claimed the dignity 
of an actual physical law until it was shown by the canons of the 
inductive method to possess a foundation of truth in nature. 
Indeed, without careful experimental verification, the slight but 
sensible deviations of ordinary gases from the simple mathematical 
formula would undoubtedly have remained unsuspected. The dif- 
ference between a verified law and a law which has been estab- 
lished simply by theory, but cannot be directly confirmed, is well 

''The Logical Basis of Physical Laws." ny 

illustrated in the case of Avogadro's principle, viz., that under the 
same conditions of temperature and pressure equal volumes of all 
gases contain the same number of molecules. This principle can 
be deduced from the kinetic theory of gases with the same validity 
as Boyle's law. But as it cannot be experimentally verified, it still 
remains hypothetical and cannot strictly be called a physical law, 
though it often bears this title. Its probability, however, is cer- 
tainly increased by this independent a priori derivation apart from 
all chemical evidence in its favor. 

Not only can the analytico-synthetic method suggest the exist- 
ence of hitherto unsuspected laws, but it is often able to take into 
account and explain deviations from laws which had been assumed 
to be exact. Thus — to return to our example of Boyle's law— 
when it was found that actual gases departed from its simple, mathe- 
matical form, efforts were made without much success to express 
the relationship existing between the pressure and volume of a gas 
by means of empirical formulae. Now Regnault's investigations 
showed that if the kinetic theory was to account satisfactorily for 
the properties of actual gases, a change was necessary in some of 
its postulates which, in all probability, could riot be sensibly true 
except in the case of an ideal gas. For it had been assumed that 
both the volume of the molecules themselves and their attraction 
upon one another were quite negligible. By making allowance, 
then, for these two factors, it becomes possible to deduce, as Van 
der Waals did in 1873, a formula which not only has a theoretical 
basis, but also represents with a certain degree of accuracy the 
known facts. This is the so-called Van der Waals' equation : 
(P + -^) (v-b)=Const. 

This equation, as will be noticed, is obtained from the formula 
pv = R by applying a correction both to the pressure (p) and to the 
volume (v) of the gas. As the molecules have an appreciable vol- 
ume of their own which is designated by the constant b, the avail- 
able space throughout which they can move will be less than the 
apparent volume of the gas by an amount b. The quantity v— b, 
then, takes the place of v in the simple formula. Molecular attrac- 
tion, on the other hand, will make the pressure of the gas less than 
it would be if the molecules had no influence on one another. For 
this attraction will evidently diminish the force. of impact of the 
molecules on the walls of the containing vessel, to which, according 
to the kinetic theory, the pressure of the gas is due. The pressure 
p then must be increased by a quantity which takes the form -^ 
where a is a constant and v is the volume of the gas. Instead, then, 
of p in the simple formula, we have in its place the expression 
p _|_ _^,_. The values of the constants a and b will, of course, differ 

Ii8 American Catholic Quarterly Revieiv. 

for various gases. In determining the form of the constant -^ 
Van der Waals supposed that the mutual attraction of the molecules 
depended solely on the volume of the gas. His equation was after- 
wards modified by Clausius, who^ made the further assumption that 
the molecular attraction is also a function of the temperature. It 
may be noted, however, that either form of the equation is only 
an approximation of the exact law for actual gases. 

The great value of the analytico-synthetic method lies in its power 
of suggestion. It serves as a guide and helps to open up new and 
often vast fields of research, while it stimulates and arouses the 
interest of the investigator. A good theory obtained by its aid will 
not only account for known phenomena, but also furnish conclu- 
sions, some novel and before altogether unknown, which only need 
the test of experiment to take their place in the depository of 
human knowledge. It is always necessary to bear in mind, how- 
ever, that such conclusions require verification in order to have 
any logical value as truths of nature, and they can be accepted as 
true only in so far as they agree with experience. To quote the 
words of Professor Dewar in commenting upon the various con- 
jectures made as to the properties of hydrogen when reduced to the 
liquid state : "No theoretical forecast, however apparently justified 
by analogy, can be finally accepted as true until confirmed by actual 

To conclude, then, it must be admitted that it is within our power 
to gain certain knowledge of the laws of nature unless, indeed, we 
deny the very existence of such laws or question the validity of the 
logical methods for establishing them. And such knowledge is not 
made any the less certain by the fact that it may be, and indeed 
often is, very inadequate, provided, of course, that the methods of 
acquiring it have been properly applied, and facts are discriminated 
from hypotheses, however great the probability of the latter. 
Physical laws are facts and not hypotheses, and hence our concepts 
of them, once legitimately formulated, cannot be shown to be false 
unless the laws themselves should change. The analytic and ana- 
lytico-synthetic methods, as applied to the study of nature, are not 
entirely distinct. They differ in their manner of arriving at truth, 
but they must necessarily go hand-in-hand. Indeed, they may be 
regarded as different aspects of a single method, and their conclu- 
sions, however obtained, must possess, if they are to be accepted as 
true, the one essential note in common, viz., agreement with ob- 
served facts, for that is our only criterion where there is question, 
not of eternal and necessary truths, but of the truths of nature. 

Henry M. Brock, S. J. 

Worcester, Mass. 

Sigismund Krasinski, the Polish Mystic and Poet. 119 



ISAIAS lifted up his eyes in prophetic vision and beheld light 
breaking over the land that was heavily burdened and on 
the people that sat in darkness and in the shadow of death. 
He saw Jerusalem arising from her bondage, her sons and daughters 
gathering about her, and the Kings and peoples of the East and 
West walking in her splendor. Twofold was the inspiration of 
him wjhose lips were touched with the coal of divine fire, that of 
the two most mighty, most passionate emotions of the human heart 
— religion and patriotism. And under their united and intertwin- 
ing power, blended mystically, the great Hebrew Vates poured forth 
his exalted utterance — the noblest poetry, the loftiest prophecy that 
mankind has ever heard. 

What Isaias was to his race, so in his lesser degree to the Polish 
people was Sigismund Krasinski, the poet-prophet of Poland, who 
at the price of crudest suffering, through "the pains of hell and 
toils of Purgatory," to use his own words, conceived and bore that 
message not only to his nation, but to every human soul, which 
wedded to an exquisite diction, glowing with rich harmonies of 
color and music, has forever placed him in the class of poets who, 
in Klacko's phrase, have consoled humanity at the cost of their own 
tears and anguish and heart rendings.^ 

Krasinski was born of a noble house in 1812 and died in 1858. 
That is to say, he belonged to that period of his nation's history 
that was rent with struggle as regards her political life, that brought 
forth not only Adam Mickiewicz, the greatest Polish, the greatest 
Slavonic poet, but so noble and so numerous a band of singers, 
inspired by sorrow, as to be justly reckoned the golden age of Po- 
land's literature. Add to these circumstances that the attitude of 
Krasinski's father, who had formerly played a distinguished part 
in the Napoleonic wars, but had since transferred his allegiance to 
Russia, thereby becoming a bye-word of reproach to the whole 
nation, darkened all Sigismund's career with a strain of peculiar 
bitterness. So painful was the dilemma between filial duty and an 
ardent patriotism that the poet left his country and wandered for 
the most part abroad in so far as the heavy hand of the Russian 
government permitted his movements. Racked by bodily ill health, 
consumed by melancholy and torn with mental sufferings, the 
"Anonymous Poet," for such was the cognomen under which 
Krasinski always wrote, consecrated his sad life to framing the 

1 Causeries Florentines par Julian Klaczko. 

120 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

poetry of love and sacrifice and sorrow by which he was fain to 
open a way of light to Poland in the depths of her dejection. 

We should remember that at the time that first saw Krasinski 
taking his place in the ranks of the Polish writers, namely, from 
1833 upwards, the life of the nation was dependent on her poets to 
a degree unprecedented in any history save that of ancient Greece.^ 

Mondes, Jan. 1, 1862. 

The poets led the nation. It was their strains that, written for the 

most part by exiles and emigrants, smuggled into Poland as Klaczko 
has so vividly described,^ devoured by the Polish youth at dead of 
night behind bolts and bars, with one of their number acting as 
sentry to give the alarm and knowing all too well that discovery 
meant imprisonment and Siberia. It was their strains that taught 
the nation her history, aims and ideals that could be learnt in no 
other manner under the iron rule of Nicholas I. Under overwhelm- 
ing difficulties to both reader and writer, the Polish poets carried 
out the vocation they held so sacred and inculcated the stern lessons 
of patriotism and self-devotion, all illumined, glorified, etherealized 
by the unearthly light of that form of Polish mysticism which is 
known as Mesyanism and which touches its highest level in the 
work of Krasinski, the most purely spiritual of its exponents. 

Weighed down by the misery of their nation, the Polish poets 
devoted their genius to discovering some theory that might not 
only explain the working of Providence in the present, but that 
should give to the nation cut off from all active life another sphere 
of action, a reason for her being, an object of endeavor, and thus 
prevent the moral decay that by the very nature of things must 
result from a paralyzed and hopeless existence. Intense suffering, 
said they, is sent as a direct preparation to some special calling. 
The Via Dolorosa leads at last to the glory of the Resurrection. 
Poland, therefore, has passed through the furnace till, purified by 
its fires, she reaches a great moral regeneration when she will take 
the leadership of Christian and more especially of Slavonic nations, 
and initiate the spiritual revolution of the universe which will behold 
all governments united in Christ and ruHng in Christ. Such, 
roughly speaking, is the fundamental doctrine of Mesyanism in its 
purest form, and it inspired the Polish nation with a literature which 
for artistic beauty, passionate religious feeling and deep pathetic 
power ranks with the finest productions of European letters. 

To races more materialistic than the Slav the theory of Mesyan- 
ism might at first sight appear too unreal to be taken seriously. 
But if we lay aside all preconceived ideas and consider the question 
from an exclusively Polish standpoint, we shall see how admirably 

2 Julian Klaczko, "Le Po§te Anonyme de la Pologme," Revue des Deuso 

3 lua. 

Sigismund Krasinski, the Polish Mystic and Poet. 121 

adapted this spiritual nationalism was to the moral conditions of 
Poland at the height of her suffering. On one side we have an 
enthusiastic and a high-spirited people, with a glorious past behind 
them, bowed down beneath an intolerable present; a people who 
have always clung passionately to their faith and nationality and to 
their rich language ; a people, moreover, of a peculiarly mystic ten- 
dency of mind. It was to save and to console this nation, with- 
held from leading the most ordinary life of the Commonweahh, 
galled by language prohibitions, by a press censorship of the most 
rigorous description, by the secret police, by imprisonment, by 
banishment to the mines, oppressed, in short, by all the Asiatic 
methods of a rule determined to crush every vestige of Polish 
nationality — it was to this nation that the Polish poets preached 

Such were the conditions under which Krasinski wrote. He saw 
his nation an outcast, ravaged by the two great banes of a conquered 
race — internal factions and temptation to revenge. To the calling, 
then, of showing Poland her one way of salvation Krasinski gave 
his life and genius. Gradually, painfully, through disappointment, 
weariness, perplexity, after a terrible wandering in God-forsaken 
spiritual darkness, did he learn and proclaim that truth so vital to 
the very life of a subject people: that the nation that would save 
herself by hatred and ignoble means must surely perish, for love 
is the one creating power and suffering the one road not only of 
redemption, but of glory. Suffering in Krasinski's scheme is the 
great moral regenerator of the universe arid of the individual. It 
is the road by which humanity, as he says in the "Psalm of Faith," 
must travel back to its ''Father's city." By personal martyrdom 
shall salvation be procured for others. In his "Psalm of Good Will" 
he thanks God for His greatest gifts, namely, a pure life, "therefore 
worthy of the Cross," and the Cross itself, "but such as brings us 
to Thy stars." He sang in the "Psalm of Love" of man rising 
Phoenix-like from sin, new-born by pain. He taught the soaring 
of the soul through suffering to heights of spiritual grandeur 
unknown to those who walk the paths of pleasantness. The might 
of sacrifice, he said, is the great strength of the world, stronger 
than fate itself. 

This message he addressed to his country now 'in the form of 
allegory, a method largely used at that period of Polish literature 
for the sake of safety; again, as in his great lyric "Dawn," in the 
shape of visions, mystical and ecstatic, of the spiritual restoration 
of Poland; and yet again in the "Psalms of the Future" it became 
a pointed warning iri the particular dangers to which Poland was 
•exposed. But intensely national as Krasinski is, it must not be 

122 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

imagined that he is any less a poet for all humanity than any of 
those great figures whose inspiration has become the lawful heritage 
and the beacon-light of the struggling human race. Dante has said 
that every work of serious purpose must not only be understood 
in a literal sense, but in that of allegory also. So spiritual is Kra- 
sinski's presentment of the moral struggle and victory of his nation, 
so peculiarly closely does it touch in many points the story of the 
travail and temptation of each interior life that as in the pages of 
Isaias the voice of Sion is the cry of the human soul, "Surge illumi- 
nare Jerusalem," the high-water mark of a national and individual 
mysticism, so we cannot doubt that even in those passages where 
Krasinski does not deal directly with the particular spirit, but with 
the sorrow, combat and triumph of Poland, Poland stands as a type 
not only of the grief, temptation and victory of every child of Eve, 
but of his own storm-swept heart. For he exacted of his country- 
men nothing that he himself had not given. His battle was gained 
hardly. Needs must be for the soul to wander in exceeding anguish 
through dark and desolate places without finding any rest till its new 
life is born at the price of its bitterest pangs. As Dante to reach 
the Empyrean went down into the pit of never-ending dole, so the 
great Polish poet only won to peace after he had wrestled long 
with a spiritual agony, stamped deep, indelibly branded on every 
line he wrote. 

In Krasinski's days the lives of the Polish poets were interwoven 
with the national history in a peculiar manner. We can, in fact, 
best realize the agonies of Poland in the terrible years succeeding 
the hapless Rising of 1830 from the poetry of that period. Hardly 
could there exist a sadder literature. It is one cry of passionate 
grief, written, as a Polish author words it, "in tears and blood," 
revolutionized by a nation's mourning. It was the sufferings of 
Poland that drove the great Mickiewicz and many another of Po- 
land's most gifted sons into the labyrinths of a strange illusory 
religious creed, where in the very flower of his splendid genius the 
magnificent poet of the Lithuanian forests was lost for the rest of 
his life to Polish literature. It was beneath their weight that, as 
we shall see, Krasinski sank before he rose redeemed to sing 
salvation to his people. 

It was amidst pain and anguish of no ordinary degree that 
Krasinski turned his weary eyes to a dream country, pure, beautiful, 
spiritualized. "My country," he says in "Dawn," "is not to me a 
home, a country, but is both faith and truth;" in other words, his 
ideal and something like a religion. And his vision soars far be- 
yond that of an individual nation and her resurrection. He sees 
before his prophetic gaze the day-spring of humanity — the new 

Sigismund Krasinski, the Polish Mystic and Poet. 123 

world of which he sings in ''Dawn," where there is one God, one 
love, no sin or bloodshed, the explanation of the long riddle of 
pain and temptation — ushered in by his nation's suffering. That 
became Krasinski's one dream. He and his countrymen had no 
earthly nation; then they should have one, raised to heights of 
spiritual glory if — and here enters his grave condition — if the nation 
by heroic bearing of her sorrows, by preserving her shield free from 
stain, should prove herself worthy of her great destiny. This ex- 
alted aspiration, to be realized only by ceaseless and painful striv- 
ing, at once raises Krasinski to the rank of the great mystic teacher 
of his people. To a mind that like his could conceive such a mis- 
sion for his race and so noble an outcome to pain, every national 
sin and moral weakness would be in the highest degree abhorrent 
and a direct apostasy from the appointed vocation. Here, then, 
we have the key to Krasinski's loathing of evil means wherewith to 
purchase good, to his horror of revenge and violence. Against 
these he lifted up his voice as long as speech was in him. His 
nation was to conquer by virtue alone. In his "Psalm of Love" he 
laments that black thoughts are born of fetters and declares that 
the torments of Siberia and the barbaric knout pale before those of 
a ''poisoned mind," which he calls the "sorrow of sorrows" of an 
oppressed people. Hence follows the motive of his great prose 
drama, "Irydion." 

"Irydion" was written in 1836, while Poland was groaning be- 
neath the vengeance of Nicholas I. for the Rising of 1830. Hatred 
begets hatred, and Krasinski, seeing his nation's peril, sent forth 
his earnest warning under the figures of the struggle between sub- 
ject Greece and Rome. 

Irydion is the son of a Greek and of a Scandinavian priestess. 
Nursed on hatred of Rome, brought up from his cradle to the 
destiny of the avenger, he and his evil genius, Masynissa (in reality 
Mephistopheles), carry on the plot by their united scheming. No 
consideration save his enemy's fall is sacred to Irydion's soul; no 
means to this end too ignoble to employ. Torn by anguish, but 
relentless to her tears for mercy, he sacrifices his, sister's honor to 
Heliogabalus, thereby working on the fears of the craven Emperor 
till he is completely in the traitor's power. He successfully under- 
mines the loyalty of the Pretorians ; he gathers together the fierce 
barbarian bands, thirsting for blood. So far all has played into 
his hands, but the crucial test now comes. Masynissa tells him 
that the whole enterprise depends on the adhesion of the Chris- 
tians. Irydion therefore goes down into the Catacombs. There 
he receives a feigned baptism and afterwards proceeds to dupe in 
a manner peculiarly offensive to Christian feehng the maiden, Cor- 

124 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

nelia, who is vowed to Christ and looked upon as a saint and 
prophetess by her fellow-believers and whose frenzied exaltation 
under Irydion's precepts becomes his most powerful aid. He then 
arms, apparently for the honor of Christ, the younger men. But 
it is in the hiding place of the persecuted first followers of Christ 
that the ethical significance of the whole drama receives one of its 
most pointed illustrations, for it is there that the minister of hatred 
has to pit his strength against a power greater than his own, by 
which he is vanquished in the end. In vain does Irydion strive to 
gain over the Pope and the older generation who preach to the hot- 
headed among their number of love and forgiveness for the perse- 
cutor. The hour of bloodshed that Irydion has so long prepared 
is at last at hand. Pretorians, slaves, barbarians are upon their 
arms waiting for the signal. With savage joy Irydion cries to the 
too tardy night, the last night of Rome, to hasten its coming. But 
where are the Christians? Irydion hastens to the Catacombs. 
There he hears Cornelia, exorcised by the Supreme Pontiff, ac- 
knowledge that it is the evil spirit that has spoken at Irydion's 
bidding through her lips words which will lose the Christian for- 
ever to his cause, and in his presence she expires, breathing with 
her last sigh her pardon for him who wronged her. 

Doomed to failure, the maddened Irydion dashes the cross he 
wears to the ground and rushes to the scene of war to battle to the 
end, more, say his foes, like the spirit of incarnate hatred than 
mortal man ; but in vain. He has failed. Masynissa leads him to 
a mountain near Rome. Then in the dark hour of his impotent 
anguish Irydion curses his master for having deluded him with 
false promises, and declaring that had Cornelia's God existed it is 
to Him that in his despair he would now call, he adjures Masynissa 
to tell him if Christ be truly God. Masynissa confesses Christ, but 
as his immortal enemy, and foretells to Irydion that the "city of his 
hatred" will once more rule all nations in the name of Christ. But, 
continues the tempter, a far-off day will dawn when the reign of the 
Crucified will be over, when **in the Forum there will be dust, in 
the Coliseum ruins and on the Capitol shame." If Irydion will 
foreswear the Enemy of Masynissa, the latter will cast the Greek 
into a trance of ages till he awakes to behold the shame of Rome. 
Irydion agrees to the bond, and he sinks into a deep slumber in a 
cave near Rome. The hoofs of Alaric's hordes thunder above his 
head — the triumph of Charlemagne. But not till the centuries have 
run does Irydion awake. 

Then he arises in the strength of his youth (at the date of the 
drama), and gazes on the ruins of Rome — on the fallen Palatine, the 
silent Forum, the crumbling Coliseum. It is in the mighty amphi- 

Sigismund Krasinski, the Polish Mystic and Poet. 125 

theatre that the last judgment upon Irydion's soul takes place at 
the foot of the Cross against which he once fought in vain, which 
now he dimly acknowledges as the symbol of sorrow, even as he 
himself had sorrowed, even as the Hellas of his love had sorrowed— 
and "holy for evermore." The ruin is bathed in the cold rays of 
the moon. The sighs of the martyrs and the hymns of the saints 
fill the arena. Above Irydion shines the angelic face of Cornelia. 
Her wings flash white in the light of the moon as she battles for 
the salvation of her betrayer. But below is the fury of Masynissa, 
striving to tear him from the Cross around which the struggle rages 
for his soul. 

'Tmmortal Enemy," is the cry of Hell, "he is mine, for he Hved 
in vengeance and he hated Rome." But higher still rings Cor- 
nelia's entreaty for forgiveness: "Oh, Lord, he is mine, for he 
loved Greece." And Irydion is tossed between the powers of dark- 
ness, howling for their prey below, and heavenly love, interceding 
for him on high — a contest that admirably illustrates the motive of 
the play. The plea of love prevails, and here let the great moral 
of the drama be observed. The chief character in Krasinski's ear- 
lier play, "The Undivine Comedy," is lost because he had loved 
nothing except himself. Irydion is saved because although he hated 
Rome he had one love left to his soul — he loved Greece. But be- 
cause (and here we have one of Krasinski's leading tenets), because 
he loved so sinfully, because he used such foul weapons for the 
object of his love, he is only saved under conditions. In the sen- 
tence of expiation pronounced upon him Krasinski partly throws off 
the allegory and speaks more directly to his country. It should 
be remarked that when the poet alludes to what he calls his 
Thought, this Thought and the personality of Irydion are identical. 
Thus, then, does the drama end. Irydion is bidden : 

"Go to the north in the name of Christ. Go and halt not till 
thou standest in the land of graves and crosses. Thou wilt know 
it by the silence of men and the sadness of little children. . . . 
Thou wilt know it by the sighs of My angels, flying o'er it in the 
night. . . . There is thy second trial. For the second time 
thou wilt see thy love transpierced, dying . . . and the sor- 
rows of thousands shall be born in thy one heart. ... Go and 
trust in My Name. ... Be calm in face of the 'oppression and 
the derision of the unjust. They will pass away, but thou and My 
word will not pass away. ... Go and act, although thy heart 
should faint in thy bosom ; although thou shouldst lose faith in thy 
brethren; although thou shouldst despair of Me Myself; act ever 
and without rest ... and thou wilt rise not from sleep as erst, 
but from the work of ages ; and thou wilt be the free son of heaven. 

126 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

*'And the sun rose above the ruins of Rome. And there was none 
whom I might tell where were the traces of my Thought. But I 
know that it lasts and lives." 

These striking words give us the clue tO' the rest of Krasinski's 
work. His thought both lasted and lived. He is the poet of one 
idea, his only deviation therefrom being during the seven years 
that elapsed between the publication of 'Trydion" and of "Dawn." 
He has left the lasting record of those sad years in the lines of 
ineffable pathos and purest beauty with which he opens his noble 
lyric, "Dawn." Here he tells how, his faith staggered by the sight 
of his country's misery, he sank into an abyss of despair and doubt, 
where all light was changed into eternal night; where one only 
inscription was writ large, "There is no hope here;" where he 
"dwelt, dwelt long, torn by wild rage and despair that knew no 
shore." "Like Dante, during life I went through hell." But he 
sings in the same prologue of the "joy of faith, the mighty strength 
of hope" that returned to him at last; how his sighing "passed 
away to song ;" how sudden light broke over the storm-racked skies 
and "the mist becomes the golden house of God." 

From henceforth we have to follow him along an ever upward 
road. More and more does he become the great moral teacher, the 
poet of love and of the sorrow that worketh not death, but life. 
"Dawn," the child of his pain-fraught travail, the joyous birth after 
his long agony, may be called the apotheosis of suffering. It con- 
sists of a series of mystical musings on love and self-sacrifice, linked 
on to the question of Poland, culminating in glorious visions of the 
nation heralding through her anguish that better epoch of humanity 
for which the poet never ceased to sigh. It is in this work that 
Krasinski gives forth the declarations that who loves cannot perish ; 
who dies a sacrifice lives forever in the lives of others ; in the spir- 
itual world death and love are one. The great have grown from 
pain, not ease. The poem, which is considered the finest expression 
of Mesyanism in the Polish language, is rich with the gorgeous 
imagery and word music characteristic not only of Krasinski, but 
of the other poets of his race, and it rises to raptures of spiritual 
exaltation in its close when the poet, doubly inspired no doubt by 
the memory of his own soul's uprising, in a grand paean of triumph 
solemnly thanks the Eternal God of his fathers for long torment of 
mind and body, for although they who endured them were weak and 
poor, Christ's kingdom shall be born therefrom, and the seeming 
eternity of anguish was but the night of test, the rung on the ladder, 
the ante-chamber, and where weeping once resounded stands now 
"the second house of God." 

But his efforts were not to end here. His noble gift was em- 

Sigismund Krasinski, the Polish Mystic and Poet. 127 

ployed as a direct mode of serving the nation that he loved so well 
and for which he could labor in no other way. His country's need 
inspired the "Psalms of the Future," which contain his two greatest 
poems, the "Psalm of Love" and the "Psalm of Good Will." 

Apart from its high literary merit, the "Psalm of Love" pos- 
sesses an abiding and pathetic interest of its own from the tragic 
circumstances that gave it birth. It was written in 1845. Although 
Krasinski was both a mystic and a dreamer, he was at the same 
time politically clear-sighted to a remarkable degree. Revolution 
was then preparing, and the poet, foreseeing all too plainly that it 
would end as it did in the terrible massacres of Galicia,* sent forth 
the only means of warning open to him in the strains of the "Psalm 
of Love," that solemn summons of the angel of peace to pause 
before the horrors of the crimson-stained field of fatricidal war. 
Count Tarnowski places this psalm among the world's splendid 
failures of political eloquence.^ No note that could appeal to a 
patriotic heart is left unsounded. It is a passionate pleading 
adapted to one nation and to all the world against the weapons of 
violence and against the sullying of the soul and of the national ideal 
by evil. Against hell alone, the poet at one moment cries, should 
our arms be carried, and brute violence is the language of races in 
their infancy. Now is the time for man to take upon himself the 
harder toil of him who would be like the angels, to cast off with 
loathing all that is foul and by that very spurning to rise superior 
to bondage. Transformation through love is the one God-like fruit- 
ful truth. Or, again, he cites the example that will live forever, not 
of the blood-stained tyrants of history, but of those who have 
labored without rest, who have immolated themselves on the altar 
of sacrifice for the land of their heart. Then he sings in an ex- 
quisite lyric of his ideal, conquering the moment of deatii and 
despair by the one strength of bitterest martyrdom, and rising in 
that power to dry all tears, to cure all sin, to be the herald of the 
everlasting love. Sorrowfully does the poet turn his yearning gaze 
from that fair vision to stern reality in the oft-repeated and, in the 
light of what was to follow, the tragic refrain, "Fling away your 
murderous weapons." "God," he concludes mournfully, "will not 
turn away His Face" if the struggle be holy and in His name. 

Krasinski followed up this poem by the "Psalm of Faith" and 
the "Psalm of Hope." The former is one of his most mystical and 
least national utterances. It is, as the name implies, his confession 

4 It will be remembered that the machinations of the Austrian Government 
turned the arms of the Polish peasants against the land owners, and an 
appalling butchery took place. 

5 Pisma Zygmunta Krasinskiego . . . przedmowa Stanislawa Tamow- 

skiego. Cracow, 1890. 

128 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

of personal and political faith. He describes in somewhat obscure 
language how the spirit, casting off the withered leaves of its body, 
soars aloft on unwearied wings, with the twilight depths of the past 
behind it and the measureless stretches of what may not be spanned 
before it, till it reaches the bosom of its Creator. 

'Thither," says the poet, speaking from the fulness of his restored 
heart, ''thither I without ceasing travel, there first must I go through 
the pains of hell, through the toils of Purgatory till I begin to put 
me on body and soul more radiant and ascend to the other world." 
Thence he passes to the clearer hymning of Him who is the desire 
of the soul, in whom there is "love without measure, that is life 
without end," who is "Being, Spirit, Life — Father, Son and Holy 
Ghost," He in whom man must "live . . . eternally by eternal 
love." And as the soul works its way back to its Author, so each 
nation travels thither likewise, each on the particular road allotted 
to it. For to each some deep thought has been sent down from the 
Heart of the Creator to become the special predestiny of that people. 
And some are chosen before all others to combat for God's beauty 
upon this earth and to bear the crimson-tracked cross of pain. 
Such, continues the Polish prophet, is the calling of his own nation 
if, he adds in an exceedingly beautiful passage striking home to 
every sorrow-stricken soul, she will understand that "Oh, God, 
Thou lovest without measure those sons whom Thou dost crown 
with thorns, for the thorn steeped in blood is the everlasting flower, 
and with it Thou shalt renew the youth of all humanity." His 
concluding words are an exhortation to the human race to follow 
in the footsteps of Christ, "Who bore all thy vicissitudes in His 
Flesh, who showed thee all thy hopes;" to leave in the pit the 
slavery of Satan and the fetters of falsehood, and on the wings of 
heavenly knowledge and of eternal love to soar into the worlds of 
light. The "Psalm of Hope," written in the same year, sets forth 
in almost martial strains the same ideal. 

The next psalm he wrote after the massacres in Galicia had dealt 
Poland one of the deadliest blows from which she has ever suffered. 
To this poem its author gave the significant title of the "Psalm of 
Grief." It is said that two thousand nobles were butchered during 
the outbreak. Whole families were swept away. But not even the 
catastrophe that paralyzed Poland for fifteen years could destroy 
Krasinski's spirit. For two years his anguish brought him to the 
gates of death ; but by an almost superhuman effort he rose above 
his pain, and out of his own agony wrung words of consolation for 
his despairing nation. Krasinski is the saddest of poets, but he is 
no pessimist. He is the singer of hope. Nothing could shatter 
his confidence, his certainty; no shock, however rude, could shake 

Sigismund Krasinski, the Polish Mystic and Poet. 129 

his faith in his fair ideal of moral beauty. In his "Psalm of Grief- 
enduring monument though it be to a nation's sorrow— he still 
spoke of the Holy Ghost shedding peace and harmony over a dis- 
tracted world ; he sang of brotherly love as the means of salvation 
on the very brink of the eternal abyss; he pointed to the soul 
winning her way to God through purity and pain. 

And what was practically his last poem, the "Psalm of Good 
Will," marks the glorious highest point not only of his teaching, 
but also of his poetic genius. It is, indeed, more than that— it is 
the grand closing of the mystic prophetic phase of Polish literature, 
that literature so strange, so sad, so haunting in its beauty. What, 
then, was Krasinski's last message to the people for whom he had 
spent his life? Its title is the answer — that the greatest ideal may 
be reached with heart's blood, with tears and travail, if good will he 
there.^ The noble prayer rolls on in long, sweeping lines of incom- 
parable majesty like deep organ harmonies, to use Klaczko's simile. 
The whole psalm breathes the solemn peace, albeit strongly tinged 
with the sorrow never absent from Krasinski's work, of one who 
had only gained thereto at the end of a bitter highway, only after 
passing through depths of unspeakable anguish. 

In his last psalm Krasinski sings the magnificent vision of his 
nation's temptation. This is one of the best illustrations in his 
poetry of what we have already observed, namely, that his national 
mysticism is in reality that of each sore-beset unit of storm-tossed, 
tempted humanity. 

We, says the poet, are above the yawning abyss, on the narrrow 
isthmus. Our wings are pointing to the resurrection, our lips are 
parted for the song of joy. From the blue heavens, as though from 
the bosom of God, as though His sheltering arms shoot down the 
golden shafts of the dawn that will take from our weary brows the 
weight of sorrow. The life-giving east is aflame and the angels are 
at gaze; but from the precipice rises the darkness, heaving, grow- 
ing, measuring itself towards us (this sort of imagery is very char- 
acteristic of Krasinski), seething with passion, hatred, falsehood— 
the pit itself, eternal death. Behold us, then, suspended between 
that never-ending death and life. If one glance is cast towards the 
darkness, if one step be turned to meet it, then the light of dawn 
will vanish from our foreheads, and neither Christ's pity nor the 
consolation of His Paraclete will be for us. 

"Have mercy. Lord," cries the poet. "Defend us, be Thou with 
us." Then despair tells him that in that supreme moment of their 
fate none may aid, and that the tempted stand alone to make of 
their crisis what they will. 

6 Count Tamowski, op. cit. 

130 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

But one name rises to his fainting heart, the name with which 
*'upon their hps milHons of PoHsh souls have gone to death," the 
name of Mary.'^ Let her, prays the poet, remember them. "Look 
upon her, oh, Lord," as she is borne by those spirits who have been 
so true to her beyond the Milky Way, beyond the sun, across 
measureless space till she kneels at the feet of God while all the 
universe waits and hearkens. Below, hell clamors with its bitter 
laughter. The roar of its furious waves is in our ears, its darkness, 
by which it would drag our souls to death, is about us. Oh, vain 
one, cries the poet, it seeth not what is being wrought on high ; it 
seeth not that its rage is nought since that pitiful heart for us is 
wrung. Then he pours out the last cry of his soul, his farewell to 
his nation, in the prayer that flows on to the end of the psalm like a 
majestic and untroubled sea: 

**0«h Lord, Lord, not for hope do we pray — as a flower shall it 
be strewn ; not for the death of those who have wronged us — their 
death will dawn with to-morrow's clouds ; not for the rod of rule, 
not for help (for Thou hast already opened wide the field of events 
before us) ; but for one thing only in the terrible convulsion of such 
events do we implore of Thee, oh Lord, only a pure will, oh Father, 
Son and Holy Ghost. Oh Thou most dear, hidden and universal 
One, visible beyond the veil of transparent worlds; oh Thou all 
present, Immortal Holy One, oh Father, Son and Holy Ghost. 
Thou who hast commanded to the being of man, puny in strength 
and little in birth, that by the might of sacrifice he should become 
even as the angels, we beseech Thee, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, 
with the simplicity of children, with the lowliness of women — before 
Thee, oh God, we are children and women, but to the world men — 
we, suspended betwixt the abyss and Thy kingdom, oh Father, Son 
and Holy Ghost, we beseech Thee, with our foreheads bowed to 
earth, our temples bathed in the breath of Thy spring, surrounded 
by perishing government and worn out times ; oh Father, Son and 
Holy Ghost, we beseech Thee create in us a pure heart, make new 
our thoughts, from our souls uproot the weeds of sacrilegious false- 
hood, and give us that gift, eternal among all Thy gifts — give us 
good will'' 

With these words closes the life work of Sigismund Krasinski. 

Monica M. Gardner. 

Ipswich, England. 

7 For the better appreciation of this passage, it should be understood that 
the deep devotion of the Poles to the Blessed Virgin is of an intensely 
patriotic as well as religious character. Many of their most sacred national 
associations are connected with the Madonna of Czenstochowa. 

The Good Faith of Unfaith? i^l 


I had rather believe all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and 
the Alcoran than that this universal frame is without a mind.— Lord Bacon, 
Essay on Atheism. 

IN CERTAIN quarters not too well informed there is an impres- 
sion abroad that the theory of evolution has demolished the 
doctrine of theism; that physical science has disproved the 
existence of God, and that unbelief is based on reason, but belief 
on unreason. 

These pretensions it is not proposed here to discuss. Unbelief, 
in point of fact, is a negation of reason. But is the unbeliever at 
any rate bona Me in his unbelief ? To that question we propose in 
this paper to supply an answer. 


And, first, as to the declarations of Scripture — declarations, it 
will be remarked, that were supernaturally uttered, but declarations 
of arguments that are wholly natural. Of these natural arguments, 
of these appeals to reason, two classes are put forth by Holy Writ 
as leading to knowledge of God — the historical and the cosmological. 
The historical argument was twice, at least, indicated by St. Paul, 
at Lystra and at Athens. 

Preaching to the men of Lystra St. Paul said (Acts xiv., 14-16) : 
"God, who made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and all 
things that are in them ; who, in times past, suffered all nations to 
walk in their own ways. Nevertheless, He left not Himself without 
testimony, doing good from heaven, giving rains and fruitful seasons, 
filling our hearts with food and gladness." 

And again, in the Areopagus at Athens : "God it is who giveth 
to all life and breath and all things ; and hath made of one all man- 
kind to dwell upon the face of the earth, determining appointed 
times and the limits of their habitation, that they should seek God, 
if haply they may feel after Him, or find Him, although He be not 
far from every one of us ; for in Him we live and move and are." 

In these texts the Apostle refers to the secondary causes of the 
physical order which, in God's guiding hand, minister to the pre- 
servation and well-being of mankind. Created things without a 
mind move towards an end, and in the main towards the relatively 
best end. The uniformity of their operation proves this. Nor is it 
less evident that motion towards an end must have an intellectual 
superintending cause. What is this cause? It cannot be the non- 
intellectual creation, animate or inanimate. It can only be God. 
St. Paul had also in mind the history of the nations of the earth, a 

132 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

history so ordained by God that in the course of events men who 
were wilhng to see could not fail to see the divine element underly- 
ing and showing through the human : "Who in times past suffered 
all nations to walk in their own ways; nevertheless, He left not 
Himself without testimony."^ 

What was this testimony? St. Paul answers: "Doing good 
from heaven, giving rains and fruitful seasons; filHng our hearts 
with food and gladness." And this the Creator does with this object 
that: "Men should seek God, if haply they may feel after or find 

Lastly, the Apostle alludes to the benevolent providence of God 
which guides and directs the life of each individual human being, 
so that not even a hair falls from your head without His full per- 
mission : "God is not far from each of us ; for in Him we live and 
move and are." 

Thus St. Paul sets forth a threefold aspect of God's paternal 
guardianship of man : First, He guides the brute creation, animate 
and inanimate, to a definite end for the good of man ; secondly. He 
moulds the history of nations; thirdly, He shapes the life of the 

The conclusion to be drawn from all this evidence is too obvious 
to need expression, and therefore the Apostle does not express it. 
We may sum it up thus : Man is shown to be a dependent being ; 
he has a Guardian ; he is, consequently, a ward, with the rights, the 
duties, the obligations of a ward. Moreover, not only is man a 
ward, but he knows that he is a ward. Man knows, and cannot but 
know, his own dependence; for in every man in full possession of 
his reason there is begotten — spontaneously and inevitably — a 
knowledge, obscure indeed and confused, and yet withal unmistaka- 
ble, of a Supreme Being watching over him, caring for him, teaching 
him right and wrong, threatening him for evil doing, promising 
reward for uprightness, so that he is led to grope after God and to 
find Him more clearly and know Him more explicitly through a 
consideration of the manifold blessings of Divine Providence. 

1 To this "testimony" no race of men has ever been wholly blind. Taylor 
("Primitive Culture," I., 384) says: "So far as I can judge from the im- 
mense mass of evidence, we have to admit that the belief in spiritual beingrs 
appears among all low races." 

And C. P. Tiele ("Kompendium der Religriongeschechte," p. 7), the dis- 
tingruished Assyriologlst, declares that "no tribe or nation has ever been 
found which did not believe in beings greater than man, and that to assert 
the contrary is to be confuted by obvious facts." 

Oskar Peschel, the noted ethnologist ("Volkerkunde," fifth ed., p. 260), 
having inquired whether or not anywhere on earth a tribe has been found 
entirely destitute of religious notions, answers: "Nowhere and never." 

As Max Miiller says pithily ("Science of Language," second series, p. 
436): "All nations join in some way or other in the words of the Psalmist, 
*It is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves.' " 

The Good Faith of Unfaith? 133 


So much, in brief, for the historical or teleological argument for 
God's existence. We now pass on to a consideration of the Scrip- 
tural testimony to the value of the physical or cosmological argu- 
ment. This is clearly set forth both in the Old and in the New 

We take the older text first (Wisdom xiii., i-io) : "i. All men 
are vain (fools) in whom there is not the knowledge of God; and 
who, by these good things that are seen, could not understand Him 
that is ; neither, by attending to the works, have acknowledged who 
was the Workman. 2. But have imagined either the fire, or the 
wind, or the swift air, or the circle of the stars, or the great water, 
or the sun and moon, to be gods that rule the world. 3. With whose 
beauty, if they being delighted, took them to be gods, let them know 
how much the Lord of them is more beautiful than they. For the 
First Author of beauty made all those things. 4. Or if they admired 
their power and their effects, let them understand by them that He 
who made them is mightier than they. 5. For by the splendour of 
creatures' beauty, the Creator of them may be seen, so as to be known 
thereby. 6. But yet (it may be objected) as to these they are less 
to be blamed. For they perhaps err, seeking God and desirous to 
find Him. 7. For being conversant among His works, they search ; 
and they are persuaded that the things are good which are seen. 

8. But then again (it is answered) they are not to be pardoned. 

9. For if they were able to know so much as to make a judgment 
of the world, how did they not more easily find out the Lord thereof ? 

10. Therefore, unhappy are they and their hope is among the 

That is a striking passage indeed ! It is couched, no doubt, in a 
rugged, old world style, but its argument is obvious and irresistible. 

The New Testament text is from St. Paul to the Romans 
(i., 18-25), and runs thus: "18. For the wrath of God is revealed 
from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that 
detain the truth of God in injustice. 19. Because that which is 
known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it 
unto them. 20. For the invisible things of Him, from the creation 
of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things which 
are made ; His eternal power also and divinity. So that they are 
inexcusable. 21. Because that when they knew God, they have not 
glorified Him as God, nor given thanks. But they became vain 
(they became fools) in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was 
darkened. 22. For professing themselves wise, they became fools. 
23. And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the 

134 ^ American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of 
four-footed beasts, and of creeping things. 24. Wherefore God 
gave them up to the desires of their heart unto uncleanness to dis- 
honour their own bodies among themselves. 25. Who changed the 
truth of God into a lie ; and worshiped and served the creature rather 
than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." 

The parallelism between these two passages is so clear that we 
have no need to draw it out. The introductory proposition of 
Wisdom (verse i), it will be noticed, is identical with the final con- 
clusion of Romans (verse 21) — viz., that ignorance of God is only 
pretended ;2 that is "vanity" and "folly." 

There is not much doubt about Scripture's opinion of the atheist : 
"The fool hath said in his heart : There is no God" (Psalm xiii., i). 
For the sake of clearness, let us repeat that the objective principle 
of the demonstration in both these classical passages is the natural 
world, and is not supernatural revelation. We have, indeed, an 
inspired criticism as to the value of the arguments, but the argu- 
ments themselves are drawn from the light of reason and are not 
drawn from the light of faith. 

This is obviously the case with St. Paul. For the purpose of the 
Apostle is to prove that all men, Jew and Gentile, are alike guilty 
before God. He argues thus: All — all, without exception — had it 
in their power to know God, and to know the moral law; and yet 
they failed to honor and worship the one or to regulate human life 
according to the dictates of the other. Then — to forestall an objec- 
tion of the Gentiles that they, having received no supernatural revela- 
tion like the Jews, had sinned from ignorance — St. Paul emphatically 
declares that God and His Law are naturally knowable from created 
things alone, without any supernatural manifestation. 

Nor is this meaning less evident in Wisdom. The drift of the 
writer is this : All men are blameworthy who know not God — all, 
even those who live under no light of supernatural revelation. For 
to find God is, for all men, quite easy. Why? Because the ascent 
is plain from visible things that are good to the Invisible Good — to 
"Him Who Is" (verse i) — from works to Workman — from law to 
Legislator — from rays of beauty to the Sun of Beauty — from limited 
power to Power Unlimited — from creature to Creator. 

In the argument which we are studying two distinct questions 
present themselves for solution, and are solved differently : 

"Is there a God?" 

"What is God?" 

Now, the imperfection of the creature solves the former question. 
There is a God. For the temporal implies the Eternal ; the change- 

2 The great atheists are hypocrites. — Bacon, Essay on Atheism. 

The Good Faith of Unfaith? 135 

able, the Unchangeable ; the moved, the Mover ; the contingent, the 
Necessary ; the limited, the Illimitable ; the finite, the Infinite ; the 
work, the Workman. 

To answer the latter question and to investigate what God is, we 
must turn from the negative to the positive side of creation ; from 
what the creature is not, to what it is; from imperfections to perfec- 
tions. For just as these imperfect things, by virtue of their very 
imperfection, point to One more perfect, to One higher and nobler 
than themselves, and clamor inarticulately (as, articulately, Paul and 
Barnabas did to the Lycaonians) : 'We are not thy God; seek 
higher;" so, on the other hand, do they, by virtue of their perfection 
— by their beauty, or power, or wisdom, or justice, or love — point a 
definite finger to One, from whom all these attributes are derived; 
One in whom all these qualities are combined ; One who is Absolute 
Beauty, Absolute Power, Absolute Wisdom and Justice and Love.' 
"Ask now the beasts, and they will teach thee ; and the birds of the 
air, and they shall tell thee. Speak to the earth, and it shall answer 
thee; and the fishes of the sea shall reply. Who is ignorant that 
the hand of the Lord hath made all these things." (Job xii., 7-9.) 

This twofold aspect of creatures — their perfection and their imper- 
fection — is alluded to in that most beautiful verse of the eighteenth 
Psalm : "The heavens (by their magnificence) show forth the glory 
of God; and the firmament (by its want of absolute perfection) 
declareth the work of His hands." 


I. Such is the emphatic teaching of Scripture, arguing from the 
light of reason. The very same doctrine is put forward in a tone 
not less uncompromising, and even more emphatically, by the Greek 
and Latin fathers. To a student of patristic literature the tradi- 
tional teaching on the following heads will be abundantly clear: 
First, that this visible universe is a natural manifestation of God, 
appealing to man's unaided reason; secondly, that this objective 
manifestation, and the subjective power of the mind to grasp, realize 
and appropriate it, are of such a character that in all men arrived at 
the full use of reason there arises— as it were, spontaneously— a 
knowledge of God at least confused and indistinct;* thirdly, that 
to develop this primitive cognition, to make it full and explicit, to 
render it clear and distinct, there are ample me?ns at hand— whether 
we consider the native powers of the human understanding itself or 

3 God is Love. I. John iv., 8. ^ .^^,«n /lor-viir 

4 For now we see in a mirror (Greek text reads, m a riddle), darkly 
. . . now I know in part. I. Cor. xiii., 12. 

136 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

the traces of God in creation — to enable the mind to mount from 
creature to Creator. 

2. But it may be well to recall to mind that the Fathers recognize 
and insist on two separate and distinct stages in the natural knowl- 
edge of God; the one, obscure, confused and more or less spon- 
taneous, which impels a reasoning man to examine further ; the 
other, clear, distinct, reflex and philosophical. Of course this philo- 
sophical knowledge presupposes a trained and educated mind. It 
presupposes an intellect cultured enough to grasp the essential 
dependence of the universe, to understand what contingent being is, 
and to realize how the finite, imperfect, created implies of necessity 
the Infinite, Perfect, Self-existent. It presupposes a power to appre- 
ciate the "greatness of the beauty of the world," its unity in multi- 
plicity, the marvelous subordination of the vast and the tiny, the 
gigantic and the microscopic to their proximate, mediate and final 
ends. It presupposes a capacity to analyze and synthesize the 
"works" and thus elaborate and "pick out" a clearer notion of the 

Such a study is not necessarily a process merely a posteriori. For 
when the existence of a first cause has once been demonstrated 
a posteriori from contingent being, than by an a priori method, by a 
study of the intrinsic and essential constitution of necessary being, 
we can arrive at a more elaborate and explicit knowledge of God. 
The subtle-minded Augustine when he fell to the contemplation of 
"What God is" betook himself to the metaphysical order; he sifted 
eternal and immutable truth as it reveals itself in mathematics and 
the other sciences; he analyzed the ideas of wisdom, justice, truth, 
goodness ; he examined into the metaphysical laws which — rooted 
in the divine essence, though independent of all will, even the divine 
— rule and govern not only the actual, but the possible ; and by these 
means he strove to gain an extended view of the truth, wisdom and 
substantial goodness which are the foundation and exemplar of the 
whole metaphysical and notional order as well as the cause of the 
light of reason^ by which we understand that order. Such a study 
is obviously beset with difficulties, and though within the physical 
competence of all men it is within the moral and practical capacity 
of few. Hence the reasonableness of the dogmatic decree of the 

5 God is the creator of man's intellectual life. For "in Him was life, and 
the life was the light of men" (John i., 4). God "enlighteneth every man 
that cometh into this world" (John i., 9). For that light is the light of 
reason, the light of the intellect; and the divine intellect is to the human 
what the seal on a delicately- cut and priceless gem is to the coarse image 
of itself stamped on clay. Hence the Psalmist (iv., 7) says: "The light of 
Thy countenance, O Lord, is sealed upon us." The human intellect is a 
f..\it8 copy of the infinite intellect of God. 

The Good Faith of Unfaith? 137 

Vatican Council that to supernatural revelation it is due that all 
men can know God easily, with certainty and without admixture of 

3. But it is with the non-philosophical knowledge of God we are 
here concerned. The Fathers teach, with striking unanimity, that 
besides and prior to the knowledge of God acquired by scientific 
demonstration there is a knowledge of the divine existence common 
to all men who have not quenched the torch of reason within them. 
That in a paper like this there is not space for more than a few 
specimen passages from patristic writings, such as strike the keynote 
of tradition on the subject, is sufficiently obvious. For the argument 
to the existence of God is repeated, inculcated and driven home on 
every possible occasion by practically every Father from Justin to 
Bernard, and a complete catena would fill a volume.^ 

The Fathers presuppose the existence of God as a first principle, 
which no man in his wits would question. Clement of Alexandria 
has left us most valuable testimony. For he was born, about A. D. 
150, of pagan parents, spent his younger days among pagans and 
was highly educated in all that the pagan world had to communicate. 
So that if any man ever understood the difficulties of those Greeks 
and Romans of whom St. Paul had spoken so severely, it was St. 
Clement. And yet he speaks of the existence of God as a fact so 
evident to a reasonable man that to question it would be an absurd- 
ity: "Peradventure, the proof of God's existence ought not even 
to be undertaken, since His Providence is plainly seen from a glance 
at His works, works full of art, and wisdom, and order, and method. 
But He who gave us being and life gave us also reason and willed 
us to live according to that reason"^ (and not to ignore our Maker). 

Furthermore, addressing his contemporaries, he proves to them 
at great length, from their own literature, that all men know, 
naturally and zvithout instruction, not only of the existence, but also 
of the providence of God. From a vast array of quotations, culled 
from every class of the pagan authors, he shows that the Greek 
philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle, were not alone in attribut- 
ing to God a watchful providence over men— to God, invisible, one, 
all-powerful, infinitely wise cause of all goodness and all beauty— 
but that this same knowledge, although less developed, was spread 
through all classes of human society and through the peoples of all 
countries : "God, our Parent and the Creator of all things, is seen 
in all things, through the inborn power of the mind, and without 
teaching, by all men. But no class of men anywhere-bucohc, 

6 Constit I., Cap. 2, De Revel. „ . . t^^ r^^.^ t 1 

T Cf. Kleutgen, "Theologie der Vorzeit," Tom. II., Petavius. De Deo I., 1. 

9 Stromata, Lib. V., Cap. 14, 612. 

138 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

nomad or city resident — can fail to have their minds filled with one 
and the same primitive conviction of the being of Him who set up 
the world."® 

The Fathers again testify most unmistakably to the value of the 
theistic argument. St. John Chrysostom, commenting on the class- 
ical passage of St. Paul to the Romans/'^ writes : ''Whence, O Paul, 
is it known that God implanted this knowledge of Himself in the 
nations? Because (saith he) that which is known of God is mani- 
fest in them. This, however, is assertion, not proof. But do thou 
demonstrate to me and make it clear that the knowledge of God 
was manifest in them, and that with open eyes they turned aside. 
Whence, then, was it manifest? Did He send them a voice from 
above? Not at all. But He made what attracted more than any 
voice. He created and set this universe before their eyes, so that 
wise man and witling, Scythian and barbarian, being penetrated 
through sight with the beauty of things seen, could mount up to God. 
Wherefore he hath it : the invisible things, etc. What, too, saith the 
prophet? The heavens declare the glory of God. What excuse, 
then, shall the nations make in the day of wrath? We knew Thee 
not ? Knew Me not ! Heard ye nought then telling of Me ? Not 
the firmament proclaiming Me by its aspect? No harmonies and 
symphonies of the trumpet-tongued universe? None of the un- 
changing, ever stable laws of day and night, with the fixed and goodly 
order of winter, spring and the other seasons, together with the sea, 
ever tractable amid all its billows and its turbulence? Knew ye 
not of all these things, abiding in their order, preaching aloud the 
Creator by their beauty and their magnificence? All this forsooth, 
and more, doth the text of Paul sum up as in a nutshell." 

Theophilus of Antioch enforces the same doctrine by an apt simili- 
tude: "As the soul of man is itself invisible to men, but is per- 
ceived by the movement of the body, so, in like manner, God cannot 
be seen by the human eye, but is known by His providence and His 

The Fathers, moreover, teach with equal clearness that this knowl- 
edge of God's existence is easy and accessible to all men who have 
not warped and debased their reason. So Augustine : "Such is the 
force of true divinity that from the rational creature, with full use 
of his faculties, God cannot be wholly and entirely hidden; for (ex- 
cepting a few in whom human nature is too degraded) the whole 
race of men confesses God the Maker of the world."" 

Gregory the Great puts it pithily: "Every rational man — from 

8 Stromata, Lib. V., Cap. L, 547. 

10 "Horn.," 3. 

11 In. Jo. 106, n. 4. 

The Good Faith of Unfaith? 


the very fact that he is rational— ought to gather from reason that 
his Maker is God/'^^ 

And Chrysostom, with his golden eloquence : ''Silent is the firma- 
ment, but its very aspect is more than trumpet-tongued in its appeal, 
not to ear, but to eye. Scythian and barbarian, Indian and Egyptian 
and every earth-treading man will hear this voice; ... and 
whithersoever he goeth, by gazing on the sky, will find instruction 
enough in the look of it."^^ 

Nor can a man, according to patristic teaching, shut his eyes to 
God's existence. He may, indeed, debauch and prostitute his reason, 
and thus in the end cheat and deceive himself, but as Tertullian 
emphatically expresses it: "No man denies— for no man is blind 
to what nature itself proclaims — that God made the universe."^* 

To the same effect St. Cyprian" declares unbelief and agnosticism 
to be wilful blindness: "It is a capital crime (summa delicti) to 
refuse to recognize what you cannot ignore." 

St. Paul had said much the same thing (Romans i., 28) : "They 
did not like to acknowledge God." 

And the sentence of Wisdom comes to as much: "All men are 
fools by nature who profess agnosticism." 

And in the same sense Gregory Na^nzen uses words almost too 
strong for the politeness of modern flp-s : "That God exists as the 
chief and primal Cause, Originator and Upholder of all things is a 
fact made patent both by external nature and by natural law. . . . 
Too dull and driveling assuredly is the man who does not by himself 
attain to this degree of knowledge5|f 

As a natural corrollary of this teaching the Fathers hold the 
knowledge of God to be universal. This is sufficiently apparent 
from the foregoing extracts, which may, however, be supplemented 
by another from Tertullian, where, addressing pagans on the proofs 
of God's existence, he says: "I call in a fresh witness. . . . 
Stand thou forth, O soul, in open court. . . . Not thee do I 
summon who hast been formed in the schools, trained in libraries, a 
frequenter of porches and academies, a babbler of crude wisdom. 
I address a soul, simple, rustic, unpolished, homely, such a soul as 
they possess who possess only thee ; such a soul as we meet on the 
road, in the highways, at the shops of artisans. I have need of thy 
inexperience. . . . Thou art not, I know, a Christian. . . . 
Nevertheless Christians now demand of thee a testimony. . . . 
JVe give offense when we preach God as the One God, under the 
one name of God, from whom ar e all things and on whom the uni- 

12 Moral, p. 27, c. 5, n. 8. 

13 Horn. 9, ad pop. Antioch, n. 2. 

14 De Spectac, c. 2. 

15 De Idol. Vault., n. 9. 

140 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

verse depends. Bear then witness thou to this description of God, 
if thou knowest it to be true. For thee, too, we hear saying openly, 
at home and abroad, with a freedom denied to us. May God grant it, 
and. If God wills it. In such Hke words dost thou declare there is 
some God and makest confession of His Omnipotence, to whose will 
thou dost appeal; and at the same time thou dost deny the rest of 
them to be gods in that thou callest them by their proper names, 
Saturn, Jove, Mars, Minerva. . . . Thou affirmest also that He 
alone is God whom alone thou callest by the name of God. . . . 
Neither art thou ignorant of the nature of God whom we preach; 
God is good is thine own expression."^® 

Many Fathers go even further still. In teaching that the exist- 
ence of God can be deduced from His works they seem so to exag- 
gerate the facility and universality of the deduction as to reduce it 
almost to a simple intuition. They speak of this knowledge as 
**innate." Tertullian says: "Evidence of a soul naturally Chris- 
tian! The soul's consciousness of God from the beginning is a 

And John Damascene : "Not, however, in ignorance of Himself, 
utter and entire, hath God suffered us to be wrapped. For there is 
no man alive in whom the knowledge of God hath been naturally 

Not, of course, that the word "innate" is used in the Kantian 
sense of "subjective form," nor yet in that of the school of "Innate 
Ideas." The word is a rhetorical exaggeration to express the simple, 
easy and almost imperceptible process of reasoning which leads up 
to the knowledge of God. That the Fathers never meant to deny 
that there is some process of reasoning, and therefore an acquisition 
of this knowledge, the foregoing citations amply prove. "Innate," 
therefore, in this patristic sense is opposed not to "acquired," but 
rather to that reflex, philosophical knowledge begotten of study and 
meditation, and especially to that fuller, surer and more perfect 
knowledge of God imparted to the world by a supernatural revela- 


The teaching, then, of patristic theology touching the value of the 
arguments for God's existence is emphatic and unmistakable. The 
Fathers declare the knowledge of God to be accessible to all men, 
to be easily acquired, to be all but innate ; and for the agnostic they 
can hardly find strong enough words of condemnation. Their 

i« De testimon. animae, c. i., 7. 

17 "Apol.," c. 17. 

18 "Fid. Orthod.," I., 1. 

The Good Faith of Unfaithf 141 

teaching then reiterates, explains and developes the teaching of Holy 
Writ. Moreover, precisely the same doctrine is inculcated by the 
great doctors and theologians, by the Franciscan Bonaventure," by 
the Dominican Aquinas,^^ by the Jesuit Suarez.^i St. Thomas stig- 
matizes the opposite opinion as "falsity and error." 

Kleutgen,22 summing up the views of scholastic writers, says: 
"Looking at doubt from the point of view of truths, knowable with- 
out divine revelation, we affirm that real doubt, in regard to many 
of these truths, is in all men immoral. . . . That beyond this 
world of sense there exists a Reality, unattainable by the senses 
, . . is a fact which man's own reasonable nature makes so evi- 
dent that he sins if he doubts it. . . . Over and above the philo- 
sophical knowledge of God, there is another knowledge, so easy to 
acquire and so certain that ignorance or doubt can only be explained 
by guilty levity or proud obstinacy." 

Herein Kleutgen was only saying more at length what St. Thomas 
had expressed in a few words: "The knowledge of God is inborn 
in us to this extent, that by principles inborn in us we can with ease 
perceive the existence of God. [Dei cognitio nobis, innata esse 
dicitur, in quantum per principia nobis innata, de facili percipere 
Deum esse possumus. Opuse 70. Sup. Boeth. de Trinit.]" 

And last of all, the teaching formulated in Scripture, elaborated 
by the Fathers, explained by the Doctors of the Church and defended 
by her theologians, is enunciated also in the Councils. The Vatican 
CounciP^ defined as follows: "Holy Mother Church holds and 
teaches that God — Beginning and End of all things — can, through 
created things, be known with certainty by the natural light of 
human reason. For the invisible things of Him, etc." (Romans 
i., 20.) 

And again in the first canon^* appended to the chapter of which 
the above is part : "If any one should say that God — One and True, 
our Creator and Lord — cannot be known with certainty by the things 
that are made, through the natural light of human reason, let him be 

It will hardly be denied that these two dogmatic declarations are 
to the point. Short, clear-cut, unambiguous, they clinch the argu- 
ment and leave no room for cavil or evasion. As far as Catholics 
are concerned they have given the death blow both to traditionalism 
and supernaturalism. These opinions are now formally heretical. 

i» "In Sent.," 1, 3, 2. 

20 "Cont. Gent," I., 12. 

21 "Metaph.," D. 27, S. 3. 

22 "Philosophie der Vorzeit," Tom. L, Diss. III., Cap. I., n. n. 225-2^7. 

23 Sess. III., Cap. 2, Denzinger, n. 1634. 
2* Denzinger, n. 1653. 

142 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 


It may not here be inappropriate to introduce the question why 
God has not given us fuller evidence of His existence and made it 
easier for all men to believe. For no one can deny that there are 
grave difficulties in the way and that these difficulties God, by a few 
words, might have removed. 

The answer to this question is, perhaps, that God has given enough 
evidence and judges it best not to give more. He might, of course, 
have given more. He might, indeed, have given so much that we 
should have had no choice but to believe. God might have so inun- 
dated the mind with intellectual light that we should have had to 
admit the truths of religion just as we have to admit the truths of 
mathematics. But God does not want to compel belief. For He 
demands a rationabile obsequium (Romans xii., i). He calls for 
the voluntary submission of the mind before the abundant evidence 
which He has supplied. For He, the Light of the world, has suffi- 
ciently enlightened every man that cometh into the world. On this 
head Christ's mind is revealed to us in the parable of Dives and 
Lazarus (Lk. xvi., 31). When the rich man in hell begs Abraham 
to send Lazarus from the dead to warn the sufferer's five brethren 
lest they, too, should fall into fire, Abraham makes answer that they 
have the evidence of the prophets, and that that is enough. Nay, 
that if that convince them not nothing else will : "If they hear not 
Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one 
rose again from the dead." 

So much for the Jews under the Old Law. And in the New Law 
Christ, time after time, declared that He had given the world super- 
abundant evidence, so that men were responsible for their unbelief. 
To the unbelieving Jewish cities, in which He had wrought many 
miracles, He said: "Woe unto thee, Chorazain! Woe unto thee, 
Bethsaida ! For if in Tyre and Sidon the mighty works had been 
done which have been done in you they (the pagan cities) would 
long ago have repented in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you 
that it shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of 
judgment than for you." 

And this menace Christ repeated against another Jewish city. He 
said : "And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt 
be brought down unto hell. For if the mighty works which have 
been done in thee had been done in Sodom, it would have remained 
until this day. But I say unto you that it shall be more tolerable for 
the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for thee." (Matt, 
xi., 21-24.) 

At Christ's bar will it, then, be a valid plea on the part of the 

The Good Faith of Unfaith? 140 

Jewish inhabitants of Chorazain, Bethsaida and Capernaum that 
their unbeHef was due to insufficient evidence? Christ's words do 
not lend support to that suggestion. 

Christ pronounces against the unbehever a stern and unquaUfied 
condemnation: '*He that beheveth not shall be damned." (Mark 
xvi., 16.) 

And in other places He says, without qualification, without limita- 
tion, in a tone that makes small allowance for the bona Mes of unbe- 
lief: ''Whoso shall deny Me before men, him will I deny before 
My Father who is in heaven." (Mark x., 33 ; Mark viii., 38; Luke 
ix., 26; II. Timothy ii., 12.) 


I. It may not be useless here to set forth and answer a popular 
objection which by not a few is thought to invalidate the foregoing 
argument. The ancient authorities adduced above, it is urged, are 
obsolete. They had not the full evidence of facts before them, and 
thus their testimony is discounted. For the theory of Evolution, 
we are told, has revolutionized men's ideas on these fundamental 
questions, and has cut away the basis of the ancient standpoint.^' 
In the simplicity of those old days men thought the earth was flat, 
like the slab of a dining table, and that the sun, moon and stars were 
fixed in a crystal firmament that rolled round the earth as its centre. 
But these and such like crudities science has swept away. Theo- 
logians do, indeed, cling to old-fashioned opinions, but theologians, 
we are assured, lie along the path of science like the strangled snakes 
around the cradle of Hercules. "Physical science," Mr. Huxley 
said,^^ "has brought to the front an inexhaustible supply of heavy 

25 This objection is amazingrly stated in Oliver Wendell Holmes' "The 
Poet at the Breakfast Table," sec. 6. After boiling liquid infusion for six 
hours, and then sealing- it in a test-tube, the speaker says: "Do you know 
what would have happened if that liquid had been clouded and we had 
found life in the sealed flask? Sir, if that liquid had held life in it, the 
Vatican would have trembled to hear it; and there would have been anxious 
questionings and ominous whisperings in the halls of Lambeth Palace. The 
accepted cosmogonies on trial, sir! Traditions, sanctities, creeds, ecclesi- 
astical establishments, all shaking to know whether my little sixpenny 
flask of fluid looks muddy or not! I don't know whether to laugh or to 
shudder. The thought of an oecumenical council having its leading feature 
dislocated by my trifling experiment! A wineglassful of clear liquid grow- 
ing muddy! If we had found a wriggle, or a zigzag, or a shoot from one 
side to the other, what a scare there would have been, to be sure, in the 
schools of the prophets! Talk about your 'megatherium' and your 'mega- 
losaurus,' what are these to the 'bacterium' ajid the 'vibris?' These are the 
dreadful monsters of to-day! If they show themselves where they have no 
business, the little rascals frighten honest folk worse than ever people were 
frightened by the dragon of Rhodes!" 

26 Hume, "English Men of Letters" series, p. 59. 

144 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

artillery of a new pattern, warranted to drive solid bolts of fact 
through the thickest skulls." The old landmarks are swept away. 
By the discovery of Evolution science has invalidated the old world 
arguments, and among others the proofs of the existence of a Deity, 
etc., etc., etc. 

2. Such is the objection, popular nowadays, but urged by sciolists, 
not scientists. Real students of science do not ramble thus. The 
leaders of science are among the first to admit that religion and 
science move on different and non-intersecting planes, and no more 
conflict than a whale conflicts with a camel. For the question of 
God's existence is not a problem of science at all. It belongs to 
metaphysics. It is the business of mind-science, not of matter- 
science. The physical scientist has for his subject-matter the ma- 
terial universe as he finds it, and the origin of this universe is no 
concern of his. He deals with matter (whatever matter may be) 
and with force (whatever force may be) ; or rather he deals with 
the relations between matter and force, for he can only define one 
by the other, and has no notion what his terms, taken absolutely, 
may mean. Of the relations between matter and force he can say 
much, but what matter may be in itself is an inscrutable mystery, 
and what force may be in itself is an inscrutable mystery. ^'^ But the 
whence of matter and force does not fall within the scope of his 
inquiries. In his weighing and measuring of the relations between 
matter and force he has no more to do with the metaphysical ques- 
tion of their origin than a stonemason has to do with the geological 
question of the origin of stone, or the bridge-builder with the mathe- 
matical question of the laws of geometry in accordance with which 
he carries out his work. If the student of physical science interests 
himself in questions that lie outside his domain — for instance, as to 
how that domain came into being — he has passed from physics into 
metaphysics, he has ceased to be a specialist, and his speculations 
deserve as much, or as little, respect as the speculations of any other 
active minded person who thinks fit to propound opinions on sub- 
jects for the consideration of which his training has in no way pre- 
pared him. As Lord Rayleigh in his presidential address to the 
British Association, 1884, remarked: "The opinion of a scientific 
worker may have a special value, but I do not think that he has a 
claim, superior to that of other educated men, to assume the attitude 
of a prophet. The higher mysteries of being, if penetrable at all by 

27 Matter Is that which can be acted upon or can exert force. Force is that 
which chang-es, or tends to change, the state of rest or uniform motion of 
a hody. Body is a portion of matter which is bounded by surfaces, and which 
is limited in every direction. — "Status and Dynamics," by S. L. Loney, fifth 
ed., Pt. n., ch. iv., n. 52. Matter and face are therefore known only as 

The Good Faith of Unfaith? 


human intellect, require other weapons than those of calculation and 

This view of the limitations of science is borne out by scientists 
themselves. Professor Huxley^s said: "The scientific investigator 
is wholly incompetent to say anything at all about the first origin of 
the material universe." And Sir Robert Ball thinks the same : "We 
do not inquire how the original nebula came into being. We begin 
with the actual existence of this nebula." The existence of "this 
nebula," by the way, is a pure guess. 

Professor Tyndal coincides i^^ "If you ask the materialist whence 
is this earth, of which we have been discoursing, he has no answer. 
Science is mute in regard to such questions. Science knows nothing 
of the origin or destiny of nature. Who or what made the ultimate 
particles of matter science does not know." 

Professor E. Ray Lankester^^ wrote: "So far as I have been 
able to ascertain, after many years in which these matters have 
engaged my attention, there is no relation, in the sense of a connec- 
tion or influence, between science and religion. . . . Science 
proceeds on its path without any contact with religion ; and religion 
has not, in its essential qualities, anything to hope for or to fear 
from science."^^ 

Professor Karl Pearson^^ also wrote: "It cannot be too often 
reiterated that the theory of Natural Selection has nothing whatever 
to do with Christianity." 

2B Jfineteenth Century, Feb., 1886. 

29 "Scientific Materialism," p. 80. 

30 Letter to the Times, May 19, 1903, p. 3. 

31 "Religion has not anything to fear from science," but indirectly it has 
"something- to hope from it." For though truth cannot conflict with, it can 
elucidate truth. The author of "Luke Delmege" has quaintly expressed 
this: "Has science pushed back religion behind its ramparts; and is it 
now forming en echelon for a final and overwhelming attack? No; religion 
is like the thrifty rook that follows behind the sower, pecks up the seeds he 
has dropped, and assimilates them into itself. Science tried to frighten 
religion away with a battered hat and a tattered coat streaming on a pole, 
but it only got laughed at for its pains. Religion uses every fact dropped 
from the bag of science for its own use. Science labels it 'Poison,' but 
religion smiles and pecks it up, stares at the scarecrow mocks at it and 
flies off with the plunder. Science would like to string up religion, but 
cannot catch it; it fires, but only blank cartridge. When science discovers 
that a new star has swum into our horizon; or has investigated a new 
cell; or has found out a new germ; or fished out a nev animalcule, it 
expects religion to bring forth its treatises on Apologetics, to take off its 
hat and genuflect, and to say, 'Venite, adoremus!' Yet scientists are but 
delvers in darkness. Every jet of flame thrown on the secrets, down the 
subterranean vaults of nature, lights a lamp before the throne of the 
Eternal. Shout down to the blackened and begrimed miners in the coal 
pits of nature, 'Come up, come up, ye unbelievers! Ye are but laying bare 
amid your 'potencies and potentialities of nature,' proof after proof of the 
Infinite Creator who formed it all." 

32 Letter to the Times, May 9, 1903. 

146 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

4. Whether or not the material universe began as a nebula or a 
cosmos no amount of word-scattering can obscure the fact that the 
First Cause of that imiverse is a Being extrinsic to that imiverse. 
For the efficient cause of an effect is prior to and outside its effect. 
Now, a cause external to all matter is not material; and, if not 
material, it must be spiritual, a Spirit, a Mind. That Mind created 
Matter is conceivable, but that Matter was evolved into Mind is a 
hysteron proteron which is not conceivable. 

This is the opinion of the greatest men of science of the modern 
world. But it was also the often-repeated doctrine of two minds 
of the old world, whose intellectual superiors, in all probability, earth 
will never witness — Plato and Aristotle. 

Plato^^ said: "Mind is the Orderer of the Universe." And 
again :^* "Mind is the ordering and containing principle of all 
things." And again :^^ "Mind was the Dispenser and Cause of all." 
And even more emphatically still :^® 

''Socrates:. .'Wisdom and mind cannot excel without soul?' 

"Protarchus: 'Certainly not!' 

''Soc: 'And in the Divine Nature of Zeus, would you not say, 
there is the mind and soul of a King, because there is in Him the 
power of the Cause f' 

"Pro.: 'True!' 

"Soc: 'Mind . . . is the cause of all !' " 

And Plato's pupil, Aristotle — the greater disciple of a great master 
— in his own crabbed way, repeated the same truth : "Whoso affirms 
Mind to be, in the nature, the cause of the cosmos, and of the whole 
ordering thereof, is of sober temper, compared with the vain theorists 
of earlier ages."^^ 

. 5. Moreover, a Mind competent to produce, out of nothing, by an 
act of will, the entire material universe, must wield infinite power ; 
infinite, not because of the finite thing produced, but because of the 
mode of production — out of nothing. The First Cause of the ma- 
terial universe is an Omnipotent Mind, an Infinite Spirit — God. 

That position Aristotle laid down with unmistakable clearness: 
"To all men doth God appear as a Cause and First Principle."^® 

6. These doctrines have, of course, not escaped attack. Both 
Biicher^^ and David Strauss,*^ to take two instances, in order to 

33 Laws XII., 967. 

34 Cratylus, 40a A. 
ssphsedo, 97 C. 
sephilebus, 30. 

37 "Metaphysics," I., ch. iii., 984 B. Christ's ed., p. 11. 

38 lud., I., ch. ii., 983 A, p. 7. 

39 "Kraft und Stoff," fifth ed., pp. 9, 78, 86. 

40 "Der alte und neue Glaube," p. 225. 

The Good Faith of Unfaith? i^y 

avoid the First Cause, assume an infinite, and therefore headless, 
chain of effects ; for, as matter cannot be destroyed, it cannot have 
been made; what cannot end cannot have begun! But, surely (we 
reply), an 'V^^c/''— whether one or an aggregate— /presupposes a 
cause. The effect must be subsequent to and dependent on its cause. 
So that, even if the material universe were eternal, it would still be 
dependent on its Cause, and subsequent (if not in time, at least in 
nature) to that Cause. You cannot hang a chain in mid-air without 
a support by increasing the length of the chain ! Moreover, though 
the chemist cannot destroy, and therefore did not create matter, God 
can destroy and did create it. 

All opponents— materialists, evolutionists, pantheists— always 
suppose an Eternal Something; whether "Matter," or the "Great 
Unknown," or the "Absolute," or "Pure Ego," or the "Idea of 
Being," or "Will," or the "Unconscious." The point of their denial 
is this, that this Something is not intelligent, not free, not a person. 
They would write "First Cause" without capitals. Herbert Spencer, 
for instance, who par excellence is the philosopher of Evolution, 
denies that the First Cause is a Person; not indeed because that 
Cause is below, but because it i^ above, personality. The Spencerian 
"Unknown" is supereminently a Person. 

To this sound philosophy replies that the First Cause (the Some- 
thing) in time created, and therefore must forever have precon- 
tained, intelligence and free will, and thus must be a Person. For 
every created attribute which, in its very notion, contains no imper- 
fection, can and must be predicated of its Maker. We cannot, it is 
true, say that God is a stone any more than we can say that a 
sovereign is a penny. God contains what perfection is in a stone, as 
a sovereign contains all the value that is in a penny. For matter 
(stone), by its very definition, is limited, and therefore imperfect. 
But we can say that the First Cause is wise, holy, good, intelligent, 
free, personal, etc. ; because not one of these attributes (though all 
found in man) of itself connotes imperfection. Of course, no 
attribute is in creature and Creator in the same way; the mode is 
different; for in the creature the attribute in question is limited, 
dependent and of finite perfection; in the Creator it is unlimited, 
independent and of infinite perfection. 

Moreover, that the First Cause is an Intelligence and therefore a 
Person is the repeated declaration of the distinguished scientists 
whose views are about to be set forth below. 

7. Such is the bare outline of a proof which "Natural Theology" 
works out in detail, a proof which the advances of physical science 
have helped and have not harmed. That theology goes on its course 
independent of physical science is the concurrent testimony of nearly 

148 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

all masters of physical science, as a few quotations from scientists 
themselves will clearly show. 

Professor Huxley said:*^ 'The doctrine of Evolution is neither 
anti-theistic nor theistic. It simply has no more to do with theism 
than the first book of Euclid has. There is a great deal of talk 
and not a little lamentation about the so-called religious difficulties 
which physical science has created. In theological science, as a 
matter of fact, it has created none. Not a solitary problem presents 
itself to the philosophical theist at the present day which has not 
existed from the time that philosophers began to think out the logical 
grounds of theism." 

And Professor Jevons is equally plain i*^ "I cannot for a moment 
admit that the Theory of Evolution will destroy Theology. Atheism 
and Materialism are no necessary results of the scientific method." 

Sir Oliver Lodge is just as clear :*^ "Science has never really 
attempted to deny God's existence." And Dr. Lodge might have 
added that science would have made itself a laughing-stock if it had ! 

Lord Rayleigh, president of the British Association, 1884, joins in 
the chorus: "Many excellent people are afraid of science as tend- 
ing towards materialism. That such apprehension should exist is 
not surprising, for unfortunately there are writers, speaking in the 
name of science, who have set themselves to foster it. It is true that 
amongst scientific men, as in other classes, crude views are to be 
met with as to the deeper things of Nature; but that the life-long 
beliefs of Newton, of Faraday and of Maxwell are inconsistent with 
the scientific habit of mind is surely a proposition which I need not 
pause to refute." 

And Lord Salisbury in his presidential address to the British Asso- 
ciation at Oxford, in 1894, was but voicing the views of those com- 
petent to form an opinion on the subject when he said: "Few men 
are now influenced by the strange idea that questions of religious 
belief depend on the issues of physical research." 

So that "the so-called religious difficulties" caused by the Evolu- 
tion Guess are only vaporings of the third-rate "scientific" word- 
weaver, on whom the criticism of Professor Tait** does not seem 
too severe : "When the purposely vague statements of the material- 
ists and agnostics are stripped of the tinsel of high-flown and unin- 
telligible language, the eyes of the thoughtless who have accepted 
them on authority are at last opened, and they are ready to exclaim 
with Titania : 'Methinks I was enamored of an ass !' " 

41 "Life and Letters of Charles Darwin," IL, c. 5, p. 203. 

42 "Principles of Science," pp. 762, 766. 
*3 Hihhert Journal, Jan., 1903, p. 220. 

4* Nature, July 17, 1879. 

The Good Faith of Unfaith? 140 

8. So far, then, from physical science leading of necessity to unbe- 
lief, we find, on the contrary, that the principal names in science are 
firmly ranged on the side of theism. Here are a few specimens : 

(A) Geology. 

Sir Charles Lyell*^ wrote : "In whatever direction we pursue our 
researches, we discover everywhere clear proofs of a creative intelli- 
gence and of its foresight, wisdom and power." 

Sir J. W. Dawson holds the same opinion :*« "There are certain 
principles to which we may firmly hold without fear of being dis- 
lodged by any assailant. First: No system of the universe can 
dispense with a First Cause, eternal and self -existent ; and the First 
Cause must necessarily be the living God, whose will is the ultimate 
force and the origin of natural law. The reason of man is an actual 
illustration of mind and will as an efficient power in nature, and 
implies a creative mind. The inherent absurdity of the evolution of 
powers and properties from things in which they are not even poten- 
tially contained appears nowhere more clearly than here." 

(B) Astronomy. 

Kepler i'*^ "Creator and Lord, I have recorded to men the glory 
of Thy works as far as my mind could comprehend their infinite 
majesty. . . . Praise ye the Lord, ye heavenly Harmonies, and 
ye that understand the new harmonies, praise the Lord. Praise God, 
O my soul, as long as I live. From Him, through Him and in 
Him is all, the material as well as the spiritual." 

Before this noble confession of the great astronomer the blas- 
phemous vulgarities of Flaeckel and his congeners seem base indeed ! 

Faye, the French astronomer, having shown that human intelli- 
gence must owe its origin to an intelligence higher than human, he 
thus continues: "The more we enlarge our conception of this 
Supreme Intelligence the nearer shall we approximate to the truth." 
["Plu ride qu'on se fero de cette Intelligence Supreme sera grande, 
plus elle approchera de la verite."]*^ 

Sir John Herschel speaks with something like contempt of the 
dogmatic assertions of irresponsible Evolutionists : "In the begin- 
ning was nebulous matter, or Akasch. Its boundless and tumultuous 
waves heaved in chaotic wildness, and all was oxygen and hydrogen 
and electricity. Such a state of things could not possibly continue ; 
and as it could not possibly be worse, alteration was here synonymous 
with improvement. The relations in which atoms stand to one 
another are anything but simple ones. They involve all the 'ologies 
and all the 'ometries, and in these days we know som ething of what 

45 "Pinciples of Geology," IL, 613. 

48 "Modem Ideas of Evolution," pp. 221 and 228. 

47 "Harmony of the World," last section. 

48 "Sur rorigine du monde" (Paris, 1884), p. 114. 

150 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

that implies. Their movements and interchanges are all determined 
on the very instant. There is no hesitation, no blundering, no trial 
and error. A problem in dynamic that would drive Lagrange mad 
is solved instant er. Solvitur ambulando. A differential equation 
which, algebraically written out, would belt the earth, is integrated 
in an eye-twinkle; and all the numerical calculation worked out in a 
way to frighten Zerah Colburn, George Bidder or Jedediah Buxton. 
In short, these atoms are most wonderful little creatures. The pres- 
ence of Mind is what solves the whole difficulty; so far at least as 
it brings it within the sphere of our own consciousness and into con- 
formity with our own experience of what action is. . . . Will 
without Motive, Power without Design, Thought opposed to Reason 
would be admirable in explaining a chaos, but would render little aid 
in accounting for anything else." 

(C) Biology. 

Huxley:*® "The teleological and the mechanical views of nature 
are not, necessarily, mutually exclusive. On the contrary, the more 
purely a mechanist the speculator is, the more firmly does he assume 
a primordial molecular arrangement, of which all the phenomena of 
the universe are the consequences, and the more completely is he 
thereby at the mercy of the teleologist, who can always defy him to 
disprove that this primordial molecular arrangement was not in- 
tended to evolve the phenomena of the universe." 

And again :°^ "By the expression, made out of nothing, the 
Mosaic writer is taken to imply that where nothing of a material 
nature previously existed, this substance appeared. That is per- 
fectly conceivable, and therefore no one can deny that it may have 
happened." John Stuart Mill had said much the same in "Three 
Essays on Religion," pp. 172-174: "It must be allowed that in the 
present state of our knowledge the adaptations in nature afford a 
large balance of probability in favor of creation by intelligence. 
And page 137: "There is nothing to disprove the creation and gov- 
ernment of nature by a Sovereign Will." 

Dr. W. B. Carpenter,^^ having discussed the "Secretions of 
Plants," pauses to contemplate: "The important inferences which 
may be drawn from the foregoing details in regard to the Power, 
Wisdom and Goodness of the Almighty Designer." And again, in 
his "Mental Physiology," p. 706: "In regard to the Physical Uni- 
verse, for the phrase 'Government by Laws,' it might be better to 
substitute 'Government according to Laws,' meaning thereby the 

*» "Life and Letters of Charles Darwin." In Professor Huxley's chapters 
on the "Reception of the Origin of Species," IL, pp. 201, 202. 

50 Nineteenth Century, Feb., 1886, pp. 201, 202. 

51 "Vegetable Physiology," CX., first ed., n. 404, pp. 258, 259. 

The Good Faith of Unfaith? iqi 

direct exertion of the Divine Will, or operation of the First Cause, 
in the Forces of Nature, according to certain constant uniformities 
which are simply unchangeable, because— having been originally 
the expression of Infinite Wisdom — any change would be for the 

(D) Natural History. 

Charles Darwin, in his autobiography,^^ jg much to the point: 
"Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected 
with the reason, and not with the feelings, impresses me as having 
much more weight" (than the consensus of mankind). "This fol- 
lows from the extreme difficulty, or rather impossibility of conceiv- 
ing this immense and wonderful universe, including man, with his 
capacity of looking far forwards, and far into futurity, as the result 
of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting, I feel impelled 
to look to a First Cause, having an intelligent mind in some degree 
analogous to that of man, and I deserve to be called a Theist." 

Dr. A. R. Wallace,^^ writing of the progression in nature from 
the inorganic to the organic, from the vegetable to the brute animal, 
and from the animal to man — vegetative, sensitive, intellective life — 
says : "These three distinct stages of progress from the inorganic 
world of matter and motion up to man point clearly to an unseen 
universe — to a world of spirit, to which the world of matter is alto- 
gether subordinate." 

(E) Electricity. 

Sir William Siemens, president of the British Association :" "Wc 
find that all knowledge must lead up to one great result, that of an 
intelligent recognition of the Creator through His works." 

(F) Mathematics. 

Professors Stewart and Tait:" "We assume, as absolutely self- 
evident, the existence of a Deity, who is the Creator and Upholder 
of all things." 

Blaise Pascal :^^ "Nous connaissons qu'il-y-a un Infini, et nous 
ignorous sa nature. . . . Ou pent done bien connaitre qu'il-y-a 
Dieu, sans savoir ce qu'il est." ["We know that there is an Infinite, 
and we do not know its nature. ... It is, then, easy to know 
that there is a God, without knowing zvhat He is."] Pascal offers 
to the unbeliever a piece of advice akin to that of St. Paul and the 
author of "Wisdom"— to repress the passions rather than engage 
in the quest for proofs : "Travaillez a vons convaincre, non pas par 

62 "Life and Letters," I., p. 311. 

63 "Exposition of the Theory of Natural Selection," pp. 475, 476. 

64 Presidential Address, 1884. 

66 "The Unseen Universe," p. 47. 
6e "Pensees," Part II., Art. III., n. v. 

152 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

raugmentation des preuves de Dieu, mais par la diminution de vos 

Leibnitz expressed his conviction that the material elements of 
the world, considered in themselves, are capable of an order entirely 
different from that by which they are actually connected; from 
which he inferred that the realization of this one order out of many 
possible orders must be attributed to the determining mind of God.*^^ 
And in another fine passage he says : "Prater mundum, seu aggre- 
gatum rerum finitarum, datur Unum aliquod Dominans. . . . 
Unum enim dominans universa, non tantum regit mundum, sed et 
fabricat, et facit, et mundo est superius, et (ut ita dicam) extramun- 
danum; atque adeo ultima ratio rerum. Nam non tantum in nuUo 
singulorum, sed nee in toto aggregato, serieque rerum, inveniri 
potest sufficiens ratio existendi."^® ["Besides the world, or aggre- 
gate of things finite, there exists a certain One, the Lord of all. 
. . . For one Lord of the universe not only rules the world, but 
form and fashions it; He is superior to the world, and (so to speak) 
outside it, and is thus the Supreme Reason of all things. For not 
only in no individual thing, but not even in the whole collection, and 
chain, of things, can there be found the sufficient reason of their 

Sir Isaac Newton is, if possible, more explicit than Pascal and 
more emphatic than Leibnitz. He is not at all of the mind of Pro- 
fessors Huxley and Tyndal that the man of science cannot infer 
from cause to effect, from the made to the Maker. On the con- 
trary, he holds that "to treat of God as a deduction from what we 
see is a part of natural philosophy. "^^ Moreover, that the universe 
is the product of a self -existent, intelligent, almighty — and, therefore, 
personal — God, Sir Isaac holds to be a truism : "The whole variety 
of created things could arise only from the design and the will of a 
Being existing of Himself." ["Tota rerum conditarum pro locis et 
temporibus diversitos, ab ideis et voluntate entis, necessario existentis, 
solummodo oriri potent."]®^ "This most delicate machinery of sun, 
planets and comets could not originate but by the plan and power 
of an intelligent and mighty Being." ["Elegantissima haec ce solis, 
planetarum, et cometarum compages, nonnisi consilio et dominio 
Cutis intelHgentis et potentis oriri potuit."]®^ 

And Newton, as sound a believer as he was a profound scholar, 
makes it quite clear that he was thinking of no blind force, no "Great 

57 "Opera," edit. J. E. Erdmann, p. 506. 
^ "De Rerum originatione radical!," 1. c, p. 147. 

59 Hoec de Deo, de quo utique ex phsenomenis desserere, ad philosophiam 
naturalam pertinet." — "Principia, Scholion generale." 
«o Ibid. 
«i IMd. 

The Good Faith of Unfaith? 153 

Unknown," no "Ignotum x," for he adds : "God is present every- 
where, not only by His power, but also by His substance ; for power 
cannot subsist without substance." ["Deus omnipraesens est, non 
per virtutem solam, sed etiam per substantiam. Nam virtus sine 
substantia subsistere nequit."]®^ 

(G) Physics. 

Sir George Stokes, president of the Royal Society, discussing the 
phenomena of light, said:^^ "When we contemplate all this, it 
seems difficult to understand how we can fail to be impressed with 
the evidence of design. But design is altogether unmeaning without 
a designing mind. The study, then, of the phenomena of nature 
leads us to the contemplation of a Being from whom proceeded the 
orderly arrangement of natural things that we behold." 

Lord Kelvin, president of the Royal Society,®* tells us that : "Over- 
powering proofs of intelligence and benevolent design lie around us, 
showing to us through Nature the influence of a free-will, and 
teaching us that all living beings depend upon one ever-acting 
Creator and Ruler." And again, in a letter to the Times, May 4, 
1903, p. 12 : "Scientific thought is compelled to accept the idea of 
Creative Power." And again, in a lecture at University College, 
May I, 1903 :^^ "There is nothing between absolute scientific belief 
in Creative Power and the acceptance of the theory of a portentous 
consensus of atoms." 

This long catalogue of names, which might be indefinitely in- 
creased, I wind up with the honored name of Lord Bacon, who in 
his "De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientarum"®® speaks, like St. Paul 
and "Wisdom" of the knowledge to be gained by inference from the 
creature to the Creator: "Knowledge . . . such as can be 
acquired about God, by the light of nature, and by the contemplation 
of created things." He holds that God worked miracles for the con- 
version of idolaters, and not of atheists, because for the latter the 
light of nature was enough : "Because the atheist can be led to the 
knowledge of God by the mere light of nature." ["Quia athens 
poterat, ipso naturae lumine ad notitiam Dei perduci."]®^ 

And he assigns the reason: "For as the works of the handi- 
craftsman manifest his ability and skill ... so the works of 
God, the Creator, manifest His Omnipotence and Wisdom." 
["Sicut enim opificis potentiam et peritiam osfendunt opera 

62 lud. 

63 "Burnett Lectures," pp. 334-5. 

64 Presidential Address, 1882. 

65 Times, May 2, 1903. 

66 Bk. III., ch. ii.. "Scientia . . . quates de Deo haberi protest per 
lumen naturae et contemplationem rerum creatorum." 

67 lUd. 

154 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

equs . . . sic opera Dei conditoris omnipotentiam et sapientiant 

And in his "Essay on Atheism" Bacon writes: "I had rather 
beHeve all the fables in the Legend, and the Talmud, and the Alcoran 
than that this universal frame is without a mind. And therefore 
God never wrought miracle to convince atheism, because His 
ordinary works convince it." 

Men nowadays often plume themselves on their atheism as if (in 
some mystical way) it was clever to doubt. Bacon, however, takes 
another view: "It is true that a little philosophy inclineth man's 
mind to atheism, but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about 
to religion. For while the mind of man looketh upon second causes 
scattered, it may sometimes rest in them and go no further; but 
when it beholdeth the chain of them confederate and linked together, 
it must needs fly to Providence and Deity."®^ 

Of the debasing and vulgarizing effects of atheism, he says: 
"They that deny a God destroy man's nobility ; for certainly man is 
of kin to the beasts by his body ; and if he be not of kin to God by 
his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature. It destroys likewise 
magnanimity and the raising of human nature. . . . Man when 
he resteth and assureth himself upon divine protection and favor, 
gathereth a force and faith which human nature, in itself, could 
not obtain. Therefore, as atheism is in all respects hateful, so in 
this, that it depriveth human nature of the means to exalt itself above 
human frailty."'^° 

Hence Bacon does not believe that there can exist such a thing 
as an atheist at heart. He says in the same essay: "The great 
atheists are hypocrites. The Scripture saith : The fool hath said in 
his heart. There is no God.' It is not said : The fool hath thought 
in his heart.' So as he rather saith it by rote to himself, as that he 
would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it or be persuaded 
of it." And he suggests that denial of God proceeds not from con- 
viction, but from self-interest: "None deny there is a God, but 
those for whom it maketh that there were none." 

And this father of modern physical science in England, the first 
strenuous upholder of inductive methods, and the staunch believer 
in those facts which, as Mr. Huxley proudly assures us, present-day 
scientists have driven like bolts through the thickest skulls, thus 
begins his profession of faith: "I believe that nothing is without 
beginning but God; no nature, no matter, no spirit, but one only 
and the same God. That God, as He is eternally almighty, only 

68 IMd. 

68 Ibid. 

The Good Faith of UnfaithT icc 

wise, only good in His nature, so He is eternally Father, Son and 
Spirit, in persons."^^ 

From this long list of names and quotations, more useful perhaps 
than abstract arguments, this fact stands out conspicuous, that what- 
ever other excuse the atheist may have for his atheism, at least he 
cannot claim the support of physical science and scientists. 


As to the moral effects of atheism, both on the atheist himself and 
on the society of which he is a unit, it may be noticed that the moral 
consequences, emphasized by St. Paul, though expressed in the form 
of a divine visitation, are really the natural and (in the main) inevit- 
able results of unbelief. The Apostle says of the Greek and Roman 
agnostics : "Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their 
hearts unto uncleanness (Romans i., 24). . . . For this cause 
Goc? delivered them up to shameful affections (i., 26). ... As 
they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them 
up to do those things which are not convenient" (i., 28). But this 
only means that God, having given a rational nature, to the reason- 
ableness of which the atheist does violence, God leaves him to the 
natural consequences of his unbelief. For the logical (though not 
necessary) consequence of unbelief is "to do those things which are 
not convenient." Nature never forgives, and as agnostics are (in 
St. Paul's words) "vain in their thoughts," "their foolish heart 
darkened," professedly "wise," but in reality "fools," "inexcusable" 
(Romans i., 21-22), the national punishment is moral degradation. 
For immorality, or non-morality, is the logical outcome and inevit- 
able effect of real unbelief — if not for this or that individual, at any 
rate for unbelievers as a class. And how could it be otherwise? 
For if there be no God, neither is there any moral Lawgiver, and 
therefore no moral law. Deny the existence of the Immaterial 
Spirit of God, and thereby you deny the immaterial soul of man, and 
therefore the freedom of will of that soul. For unless man's soul 
be spiritual it cannot be free— as Rational Trychology shows. Athe- 
ists, then, must logically deny free will— as they do. .But without 
free will there is no moral responsibility. For how can a man be 
morally responsible unless he has a choice? To blame such a one 
for misdeeds would be as absurd as to blame a horse or a locomotive. 
For the sequence is obvious ; no moral Lawgiver, no moral Law, no 
moral responsibility, no moral blame. If God is not, man becomes 
a mere mechanism, knit together by material forces, a machine com- 
pounded of soul and body as a locomotive is a machine compounded 

70 ma. 

71 Bacon's "Confession of Faith," Section I. 

156 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

of iron works and steam. And if that be so, there are man-machines 
and monkey-machines ; and moral obHgation has as much meaning 
for the one as for the other — that is, none whatever. 

Thus atheism countenances monstrous vice, the doing of "those 
things which are not convenient." Morally it ruins the individual ; 
it destroys the family ; it subverts society ; it overturns the common- 
wealth. For obviously where the individual is in no sense bound 
to curb his evil cravings, the bonds of family life cannot hold 
together, and the divorce court comes into being. And as the good 
order of the commonwealth is based on healthy family life, atheism 
logically overturns the commonwealth. Given atheism, society's 
only sanction is brute force and the rule of the stronger. Not right, 
but might. Not morality, but the policeman. So that if the indi- 
vidual, armed with bombs, overthrow social order, or the peasant 
oust the landlord, or the worker rise up against the capitalist, or the 
masses overwhelm the classes, still there is no one to blame; it is 
quite right, because it is only a fresh exercise of might. 

The practical objection will no doubt be made that agnostics are 
morally as good as theists. Well, but not as agnostics! If they 
are good, it is in spite, and not because, of their agnosticism. It is 
because they do not act on their own principles. They invert Ovid's 
saying into "video deteriora prohoque, meliora sequor." There is a 
grim sentence of Aristotle's which has always tickled me and is 
applicable here. Discussing the blank skepticism of Heraclitus, who 
denied the validity of the principle of contradiction, and maintained 
that the same thing, at the same time, in the same sense, could both 
be and not be, the Stagirite dryly answered that "there is no need 
to suppose that what a man says, that he holds i"^^ ^nd so with the 
atheist, he "says in his heart: There is no God." He does not 
really think it, and still less does he act upon it. 

The logical consequences, in the moral order, of unbelief Spinoza 
boldly and barefacedly drew and defended. In his "Ethics" he says : 
"No action, considered in itself, is either good or bad." ["Nulla 
actio, in se sola considerata, bona aut mala est."]^^ 

To him killing, for instance, is no evil. The slaughter of a man- 
machine is of no more moment than the slaughter of a monkey- 
machine. Truth and falsehood, honesty and cheating, stealing and 
almsgiving, incontinence and chastity — they are all in the same cate- 
gory — "neither good nor bad !" And having thus unblushingly and 
most logically stated his premises, Spinoza uncompromisingly draws 
his practical conclusion: "To enjoy ourselves, in so far as this 
may be done short of satiety or disgust — for, here, excess were no 

72 "Metaphysics," III., ch. iii., Christ's ed., n. 25, p. 68. 

73 Part IV., prop. 59, "Aliter," etc., Bruder's ed., Vol. I., p. 372. 

Felicite de Lamennais: A Sketch. 157 

enjoyment— is true wisdom." ["Rebus itaque uti, et iis, quantum 
fieri potest delectari (non quidem ad nauseam usque, nam hoc 
delectari non est) viri est sapientis."]^* 

The existence of moral obligation— "I ought to do this" (for in- 
stance, obey my parents)— "I ought not to do that" (for instance, 
steal) is at least as certain as the law of gravity or the law of the 
uniformity of nature. "Ought" is an intuition, nor can it be analyzed 
into anything else ; not into "convention ;" not into "heredity ;" not 
into "convenience ;" not into "utility." "I ought" is the basic propo- 
sition of every ethical system, and can therefore be never anything 
else than ethical. If the materialist contend that the root proposition 
of morality is "It is convenient'' (for instance, to observe the mar- 
riage vow), or "// is not convenient" (for instance, to carry off one's 
neighbor's wife), he is always confronted with these ulterior ques- 
tions: "Why ought I to do what is convenient? to avoid what is 
inconventient ?' 

"Ought" is primary, "convenient" is secondary. "Ought" is an 
intention beyond and behind which the mind cannot go. Therefore 
the man who denies the existence of the moral law thereby also 
denies his own primary intuitions. 

Consequently the atheist does violence, by his atheism, to both 
his intellectual and his moral natures; to his intellectual nature by 
denying the obvious existence of the Personal First Mind; to his 
moral nature by denying the existence of the Moral Legislator. 

Charles Coupe, S. J. 
Bournemouth, England. 


OF ALL the nations of Europe, that to which Christian society 
owes most, whether in the domain of religion or of thought, 
is undoubtedly France. Her annals are rich in heroes of 
religion, martyrs, confessors and founders of orders, and the con- 
temporary history of the true France — not the France of the Grand 
Orient and its servant the 5/oc— continually affords proof that the 
Eldest Daughter of the Church has not yet forfeited her title. And 
if in the province of thought she has given many hostages to error, 
there are yet in her records names as brilliant on the side of truth. 
Even now, when it is the fashion to speak of her as "infidel France," 
we have examples of intellectual conversions so remarkable as those 
of M. Brunetiere and M. Coppee. 

The French mind, brilliant, idealistic and daring, has, however, the 

7* Ibid., Prop. 45, Scholion n., p. 363. 

158 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

defects of its qualities, foremost amongst which is a certain relentless 
logic which leads it, in its pursuit of an ideal, into blunders and 
pitfalls from which more sober intellects with less devotion to the 
syllogism are preserved. And this trait, which, when regulated by 
religion, has produced such and so many saints and has won for the 
missionaries of France the first place in the admiration of the world, 
has run riot in her politics and philosophy, bringing disaster after 
disaster upon her national life. The noble ideal of liberty, for 
instance, which was the springhead of the Revolution, so rapidly 
got out of hand that it first (quite logically) degenerated into an- 
archy, and then (still logically) through regicide into tyranny. 
Having taken off the crown from their King, logical sequence im- 
pelled them to take off his head, too ; and if his head, obviously his 
Queen's also. 

Generalities are, of course, fatally liable to exaggeration; but it 
is probably true to say that in no country does a man with an idea 
get so wide a hearing as in France, and having got a hearing, find 
so much encouragement to abuse it. 

Feli de Lamennais was a Frenchman of the French. His char- 
acter was an epitome of the characteristics of his nation, and his 
career only failed to be a miniature of her history in that he lacked 
that marvelous power of recuperation which, in spite of everything, 
still maintains her at the head of civilization. A little more flexi- 
bility, a little less self-confidence, and he would not have been hurried 
into the excesses which were only the natural result of his intolerant 
and dogmatic spirit. Had he been able to command his impatience, 
and to face the fact that nothing really good is ever done in a hurry, 
his name might be now in honor among the valued champions of 
religion instead of heading an occasional paragraph in a text-book 
as an opponent scarcely worth refuting. 

With the unerring instinct of genius, he saw that the real danger 
that menaced the Catholic faith at the beginning of the nineteenth 
century was not the active persecution of Napoleon and Joseph II. 
in France and Austria, not the heretical propaganda from Protestant 
countries nor the infidel press of all Europe; not, in fact, anything 
positive ; the real — and it was a most subtle — danger lay in the indif- 
ference to all religion which was the direct consequence of the 
rapidly widening gap that was forming between the ecclesiastical 
and the civil state, between the clergy and the laity, between the 
Church and the modern world. The sensus communis, which he was 
later to turn to such strange uses, was becoming not so much hostile 
to religion as indifferent to it. As he put it himself: "The most 
dangerous state of society is not that in which its members ardent!}^ 
embrace error ; it is that in which they neglect and despise the truth. 

Felicite de Lamennais: A Sketch. 150 

When there is violence there is strength, and therefore hope; but 
when all movement has ceased, when the pulse is slack and numbness 
is creeping up to the heart, what can we look for but a speedy and 
inevitable dissolution? It is useless to blind ourselves to the facts. 
European society is rapidly advancing along this fatal way." In 
materialism and the worship of reason he saw the cause and origin 
of this despairing state of affairs ; physical science, which should have 
furnished continual proof to man of his essential superiority over 
the brutes, had only brought him down to their level by causing his 
mind to centre, like theirs, about material objects alone. In the 'train 
of religious indifference he saw moral depreciation, political insta- 
bility and every social evil. Therefore, he concluded, the only secure 
basis for society and the State must be religion. With this thought 
filling his mind, and urged no less by his own personal experiences 
than by his reflections on what was passing around him to do his 
utmost to arrest the evil, he began in 1814 his "Essay on Indifference 
in Matters of Religion," the work which was to be the cause of his 
fame, his sufferings and his downfall. 

But before making an examination of this work it will be well, 
in order to fix our point of view, to begin with some account of the 
life of its author. 

Felicite Robert de Lamennais was born in the year 1781 at St. 
Malo. In the time of Louis XV. his family, which then bore the 
name of Robert, was settled on a small estate in Brittany called 
"La Mennais ;" and when, in return for pecuniary assistance, Louis 
conferred the noble particle upon them they assumed in addition 
the name of their property, and were thenceforth known as "de La 
Mennais." Feli, indeed, seems to have been a little uneasy under 
his nobility, for in after life he dropped the "de" and chose to be and 
to be called plain "Lamennais." He was the fourth of six children, 
of whom the eldest, Jean, survived him by six years. This brother, 
the Abbe Jean de Lamennais, was a man of great talent, but in ability 
he fell far short of Feli, and in disposition he was his very antithesis. 
He was a priest of great zeal and energy, founder of the "Brothers 
of Christian Doctrine," and died "in the odor of sanctity." During 
the time that he lived with or within reach of his brother Feli— that 
is, up to the latter's definite rupture with the Church in 1834 — he 
exercised a wholesome restraint upon him, and if he had been left 
to himself might have saved him. But by many of the clergy he 
was regarded as to some extent identified with the errors of his 
brother, and their watchful suspicion kept him at a distance. One 
can almost hear them saying to the brothers, with Dogberry: 
"Masters, it is already proved that ye be little better than false 
knaves, and 'twill go near to be thought so shortly." 

i6o American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Feli possessed extraordinary gifts and an indefatigable energy. 
His ardor in the pursuit of knowledge might almost be called 
ferocious; and at an age when most boys are just beginning to go 
to school, he was already devouring the works of Diderot, Voltaire 
and Rousseau and developing a precocious skepticism. So far, in- 
deed, did this highly-spiced diet disagree with him that it was 
thought prudent to defer his First Communion for some ten years. 
His mother was dead, and it is probable that his father, distracted 
by monetary losses, concerned himself little with the education of 
his youngest son; indeed, he left it almost entirely in the hands of 
an eccentric uncle, Robert des Sandrais, who allowed him the free 
run of his books. The influence of this early emancipation and these 
ill-regulated studies on his after life was profound. To the end of 
his days Feli always displayed that tendency to begin at the top and 
build downwards that he had acquired in his uncle's library; and 
though the productions of his genius are imposing, there runs 
through them all a vein of irresponsibility and incompleteness which 
was its consequence. 

But on the score of industry no one can reproach him. He tells 
us that at the age of fourteen he had printed articles in some Paris 
journal, and his executor, M. Forgues, discovered among his papers 
of this date a treatise on the Hebrew points and accents, and the 
plan of an Arabic grammar, besides copious annotations to many 
Greek and Latin authors. By the time he was eighteen his skepti- 
cism had become a little worn, and in a short time he recovered his 
faith, an event which he solemnized by preparing a translation of 
Blosius' "Spiritual Guide," which he published in 1809, having the 
year before printed his "Reflections on the State of the Church in 
France During the Eighteenth Century." This work, in which 
appear traces of the democratic sympathies that engrossed his later 
life, brought him into collision with the government, and to avoid 
prosecution he retired to his native St. Malo. Here, in 181 1, he 
received the tonsure and joined his brother at the Petit Seminaire of 
that town in the capacity of professor of mathematics. 

In 1814 he was again in Paris, where he brought out in concert 
with his brother Jean a work entitled "The Tradition of the Church 
on the Institution of Bishops." When, a few weeks afterwards, 
came the fall of Napoleon, Feli rejoiced and hailed the return of the 
Bourbons with enthusiasm. But the escape of Napoleon from Elba 
and the flight of Louis XVIII. upset all his visions of a new and 
golden age for his country, and with a promptness which would 
have been ludicrous anywhere but in France, where the government 
takes note of even the meanest pamphleteer, he fled incontinently to 
Guernsey, where he passed several months under the convincing 

Felicite de Lamennais: A Sketch. i6i 

pseudonym of Patrick Robertson. From Guernsey he went to Lon- 
don, arriving there in a condition of absolute destitution, and if it 
had not been for the kindness of the Abbe Carron, an emigre priest 
and an old friend of his, who gave him some work in a small school 
which he was conducting, he must have starved. Before he met the 
abbe he had applied at several Catholic houses for employment as 
tutor, but nowhere with success. Lady Jerringham, to whom among 
others he presented himself, declined his services on the ground that 
he "looked stupid." It is curious that later when he entered the 
seminary of St. Sulpice the same judgment was formed of him by 
the professors, and he left it at the end of two weeks. 

The result of the battle of Waterloo reanimated his hopes, and in 
November of the year 1815 he returned to Paris with the Abbe 
Carron and took up his residence at the house of the Feuillantines. 
Yielding to the solicitations of his brother and of his friends, the 
Abbe Carron, Brute and Gerbet, he began to prepare for the priest- 
hood. But it was with ever recurring fits of doubt, hesitation and 
even repugnance. Indeed, he himself related how, while vesting for 
his first Mass, he experienced a very agony of repulsion. There 
can be little doubt that he was not a fit subject for the priesthood, 
and in after years the Abbe Jean had good cause to reproach himself 
bitterly for his share in urging it upon him. He was ordained in 
1 8 16, at the age of twenty- four, having made his First Communion 
only two years previously. 

In 1817 appeared the first volume of his "Essay on Indifference 
in Matters of Religion," on which he had been working before he 
left London. Its success was immediate and complete. Lacordaire 
hailed him as a second Bossuet; de Maistre, de Bonald and de 
Chateaubriand wrote enthusiastically of the book and its author, and 
under their guidance he made his entry into the highest literary and 
philosophical circles and plunged into the vortex of politics. In 1820 
the second volume of the "Essay" was published, and it is in this 
volume that de Lamennais explicitly formulates the doctrine of tradi- 
tionalism already put forward by de Bonald. 

And here we may stop, in order first to take a rapid survey of 
this theory as advanced by de Bonald, and secondly to offer some 
explanation of the immunity from censure— or rather the almost 
universal approbation— which it at first enjoyed. The Vicomte de 
Bonald had emigrated to the Low Countries with his family on the 
outbreak of the Revolution, and perhaps it was from his Lutheran 
neighbors that he had caught his theory of the essential debility of 
the human faculties. At any rate, when he began to beguile his 
exile with philosophical speculations, he started from that assump- 
tion—or something like it— and laid down as a postulate that man's 

i62 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

intellect is incapable of certitude in any of the religious or moral 
truths which are indispensable to rational life, and that in fact the 
sole means of arriving at such certitude is a primitive revelation 
transmitted to us by way of instruction through the medium of 
language. His guiding maxim — "well meditated" he calls it — is 
*'Man thinks his speech before speaking his thought ;" speech, there- 
fore, before thought. In the second chapter of the first volume of 
his "Recherches" he says : "There was geometry in the world before 
Newton, and philosophy before Descartes ; but before language there 
was nothing, absolutely nothing, but bodies and phantasms of bodies ; 
for language is the necessary instrument of all intellection and the 
means of all moral existence. Just as the primitive matter of the 
world was, as the Scripture tells us, void and without form before 
the pregnant word of God drew order from the chaos, so the mind, 
before it has known language, is utterly empty and shapeless." His 
whole thesis reduces to this — that man, being incapable of thought 
without words, and equally incapable of inventing words for himself, 
received the gift of speech direct from God, and with it, implicitly, 
all the principal religious and moral truths, such as the existence of 
God, the spirituality of the soul, and so forth. These truths, thus 
given to man in a primitive revelation, have been handed down 
through the ages by tradition through the medium of speech, so that 
all his certitudes rest ultimately on the infallible authority of God 
the Revealer. How this doctrine of de Bonald's was assimilated and 
developed by Feli de Lamennais we shall see presently. The object 
of both writers was good. They wished to destroy the indifferent- 
ism which was everywhere undermining religion, and finding its 
source and origin in rationalism, they set themselves to destroy that 
effectually by replacing all existing philosophies based upon the 
sovereignty of reason, by a new philosophy resting upon the author- 
ity of tradition, or — as they put it — upon the "sensus communis" of 
humanity. But they defeated their own object. First, they explic- 
itly denied a doctrine of the Church — since defined by the Vatican 
Council — viz., that human reason can unaided arrive at a certitude 
of the existence of God, and secondly, in attempting to strengthen 
the authority of revelation at the expense of reason, they in fact 
weakened it and left religion more open to attack than ever. For 
though the formal motive of faith cannot be reason or anything 
founded on reason, yet there are many parts which reason can play 
about the facts of faith, and the value of all these is immensely depre- 
ciated by such a low view of its power and capacity. 

It would not be quite true to say that the second volume of the 
"Essay" passed entirely without hostile comment. But it certainly 
is remarkable that when, after the appearance of the third and fourth 

Felicite de Lamennais: A Sketch. 16-2 

volumes, de Lamennais, not content with the advice of de Maistre 
to "let those frogs croak themselves hoarse," rushed into print again 
with a "Defense of the Essay," and then set out for Rome to submit 
his work to the Sovereign Pontiff, the Pope— Leo XIL— should not 
only have received him with open arms, but (it is said) to have 
addressed him as "the latest Father of the Church" and to have 
offered him a Cardinal's hat. It is possible, of course, that fired 
with enthusiasm for the object to which this work was directed, and 
accepting already in the sense of a fact— accidental and not intrinsic 
to human nature— the power of the "sensus communis" in compell- 
ing intellectual assent, the Pope— and in general that section of the 
clergy who approved of de Lamennais' work— did not at once per- 
ceive that this fact was put forward by him as a physical necessity 
(not accidental, but essential) of human nature. 

Or if, as may easily have been the case, the Pope relied in part— 
or even wholly — on the reports of French ecclesiastics, admirers of 
the author (and there must have been many such in Rome, since 
de Lamennais was an extreme Uultramontane at deadly war with 
Gallicanism), then the difficulty is resolved. For it is well known 
that at the beginning of the nineteenth century theology in France 
was at a very low ebb, and the clergy had attained to extraordinary 
heights of incompetence. It will be sufficient to quote a few words 
from "The Institution of Bishops," the work written in collaboration 
by Feli and his brother, remembering that the Abbe Jean was a 
man of great prudence, moderation and charity, and by no means 
likely to exaggerate. Speaking of the text-books used in the semi- 
naries at that date, these books, they say, teach "no breadth of view, 
no connected system, no grand unity; they offer nothing to attract 
the mind, nothing to nourish it, nothing to rouse it to enthusiasm. 
After a course of this kind one may, perhaps, know one's theses, but 
one has but an imperfect knowledge of religion." And again : "The 
strength of the assault on religion lies not in the knowledge of the 
aggressors, but in the ignorance of the defenders. Never, for cen- 
turies, have the clergy, taken in the mass, been so ignorant as they 
are to-day; yet never has knowledge been so greatly needed." In 
fact, we may suppose that but for the political hostility of his Gal- 
lican enemies, Feli might long have flourished his book in the faces 
of the united theologians of France without eliciting a rebuke. 

The teaching of the "Essay on Indifference" may be summarized 
thus : The question of the truth of the Church, it says, reduces to 
that of the principle of certitude. Now, the only means of knowl- 
edge which we as individuals possess are those afforded us by the 
senses, the ideas and the reason. To these correspond three systems 
of philosophv— the materialism of Locke, the idealism of Berkely and 

164 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Kant and the rationalism of Descartes. Of these the first is mani- 
festly false, since the senses are convicted of error at every turn. 
The second is no less so, and for a similar reason ; for who does not 
know how infinitely various are the effects of the same idea on dif- 
ferent individuals? How the simple notions of true and false, of 
good and bad vary with circumstance, interest or passion? The 
third system, too, solid as it appears, is seen to be built upon a 
foundation in the air. Descartes, in the course of his "methodical 
doubt," having flung away the whole furniture of his mind in order 
to arrive at the one first principle of certitude with which to begin 
refurnishing, thinks he has found that principle when he has said 
"Cogito, ergo sum," whereas, if he only knew it, by so doing he has 
stultified his whole system — he had no conceivable right, on his 
own ground, to say cogito, or indeed to use any verb in the first 
person singular. What are we to think of a system of philosophy 
whose first principle is that whatever we distinctly and clearly per- 
ceive to be true, is true ; and which for proof appeals to the convic- 
tion that we cannot possibly doubt what we clearly and distinctly 
perceive? No, the dogmatists, as he calls all philosophers but him- 
self, have erred on two essential points — first, in wishing to base 
their cognitions on a proved truth instead of on a truth believed 
invincibly without proof, and secondly, in obliging each man to look 
within himself for the motives of his judgments and the foundation 
of his certitudes. "O miserable feebleness of the human mind," he 
cries, "when it strays away from the high road that nature has 
opened to all ! How is it that they do not see that one can prove 
nothing without the aid of certain undemonstrated and undemon- 
strable truths ; that it is a contradiction in terms to talk of proving 
a first principle, and that in consequence, so far from certitude de- 
pending on demonstration, no demonstration is possible without an 
anterior certitude? Thus the dogmatists begin by assuming that 
they already possess what they are searching for ; that they both are 
and are not certain at one and the same instant !" 

"No," he continues, "there can be no such thing as certitude for 
the dogmatists, unless we are prepared to believe every man's reason 
infallible, and if we do that, how are we to account for so many 
contradictory judgments and conflicting opinions whose existence we 
cannot deny? If they are consistent, they must deny the very possi- 
bility of error." 

This rapid sketch must suffice for an exposition of de Lamennais' 
summary and typical fashion of dismissing the dogmatists. We 
must now listen to him dogmatizing on his own account. 

"The common consent," he says, "the sensus communis, is for us 
the seal of truth — there is no other." 

Felicite de Lamennais: A Sketch. i^c 

If the wretched "dogmatists" object that many and grave errors 
have for centuries been accepted for truth, he smothers them with 
evolution, the action of the infinite on the finite, and the necessity 
of an absolutely universal and not a partial unanimity; so that the 
pertinent questions of why? and what?— that is, why are we to 
accept the sensus communis as infallible, and what are these uni- 
versally accepted truths in this or that particular case, pass unheeded. 
Besides, by his own theory he is spared the necessity of answer- 
ing objections; to do so would be to descend once more into 
the arena of dialectics, from which he has at a blow emancipated 

A direct consequence of his theory, and one which he fully accepted 
and elaborated, was that the whole body of truths must have been 
revealed in the beginning once and for all. The inconvenient deduc- 
tions which might be made from such a proposition, boldly stated, 
are avowed by the idea that this primitive revelation was not explicit 
at all points, but required the development of ages, which develop- 
ment has been guided, assured and handed on from generation to 
generation by the infallible assent of collective humanity. Thus the 
first man received the first truths on the testimony of God, who is 
the Supreme Reason; and these truths are preserved among men 
and perpetually developed and manifested by the testimony of all 
men, which testimony is the expression of the Common Reason. 
So that the first act which the intellect makes is an act of faith. In 
a word, de Lamennais extended, in a quite illegitimate manner, the 
undoubted facts that all advance in knowledge is a process of ac- 
cumulation, that no individual can discover all knowledge for him- 
self by the light of his own unaided intelligence, and that, in point 
of fact, great part of a man's mental furniture consists of opinions 
and beliefs, his assent to which is no result of his own analysis of 
them, but rests, consciously or unconsciously, on the bare authority 
of other minds than his own ; or, perhaps, in the language of New- 
man, to which he gives only a notional assent, while to his authorities 
they are matters of real apprehension. If he had been contented to 
state this by way of a powerful support and confirmation of the 
religious and moral truths in whose defense he was so urgent, he 
would have done no more than amplify an argument already well 
known to apologists, but he would certainly have presented it in an 
attractive dress borrowed from the store of erudition and astonish- 
ingly varied illustration which he had at command. But undeterred 
by the remonstrances of his friend Rohrbacher, the historian, he 
went further, and in his lectures to his pupils at Malestroit pro- 
pounded dogmas, all depending on his system of the "communis 
sensus," which it was impossible to reconcile with the true doctrine 

i66 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

of the revelation of Christ, the institution of the Church and the 
economy of grace. These pupils were the members of the "Con- 
gregation of St. Peter," founded by Feli and his brother, with the 
object of reviving the sacred studies and particularly the study of 
church history. This institution, of course, collapsed on the seces- 
sion of Feli, but while it existed it accomplished much good work. 
It had unfortunately in its midst a principle of decay in the shape 
of Feli de Lamennais' philosophy, which fiercely pulled down all 
other systems, despised scholasticism and essayed the defense of 
religion and, above all, of the sovereignty of the Pope, with weapons 
that broke in the hands of their users. 

We have mentioned Descartes as one of Feli's favorite objects of 
attack, and it may be of interest to show in this place how effectively 
he could call ridicule to his aid for this purpose. In the preface to 
the ''Defense" of his "Essay" he gives his reasons for having under- 
taken the cause of religion on new lines, and apparently assuming 
that most of his opponents are Cartesians, he says he will give them 
an example of the strength of their system. A certain Cartesian 
one day met a lunatic who confided to him that he was indeed no 
other than Descartes himself. The Cartesian, feeling that such a 
delusion could by no means be suffered to endure, begins to reason 
with him, and so the dialogue goes on : 

Cartesian. "You must surely be joking when you say that you 
are Descartes; just think, he has been dead more than 150 years." 

Lunatic. "On the contrary, it's you who are joking, and in very 
poor taste, too, when you say Descartes is dead, because / am 
Descartes, and here I am talking to you." 

C. "What! You the author of the 'Meditations' and of the 
'Principles of Philosophy' — those magnificent works which for two 
centuries have drawn upon themselves the admiration of all Europe ! 
Get along — you're mad!" 

L. "Abuse, my friend, is not argument; at any rate it's not the 
method of argument that I taught in those two little works of mine, 
of which you have just spoken so handsomely. If I'm not Descartes, 
you prove it to me. I should be sorry to deceive myself in so im- 
portant a matter." 

C. "Well, look here; I've just told you that Descartes has been 
dead 150 years. If you don't believe me, go to Sweden and you may 
see his grave there." 

L. "I think it is now my turn to call you mad ! Do you seriously 
propose that I should undertake a journey to Sweden in order to 
convince myself that I'm not only dead but buried ?" 

C. "But surely you know that no man has ever lived two hun- 
dred years?" 

Felicite de Lamennais: A Sketch. 167 

L. 'Tardon me, I know nothing of the sort; but even so, I am 
content to be the first to have done it." 

C. *'Biit, my good sir, I've only got to look at you to see that 
you're not 200 years old !" 

L. "Then your senses deceive you — and the proof is simple ; be- 
cause, since I am Descartes, it is impossible on your own showing 
that I should not be 200 years old." 

C. "This is ineffable ! My poor fellow, go, go at once and ask 
the first man you meet, ask as many men as you choose, and see if 
they don't all agree with me that you are not Descartes and can't 
possibly be Descartes." 

L. "Pooh, men may be deceived on any point, so why not on 
this? Besides, why do you talk of asking other men? Don't you 
remember what I have said in my 'Meditations?' I said: 'You 
must remember that in addressing me you address a mind so disen- 
gaged from corporeal things that it cannot say with certainty whether 
any one but itself exists — Cogito, ergo sum; that's all it knows.' " 

C. "Well, you can listen to reason anyhow." 

L. "That's just what I'm trying to make you do. Tell me, now, 
do you believe that you exist ?" 

C "Of course I do ; but what has my existence to do with your 
pretensions to be Descartes?" 

L. "All in good time; just you answer my question! On what 
proof do you rest your belief in your existence ? How are you cer- 
tain of it ?" 

C. "Because when I say T think,' 'I am,' T exist,' I have a clear 
and distinct perception of what I say." 

L. "Good; then you agree that whatever one perceives clearly 
and distinctly, is true ?" 

C. "Certainly ; it is the first principle of my philosophy." 

L. "And how do you knozv that you have this clear and distanct 
perception ?" 

C. "Why, because it is impossible for me to doubt it." 

L. "Capital ! I can't tell you how pleased I am, my dear friend, 
to see that you have assimilated my doctrine so completely ! I count 
it a privilege to be able to call you my disciple, and you can disavow 
your master no longer ; for I solemnly declare to you that I have a 
very clear and verv distinct perception of the fact that I am Descartes. 
And the proof that this perception is very clear and' very distmct, is 
that it is impossible for me to doubt it !" 

The Cartesian is left soliloquizing: "I was right, the poor fellow 
is mad-what a pitv ! Still he is none the worse Cartesian for that. 

After this it is interesting to note that three years later, when 
Victor Cousin published his translation and collection of Descartes 

i68 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

complete works, he dedicated it in these words: "To M. Royer- 
Collard, Professor of the History of Modern Philosophy in the 
Academy of France, who first among his colleagues combatted the 
Philosophy of the Senses, and rehabilitated Descartes/' 

Feli de Lamennais returned from Rome in 1825, full of hope and 
courage for the future. The fourth and last volume of his "Essay" 
was finished, and the whole appeared to have the approbation of the 
Holy See. 

During this year he published a translation of the "Imitation of 
Christ," with copious reflections between the chapters which show 
that he was not the hard, dry man of mere intellect which some have 
thought fit to style him. This translation has maintained its place 
in the general favor up to to-day. The next year he printed a work 
entitled "Religion Considered in Its Relation to the Civil and Public 
Order." His theme was "No Pope, no Church; no Church, no 
Christiantiy ; no Christianity, no Religion ; no Religion, no Society." 
In it he defends the right of the Church, in the person of the Pope, 
to the ultimate decision in all great questions of social justice, divine 
law, the sovereignty and its duties, citing Gerson and Fenelon for 
the coercitive power of the Papal authority, and attacks the Gallican 
doctrine of a national church in an independent nation, and in par- 
ticular singles out Mgr. de Frayssinons, Bishop of Hermopolis and 
Minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs, for his most caustic animadver- 
sions. As an attack on Gallicanism was, at that time, an attack on 
the government, action was at once taken against him on the ground 
of treasonable writing. His advocate, M. Berryer, however, pulled 
the charge to pieces, and Feli escaped with a fine of thirty francs on 
the head of incitement to contempt for the "Declaration" of 1682. 
We may note in passing that this "Declaration," formulated in the 
reign of Louis XIV., amounted in effect to this, that the political, 
being wholly distinct from the moral and religious order, the State 
not only is, but ought to be, atheist. 

But Feli had done more than offend the government. He had 
stirred up the dominant Gallican party to compass his complete 
destruction at any cost. And this factor must always be allowed 
for in all the agitations which were raised against him henceforth 
until his downfall. 

Meantime, politics were moving in the most approved French 
fashion. On July 26, 1830, Charles X. (who had succeeded his 
brother Louis XVIII. in 1824) suddenly suspended the liberty of the 
press, broke up the recently formed Chamber of Deputies, and issued 
a new set of regulations for the elections. The Parisians rose to the 
occasion. On the 27th the streets of Paris were barricaded. On 
the 28th the Tuilleries was stormed, a provisional government, with 

• Felicite de Lamennais: A Sketch. i6o 

the Duke of Orleans as Lieutenant General of the Kingdom, was 
established, and Charles X. abdicated. On the 7th of August the 
Duke of Orleans mounted the throne under the title of Louis 
Philippe, King of the French. 

Feli hailed the downfall of the elder Bourbon dynasty with uncon- 
cealed joy. Together with Lacordaire (himself a priest, but not 
yet a Dominican) and the Comte de Montalembert, he founded the 
Avenir, a journal devoted to religious and social reform, bearing 
the device "God and Liberty— the Pope and the People." His dar- 
ling object was to bring about a strict alliance between the Church 
and democracy, and in language of the loftiest eloquence he urged 
the clergy to shake themselves free of the State, to repudiate all 
concordats, to give up their stipends and return to the poverty of 
the Early Church, and finally to ally themselves with the people and 
enjoy to the full the liberty of worship and the schools which had 
just been proclaimed. At the same time he professed an ultra- 
montanism that passed the bounds of discretion. As was only 
natural, there arose a storm of opposition which took shape in an- 
other journal called Uami de la Religion. The combat did not last 
long. In three years' time de Lamennais had cast away half of 
what for thirty strenuous years he had given all his talent and energy 
to defend, had flung defiance at the Papacy — the former object of a 
jealous devotion — and after alienating one by one the intimate friends 
of a lifetime, ended twenty years of embittered solitude by an obscure 
death in the midst of poverty, an object of pity to a few, but of indif- 
ference to most. 

Leo XIL had died in 1829, and his successor, Pius VIIL, had been 
followed in 183 1 by Gregory XVL On his accession, in February, 
the three collaborators of the Avenir at once set out for Rome to 
fortify their position by obtaining his approval of it. In the state- 
ment w^hich they prepared for the consideration of the Sovereign 
Pontiff they withdrew, or in some way mitigated their doctrine of 
complete separation between Church and State, but laid stress on 
the derivation of power from the people. Pending a decision, how- 
ever, they temporarily suspended the publication of the Avenir. 
"We do this," wrote de Lamennais, "not because we are discouraged 
or weary of the combat ; we are going, as the soldiers of Israel went, 
to consult the Lord in Shiloh." 

Their hopes were completely disappointed. They procured, in- 
deed, an interview with Gregory, but only on the understanding that 
there was to be no mention made of the object for which they had 
come. Thev had, in fact, been outmarched by their opponents, and 
an inquiry was alreadv in progress at Rome, powerfully stimulated 
bv complaints from the Governments of France, Russia, Austria and 

I/O American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Prussia. After a fruitless stay of several months, de Lamennais, 
in a state of profound depression, set out on his return journey. 
While he was lingering at Munich on his way, he received the 
encyclical "Mirari Vos," dated August 15, 1832, in which his teach- 
ing and that of his colleagues was explicitly condemned, without, 
however, any mention being made of their names. So, in a day, as 
it seemed to him, the dream of a lifetime was rudely overthrown. 
At the age of fifty-two he found himself standing with empty hands, 
with all his life to begin over again, and with all his ideals to recon- 
struct. He submitted, however, at once ; stopped the publication of 
the Avenir, and on the loth of September despatched to the Pope, 
through the hands of Cardinal Pacca, a signed statement to that 
effect. At the end of October the Cardinal wrote to the friends at 
Paris that Gregory had been much gratified by their submissive 
attitude ; but by that time Feli had quitted the capital and had retired 
alone to the solitude of La Chenaie, and his mood was already caus- 
ing anxiety to those who having known him in prosperity and in 
adversity, had learnt to expect almost anything from his determined 
and mutinous temperament. Their fears were soon justified. De 
Lamennais began to write again, and every word he wrote was put 
under a microscope by his enemies. Irritated, perhaps, by this sort 
of persecution, he grew reckless and was accused of having once more 
overstepped the bounds laid down by the encyclical. When he was 
notified of this by the Archbishop of Toulouse, he wrote a letter to 
his own diocesan, the Bishop of Rennes, requesting him to forward 
the substance of it to Rome, in which he announced his intention 
of abstaining in future from all discussion touching the Church and 
State, professed his sincere devotion to the Holy See, and asked 
Gregory if he were not yet satisfied, to send him a formula of sub- 
mission for his subscription. After much correspondence, many 
advances and as many withdrawals, Feli consented at last, on the 
earnest entreaty of his brother and the Archbishop of Paris, to sign 
a document embodying an unconditional surrender of all his sus- 
pected doctrines, and promising an unequivocal obedience to the 
encyclical. But he told the Archbishop that in signing this paper 
he considered himself to have implicitly signed that the Pope is God. 
"However," he added, "for the sake of peace I am willing to sign 
that even explicitly." On receiving this document Gregory XVI. 
addressed a brief to Feli full of congratulations on the step he had 
taken, and expressive of his own joy at this happy termination of 
the affair. But the end was not yet. It is probably fair comment 
to say that Feli's enemies, having triumphed, could not forego the 
satisfaction of pushing their triumph home. Because we must 
remember that though in the matter at issue between de Lamennais 

Felicite de Lamennais: A Sketch. 171 

and the Holy See, he was wrong, and had rightly incurred censure- 
still, the whole controversy was for many of the upper clergy in 
France a contest between ultramontanism and Gallicanism, and Gal- 
licanism seemed to them to have conquered. So it was indeed a 
grateful spectacle for them when they saw the foremost among the 
defenders of the Papal authority himself lying under the condemna- 
tion of that authority. Anxious, therefore, to make their victory 
absolutely complete, to goad him to some irretrievable act, and aided, 
no doubt, by many good persons whose zeal would not permit them 
to leave well enough alone, they urged upon de Lamennais the neces- 
sity of making some definite and suitable acknowledgment of the 
brief. Soon it came to an order from the Archbishop of Paris to do 
so, and thus to dissipate the suspicions of his sincerity, which were 
again being bruited about. Perhaps, too, it befel him in part, as it 
has not infrequently befallen men of inconvenient originality, when 
the orthodox prefer the easier means of silencing them by shoveling 
them out of sight and labeling them and all their works, "Poison; 
not to be taken," to the more formidable task of first understanding 
what they mean before condemning what they have said. 

For a long time de Lamennais was silent. Then, in May, 1834, 
he answered with "Les Paroles d'un Croyant," and so once and for 
all, and at a blow, broke away from the Church, severed the bonds 
of the closest friendship, and renounced the ideals which had in- 
spired all his thoughts and acts for thirty years. We have it on the 
authority of Rohrbacher that the Abbe Jean, hearing of the ap- 
proaching publication of this work (probably from Ste. Beuve, to 
whom it was intrusted), hurried down to La Chenaie and succeeded 
in obtaining from his brother permission to cancel it. He rushed 
ofif to Dinan to give notice to the printers, but it was too late. On 
the very next morning the book was out in Paris, and Feli, recover- 
ing himself, resolved to abide by it. 

''Les Paroles d'un Croyant" was formally condemned within two 
months of its appearance, and Gregory XVL took occasion to point 
out that it was the legitimate offspring of the fallacious system of 
traditionalism, by which certitude in matters of religion was seri- 
ously shaken in being referred to an inadmissible and unstable prin- 
ciple. The book is written in a quasi-prophetic style, to which 
English readers will recognize a distant approximation in some of 
the essays of Carlyle. Briefly, its scope is as follows : Hereditary 
rulers are the children of Satan; the Church has sold herself and 
betrayed mankind; the nineteenth century is -of all previous cen- 
turies the most irretrievably infamous, and revolution is a sacred 
dutv. From the assimilation of these principles, and the perform- 
ance of these duties, will arise in time a new State, a new Christianity 

172 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

and a new Gospel of the people. Feli de Lamennais was not a man 
to do things by halves. He developed and preached his new faith 
with all the energy and fierceness which he had at one time devoted 
to a very different ideal. His democracy became communism, his 
Christianity of the people degenerated into an amorphous system of 
civic morality devoid of sanction or a divine origin, and his own 
personal beliefs seem to have lost all focus. If such a contradiction 
in terms be admissible, it might be said that he became a kind of 
theistic positivist — since in his later writings he seems in some way 
to have made his own Comte's theory of the "Three States" and 
to have adopted even his classification of the sciences. 

Comte's leading idea, it will be remembered, was that social and 
political phenomena are as calculable and as explicable by law as 
are physical phenomena. Considering, therefore, the novelty of this 
doctrine as compared with the views that had hitherto prevailed, he 
was led to divide the progress of the human intelligence into three 
tages, or states. First, the theological, in which the mind explains 
all phenomena by recourse to personal will, either in the objects or 
in some external and supernatural being ; secondly, the metaphysical, 
in which phenomena are accounted for by abstract force in, but inde- 
pendent of, the objects, so that their properties are discussed in a 
state of precision from their existence ; thirdly, the positive, in which 
the mind is content to ascribe all phenomena — mental, moral and 
physical — to law; but to law ruling not through the principle of 
causality, but by way of succession, relativity and resemblance. 
From this unthinkable definition of order he was ready to deduce 
the speedy abdication of all theological and metaphysical explana- 
tions of social phenomena in favor of positive ones, and to make 
of sociology as accurate a science as chemistry or conic sections. To 
this end he classified all the sciences in an order corresponding to 
that of the Three States ; each science, from mathematics in the first 
place to sociology in the last, decreasing in extension and increasing 
in comprehension. To fill up the vacuum which he recognized would 
be caused by the elimination in this way of every form of theism or 
deism, he offered to mankind a new Deity in the shape of Humanity, 
whose worship was to consist in the practice of altruism. Hence- 
forth the rich were to be self-restrained and moderate, and the poor 
contented and sober, for the glorious ideal that in generations to 
come the rich might be still more self -restrained and moderate, and 
the poor still more contented and sober — that is, if such distinctions 
as riches and poverty should still exist to divide the world. That 
any one (Comte most of all, whose domestic life was so unfortunate 
and his circumstances so narrow) could believe, outside the four 
walls of his study, in the efficacy of such a shadowy and impalpable 

F elicits de Lamennais: A Sketch. 173 

motive to rule the human heart for good, is plainly incredible. And 
Comte seems to have had some doubts on the point himself, as is 
witnessed by the grotesque parody of a priesthood, a hagiology and 
a sacramental system, with which he crowned his edifice; as if to 
satisfy by a brave show on the roof for the structural defects of 
the walls. 

It will, of course, be evident that de Lamennais, who always called 
himself a Christian and was certainly always a theist, could not 
follow Comte as far as this. But in his "Esquisse d'une Philoso- 
phic," published from 1841 to 1850, he appears to have absorbed a 
good deal of the Comteist philosophy, no doubt with the intention of 
applying to ''Christianity" whatever in it seemed likely to help him 
in his self-imposed task of religious reconstruction. It should be 
noted, too, as illustrative of the Nemesis that always overtakes the 
member who separates himself from the head in order to find his 
true perfection in independence, that de Lamennais in embracing 
even so much of the tenets of positivism as he did, was in fact read- 
mitting reason to the empire from which in his "Essay" he had 
expelled it, and admitting it, moreover, to a more absolute sway 
than ever. In fact, after his secession, Feli de Lamennais seems to 
have changed his whole nature, except in just those points which had 
been the causes of his downfall. He was as ardent, as opinionated, 
as positive as before, but the grain of his mind had coarsened; one 
is conscious of a certain unreserve, almost vulgarity, in him, which 
to some degree lessens one's sympathy with his misfortunes. 

The remainder of his life need not detain us long. In 1840 he 
underwent a year's imprisonment in Ste. Pelagic for opinions ex- 
pressed in a book entitled "The Country and the Government." After 
the Revolution of 1848 he entered the Chamber of Deputies for one 
of the quarters of Paris, but the coup d'etat of December 2, 185 1, 
withdrew him from all further political activity. His last work was 
a translation of the "Divina Commedia." 

In January, 1854, he was attacked with pleurisy and succumbed 
in a few weeks, being then in his seventy-fourth year. He angrily 
repulsed all attempts to bring a priest to him, and gave directions 
for his funeral to be conducted without any religious ceremony and 
with nothing, not even a plain stone, to mark his grave in Pere la 

During the hours that immediately preceded his death he had 
remained perfectly silent, lying with closed eyes ; but just before he 
died the few friends who stood beside him saw tears stealing down 
his face. On these tears some of those who had never quite despaired 
of him— his brother Jean, Maurice de Guerin, de Montalembert— 
founded a hope of his salvation. To quote the words of a recent 

174 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

writer, they tried to see in them ''some confirmation of the view 
according to which the soul receives in that crucial hour a final choice 
based on the collective experience of its mortal life. We would hope 
that as there is a baptism of blood, or of charity, so there may per- 
haps be some unconventional absolution for one who so earnestly 
loved mankind at large, and especially the poor and oppressed ; who 
in his old age and misery was found by their sick beds ; who willed 
to be with them in his death and burial." 

A very few words will suffice for a general commentary on 
Lamennais and his work. It would be quite a mistake to condemn 
wholesale even the doctrines of his later life ; for though he strayed 
far and wrote wildly, he was still a man of exceptional ability and 
genius, and when prejudice and indignation were not blinding him, 
knew how to make use of his gifts. But apart from whatever effect 
his democratic theories may have had upon modern social problems, 
it is incontestable that he rendered most valuable services to the 
Church in France and to sacred studies in general. Though he him- 
self went too far, it was under his leadership that the Roman move- 
ment began its victorious march against Gallicanism; and it was 
under the stimulus of his ceaseless activity that the seminaries of 
France awoke from their lethargy and began to realize that theology 
in a fossil state is neither ornamental nor useful. If proof be needed 
of the genius of Feli de Lamennais and of the real value of much of 
his work, the names of his intimate friends — Lacordaire, Monta- 
lembert, Rohrbacher, de Chateaubriand, de Maistre — who admired, 
praised and appreciated him, will guarantee it. 

What hindered him from doing more, and spoilt so much of what 
he did, was the incomplete, or rather ill-designed nature of his educa- 
tion. M. Bellamy, in his work, "Catholic Theology in the Nine- 
teenth Century," says of him: ''De Lamennais had scarcely any 
theological formation. Obliged by circumstances to study largely 
by himself and in a somewhat haphazard fashion, he never properly 
assimilated theological principles, and on more than one occasion 
he allowed this deficiency to appear with very bad result. His aver- 
sion to scholasticism and his contempt for it tended to accentuate the 
evil. Hence there is nothing astounding in the words with which he 
commended his famous theory of the sensus communis to his friend, 
the Abbe Carron: 'If my theses are rejected,' he wrote, 'I see no 
other means of effectually defending religion.' By this phrase we 
may judge the apologist and the theologian." 

R. H. J. Steuart, S. J. 

The Birthplace of the Magi. 175 


MOST of those writers who wrote about the Magi before 
modern research had helped to throw Hght upon their 
history held that they were natives of Persia. The Gospels 
make no mention of their fatherland, and St. Matthew merely says 
that when Jesus was born at Bethlehem of Juda in the days of King 
Herod there came wise men from the East saying : "Where is He 
that is born King of the Jews ?" 

The "East" may mean either Parthia, Persia, Mesopotamia or 
Arabia ; but both the profane and the sacred writers speak of Arabia 
as the Eastern land. Tacitus in his history (B. V.) when describing 
Palestine states that it was bounded on the east by Arabia, Egypt 
lying to the south, Phoenicia and the sea being to the west, whilst 
the northern frontier extended towards Syria. "Terra, finesque qua 
ad Orientem vergunt Arabia terminantur." 

The land of Moab, Amalec and Maclian, where the Nabrathoean 
Arabs dwelt in tents and roamed over the trackless wilds between 
the Jordan and the Euphrates, whilst their kinsmen dwelt amidst 
the fertile valleys and plains of Oman, Hadramant and Yemen, is 
called the "East" in the Books of Genesis and of Judges. 

When the Patriarch Abraham gave his possessions to his son 
Isaac and bestowed gifts upon the children of his concubines he 
bade them go into the land of Madian and Moab "into the East 
country." (Genesis xxv.) When the Madianites had become a 
great people they grievously oppressed the people of Israel so that 
they made themselves dens and caves in the mountains and strong- 
holds ; and when Israel had sown, Madian and Amalec "and the other 
Eastern nations came up" (Judges vi.). 

The southern peninsula of Arabia also is called "the East" in the 
sacred writings of the Old Testament. The Prophet Jeremias calls 
the inhabitants of Cedar "the children of the East." "Against Cedar 
and against the kingdoms of Azor, which Nabuchodonosor destroyed, 
thus saith the Lord. Arise and go up to Cedar, and waste the 
children of the East" (Ixix.). Arabia was called Cedar in ancient 
times. Isaias writes: "The burthen in Arabia— .within a year 
according to the years of a hireling, all the glory of Cedar shall be 
taken away" (xxi.). Ezechiel also writes: "Arabia and all the 
Princes of Cedar, they were the merchants of thy hand" (xxvii.).^ 

St. Jerome writes that Arabia was the land of the Saracens, and 
that the word Saracen was derived from the Arabic word Sharki, 
which has the meaning of "Eastern," and the Dead Sea or Salt Sea, 

1 Cedar, the second son of Ismael, gave his name to Arabia. 

176 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

which lies between Palestine and Arabia Petroea, is called in Holy 
Writ the "Eastern Sea." 

The inspired writers of the Old Testament, who foretold the 
coming of the Magi to Judea to worship the new-born King of the 
Jews, and to lay their treasures at His feet, make known in unmis- 
takable words the country whence they came. 

"In his days justice shall spring up and abundance of peace; and 
he shall rule from sea to sea; before him the Ethiopians shall fall 
down, and his foes shall lick the ground. The Kings of Tharsis 
and the islands shall offer gifts; the Kings of the Arabians and of 
Saba shall bring gifts." (Ps. Ixxi.) The Prophet Isaias, whilst 
declaring how the light of true faith should shine out in the Church 
of Christ, and be spread throughout the world, beheld in vision the 
Kings of the earth bowed down in adoration before the Child-God, 
and he burst forth into these gladsome praises at the sight of the 
great glory of Israel: "Then shalt thou see and abound, and thy 
heart shalt wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea 
shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come 
to thee, the multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries 
of Madian and Epha, all they from Saba shall come bringing gold, 
and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord" (Ix). 

Southern Arabia is called Saba by both Greek and Roman writers, 
and the St. Jerome translates the Hebrew Septuagint and word Saba 
by Arabia.^ "The Greeks and Romans," writes the celebrated 
German historian Mommsen, "call these Arabians Sabseans after 
the people most prominent at the time." These wonderful outpour- 
ings of the sacred writers are used in the magnificent liturgy of the 
Catholic Church at the feast of the Epiphany, and their prophetic 
utterances are applied to the wise men who hastened to Bethlehem 
at the birth of Jesus Christ." 

St. Augustine, St. Jerome and St. Epiphanius, when treating in 
their writings of the coming of the Magi, say only that they came 
"from the East" — "from afar;" and some of the ecclesiastical writers 
of the early Church are wholly silent about their birthplace, but 
nearly all the first Fathers of the Church held that they were 

St. Justin, who lived during the first half of the second century 
(A. D. 1 14-165), writes in his "Dialogue with Trypho:" "Now 
this King Herod at the time when the Magi came to him from 
Arabia and said that they knew from a star which appeared in the 

2 "In medio ejus (Arabia) fere sunt Atramitae pagns Sabseorum in 
monteexcelso a quo octo mansionibus distat regio eorum thurifera Saba 
appellata." — Pliny (H. N.). Saba, son of Chus, settled in Arabia, according 
to St. Jerome. 

The Birthplace of the Magi. 


heavens that a King had been born. Accordingly the Magi from 
Arabia came to Bethlehem and worshiped the Child, and offered 
Him gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. While they were there 
Mary brought forth the Christ and placed Him in a manger; and 
there the Magi, who came from Arabia, found Him. So Herod, 
when the Magi from Arabia did not go back to him, as he had asked 
them to do, ordered all the children then in Bethlehem to be killed." 

Tertullian, who lived during the second half of the second century 
(A. D. 160-230) , writes : "Let those Eastern Magi wait on the new- 
born Christ, offering to Him in His infancy their gifts of gold and 
frankincense, and surely an Infant will have received the riches of 
Damascus without a fight." Moreover, with regard to the gift of 
gold David also says : ''And there shall be given to Him of the gold 
of Arabia." And again: "The Kings of Arabia and Saba shall 
offer gifts to Him." 

St. Cyprian (A. D. 200-58) writes: "When the Redeemer was 
born at Bethlehem His presence on earth was heard in Effata, and 
the fame of this new birth spread unto the woodlands and meadows 
of the Gentiles. Those glad tidings were celebrated first of all in 
Judea by the shepherds and the angels, and not long afterwards the 
knowledge of this thing penetrated beyond the boundary of the 
Arabians ; and the star of the wonderful light of the heavenly Deity 
made it known by its unwonted brightness to the people of Saba. 
There were in those regions men given to the watching of the stars, 
who knew by the art of mathematics the power and the courses of 
the planets. They had heard before from the prophecies of Balaam 
that a star should arise from Jacob and a man in Israel."^ 

St. Ephrem (A. D. 306-373) alone of the Fathers and Clement of 
Alexandria and Juvencus alone of the ecclesiastical writers of the 
early Church held that the Magi were natives of Persia. St. 
Ephrem writes : "A star lit up Persia ; the rising of Christ allured 
her, and announced to her that the Victim was come. The heavens 
sent one of the stars to the Persians, that they might hasten to meet 
the King and worship Him." 

Clement of Alexandria, writing towards the end of the second 
century, says : "The Persian Magi, who indeed also made known 
the birth of the Redeemer, coming to Judea preceded by the star," 

The Christian poet Juvencus, who lived in the age of Constantine, 
writes : 

Gens est ulterior, surgenti conscia soli, 

Astrorum solers, ortusque notare. 

Hujus primores nomen tenuere Magorum; 

Hinc lecti proceres Solymos per longa viarum 

8 De Stella et Magis. 

178 American Catholic Quarterly Review. ' 

Deveniunt, regemque adeunt, orantque do ceri 
j Quae regio imperio puerum Judaea teneret 


Tunc jubet Herodes, Persas pertendere gressum 
Inventumque sibi puerum monstare colendum. 

St. John Chrysostom, who lived during the latter half of the 
fourth century, calls the Magi Persians in many places of his writ- 
ings: **When the foreign and barbarian Magi arrived in order to 
behold Him lying in a manger." "He caused barbarians to come 
from a far-off land to inquire about the King who was born amongst 
them; and they learned first in the Persian tongue what they were 
unwilling to learn from the prophets." He, however, seems not to 
have had a settled opinion about their birthplace, for at the beginning 
of his "Homily on St. Matthew" he says: "We need much care- 
fulness and many prayers in order that we may be enabled to unravel 
this difficult passage and find out who the Magi were and whence 
they came." 

St. Augustine (A. D. 354-430) and St. Leo (A. D. 418-460) call 
the Magi Chaldeans : "For those Chaldean Magi followed the tradi- 
tion of Balaam, who said : *A star shall arise in the East.' " "The 
Chaldeans, as we read, therefore came from the East; they follow 
the first star." Chaldea, however, was not a country, according to 
Herodotus, and all philosophers in the East were called Chaldeans, 
as Clement of Alexandria writes in his "Stromata:" "The chiefs 
of philosophy were called Chaldeans by the Assyrians, Druids by 
the Gauls and Magi by the Persians." 

The great Jesuit theologian Suarez, having made an exhaustive 
study of the question in the writings of the Fathers of the Church, 
concludes from their testimony that it is most likely that the Magi 
came from Arabia Felix; and he holds that the prophecies of the 
Old Testament about them conclusively prove that they were 
Arabians. "Recte intelligitur Magos Arabes fuisse" (xix. 236, 
art. 8). 

Southern Arabia, as St. Cyril Alexandria writes, was sometimes 
called Persia ; and St. Isidore of Seville, in his "Book on the Passion 
of Christ," asserts that "the Magi came from the Persian people, 
from Arabia and Saba," because Arabia is so near to Persia that it 
was called sometimes by that name. 

The tradition that the Magi were Persians, however, having once 
begun, speedily spread throughout the Eastern and Western 
Churches, so that St. Cyril of Alexandria, in the fifth century, and 
many ecclesiastical writers in after ages have declared that Persia 
was their birthplace, although most of the earliest writers of the 
Church had held that these royal pilgrims were natives of Arabia. 

The learned writers who hold the opinion that the wise men who 

The Birthplace of the Magi. 170 

worshiped the Infant Saviour at His birth were Persians rely mainly 
on the fact that they are called Magi in the Gospel of St. Matthew, 
and that whereas Persia was a highly civilized empire, with its 
Princes, its Magi and its Satraps, at the beginning of the Christian 
era, Arabia was then a barbarous and barren land. 

The Magi in olden times, according to Arabian and Syrian chron- 
icles and the traditions of the Greeks, were the priests and philoso- 
phers of the religion which was founded by Zoroaster. They were 
astrologers learned in the natural sciences and worshiped the sun 
and the stars. Herodotus in his history writes that they belonged 
to a people rather than to an office, and they were one of the six 
tribes into which the Medes had been divided. They yielded great 
influence in social and religious life like the Druids amongst the 
Gauls, and Magianism was the chief part of a princely education. 

Cicero ("De Divinatione") says that "the Magi were looked upon 
as wise men and teachers by the Persians, and no one could be a 
Persian King unless first he had learned their doctrine and teaching." 
The learned Jew Philo writes that : "True Magianism, the specula- 
tive knowledge which enables us to read more deeply into the secrets 
of nature, seems so excellent and so worthy of all the faculties of 
man that not only private persons, but even Kings, and the greatest 
of Kings — I mean the Kings of Persia — devoted themselves to this 
science ; and it is said that none amongst them reach the royal dignity 
unless first he has become one of the Magians." Pliny also asserts 
(N. Hist., xxxi.) that "Magianism ruled in the East over the King 
of Kings." 

But there were Magi also in Arabia, as most learned writers allow. 
The rich and lovely land of Oman, which lies along the eastern shore 
of Southern Arabia, was known from the earliest ages as the "land 
of the Magians." The Arabians became more eminent as astrologers 
and philosophers even than the Medes and Persians, as the Medes 
and Persians had surpassed all other nations in their knowledge of 
the star-lit heavens and of the deep secrets of nature. Pliny speaks 
of the Arabian Magi and St. Justin calls them "the wise men of 

The Nabathean Tribe in the Kingdom of Oman, who were of 
Chaldean or Persian origin, worshiped the sun and the stars, and 
the Sabseans of Central and Southern Arabia had the same religious 
customs and ceremonial as their Persian neighbors. There was a 
tradition amongst the Arabian Mussulmans that when Mahomet 
was born the sacred fire of Zoroaster, which had burned for a thou- 
sand vears, was suddenlv extinguished. Each tribe had a special 
star, and when the Arab shepherds watched over their flocks at night 
thev curiouslv scanned the star-lit sky, noting the movements of the 

i8o American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

heavenly constellations, which boded good or evil for their lives and 
fortunes. The rude and hardy Bedawin even now bend down in 
lowly worship and pour forth their simple prayers as soon as the 
bright orb of day appears above the horizon, gilding with its beams 
the brown sand of the desert. The Arabians, however, were not 
idolators, for they considered the burning fire of earth and the glit- 
tering stars and planets of the midnight sky as symbols of the Deity. 
When the Sun of Righteousness shone upon the world Magianism 
was held in high esteem in Arabia, but it had fallen from its high 
estate in Persia, for when Alexander the Great conquered that great 
kingdom by his arms he introduced Greek colonists and Greek 
religious customs; and when through the dissensions of his suc- 
cessors the savage Scythians of the North founded on the ruins of 
the Persian monarchy the great Parthian Empire the Persian Magi 
became serfs instead of princes. 

Arabia was a prosperous and highly civilized country at the time 
of the birth of Jesus Christ, whereas Persia, under the Scythian 
sway, had become sadly wanting in both the material and moral 
elements of civilization. The developments of this remarkable 
Arabian people, as the learned historian Mommsen writes, reached 
a high state of perfection before the Romans ruled over Egypt. Its 
native seat of government, the Arabia Felix of the ancients, the region 
of Mocha and Aden, is surrounded by a narrow plain along the hot 
and desolate coast line, but the healthy and temperate interior of 
Yemen and Hadramant even now produces on the mountain slopes 
and valleys a luxuriant vegetation, and the numerous mountain 
streams cause everywhere a garden-like cultivation. We have 
to-day a clear witness to the rich civilization of this land in ancient 
times in the remains of the city walls, towers, aqueducts and tem- 
ples, with inscriptions which fully confirm the account given by olden 
writers of the magnificence and luxury of that country. This region 
also was one of the chief centres of wholesale traffic both by sea and 
land, not only on account of its produce — frankincense, precious 
gems, gum, cassia, aloes, senna and myrrh — but because this Semitic 
race was formed by its peculiar character for commercial pursuits, 
for Strabo asserts that the Arabians were all merchants and traders, 
and the whole amount of purchase money paid yearly for Oriental 
wares to the Arabians and Indians is valued by Pliny at 100,000,000 
and for Arabia alone at more than 50,000,000 sesterces. Thus 
writes the learned historian of 'The Provinces of the Roman Em- 
pire" (V. 11.) . 

We can know best whence the Magi came by the gifts which they 
offered to the Infant Saviour. St. Matthew writes: ''When Jesus 
therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of King Herod, 

The Birthplace of the Magi. i8i 

behold there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying: 
Where is he that is born King of the Jews? And behold the star, 
which they had seen in the east, went before them until it came and 
stood over where the child was. And entering into the house they 
found the child with Mary his mother, and falling down they adored 
him ; and opening their treasures they offered him gifts, gold, frank- 
incense and myrrh." 

Arabia was the land of gold (III. Kings x., 15), frankincense and 
myrrh at the time when the star of Jacob shone upon the earth. Its 
rich plains and low-lying valleys abounded with odoriferous shrubs 
and aromatic trees, and its mines teemed with gold. Its ships and 
caravans brought the gold and spices of the East to the various 
markets of the world, and so it prospered exceedingly until Mahome- 
tanism arose and threw the blight of its evil influence over Araby 
the Blest. The goldsmiths and silversmiths of Oman were re- 
nowned throughout the Eastern nations, and its alluvial plains were 
covered to the foot of its lofty mountains with spice-bearing shrubs 
and trees. 

O'er Dhofar's plains the richest incense breathes. — Camoens. 

Hadramant, in Southern Arabia, the Sabsea of the Roman poets 
and the Saba of Holy Writ, was rich in gold, in cinnamon and in 
spices of every sort, and its wealthy merchants sailed on every sea 
and their merchandise were seen in every bazar of Palestine, Egypt 
and Persia. 

Centumque Sabiaeo 
Thure calent arse. — Virgil. 

The Kingdom of Yemen, which was called Arabia Felix by the 
ancients, was the chief seat of the spice industry. Its wide valleys 
were fragrant with every kind of sweet-scented shrubs, and its har- 
bors were filled with ships bearing their rich freight to many foreign 
lands. The harbors of Sheher and Dowani, whence Arabian incense 
was sent yearly to smoke on Jewish altars and in Persian palaces, 
are now silted up with sand, and the crumbling stones of ruined 
cities now strew the plain ; but Arabian sailors when sailing in their 
clumsy barques on the waters of the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf, 
still sing of the frankincense of their native land as the French 
peasant sings of his vines and the Italian husbandman sings of his 
green olive groves. The Sabseans were the most renowned for their 
frankincense, as Pliny writes (N. Hist, vi., 32). 

Soils est thurea virga Sabseis.— Virgil. 

Pliny relates how "when Alexander the Great was a youth he 
burned incense unsparingly on the altars, and that his teacher, 

1 82 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Leonides, chided him for his prodigaHty, saying that he might thus 
worship as soon as he had conquered the frankincense-producing 
people; but when he had subdued Arabia he (Alexander) sent to 
him a vessel laden with frankincense, exhorting him meanwhile to 
worship the gods with generosity" (xxii.), Pliny, who in his 
"Natural History" gives a full description of the products of the 
then known world, asserts that frankincense was found nowhere 
save in Arabia, and not everywhere even there. (Lib. xii.) 

Whilst Arabia was growing rich by its widespread commerce of 
gold and spices, Persia, crushed beneath the sway of its warlike 
Parthian rulers, had become merely a great military empire, ever 
warring against the might of Rome. The Prophet Ezechiel, when 
describing the glories of Tyre, declares that its wealthy citizens got 
fine linen from Egypt, silver, tin and lead from Carthage, slaves and 
vessels of brass from Greece, silk and precious stones from Syria, 
lambs, rams, kids, spices, precious gems and gold from Arabia, and 
Persians, Lydians and Lybians were the soldiers of her army (xxvii.) . 

Some writers who favor the opinion that the Magi were natives 
of Persia draw attention to the fact that the wise men who came to 
lay their gifts at the feet of the Infant Saviour are represented on 
the mural frescoes and sarcophagi in the Catacombs at Rome as 
wearing the pointed head dress, tunic, cloak and sandals of the 
Persians; but the Southern Arabians were Persians in dress and 
customs, and they wore the Persian high-pointed cap, as Pliny states 
in his history : "Arabes mitrati degunt, aut intonso crine." 

There has been a widespread tradition always in the Catholic 
Church that the Magi, who followed the star from the East to the 
birthplace of the Messiah, were Kings or Princes. St. Ephrem calls 
them "Princes" and Tertullian calls them "almost Kings." He 
states that nearly the whole Eastern world looked upon them as 
Kings: "Nam et Magos Reyesfere habet Oriens;" and St. Isidore 
of Seville writes that they were held as Kings by the East: "Nam 
et Magos reges habuit Oriens." St. Augustine in one of his sermons 
also asserts that they were Kings. 

There were at all times independent Princes or Kings in Arabia 
from the beginning of the Arabian people until the Christian era. 
Ismael was the father and founder of the Arabian race, as St. 
Jerome writes: "Cedar, the second son of Ismael, gave his name 
to Arabia. Cedar is the country of the Saracens, who in Scripture 
are called Ismaelites." When the fierce Arab warriors in after years, 
filled with Moslem ferocity, overran the fertile plains of Palestine 
and Syria, and by wiles and force of arms captured their strongly 
built fortresses and high-walled cities, Constantine, son of the Em- 
peror Heraclius, who was commander-in-chief of the Greco-Roman 

The Birthplace of the Magi. 183 

army, entered into a treaty of peace with Amru, the leader of the 
Mahommedan host, which lay encamped beneath the walls of 
Csesarea. He then upbraided the Arabian, general for waging war 
upon the Greco-Roman Empire, reminding him that the Romans 
and Greeks and Arabians were brethren, as they were descendants 
alike of the Patriarch Noah ; and, although the Arabians were chil- 
dren of Ismael, the son of a slave and concubine, it was sinful, never- 
theless, for brethren to fight against each other. But the proud 
Arab warrior answered that what Constantine had said was true, 
and that the Arabians gloried in having Ismael for their forefather. 
God promised to Abraham that He would bless and increase Ismael, 
who dwelt from Hevilah to Sur, which looketh towards Egypt, and 
that he should beget chieftains and become a great nation (Genesis 
xvii.). And when Ismael and his mother, the Egyptian bonds- 
woman, having been banished from their home by Abraham, through 
the jealousy of his wife Sara, had wandered, weary and footsore, 
through the wilderness beyond the Jordan, an angel sent from heaven 
renewed the promise to her as she laid her child beneath a tree, 
waiting afar off to see him die of want before her eyes, saying that 
he should become a great nation, and that his sons should become 
''the twelve princes of their tribes" (Genesis xxv.). King Solomon 
got gold from the Kings and Governors of Arabia. "And the weight 
of gold that was brought to Solomon was six hundred and sixty 
talents of gold, besides what the men, who were over the tribute 
brought to him, and the merchants, and they that sold by retail, and 
all the Kings of Arabia, and the governors of the country" (III. 
Kings X., 15). The Greek historian Strabo, who lived at the begin- 
ning of the Christian era, states in his geography that in his time 
there were many independent chieftains in the Arabian Peninsula. 
But there were then neither Princes nor independent Kinglets in the 
great Parthian Empire of Eran (Persia). 

Balaam, the son of Beor, who dwelt by the river of the land of 
Ammon, having come to Arabia Petraea at the invitation of Balac, 
King of Moab (Numbers xxiii.), foretold the coming of the great 
Ruler and Redeemer of the world, saying: "A star shall arise out 
of Jacob, and a sceptre shall spring up from Israel" (Numbers xxiv.). 
The knowledge of this prediction, as St. Jerome writes, found its 
way into the country of Arabia, and it made known to the inhabitants 
of Saba the coming of a wonderful star from heaven. Men looked 
forward throughout the ages to the fulfilment of this prophecy. The 
knowledge of it spread even to Rome, for Suetonius (A. D. 75-160) 
writes: "An ancient and abiding belief had pervaded the whole 
Eastern world that it was decreed that then there should come from 
Judea those who would gain the mastery." And the Roman his- 

184 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

torian Tacitus (A. D. 51-117) writes: "Many were persuaded that 
it was written in the ancient documents of the priests that the East 
should then bear sway, and that from Judea should come forth those 
who would rule the world." Nowhere was the prophecy of Balaam 
so well known as in Arabia, where it had been uttered. 

The Arabian Princes were wont then, as it is still the custom, to 
ascend after sunset to the flat-roofed housetops of their palaces, and 
seating themselves clad in saffron-colored garments with golden- 
hilted swords by their side, to listen to the ancient tales and traditions 
of their nation beneath the dark blue sky glittering with numberless 
bright stars. When, as St. Jerome writes, the fulness of time had 
come, a star suddenly appeared in the heavens and the wise men, 
having searched into the meaning of their time-worn manuscripts, 
and being strengthened by the ancient traditions, hastened forward 
to Judea to greet the new-born King of the Jews. This star, writes 
St. Augustine, was a magnificent voice that spoke from heaven; 
and as the voice of the Apostles announced to us the Gospel, so the 
star made known to them the birth of the Redeemer. 

Whilst the heaven-sent Babe of Bethlehem, as He lay in the arms 
of His Mother, was beginning His life of expiatory suffering for the 
redemption of mankind, the Magi sped onwards through the bleak 
sandy deserts of Arabia and the rock-strewn valleys of Moab to lay 
their mystic treasures at His sacred feet. They left their pleasant 
homes, their affairs of state and their native land, led by the silent 
star, as representatives of the heathen world moving onwards by an 
invisible power to the manger throne of the promised Redeemer. 
They bestowed with loving worship their worldly wealth on the new- 
born Child, and they received in return the heavenly riches of faith, 
hope and charity; and going back by another way to their own 
country, they became the Apostles of their nation. An ancient tradi- 
tion states that the Apostle St. Thomas baptized them when he was 
on his way to India. 

Albert Barry, C. SS. R. 

Mount St. Alphonsus, Limerick. 

Scientific Chronicle. ige 

Scientmc Cbronicle 


Although the Chronicle is a continual retrospect, and as such 
should include everything of scientific import during each quarter, 
the limitations of space impose upon us the duty of a judicious selec- 
tion, which selection necessarily leaves out much of interest and 
worth. This will warrant us in attempting a brief resume of the 
achievements of the past year in pure and applied science. 

During the last twelve months a number of great engineering 
works have been completed, or have made rapid progress. Not 
to speak again of the reclamation work in the West, the year saw 
completion of two great reservoirs, the Wachusett reservoir for 
Boston's water supply, and the new Croton reservoir for that of 
New York. The former is notable for its dam, which is 129 feet 
high, measured from the ground, and 158 measured from its lowest 
foundation. The corresponding data for the latter give 157 feet and 
297 feet. The Boston dam impounds 63,000,000,000 gallons of 
water, that of New York 32,000,000,000. A portion of the Jerome 
Park reservoir for New York city is ready for water, and the first 
steps have been taken for providing this city with an' additional 
water supply of from 500,000,000,000 to 600,000,000,000 gallons. 
While speaking of dams we must mention the great sea wall of 
Galveston, a huge wall of concrete four and one-half miles in length 
and seventeen feet in height, tapering from a width of sixteen feet 
at the base to one of five feet at the crest. It rests on piles which 
have been sunk to a depth of forty feet and is protected in front by 
an apron of granite rip-rap thirty-five feet wide and three feet deep. 
Very different in its purpose and method of construction was the 
dam built by the commissioners of Victoria Park, on the Canadian 
side of Niagara, in order to raise the level of the water at the water- 
works' intake. This dam was erected as a concrete column, fifty 
feet high and seven feet four inches square, on top of a trestle 
twenty feet high. The column was tipped over, breaking into six 
parts as it fell through the agency of five wedges which had been 
inserted at intervals of about eight feet, the six parts being kept 
together by a huge chain which passed through the centre. 

The two methods of river crossing— bridging and tunnelmg— 
have kept close together during the year. We have already spoken 
in the Chronicle of the completion of the Victoria Falls Bridge 

i86 American Catholic Quarterly Reviezv. 

over the Zambesi river. Gratifying progress has also been made 
on the great cantilever bridge across the St. Lawrence at Quebec, 
with a main span of i,8oo feet, the longest in the world. A second 
tunnel has been finished under the Hudson at New York, and the 
work of joining this and its twin with the new railroad terminus 
uptown is proceeding w^ith unexpected rapidity. A very notable 
feature in engineering construction during the year has been the 
great increase in the use of reinforced concrete. The indications 
are that this material will work as great a revolution in building 
as that wrought by Bessemer steel not so many years ago. 

A very astounding result of the Russo-Japanese War has been 
the fact that the Japanese navy has been increased nearly fifty per 
cent, in tonnage, mainly through the addition of Russian vessels 
captured or refloated by them. Japan now ranks fifth among the 
navies of the world, or next to the United States. In the merchant 
marine the tendency is now to build larger and roomier vessels of 
moderate speed, but capable of carrying a great cargo and with 
accommodations for several thousand passengers. The new Ham- 
burg-American liner Amerika is a type of these, having a speed of 
seventeen knots and a passenger capacity of nearly 5,000, including 
the crew. The turbine liner has enhanced its prestige during the 
year. Three of these steamers are now in transatlantic service and 
one has made a successful thirty and one-half day trip from Glasgow 
to Australia. The turbine steamer King Edward in the English 
Channel service during eighty days of sailing consumed 1,429 tons 
of coal in steaming 12,116 knots, whereas a similar vessel with 
reciprocating engines consumed 1,909 tons in steaming 12,106, the 
average speed for both being 18^ knots. An entire novelty has 
been the appearance of a sixty-foot vessel driven by a producer-gas 
engine at a speed of thirteen miles an hour. This boat, the first of 
its kind, ran ten hours at the above speed and consumed only 467 
pounds of anthracite, costing $1.08. 

In astronomy we have had the notable discovery of the sixth 
and seventh satellites of Jupiter by Professor Perrine, of Lick 
Observatory, as well as the discovery of a tenth satellite to Saturn 
by Professor W. H. Pickering, the discoverer of the ninth. This 
latest companion to the nine is extremely minute and is beyond the 
power of the telescope, having been discovered by photography. 
Photography, by the way, seems to have proved conclusively the 
existence of the canals on Mars. The same agent has been of 
much service during the total eclipse of the sun of August last, 
which was viewed with varying success in different parts of the 
globe by many astronomers. One thing of interest connected with 
these observations has been attention devoted in many cases to the 

Scientiiic Chronicle. 187 

so-called "shadow bands" well described by a writer in the 
Observatory as "long dark bands, or sometimes lines of patches, 
separated by white spaces, which are seen on the ground or sides 
of buildings just before and just after the total phase of an eclipse, 
moving rapidly." Two theories are offered to account for these 
bands, the first being that they are diffraction phenomena, the 
second that they are due to the interference of two pencils of sun- 
light which have passed through adjacent layers of air of different 
densities. The latter seems the better explanation, for if the bands 
were due to refraction, it is hard to see why they do not move over 
the earth's surface at the same relative speed as the moon and the 
earth, i. e., about a mile a second. The fact is that they move only 
a few yards or feet a second. These bands are of interest to meteor- 
ologists, who hope to learn something from them of the movements 
of the upper currents of the atmosphere. 

We must mention here the discovery of a new star in the constella- 
tion of aquila by Mrs. Fleming, an observer of the Howard Observa- 
tory, on a star plate taken there. This is the second "nova" of this 
constellation, the first having been discovered in 1899. Schaen, of 
Geneva, in Switzerland, discovered a new bright comet on the night 
of November 17. During the year it has been forcibly brought 
home to astronomers that variable stars are exceedingly numerous. 
The number known has been doubled within a year, and the indica- 
tions are that these will be added to enormously when new plates 
are examined with this object. 

Those of our readers who are interested in geology will hear with 
interest of the discovery of an undoubted glacial deposit in China, 
immediately underlying cambrian strata. There seems to be a grow- 
ing impression among geologists that the severe change of climate 
that brought about the glacial epoch was frequently repeated in the 
course of the geological ages. 


It was inevitable that, when the area of well-watered land in our 
Western States, which was available for settlement, should have 
dwindled away under the increasing tide of immigrants, that atten- 
tion should be turned to the arid lands that abound in these regions, 
and that the possibility of rendering them available by irrigation 
should be discussed. The result of the discussion was the estab- 
lishment of the United States Reclamation Service, which at present 
has eight projects under construction, the area of irrigable land 

i88 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

involved amounting to eight million acres, at a cost of over 
$17,000,000, in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, Wyoming, 
Nevada, New Mexico and South Dakota, while there are plans for 
the reclaiming of a million acres more in California, Oregon, Mon- 
tana and North Dakota. 

On the 17th of last June an immense irrigating canal was 
formally opened in the State of Nevada, and thirty thousand acres 
of desert land were thereby made amenable to cultivation. This 
marked the first stage in the completion of what is known as the 
Truckee-Carson Irrigation Project, whereby 375,000 acres of pro- 
ductive land will be added to the acreage of the State of Nevada, 
which has an arid area of 36.15 per cent, and an agricultural area 
of only 12 per cent. A brief description of the plan of this work 
and of its completed portion will give a good idea, it is hoped, of 
the progress and methods of the Reclamation Service. Something 
will be added about a similar work in Arizona. 

The arid area in Nevada under consideration was once the bed 
of an ancient lake, called Lake Lahontan, which covered 8,422 
square miles in Western Nevada and was 500 feet deep. During 
the existence of this lake the soil of the valleys was deposited. As 
the climate grew dry the lake shrunk, leaving as remnants in the 
southern and western portions of its basin six lakes which still 
exist, of wthich two, Pyramid Lake and Lake Winnemucca, were 
fed by the Truckee river, a stream rising in Lake Lahoe, situated 
at the foot of the Sierras on the California-Nevada boundary, out- 
side the old boundary, of Lake Lahontan, while two more, North 
and South Carson Lakes, were fed by the Carson river, which 
arises in the high Sierras and is fed by melted snow and numerous 
small lakes. The enormous amount of water poured into these 
lakes was wasted. A few" dozen miles away were over 200,000 
acres of desert land, only waiting for water to transform them into 
gardens. So an immense dam was planned which should divert 
the waters of the Truckee river so as to permit of their union with 
the waters of the Carson river by means of a canal thirty-one miles 
long. This canal is known as the Main Truckee Canal, and dis- 
charges its water into the Carson river at a point nine miles west 
of Leetville, in Churchill county, Nevada, where a reservoir has 
been constructed and from which it flows in the channel of the 
river to "a diversion dam at the head of a distributary system of 
smaller canals and ditches, some of which are for drainage arid of 
which 250 of the projected 1,200 miles have been completed. 

To guard against excessive diminution of the water supply dams 
have been built to raise the level of Lakes Tahoe and Donner, and 
five reservoirs for storage will be provided on the upper Truckee, 

Scientific Chronicle. l8o 

three on the upper Carson and one on the lower Carson. An 
interesting feature is the use of concrete in the construction of these 
reservoirs and for lining portions of the canals, but especially for 
lining throughout the three tunnels along the Truckee. Provision' 
has been made for accidents to the canal by the construction of two 
wasteways, by which the waters of the canal can be quickly emptied 
into the Truckee river, and in case of overflow two spillways will 
throw the excess of water back into the river again. 

It is popularly supposed that the providing of water for spreading 
over an arid region is all that is necessary to insure its reclamation. 
But this provision would be of small advantage if a complementary 
drainage system were not provided, not only to prevent what is 
called the water-logging of the soil, but also to keep the alkali, so 
large iri amount in arid regions, from ruining its productiveness by 
becoming concentrated. Such a drainage system has been pro- 
vided, although it has increased the cost from $5 to $10 an acre. 
It will take eight years to complete the entire work, which will cost, 
according to estimate, $9,000,000, a good percentage of the $17,000,- 
000 spoken of above. 

In Arizona the engineers of the Reclamation Service are con- 
structing what will be, when completed, the highest dam in the 
world — 250 feet high. The waters to be retained by this dam will 
irrigate 250,000 acres of land about Phoenix. The project, known 
as the Salt River Reclamation Project, is to cost $3,000,000. The 
engineering problems involved can be imagined from the fact that 
before the dam could be commenced eighty miles of road had to be 
constructed. An instance of economy in engineering is furnished 
in connection with the building of the dam. Cement delivered at 
the dam site would have cost $4.81 a barrel. The government can 
make it for $1.60 a barrel. The plant for making this cement cost 
$120,000, which will make the total cost of each of the 200,000 
barrels needed $2.20, making a total saving of $522,000. 


The existence of the steadily blowing winds from the northeast 
and northwest in the Northern Hemisphere, and from the southeast 
and southwest in the Southern, is a familiar fact in meteorology. 
The northeast and southeast winds, being usually below the other 
two, are more popularly known as the "trade winds," although the 
others ought to be included in this designation also. Some meteor- 
ologists have claimed the existence of an anti-trade wind belt blowmg 

igo American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

from the southeast, south and southwest, above the trades. This 
has been denied by others, who claim that the observed phenomena, 
which gave the foundation for this theory, were purely local. In the 
October number of the Quarterly we inserted a notice of some 
experiments which were being carried on over a portion of the 
tropical Atlantic, under the auspices of Mr. A. Lawrence Rotch, of 
the well-known Blue Hill Observatory, and Mr. L. Teisserenc de 
Bort, of the Observatory of Trappes. In the words of these gentle- 
men, from a communication to Nature: "The results confirm the 
accepted theory of the trades and upper anti-trade in those parts 
of the Atlantic explored by the Otaria (between latitudes ii and 37 
degrees north, longitudes 15 and 26 degrees west), and prove that, 
contrary to the opinion of Professor Hergesell, there exists a return 
current or anti-trade, w^ith a well-defined southerly component." 


The widely prevalent interest in this great waterway, the com- 
pletion of which means so much for the commerce of the world, 
will be sufficient justification for a description of the various plans 
under discussion and for a resume of the advantages and disadvant- 
ages of each. 

As the crow flies, the distance between Colon on the Atlantic side 
of the Isthmus arid Panama on the Pacific is about thirty-six miles ; 
but the route which the canal will follow, which is that of the present 
Panama Railroad, is about twenty miles longer. The original plan 
of the old Panama Canal Company called for a sea-level canal, with 
a depth of 29.5 feet, a bottom width of y2 feet and a total length of 
47 miles. Leading direct from Colon, it ran to Gatun, six miles to 
the southeast of Colon, where it entered the valley of the Chagres 
river, which it was to follow for a distance of twenty-one miles to 
Obispo, passing thence into the valley of a small tributary of the 
Chagres, cutting through the continental divide at Colebra and 
going by way of the valley of the Rio Grande to the Bay of Panama. 
At the point where the canal cuts it the Culebra divide is 334 feet 
above sea level. Here is situated the great "Culebra Cut." A 
difficulty in this plan, as in all others, was the control of the flood 
waters of the Chagres river, floods sometimes reaching enormous 
proportions. The method that appealed most to the engineers was 
that of damming the waters of the upper river and leading the 
surplus waters off by two independent channels. De Lesseps esti- 
mated the cost of this canal at $127,000,000, and required eight years 

Scientific Chronicle. loi 

for its completion. When it was found impossible to build in this 
time with the money then available, an expedient of a lock canal 
for temporary use was adopted, but this, too, failed, and work 
ceased altogether in May, 1889. 

The new Panama Canal Company declared for a lock canal. 
The French engineers offered two plans. In one there were two 
levels above the sea, the one on the Atlantic side created by dam- 
ming the Chagres at Bohio, about sixteen miles from Colon; the 
other, the summit level, to be supplied by water from a reservoir 
in the upper Chagres valley, the ascent to these and the descent to 
the Pacific levels to be made in each case by a flight of two locks. 
In the other plan there was only one level above the sea, that of the 
enormous Lake Bohio, formed by the damming of the Chagres at 
that place, which would be entensive enough to control the floods, 
or nearly so. This plan is fundamentally that of the first Isthmian 
Canal Commission, except that, for good reasons, the engineers of 
this commission would raise the level of Lake Bohio from 32 to 90 
feet above sea level. The present commission, however, favors a 
sea level canal. They would control the waters of the Chagres by 
a dam at Gamboa near Obispo. Indeed the advantages of this site 
for a dam over that at Bohio must have greatly influenced their 
decision. The differences in the height of the tides on either side 
of the Isthmus would be regulated by a tidal lock at Minaflores, six 
miles from the Bay of Panama. This sea level canal would cost 
$230,500,000 and would take from ten to twelve years to construct. 
In the opinion of the engineering committee of the commission 
this time and expense are both justified. The advantages of the 
sea level project over the lock canal are summed up by the com- 
mittee as follows: 'Tt would be a waterway with no restriction 
to navigation, and which could easily be enlarged by widening or 
deepening, at any time in the future, to accommodate an increased 
traffic without any inconvenience to the shipping using it, whereas 
a lock canal is in reality a permanent restriction to the volume of 
traffic and size of ships that use it. Although it is possible to design 
and construct locks adapted to the future transformation to a sea 
level canal, that transformation cannot be made without serious 
inconvenience to navigation and at a cost so great as to be exces- 

'The additional cost of a sea level canal over that of a canal with 
locks, with a summit level of 60 feet above mean tide, is $52,462,000, 
or $79,742,000 more than the estimated cost of the lock canal with 
a summit level 85 feet above mean tide, proposed by the former 
Isthmian Canal Commission, after allowing $6,500,000 for the 
Colon breakwater and direct entrance not previously estimated. 

192 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

In the popular mind the problem of excavation is the most 
prominent feature and the most absorbing. But there is another 
problem, of lesser magnitude perhaps, but whose solution is, or 
rather was, for it has been well-nigh completed, vital to the success 
of the digging — the problem of sanitation. During the operations 
of the French company the loss of life from fever and disease was 
frightful. Much of this loss, if not all, could be traced to the filth 
that abounded everywhere. There was no drainage and no pure 
water supply. Fever-bearing mosquitoes bred in millions. Con- 
ditions, in fact, were so awful that there was great difficulty in 
obtaining sufficient labor. Under the direction of Governor 
Magoon a transformation is being effected. The whole Isthmus is 
being literally scrubbed and fumigated. The effect of this is shown 
by the following figures, taken from an address by Theodore P. 
Shonts, chairman of the Isthmian Canal Commission. In June 
last there were 62 cases of yellow fever there ; in July, 42 ; in August, 
2y; in September, 6, and in October, the worst month of the year 
for yellow fever, 3. In August, 1882, the second year of the French 
occupancy, with a force of 1,900 men, the death rate was 112 per 
1,000. In August, 1905, with a force of 12,000 men, there were 
only eight deaths, or two-thirds of a man per 1,000. To use a 
hackneyed phrase, ''these figures speak for themselves." 


A report has just come from Alaska that the historic Northwest 
Passage, the goal of many explorers for centuries, has been at last 
discovered and traversed by Captain Roand Amundsen, of Norway, 
who also succeeded in locating definitely the North Magnetic Pole 
on King William Island. The report has not been confirmed, but 
it has all the appearances of truthworthiness. 

M. J. Ahern, S. J. 

Boston, Mass. 

Book Reviezvs. jq-j 

BooF^ IReviewe 

The Political History of England, in twelve volumes Edited by 
William Hunt, D. Litt., and Reginald L. Poole, M. A. 

Vol. n. From the Norman Conquest to the Death of John (1066—1216) 
By George Burton Adams, Professor Of History in Yale University 

Vol. X. Prom the Accession of George III. to the Close of Pitt's First 
Administration (1760—1801). By William Hunt, M. A., D. Litt Presi- 
dent of the Royal Historical Society. 

Demy, 8vo., each about 500 pages, with index and maps. Sold sepa- 
rately or in sets. Each volume complete. New York: Longmans, Green 
& Co. 

This is one of the most important Hterary announcements of the 
year. England has occupied so large a place in the world's history, 
especially in former times, that she is constantly in the student's eye. 
No other country has had so many historians, and yet time passes so 
rapidly and events succeed one another so quickly that a permanent 
periodical publication would be required to keep pace with them. 
Since the student has not time to follow such a history, even if it 
were written, he must look forward with much pleasure to the pro- 
duction of a work like that before us. 

It is being completed quickly because it does not depend on the 
labors of one man only, but is the joint production of a corps of 
able editors chosen because of their special fitness for the work; it 
is being written at a specially opportune time, when the accumula- 
tion of materials for such a work is most encouraging; and it is 
called a political history, not because it records political events only, 
but because it is written from the political point of view, which has 
always been the most prominent point in English history. 

We hope in the future to be able to examine the merits of the 
work in greater detail, and to quote from it that our readers may 
understand the temper of the editors on mooted points. For the 
present we cannot do more than call attention to the necessity for 
such a history, to the excellent planning of the publishers and to the 
promise of ultimate success in every particular which the appear- 
ance of the first three volumes holds out to us. We consider the 
work sufficiently important to print the publisher's announcement 
and description of the volumes entire: 

''Seventy-five years have passed since Lingard completed his 'His- 
tory of England,' which ends with the Revolution of i688. During 
that period historical study has made a great advance. Year after 
year the mass of materials for a new history of England has in- 
creased ; new lights have been thrown on events and characters, and 
old errors have been corrected. Many notable works have been 

194 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

written on various periods of our history; some of them at such 
length as to appeal almost exclusively to professed historical students. 
It is believed that the time has come when the advance which has 
been made in the knowledge of English history as a whole should 
be laid before the public in a single work of fairly adequate size. 
Such a book should be founded on independent thought and research, 
but should at the same time be written with a full knowledge of the 
works of the best modern historians and with a desire to take ad- 
vantage of their teaching wherever it appears sound. 

"The vast number of authorities, printed and in manuscript, on 
which a history of England should be based, if it is to represent the 
existing state of knowledge, renders co5peration almost necessary 
and certainly advisable. 

"This History is an attempt to set forth in a readable form the 
results at present attained by research. It will consist of twelve 
volumes by twelve different writers, each of them chosen as being 
specially capable of dealing with the period which he undertakes, 
and the editors, while leaving to each author as free a hand as 
possible, hope to ensure a general similarity in method of treatment, 
so that the twelve volumes may in their contents, as well as in their 
outward semblance, form one History. 

"As its title imports, this History will primarily deal with politics, 
with the history of England and, after the date of the union with 
Scotland, Great Britain, as a state or body politic ; but as the life of 
a nation is complex, and its condition at any given time cannot be 
understood without taking into account the various forces acting 
upon it, notices of religious matters and of intellectual, social and 
economic progress will also find place in these volumes. 

"The footnotes will, so far as is possible, be confined to references 
to authorities, and references will not be appended to statements 
which appear to be matters of common knowledge and do not seem 
to call for support. Each volume will have an appendix giving some 
account of the chief authorities, original and secondary, which the 
author has used. This account will be compiled with a view of 
helping students rather than of making long lists of books without 
any notes as to their contents or value. 

"That the History will have faults both of its own and such as 
will always in some measure attend cooperative work, must be 
expected, but no pains have been spared to make it, so far as may 
be, not wholly unworthy of the greatness of its subject. 

"Each volume, while forming part of a complete History, will 
also in itself be a separate and complete book, will be sold separately, 
and will have its own index and two or more maps. 

"Vol L, to 1066. By Thomas Hodgkin, D. C. L., Litt. D., Fellow 

Book Reviews. iqe 

of University College, London; Fellow of the British Academy. In 
January, 1906. 

"Vol. II., 1066 to 1216. By George Burton Adams, M. A., Pro- 
fessor of History in Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. In 
October, 1905. 

"Vol. Ill, 1216 to 1377. By T. F. Tout, M. A., Professor of 
Mediaeval and Modern History in the Victoria University of Man- 
chester; formerly Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford. In No- 
vember, 1905. 

"Vol. IV., 1377 to 1485. By C. Oman, M. A., Fellow of All Souls' 
College and Deputy Professor of Modern History in the University 
of Oxford. 

"Vol. v., 1485 to 1547. By H. A. L. Fisher, M. A., Fellow and 
Tutor of New College, Oxford. 

"Vol. VI., 1547 to 1603. By A. F. Pollard, M. A., Professor of 
Constitutional History in University College, London. 

"Vol. VIL, 1603 to 1660. By F. C. Montague, M. A., Professor 
of History in University College, London ; formerly Fellow of Oriel 
College, Oxford. 

"Vol. VIII., 1660 to 1702. By Richard Lodge, M. A., Professor 
of History in the University of Edinburgh; formerly Fellow of 
Brasenose College, Oxford. 

"Vol. IX., 1702 to 1760. By I. S. Leadam, M. A., formerly Fellow 
of Brasenose College, Oxford. 

"Vol X., 1760 to 1801. By the Rev. William Hunt, M. A., D. Litt., 
Trinity College, Oxford. In September, 1905. 

"Vol XL, 1801 to 1837. By the Hon George C. Brodrick, D. C. L., 
late Warden of Merton College, Oxford, and J. K. Fotheringham, 
M. A., Magdalen College, Oxford; Lecturer in Classics at King's 
College, London. 

"Vol. XII., 1837 to 1901. By Sidney J. Low, M. A., Balliol Col- 
lege, Oxford ; formerly Lecturer on History at King's College, Lon- 

Theory and Practice of the Confessional. A Guide in the Administra- 
tion of the Sacrament of Penance. By Dr. Casper A. Schieler, Professor 
of Moral Theology at the Diocesan Seminary of Mayence. Edited by 
Rev. H. J. Heuser, D. D., Professor of Theology at Overbrook Seminary. 
Introduction by the Most Rev. S. G. Messmer, D. D., D. C. L., Archbishop 
of Milwaukee. Pp. 662. New York, Cincinnati, Chicago: Benziger 
Brothers, Printers to the Holy Apostolic See, 1905. 

Probably the first thought in the mind of a priest who sees the 
announcement of this book is one of surprise that a work of moral 
theology should be published in the vernacular. We have all heard 
discussions on the subject, and we have been informed that such 

196 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

works have been brought out in the German and Italian languages. 
We know also that some years ago an English translation of Capell- 
man's "Pastoral Medicine" came from the press in this country, but 
we remember, too, that its appearance excited a great deal of un- 
favorable comment, and rather shocked our sense of the proprieties. 
It has been out of print for several years and was never repub- 
lished. We have heard that the ecclesiastical authorities objected 
to it, but we do not know if this is true. Thoughts like these must 
have been in the mind of the editor of the book before us when he 
began the preface with the following words : 

'*An English translation of Dr. Schieler's exhaustive work on 
'The Sacrament of Penance,' for the use of theological students and 
missionary priests had been advised by some of our Bishops and 
professors of theology. It was felt that, under present conditions, 
a work in the vernacular on a subject which involved to a very 
large extent the practical direction of souls was an actual necessity 
for many to whom the Latin texts dealing with the important ques- 
tions of the confessional were for one reason or another insufficient. 

"There was one serious objection to the publication of a work in 
English which, since it deals with most delicate subjects, might for 
this reason cause an unqualified or prejudiced reader to misunder- 
stand or pervert its statements, so as to effect the very opposite of 
what is intended by the Church in her teaching of moral and pastoral 
theology. Between the two dangers of a lack of sufficient practical 
means to inform and direct the confessor and pastoral guide of souls 
in so difficult and broad a field as is presented by the missions in 
English-speaking countries, and the fear that a manual from which 
the priest derives his helpful material of direction may fall into the 
hands of the ill-advised for whom it is not intended, the latter seems 
the lesser evil, albeit it may leave its deeper impression upon certain 
minds that see no difficulty in using the sources of information in 
which the Latin libraries abound. 

"One proof of both the necessity and the superior advantage of 
having a vernacular expression of this branch of theological litera- 
ture for the use of students and priests in non-Latin countries is 
readily found in the fact that authorized scholarships and pastoral 
industry in Germany have long ago seen fit to supply this need for 
students in its theological faculties, and for priests on the mission, 
and that the benefit of such a course has shown itself far to overlap 
the accidental danger of an unprofessional use of the source of moral 
theology in the hands of a lay reader or one hostile to the Catholic 
Church who might pervert its doctrine and arouse the zeal of the 

"The work was, therefore, not undertaken without serious weigh- 

Book Reviews, 107 

ing of the reasons for and against its expediency from the prudential 
as well as moral point of view. As a competent translator of it, the 
name of the Rev. Richard F. Clark, S. J., of the English Province, 
whose editions of Spirago's catechetical volumes had given him the 
advantage of special experience in kindred work, suggested itself to 
the publishers. Father Clark actually undertook the translation, and 
had fairly completed it when death overtook him. The manuscript 
was placed in my hands with a request to prepare it for publication. 
After much delay, due to a multiplicity of other professional duties, 
I found it possible with the cooperation of the Rev. Dr. Charles 
Bruehl, who kindly consented to undertake the principal work of 
revision, to complete the volume which is now placed at the disposal 
of our clergy. 

"The confessional is a tribunal. It demands a certain knowledge 
of the law, exercise of discretion and prudence in the application of 
the law and the wisdom of kindly counsel to greater perfection. As 
the lawyer, the Judge, the physician learn their rules of diagnosis 
and prescription in the first instance from books and then from prac- 
tice, so the future confessor, for three or four years a student of 
theology, deems it his first and important duty to study moral the- 
ology, and this with the single and almost exclusive purpose of 
making use of it in the confessional. Moral theology gives him the 
principles of law and right, the rules to apply them to concrete cases 
and certain precedents by way of illustration, in order to render him 
familiar with actual and practical conditions. But the young priest 
learns much more during the first few months and years of his 
actual ministry by sitting in the confessional and dealing with the 
consciences of those who individually seek his direction. 

"There is some danger that the practical aspect, with all the dis- 
tracting circumstances of sin's work in the soul, may in time obscure 
the clear view of principles and make the confessor what the criminal 
Judge is apt to become during long years of incumbency, oversevere 
or overindulgent, as his temper dictates. He may thus lose the fine 
sense of discrimination, that balanced use of fatherly indulgence and 
needful correction which the position of the representative of eternal 
justice and mercy demands. 

"To obviate this result, which renders the confessional a mere 
work of routine and absolution, instead of being, should be, a 
means of correction and reform, the priest, like the Judge, needs to 
read his books of law and to refurbish his knowledge of theory and 
practice and his sense of discernment. But the theological texts 
with which he was familiar under the seminary disciplme, where 
nothing distracted him from the attentive use of them, are not now 
so readily at hand. Their Latin forms are a speech which, if not 
more strange and difficult than during his seminary course, seems 

198 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

more distant and uninviting. The priest, even the young priest, 
would rather review his moral theology in the familiar language in 
which he is now to express his judgments to his penitents." 

It is not our purpose to argue against the publication of a work 
of this kind in the vernacular, although we are free to confess that 
we do not believe it should be done, and we think that the necessity 
for it is growing less each year. With the increased educational 
facilities in this country, which enable the majority of applicants 
for the seminary to get a high school education, and with the long 
course now followed in most of our seminaries, it is rather humiliat- 
ing to have to confess that any priest requires English text-books. 
We do hold that nothing short of necessity warrants the risk in- 

When all this is said, however, we must acknowledge that those 
who are in favor of English manuals of moral theology cannot find 
a better argument for their contention than this book. Excellent 
in the original, it must have gained much in value by passing through 
the hands of Rev. Richard F. Clark, S. J., and Rev. H. J. Heuser, 
D. D. Those who knew the translator, and know the editor, need 
not be told that their names are a guarantee of learning, prudence 
and accuracy. Instead of giving the table of contents we prefer to 
call attention to the salient points in the words of the editor: 

"Of special importance are the suggestions in the third chapter, 
touching the integrity of the confession ; the number, circumstances, 
certain and doubtful, of the sins and the reasons which excuse the 
penitent from making a complete confession ; likewise the treatment 
of invalid confession, their purpose, necessity or danger, as the case 
may be ; satisfaction, its acceptance or commutation. 

"The main object of the treatise lies, however, as might be sup- 
posed, in the exposition of the confessor's powers and jurisdiction 
and of the reservation and abuse of faculties. These matters are in 
the first discussed from the theoretical standpoint. Then follows 
the application which takes up the second principal part of the work. 
Here we have the confessor in the act of administering the sacra- 
ment. He is told how he is to diagnose the sinner's condition by 
the proposal of questions and by ascertaining his motives — how far 
and to what end this probing is lawful and wise. Next the qualities 
of the confessor, his duties and responsibilities, are set forth in so far 
as they must lead him to benefit his penitent both in and out of the 
tribunal of penance. The obligation of absolute secrecy or the sigil- 
lum is the subject of an extended chapter. 

"From the general viewpoint which the confessor must take of 
his penitent's condition and the safeguards by which he is to protect 
the penitent both as accused and accuser, our author leads us into 
various aspects of the judge's duty towards penitents in particular 

Book Reviews. joq 

conditions. Thus the sinner who is in the constant occasion of 
relapse into his former sin, the sinner who finds himself too weak to 
resist temptation, the penitent who aims at extraordinary sanctity, 
the scrupulous, the convert, form separate topics of detailed discus- 
sion. The last part of the volume deals with the subject of confes- 
sions of children, of young men and young women, of those who are 
engaged to be married, of persons living in mixed marriage, of men, 
religious women, of priests and of the sick and dying." 

Church Music. Advent number. Vol. I., December 1, 1905. No. 1. Pub- 
lished quarterly. Annual subscription, $2.00. The Dolphin Press. 
Philadelphia: 1305 Arch street. 

No one who has followed the course of the Ecclesiastical Review 
and the Dolphin will be surprised at the appearance of the first num- 
ber of the new ecclesiastical musical quarterly from the Dolphin 
Press, and under the editorial direction of Rev. Dr. Henry. On 
the contrary, those who know Dr. Heuser expected that he would 
take up this work promptly, because his fame as a leader in ecclesi- 
astical periodical literature is international. Those who realize the 
lasting importance of the Holy Father's encyclical on church music 
understand well the necessity for an organ on the subject, and it is 
a matter for congratulation that it has fallen into such competent 
hands as those of Dr. Heuser and Dr. Henry. From them we are 
sure to get the best promptly, and we need not fear to trust ourselves 
to their guidance. 

The subject is so important, and the prospectus of the new publi- 
cation is so clear and comprehensive that we place it before our 
readers without any apology: 

"Church Music will present the following departments: Gre- 
gorian Chant, Sacred Polyphony, Modern Church Styles, Congrega- 
tional Singing, Correspondence, Discussion, Training of Choir Boys, 
Decrees and Documents, Current Literature, Reviews, Notes and 
Queries, Special Repertoires. 

"It is a curious fact that, up to the present time, our English- 
speaking choirmasters, organists and singers engaged in Catholic 
Church work have had no representative organ of ample dimensions. 
During the months of misinterpretation and misrepresentation of the 
Pope's famous 'Instruction on Sacred Music,' the need of such a 
periodical publication has been keenly felt. The binding force of 
that much-discussed document— the Motu propria, of November 22, 
1903— is coming to be more and more realized, and the signs are 
that it will soon have reestablished everywhere the pure ecclesiastical 
music it makes obligatory upon all. Already, indeed, in practically 

200 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

every diocese throughout the English-speaking world we can point 
to churches where the reform has been successfully accomplished. 

"The Ecclesiastical Review has consistently from the beginning — 
and with redoubled efforts since the publication of the Pope's 'Instruc- 
tion on Sacred Music' — urged the reform of the abuses mentioned in 
the Pope's *Motu proprio.' By article after article, and by published 
treatise from experienced pens, we have aimed at the practical solu- 
tion of our choir difficulties and the elimination from our churches 
of profane and distracting music. And now as a further means to 
this end we have undertaken, with the enthusiastic cooperation of 
leading church musicians in every part of the English-speaking 
world, the publication of Church Music, a quarterly for choirmasters, 
organists and singers, a publication professedly addressed to them, 
and one in which the clergy are at the same time vitally interested 
in view of the present movement for reform in church music. 

''Church Music will be of generous dimensions, each issue con- 
taining 112 pages of the same size as the present sheet, with musical 
supplements to each issue. Briefly, the scope and treatment of the 
principal departments will be: 

"The spirit, uses and execution of Gregorian Chant — so much in- 
sisted on in the Papal instruction — will receive adequate treatment 
at the hands of the most eminent specialists. For instance, begin- 
ning with the first issue. Church Music will publish serially the 
authoritative 'Method of Plain Chant,' under the title of 'Gregorian 
Rhythm, Its Theory and Practice,' upon which Dom Mocquereau is 
now engaged. The learned prior of the Solesmes Benedictines in 
this important contribution will sum up the lessons of his long and 
profound studies in the chant. An excellent feature of this depart- 
ment will be the answering of any difficulties our readers may en- 
counter in their work ; and with this end in view, correspondence on 
questions of any kind relating to the chant is invited. 

"To the sacred polyphony of the sixteenth century, founded upon 
the chant modes, the St. Csecilia Society have in recent years added 
many splendid compositions. The Papal instruction makes it incum- 
bent on all choir directors to familiarize themselves thoroughly with 
this admirable vehicle of religious expression in song. Among other 
composers and recognized masters of the literature of this art-form 
we may mention as among our contributors Fr. Ludwig Bonvin, 
S. J., Canisius College, Buffalo, N. Y. ; Mr. R. R. Terry, choirmaster 
of the Westminster Cathedral, London, England, and the Rev. Dr. 
Henry Bewerunge, Maynooth College, Ireland. 

"What are the liturgical laws and the proprieties to be observed 
in compositions of the modern style? Here is opened up a field for 
detailed examination. Diocesan commissions will have such ques- 

Book Reviews. 


tions before them for practical solution. Here Church Music will 
aid by advice in the selection of repertoires suited to the different 
conditions and necessities of the various dioceses. 

"The department 'Training of Choir Boys' will take account of 
the best methods of training the voice, of sustaining the interest of 
the choir boys, of securing constant and punctual attendance at 
rehearsals, of maintaining discipline during practices, etc., etc. ; also 
questions concerning the best location of the choir in the church or 
in the sanctuary, due regard being had to the peculiarities of certain 
styles of church architecture. The movement looking to boy choirs 
is spreading so rapidly as to make it incumbent on all choir directors, 
and, indeed, on all concerned, to familiarize themselves as soon as 
possible with the methods of training of choir boys. 

"While the literature of the phase of the reform movement which 
treats of congregational singing in church services is not very exten- 
sive, much of interest has already appeared in non-musical periodi- 
cals. Church Music will lay before its readers practical articles 
written by those whose experience in meeting successfully the diffi- 
culties involved will assure the validity of their methods and sug- 

"As it is the purpose of Church Music to become a permanent 
record of easy accessibility in all important matters within the domain 
of church music, it will make a specialty of decrees and documents. 

"In the important department of 'Current Literature' Church 
Music will present in each issue an ample summary or digest of the 
literature of the reform movement appearing in magazines and 
reviews— whether in English or in foreign languages— not generally 
accessible to choir directors. An intelligent survey of this field will 
be as interesting as it will be useful, and we are sure that this depart- 
ment of Church Music will be greatly appreciated by its readers. 

"Well-considered 'Reviews' will appear regularly, giving presenta- 
tions of the scope, plan, achievements of the publication discussed, 
so that a fair estimate of their value may be had. 

"Discussions will be welcomed, due regard always being had for 
the well-established amenities of controversy. Church Music will 
be irenical in character, since it is recognized that while there should 
always be freedom in matters doubtful, there must be in all thmgs 


"In the department of 'Correspondence' will be given a clear view 
of the work being done throughout the Catholic world in the domam 
of church music. Readers will find these pages highly stimulatmg 

and informing. 

"Requests for information on all details of the theory and practice 
of plain chant, polyphony and modern church music, training of 

202 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

choir boys, congregational singing, liturgy, repertoires for special 
occasions, etc., etc., will be welcomed and submitted for answer to 
trained and competent specialists. 

''Church Music begins issue as a quarterly. In choosing this term 
of publication we have been mindful of the fact that the music of 
the Catholic Church is essentially liturgical in character, and by 
following the convenient division of the Breviary in its four seasons 
— winter, spring, summer, autumn — Church Music conforms to the 
liturgical year. As each ecclesiastical season has practically its own 
special atmosphere, so each number of Church Music will have its 
own special character and individuality." 

Of God and His Ckeatures. An annotated translation (with some 
abridgement) of the Summa Contra Gentiles of St. Thomas Aquinas. 
By Joseph Rickahp, 8. J. Received from B. Herder, 17 South Broadway, 
St. Louis, Mo. Price, $7.00 net. 

The favor with which this welcome publication of Father Rickaby 
is being received in the learned world is a fresh confirmation of the 
wisdom of the old adage that "Truth is mighty, and shall prevail.*' 
For four centuries Protestants, with rare exceptions, have followed 
the example of Luther in reviling the great Angel of the Schools. 
It has been recently demonstrated by Father Denifle that Luther's 
acquaintance with the writings of St. Thomas was of the most super- 
ficial kind; that in fact he was blaspheming things he knew next 
to nothing about. In this he has been followed by his admirers, 
who affect too much contempt for the Angelic Doctor and the 
scholastics generally, to take the pains to read their "barbarous 
Latin." Even in Catholic circles, though St. Thomas has remained 
throughout the ages the prince of Catholic Doctors, yet he is known 
to the vast majority only at second hand. This is due largely to 
the fact that, although the saint is at all times forcible and logical,, 
yet his language, which was perfectly intelligible to his immediate 
hearers and readers, is now clear to those only who have made a 
special study of scholastic terminology. This does not mean that 
such a language was "barbarous," unless we apply the same epithet 
to the still more grotesque terms of modern science. However, 
Father Rickably has performed a valuable office to the English- 
speaking world by rendering this monumental defense of Chris- 
tianity into the vernacular. And he has accomplished his difficult 
task so perfectly that his work will last and his name will be asso- 
ciated with the name of his master as long as the English speech 
shall endure. He wisely decided not to give a slavishly literal rendi- 
tion of the text, but to endeavor to clothe the author's ideas and 

Book Reviews. 203 

arguments in modern vesture, as the saint would undoubtedly have 
done were he wrestling with the same problem. "If St. Thomas' 
works are to serve modern uses," he says, "they must pass from their 
old Latinity into modern speech; their conclusions must be tested 
by all the subtlety of present-day science, physical, psychological, 
historical; maintained, wherever maintainable, but altered where 
tenable no longer. Thus only can St. Thomas keep his place as a 
living teacher of mankind." This sensible treatment of a great 
classical work, destined for all time, would be as acceptable to the 
saint as it is to the reader. 

The work known familiarly as "Summa Contra Gentiles" was 
written by St. Thomas at the instigation of his great brother Domin- 
ican, St. Raymond of Pennafort, who was desirous of putting into 
the hands of missionaries among the Moors and Jews of Spain and 
elsewhere a succinct summary of the arguments which sustain the 
Christian religion. It differs, therefore, from the later and greater 
"Summa," inasmuch as the arguments are not founded on the author- 
ity of Scripture, but on reason. It was composed when the saint was 
at his prime, a veteran in the art of composition, having read all 
that had been written pro and con and perfectly acquainted with 
the errors he meant to confute. No one can compare with the 
Angelic Doctor, except possibly St. Augustine and Cardinal New- 
man, in the ability to enter thoroughly into the minds of his oppo- 
nents, in the candor and fearlessness with which he states their 
position and arguments, and in the gentleness with which he treats 
their person whilst mercilessly riddling their errors. What a con- 
trast between this calm, truly philosophic spirit and the brutal 
violence of the Renaissance and Reformation! 

The "Summa Contra Gentiles" is divided into four books. The 
first treats of the existence and attributes of God; the second, of 
"God the Origin of Creatures ;" the third, of "God as the End of 
Creatures;" the fourth, of "God as the Author of Supernatural 
Revelation." The argument advances step by step, like the laying 
of stone upon stone, until we lay down the book with the feeling 
that we are standing before a most beautiful edifice founded on the 
immovable rock. 

We must thank Father Rickaby not only for having so ably trans- 
lated the medieval Latin into such clear and elegant twentieth cen- 
tury language, making the work entirely modern in tone, but even 
more for the extremely valuable foot notes which all along illustrate, 
and at times point out the want of cogency in the arguments, slight 
defects generally proceeding from a defective knowledge of physical 
phenomena. It is by all odds the most important English publica- 
tion of the vear and has a great mission in an age of unbelief. 

204 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

The typographical setting of the work deserves all praise. One 
picks up the book fearing that its weight will make it unmanageable, 
but finds, to his surprise, that it is lighter than many a smaller book. 
The printing is large and clean cut. 

Humility of Heart. From the Italian of Father Cajetan Mary Da Ber- 
gamo, Capuchin, By Herbert Cardinal Vaughan. Pp. 211. Benziger 
Brothers, New York, Cincinnati, Chicago. 1905. 

The preface, by Bernard Vaughan, S. J., best tells the story : 

"The 'Thought and Sentiments of Humility' were written by Car- 
dinal Vaughan during the last months of his life. Being ordered 
by his medical advisers out of London, the Cardinal went to Derwent, 
where, as the guest of Lord and Lady Edmund Talbot, he found 
that perfect freedom and multitude of peace of which he had long 
felt the need. 

"It was while reposing his soul in quiet prayer and feasting his 
sight on the fine scenery of this ideal spot among the moorlands of 
Derbyshire that the thought came to him of translating, while yet 
there was time, Father Cajetan's treatise on humility. 

"For more than thirty years Cardinal Vaughan had known and 
studied that work, and it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that he 
made it during the last fourteen years of his life his constant com- 
panion, his vade mecum. 

"What lessons it had taught him, what sights it had shown him, 
what stories it had told him, those only know to whom he revealed 
his inmost soul. However, even those who knew the Cardinal less 
intimately could scarcely fail to realize in their dealings with him 
that they were treating with a man whose growing characteristic 
was humility of heart. A more truly humble man I have seldom, 
if ever, come across. It was the humility of a child, it was so sweet 
and simple, and yet so strong and saint-like — may I not even venture 
to say, Christ-like? 

"It was the sort of humility that could not go wrong, for it was 
founded on truth. Does not St. Bernard remind us that 'humility is 
truth?' It is a truth which, inasmuch as it is a home-thrusting 
truth, none of us can afford to ignore. It is the truth all about 
oneself in one's triple alliance with God, with one's neighbor, with 
one's own soul. 

"To his own soul Cardinal Vaughan found so much benefit from 
the cultivation in it of humility, that he resolved at no small cost 
to hirnself, in the feeble state in which he then was, to gird himself 
and to go forth sowing broadcast, into the soil of the hearts of the 
laity as well as of clergy, this despised little mustard seed of which 
men speak so much, but know so little. 

Book Reviews. 20^ 

"It was Padre Gaetano's work on humility that had been the in- 
strument in God's hand of helping the Cardinal. Accordingly in 
his zeal for souls he proposed to put it into English, so as to bring 
the work within the reach of all such as care for the health, growth 
and strength of their own individual souls in solid virtue. 

''That the Cardinal has left us a precious legacy in this treatise on 
humility will, I feel sure, be the verdict of all who study or who only 
peruse these pages, done into English from the Italian of the devout 
Minor Capuchin whose death occurred two centuries ago. 

''This treatise is a sort of last will and testament of Cardinal 
Vaughan, bequeathed to those with whom he was most intimately 
associated in the work for the good of souls. It is a legacy from 
one who made humility a life-long study, and who had more oppor- 
tunities than most of us know for making tremendous strides in it, 
through the humiliations which he welcomed as most precious oppor- 
tunities offered him by God for the salvation and sanctification of 
his soul. May he rest in peace." 

Peayer. By UAhhe Henry Bolo, Vicar General of Beauvais. Translated by 
Madam Cecilia, religious of St, Andrew's Convent, Streatham. Benziger 
Brothers, New York, Cincinnati, Chicago. 

We always prefer to let some one more competent than ourselves 
take the reviewing chair, and therefore on this occasion we yield 
the pen to the Bishop of the author, who thus wrote to him of the 
book before us: 

"My Dear Vicar General: Although I have rarely had the 
privilege of hearing your eloquent sermons, I have, nevertheless, 
had some compensation in reading your book on 'The Sublimity 
of Prayer,' a work of great doctrinal and literary merit. Those 
same qualities which have made your fame as an orator are notice- 
able in your writings. You excel in drawing from the Sacred 
Scriptures the very substance of their poetical style and of their 
divine inspirations. I find united in your works Scriptural 
knowledge and personal inspiration woven with consummate art. 
You grasp so clearly the meaning and the words of Holy Scripture 
that by your writings your readers are reminded of those old com- 
mentaries in which it is difficult to discern where the interpretation 
begins or where the sacred text ends. While your book contains 
the authorized Scriptural doctrines, it is also both modern and 
original. It is clear that, writing on such a subject as prayer, an 
author need seek no new theories ; the essential has been said, and 
there is nothing important which can be added to the teachings of 
the fathers and of the doctors of the Church. While wisely avoid- 

2o6 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

ing new doctrines as regard the matter, you have admirably suc- 
ceeded in presenting them under a new form. To a blameless 
orthodoxy you have added an agreeable and varied mode of 
expression, fresh comparisons and the attractions of a sympathetic 
tone. Believe me, I have no intention to address you with mere 
congratulations, but I venture to add to them my earnest wish that 
you will continue your literary labors. Heaven has endowed you 
with a precious gift, the ^gratia sermonis.' I beg of you not to 
allow this sublime talent to remain sterile. Continue to utilize it 
for the glory of God and the good of your brethren. 

"Accept, my dear Vicar General, the assurance of my aflPection 
and devotedness. * Frederick, Bishop of Beauvais." 

We shall not add one word to this, except to quote the author's 
preface, which we think proves the words of the Bishop and com- 
pels attention to what follows : 

"When a man's last hour approaches the lips are silent, the intelli- 
gence wanes and finally the heart ceases to beat and the cold rigidity 
of death sets in. In the human soul the progress of spiritual death 
follows a like course; for if so many who have received the grace 
of baptism had not neglected prayer, their intelligence would not 
have lost the divine light, nor would their heart have been chilled 
by indifference and neglect of God." 

Addresses to Cardinal Newman, with His Replies, etc. 1879-81. Edited 
by the Rev. W. P. Neville (cong. orat.). With two illustrations. 
Longmans, Green &, Co., 91 and 93 Fifth avenue, New York; London 
and Bombay. 

Everything from the pen of Cardinal Newman has a charm all 
its own, which is irresistible. Probably we shall not receive much 
more, and the wonder is that there has been so much to receive, and 
all so rich. The letters in the present book have a special charm, 
because they show us the mind of the great man in his moment of 
triumph. Like all great men, he was misunderstood, and misin- 
terpreted, and misquoted, and doubted, and questioned, but finally 
the Holy Father elevated him to the Cardinalate, and the atmosphere 
was cleared. A small man at such a time would have tried to make 
himself large, but a truly great man is humbled by dignity and 
honors. Cardinal Newman was a truly great man, and he shows 
it in these letters. 

"This volume is given to the public as material actually printed 
from Fr. Neville's MS., the staple of it almost ready for press at 
the time of his death. It virtually comes from him. 

"It has been deemed best to issue, with as little delay as may be. 

Book Reviews. 207 

what stands complete in itself and forms not an unimportant part 
of the Cardinal's work. Indeed, some few portions are, perhaps, 
equal to anything he has written, and deal occasionally with subjects 
of special interest to the religious world at the present day. 

"A prefatory narrative introduces the various replies made by 
His Eminence to addresses received in 1879-81, on occasion of the 
Cardinalate conferred upon him in the former year by Pope Leo ♦ 

"In an appendix will be found the Italian and Latin versions re- 
spectively of two out of three letters given after the prefatory nar- 
rative; also a letter from Dr. Newman to Bishop Ullathorne, the 
terms of which gave rise to the impression that the Cardinalate had 
been declined; and three notes are added in connection with his 
journey from Rome, a projected second journey thither, the duties 
of the Cardinalate, etc. Finally a small index has been added." 

Addresses — Historical, Political, Sociological. By Frederick R. Coudert. 
8vo„ pp. 452, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, London. The Knicker- 
bocker Press. 

The addresses contained in this book were delivered by their dis- 
tinguished author at various times throughout his long public life, 
and are grouped under the following heads : "Arbitration and Inter- 
national Law," "History and Biography," "Morals and Social Prob- 
lems," "Social Organization." 

We feel that Mr. Coudert needs no introduction to the American 
public, and least of all to the American Catholic public. Nor is any 
apology required for presenting his addresses to the public. His 
personal character, his education, his ability as a Christian Catholic 
gentleman and lawyer render his public utterances very valuable. 

"The addresses and articles here brought together comprise but 
the recoverable fragments of the record of a life singularly broad 
and useful. Taken up mainly with the work of a profession which 
vouchsafes little leisure, the life of a lawyer rarely leaves any surviv- 
ing residuum other than the latent influence born of every effort to 
make good the reign of law, order and justice. However broad his 
sympathies, however alive his realization of the manifold fields m 
which there is good work to be done, it is rare for the lawyer who 
does not virtually abandon his profession to leave any other record 
of his usefulness than the evanescent memory of an advocate's labors 
—'brief as lightning in the collied night.' 

"]\ir. Coudert's intellectual activity and the wide reach of his 
sympathies were such that neither the science of the law nor the 

2o8 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

active exercise of its profession, deeply as they engrossed his atten- 
tion, could suffice to absorb the individual or to monopolize his heart 
and brain. From his college days to the last hours of his life his 
spirit moved, 'without haste, without rest,' through the orbit of all 
human interests, throwing out its illuminating sparks and diffusing 
its cordial warmth upon every endeavor and aspiration within its 

RiTUALE ROMANUM. Pauli V, Pontificis Maximi iussu editum et a 
Benedicto xiv. auctum et castigatum, cui Novissima accedit Benedic- 
tionum et Instructionum appendix; Editio octava post typicam. 16mo. 
Neo Eboraci: Sumptibus et Typis Friderici Pustet. 

It was our pleasure recently to notice what we considered the best 
medium-sized Missal on the market, which had come from the house 
of Pustet, and we are now glad to place beside it what we believe 
is the most convenient Ritual yet published. Those who use the 
Ritual constantly feel the need of a small book, yet complete, with 
paper and type that really make it attractive and practical. Hitherto 
we have been divided between the large Ritual, badly indexed, and 
the small "excerpta," which was constantly proving insufficient at 
some critical moment. In the Ritual which has just come from the 
Pustet Press we have the ideal book ; it is complete, convenient and 
dignified in size, large enough to be used in the most solemn public 
functions, and small enough to be carried in the pocket or handbag. 
We appear to be striking the happy medium in liturgical books. For 
a while the very large were very fashionable; then there was a 
demand for the very small ; now we are getting the golden mean. 





Donat Sampson, 220 


Bryan J. Clinch, 240 


William F, Dennehy, 257 


John J. O'Shea, 277 


Rev. William F. Murphy, S. T. B., B. C. L., 292 


E. Leahy, 304 


A. J. McGillivray, 309 


Rev. D. Barry, 331 


James J. Walsh, M. D., Ph. D., 342 


Rev. E. Aveling, D. D., 359 


Rev. M. J. Ahern, S. J., 379 


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"Contributors to the Quarterly will be allowed all proper freedom in the ex- 
pression of their thoughts outside the domain of defined doctrines, the Review not 
holdmg Itself responsible for the individual opinions of its contributors." 

(Extract from Saluutory, July, 1890.) 

VOL. XXXI.~APRIL, 1906— No. 122. 



To THE Archbishops, Bishops, Clergy and People of France. 
To Our Well- Beloved Sons, 

Francois Marie Richard, Cardinal Priest of Holy Roman 
Church, Archbishop of Paris; Victor Lucien Lecot, 
Cardinal Priest of Holy Roman Church, Archbishop of 
Bordeaux; Pierre Hector Coullie, Cardinal Priest of 
Holy Roman Church, Archbishop of Lyons; Joseph Guil- 


Archbishop of Rennes, and to all Our Vener.\ble 
Brethren, the Archbishops and Bishops and to all the 
Clergy and People of France. 


Venerable Brethren, Well-Beloved Sons, Health and Apostolic Bene- 

OUR soul is full of sorrowful solicitude and our heart overflows 
with grief when our thoughts dwell upon you.' How, indeed, 
could it be otherwise, immediately after the promulgation 
of that law which, by sundering violently the old ties that linked 
your nation with the Apostolic See, creates for the Catholic Church 
in France a situation unworthy of her and ever to be la mented? 

EiU^red according to Act of Congress, in the year 1906, by P. J. Ryan. in. 
the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C. 

210 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

That is, beyond question, an event of the gravest import, and one 
that must be deplored by all right-minded men, for it is as disastrous 
to society as it is to religion; but it is an event which can have 
surprised nobody who has paid any attention to the religious policy 
followed in France of late years. For you, Venerable Brethren, 
it will certainly have been nothing new or strange, witnesses as 
you have been of the many dreadful blows aimed from time to time 
at religion by the public authority. You have seen the sanctity and 
the inviolability of Christian marriage outraged by legislative acts 
in formal contradiction with them ; the schools and hospitals laicised ; 
clerics torn from their studies and from ecclesiastical discipline to 
be subjected to military service; the religious congregations dis- 
persed and despoiled, and their members for the most part reduced 
to the last stage of destitution. Other legal measures which you 
all know have followed — the law ordaining public prayers at the 
beginning of each Parliamentary session and of the assizes has been 
abolished; the signs of mourning traditionally observed on board 
the ships on Good Friday suppressed ; the religious character effaced 
from the judicial oath; all actions and emblems serving in any way 
to recall the idea of religion banished from the courts, the schools, 
the army, the navy, and, in a word, from all public establishments. 
These measures and others still which, one after another, really 
separated the Church from the State, were but so many steps design- 
edly made to arrive at complete and official separation, as the authors 
of them have publicly and frequently admitted. 

On the other hand, the Holy See has spared absolutely no means 
to avert this great calamity. While it was untiring in warning those 
who were at the head of affairs in France, and in conjuring them 
over and over again to weigh well the immensity of the evils that 
would infallibly result from their separatist policy, it at the same 
time lavished upon France the most striking proofs of indulgent 
affection. It had then reason to hope that gratitude would have 
stayed those politicians on their downward path, and brought them 
at last to relinquish their designs. But all has been in vain — the 
attentions, good offices and efforts of our predecessor and ourself. 
The enemies of religion have succeeded at last in effecting by 
violence what they have long desired, in defiance of your rights as 
a Catholic nation and of the wishes of all who think rightly. At a 
moment of such gravity for the Church, therefore, filled with the 
sense of our Apostolic responsibility, we have considered it our 
duty to raise our voice and to open our heart to you. Venerable 
Brethren, and to your clergy and people — to all of you whom we 
have ever cherished with special affection, but whom we now, as 
is only right, love more tenderly than ever. 

Encyclical to French Bishops, 


That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis 
absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Based, as it is, on the 
principle that the State must not recognize any religious cult, it is 
in the first place guilty of a great injustice to God; for the Creator 
of man is also the Founder of human societies, and preserves their 
existence as He preserves our own. We owe Him, therefore, not 
only a private cult, but a public and social worship to honor Him. 
Besides, it is an obvious negation of the supernatural order. It 
limits the action of the State to the pursuit of public prosperity 
during this life only, which is but the proximate object of political 
societies ; and it occupies itself in no fashion (on the plea that this 
is foreign to it) with their ultimate object, which is man's eternal 
happiness after this short life shall have run its course. But as the 
present order of things is temporary and subordinated to the attain- 
ment of man's supreme and absolute welfare, it follows that the 
civil power must not only place no obstacle in the way of this object, 
but must aid us in affecting it. It also upsets the order provi- 
dentially established by God in the world, which demands a 
harmonious agreement between the two societies, the civil and the 
religious, although each exercises its authority in its own sphere. 
It follows necessarily that there are many things belonging to them 
in common in which both societies must have relations with one 
another. Remove the agreement between Church and State, and 
the result will be that from these common matters will spring the 
seeds of disputes which will become acute on both sides; it will 
become more difficult to see where the truth lies, and great confusion 
is certain to arise. Finally, it inflicts great injury on society itself, 
for it cannot either prosper or last long when due place is not left 
for religion, which is the supreme rule and the sovereign mistress 
in all questions touching the rights and the duties of men. Hence 
the Roman Pontiffs have never ceased, as circumstances required, 
to refute and condemn the doctrine of the separation of Church and 
State. Our illustrious predecessor, Leo XIIL, especially, has fre- 
quently and splendidly expounded Catholic teaching on the relations 
which should subsist between the two societies. "Between them," 
he says, "there must necessarily be a suitable union, which may not 
improperly be compared with that existing between body and soul— 
Quaedam intercedat necesse est ordimta colligatio (inter illas) quae 
quidem conjunctio nan immerito comparatur, per quam anima et 
corpus in homine corpulanturr He proceeds: "Human societies 
cannot, without becoming criminal, act as if God did not exist or 
refuse to concern themselves with religion, as though it were some- 
thing foreign to them, or of no purpose to them. ... As for 
the Church, which has God Himself for its author, to exclude her 

212 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

from the active life of the nation, from the laws, the education of 
the young, the family, is a great and pernicious error. — Civitates 
non possunt citra scelus, gerere se tamquam si Deus omnino non 
esset, aut cur am religionis velut alienam nihilque profuturam 
abjicere. . . . Ecclesiam vero, quam Deus ipse constituit, ah 
actione vitae excludere, a legihus, ah institutione adolescentium, a 
societate domestica, magnus et perniciosus est error/'^ 

And if it is true that any Christian State does something which 
is eminently disastrous and reprehensible in separating itself from 
the Church, how much more deplorable is it that France, of all 
nations in the world, should have entered on this policy; France, 
which has been during the course of centuries the object of such 
great and special predilection on the part of the Apostolic See, whose 
fortunes and glories have ever been closely bound up with the 
practice of Christian virtue and respect for religion. Leo XIII. 
had truly good reason to say: "France cannot forget that Provi- 
dence has united its destiny with the Holy See by ties too strong and 
too old that she should ever wish to break them. And it is this 
union that has been the source of her real greatness and her purest 
glories. . . . To disturb this traditional union would be to 
deprive the nation of part of her moral force and her great influence 
in the world."^ 

And the ties that consecrated this union should have been doubly 
inviolable from the fact that they were sanctioned by oath-bound 
treaties. The Concordat entered upon by the Sovereign Pontiff 
and the French Government was, like all treaties of the same kind, 
concluded between States, a bilateral contract binding on both parties 
to it. The Roman Pontiff on the one side and the head of the French 
nation on the other solemnly stipulated both for themselves and their 
successors to maintain inviolate the pact they signed. Hence the 
same rule applied to the Concordat as to all international treaties, 
viz., the law of nations, which prescribes that it could not be in any 
way annulled by one alone of the contracting parties. The Holy 
See has always observed with scrupulous fidelity the engagements 
it has made, and it has always required the same fidelity from the 
State. This is a truth which no impartial judge can deny. Yet 
to-day the State, by its sole authority, abrogates the solemn pact 
it signed. Thus it violates its sworn promise. To break with the 
Church, to free itself from her friendship, it has stopped at nothing, 
and has not hesitated to outrage the Apostolic See by this violation 
of the law of nations, and to disturb the social and political order 
itself — for the reciprocal security of nations in their relations with 

1 Ency. "Immortale Dei," Nov., 1885. 

2 Allocution to the French pilgrims, April 13, 1888. 

Encyclical to French Bishops. 213 

one another depends mainly on the inviolable fidelity and the sacred 
respect with which they observe their treaties. 

The extent of the injury inflicted on the Apostolic See by the 
unilateral abrogation of the Concordat is notably aggravated by the 
manner in which the State has effected this abrogation. It is a 
principle admitted without controversy, and universally observed by 
all nations, that the breaking of a treaty should be previously and 
regularly notified in a clear and explicit manner, to the other con- 
tracting party by the one which intends to put an end to the treaty. 
Yet not only has no notification of this kind been made to the Holy 
See, but no indication whatever on the subject has been conveyed 
to it. Thus the French Government has not hesitated to treat the 
Apostolic See without ordinary respect and without the courtesy 
that is never omitted even in dealing with the smallest States. Its 
officials, representatives though they were of a Catholic nation, have 
heaped contempt on the dignity and power of the Sovereign Pontiff, 
the Supreme Head of the Church, whereas they should have shown 
more respect to this power than to any other political power — and a 
respect all the greater from the fact that the Holy See is concerned 
with the eternal welfare of souls, and that its mission extends every- 

If we now proceed to examine in itself the law that has just been 
promulgated, we find therein fresh reason for protesting still more 
energetically. When the State broke the bonds of the Concordat 
and separated itself from the Church it ought, as a natural conse- 
quence, to have left her her independence and allowed her to enjoy 
peacefully that liberty granted by the common law which it pre- 
tended to assign to her. Nothing of the kind has been done. We 
recognize in the law many exceptional and odiously restrictive pro- 
visions, the effect of which is to place the Church under the domina- 
tion of the civil power. It has been a source of bitter grief to us 
to see the State thus encroach on matters which are within the exclu- 
sive jurisdiction of the Church ; and we bewail this all the more for 
the reason that the State, dead to all sense of equity and justice, has 
thereby created for the Church of France a situation grievous, 
crushing and oppressive of her most sacred rights. 

For the provisions of the new law are contrary to the constitution 
on which the Church was founded by Jesus Christ. The Scripture 
teaches us, and the tradition of the Fathers confirms the teaching, 
that the Church is the mystical body of Christ, ruled by the Pastors 
and Doctors (Ephes. iv., n sqq.)— a society of men containing 
within its own fold chiefs who have full and perfect powers for 
ruling, teaching and judging (Matt, xxviii., 18-20; xvi., 18, 19; 
xviii., 17; Tit. ii., 15; II. Cor. X., 6; xiii., 10, etc.) It follows that 

^14 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

the Church is essentially an unequal society, that is, a society com- 
prising two categories of persons, the pastors and the flock, those 
who occupy a rank in the different degrees of the hierarchy and 
the multitude of the faithful. So distinct are these categories that 
with the pastoral body only rests the necessary right and authority 
for promoting the end of that society and directing all its members 
towards its end; the one duty of the multitude is to allow them- 
selves to be led, and, like a docile flock, to follow the pastors. St. 
Cyprian, Martyr, expresses this truth admirably when he writes: 
"Our Lord, whose precepts we must revere and observe, in estab- 
lishing the episcopal dignity and the nature of the Church, addresses 
Peter thus in the Gospel: Ego dico tihi, quia tu es Petrus, etc. 
Hence through all the vicissitudes of time and circumstance the plan 
of the episcopate and the constitution of the Church have always 
been found to be so framed that the Church rests on the Bishops, 
and that all its acts are ruled by them. — Dominus Noster, cujus 
praecepta metuere et servare debemus, episcopi honorem et ecclesiae 
suae rationem disponens, in evangelio loquitur et dicit Petro: Ego 
dico tihi quia tu es Petrus, etc. . . . hide per temporum et suc- 
cessionum vices Episcoporum ordinatio et Ecclesiae ratio decurrit, 
ut Ecclesia super Episcopos constituatur et omnis actus Ecclesiae 
per eosdem praepositos guhernetur" (St. Cyprian, Epist. xxvii.- 
xxviii. ad Lapsos ii. i.). St. Cyprian affirms that all this is based on 
divine law, divina lege fundatum. The Law of Separation, in oppo- 
sition to these principles, assigns the administration and the super- 
vision of public worship not to the hierarchical body divinely insti- 
tuted by Our Saviour, but to an association formed of laymen. To 
this association it assigns a special form and a juridical personality, 
and considers it alone as having rights and responsibilities in the 
eyes of the law in all matters appertaining to religious worship. It 
is this association which is to have the use of the churches and 
sacred edifices, which is to possess ecclesiastical property, real and 
personal, which is to have at its disposition (though only for a time) 
the residences of the Bishops and priests and the seminaries ; which 
is to administer the property, regulate collections and receive the 
alms and the legacies destined for religious worship. As for the 
hierarchical body of pastors, the law is completely silent. And if 
it does prescribe that the associations of worship are to be consti- 
tuted in harmony with the general rules of organization of the cult 
whose existence they are designed to assure, it is none the less true 
that care has been taken to declare that in all disputes which may 
arise relative to their property, the Council of State is the only 
competent tribunal. These associations of worship are therefore 
placed in such a state of dependence on the civil authority that the 

Encyclical to French Bishops. 215 

ecclesiastical authority will, clearly, have no power over them. It 
is obvious at a glance that all these provisions seriously violate the 
rights of the Church and are in opposition with her divine constitu- 
tion. Moreover, the law on these points is not set forth in clear 
and precise terms, but is left so vague and so open to arbitrary 
decisions that its mere interpretation is well calculated to be pro- 
ductive of the greatest trouble. 

Besides, nothing more hostile to the liberty of the Church than 
this law could well be conceived. For, with the existence of the 
association of worship, the Law of Separation hinders the pastors 
from exercising the plenitude of their authority and of their office 
over the faithful, when it attributes to the Council of State supreme 
jurisdiction over these associations and submits them to a whole 
series of prescriptions not contained in common law, rendering their 
formation difficult and their continued existence more difficult still; 
when, after proclaiming the liberty of public worship, it proceeds 
to restrict its exercise by numerous exceptions ; when it despoils the 
Church of the internal regulation of the churches in order to invest 
the State with this function; when it thwarts the preaching of 
Catholic faith and morals and sets up a severe and exceptional penal 
code for clerics — when it sanctions all these provisions and many 
others of the same kind in which wide scope is left to arbitrary ruling, 
does it not place the Church in a position of humiliating subjection 
and, under the pretext of protecting public order, deprive peaceable 
citizens, who still constitute the vast majority in France, of the sacred 
right of practising their religion ? Hence it is not merely by restrict- 
ing the exercise of worship (to which the Law of Separation falsely 
reduces the essence of religion) that the State injures the Church, 
but by putting obstacles to her influence, always a beneficent influ- 
ence over the people, and by paralyzing her activity in a thousand 
different ways. Thus, for instance, the State has not been satisfied 
with depriving the Church of the religious orders, those precious 
auxiliaries of hers in her sacred mission, in teaching and education, 
in charitable works, but it must also deprive her of the resources 
which constitute the human means necessary for her existence and 
the accomplishment of her mission. 

In addition to the wrongs and injuries to which we have so far 
referred, the Law of Separation also violates and tramples under 
foot the rights of property of the Church. In defiance of all justice, 
it despoils the Church of a great portion of a patrimony which 
belongs to her by titles as numerous as they are sacred ; it suppresses 
and annuls all the pious foundations consecrated, with perfect 
legality, to divine worship and to suffrages for the dead. The 
resources furnished by Catholic liberality for the maintenance of 

2i6 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Catholic schools, and the working of various charitable associations 
connected with religion, have been transferred to lay associations 
in which it would be idle to seek for a vestige of religion. In this 
it violates not only the rights of the Church, but the formal and 
explicit purpose of the donors and testators. It is also a subject of 
keen grief to us that the law, in contempt of all right, proclaims as 
property of the State, departments or communes the ecclesiastical 
edifices dating from before the Concordat. True, the law concedes 
the gratuitous use of them, for an indefinite period, to the associa- 
tions of worship, but it surrounds the concession with so many and 
so serious reserves that in reality it leaves to the public powers the 
full disposition of them. Moreover, we entertain, the gravest fears 
for the sanctity of those temples, the august refuges of the Divine 
Majesty and endeared by a thousand memories to the piety of the 
French people. For they are certainly in danger of profanation if 
they fall into the hands of laymen. 

When the law, by the suppression of the Budget of Public 
Worship, exonerates the State from the obligation of providing for 
the expenses of worship, it violates an engagement contracted in a 
diplomatic convention, and at the same time commits a great injus- 
tice. On this point there cannot be the slightest doubt, for the 
documents of history offer the clearest confirmation of it. When 
the French Government assumed in the Concordat the obligation of 
supplying the clergy with a revenue sufficient for their decent sub- 
sistence and for the requirements of public worship, the concession 
was not a merely gratuitous one — it was an obligation assumed by 
the State to make restitution, at least in part, to the Church whose 
property had been confiscated during the first Revolution. On the 
other hand, when the Roman Pontiff in this same Concordat bound 
himself and his successors, for the sake of peace, not to disturb the 
possessors of property thus taken from the Church, he did so only 
on one condition : that the French Government should bind itself in 
perpetuity to endow the clergy suitably and to provide for the 
expenses of divine worship. 

Finally, there is another point on which we cannot be silent. 
Besides the injury it inflicts on the interests of the Church, the new 
law is destined to be most disastrous to your country. For there 
can be no doubt but that it lamentably destroys union and concord. 
And yet without such union and concord no nation can live long or 
prosper. Especially in the present state of Europe, the maintenance 
of perfect harmony must be the most ardent wish of everybody in 
France who loves his country and has its salvation at heart. As 
for us, following the example of our predecessor and inheriting from 
him a special predilection for your nation, we have not confined 

Encyclical to French Bishops. 217 

ourself to striving for the preservation of all the rights of the religion 
of your forefathers, but we have always, with that fraternal peace 
of which religion is certainly the strongest bond ever before our 
eyes, endeavored to promote unity among you. We cannot, there- 
fore, without the keenest sorrow observe that the French Govern- 
ment has just done a deed which inflames on religious grounds 
passions already too dangerously excited, and which, therefore, 
seems to be calculated to plunge the whole country into disorder. 

Hence, mindful of our Apostolic charge and conscious of the 
imperious duty incumbent upon us of defending and preserving 
against all assaults the full and absolute integrity of the sacred and 
inviolable rights of the Church, we do, by virtue of the supreme 
authority which God has confided to us, and on the grounds above 
set forth, reprove and condemn the law voted in France for the 
separation of Church and State as deeply unjust to God, whom it 
denies, and as laying down the principle that the Republic recognizes 
no cult. We reprove and condemn it as violating the natural law, 
the law of nations, and fidelity to treaties ; as contrary to the Divine 
constitution of the Church, to her essential rights and to her liberty ; 
as destroying justice and trampling under foot the rights of property 
which the Church has acquired by many titles and, in addition, by 
virtue of the Concordat. We reprove and condemn it as gravely 
offensive to the dignity of this Apostolic See, to our own person, to 
the Episcopacy and to the clergy and all the Catholics of France. 
Therefore, we protest solemnly and with all our strength against the 
introduction, the voting and the promulgation of this law, declaring 
that it can never be alleged against the imprescriptible rights of the 

We had to address these grave words to you. Venerable Brethren, 
to the people of France and of the whole Christian world, in order 
to make known in its true light what has been done. Deep indeed 
is our distress when we look into the future and see there the evils 
that this law is about to bring upon a people so tenderly loved by us. 
And we are still more grievously affected by the thought of the trials, 
sufferings and tribulations of all kinds that are to be visited on you, 
Venerable Brethren, and on all your clergy. Yet, in the midst of 
these crushing cares, we are saved from excessive affliction and dis- 
couragement when our mind turns to Divine Providence, so rich in 
mercies, and to the hope, a thousand times verified, that Jesus Christ 
will not abandon His Church or ever deprive her of His unfailing 
support. We are, then, far from feeling any fear for the Church. 
Her strength and her stability are divine, as the experience of ages 
triumphantly proves. The world knows of the endless calamities, 
each more terrible than the last, that have fallen upon her during 

2i8 ' American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

this long course of time — but where all purely human institutions 
must inevitably have succumbed, the Church has drawn from her 
trials only fresh strength and richer fruitfulness. As to the perse- 
cuting laws passed against her, history teaches, even in recent times, 
and France itself confirms the lesson, that though forged by hatred, 
they are always at last wisely abrogated, when they are found to be 
prejudicial to the interests of the State. God grant that those who 
are at present in power in France may soon follow the example set 
for them in this matter by their predecessors. God grant that they 
may, amid the applause of all good people, make haste to restore 
to religion, the source of civilization and prosperity, the honor which 
is due to her, together with her liberty. 

Meanwhile, and as long as oppressive persecution continues, the 
children of the Church, putting on the armor of light, must act with 
all their strength in defense of Truth and Justice — it is their duty 
always, and to-day more than ever. To this holy contest you. Ven- 
erable Brethren, who are to be the teachers and guides, will bring 
all the force of that vigilant and indefatigable zeal of which the 
French Episcopate has, to its honor, given so many well-known 
proofs. But above all things we wish, for it is of the greatest 
importance, that in all the plans you undertake for the defense of 
the Church, you endeavor to ensure the most perfect union of hearts 
and wills. It is our firm intention to give you at a fitting time 
practical instructions which shall serve as a sure rule of conduct for 
you amid the great difficulties of the present time. And we are 
certain in advance that you will faithfully adopt them. Meanwhile 
continue the salutary work you are doing; strive to kindle piety 
among the people as much as possible ; promote and popularize more 
and more the teaching of Christian doctrine; preserve the souls 
entrusted to you from errors and seductions they meet on all sides ; 
instruct, warn, encourage, console your flocks, and perform for them 
all the duties imposed on you by your pastoral office. In this work 
you will certainly find indefatigable collaborators in your clergy. It 
is rich in men remarkable for piety, knowledge and devotion to the 
Holy See, and we know that they are always ready to devote them- 
selves unreservedly under your direction to the cause of the triumph 
of the Church and the eternal salvation of souls. The clergy will 
also certainly understand that during the present turmoil they must 
be animated by the sentiments professed long ago by the Apostles, 
rejoicing that they are found worthy to suffer opprobrium for the 
name of Jesus, "Gaudentes quoniam digni habiti sunt pro nomine 
Jesu contumeliam pati" (Rom. xiii., 12). They will therefore stoutly 
stand up for the rights and liberty of the Church, but without offense 
to anybody. Nay, more, in their earnestness to preserve charity. 


Encyclical to French Bishops, 219 

as the ministers of Jesus Christ are especially bound to do, they will 
reply to iniquity with justice, to outrage with mildness, and to ill- 
treatment with benefits. 

And now we turn to you. Catholics of France, asking you to receive 
our words as a testimony of that most tender affection with which 
we have never ceased to love your country, and as comfort to you 
in the midst of the terrible calamities through which you will have 
to pass. You know the aim of the impious sects which are placing 
your heads under their yoke, for they themselves have proclaimed 
with cynical boldness that they are determined to "de-Catholicize" 
France. They want to root out from your hearts the last vestige of 
the faith which covered your fathers with glory, which made your 
country great and prosperous among nations, which sustains you 
in your trials, which brings tranquillity and peace to your homes, 
and which opens to you the way to eternal happiness. You feel 
that you must defend this faith with your whole souls. But be not 
deluded — all labor and effort will be useless if you endeavor to 
repulse the assaults made on you without being firmly united. Re- 
move, therefore, any causes of disunion that may exist among you. 
And do what is necessary to ensure that your unity may be as strong 
as it should be among men who are fighting for the same cause, 
especially when this cause is of those for the triumph of which 
everybody should be willing to sacrifice something of his own opin- 
ions. If you wish, within the limits of your strength and according 
to your imperious duty, to save the religion of your ancestors from 
the dangers to which it is exposed, it is of the first importance that 
you show a large degree of courage and generosity. We feel sure 
that you will show this generosity, and by being charitable towards 
God's ministers, you will incline God to be more and more charitable 
towards yourselves. 

As for the defense of religion, if you wish to undertake it in a 
worthy manner, and to carry it on perseveringly and efficaciously, 
two things are first of all necessary : you must model yourselves so 
faithfully on the precepts of the Christian law that all your actions 
and your entire lives may do honor to the faith you profess, and 
then you must be closely united with those whose special office it is 
to watch over religion, with your priests, your Bishops, and above 
all with this Apostolic See, which is the pivot of the Catholic faith 
and of all that can be done in its name. Thus armed for the fray, 
go forth fearlessly for the defense of the Church; but take care that 
your trust is placed entirely in God, for whose cause you are work- 
ing, and never cease to pray to Him for help. 

For us, as long as you have to struggle against danger, we will 
be heart and soul in the midst of you ; your labors, pains, sufferings— 

220 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

we will share them all with you ; and pouring farth to God, who has 
founded the Church and ever preserves her, our most humble and 
instant prayers, we will implore Him to bend a look of mercy on 
France, to save her from the storms that have been let loose upon 
her, and, by the intercession of Mary Immaculate, to restore soon to 
her the blessings of calm and peace. 

As a pledge of these heavenly gifts and a proof of our special 
predilection, we impart with all our heart the Apostolic Benediction 
to you, Venerable Brethren, to your clergy and to the entire French 

Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, on February ii, in the year 1906, 
the third of our Pontificate. 

Pius X., Pope. 


IT IS said that the present Sovereign Pontiff on the day of his 
election to the Chair of Saint Peter gave as his reason for 
choosing the name of Pius that it had been borne by the Popes 
who had defended the Church and the Holy See against the Revolu- 
tion from its beginning, and that as he, too, was in presence of the 
same enemy, he had adopted a name which recalled their courageous 
resistance. The Revolution, indeed, still carries on its warfare 
against the Church, more especially on the Continent of Europe, 
and though the Radicals and Socialists of the present day have laid 
aside the sanguinary methods employed by their forerunners, the 
Jacobins of the end of the eighteenth century, they are animated 
by a spirit no less hostile to Christianity than that which abolished 
every manifestation of religion in France and deluged the land with 
blood. Their fanaticism was, however, but the inevitable result of 
the infidelity which had been so actively propagated in the early 
part of the same century by Voltaire and his followers who formed 
that school of atheistical writers known as ''les Philosophes" from 
their pretension to be guided solely by the light of reason, or as ''les 
Encyclopedistes/' from the voluminous work which they compiled 
for the purpose of disseminating their doctrines. The preparatory 
steps in this campaign, which was undertaken for the express pur- 
pose of eradicating Christianity, consisted in seeking to subject the 
Church to the civil power as much as possible; in severing, or at 
least hindering the relations of the Bishops with Rome, and in depriv- 
ing them of the assistance afforded them by the religious orders. 

Pius VI. and the French Revolution. 221 

above all others of that order which had fought most strenuously 
against the teaching of Voltaire, which had shown itself the most 
zealous in sustaining the authority of the Holy See, and whose 
destruction, it was clearly foreseen, would bring about that of all the 
rest — the Society of Jesus. 

A plan for effecting the abolition of the religious orders slowly 
and gradually, so as not to excite too much alarm among the public, 
by secularizing at first only the smaller communities, and by raising 
the age for the reception of novices, was drawn up about 1745 by 
the Marquis d'Argenson (1694-1757), Minister for Foreign Affairs 
under Louis XV., a friend and a protector of Voltaire, and for over 
forty years the French Government continued to be guided by it in 
its dealings with the Church.^ The suppression of the Jesuits was 
more especially the work of the Marquis de Pompadour and of the 
Duke de Choiseul, who, of all the ministers of Louis XV., was the 
one on whose assistance Voltaire most relied, and he is reported to 
have said while conversing with some foreign envoys that if he had 
the power he would destroy the Jesuits alone, as then all the other 
religious organizations would fall of themselves.^ Frederic IL of 
Prussia also saw the necessity of suppressing the religious orders 
before attacking the hierarchy, and in a letter to Voltaire of March 
24, 1767, he states that he had remarked that in those places where 
there were most monastic houses the people were most attached to 
religion, and that there could be no doubt but that their destruction 
would render the people lukewarm and indifferent. He then dis- 
suades Voltaire from attacking the Bishops first, as it was not as 
yet time to do so, but that when the religious feeling of the people 
should have cooled down the Bishops would be like little children 
and the sovereigns could then treat them as they thought fit. The 
same idea reappears in the King's letter of August 13, 1775, where, 
alluding to the Catholic Church, he reminds his impatient correspond- 
ent that the edifice must be undermined secretly and noiselessly so 
as to make it fall to pieces of itself.^ 

In this warfare against the Jesuits and the other religious orders 
the "Philosophers" were powerfully aided by the lawyers who com- 
posed the various Parliaments of France, which though originally 
only High Courts of Justice, had gradually usurped the powers of 
the ''Etats Generaux" (or States General), which -the Kings had 
ceased to convoke since more than a century. In the earlier times 
of the French monarchy it had been the custom for these tribunals 
to register the edicts issue d by the sovereign, giving them thereby 

1 L'Abb6 Barruel, "M6moires pour servir ft I'Histoire du Jacobinisme," 
1797, Part L, p. 84. 

2 Ihid, p. 88. 

8 Quoted by Barruel, pp. 113 and 117. 

222 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

publicity and legal force. They had also the right of expressing 
their opinions and presenting their remonstrances against measures 
which they considered unjust. Little by little they laid claim to 
exercise greater control over the acts of the Crown and to make their 
will be felt in political questions, and though these tendencies had 
been repressed under the rule of Cardinal de Richelieu and later 
under that of Louis XIV., the Parliaments regained their ascendancy 
under the regency of the Duke of Orleans (171 5- 1722), and their 
unceasing conflicts with the government during the reigns of Louis 
XV. and Louis XVI. had no small share in preparing the way for 
the Revolution.* 

A large number of the presidents and councillors of these courts 
were Jansenists, sectarians masquerading as Catholics, and who, 
though professing great austerity of life and affecting much outward 
piety, were vehemently opposed to the authority of the Holy See, 
and were therefore the most bitter and unscrupulous enemies of the 
Jesuits. Under their influence the Parliament of Paris, followed by 
most of the provincial Parliaments, exceeding the limits of its juris- 
diction, claimed the right to interfere in the discipline of the Church ; 
it dispensed from their vows rebellious members of religious orders f 
it commanded the parish priests to administer the sacraments to 
unrepentant Jansenists on their deathbed; it forbade to teach the 
supremacy of the Pope in the universities and seminaries; in 1730 
it suppressed the office and the feast of St. Gregory VIL, and in 1737 
it refused to allow the publication of the Bull by which Clement XII. 
announced the canonization of St. Vincent de Paul.® Such was the 
tribunal which expelled the Jesuits from France without the formality 
of a trial. 

The series of aggressions of which the Jesuits had been for 
many years the object in the Parliament of Paris were brought to 
a climax by a decree of July 18, 1761, ordering the college of the 
fathers in Paris to be closed. Its execution was, however, suspended 
by an edict from the King, as he wished to have the opinion of the 
Bishops of France before proceeding further, and they, with only 
four exceptions out of an assembly of fifty-four, made a strong pro- 
test in favor of the Society. But the Parliament, profiting by the 
King's dread of another attempt on his life like that of Damion, 
induced him to withdraw his edict, and then, by a decree dated April 
I, 1762, closed the eighty- four colleges belonging to the Jesuits.^ 

' 4 L,'Abb6 Proyart, "Louis XW. detron6 avant d'gtre Roi," Londres, 1800, 
p. 324. 

5 Rev. J. M. Prat, S. J., "Essai historique sur la destruction des Ordres 
Reliffieux en France au XVIIIth si§cle," Paris, 1845, p. 149. 

6 L,'Abb6 I. Bertrand, "Le Pontificat de Pie VI. et l'Ath6isme Revolution- 
naire," Paris, 1879, pp. 75, 76, 235. 

7 Prat, op. cit., p. 116. Henrion x., 432. 

Pius VI. and the French Revolution. 223 

By another decree of August 6 the ParHament declared that the 
Society could no longer be allowed to exist. It expelled the fathers 
from their houses and forbade them to follow the rule of their order 
to live in community, to teach or to exercise any religious function 
unless they bound themselves by oath to accept the doctrines of the 
Gallican Church as expressed in the declaration of the French clergy 
in 1682.* Of the 4,000 Jesuits then in France only five submitted 
to this decree.^ The Parliament then published a long report, known 
as the "Extraits des Assertions;' etc.,^<^ which it had caused to be 
compiled, mainly with the help of some monks who were ardent 
Jansenists, a report which professed to expose the erroneous doc- 
trines taught by the Jesuits, and in the 542 pages of which the 
fathers were able to point out when they published an answer to it 
in the course of the following year, no less than 758 misrepresenta- 
tions and falsifications of the original texts.^^ It is only just to 
say that the Parliaments of Douai and Besangon and the Supreme 
Council of Alsace, as well as very large minorities in other provincial 
Parliaments, took up the defense of the Jesuits, but the Parliament 
of Paris would listen to no argument; it condemned the works 
written in favor of the Society to be burned by the executioner, and 
hanged a priest who at Brest had spoken disrespectfully of their pro- 

8 Rev. A. M. Cahour, S. J., "Des J6suites par un JSsuite," II., p. 226. 

9 Schoell, "Cours d'histoire des Etats Europ§ens," vol. 40, p. 51; quoted by 
Cahour, iUd, p. 227. 

10 The complete title of the work is, "Extraits des Assertions dangereuses 
et pemicieuses en tout genre, que les soi-disant J6suites ont dans tous les 
temps et perseverament, soutenues enseign§es et publi^es dans leurs livres, 
avec I'approbatlon de leurs sup6rieurs et g6n6raux. Verifl§es et collationngs 
par les Commissaires du Parlement en execution de I'arret de la Cour du 31 
Sodt 1761 et arret du 3 Septembre suivant, surles livres, theses, chiers 
composes dict§s et publics par les soi-disant J6suites et autres actes 
authentiques. D6pos§s au Greffe de la Cour par arrets des 3 Septembre 
1761, 5, 17, 18, 26. F6vrier et 5 Mars 1762. Paris, chez Pierre Guillaume 
Simon Imprimeur du Parlement, 1762." Cahour, op. cit.. p. 94. 

11 Cahour, op. cit., p. 201. 

12 Prat, op. cit., 129. 

The following extract explains why the Jesuits allowed so much time to 
pass before replying to the "Extraits et Assertions:" 

L'Abbfe Daz6s: II est temps departer, ou Compte rendu an public des 
ceuvres legales de M. Ripert de Monclar, et des 6v6nements passes en 
Provence et a Paris, etc., k I'occasion des J6suites-A-Arles,-1764, t. II., p. 250. 
"Avant que de faire paraltre le Livre des Assertions on avait en soin de 
fermer a Paris et a Lyon la Biblioth6que des Jesuites. La precau- 
tion etait sage: ces Biblioth6ques gtaient imeneuses et bien com- 
pos6es. Quinze jours avec des livres auraient suffl pour confondre ce 
monstrueux recueil de calomnies et pour charger le parlement de Pans de 
tout I'opprobre, dont 11 voulait convrir les Jesuites; on avait pr§vu cet 
inconvenient, et le scelie prudemment applique aux grandes Bibliotheques 
de la Societe, en avait ete le remede . . . Paris a seryi de modeie; a 
I'imitation de la Capitale, on a ferme en Provence les Bibliotheques des 
Jesuites: apres quoi on les a invites k se defendre legalement sur toutes 
ces noirceurs que leur impute I'infame Extrait des Assertions. ' 

224 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

The Parliament also condemned to be burned the pastoral letter 
in which Mgr. Christophe de Beaumont, the Archbishop of Paris, 
supported by the other Bishops of France with but three exceptions,^^ 
denounced the iniquitous sentence, and at the request of the same 
body the King, incapable of resisting the evil influence of Madame 
de Pompadour and of the Duke de Choiseul, banished the courageous 
prelate to the monastery of La Trappe. It was in vain that Clement 
XIII. undertook the defense of the Society, and by a brief which he 
communicated privately to the French Cardinals declared the decrees 
of the Parliament to be null and void,^* and that Queen Maria 
Leczinska and the Dauphin united their prayers and protests to those 
of the French clergy. The} were unable to persuade the King to 
reject the decree of March 9, 1764, by which the Parliament of Paris, 
followed by those of Toulouse, Rouen and Pau,^^ ordered the Jesuit 
Fathers to ratify by an oath the truths of the accusations which had 
been brought against them in previous decrees or to be deprived of 
the small pension of 400 francs which had been allowed them, and 
to be banished from the country. Louis XV. by the royal edict of 
November, 1764, while declaring that he had no ill-will against the 
Jesuits, and that he yielded reluctantly merely with the object of 
restoring peace in his kingdom,^^ confirmed the sentence, though 
modifying it to the extent of allowing the fathers to remain in 
France as private persons ; but the Parliament when registering the 
edict added as conditions that they should not come within ten 
leagues of Paris ; that they should reside in the dioceses where they 
were born and report themselves every six months to the authori- 
ties.^^ The expulsion of the order from Spain, which took place 
shortly after, gave apparently a fresh stimulus to the animosity of 
the Parliament of Paris, and by another decree of May 9, 1767, which 
the King was requested to extend to all France, it enacted that all 
the Jesuits who had not taken the prescribed oath should be expelled 
within a fortnight, and the feeble monarch, who feared to irritate 
the turbulent magistrate, yielded again and signed the decree.^^ 

In the other Catholic countries of Europe the war against the 
Society was carried on, as in France, by ministers imbued with the 
anti-Christian doctrines of the ''Encyclopedistes" and partisans of 
the supremacy of the State over the Church, such as Sebastian Car- 
valho. Marquis of Pombal in Portugal, Count d'Aranda in Spain, 

13 Prat, op. cit., p. 128. 

14 R. P. de Raviffnan, S. J., "C16ment XIII. et Clement XIV.," Paris, 1854, 
I., p. 145. 

15 Cahour, op. cit, p. 231. 

16 Ravignan, op. cit., p. 157. 

17 Henrion, op. cit., xi., p. 187. 

18 Henrion, "Histoire g§n§rale de I'Eglise," x., p. 451. 

Pius VI. and the French Revolution. 225 

Bernardo Tanncci in Naples, Giiillaume du Tillot, Marquis of Felino 
in Parma, and between the years 1759 and 1768 the property of the 
Jesuit Fathers in those countries was confiscated, their colleges were 
closed and they were expelled from their missions in the Spanish 
and Portuguese colonies and deported to the Papal States under cir- 
cumstances of the greatest brutality. As it was necessary also to 
ensure that these unjust and arbitrary proceedings on the part of 
these governments should be accepted and approved by public opin- 
ion, every country in Europe was inundated at the same time with 
scurrillous and calumnious writings calculated to inflame the minds 
of the people against the Society. ^^^ It is needless to enter into any 
further details on this subject, as it has been so fully treated in the 
article on Pombal published in the American Catholic Quarterly 
Review of January, 1877, and in that on the suppression of the 
Jesuits in the number for October, 1888. It will suffice to say that 
the ministers of the Bourbon sovereigns, not content with the spolia- 
tion of the Society and its expulsion from their States, insisted on 
it abolition. The Spanish Ambassador in Rome, Don Jose Monino, 
Count of Florida Blanca, was their most ardent and implacable foe, 
and as he threatened Clement XIV. with the suppression of all the 
religious orders in Spain and hinted even at the possibility of a schism 
in case of noncompliance with the wishes of his master, the Sov- 
ereign Pontiff yielded at last after a long resistance lest greater mis- 
fortunes should befall the Church.^*^ 

Owing to the spirit of revolt against the authority of Rome which 
the insubordination of the Jansenists had created in France, the dis- 
turbances and the angry controversies produced by the intervention 
of the Parliaments in questions of ecclesiastical discipline, and still 
more to the irreligion and hatred of Christianity which were being 
gradually diffused among all classes of society by the infidel litera- 
ture which Voltaire, d'Alembert and their adherents were causing 
to be distributed gratuitously in every part of Europe, but especially 
in France, much relaxation and disorder prevailed in some religious 
houses and afforded to those who aimed at the total destruction of 
monastic life the opportunity which they sought. Such was not, 
however, the sentiment which inspired the General Assembly of the 
French Clergy, but the desire to put an end to these abuses, when 
in 1765 it resolved to request Pope Clement XIII. to name a com- 
mission of prelates who should institute an inquiry into the state of 

18 The Pere de Ravignan publishes (op. cit, II.) a selection of fifty letters 
from those which were written by prelates from all parts of Europe to 
Clement XIIL in 1759 and 1760, in which they denounce these pamphlets as 
"libelli calumnus, contumelus, maledictisque referti." 

20 Cr^tineau- Joly, "Histoire de la Compagnie de J6sus," v., p. 350. Cahour, 
op. cit, part IL, p. 273. 

226 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

the monastic orders and take steps to reestablish obedience and the 
observation of the rule wherever it was necessary. ^^ The Assembly 
informed Louis XV. of this resolution in order that he might instruct 
his ambassador in Rome to obtain the consent of the Holy Father, 
but the King, acting under the influence of de Choiseul, took the 
matter into his own hands by an edict dated 26th May, 1776, and, in 
spite of the remonstrances of the Assembly, by another edict of July 
31 he created a board of five Archbishops, to whom he added five 
lay members of his council, some of whom were known to be hostile 
to the authority of the Holy See.^^ The president of this commis- 
sion, named La Commission de la Reforme, was Lomenie de Brienne, 
Archbishop of Toulouse, a secret adherent of les philosophes and a 
friend of d'Alembert, who helped to have him elected a member of 
the French Academy and praised him in his letters to Voltaire. The 
prelates associated with de Lomenie, who alone was acquainted with 
the secret intentions of de Choiseul and the philosophers,^^ seem to 
have allowed themselves to be dominated by his stronger will, and 
not to have offered sufficient resistance to his insidious projects of 
reformation, of which perhaps they did not foresee the disastrous 
consequences, while the laymen, whose number could be augmented 
at the will of the commission, or rather of its president, were quite 
ready to take part in promoting any measures calculated to be preju- 
dicial to the interests of the Church. As might have been expected 
under such circumstances, the reforms projected by de Lomenie and 
his colleagues did not tend to appease the religious controversies 
raging throughout France or to restore discipline in the cloisters, 
but to excite still more discontent and insubordination among the 
more relaxed of the regular clergy, to provoke more hostility on the 
part of the public against the monastic orders, to reduce the number 
of religious and to suppress many ancient communities.^* 

Thus the age at which monastic vows might be pronounced was 
to be raised to 21 for men and to 18 for women, and all professions 
which in future might be made before that age were to be declared 
null. All monasteries containing less than fifteen monks, or in some 
special cases eight, were to be closed, and no order was to be allowed 
to possess more than two houses in Paris or one in any other town 
without a license from the King.^^ 

The Council of State approved and confirmed these measures by 
two edicts in April, 1767, and in March, 1768, and the commission 
speedily carried out its operations, inspecting the religious houses, 

21 Prat, op. cit, p. 153. 

22 lud, p. 157. 

23 Barruel, op. cit., I., p. 123. 

24 Prat, op. cit., p. 164. 

25 iMd, p. 192, p. 194. 

Pius VI. and the French Revolution. 227 

revising and renovating their rules and statutes, uniting some orders 
together and secularizing others. These new codes and regulations 
were then sometimes submitted to the approbation of the Holy See,^* 
but in most cases an edict of the weak-minded Louis XV. or of his 
equally incapable successor, Louis XVL, sufficed to ratify them and 
give them force of law, and before many years had elapsed the com- 
mission had suppressed several orders, disorganized many others 
by introducing into them a spirit of insubordination and closed more 
than 1,500 religious houses without heeding the opposition and the 
remonstrances of the General Assemblies of the French Clergy." 

The ''Commission de la Reforme," having thus completed its 
labors, tendered its resignation to Louis XVL, who by an edict of 
19th March, 1780, thanked the members of it for having by their 
''care and zeal" provided the greater part of the religious congrega- 
tions of his kingdom with a code of statutes and regulations which 
the superiors of these orders were commanded to obey. Another 
edict, however, of the same date reorganized the commission as a 
board for the purpose of examining demands for the suppression, the 
union or the translation of benefices and ecclesiastical property, and 
under its new form it continued to exercise its powers for the destruc- 
tion of monastic life in France until even the Parliament of Paris 
accused it of destroying more than reforming and demanded its sup- 

These attempts to destroy the Church by gradually eliminating her 
most faithful defenders and by the circulation of anti-Christian liter- 
ature were attended with greater success in France than in the south- 
ern countries of Europe, where, as a rule, the people still remained 
attached to their faith and the great majority of the clergy resisted 
all attempts to separate them from Rome. A large number, however, 
of the middle class were animated by the same spirit of hostility to 
the supremacy of the Holy See as the Jansenists, and many of the 
aristocracy had adopted the ideas of Voltaire and of the Encyclopedia 
and were guided by them in their relations with the Church. 

Thus the Venetian Senate, which, indeed, had someitmes in past 
centuries already shown a tendency to interfere in purely ecclesiasti- 
cal matters, published several decrees between 1767 and 1773 which 
were calculated to infringe the liberties and rights of the Church by 
the same methods as those which had been recommended by Frede- 
rick H. and were at that moment being employed in France. It 
was prohibited to make any donation or bequest to a church or a 
religious order without the permission of the Senate. The reception 
of any more novices in the mendican t orders was forbidden, and m 

28 lud, p. 207. 
2TBertrand, op. cit., p. 71. 

228 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

the others it was not to be allowed until the age of 20, and the final 
vows were not to be pronounced until the age of 25. The superiors 
of religious houses were prohibited from inflicting any punishment 
on their monks without having recourse to lay tribunals, and all the 
regular clergy were also withdrawn from the jurisdiction of their 
generals residing in Rome and placed under that of the Bishops of 
their respective dioceses, especially with regard to the administra- 
tion of the sacraments.-^ In 1770 nine of the Benedictine abbeys 
in the State of Venice were also suppressed ; the monks were allowed 
a small pension out of their former possessions and the rest was 
confiscated. Clement XIII. protested strongly against this aggres- 
sion on the rights of the Church, for he saw that the real object of 
the decrees was to annihilate the religious orders under the pretext 
of reforming them, and he ordered the Bishops not to make use of 
the powers conferred on them by the secular authorities. The Senate 
replied with most fervent expressions of its veneration for the Holy 
See and its filial affection for the Holy Father,^^ but it would not 
withdraw its edicts, and though the Venetian Bishops at first refused 
to submit to them, they yielded little by little and undertook the 
visitation of the monasteries. Clement XIII. died without having 
been able to subdue the obstinacy of the Senate, and his successor, 
Clement XIV., offered no further opposition to the execution of the 

The cunning policy suggested by Frederick II. was also put in 
practice in those Italian States which were ruled by members of the 
House of Bourbon, or rather by the ministers who governed in their 
name, and who took advantage of the absolute power claimed by the 
sovereign to invade the rights and plunder the possessions of the 
Church. The Duchies of Parma and Piacenza formed one of these 
principalities, a territory which had belonged to the Papal States 
since the year 730, when the inhabitants had rebelled against the 
Iconoclastic Emperor of Constantinople and put themselves under 
the authority of Pope Gregory 11.^^ 

In 1545 Pope Paul III. (Alessandro Farnese, 1534-1549), who 
had been married before entering the Church, gave these Duchies 
to his son, Pier-Luigi Farnese, to be held by him and his heirs male 
as a fief of the Holy See for the annual payment of 9,000 golden 
ducats. The male line of the Farnese came to an end in 1731 on the 
death of Duke Antonio, and the Duchies should have reunited to the 
rest of the Papal States, but by the treaty of London in 1728 between 

28 Gaetano Moroni, "Dizionario di erudizione Storico-Eccleciastica," 
Venezia, 1858, vol. 92, p. 595. 
29lMd, p. 600. 

30 IMd, p. 603. : 

31 Op. €it., vol. 51, p. 222. 

Pius VL and the French Revolution. 229 

the Empire, France, Spain and Holland, Antonio's niece, Elizabeth 
Farnese, who in 17 14 had married Philip V. of Bourbon, King of 
Spain, as his second wife, obtained the right to transmit them to her 
eldest son, Don Carlos, a right confirmed in 1722 and 1723 by the 
treaties of Cambray and of Vienna, in spite of the protests of Inno- 
cent XIIL (1721-1724). In the course of the war between France, 
Spain and Austria, caused by the disputed right of succession to the 
throne of Poland, Don Carlos, who had taken possession of the 
Duchies in 1732, became King of Naples under the title of Charles 
VIL, and in 1735 the Duchies were ceded to Austria; but at the 
conclusion of the seven years' war between the pretendants to the 
title of Emperor of Germany, Parma and Piacenza were given to 
Don Philip de Bourbon, the younger brother of .Don Carlos, by the 
treaty of Aix-la-Chapella (i8th October, 1748), which disregarded 
and set aside the claims of the Holy See. 

The young Duke, who had married the eldest daughter of Louis 
XV., had for his Prime Minister a French lawyer, Guillaume Leon 
du Tillot, whom his father-in-law had sent to assist him in his con- 
troversy with the Papal Government about the investiture of the 
Duchy. He was a good administrator, but like de Choiseul and 
Tanucci, he was a disciple of the Encyclopedists and acted according 
to their theories in his relations with the Sovereign Pontiff and the 
religious orders. He, therefore, is responsible for the Duke's refusal 
in 1764 to pay the usual tribute of 9,ocx) ducats, and this was fol- 
lowed by an edict by which testators were forbidden to bequeath to 
the Church more than one-twentieth of their fortune,^^ which should 
never be more than 300 crowns to be paid in ready money, and the 
members of monastic orders were obliged to renounce all rights of 
inheritance with the exception of a small annuity. The Duke died 
the following year, and during the minority of his son Don Ferdi- 
nand, du Tillot published on January 16, 1768 another edict by 
which it was prohibited to have recourse to foreign tribunals, not 
even to those of Rome, without the Duke's authorization, whicn 
would also be requisite for the collation of benefices and for the 
validity of any document emanating from the Roman Curia. Clem- 
ent XIIL, who had already often protested against previous meas- 
ures of due Tillot prejudicial to the rights of the Church, but who 
had been led to believe that his remonstrances would be listened to, 
replied on January 30 to this last aggression by a monitorium which 
declared that this edict and all those which had preceded it were 
null and void, and that the persons who had had a share in their 
publication had incurred the censures of the Church. By way of 
reprisal du Tillot, imitating the action of the courts of France, Spain 

32 A. Coppi, "Annali d'ltalia du 1750," Roma, 1828, p. 77. 

230 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

and Naples, arrested all the Jesuit Fathers in the Duchies of Parma 
and Piacenza at nightfall on February 7 and sent them, escorted by 
soldiers, across the frontier of the Papal States; while, as a proof 
that the other Bourbon sovereigns approved of du Tillot's conduct, 
Louis XV. seized the town of Avignon and the Comtat Venaisin, 
possessions of the Church situated in France, and the Neapolitan 
Government not only occupied those in the Kingdom of Naples, such 
as Benevento and Ponte Corvo, but later on in the year sent troops 
to Orbitello, a fortress in Tuscany, with the intention of taking Castro 
and Ronciglione, towns in the Papal States, which had formerly been 
held by the Farnesi as fiefs, but had been restored to the Holy See 
since many years.^^ 

The right claimed by the Duke of Parma of authorizing the pub- 
lication of acts issuing from Rome and of thereby establishing their 
validity was known as the Regium Placet or Exequatur, and had 
frequently been the cause of protestations on the part of the Papal 
Government. It appears to have originated at the time of the great 
schism of the West, when it was often necessary to ascertain whether 
a Bull or a Brief proceeded from the lawfully elected Pope or from 
the Antipope, but it was abolished by Pope Martin V. in 141 7, when 
peace had been restored to the Church, and had ceased to be em- 
ployed for over a century,^* until the Spanish Viceroys of Naples 
under Philip 11. attempted to revive the practice. Thus the Count 
of Ayala in 1567 and the Count of Olivares in 1596 impeded the 
execution of certain Papal decrees because the Exequatur had not 
been demanded ; but the former submitted after having been excom- 
municated by Mgr. Orsini, Bishop of Strongoli, the Apostolic Vis- 
itor, and the latter yielded to the energetic protests of Clement VIII. 
and desisted from his opposition. 

The spirit of resistance to any manifestation of the authority of 
the Holy See persisted, nevertheless, in the Kingdom of Naples as 
in other Catholic States. It acquired greater development in the 
eighteenth century, according as the teaching of the French philoso- 
phers became more widely diffused among the nobility and the very 
numerous class connected in one way or another with the legal pro- 
fession,^*^ and it directed the policy of the ministers who succeeded 

33 Avignon and the comtat Venaissin, Benevento and Ponte Corvo were 
restored to the Church by the two Bourbon courts after the suppression of 
the Jesuits, but Clement XIV. had indignantly refused to make their resti- 
tution one of the conditions of his consent. 

34 Padre Flario Rinieri, S. J., "Delia rovina di una Monarchia. Relazioni 
storiche tra Pio vi ela Corte di Napoli negli anni 1776-1799, secondo docu- 
menti inediti del'Archivio Vaticano," Torino, 1901. Introduzione, pp. xvi., 

35 Calculated at 26,000 in the city of Naples. Tivaroni, "L'ltalia prima 
della Rivoluzione Francese," p. 335. 

Pius VI . and the French Revolution. 231 

one another in the government of the country under Charles VII. 
of Bourbon and his incapable and illiterate son, Ferdinand IV. 

Bernardo Tanucci (1698-1783), the first of these, was a lawyer 
from Tuscany, and had been professor of jurisprudence at the Uni- 
versity of Pisa. His violent attack on the privilege of sanctuary 
which was enjoyed by the Church and of which a Spanish soldier 
had taken advantage, made him known to Don Carlos when he 
entered Tuscany at the head of his troops in 1732, as the acknowl- 
edged heir of Giovanni Gastone, the last Grand Duke of the House 
of Medici, and on his way to take possession of Parma and Piacenza. 
Tanucci then became auditor of the treasury to the Prince and one 
of his councillors, in which capacity he accompanied him in 1734 on 
the expedition which resulted in the conquest of the Kingdom of 
Naples. There he rose to be Minister of Justice, and in 1755 he was 
made Minister of Foreign Affairs and of the Royal Household. 

When the Emperor Joseph H. visited Naples in 1769 he described 
Tanucci as being an intelligent and well informed man, but a hypo- 
crite and an arrant pedant, full of little artifices and chicanery, which 
he looked upon as statesmanship, attaching great importance to 
trifles, extremely jealous of his authority and managing to keep in 
his own hands the distribution of all favors and places.^® Like 
most lawyers of that time he was a strong upholder of the absolute 
authority of the sovereign in religious as well as civil matters, but 
he does not seem to have offered any opposition to the Concordat 
which was made in 1741 between Benedict XIV. and Charles VII., 
in which reciprocal concessions were made with regard to the right 
of sanctuary in churches, the taxation of church property, the consti- 
tution and jurisdiction of ecclesiastical and mixed tribunals and the 
collation of benefices. 

This agreement was not, however, strictly observed for very long 
by the Neapolitan Government, which interpreted in its own favor, 
extended and sometimes even exceeded the conditions which had 
been stipulated.^^ Thus by successive edicts it was enacted that the 
number of priests should be limited to ten per thousand of the popu- 
lation ; that the Church should acquire no more real property ; that 
Papal Bulls should have no effect unless accepted by the King,^® 
and that episcopal censures incurred by persons engaged in carrying 
out a law should be regarded as null. As an edict of the King's 
had forbidden the construction of new churches, convents or hos- 

36 A. von Ameth, "Maria Teresia und Joseph II. Ihre Correspondenz 
Wien, 1867," vol. I., p. 262. "Un p6dant fieff6, rempli de petites finasseries 

pf /Jp clliCfLIlGS " 

37 Pietro Colietta, "Storia del Reame di Napoli dal 1734 al 1825," Capalago, 
1834, vol. I., p. 87. 

38 Which meant that the Exequatur was reestablished. 

232 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

pitals unless his permission had been obtained, a church which had 
been built in honor of the patron saint of a city in the Abruzzi was 
ordered to be demolished because the necessary formality had not 
been fulfilled.^^ 

When Charles VII. succeeded in 1759 to the throne of Spain under 
the title of Charles III., on the death of his brother, Ferdinand VI., 
he transferred the crown of Naples to his third son, Ferdinand IV. 
(175 1 -1825), then aged eight, and confided him to the care of a 
Council of Regency, of which Tanucci formed part. In this position 
Tanucci found himself invested with almost absolute power over the 
Kingdom of Naples, and thenceforth he lost no opportunity of mani- 
festing still more openly his animosity against the Church. His 
authority in the Council soon predominated over that of his co- 
regents, for he maintained a weekly correspondence with the King 
of Spain, who continued to direct from Madrid the policy and the 
acts of the Court of Naples.*^ A serious accusation has been made 
against Tanucci : that he let the young King grow up without giving 
him an education which would have rendered him capable of per- 
forming the duties of a sovereign,*^ and surrounded him with frivo- 
lous and incapable men, who allowed him to neglect his studies and 
give himself up almost exclusively to field sports,*^ so that when he 
attained his majority at the age of sixteen he knew little more than 
how to read and write.*^ Ignorant and coarse, but kind-hearted, 
indulgent and not deficient in common sense, vulgar in appearance 
and with the manners and language of a Neapolitan lazzarone, which 
caused him to be idolized by the lower orders. King Ferdinand had 
an intense aversion to business and left state affairs as much as 
possible to his ministers and to his wife, the Austrian Archduchess 
Maria Carolina (1752-1814), the daughter of the Empress Maria 
Teresa, spending his time as much as possible shooting pheasants in 
the Island of Procida or hunting deer and wild boar in the forests of 

39 Colletta, p. 88. 

40 Danvila y Collado, "Reinado de Carlos III.," Madrid, 1893, vol. I., p. 138, 
and II., p. 49. Janucci's correspondence with the Neapolitan ambassadors 
at Madrid and with Charles III. from 1736 to the eve of his death, on April 
28, 1783, in 110 in-folio volumes, as well as that of the King with Janucci 
Hflrom 1759 to 1782, in 39 in-quarto volumes, is preserved in the Spanish 
Archives at Simancas and in the General Central Archives at Alcaia de 
Hen ares. 

*i Rinieri, op. cit., xlii. Henrion, "Histoire generale de TEglise," t, xi., 
p. 132. 

*2 Pietro Caia, Ulloa, Duca di Lauria, "Intorno alia Storia del Reame dl 
Napoli di Pietro Colleta," Napoli, 1877. The Duke defends Janucci and 
throws all the blame on the Prince of San Nicandro, the King's tutor, who 
had been chosen, as well as the other members of the regency, by the King's 

43 Rinieri, ibid. 

Pius VI. and the French Revolution. 233 

Persano and Venafro, or catching fish in the lakes of Patria and 
Fusano, which he afterwards sold on the quay, bargaining and dis- 
puting with his customers like one of the populace.** His mind had, 
however, been filled from his earliest years with the most exag- 
gerated ideas of the unlimited authority of a sovereign and the 
prerogatives of the crown, of which his ministers adroitly took ad- 
vantage and were thus able to render a King who was not deficient 
in religious sentiments or in respect for the Holy Father*^ one of 
their most serviceable tools in their warfare against the Church. 

They could also reckon on the cooperation of the Queen, a restless 
and ambitious woman, with a strong will and a passion for intrigue, 
which she was enabled to satisfy when, after the birth of her first 
son, in 1774, she was allowed to take part in the deliberations of 
the Council of State,*® and it is not surprising that the sister of 
Joseph H. of Austria and of Leopold of Tuscany should have been 
frequently guided by their advice and have sought to imitate their 
schismatical attempts to establish the supremacy of the Church over 
the State. 

Tanucci, therefore, who ruled despotically over the King's court 
and even over his private life, especially during his minority and the 
early years of his reign,*^ found no obstacles in his way when carry- 
ing out his plans for enslaving the Neapolitan Church and severing 
every link which united her prelates with Rome. Thus the tithes 
paid to the clergy were suppressed ; the revenues of vacant bishoprics 
and benefices were seized by the State ; the number of priests allowed 
to be consecrated, which Charles VH. had reduced to ten per thou- 
sand of the population, was still further reduced to five; only sons 
were forbidden to enter the Church, and no family was allowed to 
have more than one son in holy orders.*^ Tanucci also declared that 
the rights of the crown could not be alienated ; that the most ancient 
Papal documents were null and void if they had not been confirmed 
by the King's acceptance of them ; that any concessions made to the 
Church by a King could be revoked by the same King or by his suc- 
cessors ; that the will of a founder could be suppressed or modified 

44 Tivaroni, op. cit., p. 414. Colletta, op. cit., p. 138. 

45 Rinieri, op. cit., p. 106. 

*6 It was one of the stipulations of the marriage contract. 

47 Von Ameth, op. cit., I., p. 262. "II tient, outre cela la bourse, tant du 
Roi que de la Reine . . . II se rend agr^able par les faveurs qu'il 
accorde du Roi dans la collation des charges, pour les quelles le Roi doit 
rgelement le supplier, de meme quand il veut faire une d6pense pour son 
plaisir, ou quand il veut, anime par la Reine, prendre la moindre liberte sur 
son etiquette espagnole, comme par exemple pour souper seulement au 
jardin il faut une negociation pr^alable, et une concession par ecrit de M. 
J^iicci, pour que le Roi puisse la faire." Report sent by Joseph II. to 
Maria Teresa about the Court of Naples, in April, 1769. 

48 Colletta, op. cit., p. 135. 

234 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

according to the pleasure of the sovereign;*^ that marriage was 
essentially a civil contract, and that the sacrament was only an 
accessory. Tanucci also suppressed ten monasteries in the Kingdom 
of Naples and seventy-eight in the Island of Sicily ;^^ the Bishops 
were forbidden to interfere in educational matters or to publish any 
document not approved by the King; the boundaries of several 
dioceses were changed without consulting the Pope, and every appeal 
to Rome without the King's permission was prohibited. When the 
King of Spain caused all the Jesuit Fathers in his dominions to be 
seized and deported to the Papal States, Tanucci willingly followed 
his example, and as Ferdinand refused to sign an edict for the expul- 
sion of the members of the Society from Naples, he forced him to 
yield by employing his usual argument — the express commands of 
Charles III.^^ In virtue of this decree the 630 Jesuits then in the 
kingdom of the two Sicilies, who had frequently been assured by 
Tanucci that they would not be expelled, were arrested during the 
night of November 20, 1767; 212 of these who were coadjutors or 
novices were obliged to return to their families ; 65 who were too 
aged to undergo the fatigue of a voyage were sent to reside in dif- 
ferent monasteries, and the others, to the number of 353, were 
escorted by soldiers across the frontier of the Papal States or disem- 
barked on its shores near Terracina. 

It was while the clergy was being thus hampered and deprived 
of their jurisdiction and their independence by sovereigns who still 
claimed the right to call themselves Catholic, and that the destruc- 
tion of one religious order after another was allowing greater liberty 
to the band of atheists who were already rejoicing in the approaching 
downfall of the Church,^^ that the Conclave which assembled on 
October 5, 1774, after the death of Clement XIV., elected as Pope, 
on February 15, 1775, Cardinal Giovanni Angelo Braschi, who took 
the name of Pius VI. The new Pontiff, who was born at Cesena, 
in the province of Romagna, on December 27, 171 7, of a noble family, 
had received his early education at the Jesuits' college of his native 
town, whence he proceeded to the University of Ferrara to perfect 

*9 Tivaroni, op. cit, p. 407. 

50 Etenrion, "Histoire g6n6rale de I'Eglise," t. xi., p. 362. 

61 Von Ameth, op. cit, p. 263. "Le Roi de Naples d'un autre c6te est con- 
tinuellement intimid§ par Janucci qui lui repr^sente la colore de son p6re, 
et qui fait meme 6crire au Roi d'Espagne l^-dessus tout ce qu'il veut. Le 
Roi qui est naturellement timide et inappliqu§, est charm6 d'avoir un 
pretexte pour faire toutes les choses que la lumiSre meme de sa raison 
d6sapprouve, et il se sert du prStexte de son papa dans toutes les occa- 
sions oil cela lui convient." Joseph II, to Maria Teresa, 1769. 

52 "Cet Edifice frapp6 par ses fondements va s'§crouler, et les nations 
transcriront dans leurs annales que Voltaire fut le promoteur de cette, 
revolution." Frederick II. to Voltaire, May 5, 1767. Quoted by Bertrand, 
op. cit., p. 62. 

Pius VI. and the French Revolution. 235 

himself in the study of law under the guidance of his uncle, Carlo 
Bandi, who was the auditor of Cardinal Ruffo, the Papal Legate. 
Chosen by the Cardinal to be his secretary, he accompanied him to 
Rome in 1740, where as his conclavist he assisted with him at the 
election of Cardinal Prospero Lambertini, who took the name of 
Benedict XIV. The Abate Braschi, who already intended to enter 
the Church, then became the Cardinal's auditor, and was charged 
with the administration of the Diocese of Ostia and Velletri, in which 
capacity, as v^^ell as in a diplomatic mission on which he was sent to 
the Court of Naples, he showed so much talent that Benedict XIV., 
in 1755, made him his secretary and ''cameriere secreto," as well as 
a Canon of the Basilica of St. Peter's, and shortly afterwards he was 
ordained priest. 

When Clement XIII. succeeded Benedict XIV., in 1758, the Pope's 
nephew. Cardinal Rezzonico, who was Camerlengho, or Prefect of 
the Apostolic Camera, chose Mgr. Braschi for his auditor, and in 
this important post he gave such proofs of energy and of a thorough 
knowledge of economical questions that in 1766 he was named 
Treasurer General, one of the highest posts under the Papal Govern- 
ment. Mgr. Braschi held this important position for nine years, 
during which his administration was distinguished by the most 
scrupulous integrity, by his severe supervision over his subordinates 
and by the desire to remedy whatever abuses had existed under his 
predecessors.^^ In 1773 he was raised by Clement XIV. to the 
dignity of Cardinal, and then withdrew to the Abbey of Subiaco, 
which he held in commendam, where he passed his time in study until 
his election to the Chair of St. Peter. 

The experience which Pius VI. had acquired in the different 
official positions which he had held, and especially in that of Treas- 
urer, was soon turned to good account for the purpose of carrying 
out various reforms and developing the resources of the Papal 
States. A large number of pensions which had been too generously 
and imprudently granted by preceding governments were suppressed, 
and a commission of Cardinals was named to examine the existing 
system of taxation and to modify it so as to render it more profitable 
to the State and less oppressive to the people. Duties were also 
imposed on foreign merchandise for the protection and development 
of native industry, and the result of these operations was to increase 
the revenues of the Papal Treasury by a third more than they had 
been under Clement XIV.^^ Important public works were also car- 
ried out in various parts of the Papal States. The marshy lands 

63 Abate Francesco Beccatini, "Storia di Pio VI.," Venezia, 1841, vol. L, 
p. 20. 

M La Civiltd Cattolica, 5 Agosto, 1899, p. 267. Beccatini, I., p. 40. 

236 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

surrounding Citta della Pieve, as well as those in the neighborhood 
of Perugia, Spoleto and Trevi, were drained; the harbors of Porto 
d'Anzio and of Ferracina were deepened; the State prisons in the 
fortress of San Leo were rebuilt and rendered more commodious; 
the prisoners were freed from their chains and provided with better 
food.*^^ In Rome Saint Peter's was embellished by the construction 
of a new sacristy and the Museo Pio-Clementino was completed. 
The addition of this gallery to the palace of the Vatican for the 
purpose of containing the collections of statuary formed by several 
Popes since the time of Julius 1 1., had been suggested to Clement 
XIV. by Mgr. Braschi when Treasurer, and Pius VI. enriched it 
with more than 2,000 ancient works of art, the result of excavations 
in or around Rome. 

But the most remarkable of the works undertaken by Pius VI., 
and one which alone would have sufficed to illustrate his reign, was 
the drainage of the Pontine Marshes. This vast extent of swamp, 
about 25 miles long by 8 to 10 broad, which stretched along the 
coast at the foot of the Volscian Mountains, and is separated from 
the sea by a long and narrow sandy plain covered with dense woods, 
was once a thickly inhabited, well cultivated territory in the days 
which preceded the foundation of Rome, and in the fifth century 
before Christ it was there that the Romans in times of scarcity sent 
to purchase corn. But the conquest of the Volscian land in the early 
times of the Roman Republic, by laying the country waste and 
slaughtering the inhabitants, or leading them away into captivity, 
in order to replace them by small colonies of Roman citizens, began 
the downfall of its prosperity. The low-lying plain, Hable to be 
frequently inundated by mountain torrents, had been rendered habit- 
able only by an extensive system of drainage, traces of which still 
remain, and by the continual labor of the numerous population which 
inhabited the thirty-three small towns mentioned by Pliny ;^^ but 
with their disappearance it gradually passed into the condition of a 
pestilential morass. Before, however, the district had sunk into this 
state, the Censor, Appius Claudius, in 312 B. C, constructed through 
the midst of it the road from Rome to Capua, which bears his name, 
and the canal along which is believed to have been made by the 
Consul M. Cornelius Cethegus in 160 B. C. Julius Caesar formed the 
project of draining these marshes, but it was never carried out, 
though while the Roman Empire lasted the Appian Way was fre- 
quently restored and was again reconstructed under Theodoric, King 

55Tavanti, Giov. Battista, "Fasti del S. P. Pio VI./' Italia, 1804, L, p. 165; 
II., pp. 12, 13. 

56Ren§ de la BlanchSre, "Un chapitre d'histoire pontine. Memoires 
prSsentes d, I'Acaddmie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres," Paris, 1893, 
tome X. 

Pius VI. and the French Revolution, 237 

of the Ostrogoths (454-526). During the Middle Ages, an epoch 
of continual warfare, no measures could be taken to check the 
devastation caused by the inundations of the rivers descending from 
the Volscian Mountains, and though Leo X. and Sixtus V. made 
some attempts at reclamation and caused two canals to be dug, and 
plans for the same purpose were drawn up under the reigns of 
Benedict XIV., Clement XIII. and Clement XIV., they were attended 
with no very efficacious results. When in 1777 Pius VI. resolved 
to begin his colossal undertaking the Appian Way was in some places 
broken and sunk in the swamp, in others overflowed by torrents 
which could find no outlet through the ruined bridges and which 
kept a great portion of the land continually submerged. At that 
date 48,469 acres of the Pontine Marshes were under water all the 
year round, while in the district comprising the basins of the river 
which flow into them, 26,444 acres were inundated during part of 
the year and 248,831 acres were susceptible of being much improved 
by their neighborhood to the drainage works.^^ 

The plans for the drainage of the Pontine Marshes were made by 
a Bolognese engineer, Gaetano Rapini, and in December, 1777, 3,500 
men were set to work. In 1784 the Appian Way had been rebuilt 
considerably above its original level, the canal running alongside 
of it had been reopened, and before many years had elapsed the 
annual produce of the reclaimed lands amounted to 97,200 bushels 
of corn and 194,000 of maize.^^ In 1792 the works had already cost 
8,677,611 francs ($1,621,983), and though from time to time much 
damage was occasioned by inundations, the works were continued 
until 1796, and would have received further development if they 
had not been stopped by the invasion of the French revolutionary 

At the time of the election of Pius VI. Tanucci was still in power 
and still continued to seize every opportunity of manifesting his 
animosity towards the Holy See. It was the year of the Jubilee, 
and the usual indulgence had been granted to those who should 
visit, while it lasted, the four principal churches of Rome ; but with 
the intention probably of expressing his desire of completely separat- 
ing the Kingdom of Naples from Rome, Tanucci persuaded the 
King to publish an edict to the effect that to obtain these spiritual 
graces it would be quite enough to visit the four principal churches 
of Naples.^» He then informed the Holy Father that since he re- 
fused to confer on Mgr. Filangieri, the Archbishop of Naples, the 

67 De Prony, "Description Hydrographique et Historique des Marais 
Pontins," Paris, 1822, p. 94. 

58 iMd, p. 230. 

59 Henrion, op. cit., xi., p. 362. 

238 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

dignity of Cardinal, which had been usually held by his predecessors, 
the King would establish in his States a body of clergy clothed in 
red like the Cardinals. The threat was never carried out, but the 
Papal Nuncio at Naples was fully justified in stating in a letter to 
Rome, in September, 1776 : "The principle which rules here is that 
the King's legislative authority extends also to ecclesiastical mat- 

Tanucci's domination was, however, drawing to its close. During 
his long tenure of office he had so persistently made war on the liber- 
ties and possessions of the Church, treating both the secular and 
regular clergy as dangerous enemies of the State, who should be 
deprived of all influence and wealth, that he had taken no notice of 
the progress made by Freemasonry, which had been introduced into 
Naples probably about 1745 (for the exact date is uncertain), had 
spread rapidly in all parts of the kingdom in a few years and 
reckoned many priests and nobles in its lodges. It was only in 1751, 
when Pope Benedict XIV. had renewed the censures pronounced 
against Freemasonry by Clement XII. in 1738, that Charles VII. 
published an edict by which the association was suppressed and his 
subjects forbidden to form part of it. Its head at Naples, Don 
Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of San Severo, the first Italian who was 
Grand Master, promised to abandon it, but the edict remained a dead 
letter and the lodges continued to multiply and to meet secretly, dif- 
fusing without restraint their anti-Christian and anti-monarchical 
doctrines, while monasteries were being suppressed, religious orders 
plundered and the Jesuits especially made the victims of a relentless 
persecution.®^ It was only in April, 1775, that King Ferdinand 
seems to have had his attention called to the matter by a general 
officer and informed his father that a number of persons of high 
rank at his court were Freemasons, and that the country was full 
of them ; but when Charles III. expressed the desire that they should 
be suppressed he found that the Queen's influence presented an 
insurmountable obstacle. 

Maria Carolina had come from a court where the Freemasons 
had been longer in power and more openly than in Naples ; "she had 
grown up in an atmosphere of Freemasonry."^^ Her brother, the 
Emperor Joseph II., is suspected of having been a Freemason, and 
her father, Duke Francis of Lorraine, the husband of the Empress 
Maria Teresa, was enrolled among them. King Ferdinand's corre- 
spondence with Charles III. is full of piteous complaints of his wife's 
tyrannical conduct towards him on account of his desire to obey his 

60 Rinieri, op. cit., Introduzione, p. Ivii. 
eiRinieri, op. cit., p. 395. 
62 Rinieri, op. cit., p. 386. 

Pius VI. and the French Revolution. 239 

father ; she had found him in tears caused by the reproaches in his 
father's letters, and had told him contemptuously not to mind them ; 
she protected the Freemasons and assisted at their banquets ; she had 
even asked him to become a Freemason, but he had always refused ; 
she was instigated in her acts by the Court of Vienna, and she always 
insisted on reading his letters, but would never allow him to read 

At last Tanucci, who was extremely jealous of his authority and 
who saw that the Freemasons, among whom were a large number 
of members of the aristocracy, were helping the Queen to acquire 
supreme power at the court, declared war against the sect, and by a 
royal edict published in September, 1775, the Freemasons were 
denounced as guilty of high treason and their meetings prohibited; 
but, though the principal members ostensibly submitted and promised 
to abandon the association, the lodges still continued to assemble, 
though in greater secrecy than before. By Tanucci's orders a police 
magistrate named Gaetano Pallante then surprised, in March, 1776, 
a lodge while it was engaged in the reception of a candidate at a 
meeting which had been convoked by spies in his pay, and the 
prisoners were sent for trial before the "Giunta di Stato/' a court for 
the trial of crimes against the State. Intrigues were at once set on 
foot to obtain the acquittal of the accused. Petitions were sent to 
the Queen from all sides, powerful personages sought to intimidate 
the judges, the fall of Tanucci was decided, and Ferdinand writing 
to his father in June, 1776, evidently at the Queen's suggestion, 
asked to be allowed to dismiss the minister, as his great age haa 
rendered him incapable of administering the affairs of the kingdom. 
Charles III. refused to accede to this request, though he was not 
aware that its object was to save the Freemasons; but on October 
25, 1776, Tanucci was informed by a note from the King that he 
had ceased to exercise his functions.^^ He was, however, allowed 
to remain in charge of the trial of the Freemasons, but the Giunta 
now took the defense of the accused. The meeting at which they 
had been arrested was not, it was said, meant to be a serious matter ; 
it was a mere jest, and had been convoked at the instigation of 
Pallante, who had promised immunity to his spies. All proceedings 
against the prisoners were, therefore, quashed; they were declared 
not guilty and were set free, while Pallante was made to appear the 
real culprit and was banished to thirty miles from the city of Naples. 
The health of Maria Carolina, the protectress of the Freemasons, 
was drunk at Masonic banquets throughout France, Italy and Ger- 
many, and a medal was struck in commem oration of the event ;«* but 

«3 Binieri, op. cit., p. 410. 
64 Rinieri, op. cit., p. 424. 

240 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Tanucci had to submit in silence to his defeat lest he should draw 
down the Queen's anger upon himself, for he had amassed great 
wealth, and he feared for his possessions. His successor as Prime 
Minister was the Marquis de la Sambuca, a Sicilian nobleman who 
had been Ambassador at Vienna; and under his administration the 
same irritating policy of interference in every detail of ecclesiastical 
discipline was carried to even greater lengths than previously, and 
constituted one of the most painful trials to which Pius VI, was 

DoNAT Sampson. 

London, England. 


TO THE majority of educated Americans the name Guadalupe 
Hidalgo is familiar as the place where the treaty which 
closed the war with Mexico was signed in 1848. For 
Catholics the suburb of the Mexican capital has a higher interest 
of a kind distinct from politics. It is tlie seat of the oldest and most 
remarkable shrine and pilgrimage in the New World, comparable 
indeed in many respects with those of Loretto, Assisi and Mount 
Alvernia. The city itself is insignificant, and counts only some six 
or seven thousand inhabitants, but on the patronal festival, the 12th 
of December, which is also that of the Mexican nation, the crowd 
of pilgrims and visitors often reaches a quarter of a million. These 
conditions have been scarcely changed during three centuries, as 
the Mexican annals tell us. In 1625 Guadalupe was credited with 
five thousand inhabitants, and long before that time it was noted as 
a place to which "great crowds came with special devotion to ven- 
erate the sacred picture there." The town is scarcely two miles 
from the capital, with which it is connected by a railroad since 1857. 
The service is now by horse cars, and Guadalupe is really a part 
of the City of Mexico, though with a municipality of its own. 

The site is not attractive of residents in itself, though picturesque. 
It is at the foot of a rocky hill, the sides of which are dotted with 
thorny cactus and "Spanish bayonets," and beyond which a range of 
arid mountains rises towards the north. The shallow Lake of 
Texcoco to the east, and two streams, which in the rainy season 
become torrents, to the west, give natural limits that cannot be 
passed to the town's extension. The soil around is mostly alkaline 
and barren, and the wells mineral in character, and though medicinal. 

Our Lady of Guadalupe. 24I 

imfit for common use. These conditions sufficiently account for 
the absence of any large population at Guadalupe, but the number 
and importance of the buildings there is in strange contrast to the 
fewness of inhabitants. Water is brought nearly three leagues for 
domestic use on a noble aqueduct of twenty-three hundred arches 
in masonry. The road to Mexico is bordered with chapels dedicated 
to the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, solidly built in the same ma- 
terial. The houses are also solidly built and show marks of antiquity 
in their construction sufficient to indicate that Guadalupe is not a 
place of yesterday. The central point of the town, architecturally, 
is the great group of the basilica and collegiate buildings connected 
with it. They are in the classic style of architecture with a wide 
plaza around the group and the mountain immediately behind their 
enclosure. The grouping is somewhat like that of a Californian 
mission. The basilica stands on the west side with towers at its 
four angles and a dome of Spanish fashion over its centre. A 
long and lofty building runs almost in a line with the front of the 
basilica towards the east, and a dome in its centre indicates the exist- 
ence of a second church there in other days. A plainer churchy 
without a dome, stands away back at the corner of the square formed 
by the basilica with the conventual buildings. Still further away 
in the same direction another dome indicates the place of another 
church. The mountain behind is crowned by a fifth domed structure, 
the ascent to which is marked by massive walls in masonry, beyond 
which a curious monument raises itself high in the air. It is the 
imitation in stone of a ship's mast with all sail set, and was the 
votive offering of a crew that attributed its preservation in shipwreck 
to the protection of Our Lady of Guadalupe long years ago. 

The whole atmosphere of the town is, if we may so say it, a 
religious one. Masses are constantly being celebrated all through 
morning hours in the various churches, the basilica, that of the 
Indians, as the building adjoining the enclosure is styled, the sanctu- 
ary on the hill and that of the Well, the other two domed chapels. 
The Church of the Hill is quite modern, having been rebuilt in 1882, 
and the basilica seems constantly receiving repairs or additions. It 
is a noble building, both inside and outside. Its length is somewhat 
over two hundred feet, its width about a hundred and twenty, divided 
into nave and side aisles. The floors are in Mosaic of hardwoods, 
the lining of the walls marbles of various colors. Several fine oil 
paintings of recent execution decorate the interior. The altar of 
the miraculous picture is of elaborate workmanship as well as ma- 
terials. The peculiar Spanish instinct for using the most costly 
material in the service of religion finds full expansion here. The 
inner frame of Our Lady's picture above the high altar is of pure 

242 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

gold, the outer one of massive silver, as are many of the lamps and 
other furniture. The question of Judas, "Could not this ointment 
be sold for three hundred denarii and its price given to the poor?" 
is not asked by poor or rich in Mexico. "Is anything too good for 
Our Lady's service ?" is the general remark of all classes when ques- 
tioned on the subject by strangers of a more practical turn of mind, 
who are only lavish on public libraries, halls of fame and State 

The picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe itself is indeed the central 
fact in the existence of all these churches, as well as of the special 
devotion of the Mexican people to the Mother of God. It is always 
open to the public view in its place above the high altar, and its 
occasional removal to other places have been carried out with a 
solemnity and reverence to which it is hard to find comparison else- 
where. Viewed as a picture, it is singularly beautiful, yet it belongs 
to no school of art. There is nothing resembling it in the works of 
the European schools except so far as it has been copied since its 
own appearance. The cloth on which it is impressed is a coarse 
fabric like sackcloth and about five and a half feet by forty inches 
in dimensions. The figure of Our Lady is nearly four feet in height 
and may be called life size. She stands on a crescent moon with the 
hands joined on the breast and the head slightly inclined forwards. 
The hands and features are exquisitely modeled and of a flesh 
tint that may be called Eastern, but is neither Spanish nor Indian. 
The flowing robe of scarlets and purples in varying shades is like 
that, it is said, of the Mexican Indian women of rank. It is covered 
with flower patterns of conventional rather than realistic form, 
lightly lined with gold. The outer cloak is blue, shading towards 
green, and is surrounded by gold rays, beyond which is a border 
of small white clouds. On the head is a golden crown of conven- 
tional form, and an angel supports the moon below, with wings out- 
stretched and only the upper part of the body shown above the 
clouds. The effect of the whole is as if the figure were standing 
before the sun, whose rays are visible all around it. The conception 
and execution have absolutely nothing in common with either the 
Spanish or Indian pictures used at the time when it was given to 
Lumarraga or to any Mexican school during the sixteenth century 
at least. 

The materials used to produce the colors in the picture and their 
mode of application are facts for which science down to the present 
day fails to account. It has been submitted to commissions of artists 
and scientists more than once, notably in 1666 and 1794. The state- 
ments of all were that there was no sign whatever of lead or other 
priming on the cloth, and further that without such it is impossible 

Our Lady of Guadalupe. 243 

to paint upon it. The fabric is woven from fibres of the wild palm 
known in Mexico as izcotl, and used by the poorer class as a dress 
material. It is too porous to receive color on its surface with any 
regularity, and the weaving is so coarse that the light can be seen 
distinctly through. The back of the cloth of the picture is quite 
plain and shows no trace of other tint than its own. It is also rough 
in texture, while the front is smoothed by some means unknown to 
art. The colors seem incorporated directly into the material as 
images of objects are sometimes impressed on others by electric dis- 
charges or temporarily by a magic lantern. The picture further 
seems in execution as if partly done in oil, partly in water color, 
pastels and distemper besides the gold. No painter so far has found 
the secret of uniting these different processes in a congruous and 
perfect composition, as that of Guadalupe is beyond question. 

The gold used so freely in the crown, drapery and sun rays is 
still more inexplicable according to the testimony of the artists who 
have examined it. One of them, Cabrera, stated that at first sight 
he believed it gold in fine powder which could be blown off with the 
breath. He found, however, that it was solidly fixed in the body of 
the fibres, though at first sight suggesting comparison with the 
metallic powder on the wings of a butterfly. The same appearance 
can be noted to-day, two centuries since Cabrera made his examina- 

The durability of both tints and the material under them is indeed 
as inexplicable by any modern science as their origin. This picture 
on its ayate canvas has been nearly four centuries in its present 
place, exposed to the effects of sun and air, the smoke of thousands 
of lamps burning around it and the alterations of temperature of a 
tropical climate, alternately dry and damp in excess. It was for 
more than a hundred years without even the protection of glass, and 
its existence goes back to the lifetime of Michelangelo and Titian. 
All familiar with old pictures know how the masterpieces of art of 
human origin have, without exception, suffered fading and obscura- 
tion from the passage of time, but this figure and its surroundings 
show no sign of discoloration. Decay's effacing fingers have been 
powerless on it. Its guardians unanimously assert that neither dust 
nor soot ever settles on its surface, though they do in abundance 
on the glass, even internally, and the frame. The countless moths, 
ants and other insect destroyers so common in Mexico have never 
touched its frail fibres. The ayate cloth is as perishable in its own 
nature as it is common. Colors of all other kinds fade more rapidly 
in Guadalupe than in any European country, owing to its changes of 
temperature and the clouds of alkaline dust which fill the air in the 
dry season. Oil, distemper and gilding alike are speedily worn 

244 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

away in the other pictures of the various churches within a few 
years. A special case is recorded of a copy of the miraculous 
picture made with special care by a celebrated Spanish painter, 
Bartolache, in 1789. He had a canvas prepared from the same 
material as that of the miraculous picture and treated with all 
mechanical methods known to him to fit it for artist's use. The 
copy was a fine one, though it failed to give the peculiarities of the 
original in the mingled appearance of oil, water and pastel colors. 
Senor Bartolache's copy was placed in the Church of the Well near 
by, but within seven years its colors had so changed that it was 
removed to the sacristy, where it perished completely within a few 
more years. The blues had become dirty greens, the other tints ash 
color and even mouldy. What the tints of the original are to-day 
can be seen by any observer. That it has received no aid from the 
retoucher is equally patent both from artists' inspection and from the 
records of the sanctuary, not to mention the publicity which would 
necessarily attend any interference with so sacred an object. 

The authorship, the coloring and the durability of the picture of 
Guadalupe are thus all three beyond explanation by human science 
of the twentieth century, as by that of the four preceding it. Yet 
they are facts patent to the senses and confirmed by the testimony 
of fifteen generations of observers of all classes, friendly or hostile. 
History offers an explanation based on a supernatural manifestation 
in the past clearly told in detail. It is accepted with full confidence 
by the whole population familiar with it, both as reasonable in itself 
and as in accordance with Catholic faith. Clergy and laity, rich 
and poor, Spanish Creoles and Indians of native race agree in this 
acceptance. They further believe without doubt that a supernatural 
grace for the diffusion of spiritual and temporal blessings of God 
among men attaches to the picture as well as its marvelous physical 
properties. That belief finds and has found through three centuries 
practical expression in public acts. The Holy Picture of Guadalupe 
was carried from its shrine to the Cathedral of Mexico in solemn 
procession by joint action of the chapter, Archbishop and Town 
Council in 1629 as a protection against the sudden and prolonged 
rising of the waters of the adjoining lakes, which then threatened 
to permanently occupy the site of the city. Their recession after 
five years was attributed without hesitation to the influence of the 
Blessed Virgin in connection with the reverence shown her image. 
A similar public function was adopted by Church and State authori- 
ties in 1757 on occasion of an epidemic, and its cessation within a few 
days was confidently ascribed to the same influence. Of supernatural 
favors to individuals received at the shrine of Guadalupe the list is 
so like the history of Lourdes or St. Anne of Beaupre that we may 

Our Lady of Guadalupe. 245 

be dispensed from further illustration. In both public and individual 
cases the influence attributed to the picture itself by Mexican Cath- 
olics is the same as that which the converts of St. Paul believed to 
attach to the handkerchiefs and cloths which touched the body of 
the Apostle. It is a grace united to particular material objects by 
the Divine Will, and to be profited of in that form by believing 
Christians without command of so profiting. That grace of a super- 
natural kind can be and often is united by God's dispensation to 
material objects is a doctrine which Catholics must receive as part 
of their faith. To what objects it is so united in particular cases 
is left to the individual reason's assent, subject to the Church's 
authority should it see fit to pronounce a judgment in the matter. 

The Mexican people almost unanimously believe that the picture 
of Guadalupe is supernatural and founds its assent both on its in- 
trinsic qualities and the account of its origin handed down by history. 
The one confirms the other, and the duration of the belief during 
nearly four centuries adds additional strength to the motives of 
belief. It is a test alike sanctioned by Cicero and Gamaliel that time 
destroys false beliefs and confirms true ones. The account is that 
in December, 1531, an Indian convert while going from his home 
at a neighboring village to attend Mass and instructions in Mexico 
was arrested at the rocky peak overlooking the present town by 
celestial music. He climbed the peak to seek its source, and there 
was met by a lady of heavenly beauty, who addressed him affection- 
ately and bade him go to the Bishop and tell him she desired a shrine 
built in her honor at that place. The Indian, Juan Diego, obeyed 
and called at the residence of Bishop Lumarraga with the message. 
The Bishop received him kindly, but doubted the value of his 
message, and told Juan Diego to return another day, when he would 
have more time to hear his story. 

The Indian returned directly to the rock where the lady had first 
spoken to him and found her there again. He told the ill success 
of his visit and asked that she send some person of rank to accom- 
plish her design. The lady bade him return the next day to the 
Bishop, repeat to him her first message, and further that she who 
sent was the ever Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God. He followed 
her command faithfully, and with much difficulty got admission. 
Bishop Lumarraga heard him with more attention, but doubted the 
accuracy of his story. He dismissed Juan Diego with the remark: 
'Tf she wishes to obtain what she desires, more than words are 
needed. Some sign is necessary to let me know that she who sends 
is indeed the Queen of Heaven." With this answer Juan Diego 
departed, profnising to ask the needed sign from the lady. 

He could not go to the rock the following day on account of the 

.246 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

sudden and severe illness of an uncle, Juan Bernardino. He was 
employed finding him a medical attendant the next day, and early 
the following- morning set out to Mexico to bring one of the Fran- 
ciscans to his assistance. In his anxiety to get the priest at once 
he decided not to mount the rock where the vision had appeared to 
him on the two former occasions, but as he passed near its base the 
same lady met him. Juan Diego prostrated himself before her and 
told with simplicity that he was going to seek a priest for his dying 
relative, but when that was accomplished he would return the next 
day to tell her the result of her message. She heard him graciously, 
assured him that his uncle had already recovered, and promised him- 
self her own protection. The Indian then told the message of 
Lumarraga. The lady bade him climb the peak where she had first 
spoken to him and gather the flowers he would find there as the 
needed token of her will. Juan Diego obeyed and found the rocks 
covered with beautiful flowers of European kinds, roses and lilies 
being prominent. He gathered a quantity of them and carried them 
to the lady in the fold of the tilma or blanket which he wore in native 
fashion over his blouse. She arranged them with her own hands 
in that receptacle and told the messenger to fold the tilma over them 
and carry them to the Bishop as her sign that she desired a temple 
built on the place in her honor. She further charged him not on any 
account to open his blanket to view until he should meet the Bishop 

Juan Diego carried out her instructions. He had difficulty in get- 
ting admission from the porters, who even tried to take some of the 
flowers from him, but found they could not detach them. When at 
last he got audience with Lumarraga he told his message and opened 
his tilma to shake the flowers on the floor. As he did so the picture 
was seen engraved on the front of the garment. The Bishop and 
all present were alike astounded and convinced of the Indian's truth- 
fulness. The former reverently removed the tilma from the shoul- 
ders of the native and carried it to his oratory. The next day he 
-sent sorpe of his household with him to the cabin where Juan 
Bernardino had been left ill. They found him perfectly recovered, 
and he, too, told how at the time when Juan Diego was stopped 
by the lady on his road she had appeared to himself, healed him and 
bade him tell the Bishop that the name of the picture should be 
Holy Mary of Guadalupe. They brought Juan Bernardino to the 
Bishop, before whom he repeated his statement on oath. The 
Bishop then removed the picture to the pro-Cathedral of Mexico, 
where it was exposed to public devotion until a chapel could be built 
on the spot indicated by Juan Diego as the place of his last meeting 
with the Blessed Virgin. When that was completed the miraculous 

Our Lady of Guadalupe. 2rXj 

picture was carried to it and became the centre of devotion to the 
population, native and Spanish. 

Such in summary are the facts told in connection with the origin 
of the picture. That they are possible in the supernatural order 
will not be questioned by any Catholic. The authority of the two 
Indian messengers who alone received the favor of the four appari- 
tions must rest for others as for Lumarraga on the miraculous char- 
acter of the material proofs they brought, and of which the principal 
still remains. The picture and the explanation of its origin were 
given through the same hand, and the first confirms faith for the 
second. Of supernatural facts the only judge is the supernatural 
authority of the Church itself. Its verdict on those of Guadalupe 
was rendered first by the Bishop of Mexico and his successors and 
confirmed more than two hundred years later by the Sovereign 
Pontiff Benedict XIV. and since by Leo XIII. 

The verbal statements for which credence was asked in connection 
with the picture are extremely few. They are only that a super- 
natural personage who declared herself to be the Mother of God 
appeared to two Indians of humble position and told them she 
desired a church built in her honor on a particular site. She added 
a name by which it was to be called and promised personal favor 
in life to one of the messengers, while she healed the other of an 
illness. The messenger apparently testified that the visible picture 
which he brought was a faithful representation of her whom he 
had seen, but even this is not set down in the account given. No 
reason for the erection of the church was intimated beyond the will 
of the Blessed Virgin. No promise attached to it beyond personal 
protection to the messenger. All the rest was left to the inferences 
that might be drawn by reason under guidance of faith from the 
material token from heaven. What those inferences ought to be 
history helps to ascertain in its own course of events. The fulfillment 
of the promises made to Juan Diego personally is a secondary fact 
of the event on which subsequent history can throw light. It is 
recorded by tradition alone, but in itself has nothing marvelous. It 
is simply that the Indian led a very good life for seventeen years 
after the event; that he gave over his cottage and plantation to a 
relative and lived alone in a cabin near the first shrine, in which he 
was buried ; that he was venerated by the Indians ; that he was known 
as the Pilgrim among them from his fondness for solitude; that he 
received Communion by special permission three times a week, and 
that his portrait was preserved on the wall of his cabin from shortly 
after his death are about all that is told. The universal belief of 
the Indians at the time that such a life was itself a fulfillment of the 
promise of heavenly favor is also recorded. It is itself a strange 

248 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

evidence of the change of ideas and hopes among the Aztec war- 
riors and former cannibals which followed the building of the 
sanctuary at Tepeyacac demanded by Our Lady through Juan Diego. 
The name itself of Guadalupe is unaccountable for on any historic 
grounds outside the message to the Indian. Why the Blessed Virgin 
chose the name no explanation was given nor so far has any been 
attempted by Catholic devotion. That it was her choice is held with- 
out doubt, and that there is a reason for that choice, but what the 
reason may be has not yet appeared. The analogy with the Apoca- 
lypse in the Sacred Scriptures suggests itself in this connection as 
well as the words of Our Lord to His Apostles, "What I now do 
you know not now% but you shall know hereafter." The name 
Guadalupe was unknown to the race to which Juan Diego belonged, 
nor is it connected with Bishop Lumarraga's native place. There 
is indeed a sanctuary of the Blessed Virgin of that name in Spain, 
but it is situated in Estramadura, far from the Basque birthplace of 
the Bishop. It does not appear that the Spanish Guadalupe was 
much known to any of the conquistadores of Mexico, though the 
statue of Our Lady and the Divine Child there was an object of 
veneration and pilgrimage before the discovery of America. Further 
it has no resemblance whatever to the Mexican picture, which has 
always been held to typify the Immaculate Conception, not the Divine 
Maternity. The Mexican name Tepeyacac continued to be given 
the town till 1563, though the designation of Our Lady of Guadalupe 
applied to the picture is mentioned by Bernal Diaz, the companion of 
Cortez. Its origin as told in the oldest account of the apparitions 
is not unlike the account given by Bernadette at Lourdes of the 
Lady who called herself "The Immaculate Conception." The Lady 
who sent Juan Diego with the picture to Lumarraga also visited and 
healed his uncle, Bernardino. "She told him to publish what he had 
seen and how he got back his health, and that the most holy picture 
was to be called Holy Mary of Guadalupe." So it is called ever 

Don Miguel Canchez, a priest of the Oratory, was the first to print 
a history of the apparitions, and it bears date 1648. Another, in 
Mexican, drawn from documents, some of them apparently cotempo- 
raneous with the apparitions, was printed the following year by 
Father Lasso de la Vega, a chaplain of the shrine and familiar with 
its history and the native language. It is from the latter that the 
summary just given has been condensed. De la Vega only edited 
the work, and the authorship is usually given to Juan Valenano, an 
Indian magistrate nearly cotemporary with Juan Diego and Lumar- 
raga. That the latter left acts of the events in the Cathedral arch- 
ives which were in existence between 1602 and 1606 was attested 

Our Lady of Guadalupe. 249 

on authority of the dean of the chapter, quoted by Sanchez, but 
they had since been lost. Printing was not common in Mexico at 
the time. The history of Bernal Diaz, though completed in 1568, 
was only printed in 1621. That the Mexican documents relating to 
the apparitions, of which ten are enumerated as well known before 
de la Vega's publication, is not to be wondered at. Father Becerra 
Tanco, also an Oratorian, published a history of the miraculous 
origin of the sanctuary in 1666, which was reproduced in Madrid 
and Seville. It was in connection with an application to the Holy 
See for a special office of Our Lady of Guadalupe and with a formal 
investigation of the existing traditions and their evidence which is 
of the highest weight in the history of Guadalupe. Fathers Sanchez 
and Tanco both presented themselves before the Commission of 
Inquiry and testified on oath that they had written only what they 
had gathered from statements of old persons of good credit who 
stated the tradition as they wrote it. Father Tanco added that he 
had seen and examined the documents and pictures of the Indians 
recording the miracle and had heard the chant in which the facts 
were embodied at the time of its occurrence, according to old Aztec 
use. He added that his history was a literal translation from those 
Mexican documents and pictures. 

Twenty-one witnesses were examined at this time on all the points 
of the traditional history, and their evidence was strikingly similar. 
Eight natives of the village of Juan Diego and his uncle were among 
them. Two were of a hundred years, one a hundred and ten and 
one a hundred and fifteen. No less than ten witnesses deposed to 
the facts as related to them by actual acquaintances of Juan Diego 
personally. Eleven of the twenty-one were priests, eight members 
of different religious orders and all familiar with the shrine and the 
opinions of the Church on the facts as well as the native traditions. 
The whole number substantially repeated the same account of the 
apparitions and the later life and character of the Indian messenger. 
The accuracy of memory in the older witnesses was carefully tested 
by interrogations on other events of legal record and the condition 
and materials of the old church long disappeared. None of them 
failed in those tests. It was a mass of evidence which would decide 
any court in a matter of doubted title. It was sufficient for 
the judgment of so strict a critic as Benedict XIV. when sub- 
mitted to him. Tradition of such a quality is certainly historical 

The existence and development of the cult cf the sacred picture, 
with the approbation of the successive Bishops of Mexico, is further 
attested by secular history. Bernal Diaz, whose long life in America 
included the career of Bishop Lumarraga, mentions in his history 

250 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

the "Shrine of Guadalupe, which stands in Tepeaquilla, where 
Sandoval had his quarters when we captured Mexico," and adds: 
''See what miracles have been worked and are worked there." It 
may be observed that the old soldier historian was anything but 
credulous. In the introduction to his history he denounces sar- 
castically the sham prodigies which some Spanish writers beyond 
the seas had seen fit to invent in connection with the campaign of 
Cortez. Archbishop Montufar in 1563 donated a thousand dollars 
to repairs of the Chapel of Guadalupe. The Viceroy Erinquez in 
1575 informed Philip II. that a confraternity had been founded at 
Guadalupe in consequence of the miraculous cure of a herdsman some 
years earlier. It numbered in his time four hundred members and 
two priests were stationed there. The letter of the Viceroy, it may 
be added, indicated little personal interest in the facts and objected 
to having a monastery founded near it, as desired by several parties 
in Mexico. 

The historian Sahagun, who wrote at the same time and had been 
a resident of Mexico since 1529, referred to the sanctuary of Guada- 
lupe in terms which show its widespread popularity. They further 
indicate a certain jealousy of the natives that implies they were the 
chief element in its frequenters even with the approbation given it 
by the Church authorities. After mentioning the former existence 
of a pagan temple at Tepeyacac, where the Aztec divinity known 
as "Mother of the Gods" had been worshiped under the name of 
Tonantzin, he wrote that the natives applied the same term to Our 
Lady "now that the Church of Guadalupe was founded." For him- 
self, Sahagun disapproved of the custom, as it might cover some 
worship of the old deity. He added : "The natives come from very 
far to visit this shrine, as they did to the old one." He thought 
their devotion open to suspicion on that account, as "there were 
many churches of Our Lady which they did not go to, while they 
came from distant parts to this one." 

The writer's scruples seem excessive, as the Aztec word complained 
of meant simply Our Lady, not an objectionable one to Catholic 
ears. His doubts about the sincerity of the Indian worshipers in 
the faith was not warranted by subsequent history. They prove at 
all events the widespread popularity which the devotion to the sacred 
picture had gained within a few years. Cisneros, another historian 
of the same century, calls Guadalupe "the oldest sanctuary in Mexico. 
It is a picture highly venerated and widely visited, which works and 
has worked many miracles from a time almost that when the land 
was won." 

The extraordinary extension of the Catholic religion among the 
Mexican natives in the twenty years following 1531 may account 

Our Lady of Guadalupe. 251 

both for Sahagun's suspicions and in a degree for an object of the 
Blessed Virgin's appearance. In 1540 the Franciscan Motolinia and 
another priest baptized fourteen thousand two hundred persons in 
five days, and in 1548 more than four hundred thousand Indians 
received Confirmation. The Franciscans alone before that year had 
registered six millions of baptisms. Such an acceptance of the faith 
by any race was unheard of in history, and learned men like Sahagun 
might well feel bewildered and doubt its reality. Though not 
directly connected by any cotemporary with the revelation at Guada- 
lupe, the almost simultaneous conversion of the Aztec race and its 
devotion to the miraculous picture are clearly told. It seems no 
presumption to attribute the former to the latter in a very large 
degree. The material temple erected by Lumarraga in compliance 
with the request of the Queen of Heaven was a low oratory of adobe 
forty-two feet square without lime or mortar. Such was the unani- 
mous evidence of the witnesses of 1666. Humanly speaking, it 
seemed altogether an inadequate object for a supernatural interposi- 
tion. The conversion of many millions of souls supplies an explana- 
tion at least congruous with the facts. 

Whether the Europeans stood somewhat aloof from the Indian 
shrine in the earlier years or not, they fully joined in venerating it 
before the close of the century. A Spanish nobleman. Villa Seca, 
built a hospital at Guadalupe in 1566. The Viceroy, Luis Velasco, 
spent a night there at his second coming to Mexico in 1589, as did 
his successor six years afterwards. The development of the cult 
among all classes was specially shown at the inundation of 1629, 
but thirty years earlier the Chapter of Mexico took on itself the task 
of replacing the chapel of Lumarraga by a stately stone church. Its 
foundation was laid in 1609 and it was completed and consecrated in 
1622. It was on the site of the present basilica, and its cost, esti- 
mated at fifty thousand dollars, made up by public offerings from all 
classes. Ten years afterwards a house of reception for visitors was 

The fame of the sanctuary spread widely, not only in Mexico, but 
also in Spain, after the inundations of 1629-34. Father de la Vega, 
the publisher of the first printed Mexican history, built a second 
church between the sites of the first chapel and the cottage of Juan 
Diego. They had both fallen to ruin, and Father Lasso rebuilt on 
their sites in stone. The first is the sacristy, the second the baptistery 
of the existing "Church of the Indians." It was enlarged subse- 
quently to its present dimensions, about ninety feet by twenty-six in 
width. Father de la Vega also enclosed with a building the well 
near the church, which the natives regarded as having healing prop- 
erties, though it is not mentioned in the account of the apparition. 

252 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

This building has since been replaced by a very beautiful circular 
chapel known as the ^'Church of the Well." 

The Spanish benefactors, Christobalde Aguirre and Dona Teresa 
Peregrina, added a fourth to the sanctuaries of Guadalupe in 1660 
by building a chapel on the summit of the hill where the Lady first 
appeared and the flowers sprang up for Juan Diego. It was rebuilt 
in masonry forty-five years afterwards and is known as the "Church 
of the Hill." The foundation of the three secondary sanctuaries was 
thus almost cotemporary with the publication of the first account of 
the picture and apparitions in Spanish. The cult made progress 
slowly, but with ever increasing vigor. 

A notable proof of it was given in 1666, when the chapters of the 
Dioceses of Mexico and Puebla ordered the solemn investigation of 
the history of the apparition already mentioned. It was on petition 
of one of the canons. Father Francisco Siles, and on its completion 
the chapters and the Viceroy applied to the Holy See for recognition 
of the miraculous events. They asked that the 12th of December 
should be declared a holy day through Mexico and a special office 
granted for it. The application was sent to Rome by an agent, but 
his death and that of Father Siles stopped further prosecution of the 
project at the time. The Mexican devotion to Guadalupe, however, 
continued to grow, and quite a number of works were published in 
connection with it during the following generation. The church of 
1609 was found too small, and in 1695 a far more magnificent build- 
ing was begun to replace it. The first church was demolished and 
the picture transferred for the time to the "Church of the Indians." 
Two citizens gave eighty thousand dollars towards the work, and 
the entire cost was reckoned at nearly half a million, all made up by 
spontaneous offerings. The new church was dedicated in 1709, in 
the reign of Philip V. and during the war of the Spanish succession. 
The wealth of decoration lavished on its interior was wonderful. 
The reliquary of the picture was of solid silver weighing over sixteen 
hundred pounds and elaborately worked. Its cost alone was nearly 
eighty thousand dollars. The gifts offered subsequently at the 
shrine were reckoned in 1792 as weighing thirteen thousand marks, 
or nearly seven thousand pounds of silver, in the form of lamps, 
frames, railings and balustrades. 

A. virulent epidemic, which broke out in Tacuba in 1736 and spread 
death through the capital the following spring, caused a further 
development of the veneration for the miraculous picture. The 
citizens and the Audiencia begged the Archbishop to place the city, 
by a public solemn act, under the special protection of Our Lady of 
Guadalupe as patroness. Archbishop Vizarron granted the request, 
and on the 26th of May, 1737, the population, after a long function 

Our Lady of Guadalupe. 253 

and procession, made a solemn profession of fidelity to the Blessed 
Virgin under her title of Guadalupe. The epidemic, it is stated, at 
once slackened in violence and disappeared within a few days. The 
impression made by the occurrence through Mexico was so strong 
that during the following few years every diocese followed the ex- 
ample of the capital and placed itself by public acts under the patron- 
age of Our Lady of Guadalupe. She was acclaimed as special pro- 
tector of Mexico on the 12th of December, 1747, and the Town 
Council of the capital sent a commission to Rome to obtain confirma- 
tion of the patronage and cult from the Congregation of Rites and 
the establishment of the 12th of December as a national holiday. 

The petition, after long investigation, was granted by Benedict 
XIV. in 1754, and thus the shrine of Guadalupe received final 
recognition from the Head of the Church two hundred and twenty 
years after the approbation of Lumarraga as Bishop of Mexico. 
The whole course of events was in keeping with the established 
practice of the Church since its first ages. 

The identity of procedure on the part of the Church authorities in 
dealing with the miracle at every stage of its investigation from 1531 
to 1894 is most striking. An unknown Indian first tells of a 
heavenly revelation to the head of the Church in Mexico. He is 
received with doubt and told to get some sensible evidence of the 
truth of his statement. The only credulity attributed to Lumarraga 
on this occasion is a readiness to believe miracles possible, coupled 
with natural distrust of the evidence of an unknown stranger in 
such matters. He receives a material testimony to the fact and 
accepts it as true in his own judgment. He gives that belief the 
public sanction of his position as a teacher in the Church, and that 
sanction is generally accepted as reasonable by the population 
around of both races. They have the material evidence that con- 
vinced the Bishop under their own eyes as a motive of belief. Critics 
like the Viceroy Enriquez and Father Sahagun see the facts and find 
no ground to dispute them, but they have a certain general distrust 
of Indian human nature, and don't like to encourage the new devo- 
tion, which after all they think is not a necessary thing for Catholics. 
The public mind of the community takes a different view altogether. 
If the Blessed Virgin has really shown herself in their country and 
requested certain honors, the Mexican Catholics feel and believe those 
honors ought to be given, and they give them, on the assurance of 
successive Bishops and Archbishops that there is no un-Catholic 
superstition in so doing. Minds formed on Christian principles 
naturally desire ever increasing knowledge of the unseen world and 
accept particular parts of it as a direct benefit, not an intellectual 
burden. The question with them is not whether the teaching Church 

254 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

orders them to profess their belief, but whether she allows them as 
reasonable men to believe what their private judgment suggests as 

The investigation held by the diocesan authorities in 1666 is 
marked by the same spirit as Lumarraga's action towards the first 
revelation. The witnesses were held strictly to the few leading 
facts, and their personal knowledge tested under solemn appeal to 
their truthfulness and accuracy. Tradition, documents, monuments 
and the existing facts are separately consulted, and the commission 
then sent its findings to the highest tribunal of the Church and 
asked its sanction to the existing belief among Mexican Catholics 
and to form of its expression adopted by them. The Holy See 
received the application in the same spirit of caution and pronounced 
no decision either way. The devotion continued to grow in strength 
for eighty years more and received confirmations by new circum- 
stances regarded themselves as supernatural by the Mexican people. 
A second application is made to Rome under another Pope and in 
an age of critical investigation and growing incredulity in Europe. 
The tradition is then pronounced highly probable at least and the 
devotion arising from it entirely Christian. Benedict XIV. grants a 
new festival and office to the Mexican Church and authorizes the 
name of Guadalupe in connection with Our Lady as special patroness 
of Mexico. He imposes no new belief on Catholics, but simply 
sanctions one already existing. 

The latest application to the Holy See by the Mexican Bishops 
on the subject was made to Leo XUL in 1890 and granted after 
three years' investigation. Its subject matter may seem unintelligi- 
ble to many outside the Catholic Church, but is a peculiar evidence of 
the minuteness of verification practised in its judgments on particular 
revelations. The request of the Bishops was mainly that in the 
office of the festival the judgment of the Holy See on the reality of 
the apparitions should be expressed more strongly. The first office 
recited that "Our Lady is said (fertur) to have appeared to Juan 
Diego." That of Leo XIII. puts it: "Our Lady, according to 
ancient and constant tradition, appeared to Juan Diego." The men- 
tal temper which lays such value on increased definiteness of expres- 
sion, even to so apparently small an extent, certainly is not one of 
self-confident credulity. It finds parallels in that of the Christian 
body in the fourth, fifth and sixteenth centuries on the definitions of 
Consubstantiality, Dual Nature and Transubstantiation. The whole 
history of the apparitions and devotion at Guadalupe offers a strange 
parallel to the developments of doctrine and ritual of the Church at 

The innate vigor of the cult continued to show itself in its own 

Our Lady of Guadalupe. 255 

land all through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It found 
expression in material works as well as in public worship and pil- 
grimages. The Church had been made a parochial one in the seven- 
teenth century, but the devotion of the people desired it a higher 
rank, and in 1709 Don Andres Palencia bequeathed a large fortune 
for the endowment of a collegiate chapter in connection with it. 
Many years passed before the needed bulls and other faculties were 
obtained, but in the middle of the century the collegiate chapter was 
formally inaugurated. It consisted of an abbot, ten canons, six 
choir assistants, six chaplains, two sacristans and a staff of musicians 
and acolytes. Provision for support of all was made by the gen- 
erosity of the founder, whose bequest amounted to five hundred and 
twenty-six thousand dollars, a larger sum than that expended on the 
church building. The succession of abbots and chapter has con- 
tinued undisturbed since through all the revolutions and changes of 
government of the land. The sixteenth, Abbot Don Plancarte, was 
the agent in obtaining the new office from Leo XIII. It may be 
remarked that all the abbots except two were natives of Mexico. 
One of the two. Dr. Conejares, was elected in 185 1 and received the 
additional dignity of the mitre. National jealousies have been sin- 
gularly absent from the Guadalupe devotion all through its history. 

A convent of Franciscan nuns (Capuchins) joined to the sanc- 
tuary was the next addition after the foundation of the chapter. It 
was begun in 1780 and completed in 1787 under the reign of Charles 
III. The buildings, like all the others at Guadalupe, were erected 
by free gifts, alms as the Spanish term goes. Their cost was two 
hundred and twelve thousand dollars. The picture of Guadalupe 
has been three times transferred to the chapel of the convent adjoin- 
ing during repairs in the basilica. The community still maintains 
its existence, though within recent years the convent buildings have 
been appropriated by the Liberal Government. They are now used 
for school purposes. 

The basilica was somewhat injured by the construction of the 
convent and a proposition was made to rebuild it in 1792. The 
work was not carried out, however, but in 1802 a general remodeling 
of the interior and the construction of a new altar was begun. The 
works were suspended during the rebellion of Hidalgo and only com- 
pleted in 1836 at a total cost of over three hundred thousand dollars. 
The beautiful "Church of the Well" was rebuilt at an expense of 
fifty thousand during the erection of the convent. A peculiar mark 
of public reverence was attached to Guadalupe after the middle of 
the eighteenth century by the Spanish Viceroys. They received 
possession of their office in its sanctuary. The practice began with 
the first Marquis Revillagigedo and continued till the close of the 

256 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Spanish dominion. The universaHty of the devotion to the shrine by 
all classes in Mexico — clergy, religious orders and laity, Indians and 
Spaniards, rich and poor, officials and general public — is as remark- 
able as its spontaneity in each and the absence of any attempt to 
make it subservient specially to any one. 

The general feeling thus marked showed in strange form during 
the Revolution. Hidalgo, the leader of the first insurrection in 1810, 
took a picture of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the Church of the 
Indians to serve as his standard. Iturbide, the Royalist general who 
effected the separation of Mexico from Spain, founded a Mexican 
Order of Knighthood under the title of Guadalupe in 1822, and the 
Republican President Santa Anna restored it in 1853. The rival 
candidates for the Presidency made their peace at the sanctuary in 
1841, and Herrera, after the downfall of Santa Anna, three years 
later, celebrated his inauguration with a "Te Deum" there. It was 
visited with devotion by the ill-starred Maximilian and Carlotta in 
1864. The troops of Juarez under Porfirio Diaz occupied the col- 
legiate buildings during the campaign of 1867, but there seems no 
evidence of any injury offered to the sanctuary beyond the record 
that after the soldiers left a man brought back "a silver wing of 
St. Michael" purloined by some soldier and repurchased from him 
at the cost of a "hat worth ten dollars." 

Twenty years after that occupation a movement began to add a 
new decoration to the sanctuary of Guadalupe. This was to have 
the miraculous picture crowned, that is to say, to have a golden 
diadem suspended over its top. Archbishop Labastida entered into 
the project with enthusiasm, though the first suggestion was due to 
Father Plancarte, the agent of the Mexican Bishops in obtaining the 
new office at Rome. The approbation of Leo XIII. for the ceremony 
of coronation was given in 1887, and the steps to carry it out indi- 
cate how strong is the devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe in the 
present generation. The cost of the crown itself, a matter of thirty 
thousand dollars, was made up without difficulty, but to place it in 
a suitable position on the existing altar was not so easy. It was 
decided to build a new altar, and as the foundations of the sanctuary 
were somewhat unsafe a complete remodeling of the interior was 
decided on. The works were begun in 1887 ^^^<^ continued during 
seven years, in which the miraculous picture occupied its place in 
the secularized chapel of the Franciscan convent. The new altar 
with the crypt involved an expenditure of a hundred and fifty thou- 
sand dollars, not to speak of the paintings, statuary, stained glass and 
other works given by the generosity of individuals. So extensive 
were the changes that little more than the walls of the sanctuary of 
1709 remained when the coronation ceremony was performed in 

"Pacata Hihernia." 257 

1895. The close of the nineteenth century, like that of its predeces- 
sor, has witnessed a complete remodeling of the temple desired by 
the Blessed Virgin of Lumarraga. The early part of the sixteenth 
saw the wish fulfilled in an oratory of sun-dried bricks ; the beginning 
of the seventeenth replaced it in a stately stone church, which the 
popular devotion at its close pronounced too poor for its object and 
replaced with the basilica whose royal decorations in 1792 still excite 
surprise by their value. Even then it was felt that more ought to be 
done, and three hundred thousand dollars were poured into new 
adornments during the years of national passion and poverty of the 
insurrection against the old government and the instability of the 
new. All costs were freely offered by the popular devotion to the 
special patroness of the Mexican people at Guadalupe. If permanent 
vigor be the mark of truth in ideas connected with religion, as 
Gamaliel pronounced to the Sanhedrin at the origin of Christianity 
itself, then the devotion of Guadalupe bears such marks of truth in 
its history. 

Bryan J. Clinch. 

San Francisco, Calif. 


IT WOULD be interesting to learn how many of the citizens of 
the United States have ever read the three volumes entitled 
"Pacata Hibernia, Ireland Appeased and Reduced; or, An 
Historic of the Late Warres of Ireland," which were printed in 
London in 1633 by one Robert Milbourne. The publisher of the 
work was a Thomas Stafford, who in a pompous dedication to King 
Qiarles I. and an introduction addressed to the general body of its 
readers explained its purport and scope. In his address to the King 
Stafford told His Majesty: 

That which I now in all humilitie present is your Majesties by many 
titles: First, from the subject matter, being the final dispersion of that 
cloud of rebellion, which hath so long over that Kingdom of Ireland, which 
by undoubted title, and lawfull succession is descended to your Majestie, 
and that performed by the prudent fortitude of the English nation, which 
your Majestie now so happily governes.i Next, from your Majesties late 
faithful servant, the Earl of Totnes,2 whose actions are not the least part 
of the argument of this historic, hee being at that time chiefe Govemour of 
the Province of Mounster, which was the stage whereon the last and 
greatest scene of that tragedie was acted, and since advanced by your 
Majesties Royall father and your selfe to many honourable titles and 
employments of State. 

1 "Your Majestie" was already engaged in the conflicts and troubles whiek 
were destined eventually to cost him his life and throne. 

2 Sir George Carew, created Earl of Totnes. 

258 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

In his address to his readers Stafford proceeded to account for 
the great delay which had occurred in the pubHcation of a narrative 
which had been prepared "thirty years and upwards previously." 
He recalled that ''it was composed while the actions were fresh in 
the memories of men, but the direction and appointment of the 
Right Hon. Earl of Totnes — late deceased — then Lord President of 
Munster." According to Stafford, the ''retired modesty" of the 
bloodthirsty and unscrupulous Carew had induced him to hold it 
back "from the stage of publication, lest himself being a principal 
actor in many of the particulars, might be perhaps thought, under 
the narration of public proceedings, to give vent and utterance to 
his private merit and services, howsoever justly memorable." Carew, 
it seems, "leaving the world, left it among his papers," and accord- 
ingly it became possible to print the story of his crimes and tyrannies 
in Ireland. 

Now, what lends most interest to the pages of "Pacata Hibernia" 
is the undoubted fact that it was dictated by Carew himself, and 
that when we peruse it we are, so to say, listening to that grim old 
soldier's own words. On the recall of the Earl of Essex, who had 
failed to achieve the results expected by Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen 
"being resolved to send a new Lord Deputy into Ireland, made 
choice of a worthy and noble gentleman endued with excellent 
parts, as well of body as mind, Sir Charles Blunt, Lord of Mount- 
joy." Aloreover, as "at that time the Presidency of Munster was 
void by the unfortunate death of Sir Thomas Norris, lately slain 
by the rebels, she made election of Sir George Carew, Knight, who 
was by his former services experienced in the Irish wars, to be the 
Lord President of that province." All this, be it noted, was set 
down by direction of the personage of "retired modesty," who sought 
duly posthumous honor. It appears that Mountjoy and Carew em- 
barked at Beaumaris, in Wales, on the 23d of February, 1599, and 
on the following day arrived at Howth, the bold headland which 
forms one side of the noble Bay of Dublin. Fatigued as the two 
worthies must have been by a voyage which is occasionally not 
wholly free from discomfort when it is made nowadays in one of 
the mail steamers of the Dublin Steam Packet Company — which 
convey passengers from Kingstown to Holyhead and vice versa, in 
the worst weather in something between three and four hours — 
they were compelled to lie up for the night "at the Lord of Howth's 
house."* The next day the pair "rode to Dublin," where they found 
a distracted Privy Council, confronted by "a miserable torn state, 

3 Howth Castle, still the residence of the descendants of the nobleman 
named. The splendid old mansion and its grounds are freely open to 

"Pacata Hibernia." 259 

utterly ruined by the war, and the rebels swollen with pride by 
reason of their manifest victories which almost in all encounters 
they had lately obtained/' Much, as he alleges, against his will, 
Carew was obliged to make a long stay in Dublin. He had to wait, 
for one thing, for the arrival of the 3,000 foot soldiers and 250 
horsemen who were to accompany him into Munster. Moreover, 
his colleague had to get various patents and authorities passed under 
the great seal of the Irish Privy Council, constituting a special 
council for the better government of Munster, and conferring on 
Carew authority to exercise martial law whenever and wherever 
he deemed "meer necessity shall require." It was furthermore 
ordained that it should be lawful for Carew and his council, "or any 
two of them, whereof the Lord President to be one, to prosecute and 
oppress any rebel, or rebels, with sword and with fire, and for the 
doing of the same to levy in warlike manner and array, and with the 
same to march, such and so many of the Queen's subjects as to his 
discretion shall seem convenient." 

The commission issued to Carew and the newly formed Munster 
Council, which was in reality created mainly for the purpose of regis- 
tering his edicts and thus giving them some kind of formal sanction, 
conferred on the Lord President practically arbitrary power when- 
ever and wherever he might find himself in a position to exercise. 
His authority was not confined to the temporal domain, because he 
was enjoined to look sharply after matters of spiritual moment. 
One of the many clauses of the commission ran as follows : 

Also, we the said Lord Deputy (Mountjoy) and Council, do earnestly 
require, and straightly charge the said Lord President (Carew) and Council, 
that they at all times, and in all places, where any g-reat assembly shall be 
made before them, do persuade the people by all good means and ways to 
them seemingly good, and especially by their own examples, in observmg 
all orders for Divine service, and other things appertaining to Christian 
religion, and to embrace, follow, and devoutly observe the order and ser- 
vice of the Church, established in this realm by Parliament, or otherwayes 
by lawful authority, and earnestly to call upon and admonish all Bishops 
and Ordinaries, within the precinct of their commission, diligently, fer- 
vently, and often to do the same. 

The first chapter of Carew's memoir of his services describes how, 
shortly before the landing of himself and Mountjoy, the "arch-traitor 
Tyrone, to unite the rebels of Munster, and especially to confer with 
James Fitz-Thomas, the titular Earl of Desmond, and Florence 
MacCarthy," made a journey into the province named. The per- 
fidious White Knight, who had entered into treaty with the English, 
and his son-in-law, Donagh MacCormac Carthy, had been made 
prisoner by O'Neill and borne away "in hand-locks," while he had 
restored Florence MacCarthy to the enjoyment of his rightful rank 
as the MacCarthy More. Furthermore, he had made war upon the 
Lord Barry, who had become a Protestant, and despoiled his tern- 

26o American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

tories, adding insult to injury by addressing to that recreant a letter, 
a portion of which may be quoted : 

My Lord Barry, your impiety to God, cruelty to your soul and body, 
tyranny and ingratitude both to your followers and country are inexcusable 
and intolerable. You separated yourself from the unity of Christ's mystical 
Body, the Catholic Church. You know the sword of extirpation hangeth 
over your head, as well as ours, if things fall out other ways than well; you 
are the cause, why all the nobility of the South — from the East part to the 
West — you being linked unto each one of them, either in affinity or con- 
sanguinity, are not linked together to shake off the cruel yoke of heresy 
and tyranny, with which our souls and bodies are oppressed. 

Therefore, O'Neill abjured Lord Barry to "enter into the closet 
of your own conscience," and having pondered well on his ill-doing, 
to retrace his steps both politically and religiously. Carew sets out 
O'Neill's letter in full and also Barry's reply, in which the latter 
declared his conviction that : 

By the law of God and His true religion (the Protestant) I am bound to 
hold with Her Majesty. Her Highness hath never restrained me for mat- 
ters of religion, and as I have felt Her Majesty's indifference and clemency 
therein, I have not spared to relieve poor Catholics with dutiful succor, 
which well considered, may assure any well disposed mind, that if duty had 
not — as it does — yet kindness and courtesy should bind me to remember, 
and to requite to my power, the benefits by me received from Her Majesty. 

Barry went on to remind O'Neill that he held his lands only by 
security of a grant from the English Crown, and to require him 
to make restitution of the "four thousand kine and three thousand 
mares and garrons" which he had carried off as spoil of war or for 
the service of his soldiers. The letter was dated "At Barry Court, 
this 26th February, 1599." Tyrone was, unfortunately, compelled 
about this time to return to Ulster in order to defend his own patri- 
mony against the impending advance of the forces sent by Mount joy. 
Before his withdrawal, however, he was successful in drawing into 
an ambush of his "hell-hounds" — as Carew styles them — a consid- 
erable body of the English garrison of Cork. In the action which 
followed Sir Warham St. Ledger and Sir Henry Power, the leaders 
of the English force, were killed. 

It was not until the 7th of April, 1600, that Carew was able to 
leave Dublin to commence his operations in Munster. He was 
accompanied by the Earl of Thomond, Lord Audley, Captain Roger 
Harvey, Captain Thomas Browne, Captain Garret Dillon and some 
other captains "and gentlemen," with 700 foot and 100 horse. He 
was accompanied b}^ the Lord Deputy and some members of the 
Privy Council "two miles out of the town," reaching Naas the same 
night. The next day he marched to Carlow and on the third he 
reached Kilkenny, where he at once paid his respects to the Earl 
of Ormond, whom he found full of importance over the parley which 
he had arranged to hold the next day with Rory O'Moore at a spot 
some eight miles beyond the city. This parley had an ill ending 

'Tacata Hihernia." 261 

for Ormond. The Earl of Thomond, who with Carew accompanied 
him to the place of meeting, set out what occurred in an official 
report to the latter. It seems that Ormond brought with him a 
comparatively small escort, and that in his train were severariawyers, 
merchants and others upon hackneys/' Rory O'Moore, on the 
contrary, had a large body of his followers in attendance. Whether 
he intended treachery or not is quite impossible to decide from 
Thomond's description of what occurred, but it seems not unlikely 
that the conflict which arose and which resulted in the capture of 
Ormond was the outcome of some insult offered to Father Archer, 
S. J., who was in O'Moore's camp. Thomond's story ran in part 
as follows: 

After an hour or more was idly spent, and nothing concluded, we and 
others did pray his Lordship (Ormond) to depart. But he desirous to see 
that infamous Jesuit, Archer, [Father James Archer, one of the most cour- 
ageous and persistent of the many brave priests who, in the midst of 
innumerable perils and privations, long strove to maintain the spirit of 
hostility to Protestant domination amongst the masses of the people and 
to secure that united action among their chiefs and leaders which would 
aid in securing the success of a Spanish invasion. To describe such a man 
as a "traitor" was, of course, grotesque. The avowed policy of Elizabeth 
and her lieutenants was to banish the Catholic religion from the land, and 
the only possible means in the circumstances of the time whereby such 
design would be defeated was by armed resistance.] did cause him to be 
sent for; as soon as he came, the Earl and he fell into an argument, wherein 
he called the Jesuit a traitor, and reprooved him for sending, under pretext 
of religion, Her Majesty's subjects into rebellion. 

During this disputation O'Moore's men had been closing round 
and mingling with Ormond's followers. Suddenly contention arose. 
Thomond appears to have done his best to save Ormond, but was 
compelled to make his own escape by riding down those who opposed 
his passage. Carew himself was actually seized by O'Moore, but 
some of his friends coming between he was enabled to secure safety 
by flight. Carew's despatch, covering Thomond's report, was sent 
from Waterford on the i8th of April, 1600. 

Passing over some very graphic descriptions of various minor 
conflicts between isolated parties of Carew's men and some of the 
Irish, we find the Lord President recording his arrival at Cork on 
the 26th of April, the previous night having been spent at Lord 
Barry's house on the way from Youghal. The "Pacata Hibernia" 
also contains a number of entries recording the successful accom- 
plishment of destructive raids by the native leaders, almost similar 
to those with which the recent war in South Africa made the whole 
world familiar. Carew, however, like Lord Roberts and Lord 
Kitchener— in the latter case— knew the actual importance of such 
forays as compared with the fulfillment of the definite plan of cam- 
paign he had marked out for himself. They were annoying, but 
after all only a case of the fly tickling the lion's ear. On the 7th 
of June Carew received intelligence from himself of the release of 

262 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Ormond by Rory O'Moore on the payment of a ransom of £3,000. 
Having regard to the value of money at the time as compared with 
our own, the sum was an enormous one. During the months which 
followed the Lord President was busily engaged in reducing the 
castles and other strong places in the possession of the so-called 
rebels, and as his soldiers were fairly well equipped with artillery, 
while the Irish possessed practically none, he was almost always 
successful in his operations. In nearly every case such of the de- 
fenders as were captured were put to the sword, but in many in- 
stances Carew claims to have spared the women and children. What 
became of them, however, he omits to state. That their fate must 
have been deplorable is quite certain, because wherever the English 
forces passed they killed all the natives whom they met and left the 
country in the condition of a desert. Carew's main purpose was 
to capture the Earl of Desmond, whom his lieutenants persistently 
pursued. Somehow or other he got possession of a letter written 
by "the Spanish Archbishop of Dublin"* to the Earl. This ran as 
follows : 

My most honorable good Lord, having long desired a fit opportunity to 
write unto you, the same is now offered by Mr. John [the Earl's brother], 
whereof I am very glad, and that by such a most sure and faithful mes- 
senger I might open my mind to your Lordship; as also to show that most 
certain and undoubted hope of aid is shortly to come. I would most will- 
ingly have come unto your Lordship's presence, which lately I have essayed, 
and doubtless would have done, unless I had not been hindered by these 
Lords, who told me that present and imminent dangers were to be feared 
in my journey, unless I had an array of soldiers to conduct me; and now — 
but that there is a necessity of my returning into Spain — I would have 
come to you in the company of Master John. But I hope that most speedily 
and most fortunately I shall return unto you again. In the mean time I 
have pretermitted nothing which might tend to your profit, as well to our 
Catholic Master, as any other whosoever, which now also in Spain I will 
perform. I would, therefore, entreat your Excellency, that you would be of 
good courage, together with all others of your faction; and that you would 
fight constantly and valiantly for the faith and liberty of your country, 
knowing and firmly hoping, that the help of my Lord, the Catholic King, is 
now coming, which when it cometh, all things shall be prosperous, and will 
place you in your formet liberty and security, that you may possess your 
desired place and tranquility. The Almighty conserve your Lordship in 
safety long to continue. From Donegal, 13th February, 1601, 

At this time the Earl of Desmond was a hunted, houseless fugitive, 
seeking safety in the bogs and woods of Kerry. The letter just 

*I>om Matheo de Oviedo was born in Segovia and was educated at Sala- 
manca. He joined the Franciscan order at an early age, and became prior 
of the monastery at Toro, in the Diocese of Zamora, in old Castile, He was 
appointed Archbishop of Dublin in 1600. The selection can only be justified 
on the ground that there were fair hopes of a Spanish conquest of Ireland. 
It is not likely that Dom Matheo ever entered his see, which in his absence 
was ruled by a vicar general appointed by the Pope, Father Robert Lalor, 
Oviedo escaped to Spain, where he remained until his death in 1609, sup- 
ported by a pension granted him by King Philip. In 1611 the Pope gave 
Dublin another Archbishop in the person of Dr. Eugene Matthews, an 
Irishman, who maintained existence within his episcopal territory for 
several years, but was eventually compelled to seek refuge in the Nether- 
lands, where he died in 1623. 

"Pacata Hihernia." 263 

quoted was in itself sufficient intimation to Carew that the Spaniards 
intended to attempt the invasion of Ireland, and he, naturally enough, 
lost no time in conveying the intelligence of the fact to Mountjoy 
in Dublin and his friend Cecil, Lord Burghley, in London. 

On the 20th of September, 1601, ''towards night, the Sovereign 
of Kinsale^ sent a messenger to Sir Charles Wilmot, then in Cork, 
with letters importing that there was a fleet of five-and-forty ships 
discovered from the Old Head of Kinsale, and that they were past 
the river of Kinsale, bearing towards the harbor of Cork. The 
inhabitants likewise at Cork harbor brought him word that the said 
fleet was discovered afore that haven's mouth." Wilmot lost no 
time in communicating with Carew, who immediately proceeded to 
assemble all his available forces at Cork. Meantime the Spaniards 
had withdrawn their ships from the cove of Cork, now styled 
Oueenstown, and reappeared ofif Kinsale. Hearing this, Carew sent 
orders to the small English garrison of the latter place to evacuate 
it. On the 23d of September ''the enemy landed their forces in the 
Haven of Kinsale and marched with five-and-twenty colours 
(standards) towards the town. Upon their approach the townsmen, 
not being able to make resistance — if they had been willing there- 
unto — set open their gates and permitted them without impeachment 
or contradiction to enter the town. The Sovereign with his white rod 
in his hand, going to billet and ease them in several houses more 
ready than if they had been the Queen's forces." Lnmediately after 
landing the Spanish commander, Don Juan de Aquila, published the 
following proclamation : 

We, Don Juan de Aquila, General of the Army of Philip, King of Spain, 
by these presents do promise that all the inhabitants of the town of Kinsale 
shall receive no injury by any of our retinue, but rather shall be used as 
our brethren and friends, and that it shall be lawful for any of the inhabi- 
tants that list to transport (t. e., to remove) without molestation in body 
or goods, and as much as shall remain, likewise without any hurt. 


It will be seen that the Spanish general desired to treat the English 
settlers and sympathizers in Kinsale with the utmost consideration 
and courtesy. 

Carew quotes a Spanish description of what happened shortly 
after the arrival of Don Juan at Kinsale. This document appears 
to have been in the nature of an official publication explanatory of 
the proceedings of the Spanish commander. It fixes the ist of 
October as the precise date of his landing, and it describes the retire- 
ment of the small English garrison— fifty foot and forty— "the per- 
sons of better sort going with them." Don Juan occupied the town 
with as little delay as possible, but he found that it contained so few 
houses his own men were exposed to much discomfort. Moreover, 

5 A title equivalent to that of Mayor or Baillie. 

264 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

it was wholly unfortified and surrounded by hills which rendered 
it incapable of defense, unless these could be occupied. The Spanish 
military arrangements seem to have been as bad as Spanish military 
arrangements have generally been. The invaders could only land 
to field pieces and two demi-cannon, "leaving the rest of their 
artillery unlanded, not having munition sufficient for so much 
artillery." Moreover, according to the statement, "the powder and 
match was little and the greater quantity came wet." It was with 
such equipment King Philip sent poor Don Juan to achieve the con- 
(^uest of Ireland ! The only course open to the Spanish leader was 
to send back some of his ships to his own country to obtain addi- 
tional supplies. He occupied the small castle of Rincorran, near 
the town, and erected something of the nature of earthworks. On 
the other side, Mount joy hastened from Dublin to join Carew, and 
energetic action was taken to secure the speediest possible concen- 
tration of all the available English forces against Kinsale. Two 
Frenchmen who deserted from the Spaniards gave the total number 
of those landed as 3,500, adding, however, that reinforcements were 
expected. The force collected by the Lord Deputy and the Lord 
President was one far superior to that at the disposal of Don Juan, 
while English ships cruised off the entrance to the port, effectually 
blockading it. The Spaniards were in a trap of their own making. 
The English also had Irish allies, because "Cormac MacDermond, 
chief lord of a country called Muskery," brought all his clansmen 
to their aid. A comparatively brief bombardment of the castle of 
Rincorran compelled its garrison to surrender. The Spaniards were 
sent as prisoners of war to Cork, but all the Irish found within its 
walls were put to the sword. Meantime the main body of invaders held 
the fortifications which they had hastily constructed round the town. 
Receiving tiding of what was going on at Ulster, Earls Tyrone and 
O'Donnell proceeded to march into Ulster with a view to assisting 
the Spaniards by compelling the diversion of a portion of the English 
force. So large, however, was the number of men at the disposal 
of Carew and Mount joy that this movement came to nothing. 
Carew marched against the Earles, while Mount joy closed the toils 
still tighter round the Spaniards. Ships of war were hurried from 
England, and coming into the harbor of Kinsale bombarded the place 
and its entrenchments. Moreover, thousands of soldiers were hastily 
transported from the English ports lying nearest to Ireland, and 
these were soon at the disposal of the Lord Deputy and the Lord 
President. All the time, however, the Spaniards demeaned them- 
selves as brave men and held out stoutly. A few amongst them, 
nevertheless, proved recreants and deserted to the English, convey- 
ing valuable information as to the condition of their hard-pressed 
comrades, who were exposed both day and night to the fire of the 

"Pacata Hibernia." 265 

English guns. The result of the conflict was never for a moment 
in doubt, but assurance was rendered doubly sure by the fact that 
Carew and Mount joy were enabled to detach a force sufficiently 
large to avoid all chance of the Ulster Earls being able to relieve the 
Spaniards. Suddenly, however, a new element of hope appeared. Six 
Spanish galleons, carrying 700 soldiers, with goodly store of arms 
and munitions at Castlehaven, and with these O'Donnell was able to 
join hands. To the camp of the united Irish and Spanish forces 
speedily flocked most of the principal Catholic chiefs and nobles of 
Cork and Kerry. Nearly all these were enrolled as officers in the 
pay of the King of Spain and granted command of certain companies 
of foot and horse. Most of them who owned castles in proximity to 
the coast or to the camp placed these under Spanish control. The 
English ships, however, assailed those of the Spaniards and speedily 
destroyed them. Finding his own position growing daily more 
and more precarious, Don Juan de Aquila despatched an urgent 
appeal, on the 28th of December, 1601, to Tyrone and O'Donnell 
begging them to take active measures to ensure his relief. The 
letter concluded : "Though you are not well prepared, yet I beseech 
your Excellencies to hasten towards the enemy, for it imports much. 
I think it needful to be all at once on horseback {i. e., they should 
mount and ride forthwith) ; the greater haste you make it is so much 
the better." Nothing short of a miracle could save the Spaniards, 
and no miracle worked. 

Carew was very indefinite as regards the dates in his narrative, 
but so far as the context in the original enables judgment the 21st 
of December, 1601, witnessed fresh developments in the beleaguer- 
ment of the Spanish garrison. We are told that : 

This morning being fair, the ordnance played oftener, and broke down a 
good part of the wall; and to the shot we might proceed the more roundly 
if Tyrone's force came not the sooner upon us — another great trench was 
made beneath the platform [a wooden structure on which the English 
cannon were mounted] ; to hinder which the enemies made many shot, but 
all would not serve: for by the next morning that work was brought to a 
good perfection, though the night fell out stormy, with great abundance of 
thunder and lightning, to the wonder of all men, considering the season of 
the year. This night came certain intelligence that Tyrone would be the 
next night within a mile and a half of us. 

The estimate, however, fell short of the mark, because "towards 
night Tyrone showed himself with the most part of his horse and 
foot upon a hill between our camp and Cork about a. mile from us, 
and on the other side of the hill encamped that night, where he had 
a fastness of wood and water." Tyrone was accompanied by many 
Ulster chieftains and had with him almost all the Spaniards who 
had landed at Castlehaven. Amongst his officers, however, was a 
traitor, one Brien MacHugh Oge MacMahon. It appears that a 
son of this man had served as a page in Carew's household in Eng- 

266 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

land, and the father, relying on this fact, sent a message to the Lord 
President by a ragged little peasant boy begging the gift of a flaggon 
of aquavitae, or whisky. Carew granted the request with a courteous 
verbal reply. In return the bibulous MacMahon sent information 
regarding Tyrone's plans and as to his intention to attack the Eng- 
lish camp on the following night. This scoundrel had taken part 
in the council of war at which the scheme of operations had been 
settled. The result was that Mount joy and Carew were able to 
make preparations which enabled the complete defeat of the com- 
bined Irish and Spanish forces. According to Carew, the Irish had 
1,200 killed and 800 wounded, most of them mortally. The Span- 
iards taken prisoners were granted quarter, but their allies were 
brutally massacred. We are told that : 

The Earl of Clanricarde had many fair escapes, beingr shot through his 
grarments, and no man did bloddy his sword more than his Lordship did 
that day, and would not suffer any man to take any of the Irish prisoners, 
but bade them kill the rebels . . . There were some of the Irish taken 
prisoners that offered great ransoms, but presently, upon their bringing to 
the camp, they were hanged. 

The Spaniards and Irish shut up in Kinsale made several gallant 
sorties, entering the English entrenchments at many points, but the 
relatively enormous force at the disposal of Mount joy enabled him 
to drive them back within their own poor fortifications. The suc- 
cess of Carew in destroying most of the relieving army and in com- 
pelling its remnant to retreat was complete. The toils were closing 
fast round the doomed garrison. 

On the 31st of December, 1600, the condition of the Spanish and 
Irish garrison of Kinsale had become so straitened, the port being 
blockaded by the English ships and the town and fortifications 
exposed to artillery fire from places of vantage on land. Don Juan 
beat a parley. He sent out a drum major and an officer bearing a 
flag of truce. The latter carried also a sealed letter addressed to the 
Lord Deputy. This missive, according to Carew's narrative, re- 
quested that "some gentlemen of special trust and sufficiency might 
be sent into the town from His Lordship (Mount joy) to confer with 
him, whom he would acquaint with such conditions as he stood upon." 
Mount joy was fully alive to the advantage derivable from putting 
an end to the Spanish lodgment on the coast of Ireland, which, how- 
ever ineffective in itself, afforded secure landing places for rein- 
forcements from Spain should the blundering King Philip decide 
to send them. The truth appears to be that the Spanish monarch 
had entirely misconstrued the position of affairs in Ireland. If his 
soldiers had been landed in Ulster, where O'Neill and O'Donnell 
were still comparatively powerful, things might have gone very 
differently from that in which they actually ran. The mere fact 

"Pacata Hihernia." 267 

that the Northern Earls had been able to organize a considerable 
force in Ulster wherewith to march into Munster in itself attests 
their military capacity and strength. It is, however, pretty obvious 
that their army, such as it was, must have been largely supported 
by forced contributions of cattle and produce, levied off the very 
people whose liberation from English and Protestant domination 
it came to aid. There is, consequently, some ground for assuming 
that the unfortunate population of Munster, ground as they were 
between the upper and nether millstone, displayed slight enthusiasm 
in support of a plan of campaign which made their possessions the 
spoil of war. 

Mount joy on receiving the message from Don Juan decided to 
send one of his chief lieutenants, Sir William Godolphin, into the 
town to ascertain the condition of the garrison. If Carew is to be 
trusted, the Spanish commander proceeded to lavish compliments 
on the Lord Deputy and the English troops, while he was equally 
liberal in his denunciation of the Irish. According to the same 
authority, *'he was so far in his affection reconciled to the one and 
distasted with the other as did invite him to make an overture of such 
a composition as might be safe and profitable for the State of England 
with less prejudice to the Crown of Spain, by delivering into the 
Viceroy's (Mountjoy's) power the town of Kinsale, with all other 
places in Ireland held by the Spanish, so as they might depart upon 
honourable terms, fitting such men of war as are not by necessity 
enforced to receive conditions, but willingly induced for just respects 
to disengage themselves and to relinquish a people by whom their 
King and master had been so notoriously abused, if not betrayed." 
If Don Juan really used the language ascribed to him, it would 
seem that he was only playing on Mountjoy's well-known savage 
hatred of the Irish in order to secure the best terms possible for 
himself and his immediate followers. However this may have been, 
it is certain that when the Lord Deputy replied refusing to grant 
conditions of honorable capitulation, unless the Spaniards yielded 
up their money chest, artillery, ammunition and the Irish serving 
in their midst, to be dealt with as he might think fit, Don Juan 
positively refused to surrender. It furthermore appears from the 
rather confusedly worded summary of the correspondence between 
the two leaders given by Carew that the total strength of the besieged 
was only 2,600 men, while that of the English was upwards of 10,000. 
The latter had, in addition, the advantage of holding a number of 
positions which commanded the town and its defenses. Regarded 
impartially, the situation was an utterly hopeless one for Don Juan 
in the absence of reinforcements from Spain, and in view of the 
defeat and retreat of O'Donnell and Tyrone. 

2!6^ American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Carew specifically states that Don Juan relied in particular on 
this last event as the best gratification of his proposal to capitulate. 
He lamented that his Irish allies had been ''blown asunder into 
divers parts of the world: O'Donnell into Spain, O'Neill to the 
furthest part of the North," but he absolutely refused to surrender 
unless accorded honorable terms and unless the natives serving in 
his ranks were treated on terms of equality with the Spaniards. 
Eventually Mount joy recognized the advantage of acceding to Don 
Juan's requirements. We are told that ''how needful it was to 
embrace this accord may clearly be seen by whosoever considereth 
the state of our army, almost utterly tired, how full of danger and 
difficulty it was to attempt a breach {i. e., to storm) defended by 
so many hands." Moreover, the English ships lying off the entrance 
to the port were running short of provisions, while a Spanish fleet 
carrying reinforcements for the besieged might arrive at any moment. 
"Furthermore, that which seemed of greatest consequence to induce 
His Lordship to this agreement was that the Spaniards in Baltimore, 
Castlehaven and Beerhaven by virtue of this contract were likewise 
to surrender those places and to depart the country." Conse- 
quently, "the Lord Deputy and Council thought it in their wisdom 
meet to condescend to more indifferent conditions, which, being 
propounded and agreed upon by Don Juan, were signed and sealed 
on both parts." The articles of surrender contained the following 
conditions and statements amongst others : 

In the town of Kinsale in the Kingdom of Ireland, the 2d day of the 
month of January, 1601, between the noble lords, the Lord Mountjoy, Lord 
Deputy and General in the Kingdom of Ireland, and Don Juan de Aquila, 
Captain and Campmaster General, and Governor of the Army of his Majesty 
the King of Spain, the said Lord Deputy being encamped, and besieging 
the said town and the said Don Juan within it, for just respects, and to 
avoid shedding of blood, these conditions following were made between the 
said Lord Generals and their Camps. 

First: That the said Don Juan de Aquila shall quit the places which he 
holds in this Kingdom, as well of the town of Kinsale, as those which are 
held by the soldiers under his command, in Castlehaven, Baltimore, and the 
castle of Beerhaven, and other parts, to the said Lord Deputy, or to whom 
he shall appoint, giving him safe transportation and sufficient for the said 
people, of ships and victuals, with the which the said Don Juan with them 
may go for Spain, if he can at one time, if not in two shippings. 

Amongst the further articles was that which saved the honor of 
the Spanish commander and the lives of his Irish soldiers. It ran 
thus : 

For the accomplishing whereof, the Lord Deputy offereth to give free 
passport to the said Don Juan and his army, as well Spaniards as other 
natives whatsoever, that are under his command, and that he may depart 
with all the things he hath, Arms, Munitions, Money, Ensigns displayed, 
Artillery, and other whatsoever provisions of war and any kind of stuff as 
well that which is in Castlehaven, as Kinsale and other parts. 

As soon as the treaty of surrender had been completed Don Juan 
appears to have entered into the most friendly relations with Mount- 

'Pacata Hihernia.' 


joy and his colleagues, for Carew goes on to tell how : "The day the 
articles were signed Don Juan dined with the Lord Deputy and the 
next day after, the Lord President, having Sir Richard Levison and 
Sir William Godolphin in his company, went into the town of Kin- 
sale, where he dined with Don Juan." The purpose of this visit was 
to arrange precise details as regards the amount and nature of the 
provisions which Mount joy was to deliver for the sustenance of the 
Spaniards and their allies. These were agreed upon as follows : 

For every week, four days flesh, three days flsh. 

For every flesh day, Bread, four and twenty ounces for a man, and six of 

For every fish day, four and twenty ounces of Bread, six ounces of Fish, 
and one ounce of Butter. 

For every hundred men, one Pipe of wine, besides water. 

For shipping for every three men, two tons and he (Don Juan) to give 
forty shillings the ton, and his men to be landed at the first port they can 
touch in Spain. 

It will be seen that the Spaniards had to pay the cost of transport 
to their own country. They had also to pay for the food which 
Mount joy undertook to provide. Carew gives the details of the 
bill they had to discharge on this latter score. The figures read : 

Biscuit, 186,052 pounds £2,067 4 8 

Butter, 6,304 pounds 157 12 3 

Flesh, 47,394 pounds 789 18 

Fish, 18,339 pounds 305 13 

Rice, 1,235 pounds 30 17 6 

Total £ 3,351 5 5 

On the 9th of January, 1601, Mountjoy struck his camp before 
Kinsale, and with Don Juan riding beside him as an honored guest 
rather than a prisoner, made his way to Cork. The Don was at- 
tended by "many Spanish captains," but "the gross of his companies 
were left in Kinsale." Arrived in the Munster capital, the Lord 
Deputy "lodged in the Bishop of Cork's house, Don Juan in the city 
and the President at Shandon Castle." On the day following Mount- 
joy sent Captain Roger Harvey and Captain George Flower with 
some soldiers to take over "the Castles of Castlehaven, Donneshed 
and Donnelong at Baltimore, and Dunboy at Beerhaven in the west, 
all of which were then in possession of the Spaniards.' 

"O day,' they cried, "of shame and grief! 
Don Juan — curse the coward chief! — 
Whom Philip sent to our relief, 

Has truckled to the foe, 
Has hauled the Spanish colours down, 
And rendered, not alone the town 
He proudly promised to maintain 
•For Christ and for the King of Spain, 
But every rood of land we gave 
His dainty troops to guard and save; 
Finin O'Driscoll's castles strong 
Of Donneshed and Dun-na- long, ^ 

«T D Sullivan, in his widely-known~^em, "Dunboy," in which he teHs 
in verse the story now received in prose, thus refers to this incident: 

270 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Donag-h O'Driscoll's castle, too, 
By Castlehaven's waters blue; 
All these crafty wretch, Carew, 

Will hasten to destroy — 
And then the craven, last and worst, 
Agreed to yield our foes accurst 

Our castle! our Dunboy! 
O fatal night! O woeful day! 
Our castle tricked and signed away! 
Our good cause lost, and lost for aye!" 

This was entirely in accordance with the terms of capitulation 
signed at Kinsale. Flower was, however, granted commission con- 
ferring on him "power and authority over the Queen's people and 
her subjects," by virtue of which he was at liberty "to prosecute with 
fire and sword all rebels, traitors or other capital offenders, with all 
their aiders, relievers, maintainers, receivers and abettors or any 
other offenders whatsoever that are not amenable to Her Majesty's 
laws or have combined or adhered themselves to any Her Majesty's 
enemies or to any now in actual rebellion against Her Highness, and 
to make seizure of all their goods and chatties to Her Majesty's use." 
The terms of this commission were sufficiently wide. It granted its 
holder full power to execute martial law wherever he passed, as well 
as "to go aboard any ship, bark or other vessel that shall be or arrive 
in those parts and to make search in them for traitors, Jesuits, semi- 
naries, letters or prohibited wares." Flower was to serve both as 
a priest hunter and a revenue officer! Regarded as a whole, the 
commission was absolutely opposed to the spirit of the Kinsale 

When the Spaniards first arrived they had obtained possession of 
the various castles belonging to the Irish chieftains, which Don Juan 
included in the articles of surrender. In acting as he did, the Span- 
ish commander undoubtedly exceeded his rights. The original 
owners of the castles had only admitted the foreign garrisons under 
the conviction that they would defend them to the last extremity. 
Therefore, when they learned that Don Juan had agreed to surrender 
their strongholds to the English in order to secure favorable terms 
for himself, they were naturally filled with resentment. For instance, 
Sir Finian O'Driscoll actually attacked his own residence at Castle- 
haven and drove out its Spanish occupiers, whom he completely sur- 
prised. These, however, speedily commenced active operations for 
its recovery and were engaged in mining it at the moment when 
Captain Harvey and his men arrived in the offing. O'Driscoll, per- 
ceiving that he was now completely outnumbered, made terms with 
the Spaniards and left the building, which the latter in due course 
surrendered to the English. At Baltimore Harvey obtained posses- 
sion of the Castle of Donelong from the Spanish Governor, one 
Andreas de Aervy, and three days later the Castle of Donneshed was, 
"with Spanish gravity, rendered to Her Majesty's use." The real 

"Pacata Hihernia." 271 

trouble began, however, when: "From Baltimore Captain George 
Flower was shipped in a hoy of one hundred and twenty tons 
with two companies of two hundred in list {i. e., on the roll), but 
weak by-pole {i. e., in actual numbers), to receive from the Spaniards 
the Castle of Dunboy, but do all he could by reason of foul weather 
and contrary winds he could never, although he was at the mouth 
of the haven of Beere, recover the land, and so was enforced to 
return, effecting nothing. In this short navigation fifty of his best 
soldiers by infection died and but seven of the sailors living." This 
is Carew's account of what happened, but it is highly probable, 
insanitary though the state of Flower's wretched craft was, that 
the English commander obtained some information which led him 
to conclude that residence on board was more conducive to the pre- 
servation of his personal health than attempt to aifect a landing, 
because Dunboy was once more in the hands of its rightful owner, 
Donal O'Sullivan Bear.^ 

Carew tells us what had occurred. He says : "The composition 
which Don Juan did make when he surrendered Kinsale did infinitely 
grieve and offend the Irish and especially those who had voluntarily 
delivered into his hands their castles, but especially Donal O'Sulli- 
van." It appears that, although the Castle of Dunboy was mainly 
occupied by a Spanish garrison, O'Sullivan had been wise enough to 
maintain his own residence therein, as well as a personal guard of 
his clansmen. Among these, probably selected on that account, were 
a number of skillful masons. According to Carew, "in the dead of 
night when the Spaniards were soundly sleeping and the key of the 
castle in their captain's custody, O'Sullivan caused his men to 
break a hole in the wall, wherein four score of his men entered, for 
by appointment he had drawn that night close to the castle Archer, 
the Jesuit, with another priest, Thomas Fitz Maurice, the Lord of 
Lixmaw, Donal MacCarthy, Captain Richard Tyrrell and Captain 
William Burke with a thousand men." Father Archer must have 
been one of those who came in through the hole in the wall, because 
"when day appeared" he "prayed the Spanish captain to go with him 
to O'Sullivan's chamber." The latter informed the surprised Don 
"that his men were entered the castle, that he meant no personal hurt 
either unto him or to any of his, and that he would keep the same 
for the King of Spain's use, and also told him that he had one 

7 O'Sullivan was eventually assassinated at Madrid, where he had found 
refuge, by an English spy, one John Bath. "He had then." says his nephew 
in his "Hist. Cath. Hib.," "reached his fifty-seventh year, and was singu- 
larly pious, for he heard two, and sometimes three, Masses daily, and was 
extremely charitable to the poor. In person he was tall, elegant and hand- 
some." In the original the words are "procerus, et elegans statura, vultu 

2^2 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

thousand men within musket shot of the castle." The poor captain^ 
one Francisco de Saavedra, recognizing that resistance was impossi- 
ble, promptly agreed to surrender. Some of his followers were,, 
however, made of sterner stuff, and coming together "in fury dis- 
charged a few musket shot amongst the Irish and slew three of 
them and hurt one ; but by the mediation of O' Sullivan and Fran- 
cisco de Saavedra all was pacified, O'Sullivan being very careful that 
no hurt might be done to the Spaniards." The disturbance once 
quelled, the Spanish troops were quickly disarmed, but O'Sullivan 
''kept the captain and a few of the better sort, with three or four 
gunners, in the nature of prisoners, and the rest he sent to Baltimore 
to be embarked into Spain. He also seized upon all the Spanish 
ordnance munitions and victuals which was there in store." Shortly 
afterwards, however, O'Sullivan turned the Spanish captain out of 
doors, probably recognizing that he was of small use as a fighting 

On learning what had happened at Dunboy the wretched Don 
Juan de Aquila offered to lead his own troops against O'Sullivan if 
so permitted by Mount joy, but "the Lord Deputy and the President 
(Carew), who were anxious to see his heels towards Ireland, wished 
him not to trouble himself with that business." There is no reason 
for supposing that the Spaniards had any real stomach for the work 
he pretended anxiety to undertake. Meantime, O'Sullivan was writ- 
ing letters to the King of Spain, as well as to his friends, the Earl 
of Caracena, and Dom Pedro Zubiane, justifying his proceedings and 
imploring aid. These missives were found on board a Spanish 
pinnace captured by an English ship. O'SuUivan's letter to King 
Philip was a crushing indictment of that monarch's worthless offi- 
cers, who must assuredly have been the forefathers of the warriors 
who lost Cuba and the Philippines to Spain. He told how he had 
entrusted Dunboy to Spanish keeping "out of meer love and good- 
will," with "my wife, my children, my country, lordships and all 
my possessions forever." His reward was to find that "against all 
right and human conscience," Don Juan had "tied himself to deliver 
my Castle and Haven, the only key of mine inheritance, whereupon 
the living of many thousand persons doth rest, that live some twenty 
leagues upon the seacoast, into the hands of my cruel, cursed, mis- 
believing {i. e., Protestant) enemies." Moreover, O'Sullivan went 
on to say that he had sent into Spain his son, aged five years, "as a 
pledge for accomplishing your will," even while he told Philip bluntly 
that he "feared" what had occurred would "give cause to other men 
not to trust any Spaniard hereafter with their bodies or goods upon 
these causes." Well would it have been for Ireland if the year 1602 
had witnessed the last attempt on the part of Continental States 

"Pacata Hibernia." 273 

to use her shores merely as a point of strategic attack upon England, 
without any real regard for the interests of her people. 

The recovery of Dunboy by O'Sullivan was, of course, a matter 
of serious importance in the estimation of Carew, inasmuch as so 
long as he retained it he was able to hold open a gate for a new 
Spanish invasion. Accordingly, we read in "Pacata Hibernia" that : 

To make trial whether the rebels in the country of Carbery would submit 
themselves upon the sight of an army, having been lately wasted and spoiled 
by the garrisons at Baltimore, Castlehayen and Ban try; upon the 9th March 
— which was the day the Lord Deputy departed from Cork — the President 
(Carew) directed the Earl of Thomond with 2,500 foot in list — which were 
by the pole but 1,200 foot, and 50 horse — to march into Carbery and from 
thence into Beare, there to view in what manner the Castle of Dunboy was 
fortified, of the incredible strength whereof much was noised. 

Carew gave Thomond written instructions as to the manner in 
which the duty entrusted to him was to be performed. These were 
lengthy and need not be quoted at length, but some paragraphs^ 
almost demand reproduction: 

The service you are to perform is to do all your endeavour to bum the- 
rebels' com in Carbery, Beare and Bantry, take their cows, and use alJ 
hostile prosecution upon the persons of the people (i. e., to massacre), as in 
such cases of rebellion is accustomed. 

When you are in Beare, if you may, without any apparent peril, youi* 
lordship shall do well to take a view of the Castle of Dunboy, whereby we 
may be the better instructed how to proceed for the taking of it, when time 
convenient shall be afforded. 

The capital rebels that are to resist you are O'Sullivan and Tyrrell, your 
lordship must leave no means unessayed to get them alive or dead; the 
way — in my judgment — how that service may be effected, I have already 
made known to your lordship, wherein I pray you to use your best 

Thomond was soon able to send Carew information which gratified 
him immensely. "The Earl being gone with his army, marched as 
far as the Abbey of Bantry, about three score miles from Cork, and 
there had notice that Donal O'Sullivan Bear and his people, by 
the advice of two Spaniards, an Italian and a friar called Domnick 
Collins, did still continue their works about the Castle of Dunboy ; 
the barbican whereof being a stone wall of sixteen feet in height, 
they faced with sods intermingled with wood and faggots — above 
four and twenty foot thick — for a defense against cannon; they 
had also sunk a low platform to plant their ordnance for a counter- 
battery and left nothing undone either within or without the castle 
that in their opinions was meet for defense." Carew's story is some- 
what confused, but it would appear that Thomond saw enough to 
enable him to report that if the castle itself were sufficiently bom- 
barded by the English artillery its mouldering walls would soon fall 
into the barbican, which "was not above six or eight foot distant'' 
therefrom, while they were "exceeding high." All the labor and 
supposed skill of O'Sullivan's foreign and religious advisers in the 
art of war had only resulted in the production of a complete death- 
trap for his gallant clansmen. Carew quickly grasped the situation. 

274 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

and the moment he received Thomond's despatch reciting the result 
of his observations promptly made arrangements for the regular 
investment of Dunboy. Accordingly, we are told that "the Presi- 
dent — though feeble and weak in his own estate of health — drew 
forth of Cork the 23d April, 1602, and encamped that night at Owne- 
boy, being the very place where Tyrone lodged at such time as he 
received the great overthrow near Kinsale." 

The recital proceeds: "The four and twentieth we rose and 
marched to Timoleague, where the army lodged, and three rebels 
that were taken and brought before the Lord President were exe- 
cuted." Wherever Carew and his men were able to lay hands on 
any of the Irish they used "all hostile prosecution upon their per- 
sons as in such cases of rebellion is accustomed." In plain words, 
they murdered and burnt as they passed, reducing the country to a 
condition of desolation. On the 30th of April the Lord President 
and his soldiers joined hands with Thomond, and it was possible to 
commence active operations for the reduction of Dunboy. As a 
preliminary step, however, marauding parties were sent out in divers 
directions to gather in supplies for the besieging army : 

The 1st May, Captain Taffe's traop of horse, with certain light foot, were 
sent from the camp, who returned with 300 cows, many sheep and a g-reat 
number of garrons they got from the rebels. 

The 2d, Captain John Barry brought into the camp 500 cows, 300 sheep, 
and 300 garrons and had the killing of five rebels; and the same day we 
procured skirmish in the edge of their fastness with the rebels, but no hurt 
of our part. 

It was not, however, until the ist of June that Carew deemed it 
advisable to commence the actual siege of Dunboy. In the interval 
his numerous lieutenants in Kerry and elsewhere had been busy in 
the work of devastation and slaying, thus guarding against any 
possible disturbance of his operations against the castle, once these 
had been begun. O'Sullivan Bear had entrusted the defense to 
Richard MacGeoghegan, a loyal and worthy soldier, the story of 
whose death still lives in grateful Irish memory. It is easy to un- 
derstand why the chieftain did not remain within the walls of his 
ancient home. Shut up therein during what promised to be a long 
siege, he would be powerless to enter upon any active service in 
the cause of his country or co-religionists ; while at large he might 
be able to organize a force capable of relieving his beleaguered fol- 
lowers. However this may have been, he did not remain within the 
castle, but removed to the Castle of Ardea, whither he appears to 
have been accompanied by Father Archer. Father Collins remained 
at Dunboy. 

On the 7th of June Carew commenced active operations for the 
reduction of the place, and "taking Sir Charles Wilmot and one hun- 
dred foot for a guard with him, stole out of the camp and marched 

"Pacata Hihernia*' 275 

directly to the castle to view it and the grounds adjoining; in doing 
whereof some small shot was bestowed upon them, but none other 
hurt done than Sir Charles Wilmot's horse shot in the foot. There 
they found— contrary to the reports of all men that had seen the 
same — a fair place of good ground and of capacity sufficient to 
encamp in, within twelve score (yards?) of the castle, and yet out 
of the sight of it, by reason of a rising ground interjacent, and also 
upon the top of a small ascent in the midst of the rocks a fair green 
plot of ground, not a hundred and forty yards distant from the castle, 
like unto a natural platform, of a just largeness to plant the artillery 

After some days' toil the guns were brought to this place. On the 
17th the actual bombardment began, the garrison meantime having 
attempted some sallies, which were repulsed. The firing opened 
"about five of the clock in the morning, our battery consisting of one 
demi-cannon, two whole culverings and one demi-culvering," It 
continued "without intermission till towards nine in the forenoon, 
at which time a turret annexed to the castle on the southwest part 
thereof was beaten down, in which there was a falcon of iron placed 
upon the top of the vault that continually played at our artillery, 
which also tumbled down. With the fall of that tower many of the 
rebels were buried therein. That being ruinated, the ordnance played 
on the west front of the castle, which by one of the clock in the after- 
noon was also forced down." All Carew's calculations as to the 
effect of his guns on the time-worn walls had been fully verified. 
To all intents and purposes Dunboy was incapable of defense against 
a force provided with artillery of the kind which he possessed. 

Perceiving their desperate position, the garrison "sent out a mes- 
senger offering to surrender if they might have their lives and 
depart with their arms and a pledge given for the assurance thereof." 
Carew, however, was bent on slaughter, and the unfortunate envoy, 
having delivered his missive, "the Lord President turned him over 
to the Marshal (Provost), by whose direction he was executed." 
The defenders were clearly in sore straits, and, moreover, "the breach 
being in our appearance assaultable, the Lord President gave com- 
mandment to have it entered." Having regard to the small number 
of the besieged, the storming party which was formed was abso- 
lutely overwhelming in force, and no one knew better than Carew 
that when he rejected the proposals of MacGeoghegan and his fol- 
lowers to surrender the alternative was massacre. As a matter of 
fact, massacre followed. The Irish and their few Spanish comrades 
fought valiantly, but the result was never for a moment in doubt, 
although resistance was continued in various portions of the castle 
until sunset, when the small surviving remnant of the garrison took 

2^6 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

refuge in the vaults. Throughout the fighting the English gave no 

Only seventy-seven men in all found shelter in the vaults, ''into 
which we having no descent but by a straight winding stony stair, 
they defended the same against us." It was now nearly nine o'clock, 
a fact made plain by Carew's statement that sunset compelled the 
cessation of a struggle which had been continuous from a little after 
one. The weary and wounded men within the cellars offered anew 
to surrender on terms, but Carew refused to grant them even their 
lives. Notwithstanding, Father Collins ''came forth and rendered 
himself."® After this all the Lord President could do was to establish 
"strong guards" to make certain that no one emerged from the 
vaults until the morning enabled the completion of the bloody work 
he had in hands. At dawn twenty-three of the Irish, with two Span- 
iards and one Italian, artillerists, surrendered unconditionally to 
the English, the remainder declaring their intention to blow up the 
powder magazine and themselves rather than surrender. The story 
is thus told by Carew : 

Then MacGeogrhegan, chief commander of the place, being mortally 
wounded with divers shot in his body, the rest made choice of one Thoma? 
Taylor, an Englishman's son — the dearest and inwardest man with Tyrrell 
and married to his niece — to be their chief, who, having nine barrels of 
powder, drew himself and it into the vault, and there sat down by it with a 
lighted match in his hand, vowing and protesting to set it on fire and blow 
up the Castle, himself, and all the rest, except they might have promise of 

Carew absolutely refused quarter and set his cannoniers to batter 
' down the walls of the castle with a view to covering over the entrance 
to the vault and thus burying all within alive. This expedient proved 
too much for the fortitude of the rank and file, who compelled Taylor 
to yield unconditionally. MacGeoghegan was, however, made of 
more stern stuff: 

Sir George Thornton, the Serjeant Major, Captain Roger Harvey, Captain 
Power and others entering the vault to receive them. Captain Power found 
the said Richard MacGeoghegan lying there mortally wounded and perceiv- 
ing Taylor and the rest ready to render themselves, raised himself from 
the ground, snatching a lighted candle and staggering therewith to a barrel 
of powder — which for that purpose was unheaded — offering to cast it into 
the same. Captain Power took him in his arms, with intent to make him 
prisoner, until he was by our men — who perceived his intent — instantly 
killed and then Taylor and the rest were brought prisoners to the camp. 

Within a few hours fifty-eight of the captives were executed, and 

Carew exultingly records that "the whole number of the ward {i. e., 
garrison) consisted of 143 selected fighting men, being the best choice 
of all their forces, of which no one man escaped, but were either 

8 Collins, who was a native of Goughal, before he became a Jesuit "had 
been brought up in the wars of Prance, and there under the League had 
been a commander of horse in Brittany." He probably placed undue 
reliance on the chivalry of Carew and his colleagues. 

The Causes of South American Suspicion. 277 

slain, executed or buried in the ruins, and so obstinate and resolved 
a defense had not been seen within this kingdom." 

It may be regarded as certain that the surrender of Father Collins 
before the last extremity was reached was induced by disinclination 
to incur responsibility for the act of wholesale suicide, the perpetra- 
tion of which was favored by MacGeoghegan and Taylor, and which 
would have been, had it been effected, more pagan than Christian. 
Taylor was eventually hanged at Cork by orders of Carew, and 
Father Collins at Goughal, "the town in which he was born," because 
"no penitence appeared for his detestable treasons, nor yet would 
he endeavour to merit his life, either by discovering the rebels' inten- 
tions — which was in his power — or by doing of some service that 
might deserve favour." Not one of the brave men who held Dunboy 
for God and Ireland escaped death ! 

William F. Dennehy. 

Dublin, Ireland. 


ONE of the most significant events in our diplomatic world is 
the despatching of Mr. Root, the State Secretary, on an 
official tour over and about South America. Not since the 
time when Congress sent the Franklin mission to Canada, with 
John Carroll as interpreter and adviser, has any such advance 
been made to neighboring people. The meaning of the mission is 
plain enough. Our Southern neighbors have taken the alarm at 
recent manifestations of an imperialistic spirit, with its conquering 
impulses, and have formed a coalition for their mutual protection. 
Our recent action with regard to Colombia and Panama has certainly 
aroused a suspicion in other Southern peoples with whom we have 
relations. They look askance at our magniloquent attempts to pose 
before the world as their protectors against foreign aggression, and 
they seek other markets than those of the United States for their 
surplus products. 

Our present Minister to Colombia, Mr. John Barrett, who knows 
much about South American affairs, since he was formerly Minister 
to Argentina also, has made commendable efforts to ameliorate the 
condition of feeling between North and South. In order to dispel 
what he styles "the lamentable ignorance" that prevails in the United 
States in regard to Central and South America, Mr. Barrett has 
given prizes for the best essays by college students on the history and 
economic conditions of Spanish America. This year he offers sim- 

278 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

ilar prizes to the students of Columbia University. This is a good 
endeavor, but it would be better still if Mr. Barrett could get the 
popular magazines and newspapers to inaugurate a crusade of en- 
lightenment to the same end. There are mountains of prejudice to 
be levelled, and furrows of bigotry of long standing to be filled up. 
Religious bigotry is the primary cause of the trouble. This nefarious 
sentiment is kept alive by the zealous fanning of the missionaries 
who are sent to the South by foolish philanthropists, under the delu- 
sion that they may undermine, by persevering patiently at their work, 
the great fabric of Catholic faith that Spain long ago reared in the 
South. As long as funds are forthcoming for such a chimera the 
spirit of prejudice and mutual distrust will be fed, and the efforts of 
such sensible people as Mr. Barrett must be rendered largely nugatory. 
That such a sentiment could carry people who are ordinarily the 
sanest and most practical into quagmires of credulity, as though led 
by a Will-o'-the-wisp, would be hardly credible without some specific 
tangible proof. Such a proof was afforded in Philadelphia a few 
years ago, when this writer was one of an audience who sat in the 
auditorium of the Drexel Building listening to a lecture given by 
an American traveler who had recently returned from Mexico. The 
lecturer was an intelligent, practical, observant man whose chief aim 
in visiting the lovely country of the Aztecs was to study its com- 
mercial possibilities. But he could not avoid noting the religious 
situation that confronted him while there, and he noted it with the 
lens of a magnifying telescope. The effect was wonderful. He 
calmly assured that audience of well-dressed, well-educated Ameri- 
can people that the Mexican peasant is the slave of the priest, who 
sucks him dry. This is, writing from memory, the substance of 
what the lecturer said. The extent to which the peasant is habitually 
squeezed by the priest was indicated by the lecturer thus: Sup- 
posing the laborer earned two American dollars a week, he was 
obliged to hand over one dollar and a half of that amount to the 
Church! That respectable audience listened to this traveler's tale 
with perfect credulity and satisfaction, thanking God, no doubt, that 
they lived in a country where priests had not the power to levy 
blackmail at their sweet will. Although the outrageous statement 
was challenged in the Catholic press, almost immediately, the lec- 
turer did not think it necessary to take any notice of the challenge, 
but went calmly on his way, delivering the same lecture, no doubt, 
in other cities, and getting handsomely paid for his limelight pic- 
tures of Mexico. Possibly he may have been sincere in his descrip- 
tion. Some sharp native, finding him credulous and prejudiced, may 
have made him the victim of a hoax. Such things are happening 
every day. 

The Causes of South American Suspicion. 279 

Prejudice has a prescriptive title in the United States, in regard, 
in especial, to those South American countries. The seeds were 
very early sown. They brought forth that crop of hatred and in- 
justice which led to the Mexican War and the spoliation of Cali- 
fornia, Texas and New Mexico. Good men and women, no doubt, 
denounced Presidents Jackson and Polk and the war party in 
general in good round American invective, but, as usual, the 
jingo sentiment swept the nation along and injustice carried 
the day. At any moment Americans of the present day may 
find themselves in the whirl of a similar vortex by reason of their 
own ignorance of real conditions and the representations of the 
missionary agents in various South American countries, who see 
things only through the missionary eye and are entirely out of 
harmony or sympathy with a Catholic people of Indian strain, whose 
traditions, tendencies and temperament are as different from those of 
the missionaries as the Euphrates is from the St. Lawrence. Our 
national vanity, or rather massed individualistic conceit, is likewise 
a dominant factor in the production of a feeling of distrust on the 
part of the South American people, in our regard. One of the most 
influential and plain-speaking of our daily papers, the New York 
Evening Post, declared recently that our bad manners and our con- 
temptuous way, our overbearing way, in fact, of dealing with these 
peoples, is the reason why they prefer to deal with any other people 
on earth than ourselves. One virile American, it is commonly shown 
on the stage, is able to knock together the heads of six "dagoes." 
The Evening Post is getting on the scent, but it has not as yet struck 
it directly. It has missed the religious equation in the problem. 

In 1826 there was published in New York a "View of South 
America and Mexico," by an anonymous author, "A Citizen of the 
United States," as he modestly signed himself. It gave a condensed 
history of all the States of South America, but devoted itself chiefly 
to Mexico, Chili, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina (then called "the 
United Provinces"). A copy of the book in the writer's possession 
is embellished with a portrait of Bolivar, the Liberator, and some 
practical minded youngster prefigured the course of North American 
chronicle toward the South by tracing over the lineaments of the 
great patriot with a pen or brush dipped in writing ink. The effect 
is grotesque. Bolivar has a pair of black eyes, with no whites 
visible, and a nose all awry, together with an open mouth sans teeth. 
Nothing could be happier as a practical simile, in miniature, of the 
process which historians have chosen with regard to the South 
American people. The process is still in vogue, and it has cost 
American manufacturers a large amount of hard cash. The mer- 
chant and maker pay for the bigot's whistle. 

28o American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

In an introduction to this work, which was intended, as the 
author explained, more for popular than critical use, he cited a con- 
siderable number of authorities, chiefly British and American — 
Robertson, Morse, Fune, Hall and others — and only one bearing a 
Spanish name — Pazo. Then making an excuse beforehand for an- 
ticipated mistakes, he said that the explanation for such would be 
that "most of our information is necessarily derived through a 
foreign language." The unknown author was either disingenuous 
or did not know how to convey his meaning clearly in the one lan- 
guage with which he possessed an unscholarly acquaintance. 

When first the idea of taking interest in the affairs of South 
America manifested itself in this Republic, a genuine sentiment of 
republican sympathy seems to have been the motive which gave rise 
to it. The tyrannical rule of Spain over the South American colo- 
nies was universally denounced. But it is a fact suggestive of insin- 
cerity with regard to this sentiment that after the South American 
States had shaken themselves free from the Spanish rule the hos- 
tility with which that rule was regarded was transferred in many 
cases to the people who had emancipated themselves from it. These 
became, in turn, the objects of the same methods of attack as were 
employed against the Spaniards. They were constantly held up to 
the world's scorn as bigoted, superstitious, priest-ridden, lazy, dirty, 
intolerant and generally decadent. The priests, again, have been the 
objects of the most unmerciful vilification. Every crime in the 
calendar has been laid at their doors. To this very hour this un- 
christian system of calumny is continued. A living example of its 
activity and venom was afforded in the pages of the New York 
Tribune during the month of March this year. An attempt had 
been made by four armed men to assassinate General Reyes, the 
President of Colombia. The Tribune immediately published a state- 
ment on the subject, based on the word of a Colombian then in 
New York, declaring without qualification that "it was known" that 
the Jesuits had hired these assassins to kill the President — why or 
wherefore it was not thought necessary to say. Then came the 
news that the assassins had been discovered to be anarchists, and 
that the whole four had been executed. Again the Tribune described 
them as instruments of Jesuit malignity. What a combination! — 
Jesuits and anarchists ! When absurdity of this kind is found dis- 
gracing the pages of a leading organ of public opinion in the very 
seat of the nation's heart and brain, as New York may be regarded, 
what may not one be prepared to find in remote parts of the country, 
where ancient hatreds and superstitions still flourish in much of their 
pristine rank luxuriance? 

While the civil sway of Spain over the countries of South America 

The Causes of South American Suspicion. 281 

was often oppressive and deserving of opprobrium, it was a thousand 
times more just, humane and enUghtened than that of Great Britain 
over India and Ireland. It was carried on by the Spanish Govern- 
ment in very much the same way as the government of Ireland and 
India is to this day carried on. Viceroys were appointed by the 
Crown, and these again appointed deputies in the various provinces. 
But the system was infinitely better than the British system in the 
Old World, inasmuch as each province and division enjoyed a prac- 
tical system of home rule, with an admirable popularly elected judici- 
ary and a system of representation on all matters wherein taxation 
was involved. No doubt Spanish domination in its earlier stage 
brought woe and slavery to the aborigines, but the royal power soon 
put an end to that form of oppression, and the heroic Jesuits and 
other religious orders soon threw a shield over the Indian and pro- 
tected him from the cruelty and greed of the hard-hearted conquis- 
tador and the commercial Spanish adventurer — the carpetbagger as 
we style that human pest to-day. In the splendid system of ecclesi- 
astical government established by royal authority in Nicaragua and 
other places the power of religion to civilize the savage and convert 
him into one of the most useful of men was demonstrated in a 
marvelous way. No such experiment had ever been witnessed 
before, for under no other government but that of Spain could it 
have been made possible. Yet the anonymous historian who set out 
to tell the story of the South American Republics ninety years ago 
gives no credit to Spain for its liberality and wisdom, but compares 
its colonial policy unfavorably with that of England. The Spanish 
Monarchy, he stated, was absolute, while that of Great Britain was 
limited, and this limited condition affected the rule of the colonies 
as well as the insular government. Theoretically it did, no doubt, 
until the abolition of the East India Company and the proclamation 
of the English sovereignty as an imperial and not a kingly one, dur- 
ing the late Queen's reign, at the instigation of the supple Jew, 
Disraeli, who was bent on carrying out the dream of Vivian Gray 
and gaining the title he had chosen in the novel. Lord Beaconsfield. 
Previous to the Indian Mutiny the East India Company ruled India 
in a fashion so defiant of respect for human right and so cynical in 
its selfishness and cruelty as to defy all comparison— save perhaps 
that of the Sultans of Morocco and Zanzibar when the slave trade 
was the staple source of revenue for the treasury. In India there 
was a Viceroyalty, as there was in the Spanish colonies; but the 
Viceroys in India were powerless, in a large measure, before the 
privileges of the royal charter which the East India Company could 
flourish in the face of delegated power ; while in Ireland the Viceroy 
was subordinated in authority, by a most paradoxical mal-arrange- 

282 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

ment of the English ParHament, to his own Chief Secretary, and 
only served as a mere ornamental figurehead holding a mock court 
and giving levees and "drawing rooms" on stated occasions, in Dub- 
lin Castle. 

From the beginning the English-speaking writers of South Ameri- 
can history of the type of this unknown one began the work of de- 
faming the Church and the religious orders. A few examples of this 
spirit and the contradictions in which it often involved the maligners 
may be offered. Here is a characteristic sample: 

"x\n inconsiderate zeal for the establishment of monasteries was 
disclosed at an early period, and, from the influence of the regular 
ecclesiastics, these institutions were multiplied to a pernicious extent, 
in a new country, where every encouragement ought to have been 
afforded to the increase of population." 

The disingenuousness here is the suppression of the fact that the 
friars who built and tenanted these monasteries came, as a rule, from 
Spain, and their presence in the new country in no wise affected the 
increase or decrease of the population, except in the direction of that 
improvement in economic" conditions which invariably ensues on 
improvement in moral conditions, such as the monasteries and their 
spacious settlements speedily brought about in those regions which 
came within the zone of the Spanish missions. 

"Most of the clergy in America were regular, and many of the 
highest honors and preferments were in their possession. Great 
numbers of them came as missionaries, and most of them in quest 
of liberty, wealth or distinction." 

How could it be otherwise than that the clergy who came out from 
Spain should belong to orders? Missionary priests could only be 
of that class. None of them, it is certainly most safe to say, ever 
came out " in quest of liberty, wealth or distinction." They came 
out on the most glorious of missions — namely, to stand between the 
conquistadore and the bagman and the intended or actual victims of 
victorious invaders, and to proclaim the inhibition of the Church 
against oppression of the conquered. They came also to plant the 
faith of the Cross and to sow the seeds of Christian civilization. 

"The success of the missionaries in converting the natives was 
almost entirely deceptive; they made use of the same unjustifiable 
means that have been resorted to by the Jesuits in other parts of the 
world, and with like success. To render the new religion more 
palatable, and to introduce it with greater facility, they pretended 
that there was a similarity between the doctrines and mysteries of 
Christianity and the crued notions of their own barbarous supersti- 
tions. By fraud and force, in the course of a few years after the 
reduction of the Mexican Emipre, more than four millions of the 

The Causes of South American Suspicion. 283 

natives were baptized ; but they remained the same, or at least no 
better, for such spurious conversion. They were not entirely ignor- 
ant of the doctrines and duties of Christianity, but retained all their 
veneration for their ancient superstitions. This mixture of Chris- 
tianity with their own superstitious rites was transmitted to their 
posterity and has never been eradicated." 

Eighty years ago, as we thus find, the seeds of racial and religious 
rancor were sedulously planted in the North American mental soil. 
Long before Prescott and Parkman began their labors in the same 
invidious field, the ground had been broken and furrowed by the toil 
of cruder litterateurs, and now we of to-day are reaping the harvest 
of hate thus carefully provided for. 

Comparisons between the respective humanity and motives of 
British colonization and that of Spain, in such a discussion, is quite 
natural. Both countries began their colonial career in the same 
historical era. But they each had different conditions to approach. 
In the East Indies the English adventurers found an ancient and 
gorgeous civilization founded on a moral and philosophical system 
rooted in the dawn of history, and productive of a contentment 
among the millions of the people that, if it did not signify progress, 
gave the empire of the Moguls a state of permanent, if stagnant, 
peace. In South America the Spaniards found the primeval forest 
and the fierce paganism of the untutored savage, tempered in portions 
of the new region, as in Mexico, with a bloody and revolting cult 
akin to that of Moloch. And yet historians of the repute of those 
named shed literary tears over the overthrow of the "civilization" 
of the Aztecs and its horrible human holocausts! These and their 
conquerers of lesser rank would fain impress on the world the idea 
that while a special Providence guided the prows of English ships 
toward the Oriental Ind, a curse filled the sails of the Spanish car- 
avels that bore the Spanish Jesuits, Franciscans and Dominicans to 
South American ports ! 

As every tree is known by its fruit, the colonizing policy of both 
Great Britain and Spain is to be judged by the respective results. 
Here in the North the Anglo-Saxon has left his imprint deep on the 
page of the aboriginal history. It is a chronicle that brings him 
no glory. It stamps him as an exterminator and a rapacious coveter 
and grasper of that which is not his. Spain, on the contrary, has 
infused her blood and her national traditions into the life of the 
South American aborigine, and did not proceed to "improve" him, 
as the English settlers did the Northern aborigine. Yet such a 
distinction in treatment was held up to Northern admiration, eighty 
years ago, by a cynical inversion of reasoning, as a circumstance 
inuring to Spain's discredit and Anglo-Saxon glory! This might 

284 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

appear a difficult position to advance or maintain, since "facts are 
stubborn things/' and no fact stands out more clearly than the wiping 
out of the North American Indians and the survival and multipli- 
cation of the South American ones. Audacity, however, like neces- 
sity, knows no law, as the following passages of the history under 
consideration will show: 

"If the Spaniards rendered little benefit to the natives by their 
attempts to Christianize them, their conduct towards them in other 
respects was severe and oppressive in the extreme. 

"The views of the Spaniards with respect to the natives were 
entirely different from those of the English in the American colonies. 
In the latter the natives were either induced peaceably to cede their 
lands and retire further into the interior of th continent, or from 
the successive hostilities which arose were exterminated or dispersed. 
As the European settlements extended, the natives, who had for 
ages been 'lords of the soil,' gradually retired, disposed of their lands, 
or had them wrested from thern by war, and sought new abodes, 
where, depending on the chase, they might enjoy an easy subsistence. 
They melted away before the sun of civilization like the dew of the 
morning, without leaving any of their number behind or scarcely" 
(sic) "a trace of their former existence. Not only thousands of 
individuals, but numerous tribes or nations might say with Logan, 
the Mingo chief, 'Not a drop of our blood flows in the veins of any 
living creature inhabiting the land of our fathers.' " 

Whatever the wrongs inflicted on the Southern Indians by the 
early Spanish settlers — and they were many and as long-lived as 
calamity — they were at length mitigated by the Spanish crown and 
all attempts to keep the people as serfs by the settlers were in the 
end frustrated. By the efforts of Las Casas and the religious orders, 
the Indian was soon placed on a social equality with the conqueror, 
and no attemptw as made to establish the odious color line. How 
different their case from that of the North American red men and 
the English settlers ! 

Craft and cruelty are charged against the early Spanish con- 
querors, but these vices were not peculiar to them. They are equally 
applicable to Warren Hastings as to Pizarro. The Begums of Oule 
were subjected to them no less than the Incas of Peru. Tortures 
were resorted to by the English adventurers in the East as well as 
by the Spaniards, in order to gain possession of the riches of the 
native princes. They are shown in the wars of conquest of to-day 
not less than in those of the sixteenth century, with only the differ- 
ence of degree. The war against the Boers of South Africa was 
begun in craft and carried out in cruelty on the most colossal scale. 
Is there any parallel in the Spanish wars of colonization for the 

The Causes of South American Suspicion. 285 

burning of 89,000 farms and the driving of the women and children 
left homeless into foul camps, to die of disease, hunger and despair ? 
No such record ever before blotted the page of history, and it was 
not of Spain it was written, but of England — the country whose 
historians have been holding Spain up before the world as the per- 
sonification of all that is treacherous and cruel ever since the days 
of the Tudors. 

It was inevitable, from the circumstances under which the Span- 
iards began the colonization of South America, that abuses should 
spring up in the beginning. The newcomers were selfish adven- 
turers, just as the newcomers in many other colonies were, and they 
were not over-scrupulous as to the means by which they attained 
their selfish ambition. They oppressed the natives and used them 
as slaves. The British in South Africa have been doing the same in 
regard to Kaffirs and Chinese, and their High Commissioner, Lord 
Milner, defended the practice of flogging the Chinese coolies in the 
mines as necessary. No one in such authority ever attempted to 
defend cruelty toward South American Indians in so bold a way; 
and as soon as the Spanish monarchs could they abolished slavery 
and passed salutary laws to protect the native races. The wise 
legislation of Charles V. secured the Indians in their rights as free 
subjects of the Spanish crown; and later on this legislation was 
supplemented by the action of the Ministry, under Count Galvez, in 
establishing the system of "intendancies," which put an end to many 
abuses which had crept in under the older system of "encomiendas" 
and the worse one of "corregidors" — a system very much akin to 
that in vogue at the mines here, where the miners buy from agents 
at an exorbitant price and are driven to borrow money at an ex- 
orbitant rate of interest to usurers and blood-suckers. 

The readers of those early histories could hardly fail to rise from 
their perusal without a feeling of loathing toward Spain as a gov- 
erning country and a still deeper one with regard to the Catholic 
Church, since every dishonest device is resorted to in order to pro- 
duce such a sentiment. In this particular case much the same tactics 
were employed as in the case of the so-called selling of indulgences 
by Tetzel. Indulgences are understood to be licenses to commit sin, 
just like a license to sell liquor or gunpowder. Monks are repre- 
sented as selling the "Bull de Cruzado"— probably the Bull "In 
Coena Domini," promulgated against the Turks; and the Bull is 
described as 'granting absolution" for past sins and granting certain 
dispensations in regard to Lent. Any ordinarily educated writer 
would not be found committing himself to such a puerility in state- 
ment, for the usual law of the Church renders any such interposition 
unnecessary. Absolution is pronounced by the individual priest on 

286 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

the acknowledgment of sin, and there is no need of a Papal Bull to 
ratify it. So, too, with regard to dispensation in the matter of fast- 
ing and adstinence. The individual priest possesses the power to 
deal with all such matters. Yet under a misapprehension of the 
true nature of such questions, the anonymous writer of this "history" 
did not hesitate to set down as a statement of fact that by allowing 
such a practice as the "selling" of these Bulls the Spanish monarchy, 
which should have been the protector of the morals of the people^ 
bartered them away for the sake of a paltry tax! Even the state- 
ment of the accusation proves it to be a stupid falsehood — for how 
can anything whose payment is optional be called a tax? Little 
wonder that the American mind, at an early age, became embittered 
against Spain and the Catholic faith when the process of systematic 
empoisoning was thus begun in the very infancy, so to speak, of the 
American Republic. 

Historians who sit down to work out a theory conceived in racial 
prejudice may get along smoothly for some time, but as they pro- 
ceed they lose hold of the thread which has led them into the 
labyrinth and presently find themselves floundering. They have 
proved too much ; their vaulting ambition has overleaped itself. This 
particular chronicle bristles with such contradictions. The careful 
reader will frequently find that while he was having his mind pre- 
pared for some deplorable outcome of unfortunate or intolerable 
conditions an anti-climax is reached, by some remarkable oversight, 
and a result very creditable to the ruling power, just before held up 
to execration as a detestable tyranny, is presented to the reader's 
gaze, very much to his astonishment. No picture could be darker 
than that drawn of the condition of the Spanish Creoles, for instance, 
in the course of this narrative. They are represented as oppressed 
beyond the power of human endurance, degraded, kept in ignorance, 
ground down by "foreign" rule — in a word, on a plane with the 
Irish Catholic people during the penal laws — and yet as a class dis- 
tinguished for their loyalty and attachment to their King and coun- 
try" — that is to the rule of those who had just been described as 
"foreign." This spirit of loyalty was strongly in evidence when 
an abortive insurrection was gotten up in Caraccas, at the instigation 
of British speculators by a man named Leon, not for political but 
commercial purposes. The Creoles remained steadfastly loyal, and 
so checkmated the British friends of liberty, as the conspirators pre- 
tended to be. Again their loyalty was put to a stronger test when 
another conspiracy, headed by Tupac Amru, a descendant of the 
Incas, broke out in Peru. This was a formidable attempt to restore 
the power of the Incas, and the struggle lasted for three years. But 
at length it collapsed, and mainly because of the fidelity of the same 

The Causes of South American Suspicion. 287 

class — the Spanish Creoles. This was in 1781. Yet this same 
super-faithful race is found, in the same pages, a few years later — 
namely, in 1797 — eagerly joining in another conspiracy, originating 
also in Caraccas, but fomented from outside. Why such a surpris- 
ing change in sentiment in so very short a period? What had hap- 
pened to a people who were so fond of hugging their chains to 
make them now eager to rend them? Had a new Caractacus, a 
modern Spartacus, arisen to inflame their sodden spirits and rouse 
them from the slough of despond? The answer to this inquiry is 
one of absorbing interest, because it embraces a chapter of history 
which furnishes the explanation of many events in modern affairs 
which on the surface look like the incipient struggling of a new- 
born spirit of freedom, the travail of liberty, but when investigated 
further indicate the beginnings of a much less noble inpulse — the 
spirit of commercial aggression and filibustering piracy. 

Mr. William Pitt, the great statesman who destroyed the liberty 
of Ireland, was for a considerable time much perturbed in his mind 
about the political status of the South American people, and the 
desire to bring about their emancipation had taken strong possession 
of him. There happened to be in London just at this period an 
ex- Jesuit named Guzman, a Peruvian, and with him the British 
Prime Minister had several conferences, the outcome of which was 
the publication by Guzman of an appeal to the Peruvians to arise 
and throw off the Spanish yoke. More than this, funds were sent 
out by Pitt to General Miranda to enable him to get up a filibuster- 
ing expedition against Venezuela. Pitt went farther than this. He 
got the British Minister to make a serious proposal to the United 
States Government, Mr. Adams then being President, to have a joint 
intervention over the Spanish colonies and sunder their connection 
with Spain. Miranda's attempt was made, but with disastrous 
results, not for himself, but for the dupes whom he had persuaded 
to embark in it. A number of young men from the United States 
enlisted in the service, and these were soon overpowered by the 
Venezuelan forces. They were thrown into prison, while Miranda 
himself got away in safety. 

The real object of Mr. Pitt's emancipation ardor was made ap- 
parent by the text of a proclamation published by the Governor of 
Trinidad, Sir Thomas Picton, throwing open the ports of that island 
to the trade of the South American colonies and directing the atten- 
tion of the people to the facilities thus afforded for storing up arms 
and preparing a point d' appui for a descent upon the South Ameri- 
can colonies. The proclamation in short was an undisguised attempt 
to stir up insurrection all over the Spanish colonies in South America, 
and it made no secret of the motives which inspired the call to free- 

288 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

dom. It was "to liberate the colonies from the oppressive and tyran- 
nical system which supports with so much rigor the monopoly of 
commerce" and ''to draw the greatest advantages possible which the 
local situation of the islands presents, by opening a direct communi- 
cation with the other parts of the worlds without prejudice to the 
commerce of the British nation." It was hardly necessary to italicize 
this proviso to have its significance comprehended, but it is proper 
to give it all the emphasis possible, because it reveals the awful 
hypocrisy which sought under a pretext of love of liberty to destroy 
the rule of Spain and the commerce of Spain, for the base purpose of 
securing it for Britain and her own colonies. This is certainly the 
most flagitious transaction that ever disgraced the foreign policy of 
any British Minister. Its nefarious character is all the darker be- 
cause of the record of the Minister who inspired it — the heartless 
destroyer of Ireland's Parliamentary rights and the cold-blooded 
author of the sanguinary uprising of 1798 — a rebellion which, as 
the State papers have since proved, was gotten up deliberately by his 
contrivance in order that he might have the country deprived of the 
means of resistance while he proceeded to execute the design of 
destroying her public liberties. 

Such was the character of the Minister who desired to be lauded 
in history as the liberator of the Spanish colonists. We have seen 
that he had made overtures to Mr. Adams, the President of the United 
States at that period, with a view to joint action against Spain, but 
met with no encouragement in that direction. The idea of terri- 
torial expansion had not as yet inflamed the minds of statesmen bent 
more on securing what they had won from despotic power than on 
reaching out for empire. 

A fresh attempt on the Spanish colonies was made in the year 
1806. A British expedition, under Sir Henry Popham, entered the 
river La Plata and made a movement against Buenos Ayres, but after 
a little while was forced to surrender. Soon afterward Popham, 
having received reinforcements, was enabled to storm Monte Video. 
Two other expeditions, under Generals Whitlock and Crawford, were 
respectively directed against Buenos Ayres and Valparaiso. Both 
armies joined in the attack on Buenos Ayres, but they were soon put 
to flight by the brave inhabitants, after having lost fully one-third 
of their number in the fighting, and the British commanders were 
very glad to sign an agreement to leave the country within two 
months. The object of these various attacks was no longer dis- 
sembled. It was not to emancipate the colonists, as before pre- 
tended, but to subjugate the country and annex it to the British 
crown, as a state of war then existed between Britain and Spain, 
as an ally of France, as she at that time was, although destined to 

The Causes of South American Suspicion. 289 

be in a very short time in a life and death struggle with her for 
national existence. 

As long as Spain maintained her sovereignty intact, her South 
American colonies continued loyal. There were many and grave 
abuses in their government, but none greater than in the government 
of other powers in their various colonial systems in other parts of 
the globe, but the people were, for the most part, prosperous and 
contented with their condition. But the soil was being prepared for 
a change. The introduction of Freemasonry was the most active 
agency. This element recognized its natural enemy in the Church, 
and to the overthrow of its influence the members of the craft, 
throughout many of the colonies, directed their efforts and instituted 
a vigorous propaganda which is carried on unflaggingly still. But 
the great factor in the separation of the colonies from the mother 
country was the seizure of the crown of Spain by Bonaparte and the 
bestowal of it on one of his brothers. This flagitious usurpation 
shook the colonial system from end to end. The affairs of the 
various colonies were thrown into the utmost disorder, and the peo- 
ple, led by able and restless spirits, began to devise means whereby 
their interests might be better safeguarded. One by one they broke 
away from the connection and, inspired by the example of the United 
States, they each, in turn, adopted the Republican idea and fashioned 
their form of commonwealth rule on the famous formula adopted by 
Jefiferson and the other great Republican leaders. The change was 
not easily effected. The struggle was prolonged and bitter, but in 
the end the colonies triumphed. Such a result ought naturally, one 
might think, have won for them the sympathy of the Northern Re- 
public, to which they had paid the delicate flattery of imitating its 
Constitution, and for a little while it did. But gradually the feeling 
changed. There were vast territories lying close to the Northern 
Republic's frontiers — Florida, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Cali- 
fornia — and on these the eyes of ambition and greed soon became 
fastened. They were thinly populated, and all but defenseless. Soon 
excuses for aggression arose, through the disorders inevitable from 
border laxity and Indian depredations. 

Alexander Von Humboldt is an authority not open to the usual 
objection. A scientific explorer rather than a political observer, his 
great mind was capable of storing up a multitude of facts and deduc- 
ing from them their essential meaning and their bearing on the 
varied phenomena which challenged his attention as he laboriously 
pursued his scientific investigations. He traveled extensively in 
South America— more so, perhaps, than any other traveler, save, 
perhaps, Audubon— and he noted carefully the social and political 
conditions which resulted from Spain's great colonizing undertak- 

290 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

ings there. In his book on "New Spain" (Mexico now) he gives a 
deeply interesting account of the people and their condition. This 
passage is particularly valuable as an offset to the rancorous mis- 
statements of American historians: 

"The Indian cultivator is poor, but he is free. His state is even 
greatly preferable to that of the peasantry in a great part of Northern 
Europe. There are neither corvees nor villanage in New Spain, 
and the number of slaves is next to nothing. There the principal 
objects of agriculture are not the productions to which European 
luxury has assigned a variable and arbitrary value, but cereal 
gramina, nutritive roots and the agave, the vine of the Indians. The 
appearance of the country proclaims to the traveler that the soil 
nourishes him who cultivates it, and that the true prosperity of the 
Mexican people neither depends on the accidents of foreign com- 
merce nor on the unruly politics of Europe." 

It is not necessary here to enter into any review of the circum- 
stances which brought about the absorption of these vast territories 
under successive Administrations. It is enough to say that the policy 
and the equity of the war with Mexico, which brought about the 
greater portion of the respective cessions, were seriously questioned 
by the better conscience of the nation, just as the war with Spain 
which brought us the damnosa haereditas (as some political leaders 
regard it) of the Philippines, was questioned by Sherman, Reed and 
other high-minded statesmen. But it is interesting to observe the 
similarity of the preliminary tactics in both cases. There was pre- 
cisely the same process of stirring up animosity between the respec- 
tive peoples by means of the press and the pen of the historian. The 
case of the conquest of California may be cited as a typical instance 
of a process graphically described in a homely formula about giving 
a dog a bad name. In the history of the United States by John 
Frost, LL. D. (1857) we find this reliable old process illustrated. 
California was discovered by Cortez in 1534, it is recorded, but not 
brought under the rule of Spain until 1769. Then Admiral Otondo, 
accompanied by a number of Jesuits under Father Eusebius Francisco 
Kino, set forth to open up a new and splendid territory to civiliza- 
tion. The historian finds little material for a narrative of how the 
undertaking fared, he says, but it was in the result successful, and 
he declares that its success was as much owing to the efforts of the 
ecclesiastics as those of the soldiers. This was the story of the Phil- 
ippines over again. But the historian goes on to summarize the 
subsequent stage in a characteristic way. It is worth while quoting 
a passage or two : 

"The Jesuits settled in the most fertile provinces and . . . en- 
tered ardently upon the trying task of proselyting the Indians. Per- 

The Causes of South American Suspicion. 291 

suasion and presents were the means commonly used; when these 
failed, force was resorted to." 

No authority is cited by the historian for this statement. Why? 
Because, of course, he had none to offer. He was simply anticipating 
the advent of the "yellow journalist." To resume: 

"After conversion each native was required to give ten years' 
faithful service to the mission, after which he was set at liberty," etc. 

This is directly at variance with the prohibition of slavery by the 
Spanish crown as well as the whole procedure of the Jesuits and 
other religious orders with regard to the Indians. It is evidently 
a fabrication. Again: "During the revolts in 1836 the Indians 
were mostly cast off from their missions and deprived of the fruits 
of their labor. The country was visited, in 1841, by Captain Wilkes, 
at the head of the United States Exploring Expedition, who found 
it to be destitute of all government." 

The Indians, he went on to say, were desperate because of the 
way they had been treated — of course by the Jesuits, it was under- 
stood, though not stated. For a country that was so destitute of 
government as described it put up a pretty stiff fight when our 
troops, under Fremont and Kearney and Stockton, invaded it to 
conquer it for a rule which is not particularly distinguished for con- 
sideration for Indians' rights, however much better it may be than 
that of either Spain or Mexico for the white settlers. 

A volume might very easily be filled with the evidences of preju- 
dice and passion which were always relied upon by cunning and 
ambitious statesmen and adventurers, at times of friction on the 
borders, to back up their schemes of aggrandizement when they 
came to the verge of war. Recent events in American development 
have not tended to allay the suspicions of the "Latin Republics" with 
regard to the dreams of their formidable Northern neighbor, and 
they exhibit their distrust by looking to other parts of the world for 
their needs in the way of commerce and manufactures. This is why 
Mr. Root has been despatched on an embassy of inquiry and con- 
ciliation. There will be a congress of nearly all the States next 
June, in Rio de Janeiro, and some good result may be hoped for from 
that important gathering. It is necessary for the world's peace that 
the distrust— the very natural distrust — of our intentions be removed 
from the minds of those people, so different from our own in many 
important respects. It is essential to our own commercial prosperity 
that they should have their suspicions disarmed. A great stumbling 
block in the way of peace will always be present so long as the enter- 
prise of the professional missionary to the Catholic territories is sus- 
tained bv commercial interest or mistaken religious zeal. 

John J. O'Shea. 

Philadelphia, Pa. 

292 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 



HE doctrine of a universal monism strongly appeals to the 
I scientific mind. That the universe we see about us to-day, 

with its manifold beauties of sunlit earth and starlit sky, 
its wonders of life in all its forms, from the tiny plant even to the 
highest aspirations of the human intellect, was once latent in the 
simplicity of one primeval nebula, from whose womb it was grad- 
ually evolved without any new creation of matter or energy, is a 
thought that captivates the mind, yet tends to exalt rather than 
depreciate the wisdom and omnipotence of the Creator. Yet as 
the phenomena of nature are subjected, one by one, to examination, 
certain facts obtrude themselves upon our view, and the would-be 
Monist must not blind himself to their significance. Where do we 
find such facts? At the entrance to the vegetative world, at the 
threshold of animal life and sensation? At both these points the 
battle is still being waged ; some philosophers still contend that life, 
even in its most humble form, betrays new energies that mere matter 
and motion can never explain, while their opponents as strongly 
profess to see nothing, even in the complexity of sensation, that 
may not have been fully latent in the "fiery cloud." But to pass 
these points by, we come to man, and at the threshold of human 
freedom the issue becomes more vital still and the contest more 
closely knit. If man's will is free, monism falls to the ground, for 
only the introduction of a new creative act can explain that freedom. 
The nebula which evolves under stress of necessary law cannot 
explain the new energy of man's will, which sets necessity itself at 
defiance. Hence the strenuous efiforts of modern determinism to 
bring at all costs the human will within the domain of necessary 
law ; hence the importance of outlining and defending the position 
that has ever appealed to reasonable men both inside and outside 
Christianity, that man's will is free and does not follow the impulse 
of motive as necessarily and surely as the rising and falling of the 
tides obey the influence of sun and moon. 

Looked at from the moral standpoint, it would be difficult to 
overrate the importance of this doctrine of human freedom, lying 
as it does at the very root of all man's dealings with his fellow-men 
and God Himself. Tell man he is not free, and in the eyes of the 
average man punishment and reward, the sense of duty, the feeling 
of responsibility and remorse — all these, in their true significance, 
go by the board. Curious it is, then, to watch the positions taken 
up by determinists on this point. Many of them cannot but accept 
these consequences that the denial of free will entails ; some of these,. 

Some Aspects of Free Will. 293 

startled at the gloomy outlook, would hide the truth— surely a be- 
coming idea for those who boast themselves, par excellence, the 
friends of truth! Can you conceal the truth, or why should you 
ever do so ? Is not magna est Veritas et praevalehit the crystallized 
sense of mankind ? Others, less scrupulous retailers of their chiefs, 
are not loath to accept the consequences. "No free will, no God" 
is their dogma; "let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die." 
Quite a different position is adopted by others who boldly deny 
that any such evil effects must follow the loss of human liberty. 
"Remove this phantom of free will," they say, "and mankind will 
get along pretty much the same as before ; man will still be amenable 
to motive; by punishing his misdeeds we shall make him regret 
that he ever committed them and take good care to avoid them in 
the future; by rewarding his good deeds we shall make him feel 
proud of duty well done, and inspire him with good intentions for 
the time to come." So speak some determinists, with what truth 
we shall see later on. 

Our contention is briefly stated. We are convinced and feel that 
we deserve sometimes reward, sometimes blame, and this just because 
when we did act we really could have abstained from so doing. We 
are free, then, in many of our actions, and these the most vital and 
serious. Give a man clear deliberation when passion is not too 
strong, and he may act freely. It is only when the storm of passion, 
as it were, sweeps us off our feet or our intellects are blinded in its 
sudden outburst that true freedom is no longer ours. In the first 
moments of strong anger a man's hands close like a vice and his 
whole appearance betrays him as surely as the sky is overcast as 
the storm approaches. There is no freedom there. No, it is only 
when I deliberately consider the motive before me and give it a fair 
chance that I may bring into use my sacred prerogative of freedom 
and decide freely and as I choose. 

The mention of motive brings us at once into our subject; to study 
how a motive works will facilitate our treatment. Man is by nature 
composite ; he has both a body and a soul, each endowed with its own 
proper and distinct set of faculties for perceiving good and embrac- 
ing it. Though profoundly distinct in character, these two sets of 
powers are so intimately connected that it is a received truth of 
psychology that there is no movement of sense-perception or appe- 
tite that has not a concomitant and corresponding motion in intellect 
or will; the one follows the other necessarily and inevitably. A 
motive, then, is presented to the intellect and appeals to the will 
through the senses, so that the first act of will necessarily embraces 
that good. So far the act of will is necessary. The intellect now 
adverts to what the will is doing. Can the will now cease to act? 

294 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

If there are two motives there, can it choose between them, remem- 
bering that in this theory of motives they all drag the will necessarily 
at first ? 

It is clear, then, that we can have no act of will without a motive. 
So far we all go, but the Determinist goes farther still, and his con- 
tention may be briefly stated thus : The nature and strength of our 
motives are beyond our control ; neither can we resist a sole motive 
or choose the weaker. As the needle seeks the magnet when one 
alone is present, and inclines inevitably to the stronger when more 
than one are in the vicinity, so we must will in accordance with a 
sole motive or with the stronger if more than one are present. 

That we cannot control our motives in the sense that our hered- 
itary dispositions and the circumstances of our training and exist- 
ence largely account for their peculiar nature and strength, we do 
not doubt. My circumstances of the moment are often beyond me ; 
my physical texture was woven for me long before I was born ; my 
peculiar brain structure, oji which the strength of my motives 
especially depend, was moulded for me by the long since recognized 
law of heredity. That law, in the passing of which their votes were 
not taken, truly accounts for a large number of the unhappy inmates 
of our lunatic asylums, jails and reformatories. In the peculiar 
bent of the child's character even in its early years you can trace 
the hand of its ancestors, just as the geologist may read in their 
furrowed markings on mountain and in valley the majestic march of 
the glaciers long ere the dawn of history. 

That is true, and undoubtedly also those motives — not of our own 
choosing — very strongly influence our wills for good or evil. But 
are we completely at their mercy? Are we as much the sport of 
our circumstances and propensities as the rudderless ship on the 
open sea, toseed about by wind and wave ? The Determinist would 
have it so. Given one motive only, the will cannot resist its influ- 
ence; let more be present, victory must fall to the side of the 

As to the first of these statements, that we necessarily follow the 
stronger motive, we are forced to deny it as a gratuitous assertion. 
The very opposite is borne out by the strong testimony of our own 
consciousness. Curiously enough, some determinists are wont to 
make the same appeal, showing thereby how important they deem 
it to have consciousness on their side if they can. Man's time-hon- 
ored feeling that he is free has evidently proved a serious obstacle 
to their cherished dreams of a universal monism ; they cannot over- 
look it and brush it aside, so they set about examining their con- 
sciousness anew — this time under the light of their own scientific 
theories — and, lo! they succeed in finding therein a new testimony 

Some Aspects of Free Will. 295 

that man never found there before, for they now proclaim to the 
world, triumphantly and in all seriousness, that they feel they are 
not free! 

They feel they are not free! Yes, it is all very well on paper, 
but like universal skepticism we may take it that, except in the case 
of a color-blind few, it can rarely boast of a more than paper-exist- 
ence. And we need not enlarge upon a plain fact — that the average 
man thinks in his heart that he is free and regards his deliberate 
acts accordingly, feels an honest pride after duty performed in the 
face of strong opposing temptation and, inwardly at least, hangs his 
head with shame and suffers a keen remorse when the full malice of 
his deliberate evil action comes home to his mind. 

Claiming, then, in all fairness the testimony of consciousness on 
our side, let us get somewhat closer to our subject by examining 
into the precise reason of this human liberty. How comes it, then, 
that we are free, and instead of being the plaything of inherited 
propensities we can, if we so will it, fight the good fight and live 
them down ? A satisfactory answer can only be found in a peculiar 
power of the human intellect, which being denied the brute creation, 
they are thereby deprived of freedom also. Elsewhere we prove 
that man has a soul that is spiritual, a faculty of cognition also whose 
object is the universal, which can picture to itself good which is 
without limit and unalloyed. Possessing such a peculiar power, 
man may be free. If you put before him such a good, which is all 
good and in which he can see no limitation after advertence, he 
must embrace it. So it is, theologians teach, with the saints in 
heaven. In the pure goodness of the Infinite Divine Essence, which 
they appreciate as much as God allows and as far as finite intellect 
may, there is no limitation, no alloy, so that they must of necessit>^ 
love and enjoy. 

Different it is, however, with the goods of this world; none of 
them are without limit and deficiency, and when the intellect adverts 
to the fact that the will is tending to any one of them, being able 
to conceive for itself the abstract good, it at once sees the blemish, 
and this is the mental situation for which liberty is claimed. 

What, then, of the first contention of the determinist that a single 
motive necessitates the will ? Here many advocates of freedom seem 
to hold with our opponents, yet such a position seems a dangerous 
one to take up. 

It is a physical law as necessary as the falling of a stone or the 
revolution of the spheres, that a single motive is irresistible before 
advertence, such is our physical constitution. Does the law hold 
after advertence before any second motive enters? If you say it 
does, where does the magic power of freedom come from when the 

296 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

second motive appears on the scene? It must either arise from the 
spiritual power of the intellect or the brute has it also. Yet as the 
spiritual nature of the faculty gave no help in the first case, how 
does it aid in the second? Again, if there is no such possibility of 
mere non-action, mere refusal to accept a single particular motive, 
and if I can only avoid one act by taking refuge in the performance 
of some other quite different act, what becomes of that liberty of 
contradiction which has been a traditional prerogative of man in 
the eyes of Catholic philosophers? 

Furthermore, if you allow a sole motive to conquer the will, even 
after advertence, it is difficult to argue against the conclusion of 
our opponents that when two or more are present it is the strongest 
which must gain the assent of the will. 

"Thou canst, for thou oughtest." This trite saying of Kant is 
often used to crystallize one of the usual arguments for free will. 
To rightly estimate its value we must search carefully into the full 
significance of this "ought," as men have been wont to use it. If 
in reality men were not free agents at all, so that when they com- 
mitted murder or avoided it they were in neither case full masters 
of their actions, it would still remain true, in a sense, that they ought 
to avoid such a crime; and as they would still remain amenable to 
motive, though not free under its influence, legislators and moralists 
would still punish and exhort, probably with even more energy than 
ever, to supply motives strong enough to prevent the slaying of 
innocent men. But is it in that limited sense that men generally 
understand the feeling of obligation, and is the good of society the 
true and only justification for punishment? Would a man feel 
remorseful and ashamed to have violated such an obligation, or deem 
himself entitled to a reward for its observance when he is convinced 
that in either case he could not have done otherwise? And does 
not true punishment presuppose responsibility? Men would surely 
cry shame on the government which would hang a lunatic for his 
mad act of murder or the sportsman who, having taken all due pre- 
cautions, is yet unfortunate enough to shoot the man behind the 
fence while aiming at the bird flying over it. Yet if the public 
security were the only point to be considered, why should they not 
die? It would certainly render marksmen more careful of human 
life and property, and murder would be still more studiously avoided 
when even a plea of insanity found no hearing in a court of justice. 
No, we do not inflict punishment in such cases, because in the eyes 
of reasonable men the state of mind of the offenders plead strongly 
in their favor. They were not free at the time nor responsible, so 
they are not held accountable for their deeds. We inflict pain upon 
a horse to train him, or on a dog, for motive weighs with them also ; 

Some Aspects of Free Will. 297 

but we do not call that strict punishment, since we do not hold a 
horse responsible when he runs away or a dog when he bites our 
neighbor. It is needless to labor this point further. The ways of 
men are but modeled on those of God. As men of common sense, 
then, who are not wont to punish the madman and who inflict death 
only for deliberate and premeditated crime, we are not going to 
believe that an all- just and all- wise God has treasured up an eternity 
of wrath for him who walks in evil ways and an Eden of endless 
delights for him who loves the good and does it, whilst both alike 
are not more masters of their actions or act less necessarily than the 
bullet that speeds to the target under stres<^ of necessary natural law. 
Obligation, therefore, as men have ever understood it, presupposes 
responsibility and human freedom. You command me to do the 
good and avoid the evil. Why not order the winds to blow and the 
tides to rise and fall, if all were equally latent in the nebula of old? 

Yet it is not every "ought" that proves free will, but only that 
sense of absolute obligation coming from a being outside myself 
who commands me to observe the order he has constituted and will 
punish me for its violation only in so far as I am a responsible agent. 
We can conceive man before his reason has convinced him of the 
existence of a personal Creator; he feels at once, by an intuition of 
his reasoning faculty, that the world as he sees it and mankind as 
he understands them cannot subsist in anything like proper order 
if the slaying of innocent men were at all tolerated. He is as yet 
conscious of no obligation coming from without to avoid murder, 
yet he truly feels that he "ought" not to commit such a crime, seeing, 
as he does, that nature itself cries out against it as subversive of all 
order. Does this "ought" prove his freedom? He may feel that 
he is free to violate or observe ; if so, you can appeal to that con- 
sciousness of personal liberty. But if the sense of freedom were 
not there, would the conviction of "ought" disappear also? Why 
should it? And if it should not, surely you cannot infer freedom 

However, as we have before remarked, it is not this slender sense 
of obligation that men possess as they contemplate the world around 
them. It is a far stricter sense of obligation, an absolute command 
coming from a Being outside this world, a Being who intends to 
safeguard the order He has constituted by first making man free 
and responsible for every deliberate action, and then rewarding or 
punishing him according to his works ; a personal Lord and Creator 
whose existence men very soon come to realize when, clearing their 
minds of the obscuring mists of prejudice, they "look the facts of 
the universe straight in the face." 

We have appealed to facts to support our contention, to the inner 

298 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

testimony of our own consciousness, to the feeling of responsibility 
that every man vividly realizes when he is face to face with strong 
temptation, to the punishments even of this world, whose severity 
is clearly regulated according to the state of mind of the offender. 
Let us now turn to the determinists who assail even the possibility 
of human freedom and can see no room for such a reality in a 
universe of iron law. 

You, they say, give a power to the will which the facts do not 
warrant, though you do not allow it to anticipate the impulses of 
the organism by preventing them; you make it direct them as it 
chooses; you allow it to reject the strong and follow as the lesser 
impulse may lead. Yet do not facts seem to teach the very reverse ; 
that it is not the will that directs organic impulse, but organic impulse 
which rules the will? Look now at that man strongly rooted by 
long exercise in habits of honesty; a simple accident to his brain 
changes him into a helpless kleptomaniac — his will, hitherto seemingly 
strong, now at the mercy of organic impulse, his hand in everybody's 
pocket. See that other man buoyant with religious hope, for he 
knows that his God is a just God, who holds forth a strong arm to 
aid the soldier that fights His battles. A similar accident befalls 
him, and he is now a paralyzed creature, the springs of action all 
dried up, plunged into the depths of religious despair. So it has 
happened over and over again ; disease or accident has turned honest 
men into thieves, strong-minded into helpless idiots, and has even 
robbed chaste souls of that queenly virtue, giving them even in 
advancing age the unholy desires of the profligate. 

Now what do such facts prove, for that they are facts is quite 
beyond doubt? Surely they may be placed on the same footing as 
the recognized results of heredity with which, though they may differ 
in degree, they are one in kind. Some come into the world lunatics, 
most men with strong propensities of one kind or another, others 
become insane or have their habits changed by accident or disease. 
Is this strange? Is it not rather to be expected when we bear in 
mind that the soul and body are so intimately united that the first 
movements of intellect and will, when a good is presented to the 
mind, must exactly vary in nature and in intensity with the motions 
of the organism that precede them ? Do we need psychology to teach 
us this ? Rather do we not learn it from daily personal experience ? 

Since, then, the strength of organic impulse naturally depends on 
the physical state of the material organ, and since we may take it 
that the brain has its functions organized to a greater or less extent, 
is it not quite natural to expect that if an honest man has his brain 
damaged in the proper place he may now find it very difficult or 
well nigh impossible to will the deed of honesty that was an easy 

Some Aspects of Free Will. 299 

work before ? We say well nigh impossible, for as an injury to the 
brain may prevent a man thinking rationally at all, may it not be at 
times less sweeping but more selective in its effect, rendering him 
incapable of thinking and willing along certain special lines, whilst 
leaving him both energetic and free upon all others? The facts 
narrated of such peculiar accidents seem to point in that direction, 
hinting, too, that the secret of our facilities is to be sought for in 
peculiarity of organic structure, so that, as the structure is changed 
by disease or accident, propensities may change and facilities disap- 
pear, certain special impulses may become altogether impossible, 
and what is more important still, the will power in such directions 
seems to share the same fate. 

As throwing light, then, on the intimate dependence of the soul 
of man and the organized frame which it vivifies, such facts are very 
interesting reading, but so far from militating against man's free- 
dom, they leave the question quite untouched. Men come into the 
world and grow to manhood with marked propensities for which 
their ancestors and not they are responsible. Are their wills en- 
slaved by such vicious inclinations? Can they put forth no effort 
to choose a better part? The common sense of mankind, the testi- 
mony of their inner consciousness, knows no determinism here, for 
it tells man that he is free and the maker of his own destiny. He 
may find the way rougher and more difficult to tread if he be handi- 
capped with inherited propensities to evil, but they are by no means 
insuperable if he but struggle manfully on. Again, when accident 
has robbed your hitherto honest man of his sense of justice, are you 
quite sure there is no vestige of freedom remaining because you 
find his hand so often in the pocket of his neighbor? There is no 
room for freedom in the wild disorder of a lunatic's brain; so it 
may well be that in extreme cases the kleptomaniac has no longer 
power to keep his hands to himself, and our notion of the mind's 
intimate connection with matter can freely admit such a possibility ; 
but surely until such an acute stage is reached we are not warranted 
in asserting that alongside the vicious habit which ensues on some 
unhappy accident there is no longer place for human liberty. If 
the propensities that were latent in him at birth and which forced 
themselves into view as years passed by left a man still free to battle 
against them, as his own consciousness clearly points out, why 
should a like propensity, the result of injury or disease, now make 
the hitherto honest man thieve like a machine that knows no free- 
dom, or make the hitherto chaste now tread the opposite paths of 
vice whether he wills it or not? As my propensities, so will be my 
motives in nature and in strength, strongly influencing me for good 
or ill : but the determinist has not yet proved beyond mere assertion— 

3CX3 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

and that in face of unvarying inner testimony to the contrary — that 
the varying strength of my motives sway my will with the necessity 
of iron law. 

The doctrine of the conservation of energy has supplied another 
weapon which determinists frequently make use of in their battle 
against human freedom. As far as the instruments of the skilled 
scientist can probe the secrets of nature, energy — material energy — 
is never added to, never subtracted from or destroyed. You may 
transform it in various ways; you can never increase or diminish 
its ever constant sum. The total amount of material energies in 
the complex universe of to-day is neither more nor less than that of 
the simple nebula of old. If this be a fact in the material world, 
will you extend it to the vital action of living things, to the free acts 
of man ? And if you do so, as many have done and as our opponents 
are only too glad to do, how explain the free act of will which 
apparently — seeing that its peculiar duty is to direct the impulses of 
a material organism — must in its essential exercise add to or sub- 
tract from the energies of the material system which it modifies ? 

Determinism is very confident here. Does not this all-embracing 
formula lay once and for all this ghost of human freedom, which 
has so long haunted the pathway to their cherished monism? Let 
us face the difficulty. 

To begin with, some apologists do not favor a rigid application of 
this principle all along the line. They would hold that the exercise 
of liberty, in its direction of organic impulse, does really change to 
a slight extent the amount of energy in the material system. They 
deny the facts and thus solve the difficulty. Yet, seeing that the 
curious and keen eyes of science have been long on the lookout for 
these minute changes in the amount of physical energy, but without 
success, most scientists and Catholic philosophers alike have come 
to apply the law all round and are seeking a reply to the difficulty 
from other sources. 

It is, I think, the tradition of the schools that the true vital act 
is immanent; its term does not extend beyond the material organ 
within which it spontaneously arises; it modifies, as it were, the 
collocation of matter there, thus letting loose the material energies 
stored therein by the food we eat and the air we breathe, and which 
now do the work we will to do. We need not here discuss the 
obvious difficulty as to how the physical vital act could modify even 
the location of material particles without communicating some of its 
energy at least to the ether with which every organ is permeated 
through and through. We wish merely to notice the tradition on 
the point. Clearer still is the tradition when we come to the higher 
faculties. The analogous motions of intellect and will are certainly 

Some Aspects of Free Will. 301 

immanent. Their own proper acts are termed within the spiritual 
powers themselves. Now that the will can modify organic impulse, 
directing it into channels in which it might not otherwise flow, is 
the very meaning of freedom. How precisely is this directive power 
exercised? Is the causality employed physical or moral? The 
Divine act is formally immanent, really identified with the Divine 
essence, yet its physical virtue goes out beyond, keeping the spheres 
revolving in their majestic orbits and conserving with a continual 
creation the lives and actions of the wondrous world of animated 
nature. Some would treat the human will likewise, giving it an 
action at once immanent and virtually transient, thus going outside 
itself to direct with a physical efficacy the impulses of a material 
organ. In this, a common view, what of the principle of the con- 
servation of energy? 

It seems rather incomprehensible, at first sight at least, that you 
can interfere at all physically with a system of material energy to 
produce there even a small modification without changing, slightly 
but really, the amount of energy contained therein. How is your 
physical work done if you expend no energy in doing it? The 
thing seems queer, yet some explanations are forthcoming. 

Here is one, suggested briefly thus: "No power, no energy is 
required to deflect a bullet from its path, provided the deflecting 
force acts at right angles to that path." Put forward as a mathe- 
matical truth, we are not going to criticize it as such, but we doubt 
if its application here is above suspicion. Such a principle, if true, 
may apply here and there in nature, as in the circling of a planet 
about its parent sun or when the experimentalist tries to illustrate 
it in his laboratory; but the usual interaction of physical forces, 
from the close inspection of which this very law of conservation has 
been surmised, is not conducted at so precise an angle, nor may we 
judge it very probable that the deflecting force due to an action of 
the human will is ever to be found acting in a perpendicular direction 
to the path of the organic movement it is at the moment modifying. 

Other apologists seek a solution by insisting on the doctrine of 
the Schoolmen that the soul and body constitute one complete sub- 
stantial living being. Fr. Maher in his "Psychology" adopts this 
key to the difficulty, and as far as free will is concerned sums up 
his conclusions thus : "The material energy manifested in move- 
ment was previously stored in the living organic tissues ; feelings and 
volitions merely determine the form it shall assume. Mental acts 
thus modify not the quantity, but the quality of the energy ccrntained 
in the system." By the quality as distinct from the quantity, as he 
mentions just afterwards, the direction of the energy is to be under- 

302 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Confining ourselves to the case of free volitions, let us see exactly 
what power we claim for the will in its dealing with organic impulse. 
It cannot anticipate or prevent them. Our own teaching, based 
naturally on personal experience, tells us that the will is no despot 
in this matter; a ripe and delicious fruit appeals to my sense appe- 
tite whether I will or no. Yet that we in some real way hold the 
reins in our own hands and can control our desires, is a truth also 
borne out by personal feeling and felicitously expressed by the 
Schoolmen when they say that the will, though not a tyrant, yet has 
a "politic" power over those wayward impulses. Does not this mean 
that though I cannot forestall its appearance or stifle it in its birth, 
yet I can really direct the impulse as I choose when already begun .'' 
And if so, does not the old difficulty crop up once more? No doubt 
a bullet must take a definite path in space if it is to move at all, yet 
it has an indefinite number of such paths lying open to it, the quantity 
of its energy — the mass and velocity — remaining unchanged ; having 
once begun to move, however, with a certain velocity in a given 
direction, it is very difficult to conceive how that direction can be 
changed by any force which will not do real work and expend real 
energy in the process. Whatever about the ordinary vital acts, an 
appeal to the intimate union of soul and body does not seem to 
enlighten us as to the manner in which my free act of will can 
modify an organic impulse already begun and leave intact the prin- 
ciple of the conservation of material energy. 

There is another alternative, however, which, if we may accept 
it, at once clears the difficulty from our path. Human acts of intel- 
lect and will are of such a nature that in their production the spiritual 
soul alone is concerned ; the material organism is no "comprincipium" 
where they are in question; it merely supplies the matter whereon 
they work. They are, therefore, of their nature immanent. It is, 
moreover, difficult for reason to accept the notion of an act at once 
immanent and physically transient. It would be a perplexing con- 
sideration, even in the case of God, to hold that an act perfectly 
identified with the Divine essence can have for its term this world of 
beings outside that essence, just as it would be difficult to conceive 
how a Being, utterly unchangeable in Himself, can be ever conserv- 
ing this ever-changing universe of His creation, were it not that 
this limited reason of ours finds a safe refuge, when face to face with 
such thoughts as these, in the limitless infinity of the Divine perfec- 
tion. Are we going to give the creature also an act at once immanent 
and physically transient? Does not the difficulty increase so as to 
be almost insurmountable, since you have here no infinity of essence 
or act to fall back upon ? 

Perhaps, then, after all, my will does not physically interfere with 

Some Aspects of Free Will. 303 

the organic impulse of my brain. It would not then be a physical 
cause of the modification that ensues. But are such causes the only 
true causes in the world ? Are there not moral causes, too, and are 
they not real true causes? Are not the signed check and the deed, 
with the seal of the law upon it, real causes of the transfer of money 
and property? Does not the bribe really bring in the vote it so 
shamelessly purchased? Did not the word of command, though a 
blundering one, really send the Light Brigade madly but gloriously 
into the jaws of death? And must you hold that the sacraments of 
the New Law produce grace physically in the soul under pain of 
attributing to them no true efficacy at all? Surely the world is 
filled with such moral causes whose efficacy, though not physical, is 
yet true and real in a sense that men have never dreamt of attribut- 
ing to mere occasions and conditions. Conceive, then, this transient 
efficacy of the spiritual act to be a moral one, so that given a motion 
of a certain strength and intensity in the will, God will infallibly 
modify the impulse of the organism accordingly. Is this a mere 
occasion? Has the mere occasion a "right" that the effect must 
follow? Yet it is in the action of such "rights" that a most im- 
portant species of moral causality consists. Witness the check and 
deed, on the nature of whose efficacy we have a common theory of 
sacramental causality built up in modern times. May we not con- 
ceive that the intimate and close relation of the two sets of faculties 
we human beings are endowed with by our Creator includes a "right" 
of this nature, so that when I will to modify an impulse the intended 
effect follows as surely and infallibly as the bullet leaves my pistol's 
mouth when I press the trigger and my powder is dry? And if 
you still object that my own consciousness testifies that my act of 
will, not only morally but in some way physically, causes the external 
act or ensuing modification, I can fairly urge that, in the hypothesis 
I contemplate, the same inner testimony that I did it because I willed 
it would not be a whit less striking or less vivid than your contention 

As I have hinted, this way of looking at the matter would seem 
to dispose of the difUculty proposed. If it is God Himself who 
modifies a system of energy, is it not quite possible to conceive that 
He who is the Prime Mover of all motion, holding all things in the 
hollow of His hand, conserving at each moment both the matter and 
energy of each minutest material atom, can give that energy in any 
direction He pleases without the slightest interference with that ever- 
constant sum which this formula of conservation seems to have 
vindicated for the energies of the material universe? 

Thus briefly and in an imperfect manner we have touched some 
of the chief aspects of human liberty. 

304 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Monists may theorize, but we have no fear. There is no other 
truth that comes within its range on whose behalf personal con- 
sciousness pleads more unmistakably or with a clearer voice. 
Throughout the ages it has persevered. The men and women of 
to-day live and act up to the undoubting conviction that their desti- 
nies are in their own hands to make or mar. Look at the upright 
man who, scorning a life of ease and dissipation, acts a man's part 
and lives up to the high ideals of his nature. Give your honor to 
the army of holy souls, inspired by heavenly counsels, who desert 
home and kindred and the delights of a worldly life, choosing to 
walk unto the end in the blood-stained footsteps of their Saviour 
and Great Exemplar. Ask these honest souls are they free? You 
can easily anticipate their answer. 

William F. Murphy. 

Kilrain, Wexford, Ireland. 


WITHIN the last few years there has taken place in Ireland 
what may be described as a marvelous revival of zeal 
and energy in all the various departments of Catholic 
life and thought. The Catholic religion has, indeed, never ceased 
to flourish in Irish soil, like a strong and beautiful tree, ever growing 
apace, sending forth fresh shoots and never failing in blossom and 
fruit. But, on the other hand, it must be admitted that owing to 
want of combined organized effort there has been in the past what 
one might term a regrettable waste of Catholic zeal and energy. 
Through the long bead roll of the years all over the land, individual 
Catholics have lived lives of holiness, filled with self-denial and 
every Christian virtue. Burning zeal for God and His Church, fiery 
energy to do battle for the right ; no one can say that there has ever 
been a time when these things were not to be found in Irish Catholic 
hearts. A strong, pure flame in some, in others it may be latent; 
but, active or latent, always there. And yet, on looking on the record 
of past years, we are struck with what seems a paradox; the co-ex- 
istence with this intense fervor of Irish Catholicity of a strange torpor 
and apathy for want of united religious philanthropic endeavor. 

But a great change, we are glad to notice, is passing over the land. 
Catholics are beginning to recognize that they have social and 
religious responsibilities which hitherto remained undischarged. 
We have begun to recognize, each and every one of us, that we have 


Catholic Progress in Ireland. 305 

responsibilities not alone with regard to our own souls and bodies, 
but also with regard to those of our neighbors. These responsibili- 
ties are neither to be shirked nor ignored. We cannot cry, "Am I 
my brother's keeper?" The Christian who will carry out the pre- 
cepts of his religion cannot, like the priest and Levite in the Gospel, 
pass on the other side and leave his stricken brother to perish by 
the wayside. He must stoop to raise the fallen and pour into his 
wounds the oil of charity, let those wounds be of soul or body. 

When the question of doing good merely involved the giving of 
money, then Irish Catholics have always been prodigal in their con- 
tributions. No appeal for charity, no matter what the object, ever 
failed to reach Irish hearts and purses. But that they should 
cooperate in charitable works by their own active exertions, this 
was a matter which did not command their sympathy or their under- 
standing. Money they would give, freely, generously; but time, 
self-sacrifice, earnest, active efforts — well, these things did not com- 
mend themselves to most people. We are all very apt to say, wher» 
asked to work in any cause: "Oh, what good can I do? One per-^ 
son can do so little." We forget or do not realize the enormous- 
force of united individual action. The magnitude of this want rmy 
be easily traced back to the misunderstanding previously existing 
between the masses and the classes — the masses robbed by the classes 
of their lands, their many educational facilities, social amenities, and 
left to live or die by those for whom at least gratitude for plunder 
should have suggested help to the despoiled. There were laws 
framed to set man against man in religious strife ; to object was to 
raise every man's hand against his brother if he differed from him 
in religion, etc., etc., with the inevitable result of absence of all com- 
bination of heads to guide, hearts to sympathize and hands to work. 
Only too often any united effort at amelioration, social, educational 
or religious, was looked on with suspicion, and laws of suppression 
were enacted and police told off to execute them. Anything was 
good enough for the wretched Papist. But now a change ! 

In nothing is this change so strikingly exemplified as in the eflforts 
being made to promote the cause of temperance. Since the days of 
Father Mathew this cause has never ceased to lie next the hearts of 
all true lovers of Ireland. 

Drink has always been regarded as the deep-seated cancer which 
was gnawing into the very vitals of Ireland's life, destroying alike 
the souls and bodies of her children. Yet how ineffectual have been 
all the attempts hitherto made to cope with the disease. This failure 
did not result from any ignorance of the evil or from faint-hearted- 
ness in doing battle with it. The error lay in the remedies applied. 
The administration of the pledge to drunkards, inducing them to 

3o6 American Catholic Quarterly Review, 

become teetotalers ; of course, such methods are good in their way. 
But when there is question of making a nation sober, stronger meas- 
ures are required. The axe must be laid at the very root of the 
evil. We are told that "Prevention is better than cure," and all of 
us admit that "to lock the stable when the steed is stolen" is but 
poor wisdom. The truth contained in these homely axioms has 
been the fundamental idea of the founder of the "Pioneer Total 
Abstinence Society of the Sacred Heart," established in Ireland a 
few years since. The aim of this association is best described in 
the words of the explanatory leaflet: 

"i. The Pioneer Association of Total Abstinence, founded in 
December, 1898, does not aim at the reclamation of the victims of 
excessive drinking, and hence receives only to membership those 
who have been temperate in the past and desire to practice total 
abstinence in voluntary self-sacrifice, and thus influence others to 
follow their example. They rely chiefly on prayer and the sacra- 
ments to help them in their heroic enterprise. 

"2. The members are styled Pioneers, because they help to lead 
the way in the vanguard of temperance reform by word, example 
and prayer ; because they resolve to brave and overcome every diffi- 
culty that hinders their undertaking, and, lastly, because they are 
determined with God's grace to persevere in their resolution unto 
death. Their life pledge is called the ^Heroic Offering,' and its 
outward, visible emblem (which must be always worn publicly) is 
a pendant, pin or brooch bearing on it the device of the Sacred Heart. 
At their reception into the association each receive a card of mem- 
bership, together with the pioneer emblem. 

"3. Should members be compelled by medical men to take any 
stimulants as a medicine, during the period of their taking them they 
shall not wear the pendant, pin or brooch, nor shall they resume it 
until they have resumed the practice of entire total abstinence from 
every kind of alcoholic stimulant." 

Although so recently established, the association has already 
accomplished a gigantic work. It numbers more than 80,000 mem- 
bers, and every day its ranks are increasing. Nearly all the students 
of the various colleges, both lay and ecclesiastical, and all the children 
attending the convent schools throughout Ireland are Pioneers and 
wear the badge. In every town, village and hamlet, however remote, 
are to be found zealous promoters working might and main to 
further the sacred cause of total abstinence. The number to be met 
in Dublin and elsewhere wearing the pretty shield or brooch is 
remarkable and very consoling. 

Such an association must inevitably become an enormous force 
in the cause of temperance. In the first place, the greater propor- 

Catholic Progress in Ireland. 307 

tion of its members are young people who have never known the 
taste of drink. Total abstinence is to them as a vesture, growing 
with their growth. Who can estimate the far-reaching influence of 
a generation trained from infancy in the ways of abstinence? In 
the next place this association affords to drunkards the striking 
example of members who not because they need reclamation or have 
ever yielded to temptation, voluntarily enroll themselves life mem- 
bers purely from a desire to help those who have fallen by their 
prayers and their example. Can we doubt the wonderful power of 
such an association? 

Let us turn to another field in which Irish Catholics are also of 
late displaying much latent energy — the cause of pure, wholesome 
Catholic literature. What a field for Catholic workers lies here 
almost untilled. Drink and bad books. Who can doubt the souls 
lost to God by these terrible agents of evil? Shall we ever know 
until the judgment day the enduring, soul-destroying power of a 
bad book? 

The power of a bad book is, so to speak, never-ending. From 
generation to generation its destructive forces continue, never dimin- 
ished, never worn out. Year after year there pours into Ireland a 
vile, poisonous flood of English gutter literature, immoral, soul 
destroying. Yet this stuff is bought and read with avidity by thou- 
sands of our Catholic youth. It is useless to argue that they are 
the wrongdoers in buying it. The power to read begets a love of 
reading. The poor will read, and if they cannot have wholesome 
reading, then they will read what they can. This vile literature is 
exciting, sensational, cheap. And so it is bought and precious souls 
are ruined, innocence is destroyed and the devil gathers in a rich 

In this, too, Irish Catholics have awakened to a more lively sense 
of their responsibilities. In November last very large and repre- 
sentative meetings of the Irish Catholic Truth Society were held in 
the Mansion House, Dublin. The sittings were presided over by 
Cardinal Logue, assisted by the Archbishop of Tuam. The question 
of the fearful evils of this abominable literature was fully discussed. 
Many eminent clergymen in burning words laid bare the plague spot 
and implored of Irish Catholics to spare neither money nor exertion 
to root it out from their midst. Schemes for the- furtherance of 
this noble work were planned, and it was resolved that in the future 
more vigorous efforts would be made to spread amongst the people 
healthy, brightly written, entertaining books suitable to act as an 
antidote to the poisonous stuff which is killing faith and morals. 
The speakers advocated, and rightly, the publication by the society 
of works of fiction and romance. People require to be amused. 

3o8 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Good bread may be a very wholesome article of food, but a little 
jam is a very pleasant addition. To most of us, especially such of 
us as are toilers, the road of life is so dusty and monotonous that an 
occasional ramble in the flowery dells of fancy is a delightful diver- 
sion. At the same meeting a Reading Guild was formed to consist 
of ladies who would undertake to spread the publications of the 
Catholic Truth Society amongst their poor Catholic brethren. 

We find Irish Catholics displaying similar activity in other depart- 
ments, which though on a lower plane still affect their status in a 
considerable degree. 

We allude to the movement becoming so universal for the restora- 
tion of the Irish language to its place as the living, every-day lan- 
guage of the people. This movement has evoked widespread en- 

The Irish language has been included to the curriculum of all, or 
nearly all, the colleges and schools, a class for Irish has been added 
to all the national schools and even night schools for the instruction 
of the poorest of the community include Irish in the subjects taught. 
Irish plays, Irish concerts, Irish dances are now the fashion of the 
hour. The national journals, daily and weekly, devote a certain 
amount of space to the publication of a story in Irish. Some 
patriotic traders have gone so far as to have their names and the 
nature of their business set forth in Irish characters over their shop 
doors. The question as to the feasibility of making the Irish lan- 
guage the ordinary work-a-day medium of communication is one 
on which there is much difference of opinion. Many wise and 
devoted friends of Ireland are at issue as to the utility of teaching 
it to those who must hereafter- struggle for bread in the market- 
place of the world. To enter into this controversy does not come 
within the scope of the present paper. But there is one point of 
view from which all must regard the movement as beneficial — the 
possession of a distinctive language fosters in a conquered nation 
a feeling of independence and self-respect which elevates the national 
character and creates a spirit of self-reliance. Self-respect in nations 
as in individuals is an excellent thing. 

The same activity obtains with regard to Irish industries. Every- 
where industries which had decayed are being revived and fresh ones 
are being daily established. Great efforts are being made by excel- 
lence of manufacture and reasonable price to compete with imported 
articles, so as to induce Irish people to patronize home manufactures. 

The peasant girls in the Donegal Highlands are weaving carpets 
which in coloring and texture equal, if they do not surpass, the finest 
productions of Eastern looms. Irish lace the world over is a 
synonym for beauty. The same may be said of Irish linen. 

Joan of Arc. 309 

Foxford tweed is patronized by royalty. The Foxford tweed 
industry was established some ten years since in the village from 
which it takes its name. In that time the nuns have transformed 
a plague spot of wretchedness and dirt into a clean, prosperous 
village, a hive of industry. They have banished hunger, sickness 
and dirt from the humble homes, and cleanliness, thrift and modest 
comfort now reign in their stead. Basket work of every description 
is made in remote Letterfrack by the children of the neighborhood. 

The latest development of Irish industry is the manufacture of 
excellent brown wrapping paper from peat. In all the various arts 
and handicrafts — stained glass, silver and metal work, book binding, 
printing, etc. — we find the same revivification and awakening of 
latent activity. 

The present outlook in matters spiritual and temporal augurs well 
for the future of Ireland. A great many Catholics fail to recognize 
that their social status has a reflex action upon their religion. They 
cannot understand how things temporal can affect the spiritual. 
Yet it is so. The more Catholics, by their industry, perseverance 
and rectitude raise themselves socially, so do they in a corresponding 
measure elevate their religion in the eyes of their fellow-men. 

E. Leahy. 

Dublin, Ireland. 


IN THE picturesque little village of Domremy, on the left bank 
of the River Meuse, was born Joan of Arc, the unique peasant 
girl of grand historic fame. Authors slightly differ as to the 
year of her birth, but whether born in 1410 or a year or two later 
makes little account in view of the magnificent achievement of her 
brief life, with its guerdon of a martyr's crown and the deep applause 
of posterity. And whether she was French born or a Lorrainer, 
concerning which some doubt has also been expressed, is likewise 
of slight import, comparatively. 

Her parents, Jacques d'Arc and Elizabeth Romee, or d'Arc, 
possessed little of the world's goods, but enough for their humble 
and unambitious needs. They had two sons and three daughters, 
Joan or Jeanne being the youngest. Whatever her early training 
may have been, it is certain she was very diflFerent from the spoilt 
idol of an over indulgent parent or the precocious child of modern 
notoriety. She was mentally and physically superiorly endowed. 
Simple and unlettered as she was, having never learned to read or 

310 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

write, she possessed what was infinitely better than learning — the 
jewel of an innocent soul unspotted in its unsophisticated freshness. 
She knew the Pater, the Ave and the Credo, taught her at her 
mother's knee. It is said of her that she was a daily attendant at 
early Mass, and that besides making frequent visits to the near-by 
church she was often found on her knees before the altar of the 
more distant Church of Our Lady of Bermont, situated on a hill 
overlooking the Meuse. The poor and the sick found in her a most 
devoted friend. 

It is delightfully interesting to linger near the pleasant scenes of 
Jeanne's home, to picture in imagination the peaceful meadows and 
quiet hills in which Domremy nestled and learn the story of her 
childhood days, her early piety and modest sharing in the light- 
heartedness of the village children who were accustomed to playing 
under "The Laydy's Tree," which stood in isolated prominence on 
a hilltop by the riverside, separated from the groves near by that 
formed a picturesque background to the vales below. A legendary 
belief existed to the effect that the fairies sometimes gathered beneath 
this tall and shapely tree on moonlit nights and danced and frolicked 
in great revelry there. As if in imitation of the fairies, the village 
children celebrated a yearly festival beneath its pendant branches, 
wreathing its boughs with garlands of flowers and singing and 
dancing in the exuberance of childish freedom. Joan, who always 
accompanied the other children to this fete, occupied her time there 
in singing joyously whilst weaving garlands or in silent communing 
with thoughts solicited by her religious feelings. 

She was only three years of age when the battle of Agincourt was 
fought, resulting in such a victory for the English King, Henry V., 
as soon left him master of all that portion of France north of the 
Loire. About five years later Henry VI. of England, while yet in 
his infancy, was acknowledged as next heir to the throne of France, 
to the exclusion of the Dauphin, by the Treaty of Troyes, concluded 
between the English King and Charles VI. and Isabella, his wife, 
whose daughter was also to be given in marriage to the royal con- 
queror, Henry's son. This treaty was consummated through the 
imbecility of the French King and the influence of his wife, who 
was the real power behind the throne. Her daughter Catherine 
was the wife of the English King. And thus one woman brought 
a bitter humiliation upon France, for which another was sacrificed 
for the nation's ransom. 

It is no wonder that the Treaty of Troyes did not result in the 
peace which it was intended to secure. For years the war's ruth- 
less spoil and devastation continued, resulting in great loss and 
suffering to the peasantry, whose goods and chattels were pillaged 

Joan of Arc. 311 

and whose once peaceful homes went up in smoke and flame with 
but a moment's warning. 

Domremy did not escape from this general curse of a lingering 
warfare. Its people were among those who remained faithful to 
the rights of the Dauphin to the throne of France. The apparently 
resistless invaders, aided by the alliance of the Burgundians, eagerly 
followed up their successes until at last France seemed doomed to 
utter defeat, notwithstanding the determined resistance of those who 
fought for the Dauphin and fatherland. The Dauphin, afterwards 
Charles VIL, a wise and peaceful King, was compelled at last to 
retreat to the Castle of Chinon. 

In this grave crisis well might France pray for deliverance, for 
some strong arm that would, like that of the Bruce in his might at 
Bannockburn, chastise the pride of England. Strange as it would 
seem to any one, at the time when the English felt so assured of 
complete and lasting success and France was fast sinking into hope- 
less despair, that the humble virgin of Domremy, ambitionless, 
illiterate, entirely untrained in the arts of peace or war, and living 
in peasant obscurity in the daily performance of her lowly duties, 
spinning or threading the needle or tending her father's sheep on 
the hillside, would be made the instrument . of Divine Providence, 
in answer to such a prayer, no such wonder should arise on account 
of so regarding her after the performance of her marvelous deeds 
on the battlefield, when her mission ended in the rescue of France 
from the closing grasp of English domination. But it was reserved 
for a later time to reveal the truth about this singular child of 
destiny, whose fate reflects everlasting dishonor upon those who 
were responsible for it. At first when she could offer no proof of 
her mission except her own declaration as to its Divine origin, as 
evidenced by the "Voices," by whom she said she was guided, it 
was not surprising that men were slow to believe her or that they 
placed no confidence in what they regarded as foolish pretensions. 

Time, the great avenger, has unmasked the rank injustice and 
ingratitude of her condemnation. Many eminent authors have 
written her life's story, so full of pathos and the sublimity of unself- 
ish heroism and devotion. They have all, with one or two excep- 
tions, concurred in vindicating her name as irreproachable. 

When Joan was about twelve years of age she began to hear 
strange voices. Her pity had been keenly aroused at this tender 
age in behalf of suffering France, upon whose wrongs she often 
meditated with the deepest sympathy for the oppressed. It was 
in the summer of 1424 that she first heard a voice calling her while 
in her father's garden, as if it came from the village church. This 
mysterious voice which called her to the rescue of France was fol- 

312 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

lowed by a revelation she believed from heaven. St. Michael, St. 
Catherine and St. Margaret, whose strange voices she thought she 
heard encouraging her, became names dear and familiar to her 
afterwards. The archangel spoke to her of the misfortunes of 
France. For about four years after this, before she decided upon 
any course of action, she heard mysterious voices which in time led 
her to believe that she was commissioned by God to deliver France 
from the English and their allies. 

In January, 1429, she journeyed to the nearest military station, 
Voucouleurs, and stated to its governor, Robert de Baudricourt, her 
mission to save France. Baudricourt, not unreasonably, discredited 
her story or its meaning as interpreted by her. 

The governor and his officers regarded her with mild surprise and 
ridicule when she persistently asked in her own simple and earnest 
way to be brought to the Dauphin. Baudricourt asked the parish 
priest to exorcise her, but this recourse did not dampen her ardor 
in the least. She was strangely determined to overcome all opposi- 

As if to rid himself of her importunities, Baudricourt, when she 
had returned to him from Nancy, whither she had gone to ask in 
vain the aged Charles II., Duke of Lorraine, to help her to reach 
the Dauphin, consented at last to her going to the Castle of Chinon, 
where the latter had retreated, and charged his men, an armed escort 
numbering only six, to protect her well. It was her cherished con- 
viction that the Dauphin should be crowned and anointed in the 
Cathedral at Rheims before assuming the title of King, and her 
exactly realized prophecy of that event explains her eagerness for 
it consummation, regardless of all dangers and discouragements. 

After a journey of about three weeks she reached Chinon ancl 
saw the Dauphin for the first time on the 9th of March, 1429. His 
mind was then so occupied with the desperate affairs of France that 
he had little time or inclination for the reception of the strange 
visitor from distant Domremy. But her words, uttered with the 
ardor of her great sincerity and singular enthusiasm, filled him with 
wonder, although he still remained unconvinced. Then followed, 
at his request, her interrogation by ecclesiastics, theologians, lawyers 
and university clerks. But she passed through this critical ordeal 
unscathed. They found in her nothing but "goodness, humility, 
devotion, honesty, simplicity." Their questions failed to disturb 
in the least her calm sincerity and unruffled demeanor, while the 
simplicity yet strange pertinency of her answers amazed their astute- 
ness and learning. 

The following month found her at Chinon with an enthusiastic 
following of 6,000, including some of the most distinguished knights 

Joan of Arc. 313 

and soldiers of the French army. Clad in white armor and wearing 
man's dress, she rode a black charger bearing her standard, em- 
broidered with white lilies, the iieur-de-lis, blessed, as she believed, 
by God. Her presence inspired the people with unbounded courage 
and enthusiasm. A demand in a letter sent to Bedford, the English 
regent, that he should give up the keys of all the cities taken by the 
English was first made by her, but the English, as might well have 
been expected, only treated her request with laughter and derision. 

Not since the days of Peter the Hermit and Richard Cceur de Lion 
were men so stirred with the eager spirit of a holy crusade as were 
the army of Joan of Arc when, on April 28, 1429, she left Blois at 
their head for the relief of Orleans, sorely pressed by the besiegers. 
Within twenty- four hours afterwards victory descended upon the 
iieur-de-lis, the maid entered Orleans in triumph and from hence- 
forth hers became a name to conjure with throughout la belle France. 
The people of Orleans acclaimed her as their heaven-sent deliverer. 
The brave Dunois, who had fought so hard in defense of the be- 
leaguered city, hoping against hope for many weary days, was 
inspired with new courage and confidence under her most skillful 
and eflfective leadership. Her tireless energy and supreme self-con- 
fidence reflected themselves from the changed spirit of the people 
of Orleans. The English, harassed by the repeated sorties made 
by the defenders, became proportionately dispirited, and the bright 
sun of the 8th of May saw their hasty retreat. 

The news of the relief of Orleans, followed by a series of victories, 
culminating in the battle of Patay, awakened a new spirit throughout 
France. The maid's divine mission was popularly acclaimed; men 
flocked from all parts of France to her consecrated standard, and 
far sundered provinces, the vales of Lorraine and hills of Toulouse, 
reechoed her praises in songs attuned to a new-born patriotism. 

Most wonderfully did Joan of Arc succeed in moulding the army 
to the pattern which her pure mind had sanctioned. Her discipline, 
which was perfect, was obeyed without a murmur, yea, even cheer- 
fully. The pillage and coarseness, the blasphemy, intemperance and 
desecration which so often stain the records of other armies, were 
entirely absent from hers. The firm and unalterable disallowance 
b\' her of such immorality, the great improvement of the standard 
of morals in the army through the infectious influence of her pure 
life, bespeak her praise and vindicate her name more effectively than 
the victories of Orleans and Patay. It was but fitting that she who 
believed her mission was divine, that the army who fought under 
her sacred banner should earn this enviable notoriety. 

The celerity of her movements, in disdain of many perils, had 
now ceased to cause surprise, because of their frequent repetition. 

314 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

After the battle of Patay she hastened to Rheims for the coronation 
of the Dauphin as Charles VII. King of France, which took place 
on July 17, 1429, within about six months from the active commence- 
ment of her campaign. 

And now it seemed her work was finished. France was saved. 
Her star was in the ascendant. 

But already she lived in the shadow of war's reverse of fortune. 
It was suddenly revealed to her by a voice that she would be taken 
prisoner before St. John Baptist's day. Charles VII. failed to profit 
by the exalted spirit of ardent patriotism which had seized upon the 
nation through the splendid example of the Maid of Orleans. With 
wavering indecision he halted, and in such circumstances as he was 
placed to hesitate was to be lost. Paris remained in the hands of 
the enemy. 

The fate of Compeigne was next threatened, and Jeanne hastened 
to its assistance with her accustomed promptness. In a mere skirm- 
ish with the enemy which followed she was taken prisoner by the 
Burgundians on May 23, 1430. And now her night of evil, her 
Gethsemane, had begun. But her great work was accomplished. 
France was delivered from English sway forever. 

Jeanne's capture at Compiegne, her delivery by Jean de Luxem- 
bourg to the Duke of Bedford, the English King's lieutenant in 
France, for about the price of £i6,cxx) in the following November, 
her imprisonment in the Castle of Rouen in December, her surrender 
to the Bishop of Beauvais in January as "suspect of heresy" by order 
of Henry VI. of England. Her trial, condemnation and death were 
fast crowding tragedies in the tableau of her misfortunes. Her 
story, mingling the simple with the sublime, is ever of thrilling 
inspiration. Some of the wonderful incidents recorded of her recall 
the era of the prophets of Israel and of the martyrs of the Coliseum. 
When her body was burned to ashes her heart remained whole and 
bleeding, according to the story of her executioner. Many stated 
that they saw the name of Jesus written in the flames by which she 
was consumed, and a third, who was foremost in his hatred of her, 
was converted by seeing, as he stated, her soul leave her body in the 
form of a white dove. 

Brother Seguin in a sworn testimony said among other things: 
"And then she foretold to us — to me and to all the others who were 
with me — these four things which should happen and which did 
afterwards come to pass: First, that the English would be de- 
stroyed, the siege of Orleans raised and the town delivered from the 
English; secondly, that the King would be crowned at Rheims; 
thirdly, that Paris would be restored to his dominion, and fourthly, 
that the Duke d'Orleans should be brought back from England. 

Joan of Arc. 315 

And I who speak, I have in truth seen these four things accom- 

Bedford, the hope of the English army in France, died in 1435. 
The next year Paris was restored to the French, as foretold by 
Jeanne to the judges, and within about twenty years after her death 
Normandy was totally lost by the fall of Cherbourg in 1450. In 
1453 the English lost their last foothold except Calais. 

How like a Biblical story the following account, testified to by 
Brother Pasquerel : "On the third day we arrived at Orleans, where 
the English held their siege right up to the bank of the Loire. We 
approached so close to them that French and English could almost 
touch one another. The French had with them a convoy of sup- 
plies, but the water was so shallow that the boats could not move 
up stream, nor could they land where the English were. Suddenly 
the waters rose and the boats were then able to land on the shore 
where the French army was. Jeanne entered the boats with some 
of her followers and thus came to Orleans." 

No wonder that the English in their war with France were eager 
to destroy such a valiant woman as this who had heaped disasters 
upon their heads and predicted more to come. And so at last they 
contrived to bring her to tlie stake to be burned as a witch and 
heretic, a fate often in later times reserved for the victims of religious 
hate and fanaticism, but not so in this case, for England and France 
held to the one religion when the tragedy occurred. And Jeanne 
d'Arc's execution as a condemned heretic was unique, among other 
things, in that on the morning of her execution she received absolu- 
tion and Holy Communion at the hands of the Church and seemingly 
with the knowledge of the judge who read her sentence of excom- 

The official report of the trial and condemnation as well as subse- 
quent rehabilitation of Joan of Arc, written in the Latin text, was 
first published by Quicherat, who had discovered it about the middle 
of the last century buried in the archives of France. This rescued 
document was rendered into English for the first time by T. Douglas 
Murray in his "Jeanne d'Arc, Maid of Orleans," published in 1902. 

The many sittings held by the judges who tried and sentenced 
Jeanne d'Arc first to imprisonment and subsequently handed her 
over to the secular power to be burned at the stake, gave a misleading 
appearance of impartiality to the proceedings. As a matter of fact, 
the proof adduced at these sittings of any of the allegations of grave 
import contained in the "Act of Accusation" is strikingly insuffi- 
cient. And notwithstanding this lack of proof, the Bishop of 
Beauvais, who instituted the proceedings at the request of the King 
of England, asserted at the commencement that the maid's offenses 

3i6 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

against religion and morality were even the subject of common public 
rumor. Briefly these were divination and sorcery, claiming to have 
had revelations through saints who spoke to her and whom she saw, 
consequent blasphemy, wearing a man's dress and disobedience to 
the Church, shedding human blood in war. 

This assertion could only be justified on the assumption that the 
Maid of Orleans was a notoriously bad woman, wanting in all the 
virtues afterwards attributed to her on oath during the process of 
her rehabilitation by a great many who were very intimate with her. 

A disregard of the other side of the question is manifest through- 
out all the examinations of the accused preceding the sentence of 
her condemnation. Was it that her judges were blinded by zeal for 
the extermination of heresy ? Unhappily for their memory, there are 
many indications to point to the fact that this was not the cause of 
their seeming so persistently blind to the virtues of the Maid of 
Orleans. At the outset the Bishop of Beauvais found no use for the 
evidence of her character obtained, at his own request, at her birth- 
place, Domremy, although it is evident that he would have gladly 
used it if it had in any way reflected unfavorably upon her instead 
of representing her as a paragon of virtue. 

The inquiry as to the maid's life at Domremy was ordered by the 
Bishop in January, 1431, the trial or process ex-oificio, which included 
six public and nine private examinations of the accused, began on 
the 2 1 St of February following and ended on the 26th of March, 
when the "Act of Accusation," multiplying each offense by its repeti- 
tion, use of prolix terms like legal phraseology and otherwise, 
consisting of "Seventy Articles," was drawn up. On the next day, 
the 27th of March, the "Process in Ordinary" began with the reading 
of the "Seventy Articles," upon each of which the accused was ex- 
amined. On the 24th of May, 143 1, she was condemned to perpetual 
imprisonment, her so-called act of abjuration having in the mean- 
time saved her from excommunication and death. It may reason- 
ably be surmised that the difiiculty of obtaining proof against the 
accused, which would make the punishment inflicted appear as fair 
and just as possible, had thus lengthened the proceedings. 

When, within a few days following the sentence of imprisonment, 
it came to the knowledge of the judges that Jeanne had resumed 
in prison her male attire and again expressed her belief in her visions, 
they allowed very little time indeed for deliberation before handing 
her over to the tender mercies of the English, whose vengeance 
impatiently awaited her. During that short interval she was ex- 
horted and admonished by the Bishop and his assistants, but always 
on the assumption that she was an incorrigible sinner. Even on 
the morning before pronouncing the fatal words of the final sen- 

Joan of Arc. 317 

tence, the Bishop of Beauvais renewed these counsels for the benefit 
of the Maid, who could not bring herself to believe that those who 
judged her so severely spoke the voice of God through the Church 
Militant as explained to her. On the 30th of May was read and 
carried into execution the final sentence, which, after reciting the 
many opportunities given the accused to repent, repeated a string 
of general and indefinite accusations to which she had become so 
accustomed to listen. These charges were always devoid of any 
mitigating qualification, such as Jeanne furnished by her answers 
in defense, which was utterly ignored. The sentence after declaring 
the Maid * 'excommunicate and heretic," and that she is abandoned 
to the "secular authority," ends thus: "Praying this same power 
that as concerns death and the mutilation of the limbs, it may be 
pleased to moderate judgment; and if true signs of penance should 
appear in thee that the Sacrament of Penance may be administered 
to thee." Jean Lemaitre, the associate judge, acted as such, it seems, 
contrary to his inclinations, and it is fair to assume that his judgment, 
therefore, was not entirely free. 

The beautiful story of her real character is learned from the 
official inquiries made during the progress of the rehabilitation. The 
Bishop of Beauvais deemed it outside his duty as judge to order 
that a report of what took place at the burning of Jeanne should be 
included in the "process" or record of the trial. The story of the 
execution has, however, been sufficiently preserved by the sworn 
testimony of many witnesses who saw what happened and heard 
what was said at the burning of the Maid of Orleans. 

As regards the trial itself, the opinion of many leading jurists is 
in effect that it was worthless for several reasons, and if so, the 
judgment which followed it was therefore valueless, irrespective of 
the evidence. Chief among these lawyers was Lohier, of whom 
Maitre Gillaume Manchon, the principal one of the three notaries 
who wrote down the questions put and answers given at the trial, 
said in his sworn testimony during the progress of the rehabilitation : 
"Maitre Jean Lohier, a grave Norman Clerk, came to this town of 
Rouen and communcation was made to him of what the Bishop of 
Beauvais has written hereon ; and the said Lohier asked for two or 
three days' delay to look into it. To which he received answer that 
he should give his opinion that afternoon ; and this he was obliged 
to do, and Maitre Jean Lohier, when he had seen the process, said 
it was of no value for several reasons ; first, because it had not the 
form of an ordinary process ; then, it was carried on in an enclosed 
and shut-up place where those concerned were not in full and perfect 
honour of the King of France, whose side she (the Maid) supported, 
liberty to say their full will ; then, that this matter dealt with the 

3i8 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

and that he had not been called, nor any who were for him; then, 
neither legal document nor articles had been forthcoming, and so 
there was no guide for this simple girl to answer the Masters and 
Doctors on great matters, and especially those, as she said, which 
related to her revelations. For these things the process was, in his 
opinion, of no value. At which my Lord of Beauvais was very 
indignant against the said Lohier ; and although my Lord of Beauvais 
told him that he might remain to see the carrying out of the trial, 
Lohier replied that he would not do so." 

Manchon further on adds that he saw Lohier the next day after 
this opinion was made known to the Bishop, and he said to him in 
reference to the trial : "You see the way they are proceeding. They 
will take her, if they can, in her words — as in assertions where she 
says, 7 know for certain' as regards the apparitions, but if she said 
7 think' instead of the words 7 knozv for certain/ it is my opinion 
that no man could condemn her. It seems they act rather from hate 
than otherwise ; and for that reason I will not stay here, for I have 
no desire to be in it." And in truth he thenceforward lived always 
at the Court of Rome, where he died Dean of Appeals. 

Maitre Thomas de Courcelles, a canon of Paris, in his deposition 
said, among other things, that Lohier on seeing the evidence against 
Jeanne told him "that evidently they ought not to proceed against 
her in a matter of faith without previous information as to the 
charges of guilt and that the law required such information, Lohier's 
opinion that the trial was worthless is more clearly summarized as 
follows by Mr. Murray in an appendix: "(i) On account of its 
form. (2) That the assessors were not at liberty to hold their own 
views, the trial being in the Castle and therefore not in open court. 
(3) That no opportunity was given to the party of the French King 
to speak for themselves. (4) That Jeanne herself was allowed no 
counsel nor had proper documents been prepared to support the 

According to the deposition of Jean Massien, Dean, on his second 
examination in connection with the rehabilitation, Jeanne had asked 
for counsel, but was refused. Brother Martin Ladvenu, a Domini- 
can, on his second examination deposed as follows: "I knew well 
that Jeanne had no director, counsel nor defender up to the end of 
the process, and that no one would have dared to offer himself as 
her counsel, director or defender, for fear of the English. I have 
heard that those who went to the Castle to counsel and direct Jeanne 
by order of the judges were harshly repulsed and threatened." 
Manchon in his deposition said: "During the process and almost 
up to the close Jeanne had no counsel; I do not remember if she 
asked for one, but towards the end she had Maitre Pierre Maurice 

Joan of Arc. 319 

and a Carmelite to direct and instruct her." As these were spiritual 
advisers appointed towards the close of the case, there is practically 
no conflict between this and the testimony of the other two witnesses. 

It is stated by the Bishop of Beauvais himself near the beginning 
of the process that he offered her counsel from among one of his 
assessors, but that she refused. In view of the fact that these asses- 
sors, who were for the most part canonical lawyers and practically 
assistant judges, though not so named, were liable to be unduly influ- 
enced, her refusal was but another instance of the marvelous fore- 
sight and prudence displayed by one of her age and illiteracy during 
the whole of the trial. The body of these assessors were inclined 
to act justly, and several were very friendly to Jeanne on account 
of the unfairness of the examination, but they could exercise their 
friendship towards her only at their peril, as was proved by the 
sworn evidence of several witnesses in connection with the process 
for Jeanne's rehabilitation. 

At the conclusion of the investigation made in 1450 at the instance 
of King Charles VII., who empowered Guillaume Bouille, rector of 
the University of Paris, to inquire concerning the circumstances of 
Jeanne's trial, etc., great lawyers gave their opinions and declared 
the trial void, being *'bad in substance as well as in form," though 
this inquiry was not followed by any formal judgment as to Jeanne's 

It is commonly held also, as stated by Mr. Murray in his introduc- 
tion, that the Bishop had no jurisdiction, Jeanne having been cap- 
tured in one province and tried in another. Moreover, she had been 
tried previously at Poitiers, at the request of the Dauphin, Charles 
VII., who would not accept her aid before being assured that she 
was not unworthy. Inasmuch as tlie Archbishop of Rheims, the 
metropolitan of the Bishop of Beauvais, and his clergy at Poitiers 
found no fault in her, it was of very doubtful right that she should 
be placed on trial a second time before an inferior court. Mr. 
Murray seems to regard the first examination as conclusive against 
the legality of the second. But such a conclusion cannot be reached 
without assuming that Jeanne had not rendered herself liable for 
heresy or other offense against the laws of the Church since the 
examination at Poitiers, or in any event that an inferior court had no 
jurisdiction. However, the question of jurisdiction does not now 
concern much the merits of the case in view of the many stronger 
grounds for condemning the trial in its form and substance — 
grounds which made a later ecclesiastical court of inquiry denounce 
the proceedings in most unmeasured terms as "a pretended process." 

The court that tried Jeanne at Rouen did not follow in form and 
composition the practice of the English courts of ecclesiastical inquiry 

320 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

established by 2 Henry IV., chapter 15, which prescribed death as 
the penalty for heresy, although Rouen was at the time subject to 
English sovereignty. It was not a statutory court of inquiry at all,, 
but it assumed the exercise of a power similar to that possessed by 
the aforesaid English courts, which empowered the diocesan to try 
persons accused of heresy and on conviction hand them over to the 
Sheriff without waiting for the King's writ. 

The secular authority was indeed personally present, but con- 
spicuously absent as far as the exercise of his functions was con- 
cerned, at the place of execution. The sentence of excommunica- 
tion, which was read at the Old Market Place at Rouen on the morn- 
ing of the day of Jeanne's execution, abandoned her to the civil 
authority, represented by the Bailly of Rouen and his deputy, who 
were present. But immediately after the reading of the sentence 
Jeanne was forced by two sergeants from the platform and delivered 
over to the executioner with the remark : "Do thy duty." Brother 
M. Ladvenu on examination said : "Directly Jeanne was abandoned 
by the Church, she was seized by the English soldiers, who were 
present in large numbers, without any sentence from the secular 
authority, although the Bailly of Rouen and the counsels of the 
secular court were present.'' 

It was not the fault of the Bailly that this grave irregularity oc- 
curred, but the fact that he was allowed no time for the performance 
of his duty shows that brute force prevailed over law and order; 
that the military power represented there by about eight hundred 
English soldiers recognized no right but might in their eager haste 
to remove the cause of Bedford's frequent defeat and humiliation. 
That power made itself felt during the whole course of the trial of 
Jeanne, whose misfortune was to be judged by a court subject to 
its malign influence. 

Her imprisonment at the outset in a lay prison in the Castle of 
Rouen while tried before an ecclesiastical court for an oifense or 
offenses against the Church, from whose prisons she was excluded 
against her wishes, can be explained only as a shameful compromise 
with the secular power. How many innocent persons have been 
condemned to avert the wrath of Caesar since the day the meek and 
lowly Nazarene was sacrificed for fear of the Roman power ! 

Brother M. Ladvenu, a Dominican of the Convent of St. Jacques 
at Rouen, on one of his examinations states that the Bishop of 
Beauvais, acting as judge, commanded Jeanne to be kept in the 
secular prison and in the hands of her enemies, and although he 
might easily have had her detained and guarded in an ecclesiastical 
prison, yet he allowed her from the beginning of the trial to the 
end to be tormented and cruelly treated in a secular prison. More- 

Joan of Arc. 321 

over, at the first session or meeting the Bishop aforesaid asked and 
required the opinion of all present as to whether it was more suitable 
to detain her in the secular ward or in the prisons of the Church. 
It was decided as more correct that she be kept in ecclesiastical 
prisons rather than in the secular, but this the Bishop said he would 
not do for fear of displeasing the English. 

The ''Seventy Articles" composing "The Act of Accusation" were 
reduced to twelve articles, each of which singled out some alleged 
faults on Jeanne's part apparently magnified into a grave offense 
against the Church, the offenses named in one article being some- 
times repeated in another, the whole being a tissue of statements 
torn from the contexts of the process of examinations of the accused, 
without any mention of her explanations or answers in defense, 
except where some of these might be made to appear in their unex- 
plained separation as unfavorable to her. Before the judges found 
heart to condemn the accused they sent these twelve articles to the 
University of Paris in order to obtain the opinion of its professors 
upon them. This other body, judged from this distorted presenta- 
tion of the case and without taking any evidence in the presence of 
the accused or her counsel, reported their decision against her. 

This proceeding was severely condemned by the court which pro- 
nounced the sentence of the Maid's rehabilitation. Paris was in the 
occupation of the English at the time its university gave this extra- 
ordinary decision, and therefore the probability is that subserviency 
to military power had its baneful influence in this instance also. 

On the first occasion when Jeanne's sentence of condemnation was 
being pronounced it was interrupted by her so-called act of abjura- 
tion, which on its face was a confession of guilt and resulted in her 
being sentenced to perpetual imprisonment. Subsequently, after 
she was deemed as having relapsed in prison, the sentence was pro- 
nounced against her in full, as above stated. In regard to her abjura- 
tion, several witnesses deposed at examinations held in connection 
with the process of her rehabilitation. Massieu said : "At the end 
of his sermon Maitre Gillaume Erard read a schedule containing 
the articles which he was inciting Jeanne to abjure and revoke. To 
which Jeanne replied that she did not understand what abjuring 
was, and that she asked advice about it. Then Erard told me to 
give her counsel about it. After excusing myself for doing this, I 
told her it meant that if she opposed any of the said articles she 
would be burned. I advised her to refer to the Church Universal as 
to whether she should abjure the said articles or not. And this she 
did, saying in a loud voice to Erard, T refer me to the Church Uni- 
versal as to whether I shall abjure or not.' To this Erard replied: 
'You shall abjure at once or you shall be burned.' And indeed before 

322 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

she left the square she abjured and made a cross with a pen which 
I handed her." In a later examination Massieu repeats in effect 
this testimony and states that he "saw clearly that Jeanne did not 
understand the schedule nor the danger in which she stood, although 
he was constrained to warn her of the peril which threatened her if 
she signed it." It seems plain, therefore, that while in a state of 
doubt or hesitation arising from her being mystified as to the mean- 
ing of abjuring or the real effect of signing the paper, her will and 
judgment were influenced by Erard's threat. 

Manchon in one of his examinations said, among other things: 
"What she had said in the abjuration she said she had not under- 
stood, and that what she had done was from fear of the 'fire.' " 
Two other witnesses refer to the abjuration. Maitre Gillaume de 
Lachambre, master in arts and medicine, said : "Erard decided her 
by saying that if she did what he advised her she would be delivered 
from prison. She abjured on this condition, and on no other." The 
inference is that this influenced her mind also in addition to the 
threat. Brother Pasquerel said that Jeanne on being handed a little 
written schedule and a pen, "by way of derision," made "some sort of 
round mark," and that then Laurence Calot, a secretary of the Eng- 
lish King, who handed her the pen, "took her hand with the pen and 
caused her to make some sort of signature." 

But of greater import is the fact that the long schedule embodied 
by the judges in the process as Jeanne's abjuration was never signed 
by her, according to the sworn testimony of several most reputable 
witnesses. The schedule contained in the process contains fifty-four 
lines. The one signed by Jeanne about eight ! 

Massieu, whose testimony on the subject of the abjuration has 
already been partly quoted, said: "Erard, holding the schedule of 
abjuration, said to Jeanne: 'Thou shalt abjure and sign this sched- 
ule,' and passed it to me to read, and I read it in her presence. I 
remember well that in this schedule it was said that in future she 
should not bear arms or wear male attire or short hair, and many 
other things which I do not remember. I know that this schedule 
contained about eight lines, and no more, and I know of a certainty 
that it was not that which is mentioned in the process, for this is 
quite different from what I read and what was signed by Jeanne." 

De Lachambre deposed that he remembered "well the abjuration 
made by Jeanne," a small schedule containing six or seven lines on 
a piece of paper folded in two. Maitre Jean Monnet, S. T. P., 
canon of Paris, said: "I saw the schedule of abjuration which was 
then read; it was a short schedule, hardly six or seven lines in 
length." This well attested fact, never disproved, of itself greatly 
lessens the value of the whole process by placing its authenticity on 

Joan of Arc. ^2'Z 

trial. And even admitting its genuineness, except in this instance, 
it nowhere discloses the fact that Jeanne expressed her disbelief in 
the Church or refused to submit to its authority as she understood it. 
The judges based their conclusions on inconsequent inferences from 
Jeanne's refusals to pliantly answer the subtle and confusing ques- 
tions put to her throughout a trial that seemed like a persistent 
endeavor to entrap her in her undefended innocence. Apart from the 
spurious abjuration, there is no conclusive evidence submitted in the 
very lengthy and elaborate process to prove that she refused submis- 
sion to the Church or held heretical opinions. In the absence of 
writings or of witnesses the judges were obliged to depend on her 
own answers for reaching a decision in her case. Her referring 
her words and actions in one instance, when sorely pressed, to the 
Church Triumphant in Heaven, from which she believed she had 
received so many revelations to guide her in all her words and deeds, 
furnished indeed, when considered apart from all her other answers 
and sayings and the faithful practice all her life of her religious 
duties, a semblance of proof that she disregarded the authority of the 
Church Militant on earth. It does not require a theologian to 
declare this noble burst of confidence on her part in the Church 
Triumphant utterly inconclusive as regards the question of heresy, 
in view of all the circumstances. A large number of witnesses testi- 
fied as to her submission to the Church both before and after her 
capture. Brother Ysambard de la Pierre, a Dominican of the 
convent at Rouen, on examination said: "On one occasion I with 
many others admonished and besought Jeanne to submit to the 
Church. To which she replied she would willingly submit to the 
Holy Father, requesting to be taken before him and to be no more 
submitted to the judgment of her enemies. And when at this time 
I counselled her to submit to the Council of Bale, Jeanne asked what 
a general council was. I answered her that it was an assembly of 
the whole Church Universal and of Christendom, and that in this 
council there were some of her side as well as of the English side. 
Having heard and understood this, she began to cry: 'Oh! if in 
that place there are any of our side I am quite willing to give myself 
up and to submit to the Council of Bale.' And immediately in great 
rage and indignation the Bishop of Beauvais began to call out: 
'Hold your tongue, in the devil's name,' and told the notary he was 
to be careful to make no note of the submission she had made to the 
Council of Bale. On account of these things and many others, the 
English and their officers threatened me terribly, so that, had I not 
kept silent, they would have thrown me into the Seine." Further 
on he says : "The Bishop of Avaranches summoned me before him 
and asked me what St. Thomas said touching submission to the 

324 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

Church. I sent the decision of St. Thomas in writing to the Bishop : 
'In doubtful things touching the faith recourse should always be 
had to the Pope or a general council.' The good Bishop was of this 
opinion, and seemed to be far from content with the deliberations 
that had been made on this subject. His deliberation was not put 
into writing; it was left out, with bad intent." This witness also 
says on a second examination : "When the Bishop of Beauvais asked 
if she would submit to the Church she inquired: 'What is the 
Church? So far as it is you I will not submit to your judgment, 
because you are my deadly enemy.' When she was asked whether 
she would submit to the judgment of the Pope she replied that if 
they would take her to him she would be content. During the 
greater part of the process, when she was asked to submit to the 
Church, she understood by that term the assembly of judges and 
assessors there present. It was then explained to her by Maitre 
Pierre Maurice, and after she knew she always declared that she 
wished to submit to the Pope and to be conducted to him." 

Maitre Richard Woudiet testified as follows: 'T saw and heard 
at the trial when Jeanne was asked if she would submit to the Bishop 
of Beauvais and others of the assessors then named, she replied that 
she would not, but she would submit to the Pope and the Catholic 
Church, praying that she might be conducted to the Pope." 

Maitre Jean Beaupere, master in theology, canon of Rouen, testi- 
fied that ''on the scaffold she said 'she placed all her deeds and words 
in the ordering of Our Holy Mother Church, and especially of the 
ecclesiastical judges,' being thereto requested by Maitre Nicolas 

Messire Pierre Leboudier testified that "after the preaching at 
Saint Ouen Jeanne, with her hands joined together, said in a loud 
voice that she submitted to the judgment of the Church and prayed 
to Saint Michael that he would direct and counsel her." 

M. Chevallier, who has written an exhaustive treatise, published 
in 1902, on the abjuration, made these conclusions: "(i) The 
formula of abjuration inserted in the process is not that which was 
read to the Maid and which she signed. (2) The authentic formula 
did not constitute in the view of common law an abjuration in regard 
to the faith. (3) In making it Jeanne did contradict and abandon 
her voices, but her act lacked the essential conditions of knowledge 
and of will." 

Jeanne's reluctance to answer some questions left her open to 
being accused by the hostile judges of condemning the authority of 
the Church, and therefore the Bishop of Beauvais and some of the 
assessors professed to regard her as a heretic on this account. 
Jeanne had learned to regard the Bishop of Beauvais and others of 

Joan of Arc. 325 

the assembly who showed a bias against her as uncompromising 
enemfes; she was wearied by their torrent of questions, many of 
which had been already answered by her, and it was only by her 
consummate legal skill that she was able to successfully parry their 
interrogations. Brother Ysambard on examination said: "Such 
difficult, subtle and crafty questions were asked of and proposed to 
poor Jeanne that the great clerics and learned people present would 
have found it hard to reply, and at the questions many of those pres- 
ent murmured." 

The catechism of the Council of Trent defines a heretic as "one 
who, despising the authority of the Church which he has sufficient 
reason to believe is the true Church of Christ, contrary to its decision 
obstinately adheres to false and impious opinions." 

Any fairly well instructed Catholic, reading all the answers and 
sayings of Jeanne as disclosed in the process, should have no serious 
difficulty in declaring her innocent of heresy within the meaning of 
this definition. A detached answer here and there torn from its 
context affords no fair grounds for judging her. If Jeanne's belief 
in her revelations had not been from the first a deep-rooted convic- 
tion, her wonderful exploits and unique experiences would have 
made it so. It was obedience, not impiety, that made her leave her 
parental roof to seek him whom she believed to be the rightful heir 
to the throne of France ; that made her discard her female dress for 
the more fitting garb of an armed cavalier ; that emboldened her to 
defy the might of Bedford's victorious hosts — obedience to what she 
believed was God's will. To denounce as impious the belief which 
had transformed Jeanne, the poor girl peasant, into the triumphant 
bearer of the fleur-de-lis seemed far less befitting the voice of the 
Church than the voice of the baffled enemies of France. Even apart 
from the circumstances which have given so much fame to Jeanne's 
revelations it would be hard to arrive at any infallible conclusion in 
regard to them. The sentence of rehabilitation pronounced in 1456 
contains the following words in condemning the judgment given 
against Jeanne: "And because of the question of revelations it is 
most difficult to furnish a certain judgment. Blessed Paul having on 
the subject of his own revelations said that he knew not if they came 
to him in body or in spirit, and having on this point referred himself 
to God." It is true that ten witnesses are mentioned in the "Subse- 
quent Examinations and Proceedings after the Relapse," which are 
not, however, included in the official text of the trial as having stated 
on oath before the judges that condemned Jeanne, that on the day 
she was put to death they heard her say in prison that the voices had 
deceived her, because they had promised she should be delivered 
from prison. One of these witnesses, Brother Martin Ladvenu, the 

326 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

intrepid father who remained closest to her at the stake, the most 
fearless to speak to her there as a friend, deposed afterward in con- 
nection with the rehabilitation that "up to the end of her life she 
maintained and assented that her voices came from God, and that 
what she had done had been by God's command. She did not believe 
that her voices had deceived her, but that the revelations that she 
had received had come from God." It will be noticed that he uses 
the words "up to the end of her life," which may not be inclusive of 
the day on which Jeanne is said to have referred to the voices as 
having deceived her. The evidence of the ten witnesses is not signed 
by the three official registers, and it is unfortunate that it was not 
taken in Jeanne's presence instead of being taken after her death, 
as it concerned her materially. Manchon testifies that the Bishop of 
Beauvais "wanted to compel him to sign this evidence," but that he 
would not do so. He also testifies elsewhere on examination "that 
Jeanne never revoked her revelations, but maintained them to the 
end." It is rather singular also that M. Ladvenu in his later evi- 
dence regarding Jeanne's belief in her revelations did not qualify 
it by referring to the former evidence as to her saying in prison on 
the day of her death that the voices had deceived her in promising 
to deliver her from prison. 

One of the ten witnesses who testified as to what she said on the 
last day in prison said he heard her declare, in addition to what is 
above stated to have been then said by her, that to know whether her 
voices "were good or evil spirits she referred to the clergy." An- 
other said Jeanne, being on that occasion asked if her voices and 
apparitions proceeded from good or evil spirits, did reply : "I know 
not ; I wait on my Mother the Church, or I wait on you who are the 
Church." In view of all the circumstances, the unofficial testimony 
of the ten witnesses as to what the prisoner said when not on guard 
as on her trial, and which seems indirectly contradictory by one of 
them, cannot be considered as decisive of the question as to whether 
she at last disbelieved in the voices, much less of the question as to 
whether the voices were good or evil. A fair inference from all 
these facts is that she reiterated her belief in her revelations at the 
time of her execution. 

On the subject of Jeanne's relapse, which occasioned a second 
process, the text after reciting that the judges repaired to the prison, 
reads: "And because Jeanne was dressed in the dress of a man, 
that is to say, a short mantle, a hood, a doublet and other effects used 
by men, although by our orders she had several days before con- 
sented to give up these garments, we asked her when and for what 
reason she had resumed this dress." Jeanne answered : "I have but 
now resumed the dress of a man and put off the woman's dress." 

Joan of Arc. 327 

After being pressed to give the reason for resuming her man's dress 
after having recanted her alleged errors, which included the wearing 
of the male attire, according to the authentic act of abjuration, she 
answered : "Because it is more lawful and suitable for me to resume 
it and to wear man's dress, being with men, than to have a woman's 
dress. I have resumed it because the promise made to me has not 
been kept ; that is to say, that I should go to Mass and receive my 
Saviour, and that I should be taken out of irons." "One of her 
answers then was that she took the dress of a man of her own free 
will and with no constraint; that she preferred a man's dress to a 
woman's dress." The Dominican Brothers Ysambard and Martin 
Ladvenu testified that she informed them that she was obliged to 
take a man's dress because she found it necessary to do so as for 
protection against violence and insult. 

The two processes, the first and the second, are also designated in 
the text of the trial as the "Lapse and Relapse," but the two are 
conveniently referred to as the process. The sentence of rehabilita- 
tion condemns and annuls both processes in the strongest terms, such 
as follows : "We say, pronounce, decree and declare the said pro- 
cesses and sentences full of cozenage, iniquity, inconsequence and 
manifest errors, in fact as well as in law." 

There is abundance of evidence of bias on the part of the judges 
at the trial. Suppression of evidence and admission of improper 
evidence abounded. Violence and intimidation also more or less 
prevailed. Manchon testified on examination as follows: "At the 
beginning of the trial, because I was putting in writing for five or 
six days the answers and excuses of the said Maid, the judges several 
times wished to compel me, speaking in Latin, to put them in other 
terms by changing the sense of her words or in other ways such as 
I had not heard. By command of the Bishop of Beauvais two men 
were placed at the window near where the judges sat, with a curtain 
across the window so that they could not be seen. These two men 
wrote and reported what there was in the charge against Jeanne, 
keeping silence as to her excuses, and in my opinion one of these 
was Loyseleur. After the sitting was over in the afternoon, while 
comparing notes of what had been written, the two others reported 
differently from me and had put in none of the excuses, at which my 
Lord of Beauvais was greatly angry with me. Where nota is 
written in the process there was disagreement and questions had to 
be made upon it, and it was found that what I had written was true. 
In writing the said process I was often opposed by my Lord of 
Beauvais and the masters, who wanted to compel me to write accord- 
ing to their fancy and against what I had myself heard. And when 
there was something which did not please them they forbade it to 

328 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

be written, saying that it did not serve the process ; but I neverthe- 
less wrote only according to my hearing and knowledge. 

"This witness also testifies that through the confidence reposed in 
Maitre Nicolas Loyseleur by Jeanne, whom he was in the habit of 
visiting in prison as a pretended friend, her familiar conversations 
were reported, as Manchon thought, to the notaries. And from 
this were made memoranda for questions in the trial to find some 
way of catching her unawares." 

Maitre Gillaume de Lachambre, master in arts and medicine, testi- 
fied partly as follows: *'I gave no opinion during the trial, but 
allowed myself to affix my signature under compulsion from the 
Bishop of Beauvais. I made excuses to him that in these matters 
it did not belong to my profession to give any opinion. However, 
finally the Bishop forced me to subscribe as others had done, saying 
that otherwise some ill would befall me for having come to 
Rouen. I say, too, that threats were also used against Master 
Jean Lohier and Maitre Nicolas de Houppeville, who, not wishing 
to take part in the trial, were threatened with the penalty of 

The Dominicans also testified to the beautiful death of Jeanne, 
who used many pious ejaculations and died "like Saint Ignatius and 
many other martyrs," uttering the name of Jesus. 

The first movement towards Jeanne's rehabilitation was made by 
the French King Charles VII., at whose request the University of 
Paris inquired in 1450 into the questions and circumstances pertain- 
ing to her trial and execution. But no final judgment was pro- 
nounced by the court that sat on the inquiry owing, it is stated, to 
political expediency, which shrank at offending England by a pro- 
ceeding originated by the King of France. 

In 1452 Pope Nicholas V., appealed to by Jeanne's mother, ordered 
an inquiry, which, however, like the former, was not completed. 
In 1455 Pope Nicholas died, and the d'Arc family looked to his suc- 
cessor, Calixtus III., for the furtherance of the inquiry, and their 
wishes were graciously acceded to. On the 7th of November, 1455, 
the proceedings for Jeanne's rehabilitation opened at Paris in obedi- 
ence to the Papal rescript. But the case lingered on by reason of 
various adjournments of sittings, such delays being deemed necessary 
in order to give an ample opportunity for any of the representatives 
of the deceased Bishop Beauvais and associate judges at the trial 
of Jeanne, and as well the promoter d'Estivet to present themselves. 
The petition, however, remained unopposed and the case was finally 
proceeded with on February 16, 1456. The preliminary objections 
taken at the first meeting at Paris to the proceedings at the trial of 
Jeanne were formulated, according to Mr. Murray, as follows : 

Joan of Arc. 329 

(i) The intervention of the hidden registrars and the alterations, 
additions and omissions made in the twelve articles. (2) The sup- 
pression of the preliminary inquiry, that is the Domremy evidence 
taken, and the obvious predisposition of the judges. (3) The in- 
competence of the court and the unfairness received throughout by 
the accused, culminating in an illegal sentence and an irregular exe- 
cution. It is further stated by Mr. Murray that the inquiry of 1456 
extended over several months. Twenty- four witnesses were heard 
in January and February at Domremy and Vacouleurs; forty-one 
in February and in March at Orleans ; twenty at Paris in April and 
May; nineteen at Rouen in December and May. 

By the evidence of so many witnesses the character of Jeanne 
d'Arc is photographed more plainly to the world than if she was a 
very familiar, living acquaintance. We see her exemplary life from 
her childhood up to the time of her capture at Compeigne ; her mar- 
velous prowess and success in raising the siege of Orleans; her 
influence for good over the French army that followed her as their 
ideal of a leader in war; her incarceration in the enemy's prisons, 
the gloom of her trial, condemnation and death silver-lined by her 
saintly patience and fortitude to the end. The charges of divination 
and sorcery, based upon alleged dealings with the fairies near the 
"Fairy Tree," vanish into the air before the extolling testimony of the 
simple peasant folk of Domremy. The formidable fabric of dark 
accusation built up by her enemies topples to the ground as writer 
after writer tells the beautiful story of how and where she lived after 
leaving Domremy. 

The sentence of rehabilitation utterly annulling the judgment 
against Jeanne was pronounced by the judges on the 7th of June, 
1456. In reference to the twelve articles drawn up against Jeanne 
and submitted to the University of Paris they say: "In the first 
place, we say, and because justice requires it we declare, that the 
articles beginning with the words *a woman,' which are found in- 
serted in the pretended process and instrument of the pretended 
sentences lodged against the said deceased, ought to have been, 
have been and are extracted from the said pretended process and the 
said pretended confessions of the said deceased with corruption, 
cozenage, calumny, fraud and malice. We declare that on certain 
points the truth of her confessions has been passed over in silence ; 
that on other points her confessions have been falsely translated, 
etc., etc. 

"We declare that in those articles there have been added without 
right many aggravating circumstances which are not in the afore- 
said confessions, and many circumstances both relevant and justify- 
ing have been passed over in silence. We declare that even the 

330 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

form of certain words has been altered in such a manner as to change 
the substance." 

In Hke manner they condemn the process or "lapse" and "relapse." 
Thus was the Maid of Orleans vindicated within about a quarter of 
a century after her death. 

Who can do full justice to the subject, a story whose sublime 
pathos has never been exceeded even in the annals of France, replete 
with national tragedies, over which the world had mourned ? When 
all that was mortal of the Maid of Orleans had disappeared forever 
from human vision, when the relentless flames kindled by the vin- 
dictiveness of the secular power, to whose unsparing vengeance she 
had been ruthlessly consigned, had done their work and her spirit 
was seen soaring away from France in the form of a white dove, 
the hostile spectators of this final scene in the old Market Place of 
Rouen became their own self-accusers. In their heart of hearts 
they acknowledged their crime. Too late. Only time in its undevi- 
ating onward march could right the wrong. And it was not slow 
to do so. How consoling it is to remember that the Church shows 
the care of a mother for the good name of her children while ever 
solicitous for their eternal welfare ! 

A greater, a sublimer vindication of Joan's life is the process of 
her beatification, which began in January, 1904. The process neces- 
sarily implies a belief in her exalted virtues and concedes the truth 
of her praises by a host of writers. 

Some of the present day infidels of France profess to see nothing 
higher in the wonderful career of Joan of Arc than her patriotism, 
to which they attribute all her military enthusiasm at Orleans and 
Patay, accompanied by her extraordinary success. They sneer with 
Voltaire at her "voices," although compelled to honor her for the 
brilliancy of her deeds on the battlefield, which enthused all France. 
How strange that the patriotism which had redeemed France in the 
hour of her extremest peril should have found lodgment alone in 
the breast of a girl but entering her teens, absolutely illiterate, and 
whose world should ordinarily have been the isolated hamlet of 
Domremy ! Was there not another in all France or Lorraine more 
fitted for the noise of battle and the flash of arms? Was there no 
other on whose brow could as well be wreathed the laurels of a 
nation's victory? None so blind as those who will not see. Truth 
to tell, "the cold abstraction of patriotism she never discovered for 
herself," as one of her admirers, Thomas Davidson, aptly wrote. 
She was moved by far different influences than those of patriotism 
or ambition — by her tender pity for the oppressed, her fresh young 
sympathy with the Dauphin and, above all, by her firm belief in her 
divine commission as she conceived it. To act for the future, to 

The Witness of Conscience to the Existence of God. 331 

read its secrets with the keenest vision of a prophet as if unveiled 
from the present, is not the mere patriot's attribute. Without chart 
or compass, book or pen, perfectly heedless of military glory for its 
own sake and supported at first by a mere remnant of soldiers regard- 
ing her with distrust if not scorn, she displayed an ardor and self- 
confidence hitherto unknown to the greatest generals of England or 
France. And as to her military skill, notwithstanding her utter lack 
of training or experience in the art of war, there is abundance of 
unimpeachable testimony. Such, for instance, as that of the Duke 
d'Alengon and that of Thibauld d'Armagnac. 

The relief of Orleans and the crowning of the King at Rheims 
was her express mission, according to the records of history. To 
unite the discordant interests of a nation, to arouse a spirit of ex- 
alted patriotism, for the want of which France was perishing, to 
turn back the tide of English invasion, to reprove the corruptions 
and immoralities of court and camp, to bear witness to the might 
of the God of Arms — this was the larger mission of the noble, the 
immortal peasant girl of Domremy. 

Ottawa, Ont. 



THE fact that the main argument which is urged at least in 
modern times by non-Catholic theists to prove the existence 
of God is that from the moral order renders an examination 
of the argument a matter of some importance. 

This is the more necessary, for Catholic apologists on the other 
hand fight shy of the argument as a rule, and rest their case entirely 
on one or other of the five cosmological proofs of St. Thomas. In 
the first place, then, we shall define the precise phase of the argument 
that will engage our attention. We shall then endeavor to show 
that the argument, far from being a modern one made in Germany 
by Kant, is in reality bound up with and essential to the truth of 
certain universally received views in Catholic theology; and finally 
we shall endeavor to show that the argument cannot be explained 
away on Utilitarian lines. 


The argument from the moral order is presented in two ways: 
First, in contending that many of the precepts of that order are 

332 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

absolutely necessary; that their existence is inconceivable in any 
hypothesis, and hence that they cannot rest in any way on the fleet- 
ing things of time, but must have as their ultimate basis some neces- 
sary immutable being "with whom there is no change nor shadow 
of alteration." Viewed in this way, the argument from the moral 
order merges in and is identical with that derived from the existence 
of necessary truths in general. 

The other form of the argument is that alone with which we 
shall concern ourselves^namely, that the notion of obligation which 
arises in the mind when the performance of certain actions and the 
omission of certain others occur to us, and the correlative sense of 
self-esteem or reproof, according as we have been faithful to the 
obligation or the reverse, prove the existence of some extra mundane 
being who imposes and sanctions the obligation. This intellectual 
perception of a duty and of self-complacency or fear, according as 
we have performed or neglected it, is conscience, at once the norm 
and sanction of morality. 

Our opponents are two- fold: First, those who hold (and many 
Catholics are numbered amongst them) that the idea of obligation 
comes to us from without; in a word, that it is traditional. It is 
our thesis against them that obligation is a primary perception and 
arises in our minds spontaneously without previous knowledge of 
God or the moral order. Our argument is impugned in the second 
place by those who, while admitting these feelings of obligation 
and consequent retrijbution, attempt to explain them on Utilitarian 
principles and without any reference to an extra mundane legislator 
who has impressed his law on our minds. 


Against the first class of opponents we admit that this conception 
of obligation is immature, and that without the aid of others men 
generally could not explain the genesis of obligation nor even 
formally recognize it as such. But we contend that on the bare 
contemplation of certain acts, the conscience of one who has attained 
the use of reason revolts from them without the previous apprehen- 
sion of God or the application of any general principle of morality, 
the recognition of which is not a spontaneous process, but is subse- 
quent and reflexive. As an easy deduction from this shrinking of 
conscience and from the subsequent remorse and fear, if he has 
outraged his conscience, the average man in our opinion first reaches 
the knowledge of God as some superior outside himself whom he 
has offended. For the presence of a negative obligation or one that 
has been transgressed is, considering the bent of mind of men 
generally, much more likely to awaken this knowledge than a posi- 

The Witness of Conscience to the Existence of God. 333 

tive one or one that has been performed. "Stern daughter of the 
voice of God" is not all a metaphor, and the man who has experi- 
enced the imperious dictate of conscience has been apprised of the 
presence of the divinity in his inner nature — "that God is not far 
from every one of us." 

Of course it is true that before any pronouncement of conscience 
a child of good Christian parents is likely to have heard of God, but 
that he will have any true conception of Him — any realization of 
what God is — till conscience reveals Him as sanctioning certain acts 
is, we contend, very improbable. Similarly such a child will have 
been told that certain actions are evil and that he must not do them, 
as God would punish him; but it is almost impossible that a child 
of tender years and of average precocity could assimilate the ideas 
of morality and of obligation unless they were first united in some 
way and the admonition of the external mentor enforced by the 
imperative dictate of conscience. 

Those who endeavor to overthrow our argument on this first line 
of attack, viz. : That our first ideas of God and of obligation are, 
as it were, echoes of what we have heard from others — are, I think, 
principally Catholics, for Protestants as a rule admit the validity 
of the argument from conscience. And one of the principal dogmas 
of unbelievers is that morality and obligation are quite separable 
from a belief in God and, in fact, are found separate in the lower 
strata of civilization. Hence they bend all their energies to explain 
the problem of conscience on Utilitarian lines, and we shall see what 
is to be said for this view later on. Our opponents here, then, being 
Catholics, we are justified in repelling the attack by an appeal to 
Catholic principles. But first it might be well to give in a summary 
way an argument that applies generally. 

In ancient paganism the objects of worship, such as Bacchus, 
Neptune, Mercury, Pluto, were often immoral as -well as false — 
demons and nothing else — and yet dishonesty was banned, purity 
was honored if not generally practised, and ascetics were admired 
if not imitated. Manifestly, then, the popular and traditional cult 
of the gods was in no way responsible for this involuntary homage 
to virtue. Nothing can account for it but the guiding light of con- 
science, which, in spite of external authority, led those that were 
docile to its behests away unsmirched through the quagmires of 
paganism to the throne of One All Holy God. 

To come now to arguments that are distinctively Catholic, I would 
urge in the first place the almost universally accepted view^ in our 
theology that no adult can be ignorant of the existence of God 
except through his own fault. The question then we have to face 

1 See Mazzella de Deo (College Class-Book). 

334 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

at once is: Whence is this knowledge derived? In a great many 
cases, of course, it can be and is derived from tradition — ^the oral 
teaching of parents, clergymen and those intrusted with our educa- 
tion. In these cases we reasonably assent to the existence of God 
on their authority. But in some cases such reasonable assent is 
precluded. Take, for instance, the children of agnostics^ educated 
in an unbelieving atmosphere. They cannot derive the knowledge 
of God that they are supposed by us to have in this way; on the 
contrary, a very powerful proof is necessary in their case to over- 
come authority backed up by prejudice and inherited tendencies. 
Where is such proof to be sought? Not, we believe, in the five 
great proofs elaborated by St. Thomas, for no one would say that 
such persons are incapable of serious moral delinquency until they 
have had sufficient training to weigh and appreciate the force of 
these arguments. Even granting them mental capacity sufficiently 
evolved for this task, if we try to create for ourselves their mental 
atmosphere we shall realize that such speculative proofs would be 
quite inadequate to overcome the efforts of early training, for 
Suarez admits that even for specialists some of these proofs are 
slippery and uncertain. 

Besides, it was St. Thomas' own opinion that a person entirely 
sequestered from society would nevertheless attain to a knowledge 
of Gk)d. And great probability is lent to this view by the action of 
the Fathers of the Vatican Council in rejecting from their canon 
about the knowledge of the existence of God the limitation that some 
proposed, viz.: That it applied only to those in normal circum- 
stances — "in societate adulta." And we make bold to say that the 
argument from contingency or the impossibility of an infinite series 
would never suggest itself to a person thus isolated. And the same 
would probably be true of the argument from design — having no 
previous knowledge of an extra mundane being, the Romulus in 
question would probably take things as he found them without 
inquiry as to their origin. Of course, the case would be quite dif- 
ferent if he had a previous knowledge of God; then the aspect of 
external nature would be to him all that is claimed for it in the Acts 
of the Apostles and the Book of Wisdom. 

Another point in this theory about unbelievers that makes for 
our view is the fact that sin is considered to be effective in destroying 
the knowledge of God, so that all admit that there are many specula- 
tive atheists consequent on the commission of habitual sin at least. 
There is an explanation of this fact on the theory that knowledge of 
God is dependent on conscience, for conscience is a delicate flower 
that easily loses its bloom; it is singularly liable to be choked by 

2 "Principles of Moral Science." 

The Witness of Conscience to the Existence of God. 335 

cockle, and has no congenial soil in the hard hearts of the unregen- 
erate. It is a small, weak voice, and if its admonitions are con- 
stantly set at nought it will eventually become still in moral death. 
The sinner, then, has ignored the law, and with it vanishes all knowl- 
edge of the legislator. The atheistic whisper in the fool's heart 
that the Psalmist speaks of is the price of moral rather than of 
intellectual folly. For if the knowledge of God is not derived from 
conscience there is no reason why the sinner should be in a worse 
plight than the just man, because God does not deprive man of his 
natural powers as a result of sin. And as for grace, no one would 
say that it is necessary for a man who had already attained the 
knowledge of God to preserve that knowledge, and if he already 
did not know God he could not be punished by the deprivation of 
medicinal grace, for his sin was ex-hypothesi purely philosophic, in 
no way directed against God. 

Nor is this opinion — that no adult can be an atheist prior to the 
commission of sin — though not perhaps a matter of strict obligation 
in our theology, to be lightly set aside. Witness the emphatic words 
of St. Paul in the second chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, where 
he seems to allude to our argument. Besides, this possibility of the 
universal diffusion of the knowledge of God seems alone in harmony 
with His salvific will; indeed, it is almost demanded by our sense 
of what is becoming and in consonance with the divine beneficence 
that God would implant in the heart of each one the light of His 
holy countenance and the first principles of His sacred law, so that 
entirely irrespective of circumstances the individual adult could have 
access to the temple of mercy and grace. 

Another point in our theology that supposes the validity of the 
argument from conscience to God is the reiterated assertion of the 
Fathers that a knowledge of God is innate (insita^) in all men. This 
tenet can be maintained only by an appeal to conscience or on the 
theory of innate ideas. For it is absurd to say (having the ordinary- 
faithful in mind) that the cosmological arguments for the existence 
of God are so tangible and so much a matter of course that we may 
be said to have an innate idea of His existence. Nor do the Fathers 
allude to magisterial knowledge, as will appear to any one giving 
a cursory glance — say through Franzelin,* where he gives excerpts 
from their works dealing with the matter. 

Again, our contention seems to be borne out in all our theologies, 
sermons and popular addresses where we invariably assume that 
the function of conscience is dictatorial and not merely directive, a 

8 "Haec est vis verae divinitatis, ut creaturae rationali jam ratione utenti 
non omnino possit absoondi."— St. Augrustine, in Joan Tract, 106. 
4De Deo Uno, p. 64. 

33^ American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

law and hence connoting a legislator, and not a mere statement of 
fact. Suarez brings this out very clearly — de Legibus, B. II., C. V. 
Finally the validity of our argument, in my opinion, follows irre- 
sistibly on Catholic principles from the thesis condemned by Alex- 
ander VIII. in reference to philosophic sin, all the special pleading 
to the contrary notwithstanding. To vindicate the theory of philo- 
sophic sin from this condemnation, it is sought to show that the 
Pope might have condemned the proposition because the terms of 
it were of sufficient latitude to include the assertion that a person 
not actually adverting to the existence of God or ignorant of Him 
through his own fault would be guilty only of philosophic sin. But 
did any one ever advance either of these two assertions? Popes in 
their utterances are not beating the air any more than other men, 
and a condemnation always supposes some question that was mooted 
at the moment. And the question at issue when this famous proposi- 
tion was condemned was undoubtedly not the reality of philosophic 
sin when there was no actual advertence, but the possibility of philo- 
sophic sin in any case.^ Besides, if the Pope meant to condemn 
these illegitimate extensions of the theory and them merely, the first 
part of the proposition would be entirely irrelevant. 


We now come to the proof of our thesis against the Utilitarian 
philosophy of which we will take Mr. Spencer as the chief exponent. 
Bentham questioned the legitimacy of the facts of conscience and 
obligation; but his disciples, wiser in their generation, admit them 
and work them for all they are worth ; but at the same time they deny 
the validity of the theistic argument based on them. It is very hard 
indeed to see how any one could, without jeopardy to all his knowl- 
edge, deny the existence of this great "beacon light" (as Browning 
calls conscience) — at once the subjective rule of morality and one 
of its highest sanctions. For it confessedly exists,^ even among the 
most degraded and uncultured, and in matters, too, in which one 
would think that the allurements of sense would be most likely to 
hush its promptings. 

For the purpose of our present argument it matters not at all 
that its monitions differ in the case of different individuals ; our only 
concern is to show that conscience and a sense of expediency are 
not now and could not have been in the remote past convertible 

Mr. Spencer, then, admits that "ought" represents a fact of moral 

consciousness as man is here and now constituted, though when the 

millennium comes he expects that it will be dispensed with. It is 

5 "Principles of Moral Science," p. 121. 
6Tylor, II., 360. 

The Witness of Conscience to the Existence of God. 337 

none of our business now to blur in any way his roseate foreca&t 
as to the future of the race. In his view duty consists mainly of 
two elements — the element of author itativeness and the element of 
coerciveness, which would correspond, I suppose, to its judicial and 
executive functions in the ordinary view. The element of authori- 
tativeness has arisen from the fact "that the accumulated experi- 
ences of the race have produced the consciousness that guidance by 
feelings which refer to remote and general results is usually more 
conducive to welfare than guidance by feelings to be immediately 
gratified.""^ But why this should generate the authority implied 
in the idea of obligation is not apparent. To have regard to remote 
and general results does not imply morality. One may restrain 
himself from gratifying immediate feelings in order to gratify them 
more effectually in the future. Nay, he may sacrifice them for the 
moment, and yet all the time in the present and in the future may 
transgress every rule of morality. A robber may scorn pleasure 
and live laborious days, may spend money in buying the implements 
of his craft in order that in due time he may the more easily rob a 
bank or break into a house. Is it anything less than ridiculous, in 
face of such facts, to say that the having regard to future conse- 
quences rather than immediate ones accounts for the element of 
authority in conscience? But Mr. Spencer will rejoin that the 
remote consequences he has in mind as generating the element of 
authority are the consequences not to the individual himself, but to 
the race. But perish the race, why should I be bound to provide 
for its well-being? What claim has it on me? This will appear 
more clearly when we have considered the other element in duty. 

The element of coerciveness in conscience was at first derived 
from the fear of punishment according to Spencer. The fear of 
punishment, he says, is the permanent motive of the savage. If 
we ask how this becomes the coercive element of duty among civilized 
people in the Utilitarian theory, we happen on the great weak point 
of their system — the attempt to bridge the chasm between the indi- 
vidual and the race. The savage, according to Spencer, refrains 
from scalping his enemy because he is afraid of the anger of the 
chief. This restraint, however, arising from the "extrinsic" effects 
of an action, is not, we are told, yet moral. The moral restraint 
arises when we refrain from slaying because of the intrinsic effects 
of the action. 

These intrinsic effects are of the following kind : "The infliction 
of death agony on the victim, the destruction of all his possibilities 
of happiness, the entailed sufferings to his belongings."^ 

7 "Data of Ethics," I., 126. 

8 "Data of Ethics," I., 120. 

338 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

The ground of restraint in the case of the savage is the fear of 
future pain to himself. With the evolutionist it is concern for the 
pleasures and pains of others. How is the transition made? Has 
the restraint which makes a man honest from fear of the gallows 
any mode of transforming itself into the disinterested restraint which 
guides his action by regard to the well-being of other people ? What 
is the unifying principle between him and the race? That a con- 
sciousness of universal kinship among the members of the human 
race is not such a principle any one in the least acquainted with the 
world will admit. Whether or not such a happy state of universal 
brotherhood will obtain in the future does not matter in the least, 
for a future contingency cannot account for the existing facts of 
the moral order. 

Perhaps law, as Bain holds, is the benign influence smoothing the 
rugged path from egoism to altruism. 

According to Bain society, by means of government or otherwise, 
inflicts punishment upon such actions as interfere with the pleas- 
ures or increase the pains of men, and then association being estab- 
lished in the mind between punishable actions and punishment, men 
come to dread and avoid such actions. In this view conscience 
wotild be simply a miniature police court. 

l^he inadequacy of this means of eflFecting the transition is evident 
from this fact alone that human law can reach only external and 
overt acts, and I think it is fair to assume that if there was no direct 
check on internal desires they would issue forth in a wild torrent 
that would utterly demolish the tiny dam of the mere human legis- 

This contention gains strength from the consideration that human 
law is often uncertain in its operations, and that its penalties are 
often trivial, though the gain, e. g., of harassing one's neighbors, be 
very considerable. And what we have said about law applies toti- 
dem verbis to public opinion, which Spencer calls the social element 
in thecoerciveness of conscience. Besides, it is quite evident that 
Bain's theory makes no pretence to account for a great part of 
morality, especially its positive precepts and many obligations under 
the virtue of chastity. 

Nor will the religious factor — the fear of God — that Spencer 
recognizes as helping to make us altruistic serve his turn any better 
unless on the hypothesis we are contending for, viz.: That the 
facts of conscience are a valid argument for God's existence. Be- 
cause, as we have said in the beginning, the theology of paganism, 
for instance, was little calculated to have any restraining influence 
on the passions of men. And again in this matter Spencer is easily 
hoist with his own petard and that of his friends, for they are forever 

The Witness of Conscience to the Existence of God. 339 

proclaiming the comcomitant existence of morality with the want of 
religious belief among the primitive races. 

The chasm, then, between the individual and the race is impossible 
on Utilitarian principles, and evolutionists ought either to abandon 
their altruistic cant or give up their theory of the determination of 
the will to the most enticing object. Having shown, then, that on 
Utilitarian principles our fellow-members of the race have very little 
connection with our acts, it follows as a matter of course that 
Spencer's attempted explanation of the elements of authority and 
coerciveness breaks down. 

There is another weak point in the Utilitarian theory that I think 
is not sufficiently insisted on. For in the view of Spencer, Darwin 
and evolutionists generally the principles of morality are nothing 
more than the concentrated and crystallized experiences of the race 
making for the survival of the fittest, of which our physical organism 
is the receptacle and which have been transmitted to us with it. In 
this way they claim that a man can and must in certain circum- 
stances, owing to the bent of his character, reject some course of 
action that would otherwise be for him an irresistible attraction, 
thereby sacrificing the pleasure of the individual to the well-being 
of the race or in other words to morality. 

But if such be the genesis of morality, how can the Utilitarians 
account for the fact that as children we do some things habitually 
that we afterwards refrain from as habitually and that are recog- 
nized as detrimental to the race? This undoubted fact shows, since 
the constitution of the child and the adult is the same, that the racial 
experiences of utility or the reverse have quite a subordinate place 
in regulating the conduct of men generally. 

Besides, I think it is fair to urge that if morality is identical with 
the accumulated experiences of each one's progenitors there would 
not be such unanimity among us as to its precepts. For our ante- 
cedents were in many cases very different, and a policy that proved 
suicidal to one would doubtless often have been the making of 

Again, there are certain acts which are universally recognized as 
being right and of obligation, and we much doubt if on the princi- 
ples of natural selection or the survival of the fittest their utility 
to the race would entitle them to the high place they now hold in 
the estimation of men. Let us examine, for instance, whether it is 
possible to account for the generally recognized obligation to be 
truthful on the Utilitarian hypothesis. 

If morality can be deduced from the laws of life and the condi- 
tions of existence, we have a right to expect that the biological 
conditions which spelled success in the lower sphere should also 

340 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

obtain in the higher. We find, however, that with nearly all 
creatures up to man a premium is put on deception. It is the 
weapon w^hich the weak use against the strong; indeed, often the 
only effective one they have. Any work on natural history will 
afford illustration of the truth of the statement that deception is 
almost universal and has on it the stamp of success and so of moral 
obligation on Utilitarian principles. The flatfish which escapes the 
jaws of the dogfish is the one which can imitate most closely the 
color of the sand bank on which it lies. Some of the most remark- 
able mimetic insects yet discovered are certain bugs which have a 
most striking resemblance to thorns. One species in particular, 
the umbonia spinosa in South Africa, is an exact imitation of a large 
thorn such as is found upon a wild rose stem. The counterfeit is 
so thorough that to discover the umbonia on a thorny stem seems 
a task of which no bird would be capable. 

We need not multiply instances which will readily occur to every 
one. Imitation, mimicry, deception prevail everywhere in the animal 
kingdom from the least to the highest, from the insect to the mother 
bird, which moves as if her wings were broken to entice the pursuer 
from her nest. 

This process of deception has the sanction of success. Those, 
who have been best at it have escaped the danger before which their 
less skillful relatives went down, and organized deception becomes 
the fit rule of conduct for all who have survived. It is preposterous 
to think that out of this biological law of life there should have been 
evolved the supreme authority and obligation of truthfulness in the 
case of man; and remember that it does not make any difference 
to our position that the obligation of truthfulness is questioned by 
some evolutionists provided it be admitted (and what I think is 
unquestionable) that the generality of men recognize it. 

Even when we turn to human life it cannot be shown on the 
hypothesis of evolution that the habit of telling the truth is bene- 
ficial, pleasurable or advantageous. The Utilitarian sanction for 
veracity is neither powerful nor universal. Few laws enforce it, nor 
is the social reprobation attaching to untruthfulness as such very 
severe. For though it is true that we profess indignation at deceit 
generally, as a matter of fact we are really angry only when the 
deceit is malicious or injurious to us. We resist calumny, cheating 
and hypocrisy because they harm us, not at all because they are 
untrue. Abstract the detraction and the mischief from the untruth, 
and we are at little pains to condemn it ; let it take the direction of 
adulation, and people generally are pleased with it, and but for their 
modesty would applaud it. 

We can find no basis, then, for the obligation of being truthful 


The Witness of Conscience to the Existence of God. 341 

in biological conditions or in the experience of men, and hence 
Utilitarianism utterly fails to account for it. And the same is 
demonstrably true in the case of other obligations, for instance, our 
respect for the lives of the aged and helpless whose maintenance 
is a burden to us, not to mention at all the plague-stricken and 
others whose very existence is a positive menace to society.^ 

The truth is, of course, that Utilitarianism leaves out of sight the 
greater part of morality. That theory of morals and of obligation 
is by its apotheosis of the creature not only dwarfed, it is lop-sided. 
Our relation to our fellow-men is incidental and secondary in the 
true scheme of morality. We are under an obligation to avoid 
injuring our neighbors, but in our opinion, with all due deference 
to the great authorities on the other side,^^ the ratio formalis of 
such obligation is the Divine Will exclusively. The many Catholics 
that hold a different view seem to be admitting the thin end of the 
wedge of Utilitarianism. God was bound, seeing that He had made 
men independent of one another, to sanction with His will certain 
relations between them; but if we trespass on the independence of 
our neighbors, though no doubt we violate their right, still our moral 
culpability consists formally not at all in the injury we do them, but 
in our violation of the Divine law. 

It is to be noted, too, that in expounding the principles of ethics 
we explain what kind of life we ought to live, what end to accom- 
plish ; we say not merely thou shalt not, but thou shalt. So that 
even if we were to reach the time and state when it would be no 
longer necessary to say thou shalt not, the notion of obligation 
would remain and would make itself felt so loiig as there was a 
further progress to be made, a higher ideal to reach and a further 
end to be accomplished. 

And remember that according to the evolutionists at least the ideal 
of human conduct is continually growing and seeking a higher state- 
ment and embodiment of itself as knowledge widens. Neither, then, 
by the attempt to resolve it into its elements nor by the prediction 
that it will fade away have Spencer and his friends succeeded in 
divorcing the idea of a Supreme Personal Lawgiver from our sense 
of moral obligation. 

In conclusion, we contend that we have proved against many 
Catholics that on our own principles the knowledge of obligation, 
and hence of God to some extent, is assumed as a primary fact of 
consciousness — is something arising spontaneously within the mind 
and independent of external instruction as to its existence, though 
not perhaps as to its perfection. We have refuted evolutionists 

» "Principles of Moral Science," 75. 
10 "Principles of Moral Science," 61. 

342 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

who take up the same position by retorting on them their own theory 
as to the atheism of the lower races, and by showing that in pagan- 
ism the traditional cult of the Gods had no beneficial influence at 
least on the morality of the people. 

We may assume, I think (what seems a mere truism), that the 
sense of obligation does not arise from anything we owe our own 
individual natures, and we have tried to show against Utilitarians 
that it has no reference to the race in general and so has no raison 
d'etre at all on empirical lines. 

We are entitled, therefore, to assume that this better self within 
us represents and bears unmistakable evidence to the existence of 
the living God, who, though greater than conscience, speaks through 
conscience. Conscience, then, occupies the throne of the universe, 
and her voice is that of the eternal king to which all loyal subjects 
respond with rejoicing assent, and with the exulting hope that the 
right will triumph, they rejoice that God reigns forever in righteous- 
ness, and that the puny arguments of atheists will one day dissolve 
and melt away like the snowflake on a river. 

stern Lawgriver! yet thou dost wear 
The Godhead's most benignant grace; 
Nor knew we anything so fair 
•As is the smile upon thy face. 

— ^Wordsworth's Ode "On Duty." 

D. Barry. 



THE Protestant tradition which presumes a priori that no good 
can possibly have come out of the Nazareth of the times 
before the Reformation, and especially the immediately pre- 
ceding century, has served to obscure to an unfortunate degree the 
history of several hundred years extremely important in every de- 
partment of education. Strange as it may seem to those unfamiliar 
with the period, it is in that department which is supposed to be 
so typically modern — the physical sciences — that this neglect is most 
serious. Such a hold has this Protestant tradition on even educated 
minds that it is a source of great surprise to most people to be told 
that there were in many parts of Europe original observers in the 
physical sciences all during the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth 
centuries who were doing ground-breaking work of the highest 
value that was destined to mean much for the development of modern 

Basil Valentine, a Great P re-Reformation Chemist. 343 

science. Speculations and experiments with regard to the philoso- 
pher's stone and the transmutation of metals are supposed to fill 
up all the interests of the alchemists of those days. As a matter of 
fact, however, men were making original observations of very pro- 
found significance, and these were considered so valuable by their 
contemporaries that though printing had not yet been invented, 
even the immense labor involved in copying large folio volumes 
by hand did not suffice to deter them from multiplying the writings 
of these men and thus preserving them for future generations until 
the printing press came to perpetuate them. 

At the beginning of the twentieth century, with some of the 
supposed foundations of modern chemistry crumbling to pieces, 
under the influences of the peculiarly active light thrown upon older 
chemical theories by the discovery of radium and the radio active 
elements generally, there is a reawakening of interest in some of 
the old-time chemical observers whose work used to be laughed at 
as so unscientific and whose theory of the transmutation of elements 
into one another was considered so absurd. The idea that it would 
be impossible under any circumstances to convert one element into 
another belongs entirely to the nineteenth century. Even so dis- 
tinguished a mind as that of Newton, in the preceding century, 
could not bring itself to acknowledge the modern supposition of the 
absurdity of metallic transformation, but, on the contrary, believed 
very firmly in this as a basic chemical principle and confessed that 
it might be expected to occur at any time. He had seen specimens 
of gold ores in connection with metallic copper, and had concluded 
that this was a manifestation of the natural transformation of one 
of these yellow metals into the other. 

With the discovery that radium transforms itself into helium, and 
that indeed all the so-called radio activities of the very heavy metals 
are probably due to a natural transmutation process constantly at 
work, the ideas of the older chemists cease entirely to be a subject 
for amusement. The physical chemists of the present day are very 
ready to admit that the old teaching of the absolute independence 
of something over seventy elements is no longer tenable, except as 
a working hypothesis. The doctrine of matter and form taught for 
so many centuries by the scholastic philosophers that all matter is 
composed of two principles, an underlying material substratum and 
a dynamic or informing principle, has now more acknowledged 
verisimilitude or lies at least closer to the generally accepted ideas 
of the most progressive scientists than it has at any time for the 
last two or three centuries. Not only the great physicists, but the 
great chemists, are speculating along lines that suggest the existence 
of but one form of matter modified according to the energies that 

344 American Catholic Quarterly Review. 

it possesses under a varying physical and chemical environment. 
This is after all only a restatement in modern terms of the teaching 
of St. Thomas in the thirteenth century. 

It is not surprising, then, that there should be a reawakening of 
interest in the lives of some of the men who, dominated by the 
earlier scholastic ideas and by the tradition of the possibility of 
finding the philosopher's stone, which would transmute the baser 
metals into the precious metals, devoted themselves with quite as 
much zeal as any modern chemist to the observation of chemical 
phenomena. One of the most interesting of these, indeed, he might 
well be said to be the greatest of the alchemists, is the man whose 
only name that we know is that which appears on a series of manu- 
scripts written in the high German dialect of the end of the fifteenth 
and the beginning of the sixteenth century. That name is Basil 
Valentine, and the writer, according to the best historical traditions, 
was a Benedictine monk. The name Basil Valentine may only have 
been a pseudonym, for it has been impossible to trace it among the 
records of the monasteries of the time. That the writer was a 
monk there seems to be no doubt, for his writings in manuscript 
and printed form began to have their vogue at a time when there 
was little likelihood of their being attributed to a monk unless an 
indubitable tradition connected them with some monastery. 

This Basil Valentine, to accept the only name we have, as we 
can judge very well from his writings, eminently deserves the 
designation of the last of the alchemists and the first of the chemists. 
There is practically a universal recognition of the fact now that he 
deserves in addition the title of Founder of Modern Chemistry, not 
only because of the value of the observations contained in his 
writings, but also because of the fact that they proved so suggestive 
to certain scientific geniuses during the century succeeding Valen- 
tine's life. Almost more than to have added to the precious heritage 
of knowledge for mankind is it a boon for a scientific observer to 
have awakened the spirit of observation in others and to be the 
founder of a new school of thought. This Basil Valentine un- 
doubtedly did. 

Besides his work furnishes evidence that the investigating spirit 
was abroad just when it is usually supposed not to have been, for 
the Thuringian monk surely did not do all his investigating alone, 
but must have received as well as given many a suggestion to his 

In the history of education there are two commonplaces that are 
appealed to oftener than any other as the sources of material with 
regard to the influence of the Catholic Church on education during 
the centuries preceding the Reformation. These are the supposed 

Basil Valentine, a Great P re-Reformation Chemist. 345 

idleness of the monks and the foolish belief in the transmutation 
of metals and the search for the philosopher's stone which dominated 
the minds of so many of the educated men of the time. It is m 
Germany especially that these two features of the pre-Reformation 
period are supposed to be best illustrated, though in recent years 
there has come quite a revolution in the feelings even of those outside 
of the Church with regard to the proper appreciation of the work 
of the monastic scholars of these earlier centuries. Even though