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they will not be able to keep up their Church membership; and are therefore seeking to reintroduce religious worship, Bible reading, singing of sectarian songs, and repeating of sectarian prayers in the public schools. In this they are less honest than the Catholics, who admit that it would be wrong to force the children of adherents of one faith to receive instruction in another, and therefore boldly and openly ask for a division of the school fund among the various sects. These Protestant bodies, who are clamoring against the godless schools, are not half so decent. They are opposed to any division of the public school fund, but they want the whole of it used for their exclusive interest, for the ultimate increase of the membership of their Churches.
The Educational Review for February, 1905, edited by Nicholas Murray Butler, the President of Columbia University, contains a notable article by the Rev. James Conway, S.J., in which it is estimated that, out of the seventy.five or eighty millions who inhabit the United States, not more than twentythree millions profess any definite form of Christianity; and of these a considerable number are unbaptized. If the number of Catholics be deducted from this total there will remain only about ten millions who have anything more than an external bond of union with the Christian Churches. These figures should convince Mr. Morley that he was far away from the facts when he stated that nowhere in the world is religious knowledge more general than here in the United States. Such a statement, like many others made recently by returning English visitors, is not founded on correct information.
Some good men among the non Conformists of England, who are known to have a sensitive conscience though variable in its dictates, could easily have been led astray by the rose. colored descriptions given to them of religious conditions here across the sea by those claiming to be specialists in education, In one of the most extensive of these accounts, by an English expert, there was no adequate mention of the one million or more children educated in the Catholic Parish Schools, now officially recorded by the United States Commissioner of Education in his latest report. A manifest purpose seems to dominate much of the fulsome laudation of the “glorious system” of
* Parliamentary Reports F ondi Sas: Mrs By Mr. H. Thiselton Mark, of lens Cige Mater.
unsectarian schools, described a short time ago by a loyal American as a legalized form of “endowed agnosticism.”
While there has been much alarmist writing, welcomed by certain editors for reasons best known to themselves, it still remains an invincible truth that no part of the American Constitution would be endangered by a just recognition of the Parish Schools in their valuable work for public education. General taxation to secure free schools would still remain in full operation as a necessary measure of safety for universal suffrage. The acceptance of examination and inspection under State control would amply safeguard the secular studies required for citizenship. Catholic citizens stand ready to give the largest scope to patriotism, while providing for children, at their own expense, a definite and dogmatic system of religious knowledge in accordance with the teaching of Christ.
Under the direction of the Right Reverend Joseph F. Mooney, V.G., Chairman of the New York Catholic School Board, a report * has been prepared showing number of pupils and teachers, and an estimate of the annual cost of maintenance—about $500,000 for 55,629 children—and close to the sum of $10,000,000 invested for Parish School property and buildings. For the first time the official report just issued of the State Department of Education at Albany, contains a distinct mention of the attendance at Catholic Schools in New York State. This recognition has been long desired, though persistently refused. From the figures here given students of educational statistics may now more accurately observe the indications of American intellectual and moral progress, especially those coming from Europe who have formed erroneous conclusions from previous reports.
FROM CATHOLIC DIRECTORY OF 1905:
Parish School | Students of Colleges
Catholic Population. 1,200,000
500,000 195,000 115,000 172,755 117,500 83,500
2,383,755 * The Parish Schools of New York. A pamphlet of 32 pages. New York: The Columbus Press, 120 West Sixtieth Street. See advertising page for full announcement.
WANT to tell you about Madame; and about the place in which Jane and I met her. You must not look for a sensation story. There is incident, heaven knows how tragic! But all the mystery
for Jane and me, and all our guesses, were of soul-story motives. I cannot bear to do more than just touch upon the tragedy.
The invalid world, at Meran, is made up of all sorts and conditions of men; but most of them have been busy, in their various ways, when sickness has laid hold on them, broken the ties of daily work and habit, and driven them off to “convalesce” here—if convalescence be still possible to them, poor souls! The butterflies of the world are not interesting acquaintances compared to these, who have led wholesome, thoughtful, human lives.
And then, in every Meran gathering, there is the shadow of a great Presence-one that sweetens and sobers society marvelously. I mean the shadow of King Death.
You see that I do not think King Death an unmixed evil. Ah, no; with me he is long a familiar presence, an accustomed thing and homely; and, moreover, he softens the manners of the crowd here as no one else can. He gives us that precious thing, a sense of proportion. To take in the notion of him widens our minds; and ever afterwards trifles have room to look small. Then, again, the Shadow almost kills that ugly form of self-love called wounded feelings, and also personal vanity, and extreme selfishness and frivolity.
They tell me were it not for this terrible, but beneficent Presence, Meran would be quite unbearable, because of klatsch (unkindly chatter is the nearest English expression to that formidable untranslatability).
But I was going to tell about Madame! Monsieur and
Madame de Belfort arrived one hot afternoon, when the grapecure was just beginning. The sky and the distances, as you looked down the Etschthal, had what in Devonshire is called the “blueth" of Italy. The bare, protruding bones, the very framework of the grand, yellowish-gray mountains that hang over Meran, shimmered in the heat. I wished for a white dress for Madame; but she was warmly clad; at least, her colors were those of the quiet wood-pigeon-grays and fawns, without the touch of “livelier iris "-and that coloring always looks warm.
“A mere girl has no right to produce such an effect of sweetness and gravity,” said Jane, quite indignantly. “It is time alone that mellows."
“Perhaps ill-health-" I ventured to say. But the girlish grace, the fine rose-mottled alabaster of her cheek, and a look of strength were all against my suggestion.
“She is helping some one to alight,” Jane said ; "a stiff old gentleman! Perhaps her father!”
“ Or grandfather," I put in. He had only just come within sight of my couch in the balcony-corner.
The new arrivals, escorted with many bows by our host and his staff, were slowly entering, Madame now ostensibly resting on the old gentleman's arm.
An English guest at our hotel ran up to us an hour later on the Gisella promenade. “Do you know who the newcomers are ?" she cried. “What a handsome old man! And a lovely girl! All the same, an ill-assorted couple as ever I saw! They're French, too, which makes it all the more odd. One good thing about mariages-de.convenance is that they're generally planned so that the people are of a suitable age! They're from Paris; so I suppose small bonnets aren't really the fashion. Her's is distinctly large. Our concierge told me there were more than a dozen papers or books—not letters, for I askedwaiting here for the gentleman. He has ordered his grapes, so as to begin his 'cure' to.morrow. But now I must leave you. I see Mrs. de Montfort Jones.”
I did not see Madame again for many days; because, as often happens, I was not well enough to leave my room; but Jane brought me impressions from the table d'hote. The grave young beauty was like a nun, she had a quiet walk, a subdued laugh, the sweetest smile, and a concentrated, attentive air. Monsieur was full of an old-world courtesy
for his beautiful wife. They kept much apart from the other guests; but the Viennese professor often had a chat with Monsieur; and Jane found, notwithstanding Madame's perfect French, she could speak perfect English. Madame's beauty made her the observed of all observers. A “lane" would be formed to see her leave the room. Volunteers were ever at hand to perform small services. To one and all she responded with the same gracious sedateness. Jane's own “impression ” was that Madame's greatest charm was the surprise with which she accepted kindnesses. She acknowledged politeness with a quick pleasure and gratitude, that our host, his servants, and the guests alike, felt to be a touching amiability on her part. I next saw Madame the evening I reappeared in the Salon. Jane insisted on taking me to a sofa. We were obliged to pass by Monsieur's armchair, and he made way for me. I could not but be thankful to him, at that first moment, for making me welcome to the sofa, for even putting out his feeble hand to help me; and above all, for his gentleness; and I was so glad, so glad, when I found I could, in my turn, be useful to him | I had a little friend, a Danish boy, and he crept past the table on which Monsieur and Madame were playing backgammon, to come to me with some story about—of all things in the world—a beetle ! The child and I were often at a loss for a word, and my resource under the circumstances was to take out my tablets and draw the thing I thought he meant, to see if I were right. We chattered and laughed a good deal, you may be sure, on the sofa. Between their games, Madame turned towards us. “I am longing to see,” she whispered. “May I not P” She held out a hand. The sofa was close to their table. The queer scraps of drawings pleased her. “If I might show them to my husband P” she pleaded. He left off arranging the men on the board, and had an undertone conference. I heard Madame say: “You must not quite forbid my asking her ”; and she bent towards me. “Will you be offended ?” she asked. “You must refuse at once, if the request is unreasonable. But you seem to draw so easily Do forgive me in advance. I cannot draw at all, unhappily; and — and my husband's hand is, still, rather un