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troublesome and arduous as you would food from another young man in a very soon find his to be if you were long black cassock, who is the Alporter even here. He is porter for moner's assistant. You don't know it, the love of God. You see he does perhaps, but I can tell you that the not stop making the rosary, which is Almoner's assistant, as he ladles out yet unfinished in his hand, while he the soup and divides the bread and talks to you. He does not recompense meat, is mentally going down on his himself by that business either, as knees and kissing the ragged and shoemaker porters, tailor porters, and worn-out clothes of these old bodies the like eke out their scanty salaries; whom he helps, for the sake of Him but it enables him to find some well- whom they represent, and who will earned sous to give away to others one day say to him : “ Because you poorer than himself. You say this did it unto the least of these my lodge is not a very comfortable place, brethren, you did it unto me." with its cold brick floor. It is not. Now you may go into the house, Neither is that narrow roost up the after you have been struck with the step-ladder a very luxurious bed. fact how completely that high stone Right again, it is not. But the Père wall shuts out the noise of the street. Hanicq is not over particular about You say, however, that you hear a these things. Besides, he is not worse band playing. Yes; that comes from off in this respect than the hundred an “Angel Guardian” house over the other people who live in this place way, like Father Haskins's house in nearest to heaven. Indeed, most of Roxbury, Massachusetts (there ought them have a much narrower and to be angels, you know, not far off drearier apartment than his. Now from the nearest place to heaven), that you have said a pleasant word to where the “gamins," as the Parisians the good old soul, (for he dearly loves call them,-the “mudlarks” or “ dock a kindly salutation, and it is the only rats," as we call them,—are taken imperfection I think he has,) you may care of, fed, clothed, instructed, and pass the inner door, and you observe taught an honest trade, also for the that you are in a square courtyard, a love of Him who will one day say to three-story irregularly shaped building the Père Bervanger and to Father occupying two sides of it; stables and Haskins what I have before said about outhouses a third, and the street wall the Almoner's assistant. ' the fourth. Before you go further, I Well, here is the house. This is would advise you to look into one of the first story, half underground on those tumble-down looking outhouses. one side, and consequently a little It looks something like a rag and damp and dingy. Here to the right bottle shop. It is a shop, and the is the Prayer Hall. This has a woodAlmoner of the poor keeps it. Here en floor, (a rare exception,) wooden the residents of these buildings may seats fixed to the wainscoting, and find bargains in old odds and ends of here and there a few benches made second-hand, and it may be seventy of plain oak slabs, which look as if times seventh-hand furniture, either they had lately come out of one of our left or cast off by former occupants. backwoods saw-mills. A large cruciHere the Almoner,--that voluble and fix hangs on the wall, and a table is sweet tempered young man in a long near the door, at which the one who black cassock, disposes of these ar- reads prayers kneels. The ninetyticles of trade, enhancing their value nine others kneel down anywhere on by all the superlatives he can remem- the bare floor, without choosing the ber, for the benefit of certain old softest spot, if there be any such crones and hobbling cripples, whom Those portraits hanging around the perhaps you saw on the right of the walls represent the superiors of courtyard receiving soup and other community of men who are entrusted
with the guardianship of this place amusing themselves before their heavnearest to heaven. The most of those enly Father. You might pass the refaces, as you see, are not very hand- creation days here for many a year some, as the world reckons handsome, before you would hear ån angry but I assure you they inake up for word, or a cutting retort, or witness a that by the beauty of their souls. The jealous frown or a sad countenance. morning prayers are said here at half- Notice that smiling old gentleman past five the year round, followed by with a bald head capped by the black a half hour's meditation, and the eren- calotte. That is the Père T - He ing prayers at half-past eight. The is very fond of a game of billiards, handred residents come here too just and I know he loves to be on the winbefore dinner, to read a chapter of the ning side; the principal reason of New Testament on their knees, de- which, however, you may not divine, voutly kissing the Word of God before but I know: it gives him a chance to and after reading it, and then each pass his cue to some one who has one silently reviews the last twenty. been beaten, and obliged to retire. four hours, and enters into account And many learn by that good old with himself to see how much he has father's example to do the same advanced in that particular Christian kind and charitable act; and, take it virtue of which his soul stands the all in all, I am inclined to think this mnost in need. It is a good prepara- room is not much further off from tion for dinner, and I would advise heaven than many other places about you to try it, even if you cannot do it this dear old house. on your knees. It is a perfect toilette Of course everybody is talking for the soul. Here also you will find here, except the chess-players, and the afore-mentioned hundred people at at such a rate, that it is quite a din ; half-past six o'clock, just before sup- but hark ! a bell rings: all is instantper, listening to a short reading on ly silent, the games are stopped, the some spiritual subject, followed by a very half-finished sentence is clipped sort of conference given by the Supe. in two, and each one departs to some rior, or head of the house, so full of assigned duty. They are taught that unction and sweet counsel that it fairly the bell which regulates their daily lifts the heart above all earthly things, exercises is the voice of God, and and seems to hallow the very place that when he calls there is nothing where it is spoken.
else worthy of attention. I have no Turn now to the left. That door doubt they are right: have you? in the corner opens into a chapel . There is one other place to visit on dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi. this ground floor, the Refectory. A Here the Père Hanicq and the few long stone-floored hall with two rows servants of the house hear mass of tables on either side, and one at every morning, and begin the day the upper end where sits the head of with the best thought I know of, the the house, a high old-fashioned pulpit thought of God. Keeping still to the on one side, the large crucifix on the left you pass into the Recreation wall, and that is the Refectory. It Hall; and if this be recreation day, looks dark and cold, and so it is ; you will see congregated here the dark, because the windows are small liveliest and happiest set of faces that and high, and cold, because there is it has ever been your good for- no stove or other heating apparatustane to meet in this world. Billiards, a want which may also be felt in the backgammon, chess, chequers, and other rooms you have visited; and other games more simple and amus. as the windows are left open for air ing in their character, are here; and some time before these rooms are ocI can tell you that they are like a cupied, it must be confessed there is a group of merry children playing and rarity and keenness about the atmosphere, and a degree of temperature Now that you hare seen the first about the cold stones in mid-winter, story, you may "mount," as the French which are not pleasant to delicately say, to the second. If you have not nourished constitutions. No conversa- been here before, I warn you to obtain tion ever takes place in the refectory a guide, or amidst the odd stairwana except on recreation days, or on the and rambling corridors you may lose occasion of a visit from the Arch- your way. This is the chapel for the bishop of Paris. At all other times daily Mass. It is both plain and clean, there is reading going on from the and you will possibly notice nothing pulpit, either from the Holy Scrip- particular in it save the painted beams ture or some religious book, which of the ceiling, the only specimen of enables the listeners to free their such ornament, I think, in the whole minds from too engrossing an attep- house. It is there a long time, for this tion to the more sensual business of is a very ancient building, having once eating and drinking: not that their been the country-seat of Queen Marplain and frugal table ever presents garet of Anjou; and this little chapel very strong temptations to gourman- may have been one of her royal recepdize!
tion-rooms for all you or I know. As you are American, and accus. Hither, as I have said, come the tomed to your hot coffee or strong young Levites to assist at the daily English black tea, with toast, eggs, sacrifice. I believe I have not told and beefsteak for breakfast, I fear you before that this is a house of rethe meal which these hundred young treat from the world of prayer and of men are making off a little cold vin or- study for youthful aspirants to the dinaire, well tempered with colder wa- priesthood of the Holy Church. I do ter, and dry bread, during the short not know what impression it makes space of twelve minutes, (except dur- upon you, but the sight of that kneeling ing Lent and on other fast days, when crowd of young men in their cassocks they do not go to the refectory at all and winged surplices, absorbed in before twelve o'clock,) will appear ex- prayer before the altar at the early ceedingly frugal, not to say hasty. dawn of day, when the ray of the You observe, doubtless, that short as rising sun is just tinging the tops of is the time allotted to breakfast, near the trees with a golden light, and the ly every one is reading in a book open windows of the little chapel adwhile he is eating. Do you wish to mit the sound of warbled music of know the reason? I will tell you, birds, and the sweet perfumes from the It is not to pass away time, but to garden just below, enamelled with flowmake use of every moment of time ers, is to me a scene higher than earth that passes. None in the world are often reveals to us of heaven's peace more alive to the shortness and the and rapt devotion in God. Mass is value of time than the hundred young over now, and you may go, leaving men before you. Every moment of only those to pray another half hour the day has its own allotted duty; and who have this morning received the when there is an extra moment, like Holy Communion. this one at breakfast, when two things All these rooms which you see here can be done at once, they do not fail and there, to the right and to the left, to make use of it. They take turns are the cells of the Seminarians, about with each other in the duty of waiting eight by fifteen feet in size, and large on the tables, except on Good Friday, enough for their purposes, though cer when the venerable Superior, and no tainly not equal to your cosy study st less venerable fathers, who are the home in America, or to the grand salon teachers of these young men, don the you have engaged at the Hôtel des apron, and serve out the food proper Princes. As you are a visitor, perhaps in quantity and quality for that day. you may go in and look at one. There is
no visiting each other's rooms among of Jesus crucified. You are noticing, the young men themselves at any time, I perceive, that everything looks very save for charity's sake when one is ill. neat and clean, that the bed is nicely An iron bedstead, with a straw bed, a made, and what there is, is in order. table, a chair, a crucifix,'a vexing old They have tidy housekeepers, you say, clothes-press, whose drawers won't here. So they have, and a large numopen except by herculean efforts, and ber of them, too,--one to each roomwhen open hare an equally stubborn the Seminarian himself. fashion of refusing to be closed; a I think you may “mount” another broom, a few books, paper, pen and stairway now—when you find it to the ink, a pious picture or statue, and you third story. I just wish you to step have the full inventory of any of these into that door on the right. It is the rooms. As they need no more, they Chapel of St. Joseph; and if you haphave no more: a rule of life that might pen to enter here, after night pravers make many a one of us far happier you will see a few of the young men than we are, tortured by the care of a kneeling before the altar, over which thousand and one things which con- is a charming little painting representsume our time, worry the mind, and ing the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph are not of the slightest possible utility holding the Child Jesus by the hand. to ourselves, and the cause, it may be, They come to pay a short visit in of others' envy and discomfort. I am spirit to the Holy Family before retiraware that, as you pass along the cor- ing to rest. “ Beautiful thought!" ridors, you think it is vacation time, I believe you. I see your eyes are a or that every one is absent just now little dimmed by tears. What is the from their rooms, all is so silent. But matter? “Oh! nothing; only I was wait a moment. Ah! the bell again thinking that by coming up a few more Presto! Every door flies open, and steps in this house, one has mounted a the corridor is alive with numbers of good many steps nearer heaven." the young men going off to a class or Not ready to go? Oh! I understand, to prayers. Now that they are gone, you wish to pay a little visit yourself suppose you peep into one of the to the Holy Family. Good. Now, rooms again; that is, if some new- along this corridor, around this corner, comer, not yet baving learned the rule down that stairway which seems to to the contrary, has left the key in his lead nowhere,-take care of your door. Ah! he was just writing as the head through those doors, and you bell rang; the pen is yet wet with ink. are in a much larger chapel. All finPardon! I do not intend that you shall ished in polished oak, as you see, with read what he has written, but you may a bright waxed floor. The seminariSee that he has actually left his paper ans sit in those stalls which run along not only with an unfinished sentence, the whole length of either side of the but even at a half formed letter. That chapel. Here, on Sundays and festiis obedience, my friend, to the voice of vals, they come to celebrate the divine God, which I have already told you is offices of the Church. I wish you recognized in the first stroke of that could hear them responding to each hell. I suppose you may read the in- other in the solemn Gregorian chant. scription he has placed at the foot of Listen ; they are singing, and only to Lis crucifix, since it is in plain sight. and for the praise of God, for no "I sat down under the shadow of my strangers are admitted, so there is no Well-Beloved, whom I desired, and his chance for the applause of men. Posfruit was sweet to my palate.” (Cant. sibly you may be sharp-eyed enough ii. 3.) Yes, you are right. It is a to note those mantling cheeks and degood motto for one who has sacrificed tect the thrill of emotion in their every worldly enjoyment for the sake voices as the swelling chorus fills the of that higher and purer joy, the love whole building with melody. Truly,
I wonder not that you are moved, for pretty statue of the Blessed Virgin at the song of praise rises amid the clouds whose feet that Almoner of the poor of grateful incense from chaste lips, has placed a little charity-box, thinking and from pure hearts given in the doubtless, and not without reason, that flower and spring-time of life to God here, hidden by the trees and close alone. I can tell you, that whether shrubbery, some one, you for instance, their voices are singing the mournful might like to do something with a holy cadence of the Kyrie, the exultant secrecy which shall one day find its sentences of the Gloria, the imposing reward from the Heavenly Father of chant of the Credo, the awe-struck ex- the poor, openly. So I will just turn clamations of the Sanctus, or the plaint- my head while you put in a donation ive refrain of the Agnus Dei; or fitting for an American who has a whether they respond in cheerful suite of rooms at the Hôtel des Princes. notes to the salutations of the sacrific- I know you are loth to leave this pretty ing priest at the Altar, one other song spot. I have had equal difficulty in their hearts are always singing here: dragging you away from the other “Lætatus sum in his quæ dicta sunt places to which I directed your steps ; mihi, in domum Domini ibimus”-I but you have not seen all. Come was glad when they said unto me, we along. Cross the garden. Here, bewill go into the house of the Lord. A hind the large chapel is a curious heavenly joy is filling their ardent grotto all inlaid with shells, floor, walls souls, moved by the grace of the Holy and roof. This is the place where Ghost, and is reflected from their Bossuet, Fénelon and Mr. Tronson held countenances as the sunlight sparkles some conferences about a theological on the ripples of a quiet, shaded lake, subject which need not take up your when its waters are gently stirred by a time now. Turn up that winding passing zephyr wasted from the wings walk to the left, and you see a little of God's unseen angel of the winds. shrine dedicated to Our Lady, to which
Now you may go out into the gar- the young men go to celebrate the den. A charming esplanade directly month of May; and it is a quiet little behind the house you have visited. nook where one may drop in a moment Well-kept gravelled walks stretch here and forget the world. The world is and there through a glittering parterre not worth remembering all the time, of flowers of every hue and perfume. you know. As you pass to the middle A pretty fountain sends its sparkling of the garden again you notice a long drops into the air in the centre of a archway, built under a high wall. basin stocked with gold-fish, which are Before you enter it please first notice very fond of being fed with bread that fine terra-cotta statue of the Vir. crumbs from the hand of saintly old gin and Child near it, and take off Father C . You do not know the your hat in passing, as all do here. Père - you say. Then you may This archway passes under a road, envy me. I know him. Shall I tell which is screened from view by high you what he said to me one day? walls on either side, which also pre
“Tenez, mon cher, on doit prier le vent the grounds you are in from beBon Dieu toujours selon le premier ing seen from the road. : I have often mot de l'office de None, 'Mirabilia,' et thought about that high-walled road non pas selon le premier mot de Tierce, running through the middle of this • Legem pone.'” God bless his dear place nearest to heaven. How many old white head! it makes my heart of us pass along our way of life, stony, leap in my bosom to think of him. toilsome, dry and dusty, like this road, Where were you? Oh! yes, beside and are often nearer heaven and hesthe fountain. On each side of the venly company than we think; and garden is an avenue of trees and in how many others there are we know oue corner a little maze, hiding a and love, whose road runs close beside,