Зображення сторінки

ces. The style in which Salmasius, Budæus, would have judged better in allowing the and Scaliger entertained their friends is not painter to do his worst. Michel Germain wholly unknown to him ; and how the Spel- describes him, as “Varillas multiplied by mans of old, and the Whitakers of recent three.” Now Menage tells us that happentimes, wrote their letters, may be learned at ing once to say that every man was hit off the expense of a transient fatigue. But let by some passage or other in Martial, and no one address himself to M. Valery's vol having been challenged to prove it with umes, with the hope or the fear of being in respect to Varillas, he immediately quoted volved in any topics more sacred, more crab- "Dimidiasque nates Gallica palia tegit.” bed, or more antiquated than befits an easy Short indeed, then, must have been the chair, a winter's evening, and a fireside. skirts of Magliabechi, according to Germain's Reading more pleasant, or of easier diges- arithmetic. tion, is hardly to be met with in the Parisian His bibliographical appetite and digestion epistles of Grimm, Diderot, or La Harpe. formed, however, a psychological phenome

Our pilgrims first take up the pen at non absolutely prodigious. Mabillon called Venice. They had ransacked the Ambro- him “Museum inambulans, et viva quædam sian Library, examined the Temple of Venus bibliotheca." Father Finardi, with greater at Brescia, admired the amphitheatre at Ve- felicity, said of him, “Is unus bibliotheca rona, and visited the monastery of their magna,” that being the anagram of his Latorder at Vicenza; though, observes Ger- inized name, Antonius Magliabechius. main, “ Ni là ni ailleurs, nos moines ne nous Having established a correspondence with ont pas fait goûter de leur vin.” Some gen- this most learned savage, the Benedictines tlemen of the city having conducted them proceeded to Rome, where they were welover it, “On ne saurait,” adds he, “faire comed by Claude Estiennot, the procurator attention sur le mérite et les manières hon- of their Order at the Papal court. He also nêtes de ces messieurs, sans réfléchir sur nos devoted his pen to their entertainment. moines et admirer leur insensibilité. Aussi Light labor for such a pen! Within eleven n'étudient ils pas; ils disent matins avant years he had collected and transcribed fortysouper ; ils mangent gras; portent du linge, five bulky folios, at the various libraries of pour ne rien dire du peculium, et de leur his society in the several dioceses of France, sortie seuls.” In short, there is already peep- adding to them, says Dom Le Cerf, “ réflexing out, from behind our good Germain's ions très sensées et ljudicieuses;" à praise cowl, one of those Parisian countenances, on which probably no other mortal was ever the quick, movable lines of which flashes of able to gainsay or to affirm. subacid merriment are continually playing. Germain found Rome agitated with the

On reaching Florence, the migratory anti- affair of the Quietists. His account of the quarians form a new acquaintance, alike sin dispute is rather facetious than theological. gular and useful, in the person of Maglia- Just then a Spaniard had been sent to the bechi, the librarian of the Grand Duke. galleys, and a priest to the gallows; the first Another man at once so book-learned, so for talking, the second for writing scandals, dirty, and so ill-favored, could not have been while the great Quietist Molinos was in the found in the whole of Christendom. The custody of the Inquisition. Marforio, says Medicæan Library was his study, his refec-Germain, is asked by Pasquin, why are you tory, and his dormitory; though, except in leaving Rome, and answers “Chi parla è. the depth of winter, he saved the time of mandato in galera ; chi scrive è impiccato; dressing and undressing, by sleeping in his chi sta quieto va al sant' officio.” Marforio clothes and on his chair; his bed serving the had good cause for his hurry; for the scanwhile as an auxiliary book-stand. Fruit and dal which (as Germain pleasantly has it) salads were his fare; and when sometimes “ broke the priest's neck’ was merely his an anchovy was served up with them, the having said that “the mare had knocked the worthy librarian, in an absent mood, would snail out of its shell;" in allusion to the fact not unfrequently mistake, and use it for seal- of the pope's having been forced out of his ing-wax. Partly from want of time, and darling seclusion and repose, to be present at partly from the consciousness that an accu a certain festival, at which a mare or palfrey rate likeness of him would be a caricature was also an indispensable attendant.

“ The on humanity at large, he would never allow rogues continued to repeat the jest notwithhis portrait to be taken; though what the standing," observes the reverend looker-on. pencil was not permitted to do, the pens of He gathered other pleasant stories, at the his acquaintance have so attempted, that he expense of his holiness, and these heretical

aspirants after a devotional repose of the plained to the Pope ; but his holiness laughed soul. Some of them are not quite manage at the affair, and terminated it by sending her able in our more fastidious times, without the Majesty a peace-offering, which she conaid of a thicker veil than he chose to employ temptuously handed over to the complainant. For example, he tells of a Quietist bishop Germain looked upon the religious obserwho, to escape an imaginary pursuit of the vances of Rome with the eye of a French police, scaled the roof of his mansion in his encyclopediste. He declares that the Ronight-dress, and so, running along the tops | mans burn before the Madonna and in their of the adjacent houses, unluckily made his churches, more oil than the Parisians both descent through one of them into which he burn and swallow. "Long live St. Anthocould not have entered, even in full canoni- ny !” he exclaims, as he describes the horses, cals and in broad day, without a grievous asses, and mules, all going, on the saint's festidamage to his reputation. Then follows a val, to be sprinkled with holy water, and to fine buffo catastrophe, and when" (says Ger- receive the benediction of a reverend father. main) “ the whole reaches the ears of Nostro * All would go to ruin, say the Romans, Signore, the holy man has a good laugh, and if this act of piety were omitted. So nobody orders the bishop to quit Rome without de escapes paying toll on this occasion, not Noslay." Yet Germain himself breaks out into tro Signore himself.” Then follows an achot resentment against “the wretched and count of a procession to St. Peter's on the abandoned Molinos,” and proposes to Mag- reception of certain new converts, which is liabechi (in seeming seriousness) to arrest compressed into a single paragraph purposely the progress of the evil, by publishing a long, intricate, and obscure; "a sentence, manuscript discovered in their Italian tour, says Germain, “which I have drawn out to from which it would appear that the bones this length to imitate the ceremony itself.” of a wicked Bohemian lady, of the name of Soon after we meet him at the cemetery of Guillemine, who, three centuries ago, propa- Pontianus, “where,” he observes, with all gated nearly the same enormities, were at the mock gravity of Bayle, “there lie 50,263 length taken, with public execration out of martyrs, without counting the women and her grave, and scattered to the winds. children. Each of us was allowed to carry

Molinos, however, was strong in the pro- off one of these holy bodies. That which tection of Christina, who then dwelt at fell to my share had been too big for the Rome. Her abandonment of the faith of hole in which it was found. I had infinite her illustrious father was accepted there, trouble in disinterring it, for it was quite wet, not only as a cover for a multitude of sins, and the holy bones were all squeezed and but as an apology for the assumption of an jammed together. I am still knocked up independent authority beneath the very with the labor.” shadow of the Vatican. Mabillon, accompa The Pope himself fares no better than the nied by Germain, presented to her his book ceremonies and relics of his church. “If I “De Liturgià Gallicana,” in which, to her should attempt,” he says, “to give you an exceeding discontent, she found herself de- exact account of the health of his holiness, I scribed as " Serenissima.” “My name,” she must begin with Ovid, “In nova fert animus exclaimed, “is Christina. That is eulogy mutatas dicere formas.' At ten he is sick, enough. Never again call me, and admonish at fifteen well again, at eighteen eating as your Parisians never to call me, Serenis- much as four men, at twenty-four dropsical. sima.” Germain left her with the fullest They say he has vowed never to leave his conviction that the epithet was altogether room. If so, M. Struse declares that he can out of place; but “after all,” he says, “she never get a dispensation, not even from himgave us free access to her library-the best self, as his continement will be, de jure dithing she could do for us.” So great were vino.

vino. The unpleasant part of the aflair is, her privileges, or such the weakness of the that they say he has given up all thoughts of lazy Innocent XI, that, as we learn from creating new cardinals, forgetting in his rethese letters, an offender on his way to prison, stored health the scruples he felt when sick ; having laid hold on the bars of one of her like other great sinners.” windows as a sanctuary, was violently res Indolent and hypochondriacal as he was, cued by her servants, whereupon they were Innocent XI. had signalized himself, not only tried and sentenced to be hanged. Christina by the virtues which Burnet ascribes to him wrote to the judge to inform him, that if her in his travels, but by two remarkable edicts. servants died any other than a natural death, One of them, which could not be decorously they should not die alone. The judge com- quoted, regulated the appearance on the

stage of certain classes of singers; the other, I can see the rising of his shoulders as he (under the penalties of six days' excommuni- writes,) “a hundred years ago they took a cation, and of incapacity for absolution, even very different tone about the Huguenots. in the article of death, save from the pope They not only offered public thanksgiving himself,) commanded all ladies to wear up on their massacre by Charles IX, but hung to their chins, and down to their wrists, dra- the walls of the royal hall in the Vatican peries not transparent. “The Queen of with pictures of the murder of Coligny and Spain,” says our facetious Benedictine,"im- of the butcheries of St. Bartholomew. They mediately had a new dress made, and sent it still form its chief ornaments.” to her nuncio at Rome, to ascertain whether Even when accompanying Mabillon on a it tallied exactly with the ordinance, for” he pilgrimage to the cradle of their order at continues (the inference is not very clear) Monte Casino, Germain looks about him "one must allow that Spanish ladies have with the same esprit fort. " At the foot of not as much delicacy as our own.”

the mountain,” he says, “we found an inn, He has another story for the exhilaration where we learned to fast, as we got nothing of St. Germain Près, at the expense of but some cabbages which I could not eat, both

pope and cardinals. A party of the some nuts, and one apple for our supper. sacred college were astounded, after dinner, Then we paid thirty francs for a wretched by the appearance of an austere capuchin, bed, which we divided between us in the who, as an unexpected addition to their des- midst of bugs and fleas.” On the next day sert, rebuked their indolence and luxury, and they luckily fell in with the vicar-general of their talkativeness even during High Mass. the Barnabites, a Frenchman, from whom Then, passing onwards to an inner chamber, | (he says) we got some cheese and prethe preacher addressed his holiness himself, serves, and, finally, a glass of Lachryma; as on the sin of an inordinate solicitude about he told us, to strengthen the stomach. health-no inappropriate theme; for he was Reaching at length the mansion of the abbé lying in the centre of four fires, and beneath of Monte Casino, he made a fête for us, and the load of seven coverlets, having recently bore witness to our excellent appetites. sustained a surgical operation ; on which Mabillon's devotion at the tomb of his Germain remarks, that if it had taken place patriarch is described as deep, fervent, and in summer, “it would have been all-up with protracted. Germain sends to their friend the holy man."

Porcheron a picturesque account of the dress The Jesuits of course take their turn. At and aspect of the monks, an enthusiastic the table of the Cardinal Estrées, Mabillon description of the library, a very pretty and Germain meet the Father Couplet, who sketch of the adjacent country, and a graphic had passed thirty years in China. "I do not representation of the church and the cereknow," says Germain, “whether he was monial observed in it; and promises his mandarin and mathematical apostle at the correspondent “to say a mass for him at same time; but he told us that one of his the foot of Benedict's tomb." With the exbrethren was so eminent an astrologer, as to ception of that assurance, (whether grave or have been created a mandarin of the third gay it is not easy to determine,) the whole class. He said that another of them was letter might have been written by Miss Marraising himself by contemplation to the third tineau, and would have done no discredit heaven, before actually going there. I have even to her powers of converting her readers my doubts about his success.. However, into her fellow-travellers. Fåther Couplet told us that he had a very Such of the letters comprised in this colnumerous Chretienté. «My Chretienté,' he lection as are written by Mabillon himself, frequently said, consists of more than relate exclusively to the duties of his mis30,000 souls.' Do you believe his story, sion; and are grave and simple, though perthat there are forty millions of inhabitants in haps too elaborately courteous. In the last Pekin, and from two to three hundred mil- volume are some contributions from Quesnel, lions in China at large? I do not.”

whose singular fate it is to have been cenThis keen observer is not silent on the sured by the Pope, Clement XI, and eulocold reception at Rome of the revocation of gized by De Rance the Trappist, by La the Edict of Nantes. The claims of Louis Chaise the Jesuit, by Voltaire the Wit, and XIV. on behalf of the Gallican Church had by Cousin the Philosopher. The pleasantabated much of the enthusiasm with which ries of Michel Germain and the freedoms of the measure would otherwise have been Estiennot are far from being the best things hailed. “Well,” observes Germain, (one I in M. Valery's book. We have selected them

mediate purpose.

rather as being the most apposite to our im- , bitter, and contumelious in denouncing Ro

man Catholic superstitions. It is a fault to be In this correspondence three of the most sternly rebuked. But how adequately ceneminent of the congregation of St. Maur sure these reverend members of that transmit from Italy such intelligence and communion, who, without one passing sigh remarks as appear to them best adapted to or indignant phrase, depict the shameful interest other three of the most eminent of abuses of the holiest offices of their Church, their brotherhood at Paris. If the table with cold sarcasms and heartless unconcern! talk of the refectory of St. Germain des Près Rome combatted her Protestant antagonists was of the same general character, the by the aid of the Jesuits in the world, and of monks there had no better title to the praise the Benedictines in the closet. Yet to those of an ascetic social intercourse, than the alliances she owes much of the silent revolt students or the barristers in the halls of against her authority which has characterized Christ Church, or of Lincoln's Inn. It the last hundred years; and of which the would be difficult to suppose an appetite for progress is daily becoming more apparent. gossip more keen, or more luxuriously grati- The Jesuits involved her in their own too fied.

well merited disesteem. The Benedictines The writers and the receivers of these have armed the philosophy both of France letters were all men devoted by the most and Germany with some of the keenest sacred vows to the duties of the Christian weapons by which she has been assailed. It priesthood ; yet in a confidential epistolary was an ill day for the papacy, when the conintercourse, extending through eighteen suc- gregation of St. Maur, at the instance of cessive months, no one of them utters a Benard, called the attention of their fellowsentiment, or discusses a question, from which countrymen to the mediæval history of the it could be gathered that he sustained any Church, and invited the most enlightened religious office, or seriously entertained any generations of men whom Europe had ever religious belief whatever. It may be that seen, to study and believe a mass of fables of our Protestant divines occasionally transgress which the most audacious Grecian mythologist the limits within which modesty should would have been ashamed, and at which the confine the disclosure, even to the most the credulity of a whole college of augurs intimate friends, of the interior movements would have staggered. of a devout spirit. But all hail to our It was but a too prolific soil on which this Doddridges and Howes, to our Venns and seed was scattered. At the moment when, Newtons ! whose familiar letters, if some in the integrity of his heart, Mabillon was times chargeable with a failure in that propagating these legends, the walls of his graceful reserve, yet always glow with a monastery were often passed by a youth holy unction, and can at least never be whose falcon eye illuminated with ceaseless charged with the frigid indifference which change one of the most expressive countethese learned Benedictines exhibit on the nances in which the human soul ever found a subjects to which they had all most solemnly mirror. If the venerable old man had foredevoted their talents and their lives.

seen how that eye would one day traverse Visiting, for the first time, the places which his Benedictine annals, in a too successful they regard as the centre of Christian unity, search for the materials of the most overas the seat of apostolic dominion, as the whelming ridicule of all which he held holy, temple towards which all the churches of he would cheerfully have consigned his the earth should worship, as the ever-salient unfinished volumes, and with them his own fountain of truth, and as thc abode of bim honored name, to oblivion. Not so would who impersonates to his brother men the Michel Germain, Claude Estiennot, and the Divine Redeemer of mankind, not a solitary brethren for whose amusement they wrote, word of awe or of tenderness falls from their have comtemplated, if they could have forepens—not a fold of those dark tunics is known, the approaching career of the young heaved by any throb of grateful remem- Alouet. Though they clung to the Church brance or of exulting hope. They could of Rome with all the ardor of partisans, and not have traversed Moscow or Amsterdam though their attachment to her was probably with a more imperturbable phlegm; nor have sincere, their convictions must have been faint, sauntered along the banks of the Seine or the unripe, and wavering. The mists of doubt, courts of the Louvre in a temper more though insufficient to deprive them of their perfectly debonnaire.

faith in Christianity, had struck a damp and Protestant zeal may be sometimes rude, abiding chill into their hearts. If they had

lived long enough to know the patriarch of they were also without the courage to deFerney, they would have been conscious of nounce and repudiate them. Their superior the close affinity between his spirit and their light taught them to expose and ridicule own.

religious error ; it did not teach them to How could it have been otherwise ? From embrace unwelcome truth. In that book disinterring legends and traditions revolting which is the "religion of Protestants," they to their hearts and understandings, they might have read that “the light is the life of passed to Rome, there to disinter foul masses men”—that is, of men who obey and follow of holy bones, to contemplate sacred proces- its guidance. There also they might have sions of mules and asses, to find a corpulent, learned that "the light which is in us may be self-indulgent valetudinarian sustaining the darkness,”—that is, may once illuminate the character of the vicar of Christ, and to dis- | inquisitive intellect, and darken the insensible cover that the basest motives of worldly heart. The letters which they have beinterest dictated to the papal court the queathed to us, interesting as they are in decisions for which they dared to claim a other respects, afford melancholy proof how divine impulse and a divine infallibility. deeply the younger Benedictines of the conFrom such follies and such pretensions these gregation of St. Maur were already imbued learned persons turned away with immeas- with the spirit of that disastrous philosophy urable contempt. The freedom of thought which was destined, before the lapse of which unveiled to them these frauds, left them another century, to subvert the ancient instidisgusted with error, but did not carry them tutions of their native land, and, with them, forward to the pursuit of truth. Without the venerable fabric of their own illustrious the imbecility to respect such extravagances, Order.

From the People's Journal.




Once more! dear words, a rainbow of sweet hope

Is in thy utterance, and even though
Thy radiance illumes with living glow,
Time's buried treasures, yet thou dost ope
A Future mirroring the Past. The scope

Of human joy, life's happy memories,
Childhood's first kisses, and the days when come
The snowdrops, youth's gay birthdays, and the home

Of harvested delights-all-aye all, lies
Cadenced in music to the words, once more!

The mother's prayer is, “God, let me see my
Son, my only son, once more before I die !"
Ah! who shall count from memory's honey-store,
All that the fond heart longs for, yet, once more! once more!

Oh mockery of sunshine-dear eclipse
Of joy! Words, trembling on the lover's lips

When in the grief-riven heart, burn the pale
Ashes of departed visions. O wail
Of woe, moan of the human when it sips

The “Marah” of heart-bitterness. Thou veil
Of mournful sound, falling, falling like night

On the disconsolate soul; thy tones alone

Closing the heart with a sepulchral stone !
Brother, despair not—what though Death may toll

His scornful prophecy of “nevermore,”
A still small voice is near unto thy soul,
Parting the darkness with a voice of light,

Assuring thee of life, of “life for evermore !"

« НазадПродовжити »