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Besides a delicious fresh
ness which pervades the story, like the air of its rural scene-the leading characters are strikingly delineated. One sees their very faces; while never was trast more perfect than between Per and Lars, Brita and Ruth. The last, the angel of the piece, is a Quakeress, and the tale seems written in the interests of that persuasion, yet contains nothing designedly offensive to a Catholic. The verse, smooth and strong, is very scholarlike, and wisely modelled on Tennyson.
ESSAYS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS. By Cardinal Wiseman. In six volumes. Volumes I. and II. New York: P. O'Shea. 1873.
This is, in one respect, the most desirable of Mr. O'Shea's reprints of the great Cardinal's works, inasmuch as it is the only one, of the Essays, that has yet appeared in this country, and the original edition is out of print. It is needless to say aught in commendation of these incomparable writings.
MEMORIALS OF A QUIET LIFE. By A. J. C. Hare, author of Walks in Rome, etc. New York: G. Routledge & Sons. 1873.
The life which this book relates was sufficiently quiet, so far as its immediate subject was concerned, to suggest to other than personal friends the sense of tame and insipid, were it not for its association with characters more or less historical. And this reminds us of the difference between Catholic and Protestant biography: whereas the latter is retricted in its range to one country or language, the former embraces within the scope of its interest all nations and races. The record of the obscurest priest, if true to his vocation, may excite sympathy in those widely separated from him in time and space: for his spiritual life is quickened by the same blood which courses through kindred veins in the highest social walks, and among the rudest tribes of distant islands; the works of mercy and charity in which he is engaged also occupy the thoughts and energies of his brethren in every part of the globe; and the same seal which attests his ministry may be recognized in theirs also.
The subject of this volume, the widow of Augustus W. Hare, was the daughter of a clergyman, and in her maiden years
was an intimate friend of Bishop Heber, then rector of Hodnet, England. Her husband, himself a clergyman, was joint author with his brother Julius W., also a clergyman, of Guesses at Truth. The family trace their descent from Francis Hare, one of the bishops of George II.'s reign, and boast of other prelatical and noble connections with the church "as by law established."
It might naturally be inferred, therefore, that the author, a nephew of the subject, would be thoroughly penetrated with Anglican "principles," and find all his ideals in the communion to which we are inclined to attribute the discovery of the "happy medium" between truth and error. But, alas for the perversity of human nature! he cannot see the schemes of Victor Emmanuel through a rose-colored lens. He has the temerity to express sympathy for the august prisoner of the Vatican; his regret for the dismemberment and spoliation of convents and monasteries-the dispersion of their libraries, the interruption of the charitable works in which they were engaged, and the appropriation by the gov ernment of the dowers which these religious brought with them to their respective houses; the wiping out of many beautiful religious associations, along with the destruction of the monuments with which they were connected. He even has the hardihood to doubt whether there is a moral gain in the freedom now vouchsafed to the vendors of Protestant Bibles and the flood of popular literature, which has signalized the advent of the Sardinian usurper, as we glean from an article by the author in a recent number of Good Words.
THE POODLE PRINCE. By Edouard Laboulaye, Member of the Institute. Translated by W. H. Bishop. Milwaukee: Office of the Journal of Commerce. Pamphlet.
This is a most clever brochure, full of wit and humor, which is, however, only the sparkle of serious thought, for the object of the author is a serious one. M. Laboulaye is a Protestant and a Liberal, but he is, we believe, one of the most respectable and moderate writers of that school, and is certainly one of those who are disposed to be respectful toward the Catholic Church. Writers of this class, though they are deficient in respect to their positive political doctrines,
are yet often the most effective and powerful opponents of that Cæsarism which Catholics have so much reason to detest and oppose. The present brochure, which we regret not to have the pleasure of reading in its original French, is a satire on Napoleonic Cæsarism, together with a brilliant fancy sketch of what the author dreams of as a happy political condition for France. The Poodle Prince is king of the Fly-catchers, and receives his funny appellation from the circumstance that his godmother, a fairy, occasionally turns him into a poodle. She does this whenever he is about to be befooled by his ministers, or to make a fool of himself. In his character as poodle, he meets with mishaps and acquires a knowledge of the actual state of things among his subjects, which are very serviceable to him, and he finishes by becoming a model of what a wise and patriotic prince ought to be, and doing what such a prince ought to do, according to the idea of M. Laboulaye. This idea is simply that the institutions of the Republic of the United States are those which France ought to copy, with, as we suppose the author intends, a nominal monarch and a responsible ministry, in place of an elective chief-magistrate.
We agree with him in respect to the end which he wishes to attain, viz., the [just liberty and prosperity of the mass of the people, by means of a government which is properly restrained by laws and other efficacious checks from tyrannizing over the nation. We do not believe, however, in transplanting our institutions to French soil. They are the best and the only ones for ourselves, because they have grown here naturally. But we are convinced that France can only prosper under a monarchy, and that a real one in which the king rules as well as reigns. This does not hinder the formation of a constitution and a mixed government in which the people have a share as voting citizens, and by which the monarchical power is limited, though not destroyed. The Napoleon Dynasty is the creation of the Revolution, and therefore will not do. The Orléans family has compromised with the Revolution, and therefore will not do, unless it will renounce the maxims of 1789, and return to its proper place under the headship of the Count de Chambord. The latter, in his avowed principles, gives the best guarantee France can have for liberty as well as order.
The restoration of her ancient monarchy, with Henry V. for king, and the fleur de lis for her symbol, with the church re-instated in her complete rights and privileges, and with the modifications of political and social relations suited to the present time, is, in our view, the only way of realizing that which F. Ramière, in his able paper published in our present number, points out as the way of salvation for la belle France "Le Drapeau blanc c'est un beau drapeau," and we hope to see it supplant the tri-color, and wave in triumph over regenerated France.
To return to M. Laboulaye. His exquisite satire has been well rendered into good English by his translator. Whoever reads it, and is able to appreciate the finest intellectual sword-play, will enjoy a rich and rare pleasure. Moreover, there is so much truth, and good sense, and genuine philanthropic sentiment con tained under the envelope of fancy and satire, that we can sincerely and conscientiously commend its general scope and spirit, and pronounce it a work as well worth reading for a serious purpose, as it is for amusement.
CONSTANCE AND MARION: OR, THE COU SINS. By M. A. B. Baltimore: Kelly & Piet. 1873.
The scene of this little story is laid in Ireland. It is one of the best of the many nice books of the kind which have been recently published, and may be read with pleasure by adults as well as young people. The writers of these unpretending, modest little books are doing more good than they can imagine, and we trust they will keep on writing.
The Irish Race in the Past and in the Present. By the Rev. A. J. Thebaud, S.J., is announced to be published this month by the Messrs. Appleton. F. Thebaud's book has been anxiously expected, as it is understood to take up a phase of Irish history hitherto neglected-the race itself rather than the repetition of the sad events which, in the main, constitute its history, and are only too well known. A book of this kind is required for Irish history-one that may serve as a light whereby to see the facts in their true colors, and which must prove doubly interesting by reason of those facts having been brought so recently before
VOL. XVII., No. 100.-JULY, 1873
"Ye fathers! let your children learn grammar, and keep able men as teachers who are accomplished, and not players, pay them well, and see that the schools are no holes and corners. All should practise grammar in some degree, for it wakens the mind, and helps much. But the poets should not thereby destroy everything else. There should be a law made that no bad poet should be read in the schools, such as Ovid, De Arte Amandi, Tibullus and Catullus, of the same sort, Terentius in many places. Virgil and Cicero I would suffer, Homer in the Greek, and also some passages from S. Augustine's work, De Civitate Dei, or from S. Jerome, or something out of the Holy Scriptures. And where your teachers find in these books Jupiter, Pluto, and the like named, say then, Children, these are fables, and show them that God alone rules the world. So would the children be brought up in wisdom and in truth, and God would be with them."-Sermon of Savonarola.
It was but natural that the striking events of the life of Savonarola, and the tragic scenes of the close of his career, should have absorbed the attention of his early biographers to the exclusion of the less attractive and more difficult duty of appreciating and presenting the moral and intellectual side of his character. He is constantly described by those friendly to his memory as a grand pulpit orator and Heaven-inspired reformer; by others, as the sensational preacher and extravagant innovator; while little or nothing is said by either of his literary and philosophical acquirements. By turns, and according to their several views, they ex
hibit him to us as fanatic and impostor, as prophet and martyr, while the figure of the scholar, the philosopher, and the theologian remains invisible. It is, nevertheless, but fair to say that this arises partially from the fact that a very important portion. of Savonarola's literary productions was unknown to his contemporaries and their immediate successors. Modern research has brought to light a large number of which they never heard. Another circumstance has contributed to confirm the mistaken impression concerning him as a man wanting in literary capacity, namely, the effort to make of him the enemy of literature by classing him among
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by Rev. 1. T. HECKER, in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.
the opponents of the so-called revival this world, says a distinguished Engof letters in Europe. lish Catholic divine* in referring to the period in question, "evil follows good as its shadow, human nature perverting and corrupting what is intrinsically innocent or praiseworthy. It was not Virgil, nor Cicero, nor Tacitus, nor Homer, nor Demosthenes that was most read and imitated, but Propertius, and Tibullus, and Apuleius. Pagan ideas colored men's thoughts; pagan ethics supplanted Christian morals; pagan theogony was better understood than the Christian catechism; and their influences spread not only through the schools, but to the cloister. Men sought in those classics, not poetry, but pruriency; not finished style, but abandoned vice; not accountability in a hereafter, but nothingness in the future. The Fathers, many of whom wrote for the express purpose of denouncing the heathen immorality of these productions, must not be studied, because, forsooth, of the uncouthness of their style. Paganism impressed itself on everything, and men sought to ignore the road to Calvary that they might enter the flowery path of Olympus.
What is styled the revival of letters in the XVth century really began in Italy long before, and was prepared, says Hallam, by several circumstances that lie further back in Italian history. The classic revelation of the XVth century was indeed a revelation to Germany, France, and England, but not to Italy. The true restorer of classical antiquity in Italy, and consequently in Europe, had already appeared in the XIVth century, and his name was Petrarch (1304-1374). It was he who first inspired his countrymen with his own admiration of the classic beauties of Virgil and Cicero. The larger portion of his works is written in Latin, and he died under the delusion that his Africa, a Latin poem, was his greatest work. A taste for the cultivation of the Roman classics grew steadily from this period, gaining strength and ardor every day, until it became the absorbing passion of all ranks of scholars. Even Poggio Bracciolini, usually assigned exclusively to the XVth, belongs partially to the XIVth century. So also does Guarino Guarini, the greatest of the early Hellenists.
PAGANISM IN LITERATURE.
The tide of classical enthusiasm was now swollen by the introduction of the Greek classics and the emigration to Italy of numerous distinguished Greek scholars. Historians vie with each other in describing the enthusiastic ardor of the Italians in the cultivation of these two great ancient literatures. It amounted to an intoxication that seized upon young and old, laity and clergy, women as well as men. The purely literary advantages to be obtained by so general a devotion to classic lore were of course enormous. But in
Unfortunately, the period was most propitious for the introduction and spread of this moral poison. For long years, Italy had been demoralized by violent factions and bloody wars. Society was disorganized. The removal of the head of the church to Avignon had been fatal to ecclesiastical discipline. The effects of this laxity produced that most frightful of scourges—a corrupt clergy; and although scores of volumes have been written describing with great minuteness all the details of the rapid march and wide extent of this fatal influence, it would be difficult to present in any shorter
* Rev. John Henry Nowman.
space at this day any adequate idea of its depth or intensity. Alone and unaided, Savonarola dared to attack paganism in literature in its stronghold; for Florence was at that time the centre of the Hellenic and Roman revival, and filled with its most passionate devotees. He thus arrayed himself against Italy and the spirit of the age. He denounced pagan literature, and scouted as absurd the fanaticism for its study. Not the laity alone, but the clergy and the hierarchy, came in for a share of his strictures. "In the houses of the great prelates and great doctors," he cries out, "nothing is thought of but poetry and rhetoric. Go and see for yourselves: you will find them with books of polite literature in their hands-pernicious writingswith Virgil, Horace, and Cicero, to prepare themselves for the cure of souls withal. Astrologers have the governance of the church. There is not a prelate, there is not a great doctor, but is intimate with some astrologer who predicts for him the hour and the moment for riding out or for whatever else he does. Our preachers have already given up Holy Scripture, and are given to philosophy, which they preach from the pulpit, and make it their queen. As to Holy Scripture, they treat it as the handmaid, because to preach philosophy looks learned, whereas it should simply be an aid in the interpretation of the divine Word."
although you carry the whole volume about with you, it will be of no avail. And how much more foolish are those who go about loaded with briefs and tracts, and look as if they kept a stall at a fair? Charity does not consist of sheets of paper. The true books of Christ are the apostles and saints: the true reading of them is to imitate their lives."
In another sermon, he says: "They tickle the ears with Aristotle, Plato, Virgil, and Petrarch, and take no concern in the salvation of souls. Why do they not, instead of books like these, teach that alone in which are the law and the spirit of life? The Gospel, my Christian brethren, must be your constant companion. speak not of the book, but its spirit.
Because Savonarola thus denounced ancient classic literature, it must not be supposed that he was either ignorant of it or unable to recognize what was really valuable in it. On the contrary, he was as familiar with Greece and Rome as his adversaries, and denounced only such pagan authors as were dangerous to morality. He might as consistently have been charged with ignorance of Aristotle, the whole of whose philosophy and writings he had, as it were, at his fingers' ends, because, after denouncing from the pulpit the blindness with which that philosopher was followed, he would ask: "Has your Aristotle succeeded in proving the immortality of the soul?"
Savonarola's denunciation of the evil effects of pagan literature is too often represented as sweeping and indiscriminate, while in point of fact he falls short in both these respects of a writer of the XIXth century who counts a certain number of respectable adherents. We refer to the Abbé Gaume, who, in a remarkable work published in France in 18-, Le Ver Rongeur des Sociétés Modernes, maintains that very many of the evils of society that have their origin in the education of youth may be traced to the pagan ideas imbibed in the early study of the Greek and Roman classics.* Savonarola's
The opinions of the Abbé Gaume are generally regarded by the most competent judges
If ye have not the spirit of grace, of matters pertaining to the higher Catholic