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"Vert-Vert," at page 304, &c. I could easily name more temporary inmates of monastic institutions, often embraced in youthful ardor, but abandoned while the association was still of permissive and voluntary severance. Yet, after the sacred bond had once been solemnly contracted in prescriptive fulness of rule, its professed infraction involved not only, and of necessity, the anathema of outraged religion, but, almost with equal certainty of consequence, the general contempt, for few epithets bore a deeper expression of debasement than that of "moine defroqué;" scarcely less so, in fact, at Geneva, or in Holland, the usual asylums of these refugees, than in their deserted communities at home. Exceptions, no doubt, could be adduced, without recurring to the early reformers, such as the learned Benedictine La Croze, (Mathurin Vesseyière,) who retired to Berlin, where, after forty years' residence, he died in 1739, and our late eloquent preacher, Dean Kirwan, who both pursued their new, while never descending to revile their original, creed. The latter proselyte, in particular, emphatically deprecated this too habitual manifestation of freshborn zeal, though most dubious test of conversion. So resistless was this gentleman's eloquence in the cause of charity, its general sphere of exertion, that not only was many a purse exhausted, but every portable object of value, watches, rings, and snuff boxes of gold, have often heaped the collecting salvers and collectors' hats.*
Few advocates have ever been more successful in the noble cause of which he was the chosen patron. His appeals seldom produced less than five hundred guineas, frequently much more, though no corresponding sensation now flows from the calm perusal of these published discourses. Thus is signally exemplified the all-powerful effect ascribed by Demosthenes to action, and not less deducible from the well known expression of Eschines to the
Content, however, with the evidence of his professed religious conformity, he studiously avoided all aspersive reference to his deserted persuasion. Frequently has a friend of his and mine heard him impressively exclaim on the subject, as the Academician Pelisson, a convert from Calvinism, used to do
"Ah! prius ingenui quam frangam jura pudoris,
Singularly enough, however, at the consecration of Dr. Nihil, Roman Catholic Bishop of Kilfenora, in 1784, (Ferrar's Limerick, page 367,) Kirwan, then a Franciscan friar, was appointed to preach the customary sermon, and chose for his topic "Apostacy." Shortly after he conformed to the established Church: it was the Kúverov alopa, the cantio cygnea of his departure; but this dignified abstinence from prescriptive abuse conferred on his transit the distinction expressed by Tacitus (Hist. iv., 79,) of a "transfugium honestum," in opposition to Livy's character of a vulgar renegade" nihil aliud quam unum vile et infame corpus." (Liber xxii., 22.) How flattering the first reception of deserters in any cause is by their previous enemies, and to what extent they are afterwards, on reflection of their treachery, despised, is forcibly
Rhodians, struck with admiration of his great rival's speech for Ctesiphon, which, at their request, he had most impressively recited,-"How much more would you have admired it had you heard himself!" Whence Cicero (De Oratore, lib. iii., cap. 56,) infers the wholly altered character of a speech depending on its delivery. "Ex quo satis significavit (Æschines) quantum esset in actione, qui orationem eandem aliam fore putaret, actore mutato." Cicero tells us that he had translated the two antagonist orations, of which he gives the heads in his little treatise, "De Optimo Genere Oratorum," cap. v. and vii. See also, relative to the similar influence of Pericles, "Plato, in Phædro," p. 269, ed. i., Serrani, 1578, tom. iii.
described in Thucydides, (iii. 9,) by the Mitylenean mission to Sparta.*
Few professors of natural science have attained higher eminence than the late Geoffroi Saint Hilaire, who also in his junior years had been intended for the Church, and wore its distinctive attire. (See page 431, ante.) Succeeding events, however, gave a different direction to his pursuits. The Abbé Louis, who attended his worthy diocesan, the famous Talleyrand, in the religious solemnity of the first "Federation" in 1790, as deacon, never exceeded that degree; and, though subsequently created a Baron of the Empire, and employed in the highest financial departments of state, he was scarcely otherwise designated than as Abbé, while totally removed from all spiritual functions. In the "Sacred College," again, fourteen in regular constitution, whose morals seemed too often in discord with their ostensible vocation, were only deacons in minor orders, without pastoral care, and holding to the sacred profession, though Cardinals, or princes of the Church, solely by ties of easiest dissolution. Even the musicians attached to cathe drals were obliged to appear as ecclesiastics. The biographer of one of the most esteemed French composers, Le Sueur, who died in 1837, after stating his promotion to the post of "mâitre de chapelle" of the metropolitan church, subjoins "Obligé d'avoir
· Τούς γὰρ ἀφισταμένους ἐν τοῖς πολέμοις, καὶ ξυμμαχίαν τὴν πρὶν ἀπολείποντας, οἱ δεξάμενοι, καθ ̓ ὅσου μὲν ὠφελοῦνται ἐν ἡδονῆ ἔχουσι νομίζοντες δὲ εἶναι προδότας τῶν προτοῦ φίλων, χείρους ηγοῦνται—καὶ οὐκ ἄδικος αυτη ἡ ἀξίωσίς ἐστιν. -K. T. X. is the discriminating language of the Mitylenean deputies, or, more probably, of Thucydides himself, (г. 0.,) in their own defence, when seeking the protection of Sparta, in the fourth year of the Peleponnesian War, against the Athenians, then besieging Mitylene.
le petit collet pour remplir cette fonction, il prit le nom d'Abbé Le Sueur, sans être dans les ordres." Nor was it uncommon with travellers, more especially with students of the arts, when repairing to Rome, to assume the clerical robe as a protection. The companion of Delille under Choiseul-Gouffier, French Ambassador to the Ottoman Court-Jean Baptiste Le Chevalier is asserted in his "Life" to have borne, for many years, the title and garment of an Abbé, in like manner, .66 sans être engagé dans les ordres," at Constantinople. His co-operation in Choiseul-Gouffier's magnificent "Voyage Pittoresque de la Grèce," now at length completed, in three folio volumes, was considerable, though ill-compensated; but Mr. Dodwell recommends Chevalier's own "Voyages de la Troade," and "La Propontide," as equal to the best guide-books of these classic grounds. He was well known and esteemed in England, and his death appears in the mortuary articles of this journal for 1830.
To such persons, of course, it is not meant to impute the indecorous conduct which has so often disedified our travellers in others who, clothed with the same professional garb, were yet either altogether unassociated, or, at most, only connected with the Church by bonds of optional revocation, while utterly regardless of all public discretion, and of the conventional decencies implied in their simulated character, But it was essential to produce the most authentic evidence of the unlicensed adoption of the clerical dress, and of the consequent injustice of indiscriminately visiting on the regular priesthood, sufficiently pressed to answer for their own seldom indulgently
viewed failings, this surcharge of responsibility for the transgressions of intruders, who no more belong to the holy state in fact than in spirit.
I could extend these remarks, for they equally apply to other countries, to Italy, Spain, or Catholic Germany. Thus, Metastasio, (or Trapassi, his real name,) with many more eminent men, though not priests, were respectively styled Abbate; but the subject is, I believe, sufficiently elucidated, and would gain no more strength by extension. How often, too, has English benevolence been imposed on by pretended clergymen as suppliants for charity, and maidens betrayed by miscreants hired to personate the sacred character, and desecrate one of its most special attributes, in the nefarious performance of a fictitious marriage! At different periods, and in most coun tries, sumptuary laws have defined and graduated the distinctions of dress. In the British dominions, too, as well as in France and elsewhere, the monastic habit is of legal prohibition; but, though far from advocating such restrictions, I feel that, if any be justified, it should be in protection of the legitimate clergy.