« ZurückWeiter »
Cho. Neither could say farewell, but through their
eyes Grief interrupted speech with tears supplies.” “ Carew possessed naturally but little humour; but there is a dignified, pleasing, sly gravity in the lines upon Lord Chief Justice Finch, on paying his addresses to Lady Anne Wentworth. It possesses, moreover, Benedict, what you so much admire, a sort of classical air, which, by the way, is rather a stiffishness of manner than an excellence."
“ Read the poem,” said the Bachelor, and the Nymph read,
“Hear this, and tremble all
Usurping beauties, that create
In love's free state;
Hark how the stern law breathes
Forth amorous sighs, and now prepares
And braided hairs;
The golden age returns,
Love's bow and quiver useless lie ;
Astræa hath possest
An earthly seat, and now remains
That guest contains :
ONE morning, after a long debate in the House of Commons on the Catholic question, the Nymph and the Bachelor fell into conversation in reading the report of the speeches in the Morning Chronicle.“ I think,” said she, 66 that none of the orators venture to touch the marrow of this important subject.”
“ How ! what do you mean ?" replied Benedict, anticipating, from the tone in which she had made the remark, something paradoxical," what other marrow is there in the subject, than that the law as it stands deprives millions of their undoubted political rights ?”
“ The law as it stands, you ought rather to say, prévents those millions from disturbing public affairs, merely because such is the state and circumstances of their minds, that they can neither reason nor exercise their judgment like other men. There can be no emancipation of the Catholic but by himself. He should show that he is as free a moral agent as the rest of the species, before he can hope that they will permit him to take a part in their common affairs.”
“In what way," said the Bachelor, “ are they to do this ? I am sure in all things the Roman Catholic shows himself as much a man, and as good a subject, as any other Christian.”
“ He does no such thing,” replied the Nymph, somewhat fervently, at hearing her beloved repeat this stale assertion.“ In the first place, he acknowledges a power to reside in other men, which, were he in a condition to exercise his judgment freely, he would feel himself obliged to confess is not consistent with human nature. I mean the priestly remission of sin ;-and, moreover, in believing the irrational doctrine of transubstantiation, he denies the evidence of his own senses. Now, what sort of confidence should we be disposed to give to a person, who asserted that he was intrusted with supernatural powers, and maintained that fire was ice,-treating with contempt the opinion, that supernatural power can never be possessed by man, and asserting that all deserved eternal perdition who did not believe that the fire which he called ice, in despite of the sensations of touch and vision, was ice ?"
“ But not to grow polemical,” interrupted the Bachelor,—“ those sort of absurdities are mere speculative opinions, and as such have probably as little influence on the conduct of the Catholic as any theoretical dogma whatever has on that of the more philosophical Protestant. It is therefore hard, that
men should be denied their birthright, because they happen to be a little fantastical in their metaphysics."
“ You have hit the mark,” replied the Nymph briskly; “ The Catholic is just so much more fantastical in his opinions than the Protestant, that it is not fit he should be allowed all the freedom of the Protestant. He is only mad a point or two more: I concede as much. But how much more insane than the heir at law was the Earl of Portsmouth, whom a jury the other day declared incapable of managing his affairs like other men ? Besides, the whole history of Catholicism is a continued demonstration, that it is founded on a depravation of hu
But only last night I was reading in Fordun, the Scottish historian, an adventure of St Augustine, that I am sure no moderate Catholic of the present day can peruse without feeling, at least, awkwardly, if not ashamed, that his church should countenance such fables."
ST AUGUSTINE. “ When the blessed Augustine,”-says Fordun, preaching the divine word to the Gentiles, according to his custom, he came to a village in the county of Oxford, six miles distant from a place celebrated at this time, and called Vudiflix Cumentona ; there came to him a priest of the same town, saying, 'Reverend father and lord, I inform your holiness that the lord of this property, though by me admonished with many exhortations, will never consent to pay to the holy church of God the tithe of those things which the celestial bounty has conferred
upon him. Moreover, having often threatened him with sentence of excommunication, I find him more rebellious and obstinate than before : let your holiness therefore see what is to be done.' When St Augustine heard this, he made the soldier be brought before him, and said, What is this that I hear of thee ? O son, wherefore do
you refuse to render tithes to God, the giver of all good things, and to the holy church? Are you ignorant that they are not yours but God's ? Therefore do thou with a ready and willing mind pay thankfully thy debt to Almighty God, lest the severe sentence of a rigorous judge should in the following year take from thee for thine obstinacy, that from whence thou shouldst pay it. At this the soldier being irritated, with the
of anger, replied to the man of God: Who, said he, cultivated the land ? who supplied the seed for it? who caused the ripe corn to be cut down? was it not I? All men therefore may know that he who has the nine sheafs shall have the tenth also. To whom St Augustine, Speak not thus, my son ! for I would not have thee ignorant, that if thou refusest to give thy tithes, according to the custom of the faithful and the tradition of the holy fathers, without doubt I shall excommunicate thee. And this being said, he turned to the Lord's table, that he might celebrate divine service. And he said before all the people, with a loud voice, On the part of God, I command that no excommunicated person presume to be present at the solemnities of mass. Which when he had said, a thing marvellous and unheard of in former ages happened. For in the very entrance of the church a buried corpse arose, and going out of the cemetery, stood there immovable, as long as the holy man was celebrating the solemnities of mass. Which when he had concluded, the faithful who were then present, being made almost beside themselves, came trembling to the blessed pontiff, and related what had befallen. To whom he said, Fear not ! but let the standard of the cross of the Lord
and holy water also, and let us see what this may be which is