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The House of Yorke. By M. A. T. New York: The Catholic Publishing Society. London: Burns, Oates, & Co.


HIS is a work of fiction, into which are introduced the leading scenes in the persecution of a Jesuit Father and his people in the State of Maine, during the Know-Nothing Movement of 1854. We are told by the author in the Preface that every temptation to embellish the true story has been resisted, and that even striking incidents have been left out, because they chiefly concerned persons who prefer that God alone should know what they have suffered for the faith. We are also told that the roots of the Know-Nothing Movement have not been destroyed, and that they are even now preparing to start forth again in a more vigorous growth. That this may very well be the case we can easily believe from the description of American thought and feeling given in this interesting work; but if so, it will not be with the same result, for we are informed that American Catholics will not again submit to such a persecution. Of course, it would not be fair to criticize a work like the present according to the standard of ordinary fiction; but even as a work of fiction, we can safely say that the unity and the interest are well sustained throughout. The interest certainly never flags, while the descriptions of character are life-like and real. For ourselves, we can bear witness that the work now before us has enabled us to understand American society, and the relation in which the Church stands to it, better than any other work we remember to have read. The author has not only a thoroughly Catholic, but also a thoroughly artistic mind,-advantages not always to be found combined in American writers of fiction. At the same time, religion is never thrust forward awkwardly, nor are we treated to dissertations upon art. The author shows us how things really are in America, yet we feel all the while that the story is being told us by one who is endowed both with a religious and richly-cultivated mind. Here is a specimen of the author's artistic taste, combined with a love of nature:

"He affected not to notice her emotion. All I have done in this house has been a labour of love and delight,' he said, and led her to a picture which bore the mark of his own exquisite brush, the only picture on the walls. This is to remember Carl by,' he said. It is painted partly from nature, partly from a description of the scene. It is a glimpse into what was called Kentucky Barrens.' An opening in a forest of luxuriant beech, ash, and oak-trees showed a level of rich green, profusely flowersprinkled. The morning sky was of a pure blue, with thin flocks of white cloud, and everything was thickly laden with dew. The fringe of the picture glittered with light, but all the centre was overshadowed by a vast slanting canopy of messenger-pigeons, settling towards the earth. The sunlight on their glossy backs glanced off in brilliant azure reflections, looking as though a cataract of sapphires were flowing down the sky. Here and there a ray of sunshine broke through the screen of their countless wings, and lit up a flower or a bit of green. An oriole was perched on a twig in the foreground, and from the hanging-nest close by

his mate pushed a pretty head and throat. Star:le by the soft thunder of that winged host, they gazed out at it from the safe covert of their leafy home."

Or again the following, where religious feeling enters in as well:

"He looked out thoughtfully, and she sat looking at him. At length he said, with a faint smile, I wrote you last year of a visit I paid to the island and cave of Capri. That scene is like my past life. That cave was an enchanted place, so fair, so blue, so unreal. All ordinary critical sense deserted me as I gazed. I could easily have believed that the walls and ceilings were of jewels, and the watery floor some magical blue wine. As I sat in the boat and looked back, I saw a white star in the distance. Everything but that, and a long white ray from it was blue. I rowed toward that star, I looked at it as my goal, just as I made you my goal. But when I came near, I found it was no star. It was only the low entrance to the cave, or rather to me it was the passage to sunshine and the heavens. And that you have been to me, Edith,' he said, turning toward her. "Thank God that your influence with me has always been for good, and that in leaving you, I progress rather than change. You inspired me, and kept me from what was low when I had no religion to help me. I can see it all now. The very excess and enthusiasm of my affection for you was necessary in order to govern me and keep me from harm. Besides, it is my nature to do with my might what my hands find to do. I was not then capable of resolving to do right for the sake of right; but when I was strong enough, then you drew aside, and left me face to face with God."

The description of the Know-Nothing Movement at Seaton, where Father Rasle is tarred and feathered, and where Edith crosses the river on the logs and boom in order to try and save him, is well written, and free from exaggeration; but it is too long for us to do more than allude to it. Not the least charm about the book is the quiet humour which pervades it; as, for example, in the chapter where the Hardshell Baptist and the Universalist Ministers break down in the coach; and while the former emerges from the mud, covered with a complete domino of clay and water, and with his ankle sprained, the latter, stepping out on a blanket and cushion, reaches the roadside in safety, and sets out in the neatest of boots to the town where they were both expected to preach. Through some mistake the Universalist is directed to the Baptist Chapel, and astonishes the Hardshells with a text from the Koran, and quotations from S. John of the Cross and Ecce Homo.

Or take the following lines :

"Poor Sally Patten was not nearly so cruel as she appeared. In truth, she had never laid the weight of her hand upon her husband. But then, he was always afraid she would.” (p. 63.)



OCTOBER, 1872.

ART. I.-THE PRIESTHOOD IN IRISH POLITICS. Judgment delivered by Mr. Justice Keogh, at the Court House, Galway, on Monday, 27th May, 1872. Printed by Order of the House of Commons. Minutes of Evidence taken before Right Hon. Mr. Justice Keogh on the Trial of the Galway Election Petition, at the Court House, Galway. Printed by Order of the House of Commons.

T is an obvious and recognized psychological fact, that held "honestly"; or, as a Catholic theologian would express it, that there may be real (not simulated) ignorance, which is nevertheless more or less gravely culpable. Such is the ignorance displayed by that large body of English Protestants, who gravely allege that the Galway election was carried by means of ecclesiastical terrorism. And we say this, because their opinion is directly in the teeth of certain facts, which are not only manifest on the very surface of Irish society, but which on every other occasion are admitted as a matter of course by these Protestants themselves. When Irish social phenomena are mentioned in any other connection than in reference to this Galway election, the Englishman is fond of setting forth, how mutually opposed are the political views of landlord and tenant, and how readily Irish Catholics of the lower class accept every political doctrine set before them by their priests. Now at the Galway election, one candidate was pretty unanimously supported by the landlords, and the other by the priests; the former was specially identified with landlord interests, while the latter represented in quite an extreme and prominent degree the principle of tenant-right; lastly, the former was member of a family long known as bitterly and aggressively anti-Catholic, while the latter was a zealous adherent of the ancient Faith. Yet, according to our Englishman, the great body of Catholic voters, had they been but left to their own inclinations and convictions, were so bent on returning VOL. XIX.-NO. XXXVIII. [New Series.]


the former candidate to Parliament, that they were only restrained from throwing themselves into his arms, by an ecclesiastical organization utterly unparalleled in energy and stringency. We say it is simply impossible he can hold this opinion "honestly," though he may hold it "sincerely;" and it is a depressing thought to those who desire harmony between England and Ireland, that the English are constantly exhibiting this kind of reckless and voluntary blindness, in their government of the conquered nation.

For what purpose then did the priests set on foot that energetic organization, to which we have referred? The Evidence named at the head of our article at once answers this question. The Irish tenants have so long been at the mercy of their landlord, that an inveterate habit has almost inevitably grown up of voting in accordance with his behest. But on the present occasion landlord pressure was put forth in a degree quite unparalleled; seeing that Lord Clancarty and Lord Clanricarde composed for the moment their long-standing differences, and put forth an united effort to rescue the county from what they were pleased to call "priestly interference," or "priestly dictation." The priests then were obliged to make use of every religious weapon which was legitimately available, in order that Catholic voters might set at defiance the unworthy and unchristian motives brought to bear on them, and might faithfully and honestly exercise the trust committed to their charge.

We said in our last number, when we had had no opportunity of seeing the collected Evidence, that there were various priests concerned in the election, who may have made very serious practical mistakes: who may e. g. have used language of very indefensible violence; and who may otherwise have let themselves down from their position as priests of God, to the position of honest but intemperate political partisans. The Evidence certainly confirms and intensifies our impression, as regards some few individual cases; but on the other hand it shows clearly, that such cases were very much fewer than Protestants have generally supposed, and may really be counted on one's fingers. In regard to a much larger number of sacerdotal utterances, this should be remembered. The priests were so thoroughly conscious of being substantially in the right-of

The "Times" of August 13th said that on a future occasion "the priests and bishops will probably abstain from repeating the clumsy and unnecessary brutality, which caused Captain Nolan's election to be voided." Putting aside the "brutality" of such language, it is tantamount to a confession, that Captain Nolan was in real truth the free choice of the voters. Yet what journal was louder than the "Times" in its eulogy of the Keogh Judgment, and its denunciations of priestly intimidation?

having no occasion for more than a perfectly legitimate influence that for that very reason they were often incautious as to the precise form which their exhortations assumed; while, for the opposite reason, the promises and threats of the landlords were intimated most warily and under a veil, Here is a prominent instance of what we mean by the priests' "incautious" language. The petitioners' counsel laid great stress on the fact, that on various occasions what this or that priest denounced, was not the electors voting against their conscience,' but their voting for Trench, or their failing to vote for Nolan. But in fact none of those whom he practically addressed dreamed of doubting, that their country's highest interests would be promoted by Nolan's election; and both he and they were perfectly aware of this circumstance. Protestants of every kind may well have been in favour of Trench; and so may Catholics (even excellent and zealous Catholics) of the higher class, through an opinion that Captain Nolan's views are inimical to the rights of property. Again, among the "frieze-coated" voters-as they are called throughout the Evidence-several no doubt were comparatively indifferent to the public welfare, and were favourable to Trench on one or other ground of personal advantage. But no Catholic of the tenant class desired Trench's election, on the ground of its being a public benefit; and the priests addressed themselves to the state of things which existed before their eyes. They assumed therefore as a matter of course, that those Catholics of the tenant class who thought of voting for Trench, were induced to such a course by preferring their landlords' favour or some other private interest to the public good. And though, even granting this, the language of a few individual priests was most indefensibly violent, a certain amount both of holy and of patriotic indignation was certainly in place. Take e.g. two epithets which specially excited the Judge's disgust, "recreant" and "renegade": we cannot think that, in the sense in which under circumstances they would necessarily be understood, they were one whit too strong for the occasion,*

*We do not here consider the propriety of using such language from the altar, because we shall treat this question further on. But it may be better here, at the outset of our argument, to remind our readers of a circumstance, which Englishmen often either do not know or do not bear in mind. What may be called the pulpit habits of Irish Catholics differ toto cœlo from those whether of English Catholics or of English Protestants. The Irish priests in many parts of the country are in the habit of conversing (we might almost say of chatting) with their flock from the altar, on the details of religious and moral duty; and they mention by name, on such occasions, various familiar matters, which in England are only touched from the pulpit by means of allusion and circumlocution. We knew a very zealous Irish priest on a mission in London. After early mass he used to collect around him, in a corner, a knot of Irish, and

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