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excite admiration were he to come forth in public. In "Faust,' on the contrary, he is what he ought to be, utterly repulsive.”
And thus M. Rio goes on, showing us Carlyle as a man of feeling, as a poet, fond of conjuring up “the image of his native village and the sound of the bells which tinkled in his childish ears," and then again the story of his marriage,—a real bit of romance. We said in the beginning of the present article, that we have before us a true panoramic view of the most eminent Englishman of our times, not indeed on the public stage, but in close intimacy, by the home fire-side, for the young Breton seems to have won upon them all by his own enthusiasm for the Sublime and Beautiful, as well as by his talent for conversation, which is perhaps scarcely less remarkable, though of a less emphatic character, than that of Macaulay himself. We can however barely point out to the reader a most telling description of Samuel Rogers's character, of Mr. Gladstone's habits and mode of life at his father's house, where M. Rio soon found himself upon a footing of the closest friendship. It was at Mr. Gladstone's that he met for the first time Archdeacon Manning, with whom he entered upon a long discussion on various religious subjects. The principal question debated was that of authority in matters of faith. The sundry inconveniences arising out of private judgment when pushed to the extreme were such, that the arguments against it might have proved irrefutable, had not the impassible archdeacon blunted the weapon in his adversary's hands by his no less blunt and absolute denial. He constantly maintained that no power on earth would ever make him acknowledge that divine supremacy of the Pope, which Manzoni, on Mr. Gladstone's own admission, considered as indispensable for the birth and support of faith in the human soul. The discussion fell to the ground: the archdeacon and M. Rio parted, to meet again only fifteen years afterwards in very different circumstanecs.
I was in Rome during the Lent of 1854 (says the latter) at a time, when the native and foreign preachers seem to vie with each other for the conversion of souls, but more particularly for those estranged from faith by hereditary errors. All of a sudden I was informed that an English priest, Dr. Manning, lately arrived in Rome, whither the news of his conversion had preceded him, was to preach the next day before a mixed audience in the chapel of the Irish College. One may easily imagine that I was not the last to be there. What a matter of surprise, and what a thorough alteration not only in the features and in the costume and in the general aspect of his person, but also in the milder expression of his looks, and even in the very tone of his voice, which seemed to denote corresponding alterations of the inner man ! But again imagine if you can the intensity of my emotion when, after a few preliminary observations, the speaker announced that he would show the necessity of a pontifical infallibility for the purpose of rendering possible the
action of the Holy Ghost within the Church; so that he was about to develop in a way totally novel to myself that identical dogma which he had declared to be downright inadmissible when I had endeavoured to demonstrate its necessity. Now that I was there one of his humble auditors, that necessity appeared to him still more evident than to myself; and, alone among the audience, I might have a right to claim a twofold share in the blessing by which he closed his speech. But indeed I did not feel this to be quite enough. He had scarcely left the pulpit when I hurried to a spot on his passage through the cloister, and I was enabled to satisfy the yearning I had felt for the last hour to press his hands within my own.
We have reserved for the last M. Rio's connection with the La Ferronnays family, around which we may say that his life pivoted for many years. When the Revolution of 1830 took place, the Count could of course no longer carry into execution those plans which he had formed in favour of his young compatriot; but he knew his man, and knew very well that he could reckon upon him as a friend. We have seen above how M. Rio first visited Rome, in company with the ambassador, in 1828 ; four years after, they both met again at Leghorn, where the Count formally offered him to act as tutor to Albert, whose premature ill health had left more than one lacuna in his education. Albert himself had often expressed the same wish, and seems to have been fondly attached to his father's foriner secretary. Between the youth and the future author of “ Christian Art," a new tie had lately been formed by Albert's return to thorough religious observances. He had become so disgusted with a life of dissipation at Naples, that he cut asunder all his worldly connections, -resolving to seek for the health of his own soul in solitude and study. It was natural, therefore, that his first thoughts should have turned towards M. Rio, as a man on whom he could rely. He showed even so much ardour in his new aspirations, that his father feared, on his part, an excess of mysticism, which might prove a bar to his future prospects in the world, either as a diplomatist or a soldier.
But M. de la Ferronnays had himself undergone a similar change during a residence in Paris ; he was no longer merely a noble character and an upright man in the worldly sense of those terms ; but he was likewise an earnest, devout, practising Christian. Such were the circumstances under which the three friends met again. We cannot do better than allow M. Rio to describe the scene in his own pathetic language :
We were in the month of December, and we had not one single acquaintance in Leghorn, so that we had our whole evenings to ourselves, nobody dropping in to interrupt our mutual effusions. This time political matters played but a very subordinate part in our conversations. Those which M. de la Ferronnays had recently held in Paris, on a most important subjet is
no longer thwarted by diplomatical considerations, had predisposed him to certain overflowings of faith and divine love, quite compatible with the degree of initiation he had undergone. We had no longer before us simply a narrator, but a preacher, ardently desirous of leaving in the minds of bis two hearers an impression in bearing with their own reciprocal callings. He was so little sparing of his own self in his exhortations, that we were really astounded at his self-debasement; and at that moment, for the first time, shone forth in him, like a star long concealed behind the clouds, that most lovely, most rare, most adorable of all Christian virtues-HUMILITY.
The sudden manifestation of this new feature in a man who had been exposed to all the temptations of pride, gave rise within me to a sort of stupefaction, which reacted again on the speaker, and made him stammer out some other words, by which I was literally set beside myself. So rising suddenly, as the table was between us, I passed behind his chair, in order to let my tears drop on his venerable head, and to press it against my heart. That moment was moving beyond expression, and decisive of our future. We fell into each other's arms, and from that day began a friendship that lasted as long as his life, and was destined to realize a sort of ideal which I had hitherto never foreseen,
A scene like the above one must needs have made a deep impression on both, and henceforward they were bosom friends. There was nothing mournful in their separation, which took place a few days afterwards, and then began between them a correspondence, which we would fain quote from one end to the other. But we must leave to our readers the delight of going over it in the book itself.
A few short years run on, and the youth whom M. Rio loved so well had offered up to God liis own life for the conversion of the woman whom he loved far more than lite. Every one knoirs low on Albert's death-bed the young couple accomplished both their last and first communion. From that moment, the whole family seeins to have been fired by a sort of practical and permanent heroism, in the sense of self-renouncement and Christian charity. Boury, the small Norman village where they lived, became an oasis, something like a picture of the first Christians, such as we read of in the primitive annals of the Church. It is a picture of faith, peace, friendsliip, virtue in cvery form, of resignation, and also of real, deep, happiness. We repeat it, even after the "Récit d'une Sæur, there is in many a page of Riv's new book details which complete the former : after reading it, you know Alexandrina better, you are constantly reminded of the Scriptural words often recurring to the author :- Ascensiones in corde suo disposuit,-or again Shelley's beautiful lines on the Sky-lark, “ever soaring higher still and higher." Here we become the invisible witnesses of the whole family's daily occupations, visits to the day-school, charitable distributions to the poor, even down to those little inusical festi
vities, which our author was so passionately fond of.
It was a world of love, but likewise a world of intellect, wherein the most arduous problems were often discussed and solved ; partly by the data of science, more frequently through the instincts of the heart.
At Boury the character of Count de la Ferronnays came out likewise in strong relief;—ire know the man better and entertain for his intellectual and moral faculties a higher estimation than through the “Récit d'une Sæur." The premature death of his son, added to the downfall of the dynasty to whose fortunes ho had devoted his whole existence ; the sudden blasting of his political hopes as a statesman, and the forced inactivity to which he was thus condemned,--all these things contributed to make the Count another man, to transform him into a somewhat ideal character, influencing in a most striking manner the historian of Christian Art. It was a new opening into the world of æsthetics, and M. Rio is perfectly conscious of it.
That influence (says he) at last made itself felt over all my faculties, but in a way which I should call most unequal, on account of the ever-increasing preference it gave to the progress of the soul to that of the intellect.
Absence could of course have no effect upon such feelings, for then their conversations were replaced by a most admirable correspondence :
“You know is too well, my dear Rio (writes the Count on one of those occasions), not to be assured that both my dear wife (ma bonne femme) and myself fall back upon our own hearts, and that we foresee without either regret or sadness the deep solitude which awaits us. But God remains with us, my dear friend, so we shall not be alone. He shows us His love by sending us in our old age a consolation far greater than we could have hoped for. Love, hope, prayer, and gratitude: ah ! pray don't be anxious about us, for our life will be pleasant and lightsome. Our time is drawing to a close, evening coming on; we can already see the dawn of endless light.”
But still this was not enough for the noble Count, who felt perhaps more than he would himself admit the absence of his friend; so during it visit of the latter to Boury, with his wife and young family, we find a plot laid down to change these casual visits into a more permanent and periodical abode. To establish an utter and complete intimacy between both families, to sit down at the saine table, dwell under the same roof, pray in the same chapel, blend together all their hopes, joys, and trials; such was the plan forined in the mind of M. de la l'erronnays, but which it was a delicate matter to propose to M. Rio, for the La l'erronnays were by no means wealthy. So Alexandrinc undertook to sound him, and of course met with a host of scruples ;
then the Countess herself came to the rescue, and, lastly, her husband. --who recollected his former achievements at the Foreign Office, and won the victory. During the first years of their common life, M. Rio was to write the political memoirs of his patron and now bosom friend,-a design long entertained by both, and for which numerous papers and important documents had been collected. But the treaty once agreed to, there was another purpose or advantage, as M. Rio calls it, which the noble Count had in view, and which was to accrue from this much-desired reunion.
That advantage or profit (says he), far greater in his eyes than any intellectual benefit, was that of our souls ; for he was convinced that by coalescing in one common nucleus our continuous aspirations towards the same ideal, we should obtain a result far superior to any resulting from our own individual efforts. Thus a sort of sacramental sanction was necessary for the treaty of offensive and defensive alliance we were about to conclude, and that sanction we had close by in the Holy Eucharist.
So we agreed to receive communion all together in the chapel of the château,--a communion to serve as an anticipated inauguration of the common work we had before us, and wherein every one of us was to concur, according to the measure of his own strength. It is almost needless to add that M. de la Ferronnays was the most ardent promoter of the ceremony. He was there quite in his own sphere, but it will create surprise, perhaps, in some to learn that he was likewise, in my eyes at least, the most eloquent preacher thereof, though his eloquence consisted merely of two or three words which he addressed me on leaving the holy table. We had remained the two last in the chapel, and I heard him praying with a sort of fervour that denoted contrition rather than thanksgiving. On turning round to look at him, his face was hidden within his hands, and when he rose to depart his eyes glistened with tears. I suspected that he had just given way to one of those violent fits of humility, which arose out of his strong feeling of personal unworthiness. It was, indeed, something of that kind, but with such a singular combination of extraordinary circumstances, that though I had a large yet involuntary share in his mental distraction, far from sharing in his repentance, I was disposed to consider it as commendable.
In fact, at the moment when he knelt down close at my side, at the foot of the altar, all of a sudden a vague remembrance came across his mind, of some quaint story of the Middle Age ; or, perhaps, I should say that he regretted not to have followed the example of some knights of old, and asked of the priest to separate in two parts the Sacred Host, in order to give us each one half as a sacramental consecration of the friendship which, in that solemn moment, was to bind us more closely than ever.
It was the first time that I had ever heard of this chivalrous fancy, so I was quite unnerved by my feelings of gratitude and admiration ; and I remained utterly speechless, helpless ; but the dumb pressure of my hand with which the scene terminated,-a scene so highly moving in its most