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wrinkled elders, soft infancy that nothing can but cry, all are in the secret of its charm."-p, 206-207.


This chapter is well placed after that upon Hospitality," the bounteous liberality recommended in the one, and the simplicity so quaintly set forth in the other, give an idea of a delightful sort of housekeeping. How feelingly are the inconveniences of ostentation deplored.

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You can go to no expense so magnificent,' says Angelo Pandolfini, combating luxurious habits, but you will have persons to criticise and condemn it as deficient. Always there will be either too much or too little. Take, for example, a dinner; though a civil matter, and almost a tax, to preserve the sweet familiarity of friends, yet to how many solicitudes, and vexations, and fatigues will its preparation expose you! I omit the loss, the confusion of the whole house. Add the annoyances to be endured during and after the dinner for what is wanting or redundant,- fatigues incredible, which hardly entitled you to be regarded as soon as the smoke of the kitchen is out." -b. i. p. 211.

Truly delightful to the imagination is the great building, the material home, round which all the joys, duties, and charities of life might so suitably cluster, the noble houses, so stable, preserving the memories of generation upon generation, so vast, that all might find room to expand in them, and all facilities for private retirement or for large gay meetings; how grand would such a house be with its noble chapel, library, and hall, looking out upon the open country, and attracting troops of friends, rich and poor, to rejoice in its bounteous and joyous liberty. Imagine the pleasure of filling and vivifying such a house, as that which a modern traveller occupied at Genoa.


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'Here,' saith he, you may wander on from room to room and never tire of the wild fancies on the walls and ceilings; here are corridors and chambers which are never used or rarely visited, to which one scarcely knows the way; and a great hall fifty feet in height, with three large windows at the end overlooking the whole town of Genoa, with its churches and monasteries pointing up into the sunny sky.'"—b. i. p. 224.

We could not but smile at the description of the gentleman's own room, so like what you often find appropriated

* Governo della Famiglia.

to the master of the house,-generally the worst room in it.


Choose,' says St. Paulinus, 'a fitting place in the house, remote from the noise of the family, in which, as in a port of safety, you may keep aloof from the tempest of cares, and compose yourself to tranquillity. So, in the French royal archives, there is mention, in the year 1406, of the chamber called le retrait de la reine. 'Hear my project,' says Don Juan Roca, in Calderon's play, entitled The worst is not always certain: I have in my house a closet in which are only books and old papers, and where no domestic ever enters. There you can hide yourself."-b. i. p. 227.

But it would be impossible to follow all the incidental and curious traits of manners which follow, giving indications that faith was growing, "not as a faint hot-house plant, isolated, stunted, barren, trimmed, adjusted to be commensurate with the puny dimensions of an English drawing-room, or the wants of a scientific amateur, who seeks only a solitary specimen as a curiosity; but strong, luxuriant, indigenous, spreading far and wide, deep and lofty, and in its roots and off-shoots inexterminable,' and amongst them, that moderation and simplicity which would, we believe, be found most advantageous even in the sense of political economists.

"With the rich all things are rich. They desire that men should gaze with wonder at the gold and silver and ivory and brass of their palaces, like Telemachus on visiting the house of Menelaus, when he compared it with the celestial halls. And yet there is a silent monitor amidst this pomp that points to the wisdom of the Catholic Church, which 'in luxury does not behold what the sophist and the advocate of commercial nobility under the influence of modern ideas sees,-the impulse of social activity, and an industry that profits all; but an inordinate attachment to the frivolities of earth, a crop of parasite plants which exhaust the sap of the tree; an increase of wants which tends ultimately to the misery of all classes; an action which concentrates all desires in those channels that lead sooner or later inevitably to moral and social calamities." "I -b. i. p. 215.

The author continues:

"Let us proceed and examine the further signals yielded by the

* Div. Paulini Epist. ad Celantiam.

+ Od. iv. 70.

Le Courtier, Le Dimanche, p. 221.

great aggregate of the family, which are set up to guide those issuing on the roads of the world; for the house has not only by means of the living, direct and indirect instruction, supplied by its union and concord, its servants and guests, its influence on manners by discipline, by its very aspect, and by the recollections with which it was associated-it has also its positive history, its instruction by means of the dead."-b. i. p. 245.

And he then enters upon a new field, one in which the intelligence, rather than the sensibilities of the heart, is appealed to, and where the indications to the Catholic Church are more direct and clear. He is watchful with a christian's care, to guard against recommending the vain ostentation of birth, for as he says, "St. Antoninus once beheld a vision of angels seated on a poor man's roof. No herald can invent or monarch grant, coat arms meet to compete with the glory of that blazon." Still in the history of every ancient or distinguished family, how many circumstances point to the power and truth of the Catholic Church, the profound convictions under which the pious and heroic deeds of our ancestors were performed, their mottos full of gallantry and faith, the nature of the achievements from which so many derived their arms, these things are obvious; but how much more is there in the secret history of each family, the wicked man cut off by violence, terrible judgments resting upon the oppressor of the poor and the spoliator of the Church, and descending from them to their posterity; and on the other hand, the blessings of peace and a fair lineage upon those who have persevered in faith and quiet well-doing; and most startling of all, the very fact of a long line of Catholic ancestors, to any one who is not ignoble enough to care only for the present. Who would not be inclined to say, "these, my noble forefathers, did not believe in what is base, superstitious, and blasphemous," and if in casting a regretful glance over the brief but total and gloomy interval which intervened between himself and them, he should find that the parricidal act which separated them, had been the work of some sordid sycophant of the Reformation, would not his heart yearn to disown that act, and to re-unite himself to the heroic race from whom he had descended? It would be impossible to condense the argument of this chapter, or to give an idea of the amusement afforded by the anecdotes of old families and old times, the quaint fragments of old history with which it is richly embellish

ed. Still more difficult would it be to give an idea of the peculiarly lofty and poetic character of the following chapter upon Honour." Here is shown, with an unction not to be described, the true presentment of a noble nature— the high aspirations, the courage and zeal against wrong, the fine sensibility for right, all that we include in the words, "high sense of honour:" these, the finest qualities of our nature, are traced in their devious wanderings, and in that longing after and secret sense of truth which ought to lead so inevitably to the Catholic Church. Passing from hence, the author enters again upon a more obvious path, the road of schools; he has not, however, taken what might be called a beaten track, by observing how directly learning of itself would lead men to recognise the Church; glancing from this, he points to the immense provision which the Church has made for learning; the thirst for it which she encouraged, and above all, the use which she alone knew how to make of it; from her alone this giant's weapon found fitting direction and control; and here we must introduce a remark, which strikes us as being an explanation both just and striking, of the different character of the importance of letters in those and in the present days.

"Until the sixteenth century letters did not form in society a particular class. The poet was not merely a poet; the writer had almost always some occupation independent of his writings. Kings and queens cultivated literature; counsellors of the Parliament, chancellors, or knights, along with monks and bishops, were then the authors of books, for the study of which men were to be prepared in their scholastic years; but after the foundation of academies a class of writers rose up, whose sole occupation was their pen, and who were called men of letters. In the eighteenth century wit and cleverness became the supreme power, before which all others were to bow; and the title of man of letters surpassed every other. This led to a change of style; for letters, no longer the expression of independent convictions and of the universal belief, became an art and a powerful means of action. The artifices of language, the effects which could be drawn from the employment of the choice of words, were the object of a serious and special study. The form gained pre-eminence over the matter; and those who were skilled in this new art boasted of having created a power which all opinions and all causes would be obliged thenceforth to take into account. But what a terrible responsibility,' continues Count Molé, 'rested upon these men! How necessary is it that those who place themselves at the head of generations which they

are to conduct to good or evil should first reflect on what they have done to be worthy of acting upon minds, and whether before demanding the obedience of others they have learned to respect themselves.'"*—b. i. p. 342.

It was not then from the clash and jar and endless discussion of opinions, that men looked to see the truth emerge-she was not flung like the precious jewel into the whirlpool, that whirlpool of passions and interests, on the brink of which men of worth, beholding with dismay the art and fury of the opponents of all good, perhaps the weakness of those on their own side, can but lift up their hearts to God, hoping that he will defend the right. Truth then descended to us from high places, she was nobly ushered into the world, and the minds of men were alert to apprehend her, and see the characters of her guardians: we will here insert count Molé's graphic description of the fathers of learning in Catholic times.

"These Benedictins are men with whom one would wish to have lived. They have no pretensions, no affectation, no vanity. When they have genius and wit, it is simply in spite of themselves, and they would avoid it if they could. They repent, but they are sure to return to this sin. On a severe rather than a sombre foundation of character, you see gliding, fugitive, almost veiled traits of refined delicacy and of good humour. The black cowl which rises a little, discloses a pale, sweet, and wrinkled face, which smiles peaceably, and even mocks you somewhat. By the side of these monks-these Mabillons, Archerys, and Montfaucons-there are lay scholars, such as De Boze and Ducange, whose names alone alarm our ignorance, and who are all free from pedantry-amiable, united, simple men, of good and delightful company. The correspondence of all these learned men of Catholic times breathes the sweetest benevolence. The miseries and weakness of the literary life entirely disappear in them. Vanity, detraction, rivalry, plagiary, calumny, all the bad mean passions of the writing-desk, corrected by the most humble devotion, the most complete obedience, the most sincere humility,-give place only to an excessive ardour for study, and to a mutual friendship, which is constantly manifesting itself. All personal considerations, and the desire of renown, vanish. It is the most moving spectacle in the world. To believe it, one must see how these honourable men endure criticism when just, and combat, or rather refute it simply and gently, when it is erroneous. One who has prepared a vast work, and collected important manu

*Discourse before the French Acad. March 4, 1846. VOL. XXV.-NO. L.


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