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of French fiction for which Mrs. Cra- | round a table in the evening, the men drawven says she hoped.
ing and the women working while I read It is an excellent conclusion, no to them aloud the finished chapters of my doubt, to become more and more ab- book. All this shows how utterly different sorbed in religion as life tends towards our two nations are ; no wonder that they the end ; but it is a pity that anything
find it so impossible to understand each
other. should be done to break the unique charm of this full and much-mingled
The picture is wonderful indeed ; existence. We prefer to find that the such a family party in a French counliveliest talk in the evening, the most try house deeply wrapt in melancholy animated discussions, a little contro- wastes of distance, with no neighbors versy, a little enthusiasm for secular near enough to join the group easily, matters, even more than a little poli- and no other visitors coming and going, tics, take nothing away from the de- probably not even a billiard-table, and voutness which makes the domestic nothing “ to do”. as an Englishman chapel and the morning mass so great would sigh - either out or in, is a tera happiness to the aged pilgrim. To rible experience. We remember one know that the young people had been of the feudal castles mentioned in this dancing over night and the old ones book where Mrs. Craven was a fremingling a little salt of gossip in their quent visitor, in the depths of Decemtalk, and Count Albert, Eugénie's son, ber, plenty of ice outside but not a pair eager over his plans for his workmen's of skates in the house — plenty inside clubs, makes us like all the better to too, the bath provided for the visitor think of that withdrawal into the crackling in the cold turret of the heavenly sphere above, and the lovely dressing room attached to a great bedand delightful world of the past full of chamber forty feet long - vast corridors so many dear and tender shadows, and ante-chambers chill as Labrador, more real and near than the actual no visitor but the curé who came to say members of the society round her, his mass once a week, and M. le Perwhich takes place when the brilliant cepteur, who was a scion of a noble old lady, once Pauline de la Ferronays, family much come down in the world. retires within the sanctuary of her own
Mrs. Craven seems to suppose, howlonely chamber. It is this that gives ever, that the absence of all idea of her life its greatest interest. The riding “ on horseback” is made up by reader, however, will scarcely be able the ideal picture, much better than En. to refrain from a smile when he reads gland, of the party round the table, this description of the household circle complacently listening to “ Fleurange.” at Lumingy, which is tamer a great We doubt whether that would be a deal, it seems to us, in the gravity of general opinion here. northern France and the seriousness of
Mrs. Craven's views about politics the times, than those pictures of the are always sane and sensible, and full Ferronays' household at Naples and of excellent judgment. NotwithstandCastellamare, in which everything was ing all prepossessions she never abanyoung and careless and enterprising doned the cause of Italy nor the fine
delusion that the Catholic faith and
political freedom ought to go together. What would you say if you were here, And it cost her a great struggle, when where three families are collected, women, the question of Roma capitale arose girls, men, and children, twenty-two alto- among the newly emancipated Italians, gether, and not one among them ever to harmonize her political sympathies dreaming of a ride on horseback? In fact, with her obedience to the Church. there is not in the place a single animal This is from Naples in the first exciteupon whose back the feat could be accomplished. This seems very strange even to
ment of the new life : me; English people could not stand it. Imagine how I enjoy sitting at table En revanche, no English circle would sit every day between my brother, who thinks
as all Frenchmen do on these affairs, and small, influence continually at work in Count Arrivabene, a young Garibaldian, à France, and the power of which it is peine défroqué et débarbouillé from his difficult to overestimate. It shows prison at Gaeta, from which he was set
even in the work before us. The En. free by an exchange of prisoners. . . . I
glish friends of a devout Catholic are feel sometimes as if I were on burning coals, and I feel a wild wish to escape, par
· which is not a very largely Irish
The ticularly when they bring forward' that bull, though it may appear so. endless Roman question. Yet I will not English nurse or governess is so to a conceal from you, as generally I do from quite extraordinary extent. We have others, that perceiving the moral force of heard the most strenuous accents of these plebiscites which one after the other Cork issuing from young French lips lead all the Italian cities towards junction which bad been trained in our Angloin one great kingdom, I cannot shut out Saxon tongue by such means; the the hope that from Rome may at last come prepossession thus given is as subtle the gran rifiuto of her lost provinces, which as universal, and it accounts for a great would so greatly increase the spiritual deal of pseudo-national feeling. With power of the Papacy.
a similar partiality the English houseWe do not kuow whether this was hold gets its French bonne from Switz: more than the last flash of that vision- erland, and therefore misses any reflex ary and enthusiastic Catholicism of action from the genuine French mind; 1830, which believed that new heavens though the honest Swiss are not likely and a new earth were to come from the to spread hostility at all events, whatunion of the Church and Freedom ; but ever little imperfection in the way of it is touching to read of the devout accent they may bring with them. imagination now when so many strange Mrs. Craven, however, knew enough things and eventful years have come of the question to have formed a right
opinion about Home Rule, and she Mrs. Craven was equally sensible, expresses it with great frankness, espewhich perhaps is still more wonderful, cially in respect to the Irish clergy, upon the question of Home Rule. whose position she was evidently quite Very few indeed are the French politi- unable to reconcile with any Catholic cians who are impartial on this subject. or religious law. It is a commonplace among them to compare Ireland with Poland as coun- I have read over attentively the pastorals tries equally oppressed by an alien race of Dr. McCabe, and also the resolutions of and creed ; and this opinion exists, or the clergy of Cloyne. It is a language too used to exist, as much among the most different from that in which the Catholic highly educated class of liberal think- people is addressed by its clergy all over ers, taking the greater part of their the world to be conceivable for us, unless political beliefs
we are to understand that in Ireland it is from England, as
the people who lead the clergy, and not the among the most ignorant of bigoted clergy who guide the people.
Enough has Catholics. We remember that Mon- been said of the virtues and wrongs of the talembert was not to be convinced on Irish. It is now time, it seems to me, for this subject, any more than the narrow their pastors to tell of their faults and of est of country priests, notwithstanding their crimes. England has for many years even the strange fact, of which he and been in a temper to listen to their grievstill more his family were a little ances and to remedy them if justly, temashamed, that his keen, youthful per- perately, and clearly stated. Surely there ceptions bad found out O'Connell to be must be Irishmen capable of doing this. a humbug at a very early period. (But Good heavens ! if Poland was in the same what a genial bumbug and a big one, civil liberty, notwithstanding their bad and
situation, if they possessed religious and instead of the small race of his shriek- cruel landlords, we should, as they would, ing successors !) It is curious, too, feel very thankful indeed ; and we ourthat in acknowledging this we all re- selves here, undergoing, as we are, religious main insensible to one great, if also persecution (which, after all, is the worst
of all grievances, though the Irish clergy | den and literary autocracy was over ; forget to remark it), how differently we are still it must have had, we should inadvised by the highest ecclesiastical au- agine, echoes round it of the greatness thority. . . . Of course, it is visible enough of the past. Here is one sketch among that the present Irish agitation is simply the very few that are worth quoting: revolutionary, but that is why it is so astounding that the clergy so hesitatingly Mr. Gladstone, next to whom I sat at denounce it. Those whom at present dinner at Lord Granville's the other day, there is an attempt to wrong outrageously, was most pleasant, talkative, brilliant, and who are in fact the victims of to-day, eager, full of poetry and earnestness, and are the landlords. It is by them, therefore, yet to my mind how visionary on some that the clergy ought to stand.
points and how unpractical ! We talked All the persecutions of the Church in of everything, and it certainly was most France, in Germany, and Italy seemed to interesting. One thing he said with an me nothing in comparison with the dis- energy which added to the feeling he exgrace which Ireland was inflicting on the pressed, that the growth of infidelity was Church. . . . I see in a paper of last night the one evil to be resisted before all others, that the Irish bishops are strenuously op- and that whoever served the cause of Faith posing the proposal of many in England to and Christianity was doing the greatest of bring about a renewal of relations between all deeds to be done. “ In comparison the Holy See and the English government. with that nothing whatever signifies much It is my belief that they hate the English in this world." I said it was a good thing to such a degree that they had rather they for England that her prime minister should did not become Catholics, or behave well utter such words. to the Church, or indeed to themselves, because all these would be reasons for But these scraps of the world grow hating them less ; and they worship their less and less as the book draws to an hatred, and cling to it more than to their end. The letters to Sir M. Grant Duff faith.
are almost the only exceptions to the Those queer Catholics the Irish! (Mrs. strictly religious correspondence, and Craven exclaims on another occasion). her friendship with him is a piquant What is true for all the world is not true touch in the fading life. That so grave for Ireland according to their view, and the wrong done by an Irishman is not at all in a personage should have used a sort of their eyes like the same wrong done by any
calendar compiled by a pious enthusi. other man in the world. ... You and ast, with all the dates and memorial Mrs. La Touche cannot pretend to be days of the “Récit,” should have kept among the Irish of the right sort, though up some half-century after the end of I have not yet quite understood where one that youthful romance and tragedy the began and where one ceased to be an Irish gentle recollection of Alex and Eugénie
I am told, for instance, and their tender sayings, sending little that Lord O'Hagan and Lord Emly are no sprigs of jasmine to the sole survivor longer to be considered as Irishmen - and
ou certain anniversaries, is one of the so on of all those I like.
most curious things in literature, touchShe thought, however, that Home Rule ing in its reality and very pleasantly would be attained, although it would demonstrative of the “soft place” be fatal all round. “ The bill will pass which is always to be found in a good unopposed by the Lords, and the time heart -- if it were not for the faintest of its failure in Ireland will then be- lurking sense of humor in these kind gin.” This, we may suppose, was the sentimentalities from so unlikely a opinion of Holland House, from which quarter. They bring us back pleasshe dates this fortunately erroneous antly to the book which is Mrs. Craprophecy. It is a little tantalizing to ven's chief title to be remembered in find a good many letters from Holland literature, though it is not literature House, with all its traditions of brilliant properly so called, nor, as she and her talk, and intellectual interest, with ex- admirers often repeat, a book at all in tremely little in them. To be sure, the ordinary sense of the word. Here the great day of that remarkable lions'' are some little indications from her
man or woman.
own hand of the way in which that say which “choked” her sometimes in book moved other souls to whom it was her occasional solitudes, was stricken a revelation. Towards the end of her down by that most terrible of maladies life Mrs. Craven made a last visit to paralysis, and lay for ten months, a Boury, then in a second set of hands, long lifetime in such circumstances, the present proprietors having learnt bound in chains more hard than iron, to take pride in the associations of the speechless, as unable to communicate place :
with those about her as if she had been
dead. The conclusion is so tragic, that Still more astonishing and gratifying is the fact of the many visitors who come, with the sufferer bound to “that night.
the heart aches painfully in sympathy some from very great distances, to pray in the little churchyard. A man had been mare, life in death.” In the later there the day before who had come all the months of her long agony she seenis to way from Lille to spend an hour there - bave given forth a murmur, inarticand he has written to me since a letter, ulate, which one of her tender nurses which has touched me deeply, to explain to calls her cantilena, and from the vary. me in what kind of a way he had been ing tones of which some guesses at her helped by those whose story he had read, meaning, so far, at least, as feeling and why he thanked me so much for went, could be divined ; there could having written it. He speaks with a kind not be a more piteous picture of human of passionate affection of them all. He is
weakness. Upon this last act it is 100 an employé on the railroad. A girl, too, a very nice young Alsatian, with whom the heart-rending to dwell. On April 3,
Récit” had made me acquainted, went off 1891, the ill luck and the frequent the other day to Boury to place a wreath trials came to au end, and a few days on my mother's grave, because, she said, after she rejoined the many whom she she was the one she turned to with the had loved and lost at Boury, where, a greatest love whilst reading the book, and few years before, her always loving and she felt she must go and thank me.
faithful husband had lso been laid. Here, however, is another amusing This world could scarcely have given side of the question :
more to a woman than was given to
her - youth, love, happiness, reputaI had a letter the other day which would tion, sorrow, trouble, and anguish, and have amused you from a young man – very in the end au oblivion at which she young, I suppose — who called himself un
was able to smile. obscur étudiant, and dated from the very centre of the pays latin. He had been reading for the first time the “ Récit d'une Soeur,” and had to say about it a great
From Macmillan's Magazine. deal that was touching and flattering for
THE IRRESPONSIBLE NOVELIST. me to hear. But what he was annoyed at
BY AN INDOLENT REVIEWER. was that such a beautiful book should be so very little known, and should never THERE is a popular, but on the have been spoken of. At first this remark whole au erroneous, notion that hostile made me laugh a little ; then I reflected criticism proceeds of personal malice. that if this young reader is only twenty- The severest criticisms probably are two or twenty-four, it is very natural that written by conscientious young persons he should never have heard of it, and I with high literary ideals and little acfeel thankful that one of quite another quaintance with the world. generation should read it with so much
French critic, M. Désiré Nisard, put pleasure.
on record his own dolorous experience, Mrs. Craven lived to be eighty-three, which no doubt has been the experiand then may we not say without ence of many. As a beginner, alone irreverence that there are people who in the proverbial garret, he devoted to have no luck in this world ? after all his criticisms earnest study ani a her brilliant talk, her love of social in- jealous regard for the honor of letters. tercourse, the many things she had to By degrees he made a name, became
known, began to receive invitations. | outraged family honor. Of the solemThe books he had criticised he had vities with which he prepared bis regarded simply as books. To his sur- blackthorn, and therewith set forth on prise and chagrin he met them now in his mission of vengeance, you may society as angry and unforgiving men read a spirited account in Dr. Wright's and women. Authors he had cen- pages. He called at Haworth for a sured were constrained in his pres- blessing on his undertaking. Charence; their wives would not meet him lotte, like a sensible girl, endeavored at dinner. Few classes surely are so to dissuade him, and so did her father unhappy as to incur on grounds so as befitted a Christian clergyman. impersonal such strong personal re- Gentle sister Anne, however, blessed sentments.
the avenger and bade him good speed. The perils amid which the reviewer So up to London he went, and raged plies his harmless, if necessary, trade round the metropolis with his blackare vividly illustrated by an amusing thorn in quest of the reviewer. He story in a recent book by Dr. Wright never succeeded in unearthing him, on 16 The Brontës in Ireland.” Char- and had to return to Ballynaskeagh lotte Brontë sent an early copy of with a blackthorn unbaptized in the “ Jane Eyre " to her Irish uncle Hugh. enemy's blood. At Murray's he saw The book was received in the family more than once a personage said to be circle with misgiving; the instinct of the editor. If it was Lockhart, it was the blood-relation suggested that niece probably the mau he was in search of; Charlotte bad probably made a fool of but Hugh Brontë, clutching bis blackherself. To know the worst Hugh thorn, would deliver his private mesBrontë set off to Ballynaskeagh Manse sage to none but the declared reviewer. to take the opinion of the Rev. David Well-informed literary persons natuMcKee, an old friend of the family rally were forward with the desired and the literary oracle of the neighbor- information. Some knew the reviewer hood. For once the oracle was neither to be Thackeray, others were sure that dumb nor doubtful. "Hughey," thus it was Dickens, George Henry Lewes, it spake, “the book bears the Brontë Harriet Martineau. Happily the stamp on every sentence and idea, and avenger mistrusted the information. it is the grandest novel that has been It would have been an unfortunate produced in my time.”
” Hugh Brontë exhibition of the workings of wrung the parson's band and departed, onymity had Dickens or Thackeray no longer despondent but elated. gol his crown cracked by the frantic Charlotte's book was something for the Irish relative of an anonymous novelist relations to boast of, and not to be for the sins of an anonymous reviewer. ashamed of. And boast they did, you The secret of the authorship of the may depend upon it, until no doubt review has been loyally kept by the the name of Currer Bell became the house of Murray to this day, but there bugbear of the place. At length, at is little doubt that it was the work of the zevith of the family triumph, came Lady Eastlake, then Miss Rigby. The the notorious article on “Jane Eyre " current theory, however, is that the in the Quarterly Review. The neigh- offending passages were editorial inbors naturally relieved their feelings in terpolations, which may be recognized gossip. So this wonderful piece of as out of harmony with the general Hugli Brontë was after all, it seemed, tenor of the article. This theory was a “bad woman,”— that was the popu- first put forward some three years ago lar version at Ballynaskeagh of the in the Daily News; and Dr. Wright critic's judgment. You conceive the has come independently to the same wrath of the relations. Uncle Hugh, conclusion. If, as would be probable, with something of Wuthering the interpolations were Lockhart's, the Heights” in his Brontë blood, felt apparition of Hugh Brontë and his himself called to be the avenger of the blackthorn may bave served him for a