Even still

I sometimes think even if Jesus and his mum weren’t a physical ten, they’re still morally above people or regarded as such. To put it this way, even if you’re rich and famous you’re still capable of being a jerk, pervert and the like. Even if you’re good looking, you’re not above your own vices.

Alternately speaking, even if somebody’s ugly they’re not any less of a person. You could have hypertrichosis and still be a productive religious member. You could be fat and still care for cats and dogs in churches and monasteries. God isn’t lookist by the way.

Even if you’re ugly you’re still a productive citizen and a good person. So to speak you could be attractive but deal with crippling mental health issues. Or ugly but well-adjusted. But that would involve realising something.

Twenty years in the Church (Google Books)

CHAPTER XI.

HISTORY OF A NEW PARISH, AND THE WAYS AND MEANS BY WHICH A CHURCH, AFTER TWENTY YEARS’ TALKING, WAS BUILT AT LAST.

A Land rich in hospitals shows there is charity somewhere, and a land rich in churches shows that there is piety somewhere; but it by no means follows, that every good institution was the immediate work of a good motive or a good man.

St. John’s Church, in the new district of Lachford, is quite a case in point. “Never,” said Mr. Burcham, “did I see so much of the corrupt motives of human nature as in getting up that church. Lachford was a close borough—some drunken freemen, and some sharp attorneys, who led them like brutes by the chain of their vices, could return two members to Parliament. Beer decided the freemen; the freemen decided the election.

Lachford was also close in another respect: old Dr. Vine had had it all to himself for many years—a very good man out of the pulpit, a very useless man in. He preached Tillotsonian sermons through an eyeglass, and through his nose: still there was no alternative; for, those who drank “Church and State” felt it more than their politics were worth to go anywhere else, however desirous they might be. Strange, horrible things were done in those days. “In turning out an old chest in the Town Hall,” said the clerk, “what do you think it was brimful of? Why, certificates of A B or C D having received the Sacrament so as to be eligible for office under the old Test Act!”—The Dean Rural visiting the same church was answered by the Rector himself, when complaining of the dust and cobwebs, “Why, the fact is, our sexton is such a drunken sot we can do no better I”

Then, Lachford Church was very heavy for the voice; and as the Doctor had little energy, and read in a most drowsy and monotonous manner, the service was as sleepy a performance as can well be imagined. One old woman, whom the Doctor was visiting in a kind and consoling way — for, with all the errors of my brethren, by the bedside even of the dying pauper I am proud to declare that even the worst of us is seen to some advantage—said, “Sir, I haven’t had half a night’s sleep this week, but please God I hear one of your sermons next Sunday, then I knows I shall have a good nap.” This story circulated widely in a sense less complimentary than the poor woman intended.

To all this stagnation, if we add the fact that there were some 5000 souls under this one pastor, and only the few who were literary ever heard him preach in their own tongue, we shall not be surprised to find that while the Church party in Lachford had gone on talking about building one new church, the Dissenters had actually built five new chapels.

I said there was piety “somewhere,” or we never

MESSRS. BURCHAM AND CHALLEN. 295

should have had our new church after all. So, every year the piety of the Bishop dictated a hint at the spiritual destitution of Lachford. Then the piety of the Archdeacon suggested another hint. These dignitaries used to be received at the Rectory, as also was “the deputation” from the societies, all very hospitably; so, sometimes they, and sometimes any other clergyman, who had happened to put a note of admiration in his Clergy List opposite the name of the one Lachford and the one Church!—or, opposite the one Dr. Vine and 5000 souls! also inquired if no new church were in contemplation.

The piety of each of these parties, I say, came in aid. In course of time newspaper paragraphs more and more frequently announced church building in other places—ay, and in other parts of the same diocese: so, all conspired to say that things could not remain as they were—not for decency’s sake, not for proper public spirit. There were not a few good Christian people whose piety also helped the cause; but the greater help was when the public spirit came into play, with bustling self-importance and neck-and-neck rivalry—no weak powers in a country town.

It so happened, fortunately, that Mr. Burcham the schoolmaster, and his friend Mr. Challen, the timbermerchant, were churchwardens at the same time. Mr. Burcham was always praising Mr. Challen, and Mr. Challen as frequently lauded the public spirit of Mr. Burcham; and one day, over a friendly glass, some one said, “Now if this long-talked-of church doesn’t come to something in your year of office, gentlemen, it never will at all.” A short pithy sentence has something ominous and something stirring in it; so this mere quiz and banter acted on the ambition of this dealer in timber and this flogger of boys, like the witch’s salutation in Macbeth. “Then,” said Mr. Burcham, “I should like to be the man to lay the foundation-stone.” “And I,” said Mr. Challen, “would give 20/. to put the weathercock on the spire.”

From that hour Messrs. Burcham and Challen vowed they would immortalise themselves. “They didn’t mind if they did something the world called rash.” It was rash—very rash, indeed—and much moral courage was required at that time of day for such men to give anything above 51. for a church. If the recorded fact that “This was built when Caius and Manlius were consuls,” looked well in ancient times, what greater honour than a black board and gold letters bracketing the brotherly names of Burcham and of Challen? So they went about and talked for some few days about there being no public spirit in the town—meaning, of course, that they engrossed it all in their own persons; and eventually, after some conference with the Rector, Mr. Challen, being mayor, called a public meeting, with long notice, “to consider the propriety of having a new church to relieve the spiritual destitution of the poor of Lachford.”

Meanwhile, two or three more, to whom “time was no object,” seeing they rarely did anything with it, were added to their councils: and then Mr. Burcham gave a cabinet-dinner to Mr. Challen, and Mr. Challen had a yet larger party for Mr. Burcham. “Success to the new church,” was drunk: as also “Church and State,” which Mr. Burcham hoped never might dissolve partner

MIXED MOTIVES POWERFUL. 297

ship: though, probably, whereabouts they were joined, and the precise cuts that would part them, and which had the best of the bargain, he had never inquired.

After these two dinners, the new church had come to be talked of so much, that our churchwardens seemed taken at their word, and pledged in honour, as publicspirited men, to carry it through. They began for the honour of the borough, and were obliged to go on for the honour of themselves. In politics they were Tories—not that either of them could very accurately rehearse the articles of his political belief—few Lachford people could; but they voted on the Tory side, and were shown up at every slip in The Whig, a Dissenters’ paper. So, soon there appeared an article, saying that “the Church party of Lachford having, like Rip Van Winkle, been sound asleep for the last twenty years, was likely to be thoroughly roused up by a Tory Mayor and a Tory Schoolmaster, the latter ambitious of laying the first stone; but the Mayor, with his every-day eye to the main chance, had bargained to put a bran new weathercock (typical of his own political career) on the top of the spire, as soon as ever—not before—the said spire was built.—Very generous of him, no doubt.”

Soon after, the Tory paper replied to their “foulmouthed contemporary” in a way that pledged the whole Tory party to back up the Mayor.

By this time there was a new motive power, a new stream running through the town of Lachford; or let us say, a new current and a valuable trade-wind had set in. So, the masons, the architects, the builders, and the owners of building-land, were not long in swelling this stream and in adding their puff to this trade-wind, on purpose that it might turn their little machinery, or swell their sails, and bring grist to their respective mills. But, of all eye teeth, those of the landowners were set the sharpest. Every damp pit for “rubbish to be shot” rose wonderfully in value; as also did quarry-stone; and owners grew churchmen and charitable all in a day.

One man, whose field seemed to be the identical place that Deucalion and Pyrrha strewed with stone, seemed wonderfully liberal in offering part as a present for the church, though Mr. Challen winked and said a church would give tenfold value to the remainder.

Another said he would subscribe 50/. if the church were built on his ground; at the same time asking a price to repay the 50/. and something more. And as to the stone that was offered, some of it was quite a geological curiosity, and a fine exemplification of what building-stone ought not to be.

Homer’s race of “inventive men” is not extinct. The inventive powers of half the town and trade of Lachford were tried to turn this move to their own private account, and with just as little regard for the church as the turnspit dog has for the cook. If it is a sign something is going to happen when men talk to each other at the corners of the street, all was going well no doubt: for, Lachford people talked of nothing else. Indeed, the new church was a positive gain in that dull town, if it were only to divert and ventilate the people’s mind; for “there never was such a place for talking about each other’s concerns as our town of Lachford.”

Lachford diversions were rarities. Lachford fair was

PUTTING ON THE SCREW. 299

a time to look forward to, certainly, as also was the fair ball, where the county quadrille kept as clear from the town quadrille as if there were a dread of some epidemic. This past, there was nothing to talk of, except “how dull everything was,” up to Christmas; and then, only the fat beasts and plums and raisins, all holly and red berries, till they came to ring out the old year—as if they had had enough of the old gentleman—and to ring in the new year—as if they had everything to hope from the young one.

What wonder, then, that the idea of a Church Meeting— ay, and the Bishop to preside, supported by one of the borough members at least, and ever so many county gentlemen—that this should excite pleasurable sensations in the minds of all parties?

The day for the great Church Meeting dawned at last. Every one in the town had offered a luncheon to some friends from the country. The three Misses E. wouldn’t rest till they had prevailed on their papa, a county magistrate, to come; though, he said, he knew it would end in their getting some money out of his pocket. Then Mrs. Vine was to fill the Rectory with Mr. and Mrs. Wentworth, who “had plenty of money if they would but part with it;” Mrs. Lyte, who subscribed to everything; and Mrs. Dyne, who, she was sure, ought to subscribe, for she was the widow of a canon genteelly provided for. This coterie was specially invited to lunch with the Bishop, the Archdeacon, and the first families of the county, who would thus see that our Rector’s wife could introduce great people as well as they could.

The Mayor had a splendid luncheon in the Hall, and the timber-yard coat was taken off and the mayor’s robes put on; and little Mr. Challen was for that day allowed to hand round the old corporation tankards to the first people in the land. Then the bells were set ringing, vehicles rattled in, all the town looked out, and the excitement was pretty general that day.

Mr. Challen was a practical man, of tangible results in pounds, shillings, and pence. Mr. Burcham was the same: he delighted in what he called business, and he would stick on “extras” cruelly; but for all that, when a father turned bankrupt I have known him give the boy the run of the school and the “run of his teeth” for nothing. So there might have been worse men than these to build a church.— Well, these two gentlemen had resolved on a surprise and an impression, no less than this: —

“The Churchwardens of Lachford: 251. Mr. Challen; 251. Mr. Burcham!”

All this they kept to themselves.

Just as the clock struck two, the Bishop of Z. was ushered by the Rector into the Mayor’s room, adjoining the Hall, and he at once smiled so courteously on Mr. Challen—whose face became as red as his robes — that the little man expected the pleasure of a long and flattering conversation. But no man ever went straighter to the point than the Bishop of Z., and no man could convey more without even speaking at all. So, Mr. Challen, all in a minute, found himself drawn into a quiet corner, and heard in a most confidential whisper, “Have you any paper for subscriptions, Mr. Mayor?”

“Yes, my lord, I have a”

THE VOLUNTARY PRINCIPLE. 301

“Headed with anything, Mr. Mayor?”

“Certainly, my lord; done in a minute:—The Churchwardens of Lachford, 25/. each.”

“Allow me—The Churchwardens of Lachford, con” jointly, 50/.—thus—much better—you see. Have this paper ready till I ask for it”—still all in a whisper—and then in the same breath, aloud —” It is your time, I think, now Mr. Mayor. So, we will proceed to your Hall for this most important business.”

All this, with his lordship, was the work of half a minute. The Town Hall was crowded with persons who came, because others came, “to make a day of it,” or because the Bishop was expected, not one in twenty caring the least whether a church were built or not. The description of a public meeting in the Acts of the Apostles is true to life,—” Some cried one thing, some another; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.”

The Bishop took the chair, and, after all had joined in a Collect for Divine Aid, Mr. Challen was asked to tell the purport of the meeting, and then four or five others rose in turn, with the usual slips of paper twirling in their fingers, and enlarged on the spiritual destitution of the poor, and the efforts made for church extension in other places; and then the Bishop, with his usual tact, and a little touch of satire at the same time, spoke.

“It was, indeed, high time he was sent for. From Lachford lips he had now heard that one part of the town was as little Christian as Timbuctoo; that pews were squared and red-curtained; and the poor had been treated much like the red men of North America, giving place

before the white till they disappeared altogether. However, he must not now be severe, though Lachford had for years been the crying shame of the diocese, because the present meeting had virtually acknowledged the duty of providing for those they had so ruthlessly thrust out. And first and foremost (“Where’s that paper?” he said, aside), “here are your respected churchwardens setting a most excellent example, and one of these gentlemen also, your mayor—your mayor — yes — (as if a bright idea struck him) therefore the representative of Her Majesty; so nothing could be more in character with the present movement, for our friend Mr. Challen,” he said, slowly and gracefully, every eye in the room having time to centre its rays on the little man’s rubicund countenance, “combined Church and State in his own person. Delightful that the movement should have originated in the laity — (here was a hit at the Rector)—a fact that while it made us, in some respects, he feared, blush for the past, also gave bright hopes of the future. However, he would say no more. There had been words enough—: now, my good Christian friends, for deeds. Yes, action, action, action! and the first to ‘rush into the breach’ were (holding up the paper, and shaking and cracking it, while pulling out his eye-glass) — were —

“The Churchwardens of Lachford . . . £50.'” “Hurray!” cried Sam Richards, Mr. Challen’s foreman in the timber-yard, digging his neighbour in the ribs. “Hurray! hurray!” vociferated Mr. Burcham’s first class, who had been sucking lollipops all the time. Of course everybody then hurrayed—nothing is more catching. “Well done our side!” shouted, gruffly and half

The Church of All Saints, East Budleigh, Part 2 (Google Books)

C 8. 8i in. (1, 4.)

Single row of leaves arranged vertically, inclining alternately to right and to left, and slightly overlapping each other.

D 1. 11J. (6, modern.)

In centre a shield bearing arms of the St. Clere family (a sun countercharged). Above it, the upper half of the figure of an angel, with bare head, and facing left. Curly hair. Hands shown holding shield. Wears a loose robe, continued for a very short distance below shield. Collar and cuffs turn over. Wings displayed over each shoulder, as though attached to the head. Below a floriated scroll.

D 2. 16i in. (1, 2, 3.)
Design similar to C 7.

D 3. 17 in. (2, 5.)

Divided into two squares. Upper sub-divided by bend dexter, lower by bend sinister. The interspaces occupied by floriated ornaments like half flowers.

D 4. 16f in. (1, 3.)

Design somewhat similar to B 4, except that the half circle is placed at the upper part, and of vesica shape.

D 5. 16J in. (1, 3, 5.)

Two unequal-sized square panels: upper (larger) similar to corresponding one of B 3. Lower has an architectural flower.

D 6. 16f in. (1, 2, 3.)

Upright double symmetrical leaf-like scroll ornament.

D 7. 12 in. (1, 3.)

Divided by oblique lines into five compartments, three being oblique squares, and two triangular (above and below), occupied by floriated ornaments.

D 8. 6 in. (1, 2, 3.)

Plain roundels, arranged vertically, and touching each other. Border on one side only. Is the narrowest pewend in the church.

E 1. 12 in. (4, 6.)

Full length figure of an angel, with wings, three-quarter face looking to left. Long loose habit reaching to the feet; high up in the neck and with loose sleeves—no hands shown.

Bears a shield (in centre of panel) containing arms of the St. Clere family. Lower fifth, contains a square formal architectural leaf.2

E 2. 16 in. (4)

Divided into two squares. In the lower is an architectural flower, with the petals much crumpled. The upper is divided by a cross saltire, containing formal half flowers, similar in character to that in the lower division.

E 3. 16 in. (1, 3, 7.) Vide plate 5.

Large-sized female head and neck in upper half, in profile, looking to right; wearing close-fitting cap, completely enveloping hair and ears. Neck rests in an ornament shaped like a cornucopaeia, and terminating in a flower. On the restored portion the letters A. W. are incised.

E 4. 16f in. (1, 2, 3, 4.)

Double symmetrical scroll-like ornament. Carving poor and shallow.

E 5. 16f in. (1, 3, 4.)

Two square divisions. Upper occupied by two vertical fish-like bodies, placed symmetrically, and facing each other. Mouths wide open, showing teeth; upper jaws connected by a ring. Between the two is a vertical ornamental standard. Lower divided by bend dexter, with floriated ornaments in the spaces.

E 6. 16f in. (1.)

Of similar design to C 7.

E 7. 11J in. (1, 4, 7.)

Leaves arranged vertically and alternately—terminating in an alligator-like head, with open mouth displaying large teeth.

E 8. 9 in. (1, 4.)
Stalk and leaves.

F 1. llf in. (5.) Vide plate 6, a.

At base, a sitting figure almost nude (has a sash round the waist), with a grotesque face. Upholds a shield, charged above with a greyhound current (rather mutilated), below an owl. In upper part of panel is a helmet inclined, and surmounted with crest of a dog. Eepresents the arms of the Ford family. The Fords were related by marriage to the St. Clere family. a Vide illustration in D. A. xxii. 280.

F 2. 16| in. (No stamp mark.)

Panel divided into spaces by a cross saltire above and below, united in the centre. The middle interspace occupied by a full face with arabesque border. The other divisions contain floriated ornaments. Two formal flowers at base.

F 3. 16 J in. (4.)

Two and a half circular compartments, sub-divided into vesica-shaped spaces (6 in all) containing floriated ornaments.

F 4. 16 J in. (No stamp mark.)

Upper half contains female figure to the waist. Body in full front, but head in profile to the left, and covered with cap of folded material, fitting closely. Under garment rises high in the neck, and is fastened by a plain band-like brooch. Tight-fitting dress, cut low and square in the front, with a loose piece over the shoulders like a sash. In lower half a decorated scroll-like ornament.

F 5. 161 in- 0. 2, 3, 4, 5.)

Long saltire-wise cross. Upper division contains an ungainly-looking head with long hair, and wearing a flat cap (coronet ?). Face in profile to the left. The other spaces contain floriated ornaments.

F 6. 111 in. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5.)

Panel divided symmetrically into spaces, formed by half circles in apposition at their convex surfaces, and terminating above in a circular compartment containing a head in profile, similar to, but smaller than that in F 5. All the spaces occupied by formal floriated ornaments. Apparently by the same carver as F 5.

F 7. 8 in. (1, 2, 3, 5.) Vide plate 6, b.

In upper fourth of panel the head and shoulders of a female figure (?), remarkably well designed and carved. The face in profile to the left. Head covered with a close-fitting decorated cap, concealing the hair and ears. Over this, tilted forwards, is a hat of soft material, with turned-up brim, and decorated with a feather. It is retained in place by a band, passing round the back of the head. Dress high up in neck. Tightfitting jacket, with shoulder-pieces. In lower threefourths a branched foliated stem. Border of similar design to A 2 and A 6.

F 8. 17 in. (1, 3, 5.) Vide plate 4.

A half-length female figure, shown above a hatch or hall-door (?), occupies the upper part of the panel. Face in profile, looking towards the left, at the representation of a large bird, trussed ready for cooking, and suspended in the left-hand upper corner. Head covered with a close-fitting cap, formed of one piece folded, or of bands, united at their edges. In shape it is similar to the diamond headdress of the Tudor period, there being a slight angle in the centre of the forehead; the border passes almost directly backwards to the temples, from whence two lappets project forwards, towards the lower part of the cheek (covering the ears), the hair being shown in the angle so formed. The cap has a decorated edging (of lace ?). A wide ornamental band or carcanet surrounds the neck. The gown, cut low and square in front, displays a portion of the under – garment. There is a broad-shaped waistband; this and the edging of the gown are of decorated material; otherwise the latter is plain. The sleeves are rolled up above the elbow, so as to leave the arms bare. A platter is held in the left hand, while the right is employed in grasping the tail of a dog, occupying the lower part of the panel. This animal has a long body, with smooth skin; the tail is long, and so is the head, with its long flap ears. It is apparently intended to represent a turnspit dog, although the forelegs are not depicted of the form generally possessed by that race.3

F 9. 16J in. (1.)

Very large leaves. Lower part of panel plain. Border unlike that of any other, consisting of plain, undecorated roundels.

F 10. 16f in. (1.)

Long bend sinister, with contorted foliated ornaments in the divisions.

F 11. 15J in. (1, 3, 4.)

Two squares, each containing a large formal architectural leaf.

* Vide illustration and description in Jesse’s Anecdotes of Dogs (Bonn’s ed.), 418. The dog worked inside a hollow drum like :\ squirrel in its cage, and when once in motion had to continue running. ” When we consider that a large solid piece of beef would take at least three hours before it was properly roasted, we may form some idea of the task a dog had to perform in turning a wheel during that time.” In Chambers’s Book of Days (i. 490) there is an engraving of a dog so employed.

F12. 12 in. (4.)

Two squares; upper divided by bend sinister, with floriated ornaments; lower contains full flower.

G 1. 16J in. (1, 6.)
Massive leaves.

G 2. 17 in. (1, 3, 4.)

Interlacing stalks, not symmetrical.

G 3. 16| in. (1, 3.)

Scroll, with flower-like ornaments; in the upper left angle a small face upturned, with wing-like ornaments on either side.

G 4. 16J in. (No stamp-mark.)

Interlacing bands or stalks, not symmetrical.

G 5. 16f in. (1, 3.)

A large bearded head in profile, facing left, situated in the concavity of an arabesque ornament, and terminating in a scroll-like decoration. It bears some resemblance to, and has been called, the decorated head of an Indian.

G6. 17 in. (1,4.)

Long bend sinister dividing floriated ornaments.

G 7. 16f in. (4, 6.)

A large shield of oblique form, containing the arms of the St. Clere family, with various quarterings (of the Courtenay, Chiverton, and Yarty families). At base, a contorted, scroll-like ornament. Above it is a halflength figure, with face in profile to the right; head covered with a close-fitting cap, with a protecting knob behind. Habit rather loose, folded across the breast, and with a deeply cut scalloped border. Upper part of sleeve puffed, rest closely-fitting, with turned-up cuff.

G8. 17 in. (1,4.)

General design and treatment similar to B 4.

G 9. 16J in. (1, 4, 6.)

Upright fish-like figure, terminating below in an ordinary fish tail; above in the head of an animal with mouth open, showing large tongue. Scroll-like ornaments attached to lower part of body.

Not a Mary Sue

Honestly, characters like Carol Danvers aren’t Mary Sues. But in the sense that whereas fanfic Mary Sues are loved and arguably this treated well from the get-go to the end in a way, Carol Danvers was often a punching bad until recently. If you’ve got a character who’s been underestimated and mistreated for so long that it’s about time to treat them nicely.

That’s not to say Mary Sues aren’t always treated nicely, flawless or whatever but there’s an air of idealisation (that’s if such a character’s supposed to represent the fan) that escapes Carol Danvers. Danvers, to my knowledge, wasn’t meant to be a fan and had lots of problems like alcoholism before. Not only that, she was also treated badly.

This isn’t because I like her but because I don’t think she’s a Mary Sue at all.

History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic, Volume 2 (Google Books)

Gran Cardenal, lib. 2, cap. 66. who graduated at the college of

The doctor Pedro Salazar de Santa Cruz. Mendoza’s biography of his illus- 6 ” Non hoc,” says Tacitus with trious relative is a very fair speci- truth, “praecipuum amicorum mumen of the Spanish style of book- nus est, prosequi defunctum ignavo making in ancient times. One event questu: sed qua? voluerit memiseems to suggest another with nisse, qnas mandaverit exsequi.” about as much cohesion as the Annales, lib. 2, sect. 71. rhymes of ” The House that Jack ‘Peter Martyr, Opus Epist., built.” There is scarcely a place epist. 143. — Carbajal, Anales, or personage of note, that the grand MS., afio 1494. — Salazar de Mencardinal was brought in contact doza, Cron. del Gran Cardenal, lib. with in the course of his life, whose 2, cap. 45.

history is not made the theme of A foundling hospital does not

profuse dissertation. Nearly fif- seem to have come amiss in Spain,

ty chapters are taken up, for ex- where, according to Salazar, the In one of her interviews with the dying minister, Chapter

the queen requested his advice respecting the nom- —

ination of his successor. The cardinal, in reply, earnestly cautioned her against raising any one of the principal nobility to this dignity, almost too exalted for any subject, and which, when combined with powerful family connexions, would enable a man of factious disposition to defy the royal authority itself, as they had once bitter experience in the case of Archbishop Carillo. On being pressed to name the individual, whom he thought best qualified, in every point of view, for the office, he is said to have recommended Fray Francisco Ximenez de Cisneros, a friar of the Franciscan order, and confessor of the queen. As this extraordinary personage exercised a more important control over the destinies of his country than any other subject, during the remainder of the present reign, it will be necessary to put the reader in possession of his history. 8

Ximenez de Cisneros, or Ximenes, as he is Birth or

Ximcnes.

usually called, was born at the little town of Tor

wretched parents frequently destroyed their offspring by casting them into wells and pits, or exposing them in desert places to die of famine. “The more compassionate” he observes, “laid them at the doors of churches, where they were too often worried to death by dogs and other animals.” The grand cardinal’s nephew, who founded a similar institution, is said to have furnished an asylum in the course of his life to no less than 13,000 of these little victims! Ibid., cap. 61.

8 Salazar de Mendoza, Cron. del Gran Cardenal, lib. 2, cap. 46. —. Gomez, De Rebus Gcstis, fol. 8.

The dying cardinal is said to have recommended, among other things, that the queen should repair any wrong done to Joanna Beltraneja, by marrying her with the young prince of the Asturias; which suggestion was so little to Isabella’s taste that she broke off the conversation, saying, “the good man wandered and talked nonsense.”

Part delaguna, in the year 1436,9 of an ancient but

. -— decayed family.10 He was early destined by his

parents for the church, and, after studying grammar at Alcala, was removed at fourteen to the university of Salamanca. Here he went through the regular course of instruction then pursued, devoting himself assiduously to the civil and ccinon law, and at the end of six years received the degree of bachelor in each of them, a circumstance at that time of rare occurrence.11

Rome.”. Three years after quitting the university, the young bachelor removed by the advice of his parents to Rome, as affording a better field for ecclesiastical preferment than he could find at home. Here he seems to have attracted some notice by the diligence with which he devoted himself to his professional studies and employments. But still he was far from reaping the golden fruits presaged by his kindred; and at the expiration of six years he was suddenly recalled to his native country by the death of his father, who left his affairs in so embar

9 It is singular, that Flechier should have blundered some twenty years, in the date of Ximenes’s birth, which he makes 1457. (Hist. de Ximencs, liv. 1, p. 3.) It is not singular, thatMarsollier should. Histoire du Ministcre du Cardinal Ximenez, (Toulouse, 1694,) liv. 1, p. 3.

10 The honorable extraction of
Ximenes is intimated in Juan Ver-
gara’s verses at the end of the
Complutensian Polyglot:

“Nomine Ctinerfiu clari de atirpe poren-
ium,

“Et mentis Ihctua darter Ipse aula.”
Fray Pedro de Quintanilla y

Mendoza makes a goodly genealogical tree for his hero, of which King Pelayo, King Pepin, Charlemagne, and other royal worthies are the respectable roots. (Procemia Dedjcatoria, pp. 5-35.) According to Gonzalo ae Oviedo, his father was a poor hidalgo, who, having spent his little substance on the education of his children, was obliged to take up the profession of an advocate. Quincuagenas, MS.

Catholic School Journal, Volume 16

Time – Volume 55 – Page 74

Briton Hadden – 1950 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
New York Greyhound Wins “Best Hound In Show” Award Professional dog handler Nate Levine poses English and … was not Alessandro Serenelli, Maria’s repentant murderer (now, after 27 years in jail, a lay brother in a Catholic monastery).
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Encyclopedia of Monasticism

William M. Johnston – 2013 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
Soon a few of these active communities began to feel a call to become integrally monastic, that is, to curtail their active involvements in order to take on enclosure, local stability, and the full Divine Office and to proclaim themselves Benedictines. … It was first located in the Isle of Dogs in London’s dockland (1896-1898) and then, from 1906 on, on Caldey Island, off the southern coast of Wales, another …
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Indiana’s Catholic Religious Communities

Jim Hillman, ‎John Murphy – 2009 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
The ministries of Catholic religious communities expand beyond the schoolhouses and hospitals to touch Catholics and … sister from Monastery Immaculate Conception provides veterinarian services for an elderly gentleman’s seeingeye dog.
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The Universal Christ: How a Forgotten Reality Can Change …

Richard Rohr – 2019 – ‎Preview – ‎More editions
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From one of the world’s most influential spiritual thinkers, a long-awaited book exploring what it means that Jesus was called “Christ,” and how this forgotten truth can restore hope and meaning to our …
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Buddha is the Center of Gravity – Page 23

Josho Sasaki – 1974 – ‎Snippet view
Once you become a Catholic monk, you have to stay in the monastery and follow its rules all your life. A Catholic monastery creates a different, separate world. … While Joshu Osho and the monk were talking, a puppy dog trotted up. The Zen …

Catholic School Journal, Volume 16

THE MONASTERY OF ST. BERNARD AND MONK

TRAINING DOGS The Monastery of St. Bernard in the Alps, is known the World over for its hospitality, its famous Dogs and its trained rescue brigade. The Dogs wander through the Mountains day and night, in search of travellers lost in the snow

or trapped by a sudden snow fall.

Each Dog carries a small keg in which

are eatables and brandy to refresh the traveller and strengthen him for his trip through the snow drifts to the Monastery. The insert shows A Monk training Dogs for rescue work in the Alps.

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To Be Director General.

Rev. Ignatius Smith, O. P., profes sor of psychology and sociology at the Dominican House of Studies, Catholic University, has been appoint ed Director General of the Holy Name Society of the United States and editor of the Holy Name Jour nal, the official publication.

Institution for Crippled Children.

St. Edmund’s Home for Crippled Children, in charge of the Sisters of Bon Secours, at Philadelphia, will be formally opened on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, when the Most Rev. Archbishop Prendergast will speak. At the pres ent time there are nearly sixty Cath olic children in non-Catholic institu tions for the crippled in Philadel phia. –

Poland’s Good Friend Is Dead. enryk Sienkiewicz, the Polish novelist, best known in this country as the author of “Quo Vadis,” is dead at Vevey, Switzerland. The novelist had devoted much of his time recent !y…to Polish relief worw. Born of a Lithuanian family at Okreya, Podla ***, about 74 years ago, Sienkiewicz *S*oved to Poland because of the ºn war, and was educated at the $.”…ity of Warsaw. In 1877, he Coth * tº the United States where with -L § he founded near Los Angeles, —j’; on the plan of Brook Farm W ike Brook Farm the settlement

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New School For Tapestry.

The Pope has founded a school of artistic tapestry at the Vatician. The Cardinal Secretary of State has writ ten to the director, Commander Peter Gentili, conveying the thanks of the Holy Father for the presentation of copies of his publication on “The Art of Tapestry.”

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New Catholic World, Volume 29 (Google Books)

IN the legends of the saints and in Holy Scripture a great stress is laid upon names. They are shown to be full of significance for the future career which they are to adorn. It will be seen in the course of these pages whether our English St. Dunstan did not justify his name in his life. Dunstan signifies a mountain and a rock,+ and in Holy Scripture a very particular meaning is attached to both, the one signifying the desire after eternal things, the other the immutability of the soul which seeks after God in the storm and whirlwind of this world.

Herstan and Kynedritha, Dunstan’s parents, were both noble. They lived in the neighborhood of Glastonbury, a monastery whereof popular tradition ascribed the foundation to angelic hands, but which at that time bore few signs of the angel’s workmanship about it, being an insignificant building in the midst of a swamp. On the feast of the Purification which preceded Dunstan’s birth his mother was assisting at the Candle Mass which gives its name to the solemnity, when suddenly the tapers of the whole congregation went out. Before conjecture had shaped itself as to the cause of the occurrence, Kynedritha’s candle enkindled as of itself, and communicated fresh light to all in the church. The sign fitly expressed the particular work of the child who was so soon to be born to enlighten not Glas

* Memorials of St. Dunstan. Edited from various MSS. by Professor Stubbs.

+ Quod et montem et petram sonat.

tonbury only, nor even the monastic order in England, but the whole Saxon nation. The child was brought into the world under the reign of Athelstan in the year 925. When he had grown up to be a boy his parents brought him to Glastonbury, in accomplishment of a promise concerning him, probably, which they had made to God. Here whilst they prayed in the church Dunstan had a dream. An old man in white, of shining appearance, conducted him round the monastery, drawing a plan of buildings which, he said, the boy should one day erect on that spot. Long years afterwards Abbot Dunstan remembered the heavenly lesson. But on this occasion he was left by his parents to be educated at Glastonbury. He seems to have been no idle scholar, but to have taken only too kindly to his studies. Irish monks, in the ardor of their philosophical pursuits, much frequented Glastonbury at that time. Under their guidance Dunstan ate and drank his fill of Holy Scripture.” The ardent boy had a soul full of poetry and the thirst for knowledge, yet his body was weaker than his desires. His overtaxed brain gave way, and he became so ill that both parents and doctors despaired of returning health. Yet God used extraordinary means to raise his young servant to life and strength. One night the sick youth got up out of his bed and left the house, meeting, says William of Malmesbury, a pack of barking dogs, who ran * William of Malmesbury, p. 257.

straight at him.” Dunstan recognized something more than a dog in one of the most savage of the troop, and he administered a sound beating with his stick, which he seems to have used the convenient precaution of taking with him. He climbed a mason’s ladder, and reached the end of his nocturnal journey, the church, by means too unaccountable to be explained. The next morning he was found asleep in a portico between two watchmen, perfectly sound and well. If the heaven-enkindled flame on the Purification denoted the coming of one who should restore light and purity to the sanctuary, the mysterious dogs and his illness so preternaturally cured may be taken as a further illustration of his energetic and powerful working. Once more Dunstan set himself to his former studies with an ardor so undiminished that its fame reached the ears of King Athelstan. He acquired a special proficiency in two sciences which apparently have no very strong analogy, music and mathematics. The harp became Dunstan’s constant companion, his relaxation, and the instrument which he was never weary of using to sing the divine praises. Dunstan’s vocation seems to us to be one of the strange things in his strange life. It might have been supposed that the extraordinary graces he had received would have naturally engendered a call to the service of the altar; but it was not so. In this case it was Dunstan’s parents who moved him to receive minor orders, lest he should

slight the evident tokens of divine

pleasure; and Dunstan agreed to

take up the yoke for fear of seem

pressed him.” But about this time, being fifteen or sixteen, he was introduced to Athelstan, who held his court in the western shires, and so managed to combine attendance on the king with service at the altar. The talented boy soon rejoiced in the highest favor shown to any courtier. His melodious harp charmed and soothed the royal spirit. In the house of a certain noble matron the same harp, untouched by human fingers, executed an antiphon to the words, “The souls of the blessed rejoice.” # In the height of Athelstan’s favor Dunstan’s purity of heart did not forsake him. As he listened to the heavenly strain he prepared his soul for tribulation. His enemies had, indeed, taken umbrage at his excellence, and they determined to get rid of him; for as long as he stayed at court he absorbed their master’s attention. They mooted an accusation of sorcery which forced Dunstan to retire; but they moreover tried to put a violent end to him and his fascinating manners. They waylaid his horse, trampled him under foot in the mud, and left him there to help himself as best he could. Dunstan managed to get up in order to gain a friend’s house which was near at hand, but he was so unsightly an object that the said friend’s dogs would have sprung upon him had not his caressing voice made them think better of it. They brought him to the house with their canine signs of approbation, wagging tails, which caused Dunstan to say in the sadness of his heart: “I see that the order of nature is reversed; for whilst my friends are as cruel as beasts, dogs are as kind as men.” After this first painful experience of court Dunstan retired to Winchester, where a near relation of his, Elfege, was bishop. Although in minor orders, Dunstan had renounced neither the world nor the flesh,” so that when Elfege urged him to become a monk he put the bishop off with playful answers, sometimes even pretending to see no merit in the religious life. Good Bishop Elfege, however, took the matter seriously to heart, and he prayed earnestly that Dunstan might be brought to graver thoughts by bodily sickness. His petition was heard. Dropsy, or king’s evil, had the merit of working a thorough change in Dunstan, who rose from his bed with the resolution to embrace the counsels. In the silence and solitude of Glastonbury he was to prepare for his future career-that is, in order to become the counsellor of kings he was to begin by learning obedience. William of Malmesbury paints in one single line a graphic picture of his working at the already ancient monastery : “There he applies his hand to work, his lips to prayer, his soul to heaven.”f Another biographer describes the cell which Dunstan built for himself at Glastonbury, though, he says, “I cannot find a word which will at all express it, as it was much more like a tomb than a human abode.”f It was not more than fifteen feet long by two and a half wide, its height about that of a man. An aperture in the wall served as a door and a window; but, concludes the monk biographer, “the wide and spacious walls of cities may not be compared to this narrow cell, by the grace of

ing ungracious to those who so
* William of Malmesbury, p. 256.

* Ne praecipientibus durus videretur.
t “Gaudent in coelis animae sanctorum.”
: P. 26o.

* Irrepserat enim jam adolescenti voluptatum fomes.—Ibid.

t “Ibi manus applicabat operi, labia psalmis, animos coelis,” p. 262. … + Vita, auctore Osberno, p. 83.

which many forms of disease are now cured and the fury of demons is assuaged.” In the meantime Athelstan died at Gloucester, in 941, and was succeeded by his brother, Edmund I. How long a time elapsed before Dunstan was again called to court does not transpire, but we should place it not earlier than 944, when he would still have been full young to act as a royal counsellor. But now he had the additional strength and maturity which are gained from a religious training, and there is some difference noticeable between the harp-playing youth whose music had found the way to Athelstan’s heart, and the professed monk whose motto at Edmund’s court seems to have been, “Render to Caesar those things which are Caesar’s, and to God those things which are God’s.” The king’s special choice of Dunstan was, it must be remembered, the sole ground for the influence which he exercised over the affairs of the nation. His whole soul was bent upon a strict administration of justice, which cardinal virtue he found in a singularly languid condition. In this matter he was altogether as good as his word, causing transgressors to be punished with severity; but, not unnaturally perhaps, the courtiers revolted. The ardent monk. with his sweeping reforms could not be tolerated, and Edmund, forgetting his own gracious invitation, hastily ordered Dunstan to quit the court. Shortly afterwards there was a royal hunt at Cheddar. In the heat of the sport the king pursued the deer over hill and dale till at length he was led to the brink of a steep declivity, and could no longer rein in his horse. On the point of certain death, he bethought himself, as is the wont

of men at these critical moments, that he had wronged no man but Dunstan, his friend, whom he had condemned without hearing. He resolved that, if God would save him by Dunstan’s merits, he would make good his bad treatment. He had hardly come to this determination when the horse, whose hoofs were already on the edge of the descent, became as tractable as a lamb; the king regained his mastery over the animal, and was delivered from all danger. His gratitude was royal. Without any delay he called for Dunstan and proposed that they should proceed together to Glastonbury. Arrived there, he offered up fervent prayers of thanksgiving, and, pressing Dunstan’s hand with great affection, he led him to the vacant abbatial chair, and proclaimed him abbot, promising at the same time to supply all possible needs from his treasury. This event is referred by Professor Stubbs to the year 946. The date of Dunstan’s ordination is very uncertain, though the event was rendered noteworthy by Elfege’s prophecy. Dunstan received Holy Orders from the same Bishop of Winchester who had taken so paternal an interest in his vocation, and who now bestowed a similar dignity on two others. He distinctly foretold the future career of the three youths anointed as priests of God by his episcopal hands. “To-day,” he said, “by the grace of God I have imposed hands on three men, the first of whom will be the archbishop of Canterbury; the second will one day succeed me in this see; the third will throw off the veil of religion and end his life in a mire of licentiousness.”* Even the

*Auctore Osberno, p. 262.

\

number three will not always exclude a Judas.

To pass over in silence Dunstan’s holy charms to gain the hearts of great ladies to God would be to omit a very characteristic feature of his life. A certain Ethelfleda, who was, it seems, related to King Athelstan, having once listened to Dunstan’s burning words, was so enraptured with the sweetness of eternal life that she could not make up her mind to return home or to leave the spot, but chose to live and die near to blessed Dunstan.* In our own days many would be the criticisms on such a step. It might be called running after a priest, or a silly attachment which should be nipped in the bud by its object; but friendships vary in their nature somewhat after the fashion of souls, and if our Lord drew all men after the odor of his ointments, why should not his servants have the power of discerning the true love of God from the idle seekers after a vain-glorious excitement ? Ethelfleda then established herself in the vicinity of Glastonbury, giving herself up to prayer and good works. When the hour of her departure drew near she sent for her holy confessor, and, having made her confession with many tears, Dunstan exhorted her to detach herself from all earthly things, that the prince of this world might find no part in her heart. He returned to Glastonbury for the night, and there in the church had a vision of the Mystic Dove, who entered with great brightness into the house of the dying Ethelfleda. The vision caused him to go back to his royal penitent, whom he heard conversing behind her curtain with an invisible guest. Who, Dunstan asked, was her visitor?

* P. 86.

It was God, answered Ethelfleda in quiet ecstasy, who came to take away all her fears of death. The noble lady’s last recorded words to Dunstan explain what kind of friendship theirs had been : “I thank you heartily, my dearest and best friend, because, owing to your advice and to your prayers, I am now going to God. There is one thing which I still ask, and beg for if I may, as a last favor: that at early dawn you would bring me the precious Body and Blood of our Lord, that, fortified by these life-giving mysteries, I may not be confounded in the gate when I shall speak to my enemies.”* When on the morrow Dunstan had car. ried her last Communion to Ethelfleda, she happily departed to eternal rest. It was during the peaceful days at Glastonbury that William of Malmesbury places Dunstan’s famous encounter with the devil which has given rise to the story that the saint “pinched his nose.” The young monk then-for the incident properly occurred before his nomination as abbot-being very clever with his fingers, was often solicited by the neighboring people to do a little smith’s work for them. One evening, as he was thus engaged, the devil, under the appearance of a petitioner, appeared at his window. Dunstan did not discover the fraud, and set himself to do as he was asked, when the devil began to insinuate very bad thoughts, though always under the gloss of a certain decorum. The saint accordingly heated his tongs and caught the arch-deceiver by the jaw. “Nor would the pestilent creature have escaped,” quaintly remarks William of Malmesbury, “unless he had resorted to his

usual artifices and melted away in the night air.”* It is a curious fact that at a retired village in Protestant England the tongs wherewith “St. Dunstan pinched the devil’s nose” are still produced as a sort of victorious trophy. { Dunstan’s dream as a child will be remembered. Thrice he received supernatural warnings of his future career. As a boy he was shown his work as abbot of Glastonbury; as a monk he again looked on a sort of panorama of his life in the silence of the night; and once more, at King Edred’s court, he had the most significant vision of all concerning his future primacy. These particular signs have the merit of showing Dunstan’s vivid faith in the communion. of saints; for in general dreams form the subject of our daily thoughts. A monk called Wulfred, whom a close friendship had united to Dunstan, died. After a short time he appeared in his earthly form to his friend, and foretold to him all the events of his life in detail. But Dunstan was of a practical mind, and heard the prophecy with caution, saying in his characteristic way: “These are fine things which you promise, but by what sign am I to trust them?”f Then Wulfred seemed to take him by the hand to the place before the church which was almost entirely covered with the tombs of the dead. “Here,” he replied, “a priest shall be buried in three days who is now perfectly sound. His body shall be brought from the western side to be buried.” Having uttered these words, he vanished, and Dunstan

* P. 88. voL. xxix.–51

awoke. On the morrow he had
scarcely recounted the dream to
* P. 263.
+ At Mayfield, in Sussex.
+ P. 265.

the other monks when a priest came to the monastery seemingly for no other purpose than to fix upon his tomb. Having seen the small space still left unoccupied in the church-yard, he asked the monks as a great favor that his body might there be laid to rest. He had hardly departed before he was taken ill, and in three days Wulfred’s prophecy was accomplished to the letter. The young abbot now remembered the specific vision he had had as to the enlargement of Glastonbury, and, with his eminently practical mind, he set himself to add a tower and aisles to the church, whilst at the same time he bethought himself of the monks who should pass from their earthly to their heavenly paradise. He enclosed the cemetery, which became under his rule “like a beautiful garden secluded from all noise or thoroughfare,” * where the bodies of the monks might truly be said to rest in peace. But Dunstan’s ardent spirit rejoiced rather in the spiritual weal of the living than in the temporary repose of the dead. From all parts vocations flocked to Glastonbury. It was the centre which formed holy monks, abbots, and bishops who perpetuated Dunstan’s example throughout England. He had a strong comprehension of the axiom that vice is fostered by ignorance, and to this conviction must be traced the impulse given to learning under his rule. Some notion may be gained of the scheme carried out at Glastonbury by citing the example of Ethelwold, one of the monks thus formed by Dunstan. About this Ethelwold Dunstan had one of his significant dreams. He thought that within the monastic enclosure he saw a * P. 272.

tree whereof the branches embraced the whole of England. They were laden with monastic habits, but one at the extreme top appeared to be larger and more prominent than all the rest. The abbot gazed and was perplexed, when a venerable old priest in his dream thus enlightened him: “The tree,” he said, “is this island; the habit at the top signifies the religious merit of thy monk Ethelwold. The others are the souls of those monks whom he shields from the devil by his piety, and whom he protects under the shadow of his righteousness.”* These words are full of meaning when it is considered how many Ethelwolds were formed by Glastonbury. Under these circumstances it can hardly be wondered at if Dunstan’s relations with the devil were of a somewhat unpleasant character. The persecution he endured from “that pestilent creature” bears a strong resemblance to that inflicted in our own times on Jean Baptiste Vianney, the holy curé of Ars. Thrice in one night he was assailed by the devil, who appeared to him under three different forms; but Dunstan, whose courage is proved by the legend itself, quietly laughed him to scorn for changing his form. The abbot had a brother, Wulfric by name. He died, and on the day of the funeral, for some cause which is not specified, Dunstan stayed behind with one boy, who survived to recount the extraordinary fact which took place. They were walking in the court, awaiting the return of the monks from the cemetery, when an immense stone was flung at Dunstan. It carried off his cap or cowl, rolling heavily beyond him; but the unseen agency which had hurled it * P. 273.

was fully revealed when the monks came to examine it. The stone could hardly be lifted from the ground, and was of a kind entirely unknown in Somersetshire. Soon after the accession of Edred to the throne in 947, Dunstan seems to have taken up his partial abode at the king’s palace, dividing his time between Glastonbury and the court. During the nine years of his reign Edred suffered from the most persistent ill-health, which caused him to look to Dunstan as to his right hand for the administration of his kingdom, and he made him his treasurer. According to William of Malmesbury, those were palmy days for England. This time Dunstan met with no opposition from the spirit of envy and unrighteousness. He possessed the king’s ear and governed his counsels, and practically worked out the Biblical precept, “Fear God and honor the king.” Edred wished very much to see his favorite Dunstan a bishop, but the prime minister was inflexible even to the prayers of Queen Elfgiva, the king’s mother, who had been charged by him to use her powers of persuasion. “Be assured, lady,” said Dunstan, “that I will never become a bishop during your son’s lifetime.”* However, Dunstan’s high-minded resolution was not apparently ratified in heaven. The following night he had a curious dream. He seemed to be returning from a pilgrimage to Rome at a spot from which its walls are visible, and which used in consequence to be called by pilgrims the Mountain of Joy, as the place whence they could descry the bourne of their desires. Here he was met by the apostles St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. Andrew,

each holding a sword. On those of St. Paul and St. Andrew their names were written, but St. Peter’s sword contained the words in golden letters, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.” Whilst the apostles offered their swords to Dunstan, St. Andrew greeted him as a special friend, and, partly in allusion to his name, partly to give a point to his words, he said, “Take up my yoke, for I am meek and humble of heart.” Then Dunstan received a sharp blow on his hand from St. Peter, with the intimation that this was the punishment for the bishopric refused, and that in future he was not to be so stubborn. After this chastisement Dunstan awoke, and inquired of a monk sleeping near who it was that had struck him. Upon a negative answer he said confidently: “Now, then, I know, my son, who it was.” He did not sleep again that night, but passed it in prayer till the early dawn, when he imparted his dream to Edred. The king, possessed by a spark of prophecy, explained the words written on St. Peter’s sword as signifying Dunstan’s future promotion to the archbishopric of Canterbury, where the principal church is dedicated to our Lord.” But in spite of the familiarity apparent between the king and his chief counsellor, Dunstan was absent at the time of Edred’s death. The sickly king was carried off suddenly at last, and Dunstan had his wish not to be burdened with fresh cares whilst his ailing master required all his energy. On his way to the royal death-bed Dunstan received a supernatural intimation that the king “slept in God,” + and enjoined his companions to pray for Edred’s soul. When he reached the palace he found a sad instance of the proverbial self-seeking of courtiers. They, who had formerly flattered their master during his life, fied from his corpse, which could give them nothing. Dunstan mourned over the sight. He and his monks watched by the royal remains till they were buried with becoming honors at Winchester. The abbot retired to Glastonbury for a short breathing-time. “Yet, although,” says his biographer, “he had chosen Mary’s part, he did not disdain Martha’s solicitude.” * A beam from a tower in course of erection was stopped in its descent by the holy sign of the cross which Dunstan made upon the air; but whereas the good rejoiced at his miraculous power, the wicked were thereby moved to greater envy of his gifts. With Edred’s decease in 955 a new phase begins in the life of Dunstan. Hitherto he had served deserving sovereigns, and had been generally treated by them with grateful appreciation; but now an unworthy successor ascended the throne of Alfred. Edwy or Edwin the Fair, whose short reign began by profligacy (956) and ended in grief (959), brought discord into his kingdom by bad and ambitious women. The scene of his coronation has been often described. The spiritual lords of England, its bishops and abbots, were gathered together for the ceremony, but, as they sat afterwards at the banquet, the king suddenly retired. A cer

*P. 279.

* P. 281. t “Modo,” inquit, “Edredus rex obdormivit in Domino.”

tain woman, Elgiva, who was near

ly related to him, and her daughter

had inspired the lust of the king,

and for their company he forsook

the great ones of his land. Who *P. 282.

would go and call him back to his duty ? To do so implied the hatred and revenge of a bad woman in power, which revenge would last as long as the king’s passion for her. Dunstan and his kinsman, Bishop Kinsige, offered themselves for the perilous task, but it was Dunstan who used a gentle violence with the king. The crown of England was on the floor, strange emblem of its wretched possessor. Replacing it on the king’s head, Dunstan drew him by the arm back to the banqueting-hall; but Elgiva, turning to him with a dreadful look, exclaimed: “Because you are impertinent enough to draw the king away from the couch whether he will or no, I will take care that you never forget this day nor me as long as I can help it.” * The queen’s words—for she attained the object of her ambition— were not vain. Her vengeance pursued Dunstan and made England an unsafe place for the courageous abbot of Glastonbury. Dunstan set sail for Flanders, narrowly escaping the loss of his eyes—a punishment ordered by Elgiva to be inflicted on her enemy. At that time the monastic life in Flanders flourished under Count Arnulf, whose father had married a daughter of Alfred; and thus it came to pass that on different sides of the German Ocean two of his grandsons, Edred and Arnulf, were simultaneously carrying on monastic revival. Dunstan’s cause, therefore, was warmly adopted by Arnulf, who received him at Ghent and allotted him a monastery, where, far from being looked upon as a stranger or an exile, he was treated as a friend and a superior.f Aless kind treatment, as he learned by revelation, would have been his at Glaston*P.284. + P. 235.

bury. He seemed one night to be in the choir there, and to hear his monks singing an antiphon from the words of Job: “Why have you detracted the words of truth, whereas there is none of you that can reprove me?” but they could not complete the chapter, in spite of various attempts which they made. Then Dunstan urged them to go on : “However, finish what you have begun.” But he heard a voice saying: “These words are hidden from them because they shall never carry out what is in their thoughts—that is, to depose thee from thy post in this monastery.” His flight took place in the year 956. In the meantime affairs did not prosper with Edwy. The Mercians revolted against him, and peace was only arrived at by the division of the kingdom (958), Edwy retaining the country south of the Thames only, and his brother Edgar taking the rest of England. Edgar was but sixteen when he became king, and already he showed some decided character by recalling Dunstan, the devoted friend of his family. After Dunstan’s return to England his life shapes itself into two principal aspects—his work as an ecclesiastical reformer, and his labors as a politician who had before his mind’s eye a great principle to which he was always and singularly faithful. It is only from this double point of view that we can form an adequate notion of the man, and defend his memory from the imputations of those who have pretended to trace a fanatical hand in his reforms, or an inordinate desire to meddle with state affairs in his undoubted capacity for guiding the counsels of a young king. More weight was in the first instance

given to his position by the episcopal consecration which he received on his return from Flanders. According to a custom in force at the time, he was probably consecrated a shire-bishop, pending the vacancy of a see. Three years elapsed between this and his final dignity as primate; for in 959, after the death of Edwy, his mysterious dream was fully accomplished and he became Archbishop of Canterbury. He had previously governed the dioceses of Worcester and London. There is perhaps no better test of an apostolic spirit than the fearless correction of those who occupy high places. King Edgar himself seems unfortunately to have been no model in his private life, and once he fell into the sin of seducing a noble maiden at Wilton, who, if not a nun, subsequently took the veil to free herself from his importunity. Dunstan, moved to holy anger, went to remonstrate, when Edgar, putting out his hand, would have led him to the throne. But the archbishop, evading his touch, said with spirit: “Do you dare to touch the pastor’s hand when you did not fear to seize a virgin given to God P You have seduced the spouse of your Creator, and do you think to please the spouse’s friend by a bit of flattery I will not be the friend of one whom Christ opposes.”* When Edgar had bewailed his sin Dunstan imposed a penance with no sparing hand. The king was not to wear his crown for seven years; he was to fast twice a week and to give large alms. In short, he who had robbed God of one virgin was to found a convent which would give him back many spouses. If, as we are proud to boast, the English character becomes early

* Osbern, p. 111.

apparent in the nature of its free and healthy laws for the good of the lowest British subject, then we must acknowledge that Dunstan was a representative Englishman. Edgar’s constitutions bear the impress of a strong and thoroughly English individuality, except, indeed, the institution of the Hundred, which seems to have been an administrative idea inherited from the old German system. Peace, order, and the rights of the subject are the undercurrent of Edgar’s secular ordinances concerning the remedial jurisdiction of the king, the regular holding of the popular courts, the general system of security for appearance in the gemots, and the uniformity of coins and measures. The claims of the individual English citizen are fairly and clearly recognized in these early ordinances: “I will that every man be worthy of folk-right, as well poor as rich, and that righteous dooms be judged to him.” And again in the Supplementum three points are insisted upon which are of fundamental importance to the prosperity of the state: First and foremost come duties towards God and religion; secondly, the proper balancing of power between the sovereign and his thanes; and, thirdly, the legal freedom of the Danes. The development of these early principles points to the religious mind of the English even amidst the errings of heresy, the independent English monarchy, the free and generous nature of English hospitality toward strangers. Edgar’s words in one instance at least mark the guidance of Dunstan. He says: “I and the archbishop command that ye anger not God.” The ecclesiastical laws enacted may be divided into two classes; the first are call

ed the sixty-seven canons of Edgar, and concern religious observances and the guidance of the clergy. Professor Stubbs recognizes Dunstan’s hand in some of the number. For instance, “That no priest receive a scholar without the leave of the other by whom he was formerly retained ”; “that every priest do teach manual arts with diligence”; “that no learned priest reproach him that is less learned, but mend him if he know how”; “that no noble-born priest despise one of less noble birth; if it be rightly considered, all men are of one origin.”* The penitential canons form the second class of which we spoke, but they are much less individual. Dunstan’s claim to be viewed as a spiritual ancestor of the great St. Gregory VII. lies in the apostolic strife which he waged against the excesses of the clergy. It is not easy to explain the falling away of the Anglo-Saxon priests without a deep knowledge of the period, but certain causes of degeneracy appear on the surface. Civilization, in its first stage, does not always act favorably upon the moral life of a country, and it may safely be said that the refining process begun by St. Augustine had been interrupted by two and a half centuries of internal growth impeded by foreign invasion. The ceaseless incursions of the Danes had had a depressing, not an elevating, effect upon the Saxons; and now, at the latter end of the tenth century, they were little more than half-civilized barbarians, knowing, indeed, those things which they ought to do, but possessing not energy wherewith to do them. Fear had cast out love, instead of the reverse.* Thus William of Malmesbury describes the clergy as “given up to worldly things, addicted to games of chance, equal to or surpassing seculars in their love of dress and in their licentiousness, intent upon food even to shameful excess, ignorant of letters as if it were a disgrace to priests to be learned, scarcely knowing the meaning of the words their sacred calling ordered them to say so often.” In this state of things any man courageous enough to set up a high ideal of perfection would deserve more gratitude than the founder of a world-wide empire. Yet this is what Dunstan did by the illustration he gave to monastic life, in itself a faithful carrying out of the counsels. He enacted that every see should be filled by a monk or an abbot, who should be able to serve as an example to his diocesans, pending the time when the secular clergy awoke to the nature of their sacred vocation. Dunstan would tolerate no compromises, no half-hearted attempts to serve God and the flesh; it was to be a question of living according to the canons or of expulsion from the service of the altar.” He was also the stanch enemy of any violation of the sacrament of matrimony, justly regarding the purity of Christian marriage as the tie-beam in the frame-work of society. Dunstan himself founded five monasteries, and the monks formed at Glastonbury, or put forward by his exertions, carried the vigor of their primate into their new dioceses. Ethelwold, a monk of Glastonbury, and Abbot of Abingdon, and afterwards Bishop of Winchester, built innumerable monasteries, raising Ely and Thorney from their foundations. His clergy at Win

* Preface. + Perfecta autem charitas foras mittit timerem.

chester, placed before Dunstan’s alternative, had chosen to leave the spot rather than to be reformed. The same course was pursued by Oswald at Worcester, and by Wulfsige at Sherborne.” Dunstan put great zeal into the work of visitation, but no monastery attracted him more than Glastonbury. Primate though he was, he became a simple monk within those peaceful walls. On one of these occasions a story is told which is touching, as revealing the nature of Dunstan’s relations with his former brethren, and the simplicity of heart to which God loves to confide the secrets of his providence. He had gone out one day into the court-yard before the church, where a single monk was walking. Arrived at a certain spot, Dunstan heard a voice from heaven saying, “Come, come, Elfsige, come.” The archbishop, understanding the intimation, turned to the monk with the words, “Prepare yourself, brother, and make ready the viaticum which will enable you to undertake so important a journey. For your hour is at hand.” # In a very few days Elfsige went indeed to his reward. But the good times of Edgar and Dunstan were drawing to a close. The king died in 975, and was succeeded by his son, Edward II., the Martyr. A great reaction heralded in the new reign. By the help of the nobles the expelled clergy sought to recover their footing, and the archbishop was publicly confronted with his numerous enemies at a council held at Winchester. According to William of Malmesbury, a crucifix spoke thrice to relieve the archbishop’s mind from the anxiety caused by the unruly priests. And

* “Aut canonice vivite aut ecclesiis exite.”

*P. 302. + P. 306. + P. 308.

as if that were not enough, a second palpable sign confirmed the justice of his claims. At a second council the floor gave way beneath the assistants who were upbraiding that “strong pillar of the church, Dunstan,”* he alone remaining safe and erect. This miracle silenced at last the angry tongues of his enemies, and caused the archbishop’s decision to be universally accepted. The history of England during the last twenty years of the tenth century is disastrous in the extreme. No sovereign appeared with the capabilities of Edgar, and the country’s energies were sapped by Danish invasions and by an incompetent and worthless ruler at home. Ethelred the Unready deserved his nickname. The shadow of the cruel murder by which he came to the throne hung over his reign, as Dunstan had prophesied that it would. On the day of his coronation the archbishop is said to have predicted the disasters which subsequently came to pass: “Because you aspired to the throne through your brother’s death, whom your ignominious mother stabbed, the sword eager for your blood shall not be taken away from your house all the days of your life. It shall slay some of your kindred until the kingdom shall be transferred to a strange nation whose language and customs are foreign to the people you govern.”f The peace and glory of Dunstan’s legislation were soon forgotten in the weariness of present strife, but his holy life remained as a shining light after the fame of lower things had passed away. To those alone it is given to

*… Validissimum illum Ecclesiae murum, Dunstanum dico. t Osbern, p. 115.

shine to others who have first consumed all seeking of self in the love of God. In his archiepiscopal palace Dunstan divided his time between prayer and study, devoting the early hours of the morning to the correction of faulty manuscripts. The equal distribution of justice, the preservation of the sacred character of matrimony, the protection of widows and orphans, the pacification of those who were estranged one from another, were the objects which lay nearest to the archbishop’s heart. Charity towards the poor and zeal for the monastic order constituted, as it were, the flames upon which his ardor spent itself. His preaching was forcible and earnest, tender to the good, but unsparing towards sin. Dunstan never performed any great ceremony without shedding abundant tears. “In the day,” holy David says, “the Lord hath commanded his mercy, and in the night his song.”* Nocturnal prayer has a special value in God’s eyes, and in it the archbishop was proficient, never, as his biographer records, taking his full allowance of sleep. Thus, after the turmoils of his life, he tasted before death of the peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding. The end was at hand, though there was no appearance of a decline. It was Ascension day, 988. Dunstan preached three times to his people with an unwonted vigor and unction, and at the third sermon he left them his legacy. Let them, he besought them, have charity and love one for another ; it was the only means of becoming united to God. This brotherly tenderness was the pledge our Lord had bequeathed to his disciples, and now he left it to them as his parting

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gift. Then he told them that he should be no longer with them, for that he was to depart to his true resting-place in heaven. After Mass, nevertheless, the archbishop went to dinner, where he was full of a holy mirth, making himself all things to his brethren. A sudden illness fell upon him, and he grew constantly worse till the Saturday. When Matins were over the archbishop knew that the hour was near at hand when he should see God face to face. He summoned his household for the parting, bitter indeed to them, but sweet to one whose heart had been for so long fixed on heaven. Extreme Unction was administered, then the holy Viaticum, and, whilst the hidden God still dwelt within his breast, Dunstan cried out: “Memoriam fecit mirabilium suorum misericors et miserator Dominus, escam dedit timentibus se.” They were his last words, a farewell to earth, full of gratitude to God for the greatest of his gifts. Dunstan was in his sixty-fourth year. This short record would fulfil its

aim could it fix the attention of some future biographer of St. Dunstan. The broad outlines only of his career have been given here, both because the details would require a larger space, and bécause in a sketch we feared by dwelling too much upon them to take away from the vigor of the salient points. The indifference and rudeness of the age, the vices of those who should have supported him, make Dunstan’s own sanctity all the more forcible. It is as if in a poor collection of pictures we were to come upon the work of a great master. Another attribute of his holiness must be borne in mind. At a time when men left the world because it was so bad that their hearts sickened at the prospect of bettering it by their presence, Dunstan sanctified himself in the atmosphere of courts, thus showing forth in his own example the strength engendered by obedience, and the weight carried with it by a steady purpose which looks to God for its accomplishment.