On the Knee of the Church. Female training in Romish convents and schools … (Google Books)


The Servants of Mary by Abbe Rabille—History of Women in their Confinements, for the Instruction of Pious Young Girls—A book that ought to be burnt—Two words on Ecclesiastical Celibacy.

Since we have just been speaking of the employment during the vacations, it is a proper time to say a word on the books to be read, and the books that are given as prizes in the religious schools.

One has been pointed out to me as being widely circulated. It is called The Servants of Mary.f

I find in the life of St. Bonaventura, which begins the volume, that at the birth of this saint all the bells began to ring of their own accord; that at the age of four years the child fell dangerously ill, the mother recommended him to the Pope, who instantly cured him; and seeing this, the Pontiff exclaimed, “Bonne aventure!” which name was borne by the child ever after. This is added quite seriously by the author (p. 12). He had afterwards another illness, which furnished the saint with an occasion for a very different prodigy. But we will let the author, the Abbe Rabille, speak for himself.

“The seraphic doctor was in bed, and being subject to fre quent retching, he could not receive the Holy Eucharist; which afflicted him very much. After having sighed for a long time,

* See the part of a letter quoted in the second letter to M. Dupanloup, p. 7. f The Servants of Mary, by the Abbe Rabille, 1 vol. in 8vo. Published by F. F. Ardant, Brothers; Paris and Limoges.

he caused the Holy Pyx to be brought into his room. His ardent wish could not be satisfied by seeing it; he took the Holy Vase, and applied it to his side. But oh! prodigy of grace and love! an orifice was opened by the side of the heart of Saint Bonaventure, and the host came forth of itself from the blessed Pyx, and entered the wound in the chest of the sick man, who was transported with joy.”—p. 24.

All these Servants of Mary have been announced beforehand by prodigies of the same special nature, in the dreams or visions of their mothers.

“Alice de Montbar, just before the birth of St. Bernard,” so says the Abbe Rabille, “dreamt she saw in her bosom a little white dog, with a little red on the back, and barking violently. She went to consult a man of God, who was suddenly possessed of the prophetic spirit which had in former times animated David. He answered, ‘ Do not fear, you will be the mother of a child who, like a faithful dog, will guard the house of the Lord, and bark with power against those enemies of the faith who would enter therein.’ “—p. 38.

The mother of St. Dominick also had a dream just before her child was born.

“She dreamt that she had given birth to a little dog carrying a torch, with which he set the whole world on fire. Such a vision would have alarmed any other woman; but this Christian mother saw in it nothing incomprehensible. She understood that she should give birth … to a mystic dog who by his barking would put all wolves to flight . . . that is to say, that he would hunt out all heretics by his preaching.”—p. 87.

Let us add to all this an anecdote, showing the severity with which St. Bernard “watched over his own heart,” as we are told by the Abbe Rabille.

“One day he had stopped, and with unreflecting curiosity fixed his eyes upon a woman: he was instantly alarmed at the effects which this imprudence might produce on the purity of his thoughts. He ran away, and as a punishment for this great fault, he threw himself into a pond which was deep and almost frozen over. He remained there for a long time, even till his blood had ceased to circulate in his benumbed members. But he had extinguished within himself all pernicious feelings.”—p. 42.

Oh, M. Rabille, this is indeed overstrained. What! for one look at a woman, occasioned by unreflecting curiosity, to throw yourself into a frozen pond?

Does it not give people occasion to say of you as Dorine said to Tartuffe—”You are very sensitive to temptation “?

The preceding quotations are only silly and ridiculous, though there is a little too much of a subject not suitable for the meditation of young girls.

But what follows approximates to the odious, for in order to establish the truth of the belief of the Immaculate Conception, the Abbe Rabille enters into physiological dissertations of a most extraordinary character.

For example: “Saint Bonaventure says that Mary was conceived in original sin. But we ought, with Saint Anselm and Saint Bernard, to consider the original sin as referring to her having had the same kind of parentage as other people, and not to the quickening of the body of the infant.”—p. 33.*

What a very useful distinction! I do not doubt that it catches the attention of young people.

I should say the same of the following passage on the Annunciation in which the subject is treated with equal delicacy.

“Mary, says Saint Bernard, possessed every virtue. ‘How shall this be/ said she to the angel, ‘seeing I know not a man ?’….

“What unshaken determination to keep her vows of virginity! Even the promise of the son which the angel announced to her, could not make her hesitate in her resolution; ‘Sow shall this be?’ It cannot be as with other women, because I know not a man, and because I have neither the hope nor the wish to bring a son into the world, etc.”—p. 65.

JN’ow let us pass at once to Saint Bridget, a princess.

This saint was also a little prodigy from her earliest days; she loved to dream like any other young girl, and easily and willingly gave way to the habit. But to dream too much is sometimes dangerous; and careful mothers watch this inclination which girls fall into

* This translation is as near the original as delicacy will permit. The exact Words put into the hands of }roung girls by the priests and nuns of France are too gross to be rendered literally into English.—Ed.

imperceptibly, and so the aunt of Saint Bridget did. Well! You will soon see she was wrong:—

“Her aunt fearing that she devoted too much time to contemplation, gave her every day something to[do. One day, looking to see what the young princess was about, she saw her, needle in hand, her work lying upon her knee, her eyes turned up to heaven, immoveable, and weeping. At the same moment she saw standing close to her a young girl of extraordinary beauty, who was working at the princess’s work, while she was adoring God”

This history does not appear to me likely to induce young persons either to work or to be obedient, and therefore I do not see why they are to study it.

But here again we fall back on the subject of the birth of children—

“When Saint Bridget’s first child was about to be born, she

suffered frightfully, her life being in danger And then was

seen a lady of divine beauty dressed in a white robe. She approached Saint Bridget, and her assistance was so marvellous, that

she gave birth to her firstborn without difficulty or pain”

—p. 133.

The author soon after adds—” When Bridget saw a sufficient number of children around her to support the name of her family, she persuaded her husband from henceforth to live with her as brother with sister for the rest of their days.”—p. 134.

The saint’s influence was so great at length, that she induced her husband to withdraw by degrees from the court of Sweden, where he held a very high position. “She communicated to him her religious and devotional spirit,” says the Abbe Rabille, “and regulated all his exercises of piety, among which she made him observe inviolably the reciting the little office to the holy virgin. She also induced him to allow her to place poor persons in an hospital which she had herself founded,” etc.

You see we are no longer acting on the prescribed rule of a wife’s absolute obedience. But Bridget’s motives were so good! In short, she sent her husband on a pilgrimage to Saint James in Galicia, and on his return he found himself so disgusted with the world, that he entered a convent—the Abb6 most carefully informs us that he did so, “with the consent of his wife.”

Having become entirely free and disengaged from all the ties which had hitherto restrained her, Bridget gave herself up to devotion, and began to perform miracles. One Christmas night she felt as if she was herself about to become the mother of the Man-God. She made the indications of this palpable to her confessor and then to her friends. Afterwards Jesus took her as his wife!

Let us throw a veil over these unhealthy inventions.

The history of St. Bridget is followed by that of Madame de Chantal, the foundress of the “Visitation.”

“Madame de Chantal, wishing to seal with her blood the promise she had made to consecrate herself to God, branded on her heart the name of Jesus with a hot iron,—a sublime and admirable trait of devotion which, without doubt, it is not necessary to imitate, (the Abbe Rabille judiciously observes) but which is a proof of the ardour of her mind.”

“”When she wished to retire into a convent, her departure was very sorrowful; her father almost died of grief.”

“The young Chantal, her son, threw himself on her neck, and refused to leave her, hoping that she might be touched by his tears, and thus be detained. But not succeeding in this, he then threw himself down across the doorway, saying, ‘Mother, I am too weak to prevent you, but at least it shall be said that you passed over the body of your only son in order to desert him.'”

“Madame de Chantal was touched, and wept bitterly in passing over the body of her darling son; but the next moment fearing that her sorrow should be mistaken for a change in her determination, she turned to the company with a calm and serene countenance, and said ‘You must forgive my weakness; I am leaving my father and my son for ever; but God will be with me everywhere.'”—p. 170.

Decidedly, I advise all parents who see that book, “The Servants of Mary,” in the hands of their daughters, to take i+ from them, and throw it into the fire instantly.

I may also quote the account, contained in it, of the “Life of th Pious Shepherdess Benoite Rencurel.” This shepherdess ha the following conversation with the Virgin Mary :—” Fair Lady, what are you doing up there? Are you coming to buy plaster? I have a little bread; it is very hard, but it is good: we will steep it in the fountain.” She smiled, but made no answer.

“Beautiful lady,” contined Benoite, “will you please to give me that child, which would make us all so happy?”

The lady smiled again, and still she did not answer.

This conversation lasted till night-fall, and was repeated every day. The shepherdess related it in the village. Many persons treated her as a visionary, but some said, “Perhaps it is the Holy Virgin that she has seen.”

“This opinion became general, in consequence of two facts. A peasant of St. Etienne going to burn lime in a kiln which he had close to the rock, where the apparition appeared, said, in his patois:—’ I am going to bake Benoite’s Lady.’ This joke cost him dear; for he burnt ten times more wood than was necessary, without being able to burn his lime. The more he heaped up the wood, the harder grew the lime. Seeing this,” says the author who has bequeathed to us the history of this curious fact, “he prayed for pity to God and his Holy Mother; and was forced to abandon his lime-kiln in that state.”—p. 224.

And this also is related in the ” exemplary life” of the blessed Benoite Rencurel:—

“She used the discipline every day from her fifteenth year until she was forty-five. She wore haircloth fifteen years, and iron bracelets armed with sharp points during twelve years, and iron garters four years, and a corset of tin pierced inside like a rasp for five years. No one excepting her confessor knew the secret of all these penances,”—p. 238.

“We think the whole morality of the Church is comprised in the following particulars:—Fear of hell, self-scourging, torturing the body in order to shake the reasoning faculties, walking blindly under the direction of a confessor who ought to be an angel in virtue, and at least a genius in intelligence a,nd prudence.

Aye, but they are not such beings. To puzzle and stupefy the mind in order to enslave the soul, and raise a dominating influence of their own over the ruins of intellect, is always their aim —these despots have no other system. But, to corrupt according to their wishes; to excite fleshly inclinations in young imaginations, too young to feel them naturally; under the pretence of chastity

and purity, to write dissertations for the use of young girls about obscene subjects, in which they are very frequently treated with less reserve than in medical works—this is a CRIME, a crime unheard of and unpardonable. It can only be accounted for by the unnatural condition of the author of this book, by that enforced celibacy which causes so many enormities.

Now, Reverend Bishop, I call upon you (since you are so zealously anxious for the healthy education and salvation of our daughters) to induce this author to withdraw his book from the hands of his publisher, and to burn all the copies: and then make this priest marry, that he may become virtuous and leave off such writing.

The Illuminated Magazine, Volume 2 (Google Books)


EAN JACQUES, as the French call him, (the “Rousseau” being understood) long ago decided, that the hills round Vevay afforded the best view of the beautiful Lake of Geneva; but in the philosopher’s time

– that little crooked town possessed no other accommodation than what might be had in an inferior wayside auberge, whose withered bush denoted that here might be had, “Bon Vin et Bonne Biere,” with such comfort as was ordinarily required by the travelling artist, who, laden with his pack, attired in peasant’s frock and well mailed shoes, wandered over the beautiful land in search of novel objects for his pencil, quite satisfied with his crust of sour bread, and glass of yet more sour wine, if accompanied with views of the magnificent Alps, and their most wondrous glaciers. Now, however, the numerous visitors, who yearly going “up the Rhine,” penetrate into the heart of the Swiss mountains, have with English gold,

and English luxury, originated, and now support, in a manner most welcome to the “maitre,” one of the handsomest hotels on the Continent, whose terrace, blooming with roses and dahlias, hangs over the fair Leman, and affords from its pretty rustic seats, the most charming views of the rocks of Meillerie, the snowy peaks of the Dent D’oche, and all the fairest locale of the Nouvelle Heloise. In the early morning the fisher may be seen busied with his nets, and in the twilight, along the vine clad shores, the boat of the tourist, the artist, or the poet, skims lightly over the bosom of the deep blue waters, its white latteen sails cast out in clear relief by the dark mountains which close them in. Dur

ing the sunny hours –

of day, however, a –
less picturesque ob-
ject creates an in-
terest among the
loungers on the ter-
race of the Vevay
Hotel; this is the
steam-boat which

runs between Geneva and Villeneuve, the two extremities of the lake. Yet as it passes by Clareno, Chillon, and the far-famed Bosquet of Julie, and is commonly crowded with German minstrels, who contribute to heighten the pleasures of association, even the steamboat loses something of its matter of factness on the Lake of Geneva, and our voyage en route to Mar- – r tigny was certainly of a very pleasurable kind. The minstrels formed cheerful smiling groups, the younger women pretty, with dark eyes, blooming cheeks, and glossy hair, (as the Germans always have it, well arranged,) and as they sang, tuned their harps or guitars, ate their little store of grapes and bread, or taught tricks to a droll canine favourite, one thought of poor Goldsmith playing his cracked flute to pay his score among the village inns, kept perhaps by the fathers of these same families; or of Mackenzie’s touching tale of the aged minstrel, seeking in the busy streets the child who had been lured from his side among the stillness of her native mountains; and so we made our way to Villeneuve, and on to Martigny—much dreaded Martigny of which such tales are told, concerning its bad inns, heat, and mosquitoes, that a traveller never thinks of it without a shudder; but in fact public opinion somewhat exaggerates its miseries; for considering the little town only as a key to the touching interests of the great St. Bernard, or the majestic wonders of nature that surround the lovely Chamouni, its inns are sufficient for all purposes of refreshment and repose, while a little wareroom, filled with specimens of the exquisite wood carving for which the Swiss peasants are so celebrated, affords amusement for the idle half hour that usually precedes a traveller’s repast. On arrival, we found the Hotel de Cygne suffering from an absolute plethora of visitors; waiters sputtering French and German, all talking, scolding, and ordering in a breath, were hurrying to and fro, with white tureens of the soups peculiar to continental inns, being of that limpid quality warranted to leave no stain on the apparel over which a portion might chance to fall; .. chambermaids, with velvet boddices and silver chains, were running hither and thither with piles of linen; guests in straw hats or green veils were to be seen at every window, while on the bench without, the accredited guides, with mapless hats and plated badges, lounged away the time in pleasant chat, gazing with visible satisfaction on the laden travelling carriages, and mud bespattered “char a bancs,” which crowded the space before the door. Long had my interest been excited towards the Hospice of the Great St. Bernard, but as I listened to the Babel of voices in the “Cygne,” and surveyed the array of guides and vehicles, a chilling suspicion stole into my mind, that I had done wrong in risking any change to the feelings of reverence already received for the Monks of St. Augustin; and although the object of travel certainly is “to correct imagination by reality,” yet I did not feel sure that in this case I might not be very considerably a loser, and that if I found the Hospice to have degenerated into a mere hotel for the reception of the curious, and the Monks into mere well paid aubergists, grievous disappointment would ensue, and a very considerable portion of my belief in human virtue be inevitably lost. Deeply pondering this difficulty, I entered the salle à manger, and there happily learned, that the whole party were on their way to Chamouni; and that although travellers did frequently ascend the St. Bernard, both in their way to Aosta, and also for the sole purpose of visiting the Hospice, yet that most considered the journey too long, and its fatigue too great to be repaid by the description of interest afforded by the Monastery of St. Bernard. To me this indifference was incomprehensible, but rejoicing at its existence, arrangements were soon made, and the following morning, early after sunrise, a char a banc and mule were in attendance, which, ere we set forth, deserves a brief description. The Guide Books, which, notwithstanding their professional character of dry exactness, do sometimes lead travellers astray in minor matters, are pleased to denominate this strange looking vehicle “a sofa on wheels;” but as it is commonly quite innocent of such sophisticated arrangements as springs, while its blue broad cloth linings, in these days of elastic seats and air pillows, cannot certainly deserve the name of cushions,

and as the winding mountain roads, that look in the

distance like a smooth ribbon, passing along wild

glens and skirting the roaring torrent, are stony and somewhat rude, as the traveller will find when absolutely on them, he will, perhaps, think as I did, while jolted sideways up and down, at the jogtrot pace common to mules, that the word “sofa” is somewhat misapplied to a vehicle which requires every cloak he may possess to render it bearable. The mule destined to toil all the way to the Hospice, in its double capacity of draught and saddle, was a calm, sensible looking animal, whose experience had taught him, that when the disagreeable was inevitable, the best philosophy is to yield without remonstrance to our fate; and although in his younger days, our mule, as Jacques the guide assured us, was wont to prefer objections, both with head and heel, he had long given up what only caused him hard blows at the commencement, and a loss of dignity in the end; and he now stood, not only harnessed to the char a banc, and bearing a sidesaddle on his back, but content to have a carpet bag added thereto, in lieu of a rider, having learned how ready man is to add burthen to burthen, and toil to toil, on all who are willing slaves. One might sentimentalize upon this; but as a living mule is perhaps not so good an object to employ one’s superabundant sympathies on, as Sterne found a dead ass to be, let us fancy that we have entered the char a banc, and in the early hours of a breezy morning, with the newly risen sun glancing on all around, are rattling away through the Bourg of Martigny, over the little bridge, and up to the village of La Batie, where Jacques descends, and turning back with an air of triumph and an extended whip, exclaims, “Voila, Madame!” and certainly it was a scene that deserved attention. Far along in the rich valley of the Rhone, was seen the wide straight road leading to the Simplon, its distance lost upon the bright, sun-tinted horizon, with the bare and towering hills that on either side enclose the valley. On the left rises a knoll crowned with the picturesque Tower of La Batie, while on the right, beneath granite rocks, clothed with fresh leafed oaks, with dark and spiral firs, rushes the rapid Drance, which, taking its rise among the eternal snows of the Great St. Bernard, has with continued effort forced its way through rock and mountain to the bright valley of the Rhone, here perforating the granite, and falling through the rocks in foaming cascades, there wearing its way with deep and silent force, while huge forest trees, loosened at their roots, drop into its torrent, and villages fall in ruin before it: mountain scenery is apt to make one sentimental and philosophic, and therefore it was, perhaps, that the Drance, as I then looked upon it, seemed to me as a fit emblem of many, who, born in obscurity, force their powerful course along, heedless of difficulty, until a dazzling point is gained among the civilized, learned, and beautiful of the world, conquering sometimes by steady labour, and silent perseverance, and again, with a mighty will, and the force of gigantic energy, casting aside impediments which to others would stay their course for ever. On the banks of this beautiful Drance, the most delicate wild flowers spring, engendered among the mosses carpeting the dark granite; and here and there, on open spots of green sward, are clustered fruit trees laden with their produce ; yet, tempting as they are, the traveller, if he is wise, will pass them by untouched, for a score of francs may be exacted for the pulling of a plum, or the trial of an unripe apple. Three or four villages lie on the route in the first portion of the road, dirty, miserable places, the houses mere stables, elevated on wooden platforms to preserve them during the overflow of the torrent, and the inhabitants all more or less afflicted with cretinism and goitre, diseases, however, which seem to give more pain to the spectator than to their victims in Switzerland, for the cretin, in the sheltered villages of his lovely valleys, is cared for like the idiot of the East— an amiable superstition inducing the belief, that those deprived of the usual gifts of nature are especially under the care of good spirits, who watch over their safety and of that of all who show them kindness—the result being, that a cretin is eagerly sought for as an inmate, and the villagers rival each other in their kindmess to the helpless creature who is supposed to brin good fortune to their hearth. Although the …i with goitre do not enjoy the same good, yet the victims seem little sensible of their condition, and in several of the villages exhibited a mirth serving only to excite a stronger sense of the revolting character of this terrible affliction. In conformance with the modern Swiss custom of levying as much “black mail” as may be from the passing stranger, at the door of every log hut in the villages through which we passed stood little children, with gentle smiles and timid glances, hoping by a pretty curtsey to win the desired “batzen.” When thrown, the little mendicant, without acknowledgment, scampered away to place the coin in its mother’s hand; but if refused, the modest manner too often changed to a loud laugh, the timid glance was forgotten in a rustic jest upon the English traveller; and as we passed along, every moment gave us fresh reason to admire the wonderful, majestic, and touching character of the scenery, and to commiserate the condition of the people; and thus in due time we arrived at Liddes, the hamlet where the traveller abandons his char a banc, and commences either his pedestrian labours, or avails himself, as in my case, of the back of a rough-paced, hard-mouthed mule. There is a little inn at Liddes, called the “Union,” where those who are on their way to the Hospice usually encounter travellers upon their return. There the mule is fed and rested, and the char a banc left in charge ; while sour bread, delicious butter, with the etceteras of a common dinner, are served by the hostess, who wears the peculiar costume of the Canton—a short petticoat and boddice, with something like the Welsh hat, but with the addition of a broad coloured ribbon, puffed round the crown. The salle à manger of the Union, with its two long green baize covered tables, and its dirty walls decorated with bad prints of various apocryphal incidents in the private and public life of Napoleon, soon proved so very uninteresting, that in self defence we sought the common resource of the idle, and looked out of the window to beguile the time, but the scene was one common to all Swiss villages. The opposite houses were built of logs supported upon rude platforms; behind them was a steep, fir-clad hill, and peeping above it appeared a distant snowy peak; abundance of cut firs lay in the rugged way, and the sound of a waterfall reached us from afar. The street presented little to entertain; now and them a sturdy peasant, armed with a stout pole, went by on a sleek and active mule; a large cow with a huge leather collar, and a bell attached to it, sonorous enough for a village church, lounged by in search of pasture; or a poor creature, frightfully afflicted with goitre, sat in the sun, employing herself with knitting. Under these

circumstances there was, perhaps, some excuse for the scribblings that attracted our attention on the window frame beside us, among which some idler, more facetions than the rest, had inscribed—“The Marquis of Carabbas left Liddes on the 27th July, accompanied by one pair of boots, one umbrella, and two sticks,”— a description very generally applicable. Weary, however, of gazing on our muddy char a banc, I left the salon, and seeing a second door similarly inscribed, opened it; but the same moment proved to me that I was an intruder, for in the centre of the room stood a peasant with a white mantle draped toga-wise over his form, an ornamented baton in his hand, and a broad piece of light blue ribbon, fastened with a huge bouquet of artificial flowers round his hat. Hastily closing the door, I returned to the window of the first room, and soon saw the same person pass out, followed by a pretty young woman, gaily attired in a light blue petticoat, with a garland of roses around her festal hat. She carried under her arm a large basket, the contents concealed by an embroidered silk coverlet, adorned with bouquets of orange blossoms; but I afterwards found that it contained a baby, and the ceremony had been one of baptism. In two hours Jacques and the mule were ready to proceed, the saddle having a sort of rail round the back, which answered two purposes, one being to support the rider in ascending steep roads, and the other to secure thereto the carpet bag, portfolio, cloak, umbrella, and climbing poles; and when this baggage was duly attached, it was not remarkable that the mule proceeded rather slowly,–the more so, perhaps, that he had not quite shaken off the slumber he had indulged in at Liddes. However, the road was too beautiful to render the pace of the mule of much consequence, for it led along the left bank of the Drance, with lofty mountains on either side, crowned and clothed with noble firs, and intersected by mountain torrents. As we proceeded, the scenery grew more wild, yet there were rich slopes of green sward, and bright sunny tranquil spots even amid the torrent’s roar and the huge blocks of granite, from the fissures of which sprang soft moss, the mountain violet, and the Alpine rose. Then again the path grew more rugged, and gradually descended, until the last chalet or canteen was reached, and here Jacques, who had long shown symptoms of fatigue, by availing himself of the support of the poor mule’s tail over the hilly and rugged portions of the way, paused, and drew the weary animal under the shelter of the chalet. It is to this point that the monks of the Great St. Bernard, during the severities of winter, direct their steps, for between this and the Hospice lie the great dangers. The whole character of the scenery here changes; no longer rich in foliage and mountain vegetation, the majestic and the beautiful mingling together, the torrent rushing among wild flowers, and the towering rock clothed with the fir and oak ; all is bare, desolate, full of terror-inspiring and sublime effects; the ground is a mass of shattered granite, the mountains crowned with clouds are covered with dark stained glaciers, and the Drance flows under blocks of snow, which here and there conceal it wholly. A little farther on a low shed-like building, with grated window looking to the valley, attracted our attention to the old Morgue, but it now contains only a few remains of skeleton bodies, some broken vessels, and large masses of blackened snow. We passed on, and soon came to large beds of snow, in the centre of which

footmarks, not always distinctly seen, left an uncertain path, but here and there tall poles directed the traveller on his way, or marked the points of danger. Lesser beds of snow were then passed, the guide first carefully trying the solidity of so path, and then drawing forward the mule, who sometimes sunk nearly to his knees, or slipped several feet upon its surface; it was altogether wearying; and safe as the way in reality was during the summer season, in full daylight, and with an experienced guide, yet the constant fall of snow echoing from the neighbouring hills, the rushing sound of the under flow of water, with the desolate appearance of all around, produced a vague idea of danger, which, combined with the intense cold, was decidedly painful; however, a short period more of fatigue and labour brought us to a bed of snow lying between two hills, and formed by avalanches from both, eighty feet in depth, and of the most dazzling whiteness; this we crossed, and ascending slowly and with much difficulty the slippery ascent beyond it, we saw, crowning the height, the lone Hospice of the Great St. Bernard. On the steps of the Hospice, watching our approach, stood a monk, dressed in the costume of his o: long black dress, buttoned from the neck to the shoe, with a sash around the waist; a tall cap, finishing with a tuft, and a narrow white band passing over the shoulder—a badge distinguishing the St. Augustins. From the monk’s side, bounding as if in welcome to the strangers, came three dogs, in colour red and white, large limbed and muscular, with short, falling ears and full eyes, deep with intelligence, in interest almost rivalling the master who now called them to him. The monk greeted us with benignant courtesy, and seeing our weary condition, proposed at once to show us to a dormitory. The corridors, three in number, are of stone, of considerable dimensions; and from either side open the small doors of the sleeping apartments. The monk, after showing us into one, left us ; and in a few seconds a servant appeared with materials for a fire and a bottle of excellent claret, intimating that dinner would be served at six o’clock. The dormitory was a long, narrow room, with beds of scrupulous cleanliness, a fireplace, drawers, small looking-glass, and a few coloured drawings of the Monastery from various points of view; while the window looked on the building erected as a place of refuge in case of fire, and on the snows of the opposite hill, whose avalanches had more than once shattered every window in the Hospice. From the dormitory we descended to the museum, where we found the monk who had received us. It contains valuable and curious geological specimens, with the mineralogy generally of the Alps, chiefly collected and presented by too, aS well as many fine specimens of eagles and vultures, with a chamois prepared in great perfection. While admiring the beauty of the various subjects of natural history, which the monk who had particular charge of them was good enough to take great pains to explain, I availed myself of the opportunity of describing to him the Monastery or Hospice of Denodur, in the province of Cutch, on the northern coast of Western India, where monks, possessing certain property and rank, had taken the vows of passing life in acts of practical benevolence, without reference to the rank or creed of the objects of their philanthropy, but feeding the hungry and giving rest to the weary, without inquiring into aught but their necessity. The monk was evidently interested; and while he inquired much con

cerning their religious tenets, costume, and habits of life, he seemed disposed to yield respect and sympath to the band of brothers in the East, who, althoug they wore saffrom-coloured robes, with large circles of glass or agate inserted in their ears, and followed the dictates of an unenlightened superstition, yet sacrifice health, society, and all the ties of domestic life, to pass every hour in doing good ; and when I told him that the prince of the land acknowledged as his superior the chief monk of Demodur, the countenance of the St. Augustin grew deeply reflective, and he said, he “should well like to know more of this.” Evening had commenced, however, and the climate was intensely cold ; the monk, therefore, with the attentive courtesy which marks their every action, requested me to accompany him to the dining-room, in which was placed a long table for the repast, while the hearth glowed with blazing logs. From this room opens one smaller, but full of interest. It contains the various tokens of gratitude and remembrance sent to the monks by those who were worthy of their attention ; and a cabinet is thus formed, which includes, together with pictures, engravings, medals, and coins, some very valuable relics of Egyptian antiquity. Mr. Landseer’s celebrated engraving of the Monks and their Dogs was most attractive; but the monks smiled and shook their heads at the cloak and flask, as partaking a little too much of the romantic; for these men, whose whole life is a romance to others, are themselves all simplicity and fact. The books of the Hospice afford another source of interest to the traveller whose eye loves to mark the names of the wise, the good, the amiable, and the talented, who, like himself, have been attracted to this spot of hallowed interest; but it was with deep regret that I noted many pages stained by the offensive remarks of Englishmen, who should have blushed to have written themselves such ; and I rejoiced that a want of acquaintance with our language prevented our courteous hosts from knowing how unworthy had many proved who had been the objects of their hospitality. Our dinner was excellent and abundant, the wine of the first quality, and the hospitality of the monks who presided took the character of kindly and courteous men of the world. Both were young, and evidently abounding in health and vigour. One had passed ten and the other eight years in the Hospice, and seemed devoted to the life they had embraced. Some impression had been made on my mind, to the effect, that the extreme rigour of the climate at this extraordinary height of one thousand eight hundred feet above i. level of the sea, had the effect of shortening the usual duration of life, and that few of the monks attained even middle age; but I found that, on the contrary, the clear, bracing atmosphere induced and supported remarkable vigour in the constitution, a fact roved by two out of the seven brethren at the Hospice i. lived there for twenty years in perfect health, and two of the monks being still living who had occupied the Monastery in 1800, when Napoleon passed into Italy. One of these venerable fathers is eighty ears old, and resides at Martigny, a spot to which the i. resort in case of illness or for change of air. After dinner we drew round the blazing fire, and the conversation naturally fell upon the instinct and character of the dogs. There are at present only five that are perfectly trained and to be depended upon, the largest and oldest of whom is called “Drapeau;” but,

singularly enough, this intelligent and powerful animal, who, like his masters, is devoted to the succour of human beings, and will bear a child between his jaws with the utmost tenderness, is so savage towards those of his own species and the brute creation generally, that he is carefully muzzled, having killed no less than three young dogs, two calves, and many sheep during last winter. At night the dogs are secured in a kennel, and at times require severe correction, which is always given by a particular monk, of whom the dogs are very fond. The pups are instructed when very young, by teaching them to dig in the snow for pieces of meat which are buried there; but the monks believe their instinct to be providential, and quite independent of training or other human assistance. On several occasions the monks have been induced to try the Newfoundland breed; but they were found to be deficient in instinct, and also that their long hair became matted with snow and impeded them perpetually. The short-haired breed, now known as the St. Bernard dogs, are originally of a Danish origin. One of the monks, in answer to my inquiries, mentioned a circumstance which occurred last winter, and as eminently characteristic of the inexplicable instinct of the dogs, deserves record. A brother, with three servants and two of the dogs, seeing it likely that a storm would come on, in which all chance travellers would be in danger, left the Hospice, and descended the mountain, in the direction of the last châlet. After considerable search, it was proposed to return, but the storm had commenced; the snow, which in these regions sometimes rises like a fine dust obscuring every object, now prevented the possibility of seeing the path, and the party trusted as usual entirely to the dogs to lead them in safety to the Hospice. Still the dogs persisted in leading forwards on a road that the monk felt certain was not that of the Hospice, and several times he turned, as if to communicate his doubts to the dogs, but they refused to advance, and bounded back on the doubtful route. The monk and his servants then determined to be guided by them; and scarcely had they done so, when an avalanche fell upon the road which the monk had from the first believed to be that of the Hospice, and which indeed it was ; then following their preservers, the party, by an untrod way, arrived late but in safety at the Hospice. The monk also mentioned, that in case of requiring to cross snow of doubtful solidity, the dogs uniformly crossed it backwards and forwards, until the loose portions became fixed and a path secure, when they returned to the feet of their master, who felt no hesitation in following them. At daybreak the following morningwe were awakened by the deep-toned voices of the monks chaunting their matins—the priests of this great altar of benevolence consecrating to their Creator their daily sacrifice; all else was still, life and nature alike locked in icy slumber; and as it was raised on high, the voice of prayer and praise rang through the vast Hospice, and found its echo in the surrounding mountains. The chapel is large, and well fitted after the Catholic taste, which may perhaps appear too fanciful and gorgeous, when contrasted with the plain simplicity of the rest of the Hospice, but one yet reverences the feeling, that in conformity with opinion bestows on a spot dedicated to religious service all that is supposed to be most worthy to do it honour. It may be that to the eye of a Protestant, the waxen effigies, the garlands of artificial flowers, the joi missals, the glasses

and paintings in the chapel at St. Bernard, may be unpleasing; but when the visitor glances on the bare oak seats, and the morsel of sheep’s skin which is the only luxury of those who, late and early, in the depth of winter and among eternal snows, there meet to dedicate the life of every hour to heaven’s service—the deepest reverence is the only feeling that can occupy the mind, and the great principle of self abnegation there enshrined renders all else sacred. There is also a library, well stored with the best French and German works on natural science, history, and religion; on the reading desk I observed some copies of a work on Switzerland, written and illustrated by a young Frenchwoman, and dedicated to the monks of St. Bernard, the profits of the publication being for the uses of the Hospice. I was glad also to find, that most catholic authors send copies of their works to the superior, and that the treasury of the monks was in a very flourishing state. The library seemed their only luxury, and the monks never left the Hospice without a book, which formed the companion of their solitary walk. They are all men of education and studious habits; and while they are courteous to the stranger, humble before heaven, and tender to all in need, there is a dignity of manner, a gentlemanly bearing, and an independence of thought about these recluses, which I was scarcely prepared to meet, highly as I had ever reverenced the motives of their separation from the world. During breakfast I was grieved at not again seeing the monks who the evening before had dined with us, but they had gone in their out-door costume, accompanied by the dogs, to visit a farm that they have at some distance; for in the winter they depend almost entirely upon its produce for support, as the necessity becomes ressing of economising the supplies which are laid in from Aosta; and although the monks present to their guests everything required for the most abundant table, and their liberality, far from being grudgingly given, or of necessity, includes delicacies as well as usual food, good wine, rich liqueurs, dried fruits, and fine coffee, with which to refresh the weary, or restore the strength of the suffering, yet the table of the refectory bears little but the simple produce of the farm on which the monks subsist, reserving all else that they procure, with considerable expense, for the wants or gratification of their guests. I was anxious to see the Morgue, situated now close to the Hospice; and with Drapeau as our companion, we proceeded thither, accompanied by a servant, who, as a matter of choice, had spent ten years in attendance at the Monastery. As the huge dog bounded over the snow, with all the playfulness of a pup, the servant told us, that there were but few of the bodies in the Morgue, that Drapeau had not been instrumental in saving, and that in one case where an avalanche had fallen on a whole family who were coming up from Aosta, the dog had persevered in his search, long after the monks had abandoned it, and had himself exhumed a woman and child with extraordinary labour and perseverance. Barry, the most celebrated dog of St. Bernard, was fortunate enough to have saved the lives of fifteen persons, but he was now dead, and we had seen his skin preserved in the museum at Berne; but Drapeau was a worthy successor, and an animal of extraordinary strength as well as instinct. On reaching the Morgue, a low building with a door and window of grated iron, and erected in the midst of deep snow which reached almost to the roof, I looked in, and the idea of the horrible certainly predominated. Bodies, and remnants of bodies, partially clothed in tattered linen, rested against the walls, or laid piled together upon the ground, much as they do in a public mummy pit in Egypt, while one figure alone possessed that distinctive, individual look which reminded me of the capuchin dead at Syracuse, and proved that ex. treme cold and intense heat have a similar effect in drying and preserving the human skeleton. The figure of which I speak was altogether a very remarkable one; it stood in a dark corner, but the light from the open window fell directly upon its form, which, with crossed hands, seemed to lean upon a staff, while the skeleton face was turned full on the spectator with an expression that seemed as if life, and the tattered shroud fell around the skeleton with a strange grace scarcely resembling the last garment of the dead. The head, inclined forward as in an attitude of attention, had an air so remarkable, that had the bones where lips once had been begun to move, and the dry tongue to articulate reproaches against the curiosity of the stranger, I am not sure that my first feeling would have been surprise, so fitting would speech have seemed to a form thus perfect in its mute expression. Soon after breakfast we left the Hospice of Mount St. Bernard, and my feeling was that of increased respect for the monks, as well as that lingering regard for the spot itself, which easily explained the affection which distinguished the feelings of those, who had, from strong principles of religious benevolence in early life, or other powerful circumstances, been induced to abandon scenes of social life for a residence on this lone mountain. And as I turned to look at the tall Hospice, rearing its sheltering roof amongst the eternal snows, terrible as the solitude might seem to some, I felt little surprise at a local attachment, which, independently of higher and purer objects, bound the affections of the brotherhood to the scene of this their labour. Two young Englishmen had walked from Martigny the day before and without a guide; the result was that they arrived late in the evening at the châlet, so overcome by fatigue, that they were compelled to lie down in the snow several times before they could recover strength to proceed on to the St. Bernard. At last they arrived, guided by the staves, but wearied nearly unto death. Comforts of every description were immediately prepared by the kind monks for their refreshment, and seldom, I fancy, have been more appreciated than by these chilled and foot-sore travellers. As for Jacques, he was in high spirits, for the monks had fed the old mule until he was absolutely frisky, and Jacques himself had enjoyed roast mutton, bread, fruit, and wine for supper, and a basin of hot soup for breakfast; it was therefore with sufficient reason that the worthy muleteer preferred the route of St. Bernard to that of Chamouni, and always recommended it to travellers. In leaving the Hospice, the road seemed to offer more difficulties than it had even done during our ascent, and we were glad to follow the steps of two poor women who were driving back a mule that had carried fuel to the Hospice. Firing is a considerable article of expense to the monks, as wood is only procurable at a distance of ten miles, suitable for the purpose, and mule carriage adds materially to its value. The monks begin to lay in their winter store of logs in July, al. though, of course, firing is always required, as a night was never known in which the thermometer did not

fall below freezing point on the St. Bernard, while rain and fog, even during the summer, increase the sensation of intense cold. As I watched the short crimson stuff petticoats, and the ribboned hats of the women, as they sturdily drove their active mule over the shining snow, some surprise arose in my mind, that for so small a sum as they probably received, they could be induced to a work of so much labour, and perhaps danger; but I found that the path is too well known to the mountaineers, to create the slightest alarm ; while such is the general reverence for the monks, that peasants living as far away as Liddes and its neighbouring villages constantly attend chapel service in the IIospice, and return the following day; an abundant meal is prepared every Sunday for thirty persons, and the peasants consider the visit as one of their dearest privileges. In descending, it was curious and interesting to observe the gradual change in the scenery, incident to particular elevations. After quitting the Mount, where every gorge is filled with snow, every peak is an “icy palace,” and where nought meets the eye but the wild desolate regions of eternal snow, sparkling and unstained—it is observed, that the snow is less pure in colour, and occasionally severed into huge blocks, beneath which flows a rapid torrent: farther yet, and the bold granite wholly casts off its mantle, and is dotted with the dark blue heart’sease; then again appears a stream, calmly flowing in its bright bed, among moss and lichen, the tender blue-bell, the delicate forget-me-not, and the glowing Alpine rose; while every mile vegetation increases in its beauty, until majestic rocks appear clothed with oak and fir, beneath which the peasant mows rich grass upon the verdant meadows, and the yellow corn ripe for harvest waves among wild fruit trees laden with their produce. It has been my fate to see much of various modes of life, and many countries; to have visited mountains considered holy by superstition, and those really so by the revelations of true religion. Some I have seen crowned with ice, and others pouring forth volcanic fire; some selected as the abiding places of devotees, existing in caves and holes in the earth, like wild beasts, and others selected for the retirement of the wise, the intelligent, and the good. I have learnt to respect the Jani devotee, toiling through almost interminable forests to worship his Creator on the sacred mounts of Western India, and the monk of Denodur, giving freely in his Hospice to all who asked it; yet the strongest interest that had ever been awakened in my mind, fell far short of that which I experienced for the St. Augustin Brethren of St. Bernard, on my return from this visit to their Hospice, for theirs is the active, longsuffering, yet cheerful and reasoning benevolence of learned, intelligent men, who, follow with the zeal of sincerity, that truth, whose linked evidence appeals

to the judgment of all who believe in it.

From St. Bernard, I afterwards visited Chamouni, Mont Blanc, and the Mer de Glace—sublime natural effects, which are unrivalled in the world; but while their interest is principally scenic, that of St. Bernard is touchingly moral; and I would say, let all who desire better to respect their fellow-men, and to learn the full extent of pure benevolence, induced by a sincere faith, visit the Great St. Bernard, and reverence the virtue which will be found there; for the traveller will return, I think, both a more reflective and a kinder natured man, well repaid for the labour he has undergone.

Repetition or familiarity is comfort

I do think when it comes to doing something new even in familiar franchises, it’s safe to say that’s often too risky to be well-received by others. Whether if it’s changing a character’s ethnicity (supposing if Tim Drake’s actually of Scottish and Native American descent), personality (Stephanie’s often irritated by Tim’s laziness and womanising) or whatever some fans may not like it if it happens at all.

Actually even without changing the character’s ethnicity, it’s still a big risk to do something actually new and different to familiar characters. Even if that makes stories much less repetitive in this regard, should writers ever bother altering familiar characters there’s bound to be backlash. Bother turning Stephanie into an angry Goth who beats up Tim for screwing up, that’s going to weird fans out.

Or if Tim Drake’s actually of Native American descent.

Une famille belge avant Jésus-Christ (Google Books)

d’argent, et qui faisait par échanges la plupart de ses transactions. Les murs extérieurs de la maison, peints de couleurs vives et variées, représentaient des arbres et des animaux grossièrement faits, mais pourtant reconnaissables. Ainsi un cheval ne ressemblait pas à un bœuf, ni un chien à un pourceau, comme on le remarquait ailleurs. Du dehors, l’habitation de Farweich, composée de plusieurs cabanes qui se touchaient, ressemblait à ces vieux manoirs féodaux, qui consistaient dans l’assemblage de plusieurs tours basses et lourdes, jointes ensemble, et projetant dans l’air leurs toits pointus de hauteurs inégales. La porte d’entrée était faite d’épais soliveaux de chêne. Au-dessus de cette porte se hérissaient quatre têtes de loups, que les enfants de la maison avaient tués à la chasse. # , La première cabane, qui ne faisait qu’une salle, et qu’on eut appelé la salle d’honneur, si ce mot eut pu être soupçonné alors, était peinte en dedans de raies rouges jusqu’à la hauteur du toit, dont le dessous champêtre restait à nu, et laissait voir les joncs, les perches et l’osier qui le formaient. D’énormes piques, qu’il fallait manier à deux mains, et dont le fer avait six pouces de large sur un pied de long, étaient dressées contre la muraille. De solides massues en chêne durci au feu, étaient posées sur des crochets de bois. Il y avait encore des arcs, des flèches, des javelots, des épieux, des fléaux. Les dépouilles du cerf, du sanglier, du renard et du loup, s’étalaient en trophées, attachées à des chevilles peintes. Au milieu était une grande table, supportée par douze pierres de dimen

sions à peu près égales : elle était entourée d’une multitude de siéges ou tabourets faits en osier et portés sur quatre pieds qui s’écartaient par en bas, et qui étaient peints en cire jaune. Une douzaine de boucliers étaient entassés dans un coin. Vis-à-vis on voyait une sorte de buffet ou dressoir, formé de quatre grandes planches, soutenues par des rondins l’un sur l’autre. Ce buffet présentait des plats de terre, des écuelles, des cornes d’urus, un vaste bassin de cuivre, des couteaux de fer d’une seule pièce, manche et lame, et de grandes cuillers de bois. On fit asseoir Bood : les femmes apprêtaient le dîner. La famille de Farweich se composait de sa femme et de ses dix enfants; il avait perdu le onzième à la bataille de l’autre année. De ses quatre filles, Ghelta seule était mariée. Les trois autres, quoiqu’elles fussent nubiles, et qu’elles ne manquassent pas d’attraits, ne firent pas oublier leur . sœur au Nervien. Elle vinrent avec leur mère le remercier du salut de Ghelta, qui lui était dû. Les fils vinrent aussi lui serrer la main et lui jurer d’être ses appuis; après quoi, on alla chercher pour se mettre à table, l’eubage qui avait présidé à la cérémonie du matin et qui devait être du repas. Pendant ce temps, Bood examinait ses hôtes. La table était peinte et lavée: , on plaçait au milieu le grand plat de cuivre, entouré de fleurs; il portait un agneau rôti tout entier. Les femmes qui servaient n’avaient de charme dans leur toilette que leur propreté exquise : une simple robe sans manches, en étoffe à petites raies, faisait tout leur vêtement. Elles avaient les jambes nues, un bracelet d’étain à la cheville, et les pieds dans les chaussons de p de

lièvre. Leurs cheveux étaient relevés sur la tête ou liés derrière le cou avec ‘un cordon, que cachait une fleur ouune , branche d’arbuste. La mère, quoiqu’elle eut des cheveux gris, avait la tête nue comme ses filles. Les cheveux de la plus jeune étaient réunis en quatre tresses qui tombaient au hasard. Toute cette famille était blonde, à l’exception de Ghelta, qui avait les cheveux châtains. Les jeunes filles regardaient avec attention Boodle-Nervien, qui était brun, couleur assez rare alors dans ce pays, vierge encore des invasions méridionales. Les autres cabanes étaient faites et meublées à peu près comme lapremière, excepté que les unes contenaient les lits composés de nattes, de peaux assouplies, de sacs de feuillage, de mousse, de laine ou de plumes, qu’on appelle aujourd’hui de sommiers, des matelats

of money, and which traded most of its transactions. The exterior walls of the house, painted in vivid and varied colors, represented crudely made but recognizable trees and animals. Thus a horse did not look like an ox, nor a dog like a swine, as we noticed elsewhere. From the outside, Farweich’s house, made up of several huts that touched each other, resembled these old feudal manors, which consisted in the assembly of several low and heavy towers, joined together, and projecting their pointed roofs of air into the air. uneven heights. The front door was made of thick oak joists. Above this door stood four wolf heads, which the children of the house had killed while hunting. # The first cabin, which was only one room, and which would have been called the main room, if this word could have been suspected then, was painted within red stripes up to the height of the roof, whose the country underside remained bare, and revealed the rushes, poles and wicker that formed it. Huge pikes, which had to be handled with two hands, and whose iron was six inches wide by one foot long, were erected against the wall. Solid clubs in fire-hardened oak were placed on wooden hooks. There were still bows, arrows, javelins, spears, plagues. The remains of the deer, wild boar, fox and wolf spread out in trophies, attached to painted pegs. In the middle was a large table, supported by twelve dimen stones

about equal: it was surrounded by a multitude of seats or stools made of wicker and carried on four legs which parted from below, and which were painted in yellow wax. A dozen shields were piled up in a corner. Opposite we saw a sort of sideboard or dresser, formed of four large boards, supported by logs one on the other. This buffet featured earthenware, bowls, urus horns, a large copper basin, one-piece iron knives, handle and blade, and large wooden spoons. Bood was seated: the women were preparing dinner. Farweich family consisted of his wife and ofhis ten children; he had lost the eleventh at the battle of the other year. Of her four daughters, Ghelta alone was married. The other three, though they were nubiles, and that they did not lack attractions, did not make forget their. sister to Nervien. They came with their mother to thank him for the greeting of Ghelta, which was due to him. The sons also came to shake his hand and swear to be his support; after which, we went to get to sit at the table, the cleaning which had presided over the morning ceremony and which was to be of the meal. Meanwhile, Bood was examining his hosts. The table was painted and washed: the large copper dish, surrounded by flowers, was placed in the middle; he was carrying a whole roast lamb. The women who served had no charm in their toilet except their exquisite cleanliness: a simple sleeveless dress, in fabric with small stripes, made all their clothing. They had bare legs, a tin ankle bracelet,

Hare. Their hair was raised on the head or tied behind the neck with a cord, hidden by a flower or a branch of a shrub. The mother, although she had gray hair , had the bare head like her daughters. The youngest’s hair was gathered in four braids which fell at random. This whole family was blonde, except for Ghelta, who had hairbrown. The young girls looked attentively at Boodle-Nervien, who was brown, a color quite rare then in this country, still untouched by southern invasions. The other huts were made and furnished roughly like the first, except that some contained the beds made up of mats, softened skins, bags of foliage, moss, wool or feathers, which are now called box springs, mattresses

The Cloister and the Hearth: A Tale of the Middle Ages, Volume 3 (Google Books)

‘So he to the “rotboss,” and I to a decent inn, and sketched the landlord’s daughter by candle-light, and started at morn batzen three the richer, but could not find my master, so loitered slowly on, and presently met him coming west for me, and cursing the quiens. Why so? Because he could blind the culls but not the quiens. At last I prevailed on him to leave cursing and canting, and tell me his adventure. Said he, “I sat outside the gate of yon monastery, full of sores, which I showed the passers-by. Oh, Bon Bec, beautifuller sores you never saw; and it rained coppers in my hat. Presently the monks came home from some procession, and the convent dogs ran out to meet them, curse the quiens!” “What! did they fall on thee and bite thee, poor soul?” “Worse, worse, dear Bon Bec. Had they bitten me, I had earned silver. But the great idiots, being, as I think, puppies, or little better, fell on me where I sat, downed me, and fell a-licking my sores among them; as thou, false knave, didst swear the whelps in heaven licked the sores of Lazybones, a beggar of old.” “Nay, nay,” said I, “I said no such thing. But tell me, since they bit thee not, but sportfully licked thee, what harm?” “What harm, noodle? Why, the sores came off.” “How could that be?” “How could aught else be, and them just fresh put on? Did I think he was so weak as bite holes in his flesh with ratsbane? Nay, he was an artist, — a painter like his servant, — and had put on sores made of pig’s blood, rye meal, and glue. So when the folk saw my sores go on tongues of puppies, they laughed; and I saw cord or sack before me. So up I jumped, and shouted, ‘. A miracle! a miracle! The very dogs of this holy convent be holy, and have cured me. Good fathers,’ cried I, ‘ whose day is this ? * ‘Saint Isidore’s,’ said one. ‘Saint Isidore!’ cried I, in a sort of rapture. ‘Why, Saint Isidore is my patron saint, so that accounts.’ And the simple folk swallowed my miracle as those accursed quiens my wounds. But the monks took me inside and shut the gate, and put their heads together. But I have a quick ear, and one did say, ‘ Caret miraculo monasterium,’ which is Greek patter, I trow, — leastways it is no beggar’s cant. Finally they bade the lay brethren give me a hiding, and take me out a back way and put me on the road, and threatened me did I come back to the town to hand me to the magistrate and have me drowned for a plain impostor. ‘Profit now by the Church’s grace,’ said they, ‘and mend thy ways.’ So forward, Bon Bec, for my life is not sure nigh hand this town.” As we went he worked his shoulders: “Wow! but the brethren laid on. And what means yon piece of monk’s cant, I wonder?” So I told him the words meant, ” The monastery is in want of a miracle,” but the application thereof was dark to me. “Dark,” cried he, “dark as noon! Why, it means they are going to work the miracle, my miracle, and gather all the grain I sowed. Therefore these blows on their benefactor’s shoulders; therefore is he that wrought their scurvy miracle driven forth with stripes and threats. Oh, cozening knaves!” Said I, ” Becomes you to complain of guile.” “Alas! Bon Bec,” said he, “I but outwit the simple; but these monks would pluck Lucifer of his wing feathers.” And went a league bemoaning himself that he was not convent-bred like his servant, — “he would put it to more profit,” — and railing on quiens. “And as for those monks, there was One above.” “Certes,” said I, ” there is One above. What then?” “Who will call those shavelings to compt, one day,” quoth he. “And all deceitful men,” said I.

Hap-hazard (Google Books)

Search Results
First nations, first dogs: Canadian aboriginal ethnocynology – Page 180
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Bryan David Cummins – 2002 – ‎Snippet view
Dogs would be able to pursue on the snow, running ahead of the quarry, leaping at its nose, trying to either corner it or … Most often these were Tahltan Bear Dogs or smaller animals kept by childless women or mothers whose children had …
The dog: an historical, psychological and personality study – Page 164
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Joseph Perlson – 1968 – ‎Snippet view
In sexually hyperesthetic women the sexual feeling has been produced by casual contact with pet dogs, and Kraft- Ebing has … In most cases of this affection there is certainly no sexual element; in the case of childless women, it may rather be …

Between the Species: Readings in Human-animal Relations – Page 56
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Arnold Arluke – 2009 – ‎Snippet view
Although there were a few exceptions among women, men were more likely to cite joint activities with their dogs as valuable. Of course, women did … But childless women were not the only ones to describe dogs as children. Both the women …

North Dakota Outdoors – Volumes 8-10
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1945 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
Everyone says that Germany has one to the dogs, most people say that he world has gone to the dogs, all old eople say that … The famatical dog lover is almost always a childless woman who has displaced her motherly affection that should …
Publications D’ethnologie – Page 165
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1970 – ‎Snippet view
On the other hand, when stray dogs in the village sometimes get into bloody fights, all women and children in the vicinity are likely to … Most often they belonged to childless women or to mothers whose children had grown up and left them.
My Old People Say: An Ethnographic Survey of Southern Yukon …
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Catharine McClellan, ‎Canadian Ethnology Service, ‎Canadian Museum of Civilization – 2001 – ‎Snippet view – ‎More editions
On the other hand, when stray dogs in the village sometimes get into bloody fights, all women and children in the vicinity are likely to … Most often they belonged to childless women or to mothers whose children had grown up and left them.

“Why, I’m as old as Horace Greeley, and I remember when he started the ‘New-Yorker.’ I was a New-Yorker myself at that time. Good gracious, how that city has changed I remember I owned a large lot on the corner of Broadway and Canal Street. Bless you, I sold it one day at what I considered a bargain If I’d only held on, I’d have been worth a sight of money. And Horace,— well, he’s fought it out on one line all these years, and I must say he ‘s done first-rate on the whole. He’s got the queerest lot of kinks in his head of any sensible man I ever knew, but, after all, he ‘s on the right side. He ‘s honest, and that ‘s more than you can say for the rest of ’em. I get as mad — why, I get as mad as — well, no matter what— with the “Tribune” sometimes, and I tell my wife I’ll stop it, but she brings me to my senses by asking me how I’m to better myself. So I hang on, and, take it all round, get my money’s worth. But we were talking about lecturing,” he continued. “Well, now, there’s Western Virginia; why don’t

you make us a visit, and tell the people of the United States what a great country it is, and what undeveloped resources it has There is n’t a man in Washington knows anything about it. Everybody goes tearing off to California, and here’s something under their very noses they won’t look at. Why, even Horace Greeley pretends to visit Virginia, but he hangs round Norfolk, and goes home as ignorant of the western part of the old State as when he went. We never took to slavery. We were always on the other side of the fence, and none of you writers come near us. All we require is to be written up. Why don’t the Yankee girls come down and give us a few lessons in matters and things? I know we’re all pretty rough, but I tell you we’ve got “grit,’ and every one of those girls would find a first-rate husband. Instead of which they stay there in Massachusetts and live and die old maids. I tell you it is n’t right. They ought to leave home. The country needs them, and if they knew what’s good for them as well as I do, they would. There’s no more reason why women should stick in one place than men. I believe in work for everybody. These dolls of girls that do nothing, what do they amount to ? They ain’t worth their feed. They’re just about as much use in the world as poodles, and I’d enough sight rather board a poodle, for he costs less. I tell you society is all wrong, and we’ve got to have a revolution if we want republican institutions to last. We’ve got rid of slavery, and now we must get rid of all these confounded notions about what makes ladies and gentlemen. I want to see full-length men and women, I do.” By all means let us have them, instead of these quarter-views. “How do these people communicate with the world !” I asked, pointing to isolated shanties on the banks of the river. “Where do they go for letters and papers?” “They don’t communicate. They never go anywhere for letters and papers. Most of ’em can’t read,” answered the pilot. “Whom do they vote for ” “General Jackson . ” “Well, you may laugh, but it’s true,” said a gentleman. “I happened into one of these shanties shortly after the war, and the man asked me my name. ‘Grant,’ I replied.” “Seems to me I’ve heard that name before. He fit in the war, did n’t he 4” “Yes.” “I thought so, but I don’t remember which side

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And this is enlightened, newspaper-reading, patriotic America :

The Christian Remembrancer, Volume 18 (Google Books)

“After many vain entreaties, Clara had at length to descend and seize the wild bird by the wing—I mean thereby the arm—and carry her off to the castle. The young men would have followed, but they were engaged to attend his highness on a fishing excursion that afternoon, and were obliged to see after their nets and tackle. So the two maidens walked up and down the corridor undisturbed; and Clara asked if she had yet learnt the Catechism.

“Illa.-‘‘No ; I have no wish to learn it.” Haec.—“But if the priest has to reprimand you publicly from the pulpit?” Illa.-“I counsel him not to do it.” Haec.—“Why, what would you do to him 7” Illa.-” He will find that out.” ”

Clara here goes on to remonstrate with the bold freedom of her manner, concluding with a warning on the evident designs she entertained upon the young duke, Ernest.

“Can you think that our gracious prince, a son of Pomerania, will make thee his duchess 2 Thou who art only a common nobleman’s daughter.” ‘Illa.—“A common nobleman’s daughter!—that is good from the peasant girl. You are common enough, and low enough, I warrant; but my blood is as old as that of the Dukes of Pomerania; and besides, I am a castle and land-dowered maiden. But who are you? Who are you? Your forefathers were hunted out of Mecklenburg, and only got footing here in Pomerania out of charity.” “Hac.—“Do not be angry, dear lady; you say true; yet I must add that my forefathers were once Counts of Mecklenburg, and from their loyalty to the Dukes of Pomerania, were given possessions here in Daber, where they have been lords of castles and lands for 250 years. Yet I will confess that your race is nobler than mine; but dear child, I make no boast of my ancestry, nor is it fitting for either of us to do so. The right royal Prince, who is given as an example and model to us all—who is Lord not over castle and land, but of the heavens and the earth—the Saviour Jesus Christ—he took no account of his arms or his ancestry, though the whole starry universe was his banner. He was as humble towards the little child as to the learned doctors in the temple—to the chiefs among the people as to the trembling sinner, and the blind beggar Bartimeus. Let us take, then, this Prince for an example, and mind our life long what he says, “Come unto me, and learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.’ Will you not learn of him, dear lady? I will, if God give me grace.” ‘And she extended her hand to Sidonia, who dashed it away crying, “Stuff! nonsense ! you have learned all this twaddle from the priest, who I know is nephew to the shoemaker in Daber, and therefore hates any one who is above him in rank.” ‘Clara was about to reply mildly, but they happened now to be standing close to the public flight of steps; and a peasant girl ran up when she saw them, and flung herself at Clara’s feet, entreating the young lady to save her, for she had run away from Daber, where they were going to burn her as a witch. The pious Clara recoiled in horror, and desiring her to rise, said, “Art thou Anne Wolde, some time keeper of the swine for my father? How fares it with my dearest father and mother?” “They were well when she ran away, but she had been wandering now for fourteen days on the road, living upon roots and wild berries, or what the herds gave her out of their knapsacks for charity. ‘IIaec.—“What crime wast thou suspected of, girl, to be condemned to so terrible a death 2″ “Illa.—“She had a lover named Albert, who followed her every where; but as she would not listen to him, he hated her, and pretended that she had given him a love-drink.” “There Sidonia laughed aloud, and asked if she knew how to brew the love-drink 2 “Illa.-‘‘Yes; she learned from her elder sister how to make it, but had never tried it upon any one, and was perfectly innocent of all they charged her with.” ‘Here Clara shook her head, and wished to get rid of the witch girl; for she thought truly, if Sidonia learns the brewing secret, she will poison and destroy the whole castle full, and we shall have the devil bodily with us in earnest. So she pushed away the girl, who still clung to her, weeping and lamenting. Thereupon Sidonia grew quite grave and pious all of a sudden, and said: “See the hypocrite she is . She first sets before me the example of Christ, and then treats this poor sinner with nothing but cross thorns ! Has not Christ said, ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy 2′ but only see how this bigot can have Christ on her tongue, but not in her heart 1″ “The pious Clara grew quite ashamed of such talk, and raising up the wretch, who had again fallen upon her knees, said, “Well, thou mayest remain; so get thee to my maid, and she will give thee food. I shall also write to my father for thy pardon, and meanwhile, ask leave from her Grace, to allow thee to remain here until it arrives; but if thou art guilty, I cannot promise thee my protection any longer, and thou wilt be burned here in place of at Daber.” So the witch-girl was content, and importuned them no further.’

Sidonia, it will be readily supposed, loses no time in obtaining the unlawful secret from the witch-girl, and trying its effects on the young Prince Ernest, who however scarcely needed any additional charm, so completely was he already fascinated by her natural arts and great beauty. However, under the influence of the potion, things came to a desperate pass. The Duchess having been persuaded, on the occasion of a visit from one of her sons, to give a great entertainment, resolves to punish Sidonia for her contumacy about the Catechism, by forbidding her attendance, and to secure conformity to her commands, locks her up in her own room. In vain Sidonia sends the most urgent and moving entreaties—in vain, she dresses herself in all her splendour, and stands weeping at her window, in order to excite the compassion of the passers by—in vain the whole court pleads for her—the Duchess is inexorable; and finally, the Prince Ernest by force breaks open her door, and brings her into the hall just as his stately mother had concluded dancing a measure with the old chamberlain of her castle. A scene of uproar and bloodshed is the consequence; and Sidonia is that same night secretly hurried off from the castle, and before morning is miles away. But now the philtre begins to work; and the young Prince is pronounced dying. It is soon found that nothing can save his life but Sidonia’s presence. And the poor Duchess, who had sent her away with contumely, is obliged now to entreat her return, and to endure all the airs she gives herself in consequence. In the end, the young Prince concerts a private marriage with Sidonia, which is on the eve of its accomplishment, when a low intrigue is discovered, which opens the Prince’s eyes, though he falls again into a dying state from the despair caused by the discovery, the love potion being still at work within him. He is recovered from this state by counter magic. A prisoner confined for sorcery offers to cure him for the reward of his life. The scene is given with naiveté.

‘This was agreed to ; and when he was brought to the chamber of the Prince, he laid his ear down upon his breast to listen if it were witchcraft that ailed him. Then he spoke.

“Yes, the heart beats quite unnaturally—the sound was like the whimpering of a fly caught in a spider’s web; their lordships might listen for themselves.” Whereupon all present, one after the other, laid their ear upon the breast of the Prince, and heard really as he had described. * * * * * And the carl gave him a red syrup, which he had no sooner swallowed, than all care for Sidonia seemed to have vanished from his mind. Even before the goat’s milk came, he exclaimed,

* “Now that I think over it, what a great blessing that we have got rid of Sidonial ‘’’

After this disgrace, Sidonia goes through many abject and degrading adventures, detailed with a very wearisome minuteness; becomes associated with gypsies and robbers; is disinherited by her father, who himself comes to great disgrace, and destroys himself in consequence, and out of grief for Sidonia’s fall. At length she is taken pity on by her old friend Clara, who believes her penitent, and persuades her husband to admit her as a temporary guest in their castle. Thither she goes, with her familiar in the form of a cat, of whom she has lately become possessed; and to reward Clara’s hospitality, she presently contrives a horrible death for her in revenge for Clara’s having been the means of discovering her intrigue with Appelmann and exposing her real character to the Prince.

After this, for thirty years, we see nothing of Sidonia, her biographer not being able to trace her course during this long period. But revenge against the princely house which had rejected and disgraced her was still the foremost desire of her heart; and she now enters upon the indulgence of it.

The following is her first meeting with her quondam lover duke Ernest after his disenchantment. Such meetings there have sometimes been out of the regions of sorcery and magic.

‘Summa-On the 1st of May, 1592, when the witches gather in the bracken to hold their Walpurgis night, and the princely castle of Wolgast was well guarded from the evil one by white and black crosses placed on every door, an old wrinkled hag was seen about eight o’clock of the morning, (just the time she had returned from the Blocksberg, according to my thinking,) walking slowly up and down the corridor of the princely castle. And Providence so willed it, that at the moment the young and beautiful Princess Elizabeth Magdalena (who had been betrothed to the Duke Frederic of Courland), opened her chamber door and stepped forth to pay her morning greetings to her illustrious father Duke Ernest, and his spouse, the Lady Sophia Hedwig of Brunswick, who sat together drinking their warm beer, and had sent for her.

“So the hag advanced with much friendship, and cried out, “Hey, what a beautiful damsel! but her lord papa was called ‘the handsome ‘ in his time; and wasn’t she as like him as one egg to another. Might she take her ladyship’s little hand and kiss it?” . Now as the hag was bold in her bearing and the young princess a timid thing, she feared to refuse, so she reached forth her hand, alas ! to the witch, who first three times blew on it, murmuring some words before she kissed it; then as the young princess asked her who she was and what she wanted, the evil hag answered: “I would speak with your gracious father, for I have known him well. Ask his princely Grace to come to me, for I have somewhat to say to him.” Now the princess in her simplicity omitted to ask the hag’s name, whereby much evil came to pass; for had she told her gracious father that SidoNIA wished to speak to him, assuredly he never would have come forth, and that fatal and malignant glance of the witch would not have fallen upon him.

‘However, his Serene Grace, . a mild Christian nature, stepped out into the corridor at the request of his dear daughter, and asked the hag who she was and what she wanted. Upon this she fixed her eyes on him in silence for a long while, so that he shuddered, and his blood seemed to turn to ice in his veins. At last she spake. “It is a strange thing, truly, that your Grace should no longer remember the maiden to whom you once promised marriage.” At this His Grace recoiled in horror, and exclaimed, “Ha! Sidonial but how you are changed ‘ ” “Ah!” she answered with a scornful laugh, “you may well triumph now that my cheek is hollow and my beauty gone; and that I have come to you for justice against my own brother in Stramahl, who denies me even i. means of subsistence; you, who brought me to this pass.”

She proceeds to ask him to procure for her a procbenda in the Convent of Marienfliess. After the Reformation, some of these institutions were retained for the daughters of the nobility, though of course without the old vows. The Prince promises her anything she asks, to get rid of her. But the mischief is done: the young princess is soon seized with convulsions, and her possession continues, till the Rev. Professor Dr. Joel, great in white magic, disenchants her; though in the contest he suffers a curious humiliation, for the sight of the poor princess so shocked him, that without taking much heed of his Latin, he exclaimed : “J)eus misereatur peccatoris, upon which the fiend, with a deep bass voice, corrected him, crying, ‘Dic pec‘ catricis, dic peccatricis.’ At length, however, the demon was exorcised. The unhappy father had fallen, meanwhile, into a sickness, which not even the fine Falernian wine of Italy, to which he had always recourse, could cure, and died two months after his encounter with Sidonia. This was the first of the five brothers whom she had doomed to destruction. After this the witch disappeared for a couple of years, when she arrived one day at the §. of Marienfliess, and struck terror into the abbess, by announcing that she was come to take up her residence there. She comported herself with her usual pride and audacity, till the abbess, to her great relief, found she had no credentials, and dismissed her. The abbess then flew to the reigning Duke, brother to the last, and secured a promise from him, that Sidonia should never be admitted into her convent; he pledged himself that she never should in his lifetime; a promise which resulted in his death by the same means. But we cannot stop to recount all the deaths in the royal family, which follow one another in quick succession. She at length obtains the desired praebenda, and Sidonia once more drives into the court of the convent in her one-horse waggon and scanty equipments, but with her full measure of pride and insolence, accompanied by her maid, the old witch Anne Wolde, and her familiar Chim, and takes possession in grand style. What terror she spreads amongst its peaceful inhabitants may be easily imagined. Nor is it, we think, against nature, that while the innocent were daily tortured and burned for witches, the real witch, supposing the existence of such, should escape. She had such ready means of avenging every insult and threatened attack, that for a long time she carried all before her: dispensing gout and rheumatism, possession and death, at her pleasure. There is a certain grotesqueness in the delineation of Sidonia at this stage, which answers more to our notions of the probable, than a more dignified impersonation would have done. The union of supernatural powers with a merely human nature, must disturb the balance of faculties which produce consistent and reasonable conduct; as we often see precocious children eccentric and unreasonable, from not having judgment to control their own powers. Sidonia is reckless, desperate, cruel, greedy, luxurious; she has a sense of the ludicrous, and appreciates what is absurd. Alternately hypocrite and blasphemer; now fawning, now storming with passion; sometimes acting the pious abbess, with an unction which almost forces belief in her sincerity; and then, when such display is most against her interest, singing wild rhymes and dancing in triumph with her cat and her maid,

before the whole shuddering convent. Sometimes praying a prince to death, then fighting with the nuns for the o piece of salmon; alternately brewing philtres and good beer, and equally proud of both accomplishments.

We none of us know how much what is called reasonable conduct—that prudent line of action which guides the world at large—is really caused, not by reason, but by our inability to do otherwise. Our life runs in a groove; we are hedged in at every corner; we are powerless to do otherwise, or to throw aside these most useful trammels. Butlet any of us be endowed suddenly with unaccustomed powers, whether it be wealth, or newly-acquired rank, or release from restraint, and it will need more than the usual retenue and ballast to escape doing something absurd. A man’s circumstances cannot alter, and himself remain precisely the same. If we have experience of this in mundane affairs, what must be the change in a human being becoming possessed of superhuman powers! And when these are of an evil nature, we can suppose any amount of whim and grotesqueness being the consequence; i.e. supposing these monstrous stories of witchcraft possible, we should expect, on natural grounds, a witch to be a wild unreasonable creature, using her powers capriciously and in a short-sighted manner, to her own injury as well as for the destruction of others; because the natural care we have for ourselves would be loosened by a sense of superior independence of action.

When Sidonia, who was as fond of good fare as if she had no other passion, is angry with the sheriff for having sent her a small share of honey, instead of a simple remonstrance, which would have done all she wished, she terrifies the poor man with a vision of bee-hives and swarming bees, and stands at her window amusing herself with his terror; and when a grand consistory assembles to collect charges of witchcraft against her, instead of denying the accusation, as was her wont, or using her powers for her own ultimate safety, she gives them one of the most flagrant specimens of her art, contenting herself with simply dispersing her enemies for the time. For just as the assemblage, with the aid of receipts from Albertus Magnus, Paracelsus, &c., , are preparing to seize upon her, and encouraged by each other, are in a state of bold excitement, she, as it were, unable to resist the amusement of testing their courage, and witnessing the success of some of her own glamouries, presents herself before them. The state prosecutor valiantly exclaims:

* “Well, then, let them rush in, bind the dragon, clap the pitch-plaster upon her mouth, and she is ours in spite of all the fiends.” * “Right, all right,” cried the doctor; “never fear, but I will pay her for

her designs upon me.” “And he began to prepare the plaster with some pitch he had got from the cobbler; when, suddenly, the state prosecutor screamed out: “Merciful heaven! See there ! Look at the shadow of a toad creeping over my paper, whereon I move my hand 1’’ “He springs up—wipes, wipes, wipes—but in vain. The unclean shadow is there still, and crawls over the paper, though never a toad is to be seen. ‘What a commotion of horror this Satan’s work caused among the bystanders, can be easily imagined. All stood up and looked at the toad shadow; when the abbess screamed out, “Merciful heaven’ look there ! look there ! the whole floor is covered with toad shadows.” “Thereupon, all the woman-folk ran screaming from the room, but screamed yet louder when they reached the door, and met there Sidonia and her cat face to face. Round they all wheeled again—rushed to the back door—out into the yard—over the pond—and into the oak wood— without daring once to look behind them. But the men remained, for the doctor said bravely: “Wait now, good friends, patience, she can do us no harm; ” and he murmured some words. But just as they all made the sign of the cross, and silently put up a prayer to God, and gathered up their legs on the benches, so that the unclean shadows might not crawl upon their boots, the horrible hag appeared at the window, and her cat in his little red hose clambered up on the sill, mewing and crying. * * * Summa. — She laid one hand upon the window, the better to look in, and clenching the other, shook it at them crying out, “Wait, ye peasant boors; I too will judge ye for your sins !” # * * And as she began to murmur some words, and spat out before them all, the state prosecutor jumped up after the women, and Sheriff Sparling rushed out after him, and they never stopped or stayed till both reached the oak wood.’

Always confident, always self-possessed and fearless, Sidonia continues more than a match for her accusers. Having ‘prayed the abbess to death,” she gets the nuns to elect her in her stead; and on the then reigning Duke visiting the convent, impudently advances at the head of the whole body of nuns, to receive him in state.

‘Now his Highness was a meek man and seldom angry, but his brow grew black with wrath, when Sidonia, stepping up to the coach, bowed low, and in her cat’s tippet—herself a cat in cunning and deceit—threw up her eyes hypocritically to heaven. “How now!” cried his Grace; “who hath suffered you, Sidonia, to play the abbess over these virgins 7″ To which my hag replied, “Gracious Prince, ask these virgins here if they have not selected me to be their abbess of their own free will; and they are now come to entreat your Highness to confirm the choice of their hearts.” “Marry,” quoth the Duke, “I have heard enough of your doings from the neighbouring nobles and others. I know well how you have made the poor Abbess Magdalena bite the dust. Item, how you forced these poor virgins to elect you abbess through mortal and deadly fear. Speak, dear sisters, fear nothing; I your prince command you. . Have you not elected this piece of sin and vanity to be your abbess, simply through fear of your lives?”

“But the virgins looked down upon the ground—were silent and trembled, while my sheriff [the head authority in the district] plunged his hand into his wide boots for the kerchief to wipe his face, for he saw well how it would end. A second time his Grace asked, “Was it from fear?” When at last one answered, named Agnest Kleist.

* “In truth, gracious prince, it was from pure bodily fear alone that we elected Sidonia as our abbess.””

In reward for her courage in making this confession he elects Agnest abbess, and solemly warns and threatens Sidonia, giving the sheriff directions if she leaves the convent to use the harshest measures in punishment.

“So the new abbess answered—“Your Highness shall be obeyed:”— “But my sheriff could not utter a word from horror, and seemed stifling with a thick husky cough in his throat. But when Sidonia crept up close to him, and menaced him privately with her dry clenched hand, he forgot himself entirely, and made a spring that brought him clean over the churchyard wall, while his sword clattered after him, and his plumed beaver dropt from his head to the ground. All the lacqueys laughed loud at the sight, even his Grace laughed. But my sheriff makes the best of it, and calls out— “Ah, see, my Lord Duke, how the little boys have stolen the flowers that I myself planted on the grave of the blessed abbess. I’ll make them pay for it, the thieving brats | ” Thereat his Grace asked why the abbess was not buried within the church, but in the graveyard. And they answered, she had so commanded. Whereupon, he answered mildly, “The good mother is worthy of a prayer; I shall go and say a paternoster upon her grave, and see if the youngsters have left me a flower to carry away for memory.” * So he alighted, made Eggert show him the grave, removed his hat and prayed, while all his suite in the six coaches uncovered their heads likewise. Lastly, he made the sign of the cross, and bent over the grave to pluck a flower. But just then a warm, heavy wind blew across the graves, and all the flowers drooped, faded, and turned yellow as it passed. Yea,

even a yellow stripe seemed to mark its passage straight across all the

graves over the court, and .# to the spot where the thrice accursed witch stood upon the convent wall; and people afterwards remarked, that all plants, grass, flowers, and shrubs, within that same stripe, turned pale and faded; only some poison plants, as hemlock, nightshade, and the like, stood up green and stiff along that livid line. When the Duke observed this, he shook his head, but made no remark, stepped hastily, however, into his carriage, after again earnestly admonishing Sidonia.’

Not long after this scene, and when all were looking for some harm to come from it—

“Anna Apenborg went to the brewhouse which lay inside the convent walls, (it was one of Sidonia’s praying days,) and there she saw a strange apparition of a three-legged hare. She runs and calls the other sisters; whereupon they all scamper out of their cells, and down the steps to see the miracle; and behold §. sits the three-legged hare; but when Agnest Kleist took off her slipper and threw it at the É. sprite, my hare is off, and never a trace of him could be found again in the whole brewhouse or the whole convent court. Thereat the nuns shuddered; and each virgin has her opinion in the matter, but speaks it not; for just then comes Sidonia forth, with old Wolde and the cat, and the three begin their devil’s dance, while the cat squalls and wails, and the old witch-hag screams her hell psalm :—

“Also kleien und also kratzen,
Meine Hunde und meine Katzen.”

“Next day, however, the poor virgins heard to their deep sorrow what NO. LXVI.-N.S. C C

the three-legged hare betokened, even as they had suspected; for the cry came to the convent, that his Grace good Duke Philip was dead, and the tidings ran like a signal fire through the people, that this kind, wise, just prince had been bewitched to death.’ It is no departure again from the truth of nature that this sorceress, even if the real Sidonia had been the wretch M. Meinbold chooses to represent her, was suffered to exist so long; there are instances enough in all ages, and especially where life is least regarded, of persons universally odious living on to a protracted old age, while each little private caprice or grudge revenges itself on the instant by the death of its victim. Murder, fearless for its own ends, seldom rouses itself to act for the community—to avenge the general wrong, and the temptation to it arises most commonly from some creeping inadequate private end. In accordance with this view, Sidonia lives on the centre of all evil and misfortune, in the midst of enemies, and their feeble judicial efforts against her, till her 84th year: when history records her trial and death. The reigning prince is now the fourth brother, Duke Francis, who having been impatient of his brother’s lenity, commences a furious crusade against witches, with a view it would seem to keep Sidonia in order; for no one dares to touch her in the ordinary course of law. Here we make more formal acquaintance with the same Dr. Joel whose latinity was called in question, and who is deeply learned in all the writers on magic, and so well able, as it proves, to contend with the sorceress, that the wonder is, he had not volunteered his interference before ; however he waits till he is asked by Duke Francis if there were no spiritual agency to break the powers of this witch; for as to human, it was out of the question, since no one could be found to lay his hands on her. Whereupon we are enlightened by “my magister’ on many cabalistic secrets. He has ascertained that the only means of encountering Sidonia’s familiar is, through one out of two forms of conjuration: either through the Sun-angel, who may by certain difficult ceremonies be invoked, or the Schem Hamphorasch, or seventy names of the Most High. M. Meinhold speaks with such unction, that it is difficult to believe his own disclaimer of Dr. Joel’s exegesis in a note. We are tempted to quote the exegesis to our readers, as an example of the ingenuity with which any absurdity may be supported. We believe there is still in the world a great tendency to such speculations.

: “Wherefore is it that the great God does not appear to men now, as he

did in times long past? . I answer, because we no longer know his name. This name Adam knew in Paradise, and therefore spake with God as well as with all animals and plants. Noah, Abraham, Moses, Elias, Elijah, &c. all knew this name, and performed their wonders by it alone. But when the beastly and idolatrous Jews gave themselves over to covetousness and all uncleanliness, they forgot this holy name; so, as a punishment, they endured a year of slavery for each of the seventy names which they had forgotten; and we find them, therefore, serving seventy years in Babylonish bonds. After this, they never learnt it again, and all miracles and wonders ceased from among them, until the ever-blessed God sent his Son into the world to teach them once more the Schem Hamphorasch; and to all who believed on him he freely imparted this name, by which also they worked wonders; and that it might be fixed for ever in their hearts, he taught them the blessed Pater Noster, in which they were bid each day to repeat the words “Hallowed be thy name.’ Yea, even in that last glorious highpriestly prayer of his—in face of the bitter anguish and death that was awaiting him, he says, “Father, keep them in thy name !” or, as Luther translates it, “Keep them above thy name !’ For how easily that name is lost, we learn from David, who says, that he spelt it over in §: night, so that it might not pass from his mind. (Ps. cxix. 55.) Item, after the resurrection he gave command to go and baptize all nations—not in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, as Luther has falsely rendered the passage, but for, or by the name—that such might always be kept before their eyes, and never more pass away from the knowledge of mankind. And the holy apostles faithfully kept it, and St. Paul made it known to the Heathen, as we learn Acts ix. 15. And all miracles that they performed were by this name. Now the knowledge remained also with the early Christians, and each person was baptized by this name; and he who knew it by heart could work miracles likewise, as we know by Justin Martyr and others, who have written of the power and miraculous gifts of the early church. But when the pure doctrine became corrupted, and the Christian church (like the Jewish of former times) gave itself up to idolatry, masses, imageworship, and the like, the knowledge of the mystic name was withdrawn, and all miracles have ceased in the church from that up to this day.” “