The British Essayists: Containing the Spectator, Tatler, Guardian …, Volume 4 (Google Books)

No. 25.] THURSDAY, JUNE 21, 1753.

I Have the pleasure of informing my fair correspondent, that her petition, contained in the following letter, is granted. I wish I could as easily restore to her what she has lost. But to a mind like hers, so elevated so harmonized time and the consciousness of so much purity of intention will bring relief. It must always af. ford her matter of the most pleasing reflection, that her soul had no participation with her material part in that particular act which she appears to mention with so tender a regret. But it is not my intention to anticipate her story, by endeavouring to console her. Her letter, I hope, will caution all young ladies of equal virtue with herself against that excess of complaisance with which they are sometimes too willing to entertain their lovers.



I have not the least ill-will to your friend Mr. Dodsley, whom I never saw in my life; but I address myself to your equity and good nature, for a small share only of your favour and recommendation in that new and valuable branch of trade, to which you have informed the public he is now applying himself, and which I hope you will not think it reasonable that he should monopolize. I mean that admirable short and secret method of communicating one’s ideas by ingenious emblems and representations of the pencil, instead of the vulgar and old method of

Give me leave, Sir, to state I am

letters by the pen. my case and my qualifications to you: sure you will decide with justice. I am the daughter of a clergyman, who, having had a very good living, gave me a good education, and left me no fortune. I had naturally a turn to reading and drawing: my father encouraged and assisted me in the one, allowed me a master to instruct me in the other, and I made an uncommon progress in them both. My heart was tender, and my sentiments were delicate; perhaps too much so for my rank in life. This disposition led me to study chiefly those treasures of sublime honour, spotless virtue, and refined sentiment, the voluminous romances of the last century; sentiments from which, I thank Heaven, I have never deviated. From a sympathizing softness of soul how often have I wept over those affecting distresses! How have I shared the pangs of the chaste and lovely Mariamne upon the death of the tender, the faithful Tiridates! And how has my indignation been excited at the unfaithful and ungenerous historical misrepresentations of the gallant first Brutus, who was undoubtedly the tenderest lover that ever lived My drawings took the same elegant turn with my reading. I painted all the most moving and tender stories of charming Ovid’s Metamorphoses; not without sometimes mingling my tears with my colours. I presented some fans of my own painting to several ladies in the neighbourhood, who were pleased to commend both the execution and the designs. The latter I always took care should be moving, and at the same time irreproachably pure; and I found means even to represent with unblemished delicacy the unhappy passion of the unfortunate Pasiphaë. With this turn of mind, this softness of soul, it will be supposed that I loved. I did so, Sir ; tenderly and truly I loved. Why should I disown a passion, which, when clarified as mine was from the impure dregs of sensuality, is the noblest and most generous sentiment of the human breast? O ! that the false heart of the dear deceiver, whose perfidious vows betrayed mine, had been but as pure l—The traitor was quartered with his troop of dragoons in the town where I lived. His person was a happy compound of the manly strength of a hero, and all the softer graces of a lover; and I thought that I discovered in him, at first sight, all the courage, and all the tenderness of Oroondates. My figure, which was not bad, it seems pleased him as much. He sought and obtained my acquaintance. Soon by his eyes, and soon after by his words, he declared his passion to me. My blushes, my confusion, and my silence, too plainly spoke mine. Good gods’ how tender were his words! how languishingly soft his eyes! with what ardour did he snatch and press my hand! a trifling liberty, which one cannot

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decently refuse, and for which refusal there is no precedent. Sometimes he addressed me in the moving words of Varanes, sometimes in the tender accents of Castalio, and sometimes in the warmer language of Juba; for he was a very good scholar. In short, Sir, a month was not past before he pressed for what he called a proof of my passion. I trembled at the very thought, and reproached him with the indelicacy of it. He persisted; and I, in compliance with custom only, hinted previous marriage: he urged love; and I was not vulgar enough to refuse to the man I tenderly loved the proof he required of my passion. I yielded, it is true; but it was to sentiment, not to desire. A few months gave me reason to suspect that his passion was not quite so pure; and within the year the perfidious wretch convinced me that it had been merely sensual: for upon the removal of his troop to other quarters, he took a cold leave of me, and contented himself with saying, that in the course of quarters he hoped to have the pleasure, some time or other, of seeing me again. You, Mr. Fitz-Adam, if you have any elegancy of soul, as I dare say you have, can better guess than I can express the agonies I felt, and the tears I shed upon this occasion; but all in vain; vain as the thousand tender letters which I have written to him since, and to which I have received no answer. As all this passed within the course of ten months, I had but one child; which dear pledge of my first and only love I now maintain at the expense of more than half of what I have to subsist upon myself. Having now, as I hope, prepared your compassion and proved my qualification, I proceed to the prayer of my petition; which is, that you will be pleased to recommend me to the public, with all that authority which you have sojustly acquired, for a share of this new and beneficial branch of trade. I mean no farther than the just bounds to which the female province may extend. Let Mr. Dodsley engross all the rest, with my best wishes.—Though I say it, I believe nobody has a clearer notion of the theory of delicate sentiments than I have; and I have already a considerable stock in hand of these allegorical and emblematical paintings, applicable to almost every situation in which a woman of sense, virtue, and delicacy, can find herself. I indulged my fancy in painting them, according to the various dispositions of mind which my various fortunes produced. I think I may say, without vanity, that I have made considerable improvements in the celebrated map of the realms of love in Clelia. I have adorned the banks of the gentle and crystalline Tender with several new villages and groves; and added expression to the pleasing melancholic groves of sighs and tender cares. I have whole quires, painted in my happier moments, of hearts united and crowned, fluttering cupids, wanton

zephyrs, constant and tender doves, myrtle bowers, banks of jessamine and tuberose, and shady groves. These will require very little filling up, if any, from ladies who are in the transporting situation of growing loves. For the forsaken and complaining fair, with whom, alas! I too fatally sympathize, I have tender willows drooping over murmuring brooks, and gloomy walks of mournful cypress and solemn yew. In short, Sir, I either have by me, or will forthwith provide, whatever can convey the most perfect ideas of elegant friendship, or pure, refined, and sentimental passion. But I think it necessary to give notice, that if any ladies would express any indelicate ideas of love, or require any types or emblems of sensual joys, they must not apply to, Sir, Your most obedient humble servant, PARTHENissa.

No. 26.] THURSDAY, JUNE 28, 1758.

SIMPL1c1ry is with justice esteemed a supreme excellence in all the performances of art, because by this quality they more nearly resemble the productions of nature: and the productions of nature have ever been accounted nobler, and of a higher order, in proportion to their simplicity. Hence arises (if the ladies will permit me to philosophize a moment) the superior excellence of spirit to matter, which is evidently a combination of many particles; whereas the first is pure, uncompounded, and indivisible. But let us descend from lofty speculations and useless metaphysics, into common life and familiar arts, in order more fully to display the beauties of a just simplicity, to which the present age seems not to pay a proper regard in various instances. Nothing can be more tiresome and nauseous to a virtuoso of a true judgment and a just eye in painting than the gaudy glitter of florid colours, and a vast profusion of light, unsubdued by shade, and undiversified with tints of a brown- . er cast. It is recorded, that some of the capital pieces of Appelles were wrought in four colours only. This excellent artist invented also a kind of darkening varnish, that might temper and chastise all dazzling splendour and unnecessary glare, and might give, as Pliny expresses it, a modesty and austerity to his works. Those who have been unaccustomed to the best models are usually at first more delighted with the productions of the Flemish than the Italian school; and prefer Rubens to Raphael, till they feel by experience, that luscious and gay colour

ing defeats the very end of the art, by turning

the attention from its principal excellences; that is, from truth, simplicity, and design. If these observations are rightly founded, what shall we say of the taste and judgment of those who spend their lives and their fortunes in collecting pieces, where neither perspective, nor proportion, nor conformity to nature are observed; I mean the extravagant lovers and purchasers of China and Indian screens. I saw a sensible foreigner astonished at a late auction, with the exorbitant prices given for these splendid deformities, as he called them, while an exquisite painting of Guido passed unnoticed, and was set aside as unfashionable lumber. Happy should I think myself to be able to convince the fair connoisseurs that make the greatest part of Mr. Langford’s audiences, that no genuine beauty is to be found in whimsical and grotesque figures, the monstrous offspring of wild imagination, undirected by nature and truth. It is of equal consequence to observe simplicity in architecture as in painting. A multiplicity of minute ornaments; a vast variety of angles and cavities; clusters of little columns, and a crowd of windows, are what distinguishes meanness of manner in building from greatness; that is, the Gothic from the Grecian; in which every decoration arises from necessity and use, and every pillar has something to support.

Mark how the dread Pantheon stands,
Amid the domes of modern hands !
Amid the toys of idle state,
How simply, how severely great

says the celebrated author of the ode to Lord Huntingdon. Nothing therefore offends me more than to behold the revival of this barbarous taste, in several villas, temples, and pleasurehouses, that disgrace the neighbourhood of this metropolis. Nay, sometimes in the front of the same edifice to find a Grecian plan adulterated and defiled by the unnatural and impure mixture of Gothic whimsies.

Desinit in piscem mulier formosa superne. HoR.

Whoever considers the latest importations of music and musicians from Italy, will be convinced that the modern masters of that country have lost that beautiful simplicity, which is generally the ornament of every musical composition, and which really dignified those of their predecessors. They have introduced so many intricate divisions, wild variations, and useless repetitions, without any apparent necessity arising either from the words or from any other incident, that the chief ambition of the composer seems to be rather to surprise the ear than to please the judgment; and that of the performer, to show his execution rather than his expres

sion. It is from these motives that the hearer is often confounded, but not delighted, with sudden and unnatural transitions from the key, and returns to it as unnatural as the transitions themselves; while pathos, the soul of music, is either unknown or totally neglected. Those who have studied the works of Correlli among the modern ancients, and Handel in the present age, know that the most affecting passages of the former owe their excellence to simplicity alone; and that the latter understands it as well, and attends to it as much, though he knows when to introduce with propriety those niceties

and refinements, which, for want of that pro

priety, we condemn in others. In every species of writing, whether we consider style or sentiment, simplicity is a beauty. The perfection of language, says the great father of criticism, consists in its being perspicuous but not low. A redundancy of metaphors, a heap of sounding and florid epithets, remote allusions, sudden flashes of wit, lively and epigrammatic turns, dazzle the imaginations and captivate the minds of vulgar readers, who are apt to think the simple manner unanimated and dull, for want of being acquainted with the models of the great antique. Xenophon armong the Greeks, and Caesar among the Romans, are at once the purest and most simple, as well as the most elegant writers, any age or nation can produce. Nudi emim sunt, recti, et venusti, omni ornatu orationis, tanquam veste, detracto. Among ourselves, no writer has perhaps made so happy and judicious a mixture of plain and figurative terms as Addison, who was the first that banished from the English, as Boileau from the French, every species of bad eloquence and false wit, and opened the gates of the Temple of Taste to his fellow-citizens. It seems to be the fate of polished nations to degenerate and depart from a simplicity of sentiment. For when the first and most obvious thoughts have been pre-occupied by former writers, their successors, by straining to be original and new, abound in far-fetched sentiments and forced conceits. Some late instances in men of genius (for none but these are capable of committing this fault) give occasion to us to deprecate this event. I must add, under this head, that simplicity of fable is an indispensable quality in every legitimate drama. We are too much enamoured with what is called intrigue, business, and bustle, in our plays. We are disgusted with the thinness, that is, the unity of a plot. We must enrich it with episodes or under-characters; and we never consider how much our attention is diverted and destroyed by different objects, and our pity divided and weakened by an intricate multiplicity of events and of persons. The Athenians, therefore, who could relish so simple a plot as that of the Philoctetes of Sophocles, had certainly either more patience or more good sense (I will not deterinine which) than my present countrymen. If we raise our thoughts to a subject of more importance than writing, I mean dress; even in this sublime science, simplicity should ever be regarded. It might be thought presumption in me to censure any part of Miss ****’s dress last night at Ranelagh; yet I could not help condemning that profusion of ornament, which violated and destroyed the unity and to oxov (a technical term borrowed from the toilette) of so accomplished a figure. To finish my panegyric on simplicity in a manner that l know is agreeable to my fair readers, I mean with a stroke of morality, I would observe, that if this quality was venerated as it ought to be, it would at once banish from the earth all artifice and treachery, double-dealing and deceit. Let it therefore be established as a maxim, that simplicity is of equal importance in morals and in taste.

SIR, The forming separate societies in order to exertise the great duty of self-mortification, seems to me to be one of the most general and prevailing tendencies in human nature. For even in those countries where the freedom of the laws, or the ill execution of them, or the licentiousness of manners, has given a sort of public sanction to a less severe discipline, in England itself, what numerous sectaries have subsisted upon this disposition of the human mind |

It is upon this principle that the various and opposite tenets of different systems are built. Mahomet, Confucius, and other religious lawgivers; the founders of larger societies, or smaller communities, have availed themselves of this bias in the mind of man; which, at one time or other, is sure to draw him with more than ordinary force.

If ambition occupies, if love monopolizes, if indolence stupifies, if literature amuses, if pride expands, or humility condenses, the immortal spirit of man; if revenge animates, if a softer sensation mollifies, if trifles annihilate, if domestic cares engage, if dress and equipage possess the divine mind of women; these passions will, sooner or later, most certainly subside in both, and give place to that impulse which begets various kinds of mortified communities in different climes and countries. Hence such multitudes, in a neighbouring country, pass the last periods of their lives in the monastic severities of

the strictest devotion; and hence it likewise is, that we see such numbers in our own country expose themselves to midnight damps at Vauxhall, and to be pressed to death by well-dressed mobs at routs. Indeed, the more we consider the human species, from the rude savage up to the most polished courtier, the more we shall be persuaded of this general tendency in our natures to acts of voluntary mortification. But what puts this matter out of all doubt is the erection of three monasteries, within many of our memories, in the most conspicuous parts of this great metropolis. I hope your country protestant readers will not be too much alarmed ; I can assure them that they pay no Peter-pence. They are formed at present of societies composed entirely of males; but we hope it will not be long before they either open the arms of their communities for the reception of females, or that the ladies, excited by their example, and animated by the same principles, will form seminaries for their own sex, and that some departing matron may be prevailed upon to found a charity for this purpose. For the furtherance of so desirable a community, it may not here be improper to offer a legal clause to be inserted in any last will or testament: viz. “I, A. B. spinster or dowager, being tired of all men, and having no mortal to whom I have reason to wish well; having settled a competent provision on my birds, dogs, and cats, do leave the sum of pounds, towards the erecting a building, and the establishing a society for the following purposes, &c. &c. &c.” Now as soon as a sufficient number of holy sisters shall be collected, I think they cannot do more wisely than to form their new seminary upon the model of one of those three great monasteries so lately founded; nor would I advise them to vary much from those plans, as the difference of male and female will always be, to those who contemplate things profoundly, a sufficient badge of distinction. For the direction, therefore, of these future lady abbesses, it will be necessary to give them some account of the three monastic societies before-mentioned; which will appear to owe their rise entirely to that innate love of separate clan-ship and self-mortification, which, according to my present maxim, is universally implanted in the human breast. There are few women of fashion who have not heard of Harry the Eighth; many of them are perfectly well acquainted with that glorious fountain from which the reformation first sprung, which produced the dissolution of papal monasteries; till some years ago, a little, round, well-spoken man erected a large monastery near Covent Garden, where a brotherhood was soon formed. Here he dealt out indulgence” of all sorts, and extreme (good internal) unotions. But it happened, for diverse reasons, that the aforesaid district was not thought so proper a situation; upon which a new convent was built, near the court-end of the town ; the monks removed to it, and from that day have taken upon themselves the name of White Friars. The difficulty of being admitted into this pious seminary, and the necessary qualifications for that purpose, are sufficiently known. But how severe is their abstinence For whereas other devout orders in other countries do not scruple to indulge themselves with the wholesome diet of plain fish, vegetables, and oil, it is the established rule of this order not to admit of any eatable but what simple nature abhors, and till the texture of its parts is so totally transubstantiated, that it cannot come under the denomination of fish, flesh, or good red herring. To such a degree likewise has their spirit of mortification carried them, that, being sensible that the most real indulgence, the most natural and homogeneal beverage to the constitution of man, is pure limpid element, they have therefore banished that delightful liquid from their meals, and freely exposed themselves even to the most excruciating tortures, by daily swallowing certain potions of various kinds, the ill effects of which to the human body are well known; and for their farther penance, they have adopted nauseous medicinal waters, for their miserable inky drink. But it is in the dead time of the night, when the herd of ordinary mortals repose from their labours, that these devotees perform their greatest acts of self-severity; for the conduct of which, they have three or four established rituals, composed by the celebrated Father Hoyle. This famous seminary, like that of some colleges, is divided into senior and junior fellows. The juniors, to a certain number at a time, not content with their ordinary acts of probation, exert a most extraordinary cffort of devotion. Imagining that the mortification of the body alone is not sufficient for the pious gratification of their exalted zeal, and considering how meritorious it would be to extend the same severity to the faculties of the mind, they have attained such a spiritual domination over the soul, as to be able to renounce all its most pleasing emotions, and to give it up without remorse, to be tortured by the most painful vicissitudes of hope and fear. Such is the wonderful effect of long habit, unwearied exercise, and abstracted vigils! In order to facilitate this toilsome penance, and to enable themselves totally to subdue all ideas whatsoever which have no connection with those two passions, they have contrived incessantly to toss about two cubical figures, which are so devised, as to fix the attention, by certain mystical characters, to one or other of the afore

said passions; and thus they will sit for many hours, with only the light of one large taper in the middle of the altar, in the most exquisite and convulsive agonies of the most truly mortified and religious penitents. In short, neither the Indian nor Chinese bronzes, nor the Italian or Spanish visionaries, in all their various distor. tions and penances, came up to these. And here, by the way, I cannot but remark with pleasure the great talents of my countrymen for carrying every thing they undertake to greater perfection than any other nation. The second of these seminaries was founded upon the model of the first, and consists of a number of Grey Friars, remarkable for a rigorous abstinence, and indefatigable devotion. They just preserve their beings with a little chocolate or tea. They are dedicated to the great St. George, and are distinguished by the composure of their countenances, and their extraordinary taciturnity. The third order is that of St. James; the members of which are known by the appellation of Scarlet Friars. It consists of a multitude of brothers, who are not near so strict as the two former orders; and is likely to become vastly numerous, under the auspices of its great patron, whose bulk is adorned by jollity and good humour; and who is moreover very strictly a good liver. Now, Mr. Fitz-Adam, let me ask you whether these three laudable institutions are not plainly owing to that principle which I have assigned in the beginning of my letter? For what other motive could prompt men to forsake their own elegant houses, to sacrifice domestic and conjugal satisfaction, to neglect the endearing rites of hospitality in order to cloister themselves among those, with whom they can have no connection but upon the aforesaid principles? But since such is the general bent of the human mind, it is become a fit subject for the World to consider by what methods these seminaries may be so multiplied, as to comprehend all ranks and orders of men and women. And if fifty new churches were thought few enough to keep pace with the zeal of good Queen Anne’s days, I believe, Mr. Fitz-Adam, you will not think five hundred large mansions of the kind I am speaking of will be too many for the present. I am,

Yours, &c. J. T. No. 28.] Thursday, July 12, 1753. Pauci dignoscere possunt Wera bona, atque illis multum diversa. JUV.

Few can distinguish real from fancied good.

It is a common observation, that though happi

mess is every man’s aim, and though it is generally pursued by a gratification of the predominant passion, yet few have acuteness enough to discover the points which would effectually procure the long-sought end. One cannot but wonder that such intense application as most of us bestow on the cultivation of our favourite desires should yet leave us ignorant of the most essential objects of our study. For my part, I was so early convinced of the truth of this observation, that instead of searching for what would contribute most to my own happiness, I have spent great part of my life in the study of what may extend the enjoyment of others. This knowledge I flatter myself I have discovered, and shall now disclose to the world. I beg to be attended to: I beg mankind will believe that I know better than any of them what will ascertain the felicity of their lives. I am not going to impart so great (though so often revealed) a secret, as that it is religion or virtue; few would believe me, fewer would try the recipe. In spite of the philosophy of the age, in spite of the gravity of my character, and of the decency which I hope I have hitherto most sanctimoniously observed, I must avow my persuasion, that the sensual pleasure of love is the great cordial of life, and the only specific for removing the anxieties of our own passions, or for supporting the injuries and iniquities which we suffer from those of other men. “Well! (shall I be told) and is this your admirable discovery? Is this the arcanum that has escaped the penetration of all inquiries in all ages? What other doctrine has been taught by the most sensible philosophers? Was not this the text of the sermons of Epicurus? Was not this the theory, and practice too, of the experienced Alcibiades? What other were the tenets of the sage Lord Rochester, or of the missionary Saint-Evremont?” It is very true; and a thousand other founders of sects, nay of religious orders, have taught—or at least practised—the same doctrines. But I pretend to introduce such refinements into the system of sensuality, as shall vindicate the discovery to myself, and throw at a distance the minute philosophers, who (if they were my forerunners) only served to lead the world astray. Hear then in one word the mysterious precept : “Young women are not the proper object of sensual love: it is the matron, the hoary fair, who can give, communicate, insure happiness.” I might enumerate a thousand reasons to enforce my doctrine; as the fickleness of youth, the caprices of beauty and its transient state, the jealousy from rivals, the distraction from having children, the important avocations of dress, and the infinite occupations of a pretty woman, which endanger or divide her sentiments from being always fixed on the faithful lover; and none of which combat the affections of the grate

ful, tender, attentive matron. But as one example is worth a thousand reasons, I shall recommend my plan by pointing out the extreme happiness which has attended such discreet heroes as are commemorated in the annals of love for having offered up their hearts at ancient shrines; and I shall clearly demonstrate by precedents that several ladies in the bloom of their wrinkles have inspired more lasting and more fervent passions, than the greatest beauties who had scarce lost sight of their teens. The fair young creatures of the present hour will forgive a preference which is the result of deep meditation, great reading, and strict impartiality, when they reflect, that they can scarce contrive to be young above a dozen years, and may be old for fifty or sixty; and they may believe me, that after forty they will value one lover more than they do twenty now ; a sensation of happiness, which they will find increase as they advance in years. I cannot but observe with pleasure, that the legislature itself seems to coincide with my way of thinking, and has very prudently enacted, that young ladies shall not enter so early into thc bonds of love, when they are incapable of reflection, and of all the serious duties which belong to a union of hearts. A sentiment which indeed our laws seem always to have had in view ; for unless there was implanted in our natures a strong temptation towards the love of elderly women, why should the very first prohibition in the table of consanguinity forbid a man to marry his grandmother? The first heroine we read of, whose charms were proof against the injuries of time, was the accomplished Sarah: I think the most moderate computations make her to be ninety, when that wanton monarch Abimelech would have undermined her virtue. But as doubtless the observance of that virtue had been the great foundation of the continuance of her beauty, and as the rigidness of it rather exempts her from, than exposes her as an object of my doctrine, I shall say no more of that lady. Helen, the beautiful Helen, if there is any trusting to classic parish registers, was fourscore when Paris stole her; and though the war lasted ten years after that on her account, Monsieur Homer, who wrote their romance, does not give any hint of the gallant young prince having showed the least decay of passion or symptom of inconstancy: a fidelity, which in all probability was at least as much owing to the experience of the dame, and to her knowledge in the refinements of pleasure, as to her bright eyes, unfaded complexion, or the everlasting lilies and roses of her cheeks. I am not clear that length of years, especially in heroic minds, does not increase rather than abate the sentimental flame. The great Elizabeth, whose passion for the unfortunate Earl of Essex is justly a favourite topic with all who

delight in romantic history, was full sixty-eight when she condemned her lover to death for slighting her endearments. And if I might instance in our own sex, the charming, the meritorious Antony was not far from seventy before he had so much taste as to sacrifice the meaner passion of ambition, nay the world itself, to love. But it is in France, that kingdom so exquisitely judicious in the affairs of love, from whence we may copy the arts of happiness, as well as their other discoveries in pleasure. The monarchs of that nation have more than once taught the world, by their example, that a fine woman, though past her grand climacteric, may be but just touching the meridian of her charms. Henry the Second and Louis the Fourteenth will be for ever memorable for the passions they so long felt for the Dutchess of Valentinois, and Madame de Maintenon. The former, in the heat of youth and prospect of empire, became a slave to the respectable attractions of Diana de Poitiers, many years after his injudicious father had quitted the possession of her on the silly apprehension that she was growing old : and to the last moment of his life and reign Henry was a constant, jealous adorer of her still ripening charms. When the age was overrun with astrology, superstition, bigotry, and notions of necromancy, King Henry still idolized a woman, who had not only married her grand-daughter, then a celebrated beauty, but who, if any other prince had reigned, was ancient enough to have come within the description of sorcery: so little do the vulgar distinguish between the ideas of an old witch and a fine woman. The passion of the other monarch was no less remarkable. That hero, who had gained so many battles by proxy, had presided in person at so many tournaments, had raised such waterworks, and shed such streams of heretic blood; and, which was still more glorious, had enjoyed so many of the finest women in Europe; was at last captivated by an old governante, and sighed away whole years at the feet of his venerable mistress, as she worked at her tent with spectacles. If Louis le Grand was not a judge of pleasure, who can pretend to be? If he was, in favour of what age did he give the golden apple? I shall close my catalogue of ancient mistresses with the renowned Ninon l’Enclos, a lady whose life alone is sufficient to inculcate my doctrine in its utmost force. I shall say nothing of her numerous conquests for the first half of her life: she had wit, youth, and beauty, three ingredients which will always attract silly admirers. It was not till the fifty-sixth year that her superior merit distinguished itself; and from that to her ninetieth, she went on improving in the real arts and charms of love. How unfortunate am I, that she did not live a few years longer, that I might have had the opportunity of wear

ing her chains ! It was in her fifty-sixth year that the Chevalier de Villiers, a natural son whom she had had by the Comte de Gerze, arrived at Paris from the provinces, where he had been educated without any knowledge of his real parents. He saw his mother: he fell in love with her. The increase, the vehemence of his passion gave the greatest disquiets to the affectionate matron. At last, when nothing but a discovery of the truth could put a stop, as she thought, to the impetuosity of his attempts, she carried him into her bed-chamber. Here my readers will easily conceive the transports of a young lover, just on the brink of happiness with a charming mistress near threescore! As the adventurous youth would have pushed his enterprises, she checked him, and pointing to a clock, said, “Rash boy, look there ! at that hour, two-and-twenty years ago, I was delivered of you in this very bed!” It is a certain fact, that the unfortunate, abashed young man flew into the garden and fell upon his sword. This catastrophe had like to have deprived the age of the most accomplished mistress that ever adorned the Cytherean annals. It was above twenty years before the afflicted mother would listen to any addresses of a tender nature. At length, the polite Abbé de Gedoyn pressed and obtained an assignation. He came, and found the enchanting Ninon lying on a couch, like the grandmother of the loves, in the most gallant dishabille; and what was still more delightful, disposed to indulge his utmost wishes. After the most charming endearments, he asked her, but with the greatest respect, why she had so long deferred the completion of his happiness? “Why,” replied she, “I must confess it proceeded from a remain of vanity: I did pique myself upon having a lover at past fourscore, and it was but yesterday that I was eighty complete.”

Humanity – Beneficence: 1 (Google Books)


Two young ladies of a respectable family in the

west of England, were so much reduced, as to be com

pelled to take in needle-work for their subsistence. The circumstance reaching the ear of a wealthy clergyman in the neighbourhood, who had received some favour from the family, he instantly repaired to the house, and fearful of wounding their delicacy, said, “I am informed, ladies, that you have in your apartments a most valuable picture. I see it is by the hand of a great master; and if it is not too great a favour, I entreat you to let me have it, for which I will settle an annuity of fifty pounds upon you, and it shall commence this moment.” It is unnecessary to add, that the offer was accepted.


When Mr. Cumberland, the dramatist, was on a diplomatic mission at Madrid, he was taken very ill, and was not expected to recover. In this state he was visited by the Abbe Don Patricio Curtis, an Irishman by birth, but who had been above half a century settled in Spain, and preceptor to three successive Dukes of Ossuna. This excellent old man, then above eighty years of age, who was universally respected for his virtues and generous benignity of soul, lamented that Mr. Cumberland had no spiritual assistant of his own church to resort to. He then offered, if the doors of the room were secured, and he was provided with a Prayer Book, to administer the sacrament exactly as it is ordained by the Protestant Liturgy. To this Mr. C. consented; when the venerable man read the whole of the prayers, and officiated in the most devout and impressive manner.


The following is a recent instance of those charitable offices which the pious Monks of St. Bernard, from a sense of duty, as well as from the locality of their establishment, are in the habit of performing. A poor soldier travelling from Siberia to the place of his nativity in Italy, set out from the village of St. Pierre in the afternoon, in the hope of reaching the monastery before night-fall; but he unfortunately missed his way, and in climbing up a precipice, he laid hold of the fragment of a rock, which separating from the mass, rolled with him to the valley below, which the poor man reached with his clothes torn, and his body sadly bruised and lacerated. Being unable to extricate himself from the snow, and night having come on, he remained in that forlorn situation till morning. The weather was uncommonly mild for the season, or he must have perished. He spent the whole of the two following days in crawling to a deserted hovel, without having anything to eat. Two of the Monks of St. Bernard, on their way to the village about sun-set, were warned by the barking of their dog, and descried the man at a distance; they hastened to his succour. They found him at the entrance of the hovel, where he lay as if unable to cross the threshold, and apparently in a dying state, from hunger, fatigue, and loss of blood. They raised him on their shoulders, and carried him to the village, a distance of five miles, through the snow. The man was above the middle size, and robust; so that, independently of his helpless condition, it required a con

siderable portion of strength, as well as management, in the brethren, to reach their destination. At the village of St. Pierre, the poor traveller received every attention and assistance that his situation required.

A Tour Through Parts of the Netherlands, Holland, Germany …, Volume 2 (Google Books)

Close adjoining this stone hovel is another, where are deposited the remains of those for whom assistance comes too late. I looked through the little grated window, and saw heaps of human bones and sculls; but one look, and that a hasty one, was enough to satisfy my curiosity there.

Having halted for a few minutes at this resting place, we again proceeded. I had not advanced far from the charnel-house just mentioned, when, ascending a steep acclivity, which presented one smooth sheet of ice, and after having by great care nearly attained the top, my feet suddenly slipped from under me. Whether fortunately or not I cannot say, but it so happened that I pitched upon my head, and was unconscious of any thing further until I found myself lying at the bottom of this steep, with a severe bruise on my nose and forehead. My guide, I believe, did his best in coming to my assistance, but as he was helping me up, I observed a smile upon his face. One is little inclined to brook jesting when smarting under pain, and particularly when that pain is occasioned under circumstances like the present. But I had nothing to say, although I felt as if it would have given me no small satisfaction to

have seen my guide pitch into the ravine close by, even though I were left to pursue the remainder of my way alone.

After some rubbing, I again set out, taking care this time to avoid the mauvais pas, by making a little circuit which my guide had prudently taken, and had advised me to take in the first instance. The ascent now became extremely difficult and laborious. In many places the path was over a narrow ledge of hard frozen snow, at the edge of a deep ravine, down which the river Dranse pursues its rapid course, deeply buried under ice and snow, and in other places, where the surface of the snow was not sufficiently hard to bear our weight, we plunged knee deep. But these were trifles which more than compensated for any little inconveniences by heightening the novelty of my situation. What was most important, the weather still continued all that I could have wished, and the brilliancy of the atmosphere, now illumined by the golden rays of the bright setting sun, produced an effect upon this little world of snow, inconceivably grand and beautiful. Even my guide declared that he had never beheld this scenery more imposing than at present.

In the course of our march, talking of the extraordinary violence of the storms which frequently burst over these high regions, my guide related many curious particulars of several of these fearful visitations which he had himself experienced at different periods of the year; he having been once in the employ of the King of Sardinia, for carrying government dispatches across this pass. These accounts, however, are too long to be here detailed; and indeed, they would lose much of their effect, if told any where but upon the Alps. It may also be thought that guides’ stories are not much to be relied upon; and most probably these people, like the rest of mankind, are apt to exaggerate in their accounts of any thing which appears to them wonderful or terrible; but nevertheless, in my opinion, it is from this sort of persons that the most correct and particular descriptions relative to the phenomena in these high regions are to be procured. I therefore do not withhold my guide’s account of some of the extraordinary phenomena in the weather which he has witnessed amidst these Alps, because I think such authority too doubtful to be quoted, but because I am fearful of being led into a still longer digression than the present.

Of all the dangers to which the traveller is here liable, my guide spoke of the dense and sudden fogs which frequently overspread these high solitudes, as being the most fearful.

As an instance of this danger, he related to me his situation last summer upon these Alps, in company with three foreigners whom he was conducting. As he described, in the space of a few minutes they could not distinguish one another at the distance of a yard apart, so dense was the cloud in which they were enveloped. In this situation, to have remained stationary would have been to incur the risk of being frozen to death, to have proceeded thus blind-fold would have been to incur the still greater risk of being dashed to atoms. In this dilemma the reader may be curious, as I was, to learn how the party effected an escape. I will therefore give my guide’s own aCCOunt.

—Well knowing and confiding in the sagacity of my mule, I demanded of the three gentlemen if they would submit themselves entirely to my directions, otherwise that, in such an extremity as this, each must seek his own safety as he might think fit. Fortunately they yielded up their discretion, and trusted to me only for their escape. I then directed each to take hold of the other’s skirt, and the foremost to take fast hold of my coat. The usual injunction on all these occasions was then given, that utter silence must be preserved, after which I laid firm hold of the tail of my faithful mule, and the animal, conscious of the trust reposed in him, with slow and cautious step led on the line of march. Having proceeded in this manner for some distance, I calculated, by the direction which we had taken, that we must be within hearing of the monastery. I therefore came to a halt, and gave the order for a general halloo. This was repeated many times, when at last a responsive but distant halloo reached our ears, and acted upon us all like a reprieve from death. I now advised that we should remain stationary in the hope of aid. Time passed heavily along, and no aid arrived. We renewed our halloos, but no responsive answers again reached us. We began to fear that assistance could not be sent, when at length a rustling was heard at a distance in the snow. The sound approached, and in a few minutes more several of the great dogs of St. Bernard came bounding round us. But these sagacious animals came unattended; for now, not even a holy monk dared venture forth to save a fellow

creature. The dogs, however, gambolling around us, led the way, and our four-footed guide following them, we resumed our former plan of march, and thus we all arrived in safety at the monastery.

Such was my guide’s account of this adventure, from which may be learnt the importance of being attended, upon all expeditions of this kind, by a prudent and experienced person; for in these high snowy regions, however beautiful may be the weather at setting out, its continuance can never be calculated upon long together with any thing like certainty. This warning the reader will perhaps accept as some excuse for another long digression.—But to proceed. We had now arrived at the mark erected by the monks to guide the traveller to the monastery, when the usual route, owing to the depth of snow or badness of the weather, is impracticable or too dangerous to be attempted. This mark is a black hand fixed upon a post, and points in a direction where, in the time of deep snow, a route may be pursued with less danger from the avalanches. However the weather being beautifully clear and calm, my guide thought that there was little cause for apprehending any danger of this sort, for although the snow was here in many places knee deep, yet the surface was tolerably hard frozen, and we therefore pursued the usual and more convenient route. Convenient, however, is here but a term of comparison, for I soon found the exertion of extricating my legs from the great depth of snow, into which at every foot-step we plunged, painfully laborious. Proceeding a short distance further we reached what is considered the most difficult and dangerous part of the ascent. This is called the pass of Mont Mort, and the appearance here was so remarkable, that I must attempt to convey some idea of it by description.

The path before us, cut out of the steep mountain side, was now, owing to the depth of snow, scarcely visible, and probably would have been entirely hidden but for the ravine immediately beneath which marked the line. This ravine, at the bottom of which the Dranse pursues its course, was already nearly filled with fallen avalanches. On the opposite side rises the enormous and overhanging mountain called Mont Mort. This spot during the winter and the early part of spring is mostly to be feared, for here the overwhelming avalanches are then very frequent, and the scared traveller, hemmed in on either side by inaccessible mountains, seeks in vain a place of safety, so that all who venture through this pass during the winter or the early spring stake life upon a chance. Life, however, is but a lottery to all, and we are all apt to reckon on good luck. Thus it is that here many lives are yearly lost, from which this fatal spot derives its name. But as already mentioned, there seemed to be at present no immediate cause for apprehension. The evening was beautifully serene, and not a breath of air was moving. However the usual caution on these occasions of strict silence was observed, for much snow was now hanging on the steep acclivities around.

Having made a turn which brought us nearly out of this defile, high before us, between two lofty peaks, appeared the monastery of St. Bernard. The contrast of the dark stone walls of this gloomy building with the whiteness of the world around, together with the dead stillness which reigns over this strange scene of desolation, strike the mind of the stranger at first view with feelings which it would be difficult to describe or to define. In short, the fixing of a human habitation in the midst of such a scene as this seems almost like a species of impiety. It seems as if man had said, here, in these dreary regions, where perpetual and inclement winter has pronounced that neither animal nor vegetable life shall endure, yet here will I fix my dwelling, here will I eat, drink, and be merry.”

It was just five o’clock when we reached the monastery, and I sent my guide in to crave the benediction of its holy inhabitants, and what just then was to me of more importance, the hospitality of their house. In the mean time four of the celebrated dogs bounced out, and scampering round me, tossed up the snow with every demonstration of greeting that dumb animals could make. Presently two of the holy brotherhood appeared before the door in their dark monastic dress, one hand crossed upon the breast holding their sugar-loaf cap, and the other extended to receive me. But how can I say enough of my reception here! Amazed, and curious as they seemed to know what could have brought a solitary stranger amongst them in such a season, yet not a question was asked, but with hasty congratulations on my safe arrival, they ushered me quickly into their apartment, and bringing out a bottle of l’eau de cérisses,

• The elevation of this monastery above the sea is calculated at 7476 feet; the highest habitable spot, probably, in the world, being one mile and a half perpendicular height, less 148 yards.

helped me to a plentiful libation of this warming cordial.

In a few minutes, however, the sudden and extreme change of temperature to which I was now subjected obliged me to quit the room; and, accompanied by two or three of the brotherhood, I proceeded to inspect this sombre dwelling. But there is little here requiring particular description, the whole building being erected in the old monastic times, and according to the usual style of architecture observed in these religious edifices, of long dark passages, gloomy corridors, and large and cheerless rooms with small grated windows. Here every thing presents a comfortless and chilling aspect, to me even more comfortless and chilling than the scene around, because more dark and dreary, and the long line of abbots, staring from their dark frames ranged in chronological order along these gloomy walls, rather adds to than relieves the melancholy effect which the whole is calculated to produce upon the mind. In addition to which, a disagreeable and unwholesome smell pervades this sombre building in every part.

Memoirs of the Reformation of England, by Constantius Archæophilus (Google Books)

‘An Act concerning the Suppression or Dissolution of certain Religious Houses, given to the King’s Highness, and to his Heirs for ever.’

The Preamble to this Act is too curious and remarkable to be overlooked. It sets forth, that ‘Forasmuch as manifest sin, vicious, carnal, and abominable living, is daily used and committed commonly in such little and small Abbies and Priories, and other Religious Houses of Monks, Canons and Nuns, where the congregation of such persons is under the number of tw«!ve persons, whereby the governors of such Religious Houses, and their Convents, spoil, destroy, consume, and utterly waste, as well those Churches, Monasteries, Priories, principal houses, farms, granges, lands, tenements, and hereditaments, as the ornaments of their Churches, and their goods and chattels, to the high displeasure of Almighty God, slander of good Religion, and the general infamy of the King’s Highness and the realm, if redress should not be had thereof. And albeit that many continual visitations have been heretofore had, by the space of two hundred years and more, for an honest and charitable reformation of such unthrifty, carnal, and abominable living; yet nevertheless little or none amendment is hitherto had; and by a cursed custom, so grown and infested, that a great multitude of religious persons, in such small houses, do rather chuse to come abroad in apostasy, than to conform themselves to the observation of good religion. So that, without such small houses be utterly suppressed, and the religious persons therein committed to great and honourable Monasteries of Religion in this realm, where they may be compelled to live religiously for the reformation of their lives, there can be no redress or reformation in that behalf. In consideration whereof, the King’s most Royal Majesty, being Supreme Head in earth, under God,

of the Church of England, daily studying and devising the increase and advancement arid exaltation of true doctrine and virtue in the said Church, to the only honour and glory of God, and the total extirping and destruction of vice and sin, having knowlege that the premises be true, as well by the complaints of their late visitations, as by sundry credible informations.

‘Considering also, that divers and great solemn Monasteries of this realm, wherein, thanks be to God, religion i« right well kept and observed, be destitute of such full numbers of religious persons as they might and may keep, have thought good that a plain declaration should be made of the premises, as well to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, as to others his loving subjects, the Commons in this present Parliament assembled; whereupon the said Lords and Commons, by a great deliberation, finally resolved, that it is, and shall be, much more to the pleasure of Almighty God, and for the honour of this realm, that the possessions of such small religious houses now being spent, spoiled, and wasted, for the increase and maintenance of sin, sh uld be used and converted to better uses; and the unthrifty religious persons so spending the same, be compelled to reform their lives. And thereupon most humbly desire the King’s Highness that it may be enacted, by authority of this present Parliament, that his Majesty shall have and enjoy, to him and his heirs forever, all and singular such Monas’eries, &e. as in

the printed statute.” And such was the tenour of this

famous Preamble: upon which we beg leave to subjoin

Mr. Fuller’s Observations.

“* We must not forget,” says he, “how in the foresaid Preamble, the King fairly claweth the great Monasteries, Wherein, says he, religion, thanks be to God, is right well kept and observed; tho’ he clawed them soon after in another acceptation.—However, most specious uses were pretended, That all should be done to the pleasure of Almighty God, and for the honour of the realm. And particular eare is taken in the statute, as it is printed, For the reservation of many rents and services, corrodies and pensions to founders, donors, and benefactors. They [the purchasers or grantees] were also to occupy yearly as much of the demesnes in tillage as tke Abbots did,or their farmers under them, within the time of tnenty yeart next before this Act, otherwise forfeiting to the King’s highness, for every month so offending, L.6:li.i, * Fuller’t Ck. Hist. Book VI. p. Sl-2.


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to be recovered to hit use in any of his courts of record. The arrears whereof, if rigorously exacted, would amount to a vast sum from such offenders, whose hospitality was contracted to a shepherd and his dog; neither relieving those’ that would work by their industry, nor such as could not work bv their charity. These penalties stood in full force above SO years, viz. till the 21st of King James, when by Act of Parliament they were repealed. Indeed, such who are ob. noxious to Penal Statutes are only innocent by courtesy, and may be made guilty at the Prince’s pleasure. And tho’ . some statutes may be dormant, as disused, they are never dead till revoked, seeing commonly Princes call on such statutes when they themselves are called on by their necessities. Many of the English gentry knew themselves subject to such penalties, when, instead of maintaining tillage, they had converted the granges of Abbies into inclosures; and therefore provided for their own safety, when they wrought the King into a revocation of those statutes.”—lid. Stat. 21 K. J.c.28.

These observations are sufficiently plain and intelligible. There is not a word of obscurity in them, if we except corrodies: of which antiquated term we shall give our Reader an explication from the same writer.

“* Corrodies were so called a corrodendo, from eating together : for the heirs of the founders had the privilege to send a set number of their poor servants to Abbies to diet there. Thus many aged servants, (past working, not feeding, costly to keep, and cruel to cast off,) were sent by their masters to the Abbies, where they had plentiful food during their lives. But these corrodies, after the dissolution of the Abbies, were totally extinct, and no such diet after given, when both table and house were overturned.”

§ 8.—Some previous Remarks upon the King’s destructive Scheme of A general Dissolution of all the Monasteries in England.

X He demolition of the lesser Monasteries having given King Henry a taste oi monastic gold, it was not long before he resolved to glut his voracious appetite with the downfall of all,the rest, and make a prize of the Church. He had already prevailed with himself to pass the Rubicon! from

* Puller’s Ch. Hist. Book VI. p. 186.


‘Whence he continues his desolating march; still advancing by degrees from less to more, till at last he left not so much as a single Monastery (little or great) standing within the precincts of his realm of England.

Since therefore it may be questioned if the British Annals can furnish us with a more astonishing emergency, than the general Dissolution of the Religious Houses; and since this was an affair that touched the Regular Clergy in a verysensible manner, and occasioned an extraordinary Revolu-‘ tion in the Church, we Keg leave, and hope to be indulged the freedom and liberty to open the scene a little, and enlarge upon the circumstances. And this indeed we have endeavoured to perform, but with no other view than that of doing justice to the memory of the injured sufferers, and of exposing, at the same time, the unjustifiableness and insignificancy of the King’s motives for pushing his destructive project into execution. But before we enter upon a detail of this blessed work, we imagined it might not be amiss (by way of introduction) to premise the following remarks.

1. When and as often as the reader calls to mind the ma-” ny stately Monasteries and Churches that were formerly in England, and considers the dismal end they were brought •tio; if he does not, as a Christian; abhor the sacrilege of destroying Churches dedicated to the service of God, only for the vile profit made of the materials, he may at least, as a man, reflect on the inhumanity of demolishing such noble -structures (heretofore, perhaps, the greatest ornaments of this island) by the hands of the natives themselves; and that with such stubborn rage and relentless fury, as if the work had been done by a victorious army of barbarians.

“O lofty towers and sacred piles,

That once adoni’d these happy isles!
Who can recount your overturning,
Without deep sighs, and bitter mourning?”

‘Ward’s Ref. c. 1.

2. Our Monasteries have long since perished, nor have we, at this day, any footsteps left of the piety of our ancestors, to shew to inquisitive strangers, besides a few tattered walls and deplorable ruins! Nay, the ruins of most of them are not only gone to ruin themselves, but their very situations are quite lost to us, and remembered no more! “Jam seges est ubi Trojafuit!” 3. The shocking hostilities committed by King Henry. VIII. against the Church (to make .use” of Lord Herbert’*

ex predion) astonished the Christian world. And Well they might : for with sortie, I find, it is even doubted, whether the destruction of Christian Churches at this juncture was not equal to the sacrilegious ravages of Julian the Apostate.

4. This woful work was both projected and carried into execution by Commissary-General Cromn-el [a name ever fatal to the Church!] And he acted, in this business, in quality of principal agent; being not only the King’s Vicar General, but his Scout-Master-General too, as Mr. Fuller humorously styles him *. In which capacity he employed a world ofspies and hungry emissaries, whom he empowered with orders and instructions, to go from one religious house to another, in quest of monastic irregularities and disorders. These Visitois (for so they were called) exerted their power to the utmost stretch, and were far enough from partiality in their inquisition. In short, upon their return to London, they gave in a most tragical relation of the immorality of the monks, &c. And the consequence of their informations was this, that Cromwel, by virtue of his high commission, and without further proofs, dissolved all the Abbies and Monasteries in England. Some few of them indeed capitulated, but by far the greater part were taken by storm, plundered, and demolished! This done, Ctomuel politicly advised the King to alienate the Abbey Lands by sale or deed of gift; that by this means the ejectment of the former possessors might become to all intents and purposes irrevocable, and repossession impossible.

“f The writers that lived near that time,” says Bishop liurnet, “represeut the matter very odiously, and say, about 10,000 persons were sent to seek for their livings, only forty shillings in money and a gown being given to every religious man. And it is generally said, and not improbably, that lhe commissioners were as careful to enrich themselves, as to increase the King’s revenue. The churches and cloisters were, for the most part, pulled down, and the lead, bells, and other materials, were sold. The people, that had been well entertained at the Abbots’ tables, were sensible of their loss; for generally as they travelled over the country, the Abbies were their stages, and were houses of receptiou to travellers and strangers. The poor that fed on their daily alms were deprived of that supply. But to allay these discontents, Cromwel advised the King to sell their lauds at very easy rates, to the gentry in the several countries. This drew in the gentry apace, both to be satisfied with what was done, and to assist the crown for ever in defence of these laws; their own interest being so interwoven with the rights of the crown.

Legends of the Monastic Orders as Represented in the Fine Art … (Google Books)

St. Dominick.

Lat. Sanctus Dominicua, Pater Ordinis Predicatorura. Hal. San Domenico. San Domenico Calaroga. Fr. Saint Dominique, Fondateur dea Frerea Precheura. Sp. San Domingo. August 4, 1221.

Is the days when Alexander III. was pope, and Frederic Barbarossa emperor of Germany, Don Alphonso IX. then reigning in Castile, Dominick was born at Calaruga, in the diocese of Osma, in the kingdom of Castile. His father was of the illustrious family of Guzman. His mother, Joanna d’Aza, was also of noble birth. His appearance in the world was attended by the usual miracles. Before he was born, his mother dreamed that she had brought forth a black and white dog carrying in his mouth a lighted torch. When his godmother held him in her arms at the font, she beheld a star of wonderful splendor descend from heaven and settle on his brow. Both these portents clearly denoted that the saint was destined to be a light to the universe. Moreover, such was his early predilection for a life of penance, that when he was only six or seven years old he would get out of his bed to lie on the cold earth. His parents sent him to study theology in the university of Valencia, and he assumed the habit of a canon of St. Augustine at a very early age. Many stories are related of his youthful piety, his self-inflicted austerities, and his charity. One day he met a poor woman weeping bitterly; and when he inquired the cause, she told him that her only brother, her sole stay and support in the world, had been carried into captivity by the Moors. Dominick could not ransom her brother; he had given away all his money, and even sold his books, to relieve the poor; but he offered all he could, — he offered up himself to be exchanged as a slave in place of her brother. The woman, astonished at such a proposal, fell upon her knees before him. She refused his offer, hut she spread the fame of the young priest far and wide.

Dominick was about thirty when he accompanied Diego, bishop of Osma, on a mission to France. Diego was sent there by King Alphonso to negotiate a marriage between his son, Prince Ferdinand, and the daughter and heiress of the Count de la Marche. They had to pass through Languedoc, where, at that time, the opinions of the Albigenses were in the ascendant, and Dominick was scandalized by these heretical “reveries.” Their host at Toulouse being of this persuasion, Dominick spent the whole night in preaching to him and his familv. Such was the effect of his arguments, that the ncxt morning they made a public recantation. This incident fixed the vocation of the future saint, and suggested the first idea of a community of preachers for the conversion of heretics.

The marriage being happily arranged, Dominick soon afterwards made a second journey to France with his bishop, accompanying the ambassadors who were to conduct the young princess to Spain. They arrived just in time to see her carried to her grave; and the sudden shock appears to have left a deep and dark im pression on the mind of Dominick. If ever he had indulged in views and hopes of high ecclesiastical preferment, to which his noble birth, his learning, his already high reputation appeared to open the way, such promptings of an ambitious and energetic spirit were from this time extinguished, or rather concentrated into a Hume of religious zeal.

On a journey which he made to Rome in 1207, he obtained the pope’s permission to preach in the Vaudois to the Albigenses. At that time the whole of the South of France was distracted by the feuds between the Catholics and the heretics. As yet, however, there was no open war, and the pope was satisfied with sending missionaries into Languedoc. Dominick, armed with the papal brief, hastened thither; he drew up a short exposition of faith, and with this in his band he undertook to dispute against the leaders of the Albigenses. On one occasion, finding them deaf to his arguments, he threw his book into the flames, and, wonderful to relate! it leaped three times from the fire, and remained uninjured, — while the books which contained the doctrines of the heretics were utterly consumed! By this extraordinary miracle many were convinced; but others, through some strange blindness, refused to believe either in Dominick or his miracles.

Then began that terrible civil and religious war, unexampled in the annals of Europe for its ferocity.

What share Dominick may have had in arming the crusade against the miserable Albigenses is not ascertained. His defenders allege that he was struck with horror by the excesses of barbarity then committed in the name and under the banners of the religion of Christ. They assert positively that Dominick himself never delivered over the heretics to the secular power, and refused to use any weapons against them but those of argument and peru-vasion. But it remains an historical fact, that at the battle of Muret, where twenty thousand of the Albigenses were massacred by the troops of Simon de Montfort, Dominick was kneeling on an eminence, — some say in a neighboring chapel,’— with his crucifix in his hand, praying that the Church might prevail: he has been compared to Moses holding up the rod of the Lord while the captains of Israel slew their enemies with the edge of the sword, “sparing not the women nor the little ones.” That Dominick, however mistaken, was as perfectly convinced as ever Moses was of the righteousness of his cause and of the Divine protection, I see no room to doubt: the man was a fanatic, not a hypocrite.

About this time he united with himself several ecclesiastics, who went about barefoot in the habit of penitents, exhorting the people to conform to the Church. The institution of the Order of St. Dominick sprang out of this association of preachers, but it was not united under an especial rule, nor confirmed, till some years later, — by Pope Honorius in 1216.

It was during his sojourn in Languedoc that St. * Dominick instituted the Rosary. The use of a chaplet of beads, as a memento of the number of prayers recited, is of Eastern origin, and dates from the time of the Egyptian Anchorites. Beads were also used by the Benedictines, and are to this day in use among the Mohammedan devotees. Dominick invented a novel arrangement of the chaplet, and dedicated it to the honor and glory of the Blessed Virgin, for whom he entertained a most especial veneration. A complete rosary consists of fifteen large and one hundred and fifty small beads; the former representing the number of Pater-nosters, the latter the number of Ave-Marins. In the legends of the Madonna I shall have much to say of the artistic treatment of the ” mysteries of the rosary “: meantime, with reference to St. Dominick, it will be sufficient to observe that the rosary was received with the utmost enthusiasm, and by this simple expedient Dominick did more to excite the devotion of the lower orders, especially of the women, and made more converts, than by all his orthodoxy, learning, arguments, and eloquence.

In 1218, St. Dominick having been charged by the pope with the care of reforming the female convents at Rome, persuaded them to accept of a new Rule which he drew up for them : and thus was instituted the Order of the Dominican Nuns. The institution of the ” Third Order of Penitence” followed soon after, but it never was so popular as the Third Order of St. Francis.

From this time we find Dominick busily employed in all the principal cities of Europe, founding convents. He was in Spain in the beginning of 1219; afterwards at Paris, where, by permission of Blanche of Castile, mother of St. Louis, he founded the magnificent convent of his Order in the Rue St. Jacques, from which the Dominicans in France obtained the general name of Jacobins. At Paris, meeting Alexander II. king of Scotland, he at the earnest request of that prince sent some of his brotherhood into Scotland, whence they • spread over the rest of Great Britain.

From Paris he returned to Italy, and took up his residence in the principal convent of his Order at Bologna, making occasional journeys to superintend the more distant communities. Wherever he travelled he fulfilled what he had adopted as the primary duty of his institution. He preached wherever he stopped, though it were only to repose for an hour: everywhere his sermons were listened to with eagerness. When at Bologna he preached not only every day, but several times in the day, to different congregations. Fatigue, excitement, and the extreme heat of the season brought on a raging fever, of which he died in that city on the 6th of August, 1221. He was buried in a modest tomb in a small chapel belonging to his Order; but on bis canonization by Gregory IX., in 1233, his remains were translated to the splendid shrine in which they now repose.

The adornment of the “Area di San Domenieo” (Bologna)—for so this wonderful tomb is styled in Italy — was begun as early as 1225, when Niccolo Pisano was summoned to Bologna to design the new church of the Dominicans, and the model of the shrine which was to be placed within it. The upper range of basreliefs, containing scenes from the life of the saint, by Niccolo and his school, dates from 1225 to about 1300. The lower range, by Alfonso Lombardi, was added about 1525, in a richer, less refined, but still most admirable style.

We come now to the various representations of this famous saint; and, first, it will be interesting to compare the innumerable effigies which exist of him with the description of his person left by a contemporary, Suor Cecilia, one of his Roman disciples. The accuracy of the portrait has been generally admitted : —

“In stature he was of moderate size; his features regular and handsome; his complexion fair, with a slight color in his cheek; his hair and beard inclining to red, and in general he kept his beard close shaven. His eyes were blue, brilliant, and penetrating; his hands were long, and remarkable for their beauty; the tones of his voice sweet, and at the same time powerful and sonorous. He was always placid, and even cheerful, except when moved to compassion.” The writer adds, that “those who looked on him earnestly were aware of a certain radiance on his brow; a kind of light almost supernatural.” It is possible that the attribute of the star placed on his brow or over his head may be derived from this traditional portrait, and, as in other instances, the legend of the godmother and the star afterwards invented to account for it.

The devotional figures of St. Dominick always represent him in his proper habit, — the white tunic, white scapulary, and long black cloak with a hood. In one hand he hears the lily; in the other a book. A star is on his forehead, or just above his head. The dog with the flaming torch in his mouth is the attribute peculiar to him. Every 01 e who has been at Florence will remember his statue, with the dog at his side, over the portal of the Convent of St. Mark. But in pictures the dog is frequently omitted, whereas the lily and the star have become almost indispensable.

It is related in one of the Dominican legends, that a true portrait of St. Dominick was brought down from heaven hy St. Catherine and Mary Magdalene, and presented to a convent of Dominican nuns.

There is a head of St. Dominick in Angelico’s “Coronation of the Virgin,” in the Louvre. There is, certainly, nothing of the inquisitor or the persecutor in this placid and rather self-complacent head; rather, I should say, some indication of that self-indulgence with which the heretics reproached this austere saint. In other heads hy Angelico we have an expression of calm, resolute will, which is probably very characteristic; as in the standing figure in an altar-piece now in the Pitti Palace, and many others. In the pictures by Fra Bartolomeo, St. Dominick has rather a mild full face. In no good picture that 1 have seen is the expression given to St. Dominick severe, or even ascetic. In

the Spanish pictures the head is often coarse, with a black beard and tonsure: altogether false in character and person.

A very ancient and interesting figure of St. Dominick, formerly in the Church of St. Catherine of Siena at Pisa, is now in the Academy there. It was painted for a certain “Signore di Casa Cascia,” by Francesco Traini. The character of the head agrees exactly with the portrait drawn by Suor Cecilia. “// vollo trct il severo e il piacevofe; i capelli rossiccie, tagliati a guisa di corona; biirba rata.” He holds a lily in his right hand, in the left an open book on which is inscribed ” Venite filii, attdite me, timorem Domini docebo vos.” The hands very small and slender. Around this figure are eight small subjects from his life.

Besides the devotional figures, in which he stands alone, or grouped with St. Peter Martyr or St. Catherine of Siena near the throne of the Virgin, there are some representations of St. Dominick which are partly devotional, partly mystical, with a touch of the dramatic. For example, where he stands in a commanding attitude, holding the keys of St. Peter, as in a fresco in the S. Maria-sopra-Mincrva (Rome); or where the Infant Christ delivers to him the keys in presence of other saints, as in the altar-piece of Orcagna in the Strozzi chapel (Florence): and in the innumerable pictures which relate to the institution of the rosary; which, as a subject of art, first became popular after the victory of Lepanto in 1571 Gregory XIII. instituted the Festival of the Rosary to be held in everlasting commemoration of that triumph over the infidels. From this period we find perpetual Madonnas ” del Rosario “; and St. Dominick receiving the rosary from the hand of the Virgin, or distributing rosaries, became a common subject in the Dominican cburches.

The most famous exampie is by Domenichino (Bologna Acad.), a large, splendid picture; but the intention of the artist in some of the groups does not seem clear. The Madonna del Rosario is seated above in glory; in her lap the Divine Infant; both scatter roses on the earth from a vase sustained by three lovely cherubs. At the feet of the Virgin kneels St. Dominick, holding in one hand the rosary; with the other be points to the Virgin, indicating by what means she is to he propitiated. Angels holding the symbols of the “Mysteries of the Rosary” (the joys and sorrows of the Virgin) surround the celestial personages. On the earth, below, are various groups, expressing the ages, conditions, calamities, and nccessities of human life :—lovely children playing with a crown; virgins attacked by a fierce warrior, representing oppressed maidenhood; a man and his consort, representing the pains and cares of marriage, &c. And all these with rosaries in their hands are supposed to obtain aid, “per intercession* dell’ Sacratissimo Rosurio.” I confess that this interpretation appeared to me quite unsatisfactory when I looked at the picture, which, however, is one blaze of beauty in form, expression, and transcendent coloring. — ” Mai si videro puttini e piu cari e amoroxi; mai vergineUe piii vat|he e spiritose; mai uomini piu Jim, piu gram, piu maestosi!” I remember once hearing a Polish lady recite some verses in her native language, with the sweetest voice, the most varied emphasis, the most graceful gestures imaginable; and the feeling with which I looked and listened, — at once baffled, puzzled, and enchanted, — was like the feeling with which I contemplated this masterpiece of Domenichino.

A series of subjects, more or less numerous, from the life of St. Dominick, may commonly be met with in the Dominican edifices.

The most memorable examples are —

1. The bas-reliefs on the four sides of his tomb or shrine, by Niccolo Pisano and Alfonso Lombardi. (Bologna.)

2. The set of six small and most beautiful compositions by Angelico, on the predella of the ” Coronation of the Virgin.” (Louvre.)

3. The set of eight subjects round the figure by Traini, already mentioned. (Pisa.)

I shall here enumerate, in their order, all the scenes and incidents I have found represented, either as a scries or separately : —

1 The dream of the mother of St. Dominick. Giovanna d’Aza is asleep on her couch, and before her appears the dog holding the torch. In front, two women are occupied washing and swaddling the infant saint.

2. The dream of Pope Innocent III. (exactly similar to his Vision of St. Francis). He dreams that the Church is falling to ruin, and that Dominick sustains it.

3. When St. Dominick was at Rome, praying in the church of St. Peter that the grace of God might be upon his newly-founded Order, he beheld in a vision the blessed apostles, Peter and Paul. Peter presented to him a staff, and Paul a volume of the Gospel, and they said to him, ” Go, preach the Word of God, for He hath chosen thee for that ministry.” Of this subject, the bas-relief by Niccolo Pisano is as fine as possible.

4. The burning of the heretical books. The book of St. Dominick is seen leaping from the fire. In the picture by Angelico, the Albigenses are dressed as Turks; the good painter could form no other idea of heretics and infidels. The grand dramatic fresco by Lionello Spada, in the chapel at Bologna, should be compared, or rather contrasted, with the simplo elegance of Angelico. »

5. On Ash WedneHay in 1218, the abbess and some of her nuns went to the new monastery of St. Sixtus at Rome, to take possession of it; and, being in the chapter-house with St. Dominick and Cardinal Stephano di Fossa-Nova, suddenly there came in one, tearing his hair, and making great outcries, tor the young Lord Napoleon, nephew of the cardinal, had been thrown from his horse and killed on the spot. The cardinal fell speechless into the arms of St. Dominick, and the women and others who were present were filled with grief and horror. They brought the body of the youth into the chapter-house, and laid it before the altar; and Dominick, having prayed, turned to the body of the young man, saying, “0 adalaeau Xapoleo! in nomine Domini noetri J. C. libi dico surge!” and thereupon he arose sound and whole, to the unspeakable wonder of all present.

This is a subject frequently repeated. The bas-relief by Niccolo, the little picture by Angelico, and the fresco by Mastelletta, should be compared. In the first two, the saint and the dead youth fix the attention; in the last, it is the furibondo cavallo which makes us start.

6. The supper of St. Dominick. “It happened that when he was residing with forty of his friars iu the convent of St. Sabina at Rome, the brothers who had been sent to beg for provisions had returned with a very small quantity of bread, and they knew not what they should do, for night was at hand, and they had not eaten all day. Then St. Dominick ordered that they should seat themselves in the refectory, and taking his place at the head of the table, he pronounced the usual blessing: and behold! two beautiful youths clad in white and shining garments appeared amongst them; one carried a basket of bread, and the other a pitcher of wine, which they distributed to the brethren: then they disappeared, and no one knew how they had come in, nor how they had gone out. And the brethren sat in amazement; but St. Dominick stretched fbrth his hand, and said calmly, ‘My children, eat what God hath sent you’; and it was triffv celestial food, such as they had never tasted before nor since.”

The treatment of this subject in the little picture by Angelica is perfectly exquisite. The friars, with their hoods drawn over their heads, are seated at a long table; in the centre is St. Dominick, with his hands joined in prayer. In front, two beautiful ethereal angels seem to glide along, distributing from the folds of their drapery the ” bread from paradise.”

7. The English pilgrims. When Simon de Montfort besieged Toulouse, forty pilgrims on their way from England to Compostella, not choosing to enter the heretical city, got into a little boat to cross the Garonne. The boat is overset by a storm, but the pilgrims are saved by the prayers of St. Dominick.

This subject is often mistaken; I have seen it called, in Italian, “la Burrasca dpi Mare.” In the series by Traini it is extremely fine’ some of the pilgrims are struggling in the water; others, in a transport of gratitude, are kissing the hands and garments of the saint.

8. He restores to life a dead child. The great fresco of this subject in the chapel “dell’ Area” at Bologna is by Tiarini, and a perfect masterpiece in the scenic and dramatic style; so admirably got up, that we feel as if assisting, in the French sense of the word, in a side-box of a theatre. To understand the scene, we must remember that St. Dominick, being invited to the funeral banquet, ordered the viands to be removed, and the child to be placed on the table instead; the father, with outstretched arms, about to throw himself at the feet of the saint, —- the mother, with her eyes fixed on her reviving child, seeming only to live in his returning life,—are as fine and as animated as possible. It is Rubens, with Italian grace and Venetian color.

9. “Pope Honorius III. confirms the Order of St. Dominick,” often met with in the Dominican convents. There is a fine large picture of this subject in the sacristy of St. John and St. Paul at Venice, painted by Tintoretto with his usual vigor. The small sketch is, I think, in the collection of the Duke of Sutherland.

10. St. Dominick, in the excess of his charity and devotion, was accustomed, while preaching in Languedoe, to scourge himself three times a day ; — once for his own sins; once for the sins of others; and once for the benefit of souls in purgatory. There is a small, but very striking, picture of this subject by Carlo Dolce. (P. Pitti.) Dominick, with bared shoulders, kneels in a cavern; the scourge in his hand; on one side, the

souls of sinners liberated by his prayers, are ascending from the flames of purgatory; far in the background is seen the death of Peter Martyr.

11. The death of the saint. In the early pictures of this subject we often find inscribed the words of St. Dominick, “Caritatem habete; humilitatem servate, paupertatem voluntariam possidete.”

12. Fra Guala, prior of a convent at Brescia, has a vision, in which he beholds two ladders let down from heaven by the Saviour and the Virgin. On these two angels ascend, bearing between them a throne, on which the soul of St. Dominick is withdrawn into paradise.

13. The solemn translation of the body of St. Dominick to the chapel of San Domenico in Bologna; in the series by Traini.

14. The apotheosis of the saint. He is welcomed into heaven by our Saviour, the Virgin, and a choir of rejoicing angels, who hymn his praise. Painted by Guido with admirable effect on the dome of the chapel at Bologna.

We must now turn from St. Dominick to bis far more stern disciple —

St. Peter Martyr.

St. Peter the Dominican. Hal. San Pietro (or San Pier) Martire. Fr. Saint Pierre le Dominican), Martyr April 28, 1252.

This saint, with whom the title of Martyr has passed by general consent into a surname, is, next to their great patriarch, the glory of the Dominican Order. There are few pictures dedicated in their churches in which we do not find him conspicuous, with his dark physiognomy and bis bleeding head.

He was born at Verona about the year 1205. His parents and relatives belonged to the heretical sect of the Cathari, prevalent at that time in the North of Italy Peter, however, was sent to a Catholic school, where he learned the creed according to the Catholic form, and for repeating it was beaten on his return home. St. Dominick, when preaching at Verona, found in this young man an apt disciple, and prevailed on him to take the Dominican habit at the age of fifteen. He became subsequently an influential preacher, and remarkable for the intolerant zeal and unrelenting cruelty with which he pursued those heretics with whom he had formerly been connected. For these services to the Church he was appointed Inquisitor-General by Pope Honorius III. At length two noblemen of the Venetian states, whom he had delivered up to the secular authorities, and who had suffered imprisonment and confiscation of property, resolved on taking a summary and sanguinary vengeance. They hired assassins to waylay Peter on his return from Como to Milan, and posted them at the entrance of a wood through which he was obliged to pass, attended by a lay brother. On his appearance, one of the assassins rushed upon him and struck him down by a blow from an axe; they then pursued and stabbed his companion: returning, they found that Peter had made an effort to rise on his knees, and was reciting the Apostles’ Creed, or, as others relate, was in the act of writing it on the ground with his blood. He had traced the word “Credo,” when the assassins coming up completed their work by piercing him through with a sword. He was canonized in 1253 by Innocent IV.; and his shrinc, in the Sant’ Eustorgio at Milan, by Balduecio of Pisa, is one of the most important works of the fourteenth century.

In spite of his celebrity in art, his fame and his sanctity, the whole story and character of this man are painful to contemplate. It appears that in his lifetime he was not beloved by his own brotherhood, and his severe persecuting spirit made him generally detested. Yet, since his death, the influence of the Dominican Order Jias rendered him one of the most popular saints in Italy. There is not a Dominican church in Romagna, Tuscany, Bologna, or the Milanese which does not contain effigies of him; and, in general, pictures of the scene of his martyrdom abound.

In the devotional figures he wears the habit of his Order, and carries the palm as martyr, and the crucifix as preacher; the palm, if not in his hand, is placed at his feet. He is otherwise distinguished from St. Dominick by his black beard and tonsure; St. Dominick being of a fair and delicate complexion: but his peculiar attribute — where he stands as martyr — is the gash in his head with the blood trickling from it; or the sabre or axe struck into his head; or he is pierced through with a sword, which is less usual.

1 will now mention a few examples : —

1. By Guercino (Milan Gal.): — St. Peter M., kneeling with the sabre at his feet.

2. By Bevilacqua (Milan Gal.): — He presents a votary to the Madonna: on the other side is Job, the patriarch of patience, holding a scroll on which is inscribed, “Fruet Te De Morte et Bello de Mauu Gladii.”

3. By Angelico (5″l. Gal.): —He stands on one side of the throne of the Madouna pierced through with a sword ; with a keen, ascetic, rather than stern and resolute, expression.

The finest, the most characteristic, head of St. Peter Martyr I have ever seen is in a group by Andrea del Sarto (P. Pitti), where he stands opposite to St. Augustine, “in aria e in otto fieramente terribile,” as Vasari most truly describes him; and never, certainly, were fervor, energy, indomitable resolution, more perfectly expressed. I have mentioned in another place the significant grouping of the personages in this wonderful picture.

The assassination —or, as it is styled, the “martyrdom “— of St. Peter occurs very frequently, and seldom varies in the general points of treatment. The two assassins, the principal of whom is called in the legend Cariuo; the saint felled to the earth, his head wounded and bleeding, his hand attempting to trace the word “Credo”;—these, with the forest background, constitute the elements of the composition.

We have an example of the proper Italian treatment in a small picture, by Giorgione, in our National Gallery, which is extremely animated and picturesque. But the most renowned of all, and among the most celebrated pictures in the world, is the ” San Pietro Martire ” of Titian; painted as an altar-piece for the chapel of the saint, in the church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo (which the Venetians abbreviate and harmonize into San Zanipolo), belonging to the Dominicans. (Venice.) The dramatic effect of this picture is beyond all praise; the death-like pallor in the face of San Pietro, the extremity of cowardice and terror in that of his flying companion, the ferocity of the murderers, the gloomy forest, the trees bending and waving in the tempest, and the break of calm blue sky high above, from which the two cherubim issue with their palms, render this the most perfect scenic picture in the world.

It is a mistake to represent St. Peter Martyr assassinated on the steps of an altar or within a church, as in some Spanish pictures.

I must mention another most interesting work which relates to St. Peter Martyr. Fra Bartolomeo has introduced him into most of the large pictures painted for his Order, and has given him the usual type of head; but in one picture he has represented him with the features of his friend Jerome Savonarola, that eloquent friar who denounced with earnest and religious zeal the profane taste which even then had begun to infect the productions of art, and ended by entirely depraving both art and artists. After the horrible fate of Savonarola, strangled and then burned in the great square at Florence, in 1498, Bartolomeo, who had been his disciple, shut himself up in his cell in San Marco, and did not for four years resume his pencil. He afterwards painted the head of his friend, in the character of Peter Martyr, with a deep gash in his skull, and the blood trickling from it, — probably to indicate his veneration for a man who had been his spiritual director, and who by his disciples was regarded as a martyr; and /fever the Dominicans regain their former influence, who knows but that we may have this resolute adversary of the popes and princes of his time canonized as another “St. Jerome “?

St. Thomas Aquinas.

Hal. San Tomaso di Aquino, Dottore Angelico. March 7,1274.

St. Thomas Aquinas, as a theologian one of the great lights of the Roman Catholic Church, was of the illustrious family of the Counts of Aquino, in Calabria. His grandfather had married the sister of the Emperor Frederic I.: be was, consequently, grand-nephew of that prince, and kinsman to the emperors Henry VI. and Frederic II. His father Landolfo Count of Aquino, was also Lord of Loretto and Belcastro, and at this latter place St. Thomas was horn in the year 1226. He was remarkable in his infancy for the extreme sweetness and serenity of his temper, a virtue which, in the midst of the polemical disputes in which he was afterwards engaged, never forsook him. He was first sent to the Benedictine school at Monte Casino, but when he was ten years old his masters found they could teach him no more. When at home, the magnificence in which his father lived excited rather his humility than his pride: always gentle, thoughtful, habitually silent, piety with him seemed a true vocation. The Countess Theodora, his mother, apprehensive of the dangers to which her son would be exposed in a public school, was desirous that he should have a tutor at home: to this his father would not consent, but sent him to finish his studies at the University of Naples. Here, though surrounded by temptations, the warnings and advice of his mother so far acted as a safeguard, that his modesty and piety were not less remarkable than his assiduity in his studies. At the age of seven

teen he received the habit of St. Dominick in the convent of the Order at Naples. The Countess Theodora hastened thither to prevent his taking the final vows: feeling that he could not resist her tenderness, he took flight, and, on his way to Paris, was waylaid near Acquapendente, by his two brothers Landolfo and Rinaldo, officers in the emperor’s army. They tore his friar’s habit from his back, seized upon him and carried him to their father’s castle of Rocca-Secca. There his mother came to him, and in vain supplicated him to change his resolution. She ordered him to be confined and guarded from all communication with others; no one was suffered to see him but his two sisters, who were directed to use their utmost persuasions to turn him from his purpose. The result was precisely what one might have foretold; he converted his two sisters, and they assisted him to escape. He was let down from a window of the castle in a basket. Some of the Dominican brethren were waiting below to receive him, and in the following year he pronounced his final vows.

Notwithstanding his profound learning, the humility with which he concealed his acquirements and the stolid tranquillity of his deportment procured him the surname of Bos, or the Ox. One instance of his humility is at once amusing and edifying. On a certain day, when it was his turn to read aloud in the refectory, the superior, through inadvertence or ignorance, corrected him, and made him read the word with a false quantity. Though aware of the mistake, he immediately obeyed. Being told that he had done wrong to yield, knowing himself in the riiiht, he replied, “The pronunciation of a word is of little importance, but humility and obedience are of the greatest.”

From this time till his death, he continued to rise in reputation as the greatest theological writer and teacher of his time. Pope Clement IV. offered to make him an archbishop, but he constantly refused all ecclesiastical preferment. In 1274 he was sent on a mission to Naples, and was taken ill on the road, at Fossa-Nova, where was a famous abbey of the Cistercians. Here he remained for some weeks unable to continue his journey, and spent his last hours in dictating a commentary on the Song of Solomon When they brought him the sacrament, he desired to be taken from his bed and laid upon ashes strewn upon the floor. Thus he died, in tha fiftieth year of his age, and was canonized by John XXII. in 1323.

St. Thomas Aquinas represents the learning, as St. Peter Martyr represents the sanctity, of the Dominicans. Effigies of him are frequent in pictures and in prints, and the best of them bear a general resemblance, showing them to have been derived from a common original. The face is broad and rather heavy; the brow fine and ample; the expression mild and thoughtful. His attributes are, 1. a book, or several books; 2. the pen ot inkhorn; 3. on his breast a sun, within which is sometimes a human eye to express his far-seeing wisdom: 4. the sacramental cup, because he composed the Office of the Sacrament still in use. He is often intently writing, or looking up at the holy Dove hovering above him, the emblem of inspiration: he is then distinguished from other doctors and teachers, who have the same attributes, by his Dominican habit.

The most ancient and most remarkable pictures of St. Thomas Aquinas have been evidently intended to express his great learning and his authority as a doctor of the Church. I will mention five of these, all celebrated in art: —

1. By Francesco Trami, of Pisa. St. Thomas Aquinas, of colossal size, is enthroned in the centre of the picture. He holds an open book, and several books lie open on his knees; rays of light proceed from him in every direction: on the right hand stands Plato, holding open his Timeus; on the left Aristotle, holding open his Ethics; Moses, St. Paul, and the four Evangelists, are seen above, each with his book; and over all, Christ appears in a glory: from him proceed the rays ot fight which fall on the Evangelists, thence on the head of St. Thomas, and emanate from him through the universe. Under his feet lie prostrate the three arch-heretics, Arius, Sabellius, and the Arabian Averrhoes, with their books torn. In the lower part of thii picture is seen a crowd of ecclesiastics looking iii to the saint; among them, Pope Urban VI., inscribed Urbanus Sex Pisanus, who was living when the picture was painted, about 1380. It is still preserved with great care in the Church of St. Caterina, at Pisa. A figure by Benozzo Gozzolr, now in the Louvre, is so like this of Traini, that it should seem to be a copy or imitation of it, made when he was at Pisa in 1443.

2. By Taddeo Gaddi, in the large fresco in S. Maria Novella. (Florence.) St. Thomas is seated on a magnificent throne, over which hover seven angels carrying the sym’iols of the theological virtues. On his right hand sit Peter, Paul, Moses, David, and Solomon; on the left the four Evangelists. Crouching under his feet are the three great heretics, Arius, Averrhoes, atid Sabellius. In a row beneath, and enthroned under beautiful Gothic niches, are fourteen female figures, representing the arts and sciences; and at their feet are seated fourteen figures of great theological and scientific writers.

3. By Filippino Lippi, in the S. Maria-sopra-Mincrva (Home); a large elaborate fresco, similar to the preceding in the leading allegory, but the whole treated in a more modern style. St. Thomas is enthroned on high, under a canopy of rich classic architecture; under his feet are the arch-heretics, and on each side stand the theological virtues. In front of the picture are assembled those renowned polemical writers, disputants, and scholars, who are supposed to have waited on his teaching and profited by his words.

4. St. T.iomas is kneeling before a crucifix. From the mouth of the crucified Saviour proceed the words, “Bene scripsisti de me, Thomas; quam mercedem accipies?” (Thou hast written well of me, Thomas; what recompense dost thou desire ?) The saint replies, “Non aliam nisi te, Domine!” (Thyself only, O Lord!) “A companion of St. Thomas, hearing the crncifix thus speaking, stands utterly confounded and almost beside himself.” (Vasari.) This refers to a celebrated vision related by his biographers (not by himself), in which a celestial voice thus spoke to him. The same subject was painted by Francesco Vanni in the Church of San Romano at Pisa.

5. By Zurbaran, his masterpiece, the “SanTomas” now in the Museum at Seville. This famous picture was painted for the Dominican college of that city. Not having seen it, I insert Mr. Stirling’s description .—

“It is divided into three parts, and the figures are somewhat larger than life. Aloft, in the opening heavens, appear the Blessed Trinity, the Virgin, St. Paul, and St. Dominick, and the angelic doctor St. Tbonius Aquinas ascending to join their glorious company; lower down, in middle air, sit the four Doctors of the Church, grand and venerable figures, on cloudy thrones; and on the ground kneel, on the right hand, the Archbishop Diego de Deza, founder of the college, and on the left the Emperor Charles V., attended by a train of ecclesiastics. The head of St, Thomas is said to be a portrait of Don Agustin de Escobar, prebendary of Seville; and, from the close adherence to Titian’s pictures observable in the grave countenance of the imperial adorer, it is reasonable to suppose that in the other historical personages the likeness has been preserved wherever it was practicable. The dark mild face immediately behind Charles is traditionally held to be the portrait of Zurbaran himself. In spite of its blemishes as a composition, — which are perhaps chargeable less against the painter than against his Dominican patrons of the college; and in spite of a certain harshness of outline, — this picture is one of the grandest of altarpieces. The coloring throughout is rich and effective, and worthy of the school of Roelas: ihe heads are ah of them admirable studies; the draperies of the doctors ann ecclesiastics are magnificent in breadth and amplitude of fold; the imperial mantle is painted with Venetian splendor; and the street view, receding in the centre of the canvas, is admirable for its atmospheric depth and distance.”

On a certain occasion, when St. Thomas was returning by sea from Rome to Paris, “a violent storm terrified the crew and the passengers; the saint only was without fear, and continued in tranquil prayer till the storm had ceased.” I suppose this to be the subject of a. picture in St. Thomiis-d’Aqtiin at Paris, painted by Schefler.

I must mention two other learned personages who have been represented, though very rarely, in art, and who may be considered in connection with St. Thomas Aquinas.

The Alps; or, Sketches of life and nature in the mountains

The Alps; or, Sketches of life and nature in the mountains

Let us only place ourselves in the agonising position of
these victims of the avalanche, dreadful enough by the
surrounding cold, and add to it the consciousness that help
from a friend’s hand is labouring to exhaustion in the wrong
direction a few paces on. When htunan wisdom is at an end,
the finer instinct of animals begins ; and as the dog follows
the steps of his master or of the lost child for hours, and
at length finds what he seeks, here it is the faithful com-
panion of the moimtaineer whose fine scent discovers the
burial-place and leads on the right track. The value of
the dogs of the hospices of the Great St. Bernard, Simplon,
and St. Gothard, is too proverbial, and has been too com-
prehensively and faithfully described in Tschudi’s “Animal
Life in the Alps,” to be spoken of at greater length here.

The dwellers on such passes tell wonderful stories of
the instinctive prescience of many beasts, who forebode
or, one might almost say, prophesy the fell of avalanches*
It is notorious that on those slopes which are in any way
affected by the regular fall of avalanches, the tracks of
chamois are seldom or never to be found in the snow.
The inhabitants of mountain inns and hospices declare
that the mountain daws come down from the heights
shortly before the occurrence of dust-avalanches or the
fall of windshields, flying, as it were, to human dwellings,
and screaming as they circle round them. It is said that
the dogs kept to look out for distressed travellers show
a perceptible restlessness shortly before avalanches or
whirlwinds, and there have been some on the Simplon
who howled loudly and tried to get out to search accord-
ing to their business. Horses, however, show the most
decided feeling of bad weather. We have mentioned, in
the description of a snowstorm, that the horse exerts his
utmost strength before the breaking out of a storm to get
on quicker, and, if possible, to reach the protecting house.
A horse is said to have been used for many years as a
packhorse over the Scaletta pass, who regularly showed the
approach of avalanches by becoming excited and restive,
though at other times Jie was the most patient and quiet
beast in the world. The drivers, who set a high value
upon it on this accoimt, depended almost entirely upon
this horse in bad weather. It once had to draw some
passengers on a sleigh during winter, and having come to
a point near the top of the pass, refused to move from
the place. The travellers, foolishly enough, and the
driver, giving way to their impatience, did all they could
to drive the beast on. At last, after showing its disgust


at human unreason by loud neighings, it applied all its
strength anew, and sought, by an almost desperate hurry,
to escape from the threatened danger. A few seconds
further, a sudden crash and fall! The avalanche had
buried the travellers and the clever faithful horse.

The old manyfold romance of the road, which rail-
ways have completely destroyed in the plain, still rules
over these cultivated Alpine passages. The far-sounding,
discordant ring of the six heavy, robust coach-horses
before the high-vaulted, broad-wheeled carriage, with its
white roof, still sounds, and the rough postilion still cracks
his variations on the whip, and accompanies them at times
with his choicest selection of oaths. Dust steams up in
long-drawn clouds. An Itahan cattle-driver is taking his
herd of young, black, and dark-brown milch cows, and a
number of “maas stiere” (beasts for fattening), to the Lugano
market The lad goes on with his mountain stick and
the usual umbrella under his arm (for no Tessiner or Ap-
penzeller ever travels without this means of protection),
on his shoulders the milking-stool, and he raises his loud,
high-pitched cry, sinking with a gradually falling tone —
” Ooo — ohohohohoho, komm wadli, wadli, wadli,” with
which he encourages his beasts to step out stoutly (wadli =
weidlich). In the midst of the crowd of beasts, rather
driving than haranguing, and working very demonstra-
tively on the backs of his immediate neighbours with
blows from a cudgel, goes an interpreter, a ruined cattle-


dealer, who has lost goods and chattels by unfortunate
speculations. He has full command of the Itahan patois,
since he has held dealings and driven cattle in Lombardy
for the last quarter of a century. Now, as his last beast
has been put up to auction at home, he is serving his
neighbour as broker and bargainer for daily pay and a
proportion of the earnings. The real adventurer of the
Alpine caravan brings up the rear of the whole long-
extended train. The chief part of his fortune .is in this
wandering capital. Now, it depends upon luck whether
the demand is lively and good prices to be had, or whether
the market is over-stocked with good cattle, and the
demand flat. If the speculation takes, he may earn a
thousand francs at once. But he may lose as much,
if he has to lower his price ; for, to drive his fifty cattle
home again, twelve days’ joimiey over difierent moxm-
tains, and without sufficient food, would cost him dearer
still. He steps on, meditating deeply on his luck. Sud-
denly, the rolling of the carriage, a loud cry, the confusion
of his herd, startles him from his meditations. The dili-
gence comes quickly down the pass : the postilion, conscious
of his dignity on his lofty seat, to whom, as the servant of
the state, even a herd of cattle must give way, drives
sharply amongst the homed troop. Eaging and cursing,
cudgelling and coaxing of the drivers, cracking of whips
and laughter of the coachman, the screams of the nervous
lady in the coupS^ who is afraid for her personal safety,
cows lowing in every tone, and the hoarse barking of
dogs, mingle and rise into a tragic scene in the thick
clouds of dust. A few cows turn and start homewards,
but “Schnauz,” the vigilant, trustworthy dog, who
only thinks of the duty imposed upon him of the most
strict and unconditional ” forwards,” and takes no notice
of impediments, puts his poUce arrangements into action

274 THB ALPa

with inexorable zeal ; he has to struggle with “B’platzed”
(a cow so called from a great white spot or ” platz ” on
her forehead), who wishes to establish her rights with her
horns, whilst ^ s’Mohrli,” a gentle, intelligent cow, goes
steadily on her way. She is therefore thought worthy of
wearing her master’s cloak rolled up round her neck.
The cattle-drivers abuse the postiUon and guard, who is
lying on the covering of the carriage to give up his pro-
per place to an Englishman ; the post people reply with
equal vigour. The horses become restive in the tumult ;
one jiunps over the traces, the confusion increases, the
diligence has to stop. A general row, scandal, and
confusion of tongues — ” Briccone ! Dimdershagel ! Mal-
detto villano! Scempiottol Strahls-choggl” is screamed
and growled from all sides.

All the hospices, of which there are about fifteen in
the Alps, are pious foimdations, of greater or less extent,
intended to shelter every traveller according to his means,
free of expense, to give a meal gratis to the poor, or if
the wildness of the weather should compel the wanderer
to wait longer, to keep him for a time, and to guide
people who have lost their way during snow-storms by
ringing bells or sending out dogs. All the Alpine passes
do not enjoy this great blessing. Only those over the
Col de Lautaret (Mont Gen^vre), Mont Cenis, the Great and
Little St. Bernard, Simplon and Gothard, the Grimsel, San
Giacomo in the Tessin, and that over the Lukmanier, are
provided with hospices. The others have, at the outside,
moimtain inns, in which hospitahty has to be paid ibr.
•Their height is generally only a few thousand feet below
the perpetual snow. On the St. Gothard the fall of snow
generally begins in the middle of October, and lasts
through two-thirds of May. It thus lasts a good seven
months. There is no day, however, in the calendar on
which it has not snowed in some year or other. It is
often so bitterly cold in July and August, at this height
of 6834 feet above the sea, that flowers are frostbitten
at the windows as in winter, and have to be warmed
every day. The Lago Grande near the hospice is gene-
rally frozen at the beginning of July, and in winter there
are nights whose bitter cold may be compared with
that of Spitzbergen and Nova Zembla. Thick clouds
envelope the house more than half the days in a year,

u 3


whilst perhaps sunlight is smiling in the valleys, or on the
higher mountains. For the passes are also the roads by
which the giants of watery vapour stride over the Alps
from the warm, damp valleys of the south, and hang over
the neighbouring pillars of rock as mantles of doud and
caps of mist, \mtil either the south wind drives them over,
converting them into perfect urns of rain, or the north
wind repulses them. The hospice on the Col de Lautaret
is remarkably similar. On the Great St Bernard (7884
feet) the number of winter months increases to nine,
in consequence of its greater height, and the dear simny
days of the year are quickly told over. All fiid has to
be fetched from a distance of several hours.

Taking all these circiunstances into account, it requires
imusual resignation to become an ” ospitah^re.” For the
mere wish to take a place to be occupied as a benefice
can scarcely be strong enough for such an act of self-
deniaL It is no sinecure, no hospital manager’s place,
like that of a great sick or poor house in a town ; heavy
duties (often without suflBdent means) and severe depri-
vations burden it. To imderstand these circumstances a
little more accurately, we must classify the hospices.

In the first place there are the four great monasteries
OH the Great and Little St Bernard, the Mont Cenis and
Simplon. They are inhabited and maintained by Augus-
tine monks, and the foimdation of the first three dates fer
back in the middle ages. The hospice on Mont Cenis is
said to have been founded by Charlemagne, was con-
siderably increased by Napoleon I. in 1801, and served
as an asylum to Pius VH in 1812. The foundation of
the monastery on the Great St Bernard by St Bernard of
Menthou (sprung from a noble family in Savoy), followed
in 962, although the annals of the bishops of Lausanne
commemorate a still earlier one standing in 862, whose


foundation is also ascribed to Charlemagne. Archives
and documents were completely destroyed by fires which
have twice visited the building. The present large build-
ing dates from the 16th century, is inhabited by twelve
Augustine monks and a number of serving brothers, and
is suflEicient for the reception of from seventy to eighty
guests. The Simplon hospice is the property of the St.
Bernard monastery, is connected with it, and provided by
it with from four to six ecclesiastics, under the authority
of a superior. The hospice on the Littie St Bernard is
perhaps the oldest of all, although here too there are no
written records. It is far more scantily provided than
the above-mentioned, and is suppUed partially by the
commime of Aosta, and inhabited by brothers delegated
from the Great St Bernard. According to tradition, Han-
nibal is said to have rested on this height and held a
council of war, on which account a space surrounded by
large red blocks of stone on the plain at the top of the
pass is called the Cirque d’Annibal The young monks
who shut themselves up to serve in these monasteries
generally begin in tiidr twentieth year, and undertake
the duty of remaining here fifteen years. Many of them
give way in that time from the severity of the climate,
and the hardships or dangers to life when they make the
excursions with their dogs in winter or spring, after
avalanches or severe fells of snow, with the view of help-
ing travellers in difficulty. The few endurable summer
months, during which travellers for pleasure arrive, are
the only time of recreation for the monks. During this
time, however, they thoroughly enjoy life, devote them-
selves to tiie entertainment of tiieir visitors, make excur-
sions with ladies to beautiful points of view, play on the
piano, and by tiieir refined and gentiemanlike behaviour,
win the fevoiir of all tiieir guests to a high degree.

V 4

The government of Canton Tessin, within which the
house lies, occasionally presents them with old clothes
that have become imserviceable for the army, for distri-
bution amongst the poor. The method by which here,
as in the great monastic hospices, help is given to tra-
vellers half frozen by great cold or sudden and unex-
pected storms of weather is highly to the purpose. They
are first led about in a cold room, and have given to them
either mulled wine or a kind of weak grog. The parts
of their bodies which have been most exposed to the
cold are then dipped in snow water, rubbed with sijow,
and, as the circulation of the blood becomes more lively,
laid in a warm room, well covered with woollen cloths,
and supplied with the necessary food. This is generally
followed by a lethargic sleep, which sometimes lasts for
twenty hours. On waking the patients are generally so


restored that, after a meaJ, they are able to continue their
journey. The feeling of intense relief, and the happy
comfort which embraces the traveller who enters in wild
weather, and finds such a himiane and hearty reception,
is not to be described ; and the stranger who has any
means, without being ajsked for it, willingly contributes
the worth of that which has been unselfishly given to
him. There are certainly travellers of higher rank who
are mean enough to go on without giving anything.

In all these hospices those celebrated dogs are kept
who go out with the servants in bad weather, and help
them to find out people who are lost, or have had
accidents, by their wonderfully developed instinct. By
their powerfiil build and unusual hardiness they are able
to hold out against the most vehement storms. An
accurately characteristic description of them is to be
found in Tschudi’s ” Thierleben der Alpenwelt” On the
St Gothard there are now kept one St Bernard’s dog,
one Kamschatka, and two Leonberger dogs (presented
by Herr Esseg of Stuttgard), which are said to be very

The number of real accidents has much diminished of
late years. On the Great St Bernard no fatal case has
occurred for some time. It is worse on the St Gothard,
on accoimt of the necessary regular postal service.
Besides the accident related on page 188 of this book, it
happ^aed a few weeks earlier that on the so-called
Plangen, above the refuge ” Am Matteli,” thirteen men
who accompanied the post, together with horses and
sleighs, were carried down into the Eeuss by an over-
powering avalanche. Three of them, fathers of femilies,
and nine horses, foimd their graves in tiie snow ; the others
were saved by speedy help. A truly tragical case, how-
ever, overtook one of the most zealous helpers, Herr


Joseph Muller of Hasperthal, during these attempts. He
had gone to stand by his neighbours, but was over-
whehned by a . new avalanche at the place called ” Im
Hamisch,” and lost his life. On the 27th of October, in
the same year, the post coming from Airolo was over-
whelmed . by an avalanche near the house of refiige,
Ponte Tremola; a traveller from Bergamo was killed,
the others were saved. The latest accidents took place
on the 2nd of November, 1855, on which day three men
were carried over an abyss by the fall of a ” snow-shield,”
but were saved by united and vigorous efforts.

The well-known Grimsel hospice is of very different
character in greatness and importance. It now has fex
more the splendour of an inn opened for speculation, in
which all that tickles the palate is to be had for money,
than the character of an imselfish, benevolent institution.
The circumstance that it was let by the OberhasU valley
to the present landlord, shows its different position.
Besides, the landlord formerly had the right to ask every
passenger a toU for keeping up the road, and leave was
promised to him to keep an inn for money. When the
lessee was obhged to give poor travellers a night’s
lodging and a simple meal, he had, on the other hand,
the right to make collections throughout all Switzerland,
and to recover payments for his intended benefits. If
we add that the pass of the Grimsel is one by no means
so imiversally used for trade and intercourse as that over
the St. Gothard, that in consequence only the poor of the
immediately neighbouring districts profited by it, it
foUows that the Grimsel is nothing more nor less than a
regular inn, and by no means a hospice in the proper
sense. Besides this, the landlord does not pass the
winter with his family at this hospice, 700 feet lower
than that on the St Gothard, but leaves it with his cattle


in November, and does not return till the beginning of
March. During the most severe quarter of the year,
only one servant, or at most two, remain in the Grimsel,
in order to keep the road close to the house in order, to
send out dogs in heavy snow-storms, and when the dogs
bark, to show the direction by loud cries. This winter
stay may almost be compared to Siberian banishment, as
ill severe and b^o^vy winters, weeks or even oiontlis jmss
without any one crossing the road, whilst all iotereoui-se
with the neighbom^iiig villages is cut off. The nearest
human dwelling is the Yalaisan village, Oberwald, two
and a half hours off- Remembering that in deep snow
a walk often becomes three or fourfold the time on hard,
dry ground, and considering that the snowfall in this
neighbourhood often reaches such a height that the
serv^ant lias to get out of the upper windows of the house
to clear the path to the door, and finally, that avalanches
frequently threaten to destroy the huge, firm, casemate-
like building, it ydU be granted that the lot of a winter
servant on the Grimsel is moi-e dull and disheartening
than that of a villain shut up in a cell.

Since the year 1836, Peter Zybach of Mqningen had
been lessee of the Grimsel, with the meadows and rights
of collecting for a yearly payment of 2500 francs, and
managed it to every one’s content He himself had the
best reason to be content with his lease, as it was established,
that during the summer he took from rich tourists yearly
some 140,000 francs. The lease came to an end with the
year 1852, and as Zybach had become well to do at the
Grimsel, there were other aspirants for the term of a new
lease. Besides this, a report was ciurent that the Ghimsel
would be put up to open auction, and in such an auction
it might be driven up to a high price. Zybach proposed
to the Land Conunission a new four years’ lease, at a con-
siderably increased rent, without, however, gaining the
consent of the court. Suddenly an account came from the
wilderness of the Grimsel to the Haslithal, that the hospice
had been burnt down in a few hours on the night of the
fifth of November. According to the report of three
servants, a stranger had come in in the evening and lodged
in the middle story. At half-past eleven at night the ser-
vants had been awakened by the barking of the dogs, and
when they went out into the passage, a dear flame was
shining. The fire had obviously been kindled by the im-
prudence of the guest, and he had been burnt The fire
had so soon gained the upper hand that all attempts to
extinguish it were in vain. The furniture, insured for
20,000 francs, was burnt. In spite of the deep snow, a
commission of investigation went up to the Grimsel, and
it soon appeared that almost all the goods and chattels
had been concealed and thus saved. Zybach hesitated ia
his answers, then wished to give up his claims for indemni-
fication, but was foolish enough to make proposals of


bribery to the commissioner, if he would be silent, and
when he remained honourably firm to his duty, the un-
fortunate criminal threw himself into the lake behind the
hospice, to escape by suicide from the shame of a severe
punishment Zybach, however, was saved, and thrown
into prison with his servants. Here an investigation
showed that, by Zybach’s persuasion, and on a promise of
750 francs, the servants had declared themselves ready,
and after putting the eflfects in safety had set fire to the

Zybach, who was, independently of this, not very popu-
lar with the people of the valley, because he had rapidly
turned into a prosperous man, and one making show of
his prosperity, was not only at once condemned through
the whole Haslithal, but tiie wrath of the people found
new food for irreconcilable hatred because the destruction
of the hospice made it impossible for the people to pass
the Grimsel in the spring, the time of the most active
cheese trade with Italy. For it is four and a half hours
from Guttanen, the last village of the Hashthal, and
several hours more from there to the Valais, by a very
difficulty and in winter very dangerous road. A good
resting place was thus an absolute necessity, and the
hospice had in fact been foimded with this object.

The state prosecution had to propose the punishment
of death for Zybach, and the judgment of the court of the
Bernese Oberland was death, and twelve years’ imprison-
ment for the accomplices. The appeal brought by
Zybach before the great Court of the Canton, changed
the sentence of death to imprisonment for life, because
Zybach had during his whole life been an honourable
man and an excellent father of a family ; and when the
unfortunate man had been imprisoned for some years, and
the physicians had declared that a change of residence


was necessary to save his life, the rest of his punishment
was remitted on a petition from his family conditionally
on his emigrating to America. He now Uves miknown,
and imd^r another name in Germany — where, no one
knows. The Grimsel has been increased, and built anew
with more convenience, and is a yearly rendezvous of the
tourist world.

The combined ” Treibjagd ” (driving chase) of chamois,
undertaken in company by the less distinguished hunters,
is less dangerous. It generally takes place in the outlying
alps, which are poorer in game, and in many respects is
like the organised battue of the plains, as the hunters are


posted at different points and dogs used for driving the

The Spirit of the English Magazines, Volume 1 (Google Books)

Animal Sagacity.


Wales, to finish his days in the family the merits of the surgeon, and the nature

of a Protestant. Such, however, was
the force of precept and example, (some
would call it conscience, and a sense of
duty,) that nothing, from the moment he
entered the Protestant circle, would
tempt him to eat meat, either on Fridays
or Saturdays.
But I think, Mr. Editor, I can give
you an instance of sagacity in the canine
breed more astonishing far than that, or
any other, it ever was my chance to
hear: it was related to me, I assure you,
as an undeniable fact, and names of per-
sons and places attended the relation of
it; my author was a Prussian officer,
who, a little time back, visited this me-
tropolis, and it was my lot to hand him
about, and shew him the curiosities. A
German count had a very valuable dog,
a large and noble-looking animal; in
some description of field-sports he was
reckoned exceedingly useful, and a friend
of the count’s applied for the loan of the
dog for a few weeks’ excursion in the
country: it was granted; and, in the
course of the rambles, the dog, by a fall,
either dislocated or gave a severe fracture
to one of his legs. The borrower of the
dog was in the greatest alarm, knowing
well how greatly the count valued him ;
and, fearing to disclose the fact, brought
him secretly to the count’s surgeon, a
skilful man, to restore the limb. After
some weeks’ application, the surgeon
succeeded, the dog was returned, and all
was well. A month or six weeks after
this period, the surgeon was sitting grave-
ly in his closet, pursuing his studies, when
he heard a violent scratching at the bot-
tom of the door; he rose, and on open-
ing it, to his surprise, he saw the dog,
his late patient, before him, in company
with another dog, who had broken his
leg, and was thus brought by his friend
to be cured in the same manner.
I have heard before now a farmer say,
that he had a horse in his stable who al-
ways, on losing his shoe, went of his own
accord to a farrier’s shop, a mile off;
but I never yet heard of a horse taking
another horse to a farrier for the pur-
pose. In the case of the dogs, there
must have been a communication of
ideas; they must have come to a conclu-
sion before they set out; they must have

of the wound.
A young cat, which sometimes has
the indulgence of taking her place in the
domestic circle upon the carpet before
the fire in the parlour, coming in one
day a few weeks ago, when one of the
party was spinning upon a line wheel,
which she had never seen before, she
seemed extremely alarmed by its appear-
ance and motion, and couched down in
an attitude of fear, and of investigation,
and yet at such a distance as would ad-
mit of a speedy retreat, if it should prove
to be alive and an enemy.—She crept
slowly all round the wheel, with her eyes
steadily fixed upon it, and with a very
singular expression of countenance, which
clearly indicated her consideration ; till
at length, not being able to satisfy herself,
she retreated towards the door, impa-
tiently waiting to make her escape ;
which she did, the moment it was in her
power, with great precipitation.
The next morning when she came into
the room, the wheel then standing still,
she advanced courageously towards it
and after an apparently careful examina-
tion walking all round, ventured upon
the further experiment of endeavouring
to ascertain with her paw, touching it in
various places, whether there was really
any thing to be apprehended from it;
still not finding any motion, our philoso-
pher of the Newtonian school, satisfied
with this complete investigation that she
had nothing to fear, seated herself quietly
by the fire; and the next time she saw
it in motion, sprung gaily forward and
enjoyed her triumph by playing with the
object of her former terror.
The country near the village of St.
Peter, the last in the Valais was now,
says the relator, perfectly wild and bar-
ren, no more green trees being to be
seen, and all verdure lost in a boundless
waste of snow. No sound was to be
heard, but the song of the Alpine Lark,
or at long intervals, the bleating of the
Chamois. But even these tones ceased,
after I had proceeded about half an hour
longer in the snow, nor till I came near
the monastery (of St. Bernard) did any
others succeed, but the awful thunder of
the avalanche, or falls of snow. It is in

reasoned together on the way, discussing the midst of this frightful solitude, that

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travellers are so often overwhelmed beneath these tremendous masses, or benumbed in snow showers; but, through the benevolence of the canons of St. Bernard, assisted by their dogs and sounding poles, they are sometimes rescued from such a state of destruction, and restored again to life. The perpetual sinking in the snow fatigued me so much, that I began to hesitate whether I must not sit down and rest myself; when I heard the great bell of the monastery, which, pouring with a slow and hollow clang through a wild rocky chasm, had an inexpressibly solemn effect; the conviction it afforded me, however, that I was near the end of my toils, instantaneously renewed my strength, and I pushed on eagerly, when I soon beheld the edifice itself high above me, in a deep blue atmosphere, at the edge of a rugged rock. To an eye accustomed to beholding the habitations of man, surrounded by gardens, meadows, rivulets, and groves, the sight of a large and regular pile of building situated in the midst of this wilderness, on a gigantic eminence, with clouds rolling at its foot, and encompassed only by beds of ice and snow, stretching through a boundless labyrinth of rugged vales, and gullies, in mournful immutability, was awfully impressive. In this chilling region, elevated twelve hundred and forty-six fathoms above the level of the sea, the air preserves a never-ceasing winter, and, even at mid-day in the month of August, the thermometer rarely stands above the freezing point. A small lake, which lies on the South side of the monastery, is never wholly thawed; nor does any green sedge or rushes relieve the desart appearance of its borders. I now entered the monastery, and found the canons at breakfast, who received me with undissembled hospitality, and, in the most polite and obliging manner, entreated me to prolong my stay with them, at my own pleasure. In the very rudest seasons, as often as it snows, or the weather is foggy, some of these benevolent persons go forth, with long poles, and guided by their excellent dogs, seek the highway, which these sagacious animals never miss, how difficult soever to find. has sunk beneath the force of the falling

Animal Sagacity.

If, then, the wretched traveller

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snows, or is immersed beneath them, in a benumbing swoon, the dogs never fail finding the place of his interment, which they point out by scratching and snuffling, when the sufferer is dug out, and carried to the monastery, where every possible mean is used for his recovery. Yet, notwithstanding all the care and attention of these worthy ecclesiastics, and their faithful dogs, scarcely a year passes, but, as the snow melts away in summer, the dead bodies of travellers are found ; who, remote from their homes, and all that was dear to them, perished here, unnoticed, and unknown. In this chilling region, where fire-wood is among the first necessaries of life, it must all be brought by mules up a steep and rugged road, which is scarcely passable more than two months in the year.—Spor. M. The following account is from a German Almanac recently published : “One of the predecessors of the dogs who lately perished in the avalanches from the Great St. Bernard, was named Barry.—This intelligent animal served the hospital of that mountain for the space of twelve years, during which time he saved the lives of forty individuals. His zeal was indefatigable. Whenever the mountain was enveloped in fogs and snow, he set out in search of lost travellers. He was accustomed to run barking until he lost breath, and would frequently venture on the most perilous places. When he found his strength was insufficient to draw from the snow a traveller benumbed with cold, he would run back to the hospital in search of the monks. One day this interesting animal found a child in a frozen state, between the bridge of Drouaz, and the ice-house of Balsora : he immediately began to lick him, and having succeeded in restoring animation, by means of his caresses, he induced the child to tie himself round his body. In this way he carried the poor little creature, as if in triumph, to the hospital. When old age deprived him of strength, the prior of the convent pensioned him at Berny, by way of reward. He is now dead, and his hide is stuffed and deposited in the museum of that town. The little phial, in which he carried a reviving liquor for the distressed travellers whom he found among the mountains,is still suspended from his neck. 291]