Obrazy na stronie

bidden to one of Mrs. Highflyer's receptions. Being recent arrivals in Snobton, and their position in society not having been settled by the worthy Snobtonians, they were in a manner at their hostess' mercy. They had only a few casual acquaintances, and no friends in Mrs. Highflyer's drawing-rooms. My dear Gwen, I watched those three hapless women, strangers in a strange land, from a corner where I was tightly wedged in behind a fat old lady in a copper-brown satin gown, and a couple of dejected damsels past their first youth, and I assure you that they never exchanged a word with any one, that neither of the girls danced once-daneing was going on in one of the rooms-that refreshments were never even offered to them. There they sat on hour after hour, weary, bored, and, I am sure, hungry. I watched them pityingly, but what could I do? Had I been nearer to them I might perhaps have set conventionalities at defiance, and, though they were utter strangers to me, despatched my own cavalier to their aidsending them provisions as to a beleaguered garrison; but we were separated by a sea of tightly-packed humanity. I could only cast compassionate glances at them and indignant ones at Mrs. Highflyer, who must have seen their plight, for I noticed that she "gorgonised" the unlucky trio more than once with a "stony British stare," but she never deigned to approach them. At last they rose to leave-for my part I wonder they stayed so long--and slowly working their way through the crowd, they vanished from my eyes. This little anecdote may sound incredible, nevertheless I assure you it is true.

But "the hours creep on apace." One o'clock has just struck. I must lay aside my pen-no doubt you are weary of its vagaries -wish you "good-night," and subscribe myself,

Your always attached,



I HEAR the happy laughter of the brook,
The whisper of the breeze,

Through this same glade my tired eyes may lock
At sunlight and at trees.

Yet what is it the springtime lacks to-day,
Being rich in these?

I see the burnished rocks half clothed in foam,
The laughing waters' gift;

I hear the birds' songs from their leafy home,
Through leafy silence drift.

On what strange wings have past and sad years flown
In flight so swift?

Above the pulses of the beating air,

That stirs the trembling leaves,

Across the clouds that make the sky more fair

Than foam-waves make the seas;

I see another day that dawns above

These self-same trees.

I see it dawn and brighten and grow deep,
With joys I dare not tell;

I see it die in sorrow's deathless sleep,

I hear the parting knell

That warns me Hope has done its best and worst,
Since I have loved-too well.

Go back, my heart, to tired days and hours,

This day is not for you!

Though this same spring once held these self-same


In sweeter scent and hue;

Earth is not heaven, and Love no life embowers

With rose--and not with rue!




HE Cardinalate is a splendid dignity. More than "most



mark the penultimate stages of titular honour through which it has passed unsatisfied towards a still more competent and expressive attitude, it has for over two centuries and a half occupied all but the summit of the hill of human distinctions, and is technically and pre-eminently "eminent."

This "eminence" is of course, as it has just been called, a human distinction; yet the honour to which it gives expression is one which is primarily not of this world. It is a spiritual power and princedom, and belongs, by hypothesis, to the kingdom of heaven, which cometh not with observation. But the tree which has its true roots in celestial soil, has attained, by a process. which is not very difficult to understand, to an earth-sheltering luxuriance of foliage. The clouds of the glory of another world, as they sweep the surface of our every-day planet, are apt to attract and to trail after them the reflected glitter of earth, and the dust of its applause. It is all but necessary, and in the very nature of things, that the loyalty and docility of the faithful should invest a spiritual authority with external glory and circumstance. The powers and prestige of heaven must find utterance in the symbols. of secular grandeur-in the pomps, and what would otherwise be, per se, and apart from their religious significance, the vanities of the world; and Rome, the eternal city, accordingly empurples those amongst her magnates who rank as the leading citizens and custodians of the New Jerusalem.

The idea of custody or guardianship, of the option of alternative exclusion or of welcome, of opening or of shutting, is in fact contained in the most popular, and, on the whole, the most probable, of the various current etymologies of the word "cardinal." This derivation is of a homely order, yet picturesque in its simplicity, and proud in its pretensions. "One of the favourite comparisons," says Archbishop Trench-who expresses his belief that the appropriation of the word cardinal to the parochial clergy of the city of Rome, with the subordinate bishops of that diocese, was "an outgrowth, and itself a standing testimony, of the measureless assumption of the Roman See ""one of the favourite comparisons by which that see was used to set out its relation of superiority to all other churches of Christendom was this; it was the hinge' or cardo, on which


all the rest of the Church, as the door, at once depended and turned. It followed presently upon this that the clergy of Rome were cardinales, as nearest to, and most closely connected with, him who was thus the hinge' or cardo of all."

Thus the almost vulgar utility of the cardo or "hinge," which is ordinarily known as the hook on which a door is turned, or a gate is swung, has been illustrated by its adoption in the sense just described in the words of Dr. Trench; and in support of the antiquity of this application of the word cardinal, a letter, professing to be one of Pope Anacletus the first, in the first age of Christianity, is put forward with, it would seem, more confidence than validity. For when the epistle of Anacletus is made amenable to the strieter canons of literary criticism, and especially of Protestant criticism, it is generally denounced as a forgery of the ninth century. This being the case, its testimony falls to the ground. Such as it is, however, it is to the effect that the Apostolic See had been divinely appointed as the hinge and the head-cardo et caput-of all the churches; and that in like manner, as a gate is regulated by the cardo or hinge, or a wheel by the axle, so are all the churches governed by its authority.

In a letter of Pope Leo IX., the genuineness of which is not called into question, the word cardinal is found in the particular relation to the cardo, to which reference has been made; and on the strength of this letter, Mr. Riddle, the author of a respectable "Manual of Christian Antiquities," slighting to the extent of ignoring any antecedent pretensions, remarks that the "title of 'Cardinal' and that of Pope' in its exclusive sense, are peculiar to the Church of Rome, and are comparatively of modern date. The institution of Cardinals was a work of the eleventh century."

There is, however, no absolute consensus or unanimity of opinion with regard to this derivation; but it is, at least, the most salient and striking of any that have been offered. Alternative derivations, of varying degrees of picturesqueness and pertinence, are extant and are defended. Two only of these seem to call for statement in an article which is not characteristically devoted to etymology, and which is already in some danger, not of crowding only, but of congestion, from the wealth of eligible material. The first of these derivations points to the name as having been adopted by the councillors of the Supreme Pontiff, from the grand officers of the Imperial Court, who were called Cardinals. According to the second, Cardinals derived their designation from the circumstance that at such times as the Pope celebrated mass, they stood at the cardines, in Italian, cardini, that is, at the angles or corners of the altar. Whatever may be the incidental derivation, the verbal etymology is almost bound to be conversant about the word cardo, its attributes and its derivatives in speech, whether taken in a primary or in some secondary or remoter sense-the proper relation of cardinales, as subordinate to the

cardo, being in all cases regarded. The etiquette is as strict and as uniform as that which gives identity of theme to the various phenomena of Joseph's dreams.

From the difference of the ecclesiastical status or quality of the Churches of Rome, as well as in the orders of the clergy by whom they were respectively served, there arose an internal discrimination of the Cardinals as priests and deacons, which, with the still higher grade of Cardinal-bishop, completes the classification by which they are distinguished.

The date assigned to the initiation of the Cardinalate varies on several grounds, and-amongst others-as the authorities relied upon are Roman Catholic or Protestant. But also the uncertainty and the discrepancies to be found amongst ecclesiastical historians, with regard not only to the origin of the name of cardinal, but to the period at which it was first used, and the persons to whom it was applied in the earlier stages of its history, are to be explained without the imputation of partisanship. The fact is that neither the thing nor the name was at any time appointed or created; but grew up, by successive and sometimes corrupt encroachments, which received the irregular suffrage of acceptance and recognition, and, from time to time the more formal sanction of Papal briefs and bulls.

It was in the twelfth century, in a Council, namely, which was held at Rome, A.D. 1179, called the third Lateran Council, that Pope Alexander III., with a view to avoid the commotion so often produced by the election of a new Pontiff, ordained that the right of voting on such occasions should belong exclusively to the Cardinals, and that the person who had the votes of two-thirds of the College of Cardinals should be considered the legitimate Pontiff. This constitution has continued to the present tme; the election of pontiffs still retaining the forms which it assumed at that period, when not only the people, but also the clergy of Rome, were wholly excluded from any participation in it. Under another Pope of the same name, Alexander V., who was elected in the Council of Pisa, and died at Bologna, A.D. 1410, the Cardinals were allowed to hold many benefices, three or four deaconries, and as many presbyterships, besides several bishopries.

As against the tendency to modernise the institution of Cardinals, it is contended that the word and the office were not unknown in the second century; and again, that both were formally recognized in the Roman Council said to have been held under Pope Sylvester I. in the year 324. But there are so many circumstances involved in the traditional details of this council which either violate the ascertained facts of history, or oppose the provisions of the canon law, that it is generally regarded as apocryphal.

It has even been affirmed, and received as worthy of credit, that the use of the term cardinal cannot be found in any genuine writer before the time of Gregory the Great, A.D 590-604.

« PoprzedniaDalej »