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do?-that's very bad, me boy. Now, how often do you be sayin' that? do you say it twice a day?" “Oh! begor, an' I do, an' more, your riverence." 'Do you say it twenty times a day, me good boy?" "Augh! begor, an' I do; an' more than forty times a day, your riverence!" "This is very bad indeed, me good boy. Go home now," said the priest, "and get your sister to make you a bag, and hang it round your neck; and every time you say, Be the Holy Father, drop a little stone in it, and come here to me this day week.

"Well, that day week his riverence was hearin' as usual in his box, and he heard an awful noise in the church, so he looked out ov the dure; and what does he see but his penitent, an' he draggin' a sack up the body ov the church! "Tady Mulloy," says he, "what do ye mane be sich conduck as that in de church?" "Shure, yer riverence," says the fellow, "dese is all the Be de Holy Fathers, an' de rest of um's outside in the dray."

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"There was a Kerry priest,' began Ned Shea, and he had the fashion of hearin' confessions wid a slate an' pencil; an' he'd write down every sin, an' the price of it opposite. Well, one day a big mountainy fellow came to his duty, an', says he, I bruk a man's head last Hallow-eve." "That's ninepence," says the priest. "I cut the tail iv Larry Kelly's cow." "That's a shillin': oh, begob, a shillin' that is!" and down it went on the slate. 66 I murthered me wife twice." "That's thruppence, go on." "I kilt an Orangeman." "Whoo!" says the priest, rubbin' out everything; "that clanes out all the rest."


""Listen, then,' said Miss Eily Rafferty; here's a wrinkle for you, Mary Doyle. Did any of ye hear this story? Mother Paul told it to mamma last day she was visiting at St. Swithin's. There was a young lady, a great friend of her own (so now it must be true), livin' on the Laracore Road, just out that way a bit to the Green Lanes; and she was most anxious to get settled. Do ye mind how a nun never Bays get married," it is always settled they call it-ho! ho!' and Miss Eily giggled irreverently. Well, the girl began a novena to Saint Joseph; and the ninth day, when the novena was done, and nobody turned up to marry her, she flew in a rage, and says she to Saint Joseph, "Old boy, you've been here long enough," says she"and out you go!" An', me dear, what do you think but she opened the window, and she hurls the imidge plump into the street! 'Tis a fact! Well, a gentleman was passin' by, an' he saw the white thing fallin' down, an' me dear, he caught it, and he came up and knocked at the hall door. Well, her mother was in the hall; an' of course, the least thing she could do in mere politeness was to ask him in. Then, the girl she comes down, an', me dear, her mother introduced her, an' they were married in a month. So now!'"

We had marked other passages for quotation, but must refer to the work itself, which, though not of first-class excellence, has some good stuff in it, and will afford entertainment to the majority of readers.



No. DXXV.]



FOR the preservation of the early traditions concerning the Abbeychurch, bearing the name of England's first martyr, we are, as is usual in similar cases, principally indebted to the chroniclers who worked in the scriptorium of the Monastery. We hear of a monk William who wrote in 1170, and Walter in 1181; but the first St. Alban's annalist of any note was Roger de Wendover, whose chronicles are full but inaccurate, and too deeply tinged, moreover, with priestly sympathies. His work was formerly attributed to Matthew Paris, who had merely transcribed and revised the manuscripts of his predecessor. In Bohn's "Antiquarian Library" we have translations by Dr. Giles of both these chroniclers. Roger de Wendover's record ceases in 1235. Dr. Giles, in the preface to his translations, remarks "that it was far from the intention of Matthew Paris to claim in the slightest degree what was due to another;" for in the margin of one of the early manuscript copies now remaining, at the year 1235, we read, "So far is copied from an old book;" and in another old manu


script of the same work are found the words "Mister Roger of Wendover, formerly prior of Belvoir, has thus far digested his chronicles."

Matthew Paris, the appointed annalist from 1235-1259, was very diligent in collecting his materials, and as Newcome, in his "History of the Abbey of St. Alban's," remarks, "was of a temper too brave and independent to comply with, or to flatter the usurping pretensions of either the Pope or the King." Mr. Green in his "Short History of the English People," eulogizes Matthew Paris as "an annalist whose pages glow with the new outburst of patriotic feeling which the common oppression of the people and the clergy had produced. Matthew Paris," Mr. Green continues, "was an eminent artist as well as an historian, and many of the manuscripts which are preserved are illustrated by his own hand. A large circle of correspondence

furnished him with minute accounts of political and ecclesiastical proceedings. Pilgrims. from the East and Papal agents brought news of foreign events to his scriptorium at St. Alban's. He

had access to, and quotes largely English geography, and no doubt from, state documents, charters, and the able burin of my friend Basire exchequer rolls. The frequency of will truly show the world that M. the royal visits to the Abbey brought Paris could not make a map. 1 him a store of political intelligence, think you have got those two blots and Henry III. himself contributed which Giraldus Cambrensis calls to the great chronicle which has England and Ireland; if not, pray preserved with so terrible a faith- let me send you such valuable comfulness the memory of his weakness panions to my Master Mat.” and misgovernment." The sunshine The manuscripts of the learned of royal favour, which dazzled many monk were in early times, as now, of our old chroniclers, blinding treasured with great reverence.

In them to the truth, left Matthew Knight's “ Pictorial History of Paris independent, undaunted, and England we read, “ On a manuclear-sighted. Bravely he wrote script of Matthew Paris, now in the what he felt to be true; and this he British Museum, there is an indid, well knowing the cost. “ The scription, in Latin, dated 1st June, case of historical writers,” he says, 1488, in the handwriting and with “is hard ; for if they tell the truth the signature of John Russell, then they provoke men, and if they write Bishop of Lincoln, in which who- . what is false they offend God.” In soever shall obliterate or destroy the a curious and valuable manuscriptbishop's memorandum respecting now at the British Museum, namely, the ownership of the volume is Matthew Paris's works which he solemnly declared to be accursed."

be presented to Henry III., we find Matthew Paris, who was rememmany incidents of English History bered by his brother monks as the represented in illuminations done “pride and glory of their monasby his own hand. In Nichols's tery," was succeeded in the scrip“Literary Anecdotes” (vol. viii. torium by William de Rishanger, pp. 608 &c.) we

come upon a

who carried on the story of St. correspondence between M. Tyson Alban's Abbey till 1272, the last and R. Gough concerning Matthew year of Henry III. The scant Paris as an artist and a drawer of and lifeless jottings of this maps.


collected and The book of tracing-paper you arranged by the last of the St. have,” Tyson writes to Gough, Alban's annalists, Thomas Wals“ was intended for some very curi- ingham, who, after a pause of con. ous figures of Chaucer's Pilgrims, siderable length, took up the thread in a very old illuminated MS, which of the narrative, threw together the I now have in my room.

successive annals, and produced the Mr. Nasmith tells me that this very “ Historia Anglicana," which was copy was given by Matthew Paris long known “Walsingham's himself to the Abbey of St. Alban's. History.” Thomas Walsingham I have since found the dedication : died in 1440. Independently of • Hunc librum dedit fr. Math. de the above writings, we learn much Parisiis Deo'

[no doubt - from old chartularies, ledger- books, and to St. Alban's)."

and shorter histories compiled in And again,

" The

idlest of the Monastery. Thus we have a Camus's sons"—(Tyson here alludes continued and regular account, to a Cambridge friend of his who more or less trustworthy, of St. had delayed the performance of his Alban's Abbey until the time of its promise) —" has at last traced this dissolution in 1539. According to most truly valuable specimen of monkish tradition, Offa, the re



nowned king of Mercia, when after a long career of worldly glory he was living in outward tranquillity at his palace of Winslow, was, in secret, the unhappy prey to gloomy memories. Doubtless, as the evening of life approached, he called to mind many a violent deed; but it is on the dark fate of his chosen son-in-law, Ethelbert, king of East Anglia, who was mysteriously slain within the walls of the royal palace, that the chroniclers especially dwell. Offa, they say, had no hand in the actual murder of his daughter's favoured suitor; and further in defence of the king we are told that he avenged the death of Ethelbert on his wife Drida, who, it appears, was the contriver of the ghastly inhospitality. However this may be, it was very plain that Offa had long desired the kingdom of East Anglia for his own, and that he scrupled not to seize upon it now that the people had lost their king; it is also plain that these things weighed heavily upon his mind. Still listening to the monastic historians, we learn that the unhappy broodings over the past resulted in the founding of St. Alban's Abbey.

More than one of Offa's enemies, flying from England, sought and found refuge at the Court of Charlemagne, who had from time to time judged it expedient to favour the cause of those daring to oppose Mercia's mightiest king. The two monarchs were not, however, brought into open collision until upon the occasion of a Kentish revolt Charlemagne, being applied to by the men of Kent for help against Offa, granted their prayer and was boldly defied by the Mercian king, whose army now achieved new victories. Subsequently the two conquerors were reconciled, and we hear, not only of rich gifts from the Frankish king, but of a treaty which secured pro


tection for English travellers to Rome. We read, moreover, that Charlemagne sent Offa certain letters wherein were statutes made in the provincial synods, strongly recommended as containing the rudiments of the Christian faith," and further, as being "very proper for the instruction of the British bishops." who were believed by Charlemagne to be "rudes et incompositos." These friendly advances were probably brought about by Offa's scholarly subject, Alcuin, who had, by the request of Charlemagne, taken up his abode at the Frankish Court and had gained the admiration and entire confidence of the mighty conqueror.

It was during the tranquillity following upon this reconciliation that Offa, seeking to atone for the death of Ethelbert by some grand act of charity, resolved to "build a stately church and monastery."

The original Abbey, or rather Anglo-Saxon church of St. Alban's, was entirely swept away, and rebuilt in Norman style by Paul, the fourteenth abbot, who, with the powerful assistance of Lanfranc, and afterwards of Anselm, succeeded in rearing "the vastest and sternest temple of his age, which, for size at least if not for beauty, has remained the wonder of all succeeding ages."

"This abbot," says Sir Gilbert Scott, "was very ambitious, and made his church half as big again as the metropolitan cathedral his cousin built at Canterbury." This majestic relic of the past, now, as we hope, about to resume something of its ancient grandeur and dignity, we possess in all substantial respects as it was at the death of Paul the Norman (1093). unmanageable masses of Roman material were, by those among his successors who cherished beauty of architecture, gradually moulded into something of grace and ornament, thus partially losing the rugged


simplicity of the original. Never- hallow the site of his martyrdom, theless, Abbot Paul's church re- it is well to bear in mind how mains to us, covering the sanre vague that tradition is, and bow ground, and having the same walls very far the story of St. Alban is and piers, shrouded as they are from taking its place among the with their recasings.

received facts of history. We will After some difficulty, as we may not lay any stress on the absence suppose, in steering clear of other of proof of there being any persededications, seeing that already

that already cution in Britain at that epoch. there were about twenty abbeys in Individual deaths of Christians for the land, and the same number of their faith must have frequently episcopal sees with their cathedrals, occurred without any actual persethe king finally decided on St. cution. But the earliest reference Alban the Martyr, and we read to St. Alban is in connection with much that is incredible, or perhaps the anti-Pelagian mission of Ger. we may say, symbolical, concerning manus (A.D. 429.), who is said to the patient search made by the have visited his relics, presumably royal devotee for the saintly ashes at Verulam." Thus the story of of his chosen patron. According St. Alban must, we fear, be regarded to Roger Wendover, revised by merely as one among a multitude Matthew Paris, who as a devout of beautiful fictions, rich with monk of the thirteenth century, meaning; and as for “St. Amphidutifully preserved the much-loved balus," from whom St. Alban was traditions of his monastery, Offa, alleged to have learned the doctrines supernaturally assisted, succeeded of Christianity, as Fuller quaintly in his pious quest; and Matthew remarks: “He passeth nameless in Paris, in his life of that king, tells all authors till about four hundred us that Offa adorned the skull of years since ; when Jeffrey Mon. St. Alban with a circlet of gold, mouth was his godfather, and first after which, with great solemnity calls him Amphibalus.” and followed by a grand procession, Bede merely mentions Amphithe dead saint was conveyed to an balus as “clericum quendam.old church outside the town of Offa now commenced the build. Verulam. "This church,” says ing of St. Alban's Monastery, which Bede, “ was of admirable architec- he endowed with his palace and ture, though built only of planks of manor of Winslow, an estate twenty wood."

miles away and about twenty miles Concerning the tradition of “St. in circumference. As soon as the Alban,” and its connection with the building assumed a habitable form, Abbey church, which has survived " he placed there one hundred monks so many generations of English- under the rule of an abbot of his men who have walked among its own choice-Willegod, who was of aisles and arches, it has been said royal affinity. Having made a good of late : “ There is an evident fit- beginning of what he had long had ness in a church dedicated to the it in his heart to accomplish, the proto-martyr of England becoming Mercian king, now aged, withdrew the cathedral church of an English to his palace at Ofiley, near Bedford, see. It is almost strange that it and here he died in 794. should have waited for it so long. Willegod sent an earnest request But while the tradition of the that he and his monks might have Roman soldier who was the first to the solemn companionship of their seal his faith with his blood on dead benefactor, which request was British soil will ever deservedly refused by Offa's son, Egfrid, who


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