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to me that the Catholic clergy are much more careful and kind to their flocks than our own. How, indeed, can it be otherwise, whely even now the majority of our clergymen are non-residents, expending the major part of the church revenue, out of the parish, leaving to the curate, who performs the duty, a stipend which renders it impossible for him to exercise that part of his Christian duty to any extentfor charity begins at home, and his means will not allow him to proceed much farther.
But the public charitable institutions abroad are much better conducted than those of England, where almost every thing is made a job by hypocrites, who work their way into these establishments for their own advantage. It is incredible the number of poor people who are effectually relieved on the continent in the course of the year, at an expense which would not meet the weekly disbursements of a large parish in England. But then, how much more judicious is the system! I know for a fact, that in the county where I reside, and in which the hard-working labourer, earning his twelve shillings a week, is quite satisfied if he can find sufficient bread for his family, (not tasting meat, perhaps, ten times during the whole year,) that those who were idlers, supported by charity, were supplied with meat three or four times a week; nay, even the felons and prisoners in the county gaol were better fed than was the industrious working man. And this is what in England is called charity. It is base injustice to the meritorious. But most of the charitable institutions in England are, from mal-administration, and pseudo-philanthropy, nothing more than establishments holding out premiums for vice. I should like to be despotic in England for only one year !!
Among the institutions founded by Catholics, and particularly deserving of imitation, that of the Sæurs de la Charité appears to be the most valuable. It is an institution, which, like mercy, is twice blessed, it blesses those who give, and those who receive. Those who give, because many hundreds of females, who would otherwise be thrown upon the world, thus find an asylum, and become useful and valuable members to society. They take no vows-they only conform to the rules of the sisterhood during the time that they remain in it, and if they have an opportunity, by marriage or otherwise, of establishing themselves, they are at free liberty to depart. How many young women, now forced into a wretched, wicked life, would gladly incorporate themselves into such a society in England; how many, if such a society existed, would be prevented from falling into error!
It is well known, that to support a large community, the expenses are trifling compared to what they are when you have the same number of isolated individuals to provide for. A company of two or three hundred of these sisters living together, performing among themselves the various household duties, washing, &c., and merely requiring their food, would not incur the same expense in house rent, firing, and provisions, as thirty or forty isolated individuals. Soldiers in barracks are even well fed, housed, and clothed, at a much less expense than it costs the solitary labourer to eat his dry bread in his own cottage ; and the expenses of such communities, if once established, would very soon be paid by their receipts.
Sept. 1835.–VOL. XIV.NO. LII.
It would be a double charity, charity to those who would willingly embrace the life, and charity to those who might require their assistance. It is well known how difficult it is to obtain a sick nurse in London. It is an avocation seldom embraced by people, until they are advanced in years, and all feeling has been dried up by suffering or disappointment. Those who undertake the task are only actuated by gain, and you can expect but eye-service. Not being very numerous, and constantly in demand, they are overworked, and require stimulants in their long watchings. In fact, they drink and dose — dose, and drink again.
But how different would it be if these establishments were formed ! Those who are wealthy would send for one of the sisters when required, and if the illness were tedious, her services could be replaced by another, so that over-fatigue might not destroy watchfulness and attention to the patient. You would at once feel that you had those in your house in whom you could confide. If your means enabled you, you would send a sum to the funds of the charity in return for the service performed, and your liberality would enable them to succour those who could only repay by blessings. A very small subscription would set afloat such a charity, as the funds would so rapidly come in ; and if under the surveillance of the medical men who attended the hospitals, it would soon become effective and valuable. I trust if this should meet the eye of any real philanthropist who has time to give, which is more valuable than money, that he will turn it over in his mind ;—the founder would be a benefactor to his country. And may it also find favour in the sight of those who are so busy legislating for cattle and the Lord's day—perhaps even my friends Buxton and Lushington will take it up, for, as the dress of the sisterhood is invariably black, at all events, it will be the right colour.
May 25th. I have been reading Bulwer's “ Student,” and I prefer some parts of it to all his other writings. As a whole “ Eugene Aram” is the most perfect; but either Bulwer mistrusts his own powers, or I am mistaken when I assert, that he is capable of much more than he has yet achieved. What he has as yet done, is but the clearing off before you arrive at the heart of the quarry. His style, as a specimen of the English language, richly, yet not meretriciously ornamented, is peculiar to himself. There is room for much disquisition in many parts of the “ Student," and I doubt if Bulwer could hold his ground, if many of his premises were attacked, as although always brilliant and original, they are not always satisfactory. His remarks upon authors and their works are most assailable. I
with him, as I do with the phrenologists, only in part; however, as a brother author, I will do him a friendly turn, and bring forward evidence in support of his arguments.
In reading Mrs. Trollope's “ Belgium," I observed, that in every chapter, she expatiated on gastronomy. I think that I reckoned eight-and-twenty times in the two widely printed volumes, and I
mentioned it to Murray. If there was a beautiful view, she broke off her raptures because dinner was ready; if the fatigue had been great, she was consoled with her dinner; if she was on a hill, she walked down to her dinner; if she was in a valley, she walked up to it; and if on the level ground, she walked to it. Now, when I read this chapter of the “ Student,” I said to myself, if there be any truth in these remarks, Mrs. Trollope must be a capital hand at the knife and fork, and not at all troubled with dyspepsia, as are the American ladies, by her account. I knew that she had dined with -, and in the afternoon when we met I inquired. The reply was,
« Ah! mon Dieu! elle a furieusement d'appétit et mange comme quatre."
There are all manner of deaths in this world besides dying. There are political deaths, as Brougham's, dead in the eye of the law, like a convict transported for life, &c.; but the worst death, after all, must be a literary death, that is to say, when a man has written himself down, or written himself out. It is analogous to the last stage of a consumption, in which you believe you are not going to die, and plan for the future as if you were in perfect health. And yet to this complexion must all authors come at last. There is not a more beautiful, or more true portrait of human nature, than the scene between the Archbishop of Grenada and Gil Blas, in the admirable novel of Le Sage. Often and often has it been brought to my recollection, since I have taken up the pen, and often have I said to myself, · Is this homily as good as the last?' (perhaps homily is not exactly the right name for my writings). The great art in this world, not only in writing, but in every thing else, is to know when to leave off. The mind as well as the body must wear out. At first, it is a virgin soil, but we cannot renew its exhausted vigour, after it has borne successive crops. We all know this, and yet we are all Archbishops of Grenada. Even the immortal Walter Scott might have benefited by the honesty of Gil Blas, and have burnt his latter homilies, but had he had such an unsophisticated adviser, would he not, in all probability, have put him out by the shoulders, wishing him, like the venerable hierarch, “ a little more taste and judgment.”.
Since I have been this time abroad, I have made a discovery, for which all prose writers ought to feel much indebted to me. Poets can invoke Apollo, the Muses, the seasons, and all sorts and varieties of gods and goddesses, naked or clothed, besides virtues and vices, and if none of them suit, they may make their own graven image, and fall down before it; but we prose writers have hitherto had no such advantage, no protecting deity to appeal to in our trouble, as we bite our pens, or to call upon to deliver us from a congestion of the brain. Now being aware that there were upwards of three hundred and fifty thousand canonized saints on the Roman calendar, I resolved to run through the catalogue, to ascertain if there was one who took authors under his protection, and to my delight, I stumbled upon our man. By-the-by, Tom Moore must have known this, and he has behaved very ill, in keeping him all to himself. But I must introduce him. It is the most holy, and the most blessed Saint Brandon. Holy St. Brandon inspire me, and guide my pen while I record thy legend! In the first place, let me observe that our patron saint was
an Irishman, and none the worse for that, as Ireland has had as good saints as any in the calendar. And it is now clear that he does protect us prosaic writers, by the number of reporters and gentlemen of the
press which have been sent over from the sister kingdom. But to proceed.
Saint Brandon, it appears, was a reading man, and amused himself with voyages and travels, but St. Brandon was an unbeliever, and thought that travellers told strange things. He took up the Zoology of Pliny, and pursued his accounts of “ Andres vast, and men whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders.” He read until his patience was exhausted, and, in a fit of anger, he threw the manuscript into the flames. Now this was a heavy sin, for a man's book is the bantling of his brain, and to say the least, it was a literary infanticide. That very night, an angel appeared to him, and as a penance for his foul crime, (in the enormity of which every
author will the angel,) he was enjoined to make the book over again, no easy task in those days, when manuscripts were rare, and the art of book-making had not been invented. The sinner, in obedience to the heavenly mission, goes to work, he charters a vessel, lays in provisions for a seven years voyage, and with a crew of seven monks, he makes sail, and after going round the world seven times, during which the world went round the sun seven times, he completed his task in seven volumes folio, which are now out of print. Probably, being in manuscript, he took it up to heaven with him as a passport into paradise. For this miracle—and certainly with such a ship's company, it was a miracle-he was canonized, and is now the patron saint of all prose authors, particularly those whose works are measured by the foot rule.
And now that I have made known to my fraternity that we also have a saint, all they have to do, is to call upon him six or seven times, when their brains are at sixes and sevens. I opine that holy St. Brandon amused himself with hazard during his voyages, for it is quite clear that, with him, seven's the main.
May 26th. Quitted Brussels. I don't know how it is, but I never have been able to get over a very unpleasant sort of feeling, when paying a long bill.
( To be continued.)
LOVE IN ADVERSITY.
BY L. M. MONTAGU.
Though the last hope we cherished
Is faded and gone, Yet love, ever faithful
To death, will live on; And the frowns of the cold world
We fly from, shall be But as seals to the bond
Of affection to thee.
Though we fly to the desert,
Like Eden's lost pair, Yet green spots will rise
When thy footsteps are there; And the waterless sands
Yield their fountains of life To the cares, the devotion,
The tears of a wife.
Oh! it was not when fortune
And friendship were thine, Thou couldst judge of a heart
So devoted as mine; When joy hung its light
On each garland I wove; Ah! where was the test,
Or the trial of love?
From the darkness and depth
Of the waters of woe,
In ocean below,
The dark breakers that roll To shine as a gem
In the crown of the soul.
Then say not rude fate, Love,
Has stript us of all,
I would not recall
For aught ʼneath the skies,
Is still in those eyes.