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An old country woman, armed with She walked from thence to St. a large basket and umbrella, sat Maximin, where according to St. right down upon me, and laughingly Francis of Sales, she received her observed in patois to her neighbor, last Communion, and then gave that she thought I should be con- back her spirit to God. verted into an omelette.
We reached St. Maximin about quite of her opinion; but in spite seven o'clock, but it was quite dark, of the discomforts arising from heat and we could see little or nothing and overcrowding, we were a very of the town. Immediately after merry party, and our trials soon dinner we hurried off to the Dodiminished the passengers minican chapel, and were just in alighted first at one village, then at time to hear the Salve Regina sung another; and the latter part of the by the whole community, consisting way our party was reduced to a of forty or fifty monks. Dominican father, a shepherd and There were many of the townsbis wife, and ourselves.
people present. At the side of the After we left St. Zacbary, the altar was a fresco of our Lord country became more and more appearing to St. Mary Magdalen, picturesque, and the ascent steeper. after a painting by the celebrated Our road lay through a narrow Dominican artist Père Berson. gorge with rocks on either side, Early next morning we wended clothed with trees and shrubs. As our way to the Church of St. Maxiwe approached the plain of St. Maxi- min. This famous church and the min, the old shepherd and his wife adjoining monastery belonged to pointed out to us on our right, the the Dominicans from the thirteenth ridge of rocks in which lies the century until the great French Sainte-Baume. Good old souls! Revolution. their excitement grew more and
Père Lacordaire succeeded in remore intense as we neared the place purchasing the inonastery, but the from which the spot could be seen, church is still served by secular so eager were they to be the first to priests. We hope the day is not show us where it was.
far distant when it will be again At last we came to the plain of served by the children of St. DomiSt. Maximin. I shall never forget nic. the magnificent scene.
It was in this monastery that rounding rocks were of a beautiful Père Lacordaire wrote the last purple color, and the sun sank to pages of " Sainte Marie Madeline" rest in a glorious golden light. only a few months before his death.
M. l'Abbé directed our attention Under the nave of the church is to a little church, perched on one the celebrated crypt where St. Mary of these rocks, and dedicated to Magdalen was buried, and which one of the companions of St. Mary now possesses the relics which were Magdalen.
saved from destruction during the As we drew near St. Maximin we revolution. passed a curious pillar on our right I can hardly describe one's feel. called the St. Pilon, or Holy Pillar, ings as I entered the crypt for of the Aurelian way. It is about Mass. Here were the remains of four feet in height, and supports a
one who had loved and waited on figure of St. Mary Magdalen borne our Lord during his mortal life, aloft by four angels dressed in the and who had been forgiven by Him Benedictine habit. This pillar for many sins because she had marks the spot to which St. Mary loved much. Magdalen was carried by Holy In this solemn little crypt M. Angels on the day of her death. l'Abbé said Mass, a Dominican
father served it, and two peasant views of the surrounding country, people besides our little party and the great plain of St. Maximin, formed the whole congregation. were most charming; the air was
Among the relics now preserved scented with wild lavender and at the back of the altar is the bead other herbs, which grew in great of the Saint. During the course of profusion by the wayside, and over eighteen centuries a small fragment the adjoining rocks. of flesh continued to adhere to the We were very kindly received by left temple. It is known by the the fathers at the hospice, and name of Noli me tangere or Touch after supper we went to the chapel me not, and is, according to tradi- for the Salve, but as this is quite a tion, the spot where our Lord, the small establishment, and there are author of our life, touched the saint not many religious attached to it, on the morning of his Resurrection. the singing was not so grand or The fact is fully confirmed by the imposing as on the preceding evenmedical men who made an investi- ing. gation by command of the magis- The next morning we started a trates in 1780, shortly before the little after six o'clock for the Holy fragment became detached.
Cave. Rain was falling, and a On the gospel side of the altar dense mist enveloped the mounis the alabaster tomb where the tains, so as almost to conceal from body of St. Mary Magdalen was our view a beautiful wood of beech, first laid, and on the opposite side oak, and yew trees, with large is that of St. Maximin, after whom boulders of rock peeping out here the church is named, and who was and there, through which we passed, one of the seventy-two disciples of and in which it is said that no our Lord. He came over with our venomous reptile or insect is ever saint and her companions, and he found. it was who gave her her last Com- By the wayside were several munion, and buried her.
little oratories, wbich formerly conThere are also the tombs of St. tained bas-reliefs, commemorating Sidonius, successor of St. Maximin different events of the life of St. in the see of Aix, and a tomb of Mary Magdalen. They were erected the Holy Innocents, which Père by Jean Ferrier, Archbishop of Lacordaire suggests may have con- Arles, in 1516, but were much detained the relics of some of the faced and mutilated during the Innocents murlered by Herod, and Revolution. the remains of children who had After an hour's walk, we reached died after baptisın.
the Sainte-Baume; but we In the middle of the day we had still in a region of mist and cloud, to leave this holy and memorable and could not see a yard in front spot, and we once more resumed of us. A lay-brother came out of our journey to the Saint-Baume. the small hospice close by, and This time at least we had no ditli- insisted on our going in; but he culty in finding a carriage, and would not allow us to enter the after two hours' drive, we reached Holy Cave until we had rested Naus, where we were compelled to after our walk. descend and take donkeys for the This immense cave is situated latter part of the way.
2008 feet above the level of the sea. The road is very bad from Naus Facing you as you enter is the to the Dominican hospice that lies high altar, and at the back of it at the foot of the Sainte-Baume. is a small rock, eight or fourteen But, in spite of this drawback, we feet high, which is called La Penienjoyed the ascent very much ; the tence. It was on this spot that St.
Mary Magdalen spent the greater until nearly 12 o'clock, the mounpart of her time in prayer. A statue tain being still enveloped in mist, of the saint crowns the summit. when one of our party proposed
You ascend it by a little flight of singing the Magnificat. We had steps on the epistle side of the barely finished it when a sudden altar.
change came; a strong current of La Penitence is the only dry wind cleared the clouds away, and spot in the whole cave, the rest is we saw the beautiful plains below excessively damp, and the drops brilliant in sunshine; valleys, rocks, of water which are perpetually fall- sea, and mountains, all lay unfolded ing down the rocks have been beneath us. poetically named by the peasantry, We enjoyed this glorious scene " Magdalen tears."
for a few moments only; as rapidly There are two other altars in as this bright vision appeared, as the cave; but funds are very much rapidly did it pass away, and again needed to replace them with others we were enveloped in mist. more suitable, as also to complete Then we resumed our downward the floor, which is only partially journey, but when we reached the paved.
lower hospice, the omnibus had After breakfast, at the hospice, started, and there was nothing left we returned to the grotto, for the for us but to walk back to St. pilgrims' sermon, which is always Zachary, so after a hurried dinner preached whenever a congregation and a short interview with the of pilgrims, however small, is as- Guest Master, we set out sembled. The sermon was followed by Benediction, one of the most We reached St. Zachary just in solemn services which can be im- time to catch the omnibus for agined.
Amiol, and there we again took the In spite of mist and clouds we railway to Marseilles. resolved on visiting Saint Pilon, The pilgrimage which I have 200 feet above the Holy Grotto, thus briefly attempted to sketch and where we are told St. Mary seems almost unknown to travellers, Magdalen was carried by angels but from the happiness and satisseven times a day, to listen to celes- faction it afforded our party, I feel tial music. After an hour's walk that I cannot too earnestly recomover fallen stones and rocks, we mend persons passing through reached the summit and entered Marseilles to follow our example, the little chapel, where Mass is and make a detour to Sainte-Baume sometimes said. Here we waited and St. Maximin.
That prince, and that alone, is truly great,
WHAT I SAW FROM MY WINDOW.
I am a very quiet man, fond of I do not begin and end my roidle dreaming, fond of speculative mances in a day, in a week, in a studies, fond of a great many month, or even in a year, as storythings that rarely make headway tellers do. The threails run on in this practical world, but which and on: sometimes smoothly, somefitly furnish forth a life that bas times in hopeless entanglement. been almost blank of incident. The merest trifle may suggest them;
The love of seclusion has grown now, it is the stealthy, startled upon me as moss grows upon a looking back of a man over bis rooted stone; I could not wrench shoulder, as he hurries down the myself away from it, even if I street, as if Fate with her sleuthwould. Of worldly pelf I have hounds, Vengeance and Justice, little, but that little suffices me; were following close upon his traces; and, although my existence seems now, the downcast gray head of a selfish-nay, is so-1 lack not in- loiterer, hands in pockets, chin on terest in my kind. I catch hold of breast, drivelling aimlessly Do a slight thread of reality, and weave where; again, it is the pitiful face it into a tissue of romance. The of a little child clad in mourning; facts that I cannot know, imagina. or, it is the worn figure of a woman tion supplies me with; and my in shabby garments, young, toilown temperament, still and melan- some, hopeless; or, it is the same choly, suffuses the story with a figure tlaunting in silks and laces, tender twilight hue, which is not but a hundredfold more toilsome, great anguish, but which takes no more hopeless. Occasionally I take tint of joy.
hold of a golden thread that runs My abode is in one of the retired from a good and a happy life. streets. I know not where a man Such a thread I caught three years can be so utterly alone as in this ago, and the tissue into which I great Babylon. My favorite room wrought it is completed at last. has a bay window overhanging the This is it: pavement, and in its cornices, its I have mentioned my bay window door-frames, and its lofty carved overhanging the street; in this mantelshelf, testifies to better days window is a luxuriously cushioned than it is ever likely to see again. olil-fashioned red settee.
By this The rents in this quarter are low; settee, a solid-limbed table, on and though, at certain long inter- which my landladly every morning vals, the street is as forsaken and lays my breakfast, and the newly. silent as Tadmor in the wilderness, come-in newspaper. It was while still, the surging rush, the rattle, leisurely enjoying my coffee and the hum of the vast city, echoes unconsciously watching the tremuthrough my solitude from dawn till lous motion of the acacias which dark. I love that echo in my heart. overtop the low garden wall of a It is company. If I had been a house a little higher up the street, happy, I should have been a busy that I first laid my hand upon the man—a worker instead ofa dreamer. gleaming thread which shines That little if—that great impassa. athwart this gray cobweb romance ble gulf-between the actual and -cobwel), I say, because so slight the possible!
is it, so altogether fancy-spun, that
perhaps the knowledge of one ac- red morocco, and walked with a tual fact of the case would sweep it decisive step--light yet regulardown as ruthlessly and entirely as as if her foot kept time to a march a housemaid's brush destroys the ringing in her memory.
6. She is diligent labors of arachne.
a music teacher, going to one of Perhaps it was the quivering her pupils,” I said to myself; and,
I green of the light acacia-leaves, when she was gone by, I fell into with the sunshine flitting through my mood, and sought an interpreand lying upon the pavement like tation of that thoughtful upcast a network of gold, that began my look that I had seen upon her face romance.
under the trees. Every Thursday and every Sat- “ She was born in the country," urday morning, for some months, I made out, “in some soft, balmy, I had seen a girl come round the sheltered spot, where all was pretty street corner, without much ob- in the summer weather. There serving her. I could have certified were acacias there, and these rethat she was tall and lissome in minded her of them. Perhaps figure, and that she was scrupu
one she knew and dearly lously neat in her dress, but noth- loved bad loved those trees, and ing further. That morning to she saw in the rippling shadows a which I refer in particular was long train of reminiscences that I early in June. The sun was shin- could not see—things past, because ing in our quiet street; the birds her expression was tender, yet were singing blithely in that over- things not sad altogether, because grown London garden beyond the a smile succeeded the little wistful wall; the acacias were shivering look.” and showering the broken beams After that Thursday morning I upon the white stones as cheerily, watched for her coming twice in as gaily, as if the roar of the vast the week, each time with increased city were a hundred miles away, interest. I always give my dreaminstead of floating down on every folk names, such as their appearbreeze, filling every ear, chiming ance and general air suggest. I in like a softened bass to the whis- gave her the name of Georgie. She per of the leaves and twitter of the seemed to have a certain stability birds. My window was open, and and independence of character I was gazing dreamily on the which spring out of an early-posbranches above the wall, when a sibly an enforced-habit of selffigure stopped beneath it and looked reliance. This I deduced from exup; it was the young girl who ternals, such as that though her passed every Thursday and Satur- dress was always neat and approday morning. I observed her more priate, it was never fashionable. closely than I had yet done, and She looked what women among saw that she was good and intelli- themselves call nice. I should say gent in face-pretty, even, for she her tastes were nice in the more had a clear, steadfast brow, fine correct acceptation of the word, eyes, and a fresh complexion. As and by no means capricious. She she stood for a minute gazing up wore usually a gray shade of some into the trees there was a curious, soft material for her dress; and, wistful, far-away look upon her that summer, she wore a plain silky countenance, which brightened into white shawl, which clung to her a smile as she came on more quickly figure, a straw-bonnet with white for having lost a minute watching ribbon, and a kerchief of bright the acacia-leaves. She carried in rose or blue. Her shoes and her her hand a roll covered with dark- gloves were dainty; and, from the