Imagens das páginas
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Christian Unity, The Gospel Plea for, 246

Christ, The Virgin Birth of,


Churches Separated from Rome, The, : 831

Church in English History, The,


Congo and Coasts of Africa, The, 823

Conquests of our Holy Faith,



Corelli, Marie, The Writings of,

Crédibilité, La, et L'Apologetique,


Crise Religieuse, La, et L'Action Intel-

lectuelle des Catholiques,


Daily Mass ; or, the Mystic' Treasures of

the Holy Sacrifice,


Days Off,

De Sacrificio Missæ,


Ecclesiastical Year, The,


Education Question in England, The, 836
Essays Out of Hours,

Essentials and Non. Essentials of the
Catholic Religion,

Famous Irish Women,

Famous Painters of America,

Father Damien,

Folia Fugitiva,


Footprints of the Good Shepherd, In


Forty-Five Sermon's Written to 'Meei

the Objections of the Day,

Fountain of Living Water, 'The;

Thoughts on the Holy Ghost for every

Day in the Year,


Francis of Assisi, ‘St., and 'Mediævai



Giles of Assisi, The Golden Sayings of

the Blessed Brother,


Greatest of Centuries, The Thirteenth; 532

Great Schism of the West, The,


Hamlet, A Review of,


Handbook of Ceremonies for Priests and


History of Commerce, a;
History of the German People at the
Close of the Middle Ages,

History of the Society of Jesus in North

America, Colonial and Federal, 816

Holy Scripture, Alleged Difficulties in, 836

Home for Good,


Hymns of the Marshes,

Index Legislation, A Commentary on
the Present,

Irish Songs,

Irish Songs and lyrics, The Golden

Treasury of,
Isaac Pitman Shorthand, Course in, 835
Is One Religion as Good as Another?

Israel's Historical and Biographical Nar-

King of Rome, The: A Biography,

L'America del Nord,

Lammenais and Lamartine,

Latin Pronounced for Catholic Choirs, 836
L'Avenir de l'Eglise Russe,


Legend of Saint Julian Hospitaler, 413

Legends of the Saints, The,


Life Around Us, The,


Life of Christ, The,


Little Book of Twenty-four Carols, A, 413

Little City of Hope, The,

Love of Books, The,
Lummis, Madame Rose,
Manuale Vitæ Spiritualis,

Margaret Bourgeoys (The Venerable),
The Life and Times of,

Martyr of Our Own Day, A,
Mediæval and Modern History : Its For-

mative Causes and Broad Movements, 817

Meditationes ex Operibus St. Thomæ


Meditation on the Incarnation or Christ;

A. Sermons on the Life and Passion

of our Lord,


Meditations for the Use of Seminarians

and Priests. The Fundamental

Meditations on the Sacred Heart,


Meditations, Short, for Every Day in the



Memoriale Vitae Sacerdotalis,

Mirror of Shalott, A,

Moral Training in the Public Schools,


Mozart the Man and the Artist, as re-

vealed in his own words,


My Brother's Keeper,

New Testament, The,

New Theology, The ; or, the Rev. R. J.
Campbell's Conclusions Refuted,

Orthodox Eastern Church, The,


Pascal, Blaise,


Penance in the Early Church,


Pères Apostoliques, Les.-I. Doctrine

des Apotres. Epitre de Barnabé,


Philosophers of the Smoking-Room,

'I he,


Prince of the Apostles, The,


Protestant Reformation, The. How it

was Brought About in Various Lands, 684

Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases, 691

Psychic Riddle, The,

Quiet Hour, The. And Other Verses,

Religion and Amusements,

Religion and Historic Faiths,

Religion and Society,

Religious Life, etc., Thoughts on the,
Reordinations, Les, Étude sur le Sacra-
ment de i'Ordre,

Repertorium Oratoris Sacri,


Rhymed Life of St. Patrick, The, 406

Rome's Witness Against Angiican



Roosevelt, Camping and Tranping with, 825

Saints, Les. Le Vénérable Père Eudes

School of Death, The,

Sicily; The New Winter Resort,

Sodality of Our Lady : Hints and Helps

for those in Charge,
Sorceress of Rome, The,

Stars of Thought,


Synopsis Theologiæ Moralis et Pastor-



Sweet Miracle, The,'

Tents of Wickedness, The,


Theologie du Nouveau Testament et

l'Evolution des Dogmes, La,


Thomas à Kempis: His Age and Book, 118
Toiler, The. And Other Poems,

Tributes of Protestant Writers to the
Truth and Beauty of Catholicity,

Tuscan Penitent, A,
Tyronibus. Commonplace Advice to
Church Students,

Valeurs des Decisions 'Docirinales et
Disciplinaires du Saint Siège,

Vatican Council, The Decrees of the, 533
Way of Truth,


Webster's Modern Dictionary of the En-

glish Language, Adapted for Inter-

mediate Grades,


Welding, The,



[ocr errors]



[merged small][ocr errors]


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

T has frequently been proclaimed, and still more

convincingly demonstrated, that the writing of verse is the best possible recipe for a good prose style. We find in the poet's use of prose not

only an habitual delicacy and picturesqueness (that we should have foreseen), but also a notable precision and sense of proportion-as though the use of wings had taught him all the possible graces of walking. It was thus with Aubrey de Vere; whose venerable head shared the glory of a great prose epoch as it had that of a rare poetic revival, and perhaps even more transcendently. We do not claim for him the superb distinction and vitality of Newman's unforgettable prose; nor the musical and emotional qualities of Ruskin; nor the stimulating if pugnacious vigor of Carlyle. But we do submit that his intellectual breadth and seriousness, his poetic sensibility and critical acumen, coupled with his infallibly pure and strong English, and that gracious versatility which we think of as Irish (when we know it is not French), render Aubrey de Vere worthy of a throne beside any one of them-when they shall come to judge the scribes of their Island Israel !

It was very characteristic of the de Vere household that, at eighteen, Aubrey and his beloved sister used to drive about the woods of Curragh Chase in their pony cart, reading the poetry of Keats, Coleridge, and Walter Savage Landor. Cul. Copyright. 1907. The MissiONARY SOCIETY OF ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE



[ocr errors]

ture had become a tradition of the family. But an older and even higher tradition was patriotism-which in Ireland meant love of the people. And so it was equally characteristic that young de Vere's first prose work should have been upon no literary or speculative theme, but upon the pressing political needs of the day. English Misrule and Irish Misdeeds, Four Letters from Ireland addressed to an English Member of Parliament," appeared in 1848, while the famine was still an appalling reality, and English relief measures had about proved their inefficiency. The book is probably little known in these days, although it roused much comment, both favorable and adverse, at the time of its issue.

We should look far indeed for a calmer yet more burning statement of Irish wrongs, or a more masterly arraignment of that baser side of England, which for six centuries "kept vigil for Ireland, while for the rest of the world it generally slept." There is nothing melodramatic in these letters; although that heart-stirring outburst upon the causes of Irish poverty in Letter II, and the later apostrophe to England, with its reiterated burden: “It was your duty- It was your duty—" are noble examples of political eloquence. But for the most part the volume is a simple if impassioned statement of conditions, an inquiry into causes, and a series of suggestions for bettering those conditions. These eleven recommendations of de Vere

. -including as they do a plan of State-aided Emigration and Colonization, Amendment of the Poor Law, Agricultural Education, improved Sanitation for the Towns, et cetera-prove how practical an idealist the poet and littérateur could be upon occasion. But he was no partisan. He believed in union (provided that union meant equality) and he wrote as one “attached profoundly, reverentially, and sorrowfully to both countries”—and as nowise disturbed if his statements excited the hostility of either side. Year after year he continued these political writings: pleading as he knew so well how, upon philosophical as well as sentimental premises, against the secularization of Ireland's Church Property; discussing Proportionate Representation (1867, 1868), Constitutional and Unconstitutional Political Action (1881), and so on.

De Vere had from youth been an apostle of Edmund Burke, and in his later years he was no doubt considered rather ultraconservative. He believed neither in Home Rule nor the Na.

tional League; and while he still decried injustices to Church property or in the representation of the higher classes, he looked forward hopefully in the conviction that “the great wrongs of Ireland exist no more." In a man so large-minded, the tendency was ever toward the general and away from the particular-toward the sunlight which endures and away from shadows. Doubtless his own personal conviction was best expressed in this singularly beautiful and unworldly passage : “One great Vocation has been granted to Ireland by many great qualifications and many great disqualifications. When Religion and Missionary Enterprise ruled the Irish Heart and Hand, Ireland reached the chief greatness she has known within historic times, and the only greatness which has lasted. When the same Heart and Hand return to the same task, Ireland will reap the full harvest of her sorrowful centuries. She will then also inherit both a Greatness and a Happiness perhaps such as is tendered to her alone among the Nations." Besides this aim, the practical designs of his more radical compatriots were bound at times to seem unworthy and transitory.

In 1850 appeared the first of de Vere's purely descriptive writings—his Picturesque Sketches of Greece and Turkey. They are admirably named, and show throughout an unfailing appreciation, not only of beauty in every form, but of beauty's inner and less obvious significance. We note this quality alike in his dreamful description of the Tragic Theatre at Athens, in his comment upon the "hilarity" of Parnassian scenery, and in his contrast between the domestic mountains of England—with their herds and cottages and fruitful orchards—and those southern heights, black with pine forests at their base, while their summits soar into regions of perpetual snow. It is simply the difference between poetry and poetical prose," de Vere summarizes. The author's tribulations at the Syrian Lazaretto are recorded with that genial Irish humor which winds like a sunlit stream through the story of his wanderings. The sublime tranquility” of his English traveling companions—“sufficient of itself to keep the ship steady in a storm "-was a constant marvel to de Vere; while the absence of enjoyment at a London evening party suggested to him a possibility that the guests were “fashionably repenting, in purple and fine linen,” for the sins of their merrier youth.

* Preface to Inisjail, 1877.

[ocr errors]

But Aubrey de Vere's keenly philosophic and religious tendency was equally manifest. The Eleusinian Mysteries, those most deeply spiritual of Greek devotions, roused his critical and reverent interest; they also brought him face to face with a possible problem. How are we to account for the extra. ordinary analogies between truth and fiction-between the guesses of pagan intelligence and the Christian Revelation ?" he demands, after acknowledging the many resemblances, both in rite and doctrine, between these ancient mysteries and the faith which succeeded them. “In all these matters there is but one question for a reflecting mind," he answers squarely; "namely, was the later Religion a patchwork of those which had preceded it; or were the early religions of the world, on the contrary, attempts to feel after a truth congruous with man's nature, and intended from the first to be revealed to him?" Such, on all grounds of philosophic reasoning, de Vere deduces as the true solution. “Whatever was deepest in the human heart, and highest in the human mind, sympathized with and inspired after that Religion, which (human only because Divine) is the legitimate supplement of human nature, as well as its crown. To infer that Christianity is but a combination of human inventions, because it satisfies the more elevated human instincts, is about as reasonable as a moral philosophy would be which accounted for the maternal affection by concluding it to arise from a recollection of the pleasure the child has found in her doll."

De Vere's Recollections, published almost half a century later, are his sole return to this form of narrative description -unless we include those charming touches scattered through his correspondence. The varied and voluminous letters included in Mr. Ward's Memoir are indeed a study in themselves : as a record of friendships, of nascent criticism upon art and literature, and of progressive spiritual experience they are quite indispensable. It cannot be said, however, that they reveal any unexpected phase of de Vere's thought; and many passages were later expanded in his more formal works. To return to the Recollections : The chapters upon Manning and Newman, with their intimate pictures of England during the Oxford Movement would alone make the book one of absorbing interest. Then there is that memorable description of the Great Irish Famine. In one vivid snap-shot we see de Vere

« AnteriorContinuar »