صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

This work has been going on for eighteen hundred years. It began when the commandments of Jesus were first given to humanity, and it will not cease till, as Jesus said, "all things be accomplished.”



WAR. Copyright, Lee & Shepard. Reprinted with permission. By CHARLES SUMNER, N.EED not dwell now on the waste and cruelty of

These stare us wildly in the face, like lurid meteor-lights, as we travel the page of history. We see the desolation and death that pursue its demoniac footsteps. We look upon sacked towns, upon ravaged territories, upon violated homes; we behold all the sweet charities of life changed to wormwood and gall. Our soul is penetrated by the sharp moan of mothers, sisters, and daughters of fathers, brothers, and sons, who, in the bitterness of their bereavement, refuse to be comforted. Our eyes rest at last upon one of those fair fields, where nature, in her abundance, spreads her cloth of gold, spacious and apt for the entertainment of mighty multitudes—or, perhaps, from the curious subtlety of its position, like the carpet in the Arabian tale, seeming to contract so as to be covered by a few only, or to dilate so as to receive an innumerable host. Here, under a bright sun, such as shone at Austerlitz or Buena Vista-amidst the peaceful harmonies of nature on the Sabbath of peace-we behold bands of brothers, children of a common Father, heirs to a common happiness, struggling together in the deadly fight, with the madness of fallen spirits, seeking with murderous weapons the lives of brothers who have never injured them or their kindred. The havoc rages. The ground is soaked with their commin. gling blood. The air is rent by their commingling cries. Horse and rider are stretched together on the earth. More revolting than the mangled victims, than the gashed limbs, than the lifeless trunks, than the spattering brains, are the lawless passions which sweep, tempest-like, through the fiendish tumult.

“Nearer comes the storm and nearer, rolling fast and frightful


Speak, Ximena, speak and tell us, who has lost and who has

won?" “Alas! alas ! I know not; friend and foe together fall, O'er the dying rush the living; pray, my sister, for them all!"

Horror-struck, we ask, wherefore this hateful contest? The melancholy, but truthful answer comes, that this is the established method of determining justice between nations.

The scene changes. Far away on the distant pathway of the ocean two ships approach each other, with white canvas broadly spread to receive the flying gales. They are proudly built. All of human art has been lavished in their graceful proportions, and in their well compacted sides, while they look in dimensions like floating happy islands of the sea. A numerous crew, with costly appliances of comfort, hives in their secure shelter. Surely these two travellers shall meet in joy and friendship; the flag at the mast-head shall give the signal of fellowship; the happy sailors shall cluster in the rigging, and even on the yard-arms, to look each other in the face, while the exhilarating voices of both crews shall mingle in accents of gladness uncontrollable. It is not so.

Not as brothers, not as friends, not as wayfarers of the common ocean, do they come together; but as enemies. The gentle vessels now bristle fiercely with death-dealing instruments. On their spacious decks, aloft on all their masts, flashes the deadly musketry. From their sides spout cataracts of flame, amidst the pealing thunders of a fatal artillery. They, who had escaped "the dreadful touch of merchant-marring rocks''-who had sped on their long and solitary way unharmed by wind or wave-whom the hurricane had spared-in whose favor storms and seas had intermitted their immitigable war-now at last fall by the hand of each other. The same spectacle of horror greets us from both ships. On their decks, reddened with blood, the murders of St. Bartholomew and of the Sicilian Vespers, with the fires of Smithfield, seem to break forth anew, and to concentrate their rage. Each has now become a swimming Golgotha. At length these vessels—such pageants of the sea-once so stately-so proudly built -but now rudely shattered by cannon-balls—with shivered masts and ragged sails-exist only as unmanageable wrecks, weltering on the uncertain waves, whose temporary lull of peace is now their only safety. In amazement at this strange unnatural contest-away from country and home-where there is no country or home to defend-we ask again, wherefore this dismal duel? Again the melancholy but truthful answer promptly comes, that this is the established method of determining justice between nations.


of plete that failed to recognize his religious character. In this he occupied a peculiar place among literary men in an age that is sometimes called agnostic and irreverent. His religion was an ever present reality, pervading his whole being, not as is often the case, even with church members, something to be kept in the background of one's life and to be apologized for to his friends. Wherever he went, he walked, consciously and with reverent steps, in the great temple of the ever-living and omnipresent God. The spiritual element of the universe no more needed demonstration than the air or the sunlight. His faith was so lofty and clear that he could affirm with St. Paul, “The things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal." With every fibre of his being he was a Roman Catholic. Why should he not be? Not only was he born and reared in the Catholic Church, so that her traditions and history were interwoven with every thread of his conscious being, but she touched him gently and with irresistible force on the better and more sensitive side of his nature by her artistic creations her stately and gorgeous ritual, her noble and devoteti priesthood, her orderly and powerful administration, her countless and inexhaustible philanthropies, her vast and worldwide fellowship and communion, and her clear and unwavering answer to all the deeper questions of the soul.

Yet I am constrained to say that he was more than a Catholic. No single name, however venerable and

« السابقةمتابعة »