George E Waller.

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American Humor. — We think it was the late Professor John Nichol
who observed that American humor was largely sheer burlesque
and that some of the recent efforts of Yankee joke-smiths to be
perfectly original resembled nothing so much as the wriggling of
those who undertake to expose the manner in which the Daven-
port brothers freed themselves from the rope. We were reminded
of this dictum when, recently, "The Apotheosis of Hank Edem"
made the rounds of our daily press, credited to the Chicago Post.
It is here reproduced as what the Germans call "ein abschrecken-
des Beispiel":

"In glancing over the account of the laying of the corner-
stone of the temple of peace in Holland, we observe that this in-
scription has been carved upon the stone: 'Paci Justitia Firmandaj
Hanc Aedem Andreae Carnegie Munificentia Dedicavit.' It had
been many years since we saw Hank Edem. He was a stone-
mason then, and a good one, and after he passed from our daily
view we heard from time to time that he had become a contractor
and was putting up great buildings and bridges and monuments
and things of that sort. But at that he was the same old Hank.

"We know that he built a good many Carnegie libraries, but
we did not know that Hank had become so great that he would
be called in to erect the temple wherein peace like a river is to
be dammed by all the delegates until they can decide whether
breakfast foods, shoes, dynamite, floor varnish, and arsenic are
contraband of war, or" whether or not it is conducive to the suc-
cess of hostilities to shoot soft nosed bullets into your enemies'

"Alas! Hank could not stand prosperity. In the old days he
was content and proud to be known as plain Hank Edem. In
those days he thought a manicure was some sort of medical school,
and did not know whether or not water was used in a Turkish
bath. Here he is mingling with the effete and the haut monde,
and getting boarding schoolish about his name. Now he spells
it 'Hanc Aedem.' We are sorry. Rameses is just being exposed,
after four or five thousand years. Hank should have waited. Mr.
Carnegie, of course, can spell his name any way he pleases — he
advocates that — but when Hank Edem becomes 'Hanc Aedem'
another boyhood idol is busted all to flinders. Hanc illae lach-

Abstinence From Alcohol Instead of Meat. — In the Tablet of June
29, 1907, a prominent Irish lay Catholic, "The" MacDermot, sug-
gested that Catholics should approach the Holy See. through their
bishops, with the request that the law of abstinence be changed
from meat to alcohol. "Alcohol is a subject-matter which a far
larger numbr of people can do without than is the case with meat,
and is therefore the better fitted to be the subject-matter of re-
striction. To promote self-control in the use of alcohol, if only
for one day a week, would carrv some of its lessons into the other
six. No greater boon could the Church extend to her faithful
children in our northern climes."

Mr. MacDermot has another letter in the Tablet of Aug. 17, stat-
ing that he has received a large number of communications earn-


estly in favor of the suggested change. Among them was one
from Archbishop Walsh of Dublin, who wrote: "Personally, I am"
inclined to fall in with your view. Indeed I have more than once
expressed myself in favor of an effort being made to have some
change of the kind carried out, but not on quite so extensive a

Mr. MacDermot is now busy trying to induce the Catholics of
England and Ireland to petition their bishops to submit the sug-
gestion to the Holy See. (Cf. the Tablet, Nos. 3512 sqq.)

Those American papers which have taken notice of Mr. Mac-
Dermot's suggestion, are nearly all, so far as we can see, in favor
of it. However, there are objections. To teetotaler like Mr. Mac-
Dermot Friday abstinence from alcoholic beverages would mean
nothing. What about their penitential discipline? Again: is the
Church to pronounce what is or is not an alcoholic beverage?
"Modern beer is so lightly alcoholized that it is only with extreme
difficulty and inordinate interior capacity that a man can get
drunk on it. On the other hand, many so-called temperance
drinks — ginger-beer, for example — contain one per cent, of alcohol,
and these drinks have a tendency to overstep the excise limit,
so that the authorities often find work to do in keeping down
the alcoholic percentage of temperance drinks. In point of fact
alcohol is very general in articles of diet — new bread, for exam-
ple. Is the Church to be made into a sort of excise authority,
and determine the chemical standard of permissible drinks?" (Cfr.
A^. Y. Freeman's Jonr/ial, No. 34 12.)

Msgr. Justin Fevre, editor of La Revue du Mojtde Catholiqtie, for-
merly Vicar-General of Gap and Amiens, died at Saint-Dizier,
France, August 30, at the ripe old age of seventy-nine. He was
a most prolific writer, having edited Bellarmine, continued Darras,
revised Rohrbacher, and published more than lOO volumes of his
own (cf. La Vcritc, Quebec, 27, 10). A disciple of Gousset, Parisis,
and P>eppel, and a companion-in-arms of Pie, Plantier, and Veuil-
lot, he devoted his long and fruitful life mainly to the defense
of the Church against Liberalism. The Quebec Verik' does not exagger-
ate when it says that "Christian France, the Church, and the pa-
pacy lose in Msgr. Fe\'re one of their most courageous defenders."
E\er since we studied his Histoire Critique du Catholicisme Liber-
al en France (Saint-Dizier 1897), we have esteemed him as a pro-
tagonist of sound ultramontane doctrine against modern Liberal-
ism in any and every guise. Unfortunately he wrote too much
and on too many subjects to be always thorough. Besides he was
erratic. B.oth these defects mar the last book from his pen which
which we had occasion to notice. Vie et Travaux deJ.-P. Tardivel.
(See the C. F. Review, xiv, 15, 478.) Regarding that notice, which
caused some displeasure here and there, a very eminent, thoroughly
anti-liberal, and exceptionally well-informed Canadian churchman
wrote to us as late as Sept. 9: "J' ai trouve que vous avez donne
la note assez juste, relativement a la biographic de J.-P. Tardivel
par Mgr. Fevre."

It is, of course, too early to form a definitive and final judg-
ment of the life and literary labors of Msgr, Fevre. But unless


we are mistaken, it will sound something like this (we quote
from a letter written by a distinguished French Catholic
ecrivain a few months before Msgr. Fevre's demise): "Ce prelat
est tres meritant devant Dieu et Eglise. II y a 50 ans qu' il tra-
vaille a la sueur de son front pour toutes les bonnes causes. Mais
c'est un outrancier: il lui faut la bataille; il se jette dans la melee
tete baissee, frappant d'estoc et de taille, non seulement sur les

erreurs, mais sur les personnes C'est fatiguant meme pour les

amis de I'auteur "

The State Historical Society of Missouri, with headquarters in the
State University at Columbia, since its establishment nine years
ago has already succeeded in gathering a large number of books,i
pamphlets, manuscripts, newspapers, maps, paintings, photographs,
Indian relics, etc.. bearing on the history of Missouri, and is now
entering upon a further division of the task mapped out in its
constitution, viz., the publication of its accumulated treasures.
We have before us the four first numbers of the Missouri His-
torical Revieiv, a quarterly magazine published by the Society with
the above-mentioned object, and of which the subscription price
is but one dollar per annum. Among the subjects treated in these
four numbers we will mention only a few: (No 1) Thomas Hart
Benton by Thos. J. C. Fagg; Early Settlements of Missouri by
Prof. E. M. Violette; The Beginning of Missouri Legislation by
Prof. Isidor Loeb; The Lincoln, Hanks, and Boone Families by
H. E. Robinson; (No. 2) Constitutional Con\entions of Missouri
(1865-1875) by W. F. Switzler; Historic Landmarks of Jefferson
County, Mo., by John L. Thomas; (No. 3) Mo. History as Illus-
trated by G. C. Bingham, by Mary Simonds; The Pike County
Circuit Court by Judge Thos. J. C. Fagg; (No. 4) Glimpses of
Old Missouri by F. A. Sampson; etc.

We are glad to note that our reverend friend and occasional
contributor. Rev. John Rothensteiner, of St. Louis, is among the
trustees of the Society and hope that through his influence the
early Catholic history of Missouri will by and by receive due and
adequate attention in the Missouri Historical Review, which we
hereby heartily recommend to the Catholic clergy and laity of
the State, who in matters of historical research and publication
ought to lead instead of lagging behind. The membership fee
of the Missouri Historical Society is only one dollar a year and
every member receives the Missouri Historical Revieiv gratis.

The Modern Flaminius, Horace Redivivus, and the new Cathedral of St. Paul. —

The principal document enclosed in the cornerstone of- the new
cathedral of St. Paul, Minn., is reproduced in its original Latin
text in the Acta et Dicta of the St. Paul Catholic Historical So-
ciety (Vol. i. No. I, p. 144). It contains the usual mention of the
participators in the solemn act of its laying, and of the contempo-

1 The Society's Library, Secre- that it now has a list of some 32,000

tary Sampson tells us, has been built titles and, in addition, 40,000 duplicate

up more rapidly than that of any other books and pamphlets for exchange,
historical society in the country, so


rary ecclesiastical and civil rulers, followed by this extraordinary
and curious passage:

"Cui contioni maxime lubet inserere Jacobum J. Hill, virum
benevolentissimum, Seminarii Sancti Pauli fundatoremi munificen-
tissimum, Flaminium etianii hodiernum qui regiones latas et long-
inquas commercio ac usui patefecerit humaniori."

Which is freely translated (ibid. p. 148) as follows:

"It is a special pleasure to connect with this historic meeting
the name of James J. Hill in acknowledgement of his general
benevolence and particular bounty especially with regard to the
St. Paul Seminary, which he both founded and endowed; as well
as of his public enterprise which entitled him to be styled the
Flaminius2 of our day in that, like the famous Roman of old, he
has laid open, northwards from the city to the coast, regions
far and wide-flung to the claims of commerce and the access of

This is an extraordinaty recognition for extraordinary services
rendered to the Church by a Protestant millionaire.

The ofificial document mentioned differs from most others of
its kind also in that it includes (ibid p. 144) a quotation from a
pagan poet: "Hoc templum. . . .exstet monumentum," it says, —
"Quod non imber edax, non Aquilo impoteus
aut fuga temporum diruere possit."

This is more glory than old Horace probably ever dreamt of,
despite his "Non omnis moriar;" though there is reason for enter-
taining a slight doubt whether he would have read this twentieth-
century document with unalloyed gratification. For there is a
hoary tradition that he was sensitive in regard to having his ex-
quisitely chiseled lines garbled. There doubtless was a reason,
however, for not quoting him in full on this occasion — a moti\'e
which will immediately suggest itself to the reader if he will con-
sider the ungarbled introduction to his famous ode (HI, 30) "Exegi
monumentum" which reads thus:

"Exegi monumentum aere perennius
Regalique situ pyramidura altius,
Quod non imber edax, non Aquilo impotens
Possit diruere aut innuraerabilis

Annorum series et fuga temporum."
While Archbishop Ireland, in a patriotic address delivered at
the cornerstone laying, expressed his confidence that "founded
upon American soil, the Cathedral confidently and hopefully up-
lifts walls and dome, —secure that no persecuting edict will wrest
it from its sacred purposes; that no sacrilegious hand will loosen
one single stone from its appointed place," — he was well aware

1 We have expunged a superflu- Etruria and reaching across the Apen-
ous comma after "fundatorem" and nines to Bononia. It is to be hoped
corrected "etara" into "etiam." — A. P. that Mr. Hill's Great Northern Rail-

2 Caius Flaminius, the classical way will not meet with the fate of
student will recollect, was one of the this famous road, which eventually
pioneer road-builders of ancient Rome. had to be abandoned. (Cfr. Mannert,
In the year 566 ab urbe condita, ac- Geographic der Griechen und Ronier, vo].
cording to Livy, he constructed the ix, part 1, pp. 214 — 5.)

Via Flaminia, starting at Aretium in


that the magnificent temple he is uprearing is already the fourth cathe-
dral of a diocese scarcely more than half a century old; that the
coal smoke of our big cities rapidly eats up even the hardest
stone; and that modern industrial development quite frequently,
within an incredibly short space of time converts the finest ca-
thedral site into a dingy and depopulated factory district.

The Curative Forces at Lourdes — In a brochure written in French
("The Curative Forces at Lourdes and Miracle-Psychology." Paris:
Bloud and Cie. 1907) Dr. H. Baraduc, who is apparently a Cath-
olic and a student of the more occult forces of nature such as
hypnotism and spiritism, describes a study made by him during
a recent grand pilgrimage to Lourdes. Taking certain selected
cures not capable of explanation by self-suggestion, he describes
first the sick person, then the great body of prayer sent heaven-
wards by the crowd — as "a factor in the cure standing interme-
diate between the sick person and the force which is invoked un-
der the title of the Blessed Virgin — the Virgin Providence fecun-
dated from on high by the breath of the Spirit; the force which
plays the part of formation, reparation, and dispensation in the
phenomenal universe. It is (he says) this force which the evoca-
tive and invocative prayer of 50,000 pilgrims causes to descend
in a rain of grace, in the form of little globules whose photo-
chemical effect is imprinted on six photographic plates included
in the brochure, and which were exposed during the procession
and at the bathing place of Lourdes."

In consequence of the success of these experiments, he pro-
poses that "a laboratory of religious psychology should be estab-
lished at Lourdes, in order to study the sick before, during, and
after the production of the miraculous phenomenon. By this
means the sanctuary of faith, humanitarian clinical art, and the
scientific laboratory will work hand in hand as a trilogy devoted
to the study of the phenomena which, commencing in the super-
natural or cosmogonic, pass downwards through the preternatural
or cosmic order, and terminate finally in a natural or physical
operation in which the miracle, viewed in its earthly aspect, con-

Such is in substance the author's own summary. Rev. Ernest
J. Hull, S.J., who calls attention to Dr. Baraduc's theory in the
Bombay Examiner (Iviii, 35), thinks that, "though strangely word-
ed," "it contains a suggestive idea. Stated in our own terms, as
far as we understand it," — he says — "the theory, backed up by the
experiments, is this: In the process of a curative miracle we have
two ends and a middle. At the one end is the supernatural
and spiritual power able to work the cure, and moreover, ready
to do so in answer to the fervent collective prayer of the faith-
ful on earth. At the other end is the diseased member, which is
to be healed by some process of the natural or physical order—
that is to say, by redistribution of the particles of matter of which
the body is composed, so as to put the member into a healthy
or normal condition — a process which in other cases takes place


suddenly by the application of the supernatural power just de-

"So far there is nothing new in the statement of the case.
But the next question is: How does the supernatural power ap-
ply itself to the work of effecting the cure? Before the discovery
of the more occult forces of nature — such as hypnotism, ions and
electrons, helium, radium, X rays, N rays, and the rest — the
ordinary idea was that the SLipernatural force (that is to say, a
purely spiritual force) worked directly on the physical organism
to produce the change in\ol\ed in the cure. It was, however,
admitted that some unknown forces of nature might aXso be made
use of as an intermediary agent or second cause;, but this theory
was incapable of formulation because those forces were merely im-
agined and not known. Doctor Baraduc, however, had already
made considerable progress in this delicate and mysterious depart-
ment, and had discovered no fewer than five different fluid forces
capable of acting on sensitive and nervous subjects — forces which
he had demonstrated, lectured upon, and made use of in practice
in his course of general biology delivered in the school of medi-
cine in the Amphitheatre Cruveilhier in 1904 and 1905. It was
these discoveries which suggested to him the idea of going to
Lourdes to study the cures there, with the aid of photographic
plates sensitive to these five kinds of occult forces. The exper-
iments were to his complete satisfaction; and he claims thereby
to have established the thesis that in the performance of these
miracles the supernatural power does not act directly, but indirect-
ly through ultra-physical forces lying latent in the universe. As
before remarked, we report the discovery without pronouncing on
its quality. Certainly as the matter is put here we do not find
anything to object to in the supposition that such forces exist,
and secondly, that they may be made use of as secondary causes
or intermediary agents in the process of a miraculous cure."




It is interesting to note, from a paper contributed by Profes-
sor Isidor Loeb to the Misso7iri Historical Reviezv (I, i), on "The
Beginning of Missouri Legislation," that when, in the early part
of the nineteenth century, the District of Louisiana (comprising
the present States of Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska,
the two Dakotas, and Indian Territory, with parts of Minnesota,
Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, and Oklahoma) was governed by the
territorial authorities of Indiana, from 1803 — 1805, "justices of the
peace,, sheriffs coroners, etc., were required to perform the duties of
their ep-arate offices under penalty of gioo. Today," adds Prof. Loeb.
"when the competition for public ofifice is so keen, compulso-
ry official service is rarely enforced. One hundred years ago,
however, when public revenues and official salaries were very small,
this method of securing public services was frequently resorted

Previouslv, under the Spanish regime, during which "French
ideas and social institutions prevailed", "very little occasion [had]
existed for legislation or governmental administration;" first,
because social conditions were yet primitive; secondly and main-
ly, in the words of Prof. Loeb, because "the simple village life
of the people, which was similar to that of a large family, was
free from crimes and the few civil disputes were left to the ar-
bitration of neighbors or the informal determination of officials."

It is well to recall that that early period of good order and tran-
quillity was essentially Catholic. The "movement of Americans
across the Mississippi" did not begin till the last decade of the
eighteenth century, and we have the express testimony of Thomas
Ashe, who traveled through this region in 1806, that it was the
coming of the Americans which first introduced the lawlessness
characteristic of our frontier settlements. (Ashe, Travels i7i Atner-
ica, pp. 290—291.) ^

The London County Council, we notice from the Tadlet (No.
.3503), has been debating the question whether or no Mary Barton
is a suitable prize book for school children. And, in spite of some
spirited speeches in defense of Mrs. Gaskell's well-known novel,
it was eventually decided that it should be struck out of the list
of prizes. It was justly argued that a book may be excellent in
itself, and yet treat of topics that render it unsuitable as a prize
or present for young readers.

Opinions may differ as to the wisdom of the decision in this
particular case. But there can be no question that the censors
were right in their general principle that a book may be good
literature and morally wholesome, and yet be unsuitable for young

It may be observed in passing that this discussion is but a
particular phase of the general question of the censorship of books—
a subject which has given rise to a varied and voluminous litera-


ture, and has certainly excited considerable prejudice against the
ecclesiastical authorities. But however little the modern world
may like the old censorship exercised by the Church, its under-
lying principle is tacitly admitted in what might seem to be the
most unlikely quarters.

Our friend and subscriber Rev. Jos. A. Thie, of Troy, Ind.,
who is deeply interested in American Church histor3% thinks there
is some probability that the famous Jesuit Father Sebastian Rasle
(variously spelled Rale, Rale, Ralle, Rallee, Ralley, Rasle, Rasles,
Racles. Cf. Records of the Am. Cath. Hist. Soc. of Phila. xvii, 2,
130 n.) was not a Frenchman but an Alsatian of German descent.
He was born at Pontarlier in the Diocese of Besangon, Depart-
ment of Doubs. Father Thie suspects that his true name was
Rasle. Who can throw any light on this question?

The above-mentioned Records, by the way, are just now pub-
lishing an elaborate life of P. Rale by the Rev. H. C. Schuyler.


When it was reported, some months ago, that Mr. Richard
C. Kerens, the Missouri Catholic millionaire, had bought a con-
trolling interest in the New York Evenhig Mail and the 5t. Louis
Times, a Catholic exchange asked: "Does this mean that we are
to have a Catholic daily paper, or perhaps two of them?" And
the Portland, Ore., Catholic Se7iti?iel (July 11) answered: "Surely
as much could be expected of a man who received the Laetare
Medal from the University of Notre Dame, and who stood
ready to buy a seaport for the Pope."

The news that Mr. Kerens has obtained control of the above-
mentioned two papers has since been, at least privately, confirmed
The New York Mail'xs showing indications of a change in its edi-
torial management. If these two newspapers were made abso-
lutely clean in their news and advertising, and sympathetic to
the Church editorially, Mr. Kerens would have done as much as
can be reasonably demanded of a Catholic millionaire politician.

Religious zeal of a certain type reached its climax the
other day when a number of enthusiasts placarded and painted
Pike's Peak, the most prominent feature in the mountain scenery
of Colorado, with Biblical mottoes. It is reported that by the
side of the whole length of the railway from Colorado Springs
may now be seen a series of texts decorating the successive crags.
The police of the district are attempting to discover the offen-
ders. Meanwhile, a New York paper offers the consolation that
the case might have been worse. "If glaring signs," it says,
"cannot be banished from the sanctuaries of nature, we would far
rather be adjured to make a choice between two alternatives in
eternity than to use some special brand of collar-button or give
up drinking coffee."





We have long wanted a good
Catholic commentary on the so-called
"pastoral letters" of St. Paul. Pro-
fessor Dr. J. E. Belser of Tiibingen
supplies this want by his recently
published book, Die Briefe des Apostels
Paulus an Timotheus und Titus iiber-
setzt und erklart (viii & 302 pp. 8vo.
B. Herder. 1907. $1.90 net). While
the learned author has somewhat un-
duly abbreviated his introductory re-
marks — curtly referring the reader to
his Einleitung in das Neue Testament —
he takes occasion in the course of his
exposition to consider critically near-
ly all the current objections raised by
"Higher Criticism" against the au-
thenticity of these three important
Pauline epistles. The care with which
he traces the traditionary exegesis and
the copiousness with which he cites
the views of the leading expounders

Online LibraryGeorge E WallerThe Catholic fortnightly review (1905 - 1912) (Volume 14) → online text (page 78 of 92)