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trast with it the true ideal of a mo-
nastic saint. No ideal, of course, is
fully realized; but still it is only
when the ideal is understood that
the actual character is appreciated.
The monastic life is founded on the
evangelical counsels, the portion of
practical Christianity most plainly pe-
cvliar to the Christian system. It
is obedience, but the obedience of love-
It is fear, but the fear of offending,
far more than the fear of the penalty.
It is dependence glorified. It is based
on what is feminine as well as on
what is masculine in our nature ; on a
being which has become recipient in a
sacred passiveness. It lives by faith,
which " comes by hearing ;" and its
attitude of mind is like that indicated
by the sweet and serious, but sub-
mitted, face of one who listens to far-
off musio or a whisper close by. In
the stillness of devout contemplation
the soul, unhardened and unwrlnkled,
spreads itself forth like a vine-leaf to
the beam ' of truth and the dews of
grace. In this perfected Christian
character we find, together with the
strength of the stem, the flexibility of
the tendril and the freshness of the
shoot For the same reason we
find the consummate flower of sanctity
— a Bernard or a Francis — and with
the flower the fruit, and the seed
which has sown Christianity in all
lands ; for monks have ever been the
great missionaries. The soul of the
monk who has done most for man has
thus most included the womanly as
well as the manly type of excellence.
It has unity and devotedness. It has
that purity which is not only consis*

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ThaughU on Sk. Gertrude.


tent witih fervor, but in part proceeds
from it. It shrinks not only from the
forbidden, but from the disproportion-
ate, the startling, and the abrupt It
18 humble, and does not stray as far as
its limit It regards sin, not as a wild
beast chained, but as a plague, and
thinks that it cannot escape too far
beyond the infection. It has a
modesty whicli modulates every move-
ment of the being. It has spontanei-
ty, and finds itself at home among
little things. It is cheerful and genial,
with a momentary birth of good
thoughts, wishes, and deeds, that as-
cend like angels to God, and are only
visible to angels.

Nor is this alL It is in the con-
ventual life that the third type of hu-,
man character — ^that of the child — ^is
found in conjunction with the other
two. In the world even the partial
preservation of the child in the man
is one of the rare marks of genius.
In the cloister the union is common.
Where the character is thus trUe^cUed
by harmoniously blending the three
human types — viz., man, woman,
and child — then man has reached his
best, and done most to reverse the
fall. It is among those who have
moet bravely taken the second Adam
for their example that this primal im-
age is most nearly restored. We see
it in such books as the "Imitation,**
and the ^ Confessions" of St. Augus-
tine. We see it in the old pictures of
the saints, where the venerable and
the strong, the gracious and the lovely,
the meek and the winning, are so
subtly blended by the pencil of an
Angelico or a Perugino. We see it
within many a modem cloister. It
has its place, to the discerning eye,
among the evidences of religion.

In the north tfate world now finds it
more difficult than in the south to ap-
preciate such a character as St. Ger-
trude. If it is sceptical as to visions
and raptures, still more is it scandal-
ised by austerities and mortification.
The temperament of the south tends too
generally to pleasure; but the great
natures of the south, perhaps for that
VOL. II, 27

reason, renounce the senses with a
loftier strength. They throw them-
selves frankly on asceticism, leaving
beneath them all that is soft, like the
Italian mountains which frown from
their marble ridges over the valleys
of oranges and lemons. The same
ardor which so often leads astray, min-
isters, when it chooses the soul for its
residence, to great deeds, as fire does
to the labors of material sdenoe. In
the north, including the land of St
Grertrude, many of the virtues are
themselves out of sympathy with the
highest virtue. Men can there admire
strength and industry; but they too
often believe in no strength that is not
visible, no industry that is not mate-
rial. Mortification is to them unin-
telligible. Action they can admire;
in sufiering they see but a sad ne-
cessity, like the old Greeks, to whom
all pain was an intrusion and a

Christianity first revealed the might
of endurance. It was not the triumph
over Satan at the temptation that re-
stored man's race ; though Milton, not
without a deep, unintended signifi-
cance, selected that victory as the sub-
ject of his " Paradise Regained." It
was not preaching, nor miracle, but
Calvary. Externally, endurance is
passive; internally, it is the highest
form of action — ^the action in which
there is no self-will, the energy that is
one with humility. The moment the
Church began to live she began to en-
dure. The apostles became ascetics,
"keeping the body under," and pro-
claiming that between spirit and flesh,
between watching and sloth, between
fast and feast, there was not peace
but war. While tiie fiery penance of
persecution lasted, it was easy to
^ have all things as though one had
nothing." There then was always a bar-
rier against which virtue might push
in its ceaseless desire to advance, and
to discipline her strength by trial.
When the three centuries of trial were
over, monasticism rose. In it again
was found a place for mortification —
for that detachment which is at-

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Thoughts an St. Gertrude,

tachment to God, and that exercise
which makes Christians athletes..
There silence matured divine love,
and stillness generated strength.
There was found the might of a spirit-
ual motive ; and a fulcrum was thus
supplied like that by which Archime-
des boasted that his lever could move
the world.

It is difficult to contemplate such a
character as that of St. Gertrude
without straying from her to a kin-
dred subject — that wonderful monastic
life, with its rapturous visions and its
as constant mortiBcations, to which
we owe such characters. Without the
cloister we should have had no Ger-
trudes ; and without the mortification
of the cloister the ceaseless chant
and the incense would have degener-
ated into spiritual luxuries. It is time
for us to return, and ask a practical
question: What was this St. Gertrude,
who found so fair a place among the
wonders of the thirteenth century, and
whom in the nineteenth so few hear
of or understand? What was she
even at the lowest, and such as the
uninitiated might recognize? She
was a being for whom nature had
done all nature could do. She was a
noble-minded woman, pure at once
and passionate, more queenly and
more truly at home in the poverty of
her convent than she could have been
in her father's palace. Secondly, she
was a woman of extraordinary genius
and force of character. Thirdly, she
was one who, the child of an age when
the dialectics of old Greece were laid
on the altar of revealed truth, dwelt
habitually in that region of thought
which, in the days of antiquity, was
inhabited by none, and occasionally
approached but by the most aspiring
votaries of the Platonic philosophy.
This was the human instrumentality
which sovereign grace took to itself,
as the musician selects some fair-
grained tree out of which to shape his
Ijrre. There was in her no contradic-
tory past to retrieve. Without a jar^

and almost without consciousness, she
passed with a movement of swanlike
softness out of innocence into holiness.
Some have fought their way to good-
ness, as others have to earthly great-
ness, and won the crown, though not
without many a sqar. But she was
"bom in the purple," and all her
thoughts and feelings had ever walk-
ed with princely dignity and vestal
grace, s& in the court of the great
King. Her path was arduous ; but it
stretched from good to better, not from
bad to good. She did not graduate in
the garden of Epicurus, nor amid the
groves of Academus, nor amid the
revel of that Greek society in which
the glitter of the highest intelligence
^played above the rottenness of tlie
most corrupt life. She had always
lived by faith. The spiritual world
had been hers before the natural one,
and had interpreted it. Man's super-
natural end had ever for her present-
ed the clue to his destinies, and re-
vealed the meaning of his earthly af-
fections. Among these last she had
made no sojourn. She had prolonged
not the time, but done on earth what
all aspire to do in heaven: she had
risen above human ties, in order to
possess them in their largest manifes-
tations. The faith affirmed that we
are to have all things in God, and in
God she resolved to have them. Her
heart rose as by a heavenward gravi-
tation to the centre of all love. A
creature, and knowing herself to be
no more, her aspiration was to belong
wholly to her Creator. To her the
incarnation meant the union of the
human race, and of the human soul,
with God. Her devotions are the
endless love-songs of this high bridal.
They passed from her heart spontane-
ously, like the song of the bird ; and
they remain for ever the triumphant
Jiymeneal chant of a clear, loving, in-
telligential spirit, which had renounc-
ed all things for him, and had found
all things in him for whom all spirits
are made.

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A Gkristmas Card. 419

From The Lamp.



Chbistbias comes, Christmas oomes.
Blessing wfaeresoe'er he roams ;
And he calls the little children
Clu8ter*d in a thousand homes.

^ Stand 70U still, mj little children,

For a moment while I sing,

Wreath'd together in a ring,

With your tiny hands embracing

In a snowy interlacing.

And your rich curls dropping down-^

Grolden, black, and aubum-brown—-

Over bluest little eyes ;

Toss them back in sweet surpnse

While my pretty song I sing.

I have apples, T have cakes,
Icicles, and snowy flakes.

Hanging on each naked bough ;
Sugar strawberries and cherries,
Mistletoe and holly-berries,

Nail'd above the glorious show.

I have presents rich and rare.
Beauties which I do not spare,

For my Kttle children dear ;
At my steps the casements lighten,
Sourest human faces brighten.
And the carols — ^music strange-—
Float in their melodious change

On the night-wind cold and drear.

. Listen now, my little children :
All these things I give to you,
And you love me, dearly love me
(Witness'd in your welcome true).
Why do I thus yearly scatter.
With retreating of the sun.
Sweetmeats, holiday, and fun ?
There must be something much the matter
Where my wine-streams do not run.

Once I was no more than might be
Any season of the year ;
J^o kind tapers shone to light me
On my way advancing here ;

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420 Epidemics^ Paat and Present.

No small children rash'd to meet me»
Happj human smiles to greet me.
Trae, it was a while ago ;
But I mind me it was so^
Then believe me, children dear.

Till one foggy cold December,
Eighteen hoaiy centuries past
(Thereabouts as I remember).
Game a voice upon the blast.
And a strange star in the heaven ;
One said that unto us was given
. A Saviour and a Brother kind ;
The star upon my head shed down
Of golden beams this living crown.
The birthday gift of Jesus Christy
Whereby my glory might be known*

You all keep your little birthdays ;
Keep likewise your fathers', mothers*,
Little sisters', little brothers' ;
To commemorate this birth,
Sings aloud the exulting earth I
Every age and all professions.
In all distance — ^parted nations.
Meet together at this time
In spirit, while the church-bells chime*
Little children, dance and play, —
We will join,— *ut likewise pray
At morning, thinking of the day
I have told you I remember
In a bleak and cold December,
Long ago and &r away."

From The Popular Sdenoe Benew.


Epidsuics, derived from the two may not, under favorable drcum*

Greek words M, among, and dnfUK, stances, ^ke on the epidemic form.

peapUy are those diseases which for a For example, diseases of the organs of

time prevail widely among the people respiration are very apt to become

of any country or locality, and then, epidemic in seasons characterized by

for a longer or shorter period, either extreme coldness or dampness of the

entirely, or for the most part, disap- atmosphere, or by great and sudden

pear. There are few diseases to alternffions of temperature. In a

which the human race is liable that strict sense, however, the term epidem-

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JSpidenUcSj Pa$t and Present


ks IB not osually employed in refer-
ence to the diseases of individual or*
gans of the body, but is restricted to
those derangements of the entire sys-
tem depending upon the absorption of
some poison, or the action of some
^influence," from without In the
latter class of maladies the individual
organs may become diseased, and the
derangement of their functions may
modify the symptoms resulting from
the primary poison or ^influence;"
but then the local diseases are the sec-
ondary result of the general disorder
of the constitution, and not the source
aai origin of all the mischief.

Some epidemic diseases possess the
power of self-propagation ; that is to
say, the poison or influence may be
CQmmunicated by infected persons to
persons in healdi, and the disease is
then said to be contagious,* whOe
others are entirely destitute of any
such property. Scarlet-fever and
small-pox are familiar examples of the
former dass; ague and influenza of
the latter.

It is still a vexed question whether
a disease that is capable of self-prop-
agation can ever be generated de
novo. It is maintained, on the one
hand, that such an occurrence is as
impossible as the spontaneous genera-
tion of plants or animals ; while, on
the other hand, it is argued that the
poison of certain diseases capable of
self-propagation may, under certain
favorable conditions, be produced in-
dependently of any pre-existing cases
of the disease. The comparison of a
fever-poison with a spore or ovum is
an ingenious, but a most delusive, ar-
gument An epidemic disease spring-
ing up in a locality where it was be-
fore unknown, and where it is impos-
sible to trace its introduction from
without, is said to be not more extra-
ordinary than the development of
Ibngi in a putrid fluid. The argu-
ment, however, is founded on a pure

* The terms "contagion" and "contagious"
«re here nsed in their widest siznlflcation, and
Are applied in this essay to all diseases capable
of propagation by infected individoals to per-
•oiw in health.

assumption, for there is not a tittle of
evidence to show that a fever-poison
is of the nature of a spore or ovum.
Air saturated with the poisons of vari-
ous contagious diseases has been oon*-
densed and submitted to the highest
powers of the microscope, but nothing
approaching to a small-pox spore, or a
typhus ovum, has yet been discovered.
It is true that certain contagious dis-
eases, such as scarietF-tever and small-
pox, can in most instances be traced
to contagion ; but, with . regard to
others, such as typhoid or enteric
fever, it is in most instances utterly
impossible to account for the Jirst
eases in any outbreak on the theory of
contagion, while, at the same time,
there is direct evidence that the conta-
gious power of the disease is extreme-
\j low. The question is no doubt be-
set with many difficulties, and consti-
tutes one of the most intricate prob-
lems in medical science. It is one,
however, which can never be solved
by entering on the discussion with a
preconceived theory as to the close
analogy, if not identity, of a fever-
poison with an animal or vegetable
ovum, nor by assuming that the laws
which regulate the propagation of one
contagious disease are equally applica-
ble to alL Nature's facts are too often
interpreted by human laws, rather
than by the laws of nature. In the
case before us, the natural history of
each disease must be studied independ-
ently, and our ideas as to its origin
and mode of propagation must be
founded on the evidence furnished by
that study alone, and irrespective of
the laws which seem to regulate the
origin and propagation of other dis-
eases with which it has no connection
whatever, except in the human mind.
At the present moment, when the
subject of epidemics is attracting so
much attention, it may be interesting
to call attention to the more important
diseases comprised under that head,
and to point out some of the main
£eu:ts connected with their origin and
distribution. The principal epidemic
diseases, then, are : small-pox, scarlet-

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Epidemicsy Past and Present.

fever, measles, typhus, relapsing ferer,
Oriental plague, yellow feyer,diarrhoBa,
typhoid or enteric fever, cholera, dys-
entery, ague and remittent fevers, in-
fluenza, the sweating sickness, and the
dancing mania.

1. SmcdlrpoXf the most loathsome
of all diseases, is believed to have
prevailed in India and China from
time immemorial. About the middle
of the sixth century it is supposed to
have been conveyed by trading vessels
from India to Arabia, and the Arabi-
an army at the siege of Mecca, in the
year 569, was the first victim of its
fury. From Arabia it was imported
into Europe by the Saracens, and
there is evidence of its existence in
Britain before the ninth century. Be-
fore the introduction of vaccination,
small-pox was one of the chief causes
of mortality in all the countries where
it prevailed, and even now it occupies
a prominent place in our mortuary re-
turns. During the twenty-four years
1838-61, 125,352 of the population of
England and Wales, and 21,369 of
the population of London, died of
small-pox ; or, in other words, one in
seventy-five of the total deaths in
England and Wales, and one in sixty-
three of the total deaths in London,
were due to this disease* Small-pox
is not confined to any race or quarter
of the globe. At the present day its
appearance can, in the great majority
of instances, be traced to contagion.
It is evident, however, that it must at
one lime have had an origin, and it is
reasonable to infer that what happen-
ed once may happen again. Small-
pox is known to attack many of tlie
lower animals as well as man, and
there are grounds for believing that it
originated among the former, and by
them was communicated to the human
species. A careful study of epizootics
— our ignorance of which has been
disclosed by the present cattle plague
— may ultimately reveal the mo^e of
origin of the poison of small-pox.
The disease varies greatly in its pre-
valence at different times. In other
words, it is sometimes epidemic, at

others not Some of these epidemics
are local ; others are i^dely extend-
ed. All exhibit a gradual rise, culmi-
nation, and decline, the decline being .
always less rapid than the advance.
It is difficult to account for the occur-
rence of these epidemics. They are
independent of hygienic defects, sea^
son, temperature, or any meteorologi-
cal conditions of which we are cogni-
zant. They are probably due to
causes tending to depress the general
health of the population, and so to
predispose it to the action of the
poison. For nearly two centuries it
has been a common observatioiL that
epidemics of small- pox have co-exist-
ed with epidemics of other contagious
diseases. The gradual accumulation
also in a district of unprotected per-
sons, owing to the neglect of vaccina-
tion, will also predispose to the occur-
rence of an epidemic, after the intro-
duction of the poison. In fact, to the
neglect, or careless performance, of
vaccination, is entirely due the occur-
rence of epidemics of small-pox at the
present day.

2. Scarlet Fever, — ^The early his-
tory of scarlet fever is obscure, for the
disease was long confounded with
measles and small-pox, but it is gen-
erally supposed that, like small-pox, it
came originally from Africa, and was
imported into Europe by the Saracens.
It has been known to prevail in Brit-
ain for the last two centuries ; but al-
though it is only of late years, from
the reports of the Hegistrar-Greneral,
that we have been able. to form an ac-
curate idea of the extent of its preva-
lence, tliere can be no doubt that it
has increased greatly during the pres-
ent century, and that it now occupies
that pre-eminence among the causes of
mortality in childhood which was for-
merly held by small-pox. During
twenty-four years (1838 to 1861 in-
clusive) 375,009 of the population of
England and Wales, and 58,663 of
the inhabitants of London, died of
scarlet fever, or about one in every
twenty-four deaths that occurred in
England during the period in question

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UptdemicSy Past and Present,


was due to this disease. The mortal-
ity from scarlet fever, in fact, exceeds
the mortality from small-pox and
jzieasles taken together. Scarlet fever
18 known to prevail over the whole of
the continents of Europe and America,
but it is nowhere so common as in
Britain. In France it is a rarer dis-
ease than either measles or smaU-pox.
In India it is said never to occur. In
most instances it is not difficult to
trace the occurrence of scarlet fever to
contagion ; and from the remarkable
indestructibility of the poison and its
tendency to adhere to clothes, furni-
ture, and even to the walls of houses,
there can be little doubt that the dis-
ease has a similar origin in many in-
stances, where the mode of transmis-
sion of the poison cannot be traced.
How the poison first originated is yet
a mystery ; but there is some proba-
bility in the view, which has many
able advocates, that it originated in
horses or cattle, and by Siem was
communicated to man. If this be so,
it is reasonable to hope that investiga-
tions as to the occurrence of the dis-
ease in the lower animals may lead to
a discovery productive of as great
benefits to the human race as vaccina-
tion. At intervals of a few years
scarlet fever spreads as an epidemic :
but its ordinary prevalence, in this
country is greater than is generally
imagined. The causes of these epi-
demic outbursts are unknown. Many
circumscribed outbreaks can no doubt
be traced to the importation of the
poison into a pppulation of persons
unprotected by a previous attack ; but
why the poison should be introduced
into numerous localities at one time,
and not at others, is difficult to deter-
mine. It is tolerably certain, however,
that at all times the prevalence of the
disease is independent of overcrowd-
ing, bad drainage, or of any apprecia-
ble hygienic or meteorological condi-

3. Measles was long confounded
with scarlet fever, and, like it, is
supposed to have been originally im-
ported firom the East. During twenty-

four years (1838-1861) this difr-
ease destroyed 31,595 of the popula-
tion of London, and 181,868 persons
in England and Wales. It is known
to occur in all parts of the world, and
is highly contagious. There is no evi-
dence that any hygienic defects or me-
teorological conditions can generate
the poison of measles. Hildenbrand,
a great authority, thought it might
arise where numbers of men and cat-
tle were confined together in close, un-
ventilated buildings; and in later
times American and Irish physicians
have described a disease corresponding
in every respect with the measles,
which appeared to arise from sleeping
on old musty straw, or from the inoc-
ulation of the fungi of wheat straw.
Measles in England is much less of
an epidemic disease than either small-
pox or scarlet fever. The number of
deaths which it causes in years when
it is most prevalent, is rarely much
more than double what it causes in
years when it is at least prevalent.
Although often most fatal in winter,
there is no proof that its prevalence is
influenced by season.

4. TyphtLS Fever has been well
known for upward of three centuries,
and there are grounds for believing
that from remote ages it has prevailed
in most parts of thfi world under favor-
able conditions. It is impossible to
estimate the precise extent of its pre-
va\ence, inasmuch as many other dis-
eases are included under the designa-

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