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Donahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 4, April, 1886 online

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[Transcriber's Note: The following Table of Contents has been added (not
present in the original). Remaining transcriber's notes are at end of
text.]

Welcome of the Divine Guest 305
John Scotus Erigena 306
Frau Hütt: A Legend of Tyrol 308
Echoes from the Pines 310
Musings from Foreign Poets 312
Erin on Columbias Shore 314
The Ursuline Convent of Tenos 316
Southern Sketches. XIX. 320
The Church and Modern Progess 328
Give Charity While You Live 333
Emmet's Rebellion 335
The Annunciation: - March 25th 339
Much-a-Wanted 339
Mixed Marriages 344
Farewell, My Home 345
The "Ten-Commandment" Theory 346
Bay State Faugh-a-Ballaghs. IV. 347
Drunkenness in Old Times 351
The Paschal Candle 352
Our New Cardinal 359
The Irish as Conspirators 362
Orders of Knighthood 366
Low-necked Dresses 367
Columbus and Ireland 368
Miss Mulholland's Poems: "Vagrant Verses." 369
Seeing the Old Year Out: A True Story 370
Juvenile Department 373
Lenten Pastorals 384
Notes on Current Topics 385
Personal 396
Notices of Recent Publications 397
Obituary 398




Donahoe's Magazine.

Vol. XV. BOSTON, APRIL, 1886. No. 4.

"The future of the Irish race in this country, will depend
largely upon their capability of assuming an independent
attitude in American politics." - RIGHT REV. DOCTOR IRELAND,
_St. Paul, Minn._


The Welcome of the Divine Guest.

In a rare old Irish story,
I have read with a tear and smile,
Of a scene in a little chapel
In Erin's far-off isle;

A little rustic chapel
In a wild yet fair retreat,
Where the hardy sons of the mountains
On hallowed mornings meet.

* * * * *

The priest at the lighted altar
Is reading the blessèd Mass;
And the place is thronged from the chancel,
Clear out to the churchyard-grass;

All kneeling, hush'd and expectant,
Biding their chosen time,
'Till the bell of the Consecration
Rings forth its solemn chime;

When lo! as the Host is lifted,
The Chalice raised on high,
Subdued yet clear, the people
Send forth one rapturous cry:

"Welcome! A thousand welcomes!"
(While many a tear-drop starts:)
"Welcome! _Cead mille failthe!_
White Love of all our hearts!"

Oh, the passionate warmth of that whisper!
Oh, the grace of that greeting strong!
On the tide of its glowing fervor,
All hearts are borne along!

And the blaze of the Son of Justice
Lights up that dim old spot,
And kindles in every spirit
A flame that dieth not!

Ah! friends in our stately churches,
When we gaze on the gorgeous shrine
Where the Sacred Host reposes,
Like a great white Pearl divine, -

Let the voice of our faith find utt'rance
In a greeting free from guile;
Let us cry with our Irish brothers
In Erin's far-off isle:

"Welcome! a thousand welcomes!"
(What bliss _that_ prayer imparts!)
"Welcome! _Cead mille failthe!_
White Love of all our hearts!"

ELEANOR C. DONNELLY.




John Scotus Erigena.


During the ninth century there lived few more remarkable men in Western
Europe than John Scotus Erigena, the celebrated Irish theologian,
philosopher and poet. Little beyond mere conjecture is known of his
birth and early education. Indeed, the first well-authenticated facts in
connection with his life is that in the year 851 he held the offices of
rector and professor of dialectics in the famous Royal School of Paris,
and that he occupied at the same time apartments in the palace of
Charles the Bald, son of Louis le Débonnaire, and grandson of the
Emperor Charlemagne. It may, however, be interesting to see what
historical critics have to say of his birth and early antecedents.

Almost all writers of weight are agreed that John Scotus Erigena was an
Irishman. In fact, there is hardly any room for doubt on the subject. If
all other evidences of the fact were absent his very name furnishes
proof enough that John was a son of the Emerald Isle. John Scotus
Erigena simply means John the Irish Scot - Erigena being a corruption of
a Greek word, the translation of which is "of the sacred isle," and
every school boy knows that Ireland was known at that time throughout
the nations of the earth as the "_insula sanctorum et doctorum_," the
"island of saints and sages."

It was in 851 that he published his famous work on "Predestination."
Long before that time, however, his name was well known in France, so
that it may be safely assumed that he came to that country about the
year 845. At this calculation we may place his birth somewhere about the
year 820.

Prudentius, his colleague in the Scolia Palitina, or Royal School of
Paris, says that he was the cleverest of all those whom Ireland sent to
France. _Te solum omnium acutissimum galliæ transmisit Hibernia._ When
we consider that Prudentius was so intimately connected with him as to
style himself his "_quasi frater_," any doubts that might remain as to
Erigena's nationality should entirely vanish.

But, it may be asked, why did this great man leave Ireland to seek
shelter and patronage from a foreign king? Had he not at home a field
wide and fertile enough for even his towering intellect in the numerous
monasteries and schools which were at this time the pride and glory of
Erin? The cause of his departure from his home and friends was probably
the inroads of the Danes, who, in the year 843, under their brutal
leader Turgesius, "plundered Connaught, Meath and Clonmacnoise with its
oratories," and thus rendered a residence in the country anything but
desirable for the holy monk and erudite scholar.

We have seen that John published his work "De Prædestinatione" about the
year 851. In combating the errors of Gottschalk, he unfortunately
broached new errors of his own, and thus incurred the displeasure of the
Holy See.

The most precious volume in the Royal Library at Paris was a Greek copy
of the works of "Pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite." Many unsuccessful
attempts had been made to translate this work, and when Charles the Bald
found that the erudite rector of the Royal School could translate Greek,
he ordered him to furnish a translation which he did. It was published
in 861, and a copy sent to Pope Nicholas I. The Sovereign Pontiff, who
was not inclined to look with great favor on the author of "De
Prædestinatione," did not approve of the translation, and as a
consequence of some farther negotiations between Charles and the Holy
See, Scotus was, in 861, dismissed from his position in the Scolia
Palitina. He did not, however, just then cease to be connected with the
Royal Palace. His principal works are - "De Divisione Naturæ," "Liber de
Divine Prædestinatione," Translation of the Ethics of Aristotle and of
the writings of "Pseudo Dionysius the Areopagite," and a "Commentary on
the Gospel of St. John." That John Scotus Erigena erred and erred
gravely, no one can for a moment deny; but we should remember with the
learned and distinguished Coadjutor Bishop of Clonfert (the Most Rev.
Dr. Healy), "That he erred not in the spirit of Luther and Calvin, but
of Origen and St. Cyprian."

How long he remained in Paris after his dismissal from the Royal School
cannot be determined, nor do we know how he ended his days. Some assert
that "he was murdered by a band of infuriated students at Oxford or
Malmesbury," but this is by no means certain.

Jan. 18th, 1885. OLLAVE FOLA




Frau Hütt: A Legend of Tyrol.


The Austro-Bavarian Alps are perhaps unsurpassed in number and average
height by any group of mountains in the world. There is always more or
less snow on their summits, and as they are continually attracting the
clouds and causing a changeable, capricious climate in their
neighborhood, they may be said, like fashionable ladies, to have a
different dress for every day in the week, and to look beautiful in
whichever dress they choose to wear. They are beautiful when they stand
out clear and sublime in the perfect sunlight of a cloudless day. They
are beautiful in the night when the moonlight grows even more silvery
from its contact with the snow upon their tops, or when there is no moon
and the stars are rivalled by the bonfires which merry climbers have
kindled upon their well-wooded sides. They were beautiful in the only
thunder-storm I have seen during my residence among them, - their tops
hidden by the clouds and the lightning flashing furiously down their
sides, as if the thunderer of Olympus himself were hurling his bolts
into the valley, while "a million, horrible, bellowing echoes" bounded
and rebounded from mountain to mountain. And they were very beautiful on
the day when I first heard this little legend which I am about to put
into writing. It was raining in the valley, but yet it was possible to
see more or less of all the mountains, and the summit of one of them was
perfectly visible above the clouds that covered its sides. This was Frau
Hütt, a peak whose shape bears a remarkable resemblance to that of a
monstrous woman on horseback; and this is its legend as it was told to
me by a very obliging _kellnerin_ in the cosey little inn where I was
sitting:

"Frau Hütt was a beautiful young maiden who lived in this very valley a
great many hundreds of years ago, and one morning she determined to have
her favorite palfrey saddled and take a canter up the mountain-side. It
was a lovely morning and she was soon glowing with exercise and
pleasure. She had passed over the lower part of the mountain, and was
enjoying the merry, upward rush through the cool, fresh air, when she
suddenly perceived a beggar standing in the road before her, with head
uncovered and hands outstretched for alms. Now, Frau Hütt was a selfish,
cold-hearted woman, and instead of checking her steed or turning him
aside, she rode straight upon the helpless beggar, and in a very few
seconds he was being trampled beneath her horse's feet and was spending
his dying breath, not in praying for his soul, but in cursing hers.

"His curse took immediate effect. Frau Hütt was at once struck by
remorse. The glow of exercise fled from her cheeks, and she began to
feel chilly and faint, and to think of returning home; but she shuddered
at the thought of repassing the beggar's mangled corpse. And when at
last she attempted to check her steed and head him for the valley, she
found with horror that the brute had acquired a will of his own and
would no longer obey the bit; and when she tried to hurl herself from
the saddle, it was only to discover that she was firmly fastened to her
seat and could not move from it. So horse and rider rushed upward higher
and higher, upward through the frosty mountain air and over the frozen
mountain snow, and all the time Frau Hütt grew colder and colder, and
felt the very blood in her veins ceasing to circulate, and her muscles
becoming so stiffened that she could not even shiver. And when they had
reached the summit of the mountain where people in the valley might best
see her and be best warned by her fate, the palfrey rested, and Frau
Hütt's whole body became what her heart always was, - stone.

"And even unto this day, once every year at a certain midnight, when the
air is silent except for here and there the crowing of a cock, and the
continuous gurgle of our rivers rushing to the sea, a mist arises from
the muddy waters of the river Inn and thickens into a cloud and floats
northward; and when it approaches Frau Hütt, it slowly takes the form of
a beggar with head uncovered and hands outstretched as if for alms; and
then the upper part of the mountain trembles visibly, just for all the
world like a mortal shuddering in the presence of some ghastly horror.

"And have I seen this myself?" repeated our kind informant. "No, indeed;
and I suppose if I were to ask the same question of the person who told
me the story, he would reply, after the fashion of all ghost-story
tellers, that his mother's first husband knew a gentleman whose aunt's
next-door neighbor was reported to have seen it often. At any rate, one
cannot easily watch for the spectre, because nobody knows the date of
its annual appearance. 'And how in the world could a woman and her horse
ever become so monstrously large as to form the peak of that great, big
mountain?' Oh, that is easily answered. They did not become so. They
always were so, for it all happened in the days of the giants."

CASPAR PISCHL.

* * * * *


CHARLES O'CONOR. - "He went to Ireland and visited the seat of his
ancestors at Belanagre, in Connaught, the result of which was that upon
his return he changed the orthography of his name. Before that time he
and his father had spelled Conor with two n's, but he then dropped one
of the n's upon discovering that the family name was anciently spelled
in that way. I was once asked if I knew why he had changed the spelling
of his name from two n's to one, and I answered that he was descended
from the Irish kings, and found, when he visited Ireland, that they
spelled the name in that way, which information Mr. Nathaniel Jarvis,
the witty Clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, who was present,
supplemented with the remark that he supposed that the Irish kings had
always been so poor that they had never been able to make both n's
meet."




Echoes from the Pines.

" - - , This, nor gems, nor stores of gold,
Nor purple state, nor culture can bestow,
But God alone, when first His active Hand
Imprints the secret bias of the soul."


The palm, the laurel, and all the fountains of Pindus, Helicon and
Parnassus, were sacred to the muses. The deep and dark pine woods of
Maine, if not sacred to the muse of the author of "Echoes from the
Pines," seem at times to have been a source of inspiration to her. We
say "at times," and in a relative sense only, for assuredly, Margaret E.
Jordan, the gifted author of the beautiful volume of poems, with the
above title, sought her sources of inspiration at a higher fount than
this, or any named in the pages of ancient mythology. Of her, indeed, it
may be truly said, -

"His active hand
Imprints the secret bias of the soul."

These poems, about fifty in number, are scattered throughout the work
like wild flowers o'er mead and hill, in copse and glen. They are, to
some extent, artless in composition, free and flowing in style,
garnished with pure and holy thoughts, and most of them, while stamped
with the royal sign of deep religious thought, - truest source of all
poetic inspiration, - are free of the namby-pambyism common to what are
sometimes called "religious" poems.

Nearly all these poems are written in words of one syllable; that, at
least, is a chief characteristic of them. This simple beauty of
composition is oftener felt than observed. Thus, in our immortal lyrics,
the Irish Melodies, Moore deals largely in this style.

Take a glance at the following: -

"The harp that once through Tara's hall
The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara's wall,
As if that soul were fled;
So sleeps the pride of former days,
So glory's thrill is o'er,
And hearts that once beat high for praise,
Now feel that pulse no more."

This beautiful simplicity is too often overlooked by the lovers of the
Irish Bard, yet it indicates great strength of mind and a powerful
pinion not only in poetry but in prose. (_Vide_, Cardinal Newman's
_Apologia_).

The patriotic poems in Miss Jordan's collection are full of fervent
pathos and fine feeling.

Take this stanza for example: -

"'Twas no disgrace to be Irish
In the far-famed days of old,
When the tale of our redemption
In Tara's halls was told.
When the holy feet of Saint Patrick
Blessed the land whose soil they trod,
And a pathway traced, yet never effaced,
From Ireland to God.

* * * * *

"'Tis no disgrace to be Irish,
Or to bear the faith to-day
That Ireland's sons have cherished
Thro' many a weary way.
What! a disgrace to be Irish!
A pride and a joy let it be!
More than fortune or fame, prize the faith and the name,
Of the Saint-hallowed isle of the sea."

In the spirited poem, "Leave their Fair Fatherland," in which the cruel
process of emigration as a panacea for the sufferings of Ireland is
described by the author, the opening stanza gives the tone of the whole
poem: -

"Leave the fair land of their fathers,
The graves of their grandsires - for what?
Have ye not hearts in your bosoms,
Or think ye the Irish have not?
When sounded our trumpet of battle,
Were they cravens? Nay, bravest of men!
And they fought till the 'stars' rose in triumph
Never to vanish again!"

Our poet is not above giving "A Bit of Advice," and the way she gives it
is this: -

"Whene'er you find a chance to wed
A noble girl, don't slight it;
And if you cannot speak your mind,
Why, just sit down and write it."

But the fellow who couldn't "pop the question" to "a noble girl," would
not deserve to get her, and we think the noble girl would say the same.

The above selections are by no means the best we could have given. They
are selected at random, and chiefly because they admit of selection
without injuring the sense of their meaning. In other instances it would
have been necessary to quote the poems entire, and this, of course, was
neither desirable nor practicable in the small space at command.

The author of these poems is not unknown in Boston and throughout the
New England States. It would be an encouragement to her to find that her
efforts were not without promise of reward, and confident we are that
those who spend a dollar in purchasing this handsome volume will not
regret it. We have all a duty to discharge in the encouragement of
Catholic writers and here is an excellent chance.

The work is beautifully brought out by the spirited publishers, McGowan
& Young, of Portland, Me. It is printed on the finest paper, well and
handsomely bound, gold lettered and red edges. It has a dedication so
brief and beautiful that we give it entire. It is a little poem in
itself. Here it is: -

"TO MY BELOVED FATHER AND MOTHER."

Were it possible to reveal even a little of what this abdication means,
and what it conceals, the effort of Margaret E. Jordan would reap a rich
return for literary labors performed under trying circumstances. Our
beautiful singer could not well refrain from writing about "Gethsemane."
Her devotion and her love to our Suffering Lord must needs find its vent
among the trees of Mount Olivet!

Procure a copy of "Echoes from the Pines," and the sweet music and
balsamic odor will be deliciously refreshing and grateful to every
sense.

P. McC.




Musings from Foreign Poets.


THE PEARL AND THE SONG.

From the German of Ebert.

The million-tinted pearl of ocean
Lies shrined within its mortal shell,
And sails the deep in wavy motion,
Responsive to each tidal swell.

These songs of mine that shell resemble
Freighted with tears, in ebb and flow,
Like to the shell they float and tremble
On the wild ocean of my woe.


THE MODERN MUSE.

From the Italian of Leopardi.

While still a youth and all aflame
With fire poetic, I became
A pupil of the Muses nine;
One took my hand in kindly mood,
And led me to the inner shrine -
The secret workshop, where apart,
In silence and in solitude,
They wrought the marvels of their art.

The Muse then showed me, one by one,
And in minute detail outlined
The various tasks to each assigned;
I listened, marvelling much the while;
"Pray, Muse," I asked, "where is the file?"

She answered lightly as in scorn,
"The file is rusted and outworn,
'Tis used no more in prose or rhyme."
"But why not mend it if 'tis broken?"
Lightly again the words were spoken,
"The fact is, friend, we have no time!"


PRAYER OF THE POOR.

From the French of Lamartine.

O Thou who dost thine ear incline
Unto the lowly sparrow's nest,
And hear'st the sighs of flowers that pine
For dews upon the mountain's crest!

Divine Consoler of our woes!
Thou dost the hidden hand perceive
That on the poor a coin bestows
To buy the bread by which they live.

Thou givest, as Thou deemest best
To mortals, wealth or poverty,
That, springing from their union blest,
Justice might live and charity.

To know the hearts, be this Thy care,
Who thus their kindly gifts dispense,
That in the treasures they may share
Of Thy all-bounteous providence.

We know not those for whom we pray,
They are beheld of Thee alone;
Their right hand's gifts from day to day,
Are ever to their left unknown.

* * * * *


The plan to unite Paris and London with pneumatic tubes has been
reported on favorably by French engineers, and submitted to the
Government. It is proposed that two pneumatic tubes be laid, following
the line of the Northern Railroad from Paris to Calais, thence across
the channel to Dover, and following the line of the South-Eastern
Railroad to London. Letters could thus be transmitted between the two
capitals in one hour. Wagonets like those now used to transport
telegrams from Paris are used, weighing ten kilograms and capable of
carrying five kilograms weight of mail matter. Twenty pneumatic trains
are to be started every hour.




Erin on Columbia's Shore.

BRIGHT INCIDENTS OF CORRELATIVE IRISH HISTORY.


That history repeats itself in many and sometimes mysterious ways, is
rather interestingly illustrated in a talk with Mr. Denis McGillicuddy,
of Medford. This gentleman emigrated from Ireland to America about forty
years ago, and in the meantime has been a prominent builder and
contractor. His works include the construction of nineteen Catholic
Churches, among them in 1870-1, St. Augustine's Church of South Boston,
and also the mansion of Archbishop Williams and his priests near the
Cathedral in this city. His story links two countries together in its
detail, though centuries and three thousand miles of ocean divide them,
and the incidents he related yesterday to the writer, as follows:

"When I read the account of the truly Christian celebration of Christmas
in St. Augustine's Church, South Boston, it brought to my mind an
incident in connection with the building of that beautiful and
elaborately finished edifice and its worthy pastor, Rev. Father
O'Callaghan, which I should think might very well interest the general
reader; but it certainly ought to be interesting to those who
familiarize themselves with comparisons in history. Among the artisans
employed on St. Augustine's, when in process of erection, were four men


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Online LibraryVariousDonahoe's Magazine, Volume 15, No. 4, April, 1886 → online text (page 1 of 13)