Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

could find anybody who was willing to Rachel Fredet to General MacKaye.
come. For himself, Jonas had slept in the
wagon three nights out of four since the

“Coffins; Monday.

“MY DEAR GENERAL: You are very kind day when he left Lynn.

and thoughtful. But I cannot leave these

people till we know if they are to live or die. CHAPTER XV,

Certainly I am safe here. At the Harbour I Val.-The Lady is alone!

think we can hold on. At the least I must Berth.--Alone, and thus ?-So weak and yet so bold? wait for orders there. I should think they Val.-I said she was alone

I would send me another teacher and bid me
Berth. .......-And weak, I said.
Val.-When is man strong until he feels alone? No

hold on. I shall so advise them.

on Shan 50 advise mem.
Colombe's Birthday. “I am sorry not to see you to tell good-
When the Doctor came the next day, bye.' God bless you and our brave boys.
Rachel saw at once that his face was serious. My regards to the gentlemen of the staff.
Had this been after he saw his patients, she

“In haste, Rachel Fredet."
would have supposed that they were the “I am afraid,” said she with undisguised
cause. But, before he dismounted, his ex- feeling, when she had read it to the Doctor,
pression revealed his anxiety. He went di- and as she folded it, “ I am afraid that this
rectly into the house, with scarcely a word; is the end of a very, very pleasant winter."
and then, speaking of and to Mrs. Topin, “God bless you, indeed," said the Doctor,
gave the most encouraging opinion of her po- moved more than he liked to say by the
sition. She scarcely understood, she scarcely girl's firmness. “It cannot be long before
seemed to care, and he then hurried from the we shall meet again.”
room, beckoned to Knowles, who was in the “Take Richmond and come up the valley
door-way of the wood-shed, and walked with home. We will come out in procession and
him and Rachel away from the house. scatter flowers.”

"The post is broken up,” said he. “The “Ye need not be troubled 'bout leavin' on General has a telegram within an hour; we her here,” said Jonas, by way of relieving move for the Ferry in the morning and shall the seriousness of the parting. “Guess a' be before Richmond on Friday. There will shall stay round here myself a few days; a' not be a blue coat nor a brass button in the calculated to prospect along in the valley, 'n' Harbour to-morrow night.”

ef they 's any chance a' may locate here' " This is sudden!” said Rachel. And Anyway shan't be fur away." she felt through and through the loneliness The Doctor turned to the good fellow and of her position.

bade him good-bye; then apologized again “The General is distressed,” said the for the shortness of his visit, gave his last Doctor, very seriously. “There is no other directions for the sick, and was gone. word. He rode a mile on the way with Jonas Knowles occupied his leisure for the me. He said he knew he was responsible rest of that afternoon in cutting two of the for your being here; that your Board would longest saplings he could find, fastening never have sent you unless there were a post them end to end, for a flag-staff, and reeving here, and his most earnest advice is, that the running tackle by which in the morning you leave with the command.”

he could display the Union colors on the knoll “I hardly see,” said Rachel. “You know above the house. With the flag itself, as I am under orders too; and I should be need hardly be said, his wagon was provided. rather mean in reporting to my chiefs that “Guess they won't show no colors down I had run away from the very duty I was there wen the army's gone,” said he. sent to do. Besides here are these people. “Guess they won't come up here to meddle Clearly I cannot leave them. Say to General with ourn!” And the next day, as the little MacKaye-no, I will write to him.” And she corps filed by in the valley road, two miles took out her pocket letter-case, and wrote in below them, the Doctor, as he tried to point pencil to the General.

out Topin's to the General, could see Rachel's

white handkerchief, and Jonas's stars and forts before Petersburg, was suddenly broken stripes bravely flying in the wind.

by definite intelligence, absolutely certain, of Rachel had spent her afternoon in writing the fall of Richmond and the flight of Gena careful despatch to her “ Advisory and eral Lee and President Davis. Then began to Executive Board of Correspondence.” She arrive tired, cross, and sulky soldiers in butalso wrote to Mrs. Templeman. Her view ternut, finding their way back to their homes. was that the school had better be main. Meanwhile Mrs. Topin's second eruption, tained ; that, if peace were at hand, as she with its horrid accompaniments of fever, hoped, it could be enlarged. She ventured headache, and absolute prostration, passed to ask that its enlargement might be deter- happily by. Gusty's proved light, beyond mined on, in advance, and that another Rachel's fondest hopes. The three other teacher might be detailed to this service. children, free as colts all day on the hillTo Mrs. Templeman she said that she wished side, and separated absolutely from the this other teacher might be Miss Jane Ste- house at night, never showed a sign of the vens. Everybody had confidence in her judg- disease. Whether they had been protected ment, and with the new order, Miss Jane in infancy by vaccination, or whether some Stevens would not be so much needed in miracle tempered the wind to such shorn Georgetown. Rachel also dwelt on her hope lambs, Rachel did not know. On the last that as soon as the Senate adjourned Mrs. Saturday of the school vacation, the last Templeman would come in the early spring rags of Mrs. Topin's clothing and Gusty's into the valley and see her

were triumphantly burned by the indomi"Sit on a cusblon and sew up a seam.” table Jonas. Both she and Gusty were So little did Rachel permit herself to look dressed spick and span in blue calicos of the doubtfully on the future, and so definitely most approved make of the Lynn Sanitary did she arrange for its fulfilling her best Aid Society. prophecies.

“Guess ye can run the machine yourself So soon as the army left they were indeed now, Miss Topin,” said Jonas. “Anyway, alone. No Doctor from day to day; nobody shall be round myself every day or two; ef but Tirah, and Tirah had little enough to a' take that ere mill priverlidge at Lynch's tell but the poorest village gossip. Elder ye 'll see me offen, ye will. 'N' Miss Fredet Bottle had determined with Gen. MacKaye's here 'n' the nigger gal will be up offen, ye consent to remain. He and his wife had, know. Guess ye wont be lonely.” Jonas at Rachel's request, moved into the school- forgot that the poor woman was well trained house; but, as had been determined, the to a lonely life, long ago. school was. not to be opened so soon For Rachel, she returned with Tirah to as Monday week. The General had, of the Harbour, and she had hardly been in course, taken with him the army telegraph; her snug little home an hour before Miss and when the command left, there was, of Jane Stevens arrived. Miss Jane Stevens course, an end to the regular mail. News and her companions in the lumber-wagon from the outside came in the wildest and brought the dreadful news, which changed most irregular rumors. A series of such all life in the Harbour, as eventually it did rumors, declaring the most amazing suc- in the country, that on Good Friday Wilkes cesses of the confederate arms, such as the Booth had killed ABRAHAM LIncoLN! Even capture of gunboats, the death of General the sulkiness of Laurens Harbour, at a trag. Butler in battle, the capture of the Federal edy so terrible, did not dare to cheer.


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

It is a common notion that the Protes- ed. The friendship of Spain was no longer tant church of the Anglo Saxon people dates desired. Catharine of Aragon, after eighteen from the reign of Henry VIII. in the six- years of married life, had no son living. teenth century. That it was born of his The Wars of the Roses were fresh in men's imperious lust, his determination to have recollections. The people of England had from his own compliant court a divorce dread of a disputed succession. Henry himwhich the pope of Rome would not give self shared in the universal dread. The him, is an idea which has been sedulously reign of his father had been disquieted by cultivated for ecclesiastical reasons. The perpetual revolts, and his own was not free age of the Roman Catholic church attracts from them. Catharine had never succeeded many who do not know that religious liberty in winning her husband's love; perhaps had is as old as ecclesiastical usurpation. The never tried. She was haughty; so was he; popular errors on this subject have been the Castilian pride and the Tudor pride were often corrected, but as often reasserted; and too near of kin to mate well together. Faiththe true history of the Protestant Reforma- ful she certainly was, through good report tion must needs be told again and again, so and evil report, for better and for worse; long as ignorance mistakes effects for causes, but loving? Concerning that history can and prejudice attributes a great awakening tell us but little. The reasons of state no to a court intrigue.

longer held the king to his wife; they even The English Reformation was a three- strengthened his desire for a change. Whatfold one-political, ecclesiastical and re- ever virtues history may impute to him, conligious,-a reformation in the relations of stancy is not one of them. It is doubtful church and state, a reformation in the or- whether reasons of state alone would ever ganization and character of the church, a have led him to seek for a divorce; but reformation in the religious opinions and there was another reason. This king, whom life of the nation. Let us trace them sepa- only one knight in England could match in rately.

the tournament, and who drew with ease I. Common people marry for love; kings the strongest bow, was not strong to bend marry for reasons of state. Henry VIII., his desires to his judgment. This statescoming to the throne at 18 years of age, man, whose papers are declared by his married Catharine, the daughter of the king eulogists to be unsurpassed by those of of Spain, his brother Arthur's widow, and Wolsey or of Cromwell, who was his own six years his senior. The marriage was engineer, inventing improvements in artillery none of his own seeking. He was betrothed and new constructions in ship-building with by his father to the Spanish widow of workman-like understanding, knew not how eighteen, when he was but twelve. Tradi- to engineer himself. This theologian, who tion says he remonstrated ; if this is any had earned the title of “ defender of the palliation of his subsequent infidelity let him faith" by the vigor of his reply to Luther, have the full benefit of it. Spain was a was abler in defending theology than in great nation. France was great too, and maintaining his own moral integrity. He England's greatest rival. By this marriage fell in love with a maid of honor to Queen Henry VII. and the English statesmen hoped Catherine, Anne Boleyn, and before his selfto cement an alliance between England and willed impetuosity all considerations of pruSpain, which should aid England to humble dence and of honor fled away. France. But no politician is sufficiently It is difficult to give a judicial estimate of prophetic to foretell with accuracy the future, King Henry VIII. ; it is still more difficult and even the plans of the great Thomas justly to estimate the character of Anne Wolsey, Archbishop of York, chancellor, Boleyn. It is doubtful whether any charcardinal, legate, miscarried. Politics chang.. acter in history, save that of Mary Queen of

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

Scots, has been the subject of more violent king. It is impossible for impartial judg-
controversy or more widely variant opinions. ment to commend her course. She did not
The Roman Catholic historians have repre- repel his advances. She knew, for all Europe
sented her as a young woman of the most was full of the excitement, that he was seek-
unscrupulous immorality, the daughter of a ing a divorce from Queen Catharine. She
mother as designing as herself, perpetually could hardly have been ignorant that he
occupied with low intrigues with her ser- sought it in order that he might marry her.
vants, and cunning enough to estimate the She could hardly have given him her true
strength of the royal passion, and to turn it woman's affections, for these she had be-
to good account in compelling the dazzled stowed before upon Henry Percy, son of the
king to create a vacancy at his side, in order Earl of Northumberland. Finally she yield-
to make her his wife. The Protestant ed to the royal persuasions and to her own
writers, on the other hand, describe her as ambitions. On the 14th of November, 1532,
virtuous and modest, daughter of a virtuous she was privately married to Henry VIII.
and modest mother, holding with the re. His previous marriage was not then annul-
former Latimer frequent consultations for led; not until eleven weeks after did the too
the interests of Protestantism and the pro- compliant Cranmer declare Queen Catha-
tection of Protestant believers, and main- rine in contumacy for refusing to appear be-
taining her honor at the court and accepting fore the king's court, and the marriage
the royal offer of marriage only after the celebrated nearly a quarter of a century be-
highest ecclesiastical dignitaries of the realm fore to have been null and void from the
had decreed the illegality of the previous beginning. Christendom can never give but
marriage. They even differ in the descrip- one answer to the injured Catharine's ques-
tion of her person. According to Protestant tion: “ Alas, my lords,” said she,“ is it now
tastes, she was the very perfection of love a question whether I be a king's lawful
liness; to the ancient Catholic's eye, her wife or no, when I have been married to him
complexion was yellow, she had a gag tooth, almost twenty years and no objection
six fingers on one hand and a tumor under made ?"* Christendom may well doubt the
her chin. Her extant portraits are almost truth of the accusations by which King
as dissimilar as the verbal descriptions. In Henry brought the unhappy Boleyn to the
some she is small featured, plump almost to scaffold, three years after his marriage to
fatness, pretty but without character; in her, that he might put in her place another
others she is portrayed with large features, maid of honor, but it can never wholly ac-
great, deep eyes, tender, pathetic, but marred quit her of being accessory to the flagrant
by a kind of unwomanly cunning. Her his. crime which Henry VIII. committed against
tory for our own purposes may be soon told. Catharine of Aragon.
She was the second daughter of Sir Thomas It is not necessary for us to narrate the
Boleyn, a gentleman of noble family but of tedious and profitless negotiations through
moderate fortune. She spent the eleven which Henry first sought to obtain from the
most formative years of her life, from seven pope the desired decree of divorce ; the de-
to eighteen, in Paris, “ in the worst school in lays, the palterings and the evasions with
Europe,” says Froude ; "in one of the best,” which the pontiff, afraid to offend either the
says D'Aubigne; in a school, however, in English or the Spanish king, sought to es-
which she could not have failed to come in cape the dilemma in which he was placed. -
contact with much of social life to which no and the lordly bearing of the queen, strong
Christian parent in our day would willingly in her Castilian pride and refusing every
submit his daughter. Even D'Aubigne rec- suggestion of compromise, as a suggestion
ognizes the possible influence of her French of the evil one. It is equally needless for
education upon her life and character.* us to trace the subsequent career of Henry
She entered the English court and became VIII. with his successive queens and his
an unmistakable favorite of the English successive favorites. It is enough for us
*D'Aubigne's Calvin, p. 127. .

Strickland's Queens of England, vol. 99,

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

here to note the first great fact in the Eng- clergy as a class were utterly demoralized lish Reformation. The king, unable to obtain by the system which created such temptaa divorce from the pope, declared that hence- tions and afforded such opportunities. It forth for him and for his people there should was the most corrupt epoch in the history be no pope. He won from the clergy, by of the church. The restraints of ecclesithreats, the title of “ Supreme head of the astical order were relaxed, the restraints of church," and from the parliament a statute an enlightened public opinion had not forbidding any appeal from the archbishop's begun to be operative. It was the era of court to the Roman pontiff. He laid his the greatest industry in vice and the least claim for divorce before the new archbishop industry in virtue. “ Who,” cried Latimer, of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, who had “is the most diligent bishop and prelate in himself discovered, perhaps we ought to say all England, that passeth all the rest in the devised, the ground on which that claim was doing of his office? I can tell you, for I based; and when, in 1535, the pope finally know him well. Will ye know who it is? excommunicated the king for his rebellion, I will tell you. It is the devil. Among all he defied the papal decree, and the people, the pack of them that have parishes the the clergy and the church sustained him in devil shall go for my money, for he applythat defiance. The political reformation of eth his business. Therefore ye unpreachthe church was complete. From that day ing prelates learn of the devil to be diligent to this England has never acknowledged in your office. If ye will not learn of God, any ecclesiastical authority in the Roman for shame learn of the devil.” pontiff.

But if the clergy were remiss in the II. But this political reformation could duties they were not slow in seeking for the not have been accomplished but for the emoluments of their offices. Great evil the moral reformation which both preceded church courts wrought in the time of and accompanied it. If the church of Thomas Becket in protecting criminals ; Rome had not lost its power over the peo- in the time of Henry VIII. they had beple, it could not have been defied by the come equally effective in harrying laymen. king. And in the beginning of the six- Any private person was liable to be brought teenth century the Romish church had lost before the ecclesiastical courts on any accuits moral power. The priests had ceased to sation from heresy to absence from church, be either the wisest or the best portion of or from drunkenness to non-payment of society. The moral corruptions of the offerings. The penalty was a fine. The priesthood, far more than the theoretical court was rarely scrupulous as to the ericorruptions in doctrine, led to the Reforma- dence. The recusant was punished with tion in Germany. The corruptions were excommunication. There lingers even in absolutely less but relatively as great in our own time, a shadow that falls from this England. Licentiousness and drunkenness ancient penalty. A Mennonite sect in were common in monastic institutions. Pennsylvania last year excommunicated Many of the priests spent their time in one of its members ; his wife was comhunting, hawking and lounging in the tav- pelled to choose between eternal penalties erns or on the streets. Clergymen held pronounced against her, and abandoning many parishes, and served few or none. her excommunicated husband. She chose Bishops accumulated sees, and did nothing to cleave to the church and leave her husin them. The great church reformer Wol- band. The civil courts awarded to the hussey was at once Archbishop of York, Bishop band two thousand five hundred dollars in of Winchester, Bath and Durham, and damages against the church which had thus Abbot of St. Albans. The celibacy of the undertaken to separate his wife from him. clergy affords great temptations and the In Quebec to-day, if a Roman Catholic practice of the confessional affords great becomes Protestant, he is compelled in selfopportunities for flagrant immorality. In protection to leave the city ; for, while the beginning of the sixteenth century the kindly relations are maintained between

« PreviousContinue »