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Churches and monasteries were rifled; monuments of religious zeal were defaced ; horses and mules were stabled in temples whose architectural magnificence was unequalled in the rest of Europe. The ceremonies of the Greeks were ridiculed; the priests were insulted ; the sacred plate, the precious shrines in which the relics of martyrs and saints were preserved, the rich altar-cloths, and the jewelled ornaments, were carried off. The soldiers and their female companions made the Church of St. Sophia the scene of licentious orgies; and Nicetas recounts with grief and indignation that 'one of the priestesses of Satan' who accompanied the Crusaders, seated herself on the patriarch's throne, sang ribald songs before the high altar, and danced in the sacred edifice, to the delight of the infuriated soldiery. It is not necessary to detail all the miseries suffered by the unfortunate Greeks ; Pope Innocent III. has left a description of the scene so horrible that it will hardly bear a literal translation.”*
THEOLOGY, PHILOSOPHY, &c. The Clifton Tracts. Vol. 4. (Burns and Lambert.). It is now nearly four years since the Clifton Tracts were begun; and during this period there have been issued nearly eighty numbers. The whole series is now announced as complete in four volumes, in which the tracts are arranged according to the order of their subjects; the first volume contains about a score of tracts, each one independent in itself, but all more or less concerned with the English and Foreign Reformation, and forming together a tolerably complete history, suited for popular use, of that most calamitous event. The second volume is also historical, and treats of the most important of those facts upon which misrepresentations of history are so prevalent in this country; such as the Inquisition," ,” for instance,
1. The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's,” “ The Temporal Power of the Pope," &c. &c. The third and most bulky volume contains tracts on various points of Catholic doctrine; and in the fourth are collected both the Library of Christian Devotion and the Entertaining and Instructive Library.
These tracts, being written by many different authors, are of course of unequal merit; but taken as a whole, we have heard but one opinion expressed as to their eminent practical usefulness. We are inclined to regret that there is not a larger portion of them suited to the literary wants, or rather to the intellectual capabilities, of the very poorest and most uneducated amongst us; but the Editors seem rather to have aimed at addressing themselves to another and perhaps almost more important class, men of intelligence but of little information,-shrewd thoughtful men, who are not unwilling to rise superior to those violent anti-Catholic prejudices in which their forefathers lived and died, if only the means are set before them for forming a true and just estimate of facts and arguments. Such persons are to be found in great and increasing numbers in all our large manufacturing towns; and it is scarcely possible to over-estimate the influence which they will one day exercise upon the social and political condition of our country. We rejoice therefore at any thing which seems to promise, or at least to render possible, the diffusion amongst this class of really true and trustworthy information on the most important subjects; and many of the Tracts in this Series, more especially in the Historical Library, appear to us admirably suited for such a purpose. The facts or reasoning which they contain are clearly stated, and expressed in plain forcible language.
* Illudque longe gravius reputatur quod quidam nec religioni nec ætati nec sexui pepercerunt, sed fornicationes, adulteria et incestus in oculis omnium exercentes, non solum maritatas et viduas, sed et matronas et virgines Deoque dicatas exposuerunt spurcitiis garcionum. Nec imperiales suffecit divitias exhaurire ac diripere spolia majorum pariterque minorum, nisi ad Ecclesiarum thesauros, et quod gravius est, ad ipsarum possessiones extenderetis manus vestras, tabulas argenteas de altaribus rapientes, et violatis sacrariis, cruces, iconas et reliquias asportantes, ut Græcorum Ecclesia, quantumcunque persecutionibus affligatur, ad obedientiam apostolicæ sedis redire contemnat, quæ in Latinis non nisi proditionis exempla et opera tenebrarum aspexit, ut merito illos abhorreat plusquam canes.--Gesta Innocentii III. p. 57, ed. Baluze.
MISCELLANEOUS LITERATURE. Poems, by W. C. Bennett (London, Chapman and Hall). We should not have noticed this, the production of a very minor minstrel, and published so long ago as 1850, unless, like Handel's choice Madeira, it had given us a tought.” Skimming over its pages, it occurred to us to ask, what is the difference between the fetishism of the Hottentot and the sentimental naturalism of our modern bards? Why not as well put your trust in a wisp of hay, a black-beetle, or a tiger's tooth, as in å sprig of jasmine, a box of mignonette, or a daisy? Why not a protective influence in an old shoe, as well as a bond beyond the thought of man betwixt a flower” and a young lady? Nature is beautiful, and its glories suggest various feelings to the soul; but this ecstasy over a buttercup, this apotheosis of “small celandine,” is either intolerable affectation, or else fetishism : in those who have no other God but nature—and now-a-days their name is legion-it is the latter; the forehead which is shameless as a dog's before the purity and majesty of God, grovels in the most abject sentimentalism before the flower and the leaf. The mind which rejects the patronage of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, as unworthy the dignity of humanity, rejoices in believing itself connected by some magical and magnetic bond of association with trees and stones. When religion is derided, man falls back upon talismans; when he will not be guided by the grace of God, he delivers himself up to the influence of any thing in nature that his sickly fancy is first struck with. Mr. Bennett is bitten with this mania, and in his verses is a humble imitator of Wordsworth, with whose love of nature he tries to associate the modern socialistic universal philanthropy.
Lectures on Gold, for the instruction of Emigrants about to proceed to Australia. Delivered at the Museum of Practical Geology. Second Edition. (London, Bogue. Price 2s. 6d.) Six lectures delivered by six different professors, in which the elementary principles of geology in general, and the geological characteristics of Australia in particular, are explained to working men, and all the signs of the existence of the precious metals, together with the mode of digging them and separating
them from their matrices, are fully set forth. The last lecture treats of the history and statistics of gold-consumption and supply, and shows that we need not anticipate any perceptible depreciation in its value by the discoveries of the stores of California and Australia.
Encyclopædia Bibliographica, a library manual of theological and general literature, and guide to books for authors, preachers, students, and literary men, by James Darling (London, Darling: Col. 3328). This is a catalogue raisonnée of the extensive and useful clerical subscription-library of Mr. Darling, Great Queen Street, Lincoln's Inn, which, though containing far too great a proportion of the senseless rubbish of Protestant divines,- -even down to such small fry as “Charlotte Elizabeth,” the authoress of Peeps at Puseyites,” and the like,--ever to rank as a well-balanced and select collection, is yet sufficiently rich in patristic and deep theological literature to make it well worth the attention of the Catholic student. The library was used by Mr. Waterworth, in his late edition of “The Faith of Catholics,” and he found it “to contain, as far as the first five centuries are concerned, an almost perfect collection” of patristic theology. The catalogue is prepared with great care, and is altogether very well got up.
A Military Tour in European Turkey, the Crimea, and the Eastern Shores of the Black Sea: including routes across the Balkan into Bulgaria, and excursions in the Turkish, Russian, and Persian provinces of the Caucasian range; with strategetical observations on the probable scene of the operations of the allied expeditionary force, by MajorGeneral A. F. Macintosh (Maps. 2 vols. London, Longmans). We transcribe the whole of this long title, as giving the best insight into the nature of the work, which in its descriptive portions is terse and business-like, and in its professional parts appears to afford the explanation of what has been done and what has been left undone in the Black Sea, to the perplexity of impatient newspaper-readers at home.
The Life of Marguerite d'Angoulême, Queen of Navarre, &c., by Martha Walker Freer. (2 vols. pp. 501 and 519. London, Hurst and Blackett.) The sister of Francis I., the ally of the Crescent against the Cross, herself also favourable to the rising heresy of the sixteenth century,—this womanly and poetical queen may be expected to find favour in the eyes of the British public, though we question whether the interest of her life will carry many readers through these long volumes. We must, however, say of them, that they are carefully compiled, and full of interesting details; though the authoress is fond of finding proofs of the Protestantism of her subject in every thing, however problematical. All that can be alleged for it is, that she tried to mitigate the horrors of the sword and the stake which the civil powers were putting into force against the heretics, and that her writings contain some protests against the ecclesiastical abuses of the day. She never renounced her faith, and died in the communion of the Church; she was attended by several priests, one of whom was Olivier, as our authoress says, vol. ii. p. 505; and yet two pages on, because she made her confession only to one religious, our authoress doubts whether she died as a Catholic at all. “If on her deathbed she wished to abjure the principles which she had striven through life to maintain” (though she never professed them) “ both by her writings and example, why was not her recantation received and recorded by some prelate or other personage whose reputation would have placed his testimony above dispute, instead of a monk so obscure that his name is never mentioned in history, except as the witness of this alleged fact? Was her reconcilia
tion so insignificant, that a friar only was present during her last moments to grant her absolution ? &c.” It signifies very little to the Church whether any given individual, queen or beggar, died penitent or impenitent; so we will not discuss the question with regard to Marguerite. But can any thing show more clearly the wonderful misapprehension of Protestants with regard to the use of the Sacraments than the above quotation? A person who has led a bad life is hardly to be thought to have repented unless a great fuss is made about his reception of the last rites of the Church, and prelates and grandees are introduced in procession to his bedside, to hear a public confession, and to give absolution in the way of a solemn ecclesiastical function. These rites are for the benefit of the individual soul, not for the satisfaction of the curiosity of gossips.
Three Years' Cruise in the Australian Colonies, by R. E. Malone. (London, Bentley.). The author is a paymaster in the navy, and has a great taste for collecting statistical information on all kinds of subjects; thus his book contains a great deal of valuable information, though he is not sufficiently a master of style to be able to make it interesting. In places bis grammar is hopelessly confused.
Clara Morison, a tale of South Australia during the Gold Fever. (2 vols. London, J. W. Parker.) This is a good tale, though the authoress is rather a blue, and so makes all her heroines too literary. She is very Scotch, and not a very elegant writer; but the story is unobjectionable, and worth reading.
Narrative of a Journey through Syria and Palestine in 1851 and 1852, by C. W. M. Van de Velde, late Lieutenant Dutch R.N. (2 vols. Edinburgh, Blackwood.) Mr. Van de Velde should be called Maw
We never opened a book which is so disgustingly full of the peculiar cant of the Protestant religious world; and there is but one halfpenny worth of bread to this intolerable deal of slush. This Dutch Calvinist, this believer in an impossible God, who is the cause of Cain's sin as really as of the justice of Abel, though he owns himself to be “ tossed about by unbelief on the ocean of grace,” yet speaks of his neighbours as if he alone was on the rock; from which, like Lucretius, he felt it sweet to contemplate the rest of the world struggling in the waves, and to pity their benighted ignorance of the true God. We can't make out what made him go to the Holy Land. “ A geometrical survey of the ground in those barren regions, amid that lawless population, under such a burning sun... is the chief object of my undertaking . not to awaken sacred enotions by the contemplation of those hallowed, but often so deeply profaned spots. Such emotions are the work of His Holy Spirit, and depend not on particular places or objects.” His one idea seems to be to try to throw discredit on all the local traditions of Palestine; he set out with this intention,-as one may see from his conversation with M. de Saulcy at the commencement of his travels,—and consistently carried it through. According to him every trace of Jesus Christ is swept away from the Holy Places; and he is glad rather than otherwise that it should be so. We really cannot give his reasons for disagreeing with M. de Saulcy's particular conclusions, for we own that we found it morally impossible to wade through his volumes. His chief principle, however, seems to be, that all traditions must necessarily be false; while his principal vocation is evidently to preach sermons—and such sermons! we were about to transcribe a few sentences, but they are too nonsensical. This gentleman has quite put off the old man of a Jack-tar, and has clothed himself with all the characteristics
of a Protestant missionary; not the least of which is his great fear of getting wet through, and his determination to run no risk whatever: he was days at Malta, and talks sentimentally about St. Paul's shipwreck, but did not go to visit the spot for fear of the rain!
Evenings at Antioch, with Sketches of Syrian Life, by F. A. Neale (London, Eyre and Williams). After a preliminary description of the town and environs of Antioch, and of the great earthquake of 1822, the author, who attributes his pleasant standing with the Antiochenes to his being "no Jesuit,” gives us an account of seven evenings spent in different societies in that city, with the doleful ballads and tales that were recited by the professional bards and story-tellers on those occasions, in which he affects a dashing jovial style, ill-assorted with his Oriental materials. The book may serve to amuse for an hour, but is of no real worth.
Æsop's Fables : a new version, chiefly from original sources, by T. James; with more than 100 illustrations by J. Tenniel (London, Murray).' A good edition of fables, both ancient and modern: thé translator adheres to no particular version, and abridges and interpolates at pleasure; the morals are either omitted, or reduced to a proverbial form; the illustrations are good, but hopelessly inferior to those of M. Grandville to La Fontaine's Fables, which Mr. Tenniel has evidently seen. He has not half the fun of the Frenchman, nor half his power of humanising the animal interlocutors. However, Mr. Tenniel is evidently at home with donkeys, witness the illustrations at pp. 94, 142-4, which are very good. At p. 138 there is a good human figure; but in general, with all his facility, there is very little real fun in this artist. Some of our readers may require to be informed that Mr. Tenniel is the successor of Mr. R. Doyle as one of the artists of Punch.
A Hero of our own Times, from the Russian of Lermontof (London, Bogue). Five short tales, illustrative of Russian life in the Caucasus, written by a poetical young Russian, who lost his life in a duel in that Sclavonic Botany Bay, The Russians, painted by themselves, are not much more amiable than when painted by their foes: the book has a certain dash, but is painful, and not over moral.
Schamyl, the Sultan, Warrior, and Prophet of the Caucasus, from the German of Wagner and Bodenstedt (London, Longmans). A hasty compilation from German sources, ill-arranged and not well translated; but it contains a good deal of information on the nations of the Caucasus, and on the Russian operations there. It forms the 63d volume of the Traveller's Library.
Lady Una and her Queendom; or, Reform at the Right End, by the Author of “ Home Truths for Home Peace” (London, Longmans). We should not have mentioned such an insane book as this, except for the curiosity of its being a Protestant fancy portrait of a Protestant saint; and such a mixture of insipidity and folly, love-making and schoolteaching! A stranger arrives at a country village, where all wrongs are put right by the talismanic effect of the mention of Lady Una's name. Two lubberly boys quarrel, and the challenge is to come and swear at her grave; the culprit trembles, blusters, and confesses. Some monitress of a National School improves the occasion, and asks her companions “What did our own loved Lady Una tell us that God's word. said we must do ?” “Every face brightened and solemnised (!) at this question; and with sweet spiritual electricity, so that the first and last were heard together, a soft but heartfelt answer ran round that youthful circle," &c. &c. Pretty well, this, for a mob of NationalSchool children, is it not? There is the same nonsensical improbability