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YORK, AND ITS MEMORIES.
(from The Sunday at Home, annual edition, 1898-99,
The Religious Tract Society.)
_______________

 

Replaced in the crypt when the South Transept
was restored.

IT has been playfully said that there are some places which many of us associate chiefly with a mail or a meal!  They are somewhat passed over, because they are so much passed through.  Among such we may indicate Marseilles, Inverness and York.

    As compared with the countless multitudes who know its railway station, few, indeed, know York though every one is familiar with its fame as a city.  In past times when the north and south of England were practically far apart, York was the northern capital.  The Roman invaders settled and fortified themselves there, even as they did in London.  They gave it the name of Eboracum, which has reached its present brief form of York through Anglo-Saxon and Danish modification.

    York plays a distinct part in the Roman occupation.  It was the headquarters of the sixth legion.  The capable, unscrupulous Emperor Severus, born in Africa, died in this bleak garrison, his body being burned there and his ashes carried to Rome.  When the Empire was divided between Galerius and Constantius Chlorus, Britain fell to the share of the latter, who took up his abode in York, where he died two years later.  Here the army proclaimed his son and successor, who was afterwards known as Constantine the Great.

    From that time, or soon after, the Empire, distracted within itself, gradually withdrew its troops, and the Roman rule faded out of Britain.  Yet not before it had left well-nigh indelible marks upon York, in walls, roads, and urns, and in the curious multangular tower in the Museum gardens beside the Lendal Bridge, where we may also see the fine ruins of St. Mary's Abbey.  This multangular tower, with its nine obtuse angles, has been undoubtedly heightened during the Middle Ages, but its plan and its lower part are as the Romans left it.

    The city of York bore full share of the subsequent struggles between Britons, Saxons and Danes.  One happier legend, emerging from the clouds of that stormy time, tells us that it was in York early in the sixth century, A.D., that the half-mythical King Arthur kept the first Christmas that was ever celebrated in Great Britain.

    In this connection we may mention that there was a strange old Christmas custom in Yorkshire.  It is not long since it became extinct—if indeed it is wholly so.  Poor women, crooning a carol, used to carry round what was called the "Advent image"—a figure of Jesus, placed in a box with evergreens and any flowers obtainable.  It was thought unlucky to refuse a trifling gift to the image-bearer, and those who bestowed this were at liberty to take a leaf from the floral decorations to be stored as a sovereign remedy for toothache.  People were uneasy if they did not get a call from the image-bearer before Christmas Eve.  Indeed, there was a Yorkshire saying "As unhappy as the man who has seen no Advent-image."

    About a hundred years after Arthur's Christmas festival, the famed Paulinus arrived in the north of England, a missionary from Rome to win the country from heathendom.  He baptised the King of Northumbria and many of his subjects on Easter day, in a little wooden church on the spot where the minster now stands.

    This original and primitive building was replaced by another of stone, which, however, lay incomplete till it was taken in hand by Archbishop Wilfrid, who roofed it with lead, and put glass in the windows "to keep out the birds."  His influence was not confined to York, but extended to religious foundations in Ripon and Hexham, and even in the south, for it is said that "he taught the men of Sussex to fish while he won their souls to God."  When one reads a description of him as "a quick walker, expert in all good works, with never a sour face," one seems to know the man.

    Wilfrid's building was destroyed by fire during the Norman Conquest. [note]  William the Norman having suffered a severe check at York, exacted such fearful reprisals, that an old authority declares that "there perished in Yorkshire on this occasion, above 100,000 human beings."



    It was William the Norman and his followers who built York Castle with the grim keep called Clifford's Tower.  They are, indeed, very typical of what a plaintive Saxon chronicle recounts of the conquerors.  "They grievously oppressed the poor people by building castles, and when they were built they filled them with wicked men, or rather devils, who seized both men and women who they imagined had any money, threw them into prison, and put them to more cruel tortures than the martyrs ever endured."

    It must be admitted that the same period saw the foundation of many religious houses, such as those of Jervaulx, Rievaulx, Bridlington, romantic Bolton, stately Beverley, and secluded Fountains, which served at that time as refuge for those men who loved quiet and study, and furnished a safe retreat for noble maids and matrons, who, in the words of Walter Scott (in "Ivanhoe ") desired "to assume the veil and take shelter in convents . . . solely to preserve their honour from the unbridled wickedness of man."

    Perhaps the darkest day in the history of York Castle was in the beginning of the reign of the crusading Richard I. (1190), when a body of armed men attacked the Jews resident in the city.  Five hundred Jews carrying with them what they could, flew to the castle.  All who did not reach there soon enough were massacred outside the gate.  The Jews held the castle till famine itself invaded it; then, on the advice of an old rabbi, they fired the building, killing their wives and children with their own hands to spare them from worse horrors.  All perished together.  A few hoped to save their lives by "professing Christianity."  It was all in vain.  As soon as the last was despatched, the mob went to the cathedral, seized the register of money lent by the Jews and burned it in the nave.

    This detail serves to explain that financial bitterness was blent with "religious" and racial hatred.  The Jews had all the unpopular virtues, thrift, industry, surpassing capacity in handicraft, and a mysterious skill in drugs and medicaments.  Besides, were they not usurers?  The rude populace did not heed that these Jews were, in the end, but the unwilling collectors for the Norman lords, who when they chose, extorted their wealth from them by torture and violence.  Still less could they consider that usury was well-nigh forced on the Jews, by the "Christian" fanaticism which had barred every avenue for Hebrew aspiration, save that of money-making.

    The present minster was begun about twenty-five years after this scene of violence.  As it was not finished till 1472, it must have been far indeed from completion, when Edward III. was there married to Philippa of Hainault, their nuptials filling York, says Froissart, "with jousts and tournament in the daytime, and songs and dances in the evening, for weeks together."  Yet these festivities ended in funerals—as festivities so often do!  The Flemings attendant on the bride's relations quarrelled with the citizens, set fire to part of the city and finally had a regular battle, in which nearly eight hundred people (of both sides) were slain.

    The royal pair maintained an intimate association with York.  Sixteen years after their marriage, a little son of theirs died there, and lies buried in the minster.  A year or two later, the same queen rode from York to repel an invading army of Scots whom she defeated near Durham.

    All through the Plantagenet period York stood as the capital of the north.  Besides receiving the official presence of royalty, twelve parliaments were held in the city, and the Courts of Chancery and the King's Bench actually sat there, for some months.  The importance and the large population of York at this time may be inferred from the fact that a single epidemic is said to have carried off no fewer than eleven thousand of the citizens.

    The minster does not stand secluded among soft green lawns and noble trees.  Though of late years, good work has been done in opening up its approaches, still it stands quite in the town.  Its plan—the form of a cross, and its proportions, are of the simplest.  In the height of its roofs, it excels every other English cathedral.  It is particularly distinguished for its exquisite old stained glass—the Five Sisters' Window, so called from the mythical legend that the pattern was designed by a family of ladies—the great "rose" window in the south transept, the noble west window dating from 1330-1350, and considered one of the finest decorated windows in England, and the great east window, "the largest window in England or probably the world, still containing its original glazing."  The contract for this window, drawn up between the dean and chapter and one John Thornton of Coventry is dated 1405.  John Thornton was to receive for his own share of the work four shillings a week, and was to complete his task within three years.  We will try to arrive at the "purchasing value" of this sum at that period.  Assuming that one intrusted with such a work is likely to have been the head of a household, we find that he could have bought as follows:—

 

s. d.

Half-quarter of wheat

1 0

Half a sheep

0 4

Six pigeons

0 6

One pig

0 1

Twenty eggs

0 1

 

2 0


which would have left him half his income for the purchase of milk, small beer, fuel, clothing, the payment of rent and dues, and any saving necessary or possible.  Thus, allowing for all the difference of money value, we see that "John Thornton" did his beautiful work without any thought of luxury, though it is equally true that these greatest luxuries of all, quiet, pure air, and open country, were his without money or price.
 

    Few of the monuments in the minster are of great interest.  In the south aisle, we see the sculptured figure of Archbishop Sterne, who had played a prominent part on the Royalist side during the disaster which befel King Charles' army in the north.  The chief interest of this grave is with one who is not buried in it.  For this Archbishop Sterne was grandfather of that master humorist and unworthy man, the Rev. Laurence Sterne, who enriched English literature by his creation of the matchless "Uncle Toby."  His own virtues and vices alike belonged essentially to the camp (where for the first eleven years of his life he followed the fortunes of his father, the archbishop's son and his mother, a "suttler's daughter"), and were scarcely suited to dignities and preferments, yet family influence secured him a Yorkshire parish, and made him a prebendary before he was twenty-five.  The general frivolity of his life but deepens the pathos of its close.  He died (his death hastened, it is said, by chagrin over a rebuke) in a London lodging attended only by a hireling who drew the rings from the dead man's stiffening fingers.  He was followed to his grave in a Bayswater burying grave by mere formal mourners, while from that resting-place (so runs tradition) his corpse presently found its way to a dissecting table from which, however, it appears to have been finally rescued.  The only mark his grave ever received was put up by strangers—said to belong to a tippling fraternity!  In all his life, Sterne seems to have had but one sincere affection—an intense love for his little daughter, who afterwards perished on the Parisian scaffold during the Great French Revolution.
 

    Stored away in the minster vestry, is a curiously carved horn, which dates almost from the time of Canute the Dane.  It belonged originally to his son-in-law Ulph, who seems to have had reason to fear that his sons would quarrel over the division of his wealth.  He vowed he would make them equal, but was shrewd enough to know that nothing can be made to seem equal in the eyes of the covetous and jealous.  So he took down his horn, went to the altar of the cathedral, filled the horn with wine and drank it off, dedicating all he had to the service of God, and leaving his sons with the indisputable equality of nothing!"

    The ancient chapter house of York Minster deserves especial attention, even apart from its singular architectural beauty.  Above the stalls, we find a series of beads and figures—the latter grotesque—the former generally of a pitiless realism.  Evidently the artist-workmen of the Middle Ages had their eyes open to see how human nature underlies all conventional sanctities.  For here, we find the faces of monk and nun, lady abbess and lord bishop, set forth plainly as those of mere men and women, often mean, sensual, haughty, sly, covetous, or commonplace, but occasionally simple, pure and patient.  As for the grotesque figures, it is not always easy to grasp their symbolism.  We puzzled long over one setting forth a monkey and a lamb.  The impression one carries away is that the mediæval ecclesiasticism permitted a full share of unconventionality!  These are, as Ruskin says, "the signs of the life and liberty of every workman who struck the stone."

    As we pass out of the cathedral we notice the following appeal to the crowds of sightseers who constantly pass through it, as well as to the work people and other functionaries employed about it:—


"Whosoever thou art that enterest here,
 Wilt thou not offer before thou leavest
      a prayer to God for
 Thyself,
 For those who worship, and those who
     minister before Him in this, His  House;
 For His Holy Church throughout all the
     world?
 If thou speakest thine own words here, let
     thy voice (hushed to a whisper) show that
     thou knowest this to be the House of God.
 If thou workest with thy hands in this
     church,
 Let thy quiet and reverent demeanour
     testify that thou art in the House of the
     King of kings and the Lord of lords."


    Leaving the minster, and walking down ancient Stonegate, with its picturesque gables, we see on our right hand the restored old church of St. Michael-le-Belfry.  In its parish was born Guy Faux, the hero of that abortive and mysterious "Gunpowder Plot" which sank so deeply into the fears and prejudices of the populace that the street-boys still exhort us to "remember, remember, the fifth of November!"

    Another native of York who also attained a sinister reputation, though of another kind, was Henry Hudson, the so-called "Railway King," whose tale points a very modern "moral."  Hudson was born at York at the beginning of this century, and started in life as a shopkeeper.  But when quite a young man, a sudden accession of wealth—a fortune of £30,000—drew him from the paths of industry to those of speculation.  The then recent establishment of railways offered him a field for his money-making energy.  New lines were recklessly projected, and financed.  Hudson was elevated to the dictatorship of railway speculation.  It seemed as if everything he touched turned to gold for him and those who trusted him.  The multitude ever ready (from the time of the golden calf!) to worship any idea clad in precious metal, actually raised their favourite money-maker into a hero, and £25,000 was collected to rear him a statue, a matter worthy of all the powers of invective which Carlyle poured upon it in the seventh of his Latter Day Pamphlets.  He pertinently says:—


    "To give our approval aright—to do every one of us what lies in him, that the honourable man everywhere, and he only, have honour; that the able man everywhere be put into the place which is fit for him, which is his by eternal right: is not this the sum of all social morality for every citizen of this world?"


    He adds:—


    "Who is to have a statue? means, whom shall we consecrate and set apart as one of our sacred men?  Sacred, that all men may see him, be reminded of him, and by new example added to old perpetual precept, be taught what is real worth in man.  Whom do you wish us to resemble?"


    Of such as Hudson and other mere money-makers Carlyle asks:—


    "Are these your Pattern Men?  Great men? They are lucky (or unlucky) gamblers swollen big. . . . How much could one have wished that the making of our British railways had gone on with deliberation; that these great works had made themselves, not in five years but in fifty and five! . . . Hudson's 'worth' to railways, I think, will mainly resolve itself into this.  That he got them carried to completion within the former short limit of time:—that he got them made,—in extremely improper directions, I am told, and surely with endless confusion to innumerable passive victims, and likewise to innumerable active scrip-holders, a widespread class, once rich, now coinless—hastily in five years, not deliberately in fifty-five.  His worth, I take it, to English railways, much more to English men, will turn out to be extremely inconsiderable—to be incalculable damage rather!"


    Even before Carlyle penned that article the collapse had begun.  In 1845 it was discovered that the sum required for the mere "deposit" of the capital which was to start upwards, of twelve hundred new railways, actually exceeded by twenty millions the whole amount of English gold and notes in circulation!  This blow not only extinguished more than eleven hundred of the new schemes, but dealt a heavy shock to the already existing companies.  Wide-spread ruin was the result, and Hudson, suspected of having "cooked" companies' accounts and paid dividends out of capital, eventually disappeared into the penury and obscurity wherein at last he died.  The trouble might have been saved, if only heed had been given to the ancient warning that he who maketh haste to be rich, poverty shall come upon him."

    But York has brighter associations.  It was the birthplace of John Flaxman, the sculptor.  Though he left York for London when he was but a boy, yet, as his father was a maker of images, "it seems probable that both hereditary and early impression went to quicken the sense of beauty in one whose genius was to give form to exquisite visions of the antique world.  Flaxman himself has expressed a keen appreciation of the mission of the artist-workman who had given England her cathedrals.  So we may feel sure he did not repine when for many years he himself wrought, as in their ranks, furnishing designs for the pottery of Wedgwood.  Indeed, it was by these, and by his designs to illustrate the Iliad, Odyssey, and other classic works, that he secured what modest competency and what quiet fame fell to his share during his life.  Still, as a sculptor he did splendid work.  The rewards of fortune did not fall heavily on this gentle, modest man, with his turn for mysticism, and his winning face.  But he was happy in his home life, happy in his work, happiest of all because it seems quite true, as is stated on his grave in St. Giles-in-the-Fields, London, that "his mortal life was a preparation for a blessed immortality."

    York and its minster had not suffered much at the Reformation.  But most of the abbeys of Yorkshire were thrown in ruin, and the "religious houses" swept away.  After the wreck of the "Old Order," there was an interval of moral chaos.  The most spiritual and earnest men of both churches had been weeded out by the alternating persecutions.  As a thoughtful writer says, it was in the main the ignorant, the luke-warm, the time-serving or the weak, who kept their stations, and performed the old service or the new with equal obedience; many, indeed, with equal indifference.  "The number of the secular (or parish) clergy was about nine thousand and four hundred, and of these scarcely two hundred were deprived by the establishment of the Church under Queen Elizabeth; the rest 'conformed' again as they had already done under Queen Mary."  This state of things, while it probably gave rise to much of the wilder fanaticisms of the brief Puritan rule, was scarcely bettered by them.  At the restoration the Church's property for educational and charitable purposes was utterly misappropriated.  Her learning, too, was at a low ebb, and her personal holiness at a lower, though at the same period she could boast of exceptional men of great piety and erudition.

    The Church of that period was unable to awaken the educated classes from worldly pursuits and vanities, and it entirely failed to reach the greater part of the nation, who remained totally ignorant, rude, and brutal.  Changes of "creed" had generally been a mere matter of politic submission, and real Christianity was unknown.  We need not go farther than the art and literature of the period for confirmation of all this.  What then was likely to be the state of matters in the then well-nigh savage solitudes of Yorkshire?

    It was not wonderful, therefore, that Yorkshire was one of the places which yielded rich fruit to the devoted labours of Whitefield and Wesley.  It is scarcely fair to lay upon those preachers the onus of the extravagances into which some of their early followers fell.  Rather such may be attributed to the dense ignorance and animalism in which the bulk of the population had been left, so that their minds and hearts could scarcely be reached without producing some morbid psychological paroxysm.  As Shakespeare says:—


                  "Diseases, desperate grown,
 By desperate appliances are relieved,
 Or not at all."


    It is significant that abnormal manifestations seldom attended the spiritual awakening of those who had been well brought-up, surrounded by good influences, and fairly amenable to them.  Many such, rather readily responsive to the new teaching than startled by it, were found among the Yorkshire converts.  One of these was George Story, whose boyish nature had been so tender that he awoke o' nights regretting a stone he had thrown at a bird, who devoted his youth to self-improvement, and who had the keen insight to ask himself at Doncaster Races, "What is all this vast multitude assembled here for?  To see a few horses gallop two or three times round the course as if the devil, were both in them and the riders!  Certainly, we are all mad if we imagine that the Almighty made us for no other purpose but to seek happiness in such senseless amusements."


York Minster from the walls.


    Yet all the while he had been aware of a sense of spiritual loneliness.  He did not know his Divine Father, still less was he at one with Him.  Yet he was in that mood of diligent search for the haven of peace, when any ugly thing will serve to warn off the rocks, even if it can scarcely point to the harbour.  The life of Eugene Aram, executed for murder in Yorkshire (the story of whose "Dream" has been told by Thomas Hood), came to Story's band in the ordinary course of his printing business, and he took to heart that Eugene Aram's intellectual acquirements, such as he himself was seeking, had not sufficed to save him from theft and murder, and that therefore such matters, however desirable, were no end in themselves.  It is pleasant to know that it was at his mother's request that Story began to attend the Methodist meetings, at which he resolved to devote himself and his life to God's service.  In his humility, he was rather troubled and fearful to find he did not pass through the throes and ecstacies he saw in so many about him.  But in the end he entered into "an ever-permanent peace which kept his heart in the knowledge and love of God."

    There is rather more stir and romance in the story of another Yorkshireman, one of Wesley's earliest lay-preachers.  John Nelson heard the great preacher, while in London, engaged as a mason on the building of the Exchequer.  John was evidently an emotional and impressible man, and he felt as if Wesley had made a direct appeal to him.  He said to himself "This man can tell the secrets of my heart."  A change in Nelson was soon manifest to his acquaintances, though as a biographer says "in all his inward conflicts there was in his outward actions a coolness and steadiness of conduct which is the proper virtue of an Englishman."  The following incident may illustrate how John's change was manifest.


    "He risked his employment by refusing to work at the Exchequer on a Sunday, when his master's foreman told him that the King's business required haste, and that it was common to work on the Sunday for his Majesty (George II.) when anything was upon the finish.  But John stoutly averred that he would not work upon the Sabbath for any man in England, except it were to quench fire, or something that required the same immediate help.  'Religion,' said the foreman, 'has made you a rebel against the King.'  'No, sir,' he replied, 'it has made me a better subject than ever I was.  The greatest enemies the King has, are the Sabbath-breakers, swearers, drunkards, and whoremongers, for these pull down God's judgment both upon King and country.'  He was told that he should lose his employment if he would not obey his orders.  His answer was, 'he would rather want bread than wilfully offend God.'  'What hast thou done?' asked the foreman, 'that thou needest to make so much ado about salvation?  I always took thee for as honest a man as any I had in the work, and could have trusted thee with £500.'  'So you might,' answered Nelson, 'and not have lost one penny by me.'  'I have a worse opinion of thee now.' said the foreman.  'Master,' he replied, 'I have the odds of you, for I have a much worse opinion of myself than you can have.'  But the end was, that the work was not pursued on the Sunday, and that John Nelson rose in the good opinion of his employer."


    But it is not always thus, and those who stand on any principle must do so prepared to pay the price.  John was not called to any martyrdom then nor even when he returned to his Yorkshire home and opened his new views to his own household.  Indeed, the first great trouble of his religious life seems to have been the mandate which made him a lay preacher.  He said he would rather have been hanged on a tree, and once, when a great congregation awaited him he ran away to the fields.  John Wesley soon recognized his value, and indeed it is likely that Nelson's success decided the scheme of Methodist lay-preachers.

    But John was soon to suffer tribulation enough.  In his native village, an ecclesiastic and the publicans, indignant that he drew away the congregation of the one and the customers of the other, agreed that he should be pressed for a soldier, according to then existing methods of involuntary enlistment.  He had to learn what it is to have one's protests ignored and snubbed by those in authority, what it is to have to sleep in dungeons though not without such consolations, divine and human, as may have attended the early Christians themselves.

    He was led captive through the stately streets of York itself, where the predjudice against Methodism was then running high.  Nelson tells us: "The streets and windows were filled with people who shouted and huzzaed as if I had been one that had laid waste the nation.  But the Lord made my brow like brass, so that I could look on there grasshoppers, and pass through the city as if there had been none in it, but God and myself."  John was certainly nothing daunted; for he rebuked the officers for swearing, and told them that the only way to silence such rebukes, was not to swear in his hearing.  He told them that he would never fight, because it was against his way of thinking.  If they forced him to bear arms, he would bear them "as a cross," but that nevertheless unless he were discharged lawfully, they might be sure he would not run away.


St. Mary's Abbey.


    In short, they presently found that all they had done was to secure Methodist preaching for the regiment!  When the ensign told him with an oath that he would have no preaching or praying there, John replied: "Then surely, sir, you ought to have no swearing or cursing either: surely I have as much right to pray and preach as you have to curse and swear."  This ensign annoyed John in every way he could.  One cannot like the stalwart Yorkshire mason less because he candidly confesses:—


    "It caused a sore temptation to arise in me to think that an ignorant, wicked man should thus torment me—and I able to tie his head and heels together!  I found an old Adam-bone in me: but the Lord lifted up a standard, when anger was coming on like a flood: else I should have wrung his neck to the ground, and set my foot upon him."


    In the end, Nelson's discharge was secured through the influence of the Countess of Huntingdon.  And his work went on.

    York takes an honourable place in another movement, this time of direct social amelioration (which, important in itself, is still more important as signifying an uplifting of the general moral standpoint), to wit, the humane and scientific treatment of insanity.  The pioneer in this movement was a French doctor Pinel, and all credit must be given to the National Assembly of France, who amid the heat and frenzy of the Great Revolution, gave him every encouragement and furtherance.  Almost simultaneously, the same movement was made by William Tuke, a member of the Society of Friends in York.  We may mention that George Fox was once a prisoner in York castle, and his Society has always been, and still is, an active power in the city, having a large meeting-house in Clifford-street, and adult Sunday-schools and other agencies in the poorer parts of the city.

    Previous to the time of Pinel and Tuke, therefore up to the very end of the last century, society had recognised no duty towards the insane.  The unfortunate lunatic was unnoticed, unhelped and unguarded, until such time as his state had become hopeless and dangerous, when he was loaded with chains and flung into a madhouse dungeon.  Even there his misery was exposed to the heartless mirth and cruel baiting of the public.  While the last scene of Hogarth's Rake's Progress shows what the interior management of a madhouse used to be, partial convalescents were turned out of doors, labelled, to wander and beg.  The very "medical treatment" of these unfortunates consisted of exasperations which might well have driven the sane into frenzy.  So many "lashes" were prescribed, or "surprise baths" or "rotating chairs."  The attendants, few in number, were generally the lowest and worst of mankind.

    In Great Britain, therefore it was William Tuke of York who inaugurated an order of things at once more scientific and more humane.  It was he who began to show that insanity in itself is a disease and not a crime, and that all the patient needs is the fit regimen and the proper amount of seclusion calculated either to bring about his cure, or to prevent him from being a torment or a risk to society.  In learning to regard insanity as an affliction to be assuaged and not a crime to be punished, people ceased to conceal it, and it became, at least in its acuter manifestations, more amenable to treatment.

    The "Retreat," Tuke's Asylum, which thus has the honour of being the first in which the humaner principles were applied, is on the Neslingden Road, outside Walmgate Bar.  Returning to the heart of the city we pass under the Walmgate and follow a long, irregular old street, now in somewhat "reduced circumstances," but still rich in fine old churches.  We notice a quaint and picturesque Merchants' Hall, approached through an archway, surmounted by a brilliantly-coloured coat of arms and bearing the motto "God give us good adventure."  Out of the old streets, branch many narrow passages opening into little courts, some surrounded by tidy family dwellings, and others by the little almshouses of some of the charitable foundations with which York abounds.



    Indeed, though the minster will always remain the crowning glory of York, yet it has many other interests and is full of picturesque "bits."  Besides the Walmgate its other four old gates still stand—the Monk Gate, "most perfect specimen of this sort of architecture in the kingdom, the Mickle Gate, ending an old street of noble proportions, and many stately houses," Fishergate, dating from the fourteenth century, and Bootham Bar, beside which we find the quaint old Manor House, where kings have lodged and where the blind are now sheltered and trained, while hard by stands the Yorkshire Fine Art and Industrial Institution, with a good permanent gallery, and excellent accommodation for loan collections.

    Before we passed Bootham Bar we had noticed a Girls' Training Home.  We had not passed it far before we came on the buildings of the Salvation Army, and in the same street we saw a boy in the uniform of the newspaper brigade.  The Christian Associations of young men and young women are also in full evidence.

    The churches of York are numerous, and most of them are interesting for their antiquity, their architecture and for the delightfully restful old-world air which surrounds them.  Every dissenting denomination seems represented in the city, and generally by large and handsome houses of worship.  The chief municipal buildings, including the fine old Guildhall, are to be found in Coney Street which is the favourite shopping promenade.  Almost all the streets of old York can delight the eye of the artist and the heart of the dreamer.  They have some old mansions too, which seem the ideal dwellings of "merchant princes."  But, alas, in the newer and humbler outskirts we find too much of the petty monotonous uniformity which seems the special architectural feature of the present century.

    Still, the memory we carry from York is of turret and tower, gable and gate, as we beheld them, either from her old walls, or when resting under the stately trees beside the quiet Ouse.


ISABELLA FYVIE MAYO.

 
Note.
Fire has seemed to be the evil genius of York Minster.  Even in the present century it has suffered severely.  One conflagration, the work of a maniac, cost £65,000 to repair.  Another arose from the carelessness of a workman.


――――♦――――
 

 

(from The Sunday at Home, annual edition, 1898-99,
The Religious Tract Society.)
_______________


THERE are certain corners of England, quiet enough now, whose quietness makes us realise how the course of national life may change, and how it seems to be mercifully inevitable that battle-grounds shall blossom into cornfields and meadows, and that the peaceful ploughshare shall turn up the rusted weapons of the forgotten warrior.

    There is perhaps no part of England that is to-day more peaceful in aspect than those rich agricultural counties often grouped together under the name of the "Fen Country."  Two of the most sympathetic poets of our time, Alfred Tennyson and Jean Ingelow, have been laureates of this land, and have stored our consciousness with imagery of "haunts of ancient peace," and of "cowslip time when hedges sprout."  Even the tragedies of these poets are but of the silent heart-agony of "Mariana" in the lonely grange with its shivering poplar, where


"For leagues no other tree did mark
 The level waste, the rounding gray,"


or of the great unmalicious forces of Nature, as when the "High Tide" comes up—


"And boats adrift in yonder towne
 Go sailing up the market-place."


    Yet these peaceful fields have been the scene of battles as fierce and wild as any; and these placid lowland agriculturists must mingle in their veins the blood of forefathers of varied and warlike races, who, each in its turn, surrendered the land to a new invader.

    From the very beginning of British history this Fen country had been a point where stand was made against invasion.  There the ancient Britons rallied against the Romans long after the rest of the country was subdued.  Here, when the Roman power was fading, the British made another stand against the Saxons; and again, when the Saxons were incorporated with the native race, it was here they withstood the onslaught of the Danes, and when the Danes in their turn had settled down in the land, had intermarried with Angles and Saxons, and rebuilt the stately abbeys which their sires had destroyed, here, once more, was the last unavailing stand made against the haughty Norman conquerors.

    In its natural aspects the fen country is very different from what it was in those dark and stormy days, and indeed it had passed through changes even then.  The Romans found it a great swampy jungle within the compass of whose marshes and quagmires lay many veritable inland islets—as the Isle of Ely itself—slight elevations often surrounded by water, but never covered by it, and so offering favourable situation for camps or temples.  The Romans seem to have cut down much of the forest, and they drove one of their great roads through the heart of the country, probably on the line of some rude British highway.  They raised certain embankments to protect this from the waters, but when the Romans went away the waters reasserted themselves despite such efforts as the successive Saxons and Danes might make in those distracted times, and in due course the whole district lapsed back into morass.  No effectual method of dealing with it by drainage seems to have been attempted till the reign of Charles I., and even then the work proceeded with many interruptions, and was not perfected till comparatively recent times [Ed.—see Samuel Smiles on Telford].  Before this, locomotion in the fens was often accomplished on stilts; and the fens boys still love to play at walking on these—the necessity of their forefathers having become their pastime.  A local authority says that the only piece of "real old fen" existing at the present day "is is found near Burwell, south of Ely and east of the Cam."

    The traditions of the early British fen dwellers are lost in the mist of the past, and our first defined knowledge of the place belongs to the Saxon period.  It was a Saxon princess Etheldreda, who founded the first conventual church of Ely.  Etheldreda was twice married, and the "Isle of Ely" came to her through her first husband.  She spent many of the last years of her life in the cloisters which she attached to her foundation, numerous servants and retainers following her to its retirement.



    Undoubtedly the site of Etheldreda's conventual establishment had been originally selected from the same considerations which afterwards directed the foundation of the neighbouring establishment of Ramsey, concerning which the antiquarian Sharon Turner gives us many interesting particulars in his "History of the Monk of Ramsey."  To ecclesiastical promptings that a monastery should be founded in the district, the Saxon "ealdorman," the elder of the local tribe, commended a site on Ramsey, in the following terms (most of which, it will be seen, would have been equally applicable to Ely).  He had, he said, "some hereditary land surrounded with marshes, and remote from human intercourse.  It was near a forest of various sorts of trees, which had several open spots of good turf, and others of fine grass for pasture.  No buildings had been upon it save some sheds for his herds who had manured the soil."  The bishop and the landed proprietor went together to view the land.  "They found that the waters made it an island.  It was so lonely and yet had so many conveniences for subsistence and secluded devotion that the bishop decided it to be an advisable station.  Artificers were collected.  The neighbourhood joined in the labour.  Twelve monks came from another cloister to form the new fraternity.  Their cells and a chapel were soon raised.  In the next winter they provided the iron and timber and utensils that were wanted for a handsome church.  In the spring amid the fenny soil a firm foundation was laid.  The workmen laboured as much for devotion as for profit."

    This circumstantial account of the growth of Ramsey would doubtless serve equally well for that of its earlier neighbour at Ely, and of many another religious establishment of that time and district.  Some of these have totally passed away, while others linger in ruin, and only a few, like Ely, have cast roots so strong that they can adapt themselves to changed conditions and still hold their own in our national life.

    The tomb of one of Etheldreda's attendants, Ovin her steward, is now to be seen in Ely Cathedral.  It was found, some years ago, in a neighbouring village where it had been used as a horse block.  As it is now it shows the lower portion of a stone cross with a pedestal round which runs a Latin inscription in Roman characters (save for the Saxon E).  Translated it reads, "Grant, O God, to Ovin Thy light and rest."  It appears that Ovin is a "Welsh" name, which means a name of aboriginal Britain, and it is likely that when Ovin followed his mistress to Ely, he, or at least some immediate ancestor, was not a stranger there, since aboriginal Britons had held Ely long after the Saxons had taken hold of most of England.

    Bede tells us that Etheldreda was in the habit of spending her nights in prayer; that she took only one meal daily; and among other proofs of her sanctity he mentions that she never wore linen, but only woollen.  It is significant that nineteenth century sanitary wisdom would certainly recommend this attire in the damp climate of the Fens, where in winter, or wet seasons, the rivers still overflow the "Wastelands" and give the local people opportunity to become the fleetest skaters of the land.  There, too, in the olden days the blue lights of the "Will o' the Wisp," flitting over the marshes, must often have added the superstitious horror of fiendish presence to all the other miseries of poor fugitives, plashing in the damp earth, and hiding from their foe amid dank reeds and rushes, or at best groping in their little round huts, scarcely yet modified from those of the ancient Britons—beehive in shape, windowless, with a hole in the roof to let out the smoke.

    What havens of light and warmth and safety the great monastic houses must have seemed in such times!  In their imperfect way they stood as outward signs of the spiritual shelter to be found in the church of the living God, as well as of the strength and purpose of the Saxon lawgivers.  For whatever the limitations inevitable to their period, and whatever the practical shortcomings common to human nature, these had at least an ideal.  The dawn was with them.  Even the Saxon kingship, though commonly assigned within one family, was, within that range, subject to election, the original purpose for which a king was chosen being always kept in sight— to wit, that he should be a person capable of carrying on the government and of conducting the enterprises of the nation.  Large tracts of land remained public property—the "folks-land"—the few "common-lands" of the England of to-day being the poor remnants of this, the remainder having been converted into "crown-land " under the feudal spirit of Norman conquest.

    Saxon legislation, as traced to the time of Alfred, was laid down, theoretically, on such lines as these: "Ever as any one shall be more powerful here in the eyes of the world, or through dignities higher in degree, so shall he the more deeply make compensation for his sins, and pay for every misdeed the more dearly, because the strong and the weak are not alike and cannot raise a like burthen."  And again, "Let every deed be carefully distinguished, and doom ever be guided justly according to the deed, and be modified according to its degree before God and before the world; and let mercy be shown for dread of God, and kindness be willingly shown, and those be somewhat protected who need it, because we all need that our Lord oft and frequently grant His mercy to us."

    It must be owned, however, that the Saxons frankly admitted a mercenary spirit into their code.  Almost every offence, even murder, could be expiated by money.  In the case of the death or injury of a freeman, this "compensation" was paid to his relatives; if the sufferer were a slave, to his master.  It was a more "costly" offence to deprive a man of his beard than of his leg!  Any offender who failed to duly "compensate" could be made a slave.  Anglo-Saxons could become slaves only in this way, or by being sold in infancy by their parents.  Also anybody over thirteen years of age was free to sell himself.  Most of the slaves, however, were conquered Celts—aboriginal Britons.

    Etheldreda died, in 679, of an affection of the throat, which tradition says she regarded as a "judgment" on her youthful fondness for necklaces!  It is surely a much more significant "judgment "that her stately name of Etheldreda or "Noble Strength" has been vulgarised into "Awdrey," and that her memory has been familiarly perpetuated to more modern times by "St. Awdrey's Fair," at which—possibly in remembrance of her feminine weakness—pilgrims used to buy chains of lace or silk which had been laid upon her shrine and which were called "St. Audrey's Chains."  In time their flimsy texture and gaudy colouring gave rise to the word "tawdry" an attribute indeed at the opposite pole from "noble strength!"

    Etheldreda, who had been the first abbess on her own foundation, was succeeded by her sister and then by other Saxon princesses.  The district lay in peace, except for petty feuds and minor incursions of Northmen, for nigh two hundred years.  Then in 870 came that awful Danish invasion which desolated England early in the reign of the great Alfred.  At that period the Isle of Ely and its abbey fell into the hands of the fierce sea warriors.  The fare was burnt, and the inhabitants of the establishment put to the sword.

    After that no restoration was attempted for fully a hundred years.  Indeed, the Saxon kings who succeeded Alfred employed the revenues of Ely for their own private purposes, some of them still having Danish incursions to contend with.  At last, in 970, the Bishop of Winchester, by direction of King Edgar, restored the monastery.  This King Edgar's character seems to have gained a false gloss of sanctity through the mercenary gratitude of his monkish chroniclers.  For this "builder of churches," as he was dubbed, was a thoroughly bad man, who did not scruple to violate convents and to forcibly carry away unwilling women—a terrible crime at any period of the world's history, but of appalling significance at a period when the generally recognised sanctity of these retreats made them the last and only hope of unguarded innocence or helpless bereavement.

    The abbey, as built at this Saxon period, is said to have been a stately stone edifice crowned by a tower and a steeple to guide wayfarers among the meres and swamps.  It was put under the rule of the Benedictine order, and from this time dates the abbey's character for boundless hospitality, which was so extended that during the troubles of the next century its demesne gained the honourable name of the "Camp of Refuge."

    Not long after King Edgar's death the new building at Ely received a visit from his widowed Queen Elfrida (stepmother to his son and successor Edward).  She was accompanied by her own little child Ethelred.  The little prince, probably instigated by his mother, vowed a special devotion to Ely's patron saint St. Etheldreda, and doubtless there were many solemn services and much stately pageantry.  But all the time, two awful crimes were crystallising in the breast of the dowager-queen, though she, as the widowed mother of an only son, seemed doubtless rather a touch of pathos on the brilliancy.

    Elfrida's stepson Edward had succeeded to his father's crown when he was thirteen.  Ere he was seventeen he was dead, stabbed in the back by one of his stepmother's servants while she herself held him in courteous parley and gave him a cup to drink.  She was already guilty of the murder of Brithnoth, the first abbot of Ely, which she had brought about with such diabolic cunning that his corpse bore no trace of violent death, and her wicked deed would have gone unsuspected but that when remorse finally overtook her for her treacherous dealing with her light-hearted, loving step-son, she confessed this crime also.

    It is said that this traitor-like method of despatching enemies or "obstacles," by stabbing them in the back while offering them a friendly cup, became so common among the Anglo-Saxons as to give rise to the custom of each one requiring another of the company to be his "pledge," who, when he stood up to drink, should stand up also, facing him drawn sword in hand, to protect him if required.  Such was the origin of a drinking practice which, in modified form, persists to this day—which is, indeed, incarnated in the "loving cup."  For as each person rises and takes this in his hand to drink the man seated next to him rises also, and when the latter takes the cup in his turn the individual next to him does the same.  Alas! were we to search out the origin of many of the so-called "fine manners and customs of the olden time" we should find them rooted in the grim needs of elemental savagery!

    Violent and cruel blood therefore mingled in the veins of Elfrida's own son Ethelred, when his mother's crime thus set him on the throne.  When he could not succeed in buying off the invading Danes, who perpetually harassed his coasts, he resolved to massacre any of the race found throughout his kingdom.  This only drew down the invasions of the Danish King Sweyn and his son Canute.  The conflict ended in Canute's great victory in Essex when "all the English nation fought against him," and all the "nobility of the English race was there destroyed."  Canute soon found himself in almost undisputed dominion.  But he proved a conqueror of rare calibre for those days—perhaps for any.  For though he taxed the English people heavily to reward his Danish followers, yet, on the human and social side, he proved himself a wise prince, for he determined to reconcile the English to his rule, and to this end sent back to Denmark as many Danes as he could spare, restored and upheld Saxon customs, made no distinction between Danes and English in the distribution of justice, but sought to protect the lives and goods of all alike.  He had his reward in finding that presently his English troops went against his enemies not only honestly but with loyalty and zeal.  In those days, when the king checked his flatterers by his famous object lesson on the Sussex beach, or bade his rowers lift their oars while he listened to the Ely psalm-singing, it seems as if English life really had happier auguries than it had had since the later years of Alfred the Great, or was to have again for many a long year afterward.

    Another pleasant incident connects Canute and Ely.  It appears that he went to visit the abbey at the beginning of February in a hard winter when all the waters were frozen.  The courtiers, probably afraid for themselves, protested against the monarch trusting himself on the treacherous ice.  But Canute declared that if only one bold fenner would go ahead to point the way, he himself would be the next to follow.  Such a fenner was found in the person of one Brithmer, a serf, nicknamed the Pudding, because he was so fat.  When Canute, who was a small light man, saw him, he said, "If the ice can bear thy weight, it can well bear mine.  Go on and I follow."  And so they did, and so one by one the courtiers plucked up heart and advanced also.  Then King Canute made the serf Brithmer a free man, and gave him some land, which Brithmer's posterity held for many generations.



    King Canute seems to have had a particular kindness for the great church at Ely, for he brought his wife Queen Emma to visit it, and she made rich offerings of jewelled embroideries at the shrines of St. Ethelreda and the other saints.

    A chequered and troubled life had this Queen Emma, and it may serve as a type of many that must have been like it, more or less, among humbler folk, in those difficult times.  Emma was a Norman princess, who, in due time, numbered among great-nephews no less a personage than William the Conqueror himself.  She had been married in her youth to the cruel King Ethelred, who arranged the massacre of the Danes.  She was the mother of his children.  She must have had little sympathy indeed with her first husband, for she seems to have had no hesitancy in becoming the second wife of his triumphant conqueror Canute.  She saw the sons of her Saxon spouse set aside for her Danish son, in whose interest she stipulated that her stepson, Canute's own eldest-born, should be passed over also.  Such a state of things could only lead to fratricidal quarrel.  After Canute's death, her eldest Saxon son coming to claim his rights, was taken to prison and blinded, and soon died in the monastery of Ely, in reach of the rich offerings presented by his unnatural mother.  Her own Danish son eventually succeeding his Danish half-brother, loaded his stepbrother's dead body with ignominy and hastened to oppress his Saxon subjects.  His speedy death made way for Edward the Confessor, Emma's remaining Saxon son, who, resenting her treatment of himself and his dead brother, deprived the queen of the enormous wealth she had amassed, and obliged her to pass the rest of her life in conventual seclusion.

    Among her other strange experiences, she underwent a trial by the ordeal of walking among hot ploughshares.  By doing this she was supposed to prove her innocence of whatever charge was brought against her.  But, as the test was in the hands of the clergy, whose favour she had won by her immense benefactions, there is little doubt that they had skill and cunning to arrange the matter.

    Such was the royal family history and one woman's career in that stormy period.  Yet terrible as were the deeds enacted, these people were probably weak rather than wicked, and became great criminals only by the strange complication of circumstances surrounding them.  To some of them their closing days in the convent cell, even as prisoners, may often have been welcomed as a quiet rest and a sure retreat, where they might at last enjoy


"A peace above all earthly dignities. . . ."


    The next epoch in the history of Ely was the gallant stand made by the English squire Hereward against William the Conqueror.  Kingsley's story of "Hereward the Wake" gives a graphic picture of the times and their struggle, though it has been shown that the noble lineage which he assigns to Hereward, and the domestic circumstances with which he surrounds him, have no foundation in historic fact.  The abbey was finally surrendered to the Conqueror by Abbot Thurstan, the capitulation being hastened, it is whispered, by monkish impatience under the short rations imposed by a state of siege.  Hereward himself, with his men, had previously succeeded in marching out, and eventually made peace with William.  The resistance of Ely, however, had been so stout that the Conqueror dealt severely with it, stripping it of its jewels and furniture, and dividing its lands among the Norman nobles.  In this matter, however, he soon met with an unexpected check.  The Norman monk whom he presently appointed Abbot of Ely, insisted on the restoration of all the gold and precious things.  Norman knights and soldiers were quartered in the abbey, sharing the refectory with the Saxon monks.  It is one more commentary on the little hatred which really exists between races (save as promoted by ambitious leaders or evil governments) that, despite all that had so recently passed, the Saxon monks and their Norman visitors grew so friendly that when, by-and-by, the Norman soldiery were withdrawn to fight the Conqueror's battles against his own contumacious sons, the Saxon monks accompanied them on their way with solemn song and procession, and they all parted with mutual expressions of regret and goodwill.

    The foundation of the present cathedral was laid at this period, and parts of the Norman work still remain.  In the reign of Henry I. the first Bishop of Ely was appointed.

    The cathedral, as it stands now, is said to completely illustrate the history of Church architecture in England from the Conquest to the Reformation.  It is most interesting to note the child-like simplicity with which some of the earlier builders went about their work, caring nothing for the "symmetry and finish" for which so much is sacrificed nowadays.  Its special features are its wonderful octagon tower, the "only Gothic dome in existence," and its "lady chapel," both the work of the famous ecclesiastic architect, Alan de Walsingham, who for some reason was prevented by the Pope from becoming Bishop of Ely as the monks desired.  The "lady chapel," now known and used as Trinity Church, is but the very wreck of its former self.  Of the innumerable careen figures which once adorned it, all suffered damage at the hands of Cromwell's soldiery.  One only remains entire.  The sacrist said it represented Philippa, queen of Edward III., and that other effigies of hers elsewhere had likewise escaped injury.  This chapel was once as gorgeous in colouring as in carving, but as Cromwell's troopers chipped it, so somebody else has whitewashed it!

    Another object of great interest is an old Norman doorway, formerly the prior's entrance from the cloisters.  It is richly decorated on the exterior.  Above the door are figures of the Saviour with two angels, while at each side are three pilasters covered with running foliage and with medallions containing figures of flowers, birds, animals, and even scenes of human life, in some of which the old-world sculptor has indulged a sense of humour, as in the one near the ground, where a man and a woman in a boat are rowing different ways!

    The cathedral contains memorials of many people, especially ecclesiastics, famous in their day, but whose names mean little now.  Among the bishops of Ely, however, are two of whom it is worthy of remark that words of theirs have grown familiar to millions who have never heard of the men themselves.  Thomas Goodrich, who was a zealous promoter of the Reformation, and was Bishop of Ely from 1534 to 1554, was the compiler of those two statements as to our duty to God and our duty to our neighbour, which give such a practical and universal value to the English Church Catechism. He seems to have been devoted to the labours of his see.  He built a gallery between the cathedral and the bishop's palace opposite the west end of the cathedral, so that he might readily pass to and fro.  The gallery no longer exists, though it has given its name to the road that it crossed.  The front of the palace still bears the arms of Bishop Goodrich, supported on either side by panels carved respectively "Duty towards God," and "Duty towards our neighbour."

    It seems but appropriate that the exquisite prayer "for all sorts and conditions of men" was composed by a bishop of the district which had been the "camp of refuge" for Briton, Saxon, Dane, and Norman.  The large charity which commends to God's fatherly goodness "all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed, in mind, body, or estate," makes Bishop Gunning seem as a personal friend, to each of us, since all of us are folded in his prayer.

    The precincts of the cathedral are full of interesting buildings, of which the most remarkable is a little Norman chapel dating from about 1321.  For many years it was left neglected, choked by three floors which were inserted to be used as store-places.  It has now been put in order and carefully preserved, though its windows have been filled with stained glass containing figures so heroic in size that they seem to crowd up its tiny dimensions.  It is used as the Chapel of the Cathedral Grammar School, to whose purposes other of the monastic buildings are now devoted, among these the stately old porter's lodge, dating from a hundred years later than the little Norman chapel.

    Ely itself is a quiet sleepy place; all its life, wealth, and culture, are evidently concentrated in its glorious cathedral, which dominates the landscape.  Beyond the little green opposite the west front we find the parish church of St. Mary, almost as old as the cathedral, though it does not seem to have been allowed to gather to itself the softening graces of antiquity.

    As we wandered in the rather dreary churchyard, we caught sight of a tablet outside the church, whereon we read the following inscription:—


"Here lye interred in one grave, the bodies of William Beamiss, George Crow, John Dennis, Isaac Henley, and Thomas South, who were all executed at Ely on the 28th June, 1816, having been convicted at the special assizes holden there, of divers robberies during the riots at Ely and Littleport in the month of May in that year.  May their awful fate be a warning to others."


    That slab serves a good purpose for which it was not intended.  It is a milestone to show us how far both legislation and public feeling have advanced in the course of the century.  We have ceased to hold life forfeit for theft of any kind.  Nor can we help remembering that at the date in question, the necessitous classes were driven well-nigh to despair.  For, owing to continental wars and unfavourable seasons, food was at its very dearest.  Trade was bad, and the number of unemployed was increased by discharged soldiers and sailors, already trained in deeds of violence.  Machinery had just appeared on the industrial stage, to the further bewilderment of the worker, who could see in it only a mysterious entity which snatched from his mouth the bread which was already but too scanty.  The country was lit by incendiary fires, and the manufacturing towns resounded with the smashing of machines yet such crimes were little more than the inarticulate expression of unutterable misery.  Says a popular song of that day:—


"Father clemmed thrice a week,
 God's will be done!
 Long for work did he seek,
 Work he found none.
 Tears on his hollow cheek
 Told what no tongue could speak:
 Why did his master break?
 God's will be done!"


    But apart from the capital punishment for robbery—and apart from the evidently entire lack of consideration of the dire need and bitter oppression which "drives men mad"—let us dwell for a moment on the spirit which could put up such a "warning " to meet the eyes of those who approached to worship God—gentle old folks, happy children; perhaps some woeful creatures akin in blood or love to the men who had perished on the scaffold!  But no; for how could such come near that slab?  God's house would be henceforth closed to those who most sorely needed its shelter and its rest.  Did the people who put up that awful monument—well-intentioned people, probably—ever think of the closing scenes of the Master's life?  Did they remember that His latest words to humanity were spoken to a dying thief, and that the thief, guilty as he was, could understand and love Jesus, when the priest and the Pharisee saw in Him but a pernicious destroyer of public peace?



    The thought of "man's inhumanity to man," casts its shadow over us, as we wander down among the soft green meadows till we reach the riverside, whence the cathedral looks fairest and stateliest as it lifts its noble towers above the red-roofed housetops.  We have been spending time among memories and monuments of storm and struggle, of the darkest passions and keenest agonies.  We see that even the very "Camp of Refuge," blessed as it must have seemed to many a poor wanderer, could offer no sanctuary from all the worst evils that beset human life and character.  But after all, God knew them all and each—each of those poor fugitives, each of those hunted, bewildered women.  He could "comfort and relieve them, according to their several necessities He could give them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions."  Sitting there in the spring sunlight with the silver waters spreading wide around, we could pray.


"Remembering others as we have to-day
 In their great sorrows, let us live alway
 Not for ourselves alone, but have a part
 Such as such frail and erring spirits may
 In Love which is of Thee, and which indeed Thou art!"


I. FYVIE-MAYO.

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