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Of women mighty in all good deeds,
And “ladies elect” in widows' weeds;
Of Nero's circus when games began,
Where each blazing torch was a living man;
Of caves which ramify under Rome,
Where the threatened Christians foun a home,
Holding a church in a catacomb.

These, and the like, each student still
Can read and ponder as he will;
Yet one old legend may be spared,
Culled from a myriad undeclared.

Here followeth then, in modern phrase, Baronius' story of ancient days:

Constantia, sister of Constantine,
Was given to thought of things divine :
Sylvester had laid upon her head
Baptismal blessing before she wed,
And so, at Rome in the holy place,
She followed the fashion of her race-
Owning herself by the bishop's hands
No longer subject to Satan's bands.

Her husband, Caius Licinius,
While in the East grew mutinous,
And, fighting against his rightful liege
At Nicomedia, lost the siege;
Ending at last a conquered lord,
And dying under the headsman's sword.
She then, a widow, dwelt peacefully,
And wished to pray in obscurity,
Quietly waiting for the day
When mortal troubles shall pass away.

Yet was her fate of another sort:
Her brother replaced her in his court,
And there, beset upon every side
With words of praise and with thoughts of pride,
Her life shone out like a splendid star,
And cast its lustre serene and far.

At Nicomedia was a man-
Eusebius, the historian-
Who in his volume says that he
Has seen the Christ of Calvary.
Not in His mortal shape alone-
For three whole centuries then had flown-
But still in image as rarely true
As any mortal might dare to view.
He saw St. Paul and St. Peter, too;
And these were portraits, preserved with care,
Whose tone and tinting were wondrous fair.

Him had Constantia questioned much
Of these sweet relics, and other such ;
And he, as Bishop of Palestine,
Told her about that One Divine;
Yet said no more to describe the face,
Than here I say in this later place.
Of Peter and Paul he talked with ease,
And spoke of the famed symbolic keys;
He mentioned the painter's skill and art,
The feeling of truth in every part,
The certainty which his mind received
That these were faces to be believed.

-But always he stopped most reverently
At the last description of the three,
Not telling his vision openly.

Constantia often longed, in vain,
To cause the Bishop to be more plain;
And finally, after years of thought,
Grew wholly bent upon what she sought.
The Christ of Calvary, raised on high,
Ascending never again to die,
Had left behind Him this holy trace,
This one true likeness, this perfect face:
And if, by means which were still untried,
She too might see it before she died,
This would repay her waiting years,
Her faithful vigils, and prayerful tears.

To Nicomedia then she went
On such an errand of pure intent;
But, finding Eusebius far from thence,
Active in all benevolence,
And busied with matters of the Church,
She wrote him letters about her search :
" Where could this face of Christ be found ?
In what abode of the region round?
Who was its guardian? Who possessed
This treasure rarer than all the rest ?
Where was its crypt, or cave, or chest ?
Let him send it, that she might view
That very Christ the apostles knew !”.

Again and again did words like these
Follow him over his diocese,
Until, as she would not be denied,
The bishop Eusebius replied:

“You wish,” he writes, " that myself should send
The image of Christ, to you, my friend;
But tell me fairly and candidly,
What do you think that this may be ?
Is it that one unchanged and true
Which has no age, and is ever new,
Which bore our nature, yet kept its own,
And which is the right of God alone ?
With this I trust you are not concerned,
Since you, from the Scriptures having learned,
Cannot mistake the Apostle's speech,
"That none may ever the knowledge reach
Of God the Father, save God the Son;
Nor can there be found a single one
To know the Son, save the Father only.'
In short, that here is an image lonely
Which none may touch and which none attain
So long as sin and ourselves remain.

“ Nor do I think that image meant
When God and man, in one person blent,
Trod the stained earth with His sinless feet;
Felt in His bosom our sorrows beat;
Bore in Himself our human fears;
Wept over us such Godlike tears;
Died for our sake such a human death ;
Rose for our sake with such Godlike breath ;-
That truly these are so woven in,
The sinful with that which cannot 'sin,
The human with that which is all divine,
As no mere mortal can well define.

“ Who, therefore, by colors so dead and cold,
Can show the splendor which shone of old,
Can paint the God and the Man-that face
In its mortal, and yet immortal grace?
Who, by a picture transitory,
Can tell one half of the holy story?
For they who loved Him the first and chief,
Who held to Him with the best belief;
When on the mountain, apart from men,
Saw him too wondrous for tongue or pen;
And, falling prone at the awful sight,
Could not endure so great a light!

“ If, then, His figure, when here on earth,
Received such power from His sacred birth;
If this dear Saviour could not be known
When here, apart from the Father's throne-
What must it be, when now He reigns
Above the torment of human pains ?
No painted image can reach Him there-
No artist's pencil His face declare.

"I do not send you the likeness, then.
Far better than this may be yours; for when
You search your heart as you search the land,
And plan with zeal as you now have planned ;
When thought goes out to all holy things;
When your soul has eyes and your prayers bave wings;
When the hardest toil of our common lot
Becomes transformed, and its pain is not;
When penitence for the sinful life
Wields the armor for nobler strife-
Then, at last, you are near your goal,
For the face of the Lord is upon your soul,
And faith, in your faithful life, can see
The image of Christ of Calvary.”

And here Baronius turns the page
And adds long records of saint and sage;
The old black-letter runs on again,
Like a turbid stream after summer-rain,
But I close the book, for its tale is told-
That story new, though it seemeth old.
And I sit in silence, since here indeed
The dead have written for me to read.

OUR CIVIL SERVICE.

THERE are many weighty problems Cabinet, and other legislative and execubefore the country in connection with tive authorities might rise at least in the reconstruction and the regeneration public estimation in proportion to the of the Southern States, and with finan- additional prize-money exacted from cial and fiscal affairs; but these, and the country for their retainers. other questions, are all subordinate in But these satellites of the executive importance to that relating to the or- and legislative planets are not only paid ganization of the civil service of the by the state, instead of being paid by United States.

the luminaries around whom they reAt present there is no organization volve, but they rob the state; they missave that of corruption; no system save manage public business, and bring free that of chaos; no test of integrity save institutions into disrepute by proclaimthat of partisanship; no test of qualifi- ing to the world that representative cation save that of intrigue.

government can only be maintained by The consequence is, that the revenue subsidizing organized bands of mercelaws are not executed, for the want of nary office-holders, and by securing the faithful officers; and these and other boon of political liberty at the cost laws are imperfectly applied, for the of morality and of the culture and want of competent functionaries. attainments requisite for the public

In local, general, and Presidential service. elections, the whole country is thrown If republican institutions cannot be into convulsions; and who would im- maintained except by holding out agine that these demonstrations of pub- bribes to voters, it would at all events lic liberty are converted into engines of be more economical and respectable for public demoralization ? But in the pres- the United States Government to make ent chaos of the civil service it is so. a bargain with each person elected to Every man elected to State or national legislative and executive offices, paying executive or legislative positions, prom

him a certain amount for his expenses ises offices to a number of citizens who at the poll or in the State legislatures, vote for him, and the great majority and reserving to itself the power of of the hundreds of thousands of office- appointing public officers who have holders of the United States are virtu- undergone examinations and passed the ally nothing else than political merce- tests prescribed by Mr. Jenckes's Civil naries, who are paid by the state, in- Service bill. But to pay the gentlemen stead of being paid by the individual who help the honorable Representatives whom their votes lift into power.

from the different States to their respecIf one hundred thousand mercenaries tive seats, or eminent politicians to secwere actually paid in cash by the state retaryships, collectorships, and foreign at the average rate of two thousand missions, by conferring upon them pubdollars, the country would know that it lic offices, allotted geographically or is bled annually to the extent of two indiscriminately, and then to incur the hundred million dollars; and resign risk of their robberies, blunders, and itself by adding this amount to the mismanagements of every kind, is not general cost of representative govern- only intolerable upon the score of total ment; and Congressmen and Custom depravity, but also upon that of total house Directors, and members of the stupidity, and one of two things is sure

to happen: either the Republic must inspired by the traffic in public offices break up this systematized demorali was quelled by the greater indignation zation, or it will break up the Repub aroused by the supremacy of the slave lic.

oligarchy. As long as this demoralization lasts, That the traffic in public offices bethe Republic will be so only in name. came the most formidable auxiliary of In fact, it will be a species of crapulous,

this supremacy, and that the most undemocratic imperialism, which ransacks enlightened elements of the European the gutters of the land for the purpose importations of population were conof enlisting mercenaries, who, in reward trolled by it, almost despotically, refor their services, prop up the Presiden quire no demonstration at our hands. tial throne and the legislative pillars, The facts are matter of history. The and then, with the true instinct of free- politicians of the Tory and slavery booters recruited under the piratical school would never have had such a banner that to the “victors belong the long lease of power, if they had not spoils,” rob and disgrace a nation which been able to hold out the bait of office is foolish enough to believe that liberty to their most unscrupulous camp-folcan thrive when its standard-bearers lowers. To talk to them of a reform in are reeking with ignorance and venal the civil service, would have been reity.

garded as stark insanity: they would Foreign nations need not be startled have scouted the idea of dispelling a by this frank statement of ugly facts. chaos that fostered their designs, and If they had not introduced African of introducing a system of culture and slavery into the North American conti- integrity which would have blasted nent, and if they had not fastened upon

their hopes. this country the noble but irksome task Conscious as every thoughtful citizen of educating into manhood and freedom was of the abuses of political life, he European paupers and the children of was equally conscious of the futility these paupers, the American people of attempting to reform any of its might have found leisure and oppor- branches as long as the fountain head tunity to devise measures for purging of political liberty and morals was poitheir public service from ignorance and soned by the abettors of the slavery corruption, and for making the tests of power. moral and mental qualification more While the country was struggling stringent in proportion to the increase against the progress of slavery, it was of population and territory, and the at the same time engaged in the civilicorresponding increase of public offi- zation of its new territories, and in the

education of its new European streams But as it was, we had no breathing- of population. To have converted the time. Slavery stared us in the face at American wildernesses into prosperous the very dawn of our national existence. cities, and marshalled gigantic armies The slavery question so distracted the for the overthrow of the old Tory and country, that even those who were ap- slave power, and at the same time kept palled by the growing demoralization our civil service and political machinery of the public service shrank from lay- free from those abuses, which had such ing hands upon the monster, because it an immense scope, we would have been was overshadowed by the still greater superhuman. monster, slavery.

We have been only human and could It may be asserted that, during the not carry out a series of vast transforwar of independence, the curses against mations and reforms at one and the slavery were hushed by the necessity of same time. unanimity in throwing off the British It is because we have accomplished yoke, and that, since the achievement such great deeds within a few generaof our independence, the painful feeling tions, that we can afford to lay bare the

cers.

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