« VorigeDoorgaan »
on the bank beside them, or even the trees. When he wanders with his lass leafy thorn boughs. Ned and Jack roar beside the pleasant hedgerows at them occasionally between their through the teeming fields, do not the lumps of bread and cheese, but they sunshine and the green leaves and the nevertheless contrive to snatch singing of the larks add zest to his delicious mouthful from time to time, courting? And when the old man and are in some manner refreshed spins yarns in the chimney-corner when they go on again, plodding up about the gallant days of his youth, the furrow, or rattling the noisy will they not abound in details as to machine. The brown fields take on “th' time o' year” and the aspect of wondrous tints of copper and purple the country? at sunset-time, the green plain is a All unawares indeed, these, very sea of gold, every upstart hair on horny-handed brothers, are moulded Boxer's or Smiler's back is a-glitter by their contact with the out-door with its own tiny aureole; the homely world; nevertheless their hopes and figures of the laborers are transfigured sympathies are bound up in the hopes in the evening glow. And when Mag- and sympathies of the nature that they gie or Jinny leans over the hedge with know; they belong to it in a special the breeze ruffing her hair, her rosy manner; this earth which they culticheeks look rosier than ever, and her vate is connected with every phase of whole commonplace little personality their lives. is invested with glamour and poetry. The first conscious sensation of the Indeed it is perhaps in this enforced peasant-babe is that of rolling on the recognition of the magic and the glory sunny sod, the smell of the crushed of common things that lies the chief herbage in his nostrils, his tiny fingers charm of country life. With this light, clutching at clover-blooms. Next, he these free open spaces, this air-never proudly sallies forth to carry dinner to languorous here in our bonny north- father or brother, with little head there is beauty and savor everywhere; scarcely reaching mid-way up the even when we find no blossom in the hedge, and round eyes wandering over hedge, are there not red-brown buds, a brown wilderness till they descry an or curled baby leaves, or red points of expectant figure leaning on spade or light making gleaming outlines to the plough-handle. Later on, promoted thorny twigs, or, best of all, delicate to share the labors of the elders; guidglittering frost tracery? And when ing the horses up and down the long the hay and clover are “carried,” and furrow-small heavily-shod feet sinkthe lime-trees are hung with seed-pods ing deep at every step, short arms achin knotted fringe, the damp earth has ing as the day wears on; later still, a sweetness of its own, and the russet "delving”-spade glittering in the sunsea of dying bracken yonder, under light breeze fluttering unfastened the yellowing woodland, sends forth shirt-sleeves and exposing muscular waves of curious spicy fragrance pleas- young arms, young blood leaping with ant to the nostrils.
sheer joy of life. The tillers of the soil, incapable In a few years comes marriage; and though they may be of giving voice to the husband and father looks to the the impressions produced on them by soil, his providence, bountiful and their surroundings, are nevertheless kind, for bread for the little mouths at strongly, if unconsciously, affected by home. them. As a laborer tells you it is “nice The seasons come and go, and the and dowey" when he sets to work at man's back grows rounder, and his four o'clock in the morning, you see by limbs stiffen. Nearer and nearer the his contemplative eyes that he is recall- earth stoops he, and at last she clasps ing the wonder of the dawn; he is act him to her bosom. He has labored all ually feeling the cool, moist freshness, his days for hire; now he shall possess he sees the glory of the sun behind the land of his own. Early and late has le
toiled, hard and long; now he may time lost and money ill-spent. The fold his hands and rest. O, ye vision- manufacturer sulkily stops the maary reformers, behold the realization chinery whose slave he is, hating that of your dreams! behold in this lord men should be idle when times are good. absolute of six feet of soil your peasant The professional pleasure-seeker alproprietor! Here, even here, in this ways prefers private fètes. The gaiety city of the dead, he has found Utopia! of the masses annoys him. He thinks it
M. E. FRANCIS. lacks reserve; and the moralist, though
for very different reasons, is of the same mind. Seamstresses, dressmakers, cabmen, musicians, and all manner of
traffickers in the open air rejoice in From Le Monde Moderne. ABOUT FEASTS AND HOLIDAYS.
public festivals and loudly proclaim the We can no more imagine a people fact. They would like one every day,without holidays than a people without which would be a little too much. But religion.
happy in any case is the man who is It is with holidays that religious ob- able to get out of his rut, stand clear of servances begin, by holidays they are his daily occupations and his official confirmed, developed, revived, and in opinions, and say his homo sum and the holidays they end.
rest of it, in all sincerity of heart! Certain festivals survive long after
The foremost of the established relithey have been left behind by the evolu- gions, however strong in the traditions tion of religion. Druidism is dead, but of its own past, has always shown a rein more countries than one the mistle- markable power of assimilation in the toe is held sacred to the new year. matter of feasts. Saint Gregory the Paganism is dead but the Carnival is Great, advised his missionaries in Gerperennial, and though buried by Ash many and Britain to adopt the holy Wednesday every year, it revives as days and places of the barbarians, and regularly at the appointed season.
accommodate them to Christian pracAll about us, unperceived, new feasts tice. Christmas is not merely the feast are perhaps announcing new phases of of the nativity of Christ. The time of religious feeling destined in the future its celebration and the popular usages to a magnificent development. The reli- which attend it prove it to have been gion of patriotism, of hero-worship, of also an astronomical festival common labor and that religion of human to both Celts and Germans. The yale. solidarity which embraces them all— log symbolizes the return of the sun these have yet a message to deliver. after the winter solstice. The Christ
At present the word religion suggests mas-tree, and the ivy used in decorating fixed dogmas, regular and exclusive the house have a similar significance. institutions. A ritual of pre-arranged The feasts and junketings of the season and codified forms. But this, after all, were once sacrifices to Freyr—the Sun is only the body of religion. The soul who fructifies the Earth. In the month eludes, because it is within us. As when the sun scorches, came the individuals we tend to separate our- Feast of Fagots.-afterwards transselves from others rather than to formed into the Feast of St. John the mingle with them. Once make an Baptist. The solstitial character of this effort in the opposite direction, an feast persisted for a long time, in spite effort after the things which reconcile of Episcopal' ordinances and Parliaand unite, and we shall begin to under- mentary injunctions. As late as the stand all religions, even that of the 11th of April, 1785, the Parliament of future, and to enjoy all festivals, even Paris forbade the curé of Saintines in those of the past.
Valois to celebrate matins on St. John's The egotist, on a day of public re- day earlier than four o'clock in the joicing, stays at home. The business morning, and the people of the parish to man shrugs his shoulders, and bewails remain in the church later than nine
o'clock on the vigil, or to come back to Versailles before this time, and it before four in the day, “on pain of a was only his gardens, not his house, fine of fifty livres each to the beadle, the which were thrown open. church wardens and all other off end- Montesquieu is rather sarcastic on the ers." But whether . proscribed or subject of holidays. He regards them adopted, the usages of this feast all bear strictly from their legal obligatory and marks of their origin.
utilitarian point of view. “When a There is no need, however, to go religion,” he says, “ordains the cessastumbling in the dark among antique tion of labor, it is the needs of mankind mythologies. Glance at the history of the that ought to be considered rather than French monarchy. It was always the the greatness of the being to be king's birthday which was the great na- honored.” He then quotes Xenophon, tional fête. The date was fixed by the who complains of the excessive number monarch's baptismal name. Now, five of holidays at Athens as a great hinout of twelve of the sovereigns of the drance to business. Xenophon, howsecond dynasty were Louis, and of the ever, was an aristocrat, besides being third, thirteen out of thirty-three not an economist. “Protestant and Cathocounting Louis-Philippe, who consid- lic countries,” Montesquieu goes on to ered St. Philippe his patron, and not St. say, “are so situated that more labor Louis. The name of Louis is, however, has to be performed in the former than only another form of Clovis, the name in the latter. Hence the suppression of of our first Catholic sovereign. The holidays becomes a matter of convencanonization of Louis IX. by Boniface ience in Protestant lands." This is true VII. transformed our principal civic no doubt, but there are other and festival-August 26th, into a feast of the stronger reasons for the difference. A church. It is still brilliantly cele- man cannot renounce an established brated by the town of Cette-a creation religion without changing the whole of Louis XIV.-as the day of its patron tenor of his life. If he can be made to saint. Under the old régime in Paris, do this, he is converted. If he clings to the Carmelites always went in proces- his old habits, nothing is accomplished. sion to the Tuileries on that day, invit- The Lutherans, however, retained a ing tbe mayor and aldermen, and in good many more holidays than the Calfact, the whole town to join them. vinists, and even instituted some new They presented each of these gentlemen ones, as the “Feast of the Reformawith a bunch of flowers and a piece of tion.” Climate also is an important “pain bénit,” and in crossing from the factor. Place Maubert to the Tuileries, they
As to the suspension of industry. always halted at the Rue de la Montesquieu was not the only moralist Feerronerie on the spot where Henry who complained of the abuse of the cusIV. fell, to sing a De profundis. St. tom. Witness the plaint of the cobbler Louis' day was the only one when the in one of the most charming fables of Tuileries gardens were opon to ill. La Fontaine:dressed folk; and it was the same with the Luxembourg, the King's Garden
Le mal est que toujours (Jardin des Plantes), and the Place (Et sans cela les gains seraient assez honRoyale. A certain royal censor nanel
nêtes) Jèze, who wrote a book about Paris in 1760, felt it his duty to apologize for this Le mal est que, dans l'an, s'entremêlent
des jours act of condescension on the king's part,
Qu'il faut chômer. On nous ruine en which was not approved by “nice peo
fêtes. ple.” “It is but just,” he wrote, “that the house of the common father of all L'une fait tort à l'autre, et Monsieur le
Curé Frenchmen, should be open on his birthday to the entire populace.” The "com- De quelque nouvean saint charge toujours mon father” had, however, withdrawn son prône.
This fable was written in 1679, and it distributed holidays. Such vacations is historic: Twelve years before, have become the student's exclusive Louis XIV. by the advice of Colbert, privilege. What might not be the 'gain had caused Harlay de Champvallon, to the modern workman, in health, in the valiant Archbishop of Paris, to sup- courage, and even in money, if his seapress no less than seventeen holidays. sons of rest only could be determined The Parliament of Paris, so docile for and assigned in advance from January the most part, after the end of the to December. Regular vacations, my Fronde, protested against this suppres- good cobbler, are the pledge of steady sion and Sauval tells us how commis work, and your gains might have been sioners were to be seen tramping the less "honnêtes” if you had worked streets, "half of them opening doors by Sundays and feast-days, for your fel. order of the archbishop, and the other low-cobblers would have done the half closing them, by order of the Par- same, and you would have had to turn liament." Parliament actually suc- night into day. · And since there would ceeded in recapturing four of the have been no more feet to be shod than condemned festivals, but only so far as before, you would not have had to lower regarded their own attendance at the your price again and again, and get less palace. But Pope Clement IX., who for a job the harder you toiled. You had not been consulted, remarked would have had to stop singing alto shortly afterward to the Abbé le Tellier gether, and your only resource against that he should be obliged to rescind the the injustice of things would have been order of the bishops unless they pre- to accuse the avarice and hard-heartedferred to undo their own work." If we ness of man. Who knows whether you may believe the good cobbler this was would not even have come, through exactly what was insensibly accom- spite and fatigue, to bungle your own plished. Even if the suppression had work-feeling sure that your customers been maintained the laborer would still could not better themselves—and thus have had seventy-nine “off days” in the have lost that consciousness of duty year, including Sundays, but not in- accomplished and a job well done which cluding Easter-Monday, the Monday once enlivened your shop, and disafter Pentecost, and other Mondays turbed nobody's rest but that of the equally uncanonical. The festival of capitalist. Saint Bartholemew, one of those which It is impossible, however, when all is were suppressed, and a truly accursed said, and even in a highly centralized anniversary if ever there was one, was country like France, essentially to certainly among the holidays restored modify, by means of legal holidays, the in the seventeenth century.
temper of the people. Real festivals In our own day, the “off-work” ques- are born of public spirit, they are powtion has assumed an entirely new erless to create it. There will always aspect. In most industries and trades, be cockneys in plenty to attend patriotic no-work is merely the reverse of over- or sentimental parades. But, as Merlin work. The year is no longer "studded” de Thionville once said with remarkwith appointed days of rest, whereof able good sense, we have been too much the workman, whoever he may be, is in the habit of confounding the national apprised by the calendar. Instead fête with the national show. At the there are prolonged “dead seasons" re- latter people merely listen and gaze. curring every year, and always tending In the former they take an active part. to depress, demoralize and ruin him. In the one they expect to be diverted; They vary, however, according to the in the other they divert themselves. nature of the business, and the general The spirit which enables them to do activity of trade. It would be super. this, however, is not to be infused by fluous to enumerate the reasons why any mysterious virtue of the calendar. those who control great industries can- When Napoleon I. decreed a festival to not now revert to a system of regularly celebrate the sanguinary victory of
Eylau, Tallyrand went the rounds of Philip, according to his
dim the tearful countries saying: “Come, lights, thought that he was best serving come. ladies and gentlemen! The em- God and humanity in trampling down peror is quite in earnest! He intends without mercy those whom he considyou to be amused! But forty years ered the enemies of religion and socilater from his seat in the Constituant ety. A man with some imagination Assembly the Abbé Lamennais let fall would have sickened of the horrors the this aphorism: "Holidays are not made, process entailed, a man of wider views they make themselves.” The lesson, and sympathies and less tenacity whether given in jest on in earnest, is might have found some diplomatic one to be remembered.
way of securing the success of his Translated for THE LIVING AGE. cause, but Philip was outwitted and
outmanœuvred at every point but one by his more nimble opponents; and the allied causes of Catholic domination,
of personal despotism, and of Spanish From The Fortnightly Review. empire, were lost in a great measure PHILIP II. IN HIS DOMESTIC RELATIONS. through the character of the mao
It was the misfortune of Philip II. whom his ill-fate chose to lead them, that he was forced by the circum- I have said that Philip succeeded in stance of his birth into a position for onc particular; and here his success which his character and abilities ren- was so complete as to have continued dered him entirely unfit. He to the present day. The hellish cruelceeded to the leadership of a cause ties of the Inquisition, the fires, and which could only be made successful racks and torture, claimed their tens by boldness, personal sympathy, celer- of thousands of victims; but they ity of resolve, rapidity of action, and saved Spain from the religious dissenagile adaptability; by such a character, sions which desolated other countries, indeed, as enabled Henry IV. to weld and the fact remains that, dreadful as France once more into a homogeneous appears to us the tyranny exercised by Catholic nation. Philip's own nature Philip, cold and unsympathetic as his was the very reverse of this. It has personality seems to have been, he was fallen mainly into the hands of ene- beloved and revered by his Spanish mies to write his history, and for subjects as few of their monarchs have three centuries the mists of hatred and been before or since. bitterness raised in his lifetime have The struggle between the old and not been entirely dissipated. But the new orders of thought in which Philip facts, after all, are simple. Here was was engaged was a war to the knife; a timid, distrustful, narrow-minded and the antagonists on both sides did man, absolutely without imagination, not scruple to use any weapon, fair a man who would have made an excel- or unfair, that came to their hands. lent minor official, forced to champion Political methods and religious dogma the maintenance of what was consid. were not alone the objects of attack. ered the very basis of society. It is The personal characters of the princieasy for us, seeing as we do, how pal parties in the struggle were blackgroundless were the fears entertained ened without pity or
No of the threatened changes, to condemn moral crime was bad enough to be the severity employed in the attempt excluded from the charges brought by to withstand them; but we must not Catholics against Elizabeth and forget that the claims advanced by Orange. Half the calumnies even yet civil and religious reformers were then lingering over the name of the great looked upon much as we regard the queen, owe their origin to the industrimost extreme of the subversive doc- ous imagination of Father Parsons, trines which threaten our present and the crowd of English and Scotch social system. There is no doubt that Catholic refugees who were main