private life, we have no wish to say any thing, except that it was conformable to the opinions of the times. His renunciation not merely of splendor but of necessaries; his adoption of a course of penance not often witnessed in the most ascetic saints; his coarse sackcloth next the skin; his unsavory food; his refusal to drink water (his only beverage) unless it were rendered nauseous by bitter herbs; and, worse than all, the frequent application of the scourge to his naked back, may provoke a smile, but assuredly they are proofs of sincerity. In other respects, even modern devotion must applaud the change. His dismissal of nobles and knights, and his retention of none but humble ecclesiastics ; his constant attendance at the service of the altar; his boundless charity to the poor; his relief of human anguish in every shape; his protection of the weak against the powerful, and his stern rebuke to injustice in high places, rendered him worthy of his post, and entitled him to the admiration of posterity. His defect (and honesty requires that it should be censured as it deserves) was an excessive warmth of feeling—a natural irritability of temper, which he took little pains to subdue. This led him into many precipitate measures; it envenomed opposition; and it doubtless contributed to the preparation of the tragedy which closed his days. The disappointment of the king when the archbishop resigned the chancellorship, may be easily conceived. It was tantamount to saying, “I will no longer have the custody of the vacant prelacies, nor will I permit them to remain vacant if I can help it!” But the new primate directed his first care to the recovering of the castles, fiefs, and manors, which had been wrested by force from his see—no matter whether by the royal grant or not ; and when the holders were obstinately bent on retaining them, he did not hesitate to visit them with the doom of excommunication. Equally offensive to the monarch was his resolution to vindicate, in its fullest extent, the authority of the episcopal courts, to the inevitable prejudice of the royal and baronial. Hence the great feudatories, no less than the king, became his enemies; and numerous they were. Another grievance, which was rather felt than alleged against him, was his loud denunciation of all bishops and abbots concerned in simony— who should either purchase dignities for themselves, or sell the preferments in their

gift. As a necessary consequence, disappointment in the royal breast was followed by anger, anger by exasperation, and this again by a determination to ruin the man who had been so remarkable a favorite. Referring to our general histories for a detailed account of what took place at Clarendon and Northampton, we shall merely observe that some of the demands of Henry (lauded as they have been by partial historians) would, is complied with, have made the church a silent tool in the hands of despotism : that property which had hitherto been, in a great degree, the patrimony of the poor, would have gone to enrich him and his favorites. True it is that some of them were also founded in wisdom, and well deserved to be adopted. But why propose any of them to the archbishop, when the king well knew that he had no power to sanction them? Merely to have a pretext for his destruction. After some hesitation, Becket, though forsaken by his episcopal brethren, who had been gained by the monarch, refused to join in betraying the church and the poor, whose advocate he openly declared himself to be. In a furious passion, the king resolved his ruin—either by forcing him to resign, or by taking his life if he would not. Let historians say what they please, no unbiassed reader can peruse the transactions on these two occasions, without acknowledging that the death of the archbishop was certain if he remained in England. Hence his memorable escape at midnight, notwithstanding the vigilance of the royal guards, and, after many romantic adventures, his arrival in France, where the Pope then was. Though the exiled primate was received with great respect by the King of France and the Pope, and an honorable asylum furnished him in the Cistercian monastery of Pontigny, he had soon to learn that justice, honor, and religion, have less influence than gold on the mighty of the earth. That the “god of this world” had rendered his suffragan bishops hostile to him, and more than one, as the price of servility, hoped to fill his place. The legates, too, and learned umpires, whom the Pope nominated to negotiate a reconciliation between him and the King, were soon gained by the latter. Many of the cardinals around the papal throne were soon also the creatures of Henry; and, though Christ's vicar on earth might be considered inaccessible to direct bribery, it is certain that a timely offer of Peter's pence (the payment of which had long fallen into arrears) frequently saved the King from excommunication, and the realm from an interdict. On the venality alike of Pope and cardinals, we have several intimations in both these volumes. Thus, the excellent John of Salisbury, in a letter to the archbishop :

“I do not place much reliance on the court of Rome: whose necessities and mode of acting I now see through. Our lord the pope, indeed, is a holy and righteous man, and his abbat, as I am told by many, does his best to imitate him : but their necessities are so great, and the dishonesty and cupidity of the Romans are so startling, that the pope sometimes uses his prerogative, and by dispensation obtains what may benefit the state, but cannot benefit religion.”

And Becket himself is often loud in his complaints. Hearing that English gold had produced great relaxation in the severity intended to be adopted toward the guilty, he thus observes in a letter to his agent at Rome:

“If this is true, then without doubt, his lordship the pope has suffocated and strangled, not only our own person, but himself and every ecclesiastic of both kingdoms; yea, both churches together, the Gallican and the English. For what will not the kings of the earth dare against the clergy, under cover of this most wretched precedent? And on what can the Church of Rome rely, when it thus deserts and leaves destitute the persons who are making a stand in its cause, and contending for it even unto death ?”

Again, speaking of Rome — “The glorious city is captured, that city which subdued the world is subverted and sunk before the love of human favor; and that which could not be slain with the sword, has been cut off by the poisons of these western regions. With shame be it spoken: by her fall the Church's liberties have been sacrificed for the sake of temporal advantages. The road to her ruin lay through the sinuous paths of riches: she has been prostituted in the streets to rinces, she has conceived iniquity, and will ring forth oppression to the undeserving.”

And in a letter to the Pope himself—

“We have one miserable source of consolation in all this, if you will allow me to say so : that the Roman Church takes this mode of rewarding its friends and faithful children. May God comfort her better than she provides for herself: may he comfort the §. of England and us, and all our wretched ones.”

In another letter to the papallegate he says:

“‘To quell the haughty, but to spare the fallen,” was the ancient motto of the Romans, and it is surely the doctrine of Christ's Church, ‘Behold, I have set thee over nations and kingdoms,’ &c. Should there be any regard

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“I wish, my dear friend, your ears were

hard by the mouths of some of our people, that you might hear what is chaunted in the streets of Ascalon to the discredit of the Roman Church. Our last messengers seemed to have brought us some consolation in the Pope's letters which we have received, but their authority has been altogether nullified by other letters, commanding that Satan should be set free to the destruction of the Church. Thus by the apostolic mandate the bishops of London and Salisbury, one of whom is known to have been the fomenter of the schism, and the contriver of all this wickedness from the beginning, and to have inveigled the bishop of Salisbury and others into the crime of disobedience, have been absolved from excommunication. I know not how it is ; but at your court Barabbas is always let go free, and Christ is crucified. Our proscription and the sufferings of the Church have now lasted nearly six years. The innocent, poor and exiled, are condemned before you, and for no other cause, I say conscientiously, than because they are Christ's poor and helpless ones, and would not recede from God's righteousness: whilst on the other hand the sacrilgeious, murderers, and robbers, are acquitted, however impenitent, though I say, on Christ's own authority, that St. Peter himself, sitting on the tribunal, would have no power to acquit them.”

“Roman robbers,” “traitors to religion,” “sons of perdition,” and other terms of the kind, are by no means spared by the offended exile, and assuredly they seem to have been fully deserved.

The letters before us (and they are numerous) give us an unfavorable account of the English bishops generally, who had not, and wished not to have, any will but the King's. Thus the admirable writer we have before quoted (John of Salisbury), in a letter to Becket:—

“The consolatory letters which your faithful children, the bishops of the province of Canterbury, lately sent you, after your long exile and proscription, I have § perused, and I look upon them as dictated by Ahitophel himself come to life, and written by a second Doeg of Idumea, thirsting for the blood of Christ and his elect. Every thing is therein so perverted that it is easy for any one to see how irreconcilable they are with public opinion and the voice of truth, and how manifestly they have been framed to give a color of justice to the appeal of the bishops.”

Elsewhere he asserts that their faces must be no less brazen than a harlot's, for daring to assure the Pope that Henry was “an obedient son of the Church.” He is particularly severe on the bishop of London, the most bitter of Becket's enemies, and the most servile tool of royalty: “He boasts that London was once the seat of an arch-flamen, when Jupiter was worshipped in Britain. So wise and religious a man as he might perhaps like to see the worship of Jupiter restored, that if he cannot be archbishop, he may at least be arch-flamen.”

Becket, who was invested with the legatine authority, (though he had the mortification often to see that authority suspended through English gold,) was not a man to suffer with impunity the injustice of his own and the Church's enemies. Against the most prominent of them, barons or bishops, he issued his fulminations, both from Pontigny and Clairvaux. During his retirement at the former place, he doubtless imbibed strong feelings of enthusiasm. In the history of saints, confessors, and martyrs, he found subjects enough for contemplation; the study of the canon law exalted in his eyes the prerogatives of the Church; and the denunciations of Scripture on evil-doers, especially the great of the earth, gave to his feelings a new degree of intensity. These were deepened by the arrival of so many of his servants and dependents, and his friends and kinsfolk, banished from England, and who must have perished for want of the necessaries of life, had not the French king, the Pope, and the Queen of Sicily administered to their relief. With a refinement of cruelty, the despot had forced the exiles to swear that they would hasten to the exile at Pontigny and show him their miserable plight. The archbishop had already been merged in the excited monk; his human feelings could not support the present sight ; and in this unfortunate temper he fulminated the censures

so well known to readers of English his

tory. When compelled to leave Pontigny by the menaces of the king, who threatened to seize all the possessions of the order (the Cistercian) in England, unless he were expelled, the sentiment was not likely to cool. His former excommunications had been suspended by the Pope; at Clairvaux he was permitted to renew them. But how were they to be served 1 Unless actually delivered they had no efficacy; and Henry more suo, had threatened with death every body that should land in England with censures of any kind from Pope or Archbishop. Several messengers, in fact, had been put to death, and the coasts were diligently watched to prevent the arrival of such dreaded missives. Could Henry have succeeded in his object of preventing all communication between his clergy and the Roman see, he might easily flatter himself with the hope of making the English Church as dependent on his caprice, and subject to his rapacity, as the humblest peasant in the land. But all his vigilance Was Waln :

“The archbishop was for some time sorely at a loss to find a person who would venture to convey this sentence into England. ...At last a young layman, named Berenger, offered himself, and we learn from the narrative of FitzStephen in what manner he discharged his mission. On the festival of Ascension Day a priest, an excellent but timid man, named &: talis, was officiating at the high altar of St. Paul's Church, London, when, just as they began to chaunt the offerenia, and the priest had presented the bread and wine, and made ready the chalice, a stranger, named Berenger, approached, and falling down on his knees, held out to the priest what appeared to be his donation to the offertory. The priest, astonished at the man’s behavior, held out his hand to receive the oblation. Berenger put into his hand a letter, saying, “The bishop of this diocese is not present; no more is the dean; but I see you as Christ's officiating minister, and I here, in the name of God and our lord the pope, present to you this letter from the archbishop of Canterbury, containing the sentence which he has pronounced on the bishop of London, also another letter to the dean, enjoining him and his clergy to observe this sentence. And I forbid #. by God's authority, to celebrate in this church aster the resent mass, until you have delivered to the {j and the dean these letters.’ The stranger, having spoken these words, disappeared amid the crowds of people who were moving off to their homes, as was usual after the Gospel had been read, for they had o heard mass in their own parish churches. buzz went round among those who were near

est to the altar, and they began to ask the priest is divine service was prohibited in the cathedral. On his answering in the negative the people said no more, and the man retired unmolested. The priest meanwhile continued the service of the mass; but the king's officials made search in all parts of the city for Berenger, and placed guards at all the crossings of the streets, but he could nowhere be found. Not many days elapsed before the bishop and dean returned to London, when the priest Vitalis delivered to each his letter.”

The sorrows of his kinsmen, his friends, and above all, his poor dependents, were infinitely more galling to the Archbishop than his own. For their sakes he often submitted to negotiate, though he well knew from the character of the king that little benefit was to be expected from it. Nor did he like his own continued dependence on the bounty of others. Though he had often found a friend in the French king, he more than once had reason to distrust his sincerity; and on one occasion, a misunderstanding having risen, both he and his companions believed the door of hope to be closed. This was after an ineffectual interview between Louis, Henry, and Becket, at Montmirail :—

“The party at St. Columba's were discussing the events which had lately happened, and the failure of their Journey to Montmirail. They had also another subject for conversa: tion, in the supposed alienation and continued silence of the French king. The archbishop, smiling at the different suggestions that were offered, said, ‘I am the only one amongst you whom king Henry wishes to injure, and #F. away, no one will impede or harm you: do not be afraid.” “It is for you that we take thought,' replied they, “because we do not see where you can find refuge; and though you are so high in dignity, yet all your friends have deserted you?" Then do not care for me,’ said he, “I commend my cause to God, who is very well able to protect me. Though both England and France are closed against me, I shall not be undone. I will not apply to those Roman robbers, for they do nothing but F. the needy without compunction. I will adopt another mode of action. It is said that the #. who live on the banks of the Arar in Burgundy, as far as the borders of Provence, are more liberal. I will take only one companion with me, and we will go amongst those people on foot, and they will assuredly have compassion on us.” At that moment an officer appeared from the French king, inviting the archbishop to an interview. “He means to turn us out of his kingdom,” said one of those who were present. “Do not forebode ill,” said the archbishop, ‘you are not a prophet, nor a son of the prophets.”

The French king, perceiving that he had

been Henry's dupe, restored his favor to the Archbishop. The hollow reconciliation on the part of the king, which enabled Becket to revisit his flock, is too well known to require further exposure. Surprise has been expressed that so penetrating a man should have suffered himself to be deluded by royal hypocrisy, especially when the kiss of peace was so pertinaciously denied him. The truth, however, is that he was not deluded at all. He saw that the promised conditions would not be fulfilled; he knew that mischief was designed him; he had warmings enough from many quarters that if he returned to his see his life would be taken. But he despised the foreseen consequence; and he solemnly declared, that whether he lived or died he would no longer be kept from his flock. He went ; and, as every body knows, perished in a manner the most barbarous, but with a dignity unequalled. On that tragical event, the particulars of which have been so long familiar to every reader, it would be useless to comment. But we think no unbiassed reader can arise from a perusal of the circumstances that preceded and followed it, without a conviction that the murder was expressly commanded by Henry. It is evidently, indeed, not Dr. Giles's opinion; but Dr. Giles is not much distinguished for either penetration or reflection. He falls too blindly into the train of preceding writers; and leans to conclusions not warranted by the facts which he himself adduces. His work wants connexion : it has little coherency of parts; the events are not consecutively dependent on each other. This is chiefly the fault of the plan, which, consisting for the most part of letters from many different persons, cannot possibly have the unity of purpose essential to the solution of an historical problem. A carefully constructed narrative founded on the letters, biographies, and histories of the period, with the originals in a copious appendix, would have been a far preferable mode of dealing with the subject. Such a concatenation of parts would have allowed of comparison and inference, and have imperceptibly conducted the reader's mind to the legitimate conclusion for which we are contending— Becket's authorized murder. At the same time it would have displayed the king's character in true colors, by dispersing the cloud of hypocrisy which rests upon it. In him met two extremes, which we rarely find in any other historical personage—dis

simulation with violence. As each predominated, his character was estimated by actual beholders from it alone, little regard being had to the variableness of his caprice. After Becket's murder, it was thought by the world at large that dreadful measures would be adopted to punish the king and his advisers. But gold turned aside both interdict and excommunication, and restored monarch, baron, and bishop to the favor of Christ's vicar—thus verifying the character which Becket had so strongly passed on that court. In conclusion, we may observe, that if Dr. Giles has made a less satisfactory use of his abundant materials than might have been expected from him, if a lise of Becket be still a desideratum, he has rendered a valuable service to succeeding biographers. This, indeed, constitutes the true value of his book. In its actual form it cannot be called either a history or a biography; it affords us little insight into the important questions of feudal and ecclesiastical judicature; or even into the spirit and manners of the age. But, notwithstanding these obvious defects, it is really an acquisition to our literature.

From the London Daily News.



At Piacenza, which was four or five hours' journey from the inn at Stradella, we broke up our little company before the hotel door, with divers manifestations of friendly feeling on all sides. The old priest was taken with the cramp again before he had got half-way down the street; and the young priest laid the bundle of books on a door step, while he dutifully rubbed the old gentleman's legs. The client of the avvocato was waiting for him at the yard gate, and kissed him on each cheek, with such a resounding smack, that I am afraid he had either a very bad case, or a scantilyfurnished purse. The Tuscan, with a cigar in his mouth, went loitering off, carrying his hat in his hand, that he might the better trail up the ends of his dishevelled moustache. And the brave courier, as he and I strolled away to look about us, began

immediately to entertain me with the private histories and family'affairs of the whole party. A brown, decayed, old cheese of a town, Piacenza is. A deserted, solitary, grassgrown place, with ruined ramparts : half filled up trenches, which afford a frowsy pasturage to the lean kine that wander about them ; streets of stern houses moodily frowning at the other houses over the way. The sleepiest and shabbiest of soldiery go wandering about with the double curse of laziness and poverty uncouthly wrinkling their misfitting regimentals; the dirtiest of children play with their impromptu toys (pigs and mud) in the feeblest of gutters; and the gauntest of dogs trot in and out of the dullest of archways, in perpetual search of something to eat, which they never seem to find. A mysterious and solemn Palace, guarded by two colossal statues, twin Genii of the place, stands gravely in the midst of the idle town; and the king with the marble legs, who flourished in the time of the Arabian Nights, might live contentedly inside of it, and never have the energy in his upper half of flesh and blood to want to come out. What a strange, half-sorrowsul and halfdelicious doze it is, to ramble through these places gone to sleep and basking in the sun' Each in its turn appears to be, of all the mouldy, dreary, God-forgotten towns in the wide world, the chief. Sitting on this hillock, where a bastion used to be, and where a noisy fortress was, in the time of the old Roman station here, I became aware that I have never known, till now, what it is to be lazy. A dormouse must surely be in very much the same condition before he retires to the wool in his cage—or a tortoise before he buries himself. I feel that I am getting rusty. That any attempt to think, would be accompanied with a creaking noise. That there is nothing any where to be done, or needing to be done. That there is no more human progress, motion, effort, or advancement of any kind, beyond this. That the whole scheme stopped here centuries ago, and lay down to rest until the Day of Judgment. Never while the brave courier lives | Behold him jingling out of Piacenza, and staggering this way, in the tallest postingchaise ever seen, so that he looks out of the front window as if he were peeping over a garden wall; while the postilion, concentrated essence of all the shabbiness of Italy, pauses for a moment in his animated conversation, to touch his hat to a

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