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nor assumed. Her soul tended in all things to God, but never sought to separate itself from any of the interests of humanity. Intellectual amusements and the elegancies of life she considered a perfectly legitimate enjoyment, a recreation, which, indulged in with due moderation, enlarges and strengthens the faculties. Poetry and art, should not be, in her opinion, sovereign masters of heart, mind, and utterance ; but should be, when proved worthy, servants of Divine Providence, and agents of God's designs, in a secondary order, on the universe. During a course of fifty years, not a single book of importance had been published in any of the principal languages of Europe that she did not, pen in hand, thoroughly study and carefully annotate.

Over others the personal influence she exercised was truly wonderful. Rarely did she give what is called advice—a direct and absolute solution of any given case. She was too bumble to do so. She never delivered a harangue, or set herself up as a model, or undertook to regulate any one or any thing. She never said: “You should go this way or that way;" but gently whispered : “Let us travel this road together;" and so it often turned out that she guided those she seemed to follow. It was not easy to see how she obtained such extraordinary influence over such a variety of characters and temperaments. In conversation she was not particularly brilliant, and only in rare instances did she come forth in a way to charm and astonish. People loved and admired her instinctively, as it were, before they were able to tell what it was that so attracted and subdued them. Madame Swetchine's house was carefully and nicely kept, without extravagance or pretension of any sort. A grand dinner party or a regular soirée was never heard of. Some chosen friends occasionally encircled a small round table, happy in each others' company and in hers. The repast was invariably served with taste and elegance; and the hostess herself looked after every detail with scrupulous attention. Her salon, which was open both in the afternoon and in the evening, was almost invariably ornamented with some plant in flower, or with some work of art lent by a friend, or exhibited by an artist. In the evening the salon shone with lamps and wax lights, and an air of splendour prevailed around. But it was easy to perceive that she who possessed these advantages was far from being possessed by them. The interior life belonged truly to God.

Madame Swetchine's salon was neither a political, a literary, nor an artistic salon. Without the least ostenation or even premeditation, it had become what might be called a foyer of Christianity. The spirit of Catholicity abode there quite naturally, as it were. Humility could not conceal from her the wonderful extent of her influence, and the corresponding amount of her responsibility. She knew it was her duty, as far as in her lay, to draw nearer to God all who drew near to her; and the singular beauty of her character, as well as the great intellectual gifts with which she was endowed, enabled her to do so. Astonishing was her patience, extraordinary, too, the gentle sway she exercised over other women. No order of mind was so high that she could fail to reach it through intelligence


and sympathy; none so weak or narrow that she could not support and expand it. The greatest intellects of the day consulted with her about affairs of the gravest importance, and young women of fashion stopped on the way to some brilliant assembly, that she might admire or criticise the elegance and splendour of their toilette. Natural quickness had been so aided by large experience that ber knowledge of character amounted to something like divination. A word, a look, an unconscious gesture, were enough for her; and she was, withal, as charitable and just as she was accurate in her judgments.

Three great divisions marked the course of Madame Swetchine's daily existence. The morning was reserved exclusively for herself; but then her morning began before daylight. By eight o'clock she had heard mass and paid her charitable visits to the poor. She then returned to the house, and was not “at home” till three o'clock. From three to six her salon was open. Then it closed till nine, at which hour the evening began, and lasted generally till midnight. The habitués of the afternoon salon and of the evening were generally distinct. The union of a perfect spiritual life with a fully occupied and varied outward existence was never more beautifully displayed than in Madame Swetchine. In the midst of a brilliant, intellectual group, and while the centre of a distinguished social circle, the regularity, it might almost be said the austerity, of her religious practices could hardly be surmised, even by those who were intimately acquainted with her. Few could believe how much time was found for prayer and works of active charity. She was an exemplary frequenter of the parish church, seldom failed to hear an early mass before its altars, but very frequently enjoyed the privilege of hearing another mass, offered in her private chapel by one of her devoted friends ; the Père de Ravignan, for example, the Abbè Dupanloup, Père Lacordaire, Père Gratry, the Abbè Bantain, and others. Not unfrequently such masters of eloquence as these would address the little congregation; sometimes the young people who had grown up under her own eye would receive the nuptial benediction in that privileged sanctuary; and many a time error was abjured, and souls reconciled to the Faith in the solemn retirement of that little chapel.

Among those most sincerely and touchingly attached to this admirable woman were the young aristocrat, the Comte de Montalembert, and the great son of St. Dominick, the Père Lacordaire. * It was at the time that the evil genius of M. de Lamennais had well nigh obtained disastrous influence over these ardent, enthusiastic minds, that Madame Swetchine's beneficent influence was powerfully and successfully exerted to keep them in the only right and safe path. Her correspondence with these men of noble heart and brilliant genius is of a deeply interesting nature. How well qualified she was to guide and sustain such minds in seasons of doubt

* The foreign papers announce the immediate appearance of a volume that must be one of singular interest : La Correspondance du Rev. Pére Lacordaire et de Madame Swetchine.; publieé par M. de Falloux.


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and trouble can be in ferred from Lacordaire's own words : “I never,” said be, met any one in whom such breadth and boldness of thought was allied to such firm faith.” Pere de Ravignan was not brought by circumstances into such intimate connexion with Madame Swetchine as his above mentioned distinguished contemporaries; he entertained for her, nevertheless, the highest regard and esteem. “They say you feel timid with me,” he once wrote to her ; can that be possible and true! I should be so happy if you would only be my teacher and my guide, to lecture me and scold and pray

for me also !” General Swetchine died in 1850, at the advanced age of ninety-two years. The blow was a heavy one to the wife who had been the object throughout of his warm affection and tender veneration. On her deathbed she said she had never ceased to regret him. Seven years later, she was herself called to her eternal home. For a long series of years she had suffered acutely from ill health, borne with uncomplainingness truly heroic. The months preceding her death were afflicting in the extreme. Yet in the very worst days, her profound mind and brilliant intellect retained their remarkable power; while her noble heart was to the last gasp alive to the interests and concerns of the many who were dear to her. Never was her fervent, solid piety more beautifully manifested than in those trying days and weary nights of suffering. The friends who used to delight in assembling in her brilliantly-lighted salon, came with a tender and constant affection to minister round her sick bed. Very touchingly the history of the eoncluding days is given in a letter from her biographer, the Comte de Falloux to the Comte de Montalembert. Both these gifted men were, indeed, at all times in love and reverence, like dutiful sons at the knees of their mother. “I know you do not mean to deceive me,” she said to those who wished to reassure her, when her mind at the close began to wander, “ you only want to spare me and manage me a little ; but I want no management except the truth. Yes," she continued, the old energy returning, “ truth is the great thing. I would rather have truth, and a poor bed in a hospital, than all the grandeur of the world without it!" She expired early in the morning, without pain or struggle. Her last words were : “ It will soon be the hour for mass, I must get up."

The foregoing is a meagre outline of a most interesting and edifying life and character. While reading M. de Falloux's charming biography, one cannot but feel thankful that people have had the grace to lead and to write such a life. The consideration of so noble and beautiful a character as Madame Swetchine's may well make the men of this generation exclaim, as did those of St. Chrysostom's age : " What wonderful women have the Christians !"




BEAUTIFUL Ireland! Who will preach to thee?

Souls are waiting for lips to vow;
And outstretched hands that fain would reach to thee,

Yearn to help, if they knew but how,
To lift the thorn-wreath off thy brow.

Passionate dreamers have fought and died for thee,

Poets poured forth their lava song; But dreamer and poet have failed as a guide for thee

Still are unriven the chains of wrong.

Suffering Ireland! Martyr nation !

Blinded with tears thick as mountain mist;
Who of all the new generation

Will change them to glory, as hills when kissed
By the sun flash opal and amethyst ?

Welcome a hero! A man who can lead for us,

Sifting true men from the chaff and weeds ; Daring and doing like those who, indeed, for us

Proved their zeal by their life and deeds.

Desolate Ireland! Saddest of mothers,

Waits and weeps in her island home;
But the Western Land-has she freedom for others,
Who feeds her eagles on blood of brothers ?

Not with cannon or roll of drum,
Or her red flag can our triumph come.

Why seek aid from the arm of a stranger?

Trust thy sons, O mother! for good; Braver none in the hour of danger

To force the claim of thy rights withstood.

Ireland! wake from thy vain despairing!

Grand the uses of life may be ;
Heights are reached by heroic daring,

Crowns are won by the brave and free,
And Nations create their own destiny.

But, time and the hour fleet fast unbidden,

A turbid stream over golden sands ;
And too often the gold is scattered or hidden,

Vainly we seek it with outstretched hands.

Then seize the least grain as it glistens and passes,

Swift and sure is that river's flight-
Morning's glory the bright wave glasses,

But gold and glory soon fade from sight,
And splendors of noon will darken to night...

Life is too brief for languor or quarrel,

Second by second the dead drop down ;
And souls, all eager to strive for the laurel,

Faint and fall ere-they win the crown..

Ireland-rests mid the rush of progression,

Like a frozen ship in a frozen sea;
Aud the changeless stillness of life's stagnation

Is worse than the wildest waves could be,
Rending the rocks eternally.

Trumpet-tongued, to a people sleeping,

Who will speak with magic command;
Bidding them rise—these dead men, keeping:

Watch by the dead in a silent land ?

Grandly, solemnly, earnestly preaching

Man's great gospel of freedom and light;
With lips like saints' in their love beseeching,

And hand as strong as a prophet's to smite
For Truth and Humanity's chartered right.

Earth is thrilling with new aspirations,

Rending the fetters that bar and ban;
But we alone of the Christian nations

Fall to the rear in the march of man.

Alas! can I help? but a nameless singer

Weak the words of a woman to save;
We wait the advent of some light-bringer,

Strong to roll the stone from the grave,
And summon to life the death-bound slave...

Down from heights of the Infinite drifting,

To raise the prisoned soul from its gloom ;-
Like white angels of God, uplifting

Seal and stone from the Saviour's tomb.


Yet, hear me now, for a Nation pleading ;

Strike! but with weapons yet keener than steel ;

VOL. y.


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