ent time it is difficult to point with any certainty to the site once occupied by this stately mansion.

coloring of the lichen-grown roofs and old timbers among the appie-trees of the orchard and the clumps of tall wych-elms in the meadow would make a charming subject for a water-color. It is not till we cross the farmyard and push open a rude stable door that we come upon the noble remains of the ancient abbey. Then. to our surprise, we find ourselves in a beautiful Early English building, with groined vaulting, supported by slender columns of Purbeck marble and ornamented with floriated bosses. Antiquaries are not agreed as to whether this was the church or the zigzag moulding and other Norman work at the west end show that it must have formed part of the original foundation. We find the same vaulted roof and graceful marble columns, with two large, decorated windows in the monk's refectory, now the kitchen of the farmhouse. A fragment of a richly carved stone canopy, part of the tomb of Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex, and Isabel, his wife, is now used as a mantelpiece, and its frieze of roses and lions and cherubs is black with the smoke of the kitchen fire. Up-stairs the cedar rafters of the old dormitory may still be seen, and we look out on the green meadows sloping down to the river, and the path along the banks to Maldon, which is still called the Monk's Walk.

Graces has fared little better in the hands of its Kentish owners; but at least a fragment of this charming old manorhouse is still standing. Clematis and roses have crept up the deep-red walls, and thick clusters of ivy hang over the massive gables of its spacious barns. The glory of a great house still floats about the place, and great traditions linger in the air. So perfect a picture it is, as it lies there in the sunny meadows, closed in by woods, that we almost forgive the vandal-chapter-house of the monks; but traces of ism which has destroyed so much for the sake of the beauty that remains. Within, a handsome staircase, with finely carved pilasters and massive doors and oak wainscoting, is still to be seen; but every year something more is allowed to perish. The marble steps which used to lead down to the Great Garden are gone; and only last summer one of the fine old chimney-stacks, which rose ten feet above the high-pitched roof, fell in with a crash. No one cares for these things now; and so, little by little, the glories of the past decay and are forgotten, just as the noble oaks in Grace's Walk drop away one by one, and their place knoweth them no more.

These are not the only historical remains which belong to this district. Here, in Danbury itself, was the wealthy priory of Black Canons, of Bicknacre, founded in 1147, at the charges of Henry II. Sixteen priors reigned in turn over the vast lands of this important community; but by wastefulness and mismanagement their revenues became so much reduced that, on the death of Prior Godfrey, in 1500, the house was annexed to the Hospital of the Blessed Virgin, in Bishopsgate. After the dissolution the extensive buildings of the convent fell into ruins; but as late as 1818 the central tower of the Priory Church, a considerable fragment of the Norman nave, and fine pointed arches of the chancel, were still standing. Now all this has vanished, and one single lofty arch, in the middle of a ploughed field, is all that is left of the nave of Bicknacre Priory. There is a good deal more remaining of Beeleigh Abbey, another religious house, founded, for canons of the Præmonstratensian order, by Robert de Mantell, in 118o. In the low-lying meadows, where the Chelmer joins the Blackwater River, half-way between Danbury and Maldon, there is a picturesque group of old farm buildings, with finely carved barge-boards and dovecotes. The rich

The site of a still more ancient priory is preserved at Hatfield Peverel, a mile or two beyond Little Baddow and the watermill of Mr. Keeley Halswelle's picture. This was the Benedictine house founded by the fair Ingelrica, the Saxon mistress of Norman William, and afterwards the wife of his follower Ranulph de Peverel, in expiation of her guilt in yielding to the Conqueror's passion. The priory itself has been replaced by a more modern house; but the present church still keeps its Norman doorway and other portions of Ingelrica's original foundation. Some interesting bits of stained glass and odd carving have been preserved; and a very ancient Norman effigy in an arched recess is believed to be that of the Saxon foun dress, who, dying in the odor of sanctity, was buried here in 1100.

From these far-off tales of Saxon and Norman days, let us now turn to more recent times, and take a glance at a gentle and pious memory of comparatively mod ern date. South of Danbury, in the direc tion opposite from Woodham Walter, lies another Woodham which bears the name of Ferrers from the Norman earls who were for five centuries its lords Long

Edwin's Hall itself stands on a mound overlooking the valley of the Crouch River towards the sea. The massive pile of crimson brick, with its four grand oriel windows and tall stack of twisted chimneys rising high above the roof, stands out finely against the dark background of immemorial elms, where bees murmur in the shade, and dragon-flies flit to and fro above the still waters of the sleeping moat; and on a June day, when the breath of mignonette and roses mingles with the sweet scent of newly mown hay, and the grass under the old walls is smooth and bright, there is no more pleasant retreat than that of the quiet manor-house where Archbishop Edwin sought rest and leisure in these troublous times.


From The Spectator.


and illustrious are the annals of these children. The wife and mother is repreFerrers, and of the Greys, who became sented kneeling between two standing their heirs. One of them was the first figures of Time and Death, and an inscriphusband of Elizabeth Woodville, whose tion from her son's pen extols her virtues, grief and charms touched the heart of and tells us how her "beloved soul passed Edward IV. Another married Frances to the consort of the blessed." Brandon, and became the father of Lady Jane Grey. None of these has left any trace of their presence at Woodham; but there is still part of a beautiful old manorhouse called Edwin's Hall, which was built by Edwin Sandys, Archbishop of York, in Elizabeth's time. This learned divine was master of St. Katharine's Hall at Cambridge, and vice-chancellor of the university when Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed queen. At the Duke of Northumberland's command he preached a sermon in defence of her title, which cost him dear. He was thrown into prison by Mary, and driven into exile, only to return at Elizabeth's accession; and he became successively Bishop of Worcester and of London and, in 1576, Archbishop of York. That same year he built the manor-house at Woodham Ferrers which still bears his name. Here he loved to enjoy brief in. tervals of seclusion in the company of his fair young wife and of his many children, whose tastes were as scholarly and as cultivated as his own. One of them was George Sandys, the traveller and poet, whose metrical version of the Psalms has won for him an honored place in English literature. Another, Sir Edwin Sandys, was the author of "Speculum Europæ," but is better known as the pupil and intimate friend of Hooker. The archbishop heard so much in praise of Hooker from his companion in exile, Bishop Jewell, that although himself a Cambridge man, he sent his son to Corpus Christi College, at Oxford, that he might have for his tutor "one who would teach him learning by instruction, and virtue by example. God willing, this Richard Hooker shall be the man into whose hands I will commit my Edwin." It was Edwin Sandys who, on paying a visit to his old tutor after his marriage, found him tending the sheep with Horace's "Odes "in his hand, while the servant had gone home to dinner, and then heard him summoned by his wife to rock the baby's cradle. The young man brought back his father word of Hooker's pitiable plight, and soon afterwards the archbishop exerted his influence to obtain his appointment as master of the Temple. After the archbishop's death his widow spent the rest of her life at Woodham Ferrers, where a fine monument in the church records the love and grief of her

AMIDST the many strongly chiselled bas-reliefs of New England life which Miss M. E. Wilkins has given to the world in her three volumes of tales, there is none more impressive in its way than the picture of a will which, by the redundant vehemence of its premature volition, so completely mortgages, as it were, its own future, that even when the mind which conceived its hasty resolves is convinced of its own error, it seems hardly more able to reverse its decision, than a man who has thrown all his force into a downward stroke is to arrest his arm at the very close of its descent. The story is called "A Conflict Ended," and is contained in the volume termed “A Far-Away Melody, and other Stories." It describes a New Englander of very moderate culture, but of excessive momentum of will. He rashly commits himself to saying on very insufficient grounds, that if a certain minister should be invited by the congre gation to which he belonged, he would never go inside the church again so long as he lived, whereupon one of his brotherworshippers remarks, "You'll have to set on the steps then, brother Woodman," a remark in which "brother Wood. man" sees nothing laughable, but replies,

kinder gritting his teeth:" "I will set

human life to the theological conception of predestination to reprobation. There is such a thing as self-predestination, and when that self-predestination takes a hasty and inconsiderate form in a man whose power of setting himself in motion is a great deal larger than his power of arresting his course when he sees it to be going wrong, we have precisely that irresistible momentum of distorted volition of which Miss Wilkins gives us so singularly pow erful a picture. Clearly this is not a case of a strong will, for a strong will is a strong governing power, and the strength here is ungovernable strength, a force of momentum which defies government, just as a great fly-wheel, once set in motion, takes a very much mightier force to stop than it took to start it. The phenomenon with which we have to deal is a form of the inertia of character induced by a premature vehemence of purpose, not a force of the constant vigor and vigilance of the will. It is due to what Clough used to call "the ruinous force of the will," meaning not its power to govern according to reason, but its rigidity when it has once snapped on an irrational resolve.

on the steps fifty years before I'll go into this house, if that man's settled here." Accordingly, on the Sunday on which the new minister began to preach, this overemphatic will of his closes on the destiny he had carved out for himself in that event, and he begins to sit on the steps in all weathers, rain, snow, or glaring sun, though he loses thereby the woman to whom he had engaged himself, and leads for years a miserable life as the mere victim of the vast momentum of his capricious will. The woman to whom he had been engaged and most passionately attached, as she also was to him, in the end she does actually become his wife, thus describes him: "No; he ain't crazy; he's got too much will for his common sense; that's all, and the will teeters the sense a little too far into the air." Again: "He always had a way of saying things over and over, as if he were making steps out of 'em, and raising of himself up on 'em, till there was no moving him at all." When, many years after the habit has been thus chiselled out like so many granite steps, she asks him why, if he no longer holds his former unfavorable view of the minister, he does not go into the This power, if it can be called a power meeting-house and behave like other peo- and not rather a fatality, to determine the ple, Marcus Woodman replies: "Don't set of a destiny, and even of a character, you suppose I would if I could? I can't, not by conscience or reason, but by a Esther, I can't." He is the victim of his kind of suddenly crystallizing caprice, was own past will, and has no longer any power comparatively common, if we may trust to alter the will which has once settled Miss Wilkins's wonderful pictures of New down on this irrational resolve. "Do you England life, among the descendants of s'pose," he asks, "I've took any comfort the old Calvinists, who seem to have copsitting there on them steps in the winter ied into their daily practice the arbitrary snows and summer suns? Do you s'pose predestinarianism which they enshrined I've took any comfort not marrying you? in their theology. Worshipping a God Don't you s'pose I'd given all I was worthwhose Sic volo, sic jubeo, was supposed to any time the last ten year to have got up be an adequate explanation of the final an' walked into the church with the rest of the folks?" And when she replies that she thinks he could if he really wished it, he rejoins: "All I know is, I can't make myself give it up. I can't. I ain't made strong enough to." And that is just the fact. He is not strong enough to alter his own course once taken. It is not in reality excess of will-power at all, rather deficiency of power to alter a resolution once fixed and ossified. He has precipitated his life into an orbit from which, eccentric as it is, he has no power to withdraw it. He has made an oddity, a moral gurgoyle of himself, and yet he can no more hark back upon his own course than the gurgoyle, once sculptured in stone, can untwist itself from its grotesque and misshapen curves and angles. This is the nearest approach we have in our

damnation of millions of human beings no less than of the salvation of the few, they seemed to think they could do no better than predestine their own lots by a caprice at least as unintelligible, and much more short-sighted; but that kind of human predestinarianism is by no means confined to Calvinists. You will see it in the arbitrary asceticism or expiatory passion of Hindoos, who, if they light suddenly upon a fancy for accumulating a stock of meritorious suffering to their own credit, will inflict on themselves as much as St. Simeon Stylites did or more, with no better justification than a whim of pious caprice, - will hold up an arm, for instance, till they die, or will persist in realizing prac tically some other equally painful and equally sudden caprice of the imagination far more difficult of execution than Marcus

hold your own, even when your own position is wisely chosen and absolutely right. Ossification of the will is bad, but it is hardly so contemptible as flaccidity of the will, and that is the moral malady which most besets us now.

Woodman's resolve to sit on the steps of his church through snow and sunshine, as long as the minister he had objected to continued to preach there. The power of the will to petrify itself, or rather, its inability to relax itself, after it has once congealed, is a condition of mind by no means peculiar to the descendants of Calvinists; but it is generally traceable to fatalism of some kind, to some form of the strange creed that the determining wills of the universe From The Fortnightly Review. VICTOR HUGO: "DIEU." do not act out of any regard to reason or righteousness applicable to the changing TOWARDS the close of the year 1855 two conditions of changing life, but simply out poems by Victor Hugo were announced of wilfulness, and that even the most short- for publication; an engagement never to sighted of mortals cannot do better than be fully redeemed, and never to be reimitate this arbitrariness of the supreme deemed at all during the lifetime of the Will's decree. There is, we believe, usu-author. Upwards of thirty years more ally some sort of religious fatalism in were reserved for the various and incesthis irrational snap of the will, some sant labors of his illustrious life, for the sort of conscious or unconscious instinct manifold and marvellous expansion of his that irrevocability of will embodies a incomparable genius; but the two poems kind of grandeur, instead of suggesting a advertised as then in preparation were gigantic incompetence to reform one's never to appear in full. On the reverse own procedure. Marcus Woodman, it is leaf of the plain paper covering in which said, hewed steps out of the rock of exist." Les Contemplations" then came forth ence, on which he seemed to be raising himself to a higher level. Really they were useless steps, which led up nowhere, at least, only to a naked pinnacle of caprice from which he found it at length all but impossible to descend. Immutability of will is admirable, if it is founded upon an equal immutability of right vision. But to value any immutability of purpose determined by a mere accident, by the mere blind plunging of the hand into a lottery, is the highest form of irrationality. Yet it is a form of irrationality common enough in many an old English province, - for instance, in Yorkshire fifty years ago, as the Brontës testify; indeed, as Branwell Brontë himself proved when he resolved to stand up to die, and kept to his strange and arbitrary resolve.

for the delight and wonder of all ages of the world, till thought and passion, sympathy and emotion, and poetry and nature shall be no more, the two great and strange titles, "Dieu" and "La Fin de Satan," gave promise of future work on the same lines as the sixth book of that immortal collection or selection of lyric and elegiac, meditative and prophetic poetry. And now, upwards of thirty-six years later, we receive all that we ever shall receive of the first-named and more ambitious poem. Fragments of its vast original design may possibly be recognized, may certainly be surmised, as lying embedded or incorporate in other works since completed and issued in the designer's lifetime; in the second series, for instance, of "La Légende des Siècles," and especially in the But perhaps, after all, there is something historic and philosophic poem called "Reto be said for this extreme of local per-ligions et Religion." There as here the sistency in caprice, as compared at least intellect of a sovereign thinker was rather with the other extreme, which is becoming displayed than disguised by the genius of too common in our own rapidly moving a supreme poet. We must not, of course, cities, where not only is everything mutable, but there is a sort of pride in never being consistent with yourself, in never adhering to any groove of habit for more than the infinitesimal period during which that special groove is fashionable. The force of the will is truly "ruinous" when it cleaves as tenaciously to arbitrary error as it does to discriminating and deliberate purpose. But it is better to hold your own position, even when your own position is wrong, than never to be able to

overlook or forget a fact so familiar to the lowest intelligence which finds itself capable of articulate expression as is this: that no great poet can be really a great thinker; that the ideal Gomorrah of Plato was the creation of a deeper intelligence, a loftier intuition, than the ideal Areopagus of Eschylus; that Aristophanes of Athens, in his campaign against Socrates of Sodom, succeeded only in displaying the spiritual inferiority of a conservative patriot to a progressive idealist. A later

and no less obvious example of intellectual | Again and again the English reader will inferiority of petty, trivial, fantastic be reminded of Tennyson as vividly and tenuity of thought, contrasted with superb, as directly as here. It is hardly necessary virile, trenchant energy of intelligence to transcribe any of the parallel passages must be familiar to all Englishmen who which no probable reader can be supposed have ever compared Shakespeare's plays not to know by heart. with Bacon's essays; the platitudes, for instance, of the playwright's Hamlet with the profundities of the chancellor's expo

sition" of Nature in Men."

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Tout ce que vous voyez est larve; tout vous
Et tout rapidement fond dans l'ombre; car



La nuit reprend le spectre ainsi que l'eau la neige.

With Plato and Bacon we must not then | Tremble dans le mystère immense et se discompare we should not, if desirous to do so, be permitted to compare - such thoughtless thinkers, such brainless sters, as Sophocles or Shakespeare, Pindar or Victor Hugo. We must know that we must be wrong if we fancy that we find in such a volume as that now before us

more grasp of thought, more solidity of reason, more fixity of faith, than in such theological treatises as teach us the grammar of assent without belief. It must suffice us to examine, in a spirit of charitable tolerance and of consideration less contemptuous than compassionate, what manner of message, if any, it may pretend or attempt to convey.

One point, however, it would be difficult for the most scornful professor of theology or atheology to dispute; that the most ardent optimist and spiritualist of his age could become, when it pleased him to speak dramatically, to cast his imagina. tion, as it were, into the mould of another man's mind, and assume the mask or the raiment of another man's intelligence, an incomparable exponent of pessimism and materialism. The philosopher of "Force and Matter," the poet of "Dreadful Night," found no such utterance for the faith which was in them as Hugo has bestowed upon the bat and the owl of his superhuman vision.

Le moindre grain de sable est un globe qui


Traînant comme la terre une lugubre foule
Qui s'abhorre, et s'acharne, et s'exècra, et

La voix s'éteint avant d'avoir crié : Que saisje?

O toi qui vas! l'esprit, le vent, la feuille
Le silence, le bruit, cette aile qui t'emporte,
Le jour que tu crois voir par moments, ce qui

Ce qui tremble, le ciel, l'être, tout est la nuit!
be difficult to find an echo in the work of
To this cry of triumphant despair it would
the English poet; but all serious lovers of
poetry will be reminded of one of the
noblest passages in English verse on read-
ing these posthumous lines of the greatest
European poet since the days of Dante :-

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Sur ton crâne que Dieu pensif traça l'épure
De ce monde qu'emplit son auréole pure.
Tu dis: J'ai la raison, la vertu, la beauté.
Tu dis: Dieu fut très las pour m'avoir in-

Et tu crois l'égaler chaque fois que tu bouges.
"He now is first, but is he the last? is he
not too base?" That bitter and terrible

question will ring at once in the ears of the English reader; who can hardly fail to remember the magnificent music of the six lines which close with it as even greater and more memorable than the La sphère imperceptible à la grande est pa-ironic harmony, the dramatic resonance,

sans fin

Se dévore; la haine est au fond de la faim.

of these.

reille; Et le songeur entend, quand il penche l'oreille, But it is rather of Blake than of TennyUne rage tigresse et des cris léonins son that an English reader will be usually Rugir profondément dans ces univers nains. reminded by the passionate and apoca In no other poem of Hugo's are there to lyptic utterance of horror and of hope, of be found so many and such striking coin- anguish and of faith, which rings and cidences of thought and expression with thrills through every line of this incomthe contemporary work of his greatest En-plete yet perfect poem. The intensity of glish contemporary. Compare with this the famous passage in "Maud

For nature is one with rapine.

pity and of wonder, hardly harmonized or scarcely subdued by the intensity of hope and faith, which vibrates in the lyric aspiration and meditation of Blake, finds a

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