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Si vous me permettiez ici, messieurs, un souvenir personnel, je vous dirais en toute simplicité, c'est aux Catéchismes que je dois tout. Pour moi, ah! que les enfants, qui ont été mon premier amour et le premier dévouement de ma vie, en soient aussi le dernier.†
these years is told in two sentences: "La | of his most important books; * and it is vie surnaturelle s'établit dès lors en moi with unmistakable sincerity that he dwells dans une certaine solidité qui a depuis on this period of his life in the great souffert bien des affaiblissements, mais "Entretiens sur la prédication populaire," qui ne s'est guère démentie grièvement, published when he was at the height of je le crois" (p. 58). And then: "C'est là his glory in 1864:que l'ordre divin et surnaturel de l'action pastorale sur les âmes commença à m'être révélé. . . . Depuis, tout ce qui n'est pas cela, tout ce qui n'est pas l'action pure sur les âmes, n'est rien pour moi " (p. 72). The vivid and abiding sense of the supernatural; the sure and solid realization of the things eternal and unseen; the love his diocese of the work of catechizing he To the development and extension in and zeal for souls, supreme, engrossing, devoted his utmost energy and care; and animating, and illuminating: these surely some of his very best writing has this were the two greatest and highest lessons aim. The impression of the immense that could be given to a man on the eve of his ordination; nothing better could be had been borne in to him at St. Sulpice; privilege and importance of such labors wished from any course of training than it was completed and ensured at the that a priest should trace back to it such gifts as these; and no other enrichment of the mind and heart could go so far towards making him great with the lowliness of God's servants.
At the close of 1824 he was ordained deacon; but he remained still at St. Sulpice, until, on December 18, 1825, he was
Chapel of the Assumption, and he retained it to the end of his life. He had already begun, during his diaconate and before leaving the seminary, to bear some part in the work of the catechisms connected with the Madeleine; but it now became his especial charge, the appointed field for the powers of his ordained life; and he threw
admitted to the priesthood, by Mgr. de
As one reads his life and certain of his writings this part of his manifold labors comes out gradually but clearly into its due prominence; and it was most dear and congenial to him. In it every gift of his mind and heart found full and unhindered play; it was rich in happiness and promise; and he himself, one may well believe, would after all have called it the greatest as well as the brightest work he ever did. In the midst of all the strife and fame and grandeur and applause he looked back to it with unchanged enthusiasm and affection; to it he dedicated some
himself into the duty with characteristic
Especially L'œuvre par excellence, ou entretiens sur le catéchisme. † Entretiens sur la prédication populaire, pp. 434, 435. Ibid., p. 200. There have been in our own communion some who have had wisdom and warm-heartedness enough to discern, as clearly as Mgr. Dupanloup did, the pre-eminent importance of catechizing as an integral part in the work of a parish. An intimate friend of the late vicar of St. Andrews, Wells Street, can recall his saying: "If I have ever done any good at all as a parish priest-which may well be doubted - it has been in my Saturday classes. and more convinced every day I live that catechetical Fal-instruction is the only sure foundation on which you can properly build people up in the faith."
of considerable length might well be written on the one
I am more
beyond France; nor that the young catechist soon found himself rich both in good repute and in affection; nor yet that he clearly felt that his own soul and all his powers were growing beyond all that he had anticipated in the strenuous and happy activity of congenial work.
était pour tous, un principe de vie" (p.
It is necessary to pass over several scenes of his life in this period, which do not admit of being summarily told; his relations with the Orleans princes; his foundation of the Academy of St. Hyacinth; his share in the beginning of the great Conférences de Notre Dame (a work which brought him into close and delicate relations with Père Lacordaire); and finally the tangled troubles which led to his removal from his trust at the Made- a yet higher quality in his former teacher: leine the trust in which he could hardly have a successor. It was a heart-breaking sorrow and disappointment to him; but it was not long before Mgr. de Quélen found for him a task wholly apt for his heart and mind. For about eighteen months he was a curate at St. Roch; and then, in the late autumn of 1837, he was appointed superior of the Petit Séminaire de Saint Nicolas du Chardonnet the school where he himself had been happy and distinguished as a boy. He had not held that post for twelve months when there came to the seminary a young Breton, who had just been gaining all the prizes in the distant college of Tréguier a lad destined to attract attention to all places and people concerned in training him for his conspicuous and perhaps unique position as M. Ernest Renan.
The chapter in the "Souvenirs d'enfance" which treats of this stage of M. Renan's progress into prominence is certainly of fascinating interest; and in language marked with all the fresh charm of a modesty that has never been overworked he lays on Mgr. Dupanloup a very serious responsibility. "M. Dupanloup m'avait à la lettre transfiguré. Du pauvre petit provincial le plus lourdement engagé dans sa gaine, il avait tiré un esprit ouvert et actif."* The picture drawn of the life at Saint Nicolas deserves a study in detail, but three salient and suggestive points are all that may here be selected. They are points in Mgr. Dupanloup's character and power which give the clue to a great deal of his subsequent brilliancy. M. Renan leaves no doubt as to the strength and life that were in the superior: "Il est certain qu'il écrasait tout autour de lui” (p. 179).* “Il fut pour moi ce qu'il
• Souvenirs, etc., p. 195.
Je trouvai chez M. Dupanloup cette grande et chaleureuse entente des choses de l'âme qui faisait sa supériorité. Je fus avec lui d'une extrême franchise. Le côté scientifique lui échappa tout à fait; quand je lui parlai de critique allemande, il fut surpris. Mais quel bon, grand et noble cœur! J'ai là sous mes yeux un petit billet de sa main: "Avezvous besoin de quelque argent? ce serait tout Ma pauvre simple dans votre situation. bourse est à votre disposition. Je voudrais pouvoir vous offrir des biens plus précieux. Mon offre tout simple ne vous blessera pas, j'espère." (Souvenirs, etc., pp. 323, 324.)
Bringing with him such powers and traits of character, Mgr. Dupanloup did not fail to work a great change in the Seminary. He widened the range, both narrow and flagging life of the Little of admission and of study; he invited lads to enter the school even though they had no intention of seeking orders, and he recast the whole plan of the education in a far more liberal form. But all these changes, and the distinction and prosperity and opposition which they secured for the school, did far less to make the superior famous and to hasten him into eminence than the strange affair in which he was called to play a chief part very soon after his appointment at St. Nicolas, and five or six months before Ernest Renan arrived there. It seems uncomely work to weigh evidence or peer into doubtful expressions in regard to scenes such as those around the death-bed of M. de Talleyrand. We are not concerned to estimate the moral or spiritual value of the
* The weightiest and amplest of his writings were devoted to the same subject; and for his great treatise upon education M. Legrange claims that it is "le plus élevé, sur cette matière, le plus pénétrant, le plus complet, le plus éloquent. qu'aura produit ce siècle" (tome iii., p. 486).
recantation which he signed at last upon May 10, 1838; M. Renan has no doubt upon one side, and bestows on the transaction some of his coldest, hardest, and brightest epigrams. M. Dupanloup and M. Lagrange seem equally clear upon the other side. What does strike one in the course of the transaction, according to either estimate of it, is the vulgarity (a vulgarity which certainly society, both ecclesiastical and general, did its best to encourage in the unhappy prince) of the mind that at such a time, in such a matter, could presume upon prestige, and dawdle for effect, and think so much about dates and titles, and who would be pleased, and what the world would say, in regard to an act which, if it had any meaning at all, could be nothing more and nothing less than the late cry of a dying, sinful old man for the mercy he should have sought long before. What strikes one among the only consequences of which men can judge is that the young priest who was called to deal with this conspicuous and dilatory penitent, was lifted at once into a publicity which secured full scope and recognition for his many gifts.
thread of the personal life, as it passes, now clear and now obscured, through all the change and stir and stress of the great world; and so following we must pause at the year 1849. The peculiar sorrow of that year has been already marked; on February 2, the mother whom he had loved so loyally was taken from him. About two months later he was appointed by M. de Falloux to the bishopric of Orleans. He was consecrated at Notre Dame on December 9, 1849.*
And here one is forced in sincere despair to give up trying to sketch his life or condense the record of his work. The art of abridgment has been much cultivated in this day of many examinations and well-informed shallowness; but no Liebig of literature could possibly compress into a "Student's Manual" all the doings and difficulties and distinctions and distractions of the Bishop of Orleans during the nire-and-twenty years of his epis copate. There was not a detail of practical work throughout his diocese which escaped his swift and penetrating energy. His pastoral letters alone fill three large volumes. There went out "circulaires In 1845 differences of opinion between incessantes au clergé pour enflammer M. Dupanloup and Mgr. Affre (who had son zèle."† Peter's pence, charity, rein 1840 succeeded Mgr. de Quélen), in re-treats, education, restoration of churches, gard to the management of the seminary, catechisms, the cholera, devotions to the led to his resigning the office of superior; blessed sacrament, collections for Algiers, but immediately afterwards he received prayers for the pope, confirmations, clergyconsiderable tokens of favor from Rome houses, the duty of reading- these are (to which he had already paid two visits); but a few of the matters about which he and early in 1846 the Archbishop of Paris strenuously and with insistence set to made him a canon of Notre Dame. In work. He required his clergy to give that position he remained for three years courses of continuous instruction for four years remarkable for the development years, and organized a scheme for securof his extraordinary power and the growthing that this should be done. Archdeaof his splendid fame as a preacher; and also for the first stages of a struggle out of which he never entirely escaped, the great and complex struggle over the Education Law of 1850. The story of that fight allows of no abridgment which would bring it within the compass of a review; it is the first of many passages in the remaining part of Mgr. Dupanloup's life which are inseparable from the general history of France, and which must be left by the critic for the more deliberate treatment and estimate of the historian.* We would only try to follow the narrow
For a very interesting account of the struggles in regard to education with which Mgr. Dupanloup was concerned, and of the way in which the best and most brilliant efforts of those with whom he stood were misrepresented and spoilt and baffled by the blindness of the Ultramontane press, cf. two articles by M. LeroyBeaulieu, entitled "Les Catholiques Libéraux," Revue des Deux Mondes, 1884, 15 Août, 15 Décembre.
cons, vicars-general, deans all were routed out and arranged and set to work; no one was forgotten or undisturbed, not even a beadle or a chorister.
De même pour sa maison épiscopale. Pénétré de ce principe formulé par Saint Paul, qu'un évêque doit gouverner sa maison, précision, le règlement de chacun de ses dopræesse domui suæ, il a écrit, avec la dernière mestiques, et il le leur mettait en mains dès qu'ils entraient chez lui. (Tome ii., p. 246.)
The notes which he made in regard to his new work during the retreat preceding his consecration are of great beauty and value.
Nouvelles œuvres choisies, tomes v., vi., vii. Even into his relations with his clergy the Ultramontane press did not hesitate to intrude, sedulously stirring up suspicion and hostility against his work. Cf. Revue des Deux Mondes, 1894, 15 Décembre, pp. 801, 806, 812, 814. It seems either discreditable or ominous that the authority of Rome could not secure at least a decent semblance of loyalty to the episcopate in a leading clerical journal. Cf. M. Legrange, ii. 144.
Certainly he sustained the character | could give life or guidance to enterprises which his old pupil gives him, "un éveil- so many and so diverse. But all the while leur incomparable; " and if the same critic Mgr. Dupanloup was writing books suggests that as a diocesan "il fut toujours enough to seem an amply sufficient outplus aimé de ses laïques que de ses prê- come for all his time and strength; one tres," it is not difficult to imagine some publisher alone offers us twenty-seven volgrounds for the statement. Universal umes; M. Lagrange draws out a list of affection is seldom secured by a raid on more than one hundred publications; and the vested rights of leisure or of sloth. some of these at least are works of real Even M. Lagrange records that "quelques thought and originality. But the thought anciens prêtres, qui croyaient faire pour of his energy becomes fairly astounding le mieux en débitant toujours à leurs when we try to realize how to this pasparoissiens les prônes de leur jeunesse, toral and literary activity he added the toil goûtaient peu ses avis, et surtout leur and excitement of a public life as conspicforme vive,"† and one can imagine that a uous and complex, perhaps, as any of his like result might come from a like display day. There was hardly a controversy in of energy in certain slumberous parts of which he did not figure as a champion, England. But the Bishop of Orleans hardly a crisis in which his influence did went straight ahead: "C'était un mauvais not tell. He left no assailant undealt conseil (p. 53), he simply says, when with, no challenge declined. With newssome one had advised him to dilute his papers and ministers, with presidents and doses of episcopal tonic. He drew up sys- clergy, in Italy, in Belgium, with any one tematic arrangements for missions and for and anywhere he was ready to do battle retreats; he went everywhere, and made for any cause to which his fealty was the shrewdest notes of all he saw : thus, in pledged. When one recalls, however one place, "Le curé m'a dit qu'il n'a pas de poorly, the struggles in which he bore a chandeliers de l'autel, et j'en trouve chez leading part-a part exposing him to lui à toutes les cheminées;" in another, fierce and unflagging criticism, a part imas to candidates for confirmation, "Les perilling his influence and credit day after garçons jamais en blouse; on se day one feels the rare force and courage croit tout permis avec une blouse" (p. 63, that were in him, and the marvellous note). He marked in this fashion the vigor and versatility which could at once weak or strong points of all the four hun- meet the exacting claims of political life dred parishes in his diocese. He issued at such a time and surpass the demands of to every curé a paper of questions, in- an important diocese. All the long and tended to ascertain the status anima- bitter strife about the temporal power of rum within his cure; to some he sent the pope and the relations of the French privately "un autre questionnaire intitulé government with Garibaldi and with VicZèle pastoral". a somewhat searching tor Emmanuel; the years and years of and particular document (tome ii., p. 77, fighting in the field of education, while note 2). He preached often, enthusiasti- step by step religion was driven from its cally, brilliantly, fruitfully; he reorganized ground; the contests in the French Acadand quickened afresh the catechisms in emy, more successful apparently for a the cathedral; he completely remodelled while, baulking M. Taine of his prize and the seminaries, both little and great; he deferring for ten years the admission of got the cathedral restored and actively M. Littré; the whole business of the Vatpromoted the restoration of many parish ican Council in 1869 and 1870; † the war; churches; he founded communities and the National Assembly (in which he sat systematized "devotions;" he glorified as a deputy); the Commune; the National Joan of Arc, and fought the préfet; and Assembly again; the restoration of order no class of men, women, or children es- and the negotiations with the Comte de caped his watchfulness or lacked his in- Chambord, through these scenes lay the line of his ceaseless work, and there is hardly a chapter in the history of these
Surely, one thinks, as even in this ludicrously inadequate fashion one hurries through the list of his labors, here was business enough for any man. Only one who had turned right away from all else to throw himself wholly into his diocese
E. Renan, Souvenirs d'enfance, p. 179. † Tome ii., partie ire, p. 53.
Especially valuable are the "Entretiens sur la prédication populaire ;" vivid and interesting, sustaining throughout a very high and pure conception of the work of preaching. So, too, "L'œuvre par excellence, ou entretiens sur le catéchisme."
†The account of the bearing of the Liberal Catholics of France, in regard to the Syllabus and the Council, given by M. Leroy-Beaulieu in the second of the articles cited above, is full of interest.
eventful years that can be written without | curity against failures which may seem the frequent recurrence of his name. even final. The turbid flood that rushes Prominent in the greatest struggles, yet down gathered its force and volume far finding time to make himself felt in the back in distant hills from many tributary least as well, he never seemed to escape streams, and no skill or toil, or even goodfrom the strain and noise of controversy. ness, of one man or of one generation may A restless life it was, from which at last avail to check it: "They shall but deliver he was called away to rest elsewhere; dy- their own souls by their righteousness; ing, after a long period of ill health, with " They only shall be delivered, but the all that the love of friends and the minis-land shall be desolate." And then there try of the Church could do to help him in that last of all his conflicts, on the 11th of October in the year 1878.
Il y a eu un peu de bien. J'ai fait de mon mieux. Fai assez quoique mal travaillé." So he wrote, with simple sincerity, in his last retreat at Einsiedeln barely a month before his death. There is surely a deep and solemn pathos to be felt in the words when we recall the threats and dangers amidst which they were written, and the changes which have been hastened on in France since he was taken from the fight. "Ses derniers regards sur les choses de ce monde étaient tristes; il voyait venir, pour la France et pour l'Eglise, les calamités qu'il avait voulu conjurer il ne se faisait aucune illusion sur les maux qui nous menaçaient." A strange sequel has lately been written to the story of his public life. Mgr. Isoard, the Bishop of Annecy, has published a book entitled "Cinq années, 18791884." In his preface he gives us a list of the various acts of legislation adopted by the French government in their plan of campaign against the Church. It is indeed an instructive bit of history, well worth studying and remembering; and perhaps Mgr. Isoard hardly exaggerates the consequent state of affairs when he writes: "Le mal dont souffre actuelle ment en France la religion Catholique c'est la difficulté d'être." f
are those stories of martyrdom in life, of the prophet's anguish in his helpless wisdom, when he alone has seen how the ruin could be stayed and no one would give heed to him, or make the only sacrifice that could avail-stories sad as his of whom it was written:—
Εἴπερ ἴσην ρώμην γνώμη, Δημόσθενες, ἔσχες,
Οὐποτ ̓ ἂν Ελλήνων ήρξεν 'Αρης Μακεδών, Thoughts such as these, and records too, should make us shrink from ever judging a man's work by its apparent and immediate outcome in history. But yet, when the reverses are so quick and cruel as those which have fallen on the French Church since the death of Mgr. Dupanloup, one is forced to look back over the pages of his life, and to ask whether there are no traits which change color, as it were, in the glare of such a sequel; whether nothing could have been done, nothing otherwise conceived, which might have checked that wide havoc of all faith and virtue and nobility which seems to be sweeping over France.
Could nothing have been done by any venture of courage, at any risk, to break away from that sinister and crippling influence by which Rome will never suffer a Church to be sincerely national, or to enter with freedom and reality into the life and genius of a great people? "Subject Churches everywhere, and sister Churches We would not incur the just indignation nowhere: "there is the maxim that seems of M. Lagrange by attributing to Mgr. Du- to doom Catholicism to defeat wherever, panloup the blame for this swift sequence in the midst of a nation that is waking of disasters. But the life of a public man up to a new consciousness of itself, its cannot be regarded as a Greek drama; it powers, and its character, the jealous is not complete in itself; its last chapter majesty of Rome controls the policy of is only relatively last; it is inseparably churchmen. The Church must be free knit into the ceaseless tragedy of history. for vivid, rapid, and whole-hearted symOne's attention is arrested, and one's pathy with all the truth and good that are judgment held in suspense, when the im- astir about it; it must be able without one mediate sequel of a man's work is the help-backward glance, one moment of waiting less defeat of all for which he strove. for permission, to look into the face of Not that the very highest qualities of in- modern life and form its own judgment sight and justice and self-sacrifice and and take its own course; it must not be strength are in this world a sufficient se- interrupted in the strenuous and exacting task of understanding every detail of the
Lagrange, tome iii., p. 460.
* Plutarch, Βίοι τῶν δέκα ῥητόρων, p. 681.