thinks in a quiet, sensible way on forget him, or a dozen other victims of subjects of general interest, and whose injudicious patronage ?1 All which is views ought to be published; but, if

t, to be published; but, of very edifying and very right. Too publishing them involves giving his much vigilance cannot be exercised in own name, he will not write.

such matters. But, while keeping a This, no doubt, is the strongest plea sharp look-out for the motes in the for anonymous writing, and it is not eves of public men, “we” have had no easy to answer it. The highest class of leisure to attend to the beams in our writers are just those to whom it comes own. Alas, that one should have to home—the men who write from the confess that " we,” too, have our most sincere convictions, and who have “Dowbs," and their name is legion ! disciplined themselves into saying no- « Quis custodiet ipsos custodes ?” Who thing anonymously which they would shall keep an eye on the watch-dogs ? not be ready and willing to say in their If the nation had Argus himself to lay own names if called upon to do so. If on, he would find his work well cut out the question were only as to such men, for him, in watching “we.” it would matter little how it might be The simple fact is, that, as matters decided. But they are exceptions. now stand, the temptation is almost too The great majority of us have not so great for human nature. The shapes it disciplined ourselves and are never takes are manifold and subtle, suited to likely to do so ; and it is much better every man who can wield a pen and get for the country that the few should

a corner in a penny paper, from the have to put some force on themselves, writer of high politics down to the and sacrifice their desire for privacy, purveyor of shocking accidents and than that the many should go on familiar police reports. Though few of us may ising themselves and their readers with have friends or relatives in the high the sort of licence and recklessness places of the earth, or playing for them, which is now the rule.

many of us have them more or less in There are no other arguments, I some of the humbler walks of public believe, but these, which need be con- life ; almost all of us are interested in sidered. On the other hand, another an author or two, or an inventor, or, at benefit which might arise from the least, in some scheme or undertaking discontinuance of the custom of anony- which is struggling to make a place for mous writing would be the serious itself. Then there are the rivals of our discouragement which would thereby said friends and relatives, and of ourbe given to all the puffing and job- selves, and the schemes and inventions bery which goes on behind the shield which are elbowing those we are interof the mighty “we.” At present “we” ested in, and the authors we dislike. is the most unscrupulous, although not All these men and matters come before the most bare-faced, jobber amongst us. us day after day, and each of us has an No hardened old first lord who ever audience of hundreds or thousands, as came into office, with a following of the case may be, who are more or less needy second cousins, and a resolution guided in their beliefs and acts by what to provide for them at his country's we tell them about men, and books, and expense, can hold a candle to us. The schemes, and inventions. For one of man in high station is comparatively us who can be trusted to deal with all harmless in these days when every little such men and things with perfect fairquiet job is ferreted out, and the whole ness and uprightness, when he is not battery of the press opens the fire of writing in his own name, and when a “ public opinion” upon him. The whole country rings with the atrocity.

1 The officer here alluded to is by all ac

counts a thoroughly efficient and able one, His misdeed passes into a proverb.

his great misfortune being that he happened

few words, perhaps, of his will serve himself, or his friend, or his cause, or will hit a rival hard at a critical moment,—there are twenty of us, and not bad fellows either, who cannot. I think for one, it would be better for our selves and the country if we were not in the way of the temptation.

But my space is running short, though much remains to be said. The short fact is, that anonymous writing in newspapers benefits three sets of persons, and three sets of persons only. First, the proprietors, whose property is made more valuable by the custom. Secondly, the editors, who gain importance and prestige from the sort of mystery in which they are able to wrap themselves. Thirdly, we, the writers, who, while the custom prevails, can write with much less sense of responsibility, and there fore much more copiously and easily ; making more money and giving less thought—'who, if ill-natured, can say savage things against our foes, if goodnatured can do puffing and backing jobs for our friends, which we should hesitate to say and do in our own names. The interest of all these three classes lies in the same direction, that of prolonging the reign of the mighty “we." Of course as long as they hold well together they can keep that awful abstraction on the throne. The whole of the rest of the world is of no avail against them, being to all intents and purposes powerless to express itself. Here and there a man may wince at some attack upon himself, imputing motives and distorting facts, and may break out in a

speech or pamphlet; another may grumble at finding his paper singing black one day and white the next; but the discontent will never become strong enough to compel a reform. Indeed, newspaper readers are not likely to demand one. The taste of the bulk of them has been spoiled. Like other dram-drinkers, they crave a certain flavour, which they are used to, and will have, though they know that it is just that which is bad for them. The “smack” and spice of most of our newspaper-writing lies in its impersonality, and so the dram-drinkers

from the readers of the Saturday in the clubs and universities, to the readers of Reynolds in the New-cut and Whitechapel—will go on consuming while they can get the spicy article easily.

A division within the producing camp is the only chance the great consuming public has of a supply of healthier liquor. There are so many gentlemen of high character and feeling engaged more or less in writing for newspapers, that one can't help being sanguine. If a few of them could only be made half as jealous for the character of their anonymous profession as those of them who have one are for that of their own more regular profession, there would be very soon a rebellion against “we.” Let the consumers only foster all signs of mutiny in the camp (such as the present), doing their best to encourage all malcontents, and we may all very well live to see the Times walking into anonymous scribbling with its biggest cudgel. It has made several stranger changes since I became a “constant reader."



SOME few months ago, as the story was told to me, a recent convert to Catholicism tried to console the Pope, during an access of unusual dejection, by assuring his Holiness, with more faith than originality, that come what might, the

shipwreck. “Ah!” groaned poor Pio Nono in reply, "la barca, no, ma il barcajuolo, si; " the vessel doubtless would never founder, but the steersman might well tumble overboard. The story, authentic or not, illustrates clearly bottom of the whole papal difficulty, that the question is one of persons not of principles.

This fact, hardly, I think, appreciated enough in England, explains the otherwise almost unintelligible circumstance that the Italian revolution has been hitherto unattended by any national religious movement. For the last twelveyears the Church in Italy has been fighting a deadly, though a losing, battle against the nation. The natural result would appear to be, that in the hour of victory the nation vould throw off its allegiance to its bitterest enemy. Such, however, has not been the case. Why it has not been so is a question on which I shall have somethirg to say shortly. For the present it is enough to state that, hitherto, few symptoms of any religious reformation or revolution, as you choose to call it, have been exhibited in Italy. I know, indeed, that in Florence, Pisa, and Turin, there have sprung up, of late years, congregations of Italian Protestants. But as yet, the number of converts is small, and there has been no indication of the movement developing from a sectariar into a national one. The reform agitaton, if such it can be designated, whih was headed by Gavazzi, at Naples, and supported by that gentleman's Engish admirers, has been still less successul. Even in the first days of Garibali's power, when Gavazzi, dressed in his red flannel shirt, used to harangue tie mob in the Largo del Palazzo, his invectives were addressed against the persons of the priests, not against theirdoctrines; and when the Dictator rasily gave him permission to preach in the old church of the Jesuits, the popuar feeling in Naples was for once so decided, that the permission had to be retracted at once. The truth is, that if there is one thing an Italian dislikes nore than a Protestant turned Catholic-and that is saying a good deal—it is a Catholic turned Protestant. If everthere is to be a reformation in Italy, it Iust be one of indigenous growth, not f foreign importation; and the reformaion, such as it is, will begin from the piesthood,

At last, there seems to be some prospect of a national religious movement amongst the Italian clergy. In this movement, the name of the Abbé Passaglia has attracted most attention abroad. There are, however, other actors, playing a no less important part, of whom I wish to speak before entering on the case of Passaglia. One and all of these reformers profess unbounded allegiance to the Pope, and implicit faith in the doctrines of the Catholic Church. What they wish to reform is the ruling body at Rome, which, in their judgment, has misdirected the Pope's counsels. The danger they wish to avert is the growing alienation between the Church and the Italian people. In the words of the appeal made recently by Canon Reali to the Pope, “There is a schism, “not outward or fanatical, but real and “ practical, which divides the sons of “the same father and the children of the “same family; the laity are divided “from the clergy; the clergy are di“vided amongst themselves; the lower “priesthood are alienated from the “higher; the bishops are left isolated, “or united to each other solely by the “feeble bonds of party spirit, or fear, or “servility ; vast numbers of the faithful “are diverted from the faith... churches " are deserted; sacred science neglected “ amidst the disputes of parties ; schools “are changed into nurseries of evil "passions for the young ; convents are “abandoned to dissensions, and sub“jected to malignant imputations; while, “to sum up in one phrase, there is ruin “and confusion in the house of God.”

S uch is the state of things which the Italian reformers purpose to remedy. Foremost amongst them is Monsignor Liverani. This gentleman held high rank in the hierarchy of Rome. He was a domestic prelate, a canon of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and a proto-notary of the papal chancellerie. He had the repute of a man of great learning; and, not long ago, was accounted one of the shining lights of the Roman Church. His family were devoted to the papacy, and his father had been killed during the revolution as an ad

herent of the Pope. Unfortunately for “weaken my docile submission to the his peace and quiet, he could not approve “utterances of the Holy See, in which is of the system of hostility towards the “ placed the glory, the boast, the conItalian cause, inaugurated by the Vati “solation, and the hope of so many can. Probably on account of this dis- “millions of the faithful. Therefore, agreement with the ruling party at Rome, “most blessed Father,condemn, reprove, though, according to his own version, " proscribe, and stigmatize my work as solely on account of failing health, he “seems best to you, and I will humbly left Rome at the end of last January, "condemn and reprove it also.” for the healthier air of Florence. It No answer was returned to this supwas there that, in the month of June, plication. Monsignor Liverani was deMonsignor Liverani brought out his prived, without trial, of his benefices. famous pamphlet, Il Papato, l'Impero, The Ultramontane papers, the Armonia e il Regno d'Italia," recommending the and the Civilta Cattolica, abused him as Pope to make terms with the Italian a heretic and a renegade, and yet, even Government. The position and reputa- in his own narrative of the circumstances tion of the writer attracted great atten- attending his deprivatior, he expresses tion to the work, and the indignation of no doubt of papal infallibility or dissent the Court of Rome was correspondingly from the doctrines of the Church. On bitter. Headed by Cardinal Patrizi, the the other hand he inveigis most bitterly most bigoted and pro-Austrian, perhaps against the clique who form the governof the whole sacred college, the chapter ment of the Vatican. “Pray God," so of Santa Maria Maggiore at once be his narrative ends, “hat Rome may sought the Pope to use “extraordi- “ once for all be raised from the mire nary measures” in order to enforce “ with which the foul host of hucksterers their colleague's return to his vacant “ has bespattered her—that the holy stall. Without more than a day's “see may escape for ever from the delay, Pius IX. summoned Liverani “snares of the Filppanis, the Mires,' to return to Rome within the space of “the Antonellis, and the Bank of two months, and then and there re- “ Rome and that again it may be nounce and revoke the statements " said of the Holy Pontiff, as it was contained in his pamphlet, on pain of “ once said of the Divine author of his ipso facto losing his canonry. By “ priesthood, 'He shall spare the poor canon law the stall could only be “and needy, and shall save the souls of declared ipso facto vacant on account of “ the needy ; he shall redeem their soul such crimes as heresy, murder, or simony, “from deceit and violence; and preand even then only after the three "cious shall their blood be in his required citations ; but the Pope con- “sight."" The reproof which thus by sidered the occasion important enough inference is conveyed against the Court to outride common rules, and call for of Rome, is a grave and solemn one in “extraordinary measures.” Monsignor the mouth of papal prelate. Liverani thereupon addressed a letter to The Court of Rome may possibly still the Pope, offering to resign his canonry retain the iniocence of the dove; it is on the sole condition that “his cause certain she las lost the wisdom of the “ might be decided on by the ordinary serpent. “Vhosoever is not with me “ regulations of the canon law, so as to is against ne,” has become her motto, “have the appearance of a judicial and any one of her members who refuses “decision, not of an act of vengeance," to believe n the temporal power being while at the same time he thus expressed essential to the existence of the Church, his devotion to the Pope. “Whatever is at once cut off from her communion. “ judgment it may please your Holiness Thus frieds and well-wishers are turned “to pronounce upon my work, 'Il Papato, against their will into open reformers. l'Impero, e il Regno d'Italia,' it can A strikirg instance of this short-sighted

Canon Reali. This gentleman was, or, according to his own view, is, a monk of the order of San Salvator. During the revolutionary days of 1848 he was a warm partizan of the liberal doctrines, which Pius IX. was then believed to profess. When the reaction set in, either terrified at his own rashness, or startled by the excesses of the revolutionary party, he abjured his liberal errors, and, as the condition of being allowed to retain his ecclesiastical functions, consented to retract a pamphlet he had published on the advisability of an alliance between the Pope and the revolution. Still he remained a marked man, suspected by the dominant faction.

The course pursued by the Papal Government after its restoration, dispelled any hopes he might have formed that the Vatican had learnt wisdom by adversity; and, when the hopes of the national party revived with the progress of Piedmont, Canon Reali became an adherent of the cause of Italy. In 1859, he received an intimation, while residing at Fano, that he was likely to be summoned forcibly to Rome, to answer before the Inquisition for his opinions, and there upon retired to Bologna, which had then revolted from the papal rule. Here he resided, in the convent of his order, until September, 1860, when he was sent to Turin, in order to petition the Government against the proposed dissolution of his convent-an errand in which he proved successful. Early in the present year he published a pamphlet in Turin, entitled, “Liberty of Conscience in relation to the temporal power of the Papacy.” This pamphlet, which advocated the separation of the temporal and spiritual power, was at once placed in the Index Expurgatorius of Rome, and the author was formally summoned to renounce his errors on pain of excommunication. The Canon Reali appealed, but without effect. A decree was issued from the “Sacra Congregazione" at Rome, couched in these curious terms :

“It certainly was to have been hoped " that the priest Eusebio Reali, belong

“holy order of the “Salvatore Lateran“ense,' after having once publicly “ retracted his errors in former days, “ would have remained firm to his “ plighted faith. From his public acts, “ however, it is evident that he has re“ turned to his vomit (sic), and has “ entered on a path of life which is not “ only unfitted for a man in holy orders, “ but offers grave cause of offence and “ scandal to Christian people. Being “ therefore only a disgrace and injury “ to his order, and there remaining no “hope of his reformation, our most “ holy master, Pius IX., though with “ regret, thinks it incumbent on him to “ remove a tainted sheep from amongst “his brethren. He therefore orders “the Superior-General of the above“ named order to proceed to the expul“sion of Eusebio Reali, and herewith “ declares him expelled, omitting the “ prescribed forms, and notwithstanding “ any provisions that may exist to the « contrary."

This decree was communicated by the Superior-General to Reali, accompanied by a letter, in which the following remarkable passage occurred :—“I am “ certain you will lay the responsibility “ of this proceeding on our order. You “ may think as you like, but this false "impression is due to your ignorance of “the feelings entertained here in high “ quarters towards all priests who com“ promise themselves in the present "troubles. You ought to be acquainted " with the fact that all these acts are “ done in cases where the Holy See “ considers that she has external and " public evidence to proceed upon proprio motu' by his Holiness, and that “ many other priests have been ex“ pelled without any representation be“ing made to the Pope by their order." The heresy of which Reali seems to have been guilty consisted in disputing the validity of the French Ultramontane theory, that the temporal power of the Papacy was essential to the freedom of the Catholic faith. For this heresy he has been expelled from his order, and deprived, by the Pope

« ElőzőTovább »