« 이전계속 »
the expression of their affection? Happy is the priest to whom it is applied; he has a deep root in the people's hearts."'
To the priest of Lisnalee that term was never applied. Canon Murray, a man of good family and connexions, on which he greatly prided himself, commanded reverence rather than affection, and commanded it with good right, for he had been a bulwark against eviction, had promoted cottage industries of dairying, poultry farming, and beekeeping, till he could boast that such a thing as absolute want was unknown under his rule. But when Luke, with his ambitions and aspirations full blown, came, as in duty bound, to pay his respects, the Canon had nothing to speak of but 'a very respectable career in the Church,' leading to 'the honours and—ah! emoluments of the • ministry.' This to a young man afire not for the common self-sacrifices of priesthood, but for his chance of martyrdom in China, or of ministration to lepers! Thus from the first two ideals are set before Luke—the one leading through years and well-established respectability to 'honours and 'emoluments,' the other through self-sacrifice and humiliation to objects perhaps wholly superannuated in a world that had spun so long 'down the ringing grooves of 'change.' 'Are we going back to coaches when we have 'steam? Back to monasteries when we have hotels? Back 'to mortification, dishonour, forgetfulness, the innominati 'of the cell and the tomb 9' Are we, in a word, going to turn our backs upon America, where, as Annie Villars observes, there will never be any saints, only to fall in with the unprogressive ways of the insula Sanctorum? These ways, as Father Sheehan's business is to show, are dear to the inhabitants of Ireland, for quite other reasons than mere native indolence or native propensity to dirt. Luke's father, Mike Delmege, was ' a stern old Irish Catholic of the 'Puritan type, silent, God-fearing, and just, who never 'allowed a day to pass without an hour of silent commu'nion with God in his bedroom after the midday meal, and 'on whose lands the slightest whisper of indelicacy was 'punished by expulsion.' Non sic itur ad astra. That is not the way to a balance at the bank. The man was industrious and prosperous as a peasant, but peasant he would stay, unless he took the one line of success—optimi summi nunc via processus—through a grocery store with spirit licence attached, or else emigrated to America. And moreover, whether in Ireland or America, to achieve success in this world and the accumulation of wealth, it is essential
to attend to business, and to keep the mind resolutely fixed on practical problems and the heart where the treasure is. For the moment Luke was still in Ireland, still inclined to the ideals of the insula Sanctorum, and grew enthusiastic over the story of Father Tracey, who thought himself too elevated as a parish priest, and so, seeking salvation on a lower rung of the ladder, became chaplain to a city hospital, where he might be seen wandering the streets in an old coat green as a leek. Luke expressed a desire to kiss that man's feet, and his friend Father Martin told him it would be easy, for the toes were generally through his boots. This, however, was before Luke went 'on the English 'mission.'
The young priest saw England from the Channel, and could not understand the peace and calm of what he saw.
'" I thought," said Luke aloud, " that every notch in her cliffs was an embrasure, and that the mouths of her cannon were like nests in her rocks."
'" 'Tis the lion 'couchant et dormant,'" said a voice.'
The voice which answered so eloquently to eloquence was that of a ship's officer, who continued to dilate upon the terror of 'the silent and sheathed strength of England.'
'" I dare say it is something to be proud of," said Luke, who was appreciative of this enthusiasm, but did not share it.
'" Perhaps not," the officer replied. "It is destiny."
*" You see the Cornish coast," he continued, pointing to a dim haze far behind them, in which the outlines of the land were faintly pencilled. "Would you believe that up to the dawn of our century, fifty years ago, that entire peninsula was Catholic? They had retained that Catholic faith from the times of the Reformation. Then there were no priests to be had. Wesley went down, and to-day they are the most bigoted Dissenters in England; and Cornwall will be the last county that will come back to the Church."
'" Horrible," said Luke sadly.
*"And yet so thin is the veneering of Protestantism that their children are still called by the name of Catholic saints, Angela, and Ursula, and Teresa; and they have as many holy wells as you have in Ireland."
'" It must be a heartbreak to the priests," said Luke, " who have to minister amid such surroundings."
*" I only speak of it as a matter of fate," said the officer dreamily. "It is the terrific power of assimilation which Protestant England
* " You must be proud of your great country," said Luke.
'" No, sir," said the officer, " I am not."
'Luke looked at him with surprise.
« " Ireland is my country," said the officer in reply. "And these are our countrymen." He pointed down into the lower deck, where, lying prostrate in various degrees of intoxication, were four or five cattle dealers. They had sought out the warmth of the boiler during the night; and there they lay, unwashed and unkempt, in rather uninviting conditions. Their magnificent cattle, fed on Irish pastures, were going to feed the mouths of Ireland's masters, and tramped and lowed and moaned in hideous discord for food, and clashed their horns together as the vessel rolled on the waves.'
It will be seen that Father Sheehan does not blink facts. Luke's entry to London up the great sea avenue, which is also the great sewer of the nations, is described with the same mixture of hostility and admiration; and the visions of his first London days, when he sees the huge city that swelters round him hanging like a goitrous wen on the neck of Britannia, are reasonably enough set down to unaccustomed nerves and disordered digestion. Still, the working of this vast machinery where men go about solitary in multitudes depressed and distressed him.
'He only felt dimly that he was carried on, on, on in the whirl and tumult of some mighty mechanism; that the whir of revolving wheels, the vibration of belts, the thunder of engines, the hiss of steam, were everywhere. And that from all this tremendous energy were woven fair English tapestries—stately palaces and ancestral forests, trim villas and gardens like Eastern carpets—and that the huge machinery tossed aside also its refuse and slime—the hundreds and thousands that festered and perished in the squalor of the midnight cities. For over all England, even in midsummer, hangs a blue haze, and over its cities the aer bruno, in which the eye of the poet saw floating the spirits of the lost.
'He stepped from the silences of God, and the roar of London was in his ears.'
Gradually, however, Luke began to identify himself with the machinery. He had success as a preacher and lecturer, and his parishioners made him welcome. The home-circles seemed to him dull, yet their kindliness penetrated his nature, and it began to seem to him that there was between the two races 'only a sheet of tissue-paper, but politicians 'and journalists have daubed it over with the visions of
• demoniacs.' Under the new influences he was drawn more to the platform, less to the pulpit; talked freely of the Zeitgeist; laid it down that 'the whole trend of human 'thought is to reconcile revelation with intellect, and out 'of the harmony to evolve a new and hopeful instauration
* of human blessedness '—in which renascence Catholicism must take its rightful place, and 'speak boldly, with large 'free interpretations of natural and supernatural revela'tions'—in short, must modify itself in accordance with the Anglo-Saxon and individualist ideals. In the meanwhile his bishop transferred him from London slums to a cathedral town, where he saw the beauty of England, and became part of an agreeable and highly cultured society of religious eclectics—Anglicans and Romans—who encouraged him to extend his sphere of thought and of reading. From these surroundings he was recalled home to his sister's wedding.
He went south from Dublin through a land of rich pastures, ruined abbeys and castles, and deserted cabins. The side-car that met him at the station looked old and shabby, the horse unclipped. He had returned home changed. The first thing that vexed him was to hear of a new curate who despised the Canon's methods of improving the country and put his whole faith in the League. Luke was now entirely of the Canon's way of thinking; and at his sister's wedding, when the house was filled, and a deal of whisky was being drunk among the fiddling and the piping and the dancing, he was shocked by the spectacle of many beggars who had congregated to the feast. At the house of his friend Father Martin he said so, and a discussion arose over the principles of political economy. Before it was done, Luke had enunciated the generally accepted principle that the true end of human action is the elevation and perfection of the race, with the corollary that 'it is England's destiny 'to bring all humanity, even the most degraded, into the 'happy circle of civilisation.' Father Martin's reply was the astounding proposition that whereas the Spaniards and the Portuguese might claim to have 'conserved, raised up, 'and illuminated fallen races,' England's mission was only to destroy and corrupt. One does not expect much, but surely Father Martin (or Father Sheehan) might be aware of what has been done where every Babu is a monument of British civilisation: surely he might have heard of the civilising work which another branch of the Anglo-Saxon race has been called upon to accomplish in the Philippines. Luke, feeling all this, gives up his compatriot in despair. But it must be said that if Luke champions England in Ireland, he is not slow to put the other aspect of the case in England. His ministrations were by no means limited to the rich; he had a flock of Irish and Italians who ignored 'the great pagan virtues of thrift and cleanliness.' Father Sheehan neatly sums up the racial antithesis in a couple of pregnant speeches:—
'A family of Hirish peddlers, sa, and a family of Hitalian horgan grinders. They are very untidy, sa, in their 'abita,'
'Thim English, your reverence, they're haythens. They don't go to church, mass, or meeting. They think of nothing but what they ate and drink.'
Luke's sympathies were not those of the Charity Organisation Society; and when, as gaol visitor, he came in contact with the remorseless operation of English law, with its heavy punishment of offences against property, he cried out against it, only to be told by one of his cultivated mentors that his countrymen were curiously sympathetic with crime —a lawless race. He retorted, not without some show of truth, that • Carlyle, not Christ, is the prophet of the English 'people.' Substantially, however, he came back to Ireland from his foreign mission a convert to the Anglo-Saxon ideal, and bent upon spreading the light. It cannot be said that the result was an entire success. The very poor parish to which he was sent as curate seemed to him Siberia; his superior, the devout, unprogressive, and extremely uncultivated old peasant priest, was unendurable, and the people offended him with their slovenly ways and their servile courtesy. Finally, in his zeal for reform he roused a hornet's nest. A gross neglect of punctuality, and a breach of the rules of the diocese which forbade the offering of drink at a funeral, gave him the chance to make an example: he let the corpse go to the grave unattended. And in a month's time he was removed in promotion to a model parish—saddened, but still faithful to ideals of progress.
Here for the first time he secured a certain popularity by encouraging a revolt from the habit of servility. The Rossmore branch of the League, on Luke's motion, bound itself not to take off hats to any man in future except the priests. The result was an amusing piece of comedy, and a triumph for the diplomacy of ' the ould gineral's' daughter, ending in friendly relations between Luke and the 'ould gineral' himself, the unpopular local magnate at whom the League's resolution had been aimed. And this only paved the way to worse trouble, for the ladies of the big house, at Luke's suggestion, began to civilise the poor, and endeavour to replace the shocking daubs representing patriots and saints by pleasantly coloured and well-drawn illustrations from the