Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

confided his charge into their practised hands. The Bishop, in resigning his trust, announced that he had obtained a Charter of Incorporation for the College, from the State Government. “ This Charter," added he, “was signed unani6 mously by the Legislature of New York. Let no “ man henceforward assert that the Americans have “ refused to the Catholics, the equal privileges of “ citizens.—Let no man say they do not love “ them.” The scene of the College and grounds is very beautiful, an opening in the midst of fine forest trees; a running stream is near; the buildings are handsome and capacious; the exterior of the Chapel is in excellent taste, and there are some fine painted glass windows. The Ecclesiastical Seminary is very complete, being divided into separate apartments; and already there is a good library. The Bishop is occupied in the formation of a Picture Gallery at this College, which will, I believe, be the first attempt ever made of the kind in America. We penetrated into the Retreat, or private apartment of this excellent person, to which, in obedience with the observances of his Church, he retires at stated periods to perform private acts of devotion, to commune with his own

heart, and with Him who seeth in secret. The sole ornaments are the SACRED VOLUME, and several books of devotion, chiefly in the Latin tongue. The walls are hung with fine engravings of sacred subjects; the few articles of domestic use are of the simplest form and fashion. But the spot is hallowed by the humble prayers and inward meditations of one who, upon earth, is the "observed of all observers." In this solitude he acquires that strength which enables him to be all sufficient for the innumerable and incessant demands made upon him by his people for aid and counsel.

The Bishop is by birth an alien in the land he lives in. To the persecutions of England against Ireland, is America indebted for this loyal, and illustrious citizen, whose life and calling exert so extraordinary and advantageous an influence on her moral, social, and religious character; nor for him alone, but for many other of the pillars of this Religion. That melancholy, which is the inheritance of the stranger, may be traced in the character of Dr. Hughes; and it subdues many traits which otherwise would be prominent in his varied mind; the

love of music, of refined society, strong powers of imagination, a shade of irony, and a graceful vein of humour. All these are only called into play by accidental circumstances or allusions, and on rare occasions. But perhaps that very melancholy which veils their lustre is the most endearing trait which dwells in the wounded, and weary, and often broken heart of the exile. The poet has divined and allotted his sole consolation

“ This must my comfort be,
That sun that warms you there shall shine on me;
And those his golden beams to you there lent,
Shall point on me, and gild my banishment.”

On the first of August the Doctor and I took passage in the Great Britain steam ship, to seek our home once more. The Bishop remained with me during the last hour I lingered on the soil of America. We spoke of those I went to seek, of those I left behind; of our own separate countries, religion, character, and destiny; in all of these, each was essentially removed from the other. We spoke of our sudden and brief acquaintance, of our hasty, though enduring friendship ;-and marvelled if we might meet again on this side of the grave; and I breathed my hope that in the

hour of departure to the home of my spirit, though I am a stranger to his faith, he might be near to minister to my dying weakness, and to comfort those that will weep around my couch ; and the Priest pledged his sacred word, if still he breathes the breath of life, if time and distance may by man be overcome ;—that in that hour he will be with me.

[blocks in formation]

And the Bishop bade me kneel ;—and I knelt beside him, he laid his hand upon my head,—and then from his lips gushed forth in mingled power and beauty, the full strong tide of human affection; in accents strange and new, for I had dreamed not of the love that I had won from that exalted nature ;—and with faltering voice he blessed me and my way, and those that I held dear, to him unknown ;

and for many minutes he was silent,,but the vows, unheard by me, were accepted at the throne of Him who rideth on the whirlwind, and who saith to the waters, “ Peace be still.”

In health and safety the gallant but devoted vessel conveyed me and my son to the shores of England.

EXTRACT FROM

A LETTER TO THE HONOURABLE JAMES HARPER,

MAYOR OF NEW YORK.

Sir,-I am in the receipt of a letter from a young

“ Native American,” signed with his proper name, in which he advises me, that he has provided himself with a "poniard," by which I am “to bite the dust." If he had not put his name to this document I should have destroyed it, as my rule is with all anonymous communications, without even glancing at its contents. I cannot answer such a correspondent; but, placing his letter in your hands, if you wish it, I shall pursue the even tenour of my way, to be found wherever my duties as a Catholic Bishop, and a citizen of the United States, require me to be. I hope that I am at peace with God—know that I am at peace, so far as in me lies, with all men; and thus, I am ready to yield my life into the hands of its adorable Author, when, and as, He may dispose.

But if my correspondent should execute his own

« ZurückWeiter »