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"When numerous flock'd
The tribe of lowly ones that traced his steps,
Whose marvellous life deservedly was sung
In heights empyreal; through Honorius' land
A second crown,1 to deck their Guardian's virtues,
Was by the Eternal Spirit inwreathed; and when
He had, through thirst of martyrdom, stood up
In the proud Soldan's presence, and there preach'd
Christ and His followers; but found the race
Unripened for conversion ; back once more
He hasted (not to intermit his toil),
And reaped Ausonian lands. On the hard rock,3
'Twixt Arno and the Tiber, he from Christ
Took the last signet,3 which his limbs ten years
Did carry. Then, the season came that He
Who to such good had destined him, was pleased
To advance him to the meed which he had earned
By his self-humbling; to his brotherhood,
As their just heritage, he gave in charge
His dearest lady :4 and enjoin'd their love
And faith to her; and, from her bosom, will'd
His goodly spirit should never part, returning
To its appointed kingdom; nor would have
His body laid upon another bier."

Paradiso, canto xi. 87—no.

1 The bull of confirmation issued by Pope Honorius III.

J Monte Averno. 3 The stigmata. * Poverty.



"A smile amid dark frowns—a gentle tone
Amid rude voices."


[Authorities:— "The Letters" of S. Catharine have been collected, in four vols., by Tommaseo, i860; and there is a very careful biography (in German) by Hase, "Catarina von Siena." We may also name, as sympathetic and comprehensive, Mrs. Josephine Butler's "Catharine of Siena : a Biography" (1879) ; and Chavin de Malau's "Histoire de S. Catharine de Sienna" (1846). We have used the French translation of the " Letters" by Cartier, which also includes a version of her " Dialogues." Reference has been made to Dean Milman's "Latin Christianity," Canon Robertson's "Christian Church, and Mr. J. Addington Symonds' "Sienna and S. Catharine," in the Cornhill Magazine, vol. xiv., pp. 299—312.]



T N the fertile folds of the Tuscan plain, between the pine-*- clad Apennines and the Mediterranean, stands the ancient city of Siena; now grievously fallen from its high estate, but, in the fourteenth century, the seat of a republic which rivalled Florence. Wooded valleys wind gently around it, the ridges between them crowned with castles; and all lead up to the hill on which cluster the towers and walls of the capital. Another and a lower eminence to the west bears on its summit the stately church of S. Dominic. In the hollow between them, the Contrada d'Oca, formerly dwelt the poor classes of the Sienese population; and there, to this day, may be seen the house in which was born the most famous of the daughters of Siena, Catharine Benincasa, or S. Catharine. There, too, stands the chapel erected to her memory, with the golden legend over its door of " Spos» Christi Katharine Domus." It is a pleasant spot, for the hillsides are softly wooded, and adorned with olive-plantations, and a streamlet murmurs softly in the shade.

"Catharine of Siena," says her biographer, Raymond," was to the fourteenth century what S. Bernard was to the twelfth, that is, the light and support of the Church. At the moment when the bark of S. Peter was most vehemently buffeted by the tempest, God gave it for pilot a poor young girl who was concealing herself in the little shop of a dyer. Catha

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