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gain; that to be for ever safe is to be for ever feeble; and that to do some substantial good is a compensation for much incidental imperfection.' We do not see any necessity for such an elaborate apology; for the verses are much better thanm any of the effusions that have acquired popularity in our time. If Dr. O'Doherty is the only occupant of the Episcopal bench who has written verses he has at all events only continued a tradition that was long honoured in the Irish Church. The Irish bishop, who is now the Patron Saint of the city of Ghent, was the most accomplished poet of the seventh century. The lines he wrote on the tomb of St. Bavo of Ghent were pronounced by the late Cardinal Pitra the best that come down to us from his time. Another Iirsh Bishop who ruled the diocese of Fiesole in the ninth century not only wrote verses but gave lessons in metre to his disciples. Donatus, like Livinus, had tasted of the Castalian spring. The poems of the modern Irish bishop are inspired by the same religious spirit that moved the ancient ones. The themes are similar; and although the Bishop's fame, particularly in his diocese of Derry, will not have to depend upon his verses, we are sure that, insignificant though he may think them, they will help to perpetuate his memory and commend his virtues to generations who may forget the schools he has erected and the churches he has built.

J. F. H.

[We are reluctantly compelled to hold over till June the reply of Mr. Vesey Hague to Father Fitzsimons' criticism in our last issue. The publication of the Papal Encyclical, which could not be delayed, has also crushed out other contributions. We think it only fair to Mr. Hague, however, to say that he has met his opponent without delay and remains unmoved by a criticism which he regards as entirely beside the mark.-ED. I. E. RECORD.]

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STUDENT

ERCHED on the summit of a deeply-wooded hill by the Rhine, not many miles from Bonn, stands the ruined castle of Roland, the Paladin of Charlemagne. In the olden times, when the taper or the torch was burning in every chamber after nightfall, it must have looked like some great lanthorn aglow with ruddy panes. Many a time must the massive walls have shook with the noise of revelry, and many a time must the guests in the banquet-hall have heard their songs repeated by the careless fisher on the river far beneath, as he drifted down stream with idle sail. The distant mountains, too, could tell us many a story of those wondrous days. Often were they startled from their slumbers by the echoes of the magic horn when Roland, hot upon the chase, flung out a wild call to the laggard huntsmen of his train. In the middle of the rapid river below lies a long, narrow island, riding like a ship at anchor. The large building towards the centre is the convent where Roland's bride sought shelter when the news came that he had fallen in the battle of the Pyrenees. Here, too, he found her on his sad return, recognising her voice amongst the whole choir of sisters at the singing of some vesper hymn. Away on the other side of the river rise the Seven Mountains, with many a patch of bare red rock peeping through a FOURTH SERIES, VOL. XI., JUNE, 1902.

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scanty robe of vineyard and pine forest. Drachenfels stands nearest to us, and then come Petrusberg, the Mount of Olives, and the rest. Somewhere here, on the river's brink, is the rock from which Lorelei, the Siren of the Rhine, lured many a bark to ruin with the witchery of her song.

One day, some two years ago, I found myself in a chamber of the ancient castle. I drew back a little space from the outer wall, so as to make a ruined window serve as a frame for the landscape. Was it not fitting, I thought, that such a region, so rich in natural beauty and in stories of the grey old time, should be bordered all around with the rough lines of that very window from which, mayhap, the lonely Roland listened to the voices from the cloister? The blue shade, dark upon the river, but verging into misty white along the distant mountains, enriching all things along the Rhine valley with a peculiar lustre, was absent that day. The sky was black with electric clouds; the lightning quivered down in silver streams upon the earth, hushed for an instant, and then the very rock on which I stood trembled to the roar of the thunder. I had just made up my mind to seek shelter in some house down in the valley, when I heard the shuffle of footsteps behind me and, as I thought, some muttered words from the Edipus Coloneus, where the chorus stand gazing with terror on a similar scene. I recognised my chance companion as one whom I had seen at lecture. Perceiving that his look was friendly, I introduced myself to him, with the very sensible informality of the German student.' We descended the steep path together, and reached a little cottage on the outskirts of a wood, just in time to escape the downpour which marked the end of the thunderstorm.

The friendship, begun in this rather romantic fashion, lasted whilst I remained at the university. We found that our lines of reading lay in the same direction, and moreover by working together we soon realised that, owing to the

In England two students may sit side by side for three whole terms or more, and never think of breaking silence until some common friend has introduced them. In Germany one goes up to another, makes a quick bow, jerks out his surname; the other does likewise, and the pair are introduced.

very great disparity of the methods in which we had each been trained, one could give the other assistance of some value. Karl von Ellenfels was a delightful companion. He had brought back from the army a stiffness of bearing and a precision of movement which somehow seemed to consort admirably with his rapid, steel-trap style of speaking. He was full of legendary lore. He knew all the Rhine sagas by heart, though he thought little of their antiquity. He was a tireless reader not only in his own subject, but in general literature besides. This is, in fact, the very reason why I have masked him with a pseudonym: I was afraid lest his busy eyes might chance upon these pages, and that he might chide me for dragging him before the gaze even of a stranger people, especially as I have altered his words by insertion and omission, partly through lapse of memory, partly because I wished to darken the lines a little here and there, and so make a clearer portrait. I make no doubt he will recognise the features, in spite of ⚫ the trifles which I have touched in to make the picture represent his comrades as well as himself.

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I found him in his rooms one evening, poring over some ancient tome. The lamp was shaded so as to leave his thoughtful face but dimly visible. He looked very like the pictures of the High German doctor, deep in the study of Paracelsus. If only a crucible and some phials stood upon the table, he might have been searching for the philosopher's stone or the secret of life. A pair of swords hung crossed upon the wall, and on each side of them, two or three pistols, for our friend had been through more than half a dozen duels and loved to make open profession of his martial character. In a corner stood a murderous-looking but really very harmless blunderbuss, which he used in place of Indian clubs. He was smoking a long pipe, with a flexible stem, the bowl of which rested on the table, and the smoke, too listless for cones or vortex-rings, drifted upward, wrapping his face round in a thin veil of cloud. He often said, quite seriously, and, indeed, I heard many other Germans say the same, that a close study of the classical authors, without the aid of nicotine, was injurious to the health one had to

give such close attention to a host of minutiæ that the nervous system required something to soothe it.

That evening we worked through the seventh idyll of Theocritus. After a hot dispute as to whether it contained any clear proof as to the poet's birthplace, I rose to go, suggesting that he need not pay me a return visit on the following day, as it was Sunday, and he might have other matters to attend to. This innocent remark was the key that opened his mind.

"The fact of the matter is, though nominally a Protestant, I really have no religion. Perhaps it's from reading so much classics; at all events, I have come to regard your account of the origin of the world, the fall of man, the deluge, and soforth, as so many fables not one whit more credible than the stories about Prometheus, Deucalion and Pyrrha, and all that other tangle of myth and deliberate invention. For my own part, if I were to make a selection of theocracies, I should prefer the ancient German system to all others. I should prefer to believe in Wôdan, Donar,. Tiu, and that goddess whose name Tacitus translates Isis.' This seemed to me so utterly ridiculous that I could not conceal my merriment. He confessed, with a smile, that he did not mean his reference to the long-forgotten German gods to be taken quite seriously. Still,' he continued, 'I do find something attractive about the way in which our ancestors worshipped. They did not immure their gods in temples, nor did they consider themselves competent to represent them in image of wood or stone. Each divinity was identified in some mysterious way with the spirit of the groves and glades set apart in its honour. What's this Tacitus says? Yes. Here are the words in the ninth chapter of his Germania: Ceterum Germani) nec cohibere parietibus deos neque in ullam humani oris speciem adsimulare ex magnitudine caelestium arbitrantur; lucos ac nemora consecrant deorumque nominibus appellant secretum illud quod sola reverentia vident.' And as for the moral side our people stood in the highest place, as

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1 H. von E. knows quite well that the commentators have rubbed all the gilding off his theory.

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