« PreviousContinue »
AMONG the writings which have been placed before the American public, those of Bishop England must ever occupy a high place. Whether we regard him as a champion of the Church or as an eloquent orator on literary and social themes, we see a man of subtile genius, solid learning, and that forcible earnestness which in all ages makes its mark.
Cumbered with extraneous matter and badly edited, the first edition of his works was speedily exhausted. The object of the present edition is to free his works from
those imperfections, and to present them to the public in that shape which the great bishop himself would have
chosen had he lived to give the final touches to the children of his brain. Engaged in a succession of controversies, he necessarily reverted to the same subject time and again; consequently many of his articles were mere repetitions, and in these cases the editor has selected that which
presents the subject best, fortified by notes from other articles į and such sources of information as were within reach. He has also found an immense amount of matter in the 1849
edition, not written by Bishop England, but consisting of newspaper clippings of no interest now, or else of halfdigested papers stated to be by “other hands.”
" other hands.” None of this appears in the present edition; every line in it, except the memoir, notes, etc., is from the pen of the great prelate.
The memoir is not of that species which may be described
“ linkéd sweetness long drawn out;" the aim is to give, together with a rapid resumé of the principal events in his life, a living picture of the man. The notes and the index have been carefully prepared, and the latter will be found useful to those who desire to delve in the rich literary and historical mines embedded in these volumes.
Long and faithful labor has been given to the work, and it is trusted that it will be appreciated, not only by Catholics, but also by the general public.
H. P. M.
MEMOIR OF BISHOP ENGLAND.
“John ENGLAND is a bad boy, because he will not learn how to dance.” Such was the sentence found in a school-book of John England's. What a revelation! Evidently a tough character from the start; achieving the reputation of a “ bad boy" “because he would not learn how to dance." 1::d he never did learn how “to dance ;” never would “trip the light fantastic toe” to the most persuasive strains of official harp and viol or Ller threat even of the lash of power. Ancestors likewise; setting at cince laws of tyranny, teaching a hedge-school out there in the mountain rate of Ireland, and keeping alive memories of the old Keltic glory. What though the stout-hearted young fellow, destined to become the father of a great man, a man in every sense of the word—what though he be thrown into prison for teaching-he laughs at their heretical oaths, and escapes to resume his school in the ditch.
Thus handed down, the strong old spirit, along with good blood, was born into John England in the classic city of Cork, Sept. 23, 1786. Chaotic world into which this chubby, strong-fisted baby came crying I doubt not.
Thunders of the great Revolution in the far new world not yet died away ; Europe, corrupt to the heart, quivering over a terrific social volcano; all eyes blinded by the signs of the lightning of God's wrath blazing in the sky. When the time comes, this little babe, grown up to man's estate, will take share in the world-wide Revolution going on; most notably in recalling Ireland, who was dangerously fascinated by the French Revolution, from her imitation, just beginning, of the Revolution's atheistic excesses. Fifteen years of peace, however, glided on; of peace, but not of idle
Few anecdotes of this youth, those immortal myths which are the natural growth or fuugi of all great men's biographies, are handed down to us.
He was persecuted and called the little “ Papist” in this Cork school. In after life, it is said, he met one of his chief tormenters in the church, and fell into such a rage that he could with difficulty control his emotion and proceed with the Mass. Having signified a desire to enter the priesthood, Rt. Rev. Francis Moylan placed him in the charge of Rev. Robert McCarthy, dean of the diocese. Before deciding conclusively on his vocation, he studied law under an eminent barrister of Cork-& train