Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey

Part 2 out of 6

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.6 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

of simple faith which underlay that jovial manner and that facile
talk. Others were content to laugh and chatter and transact their
business; Manning was more artistic. He watched his opportunity,
and then, when the moment came, touched with a deft finger the
chord of the Conversion of England. There was an immediate
response, and he struck the same chord again, and yet again. He
became the repository of the Cardinal's most intimate
aspirations. He alone sympathised and understood. 'If God gives
me strength to undertake a great wrestling-match with
infidelity,' Wiseman wrote, 'I shall owe it to him.'

But what he really found himself undertaking was a wrestling-
match with Dr. Errington. The struggle over St. Edmund's College
grew more and more acute. There were high words in the Chapter,
where Monsignor Searle led the assault against the Provost, and
carried a resolution declaring that the Oblates of St. Charles
had intruded themselves illegally into the Seminary. The Cardinal
quashed the proceedings of the Chapter; whereupon, the Chapter
appealed to Rome. Dr. Errington, carried away by the fury of the
controversy, then appeared as the avowed opponent of the Provost
and the Cardinal. With his own hand he drew up a document
justifying the appeal of the Chapter to Rome by Canon Law and the
decrees of the Council of Trent. Wiseman was deeply pained: 'My
own coadjutor,' he exclaimed, 'is acting as solicitor against me
in a lawsuit.' There was a rush to Rome, where, for several
ensuing years, the hostile English parties were to wage a furious
battle in the antechambers of the Vatican. But the dispute over
the Oblates now sank into insignificance beside the rage of
contention which centred round a new and far more deadly
question; for the position of Dr. Errington himself was at stake.
The Cardinal, in spite of illness, indolence, and the ties of
friendship, had been brought at last to an extraordinary step--
he was petitioning the Pope for nothing less than the deprivation
and removal of the Archbishop of Trebizond.

The precise details of what followed are doubtful. It is only
possible to discern with clearness, amid a vast cloud of official
documents and unofficial correspondences in English, Italian, and
Latin, of Papal decrees and voluminous scritture, of confidential
reports of episcopal whispers and the secret agitations of
Cardinals, the form of Manning, restless and indomitable,
scouring like a stormy petrel the angry ocean of debate. Wiseman,
dilatory, unbusinesslike, and infirm, was ready enough to leave
the conduct of affairs in his hands. Nor was it long before
Manning saw where the key of the whole position lay. As in the
old days, at Chichester, he had secured the goodwill of Bishop
Shuttleworth by cultivating the friendship of Archdeacon Hare, so
now, on this vaster scale of operations, his sagacity led him
swiftly and unerringly up the little winding staircase in the
Vatican and through the humble door which opened into the cabinet
of Monsignor Talbot, the private secretary of the Pope. Monsignor
Talbot was a priest who embodied in a singular manner, if not the
highest, at least the most persistent traditions of the Roman
Curia. He was a master of various arts which the practice of ages
has brought to perfection under the friendly shadow of the triple
tiara. He could mingle together astuteness and holiness without
any difficulty; he could make innuendoes as naturally as an
ordinary man makes statements of fact; he could apply flattery
with so unsparing a hand that even Princes of the Church found it
sufficient; and, on occasion, he could ring the changes of
torture on a human soul with a tact which called forth universal
approbation. With such accomplishments, it could hardly be
expected that Monsignor Talbot should be remarkable either for a
delicate sense of conscientiousness or for an extreme refinement
of feeling, but then it was not for those qualities that Manning
was in search when he went up the winding stair. He was looking
for the man who had the ear of Pio Nono; and, on the other side
of the low-arched door, he found him. Then he put forth all his
efforts; his success was complete; and an alliance began which
was destined to have the profoundest effect upon Manning's
career, and was only dissolved when, many years later, Monsignor
Talbot was unfortunately obliged to exchange his apartment in the
Vatican for a private lunatic asylum at Passy.

It was determined that the coalition should be ratified by the
ruin of Dr. Errington. When the moment of crisis was seen to be
approaching, Wiseman was summoned to Rome, where he began to draw
up an immense scrittura containing his statement of the case. For
months past, the redoubtable energies of the Archbishop of
Trebizond had been absorbed in a similar task. Folio was being
piled upon folio, when a sudden blow threatened to put an end to
the whole proceeding in a summary manner. The Cardinal was seized
by violent illness, and appeared to be upon his deathbed. Manning
thought for a moment that his labours had been in vain and that
all was lost. But the Cardinal recovered; Monsignor Talbot used
his influence as he alone knew how; and a papal decree was issued
by which Dr. Errington was 'liberated' from the Coadjutorship of
Westminster, together with the right of succession to the See.

It was a supreme act of authority--a 'colpo di stato di
Dominiddio', as the Pope himself said--and the blow to the Old
Catholics was correspondingly severe. They found themselves
deprived at one fell swoop both of the influence of their most
energetic supporter and of the certainty of coming into power at
Wiseman's death. And in the meantime, Manning was redoubling his
energies at Bayswater. Though his Oblates had been checked over
St. Edmund's, there was still no lack of work for them to do.
There were missions to be carried on, schools to be managed,
funds to be collected. Several new churches were built; a
community of most edifying nuns of the Third Order of St. Francis
was established; and 30,000, raised from Manning's private
resources and from those of his friends, was spent in three
years. 'I hate that man,' one of the Old Catholics exclaimed, 'he
is such a forward piece.' The words were reported to Manning, who
shrugged his shoulders. 'Poor man,' he said, 'what is he made of?
Does he suppose, in his foolishness, that after working day and
night for twenty years in heresy and schism, on becoming a
Catholic, I should sit in an easy-chair and fold my hands all the
rest of my life?' But his secret thoughts were of a different
caste. 'I am conscious of a desire,' he wrote in his Diary, 'to
be in such a position: (I) as I had in times past; (2) as my
present circumstances imply; (3) as my friends think me fit for;
and (4) as I feel my own faculties tend to.

'But, God being my helper, I will not seek it by the lifting of a
finger or the speaking, of a word.'

So Manning wrote, and thought, and prayed; but what are words,
and thoughts, and even prayers, to the mysterious and relentless
powers of circumstance and character? Cardinal Wiseman was slowly
dying; the tiller of the Church was slipping from his feeble
hand; and Manning was beside him, the one man with the energy,
the ability, the courage, and the conviction to steer the ship
upon her course. More than that; there was the sinister figure of
a Dr. Errington crouching close at hand, ready to seize the helm
and make straight--who could doubt it?--for the rocks. In such a
situation the voice of self-abnegation must needs grow still and
small indeed. Yet it spoke on, for it was one of the paradoxes in
Manning's soul that that voice was never silent. Whatever else he
was, he was not unscrupulous. Rather, his scruples deepened with
his desires; and he could satisfy his most exorbitant ambitions
in a profundity of self-abasement. And so now he vowed to Heaven
that he would SEEK nothing-- no, not by the lifting of a finger
or the speaking of a word. But, if something came to him--? He
had vowed not to seek; he had not vowed not to take. Might it not
be his plain duty to take? Might it not be the will of God?

Something, of course, did come to him, though it seemed for a
moment that it would elude his grasp. Wiseman died, and there
ensued in Rome a crisis of extraordinary intensity. 'Since the
creation of the hierarchy,' Monsignor Talbot wrote, it is the
greatest moment for the Church that I have yet seen.' It was the
duty of the Chapter of Westminster to nominate three candidates
for succession to the Archbishopric; they made one last effort,
and had the temerity to place upon the list, besides the names of
two Old Catholic bishops, that of Dr. Errington. It was a fatal
blunder. Pius IX was furious; the Chapter had committed an
'insulta al Papa', he exclaimed, striking his breast three times
in his rage. 'It was the Chapter that did it,' said Manning,
afterwards; but even after the Chapter's indiscretion, the fatal
decision hung in the balance for weeks. 'The great point of
anxiety with me, wrote Monsignor Talbot to Manning, 'is whether a
Congregation will be held, or whether the Holy Father will
perform a Pontifical act. He himself is doubting. I therefore say
mass and pray every morning that he may have the courage to
choose for himself, instead of submitting the matter to a
Congregation. Although the Cardinals are determined to reject Dr.
Errington, nevertheless I am afraid that they should select one
of the others. You know very well that Congregations are guided
by the documents that are placed before them; it is for this
reason that I should prefer the Pope's acting himself.'

But the Holy Father himself was doubting. In his indecision, he
ordered a month of prayers and masses. The suspense grew and
grew. Everything seemed against Manning. The whole English
episcopate was opposed to him; he had quarrelled with the
Chapter; he was a convert of but few years' standing; even the
congregated Cardinals did not venture to suggest the appointment
of such a man. But suddenly, the Holy Father's doubts came to an
end. He heard a voice-- a mysterious inward voice-- whispering
something in his ear. 'Mettetelo li! Mettetelo li!' the voice
repeated, over and over again. Mettetelo li! It was an
inspiration; and Pius IX, brushing aside the recommendations of
the Chapter and the deliberations of the Cardinals, made Manning,
by a Pontifical act, Archbishop of Westminster.

Monsignor Talbot's felicity was complete; and he took occasion in
conveying his congratulations to his friend, to make some
illuminating reflections upon the great event. 'MY policy
throughout,' he wrote, 'was never to propose you DIRECTLY to the
Pope, but, to make others do so, so that both you and I can
always say that it was not I who induced the Holy Father to name
you-- which would lessen the weight of your appointment. This I
say, because many have said that your being named was all my
doing. I do not say that the Pope did not know that I thought you
the only man eligible-- as I took care to tell him over and over
again what was against all the other candidates-- and in
consequence, he was almost driven into naming you. After he had
named you, the Holy Father said to me, "What a diplomatist you
are, to make what you wished come to pass!"

'Nevertheless,' concluded Monsignor Talbot, 'I believe your
appointment was specially directed by the Holy Ghost.'

Manning himself was apparently of the same opinion. 'My dear
Child,' he wrote to a lady penitent, 'I have in these last three
weeks felt as if our Lord had called me by name. Everything else
has passed out of my mind. The firm belief that I have long had
that the Holy Father is the most supernatural person I have ever
seen has given me this feeling more deeply. 'Still, I feel as if
I had been brought, contrary to all human wills, by the Divine
Will, into an immediate relation to our Divine Lord.'

'If indeed,' he wrote to Lady Herbert, 'it were the will of our
Divine Lord to lay upon me this heavy burden, He could have done
it in no way more strengthening and consoling to me. To receive
it from the hands of His Vicar, and from Pius IX, and after long
invocation of the Holy Ghost, and not only without human
influences, but in spite of manifold aria powerful human
opposition, gives me the last strength for such a cross.'


MANNING'S appointment filled his opponents with alarm. Wrath and
vengeance seemed to be hanging over them; what might not be
expected from the formidable enemy against whom they had
struggled for so long, and who now stood among them armed with
archiepiscopal powers and invested with the special confidence of
Rome? Great was their amazement, great was their relief, when
they found that their dreaded master breathed nothing but
kindness, gentleness, and conciliation. The old scores, they
found, were not to be paid off, but to be wiped out. The new
archbishop poured forth upon every side all the tact, all the
courtesy, all the dignified graces of a Christian magnanimity. It
was impossible to withstand such treatment. Bishops who had spent
years in thwarting him became his devoted adherents; even the
Chapter of Westminster forgot its hatred. Monsignor Talbot was
extremely surprised. 'Your greatest enemies have entirely come
round,' he wrote. 'I received the other day a panegyric of you
from Searle. This change of feeling I cannot attribute to
anything but the Holy Ghost.' Monsignor Talbot was very fond of
the Holy Ghost; but, so far, at any rate as Searle was concerned,
there was another explanation. Manning, instead of dismissing
Searle from his position of 'oeconomus' in the episcopal
household, had kept him on--at an increased salary; and the poor
man, who had not scrupled in the days of his pride to call
Manning a thief, was now duly grateful.

As to Dr. Errington, he gave an example of humility and
by at once withdrawing into a complete obscurity. For years the
Archbishop of Trebizond, the ejected heir to the See of
Westminster, laboured as a parish priest in the
Isle of Man. He nursed no resentment in his heart, and, after a
long and edifying life of peace and silence, he died in 1886, a
professor of theology at Clifton.

It might be supposed that Manning could now feel that his triumph
was complete. His position was secure; his power was absolute;
his prestige was daily growing. Yet there was something that
irked him still. As he cast his eyes over the Roman Catholic
community in England, he was aware of one figure which, by virtue
of a peculiar eminence, seemed to challenge the supremacy of his
own. That figure was Newman's.

Since his conversion, Newman's life had been a long series of
misfortunes and disappointments. When he had left the Church of
England, he was its most distinguished, its most revered member,
whose words, however strange, were listened to with profound
attention, and whose opinions, however dubious, were followed in
all their fluctuations with an eager and indeed a trembling
respect. He entered the Church of Rome, and found himself
forthwith an unimportant man. He was received at the Papal Court
with a politeness which only faintly concealed a total lack of
interest and understanding. His delicate mind, with its
refinements, its hesitations, its complexities--his soft,
spectacled, Oxford manner, with its half-effeminate diffidence-
such things were ill calculated to impress a throng of busy
Cardinals and Bishops, whose days were spent amid the practical
details of ecclesiastical organisation, the long-drawn
involutions of papal diplomacy, and the delicious bickerings of
personal intrigue. And when, at last, he did succeed in making
some impression upon these surroundings, it was no better; it was
worse. An uneasy suspicion gradually arose; it began to dawn upon
the Roman authorities that Dr. Newman was a man of ideas. Was it
possible that Dr. Newman did not understand that ideas in Rome
were, to say the least of it, out of place? Apparently, he did
not-- nor was that all; not content with having ideas, he
positively seemed anxious to spread them. When that was known,
the politeness in high places was seen to be wearing decidedly
thin. His Holiness, who on Newman's arrival had graciously
expressed the wish to see him 'again and again', now, apparently,
was constantly engaged. At first Newman supposed that the growing
coolness was the result of misapprehension; his Italian was
faulty, Latin was not spoken at Rome, his writings had only
appeared in garbled translations. And even Englishmen had
sometimes found his arguments difficult to follow. He therefore
determined to take the utmost care to make his views quite clear;
his opinions upon religious probability, his distinction between
demonstrative and circumstantial evidence, his theory of the
development of doctrine and the aspects of ideas--these and many
other matters, upon which he had written so much, he would now
explain in the simplest language. He would show that there was
nothing dangerous in what he held, that there was a passage in De
Lugo which supported him-- that Perrone, by maintaining that the
Immaculate Conception could be defined, had implicitly admitted
one of his main positions, and that his language about Faith had
been confused, quite erroneously, with the fideism of M. Bautain.

Cardinal Barnabo, Cardinal Reisach, Cardinal Antonelli, looked at
him with their shrewd eyes and hard faces, while he poured into
their ears which, as he had already noticed with distress, were
large and not too clean--his careful disquisitions; but, it was
all in vain-- they had clearly never read De Lugo or Perrone, and
as for M. Bautain, they had never heard of him. Newman, in
fell back upon St. Thomas Aquinas; but, to his horror, he
that St. Thomas himself did not mean very much to the Cardinals.
With a sinking heart, he realised at last the painful truth: it
was not the nature of his views, it was his having views at all,
that was objectionable. He had hoped to devote the rest of his
life to the teaching of Theology; but what sort of Theology could
he teach which would be acceptable to such superiors? He left
Rome, and settled down in Birmingham as the head of a small
community of Oratorians. He did not complain; it was God's will;
it was better so. He would watch and pray.

But God's will was not quite so simple as that. Was it right,
after all, that a man with Newman's intellectual gifts, his
devoted ardour, his personal celebrity, should sink away out of
sight and use in the dim recesses of the Oratory at Birmingham?
If the call were to come to him to take his talent out of the
napkin, how could he refuse? And the call did come. A Catholic
University was being started in Ireland and Dr. Cullen, the
Archbishop of Armagh, begged Newman to become the Rector. At
first he hesitated, but when he learned that it was the Holy
Father's wish that he should take up the work, he could doubt no
longer; the offer was sent from Heaven. The difficulties before
him were very great; not only had a new University to be called
up out of the void, but the position was complicated by the
presence of a rival institution--the undenominational Queen's
Colleges, founded by Peel a few years earlier with the object of
giving Irish Catholics facilities for University education on the
same terms as their fellow-countrymen. Yet Newman had the highest
hopes. He dreamt of something greater than a merely Irish
University--of a noble and flourishing centre of learning for the
Catholics of Ireland and England alike. And why should not his
dream come true? 'In the midst of our difficulties, he said, 'I
have one ground of hope, just one stay, but, as I think, a
sufficient one, which serves me in the stead of all other
argument whatever. It is the decision of the Holy See; St. Peter
has spoken.'

The years that followed showed to what extent it was safe to
depend upon St. Peter. Unforeseen obstacles cropped up on every
side. Newman's energies were untiring, but so was the inertia of
the Irish authorities. On his appointment, he wrote to Dr. Cullen
asking that arrangements might be made for his reception in
Dublin. Dr. Cullen did not reply. Newman wrote again, but still
there was no answer. Weeks passed, months passed, years passed,
and not a word, not a sign, came from Dr. Cullen. At last, after
dangling for more than two years in the uncertainties and
perplexities of so strange a situation, Newman was summoned to
Dublin. There he found nothing but disorder and discouragement.
The laity took no interest in the scheme; the clergy actively
disliked it; Newman's authority was disregarded. He appealed to
Cardinal Wiseman, and then at last a ray of hope dawned. The
cardinal suggested that a bishopric should be conferred upon him,
to give him a status suitable to his position; Dr. Cullen
acquiesced, and Pius IX was all compliance. 'Manderemo a Newman
la crocetta,' he said to Wiseman, smilingly drawing his hands
down each side of his neck to his breast, 'lo faremo vescovo di
Porfirio, o qualche luogo.' The news spread among Newman's
friends, and congratulations began to come in. But the official
intimation seemed to be unaccountably delayed; no crocetta came
from Rome, and Cardinal Wiseman never again referred to the
matter. Newman was left to gather that the secret representations
of Dr. Cullen had brought about a change of counsel in high
quarters. His pride did not allow him to inquire further; but one
of his lady penitents, Miss Giberne, was less discreet. 'Holy
Father,' she suddenly said to the Pope in an audience one day,
'why don't you make Father Newman a bishop?' Upon which the Holy
Father looked much confused and took a great deal of snuff.

For the next five years Newman, unaided and ignored, struggled
desperately, like a man in a bog, with the overmastering
difficulties of his task. His mind, whose native haunt was among
the far aerial boundaries of fancy and philosophy, was now
clamped down under the fetters of petty detail and fed upon the
mean diet of compromise and routine. He had to force himself to
scrape together money, to write articles for the students'
Gazette, to make plans for medical laboratories, to be
ingratiating with the City Council; he was obliged to spend
months travelling through the remote regions of Ireland in the
company of extraordinary ecclesiastics and barbarous squireens.
He was a thoroughbred harnessed to a four-wheeled cab--and he
knew it. Eventually, he realised something else: he saw that the
whole project of a Catholic University had been evolved as a
political and ecclesiastical weapon against the Queen's Colleges
of Peel, and that was all. As an instrument of education. it was
simply laughed at; and he himself had been called in because his
name would be a valuable asset in a party game. When he
understood that, he resigned his rectorship and returned to the

But, his tribulations were not yet over. It seemed to be God's
will that he should take part in a whole succession of schemes,
which, no less than the project of the Irish University, were to
end in disillusionment and failure. He was persuaded by Cardinal
Wiseman to undertake the editorship of a new English version of
the Scriptures, which was to be a monument of Catholic
scholarship and an everlasting glory to Mother Church. He made
elaborate preparations; he collected subscriptions, engaged
contributors, and composed a long and learned prolegomena to the
work. It was all useless; Cardinal Wiseman began to think of
other things; and the scheme faded imperceptibly into thin air.
Then a new task was suggested to him: "The Rambler", a Catholic
periodical, had fallen on evil days; would Dr Newman come to the
rescue, and accept the editorship? This time he hesitated rather
longer than usual; he had burned his fingers so often-- he must
specially careful now. 'I did all I could to ascertain God's
Will,' he said, and he came to the conclusion that it was his
to undertake the work. He did so, and after two numbers had
appeared, Dr. Ullathorne, the Bishop of Birmingham, called upon
him, and gently hinted that he had better leave the paper alone.
Its tone was not liked at Rome; it had contained an article
criticising St. Pius V, and, most serious of all, the orthodoxy
one of Newman's own essays had appeared to be doubtful. He
resigned, and in the anguish of his heart, determined never to
write again. One of his friends asked him why he was publishing
nothing. 'Hannibal's elephants,' he replied, 'never could learn
the goose-step.'

Newman was now an old man--he was sixty-three years of age. What
had he to look forward to? A few last years of insignificance and
silence. What had he to look back upon? A long chronicle of
wasted efforts, disappointed hopes, neglected possibilities,
unappreciated powers. And now all his labours had ended by his
being accused at Rome of lack of orthodoxy. He could no longer
restrain his indignation, and in a letter to one of his lady
penitents, he gave vent to the bitterness of his soul. When his
Rambler article had been complained of, he said, there had been
some talk of calling him to Rome. 'Call me to Rome,' he burst
out--'what does that mean? It means to sever an old man from his
home, to subject him to intercourse with persons whose
languages are strange to him-- to food and to fashions which are
almost starvation on the one hand, and involve restless days and
nights on the other--it means to oblige him to dance attendance
on Propaganda week after week and month after month--it means
his death. (It was the punishment on Dr. Baines, 1840-1, to keep
him at the door of Propaganda for a year.)

'This is the prospect which I cannot but feel probable, did I say
anything which one Bishop in England chose to speak against and
report. Others have been killed before me. Lucas went of his own
accord indeed--but when he got there, oh!' How much did he, as
loyal a son of the Church and the Holy See as ever was, what did
he suffer because Dr. Cullen was against him? He wandered (as Dr.
Cullen said in a letter he published in a sort of triumph), he
wandered from Church to Church without a friend, and hardly got
an audience from the Pope. 'And I too should go from St. Philip
Our Lady, and to St. Peter and St. Paul, and to St. Laurence and
St. Cecilia, and, if it happened to me as to Lucas, should come
back to die.'

Yet, in spite of all, in spite of these exasperations of the
flesh, these agitations of the spirit, what was there to regret?
Had he not a mysterious consolation which outweighed every grief?
Surely, surely, he had.

'Unveil, 0 Lord, and on us shine,
In glory and in grace,'

he exclaims in a poem written at this time, called 'The Two

'This gaudy world grows pale before
The beauty of Thy face.

'Till Thou art seen it seems to he
A sort of fairy ground,
Where suns unsetting light the sky,
And flowers and fruit abound.

'But when Thy keener, purer beam
Is poured upon our sight,
It loses all its power to charm,
And what was day is night...

'And thus, when we renounce for Thee
Its restless aims and fears,
The tender memories of the past,
The hopes of coming years,

'Poor is our sacrifice, whose eyes
Are lighted from above;
We offer what we cannot keep,
What we have ceased to love.'

Such were Newman's thoughts when an unexpected event occurred
which produced a profound effect upon his life: Charles Kingsley
attacked his good faith, and the good faith of Catholics in
general, in a magazine article. Newman protested, and Kingsley
rejoined in an irate pamphlet. Newman's reply was the Apologia
pro Vita Sua, which he wrote in seven weeks, sometimes working
twenty-two hours at a stretch, 'constantly in tears, and
constantly crying out with distress'. The success of the book,
with its transparent candour, its controversial brilliance, the
sweep and passion of its rhetoric, the depth of its personal
feeling, was immediate and overwhelming; it was recognised at
once as a classic, not only by Catholics, but by the whole
English world. From every side expressions of admiration,
gratitude, and devotion poured in. It was impossible for one so
sensitive as Newman to the opinions of other people to resist the
happy influence of such an unlooked-for, such an enormous
triumph. The cloud of his dejection began to lift; et l'espoir
malgre lui s'est glisse dans son coeur.

It was only natural that at such a moment his thoughts should
return to Oxford. For some years past proposals had been on foot
for establishing there a Hall, under Newman's leadership, for
Catholic undergraduates. The scheme had been looked upon with
disfavour in Rome, and it had been abandoned; but now a new
opportunity presented itself-- some land in a suitable position
came into the market. Newman, with his reviving spirits, felt
that he could not let this chance go by, and bought the land. It
was his intention to build there not a Hall, but a Church, and to
set on foot a 'House of the Oratory'. What possible objection
could there be to such a scheme? He approached the Bishop of
Birmingham, who gave his approval; in Rome itself there was no
hostile sign. The laity were enthusiastic and subscriptions began
to flow in. Was it possible that all was well at last? Was it
conceivable that the strange and weary pilgrimage of so many
years should end at length in quietude, if not in happiness,
where it had begun?

It so happened that it was at this very time that Manning was
appointed to the See of Westminster. The destinies of the two
men, which had run parallel to one another in so strange a
fashion and for so many years, were now for a moment suddenly to
converge. Newly clothed with all the attributes of ecclesiastical
supremacy, Manning found himself face to face with Newman, upon
whose brows were glittering the fresh laurels of spiritual
victory--the crown of an apostolical life. It was the meeting of
the eagle and the dove. What followed showed, more clearly
perhaps than any other incident in his career, the stuff that
Manning was made of. Power had come to him at last; and he seized
it with all the avidity of a born autocrat, whose appetite for
supreme dominion had been whetted by long years of enforced
abstinence and the hated simulations of submission. He was the
ruler of Roman Catholic England, and he would rule. The nature of
Newman's influence it was impossible for him to understand, but
he saw that it existed; for twenty years he had been unable to
escape the unwelcome itterations of that singular, that alien,
that rival renown; and now it stood in his path, alone and
inexplicable, like a defiant ghost. 'It is remarkably
interesting,' he observed coldly, when somebody asked him what he
thought of the Apologia: 'it is like listening to the voice of
one from the dead.' And such voices, with their sepulchral
echoes, are apt to be more dangerous than living ones; they
attract too much attention; they must be silenced at all costs.
It was the meeting of the eagle and the dove; there was a
hovering, a swoop, and then the quick beak and the relentless
talons did their work.

Even before his accession to the Archbishopric, Manning had
scented a peculiar peril in Newman's Oxford scheme, and so soon
as he came into power, he privately determined that the author of
the Apologia should never be allowed to return to his old
University. Nor was there any lack of excellent reasons for such
a decision. Oxford was by this time a nest of liberalism; it was
no fit place for Catholic youths, and they would inevitably be
attracted there by the presence of Father Newman. And then, had
not Father Newman's orthodoxy been impugned? Had he not been
heard to express opinions of most doubtful propriety upon the
question of the Temporal Power? Was it not known that he might
almost be said to have an independent mind? An influence? Yes, he
had an influence no doubt; but what a fatal kind of influence to
which to subject the rising generation of Catholic Englishmen!

Such were the reflections which Manning was careful to pour into
the receptive car of Monsignor Talbot. That useful priest, at his
post of vantage in the Vatican, was more than ever the devoted
servant of the new Archbishop. A league, offensive and defensive,
had been established between the two friends. 'I daresay I shall
have many opportunities to serve you in Rome,' wrote Monsignor
Talbot modestly, 'and I do not think any support will be useless
to you, especially on account of the peculiar character of the
Pope, and the spirit which pervades Propaganda; therefore, I wish
you to understand that a compact exists between us; if you help
me, I shall help you.' And a little later he added, 'I am glad
you accept the league. As I have already done for years, I shall
support you, and I have a hundred ways of doing so. A word
dropped at the proper occasion works wonders.' Perhaps it was
hardly necessary to remind his correspondent of that.

So far as Newman was concerned, it so fell out that Monsignor
Talbot needed no prompting. During the sensation caused by the
appearance of the Apologia, it had occurred to him that it would
be an excellent plan to secure Newman as a preacher during Lent
for the fashionable congregation which attended his church in the
Piazza del Popolo; and, he had accordingly written to invite him
to Rome. His letter was unfortunately not a tactful one. He
assured Newman that he would find in the Piazza del Popolo 'an
audience of Protestants more educated than could ever be the case
in England', and 'I think myself,' he had added by way of extra
inducement, 'that you will derive great benefit from visiting
Rome, and showing yourself to the Ecclesiastical Authorities.'
Newman smiled grimly at this; he declared to a friend that the
letter was 'insolent'; and he could not resist the temptation of
using his sharp pen.

'Dear Monsignor Talbot,' he wrote in reply, 'I have received your
letter, inviting me to preach in your Church at Rome to an
audience of Protestants more educated than could ever be the case
in England.

'However, Birmingham people have souls; and I have neither taste
nor talent for the sort of work which you cut out for me. And I
beg to decline your offer.

I am, yours truly,


Such words were not the words of wisdom. It is easy to imagine
the feelings of Monsignor Talbot. 'Newman's work none here can
understand,' he burst out to his friend. 'Poor man, by living
almost ever since he has been a Catholic, surrounded by a set of
inferior men who idolise him, I do not think he has ever acquired
the Catholic instincts.' As for his views on the Temporal Power--
'well, people said that he had actually sent a subscription to
Garibaldi. Yes, the man was incomprehensible, heretical,
dangerous; he was "uncatholic and unchristian."' Monsignor Talbot
even trembled for the position of Manning in England. 'I am
afraid that the old school of Catholics will rally round Newman
in opposition to you and Rome. Stand firm, do not yield a bit in
the line you have taken. As I have promised, I shall stand by
you. You will have battles to fight because every Englishman is
naturally anti-Roman. To be Roman is and effort to an Englishman.
Dr. Newman is more English than the English. His spirit must be

His spirit must be crushed! Certainly there could be no doubt of
that. 'What you write about Dr Newman,' Manning replied, 'is
true. Whether he knows it or not, he has become the centre of
those who hold low views about the Holy See, are anti-Roman, cold
and silent, to say no more, about the Temporal Power; national,
English, critical of Catholic devotions, and always on the lower
side. ... You will take care,' he concluded, 'that things are
correctly known and understood where you are.'

The confederates matured their plans. While Newman was making his
arrangements for the Oxford Oratory, Cardinal Reisach visited
London. 'Cardinal Reisach has just left,' wrote Manning to
Monsignor Talbot: 'he has seen and understands all that is going
on in England.' But Newman had no suspicions. It was true that
persistent rumours of his unorthodoxy and his anti-Roman leanings
had begun to float about, and these rumours had been traced to
Rome. But what were rumours? Then, too, Newman found out that
Cardinal Reisach had been to Oxford without his knowledge, and
had inspected the land for the Oratory. That seemed odd; but all
doubts were set at rest by the arrival from Propaganda of an
official ratification of his scheme. There would be nothing but
plain sailing now. Newman was almost happy; radiant visions came
into his mind of a wonderful future in Oxford, the gradual growth
of Catholic principles, the decay of liberalism, the inauguration
of a second Oxford Movement, the conversion--who knows?--of Mark
Pattison, the triumph of the Church.... 'Earlier failures do not
matter now,' he exclaimed to a friend. 'I see that I have been
reserved by God for this.'

Just then a long blue envelope was brought into the room. Newman
opened it. 'All is over,' he said, 'I am not allowed to go.' The
envelope contained a letter from the Bishop announcing that,
together with the formal permission for an Oratory at Oxford,
Propaganda had issued a secret instruction to the effect that
Newman himself was by no means to reside there. If he showed
signs of doing so, he was blandly and suavely ('blande
suaviterque' were the words of the Latin instrument) to be
prevented. And now the secret instruction had come into
operation-- blande suaviterque: Dr. Newman's spirit had been

His friends made some gallant efforts to retrieve the situation;
but, it was in vain. Father St. John hurried to Rome and the
indignant laity of England, headed by Lord Edward Howard, the
guardian of the young Duke of Norfolk, seized the opportunity of
a particularly virulent anonymous attack upon Newman, to send him
an address in which they expressed their feeling that 'every
blow that touches you inflicts a wound upon the Catholic Church
in this country'. The only result was an outburst of redoubled
fury upon the part of Monsignor Talbot. The address, he declared,
was an insult to the Holy See. 'What is the province of the
laity?' he interjected. 'To hunt, to shoot, to entertain. These
matters they understand, but to meddle with ecclesiastical
matters they have no right at all.' Once more he warned Manning
to be careful. 'Dr. Newman is the most dangerous man in England,
and you will see that he will make use of the laity against your
Grace. You must not be afraid of him. It will require much
prudence, but you must be firm. The Holy Father still places his
confidence in you; but if you yield and do not fight the battle
of the Holy See against the detestable spirit growing up in
England, he will begin to regret Cardinal Wiseman, who knew how
to keep the laity in order.' Manning had no thought of
'yielding'; but, he pointed out to his agitated friend that an
open conflict between himself and Newman would be 'as great a
scandal to the Church in England, and as great a victory to the
Anglicans, as could be'. He would act quietly, and there would be
no more difficulty. The Bishops were united, and the Church was

On this, Monsignor Talbot hurried to Father St. John's
lodgings in Rome to express his regret at the misunderstanding
that had arisen, to wonder how it could possibly have occurred,
and to hope that Dr. Newman might consent to be made a
Apostolic. That was all the satisfaction that Father St. John was
to obtain from his visit to Rome. A few weeks later, the scheme
the Oxford Oratory was finally quashed.

When all was over, Manning thought that the time had come for a
reconciliation. He made advances through a common friend; what
had he done, he asked, to offend Dr. Newman? Letters passed, and,
naturally enough, they only widened the breach. Newman was not
the man to be polite. 'I can only repeat,' he wrote at last,
'what I said when you last heard from me. I do not know whether I
am on my head or my heels when I have active relations with you.
In spite of my friendly feelings, this is the judgment of my
intellect.' 'Meanwhile,' he concluded, 'I propose to say seven
masses for your intention amid the difficulties and anxieties of
your ecclesiastical duties.' And Manning could only return the

At about this time, the Curate of Littlemore had a singular
experience. As he was passing by the Church he noticed an old
man, very poorly dressed in an old grey coat with the collar
turned up, leaning over the lych gate, in floods of tears. He was
apparently in great trouble, and his hat was pulled down over his
eyes as if he wished to hide his features. For a moment,
however, he turned towards the Curate, who was suddenly struck by
something familiar in the face. Could it be--? A photograph hung
over the Curate's mantelpiece of the man who had made Littlemore
famous by his sojourn there more than twenty years ago-- he had
never seen the original; but now, was it possible--? He looked
again, and he could doubt no longer. It was Dr. Newman. He sprang
forward, with proffers of assistance. Could he be of any use? 'Oh
no, no!' was the reply. 'Oh no, no!' But the Curate felt that he
could not run away and leave so eminent a character in such
distress. 'Was it not Dr. Newman he had the honour of
he asked, with all the respect and sympathy at his command. 'Was
there nothing that could be done?' But the old man hardly seemed
to understand what was being said to him. 'Oh no, no!' he
repeated, with the tears streaming down his face, 'Oh no, no!'


MEANWHILE, a remarkable problem was absorbing the attention of
Catholic Church. Once more, for a moment, the eyes of all
Christendom were fixed upon Rome. The temporal Power of the Pope
had now almost vanished; but, as his worldly dominions steadily
diminished, the spiritual pretensions of the Holy Father no less
steadily increased. For seven centuries the immaculate conception
of the Virgin had been highly problematical; Pio Nono spoke, and
the doctrine became an article of faith. A few years later, the
Court of Rome took another step: a Syllabus Errorum was issued,
in which all the favourite beliefs of the modern world-- the
rights of democracies, the claims of science, the sanctity of
free speech, the principles of toleration-- were categorically
denounced, and their supporters abandoned to the Divine wrath.

Yet it was observed that the modern world proceeded as before.
Something more drastic appeared to be necessary-- some bold and
striking measure which should concentrate the forces of the
faithful, and confound their enemies. The tremendous doctrine of
Papal Infallibility, beloved of all good Catholics, seemed to
offer just the opening that was required. Let that doctrine be
proclaimed, with the assent of the whole Church, an article of
faith, and, in the face of such an affirmation, let the modern
world do its worst! Accordingly, a General Council-- the first to
be held since the Council of Trent more than 300 years before--
was summoned to the Vatican, for the purpose, so it was
announced, of providing 'an adequate remedy to the disorders,
intellectual and moral, of Christendom'. The programme might seem
a large one, even for a General Council; but everyone knew what
it meant.

Everyone, however, was not quite of one mind. There were those
to whom even the mysteries of infallibility caused some
searchings of heart. It was true, no doubt, that Our Lord, by
saying to Peter, 'Thou art Cephas, which is by interpretation a
stone', thereby endowed that Apostle with the supreme and full
primacy and principality over the Universal Catholic Church; it
was equally certain that Peter afterwards became the Bishop of
Rome; nor could it be doubted that the Roman Pontiff was his
successor. Thus it followed directly that the Roman Pontiff was
the head, heart, mind, and tongue of the Catholic Church; and
moreover, it was plain that when Our Lord prayed for Peter that
his faith should not fail, that prayer implied the doctrine of
Papal Infallibility. All these things were obvious, and yet--and
yet-- might not the formal declaration of such truths in the year
of his grace 1870 be, to say the least of it, inopportune? Might
not come as an offence, as a scandal even, to those unacquainted
with the niceties of Catholic dogma? Such were the uneasy
reflections of grave and learned ecclesiastics and theologians in
England, France, and Germany. Newman was more than usually upset;
Monseigneur Dupanloup was disgusted; and Dr. Dollinger prepared
himself for resistance. It was clear that there would be a
disaffected minority at the Council.

Catholic apologists have often argued that the Pope's claim to
infallibility implies no more than the necessary claim of every
ruler, of every government, to the right of supreme command. In
England, for instance, the Estates of the Realm exercise an
absolute authority in secular matters; no one questions this
authority, no one suggests that it is absurd or exorbitant; in
other words, by general consent the Estates of the Realm are,
within their sphere, infallible. Why, therefore, should the Pope,
within his sphere-- the sphere of the Catholic Church-- be denied
similar infallibility? If there is nothing monstrous in an Act of
Parliament laying down what all men shall do, why should there be
anything monstrous in a Papal Encyclical laying down what all men
shall believe? The argument is simple; in fact, it is too simple;
for it takes for granted the very question which is in dispute.
Is there indeed no radical and essential distinction between
supremacy and infallibility? Between the right of a Borough
Council to regulate the traffic and the right of the Vicar of
Christ to decide upon the qualifications for Everlasting Bliss?

There is one distinction, at any rate, which is palpable: the
decisions of a supreme authority can be altered; those of an
infallible authority cannot. A Borough Council may change its
traffic regulations at the next meeting; but the Vicar of Christ,
when in certain circumstances and with certain precautions, he
has once spoken, has expressed, for all the ages, a part of the
immutable, absolute, and eternal Truth. It is this that makes the
papal pretensions so extraordinary and so enormous. It is also
this that gives them their charm. Catholic apologists, when they
try to tone down those pretensions and to explain them away,
forget that it is in their very exorbitance that their
fascination lies. If the Pope were indeed nothing more than a
magnified Borough Councillor, we should hardly have heard so much
of him. It is not because he satisfies the reason, but because he
astounds it, that men abase themselves before the Vicar of

And certainly the doctrine of Papal Infallibility presents to the
reason a sufficiency of stumbling-blocks. In the fourteenth
century, for instance, the following case arose. John XXII
asserted in his bull 'Cum inter nonnullos' that the doctrine of
the poverty of Christ was heretical. Now, according to the light
of reason, one of two things must follow from this--either John
XXII was himself a heretic, or he was no Pope. For his
predecessor, Nicholas III, had asserted in his bull 'Exiit qui
seminat' that the doctrine of the poverty of Christ was the true
doctrine, the denial of which was heresy. Thus if John XXII was
right, Nicholas III was a heretic, and in that case Nicholas's
nominations of Cardinals were void, and the conclave which
elected John was illegal-- so that John was no Pope, his
nominations of Cardinals were void, and the whole Papal
succession vitiated. On the other hand, if John was wrong--well,
he was a heretic; and the same inconvenient results followed.
And, in either case, what becomes of Papal Infallibility?

But such crude and fundamental questions as these were not likely
to trouble the Council. The discordant minority took another
line. Infallibility they admitted readily enough, the
infallibility, that is to say, of the Church; what they shrank
from was the pronouncement that this infallibility was
concentrated in the Bishop of Rome. They would not actually deny
that, as a matter of fact, it was so concentrated; but to declare
that it was, to make the belief that it was an article of faith--
what could be more-- it was their favourite expression-- more
inopportune? In truth, the Gallican spirit still lingered among
them. At heart, they hated the autocracy of Rome-- the domination
of the centralised Italian organisation over the whole vast body
of the Church. They secretly hankered, even at this late hour,
after some form of constitutional government, and they knew that
the last faint vestige of such a dream would vanish utterly
with the declaration of the infallibility of the Pope. It did not
occur to them, apparently, that a constitutional Catholicism
might be a contradiction in terms, and that the Catholic Church,
without the absolute dominion of the Pope, might resemble the
of Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark.

Pius IX himself was troubled by doubts. 'Before I was Pope,'
he observed, 'I believed in Papal Infallibility, now I feel it.'
As for Manning, his certainty was no less complete than his
master's. Apart from the Holy Ghost, his appointment to the See
of Westminster had been due to Pio Nono's shrewd appreciation of
the fact that he was the one man in England upon whose fidelity
the Roman Government could absolutely rely. The voice which kept
repeating 'Mettetelo li, mettetelo li' in his Holiness's ear,
whether or not it was inspired by God, was certainly inspired by
political sagacity. For now Manning was to show that he was not
unworthy of the trust which had been reposed in him. He flew to
Rome in a whirlwind of Papal enthusiasm. On the way, in Paris, he
stopped for a moment to interview those two great props of French
respectability, M. Guizot and M. Thiers. Both were careful not to
commit themselves, but both were exceedingly polite. 'I am
awaiting your Council,' said M. Guizot, 'with great anxiety. It
is the last great moral power and may restore the peace of
Europe.' M. Thiers delivered a brief harangue in favour of the
principles of the Revolution, which, he declared, were the very
marrow of all Frenchmen; yet, he added, he had always supported
the Temporal Power of the Pope. 'Mais, M. Thiers,' said Manning,
'vous etes effectivement croyant.' 'En Dieu,' replied M. Thiers.

The Rome which Manning reached towards the close of 1869 was
still the Rome which, for so many centuries, had been the proud
and visible apex, the palpitating heart, the sacred sanctuary,
of the most extraordinary mingling of spiritual and earthly
powers that the world has ever known. The Pope now, it is true,
ruled over little more than the City itself-- the Patrimony of
Peter-- and he ruled there less by the Grace of God than by the
goodwill of Napoleon III; yet he was still a sovereign Prince,
and Rome was still the capital of the Papal State; she was not
yet the capital of Italy. The last hour of this strange dominion
had almost struck. As if she knew that her doom was upon her,
the Eternal City arrayed herself to meet it in all her glory.

The whole world seemed to be gathered together within her
walls. Her streets were filled with crowned heads and Princes
of the Church, great ladies and great theologians, artists
and friars, diplomats and newspaper reporters. Seven hundred
bishops were there from all the corners of Christendom,
and in all the varieties of ecclesiastical magnificence in
falling lace and sweeping purple and flowing violet veils.
Zouaves stood in the colonnade of St Peter's, and Papal
troops were on the Quirinal. Cardinals passed, hatted and
robed, in their enormous carriage of state, like mysterious
painted idols. Then there was a sudden hush: the crowd grew
thicker and expectation filled, the air. Yes! it was he! He was
coming! The Holy Father! But first there appeared, mounted on a
white mule and clothed in a magenta mantle, a grave dignitary
bearing aloft a silver cross. The golden coach followed, drawn by
six horses gorgeously caparisoned, and within, the smiling white-
haired Pio Nono, scattering his benedictions, while the multitude
fell upon its knees as one man. Such were the daily spectacles of
coloured pomp and of antique solemnity, which so long as the sun
was shining, at any rate-- dazzled the onlooker into a happy
forgetfulness of the reverse side of the Papal dispensation-- the
nauseating filth of the highways, the cattle stabled in the
palaces of the great, and the fever flitting through the ghastly
tenements of the poor.

In St. Peter's, the North Transept had been screened off; rows of
wooden seats had been erected covered with Brussels carpet; and
upon these seats sat each crowned with a white mitre, the 700
Bishops in Council. Here all day long rolled forth, in sonorous
Latin, the interminable periods of episcopal oratory; but it was
not here that the issue of the Council was determined. The
assembled Fathers might talk till the marbles of St. Peter's
themselves grew weary of the reverberations; the fate of the
Church was decided in a very different manner-- by little knots
of influential persons meeting quietly of a morning in the back
room of some inconspicuous lodging-house, by a sunset rendezvous
in the Borghese Gardens between a Cardinal and a Diplomatist by a
whispered conference in an alcove at a Princess's evening party,
with the gay world chattering all about. And, of course, on such
momentous occasions as these, Manning was in his element. None
knew those difficult ropes better than he; none used them with a
more serviceable and yet discreet alacrity. In every juncture he
had the right word, or the right silence; his influence ramified
in all directions, from the Pope's audience chamber to the
English Cabinet. 'Il Diavolo del Concilio' his enemies called
him; and he gloried in the name.

The real crux of the position was less ecclesiastical than
diplomatic. The Papal Court, with its huge majority of Italian
Bishops, could make sure enough, when it came to the point, of
carrying its wishes through the Council; what was far more
dubious was the attitude of the foreign Governments--
especially those of France and England. The French Government
dreaded a schism among its Catholic subjects; it disliked the
prospect of an extension of the influence of the Pope over the
mass of the population of France; and, since the very existence
of the last remnant of the Pope's Temporal Power depended upon
the French army, it was able to apply considerable pressure upon
the Vatican. The interests of England were less directly
involved, but it happened that at this moment Mr. Gladstone was
Prime Minister, and Mr. Gladstone entertained strong views upon
the Infallibility of the Pope. His opinions upon the subject were
in part the outcome of his friendship with Lord Acton, a
historian to whom learning and judgment had not been granted in
equal proportions, and who, after years of incredible and indeed
well-nigh mythical research, had come to the conclusion that the
Pope could err. In this Mr. Gladstone entirely concurred, though
he did not share the rest of his friend's theological opinions;
for Lord Acton, while straining at the gnat of Infallibility, had
swallowed the camel of the Roman Catholic Faith. 'Que diable
allait-il faire dans cette galere?' one cannot help asking, as
one watched that laborious and scrupulous scholar, that lifelong
enthusiast for liberty, that almost hysterical reviler of
priesthood and persecution, trailing his learning so discrepantly
along the dusty Roman way. But, there are some who know how to
wear their Rome with a difference; and Lord Acton was one of

He was now engaged in fluttering like a moth round the Council
and in writing long letters to Mr. Gladstone, impressing upon him
the gravity of the situation, and urging him to bring his
influence to bear. If the, Dogma were carried-- he declared, no
man who accepted it could remain a loyal subject and Catholics
would everywhere become 'irredeemable enemies of civil and
religious liberty'. In these circumstances, was it not plainly
incumbent upon the English Government, involved as it was with
the powerful Roman Catholic forces in Ireland, to intervene? Mr.
Gladstone allowed himself to become convinced, and Lord Acton
began to hope that his efforts would be successful. But, he had
forgotten one element in the situation; he had reckoned without
the Archbishop of Westminster. The sharp nose of Manning sniffed
out the whole intrigue. Though he despised Lord Acton almost as
much as he disliked him--'such men,' he said, 'are all vanity:
they have the inflation of German professors, and the ruthless
talk of undergraduates'--yet he realised clearly enough the
danger of his correspondence with the Prime Minister, and
immediately took steps to counteract it. There was a semi-
official agent of the English Government in Rome, Mr. Odo
and around him Manning set to work to spin his spider's web of
delicate and clinging diplomacy. Preliminary politenesses were
followed by long walks upon the Pincio, and the gradual
interchange of more and more important and confidential
communications. Soon poor Mr. Russell was little better than a
buzzing in gossamer. And Manning was careful to see that he
buzzed on the right note. In his dispatches to the Foreign
Secretary, Lord Clarendon, Mr. Russell explained in detail the
true nature of the Council, that it was merely a meeting of a
few Roman Catholic prelates to discuss some internal matters of
Church discipline, that it had no political significance
whatever, that the question of Infallibility, about which there
had been so much random talk, was a purely theological question,
and that, whatever decision might be come to on the subject, the
position of Roman Catholics throughout the world would remain

Whether the effect of these affirmations upon Lord Clarendon was
as great as Manning supposed is somewhat doubtful; but it is at
any rate certain that Mr. Gladstone failed to carry the Cabinet
him; and, when at last a proposal was definitely made that the
Government should invite the Powers of Europe to intervene at the
it was rejected. Manning always believed that this was the direct
of Mr. Russell's dispatches, which had acted as an antidote to
the poison
of Lord Acton's letters, and thus carried the day. If that was
so, the
discretion of biographers has not yet entirely lifted the veil
from these proceedings Manning had assuredly performed no small
service for his cause. Yet his modesty would not allow him to
assume for himself a credit which, after all, was due elsewhere;
and when he told the story of those days, he would add, with more
than wonted seriousness, 'It was by the Divine Will that the
designs of His enemies were frustrated'.

Meanwhile, in the North Transept of St. Peter's a certain amount
of preliminary business had been carried through. Various
miscellaneous points in Christian doctrine had been
satisfactorily determined. Among others, the following Canons
were laid down by the Fathers: 'If anyone does not accept for
sacred and canonical the whole and every part of the Books of
Holy Scripture, or deny that they are divinely inspired, let him
be anathema.' 'If anyone says that miracles cannot be, and
therefore, the accounts of them, even those in Holy Scriptures
must be assigned a place among fables and myths, or that the
divine origin of the Christian religion cannot rightly be proved
from them, let him be anathema.' 'If anyone says that the
doctrines of the Church can ever receive a sense in accordance
with the progress of science, other than that sense which the
Church has understood and still understands, let him be
'If anyone says that it is not possible, by the natural light of
human reason, to acquire a certain knowledge of the One and True
God, let him be anathema.' In other words, it became an article
of Faith that Faith was not necessary for a true knowledge of
God. Having disposed of these minor matters, the Fathers found
themselves at last approaching the great question of

Two main issues, it soon appeared, were before them: the. Pope's
infallibility was admitted, ostensibly at least, by all; what
to be determined was: (1) whether the definition of the Pope's
was opportune, and (2) what the definition of the Pope's
Infallibility was.

(1) It soon became clear that the sense of the Council was
in favour of a definition. The Inopportunists were a small
they were outvoted, and they were obliged to give way. It only
remained, therefore, to come to a decision upon the second
question-- what the definition should actually be.

(2) It now became the object of the Inopportunists to limit the
of the definition as much as possible, while the Infallibilists
no less eager to extend it. Now everyone, or nearly everyone, was
to limit the Papal Infallibility to pronouncements ex
cathedra--that is
to say, to those made by the Pope in his capacity of Universal
but this only served to raise the ulterior, the portentous, and
the really crucial question--to WHICH of the Papal pronouncements
ex cathedra
did Infallibility adhere?

The discussions which followed were, naturally enough, numerous,
and embittered, and in all of them Manning played a conspicuous
part. For
two months the Fathers deliberated; through fifty sessions they
sought the
guidance of the Holy Ghost. The wooden seats, covered though they
were with Brussels carpet, grew harder and harder; and still the
mitred Councillors sat on. The Pope himself began to grow
impatient; for one thing, he declared, he was being ruined by the
mere expense of lodging and keeping the multitude of his
adherents. 'Questi infallibilisti mi faranno fallire', said his
Holiness. At length it appeared that the Inopportunists were
dragging out the proceedings in the hope of obtaining an
indefinite postponement. Then the authorities began to act; a
bishop was shouted down, and the closure was brought into
operation. At this point the French Government, after long
hesitation, finally decided to intervene, and Cardinal Antonelli
was informed that if the Definition was proceeded with, the
troops would be withdrawn from Rome. But the astute Cardinal
judged that he could safely ignore the threat. He saw that
Napoleon III was tottering to his fall and would never risk an
open rupture with the Vatican. Accordingly, it was determined to
bring the proceedings to a close by a final vote. Already the
Inopportunists, seeing that the game was up, had shaken the dust
of Rome from their feet. On July 18th, 1870, the Council met for
the last time. As the first of the Fathers stepped forward to
declare his vote, a storm of thunder and lightning suddenly burst
over St. Peter's. All through the morning the voting continued,
and every vote was accompanied by a flash and a roar from heaven.
Both sides, with equal justice, claimed the portent as a
manifestation of the Divine Opinion. When the votes were
examined, it was found that 533 were in favour of the proposed
definition and two against it. Next day, war was declared between
France and Germany, and a few weeks later the French troops were
withdrawn from Rome. Almost in the same moment, the successor of
St. Peter had lost his Temporal Power, and gained Infallibility.

What the Council had done was merely to assent to a definition of
the dogma of the Infallibility of the Roman Pontiff which Pius IX
had issued, proprio motu, a few days before. The definition
itself was perhaps somewhat less extreme than might have been
expected. The Pope, it declared, is possessed, when he speaks ex
cathedra, of 'that infallibility with which the Redeemer willed
that His Church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding
faith or morals'. Thus it became a dogma of faith that a Papal
definition regarding faith or morals is infallible; but beyond
that, both the Holy Father and the Council maintained a judicious
reserve. Over what OTHER matters besides faith and morals the
Papal infallibility might or might not extend still remained in
doubt. And there were further questions, no less serious, to
which no decisive answer was then, or ever has been since,

How was it to be determined, for instance, which particular Papal
decisions did in fact come within the scope of the definition?
was to decide what was or was not a matter of faith or morals? Or
precisely WHEN the Roman Pontiff was speaking ex cathedra? Was
famous Syllabus Errorum, for example, issued ex cathedra or not?
theologians have never been able to make up their minds. Yet to
doubts in such matters as these is surely dangerous. 'In duty to
supreme pastoral office,' proclaimed the Sovereign Pontiff, 'by
bowels of Christ we earnestly entreat all Christ's faithful
and we also command them by the authority of God and our Saviour,
they study and labour to expel and eliminate errors and display
light of the purest faith.' Well might the faithful study and
labour to such ends! For, while the offence remained ambiguous,
there was no ambiguity about the penalty. One hair's-breadth from
the unknown path of truth, one shadow of impurity in the
mysterious light of faith, and there shall be anathema! anathema!

anathema! When the framers of such edicts called upon the bowels
of Christ to justify them, might they not have done well to have
paused a little, and to have called to mind the counsel of
another sovereign ruler, though a heretic--Oliver Cromwell?
'Bethink ye, bethink ye, in the bowels of Christ, that ye may be

One of the secondary results of the Council was the
excommunication of Dr. Dollinger, and a few more of the most
uncompromising of the Inopportunists. Among these, however, Lord
Acton was not included. Nobody ever discovered why. Was it
because he was too important for the Holy See to care to
interfere with him? Or was it because he was not important

Another ulterior consequence was the appearance of a pamphlet by
Mr. Gladstone, entitled 'Vaticanism', in which the awful
implications involved in the declaration of Infallibility were
laid before the British Public. How was it possible, Mr.
Gladstone asked, with all the fulminating accompaniments of his
most agitated rhetoric, to depend henceforward upon the civil
allegiance of Roman Catholics? To this question the words of
Cardinal Antonelli to the Austrian Ambassador might have seemed a
sufficient reply. 'There is a great difference,' said his
Eminence, between theory and practice. No one will ever prevent
the Church from proclaiming the great principles upon which its
Divine fabric is based; but, as regards the application of those
sacred laws, the Church, imitating the example of its Divine
Founder, is inclined to take into consideration the natural
weaknesses of mankind.' And, in any case, it was hard to see how
the system of Faith, which had enabled Pope Gregory XIII to
effect, by the hands of English Catholics, a whole series of
attempts to murder Queen Elizabeth, can have been rendered a much
more dangerous engine of disloyalty by the Definition of 1870.
But such considerations failed to reassure Mr. Gladstone; the
British Public was of a like mind; and 145,000 copies of the
pamphlet were sold within two months. Various replies appeared,
and Manning was not behindhand. His share in the controversy led
to a curious personal encounter.

His conversion had come as a great shock to Mr. Gladstone.
had breathed no word of its approach to his old and intimate
friend, and when the news reached him, it seemed almost an act of
personal injury. 'I felt,' Mr. Gladstone said, 'as if Manning had
murdered my mother by mistake.' For twelve years the two men did
not meet, after which they occasionally saw each other and
renewed their correspondence. This was the condition of affairs
when Mr. Gladstone published his pamphlet. As soon as it
Manning wrote a letter to the New York Herald, contradicting its
conclusions and declaring that its publication was 'the first
event that has overcast a friendship of forty-five years'. Mr.
Gladstone replied to this letter in a second pamphlet. At the
close of his theological arguments, he added the following
passage: 'I feel it necessary, in concluding this answer, to
state that Archbishop Manning has fallen into most serious
inaccuracy in his letter of November 10th, wherein he describes
Expostulation as the first event which has overcast a friendship
of forty-five years. I allude to the subject with regret; and
without entering into details.'

Manning replied in a private letter:

'My dear Gladstone,' he wrote, 'you say that I am in error in
stating that your former pamphlet is the first act which has
overcast our friendship.

'If you refer to my act in 1851 in submitting to the Catholic
Church) by which we were separated for some twelve years, I can
understand it.

'If you refer to any other act either on your part or mine I am
not conscious of it, and would desire to know what it may be.

'My act in 1851 may have overcast your friendship for me. It did
not overcast my friendship for you, as I think the last years
have shown.

'You will not, I hope, think me over-sensitive in asking for this
explanation. Believe me, yours affectionately,

'H. E. M.'

'My dear Archbishop Manning,' Mr. Gladstone answered, 'it did, I
confess, seem to me an astonishing error to state in public that
a friendship had not been overcast for forty-five years until
now, which your letter declares has been suspended as to all
action for twelve...

'I wonder, too, at your forgetting that during the forty-five
years I had been charged by you with doing the work of the
in regard to the Temporal Power of the Pope.

'Our differences, my dear Archbishop, are indeed profound. We
refer them, I suppose, in humble silence to a Higher Power...
You assured me once of your prayers at all and at the most solemn
time. I received that assurance with gratitude, and still cherish
it. As and when they move upwards, there is a meeting-point for
those whom a chasm separates below. I remain always,
affectionately yours,


Speaking of this correspondence in after years, Cardinal Manning
said: 'From the way in which Mr. Gladstone alluded to the
overcasting of our friendship, people might have thought that I
had picked his pocket.'


IN 1875, Manning's labours received their final reward: he was
made a Cardinal. His long and strange career, with its high
hopes, its bitter disappointments, its struggles, its
renunciations, had come at last to fruition in a Princedom of the
Church. 'Ask in faith and in perfect confidence,' he himself once
wrote, and God will give us what we ask. You may say, "But do you
mean that He will give us the very thing?" That, God has not
said. God has said that He will give you whatsoever you ask; but
the form in which it will come, and the time in which He will
give it, He keeps in His own power. Sometimes our prayers are
answered in the very things which we put from us; sometimes it
may be a chastisement, or a loss, or a visitation against which
our hearts rise, and we seem to see that God has not only
forgotten us, but has begun to deal with us in severity. Those
very things are the answers to our prayers. He knows what we
desire, and He gives us the things for which we ask; but in the
which His own Divine Wisdom sees to be best.'

There was one to whom Manning's elevation would no doubt have
given a peculiar satisfaction--his old friend Monsignor Talbot.
But this was not to be. That industrious worker in the cause of
Rome had been removed some years previously to a sequestered home
at Passy, whose padded walls were impervious to the rumours of
the outer world. Pius IX had been much afflicted by this
unfortunate event; he had not been able to resign himself to the
loss of his secretary, and he had given orders that Monsignor
Talbot's apartment in the Vatican should be preserved precisely
as he had left it, in case of his return. But Monsignor Talbot
never returned. Manning's feelings upon the subject appear to
have been less tender than the Pope's. In all his letters, in all
his papers, in all his biographical memoranda, not a word of
allusion is to be found to the misfortune, nor to the death, of
the most loyal of his adherents. Monsignor Talbot's name
disappears suddenly and for ever-- like a stone cast into the

Manning was now an old man, and his outward form had assumed that
appearance of austere asceticism which is, perhaps, the one thing
immediately suggested by his name to the ordinary Englishman. The
spare and stately form, the head-- massive, emaciated, terrible--
with the great nose, the glittering eyes, and the mouth drawn
back and compressed into the grim rigidities of age, self-
mortification, and authority--such is the vision that still
lingers in the public mind-- the vision which, actual and
like some embodied memory of the Middle Ages, used to pass and
repass, less than a generation since, through the streets of
London. For the activities of this extraordinary figure were
great and varied. He ruled his diocese with the despotic zeal of
a born administrator. He threw himself into social work of every
kind; he organised charities, he lectured on temperance; he
delivered innumerable sermons; he produced an unending series of
devotional books. And he brooked no brother near the throne:
Newman languished in Birmingham; and even the Jesuits trembled
and obeyed.

Nor was it only among his own community that his energy and his
experience found scope. He gradually came to play an important
part in public affairs, upon questions of labour, poverty, and
education. He sat on Royal Commissions and corresponded with
Cabinet Ministers. At last, no philanthropic meeting at the
Guildhall was considered complete without the presence of
Cardinal Manning. A special degree of precedence was accorded to
him. Though the rank of a Cardinal-Archbishop is officially
unknown in England, his name appeared in public documents-- as a
token, it must be supposed, of personal consideration-- above the
names of peers and bishops, and immediately below that of the
Prince of Wales.

In his private life he was secluded. The ambiguities of his
social position, and his desire to maintain intact the peculiar
eminence of his office, combined to hold him aloof from the
ordinary gatherings of society, though on the rare occasions of
his appearance among fashionable and exalted persons, he carried
all before him. His favourite haunt was the Athenaeum Club, where
he sat scanning the newspapers, or conversing with the old
friends of former days. He was a member, too, of that
distinguished body, the Metaphysical Society, which met once a
month during the palmy years of the seventies to discuss, in
strict privacy, the fundamental problems of the destiny of man.

After a comfortable dinner at the Grosvenor Hotel, the Society,
which included Professor Huxley and Professor Tyndall, Mr. John
Morley and Sir James Stephen, the Duke of Argyll, Lord Tennyson,
and Dean Church, would gather around to hear and discuss a paper
read by one of the members upon such questions as: 'What is
death?' 'Is God unknowable?' or 'The nature of the Moral
Principle'. Sometimes, however, the speculations of the Society
ranged in other directions. 'I think the paper that interested me
most of all that were ever read at our meetings,' says Sir
Mountstuart Elphinstone Grant-Duff, 'was one on "Wherein consists
the special beauty of imperfection and decay?" in which were
propounded the questions "Are not ruins recognised and felt to be
more beautiful than perfect structures? Why are they so? Ought
they to be so?' ' Unfortunately, however, the answers given to
these questions by the Metaphysical Society have not been
recorded for the instruction of mankind.

Manning read several papers, and Professor Huxley and Mr. John
Morley listened with attention while he expressed his views upon
'The Soul before and after Death', or explained why it is 'That
legitimate Authority is an Evidence of Truth'. Yet, somehow or
other, his Eminence never felt quite at ease in these assemblies;
he was more at home with audiences of a different kind; and we
must look in other directions for the free and full manifestation
of his speculative gifts.

In a series of lectures, for instance, delivered in 1861--it was
the first year of the unification of Italy-- upon 'The Present
of the Holy See, tested by prophecy', we catch some glimpses of
kind of problems which were truly congenial to his mind. 'In the
pages,' he said, 'I have endeavoured, but for so great a subject
insufficiently, to show that what is passing in our times is the
prelude of the antichristian period of the final dethronement of
Christendom, and of the restoration of society without God in
the world.' 'My intention is,' he continued, 'to examine the
present relation of the Church to the civil powers of the world
by the light of a prophecy recorded by St Paul.' This prophecy (2
Thess. ii 3 to 11) is concerned with the coming of the
and the greater part of the lectures is devoted to a minute
examination of this subject. There is no passage in Scripture,
Manning pointed out, relating to the coming of Christ more
explicit and express than those foretelling Antichrist; it
therefore behoved the faithful to consider the matter more fully
than they are wont to do. In the first place, Antichrist is a
person. 'To deny the personality of Antichrist is to deny the
plain testimony of Holy Scripture.' And we must remember that 'it
is a law of Holy Scripture that when persons are prophesied of,
persons appear'.

Again, there was every reason to believe that Antichrist, when he
appear, would turn out to be a Jew. 'Such was the opinion of St.
Irenaeus, St. Jerome, and of the author of the work De
Mundi, ascribed to St. Hippolytus, and of a writer of a
on the Epistle to the Thessalonians, ascribed to St. Ambrose, of
others, who said that he will be of the tribe of Dan: as, for
St. Gregory the Great, Theodoret, Aretas of Caesarea, and many
more. Such
also is the opinion of Bellarmine, who calls it certain. Lessius
affirms that
the Fathers, with unanimous consent, teach as undoubted that
Antichrist will be a Jew. Ribera repeats the same opinion, and
adds that Aretas, St. Bede, Haymo, St. Anselm, and Rupert affirm
that for this reason the tribe of Dan is not numbered among those
who are sealed in the Apocalypse... Now, I think no one can
consider the dispersion and providential preservation of the Jews
among all the nations of the world and the indestructible
vitality of their race without believing that they are reserved
for some future action of His judgment and Grace. And this is
foretold again and again in the New Testament.'

'Our Lord,' continued Manning, widening the sweep of his
speculations, 'has said of these latter times: "There shall arise
false Christs and false prophets, insomuch as to deceive even
the elect"; that is, they shall not be deceived; but those who
have lost faith in the Incarnation, such as humanitarians,
rationalists, and pantheists, may well be deceived by any person
of great political power and success, who should restore the Jews
to their own land, and people Jerusalem once more with the sons
of the Patriarchs. And, there is nothing in the political aspect
of the world which renders such a combination impossible; indeed,
the state of Syria, and the tide of European diplomacy, which 'is
continually moving eastward, render such an event within a
reasonable probability.' Then Manning threw out a bold
suggestion. 'A successful medium,' he said, 'might well pass
himself off by his preternatural endowments as the promised

Manning went on to discuss the course of events which would lead
to the final catastrophe. But this subject, he confessed, 'deals
with agencies so transcendent and mysterious, that all I shall
venture to do will be to sketch in outline what the broad and
luminous prophecies, especially of the Book of Daniel and the
Apocalypse, set forth without attempting to enter into minute
details, which can only be interpreted by the event'. While
applauding his modesty, we need follow Manning no further in his
commentary upon those broad and luminous works; except to observe
that 'the apostasy of the City of Rome from the Vicar of Christ
and its destruction by the Antichrist' was, in his opinion,
certain. Nor was he without authority for this belief. For it was
held by 'Malvenda, who writes expressly on the subject', and who,
besides, 'states as the opinion of Ribera, Gaspar Melus, Viegas,
Suarez, Bellarmine, and Bosius that Rome shall apostatise from
the faith'.


THE death of Pius IX brought to Manning a last flattering
testimony of the confidence with which he was regarded at the
Court of Rome. In one of the private consultations preceding the
Conclave, a Cardinal suggested that Manning should succeed to the
Papacy. He replied that he was unfit for the position, because
it was essential for the interests of the Holy See that the next
Pope should be an Italian. The suggestion was pressed, but
Manning held firm. Thus it happened that the Triple Tiara seemed
to come, for a moment, within the grasp of the late Archdeacon of
Chichester; and the cautious hand refrained. Leo XIII was
elected, and there was a great change in the policy of the
Vatican. Liberalism became the order of the day. And now at last
the opportunity seemed ripe for an act which, in the opinion of
the majority of English Catholics, had long been due-- the
bestowal of some mark of recognition from the Holy See upon the
labours and the sanctity of Father Newman. It was felt that a
Cardinal's hat was the one fitting reward for such a life, and
accordingly the Duke of Norfolk, representing the Catholic laity
of England, visited Manning, and suggested that he should forward
the proposal to the Vatican. Manning agreed, and then there
followed a curious series of incidents-- the last encounter in
jarring lives of those two men. A letter was drawn up by Manning
for the eye of the Pope, embodying the Duke of Norfolk's
proposal; but there was an unaccountable delay in the
transmission of this letter; months passed, and it had not
reached the Holy Father. The whole matter would, perhaps, have
dropped out of sight and been forgotten, in a way which had
become customary when honours for Newman were concerned, had not
the Duke of Norfolk himself, when he was next in Rome, ventured
to recommend to Leo XIII that Dr. Newman should be made a
Cardinal. His Holiness welcomed the proposal; but, he said, he
could do nothing until he knew the views of Cardinal Manning.
Thereupon, the Duke of Norfolk wrote to Manning, explaining what
had occurred; shortly afterwards, Manning's letter of
recommendation, after a delay of six months, reached the Pope,
and the offer of a Cardinalate was immediately dispatched to

But the affair was not yet over. The offer had been made; would
it be accepted? There was one difficulty in the way. Newman was
now an infirm old man of seventy-eight; and it is a rule that all
Cardinals who are not also diocesan Bishops or Archbishops
reside, as a matter of course, at Rome. The change would have
been impossible for one of his years-- for one, too, whose whole
life was now bound up with the Oratory at Birmingham. But, of
course, there was nothing to prevent His Holiness from making an
exception in Newman's case, and allowing him to end his days in
England. Yet how was Newman himself to suggest this? The offer of
the Hat had come to him as an almost miraculous token of renewed
confidence, of ultimate reconciliation. The old, long, bitter
estrangement was ended at last. 'The cloud is lifted from me for
ever!' he exclaimed when the news reached him. It would be
melancholy indeed if the cup were now to be once more dashed from
his lips and he was obliged to refuse the signal honour. In his
perplexity he went to the Bishop of Birmingham and explained the
whole situation. The Bishop assured him that all would be well;
that he himself would communicate with the authorities, and put
the facts of the case before them. Accordingly, while Newman
wrote formally refusing the Hat, on the ground of his
unwillingness to leave the Oratory, the Bishop wrote two letters
to Manning, one official and one private, in which the following
passages occurred:

'Dr. Newman has far too humble and delicate a mind to dream of
thinking or saying anything which would look like hinting at any
kind of terms with the Sovereign Pontiff. ... I think, however,
that I ought to express my own sense of what Dr. Newman's
dispositions are, and that it will be expected of me... I am
thoroughly confident that nothing stands in the way of his most
grateful acceptance, except what he tells me greatly distresses
him-- namely, the having to leave the Oratory at a critical
of its existence, and the impossibility of his beginning a new
life at his advanced age.'

And in his private letter the Bishop said: 'Dr. Newman is very
much aged, and softened with age and the trials he has had,
especially the loss of his two brethren, St. John and Caswall; he
can never refer to these losses without weeping and becoming
speechless for a time. He is very much affected by the Pope's
kindness and would, I know, like to receive the great honour
him, but feels the whole difficulty at his age of changing his
life or having to leave the Oratory-- which I am sure he could
not do. If the Holy Father thinks well to confer on him the
dignity, leaving him where he is, I know how immensely he would
be gratified, and you will know how generally the conferring on
him the Cardinalate will be applauded.'

These two letters, together with Newman's refusal, reached
Manning as he was on the point of starting for Rome. After he had
left England, the following statement appeared in "The Times":

'Pope Leo XIII has intimated his desire to raise Dr. Newman to
rank of Cardinal, but with expressions of deep respect for the
Holy See, Dr. Newman has excused himself from accepting the

When Newman's eyes fell upon the announcement, he realised at
once that a secret and powerful force was working against him. He
trembled, as he had so often trembled before; and certainly the
danger was not imaginary. In the ordinary course of things, how
could such a paragraph have been inserted without his authority?
And consequently, did it not convey to the world, not only an
absolute refusal which he had never intended, but a wish on his
part to emphasise publicly his rejection of the proffered honour?
Did it not imply that he had lightly declined a proposal for
which in reality he was deeply thankful? And when the fatal
paragraph was read in Rome, might it not actually lead to the
offer of the Cardinalate being finally withheld?

In great agitation, Newman appealed to the Duke of Norfolk. 'As
to the statement,' he wrote, 'of my refusing a Cardinal's Hat,
which is in the papers, you must not believe it, for this reason:

'Of course, it implies that an offer has been made me, and I have
sent an answer to it. Now I have ever understood that it is a
point of propriety and honour to consider such communications
sacred. This statement, therefore, cannot come from me. Nor could
it come from Rome, for it was made public before my answer got to

'It could only come, then, from someone who not only read my
letter, but, instead of leaving to the Pope to interpret it, took
upon himself to put an interpretation upon it, and published that
interpretation to the world.

'A private letter, addressed to Roman Authorities, is interpreted
on its way and published in the English papers. How is it
possible that anyone can have done this?'

The crushing indictment pointed straight at Manning. And it was
true. Manning had done the impossible deed. Knowing what he did,
with the Bishop of Birmingham's two letters in his pocket, he had
put it about that Newman had refused the Hat. But a change had
come over the spirit of the Holy See. Things were not as they had
once been: Monsignor Talbot was at Passy, and Pio Nono was--
where? The Duke of Norfolk intervened once again; Manning was
profuse in his apologies for having misunderstood Newman's
intentions, and hurried to the Pope to rectify the error. Without
hesitation, the Sovereign Pontiff relaxed the rule of Roman
residence, and Newman became a Cardinal.

He lived to enjoy his glory for more than ten years. Since he
rarely left the Oratory, and since Manning never visited
Birmingham, the two Cardinals met only once or twice. After one
of these occasions, on returning to the Oratory, Cardinal Newman
said, 'What do you think Cardinal Manning did to me? He kissed

On Newman's death, Manning delivered a funeral oration, which
opened thus:

'We have lost our greatest witness for the Faith, and we are all
poorer and lower by the loss.

'When these tidings came to me, my first thought was this, in
what way can I, once more, show my love and veneration for my
brother and friend of more than sixty years?'

In private, however, the surviving Cardinal's tone was apt to be
more... direct. 'Poor Newman!' he once exclaimed in a moment of
genial expansion. 'Poor Newman! He was a great hater!'


IN that gaunt and gloomy building-- more like a barracks than an
Episcopal palace-- Archbishop's House, Westminster, Manning's
existence stretched itself out into an extreme old age. As his
years increased, his activities, if that were possible, increased
too. Meetings, missions, lectures, sermons, articles, interviews,
letters-- such things came upon him in redoubled multitudes, and
were dispatched with an unrelenting zeal. But this was not all;
with age, he seemed to acquire what was almost a new fervour, an
unaccustomed, unexpected, freeing of the spirit, filling him with
preoccupations which he had hardly felt before. 'They say I am
ambitious,' he noted in his Diary, 'but do I rest in my

No, assuredly he did not rest; but he worked now with no arriere
pensee for the greater glory of God. A kind of frenzy fell upon
Poverty, drunkenness, vice, all the horrors and terrors of our
seized upon his mind, and urged him forward to new fields of
action and
new fields of thought. The temper of his soul assumed almost a
cast. 'I am a Mosaic Radical,' he exclaimed; and, indeed, in the
of his energies, the incoherence of his conceptions, the
urgency of his desires, combined with his awe-inspiring aspect
and his venerable age, it was easy enough to trace the mingled
qualities of the patriarch, the prophet, and the demagogue. As,
in his soiled and shabby garments, the old man harangued the
crowds of Bermondsey or Peckham upon the virtues of Temperance,
assuring them, with all the passion of conviction, as a final
argument, that the majority of the Apostles were total
abstainers, this Prince of the Church might have passed as a
leader of the Salvation Army. His popularity was immense,
reaching its height during the great Dock Strikes of 1889, when,
after the victory of the men was assured, Manning was able, by
his persuasive eloquence and the weight of his character, to
prevent its being carried to excess. After other conciliators--
among whom was the Bishop of London-- had given up the task in
disgust, the octogenarian Cardinal worked on with indefatigable
resolution. At last, late at night, in the schools in Kirby
Street, Bermondsey, he rose to address the strikers. An
enthusiastic eye-witness has described the scene: 'Unaccustomed
tears glistened in the eyes of his rough and work-stained hearers
as the Cardinal raised his hand and solemnly urged them not to
prolong one moment more than they could help the perilous
uncertainty and the sufferings of their wives and children. Just
above his uplifted hand was a figure of the Madonna and Child;
and some among the men tell how a sudden light seemed to swim
around it as the speaker pleaded for the women and children. When
he sat down all in the room knew that he had won the day, and
that, so far as the Strike Committee was concerned, the matter
was at an end.'

In those days, there were strange visitors at the Archbishop's
Careful priests and conscientious secretaries wondered what the
world was coming to when they saw labour leaders like M.r John
Burns and Mr. Ben Tillett, and land-reformers like Mr. Henry
George, being ushered into the presence of his Eminence. Even the
notorious Mr. Stead appeared, and his scandalous paper with its
unspeakable revelations lay upon the Cardinal's table. This
proved too much for one of the faithful tonsured dependents of
the place, and he ventured to expostulate with his master. But
he never did so again.

When the guests were gone, and the great room was empty, the old
man would draw himself nearer to the enormous fire, and review
once more, for the thousandth time, the long adventure of his
life. He would bring out his diaries and his memoranda, he would
rearrange his notes, he would turn over again the yellow leaves
of faded correspondences; seizing his pen, he would pour out his
comments and reflections, and fill, with an extraordinary
solicitude, page after page with elucidations, explanations,
justifications, of the vanished incidents of a remote past. He
would snip with scissors the pages of ancient journals, and with
delicate ecclesiastical fingers, drop unknown mysteries into the

Sometimes he would turn to the four red folio scrapbooks with
their collection of newspaper cuttings, concerning himself, over
period of thirty years. Then the pale cheeks would flush and the
close-drawn lips would grow even more menacing than before.
mulish malice,' he would note. 'Pure lying--conscious, deliberate
and designed.' 'Suggestive lying. Personal animosity is at the
bottom of this.'

And then he would suddenly begin to doubt. After all, where was
he? What had he accomplished? Had any of it been worthwhile? Had
he not been out of the world all his life! Out of the world!
'Croker's "Life and Letters", and Hayward's "Letters",' he notes,
'are so full of politics, literature, action, events, collision
of mind with mind, and that with such a multitude of men in every
state of life, that when I look back, it seems as if I had been
simply useless.' And again, 'The complete isolation and exclusion
from the official life of England in which I have lived, makes me
feel as if I had done nothing'. He struggled to console himself
with the reflexion that all this was only 'the natural order'.
'If the natural order is moved by the supernatural order, then I
may not have done nothing. Fifty years of witness for God and His
Truth, I hope, has not been in vain.' But the same thoughts
recurred. 'In reading Macaulay's life I had a haunting feeling
that his had been a life of public utility and mine a vita
umbratilis, a life in the shade.' Ah! it was God's will. 'Mine
has been a life of fifty years out of the world as Gladstone's
has been in it. The work of his life in this world is manifest. I
hope mine may be in the next. I suppose our Lord called me out of
the world because He saw that I should lose my soul in it.'
Clearly, that was the explanation.

And yet he remained sufficiently in the world to discharge with
absolute efficiency the complex government of his diocese almost
up to the last moment of his existence. Though his bodily
strength gradually ebbed, the vigour of his mind was undismayed.
At last, supported by cushions, he continued, by means of a
dictated correspondence, to exert his accustomed rule. Only
occasionally would he lay aside his work to plunge into the yet
more necessary duties of devotion. Never again would he preach;
never again would he put into practice those three salutary rules
of his in choosing a subject for a sermon: '(1) asking God to
guide the choice; (2) applying the matter to myself; (3) making
the sign of the cross on my head and heart and lips in honour of
the Sacred Mouth;' but he could still pray; he could turn
especially to the Holy Ghost. 'A very simple but devout person,'
he wrote in one of his latest memoranda, 'asked me why in my
first volume of sermons I said so little about the Holy Ghost. I
was not aware of it; but I found it to be true. I at once
resolved that I would make a reparation every day of my life to
the Holy Ghost. This I have never failed to do to this day. To
this I owe the light and faith which brought me into the
truefold. I bought all the books I could about the Holy Ghost. I
worked out the truths about His personality, His presence, and
His office. This made me understand the last paragraph in the
Apostles' Creed, and made me a Catholic Christian.'

So, though Death came slowly, struggling step by step with that
bold and tenacious spirit, when he did come at last the Cardinal
was ready. Robed in his archiepiscopal vestments, his rochet, his
girdle, and his mozzetta, with the scarlet biretta on his head,
and the pectoral cross upon his breast, he made his solemn
Profession of Faith in the Holy Roman Church. A crowd of lesser
dignitaries, each in the garments of his office, attended the
ceremonial. The Bishop of Salford held up the Pontificale and the
Bishop of Amycla bore the wax taper. The provost of Westminster,
on his knees, read aloud the Profession of Faith, surrounded by
the Canons of the Diocese. Towards those who gathered about him,
the dying man was still able to show some signs of recognition,
and even, perhaps, of affection; yet it seemed that his chief
up to the very end, was with his obedience to the rules
prescribed by
the Divine Authority. 'I am glad to have been able to do
everything in
due order', were among his last words. 'Si fort qu'on soit,' says
of the profoundest of the observers of the human heart, 'on peut
le besoin de s'incliner devant quelqu'un ou quelque chose.
S'incliner devant
Dieu, c'est toujours le moins humiliant.'

Manning died on January 14th, 1892, in the eighty-fifth year of
his age. A few days later Mr. Gladstone took occasion, in a
to a friend, to refer to his relations with the late Cardinal.
Manning's conversion was, he said, 'altogether the severest blow
that ever befell me. In a late letter the Cardinal termed it a
quarrel, but in my reply I told him it was not a quarrel, but a
death; and that was the truth. Since then there have been
vicissitudes. But I am quite certain that to the last his
personal feelings never changed; and I believe also that he kept
a promise made in 1851, to remember me before God at the most
solemn moments; a promise which I greatly valued. The whole
subject is to me at once of extreme interest and of considerable
restraint.' 'His reluctance to die,' concluded Mr. Gladstone,
be explained by an intense anxiety to complete unfulfilled

The funeral was the occasion of a popular demonstration such as
has rarely been witnessed in the streets of London. The route of
the procession was lined by vast crowds of working people, whose
imaginations, in some instinctive manner, had been touched. Many
who had hardly seen him declared that in Cardinal Manning they
had lost their best friend. Was it the magnetic vigour of the
dead man's spirit that moved them? Or was it his valiant
disregard of common custom and those conventional reserves and
poor punctilios which are wont to hem about the great? Or was it
something untameable in his glances and in his gestures? Or was
it, perhaps, the mysterious glamour lingering about him, of the
antique organisation of Rome? For whatever cause, the mind of the
people had been impressed; and yet, after all, the impression was
more acute than lasting. The Cardinal's memory is a dim thing
And he who descends into the crypt of that Cathedral which
Manning never lived to see, will observe, in the quiet niche with
the sepulchral monument, that the dust lies thick on the strange,
the incongruous, the almost impossible object which, with its
elaborations of dependent tassels, hangs down from the dim vault
like some forlorn and forgotten trophy-- the Hat.


E. S. Purcell. Life of Cardinal Manning.
A. W. Hutton. Cardinal Manning.
J. E. C. Bodley. Cardinal Manning and Other Essays.
F. W. Cornish. The English Church in the Nineteenth Century.
Dean Church. The Oxford Movement.
Sir J. T. Coleridge. Memoir of the Rev. John Keble.
Hurrell Froude. Remains.
Cardinal Newman. Letters and Correspondence in the English
Apologia pro Vita Sua.
Wilfrid Ward. Life of Cardinal Newman. W. G. Ward and the Oxford
Movement. W. G. Ward and the Catholic Revival. Life of Cardinal
H. P. Liddon. Life of E. B. Pusey.
Tracts for the Times, by Members of the University of Oxford.
Lord Morley. Life of Gladstone.
Lives of the Saints, edited by J. H. Newman.
Herbert Paul. Life of J.A. Froude.
Mark Pattison. Autobiography.
T. Mozley. Letters from Rome on the Occasion of the Oecumenical
Lord Acton. Letters.
H. L. Smith and V. Nash. The Story of the Dockers' Strike.

Florence Nightingale

EVERY one knows the popular conception of Florence Nightingale.
The saintly, self-sacrificing woman, the delicate maiden of high
degree who threw aside the pleasures of a life of ease to succour
the afflicted; the Lady with the Lamp, gliding through the
horrors of the hospital at Scutari, and consecrating with the
radiance of her goodness the dying soldier's couch. The vision
is familiar to all-- but the truth was different. The Miss
Nightingale of fact was not as facile as fancy painted her. She
worked in another fashion and towards another end; she moved
under the stress of an impetus which finds no place in the
popular imagination. A Demon possessed her. Now demons, whatever
else they may be, are full of interest. And so it happens that in
the real Miss Nightingale there was more that was interesting
than in the legendary one; there was also less that was

Her family was extremely well-to-do, and connected by marriage
with a spreading circle of other well-to-do families. There was a
large country house in Derbyshire; there was another in the New
Forest; there were Mayfair rooms for the London season and all
its finest parties; there were tours on the Continent with even
more than the usual number of Italian operas and of glimpses at
the celebrities of Paris. Brought up among such advantages, it
was only natural to suppose that Florence would show a proper
appreciation of them by doing her duty in that state of life unto
which it had pleased God to call her--in other words, by
marrying, after a fitting number of dances and dinner-parties, an
eligible gentleman, and living happily ever afterwards. Her
sister, her cousins, all the young ladies of her acquaintance,
were either getting ready to do this or had already done it.

It was inconceivable that Florence should dream of anything else;
yet dream she did. Ah! To do her duty in that state of life unto
which it had pleased God to call her! Assuredly, she would not be
behindhand in doing her duty; but unto what state of life HAD it
pleased God to call her? That was the question. God's calls are
many, and they are strange. Unto what state of life had it
pleased Him to call Charlotte Corday, or Elizabeth of Hungary?
What was that secret voice in her ear, if it was not a call? Why
had she felt, from her earliest years, those mysterious
promptings towards... she hardly knew what, but certainly towards
something very different from anything around her? Why, as a
child in the nursery, when her sister had shown a healthy
pleasure in tearing her dolls to pieces, had SHE shown an almost
morbid one in sewing them up again? Why was she driven now to
minister to the poor in their cottages, to watch by sick-beds, to
put her dog's wounded paw into elaborate splints as if it was a
human being? Why was her head filled with queer imaginations of
the country house at Embley turned, by some enchantment, into a
hospital, with herself as matron moving about among the beds? Why
was even her vision of heaven itself filled with suffering
patients to whom she was being useful? So she dreamed and
wondered, and, taking out her diary, she poured into it the
agitations of her soul. And then the bell rang, and it was time
to go and dress for dinner.

As the years passed, a restlessness began to grow upon her. She
was unhappy, and at last she knew it. Mrs. Nightingale, too,
began to notice that there was something wrong. It was very odd--
what could be the matter with dear Flo? Mr. Nightingale suggested
that a husband might be advisable; but the curious thing was that
she seemed to take no interest in husbands. And with her
attractions, and her accomplishments, too! There was nothing in
the world to prevent her making a really brilliant match. But no!
She would think of nothing but how to satisfy that singular
craving of hers to be DOING something. As if there was not plenty
to do in any case, in the ordinary way, at home. There was the
china to look after, and there was her father to be read to after
dinner. Mrs. Nightingale could not understand it; and then one
day her perplexity was changed to consternation and alarm.
Florence announced an extreme desire to go to Salisbury Hospital
for several months as a nurse; and she confessed to some
visionary plan of eventually setting up in a house of her own in
a neighbouring village, and there founding 'something like a
Protestant Sisterhood, without vows, for women of educated
feelings'. The whole scheme was summarily brushed aside as
preposterous; and Mrs. Nightingale, after the first shock of
terror, was able to settle down again more or less comfortably to
her embroidery. But Florence, who was now twenty-five and felt
that the dream of her life had been shattered, came near to

And, indeed, the difficulties in her path were great. For not
only was it an almost unimaginable thing in those days for a
woman of means to make her own way in the world and to live in

Book of the day: