« ПретходнаНастави »
“I should so like to hear some of your compositions,” said Miss Lane. “May I not hope that you will bring a manuscript when you next pass an evening with me?”
"Certainly, if you wish it,” rejoined Mabel, frankly,"indeed I shall think it a real kindness if you will occasionally help me to revise them, for Lilla's criticisms are too partial.”
“I must try then to be very severe; but dear Miss Mabel, please do not forget your promise about Ruskin.”
“No indeed," answered Mabel, “I am all impatience to begin, and should you think the colours on his palette are too glowing, you need only look around you.
“No words of which I know will say what mosses are; none are delicate enough, none perfect enough, none rich enough. How is one to tell of the rounded bosses of furred and beaming green; the starred divisions of rubied bloom, fine filmed as though the Rock spirits could spin porphyry; the traceries of intricate silver, and fringes of amber, lustrous, arborescent, burnished through every fibre into fitful brightness, and glossy traverses of silken change, yet all subdued and pensive; framed for simplest, sweetest offices of grace. They will not be gathered like the flowers for chaplet or love-token, but of them the bird will make ber nest, and the wearied child his pillow.
“Yet as in one sense the humblest, so in another, they are the most honoured of earth's children. To them, slow-fingered, constant-hearted, is entrusted the weaving of the dark tapestry of the eternal hills; to them, slow-pencilled, iris-dyed, the tender framing of their endless imagery. . . . They will not conceal the form of the rock, but will gather over it in little bosses, like small cushions of velvet, made of mixed thread of dark ruby silk and gold, rounded over more subdued films of white and grey, with lightly crisped and curled edges, like hoar-frost on fallen leaves, and minute clusters of upright orange stalks, with pointed caps, and fibres of deep green and gold, and faint purple, all woven together, and following with unimaginable fineness of gentle growth the undulations of the stone they cherish, until it is charged with colour, so that it can receive no more, and instead of looking rugged or cold, or stern, it seems to be clothed with a soft dark leopardskin, embroidered with arabesques of purple and silver. Sharing the stillness of the unimpassioned rock, mosses share also its endurance, and while the winds of departing spring scatter the white hawthorn blossoms like drifted snow, and summer dims on the parched meadow
the drooping of its cowslip gold far above, among the mountains, the silver lichen spots rest starlike on the stones, and the gathering orange stain
upon the edge of yonder western peak, reflects the sunsets of a thousand years."
“That is indeed masterly eloquence !” exclaimed Miss Lane, " such command over the English language must be surely unsurpassed. Are you familiar with his other writings? I can hardly fancy any study more entrancing."
" I possess only a single volume, but in my opinion it is one of the most lovely,” answered Mabel. “It is called 'The Two Paths,' meaning the true and the false in art. I need not add that it is at your service, and when my friend Lucy Perran comes to stay with us, I will ask her to bring Modern Painters,' and 'The Stones of Venice, I have often seen both in her father's library.”
The charm of having her wants thus anticipated by a young and loving heart, was inexpressibly dear to the parish governess. She was however too reserved to allow free vent to her feelings, and contented herself with the almost cold rejoinder,
“ Is your friend Miss Perran then expected soon ?”
"I do not know exactly when," said Mabel, " for Lucy is an only daughter, and cannot easily be spared from home. However, I have Mrs. Perran's promise that it shall be before very long, and when she comes, you will help us in trying to make her visit pleasant, will you not, dear Miss Lane?”
It was impossible for the most stern resolve long to withstand the winsomeness of such a nature, and from that hour Miss Lane gave
her. self up to an unqualified enjoyment of the full rich life which seemed likely to spring out of her growing intercourse with Mabel Gordon.
The following account of this early Saint, and founder of S. Peter's church, Oxford, may perhaps not be uninteresting to the readers of this periodical.
S. Grimbald, Grimbal, or S. Grimbaldus, was born at Morinorum, Flanders, somewhere about A.D. 820, though the precise year is not known, and I believe it is not mentioned by any of the early historians, such as Asser, &c.
The first mention that I have seen made of him is in the year 853, when he was prior of S. Bertin, in Flanders.
The next notice of him we find is still in the monastery of S. Bertin, when Alfred as a boy was sent by his father to the most holy Pope Leo to be anointed king of the Angli. Alfred had repaired to the same convent, along with his attendants. S. Grimbald had kindly received the boy with his companions, and performing towards them the offices of love, earnestly entreated them to stay till morning, and having promised them hospitality most affectionately exhorted them respecting the salvation of their souls, and urged them to aim at the attainment of those joys which are above, without reference to the body, and resolutely to direct their steps towards the kingdom of God, not in word only, but with every effort of the heart. Wherefore while the illustrious Alfred was sojourning for a few days in the monastery of S. Bertin he daily hastened to the feet of so excellent an instructor, that he might hear the mysteries of heavenly doctrine; and not accidentally but religiously it came into his heart, through the inspiration of God, that if he should be able to come back safe from Rome, and if he should ever have the ability to effect it, he would some time or other exalt that holy man, S. Grimbald, and retain him in his kingdom. Alfred in the year 885, having routed the Danes, &c., recollected the league of spiritual friendship he had contracted with S. Grimbald; he earnestly mentioned to Etheldred, Archbishop of Canterbury, the name of the holy man Grimbald, and made known to the venerable prelate the merit of his sanctity, telling him that he could by his exhortation inflame many with heavenly affections, and fill them with draughts of celestial wisdom.
The monarch and the prelate therefore having both made up their minds with God's assistance to send with speed across the sea, resolved that S. Grimbald should by the works with which he was endowed offer medicine of salvation, if a reluctance to believe did not stand in the way, to the English nation.
Alfred sent an embassy of ecclesiastics and laymen to Tulk, Archbishop of Rheims, Grimbald being in his jurisdiction, bearing presents and praying that Grimbald might be allowed to come to England to assist in building up and restoring the Church there.
The answer is still extant, addressing the most Christian king of the English : “Tulk,” Archbishop of Rheims, and the servant of the servants of GOD, “congratulates Alfred on the success of his temporal
arms and his zeal for enlarging the Church by spiritual weapons. The Archbishop prays incessantly that God will multiply peace to the king's realm in his days, and that the ecclesiastical orders, which have, as ye say, in many ways fallen away, whether by the constant inroads of heathen men, or because the times are feeble by age or through the neglect of bishops, or ignorance of the inferior clergy,” may by his diligence be reformed, ennobled, extended. The Archbishop has evidently been elated by the king's desire to import doctrine and discipline from the seat of S. Remigius, “which we are constrained to boast, has always excelled in worship and doctrine all other French Churches."
Among other presents, for which grateful thanks, “ye have sent us noble and very staunch hounds, though carnal, for the controlling of those visible wolves, with great abundance of which amongst other scourges a just God has afflicted our land; asking of us in return hounds not carnal but spiritual, not such however as those of which the prophet has said, 'many dogs not able to bark,' but such as shall know well how for their LORD to bay in earnest, magnos latratus fundere, to guard His flock with most vigilant watchfulness, and to drive far away those most cruel wolves of unclean spirits, which are the betrayers and devourers of souls.
“Out of such spiritual watchdogs ye have singled out, and asked from us one of the name of Grimbald, priest and monk, to whom the universal Church bears record, she who has nourished him from his childhood in the true faith, advancing him after her manner to the dignity of the priesthood, and proclaiming him suited to the highest ecclesiastical honour, and well fitted to teach others. This same man has been a most faithful coadjutor to us, and we cannot without sore affliction suffer him to be parted from us by so vast a space of land
But charity taketh no note of sacrifice, nor faith of injury, nor can any earthly distance keep apart those whom the chain of a true affection joins. Wherefore we grant this request of yours most willingly." Such is the reply, though curtailed, of the worthy Archbishop Tulk.
“ Alfred sent messengers beyond the sea to Gaul to procure teachers, and he invited from thence Grimbald, priest and monk, a venerable man, and good musician, adorned with every kind of ecclesiastical discipline and good morals, and most learned in the Holy Scripture. By the instruction of Grimbald and others the king's mind was much expanded, and he enriched and honoured them with much influence.”
The next time we come across this learned man is in helping Alfred to translate from Latin into English the book called “Pastorals” in Latin, (or in English “The Herdsman's Book.') He was at this time one of Alfred's mass-priests, A.D. 886. S. Grimbald built S. Peter's Church, Oxford. The crypt is called after his name, “Grymbald's crypt." The following description of it may not be out of place here.
It contains two rows of short pillars, ranging from east to west, and two of square pilasters, attached to the main walls. Each row consists of four pillars, the capitals of which are well executed, two being ornamented with some curious sculptures. The vaulting is composed of semicircular arches of hewn stone, which, according to Hearne, was brought from an old quarry, disused since Henry III.'s reign, behind South Kinksey; and the present entrance to the crypt is through a large buttress which, though of great age, is obviously much more recent than the chancel. There are traces of two other entrances, one at the west end and another on the north side; from the latter was a winding staircase leading into the chancel above. Over one of the doors, which are square-headed, is a transome stone, having a semicircle carved upon it. At the east end there appears to have been an altar. The crypt is thirty-six feet long, twenty feet, ten inches wide, and nine feet high.
In the year 886 Grimbald left Oxford on account of a dispute between him and the former scholars. Asser gives the following account of it. There broke out a sharp and fatal quarrel between Grimbald and those very learned men whom he had brought thither with him, and the old scholars whom he found there ; who on his coming unanimously refused to receive the rules, methods, and forms of lecturing that Grimbald introduced. Three years had passed without any great difference between them, but the secret aversion afterwards broke out with the utmost violence. In order to quell it the invincible King Alfred, as soon as he heard of it by the messages and complaints of Grimbald, went in person to Oxford to put an end to the dispute, and he took the greatest pains to hear the causes and complaints on both sides. The foundation of the difference was this : The old scholars maintained that before Grimbald came to Oxford learning had flourished there, though the scholars at that time were fewer than in more ancient times, the greater part being driven out by the cruelty and oppression of the Pagans ; they also proved and showed, and that by the undoubted testimony of ancient chronicles, that the