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For the Anthology.
TO THE AMERICAN TRAVELLER, ON HIS SECOND LETTER, PUBLISHED
IN THE ANTHOLOGY, vol. 4, page 71.
Boston, April 7th, 1807. steal, &c. &c. they would have SIR,
Jooked at you with astonishment, YOUR second letter from and perhaps then mistaken a Rome was mentioned to me a few christian for an infidel. days ago. I perused it, and think
But what is an indulgence, you it my duty to trouble you with will ask, what do you mean by it? some reflections upon it. I am a It is merely, sir, a dispensation Roman Catholick, and in points of from the whole or part of the pedoctrine perfectly agree with my nance, which is or ought to be prebrethren in Italy and elsewhere; scribed according to the canons of but neither they nor I hold such a the church to those, who have condoctrine concerning indulgences fessed their sins. The grant of and persecution, as you attribute an indulgence is of no avail, exto us in your letter.
cept to those who sincerely repent, Indulgences, you say, are per- are firmly resolved to reform, have missions either general or more li- made an humble confession of mited to commit offences, and are their guilt, are reconciled to their advertized for sale at Milan and in enemies, have restored ill-gotten other cities. As a proof, you property, &c. &c. This, sir, is quote two inscriptions you read in our doctrine, as you will find it in the churches ; in the following our writers of every tongue and words :
nation. Saint Paul put in penIndulgenza plenaria tutti i giorni della ance a man guilty of incest, and settimana.
granted him an indulgence the i. e. Plenary indulgence every day in year following. Saint Ambrose, the week.
at Milan, subjected the emperour Indulgentiæ plenariæ et aliæ non plenariæ Theodosius to publick penance, quotidiana.
and six weeks after, on Christmas i.e. Plenary indulgences, and others day, granted him a plenary indulnot plenary, every day.
gence and admitted him to comIn these two inscriptions there is munion. not a word about the sale of indul- We ourselves publish indulgences. I look in vain for venales, gences in our church in Boston ; or another word of the same im- and if indulgences are permissions port, added to indulgentiæ,
to commit offences, let our church Where did you read, sir, from be pulled down, and every Roman whom did you ever hear, that in- catholick bebanished from this hosdulgences are permissions to com- pitable land. But, I dare say, sir, mit offences ? Not, I am sure, in you do us the justice to believe, any catholick writer, not from any that instead of encouraging crimes, member of our church. Had you we do our best to prevent them, asked even the ignorant beggars and with the blessing of God, not you met with at Loretto and in unsuccessfully. If I ain not misother places, whether indulgences informed, the American Traveller's authorized them to get drunk, respectable name is inscribed a
the benefactors of our went in, and discovered by the fine church in this town; I acknow- carved work, it was the remnant ledge it with pleasure and grati- of an ancient magnificent tomb. tude, and feel happy in assuring I prostrated myself, kissed the maryou, that you have not contributed ble over and over again, and in the to the establishment of a school of enthusiasm of my adoration I hapcorruption and idolatry.
pened to break unawares the Prayers for the dead are men- pitcher of a boy, who had come to tioned by Tertullianus, Saint fetch water. I must give you Chrysostom, St. Augustine, and another instance of my superstitious other fathers of the church, as an love for antiquity. When, with a apostolick ordinance. The Jews heart flushed with hope and joy, I pray for the dead now, and did cer- entered Athens, the smallest broktainly when tảie second book of en pieces of ancient ruins were saMaccabees was written, i. e. 140 cred things in my eyes. I filled years before Jesus Christ. There the pockets of my coat and waistis no harm in praying during nine coat with all the little bits of carvdays,that departed souls may be ad- ed marble I could find." mitted into eternal rest ; but to Yourself, sir, who are a literary expect they will infallibly be releas- gentleman, and an admirer of ed from purgatory by such prayers learned antiquity, must have felt is contrary to the doctrine of the some degree of the same enthusichurch.
asm, when walking on the classical This, however, and other prac- ground where Virgil and Horace tices, which you tell us are no bet- sung, Cicero harangued, and Livy ter than gross idolatry, I shall not wrote ; when beholding the moattempt to vindicate. Not that I numents of ancient Rome. Is it agree with you on these points, but then in regard to religious monubecause my only object is to ments alone that every kind of enprove that Roman Catholicks have thusiam is to be reprobated ? nothing in their doctrine or relig- I must however inform you that ious practices contrary to the wel- we Catholicks are, like yourself, at fare of society, and do not deserve perfect liberty either to reject or to be hated by their fellow citizens, to admit the authenticity of the as they would, in my opinion, relicks and monuments, which you richly deserve it, were they licensa mention. Had you applied to any ed to commit crimes, or animat- of the cardinals, or other ecclesied with a spirit of cruelty and per- asticks in Rome, they would have secution. Permit me however to told you so. From them also you relate to you an anecdote which might have learned what is an may possibly reconcile you a little indulgence. You would have found to the honours shewn to religious in them the politeness of gentle; monuments at Rome.
men, and the amiable charity of The celebrated French poet, real christians. None of them the Abbé Delille, during his trav- would have believed or called you cls in Greece, wrote from Athens an infidel, although they would to a lady in Paris : *
have seen you were prejudiced “ In the yard of a private house I against the religion they profess perceived a marble fountain ; I and teach with sincerity. They
would have assured you, and shewn Quvres de Jacques Delille. Tum.1. you by their conduct, that perse:
cution is not one of our tenets, since been the most warm in neither can it be proved to be so by reprobating it. It is particularly the two facts you allege, nor in- recorded of Hennuyer, bishop of deed by any others.
Lizieux, that he opposed to the utJohn Huss, sir, if alive, would most of his power the execution pot be tolerated in this free and of the king's order for the murder liberal country. The errors he of the protestants in his diocese. broached were proved by their ef. He answered the governour of the fects, as well as by arguments, to province, who com niunicated the be utterly inconsistent with the bloody order to bim: It is the peace of society and the very ex. duty of the good shepherd to lay istence of civil government. He down his life for his sheep. These caused violent seditions, in which are my sheep, though they have he himself took an active part. gone astray, and I am resolved to A dreadful fanatical revolution en- run all hazards in protecting them. sued, which for many years delug- The praise of this worthy and hued with blood the plains of Bohe- mane prelate is to this day in all mia. In the very beginning of it our churches. Persecution then is the mayor of Prague, magistrates, no part of our doctrine, and I know priests were murdered.
it has no place in the creed of our As for the massacre of St. Bar- protestant brethren. Yet have not tholomew's, I abhor as cordially catholicks been persecuted by proas you do yourself the horrid deed testants ? of blood and perfidy.
Should you have any doubts on Excidat illa dies ævo, nec pectora crædant
the subject, read, I beg of you, Sæcula.
sir, the eloquent speech of the But, I tell you with a late wri. immortal Edmund Burke to the ter,* "Let the blame fall, where it is electors of Bristol in 1780. I can due, on the black vengeance of the furnish you with authentick histounrelenting Charles IX. and on the rical documents on this subject, remorseless ambition of the un- and am not afraid to leave the deprincipled Catherine of Medicis. cision to yourself. To your own They attempted to justify them- candour I appeal now, sir, and selves by pretending, that the Hu- wish to have you judge, whetlier, guenots were on the point of exe
in the United States, Roman Car cuting a plot to destroy them and tholicks can with any propriety or to overthrow the government. justice be reproached with being This very calumny, which the persecutors ? king and queen invented to ex
Your venerable forefathers, sir, cuse their barbarity, is a sufficient fled, you well know, not from a proof they did not conceive it law. popish, but from a pirotestant perful to coinmit such crimes to serve
secution. They landed here, and their religion, for which indeed nei. were at full liberty to shew, what ther of them felt much zeal. As was the spirit of their sect. Was this savage villainy was contrived it toleration ? Many other virtues without the participation of the they possessed, no doubt ; but to French clergy, so they were the this they were utter strangers. most forward at the time to op
Lord Baltiinore, bimscif a Ropose its completion, and have ever
man catholick, as well as his com
panions, fled from the same perseLetters to a Prebendary. London cution. See them establishing 1800
themselves in Maryland : they will no doubt give strong speci- your decision. I am willing to mens of poprish bigotry and perse. abide by it. cution. They opened an asylum, I know,sir,that the children here afforded protection, and granted have not inherited the persecutthe same civil privileges to christ- ing spirit of their fathers. Our ians of every denomination. church in this town is a standing
“ Extraordinary scenes, says monument of their liberal and Doctor Morse in his geography, friendly dispositions ; and the one were, at this time, (an. 1656) ex. who addresses you is proud of the hibited on the colonial theatres. friendship, and grateful for the poIn Massachusetts, the Congrega- lite attentions of several of them. tionalists, intolerant towards the We Roman Catholicks cherish a Episcopalians and every other sect; sincere affection for this country the Episcopal church retaliating and its inhabitants; we abhor the upon them in Virginia ; and the idea of being licensed to commit RomanCatholicks of Maryland tol- crimes ; and instead of hating our erating and protecting all. Vir- brethren on account of their reli. ginia passed severe laws against gious opinions, we wish only to be the Puritans,whose ministers were able to do them every service in not suffered to preach. This oc- our power. casioned numbers to emigrate to With respect I remain, Sir, Maryland.”
Your most obedient Here are my evidences. Judge
humble scrvant, of them yourself, sir, and give
A Roman CATHOLICK
For the Anthology.
SILVA, No. 26.
for all their lap-dogs, squirrels, THE term, Gryllus, compre- monkies, and paroquets. hends all that countless tribe of That the cricket was in high eslittle animals, that come under the teem among the ancients for its names of locusts, grasshoppers,and musick, we have abundant testicrickets. But it is the gryllus mony. Theocritus, in his first Lampestris, or cricket, to whom we Idyl : are indebted for so many beautiful poems, and, in particular, Anacre
τίττιγG- έπει να γα φρέτερον αδεις. on's charming little ode, E. Titiya.
Thy strains are sweeter than the This merry little creature, al
cricket's song though not much respected in modern days, was formerly among There is an epigram .of Antithe happiest of insects, and held pater's, in the Anthol. Gr., conin much higher estimation, than taining a still higher compliment our canary birds at present: and to these little musicians ; it is certain, the ladies of Teos would not have exchanged their 'Αρκεί τέττιγας μεθυσαι δρόσος, αλλά πιάνες crickets with our modern ladies "Αείδειν κυκνων εισί γιγανότεροι,
Inspird by dew, the crickets chirp reasonably adopted the latter, and
their strain, And rival swans shall raise their able determination, from the time
have persevered in this truly laudnotes in vain.
of Ælian to the present moment. But the ancients were not content with this; they considered
ENIGMAS. them inspired by the Muses, and, The subject of an ænigma that these divinities had taught should be as simple as possible, them the art of subsisting without nor should the form be complicate eating and drinking. What a ed by mean allusions, nor extendhappy inspiration this would be ed to an unreasonable length. for many, who pursue the same The famous Ælia Lælia Crispis, profession as the crickets ! Such which has appeared in a former favouriies were grasshoppers a- number of the Anthology, is in mong the ancients ; but, like all direct violation of the first rules other favourites, they were envied of the nigma. Above fifty and persecuted. Some epicure of learned men have puzzled their old, not content with the tongues heads in solving this wonderful of nightingales, made an unwar- inscription, and probably, above rantable and gluttonous war on the fifty more will puzzle their heads legs of grasshoppers ; and to the in solving the solutions of the first disgrace of human nature be it fifty, and so on, ad infinitum. spoken, this Gryllicide was follow. That fifty men, of any tolerable ed by a long train of gluttons, who understanding, should give, indi. pursued these miserable creatures vidually a different solution of the to their very holes ; and harassed same ænigma, is an absolute proof, them so, that the rhetorician, Æli- either that the ænigma is complian, at length, rose in their defence. cated to such a degree, that it can. " They are ignorant,” said he, not be explained, and is of course speaking of these persecutors, absurd, or, that the parts, whereof "how much they offend the Muses, the subject is composed, are so the daughters of Jupiter.” But loosely connected, that it may Ælian was certainly the junior mean almost any thing, and that it counsel in this case ; and if the is of course ridiculous. Which reader will look at the Anthol. Gr. of the two is the case, I leave to lib. I. cap. 33., he will have the be determined by any fifty Gerpleasure of perusing some elegant mans, who may have leisure and lines, relating to the scandalous patience for the investigation. practice, above mentioned, which Among the Greeks, we have lines were spoken by a grasshop- many instances of ænigmatical per, in propria persona ; and, it composition. Cleobulus, one of is evident, a grasshopper of very the seven wise men of Greece, is considerable parts.
However, said to have written ænigmatical these pleadings worked nothing in verses, to the amount of 3000. favour of the plaintiffs, and grass- Cleobulina, daughter of the above, hoppers' legs were in as much re- composed a great variety of intricate quest as ever. They were there. questions of this kind, of which, fore reduced to this alternative, ei- however, few are at present to be lher to resign their legs, without found. One of them will afford murmuring, or to conceal them the best example of those, that day-long in their holes : they very now remain ; it runs thus : “ A