March 21

The weather continues fine but cold. General W. H. Morris inspected and reviewed the brigade. Preparations are being made for an army review; have been working on B Company's clothing rolls. Captain Samuel Darrah has gone over to division headquarters this evening. Captain Leonard, (Brigade Adjutant General), and Lieut. J. A. Hicks, A. D. C., have called. It's a beautiful evening.

March 21, 1863

Saturday. This is a hard spot to get well in. Two poor fellows are near their end to all appearances, and it is trying to hear then rave about home and their families. I am glad their friends cannot see and hear them. And yet the hardened wretches called nurses find something in it to laugh at. I wish I could change places between them and the sick ones. Wrote three letters to-day and don't feel so very tired. Begin to think Dr. Andrus was right. If he would only let me eat about four times as much, what a jewel he would be.

March 21

March 21, 1881.--This invalid life is too Epicurean. For five or six weeks now I have done nothing else but wait, nurse myself, and amuse myself, and how weary one gets of it! What I want is work. It is work which gives flavor to life. Mere existence without object and without effort is a poor thing. Idleness leads to languor, and languor to disgust. Besides, here is the spring again, the season of vague desires, of dull discomforts, of dim aspirations, of sighs without a cause. We dream wide-awake. We search darkly for we know not what; invoking the while something which has no name, unless it be happiness or death.

March Twenty-First

Those who dominated were intelligent, masterful, patriotic, loving home, kindred, state and country, dispensing a prodigal hospitality, limited only by the respectability and behavior of guests. Among girls, refinement, culture, modesty, purity and a becoming behavior were the characteristic traits; among boys, courtesy, courage, chivalry, respect to age, devotion to the weaker sex, scorning meanness, regarding dishonor and cowardice as ineffaceable stains.

J. L. M. Curry
(The Old South )


General Joseph E. Johnston dies, 1891



March 21, 1864

Monday. We were ordered on board the Laurel Hill again until further orders. That suited us much better than lying on the ground in camp, and as soon as teams came we loaded up and were soon in our old comfortable quarters again.

Major Hill's sentence was carried out at noon on the parade ground, and in as public a manner as possible. He is to forfeit a year's pay, and spend the next ten years on Dry Tortugas at hard labor. His straps and buttons were also cut off.[9]

The Laurel Hill has orders to take on 4,000 sacks of grain and then drop down to Baton Rouge for a part of Grover's Division, after which she is to go to Alexandria, somewhere on the Red River, I believe.

[9]I have no recollection at this time of this affair more than is here given.

La Madeleine March 21, 1883

I hope to see them at the station, and then we can make plans for next week. The hotel is very full, but Cross tells me that there is just room for them. Ill-timed is really all I say against that passage of the lecture;[197 ] and, if other people had gone straight, it would not even have been ill-timed. My censure has never gone farther than that.

Nobody can well be more strongly persuaded than I am of the necessity, the practical and moral necessity, of governing nations by consent, national consent being proved both by the vapour of opinion, and by the definite mechanism of representation. I am not even surprised that many Irishmen should be suspicious of the goodwill of a country which turns as readily to a Tory government as to a Liberal, which is seldom awake to its sins and the consequences of its sins, unless roused by terror, and which has made amends only under compulsion, or under the intense, but not permanent, influence of one resolute mind. Even that is not all that I concede to them. Therefore, in substance, Herbert has all my sympathy; only, if anything awkward arises, it is his father who has to find the remedy or bear the burden. The danger now is that the great wave, of his own raising, that has sustained his policy of generosity, and even of eventual confidence, will fall. People will lose, not only sympathy, which is not to the point, but hopefulness. I cannot even say that they will be wrong to lose hope. But if men cease to look forward to success, they cannot be made to go straight by looking back to their own evil deeds. Nobody, then, would stand by the P.M. except pure Democrats, like Chamberlain and Morley. If I was a Minister, I would say, not that we shall devise new schemes to disarm this new evidence, not that we shall relax our efforts in just indignation and despair, but that we shall go on with our appeal from the ill-disposed to the well-disposed, pursuing a policy which is not dictated by momentary hope or momentary fear, but proceeds from the heart and spirit of the principles which are our raison d'être  as a party and as a government. But I don't say that I should succeed.

If flurry and apprehension penetrate Downing Street, nothing can sustain Mr. Gladstone better than your own serenity. Be true to him and to his cause even if these odious crimes continue, even when you feel that the harvest will not be reaped in his time. The mills of God grind slowly.

It is very easy to speak words of wisdom from a comfortable distance, when one sees no reality, no details, none of the effect on men's minds. What is glorious is the way in which Mr. Gladstone rides on the whirlwind. You need not wonder much what I am thinking of it all.

As long ago as 1870 I ceased to be sanguine that we could govern Ireland successfully. The best influence over the Irish people is the influence of the clergy, and an ultramontane clergy is not proof against the sophistry by which men justify murder or excuse murderers. The assassin is only a little more resolutely logical or a little bolder than the priest.

I hope you will read and like Montégut's articles on George Eliot, especially the second, in the Revue  of March 15. See pp. 307 and 329 for some very excellent criticism.

Miss B. met Cross here at lunch, was intensely excited, and explained it by saying that he is Ladislaw. But I cannot believe it. They say that Dorothea is here too. H—— has been in great force. He is unwell now, but looks forward to M——'s arrival to-day, declaring, with accurate self-knowledge, that he likes nothing so much as an impostor.

He has given me Bradley's Recollections to read, from which I learned very little, and Stephen's very curious history of our criminal law.

Oscar Browning is here, divided between the French Revolution and the Gracchi—the most interesting of all purely secular topics.

[197 ] Mr. Herbert Gladstone's Lecture on Ireland, in which he used the words "Irish Parliament."

Cannes March 21, 1882

In the middle of John Inglesant came the enclosed,[170 ] which I return, with dismay. The impression given seems to be that by speaking of dogmatic danger in England, and of moral danger in Rome, I ingeniously laid a silent imputation of heterodoxy on Anglicans, whilst implying that we are free at least from that suspicion; so that I thought of 1882 whilst I spoke of 1640, and meant controversy, though pretending to write history.

The reward of history is that it releases and relieves us from present strife. My only endeavour was to recall what might have occurred two centuries and a half ago, to a sincere and upright priest, that is, to one who studied to detach his mind from its habitual surroundings, to look behind his own scenes, to stand apart with Archimedes, to practise the doute méthodique  of Descartes, to discern prejudice from faith and sympathy from truth. There was no such problem, and I know now that my zeal was wasted on a personage whose notion of religion was not worth inquiry. But I was not pleading a cause. I scarcely venture to make points against the religion of other people, from a curious experience that they have more to say than I know, and from a sense that it is safer to reserve censure for one's own, which one understands more intimately, having a share of responsibility and action.

It would have been more accurate to sacrifice my antithesis by referring to doctrinal trouble as well as moral risk on our side. If I did not do so—I have no recollection of my words—the reason may be that I am too deeply impressed with the moral risk to have the other very present to my mind. Encountering an associate of Guy Fawkes and Ravaillac, I do not stop to ask what he makes of the Apocrypha, or how far he goes with the Athanasian Creed. I believe that our internal conflicts spring from indifference to sin, and not from a religious idea. A speculative Ultramontanism separate from theories of tyranny, mendacity, and murder, keeping honestly clear of the Jesuit with his lies, of the Dominican with his fagots, of the Popes with their massacres, has not yet been brought to light. Döllinger, who thinks of nothing else, has never been able to define it, and I do not know how to distinguish a Vaticanist of that sort, a Vaticanist in a state of grace, from a Catholic.

Let me supply my omission by declaring that my hypothetical divine would not have found all the moral evil in one quarter, and ambiguous doctrine only in the other. I dare say he would think that in England too little was done for the spiritual life, and, unless he had a taste for Donne, that devotional literature was backward; and he might even agree with Thorndike that the neglect of the discipline of penance threatened the Church with ruin. In like manner, he would not view with favour some of the dogmatic theology that flourished amongst his friends. He might, for instance, deem that Molinism or Jansenism, neither of them yet approved or rejected, but severally dominant in many lands, were false systems, and that, between the two, a Catholic doctrine of grace was hard to find. He would be aware that Rome still cherished the idea that roused Luther, that, by committing a sin one may save a soul; and he would perhaps conclude, with a famous Jesuit of his day, that Luther did well to attack it.

Of the instances suggested, one, the Cultus of the Blessed Virgin, was partly of later growth and would not seriously disturb a contemporary of Charles the First. It does not offend in the older, classical literature of the Church, in the Imitation, the Exposition, the Pensées, or the Petit Carême. Sixty years ago, a priest who is still living was sent as Chaplain to Alton Towers. At Evening Prayers, when he began the Litany of Loretto, Lord Shrewsbury rose from his knees and told him that they never recited it. He was a man, as the "Life of Panizzi" shows, without an idea of his own.

Images would probably impress him as a danger to be warded, rather, I think, than Transubstantiation. Here the difficulty that strikes a dialectician hardly reaches the people. Many Catholics are practically conscious of no difference from the higher Anglican or Lutheran view of the Real Presence. Hegel's argument, that a mouse which had nibbled a Host would become an object of adoration, would strike nine laymen out of ten as a poor joke. I know not whether the confusion of thought was greater then or less; but he would remember so many cases of Protestants ready to conform on no harder condition than the concession of the Cup that his scruples would be likely to melt. Montagu saying that he knew no Roman tenet he would not subscribe, unless it were Transubstantiation, would have made him wonder why a Catholic-minded prelate should be more stiffnecked than the unbending Lutherans or fiercer Bohemians.

But whatever the dogmatic perils he might apprehend, he would meet them in the same spirit of charitable construction he had employed on the other side. I will presume that he took the oath of allegiance, for, in 1635, the Jesuits allowed their penitents to take it. He would even admit the Royal Supremacy, like Father Caron, as not exceeding the prerogative of Kings in France and Spain. He would drop the imputation of schism, seeing that Bramhall wrote that there was no formed difference with the Church of Rome about any point of faith. Finding that an Archbishop denied any necessary articles of faith beyond the Apostles' Creed, he would regard the 39 Articles as Hall, Chillingworth, Bramhall, Stillingfleet, and, according to Bull, all that are well advised, considered them—pious opinions which no man was obliged to believe. With Bossuet, he would acknowledge the force of the case in favour of Anglican orders, and with Richard Simon he would admit that the Caroline divines had not their equals in his own Church, and would revere them as the strongest enemies of the specific heresies of Luther and Calvin, as the force that would sap the fabric against which Rome still contended in vain. If he heard that there was a bishop who begged prayers for his soul, another who tolerated the Invocation of Saints, a third who allowed Seven Sacraments, and so on, he might be willing to believe, with Davenport, that the chasm was filled that had separated England from Trent.

To reach that point of conciliation it would be necessary to make the best of everything, so far as could be without sophistry, violence, or concealment. And the same rule of favourable interpretation would be applied by the same man to his own Theology. He would be bound by the limits of Richelieu's proposals, and would keep within the lines of Bossuet, and those which Spinola afterwards drew, with the assent of Pope and General.

He would have been confirmed in this method by the response it drew from such eminent Protestants as Grotius, Bramhall, La Bastide, Prætorius, Fabricius, and Leibniz. Their judgment would have encouraged him to abide in his own communion, and would have taught him that he was as safe as his friend on the other side. The same impartiality would have led to the same result. There were even Protestant divines who sanctioned conversions to Rome.

The last time I saw Count Arnim he asked about Newman's Vatican defence. I said that he had explained the decrees away by declaring that he meant no defence of persecution and tyrannicide. That was a canon of interpretation strong enough to blow any other ingredient into gas. Arnim objected that Newman's manipulations were not accepted at Rome. Just then he became a Cardinal, and so they were indirectly sanctioned.

I endow my seventeenth-century divine with the ingenuity and the integrity of Newman. Having given England the benefit of No. 90, he would gild Rome with the answer to the Expostulation. Shutting one eye to the Articles, like Chillingworth, he would, like Spinola, shut the other to the Council of Trent. Having expounded Anglo-Catholicism by the light of Bramhall, he would, in the same spirit, choose Cassander, Bossuet, Corker as genuine exponents of Roman Catholicism, and he could do both without insincerity or surrender.

Don't let me make too much of that passage in Newman. He defended the Syllabus, and the Syllabus justified all those atrocities. Pius the Fifth held that it was sound Catholic doctrine that any man may stab a heretic condemned by Rome, and that every man is a heretic who attacks the papal prerogatives. Borromeo wrote a letter for the purpose of causing a few Protestants to be murdered. Newman is an avowed admirer of Saint Pius and Saint Charles, and of the pontiffs who canonised them. This, and the like of this, is the reason of my deep aversion for him.

There is not time for Shorthouse to-day. I will tell you about him as soon as I can.

[170 ] A letter from Mr. Gladstone to his daughter.