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IN RELATION TO THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
bishops being consulted. But some infelicitous advocate set up the defence that the statute of Elizabeth against Simony affected only the inferior clergy.
On this the “Times," of course, took up its parable, and said, “But what a defence to make for two pillars of justice and truth-lights of apostolic doctrine and purity-fathers of the land ! This last touch only was wanting to place the transaction in its proper light, and to throw a proper light, we are bound to add, on the existing character of episcopacy.
. It is the common talk of the country clergy that there never was a job but it was hatched in the Bishop's palace.
Now and then we have a peep behind the scenes.
The curtain draws up, and the arch-priests of the idol are discovered making a joke of his wooden majesty. Bishops at least don't believe in Simony. Few sensible people ever thought they did.”
Our readers will now perhaps think that we have given them enough and to spare of evidence of this description. For four years continuously we have seen one torrent of abuse poured forth upon the Church of England by a journal which nevertheless claims to represent almost exclusively the public opinion of England.
A space of four years might well seem a period of sufficient length to serve as the premises of our argument. It will, however, clearly be more satisfactory to complete this survey of the relations between the “ Times” and the Church of England by carrying it down to the present year, although it will by no means be necessary to do so in equal detail.
We propose, therefore, in a future article to glance at the chief subjects of ecclesiastical interests which have risen to the surface of affairs since 1857; and more especially to the progress of the churchrate question; and then to ascertain whether the “ Times” has continued to employ throughout the same tone of inexcusable violence and rancour which marked it up to this date. We shall next examine a few of those cases in which the “ Times” has been engaged in controversy with individual clergymen of the Church, and endeavour to appraise the fair dealing by which its conduct has been distinguished. We shall then, in conclusion, turn to the question we set out with-namely, whether the “Times," on these questions at all events, does represent the public opinion of Great Britain ?
But before laying down our pen for the present, we would briefly point out to the readers of this article that disapprobation of the language in which the “ Times” has criticised Church abuses, implies no blindness to their existence.
No doubt many anomalies injurious to the welfare of the Church of England, many practices hurtful both to her revenues and her popularity, have been removed during the last twenty years. VOL. I.-XO. V.
But there are two ways of pointing out such evils; two ways of commending the abolition of them; two ways of rejoicing when that abolition is accomplished. Of these ways the “Times” has always chosen the worse ; the way that shows not anxiety to ameliorate a system, but eagerness to vex persons; not so much a sincere desire to reform abuses, as the malicious love of loading a particular class of men with the responsibility of their existence.
It is for this reason alone that we have thought the subject worthy of attention, our own conviction being that the great majority of the English people are still attached to the Church; and, while willing to amend, still venerate and believe in her.
IN THE GREAT SQUARE OF SEVILLE.
“WHITHER shall it be, then ?”
If that were the question first asked when he sat down beside her, they have wandered from it far away into a future, the threshold of which its answer shall form. They come back to it with a sudden sense of the golden forgetfulness which has been hiding the present in the distant possibilities of the life that awaits them together. Back to the first question-whither ?
Shall it be the wild rocks of Cintra, the gardens between which are like the Libyan oases, where the pink almond blossoms contrast with the lemon groves, and the gum-cistus twines over hedges of laurustinus ? Shall they cross the sea together ? Shall they spend this moon on the blue waters of the Levant ?
After all, what matter where, so that the word together is in the sentence? Who in all the world can be so happy as they are? and before whom lies such a prospect in the beautiful future ?
“Thou wilt come again, Juan?”
“Once more, to-morrow at eve I will be here; and then, after that, my
“ Delay not now, dear Juan; it grows late, and I am full of foolish fears for thee, if indeed fear can be foolish in this place of horror. All good be with thee, Juan; go!"
But he lingered; it was so hard to leave her. “Thou art happy, mine own ?”
How could he doubt it? And yet a tinge of sadness and longing crossed involuntarily the look that answered his own.
“I have but one wish.”
The young man smiled, and kissed reverently the little volume she had taken from her bosom.
“For its own sake, and for its resting-place,” he said. it aside; it were best to keep that in hiding."
“But when we are away, safe out of these terrors, then we will study it together. Grant me this, Juan; I would I had thy promise. I am sorrowful when the thought comes, that in this only we are not to be one."
“Hush, hush! Viola, my dearest ; the very stones seem gifted with the fatal power of listening to such words. To those who walk abroad among men, as I do, silence and caution become the first laws of existence. Nay, never look so terror stricken. Trust me, I am doubly guarded since I knew thee. Good-bye, mine own.”
Now put «
Till to-morrow.” And he was gone.
She listened to his step as it died away in the distance; and the momentary fear which is inseparable from strong hope and love passed away with the dying echoes. Why should she fear? It was braver to trust as he had bidden her do; it was more worthy of him. Only the short hours of one day separated them. To morrow he would be with her again; and after that, once more to meet, but never to part again.
Chiding herself, she drew forth the little book from its rest; her eye caught the sparkling gem upon her finger, and she passed it across her lips; for did not his hand place it there?
His name was mixed up with her devotions, and his intangible presence hovered about her, a shadowy refuge from all sadness, and trouble, and desolation.
And a figure darkened the doorway unnoticed; and the eyes of age looked down with a tenderness half compassionate upon the strange old story which was new then, as it is still, and as it shall be to each generation in turn. And the young girl rose up suddenly out of her dream-land at the sound of her own name, and spoke with a mixture of apology and deprecation,
“Good Aza, I did not call, but I am ready. Is it so late ?"
"Aye, had I tarried for a summons, I had watched till cockcrowing. No matter. Comes he again to visit my darling ?”
“ To-morrow, Aza." “ As if I might not have known! And after that, the bridal."
Why so sorrowful a tone ? Change it. I shrink from ill omens. And thou goest with me too, Aza ?"
“ To the world's end. I have not tended my bird so long to leave her now.
But come, carissima, it is time for rest.” Time for rest; time to sleep and go over it all again in happy dreams, with the scent of flowers lingering in the air as they strewed the path of the future before her.
Another rising, and another noon ; and the lazy hours crept on, and the shadows lengthened, but he was not come. Every footstep caused her heart to beat and her cheek to flush in feverish expectancy. Should she chide him, when he came, for his tardiness? Ah, no! let him but come, and all would be well.
A red sunset and a cloudless sky, stillness in the air, the stillness of approaching night, and in it a dream came to her of holding his hand in hers, and hearing him read her books; of a new and blessed consciousness that her thoughts were his also, and her hopes his hopes. She roused herself. The very air was full of eyes and ears, which watched for such thoughts as these ; why think them? Soon all danger would be over; and then, when they were safe, far away from
this odious place, they would talk in security of these things, and Juan must listen, for he loved her. Where was he?
Darkness was spreading its wings over the earth, and another figure stole to the doorway, watching for Juan. Then there came a step, hurried but irregular, and the eyes of the old woman were looking at the face of the young lover, scared at the change which had passed over it.
"Aza, your lady ?"
Thus much aloud; but then the old woman bent down, stopping his progress and wringing her hands.
“For the love of mercy, what is it?”
An imperious gesture only answered her, as he pressed on, uncon. sciously repeating her words, “ The señorita is within.”
Within, waiting for him; rising up and putting forth her hands to greet him.
“Thou art late, Juan.”
When Juan raised the face which had stricken the old woman with sudden dread, and looked at her as a man looks at a treasure he is about to lose, there came upon him a passionate impulse of resentment, a torrent of anger and fierce rebellion which he repressed for her sake. He could have ground his teeth for very agony at his helplessness to save her; but it was all useless.
“Juan, speak to me.”
“Viola, my beloved, listen. Thou knowest the Castilian whom I call friend ?”
Ah, Juan, thou didst not linger away from me for the Castilian ?" The strange hopelessness of his manner terrified her, and it was a sort of hysterical effort to ward off some indefinite alarm that made her speak lightly, as she clung to him.
"Last evening, while we talked together, dear one, there stood opposite those windows one, muffled and masked,"
A sharp cry broke from the girl's lips. "The secret body--a familiar!"
See how silently the victims were borne away, sinco we knew nothing of it in our happiness.”
"Our happiness! Juan, Juan, there is something more; speak.” “There is more.
What if to-night, in a few minutes perhaps, tho same figure should stand here ?"
There was no answer; she could only cling to him shuddering, and hc pressed his lips upon her forehead.
"My love, my love, if I could die alone and save thee!"
“ Even so.