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penitent. The external signs demanded by the Church were only an exhibition of the requisite temper of mind, and a help towards its attainment. When the Church was satisfied of the reality of penitence, restoration to church membership was given by the Bishop.' The historian proceeds to show, with cogent clearness, that Indulgences were, as Bishop Hedley also says, a remission of canonical penance, that they were commuted into payments of money, and that the development of an organised belief in purgatory extended the sphere within which satisfaction could be made.' The practical origin of Indulgences is easy enough to see. Those who were conscious of sin, and feared its penalties, desired absolution, and were willing to pay for it. The Church was ready, as she has always been, to exalt her own power, and the authority of the Pope as the Vicar of Christ. The theory of Indulgences expounded by Dr. Hedley is later, and not earlier, than their actual use. It was invented to account for and to justify them. St. Thomas Aquinas, for example, and St. Bonaventura, found indulgences in existence. 'The Universal Church,' says the latter, accepts these remissions, but it is acknowledged that she herself cannot err, therefore they are given in truth.' 'It is admitted by all,' writes St. Thomas, that Indulgences have some value, because it would be impious to say that the Church did anything in vain.' 'The acceptance of this principle,' remarks Dr. Creighton with urbane irony, 'enabled Papal practice to find adequate employment for theological activity.' The demand for Indulgences steadily increased. The Bull of Boniface the Eighth, whose portrait by Giotto is the glory of St. John Lateran, conferred upon anyone who in the year 1300, or at the end of any future century, visited the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul at Rome, . . . not only a full, but the very fullest pardon for all his sins.' Bishop Hedley denies that the doctrine of the Church on indulgences has been changed since the Reformation. But here is a distinct claim on the part of a Pope to forgive sins, and not merely to remit their punishment. If that be the doctrine of the Church now, Bishop Hedley's account of it is erroneous. If not, there must have been a change.



I have endeavoured to do Bishop Hedley's explanation justice, and to examine it by the light of reason. It is difficult for Protestants to understand the frame of mind which, after stating that absolution for heinous crimes is reserved for a Bishop, and even in some cases for the Pope, can calmly add that 'at a Jubilee, or Great Indulgence, this reservation is generally taken off, so that any confessor can deal with any sins whatsoever.' And, indeed, at the end of his article the Bishop plainly discloses the irreconcilable nature of the differences between Catholic and Protestant. 'We are anxious,' he says, 'that non-Catholics should understand our position, and when they do it will certainly be found that their

opposition and dislike are grounded not on the behaviour of mediæval pardoners, the rapacity of the German questors, or the incautious language of a preacher here and there, but really on differences and (as we hold) errors of their own, which lie much deeper, and which affect the fundamental doctrines of the religion of Jesus Christ.' The Bishop was verging on an anathema, and perhaps it was time that he should conclude. Criticism, I think, shows without much difficulty that the Bishop's doctrines are inconsistent, not only with Protestantism, but with each other, and it is well that the 'religion of Jesus Christ' rests on a more solid footing than any which he has supplied. He refers us for proof that the Church has always taught the same things about indulgences to a gentleman who rejoices (at least I hope he does) in the name and style of the Rev. Sydney Smith. The evidence given by Bishop Creighton is good enough for me. It is a simple fact,' says Bishop Hedley, 'that a man cannot be childlike unless he has practised himself in submitting to another man, and in conforming himself to an external ordinance which he has not established for himself.' I always distrust a man when he talks about 'simple facts.' So few facts are simple. To me this simple fact is a simple fiction, refuted every day by the Society of Friends, who have the moral (not the intellectual) simplicity of children without priests or forms. They are contented with the worship of Him to whom we all pray that He will forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us.



'GENTLEMEN, what historical event shall we play to-day? Shall it be a drama of the T'ang dynasty?'

'Let us play "The History of the Lute, or, The Rites Thrice Broken" (Pi-Pa-Ki, or, San-Pou-Tsong).'

'Pi-Pa-Ki! Consider how much easier it is to draw men's laughter than their tears. No matter; Pi-Pa-Ki be it. Only wait a moment. I am going to read the argument. The audience must at least understand the subject of the play.'

It is the Fou-mo, or chief of the players, who is thus addressing his company of actors assembled in the Heou-fang, or Green-room, apparently within sight and hearing of the spectators.


'Gentlemen,' continues the Fou-mo, stepping on the stage and addressing the spectators, the Emperor's players are about to represent before you the play entitled Pi-Pa-Ki. Hear the argument.' The purport of the argument is as follows:

Tchao-ou-niang, a handsome young woman, and Tsai-yong, an accomplished bachelor-of-letters, are scarcely two months wedded in their native village of Tchin-lieou-some ten thousand lis from Tchang-ngan, the old capital of the Empire-when the Emperor summons all the literary men of the provinces to a competitive examination. Tsai-yong, sorely against his will and only yielding to his father's entreaties, departs for the capital, wins the belt and cap of Tchoang-youen (new doctor) and is raised to the rank of an Imperial Counsellor. But he also finds himself compelled to contract a new marriage, espouses by the Emperor's command Nieou-chi, daughter of the Imperial Tutor Nieou, and makes vain attempts to defeat his destiny and to return to his parents. Meanwhile his native village is suffering from famine. His father and mother, long supported by their devoted daughter-in-law, die in abject destitution. His young wife performs, as best she can, the parental rites which were her absent husband's sacred duties. She cuts off her hair and offers it for sale, and in the folds of her ragged robe carries the earth to build the tomb for the deceased. Then, with a lute in her hand, and assuming the dress of a religious devotee, she begs her way to the

capital. Here at last she meets her husband's new wife, who, in admiration of her fortitude and piety, plans a meeting between her and Tsai-yong. The meeting takes place in Tsai-yong's library; and here in the closing scene of the play the scholar who has gained so grand a prize hears the sad truth of 'the rites thrice broken '-duties to father, mother, wife neglected-and throwing aside the belt and cap of Tchoang-youen prepares to set out for his native village and tardily perform his parents' funeral rites.

Such is the prologue and outline of the plot of Pi-Pa-Ki, a play regarded by Chinese critics as the masterpiece of the Chinese drama. It is the work of Kao-tong-kia, of whom little or nothing is known. and was performed at Peking, in the year 1404, with certain alterations introduced by the critic Mao-tseu. Pi-Pa-Ki has supplied Chinese critics with a grand quarry for criticism, almost every word becoming the subject of some note or comment, just as Europeans have treated the texts of Aristophanes or Plautus or Shakspere. But the creative work of the obscure dramatist, I take it, is more likely to interest us; and, reserving my remarks on Chinese criticism, I shall now try to present the play itself as clearly as the necessary brevity will permit.

Pi-Pa-Ki is not divided, like the Chinese plays of the Youen Collection, into acts and scenes; it is simply some four-and-twenty dramatic pictures constantly shifting in time and place, and often so contrasted as to greatly heighten their artistic effect. A play describing now the life of a remote village, now that of the old Chinese capital, plainly offers a wide scope for this principle of contrast-a principle as characteristic of Chinese as of Hebrew poetry— and the Chinese dramatist has contrasted his tableaux with consummate art.

The first picture presents a Chinese family quarrel. In the village of Tchin-lieou, at the house of the aged youen-wai (magistrate) Tsai, there is a hot debate. Tchang, an old friend of the family, supports Tsai in urging his son Tsai-yong to go to the competition at the capital and 'make his family and ancestors illustrious.' The old mother passionately opposes her husband's ambition. Should flood and famine come, who will succour us in our old age?' On like grounds Tsai-yong is himself unwilling to go. But his want of ambition is unjustly set down to the charms of a lately wedded wife. 'What,' asks Tsai, determined to make even parental rights support his view, 'What is filial piety (hiao)?' 'Good Heaven!' breaks in the angry mother, 'You are eighty years of age and don't know what filial piety is. To keep a dotard in leading-strings-that is filial piety.' But Tsai-yong, true scholar as he is, replies to his father's question by quoting the Siao-hiao: "The duty of the son is to watch over his parents when they walk, to love whom they love, to honour whom they honour. He must love even the very horses

and dogs his father loves. As long as his father and mother live, a son must not leave their home.'

But the ambitious Tsai is at no loss for an answer. He meets his son's learning by quoting a passage from the Hiao-King or Book of Filial Piety. The first step in filial piety is to serve one's parents; the second, to serve one's prince; the third, to seek dignities. To reach dignities, to advance on the way, to win a name with after generations to the glory of one's father and mother-this is the end, the summit of filial piety.' The old man is radiant with hope. His scholar son, he knows, will carry all before him and return to change into a mansion of bliss the poor home of his parents.' Tchang, too, the friend of the family, reminds the unambitious son that, as the Chinese proverb says, 'at fifteen we must study, at thirty we must act.' And so Tsai-yong departs to seek his fortune at the capital. 'In the twinkling of an eye,' cries the poor old mother, 'I am robbed of the pearl that lay in my hand.'

The scene of the second picture lies in the capital, in the garden of the Imperial Tutor Nieou. Here a governess and two servants are amusing themselves in the absence of their young mistress Nieou-chi, the Imperial Tutor's daughter, and their talk at once reminds us of the slaves of Aristophanes or Plautus. Whenever my lady goes out,' says the governess, 'I must go. Ah, dear youen-kong (chief domestic), how weary I am of always hearing "Wan-pou-ho, tsienpou-ho" ("That won't do, that's not right"). In my previous existence, I am sure, I cannot have sowed the field of happiness.' Their mistress suddenly arriving catches one of the servants, Si-tchun, amusing herself with a swing. A dialogue follows in which the subjection of Chinese woman plainly shows itself. Si-tchun complains that her days are passing in unmarried loneliness. 'Little wretch,' replies her mistress, 'don't you know that woman was sent into the world to wind silk, to weave hemp, to work with the needle, above all things to obey?'

Si-tchun's description of her own departing charms is couched in language taken from the fading Spring and is most poetical. 'Listen, lady; this morning at the dawn of day a light breeze blowing fitfully bore, as it seemed to me, the odours sweet as in the days gone by. I opened my window; what was my surprise! Willow leaves, whirled aloft by the baneful wind, strewed the roof of the pavilion. At noon I marked the traces that the rain had left on tender blossoms of the pear-trees. And, yet again, when evening came I heard the Hoang-li bird singing before dusk, but, ah, how plaintive had the notes become! There, lady, lies the secret of my grief. When Spring's charms fade, I have good cause for sorrow.' Poor little Sitchun is in love. But Nieou-chi's reply-how characteristic of Chinese women!-is not too sympathetic, 'Imitate me and work.' It should be noticed that in this and other scenes of the Pi-Pa-Ki Y

VOL. XLIX-No. 288

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