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this thought turned to anger. 'Is such conduct evidence of refinement?' I asked. 'Is there any greatness in insults? How coarse a mind is yours, to insult and suggest improprieties to a sex which should be the recipients of chivalrous politeness from men!' The Abbé came in while I was scolding. 'How great is this!' quoth he; 'I seem to see Agrippina lecturing Nero.' Indignant at the comparison, and dreading the augury, I answered him coldly. He departed crestfallen, and later I received these verses, with which he sought to make his peace. All this has upset me much. I fear I am going to be ill; I have symptoms of fever and a touch of bile. Come back soon, dear heart, to share my sorrows and my joys.

The fear of approaching ill-health expressed in this letter became a reality all too soon. Though naturally of a strong constitution, the fatigue of endless ceremonial, the worries inseparable from her position, added to domestic troubles, told upon the Queen's health. It was resolved to send the Crown Prince on a lengthy tour of foreign travel, including England, in the hope that a greater knowledge of the world would improve his manners and morals. The Queen felt the parting keenly, for she truly loved her son, and though very transcendental about other matters she was keenly practical in anything which concerned his interest. But she grieved in silence, and after he was gone there was found a sheet of note-paper on her writing-table at Lützenburg, on which she had drawn a heart, and underneath had written the date and the words, 'Il est parti.'

It is probable that this parting preyed upon her health and made her the more anxious to pay a visit to her mother at Hanover. In January 1704, notwithstanding the opposition of the King and the severity of the weather, Sophie Charlotte undertook the long and trying journey to Hanover. It was her last pilgrimage. She was ill before she set out, but she concealed her sickness lest the King should forbid her departure. At Magdeburg she broke down and had to take to her bed; in a few days she rallied and again took the road. After she had reached Hanover she seems to have conquered her illness, a tumour in the throat, by sheer force of will. In a few days, however, dangerous symptoms developed, and she became rapidly worse. Doctors were called in, but soon recognised that there was no hope left.

When the news was broken to the Queen, with the greatest composure and without any fear of death she resigned herself to the inevitable. Her death-bed belongs to history. A great deal of conflicting testimony has gathered around her last hours, but probably the account given by Frederick the Great, who had exceptional opportunities of knowing the truth, is the correct one. According to him, the French chaplain at Hanover, de la Bergérie, came to offer his ministrations, but the Queen said to him: 'Let me die without quarrelling with you. For twenty years I have devoted earnest study to religious questions; you can tell me nothing that I do not know already, and I die in peace.' To her faithful von Pöllnitz she exclaimed: 'What a useless fuss and ceremony they

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make over this poor body!' And when she saw her women in tears, she said: Why do you weep? Did you think I was immortal?' And again: Do not pity me. I am at last going to satisfy my curiosity about the origin of things, which even Leibnitz could never explain to me, to understand space, infinity, being, and nothingness. And as for the King, my husband-well, I shall afford him the opportunity of giving me a magnificent funeral and displaying all the pomp he loves so much.' Her aged mother, broken with grief, was ill in an adjoining room and could not come to her; but to her brothers, George Louis, afterwards George the First, King of England, and Ernest Augustus, she bade an affectionate farewell. The pastor reminded her tritely that kings and queens were mortal equally with other men. She answered: Je le sais bien,' and with a sight


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Sophie Charlotte was in her thirty-seventh year when she died, and at her death a great light went out. She would have been a remarkable woman under any circumstances; she was doubly remarkable when we remember her time and her environment. was greatly mourned, and the chroniclers exhausted themselves in laborious panegyrics. They may be all summed up in the words of her grandson, Frederick the Great, who inherited a double portion of her spirit: She had a great soul.'




IT may be said with some reason that an article on the 'Church Crisis' comes a full year too late, since the 'crisis' ended, for the man in the street at least, when the Transvaal war began-'this most providential war,' as a venerable North London incumbent solemnly called it some fifteen months ago. Without making this opinion one's own, it may be admitted that the artificial excitement anent 'incense and portable lights' died away so soon as a true object of interest was provided to fill the public mind-and the newspapers. In one shape or another, however, there is always something like a 'crisis' in the Anglican Establishment; the exact situation shifts, like a kaleidoscope's pattern, from moment to moment, but the background of strain remains. Also, the Church Association is still alive, and so (in a sense) is Sir William Harcourt. The fire of straw has burned very low, but a little explosive fuel may make it burn up again.

If it be true, as many on either side seem to think it is, that Mr. Walsh's book did much towards lighting up the blaze of Protestant feeling, almost anything may happen. We are bound to believe that the author of The Secret History of the Oxford Movement takes his own work seriously, but it is hard to understand how any one else can do so. It is sad let us even say it is dreadful—that little girls should be made to sit still when wasps are buzzing around them (though, by the way, that is the safest way of dealing with such wasps); likewise those 'Brotherhoods' made up of Simon Tappertit and two of his friends, converted from 'No Popery,' and playing at being monks, are fearsome things. But that John Bull, at the end of the nineteenth century, should take such a thing of shreds and patches' gravely is more sad and more fearsome. To accept Mr. Walsh's bundle of gossip, innuendo, and garbled quotations as something serious, is like rating Miss Corelli's works as literature.

When The Secret History was published, copies were at first to be found more often perhaps in 'advanced' clergy-houses than anywhere else. In such presbyteries the book was welcomed as an

unfailing storehouse of jokes and source of harmless mirth; no one guessed that such a production would be looked on as anything more than a rather laboured jest. Yet there is no doubt that some impression was made on the popular mind by this queer medley. A cabman who drove me to the E.C.U. offices said, with much gravity, when given English Church Union' as an address: 'Beg pardon, sir, but is it true what they say, as how that society wants to give all Protestants over to the Pope, that he may burn them at Smithfield?' Not being a member of the E.C.U. myself, I had no scruple in giving away that useful association; so I replied, with equal gravity: 'Well, if you wish for a straightforward answer, I don't mind owning that such is their object; and I am now going to a special committee to settle what kind of faggots it will be best to use.' He seemed more pained at my admission than pleased with my candour-and the faggots were quite as real as Mr. Walsh's 'conspiracy.' But the worthy cabman gave one food for thought, none the less. In spite of a Board-school education, he honestly feared that the Papacy and the Inquisition of the sixteenth century might, in the twentieth, be brought back and hold sway in free and democratic England. At any rate, there was a secret conspiracy' to bring about such a state of things.

Now, in spite of much curious and interesting 'secret' history, drawn mostly from such hidden and mysterious sources as Parliamentary Blue-books, the public reports of societies, and advertisements in parish magazines, Mr. Walsh's book fails to bring to light any Popish plot. But the impression left on the minds of many of its readers is that, somehow and somewhere, a conspiracy, dark, dreadful, and dangerous, there must be. Yet there is no such conspiracy, there never has been one, and, alas! there never will be; for one good reason among many others, namely, that the 'Ritualist' clergyman is simply hopeless and impossible as a conspirator. The Ritualists are a mere mob,' said Dr. F. G. Lee once. Now, whatever else a mob may do, it cannot conspire. Dr. Lee's opinion, perhaps, overstates a truth; but true it certainly is that the 'Catholicising' party-if party it can be called-among the English clergy is about as undisciplined as a party can be. Any priest who tries to bring about united action at once finds himself confronted by opposing 'brethren,' who cavil with him to the ninth part of a hair; who fight fiercely against a motion which they agree with except as to one word, but feel bound because of that one word to oppose to the uttermost. Nay, even the use, by sheer chance, of a noun in the singular which should have been in the plural, may give the most dire offence. A weighty declaration by the E.C.U., at a critical moment, came nigh to rejection because by ill-hap an 's' dropped out from the end of a word! If some special example be sought of

the lack of united action amongst these conspirators, no better (or worse) one can be found than that of the clergy of a famous and 'advanced' London church a short time since as to the use of incense. Well knowing that what they did would be reported in half the newspapers in England, they made such changes in the wonted order of their Sunday and festival services as would render the use of incense at least not obligatory (according to Catholic custom); with the outcome that it was at once proclaimed that St.

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-'s had obeyed the archbishop's judgment, and given up incense.' Such was not the case; the incumbent did not think that Dr. Temple's 'opinion' claimed obedience, and the changes, which any parish priest would be within his rights in making, were not meant to be permanent, nor (as the event shows) was the use of incense-its ceremonial use-meant to be given up. facts were, for some weeks at least, locked in the bosoms of the clergy concerned; while all the ecclesiastical world saw or heard that after an admonition from the diocesan the censer had vanished from St. —'s. The effect on the action of the bishops of this seeming submission, and on the resistance of isolated parsons of this apparent surrender, must have been obvious. As to incense, St.

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-'s has spoken, causa finita est,' wrote one of the latter. Yet these effects were the very last which the good vicar of that London church wished to bring about. But at his church they had always taken a very individual line' (as when a former much-revered incumbent submitted to suspension at the hands of the Judicial Committee), and so, without recking of consequences to the faithful outside their own walls, they took it once again. Also, as there are no effective conspirators, so there is no centre, secret or otherwise, for the conspiracy. Societies, such as S.S.C., there are of course, where proceedings are private, just as those of the Railway Clearing House 'conferences' are private, and for much the same reason. But as I hope to be allowed to show at another time, such societies are neither meant to be, nor capable of being, made the headquarters of a band of plotters.

But it may very well be said by an objector-be that as it may, conspiracy or no conspiracy, each and every authority in Church or State has over and over again given a verdict against you. You, indeed, are quite sure, honestly and in good faith, that you are right; but all other Christians, Protestant or Catholic, have no doubt that

you are wrong. Some of the tribunals before which you have pleaded, or in which judgment has gone by default, may have been biassed; but that can hardly hold good of the many diocesan chancellors, Deans of Arches, bishops, and archbishops, who have agreed with the State courts in giving sentence against you. The one exception, when Archbishop Benson in a doubtful court, against the weight of

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