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remained long in conference, and the noise of angry debate, and the frequent opening of the door, so alarmed Becket's two attendants, that Herbert suggested to the archbishop to use his cross in excommunication, should violence be attempted; but FitzStephen replied, by urging the example of saints and martyrs of old, who patiently endured injuries. Meanwhile, the angry colloquy continued; not that the prelates sought to stand between Becket and the king's fury, for “ they hastened to clear themselves from any suspicion of complicity in the primate's proceedings.” But when Henry sought “to force them to join in judging the primate, they pleaded the prohibition laid upon them.” The king's wrath now broke forth beyond all former bounds; the cowardly bishops hastily withdrew, and so imminent did danger to the primate, who still, with brave persistence, kept his seat, cross in hand, appear, that his oldest foeman, Roger of York, said to two of his chaplains, “ Let us withdraw, for it is not fit that we should look on what is to be done to him of Canterbury.” Not fit for the holy man “to look upon,” but quite fit to be exulted in, and gloated over ! One of the chaplains, however, bravely replied, " That he would wait, for no end could be better than for the primate to shed his blood for the right." Roger then turned to Becket, and “entreated”—what mockery!-that he would yield. “ Apage Sathanas,'' was the well-merited reply, and Thomas still sat sternly holding his cross. At length the bishops agreed that they would appeal to the pope against the primate, for perjury; so they returned to the hall to renounce their spiritual allegiance to him. Becket heard them in haughty silence, and then coolly replied, “I hear what you say, and, with God's blessing, I will be present at the trial of your appeal.” The barons now decided that the primate's “contumacy” must be punished with imprisonment, and the Earl of Leicester advanced to pronounce sentence. Becket regarded him with a haughty look, but listened in silence while the earl recounted the “benefits" he had received from the king, until he said, “ Hear now your sentence.” Then the primate fiercely repelled the claim of the civil power to judge him, and poured forth a flood of high-church doctrine, which might satisfy even the Rev. Bryan King; declaring that the earl was bound to obey him, rather than any earthly sovereign, for “the priesthood is as superior to royalty as gold is to lead." Poor Becket! we may smile at these extravagant views, but we must remember that very similar ones were held even by men of undoubted piety; and we could point to some of Anselm's letters, in which the superiority of the priestly office is almost as boldly maintained. Anselm is placed by Canon Robertson in most laudatory contrast with Becket, but we think very unfairly. He fought the self-same battle, only he had a more prudent royal antagonist ; and then, as the great theologian of the eleventh century, Anselm had the reverence of the whole episcopal bench. Indeed, as the great champion of orthodoxy at the council of Barr, not only the whole Latin church, but even the Greek, rung with his fame. How different was Becket, unknown to the learned
world, hated by the king, and both hated and scorned by the bishops.
But the knightly spirit which had been displayed on the battlefield did not desert Archbishop Thomas, although sword and lance had been relinquished for ever. He lifted his cross, arose, and slowly quitted the hall, followed by Herbert of Bertram. Then the dastardly crew raised a yell of defiance, and Ranulph de Brec, and Trammelin, the king's foster-brother, cried after him, “ trastor." The primate turned and reminded Ranulph that some of his relations had been hanged, while to Trammelin he replied that, were it must for his orders, he would prove him liar at the lance point. Chating under these insults, attacked by the scullions of the palace, wb lighted wisps of straw to fling at him, Becket passed on, still hoking his cross, and mounting his horse in the court-yard, followed by his faithful attendants, passed through the hostile castle-gate. The crowd outside, who had feared his murder, now welcomed him with joyful shouts, and with cross uplifted and hand stretched forth in benediction, Thomas, safe from the lion's den, passed through the streets to St. Andrew's monastery, while Plantagenet, doubtless with tenfold fury, gnawed the rushes.
After celebrating vespers, Becket repaired to the refectory, and here the greater part of his household, knights and youths of gentle birth, requested, not without grief and shame, that they might be released from his service. Forty learned clerks asked the same boon; the request, of course, was granted, and as the primate looked round the deserted refectory, “Let the crowd withoutside be called in," said he, "and let them eat the supper." The tables were soon filled, and it was remarked that his appearance was cheerful in the course of the reading, which was usual during convent meals, the text, “ When they persecute you in one city, flee ye to anotber, was quoted. Becket's eyes just then met Herbert's, and the same thought occurred to both. No remark, however, was made, and Becket having sent to the king a request for a safe conduct to Canterbury, he immediately retired to rest. It proves strongly the insecurity in which Becket felt himself, that his bed was prepared. not in the monastery, but behind the high altar. When the monks proceeded thither at complin, they saw him as though calmly sleeping; but, ere the midnight service, good steeds had been saddled, and Becket, accompanied by one of his own deanistry and two monks, had fled through the dark and stormy night past the north gate of Northampton toward Lincoln.
The narrative of Becket's flight, his toilsome wanderings, has landing in France, --so differently to his former right rural visite, the perils of his journey until he arrived at St. Bertin's and his eventual reception at Pontigny, although most interesting from 10 glimpses they afford us of the times, must, however, be passed over; nor have we space to detail the correspondence, the negociations, the threats, the excommunications, and absolutions of the six years which saw Becket an exile from England. Canon Robertsvp deals
these at length, but certainly with too great a leaning toward Plantagenet. Still, even with his views, Becket certainly appears an injured man, while Adrian III., who willingly enough incited the haughty archbishop to the contest throughout these later years, presents an admirable example of “ holding with the hare and running with the hounds.” The sequel of Thomas Becket's history, how he at length returned, to be murdered an unarmed man by four mailclad ruffians in his own cathedral, is too well known to need the telling; but how any writer, whatever his religious opinions, can call this aught but a foul murder utterly passes our comprehension.
Poor Becket! haughty, violent, but evidently feeling that his motives were upright, having to sustain a fight, not only against a king, whose partiality had turned to hate, but against prelates who scorned the layman thus placed above them ; with highest notions of priestly power, while he had no sympathy-from the antecedents of his life-with priestly tastes and feelings, he stood alone, actually fighting the battle of those who, so far from thanking him, rejoiced. in his overthrow-no wonder that he fell. But under better circumstances, there was much that this bold, brave, persisting man might have done, and done well. As soldier of the Red Cross, what a valiant Templar might he have become. How heartily would he have chanted “ Quare fremuerunt gentes," as the darkening hosts of the paynim came on. How devotedly would he have followed “ Beausceant” into the very thickest of the strife! As mere Archbishop of Canterbury, he failed ; but what a noble grand master of the Temple might Becket have been; and in later days, might he not have become the leader of a better party in the Roman Churcha more upright Ignatius Loyola, or perhaps an energetic Reformer ; while nurtured in a holier faith, and a purer worship, and with the open Bible before him, might we not almost believe that he would have fought the good fight for “ Christ's crown and covenant," and testified by a worthier martyrdom in the Grass market ?
As an episode in English history, the story of Becket is important in many respects. Most readers believe that the clergy of the middle ages were a formidable phalanx, bearing all before them; but in this contest we find a Government party and an opposition party ; and could we have gone into the subsequent details, we should have found almost as many different minds as there were prelates. We find, too, that monarchs could be unjust and overbearing as well as the priesthood; but that from the strife of the two powers, many a precious spark of English freedom was struck out. And it is as connected with the earliest dawnings of our liberty that the contest of Henry and Becket derives its chief importance. Beneath the rule of a monarch so fierce, so powerful, and so unscrupulous as the first Plantagenet, what would have hindered him from imposing a yoke as crushing as that of the first Norman kings had he had a primate as supple and time-serving as Cranmer, or one as willing to lengthen the sceptre with the crosier as Laud ? But just when he had reduced his refractory nobles to obedience, and had set about
framing new laws and new institutions, Henry became involved in that dispute with the popular archbishop, which set the whole nation chafing and thinking. And when the king, although rejoicing in Becket's fate, was compelled to do penance at Canterbury, the people, we know, did not view it so much as a homage to ecclesiastical power, as a proof that even monarchs could not do just as they pleased. A most wholesome lesson both for king and people. From henceforth, we find a public opinion vigorously springing up, manifesting itself broadly even in the reign of Cour de Lion, but coming forth sternly in the reign of his brother, and winning the great Charter.
LAST YEAR'S CARNIVAL IN ROME.
While during the snows and easterly winds that have prevailed during the month English folks have been gathering round the fire-side at home, or closely and comfortably habited in woollen and furs, have sturdily faced the dreary outer world, a scene of tumul. tuous gaiety has been enacted in Rome. It has been the Carnival time there. We saw the last year's Carnival, and our recollections rise vividly before us, as we muse in our study over its pageants and turmoil of frolic. These recollections we pen for our readers.
Wednesday, March 9th, 1859.—This morning we see a repetition, on a large and illustrious scale, of what we have often seen nearer home
-namely, “the day after the ball," when the rooms are still strewed with the disordered decorations, and the candles are burnt down, and the flowers are dead, and above all, when the beautiful, pure daylight smiles serenely in upon everything, with a sweet, reproachful incongruity that is at once troubling and consoling. This is the day after a ball that has lasted, with the intermission of two Sundays and one Friday, for ten days. The Carnival commenced on Saturday, February 26th. On the morning of that day, the long line of the Corso, which runs in a nearly straight direction down the centre of modern Rome, began to evince signs of new and marvellous life. Soldiers everywhere, French soldiers of course preponderating; gens-d'armes, Roman dragoons with their brass helmets, looking very frightened and unwarlike when their unmanageable steeds commenced to caper about, as they were much given to do while careering down the street in troops, with pomp of banners, and noise of trumpets. Procession of the senators -gilded carriages, wondrous men in startling liveries, velvet standards, and more drums and trumpets. Procession of the municipality-just the same, but additionally remarkable for the embroidered coat-tails of the coachmen. Bands of music, crowds of people, energetic soldiers keeping the way clear with shouts and cries in an excited mixture of French and Italian, &c. This was the beginning of the madness. After these official solemnities were over, all barriers were removed, and the waiting carriages with their eager occupants were admitted into the Corso.
Already, the tall houses wore an aspect of holiday gaiety very different from their sober and dignified wont. The balconies and windows were decorated with hangings of crimson and gold, of brocade more or less rich and elaborate, and apparently designed for that special purpose. Each balcony, and nearly every window, even to the giddy altitude of the sixième, was thronged with gaily-dressed people, all smiles and eagerness. Unhappy those who were too high up to take an active share in the proceedings ; happy the brilliant line of entre-sol and drawing-room balconies, and those, lower still, contrived in the entrances and windows of shops and looking exactly like boxes at a theatre, lined with red, or striped red and white, and most of them filled with handsome Roman women in their national dresses, bearing in their hands bouquets, and trinkets, and other offerings which had been presented to them by their admirers from the street.
Very soon, the double tide of carriages (all uniformly lined with white linen, for the protection of the cloth or silk cushions from the incessant fire of chalk confetti to which they are exposed) was in full flow along the Corso-up one way and down another--and the earnest business of the day began. Every vehicle bore its contingent of individuals in divers eccentric costumes, to add to the general masquerade. White dominoes, trimmed with blue, red, or pink, were most general in the carriages, but some people wore more ambitious costumes; and the Albanian and Sabine women in their picturesque national dresses especially made a charming variety.
The pedestrians formed a third class of Carnivalites, by no means the least active and amusing. Gentlemen masked, and attired from head to foot in brown holland, with huge pockets in their blouses, attacking all they met (more particularly those wearing well-looking black hats,) with flour, and sending well-directed salutes of bon-bons to their friends in carriages and balconies. Regular masquers attired as harlequins, or tom-fools-one or two fashionably dressed as ladies, in handsome silks and liberal allowance of crinoline, and really walking and talking in a manner that was hardly a caricature of the demeanour of what some people call “an elegant female.” Processions of masks, Pierrots, Polichinelles, &c., parading in a long line, with fife and tabor, dancing beautifully, and every now and then stopping to make droll speeches. Processions on donkeys also-one being an illustration of English manners and customs, which, like most foreign attempts of the kind, was totally unrecognizable—but certainly very funny. First came a herald, gorgeous in red and gold, blowing a trumpet; then two gentlemen in black, wearing spectacles, and a lady