Chicago herself, with all her mythical millions, might not be able to do as much in the like case; when it comes to certain details I doubt if even New York would be equal to it.

I will not pretend that I was intimately acquainted with her history before I came to Exeter. I will frankly own that I did not drive up to the Butt of Malmsey in the hotel omnibus quite aware that the castle of Exeter was built on an old British earthwork; or that many coins, vases, and burial-urns dug up from such streets as I passed through prove the chief town of Devonshire to have been built on an important Roman station. To me it did not at once show its Romano-British origin in the central crossing of its principal streets at right angles; but the better-informed reader will recall without an effort that the place was never wholly deserted during the darkest hours of the Saxon conquest. The great Alfred drove the Danes out of it in 877, and fortified and beautified it, and Athelstan, when he came to Exeter in 926, discovered Briton and Saxon living there on terms of perfect amity and equality. Together they must have manned the walls in resisting the Northmen, and they probably united in surrendering the city to William the Conqueror after a siege of eighteen days, which was long for an English town to hold out against him. He then built the castle of Rougemont, of which a substantial ruin yet remains for the pleasure of such travellers as do not find it closed for repairs; and the city held for Matilda in the wars of 1137, but it was finally taken by King Stephen. In 1469 it was for the Red Rose against the White when the houses of Lancaster and York disputed its possession, and for the Old Religion against the New in the time of Henry VIII.'s high-handed reforms, when the Devonshire and Cornish men fought for the

ancient faith within its walls against his forces without. The pretender Perkin Warbeck (a beautiful name, I always think, like a bird-note, and worthy a truer prince) had vainly besieged it in 1549; and in the Civil War it was taken and retaken by King and Parliament. At some moment before these vicissitudes, Charles's hapless daughter Henrietta, who became Madame of France, was born in Exeter; and in Exeter likewise was born that General Monk who brought the Stuarts back after Cromwell's death.

The Butt of Malmsey had advertised itself as the only hotel in the cathedral close, and as we had stopped at Exeter for the cathedral's sake we fell a willing prey to the fanciful statement. There is of course no hotel in the cathedral close, but the Butt of Malmsey is so close to the cathedral that it may have unintentionally confused the words. At any rate, it stood facing the side of the beautiful pile and getting its noble Norman towers against a sky, which we would not have had other than a broken gray, above the tops of trees where one nesting rook the less would have been an incalculable loss. One of the rooms which the managers could give us looked on this lovely sight, and if the other looked into a dim court, why, all the rooms in a cathedral close, or close to a cathedral, cannot command views of it.

We had of course seen the cathedral almost before we saw the city in our approach, but now we felt that the time spent before studying it would be time lost and we made haste to the great west front. To the first glance it is all a soft gray blur of age-worn carving, in which no point or angle seems to have failed of the touch which has blent all the archaic sanctities and royalties of the glorious screen in a dim sumptuous harmony of figures and faces. Whatever I had sceptically read,

and yet more impatiently heard, of the beauty of English cathedrals was attested and approved far beyond cavil, and after that first glance I asked nothing but submissively to see more and more of their gracious splendor. No wise reader will expect me to say what were the sculptured facts before me or to make the hopeless endeavor to impart a sense of the whole structure in descriptions or admeasurements. Let him take any picture of it, and then imagine something of that form vastly old and dark, richly wrought over in the stone to the last effects of tender delicacy by the miracles of Gothic art. So let him suppose the edifice set among leafless elms, in which the tattered rooks'-nests swing blackening, on a spread of close greensward, under a low welkin, where thin clouds break and close in a pallid blue, and he will have as much of Exeter Cathedral as he can hope to have without going there to see for himself; it can never otherwise be brought to him in words of mine.

Neither, without standing in that presence or another of its kind, can he realize what the ages of faith were. Till then the phrase will remain a bit of decorative rhetoric, but then he will live a meaning out of it which will die only with him. He will feel, as well as know, how men built such temples in an absolute trust and hope now extinct, but without which they could never have been built, and how they continued to grow, like living things, from the hearts rather than the hands of strongly believing men. So that of Exeter grew, while all through the tenth and eleventh centuries the monks of its immemorial beginning were flying from the heathen invasions, but still returning, till the Normans gave their monastery fixity in the twelfth century, and the long English succession of bishops maintained the cathedral

in ever-increasing majesty till the rude touch of the Tudor stayed the work that had prospered under the Norman and Plantagenet and Lancastrian kings. If the age of faith shall extend itself to his perception, as he listens to the afternoon service in the taper-starred twilight, far back into the times before Christ, he may hear in the chanting and intoning the voice of the first articulate religions of the world. The sound of that imploring and beseeching, that wailing and sighing, which drifts out to him through the screen of the choir will come heavy with the pathos of the human abasing itself before the divine in whatever form men may have imagined God, and seeking the pity and the mercy of which Christianity was not the first to feel the need. Then, if he has a sense of the unbroken continuity of ceremonial, the essential unity of form, from Pagan to Roman and from Roman to Anglican, perhaps he will have more patience than he otherwise might with the fierce zeal of the fanatics who would at last away with all ceremonial and all form, and would stand in their naked souls before the eternal justice and make their appeal direct, and if need be, through their noses, to Him who desireth not the death of a sinner.

Unless the visitor to Exeter Cathedral can come into something of this patience, he will hardly tolerate the thought of the Commonwealth's-men who deemed that they were doing God's will when they built a brick wall through it, and listened on one side to an Independent chaplain, and on the other to a Presbyterian minister. It is said that they "had great quiet and comfort" in their worship on each side of their wall, which was of course taken down directly after the Restoration. For this no one can reasonably grieve; and one may of course rejoice that Cromwell's troopers did not stable

their horses in Exeter Cathedral. They forbore to do so in few other old churches in England, but we did not know how to value fully its exemption from this profanation in our first cathedral. We took the fact with an ignorant thanklessness from our guide-book, and we acquiesced, with some surprise, in the lack of any such official as a verger to instruct us in the unharmed monuments. The printed instructions which we received from the placard overhanging a box at the gate to the choir did not go beyond the elementary precept that we were each to put sixpence in it; after that we were left free to look about for ourselves, and we made the round of the tombs and altars unattended.

The disappointment which awaits one in English churches, if one's earlier experience of churches has been in Latin countries, is of course from the want of pictures. Color there is and enough in the stained windows which Cromwell's men sometimes spared, but the stained windows in Exeter are said to be indifferent good. In compensation for this, there are traces of the frescoing which once covered the walls, and which Cromwell's men neglected to whitewash. They also heedlessly left unspoiled that wonderful Minstrel's Gallery stretching across the front of the choir, with its fourteen tuneful angels playing forever on as many sculptured instruments of stone. For the rest the monuments are of the funereal cast to which the devout fancy is pretty much confined in all sacred edifices. There is abundance of bishops lying on their tombs, with their features worn away in the exposure from which those of many crusaders have been kept by their stone visors. But what was most expressive of the past, which both bishops and crusaders reported so imperfectly, was the later portrait statuary, oftenest of Elizabethan ladies and their lords,

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