the precincts of the cathedral, where among those just without is a tiny restaurant which thinks itself almost a part of the church, and where some very gentlewomanly young women will serve you an excellent warm lunch in a room of such mediæval proportion and decoration that you can hardly refuse to believe yourself a pilgrim out of Chaucer. If the main dish of the lunch is lamb from the flocks which you saw trying to whiten the meadows all the way from Folkestone, and destined to greater success as the season advances, the poetic propriety of the feast will be the more perfect. After you have refreshed yourself you may sally out into the Mercery Lane whither the pilgrims used to resort for their occasions of shopping, and where the ruder sort kept up "the noise of their singing, with the sound of their piping, and the jingling of their Canterbury bells," which they made in all the towns they passed through on their devout errand. They were in Canterbury, according to good William Thorpe, who paid for his opinions by suffering a charge of heresy in 1405, “more for the health of their bodies than their souls. . . . And if these men and women be a month in their pilgrimage, many of them shall be an half year after great janglers, tale-tellers, and liars. They have with them both men and women that sing well wanton songs." But what of that, the archbishop before whom Thorpe was tried effectively demanded. "When one of them that goeth barefoot striketh his foot against a stone. . . and maketh him to bleed, it is well done that he or his fellow beginneth then a song . . . for to drive away with such mirth the hurt of his fellow. For with such solace the travel and weariness of pilgrims is lightly and merrily brought forth."

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ing, the pilgrims seem to be largely a godless crew whom, if my reader has come in their company to Canterbury, he will do better to avoid while there, and betake himself at once to the cathedral when he has had his luncheon. It is easily of such interest, historical and architectural, that he may spend in it not only all that is left him of his fourth of May, but many and many days of other months before he has exhausted it. The interest will rather exhaust him if he forms one of that troop of twentieth-century pilgrims who are led sheeplike through the edifice under the rod of the verger. We fell to a somewhat severe verger, though the whole verger tribe is severe, for that matter, and were snubbed if we ventured out of the strict order of our instruction at the shrine where Thomas à Becket, become a saint by his passive participation in the act, was murdered. One lady who trespassed upon the bounds pointed out as worn in the stone by the knees of more pious pilgrims, in former ages, was bidden peremptorily "Step back," and complied in a confusion that took the mind from the arrogant churchman slain by the knights acting upon their king's passionate suspiration, "Is there no one to deliver me from this turbulent priest?"

Perhaps it was not the verger alone that at Canterbury caused the vital spirits to sink so low. There was also the sense of hopelessness with which one recalled a few shadowy details of the mighty story of the church, including, as it does, almost everything of civility and art in the successive centuries which have passed, eight of them, since it began to be the prodigious pile it is. St. Thomas, who, since he was so promptly canonized, must be allowed a saint in everything but meekness, is the prime presence that haunts the thought of the

visitor, and yet it is no bad second if the French Protestant refugees, whom Elizabeth allowed to hold their services in the crypt, and who lived where they worshipped in their exile, possess it next; the Black Prince's armor and effigy are not in it, with these. The crypt is no longer their dwelling-place, but their rites (I suppose Calvinistic) are still solemnized there; and who knows but if the savage Puritans, who imagined they were abolishing episcopacy when they were destroying beauty, had been a little less barbarous they might not now enter third among the associations of the cathedral? We cannot doubt the sincerity of their self-righteousness, and there is a fine thrill in the story of how they demolished "the great idolatrous window standing on the left hand as you go up into the choir," if you take it in the language of the minister Richard Culmer, luridly known to neighboring men as "Blue Dick." He himself bore a leading part in the vandalism, being moved by especial zeal to the work, not only because "in that window were seven large pictures of the Virgin Mary, in seven large glorious appearances,” but because “their prime cathedral saint, Archbishop Becket, was most rarely pictured in that window, in full proportion, with cope, rochet, crozier, and his pontificalibus.

A minister," the godly Blue Dick tells us, modestly forbearing to name himself, "was on top of the city ladder, near sixty steps high, with a whole pike in his hand, rattling down proud Becket's glassy bones, when others present would not venture so high.

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Of course, of course, it is all abominable enough, but it is not contemptible. The Puritans were not doing this sort of thing for fun, though undoubtedly they got fun out of it. They believed truly they were serving God in the work, and they cannot be left out of any

count that sums up the facts making the English churches so potent upon the imagination. These churches were of a powerfuler hold upon my age than those that charmed my youth in Italy, because they bore witness not only to the great political changes in the life about them, but also to the succession of religious events. The order of an unbroken Catholicism is not of so rich a picturesqueness or so vital an importance as the break from the Roman Church, and then the break from the English Church, the first protestantism obeying the king's will and the second the people's conscience. Each was effected with ruinous violence, but ruin for ruin, that wrought by Henry VIII. is of twice the quantity and quality of that wrought by the zealots of the Commonwealth. When they tell you in these beautiful old places that Cromwell did so and so to devastate or desecrate them, you naturally, if you are a true American, and inherit in spirit the Commonwealth, take shame to yourself for brave Oliver; but you need not be in such haste. There was a Thomas Cromwell, who failed to "put away ambition," when bidden by the dying Wolsey, and who served his king better than his God; and it was this Cromwell far more than Oliver Cromwell who spoiled the religious houses and the churches. A hundred years before the righteous Blue Dick "rattled down proud Becket's glassy bones," there were royal commissioners who rattled out the same martyr's real bones, and profaned his tomb in such wise that one cannot now satisfy the piety which drew the pilgrims in such multitude to his knee-worn shrine. It is to be said for the first Cromwell and his instruments, who were not too good to stable their horses in a church here and there, like the Puritan troopers who hardly bet

tered their instruction, that they would forbear their conscientious violence if the churchmen would pay enough, whereas no bribe could stay the hands of such followers of the second Cromwell as Blue Dick when once they lifted their hands against "cathedral saints."

We revered whatever was venerable in the cathedral, and then came rather wearily out and sat down to rest on a friendly bench commanding a view of as much of the edifice as the eye can take in at a glance. That was much more than the pen could tell in a chapter, and I will only generalize the effect as such rich repose for soul and body as I should not know where else to find again. We sat there in a moment of positive sunshine, which poured itself from certain blue spaces in a firmament of soft white clouds. The towers and pinnacles of the mighty bulk, which was yet too beautiful to seem big, soared among the tender forms, the English sky is so low and the church was so high; and in and out of the coigns and crevices of its Norman, and early English, and Gothic, the rooks doing duty as pigeons, disappeared and appeared again. Naturally, there were workmen doing something to the roofs and towers, but as if their scaffolding was also Norman, and Gothic, and early English, it did not hurt the harmony of the architecture. When we could endure no more of the loveliness, we rose, and went about peering among the noble ruins of the cathedral cloisters, the work of the first Cromwell who tried to fear God in honoring the king, not the second Cromwell, who tried to honor God without fearing the king.

These are somehow more appealing than the ruins of St. Augustine's monastery, which is still a school for missionaries in its habitable parts. He began to build it while King Ethelbert yet mourned, in his conversion,


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