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for his Christian Queen Bertha, but it was a thousand years growing to the grandeur which Henry VIII. spared and appropriated, and in which it remained to be the sojourn of all the sovereigns visiting Canterbury from his time till that of Charles II. It is not clear how it fell into its present dignified dilapidation, through the hands to which it was granted from age to age; but it could not be a more sightly or reverently kept monument. The missionary school is like some vigorous growth clothing with new sap the flank of a mouldering trunk long since dead. It is interesting, it is most estimable; it tenderly preserves and uses such portions of the ancient monastery as it may; but the spirit turns willingly from it, and goes and hangs over some shoulder of orchard wall, and gloats upon the picturesqueness of broken, sky-spanning arches, ivied from their pillar bases to the tops of their mutilated spandrels.
It was here, I think, that we first saw that curious flintwork which so abounds in the parts of Kent: the cloven pebbles of black-rimmed white set in walls of such pitiless obduracy that the sense bruises itself against them, and comes away bleeding. The monks who wove these curtains of checkered masonry, what an adamantine patience they must have had! But the labor was the least part of their bleak life, which was well put an end to, soon after it was corrupted into something tolerable by the vices attributed to them. Vicious they could not have been in the measure that the not over-virtuous destroyers of their monasteries pretended, and I think that amid the ruins of their houses one may always rather fitly offer their memory the oblation of a pitying tear. I am not sure whether it was before or after we had visited the still older scene of St. Augustine's missionary effort at the church
of St. Martin, that I paid some such tribute to his successors at the monastery; but the main thing is to have visited St. Martin's at any time. It is so old as to have forgotten not only its founders, who are dimly conjectured to have been some Christian soldiers of the Roman garrison in about the year 187, but also the name of its first tutelary saint, for St. Martin was not yet born when St. Martin's was built. He died about 395, and his fame crossed over from France with the good Bertha, when she came to wed the heathen King Ethelbert, of whose heathenism, with St. Augustine's help, she made such short and thorough work that after her death he became a Christian himself, and after his own death a saint. She dedicated the little Roman church to St. Martin, and she lies buried in a recess of the wall beside the chancel. The verger who showed us her stone coffin in its nook said, with a seeking glance from the corner of his eye: "This is where she is supposed to be buried. They say she is buried in two other places, but I think, as there is nothing to prove it, they might as well let her rest here."
He was probably right, and he was of a subacid saturnine humor which suited so well with the fabulous atmosphere of the place, or else with our momentary mood, that we voted him upon the whole the most sympathetic sexton we had yet known. He made, doubtless not for the first time, demurely merry with the brass of a gentleman interred beneath the chancel, who, being the father of three sons and ten daughters, was recorded to have had "many joys and some cares, and with the monumental stone of a patriarch who had died at a hundred and of whom he conjectured grimly that if he had not so many joys as his neighbor, he had fewer cares, since he had never married. If these jokes
were the standard drolleries purveyed to all travellers, we yet imputed from them a more habitual humor to the English race than Americans are willing to give it credit for. I still fancy something national in his comment on the seven doors, now all but one walled up in the side of the church: Roman and Saxon and Norman doors, which formed a pretty fair allowance of exit from a place not much more than thirty feet long, even if one of the Saxon doors was appropriated to the Evil One for his sole use in retreating when hard pressed by the sermon within. I believe, or I wish to believe, that our verger's caustic wit spared that sad memorial of past suffering and sorrow which one comes upon again and again in the old English churches, and which was called the Lepers' Squint in days when the word had no savor of mocking, and meant merely the chance of the outcasts to see the worship which their affliction would not suffer them to share.
It would be a pity to seem in any sort wanting in a sense of the solemnity of that pathetic temple, so old, so little, so significant of the history of the faith and race. The tasteful piety which is so universal in England, and is of such constant effect of godliness in an age not otherwise much vowed to it, keeps the revered place within and without in perfect repair; and I hope it is not too fantastic to suppose it in tacit sympathy with any stranger who lingers in the church-yard, and stays and stays for the beautiful prospect of Canterbury from its height. We drove from it through some streets. of old houses stooped and shrunken with age, to that doting monument of the past which calls itself the Dane John, having forgotten just what its right name is. The immemorial mound, fifty feet high, which now forms the main feature of a pretty public garden, is