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witnesses mentioned by Thomas de Celano; and non diu ante mortem. The phrase is no doubt in
one of them is easily disposed of. For Rufinus definite; but it does not seem likely that the writer is one of the three companions who composed the would have spoken of an event, wbich is alleged to second biography of the Saint, which appeared in have occurred fully two years before, as having 1247, when doubts had been already expressed occurred “not long before” the death of one whose as to the fact of the miracle, and after Pope full age was only forty-five years. There is a Gregory himself had needed a vision to convince curious coincidence between this statement and him of the wound in the side. Notwithstanding that of Matthew Paris, the Benedictine historian, Done of the three companions declare that they whose work is only of slightly posterior date to the themselves had been witnesses of the miracle they death of St. Francis. It was completed in 1250. describe. They spoke of the care with which the He says that when St. Francis was about to leave Saint hid the wounds from view, and that all his the world and receive the reward of his earthly care could not keep them from the knowledge of labours, there appeared “on the 15th day before his bis intimate associates; but neither Rufinus nor the death” the wounds of Christ upon hands and feet. others anywhere say, “We ourselves saw them
What are we to say to such statements? At any and touched them; that which our eyes have seen rate they give no countenance to the stories of the and our hands have bandled, declare we unto you." vision at Alverno. It is obvious indeed that we The statement of Thomas, to say the least of it, have reached in the statement of Elias of Cortona can scarcely be held authoritative in such circum- the primary source of authority for the miracle of stances.
the stigmata, and that the later versions of its There remains only one alleged witness, Elias of origin are to be explained by this statement. The Cortona. Let us consider bis position and cha- Saint's prayerful rapture at Alverno, and the vision racter. At first it might seem that there could be of the seraph, of which there is no hint in the Do higher or more competent witness. For Elias words of Elias, are plainly the after-thoughts of was the close friend and companion of the Saint. the spiritual imagination as it dwelt upon the great Apprehending his decease, he repaired to him at mystery and sought some explanation of it. The Sienna, had him conveyed to Cortona, and thence to one bit of genuine evidence for the mystery is the Assisi. He watched over him with almost ma- statement of Elias ; and so it becomes necessary to ternal care, was with him in his last moments, and scan his statement, not only in itself but in the received his dying benediction. He succeeded him, light of the character of the man from whom it moreover, in the government of the order. All this might seem to give his testimony a peculiar value, So far we have noticed its discrepancy with the and especially when we consider that it is not story given in the lives of St. Francis, and the title merely the statement of Thomas de Celano on the which it has from its undoubted originality to subject that we have, but moreover a statement by displace and set aside that story. But it is further Elias himself. In announcing to the society the deserving of notice, how guarded is the language death of its founder, he at the same time announces employed by Elias. He does not affirm that he to them “a great joy, even a new miracle. Never himself sąw the wounds of which he speaks. He has the world seen such a sign, except in the person speaks indeed of a great and joyful mystery, but he of the Son of God. A little before death (non diu does not add “whereof I am witness : " "I am the ante mortem) our Father and Brother appeared to disciple which testifieth of this thing." His lanbe one crucified, bearing on his body the five guage, on the contrary, is quite general, although, as Founds which are the stigmata of Christ; for his we have already said, there can be no doubt that hands and his feet had as it were punctures of nails he designed to convey an assurance of the miracle. (quasi puncturas clavorum) on each side, preserving Yet there is a special caution even in his assurance. the appearance of scars and showing the blackness The marks on the hands and feet of the Saint are of the nails; while his side appeared pierced by a not definitely pronounced to be what they appeared lance and frequently gave forth blood."*
to be, and what he wished them to be believed to This statement seems sufficiently explicit. There be. They were only “quasi marks of nails showing can be no doubt of the meaning it was intended to the blackness of the iron, while the side appeared topvey. At the same time it invites examination lanced or pierced with a spear.” (See Note.) in certain particulars. It makes no mention, it The question arises therefore, what was the real will be observed, of the peculiar fleshly excrescences state of the case ? What is the most probable exin the form of nails
, upon which the later accounts planation of the alleged marvel? This Elias of dwell. Then, so far from pointing back the occur- Cortona is plainly responsible for its conception rence of the miracle to a previous remarkable epoch is the only original authority for it. Were there in the life of the Saint, it says that the appearances really certain marks on the body of St. Francis, which manifested tbemselves a little before his death- his excited faith easily converted into the alleged
wounds? Was the whole matter a pure invention It is well to notice the exact form of the language of his unscrupulous brain, for the glory of his order bere :-“Quasi puncturas clavorum .
... reservantes cicaTires et nigritudinem clavorum ostendentes latus vero
and the exaltation of its power? Unhappily for the ejus lanceatum apparuit et sæpe sanguinem evaporavit.” miracle, the character of the successor of St. Francis was such as to render even the last supposition by ciples upon which the Order was founded. He reno means improbable. It must be remembered, torted upon one of his prominent accusers by a also, that the boundaries between fact and fiction severe punishment. The question was referred to were but faintly divided in those times, especially Rome; a more formal accusation was there urged in all that pertained to the advancement or glory of against Elias, and Gregory IX., after hearing his the Church. Men believed readily what they wished defence, resolved on his deposition. All this took to believe. The appetite for marvel was insatiable. place within three or four years after his accession. It gave no shock to their sense of truth to hear that He submitted at first quietly to the sentence of the the bones of saints which never touched Italian soil Pope ; retired to his native town of Cortona ; let were deposited in spots whither worshippers thronged his beard grow; and sought the reputation of an in pious credulity. To this day many such traditious anchorite. Meantime he was diligently preparing live in Italy, and apparently nurse piety without the for his return to office. Collecting his partisans in shadow of a foundation to rest upon. There was great numbers at a general meeting of the Order in nothing therefore calculated to excite unbelieving 1236, they broke forth into loud complaints at his astonishment in the story of the Stigmata. All knew unjust deposition ; his successor withdrew discomof the self-sacrifice of St. Francis' life; all knew how fited ; and Elias, reducing his adversaries to silence, he had aimed “to put on the Lord Jesus” and to forced the Pope to recognise him once more at the bear about “ His dying" in the most literal manner; head of the Order. The old complaints against him, and it merely filled up the measure of the popular however, were soon revived, especially by those covception of him, to hear at length that he “ bore who remembered the early days of the Order, and on his bodly the marks of the Lord Jesus.” The the spirit in which St. Francis himself lived. Op spiritual idea could not in such an age sustain itself his part Elias met the complaivers by a high hand, by its own power; it was necessary that it should expelling some avd imprisoning others. He sought be incarnated in some material and visible form. It to represent them as men of an unquiet turn of mind, needed only in this case, as in others, that there jealous of their personal intimacy with the founder, should be sufficient hardiness of design to condense and desirous of living as sheep without a shepherd. the popular conception, and set it forth in some For a while he kept his place in the face of opposishape adapted to the eager credulity on all sides. tion, but at length the complaints reached such a
Elias of Cortona, there can be little doubt, was height, that the Holy Father convened a general the designer in the present case. He saw the ad- chapter of the Order at Rome, and again deposed vantage of the time, and he took it. Probably his Elias. Then the true character of the man appeared. own mind was not without vague thoughts of the He had recourse no longer to a mock humility, but truth of what he stated ; but a very slight account turned to the emperor, and espoused his cause of him will be enough to show that he was not a against the Pope. The Order assented to his deposiman likely to care for the exact truth of what suited tion, and expelled him from its ranks. He was even bis purposes. He had the bardy boldness to avail excommunicated, and appears henceforth to have himself of the popular credulity; he had none of passed a secular life, engaged in political affairs. the scruples which would make him shrink from Upon his deathbed he received the Church's absoluprofiting by a falsehood.
tion, but died without being readmitted to the The career of Elias sufficiently reveals his cha- Order which he had twice endeavoured to govern. racter. After the death of St. Francis he appeared Such was the man to whose word as its primary the only man fitted, from his power of government, authority the miracle of the Stigmata is traced. It to become the head of the Order. His subsequent may seem a harsh conclusion, but it is the one most efforts to regain his position when deprived of it, probable and consistent with facts, that the miracle prove how congenial its prominence and authority was the device of Elias. There was nothing in the must have been to him ; yet he made a feint of de- device of too startling a character for such a scheming clining it under pretence of bodily weakness and and busy brain. The only question seems to be, incapacity to endure the rigours which the dignity how he carried out the device, whether by mere demanded. He was assured that he might spare hardihood of assertion, or also by actual manipulahimself, and even “eat,” according to the proverb, tion of the body of the Saint, so that it really seemed from “gold,” if he would only assume the govern- i to present the appearance of wounds to the devotees ment, which no one could undertake but himself. who beheld it after death. There is nothing imAccordingly, he had no sooner entered upon his probable in this latter hypothesis, shocking as it may task, than he relaxed some of the more rigid condi. be to our ideas. The death of St. Francis was foretions of the rule, in his own case at least, and seen.
if not alone with him, the only busied himself mainly in organising vast subsidies person in charge of his death-bed. The physician for the construction of the great church at Assisi. had cauterised the temples of the dying Saint. The He was in the habit of saying that “the rule could suggestion may have been enough; the same process only be strictly obeyed by those who were very performed on the hands and feet would give the near to Goil, and the spiritual equals of the black appearauce of nails-nigritudinem clavorum. founder.” Opposition very soon sprang up to such Let it not be supposed that there is anything ina governor. He was accused of violating the prin credible in this, horrible as it may seem. Four
or five years after the death of St. Francis we find given of witnessing it? Why, before the close of the crude and passionate devotion of the time maim- Sunday, should preparations for the interment of ing, in a manner not less shocking, the body of his body have been already begun? Neither the Elizabeth, the saint of Hungary. *
custom of the time nor the temperature of October It is told by Bonaventura, that there was seen rendered such a course necessary. Not only so, but arvand the head of the Saint while yet alive, a cross why was such jealous care taken of the ody in its in the form of a Tau (T), which marvellously trans- transference to the church of St. George, in Assisi, formed his visage. Elias would consider that he where it lay till the erection of the magnificent was merely giving material reality to this visionary Franciscan church, in the crypt of which it was at glory. The idea of the cross, in its literal suffering length deposited? The nuns were only permitted Dot less than in its spiritual meaning, had become to see it through the grating of a window; and at identified with the Saint in the devout imagination last, when conveyed to its final resting-place, the of the time. In giving outward expression to this event appears to have been sigualised by a combat idea, Elias may have seemed to himself to have been between the monks and the people--the latter merely fulfilling at once the aspiration of the Saint determined to see the body, the former determined and the faith of the people. Nor can we doubt that to prevent their inspection of it. Startled at the the resulting glory which would accrue to the Order scandal, the Pope laid his interdict upon Assisi. An from the credit of so great a marvel would have its event does not become more, but less credible force on a mind so fertile in ambition and so un- which was thus carefully kept froin verification. A scrupulous in the means of gratifying it.
miracle does not excite confidence, but rather susMay it not have been also that the wound in the picion, which needed the arm of the papal auside was real ? According to a tradition which has thority to vindicate it. not died out, the heart of the Saint was laid in The conclusion to which we have come is perhaps the little church at Portiuncula, beneath the altar. a melancholy, but not the less an inevitable one, Here it was, in the cloister attached to this little viz., that the miracle of the Stigmata is to be traced cburch, that he conceived the plan of his Order ; to the unscrupulous invention of St. Francis' suchere it was that he retired to die. The spot had cessor. It is a painful illustration of the sad change possessed his heart in life, and the story is that it apt to pass over every spiritual history. The living retained it in death. And if there is anything in earnest thought of one age becomes the mere this tradition, do we not see how the wound in the materialized symbol of another. The noble Truth aide may be accounted for, even a wound as large is drained through corrupting soil into the mean and deep as Matthew Paris describes.
falsehood. The pure aspiration of St. Francis, to If we finally bring into view for a moment, the be in all things like unto his Lord, became to Elias facts attending the death of the Saint, the whole the likeness of nails upon his hands and feet, and a character of the supposed miracle will still more fleshly wound in his side. It is the same melanclearly appear. St. Francis died on Saturday, about choly lesson which all Cbristian history teaches, an hour after sunset; and on the following Sunday, that man cannot long hold the spiritual before him, his body seems to have been exposed in the small without some adjunct of the material which debases dimly-lighted chapel at Portiuncula. Crowds came while it condenses his higher thoughts. Constantly to look upon it as the news of the death spread. we see the process of degradation going on; but But no circumstances could have been more un- happily also a process of revival and reconstruction. favourable to an honest inspection than a small It is man's mishap to be ever deteriorating the darkened chamber, scarcely holding more than a living waters; but it is the glory of God to be ever dozen people, to and from which excited numbers freshening them by revewed contact with human Here constantly passing. Why, if the miracle was spirits, and by a fuller efluence from the Fountain genuine, should this have been all the opportunity of Life.
THE ATLANTIC TELEGRAPH.
In this article I shall not attempt to give a Russell, and Mr. Bacon ; and the article in the ristory of the Atlantic Telegraph. The graphic North British Review for October, 1858, by Sir and eloquent narrative published in the news. David Brewster, contain valuable materials from papers from the diaries of Dr. Russell and Mr. which a conpected history of the undertaking, from Deane; separate works by Dr. Henry Field, Dr. its commencement, could be written. I confine my.
self to giving explanations regarding some of the “ Plurimi devotione accensi partieulas pannorum most interesting eleetrical circumstances connected incidebant, alii rumpebant, alii pilos capitis incidebant with the working of the Atlantic Telegrap... The et ungues ; quædam aures illius truncabat, etiam summi- limits of the present communication prevent me tetem mamillarum ejus quidam præcidebant et pro Teaquis sibi servabant. Lib. de Dict. quatuor Cancell." from saying anything on the electric conditions -Henoken, tom. ii., p. 2032
which the cable must fulfil to work well, or on the
electric tests applied during the manufacture and sensibility the tongue far surpasses any receiving submergence, in order that these conditions may be instrument in use in our inland telegraphic service. found fulfilled when the cable is laid ; or on the Thus I have ascertained that signals made precisely mechanical appliances used for laying and lifting as described are perceptible through a length of Atlantic Cables. The reader who desires to have wire resisting the electric current as much as does practical information these more technical the whole of one of our Atlantic Cables ; and by matters, may consult, with advantage, an excellent the kind permission of Mr. Tansley, superintendent article which has just appeared (Dec. 1866) in the of the British and Irish Magnetic Telegraph in North British Review.
Glasgow, I have tasted signals from Newcastle, In every kind of electric telegraph, long or short, Belfast, Greenock, and other distant places, when aërial or submarine, a signal is sent from either end the currents conveying them were too feeble to by causing electricity to flow through an insulated move perceptibly the ordinary working instruments metal wire, and to produce a material effect at the of the station. In these latter trials the ordinary other end, perceptible by an intelligible being sta- telegraphic arrangement described below was used, tioned there to receive the communications. This with only the modification of substituting the effect may be direct upon the nerves of the receiver, tongue with two halfcrowns on it, for the receiving and perceived by his electric sense.
instrument in the circuit between “line” and Metaphysicians and physiologists have long agreed “earth.” to add one to the popular number of five senses, The reader need scarcely be told that no ordinary and they give us a sense of heat, besides a sense of telegraphic work is conducted on the plan suggested resistance, both included in what is commonly above. The physiological result seems to have been called the sense of touch. But they give no name first described by Sülzer, a German professor of to the sensation produced in the human body by an mathematics, writing towards the end of last cenelectric current.
tury on "a general theory of the fine arts;" and Any of our readers who please, may, with the to have been first distinctly proved to depend on simplest of instrumental appliances, make an electric electric currents, by Galvani and Volta. The telegraph, by which one may speak by his hands, to tongue, with the two dissimilar metals touching it, another who will receive the message on his tongue constitutes what we now call a voltaic or galvanic in the most distant room of a large house. Let two element; and, except in the character of the effect metal wires, of any convenient thickness, be laid from used by the receiver, and in some other details which one station to the other, and care taken that the I will explain presently, the system agrees perfectly wires do not touch one another, or any other metal with that of many of our city district telegraphs in or moist body, by which the communication between this country, and of some longer lines in America them could be affected. Let a half-crown, and a in which the battery is used at only one of the similar piece of zive be soldered to the ends of the intercommunicating stations, and the “ Morse telegraph wires at the receiving station. Let the alphabet” adopted. The electric action concerned receiver then place the two metal discs side by is explained thus by Volta, Davy, and Faraday. side on his tongue, without touching one another. Water is chemically composed of oxygen and hydroThe sender, in another room, holds his two ends of gen ; that is, as presumed, it consists of groups of the wires in his hands, and alternately presses small highly condensed portions of these substances them into contact and separates them. If he held together by strong mutual attractions. When wishes to send the letter a, he makes contact for a two metals, such as zinc and silver, are immersed short time, and immediately afterwards he makes a in it, or laid on a moist porous* body like the tongue, second contact of twice or thrice as long duration ; and connected with one another by a metal wire, the for the letter B he will make a long contact and water becomes decomposed by a superior attraction three short contacts in rapid succession ; the letter of electric origin which the zinc plate in these cirC, a long, a short, a long, a short; D, a long and cumstances exerts upon the oxygen, tearing it from two shorts ; E, a single short contact; and so on. union with the hydrogen. Portions of the hydrogen, Every time a contact is made by the sender, the equivalent to those immediately left free by the receiver perceives a remarkable sensation, especially particles of oxygen taken off by the zinc, appear in on that part of the tongue which is touched by the bubbles of gas rising at the silver plate. The two zinc plate, as if the previously tasteless metal were constituents of water are, during their union, in suddenly converted into caustic. By this sensation opposite electric conditions, the hydrogen “positive,” he learns what letters are sent through the wires, and the oxygen “negative ;” and when they are and with a little practice he ean easily read long separated the hydrogen carries its positive elecmessages. An unskilled tongue, however, speedily tricity, and the oxygen its negative electricity, with becomes confused by the rapid succession of these it. This causes a flow of the so-called positive variations of taste, and can only receive messages of any considerable length at a very slow rate. What * The reader need scarcely be told that skin, musele, degree of skill might be attained by continued blood vessels, and nerves, in the living body, are all porous practice it is impossible to discover without actual solids of dead vegetable or animal substance, when
and thoroughly percolated by watery fluid. In general, trial. But I have ascertained that in point of thoroughly dried, become non-conductors of electricity.
electricity from the liquid out by the silver plate, One such element gives, through either Atlantic and through the metal wire to the zinc plate, Cable, a permanent current strong enough to prowhere it meets and neutralises the negative elec- duce in some of the more delicate kinds of mirror tricity continually brought there by the oxygen galvanometers a deflection of several hundred times which combines with the zinc. It may be regarded as probable that there is a real electric fluid, and that this fluid really flows through the wire ; but in the present state of electric science we cannot tell
, or even conjecture on any ground of probability, whether the true positive electricity is that which is commonly so called, or whether it may not be, on the contrary, that which is carried by the oxygen to the zinc. But, having given this warning,
Zinc I shall adhere to ordinary usage, and speak of the electric current as circulating in the direction--water, -silver, -connecting metal wire,-zinc, --water. Other metals may be substit for those men
Wet: sawdust Wet sawdust tioned. Thus platinum or gold may be substituted for the silver with advantage ; and copper, though not so good, has often been used on account of its
Sidolid te of
COP cheapness. But for the positive plate no other metal has been found in any respect to answer, practically, so well as zinc.
the amount of the signals by which the messages A great improvement was, however, effected by are usually read. Any number of these “sawdust the late Professor Daniell, which consists in using Daniells," as they have been called, may be connected two liquids separated from one another by a moist together, as shown in the diagram, after the manver porous partition, in one of which the zinc plate is of Volta's “crown of cups," when it is desired to immersed, and in the other the negative plate, which multiply the power derivable from any one of them in his arrangement is always of copper. The liquid alone. Thus, if four be used to send signals to the Dext the zinc was the same as that used in previous tongue through two pieces of silver or gold lying on batteries, that is, generally, either plain water or it, a sensation in the eyes as of a flash of light is water acidulated with sulphuric acid ; on the other perceived at the instant the circuit is completed, hand the copper plate was immersed in a solution of and as long as the current flows a strong acrid sulphate of copper (blue vitriol) kept always satu- taste is felt on the tongue. Again, a flash of light rated (that is as strong as possible) by a properly is perceived in the eyes at the instant the circuit is placed tray or sbelf immersed in the liquid, carrying broken. A larger area of zinc and copper renders crystals of sulphate of copper. In this battery, as the supply of electricity more abundant, by affordlong as it is in action, metallic copper is always | ing a freer passage for the electricity through the being deposited (“electrotyped ") on the copper cell itself, and so diminishing the resistance to the plate by decomposition of the sulphate of copper. circulation of the current. Twenty cells arranged No hydrogen is evolved, as the deposition of the i precisely as described below, and illustrated by a metallic copper takes place instead, in the system of series of four only in the sketch, but with quart chemical actious and re-actions concerned ; and thus jars of gutta-percha instead of ordinary glass the very troublesome variations of power, experienced tumblers, constitute the battery by which tele. in the simple voltaic element, are done away with. graphic communication between Europe and America A simplified form of Daniell's battery, which was has been carried on in the year 1866. Before deintroduced in 1858, especially for sea service, in con- scribing the arrangements which have been used, I Dection with the Atlantic Cable of that year, and must say a few words on the great electro-magnetic which has since come into very general use in tele- discovery made by Oersted, the Danish naturalist graph testing, is represented in the accompanying and philosopher, on which is founded the receiving sketch. In it sawdust takes the place of the porous instrument of every electric telegraph ever successpartition, by which the solution of sulphate of copper fully worked in practice. is kept away from the zinc plate. The sawdust also To discover the relation between electricity and affords a support on which the latter rests, and, by magnetism, was an object kept in view by many of preventing the liquid from splashing or spilling, it the most profound naturalists of last century: and renders the battery very portable, and very conve- their efforts for its attainment were stimulated by nient for use at sea. A common glass tumbler prizes and rewards offered by scientific academies. with crystals of sulphate of copper, and a round Oersted, after having tried for it many years, hapcopper plate, laid in its bottom, and filled over that pily succeeded in obtaining the long-desired result with sawdust pressed down on the top with a zinc in the year 1819. He found that a magnetic needle weight, lastly filled up with plain water, makes a balanced on its centre of gravity, in the neighbourFery effective galvanic element of this kind. hood of a wire through which an electric current is