Front Page Titles (by Subject) A.—: NEWMAN, DÖLLINGER, DUPANLOUP - Selections from the Correspondence of the First Lord Acton, Vol. I (Cardinal Newman, Lady Blennerhassett, W.E. Gladstone)
Return to Title Page for Selections from the Correspondence of the First Lord Acton, Vol. I (Cardinal Newman, Lady Blennerhassett, W.E. Gladstone)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
A.—: NEWMAN, DÖLLINGER, DUPANLOUP - John Emerich Edward Dalberg, Lord Acton, Selections from the Correspondence of the First Lord Acton, Vol. I (Cardinal Newman, Lady Blennerhassett, W.E. Gladstone) 
Selections from the Correspondence of the First Lord Acton, edited with and Introduction by John Neville Figgis and Renald Vere Laurence. Vol. I Correspondence with Cardinal Newman, Lady Blennerhassett, W.E. Gladstone and Others (London: Longmans, Gree and Co., 1917).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
NEWMAN, DÖLLINGER, DUPANLOUP
Sir John Acton to John Henry Newman.
June 4, 1861.
. . . My books have an irresistible attraction for me which makes me miserable in London. I feel very painfully that I am altogether unworthy to be regarded as the champion of the cause which is yours, and the cause suffers from its identification with me. Faber, quitting the ground of argument, has set up his own claims as the sole teacher and authority, on the grounds of sanctity and humility; and thus disturbs people’s consciences. Very holy and distinguished priests, whom I shall name to you as soon as I am authorised, offer me materials and support, but refuse to share responsibility, and therefore to give the authority of their views which is wanting in my hands. Gratry and Lacordaire are so intimidated that I found Montalembert ignorant of their real opinions. We are still listening in vain for the voice we most reverence and most love to hear.
J. H. Newman to Sir John Acton.
My dear Sir John,—
As to Manning, I cannot quite follow you. I am sure he has a great respect for you. His Lectures contain scarcely a sentiment surely which you could not accept. The Register spoke of them as if they even agreed practically with writers like Döllinger. In consequence he wrote a letter, which appeared in the Register of May 25, in which he so explained his views that it would be very difficult to find the fault of them. He said (if I recollect) that the possessions of the Holy See had been lost and recovered again and again—and so it would go on till the end of time. This quite removed any idea of his predicting the speedy end of all things. Then again, instead of any strong declaration on the subject of the temporal power, he said that two things were attributes of the Pope, first, that he could not rightly be a subject; secondly, that he had a spiritual jurisdiction over Kings. People who don’t know him well, seem to me to misunderstand him. He is most sensitively alive to the enormous difficulties, political, social, and intellectual, in which we are.
And now as to myself, since you evidently wish me to say that I am not an advocate of the Temporal Power. I really do not feel there is any call on me to give my opinion—rather, duty lies the other way. It is difficult to state all my reasons.
1. The Duke of Wellington said that a great power cannot have a little war—and I say that a great subject cannot have a little book. Such a theme would require a whole treatise in order to bring out what I thought and why I thought it.
2. I simply have no right to speak. I am not called to do so by position, or any external relation. Why should I speak more than another? If I had deeply studied the subject, that might be a reason, est cuique in suâ arte credendum. But what is the fact? Why, that my life has been cut up so that I have followed out nothing, and have got just a smattering of many things, and am an authority in none. I might have pursued history, or theology, or metaphysics; but I am at the end of life, and have no claim to give an opinion in any one of them. You can’t think how this weighs upon me. Every one has his primâ facie view of things, and I have mine. I have a right to have it, no right to obtrude it on others. This would not justify me to pretend to hold what I do not see my way to hold, but it does oblige me not to profess what I do not see my way to prove.
3. Accordingly I think I fulfil my duty in keeping silence. You may be sure that people wish me to speak on the other side, and to maintain the Temporal Power. That I have not done; and the omission itself is going a great way. People take words in the last Rambler to allude to me; and the very fact that I do not repudiate the sentiment ascribed to me there is in some measure avowing that sentiment myself. You may be sure that there are people watching me very narrowly, and who would rejoice if I brought out in any tangible form what they believe I hold in my heart.
4. I cannot but feel bound to consult for my body here. An imprudent act might get them into great trouble. To tell you something in confidence, already has Propaganda been on the point of inflicting a most serious injury on us, by altering, without telling us, our Rule, at the suggestion of others. It might destory us by a stroke of the pen. The Pope out of kindness appointed me Head fourteen years ago. If I died, Propaganda would have a precedent, if it chose, of dispensing with our Rule, and choosing a second head for the body (please not to mention this) and in a number of other ways it might be our ruin.
5. But lastly, who saved us, in our late danger? It was the Pope himself, and the Pope only. I am bound in gratitude to him.
But the post is going.—Ever yours affectionately,
John H. Newman.
From Sir John Acton.
June 9, 1861.
Your letter is a great encouragement to me, and would be a great consolation, but for the desponding manner in which you speak of what you have done and are yet to do.
I have been often very sorry to think that I was taking a line in politics in which I was not sure of your approbation. On some points, I suppose, I must acknowledge that you would really disagree with me; but I sometimes flatter myself that it is my way of putting things that repels you rather than the views themselves. I have studied politics very elaborately, and more as a science than people generally consider it, and therefore I am afraid of writing like a doctrinaire, or of appearing zealous to force a particular and very unpalatable system down people’s throats. This would not be the right way to convert them, and my plan has been from time to time to put forward a fragmentary view on one subject, and then another separate fragment, without pointing out the connection or interdependence of the two, and especially without trying to derive them from the fundamental general truths from which I believe them to proceed.
I am very much more troubled by what you say of Simpson’s1 treatment of Pius V. It must be remembered that the Papers on Campion are Chapters of a history, not Articles in a Review; that simple truth, therefore, and not effect is the guiding consideration, and that scientific treatment requires to be pursued sine acceptatione personarum. Only a Jansenist can say that a Pope or a Saint was not liable to sin and error, and that the Church has the same infallibility in Government as in faith. When such personages appear in history, they cannot be treated as subject to different laws from other men; and in the Life of a Saint, written even for religious instruction and edification, I suppose the account of his faults is as instructive, or at least as necessary for instruction, as the account of his virtues. Here, however, is a matter not affecting his sanctity, but his judgment as Ruler of the Church; and nobody, I suppose, will say that Saints are necessarily wise in the wisdom of the world. In the saying of your Dominican friend, I can discern nothing but a dread of that which is one of the foundations of religion and holiness, and a spirit which seems to me more pernicious and more important to oppose than anything which is outside the Church. I really cannot discover a bridge by which I can hope to get over the very wide chasm that seems to me to separate me from you on this point; and, when you can find time to write about it, I earnestly hope you will give me the chance of finding my way to you.
From Sir John Acton.
June 6, 1861.
. . . I must ask leave to retract anything in my letter which seemed to you expressive of impatience or of importunity regarding your silence on the present crisis of the Church. I gave in the Summary what seemed to me very good reasons and a sufficient explanation of the reserve of persons in your position. I know too well that the Temporal Power is but a very small part of a very vast question. It is in this way that Döllinger treats of it in the book he is just finishing, and which I still hope may provoke you to some criticism in our September number. What I feel is, not that I am unjustly accused and attacked, but that it is a presumption against the principle I represent that I should be the head and front of the offending cause. Half the arguments you use for keeping aloof disturb me; because, if you have no call or right to speak, I personally have none. And I believe too that you see more distinctly the signs of a coming reaction against the popular Catholic views than I do in the midst of my opposition to them. But the latter part of your letter imposes silence on me on this topic, both towards yourself and others; and I hope you will consider all this said by way, not of urgency, but of explanation. The session will be over early and I shall be impatient to get to my books, . . . which I continue to hope will some day tempt you over to Aldenham.
I have just received your note with a Letter on the Council of Trent, which will, of course, find its place in the next number. But I must express to you my astonishment that it should come with your recommendation, seeing that it altogether ignores what is really meant by receiving the Council of Trent, which is a very definite matter, on which long controversies have been carried on, in France, for instance. Again, to suppose that the Bishops are censured, when it is said that the Council of Trent is not accepted, seems to me the most unjust mode of argument, trying to interest religious reverence in a question merely of fact and history. Nor does the writer deal with the enormous consequences which follow from his statement, such as putting England and Ireland on one footing in regard to marriage.
Without your note, I should not have thought of admitting the letter. With your note, I do not of course hesitate.
From Dr. Newman.
Rednall,June 20, ’61.
. . . . . . .
I am not the fit person, nor perhaps would you ask me, to give any opinion on Manning’s proposal. If I were you, nothing would bully me into giving up the Government, if I felt I ought to go with them. The case of Simpson is far more delicate. It is impossible if you can leave him to bear the brunt of responsibilities, which you share; but what Manning aims at, I suppose, is the suppression of the Rambler. I confess, I should not be sorry at your literary undertakings (if such is to be your course), taking a less ephemeral shape than the pages of a magazine. Gibbon, in the beginning of his Autobiography, refers to Aldenham—might it not become more classical (and somewhat dearer to a Catholic) than Lausanne? Gladstone, in the dedication of one of his early works to Lord Lyttelton, talks of his writing in the classical groves of Hagley; yet what is the History of Henry II to the opus magnum which might be identified with Aldenham? My own feeling is that the Rambler is impossible.
The patrons of a new Quarterly will find it a difficult task. There cannot be life without independence.
John H. Newman.
From Dr. Newman to Mr. Monsell.
January 13, 1863.
My dear Monsell,—
I will send you the correspondence in a few days; you need not return it to me.
Other persons besides your Bishop think that Dr. U.1 is hard upon Simpson, and misunderstands him. However, to put the case as most favourable to S., Dr. U. is as likely to understand him as the run of the Catholics; and as he offends Dr. U., so he may scandalise and mislead them. The question is, what is the effect of his writings? The Rambler is essentially a popular work, as being a periodical. It addresses, not the few and learned, but the many. Moreover, the articles themselves were in no slight measure of a controversial cast. The attack on the Temporal Power, that on St. Pius’s policy towards England, were not wrought out from premisses to conclusion, but views thrown out, and expressed in terms which were not defined or explained. This, of course, is an evil connected with the periodical press, and the Church is not slow to meet it with a vigour corresponding to that which that new description of literature exhibits.
And this leads me to say, secondly, that I believe the very passages of Simpson which our Bishop censured were specified by Propaganda. Moreover, I think I am right in saying that the Acts of Propaganda are the Pope’s, in an intimate manner,—a privilege which the other sacred Congregations do not share. It gives great weight to the words of the Bishop of Birmingham that the substance of them has the direct sanction of the Holy See.
Nor have I any difficulty in receiving them as such. It has ever, I believe, been the course of proceeding at Rome to meet rude actions by a rude retort; and, when speculators are fast or flippant, to be rough and ready in dealing with them:—the point in question being, not the logical rights and wrongs of the matter, but the existing treatise or document in concreto. The Pope is not a Philosopher, but a Ruler. “He strangles while they prate.”
I am disposed, then, to think that Mr. Simpson has no cause to complain, though he has been hardly treated. Why did he begin? Why did he fling about ill-sounding words on sacred and delicate subjects? I should address him in the words of the Apostle: “Quare non magis injuriam accipitis?—quam non magis fraudem patimini?” I think he might have written a better pamphlet.
I will tell you what seems to me to be the real grievance, viz., that in this generation the Bishops should pass such grave matters (to use the Oxford term) by cumulation, i.e. in taking D.D. degrees. The wisdom of the Church has provided many courts for theological questions, one higher than another. I suppose, in the Middle Ages (which have a manliness and boldness of which now there is so great a lack) a question was first debated in a University, then in one University against another, or by one order of friars against another—then perhaps it came before a theological faculty; then it went to the Metropolitan; and so by various stages and through many examinations and judgments, it came before the Holy See. But now, what do the Bishops do? All courts are superseded, because the whole English-speaking Catholic population all over the world is under Propaganda, an arbitrary, military power. Propaganda is our only court of appeal; but to it the Bishops go, and secure it and commit it, before they move one step in the matter which calls for interference. And how is Propaganda to know anything about an English controversy, since it talks Italian? by extempore translation (I do not speak at random) or the ex parte assertion of some narrow-minded Bishop, though he may be saintly too. And who is Propaganda? Virtually, one sharp man of business, who works day and night, and despatches his work quick off, to the East and the West; a high dignitary indeed, perhaps an Archbishop, but after all little more than a clerk, or (according to his name) a Secretary, and two or three clerks under him. In this age at least, Quantulâ sapientiâ regimur!
Well, if all this could be said of any human institution, I should feel very indignant; but it is the very sense and certainty I have of the Church being divine which at once makes it easy to bear. All this will be over-ruled; it may lead to much temporary mischief, but it will be over-ruled. And we do not make things better by disobedience. We may be able indeed to complicate matters, and to delay the necessary reforms; but our part is obedience. If we are but patient, all will come right. I should say all this without any reserve to my own Bishop, if he gave me the opportunity, for, I think, to do so is a duty of loyalty. But I do not expect any Bishop will try to find out what I, or any one who sees what I do, thinks on the matter; and therefore I leave it to God. The logic of facts will be the best and most thorough teacher as He shall dispose. Meanwhile, it is a grave consideration, that in England, as things are, upon theological questions the Pope and the individual Catholic meet each other face to face, without media, in collision, without the safeguard of springs or cushions, with a jar; and the quasi-military power of Propaganda has the jurisdiction and the control of the intellect.
And this is what I have to say, and you will say that it is enough, in re Simpson.
As to your question about your continuing your contributions to the H. and F., I should be very glad that such as you should do so; but, at the same time, I think you ought, and have a right, to bargain that there should not be the smack of Protestantism in the Review, which is unmistakable in the article you remark upon. It was a smack of something or other, which I should call a tone—which ruined the Rambler; not its doctrines; but a tone in stating or alluding to them; and a Protestant smack will be fatal to the H. and F. The article may be the writing of a free-thinking Catholic, but it is more like a Protestant’s. The distinction between Catholic and Christian morality which you notice, is unintelligible till explained; and it is not explained, but left, though enemies will be sure to explain it in their own way. Then he speaks of “so-called orthodoxy,” which is very suspicious. Pusey got himself into a scrape thirty-five years ago by speaking of “orthodoxism.” This, however, is worse, as suggesting that “so-called” has been inserted by the Editor to improve matters. Then, what he says, page 87; of “Christianity being the pure and living truth,” but in particular ages it is “mingled with foreign ingredients,” and “distorted [sic] impure glosses,” is most suspicious, till explained; and it is not explained, but offered neat deliberately to the jealous criticism of the whole Catholic body, who are fast enough to criticise what even does not need explanation: “Essential truth!” “human ideas!” it is as if they wished to ruin their own work. It keeps up the traditions of the Genesis article in the foregoing number; nor is it, as you observe, a sufficient answer to say that it is “communicated.”
If; then, you continue to write for it, you really must insist on this ambiguous, uncomfortable style of writing simply coming to an end. I know how great are an Editor’s difficulties, but articles in a tone like this will merely serve to write up the Dublin by contrast. I am not speaking against the author of it; who, if he is a Protestant, is a candid and dispassionate, as well as an able man, but against its appearance, as it stands, in a Catholic Review. It is intolerable.
And so am I too, I am sure you must be saying; so stop.
John H. Newman.
P.S.—It would be a great thing, if Simpson’s separation from the Home and Foreign were known, but Acton of course will feel delicate about seeming to cast him off.
My dear Lord Acton,—
Granville sent me yesterday your interesting letter about the Papal Election, and I made the brief answer which suggested itself at the moment. But on thinking the matter over I am struck with what seems to me something like an essentially false position in the case of the Italian Government. From the formation of the Italian Kingdom, or at any rate for a great many years, the Italian Government has refused to take any cognizance of the state of parties in the Roman Church. Tros Tyriusve mihi nullo discrimine habetur. There is a party there which is at war with liberty and civilisation. There is another party which holds principles favourable to both. The first party is strong, the other weak. The Italian Government has done nothing to uphold the weak and nothing to discountenance the strong. And now with the Papal Election in view it desires to find means of averting the mischiefs which are too likely to follow from an election conducted by the dominant or Papal party. Its arguments, criticisms, and wishes seem to me to be in hopeless contradiction with its own conduct. Were it indeed possible to treat the question as purely religious, their attitude might be justified by logic. They might say governments do not interfere in theological questions: we want our Ultramontanes to be good citizens, and such they may be, however extravagant their merely ecclesiastical or theological opinions. Do they then hope to convert and pacify Ultramontanism in the civil sphere by letting it alone in the religious sphere? That may be possible, although I do not think it free from doubt, in England. But it is utterly and evidently impossible in Italy until the idea of restoring the temporal power shall have been utterly abandoned. Meanwhile temporal means, the powerful engine of starvation, are freely used by the ecclesiastical power against any priest who makes peace with the Kingdom of Italy. And nothing (as I believe) is done to sustain such priests in their unequal conflict. If this is so, how can the Italian Government wonder that its deadly and irreconcilable enemies should act towards it in conformity with the policy which it allows them to enforce against its own loyal subjects? The German Governments (I do not speak of the law against the Jesuits, on which I am ill able to give an opinion) are surely far nearer the mark, for they give some kind of support and countenance to what may be called the rational party in the Church. I feel deeply the reasonableness of the views of the Italian Government about the new election, but I also feel that it lies with itself to take the first step towards causing such views to prevail by giving countenance within its own sphere to loyal and right-minded priests.
These are the impressions which your letter leaves upon me.
I have sometimes had an idea of serving three or four purposes at once by running to the Continent for a fortnight or three weeks, perhaps as far as Munich, altogether unseen. But I know not whether it can come to anything.—Believe me, sincerely yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
I have tried in vain to reconcile myself to your opinion that Ultramontanism1 really exists as a definite and genuine system of religious faith, providing its own solutions of ethical and metaphysical problems, and satisfying the conscience and the intellect of conscientious and intelligent men.
It has never been my fortune to meet with an esoteric Ultramontane—I mean, putting aside the ignorant mass, and those who are incapable of reasoning, that I do not know of a religious and educated Catholic who really believes that the See of Rome is a safe guide to salvation.
They no doubt think their own communion the best and safest help to sinful men, and they wish its system and authority to be thought of as favourably as possible both outside and within. They will therefore deny, or conceal, or explain away the things that are its reproach, but they do not believe in or approve them. Generally, in confidence, they will admit that they do not accept the responsibility of the enormities imputed to them. Some are unwilling to avow their disbelief, or the limitations and exceptions in their belief in those things to which the Papacy is committed; but even among these I know none who really entertain the convictions they wish to impose.
When I alluded to a decree of Urban XI encouraging people to murder excommunicated persons, a letter was published which met the case with the example of Phinehas. The writer either meant that Urban was right, or he meant nothing. I happen to know him intimately. He is a most self-denying and estimable priest, near eighty years of age. I found, on talking to him, that he meant nothing at all, but only to put dust into the public eye. “You know,” he said to me, “allusions to Scripture always make an impression on Protestants,” and he laughed like an haruspex.
It required great pressure to bring Newman to admit that he disagreed with Liguori. He made it appear that he thought Liguori a saint, and his doctrine not so very wrong. I am quite sure that Newman thinks it a sin to lie; and he must therefore think that the Holy See promotes a sinful and erroneous doctrine with a fervour it shows in favour of no other system.
I might go on with examples for ever. These men all accept the Pope with their own conditions and interpretations.
Athenæum Club, Pall Mall.
Now the essence of Ultramontanism is that the Pope—or that system of authorities concentrated in him—decides the points on which salvation depends.
That principle is rejected by those who believe that it is wrong to tell lies or to commit murder for the good of the Church. Practically they may not choose to act against their own people, like the Emigrés, but in their consciences they give up the whole principle. Many motives array them on that side, but with reservations and saving clauses, by which the whole thing is surrendered. With those motives it is impossible to deal. Apart from them there is little to discuss. I could scarcely imagine how it could be right or reasonable to argue with a professed Ultramontane; it would seem an impertinence to ask him to put off his uniform and speak in his real character.
In short, I do not believe that there are Catholics who sincerely and intelligently believe that Rome is right and that Döllinger is wrong.
And therefore I think that you are too hard on Ultramontanes, or too gentle with Ultramontanism. You say, for instance, that it promotes untruthfulness. I don’t think that is fair. It not only promotes, it inculcates distinct mendacity and deceitfulness. In certain cases it is made a duty to lie. But those who teach this doctrine do not become habitual liars in other things.
I should also have a point to raise on the other side, as I think you do scant justice to Pantheism, or at least to the Hegelian doctrine.
I say nothing of other parts, because I agree with them too thoroughly.
Munich,le 12 juillet .
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
J’espère que Madame de Forbin recevra un exemplaire de l’ouvrage publié en Angleterre à son retour en France. C’est un livre qui n’est pas très commun, mais le libraire a promis de le trouver. Du reste, il était connu au Cardinal Pallavicini. Le meilleur manuscrit de Massarelli1 est celui que Mme de Forbin possède en extraits. S’il ne va pas plus loin, il n’y a plus rien à y faire. Il y en a bien un autre exemplaire à Rome, anciennement dans les mains de la famille Ludovisi, je crois. Mais il est probable que c’est la même chose, ou à peu près. Le Summarium est très court, et ne va pas plus loin que le Diario qui se trouve dans Le Plat.2 La Décrétale Omnes3 est authentique. C’est à dire, elle n’appartient pas à la collection du faux Isidore qui est beaucoup plus ancienne. Sans doute elle est basée sur les fausses Décrétales et inspirée par elles. Du reste, il faut se souvenir qu’à Trente tout le monde croyait que les fausses Décrétales étaient authentiques—excepté le seul évêque de Lérida.1
Le professeur2 embrasse avec joie l’idée de venir à Reichenhall, si vous vous décidez à y rester. Seulement il est lié à Munich pendant quinze jours encore, et ne peut partir qu’après le samedi 25. Qu’en dites-vous? Que feriez vous autrement du mois d’août? Et pourrait-on trouver à le loger convenablement? Je ne sais encore ce que feront vers ce temps-là les miens. En tous cas j’accompagne le professeur et j’espère que ce ne sera pas pour m’en aller trop tôt. Nous en causerons à notre aise—car j’espère venir vous trouver un de ces jours. J’ai proposé au Probst de m’accompagner, à vol d’oiseau, mais il est trop occupé de son discours. En attendant j’espère vos nouvelles demain par Emerich.3 —Croyez-moi, chère Lady Blennerhassett, votre bien dévoué,
My dear Lord Acton,—
When I was at Munich lately I commended to Dr. Döllinger’s particular attention a scheme, or rather an idea, for it has not grown to be a scheme, which has been in my mind for many years. It is a republication in series of the best works of those whom I would call the Henotic or Eirenic writers on the differences which separate Christians and Churches from one another.
He appeared to approve much of the idea. But it is no trifling enterprise, especially as if done now it should be done well, and done internationally.
I have been reading Pichler’s Théologie des Leibnitz, which I daresay you know. It is, as it could not fail to be, a most interesting book. But Pichler’s own mind has evidently been veering during the composition of it, and in such a manner as sometimes to suggest the idea that it is Pichler rather than Leibniz whom he gives to his reader. It seems to me, too, very defective in form: his references and citations too few, his dissertations too many. In the “Schluss” he seems to give to German Protestantism a “clean bill of health” in rather suspicious terms.
It was delightful to me to see Dr. Döllinger first so well and secondly so inaccessible to the influences of religious passions. My opinion of him, formed twenty-nine years ago, was not altered, but simply heightened and confirmed.
Circumstances have made me feel it necessary to say a few words, meant to be emphatic, in a recent paper on Ritualism, with respect to the actual Church of Rome in its relation to mental freedom and civil loyalty. I cannot yet judge whether it will be necessary for me to sustain, by reference and expansion, what I have said.
If you go to London, and can call on Panizzi,1 I am sure the attention will be much felt. He is lonely and rather giving way in strength.—Believe me, very sincerely yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
I am aware of Pichler’s personal miscarriage.
Aldenham,October 21, 1874.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I am sorry to learn that Panizzi is not so well. I will try to do what I can to cheer him.
Döllinger wrote to me how much pleasure your visit, shortly followed by one from Strossmayer, had given him. What you say of him fully confirms my own feeling. When I first came to him, nearly a quarter of a century ago, there was some eagerness and sharpness about him, which time and trials have mellowed into an admirable gentleness and serenity. What I am beginning to apprehend is a falling off of the producing power. He seems clogged and overwhelmed by the vastness of the knowledge he has acquired, and a book which I have long been urging him to write is, unfortunately for religion, still unwritten.
You are undoubtedly right in thinking that there would be much instruction in a collection of the Eirenic writers since the Reformation. Pichler,1 with all his knowledge, was intensely partial and narrow in his sympathies. Three volumes of Leibniz’s letters, which have just been published by Klopp,2 put his negotiations in a much clearer light—and, by the way, are interesting also in connection with the Act of Settlement and the Hanoverian succession. It seems that Bossuet’s3 stiffness at last was due to political influences as much as to theological opinion.
A curious point which I propose to exhibit in the history of Union and Separation is the willingness of Rome at one moment to accept the Confession of Augsburg, as a reasonable basis for negotiation and reconciliation. I have got the papers.
I know pretty well what you wrote the other day, although the reading of the actual essay is a treat reserved for an early visit to London; and I can easily believe that you will find it necessary to say more. In such matters it is best to be as definite and as explicit as possible. No reproach can be too severe. The difficulty is to point and limit it with perfect justice. I am persuaded that there are many loud and ardent adherents of Rome who know not what they adhere to, and are unconscious of the evil they are really doing, besides many who take a more or less honest refuge in inconsistency. This, I think, ought to be distinctly recognised. Real Ultramontanism is so serious a matter, so incompatible with Christian morality as well as with civil society, that it ought not to be imputed to men who, if they knew what they were about, would heartily repudiate it. I don’t see why what you have to say should offend any honest man or peaceable citizen in Ireland.
Some one has written to me, “I suppose you were not taken by surprise at Ripon’s conversion”—from which I conclude that some of his friends knew what was going on. For my part I certainly was taken by surprise.
The new Edinburgh reminds me that Reeve1 has been rather persistent in proposing Disraeli at the Club. Walpole was to sound you and Lowe. Lowe tells me that he would stay away altogether if Disraeli is elected. I propose to give Walpole a hint to move no farther in the affair.—I remain, yours faithfully,
I hope Lenbach did himself justice.
My dear Lord Acton,—
What you have said on the subject of Ultramontanism and of the mode in which it should be handled appears to me to be as wise and as good as is possible. It is really a case for hitting hard, but for hitting the right men. In anything I say or do on the subject, I would wish heartily and simply to conform to the spirit of your words.
But I feel myself drawn onwards. Indeed some of your words help to draw me. The question with me now is whether I shall or shall not publish a tract which I have written, and of which the title would probably be “The Vatican Decrees in their bearing on Civil Allegiance: a Political Expostulation.” I incline to think that I ought to publish it.
If it were in your power and will to run over here for a night or two I should seek to profit by your counsel and should ask you to read as much of the MS. as your patience would endure. I have got Mr. de Lisle2 (who desires his best remembrances) here now, and I hope to get from him something of a like service. A more substantial attraction would be that I could go over much of my long and interesting conversations with Döllinger.
I have a letter from him to-day: he is uneasy on the question of Peace and War.
He has entered seriously into the notion of publishing the Henotic or Eirenic writers, and wants it to be started in this country. Your counsel would be essential.
My belief is that no friend was in the slightest degree aware of Ripon’s1 intentions, until they were virtually consummated. He is an excellent fellow: at least he has been: may it all continue . . . .—Ever sincerely yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
There has been a grievous pressure on my time and energy for the last week or two, and I much fear that I have left your letter unanswered until the answer has become superfluous.
On the question of the Syllabus, which is not clearer to me than it was at Hawarden, I consulted the most intelligent and independent layman among the Catholics, and I send you his answer, with this qualification only, that the idea that the sacrament is conferred by the parties contracting, though the opinion of the pars sanior, has never, I think, been adopted at Rome to the exclusion of the sacerdotal theory.
Döllinger became professor of theology at Munich in 1826. I enclose a passage concerning him, from the work of Werner,2 who is probably the best known and most considerable writer on Divinity in Austria, who has written an Ethik, 3 vols., on St. Thomas Aquinas, a Life of Suarez, a History of Apologetic Literature, in 5 vols., etc.
I have really failed—when I came back here—to find my Sendschreiben,1 but I will make a better search.
You spoke to me of Döllinger’s sense of despair for Rome, and what you said struck me the more, because something like it was indicated in some of his recent letters. I have entered into the question with him, in reference to the position I have taken up in the midst of the waters you have troubled, and I find that the difference I had feared does not exist between us. He agrees with me in hoping for the ultimate recovery of Rome, for the triumph of the better elements lying almost concealed and inoperative in the Church; and he accepts my view that Ultramontanism should be attacked in the root and stem, rather than in the flowering top. Although this is what I am doing, there is very little chance of my escaping excommunication.
Newman has been writing to me very kind but unsatisfactory letters. He does not mean to embark on the present controversy.
I agree and rejoice in every word you say about your wish to separate yourself from the theological fray. It is due to your position, and it is the only way in which good can be done. Considering the extreme profaneness of the Liberal mind, it is very important to make it clear that you are doing the work of a statesman, and to divest them of the uneasy feeling that you are acting as a divine.
Of the people I have seen or heard from, I find Cardwell and Playfair the most entirely favourable to your letter; Coleridge and Hartington and Lord Granville, almost as favourable; Carlingford not quite so favourable; and Lowe and Goschen rather silent.—I remain, yours very truly,
11 Hesketh Crescent,
My dear Mr. Gladstone,—
Döllinger has just sent me Sicherer’s Eherecht in Bayern. Probably you have also received a copy. Sicherer is one of the ablest, most moderate, and most sincerely religious of the opponents of Infallibility in Bavaria, and what he says can be trusted. He cites things which are pertinent to your discussion of the Matrimonial question. Perrone, for instance, says that it is a distinct advantage to Protestants that they can keep their wives or marry others, at will, when they are converted. The very words of the decree, establishing your point, are given by Sicherer, p. 12, and he shows that, while upholding the principle, they tried to dissimulate for fear of consequences.
I hope you will not publish without examining what Sicherer says pp. 12-14. If you have not got the book, telegraph to me for it.—Yours very truly,
Dear Lady Blennerhassett,—
I remember now that you are right and that there are cases in which the hat was refused or withheld on the ground you mentioned.
Everybody in England compares him to the late bishops of Exeter1 and Winchester. He had Exeter’s fire and zeal, and Wilberforce’s charm, gift of adaptation, artfulness, and power of influencing high and low.
It was a great merit not being a scholar, to promote classical studies, even a Greek play, in face of the opposition there was in the clergy. He cannot have known Greek, for at Rome it came out that he had never seen a Greek Testament. He knew Latin fairly, not elegantly. The Hungarians were shocked at the Latinity of his protest, and made many alterations.
Nothing proves better his real want of culture than his proposal that you should write a life of St. Paul. He cannot even have known why it would be well to write such a book, or he would have known how much minute Greek scholarship was required.
“Surtout, méfiez-vous des sources,” is the most characteristic of all his sayings.
When he came to Herrnsheim to see the Professor in September 1869, I was appalled at his ignorance. After he was gone I said to the Professor, with some emotion: “What is to be expected, if this is one of the best specimens?” Under this impression he [Döllinger] wrote his Erwägungen,1 which impressed Dupanloup very much, though, on the Roman question, he had a very strong feeling indeed against the Professor. Perhaps the expression, in 1840, was, that Affre2 was less exaggerated—which might apply to politics as much as to religion.
Don’t forget that, in 1871, he refused the Archbishopric of Paris. Rémusat’s3 words to me were stronger than I said last night. He said that the French Government appoints, and does not present for papal approbation, and that of course they were ready to appoint him; but he himself dissuaded them, on the ground that the Pope would not like it.
When he wanted Thiers to come to the Council, he said to me: “Il les charmerait tous.” They had become friends in 1848 about Falloux’ laws.4
He also wanted Broglie to come; and when I said “mais il est orléaniste,” he did not see at first what I meant, and then rather liked it.
Down to 1855 I trace a coldness between him and Montalembert, perhaps as long as Lacordaire lived. There is a Biographie du Clergé, par un solitaire, about 1840. When the life of Dupanloup appeared in it, he was spoken of as a failure.
You may be quite sure that to a man accustomed an das strenge Denken,5 to Scherer, Taine, St. Hilaire, he appears a mere windbag—otherwise pour les beaux esprits, I can fancy Sainte-Beuve or Renan (his disciple) taking delight in him.
Observe his outwardness, his belief in the influence of the press, his constant articles in newspapers during the Council, his petty polemics. All his thoughts were for influence in his own time and country.
He was a very patriotic Frenchman, knowing very little of other countries or other languages. I don’t tell you the gross mistakes I corrected for him in his book on the Sovereignty of the Pope.
“Cela déshonorera les Jésuites, mais on ne peut plus l’éviter,” he said to me about the scheme of enlarged Erwägungen.1 That shows how little his mind was clear, how little he moved on lines self-traced, towards an understood goal. But I think he was more under the influence of circumstances than of conversations—flottant plus que faible. I once expressed my astonishment at his quoting De Maistre as an authority, meaning of course that if De Maistre is any authority it is on the other side. I came away with the impression that he did not know what I meant. I did not observe that he always attributed bad motives to adversaries, but he was suspicious that people were actuated with national motives.—Ever yours faithfully—in haste—packing up,
Mentone, 17 février, 1879.2
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Nous avons su par la voix de la presse unanime le véritable succès de votre travail, avant même de le voir. Nous ne l’avons même presque pas vu, puisque Madame Minghetti1 l’a immédiatement emporté, et en fait des extraits, la nuit, au lieu de dormir.
Je comprends naturellement, que la voix de l’amitié reconnaissante ne se fait pas entendre pour dire le lendemain de la mort tout ce qui appartient à l’impitoyable histoire. Le duc d’Audiffret-Pasquier2 sera, je suis persuadé, aussi scrupuleux que vous de ne pas franchir la ligne, ou plutôt l’abîme, qui sépare l’éloge funèbre du jugement lointain de l’avenir. Heureux s’il réussit autant que vous à faire reconnaître les traits personnels.
Vous m’avez souvent dit que je suis un naïf, et je m’en aperçois à la manière dont vous devez avoir parlé de l’évêque d’Orléans. Que le Professeur, en adoptant votre article reconnaisse dans un défenseur du pape, du syllabus, et du pouvoir temporel, un chrétien, plus ou moins éclairé, représentant l’église Catholique, et jouissant du bienfait de ses sacrements—reconnaisse, par conséquent, qu’au delà de cela il y a autre chose—voilà ce qui me donne bien à réfléchir, et m’ouvre des horizons imprévus. Newman a très bien dit que la plupart des controverses provient de ce que les gens ne se donnent pas la peine de définir exactement leurs points de vue.—Croyez moi, votre très dévoué,
Dear Lady Blennerhassett,—
After writing in half a dozen Reviews and having published many letters and lectures, monotonous, as they appeared to me, by perpetual iteration of the very few ideas for which I care and upon which I trade, I never apprehended that I could still be obscure. When misrepresented, I have generally supposed that such misconstruction was nothing but the usual veil of disagreement. You show me that I was mistaken and overvalued my own perspicuity or the perspicacity of others; and certainly if not clear to you whom I have so emphatically bored, I must have puzzled many. A wide vista opens, showing a somewhat altered world.
Let me try as briefly as possible and without argument to tell you what is in fact a very simple, obvious, and not interesting story. It is the story of a man who started in life believing himself a sincere Catholic and a sincere Liberal; who therefore renounced everything in Catholicism which was not compatible with Liberty, and everything in Politics which was not compatible with Catholicity. As an English Liberal, I judged that of the two parties—of the two doctrines—which have governed England for 200 years, that one was most fitted to the divine purpose which upheld civil and religious liberty. Therefore I was among those who think less of what is than of what ought to be, who sacrifice the real to the ideal, interest to duty, authority to morality.
To speak quite plainly, as this is a confession, not an apology, I carried farther than others the Doctrinaire belief in mere Liberalism, identifying it altogether with morality, and holding the ethical standard and purpose to be supreme and sovereign.
I carried this principle into the study of history when I had the means of getting beyond the common limit of printed books.
There I presently found that there had been a grievous evil in the Church consisting of a practice sanctioned by the theory that much wrong may be done for the sake of saving souls. Men became what we should otherwise call demons, in so good a cause. And this tendency overspread Christendom from the twelfth century, and was associated with the papacy, which sanctioned, encouraged, and employed it. Associated, not exactly identified, for I do not find that the Gallicans were better than the Ultramontanes. But they had not quite the same retrospective interest or moral solidarity. The Ultramontane, desiring to defend the papacy, had to condone and justify its acts and laws. He was worse than the accomplices of the Old Man of the Mountain, for they picked off individual victims. But the papacy contrived murder and massacre on the largest and also on the most cruel and inhuman scale. They were not only wholesale assassins, but they made the principle of assassination a law of the Christian Church and a condition of salvation.
Was it better to renounce the papacy out of horror for its acts, or to condone the acts out of reverence for the papacy? The Papal party preferred the latter alternative. It appeared to me that such men are infamous in the last degree. I did not accuse them of error, as I might impute it to Grotius or Channing, but of crime. I thought that a person who imitated them for political or other motives worthy of death. But those whose motive was religious seemed to me worse than the others, because that which is in others the last resource of conversion is with them the source of guilt. The spring of repentance is broken, the conscience is not only weakened but warped. Their prayers and sacrifices appeared to me the most awful sacrilege.
The idea of putting on the same level an Ultramontane priest and a priest of licentious life was to me not only monstrous but unintelligible. I understood the movement for the glorification of the papacy as a scheme for the promotion of sin. Arbues1 and Liguori2 seemed to me the normal and appropriate associates of the Syllabus and the Council; and I was uneasy and perplexed when I saw that the honours paid to them were regarded as special, additional facts with a significance of their own.
I heralded the Council by pointing out that the Popes had, after long endeavours, nearly succeeded in getting all the Calvinists murdered.1 It meant: give them any authority or credit that may be their due, but let it be always subject to that limit and condition. Let everything be conceded to them that is compatible with their avowed character and traditions; but see that you do nothing that could shelter them from the scorn and execration of mankind.
It is well that an enthusiast for monarchy be forced to bear in mind the story of Nero and Ivan, of Louis XIV and Napoleon; that an enthusiast for democracy be reminded of St. Just and Mazzini. It is more essential that an enthusiast of the papacy be made to contemplate its crimes, because its influence is nearer the Conscience; and the spiritual danger of perverted morals is greater than the evil of perverted politics. It is an agency constantly active, pervading life, penetrating the soul by many channels, in almost every sermon and in almost every prayer book. It is the fiend skulking behind the Crucifix. The corruption which comes from revolutionary or absolutist sympathies is far less subtle and expansive. It reaches the lower regions of the mind and does not poison that which is noblest.
That is my entire Capital. It is no reminiscence of Gallicanism. I do not prefer the Sorbonne to the Congregations or the Councils to the Popes. It is no reminiscence of Liberal Catholicism. Rosmini2 and Lacordaire, Hefele3 and Falloux seem to me no better than De Maistre,4 Veuillot, or Perrone. It is nothing but the mere adjustment of religious history to the ethics of Whiggism.
It seems to me that this is very plain sailing, that each step of the process is easy and natural, that those who think it utterly wrong must admit the unity and consistency and simplicity of the exposition; that they may think it a reductio ad absurdum of Liberalism more easily than an obscure, a difficult, an unintelligible argument. That is why, hitherto, I have had much difficulty in believing that my doctrine required comment or explanation. I have not felt that it required defence, because I have never really perceived that it was attacked. My impression has rather been that people thought it inconvenient and likely to lead to trouble, and, of course, solitary and new.
To Sir Roland Blennerhassett
My dear Blennerhassett,—
It proves impossible to recover the Professor’s earlier letters to me. You may be able to help me over a stile or two if you carry your thoughts to the time when you were at Munich in 1863 and 1864, Oxenham being there too.
You then wrote to me that Döllinger could not understand why Newman hesitated to throw over Liguori. Is it your impression that that is a tenable, or only a highly-coloured, account of his then state of mind? He became sensitive afterwards to misinterpretation and censure. Do you think he had no sense of it whatever in 1864?
Of course I see a sort of truth in what you wrote; but I cannot make up my mind how far that numbness or denseness went.
What is your impression, looking back now, as to how far he was then conscious of existing or threatening differences? It is certain that insight came to him late. There is the political difference, with what it involves since 1861. There is the German opposition to Roman scholasticism, since the Gelehrtenversammlung1 in 1863, and there is the Inquisition in 1867.
But my impression is that in 1864 he was unconscious of the yawning gulf. At that time, though there were theological issues superadded to the original political one, it is certain to me that there was no ethical issue before him, and the question of the Inquisition seems to me to have been pressed upon him by the French.
I find very little trace of external influences on the course of his life. But at this moment I do suspect that Persecution was made a topic of meditation, by Montalembert and his friends, who were much occupied with it in the Malines days1 and often speak of it in letters.
I should be really much obliged if you would rack your memory, which is much better than mine, as to this series of questions.
You perceive my point:
Since 1861 he is aware that he condemns Rome politically, but not expressly more than politically.
Since 1863 he becomes dimly aware that Rome backs the theologians who are against him; but this is still mere theory.
In 1867 he embarks on the question of Persecution, declares an ethical opposition, and goes almost all lengths.
This last step, to my certain knowledge, was not dreamt of in 1864.
What I cannot tell is, how wide was the theological gulf, how clear the perception of it in ’64? and how did persecution, which gave him no concern in August 1864, become so important in the days of Arbues2 ?
It is a fact that it vexed the French in those days, and was much dwelt upon in Montalembert’s letters. Is there any objection to that apparent and plausible derivation?—Ever yours,
Tegernsee,August 11, 1890.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I earnestly hope that you will remember me at Hawarden, and my great need of the correspondence in the tower. For several weeks I have been laid up at Kissingen, and unable to do any serious work. But I have succeeded in collecting a good many letters from different quarters, and still have a delicate and unpromising negotiation with the representatives of Montalembert. Some transitions in the progress of Döllinger’s thought are still obscure to me, especially between 1864 and 1867. There as elsewhere I count firmly on light to come from you.
This has been an opportunity for reading many old letters from Newman, which I shall have less scruple in quoting since the sad news of his death. If Wemyss Reid is the man I take him for, there will be something in your hand on the greatest of your English contemporaries.
You know that in this instance I am forced to use the ambiguous word great as I should in speaking of Napoleon or Bismarck, Hegel or Renan. But I should quarrel with every friend I have, in almost every camp or group, if I said all I know, or half of what I think, of that splendid Sophist.
You know that the Dean of St. Paul’s has a book on the Oxford Movement ready in type. I believe he had a compact with Newman not to publish in his time. I hope he will be induced now to do it. I have read the book with very great interest, and with that admiration which belongs to all the Dean ever writes.—Ever yours,
Tegernsee,August 14, 1890.
Tegernsee,le 18 août, 1890.
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Impossible de vous dire combien votre envoi1 m’a été précieux, et combien je vous en suis reconnaissant. J’ai parcouru à vol d’oiseau ce qui est personnel, et avec le plus grand soin ce qui est réél et par conséquent caracteristique. Je n’ai pu achever qu’aujourd’hui et j’ai regretté de laisser partir vos enfants sans vous rendre ce que votre fille m’a remis.
Cela vous attend et ne vous attendra pas longtemps, j’espère. Autrement je vous apporterai tout cela à Munich, ainsi que les Montalembertiana, qui ont été pleins d’instruction pour moi.
Il y a bien des choses que je sais et que je ne savais pas avant de lire ces letters. D’abord ce sont les meilleures qu’il ait écrites. Elles ont bien plus de mouvement et de couleur que toutes celles que j’avais vues de lui. Je constate cependant une diminution d’intérêt vers 1869 ou 1870.
Ensuite je m’aperçois que non seulement il y avait des choses que je ne comprenais pas, mais que je comprenais mal, comme Michelet—que j’ajoutais l’erreur à la simple ignorance. Je suis heureux d’être à temps, grâce à votre très grande bonté et amicale confiance, de changer une partie de ce que j’avais—plus ou moins—écrit.
Pour la plupart, sa vie m’est intelligible et claire; et je vois venir, grandir l’antagonisme avec le Catholicisme usuel, depuis 1861 jusqu’en 1867.
Mais je ne sais pas fixer le jour où il l’a compris lui-même; je ne vois pas encore bien combien l’histoire contemporaine y a ajouté à l’histoire du passé, et je ne puis pas exactement déterminer jusqu’à quel point il s’est jamais dit qu’il s’agissait d’une guerre au couteau.
Si je devais terminer aujourd’hui, je dirais, sur ces trois points restés douteux, que la rupture intérieure consciente date de l’été 1867; que l’histoire contemporaine n’y est pas pour grand’chose; et qu’il ne s’est jamais dit que, par exemple, Sailer1 et Catherine de Medicis sont de religions différentes.
Si ajoutant les souvenirs aux Correspondances vous croyez que je me trompe, sur ces trois points, ou sur ceux qui ne me paraissent pas incertains: que le véritable mouvement, en sens inverse de celui de Rome, n’a pas commencé avant 1861 et était achevé en 1867—avertisez-moi je vous en prie. Les lettres que le Professeur m’a écrites dans les premiers temps ont disparu.
Je suis frappé de ce que les Français sentaient tellement plus profondément que lui, la grandeur et la profondeur de l’abîme qui les séparait. Si j’avais ce que je n’ai pas ici, le Testament de Lacordaire, le discours de Malines, et l’article de Montalembert sur l’Espagne, je pourrais mieux le montrer.
En vous écrivant comme dans une lettre que Montalembert cite, et en parlant de moi aux dames de céans, il dit bien souvent qu’on est d’accord au fond, qu’il n’y a pas de différence de principes, etc.
Je me demande si c’était sincère? Je crois bien que la discussion l’ennuyait, surtout par écrit. Mais aussi je me demande s’il ne craignait pas de trop creuser les choses. Il est sûr qu’il a mieux aimé s’éloigner de moi et rabattre de notre intimité que d’envisager tout à fait franchement le problème que je lui posais pendant des années à toute occasion et sous toutes les formes.
Corrigez-moi encore si mes souvenirs m’égarent lorsque je ne vois qu’une personne, Baader, qui a eu, directement, de l’influence sur son développement. Il y a bien un moment très critique, l’entrée en scène de l’Inquisition, où je soupçonne un peu l’influence des Français. Mais cela c’est toute une situation; ce n’est pas l’action d’un esprit sur un autre.
Croyez à toute la reconnaissance de votre dévoué,
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Tini1 vient de me dire que vous avez désiré savoir ce qui en est de Montalembert, dont Mlle Jeannette n’aurait pas trouvé quatre cahiers.
Il est vrai que trois cahiers manquent au manuscrit que vous avez eu l’insigne bonté de m’envoyer. Je n’y avais pas songé, étant dans une partie que je n’avais pas à étudier. Après le No. 4 sans titre, il n’y a rien jusqu’au No. 8 voyage d’Allemagne, etc. Vous devez avoir cela parmi vos papiers à Munich. Ce sont les Nos. 5, 6, 7.
Avec les copies des lettres de Montalembert on m’a envoyé celles d’Eckstein ainsi que quelques autres du même format. Cela m’a beaucoup intéressé, et je vous en parle de peur que vous ne vous demandiez ce que c’est devenu. Cela attend vos ordres et plutôt votre présence à Tegernsee.
Je n’ai pas trouvé les originaux des lettres de Montalembert parmi les papiers du Professeur. Il soupçonnait une fois en vous ecrivant, qu’on l’avait volé. Il se pourrait que quelqu’amateur eût emporté ces précieux autographes. Je suis d’autant plus reconnaissant de vos copies.
Deux lettres manquent entièrement.
Dans l’une il parlait de son discours à l’Académie et de la réponse de Guizot. Dans l’autre de Mgr. de Ségur1 qui l’aurait calomnié, et auquel il tenait à répondre. Je dois vous avoir raconté cela dans le temps.
J’ai remarqué que le Professeur ne vous a pas dit qu’il écrivait sur l’Inquisition, dans l’été de 1867, acte par lequel il tranchait tous les fils. Bientôt après il cite de vous ce mot, not to burn his ships.
Je me demande ici s’il s’est expliqué avec vous alors sur ce thème absolument décisif, et si vous pensez qu’il s’en rendait compte. Vous voyez, je reviens sur un de mes points obscurs, et je devine que c’est à ce propos que vous aurez parlé des vaisseaux.
Laissez-moi vous demander encore une fois de vouloir bien contrôler mes souvenirs: Pensez-vous comme moi (ou autrement), qu’il mettait Moehler2 au-dessus de tous ses amis, avec ou après Goerres—que c’était là le jugement permanent et final; et que tout en aimant beaucoup Montalembert, il ne mettait pas ses amis Français sur la même hauteur?—Croyez-moi, votre dévoué,
Tegernsee, 19 août 1890.
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Ce que vous avez eu l’extrème bonté de chercher pour moi, avec peine et de m’envoyer avec difficulté est arrivé hier au soir, et ce matin j’ai tout extrait.
Je vous en remercie le plus sincèrement possible. Ce qui manque ne fait vraiment rien. Tout est clair dans le mouvement d’esprit de Montalembert, qui l’a isolé en France, et l’a ramené vers le Professeur, par des causes extérieures pour la plupart. J’ai assez de preuves pour la pointe de lumière que ce parallélisme fait jaillir sur le changement qui s’est opéré chez le Professeur entre 1866 et 1867.
Et ce que j’ai, c’est à vous que je le dois, que je dois de comprendre ce que je crois aujourd’hui comprendre, et ce que certainement je n’ai pas compris de son vivant.
Ce qui ne m’en console pas du tout c’est d’avoir appris, aussi par vous, que lui, au fond, ne me comprenait pas du tout, et ne savait pas pourquoi en histoire, je mets en avant autant que je puis, l’idée de crime au lieu de celle d’erreur et de péché. Je ne lui ai parlé que de cela pendant dix ans, et je m’humilie de reconnaître que, avec les hommes les plus intelligents, les plus instruits et les moins disposés à entretenir des préjugés contre ma doctrine, le plus sérieux et le plus médité de mes discours ne vaut qu’une chanson.
Ma jeunesse se fait une grande fête d’accepter votre bonne invitation, le jour où elle ira à Munich, et nous vous en sommes très reconnaissants. Le jour où elles viendront n’est pas établi encore, ou le mauvais temps et l’approche menaçante de l’oncle d’Amérique. J’espère que ce sera la semaine prochaine.
Je prends S. pour Sicherer et j’en conclus que ma doctrine n’est pas sûre d’être agréée d’avance, sur l’influence de la docte Italie du XVIIIe siècle sur l’Allemagne du XIXe. Raison pour soigner mes paroles sur ce chapitre.
L’Epilogue1 aurait eu ceci d’intéressant que Rio2 était du dîner des artistes aux pèlerins (de l’église et de la liberté), pendant lequel Lamennais a appris sa condamnation. Le Professeur en était aussi et il est allé après avec les trois à la Menterschweige, où ils étaient fort gais. Il n’a jamais su ce que Lamennais avait ce jour-là dans sa poche. Il m’a dit que Lamennais lui a écrit en partant, c’est-à-dire le lendemain, pour lui dire adieu, et s’excuser de ne pas venir le voir.
Cette lettre est-elle encore entre les mains de ces demoiselles1?—Votre dévoué,
Hawarden,Sept. 1, 1890.
My dear Acton,—
I have been asked from many quarters to write about Cardinal Newman. But I dare not. First I do not know enough. Secondly, I should be puzzled to use the little knowledge that I have. I was not a friend of his, but only an acquaintance, treated with extraordinary kindness, whom it would ill become to note what he thinks defects, while the great powers and qualities have been and will be described far better by others.
Ever since he published his University Sermons in 1843, I have thought him unsafe in philosophy, and no Butlerian, though a warm admirer of Butler. No: it was before 1843, in 1841, when he published Tract XC. The general argument of that tract was unquestionable: but he put in sophistical matter without the smallest necessity. What I recollect is about General Councils: where, in treating the declaration that they may err, he virtually says, “No doubt they may—unless the Holy Ghost prevents them.”
But he was a wonderful man, a holy man, a very refined man, and (to me) a most kindly man.
I have written to Dr. Reusch about getting a translator for the Döllinger Briefe, etc., lately published.
It is most pleasant to infer from your letter that you have the great subject before your mind, and mean to take it in hand. When you write again, I hope you will be able to report yourself absolutely well.
I have the fear that my Döllinger letters will disappoint you. When I was with him he spoke to me with the utmost freedom; and so I think he wrote, but our correspondence was only occasional. I think nine-tenths of my intercourse with him was oral: with Cardinal Newman nothing like one-tenth. But with neither was the mere corpus of my intercourse great, though in D.’s case it was very precious, most of all the very first of it in 1845.
It is profoundly interesting to think of you at Tegernsee: but how it brings back the great figure.—Ever yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Vous êtes toujours trop bonne de continuer à penser à moi et mes incertitudes et mes énigmes. Il m’a semblé que certainement des choses manquaient, et le voisin Friedrich1 les tenait probablement. Du reste il m’a donné de son mieux toutes les informations que je lui ai demandées.
Sicherer a beau jeu s’il me reproche d’avoir appris peu de choses et fort lentement. C’est vrai, et cela ne me fait pas honneur. Mais cela ne change rien à mon problème.
Je n’ai jamais su, du vivant du Professeur s’il comprenait et repoussait ma pensée, ou s’il ne la comprenait même pas. C’est là-dessus que, grâce à vous, la lumière—tardive—s’est faite. Et cela donne à réfléchir, quand on pense que ma doctrine est simple, claire, tranchante, que je l’ai fait connaître avant le Concile qu’elle a seule inspiré mon opposition et n’a pas été, par conséquent, sans quelque influence dans le monde. Ajoutez que, depuis que j’ai remarqué, vers 1879, que nous ne nous entendions pas, je n’ai fait qu’en parler au professeur; et que tant d’autres n’ont pas trouvé cela dûr à comprendre, ou difficile à repousser.
Ma femme me fait observer que plusieurs personnes ont de la peine à comprendre qu’on s’agite beaucoup, pendant des années, non pas pour convaincre un adversaire, mais pour apprendre son point de vue. Il se peut qu’il y ait de cela dans l’obstacle contre lequel je me suis heurté.
Loin de vouloir dire chose pénible, je vous dois la plus sincère reconnaissance, en général d’abord; mais surtout au moment où je dois écrire, et où il serait fâcheux de ne pas voir clair. Il y avait, jusqu’ici toujours cette possibilité, qu’il ne tenait pas à approfondir, ou qu’il me supposait d’autres motifs, tels qu’un Ultramontanisme inconscient, ou un rationalisme caché. Et puis je croyais que, n’écrivant rien, je passais à ses yeux pour avoir étudié moins que je l’ai fait, et qu’il ne prenait pas toujours fort au sérieux ce qui était le résultat d’un bien long et rude travail.
Tous mes doutes n’ont pas disparu, car tout n’est pas conséquent. Mais votre témoignage a le plus grand poids.—Votre dévoué,
Tegernsee,le 10 septembre.
Hawarden,Oct. 6, 1890.
My dear Acton,—
Having one thousand subjects to speak to you about, I reduce them to nine hundred and ninety-nine by discharging on you a copy of what I have written to Mr. Hutton (R. H.) about Cardinal Newman, and I think you will not resent it, though the letter is written from my personal and perhaps peculiar point of view. I shall be glad to have it again, only when we meet: perhaps you will bring it!
It is certainly the extinction of a great luminary, and so many have died lately, that it seems as if the century ought now to die too.
I have a vehement desire to show you, when I may, my new library, as it is called: though I trust it is only a nucleus or a germ. I have moved about half my books there, say 12,000. At some time I want you to do me a very great service, if you will assume the burden. That is, to furnish me with some suggestions towards supplying the gaps in some leading branches. The ultimate capacity of the building as I have made it is, I estimate, 40,000 volumes.
Perhaps before long I shall hear from you what you intend about the life of Dr. Döllinger. I even hope you may perhaps have written to Murray, or to somebody, direct.
I had both the ex-priest librarians, Law1 and Hutton,2 here last week, very able men, whose interests are by no means estranged from religion; but I cannot quite make out their exact positions.—Ever yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
I return with very sincere thanks—not the letters, but—your letter to Hutton. He is an excellent critic, and a most able man, and Dick will have to send me his book.
You are undoubtedly right on that point, of Newman’s inacquaintance with the sixteenth century, both English and foreign. I think he knew his English—Anglican—seventeenth century pretty well. But then Hooker and Andrewes and Hammond were not the root of things.
Allowing for only four great gaps of imperfect knowledge, for knowledge always imperfect except when got up for a purpose, as the fourth century undoubtedly was, and also for that sophistical tendency natural to a man who was always looking for a view, for something tenable logically, whether tenable historically or not, I do think it is very difficult to speak too highly of his capacity. He is so much better when he is wrong than most men are. For good and evil he greatly reminds me of Fénelon; but Newman was the stronger man. I cannot help thinking that you will, one of these days, for your own satisfaction, put on paper your recollections of him and the way you stood towards each other. And I shall be sorry if you do not do it while the iron is hot.
The letters are infinitely more precious than you suppose, and it is quite impossible to say how great a debt of gratitude I owe you for trusting me with them.
I have used them only slightly in my essay, and have ventured to keep them longer, as I could not make final extracts until I got some leisure. Be sure that they are in the hands of one who knows their value, and what is involved, in the sending of them.
They bring up to about 300 the number of the Professor’s letters that have been in my hands. I have used only about a dozen out of the whole number; and you will see that my paper, though unreasonably long, is one chain of omissions.
I have ventured to refer to your conversations of 1845, although, unfortunately, I know them only by oral report.
And you will see, by the side-lights, that my notion would be to place Döllinger in the centre of a vast circle of chiefly friends. I have not written to Murray, and have not spoken of anything more to anybody; but having now gone over the ground and examined the materials, I think it might be in my power to write a more complete memoir.
If, therefore, I may again appeal to you for aid and intervention, and you would be generously willing to move Murray on the matter, and to make him propitious, I shall once more be deeply grateful to you.
I have had all his papers and manuscripts communicated to me, and have seen, as I said just now, the best of his correspondence. I was constantly with him, or in correspondence with him, for forty years; and have had the fortune to find that he had kept all my letters from 1852, and I may cite to you this passage from his letter to me of June 27, 1869: “Wenn Sie bedenken dass Sie der Einzige sind gegen den ich mich ganz offen auch bis auf die innersten Gedanken aussprechen kann, so werden Sie begreifen wie sehr ich mich sehne, Sie zu umarmen.”1
I put myself in your hands: but whether Murray or another is best, you must say. Perhaps you will be so extremely good as to think this over—after Dalmeny.—I remain, ever truly yours,
I have been puzzled about the Huttons, for I fancy the other committed himself about J. H. N.
Tegernsee,October 12th, 1890.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
The accounts of Lord Granville have been very alarming, when one knows his weak condition, and Dick, calling two or three times last week, was not allowed to see any member of the family. Freddy Leveson now tells us that things look better; but we are left a good deal to conjecture.
Séché asks me for letters of Döllinger to you, without actually saying that he has your promise. I shall not feel bound, or even distinctly authorised, to send them, until I have your injunctions. His book, founded on new material, is in part interesting. His purpose is to show that Liberal Catholicism, of which he takes Döllinger as the type, originated in a development, or a transformation, or a decomposition of later Jansenism.
I do not think that this is good history, still less good biography. Döllinger had so great a dislike of the essential doctrine of Jansenism that it amounted to a prejudice against some writers of the party, and especially against Pascal. What is more decisive is this, that he never did proceed, in the characteristic actions of his life, from any dogmatic system, or from any particular theory. He got, no doubt, to be in touch, successively, with the considerable writers of every school, and one can trace the impress or the stimulus of each. But it was not so much by preference as by the necessities of history which compelled him to take in all sorts of things.
It is as a scholar, not as a theorist, by the study of facts, not by attachment to dogmas, that he became what he was. The Döllinger of the Vatican Council and the Bonn Conference is not the product of certain opinions in the past, but of a certain level of present knowledge. He acted under the impression made on his mind by the state of learning at that time, by particular books published between 1863 and 1868, and the enquiries they enabled him to pursue. The mark of just that time was upon him to the end. He went on with his own studies upon those lines. But he did not follow contemporary discoveries in the eighties as efficiently as in the sixties.
I would say not only that Döllinger was not a Jansenist or a product of Jansenism, but that he also was not a Liberal. There was, I think, a moment in his later life when he was conscious of the tremendous consequences to the Church of Liberal thinking, and recognised that what is essentially a political principle becomes equivalent to a religious principle when applied to the Catholic Hierarchy. It was when you were at Tegernsee last, on the day after your expedition. He had had a seizure, and he came into my room, and spoke some very solemn words which I have never repeated. But excepting that occasion, he kept Liberal theories quite out of his theological system, and was always a little impatient of the ways in which I applied them. I could hardly make some of my historical judgments intelligible to him without much explanation; and when he knew what I meant he certainly did not like it.
But it is enough to say that it was the mark of a Jansenist, to be influenced, especially, by St. Augustine; and of Döllinger, to be influenced by St. Vincent, and strangely independent of St. Augustine.
Therefore I can hardly imagine a more disputable thesis than that of our French friend; and what I shall have to say will be very distinctly opposed to him. And I wait your directions before satisfying his request.
Until Aston Manor1 I thought that all my friends at home made too much of the evil done by Parnell to the cause. I am sorry now to be obliged to suspect you were all right. But his breakdown at Cork, if it is confirmed, is a serious blow to his confidence and credit. Can you imagine that I was invited to stand for Creighton’s chair2 ? I venture to ask your indulgence for Talleyrand in the next Knowles.3 —I remain, yours ever truly,
Cannes,March 22, 1891.
Victoria Hotel,St. Leonards,
My dear Acton,—
Your account of Dr. Döllinger4 is intensely interesting. With my inferior faculty and means of observation, I have long adopted your main proposition. His attitude of mind was more historical than theological. When I first knew him in 1845, and he honoured me with very long and interesting conversations, they turned very much upon theology, and I derived from him what I thought very valuable and steadying knowledge. Again in 1874 during a long walk when we spoke of the shocks and agitation of our time, he told me how the Vatican decrees had required him to re-peruse and re-try the whole circle of his thought. He did not make known to me any general result, but he had by that time found himself wholly detached from the Council of Trent, which was indeed a logical necessity from his preceding action. The Bonn Conferences1 appeared to show him nearly at the standing point of Anglican Theology.
I thought him more Liberal as a Theologian than as a politician. On the point of Church Establishment he was as impenetrable as if he had been a Newdigate.2 He would not see that there were two sides to the question.
I long earnestly to know what progress he had made at the last towards redeeming the pledge given in one of his letters to me that the evening of his life was to be devoted to a great theological construction.
I once proposed to him the idea of republishing in series the works of (so to call them) the Henotic writers. He entered into it warmly. I then propounded it to Dr. Mozley, the Regius Professor, who did the like. I wanted it done by the Oxford faculty, but Dr. Bright took some sideways objection which “blocked it,” and Mozley’s life was unhappily soon cut off. Disraeli provided a very inferior successor.3
I should have called Dr. D. an anti-Jesuit, but in no other sense, that is in no sense, a Jansenist. I never saw the least sign of leaning in that direction.
When Séché1 applied to me for his letters, I used you rather as a screen or buffer, and gave no consent. I could not see that they entered legitimately within his precinct. He was surely built upon-quite other lines. Jansenism was too narrow for such a profound and comprehensive historic mind.—Meantime, and ever yours,
W. E. Gladstone.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
The fires of Hawarden have so many irons in them, that I did not succeed in saying half the things I had in my mind, or thanking you in the least possible degree for all I have to thank you for.
I should have told you, as I owe it to you, that I propose so to write the life of the Professor as to give a substantive chapter dealing with each of the matters that engaged him. As for instance: Döllinger and his Church history would be an occasion for describing where Church history stood, how it got so far, when he began.
Döllinger and the Frankfort Parliament2 would be a reason for describing Church policy, and the rise and meaning of Liberal Catholicism; Döllinger and the Vatican Council would contain all I know about that event.
Döllinger and Reunion, a short view of that question, with some extracts from your letters to him, after submitting them to you for permission.
Döllinger and the Roman question, in like manner, the natural history and fall of the temporal power.
Döllinger and England—both his personal relations with contemporaries and his points of contact with the Anglican and the English Catholic theology of the seventeenth century—and so on. I would try in each case to give only new matter, of which there is a good deal, and to set him in a very large frame, embracing all his main subjects. I see a moment coming when I should be glad to go into some detail with you as to certain points.
Oxford has been a mine for me, the literature of the English Catholics being otherwise so rare. In London, where I go to-morrow, I propose to take the great liberty of calling on your editor Hutton, at the National Liberal Club, and asking after your collected speeches, and how they get on.
Rosebery has forgotten to put before his book the motto which contains it all: “Latet anguis in herba.”1 I have seen a good deal of Morley, and found him admirably reasonable, practical, and clear. But very fearful indeed about Harcourt’s condition.—Ever sincerely yours,
Mitre,Oxford,Dec. 1, 1891.2
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
It has been a sacrifice to be away this time, but I rejoice to see that the two aspects of Southern France have both justified themselves, and that you have been doing well while so much has happened at home.
Manning3 had certainly mellowed lately, and much of his early feelings towards you had been revived by his calculated liberality on the Irish question. He used to tell me that he was a Liberal from his Colonial Office days, much differing therein, as in most things, from the greater but so much less efficient colleague. The choice of Hutton for his immediate biographer, in defiance of Catholic feeling generally, makes it likely that his animosity and distrust will not be buried with him.
I certainly regret that things have been so managed at Oxford as to do dubious honour to the memory of Newman. It is true, he was not a great academic personage, and he may have done harm as well as good to the University. But he was great enough to obtain national celebrity, and to stand above contention. The site was so badly chosen that it seems to have been done on purpose, slily to represent the burning of the bishops as a thing condoned, if not deserved. I don’t think the town ought to consent to that.
The principle being admitted, the spot that occurs to me is that place in the railings of the Camera that is opposite the second entrance to St. Mary’s. It is not a region frequented by townspeople, it is not obtrusively conspicuous, and it would be like a monument to a general on his greatest field of battle.1
Indeed this is one of several points on which I should have much to say and to hear, if we were to meet soon. Letters of Newman have reached me from strange quarters enabling me, I hope, to say something worth the saying in the process of describing all the most notable men and the most considerable lines of thought that touched or crossed the Professor’s path. I don’t suppose you ever knew it, but in 1859-1862 Newman was much nearer you on the Italian question than Döllinger was. Both Hutton and Tom Arnold tell me that they were not aware of it.
I will at once see Sicherer, late Rector of the University, and my best friend among those on the Committee, and inform him of your generous intention of subscribing to the monument, and I will, with your permission, make it twenty pounds. You will be perfectly safe if you send a draft to him, Königinstrasse, or, in his name, to and through me.
Rossendale will, I suppose, retard the Dissolution to the natural end of the Session. Dick and I thought it a proper occasion to drink your health in a glass of champagne. It has made a greater impression on ministerialists than even those elections which showed, last winter, that Parnell was not strong enough to injure you. I have always been trembling, lest a new reign, or a European war, might slur and confuse the issues at the General Election; but I was hopeful all through, and I thank God now, that the earthly crown of your glorious life is very near.
We have been less fortunate than you, out there, three of us having been down with influenza; but it is nearly over, and has not been severe at Munich.—I remain, ever yours,
Dear Mr. Gladstone.—
I have received your cheque for twenty pounds towards Döllinger’s monument, and will to-day hand it over to Professor Sicherer. The Committee will, I am sure, be deeply impressed by the way in which you mark your early friendship.
What was obscure in my letter must have been an allusion to the Gladstone-Librarian Hutton.1 Manning was so well pleased by his article on Newman, and by what he said of Newman’s relations with himself, that he at once resolved to have his own biography written by Hutton, and gave him several interviews during the autumn for that purpose. The book is now announced, if not actually advertised. I took for granted that your own Librarian had consulted you upon the matter. For he asked me to revise his book for him, and I was obliged to explain that it would not do. But perhaps it would be right that he should know what Manning said to you, as throwing light on the condition of fortune in which he lived and died.
I see that Oxford accepts the statue, but refuses the Broad Street site. There can be no doubt that it was intended to balance the Martyrs’ Memorial.
I have only just discovered that Montalembert, after the coup d’État, not only condoned it, which was public, but privately asked the bloodstained Dictator for certain concessions to the clergy, in return for their support. So that he was ready to sell the liberties of the nation for a price to be paid to the Church. Walewski2 told Houghton that he had asked for the ministry of Foreign affairs; and although I have no proof of that, I really come very near it. Napoleon refused his demands, and so he had to make the most he could of the Orleans confiscation, to justify his breach.3
Artom, Cavour’s Jewish secretary and confidant, has written to assure me that the scheme of the Libera Chiesa was not merely an expedient and machine of war, but a political dogma with him. I used to think that Minghetti had made more of it than Cavour intended, but I am obliged to accept this assurance. If Döllinger had understood this, he would have spoken otherwise than he did in 1861.
His letters to Loyson have been published by our friend Séché.—I remain, ever yours,
Munich,Feb. 9, 1892.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
It seems to me that the Government would make a mistake in dissolving now, in their party interest; but I shall be glad if they do. I hear that we are generally prepared, and am not very apprehensive, except of the remaining Irish split.
I wish Rosebery would make an excuse to go to some German waters, and get better acquainted with post-Bismarckian Prussia. So much is changed since he made friends there with the fallen giant. But the strangest change of all is their quarrel with their friend Leo XIII, and his rash speculation in French Republicanism.
If I am fortunate enough to see you, I shall come as an honest restorer of property. Also I bring the receipt for your donation to Döllinger’s monument, which was accompanied by verbal acknowledgments such as you can well imagine. One of the Committee was deputed to make them, and to ask me to convey them to you.
My collections are growing rapidly, and I see my way to what will, I hope, be an interesting book. The Dictionary of National Biography has offered me Newman; but I should not get access to the necessary papers; and I cannot discover the secret of his quarrel with Manning, typical of his quarrel with ecclesiastical authority generally. All that I know about him, I mean of the richer and more exquisite species of knowledge, comes into my book in connection with the Roman question, and serves as a very appropriate foil. As I shall never have another opportunity, I propose to extend that half chapter out of proportion. I fear that Hutton’s book, nor yet Purcell’s—will not tell me what I want to know; and they will surely not tell the world what I want to say.—Ever truly yours,
8 Briennerstrasse, 14 avril 1894.
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Vous avez raison. J’oublie bien des choses quand je vous vois. N’ai-je pas oublié votre travail dans la Rundschau, sur Newman, que je connais bien?
Votre mari me donne un Newman très habile, éclairé, rationnel, délié, très éloigné du commun des Ultramontains, par son intelligence.
Vous m’en offrez un autre, spiritualiste encore plus que spirituel, séparé de Rome par sa profondeur religieuse.
Je voudrais, par le moyen de l’un ou de l’autre, échapper à un troisième Newman que ni la religion ni l’esprit ne sépare de l’Ultramontanisme pur et simple, défenseur prédestiné de l’autorité temporelle et spirituelle, mais empêché, repoussé, irrité par son expérience personelle des autorités contemporaines. Lequel ne me satisfait pas, parce que s’il était intérieurement aussi autoritaire que je le trouve, on ne voit pas bien pourquoi les autorités actuelles l’ont repoussé, ont négligé d’en faire leur profit. J’arrive à croire qu’on le soupçonnait à cause du Développement qui était, en effet, une révolution, et qui lui donnait un peu l’air d’un personnage qui exigeait, pour le satisfaire, une théorie imaginée exprès pour lui et qui justifiait sa première manière, ses attaques, et la lenteur de sa conversion, jusqu’à ce qu’il l’eût découverte.
Car en Angleterre comme en Amérique, elle était toute nouvelle, et on sentait qu’elle renversait l’ancienne défensive Catholique en faisant droit à ses adversaires.
Wiseman a dit ce mot significatif. Il est d’une arrogance impossible.
Ce même développement emprunté à Tübingen et confirmé, soutenu, encouragé par tout le mouvement Romantique et Historique, est évidemment l’une des choses qui ont distingué, et ensuite séparé, le Professeur des siens, en abaissant les cimes et déconsidérant, en grande partie, la théologie Catholique et la Gallicane en particulier.
L’autre est sa théorie de la Tolérance. Celle-ci mène encore beaucoup plus loin. Mais on comprend que, de 1820 à 1850 à peu près, on pouvait croire la doctrine opposée morte. Rome semblait y avoir renoncé, par mille témoignages indirects.
Le plus grand mystère chez le Professeur c’est de s’expliquer comment il n’a pas compris qu’il s’agissait de deux systèmes religieux, de deux morales, de deux Dieux—lui qui voyait si clair dans les choses qui diffèrent, et qui n’aimait pas les brouillards qui confondent, les ressemblances qui rapprochent ou qui identifient.
J’ai dit: Ce même développement. Je sais bien que la théorie de Newman n’est pas la même; mais pour la rupture avec l’ancienne théologie cela revient au même.—Votre dévoué,
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Nous avons été tous reconnaissants d’avoir de vos meilleures nouvelles, et moi de ce que vous avez bien voulu m’envoyer. J’étais chez Dick, et le messager de vos bontés n’a pas attendu mon acknowledgment. Je conclus de ce que vous m’envoyez Lacordaire que le Montalembert de Foisset,1 commencé au Correspondant, n’a pas paru séparément.
Pour Eckstein il me revient ce souvenir que le Comte de Menton2 vous a écrit que ses lettres ne méritaient pas d’être reproduites, à cause d’une certaine originalité ou indépendance malsonnante. J’en prends une pointe d’opposition dans son attitude religieuse, au delà de ce qui paraît dans ses écrits; mais il se peut qu’il s’agissait seulement de ses jugements personnels.
Il me semble aussi que la Marquise voulait écrire sur Brownson: mais je crois qu’elle ne l’a jamais fait. Je suis occupé d’un petit épisode, d’une Einschaltung sur Newman; et dans la carrière de Newman il y a un petit rôle pour Brownson.
Je suis effrayé de voir combien je me suis toujours contenté d’une connaissance sommaire des Français plus ou moins Libéraux. Vos cahiers sont pleins de nouvelles lumières; et si jamais vous aviez d’autres secours littéraires sur l’un ou l’autre de toute cette école, à partir du Génie du Christianisme,1 songez à moi.—Votre dévoué,
Le samedi 16.
8 Briennerstrasse,le vendredi 13, 1894.
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Vous me promettez une bonne nouvelle, et puis vous m’en donnez une mauvaise, en remettant la rencontre espérée. Pourvu que ce ne soit que jusqu’à ce soir.
Que vous êtes bonne et admirable de me confier les précieux extraits sur le regrettable Chateaubriand. Je vous en suis d’autant plus reconnaissant que j’y ai trouvé des choses inconnues, et très utiles pour l’usage que je fais de lui.
Il entre dans la vie du Professeur plus que celui-ci, qui ne s’intéressait pas à lui, ni soupçonnait. Car c’est lui qui a inauguré en France le mouvement des Catholiques Libéraux, et une bonne partie de leurs bagages vient de lui, tandis que lui, à ce qu’il me semble, a puisé sa doctrine nulle part sinon dans les péripétiés de sa carrière. Il précède Lamennais de trois ou quatre ans.—Votre dévoué,
Munich,Monday,Jan. 28, 1895.
Dear Mr. Gladstone,—
As you are setting to work on Butler, I will venture to submit two or three things for consideration:
1. To bear in mind that the doctrine of the Sermons on the infallible Conscience, is not only borrowed from Sarasa,2 but is also indefensible.
2. To take notice of Sidgwick’s remarks on the Sermons in connection with Utilitarianism, and of Matthew Arnold’s on the argument of the Analogy.
3. To view Butler in connection with his immediate predecessors, Leibniz, and especially Malebranche, in order to determine the degree to which he can be considered an improver or strengthener of evidences.
4. To examine his relations with Kant, who never mentions his name, but who comes very near him in questioning demonstration and in exalting conscience. This must have been set as a Thesis in Universities; but I cannot find that any book treats of it.
In reply to your kind question about Döllinger, there has been much progress in the quietude of the Recess. Several necessary episodes require very full treatment and occupy excessive time and space. One is the rise of the science of ecclesiastical history, which, in our Church, has never been described. For Döllinger was formed not by the divines, but by the ecclesiastical historians, and one can trace the growth and establishment amongst them of those precepts and ideas which are distinctive of him alone among his contemporaries. Another topic that I have had to go fully into is the history of the Liberal Catholics in France. They were in constant touch with him, and many of them came to Munich, and it is a common notion, partly countenanced by the Professor himself, that he agreed with them, and that that was the key to events. Their history, also unwritten, and leading into many recesses, political and religious, will show that there was a well-defined difference between them. But I have to show the possibility that what passed with Montalembert in the decisive years, 1863-1867, may have had something to do with Döllinger’s own attitude. Regarding Montalembert I have much new matter.
Newman claims a chapter to himself, with regard to the line men of note took in the Roman question. I have had two hundred of his letters in my hands, and you will be surprised to find to what lengths of opposition he went, during a series of years. This will be a new Newman, who would otherwise be in some danger of passing into oblivion. A fourth substantive topic is the Roman question. Stanmore has allowed me to see his father’s papers, and the Elliots offer me Lord Minto’s. In my last talks with our good friend Lacaita I obtained much, and among other things a certain paper of advice of yours, of 1865. Even the question you touched in writing to Burns has to be discussed. For those rather obscure writers of our Church in England influenced Döllinger at one time. They began the method of eliminating school opinion from dogma—Holden1 —which was the root of all reunion; and another, Davenport2 —whose collected works, I am afraid, will never be found for St. Deiniol’s—anticipated No. 90. To bring into light the unity in the Professor’s life I have to be careful of past detail—showing how it might appear to a man looking into Church matters about 1820, that very many old defects had been expiated and purged away, that there had been a sort of Conversion of Rome, compared to the days of Sixtus; and how this illusion led him to become an Ultramontane of a peculiar kind. The main point is, that he was always cut off from what we understand by the term, by his theory of Development and of Toleration. I have to tell, for the first time, the history of the theory of Development, which made men reject the old theology, and admit to a high place in their Councils the Protestants of the seventeenth century. Toleration was a still larger cause of division; and the point most difficult to bring out clearly is, why Döllinger never came to see it, and imagined himself holding the same fundamentals as Bellarmine or Bossuet. It is only by bringing forward many things, and employing, for light or shade, all the ecclesiastical writers of his time, that I can hope to make all this intelligible. For the Council, I have not only his Roman Correspondence, but also that of the Prussian Government, including that of 1873 which led to the Kulturkampf.
It seems unnecessary to say that I have spoken of all this to nobody but yourself. I have sent to the Museum a list of the books I have still to consult, and they have promised to buy any they have not got.
A complete Newman came out as my Christmas gift to my daughter Annie, and in going over many volumes again I have been struck by the art with which he tries to make believe that he holds opinions of which, in private, he professed the contrary.
Esther Waters, I blush to say, is the only one of the books you name that I have before me. But I have not had time for more than fifty pages, and have not discovered I will not say the charm, but—the spell. Also, blushing, I confess to having broken down in the first volume of Marcella; so that my daughters, in their indignation, have lent it out to friends.—Ever yours,
Tegernsee,le 13 sept. 1900.
Chère Lady Blennerhassett,—
Je profiterai avec reconnaissance, à mon retour en Angleterre de vos informations sur les lettres de Newman à Mozley. Je n’en avais rien vu. Lilly a reproduit les siennes dans ses Essays and Speeches, et il me dit que les Pères1 ont fini par lui savoir gré de cette publication. La masse de ses lettres Catholiques est, à cette heure, assez considérable.
Je vois clair dans le problème de la vie de N.—Pourquoi profondément Romain lui-même, était-il en lutte avec tous les représentants de l’Ultramontanisme officiel? D’abord, parce qu’il n’aimait pas à être contrôlé et empêché déjà comme Anglican. Ensuite parce que l’Ultramontanisme officiel gâtait son plan de rapprocher Catholiques et Anglicans. Enfin parce que les diverses formules de son développement effrayaient les gens les plus sincères.
Mais je ne sais pas dans quelle proportion il faut faire la part des trois motifs.
Avez-vous jamais vu la traduction allemande des Discours on the Present Position of Catholics? Il y a une Préface par Döllinger. Dans la 5e Lecture Newman mit, à sa façon, à peu près comme Perrone, les bûchers de Rome. Il serait curieux de voir si le Professeur a laissé passer pareille énormité. Cela prouverait combien, en 1851 encore, il avait peu approfondi ces choses, et vivait encore dans son idéalisme primitif.
J’ai averti Friedrich de ne pas trop appuyer sur le voyage de Rome. Mais il se trouve une notice de 1887 où le Professeur dit que c’est depuis son retour de ce voyage qu’il est arrivé aux conclusions qu’il tenait encore. Je crois qu’il veut dire: depuis les recherches auxquelles il s’est livré dès lors, et non en conséquence des choses qu’il y a vues.
Il me dit qu’il achèvera cet hiver, avec le troisième volume.
Vous me donnez une bien mauvaise nouvelle de cet ami vraiment supérieur. Je vois bien pourquoi ce mal doit lui être dangereux. Ce serait une grande perte, en Allemagne, pour la littérature Catholique—je crois, la plus grande.
Votre mari m’a envoyé une indication qui m’est précieuse sur le père Finlay et je l’en remercie, si vous me le permettez, par ces présentes.—Votre dévoué,
[1 ] Richard Simpson contributed to the Rambler four articles on ‘Edmond Campion.’ It is to these articles that Newman is referring.
[1 ] Dr. Ullathorne.
[1 ] This passage with that following is in Acton’s handwriting without date. Clearly they refer to Gladstone’s criticism of ultramontanism. Cf. with these two pages those in Letters to Mary Gladstone, second edition, 131-3, and 185-7.
[1 ]Massarelli, Bishop of Teles. The MS. referred to is his diary of the Council of Trent.
[2 ]Le Plat, Josse. Monumentorum ad Historiam Concilii Tridentini potissimum illustrandam spectantium amplissima collectio. These seven folio volumes contain many of the most important sources for our knowledge of the Council of Trent.
[3 ] The Décrétale Omnes is in the Decretale of Gregory IX, and purports to come from Clement III. Its wording is as follows:—Omnes principes terræ et ceteros homines episcopis obedire beatus Petrus præcipiebat.
[1 ]L’évêque de Lérida. This is Antonio Augustin, afterwards Archbishop of Tarragona. He wrote two books of dialogues, De Emendatione Gratiani, and also a treatise on the Pope.
[2 ]Le Professeur here, as always, means Döllinger.
[3 ] Count Emerich Arco-Valley, one of Acton’s brothers-in-law. He was in the German Diplomatic Service, and died as German Minister at Athens in 1909.
[1 ]Panizzi, Sir Anthony (1797-1879), an Italian by birth. He was appointed assistant Librarian by Brougham in 1831. Afterwards he became Librarian. The present reading-room is due to him. He had a good deal to do with the inner life of both politics and literature of the reign of Queen Victoria.
[1 ]Pichler, Aloys (1833-74). Die Theologie des Leibnitz, 1869-70. He was supposed to have been one of the contributors to Quirinus, but this is not true. He wrote an earlier book on the schism between east and west.
[2 ]Klopp, Onno (1822-1903). Correspondance de Leibnitz avec l’Électrice Sophie, 1874.
[3 ] Twice during his later years Bossuet entered with Leibnitz into the question of reunion between Rome and the Protestants. It was rather Leibnitz’s stiffness than Bossuet’s that broke off the negotiations. With the English Act of Settlement in view, the Electress saw the advantage of remaining Protestant.
[1 ]Reeve, Henry (1813-95), editor of the Edinburgh Review from 1855. Chiefly known now as the editor of the Greville Memoirs.
[2 ]De Lisle, Ambrose Phillips. See his Life written by Purcell and E. De Lisle, 2 vols., 1901, on the Vatican Council, chap. xvii., ii. 32-96. De Lisle was a convert to Rome, but was an Inopportunist.
[1 ]Ripon, George Frederick Samuel (first Marquis of Ripon), was received into the Church of Rome on September 7, 1874. He was at that time Earl de Grey and Ripon. He was later on Viceroy of India, and became a marquis.
[2 ]Werner, Franz (1810-66), a Roman Catholic theologian who wrote much on the philosophy of religion.
[1 ]I.e. the famous Sendschreiben an einen deutschen Bischof.
[1 ] Dr. Henry Philpotts.
[1 ]Erwägungen für die Bischöfe des Conciliums über die Frage der päpstlichen Unfehlbarkeit, October 1869. J. von Döllinger, published in his Briefe und Erklärungen über die Vaticanischen Decrete.
[2 ]Affre, Denis Auguste (1793-1848), was Archbishop of Paris from 1840. He wrote a book on the origin and decadence of the temporal supremacy of the Popes. He was shot in attempting to pacify the insurgents in 1848.
[3 ]Rémusat, Charles Comte de (1797). He wrote against Lamennais, and contributed to the famous periodical Le Globe. He supported the Government of Louis Philippe and was exiled at the coup d’État of Louis Napoleon.
[4 ] The famous Falloux Laws, passed in 1850, by which freedom was secured to the Roman Catholic teaching of religion. This has been withdrawn since.
[5 ] To rigorous thinking.
[1 ]Neue Erwägungen über die Frage der päpstlichen Unfehlbarkeit, aus den anerkannten historischen Werken Döllingers urkundlich zusammen gestellt, 1870.
Presumably this is the “enlarged” Erwägungen referred to.
[2 ] This letter is of capital importance. It indicates the great divergence which Acton for the first time discerned between himself and Döllinger. Félix Dupanloup, the great Bishop of Orléans, died in October 1878. He was an Inopportunist, although not strictly speaking an anti-infallibilist. He had defended the Syllabus of Pio Nono. In a previous letter Acton indicates considerable contempt for him. In the Nineteenth Century for February 1879, Lady Blennerhassett published a laudatory article on Dupanloup. Acton, as this letter shows, was much disturbed by this article. It seemed to him that such eulogy bordered on the insincere. What, however, disturbed him still more was this. The venerated “Professor” had actually blessed the article with an introductory letter which is printed in the Nineteenth Century. In consequence of this there were many discussions between Acton and Döllinger. Döllinger, although he was excommunicated, because he would not accept the Vatican Decrees, was yet more lenient than Acton in regard to the toleration of persectuion. Neither of them approved persecution. Döllinger was unwilling to go so far as Acton in asserting the final damnation of all persecutors, and all favourers of persecution. This is the cause of the bitterness of the concluding paragraph of this letter. The next letter expounds Acton’s principles.
[1 ]Minghetti, Marco (1863-4). The Italian Premier was a personal friend and distant connection of Acton. Many letters from Minghetti to Acton exist.
[2 ]The duc d’Audiffret-Pasquier. A great French politician and military authority, was elected to the Académie Française in the place of Mgr. Dupanloup. In accordance with etiquette, his opening speech, delivered on February 19, 1880, was an elaborate eulogium of his predecessor. Acton’s ironical compliments are written in anticipation of this and are justified. The oration is to be found in the Recueil des Discours, vol. for 1880-89, part v. pp. 65-97.
[1 ]Arbues, S. Peter of (1441-85). He was appointed by Torquemada to be Inquisitor provincial in Aragon. He was assassinated in 1485. Pius IX canonized him in 1867.
[2 ]Liguori, Saint Alphonsus de (1696-1787), founder of the Redemptorists Order and Archbishop of Palermo. He is well known for his work on the glories of Mary, and for his treatise on moral theology.
[1 ] This refers to the article on the “Massacre of St. Bartholomew,” which was published in the North British Review in 1869. It is reprinted in the volume on the History of Freedom.
[2 ]Rosmini, Antonio (1797-1855), founder of the Order of Charity. He was accused of dangerous Liberalism, although he was an Ultramontane. Cf. Letters to Mary Drew, 171, 184.
[3 ]Hefele, Karl Joseph von, Bishop of Rottenburg (1809-93), author of the History of the Councils. Hefele was a strong opponent of Infallibilism, and left Rome with the minority in July 1870. Ultimately he submitted, in 1871, to promulgate the Vatican Decrees in his diocese.
[4 ]Maistre, Joseph de (1753-1821), may be described as the founder of modern Ultramontanism. His most important works are Du Pape and De l’église Gallicane. His standpoint alike in regard to politics and religion made him a powerful supporter of the Absolutist reaction after the French Revolution.
[1 ]Gelehrtenversammlung. The Congress of Scholars at Munich in 1863 is described by Acton in the Home and Foreign Review of January 1864.
[1 ]The Malines days refer to the Roman Catholic Congress at Malines in 1863, at which Montalembert made a great pronouncement.
T. Lecanuet, Montalembert, iii. 347 et seq.
Le Discours de Malines. This refers to the speech of Montalembert, “L’Eglise libre dans l’Etat libre,” delivered in the Catholic Congress at Malines, 1863.
The appendix to the two speeches contains an account of how Cavour was led to utter the famous phrase through a correspondence with Montalembert, p. 177 et seq.
[2 ]Arbues, S. Peter of Arbues was canonized in 1867. This much upset Döllinger. This was the occasion of Döllinger’s article, Rom und die Inquisition.
Cf. Friedrich, Ignaz von Döllinger, iii. 444 et seq.
[1 ] Lady Blennerhassett had sent to Acton Döllinger’s correspondence with her.
[1 ]Sailer, Johann Michael (1751-1832), Bishop of Regensburg. Sailer, both as professor and writer, had great influence on developing the inner and more spiritual life of the Church. He was accused of coquetting with the extremer mystics.
[1 ] The Countess Leopoldine Arco-Valley, Acton’s sister-in-law.
[1 ]Ségur, Louis Gaston Adrien, Mgr. de (1820-81); see his Life written by his brother, Souvenirs et Récit d’un Frère. He was auditor of the Rota, and given the episcopal privileges on his retirement.
[2 ]Moehler, Johann Adam (1796-1838), the author of the Symbolik, one of the greatest works of Catholic apology, was professor at Munich from 1835. Cf. Acton’s account of him in the article on German Schools of History. Döllinger had great admiration for him and edited his posthumous works. Friedrich published a work on him in 1894.
[1 ] Rio’s Epilogue à l’Art Chrétien.
[2 ]Rio. This refers to the visit of “The Pilgrims” (Lamennais, Montalembert, and Lacordaire) to Munich in 1832. A banquet was given in Lamennais’ honour by the artists and authors. What Lamennais had in his pocket was the encyclical Mirari Vos and a letter from Cardinal Pacca suppressing Lamennais’ writings. After the banquet Lamennais and the others took coffee at the charming village of “Menterschweige.” It was only the evening after that Lamennais told his friends. Cf. Lecanuet, Montalembert, i. 321 et seq. Rio, Epilogue à l’Art Chrétien, i. 166 et seq.
[1 ]Ces demoiselles, the Rios.
[1 ]Friedrich, Johann, author of the History of the Vatican Council, and the Life of Döllinger, each in 3 vols. Also a tract on Der Mechanismus der Vatikanischen Religion.
[1 ]Thomas Graves Law (1836-94), after being a priest of the Brompton Oratory (1860-78), left the Roman Church and became in 1879 Keeper of the Signet Library in Edinburgh. His best known books are those on the conflicts between Regulars and Seculars in the Reign of Elizabeth, and on the Archpriest Controversy.
[2 ]A. W. Hutton (1848-1912) had at one time been Librarian of the Oratory at Edgbaston. At this time he was Gladstone Librarian of the National Liberal Club, and edited Gladstone’s speeches. He wrote on Newman, and finally became Rector of Bow Church.
[1 ] If you remember that you are the only person to whom I can speak out entirely openly concerning my inmost thoughts, you will understand how anxious I am to see you again.
[1 ]Aston Manor. A by-election took place at Aston Manor, March 20th, 1891. It resulted in a much larger majority for the Unionist candidate than had been expected. This was due to the influence of the O’Shea divorce case, and the consequent split in the Home Rule Party.
[2 ]Creighton’s Chair. Mandell Creighton, Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge, became Bishop of Peterboro’ in 1891. His successor was Henry Melville Gwatkin, who died in November 1916.
[3 ]Knowles, James, the founder and editor of the Nineteenth Century.
[4 ] Döllinger was never definitely an “Old” Catholic, i.e. he never acknowledged the jurisdiction of Bishop Reinkens.
[1 ]The Bonn Conference was a reunion and conference of old Catholics and others held in 1874-75 under the Presidency of Döllinger.
[2 ] Mr. C. Newdigate (1816-1887) was a rather absurd embodiment of extreme reactionary views in politics. He was member for North Warwickshire from 1843 to 1885.
[3 ] Ince succeeded Mozley as Regius Professor of Divinity at Oxford in 1878, and held the post till 1910.
[1 ]Séché, Léon, author of Les Derniers Jansénistes, 1891, and Les Origines du Concordat, 1894, and many works on the Romantic Movement.
[2 ]The Frankfort Parliament. Döllinger was elected a delegate to the National Assembly at Frankfort in 1848. Cf. Friedrich’s Life, ii. ch. xvii. pp. 363-422.
[1 ] This refers to Lord Rosebery’s Pitt.
[2 ] This letter refers to Acton’s projected Life of Döllinger. It was never written. All we have is the paper from the English Historical Review, published in the History of Freedom, pp. 375-434.
[3 ] Manning, as will be remembered, began life in the Colonial Office. He died on January 14, 1892.
[1 ] The statue of Newman never went to Oxford after all. It stands now outside the Brompton Oratory.
[1 ] A. W. Hutton.
[2 ]Walewski, Alexandre Florian Joseph Colonna, Comte (1810-68), a Pole by birth, who became a French politician. He was ambassador at London. It was he who obtained from Palmerston the swift recognition of Louis Napoleon, which was the cause of Palmerston’s famous dismissal. He was French plenipotentiary at the Congress of Paris at the close of the Crimean War.
[3 ] See Montalembert’s side in Lecanuet, Vie de Montalembert, iii.
[1 ]Foisset, Joseph Théophile. Le Comte de Montalembert, 1877.
He was a friend of Montalembert, and published three articles in the Correspondant of 1872. These were republished in 1877 with an introduction by M. Douchaire, in order to defend Montalembert from the charge of meditating apostasy.
[2 ] Count Ratti-Menton, author of Rome et l’Intérêt français (1865).
[1 ]Le Génie du Christianisme, by François René, Vicomte de Chateaubriand, 1802.
[2 ]Sarasa, Alphonso Antonio de (1618-67), was a Jesuit. He wrote Ars semper gaudendi.
[1 ]Holden, Henry (1596-1662), a Roman Catholic divine, prominent on the secular side in the disputes between secular and regular clergy in England. “No man took more pains or was more successful in separating the approved tenets of the Church from the superstructure of school divines.”—Gillow, Biog. Dict. of the English Catholics.
[2 ]Davenport, Christopher (1598-1680), known as Franciscus a Sancta Clara. He wrote a book on the Thirty-nine Articles, which took very much the same line as Newman was to take in Tract XC. He wrote other books of apology.
[1 ] The Fathers of the Oratory at Edgbaston.