Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Of Etna roll their seething waves along
The country of the Cyclops, flooding forth
In streams of molten rock and spheres of fame!
And all the sky of Germany was filled
With noise of battle; and strange shudders shook
The mountain Alps.

And up and down the land,
Cleaving the silence of the sacred groves,
Sounded a voice of marvel, and there came
In the dusk twilight shadows of the dead
Wondrously pale ; and Oh! the horror of it!
Beasts spake like men.

The rivers ceased to flow,
And the earth opened, and great drops of sweat
Gathered upon the bronzes in the fanes,
And sculptured ivory shed grievous tears.
Whilst with his frenzied flood Eridanus,
The prince of rivers, whirled the woods away
And swept the cattle and their byres alike
Across the vasty plain.

And in those days
The ominous entrails of the sacrifice
Ceased not to threaten, and the wells ran blood,
And in the city street there rang o' nights
The howl of the wolf.

And down a fleckless heaven Streamed untold thunderbolts, and doomful stars Past numbering.

Then twice Philippi? saw In most unnatural combat Rome meet Rome And heard the clash of kindred swords; and twice The plains of Thrace and Macedon drank deep Of Roman blood : and the gods deemed it just.

6

So in those regions shall it come to pass,
That ploughmen, as they till the massy earth,
May light on Roman spears time-worn with rust,
Or with a clumsy mattock strike perchance
Some dead man's morion, and then view aghast
The giant bones within their cloven tomb.

6 Afterwards Padus or the Po.

* This passage apparently relates to the celebrated battle of Philippi, when Brutus and Cassius were defeated by Antony and Octavian, B.C. 42. Trice Philippi san' may be explained by the previous battle between Cæsar and Pompey, B.C. 48 wbich was fought near another town called Philippi, on the plains of Pharsalia.

Gods of our fatherland! Gods of our homes !
O Romulus and Mother Vesta, hear !
Guardians of Tiber and the Palatine,
Grant that this royal youth, who still is ours,
Become the saviour of a stricken world !
Forbid it not! For surely long ago —
Ay, to the full—our blood has washed away
The guilt of Troy and false Laomedon ;?
And long ago the envious halls of heaven
Have pined for Cæsar, making as their plaint
That he should heed the triumphs of this world,
A world forsooth where wrong and right are blent,
A world that teems with war, a world that reeks
With countless crime, where evermore the plough
Lacks its due honour, and the hind is forced
Far from his desolate fields, and reaping hooks
Are straightened into swords.

Lo! to the east
The tumult of Euphrates, to the west
Germania cries for war, and close at hand
Our neighbour cities break their leaguèd troth
And rush to battle! Fratricidal Mars
Rages from pole to pole.

So chariots Bound from the bars and dash along the course : Vainly the driver draws the bit ; his steeds Whirl him where'er they will; and thus the car Speeds to its goal unheedful of the rein.

BURGHCLERE.

8 The royal youth is, of course, Augustus.

· Laomedon, King of Troy, the father of Priam. He incurred the vengeance of Apollo and Neptune, by seeking their assistance to build the walls of Troy and then refusing their promised rewards. The Romans, claiming to spring from a Trojan origin, were supposed to have inherited the displeasure of the Gods for their ancestor's treachery.

THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE

DIOCESE OF ROCHESTER

CERTAINLY the conservative methods of Englishmen lead them into some oddities. Nearly half of the greatest city of the world has been forced by whimsical legislation to take as its title for church purposes, and to use for cathedral ones, the city of Rochester at the other end of Kent.

One day a speaker was descanting on the theory of a cathedral being the heart of the diocese, from which and to which its life blood would flow ;'very well,' was the rejoinder of a South Londoner, our diocese is like a man with his heart in his boot.' And this is fairly true; the heart is a good one, Rochester has been gallant, but the zeal of Thorold and his successors has so stirred diocesan life and self-respect that South London demands a diocese and centre of its

own.

The idea has, no doubt, occupied public attention for some while, but the Bishop of Rochester has believed that it would now be useful to focus some of the current thoughts, and he has desired me to do this in an article, not, however, in order to express any final opinion of his own, but to evoke discussion upon a topic which concerns a large number of interests.

It is for this reason that the article is cast into brief paragraphs and headings for reference.

SOME REASONS WHICH MAKE RECONSTRUCTION DESIRABLE.

The objections to the present condition of the diocese of Rochester, both in respect to its geography and its population, may be summed up as follows :

(a) The enormous population, now estimated at 2,000,000, and increasing yearly by many thousand souls.

(6) Its disjointed area : the two deaneries of Dartford coming in between the London and Rochester ends, and forming the diocese into a couple of islands.

(c) The fact that the cathedral city does not stand in the centre of interest for the larger part of the population ; consequently

cathedral and diocesan ideas are almost unknown in South London as applied to Rochester.

(d) Further, there are now two real centres of interest, each with its own natural surrounding-namely, South London and Rochesterand this latter, having an important sphere of its own in Chatham, Rochester, Strood, and Gravesend, is now overshadowed by London, and suffers from coming second in importance as well as from not having a resident Bishop; and this is the case, however much the recent occupants of the see have by sympathy and activity laboured to make it otherwise.

(e) The overwhelming burden which such a charge must be to any Bishop, however gifted.

(f) The difficulty of finance: because, although the suburbs with their many wealthy residents are really more fruitful sources of financial help for diocesan affairs than a few very wealthy persons who may be found in the more rural dioceses, yet these sources have never been fully used, because such persons must be personally known to and by their Bishop before they will give in their adhesion. One who knows the suburban residents well, by reason of many years' work among them, can bear witness that their independence is as great as their generosity, and that they desire to know the person who asks for their support. When this is done great results follow. But no Bishop, whatever his activity, can be in such relation to the residents of the suburbs in the present diocese.

(9) The present system makes a Suffragan necessary. Without here discussing the question whether the Suffragan plan is according to the idea and consecration of a Bishop, or fair to the sense of responsibility of the man so consecrated, it is tolerably certain that merchants and professional men who largely live in this diocese prefer to deal with the head man, and that no Suffragan can or should effectively take his place.

These are some of the reasons which make the division and rearrangement of the diocese an urgent question, and are altogether independent of the personality of those who hold or have held office therein.

VARIOUS PROPOSALS.

Four main proposals have been put forth :

(A)-A Surrey diocese pure and simple, with Southwark as the cathedral ; leaving to Rochester the Kentish portion of the diocese, possibly with the addition of the deaneries of Dartford regained from Canterbury. This proposal is varied by the plan of cutting off Farnham and its deanery, and leaving them still in the Winchester diocese.

(B)—An Archbishopric of London with four or five Suffragans, two of which should be south of the Thames, and take charge of the London part of the present diocese.

(C)-A diocese composed of that part of the metropolitan area south of the Thames comprised in the county of London and the postal district, together with a fringe of country occupied by those persons who make or have made their living in London as merchants, or in professions, or otherwise. Leaving a smaller diocese of Rochester, containing Rochester, Chatham, Strood, Gravesend, together with some portions of the diocese of Canterbury.

(D)—The same as (C), only dividing such metropolitan area into two dioceses, with a cathedral at Southwark and another at Croydon.

DISCUSSION OF THESE FOUR PROPOSALS.

(A) There is much which is attractive in this scheme, and it has, in times past, been advocated by some of the best friends of the Church; but there is no doubt that the population would be very huge if Surrey were one diocese, for the increase of recent years has made unwieldy what some while ago would have been a more reasonable charge. Those, therefore, who look forward to a permanent settlement of diocesan area must note that while Surrey already contains a population of more than a million and three-quarters, this crowd of souls is increasing, and there would be little relief to the Bishop in such a change.

Besides which, the cathedral at Southwark would be at an extreme corner of the diocese, and its influence would hardly be felt in such places as Godalming or Bagshot. In fact, both with regard to population and configuration, a diocese as inconvenient as the present Rochester would be re-created.

Added to these difficulties, it must be remembered that there are now practically two Surreys, one in the south-west, occupied still mainly by the old country element, the other having different interests, which cluster round London; and this is accentuated by the growing idea of the County of London, which is bound to make the divergence from old Surrey more distinct as time goes on, whatever the composition of municipal government may prove to be. These considerations are particularly forcible to those who desire to see in a diocese a growing unity of interests.

The Surrey proposal is also complicated by the existence of Farnham Castle. Some persons would probably like to see this old historic place abandoned, in which case it would be easier to consider a diocese composed of Surrey as a whole. Others, and they seem to be an increasing number, are recovering from that cry, and seeing a great future still for Farnham Castle, would regret to let it be lost either to the Church or to the old diocese of Winchester;

« AnteriorContinuar »