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"Then, I don't care if I do take a dhraw," says the Pope. Then Father Tom held the coal himself till his Holiness had the pipe lit; and they sat widout saying anything worth mentioning for about five minutes. At last the Pope says to his Riv'rence, "I dunna what gev me this plaguy hiccup," says he. "Dhrink about," says he -"Begorra," he says, "I think I'm getting merrier nor's good for me. Sing us a song, your Riv'rence," says he.

Father Tom then sung him Monatagrenoge and the Bunch o' Rushes, and he was mighty well pleased wid both, keeping time wid his hands, and joining in in the choruses, when his hiccup 'ud let him. At last, my dear, he opens the lower buttons ov his waistcoat, and the top one ov his waistband, and calls to Masther Anthony to lift up one ov the windys. "I dunna what's wrong wid me, at all at all," says he, "I'm mortial sick.'

"I thrust," says his Riv'rence, "the pasthry that you ate at dinner hasn't disagreed wid your Holiness's stomach."

"It was them plaguy pasthries," says his Riv'rence. "Hould his head hard," says he, "and clap a wet cloth over his timples. If you could only thry another dhraw o' the pipe, your Holiness, it 'ud set you to rights in no time."

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"Carry me to bed," says the Pope, "and never let me see that wild Irish priest again. I'm poisoned by his manesubplsch!-ach!-ach! He dined wid Cardinal Wayld yestherday," says he, "and he's bribed him to take me off. Send for a confissor," says he, "for my latther end's approaching. My head's like to splitso it is!-Oh my! oh my!ubplsch!-ach!"

Well, his Riv'rence never thought it worth his while to make him an answer; but, when he seen how ungratefully he was used, afther all his throuble in making the evening agreeable to the ould man, he called Spring, and put the but-end OV the second bottle into his pocket, and left the house widout once wishing "Good-night, an' plaisant dhrames to you"; and, in troth, not one ov them axed him to lave them a lock ov his hair. That's the story as I heard tould; but myself doesn't b'lieve over one-half ov it. Howandiver, when all's done, it's a shame, so it is, that he's not a bishop this blessed day and hour: for, next to the goiant ov St Jarlath's, he's

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"Oh my! oh!" says the Pope, "what's this at all?" gasping for breath, and as pale as a sheet, wid a could swate bursting out over his forehead, and the palms ov his hands spread out to cotch the air. "Oh my! oh my!" says he, "fetch me а basin! Don't spake to me. Oh-oh!-blood alive! Oh, my head, my head, hould my head !—oh !—ubh !-out and out the cleverest fellow I'm poisoned !—ach!" ov the whole jing-bang.

Printed by William Blackwood and Sons.

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THE General Elections in France, which commenced on 24th April and which will be terminated by the second ballot on 8th inst., present a novel feature. It is the unprecedented interference of the Church in the electoral struggle, under the direct inspiration of the Pope. Till the concordat was violently repudiated by the French State the Church was, so to say, the paid servant of the Government, and could not agitate against the public powers; and at the last general elections in May 1906 it was in much too disorganised a condition, after the promulgation of the Separation Law at the end of the month of December 1905, to exercise any political influence. Now the situation is different. The reorganisation of the Church has been effected with much greater ease and success than either its friends or enemies had imagined possible, and the at

VOL. CLXXXVII.—NO. MOXXXV.

tempt to create a schism having utterly failed, the whole Catholic Episcopacy of France obey the dictates of the Vatican with remarkable docility. Thus it may be truly said the Pope himself is at the head of the present electoral movement, though he was careful in giving his instructions to repudiate the idea of seeking to interfere in the political affairs of France. However, when over 60 French prelates and some 60,000 French pilgrims paid a visit to the Vatican on the occasion of the beatification of Joan of Arc last summer, Pius X. urged all the French Catholics, without distinction of party, to unite at the coming elections in favour of religion and the Catholic Church. Subsequently those verbal instructions were embodied in a letter signed by Cardinal Merry del Val and addressed to Colonel Keller. The document was destined to leave no sort of

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doubt or ambiguity with re- promptly. The programme of gard to the Pope's wishes. this Union was expounded in He then demanded, and has two successive pamphlets, and continued to demand, of all the may be summed up as follows: French Catholics-Republicans, 1st, Men of all parties should Royalists, and Imperialists-to unite to demand and to defend rally round their bishops in the civil and religious liberties ; electoral struggle, subordinat- 2nd, As the interests of reing their divergent political ligion, society, and France preferences to the interests of should take precedence of the the Catholic Church and re- interests of persons and parties, ligion, including those social the candidates at the elections interests which are closely must be chosen among those allied to those of religion. This Catholics who have the greatest appeal was soon responded to chance of success, and all the almost simultaneously by Mgr. members of the Union, whether Germain, Archbishop of Tou- Royalists, Imperialists, or Relouse, and Mgr. Turinaz, publicans, should support those Bishop of Nancy. The former candidates with their votes, constituted what he named a influence, and pecuniary reDiocesan Catholic Alliance, sources. Mgr. Turinaz went composed of all the most in- yet further, and invited all fluential Catholics of his dio- "honnêtes gens" (good honest cese, without distinotion of men), though only nominally political party. The electoral Catholics, and perhaps freeprogramme adopted by the thinkers, to support the Union, Alliance comprised the re- in the name of liberty. In establishment of religious peace the dioceses adhering to the (1st) by a direct understanding National Catholic Union no with the Sovereign Pontiff, or bishop or priest formed part of failing that, by new legislation any electoral committee. ensuring the complete liberty choice of the candidates was of the Church; and (2nd) by the left entirely in the hands of complete liberty of education. laymen. Nevertheless, each A Diocesan Electoral Com- bishop reserved to himself the mittee, with Mgr. Germain at right to supervise the action of its head, was appointed with the electoral committees in so the mission to support only far as the defence of religious those candidates who would interests was concerned. The inscribe the above-mentioned electoral programmes of the demands in their electoral candidates supported by the programmes. Several Bishops Union were therefore very followed the example set by similar to those imposed by the Archbishop of Toulouse. Mgr. Germain's Diocesan AlOn his side Mgr. Turinaz con- liance,-that is to say, they stituted at about the same comprised the demand for the time what he called the resumption of relations between National Catholic Union. Over the Vatican and the French 50 prelates adhered to it Government, and the liberty of

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education. Indeed, in many cases the candidates of the Union demanded the equal division of the money voted annually by Parliament for public instruction among all educational establishments in proportion to the number of pupils attending them. It was argued that it was unfair that Catholic parents who send their children to free (Catholic) schools should have to contribute to the budget of public instruction without deriving any advantage from it, and at the same time be under the necessity of paying for the education of their children. The Pope, who was the inspirer of the Catholic Union as well as of the Catholic Alliance, blessed both of them, and expressed high approval of their programmes.

The Catholics therefore entered on the electoral campaign denouncing the laws of exception promulgated against the Church, and, above all, the attempt of the freethinking Government of the Republic to complete the de-Christianising of France by its projected educational measures. With regard to this latter accusation it would be difficult for any one to deny it. On one occasion, in November 1906, M. Viviani, Minister of Labour in the Clemenceau Cabinet, and still retaining that post in the Briand Ministry, speaking in a great debate from the tribune of the Chamber on the application of the law for the Separation of Church and State, declared, "We all, by our ancestors and ourselves, have in

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the past striven to accomplish an anti-clerical, an irreligious work. We have torn faith from the hearts of men. When a poor wretch, worn out with the toil of the day, bent his knee in prayer, we raised him to his feet telling him that behind the clouds there was nothing but chimeras. With a majestic gesture we extinguished the lights of heaven which will never be rekindled. That is our work, our revolutionary work.' Though M. Briand, then Minister of Public Instruction and Public Worship, was less outspoken, his conduct has been in perfect harmony with his colleague's official utterances. He himself proposed the repeal of the Falloux law on the liberty of secondary education, and in his capacity of Prime Minister countersigned the two educational Bills presented to the Chamber by M. Doumergue in June 1908. Not content with that, he also countersigned M. Doumergue's recent Bill for what is called in the preamble the "better supervision" of the free (Catholic) schools. As the liberty of education is one of the principal questions at stake at the present elections, it is useful to examine in a few words the contents of those three projected educational measures which the Government had hoped to be able to hurry through Parliament before the expiration of its mandate.

It is necessary to state that many parents of children attending the Government educational establishments, having

discovered irreligious and anti- functions. It is stipulated in patriotic sentiments expressed it that for the future the

in some of the school textbooks, had either forbidden their children to study them or had torn out the objectionable passages. They had also protested strongly against certain irreligious verbal instruction given by the school teachers, and had prevented their children from attending some of the classes at which they considered such irreligious and anti-patriotic verbal teaching was given. It was with the object of putting a stop to this interference of the parents that the Minister of Public Instruction elaborated the Bill rendering it a penal offence, punishable with fine, and on the repetition of the offence, with imprisonment, for a parent or guardian to prevent a pupil of a State school from attending any of the olasses at which instruction stipulated for in the official programme is given, or to mutilate any book inscribed on the official list and placed in the hands of his pupils by the teacher, or, again, to hinder a pupil from studying such a work. Moreover, any person who should counsel or encourage a parent or guardian to violate the projected law will, when the measure is promulgated, be punishable with the same penalties as the actual offender. The second Bill presented to Parliament at the same moment was framed to protect the school teachers against prosecution by the parents of their pupils for offences committed in the exercise of their

Minister of Public Instruction is to be held civilly responsible for all offences committed by his subordinates-the school teachers-in connection with their professional duties. Every one at all acquainted with the manner in which justice is administered in France is well aware of the great difficulty, not to say impossibility, of obtaining a judgment against Government; yet in the case of a parent having to complain of either the corporal or intellectual treatment meted out to his child by a village school teacher, he must, according to the projected measure, of course prosecute the delinquent-who will, however, be supported by the Government advocate. Indeed the plaintiff will in practice have to prosecute the Minister of Public Instruction himself. In order to conceal the real object of this projected measure, the Government pretends the Bill offers greater guarantees to parents, because, in the case of condemnation to the payment of damages, there can be no doubt of the solvability of the State being greater than that of a schoolmaster. The third Bill laid on the table of the Chamber early in February, after the grand debate on the budget of Public Instruction in January last, when a large fraction of the Government majority demanded the creation of a State monopoly of education, would seem to be a step towards that system qualified by Renan

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