Born: Isaac Maddox, bishop of Worcester (Vindication of Government, &c., of Church of England), 1697, London; Thomas Campbell, poet (Pleasures of Hope), 1777, Glasgow; George Biddell Airy, astronomer-royal of England, 1801, Alnwick.
Died: James I, king of Aragon, 1276, Xativa; Henri, Marèchal de Turenne, killed near Saltzbach in Alsace, 1675; Pierre Louis de Maupertuis, natural philosopher, 1749, Basel; Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin, naturalist, 1774, Achmetkent, in the Caucasus; George Burnet, Scottish painter, 1816; Dr. John Dalton, eminent chemist, 1844, Manchester.
Feast Day: Saints Maximian, Malthus, Martinian, Dionysius, John Serapion, and Constantine, martyrs, commonly called 'The Seven Sleepers,' 250. St. Pantaleon, martyr, 303. St. Congall, abbot of Iabhnallivin, Ireland. St. Luican, confessor, of Ireland.
LEGEND OF THE SEVEN SLEEPERS
The festival of the Seven Sleepers, commemorated on the 27th of July, was introduced into the Christian church at a very early period. The legend on which it is founded, relates that the Emperor Decius, having set up a statue in the city of Ephesus, commanded all the inhabitants to worship it. Seven young men, disobeying this mandate, and being unambitious of the honour of martyrdom, fled to Mount Caelius, where they concealed themselves in a cavern (anno 250). Decius, enraged, caused all the various caverns on the mount to be closed up, and nothing was heard of the fugitives till the year 479, when a person, digging foundations for a stable, broke into the cavern, and discovered them.
Disturbed by the unwonted noise, the young men, who had been asleep all the time, awakened; feeling very hungry, and thinking they had slept but one night, they despatched one of their number into Ephesus to learn the news, and purchase some provisions. The antiquity of the coin proffered by the messenger at a baker's shop attracted suspicion, and the notice of the authorities. After an investigation, the whole affair was declared to be a miracle, and in its commemoration the festival was instituted.
This legend, which is merely an adaptation of a more ancient one, has found a place in the Koran. According to the Mohammedan account, the sleepers were accompanied by a dog, named Kratim. This animal, after its long sleep, becoming a great prophet and philosopher, has been admitted into the Mussulman's paradise, where it sits beside the ass of Balaam. The other eight animals that enjoy this high privilege, are the ant of Solomon, the whale of Jonah, the ram of Isaac, the calf of Abraham, the camel of Saleh, the cuckoo of Belkis, the ox of Moses, and the mare of Mohammed.
Alban Butler gives a rational cast to the legend of the Seven Sleepers. He conceives that the young men were put to death, by being walled up in a cave, and that only their relics were discovered in 479. These relics he states to be preserved in a large stone coffin, in the church of St. Victor, at Marseilles. He further cites from Spon's Travels,that the cave of the Seven Sleepers continued in modern times to be the object of devout pilgrimages.
At one of the early meetings of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, it drew out into prominence, and directed great reverence to, an old man from Manchester, who had been, up to that time, but little known to his fellow-citizens. For a long course of years, he had been an obscure teacher of mathematics-he was a Quaker-he was an unobtrusive and, to all outward appearance, an insignificant person. It was now learned, for the first time, by many of the Manchester people, that this quiet little old man enjoyed high esteem in the scientific world, as the originator of a theory of the utmost importance in chemistry, and was indeed one of the great men of his age, living there, as it were, in a disguise framed of his own superabundant modesty.
John Dalton, the son of a Cumberland yeoman, was born at Eaglesfield, near Cockermouth, on the 5th of September 1766. At the age of thirteen, he began to earn his living by teaching, and at twenty-seven he went to Manchester as a lecturer on mathematics. Until pensioned by government in 1833, he gave lessons at eighteenpence an hour in mathematics. He declined several offers to provide him with a competency, so that he might give his undivided attention to chemistry; asserting ' that teaching was a kind of recreation, and that if richer, he would not probably spend more time in investigation than he was accustomed to do.' He was of course frugal and provident.
The apparatus of his laboratory was of the simplest, and indeed rudest kind; scarcely superior to that of Wollaston, who, on a foreign chemist expressing an anxious desire to see his laboratory, produced a small tray containing some glass tubes, a blow-pipe, two or three watch-glasses, a slip of platina, and a few test-tubes. Dalton was a bachelor, altogether of most quiet and regular habits. Twice each Sunday he took his seat in the Friends' meeting-house, and for forty years he ate his Sunday-dinner at one friend's table. The afternoon of every Thursday he spent in a bowlines green, assigning as a reason that he liked to take his Saturday in the middle of the week. He was fond of exercise in the open air, and made an annual excursion among the mountains of Cumberland and Westmoreland. He did not read many books, and was singularly indifferent to all that was written concerning himself. His words were few and truthful. A student who had missed one lecture of a course, applied to him for a certificate of full attendance. He declined to give it, and then relenting, said: 'If thou wilt come tomorrow, I will go over the lecture thou hast missed.' Dalton enjoyed robust health; he was middle-sized, and of a figure more sturdy than elegant. His head and face bore a striking resemblance to the portraits of Sir Isaac Newton. Like Newton, he referred his success, not to genius, but to patience and industry. 'These, in my opinion, make one man succeed better than another.'
It is in connection with the Atomic Theory that the name of Dalton promises to go down to posterity. The constitution of matter with respect to divisibility, has been debated from very ancient times. Some hold that its divisibility is infinite, and others, that its reduction is only possible to the extent of atoms. Newton expressed the latter opinion in these words: All things considered, it seems probable that God, in the beginning, formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes, figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them; and that these primitive particles, being solids, are incomparably harder than any porous bodies compounded of them; even so very hard as never to wear or break to pieces, no ordinary power being able to divide what God made one in the first creation.'
At this point Dalton took up the question. He began by assuming that matter, although it may in essence be infinitely divisible, is in fact only finitely divided, so that each element consists of particles or molecules of a definite and unchangeable weight, size, and shape. He had observed that in certain chemical compounds the elements united in a constant proportion; for example, water, when decomposed, yields one part by weight of hydrogen, and eight parts by weight of oxygen; and it would be useless to try to combine eleven parts of oxygen with one part of hydrogen; water would be formed, but three parts of oxygen would be left free as overplus. What is the reason for the maintenance of this combining proportion? asked Dalton. In his answer, we have the atomic theory, or rather hypothesis.
Taking for granted the existence of atoms, he went on to conceive that in the several elements they vary in weight; atoms of gold from atoms of silver, atoms of iodine from atoms of chlorine; but, on the other hand, that all atoms of the same element are of uniform weight; thus, that any atom of iron is equal to any other atom of iron the world over. We have observed that water is compounded of eight parts by weight of oxygen to one part by weight of hydrogen, and an explanation of the combination is offered in the supposition, that each atom of oxygen is eight times as heavy as one of hydrogen. Further, it is presumed, that in the union of oxygen with hydrogen, the atoms of each are not interfused, but lie side by side, complete in their individuality. If, therefore, the weight of an atom of hydrogen be 1, and an atom of oxygen be 8, it is impossible that their smallest combining proportion, by weight, can be other than 1 and 8. The smallest quantity of water, in this view, must then consist of one atom of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, bound together in that mystic tie which we term chemical affinity.
The example we have chosen from the constitution of water is a simple illustration of the constant proportion which exists throughout chemical compounds with infinite, complex, and multiple variations. It was in 1803 that the great cosmic idea entered Dalton's mind. In 1804, he explained it in conversation to Dr. Thomas Thomson of Glasgow, who, in 1807, gave a short sketch of the hypothesis in the third edition of his System of Chemistry. The asserted law of combination in constant proportions was quickly tested in a multitude of experiments, and the facts clustered to its confirmation.
It was discovered that there was as little chance or haphazard in the concourse of atoms as in the motions of planets. The hypo-thesis gave a prodigious impulse to the science of chemistry; it shot light through all its realms, and reduced a chaos of observations to purpose and system. Before Dalton's happy conception there was not a single analysis which could be trusted as correct, or a single gas whose specific gravity was known with accuracy. In the arts, his service was beyond value. He gave the manufacturing chemist a rule whereby he could preclude waste, teaching him how to effect combinations without the loss of an ounce of material. Even supposing that in the future Dalton's notion of the coacervation of infinitesimal atoms should prove erroneous, his merit will remain untouched; for that properly consists in the discovery and promulgation of the law of constant proportion in chemical unions, where before law was unknown, or at any rate only dimly surmised. The theory of atoms was merely an attempt to reveal the mystery of the law, which will abide, whatever may be the fate of the theory.
Dalton was almost insensible to differences in colours. Whereas most persons see seven colours in the rainbow, he saw only two-yellow and blue; or at most, three-yellow, blue, and purple. He saw no difference between red and green, so that he thought `the face of a laurel-leaf a good match to a stick of red sealing-wax; and the back of the leaf to the lighter red of wafers.' When, at Oxford, Dr. Whewell asked him what he would compare his scarlet doctor's gown to, he pointed to the leaves of the trees around them.
When a young man, 31st October 1794, he read a paper before the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society, entitled Extraordinary Facts Relating to the Vision, of Colours, drawing attention to his own deficiency, which thenceforth became known under the name of Daltonism. Colour-blindness is by no means an uncommon affection. Dalton was acquainted with nearly twenty people in his own case. Dugald Stewart, the metaphysician, was one of them: he could not distinguish the crimson fruit of the Siberian crab from the leaves of the tree on which it grew otherwise than by the difference in form. Dalton tried to account for his peculiarity by supposing that it arose from the vitreous humour of his eyes having a blue tint instead of being colourless like water, as in the majority of man-kind.
After his death, in obedience to his instructions, his eyes were dissected; but no peculiarity could be detected. The true explanation of colour-blindness is, we apprehend, a phrenological one-namely, that in persons insensible to colours there is a deficiency or mal-organisation in that portion of the brain which receives impressions of colour; just as there are some similarly deficient in the sense of tune, and who cannot distinguish between one piece of music and another. In one thus insensible to melody, we do not assume any defect in his ears, but a deficiency in that part of his brain assigned to the organ of tune.
The author of The Pleasures of Hope died at Boulogne, June 15th, 1844, at the age of sixty-seven, and was interred in Poets' Corner, Westminster Abbey. He had held for forty-five years a place in the first rank of living poets. He was born at Glasgow, of West Highland parentage; but the most remarkable circumstance connected with his entrance into the world was the fact that his father, at the time of his birth, numbered as many years as he himself was destined to attain. The poet was a man of small stature, of handsome face and figure, animated in conversation, liberal in his political and religious ideas, fond of old friends, could sing a droll song and tell a pleasant story at table, had a very good power of formal public address, and was altogether an amiable and respect-able man through life.
Of his pleasant table-anecdotes we remember one regarding himself. He tarried at a London book-stall one day, and after some conversation with the bookseller, purchased a book, which he requested to be sent home. The bookseller, who had previously appeared interested in his conversation, no sooner saw his name on the card he handed, than he seemed to become additionally excited, and finally he blundered out: 'May I inquire, sir?-but-are you, sir-are you the great Mr. Campbell?' The poet had the caution to ask who it was he considered as the great Mr. Campbell, but not without a tolerably safe conclusion in his own mind that the author of the Pleasures of Hope was the man in question. The answer was: 'Oh! Mr. Campbell, the missionary and author of Travels in South Africa, to be sure!'
For a few years previous to 1824, a Danish litterateur, named Feldborg, resided in Britain-chiefly in Scotland, where he brought out a book of considerable merit, entitled Denmark Delineated. He was good-natured, clever, and entertaining, and much a favourite with Wilson, Lockhart, and other illuminate of the north. It appears that he had also made the acquaintance of Campbell, who, on giving him a copy of his poems containing the ode on the Battle of the Baltic, thought proper to address him in the following lines (heretofore, as we believe, inedited):
Think me not, Danish stranger, a hard-hearted pagan,
If you find, mid'st my war-songs, one called 'Copenhagen,'
For I thought when your state join'd the Emperor Paul,
We'd a right to play with you the devil and all;
But the next time our fleet went your city to batter,
That attack, I allow, was a scandalous matter,
And I gave it my curse-and I wrote on 't a satire.
To bepraise such an action of sin, shame, and sorrow,
I'll be - if I would be the laureate to-morrow.
There is not (take my word) a true Englishman glories
In that deed-'twas a deed of our merciless Tories,
Whom we hate though they rule us, and I can assure ye,
They had swung for 't if England had sat as their jury.
But a truce to remembrances blackened with pain,
Here's a health to yourself, and your country, dear Dane.
As our nations are kindred in language and kind,
May the ties of our blood be the ties of our mind,
And perdition on him who our peace would unbind!
May we struggle not who shall in fight be the foremost,
But the boldest in sense-in humanity warmest;
May you leave us with something like love for our nation;
Though we're still curs'd by Castlereagh's administration,
But whatever you think, or wherever you ramble,
Think there 's one who has loved you in England
At a public dinner, in those days when England and France were at mortal enmity, Campbell proposed the health of Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of the French. The company was astounded, and on the poet being asked why he could give such a toast, he replied: 'Because he once shot a book-seller!' Campbell sadly forgot, on this occasion, the handsome and even generous treatment he had experienced from the first booksellers with whom he had any important transaction.
His poem, The Pleasures of Hope, was written before he had attained his twenty-second year, and while earning his living as a tutor in Edinburgh. In long walks about Arthur's Seat, he conned over its lines until they satisfied his fastidious ear. When the poem was finished, the question arose, how to get it printed without expense or risk of loss? The title had nothing to commend it in the way of originality. Akenside's Pleasures of Imagination had long been published, and Rogers's Pleasures of Memory had been familiar to the world for six years. He had some acquaintance with the firm of Mundell & Son, for whom he had abridged Bryan Edwards's West Indies for £20, and to them he offered his manuscript.
Pleased with the poem, yet with slight expectation of pecuniary advantage, they agreed to publish it on condition that Campbell should assign to them the copyright, in return for which they would give him two hundred copies of his book in quires-that is, unbound. Judged by the event, this may seem to have been a niggard bargain; but a better it would be very difficult to make with a manuscript poem, of whatever merit, by an unknown author, though the salesman should trot from east to west of London, and try Edinburgh and Dublin to boot. The Pleasures of Hope made its appearance in May 1799. A few copies spread from hand to hand, and were read in Edinburgh with delight and astonishment. Quickly the news flashed through the world of letters, that a poet had appeared whose prime, should it realize the promise of his youth, would register his name among the immortals.
Edition after edition of the poem was bought up, and Mundell & Son shared the profits of their speculation with the author, giving him £25 on every thousand printed, or a royalty of sixpence a copy. Further, in 1802, they allowed him to print, in quarto, for his own benefit, a seventh edition, containing The Battle of Hohenlinden, Ye Mariners of England, The Exile of Erin, and Lochiel's Warning. By this venture, it is said, he cleared £600. Mundell & Son only ceased to pay their voluntary tribute after a quarrel with the poet. It is estimated that from The Pleasures of Hope he derived at least £900, which, as the poem contains 1100 lines, is at the rate of 15s. a line-not poor pay, certainly.
Campbell wrote little and at long intervals, and nothing in marked excess of his early efforts. His powers appear to have been paralysed with a dread that he should produce anything beneath the standard of his youth. But the fame of The Pleasures of Hope was a source of easy income to him through life. For his name as editor of books and magazines, publishers paid him large sums; and in 1806, before he was thirty, the Fox ministry endowed him with a pension of £200 a year. Poetry, if it was a hard mistress to Burns, was a most bountiful one to Campbell.
Reverting to Campbell's feeling about book-sellers, it is to be admitted that he shared it with many authors. For what cause we know not, it is an opinion commonly entertained that a publisher is unjust if he on any occasion profits more than the author. If he buys a doubtful manuscript on speculation, and its publication proves remunerative, the author goes about proclaiming that he has been outwitted or defrauded. If, on the other hand, the publication had proved a dead loss, it would never enter the author's head to refund the cash he had received, or to divide the deficit with the publisher. It must be obvious, that such conduct is childish in the extreme. In no trade, except literature, would such an outcry be heard with the least tolerance.
No commercial men, except publishers, are ever found sharing the gains of a speculation with those from whom they made their purchase. If Mundell & Son had bought a piece of land from Campbell, and in their hands its rental had multiplied however prodigiously, they would never have dreamed of sharing the increase with Campbell, nor would Campbell have ventured to expect a dividend. It is eminently unreasonable that publishers should incur odium for conducting their business on ordinary commercial principles. Happy is that author by whom a publisher is able to make a successful speculation! If The Pleasures of Hope had not been remunerative, Campbell would never have received great sums for editing magazines, nor a pension of £200 a year from government whilst quite a young man.
STORY OF JANE M'REA
On the 27th of July 1777, an incident occurred on the Hudson River, which temporarily threw a sad discredit on the British arms, then engaged in the hopeless attempt to preserve America to the British crown. An American army under Schuyler, was posted on the Hudson, with a rear-guard occupying Fort Edward on that river. The British army of General Burgoyne was in possession of the chain of lakes extending towards Canada. At this crisis, there resided with a widow close to Fort Edwards, a young lady of New York, named Jane M'Rea, who had a lover named Jones, a native loyalist, serving under Burgoyne. Her brother wished her to come to him in a safer part of the country; but it is supposed that she lingered at her friend Mrs. M'Neil's house at Fort Edward, in a dreamy hope of meeting her loyalist lover. She was a lovely girl of twenty, extremely intelligent, and of charming manners.
The British army had a number of red Indians in its employment, to assist in harassing the unfortunate colonists. They were strictly enjoined only to make captures, and not to commit murder; but it was impossible, by an injunction, to control such wild natures. The fact is, that they shed blood in many instances, and so left an indelible disgrace on the British name in that country. On the day above stated, a party of them assailed Mrs. M'Neil's house, and bore off herself and her guest Miss M'Rea, as prisoners, designing apparently to carry them both to the British camp. They were, however, pursued by some American soldiery, who fired upon them. Mrs. M'Neil was brought into camp, but of Jane M'Rea only the scalp, with her long flowing hair, was forthcoming. The poor girl had been shot by her own countrymen, and the Indians, seeing her dead, had brought away the bloody trophy, which they are accustomed to tear from the bodies of their enemies.
This tale of woe made a deep impression on the minds of the American people. It was universally believed, that the Indians had murdered Miss M'Rea, notwithstanding the palpably contradictory fact, that they had preserved the elder lady. The love affair added romance to the tragic story. It was held as a terrible example of the wickedness of employing the Indians in a civilised warfare. Poor Jones withdrew in extreme grief to Canada, where he lived to grow old, but was always sad, and never married. Jane lies buried in the small village cemetery, near Fort Edward, beside the grave of her friend Mrs. M'Neil.
LEGENDARY ACCOUNT OF GERBERT, MAGICIAN AND POPE
It was a peculiar feature of the middle ages, that, amid the general mass of ignorance, individuals arose possessed of such enormous mental powers, and so far in advance of their age, that, while the real effects of their great understanding were lost, their names became enveloped in a mist of superstitious wonder which gave them the repute of supernatural giants. A very remarkable example was furnished by the latter part of the tenth century, a period in the history of Western Europe which was not remarkable for its intellectual development. It was France which then produced a youth named Gerbert, of whom the old chroniclers tell us that the highest science then known seemed to be beneath his notice, while his mechanical inventions were the world's wonder. From the account which William of Malmesbury gives of his organ worked by hot water, we might be led to believe that he was not unacquainted with the power of steam. We cannot be surprised if such a man became the subject of innumerable legends, even in his own time, and the historian just quoted, who lived in the middle of the twelfth century, has collected some of them, which are not only curious in themselves, but place in an interesting light the manner in which science was then generally regarded.
According to these legends, Gerbert made his debut in the world as a monk of Fleury; but, dissatisfied with the unintellectual life which he led there, he fled from his monastery by night, and went to Spain, to study, among other things, the occult sciences at Toledo. This place was the great seat of learning among the Arabs of Spain; and, among the Christians of the middle ages, Arabian science was equivalent with magic and sorcery. Gerbert, according to the legend, lodged at Toledo with a Saracenic 'philosopher,' whose friendship he gained by his liberality (for he seems to have been possessed of wealth) and by the prospect of advancement in the world, and whose fair daughter became attached to the young student by more tender feelings. The philosopher instructed Gerbert in all hidden knowledge, and communicated to him freely all his books, with the exception of one volume, containing 'the knowledge of his whole art,' which nothing could induce him to impart to his pupil, while the latter became more eager to obtain what was so strictly forbidden.
At length, with the assistance of the young lady, Gerbert treacherously plied the Saracen with wine, and, while he was asleep in his bed, took the book from under his pillow, where it was concealed, and fled. The Saracen awoke, perceived his loss, and having discovered, by his knowledge of the stars, the robber and the road he had taken, pursued him without delay. Gerbert also had become acquainted with the stars, and through them he was made aware of the nearness of his pursuer, and of the danger which threatened him, and he adopted an ingenious stratagem. Coming to a wooden bridge, he took shelter under it, and suspended himself to the woodwork, so as to touch neither earth nor water. Then the Saracen, whose knowledge of Gerbert's movements reached only to those two elements, found himself suddenly at fault, and returned home to make further experiments in his art. He soon obtained the further knowledge he required, and again went in pursuit of Gerbert, who meanwhile had arrived on the sea-coast, and there, by means apparently of his stolen book, called up the Evil One, to whom he sold himself, on the condition that the latter should protect him from the Saracen, and convey him safely over the sea to France.
William of Malmesbury here interrupts his narrative to state his reasons for believing that Gerbert had really entered into a league with the devil; and then goes on to state that, on his arrival in France, he opened a school at Orleans, where he was respected by all the great scholars of the age, and had among his pupils the sons of Hugh Capet and the Emperor Otho, and other remarkable persons. When Robert, the son of the former, became king of France (A.D. 997), he made his old instructor, Gerbert, archbishop of Rheims. His other pupil, Otho, who had succeeded his father, Otho, as Emperor of Germany, afterwards raised Gerbert to the archbishopric of Ravenna, and, through that emperor's influence, he was subsequently (in 999) elected pope. 'Thus,' says William of Malmesbury, 'he followed up his fortune so successfully, with the aid of the devil, that he left nothing unexecuted which he had once conceived.'
The same old historian gives another story of Gerbert's shrewdness. There stood in the Campus Martins at Rome, a statue, having the forefinger of the right hand extended, and inscribed on the head the words, 'Strike here!' Many had believed that by obeying this injunction, they would discover a treasure, and the statue had thus been much mutilated by ignorant people; but Gerbert saw at once its meaning. Marking where the shadow of the finger fell at noonday, when the sun was on the meridian, he placed a mark on the spot, and returning thither at night, accompanied only by a trusty servant carrying a lantern, he caused the earth to open by his accustomed arts, and a spacious entrance was displayed. Advancing, they saw before them a vast palace, with walls of gold, golden roofs-in fact, everything of gold; golden soldiers playing with golden dice; a king of the same metal at table with his queen; delicacies set before them, and servants waiting; vessels of great weight and value, the sculpture of which surpassed nature herself.
In the innermost part of the mansion, a carbuncle of the first quality, though small in appearance, dispelled the darkness of night. In the opposite corner stood a boy, with a bow bent, and the arrow drawn to the head. When, however, the visitors attempted to touch any of these objects, all the figures appeared to rush forward to repel their presumption. Gerbert took warning, and controlled his desires; but his man, possessing less self-control, attempted to purloin a knife from the table, and instantly the figures all started up with loud clamour, the boy let fly his arrow at the carbuncle, and in a moment all was darkness. Gerbert compelled his servant to restore the knife, and then, with the aid of the lantern, succeeded in making their escape. It is hardly necessary to add that the entrance, then closed up, has never since been found.
This, as well as the next story, has been repeated in different forms, and in relation to different persons. Before Gerbert's great advancement in the world, he cast the head of a statue, which, by means of astrology, he endowed with the property that, if questioned, it would return an answer, and, moreover, would speak nothing but the truth. The first question put by Gerbert was: 'Shall I be pope?' to which the head replied, 'Yes!' He then asked when he should die, and was told that he would not die until he had sung mass in Jerusalem. Gerbert believed he had thus, in his own hands, the power of prolonging his life indefinitely, simply by not going to Jerusalem. He became pope in due time; but he was ignorant of the fact that there was a church in Rome which was popularly called Jerusalem. One day, while in the height of his prosperity, he performed mass in that church, and was at the same time suddenly seized with sickness. On inquiry, he learned the name of the church, and then, remembering the prophecy, he perceived it was fulfilled, and pre-pared for his death, which soon followed.
The same story is told in a more romantic form by another early writer, Walter Mapes. Mapes's version introduces a fairy-like being, named Meridiana, as greatly affecting the destiny of Gerbert. It also states that Gerbert, when pope, 'out of fear or reverence,' always avoided partaking of the Eucharist, using sleight-of-hand to keep up appearances before the people. It concludes as follows: Gerbert, when assured he was soon to die, called together, in a great meeting, the cardinals, the clergy, and the populace, and there publicly made a full confession of his life. He afterwards made an order that, in future, when the pope in person consecrated the bread and wine, instead of taking it himself with his back turned to the congregation, he should turn round and do it in the view of everybody. The few days which remained to him he passed in sincere penitence, and he made at last a very religious death. He was buried in the church of St. John Lateran, and it was said that his marble tomb in that church sweated, or exuded water before the death of people of note; the water becoming a perfect stream when it prognosticated the death of the pope, and at other times varying in quantity according to the rank of the individual whose death was thus announced.
Most of our readers will remember how this story of the equivocation of dying in Jerusalem was, at a much later period, transferred to our King Henry IV.