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THE CORONATION OF BENEDICT XV
was she who obtained for us the seats so heard saying, “ Thus pass the things of this near to where his Holiness would pass that world." And the procession moves again
” we could have touched him without unduly into the Sistine Chapel, the crowning glory stretching our arms. He said—the Noble of the greatest artist who has ever lived. Guard, not the Pope—that we could get in Within its consecrated walls the first Papal the Sistine Chapel after the procession had mass of Benedict XV was said. The dense passed; now it would be an impossibility. crowd interfered with our vision, but the
A little after half-past nine a shout such superb music drifted solemnly toward where as we had never heard before arose, a we stood by the wall, and, although the screen mighty roar, piling sound upon sound, the that cut the chapel hall in two hid most of high-pitched voices of women mingling with the ceremony, it did not hide that wonderful the deeper ones of the men, forming one ceiling of Michael Angelo's, which makes huge crashing chord of human tones. By everything human of small account. Beneath standing on tiptoe we could see that Bene- the pity and the horror of the “ Last Judgdict XV had entered the long hall, descended ment the ceremony went on and on, and the marble steps, and was seating himself in the music rose and fell like waves upon a the sedia gestatoria. First came the car- distant shore. About us in this chapel, built dinals, putting on their miters as they passed by Baccio Pintelli in 1473—a score of years their scarlet gowns covered with long white before the discovery of America—for Sixtus mantles embroidered with gold, and many IV, are some of the greatest masterpieces adorned with precious stones that sparkled of the Renaissance : frescoes by Perugino, as they walked. At the rear, nearest the Sandro Botticelli, Ghirlandajo, Lucca SignoHoly Father, came Cardinal Gibbons, his relli, and, above all, dwarfing all else, that sweet, kindly face in profound repose, his ceiling which still remains the artistic triumph eyes gazing straight ahead to where the can- of all times. dles in the Sistine Chapel flickered beyond a As the chapel grew hot and unbearably screen of gold.
close, we went out to promenade the terrace Following the cardinals came six candle- overlooking the courtyard of S. Damaso, bearers, and then, high above the people, borne which was full of waiting motor cars and on the shoulders of sixteen men, appeared restless horses. Beyond, across the Eternal Benedict XV. Above him the flabelli waved City, one saw the long yellow line of the those great feather fans which formerly were King's Palace, formerly the summer palace waved before the Emperors of pagan Rome. of the reigning Pope, and we could not but He looked neither to the right nor to the left wonder how long this could continue, the as he passed, blessing the people with the King of Italy and the Pope gazing at each three movements of the hand which signify other across the city for which they had both the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Attired fought, the defeated one refusing to acknowlin the smallest of the three white vestments- edge the victor, waiting patiently, quietly, a volthere are three always kept on hand, a small untary prisoner-waiting-waiting for what? one, a middle size one, and a large one, so When we returned, refreshed by the sunas to be suited to the cardinal who may be shine and air of the courtyard, the mass was elected-every few moments he lifted his almost ended, Lighted candles flickered left hand to adjust the heavy golden head- beyond the screen of gold; the odor of swelcovering that continually became displaced. tering humanity mingling with the fragrance His intellectual, determined, masculine face of incense hung heavy in the air. In a little was very pale ; the hand that dispensed while the procession reformed, and, led as the blessing trembled; and behind the spec- before by the cardinals, the Pope was borne tacles which, as in all his photographs, sit aloft amid his applauding people, his triple unevenly upon his nose, his eyes seemed crown upon his head, a smile upon his pale, tender and a little sad.
thoughtful face, the pagan feathers floating Thus he passed, first into the Pauline on before him like two enormous birds of Chapel, where are two almost forgotten fres- victory, his hand raised in benediction. Thus coes of Michael Angelo-" The Crucifixion of ended the solemn ceremony, and we found St. Peter" and " The Coronation of St. Paul." ourselves in the midday glare of the Piazza It is here that the three little piles of hemp of St. Peter's, our evening clothes looking out are lighted before the Pope ; as they flare of place as we called madly for a cab. up, one after the other, a solemn voice is Rome, Italy.
BY LYMAN ABBOTT
RECONSTRUCTION: THE PROBLEM
VOR the ten years preceding the Civil With these Negroes, companions only in
War a slave insurrection had been their misfortunes, were camps of white men
dreaded. The raid of John Brown had. and women fleeing from the South. Some thrown, not the State of Virginia only, but the of them were Unionists. A Northern man, entire Atlantic slave States, into a panic. The realizing the contempt with which the vichistory of the war proved this dread to be torious section regarded the "Copperhead," without just cause. The Negroes remained at should have been able to imagine the hatred home raising the crops while their masters felt in the defeated South for the Unionist. fought in the field to keep them in slavery. But the motto “Put yourself in his place" In some cases this patient waiting of the requires more imagination than most men
have been due to a habit of abject possess. Nor was it only Union men that submission which they had not the will power fled to the territory protected by Northern to break ; in many cases it was due to a feel- armies. Secessionists, deprived of home and ing of loyalty by the slaves toward the masters industry by the devastating progress of the and mistresses, for between them had grown war, fled for safety and support to the up a peculiar feeling of attachment which regions where war was not. And with them the North has never understood-loyalty of were many poor whites, who understood the service on the one hand, loyalty of protection causes and nature of the war even less than on the other. But more important than the Negroes whom they despised. Said a either was the religious faith of the Negro- Confederate prisoner who had been drafted superstitious, some think it; rational, I think into the Southern service to a friend of it. The Negro is something of a fatalist. He mine, “What did you-uns come down to realized that the problem in which he found fight we-uns for?” What answer could be himself, by no act of his, involved was far given to such a question with any hope that too great for him to understand.
it would be understood ? at work, and God would somehow accomplish What to do with these helpless colored his redemption. He could do nothing ; he "freedmen” and white “refugees” became must wait and see the salvation of the Lord. the perplexing problem of every division
But the Emancipation Proclamation commander as fast as his territory was wrought a gradual change in his feeling, cleared of Confederate forces. Rations could quickened his aspirations, and in hundreds of be, and were, provided out of the army's cases became a call to action. Even before stores. Shelter was provided where possithe Proclamation, Negroes had flocked from ble out of army barracks or abandoned their plantations to neighboring camps of the school-houses and churches. Here and there Federal armies. Benjamin F. Butler, with some fitful work was provided and some characteristic shrewdness, confiscated them as semblance of schooling. But to organize contraband of war, and “contrabands ” they either an industrial or an educational system became. After the Emancipation Proclama- was beyond the power of local authorities. tion, the exodus of slaves increased, and their That this must be done for all the territories title was changed to “ freedmen.” Thus grad- which had been devastated by the war gradually in all the Southern territory permanently ually became apparent to the people of the occupied by the Federal authority there grew North. It constituted the perplexing probup camps of Negroes, many of them almost lem of Reconstruction. as helpless as a lost dog without his master. It is easy, looking back, to see that the A race does not easily and quietly pass from men of that generation blundered egrea habit of dependence and submission into a giously, and brought upon the country, espehabit of self-support and self-control.
cially the South, and most of all upon the Copyright, 1914, the Outlook Company.
Negro race, tragic disaster by their blunder
ing. But it is not so easy, even in the light their slaves. By a stroke of the pen four of that experience, to see what they should million slaves had been transformed into have done. To build in a generation a new four million vagrants and paupers.
Under democratic civilization on the ruins of a feu- the existing laws of the various States they dalism overthrown, with only the impover- could not own a rod of land, or a house, or ished lands and the ignorant serfs as ma- personal property of any description. They terial, is a problem almost impossible of did not legally own the clothes they wore or achievement. A statement of some of the the shacks they might have constructed. elements of this complex problem may at They could not vote, nor hold office, nor sit least serve to make its difficulty apparent. on juries, nor testify in court, nor practice as
What should the victorious North do with lawyers or as physicians. They were not the vanquished States ? Should it regard legally married, and their children were not them as conquered territory to be held under legitimate nor legally subject to parental martial law until their conqueror had decided authority. what to do with them ? and was their fate Who should solve this problem? The wholly in the power of the victor, a power to States ? Surely, said the South; in the be exercised justly, perhaps generously, but State the Negro must live, in the State ply without any responsibility to the wishes of his industry; there he would be surrounded the conquered ? Or were those States still by his old masters, who had been his careparts of the Union, which had by their takers, understood his character, knew how rebellion abandoned their Statehood and to deal with him, and felt a real affection for lapsed into Territories, and were they to be him. Surely not, replied the North. To treated by Congress as Territories are treated, hand him over to the States was to hand provided with a Territorial government, and him over to the very community which for held in pupilage until they had proved their four years had been fighting a bloody war capacity for self-government in a free com- for no other purpose than to enslave him. monwealth? Or were they indestructible What they would do with him if they had the States in an indissoluble Union ? Were the power was apparent from what in some Confederate armies to be regarded simply as States they had attempted to do. It is not an organized mob, and, the mob having been strange that Southern men, who had never put down and a republican form of govern- seen the Negro work except under compulment having been re-established, were the sion, thought he never would work except seceding States to resume their place in the under compulsion, and for the authority of Union under the Constitution, with all the the master over the slave he owned attempted Constitutional rights and prerogatives of to substitute, in a system of serfdom, the States ?
auth ty of the State exercised through their Who was to undertake this work of recon- late masters over the freedmen. Should the struction ? Was it an executive function to Federal Government undertake the care of the be exercised by the President of the United Negro ? That meant that Congress should States? Was he to determine by his author- undertake it. And Congress was composed ity, as Commander-in-Chief of the United almost exclusively of Northern men, who did States, in what sections martial law might be not understand the Negro, never had lived abandoned and civil law re-established, and, among the Negroes, had no real affection for by his pardoning power, who of those lately the Negro, and could not understand his in arms against the United States might re- temperament, his ignorance, his superstition, sume the rights and prerogatives of citizen- his shiftless habits, his animal passions, his ship? Or was the work of reconstruction a disregard of property rights. Grant that Congressional function, and was Congress to these characteristics were relics of slavery ; determine, as it would in the case of con- still, it would require time, patience, and quered territory, on what terms the States intimacy of acquainance to emancipate him might come back into the Union from which from them. If, then, neither the State nor they had attempted to secede ?
the Nation could be trusted to take care of What should be done with the Negroes ? the Negro, why not trust him to take care The Emancipation Proclamation had relieved of himself ? Enfranchise him ; give him the them from all duty of service to their mas- ballot, and with it all the rights and privileges ters; but it had also relieved the masters and prerogatives of citizenship. Apply the from all duty of providing for and protecting principle of the Homestead Act. Use the
abandoned lands in the South, and, if neces- The October number of the “ New Engsary, confiscate the lands of the rebels, and lander,” a monthly review published at New give each Negro a lot for cultivation—forty Haven, contained an article from my pen on acres, was proposed. What if the South reconstruction. It was one of hundreds of objected to Negro suffrage? It would be articles, speeches, and sermons on this topic a just punishment. But the South would uttered throughout the North, but it was not long object. In a few years—five at the among the first of them. At the time the most, said Charles Sumner—the South would article was written the country was just reconquer its prejudice sufficiently to allow the covering from the most discouraging period late slaves to be their equals at the polls. in the war. Washington had been in serious Sumner was better acquainted with political danger from an invading force under General theories than with human nature. This, how- Early. Sheridan had been put in command ever, was the course finally adopted. The of the troops in the Shenandoah Valley just political power in the reconstructed States in time to recover the ground lost by previous was given to all loyal citizens, white or black, defeats. The armies of Hood and Thomas ignorant or educated. The results proved were confronting each other in Tennessee, that the ballot in the hands of ignorance is and the battle of Nashville had not yet been as effective an instrument for self-destruc- fought. General Sherman had occupied tion as for self-protection. I agree with Pro- Atlanta, but had not yet commenced his fessor Burgess that " it was a great wrong
famous march to the sea. Volunteering for to civilization to put the white man of the the army had ceased and a draft had been South under the domination of the Negro ordered. Gold had reached 2.85, the highest race.”? But the alternative propositions were price at any time during the war. At the also full of peril.
request of Congress, the 1st of August had The reader must not think that these been appointed by the President and observed theories were as clearly defined as I have by the people as a day of National humiliadefined them here. Public opinion at the
tion and prayer.
Horace Greeley, acting North was a swirl of contradictory opinions. for the discouraged and disheartened in the Members of the same political party held Republican party, had initiated his futile opposite opinions, and the same man often negotiations for peace with representatives held half a dozen opinions in as many weeks. of the Confederacy. The Democratic party Andrew Johnson, who as President became a had declared the war a failure, and the bitter opponent of Negro suffrage, was re- country was in the throes of a hotly contested ported on May 12, 1865, as in favor of it. election to determine whether it would inCharles Sumner, of Massachusetts, was an dorse the statement of Abraham Lincoln that ardent advocate of Negro suffrage; Governor no proposition for peace would be considered Andrews, of the same State, opposed it. It which did not embrace the integrity of the was a time of chaos. There was nothing in the whole Union and the abandonment of slavery, written Constitution or in the traditions of the or would sue for peace with a Confederacy Nation to govern, and little in either to guide. whose President had declared that the war History furnished no precedents. Except to “must go on till the last man of this generathe doctrinaire, there was no great political or tion falls in his tracks and his children seize moral principle on which the voter could take his musket and fight a battle, unless you his stand, sure that it was right, and therefore acknowledge our right to self-government.” sure that it was wise. Probably an My essay on the reconstruction needed, pubwhelming majority of the people of the North lished a month before the Presidential elecgave little thought to the problem. The tion of 1864, has historical significance only tense emotion aroused by the war was fol- as it indicates the spirit of the dominant seclowed by a reaction. The war had succeeded, tion of the Republican party; it has personal the Union was saved, slavery was abolished; significance because it led to a change in my why worry?
life as great as that made five years before This brief summary of conditions is neces- when I left the law for the ministry. This sary to make clear to the reader the nature justifies, if it does not necessitate, giving here and reasons of the change in my work which a fairly full abstract of this essay. I wrote : this chapter is to describe.
At the commencement of this war we were 1"Reconstruction and the Constitution,” by John W. Burgess, p. 133.
often sneeringly asked the question, Sup