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own affidavit. That those who come after us may learn to estimate the faction, which even now proposes “the rooting out of Popery” in Ireland, we shall here record, as samples of the whole, three of these precious charges which good Lord Bathurst and his emissaries gravely asked an English gentleman to answer.
“ Charge 3. That the Rev. N. R. Dennis, chaplain to the forces, and acting colonial chaplain, stated that the cause of the colonial secretary absenting himself from a meeting held for the establishment of a Bible Society, was his being considered a Roman Catholic ; that he never attended the Protestant service, or received the Communion agreeable to law (!); that, on Mr. Parker's
representing the insidious persecution he had received, Mr. Dennis was forcibly struck with a conversation he had had with Colonel Bird, respecting Popish priests; that he was convinced that Colonel Bird's being a papist was the cause of the treatment Mr. Parker had experienced. “7th. That through liberal remittances made by Colonel Bird from the Cape of Good Hope to his brother, the Rev. John Bird, the Jesuit priest at Preston,* and to his sister, Miss Bird, who conducted a nunnery or convent at Taunton, in Somersetshire, this and the Jesuit establishment at Stonyhurst have largely prospered. .... “ 9th. That Colonel Bird has hatched a conspiracy for supplanting Protestantism by Popery! in support of which, and through his direct influence at the Cape, Roman Catholics were appointed landdrosts of districts, political commissioners of Reformed Churches, and presidents of the Matrimonial Courts; whereby these interests are placed at the mercy, and under the control of Papists and Jesuits ! That the instances in which appointments of this nature have been made, are that of Captain Charles Trappes, a Catholic, to be provisional magistrate of Bathurst ; Captain Jones, a Catholic, to be landdrost of Albany; the landdrost of Swellendam, whose father was a Jesuit priest ; and, subsequently, Captain Trappes to be landdrost of Worcester."!!!
Well might the pious Reformed ones blush for shame and holy indignation! Bathurst! of all places under the sun of Afric! Bathurst! become the “provisional” portion of a hungry papist, whose very name recalls days of dungeons, and sliding panels, and sinking floors, “et quicquid Græcia mendax audet in historiâ !” And when the noble secretary of state might have dried his tears, because the deliverance of his captive namesake had arrived, and have sung with the emancipated district, “ Laqueus contritus est” (Trappes is departed), " et nos liberati sumus” (and our new landdrost will be a Dutch Reformed one), his joy was damped by the remembrance that Bathurst had not been abandoned by its cruel ensnarer until he had used it successfully as his bait to entrap the more desirable Worcester! So Albany, named “God wot after the truly-Protestant prince the Duke of York, the goodly Jachin of that Church whose lovely Boaz was his brother of Cumberland, had become an adultress, and, lapsing from her former vows, had fallen fast away into an idolatrous embrace! Much comfort was it still to find that the third landdrost, the supposed monster of Swellendam—the nondescript son of a son of Loyola, and logically speaking therefore the grandson of St. Ignatius himself, was much maligned therein by popular rumour, he himself being a dozing worshipper within those whitewashed walls wherein his departed progenitor had won much credit and desert as elder, or other spiritual Dogberry, according to the discipline of the Dutch Reformed Church! As to the alarming amount of offices enjoyed by live papists, conveying to “the spiritual mind” the idea of whole platoons employed to papistize the lieges at the Cape, it did somewhat relieve the harassing solicitudes of his majesty's secretary of state for the colonies to be made first acquainted with the circumstance, that, as often as he had been pleased to ratify his Excellency's appointments of landdrosts, so often had he warranted, by implication, appointments of political commissioners of churches and presidents of matrimonial courts in their respective districts, those offices being inseparable from that of landdrost!
* The zealous and excellent English provincial at this inoment.
For ten months the commissioners protracted their inquiry, amassing a large body of evidence, both oral and written, but altogether refusing to make any report upon the important matters in discussion. That all record of what these wiseacres did may not be lost, we hasten to procure for them, by the following extract from one of their laborious letters of enquiry addressed to a public functionary in the interior, the wondering applause of all who love to dwell with Bombastes Furioso, or Chrononhotonthologos .
“We feel ourselves compelled to address you on a question which has arisen in consequence of a reference to us by Earl Bathurst, of certain statements that have been made upon oath, in which it is alleged, that the appointment of yourself and others professing the Roman Catholic religion, was effected through the influence of Lieut.Colonel Bird, with a view of introducing Popery into this Colony, and of advancing the interests of the Society of Jesuits ! .... As we cannot venture to report upon these statements without obtaining the best evidence their nature admits, we feel that we shall stand excused by you in requesting to be informed, whether you have been educated in, and now profess, the Roman Catholic religion ? and whether you are a member of the Society of Jesuits ?”
We regret much that no report has ever been made by such valuable functionaries, or if made, that it has never been published. The only practical result indeed which that inquiry was known to have produced after being brought to its close, was the extrusion of one of the commissioners from Colonel Bird's drawing-room, into which his stolid insensibility had urged him to penetrate, in order to “bestow his tediousness” upon thàt gentleman, in the shape of a morning visit. But the real grievance—the ruin of the gallant martyr to faith and honour remained, and has abided until now.
The paltry pension which Lord Bathurst's remorse did not deny him, barely sufficient to maintain him and his numerous family in the appearances of comfort and respectability, has not been increased in its amount, much less replaced by a restoration of office, although, in 1829, the alleged disabilities had ceased to be an assignable pretext in the mouths of his own party; and although, from 1830 to the present year, our colonial affairs have nearly without an interval been directed by the emancipators of the Catholics, pledged to take every measure to make their emancipation a real and practical one. But what can be said for Lord Bathurst and his colleagues ? quia obstructum est os! Colonel Bird was not a liberal, but a tory of the strongest prepossessions; else political, and not religious, nonconformity might be feigned by discreet apologists of these later and less favourable times. Unhappily too, he was not even an Irishman, but an English gentleman of unsullied lineage. And then, as to the public, what had the Cabinet to apprehend, even had the Catholic remained in his transmarine office ? The partisan attacks of the opposition, which was whig, and strenuous in the cause of our emancipation? The alienation of their own supporters, already equally divided for and against the Catholic claims, from the support of the Cabinet, half of which was already foremost in their advocacy? It remains, then, that unless the apprehended estrangement of the powerful house of Beaufort, or the prospect of enriching, at the public expense, one scion the more of that family, or perhaps some nominee of his own, influenced Lord Bathurst to do the thing he did, his lordship and his colleagues could only have acted under the reality of that low fanaticism, which they thought it no shame publicly to pretend in this transaction!
It would seem, from the awakening spirit of polemical debate remarked in more than one quarter, soon after the event recorded, that the indifferentism once universal, and even now unhappily prevalent, had at least received a rude assault. We augur more favourable things for the country, where cant, and even hypocrisy, assail the Church, than where its presence fails to excite even the dislike of a stupid community. Perhaps, but for unhappy divisions among themselves, never extinguished until the arrival of their first vicar-apostolic, Dr. Griffith, the opportunity afforded them by the aroused curiosity of their fellow-colonists would have been long ago seized upon in the interests of Christian proselytism. To those scandalous dissensions, into which some infidel foreigners resident at the Cape, under their hereditary title of Catholic, led the small congregation at Capetown, we shall not make any further reference than to express our joy at their complete obliteration, and the utter removal of the object in contention. The Orange faction in the colony had hoped otherwise; and their chief-justice, Sir John Wylde, Truter's successor, whose moral character justly entitles him to their most unreserved confidence, expressed as much from the bench, upon making an order of curatorship of the Catholic chapel, on the 10th July 1832. “ Supposing," argued the counsel for the Catholic clergyman, “ Supposing this chapel were to exist for very many years. “ I trust not,” interrupted his honour; “I trust to see it shut up, and the congregation no longer frequenting it.” In case his honour is hopeful now of favour, notwithstanding his learned relative was the attorney-general under the whigs, we shall not be very much surprised if the insertion of this interesting little anecdote, on our part, has considerably increased his chances of promotion. In 1838 the Right Rev. Dr. Griffith, O.S.D., landed in the Colony to assume the functions of Vicar Apostolic, attended by a few priests, whose number was yet diminished by the sudden death of the vicar-general, Dr. Burke, which happened shortly afterwards. This loss has since been compensated by the ordination to priest's orders of the bishop's younger brother. This little band of missionaries is thus distributed. At Capetown the bishop officiates, assisted by his vicar-general, the Rev. Aidan Devereux, an inestimable clergyman, whose spiritual services as chaplain during seven years had previously endeared him to the unhappy inmates of the gaol at Wexford.
From the government his lordship receives the small salary of 2001. a year, to provide for himself and his assistant priest at Capetown, besides the disbursements periodically necessary to defray the heavy costs of the long and painful visitations of the remoter parts of his immense mission, embracing, as it does, both the eastern and western divisions of our South African territories. Within his ordinary or parochial jurisdiction at Capetown, there are six hundred residents who profess Catholicity, and about four hundred more, indifferentists, from choice or evil education. To support himself and his chaplain, they have been obliged to open a classical academy in their house, which is sufficiently frequented by scholars, paying 121. each per annum, to defray the interest of the purchase-money for which, the house, premises, and the chapel ground have been mortgaged, according to the usual method of transacting sales of real estate at the Cape. The arrival of an Irish regiment at Capetown swells the number of the congregation by two or three hundred additional communicants. To accommodate his flock, his lordship has opened a temporary chapel in his house, but is about to build a church
his newly-purchased ground as soon as his funds will permit him. Simon's Town, 26 miles E. S. E. of Capetown, containing about thirty Catholics, is occasionally visited by the bishop or Mr. Devereux from Capetown, as are Stellenbosch, 34 miles E. of Capetown, and the Paarl, 50 miles to the N. E., each of which districts contains about a dozen Catholics. The actual population presents but little hope of a vigorous renovation of Catholicity; and the chief aim of their pious and zealous pastors should be to nurture the young in something else than the indifferentism of their parents. The whole colony presents a wonderful want of even material education ; and
yet there is no want of parental anxiety for its introduction. Of the pupils of their little classical academy, one half are sons of Protestants of respectability. The bishop's chief solicitude arises from the utter want of a free school of either sex,—the result of his pecuniary privations. The establishment of such an institution would do more than preserve from heathenism or sectarianism those he has ; it would be the means of ensuring to him many whom he has not. And if the Ursulines, or the Sisters of Charity, or the Ladies of the Sacred Heart could establish themselves at the Cape, they would be resorted to by poor and rich of every colour and creed: by the former for the necessaries of outward civilization; by the latter for its elegancies ; by all for the priceless possessions whereof the