29 APRIL 1905, Page 10


Life of Saint Elizabeth of Hungary. By the Count do Montalembert. Translated by Francis Deming Hoyt. (Long- mans and Co. 10s. 6d. net.)—Montalembert may not be the power that he was in France or in Liberal Roman Catholicism ; but he will live for a long time, if not for ever, even apart from the struggle with which his name, like that of Lacordaire, will always be associated, because he was, as his biographer says, one of the lovable men of the nineteenth century. Important as a controversialist, singularly successful as an orator, he was perhaps at his best in those works in which he reproduces the spiritual side of life. In this volume we have an excellent translation of Montalembert's ripest work by an admirer who is yet an ardent Roman Catholic, and an apologist after this fashion:—" To say that Montalembert sometimes erred in his judgment is to admit that he was human. But, be it said to hie eternal praise, he was always a humble, loyal, and obedient son of the ' Mother ' whom he served with all his mind and heart,— the Catholic Church. When 'Rome' had spoken, neither his

voice nor his pen was ever raised to question its decision. Lacordaire and Montalembert proved that, however devoted they were to the cause of liberty and the progress of free institutions, as they had interpreted those ideas, they were before all else loyal to their God and to the teachings of His infallible Church." Montalembert, after his struggle with the Vatican ended in what must be regarded as his "submission," though it savoured not at

all of "degradation" or "disgrace," gave himself up to the con- templation of that "saintliness" which was the outer manifesta- tion of bie own nature. And in Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and in the spiritual romance, her union to Louis Duke of Thuringia, he found subjects on which he could lavish the treasures of his genuine love and his equally genuine rhetoric. The rapture of " saintliness " is rendered in this apostrophe —"You, 0 blessed children of the earth which you glorify, and of heaven which you populate, you are known and loved by every Christian, for every Christian has at least one among you as his friend, his patron, the confidant of his sweetest thoughts, the depositary of his anxious hopes, the protector of his happiness, the consoler of his sorrows." This is the ever-recurrent " note " of a book which but for its earnestness and its sweet spirituality might be considered almost tedious in the details which it gives of a life which was as noble as it was short. Mr. Hoyt, who, we gather, is an American, has done his work as introducer and translator in the best spirit and with the best taste.