In Feital vs. Middlesex R.R. Co., 109 Mass., 398, plaintiff was injured while returning from a Spiritualist meeting in Malden, and counsel for defendant maintained that the meeting was attended for idolatry and jugglery, and while it might be the right of the plaintiff to be an idolater and to attend shows, yet she could not do so in violation of the Statute, which was intended to protect the conscience of the majority of the people from being offended upon the Lord's day. But the Court ruled that it could not be said as matter of law that travelling for such a purpose was not within the exception, and that it must be left to the jury to say if the plaintiff was in attendance in good faith for devotional exercise as matter of conscience.
In How vs. Meakin, 115 Mass., 326, the court held that it was not a violation of the law to hire a horse and drive to a neighboring town to attend the funeral of plaintiff's brother.
But it was held in a later case that plaintiff, who had been to a funeral on the Lord's day and was returning therefrom by a somewhat circuitous route for the purpose of calling upon a relative, was not entitled to recover for damages sustained by reason of a defect in the highway. This was the opinion of a divided court as has been the case in several decisions where the question of "necessity or charity" has been a close one.
Such are a few of the interesting cases which have arisen in our Courts involving discussion of the law originally framed in 1636, and which still makes it a criminal offence punishable by a fine of ten dollars to walk or ride upon the Lord's day, save from necessity or charity, while our cities furnish free concerts and license all sorts of performances in places of public amusement under the guise of "sacred" concerts, upon the day which our fathers thought and meant should be set apart for moral reflection ... on the duties of life ... and for public and private worship of the Maker, Governor, and Judge of the world.
* * * * *
A ROMANCE OF COLONIAL DAYS.
BY FRANCES C. SPARHAWK, Author of "A Lazy Man's Work."
THE STAB IN THE BACK.
A brighter morning for a wedding never dawned. The house was alive with merry voices and the echo of footsteps hurrying to and fro. The most fashionable society of the city was to be present at the ceremony which was to take place at noon. Then would come the festivities, the feast, the dancing, and after that the drive of the newly-married pair to the beautiful house three miles away, that Stephen Archdale had built and furnished for his bride, and that had never yet been a home.
Before the appointed hour the guests began to arrive and to fill the great drawing-room. There each one on entering walked toward the huge fire-place, in which on an immense bed of coals glowing with a brilliancy that outshone the rich red furniture and hangings of the room lay great logs, which blazed in their fervor of hospitable intent and radiated a small circle of comfort from the heat that did not escape up the chimney. The rich attire of the guests could bear the bright sunlight that streamed in through the numberless little panes of the windows, and the gay colors that they wore showed off well against the dark wainscotting of the room and its antique tapestries. The ladies were gorgeous in silks and velvets which were well displayed over enormous hoops. On their heads, where the well-powdered hair was built up in a tower nearly a foot in height, were flowers or feathers. Precious stones fastened the folds of rich kerchiefs, sparkled on dainty fingers, or flashed with stray movements of fans that, however discreetly waved, betrayed their trappings once in a while by some coquettish tremulousness. The gentlemen were resplendent also in gold-laced coats and small clothes, gold, or diamond shoe buckles, powdered wigs and queues, and with ruffles of the richest lace about their wrists. These guests, who were among the people that in themselves, or their descendants, were destined to give the world a new nation, strong and free, showed all that regard to the details of fashion said to characterize incipient decay in races. But with them it was only an accessory of position, everything was on a foundation of reality, it all represented a substantial wealth displaying itself without effort. The Sherburnes were there, the Atkinsons, the Pickerings, Governor Wentworth, the first of the Governors after New Hampshire separated from Massachusetts and went into business for itself, and others of the Wentworth family. Conspicuous among the guests was Colonel Pepperrell who had already proved that the heart of a strong man beat under his laced coat. His wife, well-born and fine-looking, was beside him, and his son, fresh from College honors, and sipping eagerly the sparkling draught of life that was to be over for him so soon; his daughter also, last year a bride, and her husband. These were leaders in that brilliant assembly called together to the marriage of Katie and Stephen Archdale.
While waiting for the event of the morning they talked in low tones among themselves of the wedding, or more audibly, of personal, or of political affairs.
"It wants only ten minutes of the hour," said one lady, "perhaps our good parson may not come this morning."
"What do you mean?" asked her companion.
"Why, this; that his wife, perhaps, will lock his study door upon him as she did one Sabbath when we all went to the house of God and found the pulpit empty. There's no end to all the malicious tricks she plays him. Poor, good man."
"Do you know," said a beruffled gentleman in another part of the room to his next neighbor, "what a preposterous proposal that ragged fellow, Bill Goulding, made to Governor Wentworth last week? He is a good-for-nothing, and the whole scheme is thought to have been merely a plan to talk with the Governor, whom he has wanted to see for a long time. It gave him access to the fine house, and he stalked about there an hour looking at the pictures and the splendid furniture while its owner was taking an airing. The general opinion is that the object of his visit was accomplished before his Excellency's return."
"Poor fellow! One can't blame him so very much," returned the listener with a complacent smile, offering his gold-mounted snuff-box to the speaker before helping himself generously from it. "But what was his scheme?"
"Something the most absurd you ever listened to. He proposed, if other people would furnish the money, to establish a public coach from this city to Boston, to run as often as once a week, and, after the first expense, to support itself from the travellers it carries; each one is to pay a few shillings. Where did he expect the travellers to come from? Gentlemen would never travel in other than private conveyances?" And these representatives of conservatism threw back their heads and laughed over the absurdity of the lightning express in embryo. Governor Wentworth standing before the fire was commenting on some of Governor Shirley's measures, giving his own judgment on the matter, with a directness more bold than wise, and the circle about him were discussing affairs with the freedom of speech that Americans have always used in political affairs, when a stir of expectation behind them made them take breath, and glance at the person entering the room. It was the minister.
"He has come, you see," whispered the lady to her neighbor of the forebodings. After greeting him, the group about the fire went back to their discussions. It had been the good parson's horse then, which they had heard tearing up the road in hot haste; they had not dreamed that so much speed was in the nag. But Master Shurtleff was probably a little late and had been afraid of keeping the bride and groom waiting for him. Master and Mistress Archdale were there; all the company, indeed, but the four members of it most important that morning, Katie and Stephen, the bridesmaid, Mistress Royal, and the best man, a young friend of Archdale's. After a few moments in which conversation lagged through expectancy, the door opened again.
"Ah! here they are. No, only one, alone. How strange!"
Every eye was turned upon Elizabeth Royal as she came in with a face too concentrated upon the suggestion under which she was acting to see anything about her. Without sign of recognition she glanced from one to another, until her eyes fell upon good Parson Shurtleff watching her with a gentle wonder in his face. It was for him that she had been looking. She went up to him immediately, and laid a tremulous hand upon his arm. She tried to smile, but the effort was so plain and her face so pale that an anxiety diffused itself through the assembly; it was felt that her presence here alone showed that something had happened, and her expression, that it was something bad. She did not seem even to hear the minister's kind greeting, and she was as little moved by the wonder and scrutiny about her as if she had been alone with him. At Mistress Archdale's reiterated question if Katie were ill, she shook her head in silence. Some thought held her in its grasp, some fear that she was struggling to speak.
"It is a cruel jest," she cried at last, "but it must be only a jest. The man's horse is blown, he came so fast. And he insisted on seeing me and would give this only into my own hands; his message was that it was life and death, that I must read it at once before the—" She stopped with a shudder, and held out a paper that she had been grasping; it was crumpled by the tightening of her fingers over it. There was a sound of footsteps and voices in the hall; the minister looked toward the door, and listened. "You must read it now, this instant, before they come in," cried Elizabeth: "it must be done; I don't dare not to have you; and tell me that it has no power, it is only a wicked jest; and throw it into the fire. Oh, quick, be quick."
Parson Shurtleff unfolded the paper with the haste of age, youth's deliberateness, and began to read at last. At the same instant a hand outside was laid on the latch of the door. The room was in a breathless hush. The door was swung slowly open by a servant and the bride and bridegroom came in, stopping just beyond the threshold as Katie caught sight of Elizabeth, and with a wondering face waited for her to come to her place. But the minister, not glancing up, went sternly on with the paper; and Elizabeth's gaze was fixed on his face; she had drawn a step away from him; and her hands were pressed over one another. All at once he uttered an exclamation of dismay, and turned to her, a dread coming into his face as he met her eyes.
"What does it mean?" he gasped. "Heaven help us, is it true?"
"Oh, it can't be, it can't be," she cried. "Give me the paper. I had to show it to you, but now you've seen that it must be all false. Give it to me. Look, they are coming," she entreated. "Think of her, be ready for them. Oh, burn this. Can't you? Can't you?" and her eyes devoured him in an agony of pleading.
"Stop!" he said, drawing back his hand. Then in a moment, "Is any of it true, this wicked jest at a sacred thing? Was that all so?"
By this time the scene had become very different from the programme so carefully arranged. The bride and groom had indeed gone across the room and were standing before the minister. But the latter, so far from having made any preparations to begin the ceremony, stood with his eyes on the paper, his face more and more pale and perplexed.
"What is it?" cried Master Archdale, laying a hand on his shoulder.
"Yes, what does it all mean?" asked the Colonel, advancing toward the minister, and showing his irritation by his frown, his flush, and the abruptness of his speech usually so suave.
"I hardly know myself," returned Shurtleff looking from one to the other.
"Let us have the ceremony at once, then," said Master Archdale authoritatively. "Why should we delay?"
"I cannot, until I have looked into this," answered the minister in a respectful tone.
"Nonsense," cried the Colonel with an authority that few contested. "Proceed at once."
"I cannot," repeated the minister, and his quiet voice had in it the firmness, almost obstinacy, that often characterizes gentle people. His opposition had seemed so disproportioned and was so gently uttered that the hearers had felt as if a breath must blow it away, and interest heightened to intense excitement when it proved invincible.
"What is all this?" demanded Stephen, holding Katie's arm still more firmly in his own and facing Mr. Shurtleff with eyes of indignant protest. As he received no immediate answer, he turned to Elizabeth. "Mistress Royal," he said, "can you explain this unseemly interruption?"
Then all the company, who for the moment had forgotten her share in the transaction, turned their eyes upon her again.
"That wicked jest that we had all forgotten," she said, looking at him an instant with a wildness of pain in her eyes. Then she turned to Katie's fair, pale face full of wonder and distress at the unguessed obstacle, and with a smothered cry dropped her face in her hands, and stood motionless and unheeded in the greater excitement. For now Mr. Shurtleff had begun to speak.
"You ask me," he said, "why I do not perform the ceremony and marry these two young people whose hearts love has united. I do not dare to do it until I understand the meaning of this strange paper I hold in my hand. What do you remember," he said to Stephen, "of a singular game of a wedding ceremony played one evening last summer?"
The young man looked uncomprehending for a moment, then drew his breath sharply.
"That?" he said, "Why, that was only to give an example of something we were talking about; that was nothing. Mistress,"—he stopped and glanced at Elizabeth who, leaning forward, was hanging upon every word of his denial as if it were music—"Mistress Royal knows that was so."
"Yes," cried Elizabeth, "indeed I do."
"Nevertheless," returned Mr. Shurtleff, "it may have been a jest to be eternally remembered, as all light-minded treatment of serious matters must be. I hope with all my heart that a moment's frivolity will not have life-long consequences of sorrow, but I cannot proceed in this happy ceremony that I have been called here to perform until the point is settled beyond dispute."
"See how habit rules him like a second nature," whispered Colonel Pepperrell aside to the Governor. "Nobody but a minister would stop to give a homily with those poor creatures before him in an agony of suspense."
"My dear," said his wife softly in a tone of reproof, laying her hand warningly on his arm.
"Stephen Archdale isn't the man to stand this," retorted the Governor in a higher key than he realized. But the words did not reach their object, for he had already laid hold of the paper in Mr. Shurtleffs hand.
"If this paper explains your conduct, give it to me," he said haughtily.
The other drew back.
"I will read it to you and to the company," he answered. "There can be no wedding this morning. I trust there will be soon. But first it is my personal duty to look into this matter."
Katie, whose face had grown rigid, swung heavily against Stephen. "She has fainted," her mother cried coming forward.
"Take her away," commanded the Colonel. "This is no place for her." But the girl clung to Stephen.
"I will stay," she said, with a tearless sob. "I must listen. I see it all, and what he meant, too, that evil man."
"Master Shurtleff," cried the Governor, "I command you to make all this clear to us at once. If that paper in your hand tells us the cause of your refusal to marry these young people, I bid you read it to us immediately."
The parson, bowing with respect, cleared his throat and began, premising that Governor Wentworth's commands had been his own intention from the first.
"It is a confession," he said, "made by one whom many of us have welcomed to our homes as a gentleman of blameless character and honorable dealing. Why it was sent to Mistress Royal instead of to Master Archdale, or the bride, I am at a loss to understand."
Elizabeth raised her head with a flash in her eyes, but anger died away into despair, and she stood silent with the others, and listened to the fate that fell upon her with those monotonous tones, each one heavy as lead upon her heart. She wondered if it had been sent to her because it had been feared that Stephen Archdale would keep silence.
"I write without knowing to whom I am writing," began the paper, "except that among the readers must be some whom I have wronged. I can scarcely crave forgiveness of them, because they will surely not grant it to me. I don't know even that I can crave it of Heaven, for I have played with sacred things, and used a power given me for good, in an evil way, to further my own devices, and, after all, I have not furthered them. I am a man loving and unloved, one who has perhaps thrown away his soul on the chance of winning earthly joy,—but such joy,—and has lost it. If any have ever done like me, let them pity and pardon. I appeal to them for compassion. I shall receive it nowhere else, unless it be possible, that the one for love of whom I have done the wrong will out of the kindness of her heart spare me by and by a thought of pity for what was the suggestion of a moment and acted on—"
"Skip all that maundering," interrupted Stephen. "To the point. Who is this man, and what has he done? Let him keep his feelings to himself, or if they concern you, they don't us."
"No, no, Stephen. Fair play," called out Governor Wentworth. "Let us hear every word, then we can judge better of the case, and of the writer's truthfulness."
"Yes, you are right," answered the young man pressing Katie's arm more firmly in his own to give silent vent to his impatience and his defiance.
"And acted on without premeditation," resumed Master Shurtleff. "I left England early in the spring, and coming to this worthy city of Portsmouth with letters of introduction to Master Archdale, and others, I met the beautiful Mistress Archdale. From the first hour my fate was sealed; I loved her as only a man of strong and deep emotions can love, with a very different feeling from the devotion her young admirers gave her, ardent though they considered themselves. I had many rivals, some the young lady herself so disapproved that they ceased troubling me, even with their presence at her side. Among the others were only two worthy of attention, and only one whom I feared. I was reticent and watched; it was too soon to speak. But as I watched my fear of that one increased, for age, association, a sternness of manner that unbent only to her, many things in him showed me his possibilities of success. With that rival out of my path, my way to victory was clear. There came a day when, without lifting my finger against him, I could effectually remove him. I did it. It was unjustifiable, but the temptation rushed upon me suddenly with overwhelming force, and it was irresistible, for opposite me sat Katie, more beautiful and lovable than ever, and beside her was my rival, her cousin, with an air of security and satisfaction that aroused the evil in me. It was August; we were on the river in a dead calm, and at Mistress Archdale's suggestion had been telling stories for amusement. Mine happened to be about a runaway match, and interested the young people so much, that when I had finished they asked several questions; one was in reference to a remark of mine, innocently made, that the marriage ceremony itself, pure and simple, was something unimaginably short. The story I had told illustrated this, and some of the party asked me more particularly as to what the form was. Then I saw my opportunity, and I took it. 'If one of the young ladies will permit Master Archdale to take her hand a moment,' I said, 'I think I can recollect the words; I will show you how short the formula may be.' Master Archdale was for holding Katie's hand, but happily, as it seemed to me at the moment, she was on the wrong side. I requested him to take the lady on the other hand, who seemed a trifle unready for the jest, but was induced by the entreaties of the others, and especially of Mistress Katie herself. I went through the marriage service over them as rapidly as I dared, my voice sounding to myself thick with the beating of my heart. But no one noticed this; of course, it was all fun. And so that summer evening, all in fun, except on my part, Stephen Archdale and Elizabeth Royal were made man and wife, as fast as marriage vows could make them. Nothing was omitted that would make the ceremony binding and legal, not even its performance by a clergyman of the Church of England."
A cry of rage and despair interrupted the reader. But he went on directly.
"No one in America knew that I had been educated for the Church and had taken orders, though I have never preached except one month; the work was distasteful to me, and when my brother died and I inherited my grandfather's property, I resigned my pastorate at once. This act shows how unfit for it I was. But whatever my grief may be, my conscience commands me to forbid this present marriage, and to declare with all solemnity, that Stephen Archdale already has a wife, and that she is that lady, who, until she opened my letter, believed herself still Mistres Royal."
A burst of amazement and indignation, that could no longer be repressed, interrupted the reading. Faces and voices expressed consternation. To this confession had been added names and dates, the year of the writer's entrance into the ministry, the time and place of his brief pastorate, everything that was necessary to give his statement a reliable air, and to verify it if one chose to do so. It was evident that there could be no wedding that morning, and as the truth of the story impressed itself, more and more upon the minds of the audience, a fear spread lest there could be no wedding at all, such as they had been called together to witness. For, if this amusement should turn out to have been a real marriage, what help was there? It was in the days when amusements were viewed seriously and were readily imagined to lead to fatal consequences. Had Stephen Archdale really married? The people in the drawing-room that December morning were able men and women, they were among the best representatives of their time, an age that America will always be proud of, but they held marriage vows so sacred, that even made in jest there seemed to be a weight in them. Proofs must be found, law must speak, yet these people in waiting feared, for their part in life was to be so great in uprightness and self-restraint, that these qualities flowing through mighty channels should conquer physical strength and found a nation. To do a thing because it was pleasant was no part of their creed,—although, even then, there were occasional examples of it in practice.
That winter morning, therefore, the guests were ready to inveigh against the sin of unseemly jesting, to hope that all would be well, and to shake their heads mournfully.
"Harwin!" cried Master Archdale as he heard the name of the writer; "it seems impossible. I liked that man so much, and trusted him so much. I knew he loved my little girl, but I thought it was with an honorable love that would rejoice to see her happy. No, no, it cannot be true. We must wait. But matters will come right at last."
"Yes," assented the Colonel across whose face an incomprehensible expression had passed more than once during the reading; "it will all come right. We must make it so."
A hum of conversation went on in the room, comment, inquiry, sympathy, spoken to the chief actors in this scene, or if not near enough to them for that, spoken to the first who were patient enough to listen instead of themselves talking.
In the midst of it all Stephen raised his head, for he had been bending over Katie who still clung to him, and asked when the next ship left for England.
"In about three weeks," answered Col. Pepperrell, "and we will send out a person competent to make full inquiries; the matter shall be sifted."
"I shall go," returned Stephen. "I shall make the necessary inquiries myself, it will be doing something, and I may find the man. We need that he should be found, Katie and I."
Elizabeth drew back still more; some flash of feeling made the blood come hotly to her face for a moment, then fade away again.
Katie looked up, turned her eyes slowly from one to another, finding everywhere the sympathy she sought.
"Go, Stephen, since you will feel better," she said, "but it's of no use, I am sure. I understand now something Master Harwin said to me when he left me. I did not know then what he meant. He has taken you away from me forever." And with a sob, again she hid her face upon his shoulder. Then, slowly drawing away from him, she turned to Elizabeth, and in her eyes was something of the fury of a jealous woman mixed with the bitter reproach of friendship betrayed.
"How could you," she said, "how could you consent to do it?"
She had drawn toward Elizabeth every gaze and every thought in the room; she had pointed out the substitute on whom might be emptied those vials of wrath that the proper object of them had taken care to escape. Elizabeth heard on all sides of her the whispered, "Yes, how could she do it, how could she consent to do it?" Suddenly she found herself, and herself alone, as it seemed, made responsible for this disaster; for the feeling beginning with Katie seemed to grow, and widen, and widen, like the circles of water into which a stone is thrown, and she was condemned by her friends, by the people who had known her and her father, condemned as false to her friendship, as unwomanly. Katie she could forgive on account of her misery, but the others! She stood motionless in a world that she had never dreamed of. These whispers that her imagination multiplied seemed to roar in her ears. But innocence and pride kept her erect, and at last made her raise her eyes which had fallen and grown dim under the blow of Katie's words. She swept them slowly around the room, turning her head slightly to do it. Not a look of sympathy met her. Then, in the pain, a power awoke within her.
"It is no less a disaster to me," she said. Her words fell with the weight of truth. She had kept back her pain, no one thought of pitying her as Katie was pitied, but she was vindicated.
"Does she hate him, do you suppose?" asked Madam Pepperrell in a low tone of Governor Wentworth at her elbow.
"It is not probable she loves him much," replied that gentleman studying the girl's haughty face. "I don't envy her, on the whole, I don't envy either of them." By George, madam, it is hard."
"Very hard," assented Colonel Pepperrell, whose glance, having more penetration, had at last brought a look of sympathy to his face. "Let us go up to the poor thing, she stands so alone, and I'm not clear that she has not the worst of it."
"Oh, no, indeed, not that," returned his wife as they moved forward. But before they could reach her, being stopped by several who spoke to them, there was a change in the group in that part of the room. Katie had fallen, and there was a cry that she had fainted. Stephen stooped over her, lifted her tenderly, and carried her from the room. He was followed by Mistress Archdale and his own mother. As he passed Elizabeth their eyes met, his glowed with a sullen rage, born of pain and despair, they seemed to sweep her with a glance of scorn, as she looked at him it seemed to her that every fibre of his being was rejecting her. "You!" he seemed to be saying with contemptuous emphasis. In answer her eyes filled him with their haughtiness, they and the scornful curl of her lip, as she stood motionless waiting for him to pass, haunted him; it seemed to him as if she felt it an intrusion that he should pass near her at all. He still saw her face as he bent over Katie.
[TO BE CONTINUED.]
* * * * *
GOVERNOR CLEVELAND AND THE ROMAN CATHOLIC PROTECTORY.
BY CHARLES COWLEY, LL.D.
It is not often that a Governor's objections to a measure, which his veto has defeated, become, even indirectly, the subject of judicial consideration. Such, however, has been the experience of Governor Cleveland in connection with his veto of the appropriation, which was made in 1883, to the Roman Catholic Protectory of the City of New York. And it must be gratifying to him as a constitutional lawyer, to see the principles of that veto entirely approved by all the judges of the Court of Appeals, as well as by all the judges by whom those principles were considered, before the case, in which they were involved, reached that august tribunal, the highest in the judicial system of that State.
By an amendment to the Constitution of New York, adopted in 1874, it is provided that, "Neither the credit nor the money of the State shall be given, or loaned to, or in aid of, any association, corporation, or private undertaking."
It would hardly seem possible to mistake the meaning of a prohibition like this; but this prohibition is accompanied by the following modification: "This section shall not, however, prevent the Legislature from making such provision for the education and support of the blind, the deaf and dumb, and juvenile delinquents, as to it may seem proper; nor shall it apply to any fund or property, now held by the State for educational purposes."
The question, how far this qualifying clause limits the proceeding prohibition, arose first in the Court of Common Pleas, and afterwards in the Court of Appeals, in the case of the Shepherd's Fold of the Protestant Episcopal Church vs. The Mayor, Aldermen and Commonalty of the City of New York.[A] The Attorney-General of the State had given an official opinion, tending to the conclusion that the prohibition is almost entirely neutralized by the modification. The Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, and the lawyers who argued this case in either court, differed widely upon the question, whether money raised by local taxation by the City of New York, under the authority of the State law, for the maintainance of the children of the Shepherd's Fold, was, or was not, "money of the State," and therefore included in the terms of this prohibition; and when one sees how much is done in the discussions of the able counsel before the Court of final resort, and by the learned opinion of Judge Rapello, to reconcile these differences, one can not but wish that the Old Bay State had a similar Court of Appeals, to revise and clarify the decisions of her Supreme Court. About twenty-five per cent, of all the decisions of the General Terms of the Supreme Court, Superior Court, and Court of Common Pleas, which are carried to the Court of Appeals, are there reversed; and can any lawyer doubt that, at least, as large a proportion of the decisions of our Supreme Judicial Court ought also to be revised and reversed?
[Footnote A: See 10 Daly's Reports, 319; and 96 New York Reports. 137.]
The Court of Appeals says: "It seems to us that that section [to wit, the prohibition above quoted] had reference to money raised by general taxation throughout the State, or revenues of the State, or money otherwise belonging to the State treasury, or payable out of it."
The money claimed by the Shepherd's Fold being raised by local taxation for a local purpose in the city of New York, and not "by general taxation throughout the State," the Court of Appeals holds that it is not within the terms of the Constitutional prohibition, and therefore reverses the decision of the Court of Common Pleas on that particular point, while agreeing with it on the main question.
As the money, appropriated to the Roman Catholic Protectory, was unquestionably money of the State, "being raised by general taxation throughout the State," that appropriation was unquestionably in conflict with the prohibition of the Constitution, which the Governor was sworn to support.
Of the courage and independence displayed by Governor Cleveland in thus vetoing a measure in which so large a number of his political supporters might be supposed to feel so deep an interest, this is not the place to speak. But it is creditable to him as a lawyer that alone without a single precedent to guide him, relying upon his own judicial sense, and rejecting the opinion of a former Attorney-General, he challenged "the validity of this appropriation under that section of the Constitution." The Protectory, he says, "appears to be local in its purposes and operations." And being a sectarian charity, he adds, "Public funds should not be contributed to its support. A violation of this principle in this case would tend to subject the state treasury to demands in behalf of all sorts of sectarian institutions, which a due care for the money of the State, and a just economy, could not concede."
In the higher and broader field of public service—"the grandest throne on earth"—as the Presidency which he is about to enter, has been grandiloquently called, let us hope that he will display the same honesty, capability, and fidelity to the Constitution. We shall then be assured that the interests of the Republic will suffer no detriment at his hands.