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The craftsman
Vol. V, No. 4 (January 1904)

James, George Wharton
The Franciscan mission builders of California,   pp. 321-335 PDF (4.7 MB)


Page 335


FRANCISCAN MISSION BUILDINGS
the white, Caucasian American, not the
dark-skinned Mexican.
   The authority of the priesthood being
abolished, this beneficent intercourse begins.
Now see the rapid elevation in morals,
honor, chastity, integrity and all the vir-
tues! Gaze with amazement and delight
upon the glorious blessings conferred upon
the weak by the strong race! Thank God,
with up-lifted eyes and hand, for all the
mental and spiritual graces that begin to
pour into the minds and souls of those be-
nighted heathen, when they are removed
from the benumbing influences of supersti-
tious and ignorant Catholicism. Yes, in-
deed, let us sing paeans of joyous praises
for the good that the aborigines now hold in
free and absolute mastery.
   Ah! hypocrites and vile! How I could
wish for the power of Shakspere to show you
in your true light. How would I pour upon
you such curses as should make tame and
insipid those which Lady Anne, Queen Mar-
garet and the Duchess of York pronounced
upon Richard of Gloster. Richard was not
so vile a murderer, so ruthless a destroyer,
so black-hearted a villain, so contemptible a
plotter, so mean a layer of snares as the
white race has been whereby to trap, entan-
gle and exterminate the dusky race whose
lands they coveted and determined to pos-
sess.
  Had they been left in the hands of the
Mission Fathers, the Indians would slowly
but surely have progressed to racial man-
hood. Given over to our own tender mer-
cies, they have been hurried down an incline
smeared by white men with every known
form of slippery evil, in order that their
destruction might be the more rapid and
complete. Until we are able, nationally, to
cleanse our own skirts from the blood of
these trustful, weak, helpless aborigines, let
us not insult the memory of the Mission
Fathers by asking, parrot-like: "For what
end ?"
N        connection  with   Mr.
     James's  article upon   the
     Spanish Missions of Cali-
 fornia, it seems fitting to print
 the verses of Bret Harte, which,
 at one time often heard upon the
 tongues of the people, are now
 scarcely ever recalled. Written
 by a true child of Nature, with
 small care for literary art or
 precision, their harmonious qual-
 ity attracted the attention of the
 great French composer, Charles
 Gounod, who set them to music.
              THE
  MISSION BELLS OF MONTEREY
0 bells that rang, 0 bells that sang
Above the martyr's wilderness,
Till from that reddened coast-line sprang
The Gospel seed to cheer and bless.
What are your garnered sheaves to-day?
0 Mission bells! Eleison bells!
O Mission bells of Monterey!
O bells that die, so far, so nigh,
Come back once more across the sea;
Not with the zealot's furious cry,
Not with the creed's austerity;
Come with His love alone to stay,
O Mission bells! Eleison bells!
O Mission bells of Monterey!
335


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