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905
MAUPASSANT

as being marked by a solemn celebration of the Sacrament, the former does not mention the foot-washing, and the latter merely alludes to it. Perhaps an indication of it may be discerned as early as the 4th century in a custom, current in Spain, northern Italy and elsewhere, of washing the feet of the catechumens towards the end of Lent before their baptism. It was not, however, universal, and in the 48th canon of the synod of Elvira (Ab. 306) it is expressly prohibited (cf. Corp. fur. Can., c. 104, cans. i. qn. 1). From the 4th century ceremonial foot-washing became yearly more common, till it was regarded as a necessary rite, to be performed by the pope, all Catholic sovereigns, prelates, priests and nobles. III England the king washed the feet of as many poor men as he was years old, and then distributed to them meat, money and clothes. At Durham Cathedral, until the 16th century, every charity-boy had a monk to Wash his feet. At Peterborough Abbey, in 1530, Wolsey made “his maund in Our Lady's Chapel, having fifty-nine poor men whose feet he washed and kissed; and after he had wiped them he gave every of the said poor men twelve pence in money, three ells of good canvas to make them shirts, a pair of new shoes, a cast of red herrings and three white herrings.” Queen Elizabeth performed the ceremony, the paupers' feet, however, being first washed by the yeomen of the laundry with warm water and sweet herbs. James II. was the last English monarch to perform the rite . William III. delegated the washing to his almoner, and this was usual until the middle of the 18th century. Since 1754 the foot washing has been abandoned, and the ceremony now consists of the presentation of Maundy money, officially called Maundy Pennies. These were first coined in the reign of Charles II. They come straight from the Mint, and have their edges unmilled. The service which formerly took place in the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, is now held in Westminster Abbey. A procession is formed in the nave, consisting of the lord high almoner representing the sovereign, the clergy and the yeomen of the guard, the latter carrying white and red purses in baskets. The clothes formerly given are now commuted for in cash. The full ritual is gone through by the Roman Catholic archbishop of Westminster, and abroad it survives in all Catholic countries, a notable example being that of the Austrian emperor. In the Greek Church the rite survives notably at Moscow, St Petersburg and Constantinople. It is on Maundy Thursday that in the Church of Rome the sacred oil is blessed, and the chrism prepared according to an elaborate ritual which is given in the Pontijicale.


MAUPASSANT, HENRI RENE ALBERT GUY DE (1850-1893), French novelist and poet, was-born at the Chateau of Miromesnil in the department of Seine-Inférieure on the 5th August 1850. His grandfather, a landed proprietor of a good Lorraine family, owned an estate at Neuville-Champ-d'Oisel near Rouen, and bequeathed a moderate fortune to his son, a Paris stockbroker, who married Mademoiselle Laure Lepoitevin. Maupassant was educated at Yvetot and at the Rouen lycée. A copy of verses entitled Le Dieu eréateur, written during his year of philosophy, has been preserved and printed. He entered the ministry of marine, and was promoted by M. Bardoux to the Cabinet de l'Instruction publique. A pleasant legend says that, in a report by his official chief, Maupassant is mentioned as not reaching the standard of the department in the matter of style. He may very well have been an unsatisfactory clerk, as he divided his time between rowing expeditions and attending the literary gatherings at the house of Gustave Flaubert, who was not, as he is often alleged to be, connected with Maupassant by any blood tie. Flaubert was not his uncle, nor his cousin, nor even his godfather, but merely an old friend of Madame de Maupassant, whom he had known from childhood. At the literary meetings Maupassant seldom shared in the conversation. Upon those who met him-Tourgenieff, Alphonse Daudet, Catulle Mendes, José-Maria de Heredia and Emile Zola—he left the impression of a simple young athlete. Even Flaubert, to whom Maupassant submitted some sketches, was not greatly struck by their talent, though he encouraged the youth to persevere. Maupassant's first essay was a dramatic piece twice given at Etretat in 1873 before an audience which included Tourgenieff, Flaubert and Meilhac. In this indecorous performance, of which -nothing more is heard, Maupassant played the part of a woman. During the next seven years he served a severe apprenticeship to Flaubert, who by this time realized his pupil's exceptional gifts. In 1880 Maupassant published a volume of poems, Des Vers, against which the public prosecutor of Etampes took proceedings that were finally Withdrawn through the influence of the senator Cordier. From F laubert, who had himself been prosecuted for his first book, Madame Bovary, there came a letter congratulating the poeton the similarity between their first literary experiences. Des Vers is an extremely interesting experiment, which shows Maupassant to us still hesitating in his choice of amedium;but he recognized that it was not Wholly satisfactory, and that its chief deficiency-the absence of verbal melody-was fatal. Later in the same year he contributed to the Soirées de M édan, a collection of short stories by MM. Zola, ]'.-K. Huysmans, Henry Céard, Léon Hennique and Paul Alexis; and in Boule ole suif the young unknown author revealed himself to his amazed collaborators and to the public as an admirable writer of prose and a consummate master of the conte. There is perhaps no other instance in modern literary history of a writer beginning, as a fully equipped artist, with a genuine masterpiece. This early success was quickly followed by another. The volume entitled La Maison Tellier (1881) conhrmed the first impression, and vanquished even those who were repelled by the author's choice of subjects. In Mademoiselle Fi]i (1883) he repeated his previous triumphs as a conteur, and in this same year he, for the first time, attempted to write on a larger scale.. Choosing to portray the life of a blameless girl, unfortunate in her marriage, unfortunate in her son, consistently unfortunate in every circumstance of existence, he leaves her, ruined and prematurely old, clinging to the tragic hope, which time, as one feels, will belie, that she may find happiness in her grandson. This picture of an average woman undergoing the constant agony of disillusion Maupassant calls Une Vie (1883), and as in modern literature there is no finer example of cruel observation, so there is no saddcr book than this, while the effect of extreme truthfulness which it conveys justifies its sub-title-L'Humble vérité. Certain passages of Une Vie are of such a character that the sale of the volume at railway bookstalls was forbidden throughout France. The matter was brought before the chamber of deputies, with the result of drawing still more attention to the book, and of advertising the Contes de la bécasse (1883), a collection of stories as improper as they are clever. An soleil (1884), a book of travels which has the eminent qualities of lucid observation and exact description, was less read than Clair de lnne, Miss Harriet, Les Sceurs Rondoli and Yvette, all published in 1883-1884 when Maupassant's powers were at their highest level. Three further collections of short tales, entitled Contes et nonfvelles, Monsieur Parent, and Contes dn jour et de la nuit, issued in 1885, proved that while the author's Vision was as incomparable as ever, his fecundity had not improved his impeccable form. To 1885 also belongs an elaborate novel, Bel-ami, the cynical history of a particularly detestable, brutal scoundrel who makes his way in the world by, means of his handsome face. Maupassant is here no less vivid in realizing his literary men, financiers and frivolous women than in dealing with his favourite peasants, boors and servants, to whom he returned in Toine (1886) and in La Petite rogue (1886). About this time appeared the first symptoms of the malady which destroyed him; he wrote less, 'and though the novel M ont-Oriol (1887) shows him apparently in undiminished possession of his faculty, Le Horla (1887) suggests that he was already subject to alarming hallucinations. Restored to some extent by a sea-voyage, recorded in Sur l’eau (1888), he went back to short stories in Le Rosier de Madame Husson (1888), a burst of Rabelaisian humour equal to anything he had ever written. His novels Pierre et Jean (1888), Fort comme la mort (1889), and Notre Coeur (1890) are penetrating studies touched with a profounder sympathy than had hitherto distinguished him; and this softening into pity for the tragedy of life is deepened in some of the tales included in Inntile beauté (1890). One of these, Le Champ d'Oli'viers, is an unsurpassable example of