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THE CATHOLIC WORLD. VOL. XXIIL, No. 134.—-MAY, 1876. THE ROOT OF OUR PRESENT EVILS, When Mr. Dickens repaid the hospitality which he had received by his extremely humorous satires of this country, he called the atten. tion of all Americans to the extent to which our national vanity was likely to blind us. Mr. Chollop’s opinion to the effect that “we are the intellect and virtue of the airth, the cream of human natur, and the flower of moral force,” has been secretly cherished by many better men. -The conviction of ordinary Amer- - icans is that our system of govern- ment is so evidently perfect, and the course of our development so manifestly healthy, that nothing but sheer blindness can account for any suspicion as to their future stability. ‘To those who question the success of our future we are wont to reply by a smile of genuine pity, or by pointing to the results already achieved and the difficul- ties which have been surmounted. We have fused the most incongru- ous race-mixture into one homo- geneotis nation, We have occu- pied a continent, and laid the foun- dations of a great empire upon a comprehensive and stable adjust- ment of all the functions of gavern- ment, We have eliminated the vast system of human slavery from which our ruin had been predicted. We have overcome the mast power- ful assault upon the integrity of our national existence; and any violent attempt upon our govern- ment seems at present to be both impossible of occurrence and hope- less of success. It cannot be denied, however, that recent events have awakened in the minds of earnest and patriotic Americans a sense of uneasiness and anxiety very different from any similar feeling in the past, The professional politician sees in the corruption lately developed in Washington simply the evidence of decay manifested by a powerful organization which has enjoyed unlimited power and survived the issues which brought it into exis- tence. He would persuade the people that a “ rotation” is all that is necessary in order to restore things to an honest and sober con- Copyright; Rev. LT, Huckon. lzé, Scanderbeg. SCANDERBES. “Ob! how coniely it is, and how reviving ‘To the spirits of just men lang: app ‘When Gad inte the hands of Puts invi ‘Te qu ible might ressed, ‘their deliverer the mighty ef the easth, th' oppressor, ‘The brute and boist'rous force of vislent mem, Hardy and industrious tn support ‘Tyrannic power, but ig pursue ‘The righteous and all sach as benor T'rath.” Tue Turks, from their first ap- pearance upon European soil, have been a danger to the peace and civilization of Christendom. When. their fierce hordes crossed the Bas- porus, bearing aloft the standard of the crescent, it was a boast among them that the sign was but a tem- porary emblem of their power, and that when she had waxed to the fulness of her orb—denec Luna totus inpleatur orbis, a3 was insolently said to an ambassador of the West —her silvery sheen would change to the golden glory of the sun, and blaze from an eastern sky over pros- trate and Mohammedan Europe, With one foot upon Constantino- ple and the other on Rome,* the colossus of Islam would have pro- jected an awful shadow over the Christian world, Efforts tremen- dous and long sustained were made to lift itself up; but this it could never do, and has fallen and is broken, but in its fall covers fair provinces and crushes a multitude of unfortunate Christians. If the Turks have ceased to be a stirring menace to the nations, we must as- wribe the curbing of their power to divine Providence, which brought forward at critical times a number of men mighty by the sword or it waa 4 common beast of the mor ambitious soltans that they would some day feed their horses ‘at the tomb of §1, Peter, Samson Agonistes, through the word—Huniades, Mat- thias Corvinus, Ladislas of Hungary, St. John Capistran, Cardinal Julian Cesarini, Scanderheg, St. Pius V., Don John of Austria, Mark Antho~ ny Colonna, Sobieski, and others— who fought their advance towards the Adriatic and along the Danube, As this great Ottoman inundation rose higher and higher, until it seemed as though the wark of the church for a thousand years would be swept away in fewer days, God spoke: “I set my bounds around it, and made it bars and doors; and I said: Hitherto thou shalt come, and shalt go no further: and here thon shalt break thy swelling waves” (Job xxxvi In the fifteentn century several independent prigeelings, called des- pots by the Greeks, were in. posses- sion of the rich and populous dis- trict of Albania, which stretches along the coast of the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas, and corre- sponds geographically to the Epirus of the ancients, One of the noblest of these chiefs was John Castriot, who came of an ancient family in Lower Macedonia. His wife, Woi- zava, presented him with nine chil- dren, and among them that George, born in 1404, who was destined to become the defender of perse cuted race, the Christian Gidéon, as he was hailed by Pope Paul IL, and - Scanderbeg. the hero of his native country against the Turks, Several omens are reported to have accompanied his birth and signified his future greatness. Without denying that these may have been something more than mete accidents or freaks of the imagination, we only certify that as the child grew up he deve- loped a strength of character and an aptitude for arms which his after- successes amply justified and the inherent nobility of his parents had prepared. “Rertes crenntar fortibus et hemi ¢ wea wee tmabvilem feroces Progenevant agntie cofnsrbam.* * Horace. Sultan Mohammed I. had invad- ed Albania in 1413, and obliged John Castriot to deliver up his four young sons to him as hostages. He immediately, and against the sol- emn promise made to their father, caused them to be circumcised and educated in the Mussulman_ reli- gion George, our hero, was the He was endowed with a jous memory, and soon learn~ Arab, Illyrian, and Italian languages. A handsome person, unusual bodi- ly strength, and vigorons mental qualities won for him the warm af- fection of the next sovereign, Am- orath IL, who changed George's name to Seanderbeg—i.c., Beg or Lord Alexander—and at the early age of eighteen gave him the rank of san- giac and command of five thousand horsemen gn the confines of Anato-~ lia. His personal prowess and mili- tary skill in Asia Minor brought him into considerable notice, and he was given a command in the European provinces of the empire °° The goed and brave beget the brave ; + «Fierce eagles breed not harmless doves, ‘The family standard of the Castriots, which Scam derbeg carried in his battles, was a black, double= hbraded eagle ou a red fied. 235 This was a difficult position to be placed in; for he had not forgotten that he was born a Christian and had been impressed into his pre- sent service. He felt a great dis- like to turn his arms against co- religionists and countrymen. His brothers were dead, and now his father died in 1432. At this junc- ture the sultan very unjustly took possession of his hereditary domin. jon, and, sending his mother and sister Mamisa into exile, put a pasha over the country. Scander- beg did not immediately pronounce himself against this act of treacher- ous spoliation, although several Al- banian noblemen, proud of his re- nown and convinced that he was not at heart attached to his new creed, corresponded with him se- eretly, urging him to come and put himself at the head of the Christian population to free the country from the infidel. The Albanians have always been distinguished for their spirit of nationality, and, like the in- habitants of all mountainous regions are remarkable for indeoendence and love of home. The favorable moment to declare himself had not arrived but his plans were maturing, At last, after a great battle lost by the Turks at Morava on the 19th of November, 1443, he concerted with his nephew Hamza and a few trusty friends of Christian origin, forced, like him- self, to serve the foreign tyrant, and. by a skilful ruse and very sudden irruption at the head of six hundred Albanians, who hastened to join him as soon as his defection was known, he obtained possession of Croia, the capital of his paternal dominions. The Turkish garrison, not so much by his orders as from an uncontrollable impulse of out- raged feelings in the populace. was put to the sword, Seanderheg was