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Historical Sketches: Volumes 1 To 3 -Blessed John Henry Newman

“… All these evils have vanished. On arriving at Cucusus, I got rid of all remains of my malady, and I am in most perfect health; and I am released from my fear of the Isaurians, for there is a strong force of soldiers here who are ready and eager for an engagement; and there is an abundance of all that is necessary, which flows in upon me on every side, all parties welcoming me with the greatest good will, in spite of the extreme desolateness of the place. My lord Dioscorus happened to be there; and he had even sent a domestic to me to Cæsarea for the very purpose of inviting, nay begging, me to accept his house and no other; and many others did the same. I availed myself by preference of his offer, as I felt I ought to do, and took up my abode with him; and he has been every thing to me, so that I have been continually protesting against the lavish expense which he has been at on my account. He has even left his house to me, and gone to live at some other place, in order to show me every attention possible; and he got the house into a condition to weather the winter, busying himself with this object in every way. In a word, he has left nothing undone which could be of service to me. Many others, too, agents and stewards, have received letters from their masters, ordering them to call upon me, as they have done continually, and in every way to study my comfort.

“And now I have told you all about me, the distressing past and the favourable present, lest any friend should be precipitate in getting me removed elsewhere. If these persons, who wish to be kind to me, put into my own hands the choice where to dwell, instead of taking on themselves to assign the place, in that case I accept the favour. But if they remove me hence, in order to send me elsewhere, and there is to be another journey and another exile, this would be far more painful to me than my present condition—first, because of the chance of my relegation to a more distant or worse country; next, because travelling is to me worse than ten thousand banishments. For the inconveniences of my late journey brought me to the very gates of death; and now here I am in Cucusus, recruiting myself by an uninterrupted rest and quiet, and by that quiet nursing my long distress and my shattered bones and wearied flesh.

“My lady the Deaconess Sabiniana arrived here the same day that I did, knocked up, indeed, and wearied out, as being of that advanced age when travel is a toil, but in her earnestness a girl, and making no account of suffering, and ready, as she said, to go as far as Scythia; for the report went that I was to be deported thither. And now her mind is made up, she says, never to go away again, but to remain wherever I am. The ecclesiastics of the place received her with much attention and kindness. Moreover, my honoured lord, the most religious priest Constantius, would have been here long ago; for he wrote to me asking my leave to come, because, he said, he would not venture on the step without my judgment, much as he desired it, and certain as it was he could not remain at home; for he is in hiding, such troubles, he says, are upon him. On this account I beg you not to exert yourself for the change of my abode, for here I am enjoying great relief,—so much so that, in the course of two days, all the troubles of my journey have been wiped out of my mind.”—Ep. 43.

In a few days he wrote again to the same correspondent, in answer to a letter brought to him by Patricius:

“Why do you bewail me? Why beat your breast, and abandon yourself to the tyranny of despondency? Why are you grieved because you have failed in effecting my removal from Cucusus? Yet, as far as your own part is concerned, you have effected it, since you have left nothing undone in attempting it. Nor have you any reason to grieve for your ill success; perhaps it has seemed good to God to make my race-course longer that my crown may be brighter. You ought to leap and dance and crown yourself for this, viz. that I should be accounted worthy of so great a matter, which far exceeds my merit. Does my present loneliness distress you? On the contrary, what can be more pleasant than my sojourn here? I have quiet, calm, much leisure, excellent health. To be sure, there is no market in the city, nor any thing on sale; but this does not affect me; for all things, as if from some fountains, flow in upon me. Here is my lord, the Bishop of the place, and my lord Dioscorus, making it their sole business to make me comfortable. That excellent person Patricius will tell you in what good spirits and lightness of mind, and amid what kind attentions, I am passing my time.”—Ep. 14.


The same is his report to his friends at Cæsarea, and the same are his expressions of gratitude and affection towards them. The following is addressed to the President of Cappodocia:

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