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

“Cucusus is a place desolate in the extreme; however, it does not annoy me so much by its desolateness as it relieves me by its quiet and its leisure. Accordingly, I have found a sort of harbour in this desolateness; and have sat me down to recover breath after the miseries of the journey, and have availed myself of the quiet to dispose of what remained both of my illness and of the other troubles which I have undergone. I say this to your illustriousness, knowing well the joy you feel in this rest of mine. I can never forget what you did for me in Cæsarea, in quelling those furious and senseless tumults, and striving to the utmost, as far as your powers extended, to place me in security. I give this out publicly wherever I go, feeling the liveliest gratitude to you, my most worshipful lord, for so great solicitude towards me.”—Ep. 236.

To Hymnetius, who attended him in his illness at Cæsarea, he says: “I shall never give over my praises of you, in all companies, as a worthy man and the best of physicians, and a true friend. Whenever I have to speak here of my illness, of course you come into my story; and I am necessarily full of the benefits which I experienced from your great skill and kindness, which it is the greatest gratification to myself to enlarge upon.” He adds, “Well as I am, I would give a good sum to attract you here, were it only to get the sight of you.”—Ep. 81.

To Firminus, another Cæsarean, he says: “Even to have been in your company once has served to make me love you dearly; and you are yourself the cause of it, for from the first moment you showed an extreme and enthusiastic affection towards me; and instead of leaving me to time to gain experience of you, you took me captive at sight, and bound me closely to you. This is why I write to you, and tell you what you are eager to hear. What is that? Why, that I am in health, that I finished my journey without accident, that I am reveling in perfect quiet and leisure, that I have met with great kindness from all parties, that I am enjoying unspeakable consolation.”—Ep. 80.

And in like manner to Leontius: “From your city I was driven, from my love for you I have not been driven; for it rested with others whether I should remain there or be cast out, but this thing depends upon me. Nor shall any one avail to deprive me of this privilege; but whithersoever I am carried, everywhere I carry with me the honey of my love for you, and revel in the recollection of you.”—Ep. 83.

“I have reached Cucusus in health,” he says to Faustinus, “and have found a place free from tumult, full of leisure and quiet, and without a soul to annoy me or to send me off. Nor is it wonderful that I should have these advantages here, when even the route hither from you, which is so desolate, so dangerous, of such ill repute, was traversed by me without alarms, without adventures, with the enjoyment of greater security than is found in the best-regulated cities.”—Ep. 84.

While he had this keen sensibility towards the kindnesses done him on his journey, he had no remembrance of the injuries. As to his enemies generally, there is hardly a word against them in the multitude of his private letters which have been preserved. He had spoken of his military attendants with cheerful hopefulness at Nicæa; he speaks of them with satisfaction at Cucusus, though they had shown neither spirit nor generosity at Cæsarea. He was too humble to exact much; he was too resigned not to be content with little. But what is stranger is his bearing towards Evethius, who seems to have been the tool of his Bishop in frightening the Saint away, on a false alarm, from Seleucia’s hospitable villa, and in sending him out in the dark at midnight, with a fever upon him, to stumble among the mountains and to get an overturn in his litter. This priest, indeed, is considered by great authorities to have been, not a Cæsarean, but a friend of the Saint’s, who accompanied him from Nicæa. There was such a friend with him at Cucusus, certainly; but he seems to me to have joined him at a later date; on the other hand, it is certain that Chrysostom knew two persons of the name, and that one of them lived at Cæsarea. Evethius, then, I consider, was one of those priests who had been civil to him up to the time that the Bishop forbade such civility, and who then took part with the Bishop. Chrysostom remembered his beginning rather than his end, as the following letter will show. It will be observed, too, that here, as in a letter I just now quoted, he has forgotten his “alarms and risks,” as well as the priest’s rough behaviour. Perhaps on reflection he thought he had been too hard upon him in his letter to Olympias, though in that letter he does no more than barely state what happened.

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