Then he tried whistling the "Miserere," but he pitched it too high, and it ran out, so he sang as he turned across the commons toward home, and that helped a little; and he opened the door of his home singing, "How can I leave thee how can I bear to part?" The light was burning in the kitchen, and he went to his mother and kissed her. His face was aglow, and she saw what had happened to him.
He died in 1834, and was buried in Highgate Church. The last stanza of the boatman's song, in Remorse, serves better to express the world's judgment than any epitaph: Hark! the cadence dies away On the quiet moon-lit sea; The boatmen rest their oars and say, Miserere Domini!
She put her fingers on her lips, and whispered, "Beati immaculati miserere mei, Deus," stray phrases gathered from the liturgy, pregnant to her brain, order and truth flashing out of wandering and fantasy. No one of the girls refused, but sat there, some laughing nervously, some silent; for this mad maid had come to be surrounded with a superstitious reverence in the eyes of the common people.
It seems to be preserved by the God of Battles as an inditement on the landscape never to be erased by any human court—lonely, solemn, desolate, bereaved of any summer flower, written all over with the purple shadows of an endless Miserere.
"Pere Lactance, God in heaven will judge between thee and me; I summon thee to appear before Him in thirty days." Grandier was then seen to make attempts to strangle himself, but either because it was impossible, or because he felt it would be wrong to end his life by his own hands, he desisted, and clasping his hands, prayed aloud "Deus meus, ad te vigilo, miserere me."
Another moment and Angela felt herself sinking back into her chair, and when she opened her eyes the Mother Superior was at the table, half seated, half lying across it, on the heaps of papers and account-books, and her outstretching hands clasped the foot of the old crucifix beside the leaden inkstand. 'Miserere mei, Domine! The voice of her prayer broke the stillness like a silver bell.
A triangular candlestick, upon which are placed fifteen candles, corresponding to the number of psalms recited before the Miserere, is peculiar to this solemn office, and is placed at the epistle-side of the altar.
"The custom of giving a blessing before the lections was already in existence in the fourth century. In the palace of Aix-la-Chapeile, it was by knocking, and not by the words Tu autem, that the Emperor Charlemagne gave the signal for the conclusion of the lections, while the lector recited himself, Tu autem, Domine miserere nobis.
Even at Tours and Orleans, so far as appears, there was no subscription to speak in modern terms, no cry among the burghers to gather their crowns for her redemption not a word, not an effort, only a barefooted procession, a mass, a Miserere, which had no issue.
Indeed it would be difficult not to understand the Miserere, which I take to be the composition of an atheist. If it ever be a good thing to take such despondency to heart, the Miserere is the right music, and a cathedral a fit scene. So far I am at one with the Catholics: an odd name for them, after all?