« السابقةمتابعة »
Leicester Fields offered £8 for them; 60 horses and mares, 300 pick-axes, 200 spades and shovels, 75 ladders, and 240 razors. He possessed also £700 per annum, and £1000 in money, which (he dying intestate) became the property of a ticket porter.
6.- EPIPHANY, or TWELFTH DAY. The rites of this day are different in various places, though the object of them is much the same in all, namely, to do honour to the memory of the Eastern magi; who, according to a tradition of the Romish church, were three in number, and of royal dignity. Mr. Stevenson, in his “Tour in France, &c.' when speaking of the neglected state of Cologne cathedral, observes, Is it not surprising that in the city of Cologne, whose inhabitants have never ceased to be Most Catholic, and, consequently, most ready to boast of the religious works of their ancestors-is it not surprising that they should have suffered so noble and magnificent a structure to remain in its present state? Not at all. Step with me behind the grand altar, and there you will discover the gulf which has for centuries swallowed, and which still continues to intercept and absorb those offerings and oblations that might have replenished the coffers of the board of works, and displayed their munificent amount in the accomplishment of the architect's intention.
That small marble chamber is called the chapel of the Three Kings; for the Magi, who brought gifts and paid adoration to the Babe at Bethlehem, are so denominated. Infallible authority had already pointed out to us the original burial-place of those great travellers in the church of St. Eustorgio, at Milan. But how did Cologne become possessed of their remains ? Why, by the fortunate circumstance of Archbishop Reinold's accompanying the very pious expedition in which the Emperor Frederick I took and utterly destroyed the city of Milan. It was that feudal prelate, receiver of the stolen bones of the dead, as his share of the spoil obtained by making houseless such of the living as the sword had spared, who, in 1170, deposited the same in this chapel. Enter it: but first pay down six francs, or the securely locked door remains for ever shut against you. This done, however, the sacristan lights the lamps within; and you are allowed by their illumination the sight of a tomb, the genuineness and integrity of whose contents, considering how they were originally come by, and their removal during the French Revolution, must be regarded as extremely doubtful.
There, in the centre, on four columns of about a yard in height, stands a large old chest or trunk covered with gold, or perhaps gilt metal, with ornaments of excellent workmanship, in bas-relief, representing arcades, supported by small columns. In front are images of three kings in solid gold; on the sides are figures of apostles and prophets in silver-gilt; and the cornices and borders are set with gems, enamels, and precious stones of all descriptions, doubtless of great value. This chest, which is a curious specimen of ancient embossing and carving, is divided into two compartments. The small folding-doors of the upper one open; and three radiated crowns of gold, respectively bearing, in letters formed of rubies, the names of Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, are seen shining over the crania of the three wise men who came from the East to worship the new born Saviour! The sacristan tells his oft-told tale, and takes the heads out and the crowns off to confirm it. If you do not wish him instantly to return these highly-varnished remnants of mortality to their places, make no remarks, and refrain from any attempt to examine them. You may safely, in your own mind, allow two to be the skulls of adults, males or females. The third pretended wise man's brain must have lain in a small compass, and himself have been numbered with the dead ere he attained the full age of discretion. The lower part of the chest is said
to contain the bones of the three Magi. The expense of this brilliant bauble, valued at more than £320,000, has been defrayed out of the voluntary tax which folly and credulity pay to superstition and priestcraft, even in these enlightened days of the nineteenth century.
The present observation of Twelfth Day in Cumberland is thus noticed by a writer in the Mirror:'
In many of the small towns they have what many would call a nasty dish,' consisting of scalded peas, and a hare, or some other kind of game. The peas are field peas (which are brought to table with the hare), and are scalded in water, with the husks on, after wbich a lump of butter is put in the middle, and they are picked out as they are eaten: the supper concludes with a tharve cake,' a large, flat, oaten cake, baked on a girdle, sometimes with plums in it. Dancing and drinking then occupy the remainder of the evening. Tar-barrels are common at all their festivals, and scarcely a town is without them to-night. At Brough it is called holly-night, because it was customary at this time of the year to decorate the altars with holly. At the two principal inns in the town, the holly' is provided alternately. Early in the morning they send out a body of husbandmen to fell a large ash tree; for although it is called holly-night, yet holly being a scarcity, ash is substituted. They then affix torches made of greased reeds to each bough of the tree, and take it into the inn, there to remain till seven o'clock in the evening.
At that hour a gun or pistol is fired, when the tree. is taken out into a convenient part of the town, where it is lighted, and after huzzaing for about half an hour, it is carried up and down the town on a man's shoulders, followed by the town band, and stopping every time they reach the cross at the top of the town; here they again salute the holly,' and fireworks are discharged. It is taken down the town again, and
so on till it is burnt out. The person who carries the holly on his shoulders is named Ling,' who, when it is extinguished, carries it to the middle of the town, and after another huzza, throws it among the crowd, who eagerly watch the opportunity of running away with it; for it should be observed, there are two se parate contending parties, and to whichever inn the holly is carried the victors retire there to spend the evening in drinking, and very often it terminates with a merry night, a name given to all their dancing nights.
In Catholic countries the carnivali commences at this time, and continues till the night of Shrove Tuesday. A recent celebration of it at Rome is thus noticed by the author of a 'Narrative of Three Years' Residence in Italy.'
February 7.- Well may it be said that the carnival is a time of madness. Each person seems to vie with the other who will be most ridiculous. For a short time the numberless grotesque figures, as they pass, excite laughter; but soon disgust and weariness take place of amusement at seeing rational beings transform themselves into idiots, madmen, and monkeys, which animal in face and gesture they delight to imitate. Just now a kind of open carriage, with a gay canopy adorned with green wreaths, passed along, filled with creatures resembling dogs and monkeys; the charioteer, also, being of the same description. A huge boot was seen marching along up the Corso. In short, it would be in vain to attempt giving you an idea of the buffooneries performed from one until three o'clock, when, at the firing of a gun, which is the signal, the long line of carriages in continued succession file off in different directions to leave a free course for the horse race, before whi а party of cavalry gallop twice backwards and forwards to clear the Corso; then, guards being placed to keep back the crowds which line the whole length
For an account of the ceremony o the • Bailiff of Carnival time at Alluyes,' see T.T. for 1828, p. 387.
of the street, all in silent expectation watch the appearance of the horses, which is announced by a loud and universal shout. There were thirteen of these wretched animals, without riders, impelled forwards by goads fastened to their backs, and squibs so contrived that they go off with the motion and frighten them. The backs of the horses are ornamented with tinsel. In their fright, they frequently turn quickly, and break in through the crowd, from which many dangerous accidents arise; but these are
February 10.--The carnival will continue until next Tuesday, the 15th. Every where, excepting at Rome, it lasts three weeks, the Sunday being the great carnival day; but here it is not permitted either on that day or Friday. The actors of these ridiculous buffooneries are not confined to the foot passengers: you see coachmen and footmen dressed in white, as women, the carriage being filled with great coarse-looking men. This day a hideous mask appeared representing the Devil; he had great horns, was dressed in scarlet, a long flowing garment, and marched along with head erect and dignified step, the people exclaiming as he passed; ? Ecco il Cardinale.' Although masks are not permitted to assemble in the streets on the Sundays, they meet on that night at a place of public amusement, where they dance till morning. There are many masked balls during the week: the French ambassador gave one, where the character best supported was that of an antiquary. He had the Coliseum on his head, and his legs were Corinthian pillars.
Ash Wednesday. Last night, at eleven o'clock, the death of the carnival was announced by the moving of a cart covered with lights through the streets. Every person carried a light; the great fun for one hour is, putting out these lights, and lighting them again; and in this most delightful pursuit men, women, and children are seen running in every direc