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so adorned, and connected with such associations, it were impossible to witness any solemn service without deep interest, and there is perhaps more appearance of devotion in the worshippers than in any other church in this portion of the Italian peninsula. Yet the Patriarch Ranieri and his attendant dignitaries appeared to view with indifference and weariness the pageant of High Mass, which consists in a great degree in the adorning the person of the said patriarch with a series of vestures, each of which is said, by the old Catholic writers, to have a symbolical meaning, conveying some important religious instruction. Even in the midst of the buffoonery of the carnival we observed that no one passed a shrine without genuflection, and sometimes crossing himself, although the laugh was scarcely suspended for the purpose. But we consider this as no proof of a real regard for the more important parts of even the exterior of religion.

In the dominions of the King of Sardinia we imagine superstition to have rather a deeper root. Modern miracles are gravely talked of by persons in the rank of respectable shopkeepers at Turin, and appear to be credited, or at least not absolutely rejected. There is perhaps no city in Italy, however, which possesses so noble a band of patriots and rationalists in religion as Genoa.

In the “Eternal City," which seems doomed to be the everlasting seat of priestcraft, bigotry, and slavery, the two extremes meet. There is a party which eulogizes the reigning pope, whoever he may chance to be, as “il più dotto degli uomini ed il più savio de' principi,” which glosses over or “ knows nothing of the enormities of the purple court, believes all that the church requires, and weeps at its affecting ceremonies. And there is another party which pours uncompromising and unbounded contempt and ridicule upon the church and all that belongs to it,-its rulers, its doctrines, its ceremonies and, not least, its miracles. We should think this last (reinforced by the resident foreigners and other strangers) the most numerous party. Indeed the presence of strangers is an awkward impediment in the way of the performance or rather of the efficacy of some of the ceremonies of the church. In the month of May, 1827, a great crowd was assembled in the church of Ara Celi, at the foot of the Capitol, to witness the casting out a demon, but the priest, after some ineffectual attempts, declared, that there were too many foreigners present for the miracle to be performed !That even the lower class of Romans themselves do not yield implicit homage to the “ most learned of men and the wisest of princes,” is evident, from a circumstance which occurred at the time above referred to. Leo XII., while engaged in what is called " visiting the Seven Churches" in Rome, stopped at one in the midst of the Trasteverini, the poorest and most superstitious portion of the citizens. On returning to his carriage he was surrounded by a crowd of wretched beings who were clamorous for the alms of the holy father. Leo, who was notorious for his covetousness, immediately began to make a sign of the cross with his thumb and two forefingers in the air, in token of his freely bestowing upon the famished multitude his paternal benediction! "Che benedizione! Santo Padre.” “ What is the use of blessing us, holy father,” exclaimed they, “ we have neither shoes, nor shirts, nor bread." The pope, who was to the full as timid as he was avaricious, apprehensive of what this might end in, mounted his carriage and drove hastily off.

At Naples we found the submission to spiritual dominion apparently more abject, and the devotion employed in the ceremonies of the church, and in the services voluntarily imposed on themselves by individuals, of a more noisy and impassioned description. Penitents were heard in public with loud cries lamenting over their sins, and so great was the eagerness to obtain a share of the benediction of the archbishop, (which the irreverent Trasteverini thought of so little value as it came genuine from the sovereign pontiff himself, that druggists Aung down their spatulæ in the midst of making up a prescription, and rushing to the street door dropped on one knee to receive it. Yet we could perceive that the public mind was on the advance.

Our attention was more particularly directed to Tuscany; and here every thing indicated, not only great comparative advancement, but a continued and rapid progression. For its present state of intellectual, moral and religious advancement, Tuscany is mainly indebted to the Grand Duke Leopold I. (afterwards Emperor of Austria), and to his able, faithful and disinterested adviser Bishop Scipio de' Ricci, the latter of whom planned, and the former of whom gave the sanction of the supreme authority to the most extensive reforms in the Tuscan Church, which humbled in the dust the “ Roman Babylon,” as Bishop Ricci was wont to call it, and summoned to the exercise of their reasoning faculties on the subject of religion, those whose intelligent spirits had been long bowed down by authority which refused to reason itself, or to allow others to do so. The memory of these great men, their recorded deeds and treasured sayings, is a patrimony for the Tuscans of untold wealth. Florence abounds with anecdotes of the golden days of the “great Leopold,” the " immortal Leopold," calculated to illustrate the superiority of merit to title, wealth and place-to expose the pretensions of hypocrisy, and to humble the pride of ecclesiastical tyranny. The sayings of that prince were apophthegms of wisdom, and his deeds were wiser than his sayings. We shall content ourselves with citing a single instance of his spirited conduct, bearing immediate relation to our present subject. Archbishop Martini, of Florence, was a man of considerable learning, and had performed an important service to the church by translating a part of its Latin oflices and the whole of the Vulgate into Italian; and on Leopold's general principle of advancing men of talent, he was promoted by that sovereign to the primacy of Tuscany. But his pride as a churchman partook too much of the old school. His cominands were seldom uureasonable, but he would never allow them to be questioned, or condescend to give a reason for his arbitrary decisions. He had one day forbidden a poor and worthy priest any longer to exercise his ecclesiastical functions, and when humbly asked the reason, he replied, “ La ragione ho quà dentro”—(The reason is here within ---in my own bosom). The priest, conscious of bis istegrity, presented a petition to the Grand Duke, that his case might be taken into consideration. Leopold observed to him," and pray how do you feel here within?" The reply was, that he was conscious of innocence, and asked not to be pardoned or acquitted, but only to be informed what offence he was charged with. The archbishop was at this moment sitting in his court, with his chancellor, second in authority to himself, at his right hand, transacting business, when a police officer was sent into the court with orders to arrest, not the archbishop (as his person was sacred), but his chancellor, in the name of His Royal Highness the Grand Duke. Upon the archbishop inquiring with astonishment the reason, the officer replied, pointing, agreeably to his instructions, to his breast,“ His Royal Highness says, I have the reason here within.'" “Oh, I understand,” said the archbishop: "go to such a priest, and tell him that he is restored to his functions, and that no further molestation shall be given him.” It is of such spirited anecdotes as these that the daily wisdom of the Florentines is made up; and while the memory of Leopold remains, there is no danger that priestcraft should recover its sway over them.*

The late Grand Duke Ferdinand III. and the present Leopold II. have not showu themselves behind their great predecessor in puiting a curb in the mouth of ecclesiastical pretension. The former being about to attend a public service at the Cathedral of Siena, it is said that the archbishop informed the prime minister, that when sore reign princes attended that church, it was the custom for them to take the left side of the altar, leaving the right to the archbishop, as an acknowledgment of the superiority of religion to the state; and that the Grand Duke replied, that“ although religion was superior to civil government, yet as religious establishments were the work of the civil power, he thought the archbishop ought to be on the left side of the altar, to denote his dependance on the state for his preferment.” The late archbishop, who was a proad churchman, was “ indisposed” on this occasion, and appointed another bishop to take the left side of the altar in his place. On a like occasion, when we were present, in 1828, the sovereign sat constantly on the right, and the archbishop had seals on both sides, passing from one to the other. Such was the compromise between church and state.

Is then the pulpit in the present day what it ought to be, the leader of national improvement, or is it a drag upon its progress? Not like Fra Giordano's note-taker, with a pen behind our ear, but with the intention of taking notes of anything remarkable on our return to our lodgings, we passed through Italy, observing the style of preaching in the different countries, in order that when we reached our native land again, if asked, “ Watchman, wbat of the night?" we might be able to give a full, if not a satisfactory, answer to the inquirer.

In Piedmont, the priests, who partake largely of the harsh disagreeable pronunciation of the natives in general, are often respectable, but seldom pleasing preachers. Amongst the Waldenses, where the Protestant pastors are remarkable for the good sense and patriarchial simplicity of their address, the Catholics are distinguished by the vehemence of their gesticulation and the loudness of their voices. At Genoa something beyond mediocrity is absolutely necessary to obtain an audience. The Venetians devote a great deal of their leisure time to the church and its services, but during several months' residence we met with only one preacher of eminence, the parish priest of St. Luke. We heard him on the text, “ It is appointed unto all men once to die, and after that the judgment.” He has the advantage of a striking figure, and standing in the commanding attitude of a Roman senator, with the neck completely exposed, and freely turning with every change of address and emotion, he poured forth a torrent of eloquence. When he spoke of the enormous vices of men, and of their foolhardy neglect and forgetfulness of a day of judgment, he bent his head down, hid his face with his hands, and wept aloud. Another Venetian preacher was of a very different description—the extreme of childishness. He proposed to deliver a set of lectures on the spiritual interpretation of the history of Sampson. His first lecture began the subject with the history of Manoah, Sampson's father! From the circumstance of Sampson's mother being forbidden the use of the fruit of the vine and spirituous liquors, he took occasion to remark, that the abuse of these had become very common of late, and that even delicate females pleaded that it gave them strength, as an excuse for indulgence; but here they found the mother of the strongest man that ever lived wholly abstaining from potent liquors. At this happy hit, as they seemed to regard it, whatever may be thought of its decorousness, the audience laughed aloud, and made remarks to each other expressive of their satisfaction. The preachers here are very much in the habit of making amusing stories out of the Old Testament history, which they humour with their national dramatic narrative and conversational gesticulation.

At Rome, there are several preachers who make themselves remarkable by the vehemence with which they declaim against the corruption of manners and the prevalence of heresy in the present day. They particularly inveigh against the carnival; and one of them gave notice, with reference to the commencement of the popular festivities of this season, that Satan was about to be let loose on such a day. The Roman preachers are generally well trained in the management of the voice, and the proprieties of action, in accordance with the national taste. Being required to fill immense churches, they have an interest in studying to do this gracefully and without effort, and in this they are successful beyond any parallel. The full and manly sounds, and dignified pause of the Roman accent, add much to the charm of their delivery; and they are particularly skilful in conciliating the favour of the audience by an elegant, and somewhat complimentary, introduction. So far, to hear them is one of the greatest treats which a stranger who understands the language can enjoy. But when we come to the matter of their discourses, there is, perhaps, no part of Italy where more extravagance is indulged in, or more sheer nonsense is talked. We were recommended to go to hear a young man who was reckoned to be one of the best preachers in Rome, who was delivering what is called an “ istruzione al popolo," not sermons with texts, but a set of familiar lectures on moral duties, which may be heard in the month of May in the chief Catholic cities, in honour of the Virgin Mary, to whom that month is sacred, and each of whose virtues is taken successively as the theme of eulogy and the foundation of instruction. A stage of about fifteen feet in breadth was on this oc sion raised against a wall of the church, and covered with

green baize, on which the preacher paced to and fro, occasionally sitting down on a chair which was provided for him. He was discoursing of the modesty of the Virgin. To know when to be silent, he observed, was an important branch of this virtue; and he took occasion to launch out against the inordinate loquacity of females, which, he said, led them to lose half of that time which they ought to be employing in domestic duties, and to go from house to house picking up something that was bad in the habits of each, and thus evil example became the more contagious. Another exemplification of this virtue was the wearing of decorous apparel, and here he inveighed against the modern fashions of the ladies with all the zeal of a covenanter. The third branch of this virtue was the government of the thoughts. But in all these respects, the theatre, he said, was the great corrupter of the female character. However pure might be the compositions they heard recited, the evil was scarcely less, and Corneille and Me


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