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The Romish church pretending to possess one of the chains wherewith Peter was bound, and from which the angel delivered him, indulges its votaries with a festival in its honour on this day. “Pagan Rome,” says Alban Butler, “never derived so much honour from the spoils and trophies of a conquered world, as christian Rome receives from the corporal remains of these two glorious apostles, (Peter and Paul,) before which the greatest emperors lay down their diadems, and prostrate themselves.” Be it observed, that the o also pretends to possess the chains of Paul: pope Gregory writing to the empress Constantia tells her he will quickly send her some part of Paul's chains, if it be possible for him to file any off;-“for,” says Gregory, “since so many frequently come begging a benediction from the chains, that they may receive a little of the filings thereof, therefore a priest is ready with a file; and when some persons petition for it, presently in a moment something is filed off for them from the chains; but when others petition, though the file be drawn a great while through the chains, yet cannot the least jot be got off.” Upon this, bishop Patrick says, “One may have leave to ask, why should not this miraculous chain of St. Paul have a festival appointed in memory of it, as well as that of St. Peter ? you may take Baronius's answer to it till
you can meet with a better.” Baronius, the great Romish luminary and authority in the affairs of papal martyrs, relics, and miracles, says, “Truly the bonds of St. Peter seem not without reason to be worshipped, though the bonds of the other apostles are not: for it is but fit, that since he has the chief power in the church of binding and loosing other men's bonds, that his bonds also should be had in honour of all the faithful.” This is a sufficing reason to the believers in the “binding and loosing” according to the gloss put upon that power by Romish writers. The empress Eudocia is affirmed to have brought the two chains of St. Peter from Jerusalem, in the year 439, one whereof she gave to a church in Constantinople, and sent the other to Rome, where the old lady's chain has yielded, or not yielded, to the raspings of the file from time immemorial. This chain was pleased to part with some of its particles to the emperor Justinian, who sent ambassadors begging to the pope for a small portion, “The popes,” says Butler, “were accustomed to send the filings as precious relics to devout princes—they were often instruments of miracles—and the pope himself rasped them off for king Childebert, and enclosed them in a golden key to be hung about the neck.” Childebert, no doubt, experienced its aperient qualities. They would be very serviceable to the papal interest at this period.
Gule of August.
The first day of August is so called. According to Gebelin, as the month of August was the first in the Egyptian }. it was called Gule, which being atinized, makes Gula, a word in that language signifying throat. “Our legendaries,” says Brand, “surprised at seeing this word at the head of the month of August, converted it to their own purpose.” They made out of it the feast of the daughter of the tribune Quirinus, who they pretend was cured of a disorder in the throat, (Gula,) by kissing the chain of St. Peter on the day of its festival. Forcing the Gule of the Egyptians into the throat of the tribune's daughter, they instituted a festival to Gule upon the festival-day of St. Peter ad Vincula
So stands the first of August in our English almanacs, and so it stands in the printed Saron Chronicle. “Antiquaries,” says Brand, “are divided in their opinions concerning the origin of Lammas-Day; some derive it from LambMass, because on that day the tenants who held lands under the cathedral church in York, which is dedicated to St. Peter ad Vincula, were bound by their tenure to bring a live lamb into the church at high mass: others derive it from a supposed offering or tything of lambs at this time.” Various other derivations have been imagined. Blount, the glossographer, says, that Lammas is called Hlaf-Mass, that is Loaf-Mass, or Bread-Mass, which signifies a feast of thanksgiving for the first fruits of the corn. It was observed with bread of new wheat, and in some places tenants are bound to bring new wheat to their lord, on, or before, the first of August. New wheat is called LammasWheat. Vallancey affirms that this day was dedicated, in Ireland, to the sacrifice of the fruits of the soil; that La-ith-mas the day of the obligation of grain, is pronounced La-ee-mas, a word readily corrupted to Lammas; that ith, signifies all kinds of grain, particularly wheat, and that massignifies fruit of all kinds, especially the acorn, whence the word mast.” From these explications may easily be derived the reasonable meaning of the word Lammas.
JULIET, CAPULET, AND PETRARch.
To the Editor of the Every-Day Book. Sii,
As in your little calendar of worthy observancies you sometimes notice the birthdays of those whom we most desire, and who most deserve to be remembered,
and as I am one, who like yourself, am .
unwilling anything should be forgotten, or trodden down under the feet of thoughtless and passing generations, that has pleasant speculation in it, pray remember that on the first day of August, Francisco Petrarca was born.-But remember also, that on that same day, in 1578, was born our Juliet Capulet. “On Lammas eve at night shall she be fourteen. That shall she, marry; I remember it well. Tis since the earthquake now eleven years, an’ she was weaned.” Shakspeare's characters, as we all know, be they of what country or of what age they may, speak as an Englishman would have done in his own times, and the earthquake here referred to was felt in 1580. That Juliet, our Juliet, should have been born on the very same day as Petrarch was certainl accidental; yet it is a coincidence wo observing; and if a calendar of birthdays be to recall pleasant recollections, over “our chirping cups,” why may not Juliet be remembered, and her sweetly poetical existence be associated with the reality of Petrarca's life. And where is the difference? Petrarca is,
nor hand nor foot Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part Belonging to a man.
And what are all the great men that have ever lived but such mocking names? Montaigne, who translated a theological work by Raimondi di Sibondi, on being told by some learned friend that he suspected it was but an abstract of St. Thomas of Aquin, says “’tis a pity to rob Sibondi of his honours on such slight authority:"—what honours ? when are they offered? to whom? it is not known that such a man ever had existence! Not love, nor reverence, nor idolatrous admiration can stay the progress of oblivion: the grave shuts us out for ever from our fellows, and our generation is the limit of our personal and real existence:—mind only is immortal. Francisco Petrarca was dead, and buried, and forgotten, five hundred years ago: he is now no more in reality than Juliet; nay, to myself, not so much so. The witches in Macbeth, though pure creations, have more of flesh and blood reality, are more familiar to the thoughts of all, than the Lancashire witches that lived cotempo. rary with the poet, and suffered death from the superstition of the age. There have been many Shakspeares, we know but one; that one indeed, from association
Holinshed records, that in the year 1577, “on Sundaie the fourth of August, betweene the houres of nine and ten of the clocke in the forenone, whilest the minister was reading of the second lesson in the parish church of Bliborough, a towne in Suffolke, a strange and terrible tempest of lightening and thunder strake thorough the wall of the same church into the ground almost a yard deepe, draue downe all the people on that side aboue twentie persons, then renting the wall up to the veustre, cleft the doore, and returning to the steeple, rent the timber, brake the chimes, and fled towards Bongie, a towne six miles off. The people that were striken downe were found groueling more than halfe an houre after, whereof one man more than fortie yeares, and a boie of fifteene yeares, starke dead: the other were scorched.
The same or the like flash of lightening and cracks of thunder rent the parish church of Bongie, nine miles from Norwich, wroong in sunder the wiers and wheels of the clocks, slue two men which sat in the belfreie, when the other were at the procession or suffrages, and scorched an other which hardlie escaped.” This damage by lightning to the church of Bungay, in Suffolk, is most curiously narrated in an old tract, entitled “A straunge and terrible Wunder wrought very late in the parish Church of Bongay, a Town of no great distance from the citie of Norwich, namely the fourth of this August in yo yeere of our Lord, 1577, in a great tempest of violent raine, lightning, and thunder, the like whereof hath been seldome seene. With the appeerance of an horrible shaped thing, sensibly perceiued of the people then and there assembled. Drawen into a plain method, according to the written copye, by Abraham Fleming.” Mr. Rodd, bookseller, in Great Newport-street, Leicester-square, well known to collectors by his catalogues and collections of rare and curious works, has reprinted this tract, and says, on the authority of Newcourt’s “Repertorium,” voli., p. 519, wherein he is corroborated by Antony Wood, in his “Athenae Oxoniensis;” that of the narrator, Abraham Fleming, nothing more is known than that he was rector of St. Pancras, Soper-lane, from October, 1593, till 1607, in which year he died. “He was probably,” says Mr. Rodd, “a schoolmaster, as his almost literal translation of ‘Virgil's Pastorals' into English metre without rhime, and his edition of “Withall's Dictionary,’ were intended for the use of beginners in Latin. From his numerous writings and translations, (a list of which may be seen in Ames, Tanner, &c.,) he appears to have been an industrious author, and most probably subsisted on the labours of his en.” p In a monitory preface, well befitting the context, Abraham Fleming says, “The order of the thing as I receiued the såe I have committed to paper, for the present viewe and perusing of those that are disposed. It is grounded uppon trueth, and therefore not only worthie the writing and publishing, but also the hearing and considering.” He then proceeds to “reporte” his “straunge and wonderful
olà were found - spectacle,” in these words:
“Sunday, being the fourth of this August, in ye yeer of our Lord, 1577, to the amazing and singular astonishment of the present beholders, and absent hearers, at a certein towne called Bongay, not past tenne miles distant from the citie of Norwiche, there fell from heaven an exceeding great and terrible tempest, sodein and violent, between nine of the clock in the morning and tenne of the day aforesaid. “This tempest took beginning with a rain, which fel with a wonderful force and with no lesse violence then abundance, which made the storme so much the more extream and terrible. “This tempest was not simply of rain, but also of lightning and thunder, the flashing of the one whereof was so rare and vehement, and the roaring noise of the other so forceable and violent, that it made not only people perplexed in minde and at their wits end, but ministred such straunge and unaccustomed cause of feare to be côceived, that dumb creatures with ye horrour of that which fortuned, were exceedingly disquieted, and senselesse things void of all life and feeling, shook and trembled. “There were assembled at the same season, to hear divine service and common prayer, according to order, in the parish church of the said towne of Bongay, the people thereabouts inhabiting, who were witnesses of the straungenes, the rarenesse and sodenesse of the storm, consisting of raine violently falling, fearful flashes of lightning, and terrible cracks of thūder, which came with such unwonted force and power, that to the perceiving of the people, at the time and in the place aboue named, assembled, the church did as it were quake and stagger, which struck into the harts of those that were present, such a sore and sodain feare, that they were in a manner robbed of their right wits. “Immediately hereupā, there appeared in a most horrible similitude . likenesse to the congregation then and there present, a dog as they might discerne it, of a black colour; at the sight whereof, togither with the fearful flashes of fire which then were seene, moved such admiration in the mindes of the assemblie, that they thought doomes day was already come. “This black dog, or the divel in such a likenesse (God hee knoweth al who worketh all,) runing all along down the body of the church with great swiftnesse, and incredible haste, among the people,
in a visible fourm and shape, passed between two persons, as they were kneeling uppon their knees, and occupied in P. as it seemed, wrung the necks of them bothe at one instant clene backward, in somuch that even at a momet where they kneeled, they străgely dyed. “This is a widerful example of God's wrath, no doubt to terrifie us, that we might feare him for his iustice, or pulling back our footsteps from the pathes of sinne, to love him for his mercy. “To our matter again. There was at ye same time another wonder wrought: for the same black dog, stil continuing and remaining in one and the self same shape, passing by an other man of the congregation in the church, gave him such a gripe on the back, that therwith all he was presently drawen togither and shrunk up, as it were a peece of lether scorched in a hot fire; or as the mouth of a purse or bag, drawen togither with a string. The man, albeit hee was in so straunge a taking, dyed not, but as it is thought is yet alive : whiche thing is mervelous in the eyes of men, and offereth much matter of amasing the minde. “Moreouer, and beside this, the clark of the said church beeing occupied in cleansing of the gutter of the church, with a violent clap of thunder was smitten downe, and beside his fall had no further harme: unto whom beeing all amased this straunge shape, whereof we have before spoken, appeared, howbeit he escaped without daunger: which might peradventure seem to sound against trueth, and to be a thing incredible: but, let us leave thus or thus to iudge, and cry out with the prophet, O Domine, &c.—O Lord, how wonderful art thou in thy woorks. “At the time that these things in this order happened, the rector, or curate of the church, beeing partaker of the people's perplexitie, seeing what was seen, and done, comforted the people, and exhorted them to prayer, whose counsell, in such extreme distresse they followed, and prayed to God as they were assembled togither. “Now for the verifying of this report, (which to sòe wil seem absurd, although the sensiblenesse of the thing it self confirmeth it to be a trueth,) as testimonies and witnesses of the force which rested in this straunge shaped thing, there are remaining in the stones of the church, and likewise in the church dore which are mervelously reten and torne, ye marks as it were of his clawes or talans. Beside, that all the wires, the wheeles, and other things belonging to the clock, were wrung in sunder, and broken in peces. “And (which I should haue tolde you in the beginning of this report, if I had regarded the observing of order,) at the time that this tempest lasted, and while these stormes endured, ye whole church was so darkened, yea with such a palpable darknesse, that one persone could not perceive another, neither yet might discern any light at all though it were lesser the the least, but onely when ye great flashing of fire and lightning appeared. “These things are not lightly with silence to be over passed, but precisely and throughly to be considered. “On the self same day, in like manner, into the parish church of another towne called Blibery, not above seve miles distant from Bongay above said, the like thing entred, in the same shape and similitude, where placing himself uppon a maine balke or beam, whereon some ye Rood did stand, sodainly he gave a swinge downe through ye church, and there also, as before, slew two men and a lad, and burned the hand of another person that was there among the rest of the company, of whom divers were blasted. “This mischief thus wrought, he flew with wonderful force to no little feare of the assembly, out of the church in a hidetus and hellish likenes.” For “a necessary prayer,” and other particulars concerning this “straunge and terrible wunder,” which was “Imprinted at London, by Frauncis Godly, dwelling at the West End of Paules,” the cutious reader may consult Mr. Rodd's verbatim reprint of the tract itself, which is a “rare” distortion of a thunder storm with lightning, well worthy to be possessed by collectors of the marvellous untruths with which Abraham Fleming's age abounded.
In the “London Chronicle” of the 5th of August, 1758, there is an advertisement from a sufferer under a disease of such a nature that, though the cure is simple, a description of the various afflictions and modes of relief peculiar to the progress of the disorder would fill many volumes. To guard the young wholly against it is impossible; for like the small pox, every one must expect to have it once, and when it is taken in the natural way, and if the remedy is at hand, and the patient follows good advice, recovery speedily follows. The advertisement alluded to runs thus:—
A YOUNG LADY who was at
Vauxhall on Thursday night last, in company with two gentlemen, could not but observe a young gentleman in blue and a gold-laced #. who, being near her by the orchestra during the performance, especially the last song, gazed upon her with the utmost attention. He earnestly hopes (if unmarried) she will favour him with a line directed to A. D. at the bar of the Temple Exchange Coffee-house, Temple-bar, to inform him whether fortune, family, and character, may not entitle him upon a further knowledge, to hope an interest in her heart. He begs she will pardon the method he has taken to let her know the situation of his mind, as, being a stranger, he despaired of doing it any other way, or even of seeing her more. As his views are founded upon the most honourable principles, he presumes to hope the occasion will justify it, if she generously breaks through this trifling formality of the sex, rather than, by a cruel silence, render unhappy one, who must ever expect to continue so, if debarred from a nearer acquaintance with her, in whose power alone it is to complete his felicity.