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silence. No clock or bell had been heard pulpit hung with mourning. For a since yesterday noon, and scarce a person while he paused, and then breaking was to be seen in the street all the way silence, gradually raised his voice till it to Lisbon. About two in the afternoon was extended to a pretty high pitch, we got to the place where (I had heard though I think scarcely high enough for some days ago) an extraordinary scene so large an auditory. After he had prowas to be exhibited : it was 'the cruci- ceeded in his discourse about a quarter fixion of the Son of God, represented of an hour, a confused noise was heard partly by dumb images, and partly by near the great front door; and turning living persons, in a large church belonging my head, I saw four long-bearded men, to the convent of St. De Beato. Several two of whom carried a ladder on their thousands crowded into it, some of which, shoulders; and after them followed two as I was told, had been waiting there ever more, with large gilt dishes in their since six in the morning. I was admitted, hands, full of linen, spices, &c.; these, and very commodiously situated to view as I imagined, were the representatives of the whole performance. Wenad not waited Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea. long before the curtain was drawn up. On a signal given from the pulpit, they Immediately, upon a high scaffold, hung advanced towards the steps of the scafe in the front with black baize, and behind fold; but, upon their first attempting to with silk purple damask laced with gold, mount it, at the watchful centurion's nod, was exhibited to our view an image of the the observant soldiers made a pass at Lord Jesus, at full length, crowned with them, and presented the points of their thorns, and nailed on a cross, between javelins directly to their breasts
. They two figures of like dimensions, represente are repulsed. Upon this, a letter from ing the two thieves. At a little distance Pilate is produced. The centurion reads on the right hand was placed an image of it, shakes his head, and with looks that the virgin Mary, in plain long ruffles, bespoke a forced compliance, beckons the and a kind of widow's weeds. The veil sentinels to withdraw their arms. Leare was purple silk, and she had a wire glory being thus obtained, they ascend; and round her head. At the foot of the cross having paid their homage by knet ling lay, in a mournful pensive posture, a first to the image on the cross and then to living man dressed in woman's clothes, the virgin Mary, they retired to the back who personated Mary Magdalen; and of the stage. Still the preacher continued not far off stood a young man, in imitation declaiming, or rather, as was said, exof the beloved disciple. He was dressed plaining the mournful scene. Magdalen in a loose green silk vesture and bob-wig. persists in wringing her bands, and His eyes were fixed on the cross, and his variously expressing her personated sortwo hands a little extended. On each row; while John (seemingly regardless of side, near the front of the stage, stood all besides) stood gazing on the crucified two sentinels in buff, with formidable figure. By this time it was nearly three caps and long beards; and directly in o'clock, and the scene was drawing to a the front stood another yet more for- close. The ladders are ascended, the midable, with a large target in his hand. superscription and crown of thorns taken We may suppose him to be the Roman of'; long white rollers put round the centurion. To complete the scene, from arms of the image; and then the nails behind the purple hangings came out knocked out which fastened the hands about twenty little purple-vested winged and feet. Here Mary Magdalen looks boys, two by two, each bearing a lighted most languishing, and John, if possible, wax taper in his hand, and having a crim- stands more thunderstruck than before. son and gold cap on his head. At their The orator lifts up his voice, and almost entrance upon the stage, they gently all the hearers expressed their concern by bowed their heads to the spectators, then weeping, beating their breasts, and kneeled and made obeisance, first to the smiting their cheeks. At length the body image on the cross, and then to that of the is gently let down; Magdalen eyes it, virgin Mary. When risen, they bowed and gradually rising, receives the feet to each other, and then took their re- into her wide spread handkerchief; while spective places over against one another, John (who hitherto had stood motionless on steps assigned for them on the front of like a statue), as the body came nearer the stage. Opposite to this, at a few the ground, with an eagerness that beyards' distance, stood a black friar in a spoke the intense affection of a sym
pathizing friend, runs towards the cross, crosses, has for the last two weeks of seizes the upper part of it into his clasp- Lent been covered with a purple veil, and ing arms, and, with his disguised fellow- standing towards the people, before the mourner, helps to bear it away. And middle of the altar, gradually uncovers here the play should end, was I not afraid the sacred emblem, which both the clergy that you would be angry with me if I and laity worship upon their knees. The did not give you an account of the last prelate is then unshod by the assistant act, by telling you what became of the ministers, and taking the cross upon his corpse after it was taken down. Great right shoulder, as our saviour is reprepreparations were made for its interment. sented by painters on his way to Calvary, It was wrapped in linen and spices, &c. be walks alone from the altar to the enand being laid upon a bier richly hung, trance of the presbytery or chancel, and was carried round the churchyard in lays his burden upon two cushions. After grand procession. The image of the this, he moves back some steps, and virgin Mary was chief mourner; and approaching the cross with three prostra John and Magdalen, with a whole trooptions, kisses it, and drops an oblation of of friars with wax tapers in their hands, a piece of silver into a silver dish. The followed Determined to see the whole, whole chapter, having gone through the I waited its return, and in about a same ceremony, form themselves in two quarter of an hour the corpse was lines, and repair to the monument, from brought in, and deposited in an open whence the officiating priest conveys the sepulchre prepared for the purpose; but deposited host to the altar, where he comnot before a priest, accompanied by municates upon it without consecrating several of the same order, in splendid any wine. Here the service terminates vestments, had perfumed it with incense, abruptly; all candles and lamps are sang to, and kneeled before it. John and extinguished; and the tabernacle, which Magdalen attended the obsequies, but the throughout the year contains the sacred image of the virgin Mary was carried wafers, being left open, every object beaway, and placed in the front of the speaks the desolate and widowed state of stage, in order to be kissed, adored, and the church from the death of the saviour worshipped by the people. And thus to his resurrection. ends this Good Friday's tragi-comical, The ceremonies of Good Friday being superstitious, idolatrous droll. I am well short, and performed at an early hour, aware that the Romanists deny the charge both the gay and the devout would be at of idolatry; but after having seen what I a loss how to spend the remainder of the have seen this day, as well as at sundry day but for the grotesque passion sermons other times since my arrival here, I can- of the suburbs and neighbouring villages, not help thinking but a person must be and the more solemn performance known capable of making more than metaphy- by the name of Tres Horas,-three houts. sical distinctions, and deal in very ab- The practice of continuing in meditastract ideas indeed, fairly to evade the tion from twelve to three o'clock of this charge."
day,—the time which our saviour is supGood Friday at Seville.
posed to have hung on the cross-was The rev. Blanco White relates the cele introduced by the Spanish Jesuits, and bration of the day at Seville in the follow- partakes of the impressive character which ing terms :
the members of that order had the art to The altars, which, at the end of yes, impart to the religious practices by which terday's mass, were publicly and solemnly they cherished the devotional spirit of stripped of their clothes and rich table- the people. The church where the three hangings by the hands of the priest, hours are kept is generally hung in black, appear in the same state of distressed and made ímpervious to daylight. A negligence. No musical sound is heard, large crucifix is seen on the high altar, except the deep-toned voices of the psalm, under a black canopy, with six unbleached or plain chant singers. After a few pre- wax candles, which cast a sombre glimparatory prayers, and the dramatized mering on the rest of the church. The history of the passion, already described, females of all ranks occupy, as usual, the the officiating priest (the archbishop at centre of the nave, squatting or kneelthe cathedral), in a plain albe or white ing on the matted ground, and adding tunic, takes up a wooden cross six or to the dismal appearance of the sceve seven feet high, which, like all other by the colour of their veils and dresses
Just as the clock strikes twelve, a exposing themselves by any unseasonable priest in his cloak and cassock ascends laughter, indulge not unfrequently in the the pulpit, and delivers a preparatory frolic of attending one of the most comaddress of his own composition. He plete and perfect sermons of this kind at then reads the printed meditations on the the neighbouring village of Castilleja. seven words, or sentences, spoken by A movable pulpit is placed before the Jesus on the cross, allotting to each such church door, from which a friar, possessed a portion of time as that, with the inter- of a stentorian voice, delivers an improved ludes of music which follow each of the history of the passion, such as was rereadings, the whole may not exceed three vealed to St. Bridget, a Franciscan nun, hours. The music is generally good and who, from the dictation of the virgin appropriate, and if a sufficient band can Mary, has left us a most minute and cirbe collected, well repays to an amateur cumstantial account of the life and death the inconvenience of a crowded church, of Christ and his mother. This yearly where, from the want of seats, the male narrative, however, would have lost most part of the congregation are obliged either of its interest but for the scenic illustra. to stand or kneel. It is, in fact, one of tions, which keep up the expectation and the best works of Haydn, composed a rivet the attention of the audience. It short time ago for some gentlemen of was formerly the custom to introduce a Cadiz, who showed both their taste and living saint Peter-a character which beliberality in thus procuring this master- longed by a natural and inalienable right piece of harmony for the use of their to the baldest head in the village-who country. It has been lately published in acted the apostle's denial, swearing_by Germany under the title of the “ Sette Christ, he did not know the man. This Parole."
edifying part of the performance is omitted Every part of the performance is so at Castilleja; though a practised performer managed, that the clock strikes three crows with such a shrill and natural note about the end of the meditation, on the as must be answered with challenge by words, It is finished. The picture of the every cock of spirit in the neighbourhood. expiring saviour, powerfully drawn by The flourish of a trumpet announces, in the original writer of the Tres Horas, can the sequel, the publication of the sentence hardly fail to strike the imagination when passed by the Roman governor; and the listened to under the influence of such town crier delivers it with legal precision, music and scenery; and when, at the in the manner it is practised in Spain befirst stroke of the clock, the priest rises fore an execution. Hardly has the last from his seat, and in a loud and impas- word been uttered, when the preacher, in sioned voice, announces the consumma- a frantic passion, gives the crier the lie tion of the awful and mysterious sacrifice, direct, cursing the tongue that has uttered on whose painful and bloody progress such blasphemies. He then invites an the mind has been dwelling so long, few angel to contradict both Pilate and the hearts can repel the impression, and still Jews; when, obedient to the orator's defewer eyes can conceal it. Tears bathe sire, a boy gaudily dressed, and furnished every cheek, and sobs heave every female with a pair of gilt pasteboard wings, apbosom. After a parting address from the pears at a window, and proclaims the true pulpit, the ceremony concludes with a verdict of heaven. Sometimes, in the piece of music, where the powers of the course of the preacher's narrative, an great composer are magnificently dis- image of the virgin Mary is made to played in the imitation of the disorder meet that of Christ, on his way to Calvary, and agitation of nature which the evan- both taking an affectionate leave in the gelists relate.
street. The appearance, however, of the The passion sermons for the populace virgin bearing a handkerchief to collect a might be taken for a parody of the three sum for her son's burial, is never omitted; hours. They are generally delivered in both because it melts the whole female the open air, by friars of the Mendicant audience into tears, and because it proorders, in those parts of the city and duces a good collection for the convent, suburbs which are chiefly, if not exclu- The whole is closed by the descendimiento, sively, inhabited by the lower classes. or unnailing a crucifix, as large as life, Such gay young men, however, as do not from the cross, an operation performed by scruple to relieve the dulness of Good two friars, who, in the character of Joseph Friday with a ride, and feel no danger of of Arimathea and Nicodemus, are seen with ladders and carpenters' tools letting demand. Invention itself became exdown the jointed figure, to be placed on a hausted; for the cravings of credulity are bier and carried into the church in the insatiable. If angels are said to weep at form of a funeral.
man's “ fantastic tricks before high heaI have carefully glided over such ven,” protestants may smile, while, perparts of this absurd performance as would haps, many catholics deplore the countless shock many an English reader, even in frauds devised by Romish priests of narrative. Yet, such is the strange mix- knavish minds, for cajoling the unwary ture of superstition and profaneness in the and the ignorant. « The greater the people for whose gratification these scenes miracle, the greater the saint,” has been are exhibited, that, though any attempt to assuredly a belief; and, according to that expose the indecency of these shows would belief, the greater the relics, the greater rouse their zeal“ to the knife,” I cannot the possessors must have appeared, in the venture to translate the jokes and sallies eyes of the vulgar. In this view there is of wit that are frequently heard among no difficulty in accounting for hordes of the Spanish peasantry upon these sacred trumpery in shrines and reliquaries. topics.*
The instruments of the crucifixion-the Judas is a particular object of execration very inscription on the cross-the crown on Good Friday, in the Spanish and Portu- of thorns — the nails—the lance-are guese navy. An eye-witness relates the shown to the present hour, as the true infollowing occurrences at Monte Video. scription, the true thorns, the true nails, “ The three last days had been kept as and the true lance. So also there are days of sorrow; all the ships in the har- exhibitions of the true blood, yet it is a bour expressed it by having their colours printed truth, that what is exposed to worhoisted only half-mast high, as a token of shippers in churches by ecclesiastics for mourning, and the yards crossed as much true blood, is doubted of by the rev. as possible, to make them resemble a cru.' Alban Butler. In a note to his article on cifix, while apparent solemnity prevailed “ “ The Invention of the Holy Cross,” he both on shore and in the harbour; but im- states a ground for his incredulity, quite mediately on a signal, when the minute as singular as that whereon holders of the arrived, all being in waiting, the yards true blood maintain their faith. His words were squared, the colours hoisted wholly are : "The blood of Christ, which is kept up, and the guns fired from all the ships in some places, of which the most famous in the harbour, while the bells on shore is that at Mantua, seems to be what has were set ringing promiscuously, as fast as sometimes issued from the miraculous possible; and at the bowsprit, or yard- bleeding of some crucifix, when pierced arm of the ships was suspended an effigy in derision by Jews or Pagans, instances of Judas, which they began to dip in the of which are recorded in authentic hisriver, acting with the greatest possible en- tories."* Though, as a catholic priest and thusiasm and ridiculous madness, beating biographer well acquainted with these it on the shoulders, dipping it, and then “ authentic histories,” Mr. Butler might renewing their former ridiculous con- have set them forth, yet he abstains from duct.”+
the disclosure; and hence on their superior
credibility in his eyes, to the credibility of Relics of the Crucifixion.
the declarations and testimonials urged by Sir Thomas More, in his “ Dialogue the owners of the blood itself, we may concernynge Heresyes, 1528,” says,
choose between their requisition to believe might upon Good Friday, every yere this that the blood is the true blood, and Mr. two hundred yere, till within this five
Butler's belief, that it is the blood of yere
So stands the questhat the turkes have taken the towne, have bleeding crucifixes. sene one of the thornes that was in Cristes tion of credibility. crowne, bud and bring forth flowers in the
Concerning the alleged implements of service time, if ye would have gone to
the crucifixion, it would be curious to exRodes." The printing press has done amine particulars; but we are limited in more mischief to miracles of this sort room, and shall only recur to one than the Turks.
“ Tue HOLY LANCE." Patience seems to have been wearied in supplying relics to meet the enormous
Respecting this weapon, reference should Doblado's Letters.
* Butler's Lives of the Saints, (edit. 1706,) + Gregory's Journal of a captured Missionary, vol. v. p. 47.
be first made to the great authority cited the eminence of Longinus's lance. The above. Mr. Butler, speaking of other in- occasion of the work unfolds the history struments of Christ's crucifixion, which of the holy lance. In 1488, the sultau he maintains to be genuine, says: Bajazet II., being in fear of his brother,
"The holy lance which opened his sa- who had become prisoner to the king of cred side, is kept at Rome, but wants the France, offered that sovereign, if he would point. Andrew of Crete says, that it was keep his brother in France, all the relics buried, together with the cross. At least, which his late father Mahomet had found St. Gregory of Tours, and venerable Bede, in Constantinople when he took that city. testify, that, in their time, it was kept at Bajazet's letter came too late; the court Jerusalem. For fear of the Saracens it of France had already promised to put was buried privately at Antioch ; in which his brother in the custody of Innocent city it was found, in 1098, under ground, VIII.“ When the sultan knew this, he and wrought many miracles, as Robert the wrote to the pope, and endeavoured to monk, and many eye-witnesses, testify. It gain him by presents, and amongst others was carried first to Jerusalem, and soon by the iron of the lance that pierced our after to Constantinople.
The emperor, saviour's side, which he had before offered Baldwin II., sent the point of it to Venice, to the grand master, and assured him of by way of pledge for a loan of money. the punctual payment of 40,000 ducats St. Lewis, king of France, redeemed this every year, on condition that he would not relick by paying off the sum it lay in let his brother go upon any pretence whatpledge for, and caused it to be conveyed sover.". It appears, however, that Bajato Paris, where it is still kept in the holy zet retained the relic called the “ seamless. chapel. The rest of the lance remained coat," and that this gave rise to a great at Constantinople, after the Turks had dispute in Italy, as to whether the holy taken that city, till, in 1492, the sultan lance presented to the pope, or the holy Bajazet sent it by an ambassador, in a coat, which Bajazet reserved for himself, rich and beautiful case, to pope Innocent was the most estimable ; and hence it was VIII., adding, that the point was in the assigned to cardinal Vigerius to make it possession of the king of France." clear that the pope had the best relic. He
This is Mr. Butler's account of the executed the task to the satisfaction of “ hoby lance," without the omission of a those who contended for the precedence word, which should be recollected for of the lance.* reasons that will be obvious. St. Longinus.
THE TRUE LANCE. It is now necessary to observe, that there is not any account of this saint in Before speaking further on the lance Alban Butler's " Lives of the Saints,” itself, it must not be forgotten that Alban though, (in the Breviar Roman. Antiq. Butler has told us, “ the holy lance kept 1543) the 15th of March is dedicated to at Rome wants the point," and that after him for his festival, and though the saint various adversities, the point was himself is declared, in the Romish bre- peyed to Paris, where it is still kept in the viary, to have been the Roman soldier holy chapel.” But Richard Lassels, who who pierced the side of the saviour with in his “ Voyage of Italy, 1670," visited the lance; and that,“ being almost blind the church of St. Peter's, Rome, says, the by the blood which fell
, it is supposed on the cupola of that church rests upon his eyes, he immediately recovered his vast square pillars a hundred and twenty sight and believed;" and that, further feet in compass, and capable of stairs more, forsaking his military profession within them, and large sacristyes above he converted many to the faith," and under for the holy reliques that are kept in them; the president Octavius suffered martyr- to wit-the top of the lance wherewith dom.*
our saviour's side was pierced under the Cardinal Vigerius.
top of the lance the statue of Longinus." This dignitary, who died in 1516, was Butler, the “ holy lance” itself is kept, he
So that at Rome, where according to Mr. bishop of Præneste, and arch-priest of the omits to mention that there is a top of the Vatican church. He wrote a book to prove lance, besides the other top“ in the holy that Christ's tunic ought to give place to chapel" at Paris. In that cathedral, too,
* Bishop Patrick's Reflections.