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nual practice at Rome to procure two or more Jews, or Turks', to convert them to Christianity, and confer on them the rite of Baptism. The ceremony is thus described by a lively, and, we believe, accurate narrator of the religious ceremonies, manners, and customs, of the modern Romans, whom we have before quoted in our account of the Holy Week. ... The two devoted Israelites prepared for this occasion, attired in dirty yellow silk gowns, were seated on a bench within the marble font of the Baptistery, which resembles a large bath, both in form and shape, conning their prayers out of a book, with most rueful visages. Fast to their sides stuck their destined godfathers, two black-robed doctors of divinity, as if to guard and secure their spiritual captives. The antient vase at the bottom of the font, in which, according to an absurd legend, Constantine was healed of his leprosy by St. Sylvester, stood before them filled with water, and its margin adorned with flowers.
The Cardinal Bishop, who had been employed ever since six o'clock in the benediction of fire, water, oil, wax, and flowers; now appeared, followed by a long procession of priests and crucifixes. He descended into the font, repeated a great many prayers in Latin over the water, occasionally dipping his hand into it. Then a huge flaming wax taper, about six feet high, and of proportionate thickness, painted with images of the Virgin and Christ, which had previously been blessed, was set upright in the vase; more Latin prayers were mumbled one of the Jews was brought, the Bishop cut the sign of the cross in the hair, at the crown of his head, then, with a silver ladle, poured some of the water upon the part, baptizing him in the usual
Leavers in Lati into it. Then and of prolirgin and
Turks are preferred, when they are to be had, but they are very rare.. Eighty Roman crowns each are paid to the Jews, and all debts due to their brethren are cancelled.
forms, both the godfathers and he having agreed to all that was required of them. The second Jew was then brought, upon whom the same ceremonies were performed; this poor little fellow wore a wig, and, when the cold water was poured on his bare skull, he winced exceedingly, and made many wry faces. They were then conveyed to the altar of the neigh-. bouring chapel, where they were confirmed, and repeated the creed. The Bishop then made the sign of the cross upon their foreheads, with holy oil, over which white fillets were immediately tied to secure it; he then pronounced a long exhortation, in the course of which he frightened them so that the little Jew with a wig began to cry most bitterly, and would not be comforted. This being over, the Jews were conducted, with great ceremony, from the Baptistery to the door of the church, where they stopped, and, after some chaunting by the Bishop, they were allowed to pass the threshold; they were then seated within the very pale of the altar, in order that they might witness a succession of various ceremonies.'- Rome in the Nineteenth Century, vol. jii, p. 155.)
At twelvo o'clock on this day, the Resurrection is announced to the people by the ringing of the bells of more than three hundred churches at once ; the firing of cannon from the castle of St. Angelo; the blowing of horns and trumpets, the clang of kettle-drums, and every species of tumult. During the days in which the bells are tied up (from Holy Thursday to Saturday at noon), the hours on which they are usually rung for prayers, viz. six in the morning, three in the afternoon, and at sunset, are announced by a little wooden machine, called tric-trac, making a sound similar to its name, but very noisy, with which some of the inferior clergy run about the churches at the proper times. Though the resurrection takes place on Saturday at noon, the fast is pot over till midnight, at which time most good Catholics eat
gras, that is, an enormous supper of fish, flesh, and fowl. A total abstinence from food, during the two previous days, is still practised by many, but the feasting is now more universal than the fasting. The priests are very actively employed, at Easter, in running in and out of every house, blessing it with holy water. Every Italian must at this time confess, and receive the communion.
99 7.-EASTER DAY, or EASTER SUNDAY. 279
Much difference of opinion prevailed in the Eastem and Western churches respecting the precise time of observing Easter; till, in 325, the Council of Nice declared that the feast should be kept by all churches on the same day. Easter is styled by the fathers the highest of all festivals, the feast of feasts, the queen of festivals, and Dominica Gaudii, the joyous Sunday. Masters granted freedom to their slaves at this season, and valuable presents were made to the poor. Dit is
niet of 2 914 A very singular custom formerly prevailed at Lostwithiel, in Cornwall, upon Easter Sunday. The free: holders of the town and manor having assembled together, either in person or by their deputies, one among them, each in his turn, gaily attired and gallantly mounted, with a sceptre in his hand, a crown on his head, and a sword borne before him, and respectfully attended by all the rest on horseback, rode through the principal street in solemn state to the church. At the churchyard stile the curate or other minister approached to meet him in reverential pomp, and then conducted him to church to hear divine service. On leaving the church, he repaired with the same pomp and retinue to a house previously prepared for his reception. Here a feast, suited to the dignity he had assumed, awaited him and his suite; and being placed at the head of the table, he was served, kneeling, with all the rights and ceremonies that a real prince might expect. This ceremony ended with the dinner; the prince being voluntarily
disrobed, and descending from his momentary exaltation to mix with common mortals. On the origin of this custom but one opinion can be reasonably entertained, though it may be difficult to trace the precise period of its commencement. It seems to have originated in the actual appearance of the prince, who resided at Restormel Castle in former ages. But on the removal of royalty, this mimic grandeur stepped forth as its shadowy representative, and continued for(i many generations as a memorial to posterity of the princely magnificence with which Lostwithiel had formerly been honoured. (Hitchins's History of Cornwall, 4to.)
On Easter Sunday, the grandest Catholic festival of the year, the church puts forth all her pomp and splendour, which are seen to the greatest advantage in the noble church of St. Peter's at Rome. The Pope assists at high mass, and there is a very grand procession, which, as it took place in the year 1818, is well described by the indefatigable author before quoted with approbation. The church,' says our observer', was lined with the Guarda Nobile, in their splendid uniforms of gold and scarlet and nodding plumes of white ostrich feathers, and the Swiss guards, with their polished cuirasses and steel helmets. The great centre aisle was kept clear by a double wall of armed men, for the grand procession, the approach of which, after much expectation, was proclaimed by the sound of a trumpet from the farther end of the church. A long band of priests advanced, loaded with still augmenting magnificence, as they ascended to the higher orders. Cloth of gold, and embroidery of gold and silver, and, crimson velvet, and mantles of spotted ermine, and flowing trains, and attendant train-bearers, and mitres and crucifixes glittering with jewels, and priests and patriarchs, and bishops and cardinals, dazzled the astonished
* Rome in the Nineteenth century, vol. iii, p. 163.,
eye, and filled the whole length of St. Peter's. Lastly, came the Pope, in his crimson chair of state (sedia gestatoria), borne on the shoulders of twenty Palfrenieri, arrayed in robes of white, and wearing the tiara, or triple crown of the conjoined Trinity, with a canopy of cloth of silver floating over his head; and preceded by two men, carrying enormous fans, composed of large plumes of ostrich feathers, mountad on long gilded wands. He stopped to pay his adorations to the miraculous Madonna in her chapel, about half way up; and this duty, which he never omits, being performed, he was slowly borne past the High Altar, liberally giving his benediction with the twirl of the three fingers as he passed.', .. o They then set him down upon a magnificent stool, in front of the altar, on which he knelt, and his crown being taken' off, and the Cardinals taking off their little red skull-caps, and all kneeling in a row, he was supposed to pray. Having remained a few minutes in this attitude, they took him to the chair prepared for him, on the right of the throne. There he read, or seemed to read, something out of a book, and then he was again taken to the altar, on which his tiara was placed; and, bare-headed, he repeatedor as, by courtesy, they call it, sang-a small part of the service, threw up clouds of incense, and wasremoved to the crimson-canopied throne; and high mass was celebrated by a cardinal and two bishops, at which he assisted. During the wbole of the service, it was observed that the only part of the congregation who were in the least attentive, were the small body of English, whom curiosity, and perhaps a sense of decorum, rendered so. All the Italians seemed to consider it quite as much of a pageant as ourselves, but neither a new nor an interesting one; and they were walking about, and talking, and interchanging pinches of snuff with each other, exactly as if it had been a place of amusement, till the tinkling of a little bell, which announced the elevation of the Host, changed