« السابقةمتابعة »
1.-ALL FOOLS' DAY.
On this day every body strives to make as many fools as he can: the wit chiefly consists in sending persons on what are called sleeveless errands, for the history of Eve's mother, for pigeon's milk, stirrup oil, and similar ridiculous absurdities. Some curious particulars of this day, also, may be seen in T.T. for 1815, pp. 118-121.
This day is called in Latin Dies Mandati, the day of the command, being the day on which our Lord washed the feet of his disciples, as recorded in the second lesson. This practice was long kept up in the monasteries. After the ceremony, liberal donations were made to the poor, of clothing and of silver money, and refreshment was given them to mitigate the severity of the fast. On the 15th April, 1731 (Maundy Thursday), the Archbishop of York washed the feet of a certain number of poor persons. James II was the last king who performed this in person. A relic of this custom is still preserved in the donations dispensed at St. James's on this day. -See T. T. for 1815, p. 86, where the ceremonies at Rome and Moscow, on this day, are also described. 3.-RICHARD, Bishop.
Richard, surnamed de Wicke, from a place in Worcestershire, where he was born, was educated at the Universities of Oxford and Paris. He was as remarkable for his learning and diligence in preaching, as he was for integrity. Richard was canonized by Pope Urban.
This day commemorates the sufferings of Christ, as a propitiation for our sins. Holy Friday, or the Friday in Holy Week, was its most antient and general appellation; the name Good Friday is peculiar
to the English church. It was observed as a day of extraordinary devotion. Buns, with crosses upon them, are usually eaten in London and some other places, on this day, at breakfast. St. Peter's church at Rome is most superbly illuminated on this night. -See T. T. for 1815, p. 88; and, respecting crossbuns, p. 89.
The procession, on this day, at Barcelona, is thus described by the Rev. Joseph Townsend, in his 6 Journey through Spain,' vol. i, pp. 107-110, 8vo edit. In every church (says he) I found two images, as large as life, distinguished from the rest as being stationary, and the more immediate objects of their devotion; the one representing Christ as taken from the cross, the other the Virgin in all her best attire, pierced by seven swords, and leaning over the recumbent body of her son. Behind these images, a theatre with colonnades, supporting a multitude of wax tapers, dazzled the sight, while the ear was charmed by the harmonious chaunting of the choir.
'More than a hundred thousand persons all the morning crowded the streets, hurrying from church to church to express the warmth of their zeal, and the fervour of their devotion, by bowing themselves in each, and kissing the feet of the most revered image. Most of the spectators were natives of the city, but many upon such occasions resort to Barcelona from the adjacent villages, and some from distant provinces.
'Towards the close of day the pageant appeared, moving with slow and solemn pace along the streets, and conducted with the most perfect regularity. The last supper of Christ with his disciples, the treachery of Judas, attended by the priests, together with the guards, the flagellation, the crucifixion, the taking from the cross, the anointing of the body, and the burial, with every transaction of the closing scene, and the events subsequent to the passion of our Lord, were represented by images as large as life, placed
in proper order on lofty stages, many of which were elegant, and all as highly ornamented as carving and gilding, rich silks, brocades, and velvets, with curious embroidery, all executed by their most skilful artists, could render them. No expense was spared either in the materials, the workmanship, or the wax lights, which, with the most splendid profusion, were consumed upon this occasion. Each of these stages was supported on the shoulders of six men, who were completely hid by a covering of black velvet hanging round the margin of the stage, and reaching nearly to the ground. This procession was preceded by Roman centurions clothed in their proper armour, and the soldiers of the garrison brought up the rear. The intermediate space was occupied by the groups of images above described, attended by eight hundred burgesses, clothed in black buckram, with flowing trains, each carrying a flambeau in his hand. Besides these, one hundred and fourscore penitents engaged my more particular attention. Like the former, they carried each a flambeau, but their dress was singular, somewhat resembling that of the bluecoat boys of Christ's hospital in London, being a jacket and coat in one, reaching to their heels, made of dark brown shalloon, with a bonnet on their head, like what is called a fool's cap, being a cone covering the head and face completely, and having holes for the eyes. The design of this peculiar form is to conceal the penitents, and to spare their blushes. These were followed by twenty others, who, either from remorse of conscience, or having been guilty of more atrocious crimes, or for hire, or with the most benevolent intention of adding to the common fund of merit for the service of the church, walked in the procession barefooted, dragging heavy chains, and bearing large crosses on their shoulders. Their penance was severe; but, for their comfort, they had assigned to them the post of honour; for immediately after them followed the sacred corpse placed
in a glass coffin, and attended by twenty-five priests, dressed in their richest robes. Near the body a well chosen band with hautboys, clarinets, French horns, and flutes, played the softest and most solemn music. This part of the procession wanted nothing to heighten the effect. I am persuaded that every one who had a soul for harmony felt the starting tear.'
His SAVIOUR'S WORDS going to the CROSS.
Have, have ye no regard, all ye
A man both bruised, and broke; and one
Ah, Sion's daughters! do not fear
For Christ, your loving Saviour, hath
Less for to taste, than for to shew
Our saint was born about the year 340, and was educated in his father's palace, who was Prætorian Præfect of Gaul. He ruled over the see of Milan with great piety and vigilance for more than twenty years; during which time, he gave all his money to pious uses, and settled the reversion of his estate upon the church. He converted the celebrated St. Augustine to the faith, and at his baptism, in a miraculous manner, composed that divine hymn, so well known in the church by the name of Te Deum. He died, aged fifty-seven, in the year of our Lord 396.
*4. 1774.-OLIVER GOLDSMITH DIED.
Particular mortifications were enjoined to the earliest Christians on this day. From the third century, the fast was indispensable and rigid, being protracted always to midnight, sometimes to the cockcrowing, and sometimes to the dawn of Easter-day; and the whole of the day and night was employed in religious affairs.
*5. 1753.-BRITISH MUSEUM FOUNded.
Sweet harp, of well-framed box the vocal child!
Eurus shall here, but borne on softest wing,
What rushing sound of rain! Rise we with speed-
*6. 1199.-KING JOHN BEGAN TO REIGN. The character of this prince is nothing but a complication of vices, equally mean and odious, ruinous to himself, and destructive to his people: cowardice, inactivity, folly, levity, licentiousness, ingratitude, treachery, tyranny, and cruelty; all these qualities too evidently appear in the several incidents of his life, to give us room to suspect that the disagreeable picture has been anywise overcharged by the prejudice of the antient historians. It is hard to say, whether his conduct to his father, his brother, his nephew, or