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Lanterns, eyes. Hermit, highway-robber.
Goblin, police officer. Planets, candles.
Papagayo, a spy. Commandments, the fingers. Vineyards and Dancing John, to take Saint Martin asleep, to rob a person flight.
asleep. Note 5, p. 84. _" For these bells have been anointed,
And baptized with holy water !" The Consecration and Baptism of Bells is one of the most curious ceremonies of the Church in the Middle Ages. The Council of Cologne ordained as follows:
“Let the bells be blessed, as the trumpets of the Church militant, by which the people are assembled to hear the word of God; the clergy to announce his mercy by day, and his truth in their nocturnal vigils: that by their sound the faithful may be invited to prayers, and that the spirit of devotion in them may be increased. The fathers have also maintained that demons affrighted by the sound of bells calling Christians to prayers, would flee away; and when they fled, the persons of the faithful would be secure: that the destruction of lightnings and whirlwinds would be averted, and the spirits of the storm defeated." -Edinburgh Encyclopædia, Art. Bells. See also Scheible's Kloster, VI. 776.
Note 6, p. 116. -" To come back to my text!"-In giving this sermon of Friar Cuthbert as a specimen of the Risus Paschales, or street-preaching of the monks at Easter, I have exaggerated nothing. This very anecdote, offensive as it is, comes from a discourse of Father Barletta, a Dominican friar of the fifteenth century, whose fame as a popular preacher was so great, that it gave rise to the proverb,
Qui nescit Barlettare. "Among the abuses introduced in this century," says Tiraboschi, “was that of exciting from the pulpit the laughter of the hearers; as if that were the same thing as converting them. We have examples of this, not only in Italy, but also in France, where the sermons of Menot and Maillard, and of others, who would make a better appearance on the stage than in the pulpit, are still celebrated for such sollies.
If the reader is curious to see how far the freedom of speech was carried in these popular sermons, he is referred to Scheible's Kloster, Vol. I., where he will find extracts from Abraham a Sancta Clara, Sebastian Frank, and others, and in particular an anonymous discourse called Der Gräuel der Verwüstung, the Abomination of Desolation, preached at Ottakring, a village west of Vienna, November 25, 1782, in which the licence of language is carried to its utmost limit.
Sce also Prédıcatoriana, ou Révélations singulières et amusantes sur les Prédicateurs; par G. P. Philomneste. (Menin.) This work contains extracts from the popular sermons of St. Vincent Ferrier, Barletta, Menot, Maillard, Marini, Raulin, Valladier, De Bease, Camus, Père André, Bening, and the most eloquent of all, Jacques Brydaine.
My authority for the spiritual interpretation of bell-ringing, which follows, is Durandus, Ration. Divin. Offc., lib. 1. cap. 4.
Note 7, p. 119.-" The Nativity: a Miracle-Play."-A singular chapter in the history of the Middle Ages is that which gives account of the early Christian Drama, the Mysteries, Moralities, and Miracle-Plays, which were at first performed in churches, and afterwards in the streets, on fixed or moveable stages. For the most part, the Mysteries were founded on the historic portions of the Old and New Testaments, and the Miracle-Plays on the lives of Saints: a distinction not always observed, however, for in Mr Wright's Early Alysteries and other Latin Poems of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, the Resurrection of Lazarus is called a Miracle, and not a Mystery. The Moralities were plays, in which the Virtues and Vices were personified.
The carliest religious play, which has been preserved, is the Christos Paschon of Gregory Nazianzen, written in Greek, in the fourth century. Next to this come the remarkable Latin plays of Roswitha, the Nun of Gandersheim, in the tenth century, which, though crude and wanting in artistic construction, are marked by a good deal of dramatic power and interest. A handsome edition of these plays, with a French translation, has been lately published, entitled 589
Théâtre de Rotsvitha, Religieuse allemande du Xe. Sitcle. Par Charles
The most important collections of English Mysteries and Miracle-Plays are those known as the Townley, the Chester, and the Coventry Plays. The first of these coliections has been published by the Surtees Society, and the other two by the Shakspeare Society. In his Introduction to the Coventry Mysteries, the editor, Mr Halliwell, quotes the following passage from Dugdale's Antiquities of Warwickshire :
“Before the suppression of the monasteries, this city was very famous for the pageants, that were played therein, upon Corpus-Christi day; which, occasioning very great confluence of people thither, from far and near, was of no small benefit thereto; which pageants being acted with mighty state and reverence by the friars of this house, had theaters for the severall scenes, very large and high, placed upon wheels, and drawn to all the eminent parts of the city, for the better advantage of spectators; and contain'd the story of the New Testament, composed into old English Rithme, as appeareth by an ancient MS. entitled Ludus Corporis Christi, or Ludus Conventria. I have been told by some old people, who in their younger years were eye-witnesses of these pageants so acted, that the yearly confluence of people to see that show was extraordinarily great, and yielded no small advantage to the city.”
The representation of religious plays has not yet been wholly discontinued by the Roman Church. At Ober-Ammergau, in the Tyrol, a grand spectacle of this kind is exhibited once in ten years. A very graphic description of that which took place in the year 1850 is given by Miss Anna Mary Howitt, in her Art Student in Munich, Vol. I. chap. iv. She says
“We had come expecting to feel our souls revolt at so material a representation of Christ, as any representation of him we naturally imagined must Le in a peasant's Miracle-Play. Yet so far, strange to confess, neither horror, disgust, nor contempt was excited in our minds. Such an earnest solemnity and simplicity breathed throughout the whole of the performance, that to me, at least, anything like anger, or a perception of the ludicrous, would have seemed more irreverent on my part than was this simple, childlike rendering of the sublime Christian tragedy. We felt at times as though the figures of Ciambue's, Giotto's, and Perugino's pictures had become animated, and were moving before us ; there was the same simple arrangement and brilliant colour of drapery--the same earnest, quiet dignity about the heads, whilst the entire absence of all theatrical effect wonderfully increased the illusion. There were scenes and groups so extraordinarily like the early Italian sictures, that you could have declared they were the works of Giotto and Perugino, and not live ing men and women, had not the figures moved and spoken and the breeze stirred their richly-coloured drapery, and the sun cast long, moving shadows behind them on the stage. These effects of sunshine and shadow, and of drapery fluttered by the wind, were very striking and beautiful; one could imagine how the Grecks must have availed themselves of such striking effects in their theatres open to the sky."
Mr Bayard Taylor, in his Eldorado, gives a description of a Mystery he saw performed at San Lionel, in Mexico. See Vol. II., chap. xi.
" Against the wing-wall of the Hacienda del Mayo, which occupied one end of the plaza, was raised a platform, on which stood a table covered with scarlet cloth. A rude bower of canc leaves, on one end of the platform, represented the manger of Bethlehem; while a cord, stretched from its top across the plaza to a hole in the front of the church, bore a large tinsel star, suspended by a hole in its centre. There was quite a crowd in the plaza, and very soon a procession appeared, coming up from the lower part of the village. The three kings took the lead; the Virgin mounted on an ass that gloried in a gilded saddle and rose-besprinkled mane and tail, followed them, led by the angel ; and several women, with curious masks of paper, brought up the rear. Two characters of the harlequin sort- one with a dog's head on his shoulders, and the other a bald-headed friar, with a huge hat hanging on his back-played all sorts of antics for the diversion of the crowd. After making the circuit of the plaza, the Virgin was taken to the platform, and entered the manger. King Herod took his seat at the scarlet table, with an attendant in blue coat and red sash, whom I took to be his Prime Minister. The three kings remained on their horses in front of the church, but between them and the platform, under the string on which the star was to slide, walked two men in long, white robes and blue hoods, with parchment folios in their hands. These were the Wise
Men of the East, as one might readily know from their solemn air, and the mysterious glances which they cast towards all quarters of the heavens.
"In a little while, a company of women on the platform, concealed behind a curtain, sang an angelic chorus to the tune of 'O pescator del onda.' At the proper moment, the Magi turned towards the platform, followed by the star, to which a string was conveniently attached, that it might be slıd along the line. The three kings followed the star till it reached the manger, when they dismounted, and inquired for the sovereign whom it had led them to visit. They were invited upon the platforin, and introduced to Herod as the only king: this did not seem to satisfy them, and after some conversation they retired. By this time the star had receded to the other end of the line, and commenced moving forward again, they following. The angel called them into the manger, where, upon their knees, they were shown a small wooden box, supposed to contain the sacred infant; they then retired, and the star brought them back no more. After this departure, King Herod declared himself greatly confused by what he had witnessed, and was very much afraid this newly-found king would weaken his power. Upon consultation with his Prime Minister, the Massacre of the Innocents was decided upon, as the only means of security.
“The angel, on hearing this, gave warning to the Virgin, who quickly got down from the platform, mounted her bespangled donkey, and hurried off. Herod's Prime Minister directed all the children to be handed up for execution. A boy, in a ragged sarape, was caught and thrust forward ; the Minister took him by the heels in spite of his kicking, and held his head on the table. The little brother and sister of the boy, thinking he was really to be decapitated, yelled at the top of their voices in an agony of terror, which threw the crowd into a roar of laughter. King Herod brought down his sword with a whack on the table, and the Prime Minister, dipping his brush into a pot of white paint which stod before him, made a faring cross on the boy's face. Several other boys were caught and served likewise; and, finally, the two harlequins, whose kicks and struggles nearly shook down the platform. The procession then went off up the hill, followed by the whole population of the village. All the evening there were sandangos in the méson, bonfires and rockets on the plaza, ringing of bells, and high mass in the church, with the accompaniment of iwo guitars, tinkling to lively polkas."
In 1852 there was a representation of this kind by Germans in Boston; and I have now before me the copy of a play-bill, announcing the performance, on June 10, 1852, in Cincinnati, of the Great Biblico-Historical Drama, the Life of Jesus Christ,” with the characters and the names of the performers.
Note 8, P. 131.-" The Scriptorium."-A most interesting volume might be written on the Caligraphers and Chrysographers, the transcribers and illuminators of manuscripts in the Middle Ages. These men were for the most part monks, who laboured, sometimes for pleasure and sometimes for penance, in multiplying copies of the classics and the Scriptures.
"Orail bodily labours, which are proper for us,' says Cassiodorus, the old Calabrian monk, “that of copying books has always been more to my taste than any other: the more so, as in this exercise the mind is instructed by the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and it is a kind of homily to the others, whom these books may reach. It is preaching with the hand, by converting the fingers into tongues; it is publishing to men in silence the words of salvation ; in fine, it is fighting against the demon with pen and ink. As many words as a transcriber writes, so many wounds the demon receives. In a word, a recluse, seated in his chair to copy books, travels into different provinces without moving from the spot, and the labour of his hands is felt even where he is not."
Nearly every monastery was provided with its Scriptorium. Nicolas de Clairvaux, St Bernard's secretary, in one of his letters describes his cell, which he calls Scriptoriolum, where he copied books. And Mabillon, in his Etudes Monastiques, says that in his time were still to be seen at Citeaux "many of those little cells, where the transcribers and bookbinders worked."
Silvestre's Paléographie Universelle contains a vast number of fac-similes of the most beautiful illuminated manuscripts of all ages and all countries; and Montfaucon, in his Palæographia Graca, gives the names of over three hundred caligraphers. He also gives an account of the books they copied, and the colophons with which, as with a satisfactory flourish of the pen, they closed their long-continued labours. Many of these are very curious ; expressing joy, humility, remorse ; entreating the reader's prayers and pardon for the 591
writer's sins; and sometimes pronouncing a malediction on any one who should steal the book. A few of these I subjoin :
"As pilgrims rejoice, beholding their native land, so are transcribers made glad, beholding the end of a book.
"Sweet is it to write the end of any book."
“Ye who read, pray for me who have written this book, the humble and sinful Theodulus.
"As many therefore as shall read this book, pardon me, I beseech you, if aught I have erred in accent acute and grave, in apostrophe, in breathing soft or aspirate : and may God save you all! Amen."
"If anything is well, praise the transcriber ; if ill, pardon his unskilfulness." “Ye who read, pray for me, the most sinful of all men, for the Lord's sake,"
“The hand that has written this book shall decay, alas! and become dust, and go down to the grave, the corrupter of all bodies. But all ye who are of the portion of Christ, pray that I may obtain the pardon of my sins. Again and again I besecch you, with tears, brothers and fathers, accept my miserable supplication, o holy choir ! I am called John, woe is me! I am called Hiereus, or Sacerdos, in name only, not in unction."
“Whoever shall carry away this book, without permission of the Pope, may he incur the malediction of the Holy Trinity, of the Holy Mother of God, of Saint John the Baptist, of the one hundred and eighteen holy Nicene Fathers, and of all the Saints ; the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah ; and the halter of Judas! Anathema, amen.'
“Keep safe, O Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, my three fingers, with which I have written this book.'
“Mathusalas Machir transcribed this divinest book in toil, infirmity, and dangers many:
“ Bacchius Barbardorius and Michael Sophianus wrote this book in sport and laughter, being the guests of their noble and common friend Vincentius Pinellus, and Petrus Nunnius, a most learned man.'
This last colophon Montfaucon does not suffer to pass without reproof. “Other caligraphers," he remarks, “demand only the prayers of their readers, and the pardon of their sins; but these glory in their wantonness."
Note 9, p. 137.—“Drink down to your peg!"-One of the canons of Archbishop Anselm, promulgated at the beginning of the twelfth century, ordains “that priests go not to drinking-bouts nor drink to pegs." In the times of the hard-drinking Danes, King Edgar ordered that " pins or nails should be fastened into the drinking-cups or horns at stated distances, and whosoever should drink beyond those marks at one draught should be obnoxious to a severe punishment.
Sharpe, in his History of the Kings of England, says: “Our ancestors were formerly famous for compotation ; their liquor was ale, and one method of amusing themselves in this way was with the peg.tankard. I had lately one of them in my hand. It had on the inside a row of eight pins, one above another, from top to bottom. It held two quarts, and was a noble piece of plate, so that there was a gill of ale, half a pint Winchester measure, between each peg. The law was, that every person that drank was to empty the space between pin and pin, so that the pins were so many measures to make the company all drink alike, and to swallow the same quantity of liquor. This was a pretty sure method of making all the company drunk, especially if it be considered that the rule was, that whoever drank short of his pin, or beyond it, was obliged to drink again, and even as deep as to the next pin."
Note 10, p. 138.--" The content of St Gildas de Rhuys."-Abelard, in a letter to his friend Philintus, gives a sad picture of this monastery. “I live,"
“in a barbarous country, the language of which I do not understand; I have no conversation, but with the rudest people. my walks are on the inaccessible shore of a sea, which is perpetually stormy: my monks are only known by their dissoluteness, and living without any rule or order. could you sce the abby, Philintus, you would not call it one. the doors and walls are without any ornament, except the heads of wild boars and hinds feet, which are nailed up against them, and the hides of frightful animals. the cells are hung with the skins of deer. the monks have not so much as a bell to wake them, the cocks and dogs supply that defect. in short, they pass their whole days in hunting; would to heaven that were their greatest fault, or that their pleasures terminated there! I endeavour in vain to recall them to their duty; they all
combine against me, and I only expose myself to continual vexations and dangers. I imagine I see every moment a naked sword hang over my head. sometimes they surround me, and load me with infinite abuses : sometimes they abandon me, and I am left alone to my own tormenting thoughts. I make it my endeavour to merit by my sufferings, and to appease an angry God. sometimes I grieve for the loss of the house of the Paraclete, and wish to see it again. ah Philintus, does not the love of Heloise suill burn in my heart? I have not yet triumphed over that unhappy passion. in the midst of my retirement I sigh, I weep, I pine, I speak the dear name Heloise, and am pleased to hear the sound."- Letters of the celebrated Abelard and Heloise. Translated by Mr John Hughes. Glasgow, 1751.
Note 11, P. 151. - "Were it not for my magic garters and staff.”—The method of making the Magic Garters and the Magic Staff is thus laid down in Les Secrets Merveilleu.r du petit Albert, a French translation of Alberti Parni Libcllus de Mirabilibus Naturæ Arcanis:
“Gather some of the herb called motherwort, when the sun is entering the first degree of the sign of Capricorn; let it dry a little in the shade, and make some garters of the skin of a young hare ; that is to say, having cut the skin of the hare into strips two inches wide, double them, sew the before-mentioned herb between, and wear them on your legs. No horse can long keep up with a man on foot who is furnished with these garters."--p. 128.
“Gather, on the morrow of All-Saints, a strong branch of willow, of which you will make a staff, fashioned to your liking. Hollow it out, by removing the pith from within, after having furnished the lower end with an iron ferule. Put into the bottom of the staff the two eyes of a young wolf, the tongue and heart of a dog, three green lizards, and the hearts of three swallows. These must all be dried in the sun, between two papers, having been first sprinkled with finely pulverized saltpetre. Besides all these, put into the staff seven leaves of vervain, gathered on the eve of St John the Baptist, with a stone of divers colours, which you will find in the nest of the lapwing, and stop the end of the staff with a pomel of box, or of any other material you please ; and be assured, that this staff will guarantee you from the perils and mishaps which too often befall travellers, either from robbers, wild beasts, mad dogs, or venomous animals. It will also procure you the good-will of those with whom you lodge."- p. 130.
Note 12, p. 171.-“On the Mountains of the Prairie."- Mr Catlin, in his Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians, Vol. II. p. 160, gives an interesting account of the Coteau des Prairies, and the Red Pipe-stone Quarry. He says:
“Here (according to their traditions) happened the mysterious birth of the red pipe, which has blown its fumes of peace and war to the remotest corners of the continent; which has visited every warrior, and passed through its reddened stem the irrevocable oath of war and desolation. And here, also, the peacebreathing calumet was born, and fringed with the eagle's quills, which has shed its thrilling fumes over the land, and soothed the fury of the relentless savage.
“The Great Spirit at an ancient period here called the Indian nations together, and standing on the precipice of the red pipe-stone rock, broke from its wall a piece, and made a huge pipe by turning it in his hand, which he smoked over them, and to the North, the South, the East, and the West, and told them that this stone was red,--that it was their flesh, -that they must use it for their pipes of peace,--that it belonged to them all, and that the war-club and scalping-knife must not be raised on its ground. At the last whiff of his pipe his head went into a great cloud, and the whole surface of the rock for several miles was melted and glazed ; two great ovens were opened beneath, and two women (guardian spirits of the place) entered them in a blaze of fire; and they are heard there yet (Tso-mec-cos-tee and Tso-me-cos-te-won-dee), answering to the invocations of the high-priests or medicine-men, who consult them when they are visitors to this sacred place."
Note 13, p. 175.-" Hark you, Bear! you are a coward." -This anecdote is from Heckewelder. In his account of the Indian Nations, he describes an Indian hunter as addressing a bear in nearly these words, " I was present," he says, at the delivery of this curious invective ; when the hunter had despatched the bear. I asked him how he thought that poor animal could understand what