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and such scenes repeated might do something at least toward moulding permanently the character of the heart.

It should be observed that males are not usually admitted into the female apartments during these ceremonies except the priests, some of whom are present to lead in the religious observances, and to see, I suppose, that all things are done “decently and in order.” Don Miguel, however, was on this occasion escorted in by four priests with lighted candles, for the purpose, I suppose, of showing himself to all the guests, and also, as it would seem, to be introduced to a princess, who was present and assisting at the supper.

: Taking the White Veil. The church of St. Cecilia in Trastivere, is situated on the south part of the city, on the right side of the Tiber, and is supposed to be built on the site of the house of St. Cecilia. This saint suffered martyrdom at the time of the Lombard invasion, in a bath appertaining to the house. For some time there was a doubt about the identity of the body, but at length she appeared in a supernatural way to St. Paschal, and gave him such instruction, as enabled him to find and identify the body. Whereupon it was taken and deposited in a sepulchre under the high altar of this church, which was erected to her memory, and for the edification of the faithful. All this I learned from a copy of a Latin letter sent to the pope from Paschal, and inscribed on a marble tablet in the wall of the church. Here over the sarcophagus is a beautiful horizontal statue of marble, with the head turned under, in the very attitude, it is said, in which she was discovered after her martyrdom. Connected with this church is a nunnery, in which are the order of St. Cecilia. Thither on Tuesday after holy week we went to witness the assumption of the white veil by two young females. On our arrival, we were invited into a private apartment adjoining the convent, where we and many others were generously treated with refreshments furnished by the friends of the candidates. This room was connected with the convent by doubly grated windows. The two sets of grates were distant from each other about eight inches, and the rods were so close as to render it impossible for persons to touch each other through them. We could see the sisters of the order, however, and also the candidates for the sisterhood. After refreshment we went into the church, and soon an aged bishop, with locks whiter than wool, entered with his attendants. A golden crosier was borne before him. He was then clad with his sacerdotal vestments, the principal of which was a robe of silver tissue bordered with gold, and a mitre studded with brilliants. Soon the candidates entered, dressed like princesses, followed by little girls with wings from their backs in the character of angels, holding up their trains. After some ceremony by the bishop and the candidates, a discourse was delivered by a priest, which seemed to be a defence of perpetual virginity, and a reference to the advantages of the monastic life. The novices then retired, and directly appeared at a grate communicating with the church. This grated window had an altar on each side, and a communication in the centre about eight or ten inches square. Here with the bishop and priests on one side, and the young ladies with their attendants on the other, the appointed service was performed. By the kindness of the brother of one of the candidates, I was accommodated with a favorable position near the altar, and near the new vestments with which they were about to be clothed. These lay in two separate piles with the name of each upon her parcel. After a portion of the service, the candidates placed their heads by the window of the grate, and the officiating bishop with a pair of golden scissors, taken from a plate of gold, cut off a lock of their hair. They then underwent a complete transformation as to their garments. The rich head-dress and orna. ments were taken off, the hair turned back, the fine tresses straitened, and a plain tight cap without a border put upon the head. The ornaments were taken from the arms, the ears, the neck—the rich dress, in short, was removed and left the candidates modestly blushing with only a close white underdress to cover them. The whole of this gay attire, and these princely ornaments were loosely rolled together, and put into the hands of the wearer, who with some sentence which I could not understand, but which was undoubtedly expressive of her abdication of the world and its vanities, -as if she should say:

"I bid this world of noise and show,

With all its flattering smiles adieu" cast them from her. Her new attire was then brought forward, and article after article was received through the grate, affectionately kissed and put on, an official nun standing by each candidate, and assisting in the investment. The order of the clothing was, as nearly as I can recollect, as follows: first, a scarf, with an opening for the head, was thrown over the shoulders, and hung down perhaps as low as the knees, before and behind-around this a white sash-over the whole a robe, which, like the other garments, was of fine white stuff like worsted—then a peculiar collar for the neck, which was turned down before, but turned up behind and pinned at the back of the head. And finally the white hood or veil, which was made stiff and fashioned somewhat, in the part for the head, like a peasant's sun-bonnet in our country, without, however, being gathered behind, for it extended down like a stiff veil over the shoulders. A crucifix, rosary, and prayer book, together with a lighted candle were given to each—all of which, as they were received, one by one, were kissed by the candidates, as also was the priest's hand who presented them. Last of all the head was surmounted by an armillary crown, either of silver, or tinsel resem. bling silver. The whole of this transformation was sudden, and the contrast most striking. It was as if a princess, by the touch of a Roman wand, had been metamorphosed into a meek-eyed, modestly appareled sister of charity.

Thus habited, the two novices threw themselves again upon the altar with their faces buried in the velvet cushions before them, when the venerable bishop, assisted by other priests, performed the most solemn part of the service, which consisted of short sentences and brief responses, in which all seemed to join with a good deal of spirit. The new sisters then arose and kissed their assistant officials, the other attendant nuns their attending cherubs, and their female friends who were within the grate. Up to that moment the friends of the buried alive* seemed to be cheerful, but now that the final separation was come, there was more apparent difficulty in concealing the emotions which, doubtless; they had all along felt; and I now noticed that the sister of one of them,

who had been remarkably gay, drew back with swimming eyes. The candidates, on the contrary, through the whole scene manifested little emotion either of devotion or of excited sensibilities for friends, but seemed to pass through the ceremony with a self-possession and firmness that to me indicated either deep principle of duty, or the indifference of disappointment. Undoubtedly many persons take the veil from both of these causes; others from poverty, and others again, and perhaps of these there are not a few, from the solicitation of parents or brothers, who, not being able or willing to make genteel provision for the supernumerary female members of their family, find this a convenient and respectable way of disposing of them. What may have been the cause of the seclusions in the present cases, I of course am ignorant of, but I have left upon my mind the deep and indelible conviction that the Church which offers facilities and holds out motives for such moral suicides, has greatly mistaken her duty to the world, and mụst be held responsible for encouraging a system wholly unsanctioned, either by the Old or New Testament, and against the principle of which the entire economy of man's nature throws back the denial through every law of his physical and moral constitution.

A number of sonnets were composed on this occasion, and distributed to the spectators, and possibly some of them were sung ; for the exercises were occasionally and pleasantly varied by the sound of sweet music. At the commencement we not only had the deep-toned organ, but the sweet notes of female voices dropped down in melting strains from the lofty latticed galleries, behind which the sisterhood were concealed. Here "through the loop holes of their retreat,” they were permitted to look qut upon the ceremonies below-a place which they doubtless often occupied at the time of public service in the church, and which so far screened them that nothing was seen, even when they stood the nearest to the net-work screen, but some undefined forms robed in white, which a lively imagination in the land of visions might easily transform into celestial visitants, who had come down to chant a dirge for the departing spirits, and then to accompany them to their future abodes of rest. And their sweet voices, softened by their passage through the lattice, fell gently down upon the company below, as if to say, in all the winning witchery of melody,

“Sister spirits, comc away." From the sonnets distributed on the occasion, we learned that the name of one of the initiated was, Teresa Gauttieri Romana, daughter of Signor Vincenzo, but her new name, (for all take a new name on entering the sisterhood,) was Donna Marianna. The name of the other was Teresa Gauttieri, but her assumed name was Donna Maria Benedetta. Their respective ages were apparently about

I say buried alive, because, although these had only taken the white veil, and therefore may, it is pretended, at their option, come out at the end of a year, still, I believe, in most cases, having taken the first step, they are made willing to proceed.

23 and 28. They seemed to depart from this world in peace. May kind Heaven grant that no bitter disappointment blight their expectations, and no passion or oppression pollute or disturb the quiet of their prison house !

It may be proper to notice in this connection that, a day or two after this, a lady belonging to one of the noble families of England took the veil in Rome. Her conversion to Catholicism-for until recently she had been a Protestant-had with the attendant circumstances been a subject of considerable interest in the city, and was considered by the Catholics not only as a great triumph of truth, but as a great confirmation, also, of their faith. It seems, strange and simple as the circumstance may appear, that the first thing which staggered her Protestantism, was that phrase in the creed, "I believe in the holy catholic Church." How could she repeat this in sincerity, being a Protestant? For it seems she understood by this, not the universal Church, but the Roman Church! This put her upon an inquiry, which resulted in her conversion to Romanism, followed by an earnest desire to become a nun of the order of St. Theresa. But as the regimen of that order was rigorous, and her own health very delicate, her friends were unwilling she should come under the vows of the order. She then prayed to the virgin, who, in answer to prayer, miraculously healed her, not only as to her general health, but, as was affirmed, a lameness, which had rendered one of her limbs useless, was suddenly healed and entirely cured. This miracle not only satisfied her friends as to her duty in the case, but was the occasion also of converting her mother to, and confirming her in the Catholic faith. She, accordingly, took the veil. We passed the place of the ceremony, where we saw an immense number of coaches and a great gathering; but as the crowd was great, and the ceremony not new to us, we did not attempt an entrance. She appeared at the grated window for a number of successive days afterward, to converse with her friends. We saw some who conversed with her, and they represented her as appearing very cheerless and agitated. Indeed, it seems from all the information I could gain, that her mind as well as her body was of a sickly cast, and her temperament visionary and fanciful. It was a case, however, that gave great joy to the Papists, insomuch that the jesuit priest already alluded to, made a subject of one of his public addresses to a popular assembly in Rome, to confirm their faith and confidence in the “Holy Catholic Church.”

Chiesa Della Trinità de Monti, This church stands on the Pinchean Hill, situated in the north part of the city, near the Porta del Popolo, and east of the Piazza di Spagna. It is one of the most prominent points in the modern city, and is rendered still more magnificent in its western aspect, by the splendid staircase by which it is approached from the Piazza di Spagna.

Connected with the church is a convent, all the inmates of which are said to be ladies of quality. The regulations of their order are in some respects peculiar, especially in that they take upon them no vows of perpetual seclusion, but hold themselves at liberty to leave whenever they choose. And yet it is mentioned, as a most extra

ordinary fact, that no one has ever been known to leave the sisterhood after she has once entered. If this be a fact, there is at least one conclusion to which we may safely come, viz: that if it is not a violation of a positive vow, to leave the convent, and therefore an infraction of no written law, it nevertheless is a violation of common law, and of an implied engagement, to break which would show a disregard of all that is sacred in religion, and all that is respectable in character. These are considerations, therefore, that undoubtedly operate strongly and effectually to guard the egress from these monastic walls. In addition, the rules of the order, it is presumed, are not rigorous, their privileges, both social and religious, are great, and their company abundant and most respectable. At least, I have noticed that priests and ecclesiastics of a most respectable appearance were among their visiters.

Hearing that they had most enchanting music there, at vespers, on Sabbath evenings, we made several attemps to get admittance, in all of which we failed, save in one instance, in which I had wandered to the church alone, at an early hour, and happened to approach the private door just at the same time with two or three priests. The door on this, as on all other occasions, was locked, and as the priests were pulling the bell I informed them that I was a stranger, which they doubtless would readily perceive by my bad Italian; that I had a great desire to be present at the vespers, and if they would pass me in I should be greatly obliged to them. They bowed assent with the usual frankness and courtesy of the Italians, and especially of the priests. The door was opened by a nun of a most angelic countenance; who, at the intimation of the priests, admitted me, and showing me a side door into the church, conducted the clergymen into the convent.

It was early, and the church, as I thought, was perfectly empty. This gave me an opportunity of examining it leisurely. The chancel was separated from the nave by a very high and magnificent screen, consisting of beautiful iron balusters. This was to separate the nuns, who chant the service, from the congregation in the church. As I looked through the balustrade, I saw to the left a solitary priest with his prayer book in his hand, and so deeply intent upon his devotions that he did not observe me. I immediately recognized him to be the count of to whom I had been introduced a few evenings before, at Mr. C- 's, in the Corso. Although a count, he was also a priest, and a gentleman of soft and winning address, and kindly manners. And here he was alone, in this lovely church, where silence reigned, where the sacredness of the place, the beauty of the edifice, the sweet breath and sweet light of an evening in which the setting sun gleamed faintly through the remaining mists of a recent shower, all conspired to melt the heart and mould the spirit into devout veneration of the God of the sanctuary. This it was, perhaps, which prepared me the more to enjoy what followed.

There is always a church, I believe, connected with every convent. And in every such instance there are private entrances to it from the convent. So it was with the Chiesa della Trinità.

As soon, therefore, as the vesper bell rang, the nuns began to enter. Those who led the music came into the high gallery by a

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