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A piece from the table cloth which Christ used at his last sapper with his disciples. These relics, accompanying Misson's account of the " true lance " of Nuremberg, are here enumerated, because his statement as to the existence of the lance, in connection with those relics, is corroborated by a rare print, sixteen inches and a quarter wide, by thirteen inches high, published by the ecclesiastics of Nuremberg, in the possession of the editor of the Every-Day Book. It represents the whole of these relics at one view, except the five thorns. The true lance, being placed in the print angle-ways, measures nineteen inches and three quarters, from the point of the sheath to the rim of the iron shaft. The preceding column con
tains a reduced fac-simile of this " true* relic. It is not denied that the "hoi} lance" at Paris, " where it is still kept in the holy chapel," is also " true"—they are without a shadow of doubt, equally " true* See Butler and Misson, and ftlisson and Butler.
By the by, it must be remembered, that the genuine lantern which Judas carried, was also " kept at Rome," when Misson was there; and that, at the same time, Judas's lantern was also at St. Denis in France—both genuine.*
The romance of "Spomydon," printed by Wynkyn de Worde, celebrates the exploits of Charlemagne, for the recovery o* the relics of the passion in the following lines:—
There is a tradition at Vienne, that in the reign of the emperor Tiberius, Pontius Pilate was exiled to that city, where he died not long after, of grief and despair, for not having prevented the crucifixion of the saviour; and his body was thrown into the Rhone. There it remained, neither carried away by the force of the current, nor consumed by decay, for five hundred years; until the town being afflicted with the plague, it was revealed to the then archbishop, in a vision, that the calamity was occasioned by Pilate's body, which unknown to the good people of Vienne was lying at the foot of a certain tower. The place was accordingly searched and the body drawn up entire, but nothing could equal its intolerable odour. Wherefore, it was carried to a marsh two leagues from the town, and there interred; but for a long series of years after, strange noises were reported by certain people to issue from this place continually; these sounds were believed to be the groans of PoLtius Pilate, and the cries of the devils tormenting him. They also imagined, the neighbourhood of his body to be the cause of violent storms of thunder and lightning which are frequent at Vienne; and as tha
tower, where the body was found, has been several times struck by lightning, it has acquired the name of the tower of
It will be seen from the subjoined letter of a correspondent, who communicates his name to the editor, that remains of the ancient disguises are still to be seen in the proceedings of those persons in this country, who, towards the termination of the fast of Lent, collect materials for good cheer to make an Easter festival.
Paste Eccs. To the Editor of the Every-Day Book.
Liverpool, Good Friday, 1826. Sir,—Having been much entertained lately by your accounts of " festivals, and fairs, and plays," I am induced to contribute, in some small degree, to the store of amusement in your interesting everyday miscellany. The subject on which I am to treat, is a custom that prevails in the neighbourhood of West Derby, on this day; it is known by the denomination of "paste egging," and is practised by the humbler classes of the juvenile peasantry.
• XiiHi'i TnTeU, I7M.
I Uim Ptantree'i Renrfracc.
The parlies who are disposed to partake in the fan, disguise themselves in the most fantastic habiliments—such as clothes turned inside out, with strange patches on, some with masks, veils, ribbands, &c.; tome with faces blacked, and (perhaps, your fair readers may not excuse me for telling them that,) even the females disguise their sex! Thus equipped, they betake themselves (in numbers of from about four to a dozen of both sexes) to the different farm-houses, and solicit contributions towards the "festival" of Easter Sunday. The beginning of my tale seems to indicate the sort of gifts that are expected; these gifts are generally made up of great numbers of eggs and oatmeal cakes. One of the party usually carries a basket for the cakes, another for the eggs, and (as our best feasts can scarcely be got up without a portion of the one thing needful,) a third is the bearer of a small box for pecuniary contributions.
Conscious of the charms of miuic, they generally exhilarate their benefactors with some animated songs, appropriate to the occasion, and sung in excellent taste; and by these means seldom fail to return homeward with a plentiful supply of their "paste egg," and no trivial aid in money. With these materials, a festival is got up on Easter Sunday evening. The different parties meet at the village alehouse, where "Bacchus'* blisses and Venus's kisses," accompany the circling bowl, and associate the village host in a universal compact of mirth and merriment.
I cannot discover any reasonable account of the origin of this custom; and must, therefore, Mr. Editor, subscribe myself, your faithful servant,
Annunciation, or Lady Day.
For the Bvery-Day Book.
Relentless, undelaying quarter-day!
Cold, though in Summer, cheerless, though in Spring,
No quarter dost thou give, not for one day,
But rent and tax enforceth us to pay;
And empty-handed sending us away 1—
Thee I abhor, although I lack not coin
To bribe thy "itching palm :" for I behold
The poor and needy whom sharp hunger gnawing
Leaving dismantled walls to meet thy claim:—■
Then scorn I thee, and hold them free from blame!
The htut Day of Lent. Lady Morgan describes the "sepulchres, in the churches of Italy, to have been watched night and day by hundreds clad in deep mourning from the dawn of Holy Thursday till Saturday at midday, when the body is supposed to rise from the grave, and the resurrection is an • nounced by the firing of cannon, the blowing of trumpets, and the ringing of bells which from the preceding Thursday had been carefully tied up to protect them from the power of the devil. "On this
day, the whole foreign population of Rome rolls on, in endless succession, to the Vatican. The portico, colonnades, and vestibules, both of the church and palace, assume the air of the court of a military despot. Every epoch in the military costume is there gaudily exhibited. Halberdiersin coats of mail,and slate-coloured pantaloons, which pass upon the faithful for polished steel armour; the Swiss in their antique dresses of buff and scarlet, and lamberkeens; the regular troops i n their modern uniforms; theguardia mobile
the pope's voltigeurt, all leathers and feebleness, gold and glitter; generals of the British army, colonels and subalterns of every possible yeomanry, with captains and admirals of the navy, and a host of nondescripts, laymen, and protestant clergymen, who 'for the nonce' take shelter under any thing resembling an uniform, that may serve as apasse-partout, where none are courteously received but such as wear the livery of church or state militant;—all move towards the portals of the Sistine chapel, which, with their double guards, resemble the mouth of a military pass, dangerous to approach, and difficult to storm. The ladies press with an imprudent impetuosity npon the guards, who, with bayonets fixed and elbows squared, repress them with a resistance, such as none but female assailants would dare to encounter a second time. Thousands of tickets of admission are shown aloft by upraised hands, and seconded by high-raised voices; while the officer of the guard, who can read and tear but one at a time, leaves the task of repulsion to the Swiss, who manfully second their 'allezfou* en' with a physical force, that in one or two instances incapacitated the eager candidates for further application. A few English favoured by the minister, and all the princes and diplomatists resident at Rome, pioneered by their guards of honour, make their way without let or molestation. One side of the space, separated from the choir by a screen, is fitted up for them apart; the other is for the whole female congregation, who are crushed in, like sheep in a fold. The men, if in uniform or full court dresses, are admitted to a tribune within the choir; while the inferior crowd, left to shift for themselves, rush in with an impetuosity none can resist; for though none are admitted at all to the chapel without tickets, yet the number of applicants (almost exclusively foreign) is much too great for the limited capacity of the place. A scene of indescribable confusion ensues. The guards get mingled with the multitude. English peers are overturned by Roman canons. Irish friars batter the old armour of the mailed halberdiers with fists more formidable than the iron they attack. Italian priests tumble over tight-laced dandies; and the 'Via via' of the Roman guard, and the 'Fous ne restez pas issi' of the Swiss mingle with screams, supplications and reproofs, long after the solemn service of
the church has begun. The procession of the sacrament to the l'aoline chapel succeeds; its gates are thrown open, and its dusky walls appear illuminated with thousands of tapers, twinkling in the rays of the noonday sun, through an atmosphere of smoke. Few are able to enter the illuminated chapel, or to behold the deposition of the sacrament; and many who are informed of the programme of the day, by endeavouring to catch at all the ceremonies, scarcely attain to any."*
Easter Eve in Spain.
Mr. Blanco White says, that the service in the cathedral of Seville begins this morning without either the sound of bells or of musical instruments. The paschal chandle is seen by the north side of the altar. It is, in fact, a pillar of wax, nine yards in height, and thick in proportion, standing on a regular marble pedestal. It weighs eighty arrobas, or two thousand pounds, of twelve ounces. This candle is cast and painted new every year, the old one being broken into pieces on the Saturday preceding Whitsunday, the day when part of it is used for the consecration of the baptismal font. The sacred torch is lighted with the new fire, which this morning the priest strikes out of a flint, and it burns during service till Ascension-day. A chorister in his surplice climbs up a gilt-iron rod, furnished with steps like a flag-staff, and having the top railed in, so as to admit of a seat on a level with the end of the candle. From this crow's nest, the young man lights up and trims the wax pillar, drawing off the melted wax with a large iron ladle.
High mass begins this day behind the
Keat veil, which for the two last weeks in Mil covers the altar. After some preparatory prayers, the priest strikes up the hymn Gloria in exceU'u Deo. At this moment the veil flies off, the explosion of fireworks in the upper galleries reverberates in a thousand echoes from the vaults of the church, and the four-and-twenty large bells of its tower awake, with their discordant though gladdening sounds, those of the one hundred ana forty-six steeples which this religious town boasts of. A brisk firing of musketry, accompanied by the howling of the innumerable dogs, which, unclaimed by any master, live and multiply in the streets, adds strength and variety to this universal din. The firing is directed against several stuffed
* Lady Morgan'a Italy.
figures, not unlike Guy Fawkes of the fifth of November, which are seen hanging by the neck on a rope, extended across the least frequented streets. It is then that the pious rage of the people of Seville is ventea against the arch-traitor Judas, whom they annually hang, shoot, draw, and quarter in effigy.
The church service ends in a procession about the aisles. The priest bears the host in his hands, visible through glass as a picture within a medallion. The sudden change from the gloomy appearance of the church and its ministers, to the simple and joyous character of this procession, the very name of pattjua florida, the flowery passover, and, more than the name, the flowers themselves, which welldressed children, mixed with the censerbearers, scatter on the ground, crowd the mind and heart with the ideas, hopes, and feelings of renovated life, and give to this ceremony, even for those who disbelieve the personal presence of a Deity triumphant over death, a character of inexpressible tenderness.*
Papal Convertion of the Jew:
The day before Easter Sunday at Rome, two or more Jews are procured to be baptized. An eye-witness of a couple of these converts, says, "The two devoted Israelites prepared for this occasion, attired in dirty yellow silk gowns, were seated on a bench within the marble front 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 blackrobed doctors of divinity, as if to guard and secure their spiritual captives. The ancient 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 thick
ness, 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 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 neighbouring 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 chanting 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
Greek Preparation for Eatter.
The Rev. J. Conner describes the ceremonies of the Greek church at Jerusalem on Easter-eve. "I went to the church to spend the night there, that I might view all the different observances. It is a general belief among the Greeks and Armenians, that, on Easter-eve, a fire descends from heaven into the sepulchre. The eagerness of the Greeks, Armenians, and others, to light their candles at this holy fire, carried an immense crowd to the church, notwithstanding the sum which they were obliged to pay. About nine at night, I retired to rest, in a small apartment in the church. A little before midnight, the servant roused me to see the Greek procession. I hastened to the gallery of the church. The scene was striking and brilliant. The Greek chapel was splendidly illuminated. Five rows of lamps were suspended in the dome; and almost every individual of the immense multitude held a lighted candle in his hand." The ceremonies on Easter Sunday were very grand.
* DobUdo'a Letter*.
* Runic in the Nineteenth Century.
Naturalists' Calendar. Mean Temperature. . . 42 85.
Easter Sunday. There is little trace in England of the imposing effect of this festival in papal terms
It is affirmed, that at Queen's-college, Oxford, the first dish brought to the table on Easter-day, is a red herring, riding away on horseback, that is to say, a herring placed by the cook, something after the likeness of a man on horseback, set on a corn sallad.4 This is the only vestige of the pageants which formerly were publicly exhibited by way of popular rejoicing for the departure of the forty days Lent fast, and the return to solid eating with the Easter festival.
The custom of eating a gammon of bacon at Easter, still maintained in some parts of England, is founded on the abhorrence our forefathers thought proper to express, in that way, towards the Jews at the season of commemorating the resurrection.f
Li/ling at Easter, and pace or paste C?RS> with other usages derived from catholic customs, are described and traced in vol. i. p. 421.
Since these "Caps well fit; by Titus in Sandgate and Titus every where," a curious little duodecimo, printed at Newcastle in 1785, has come into the editor's hands, from whence is extracted the following—
Patte Egg *«'"
Once—yes once, upon a i-mur-jagg-Day,
• Antiquarian Repertory.
And now, our gentry on the green,
A poor old woman, passing by, ,
Gaz'd at the ring with curious eye
Discover'd soon—some wags stcpt forth,
The grey-hair'd matron rubb'd her eyes,
Of eggs they brought her number nine,
Amaz'd, at silence so profound;
In throth—quo' she, I'm short and plain,