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be torn in pieces alive ?' * This piece of humanity,' continued he, recalls to my memory a similar instance, in a

a certain ingenious gentleman, who proposed, as the best and most effectual method of sweeping chimneys, to place a large goose at the top; and then, by a string tied around her feet, to pull the animal gently down to the hearth. The sagacious projector asserted, that the goose, being extremely averse to this method of entering a house, would struggle against it with all her might; and, during this resistance, would move her wings with such force and rapidity, as could not fail to sweep the chimney completely.' Good God, sir,' cried a lady who was present when this new method was proposed, How cruel would that be to the poor goose ! • Why, madam,' replied the gentleman, if you think my method cruel to the goose, a couple of ducks will do.'

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LETTER LXV.

Naples. On the first Sunday of May, we had an opportunity of seeing the famous Neapolitan miracle, of the liquefaction of Saint Januarius's blood, performed. This saint, you know, is the patron of Naples; which circumstance alone forms a strong presumption of his being a saint of very considerable power and efficacy; for it is not to be imagined that the care of a city, like Naples, which is threatened every moment with destruction from Mount Vesuvi. us, would be intrusted to an understrapper. Indeed there has, on some occasions, been reason to fear, that, great and powerful as this saint is, the demon of the mountain would have got the better of him ; however, as Saint Januarius has been able to protect them hitherto, and is supposed to be improved in the science of defence by long practice, the Neapolitans think it more prudent to abide by him than to choose another: who, though he may possibly be of higher rank, and older standing, cannot have equal experience in this particular kind of warfare.

Saint Januarius suffered martyrdom about the end of the third century. When he was beheaded, a pious lady of this city caught about an ounce of his blood, which has been carefully preserved in a bottle ever since, without having lost a single grain of its weight. This of itself, were it equally demonstrable, might be considered as a greater miracle than the eircumstance on which the Neapolitans lay the whole stress, viz. that the blood which has congealed, and acquired a solid form by age, is no sooner brought near the head of the saint, than, as a mark of veneration, it immediately liquefies. This experiment is made three different times every year, and is considered by the Neapolitans as a miracle of the first magnitude.

As the divinity of no other religion whatever is any longer attempted to be proved by fresh miracles, but all are now trusted to their own internal evidence, and to those wrought at a former period, this miracle of Saint Januarius is probably the more admired on account of its being the only one, except transubstantiation, which remains still in use, out of the vast abundance said to have been performed at various periods in support of the Roman Catholic faith. The latter is unquestionably the greater miracle of the two; for to change a wafer into flesh and blood, is more extraordinary than to liquefy any substance whatever : yet I once imagined the liquefaction had rather the advantage in this particular ; that the change is more obvious to the senses. But I have lately been otherwise instructed, by an ingenious person, who was formerly a Jesuit. On somebody (not me, for I never do make objections in matters of faith) having observed, that it was unfortunate that the great change operated on the wafer in transubstantiation, was not visible, the person above alluded to pronounced the miracle to be much greater on that account. • For pray, sir,' said he, addressing himself to the objector, suppose I should immediately turn that fowl, pointing to a turkey which was at that moment stalking 'past; suppose I should immedi. ately turn that fowl into a woman, would you not think it

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very extraordinary ?) Certainly,' replied the other. · Well, sir, but after the change is actually made, and the fowl has to all intents and purposes become a woman, if it still retained the appearance of a turkey, you must acknowledge that would be more extraordinary still. In the same manner,' continued he, in the celebration of mass, the conversion of the wafer into the real body and blood of Jesus Christ, is a great miracle, and highly to be venerated ; but, after this wonderful change has actually taken place, that the real body of Christ should, even in the eyes of the sharpest sighted spectators, still retain its original form of a wafer, is a great deal more amazing and stupendous.'

But, however great a superiority the miracle of tran. substantiation may have over that of St. Januarius, in the opinion of Roman Catholics in general, the Neapolitans imagine the latter is sufficient to convert infidels, and put heretics out of countenance. A zealous believer of this country, having described the miracle, breaks out into the following exclamations : -O illustre memoria ! O verità

! irrefragabile ! Vengano gli Heretici, vengano, e Stupiscano, ed aprano gli occhi alla verità Cattolica, et Evangelica ; Bastarebbe questo sangue

questo sangue di S. Gennaro sola à fare testimopia della Fede. E possibile, che a tanto, et si famoso miraculo non si converta tutta la Gentilità, ed Infedeltà alla verita Catolica della Romana chiesa ?? * Though I am not such an enthusiastic admirer of the performance of this author, yet, on the other hand, I do not think that Protestants, however much they may be convinced it is a trick, have any right to call it a clumsy trick, without ex, plaining in what it consists. This is a liberty which some travellers of great eminence have taken. Others have asserted, that the substance in the bottle, which is exhibited

O illustrious memorial! O irrefragable truth! Come hither, ye here. tics! Come hither, and be astonished, and open your eyes to Catholic and Evangelic truth. The blood of Saint Januarius alone is a sufficient testimo. ny of the truth. Is it possible, that such a great and famous miracle does not convert all heretics and infidels to the truths of the Roman Catholic church.

for the blood of the saint, is something naturally solid, but which melts with a small degree of heat. When it is first brought out of the cold chapel, say those gentlemen, it is in its natural solid state: but when brought before the saint by the priest, and rubbed between his warm hands, and breathed upon for some time, it melts; and this is the whole mystery. Though I find myself unable to explain on what principle the liquefaction depends, I am fully convinced that it must be something different from this; for I have it from the most satisfactory authority, from those who had opportunities of knowing, and who believe no more in the miracle than you do, that this congealed mass has sometimes been found in a liquid state in cold weather, before it was touched by the priest, or brought near the head of the saint; and that, on other occasions, it has remained solid when brought before him, notwithstanding all the efforts of the priest to melt it. When this happens, the superstitious, which, at a very moderate calculation, comprehends ninety-nine in a hundred of the inhabitants of this city, are thrown into the utmost consternation, and are sometimes wrought up by their fears into a state of mind which is highly dangerous both to their civil and ecclesiastical governors. It is true, that this happens but seldom; for, in general, the substance in the phial, whatever it may be, is in a solid form in the chapel, and becomes liquid when brought before the saint; but as this is not always the case, it af. fords reason to believe, that, whatever may have been the case when this miracle or trick, call it which you please, was first exhibited, the principle on which it depends has somehow or other been lost, and is not now understood fully even by the priests themselves ; or else they are not now so expert, as formerly, in preparing the substance which represents the saint's blood, so as to make it remain solid when it ought, and liquefy the instant it is required.

The head and blood of the saint are kept in a kind of press, with folding doors of silver, in the chapel of St.

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Januarius, belonging to the cathedral church. The real head is probably not so fresh, and well preserved, as the blood; and on that account is not exposed to the eyes of the public, but inclosed in a large silver bust, gilt and enriched with jewels of high value. This being what appears to the people, their idea of the saint's features and complexion are taken entirely from the bust.

The blood is kept in a small repository by itself.

About mid-day, the bust, inclosing the real head, was brought with great solemnity, and placed under a kind of portico, open on all sides, that the different communities, which come in procession, may be able to traverse it, and that the people may have the comfort of beholding the miracle. The processions of that solemn day were innumerable ; all the streets of Naples were crowded with the various order of ecclesiastics, dressed in their richest robes. The monks of each convent were mustered under their own particular banders. A splendid cross was carried before each procession, and the images, in massy silver, of the saints, peculiarly patronizing the convents, followed the cross. In this order they marched from the convents to the pavilion, under which the head of St. Ja. nuarius was placed, and having done due obeisance to that great protector of this city, they marched back by a different route, in the same order, to their convent. But as there are a great many convents in Naples, and a great number of monks in each convent, though the processions began soon after mid-day, the evening was well advanced before the last of them had passed. The grand procession of all began when the others had finished. It was composed of a numerous body of clergy, and an im. mense multitude of people of all ranks, headed by the archbishop of Naples himself, who carried the phial con, taiping the blood of the saint. The duke of Hamilton and I accompanied Sir William Hamilton to a house directly opposite to the portico, where the sacred head was placed. We there found a large assembly of Neapolitan mobility. A magnificent robe of velvet, richly embroidere

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