« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
unless he embraced an order more austere. presented to his zealous mind the pracL'pon this he returned home, added ex- tice of that kind of piety which he aftertraordinary mortifications to his fasts and wards put in execution" His first step to prayers, instead of sleeping on his bed this was writing a farewell letter to his palay on the floor, and told his mother he rents, on the 31st of August, 1770, " and wished to go and live upon roots as the from that time they never received any anchorets did. All this he might have account of him till after his death.” His done in the Carthusian convent, but his next steps were pilgrimages. First he brain seems to bave been a little cracked, went to Loretto “ from tender devotion for he resolved to go into another Carthus to the Blessed Virgin, whom he looked on sian convent, the prior of which would as his mother;" next to Assissium the birthnot admit him till he had studied philo- place of St. Francis, where he, “ accordsophy' for a year, and learned the Gre- ing to custom, got a small blessed cord gorian chant." Church music was very which he constantly wore ;" then he went agreeable to him—but it was not so with to Rome where he sojourned for eight or regard to logic; “notwithstanding all nine inonths and wept “ in the presence his efforts, he was never able to conquer of the tomb of the holy apostles ;” afterhis repugnance to this branch of study;" wards “he visited the tomb of St. Romuald vet he somehow or other scrambled at Fabrieno, where the inhabitants imthrough an examination ; got admitted mediately began to look upon him as a into the convent; “ thought its rules far saint;" from thence he returned to Lotoo mild for such a sinner as he looked retto; he then journeyed to Naples, and upon himself to be;" and after a six had the pleasure of seeing the blood of weeks' trial, left it in search of admission St. Januarius which would not liquify into the order of La Trappe, as the most when the French entered Naples, till the rigid of any that he knew. The Trap- French general threatened the priests who pists would not have him; this refusal he performed the miracle that the city would looked upon as a heavenly favour, be- suffer, if the saint remained obstinate; cause the monastery of Sept-Fonts sur- " and in short,” says the rev. Vicar passed La Trappe in severe austerities General of the London district, “ there and discipline, and there he became a was hardly any famous place of devotion “ Dovice” till the life he fancied, did not in Europe which was not visited by this agree with him. “ Having a long time servant of God;"—the Vicar General's before quitted his father's house he could sentence had concluded better with the not think of returning to it again ;” and words “ this slave of superstition.” To at two and twenty years of age he knew follow Labre's other goings to and fro not what to do. His biographer says, would be tedious, suffice it to say that at that "little fit for the cloister, and still one of his Loretto trips some people less fit for the world, he was destitute of offered him an abode, in order to save the means of getting a livelihood; and him the trouble of going every night to a being now persuaded of what were the barn at a great distance; but as they had designs of God concerning him, he re- prepared a room for him with a bed in it solsed to follow the conduct, the light, and he thought this lodging was ton sumpinspirations of the holy spirit, and to tuous; and he therefore retired into a submit himself to all the sufferings and hole “cut out of the rock under the afflictions which might await him.” If in street.” Labre at last favoured the city this condition some one had compelled of Rome by his fixed residence, and sanchim to eat a good dinner every day, tified the amphitheatre of Flavian by made him go to bed at a proper hour and making his home in a hole of the ancient take proper rest, and then set him on ruins. horseback and trotted him through the In this “hole of sufficient depth to hold fresh air and sun-shine every forenoon, he and shelter him in a tolerable degree from might have been restored; or if his parents, the weather,” he deposited himself every as in duty they ought, had bound him ap- night for several years.
He employed prentice at a proper age to a good trade, he the whole of every day, “ sometimes in might have been an useful member of one church and sometimes in another, society. These thoughts, however, never praying most commonly upon his knees, appear to have entered Labre's head, and and at other times standing, and always in the dilemma represented “ his love of keeping his body as still as if he were a bumility, poverty, and a penitential life, statue.' Labre's daily exercise in fasting
and lifelessness reduced him to a help- says, “I never heard his confession but in less state, that a beggar had compassion a confessional, on purpose that there might on him, and gave him a recommendation be some kind of separation between us." to an hospital, whereby taking medi. The holy father's lively reason for this precines proper for his disorder, and more caution, any history of insects with the substantial food, he soon grew well;” but word" pediculus" will describe accurately. relapsing into his “ constant, uniform, and hidden life," he became worse. This opportunity of exhibiting Labre's virtues is not neglected by his biographer, who minutely informs us of several particulars. 1st. He was so careful to observe the law of silence, that in the course of a whole month, scarcely any one could hear him speak so much as a few words. 2dly. He lived in the midst of Rome, as if he had lived in the midst of a desert. 3dly. He led a life of the greatest self-denial, destitute of every thing, disengaged from every eartbly affection, unnoticed by all mankind, desiring no other riches ihan poverty, no other pleasures than mortification, no other distinction than that of being the object of universal contempt. 4thly. He indulged in rigorous poverty, exposed to the vicissitudes and inclemencies of the weather, without shelter against the cold of winter or the heat of summer, wearing old clothes, or rather rags, eating very coarse food, and for three years living in the “ hole in the wall." 5thly. To his privations of all worldly goods, he joined an almost continual abstinence, frequent fasts, nightly vigils, lively and insupportable pains from par- Thus Labre lived and died; and here ticular mortifications, and two painful tu- it might be supposed would end his memours which covered both his knees, from moirs. But, no. In whatever odour he resting the whole weight of his body on lived, as he “died in the odour of sanethem when he prayed. 6thly. “He look- tity," an enthusiasm seized some persons ed upon himself as one of the greatest of to touch Labre dead, who, when living, sinners;" and this was the reason why" he was touchless. Labre being deceased, was chose to lead a' life of reproach and con- competent to work miracles; accordingly tempt," why he herded" among the mul- he stretched out his left hand, and laid titude of poor beggars," " why he chose hold on the board of one of the benches. to cover himself with rags and tatters in- On Easter-day being a holiday, he workstead of garments, why he chose to place ed more miracles, and wonders more a barrier of disgust between himself and wonderful than ever were wondered mankind," why “ he abandoned himself in our days, as may be seen at large, in to the bites of disagreeable insects," and the aforesaid volume, entitled—“ The Life why he coveted to be covered with filthy of the venerable Benedict Joseph Labre, blotches.
who died at Rome, in the odour of sano Labre's biographer, who was also his tity.” The portrait, from which the enconfessor, says that his appearance was graving on this page is taken, was pub
« disagreeable and forbidding; his legs were lished immediately after his death by Mt. balf naked, his clothes were tied round Coghlan, Catholic bookseller,Duke-street, the waist with an old cord, his head was Grosvenor-square, from a drawing in his uncombed, he was badly clothed and possession. wrapped up in an old and ragged coat, and in his outward appearance he seemed Miracle at Somers Town. to be the most miserable beggar that I The authenticity of the following ext had ever seen." His biographer further ordinary fact can be verified. Mr. H.
a middle-aged gentleman, long afflicted coat-tail, the horns of a mad bullock; by various disorders, and especially by when; to the equal astonishment of its the gout, had so far recovered from a pursuers, this unhappy gentleman insevere attack of the latter complaint, that stantly leaped the fence, and overcome he was enabled to stand, yet with so little by terror, continued to run with amazing advantage, that he could not walk more celerity nearly the whole distance of the than fifty yards, and it took him nearly field, while the animal kept its own an hour to perform that distance. While course along the road. The gentleman, thus enfeebled by suffering, and safely who had thus miraculously recovered the creeping in great difficulty, on a sunny use of his legs, retained his power of day, along a level footpath by the side speed until he reached his own house, of a field near Somers Town, he was where he related the miraculous circumalarmed by loud cries, intermingled with stance ; nor did his quickly-restored fathe screams of many voices behind him. culty of walking abate, until it ceased From his infirmity, he could only turn with his life several years afterwards. very slowly round, and then, to his asto- This “ miraculous cure” can be attested nishment, he saw, within a yard of his by his surviving relatives.
Somers Town Muacle.
the universal desire for seeing the delightIn April, 1818, London was surprised ful and ever-varying combinations, preby the sudden appearance of an optical sented by each turn of the magical cyinstrument for creating and exhibiting linder. beautiful forms, which derives its name The kaleidoscope was invented by Dr from Kalos beautiful, esdos a form, and Brewster, to whom, had its exclusive Tere to see. The novelty was so en- formation been ensured, it must have prochanting, that opticians could not manu- duced a handsome fortune in the course facture kaleidoscopes fast enough, to meet of a single year. Unhappily, that gen
tleman was deprived of his just reward by fraudful anticipation. He says, “ I
Aprú 17. thought it advisable to secure the exclusive property of it by a patent; but in St. Anicetus, Pope, 2d. Cent. St. consequence of one of the patent instru- Stephen, Abbot, A. D. 1134. St. Simeon; ments having been exhibited to one of Bishop, and other Martyrs, A. D. 341. the London opticians, the remarkable properties of the kaleidoscope became kdown before any number of ihem could
Hock, be prepared for sale. The sensation excited in London by this premature exhibition of its effects is incapable of descrip
HOKE DAY OR TIDE. tion, and can be conceived only by those Antiquaries are exceedingly puzzled who witnessed it. It may be sufficient respecting the derivation of this annual to remark, that, according to the com- festival, which commenced the fifteenth putation of those who were best able to day after Easter, and was therefore a form an opinion on the subject, no fewer movable feast dependent upon Easter.“ than two hundred thousand instruments Though Matthew Paris, who is the oldest have been sold in London and Paris authority for the word Hoke-day, says it during three months.”
is “ quindena paschæ,” yet Mr. Douce The Kaleidoscope.
assigns convincing reasons for taking it as
the second Tuesday after Easter. At Mystic trifle, whose perfection
Hock-tide, which seems to have included Lies in multiplied reflection, Let us from thy sparkling store
Monday and Tuesday, collections of HockDraw a few relections more :
money were made in various parishes by In thy magic circle rise
the churchwardens, until the ReformAll things men so dearly prize,
ation.t Tuesday was the principal day: Sears, and crowns, and glitt'ring things,
Hock Monday was for the men, and Such as grace the courts of kings;
Hock Tuesday for the women. On both Beauteous figures ever twininy,
days the men and women alternately, with Gems with brilliant lustre shining; great merriment, intercepted the public Turn the tube ;-how quick they pass- roads with ropes, and pulled passengers Crowns and stars prove broken glass ! to them, from whom they exacted money Trifle ! let us from thy store
to be laid out for pious uses; Monday Draw a few reflections more ;
probably having been originally kept as Who could from thy outward case
only the vigil or introduction to the fesHalf thy hidden beauties trace?
tival of Hock-day. Mr. Brand unaccount. Who from such exterior show
ably, because inconsistently with his preGuess the gems within that glow? vious representations respecting the antiEmblem of the mind divine
quity of the custom of heaving at Easter, Cased within its mortal shrine !
derives that custom from the men and Once again-the miser views
women Hocking each other, and collecting Thy sparkling gems---thy golden hues
money at Hock-tide.
It is a tradition that this festival was And, ignorant of thy beanty's cause, His own conclusions sordid draws;
instituted to commemorate the massacre Imagines thee a casket fair
of the Danes in England, under EthelOf gorgeous jewels rich and rare ;
dred, in the year 1002 ; a supposition Impatient his insatiate soul
however wholly unsupportable, because To be the owner of the whole,
that event happened on the feast of He breaks thee ope, and views within St. Brice, in the month of November. Some bits of glass-a tube of un! Another and more reasonable opinion Such are riches, valued true
is, that the institution celebrated the Such the illusions men pursue !
final extinction of the Danish power W. H. M.
by the death of Hardicanute, on
sixth day before the ides of June, 1012.: FLORAL DIRECTORY. Yellow Tulip. Thulipa Sylvestris. Dedicated to St. Joachim of Sienna. Nares's Glossary.
+ See large extracts from their necounts.
Allin's Itiat, of Lambeth.