The Penny Magazine of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (Google Books)

American Politeness.—Vf hen a female of whatever condition (always alas! provided she has no negro blood in her veins) enters a couch, or packet (in most parts of the United States), or any other conveyance, the universal practice is for the best seat to be resigned to her use ; this in a carriage is considered to be the one which enables the traveller to sit with his face to the horses. Mr. Stuart (whose travels we recently noticed), being aware of this custom, but at the same time suffering much from riding backwards, took measures on one occasion for securing himself against the necessity of resigning the seat of honour; by application at the coachoffice he obtained a positive promise that tho favourite pla»e should be reserved for him, and that he should be left in. the undisturbed possession of it. At starting, Mr. Stuart, much to his satisfaction, seated himself according to his bargain, promising himself for once at least a day of comfort on his journey. His felicity, however, was of very short duration. The coachman pulled up in a street near the outskirts of the town, a door opened, anil the usual cry of “ladies” from the cad warned our traveller that his newly chartered rights were in danger of being contested. It was in vain that lie pleaded his bargain; the whole covenant was declared null and void ab inilio; coachman, porters, passengers, and by-Btanders, all joined in denouncing his claim as abominable and preposterous; the ladie* refused to enter the vehicle or even to leave their house until the seat was vacated; and all was uproar >md confusion. The landlord of the hotel whence the coach had started, being sent for to decide the dispute, refused to acknowledge the validity of the agreement, into which, considering its extraordinary nature, his bookkeeper could have no right to enter without his especial permission ; and on Mr. Stuart’s continuing to turn a deaf ear to representation, persuasion, remonstrance, and invective, the anury proprietor at length declared that if he persisted in retaining his seat, he might do so, but that he sheuld derive little benefit from his obstinacy; for that he would order the horses to be detached and led off to a spare coach, in which the ladies should have their proper places. As even yet no sign of concession appearevl, the threat was actually put in execution ; and our traveller finding at length that an individual has but little chance of resisting the united opinion of a whole population, was finally reduced to the necessity of following to the other vehicle amidst the jeers and exulting laughter of the by-slanders. Mr. Stuart, who tells the whole story with infinite good-humour, ad<U that after travelling a few miles he entered into conversation with his fair ejectors, and that the whole party soon became perfectly cordial,

* ..-.-»

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The above wood-cut presents a view of this mnssive and ancient pile. The earliest seat of the bishopric of Durham was the small isle of Lindisfarne, off the coast of Northumberland. Here, in the year 635, Aidan, a monk, brought from Iona by the Northumbrian king Oswald, who had received his education at the court of his relative, Donald IV. of Scotland, fixed his residence, along with the other pious men who were to be his assistants in the work of introducing and diffusing the light of Christianity among the Pagan subjects of the Saxon sovereign. Another monk of Iona, named Gorman, had preceded Aidan’in the Northumbrian mission; but the severity of his temper, or his repulsive ina:i::or, is said to have so greatly impeded his success in conversion, that after a short time he gave up the attempt, and returned to his monastery The successor of Aidan, who died in 651, and from whom Lindisfarne derived the name of Holy Island, by which it is still known, was Finan, also from the same venerable northern seat of sanctity. His incumbency lasted for ten years,

[North-west View of Durham Cathedral.]

during which he commenced the building of the” church on Lindisfarne, which was, however, merely an edifice of wood, thatched with reeds. Three other S”

, .

bishops followed, the last of whom, Eata, died ir The person next appointed to the see was the re”TM” St. Cuthbert. This celebrated character only new »* office of bishop for two years; but his name BM DM*^ more intimately associated with the see in IjisInO’ popular tradition, than any other with which ll.has,lva been connected. He is said to have been or^’Ba’shepherd, near Melrose; which condition he danced to exchange, according to the legend, lor a monk, by certain miraculous intimations from which we shall not stop, to recount. His W”f-j extreme asceticism soon procured him unriva el brity. Not only was he believed to be e supernatural powers while alive; for many ^ death his mortal relics were regarded as having • ^ perty of working miracles. All who have read story history of the English Church are familiar with

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of the manner in which the monks of Lindisfarne, driven i from their original abode by the ravages of the Danish pirates, were directed in their choice of a new residence l>y the dead body of St. Cuthberl. It is affirmed that the coffin in which it was deposited, after having suffered itself, to be carried about for a long while by the wandering brethren without resistance wherever they chose, suddenly halted when it was brought to the spot on which the; city of Durham is now built, and could not by any force be removed from its station. This happened towards the close of the tenth century, in the time of Bishop Aldune, or Aldwine. The extraordinary event was, of course, assumed by him and his brethren to point out the place where it happened as the appointed site of their new monastery. Preparations, accordingly, were immediately made for effecting the settlement thus distinctly commanded by ,heaven. The miraculous tale was found, as might have been expected, to have a powerful effect in exciting the pious exertions of the neighbouring inhabitants. The wood with which the place was covered was cleared by their fervent activity; and after the persevering labour of two or three years, the spire of a completed Christian temple was seen rising in the midst of the waste.

Obvious as are the traces of fraud and superstition which this narrative presents, it is not the less fitted to add to the interest of the spot where the scene of it is laid. The very grossness of the invention which was successfully resorted to, in order to work upon the minds of the simple population, presents the most vivid picture that could be drawn of the ignorance and thick darkness of the time. The spectre is the most forcible as well as the most picturesque evidence of the gloom. The body of St. Cuthbert has since this date had a curious history; but one much too long for us to detail. The fable was that the clayey tenement of the departed saint remained as unaffected by corruption as when his spirit inhabited it; and this continued to be universally believed down at least to the Reformation. The most decisive confutation, however, which the story has received was given to it only a few years ago by the actual disinterment of the body. The Rev. James Uayne, rector of Meldon, has published a highly interesting account of this discovery in a quarto volume entitled ‘Saint Cuthbert; with an account of the state in which his remains were found upon the opening of his tomb, in Durham Cathedral, in the year Mdcccxxvii.’ The work is one of great learning and ability, and will well reward the perusal either of the antiquary or the general reader. Mr. Uayne conceives that he has proved that the coffin in which the remains of’the saint were found was the very one in which they lay for some centuries at Lindisfarne, and which was afterwards carried about from place to place by the monks in their search after a new residence. It is curious that this is not the only memorial we possess of these remote events. A book is still in the British Museum which is said to have been carried, about along with the coffin, and which yet presents some remarkable evidences of its alleged history. Upon this head we can only afford to mention Fart her that at the late disinterment it was found that a composition, in imitation of the natural appearance, had been substituted for the eyes of the saint, doubtless with the object of supporting the imposture respecting the pretended prereservation of his body. His skull, we may add, exhibited the fragments of a nose and chin turned upwards in rather a remarkable manner; and altogether its conformation seems to have been somewhat peculiar, although not of the description that, according to modern doctrines, would indicate any intellectual superiority in its possessor. The present Cathedral of Durham contains no portion of the church erected by Bishop Aldwine. It was begun in 1093, by one of his successors, William de .Carilepho, who had been abbot of St. Vincent the Martyr, in Nor

mandy, and presided over the see of Durham from 1080 till 1095. Mis immediate successor, Ralph Flambard, who held the office till 1128, continued the undertaking, and carried up the walls as far as the roof The tee was then five years vacant, during which the monks applied a great part of their revenues towards the completion of the work. It appears, however, not to have been finished till about the middle of the thirteenth century, when Nicholas Faruham was bishop, and Thomas Welscnme, or Melsonby, or Malsamb, prior of the monastery. Indeed some important additions seem to have been made to it within a few years of the close of the century.

The building therefore presents us with a complete exemplification or history of the progress of ecclesiastical architecture in England during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. According to the account of it published at the expense of the Antiquarian Society, with the drawings of Mr. Carter, and understood to be written, we believe, by Sir Henry Englelield, it illustrates the successive changes which took place during the reigns of the first three Henries, till by degrees the pointed hail completely superseded the circular roof, and the heavy Norman pillars had become polished into the light shafts of the early English. The general character of the edifice, however, is massy and ponderous, only a few of the last finished parts exhibiting the commencement of a lighter style. Some of the more ancient pillars are twenty-three feet in circumference. Within the last half century it has undergone extensive repairs in almost every part; but these unfortunately have not been generally executed in the best taste, nor with sufficient attention to the character of the original building. The south front is the one that preserves its ancient appearance most entire; but it is in great part encumbered and concealed from view by the cloisters, and other extraneous erections. The west front is the richest, and most imposing. Besides the square towers surmounted by pinnacles, which, as usual, crown its extremities, it is adorned by a projecting chapel in the centre, called the Galilee, flanked by buttresses and arches. The Galilee appears to have been repaired and renovated by Cardinal Langley, who was bishop of Durham at the commencement of the fifteenth century, and it is finished accordingly in a much more florid style than the greater part of the cathedral. It is 80 feet in length by 50 in breadth. Over it is a window of large dimensions, but of no remarkable beauty.

The Cathedral of Durham stands on the summit of the mount around which the town is built, and occupies, therefore, a singularly conspicuous and commanding position. Both from its site and its size it far overtops all the other buildings in the midst of which it is placed, and is seen from a great distance rising high above the horizon. It is built in the customary form of a cross; but in addition to the great central transept, which is 170 feet in length, it has smaller cross aisles at both its eastern and western extremities. A richly ornamented tower ascends from the centre of the building to the height of 212 feet; and two others, as already mentioned, of less height and plainer architecture, rise over the western front. The entire cathedral is about 411 feet in length, and about 80 feet in breadth.

The two fronts of which the best view is to be obtained are the north and the west. The former may be seen to great advantage from the spacious square called the Place, or Palace Green, which it overlooks, and on the opposite side of which stands the building called the Castle, which is the bishop’s city residence. The west front surmounts a rocky declivity, at the foot of which flows the river Wear; and from the opposite bank of that stream the facade its battlemented towers show themselves with full eject, and in all their venerable grandeur.

Memoirs of the Reformation of England, by Constantius Archæophilus (Google Books)

‘An Act concerning the Suppression or Dissolution of certain Religious Houses, given to the King’s Highness, and to his Heirs for ever.’

The Preamble to this Act is too curious and remarkable to be overlooked. It sets forth, that ‘Forasmuch as manifest sin, vicious, carnal, and abominable living, is daily used and committed commonly in such little and small Abbies and Priories, and other Religious Houses of Monks, Canons and Nuns, where the congregation of such persons is under the number of tw«!ve persons, whereby the governors of such Religious Houses, and their Convents, spoil, destroy, consume, and utterly waste, as well those Churches, Monasteries, Priories, principal houses, farms, granges, lands, tenements, and hereditaments, as the ornaments of their Churches, and their goods and chattels, to the high displeasure of Almighty God, slander of good Religion, and the general infamy of the King’s Highness and the realm, if redress should not be had thereof. And albeit that many continual visitations have been heretofore had, by the space of two hundred years and more, for an honest and charitable reformation of such unthrifty, carnal, and abominable living; yet nevertheless little or none amendment is hitherto had; and by a cursed custom, so grown and infested, that a great multitude of religious persons, in such small houses, do rather chuse to come abroad in apostasy, than to conform themselves to the observation of good religion. So that, without such small houses be utterly suppressed, and the religious persons therein committed to great and honourable Monasteries of Religion in this realm, where they may be compelled to live religiously for the reformation of their lives, there can be no redress or reformation in that behalf. In consideration whereof, the King’s most Royal Majesty, being Supreme Head in earth, under God,

of the Church of England, daily studying and devising the increase and advancement arid exaltation of true doctrine and virtue in the said Church, to the only honour and glory of God, and the total extirping and destruction of vice and sin, having knowlege that the premises be true, as well by the complaints of their late visitations, as by sundry credible informations.

‘Considering also, that divers and great solemn Monasteries of this realm, wherein, thanks be to God, religion i« right well kept and observed, be destitute of such full numbers of religious persons as they might and may keep, have thought good that a plain declaration should be made of the premises, as well to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, as to others his loving subjects, the Commons in this present Parliament assembled; whereupon the said Lords and Commons, by a great deliberation, finally resolved, that it is, and shall be, much more to the pleasure of Almighty God, and for the honour of this realm, that the possessions of such small religious houses now being spent, spoiled, and wasted, for the increase and maintenance of sin, sh uld be used and converted to better uses; and the unthrifty religious persons so spending the same, be compelled to reform their lives. And thereupon most humbly desire the King’s Highness that it may be enacted, by authority of this present Parliament, that his Majesty shall have and enjoy, to him and his heirs forever, all and singular such Monas’eries, &e. as in

the printed statute.” And such was the tenour of this

famous Preamble: upon which we beg leave to subjoin

Mr. Fuller’s Observations.

“* We must not forget,” says he, “how in the foresaid Preamble, the King fairly claweth the great Monasteries, Wherein, says he, religion, thanks be to God, is right well kept and observed; tho’ he clawed them soon after in another acceptation.—However, most specious uses were pretended, That all should be done to the pleasure of Almighty God, and for the honour of the realm. And particular eare is taken in the statute, as it is printed, For the reservation of many rents and services, corrodies and pensions to founders, donors, and benefactors. They [the purchasers or grantees] were also to occupy yearly as much of the demesnes in tillage as tke Abbots did,or their farmers under them, within the time of tnenty yeart next before this Act, otherwise forfeiting to the King’s highness, for every month so offending, L.6:li.i, * Fuller’t Ck. Hist. Book VI. p. Sl-2.


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to be recovered to hit use in any of his courts of record. The arrears whereof, if rigorously exacted, would amount to a vast sum from such offenders, whose hospitality was contracted to a shepherd and his dog; neither relieving those’ that would work by their industry, nor such as could not work bv their charity. These penalties stood in full force above SO years, viz. till the 21st of King James, when by Act of Parliament they were repealed. Indeed, such who are ob. noxious to Penal Statutes are only innocent by courtesy, and may be made guilty at the Prince’s pleasure. And tho’ . some statutes may be dormant, as disused, they are never dead till revoked, seeing commonly Princes call on such statutes when they themselves are called on by their necessities. Many of the English gentry knew themselves subject to such penalties, when, instead of maintaining tillage, they had converted the granges of Abbies into inclosures; and therefore provided for their own safety, when they wrought the King into a revocation of those statutes.”—lid. Stat. 21 K. J.c.28.

These observations are sufficiently plain and intelligible. There is not a word of obscurity in them, if we except corrodies: of which antiquated term we shall give our Reader an explication from the same writer.

“* Corrodies were so called a corrodendo, from eating together : for the heirs of the founders had the privilege to send a set number of their poor servants to Abbies to diet there. Thus many aged servants, (past working, not feeding, costly to keep, and cruel to cast off,) were sent by their masters to the Abbies, where they had plentiful food during their lives. But these corrodies, after the dissolution of the Abbies, were totally extinct, and no such diet after given, when both table and house were overturned.”

§ 8.—Some previous Remarks upon the King’s destructive Scheme of A general Dissolution of all the Monasteries in England.

X He demolition of the lesser Monasteries having given King Henry a taste oi monastic gold, it was not long before he resolved to glut his voracious appetite with the downfall of all,the rest, and make a prize of the Church. He had already prevailed with himself to pass the Rubicon! from

* Puller’s Ch. Hist. Book VI. p. 186.


‘Whence he continues his desolating march; still advancing by degrees from less to more, till at last he left not so much as a single Monastery (little or great) standing within the precincts of his realm of England.

Since therefore it may be questioned if the British Annals can furnish us with a more astonishing emergency, than the general Dissolution of the Religious Houses; and since this was an affair that touched the Regular Clergy in a verysensible manner, and occasioned an extraordinary Revolu-‘ tion in the Church, we Keg leave, and hope to be indulged the freedom and liberty to open the scene a little, and enlarge upon the circumstances. And this indeed we have endeavoured to perform, but with no other view than that of doing justice to the memory of the injured sufferers, and of exposing, at the same time, the unjustifiableness and insignificancy of the King’s motives for pushing his destructive project into execution. But before we enter upon a detail of this blessed work, we imagined it might not be amiss (by way of introduction) to premise the following remarks.

1. When and as often as the reader calls to mind the ma-” ny stately Monasteries and Churches that were formerly in England, and considers the dismal end they were brought •tio; if he does not, as a Christian; abhor the sacrilege of destroying Churches dedicated to the service of God, only for the vile profit made of the materials, he may at least, as a man, reflect on the inhumanity of demolishing such noble -structures (heretofore, perhaps, the greatest ornaments of this island) by the hands of the natives themselves; and that with such stubborn rage and relentless fury, as if the work had been done by a victorious army of barbarians.

“O lofty towers and sacred piles,

That once adoni’d these happy isles!
Who can recount your overturning,
Without deep sighs, and bitter mourning?”

‘Ward’s Ref. c. 1.

2. Our Monasteries have long since perished, nor have we, at this day, any footsteps left of the piety of our ancestors, to shew to inquisitive strangers, besides a few tattered walls and deplorable ruins! Nay, the ruins of most of them are not only gone to ruin themselves, but their very situations are quite lost to us, and remembered no more! “Jam seges est ubi Trojafuit!” 3. The shocking hostilities committed by King Henry. VIII. against the Church (to make .use” of Lord Herbert’*

ex predion) astonished the Christian world. And Well they might : for with sortie, I find, it is even doubted, whether the destruction of Christian Churches at this juncture was not equal to the sacrilegious ravages of Julian the Apostate.

4. This woful work was both projected and carried into execution by Commissary-General Cromn-el [a name ever fatal to the Church!] And he acted, in this business, in quality of principal agent; being not only the King’s Vicar General, but his Scout-Master-General too, as Mr. Fuller humorously styles him *. In which capacity he employed a world ofspies and hungry emissaries, whom he empowered with orders and instructions, to go from one religious house to another, in quest of monastic irregularities and disorders. These Visitois (for so they were called) exerted their power to the utmost stretch, and were far enough from partiality in their inquisition. In short, upon their return to London, they gave in a most tragical relation of the immorality of the monks, &c. And the consequence of their informations was this, that Cromwel, by virtue of his high commission, and without further proofs, dissolved all the Abbies and Monasteries in England. Some few of them indeed capitulated, but by far the greater part were taken by storm, plundered, and demolished! This done, Ctomuel politicly advised the King to alienate the Abbey Lands by sale or deed of gift; that by this means the ejectment of the former possessors might become to all intents and purposes irrevocable, and repossession impossible.

“f The writers that lived near that time,” says Bishop liurnet, “represeut the matter very odiously, and say, about 10,000 persons were sent to seek for their livings, only forty shillings in money and a gown being given to every religious man. And it is generally said, and not improbably, that lhe commissioners were as careful to enrich themselves, as to increase the King’s revenue. The churches and cloisters were, for the most part, pulled down, and the lead, bells, and other materials, were sold. The people, that had been well entertained at the Abbots’ tables, were sensible of their loss; for generally as they travelled over the country, the Abbies were their stages, and were houses of receptiou to travellers and strangers. The poor that fed on their daily alms were deprived of that supply. But to allay these discontents, Cromwel advised the King to sell their lauds at very easy rates, to the gentry in the several countries. This drew in the gentry apace, both to be satisfied with what was done, and to assist the crown for ever in defence of these laws; their own interest being so interwoven with the rights of the crown.

Legends of the Monastic Orders as Represented in the Fine Art … (Google Books)

St. Dominick.

Lat. Sanctus Dominicua, Pater Ordinis Predicatorura. Hal. San Domenico. San Domenico Calaroga. Fr. Saint Dominique, Fondateur dea Frerea Precheura. Sp. San Domingo. August 4, 1221.

Is the days when Alexander III. was pope, and Frederic Barbarossa emperor of Germany, Don Alphonso IX. then reigning in Castile, Dominick was born at Calaruga, in the diocese of Osma, in the kingdom of Castile. His father was of the illustrious family of Guzman. His mother, Joanna d’Aza, was also of noble birth. His appearance in the world was attended by the usual miracles. Before he was born, his mother dreamed that she had brought forth a black and white dog carrying in his mouth a lighted torch. When his godmother held him in her arms at the font, she beheld a star of wonderful splendor descend from heaven and settle on his brow. Both these portents clearly denoted that the saint was destined to be a light to the universe. Moreover, such was his early predilection for a life of penance, that when he was only six or seven years old he would get out of his bed to lie on the cold earth. His parents sent him to study theology in the university of Valencia, and he assumed the habit of a canon of St. Augustine at a very early age. Many stories are related of his youthful piety, his self-inflicted austerities, and his charity. One day he met a poor woman weeping bitterly; and when he inquired the cause, she told him that her only brother, her sole stay and support in the world, had been carried into captivity by the Moors. Dominick could not ransom her brother; he had given away all his money, and even sold his books, to relieve the poor; but he offered all he could, — he offered up himself to be exchanged as a slave in place of her brother. The woman, astonished at such a proposal, fell upon her knees before him. She refused his offer, hut she spread the fame of the young priest far and wide.

Dominick was about thirty when he accompanied Diego, bishop of Osma, on a mission to France. Diego was sent there by King Alphonso to negotiate a marriage between his son, Prince Ferdinand, and the daughter and heiress of the Count de la Marche. They had to pass through Languedoc, where, at that time, the opinions of the Albigenses were in the ascendant, and Dominick was scandalized by these heretical “reveries.” Their host at Toulouse being of this persuasion, Dominick spent the whole night in preaching to him and his familv. Such was the effect of his arguments, that the ncxt morning they made a public recantation. This incident fixed the vocation of the future saint, and suggested the first idea of a community of preachers for the conversion of heretics.

The marriage being happily arranged, Dominick soon afterwards made a second journey to France with his bishop, accompanying the ambassadors who were to conduct the young princess to Spain. They arrived just in time to see her carried to her grave; and the sudden shock appears to have left a deep and dark im pression on the mind of Dominick. If ever he had indulged in views and hopes of high ecclesiastical preferment, to which his noble birth, his learning, his already high reputation appeared to open the way, such promptings of an ambitious and energetic spirit were from this time extinguished, or rather concentrated into a Hume of religious zeal.

On a journey which he made to Rome in 1207, he obtained the pope’s permission to preach in the Vaudois to the Albigenses. At that time the whole of the South of France was distracted by the feuds between the Catholics and the heretics. As yet, however, there was no open war, and the pope was satisfied with sending missionaries into Languedoc. Dominick, armed with the papal brief, hastened thither; he drew up a short exposition of faith, and with this in his band he undertook to dispute against the leaders of the Albigenses. On one occasion, finding them deaf to his arguments, he threw his book into the flames, and, wonderful to relate! it leaped three times from the fire, and remained uninjured, — while the books which contained the doctrines of the heretics were utterly consumed! By this extraordinary miracle many were convinced; but others, through some strange blindness, refused to believe either in Dominick or his miracles.

Then began that terrible civil and religious war, unexampled in the annals of Europe for its ferocity.

What share Dominick may have had in arming the crusade against the miserable Albigenses is not ascertained. His defenders allege that he was struck with horror by the excesses of barbarity then committed in the name and under the banners of the religion of Christ. They assert positively that Dominick himself never delivered over the heretics to the secular power, and refused to use any weapons against them but those of argument and peru-vasion. But it remains an historical fact, that at the battle of Muret, where twenty thousand of the Albigenses were massacred by the troops of Simon de Montfort, Dominick was kneeling on an eminence, — some say in a neighboring chapel,’— with his crucifix in his hand, praying that the Church might prevail: he has been compared to Moses holding up the rod of the Lord while the captains of Israel slew their enemies with the edge of the sword, “sparing not the women nor the little ones.” That Dominick, however mistaken, was as perfectly convinced as ever Moses was of the righteousness of his cause and of the Divine protection, I see no room to doubt: the man was a fanatic, not a hypocrite.

About this time he united with himself several ecclesiastics, who went about barefoot in the habit of penitents, exhorting the people to conform to the Church. The institution of the Order of St. Dominick sprang out of this association of preachers, but it was not united under an especial rule, nor confirmed, till some years later, — by Pope Honorius in 1216.

It was during his sojourn in Languedoc that St. * Dominick instituted the Rosary. The use of a chaplet of beads, as a memento of the number of prayers recited, is of Eastern origin, and dates from the time of the Egyptian Anchorites. Beads were also used by the Benedictines, and are to this day in use among the Mohammedan devotees. Dominick invented a novel arrangement of the chaplet, and dedicated it to the honor and glory of the Blessed Virgin, for whom he entertained a most especial veneration. A complete rosary consists of fifteen large and one hundred and fifty small beads; the former representing the number of Pater-nosters, the latter the number of Ave-Marins. In the legends of the Madonna I shall have much to say of the artistic treatment of the ” mysteries of the rosary “: meantime, with reference to St. Dominick, it will be sufficient to observe that the rosary was received with the utmost enthusiasm, and by this simple expedient Dominick did more to excite the devotion of the lower orders, especially of the women, and made more converts, than by all his orthodoxy, learning, arguments, and eloquence.

In 1218, St. Dominick having been charged by the pope with the care of reforming the female convents at Rome, persuaded them to accept of a new Rule which he drew up for them : and thus was instituted the Order of the Dominican Nuns. The institution of the ” Third Order of Penitence” followed soon after, but it never was so popular as the Third Order of St. Francis.

From this time we find Dominick busily employed in all the principal cities of Europe, founding convents. He was in Spain in the beginning of 1219; afterwards at Paris, where, by permission of Blanche of Castile, mother of St. Louis, he founded the magnificent convent of his Order in the Rue St. Jacques, from which the Dominicans in France obtained the general name of Jacobins. At Paris, meeting Alexander II. king of Scotland, he at the earnest request of that prince sent some of his brotherhood into Scotland, whence they • spread over the rest of Great Britain.

From Paris he returned to Italy, and took up his residence in the principal convent of his Order at Bologna, making occasional journeys to superintend the more distant communities. Wherever he travelled he fulfilled what he had adopted as the primary duty of his institution. He preached wherever he stopped, though it were only to repose for an hour: everywhere his sermons were listened to with eagerness. When at Bologna he preached not only every day, but several times in the day, to different congregations. Fatigue, excitement, and the extreme heat of the season brought on a raging fever, of which he died in that city on the 6th of August, 1221. He was buried in a modest tomb in a small chapel belonging to his Order; but on bis canonization by Gregory IX., in 1233, his remains were translated to the splendid shrine in which they now repose.

The adornment of the “Area di San Domenieo” (Bologna)—for so this wonderful tomb is styled in Italy — was begun as early as 1225, when Niccolo Pisano was summoned to Bologna to design the new church of the Dominicans, and the model of the shrine which was to be placed within it. The upper range of basreliefs, containing scenes from the life of the saint, by Niccolo and his school, dates from 1225 to about 1300. The lower range, by Alfonso Lombardi, was added about 1525, in a richer, less refined, but still most admirable style.

We come now to the various representations of this famous saint; and, first, it will be interesting to compare the innumerable effigies which exist of him with the description of his person left by a contemporary, Suor Cecilia, one of his Roman disciples. The accuracy of the portrait has been generally admitted : —

“In stature he was of moderate size; his features regular and handsome; his complexion fair, with a slight color in his cheek; his hair and beard inclining to red, and in general he kept his beard close shaven. His eyes were blue, brilliant, and penetrating; his hands were long, and remarkable for their beauty; the tones of his voice sweet, and at the same time powerful and sonorous. He was always placid, and even cheerful, except when moved to compassion.” The writer adds, that “those who looked on him earnestly were aware of a certain radiance on his brow; a kind of light almost supernatural.” It is possible that the attribute of the star placed on his brow or over his head may be derived from this traditional portrait, and, as in other instances, the legend of the godmother and the star afterwards invented to account for it.

The devotional figures of St. Dominick always represent him in his proper habit, — the white tunic, white scapulary, and long black cloak with a hood. In one hand he hears the lily; in the other a book. A star is on his forehead, or just above his head. The dog with the flaming torch in his mouth is the attribute peculiar to him. Every 01 e who has been at Florence will remember his statue, with the dog at his side, over the portal of the Convent of St. Mark. But in pictures the dog is frequently omitted, whereas the lily and the star have become almost indispensable.

It is related in one of the Dominican legends, that a true portrait of St. Dominick was brought down from heaven hy St. Catherine and Mary Magdalene, and presented to a convent of Dominican nuns.

There is a head of St. Dominick in Angelico’s “Coronation of the Virgin,” in the Louvre. There is, certainly, nothing of the inquisitor or the persecutor in this placid and rather self-complacent head; rather, I should say, some indication of that self-indulgence with which the heretics reproached this austere saint. In other heads hy Angelico we have an expression of calm, resolute will, which is probably very characteristic; as in the standing figure in an altar-piece now in the Pitti Palace, and many others. In the pictures by Fra Bartolomeo, St. Dominick has rather a mild full face. In no good picture that 1 have seen is the expression given to St. Dominick severe, or even ascetic. In

the Spanish pictures the head is often coarse, with a black beard and tonsure: altogether false in character and person.

A very ancient and interesting figure of St. Dominick, formerly in the Church of St. Catherine of Siena at Pisa, is now in the Academy there. It was painted for a certain “Signore di Casa Cascia,” by Francesco Traini. The character of the head agrees exactly with the portrait drawn by Suor Cecilia. “// vollo trct il severo e il piacevofe; i capelli rossiccie, tagliati a guisa di corona; biirba rata.” He holds a lily in his right hand, in the left an open book on which is inscribed ” Venite filii, attdite me, timorem Domini docebo vos.” The hands very small and slender. Around this figure are eight small subjects from his life.

Besides the devotional figures, in which he stands alone, or grouped with St. Peter Martyr or St. Catherine of Siena near the throne of the Virgin, there are some representations of St. Dominick which are partly devotional, partly mystical, with a touch of the dramatic. For example, where he stands in a commanding attitude, holding the keys of St. Peter, as in a fresco in the S. Maria-sopra-Mincrva (Rome); or where the Infant Christ delivers to him the keys in presence of other saints, as in the altar-piece of Orcagna in the Strozzi chapel (Florence): and in the innumerable pictures which relate to the institution of the rosary; which, as a subject of art, first became popular after the victory of Lepanto in 1571 Gregory XIII. instituted the Festival of the Rosary to be held in everlasting commemoration of that triumph over the infidels. From this period we find perpetual Madonnas ” del Rosario “; and St. Dominick receiving the rosary from the hand of the Virgin, or distributing rosaries, became a common subject in the Dominican cburches.

The most famous exampie is by Domenichino (Bologna Acad.), a large, splendid picture; but the intention of the artist in some of the groups does not seem clear. The Madonna del Rosario is seated above in glory; in her lap the Divine Infant; both scatter roses on the earth from a vase sustained by three lovely cherubs. At the feet of the Virgin kneels St. Dominick, holding in one hand the rosary; with the other be points to the Virgin, indicating by what means she is to he propitiated. Angels holding the symbols of the “Mysteries of the Rosary” (the joys and sorrows of the Virgin) surround the celestial personages. On the earth, below, are various groups, expressing the ages, conditions, calamities, and nccessities of human life :—lovely children playing with a crown; virgins attacked by a fierce warrior, representing oppressed maidenhood; a man and his consort, representing the pains and cares of marriage, &c. And all these with rosaries in their hands are supposed to obtain aid, “per intercession* dell’ Sacratissimo Rosurio.” I confess that this interpretation appeared to me quite unsatisfactory when I looked at the picture, which, however, is one blaze of beauty in form, expression, and transcendent coloring. — ” Mai si videro puttini e piu cari e amoroxi; mai vergineUe piii vat|he e spiritose; mai uomini piu Jim, piu gram, piu maestosi!” I remember once hearing a Polish lady recite some verses in her native language, with the sweetest voice, the most varied emphasis, the most graceful gestures imaginable; and the feeling with which I looked and listened, — at once baffled, puzzled, and enchanted, — was like the feeling with which I contemplated this masterpiece of Domenichino.

A series of subjects, more or less numerous, from the life of St. Dominick, may commonly be met with in the Dominican edifices.

The most memorable examples are —

1. The bas-reliefs on the four sides of his tomb or shrine, by Niccolo Pisano and Alfonso Lombardi. (Bologna.)

2. The set of six small and most beautiful compositions by Angelico, on the predella of the ” Coronation of the Virgin.” (Louvre.)

3. The set of eight subjects round the figure by Traini, already mentioned. (Pisa.)

I shall here enumerate, in their order, all the scenes and incidents I have found represented, either as a scries or separately : —

1 The dream of the mother of St. Dominick. Giovanna d’Aza is asleep on her couch, and before her appears the dog holding the torch. In front, two women are occupied washing and swaddling the infant saint.

2. The dream of Pope Innocent III. (exactly similar to his Vision of St. Francis). He dreams that the Church is falling to ruin, and that Dominick sustains it.

3. When St. Dominick was at Rome, praying in the church of St. Peter that the grace of God might be upon his newly-founded Order, he beheld in a vision the blessed apostles, Peter and Paul. Peter presented to him a staff, and Paul a volume of the Gospel, and they said to him, ” Go, preach the Word of God, for He hath chosen thee for that ministry.” Of this subject, the bas-relief by Niccolo Pisano is as fine as possible.

4. The burning of the heretical books. The book of St. Dominick is seen leaping from the fire. In the picture by Angelico, the Albigenses are dressed as Turks; the good painter could form no other idea of heretics and infidels. The grand dramatic fresco by Lionello Spada, in the chapel at Bologna, should be compared, or rather contrasted, with the simplo elegance of Angelico. »

5. On Ash WedneHay in 1218, the abbess and some of her nuns went to the new monastery of St. Sixtus at Rome, to take possession of it; and, being in the chapter-house with St. Dominick and Cardinal Stephano di Fossa-Nova, suddenly there came in one, tearing his hair, and making great outcries, tor the young Lord Napoleon, nephew of the cardinal, had been thrown from his horse and killed on the spot. The cardinal fell speechless into the arms of St. Dominick, and the women and others who were present were filled with grief and horror. They brought the body of the youth into the chapter-house, and laid it before the altar; and Dominick, having prayed, turned to the body of the young man, saying, “0 adalaeau Xapoleo! in nomine Domini noetri J. C. libi dico surge!” and thereupon he arose sound and whole, to the unspeakable wonder of all present.

This is a subject frequently repeated. The bas-relief by Niccolo, the little picture by Angelico, and the fresco by Mastelletta, should be compared. In the first two, the saint and the dead youth fix the attention; in the last, it is the furibondo cavallo which makes us start.

6. The supper of St. Dominick. “It happened that when he was residing with forty of his friars iu the convent of St. Sabina at Rome, the brothers who had been sent to beg for provisions had returned with a very small quantity of bread, and they knew not what they should do, for night was at hand, and they had not eaten all day. Then St. Dominick ordered that they should seat themselves in the refectory, and taking his place at the head of the table, he pronounced the usual blessing: and behold! two beautiful youths clad in white and shining garments appeared amongst them; one carried a basket of bread, and the other a pitcher of wine, which they distributed to the brethren: then they disappeared, and no one knew how they had come in, nor how they had gone out. And the brethren sat in amazement; but St. Dominick stretched fbrth his hand, and said calmly, ‘My children, eat what God hath sent you’; and it was triffv celestial food, such as they had never tasted before nor since.”

The treatment of this subject in the little picture by Angelica is perfectly exquisite. The friars, with their hoods drawn over their heads, are seated at a long table; in the centre is St. Dominick, with his hands joined in prayer. In front, two beautiful ethereal angels seem to glide along, distributing from the folds of their drapery the ” bread from paradise.”

7. The English pilgrims. When Simon de Montfort besieged Toulouse, forty pilgrims on their way from England to Compostella, not choosing to enter the heretical city, got into a little boat to cross the Garonne. The boat is overset by a storm, but the pilgrims are saved by the prayers of St. Dominick.

This subject is often mistaken; I have seen it called, in Italian, “la Burrasca dpi Mare.” In the series by Traini it is extremely fine’ some of the pilgrims are struggling in the water; others, in a transport of gratitude, are kissing the hands and garments of the saint.

8. He restores to life a dead child. The great fresco of this subject in the chapel “dell’ Area” at Bologna is by Tiarini, and a perfect masterpiece in the scenic and dramatic style; so admirably got up, that we feel as if assisting, in the French sense of the word, in a side-box of a theatre. To understand the scene, we must remember that St. Dominick, being invited to the funeral banquet, ordered the viands to be removed, and the child to be placed on the table instead; the father, with outstretched arms, about to throw himself at the feet of the saint, —- the mother, with her eyes fixed on her reviving child, seeming only to live in his returning life,—are as fine and as animated as possible. It is Rubens, with Italian grace and Venetian color.

9. “Pope Honorius III. confirms the Order of St. Dominick,” often met with in the Dominican convents. There is a fine large picture of this subject in the sacristy of St. John and St. Paul at Venice, painted by Tintoretto with his usual vigor. The small sketch is, I think, in the collection of the Duke of Sutherland.

10. St. Dominick, in the excess of his charity and devotion, was accustomed, while preaching in Languedoe, to scourge himself three times a day ; — once for his own sins; once for the sins of others; and once for the benefit of souls in purgatory. There is a small, but very striking, picture of this subject by Carlo Dolce. (P. Pitti.) Dominick, with bared shoulders, kneels in a cavern; the scourge in his hand; on one side, the

souls of sinners liberated by his prayers, are ascending from the flames of purgatory; far in the background is seen the death of Peter Martyr.

11. The death of the saint. In the early pictures of this subject we often find inscribed the words of St. Dominick, “Caritatem habete; humilitatem servate, paupertatem voluntariam possidete.”

12. Fra Guala, prior of a convent at Brescia, has a vision, in which he beholds two ladders let down from heaven by the Saviour and the Virgin. On these two angels ascend, bearing between them a throne, on which the soul of St. Dominick is withdrawn into paradise.

13. The solemn translation of the body of St. Dominick to the chapel of San Domenico in Bologna; in the series by Traini.

14. The apotheosis of the saint. He is welcomed into heaven by our Saviour, the Virgin, and a choir of rejoicing angels, who hymn his praise. Painted by Guido with admirable effect on the dome of the chapel at Bologna.

We must now turn from St. Dominick to bis far more stern disciple —

St. Peter Martyr.

St. Peter the Dominican. Hal. San Pietro (or San Pier) Martire. Fr. Saint Pierre le Dominican), Martyr April 28, 1252.

This saint, with whom the title of Martyr has passed by general consent into a surname, is, next to their great patriarch, the glory of the Dominican Order. There are few pictures dedicated in their churches in which we do not find him conspicuous, with his dark physiognomy and bis bleeding head.

He was born at Verona about the year 1205. His parents and relatives belonged to the heretical sect of the Cathari, prevalent at that time in the North of Italy Peter, however, was sent to a Catholic school, where he learned the creed according to the Catholic form, and for repeating it was beaten on his return home. St. Dominick, when preaching at Verona, found in this young man an apt disciple, and prevailed on him to take the Dominican habit at the age of fifteen. He became subsequently an influential preacher, and remarkable for the intolerant zeal and unrelenting cruelty with which he pursued those heretics with whom he had formerly been connected. For these services to the Church he was appointed Inquisitor-General by Pope Honorius III. At length two noblemen of the Venetian states, whom he had delivered up to the secular authorities, and who had suffered imprisonment and confiscation of property, resolved on taking a summary and sanguinary vengeance. They hired assassins to waylay Peter on his return from Como to Milan, and posted them at the entrance of a wood through which he was obliged to pass, attended by a lay brother. On his appearance, one of the assassins rushed upon him and struck him down by a blow from an axe; they then pursued and stabbed his companion: returning, they found that Peter had made an effort to rise on his knees, and was reciting the Apostles’ Creed, or, as others relate, was in the act of writing it on the ground with his blood. He had traced the word “Credo,” when the assassins coming up completed their work by piercing him through with a sword. He was canonized in 1253 by Innocent IV.; and his shrinc, in the Sant’ Eustorgio at Milan, by Balduecio of Pisa, is one of the most important works of the fourteenth century.

In spite of his celebrity in art, his fame and his sanctity, the whole story and character of this man are painful to contemplate. It appears that in his lifetime he was not beloved by his own brotherhood, and his severe persecuting spirit made him generally detested. Yet, since his death, the influence of the Dominican Order Jias rendered him one of the most popular saints in Italy. There is not a Dominican church in Romagna, Tuscany, Bologna, or the Milanese which does not contain effigies of him; and, in general, pictures of the scene of his martyrdom abound.

In the devotional figures he wears the habit of his Order, and carries the palm as martyr, and the crucifix as preacher; the palm, if not in his hand, is placed at his feet. He is otherwise distinguished from St. Dominick by his black beard and tonsure; St. Dominick being of a fair and delicate complexion: but his peculiar attribute — where he stands as martyr — is the gash in his head with the blood trickling from it; or the sabre or axe struck into his head; or he is pierced through with a sword, which is less usual.

1 will now mention a few examples : —

1. By Guercino (Milan Gal.): — St. Peter M., kneeling with the sabre at his feet.

2. By Bevilacqua (Milan Gal.): — He presents a votary to the Madonna: on the other side is Job, the patriarch of patience, holding a scroll on which is inscribed, “Fruet Te De Morte et Bello de Mauu Gladii.”

3. By Angelico (5″l. Gal.): —He stands on one side of the throne of the Madouna pierced through with a sword ; with a keen, ascetic, rather than stern and resolute, expression.

The finest, the most characteristic, head of St. Peter Martyr I have ever seen is in a group by Andrea del Sarto (P. Pitti), where he stands opposite to St. Augustine, “in aria e in otto fieramente terribile,” as Vasari most truly describes him; and never, certainly, were fervor, energy, indomitable resolution, more perfectly expressed. I have mentioned in another place the significant grouping of the personages in this wonderful picture.

The assassination —or, as it is styled, the “martyrdom “— of St. Peter occurs very frequently, and seldom varies in the general points of treatment. The two assassins, the principal of whom is called in the legend Cariuo; the saint felled to the earth, his head wounded and bleeding, his hand attempting to trace the word “Credo”;—these, with the forest background, constitute the elements of the composition.

We have an example of the proper Italian treatment in a small picture, by Giorgione, in our National Gallery, which is extremely animated and picturesque. But the most renowned of all, and among the most celebrated pictures in the world, is the ” San Pietro Martire ” of Titian; painted as an altar-piece for the chapel of the saint, in the church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo (which the Venetians abbreviate and harmonize into San Zanipolo), belonging to the Dominicans. (Venice.) The dramatic effect of this picture is beyond all praise; the death-like pallor in the face of San Pietro, the extremity of cowardice and terror in that of his flying companion, the ferocity of the murderers, the gloomy forest, the trees bending and waving in the tempest, and the break of calm blue sky high above, from which the two cherubim issue with their palms, render this the most perfect scenic picture in the world.

It is a mistake to represent St. Peter Martyr assassinated on the steps of an altar or within a church, as in some Spanish pictures.

I must mention another most interesting work which relates to St. Peter Martyr. Fra Bartolomeo has introduced him into most of the large pictures painted for his Order, and has given him the usual type of head; but in one picture he has represented him with the features of his friend Jerome Savonarola, that eloquent friar who denounced with earnest and religious zeal the profane taste which even then had begun to infect the productions of art, and ended by entirely depraving both art and artists. After the horrible fate of Savonarola, strangled and then burned in the great square at Florence, in 1498, Bartolomeo, who had been his disciple, shut himself up in his cell in San Marco, and did not for four years resume his pencil. He afterwards painted the head of his friend, in the character of Peter Martyr, with a deep gash in his skull, and the blood trickling from it, — probably to indicate his veneration for a man who had been his spiritual director, and who by his disciples was regarded as a martyr; and /fever the Dominicans regain their former influence, who knows but that we may have this resolute adversary of the popes and princes of his time canonized as another “St. Jerome “?

St. Thomas Aquinas.

Hal. San Tomaso di Aquino, Dottore Angelico. March 7,1274.

St. Thomas Aquinas, as a theologian one of the great lights of the Roman Catholic Church, was of the illustrious family of the Counts of Aquino, in Calabria. His grandfather had married the sister of the Emperor Frederic I.: be was, consequently, grand-nephew of that prince, and kinsman to the emperors Henry VI. and Frederic II. His father Landolfo Count of Aquino, was also Lord of Loretto and Belcastro, and at this latter place St. Thomas was horn in the year 1226. He was remarkable in his infancy for the extreme sweetness and serenity of his temper, a virtue which, in the midst of the polemical disputes in which he was afterwards engaged, never forsook him. He was first sent to the Benedictine school at Monte Casino, but when he was ten years old his masters found they could teach him no more. When at home, the magnificence in which his father lived excited rather his humility than his pride: always gentle, thoughtful, habitually silent, piety with him seemed a true vocation. The Countess Theodora, his mother, apprehensive of the dangers to which her son would be exposed in a public school, was desirous that he should have a tutor at home: to this his father would not consent, but sent him to finish his studies at the University of Naples. Here, though surrounded by temptations, the warnings and advice of his mother so far acted as a safeguard, that his modesty and piety were not less remarkable than his assiduity in his studies. At the age of seven

teen he received the habit of St. Dominick in the convent of the Order at Naples. The Countess Theodora hastened thither to prevent his taking the final vows: feeling that he could not resist her tenderness, he took flight, and, on his way to Paris, was waylaid near Acquapendente, by his two brothers Landolfo and Rinaldo, officers in the emperor’s army. They tore his friar’s habit from his back, seized upon him and carried him to their father’s castle of Rocca-Secca. There his mother came to him, and in vain supplicated him to change his resolution. She ordered him to be confined and guarded from all communication with others; no one was suffered to see him but his two sisters, who were directed to use their utmost persuasions to turn him from his purpose. The result was precisely what one might have foretold; he converted his two sisters, and they assisted him to escape. He was let down from a window of the castle in a basket. Some of the Dominican brethren were waiting below to receive him, and in the following year he pronounced his final vows.

Notwithstanding his profound learning, the humility with which he concealed his acquirements and the stolid tranquillity of his deportment procured him the surname of Bos, or the Ox. One instance of his humility is at once amusing and edifying. On a certain day, when it was his turn to read aloud in the refectory, the superior, through inadvertence or ignorance, corrected him, and made him read the word with a false quantity. Though aware of the mistake, he immediately obeyed. Being told that he had done wrong to yield, knowing himself in the riiiht, he replied, “The pronunciation of a word is of little importance, but humility and obedience are of the greatest.”

From this time till his death, he continued to rise in reputation as the greatest theological writer and teacher of his time. Pope Clement IV. offered to make him an archbishop, but he constantly refused all ecclesiastical preferment. In 1274 he was sent on a mission to Naples, and was taken ill on the road, at Fossa-Nova, where was a famous abbey of the Cistercians. Here he remained for some weeks unable to continue his journey, and spent his last hours in dictating a commentary on the Song of Solomon When they brought him the sacrament, he desired to be taken from his bed and laid upon ashes strewn upon the floor. Thus he died, in tha fiftieth year of his age, and was canonized by John XXII. in 1323.

St. Thomas Aquinas represents the learning, as St. Peter Martyr represents the sanctity, of the Dominicans. Effigies of him are frequent in pictures and in prints, and the best of them bear a general resemblance, showing them to have been derived from a common original. The face is broad and rather heavy; the brow fine and ample; the expression mild and thoughtful. His attributes are, 1. a book, or several books; 2. the pen ot inkhorn; 3. on his breast a sun, within which is sometimes a human eye to express his far-seeing wisdom: 4. the sacramental cup, because he composed the Office of the Sacrament still in use. He is often intently writing, or looking up at the holy Dove hovering above him, the emblem of inspiration: he is then distinguished from other doctors and teachers, who have the same attributes, by his Dominican habit.

The most ancient and most remarkable pictures of St. Thomas Aquinas have been evidently intended to express his great learning and his authority as a doctor of the Church. I will mention five of these, all celebrated in art: —

1. By Francesco Trami, of Pisa. St. Thomas Aquinas, of colossal size, is enthroned in the centre of the picture. He holds an open book, and several books lie open on his knees; rays of light proceed from him in every direction: on the right hand stands Plato, holding open his Timeus; on the left Aristotle, holding open his Ethics; Moses, St. Paul, and the four Evangelists, are seen above, each with his book; and over all, Christ appears in a glory: from him proceed the rays ot fight which fall on the Evangelists, thence on the head of St. Thomas, and emanate from him through the universe. Under his feet lie prostrate the three arch-heretics, Arius, Sabellius, and the Arabian Averrhoes, with their books torn. In the lower part of thii picture is seen a crowd of ecclesiastics looking iii to the saint; among them, Pope Urban VI., inscribed Urbanus Sex Pisanus, who was living when the picture was painted, about 1380. It is still preserved with great care in the Church of St. Caterina, at Pisa. A figure by Benozzo Gozzolr, now in the Louvre, is so like this of Traini, that it should seem to be a copy or imitation of it, made when he was at Pisa in 1443.

2. By Taddeo Gaddi, in the large fresco in S. Maria Novella. (Florence.) St. Thomas is seated on a magnificent throne, over which hover seven angels carrying the sym’iols of the theological virtues. On his right hand sit Peter, Paul, Moses, David, and Solomon; on the left the four Evangelists. Crouching under his feet are the three great heretics, Arius, Averrhoes, atid Sabellius. In a row beneath, and enthroned under beautiful Gothic niches, are fourteen female figures, representing the arts and sciences; and at their feet are seated fourteen figures of great theological and scientific writers.

3. By Filippino Lippi, in the S. Maria-sopra-Mincrva (Home); a large elaborate fresco, similar to the preceding in the leading allegory, but the whole treated in a more modern style. St. Thomas is enthroned on high, under a canopy of rich classic architecture; under his feet are the arch-heretics, and on each side stand the theological virtues. In front of the picture are assembled those renowned polemical writers, disputants, and scholars, who are supposed to have waited on his teaching and profited by his words.

4. St. T.iomas is kneeling before a crucifix. From the mouth of the crucified Saviour proceed the words, “Bene scripsisti de me, Thomas; quam mercedem accipies?” (Thou hast written well of me, Thomas; what recompense dost thou desire ?) The saint replies, “Non aliam nisi te, Domine!” (Thyself only, O Lord!) “A companion of St. Thomas, hearing the crncifix thus speaking, stands utterly confounded and almost beside himself.” (Vasari.) This refers to a celebrated vision related by his biographers (not by himself), in which a celestial voice thus spoke to him. The same subject was painted by Francesco Vanni in the Church of San Romano at Pisa.

5. By Zurbaran, his masterpiece, the “SanTomas” now in the Museum at Seville. This famous picture was painted for the Dominican college of that city. Not having seen it, I insert Mr. Stirling’s description .—

“It is divided into three parts, and the figures are somewhat larger than life. Aloft, in the opening heavens, appear the Blessed Trinity, the Virgin, St. Paul, and St. Dominick, and the angelic doctor St. Tbonius Aquinas ascending to join their glorious company; lower down, in middle air, sit the four Doctors of the Church, grand and venerable figures, on cloudy thrones; and on the ground kneel, on the right hand, the Archbishop Diego de Deza, founder of the college, and on the left the Emperor Charles V., attended by a train of ecclesiastics. The head of St, Thomas is said to be a portrait of Don Agustin de Escobar, prebendary of Seville; and, from the close adherence to Titian’s pictures observable in the grave countenance of the imperial adorer, it is reasonable to suppose that in the other historical personages the likeness has been preserved wherever it was practicable. The dark mild face immediately behind Charles is traditionally held to be the portrait of Zurbaran himself. In spite of its blemishes as a composition, — which are perhaps chargeable less against the painter than against his Dominican patrons of the college; and in spite of a certain harshness of outline, — this picture is one of the grandest of altarpieces. The coloring throughout is rich and effective, and worthy of the school of Roelas: ihe heads are ah of them admirable studies; the draperies of the doctors ann ecclesiastics are magnificent in breadth and amplitude of fold; the imperial mantle is painted with Venetian splendor; and the street view, receding in the centre of the canvas, is admirable for its atmospheric depth and distance.”

On a certain occasion, when St. Thomas was returning by sea from Rome to Paris, “a violent storm terrified the crew and the passengers; the saint only was without fear, and continued in tranquil prayer till the storm had ceased.” I suppose this to be the subject of a. picture in St. Thomiis-d’Aqtiin at Paris, painted by Schefler.

I must mention two other learned personages who have been represented, though very rarely, in art, and who may be considered in connection with St. Thomas Aquinas.

Book of Martyrs: A Universal History of Christian Martyrdom, Volume 1 (Google Books)



Persecutions in Abyssinia.

About the end of the fifteenth century, some Portuguese missionaries made a voyage to Abyssinia, and began to propagate the Roman Catholic doctrines among the Abyssinians, who professed Christianity before the arrival of the missionaries. The priests gained such an influence at court, that the emperor consented to abolish the established rites of the Ethiopian church, and to admit those of Rome; and, soon after, consented to receive a patriarch from the pope, and to acknowledge the supremacy of the latter. This innovation, however, did “not take place without great opposition. Several of the most powerful lords, and a majority of the people, who professed the primitive Christianity established in Abyssinia, took up arms, in their defence, against the emeror. Thus, by the artifices of the court of Rome and its emissaries, the whole empire was thrown into commotion, and a war commenced, which was carried on through the reigns of many emperors, and which ceased not for above a century. All this time the Roman Catholics were strengthened by the power of the court, by means of which conjunction, the primitive Christians of Abyssinia were severely persecuted, and multitudes perished by the hands of their inhuman eneInleS.


Mahomet was born at Mecca, in Arabia, A. D. 571. His parents were poor, and his education mean; but by the force of his genius, and an uncommon subtlety, he raised himself to be the founder of a widely-spread religion, and the sovereign of kingdoms. His Alcoran is a jumble of Paganism, Judaism, and Christianity. In composing it, he is said to have been assisted by a Jew and a Roman Catholic priest. It is adapted entirely to the sensual appetites and passions; and the chief promises held out by it to its believers of the joys of paradise, are women and wine. Mahomet established his doctrine by the power of the sword. “The sword,” says he, “is the key of heaven and of hell. Whoever falls in battle, his sins are forgiven him: his wounds shall be resplendent as verm”. * odoriferous as musk: the loss of

OL. I.

his limbs shall be supplied with the wings of angels.” He allowed that Christ was a great prophet and a holy man; that he was born of a virgin, received up into glory, and shall come again to destroy Antichrist. He, therefore, in his early career, affected to respect the Christians. But no sooner was his power established, than he displayed himself in his true colors, as their determined and sanguinary enemy. This he proved by his persecutions of them in his lifetime, and by commanding those persecutions to be continued by his deluded followers, in his Alcoran, particularly in that part entitled “The Chapter of the Sword.” From him the Turks received their religion, which they still maintain. Mahomet and his descendants, in the space of thirty years, subdued Arabia, Palestine, Phoenicia, Syria, Egypt, and Persia. They soon, however, broke into divisions and wars amongst themselves. But the princes of the Saracens, assuming the title of sultan, continued their rule over Syria, Egypt, and Africa, for the space of about 400 years, when the Saracen king of Persia, commencing war against the Saracen sultan of Babylon, the latter brought to his aid the Turks. These Turks, feeling their own strength, in time turned their arms against their masters, and by the valor of Othman, from whom the family who now fill the Turkish throne are descended, they soon subdued them, and established their empire. Constantinople, after having been for many ages an imperial Christian city, was invested, in 1453, by the Turks, under Mahomet the Second,” whose army consisted of 300,000 men, and, after a siege of six weeks, it fell into the hands of the infidels, and the Turks have, to this day, retained possession of it. They no sooner found

* He was the ninth of the Ottoman race, and subdued all Greece.

t About fifteen years before this fatal event took place, the city had yielded the liberties of its church to the pope of Rome. A manifest want of patriotism was evidenced in the inhabitants, who, instead of bringing forth their treasures to the public service and defence of the place, buried them in vast heaps; insomuch, that when Mahomet, suspecting the case, commanded the earth to be dug up, and found immense hoards, he exclaimed, “How was it that this place lacked ammunition and fortification, amidst

such abundance of riches?” The Turks found a

themselves masters of it, than they began to exercise on the inhabitants the most unremitting barbarities, destroying them by every method of ingenious cruelty. Some they roasted alive on spits, others they starved, some they flayed alive, and left them in that horrid manner to perish; many were sawn asunder, and others torn to pieces by horses. Three days and nights was the city given to spoil, in which time the soldiers were licensed to commit every enormity. The body of the emperor being found among the slain, Mahomet commanded his head to be stuck on a spear, and carried round the town for the mockery of the soldiers.


About the year 1521, Solyman the First took Belgrade from the Christians. Two years after, he, with a fleet of 450 ships, and an army of 300,000 men, attacked Rhodes, then defended by the knights of Jerusalem. These heroes resisted the infidels till all their fortifications were levelled with the ground, their provisions exhausted, and their ammunition spent; when, finding no succors from the Christian princes, they surrendered, the siege having lasted about six months, in which the Turks suffered prodigiously, no less than 30,000 of them having died by the bloody flux. After this, Solyman retook Buda from the Christians, and treated those who were found there with great cruelty. Some had their eyes put out, others their hands, noses, and ears cut off. Pregnant women were ripped open, and their fruit cast into the flames, while many children were buried up to their necks in the earth, and left to perish.


Mad with conquest, Solyman now proceeded westward to Vienna, glutting himself with slaughter on his march, and vainly hoping, in a short time, to lay all Europe at his feet, and to banish Christianity from the earth.

Having pitched his tent before the walls of Vienna, he sent three Christian prisoners into the town, to terrify the citizens with an account of the strength of his army, while a great many more, whom he had taken in his march, were torn asunder by horses. Happily for the Germans, three days only before the arrival of the Turks, the earl palatine Frederic, to whom was assigned the defence of Vienna, had entered the town with 14,000 chosen veterans, besides a body of horse.

crucifix in the great church of St. Sophia, on the head of which they wrote, “This is the God of the Christians,” and i. carried it with a trumpet around the city, and exposed it to the contempt of the soldiers, who were commanded to spit upon it. Thus did the superstition of Rome afford a triumph to the enemies of the cross.

Solyman sent a summons for the city to surrender; but the Germans defying him, he instantly commenced the siege. It has before been observed, that the religion of Mahomet promises to all soldiers who die in battle, whatever be their crimes, immediate admission to the joys of paradise. Hence arises that fury and temerity which they usually display in fighting. They began with a most tremendous cannonade, and made many attempts to take the city by assault. But the steady valor of the Germans was superior to the enthusiasm of their enemies. Solyman, filled with indignation at this unusual check to his fortune, determined to exert every power to carry his project; to this end he planted his ordnance before the king’s gate, and battered it with such violence, that a breach was soon made, whereupon the Turks, under cover of the smoke, poured in torrents into the city, and the soldiers began to give up all for lost. But the officers, with admirable presence of mind, causing a great shouting to be made in the city, as if fresh troops had just arrived, their own soldiers were inspired with fresh courage, while the Turks, being seized with a panic, fled precipitately, and overthrew each other, by which means the city was freed from destruction.

victory of the CHRISTIANs.

Grown more desperate by resistance, Solyman resolved upon another attempt, and this Was undermining the Corinthian gate. Accordingly he set his Illyrians to work, who were expert at this mode of warfare. They succeeded in coming under ground to the foundations of the tower; but being discovered by the wary citizens, they, with amazing activity and diligence, countermined them; and having prepared a train of gunpowder, even to the trenches of the enemy, they set fire to it, and by that means rendered abortive their attempts, and blew up about 8000 of them. Foiled in every attempt, the courage of the Turkish chief degenerated into madness; he ordered his men to scale the walls, in which attempt they were destroyed by thousands, their very numbers serving to their own defeat, till, at length, the valor of his troops relaxed; and, dreading the hardihood of their European adversaries, they began to refuse obedience. Sickness also seized their camp, and numbers perished from famine; for the Germans, b their vigilance, had found means to cut o their supplies. Foiled in every attempt, Solyman at length, after having lost above 80,000 men, resolved to abandon his enterprise. He accordingly put this resolve in execution, and, sending his baggage before him, proceeded homewards with the utmost expedition, thus freeing Europe from the impending terror of universal Mahometanism.

suspicions; and, to prove his zeal, resolved
to persecute the unoffending Waldenses.
He, accordingly, issued express orders for
all to attend mass regularly, on pain of
death. This they absolutely refused to do,
on which he entered Piedmont with a great
body of troops, and began a most furious per-
secution, in which great numbers were
hanged, drowned, ripped open, tied to trees,
pierced with prongs, thrown from precipices,
burnt, stabbed, racked to death, worried by
dogs, and crucified with their heads down-
wards. Those who fled had their goods
plundered and their houses burnt. When
they caught a minister or a schoolmaster,
they put him to such exquisite tortures, as
are scarcely credible. If any, whom they
took seemed wavering in their faith, they
did not put them to death, but sent them to
the galleys, to be made converts, by dint of
In this expedition the duke was accompa-
nied by three men who resembled devils,
viz. 1. Thomas Incomel, an apostate, brought
up in the reformed religion, but who had re-
nounced his faith, embraced the errors of
popery, and turned monk. He was a great
libertine, given to unnatural crimes, and
most particularly solicitous for the plunder
of the Waldenses. 2. Corbis, a man of a
very ferocious and cruel nature, whose busi-
ness was to examine the prisoners. 3. The
provost of justice, an avaricious wretch, anx-
ious for the execution of the Waldenses, as
every execution added to his hoards.
These three monsters were unmerciful to
the last degree; wherever they came, the
blood of the innocent was shed. But, be-
sides the cruelties exercised by the duke
with these three persons and the army in
their different marches, many local barbari-
ties took place. At Pignerol was a monas-
tery, the monks of which finding they might
injure the reformed with impunity, began to
plunder their houses, and pull down their
churches: and not meeting with opposition,
they next seized upon the persons of those
unhappy people, murdering the men, con-
fining the women, and putting the children
to Roman Catholic nurses.
In the same manner the Roman Catholic
inhabitants of the valley of St. Martin did
all they could to torment the neighboring
Waldenses; they destroyed their churches,
burnt their houses, seized their property,
carried away their cattle, converted their
lands to their own use, committed their min-
isters to the flames, and drove the people to
the woods, where they had nothing to sub-
sist on but wild fruits, the bark of trees,
roots, &c. &c.
Some Roman Catholic ruffians having
seized a minister, as he was going to preach,
determined to take him to a convenient place
and burn him. His parishioners hearing of
this, armed themselves, pursued, and attack-

ed the villains; who, finding they could not
execute their first intent, stabbed the poor
gentleman, and, leaving him weltering in
his blood, made a precipitate retreat. His
parishioners did all they could to recover
him, but in vain; for he expired as they
were carrying him home. –
The monks of Pignerol having a great de-
sire to get into their possession a minister
of the town of St. Germain, hired a band of
ruffians for the purpose of seizing him.
These fellows were conducted by a treach-
erous servant to the clergyman, who knew a
secret way to the house, by which he could
lead them without alarming the neighbor-
hood. The guide knocked at the door, and
being asked who was there, answered in his
own name. The clergyman, expecting no
injury from a person on whom he had heaped
favors, immediately opened the door; per-
ceiving the ruffians, he fled, but they rushed
in, and seized him. They then murdered
all his family; after which they proceeded
with their captive towards Pignerol, goading
him all the way. He was confined a con-
siderable time in prison, and then burnt.
The murderers continuing their assaults
about the town of St. Germain, murdering
and plundering many of the inhabitants, the
reformed of Lucerne and Angrogne sent
some armed men to the assistance of their
brethren. These men frequently attacked
and routed the ruffians, which so alarmed
the monks, that they left their monastery of
Pignerol, till they could procure regular
troops for their protection.
. The duke of Savoy, not finding himself so
successful as he at first imagined he should
be, augmented his forces, joined to them the
ruffians, and commanded that a general de-
livery should take place in the prisons, pro-
vided the persons released would bear arms,
and assist in the extermination of the Wal-
No sooner were the Waldenses informed
of these proceedings, than they secured as
much of their property as they could, and
quitting the valleys, retired to the rocks and
caves among the Alps.
The army no sooner reached their desti-
nation than they began to plunder and burn
the towns and villages; but they could not
force the passes of the Alps, gallantly de-
fended by the Waldenses, who in those at-
tempts always repulsed their enemies; but

if any fell into the hands of the troops, they

were treated in the most barbarous manner.
A soldier having caught one of them, bit his
right ear off, saying, “I will carry this mem-
ber of that wicked heretic with me into my
own country, and preserve it as a rarity.”
He then stabbed the man, and threw him
into a ditch.
At one time, a party of troops found a ven-
erable man upwards of a hundred years of
age, accompanied by his granddaughter, a

maiden, of about eighteen, in a cave. They murdered the poor old man in a most inhuman manner, and then attempted to ravish the girl, when she started away, and being pursued, threw herself from a precipice and was dashed to pieces. Determined, if possible, to expel their invaders, the Waldenses entered into a league with the Protestant powers in Germany, and with the reformed of Dauphiny and Pragela. These were respectively to furnish bodies of troops; and the Waldenses resolved, when thus reinforced, to quit the mountains of the Alps, where they soon must have perished, as the winter was coming on, and to force the duke’s army to evacuate their native valleys. But the duke of Savoy himself was tired of the war, it having cost him great fatigue and anxiety of mind, a vast number of men, and very considerable sums of money. It had been much more tedious and bloody than he expected, as well as more expensive than he at first imagined, for he thought the plunder would have discharged the expenses of the expedition: in this, however, he was mis

taken; for the pope’s nuncio, the bishops, monks, and other ecclesiastics, who attended the army and encouraged the war, sunk the greatest part of the wealth that was taken, under various pretences. For these reasons, and the death of his duchess, of which he had just received intelligence, and fearing that the Waldenses, by the treaties they had entered into, would become too powerful for him, he determined to return to Turin with his army, and to make peace with them.

This resolution he put in practice, greatly against the wish of the ecclesiastics, who by the war gratified both their avarice and their revenge. Before the articles of peace could be ratified, the duke himself died; but on his death-bed he strictly enjoined his son to perform what he had intended, and to be as favorable as possible to the Waldenses.

Charles-Emanuel, the duke’s son, succeeded to the dominions of Savoy, and fully ratified the peace with the Waldenses, according to the last injunctions of his father, though the priests used all their arts to dissuade him from his purpose.


Persecutions in Venice.

BEFoRE the terrors of the inquisition were known at Venice, a great number of Protestants fixed their residence there, and many converts were made by the purity of their doctrines, and the inoffensiveness of their conversation. The pope no sooner learned the great increase of Protestantism, than he, in the year 1542, sent inquisitors to Venice, to apprehend such as they might deem obnoxious. Hence a severe persecution began, and many persons were martyred for serving God with sincerity, and scorning the trappings of superstition. Various were the modes by which the Protestants were deprived of life; but one in particular, being both new and singular, we shall describe: as soon as sentence was passed, the prisoner had an iron chain, to which was suspended a great stone, fastened to his body; he was then laid flat upon a plank, with his face upwards, and rowed between two boats to a certain distance at sea, when the boats separated, and, by the weight of the stone, he was sunk to the bottom. If any dared to deny the jurisdiction of the inquisitors at Venice, they were conveyed to Rome, where being committed to damp and nauseous dungeons, their flesh mortified, and a most miserable death ensued. A citizen of Venice, named Anthony Ricetti, being apprehended as a Protestant, was sentenced to be drowned in the manner

above described. A few days previous to his

execution, his son went to him, and entreated him to recant, that his life might be saved, and himself not left an orphan. To this the father replied, “A good Christian is bound to relinquish not only goods and children, but life itself, for the glory of his Redeemer.” The nobles of Venice likewise sent him word, that if he would embrace the Roman Catholic religion, they would not only grant him life, but redeem a considerable estate which he had mortgaged, and freely present him with it. This, however, he absolutely refused to comply with, saying that he valued his soul beyond all other considerations. Finding all endeavors to persuade him ineffectual, they ordered the execution of his sentence, which took place accordingly, and he died recommending his soul fervently to his Redeemer. Francis Sega, another Venetian, stedfastly persisting in his faith, was executed, a few days after Ricetti, in the same manner. Francis Spinola, a Protestant gentleman of very great learning, was apprehended by order of the inquisitors, and carried before their tribunal. A treatise on the Lord’s Supper was then put into his hands, and he was asked if he knew the author of it. To which he replied, “I confess myself its author; and solemnly affirm, that there is not a line in it but what is authorized by, and consonant to, the Holy Scriptures.” On this confession he was committed close prisoner John Mollius was born at Rome of a respectable family. At twelve years old his parents placed him in a monastery of gray friars, where he made so rapid a progress in his studies, that he was admitted to priest’s orders at the early age of eighteen years. He was then sent to Ferrara, where, after six years’ further study, he was appointed theological reader in the university of that city. Here he began to exert his great talents to disguise the gospel truths, and to varnish over the errors of the church of Rome. Having passed some years here, he removed to the university of Bononia, where he became a professor. At length, happily reading some treatises written by ministers of the reformed religion, he was suddenly struck with the errors of popery, and became in his heart a zealous Protestant. He now determined to expound, in truth and simplicity, St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans, in a regular course of sermons; at each of which he was attended by a vast concourse of people. But when the priests learned his doctrines, they dispatched an account thereof to Rome; upon which the pope sent Cornelius, a monk, to Bononia, to expound the same epistle, according to his own tenets, and to controvert the doctrine of Mollius. The people, however, found such a disparity between the two preachers, that the audience of Mollius increased, while Cornelius preached to empty benches. The latter on this wrote of his bad success to the pope, who immediately ordered Mollius to be apprehended. He was seized accordingly, and kept in close confinement. The bishop of Bononia sent him word that he must recant or be burnt; but he appealed to Rome, and was in consequence removed thither. Here he begged to have a public trial; but this the pope absolutely denied him, and commanded him to explain his opinions in writing, which accordingly he did on scripture authority. The pope, for reasons of policy, spared him for the present; but, in 1553, had him hanged, and his body afterwards burnt to ashes.

to a dungeon. After remaining there sev-maintained were not erroneous, being purely eral days, he was brought to a second exami-|the same as those which Christ and his nation, when he charged the pope’s legate, apostles had taught, and which were handed and the inquisitors, with being merciless|down to us in the sacred scriptures. The barbarians, and represented the superstitionlinquisitors then sentenced him to be drownand idolatry of the church of Rome in soled, which was executed in the manner alstrong a light, that, unable to refute his ar-ready described. He went to death with guments, they recommitted him to his dun-joy, thinking it a happiness to be so soon geon. Being brought up a third time, they ushered to the world of glory, to dwell with asked him if he would recant his errors, to God and the spirits of just men made perwhich he answered, that the doctrines helfect.


Martyrdoms in various parts of Italy.

Francis Gamba, a Lombard and a Protestant, was apprehended, and condemned to death by the senate of Milan, in the year 1554. At the place of execution, he was presented by a monk with a cross. “My mind,” said Gamba, “is so full of the real merits and goodness of Christ, that I want not a piece of senseless stick to put me in mind of him.” For this expression his tongue was bored through, after which he was committed to the flames.

About the same period Algerius, a learned and accomplished student in the university of Padua, embraced the reformed religion, and was zealous in the conversion of others. For these proceedings he was accused of heresy to the pope, and being apprehended, was committed to the prison at Venice, whence he wrote to his converts at Padua the following celebrated and beautiful epistle:—


“I CANNot omit this opportunity of letting you know the sincere pleasure I feel in my confinement; to suffer for Christ is delectable indeed; to undergo a little transitory pain in this world, for his sake, is cheaply purchasing a reversion of eternal glory, in a life that is everlasting. Hence I have found honey in the entrails of a lion; paradise in a prison; tranquillity in the house of sorrow: where others weep, I rejoice; where others tremble and faint, I find strength and courage. The Almighty alone confers these favors on me; be his the glory and the praise. .

“How different do ; find myself from what I was before I embraced the truth in its purity I was then dark, doubtful, and in dread; I am now enlightened, certain, and full of joy. He that was far from me is present with me; he comforts my spirit, heals my grief, strengthens my mind, refreshes my heart, and fortifies my soul. Learn, therefore, how merciful and amiable the Lord is, who supports his servants under temptations, expels their sorrows, lightens

their afflictions, and even visits them with

his glorious presence in the gloom of a dismal dungeon. “Your sincere friend, “ALGERIUs.”

The pope being informed of Algerius’s great learning and abilities, sent for him to Rome, and tried, by every means, to win him to his purpose. But finding his endeavors hopeless, he ordered him to be burnt. In 1559, John Alloisius, a Protestant teacher, having come from Geneva to preach in Calabria, was there apprehended, carried to Rome, and burnt, by order of the pope; and at Messina, James Bovellus was burnt for the same offence. In the year 1560, pope Pius the Fourth commenced a general persecution of the Protestants throughout the Italian states, when great numbers of every age, sex, and condition, suffered martyrdom. Concerning the cruelties practised upon this occasion, a learned and humane Roman Catholic thus speaks in a letter to a nobleman: “I cannot, my lord, forbear disclosing my sentiments with respect to the persecution now carrying on. I think it cruel and unnecessary; I tremble at the manner of putting to death, as it resembles more the

slaughter of calves and * than the execution of human beings. will relate to your lordship a dreadful scene, of which I was myself an eye-witness: seventy Protestants were cooped up in one filthy dungeon together; the executioner went in among them, picked out one from among the rest, blindfolded him, led him out to an open place before the prison, and cut his throat with the greatest composure. He then calmly walked into the prison again, bloody as he was, and, with the knife in his hand, selected another, and dispatched him in the same manner; and this, my lord, he repeated till the whole number were put to death. I leave it to your lordship’s feelings to judge of my sensations upon the occasion; my tears now wash the paper upon which I give you the recital. Another thing I must mention, the patience with which they met death: they seemed all resignation and piety, fervently praying to God, and cheerfully encountering their fate. I cannot reflect without shuddering, how the executioner held the bloody knife between his teeth; what a dreadful figure he appeared, all covered with blood, and with what unconcern he executed his barbarous office!”


Persecutions in the Marquisate of Saluces.

THE marquisate of Saluces, or Saluzzo, is situated on the south side of the valleys of Piedmont, and in the year 1561 was principally inhabited by Protestants; when the marquis began a persecution against them at the instigation of the pope. He commenced by banishing the ministers; if any of whom refused to leave their flocks they were imprisoned and severely tortured: he did not, however, put any to death.

A little time after, the marquisate fell into the possession of the duke of Savoy, who sent circular letters to all the towns and villages, that he expected the people should all go to mass. Upon this the inhabitants of Saluces returned a submissive yet manly answer, entreating permission to continue in the practice of the religion of their forefathers.

This letter for a time seemed to pacify

the duke, but, at length, he sent them word, that they must either conform to his former commands, or leave his dominions in fifteen days. The Protestants, upon this unexpected edict, sent a deputy to the duke to obtain his revocation, or at least to have it moderated. Their petitions, however, were vain, and they were given to understand that the edict was peremptory. Some, under the impulse of fear or worldly interest, were weak enough to go to mass, in order to avoid banishment, and preserve their property; others removed, with all their effects, to different countries; many neglected the time so long, that they were obliged to abandon all they were worth, and leave the marquisate in haste; while some, who unhappily staid behind, were seized, plundered, and put to death.

The Alps; or, Sketches of life and nature in the mountains

The Alps; or, Sketches of life and nature in the mountains

Let us only place ourselves in the agonising position of
these victims of the avalanche, dreadful enough by the
surrounding cold, and add to it the consciousness that help
from a friend’s hand is labouring to exhaustion in the wrong
direction a few paces on. When htunan wisdom is at an end,
the finer instinct of animals begins ; and as the dog follows
the steps of his master or of the lost child for hours, and
at length finds what he seeks, here it is the faithful com-
panion of the moimtaineer whose fine scent discovers the
burial-place and leads on the right track. The value of
the dogs of the hospices of the Great St. Bernard, Simplon,
and St. Gothard, is too proverbial, and has been too com-
prehensively and faithfully described in Tschudi’s “Animal
Life in the Alps,” to be spoken of at greater length here.

The dwellers on such passes tell wonderful stories of
the instinctive prescience of many beasts, who forebode
or, one might almost say, prophesy the fell of avalanches*
It is notorious that on those slopes which are in any way
affected by the regular fall of avalanches, the tracks of
chamois are seldom or never to be found in the snow.
The inhabitants of mountain inns and hospices declare
that the mountain daws come down from the heights
shortly before the occurrence of dust-avalanches or the
fall of windshields, flying, as it were, to human dwellings,
and screaming as they circle round them. It is said that
the dogs kept to look out for distressed travellers show
a perceptible restlessness shortly before avalanches or
whirlwinds, and there have been some on the Simplon
who howled loudly and tried to get out to search accord-
ing to their business. Horses, however, show the most
decided feeling of bad weather. We have mentioned, in
the description of a snowstorm, that the horse exerts his
utmost strength before the breaking out of a storm to get
on quicker, and, if possible, to reach the protecting house.
A horse is said to have been used for many years as a
packhorse over the Scaletta pass, who regularly showed the
approach of avalanches by becoming excited and restive,
though at other times Jie was the most patient and quiet
beast in the world. The drivers, who set a high value
upon it on this accoimt, depended almost entirely upon
this horse in bad weather. It once had to draw some
passengers on a sleigh during winter, and having come to
a point near the top of the pass, refused to move from
the place. The travellers, foolishly enough, and the
driver, giving way to their impatience, did all they could
to drive the beast on. At last, after showing its disgust


at human unreason by loud neighings, it applied all its
strength anew, and sought, by an almost desperate hurry,
to escape from the threatened danger. A few seconds
further, a sudden crash and fall! The avalanche had
buried the travellers and the clever faithful horse.

The old manyfold romance of the road, which rail-
ways have completely destroyed in the plain, still rules
over these cultivated Alpine passages. The far-sounding,
discordant ring of the six heavy, robust coach-horses
before the high-vaulted, broad-wheeled carriage, with its
white roof, still sounds, and the rough postilion still cracks
his variations on the whip, and accompanies them at times
with his choicest selection of oaths. Dust steams up in
long-drawn clouds. An Itahan cattle-driver is taking his
herd of young, black, and dark-brown milch cows, and a
number of “maas stiere” (beasts for fattening), to the Lugano
market The lad goes on with his mountain stick and
the usual umbrella under his arm (for no Tessiner or Ap-
penzeller ever travels without this means of protection),
on his shoulders the milking-stool, and he raises his loud,
high-pitched cry, sinking with a gradually falling tone —
” Ooo — ohohohohoho, komm wadli, wadli, wadli,” with
which he encourages his beasts to step out stoutly (wadli =
weidlich). In the midst of the crowd of beasts, rather
driving than haranguing, and working very demonstra-
tively on the backs of his immediate neighbours with
blows from a cudgel, goes an interpreter, a ruined cattle-


dealer, who has lost goods and chattels by unfortunate
speculations. He has full command of the Itahan patois,
since he has held dealings and driven cattle in Lombardy
for the last quarter of a century. Now, as his last beast
has been put up to auction at home, he is serving his
neighbour as broker and bargainer for daily pay and a
proportion of the earnings. The real adventurer of the
Alpine caravan brings up the rear of the whole long-
extended train. The chief part of his fortune .is in this
wandering capital. Now, it depends upon luck whether
the demand is lively and good prices to be had, or whether
the market is over-stocked with good cattle, and the
demand flat. If the speculation takes, he may earn a
thousand francs at once. But he may lose as much,
if he has to lower his price ; for, to drive his fifty cattle
home again, twelve days’ joimiey over difierent moxm-
tains, and without sufficient food, would cost him dearer
still. He steps on, meditating deeply on his luck. Sud-
denly, the rolling of the carriage, a loud cry, the confusion
of his herd, startles him from his meditations. The dili-
gence comes quickly down the pass : the postilion, conscious
of his dignity on his lofty seat, to whom, as the servant of
the state, even a herd of cattle must give way, drives
sharply amongst the homed troop. Eaging and cursing,
cudgelling and coaxing of the drivers, cracking of whips
and laughter of the coachman, the screams of the nervous
lady in the coupS^ who is afraid for her personal safety,
cows lowing in every tone, and the hoarse barking of
dogs, mingle and rise into a tragic scene in the thick
clouds of dust. A few cows turn and start homewards,
but “Schnauz,” the vigilant, trustworthy dog, who
only thinks of the duty imposed upon him of the most
strict and unconditional ” forwards,” and takes no notice
of impediments, puts his poUce arrangements into action

274 THB ALPa

with inexorable zeal ; he has to struggle with “B’platzed”
(a cow so called from a great white spot or ” platz ” on
her forehead), who wishes to establish her rights with her
horns, whilst ^ s’Mohrli,” a gentle, intelligent cow, goes
steadily on her way. She is therefore thought worthy of
wearing her master’s cloak rolled up round her neck.
The cattle-drivers abuse the postiUon and guard, who is
lying on the covering of the carriage to give up his pro-
per place to an Englishman ; the post people reply with
equal vigour. The horses become restive in the tumult ;
one jiunps over the traces, the confusion increases, the
diligence has to stop. A general row, scandal, and
confusion of tongues — ” Briccone ! Dimdershagel ! Mal-
detto villano! Scempiottol Strahls-choggl” is screamed
and growled from all sides.

All the hospices, of which there are about fifteen in
the Alps, are pious foimdations, of greater or less extent,
intended to shelter every traveller according to his means,
free of expense, to give a meal gratis to the poor, or if
the wildness of the weather should compel the wanderer
to wait longer, to keep him for a time, and to guide
people who have lost their way during snow-storms by
ringing bells or sending out dogs. All the Alpine passes
do not enjoy this great blessing. Only those over the
Col de Lautaret (Mont Gen^vre), Mont Cenis, the Great and
Little St. Bernard, Simplon and Gothard, the Grimsel, San
Giacomo in the Tessin, and that over the Lukmanier, are
provided with hospices. The others have, at the outside,
moimtain inns, in which hospitahty has to be paid ibr.
•Their height is generally only a few thousand feet below
the perpetual snow. On the St. Gothard the fall of snow
generally begins in the middle of October, and lasts
through two-thirds of May. It thus lasts a good seven
months. There is no day, however, in the calendar on
which it has not snowed in some year or other. It is
often so bitterly cold in July and August, at this height
of 6834 feet above the sea, that flowers are frostbitten
at the windows as in winter, and have to be warmed
every day. The Lago Grande near the hospice is gene-
rally frozen at the beginning of July, and in winter there
are nights whose bitter cold may be compared with
that of Spitzbergen and Nova Zembla. Thick clouds
envelope the house more than half the days in a year,

u 3


whilst perhaps sunlight is smiling in the valleys, or on the
higher mountains. For the passes are also the roads by
which the giants of watery vapour stride over the Alps
from the warm, damp valleys of the south, and hang over
the neighbouring pillars of rock as mantles of doud and
caps of mist, \mtil either the south wind drives them over,
converting them into perfect urns of rain, or the north
wind repulses them. The hospice on the Col de Lautaret
is remarkably similar. On the Great St Bernard (7884
feet) the number of winter months increases to nine,
in consequence of its greater height, and the dear simny
days of the year are quickly told over. All fiid has to
be fetched from a distance of several hours.

Taking all these circiunstances into account, it requires
imusual resignation to become an ” ospitah^re.” For the
mere wish to take a place to be occupied as a benefice
can scarcely be strong enough for such an act of self-
deniaL It is no sinecure, no hospital manager’s place,
like that of a great sick or poor house in a town ; heavy
duties (often without suflBdent means) and severe depri-
vations burden it. To imderstand these circumstances a
little more accurately, we must classify the hospices.

In the first place there are the four great monasteries
OH the Great and Little St Bernard, the Mont Cenis and
Simplon. They are inhabited and maintained by Augus-
tine monks, and the foimdation of the first three dates fer
back in the middle ages. The hospice on Mont Cenis is
said to have been founded by Charlemagne, was con-
siderably increased by Napoleon I. in 1801, and served
as an asylum to Pius VH in 1812. The foundation of
the monastery on the Great St Bernard by St Bernard of
Menthou (sprung from a noble family in Savoy), followed
in 962, although the annals of the bishops of Lausanne
commemorate a still earlier one standing in 862, whose


foundation is also ascribed to Charlemagne. Archives
and documents were completely destroyed by fires which
have twice visited the building. The present large build-
ing dates from the 16th century, is inhabited by twelve
Augustine monks and a number of serving brothers, and
is suflEicient for the reception of from seventy to eighty
guests. The Simplon hospice is the property of the St.
Bernard monastery, is connected with it, and provided by
it with from four to six ecclesiastics, under the authority
of a superior. The hospice on the Littie St Bernard is
perhaps the oldest of all, although here too there are no
written records. It is far more scantily provided than
the above-mentioned, and is suppUed partially by the
commime of Aosta, and inhabited by brothers delegated
from the Great St Bernard. According to tradition, Han-
nibal is said to have rested on this height and held a
council of war, on which account a space surrounded by
large red blocks of stone on the plain at the top of the
pass is called the Cirque d’Annibal The young monks
who shut themselves up to serve in these monasteries
generally begin in tiidr twentieth year, and undertake
the duty of remaining here fifteen years. Many of them
give way in that time from the severity of the climate,
and the hardships or dangers to life when they make the
excursions with their dogs in winter or spring, after
avalanches or severe fells of snow, with the view of help-
ing travellers in difficulty. The few endurable summer
months, during which travellers for pleasure arrive, are
the only time of recreation for the monks. During this
time, however, they thoroughly enjoy life, devote them-
selves to tiie entertainment of tiieir visitors, make excur-
sions with ladies to beautiful points of view, play on the
piano, and by tiieir refined and gentiemanlike behaviour,
win the fevoiir of all tiieir guests to a high degree.

V 4

The government of Canton Tessin, within which the
house lies, occasionally presents them with old clothes
that have become imserviceable for the army, for distri-
bution amongst the poor. The method by which here,
as in the great monastic hospices, help is given to tra-
vellers half frozen by great cold or sudden and unex-
pected storms of weather is highly to the purpose. They
are first led about in a cold room, and have given to them
either mulled wine or a kind of weak grog. The parts
of their bodies which have been most exposed to the
cold are then dipped in snow water, rubbed with sijow,
and, as the circulation of the blood becomes more lively,
laid in a warm room, well covered with woollen cloths,
and supplied with the necessary food. This is generally
followed by a lethargic sleep, which sometimes lasts for
twenty hours. On waking the patients are generally so


restored that, after a meaJ, they are able to continue their
journey. The feeling of intense relief, and the happy
comfort which embraces the traveller who enters in wild
weather, and finds such a himiane and hearty reception,
is not to be described ; and the stranger who has any
means, without being ajsked for it, willingly contributes
the worth of that which has been unselfishly given to
him. There are certainly travellers of higher rank who
are mean enough to go on without giving anything.

In all these hospices those celebrated dogs are kept
who go out with the servants in bad weather, and help
them to find out people who are lost, or have had
accidents, by their wonderfully developed instinct. By
their powerfiil build and unusual hardiness they are able
to hold out against the most vehement storms. An
accurately characteristic description of them is to be
found in Tschudi’s ” Thierleben der Alpenwelt” On the
St Gothard there are now kept one St Bernard’s dog,
one Kamschatka, and two Leonberger dogs (presented
by Herr Esseg of Stuttgard), which are said to be very

The number of real accidents has much diminished of
late years. On the Great St Bernard no fatal case has
occurred for some time. It is worse on the St Gothard,
on accoimt of the necessary regular postal service.
Besides the accident related on page 188 of this book, it
happ^aed a few weeks earlier that on the so-called
Plangen, above the refuge ” Am Matteli,” thirteen men
who accompanied the post, together with horses and
sleighs, were carried down into the Eeuss by an over-
powering avalanche. Three of them, fathers of femilies,
and nine horses, foimd their graves in tiie snow ; the others
were saved by speedy help. A truly tragical case, how-
ever, overtook one of the most zealous helpers, Herr


Joseph Muller of Hasperthal, during these attempts. He
had gone to stand by his neighbours, but was over-
whehned by a . new avalanche at the place called ” Im
Hamisch,” and lost his life. On the 27th of October, in
the same year, the post coming from Airolo was over-
whelmed . by an avalanche near the house of refiige,
Ponte Tremola; a traveller from Bergamo was killed,
the others were saved. The latest accidents took place
on the 2nd of November, 1855, on which day three men
were carried over an abyss by the fall of a ” snow-shield,”
but were saved by united and vigorous efforts.

The well-known Grimsel hospice is of very different
character in greatness and importance. It now has fex
more the splendour of an inn opened for speculation, in
which all that tickles the palate is to be had for money,
than the character of an imselfish, benevolent institution.
The circumstance that it was let by the OberhasU valley
to the present landlord, shows its different position.
Besides, the landlord formerly had the right to ask every
passenger a toU for keeping up the road, and leave was
promised to him to keep an inn for money. When the
lessee was obhged to give poor travellers a night’s
lodging and a simple meal, he had, on the other hand,
the right to make collections throughout all Switzerland,
and to recover payments for his intended benefits. If
we add that the pass of the Grimsel is one by no means
so imiversally used for trade and intercourse as that over
the St. Gothard, that in consequence only the poor of the
immediately neighbouring districts profited by it, it
foUows that the Grimsel is nothing more nor less than a
regular inn, and by no means a hospice in the proper
sense. Besides this, the landlord does not pass the
winter with his family at this hospice, 700 feet lower
than that on the St Gothard, but leaves it with his cattle


in November, and does not return till the beginning of
March. During the most severe quarter of the year,
only one servant, or at most two, remain in the Grimsel,
in order to keep the road close to the house in order, to
send out dogs in heavy snow-storms, and when the dogs
bark, to show the direction by loud cries. This winter
stay may almost be compared to Siberian banishment, as
ill severe and b^o^vy winters, weeks or even oiontlis jmss
without any one crossing the road, whilst all iotereoui-se
with the neighbom^iiig villages is cut off. The nearest
human dwelling is the Yalaisan village, Oberwald, two
and a half hours off- Remembering that in deep snow
a walk often becomes three or fourfold the time on hard,
dry ground, and considering that the snowfall in this
neighbourhood often reaches such a height that the
serv^ant lias to get out of the upper windows of the house
to clear the path to the door, and finally, that avalanches
frequently threaten to destroy the huge, firm, casemate-
like building, it ydU be granted that the lot of a winter
servant on the Grimsel is moi-e dull and disheartening
than that of a villain shut up in a cell.

Since the year 1836, Peter Zybach of Mqningen had
been lessee of the Grimsel, with the meadows and rights
of collecting for a yearly payment of 2500 francs, and
managed it to every one’s content He himself had the
best reason to be content with his lease, as it was established,
that during the summer he took from rich tourists yearly
some 140,000 francs. The lease came to an end with the
year 1852, and as Zybach had become well to do at the
Grimsel, there were other aspirants for the term of a new
lease. Besides this, a report was ciurent that the Ghimsel
would be put up to open auction, and in such an auction
it might be driven up to a high price. Zybach proposed
to the Land Conunission a new four years’ lease, at a con-
siderably increased rent, without, however, gaining the
consent of the court. Suddenly an account came from the
wilderness of the Grimsel to the Haslithal, that the hospice
had been burnt down in a few hours on the night of the
fifth of November. According to the report of three
servants, a stranger had come in in the evening and lodged
in the middle story. At half-past eleven at night the ser-
vants had been awakened by the barking of the dogs, and
when they went out into the passage, a dear flame was
shining. The fire had obviously been kindled by the im-
prudence of the guest, and he had been burnt The fire
had so soon gained the upper hand that all attempts to
extinguish it were in vain. The furniture, insured for
20,000 francs, was burnt. In spite of the deep snow, a
commission of investigation went up to the Grimsel, and
it soon appeared that almost all the goods and chattels
had been concealed and thus saved. Zybach hesitated ia
his answers, then wished to give up his claims for indemni-
fication, but was foolish enough to make proposals of


bribery to the commissioner, if he would be silent, and
when he remained honourably firm to his duty, the un-
fortunate criminal threw himself into the lake behind the
hospice, to escape by suicide from the shame of a severe
punishment Zybach, however, was saved, and thrown
into prison with his servants. Here an investigation
showed that, by Zybach’s persuasion, and on a promise of
750 francs, the servants had declared themselves ready,
and after putting the eflfects in safety had set fire to the

Zybach, who was, independently of this, not very popu-
lar with the people of the valley, because he had rapidly
turned into a prosperous man, and one making show of
his prosperity, was not only at once condemned through
the whole Haslithal, but tiie wrath of the people found
new food for irreconcilable hatred because the destruction
of the hospice made it impossible for the people to pass
the Grimsel in the spring, the time of the most active
cheese trade with Italy. For it is four and a half hours
from Guttanen, the last village of the Hashthal, and
several hours more from there to the Valais, by a very
difficulty and in winter very dangerous road. A good
resting place was thus an absolute necessity, and the
hospice had in fact been foimded with this object.

The state prosecution had to propose the punishment
of death for Zybach, and the judgment of the court of the
Bernese Oberland was death, and twelve years’ imprison-
ment for the accomplices. The appeal brought by
Zybach before the great Court of the Canton, changed
the sentence of death to imprisonment for life, because
Zybach had during his whole life been an honourable
man and an excellent father of a family ; and when the
unfortunate man had been imprisoned for some years, and
the physicians had declared that a change of residence


was necessary to save his life, the rest of his punishment
was remitted on a petition from his family conditionally
on his emigrating to America. He now Uves miknown,
and imd^r another name in Germany — where, no one
knows. The Grimsel has been increased, and built anew
with more convenience, and is a yearly rendezvous of the
tourist world.

The combined ” Treibjagd ” (driving chase) of chamois,
undertaken in company by the less distinguished hunters,
is less dangerous. It generally takes place in the outlying
alps, which are poorer in game, and in many respects is
like the organised battue of the plains, as the hunters are


posted at different points and dogs used for driving the

The Spirit of the English Magazines, Volume 1 (Google Books)

Animal Sagacity.


Wales, to finish his days in the family the merits of the surgeon, and the nature

of a Protestant. Such, however, was
the force of precept and example, (some
would call it conscience, and a sense of
duty,) that nothing, from the moment he
entered the Protestant circle, would
tempt him to eat meat, either on Fridays
or Saturdays.
But I think, Mr. Editor, I can give
you an instance of sagacity in the canine
breed more astonishing far than that, or
any other, it ever was my chance to
hear: it was related to me, I assure you,
as an undeniable fact, and names of per-
sons and places attended the relation of
it; my author was a Prussian officer,
who, a little time back, visited this me-
tropolis, and it was my lot to hand him
about, and shew him the curiosities. A
German count had a very valuable dog,
a large and noble-looking animal; in
some description of field-sports he was
reckoned exceedingly useful, and a friend
of the count’s applied for the loan of the
dog for a few weeks’ excursion in the
country: it was granted; and, in the
course of the rambles, the dog, by a fall,
either dislocated or gave a severe fracture
to one of his legs. The borrower of the
dog was in the greatest alarm, knowing
well how greatly the count valued him ;
and, fearing to disclose the fact, brought
him secretly to the count’s surgeon, a
skilful man, to restore the limb. After
some weeks’ application, the surgeon
succeeded, the dog was returned, and all
was well. A month or six weeks after
this period, the surgeon was sitting grave-
ly in his closet, pursuing his studies, when
he heard a violent scratching at the bot-
tom of the door; he rose, and on open-
ing it, to his surprise, he saw the dog,
his late patient, before him, in company
with another dog, who had broken his
leg, and was thus brought by his friend
to be cured in the same manner.
I have heard before now a farmer say,
that he had a horse in his stable who al-
ways, on losing his shoe, went of his own
accord to a farrier’s shop, a mile off;
but I never yet heard of a horse taking
another horse to a farrier for the pur-
pose. In the case of the dogs, there
must have been a communication of
ideas; they must have come to a conclu-
sion before they set out; they must have

of the wound.
A young cat, which sometimes has
the indulgence of taking her place in the
domestic circle upon the carpet before
the fire in the parlour, coming in one
day a few weeks ago, when one of the
party was spinning upon a line wheel,
which she had never seen before, she
seemed extremely alarmed by its appear-
ance and motion, and couched down in
an attitude of fear, and of investigation,
and yet at such a distance as would ad-
mit of a speedy retreat, if it should prove
to be alive and an enemy.—She crept
slowly all round the wheel, with her eyes
steadily fixed upon it, and with a very
singular expression of countenance, which
clearly indicated her consideration ; till
at length, not being able to satisfy herself,
she retreated towards the door, impa-
tiently waiting to make her escape ;
which she did, the moment it was in her
power, with great precipitation.
The next morning when she came into
the room, the wheel then standing still,
she advanced courageously towards it
and after an apparently careful examina-
tion walking all round, ventured upon
the further experiment of endeavouring
to ascertain with her paw, touching it in
various places, whether there was really
any thing to be apprehended from it;
still not finding any motion, our philoso-
pher of the Newtonian school, satisfied
with this complete investigation that she
had nothing to fear, seated herself quietly
by the fire; and the next time she saw
it in motion, sprung gaily forward and
enjoyed her triumph by playing with the
object of her former terror.
The country near the village of St.
Peter, the last in the Valais was now,
says the relator, perfectly wild and bar-
ren, no more green trees being to be
seen, and all verdure lost in a boundless
waste of snow. No sound was to be
heard, but the song of the Alpine Lark,
or at long intervals, the bleating of the
Chamois. But even these tones ceased,
after I had proceeded about half an hour
longer in the snow, nor till I came near
the monastery (of St. Bernard) did any
others succeed, but the awful thunder of
the avalanche, or falls of snow. It is in

reasoned together on the way, discussing the midst of this frightful solitude, that

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travellers are so often overwhelmed beneath these tremendous masses, or benumbed in snow showers; but, through the benevolence of the canons of St. Bernard, assisted by their dogs and sounding poles, they are sometimes rescued from such a state of destruction, and restored again to life. The perpetual sinking in the snow fatigued me so much, that I began to hesitate whether I must not sit down and rest myself; when I heard the great bell of the monastery, which, pouring with a slow and hollow clang through a wild rocky chasm, had an inexpressibly solemn effect; the conviction it afforded me, however, that I was near the end of my toils, instantaneously renewed my strength, and I pushed on eagerly, when I soon beheld the edifice itself high above me, in a deep blue atmosphere, at the edge of a rugged rock. To an eye accustomed to beholding the habitations of man, surrounded by gardens, meadows, rivulets, and groves, the sight of a large and regular pile of building situated in the midst of this wilderness, on a gigantic eminence, with clouds rolling at its foot, and encompassed only by beds of ice and snow, stretching through a boundless labyrinth of rugged vales, and gullies, in mournful immutability, was awfully impressive. In this chilling region, elevated twelve hundred and forty-six fathoms above the level of the sea, the air preserves a never-ceasing winter, and, even at mid-day in the month of August, the thermometer rarely stands above the freezing point. A small lake, which lies on the South side of the monastery, is never wholly thawed; nor does any green sedge or rushes relieve the desart appearance of its borders. I now entered the monastery, and found the canons at breakfast, who received me with undissembled hospitality, and, in the most polite and obliging manner, entreated me to prolong my stay with them, at my own pleasure. In the very rudest seasons, as often as it snows, or the weather is foggy, some of these benevolent persons go forth, with long poles, and guided by their excellent dogs, seek the highway, which these sagacious animals never miss, how difficult soever to find. has sunk beneath the force of the falling

Animal Sagacity.

If, then, the wretched traveller

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snows, or is immersed beneath them, in a benumbing swoon, the dogs never fail finding the place of his interment, which they point out by scratching and snuffling, when the sufferer is dug out, and carried to the monastery, where every possible mean is used for his recovery. Yet, notwithstanding all the care and attention of these worthy ecclesiastics, and their faithful dogs, scarcely a year passes, but, as the snow melts away in summer, the dead bodies of travellers are found ; who, remote from their homes, and all that was dear to them, perished here, unnoticed, and unknown. In this chilling region, where fire-wood is among the first necessaries of life, it must all be brought by mules up a steep and rugged road, which is scarcely passable more than two months in the year.—Spor. M. The following account is from a German Almanac recently published : “One of the predecessors of the dogs who lately perished in the avalanches from the Great St. Bernard, was named Barry.—This intelligent animal served the hospital of that mountain for the space of twelve years, during which time he saved the lives of forty individuals. His zeal was indefatigable. Whenever the mountain was enveloped in fogs and snow, he set out in search of lost travellers. He was accustomed to run barking until he lost breath, and would frequently venture on the most perilous places. When he found his strength was insufficient to draw from the snow a traveller benumbed with cold, he would run back to the hospital in search of the monks. One day this interesting animal found a child in a frozen state, between the bridge of Drouaz, and the ice-house of Balsora : he immediately began to lick him, and having succeeded in restoring animation, by means of his caresses, he induced the child to tie himself round his body. In this way he carried the poor little creature, as if in triumph, to the hospital. When old age deprived him of strength, the prior of the convent pensioned him at Berny, by way of reward. He is now dead, and his hide is stuffed and deposited in the museum of that town. The little phial, in which he carried a reviving liquor for the distressed travellers whom he found among the mountains,is still suspended from his neck. 291]

The Saturday Magazine, Volume 2 (Google Books)



By the kind permission of Mr. LANDse ER, we are enabled this week to present a wood-cut, taken from his very interesting print of the “Alpine Mastiffs,” or Dogs of St. Bernard. One of these sagacious and well-trained animals is represented clearing away the snow from an unfortunate traveller, who has been overtaken by one of the sudden avalanches so common in these mountains; the other, with his loud voice, giving the alarm to the monks at the convent, who are seen hastening with the pious intention of conveying the sufferer to their hospitable shelter, and restoring, if possible, suspended animation. The Hospital, or Convent of St. Bernard, is situated on the elevated ridge which runs between Mont St. Velan to the east, and Point de Dronay to the west, and is computed to be 8200 feet above the level of the sea. It is a massive and substantial building, and contains a small museum of mineralogical specimens and various antiquities found on the site of the Roman temple of Jupiter on this mountain. There are also specimens of a singular sort of ptarmigan, called Herbene. This bird in winter is perfectly white; in spring and summer, black and white mixed; and, in autumn, nearly black : they are found in abundance in the neighbourhood of the convent. The chapel is large and lofty : the congregation consists entirely of peasants, partly Piedmontese and partly Valaisans. The order of Bernardines was properly Augustine, till moulded into its present form by St. Bernard, A.D. 962. He is said to have founded one hundred Vol. II.

and sixty monasteries and convents, and this has survived most of them. The number of monks varies from time to time, but usually consists of twenty or twenty-five, all natives of the countries north of the Alps. They are enjoined to board and lodge all strangers and passengers, at all seasons, and assist them with guides in traversing the mountains, without charge or cost. In winter, their rules command them to send every day, whatever may be the weather, two able and powerful men, called Maroniers, who are accustomed to the mountains, one towards the Italian side, the other towards Valais. These traverse the pass the whole day, attended by one of the great dogs, keeping a path open in the snow, and watching for passengers. If the Maronier meets with any person bewildered or exhausted, or if his sagacious companion indicates by his movements that any unfortunate being is under the snow, he returns with all speed to the Hospital to give the alarm. Several of the monks then instantly set out with restoratives, to be used, if the object of their care is not too far gone. Four carry the body, while the rest go forward to trample the snow, which is often more than twenty feet in depth, and give facility to the advance of their brethren. Cold water, with ice immersed in it, is prepared as the most efficacious remedy, and the body placed in it: if this fails in restoring animation, all hope is at an end. The dogs are of a large, and, it need not be added, 55

a sagacious breed, originally from Spain. The largest of the race, called Jupiter, was in high esteem about four years ago, from the number of lives he had saved, and was considered more than usually saga. cious. In the year 1827, he rescued a woman and child from death under the following circumstances: It appears, he knew some one had passed near the Hospital, and set off alone immediately to follow them. After some time his absence was remarked ; and one of the Maroniers, by pursuing his track, found him posted over the drift where the poor woman and her child were about to perish.

Several of the dogs have been brought to England; one now in the possession of a gentleman in Gloucestershire, has fallen under our observation; his disposition, however, from change of living and want of his accustomed air and exercise, must have been much altered, for he had grown so cowardly, as to run away in terror from the smallest dog. His length from head to tail was above six feet, his size and height in proportion, and his colour a yellowishbrown. He had become heavy and dull, owing to the total change in his habits; but was perfectly good-tempered, and a general favourite.

The monks of St. Bernard are, for the most part, hale, strong men; yet few of them live to an advanced age : this may well be attributed to the personial deprivations and hardships they must suffer. They are simple-minded, and sincerely devoted to the good work in which they are engaged; and they claim our respect for that charity towards their fellowcreatures, which induces them to persevere in a course of patient endurance, and of exertion and difficulty quite sufficient to account for their generally premature old age.

THERE is not a more effectual way to revive the true spirit of Christianity in the world, than seriously to meditate on what we commonly call the four last things: Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell: for it is morally impossible men should live such careless lives, should so wholly devote themselves to this world and the service of their lusts, should either cast off the fear of God and all reverence for his laws, or satisfy themselves with some cold and formal devotions, were they possessed with a warm and constant sense of these things. For what manner of men ought we to be, who know that we must shortly die, and come to judgment, and receive according to what we have done in this world, whether it be good or evil, either eternal rewards in the kingdom of heaven, or eternal punishments with the devil and his angels. SHERLock on Death.

A PRAYER composed by George the Third on the day of o Coronation, found by one of the Princesses in his esk:“KEEP me, O Lord, from silly and unguarded friends, and from secret and designing enemies, and give me those o that are best for me, through Jesus Christ our … tyrol.