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wantonly massacred by a horde of barbarians, somewhere between the years 237 and 451 of the Christian era, for refusing to submit to their embraces. "He must have an iron head," says our high authority, " who will maintain that this sublime old tradition of Cologne does not merit belief"
Be that as it may, the church of St. Ursula exhibits, to this day, in the so-called "Golden Chamber, admission fixed at thirty cents, for the benefit of the church," one hundred and seventy skulls, inclosed in velvet cases, overlaid with silver and precious stones. These are arranged on shelves, and grin ghastly upon the spectator from their richly-decorated cases, which contrast horribly in their mock splendor with the empty eyesockets and high cheek-bones of death. On the head of St. Ursula there is a crown of great value. The attendant monk, as he relates the legend of their death, calls upon the visitor, with great unction, to admire the glossy flaxen hair of the virgin saint, which he is allowed to handle, besides placing his fingers in the cleft skulls of those who came to their deaths by sabre strokes. Most of these skulls bear names, and are thus catalogued:
No. 2.—''TheHeadofSt. Etherius,bridegroom of St. Ursula, with the teeth well preserved.
No. 14.—" Aurelius, King of Sardinia"—and a large number of bishops, dukes, priests, and soldiers, all numbered, in reckless disregard of their unvirginlike association of sex and employment.
No. 23.—" St. Benedicta, Duchess, who led a cohort of the holy legion.
No. 32.—" Florentia, Queen.
No. 36.—" Florentia, a Princess of Negroes.
No. 50.—" A. email silver shrine, containing parts of Christ's rod."—What rod!
Nos. 55 and 57—"The right Arm and Foot of St. Ursula—her hair-net," etc.
No. 6O.—(The naivete of the printed description of this is particularly funny.)—"A Watercruet used at the wedding meal at Cana, brought to Cologne by St. Bruno. An eye-witness, who has been in Cana, assures Ur that there are only five of these water-pots, and that the sixth he has seen in our Golden Chamber is perfectly like the five other pots." Can we wonder at the simplicity of the flocks, when such is the erudition of the shepherds?
Besides these relies there are six hundred and twelve heads, adorned with golden embroidery, in gilded glass chests.
This church is a Golgotha on a large scale The walls inclose a solid mass of bones, symmetrically piled for the space of eighty feet in length by ten in height and two in width, which the monks joyfully point out as confirmatory of their legend. As late as the year 1642, some fourteen hundred years after the martyrdom, the liquid blood of St. Ursula was discovered, as fresh as if just shed; but the monks, probably from fear of another discovery, immediately rcburied it.
It is a dismal church, full of bones, and skulls, and coffins, and all sorts of quaint pictures of monkish legends, and gloomy architecture. When I left it, darkness had overshadowed all, and my shaven and cowled guide was obliged to light & CLindle to pilot me out. As we passed a confessional-box, a woman suddenly arose from her knees, and a priest stepped from that silent witness of the heart's burden of grief and sin, and disappeared in the recesses of the tomb-like church. She had just finished her confession; and, with a rapid step and bowed head, passed rapidly by. But what an hour and what a place to select for penitence and absolution! The grim relies of death above, below, and on all sides. Each step disturbed the ashes and repose of a grave. Night lent additional ghastliness to the scene. A lady was with me. She pressed closely to my side, and drew a long breath of relief as we stepped over the gloomy threshold and found ourselves once more breathing the pure air of heaven.
The most conspicuous object of adoration at Rome is a venerable bronze statue of St. Peter; a sitting figure, s;1 ancient that it is generally asserted to be an old pagan deity, perhaps Jupiter himself, or at all events, some eminent heathen character, a consul or magistrate, but now transformed by modern cunning into the sacred image of the fisherman saint.
This is the particular idol which the Pope loves to venerate in public; consequently all good Catholies follow his example for their souls' sake. The motives of His Holiness possibly are pure and orthodox; but the act itself is idolatry, and as such, becomes not only a license but an example to the multitude. On certain festivals the Pope and high dignitaries go to St. Peter's for this purnose, pressing their lips fervently to the
brazen toe, and then touching the foot with their chins and foreheads in a most devout manner, greatly to the edification of a countless multitude, who, in their zeal of imitation, rush toward it with a fury that threatens to endanger the stability of the statue itself. At all hours worshipers are seen before this image. The rich and poor, the noble and peasant, infancy and age, kneel and pray before it, never leaving without bestowing the adoring kiss, and pressing the forehead against the consecrated heel. So numerous are their embraces, that it has been found necessary to protect the toe by an additional covering from being entirely worn away. For centuries has this idolatrous worship been performed, not only unrebuked, but sanctioned and ordered by the Roman clergy as a means of salvation.
The degree of devotion which this image excites is very various. It would be amusing, were it not mournful, to witness the daily scenes enacted before it. I have seen an old woman, tottering with age, seize the foot in her hands, and kiss the toe twenty times in rapid succession wth all the impetuosity and warmth of a young lover, anil leave with an unmistakable expression of pious joy. Mothers press the unwilling lips of babes to the cold metal; ignorant of its efficacy, they cry and shrink from the embrace. Their older brothers and sisters kneel, and lift their tiny hands toward it, as we arc taught to do when we say, "Our Father who art in heaven." Young girls and fashionable mothers in squads approach, bow, take out their laced handkerchiefs, polish the tor clean, and then apply their lips—some devoutly, and others with a hidden laugh, as if nature repudiated the mockery. Old men prostrate themselves before the silent mass of metal as if it were the tabernacle of the " Most High." There is no mistaking their sincerity. The worship, however mistaken, gives them spiritual satisfaction, doubtless far more acceptable before Heaven than the scoffs and jibes of the cold reasoner, who, seeing no religion in this, denies the existence of a Deity altogether.
The spirit of the age extorts, even from the Roman Church in Italy, some concessions to Protestantism. She does not permit, but she shuts her eyes to the fact, that Protestants in Rome, Naples, Florence, and other capitals gather together on Sundays, in " upper chambers" or in humble chapels—to which bells are forbidden—to worship. These isolated meetings, in which religion is reduced to the standard of apostolic simplicity, cany one back to its early history, when, under the more enlightened pagan emperors, all Christians were tacitly allowed thus to meet for prayer and exhortation. Is it not strange that, after eighteen centuries, upon a nominally Christian soil, the same limited privilege only is conceded to Christians, by the Sovereign Pontiff, the
Christian head of the Church and State, as then was permitted by a Claudius or Titus, sovereigns and pontiffs of universal Heathendom! The Protestants of the first century, in the fourth succeeded to the throne and power. Jupiter was cast aside forever. The Roman Church banished from the earth the grosser crimes and practices of paganism. Mankind owe her much. But she is now in her decrepitude; she is dying out. The worship of St. Peter will be cast aside in its turn as an obsolete idea. On its ruins there will arise a purer faith, which, in presenting to man a " Father in heaven," shall stimulate him to progress in virtue and knowledge.
In the mean lime, Popery is busy, preaching and proselytizing. The ignorant preacher seeks to excite the passions, and not to awaken the understanding of his hearers. The Roman is theatrical even in his church. He does not hesitate to recall the crowd from Punch and Judy to the crucifix by exclaiming, as he points to the bleeding Saviour, "Etco il rcro puleinella!'' "Behold the true Punch!" He knows how to touch the chord of their hearts, for he has mailc them what they are.
One of her writers spoke thus of souls in Purgatory:
"Imagine that the poor soul has Ilia eyes upon you, and looks with anxiety to sec whether you give or refuse. If it perceives that you have your hands in your pocket, it experiences a delight, which augments in proportion as your offering approaches the contribution-box; when the money is held over it, the soul jumps from the flames, and when the gift falls, the soul springs with pleasure. Oh! to procure to those that you love a moment so sweet, to make them taste these delights, if you have not money yourself, borrow of your neighbor, who, if he refuses, will be more culpable than you."
A small sum will buy, at almost any of the churches of Roma, sufficient masses to free a soul from purgatory for from 3000 to 30,000 years; and it needs but more money to extend the time indefinitely. Hell-fire is not, however, to bo bought off. The rich have no difficulty in compounding in this life for any peccadilloes, or doctrines that do not affect the supremacy of the Church. The Pope issues, for a consideration, absolution in full for all past or future sins. The poor would be badly off, were it not that every where friars in sackcloth, or greasy-looking individuals in long whito night-gowns, piously beg through the principal streets—rattling a tin bo t in the ears of the passers-by—alms for the poor in purgatory.
Of all the processions of the Roman Church, the final one, which bears its member to his last home, is the most curious and lugubrious. None but the rich can afford this display. The corps;; is decked in its moat brilliant attire, with its face painted to resemble life, and placed upon an open bier, which is borne through the streets of Rome, followed by as many deputations of friars and monks from the several convents as the family of the deceased can afford to hire. These fall into ranks like so many military companies, bearing crosses and candles, and chanting most dismally at the top of their voices, so that they can bo heard long before they are seen. The effect a( night from the glare of the torches in the face of the corpse, and the monotonous and mournful notes of the hired mourners, is unequaled by any spectacle I have ever seen of this nature, except the funeral corteges of the South Sea Islanders, when a whole tribe lift up their voices and wail for a dead chief. There is no cry equal to that for sadness and filling the soul with melancholy. Among the savages every act is consonant with the sad office. The tears fall to earth, but the wail rises to heaven. In Rome, the mingling of the vanities of life with the realities of death is shocking. I have seen a young female, on an open bier, hor cheeks blooming with color, flowers on her head, while she was dressed as it were for a ball, and looking as fresh and rosy as if life still animated her rigid limbs, borne through the streets at night, the torches lighting up with a ghastly hue her beautiful countenance, which seemed as if it only slumbered, while the rain poured in torrents on her lifeless form. The wetted priests had ceased their chant, and hurried along at a rapid pace to finish their job. Few
strangers would have supposed it a luneral, and fewer still that that lovely corpse was not a waxen image. But it was unmistakable death on one of its saddest errands.
THE scenes described in the conclusion of the last chapter occurred in the evening of the 6th of April. The next morning, at sunrise, Gaulaincourt again set out for Paris, with the unconditional abdication. In the course of the day the important document was presented to the council of the Allies. The entire overthrow of one whose renown had so filled the world moved their sympathies. The march of their troops upon Fontainebleau was suspended, and an anxious conference was held, to determine what should be done with the fallen Emperor and his family.
The Bourbon partisans were anxious that he should be sent as far as possible from France, and mentioned St. Helena. Others spoke of Corfu and of Corsica. Elba was mentioned, and its fine climate highly eulogized. Caulaincourt immediately seized upon this nnening, and U'tt! the .iu-,t(ion of Elba. Tlic Uourbonists wcie alarmed. They well knew tnc love of the people of France for Napoleon, and trembled at the thought of having him so near. Earnestly they objected.
Alexander, however, generously came to the support of Caulaincourt. After an animated debate, his influence prevailed, and it was decided that the principality of the island of Elba should be conceded to the Emperor Napoleon, to enjoy for life, with the title of sovereignty and proprietorship.
Napoleon, finding that the Allies were not disposed to treat with him, but were simply deciding his fate, according to their good pleasure, was stung to the quick. He immediately dispatched a courier to Caulaincourt, with the order, " Bring mo back my abdication. I am conquered. I yield to the fortune of arms. A simplo cartel will be sufficient."
In the evening he dispatched another letter, saying, "Why do you speak to me of the conventions of a treaty? I want none. Since they will not treat with me, and only employ themselves about the disposal of my person, to what purpose is a treaty? This diplomatic negotiation dipleases me. Let it cease."
At five o'clock the next morning Caulaincourt was awakened by another courier. He brought the following message: "I order you to bring back my abdication. I will sign no treaty. And in all cases I forbid you to make any stipulations for money. That is disgusting."
In twenty-four hours Caulaincourt received seven couriers. He was utterly bewildered. He had given in the abdication. The Allies were drawing up the terms of the settlement, which were to be presented to Napoleon for his acceptance. The power was entirely in their hands. Caulaincourt, whose solicitude amounted to an