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N O T E S.
Though it is impossible that Mr. Southey can omit to take notice of the strange charge which his antagonist makes against him, respecting a passage of Paulus Emilius Veronensis, Mr. Butler's hallucination is so extraordinary on this point, that I must expose it as a general caution to my readers. The passage relates to some deputies of the city of Palermo, who came to implore the Pope's mercy in behalf of their fellow-citizens. I will copy both the Latin words and the translation of them from Mr. B.'s Book of the R. C. Church, pp. 131 and 132, first edition. “Cum apud Pontificem de hac consternatione ageretur, a Panormitanis missos ad eum oratores, viros sanctos, qui ad pedes illius strati, veluT pro ará hostiáque, CHRISTUM AgNUM DEI SALUTANTEs, illa ETIAM exaltaris mysteriis verba supplices effarentur—“Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nostri:-Qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nostri:—Qui tollis peccata mundi, dona nobis pacem.’ Pontificem respondisse, Panormitanos agere quod fecissent, qui, cum Christum pulsarent, eundem regem Judaeorum salutabant, re hostes, fando salvere jubentes.” Mr. Butler thus translates the passage:– “The city of Palermo having grievously offended the Pope sent some holy men to him as ambassadors, who prostrated themselves at his feet, AND SALUTED CHRIST THE LAMB of God, as before an altar and the blessed sacrament, and suppliantly pronounced the mystic words of the altar, “Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us! Who takest away the sins of the world, give us peace P The Pope replied by telling them, that they acted like those who, after they had struck Christ, saluted him King of the Jews; that in reality they were his enemies, although in these words they wished him health.” This translation makes the transaction quite unintelligible. The ambassadors saluted CHRIST, and yet the Pope, taking the salutation to himself, accuses them of being his enemies in reality, though in the words they had used they wished him health. The fact is, that a school-boy that can construe the Selecta è Profanis would be able to clear the difficulty at once. Had Mr. Butler taken notice of the vBLUT, which qualifies the whole of the next sentence, and the ETIAM, which applies to the words taken from the Mass, he would have perceived his mistake. But he drew the attention of the readers to the Christum Agnum Dei salutantes by means of a larger type, for fear of their stumbling on those two little words. Let, now, the public judge if the natural translation of the words be not as follows:—“Who being prostrate at his feet, as IF they were saluting Christ the Lamb of God before the ara and the host, used EvKN those words from the mysteries of the altar, (i.e. the Mass), Agnus Dei,” &c. This translation ought to have been evident to a Roman Catholic, well acquainted with the ceremony to which the writer alludes. The priest, Mr. B. well knows, bending upon the ara, or consecrated slab of marble, which lies in the centre of the altar, and looking on the consecrated host, smites his breast three times, using these very words, Agnus Dei, &c.,
and concluding with dona nobis pacem. Nothing, therefore, can be clearer, than that when the ambassadors used these words at the Pope's feet, they wished to address them to the Pope himself, of whom they came to ask peace. Mr. B. asserts that the Pope resiled from the address. Why? If the words were directed to Christ, what fault could he find in them? He resiled, because he believed the ambassadors to be insincere in their professions towards him. r ... " The whole mistake is so unaccountable, and the writer, by copying the original words, has made it so palpable, that it seems to stand in the book of the R. C. Church to warn the readers of the strong bias under which the author labours.
Since writing the preceding note, it has cost me no small trouble to find the passage quoted by Mr. Butler. If that gentleman took it from the original, he should have mentioned the edition. In that of Basle, 1601, the words in question are found at page 233: Mr. B. refers to page 328. I might have spared myself the trouble of a long and tedious search, but for a strong suspicion, grounded upon several instances of Mr. Butler's inaccuracy of quotation, that in his transcript of Paulus AFmilius's words there was an additional comma, just in the place where it may throw some ambiguity on the sense. And so I have found it. The original has qui ad pedes illius strati, velut pro ará hostiáque Christum Agnum Dei salutantes ; evidently connecting the whole sentence with the particle of comparison velut. Mr. Butler, however, places a comma after hostiaque. It fortunately happens, however, that the rest of the passage betrays the
original reading. I must add one word more to obviate a pos
power over the chaste spouse of Jesus Christ, canonized by the church. If imagination prevailed, it is true she was not a hypocrite, but a fool. I shudder at the thought of so impious, so groundless an imputation. Who can believe that these saints lived in a perpetual aberration of mind? I say perpetual, for we are not here treating of transient acts, which lasted a few hours or days, or even during certain periods of life, but the duration of which is measured by the whole extent of their existence".” I know this argument to be unanswerable upon the principles of a sincere Roman Catholic; and cannot but feel pained to see that it must have weight with millions of Britons. Such is the genuine work of Rome among the most thinking people of Europe Strange that a set of Italian priests should have it in their power thus to emasculate understandings, which claim kindred with Locke, Napier, and Berkeley. Nor is their power less effectual in rendering
Christian devotion in these kingdoms as childish,
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