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had it; but, as being unprejudiced between barons of the middle ages, and bulls of any age, we hope honours were divided. Our dear old friend, our “pastor and master,” Muratori, pauses and ponders, and makes moral reflections on the folly of these bull-fighting barons. “If indeed,” he says, “there was such a lot of noblemen killed on this occasion, I will leave it for others to decide what must have been the wisdom of the middle ages " He next opines that the ancient Romans were much wiser to get these things done by proxy; i.e. by means of hired or forced gladiators.--Antiquitates Italicoe, tom. ii.
IN 1806, on the approach of the French, the Bourbon court of Naples made so hasty a retreat into Sicily that they forgot, and left behind them, a superannuated princess of the family, who was half-sister to old King Ferdinand. Though this venerable spinster was of illegitimate birth, she received the honours paid to the royal blood, and was allowed a sentinel of the household troops, who mounted guard at her door, and presented arms at all her exits and her entrances. At first it was feared that the French conquerors, who were not always liberal in these matters, would stop her allowance, and leave the old woman in absolute want. The new King of Naples, Joseph Bonaparte, however, secured her in part of her pensions; but no sooner was she relieved from the fear of starvation, than she was made wretched by what appeared to her an
equal calamity, and this was the refusal on the part of the French to allow her a soldier as a guard of honour. She petitioned over and over again; she supplicated that this distinction and delight of her life should not, towards its close, be withdrawn from her ; but Napoleon, who had declared in his lordly manner that the Bourbons had everywhere ceased to reign, was not likely to pay royal honours to a neglected off-shoot of that race. The old woman's heart was absolutely breaking under this privation, when, in a lucky moment, one of the few friends or attendants who remained about her person, thought of substituting a wooden soldier for a soldier of real flesh and blood. Accordingly, a figure was made and dressed up, and, with a musket on its shoulder, was posted at the outer door of the princess's apartment, in an old house she occupied at Portici, not far from the royal villa of that name. This simple contrivance had a happy effect on the old woman, who then thought that all royalty had not departed from her; but she soon began to complain that the statue did not present arms to her, which, by a very easy exercise of mechanical ingenuity, it might have been made to do. She therefore, after a time, confined herself to her apartments, enjoying at a distance, through unfolded doors, the sight of her mute sentinel, but never exposing herself to the mortifying proofs that he was motionless as well as mute. The recluse died before the restoration of the Bourbons of Naples. In 1816 her wooden sentinel was still to be seen at the old house at Portici.
XLVI. A FEW MIRACLES OF THE DARK AGES.
AFTER the death of Charles Martel, when his son Pepin had ascended the throne, the clergy began to exclaim loudly against the spoliation of the Church committed by the former. In the letter which, in 858, the bishops addressed to Louis le Germanique, they give the following account of the matter.
“Saint Euchère, bishop of Orleans, who now reposes in the monastery of Saint Trudon, being at his orisons, was carried off into life eternal; and there, among other things which the Lord showed him, he saw Prince Charles delivered to the torments of the damned in the lowest regions of hell. Saint Euchère inquiring of the angel his guide what was the cause of it, the angel replied that it was by the judgment of the saints whose property he had plundered, and who, at the day of the last judgment, will sit with God to judge men. In the mean time, till the coming of that day, the body and soul of Charles are beforehand * a prey to eternal punishment; and he is punished, not only for his own sins, but also for the sins of all those who had given their goods for the necessities of the servants of Christ and the poor, in order to redeem their souls. Saint Euchère, having come to himself, sent for Saint Boniface, and for Fulrad, abbot of Saint Denis and first chaplain of King Pepin, related these things to them, and told them to go and visit the sepulchre of Charles, in order that, if they did not find his body there, they might believe in the truth of his story. These latter, going to the said monastery of St. Denis, where Charles had been buried, caused his sepulchre to be opened; and behold ! suddenly they saw a dragon come out of it, and the tomb was found all blackened within, as if it had been consumed. We have ourselves seen such of the witnesses of that spectacle as lived to our time, and they attested to us with their own mouth what they had seen and heard. Pepin, son of Charles, being informed of the above, convoked the synod at Septines, where a legate of the holy see, named George, presided with St. Boniface . . . . ; and there he caused to be restored to the churches all that he could recover of the church property which his father had usurped. And as he could not restore the whole, by reason of the war which he then sustained against Waifer, prince of Aquitaine, he asked the bishops to grant the said property under the title of precaria, ordering that the quit-rent of it should be paid with exactness to the churches, as is prescribed in the book of the capitularies of the kings, till the time when the property itself could return to them.””
* There is a coincidence here, worth remarking, between the catholic and heathen notions of infernal punishment and justice. Charles is punished before trial. This, at least according to Virgil, appears to have been the practice of Rhadamanthus, chief-justice of the Greek and Roman place of torment:
“Castigatoue auditolue dolos, subigitaue fateri,”
or, as Sir Edward Coke has translated it, “First he punisheth, and then he heareth,” &c.
XLVII. A FEW MODERN FANATICS.
It is a curious fact, not generally known, that a Jewish tradition, holding out the expectation of a millennium was current before the Christian era, and ascribed by the ancient Rabbins to the prophet Elijah. The duration of the present state of affairs in “this working-day world” was limited by these sagacious calculators to a period of six thousand years. A sabbatical millennium was then to commence; which, hallowed by the personal sovereignty of the Messiah, was to be distinguished by undisturbed peace and universal happiness. Alas! how lamentably voluminous have in all ages been the annals of superstitious credulity. Of this never-dying quality, a large proportion seems inherently to belong to the intellectual conformation of man. By this all-pervading principle, human nature, amidst the varying phases of civilisation, has ever been mainly influenced. From the equator to the poles, credulity, with a ravenous hunger, “ that grows by what it feeds on,” has unceasingly required, and still continues to demand, new supplies of the supernatural and the marvellous.
From the mental ferment excited by the French Revolution sprung a succession of individuals, apparently selfdeluded, who, under the assumption of Divine inspiration, produced a deep impression upon the middle and lower classes by their startling predictions. This was not difficult to accomplish, inasmuch as their enthusiastic ardour had been previously directed into a religious channel by the “awakening” exhortations of Whitfield, Wesley, and their numerous and much more fanatical disciples.