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Mr. Constance. It was: and Mr. Eustace, the traveller, who had seen it in its original splendour, laments, in 1802, that " the wind roared through the unglazed windows, and murmured round the vaults; the rain dropt from the roof, and deluged the pavement; the royal dead had been torn from the depositories of departed greatness; the bones of heroes had been made the playthings of children, and the dust of monarchs had been scattered to the wind." Buonaparte, however, again restored it; and it is now considered a church of considerable grandeur. But we are devoting that time to the notice of the honours paid to a saint of doubtful memory, which we should employ in speaking of the next remarkable day: what is it, William?
William. A day of little note, Sir; and as it has already been explained why the bodies of saints were removed or translated from their original graves, it will be unnecessary for me, in calling your attention to the festival of the 13th (styled Translation of King Edward the Confessor), again to notice the cause of such removals. Of one Edward, called the Martyr, you have before heard. But there were three kings of that name who reigned before the conquest of William: the first called the Elder, the second the Martyr, and the third the Confessor. You - know on what slight grounds the term martyr is applied to the second Edward; merely from the supposition of miracles having been worked at his tomb. The appellation of confessor to the one of whom I am now about to speak, was, I believe, given by the Pope of Rome, for settling what was then called Rome-Scot, now better known by the name of Peter's Pence; a kind of tax or tribute paid by this country to the Romish see, until the time of the Reformation.
Mr. Constance. That was not alone the cause, for it is said that this Edward also worked miracles; some of which are described as being wonderful in the extreme: even his vestments were reputed holy. ' He was canonized by Alexander III. in 1265, upwards of two centuries after his decease. But the chief act of his life, and for which we must hold his name in grateful remembrance, was the incorporating into one code, the whole of the laws established by his predecessors, whether Danes, Mercians, or Saxons; and which now form what is termed the Common Laws of this realm. His miracles, whether true or false, are of little consequence to us; but this act has secured to him the remembrance of all Englishmen. His crown, chair, staff, &c. aro preserved, and still used at the coronation of our kings.
Mrs. Constance. But why was Edward canonized as a saint? Was it out of compliment to his kingly office?
Ma. Constance. Rather, I should think, from the great attention he is known to have paid to ecclesiastical affairs. In his time he bestowed much money on the church. Among other acts he caused an old edifice to be razed in Westminster, for the purpose of building a larger and more beautiful structure. In this church he was buried ; and his shrine was afterwards honoured with offerings from the next Edward, William the Conqueror, and Henry II. The third Henry, when he erected the present abbey, also built a superb shrine to the memory of Edward.
William. The next day, the 17th, you may observe, is in honour of St. Etheldrida, a princess of distinguished piety, daughter of Annas, king of the East-Angles. She was born about the year 630, at Ixning, a small village in Suffolk; but as nothing more is related concerning her, than that she was admired for chastity and an ardent devotion to religion, we will pass to the consideration of the festival in honour of St. Luke.
Mr. Constance. Before doing so, William, you must allow me to state, that you have not done the lady Etheldrida justice.
Angelina. That, I am afraid, is a fault which William is too apt to commit. He certainly is wanting in gallantry to the saints of our sex. In proof of it, I need only recur to the off-hand manner in which he, a few minutes ago, stated the qualities of the lady St. Faith.
Maria. Perhaps he thinks there are no saints amongst us.
William. Indeed I do not: you have too frequently shown yourselves the warm advocates of a good cause, to warrant me in supposing that your sex is incapable of saint like conduct. I am sure I am very sorry if I have not shown a proper respect to the lady Etheldrida, but I really have stated all I remember to have read about her.
Mr. Constance. Indeed! have you then forgotthat she built an abbey at Ely, in the year 673, together with a conventical church adjoining it; and also that it flourished for two hundred years, the monks and nuns living in society and regular order 1
Angelina. O, yes; he forgot all that.
William. Indeed I had: but I remember, now it is stated of her, that when tired of the vanities of this lw, she did retire to religious seclusion, and was considered by the monks as an amiable example of virtuous continence. But there is one little circumstance connected with this lady's name which has just occurred to me. It is said that she is better known in the Isle of Ely by the name oi St. Audry; and at a fair held at that place, much ordinary but showy lace was usually sold to the country lasses, and St. Audry's lace became proverbial; from that cause the word tawdry, a corruption of St. Audry, has since been adopted, to denote any thing gaudy in appearance.
Maria. That is certainly nothing complimentary to
our saint. I suppose that is one reason why you remembered it.
Mrs. Constance. But now, my dears, your serious attention is required to the history of St. 'Luke, the last of the Evangelists of whom we have to hear, and whose memory is commemorated by our church on the 18th of this month. He was warmly attached to St. Paul, who has styled him his " beloved physician." Pray say where he was born, William.
William. At Antioch, Ma'am; the metropolis of Syria, a place renowned for its schools, and its encouragement of the liberal arts. Of his education, profession, or mode of living, little is stated; yet it is generally supposed that he was well instructed; as, indeed, is evident from his own Gospel, which he compiled under the immediate inspection of St. Paul, in the year 63; as also from tha Acts of the Apostles, written two years afterwards, and which are considered fine specimens of chaste and elegant composition.
Mrs. Constance. Some writers have accounted for the purity and correctness of St. Luke's writings, from the intercourse he is said to have had, as a physician, with a noble Roman family, named Lucilii. And, also, that as it is well known the profession of physic was practised, in these times, by slaves, it is therefore inferred that St Luke was of mean origin; but this is not a decided point, and there is a tradition that he was a painter.
William. The apostles; Luke and Paul, appear to have been almost constant companions: they travelled together, wrote together, and when Paul was suffering in prison at Rome, Luke was the only friend who remained with him. The manner and time of his death axe disputed, though the prevailing opinion is, that he suffered martyrdom in the year 74, being seized by a party of M2
infidels, and hung upon the branch of an olive-tree, in his eighty-fourth year.
Angelina. I have often admired the thoughtful and contemplative attitude of St. Luke, as represented in the pictures of him; but have been at a loss to conceive why a winged ox always accompanies his likeness. Can you explain it?
Ma. Constance. The ox is an emblem of contemplation: it is supposed to be ruminating; that is, chewing the cud, and if you have ever remarked the patient ox at such a time, you must have been struck with its apparently thoughtful cast of countenance. It is therefore a suitable accompaniment to the pen and scroll, represented in the picture, typical of St. Luke being the author of that Digest, the Acts of his brother Apostles. It has been remarked by William, that history affords few particulars of the private life of this apostle; we are therefore left to draw our estimate of his character from the tone of his writings ; the chief characteristic of which appears to be meekness. The Gospel is said to have been composed during his friend Paul's imprisonment at Rome; and although his other production is termed the Acts of the Apostles, yet it chiefly relates to the individual labours of St. Paul. Do you know, William, at what period his festival was first instituted?
William. In the year 1130. But I shall now notice, and that very shortly, the history of St. Crispin, whose day is the 25th of this month. You have no doubt all heard of him as being the tutelar saint of shoemakers. It appears that there were two brothers, Crispinus and Cnspianus: they were born at Rome, from whence they travelled to Soissons in France, about the year 303, to propagate the Christian religion. Being desirous, however, of rendering themselves independent of their friends, they