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watchful and an anxious glance; then, as if the very sight of it renewed all the horrors of his mind, turned shudderingly away, covered his eyes with his hands, and after a while sank again into his former sullenness and melancholy. When I entered the room, he did uot at first perceive me ; but as I drew near to him and was about to address him, he started up, then threw himself in agony across the chest, turned upon me a frantic and furious glance, which gave an almost demoniacal expression to his features, and in a foreign toned, harsh and agitated voice, he cried, while he convulsively grasped the box,~“No, no, no! you shall not search it, nor tear it from me but with my life, and you cannot force me to accuse myself :-Saint Ignacio, no! the Inquisition themselves would not condemn me for the deed !"
“My unhappy brother,” said I, “ console yourself, and believe that both you and your possessions, whatever they be, are in perfect safety in the dwelling of Cephas Godwin, a minister of the Protestant church, as you have already seen. It is true, I am called upon by my sacred office, to denounce the vengeance of heaven against sinners, but then it is against such only as treat its gospels and its commands alike with scorn :—such as have neither fear, nor belief, nor repentance, nor even the human feelings of remorse. Now I can well trust that some of these are in your bosom, and it shall be my care to fill it with all the purer and better sensations, which even angels delight to witness." Aye,” replied the stranger hastily, with a sarcastic and hollow laugh, “but then you will say that I must first confess, that my inward sins must first be probed,--that I must be put to open penance in this world, in order to avoid the more dreadful condemnation of the next!-Oh! no, no!-death rather than that :-Santo Jeronymo ! how could I tell of ?"
“Not so," returned I, “our church does not enjoin auricular confession; it recommends only that if one have committed a deadly crime, which lays so heavily npon his soul that it would reliere him to relate it, or if he have greatly injured any fellow creature, to whom he may yet make atonement by speaking of his sins,—then does it command its Ministers to receive such declarations with sympathy, pity, secrecy, and absolution ; to endeavour earnestly to right the wrong, and to set the unburthened Christian traveller, leaping with joy, on his road homeward.”
(To be continued.)
This month was under the protection of Vesta. The flatterers of the detestable Commodus gave it the name of Amazonius, in compliment to a mistress of the emperor, whom he had caused to be painted in the dress of an Amazon. But this name was abolished after his death. This month was almost entirely devoted to sports and pleasure, and, during its continuance, games of chance, which were forbidden at other times, were allowed to be played.
Romulus gave thirty days to this inonth, which Numa reduced to twenty-nine ; but the number was increased to thirty-one, by Julius Cæsar.
The Festum Fortunæ Muliebris or festival of female fortune, was celebrated on the first of the month, in memory of a war having ceased on that day. Sacrifices were offered, on the fourth to Minerva and Neptune. The Faunalia took place on the following day. This feast was devoted to Faunus, to whom a he goat was sacrificed, and libations of wine were made. This feast was a day of feasting, merriment and dancing for the peasants. Offerings were made on the ninth, to Juno, as presiding over marriage. Under this character, she had an altar in one of the streets of Rome. The festival of the Agonalia was held for the third time in the year, on the eleventh. On the thirteenth there were equestriane xercises.
The Saturnalia began on the fifteenth, and lasted for seven days. It was a time of unlimited freedom and gaiety. All business was postponed, and nothing was thought of but pleasure. The senate suspended its debates, the law proceedings paused, the schools were closed, and even the slaves had the liherty of acting and speaking in whatever manner they pleased. During this festival, sacrifices were offered to Saturn, with the head uncovered, contrary to the usual practice. The statue of the god was also freed from the woollen bands with which it was enveloped all the rest of the year, probably, in memory of the captivity to which he had been reduced by the Titans and Jupiter.
The original establishment of this festival is a matter of dispute. Livy places it under the consulship of Ancus Sempronicus and M. Minutias Augurinus. Some attribute it to Tarquin the Proud, while others carry it as far back as to the period of Janus king of the Aborigines, who received Saturn in Italy. After the reign of Tarquin, the celebration of it was discontinued, but was resumed by the authority of the Senate, during the second Punic war.
Connected with this festival, and forming indeed a part of it, were four others, the Opalia, the Sigillaria, the Larentalia, and the Juvenalia. The Opalia was in honor of the goddness Ops or Cybele, and was held on the eighteenth. The Sigillaria occurred on the nineteenth, and was so called from the presents which persons made to each other, ani! which consisted of little figures of copper, silver, gold, or even of clay. Statues of this kind were offered to Pluto on this occasion, and tapers to Saturn. The Larentalia, was on the twenty-third, and was in memory
of Acca Laurentia, the wife of Faustulus, by whom Romulus and Remus were brought up. The Juvenalia was added by Caligula, and was held on the twenty-fourth.
In the interval between the commencement and conclusion of the Saturnalia there were also two other festivals. The first of these was the Angeronalia : it fell on the twentieth, and was dedicated to Angerona, the goddess of silence and calmness of mind ; and the second was the Lararia, or Compitalia, devoted to the Gods Lares, which happened on the twenty-second. On this latter day, offerings of honied wine were also made to Hercules and Venns. Sacrifices were offered to Phobus, on the twenty-seventh and two subsequent days. In this month, likewise, the husbandmen held a festival callcd Vacunalla, in which the goddness Vacuna was invoked.
The Sun during this month is in the signs Sagittarius, and Capricorn.
VAULTS OF ST. MICHAN'S, DUBLIN.
It is not generally known that the metropolis of Ireland contains a very sigular subierraneous curiosity-a burial-place, which, from the chemical properties of the soil, acts with a certain embalming influence upon the bodies deposited within it. I speak of the Vaults beneath St. Michan's Church ; a scene where those who have the firmness to go down and look death in the face, will find a more instructive commentary upon the doctrines of moral humiliation than those periodically preached above.
You descend by a few steps into a long narrow passage that runs across the site of the Church ; upon each side there are excavated ample recesses, in which the dead are laid. There is nothing offensive in the atmosphere to deter you from entering. The first thing that strikes you is, to find that decay has been more busy with the tenement than the tenant. In some instances the coffins have altogether disappeared ; in others the lids or sides have mouldered away, exposing the remains within, still unsubdued by death from their original form. But the great conqueror of flesh and blood, and of human pride, is not to be baffled with impunity-Even his mercy is dreadful, It is a poor privilege to be permitted to hold together for a century or so, until your coffin tumbles in about your eers and then to re-appear, half skeleton, half mummy, exposed to the gazes of a generation that can know nothing of your name and character beyond the prosing tradition of some moralizing sexton.-Among these remnants of humanity, for instance, there is the body of a pious gentlewoman, who, while she continued above ground, shunned the eyes of men in the recesses of a convent. But the veil of death has not been respected. She stands first on the sexton's list of posthumous rarities, and is one of the most valuable appendages of his office. She is his buried treasure. Her sapless cheeks yield him a larger cent than some acres of arable land, and what is still worse, she cannot now repel his imputations, he calls her to her face, the “ Old Nun.” In point of fact, I understood that her age was one hundred and eleven years, not including the forty years that have elapsed since her second burial in St. Michan's.
Death, it has been often observed, is a thorough radical, and levels all distinctions. It is so in this place. Beside the nun there sleeps--not a venerable abbess, nor timid novice, nor meek and holy friar, but an atheletic young felon of the seventeenth century, who had shed a brother's blood, and was sentenced for the offence to the close custody of St. Michan's vaults. This was about one hundred and thirty years ago. The offender belonged to a family of consideration, which accounts for his being found in such very respectable society.
The preservative quality of the vaults is various in its operation upon subjects of different ages and constitutions. With regard to the latter, however, it dose not appear that persons who had been temperate livers enjoy any peculiar advantages. The departed toper resists decay as sturdily as the ascetic; supplying Captain Morris with another “reason fair, to fill his glass again.'
But it is ascertained that children are decomposed almost as rapidly here as elsewhere. Of this, a touching illustration occurs in the case of a female who died in child-birth, about a century ago, and was deposited in St. Michan's. Her infant was laid in her arms. The mother is still tolerably perfect; exemplifying by her attitude, the parental “ passion strong in death ;” but the child has long since melted away from her embrace. I inquired her name, and was rather mortified to find that it had not been preserved.
But I was chiefly affected by the relics of two persons of whom the world has unfortunately heard too much ; the ill-fated brothers John and Henry Sheares. I had been told that they were here, and the moment the light of the taper fell upon the spot they occupied, I quickly recognized them, by one or two circumstances that forcibly recalled the close of their career-the headless trunks, and the remains of the coarse, unadorned, penal shells, to which it seemed necessary to public justice that they
should be consigned. Henry's head was lying by his brother's side-John's had not been completely detached by the blow of the executioner; one ligament of the neck still connected it with the body. I knew nothing of these victims of ill-timed enthusiasm except from historical reports; but the companion of my visit to their grave had been their contemporary and friend, and he paid their memories the tribute of a few tears! he lingered long beside them, and seemed to find a sad gratification in relating several particulars connected with their fates. Many of the anecdotes he mentioned have been already published. Two or three which interested me I had not heard before. “ It was not to be expected," he said, “ that such a man as John Sheares could have escaped the destiny that befel him-his doom was fixed several years before his death. His passion for liberty, as he conceived it, was incurable ; but it was not consecrated by its association with another passion to which every thing seemed justifiable. You have heard, I doubt not, of the once celebrated Mademoiselle Therouane. John Sheares was in Paris at the commencement of the revolution, and was introduced to her. She was an extraordinary creature ; wild, imperious, and, fantastic in her patriotic paroxysms ; but in her natural intervals, a beautiful and fascinating woman. He became deeply enamoured of her, and not the less so for the political enthusiasm that would have repelled another. I have heard that he assisted, in the uniform of the national guard, at the storming of the Bastile, and that he encountered the peril as a means of recommending himself to the object of his admiration. She returned that sentiment, but she would not listen to his suit. When he tendered a proposal of marriage, she produced a pistol, and threatened to lay him dead if he renewed the subject. This I had from himself. But her rigour did not extinguish his passion, He returned to Ireland full of her image, and I suspect, not without a hope that the success of the fatal enterprise in which he embarked might procure him, at a future day, a more favourable hearing ; but of this and all his other hopes, you see (pointing to his remains) the lamentable issue." I asked whether his mistress had heard of his fate, and how she bore it. My friend replied, " when I was at Paris, during the short peace at Amiens, I asked the same question, but I met with no one who had personally known her. She was then living in a condition, however, to which death would have been preferable. She was in a miserable state of insanity, and confined in a public institution. John Shears," he continued, “ flung himself into the revolutionary cause from principle and temperament; but Henry wanted the energy of a conspirator: of this he was forewarned by an accident that I know to have occurred. Shortly after he had taken the oath of an United Irishman (it was towards the close of the year 1797), he was present at the election for the city of Dublin : a riot took place at