Imatges de pàgina
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Still another indication of the approach It is on this day, too, that the customof Holy Week is the Easter egg, which ary Jew is converted, recants, and is now makes its appearance, and warns us baptized; and there are not wanting evil of the solemnities to come. Sometimes tongues which declare that there is a it is stained yellow, purple, red, green, wonderful similarity in his physiognomy or striped with various colors ; some- every year. However this may be, there times it is crowned with paste-work, rep- is no doubt that some one is annually resenting, in a most primitive way, a dug out of the Ghetto, which is the pit hen, - her body being the egg, and her of Judaism here in Rome; and if he fall pastry-head adorned with a dispropor- back again, after receiving the temporal tionately tall feather. These eggs are reward, and without waiting for the spirexposed for sale at the corners of the itual, he probably finds it worth his while streets and bought by everybody, and ev- to do so, in view of the zeal of the Church, ery sort of ingenious device is resorted to, and in remembrance of the fifteenth verse to attract customers and render them at

of the twenty-third chapter of Matthew, tractive. This custom is probably derived if he ever reads that portion of the Bible. from the East, where the egg is the sym- It is in the great basaltic vase in the bapbol of the primitive state of the world and tistery of St. John Lateran, the same in of the creation of things. The new year which Rienzi bathed in 1347, before reformerly began at the spring equinox, at ceiving the insignia of knighthood, that about Easter; and at that period of the the converted Jew, and any other infidel renewal of Nature, a festival was cele- who can be brought over, receives his brated in the new moon of the month baptism when he is taken into the arms Phamenoth, in honor of Osiris, when of the Church. painted and gilded eggs were exchanged It is at this season, too, that the pizzias presents, in reference to the beginning carolo shops are gayly dressed in the of all things. The transference of the

manner so graphically described by Hans commencement of the year to January Andersen in his “ Improvvisatore.” No deprived the Paschal egg of its signifi- wonder, that, to little Antonio, the intecance. Formerly in France, and still in

rior of one of these shops looked like a Russia as in Italy, it had a religious sig- realization of Paradise ; for they are realnificance, and was never distributed until ly splendid ; and when glittering with it had received a solemn benediction. On candles and lamps at night, the effect is Good Friday, a priest, with his robes and

very striking. Great sides of bacon and an attendant, may be seen going into ev- lard are ranged endwise in regular bars ery door in the street to bless the house, all around the interior, and adorned with the inhabitants, and the eggs. The laststripes of various colors, mixed with goldcolored and arranged according to the en spangles and flashing tinsel; while over taste of the individual, are spread upon and under them, in reticulated work, are a table, which is decorated with box, piled scores upon scores of brown cheesflowers, and whatever ornamental dish

es, in the form of pyramids, columns, es the family possesses. The priest is re- towers, with eggs set into their intersticeived with bows at the door, and when ces. From the ceiling, and all around the the benediction is over he is rewarded

doorway, hang wreaths and necklaces of with the gratuity of a paul or a scudo, according to the piety and purse of the have particularly observed it in Siena,) for the proprietor; while into the basket of his priest, at Easter, to affix to the door of the attendant is always dropped a pagnotta,

chief palazzi and villas a waxen cross, or the a couple of eggs, a baiocco, or some such

letter M in wax, so as to guard the house from trifle. *

evil spirits. But only the houses of the rich

are thus protected; for the priests bestow fa* Beside the blessing of the eggs and house, vors only " for a consideration," which the it is the custom in some parts of Italy, (and I poor cannot so easily give.

sausages, or groups of the long gourd- any public newspaper or journal, or other like cacio di cavallo, twined about with accurate means of information. So exbox, or netted wire baskets filled with crybody asks everybody, and everybody Easter eggs, or great bunches of white tells everybody, until nobody knows anycandles gathered together at the wicks. thing, and everything is guesswork. But, Seen through these, at the bottom of the nevertheless, despite impatient words, and shop, is a picture of the Madonna, with muttered curses, and all kinds of awk. scores of candles burning about it, and ward mistakes, the battle goes bravely on. gleaming upon the tinsel hangings and There is terrible fighting at the door of spangles with which it is decorated. Un- the Sistine Chapel, to hear the Miserere, derneath this, there is often represented which is sure to be Baini's when it is said an elaborate presepio,-or, when this is to be Allegri’s, as well as at the railing not the case, the animals may be seen of the Chapel, where the washing of the mounted here and there on the cheeses. feet takes place, and at the supper-table, Candelabra of eggs, curiously bound to- where twelve country-boors represent the gether, so as to resemble bunches of Apostolic company, and are waited on by gigantic white grapes, swung from the the Pope, in a way that shows how great centre of the ceiling, and cups of colored a sham the whole thing is. The air is glass, with a taper in them, or red paper close to suffocation in this last place. lanterns, and terra-cotta lamps, of the an- Men and women faint and are carried tique form, show here and there their lit- out. Some fall and are trodden down. tle flames among the flitches of bacon and Sometimes, as at the table this year, some cheeses ; while, in the midst of all this unfortunate pays for her curiosity with splendor, the figure of the pizzicarolo her life. It is “ Devil take the hindmost !" moves to and fro, like a high-priest at a and if any one is down, he is leaped over ceremony. Nor is this illumination ex- by men and women indiscriminately, for clusive. The doors, often of the full there is no time to be lost. In the Chapel, width of the shop, are thrown wide open, when once they are in, all want to get and the glory shines upon all passers-by.

out.

Shrieks are heard as the jammed It is the apotheosis of ham and cheese, mass sways backward and forward, at which only the Hebraic nose, doing veils and dresses are torn in the strugviolence to its natural curve, turns up in gle,- women are praying for help. Meanscorn; while true Christians crowd around time the stupid Swiss keep to their orders it to wonder and admire, and sometimes with a literalness which knows no paralto venture in upon the almost enchanted lel; and all this time, the Pope, who has ground. May it be long before this pleas- come in by a private door, is handing ant custom dies out!

round beef and mustard and bread and At last comes Holy Week, with its potatoes to the gormandizing Apostles, pilgrims that flock from every part of who put into their pockets what their the world. Every hotel and furnished stomachs cannot hold, and improve their apartment is crowded,— every carriage opportunities in every way. At last, those is hired at double and treble its ordinary who have been through the fight return fare,— every door, where a Papal cere- at nightfall, haggard and ghastly with mony is to take place, is besieged by fear, hunger, and fatigue; and, after figures in black with black veils. The agreeing that they could never counsel streets are filled with Germans, English, any one to such an attempt, set off the French, Americans, all on the move, next morning to attack again some shut coming and going, and anxiously inquir- door behind which a “function” is to ing about the funzioni, and when they take place. are to take place, and where,—for ey- All this, however, is done by the stranerything is kept in a charming condition gers. The Romans, on these high festiof perfect uncertainty, from the want of vals, do not go to Saint Peter's, but

tic.”

perform their religious services at their arm of the Church is the cannon, and parish churches, calmly and peacefully; Christ's doctrines are always protected for in Saint Peter's all is a spectacle. by the bayonet, and Peter's successor “ How shall I, a true son of the Holy“ making broad his phylacteries,” and his Church," asks Pasquin, " obtain admit- splendid cortege "enlarging the borders

” “ tance to her services ?” And Marfo of their garments” and going up to “ the rio answers, “ Declare you are an Eng- chief seats in the synagogues ” “ in purlishman, and swear you are a here- ple and fine linen” to make their “ long

prayers,” crave the protection of bristThe Piazza is crowded with carriages ling arms and drawn swords. during all these days, and a hackman By twelve o'clock Mass in Saint Pewill look at nothing under a scudo for ter's is over, and the Piazza is crowded the smallest distance, and, to your re- with people to see the Benediction,- and monstrances, he shrugs his shoulders and a grand and imposing spectacle it is! Out says, Eh, signore, bisogna vivere ; adesso over the great balcony stretches a huge è la nostra settimana, e poi niente. Next white awning, where priests and attendweek I will take you anywhere for two ants are collected, and where the Pope pauls,—now for fifteen." Meluccio, (the will soon be seen. Below, the Piazza is little old apple,) the aged boy in the Piaz- alive with moving masses. In the centre za San Pietro, whose sole occupation it are drawn up long lines of soldiery, with has been for years to open and shut the yellow and red pompons and glittering doors of carriages and hold out his hand helmets and bayonets. These are surfor a mezzo-baiocco, is in great glee. He rounded by crowds on foot, and at the runs backwards and forwards all day long, outer rim are packed carriages filled and – hails carriages like mad,— identifies to overrun with people mounted on the the bewildered coachmen their lost fares, seats and boxes. There is a half-hour's whom he never fails to remember,-points waiting while we can look about, a steady out to bewildered strangers the coach stream of carriages all the while pouring they are hopelessly striving to identify, in, and, if one could see it, stretching having entirely forgotten coachman and out a mile behind, and adding thousands carriage in the struggle they have gone of impatient spectators to those already through. He is everywhere, screaming, there. What a sight it is ! - above us the laughing, and helping everybody. It is great dome of Saint Peter's, and below, his high festival as well as the Pope's, the grand embracing colonnade, and the and grateful strangers drop into his hand vast space, in the centre of which rises the frequent baiocco or half-paul, and the solemn obelisk thronged with masse. thank God and Meluccio as they sink of living beings. Peasants from the Camback in their carriages and cry, pagna and the mountains are moving casa."

about everywhere. Pilgrims oil-cloth Finally comes Easter Sunday, the day cape and with iron staff demand charity. of the Resurrection ; and at twelve on the On the steps are rows of purple, blue, Saturday previous all the bells are rung, and brown umbrellas; for there the sun and the crucifixes uncovered, and the blazes fiercely. Everywhere cross forth Pope, cardinals, and priests change their the white hoods of Sisters of Charity, colmourning-vestments for those of rejoic- lected in groups, and showing, among the ing. Easter has come. You may know party-colored dresses, like beds of chryit by the ringing bells, and the sound of santhemums in a garden. One side of trumpets in the street, and the jar of long the massive colonnade casts a grateful trains of cannon going down to the Piaz. shadow over the crowd beneath, that fill za San Pietro, to guard the place and up the intervals of its columns; but elsejoin in the dance, in case of a row or where the sun burns down and flashes rising among the populace; for the right everywhere. Mounted on the colonnade VOL. IV.

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are masses of people leaning over, beside the dying twilight as if etched there with the colossal statues. Through all the heat a fiery burin. As the sky darkens into is heard the constant plash of the two su- intense blue behind it, the material part perb fountains, that wave to and fro their of the basilica seems to vanish, until nothveils of white spray. At last the clock ing is left to the eye but a wondrous, mag. strikes. In the far balcony are seen the ical, visionary structure of fire. This is two great snowy peacock fans, and be- the silver illumination ; watch it well, tween them a figure clad in white, that it does not last long. At the first hour rises from a golden chair, and spreads of night, when the bells sound all over his great sleeves like wings as he raises Rome, a sudden change takes place. his arms in benediction. That is the From the lofty cross a burst of flame is Pope, Pius the Ninth. All is dead si- seen, and instantly a flash of light whirls lence, and a musical voice, sweet and over the dome and drum, climbs the penetrating, is heard chanting from the smaller cupolas, descends like a rain of balcony ;- the people bend and kneel ; fire down the columns of the façade, and with a cold, gray flash, all the bayonets before the great bell of Saint Peter's has gleam as the soldiers drop to their knees, ceased to toll twelve peals, the golden and rise to salute as the voice dies away, illumination has succeeded to the silver. and the two white wings are again waved; For my own part, I prefer the first illu

- then thunder the cannon,- the bells mination ; it is more delicate, airy, and redash and peal,- a few white papers, like fined, though the second is more brilliant huge snowflakes, drop wavering from the and dazzling. One is like the Bride of balcony ;- these are Indulgences, and the Church, the other like the Empress there is an eager struggle for them be- of the World. In the second lighting, low ;-- then the Pope again rises, again the Church becomes more material; the gives his benediction, waving to and fro flames are like jewels, and the dome seems his right hand, three fingers open, and a gigantic triple crown of Saint Peter's. making the sign of the cross,— and the One effect, however, is very striking. peacock fans retire, and he between them The outline of fire, which before was firm is borne away,--and Lent is over. and motionless, now wavers and shakes

As Lent is ushered in by the dancing as if it would pass away, as the wind lights of the moccoletti, so it is ushered blows the flames back and forth from the out by the splendid illumination of Saint great cups by which it is lighted. From Peter's, which is one of the grandest near and far the world looks on,- from spectacles in Rome. The first illumina- the Piazza beneath, where carriages drive tion is by means of paper lanterns, dis- to and fro in its splendor, and the band tributed everywhere along the archi- plays and the bells toll,— from the wintectural lines of the church, and from dows and loggias of the city, wherever a the steps beneath its portico to the cross view can be caught of this superb specabove its dome. These are lighted be- tacle, -- and from the Campagna and fore sunset, and against the blaze of the mountain towns, where, far away, alone western light are for some time com- and towering above everything, the dome pletely invisible; but as twilight thick- is seen to blaze. Everywhere are ejacuens, and the shadows deepen, and a gray lations of delight, and thousands of groups pearly veil is drawn over the sky, the are playing the game of “What is it like?” distant basilica begins to glow against it One says, it is like a hive covered by a with a dull furnace-glow, as of a won- swarm of burning bees; others, that it is drous coal fanned by a constant wind, the enchanted palace in the gardens of looking not so much lighted from without Gul in the depths of the Arabian nights, as reddening from an interior fire. Slow- like a gigantic tiara set with wonderful ly this splendor grows, until the mighty diamonds, larger than those which Sinbuilding at last stands outlined against bad found in the roc's valley,— like the palace of the fairies in the dreams of other and over the fuçade, fading even childhood, like the stately pleasure-dome as we look. It is melancholy enough. of Kubla Khan in Xanadu,—and twen. It is a bankrupt heiress, an old and ty other whimsical things. At nearly mid- wrinkled beauty, that tells strange tales night, when we go to bed, we take a last of its former wealth and charms, when look at it. It is a ruin, like the Colosse- the world was at its feet. It is the once um,- great gaps of darkness are there mighty Catholic Church, crumbling away with broken rows of splendor. The lights with the passage of the night,—and when are gone on one side the dome,- they morning and light come, it will be no straggle fitfully here and there down the more.

[To be continued.]

LA MALANOTTE.

a

One morning in Naples, in the spring charming conversation entitled him to of — I was practising over some op- such indulgences. He remained silent eras of Rossini with a musical friend. He a little while, puffing away at his cigar had known the great maestro personally, until it was well lighted; then he conand his intelligence on musical matters,

tinued:his numberless anecdotes and reminis- “I think I'll tell you poor Adelaïde's cences, made him a charming compan- story. She was a delicious young creaion; he was a living, talking Scudo arti- ture when Montresor married her,cle, full of artistic mots and ana. We scarcely more than a child. For some had just finished looking over the “ Tan- years they lived delightfully; they had credi,” and, as I sat down to rest in an plenty of money, and were very fond of arm-chair near the window, he leaned each other. She had two charming little back in the deep window-embrasure, and children; one was my godson and namelooked down into the fine old garden be- sake, Ettore. Montresor, her husband, low, from which arose the delicious odor was surely one of the happiest of men. of orange and young grape blossoms. “ They were both musical. Montresor

“I was in Venice,” he said, “ when this had a clever barytone voice, and sang opera was composed, in 1813. Mon Dieu ! with sufficient grace and memory for an how time flies! Rossini wrote it for one amateur. Adelaïde was more remarkof the loveliest women God ever made, able than her husband; she had genius Adelaïde Montresor. I knew her very more than culture, and sang good old well. She was the wife of a French gen- music with an unconscious creative grace. tleman, a friend of mine, M. Montresor, At their house we used to get up • Il Maat one time very prosperous in fortune. trimonio Segreto,' scenas from •Don GioAdelaide was a Veronese, of good family, vanni,' and many other passages from faand had studied music only en amateur. vorite operas; and Adelaide was always Her maiden name was Malanotte. Oh, our admired prima donna; for she, as yes, of course, you have heard of her. Fétis says of genius, invented forms, She was famous, poor child, in her day, imposed them as types, and obliged us which was a short one.”

not only to acknowledge, but to imitate The old gentleman sighed, and threw them.' the end of his cigar out of the window. “I had to go to Rassia in 1805, and I handed him another; for his age and leave my home and friends for an indef

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