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While admitting his faults, which doubtless were many, (and who, in public or private life, is without them?) especially in the period of his greatness, one cannot read the accounts of his latter days without being struck with the piety and firm adherence to what he considered his rights and the privileges of the Church of which he was (under the Pope) the chief representative in England.
The joy with which S. Thomas was received on his return from banishment, seems to be sufficient proof that the many aspersions on his character cannot be true. Some have asserted that he excommunicated one man for having spoken against him, and another for having clipped the tail of one of his horses. Surely, had such assertions been correct, the populace would have been the first to espouse the cause of the injured instead of welcoming the denouncer with shouts of joy. Such a name as he has transmitted to posterity, could never have been attained by mere fanaticism or prejudice, there must have been real worth and greatness of mind manifested throughout his life, to have enabled him to command the high positions he held. His history bears a striking resemblance to that of Wolsey; both owed their rapid rise to the favour of a monarch, and their downfall to the capricious and arbitrary conduct of their respective kings. It also resembles that of Charles I., in the softening and beautifying effects produced on the character by misfortune, the fiery furnace of affliction having then (as it so often has now,) the power of moulding and refining those minds, which prosperity might only have hardened.
A. W. E.
RAZGAVLEVONIGE; OR, THE BREAKING OF THE
A MOSCOW PICTURE AT EASTER-TIDE.
BY SELWYN EYRE.
Long before the hour of midnight had arrived on Easter Even we had chartered an eеzvòstchik, paying of course exorbitantly for the privilege on the occasion of such a fête, and found our way over the (at this season of the year) terribly rough thoroughfares leading towards the "holy chapel”—the Tverskaiza Verota-giving entrance within the Kremlin walls.
Many writers have already described this chapel, containing as it does what is considered the holiest picture in all Moscow—that of its“ lady patroness, the Madonna"-and I must not stay therefore to
do so now.
All bend low and cross themselves many times before the so-called "image,” both on leaving and entering these turreted walls.
Onward we drove-past the arsenal-past the palace; then pausing before the massive iron gateway opening upon the courtyard, in which clustered cathedral upon cathedral. The Moskva river lay stretched on our right, and beyond it, extending northwards and westwards, the gaily domed and minareted city.
· The tongs and snuffers used by the High Priest ; Ex. xxv. 38.
Eph. ü. 20.
Num. iv. 9. 5 S. Matt. xxviii. 20. 6 Rev. i. 17.
7 Rev. i. 18.
But the cluster on the left-hand side,-how magnificent it was! The courtyard in which the cathedrals stand, the large amount of territory all around, and the main cathedral itself—that of The Assumption-"Ouspensky Sabór," to give it its proper appellation-were alike “packed,” and it was a matter of the greatest difficulty to obtain entrance.
All within the “Ouspensky Sabór” were now brilliantly attiredblack was utterly discarded, and the dresses of the ladies were of the gayest ; the music as sublime as can well be imagined. Shortly before midnight we had again taken up our position in what seemed the very best point of view-on the topmost step of the southern entrance to the “Ouspensky Sabór” itself, in which edifice the Tsars are always crowned.
From this standing ground we reckoned we should be in an admirable centre for taking note of everything ; and should catch the main points in the exquisite picture so soon to be laid open to view. On our left stood the monster Ivan Veliki, or Great John, the Great Bell of which would we knew, in conjunction with how many others, only smaller, soon clang forth at utmost speed, the entire edifice being meanwhile brilliantly illuminated, whilst at a short distance from it the Cathedral of the Annunciation reared its head, in which in former times the Tsars were both baptised and married.
To the right stood the palace of His Imperial Majesty, Alexander the Second, containing the church called “ Verchospassky,” the Vosnesersky and Tcherdoff monasteries, and the cathedral of the Archangel Michael, in which latter the Tsars ever found burial from the time of Ivan Valita until that of Peter the Great.
Again every member of the many thousands present carried lighted tapers. All showed signs of the greatest possible excitement. Men and women talked loud and fast, bands of “roughs" meanwhile making
here and there disturbingly, as is ever their wont in every assemblage of the kind.
Strangers from various foreign lands were evidently presentand English to boot; the latter tongue, however, only in one or two isolated cases falling upon our ears. All had congregated from far and near-the representatives of many nations—to witness this, also, far-famed spectacle.
Several broad long circular pathways had all at once been cleared, and the multitude “beaten back," as is ever the case, within even
more limited boundaries, which it had previously seemed utterly impossible to prescribe.
Midnight, midnight on Easter Even" within the Kremlin walls.
How quickly the fact was chronicled on all sides, far and near. Every bell in the entire city seemed at that identical moment to be stirred into furious action, and to clang heavily, the Great Bell of S. John-Ivan Veliki-clanging so rapidly and noisily that it would even seem as if those nearest it must for the instant be almost deafened thereby. Its many other bells, tenanting tower upon tower, sounded with a velocity that was simply startling, the “tongues” of each I could distinctly see, being swayed to and fro by small boys, who clung sailor-fashion thereto and propelled the action.
The bells of the other cathedrals echoed the peal, cannon were fired to a prodigious extent, rockets shot into the air, the entire building designated Ivan Veliki was illuminated from basement to highest turret, and then all the cathedral doors were simultaneously thrown open, and therefrom issued in each case a long train of elaborately robed priests, entering in procession the various orbits assigned them amidst the multitude, and leading the one universal exclamation, “ Christose voskraise !”—“ CHRIST is risen.” The shout resounded up to heaven it seemed.
66 Christose voskraise” was echoed as if with one voice and heart by all those assembled sons and daughters of Muscovy, and well-nigh instantaneously, as the words fell, every one accorded the “kiss of peace," as it may be termed, to each and all of those friends immediately around, to those even claiming the least acquaintanceship with either him or her, it matters not which, nor matters it either what be the class of life of those tendering the greeting. Personally I did not in the least admire the custom, but that signifies little. As an accepted and national practice, the custom must, if one does not actually desire to be considered uncourteous, be carefully followed even by those only tenanting Russian soil for a brief space. “When at Rome do as the Romans do,” is a courteous mode of viewing matters doubtless, but there may also be bitches in the way of such accordance with wonted custom proving always specially agreeable.
“Christose voskraise !” exclaims every member of a Muscovite's establishment on first meeting you after Easter morn has broken in all reality. “Vo istinou voskraise"-"yes, He is risen indeed”—answers the master or mistress, promptly returning the triple salute just offered.