excerpt from 'Journal entry, 7 May 1830' pp. 355–356 (322 words)

excerpt from 'Journal entry, 7 May 1830' pp. 355–356 (322 words)

part of

Journal entry, 7 May 1830

original language

urn:iso:std:iso:639:ed-3:eng

in pages

355–356

type

text excerpt

encoded value

In the morning to the Chapel of St. Januarius, to see the blood liquefy. The grand ceremony was last Saturday at the Cathedral, but the miracle is repeated every morning in the chapel for eight days. I never saw such a scene, at once so ludicrous and so disgusting, but more of the latter. There was the saint all bedizened with pearls on the altar, the other silver ladies and gentlemen all round the chapel, with an abundance of tapers burning before them. Certain people were admitted within the rails of the altar; the crowd, consisting chiefly of women, and most of them old women, were without. There is no service, but the priests keep muttering and looking at the blood to see if it is melting. To-day it was unusually long, so these old Sybils kept clamouring, ‘Santa Trinità!’ ‘Santa Vergine!’ ‘Dio onnipotente!’ ‘San Gennaro!’ in loud and discordant chorus; still the blood was obstinate, so the priest ordered them to go down on their knees and to say the Athanasian Creed, which is one of the specifics resorted to in such a case. He drawled it out with his eyes shut, and the women screamed the responses. This would not do, so they fell to abuse and entreaties with a vehemence and volubility, and a shrill clamour, which was at once a proof of their sincerity and their folly. Such noise, such gesticulations. One woman I never shall forget, with outstretched arm, distorted visage, and voice of piercing sharpness. In the meantime the priest handed about the phial to be kissed, and talked the matter over with the bystanders. È sempre duro?’ ‘Sempre duro, adesso v'è una piccola cosa.’ At last, after all the handling, praying, kissing, screaming, entreating, and abusing, the blood did melt, when the organ struck up, they all sang in chorus, and so it ended.

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excerpt from 'Journal entry, 7 May 1830' pp. 355–356 (322 words)

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