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of various young women on their entering convents. The sight is, indeed, interesting and affecting, and the pity of our countrymen is greatly excited on seeing the hair of the victim (as they term her) cut off; but as the sacrifice is at present voluntary,—the abuses which existed in this matter before the French Revolution having been corrected,—the compassion of the beholders is, probably, uncalled for. In France vows are made for a limited time only; and if any member of a religious order chooses to break these vows, and quit his convent, the affair rests with his own conscience, as the government very properly declines to interfere.

The 6th, the Epiphany, was a feast at the Propaganda. I went, in the morning, to the chapel of the College. On entering, I was at first- astonished at seeing mass performed by a black priest—an Ethiopian; but I soon perceived an Assyrian priest, an Armenian bishop, and an Arabian archbishop, each celebrating the sacrifice in the dress, language, and according to the rites used in his country. For “the Church, to

prevent the frequent changes to which the 6 modern languages are subject, allows in her “office only the Chaldaic or modern Hebrew, “ which is the ancient sacred language; the “Greek, the language of the philosophers and al} “ the Oriental schools ; Latin, the language of « the learned in the West; and the Sclavonian." This measure you Protestants find great fault with; and would wish rather that the office had been translated into the dialect of every barbarous horde that successively made its appearance, and was converted to the Catholic faith; and that a committee of " maestri di lingua, teachers of languages,--had been appointed to vary and correct the newly translated prayers, in proportion to the changes and ameliorations made in the primitive language during its progress and gradual refinement into polished Bohemian, Moravian, Polish, Muscovian, and half a dozen others, all different dialects of the Sclavonian tongue.

But, at the same time that you blame this restriction of the Catholic church, you yourselves preach to the Irish in a foreign, an unknown, and unintelligible dialect, against the intolerance of the Papists, who refuse to pray in the language of the people.

The different rites and ceremonies performed in the chapel of the Propaganda were, however, more impressive than any thing of the sort I

ever witnessed; and strikingly displayed the triumph of the christian religion ; justifying its appellation of Catholic, by recalling one of the proofs of its truth-a proof, or at least a strong ground of probability, which SECONDARY CAUSES cannot destroy.

In the afternoon, all the College was assembled together; and one student of each country pronounced his translation, into his own language, of an ode suited to the occasion; the which ode was thus repeated in twenty-six different dialects. Of all these reciters, a fine Irish youth-for there are in the College schools of Irish and Scotch, whom the party-spirited policy of England banishes from their country, to which they are afterwards to return in the character of missionaries-an Irish youth seemed the most patriotic; for, after ending his declamation, he sent forth a shout of Erin go brah !" which drew down the applause—but it was an applause mingled with pity-of the assembly.

It is curious that no Protestant English were present at the Propaganda, either in the chapel, or at the recital of the ode: this feast is not yet known amongst them as a sight. Adieu.

LETTER VIII.

18th January, 1824.

MY DEAR FRIEND,

I yesterday visited many curious-but which are at Rome second-rate—antiquities. My tour commenced with the church of S. Anthony: it was the fête of that saint. As I drove up to the door of the church, a priest appeared, dressed in a gown and stole, and accompanied by a clerk holding a vase of holy water; he pronounced a few prayers, and then besprinkled my horses with the water: he performed the whole ceremony with the greatest discretion and devotion. “But," said an old Scotch General to me, “what a “d-d mummery it is! Why they drive their

asses and pigs to be blessed.” Well, and

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'why not? You yourself think it very right and proper to say grace over a good ham, when you sit down to dinner; here they bless the

ham when alive. What is the difference ?" Au reste, this same custom exists in some parts of Auvergne in France.

From the church of S. Anthony, I drove to the temple of Minerva Medica, a picturesque brick ruin, in which several statues have been found; but which, like the Amphitheatre Cas-. trense, the Sette Sale, and many others in the neighbourhood, chiefly owes its fame to its title of a Roman antiquity, for out of Rome these remains would be observed by antiquarians only. And this is the case with regard to most of these minor ruins, which are indebted for their preservation to the cement that unites the bricks; and for want of the which cement the more massy marble edifices lie crumbled around them, Beyond the Forum, all ancient remains are, however, of brick; and from the portico of S. John Lateran there is seen a most picturesque assemblage of walls, pyramids, and aqueducts, surmounted by the beautiful hills of Tivoli.

Near the fine ivy-grown tower of Cecilia Metella--the “ lady of the dead”-workmen were

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