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1. Heraldry is in all respects a complicated science; only those who are officially connected with that sombrelooking building known as Heralds' College, in Queen Victoria Street, or who have made armorial bearings their special study, can be expected to boast of something more than a superficial acquaintance with a subject so vast. Nevertheless, a few broad principles may be here laid down with advantage. It was Charlemagne who introduced heraldic devices--which had their origin in the military standards and symbolical marks of distinction on the bucklers of barbarian nations--into the Western World (see 36). Up to the time of the Crusades, however, such devices were strictly confined to rulers and princes. During the Crusades, when each and every knight had his face, in common with the rest of his body, encased in armour, the necessity for some means whereby one knight could be distinguished from another early suggested itself. To engrave his name upon his shield would have been useless, for in those days very few people could read. On the other hand, everyone could distinguish an animal from a bird, and although several knights might make a choice of the same animal or bird, there were a multitude of ways by which confusion was to be avoided. Each knight, accordingly, chose his own device, with the exception of a lion, which from being the king of beasts, and therefore regarded as the emblem of sovereign power, was appropriated by royal personages. When, for example, Richard I. returned from the Holy Land, he bore a crowned lion on the crest of his helmet, and three golden lions on his shield. For greater distinction our kings at a later date wore their crowns on their helmets in the battle-field, and earls and dukes their coronets. At the battle of Agincourt, the Duke of Alençon hewed off with one stroke of his sword part of the crown worn by King Henry V. Again, after the death of Richard III. on Bosworth Field, his crown was picked up out of a hawthorn bush by a soldier, who brought it to Lord Stanley; in memory of which incident Henry VII. chose a hawthorn bush and a crown above it for his own cognizance. Ordinary knights displayed their chosen devices on their helmets and shields; and as it was considered a great honour to have been a Crusader, the same devices were borne by their descendants, both in peace and war. Such was the origin of armorial bearings, or Coats of Arms as they were called, from being embroidered on the rich coats worn over their armour in the field, and upon their ordinary garments at home. When they appeared with their vizors down at tournaments, a herald sounded his trumpet and announced the name, family, and rank, as revealed by the devices upon the shield and horse-furniture, of each. At a subsequent period these devices became so complicated, owing to the union and "impalement" of the armorial bearings of different families, that it was found necessary to register and place them under official control. In this way Heralds' College was called into existence. The chief representative of the college in Scotland received the name of the Lyon King at Arms, from the lion rampant on the escutcheon of the Scottish kings; that of the English provinces north of the river Trent Norroy, literally north king; and that of the corresponding district south, at first Surroy, but at a later date Clarencieux, from the nomination of the Duke of Clarence to this office by his brother, Henry V. A very short period elapsed before the heralds overcame the difficulties presented by an over-blazoned shield, by means of an abridgment in the form of a crest and motto. The earliest Mottoes were invariably the battle-cry or parole in some memorable engagement; but as time wore on imagination was called into play to devise mottoes of an original character. The idea of Supporters of the Family Arms was derived from the pages or esquires who bore the banner of a knight in the field; and, generally speaking, these supporters were an imitation of the beasts represented in the arms themselves. What are known as Emblems in armorial bearings were originally the devices displayed on the livery or worn as badges on the arms of servants and retainers of the nobility. Even tradesmen who had the privilege of supplying goods or provisions to a nobleman were expected to wear his livery and display his badge in mediaeval times. From this custom the assumption of the royal arms on his shop-front by a highly-favoured tradesman took its rise.


2. The Royal Arms of Great Britain are familiar to everyone, yet those who understand the signification of their component parts are few. The Three Golden Lions on a red field in the first quarter are described in heraldic parlance as "gules, three lions passant gardant in pale or," i.e., gules, from the French gueles, the red colour of the throat, and the Latin gula, a reddened skin; passant gardant, walking with the face looking sidewise; in pale, impaled with the arms of Scotland in the second quarter; or, from the Latin aurum, gold. Rulers and princes always chose gules for their royal colour in ancient times, because it was looked upon as the symbol of valour. Scarlet is still the royal livery of England (see 5, 30). William the Conqueror and his successors had only two lions for their royal arms; these were derived from Rollo, Duke of Normandy, who bore the first in respect of his own province, and the second of that of Maine, after it was added to Normandy. The third lion was assumed by Henry II. in right of his queen, Eleanor, daughter of the Duke of Aquitaine. The Lion Rampant in the second quarter was the ensign of the Scottish kings from the reign of William the Lion--who received his surname on its account--down to the union of the two kingdoms in the person of our James I.; just as the Harp in the third quarter was that of the early kings of Ireland, having originally been adopted in compliment to their native bards. Gallant little Wales has never been represented in the British royal arms, obviously because it has never had any arms of its own; all it can boast of is an emblem, that of the Leek (see 421.). Of the other national emblems which have been accorded positions in association with the royal arms, the Rose of England is the least time-honoured. Perhaps, however, it is invested with a more interesting story than all the rest, since it has entered so largely into the party strife of our country. To go back to the beginning, the red rose was the badge of John of Gaunt, the first Duke of Lancaster, and the white rose that of his brother Edward of Langley, the first Duke of York. The story of the "Wars of the Roses" forms one of the most exciting chapters in English history. Not less than thirty sanguinary battles were fought during this protracted struggle, nor was it until the union of the roses was effected by the marriage of Henry VII. with Elizabeth of York that peace once more reigned in the land. Ever since that date the rose has maintained its position as our national emblem. The Thistle of Scotland commemorates an incident whereby the Scots were saved from being surprised in a night attack. During that early period of their history, when their coasts were liable to frequent incursions by the Danes, it chanced that, although those piratical marauders considered it cowardly to attack an enemy under cover of night, they, finding the probabilities of success all in their favour, resorted to this expedient on one memorable occasion. With bared feet and noiseless steps they stole upon the Scots unobserved, until suddenly one of them planted his foot upon a thistle, which caused him to howl with pain. The alarm being thus given, the Scots fell upon the attacking party with such success that they put them to the rout with great slaughter. The Shamrock of Ireland is intimately associated with the life of St. Patrick (see 422). It may be mentioned that the trefoil finds a place not only in the royal arms, but also in the crown of the British sovereign, because it is emblematical of the three kingdoms in one. The motto, DIEU ET MON DROIT ("God and my right "), was the parole pf the day given by Richard I. to his army at the battle of Gisors, in which the French were signally defeated; while that inscribed on the band or garter surrounding the royal arms, HONI SOIT QUI MAL Y PENSE ("Evil be to him who evil thinks"), forms the motto of the Order of the Garter instituted by Edward III. The Lion and Unicorn as supporters (see 1) are those of the royal arms of England and Scotland respectively; the latter was introduced when James VI. of Scotland became also James I. of England in the year 1603.


3. The Plume of Ostrich Feathers, and the motto ICH DIEN, were found on the helmet of the blind King of Bohemia after he was slain at the battle of Crecy, while serving as a volunteer in the army of the King of France, August 26th, 1346. In commemoration of his signal victory on this day, though the English forces were nominally commanded by his father, Edward III., Edward the Black Prince adopted the plume and motto for his crest, and as such they have been borne by the Prince of Wales ever since.


4. The Fleur-de-Lis, which was the royal insignia of France until the Revolution of 1789, was chosen by Louis VII. as his emblem when, in conjunction with Conrad II. of Germany, he formed the Second Crusade. It has been stated that the fleur-de-lis received its name from the river Lis, which separated France and Artois from Flanders. By the marriage of Philip Augustus to the daughter of the Count of Flanders in the year 1191, Artois was united to the French crown; but as the Second Crusade was undertaken in 1147, the flower had already been accepted as the national emblem when the union took place (see 41).


5. Red is the Royal Colour of England. It was originally the distinctive livery of all Christian princes, but since it happens that red is also the colour of the field of the armorial bearings of England, other European sovereigns have thought fit to take their royal colour from the field of their respective arms. The English royal colour is well to the fore at Court, and on all occasions of State ceremonial. The throne, the woolsack, the seats of the peers, and the decorations generally in the Upper House of Legislature, are red. The Lord Mayor of London and the judges, as representatives of the Sovereign in the criminal courts, wear robes of scarlet. The royal livery has from the first been red, faced with gold. When Henry VIII. established a body-guard of fifty men, he put them into scarlet uniforms with gold facings. The cavalry of Elizabeth's reign were ordered to wear scarlet cloaks, similar to nobles and courtiers. Red is still the predominant colour in the British army. Huntsmen following the hounds also wear red coats, in accordance with the mandate of Henry II. enjoining all who engaged in fox. hunting to wear the royal livery, because it was a royal sport. Red, too, is the distinguishing Post Office colour; the wall and pillar-boxes, the royal mail carts, and the facings of the letter-carriers, are all red. Formerly the "twopenny postman," and the drivers of the mail-coaches wore red coats. When we reflect that the Post Office grew out of a system of royal couriers established by Richard III. for the rapid transmission of intelligence during the Scottish campaign of 1482-3, the adoption of the royal colour in the British postal service will be at once understood (see 2, 30).


6. An undoubted relic of feudal times in our own age is the custom of the Royal Champion throwing down his gauntlet as a challenge to any person who dares dispute the right to the crown of the new sovereign at a coronation. A mere formal ceremony in these days, it was a matter of necessity in those troublesome times when the title to the crown was so far from secure that every sovereign required a valiant knight, renowned for deeds of arms, to assert and vindicate his just claims to it. In the event of the challenge leing taken up by another valiant knight on behalf of a rival claimant, it fell to the lot of these two knights to fight a duel to the death, on an open field or champ-hence the term, "champion." As is well known, the Dymocks have held their estates ever since the year 1377 on condition of their providing a Royal Champion to ride into Westminster Hall at every English coronation (see 73).


7. The Orb and Sceptre, as the symbols of sovereignty, are very ancient. The orb, surmounted by an eagle and placed in the hand of a Roman emperor, typified dominion over all the known world, but after the accession of Constantine the Great the bird gave place to a cross. The sceptre was originally the spear upon which a king leaned for support, and at a later period a staff or wand of office. In a MS. of the Cottonian Library we find the king represented as presiding over his Witenagemote with a sword in his right hand and a long staff surmounted by a cross in his left.


8. We have it on the authority of honest old Stow that what was known as Touching for the King's Evil originated in the dream of a young woman sorely afflicted with a scrofulous disease, that she could be cured by the simple operation of having the part washed by the king. So great was her faith in this remedy that her relatives at last made application to Edward I. on her behalf, with the result that that monarch at once consented to perform the disagreeable duty. After ordering a basin of water to be brought, he carefully softened the tumours until the skin broke and their contents were discharged. Then the sign of the cross was made and the patient retired, fully assured of her cure, which was effected within a week. How the disease came to be called the "King's Evil" is not quite clear, because neither Edward I. nor any of his predecessors are known to have been attacked by it. Nevertheless, from the time of the young woman's dream until the middle of the eighteenth century, the popular belief that the mere touch of the reigning sovereign would effectually cure a scrofulous patient was very deep-rooted. Dr. Johnson was touched for the King's Evil by Queen Anne in the year 1712.


9. In a primitive state of society, when the population of the earth was small, each individual family was governed by its own head or chief, called a Patriarch, but subsequently, when a diversity of interests arose, and the necessity for providing for their common safety became paramount, these patriarchs made a choice of one person--"the bravest and best," as Carlyle would have put it,--and invested him with the proper authority for discharging so important a trust. Such was the origin of the Monarchical System of Government. For let it be remembered that the earliest kings and rulers exercised jurisdiction over a particular city or tribe only. In Genesis mention is made of the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah, of Gerara and Salem, of Sennaar or Chaldea, and of the Elamites or Persians. How well this system of local government has stood the test of time is evidenced by the existence of practically the same kind of thing at the present day: the mayor corresponds to the king and the aldermen to the patriarchs.


10. The indolent despotism which has for so many centuries distinguished the rule of an Eastern Monarch was inaugurated by Ninius, the son of Ninus and Semiramis, who shut himself up with his wives in his palace at Nineveh, and entrusted the management of the State, as well as the preservation of the integrity of the Empire, to the vast armies he had levied, and to the military commanders he had bound over to him by oaths of allegiance. Ever since his time an Eastern potentate has generally considered his person as too sacred a thing to be gazed upon by the people.


11. The celebrated Hanging Gardens of Babylon were constructed by King Nebuchadnezzar for the gratification of his wife, who was a princess of Media, and who wished to see in the plains of Babylon something to remind her of the woods of her native land.


12. One reason why the Bull entered so conspicuously into the religious rites and sacrifices of the nations of antiquity was because the Egyptians believed that Osiris, the greatest of all their gods, dwelt in their midst in the form of a pure white bull with a black forehead having a square of white in the centre. When such a one was found it was held sacred during life and worshipped after death. A pure white bull is still held sacred among the Hindoos, while the Druids always sacrificed two white bulls when the sacred mistletoe was cut, at their annual festival of the winter solstice, on the 21st of December (see 464).


13. Among Prohibited Foods on religious grounds, pigeons and pork are the most noticeable. The orthodox Russian never eats the former, on account of the sanctity conferred upon the dove in both the Old and the New Testaments; the Jew refuses the latter, because the swine, which wallows in filth, is an emblem of impurity. The ancient Egyptians never touched animal food, consequent upon their belief in the doctrine of the transmigration of souls (see 222).


14. It has been asserted over and over again that the Mohammedans Regard All Women As Soulless Creatures, little removed from the brute species; and that, not expecting to participate in the joys of heaven, Mohammedan women never frequent the mosques for prayer. This monstrous imputation is very ably refuted by George Sale in the preliminary discourse to his verbatim translation of the Koran. Let it suffice to state here that the wives of Mohammedans can and do visit the mosques for devotional purposes; but it must be at a time when the men are not there, because the Moslems are of opinion that the mingling of the sexes is antagonistic to the spirit of true devotion. With regard to those females who are perpetually confined in the harems, the majority of them are not Mohammedans at all: as for the rest, they are free to perform their devotions in private.


15. One of the most rigid penances enjoined upon a religious community in any part of the world is the Mohammedan Fast of Ramadân. From the first appearance of the new moon of Ramadân, literally, "the hot month," until that of the next new moon, all Mohammedans are prohibited from eating, drinking, smoking, bathing, or the indulgence of sexual intercourse between daybreak and sunset throughout the whole thirty days. Those who, by reason of sickness, or being on a journey, are prevented from keeping the fast in its proper season, are commanded to fast a like number of days on the first opportunity ensuing. The usual explanation of this fast, as tendered to Christian travellers, is that Mohammed fasted one day in Ramadân, but as the theologians were at variance as to the exact day, they resolved to impose the fast during the whole month, in order to make sure of it. This is a myth. The truth of the whole matter is very clearly set forth in the second chapter of the Koran, as follows:--" The month of Ramadân shall ye fast, in which the Koran was sent from Heaven, a direction unto men, and declarations of direction, and the distinction between good and evil."


16. The Christian Sabbath differs from that of the Jews because it was on the first day of the week that our Lord manifested Himself to His apostles after His resurrection, and also sent down the Holy Spirit upon them in the form of fiery tongues. Moreover, the apostles determined, at the very outset of their divine mission, that the day set apart to the particular service of the Lord should not be the Sabbath day of the Jews. Hence the Christian Sabbath is "The Lord's Day," rather than "Sunday," which term is a relic of paganism, denoting the day appointed by the pagan Saxons for the worship of the sun. The Mohammedan Sabbath is Friday, in accordance with the belief that on this day God completed the work of creation.


17. Whatever may be the feeling among Dissenters relative to the payment of Tithes, it must be admitted on all hands that that portion of the Mosaic constitution which provided for the support of the priesthood was most reasonable. Possessing no land of their own, the tribe of Levi distributed themselves as a special element among the twelve tribes, for whom they officiated as priests, scribes, expounders of the Law, and in a general sense charged themselves with the moral and intellectual well-being of an agricultural population. In return for such services the Israelites were commanded to contribute tenths, or tithes, of the entire produce of the land, towards the support of the Levites, who were subject to the High Priest, the lineal descendant of Aaron, alone. This arrangement, which obtained among the Jewish people throughout the whole of their Biblical history, was found to be so equitable and reasonable that Christian monarchs were easily persuaded to make a like provision for the support of the priesthood. In this country tithes were claimed under the description of "God's fee" by St. Augustine, Archbishop of Canterbury, but they were given voluntarily until Alfred the Great, encouraged by the pious example of Ethelwulf, his father, who gave by a royal charter the tenth part of his land for the glory of God and his own salvation, imposed them upon all in the course of his brief but useful reign.


18. Everything in the Roman Catholic Church has a meaning. The Altar signifies the table upon which our Lord partook of the Last Supper with His apostles, and also Mount Calvary, upon which He shortly afterwards offered Himself as a living sacrifice for the redemption of mankind. In all ages of the world the word "altar" has had relation to sacrifice; and as the Roman Catholic Church alone offers up sacrifice, it does not obtain and cannot be claimed by any other religious communion. The rubric that the altar must always be of stone is founded upon the circumstance that the Sacrifice of the Mass was originally offered up on the tombs of the martyrs in the Roman catacombs (see 224). The Corporal and Linen Cloths which cover the altar are symbolical of the linen cloths wrapped around the sacred body of our Lord when He was laid in the sepulchre. The Candles lighted on the altar signify the light of faith revealed to the Gentiles. The Crucifix is ever present in the centre of the altar to remind the worshippers of the Passion and Death of the Redeemer; the Chalice represents the holy sepulchre; and the Patten, the stone which was rolled against the entrance to that abiding-place of the sacred body of Jesus Christ. Quite as much meaning is conveyed by the different Vestments worn by the priest at the altar. The Amice, which, after holding it for a moment over his forehead, he fastens around his neck, represents the piece of linen with which the Jews bandaged the eyes of our Lord before they struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, "Prophesy unto us, thou Christ, Who is he that smote thee?" The Alb, or long white robe, is symbolical of the garment which Herod put about the body of our Lord when he sent Him back to Pilate. The Maniple, pinned on the left arm, the Stole, which hangs around his neck, and the Girdle, represent the cords with which our Lord was bound when He appeared before Caiaphas, the High l'riest. The Chasuble, or outer vestment, denotes the purple garment put upon Him by the soldiers when they mockingly saluted Him as King of the Jews, and the Cross embroidered upon it, the ignominious instrument of His death, which He bore upon his sacred shoulders up the hill of Calvary. Even the Colour of the Outer Vestment is significant. RED is used for Feasts of the Holy Ghost (see 7), and of the Martyrs; PURPLE in times of penance and mourning (see 206, 373, 379); WHITE on Feasts of the Blessed Trinity, of our Lord, except during His Passion, of the Virgin, and of the Saints, unless they are Martyrs; BLACK on Good Friday, and in Masses for the Dead; and GREEN on all other occasions, i.e., when there is no special feast.


19. The Burning of Incense in the Roman Catholic Church is an observance borrowed from the Jewish ritual, and having the same signification, viz., that the prayers of the faithful may ascend to heaven "as incense in Thy sight." In addition to numerous allusions to incense burning in the Old Testament, we read in Luke i., relative to the history of Zacharias, that, "According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense. And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense." Incense was also burned in the temples of pagan Rome (see 298).


20. In the porch of every Roman Catholic Church will be found a stoup containing Holy 'Water. This is a custom derived from the Jewish ecclesiastical law. We read in the Old Testament that God commanded Moses to make a layer of brass, which was to stand outside the Tabernacle so that the priests might wash before ministering to the Lord. Again: "And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel" (Numbers v.). During the first centuries of Christianity all persons entering the church first washed their hands in the holy-water stoup; now they merely sprinkle themselves with the water as an outward manifestation of their intention to approach the altar with purity and innocence of heart. This holy water is pure water blessed, and containing a little salt. Salt enters largely into the ceremonies of the Church, being regarded as emblematical of incorruptibility. It had also the same signification among the pagans (see ióx).


21. The object of the universal employment of the Latin Tongue in the Mass is very clearly set forth by Dr. Bagshawe, the author of "The Catechism Illustrated," and other works, as follows: "The Catholic Church is not the Church of one nation, speaking one language. Her children are literally of all nations and tribes and tongues; the languages spoken by them must be numbered by hundreds. It would never do to translate the solemn sacrifice into the language of every barbarous tribe that embraces Christianity; therefore the Church chooses one language. For instructions, for all prayers in which the people can join, each nation uses its own tongue; but in the Sacraments and the Sacrifice they all employ the one language of the Church. Again, the Church is not of one age, but 'she subsists in all ages.' The languages of men are perpetually changing, and the lapse of a very few hundred years makes them unintelligible. For instance, when St. Augustine came to convert England there was no such language as English, and no such language as French; yet the Mass which he brought to England was almost word for word what it is now. Indeed, we find recorded as an event in the life of Pope Gregory, who sent him to England, that he introduced six words into the Canon of the Mass, which we now find there. Had the Mass been in the language of the country, how many times must it have been altered since then!" To add any words of our own to the foregoing would be an insult to the intelligence of the reader.


22. The Nimbus or "Glory," which in Christian Art surrounds the heads of beatified personages, had a pagan origin. The statues of the gods were always decorated with a circle of stars around the head, expressive of the essence of divine power; and when the Roman emperors assumed all the honours due to divinity, they not only caused themselves to be represented with an aureole in statuary and upon canvas, but they even appeared in public crowned with a circle of rays imitating the glory of the sun. During the first centuries of the Church, the nimbus was studiously avoided in Christian representations, and its subsequent employment was due to accident rather than design. Without a thought of falling into heathenish practices, the clergy from the sixth to the twelfth centuries uniformly attached a broad circular brass plate upon the heads of statues situated in the open air as a slight protection against rain and snow. Such a disc-like aureole will often be met with in Roman Catholic churches at the present day. This suggested a like addition to the heads of such statues as were accommodated under cover, for the sake of ornamentation; so that when at length saintly legends came to be represented upon canvas, the aureole around the head of a beatified personage was never wanting.


23. The object of placing the Altar at the East End of Churches, so that the worshippers shall have their faces towards the east, is generally stated to be as a reminder of Christ, "the Day Spring and the Resurrection." But we can trace this custom much further back than the commencement of the Christian era. The Greeks and other nations of antiquity not only buried their dead with the feet towards the east, but, like the Romans who came after them, they habitually turned their faces eastwards while praying. The true explanation of this must be sought in sun worship, which is the instinctive religion of all primitive races. The Jews turn their faces in the direction of Jerusalem, and the Mohammedans in that of Mecca, as indicated by a framed card containing the word Misrach, or East, among the former, and by a niche in one of the walls among the latter during prayers.


24. It is a curious but undeniable fact that the Papal Tiara or triple crown was, in its original form, nothing more pretentious than the Roman cap of liberty (see 119). All the images of the popes who preceded the reign of the Emperor Constantine appear with the head uncovered; whereas Silvester, whose pontificate was contemporary with him, wears the cap identical with that of the manumitted slaves. Whether it was assumed at the Emperor's order or of his own accord does not transpire; but that it was intended to signify the liberation of the Church from heathenish oppression and the many privileges granted to her by Constantine, there is no room to doubt. This is the conclusion arrived at by all authors who have made the subject their special study. The earliest instance of the coronation of a pope was that of Nicholas I., in the year 858, who added a gold circlet to his cap as the symbol of civil power. The second circlet was added by Boniface VIII. in the following century, as is generally thought, to denote his spiritual power over sovereigns; and the third by Urban V. in the year 1632, as a mere ornament, without any special signification. It should be added that the Pope ordinarily wears a mitre, the tiara being reserved for state occasions. At the same time, whenever he says Mass in public the tiara is always laid on the altar.


25. The Episcopal Mitre, says the French numismatist Pellerin, "is the head-covering worn by the sovereign pontiff of the Hebrews, and was afterwards used, under the name of Cidaris, by the Oriental kings and the pontiffs of paganism with some small difference." It was not transferred to the priesthood by the early Christian Church, but after the eleventh century we meet with it in representations of popes, bishops, abbots, etc. The strict meaning of the mitre and its parts is thus expressed by Pope Boniface III., "The two horns are the two Testaments; the strings, the spirit and the letter." The mitre is worn by all Roman Catholic prelates from the Pope downwards.


26. Strictly speaking, the designation Crosier is applicable only to the official staff of an archbishop, which has a cross at its upper end; that of a bishop terminates in an ornamental curve in allusion to his pastoral functions, and should therefore be styled a Crook. An archbishop is distinguished from a bishop by having the crosier borne before him, while he, like a bishop, carries the crook. Du Cange is perhaps a little too fanciful when, speaking of the crosier, he says, "One part was crooked to draw the meek, the other to punish the contumacious." The Pope does not carry a crosier because, as has been suggested, the curve implies limited jurisdiction.


27. We are informed by Dudley Fosbrooke, in his "Encyclopaedia of Antiquities," that "when Peter first preached at Antioch they shaved his head like a foole." However this may have been, it is certain that the Tonsure was not the distinguishing mark of the priesthood during the first centuries of the Church. At the same time, all Christians were expected to avoid vanity in dressing their hair, and to keep it short; and since cutting the hair close was anciently the universal expression of mourning and penance (see 208), the primitive hermits shaved the whole head as a sign of greater austerity. Imitating their example, many of the fathers and doctors of the Church shaved their heads to a greater or a lesser degree according as their own fancy directed; but it was not until the fourth century that the tonsure was generally imposed upon the priesthood, and even then a further two centuries elapsed before its form, as indicating the rank or order of different priests, was determined. It may not be known that the monks of the Carthusian order shave the whole head to this day.


28. Signet Rings were in ancient times recognized as instruments of authority and investiture, strictly reserved for the use of kings and other privileged persons. The delivery of a signet, therefore, carried with it the power of making use of the royal seal, and implied the creation of a superior office of state. The investiture of the dignitaries of the Roman Catholic Church has always been marked by the delivery of a signet. Pope Gregory IV. ordered it to he worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, but after his death the order was reversed, on the ground that such a symbol of papal authority should be displayed to the best advantage. As the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand are employed for giving the blessing, and in various other ways at the altar, the fourth finger was chosen as the most convenient. On Good Friday the ring is laid aside, because the Church is then in mourning.


29. It is a noteworthy fact that no pope has ever borne the name of Peter. The custom of a newly-elected Pope assuming a New Name was introduced in the year 844 by Peter di Porca, because he thought it would be presumptuous on his part to style himself Peter the Second. He therefore adopted the style of Sergius the Second. With this example before them, all the succeeding popes took a new name in imitation of the Apostle, whose original name Simon was changed to Peter, signifying "a rock," by our Lord Himself.


30. It is commonly but erroneously asserted that Cardinals wear Red Hats, birettas, and habits as a perpetual reminder that they should be prepared to shed their blood for the Church. Red was, during the Middle Ages, the distinctive royal colour throughout Christendom, just as purple was that of the Roman emperors. Only sovereigns and princes were allowed to robe themselves and decorate their residences with material of this colour. Red is still the royal colour of England (see 5). In the audience chamber at the Vatican, the chair of state reserved for kings and princes who in former times sought an audience with the Pope in person is, like the papal throne and the walls of the Pope's private apartments, covered with crimson damask. As "the father of princes and kings, the ruler of the world on earth, the vicar of our Lord Jesus Christ," according to the formula recited at his coronation, the Pope takes rank with sovereigns, and his cardinals bear the style of "Princes of the Church." This is why the latter wear red hats, birettas, and habits. In olden times the Pope's legate took precedence even of royalty.


31. Everyone knows that the Franciscan Friars originally bore the name also of the Grey Friars, from the colour of their habit. But the habit of the Franciscans to-day is brown instead of grey. To explain the reason of this change, it will be necessary to go back to the time when the order was instituted. There was never any rule laid down to determine the colour of the Franciscan habit, further than it should be of some common earth or mould colour, whereby this particular order of mendicant friars might be identified with the poorest of the poor. As a matter of fact, St. Francis d' Assisi had from the very inception of his scheme for founding a new order, been struck with the distinctive garb of the poor shepherds of Umbria. This consisted of a loose gown of undyed (grey) wool, girdled round the waist with a rope. Now as nothing could have been more becoming to a set of religious devotees who voluntarily embraced poverty, this primitive costume of the Umbrian shepherds was at once adopted by St. Francis and all his followers. The change from grey to brown came about in quite a natural manner. In pursuance of the pious intentions of their founder, the Franciscans never lost sight of the distinguishing garb of the poorest classes of the community in whose midst they dwelt. Towards the close of the fifteenth century the poorest classes of Italy and Spain commenced to wear garments made of dyed materials, in imitation of those better circumstanced than themselves. Instead of affecting gaudy colours, however, they contented themselves with one of a sombre kind, well in keeping with the coarse nature of the material itself. Brown came thus to be the general colour of the poorer classes, as it was in England during the eighteenth century. Noting this, the Franciscans substituted brown for their original grey habits, and brown it has ever since remained throughout Europe. In Chili, on the other hand, the Franciscan habit is at the present day blue, this being the colour generally adopted by the common people, in contradistinction, as it were, to the better classes who affect brown and grey. With regard to Europe, there is every probability of the Franciscan habit being once more grey. Already the Tertians or members of the Third Order of St. Francis, established for those living in the world, wear, when assembled in the churches, a grey habit closely resembling that of the poor shepherds of Lombardy of the time of St. Francis.


32. The religious order of the Servites was founded in the year 1283 by seven Florentine merchants, who had long been accustomed by mutual agreement to meet in a little chapel of the Annunciation just outside the city walls every day to chant the Ave and evensong in honour of the Blessed Virgin. For this pious practice they became so well known that in coming and going people generally pointed them out as the "servants of the Virgin." At last they determined to forsake the world, and having sold their possessions, each took up his abode in a hut on Monte Senario, a solitary mountain situated about half-a-dozen miles from the city. Their habit was originally white, in token of the purity of the Virgin whose servants they avowed themselves; but on a certain day one of their number had a vision from the Blessed Virgin, who charged them to assume a black habit in remembrance of her maternal sorrows and the death of her Divine Son. Accordingly, they have ever since worn a black habit. In the beautiful Servites' church, in the Fulham Road, a tablet containing the names of the seven founders may be seen.


33. Everyone has heard of the Little Sisters of the Poor, those pious gentlewomen who every day beg the scraps of food left over from the tables of the wealthy and middle classes, for the support of the orphan children and aged folk with which they charge themselves. Their London home is Nazareth House, Hammersmith, but a stone's throw from the busy Broadway. It may not be generally known, however, that the sisters touch no food themselves except that which is returned to them from the tables of the inmates of their institution. The foundress of this noble religious order (Mother Marie Augustine) was originally a cook in the household of an English family at Dinard, in France. For some time she had been in the habit of selling the scraps from the kitchen as perquisites, until it occurred to her that they might be put to a far better use in the interests of the poor. Thereupon she left her situation, and went every day from house to house to collect the broken bits for distribution to the poor. This pious undertaking developed not long afterwards into the formation of a distinct religious order. Mother Marie Augustine died in 1893.


34. A beautiful ceremony is that of a novice Taking the Veil. This is a figurative as well as a literal expression. She has already taken the white veil, and conformed to all the rules of her order, but the moment she assumes the black veil and takes the vows of chastity and obedience, all the beauties of God's fair earth outside the convent garden are excluded from her sight, and relatives and friends are as dead to her. A solemn Mass is said, at which all the inmates of the convent assist; she is arrayed in bridal robes and wreath and veil, and in that character takes her vows, while a plain gold ring is placed on the fourth finger of her lefthand, as the spouse of the Church. linally she is shorn of her tresses, and her bridal robes are exchanged for the sombre religious habit. Her espousal ring, however, she retains during life, and even in her coffin after death.


5. Bell, Book, and Candle were the three instruments employed in the carrying out of a sentence of excommunication. By the ringing of the bell all persons present in the church were apprised of what was about to take place; the sentence was read out of the book, and the lighted candle was then extinguished to denote the spiritual darkness in which the excommunicated person would for the future abide.


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