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was overflowed with relics. Whenever a
town in the Holy Land was conquered, the
crusaders looked first for relics, as more
precious than golden gems. Lewis the
Saint made two unfortunate crusades, but
he comforted himself with the relics he
brought home. These were, some splinters
from the cross, a few nails, the sponge, the
purple coat which the mocking soldiers
threw over the shoulders of Christ, and
the thorn crown. These holy things he
acquired for immense sums. When they
arrived, he and his whole court went out
barefoot as far as Vincennes to meet them.

Henry the Lion brought many relics to
Brunswick: among them the thumb of
St. Mark, for which the Venetians offered
in vain one hundred thousand ducats.

The whole wardrobe of Our Saviour, of
the Holy Virgin, of St. Joseph, and of many
saints turned up, certified by Infallibility.
The holy lance was found, with which the
Roman knight Longinus wounded the body;
also the handkerchief of St. Veronica, which
she handed to Christ to wipe his face when
he was on his way to Golgotha, and on which
he left the impression of his features. This
handkerchief must have been at least fifty
yards long, to judge from the pieces
(always certified by Infallibility) which are
shown at different places. The dish of
emerald was found, which was presented to
Solomon by the Queen of Sheba, and from
which Christ ate the Easter lamb; the
waterpots were found from the wedding at
Cana, and they were still filled with wine.
There exist so many splinters of the cross,
and so many nails from it, that it is
supposed a man-of-war does not contain more
wood and iron. Thorns from the crown
were found in great quantity, and some of
them bled every holy Friday. The cup,
from which Christ drank when he instituted
the Lord's supper, was discovered, together
with some of the bread left from that repast.
The dice which the soldiers used for casting
lots for the garments were also found, and
likewise the unseamed tunic. There exist
such tunics at Triers, Argenteuil, St. Jago,
Rome, and many other places. All have a
certificate from Infallibility.

There were also found infallible shirts of
the Virgin, as large as carriers' frocks. Her
very precious wedding ring was shown at
Perusa, together with a pair of very neat
slippers, and a pair of very large red
slippers, which she wore when paying a
visit to St. Elizabeth. Milk of Mary was
discovered in great abundance, and Divine
blood: sometimes in single drops,
sometimes bottled. There exist also the
infallible swaddling clothes, a very small pair
of infallible breeches of St. Joseph, and his
carpenter's tools. One of the thirty silver
pieces, the price of the awful treachery of
Judas, has also been preserved, together with
the ropetwelve feet long and rather too
thinby which the traitor hanged himself;
also, his very small empty purse. Even the
perch turned up, on which the cock crew
which startled the conscience of the Prince
of Apostles; even the stone with which the
evil one tempted Our Lord in the desert;
even the basin in which Pilate washed his
hands; even the bones of the ass on which
the entry into Jerusalem was made. There
were even revealed relics from the Old Testament
which had lain safely hidden vast numbers
of years. For instance: the staff with
which Moses parted the Red Sea; manna
from the desert; the beard of Noah; a piece
of the rock from which Moses drew water.

The belief of the benighted people in these
relics was so strong, that the priests could
even venture to, show, not merely absurdly
improbable, but manifestly impossible
relics; there once were on exhibition,
and are even now in some countries, such
relics as the dagger and buckles of the
Archangel Michael; something of the
breath of Our Saviour preserved in a
box; a bottle of Egyptian darkness;
something of the sound of the bells chiming
at the entry into Jerusalem; a beam of the
star which conducted the wise men from
the East to Bethlehem; something of the
Word that had become flesh; sighs of
Joseph, breathed forth when he had to
plane very knotty boards; the thorn in the
flesh which so greatly troubled St. Paul.

In Germany alone there were nearly one
hundred wonder-working images of the
Virgin, but the most celebrated is that at
Loretto, in the house already mentioned. It is
ascribed to St. Luke, and is most carefully
cut out of cedar wood, and is dyed black by
the smoke of many millions of wax candles
burnt there by pilgrims. The next celebrated
image is at St. Jago de Compostella, where
you might have seen but a few years ago,
thirty thousand pilgrims at once; none of
whom dared to approach it empty handed.





THE dismal event, it may be imagined,
furnished some substantial grist for little
mills supplied by the chiffonniers who went
about St. Arthur's, picking up and sorting
the old bones and rags of gossip. The poor