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geraniums, aud a dozen other plants, all
blooming in pots, which were generally
artfully concealed or artificially decorated.

Lights were disposed everywhere on the
altar; at the mountain's summit, the golden
rays surrounding the host glittered and
sparkled in the light of these many tapers.
Often lower down on the mountain you would
see two angels praying, their robes, very
fluttering, of pale pink and white drapery,
their hair very yellow, and their cheeks very
pink; often ivy and creeping plants were
made to festoon, and gracefully shadow the
opening of the cave. The steps, too, approaching
the altar and sepulchre, were a mass of
flowers; sometimes a steep wall of flowers
and greenness rose abruptly up, and permitted
you but a narrow glimpse of the interior of the
cave.  Tall orange-trees, in tubs, laurels, and
cedars, stood in groups on either hand. To
complete the general idea, you must imagine
the rest of the church darkened, with
daylight struggling through blinded windows,
and through the doorways, as the heavy doors
swung ever to and fro to admit the entrance
and the departure of the restless crowd.
Imagine, also, a dense multitude circulating
through all these churches, and only stationary
before the sepulchre; and above, the shuffle of
feet and the murmur of prayers or adoration,
fitful, plaintive strains of music, moaning
through the gloom, and the sonorous voices of
the priests chaunting their solemn dirge.
Such, with slight variations, was the scene in
the Munich churches throughout this Good
Friday. In the Basilica, the sepulchre was
somewhat more tasteful. There a very
spacious sepulchre was erected beneath the organ-
loft, between two of those beautiful marble
columns which are so great an ornament to
this exquisite church. This, it must be remembered,
was the first celebration of Good Friday
in the new, beautiful Basilica. Towering
shrubs rose against the marble columns,
laurels, orange-trees, and myrtles; ferns, and
moss, and palms shadowed the entrance of
the cavern, drooping naturally from the
artificial rock; there was no altar, no praying
angels, only heaps and heaps of the most lovely
fresh flowers; and far in the gloom of the
cave reposed a figure of Christ; but this time,
without any attempt to deceive you into the
idea of its being a real corpse by aid of colour.
It was a pure statue; and how much more did
it affect the imagination, by merely suggesting
the poetical idea of death! This church,
unlike all the others, was flooded with
sunshine, which glowed on the gold and frescoes,
and warmed the marble floor and columns.

Above the lofty, verdant cavern swelled the
tones of the organ, mingling with the laments
of the choir, fitfully and mournfully; and the
circle of Benedictine monks afar off at the
opposite end of the church, seated behind the
stripped altar, repeated the lament, as though
heaven mourned and earth responded. I sate
for a long time in the warm sunshine before
my favourite altar-piece, that beautiful Martyrdom
of the white, meek St. Stephen, where
all was quiet, and one did not see the sepulchre,
or the crowd, but only heard the music,
and felt the impression of the church and the
day.

With the Basilica we terminated our
afternoon visit of the churches. One little
picturesque bit must not be omited. Madame
Thekla, knowing all the by-paths in and
out of the churches, led us, in leaving
one old church, past the open door of the
sacristy, and I of course looked in. It
was a very large and lofty room; the walls
wainscotted half way up with very dark wood,
rich in panel and carving; above the wainscot,
on the white-washed wall, hung a row
of old portraits of cardinals; a sort of dresser,
or low press, of black carved wood, ran round
the wainscot of the room, and upon this lay
priests' robes, violet, gold, sky-blue and white;
and here and there were seen groups of tall
candlesticks and censers, or a large brush for
the sprinkling of holy water. Light fell into
the solemn room from four lofty windows
high up in the walls, and here and there was
seen a black and white priest passing in and
out; in the foreground two little choristers
adjusting the sit of their white sleeves and
blue petticoats.

After tea I set forth again. Soon we were
at the entrance of St. Michael's church;
crowds and crowds streamed into it. A royal
carriage waited before the principal entrance
royal carriages have been seen driving
about from church to church all the afternoon.
In the forenoon there had been a royal
ceremonial of some kind in the Hof Kapelle;
but, of course, as it was impossible to be in
two places at once, I did not witness it.
Neither did I see King Ludwig, this Good
Friday night, praying among the crowd in St.
Michael's Church as earnestly and as
unostentatiously as the meanest beggar there, and
perhaps side by side with one, as he often
does; because King Ludwig is celebrating,
this year, the holiest night of the Holy Week
in Rome itself. A very ocean of human beings
filled the vast church; dark, undulating waves
of life filled the body of the church; heads
crowded the galleries, and every possible
standing-place. Above the human mass, high
up, suspended in the air, beneath the boldly
swelling arches of the richly ornamented
roof, and casting a warm, golden light upon
the nearest stone-wreaths, and angels, and
glimmering in a warm, dark haze at the
farthest end of the church, burned and blazed
a mighty cross of fire. The effect was
thrillingly beautiful; the gradually softening of
the warm light upon arch and column, till it
was lost in the night of the remoter portions
of the church, was the most beautiful effect,
in its way, conceivable; the contrast so
strong; the forms so sharp: yet the whole
an imperceptible gradation from the strongest
light to the intensest gloom.

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