Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

MARTINMAS, MARTLEMAS, OR MARTILMASSE; November 11th.—The festival of St. Martin, one of the most celebrated saints in the Romish calendar, who was born about the year 402 at Sabaria, now called Stain am Angern, a city of Hungary. Sulpicius Severus affirms that he equalled Plato, Socrates, and the apostles,* an opinion, which, it would seem, is highly approved of by Gregory of Tours,† as well as by Durandus, so far at least as regarded the latter part of the comparison. Durandus is even at the pains of explaining that Martin was said to rival the apostles, not, as some thought, because he raised the dead, for other saints had done as much, nor yet from the multitude of his miracles, but on account of one mi.. racle in particular. This it is. One day in the depth of winter he met, at the gates of Amiens in Picardy, a poor man quite naked, whom the hard-hearted passers-by refused to relieve; hereupon the saint felt that Heaven had reserved the holy work more especially for himself, and as he possessed nothing but the garment he had on, having spent all beside in charity, he immediately cut it into two, and gave one half to the pauper. In those times such acts of piety seldom went without the reward of a

already noticed, a quotation from an old MS., which I have not been able to find in the British Museum, and which may possibly be in the library of the city of London. Fairholt in his Lord Mayor's Pageants, part i. p. 30, gives a portion of these same quotations, but evidently from Sir E. Brydges, as he makes no distinct reference to the MS.

* "Sciat Corinthus, sciant Athenæ, non sapientiorem in Academia Platonem, nec Socratem in carcere fortiorem ; felicem quidem Græciam, quæ meruit audire Apostolum prædicantem, sed nequaquam a Christo Gallias derelictas, quibus donaverit habere Martinum." SULPICII SEVERI OPERA.-Dialogus iij. p. 326, 16mo. Amstelodami, 1656. Elzevir.

† S. GREGORII TURONENSIS OP.-Miraculorum S. Martini, lib. i. cap. 1. p. 999.

divine revelation, whatever they may do now a-days; and in a vision of the night, the saint saw Christ clothed in the identical half of the robe he had thus given away in charity; at the same time he heard him say to the surrounding angels, "Martin, although he is only a catechumen, gave me this cloak.”*

From his early years he had a great fancy for the church, and when only ten years old would fain have been a hermit, much to the annoyance of the tribune his father, who as an old soldier had no sympathy whatever with these spiritual inclinations. When therefore the youthful saint had attained the age of fifteen, his father, in obedience to the royal mandate that the sons of all veterans should be conscripts, delivered him over to the authorities in fetters, and compelled him to become a soldier. Upon this he served for three years, after which he joined the legion of saints, and performed so many miracles that

* The legend here given is from Sulpicius Severus, for though the same story is told by Durandus (p. 303,) yet it is with so many points of difference that I have preferred the older, and therefore the more orthodox, version of the affair. Durand even goes so far as to make Martin Bishop of Tours at the time, whereas Sulpicius says, "quodam itaque tempore, cum jam nihil præter arma et simplicem militiæ vestem, media hyeme, quæ solito asperior inhorruerat, adeo ut plerosque vis algoris extingueret, obvium habet in porta Ambianensium civitatis pauperem nudum; qui cum prætereuntes ut sui misererentur oraret, omnesque miserum præterirent, intellexit vir deo plenus sibi illum, aliis misericordiam non præstantibus, reservari. Quid tamen ageret? nihil præter chlamydem, quæ indutus erat, habebat, jam enim reliqua in opus simile consumpserat. Arrepto itaque ferro, quo incinctus erat mediam dividit, partemque ejus pauperi tribuit, reliqua rursus induitur. Nocte igitur insecuta, cum se sopori dedisset, vidit Christum chlamydis Intueri diligentissimè suæ qua pauperem texerat parte vestitum.

Dominum, vestemque quam dederat agnoscere, jubetur. Mox ad angelorum circumstantium multitudinum audit Jesum clara voce dicentem, Martinus, adhuc catechumen, hac me veste contexi.' SULPICII SEVERI DE VITA B. MARTINI LIB. p. 218.

it has taken Gregory of Tours four books, divided into a multitude of chapters, to describe them all.

This festival, which was instituted by Pope Martin about the year 650, is generally considered to have been derived from the Athenian Pythagia,* a feast which was so named from tapping the casks of new wine. It took place on the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth days of the month Anthesterion, corresponding with our November, and in all the vine-growing countries the custom still remains of feasting and rejoicing. In Franconia, as we are told by

* "Hæc est læta dies; ista populusque patresque
Luce cados relinunt, et defecata per omnes
Vina ferunt mensas, ac libera verba loquuntur.
Talis apud veteres olim sacrata Lyæo

Lux erat, a priscis vocitata Pithagia Græcis
Quod signata dies aperiret dolia festus."

Hospinian, from whom I quote these lines, says they are from the Fasti of Mantuanus. There are no Fasti, however, in the works of the only Mantuanus I am acquainted with, who was a Carmelite, and has favoured the world with two volumes of mediocre Latin verse.

[ocr errors]

† “ Τοῦ νέε οἴνε ̓Αθήνησι μὲν ἑνδεκάτη μηνὸς κατάρχονται, Πιθοιγίαν τὴν ἡμέραν καλῶντες· καὶ πάλαι γε (ὡς ἔοικεν) εὔχοντο, τῷ οἴνε, πρὶν ἡ πιεῖν, αποσπένδοντες, ἀβλαβῆ καὶ σωτήριον αὐτοῖς τ8 φαρμάκε την χρῆσιν γενέσθαι.” Plutarchi Symposiacon. Quæstio vii., lib. iii. p. 601. Vol. viii. Edit. Reiskii, 8vo. Lipsia, 1777."At Athens on the tenth of the month (i. e. Anthesterion), they first taste the new wine, calling the day Pythagia. And anciently (as it appears) before they drank, they made a libation of the wine, praying that the use of it might prove harmless and medicinal." The same thing is alluded to in another Symposium : Καὶ μὴν οἴνε γε τὸν νέον οἱ πρωϊαίτατα πίνοντες ̓Ανθεςεριῶνι πίνεσι μηνὶ μετὰ χειμῶνα· καὶ τὴν ἡμέραν ἐκείνην ἡμεῖς μὲν ̓Αγαθῆ Δαίμονος, ̓Αθεναῖοι δὲ Iloiуiav πроσayopεúsσi." IDEM. lib. viii. Quæstio x. p. 932.

[ocr errors]

They, who drink the wine the quickest, do so in the month, Anthesterion, following winter; and that day we call the Day of the Good Genius, but the Athenians call it PYTHAGIA."-The word is compounded of Πίθος, α cask, and οἴγειν, to open.

divine revelation, whatever they may do now a-days; and in a vision of the night, the saint saw Christ clothed in the identical half of the robe he had thus given away in charity; at the same time he heard him say to the surrounding angels, "Martin, although he is only a catechumen, gave me this cloak."*

From his early years he had a great fancy for the church, and when only ten years old would fain have been a hermit, much to the annoyance of the tribune his father, who as an old soldier had no sympathy whatever with these spiritual inclinations. When therefore the youthful saint had attained the age of fifteen, his father, in obedience to the royal mandate that the sons of all veterans should be conscripts, delivered him over to the authorities in fetters, and compelled him to become a soldier. Upon this he served for three years, after which he joined the legion of saints, and performed so many miracles that

*The legend here given is from Sulpicius Severus, for though the same story is told by Durandus (p. 303,) yet it is with so many points of difference that I have preferred the older, and therefore the more orthodox, version of the affair. Durand even goes so far as to make Martin Bishop of Tours at the time, whereas Sulpicius says, "quodam itaque tempore, cum jam nihil præter arma et simplicem militiæ vestem, media hyeme, quæ solito asperior inhorruerat, adeo ut plerosque vis algoris extingueret, obvium habet in porta Ambianensium civitatis pauperem nudum; qui cum prætereuntes ut sui misererentur oraret, omnesque miserum præterirent, intellexit vir deo plenus sibi illum, aliis misericordiam non præstantibus, reservari. Quid tamen ageret? nihil præter chlamydem, quæ indutus erat, habebat, jam enim reliqua in opus simile consumpserat. Arrepto itaque ferro, quo incinctus erat mediam dividit, partemque ejus pauperi tribuit, reliqua rursus induitur Nocte igitur insecuta, cum se sopori dedisset, vidit Christum chlamyd suæ qua pauperem texerat parte vestitum. Intueri diligentissi Dominum, vestemque quam dederat agnoscere, jubetur. Mox angelorum circumstantium multitudinum audit Jesum clara dicentem, Martinus, adhuc catechumen, hac me veste con SULPICII SEVERI DE VITA B. MARTINI LIB. p. 218.

[ocr errors]

it has taken Gregory of Tours four books, divided into a multitude of chapters, to describe them all.

This festival, which was instituted by Pope Martin about the year 650, is generally considered to have been derived from the Athenian Pythagia,* a feast which was so named from tapping the casks of new wine. It took place on the eleventh, twelfth, and thirteenth days of the month Anthesterion, corresponding with our November, and in all the vine-growing countries the custom still remains of feasting and rejoicing. In Franconia, as we are told by

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed]
« ПредишнаНапред »