Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

only revered as the altar on which the or the sun ; and although it has been alMelek Taous, the religious symbol of the leged that it is merely the tomb of a man Yezidis, is exposed. A burning lamp hung of the name of Shems, such a report would before the curtain. A little further on was be one likely to spread by the Yezidis to another recess containing a somewhat conceal its real import. In fact, so far as smaller box or altar, which is called the their doctrines are known, they present an tomb of Sheikh Hussein. The curtain extraordinary resemblance to those which in this case was not so richly worked, and long were held in Persia, when the prethe lamp was smaller ; the shrine being cepts of Zoroaster had been corrupted by evidently of a secondary rank. We now admixture with a grosser Sabæanism. descended a few steps into the second di The Yezidis have many peculiar cusvision of the building, which exactly re toms which separate them from the other sembled the first in construction, but it inhabitants of Armenia and Mesopotamia. was empty and unornamented. At the One of their greatest grievances was being end was a door which brought us out to enrolled in the Turkish army, by which the court again. The sheikh assured me many of their prejudices were shocked. that I had now seen the whole of the sa Their uniforms were blue-a sacred color cred edifice, and finished by conducting me -and one which no Yezidi can conscienover the buildings set apart for the more tiously wear ; they were compelled to eat distinguished pilgrims, and their horses, lettuces and other vegetables forbidden by which adjoin the temple.

their religion; and they were forced to go The Yezidis have of late years been to the public baths with Mohammedans, brought somewhat before the notice of the which is the height of abomination : for public through the travels of Mr. Layard although as a people they are very cleanand Mr. Badger ; but as, unfortunately, ly, yet their ablutions must be performed these gentlemen seem unable to agree apart, and, if possible, in a running stream. either in their books or out of them, the However, now, through the exertions of world is not much the wiser as to the real Lord Stratford, they are permitted to pay tenets of this singular people. In fact, a fixed sum annually, which secures their the principal point in their religion seems exemption from military service. to be to conceal their doctrines from the Fish, too, is a forbidden article of food, uninitiated, and for this purpose every and appears to be held sacred; a superkind of falsehood is resorted to. To a stition which reminds one of the tanks of Mohammedan, a Yezidi will say he be- sacred fish which are maintained in India lieves in Mohammed; to a Christian that at the present day, and of the account of he believes in Christ; and among Mo- the reservoir filled with them in the great hammedans they circumcise their chil- temple of the Syrian goddess at Hierapdren, while among Christians they baptize olis. them. It seems certain, however, that, if At a distance a Yezidi may at once be possible, every member of the tribe makes known by his shirt, which is closed at the a pilgrimage once in his life to the sacred neck, instead of being left open like those valley of Sheikh Adi, and is immersed in worn by the Kurds and Arabs; and on its waters.

nearer approach it is impossible to mistake With regard to their worship of the their large noses and strongly-marked feadevil, it is now evident that at most they tures. They are evidently a distinct peobut endeavor to propitiate him. I have ple from their neighbors, and the purity of been told by those who, more fortunate the race is kept up by stringent laws, than myself, were present at the great fes- which excommunicate any person who tival in the year of my visit, that the word marries out of the tribe. They are indusYesdan constantly recurred in their sacred trious and warlike, and were it not for the songs, and the priests themselves acknowl- constant persecution they suffer from the edged that this was the name by which Mohammedans, they would be far more they adored the Supreme Being. Their prosperous than the other inhabitants of reverence for fire is very great, and it is these provinces. considered sinful to spit into it, or to scat Every creed in the East has its kubleh, ter it upon the earth. They have, too, a or sacred point to which to turn in prayer, small temple in the valley of Sheikh Adi, and that of the Yezidis is toward the north. which bears the name of Sheikh Shems, The common people do not appear to pray

THE

at all. They leave that duty to the priests, priest is bowing to it, turned away from who occasionally meet, and perform mys- the people; pictures and images are all tic dances, at the same time chanting around you. This is a Lutheran church. verses in honor of Yezdan and Sheikh Adi. In another part you will find cold, gray, The dead are buried with their faces to- bare walls, a service entirely unadorned : ward the north.

a hymn, one of those simple, yet grand On the evening before the new year the expressions of love and faith descended Yezidi villages present a very gay ap- from the days of Luther, is sung: a pearance, as the door of every house is prayer is offered, and a sermon preached. decorated with bunches of scarlet ane- This is the Reformed church. But in both mones, and on feast-days the people wear the congregation is scanty, chiefly comthese and others twisted into their tur- posed of women and children : all is lifebans.

less ; and the sermon, far from rousing or

warming the feelings, is of a milk-andPROTESTANTISM IN GERMANY.

water sort, coldly moralizing, without that

exhibition of the love of Christ which is THE mission of the Methodist Episco- the only effectual stimulant.

pal Church in Germany, yet in its. The Germans generally are not orators; infancy, is nevertheless exerting a most and even the best are tame in their pulpit salutary influence. The erection of a efforts, in this respect standing far behind church in Bremen, by the liberality of the French preachers, who are characterChristians in the United States, is an ized by much affectionate earnestness. event of great importance; and the circu- There are among these clergy many men of lation of books, evangelical in their char- great benevolence and goodness, whom it is acter, is an omen of great good. Con- impossible not to love and admire in their sidering the indebtedness of the Church home circle, where the affectionate and to the land of Luther, and the present sincere manners of every member of the low state of religion in that country, we family present the most lovely aspect of regard the missionary field there as one German character. But in the minds of of the most important, and likely to be all the men, doubt and irreligion have the one of the most successful in which the ascendency. Not that they are, or can Church is engaged. The following ac- be, happy in this state of things: far from count of the present state of Protestant it. There is a wide-spread dissatisfaction, ism in Germany will be read with inter- a longing for change, and a looking forest. We condense it from the Church of ward to they know not what, expending England Magazine for May.

their strength of mind in trying to solve It must always be a painful subject of endless problems in politics and religion, thought to the Christian world that the and thus completely reducing the moral country which gave birth to the great powers of their nature. reformers should have gradually lapsed Of our Sabbath they can form no coninto a state of religious decay. I propose ception : it is a day, they say, intended in the following paper to take a slight for rational recreation, and the enjoyment review of the present religious condition of nature : so, after the service in the of Germany, and the hopes we may form morning, which but few attend, they take from it for the future.

a long walk into the country with their The thunders of Luther against the children, desiring to make the day one of Romish religion, and his prominent de- rejoicing to the young. This is what the fense of that grand doctrine of justifica- better and more religious part of the comtion by faith, have, it is well known, been munity do: as for the mass of the people, superseded by an utter indifference to true they do not look upon it in a religious religion, in many of the clergy, and in light at all, but meet to smoke, drink beer, almost all the people.

and play at nine-pins, or attend the theaIf you enter a church in one part of ters; as if it were an ordinary holiday. Germany, you will perhaps be surprised Everywhere you hear in private conto find that ceremonies are going on, so versation the clergy regretting deeply the similar to a Roman Catholic ritual as want of religious faith and motive of acscarcely to be distinguished from it. The tion in the young : Rationalism seems unicandles are burning before the altar ; the versally spread among the thinking portion

of the population. No charity is excited The great disappointment which has by religion : nothing is done or suffered been felt about the movement of Ronge, for that sacred cause. Consequently, you which at the time of the pilgrimage to find none of those noble and disinterested Trèves it was hoped would prove a second efforts for the poor and helpless, which Reformation, obliges us to be cautious in excite every mind, more or less, in Eng- forming another judgment. His sect of land and America. There has lately, how- German Catholics still remain in Prussia. ever, been a little reaction in this way, They have been exposed to bitter persewhich is spreading among the higher ranks cution everywhere, and entirely suppressed of life, and principally among the ladies, in Vienna, owing to their democratic tenwho, desiring a purer and more active dencies ; not fearing, even from the pulpit, piety, are the leaders in many excellent to speak of the oppression of the rulers, institutions. One lady of rank, in Berlin, and want of freedom among the people. is the superintendent of a hospital : sev They are, in fact, the only people who eral, both in that city and in Hamburg, speak out in Germany. Their leader was are usefully engaged.

obliged to fly to England to escape imThere has also been much conversation prisonment; and many wild doctrines lately upon what is called the “ inner mis- have now spread among his followers. sion;" which is intended as a strong pro- They believe that the spirits of the good, test against Rationalism, and an endeavor instead of having a separate existence in to gain a firmer hold of the minds of the the world to come, will be absorbed into people in favor of religion. The leaders the essence of God; and many of the of this mission say their desire is to An- inembers refuse a belief in Christ as divine, glicize Germany ; to restore the Sabbath or in the inspiration of the Scriptures. to its true position, as a day consecrated As a religious party it will soon die out; to God; and to obtain for the ministers of but its influence upon politics may be religion a respect and attention which is extensive, containing, as it does, the only almost entirely lost.

elements of freedom in the country. Herr Wiehern, well known as the found * I think, then, we may gather that, upon er of the Rauhe Haus, a most successful the whole, there is some ground for the reformatory institution for the young, near hope that among all these jarring elements Hamburg, is the leader of this movement. of religious belief, a brighter day of pure He has traveled over all Germany to pro- religion and worship will arise for Germote its object, and holds a high place many—when dreaming and speculation are in the esteem of many of its rulers and reduced to practice, and the poor have kings. The King of Prussia, who, though the Gospel preached to them, we come so vacillating as a monarch, has yet many nearer to the life of Christ, and are more virtues, supports and desires the success likely to obtain the wished-for results, of this mission. The young men, who than from all the philosophers who hope are at the head of each Rauhe Haus, are to penetrate by the light of reason into imbued with its doctrines ; and, as they what was only intended to be discerned are sent for into all parts of the country by faith—and that, where the morning to conduct similar reformatory institutions, star of the Reformation was first seen, they carry with them the praises of Herr the Sun of Righteousness will again shine Wiehern and the “inner mission;" and the with redoubled brightness, and shed healapprentices who leave the Home, and who ing from his wings. are received with open arms by the masters, though gathered from the dregs of Charles IV. AND THE Watches.-After the people, so complete is the reform his abdication, Charles amused himself in effected, are all converts to the same doc- his retirement at St. Juste by attempting trines.

to make a number of watches go exactly It is difficult to say what will be the together. Being constantly foiled in this result of this effort. Disappointment may attempt, he exclaimed: “What a fool be the portion of many of its enthusiastic have I been to neglect my own concerns, advocates ; but, at any rate, it is rousing and to waste my life in a vain attempt to from lethargy, and will awaken some to a make all men think alike on matters of higher sense of their social and religious religion, when I cannot even make a few duty.

watches keep time together!" Vol. VII.-18

A SKETCH FROM REAL LIFE.

MANG

SPLENDID MISERY. what relieved to the girls the sadness

of their gloomy home. Their father had

all an Irishman's love of company; and. ARGARET, or, as she preferred to though very young, his graceful daughters

call herself, Marguerite, the late were reigning belles with the military and Countess of Blessington, rose from one other gentlemen who frequented the Clonof the lowest stations in life to the pos- mel balls. It is curious to find these session of wealth and all the enjoyments girls, notwithstanding the unpropitious enthat wealth can purchase. She was sur- vironments of their home, and the trainfeited with the pleasures of the world; ing of their very commonplace mother, flattered and caressed, almost idolized, exhibit, when almost children, a rare elebut yet never happy. Her history car- gance in dress and manner-native eleries with it a profound moral lesson, and gance it may well be called. Ellen was is as strange and improbable as the novel- then the fairer of the two; but Marguerite ist could portray; the scenes of her life charmed all by the vivacity of her converare as full of marvelous and striking con- sation and the fascination of her manners. trasts as the dramatist might venture to Ere she was fifteen the poor child had imagine. We meet her first in a plain, the misfortune to receive two offers of middle-class Irish home, in the obscure marriage. The gentlemen were both offivillage of Knockbrit, when about five cers, both men of good family-either a years old. Her family removed to the great match for the daughter of a worthlittle town of Clonmel, where the father less, ruined man. One, Captain Murray, followed first the business of a corn-mer- was favored by the young lady; the other, chant and butter-seller, which was after- Captain Farmer, she held in the utmost ward relinquished for that of proprietor dread and abhorrence. Yet he was the of a local paper—a change which proved richer of the two; and the heartless, merruinous to his fortunes. This father, cenary parents he

tate not to sell the Edmund Power, is bad and repellant unhappy child, in spite of her passionate enough for any tale.' Abroad, he is con- remonstrances, to a man she detested, and sidered a handsome, thoughtless, jovial whom they knew to be frequently insane. fellow; with pleasant manners--a suffi- | With this husband she lived three months, ciently merry and agreeable companion ;/ during which time “he frequently treated at home, he is perfectly brutal—a man her with personal violence; he used to whose very presence carries terror to his strike her on the face, pinch her till her wife and children. Now and then, too, arms were black and blue, lock her up the savageness of his temper bursts out whenever he went abroad, and often left beyond the domestic circle. A magistrate her without food till she felt almost famhe must needs be; and, albeit he is a ished." Roman Catholic, he chooses to distinguish Bad as was the Clonmel home, this himself by the fierce zeal with which he was worse ; and the miserable girl-wife hunts for supposed rebels. On one of his escaped to her father's house. But there excursions he shot mortally a poor inno- she found no welcome; “her father was cent lad, and was tried for the murder, unkind, and more than unkind to her." but acquitted.

She was considered as standing in the As years passed on, the home of the way of her sisters' prospects, and ere long Powers at Clonmel became more and more she again left the paternal roof. At little wretched. Increasing poverty and em- more than fifteen, Marguerite Farmer, barrassments irritated the father's temper with a living husband and a living father, to fury, and his outbursts of rage became is thrown on the world, an outcast from more frequent and more terrific. It was both the homes which nature and law had an awful place for the training of young given her, and utterly unprepared by sound hearts; yet three of the daughters of this moral training to meet the perils of such misery-stricken house lived to wear a position. No fear and love of a heavcoronet-Marguerite, Countess of Bless- enly Father had ever been inculcated on ington; Ellen, Viscountess Canterbury; the child ; respect for her earthly one was and Mary Anne, Countess de St. Mar- impossible. Naught that was high and sault.

noble, good or worthy, had she ever been Provincial gayeties now and then some-| taught by precept or example. The world,

a

miserable as to her it hitherto had been, tions for political and literary men; yet was all she had been taught to think of Lady Blessington speedily succeeds in from her cradle ; to snatch such of its filling her saloons with as distinguished a shallow joys as were within her reach was circle as any to be found in the metropoall the solace she had learned to expect. lis. “ The Blessingtons' splendid man

A long gap now occurs in the history sion in St. James's-square," writes Dr. of her life. Whither she wandered, or Madden, " in a short time became the renhow she employed herself, for a period of dezvous of the élite of London celebrities, about a dozen years, we know not. In of all kinds of distinction; the first literati, 1816 she is resident in Manchester-square, statesmen, artists, eminent men of all proLondon, with a brother, and has renewed fessions, in a short time became habitual her acquaintance with the Earl of Bless- visitors at the abode of the newly-married ington. She had met this nobleman, as lord and lady." Lord Mountjoy, long before in Clonmel, “ Two royal English dukes condescendwhen he was there with a regiment of ed, not unfrequently, to do homage at the militia. 'After that time he had married. new shrine of Irish beauty and intellect In 1814 his wife died, and the disconso- in St. James's-square. Canning, Lord late husband chose to display his grief by Castlereagh, the Marquis of Lansdowne, the most costly funeral honors. The body Scarlett and Jekyll, Erskine and many lay in state in his house in Dublin, and other celebrities, paid their devoirs there. some four thousand pounds were required Whig and Tory politicians and lawyers, to defray the expenses. On the 16th of forgetful of their party feuds and profesFebruary, 1818, he married Mrs. Farmer, sional rivalries for the nonce, came there she having become a widow four months as gentle pilgrims. Kemble and Matpreviously by the death of her husband, thews, Lawrence and Wilkie ; eminent from an accident which befell him in a divines too, Dr. Parr, and others; Rogers, drunken revel.

Moore, and Luttrel, were among the voThe newly-wedded couple repair to taries who paid their vows in visits there, Dublin. A party of his lordship's friends not angel-like, for theirs were neither are asked to meet them. Some of these few nor far between.' knew nothing of the marriage, which had Brilliant as this life was, my lord soon been kept a secret, till Lord Blessington got tired of it. He had pursued pleasure " entered the drawing-room with a lady so long that the chase itself had become of extraordinary beauty, and in bridal wearisome, and the goal naught. A sad costume, leaning on his arm, whom he story was his. Born to a fortune of introduced as Lady Blessington.” Then £30,000 per annum, with the large capathey remembered that when in that room cities for good and the many objects of before, it was draped in the emblems of interest open to a great land owner, with mourning, and contained the lifeless re- good abilities and an amiable disposition, mains of another Countess of Blessington, he yet passed through life with no thought in her life beautiful and pleasure-seeking, of responsibility, no one worthy aim. He like the fair lady now entering on the lived to amuse himself; and, while yet in same paths, but all-forgetful that at length the prime of life, had the horror to find she must reach the same goal.

that he was no longer amusable. When In her husband's magnificent mansion grasped, all his delights fell into ashes in in St. James's-square, Lady Blessington his hands. Still he would pursue the same commenced her London life of fashion. weary, fruitless road, only try another What though she be but the daughter of of its many paths. Fresh excitement an Irish trader, she will not submit to be must be sought abroad, and a long contilooked coldly on as a parvenu ; she is nental tour was determined on. His lordnow a countess, nay, she will be more ship travels in magnificent style ; and than an ordinary countess ; she has grace, nothing which John Bull could wish for and talent, and energy, and she will aim comfort, or aristocratic pride demand for at fashionable leadership, of the most flat- show, is wanting. All arrangements are tering kind too-leadership in the world made in Paris, and my lord and lady are of aristocratic intellect. And she accom en route for Italy, accompanied by her plishes her object. Holland-house and ladyship's youngest sister, Miss Mary Charleville-house had each its own attrac- | Anne Power, Mr. Matthews, the cele

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »