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number of the assembled crowd, went on with incredible celerity. Some were armed with axes, some with bludgeons, some with sledge-hammers; others brought ladders, pulleys, ropes, and levers. Every statue was hurled from its niche, every picture torn from the wall, every painted window shivered to atoms, every

ancient monument shattered, every sculptured decoration, however inaccessible in appearance, hurled to the ground. Indefatigably, audaciously-endowed, as it seemed, with preternatural strength and nimbleness, these furious iconoclasts clambered up the dizzy heights, shrieking and chattering like malignant apes, as they tore off in triumph the slowly-matured fruit of centuries. In a space of time wonderfully brief, they had accomplished their task.

A colossal and magnificent group of the Saviour crucified between two thieves adorned the principal altar. The statue of Christ was wrenched from its place with ropes and pulleys, while the malefactors, with bitter and blasphemous irony, were left on high, the only representatives of the marble crowd which had been destroyed. A very beautiful piece of architecture decorated the choir—the “repository,” as it was called, in which the body of Christ was figuratively enshrined. This much-admired work rested upon a single column, but rose, arch upon arch, pillar upon pillar, to the height of three hundred feet, till quite lost in the vault above. It was now shattered into a million pieces. The statues, images, pictures, ornaments, as they lay upon the ground, were broken with sledge-hammers, hewn with axes, trampled, torn, and beaten into shreds. A troop of harlots, snatching waxen tapers from the altars, stood around the destroyers, and lighted them at their work. Nothing escaped their omnivorous rage. They desecrated seventy chapels, forced open all the chests of treasure, covered their own squalid attire with the gorgeous robes of the ecclesiastics, broke the sacred bread, poured out the sacramental wine into golden chalices, quaffing huge draughts to the beggars' health;

burned all the splendid missals and manuscripts, and smeared their shoes with the sacred oil, with which kings and prelates had been anointed. It seemed that each of these malicious creatures must have been endowed with the strength of a hundred giants. How else, in the few brief hours of a midsummer night, could such a monstrous desecration have been accomplished by a troop, which, according to all accounts, was not more than one hundred in number. There was a multitude of spectators, as upon all such occasions, but the actual spoilers were very

few. The noblest and richest temple of the Netherlands was a wreck, but the fury of the spoilers was excited, not appeased. Each seizing a burning torch, the whole "herd rushed from the cathedral, and swept howling through the streets. “Long live the beggars ! resounded through the sultry midnight air, as the ravenous pack flew to and fro, smiting every image of the Virgin, every crucifix, every sculptured saint, every Catholic symbol which they met with upon their path. All night long they roamed from one sacred edifice to another, thoroughly destroying as they went. Before morning they had sacked thirty churches within the city walls. They entered the monasteries, burned their invaluable libraries, destroyed their altars, statues, pictures, and, descending into the cellars, broached every cask which they found there, pouring out in one great flood all the ancient wine and ale with which those holy men had been wont to solace their retirement from generation to generation. They invaded the nunneries, whence the occupants, panic-stricken, fled for refuge to the houses of their friends and kindred. The streets were filled with monks and nuns, running this way and that, shrieking and fluttering, to escape the claws of these fiendish Calvinists. The terror was imaginary, for not the least remarkable feature in these transactions was, that neither insult nor injury was offered to man or woman, and that not a farthing's value of the immense amount of property destroyed was appropriated. It was a war, not against the living, but against graven images, nor was the

sentiment which prompted the onslaught in the least commingled with a desire of plunder. The principal citizens of Antwerp, expecting every instant that the storm would be diverted from the ecclesiastical edifices to private dwellings, and that robbery, rape, and murder would follow sacrilege, remained all night expecting the attack, and prepared to defend their hearths, even if the altars were profaned. The precaution was needless. It was asserted by the Catholics that the confederates, and other opulent Protestants, had organized this company of profligates for the meagre pittance of ten stivers a day. On the other hand, it was believed by many that the Catholics had themselves plotted the whole outrage in order to bring odium upon the Reformers. Both statements were equally unfounded. The task was most thoroughly performed, but it was prompted by a furious fanaticism, not by baser motives.

Two days and nights longer the havoc raged unchecked through all the churches of Antwerp and the neighbouring villages. Hardly a statue or picture escaped destruction. Yet the rage was directed exclusively against stocks and stones.

Not a man was wounded nor a woman outraged. Prisoners, indeed, who had been languishing hopelessly in dungeons were liberated. A monk, who had been in the prison of the Barefoot Monastery for twelve years, recovered his freedom. Art was trampled in the dust, but humanity deplored no victims.

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(Mr. Maturin, celebrated alike as a preacher, novelist, and dramatist, was à clergyman of the Established Church, born in Dublin, and educated in Trinity College of that city. On entering into orders he obtained the curacy of St. Peter's. His first tragedy, “Bertram," is a wild, imaginative, but very powerful production. It was performed at Drury Lane, through the influence of Sir Walter Scott and Lord Byron, with doubtful success, but it established its author's literary reputation. Maturin, unfortuuately, lived beyond his means, and was never free from embarrassment; notwithstanding he pursued his literary career with avidity. His first most popular novels were “The Fatal Revenge," "The Wild Irish Boy," and " The Milesian Chief.” He was also the author of “Melmoth, the Wanderer,” and “Woman ;” of “The Uni. verse, a poem ;

“ Manuel and "Fredolpho,” tragedies; and of six “ Controversial Sermons,” published in 1824, which prove him to have been a well-read scholar, as he is said to have been an elegant and energetic preacher. He died in 1825.]

CHARACTERS.

THE STRANGER. 1 THE PRIOR. | A Monk.

An Apartment in the Convent--a couch, R.C. The STRANGER discovered sleeping on the couch, and the

PRIOR (L.) watching him. Prior. He sleeps--if it be sleep; this starting trance, Whose feverish tossings and deep-muttered groans, Do prove the soul shares not the body's rest.

(Hanging over him.) How the lip works ! how the bare teeth do grind, And beaded drops course down his writhen brow! I will awake him from this horrid trance; This is no natural sleep. Ho! wake thee, stranger ! Str. What wouldst thou have? my life is in thy

power. Prior. Most wretched man, whose fears alone betray

theeWhat art thou ?-speak !

Str. Thou sayest I am a wretch, And thou sayest true—these weeds do witness itThese wave-worn weeds—these bare and bruised

limbsWhat wouldst thou more? I shrink not from the

question.

I am a wretch, and proud of wretchedness,
'Tis the sole earthly thing that cleaves to me.

Prior. Lightly I deem of outward wretchedness,
For that hath been the lot of blessed saints :
But, in their dire extreme of outward wretchedness,
Full calm they slept in dungeons and in darkness,
Such hath not been thy sleep.

Str. Didst watch my sleep?
But thou couldst gain no secret from my ravings.
Prior. Thy secrets! wretched man, I reck not of

them;
But I adjure thee, by the church's power,
(A power to search man's secret heart of sin,)
Show me thy wound of soul.
Weep'st thou the ties of nature or of passion
Torn by the hand of Heaven ?
Oh, no! full well I deemed no gentler feeling
Woke the dark lightning of thy withering eye.
What fiercer spirit is it tears thee thus ?
Show me the horrid tenant of thy heart !
Or wrath, or hatred, or revenge, is there-

(The stranger suddenly starts from the couch, raises

his clasped hands, and comes forward, R.) Str. I would consort with mine eternal enemy, To be revenged on him !

Prior. Art thou a man, or fiend, who speakest thus ?

Str. I was a man; I know not what I amWhat others' crimes and injuries have made me Look on me! What am I? (Advances, c.)

Prior. (Retreating to L. corner.) I know not.

Str. I marvel that thou say'st it,
For lowly men full oft remember those
In changed estate, whom equals have forgotten.
A passing beggar hath remembered me,
When with strange eyes my kinsmen looked on me.
I wore no sullied weeds on that proud day
When thou, a barefoot monk, didst bow full low
For alms, my heedless hand hath flung to thee.
Thou dost not know me! (Approaching him.)

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