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In the Gregorian College the instruction in the lower classes ontinues two hours in the morning, and two in the afternoon; and the lectures of the higher classes are one hour each. The course of studies begins the fourth of November, and continues till the end of the September following, with two vacations of a week each, one at Christmas and the other at Easter. No whispering or signs are permitted in school. The punishments resorted to are an additional task in the way of study; or the Correttore, a man who has his room near the gate of the College, and is well supplied with whips and canes, is called in, when the boy to be flogged strips off his coat, and being held by two of his schoolmates, receives his dues. The other punishments are kneeling in the middle of the school, banishment to the Dunce's bench, and expulsion. Instruction is nearly gratuitous. Admission is easy to all who will dress decently. The boarders have their food, lodging, and education, but furnish their clothes, beds, books, and furniture. No Bibles are allowed the students, but portions of the Scriptures are read every day, and explained on Sundays.
SPAIN AND PORTUGAL.
Cruise at Sea. - Parties in Spain. - Friars. - Carlists. - The Queen's Party.
Liberals. - Convents. Archbishop of Santiago. — Riot at Barcelona. — Junta of Extermination. – Archbishop of Tarragona. — Friars in Major
Storm at Sea. - One of our crew Jost. - Poetry. – Reflections. An April Fool. - Portugal : Her past History: - Don Miguel. - Don Pe. dro. The Queen. - The Army. – National Income and Debt. - -Convents. — Monks and Friars. — The Jesuits. - Nuns. - Colleges. --Income of the Clergy.- Education. - The Navy. – Lisbon : Its History and Population. - Houses. — Dogs. — Earthquake. Dress of Females. — Education. - Libraries. – Records of the Inquisition. – Rare Works. - Paintings. English Chapel and Grave Yard. — Fielding. - Dr. Doddridge. Hospital. - Insane Patients. Medical School. - - Church of St. Roque. Foundling Hospital. - Schools. — Convent of Belem. - The Deaf and Dumb. - English Craft, and Portuguese Folly.
After our return from Rome to Naples, we stopped at Malta, and sailed from thence to Tripoli, and then returned to Malta, where we spent some time. As we passed in the same direction on our way to Greece the following summer, a description of Malta will be given in connexion with that part of our cruise. From Malta we went to Mahon and Marseilles, for provisions and money for the squadron, and returned to Naples. We found Spain at that time in great confusion, the people having taken into their own hands the business of suppressing the convents, and other matters of reform, being unwilling to await the tardy action of the government. This general revolt was successful in effecting its ends. The following is a record of events, made at the time of our visit to Mahon, in the month of August, 1835. It is here inserted with a view to show the condition of Spain during her recent civil war.
Let us here take a hasty glance at the present state of Spain. A sufficient reason for this exists in the interest excited by the struggle in which she is now engaged, arising from the fact, that the cause of civil and religious liberty, not only in Europe, but throughout the world, may be deeply affected by the result. With these impressions on my mind, I have made every effort to acquire an accurate knowledge of the present state and prospects of Spain, as well as of those
hidden causes which have given rise to the convulsions with which she is now so sorely rent. My information has been derived from gentlemen of high standing and intelligence, who regularly receive papers from the Continent, and have correspondents in various parts of Spain. They have also long been watching, with anxious interest, the course of events in their native land. One of these gentlemen has kindly furnished a written statement as to the various parties which now exist, together with what is known of their strength and movements.
During the time of the Cortes and the Constitution, in 1820, an act was passed, by which all the convents in Spain became the property of government, and the avails of them, when sold, were to be applied to paying the national debt, and to other public purposes. When the old order of things was restored, however, the purchasers of the convent property were ejected, and the monks again came into possession of their former estates. This step created great dissatisfaction, not only among the immediate sufferers, but among all who were in favor of a popular form of government, and who were not so blindly devoted to the interests of the friars, as, for their sakes, to be willing to have the national debt, and a heavy load of taxes, again thrown back upon the shoulders of the people. But aside from this, there has long been among the mass of the people, throughout Catholic Europe, an increasing hostility against the friars, owing to the profligacy of some, and the luxurious indolence in which most, of them spend their lives. Their large and fertile estates, the gift of the superstitious and misdirected zeal of a dark and ignorant age, and which, without any effort of their own, furnished them with the means of rioting on the fat of the land, had likewise been a grievous eyesore to nations laden with taxes, and abounding in ignorance, beggary, and woe. The friars have also lost that respect which they once received for sanctity and learning, so long as they were able to exclude the common people from the light of knowledge, and at the sametime cast around themselves a dark and mysterious veil, within which the superstitious awe of the populace was afraid to look. They have not, like the parish clergy, such intercourse with the people as to secure their respect and affection, but rather the reverse; for the sleek and well fed Capuchin, or Franciscan, wbo has been eating, sleeping, and smoking in his stately convent during the day, will sally forth with his bag at
evening, and exact, as his right, a portion of the hard-earned pittance of the toil-worn mechanic, or the poor and weatherbeaten fisherman. True, the friars often act as confessors, but then their manners are so coarse and gross, they are so deficient in that polish and urbanity which can be acquired only by habitual intercourse with refined society, that the higher classes regard them with disgust. Their flagrant violations of the rules of their respective orders, especially those which bind them to poverty, chastity, and frugality, are too common and notorious to be denied; and long and loud are the complaints of those who, beholding the young around them growing up in ignorance and vice, are grieved that those who by their education, and the leisure which they have, are best fitted to teach, should not only refuse to do so, but also prevent others from engaging in the work of instruction. The great number of convents in Spain has been very much owing to the active part taken by the clergy in the early contests with the Moors, and also to funds given by those who were so busy in sinning during their lives, that they felt it a duty to hire others to serve God for them, when they were dead. But these causes of the evil in question have ceased to exist, and though once the friars were highly favor. ed by the Popes, as being more exclusively devoted to their interests, and less under the influence of love of country, and other local feelings and attachments, than were the parish clergy, who have free and constant intercourse with the people; still they are now, with the exception of the Jesuits, of but little benefit to his Holiness, and it can hardly be supposed that he will risk a strong and decided effort to sustain them. To those who will soberly think of it, there is something very absurd in keeping a large number of well-fed, ablebodied men caged up in convents, and living on the fat of the land, for little else than to ring bells, and sing Latin prayers for the souls of the dead, who, if we believe the Bible, are far beyond the reach of human effort.
There are now, in all the provinces of Spain, several different parties. The principal of these are the Carlists, who are high tory, church, and convent men. Of this party are all the friars, and most of those high in office in the church. There are, however, some honorable exceptions. 2. The party of the Queen, composed of two distinct factions. One of these is for rather a high-toned monarchy, with a representative government, while the others are liberals, and would have the monarchy little more than nominal, and place the convents on the same footing as in 1820. The third party are in favor of a republic; these work secretly, but are very diligent. The moderate party are dissatisfied with the measures of the Queen's government, while the liberals are exasperated on account of the apparent indifference of those in power to the interests of liberty, their neglect of the petitions of the Chambers, and their opposition to the extinction of the monks, and applying their property in refunding what was paid by purchasers in 1820, and also to paying the national internal debt, and placing it on the same basis with the foreign debt. They also wish the reduction of the rents of the clergy, and of part of the royal taxes. The Jesuits, from their offcious meddling with politics, and their devotion to the cause of ecclesiastical tyranny, were marked out for extinction, and, by a recent decree, all their property comes into the hands of government. Another decree, of the 25th of July, takes from their possessors all those convents in which there are less than twelve friars, excepting those occupied by such as have reguJar schools, and also the colleges for the education of missionaries for the provinces of Asia. The same decree embraces convents which have now no occupants. The friars are permitted to unite with such other convents of their own order, as their respective prelates shall designate, and also to take their furniture with them. The ground of this decree is, that, according to various briefs of the Popes, twelve is the least number of monks that can form a community. Thus more than nine hundred of the near two thousand convents in Spain are suppressed. The liberals, however, are far from being satisfied with this, inasmuch as only a part of the convents are suppressed, and the number of monks is not lessened. They wish the entire extinction of both, and have taken the business into their own hands. Much of the interest in this contest shown by France and England, is doubtless owing to the fear of losing the debt owed them by the Queen's government.
On our recent arrival at Mahon, we found much excitement existing with regard to the friars. One of them, belonging to the conventon Mount Toro, had just before absconded with a young woman; and, having been found in their guilty retreat, they were separated. But this was only the gossip for a day, as it furnished no new light respecting the morals of the monks. A subject of more engrossing interest was the efforts making for the suppression of convents throughout