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We shall conclude this strange portion of the history with a literal translation of a mystery, in which will be found much piety in language and in thought; but which in the personification of the persons, and representation on the stage, must have been terribl revolting to any heart sensible of the religious passion. We take it from one of the most respectable of the English publications.


An Angel.
St. John.

St. Simon.
St. James.

St. Bartholomew. St. Thomas.
St. Peter
St. Matthew.

St. Philip.
The Holy Ghost is seen to descend.

The Virgin Mary.
Mary Magdalen.

The Angel appears and says to the spectators: Oh, ye, who are desirous of seeing that which is the foundation of your faith, rejoice; your wish shall now be accomplished: lend an attentive ear, and look; then shall you be made acquainted with the wonderful miracle of the Holy Ghost: now, be peaceable and content, and, if it please God, we will begin.

Saint James now comes, and raising his eyes to heaven, says: I reflect, see, wish, and believe that it may be right to visit Mary; her excellent oratory is flattering to God: she can accomplish my desire. I will entreat her to exert the influence which she, a virgin mother, holdeth over her son; I will tell her the time is already past, in which the Holy Ghost was to descend from heaven.

Saint Peter arriving goes toward Jerusalem to seek Mary, but seeing Saint* James stops, saying: Whither, James, art thou going, thus in tribulation?

Saint James answers, weeping, and embracing him: Oh, Peter, I am right glad to see thee.

Saint Peter says: Tell me why?

Saint James: Since thou art there, I will tell thee; but do thou have the like complaisance.

Saint Peter replies: I am bound to oblige thee.

Saint James says: Now listen, Peter, and be my words precious to thee. It is my intention to visit the mother of Jesus Christ, that she may remind the Father it is time for God to send us the Holy Ghost from heaven.

Saint Peter with emotion replies: Thy words expand my heart, and an equal zeal inflames my soul. Let us go, and tell her to recommend us to the Son, that he may display to the Father the jealousy which consumes us, if this envoy come not from above, tu crown our zeal.

The Angel appears to the apostles, to relieve them from suspense, and says: Fervent, holy, and just apostles, whatever your thoughts or wishes may be, put on a stouter countenance; for, to tell you the truth, you have the ap. pearance of malefactors. If you delight, apostles, in the faith of God, wait with a trusting heart; the favour you ask will soon be granted. Now be at peace; let this suffice.

The angel being vanished, the apostles remain in an ecstasy of divine love.

Saint Mary Magdalen says to the Virgin Mary, making her a respectful courtesy: Since it is the will of thy Son, Mary, and he is content thou shouldst be inimitable, none are thy equals: I therefore will depart, with thy leave, for I am unworthy to be thy companion; but I will obey thee as a daughter; give me thy blessing and an embrace, and receive the visiters that anon will be here.

The Virgin Mary, looking at her, replies: Is this the friendship and the affection which I thought thou didst bear me? Thou addest to my affliction. Oh, do not withdraw thyself from my love!

Mary Magdalen says: I obey thee, noblest of mothers; and I hope thou wilt love me as a servant.

The Virgin Mary takes her by the hand, and answers: Nay, as a sister.
The Magdalen: It is not permitted.
The Virgin Mary: Yes, it is.

The Magdalen: That must not be: I am content to be thy servant; of greater honour I am unworthy.

The Virgin Mary, troubled at these words, says: If thou wouldst not bring greater affliction on me, yield to my wish, my dear Magdalen.

Mary Magdalen replies: What affliction, Mary?
The Virgin Mary: That which thy words occasion.
The Magdalen: That must not be. I am ready to oblige thee.
The Virgin Mary, well pleased, says: My wish is then accomplished.

[The two Marys again seat themselves.] Now Saint Fohn, Saint Bartholomew, Saint Matthew, and Saint Simon, the apostles, ascending a hill, their eyes and hands raised to heaven, inspired with divine ardor, and gazing on each other, say with one voice:

Let us all with pious zeal begin our journey, and go in search of Mary, the Mother of God. Let us proceed with good thoughts, prayers, and brotherly love; because such will always be grateful to Jesus, who, with his divine angels, will not forsake us. Let us seek Mary, the Mother of God.

When they have proceeded a little way, they meet Saint Peter, and Saint Fames, whom they embrace. Saint Peter then says: Where are you all going, thus in holy ecstasy?

Saint John replies: We are going to seek the Holy Ghost.
Saint Bartholomew says: Pray for us, since we have met thee.
Saint Matthew says: Alas, Peter, do us this pleasure.
Saint Simon says: Do not refuse us this favour.

Saint Peter answers: Come all of you with me, and let us depart with joy and rejoicing, under the standard of Mary, the mother.

They all depart, saying: Since, Mary, thou art to make us happy, this we request, and nothing more desire; that thou wilt guide us, empress, to thy kingdom: our thoughts fixed on thee, we are ready to depart; snatch us from the sorrows of age, and from the snares of the demon, who is the root of all evil, that thy prayer may be granted. Jesus, send thy Holy Spirit to the inspired, and let thy glory be our boast: deign to favour thy kneeling' apostles; who each, in his orisons, invokes thee.

Saint Thomas says, by himself: I have sought the Holy Ghost, through many countries, in vain; it is high time he should discover himself. Moreover, I have thoughts of relinquishing the search. Thomas, thou carriest thy courtesy too far; this peregrination is not to my liking. I will rest myself on the road side, till I have decided whither next to go.

He seats himself, Saint Philip finds him, and says: Well met, faithful comrade.

Saint Thomas replies: The same to thee. Say, where art thou going, my Philip?

Saint Philip says: In search of the Holy Ghost, whom I have long wished

to see.

Saint Thomas answers: I too have sought him, and am now resting myself. I have put faith in dreams, and words, only to be mocked.

Saint Philip, grieving, replies: Alas, Thomas, speak not thus! Knowest thou not that faith by itself is sufficient? Rise, and stay no longer here: fortunate is he who puts faith in the Lord. Speak no more the language of distrust; it will not procure thee what thou demandest of the Lord. Come, let us continue our search.

Saint. Thomas, again taking his seat, says: I tell thee, I will trouble myself

no more.

The angel, seeing them, appears, and says: Your desire is agreeable to the Lord, and shall be granted: take this path. Knowest thou not, Thomas, the Lord is just; that the sword in its proper place can strike? Mend thy manners, and proceed with thy companion: thy comrades are before thee, on their road to the cloisters of Jerusalem, to visit Mary.

Saint Thomas, standing up erect, says in great affliction: Alas, anger overcame me! I have wrongfully abused my God: my shilling is turned to a penny.

.* I have lost the grace of the Lord; he is, I am sure, incensed against me. Oh, my soul, who will bring thee consolation? The Lord, alas, parted himself from thee, arfd thou art called to the abyss of hell!

Saint Philip, consoling him, says: Be comforted, God pardons thee: heardest thou not the angelic words? The heavenly crown will be thine. Let us seek those who are before us.

Saint Thomas replies: I am thy inseparable companion.

Saint Philip says: Let us proceed, the sun is yet high; if we meet our comrades on the road, we will go in a body, and visit Mary.

* A un solda è tornata la mia lira. A lira is a coin worth twenty soldi; about tenpence, English money.

Meeting the others, Saint Peter says: Welcome Philip; welcome my Thomas. Saint Thomas answers: Well met, my comrades.

Saint Peter turns to his companions, and says: Children, this appears to me the house of holiness: let jubilee, good cheer, and harmony, be with us.

Saint John says: Flower of virtue, vase of knowledge, Philip, thou art welcome.

Saint Peter says: Let us all proceed to Jerusalem, where we shall find the Mother of God.

They all depart, singing aloud: Jesus, when we shall have seen this worthy goddess, our souls will be at peace; for we shall leave the Hebrew law. Thy zealous servants will brave death, and the most cruel torments, in thy honour. Oh, Jesus, grant our wish, and our souls will be at peace; for we shall leave the Hebrew law.

Being arrived in the presence of the Virgin Mary, and having paid their obedience, Saint Peter says: He, Madonna, who lay in thy womb, salutes thee; and by his love maintains the harmony among us, wbich is so grateful to him. He likewise wishes thee to deliver us from a heavy affliction, by the holy mystery of his birth.

The Virgin Mary answers: It is my duty to oblige thee. Welcome to thee and to all thy company. Let each speak freely, for to ask a boon of me is a trifle.

Saint Peter replies: Now hear, Mother of the Omnipotent, the wish that labours in my bosom, and makes me sad; the wish that, above all things, I value. When thy Son ascended to heaven, he said he would depute to us the Holy Ghost. Thy intercession is the object of our demand. Not that we doubt his word; for, kind as he is, and supreme in power and mercy, he will not abandon his faulty servants, whom he has left on this earth. Mary answers: I will pray for

you; dismiss your

fears. Saint Peter continues: Alas, I recommend myself to thee. Mary replies: Thy wish shall be accomplished.

Saint John says: Madonna, thou knowest we are deserted little orphans;* thou art our only resource; take pity on thy poor servants, for each is in the school of impatience. We are crazy, ignorant, and neglected. Thy prayers will fly to heaven: thou art our eternal guide; thy will governs heaven and earth.

Saint Bartholomew says: Mary, thou art the pilot of this vessel: give us consolation; steer it into port, and guide us, each, with thy sweet propitious breath, to salvation.

Saint Matthew says: Lighten this heavy burden, that we may take the straight path; and that the strayed wanderer may return with thy aid, o Virgin Mary!

Saint Simon says: Oh thou, who, in despite of this humble dwelling, art the exalted Mother of our Lord, in whom the sweetest pity reigns, deign to assuage our grief!


* Orfanetti, a diminutive of orfani: a flattering and kind expression,



Saint Philip says : In charity, condescend to offer up thy all-potent prayers!

Saint James says: Yield to our united entreaties, for I know God will not refuse thee.

The Magdalen says: Pray, Mary, grant their request! Thou art their support, their treasure; as they have already told thee: fulfil their just and holy wish; remember they were the companions of thy Son, and stop the rivulet of their tears.

Saint Thomas says: Mary, relieve the afficted from their tribulation; thou seest that all apply to thee, invoking thy potent succor.

Mary replies: I will not oppose your combined wish, for your voice is heard in heaven. To reward your holy obedience, I will, in my wisdom, address

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my Son.

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She, kneeling, continues: Son, if ever a wish of mine had weight with thee, let me obtain the request I now make. These, the companions of thy life, are in anxious expectation of seeing the Holy Ghost, as thou didst promise; deliver them from affliction. By the holy conception, which laid thee in my womb; by the divine angel, Gabriel, who came to announce thy nativity; by the milk, which nourished thee; by my unremitting cares; by the countless steps made by the jack-ass, when thou fled'st, a humble lamb, from Herod; by the joy and anguish I have borne for thee, let me remind thee of thy loving apostles, who are living in affliction, and conjure thee to speedily give them the wished for satisfaction. Now, all join with me in prayer, and raise your eyes to heaven.

All the apostles, kneeling, chaunt the following Hymn of praise, with the Virgin Mary: Oh, Jesus, thou who hast been our conductor, here, in company with Mary, let our dolorous complaints cease. Listen to our fervent prayers, and grant relief to thy kneeling, and afflicted, servants. Oh, Jesus, show us grace; let our souls banquet on thy eternal holy light!

This Hymn being sung, the Holy Ghost descends from heaven, and the Virgin Mary, incircled with divine rays, says: Now your wish is granted; be pleased to initiate yourselves in the divine revelation. Your just prayer has been heard, and Jesus will always bear you company.

Saint Peter says: Thou wilt soon, Mary, be left alone; I will not abandon thee.

Mary replies: Depart, with the benediction of God, and remember the passion of our Lord.

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The apostles depart, and the boy, dressed as an angel, tałes leave, saying: He, who would have a place in the celestial choir, must implore the mercy of Jesus Christ; the Holy Ghost will be sent to him, by my supreme Lord Jesus, who has suffered so much, on earth, to regain Paradise for us: he now dismisses you; always bear him in mind.




3: Siena, alla Loggia del Papa, 1616: i.e. printed at the Office or Palace

of the Pope.

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