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THE CHURCH OF ST. JOHN.
the greatest mystery must hangover the his-, is especially prepared for the Governor of the tory of the sarcophagi and grotto, and in the island, on such occasions of grand solemnity mean time we may claim some indulgence as he may have expressed a wish to witness, for inclining to the pleasing hypothesis of the or to which he may have been invited by Hon. Sir W. Drummond. According to that the Bishop and Chapter. learned historian and antiquarian, the illus- We have always looked with delight upon trious family of Barca which gave birth to two marble figures representing the Bapthe celebrated Hamilcar, Hannibal, and As- tism of St. John which are to be seen bedrubal, was of Maltese origin, and he even hind the principal alter. They are after a goes still further to state, that the body of design of the famous Maltese artist Melchior Hannibal was brought to Malta (after his Caffà, and were finished after his death by death which took place in Bithynia) to be Bernini. interred in the sepulchre and land of his fore- In the chapel of the Holy Virgin are hung fathers. An hypothesis which must suggest up three frames with silver plates bearing the most pleasing associations to the Mal- | inscriptions relating to bundles of keys, said tese, and with which we ourselves have often to be the keys of Rhodes, which were taken loved to dream away time, while under the as trophies from the Turks by the knights gentle influence of the dolce far niente, or of St. John, and are suspended from each with our thoughts wandering into the past, frame. These and the beautiful silver bain the hope of finding some clue to the still lustrade which we mentioned, as having more mysterious future.
been preserved from the rapacity of the French, disappeared some time ago, creating not a little sensation amongst the Mal
tese; but by the timely care of the govern(Continued from No. 94.)
ment, we are happy to see these valuable The outward appearance and architecture
and interesting memorials of former times of St. John's is by no means attractive, and
again replaced. inferior to that of other churches in Valletta,
In the Chapels of the different languages Without however, its possessing any at
we find several costly Mausoleums, of which tractive architectural beauty,we would feel
the following are the principal. Those sorry for any mortal who could walk down
of Grandmaster Emanuel de Vilhena, chiefits pave or aisles, without being struck with
ly of bronze and of a fine appearance; the beauty of its details. The pavement con
and of Emanuel Pinto, with his portrait in sists of tomb stones, worked in mosaic with
mosaic, in the Portuguese chapel. That marbles of different colours and generally of Nicolas Cotonera, and Raimondo de Perepresenting some appropriate emblem with
rellos et Roccafull, are still more beautiful, the arms of the knights or other members of though we do not think it at all a fit emblem the Order buried there, besides an appro
for the embellishment of a church (even of a priate epitaph, or rather a panegyric on
Church Militant) to see Asia and Africa the virtues of the deceased.* On either side and some way in front figured in the two slaves, chained for the
support of the knight. of the grand altar, is placed a chair with a
A monument of modern interest is that of canopy all covered with crimson velvet; Prince Louis Charles of Beaujolais in the the one on the right, is occupied by the
French chapel,* which brings to mind the Bishop on great festivals and the one on the left is intended for the Sovereign of the Is- * This chapel has lately undergone a considerland. A seat on a platform adjoining this, able change; the basreliefs, which formerly emwandering trials and privations suffered by actions are of very common occurrence, but the present king of the French, and we have no the favour of a loan was once asked by a Cadoubt frequently enough awakens associa- labrese from a neighbour with whom he had tions connected with king Louis Philippe in not been on very good terms for a considerthose, who had the pleasure of enjoying his able time. The latter though scarcely proacquaintance while he remained in Malta.
bellished the walls, have been eradicated and * From the constant use of the church for more partly replaced by modern tapestry. It was, if than two centuries, some of the marble slabs had we mistake not, intended to change the whole inbecome loose and were going to ruin, but by order terior of St. John's in a similar style, but the conof the government repairs were undertaken in time, tinuation of the plan not being sanctioned by the and the whole, it is expected, will soou be restored Authorities, it forms now a striking contrast to to somewhat of its primitive beauty.
the remainder of this venerable edifice.
vided with a sufficiency for the wants of his To those who delight in the beautiful own family, agreed to let the other have works of early christian art, in the 13th. 141h. the quantity he required; but the wife, on and 15th. centuries, there is moreover am- seeing the corn leave the house, abused her ple matter for rejoicing, in the illumined husband in no measured terms, and acmissals which are preserved in the vestry cused him of caring very little for his famand still more so, in a splendid Episcopal ily when he was su ready to oblige the man dress which was brought from Rhodes and who for many months had been spreading on which are worked a series of figures the most infamous calumnies against him, chiefly illustrative of the life of our Saviour. and trying all he could to injure the family. These figures are in exquisite artistical The husband coolly waited for the close keeping, and Mr. Hyzler one of our artists, of her harangue, and then at once answered who has taken accurate drawings of them, that there could not be a more severe huwill we are sure confer a very great and miliation to his neighbour than the necesgeneral favor by publishing his collection sity of applying to him for a loan with which of these, and other monuments of the By- nd one else in the village would trust him, zantine art which are still extant in Malta. —and that no sentence from any court of
justice could have placed him in a better We hasten to correct an error of
and more triumphant light before his neigh. the press in our article on St. John's church in our penultimate number. In the 19th.
bour than his present conduct had done. line p. 104, the word was should be erased and was The tone of sincerity with which these words substituted for and in line 20. In fact a commission
were uttered, and their practical truth soon was not especially sent &c but having been sent on
forcibly affected the poor wife, and with other matters, it was also instructed to enquire into the subject of the church of St. John.
tears in her eyes she joyously went up to her husband and confessed that his was the
right view, and the right feeling; nor was REVENGE
the example lost upon her, as the whole
village now can bear witness to the ChrisIn one of our preceding numbers, we had
tian charity and forgiveness which afteroccasion to give some homely illustrations wards threw a halo round all her acts. To of the advantages arising from an early and revenge one's self in a momentary fit of pasconstant adoption of that beautiful maxim,
sion, appears sweet, but to forgive, creates “Return good for evil.” A friend has since fovoured us with the following anecdote
incalculable pleasures, which daily increase
the stock of our happiness. which we publish on account of the interest it contains and carries with it. To see a conquered enemy lying at our
As rivers when they overflow, drown those
grounds, and ruin those husbandmen, which, whilst feet for mercy and pardon is manlike, but
they flowed calmly betwixt their banks, they ferto soothe the wounds of him who hates us, tilized and enriched ; so our passions, when they is truly Godlike. There is an old custom grow exhorbitant and unruly, destroy those vir in Calabria of lending instead of money, such
tues, to which they may be very serviceable whilst quantity of corn as may be required, or is
they keep within bounds. —BOYLE. equivalent to the sum of money needed. After harvest, the corn is then returned, and
Moderation is the silken string running through
all virtues.- Fuller. such quantity added, as may be justly due by the difference in the market prices, or may have been at first agreed upon. These trans
Suld at No. 97 Strada Forni.
Saturday, 17th, July 1841.
keeping round Mount Prior you see a large
theatre. We do not question that it was Extract from the unpublished journal of a here the mob rushed in crying out "Great recent traveller,
is Diana of the Ephesians." Still further “ Arriving from Smyrna you enter Aja- round the same Mount, and facing Ajasaluk saluk first, and thence proceed to Ephesus; is a Gymnasium, represented in the accomin consequence of which the traveller is in panying drawing. In another part there ap: clined to consider a hill, which presents
pear the ruins of a church, and all around you itself surmounted by a castle, to have been
from Mount Prior to the extent of a mile the Acropolis. Some remaining pillars of and a half to the north west, ruins of various an acqueduct favour the idea; but on enter- splendid buildings are profusely scattered. ing the village you are soon undeceived,
The far famed temple of Diana is nowhere and look in vain for Ephesus within its pre- to be seen, and the only remains that are cincts. We had often received the injunct supposed to exist of what once belonged to ion not to sleep at Ajasaluk, on account of it, are extensive subterranean vaults. These the malaria, but the fatigue of one day's tra
are in the plain near the Cayster.* vel and the improbability of there being From a single glance at the relative situamalaria after two or three days rain prevail- tions of Ajasaluk and Ephesus, it is evident ed over our fears, and we determined to that no Christian, nor in fact any human make it our resting place for the night. So being inhabits the once wealthy Ephesus. stopping at an uninviting cafineh which un- It is left to the tortoise, the lizard and the fortunately had no competitor we spread stork, nor can any human being with safeour wet clothes to dry before a blazing fire ty dwell in any part of its neighbourhood. and then hastened to the site of Ephesus at Even Ajasaluk has but few inhabitants, and the distance of a mile and a half from the
those of the most miserable description, village.
who are glad to risk the malaria of the pesCertainly it was the Divine hand that stilential plain for the sake of its abundant had been out stretched in anger over a
produce. city whose beauty and extent were plainly
But the question may be raised, why was indicated by its ruins. Like most of the Ephesus thus bereft of its prosperity, its extencities of the ancients, its site was admir- sive commerce, and even its very existence. ably selected for extensive and varied pros
It is easily answered. The same cause that pects. Situated neither on the plain nor brought sin into the world, and destroys huon the mountain, but on a shelf of land it man health and fortune and life; destroys commanded the view of the beautiful vale of the river Cayster, without being so eleva- * Our readers are aware that “this sacred and ted as to fatigue the lungs of the Ephesians
magnificent structure which the arts of Greece and in their ascent from the plain. Some parts
the wealth of Asia had conspired to erect, after
having risen with encreasing splendour from seven of the city, as Mount Prior and Corissus, are
repeated misfortunes was finely burnt by the Goths still higher and to those who sought such in their third naval invasion, At this time “it recreation must have afforded a delightful was supported by one hundred and twenty-seven walk, rewarded by a more extended pros
Ionic columns, each sixty feet high, the gift of pect. The first ruin of inportance that meets
devout monarchs; and its altar was adorned with
the masterly sculpture of Praxiteles." you is the stadium; further on to the left, and
Gibbon, Dec, and Fall.
also the prosperity of cities, and lays them darkness of unbelief: when the lust of the in the dust, and whether like Ephesus, they flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, may be made the subject of especial predic- have taken up their fearful abode among tion and warning, or like other cities, which them? Of what avail are the best laws, have met the same fate, they go unwarned to where open profaneness has usurped the their destruction, it is alike the same and the place of religion, levity that of innocence, only cause that such an effect can be ascrib- and wantonness that of virtue, and vice and ed to-disobedience to our maker!"
deeds of darkness gnaw at the vitals of the nation? Since experience furnishes an answer, I may hold my peace.
Others maintain that thereform must comWe frequently, at the present day, hear
mence from below; that the people must it asserted, that the age we live in is an age stitions resisted, and their capacities and
be cultivated and enlightened, their superof reform; and the principal object of men seems to be to reform and to re-mould
acquirements extended; thence all the im
every thing. In a certain country in our own
provement must proceed; therefore the in
struction of the lower class ought to be quarter of the globe, every third word which is heard from the lips of the people, is the proportioned to the liberality of this enlight
ened age; kpowledge should be extended word Reform. It is to be regretted that
far and wide; then all will go on better, many people are so completely in the dark
and the general improvement will rest upon on the subject, and not only view it in a
a solid foundation. false light, but are apt to handle it in an
We do not deny that
the lowest of the people are en:itled to be ignorant manner. For instance, many think that reform must proceed in a descending equally on the mountain and on the valley,
instructed in light and truth; the sun shines direction: new regulations in the govern
and all that move on the earth are enlivenment, new constitutions, new laws, will, according to them, relieve the "afflictions of
ed by his rays. In the same manner use
ful knowledge and acquirements should be Joseph*," and diffuse happiness and blessings among the nations; a new generation
the common privilege of mankind. But
first let us take it into mature consideration, will then arise, which will continue in undi
whether that is true light and knowledge minished prosperity, in unfettered freedom; and the story of the fabulous isle of happi- | Alas! how frequently do we see the head
which the popular voice proclaims as such. ness will be realized.
crammed with all manner of learning, and True it is, that more than common bless
the outward man polished in the highest deedness and felicity descend from above, when religion and piety are the support of gree, while the heart is yet a prey to the
worm of destruction! Thus, many men outthe government; when truth and justice are the defence of the throne; when the blessed wardly appear clever and intelligent, pol
ished, and cultivated, while they are frozen gospel from above is received, loved, and
and dead within; no breath of life, of the honoured as God's own word. O! then
love of Christ, enlivens them; they are like streams of blessing pour upon us from on high; then the great among men are like well-proportioned, but lifeless statues; they
have no heavenly desires, no high hopes ; the glaciers of the
Alps, shining in thesplendour of the morning light, from which flow yet they can calculate, and foresee, and clear and crystal streams, around whose speculate; they have, as they say, room
in their hearts for all the interests of manbanks happy nations dwell, and noble cities and rich landscapes are spread. But of what kind, and yet they cannot afford a corner, ayail is the best constitution, the purest go
one hand's breadth, for the things of Christ.
O wretched world ! to be reformed after vernment, when the people are sunk in
i such a sort as this! Wretched men! to be • See Amos, vi. 6.
content with improvements such as these !