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last circuit, they kiss the cross that is before the chapel, and touch it with their shoulders the last circuit. Next, they go to the penitential beds, every one of which they surround twice outwardly, saying three Paters, three Aves, and one Creed; then kneeling they say three Paters, three Aves, and one Creed; after which they enter the bed, and circuit ing it thrice in the inside, they say three Paters, three Aves, and one Creed; which being done they kneel, and say again three Paters, three Aves, and one Creed. All this must be performed at each bed. Leaving the penal beds, they go to the water's edge, saying five Paters, five Alves, and one Creed. From the water they return to the chapel, where they, repeat the lady's psalter (which consists of fifty Aves, and five Paters, and, according to some, of one hundred and fifty Aves, and fifteen-Paters); and thus they finish one station, which must be performed thrice a day, about sunrise, noon, and sunsetting. At this drudgery they are usually kept for three days (including their imprisonment), sometimes for six, and many have endured it for nine days in succession. When doing their stations, they are allowed only one meal per day, which consists of nothing more than a few ounces of oatmeal, and a pint of what they call.“ wine.", During the time they spend on the island, every person must be shut up twenty-four hours in the prison, and not allowed to taste anything.no, not so much as a morsel of meal, or a drop of water. They are also specially cautioned against sleeping in the prison, being told that such an indulgence would counteract the virtue of all their stations, and that, “the devil would certainly carry them away, if he should catch them napping." To keep them awake, persons go about with rods, or stieks, arousing those who appear drowsy by a pretty smart rap on the head. There are always candidates enough for that honourable office; and, generally speaking, they are very liberal in dispensing their favours. But the prison at Lough Dearg is not the place where even an official can sin against his neighbour with impunity. The fact is, the stick often changes hands, and when a man has kindly aroused another by a
gentle tap," he may fully calculate on having the friendly act returned even with compound interest, though it may not be absolutely needful to keep him awake. The “ beds,” as they are called, are large circles, eight or nine feet in diameter, surrounded by low stone walls, all on the bare rock, and well polished by frequent use. I asked our guide if the pilgrims travelled them on their knees; to which he replied, “ Nos iti was bad enough to walk over them with their bare feet; " and from personal observation, I had no disposition to question his statement. The old cross, though stripped of its arms, is still kissed and shouldered with the utmost veneration. But I was most anxious to see the prison, and to that we were conducted as soon as our guide could clear a way for us through the crowd by which it was surrounded. And it may well be called a prison. It is a long dark building, capable of holding six or seven hundred people, having a gallery on each side. There was an altar against the south wall, and only one single taper burning on each side of it, to light the entire place. Darkness would have been infinitely preferable to such light, for it only appeared as though intended to tan-, talize the optics of the prisoners, or to lull them to sleep, despite of all consequences. Two grisly-looking priests stood near the altar, and crowds of pilgrims were squatted on the floor, packed so closely together, that they seemed to sit bctwixt each other's legs, : Qur curiosity in the prison was soon satisfied, and there being nothing either to invite our
continuance, or to restrain us from leaving it, we crossed over to the other side, and made a hasty retreat by an opposite door. Leaving the prison, our attention was arrested by a complete mass of pilgrims crowding together at the edge of the Lough. did and young, males and females were there, evidently waiting for something important, but what it was I could not tell
. · A cloud of smoke appeared to rise from the water, but I bould see' no' fire. True, I was in the very midst of the "faithful," land on the very spot where they think miracles are wrought in abundance, yet I could not be persuaded the lake was on fire. Howeyer, I resolved to fathom the mystery, and squeezing in amongst them, I found the great centre of attraction was a wine vat in full operation. ". This, Sir," said our guide, “ is where we make our wine.” “
Wine !" said I, with astonishment. “ Yes," he replied, " this is what they call wine." 1 But what was their wine? Why, simply the water of the Lough boiled or heated in a large iron pot. For convenience, the wine vat was fixed at the edge of the lake, which enabled them to furnish a liberal supply with very little trouble, and at still less expense. We were just in time to see them dealing out their daily portions. Mugs, jugs, and tin cans of every kind, were in high demand, and scores of starving pilgrims appeared exceedingly anxious to get their full allowance. One generous-liearted fellow, who had just received his" pint of wine" in a tin can, very kindly offered it all to me that I might test its excellent properties by a good hearty draught. Judging from appearances, that there was nothing in it to interfere with the scruples of the most rigid teetotaler, and unwilling to seem unsociable on such occasions, I at once accepted his offer. He gave me the whole of the pint; but very little sufficed to satisfy my utmost wishes. Indeed, I merely tasted, for finding it nearly boiling hot, I soon returned it to the man, with thanks for his kindness. A gentleman who visited the island in 1834, says “ The water of the lake is boiled, and being blessed, is called wine; and it is given to the faint and greedy pilgrims as hot as they are able to swallow it. One of the women showed me her lips covered with blisters from the heat of the wine she had drunk; and I no longer doubt of the fillip it must give to one's sensations, ' to have some half-boiling poured into an empty stomach. I was assured the effect was wonderful; and I well believed it." Leaving the wine press, and turning to the right, we just looked in at the lodging-houses, but every place was full to voverflowing. Here we saw some who had just received their allowance of daten bread__no other kind of food being allowed to pilgrims. Those who do not furnish themselves on coming to the island, may purchase it here ; " but to avoid too great an indulgence on the one hand, and to guard against an extortionate spirit on the other, the salesman is not allowed to furnish any individual with more than a certain weight per day, neither can he charge more than a given sum for such a supply.
Twenty-four priests are said to be appointed to officiate on the island; and from what I saw, they must have quite enough to do-hearing feşsion, and otherwise instructing the thousands who are annually placed under their care! I was told, every pilgrim must go to confession on entering the island, and again before leaving it; and in addition to that, he can appeal to his 'spiritual adviser at any other time, should the enbarrassed state of his mind require it. The pilgrims hear mass, have a sermoni and prayers daily; and for their spiritual privileges every one
pays a certain amount, varying perhaps from tenpence or a shilling to two shillings and sixpence, and probably even more, according to their ability. Formerly, before leaving the island, it was their custom to wash their whole bodies in the Lough, particularly the head, to signify that they were entirely cleansed from their sins. Part of that ceremony is said to be now dispensed with; but if so, the old practice is not exactly forgotten. When we were there, many of them were pretty deep in the water, washing and rubbing away in good earnest, as though fully resolved to leave all impurity behind them.
Whilst there, I could not help thinking of Elijah on Carmel with the prophets and votaries of Baal. He was alone, and so were we. There was not another Protestant on the island, nor probably for miles round. We kept our hats on, as a matter of course, which evidently excited surprise amongst the pilgrims, as not another man there would think of covering his head in a similar way, except the priests and their servants. Good strong shoes protected our feet when passing over the rocks, but all the pilgrims had to tramp them barefooted for hours together. How they endured such toils and sufferings, except from the influence of enthusiasm, I know not.
Knowing our presence interrupted nearly all their usual proceedings, and having seen all that could be shown us, we judged it better to return, especially as we were told the island would close on the morrow," that is, the next day but one. As I before remarked, there could not be less than two thousand, or two thousand five hundred persons on the island; and before leaving I expressed my surprise at seeing so many there. The clerk smiled at me thinking there were many, and assured me, that had I been there the preceding day, I should have seen twice that number; for at least one half of them were gone home. At first it appeared incredible, but on reflection I was constrained to believe it. The crowds we met on our way there, were sufficient to justify his statement, especially considering that others would be returning home at the same time, in different directions.
During the whole season they would be crowding to the island daily, but as it required three days to perform stations, it was then too late for others to come and fill up the places of those who were gone away; so that, in all probability, we did not see more than one half the numbers usually present earlier in the season.
Having put a small gratuity into the hand of our guide for his attention, and charged him to express our grateful acknowledgments to the Prior for his kindness, we leaped into the boat, and found ourselves surrounded by seventeen or eighteen pilgrims, who were evidently gratified at having completed their stations. The oars being manfully plied by individuals who were evidently contesting each other's strength, we soon reached the shore, where we were doomed to a regular fleecing by unconscionable boatmen. They would make no charge “to gintlemen," but leave them to give whatever they thought proper. A very handsome sum was placed in their hands, but that would not suffice. They were loud and boisterous in their requests for something more. The amount was increased, but in vain; for encouraged no doubt by the darkness of the evening, and the peculiarity of our situation, they had the impudence to ask us for more, though we had given them nearly four times the usual fee. But our minds were made up; and not likely to meet with any further success, they turned away to have a good hearty laugh at our expense; plainly intimating at the same time, that Englishmen were exceedingly foolish, or we should not have been so profuse with our money.
It was very nearly dark, and prudence suggested that we should make the best of our way to the town; we therefore lost no time in following the pilgrims, so as to have the advantage of their company. On overtaking them, not a word was uttered, but all walked in silence for some time. At length three or four men inquired for a cross road to some house over the bog, and then turned off to the left, probably expecting to find accommodation for the night, which would no doubt be very acceptable after what they had suffered on the island; but most of the others were going to Pettigo; this gave us an opportunity for conversation with several of them, which they appeared to enjoy as much as ourselves. We all walked very fast, and one poor old man was left in the rear; but an extra effort brought him up with us again, and for a time we all went on together. Turning our attention to him for a short time, we found he was from Tullamore, in King's county. He had walked one hnndred and fifteen Irish miles, or nearly one hundred and fifty English miles, to do stations at Lough Dearg. It was his ninth annual visit, not having neglected one single year since he commenced. Our pace was still too quick for him, and seeing he must be left again, I put sixpence into his hand, and bade him good bye. The gift, though small, was evidently very acceptable, and his grateful heart appeared to call down blessings upon me from nearly all the saints in the calender, which he very warmly invoked, until his voice died away in the distance.
In our little group there were several females from Omagh, the assize town for County Tyrone. One of them arrested my special attention, and with whom I had a good deal of conversation, whilst the others walked with us, and listened very attentively to what was said. I ascertained that she was brought up a Catholic, but had lived several in service with respectable Protestant families. She was then living with Catholics, and being of the same persuasion they could not object to her visiting the Lough. She told me she went regularly to the chapel, but had not been punctual at confession. The priest prescribed her stations, and indeed sent her to the island, where she had been once before. I was particular on this point, being wishful to know whether those pilgrimages were voluntary, or enjoined upon them by their clergy. She told me she was sent there by her priest, and moreover that she would not have been admitted to the island without his order. I had statements from several others to the same effect, and therefore was led to conclude, that the Roman Catholic priesthood not only prescribe, but actually insist on these annual or occasional visits to Lough Dearg, as essential to the salvation of their people. This young person had walked to the island, a distance of four-and-twenty Irish miles, or thirty English miles, barefoot, and was returning home in the same way. It took three days to complete her stations, and of course she was without either stockings or shoes the whole time. Knowing this, I was not at all surprised at hearing her say to a friend, “I think my feet are failing under me.” Indeed, walking barefoot on those roads was enough to produce the most dreadful consequences, and they must all have suffered a species of martyrdom in doing so, yet we never heard a word of complaint. They evidently believed such torture was good for their souls, and instead of repining, they all appeared cheerful and resigned. The darkness of the
night denied them the opportunity of choosing the smoothest part för their lacerated feet; and treading on sharp 'stones, iwe frequently saw them cringing almost to the ground. The young person I was talking with often suffered in that way, and perceiving I noticed her at one time she humorously remarked, “You see, Sir, I am very polite, making my bows.":
Her sincerity could not be questioned; but, like all her fellow-pilgrims, she was evidently practising those austerities upon herself to merit the favour of God. She thought there was something meritorious in what she had done and suffered at the Lough, and that the Divine Being would certainly look her with approbation on that account. I spoke to her of Jesus Christ, and of the all-sufficiency of his atonement, telling her that if saved at all, it must be through faith in his name. To all I said she readily assented; but I soon perceived she was confounding faith with obedience, and that instead of believing in Jesus, she was trusting in her own works to obtain the favour of God. I asked if she thought she was returning home free from sin, and fully restored to a state of holiness. She replied in the affirmative, saying, she believed she was. I then inquired how that great change had been effected. She admitted having brought sin with her to the island; and supposing she was going back free from sin, how had the change taken place? or, in what way had this guilt been removed? Was she cleansed from sin by faith in Christ Jesus, or were her sins taken away by performing her stations on the island ? She said she believed in Jesus Christ, but thought she had obtained the favour of God by doing her stations, and that if those had not been done as directed by the priest, it would have been impossible for her to have obtained salvation. In thus regarding their own works as meritorious, Roman Catholic pilgrims always think, the more they do and suffer, the greater will be their acceptance in the sight of God. It was just so with this young person and her companions. To bring out their views on that subject, I asked why they came all the way from Omagh to Lough Dearg, a distance of twenty-four Irish miles, with bare feet and bare heads. To which she unhesitatingly replied, “We thought we would get all the benefit.” We also found, that whatever sufferings and privations are endured in doing penance at the island, they all believed and declared that pilgrims invariably come away much better and stronger both in body and mind than they were before those exercises commenced. To say nothing of the physical impossibility of the thing, we were really amused to see how tenaciously they all maintained it was true, even in the presence of those who afforded the most indubitable evidence to the contrary. Nay, even those who were enfeebled, and actually lame, at our side, appeared as thoroughly imbued with that doctrine as those who had endured their sufferings with less painful effects. An individual previously quoted, says, “I walked back to Pettigo in company with several pilgrims, among whom was a priest, who told me he had come eight miles to the station, and that he found himself much better for the discipline. He told me also, that whatever the weather might be, no one ever caught cold; and that
never knew of any one suffering from sitting on the damp ground for days, in their wet clothes and bare feet.” We asked our companions how they could account for that-intimating, at the same time, that we could not attempt such things without producing the most painful results. They offered no explanation, neither did they call in question the justness of