Page images

O Cirite cum beate genitrice tua Julitta.
Christus et Maria nos salvet mortis in hora.

Speciosa est in conspectu domini mors sanctorum1 ejus.'

[ocr errors]

The prayer," Deus, qui gloriosis martiribus", is followed by this rubric and the ejaculations to the cross:

Whoever sayth thys prayer followyng devowtely, there schall no wyked spryte have power to hurte hym, nor he schall not be combred with fyre ne water.

[ocr errors]

Crux Christi sit semper mecum..

Crux Christi est quam semper adoro.
Crux Christi superat gladium.
Crux Christi solvet vincula mortis.
Crux Christi est armatura invincibilis.
Crux Christiest via et veritas.

Super creucem divinam aggredier iter..
impedit omne malum.

Crux Christi

Crux Christi

Crux Christi

Crux Christi

dat omne bonum.

auferat penam æternam..
salva me..

Crux Christi sit super me ante me et post me.

Quia antiqus hostis fugit ubi te vidit.✈.

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti. Amen."


This Roll, when Hearne transcribed it, was in the possession of Mr. Josiah Pullen of Magdalen College, Oxford. It had previously belonged to Bishop Barlow, who had written "on the back side of this Roll"

"Orationes (præsertim ultima illa ad crucem) sunt prorsus impiæ. Deo Patri, et Salvatori nostro Jesu Christo, cum S. Spiritu gratias quas possumus maximas (licet quales et quantas debemus non possumus) agamus; eo quod pro infinita sua benignitate, et tenebris, superstitione, ignorantia, et tyrannide Pontificiis, communicata evangelii luce, nos licet indignos liberaverint. Févoto."

Against the names of "Seint Cyriate and Seint Juliette", Bishop Barlow had also written "Sanct. Quiricum et Julittam intelligit. Vid. Baronii Martyrologium Rom. ad diem 16 Junii, lit. B." Dr. Langbaine, a still earlier possessor, had also recorded his judgment upon the sub

ject :

Lege et luge majorum vices, qui ignorantia cæci superstitionibus hujusmodi obnoxii agebant; tuas gaude, qui ab his liberaris:

1 Hearne reads seculorum for sanctorum.

CROSS FROM HARLEY ROLL, 43, A. 14. British Museum.

Fifteenth Century.

sed vide interim, ut Christo liberatori servias in sanctitate et justitia coram ipso omnibus diebus tuis."

Our indefatigable Hon. Secretary, Mr. W. de G. Birch, has contributed a paper, "On Two Anglo-Saxon MSS. in the British Museum," to the Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature (vol. xi, New Series), from which some further interesting illustrations of the present Roll may be obtained; for in the first of the two MSS. (Titus, D. xxvi) the third article treats "De Mensura Salvatoris." It is as follows:

[ocr errors]

"Hæc figura sedecies multiplicata perficit mensuram domini nostri ihesu Christi corporis & est assumpta a liguo pretioso domninice. Crux Christi de. iiijor. lignis facta est. qui vocantur cipressus. & cedrus & pinus & buxus. Sed buxus non fuit in cruce nisi tabula de illo ligno super frontem Christi fuerat in qua conscriptum judei illud titulum habuerunt. Hic est rex judeorum.'

The words "Hæc figura" imply that the scribe had intended to add a figure of the cross itself. He has, however, omitted to do so. Mr. Birch supplies such a representation from the Harleian Roll, 43, A. 14,—“ a narrow roll of paper containing a drawing of a cross, with the following lines below it in English of the fifteenth century." The text of the Roll is as follows:

[ocr errors]

This cross xv tymys metyn ys ye lenght of oure lord Ihū criste. And yt day yt y" beryst it vpon ye or lokest yer vpon y" shalt haue yese gret giftes yt folowyth. The furst is y" schalt die no soden deth. The seconde is y" schalt not be hurte nor slayne wt no maner of wepyn. The iijd is y" shalt haue reasonabull godis & helth vnto y lyuys ende. The iiijth is yyne enmys shalle neuer ouyr com ye. The vth is no maner of preson nor fals wytnes shall' neuyr greue ye. The vith is y" shalt not die wtoute the sacramenttes of the chirche. The viith is y" schalt be defended from all maner of wykkid spryttes tribulacons & dissesis & from all' infirmitees & sekenis of ye pestilence. The viijth is yf a woman be in travell' of childe lay yis vpon her womb and ye childe schall haue cristindom & ye moder schall' haue purificacōn ffor Seynt Cerice and Seynt Julitt his moder desired yise graciouse gyftis of God which he grauntid vn to yem and yis is regestird on Rome.

"Salue decus parvulorum

Miles Regis Angelorum.

1 By an error of the original scribe the article is entitled "De Mensiu Salvatoris."

O cerice cum beata Julitta. christus et marianos saluet in hora mortis nostre. Amen.

"Preciosa est in conspectu Dei mors sanctorum eius.

[ocr errors]

Deus qui gloriosis martiribus", etc.

The special interest of these three manuscripts lies in the circumstance that the stature of our Blessed Lord forms the main feature of the charm or amulet. In the paper on the measure of the wound in the side of Our Lord, already referred to, we have had a remarkable example of a once popular amulet. Here is another example of an analogous nature. I had thought it not unlikely that these manuscripts might represent a current tradition as to the height of our Redeemer, but whether the scribe who copied the Hearne MS. was careless or indifferent, or ignorant of any such tradition, cannot now be determined. The three manuscripts under consideration give the following results :

In British Museum MS., Titus D, xxvi, the cross depicted is about 5 ins. in length-15 times 5 ins.=6 ft. 3 ins. In Hearne's manuscript the cross measures about 42 ins. -15 times 4 ins. 5 ft. 103 ins.; whilst in the Magical Roll now printed (British Museum, Rot. Harl. T, 11) the cross measures 15 times 5 ins. 6 ft. 3 ins., as in the

first instance.

Western tradition generally represents Our Lord as being of commanding stature. The Letter of Lentulus, a late mediæval forgery,' says of the Redeemer: "He is a man of lofty stature, handsome, having a venerable countenance, which the beholders can both see and fear.... In stature of body, He is tall." Didron, in his Christian Iconography, gives the Latin text: "Vir est altæ staturæ proportionate......Protracta statura corporis."

St. John of Damascus, a writer of the eighth century, says, "Trium forte cubitorum magnitudine ... præstanti statura." Mrs. Jameson quotes part of the passage,

but gives no exact reference.


The legend of S. Anschaire, Archbishop of Hamburg

1 B. Harris Cowper, The Apocryphal Gospels, 221, 222, 2nd edition.

2 Didron, i, 247, from Fabricius, Codex Apocryphus.

3 Didron, i, 248, quoting St. John Damasc., Opera, i, 630, 631.

4 History of Our Lord, i, 35.

5 Didron, i, 248.

« PreviousContinue »