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with modern Greek, German, Spanish, Turkish, and French. European cant consists largely of Hebrew and gipsy slang, together with terms borrowed—and generally distorted and perverted from their true meaning—from the languages of the countries to which the speakers belong. Cant words usually turn on metaphor and fanciful allusions, and frequently display great ingenuity, wit, nay, sometimes poetical fancy, as when French thieves call the iron bars in their cell windows a “harp.”
Certain forms of superstition are common to the vagabonds of the most distant countries, and many of these superstitious beliefs are as curious as they are revolting Thieves and beggars recognise one another by certain signs, such as placing the fingers so as to form the letter C of the deaf and dumb alphabet, shutting one eye and squinting with the other when looking at a supposed colleague. Tramps on begging expeditions inform their brethren of the results of visits paid to houses or villages by signs chalked on walls or doorposts, or cut in trees, or traced on the snow. The begging fraternity have their patron saint, St. Martin, born about 316, who was at first a soldier, but afterwards became a priest. When a soldier, he passed a beggar standing, with scarcely any clothing on, at the gate of Amiens Cathedral. He immediately drew his sword, and cutting his mantle asunder in the middle, gave one half to the beggar; hence his becoming their patron saint. But such beggars as are, or pass themselves off for, cripples acknowledge St. Giles as their patron.
The fraternity of thieves individually are not fraternal in their intercourse; they prefer working alone, or, at most, in couples. But they have their secret language and signs, of course varying in every country, though foreign terms are occasionally introduced; thus argot, the French for slang, is a term by which London thieves designate their own secret language. Some of their expressions are curious : “cat and kitten stealing" is stealing quart and pint pots ;
- chariot buzzing," picking pockets in an omnibus; a “diver” is a pickpocket. Why do they call the treadmill “cockchafer”? Whence
flummuxed” -sure of a month in prison ? 332. Italian and German Robbers.-Among associated bands of robbers, the brigands of Italy are best known. The band led by Schinderhannes, mentioned above, existed at the end of the last and beginning of this century on both banks of the Upper Rhine; it was broken up by the execution of their leader and eighteen of his companions in November 1803. A very
large band of robbers about the same date infested the neighbourhood of Aix-la-Chapelle, and were known as the band of Mersen, a small village near Eupen, which they made their headquarters. But they were universally spoken of by the nickname of the goat-riders, because the superstition of the time supposed them to ride on goats—devils in disguise—when engaged in some robbing expedition. Their secret chief was one Kirchhof, surgeon and steward of the monastery of Herzogenrode (?), who about the year 1804 was arrested, tried in the monastery, and died under torture. Of the band, about the same time, fourteen were hanged in Germany and Holland, eighteen died by the guillotine in France; the rest escaped and joined other bands, or were separately captured afterwards. Kirchhof bound his followers by a formal contract to keep their secret firmly, and rather to take it into the grave with them than reveal it from cowardice or treachery. Whoso did so was to be killed with all imaginable tortures. And this was no idle threat. Christopher Pfister, for instance, was, for such alleged betrayal, attacked by his comrade Hannickel, who smashed all his bones, cut off his nose and upper lip, and poured dung-water over him to increase his sufferings. Many similar and even more cruel acts of vengeance might be mentioned. But what else could be expected from such outcasts of society, when educated judges vied with one another in inflicting the most hideous tortures on their prisoners. In 1719 a sacrilegious Jewish band of robbers were, as the criminal Judge Schülin reports, comfortably tortured by each man being tied down on a bench adjoining a stove kept red-hot, compelled to eat excessively salt fish, so as to suffer the greatest torments of thirst, and if he fell asleep, he was to be prodded with pointed iron rods. “ This is a good way of getting at the truth,” says the judge complacently.
333. Reasons for calling Jesuitism Secret and Anti-Social. —The Jesuits may be classed among secret and anti-social associations, because either they, under false names, insinuate themselves into, or maintain themselves in, countries where they are prohibited. Thus, when banished from France by Napoleon, they continued to exist there under the various aliases of “Associates of the Heart of Jesus," “ Victims of the Love of God,” “ Fathers of the Faith ;” the society of the Ladies of the Sacred Heart," and the “ Congregation of the Holy Family," were female Jesuits in disguise. Or because they often act, or coalesce with societies really secret, and also because in all parts of the world they have always had a vast number of affiliates, who, though not openly belonging to the Order, were bound to propagate its principles and protect its interests—such men French are called Jésuites de robe courte. Jesuitism is antisocial, for its only object is self-aggrandisement, by opposition to the progress of civil and religious liberty; by endeavouring to suppress the advancement of literary, industrial, and social science; in fact, by seeking to bring men
To a state of abnegation,
In short, reduce them to a set of fools. 334. Analogy between Jesuitism and Freemasonry.--There is considerable analogy and similitude between Masonic and Jesuitic degrees. The Jesuits tread down the shoe and bare the knee, because Ignatius Loyola thus presented himself at Rome and asked for the confirmation of the Order. The initials of the Masonic passwords correspond exactly with those of the Jesuit officers : Temporalis (Tubalcain); Scholasticus (Shibboleth); Coadjutor (Ch (g) iblum); Noster (Notuma). Many other analogies might be established. Not satisfied with confession, preaching, and instruction, whereby
they had acquired unexampled influence, they formed in Italy and France, in 1563, several“ Congregations," i.e., clandestine meetings held in subterranean chapels and other secret places. The Congregationists had a sectarian organisation, with appropriate catechisms and manuals, which had to be given up before death, wherefore very few copies remain. In the National Library of the Rue Richelieu at Paris there is a MS. entitled Histoire des Congrégations et Sodalités jésuitiques depuis 1563 jusqu'au temps présent (1709).
335. Initiations. From this, as well as other works, we gather some of the ceremonies with which aspirants were initiated into the Order.
Having in nearly all Roman Catholic countries succeeded in becoming the educators of the young, they were able to mould the youthful mind according to their secret aims. If, then, after a number of years they detected in the pupil a blind and fanatic faith, conjoined with exalted pietism and indomitable courage, they proceeded to initiate him; in the opposite case they excluded him. The proofs lasted twenty-four hours, for which the candidate was prepared by long and severe fasting, which, by prostrating his bodily strength, inflamed his fancy, and just before the trial a powerful drink was administered to him. Then the mystic scene began-diabolical apparitions, evocation of the dead, representations of the flames of ell, skeletons, moving skulls, artificial thunder and lightning, in fact, the whole paraphernalia and apparatus of the ancient mysteries. If the neophyte, who was closely watched, showed fear or terror, he remained for ever in the inferior degree; but if he bore the proof well, he was advanced to a higher grade. There were four degrees. The first consisted of the Coadjutores Temporales, who performed the manual labour and merely servile duties of the Order; the second embraced the Scholastici, from among whom the teachers of youth were chosen ; the third was composed of the Coadjutores Spirituales, which title was given to the members when they took the three vows of the Society. The Professi formed the fourth and highest grade; they alone were initiated into all the secrets of the Order.
At the initiation into the second degree the same proofs, but on a grander scale, had to be undergone. The candidate, again prepared for them by long fastings, was led with his eyes bandaged into a large cavern, resounding with wild howlings and roarings, which he had to traverse, reciting at the same time prayers specially appointed for that occasion. At the end of the cave he had to crawl through a narrow
opening, and, while doing this, the bandage was taken from his eyes by an unseen hand, and he found himself in a square dungeon, whose floor was covered with a mortuary cloth, on which stood three lamps, shedding a feeble light on the skulls and skeletons ranged around. This was the Cave of Evocation, the Black Chamber, so famous in the annals of the Fathers, and the existence of which has repeatedly been proved by judicial examination before secular courts. Here, giving himself up to prayer, the neophyte passed some time, during which the priests could, without his being aware of it, watch his every movement and gesture. If his behaviour was satisfactory, all at once two brethren, representing archangels, presented themselves before him, without his being able to tell whence they had so suddenly started up-a good deal can be done with properly fitted and oiled trap-doorsand observing perfect silence, bound his forehead with a white band soaked with blood, and covered with hieroglyphics. They then hung a small crucifix round his neck, and a small satchel containing relics, or what did duty for them. Finally, they took off all his clothing, which they cast on a pyre in one corner of the cave, and marked his body with numerous crosses, drawn with blood. At this point the hierophant with his assistants entered, and having bound a red cloth round the middle of the candidate's body, the brethren, clothed in blood-stained garments, placed themselves beside him, and drawing their daggers, formed the steel arch over his head. A carpet being then spread on the floor, all knelt down and prayed for about an hour, after which the pyre was secretly set on fire; the further wall of the cave opened, the air resounded with strains, now gay, now lugubrious, and a long procession of spectres, phantoms, angels and demons defiled past the neophyte, like the "supers” in a pantomime. Whilst this farce was going on, the candidate took the following oath :-"In the name of Christ crucified, I swear to burst the bonds that yet unite me to father, mother, brothers, sisters, relations, friends; to the king, magistrates, and any other authority to which I may ever have sworn fealty, obedience, gratitude, or service. I
the place of my birth, henceforth to exist in another sphere. I swear to reveal to my new superior, whom I desire to know, what I have done, thought, read, learnt, or discovered, and to observe and watch all that comes under
notice. I swear to yield myself up to my superior, as if I were a corpse, deprived of life and will. I finally swear to flee temptation, and to reveal all I succeed