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Anne,” he pursued, addressing the second bell,
—“ an object worthy of the zeal and piety of our first magistrate (the Prefect) and of her who so nubly shares his solicitude,—you shall be charged with the same employment. Your voice shall be joined to Marie's upon important occasions. Ah ! what touching lessons will
you not give in imitation of her whose name you bear, and whom we reverence as the purest of Virgins! You also Deodate, will take part in this concert, you whom an angel, a new-born infant, has conjointly with me consecrated to the Lord ! Speak Deodate! and let us hear your marvellous accents.” This Angel and Godmother in whose name the third bell was given was Mademoiselle Deodate Boisset, then in the second month of her age, daughter of Viscount Boisset. “ And you Stephanie, crowned with glory," continued the orator, in learned allusion to the Greek word sepavos,
you are not less worthy to mingle your accents with the melody of your sisters. And you lastly Seraphine and Pudentienne, you will raise your voices in this touching concert, happy all
of you in having been presented to the benedictions of the Church, by these noble and generous souls, so praiseworthy for the liveliness of their faith, and the holiness of their example.” And then the Bishop concluded by calling upon the congregation to join with him in prayer that the Almighty would be pleased to preserve from all accidents this “ happy and holy family of the bells.”
We have no such sermons from our Bishops! The whole ceremony must have been as useful to the bells as it was edifying to the people.
Were I called upon to act as sponsor upon such an occasion, I would name my bell Peter Bell in honour of Mr. Wordsworth. There has been a bull so called, and a bull it was of great merit. But if it were the great bell, then it should be called Andrew, in honour of Dr.
and that bell should call the children to school.
There are, I believe, only two bells in England which are known by their christian names, and they are both called Tom; but Great Tom of Oxford which happens to be much the
smaller of the two was christened in the feminine gender, being called Mary, in the spirit of catholic and courtly adulation at the commencement of the bloody Queen's reign. Tresham the Vice-chancellor performed the ceremony, and his exclamation when it first summoned him to mass has been recorded :- " O delicate and sweet harmony! O beautiful Mary! how musically she sounds! how strangely she pleaseth my ear!"
In spite of this christening, the object of Dr. Tresham's admiration is as decidedly a TomBell, as the Puss in Boots who appeared at a Masquerade (Theodore Hook remembers when and where) was a Tom Cat. Often as the said Tom-Bell has been mentioned, there is but one other anecdote recorded of him; it occurred on Thursday the thirteenth day of March 1806, and was thus described in a letter written two hours after the event:-“ An odd thing happened to-day about half past four, Tom suddenly went mad; he began striking as fast as he could about twenty times. Every body went out doubting whether there was an earthquake, or whether the Dean was dead, or the College on fire. However nothing was the matter but that Tom was taken ill in his bowels : in other words something had happened to the works, but it was not of any serious consequence,
for he has struck six as well as ever, and bids fair to toll 101 to-night as well as he did before the attack.”
This was written by a youth of great natural endowments, rare acquirements, playful temper, and affectionate heart. If his days had been prolonged, his happy industry, his inoffensive wit, his sound judgement and his moral worth, favoured as they were by all favourable circumstances, must have raised him to distinction, and the name of Barrè Roberts which is now known only in the little circle of his own and his father's friends, would have had its place with those who have deserved well of their kind and reflected honor upon their country.
But I return to a subject, which would have interested him in his antiquarian pursuits, for he loved to wander among the Ruins of Time. We will return therefore to that ceremony of christening Church Bells, which with other practices of the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Church, has been revived in France.
Bells, say those Theologians in issimi who have gravely written upon this grave matter, Bells, say they, are not actually baptized with that baptism which is administered for the remission of sins; but they are said to be christened because the same ceremonies which are observed in christening children, are also observed in consecrating them, such as the washing, the anointing and the imposing a name; all which however may more strictly be said to represent the signs and symbols of baptism, than they may be called baptism itself.
Nothing can be more candid! Bells are not baptized for the remission of sins, because the original sin of a bell would be a flaw in the metal, or a defect in the tone, neither of which the Priest undertakes to remove.
There was however a previous ceremony of blessing the furnace when the bells were cast within the