and were witnesses of a strange, impressive ceremony. It is among the traditions of Rome that a great number of the early Christians were compelled by their heathen persecutors to fight and die here as gladiators, as a punishment for their contumacious, treasonable resistance to the “lower law” then in the ascendant, which the high priests and circuit judges of that day were wont in their sermons and charges to demonstrate that every one was bound as a law-abiding citizen to obey, no matter what might be his private, personal convictions with regard to it. Since the Coliseum has been cleared of rubbish, fourteen little oratories or places of prayer have been cheaply constructed around its inner circumference, and here at certain seasons prayers are offered for the eternal bliss of the martyred Christians of the Coliseum. These prayers were being offered on this occasion. Twenty or thirty men (priests or monks I inferred), partly bareheaded, but as many with their heads completely covered by hooded cloaks, which left only two small holes for the eyes, accompanied by a large number of women, marched slowly and sadly to one oratory, chanting a prayer by the way, setting up their lighted tapers by its semblance of an altar, kneeling and
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