How I Found Livingstone Travels, Notes on a Journey from Cornhill to Grand Cairo by William Makepeace Thackeray

 -  - The verger with the silver mace who precedes the vicar
to the desk; the two chaplains of my Lord Archbishop - Page 50
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- The Verger With The Silver Mace Who Precedes The Vicar To The Desk; The Two Chaplains Of My Lord Archbishop,

Who bow over his Grace as he enters the communion-table gate; even poor John, who follows my Lady with

A coroneted prayer-book, and makes his conge as he hands it into the pew. What a chivalrous absurdity is the banner of some high and mighty prince, hanging over his stall in Windsor Chapel, when you think of the purpose for which men are supposed to assemble there! The Church of the Knights of St. John is paved over with sprawling heraldic devices of the dead gentlemen of the dead Order; as if, in the next world, they expected to take rank in conformity with their pedigrees, and would be marshalled into heaven according to the orders of precedence. Cumbrous handsome paintings adorn the walls and chapels, decorated with pompous monuments of Grand Masters. Beneath is a crypt, where more of these honourable and reverend warriors lie, in a state that a Simpson would admire. In the altar are said to lie three of the most gallant relics in the world: the keys of Acre, Rhodes, and Jerusalem. What blood was shed in defending these emblems! What faith, endurance, genius, and generosity; what pride, hatred, ambition, and savage lust of blood were roused together for their guardianship!

In the lofty halls and corridors of the Governor's house, some portraits of the late Grand Masters still remain: a very fine one, by Caravaggio, of a knight in gilt armour, hangs in the dining- room, near a full-length of poor Louis XVI., in Royal robes, the very picture of uneasy impotency.

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