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0284 Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1
Cathay and the Way Thither : vol.1 / Page 284 (Grayscale High Resolution Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000042
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dignitaries, and created a public excitement. The people began to push forward to kiss the hands and feet of the dead friar, or-to snatch a morsel of his clothing. Rumours of miracles rose and spread like wildfire. A noble dame, the Patriarch's sister, who had long suffered from a shrunken arm, declared aloud that she had received instant relief on touching the body. The whole town then rushed to the convent church. Lucky were those who could put but a finger on the friar's gown, whilst those who had such a happy chance grasped at his hair and beard ; just as I have seen the Bengalis snatch at the whiskers of a dead tiger, and from like motives. One virago made a desperate attempt to snip off the saint's ear with her scissars, but miraculously the scissars would not close ! The public voice urged that such wonder-working matter should be kept longer available, and the interment was deferred for two days. The third day the body was buried in the church, but only to be taken up again on the day following. For the excitement had now spread far beyond the walls of Udine. The country gentlemen from the castles of the district with their wives and families began to throng in. Then came the nobles and burgesses of the neighbouring cities ; the nuns of Cividale and Aquileia followed, walking two and two in procession ; and, at last, the stream arrived from the remoter parts of Friuli, and from Carniola, and crowds continued to flock in, day and night, scourging themselves, and chaunting the praises of God and his servant Odoric. The great lady of the country, Beatrice of Bavaria, Countess Dowager and Regent of Goritz, came with a vast cortège ; the Patriarch himself, Pagano della Torre, was present, and superintended the transfer of the body to another and more splendid coffin. The sanctity of the friar was now fully recognised, and the notion was at last taken up by his own community, who employed an eminent preacher to declaim to the people the history and pious deeds of this brother, whom it is most likely they had till now regarded only as an eccentric, much addicted to drawing the longbow about the Grand Cham and the Cannibal Islands.1

1 Wadding; Documenti per la Stork del Friuli, raccolti dall' Abbate G. Bianchi, Udine, 1844-5, ii, 471.