The Duke’s court customarily celebrated Holy Week with somber ceremonies. This year, however, the possibility of war occupied everyone’s thoughts and the nightly rituals recalling the sufferings of Christ were not the usual sorrowful enactments of ancient tradition. A restless energy, barely suppressed, enervated the court. The sobs, the torn shirts, the breast-beatings had a strange intensity. Prayers were especially passionate. Even on Holy Saturday, after the candles had been put out on Good Friday and the hours of silence began, urgent whispers could be heard in the dim corridors.
On Sunday, this …read more