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Three Days in the Temple

[1.7] No examinee had more than ten questions put and therefore it can easily be understood that the examination of a boy scarcely lasted more than a minute; if he answered quite well and quickly the first questions, he frequently was excused from answering the rest.

[1.8] The short examination finished, the boy received a slip of paper, with which he had to go with his parents to the same tax-counter at which he had previously paid the examination tax, and where, on showing the examination-slip, he had again to pay a small tax if he wanted the Temple-certificate upon the said slip. The children of quite poor parents had to bring them a ‘Signum paupertatis’ (certificate of poverty), otherwise they were not admitted to the examination.

[1.9] The time for the examination was either at Easter, or at the time of the feast of tabernacles, and generally lasted for some five or six days. But before the examinations in the Temple began, servants of the Temple had been already sent to the roadside inns a few days in advance, to find out how many candidates for examination would be present.

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