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Three Days in the Temple

[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.

[1.10] Whoever specially cared to have a ticket in advance could do so for a small tax, as thereby he would be examined sooner; but those who paid no tax had to be the last, generally; no great care was taken about their examination, and usually they received no certificate. These were of course promised to them for a later date, but generally nothing resulted from these promises.

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