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that a monk's day begins at half past four cited at half past eight, makes the sixth A.M., and that breakfast is a very light and and last time that the monks assemble in hasty matter, taken without formality the church. They spend at least three somewhere between eight and nine, no hours and a half every day in this choral one will be surprised to hear that English duty - on festivals much more; it is one stomachs are ready for their principal of the principal employments of monastic meal at half past twelve.
life. Let us go through a day. At five min. This order of the day never varies, with utes to five precisely, for punctuality is a the single exception that on Sundays and great matter, the big bell begins tolling very great festivals the high mass takes for Matins. This is the modern equiva- place at ten o'clock, for the convenience lent of what used to be called the mid- of those “outsiders” who frequent the night office. In the thirteenth century abbey church, and who might think the hour was two A.M.; now it is five; in nine" rather early. soine monasteries on the Continent it is The remainder of the day is filled up in four. But in those days they went to bed divers ways, in the discharge of the vari. at sundown or soon after six, whilst we ous occupations which each has assigned moderns think nine o'clock early. When to him. From the end of Compline till the tower clock has ceased striking five, the end of Prime of the following morning all rise, at a signal given by the superior, is a time of the strictest silence and recol. from the places where they have been lection; pot a word must be spoken for kneeling and waiting in the chancel, and anything short of the gravest necessity, the Matin service begins. On ordinary and no work or business is done. It is days it lasts an hour and a quarter, and the time for the nightly rest, and for medi. has not much about it of ceremony ortation and private prayer. But when ritual that could catch the eye of an on- Prime is finished the active work of the looker. But on festivals it is an almost day begins. Foremost among this is the gay scene, and must begin earlier on ac- work of teaching: for the monks of these count of its greater protraction. On such days still maintain their ancient tradition occasions a large number are arrayed in of education, and the school is an almost alb and cope ; the organ accompanies the integral part of a monastic establishment. chant, and sometimes the voices of boys If you walk up to the north end of the mingle with the heavier tones of the east cloister you will find a wooden-framed monks. These little choristers are se screen filled with colored or ground glass, lected from the abbey school, of which blocking your way, and filling the whole
space up to the centre of the vaulted roof. Prime is chanted at half past seven; If you open the slip latch on this inside, the Conventual Mass — that is, the public you pass through into the north cloister, mass of the day is sung at nine o'clock, and as you close the door behind you, you and at this the whole school assists. On will see that without the pass-key there is festivals this is the great celebration of no means of opening it. There is a simi. the day, and is more or less solemn in lar screen and fastened door at the end of proportion to the greatness of the feast: the west cloister. The north cloister a sermon often accompanies it. The next communicates with the "college," as it is time that the community is called to the called, a long wing of buildings extending church is for the office of None, already along the whole north side of the quadran. mentioned; and after this, at half past gle, and fitted up for the accommodation four, comes the evening office, or Vespers. of the students of the abbey school. The This, like the mass, is sung with organ school need not be further described be. accompaniment, and these two, with. Mat- yond saying that it is here several of the ios, make up the more solemn of the daily monks spend many bours of the working services, at which all are more stringently day in the dispensing of Latin, Greek, bound to be present. The office of Com. mathematics, the modern languages, and pline,, the closing prayer of the day, re. I those other multitudinous subjects which
nowadays are thought necessary for the the precentor, who has the care of the formation of the boyish mind between the choral music - no slight charge in a ages of twelve and twenty.
monastery; he must not only drill and Walking westwards down the north instruct the choristers and novices, but cloister, you turn into the west cloister, once or twice a week he meets all the which communicates with the "guest- community to practise and correct the house," another large block, containing singing of the various antiphons and reception-rooms, parlors, and sleeping. psalms. He, too, is generally organist, or rooms for guests and visitors, and also at all events, has an organ in charge, not another division of the abbey school. i to mention the other musical instruments Passing through the “enclosure screen,
,” destined for school use, on which he has you enter the south cloister, and find your probably to undergo that most horrible self again in the silence of the “monas. of tortures to a musical ear, the giving tery” proper; and here, shut in from the of music lessons to idle and unmusical world, the monk leads his real family life, boys. in quiet and steady labor. The cloisters Nor is this all. Besides the extern are no longer the living and working school there is also a somewhat busy in. rooms of a monastic community. For tellectual life going on among the monasmany centuries the “ dormitories,” as they tic community itself. There are the are still called — and there are three of novices, with unlimited capacity for inthem, one above another, taking up the struction, and to them the Psalms must whole of the three upper stories over be explained and commented on, the rule the cloisters — have been divided into must be taught and expounded, and the " cells," separate rooms of about twelve principles and obligations of monastic and feet square. Here, amid bare walls and religious life thoroughly enlarged upon carpetless floors, each monk has his down to the most minute details. The. straw bed, table, and armless chair, his ology, too, must be taught, and therefore kneeling.stool for prayer, together with a philosophy, and therefore science, for a few little necessaries, and here he passes monk is generally ordained priest, and a many hours when not called to any public priest must be able to hold his own on all or other duty. Here he studies, or reads, such subjects, especially nowadays. Nor or prays : for a monk must never be idle, are history and archæology forgotten; and and inust be ready at any moment to give probably one or two will be found to repan account of what he does with his time. resent the genus“ bookworm," as well as Few, indeed, have a chance of idling, for some who will know how to turn their all have tasks assigned, and most have a special tastes to the benefit of others by post of some sort which entails some kind writing and publishing. of responsibility. The cellarer, who is the Monastic labor does not end here. For materfamilias, must see that the kitchen health's sake, and for variety's sake, as and refectory are supplied, and clothes well as for the dignity of manual labor and other necessaries provided; the itself, and to keep the monk in memory æconomus must not allow dust or dirt to of his vocation to penance and self-denial, accumulate, or the building to get out of the band must work as well as the head. repair; the procurator has his accounts. In the monastery proper no servants are to keep; the librarian has his books to allowed; each monk from first to last dust and label and bind, catalogues to must be his own servant, even to the mak. make and keep, and strays to look after ing of his bed, sweeping of his cell, and when they have been too long missing cleaning of his shoes. Besides this, clois, from the shelves; the sacristan has the ters must be swept, and staircases and church in charge and the daily labor of dormitories, and there are many things to preparing altars and vestments for the be done outside, in the garden and other priests, to say nothing of the decorations parts of the enclosure, whether it be weed. for festivals; the master of ceremonies ing walks, or digging, or planting trees has all the work of an earl-marshal, in the and flowers. All this is attended to by days when that offic was not a sinecure. the monks, who generally have special He has not merely to“ get up" the great portions of such work allotted to them, functions, when the abbot celebrates, or a and certain hours of the day assigned to profession or ordination takes place, but manual labor.". also to keep eye on the every-day routine So the days slip by, in calm and happy in church and refectory and cloister, to activity — no, not a “fugue,” for there is see that all conform to the external regu. no lagging of one part behind the other, lations of rule and ritual. Then there is or hurry or clash or wild movement, but a
gentle harmony on a very simple theme, much for one whose only qualification was with a solemn accompaniment of tolling a broken heart, or a disappointed ambi. bells and processions and hymns of praise, tion, or the morbid dread of " a lonely and varied with the bright smile and the cheer- childless old age.” Such men, however ful laugh and the merry joke of a recrea- much we pity them - and a monk would tion hour, or the weekly ramble in true be the first to pour out his heart to comfort family style, father and sons, all together, and console them -are not themselves along the gleos or up the hills, or in the fit candidates for monastic profession. By sweet greenwood; and beneath all, the the very nature of the case, they are weak deep, firın bass of prayer and self-denial characters, they lack the hero - and self. and the uncompromising war against the sacrifice must be in some degree heroic. devil, and the flesh, and the world. In fact, as a matter of practice, what is
This is monastic life in the nineteenth first looked for in a candidate for the century, and it is remarkably like what it monastic life is a bright and cheerful dis.. was in the thirteenth. There are many position, with a large fund of inner joy, differences, indeed, but they are the differ- sufficient to support him during the trying ences of the age, and not the monastic life time while habit is growing into second that exists in it, and if a monk of the thir- nature; and experience has often proved teenth century could come upon the earth that the converted scapegrace has more again he would recognize his brethren. chance of perseverance than the extremely A reasopless clinging to mere forms, and proper but melancholy man, simply be. a wooden persistence in propping up what cause the former has a brighter, and there. is dead and rotten, is something so com fore a healthier and stronger character. pletely foreign to the spirit of the Benedic. Again, a monastery does not exist for iine rule, that where such things exist the sake of the world outside. Dr. Jes. decay must be inevitable. " It is the sopp has already told us this, and he adds, spirit that vivifies," and while I so anx. “ It was supposed to be the home of peo. iously maintain that the spirit of the thir. ple whose lives were passed in the worship teenth century still lives in the monasteries of God, and in taking care of their own of the nineteenth, I am equally concerned souls, and making themselves fit for a to state, and to prove, if may be, that that better world than this hereafter.” If the spirit has never come nigh either the word " is” were substituted for " Carlton or the Athenæum.
posed to be” in this quotation, the pasWhen will people learn that a monastery sage might pass, but the occurrence of is oot, and never was, intended as a refuge this word, and another sentence immedi. for disappointed men? The “stricken ately preceding this — viz., “a monastery head and the broken heart"
may per. in theory was a religious house" makes chance occasionally “hide” itself in the one think that the writer belongs to a cloister, but it is very doubtful if one in a large class which considers a monastery thousand such persevere in monastic life. to be “a religious house "in theory only. The reason is not far to seek. The mo- To meet this point it may be necessary to nastic life is essentially a life of self-sacri- enlarge upon a subject which has been fice. Before a man is allowed to take bitherto kept in the background of the upon himself the yoke of the monastic description of the daily life in a modern vows, he must satisfy not only himself, monastery. but others also, that he has the power and A Benedictine at his profession takes strength of character necessary to give three vows, Stability,"
"** Conversion of up, first his own will and fancy and pet Manners” (or Life), and “ Obedience acnotions of whatever kind, and secondly cording to the Rule.” They are so named self-indulgence, love of ease and comfort, in the rule of St. Benedict. In accord. and in general all such attachments as ance with the first, the monk binds himself smack of womanish softness or childish to remain in the monastery till death. want of self-control. He must be able to This is so strictly observed that it is conendure monotony, silence, and solitude sidered a most grievous offence, punishstrong trials to the strongest natures; and able with the gravest penalties, to go out finally be must prove by bis conduct that of the monastic enclosure without express he can stand correction, bear to hear the leave of the superior. No matter how truth told him about himself, and practise short the time and distance, a monk may childlike obedience to a man who is per- not leave his monastery without first askhaps half his age, and his inferior in ing permission on his knees, and stating status and education.
where he wishes to go, and for what purSuch a trial would certainly prove too | pose. On his return he must again pre.
sent himself upon his knees to announce the last novice, he must kneel in a con that he has come back within the ap- spicuous place for a short time as an pointed time.
atonement; and if he has no good excuse The second vow has a much wider for such tardiness, he may be kept kneel. scope. By it the monk is bound to aim ing during the whole of the proceedings. at what Dr. Jessopp calls “the higher The same rule is observed if any one life,” and what Catholics call“ perfection.” makes a mistake in the singing of any This latter word has a very definite mean. part of the divine office – and this, of ing. In the first place, it includes what course, may happen in presence of a large are known as the Gospel counsels - concourse of people. Similarly, if a monk namely, those rules over and above the is reproved by his superior in a serious ten commandments which our Lord gave way, it is his duty to kneel at the superiwhen he said, "If thou wilt be perfect, go or's feet, and so listen to the correction. sell all that thou hast and come follow We can bardly imagine one of our Pall me;" and elsewhere, “ He that will follow Mall monks, who talks of “his honor," me, let him deny himself and take up his and of being "insulted,” taking a fault. cross and follow me," etc., etc. It in finding in this sort of way; with the mook cludes the obligation of poverty, of chas. it is a matter of course. tity, and of obedience; it binds the monk I pass on to other matters. A monk is to aim, not merely at the observance of not allowed even to possess money, much the duties obligatory upon all Christians, less to use it for himself; even the neces. but also to seek out the higher grades of saries he is allowed the use of are limited virtue, and to practise them. By it he is and prescribed, and he must ask permis. bound to aim at humility, at patience, atsion for every fresh thing he needs, no self-denial, at meekness, and those other matter how slight or trivial. This is to interior as well as exterior virtues which secure his poverty. To keep him from go to make up the perfect man. Now in mixing up with the world which he has a monastery this is not left barely to the forsaken and renounced, he is not only individual conscience, but by precept and bound to the enclosure in which he lives, example, by reproof and correction, by but every precaution is taken to prevent warning and punishment, as well as by him from having too much communica. encouragement and by help in various tion with what is outside. Letters never ways, the obligation is kept continually pass under seal, but are opened, and may before the monk's eyes and forced upon be retained; correspondence at all is only his attention.
allowed when it is likely to do good; The very rules and detailed regulations newspapers are almost excluded. It was of the monastery all tend to this same not in the ordinary course of things that end. One of these regulations is the the Nineteenth Century found its way into daily “conference,” in which the superior a monastic refectory: such a book would meets his community every evening, and have been sent by a friend because it addresses them for half an hour upon contained the article here in question. some ascetical point, or calls attention to So, again, visitors are not encouraged, some remissness, or encourages to fresh though when received, in accordance with vigor and fresh fervor in what is already the most venerable tradition of the mowell done. Then there is the weekly nastic order, they are treated with all chapter of faults, in which the brethren, possible kindness and reverence. But each in his turn, in presence of all the monks may only see them at certain times, others assembled, accuses himself of any and in certain places, and they are not breaches of the rule he may have com- admitted beyond the closed doors before mitted, and on his knees receives the spoken of as leading into the private parts reprimand and penance given him by the of the monastery. The object of all these superior, or listens while other failings regulations is to ensure detachment from are pointed out, of which he was perhaps all that the monk renounces by the vows unconscious, and the means necessary for of his profession; nor should it be supovercoming them. Such things as these posed that these rules are endured as must induce a habit of humility, of self. burdens, or enforced like punishments knowledge, of patience and meekness. upon unwilling minds. A novice has a There are many other practices which long time to count the cost before he conduce to a similar end. If any one binds himself to their observance, and comes late to the church, or to the refec. when he takes the step he does it freely tory, or to any public assembly of the and gladly, and obeys the rule with a convent, no matter who he be, abbot or cheerfulness inspired not by reason only,
but even by the ease of long.continued is anything that is essential to monastic custom.
life it is precisely this, that it is a family The vow of obedience to the rule speaks and domestic life, and subject to an al. of itself: indeed it has in reality been most endless code of petty rules and reg. already alluded to. It is sufficient to add ulations. From morning till night there that while it binds a monk to perfect obe. is scarcely a single act left to the monk's dience in all that is not sinful, its terms own discretion, at all events not to his give him at the same time a right of ap. own inclination. His very hours of rising peal in the unlikely eventuality of his and retiring to rest are rigidly fixed, his being forced beyond his strength and in. day is minutely parcelled out, and even in tention.
the discharge of his duties he is subject If a monastic life means all this, and it to a minute ceremonial which directs did so as well in the thirteenth century as whether he is to sit or stand, where he is it does now, a monastery is something to walk and how, whether he shall cover more than a religious house in theory. his head or not, what he shall do with his It is so in fact also: and, to come to the hands or his eyes or his feet - a perfect point, there is something in it over and slavery, if it were not a free self-subjecabove the mere banding together to lead tion. a life in common for the sake of the com. But a club has some purpose in its mon good. It must be upon some such association : is to formulate and give theory as this alone that any one could expression to certain views, tastes, or see a resemblance between a mediæval methods, political, literary, mercantile, or monastery and a modern club. Surely, otherwise. Precisely so: its only laudaupon such a ground, a co-operative asso. ble excuse for existing is that it, presumciation, or a trades' union, or a conspira- ably, has a work to do for the benefit of cy, or a secret society, might with equal ths world. And for this reason it is still or greater justice be looked upon as a more unlike a monastery, which exists for
successor to the thirteenth-century mon- the individual good of its members, and astery". Why, above all things, that very only does good to the outside world as if acme of selfishness, and luxurious egoism, by accident. True it is the monasteries the club-house?
did a great work in the world; it is also I am probably less acquainted with the true they do a work still. They uphold interior life of a club than is Dr. Jessopp to men the spectacle of an ideal Christian with that of a monastery; but, putting to life carried into practice. They are cengether all that one has heard, I may not tres of benevolence, of refinement, even be far wrong in supposing that the very of civilization for is not all civilization essence of club life consists in freedom based upon self-restraint? and self-re. from all interference with private con- straint needs teaching in these days, as venience. A man prefers his club to his much as, or sometimes more than, in days home, on the ground that in the latter he gone by. But the raison d'être of a is subject to various little restrictions monastery is that men may lead a monas. from which he is free in the former. At tic life; and if monasteries continue to home he must lunch or dine at a certain spring up, it is because the demand still fixed hour, and perhaps off certain things exists, as it has continued to exist ever for which he has no great partiality; he since the euphemistically termed Refor. must make himself entertaining towards mation, and as it always must exist as people who call, be interested in those long as the Gospel precepts are preached whom he does not know, or does not care and believed in. to know, or, still worse, of whom he knows The Reformation, and its child the Reve too much; he must submit to be annoyed olution, though they have destroyed many with many little matters, to listen to com a noble monastic building, have not an. plaints, to be occasionally found fault with, nihilated the monastic life. The tradition or now and then to be worsted in a one has survived, and still exists. In some sided encounter. At his club, he may do countries, notably in the Austrian Empire, pretty much as he likes, eat and drink many monastic foundations dating back when he wills and what he fancies, be as far as the seventh and sixth centuries sulky or cheerful, talk or be silent, when still flourish in the full enjoyment of large he pleases, without reproof and without possessions and all the influence and qualm of conscience. Club life in short prestige that attached to similar institu. is an emancipation from domestic rule, iions in our own country. Even in En. and more or less also from the formal eti-gland the connection has never been quette of society in general. Now is there broken. Since the coming of Saint Au.