Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

shall God be worshipped and invoked.” And so he vanished.

And when Abbot John awoke, the monks went on their way and passed at dawn through the midst of another village. And as the people began to peer at them from their lattices, John hid himself in the shadow to listen to their talk. And one looked at the moon and the stars, and the signs and aspects of the heavens, and said: “In a happy time do these good men make their move, for in thirty or forty years they shall be so established that they shall not afterwards be shaken, but go on growing and increasing."

Thus, in the mirror of their dreams and beliefs, may we trace some faint and shadowy reflections of the men who built for a foredoomed system such imperishable homes.

At Jervaulx, indeed, the church, the great central thought and dominant feature of the whole, has been levelled with the ground. As the children of those who slew the prophets were forward to adorn their tombs, so a later generation has come with flowers to brighten and fences to surround the limbs and remnants of a murdered art. The cloister-court of Jervaulx is now a tennis-ground, and the precinct to the north and west a garden, but the park which

spreads along the valley of the Ure still witnesses to the silent toil which cleared and cultivated the tangled wilderness. The ground-plan of the church has been carefully excavated and well preserved, and a single altar in the north transept and a fine doorway at the south-west of the nave remain in situ and fairly perfect. The south wall of the cloister, clearly a modern substitution, has no signs of lavatory or entrance to frater and offices. The frater has utterly vanished, the building wrongly so called being perhaps the common warming-house. East of this is another room with two large fireplaces. A kitchen, with one fireplace, is south of the yard, as at Kirkstall and Roche. There are indications of a large hospitium west of the cellarium, and ample materials for study in the infirmary and so-called Abbot's house, as well as in the chapter-house. In fact, a careful and accurate plan of this abbey, made in the full light of recent research, is sorely needed.

From the dreamer, John of Kinstan (or De Kyngeston), to Adam of Sedburgh, hanged in 1537 for complicity in the Pilgrimage of Grace, a long array of abbots maintained, in uneventful succession, the dignity of the house and the reputation of its horses and its cheese. The wooden structures at which Peter de Quincy laboured and Count Alan jested with his friends gave way to the more solid buildings which Abbot Roger of Byland planned and set a-going between Christmas and the Purification, but thenceforth no great architect seems to have arisen at Jervaulx.

The end of the twelfth or beginning of the thirteenth century must have seen the completion of the "fair church,” which Darcy so eagerly destroyed, and the chapter-house with its pillars of gray marble from Nidderdale. And here, too, ends that which may be almost called the Cistercian episode in architecture.

“The Gothic architecture,” says Mr. Ruskin, “ arose in massy and mountainous strength, axe-hewn and iron-bound, block heaved upon block by the monk's enthusiasm and the soldier's force; and cramped and stanchioned into such weight of grisly wall as might bury the anchoret in darkness and beat back the utmost storm of battle.” It is with this stage that we are concerned rather than with that later one in which “gradually as that monkish enthusiasm became more thoughtful, and as the sound of war became more and more intermittent beyond the gates of the convent or the keep, the stone pillar grew slender and the vaulted roof grew

light, till they had wreathed themselves into the resemblance of the summer woods at their fairest; and of the dead field-flowers, long trodden down in blood, sweet monumental statues were set to bloom for ever beneath the porch of the temple or the canopy of the tomb.”

[ocr errors][merged small]

PROBABLY the least known, but certainly not the least interesting, of the monastic ruins of Yorkshire is the Carthusian Priory, which stands a mile or so north of the “Beck,” between the Hambleton and Cleveland Hills. “The Priory of Mount Grace," says the local guide, “is situated about eight miles E.N.E. of Northallerton. The nearest railway stations are Welbury and Trenholme Bar, which are respectively about four miles distant, but no conveyances can be obtained at either.” At one time a sportsman, at another a countrywoman, will come and go, but the few tourists who make their way to the Priory arrive mostly by road from Northallerton. Indeed, these small stations on the wild moor seem to feel the spell of older and more stagnant days, and perhaps no one who has not waited at Pilmore for a train has fully realised how powerless a railway

ances d

« VorigeDoorgaan »