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universities. Those of Trouast, of Mount St. Michael, of Dauné, Durdene, Barbery, Daval, De Savigny, De Mondaye, De St. Barbe, and De Belle Estoille, had hostels for their pupils, in the university of Caen, and all these abbots used to assist at the opening of the schools, which was a very honorable thing to see, adds De Bourgueville. *
We before remarked the extraordinary privileges granted with a view to draw scholars to these aca lemies. Many who had assisted to destroy the institutions of the middle age,—the houses of the templars and of the lepers, coming to have doubts as their own mission, founded colleges for the poor ;- little popular states, as it were, in the heart of Paris, which were multiplied in a few years. Never- . theless, these only seemed to give occasion to the monastic student for following the example of St. Benedict, who, when a youth, chose to forego all the advantage of attendance at the public schools, to be “scienter nesciens et sapienter in loctus," rather than sully the purity of his soul by remaining to witness the disordered life of the student.
When the monastery of Clairvaux, in early times, first instituted a house for students at Paris, the abbot sent to the devout Arnulph, :ubbot of Villier:-, to ask his assistance ; but the latter was astonished at this novelty, says the chronicle, “ for he knew that the order had been founded in the spirit of great simplicity, and that it had continued to his time to evince the utmost humility anıl sanctity, and it seemed strange that monks should now forego the cloistral exercise, and give themselves to the study of letters. He considered the words of the apostle, “Scientia inflat.' So he returned answer that he would give nothing; which the abbot of Clairvaux took ill. Future generations," adds the chronicle, “ will judge whether the man of God discerned the truth, and whether the same humility will continue in religious houses as in times before the ordination of such studies.”+
Experience too soon justified these forebodings. The universities proved a snare which entangled and captured many. That of Naples, founded by Frederic II., out of spite to Bologna, produced fruits worthy of its author, even while men of great merit, such as Peter of Irelanıl, the master of St. Thomas, taught philosophy in it. O how young Thomas, while studying under him, regretted the sweet days that he had passed at Mount-C:issino.
The universities contributed to create a classical mania in certain cities, and as an ingenious author says, “ both in arts and letters to hasten the resiirrection of Paganism. The universities opposed every thing that broke the spiritless uniformity arising from the notions of centralization. In the quarrel of the empire with the Church, they almost always took the side of the temporal power,
which had more seductive presents than the popedom.|| They were often hostile to he
* Les Rechercbes de Normandie. † Hist. Monast. Villariensis, i. c. 8, ap. Martene, Thes. Anecdot. iii. 1 Touron, Vie de St. Thom. & Rio de l'Art. Chrétien, 445. | Audin, Vie de Luther, i. 40.
roic virtue. That of Paris decided against the maid of Orleans. They were not destined to inherit the beatitude of which we are yet to treat. As the agents of Henry VIII. discovered they could be bought over for a certain sum to betray justice, though they might afterwards turn round and for greater ease betray the purchasers. The university of Paris was dead before the revolution. After Rollin, it produced no roan of eminence. The bishops did not confide their scholars to it, but kept them in their seminaries. They found after all that the monks had been right at first.
Philip, abbot of Goodhope, in answer to a certain John, formerly a disciple of Anselm, who after becoming a monk seemed to regret the time of his studies in Paris, says,
“ Blessed is the man, not who hath heard Master Anselm, or who hath studied at Paris, but whom thou, O Lord, doth teach thy law."* can neither condemn nor approve of your wish to study at Bologna," says Pope Clement IV., writing to a clerk named Raymond de Engoyssolis," for the name of stuuly,” he continues, " taken properly, seems so fair that it soothes the ears of all who hear it, to whom it presents either a lover of study, or one studious only in name, although often one thing is acted and another pretended.”+
« There was a certain youth at Daventium,” says Thomas of Kempis, “pursuing his studies as a scholar, and sometimes he used to be invited and tempted by offers of presents to remove to Paris : but by the advice of devout persons he declined exposing himself to such dangers. Meanwhile, it happened that two of his fellow students, who had gone from that school to study at Paris, after a short time died there, both on the same day. The said youth, hearing of this, was struck with the uncertain good attending scholastic things, and induced to become a disciple of Christ among monks.”+
“Misericordias Domini in æternum cantabo,” after citing which words a Saxon monk exclaims, “O Lord my God, my Creator and Redeemer, what mercies hast thou shown me from the beginning of my life to this day. Not an hour or moment has passed in which thou hast not multiplied upon me thy mercies, for thou didst, preserve my infancy and youth, and give me such sucess in the schools, that in my eighteenth year I was placed over sixty or eighty scholars to examine them in Greek. Then when my parents, elate with such a reputation in Paris, wished me to remove to Erfurth for university studies, thou didst inspire me with better resolutions ; for then I began to think and say, If now I were to be a doctor, and every day to hear the salutation, Domine Doctor, and if after this life I should descend to eternal flames, what would all my philosophy and learning avail? So the words ewechlike and ommermer made me determine to forsake the world and its delights. Therefore the mercies of God I will for ever sing, who inspired me with the good will to enter this holy order.” §
* Epist. vii. ap. Bulæus, Hist. Univers. Par. tom. ii. † Ap. Baluse, Miscellan. tom. ii.
Thom. à Kemp. Dialog. Novitiorum. & Johan. Buschii Liber Reformationis Monaster. Saxoniæ, c. i. ap. Leibnitz, Script. Brunsv. I.
The monastic students did not pant after the waters of the university with the ardor which impelled the Saxon innovator to repair to Erfurth and Wittenberg. “When Arnulph II., the nineteenth abbot of Villiers, in the eighth century, was a youth, he did not wish to be sent to Paris to study,” says the chronicle of that abbey,“ rather desiring to be edified in charity than to be inflated with science, imitating the example of St. Benedict, who devoted himself wholly to religion, a mitting the schools. Nevertheless, at that time the monastery had many students at Paris.”* Writing to one of his clerks, Petrus Cellensis says, “ your place of exile is sufficiently replete with joys, however vain. Who besides yourself would not esteem Paris a place of delight, a garden of plants, a land of first fruits ? Neverı heless, in langhing you have spoken the truth ; for where there are greater pleasures for the body, there is the place of banishment for the soul. Ubi major et amplior voluptas corporum, ibi rerum exilium animarum ; et ubi regnat Juxuria, ibi miserabiliter ancillatur et affligitur anima.' O Paris, what a fit place art thou for taking captive and deceiving souls ! In thee are placed the nets of vice, and the snares of evil, and the arrows of leath, which pierce the hearts of the foolish. So thinks my John, and therefore he names it an exile. May you always esteem it as an exile, and hasten to your true country. There you will find face to face in the book of life not figures and elements, but divinity and truth itself, without the labor of realing or the weariness of seeing, without danger of mistake or error in understanding, without the care of retaining or the fear of forgetting. O happy school, where Christ will teach our heirts by the word of his power; where we shall learn, without study and reading, in what manner we may be able to live eternally happy! There the book is not purcha-ed; the Master of the writings is not paid. There is no circumvention of disputations, no intrication of sophisms, but a clear determination of all questions, and a full apprehension of all reasons and argnments. There life avails mor- than realing, simplicity more than ability. There no one is refuted, excepting those who are excluded : but with one word of final judgment, Ite and Venite, all objections and questions are decided for ever. I wish that the sons of men would apply themselves to these better studlies, rather than to vain and pernicious discourses. Certainly they would find a more abundant return of fruit, and a greater and more availing bonor.”+
But it is time that we pass still more into the interior of the abbey, and inquire respecting the rules and customs of the house of peace.
* Hist. Mon. Villar. c. xi.
Epist. Lib. iv. 10.
FTER describing in minute detail the miseries that marked a courtier's
life when Henry the Second was the English king, Peter of Blois concludes, summing all up, by saying that “in the court there is no order."* Perhaps we could not find a more expressive term for marking the contrast between the peaceful life in cloisters and that of other men,
than by using the converse of this sentence, and saying that in the monastery there was order. Hugo of St. Victor, indeed, supposes order in the court; but his distinctions make the contrast no less striking. “Far different,” he says, “is the order of the cloister from that of the court : there you sit in council with the rich in secret to slay the innocent · here you sing, 'Non sedi cum consilio vanitatis, et cum impiis non sedebo.' There your right hand is full of gifts ; here you wash your hands with the innocent. There the poor are robbed ; here to the poor free offerings are made. There the sinner is praised in tlie desires of his soul; here the just man is blessed.”Perhaps again we could not better portray the cheerful diversity incident to the cloistral order than by confronting it with the striking picture of its exact opposite, which Tiek produces as the vision of a reprobate. " In the numerous vast halls, swarms of men,” he says, “ were sitting, standing, or walking about, all in the same state of deplorable woe. And no variety, no division of time, no hour, no day or night changed this melancholy monotonousness. One solitary amusement was there. Now and then some one reminded the others of their former faith : how during a short time they had feared and worshipped God. Then a loud burst of laughter, as at a most portentous absurdity, pealed through the hall. Afterwards they all grew grave, and some strove with all their faculties to call back the reverence and sanctity of their former feelings, but in vain." In the monastery the rule was variety in uniformity, and the consequences were peaceful joy, and hope that never withered. ollect,” says St. Basil to a fallen virgin, “recollect the tranquil days, and the illuminated nights, and the spiritual chaunts, and the sonorous psalmody, and the holy prayers.”
“ Whatever is done by the monks,” says a great English philosopher, “is incited by an adequate motive. Their time is regularly distributed ; one duty succeeds another, so that they are not left open to the distraction of unguided choice, nor lost in the shades of listless inactivity. There is a certain task
+ Hugo de St. Vict. De Claustro Animæ, Lib. ii. 16.
# Epist. 45.
to be performed at an appropriated hour; and their toils are cheerful, because they consider them as acts of piety, by which they are always advancing towards endless felicity.”* The hours in monastic life deserved the appellation given to them by the Pythagorean poet, where he speaks of the three sisters, “ Good-legislation, Justice, and Peace,” which were also called hours, from time being essential to the exercise of their respective functions. † Such were the fruits of the monastic rule, order, variety, and peace.
The most celebrated of the primitive rules of the oriental monks were those of St. Anthony, St. Macaire, St. Hilarion, and St. Pachomius. In the last half of the fourth century the rule of St. Basil gave greater regularity to the monastic institution. St. Augustin found monks in Italy, and, in fact, the monastic order was soon spread over the west. In a work of the fifth century we read, “ These men generally live in remote places, even when they reside in cities. Their conversation is without ostentation : they have one place of assembling; they are humbly clad; they care not how vile may be their food and drink ; they have appointed hours for singing psalms and hymns to God; they fast till evening ; they sleep upon rushes, and during the night, there are stated vigils and times of prayer. They never mistake ihe approach of clay, but the first dawn raises them and matutinal devotion is exercised in offering praise to Goll."! There were, however, then various orders in the west. The Italian monks generally followel the rule of St. Basil, but in Gaul each great monastery gave name to a certain class as following the customs of that chief house, which in the sixth century all lapsed into the holy institute of St. Benedict. Towards the end of the fifth century at Nurcia, a few le:gues east from Spoleto, at the foot of the Apennines, St. Benedict the great was born, the patriarch of the western monks. At Subiaco, and in twelve other monasteries built by him, he left a certain form of order, but gave no laws or precepts to bind these in imion round a common centre, according to the idea which had originated with Pachomius, but which had become nearly obsolete, each monastery following the rules of its own abbot. There were nearly as many rules as there were cells and monasteriez ; yet all were united in peace and charity. There were supposed to be but one order of monks in the Church. Three centuries after the great Benedict, in the year 751, the second of that name was born. St. Benedict of Aniane was by race a Goth; he was bred a page in the court of Pepin-le-Bref, became a warrior, and served in many of the expeditions of Charlemagne. In 774 he renounced the world and became a monk in the abbey of St. Seine, from which he passed afterwaris to that of Aniane, where he became abbot. He it was who conceived the plan of reducing the rites of all the different monasteries to one common stanılard. This great work was begun at the solemn assembly of the abbots of the western empire at Aix-la-Cha
* Johnson, Rasselas.
+ Olymp. xiii. Consultat. Zachæi et Apollonii, Lib. iii. c. iii, iv. an. Dacher, Spicileg. s. 8 Mabill. Præfat. in V. Sæcul. Ben. Siv.