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thou canst think of the miserable, who hast entered that abyss of light, and art absorbed in the ocean of eternal felicity : for perhaps, although thou hast known me according to the flesh, now thou no longer knowest me, being entered into the power of the Lord, mindful only of his justice, forgetful of us ; but qui adhæret Deo, unus spiritus est, and is changed into divine affection ; neither can he perceive or understand aught except God, and what God perceives and understands ; but God is charity, and by how much any one is more near to God, by so much is he more filled with charity. Moreover, God is passionless, but not without compassion, whose property is always to have mercy and to forgive. Therefore, of necessity, thou must be merciful who art joined with mercy, although thou mayest not be in the least unhappy; and thou who art without suffering, must nevertheless have compassion. Thy affection is not diminished, but unchanged ; nor since thou hast put on God hast thou thrown off the care of us ; for he hath care of us. What is weak thou hast thrown off, but not that which is pious : for charity never faileth ; and thou wilt not forget me for ever. Methinks I hear my brother saying, Numquid mater oblivisci poterit filii uteri sui ? Etsi illa oblita fuerit, ego tamen non obliviscar tui. Thou knowest where I lie, where thou hast left me. There is no one to stretch out a hand to me. On every occasion I am looking to Girard as I was accustomed, and he is not. Alas, then, I lament as one without assistance. Who will carry my burdens ? who will shield me from danger? would come to me who had not first sought Girard ; for he would meet them coming, offering himself, lest they should suddenly incur my anger.
o industrious man, faithful friend! Who ever departed from him empty? if rich, he had advice; if poor, he had alms. Thanks to you, brother, if there be any fruit of my studies in the
to you I owe it, if I have made any advance, Thou wert occupied, and I kept holiday and gave myself to study ; for why should I not feel secure within, while I knew that you were abroad, my right hand, the light of my eyes, my breast and my tongue? But what do I say of his occupation without, as if Girard was destitute of spiritual gifts ? They who are spiritual who knew him, knew how spiritual were his words. How often when con
versing with him, have I learned things which I knew not before, and I, who came to teach, went back more learned ! He had no learning, but he had the sense, the creator of learning ; he had likewise the spirit which giveth light, Nor was he only great in great things, but also in the least. What escaped the skill of Girard in building, in tillage, in gardening, in irrigation, in all rural arts ? He was master of hewing stone, of building, of husbandry, of making shoes, and weaving. When in the judgment of all he was wiser than all, alone in his own eyes he was not wise. I could say more of him, but I forbear, because he is my flesh, and my brother ; but this I confidently add, that to me he was useful in all things, and above all ; he was useful in small and great things, in private and public, abroad and within. Justly I depended on him, who bore the labour, and left me to gain the honour. I was called abbot, but he was the first in solicitude. Justly did my spirit rest in him, by whom I was enabled to have delight in the Lord, to preach with more freedom, to pray with more security. Alas ! thou art taken away, and all these things are gone! for with thee I have lost my delights and my joy. The hand of the Lord hath touched me. Let him who is holy condescend to me, and him who is spiritual, in the spirit of gentleness, let him bear with my grief. We daily see the dead bewailing their dead-much tears and no fruit: we do not blame the affection, unless when it exceeds moderation. This is of nature, that is vanity and sin ; for these bewail the loss of fleshly glory and the sorrow of the present life; and they are to be mourned over who thus mourn ; but my sorrow is not of this world;
for I mourn things which are of God, a faithful helper, a wise adviser ; I mourn for Girard, my brother in the flesh, but one most near to me in spirit. I confess I am not insensible to punishment; I shudder at my death, and at the death of my friends : he was my Girard, mine altogether. Pardon me, my sons ; nay, if sons, share with me in grief. Have pity on me, have pity on me, at least you, my friends ; but I condemn not the sentence which hath obtained the crown for him, and the punishment for me, Thou art gone before ; thou art gone to those whom, about the middle of thy last night, thou didst invite to praise, when suddenly with a countenance
and voice of exultation, thou didst break forth, to the astonishment of those who were present, with the words, Laudate Dominum de cælis, laudate eum in excelsis. And now, my brother, the day was beginning to dawn to you at the dead of night, and the night did shine as the day : I am sent for to behold that iracle, to behold a man exulting in death, and insulting death. Death, where is thy victory, where is thy sting? There is no sting, but there is jubilation. The man dies singing, and sings in dying. When I arrived, I heard him finishing the psalm with a clear voice : he looked up to heaven, and said, Pater, in manus tuas commendo spiritum meum ; and repeating these words, and frequently sighing, Pater, Pater, turning towards me with a joyful face, he said, What condescension in God, to be the father of men ; what glory for men, to be the sons and heirs of God! For if sons, then heirs. Thus did he sing, and thus did he almost turn my sorrow into songs of gladness. Justus es, Domine, et rectum judicium tuum. Thou gavest Girard, thou hast taken him away ; and if we mourn for his departure, we do not forget that he was given. I remember, O Lord, my agreement and thy mercy, that thou mayest be the more justified in thy sayings, and that thou mayest conquer when thou art judged. When we were at Viterbo last year for the affairs of the church, he fell sick; and when he seemed near death, I bitterly lamenting that I should have to leave the companion of my journey in a strange land, and that I should not be able to return him to those who had entrusted him to me, since he was loved by all, and was most worthy of love, I betook myself to prayer, with tears and sighs, and I said, “Wait, O Lord, till we return.' Thou didst hear me, O Lord; he recovered ; we fulfilled our object; we returned with joy, and brought back the sheaves of peace. I almost forgot my agreement; but thou didst not forget it. I am ashamed of these sobs, which convict me of prevarication. What remains ? Thou hast sought thine own. Tears shall make an end of words. Do thou only, O Lord, prescribe limits and an end to them."
"1 Now, if men like St. Bernard, exalted so far above the
1 S. Bernardi in Cantica Sermo xxvi.
level of humanity, and almost absorbed in divine light, were thus sensible to the feelings of nature, we may be sure that knights and temporal men were ignorant of any piety which was not joined with generous and natural atfections : men would have learned the duty of cherishing them, from attending even to the prayers of the Church. The Church prayed to God, the Father Almighty, “that he would cure diseases, drive away famine, open prisons, break chains, grant a safe return to travellers, health to the sick, and a secure haven to such as are at sea.” And were knights and temporal men to affect a spirituality above all such considerations ? No, truly. Nothing was too small or trifling not to be decided by the maxims of religion. As its ceremonies formed part of the happiness, so its precepts were applied to all the detail and ordinary transactions of life. All the graces and virtues which we shall bave occasion to witness hereafter, as illustrating the chivalrous character, proceeded from this principle. It was religion which induced many of the feudal lords to give liberty to their vassals. From the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, a vast number of acts remain in Rymer, beginning, “as from the first God made all men free, we believe that it will be an act of piety, and meritorious before God, to deliver such persons as are subject to us, from villainage. Know, then, that we have set free these persons, and their children, to all posterity.” Thus Charlemagne wrote to Athilhard, archbishop of Canterbury, in behalf of some exiles, entreating him to intercede with King Offa ; and he concludes his letter saying, “But I trust to the goodness of my brother, if you strongly intercede for them, that he will receive them kindly for love of us, or rather for the love of Christ."
They loved men as in God-men, not as sons, or fathers, or brethren, but as men.” Honour, in all its fulness, was contained in their religion. Turenne, before his conversion, would not accept the office of constable of France, from conscience. After his conversion, he refused it from a principle of honour. Petrarch speaks of being a Catholic as binding him to evince every virtue.3
“Quid enim prodest si quis | Turner's Hist. of Anglo-Saxons, i. 404. 2 S. August. de vera Religione. 3 Famil. Epist. ii. 1. iv. 6.
catholice credat et gentiliter vivat ?” said a father. Ereticus, a youth, remained for a long time in the school of Zeno. On his return, his father asked him what wisdom he had learned? The boy replied, that he would shew him by the thing itself. The father, in a rage, inflicted stripes, which he bore patiently and with gentleness, and then said, “ This is what I have learned, to bear the anger of my father.” 1
So it was with the youth of Christian chivalry. They did not learn gestures and words, but how to bear and suffer. “Quid tam indecorum,” said St. Bernard, “maxime adolescenti quam ostentatio sanctitatis !” 2 St. Francis Borgia, happening to leave Valladolid very late one night, in the midst of a great fall of snow, attended by a bitter wind, to go to Simangues, where was the house of the noviciate, he arrived there at a time when the novices were asleep; and as the gate was at a great distance from the main building, he had to remain in the deep snow and wind, knocking in vain for a long time, till at length being heard, and the novices opening the gates, and expressing their grief at having kept him in such suffering, the saint assured them that it was all well. The occasion was not too trifling for his religion to be in action. What sublime piety and humanity were evinced in the three secret prayers which King Charles VII. of France made in the chapel of Loches on All-Saints day, of which the Maid of Orleans reminded him !3 What pure and effective morality, accompanying sublime devotion, was taught in the Paradise of the Soul, by Albert the Great, bishop of Reynsburch, in 1234! The profound piety of Stanislaus I., king of Poland, operated in making him forgive the treacherous assassins who attempted to murder him in the forest as he went to perform his devotions in the abbey of Graventhal. So poor Crillon declared that he pardoned the Huguenot soldier who had tried to assassinate him, out of obedience to the commands of his religion. “Rends grace à ma religion qui m'ordonne de pardonner.” Mark what is said in l'Arbre des Batailles : “ If I take a mad Englishman prisoner, I must use him gently as a good Christian, and take care of his
| Ælian, Var. Hist. ix. 33.