Зображення сторінки
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

in a bad humour, and the most Superiors are afterwards strongly laughable when in a good one. advised to give hints and counsels,

After Mass, until half-past seven, rather than orders and commands, the novices read a commentary it is quite the contrary now: the upon Holy Scripture. But let Directeur des travaux has to say: it not be thought that they may Go there, and they go ; Do this, choose the commentary which they and it is done. Novices, being prefer, or the part of the Bible extra fervent, can cupport without they like best. They have to so much danger an extra dose of submit their preferences to the obedience; and besides, O IgnaMaster, and he chooses for them. tius, hast thou not learned, when So likewise for all the books read yet a soldier of the world, that the in the Novitiate ; so likewise for strength of cannons is tried by everything else. From the mo- firing them with extra charges ! ment they rise till the time when so, each novice goes and humbly they stretch their limbs in bed, asks for work. they are under obedience-drilled There is plenty to do. Sweepall day long. The lesson of self. ing rooms and passages and garden denial is taught them, not by a paths; waxing the floor of the few great sacrifices, but by a con- private chapel terrible work ! tinued series of trifles to be given down in the cellar, drawing wine, up. Obedience is incessantly pres- or up in the garret cleaning shoes; ent, in season, and, ono might or out of doors, digging; or with. think, out of season too. See the in, laying the table for dinner: novices going down into the re- not one novice is unemployed. fectory; it is a fast-day, and all Some are sitting in the lectureof them must pass by the Master, room, to learn the way of making standing at the door of his room. rosaries, disciplines, haircloths, and Why? Because they must ask those chains whose sharp points permission to take the frustulum, enter into the flesh. A dozen or a morsel of bread allowed by dis- more are working under the superpensation to all who fast. And intendence of a strict, morose, if they do not wish to avail them- lantern-jawed Brother, who has selves of the dispensation? They a little of the Buonaparte type in must also ask leave not to avail his face, and a good deal of sombre themselves of it!“We,” said a obstinacy in his character; he will Capuchin friar to me one day, remain in the Society only five "we have severer penances than years, making himself generally you; and yet you have more to disliked, and broöding over imaendure. One can little by little ginary wrongs done to him. In a get hardened to the scourge, but corner are two of the youngest not to never doing one's own Brothers, one of whom sometimes will." Perhaps the good Capuchin glances at the other full slily, and was right.

then shakes with suppressed laughAfter breakfast, work; travaux ter; for that other is engaged upmanuels. It is not the Admonitor on an awful girdle, at least six who commands here, but the Frère inches broad, ordered for penitenDirecteur des travaux. Novicestial purposes by some tough old must, from the very beginning, Father. All this is very pleasant learn to obey their companions, so to see ; but the sly Brother is a as to have less difficulty in doing trifle too friendly, though perhaps the same in after-years; and if he does not know it as yet; it is

only his first week here. Partic- Loyola, “not what you ordered ular friendships are not allowed : me, but what,"had you been presthat is, though one may feel great ent, you would have ordered me." er sympathy for one than for And St Ignatius approved him. another, one ought not to show it. Yet the conduct of that novice The wrong is, not in the feeling, who remained a whole day in the but in the injustice done to others Master's room without stirring, by a show of that feeling. As a because he had been told to remember of a community, equal main there, vand had then been kindness is due to all; and any forgotten, is held up to public extraordinary amount of kindness admiration. To admiration, yes ; received by one, is taken away to imitation, no. This example from the rest. So the motto is : ought to have no more influence Tous, mais pas un! And this on the ordinary course of life than rule applies even to brothers ac that of the other novice who on cording to the flesh, if any such his deathbed asked permission of happen to be together in the No his Superior to quit the Novitiate, vitiate : they must be to one an. thinking that he could not posother neither more nor less than sibly die without leave. the first novice that comes. Spir At 8.30, leaving a bottle of wine itual fraternity ought to predomin: half filled, a link of a chain half ate over natural brotherhood; the formed, or a garden - weed half indissoluble links of religion form pulled out, all the novices run a far stronger chain than those to get their book on Christian ties which, springing out of corrup- Perfection,' by Rodriguez. We tion, are again to dissolve into cor may call it the standard ascetic ruption; Eternity is more than work of the Novitiate ; evca on Time.

whole holidays, even during the When I came to the Novitiate, vacation, it is regularly read for I had been told of many most ex

half an hour every day. The traordinary things I should be re- peculiarity consists in the manner quired to do as a test of my obedi- of reading. The Frère Admoniteur ence; and I was rather disap- goes down into the garden and pointed than otherwise, on finding opens his book; all the novices that nobody ordered me to eat follow him at random, one after peas with a two-pronged fork, or another; while he takes the lead to sweep out a cell with the wrong with a rapid step, they have to end of a broom. I was expected walk after him at the same pace, to tako it for granted that the taking care not to tread on the orders given nie were reasonable; heels of their neighbours. This if I did not think them so, my is technically called tourner Rodduty was to ask for explanations. riguez, and certainly does look Nothing is falser than the idea very absurd. The reason for this that a Jesuit is a mere machine strange manner of reading is to for obeying orders.

give the novices a sufficient arather – setting aside in mount of exercise in the morning, which it would be a duty to dis together with fresh air. In the obey — that he is a machine for afternoon there is plenty of mounderstanding the true sense of tion : two hours of recreation, the orders given, and for carrying besides manual work ; and three them out in their true sense. walks in the week. So, to make “I have done," writes Laynez to up for this deficiency, Frère Ad.

Let us say


moniteur has orders to move on at Here emotion must spring from a brisk


and he does. At the no other source but the subject end of the line, last of all, walks itself and the thoughts directly the Frère Substitut—a pale worn connected therewith; the speaker little man, nearly forty years old. cannot keep himself too much in He

very seldom speaks of himself. the shade. Hence this attempted All we know is that he was suppression of all feeling - this à solicitor, and has come here outward dryness — this low pitch thinking to find rest from the of the voice. The hearers, whether world. And all day long he has pupils fresh from the study of to carry about soutanes, boots, Bossuet and Cicero, barristers combs, brushes, and what not, from the law courts, or young supplying all the wants of the vicaires accustomed to criticise the community, and bustling about sermons of their fellow - priests, like Martha, when the repose of might otherwise have been too Mary would suit him better. sorely tempted to forget that the Still, wan and wearied as he is, Conference is a lesson to be acted he seems very patient, and self- upon, not a performance to be will has all but died out of him. judged. Perhaps something tells him that The Master's voice drops; the he may soon find rest enough, and Conference is over, and he goes out. that in little more than a year's Then follows the Repetition—a time all will be over for ever. strange scene of apparent hubbub,

The Lecture on the Rules, rendered still more striking by the or Conference, follows Rodriguez, solemn silence in which the " still The Master, a man of evidently small voice”.of the Master has been sanguine, bilious temperament, heard. Groups of novices, each of though both elements of his char them with a note-book in his hand, acter are well under control, comes are told off by the Admoniteur. into the room—not on tiptoe, and One in each group begins reading yet with a noiseless step-kneels his notes, his voice rising louder down, and says a short prayer, and louder as other voices rise in after which he asks a novice for succession, until twelve or more an abstract of what was said last are speaking at once in the roomtime. His manner is cool, re not a large one and the din bestrained ; his style almost dry; comes almost deafening. To an and yet his voice thrills at times outsider this would appear exceswith suppressed emotion; his ges- sively ridiculous; but here, intent tures are almost as few as those on comparing and correcting notes, of an ordinary English speaker; they do not even remark the clamhe speaks in so low a key as not our that is going on around them. unfrequently to be inaudible, were Again, after a short visit to the it not for his very distinct utter chapel, the novices proceed in ance of each word. This manner single file to the garden, to learn of lecturing, though perhaps dis- a few verses of Scripture. This appointing to one who expects the is the “Exercise of Memory,” the noisy pulpit eloquence of the south only study (with that of foreign of France, is, however, specially languages) permitted by St Igcalculated for those to whom the natius. Foreign languages even oratorical «

ways and means " of were not allowed in my time, and creating a sensation have become for two whole years I did not contemptible through familiarity. speak English, though there were


[ocr errors]

somo who knew that language in or corrow : so the veriest trillethe Novitiate. On the whole. eveli a recollection of past fun-is this “ Exercise of Memory” is enough to set them langhiug, somerather a formality than anything times in very undne places : lut else. Twice a-week it is niissed; they canunt help it : "Moritins. the recitation is not seriously in- aninial rivlens et risibile, scanillissisted upon; the novices are free abile, .liungens citrun, frumlenes to go up-stairs as soon as they ole...12" was the lumorous quasithink they know, and they enjoy scholastic definition of the species free time as soon as they come to given by some unknown wag inauy this conviction. And in that short years ago. space of free time, that lasts only Before dinner there is a prirate till eleren o'clock, how much they examination of conscience for one have to do! Sloe-cleaning, clothes- quarter of an liour ; Lefore bed. brushing, reading the “Instruc- time, similarly. These are, if 100 tious” (a book that inust le got the most in portant, at least the tlıronyl once a-inouth), writing most indispensable spiritual exapplications to the Sibrarian or the ercises of the day : St Ignatius Substitute for the next volume of would rather, in case of want ct Rodriguez, or for a wearable hat: tinie, sacrifice the morning Medithey unst, besides, see and confertation, And he was not satisfied with the Master once in a fort- with these alone ; he wanted every niglit. Soou, too soon, eleren one of the actions done to be reo'clock strikes.

viewed in like inauner, so as to The class of promnuciation, froin cultivate a habit of reflection. eleven to half-past, is a very inn- One day he asked 'a Father how portant time, particularly here; often he examined his conscience. for a good accent is absolutely “Erery hour," said the latter. necessary to a public speaker, and “That is very seldom," answered the accent is rery bad-in the South Iguatius. of France. The difference between At last the Angelus rings : it is i and n, ở audi 8, é, è and ê—and woon, and the novices, hungry as the nasal rourels especially, 0 ye hunters, and quite willing to obey Gascons are inost particularly the Divine call, rush down on tipnoted and winutely dwelt upon, toe and with downcast eyes. The both by precept and example. An Lill of fare cannot be reasonably explanation of the rules takes up complained of. Before each plate ahout half the tinie; reading and there stands half a litre—about a criticism by the fellow-novices oc pint of rin ordinaire. On festicupies the other half. Now and vals, one bottle of dessert wine is then two or threc giggles, threaten- allowed to each table. The first ing to become general fits of laugh- dish, according to the Continental ter, are occasioned by some slight custom, is always soup or broth. mistake, or even without any visi. Then comes Loiled meat, and then ble cause ; for the novices' nerves roast; a dish of vegetables follows are highly strung, and they are them. Between this and the perhaps more inclined to laughter dessert, consisting of cheese and than any other class of human sonje kind of fruit, there is somebeings. They are generally young, times, on festival days, either salad they aro continually striving after or a sweet nislı of custard or pudsupernatural gravity; they liave ding. Without special leave a no cares, no cause for uneasiness novice inay not refuse any of the

dishes, though he may reduce his blockading), or Henry V. be seated share to an all but infinitesimal on the French throne. qnantity. Look at this pale young Dinner over, the Holy Sacraman pouring three drops of wine ment is again visited, in order to into a glass of water-and at that prepare for the most difficult exerone, paler still, helping himself to cise of the day-the Recreation. one leaf of ‘salad only, after hav- Why I call it the most difficult ing put a microscopic bit of meat will presently appear. To pass it on his plate! His neighbour, a correctly, an all but impossible kind-hearted though surly original, combination of virtues is required. with a huge nose and a very dys- Its aim is “the unbending of the peptic stomach, is furious at the spirit," in order to rest awhile poor fellow's excessive penance,

from the constraint produced by that ruins his health ; he tosses the self-communion of the mornthe rest of the salad into his own ing, and to give the mind fresh plate, and eats it all up, with his vigour for the exercises of the head defiantly on one side, in mute

afternoon. At the same time, it protestation; for usually he does is recommended to remain perfectnot care for salad, nor indeed ly self-possessed from beginning to for anything in the way of food. end, keeping a strict watch over “ You see I am not afraid to eat !” the lips, the eyes, and the whole The neigh houring novices, who demeanour, lest anything should

, have somehow or other managed be said or done unworthy of one's to see all without looking up, are high calling. It is recommended vastly amused at the sight.

to speak of pious subjects, though During dinner-time those novices not in too serious a manner. Diswho (with permission, of course) cussions, tiring to the mind and wish to accuse themselves of some too often irritating to the temper, fault-a glass broken, negligence are to be avoided.

are to be avoided. Jokes are not in duties, useless words, &c.-do well looked upon, as they are apt so, kneeling in the middle of the to be remembered when the Recrerefectory; after which “ the reader ation is done, and cause distracdrones from the pulpit.” Scripture tions; besides, Christ and His first, as by right; then Church His- apostles, whom Jesuits ought to tory, by Abbé Darras, very brill-imitate, cannot be imagined as iantly written, sometimes too brill- joking together. No conversation iantly. When, for instance, he ends about studies, literature, or science a phrase with a metaphor like this, is allowed ; and it is still mo C'est un point d'interrogation severely forbidden to criticise the suspendu à travers les siècles,” the conduct of any Brother or Father. novices, satirical creatures ! ven- Such criticism is however not only ture to largh at the author's affec- allowed, but enjoined, on another tation and bad taste.

The moro

occasion—in presence of the critithey are kept apart from literature cised person. I allude to the “Exand politics, the more easily they ercise of Charity," which ought are impressed by whatever con- regularly to take place onch &cerns either. Frère Séruphique is week, instead of the Conference. constantly praying for the conver- A novice, designated by the Massion of Bismarck; others are offer- ter, goes down on his knees in ing communions, prayers, and pen- the middle of the lecture-room, ances, in order that Don Carlos and listens to all that the others, may take Bilbao (which he is now when questioned, have to say

« НазадПродовжити »