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human zeal which influenced this great emperor. "There was a poor clerk, very wretched and miserable, and not learned, and despised by every one, and ill-treated; yet Charlemagne would never consent to have him removed, but he kept him in his presence, for he had pity on him *." The emperor inquired from an ambassador the character of a certain bishop. "Sanctissimus est," he replied, " ille vester episcopus quantum sine Deo possibile est." At which Charlemagne, astonished, said, "Quomodo sine Deo aliquis sanctus esse potest?" to which he answered, " Scriptum est, Deus charitas est, qua iste vacuus est f." This would indicate that men understood in those ages what was the best qualification for a bishop. Charlemagne, in forbidding the clergy to serve in the army, concludes his edict with these words, "Quanto quis eorum amplius suam normam servaverit, et Deo servient, tanto eum plus honorare et cariorem habere volumus J."
VIII.—Having now seen with what respect the clergy were regarded by the chivalrous order in the middle ages, I am tempted to lead my reader aside for a short time, while we observe whether, independently of the religious duty, this respect was merited by the men to whom it was so carefully shewn. This will hardly be considered as a digression, though we shall have to leave castle courts and plumed troops, for the solemn aisles of churches, and the silence of the cloister. Knights are accustomed to such visits; and I am much mistaken if we shall not derive from this retreat new courage to pursue our enterprise, and a still stronger attachment to the scenes and characters of Christian antiquity.
And, first, to consider those of the Church who continued in the world living in the courts of temporal men. "Lors fut mors," says Ville-hardouin in his Chronikle, "MaistreJohan deNoion a la Setre, qui ere chancelier a l'Empereur Baudoins, et mult bons cliers et mult sages, et mult avoit conforte l'oste per la parole de Dieu qu'il savoit mult bien dire, et sachiez que mult en furent li pro
"Mon. S. Gall. lib. i. de Ecclesiastics Cura Caroli M.
dome de l'ost desconforte:" so that the crusading armies were not without
. The venerable priest,
Whose life and manners well could paint
Nor was their presence unknown in the court of worldly and profane men. "Among the great followers of William the Conqueror, was Hugues, son of Richard, Count of Avranches, surnamed Goz, to whom William confided the county of Chester. This seigneur was a great lover of the world and of secular pomp, which he regarded as the richest part of human beatitude. He was, however, brave in war, liberal of his presents, but delighting in amusement and luxury, given up to buffoons, to horses, and dogs, always attended by a great household, by a multitude of pages, noble and others, together with honourable men, clerks, and knights. His chapel was served by a clerk of Avranches, named Gerold, remarkable for religion, gentleness, and knowledge of letters. Every day he faithfully performed the divine service. As far as he was able, he excited the people of the court to amend their lives, by proposing to them the example of their predecessors. He spared not his salutary advice to the chief barons, to the simple knights, as well as to the young nobles; and he drew abundant examples of holy warriors worthy of imitation from the New Testament, and from the later records of Christians." These are the words of Orderic Vitalis *. Gilles de Rome says in his Mirror of Chivalry, that "noble princes should have a holy and learned man, humble, and who despises the world, and who does not meddle with its business, unless in the way of pity, to make the prince do good. He must be compassionate to the poor, and of a piteous heart, devout and piteous, loving truth, and bold to speak it, without detraction, and without flattery." Like that perfect priest described by St. Jerom, "his mind, devoted to Christ, was to be attentive to things great and small; therefore he was to take care that the altar shone, that the walls were without dust, that the pavement was clean, that the vessels were bright; and in all ceremonies, with
pious solicitude, he was to neglect neither great nor trifling duties *." Alcibiades said that whenever he heard Socrates speak, the tears would rush into his eyes, and that he had seen many others affected in the same manner f. If such was the force of that vague and shadowy religion which the heathen sage instilled into the hearts of youth, what must have been felt by those who heard the venerable preachers of Christianity, who spake of the passion of Christ; men who actually possessed what the heathen poet vainly desired to behold, the favtpov yapaKrrjp dperag %, arising from " that supernatural elevation of mind, to the purity of which," as Lewis of Granada says, " all the strength of created nature can never attain?" It was this in St. Ambrose which first won St. Augustin. "He saw in him," says Alban Bulter, " a good eye and a kind countenance—the index of his benevolent heart." St. Augustin says of St. Ambrose, that upon coming to Milan, "suscepit me paterne ille homo Dei, et peregrinationem meam satis episcopaliter dilexit. Et eum amare ccepi, primo quidem non tanquam doctorem veri, quod in ecclesia tua prorsus desperabam, sed tanquam hominem benignum in me §." Thus Orderic Vitalis says of St. Evroul, that "he received all who approached with a smiling countenance, nobles and vilains, poor and strangers ||." Thus St. Anselm describes Archbishop Lanfranc, "Misericordissimus est et praecipue erga salutem animarum et est valde deditus eleemosynis IT." Mark their exceeding charity, becoming all things to all men. The old hermit in Amadis, after discoursing with the knight, concludes thus: "Truly, I know a man of my habit should not speak of such things as these; yet it is more for God's service to speak the truth that may comfort you, than to conceal it, considering your desperate state **." Though Cardinal de Retz describes the manners of the clergy in conclave with great art, yet the result of the whole is only the portrait of simple and unaffected goodness. "There," he says, " you observed the respect such as is found in a king's cabinet, the politeness of a court, the fami
• In Epist. Nepotiani. t Plato Conviv.
t Eurip. Hercul. Furens,649. § Confess, lib. v. 13.
|| Lib. vi. If Epist. ziii.
*• Lib. ii. 9.
liarity of a college, the modesty of novices, the charity of a convent." St. Augustin attributes this condescension to the whole Church, when he addresses it in these words: "Tu pueriliter pueros, fortiter juvenes, quiete senes, prout cujusque non corporis tantum sed et animi aetas est, excrces ac doces *." This sacerdotal gentleness distinguished Muratori, who was of such kind manners, that the boys used to come up to him in the street to consult him on their difficulties in their books of grammar. St. JEmilian was a hermit who lived in the forest of Ponzat, near Clermont: here he cultivated a little garden which was watered by a small brook; and the birds and wild beasts were his only companions. Now there lived at Clermont a seigneur called Sigebaut, who had a youth called Brach, which meant " little bear," whom he used to send to hunt the wild boars. One day, as Brach was put with the hounds following a huge boar, the dogs pursued it till they came to the hermit's wicket, where they stood still. Brach saluted the good man respectfully, who came and embraced him, and begged of him to sit down; and then said, " My dear child, you appear to me like one much more occupied about what can destroy, than what can save, your soul." I need not pursue the story. It suffices that the young man was sincerely and permanently converted to a sense of religion. But here we see what mild, humane, and gentle persuaders were the clergy. How they directly could reach the heart! As Socrates would say, they did not begin7ii fur^rtpi, ficXay~ XoX<p£, dXK' are fiovoiKOg uv irpaorepov on tS1 apia-re f. St. Jerom, speaking of the Emperor Julian, says " Julianus Augustus :" he does not call him the apostate. But why need we cite examples from the past? Let us enter .this cathedral, and observe the procession of children move along these gothic aisles, directed by a venerable old priest, with locks as white as snow, and a countenance beaming with love and goodness. See how he smiles the little careless boys into order, not looking displeased or at a loss, as if that child's titter were exposing him to ridicule, but as if their happiness was the end of his la
bour, and as if he felt that such little effusions of a light heart were quite pardonable in so young a Christian: and observe how he rewards his instant obedience by stroking his beautiful hair, looking back upon his little troop with that expression of charity and joy, that is more instructive than a sermon. This disposition, which enables men to contemplate the most awful subjects of religion, at the very time that they indulge in the expressions and habits and demeanour of boyish lightness of heart, belongs to the attainment of truth; and we shall find it more or less wherever men have advanced towards truth. In the whole of Plato, there is not perhaps a more enchanting passage than that in the Phaedo, where this disciple relates to his friend part of the discourse which Socrates held on that memorable day. The objection to the doctrine of the soul's immortality, which goes on the supposition of its being but a harmony resulting from the nice conformation of parts, had been advanced by Simmias, and had left a strong impression of melancholy upon the minds of the hearers, who feared it might prove unanswerable. But in this trying moment, Socrates himself was seen supported and comforted by that internal conviction of immortality, which doubtless furnishes the best argument in its favour, satisfying the heart of man more fully than any argument, or rather creating a certainty which dispenses with any reasoning. "That he was able to answer these objections," says Phaedo, " was perhaps nothing marvellous; but this indeed did excite my astonishment; first, with what sweetness and benignity he listened to the young man; then how sagaciously he discerned the precise impression which his objections had left upon us; and then, finally, how he administered a cure, and recovered us who were put to flight and subdued. "How was it?" says Echecrates. "I will tell you. I was sitting at his right hand, on a low seat near the couch, but he sat above me. Stroking affectionately my head, and compressing the hair which fell on my neck, (for it was his manner when thus discoursing to play with my hair,) ' To-morrow,' said he,' perhaps, O Phaedo, you will cut off this beautiful hair.' 'It seems so,' I said. 'Not so, if at least you will be persuaded by me: obK av ye t/iot irelOri.' 'Why not?' said I. 'To-day,' he re