*. *****. ******. *.*.*.







How Sir John visited Master Hermit: and found him in contemplation

Of the Word from God that came to Master Hermit: and of his setting


How Master Richard fared: how he heard Mass in Saint Pancras' Church:

how he came to Westminster: and of his colloquy with the Ankret

How Master Richard saw the King in Westminster Hall: and of the Mass

at Saint Edward's Altar

How Master Richard cried out in Westminster Hall: and of his coming

to a Privy Parlour

Of Master Richard's speaking with the King's Grace: and how he was

taken for it

Of Master Richard's second speaking with his Grace: and of his


Of the Parson's Disquisition on the whole matter

How Master Richard took his meat: and of Master Lieutenant's whipping

of him

Of the Second Temptation of Master Richard: and how he overcame it

Of the Dark Night of the Soul

How Sir John went again to the cell: and of what he saw there

How one came to Master Priest: how Master Priest came to the King's

Bedchamber: and of what he heard of the name of Jesus

Of Sir John's Meditations in Westminster Palace

How Master Richard went to God

Of his Burying


In the winter of 1903-4 I had occasion to pass several months in


Among other Religious Houses, lately bought back from the Government by

their proper owners, was one (whose Order, for selfish reasons, I prefer

not to specify), situated in the maze of narrow streets between the

Piazza Navona and the Piazza Colonna; this, however, may be said of

the Order, that it is one which, although little known in Italy, had

several houses in England up to the reign of Henry VIII. Like so many

other Orders at that time, its members moved first to France and then to

Italy, where it has survived in penurious dignity ever since.

The Religious were able to take with them at the time of exodus, three

and a half centuries ago, a part of the small library that existed at

the English mother-house, and some few of these MSS. have survived to

the present day; many others, however, have certainly perished; for in

the list of books that I was looking over there one day in March, 1904,

I observed several titles, of which, the priest-librarian told me, the

corresponding volumes have disappeared. To some half-dozen of these

titles, however, there was appended a star, and on enquiring the meaning

of this symbol, I was informed that it denoted that a translation had

been made into French and preserved in the library.

One of these titles especially attracted my attention. It ran as


Upon my asking to see this and its companions, I was conducted to a

dusty shelf in the little upstairs book-room, and was informed that I

might do as I pleased there for two hours, until the _Ave Maria_ rang,

and the doors would be locked.

When the librarian had gone with many nods and smiles, I took down

these half dozen books and carried them to the table by the window, and

until _Ave Maria_ rang I turned their pages.

The volume whose title had especially attracted my attention was a

quarto MS., written, I should suppose from the caligraphy, about the end

of the sixteenth century; a later hand had appended a summary to each

chapter with an appropriatequotation from a psalm. But the book was in

a shocking condition, without binding, and contained no more than a

fragment. The last page was numbered "341," and the first page+ "129."

One hundred and twenty-eight pages, therefore, were certainly lost at

the beginning, and I know not how many at the end; but what was left was

sufficiently engrossing to hold me standing by the window, until the

wrinkled face of the priest looked in again to inform me that unless I

wished to sleep in the library, I must be gone at once.

On the following morning by nine o'clock I was there again; and, after

an interview with the Superior, went up again with the keys in my own

possession, a quantity of foolscap and a fountain-pen in my hand, and

sandwiches in my pocket, to the dusty little room beneath the roof.

I repeated this series of actions, with the exception of the interview,

every day for a fortnight, and when I returned to England in April I

took with me a complete re-translation into English of the "_Vita et

obitus Dni Ricardi Raynal Heremitae_," and it is this re-translation

that is now given to the public, with the correction of many words and

the addition of notes, carried out during the last eighteen months.

* * * * *

It is necessary to give some account of the book itself, but I will not

trouble my readers with an exhaustive survey of the reasons that have

led me to my opinions on the subject: it is enough to say that most of

them are to be found in the text.

It is the story of the life of one of that large body of English

hermits who flourished from about the beginning of the fourteenth

century to the middle of the sixteenth; and was written, apparently for

the sake of the villagers, by his parish-priest, Sir John Chaldfield,

who seems to have been an amiable, devout, and wordy man, who long

outlived his spiritual son. Of all the early part of Master Richard

Raynal's life we are entirely ignorant, except of the facts that his

parents died in his youth, and that he himself was educated at

Cambridge. No doubt his early history was recorded in the one hundred

and twenty-nine pages that are missing at the beginning. It is annoying

also that the last pages are gone, for thereby we have lost what would

probably have been a very full and exhaustive list of the funeral

furniture of the sixteenth century, as well as an account of the

procession into the country and the ceremonies observed at the burial.

We might have heard, too, with some exactness (for Sir John resembles a

journalist in his love of detail) about the way in which his friend's

fame began to spread, and the pilgrims to journey to his shrine. It

would have been of interest to trace the first stages in the

unauthorised cult of one as yet uncanonised. What is left of the book is

the record of only the last week in Master Richard's life and of his

death under peculiar circumstances at Westminster in the bed-chamber

of the King.

It is impossible to know for certain who was this king, but I am

inclined to believe that it was Henry VI., the founder of Eton College

and King's College, Cambridge, whose life ended in such tragedy towards

the close of the fifteenth century. His Queen is not mentioned from

beginning to end, and for this and other reasons I am inclined to

particularise still more, and conjecture that the period of which the

book treats must be prior to the year 1445 A.D., when the King married

at the age of twenty-three.

Supposing that these conjectures are right, the cardinalspoken of in

the book would be Cardinal Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, and cousin

of the King.

All this, however, must be doubtful, since the translator of the

original English or Latin appears to have omitted with scrupulous care

the names of all personages occurring in the narrative, with one or two

unimportant exceptions. We do not even know in what part of the country

Sir John Chaldfield held his living, but it appears to have been within

thirty or forty miles of London. We must excuse the foreign scribe,

however; probably the English names were unintelligible and barbarous to

his perceptions; and appeared unimportant, too, compared to the interest

of the mystical and spiritual experiences recorded in the book.

Of these experiences it is difficult to write judiciously in this

practical age.

Master Richard Raynal appears to have been a very curious young man, of

great personal beauty, extreme simplicity, and a certain magnetic

attractiveness. He believed himself, further, to be in direct and

constant communication with supernatural things, and would be set down

now as a religious fanatic, deeply tinged with superstition. His parson,

too, in these days, would be thought little better, but at the time in

which they lived both would probably be regarded with considerable

veneration. We hear, in fact, that a chapel was finally erected over

Master Raynal's body, and that pilgrimages were made there; and

probably, if the rest of the work had been preserved to us, we should

have found a record of miracles wrought at his shrine. All traces,

however, of that shrine have now disappeared--most likely under the

stern action of Henry VIII.--and Richard's name is unknown to

hagiology, in spite of his parson's confidence as regarded his future


It is, however, interesting to notice that in Master Raynal's

religion, as in Richard Rolle's, hermit of Hampole, there appears to

have been some of that inchoate Quietism which was apt to tinge the

faith of a few of the English solitaries. He was accustomed to attend

mass devoutly and to receive the sacraments, and on his death-bed was

speeded into the next world, at his own desire, by all the observances

prescribed by the Catholic Church. His attitude, too, towards the

priesthood, is somewhat uncharacteristic of his fellows, who were apt

to boast with apparent complacency that they were neither "monk, friar,

nor clerk." In other matters he is a good type of that strange race of

solitaries who swarmed in England at that time, who were under no vows,

but served God as it pleased them, not hesitating to go among their

fellows from time to time if they thought themselves called to it, who

were looked upon with veneration or contempt, according to the opinion

formed of them by their observers, but who, at any rate, lived a simple

and wholesome life, and were to some extent witnesses to the existence

of a supernatural Power at whose bidding (so they believed) they were

summoned to celibacy, seclusion, labour, and prayer.

It is curious also to trace through Sir John's fanciful eyes the

parallels between the sufferings of Master Richard and those of

Christ. Of course, no irreverence is intended. I should imagine that,

if Sir John were put on his defence, he would say that the life of

every true Christian must approximate to the life of Christ so far as

his spirit is identified with the Divine Spirit, and that this is

occasionally fulfilled even in minute details.

It is unnecessary to add much more in this introduction--(for the story

will tell its own tale)--beyond saying that the re-translation of the

French fragment into English has been to me a source of considerable

pleasure. I have done my best to render it into the English of its

proper period, including even its alliterations, while avoiding needless

archaisms and above all arbitrary spelling. But no doubt I am guilty of

many solecisms. I have attempted also to elucidate the text by a number

of footnotes, in which I have explained whatever seemed to call for it,

and have appended translations to the numerous Latin quotations in which

Sir John indulges after the manner of his time. I must apologise for

these footnotes--(such are always tiresome)--but I could think of no

other way by which the text could be made clear. They can always be

omitted without much loss by the reader who has no taste for them.

Sir John's style is a little difficult sometimes, especially when he

treats in detail of his friend's mystical experience, but he has a

certain power of word-painting (unusual at his date) in matters both of

nature and of grace, and it is only when he has been unduly trite or

obscure that I have ventured, with a good deal of regret, to omit his

observations. All such omissions, however, as well as peculiar

difficulties of statement or allusion, have been dealt with in


With regard to the function of the book, at any rate since its first

translation into French, it is probably safe to conjecture that it may

have been used at one time for reading aloud in the refectory. I am led

to make this guess from observing its division into chapters, and the

quasi-texts appended to each. These texts are of all sorts, though all

are taken from the Book of Psalms; but their application to the matter

that follows is sometimes fanciful, frequently mystical, and

occasionally trite.

If the book receives any sympathy from English readers--(an eventuality

about which I have my doubts)--I shall hope, at some future date, to

edit others of the MSS. still reposing in the little room under the roof

between the _Piazza Navona_ and the _Piazza Colonna_ in Rome, to which I

have been generously promised free access.

I must express my gratitude to the Superior of the Order of ---- (to

whose genius, coupled with that of another, I dedicate this book), for

giving me permission to edit his MS.; to Dom Robert Maple, O.S.B., for

much useful information and help in regard to the English mystics; and

to Mme. Germain who has verified references, interpreted difficulties,

and assisted me by her encouragement.



Feast of SS. Peter and Paul, 1905.

How Sir John visited Master Hermit: and found him in contemplation

_Protexit me in abscondito tabernaculi sui._

He hath protected me in the secret place of His tabernacle.

--Ps. xxvi. 5.


[The Ms. begins abruptly at the top of the page.]

... It was at vespers on the fourth day afterwards, being Corpus

Christi, that saint Giles, as I suppose, moved me to visit Master

Richard. So I put on my cap again, and took my furred gown, for I

thought it would be cold before I came home; and set out through the

wood. I was greatly encouraged by the beauty of the light as I went

down; the sun shone through the hazels on my right, and the roof of

leaves was a fair green over my head; and to right and left lay a carpet

of flowers as blue as the Flanders' glass above the altar. I had learnt

from Master Richard, though he was thirty years my younger, many

beautiful lessons, and one of them that God's Majesty speaks to us by

the works of His almighty hands. So when I saw the green light and the

gold and the blue, and the little flies that made merry in the way, I

took courage.

At the lower end of the wood, as you know, the path falls down steeply

towards the stream, and when it has left the wood there are meadows to

right and left, that were bright with yellow flowers at this time. In

front the stream runs across the road under hazels, and where the chapel

is still a-building over his body, on the left side, with its back

against the wood stood his little house.

I will tell you of all this, as I saw it then; for the pilgrims have

trampled it all about now, and the stream is all befouled and the banks

broken, and the trees cut down by the masons that came to make the

second chapel where Master Richard was wont to bathe himself, against

the fiend's temptations at first, and afterwards for cleanness' sake,

too--(for I never heard of a hermit as cleanly as was this young man,

  • priest [pri:st] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.教士;牧师;神父   (初中英语单词)
  • lately [´leitli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.近来,不久前   (初中英语单词)
  • selfish [´selfiʃ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.自私的,利己的   (初中英语单词)
  • situated [´sitʃueitid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.位于;处于….境地   (初中英语单词)
  • dignity [´digniti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.尊严,尊贵;高官显贵   (初中英语单词)
  • volume [´vɔlju:m, ´vɑljəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.卷;书籍;体积;容量   (初中英语单词)
  • therefore [´ðeəfɔ:] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.&conj.因此;所以   (初中英语单词)
  • beginning [bi´giniŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.开始,开端;起源   (初中英语单词)
  • standing [´stændiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.持续 a.直立的   (初中英语单词)
  • interview [´intəvju:] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&vt.接见;会见;交谈   (初中英语单词)
  • series [´siəri:z] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.连续;系列;丛书   (初中英语单词)
  • exception [ik´sepʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.例外;反对,异议   (初中英语单词)
  • addition [ə´diʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.加;加法;附加物   (初中英语单词)
  • account [ə´kaunt] 移动到这儿单词发声  vi.说明 vt.认为 n.帐目   (初中英语单词)
  • survey [´sə:vei] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.&n.俯瞰;审视;测量   (初中英语单词)
  • spiritual [´spiritʃuəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.精神(上)的;神圣的   (初中英语单词)
  • ignorant [´ignərənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.无知的,愚昧的   (初中英语单词)
  • missing [´misiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.缺掉的;失踪的   (初中英语单词)
  • thereby [´ðeəbai] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.因此,由此   (初中英语单词)
  • peculiar [pi´kju:liə] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.特有的;奇异的   (初中英语单词)
  • tragedy [´trædʒidi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.悲剧;惨案;灾难   (初中英语单词)
  • spoken [´spəukən] 移动到这儿单词发声  speak的过去分词   (初中英语单词)
  • bishop [´biʃəp] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.主教   (初中英语单词)
  • extreme [ik´stri:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.尽头的 n.极端   (初中英语单词)
  • communication [kə,mju:ni´keiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.通信;通讯联系   (初中英语单词)
  • chapel [´tʃæpəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.小教堂   (初中英语单词)
  • wrought [rɔ:t] 移动到这儿单词发声  work 的过去式(分词)   (初中英语单词)
  • catholic [´kæθəlik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.天主教 n.天主教徒   (初中英语单词)
  • apparent [ə´pærənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.显然的;表面上的   (初中英语单词)
  • extent [ik´stent] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.长度;程度;范围   (初中英语单词)
  • christ [kraist] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.基督 int.天啊!   (初中英语单词)
  • divine [di´vain] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.神圣的 v.预言   (初中英语单词)
  • fragment [´frægmənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.碎片;破片;断片   (初中英语单词)
  • spelling [´speliŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.拼法;缀字   (初中英语单词)
  • guilty [´gilti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有罪的;心虚的   (初中英语单词)
  • whatever [wɔt´evə] 移动到这儿单词发声  pron.&a.无论什么   (初中英语单词)
  • function [´fʌŋkʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.机能;职责 vi.活动   (初中英语单词)
  • reading [´ri:diŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.(阅)读;朗读;读物   (初中英语单词)
  • application [,æpli´keiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.申请;申请书;应用   (初中英语单词)
  • sympathy [´simpəθi] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.同情,怜悯   (初中英语单词)
  • gratitude [´grætitju:d] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.感激,感谢   (初中英语单词)
  • genius [´dʒi:niəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.天才(人物);天赋   (初中英语单词)
  • permission [pə´miʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.允许;同意;许可   (初中英语单词)
  • abruptly [ə´brʌptli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.突然地;粗鲁地   (初中英语单词)
  • majesty [´mædʒisti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.壮丽;崇高;尊严   (初中英语单词)
  • stream [stri:m] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.河 vi.流出;飘扬   (初中英语单词)
  • hermit [´hə:mit] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.隐士   (高中英语单词)
  • temptation [temp´teiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.引诱,诱惑(物)   (高中英语单词)
  • symbol [´simbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.符号;象征   (高中英语单词)
  • translation [træns´leiʃən, trænz-] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.翻译;译文;译本   (高中英语单词)
  • appropriate [ə´prəupri-it, ə´prəuprieit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.适宜的 vt.私占;拨给   (高中英语单词)
  • quotation [kwəu´teiʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.引用;引文;语录   (高中英语单词)
  • repeated [ri´pi:tid] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.反复的;重复的   (高中英语单词)
  • fortnight [´fɔ:tnait] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.两星期   (高中英语单词)
  • apparently [ə´pærəntli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.显然,表面上地   (高中英语单词)
  • shrine [ʃrain] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.神龛;神殿;圣地   (高中英语单词)
  • founder [´faundə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.奠基者 v.陷落   (高中英语单词)
  • cambridge [´keimbridʒ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.剑桥   (高中英语单词)
  • cardinal [´kɑ:dinəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.主要的 n.深红色   (高中英语单词)
  • doubtful [´dautful] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.怀疑的,可疑的   (高中英语单词)
  • narrative [´nærətiv] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.叙述的 n.记事   (高中英语单词)
  • simplicity [sim´plisiti] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.简单;朴素   (高中英语单词)
  • superstition [,su:pə´stiʃən, ,sju:-] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.迷信(行为)   (高中英语单词)
  • contempt [kən´tempt] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.轻蔑;受辱;不顾   (高中英语单词)
  • wholesome [´həulsəm] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.有益于健康的   (高中英语单词)
  • saying [´seiŋ, ´sei-iŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.言语;言论;格言   (高中英语单词)
  • dedicate [´dedikeit] 移动到这儿单词发声  vt.献给;献身于   (高中英语单词)
  • overcame [,əuvə´keim] 移动到这儿单词发声  overcome的过去式   (英语四级单词)
  • upstairs [,ʌp´steəz] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.在楼上 a.楼上的   (英语四级单词)
  • summary [´sʌməri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.&n.摘要(的)   (英语四级单词)
  • binding [´baindiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.捆绑的 n.捆绑(物)   (英语四级单词)
  • correction [kə´rekʃən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.改正,纠正,修改   (英语四级单词)
  • amiable [´eimiəbəl] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.亲切的,温和的   (英语四级单词)
  • conjecture [kən´dʒektʃə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.&v.猜测(想);设想   (英语四级单词)
  • barbarous [´bɑ:bərəs] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.野蛮的;不规范的   (英语四级单词)
  • unimportant [ʌnim´pɔ:tənt] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.不重要的,平凡的   (英语四级单词)
  • approximate [ə´prɔksimit] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.近似的 v.接近   (英语四级单词)
  • arbitrary [´ɑ:bitrəri] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.任意的;专断的   (英语四级单词)
  • allusion [ə´lu:ʒən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.暗指;提及;引喻   (英语四级单词)
  • generously [´dʒenərəsli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.慷慨地   (英语四级单词)
  • almighty [ɔ:l´maiti] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.万能的;全能的   (英语四级单词)
  • cleanly [´kli:nli] 移动到这儿单词发声  ad.清洁地;干净地   (英语四级单词)
  • speaking [´spi:kiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.说话 a.发言的   (英语六级单词)
  • piazza [pi´ætsə] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.广场;市场   (英语六级单词)
  • librarian [lai´breəriən] 移动到这儿单词发声  n.图书馆管理员,馆长   (英语六级单词)
  • shocking [´ʃɔkiŋ] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.令人震惊的;可怕的   (英语六级单词)
  • devout [di´vaut] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.虔诚的;热心的   (英语六级单词)
  • fanatic [fə´nætik] 移动到这儿单词发声  a.狂热的 n.狂热者   (英语六级单词)

  • 上传人 欢乐鱼 分享于 2017-06-26 17:41:41
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