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MODE OF LIVING-ST. BERNARD.
impossible for inland monasteries to have fish enough, to eat flesh became unavoidable.* However, to the great rule all their articles of food bore relation i namely, bread, beer, soup, beans for soup, all Lent; oats for gruel, on Thursdays and Saturdays, in that season ; flour for pottage, every day in the same season ; fried dishes, wastels, or fine bread for dinner and supper, on certain feasts; formictæ, or fine flour cakes, in Advent, Christmas, against Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and certain feasts ; 'fat things,' which appear to have been bacon, t were frequent with the Præmonstratenses; black beans and salt, with the Clugniacks; general bad fare with the Cistercians. In certain solemnities, we are told the convent was in the habit of retiring with the Abbot, leaving a few in the refectory, in order to eat meat elsewhere; and that they frequently dined in extracloister' apartments, where “ they used to invite women (devout nuns, perhaps) to talk, eat, and drink with them." I
Diet was strictly prescribed; variety of viands was forbidden; flesh was allowed only to the sick or invalids ; fish, eggs, milk, butter, and cheese, were not to be used on common days, but only on special occasions, as dainties or “pittances."'S None but their guests and the sick were allowed any other than brown bread; they might use the common herbs of the country; but pepper and other spices were forbidden.
These observations, quoted from various authorities, apply to the monastic Orders generally, among whom the regulations of the refectory appear to have been nearly the same; but that order to which the Abbey of Tinterne belonged, professed the greatest abstinence, mortified diet, and abhorrence of all luxuries. To the devout taste of St. Bernard, the most rigid rules were the most agreeable; and hence he became a Cistercian, the strictest of the monastic orders in France. At that time they were but few in number, for, owing to their excessive austerities, men were discouraged from joining them. Bernard, however, by his superior genius, his eminent piety, and his ardent zeal, gave to this Order a permanent lustre and celebrity. At the age of twenty-three, with more than thirty companions, he entered into the monastery, and was afterwards appointed Abbot of Clairval. To those noviciates who desired admission, he used to say—“If
*“At noon-hour-did no fleshless day betide
† Pinguia concedens quæ sunt affinia carni, On posied trenchers the plain cates were spread, Sic tamen ut nunquam sit manifesta caro. The snow-white egg, the fish's corned side,
-Spec. Stultor. Brit. Mon. Domestic fowl, by barn-door plenty fed,
"Nullus et monachus habeat colloquium cum maAnd, best of nutriment, fermented bread; liere cognata aut extranea, in temporibus indebitis, No thirst was theirs but what that juice could pall, sicut, prandii, et coenæ, et horæ meridianæ, aut tempore The sugar'd ears of bearded barley shed ; potûs assignati.” — M8. Cott. Jul. II. 2. f. 159. An aged monk was marshal of the hall,
Quoted by Fosbroke, p. 220.
ye hasten to those which are within, dismiss your bodies which ye brought from the world; let the spirit alone enter here; the flesh profiteth nothing." “ Yet, amidst all these disagreeable austerities,” says his biographer, “ the soul of Bernard was inwardly taught of God; and as he grew in the divine life, he learned to correct the harshness and asperities of his sentiments."
The Cistercian habit, as shown in the preceding woodcut, was a white robe in the nature of a cassock, with a black scapular and hood. Their garment was girt with a black girdle of wool; in the choir, they had over it a white cowl, and over that a hood, with a rochet hanging down, bound before to the waist, in a point behind to the calf of the leg. When they went abroad, they wore a cowl and a great hood, all black, which was also the choir habit.
The Lay Brothers of this Order were clad in a dark colour; their scapular hung down about a foot in length before, and was rounded at the bottom. Their hood was like that which the priests wore over their cowl, excepting the difference of the colour. In the choir they wore a cloak or mantle, reaching to the ground, and of the same colour as the habit.
The Nobices, who were clerks, wore the same habit in the church, but it was all white; their scapular was not of the same length in all places, for sometimes it reached only half-way down the thigh, in others to the midleg, or even to the heels.
The sumptuary regulations extended even to the ornaments of their churches, and the vestments of the ministers. The altar cloth, the alb, and the service, were to be of plain linen ; the stole and maniple, which were at first of cloth, were allowed afterwards to be of silk. Palls, capes, dalmatics, and tunics, were forbidden. The crosses were to be of wood, painted; and it was forbidden to have them made of carved work, or of silver or gold. The cruets for the service of the altar, were not to be of gold or silver : the chalice and fistula might be of silver gilt; the candlesticks were to be iron, and the censers of iron or copper. Pictures or painted glass were not to be allowed in their churches; which in all monasteries of this order were dedicated to God, under the invocation of the Virgin Mary.
Cistercians, according to the reformed rule, were obliged to perform their devotions together seven times every twentyfour hours. The Nocturnal, the first of these services, was performed at two o'clock in the morning; two Matins, or Prime, gommenced at six o'clock; Tierce, at nine o'clock; the Sexte, at twelve o'clock; the None, at three in the afternoon; Vespers, at six; and the Compline, at seven o'clock in the evening. As
• Brit. Monach. new Ed. p. 287.