Page images

bear congratulating myself, on having had the good fortune to crown my own studies by the opening of so ample a field, in which the lovers of nature may ramble and exercise their industry.

“ I do not mean to arrogate to myself the power to digest all the materials, and to reduce into a compendious form the innumerable host of monks; especially, when I consider, that in the first place, the true characters of the genus, and its different species, are yet to be discovered, and all those particulars to be collected, which characterize each individual variety; and that the work can never be completed, till its cultivators have described the different monks, whom they have seen or heard of, according to the rules of some correct system.

« In the mean time, until the attention of physiologists is excited to the study of Monachology, I offer to the reader this specimen of a few species of monks, whom I have attempted to describe in the Linnæan method.

“ Nor will he deem my labor useless or premature, when he considers, that princes, who formerly employed themselves in opposition to the whole economy of nature, in exterminating the wolf, the hawk, the sparrow, and other animals injurious to sporting or agricultural pursuits, now turn all their attention to extirpate the race of monks, so noxious to the human species; and that the writers of the present age would be accused by posterity of the grossest negligence, if they should omit to notice a race, which is fast disappearing from the earth; and if future ages, for want of an adequate knowledge of the characters of each species, should in vain seek, with the aid of the vague and contradictory descriptions which at present exist, to decipher and distinguish, by their proper names, those figures of monks, which might chance to be handed down by the medium of sculpture or painting."

Having thus opened his subject, and the plan he had in contemplation for its execution, the author, for the purpose of instructing those who should be inclined to collect materials for the new science, in the mode of classification and description, which he makes mainly to depend, not on arbitrary principles but on dress and habits, and having reached the scientific part of his work, we shall take the liberty of placing before our readers, what follows, which we quote in the original Latin, inasmuch as the main humour consists in the parody of a scientific phraseology to such a subject, and to translate it would be to invent a new nomenclature.

“ Si Hierarchia universa ad methodum Mammalium Linnæi ordinanda esset, monachi ad bruta referendi mihi viderentur. Sed filo ariadneo munitum esse oportet eum, qui ex hoc labyrintho extricare sese posset; genus monachorum fors in familias tres, seu in monachos arcophagos, ichtyophagos, & phytiphagos distribuendum ?

" Characteres specierum desumendi a capite, pedibus, ano, cucullo, vestitu.

CAPUT est vel pilosum vel setosum, vel rasum; variat capillitio hemisphærico, corolla pilosa, sulcata, mento imberbi vel barbato.

PEDE$ calceati, subcalceati, nudi.

CUCULLUS aut versatilis, aut laxus, aut mobilis: & dein acuminatus, infundibuliformis, cordatus, brevis, elongatus, apice truncato, vel subulato, &c.

ANUS nudus, semitectus, tectus.

VESTITUS. Vestis & tunica, in qua adnotetur panni species, color, & an lata aut stricta. Scapulare, an latum, strictum, pendulum, ligatum, obtusum, laticaudum? Collure, adsutum tunicæ, latum, rigidum, nullum; scutum seu appendix cuculli, pectoralis & dorsalis, ejusque figura ; manica, æqualis, angustata, larga, saccosa: pallium, longum, breve, plicatum, æquale. Tegmenta interiora, indusium, interula, &c. Cingulum, latum, teres, coriaceum, laneum, linteum, nodosum, &c.

Observetur porro: Clamor seu sonus, an melodus vel ingratus, cantans vel orans; gutturalis vel nasalis ; clamosus vel murmurans ; flebilis vel hilaris; gruniens vel latrans ? &c. Incessus, an tardigradus, festinans, ignavus, durus ?—&c. Habitus totius monachi: num austerus vel lascivus, rusticus vel gracilis ; gravis vel levis, modestus vel hypocrita, &c. Mores: tempus clamoris, silentii probationis, occupatio. Victus et potus; odor; locus habitationis ; metamorphoses ; species hybridæ, e. g. servita septentrionalis; varietates sub diverso climate; addatur historia speciei, ortus, abolitionis, et differentiæ sexus."

To those, who, like us, have felt the labour of wading, for practical purposes, through the ponderous volumes of Helyer's Histoire des Ordres Religieux, or the folio records of Dugdale and his compeers, in order to acquire a mere outline of the dress, character, and habits of a particular order, it is no small discovery, to find a system capable of defining and classing every variety in a few comprehensive terms.

Three tables contain a nomenclature of the varieties into which the five points above enumerated divide themselves, and these are illustrated to the eye, by three ingenious sheets of engravings, which would do credit to the neatest botanical manual, and which it would give us pleasure to be able to exhibit to our readers.

The main portion of the work now opens with the scientific definition and description of the genus Monachus, its difference from man, and finally its apparent use.—We believe this is tolerably translatable.

Monachus. Definitio.-An animal, anthropomorphic-hooded-howling by night-thirsting.

" Descriptio.—Body, erect, biped—back curved-head depressed --always hooded, and clothed in every part, (si in speciebus quibusdam caput, pedes, anum, manusque nudas excipias) - covetous, fetid,

filthy, drunken, lazy, more patient of want than labor.--At the rising and setting of the sun, and especially at night, they congregate, and when one cries out, all cry-run together at the sound of a bell—walk always in couples--are clothed in wool-live by rapine and plunderassert that the world was made for them alone--carry on their amours clandestinely-do not marry-expose their young-fight with their own species-and attack their enemies unawares from ambushes.

“ The female differs little from the male, except in having her head always veiled—is cleaner-less drunken, and never leaves her home, which she keeps clean-When young she grasps at all sorts of play things, stares about her on all sides, and salutes the males by nodding.–When older, she becomes spiteful and malignant; and when angry, agitates her jaw-bones incessantly with open mouth.-- When called, the females answer “ Ave."—When allowed, they chatter promiscuously; and if a bell rings, are suddenly mute.

Differentia-Man speaks, reasons, wills. The monk is often mute, has no reason or will, is governed solely by the orders of his superiors. The head of man is erect,

Os homini sublime dedit, cælumque tueri

Jussit, & erectos ad sidera tollere vultus. The head of the monk is depressed, with the eyes turned to the ground -man seeks his bread by the sweat of his brow, the monk grows fat by lazinessman dwells among men, the monk seeks solitude and bides himself, avoiding the light.-Whence it follows, that the monk is a genus of mammalia distinct from man, intermediary between him and the ape, approaching nearest to the latter, from which it differs very little in voice or manner of living.

*Simia quam similis turpissima bestia vobis ! “ Usus.-Au useless burthen to the earth.—

Fruges consumere nati'.”.

Having given this general description, the author proceeds to a particular account of several species of monks, and a few of these we shall in conclusion quote, recurring necessarily to the original tongue.

Monachus Benedictinus. “Monachus benedictinus: imberbis; Capite tonso, setoso, corolla lineari sulcato; Pedibus calceatis; Ano caligato: Veste nigra lanea, corpus totum & pedes circumambiente; Cucullo laxo, subrotundo, lato ; Scapulari pendulo, plano, latitudine abdominis ; Collari rigido, albo-emarginato; Cingulo lato laneo aut holosericeo; Pallio nigro descendente usque ad talos. Tegmentis internis plerumque nigris, indusio e manica, angustata ad radicem manus, prominulo.

“ Habitus monachi Benedictini gracilis, incessus tardigradus, capite minus depresso.

“ Clamat ter quaterve de die & media nocte, nonnunquam

primum ad cantum galli, sono profundo, tardo; . & tum induitur tunica crispoplicata, lata, manicis largissimis ; caput vero tegit bireto quadrangulari. · “Omnivorus; jejunat raro; hora quarta post meridiem sitit; & ad haustum convocatur; Auri sacra fume vexatur; nummos studiose conquerit, & in ærarium congerit. Nonnulli vegetant tantum, alii studiis delectantur, e. g. Congregatio Mauri in Gallia.

“Extra domum deponit cucullum* & scapulare cingulo ligat; caput contra aëris injurias pileolo cristato, & pileo biplicato tuetur.

“Fæmina caput velo, subtus albo, supra nigro, & frontem, genas, pectusque sudario albo abscondit.

“ Varietates utriusque sexus infinitæ, in loco natali describendæ, ignotis veris characteribus.

“ Habitat in collibus; Colles Benedictus amabat. Peregrinus in urbibus.

“Sequitur regulam Benedicti, patris monachismi in occidente.”

The Dominican is less courteously handled, and it must be confessed, that it would do little credit to the feelings of our author, if he had not placed the merited stigma on the murderers of the innocent Albigenses, and the midnight torturers of the Inquisition.

Monachus Dominicanus. “Monachus Dominicanus: imberbis; Capite raso, corolla pilosa, lata, continua; Pedibus calceatis ; Ano caligato; Tunica lanea textili alba, loro tres digitos lato, cincta ;. Cucullo versatili, versus cervicem gibboso, margine sinuato, ad apicem obtuse truncato ; Appendice cuculli, seu scuto pectorali rotundato, dorsali acuminato, cum sutura longitudinali utrumque hoc scutum dividente; Manicis æqualibus latis, replicatis; Collari albo, quod vix apparet, cum potissimum mentum crassum & adeps nudæ cervicis in truncum corporis excurrat; In lucem prodiens pallio nigro laneo longo, cum cucullo scutoque pectorali & dorsali nigro, inferiorem album tegente, induitur. Tegmentis interioribus albis potissimum, manica interulæ stricta, infra latiorum prominente.

“Fratres laici, pallio destituti, cucullum & scapulare nigrum nunquam deponunt.

“ Habitus monachi Dominicani hypocrita; incessus lascivus; facies perfida. Latrat media nocte, voce ingrata, rauca.

Eximio olfactu pollet, vinum & hæresin e longinquo odorat. Esurit semper polyphagus. Juniores fame probantur. Veterani, relegata omni cura & occupatione, gulæ indulgent, cibis succulentis nutriuntur, molliter cubant, tepide quiescunt, somnum protrahunt, & ex suis diæta curant, ut esca omnis in adipem transeat, iardumque adipiscantur. Hinc abdomen prolixum passim præ se ferunt; senes

* Connectit ecclesiasticos cucullo destitutos cum monachis cucullatis; natura non agit per saltum.


ventricosi maximi æstimantur. Virginitatis sacræ osores in venerem volgivagam proni ruunt.

“ Generi humano & sanæ rationi infestissima species, in cujus creatione non se jactavit auctor naturæ. Prædam e longinquo specu. latur, & indicantibus aliis concurrit, eam nisu astuque adsequitur & in accensum rogum compellit; dum circumstans monachorum, sanguinem & mortem anhelantium, corona miseræ prædæ cruciatibus insultat, sibique ululatu horrendo & execrabili latratu applaudens, spolia inter se dividit. Crudelissimum omnium inquisitorem generalem dicunt, qui obtutu solo enecat. Pessimi in Hispania, Lusitania, & America meridionali. Sed nec nostrates veneno carent, lethales si in clima calidius transportentur. Versipelles, jam albo jam nigro colore vestitos, voluit natura, ut dubii omnes metuerentur ab omnibus; ne nimium sævirent, creator beneficus humano generi imperantes dedit, qui speciem hanc aut exterminent, aut excantationibus innocuam reddant.

“ Monacha Dominicana præter velum nigrum & mores candidiores non differt a mare.

“ Sequitur M.D. leges Dominici Hispani, qui primus in genus humanum, annuente summo pontifice, igne sæviit, & ne deessent, qui rabiem hanc exterminatricem propagarent, seculo 13tio ordinem instituit monachorum, igne & ferro doctrinam prædicantium.

“Simbolum speciei canis rabie perculsus, facem accensam præ se ferens, tormenta, rogum, mortemque minitans.”

1. With regard to the Franciscan, we shall only quote the general summary of his character.

“Genuinus Francisci filius, & æternus, si fides habenda patri Franciscanorum, qui divino numine se afflatum putans, prædixit: interiturum prius genus humanum, quam hanc speciem; ne fors turbetur economia naturæ, cum, vel sublata unica cimicis specie, catena, qua creaturæ omnes cohærent, rumperetur.

“ Primum laborum Francisci socium porcum fuisse anpales speciei narrant. Dubius enim Franciscus, qua ratione persuaderet Innocentio III. ut suam vivendi rationem approbet, suem vidit in luto se voluntantem, cujus exemplo tractus luto quoque se immersit; & derelicto comite lutosum sese summo sacerdoti ostendit; qui motus hac pietate legibus Francisci benedixit ad initium Sæculi 13ii. Ita Sus Minervam.

The Trinitarian will be our next selection. In his observations on this variety, the author takes an opportunity of making no very candid reflection upon the objects of its institution.-

The design of the founders of the order of Trinitarians, or Maturins as they are called in France, was to establish a fund for the redemption of captives from infidel powers during the wars with the Saracens; and though there may be some ground for supposing, that eventually the market which they created, directed the object of predatory warfare to slave-making rather

« PreviousContinue »