1st Monk. There will be precious offerings made to-day, of which our house will get its share.
2d Monk. Not we; she always favoured the Franciscans most.
1st Monk. ’Twas but fair—they were her kith and kin. She lately put on the habit of their third minors.
2d Monk. So have half the fine gentlemen and ladies in Europe. There’s one of your new inventions, now, for letting grand folks serve God and mammon at once, and emptying honest monasteries, where men give up all for the Gospel’s sake. And now these Pharisees of Franciscans will go off with full pockets—
1st Monk. While we poor publicans—
2d Monk. Shall not come home all of us justified, I think.
1st Monk. How? Is there scandal among us?
2d Monk. Ask not—ask not. Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise. Of all sins, avoid that same gossiping.
1st Monk. Nay, tell me now. Are we not like David and Jonathan? Have we not worked together, prayed together, journeyed together, and been soundly flogged together, more by token, any time this forty years? And now is news so plenty, that thou darest to defraud me of a morsel?
2d Monk. I’ll tell thee—but be secret. I knew a man hard by the convent [names are dangerous, and a bird of the air shall carry the matter], one that hath a mighty eye for a heretic, if thou knowest him.
1st Monk. Who carries his poll screwed on over-tight, and sits with his eyes shut in chapel?
2d Monk. The same. Such a one to be in evil savour—to have the splendour of the pontifical countenance turned from him, as though he had taken Christians for Amalekites, and slain the people of the Lord.
1st Monk. How now?
2d Monk. I only speak as I hear: for my sister’s son is chaplain, for the time being, to a certain Archisacerdos, a foreigner, now lodging where thou knowest. The young mail being hid, after some knavery, behind the arras, in come our quidam and that prelate. The quidam, surly and Saxon—the guest, smooth and Italian; his words softer than butter, yet very swords: that this quidam had ’exceeded the bounds of his commission—launched out into wanton and lawless cruelty—burnt noble ladies unheard, of whose innocence the Holy See had proof—defiled the Catholic faith in the eyes of the weaker sort—and alienated the minds of many nobles and gentlemen’—and finally, that he who thinketh he standeth, were wise to take heed lest he fall.
1st Monk. And what said Conrad?
2d Monk. Out upon a man that cannot keep his lips! Who spake of Conrad? That quidam, however, answered nought, but—how ’to his own master he stood or fell’—how ’he laboured not for the Pope but for the Papacy’; and so forth.
1st Monk. Here is awful doctrine! Behold the fruit of your reformers! This comes of their realised ideas, and centralisations, and organisations, till a monk cannot wink in chapel without being blinded with the lantern, or fall sick on Fridays, for fear of the rod. Have I not testified? Have I not foretold?