Page images
PDF
EPUB

Having now changed his whole but he soon quitted this spot and nature, he believed that, like the retired to a cell on the top of a apostle St. Paul, he was called upon mountain near Manacor, in the S.E. to be the agent of some special of the island. This mountain, called work in the Church; and there then La Randa, from an Arabic word, occurred to him the idea of convert- meaning a laurel, stands on a lovely ing the Saracens to Christianity. Up- spot, overlooking the sea and the on this idea he meditated for some plain nearly all round it. It betime, till a sermon which he heard longed to Raymond's father before in the Church of San Francesco, by him, and is about eight hundred feet the Bishop of Mallorca, Don Pedro in height. Here Raymond led a de Morey, or Morella, convinced solitary life, passing his time in the him of the good of his cause, and study of natural history and in comanimated him to further efforts. posing his “ Ars Universalis.” The

With this end in view, he now object of this book was to express parted with all his worldly goods, metaphysics in a geometrical form reserving, however, sufficient for by means of figures, and deduce rethe maintenance of his wife and two sults by the inexorable form of logic. children, and determined to leave For the further composition of this. his country never to return. As a work, he descended once more to pilgrim, he visited the shrine of our the monastery of San Real; and while Lady at Montserrat near Barcelona resident there, wrote also the work From thence he sought his way to “ De Comtemplatione," or Book of Santiago de Compostella, in Galicia, Confessions, both in Lemosine and and thence back to the shrine of the in Arabic. This work consist of Holy Apostles at Rome. He then three hundred and sixty-five chapreturned to Catalonia, with the inten- ters, corresponding to the days of tion of proceeding to Paris, in order the year, and was intended by the to study grammar, philosophy, and author to be used as a book of daily theology, with a view of carrying out meditation. At the same epoch were his grand task. He now chanced written the works “De Teologia," to meet with S. Raimundo de Peña- “De Filosofia,” “De Derecho,” “De: fort, to whom he confided his pro- Medicina,” the “ Liber Genutis et. ject; and under his advice he re- trium Sapientium (also written in turned to Palma once more, in Arabic), “Demostraciones,” “De: order to convince others by his Sancto Spiritu,”and many others, too, example to follow him ; with the numerous to be mentioned permission of his wife, he now took During the composition of his: the habit of the Fratres Minores, and Ars, tradition reports that he saw: led a retired life, devoting all his many visions. On one occasion, energies to the study of Arabic. For Jesus Christ appeared to him before. this purpose he took into his service commencing his work. On anan Arab slave, who, though a boy, other occasion, while meditating on had well-nigh murdered him, because the top of the Randa, the leaves of he was beaten by his master for a rush at his feet seemed to be blaspheming against God. The written over with characters in Greek, knife which he drew on this occasion Hebrew, Chaldaic; and Arabic ; and passed through the garments of when Raymond was puzzling over Raymond, and the preservation of what this could mean, Jesus Christ his life was reckoned miraculous. appeared to him, saying, “These Raymond then sought shelter under leaves are typical of the countries, the roof of the Cistercian monastery where your art shall be known and surnamed San Real which then stood followed.” On a third occasion he within a few miles from Palma; chanced, while meditating on his,

book, to see a shepherd-boy stand- them, not with the arms of ordi ing by him, who instantly took the warfare, but those of reason and book from his hands, kissed it, and intellect; and by this means gave it back to him, telling him that hoped to gain for Christendom by its means, errors should be con- possession of the Holy Sepulc futed throughout the world. Lull He implored the King to do al was now convinced that he was in- his power to assist him ; to give spired, and so plainly and naturally sanction to his undertaking ; ; does he speak of himself that one above all, to send men to study 1 cannot believe willingly that he was him and assist him on his journ an impostor. He tells us in one of and in his preaching and public his poems:

cussions. The King seemed ( “Moreover, I announce to you vinced by the arguments of F that I bear a general art, which has mond, and promised him all newly been given to me by a gift assistance in his power; and so from heaven, in order that men may A.D. 1275, he founded a college know all natural science, according thirteen fratres minores,and endov as the intellect is sensible of it. . . it with a rental of five hundred flor O glorious Lord God! Is there in This establishment settled at M the world such a form of martyrdom mar, on Raymond's estate of Mo as that which I now undergo ? How Randa, in Majorca; and after hav is it that I cannot serve Thee? and received the royal sanction, was s how is it that there is no one to aid sequently confirmed by a bull fr me? How can there continue to Pope John XXI., signed at Viter exist this art that Thou hast given on the calends of December, in me, from which so much good to first year of his pontificate. mankind can accrue ?"

At Miramar, then, was Raymo James II., son of the Conqueror, now resident, with thirteen broth had now, though in his father's life- engaged in the study of Arabic a time, been declared King of Ma- other foreign languages, that tł jorca, Rousillon, and Montpelier. might be enabled to go and prea Hearing of the conversion of Ray- to all nations, inducing all whi mond, he summoned him to the they could to enter into the fold Royal Court, determined to learn the Christian Church. Long at from Raymond himself more exact the dissolution of this college, thi details of the change that had come remained till within the memory over him. Accordingly, full of hope man a chapel dedicated to the H of gaining assistance for his project, Trinity, which occupied the site he set out for Montpelier, where the Raymond's cell, and which is n King was then residing. The King destroyed. There is not wantii received him graciously on his ar- however, a tradition that an odc rival, and appointed Bertram de of sanctity hovered over this ru Berengario to examine into his theo- such that divine fragrances we logy. This was fully approved ; and distinctly imbibed by the cası Raymond unfolded to the King the visitor, and that no animal of wh project of converting the Saracens, ever kind, while browsing near, er and declared his intention of de- dared to enter the sacred sp voting his whole life to that object. During his stay at Miramar, Ri He explained that he hoped to gain mond composed many works their adhesion to Christianity by prose and poetry. It is not woi the incontrovertible force of reason while to mention them all, but 1 and logic. He thought that a holy may signalise two written in Arab crusade might be waged against called “Alchindi” and “Telipł

i Desconort, Rosselló, p. 45.

demonstrating the falsity of Moham- book of contemplation, and thus medanism; the “ Libro de la Doc- he remained till the moment arrived trina del Principe para el Regimen for the hours of terce, sixt, and none. de sa Persona, de sa Palacio, y de sa At the conclusion of prayer the Reino," a book afterwards studied deacon dressed some herbs and by King James III. of Majorca, vegetables, and meanwhile Blanwhile writing his celebrated “ Leyes quema directed his steps to the Palatinas,” “El Orden Clerical y garden, where he employed a few Orden de la Caballeria, la Doctrina short moments of leisure cultivating Pueril," for his son, then thirteen or some plants, and in this exercise imfourteen years of age ; “A Didactic proved his health. He then dined, Poem on Logic," now lost; and and immediately entered alone into “ Las Horas de la Virgen Maria," in the temple to manifest to God his poetry. The best description of gratitude; he then went out into Raymond's life at Miramar is to be the garden, and passed on to the found in his work entitled “Blan- fountain, or by those spots which querna," quoted by St. Rosselló. gave him most pleasure, giving himUnder the name of Blanquerna, Ray- self up, later on, to sleep, in order mond alludes to himself : —

to gain force to sustain the fatigues “While Blanquerna was in his of the night. When he was awake, hermitage, he got up at midnight, he washed his face and hands, and opening the windows of his cell, prayed vespers with the deacon, and set himself to contemplate the heaven then remained alone, thinking on and the stars. He then proceeded what pleased him most, and what to pray, with all the devotion that most disposed him to enter into he could feel, that his soul might prayer. At sunset he went up on rest solely in communication with to the terrace, and there remained God, and his eyes in tears and in long meditation, with his spirit mourning. After spending much devoted and his eyes fixed on the time in contemplation and weeping, heaven and on the stars, discoursing he entered into the church and on the greatness of God and the sounded the bell for matins; and evil ways of men. In this state when his deacon came to his assist- Blanquerna remained till the hour of ance, he aided him to perform them, the first sleep; and so great was the and at daybreak he celebrated mass fervour of his contemplation, that in a devoted manner, and spoke even on his bed he appeared to be to his deacon of God, that he might in mystical intelligence with the fall in love with God. While both Almighty. Thus passed happily the were thus talking of God and His life of Blanquerna, till the people of works, they wept together for the the district came to visit with devogreat devotion which those reason- tion and frequency the altar of the ings made them feel. The deacon most Holy Trinity of that church, then went to the garden, and em- and this interrupted and disturbed ployed himself in cultivating the the contemplation of Blanquema; trees that were in it; and Blan- but he, not wishing to prevent their querna, coming out of the church in coming there, in order not to chill order to refresh his spirit, already their devotion, transferred his cell fatigued by the labour that it had to the height of a neighbouring undergone, stretched forth his eyes mountain." over the mountains and plains. Another of Raymond's works, Then, after feeling refreshed, he set the book entitled “Blanquerna de to pray and to meditate, and to read Amico et Amato," gives us some inthe Holy Scriptures, or the grand sight into his life. Like the sacred

| Published at Valencia, 1521, in Lemosine, cap. 105.

book of Proverbs, it is written in days, and so, in consequence of short sentences. At No. 47 is a ters of greater importance, Rayn description of his solitude. “The was obliged to desist from his ui friend stayed in solitude under the taking. From hence he passe shade of a certain fair tree; and by Paris, where he read in publi that spot there passed men who “Ars Generalis." After this, he asked him why he was staying there ceeded to Montpelier, where, ac in solitude ? The friend answered to Sr. Custurer, he composed 1 them that he was then for the first books. Thence to Geneva, w time alone when he saw and per- he translated his “ Ars Invent ceived them ; for before that he was into Arabic, and then continue in the company of his beloved." journey to Rome. Nicholas

His stay at the college of Mira- had by this time succeeded to mar was, however, not long-lived. pontificate, of whom it is said Why the college was broken up is in 1291, he tried to unite the not quite apparent; but it is more orders of the Knights Templars than probable that it was on account Hospitallers, on account of their of the jealousies and rivalries that sensions. Raymond seems to were sure to spring up in a small contributed much to this union community like that. Hence Ray- alludes to it in the poem a mond determined, in company with quoted : some of the friars, to go to Rome, “And of the Temple and : and plead his cause with the Pope. pital, a union was effected, provi At Rome he was successful, and the that their grandmaster shoulc result was the mission of five brethren king of the Holy Sepulchre, bec to Tartary. This and the breaking- such conduct as was exhibited up of Miramar is alluded to in the not contribute to the honou poem above quoted (Desconort.)! God.”

“Hermit, I have already recounted As nothing could be don to you, if you have remembered, the Rome to further his cause, or means by which God might be more count of the disturbed state of beloved. This is, that the Pope in- Church at that time, Raymond duce many strong men of letters to turned to Genoa, in order to be willing, for God's sake, to suffer ceed from there to Africa. V martyrdom, that thus, in all the there he was taken dangerous world, God might be understood and and his heart seems to have f honoured, and to each of each of him. His friends had deserted them the power of language might and he had failed in securing be revealed, according as was or- assistance from foreign court: dained at Miramar (and he knows though much aid had been pron full well in his heart who caused that to him, and he looked forward to fail), and that they may journey despair to the accomplishmer and derive all the graces which the his favourite project. So low d clergy and the bishop possesses, and now become that he received thus continue till the Holy Sepulchre treme unction from the priest be taken. A book on this point is attended him, and thought tha already in order."

was on his deathbed. It was According to Sr. Custurer, who however, fated to be so, and quotes authors of a life of Raymond mond began to recover, and contemporary with his life, Raymond returning health came fresh ene goes to Rome only to find Honorius and fresh resolve. Accordi IV. just dead. The see remained when he was restored to his vacant for ten months and eighteen health, he took shipping in the Stanza 55, Rosselló, p. 350.

Ib. st. 56., P. 352.

vessel bound to Tunis. When he in civitate Neapolis." That is to arrived at Tunis, he began boldly to say, the book was finished before preach the gospel, and confute the the recurrence of another September, arguments of the Turks; but he was, namely, during the Epiphany of in consequence, persecuted on all 1293. For some time he stayed at sides, and barely escaped with his Naples, finishing “ De Sexto Sensu life. To this he alludes, not only in id est de Affatu,” in 1294, and his poem above quoted, but also in “ Flores Amoris et Intelligentiæ ;" his book, “ Blanquerna de Amico et and reading his Art till the election of Amato :")

Celestin V. as Pope, in 1294. There 6 The friend was seen to be hung is one stanza in the poem “ Descoup and bound, wounded, and slain, nort,” which, from the dates alluded for love of his Beloved. And those to therein, is a little difficult to unwho persecuted him asked him, say- derstand. It runs thus :3 ing. "Where is thy Beloved ?' But For wife have I left as well as the friend answered, See Him here children and possessions, and thirty in the multiplication of my loves, years bave I stood in labour and and in the suffering which He causes anguish, and three times have I been me to undergo in my torments.' at the court before my monsignors.

The friend came to demand alms at Moreover, at three general chapters the house-doors, that he might bring of the order of the Preachers, have before men's notice the love of his I been present, and also at three Beloved to His servants; and as one other general chapters of the Firaday it chanced that they gave him tres Minores ; and if ye only knew all nothing, they asked him if he thought that I have said to kings and nobles ill of them? He answered No; and how I have laboured, ye would that humility, poverty, patience, are not hesitate to affirm how bold I things that are pleasing in the sight have been in the cause, on the conof his Beloved.' The friend was in trary ye could feel great sympathy a foreign land, and forgetful of his if ye were charitably disposed.” In Beloved, and full of home-sickness, order to reconcile this passage, thereand a longing to return to his house, fore, Sr. Custurer dates Raymond's and his wife, and his children, and conversion at 1265, A.D. Ten years, his friends. But soon he turned he says, were then passed in devotion and remembered his Beloved, and and the study of Arabic, before the prayed to Him to console them, College of Miramar was founded, in and that the strangeness of his posi- 1275. Thence the date of this poem tion might not torment him, for the cannot be before 1305, when the longing and love that he bore to thirty years mentioned would be wards his Beloved."

completed. If it were written before Sr. Rosselló says that he passed this date, Rayniond could not have from Tunis to Perpignan and thence been five times at the Court of to Montpelier ; but this could not Rome. St. Rosselló dates the poem be, for at the end of the work en- at Rome in 1295, or “ten years titled “ Tabula Generalis ad Omnes after Lull had left that city to reside Scientias Applicabilis," Raymond in Paris, Montpelier, Genoa, Tunis, says, “ Incepta fuit hæc scientia in and Naples.” If 1295 is the date mari in portu Tunici, in medio men- of the poem, the thirty years alluded sis Septembri, anno Incarnationis to must therefore mean since his Domini 1292, et fuit finita in eodem conversion in 1265. At the end of anno prædicto in Octavis Epiphaniæ the MS. of this poem,“ in the British

| Ib. 57, No. 52, 282, 365. ? Vide Catalogue, Mentz, 1704; and D. Nic. Ant Bibl. Vet. lib. ix. cap. iii, no. 89. 3 Stanza xiv.

* Add. 16,431.

« PreviousContinue »