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297

(1887) [MARC] Author: Viktor Rydberg Translator: Alfred Corning Clark With: Hans Anton Westesson Lindehn
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PENCIL SKETCHES IN ROME. 297
pers. To my question as to where I am, my friendly
companion answers :
" In the cloister of St. Bonaventura."
Well, then, since I have so unexpectedly made port
from the carnival, in the quiet of a cloister, I will enjoy
it for a time. I throw myself down upon a bench in one
of the corridors, and the monk reaches me, in welcome, a
goblet of fresh water. The name Bonaventura carried
me back to the times when I dipped into the mystic and
magical writings of the middle ages. Is the man whose
name this cloister bears, the same who as a boy was ab-
sorbed in the Areopagitic manuscripts, and became a link
in the chain of the mystic thinkers who opened to the
drying stream of new Platonism a subterranean vein in
the deep ground of Christianity?
Yes, he is the same. The monk who has seated him-
self by my side, knows that the patron saint of his cloister
was really called Johannes Fidanza, before the founder of
his order, St. Francis of Assisi, made the youth object
of one of his many miracles, and called him Bonaventura.
He knows, too, that Bonaventura himself worked many
miracles, and finally died the most honorable death a
Franciscan monk can wish for: he died namely of volun-
tary privation. As far as that, the dwellers in this clois-
ter have not carried self-mortification ; but strict rules
they are subject to, stricter than those of most of the
other Franciscans. And now the talk falls upon the
deserts of his order, at the hands of the church. They
are great : the Franciscans had in advance of all others
come to a conviction of the immaculate conception of
the Virgin Mary, and had also been compelled to suffer
much ignominy for this their conviction ; but now through
Pius IX they have won a splendid victory. I had seen,
of course, the Immaculata monument on the Piazza di

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