BLTC Press Titles

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Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller

Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment

Rudolf Steiner

The Bhagavad Gita


Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll

The brothers [tr.] from the German

by Johann Christoph von Schmid


"This other portrait," continued the Prior, pointing to the second, "represents Sir Hugo, the founder of the monastery. This noble warrior, whom you perceive to be clad in magnificent armour, and whose features express intrepidity and valour, well deserves a place beside the founder of our order. It is not dress, nor rank, but virtue alone, which gives worth to man. They both equally despised this world, and sighed after a better. My dear children, this brave and pious knight was your grandfather; may you become as good and virtuous as he was!"

Leaving the ante-room, they entered the humble chamber of the Prior. A pure white ivory crucifix, on a richly-carved ebony cross, was its sole ornament. Placed before the crucifix was a desk, on which a handsome copy of the Gospels was spread. The rest of the furniture consisted of a table, two chairs, and a few shelves supporting some books and papers. A door on the right led to the bed-room, in which the most scrupulous cleanliness prevailed. The bed was composed of a mattress, a bolster, and blanket. The door on the left conducted to the workshop, in which stood a lathe furnished with tools of all descriptions, and a variety of articles already finished. From among the latter the Prior selected two to give to the little boys, consisting of a beautiful writing-desk formed of horn, and a pen-case of box. "I hope," said the good

Prior, placing them in their hands, "that you will learn to make a good use of them."

From the workshop they entered a little garden, surrounded on all sides with high walls, against which choice and delicious fruit-trees were trained; and where, on every side, not excepting that exposed to the north, tall plants were seen displaying the richest verdure. The laying out of the garden was most pleasing to the eye, filled as it was with fine vegetables and loaded with the most beautiful flowers. From this spot, however,"nothing could be seen of the outer world, except, indeed, the azure sky, and the verdant summit of a mountain, upon whose topmost point a stone cross was erected.

"Each monk," said the Prior, " has a cell for prayer, meditation, and study, a workshop, and bed-room, similar, in every respect, to those which you have just seen, with a garden separated from the world by walls from which no prospect but heaven is seen, to which that cross points out the way. These cells, which amount in our house to twelve, communicate with each other by a passage, as also with the church, library, and common refectory, which, taken together, compose the monastery."

The two children ran about in every direction, and could not sufficiently admire the flowers of the little garden. Hitherto they had scarcely seen any but such as grew in the meadows, and now they exclaimed in their astonishment: "Never in our lives have we seen such beautiful large flowers as these, and of such lovely colours too. How charming! this garden is quite a paradise!" They ran from one bed to another, eagerly asking the names of such flowers as they were unacquainted with. The Prior told them the names of them, gathering some, and then placing them together, formed for each a fresh and fragrant nosegay, promising, also, to send them, on the following spring, seeds and slips of all the flowers in his garden.

Just then the children, who, in the excess of their delight, scarcely knew which way to turn their eyes, remarked the fruit-trees which grew along the garden walls, from which hung vast quantities of fruit, some of a rich golden tint, and others of a deep purple. The sight of these caused them fresh transports. The Prior approached the trees, and kindly gathered some apricots and early peaches for them, regretting, at the same time, that he could not treat them with those of a later kind, which were of a superior flavour, but, unfortunately, not yet ripe. The little boys thanked him joyfully for the beautiful flowers and excellent fruit; but the Prior said: "Think rather of the Lord, who created such bright flowers and pleasant fruits."

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