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MONKS OF LA TRAPPE IN ENGLAND.
[From the Gentleman's Magazine.]
The Monastery of La Trappe lies between Lulworth Castle and the sea-coast, but secured from storms, and sheltered on all sides; the building stands in a bottom; the scenery about it is enriched with plantations. Soon after the commencement of the French revolution, when the religious of all kinds were obliged to seek this country for protection, some monks of La Trappe found an asylum at Mr. Weld's; and, as they increased in number, he erected the present building (under the sanction of government) for their habitation, which may, with strict propriety, assume the name of a convent. This monastery is of a quadrangular shape, with a schilling in the inside, forming the cloisters, and the area a depository for the dead. We observed seven graves, to some of which were added a wooden cross, either at the head or feet: the living may be said to reside with the dead, and that they may be continually reminded of their mortal state, a grave is always left open for the reception of the next that dies. The cloisters are used for air and exercise in bad weather, having a large cistern at one end for the monks to wash. The entrance to the monastery is on the west side, near the Porter's Lodge, under a long narrow building, which serves for offices of the meaner kind. The porter who received us was dressed in the habit of a convent-brother, wearing a long brown robe of coarse cloth, and à cowl of the same colour over his head, a leathern girdle encircled his waist, from which suspended his keys; he spoke to us in a whisper, and desired us to be silent. As we passed through the first court, we fancied ourselves in former days, when the monastic orders flourished; and strange and unusual seemed the appearance of the monks, in the full habit of their order, gliding along, intent on meditation, or einployed in manual labour, but not a word spoken. From the court we came to an entrance rooin, on the walls of which were seen figures of saints, a crucifix on a bleeding heart, and other objects of devotion; thence to the cloisters are several crucifixes on the walls, to excite adoration. We then entered the chapel, which is not splendid, nor highly decorated, but elegantly neat, the altar having a crucifix on its summit, with the paintings of the Virgin and Child, and of patron saints; on each side are stalls for the monks, with their names inscribed, and in each stall a large old missal on vellum, guarded at the corners and sides, and large clasps ; a lamp burning perpetually during the presence of the Eucharist; the roodloft contains the organ. Opposite to the chapel are private oratories, embellished, as usual, with paintings of a religious kind, crucifixes, the Virgin and Child, and a whole length of Armand Jean Bouthillier de Rancé, who was abbot and reformer of the order. From another part of the cloisters we entered the chapter-house, whither the inonks retire after their meal is over, vot to beguile away their time in trifling conversation, but in reading religious books, saying vespers and other evening prayers, and in public self-accusation ; the walls of this room are covered with religious prints; and at the entrance hung up a board with pegs, on which were suspended bits of wood, inscribed with the names of all the monks that had been and are now in the convent, P. Dionysius, P. Hyacinthus, P. Julianus, P. Barnardus, P. Martinus, P. Matthæus, P. Pius, and others, to the number of eighty-six: on another board was inscribed a list of the different offices of the church for the day, and the names of such of the fathers as officiated set opposite ; below it an exhortation in Latin and French, pointing out the advantages of devotion, and the importance of self-denial. We were next shown the resectory, a very long room, containing a wooden bench, extending on each side ; upon the tables were placed a wooden trencher, bowl, and spoon, with a napkin for each monk, and the name of each inscribed over his seat; at the upper end sat ihe prior, distinguished from the rest of the convent only by his pastoral staff; during the repast the lecturer delivers a discourse to the poor monks. The dormitory next attracted our notice, which extends the whole length of the building, and on each side are ranged the cells of the monks, in which they recline themselves, on wood, with one blanket and a coarse rug; a window at each end to ventilate and air the room, which is dark and gloomy; a clock is stationed at one end, near the entrance, to warn the monks of the hour of matins ; and the cells ranged together on each side, like so many caves of death, must unavoidably inspire melancholy reflections. Below is the vestment-room, where the vestments of the choir brothers are hung up, with the name of each inscribed. The domestic offices surround the monastery; and contiguous is the poultry-yard, cattle-range, and rick.yard. The ground attached to the monastery contains about one hundred acres, which is cultivated by the monks, with the assistance of a carter and his boy. The community rise at one o'clock in the morning, winter and summer : the choir-brothers then begin their devotions, and continue in the chapel till nine o'clock, when each goes to some manual labour, in the garden, on the roads, or on the grounds, till eleven, when there is a short service, which lasts about balf an hour, tben to labour again, till half past one, when they return to prayers for half an hour, and are then summoned to their frugal meal; after this meal is over (the only one which they have during the four-and-twenty hours) they return thanks to God, and adjourn to the chapter.room, where they continue to read or meditale till their day is nearly over, when they once more to prayers, and retire to their dormitories about eight o'clock, having spent the whole day in abstinence, mortification, labour, silence, and prayer; and every succeeding day, like the former, continually hastening them to the grave that is open. The severity of this rigid order requires no common devotees; perpetual silence restrains them in the greatest enjoyment of life; perpetual abstinence, mortification and penance, poverty and prayer, seem more than human nature is capable of undergoing; and unless the minds of the religious were buoyed up by the fervour of their devotions, they could not keep themselves alive; they abstain wholly from meat, fish, and fowl; and, during Lent, from butter, inilk, eggs, and cheese: but they seem perfectly content. The monks observe perpetual silence, scarcely even look at each other, and never speak but to their prior, and only on urgent occasions ; they never wander from their convent without permission of their superior, but go each morning cheerfully to such work as they are directed to perform. As we passed these prör, humble, unoffending monks at their work, they received us with courtesy and humility, but never spoke. The most perfect silence and tranquillity reigned throughout this little vale, with nothing to interrupt it but the convent bell, and the dashing of the waves on the shore : even the winds of heaven are restrained from visiting this place tjo roughly, for the Down protects it from their fury.
DEFENCE OF FORT M'HENRY.
[These lines have been already published in several of our newspapers; they
inay still, however, be new to many of our readers. Besides, we think that their merit entitles them to preservation in some more permanent form than the columns of a daily paper. The annexed song was composed under the following circumstances. gentleman had left Baltimore, in a flag of truce for the pure pose of getting released from the British feet a friend of his who had been captured at Marlborough. He went as far as the mouth of the Patuxent, and was not permitted to return lest the intended attack on Baltimore should be disclosed. He was, therefore, brought up the bay to the mouth of the Patapsco, where the flag vessel was kept under the gans of a frigate, and he was compelled to witness the bombardment of Fort M'Henry, which the Admiral had boasted that he would carry in a few hours, and that the city must fall. He watched the flag at the fort through the whole day with an anxiety that can be better felt than described, until the night prevented him from seeing it. In the night he watched the bombshells, and at early dawn his eye was again greeted by the proudly-waving flag of his country.]
Tune-ANACREON IN HEAVEN.
0! say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we haild at the twilight's last gleaming,
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
0! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havock of war and the battle's confusion
Their blood has wash'd out their foul foot-steps' pollution:
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
0! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov'd home, and the war's desolation,
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
(For the Analectic Magazine.]
ADDRESSED TO A FIREFLY.
Haste, thy flowery covert leave,