RICHARD OF DEVIZES
House* from our church of Winchester, much and often did I desire to follow you who had thus departed, peradventure to remain with you, but certainly to behold what you were about, how you lived, and whether the Carthusian cell is more exalted and nearer heaven than the cloister of Winchester. It pleased God at length to satisfy my wish. I came, and oh that I had come alone! I went thither making the third, and those who went with me were the cause of my return. My desire displeased them, and they caused my fervour, I will not say error, to grow cold. I saw with you that which elsewhere I had not seen, which I could not llave believed, and which I could not sufficiently admire. In each of your cells there is one door according to custom, which you are permitted to open at pleasure, but to go out by it is not permitted, except so much as that one foot should always remain in the cell, within the threshold. The brethren may step out with one foot, whichever they please, but the other must remain in the cell. A great and solemn oath is to be taken that the door by which it is not permitted to enter or depart
should be kept open. I am astonished also at another thing; abounding in all the good things of this world, as having nothing, yet po'ssessing all things, more compassionate and humane than all men, having the 1110st perfect love one to another, you divide the affection of charity to strangers, you bless without giving supplies to your guests. N or do I less admire, in the third place, that living to yourselves apart out of society, and singly, you understand all the great things achieved in the world as they happen, and even sometimes you know them prior to their being accomplished. Do not, llOwever, consider it want of respect in me to your more than Pythagorean taciturnity, if I shall dare presume to address men of so great gravity, and so arduous profession, rather with the trifles of the world than mere idle gossip.