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CLAUDE DELAVAL COBHAM
Exerpta Cypria
page 238

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monastery and the monks who should dwell therein his love towards God and his desire for a life of peace are most clearly shown, where he sets before them as a rule and example its divinely ordered polity. But his parents, no little grieved at his departure, and ignorant of the way he took, wandered all over the island searching for him. And so coming to the monastery aforesaid they found him, still unwilling to accompany them ; and they wept and grieved, and he, compelled at last by their much entreaty, and at a lose what to do, returned with them home, and to fulfil his father's bidding, as enjoined in the Gospel, he obeys and marries his betrothed, filling with no small joy his parente and neighbours and acquaintances. The bridal chamber was prepared according to custom for the married pair, but when the time came for retiring he pnt off the ring and made a vow, and left the house at night, and again reached the monastery of Koutzoventi. There he earnestly besought the Abbot that he might put on the monastic habit ; so with his hair shorn, and clothed with the longed-for frock he leaped aud rejoiced ; and by the Abbot's order went out to guard the vineyards of the house, called the stoupai, where he ceased not from prayer. He was wholly unlearned in the Scriptures, but after five years of such service, so great was his zeal that he learned to read them well, and could repeat the Psalms of David by heart. Bnt meanwhile another desire burned in his heart, to reach in pilgrimage the Holy Places. So he sailed forth, and fulfilled his wish; and after adoring the holy relics of onr Lord in Jerusalem, and offering fitting prayer, he went to the borders of Magdala, Thabor and Jordan, and during six months searched the caves and holes if Imply he might find some hermit, and put himself under his orders. But he attained not this desire, and under the Divine guiding returned to his old monastery. Yet his love for a life of peace gave him no rest, and again leaving the house he hastened on his road to the mountain of Latros with prayers to God that he might not be disappointed of his hope. But when he reached the fort of Paphos he was recognised and seized by the guard ; and for some hours was bound and ill-treated in prison, and certain pious persons grieved at the event besought the guard concerning hiin, and he was loosed from his bonds and prison, and seeing that not only did his end remain unfulfilled, bnt that it brought him ill-treatment, he knew that it was God's will that he should not wander from his chosen home, which methinks was wanting at that time in men of piety and of rightly ordered life : for the island was then under the lordship of the Latins, as we learn from his " Ordinance " dated in the year of our Salvation 1159. After his release from prison, being in great doubt and no little grief, whither ho should go, and where find rest, he composed himself, and in the name of God taking the road that lay before him went to the very steep cliff where lay the retreat afterwards called by his name. There, in the very heart of the cliff he found a cave and began to clear it, and hew it ont, and smooth down its rocky sides, working with his hands and pieces of wood : yet much time passed before it might serve him for a dwelling. Let who will picture to himself what sufferings he endured on this inaccessible and narrow rock, mortification of the senses, nakedness, hunger, a conch of stone, and every kind of bodily discomfort, all self-imposed, and then the prayers, tuie prostrations, the unbroken vigils, which this famous saint per-severing! y dedicated to the love of God. The fame of his doings was spread abroad, and crowds came to see him to win his blessing and his prayers. Whereof certain persons desired to become his disciples, to copy and share his ascetic life; yet he would not accept them; not because he refused to have intercourse with his fellow-men, or to help them to salvation, but because he knew of a truth that one man was quieter than two or more. But when they pressed him earnestly, and gave him no rest, he consented to reçoive a few, but not more than ten. So while he instructed these in the Secrets of Virtue, he increased the fame of his 22« EXCERPTA CYPRIA.

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