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wore skins nor shirts, nor ever eat flesh except in sickness, and abstained from fish, eggs, milk, and cheese ; they lay upon straw beds, in their tunics and cowls; they rose at midniglit, and sang praises to God till break of day; they spent the day in labour, reading, and prayer; and in all their exercises they observed a strict silence, and exercised extraordinary hospitality and charity towards the poor."
Kirkstall Abbey was built about fifty years after the establishment of the Cistercian order of monks; and Sir Henry de Lacey, having heard of the reputed superior sanctity of the Cistercians, granted to them the possession of the beautiful abbey which he had erected, and here the monks continued to reside for nearly four hundred years.
Ancient records testify, that in the year 1301 the monks at Kirkstall Abbey had 216 oxen, 160 cows, 152 yearlings and bullocks, 90 calves, and 4000 sheep and lambs; and the debts of the establishment amounted to 1601. It is probable that the monks were not then so abstemious as their predecessors of the Cistercian order had been ; but that, like the other orders of monks, they had become more disposed to indulge themselves in the use of the earthly good things which they possessed.
In the reign of king Henry the eighth, all the monasteries were broken up by order of the king, who took possession of the property belonging to those establish
Six hundred and ten monasteries were broken up during the reign of this king, and their revenues, wbich amounted, we are told, to more than one hundred and sixty-one thousand pounds a-year, were seized by the king. To reconcile the country to these acts of injustice, the monks were represented as monsters of iniquity, and the riches taken from them, it was said, would render it not needful for the king to require the payment of taxes. We have no doubt that in many of the monasteries great crimes were committed; but they were not all alike sinks of iniquity. King Henry the eighth was a very wicked man, and cared not by what means he obtained his purposes.
rapacious tyrant; and, although the king put down the power of the pope in England, and made himself the head of the Protestant Church in this country, it was not because the king cared anything about the errors
but to have his revenge on the pope, who had opposed the king as to his putting away one of his wives and marrying another.
When Kirkstall Abbey was suppressed, it possessed property which produced annually several hundreds of pounds. Dugdale says, 3291. 2s. 11d. a-year; but Speed says, the abbey had endowments which amounted to 5121. 138. 4d. a-year. The abbey and its site were granted by the king to Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury, in exchange for other land. In the reign of Edward the sixth, the royal licence was granted to the archbishop to convey the abbey and its land to trustees for the use of one of the sons of the archbishop, and his heirs. The estate afterwards passed into the possession of other families ; and was recently the property of the earl of Cardigan, to whom, for anything we know to the contrary, it now belongs.
Soon after the monks were dispossessed of the abbey, it became subject to the ruthless hands of destroyers. The lead from the roofs, the bells, and everything valuable, that could be easily removed, were taken away. Part of the walls of the building were pulled down, and the stones were carted away to be used in the erecting of other buildings. Yet a large portion of the walls of the stately abbey are yet standing, finely covered, in many parts, with the creeping ivy. In the year 1779 part of the tower of the abbey fell; it is said that its great weight had crushed one of the columns which had supported the tower. The remains of the abbey occupy a large space, and are said to measure, from north to south, three hundred and forty feet; and, from east to west, four hundred and forty-five feet. Roman coins have frequently been dug up at Corkbridge, a village two miles north of Kirkstall Abbey, and on a moor, in the neighbourhood, traces of an ancient Roman town have been discovered ; fragments of some Roman urns, and other articles of pottery, have been found there.
MISCHIEF ITS OWN PUNISHMENT.
EXEMPLIFIED IN THE HISTORY OF WILLIAM AND HARRY.
MR. STEVENSON and his little son Richard, as they were one fine day walking in the fields together, passed by the side of a garden, in which they saw a beautiful pear-tree loaded with fruit. Richard cast a longing eye at it, and complained to his papa that he was very thirsty. On Mr. Stevenson saying that he was so also, but they must bear it with patience till they got home, Richard pointed to the pear-tree, and begged his papa would let him go and get one; for, as the hedge was not very thick, he said he could easily get through, without being seen by any one.
Richard's father reminded him, that the garden and fruit were private property, and to take anything from thence, without permission, was nothing else than being guilty of a robbery. He allowed that there might be a possibility of getting into the garden without being seen by the owner of it; but such a wicked action could not be concealed from Him who sees every action of our lives, and who penetrates even into the very secrets of our hearts, and that is God.
His son shook his head, and said he was sensible of his error, and would no more think of committing what might be called a robbery. He recollected that the village clergyman had told him the same thing before, but he had forgotten it.
At this instant a man started up from behind a hedge, which had before concealed him from their sight. This was the owner of the garden, who had heard everything that had passed between Mr. Stevenson and his son. “ Be thankful to God, my child, (said he), that your father prevented you getting into my garden, with a view to deprive me of that which which does not belong to you. You little thought, that at the foot of each tree is placed a trap to catch thieves, which you could not have escaped, and which might have lamed you for the rest of your life. I am happy, however, to find that you so readily listened to the first admonition of your father, and that you showed a proper fear of offending God. As you have behaved in so just and sensible a manner, you
any danger or trouble, partake of the fruit of my garden."
He then went to the finest pear-tree, gave it a shake, and brought down near a hatful of fruit, which he gave to Richard. The civil old man could not be prevailed upon to accept anything in return, though Mr. Stevenson pulled out his purse for that purpose. I am sufficiently satisfied, sir,” said he, “in thus obliging your son, and were I to accept anything, that satisfaction would be lost” Mr. Stevenson thanked him very kindly, and having shaken hands over the hedge, they parted, Richard at the same time taking leave of him in a polite manner.
Little Richard having finished several of the pears, began to find himself at leisure to talk to his papa. is a very good man,” said he; “but would God have punished me, had I taken these pears without his leave ?” "He certainly would,” replied Mr. Stevenson; "for he never fails to reward good actions, and chastise those who commit evil. The good old man fully explained to you this matter, in telling you of the traps laid for thieves, into which you must have inevitably fallen, had you entered his garden in a clandestine manner. God directs events so as to reward good people for virtuous actions, and to punish the wicked for their crimes. In order to make this more clear to you, I will relate an affair to you which happened when I was a boy, and which I shall never forget.” Richard seemed very attentive to his father, and having said he should be very glad to hear the story, Mr. Stevenson thus proceeded
“When I lived with my father, and was much about your age, we had two neighbours, between whose houses our's was situated, and their names were Davis and John
Mr. Davis had a son named William, and Mr. John
son one also of the name of Harry. Our gardens were at that time separated only by the quickset hedges, so that it was easy to see into each other's grounds.
" It was too often the practice with William, when he found himself alone in his father's garden, to take pleasure in throwing stones over the hedges, without paying the least regard to the mischief they might do. Mr. Davis frequently caught him at this dangerous sport, and never failed severely to reprimand him for it; threatening him with some punishment if he did not desist.
This child, unhappily, either knew not, or would not take the trouble to reflect, that we are not to do amiss, even when we are alone, for reasons I have already mentioned to you. His father having one day gone out, and therefore thinking that nobody could see him, or bring him to punishment, he filled his pockets with stones, and began to fling them about at random.
“Mr. Johnson happened to be in his garden at the same time, and his son Harry with him. This boy was of much the same disposition as William, thinking there was no crime in committing any mischief, provided he was not | discovered. His father had a gun charged, which he | brought into the garden, in order to shoot the sparrows that made sad havoc among his cherries, and was sitting in the summer-house to watch them. 1 “At this instant a servant came to acquaint him, that a strange gentleman desired to speak with him, and was waiting in the parlour. He therefore put the gun
down in the summer-house, and strictly ordered Harry by no means to touch it; but he was no sooner gone, than his naughty son said to himself, that he could see no harm in playing a little with the gun, and therefore took it up, put it on bis shoulder, and endeavoured to act the part of a soldier.
" The muzzle of the gun happened to be pointed towards Mr. Davis's garden, and just as he was in the midst of his military exercise, a stone, thrown by William, hit him directly in one of his eyes. The fright and pain together made Harry drop the gun, which went off, and in a mo