CHAPTER 2. TURN VAGABOND.
On re-entering the cloister, the archdeacon found at the door
of his cell his brother Jehan du Moulin, who was waiting for
him, and who had beguiled the tedium of waiting by drawing
on the wall with a bit of charcoal, a profile of his elder
brother, enriched with a monstrous nose.
Dom Claude hardly looked at his brother; his thoughts
were elsewhere. That merry scamp's face whose beaming had
so often restored serenity to the priest's sombre physiognomy,
was now powerless to melt the gloom which grew more dense
every day over that corrupted, mephitic, and stagnant soul.
"Brother," said Jehan timidly, "I am come to see you."
The archdeacon did not even raise his eyes.
"Brother," resumed the hypocrite, "you are so good to me,
and you give me such wise counsels that I always return to you."
"Alas! brother, you were perfectly right when you said to
me,--"Jehan! Jehan! cessat doctorum doctrina, discipulorum
disciplina. Jehan, be wise, Jehan, be learned, Jehan, pass
not the night outside of the college without lawful occasion
and due leave of the master. Cudgel not the Picards: noli,
Joannes, verberare Picardos. Rot not like an unlettered ass,
quasi asinus illitteratus, on the straw seats of the school.
Jehan, allow yourself to be punished at the discretion of the
master. Jehan go every evening to chapel, and sing there an
anthem with verse and orison to Madame the glorious Virgin
Mary.--Alas! what excellent advice was that!"
"Brother, you behold a culprit, a criminal, a wretch, a
libertine, a man of enormities! My dear brother, Jehan hath
made of your counsels straw and dung to trample under foot.
I have been well chastised for it, and God is extraordinarily
just. As long as I had money, I feasted, I lead a mad and joyous
life. Oh! how ugly and crabbed behind is debauch which is
so charming in front! Now I have no longer a blank; I have
sold my napery, my shirt and my towels; no more merry life!
The beautiful candle is extinguished and I have henceforth,
only a wretched tallow dip which smokes in my nose. The
wenches jeer at me. I drink water.--I am overwhelmed with
remorse and with creditors.