vol II date / index
St. Bruno, Founder of the Carthusian Monks, A. D. 1101. St. Faith or Fides, and others.
This name in the church of England calendar and almanacs belongs to a saint of the Romish church.
According to Butler, St. Faith was a female of Aquitain, put to death under Dacian. He says she was titular saint of several churches in France, particularly that of Longueville in Normandy, which was enriched by Walter Giffard, earl of Buckingham. He also says she was "patroness of the priory of Horsam, in the county of Norfolk;" that "the subterraneous chapel of St. Faith, built under St. Paul's in London, was also very famous;" and that "an arm of the saint was formerly kept at Glastenbury." Nevertheless, Mr. Audley thinks, that as the ancient Romans deified Faith according to the heathen mythology, and as christian Rome celebrates on August 1st the passion of the holy virgins, Faith, Hope, and Charity, it is highly probable these virtues have been mistaken for persons; and, admitting this, Dr. M. Geddes smartly says, "they may be truly said to have suffered, and still to suffer martyrdom at Rome." Mr. Audley adds, "There is indeed the church of St. Faith at London; but as our calendar is mostly copied from the Romish one, that will account for the introduction of the good virgin amongst us."*
This saint was an anchoret and the founder of the Carthusian monks. He is stiled by writers of his own age "master of the Chartreuse;" from his order comes our Charter-house at London.
A prelate of the same name is renowned in story, and his last adventures are related in verse.
"Bruno, the bishop of Herbipolitanum, sailing in the river of Danubius, with Henry the Third, then emperour [sic], being not far from a place which the Germanes call Ben Strudel, or the devouring gulfe, which is neere unto Grinon, a castle in Austria, a spirit was heard clamouring aloud, 'Ho! ho! bishop Bruno, whither art thou travelling? but dispose of thyself how thou pleasest, thou shalt be my prey and spoile.' At the hearing of these words they were all stupified, and the bishop with the rest crost and blest themselves. The issue was, that within a short time after, the bishop feasting with the emperor in a castle belonging to the countesse of Esburch, a rafter fell from the roof of the chamber wherein they sate, and strooke him dead at the table."
Heywood's Hierarchie of the blessed Angels.
Bishop Bruno awoke in the dead midnight,
And he heard his heart beat loud with affright:
He dreamt he had rung the palace bell,
And the sound it gave was his passing knell.
Bishop Bruno smiled at his fears so vain
He turned to sleep and he dreamt again
He rung at the palace gate once more,
And Death was the porter that opened the door.
He started up at the fearul dream,
And he heard at his window the screech owl scream!
Bishop Bruno slept no more that night;—
Oh! glad was he when he saw the day light!
Now he goes forth in proud array,
For he with the emperor dines to-day;
There was not a baron in Germany
That went with a nobler train than he.
Before and behind his soldiers ride,
The people throng'd to see their pride;
They bow'd the head, and the knee they bent,
But nobody blest him as he went.
So he went on stately and proud,
When he heard a voice that cried aloud,
Ho! ho! bishop Bruno! you travel with glee—
But I would have you know, you travel to me!
Behind, and before, and on either side,
He look'd, but nobody he espied;
And the bishop at that grew cold with fear,
For he heard the words distinct and clear.
And when he rung the palace bell,
He almost expected to hear his knell
And when the porter turn'd the key,
He almost expected Death to see.
But soon the bishop recover'd his glee,
For the emperor welcomed him royally
And now the tables were spread, and there
Were choicest wines and dainty fare.
And now the bishop had blest the meat,
When a voice was heard as he sat in his seat,—
With the emperor now you are dining in glee,
But know, bishop Bruno, you sup with me!
The bishop then grew pale with affright,
And suddenly lost his appetite;
All the wine and dainty cheer
Could not comfort his heart so sick with fear.
But little and little recovered he
For the wine went flowing merrily,
And he forgot his former dread,
And his cheeks again grew rosy red.
When he sat down to the royal fare
Bishop Bruno was the saddest man there;
But when the masquers entered the hall,
He was the merriest man of all.
Then from amid the masquers' crowd
There went a voice hollow and loud;
You have passed the day, bishop Bruno, with glee!
But you must pass the night with me!
His cheek grows pale and his eye-balls glare,
And stiff round his tonsure bristles his hair;
With that there came one from the masquers' band,
And he took the bishop by the hand.
The bony hand suspended his breath,
His marrow grew cold at the touch of Death:
On saints in vain he attempted to call,
Bishop Bruno fell dead in the palace hall.
Lateflowering Feverfew. Pyrethrum Scrotinum.
Dedicated to St. Bruno.
Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:
1. Comp. to Almanac. [return]