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Cap. X

[Ms P, fol. 75r – Paulus Diaconus – 
Ps.-Basil: Ms K2, fol. 172v; Ms E1, fol. 82v; Ms E2, fol. 116r]

Ch. 10

Translated by: Julian Hendrix

1A pascha autem usque ad Calendas Novembris omnis, ut supra dictum est, psalmodia quantitas teneatur, 2excepto, quod lectiones in codice propter brevitatem noctium minime legantur, sed pro ipsis tribus lectionibus una de veteri testamento memoriter dicatur, quam breve responsorium subsequatur, 3et reliqua omnia, ut dictum est, impleantur, i. e. ut nunquam minus a duodecim psalmorum quantitate ad vigilias nocturnas dicantur, exceptis tertio et nonagesimo quarto psalmo.

1From Easter until the first of November the whole number of psalms mentioned above should be maintained 2except that the readings from the book should not be recited, because of the shortness of the nights, but instead of those three readings, one from the Old Testament should be recited from memory, followed by a short responsory. 3Everything else is to be done as has been said, that is, there should never be fewer than twelve psalms recited at Vigils, not including Psalms 3 and 94.

Inspicienda est nunc intentio S. Benedicti; non enim ideo dixit, non legere aestivo tempore, quasi omnino noluisset, ut legatur, sed causa discretionis. Quomodo enim credendum est, quia omnino noluit lectionem, cum in hiemis tempore legere jussit? In hoc loco nequaquam enim consequens [page 284] est, ut credendum sit, noluisse in aestate, cum probatur voluisse in hieme, cum ille devotus Deo exstitit, sed, sicut dixi, causa discretionis condescendit pusillanimis, ne murmurationi daretur occasio, ideo dixit, non legere.

Now the intention of Saint Benedict must be examined; for he did not therefore say, not to read in the summer time, as if he had not wished at all that there be any reading, but for the sake of clarification. For how must it be believed that he did not wish a reading at all, when he ordered reading in the winter time? For in this place by no means does it follow [page 284] that it ought to be believed that he did not wish it in the summer, when it is shown he wished [it] in the winter, since that man was devoted to God, but, just as I said, for the sake of clarification he talked down to the fainthearted lest an occasion for grumbling be given. Therefore he said not to read.

Nam quare ille dixerit, non legere, manifestat inferius, cum subdit propter brevitatem noctium. In hoc quippe loco, cum dicit propter brevitatem noctium, intelligitur, quia maxime illis efficitur brevitas noctium in dormiendo, qui in die laborant, et quantum plus desudant in opere diurno, tanto eis efficitur parva nox in dormiendo.

For why he said not to read is clear below, when he supplies because of the shortness of the nights. Indeed in this place, when he says because of the shortness of the nights, it is understood, that the shortness of night comes about especially for those who are sleeping [and] who work during the day, and as much as they sweat in the day’s work, just as much a short night for sleeping comes about.

Et forte dicit aliquis: 'Quare non dixit usque ad Calendas Septembres, cum September et October aequales videntur habere noctes cum Martio et Aprile?' Cui respondendum est, quia, quam vis aequales videantur noctes habere, tamen major labor est in Septembri et Octobri, quam in Martio et Aprili. Ideo est major labor in Septembri et Octobri, quia in istis duobus mensibus instat vindemia; non enim ligata est veritas in verbis, h. e. non debes aliquando intelligere, sicut sonant, sed juxta intentionem, qua ille sanctus vel doctor vult dicere, sicut in hoc loco S. Benedictus facit, cum dicit, propter brevitatem noctium legere non debere, cum vult, ut legatur.

And perhaps someone says: ‘Why did he not say up to the kalends of September, when September and October seem to have nights equal with March and April?’ He must be answered that because, although the nights seem equal, nevertheless there is more work in September and October than in March and April. There is more work in September and October because in those two months the grape harvest approaches; for the truth is not bound up in words, that is, sometimes you ought not to understand just as they sound, but according to the intention with which that holy and learned man wished to speak, just as in this place blessed Benedict does when he says that you ought not to read because of the shortness of the nights, when he does want reading.

Hoc etiam animadvertendum est, quia, si labor non est, et congregatio legere voluerit propter majorem devotionem Deo exhibendam, legat, quia intentio S. Benedicti non fuit, ut omnino non legeretur, sicut diximus, sed causa discretionis hoc dixisse cognoscitur.

For it must be noticed that if there is not work, and the congregation wishes to read so as to show greater devotion to God, let it [the congregation] read, because it was not the intention of blessed Benedict that there is entirely no reading, just as we said, but it is understood that [he] had said this for the sake of clarification.

Si vero congregatio non omnis voluerit legere, distinguendum esse putamus hoc modo, v. gr. si fuerint XXX monachi, et quindecim fuerint studiosi et devoti, et alii quindecim fuerint negligentiores, torpentes atque ignavi, et illi studiosi voluerint legere, isti autem torpentes et ignavi noluerint, debent isti ignavi nutriri et doceri, ut ipsi cupiant legere, sicut et caeteri studiosi. Si autem non potuerint ita doceri, ut legere cupiant, non est legendum, ne occasio murmurationem detur, maxime quia tempore lectionis debent vigilare, et dormiunt propter pusillanimitatem suam.

But if not all the congregation wishes to read, we deem that it must be distinguished in this manner; for example, if there are thirty monks, and fifteen are studious and devout and the other fifteen are more negligent, lazy and sluggish, and the studious ones wish to read, but the lazy and sluggish ones do not, those sluggish ones ought to be nurtured and taught, so that they long to read, just as the other studious ones do. If, however, they are not able to be taught in such a way that they long to read, there must not be reading, lest an for grumbling occasion be given, especially since they ought to be watchful at the time of reading and they sleep [instead] on account of their weak will.

Iterum si isti triginta fuerint devotionis et sanctae conversationis, et tamen [page 285] quindecim laborant in agro labore grandi, reliqui quindecim manentes in monasterio quamvis laborant, non tamen aequalis est labor, sicut illorum, qui in agro laborant, sed minor, et isti, qui in monasterio manent, voluerint legere, et illi, qui in agris laborant, noluerint, non est legendum, quia magis est illis consentiendum, qui majori labore praeoccupantur, ne murmurationi locus detur, sicut dixi iterum si isti triginta omnes fuerint devoti et sanctae conversationis et aequaliter omnes in agris laboraverint, et tamen quindecim sunt valde robusti et quindecim debiles, et illi robusti voluerint legere, isti autem debiles noluerint, non est legendum, quia magis illis debilibus consentiendum est propter malum murmurationis.

Again, if there are thirty pious and holy-acting monks and nevertheless [page 285] fifteen are working in the field with great effort, the rest are the fifteen remaining in the monastery, although they are working, the labor is not, however, equal, to the labor of those who work in the field, but less. And if those, who remain in the monastery, wish to read, and those, who work in the fields, do not, there should be no reading, because it must be agreed on for those, who are occupied with the greater labor, lest an opportunity for grumbling be given. Just as I said, again if all thirty of them are pious and holy-acting and all alike are working in the fields, yet fifteen of them are very robust and fifteen are weak, and if the robust wish to read and the weak, however, do not, there should not be readingbecause there must be more concern for the weak on account of the evil of grumbling.

Si autem fuerint quinquae vel sex, qui noluerint legere, non est propter hos dimittenda lectio, verum admonendi sunt et docendi, ut et illi consentiant. Si autem triginta fuerint, et viginti ex his voluerint legere, decem autem non, et isti decem negligentes et non studiosi, qui nolunt, illi autem viginti, qui volunt legere, sunt studiosi, legendum est, verumtamen et illi decem trahendi et docendi sunt, ut et illi consentiant, ita tamen legendum est, si illi, qui nolunt, laborem non habent talem, ut ex hoc gravi labore parva sit nox. Si autem illi decem, qui nolunt, sunt studiosi et devoti, legendum est propter viginti, et illi decem non debent omnino resistere propter viginti, qui volunt, quia magis debent timere eorum murmurationes.

If, however, there are five or six who do not wish to read, the reading is not to be set aside on account of these, but they must be admonished and taught, so that they also agree. If, however, there are thirty, and twenty of them wish to read but ten do not, and those ten who do not wish [to read] are negligent and not studious, and those twenty, however, who wish to read, are studious, there must be reading. Notwithstanding that those ten are to be drawn along and taught, so that they may also agree, nevertheless, there must be reading if those, who do not wish [to read] do not have such work that the night is short due to this heavy work. If, however, those ten, who do not wish [to read] are studious and pious, there must be reading on account of the twenty and the ten ought not to resist at all on account of the twenty, who wish [to read], because they ought to fear more the grumblings of the others.

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