Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French I).djvu/29

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28
THE JUGGLER OF NOTRE DAME.

celebrated the praise of God, of the Virgin, and the saints, and the life of the monk is a perpetual canticle to the Lord."

Barnabas replied:

"Father, I confess that I have talked like an ignorant man. Your trade may not be compared with mine, and, although there is some merit in dancing while holding a coin balanced on a stick on one's nose, this merit does not reach the height of yours. I would like to sing every day like you, father, the office of the Holy Virgin, to whom I have devoted a special piety, I would willingly abandon the art in which I am known from Soissons to Beauvais, in more than six hundred cities and villages, in order to embrace the monastic life."

The monk was moved by the juggler's simplicity, and, as the monk was not lacking in discernment, he recognized in Barnabas one of the men of good-will whereof out Lord has said: "Let peace be with them on earth." That is why he replied;

"Friend Barnabas, come with me, and I will make you enter the convent whereof I am the prior. The one who led Mary the Egyptian in the desert placed me on your path to lead you in the way of salvation."

It is thus that Barnabas became a monk. In the convent where he was received, the religious celebrated the cult of the Holy Virgin, and each