Field And Hedgerow By Richard Jefferies

 -  The buildings are there; that is a solid fact,
take what view you like of them, or take none at - Page 90
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The Buildings Are There; That Is A Solid Fact, Take What View You Like Of Them, Or Take None At All.

There are men about country roads with shaven crown and cassock whose dark Continental faces have an unmistakable stamp of priesthood; faces that might be pictured with those of the monks of old Spain.

Women in long black cloaks, black hoods and white coif, women with long black rosaries hanging from the girdle, go to and fro among the wheat and the clover. One rubs one's eyes. Are these the days of Friar Laurence and Juliet? Shall we meet the mitred abbot with his sumpter mule? Shall we meet the mailed knights? In some places whole villages belong to English monks, and there is not a man or woman in them who is not a Catholic; there are even small country towns which by dint of time, money, and territorial influence have been re-absorbed, and are now as completely Catholic as they were before Henry VIII. In these half-village half-towns you may chance on a busy market day to come across a great building abutting on the street, and may listen to the organ and the chant; there is incense and gorgeous ceremony, the golden tinkle of the altar-bell. Bow your head, it is the host; cross yourself, it is the mass. The butcher and the dealer are busy with the sheep, but it is a saint's day. By-and-by no doubt we shall have a village Lourdes at home, and miracles and pilgrimages and offerings and shrines:

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