1904

Robert Huge Benson, By what authority?, Createspace Independent Pub, 2017, Scotts Valley (California), Stati Uniti d'America.

The great Rood, they told him, with SS. Mary and John, four great massy angels, the statue of St. Christopher, the Vernacle, a brocade set of mass vestments and a purple cope, had perished in the flames, and there had been no lack of hands to carry faggots. (Part I, Cap I)

Lady Maxwell was very silent and distracted during supper; she made efforts to talk again and again, and her sister did her best to interest her and keep her talking; but she always relapsed after a minute or two into silence again, with long glances round the room, at the Vernacle over the fireplace, the prie-dieu with the shield of the Five Wounds above it, and all the things that spoke so keenly of her husband. (Part I, Cap IX)

But over it, instead of the little old picture of the Vernacle that he remembered as a child, hung his own sword. Was that a sign of progress? he wondered. (Part III, Cap V)

He was completely taken by surprise when he entered the church, for, for the first time since he could remember, he saw an English church in its true glory. It had been built for a priory-church of Holm-Cultram, but for some reason had never been used as that, and had become simply the parish church of the village. Over the central screen was the great rood, with its attendant figures, exquisitely carved and painted; in every direction, as Anthony looked beyond the screens, gleamed rich windows, with figures and armorial bearings; here and there tattered banners hung on the walls; St. Christopher stood on the north wall opposite the door, to guard from violence all who looked upon him day by day; a little painting of the Baptist hung on a pillar over against the font, and a Vernacle by the pulpit; and all round the walls hung little pictures, that the poor and unlearned might read the story of redemption there. (Part III, Cap VII)

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Prima pubblicazione 1904

Testo in italiano

 

 


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Ma al disopra della cornice, invece del piccolo quadro della Veronica, che egli soleva guardare con riverenza da bambino, vide adesso la propria spada. Che sia un segno di progresso? pensò fra sé. (Parte III, Cap V, Con quale autorità? Ed. BUR, Milano, 1997, pag 331)

Fu colto di sorpresa entrando in chiesa perché, per la prima volta da che riusciva a ricordare, vedeva una chiesa inglese in tutta la sua gloria. Era stata costruita come chiesa priorato per Holm-Cultram ma per qualche motivo non era mai stata usata come tale, ed era diventata semplicemente la chiesa parrocchiale del paese. [..] il grande coro al centro, con le sue splendide figure intagliate e dipinte; ovunque guardasse Anthony, rilucevano le meravigliose vetrate, ricche di sagome e stemmi; qua e là, le bandiere lacere alle pareti; San Cristoforo ritto sulla parete nord, di fronte all’entrata, per difendere dalla violenza chiunque guardasse a lui, giorno dopo giorno; un quadretto di Giovanni Battista appeso alla colonna accanto al fonte battesimale, e una Veronica sul pulpito; e tutto attorno, le pareti erano coperte da numerosi dipinti, così che anche i poveri e chi non era istruito poteva leggere la storia della Salvezza. (Parte III, Cap VI, traduzione di Emanuela Bossi)