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THE LADIES OF THE SACRED HEART SPEAK. - THEIR PHYSICAL ERRORS AND MENTAL FOOLISHNESS. - MARTIN TRIES TO SET THEM RIGHT AND REPRIMANDS THEM.
61,1. The Teaching Sisters withdraw, grumbling among themselves, and the Ladies of the Sacred Heart step forward and speak as follows: "Your keverance, we are ladies of the foremost ladies' order in the world, which admits only daughters of the very rich, distinguished and noble families, where they can learn everything that there is to be learned in the world!"
61,2. (Bishop Martin, to himself): "What a beginning! Just what the Lord wants most to hear! Or does He?"
61,3. (Ladies of the Sacred Heart): "We learned all the languages, music, dancing, gymnastics, fencing, sometimes also horseback riding; also drawing, painting, and artistic needlework. Besides, of course, all the sciences were taught, like geography, mathematics, physics, astronomy, history, the art of navigation, hydraulics, geometry, trigonometry, stereometry, poetry in the noblest European languages, and a lot of other useful subjects.
61,4. In short, in our order, all the sciences of the world are taught, all the arts are practiced - naturally, only where required and paid for. The remainder of the time is spent in praying, singing, sometimes also fasting, with a daily mass and confession, and communion three times a week. There is severe penance for offending against the strict rules of the order, and this is observed almost more strictly than the rules themselves."
61,5. (Bishop Martin, to himself): "Although I was a bishop myself, I have never been able to look behind the secrets of this order to the extent I am now doing! Ah, how that place must have pleased the Lord!"
61,6. (The Ladies:) "You dear, right reverend friend may see from all this -"
61,7. (Bishop Martin to himself: "that you are utterly silly geese!")
61,8. (The Ladies:) "what severe rules our order has and what greatness -"
61,9. (Bishop Martin to himself: "In folly")
61,10. (The Ladies:) "in self-abnegation it requires to conscientiously observe all these most severe rules; only real giants -" 11, (Bishop Martin to himself: "of fools") 12, (The Ladies:) "of mental power are capable of adhering to all these strict rules. But we did it most scrupulously like true heroines of heaven, convinced that heaven was assured to us!" 13, (Bishop Martin to himself: "This does require a very strong faith!")
61,14. (The Ladies): "However, after some millions of earth years, you now find us quite as miserable as when we first arrived here. Your house is the first thing of beauty we have encountered within this world. Say, is this divine justice?"
61,15. (Bishop Martin, to himself): "More than anywhere else here with you, you silly geese!"
61,16. (The Ladies): "When we were knocking at a door, above which were the words: 'Gate to Heaven,' instead of being admitted to a well-deserved heaven, a coarse and ill-bred-looking peasant lout said to us: 'Back with you, you foolish virgins! Why did you not fill your lamps with oil beforehand?' "
61,17. (Bishop Martin, to himself): "Fair enough! Such guests I would almost be entitled to drive from my house!"
61,18. (The Ladies): "Then, this gate to heaven vanished, and we were suddenly surrounded by numerous small devils, like a crowd of will-o'-the-wisps, frisking around us and teasing us cruelly for an endlessly long time, until quite recently we met the other party in the course of our endless flight.
61,19. Dearest, most reverend friend, what do you say to all this? What could we do to perhaps improve our condition? Oh, do help us with your advice!"
61,20. (Bishop Martin, ironically): "Ah, ah, but there the Lord has wronged you badly, since you have lived in strict accordance with the Gospel. Really, I must say that the Lord Jehovah Jesus is most unjust if He has promised you heaven on the strictly evangelical rules of your order, and then does not want to grant it. That is really not nice of Him to withhold heaven from such gentle and still super-clever dears! Unless - maybe - you secretly committed sodomy? Or did you perhaps, among your order's thousand clever rules, neglect the Christian rule of the love of your neighbor?"
61,21. (Another lady, pretending to be French, explains in a ridiculously affected language, interspersed with French words, that they had nothing to do with sodomy, but practiced love of their neighbor, and were religious and chaste like flowers. What else could the Lord Jesus Christ want of them?)
61,22. (Bishop Martin): "For heaven's sake, stop this silly language! You are German! Can't you speak your own language instead of pretending to be what you are not? Do you believe that you will ever get to heaven this way? A silly goose like you will have to wait an extra long time for that! Even spirits from other planets have spoken to me in my language! Your predecessor, who was born in Lyons, addressed me in good German, and you, conceited goose, are pretending to be unable to speak it!"
61,23. (The Lady): "Oh friend, I did it only to impress you!"
61,24. (Bishop Martin): "What a silly notion! Just like the one that makes you expect heaven from God for your utter foolishness. Do you think the Lord prepared heaven for foolish geese like you? Oh, there you are quite wrong! Believe me, it will be easier for all the asses and oxen to enter heaven than it will be for you! This you must understand! Withdraw to the farthest corner and teach yourselves humility! Only then may you come and ask whether there might be some dairymaid's job available for you in the lowest of heavens, which, however, I very much doubt! Go now where I directed you!"
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