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Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister
Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister
by Robert Browning

Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloister Religion Quotes Page 1

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Quote #1

God's blood (line 4)

This was a common oath, or swear word, for a very long time. It's a reference to Jesus' blood when he was executed, so to swear "on Jesus' blood" or "on God's blood" was a pretty serious oath to take for a Christian. Using it lightly, the way we might say "I swear to God!" nowadays, was a big no-no for observant Christians, and especially for monks!

Quote #2

When he finishes refection,
Knife and fork he never lays
Cross-wise, to my recollection,
As do I, in Jesu's praise. (lines 33-36)

The speaker criticizes Brother Lawrence for failing to take every opportunity to show just how good of a Christian he is by putting his knife and fork down in the shape of a cross.

Quote #3

I the Trinity illustrate,
Drinking watered orange-pulp –
In three sips the Arian frustrate;
While he drains his at one gulp. (lines 37-40)

Again, the speaker takes Brother Lawrence to task for skipping some of the more formal ways of showing his religious belief in everyday activities, like sipping his O.J. in three sips, to symbolize the doctrine of the Trinity. What do you think of the speaker's priorities regarding religion?

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