The Lantern


Priscilla Fansler published twice in the student literary magazine, The Lantern.


April 1922, Spring, Volume II, No. 3, pp. 11-12, "Our Lady's Day"

OUR LADY'S DAY

Priscilla Fansler, '24

In the Middle Ages, you will remember, there were many religious orders and Florence had its share of monasteries. Now in the Dominican order was Brother Francis, a most devoted and pious friar, who served as wine-bearer to his brothers. Every morning kneeling on the hard stone pavement he chanted his seventy "aves" with great solemnity and in all dignity he passed the cup at supper. So Brother Francis was held in honor as a grave and earnest fellow. .

He had been in the order for almost a year when Our Lady's Day was celebrated. Seventy-one "aves" were chanted and many candles lighted for the special mass. But Brother Francis, at break of day, descended the clammy steps of the vast old wine-cellar; rolled out a wooden cask of fine wine; pulled the stopper from its mouth and lay down on the damp stones with his mouth just under the gushing stream of red wine.

When he did not appear long after mass was said, every one went in search of him. And can you imagine the horror of the good friars to find him. They shook him and tried to waken him but he only murmured cheerfully,

"Diddle, diddle, dum di ay,
Tum ti tum, Our Lady's Day."

This only confirmed their horror and they all agreed that Brother Francis should be put away that very night. So with picks they hollowed out a space in the cellar wall, thrust Brother Francis in, with a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine, and then walled it up tight again.

After some hours Brother Francis woke up, miserable and sober. He called names and beat against the wall in his anger.

Now it happened that next to the Dominican monastery was a Cappucian monastery and the two buildings had a common wall. A Cappucian brother, hearing knocks on the wall of the cellar, summoned his brothers. They opened the wall to discover Brother Francis. Since the Cappucians were a silent order they could only motion their sympathy to him but they took him in among them. He was particularly pious in his devotions and for this reason was held in high respect. In fact he was made their wine bearer and he performed his office diligently and well.

In a year's time came the celebration of Our Lady's Day. Brother Francis, at break of day, descended the clammy steps of the vast old wine-cellar; rolled out a wooden cask of fine wine; pulled the stopper from its mouth; and lay down on the damp stones with his mouth just under the gushing stream of red wine. Long after mass was said they found him sitting up against the cask humming,

"Diddle, diddle, dum di ay,
Tum ti tum, Our Lady's Day."

Singing is one of the greatest crimes a Cappucian can commit.

In anger they dug a hole in the wall and thrust in Brother Francis and after him a loaf of bread and a bottle of wine. Then they replaced the stones.

Brother Francis awoke after some hours, miserable and sober. He pounded against the wall with his fists and thumped and hammered.

A Dominican friar, on
his side of the wall, heard the thumping and with some others opened up the wall. To their great surprise they found Brother Francis just as they had left him a year ago with the same loaf of bread and same bottle of wine.

"A miracle of God," they said. And Brother Francis was made Father Superior.


page0-1000-thumb
Fall Colors at Bryn Mawr College: Senior Row Photo by Kimberly Blessing

___________

November 1922, Volume III, No. 1, p. 21, untitled

You sang a fisher's love song
But I knew it was only in some fleeting sea-mood
That you sang so: not for me;
And like the shadow of a passing schooner
Fell a shadow on my heart.

Priscilla Fansler, '24

Priscilla Hiss
The Lantern
Classbook
Alumnae Registry
Divorcee
Prison Visitor
Release
Letter to Editor
Obituary