49. On consolation
 On the way to the region towards which Blaquerna was heading, stood a shepherd who was tending a large flock of sheep. This shepherd had a son who was seven years old. Owing to the great love the shepherd bore towards his son, he one day took him with him. It so happened that the shepherd fell asleep, as was his habit, and his young child moved away from the place where his father was sleeping. A wolf approached the flock, found the child and snatched him away. The shepherd awoke at the cries the young boy let out when the wolf snatched him, and saw that that the wolf was carrying his son away. The shepherd pursued the wolf with his dogs, but, before he had caught up with it, the wolf had devoured and killed his son and had consumed the innards of his belly. When the shepherd reached the place where he found his son dead, he was cast into despair and said these words:
‘Alas, you wretch! You have lost what you loved most! Your son is dead. You are the occasion of his death, since you brought him to this forest against his mother’s wishes. You have plunged your wife into sadness and sorrow for the rest of her life! Your despair shall be unparalleled and your tears unsurpassed! Your sadness shall be so profound that you will never be able to enjoy consolation or delight. In front of your wife you shall stand shamed and guilty.
While the shepherd was uttering these words, he hugged and kissed his son, saying:
‘Son, the fair expression your face once wore, where is it now? And the great delight my heart felt thereat, where has it gone? Son, your death makes me want to die! You alone occupied my mind! From now on, who shall be present within my thoughts? I am alive yet I wish to die! I suffer grievous distress since I do not feel myself expire! My life consists in death at your death! I have no hope of comfort or of forgiveness for the wrong I have incurred in your death.’
 So loud were the cries, laments and tears emitted by the shepherd that, as a result thereof, as well as of the barking of the dogs which were fighting with the wolf, Blaquerna headed towards the sound of the voices, at which he felt very great wonder. Blaquerna arrived at the place where the shepherd was weeping and lamenting, and repeatedly hugging and kissing his son. Blaquerna wished to console him, but the shepherd seemed not to see him or to hear his words, so greatly was he constrained by the grief and anguish he was suffering.
 Blaquerna saw the wolf, which had killed one dog and was holding the other to the ground, and he thought that he might help the dog and might kill the wolf, so that from its death the shepherd might draw some consolation. Blaquerna took hold of a club which the shepherd carried, and vigorously set about the wolf in the manner of a man stirred to compassion by the death of the young child. The wolf attempted to flee, but the dog held onto it until Blaquerna had finally killed it. Blaquerna then said to the shepherd:
‘Your enemy is dead, as a result of whose death your sadness should be transformed into consolation!’
 Blaquerna uttered many devout words bearing great consolation to the shepherd, yet whatever Blaquerna said or did, the shepherd would not reply to him nor cease to grieve in earnest. Blaquerna felt great wonder at the shepherd’s grieving, as well as great pity thereat, and he concluded that, as a result of excessive anger and sadness, the shepherd had lost his memory, and was oblivious both to him and his words. So, in order to make the shepherd aware of such, by which awareness he might lead him towards consolation, Blaquerna began to try a new method, in accordance with natural reason, and said the following words to him:
 ‘O foolish cur, who art the occasion of your son’s death! Why do you not lament and why do you not weep at the loss you have suffered? You are oblivious, yet with ease have you consoled yourself in regard to that which you loved so fondly! Your son is dead, and the wolf has slain your wife and slaughtered your dogs!’
The shepherd loved his wife very dearly and believed that Blaquerna was telling the truth, so he thought that he could not have wept or undertaken to mourn, as he had in fact done. While the shepherd was entertaining such thoughts, he said the following words:
‘Is it true that my wife is dead? And what am I currently engaged in: weeping or drawing consolation?’
‘Come, and you shall see your wife, whom the wolf has slain.’
The shepherd followed Blaquerna to the place where the dead wolf lay.
‘This is your wife!’, said Blaquerna.
The shepherd felt great wonder at Blaquerna’s words, and thought that he had lost his wits or that the wolf was indeed his wife.
 When Blaquerna saw that the shepherd’s memory was beginning to return and to regain its natural function, and that his intellect had begun to recover its powers, he led the shepherd back to the place where his son lay dead, and he took hold of the child and started to hug and kiss him, and he wept and grieved in the same way as the child’s father had done. The shepherd felt great wonder at Blaquerna’s grieving. And the more wonder he felt the more noticeably did he recover the power of his intellect, which he had lost. When the shepherd had come to his senses, he went to the place in question and recognised that it was a wolf; he felt delighted that it was not his wife, and by virtue of such delight he partly checked and assuaged his sadness. He then went to Blaquerna, who was holding his son and was weeping over him.
‘My lord’, said the shepherd, ‘why do you weep for my son? Give me back my son and let me resume the tears I was shedding earlier.’
Blaquerna replied to the shepherd:
‘In the country from which I have come, it is customary for a person to join in the weeping and lamentation at the loss suffered by another. For this reason, I wish to join you in weeping and lamentation so that the lament you offer for the death of your son may be great, since you have a very good reason to utter a deep lament. And if you wish to follow the custom of my country I shall reveal to you the art and method whereby you shall be able to weep and lament for the death of your son in a fitting manner, bearing, as you do, the blame for his death.
‘My lord’, said the shepherd, ‘your words are pleasing to me and I beg you to tell me the method and custom of your country, whereby I may bitterly weep and lament while death still keeps me alive, so that such life may thereby afford me greater torment.’
 Blaquerna said to the shepherd:
‘Before you can learn of the method whereby you may grieve unreservedly, it is necessary for you to be acquainted with charity, justice, prudence, fortitude and hope, and it is necessary for you to tell me the truth concerning the things I shall ask you.’
‘My lord’, said the shepherd, ‘I shall learn all such things and shall tell you everything I know, provided that you teach me the method whereby I may feel so much sadness and so much sorrow that death may strike me down at the peak of the despair I must needs feel concerning my son!’
Blaquerna told the shepherd to tell him the truth as to whether he had loved God or his son more greatly. The shepherd replied by saying that he had felt greater love for his son than for God. Blaquerna said that charity was lacking in anybody who loved anything more than God.
‘And justice is that thing which punishes those who love God less than they do anything else. And since you entertained greater love for your son than you did for God, justice has, therefore, punished you through the death of your son. And God’s wisdom wishes you in due course to love God above all things so that prudence may dwell within you, prudence whereby you may have fortitude against the anger that you harbour, may blunt your anger and entertain the hope of seeing your son, who resides in God’s glory.’
 The shepherd began to remember and understand the words that Blaquerna was saying. And the more that he thought about them, the more he felt his sadness assuaged, even though he had presumed that his sorrows were bound to increase! He felt great wonder, therefore, and said the following words to Blaquerna:
‘The more vividly I remember your words, the lesser the sadness I feel within me and the greater the consolation I draw! Where is the sadness that you, by your words, seek to foster in me?’
Blaquerna replied, asking the shepherd to tell him the truth as to whether, before his son had died, he had loved joy or sadness more. The shepherd replied by saying that he had loved joy more. So Blaquerna said:
‘If, now that your son is dead, you love sadness more than joy, then, depending on the way you love, death is mistress of both joy and sadness! So, since death has caused you such hurt, you should not grant it so much authority that it makes you desire sadness rather than patience and happiness; it is necessary, rather, for you more resolutely to oppose death now that it has taken your son than you did previously, when your son was alive.’
 ‘Blaquerna’, said the shepherd ‘and how might I oppose death, who has taken my son and now refuses to end my life?’
‘With patience and consolation, by taking pleasure in all that God’s justice performs and by feeling gladness of heart, wherein lies the fortitude to resist sadness; and, likewise, by delighting in the exercise of prudence and utility in the face of losses one incurs from such earthly affairs, does one oppose both bodily and spiritual death, and accord with life in Heaven, which life is everlasting.’
 It would take a long time to recount the words Blaquerna spoke to the shepherd with a view to consoling him; yet, by means of the art and method that Blaquerna adopted, he drew the shepherd out of his sadness and lead him to consolation and joy, which joy the shepherd revealed by saying these words:
‘From now on, my soul rejoices in the knowledge of its Creator and in possessing the virtues it used not to possess and did not even know how to exercise! My son has been removed from grave danger and resides with his Lord in glory! May my will always be subject to obeying that of my Lord God.’
When the shepherd had said these words and many others, he took hold of his son, kissed him and placed him over his shoulders. He then blessed and praised God, saying that greater was the gain he had derived as a result of his son’s death, by exercising the aforesaid virtues on account of that death, than was the loss he had received from that same death. Blaquerna and the shepherd courteously took leave of each other, and Blaquerna begged the shepherd always to keep God in his memory, as well as consolation and patience in his will, for the rest of his life. The shepherd promised Blaquerna that he would draw consolation and exercise patience, but that he was wondering how he might console his wife for the death of their son, whom she loved above all else.
 Blaquerna counselled the shepherd as to how he might console his wife according to the method he had himself used to console him. And he said to the shepherd that when he informed his wife about the death of their son, he should tell her at the same time about the death of one of her brothers whom she loved very dearly. Afterwards, her brother should come to console his sister, from the life of which brother she would draw consolation, just as the shepherd had himself when he realised that the wolf was not his wife.
 Cf. Chs. 1-6 and the Prologue to Book 8 of Felix (1287-89). The incident recounted in this chapter, which inspires a consolatory oration or consolatio on the part of Blaquerna, recalls the myth of the infant Archemoros (or Opheltes of Nemea), who, left alone within a forest for a time by his nursemaid Hypsiple, was killed by a snake. Llull’s direct source for this episode may, in fact, have been a common repertory of exempla. Cf. Curtius (1990), 81.
 The Catalan original here consists of two rhyming prose sentences: Ma vida es mort en ta mort! No he sperança de conort ni que·me sia perdonat lo tort que he de ta mort. Unfortunately, this aspect cannot be conveyed in English.
 Appeals to prudence and utility are characteristic of deliberative rhetoric—urging action or forebearance and thus seeking to influence the future—according to the Aristotelian division thereof (the other two genres being forensic, i.e. judicial, and epideictic, i.e. demonstrative). Cf. Aristotle, Rhetoric, I, 3, 1358b6ff.
 For the exercise of patience in the Bible and the consolations resulting therefrom, see Ps 9:19 and Jas 5:11.
 On a very great feast day, it came to pass that, in the city of Rome, a deacon had recited the Gospel in which Jesus Christ said that it was better to enter Paradise with one eye and one foot than Hell with two eyes and two feet. The deacon carefully considered this comparison and, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, he formed the intention of travelling around the world making comparisons to people, so that he might lead them to the path of salvation. The deacon went to see the pope and his cardinals, and he requested the office of comparisons. The pope said that he would assign this office to a cardinal, who should have under him many officers who might travel around the world making comparisons, and that this office should be called ‘Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, Miserere nobis’. When the pope had uttered his words, a cardinal rose to his feet and assumed the aforesaid office. This cardinal commanded a book to be written in which might be included the comparisons his disciples should convey to people.
It came to pass one day that a king came to Court and made a complaint to the pope concerning a king who had divested him and had expelled him from his kingdom, even though he had done him no wrong. When he had made all his complaints, the king wept and gave the appearance of great sorrow, while saying these words:
‘Long have I been honoured in this world. Now I have become poor and am despised by people, on account of a proud and unjust king who, by reason of his great power and his greed, has taken my territory away from me.’
While the king despaired and wept, the cardinal holding the aforesaid office asked him what was more agreeable to him: either justice or injustice. ‘Justice’, the king answered. The cardinal told him that it was better to be divested yet to be just and patient than to be an unjust, greedy and proud king; and that, therefore, he acted against justice, insofar as he wept for that at which one should rejoice, for the one who had divested him should weep instead, at his own injustice and pride. Following this comparison, he offered him another, namely, that it is more beneficial for someone who exercises patience and humility to be loved by God, than it is harmful to be censured by people. The king carefully considered the words the cardinal had spoken to him, and then said the following:
‘If, in this world, my body has possessed the kingdom which has been taken from me, from this moment forward my soul shall possess patience, hope, humility, justice and charity, while praising and accepting the will of God.’
The pope and his cardinals were greatly pleased by what the king had said, and they made honourable provision for him from the coffers of the Holy Church, and they discussed how that of which he had been divested might be returned to him.
 A bishop against whom an accusation had been made by his chapter came to that Court. This bishop was a just man of saintly life. And because he exercised justice towards his clergy, they, in turn, wished to depose him and to have as their master someone who might consent to their wrongdoings. This bishop went to see the cardinal, and asked his counsel as to what would serve him better: either to let himself be accused without speaking in his own defence, and to exercise patience, humility and poverty; or to defend himself and to accuse his chapter and to conduct the accusation at the Court, as the law itself permitted him to do. The cardinal and the bishop spoke at length regarding the above-mentioned matter, seeking to discover according to which of the two aforesaid alternatives the bishop could exercise greater perfection and more numerous virtues. And they found that, as far as the bishop was concerned, it would be better for him not to defend himself, since greater patience, fortitude and humility would arise accordingly; but that, as far as justice and charity were concerned, it would be advisable for him to mount a defence and for the truth to be made evident, so that justice might not lose its prerogative within his chapter. So the cardinal, therefore, answered the bishop that he could make whichever choice he wished, given that he could avail himself virtuously of either of the alternatives, and in such a manner as might thereby be agreeable to God.
 A man who made comparisons arrived in a city and went through the streets asking in a loud voice which of the following two things was more necessary: either to raise one’s son to good customs or to bequeath to him great wealth. And he likewise asked which was better: either to return ill-gotten gains and to leave one’s children impoverished, but to enter Paradise; or to leave one’s children wealthy and not make amends for one’s wrongs, but to enter Hell. While this man was going through the streets crying out in such a manner, he passed by the house of a usurer who cogitated at length upon the words this man had said. And so often did he hear those words cried out that remorse overcame his sensual nature, strengthened his charity, reversed his wrongs and made him raise his children to exercise good conduct.
 Death, which spares neither young nor old, struck down the son of an honoured burgher of Rome. This burgher had no other son and had no hope of ever having another such, so his son’s death caused him very great sadness and rage. The cardinal came to learn that this burgher was profoundly grief-stricken, so he went to see him and offered him the following comparison, using these words:
‘Beloved son’, said the cardinal, ‘what benefits a person more greatly: either praising God for the goods He has given one in this world or doing likewise for those He has taken away?’
‘My lord’, said the burgher ‘the first kind of praise concerns gratitude, the second patience. And since patience yields suffering, in the absence of sin, greater virtue corresponds thereto than to gratitude, which yields pleasure, in the absence of suffering.’
‘Blessed son’, said the cardinal, ‘you have judged correctly, and, therefore, you yourself have judged that you must exercise patience. God has put you to the test in two ways: the first was by means of gratitude, which you showed in praising God once he had given you your son; the second had regard to patience, when he called your son from this life to the next. So, had your son not died, you would, being tested in the first way alone, have forfeited the merit that was prepared for you so as to be the occasion of great happiness.’
 A man was going through the main square in Rome asking in a loud voice which was better: to sell something cheaply and to tell the truth, or to lie and to sell at too high a price. While he was proclaiming these words, a large number of ladies passed through the square. Among all the others, there was one who was dressed in very ornate attire and who had greatly embellished her features with colourings and other things. This man cried out, asking what was better: a beautiful lady who revealed herself to be overly fond of lust or a hideous one who gave the impression of being chaste. This man went to stand in front of these ladies, crying out the aforesaid words. In her retinue were squires who accompanied this lady, so she commanded that this man be beaten and put to shame for the words he had spoken. These squires beat the crier of comparisons, at which he was unable to exercise patience and, so, made complaint to the cardinal concerning the wrong which had been done to him. The cardinal, however, harshly rebuked him, dismissed him from his post and replaced him with someone else, who might show a fondness for patience.
 A crier went to a city and called out in a loud voice, asking who was better: ‘What-Will-People-Say?’ or ‘Little-Do-I-Care’. As he passed through the main square crying out like this, the people therein asked him to explain to them those words he was calling out. So he said that ‘What-Will-People-Say?’ was the censure people fear when they carry out anything which is at variance with the vanities of this world; and that ‘Little-Do-I-Care’ was the censure one despises since it is at variance with virtue, God’s honour and contempt for this world. So a wise man replied to this crier by saying that Sir ‘What-Will-People-Say?’ had more supporters, but that Sir ‘Little-Do-I-Care’ had better ones.
 Once upon a time it came to pass that two friars who had learned Arabic travelled to the land of the Saracens in order to preach the Incarnation and Passion of the Son of God. But in one of them devotion and charity cooled, so he made his way back and abandoned his companion, for he feared death and he longed for the good food he used to eat and the respect he used to enjoy amongst people. While he was making his way back, he encountered at the entrance to a city a crier who was calling out to ask which death was better: death which occurred through illness; or death which occurred through martyrdom.
‘And which death accords better with the seven virtues and is more contrary to the seven deadly sins? And by which death does one resemble more closely the crimson garments that the Son of God received from human nature?’
While this man was crying out in this manner, the friar, who was fatigued from his journey, sat down beside a beautiful woman and felt the temptation of carnal pleasure. So the crier made a comparison by asking which of the following was more worthy of merit: to go among the unbelievers at the risk of death while suppressing one’s fear through strength of resolve, or to live among Christian believers while resisting worldly pleasures? The religious cogitated at length upon the words that the crier had called out, and he returned to his companion and felt contrition for the weakness of resolve to which his lack of devotion had led him to succumb.
 On another occasion it came to pass that, at the king’s palace, this crier called out to ask which was better: to be king or to be a simple knight of one shield? Following this, he went off to the bishop’s palace and called out to ask which was better: to be a bishop or to be a simple parish priest? After this, he went to an abbey and called out to ask which was better: to be an abbot or to be a claustral monk? Next, he went before the pope, calling out to ask which was better: that the tithe of the Holy Church should always be assigned to setting the world aright or that bishops spend it on trifling and superfluous things?
In all these ways and many besides did the officers of comparisons cry out. And they accomplished great good, for they continually awakened devotion, remorse, charity, diligence and the other virtues in people’s hearts.
 Matt 18:8-9.
 The happiness here referred to, of course, is that of Heavenly beatitude.
 Cat. cavaller simple de un scut: the ‘estate’ of cavallers de un escut reappears in Llull’s Arbre de ciència (Tree of Science) (1295-96) in the ‘Imperial Tree’, ORL XI, 307, between those of ‘barons’ and ‘burghers’. According to Noel Fallows, such knights are ‘the lowest rank [thereof] in the chivalric hierarchy’, see Llull (2013), 45 and 88, n. 5.
98. On the life that Blaquerna led in his hermitage
 Blaquerna would rise at midnight and open the windows of his cell so that he might see the sky and the stars, and he would begin his prayers as devoutly as he could, so that his entire soul might be with God and that his eyes might shed tears and weep. When Blaquerna had contemplated and wept right up until Matins, he would enter the church and ring the Matins bell, and the deacon would come to assist him in saying them. After dawn, he would celebrate Mass. Once he had done this, Blaquerna would say a few words to the deacon concerning God in order to make him enamoured of Him, and they would both converse about God and His works, and together they would weep on account of the great devotion which was present in the words they had uttered. After they had finished talking, the deacon would go into the kitchen garden and work on certain tasks, while Blaquerna would leave the church and give diversion to his soul from the hardships his body had endured, and he would gaze upon the mountains and the plains in order that he might have some recreation.
 As soon as Blaquerna felt refreshed, he would commence his prayers and contemplation, and he would read from the books of Divine Scripture or from the Book of Contemplation, and he would remain like this until Terce. After this, they would say Terce, Sext and None; and after Terce, the deacon would return to the garden and prepare certain grasses and legumes for Blaquerna. Blaquerna would work in the garden or on certain tasks so as not to remain idle and so that his body might thereby attain greater health and, between Sext and None, would go to eat. After he had eaten, he would return to the church all by himself, where he would give thanks to God. When he had completed his prayers, he would remain there for an hour, and he would then go to take recreation in the garden and at the spring, and would frequent those places where he might best uplift his soul. Following this, he would sleep, so that by doing so he might better endure the hardships of the night. When he had slept, he would wash his hands and face and would remain there until the moment he rang Vespers, at which the deacon would join him. And when they had said Vespers, they would say Compline, and the deacon would then go back. So Blaquerna would start to consider those things which best pleased him or which might best be able to prepare him to begin his prayers.
 After the sun had set, Blaquerna would climb up onto the flat roof which lay above his cell, and would remain there in prayer until the early hours of the night, gazing at the sky and the stars with tearful eyes and a devout heart, while considering God’s Honours and the wrongs that people commit in this world against Him. Blaquerna remained so very steadfastly and fervently in contemplation from sunset until the early hours of the night that, when he had gone to bed and was asleep, it seemed to him as if he were with God according to the manner in which he had performed his prayer.
 Blaquerna remained living like this, in a state of happiness, until the people of that region developed a great devotion to the virtues of the altar of the Holy Trinity, which stood in that chapel. And on account of the devotion they entertained towards that place, men and women came there, and they disturbed Blaquerna’s prayer and contemplation. However, in order that the people should not lose the devotion they felt towards that place, he hesitated to tell them not to come there. Blaquerna, therefore, transferred his cell to a mountain which lay a mile away from the church and a mile further away from where the deacon lived. And he lived and slept in that place, refusing to go to the church at any time when people were there or to allow any man or woman to visit the cell to which he had transferred himself in order to live.
 So Blaquerna the hermit lived and dwelt thus, believing that he had never led as agreeable a life nor ever been as well equipped to greatly raise his soul to God. So saintly was the life he led, that God accordingly blessed and gave guidance to all those who felt devotion towards the virtues of that place in which the chapel stood. So the pope, his cardinals and their officers lived more fully in the grace of God on account of Blaquerna’s saintly life.
 I.e. Llull’s own Llibre de contemplació en Déu (1273-74 (?)).
 One day it happened that the hermit who lived in Rome, as we mentioned earlier, went to visit the hermits and recluses who also lived there. And he discovered that they underwent many temptations in certain regards because they did not know how to adopt a method best suited to their lives. So he thought that he should go to see Blaquerna the hermit in order to ask him to write a book concerning the eremitic life, so that by using this book he might gain the ability and wisdom whereby to maintain the other hermits in contemplation and devotion. One day, while Blaquerna was at prayer, this hermit came to his cell and requested the said book from him. Blaquerna cogitated at length upon the method and subject matter according to which he would write the book.
 While Blaquerna was engaged in such thoughts, he decided fervently to devote himself to the worship and contemplation of God, so that in his prayer God might reveal to him the method and subject matter concerning which he might write this book. While Blaquerna wept and worshipped, and when God had raised his soul to the furthest limits of its ability to contemplate Him, he felt that he had transcended method as a result of the great fervour and devotion he experienced. So he cogitated upon the fact that the power of love adheres to no method when the Lover very fervently loves his Beloved. So Blaquerna, therefore, decided to write the Book of the Lover and the Beloved, in which the Lover would be a faithful and devout Christian while the Beloved would be God.
 While Blaquerna was meditating in this way, he remembered how, once, when he was pope, a Saracen had told him that, amidst all the others, the Saracens had certain pious men, among whom those held in highest esteem were certain people called ‘Sufis’. And these people use words of love and brief exemplary tales which inspire great devotion in a person. These words need to be explained, and such explanations cause the intellect to ascend, and on account of such an ascent the will rises and grows in devotion. So, having entertained such thoughts, Blaquerna set out to write the book in the above manner. So he told the hermit to return to Rome and that, after a short time, he would send the deacon to him with the Book of the Lover and the Beloved, by means of which he might increase the fervour and devotion of the hermits, in whom he wished to inspire the love of God.
 Cat. se sentí exit de manera: the expression ‘eixir de manera’ means literally ‘to exceed (or go beyond) method (or reason)’. In this expression we see an example of excessus mentis or ecstasy/rapture, terms used since the time of St Ambrose (c.340-397) and also present in Richard of St Victor’s description of the sixth and final stage of contemplation in The Mystical Ark (or Benjamin major).