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Chapter XXXVII.

Of the cells which Abbot Archebius gave up to us with their furniture.

Having then seen this, as we were inflamed with the desire of imitating them, the aforesaid Archebius, the most famous among them for the grace of kindness, drew us into his cell, and having discovered our desire, pretended that he wanted to leave the place, and to offer his cell to us, as if he were going away, declaring that he would have done it, even if we had not come. And we, inflamed with the desire of remaining there, and putting unhesitating faith in the assertions of so great a man, willingly agreed to this, and took over his cell with all its furniture and belongings. And so having succeeded in his pious fraud, he left the place for a few days in which to procure the means for constructing a cell, and after this returned, and with the utmost labour built another cell for himself. And after some little time, when some other brethren came inflamed with the same desire to stay there, he deceived them by a similar charitable falsehood, and gave this one up with everything pertaining to it. But he, unweariedly persevering in his act of charity, built for himself a third cell to dwell in. 872



Somewhat similar stories are told of others by Palladius (Lausiac History, cc. ii. 1, lxx.); and Rufinus, History of the Monks, I. xxiii.

Next: Chapter XXXVIII. The same Archebius paid a debt of his mother's by the labour of his own hands.