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Life of Our Most Holy Father St. Benedict
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CHAPTER XLII.

That no one may speak after Complin.

Monks ought to keep silence at all times, but especially during the hours of the night; and therefore on all days, whether of fast or not, let them all come together, presently after supper if it be not a fasting-day, and let one read the “Collations,” or Lives of the Fathers, or something else which will edify the hearers; nor, however, the Heptateuch, or Book of Kings, for it will not be profitable for weak understandings to hear this part of Scripture at that hour; yet at other times it may be read. But if it be a fasting-day, let them, as we have said come to the reading of the Collations shortly after Even-song. Then let them read four or five pages, or as many as the time will allow, in order that during reading, all, even such as have had some work enjoined them, may have assembled together. All being gathered together, let them say Complin, after which no one shall be permitted to speak. If anyone shall be found to break this rule of silence, let him be liable to the most severe punishment; except there be some necessary cause, such as the arrival of guests, or the command of the Abbot. Yet, even in that case, let it be done with the greatest gravity and moderation.

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