Everything was then viewed without metaphysics, without exaggeration, without magnifying glass, with the naked eye. The microscope had not yet been invented, either for things of matter or for things of the mind. Moreover, although people were but little surprised by it, the examples of this sort of cloistration in the hearts of cities were in truth frequent, as we have just said.

The male would thus only wall her up as a precaution for fear of seeing her fall from the nest; because if this deplorable accident happened she would not be able to get back again. It seems to me that the effect is here taken for the cause, and that the falling off of feathers and torpidity must be the result rather than the motive of cloistration.

Moreover, "they watch the hygiene of the city by clearing the nest of its dead and ridding the larvae of the wasps of their excretory products." Plunging successively into each chamber of the dormitory the forepart of their bodies, "they provoke the emission of that fluid excrement of which the larvae, owing to their cloistration, contain an extreme reserve."

These mottoes revealed the prevailing spirit. Some of the staid citizens of Parma sent petitions to Pope Julius demanding that the decree of strict cloistration be enforced against the nuns. But Julius sort of reveled in life himself, and the art spirit shown by the Abbess was quite to his liking.