2956. Then the Archbishop of Turin came to the monastery to give an important presentation. He had with him a set of plans for the reconstruction of the chapel that was on the monastery’s grounds. This chapel had not been used since the roof had caved in years ago. It had been build in the romanesque style, and the archbishop had with him drawings showing an enlarged chapel which was going to incorporate the new pointed arches.
The monks of the monastery had been hearing strange rumors of the new
pointed arches and they did not know what to make of it. First of all
they could not even imagine what the term, “Pointed arch,” meant, and
there was nobody who had yet seen one. What was known was that these
pointed arches had been invented somewhere in France, and so the Italian
monks of the monastery were prejudiced against them to start with.
The archbishop began his presentation by belittling the existing chapel
and criticizing its construction. He did not come out and say it, but
he implied that it was the old-fashioned half circle arches of its doors
and windows that were responsible for the collapse of the roof years
ago. The archbishop was very proud of his presentation and especially
with the drawings on parchment which explained, in a kind of schematic
way, the shapes of the doors and windows in the new style.
2959. Then, it the middle of the silence occasioned by the unfolding of the drawing, while everyone was bending over a big oak table trying to get a better look, the old man started muttering to himself. This is what he said.