THE RELIGIOUS ORDERS
due to the influence of the friars in keeping the people quiet.
Yet the feeling of a great majority of Spanish civilians was against the friars, and I think many of those who supported them, only did so from interested motives.
The consequence was that as the number of Spaniards increased, the influence of the friars diminished, for the Spanish anti-clericals had no scruples in criticising the priests and in speaking plainly to the natives to their prejudice.
The friars have fared badly at the hands of several writers on the Philippines ; but it will be noticed that those who know the least about them speak the worst of them.
Herr Jagor, who was much amongst them, bears witness to the strict decorum of their households, whilst he very justly says that the behaviour of the native clergy leaves something to be desired.
Foreman hints at horrors, and with questionable taste relates how he found amongst a priest's baggage some very obscene pictures.
Worcester thinks the priests' influence wholly bad. From what he states in his book, he must have come across some very bad specimens amongst the smaller islands where he wandered.
Younghusband, who perhaps got his information at the bar of the Manila Club, describes them as "monsters of lechery."
There is a tradition that when the conclusions of a tribunal favourable to the canonisation of Santa Rosa de Lima, Patroness of the Indies, were laid before Pope Clement X., that Pontiff manifested his incredulity that a tropical climate could produce a saint. He is even credited with the saying that bananas and saints are not grown together.
The tradition may be erroneous, but there is something in the opinion that deserves to be remembered.
Temperature does have something to do with sexual morality, and in comparing one country with another an allowance must be made for the height of the thermometer.
The friars in the Philippines are but men, and men exposed to great temptations. We should remember the tedium of life in a provincial town, where, perhaps, the parish priest is the only European, and is surfeited with the conversation of his native curates, of the half-caste