One heard much of certain so-called holy men who possessed repute of having acquired deep wisdom and strange powers; so one travelled through scorching days and sleepless nights to find them—only to find well-intentioned fools, scriptural slaves, venerable know-nothings, money-seeking conjurers,
jugglers with a few tricks, and pious frauds.
Adventurous clerical charlatans often illiterate and of poor parentage, who cannot expect any standing in their monastery, enjoy a much more agreeable life in a ritöd than they could hope for elsewhere. The more ambitious among them may, indeed, submit to uncommon austerities, in order to gain repute, but they give up all these after a few years, when their fame is sufficiently well established. Then, they may settle in some private abode, relying on the gifts of the laity to enable them to spend their days in comfort.