His reputation for sanctity reaching the Father General of the day, he was anxious to meet him end make his acquaintance. He did so on visitation and was deeply impressed by his spirit prayer, and to the degree of his union with God. Before returning to Rome he commissioned Father Salvian to closely watch Father Charles, take note of anything extraordinary in his life, and as occasion served, to put his virtue to the proof. Kindliest and gentlest of souls, Fr. Salvian yet gave this latter instruction such a liberal interpretation as was hardly consistent with his tenderness of heart and well-known character for mildness. There were times, I must confess, when he certainly tried his patience to the breaking point, if such there were in it.
He would correct him, scold him and humiliate him before the whole community, thus adding immensely, I are sure, to his merit, for of course Father Charles knew nothing of Father General's secret instructions. He never showed the least sign of resentment; nor did he seek to explain or excuse himself but remained silent and penitent, looking as if he had been guilty of some great crime. If he did speak at all he confined himself to the three words 'poor old Charlie'.
One occasion I well remember because of the amusement it afforded. Father Salvian, assuming a severity of which his kindly nature did not possess an atom, rounded on Father Charles in right royal fashion before us about some imaginary trifling fault; and at the height of his simulated rage turned and walked away. We interested spectators of the scene, the purpose of which we were aware, were amazed and very much amused, when Father Charles pointed after his well meaning tormentor, then tapped his own forehead with his forefinger, thus conveying in the familiar but by no means vulgar manner, a jocular hint at the expense of Father Salvian's sanity.Recollections of Fr. Eugene Nevin C.P.