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horses which are following the troop without any riders, and will take it home and show it my neighbors to convince them that I speak the truth.” Accordingly, he forthwith snatched the reins of a black steed; but the animal burst violently from his hold, and galloped away among the troops of Ethiopians. The priest was disappointed at the failure of his enterprise ; but he was young, bold, and light-hearted, as well as agile and strong. He therefore stationed himself in the middle of the path, prepared for action, and, the moment a horse came up, laid his hand upon it. The horse stopped, ready for him to mount without difficulty, at the same time snorting from his nostrils a cloud of vapor as large as a fullgrown oak. The priest then placed his left foot in the stirrup, and, seizing the reins, laid his hand on the saddle; but he instantly felt that his foot rested on red-hot iron, and the hand with which he held the bridle was frozen with insupportable cold which penetrated to his vitals.
While this was passing, four terrific knights came up, and, uttering horrible cries, shouted to him: “ What do you want with our horses? You shall come with us. No one of our company had injured you, when you began laying your hands on what belongs to us.” The priest, in great alarm, let go the horse, and three of the knights attempting to seize him, the fourth said to them: “Let him go, and allow me to speak with him, for I wish to make him the bearer of a message to
my wife and children.” He then said to the priest, who stood trembling with fright: “Listen to me, I beseech you, and tell my wife what I say.” The priest replied: “I know not who you are, or who is your wife.” The knight then said: “I am William de Glos, son of Barno, and was once the renowned steward of William de Breteuil and his father William, Earl of Hereford ? While in the world I abandoned myself to evil deeds and plunder, and was guilty of more crimes than can be recounted. But, above all, I am tormented for my usuries. I once lent money to a poor man, and received as security a mill which belonged to him, and, as he was not able to discharge the debt, I kept the mortgage property and left it to my heirs, disinheriting my debtor's family. You see that I have in my mouth a bar of hot iron from the mill, the weight of which I feel to be more oppressive than the tower of Rouen. Tell, therefore, my wife Beatrice, and my son Roger, to afford me relief by speedily restoring to the right heir the pledge, from which they have received more than I advanced.” The priest replied: “ William de Glos died long ago, and this is a commission which no Christian man can undertake. I know neither who you are, nor who are your heirs. If I should venture to tell such a tale to Roger de Glos, or his brothers, or to their mother, they would laugh me to scorn, as one out of his wits.” However, William continued still to persist in his earnest entreaties,
and furnished him with many sure and you not know me?” The priest anwell-known tokens of his identity. swered, “ No.” The other said: “I am The priest understood very well all he Robert, son of Ralph le Blond, and your heard, but pretended not to compre- brother.” The priest was much ashend it. At length, overcome by im tonished at this unexpected occurrence, portunities, he consented to what the and much troubled at what he had knight requested, and engaged to do seen and heard, as we have just related, what was required. Upon this, Wil when the knight began to remind him liam repeated again all he had said, of a number of things which happened and impressed it upon his companion in their youth, and to give him many during a long conversation. The priest, well-known tokens. The priest had a however, began to consider that he durst clear recollection of all that was told not convey to any one the execrable him, but not daring to confess it, he message of a damned spirit. “It is stoutly denied all knowledge of the not right,” he said, “ to publish such circumstances. At length the knight things; I will on no account tell to said to him : “I am astonished at your any one what you require of me.” hardness of heart and stupidity ; it was Upon this, the knight was filled with I who brought you up on our parents' rage, and, seizing him by the throat, death, and loved you more than any dragged him along on the ground, one living. I sent you to school in uttering terrible imprecations. The France, supplied you plentifully with prisoner felt the hand which grasped clothes and money, and did all in my him burning like fire, and in this deep power to benefit you in every way. extremity cried aloud : “ Help me, 0 You seem now to have forgotten all holy Mary, the glorious mother of this, and will not even condescend to Christ!” No sooner had he invoked recognize me.” At length the priest, the compassionate mother than the aid after being abundantly furnished with of the Son of God was afforded him, exact particulars, became convinced by according to the Almighty's disposing such certain proofs, and, bursting into will. For a horseman immediately tears, openly admitted the truth of rode up, with a sword in his right what he had heard. His brother then hand, and, brandishing it over Roger's said : “ You deserve to die, and to be head, exclaimed : “ Will ye kill my dragged with us to partake of the torbrother, ye accursed ones ? Loose ments we suffer, because you have him and begone !” The knights in- rashly laid hands on things which bestantly Aed and followed the black long to our reprobate crew; no other troops.
living man ever dared to make such an When they had all passed by, the attempt. But the mass you sang tohorseman, remaining alone in the road day has saved you from perishing. It with Walkelin, said to him, “Do is also permitted me thus to appear to you, and unfold to you my wretched on these things without ceasing, and to condition. After I had conferred with dread and beware, lest they, for their you in Normandy, I took leave of you sins, should undergo such chastiseand crossed over to England, where, ments. I am not permitted, my brothby the Creator's order, my life ended, er, to converse longer with you, for and I have undergone intense suffering I must hasten to follow this unhappy for the grievous sins with which I was troop. Remember me, I pray you, burdened. It is flaming armor which and give me the succor of your prayers you see us bear, it poisons us with an and alms. In one year after Palm infernal stench, weighs us down with Sunday I trust to be saved, and by the its intolerable weight, and scorches us mercy of the Creator released from all with heat which is inextinguishable! my torments. And you, consider well Hitherto I have been tormented with your own state, and prudently mend unutterable sufferings, but when you your life, which is blemished by many were ordained in England, and sang vices, for know, it will not be very your first mass for the faithful departed, long. Now be silent, bury in your your father Ralph was released from own bosom the things you have so unPurgatory, and my shield, which was expectedly seen and heard, and do not a great torment to me, fell from my venture to tell them to any one for arm. I still, as you see, carry a sword, three days.” but I confidently expect to be relieved With these words the knight hasof that burden in the course of a year.” tened away. The priest was seriously
While the knight was thus talking, ill for a whole week; as soon as he the priest, attentively listening to him, began to recover his strength, he went espied a mass of clotted gore, in the to Lisieux and related all that had shape of a man's head, at the other's happened to Bishop Gilbert in regular heels, round his spurs, and in great order, and obtained, on his petition, amazement said to him : “ Whose is the salutary remedies he needed. He this clotted blood which clings to your afterwards lived in good health almost spurs ?” The knight replied : “ It is fifteen years, and I heard what I have not blood, but fire ; and it weighs me written, and more which has escaped down more than if I had Mount St. my memory, from his own mouth, and Michael to carry. Once I used sharp saw the mark on his face left by the and bright spurs when I was hurrying hand of the terrible knight. I have to shed blood, and now I justly carry committed the account to writing for this enormous weight at my heels, the edification of my readers, that the which is so intolerably burdensome, righteous may be confirmed in their that I am unable to express the severity good resolutions, and the wicked reof my sufferings. Men ought to reflect pent of their evil deeds.
FROM THE LIFE OF ST. BRANDAN.
Edited by Thomas Wright.
Saynt Brandon, the holy man, was of the besynesse of the worlde, for to a monke, and borne in Yrlonde, and serve God quyetly with more devothere he was abbot of an hous wherein cyon; and I counseyled hym to sayle were a thousand monkes, and there he into an ylonde ferre in the see, beladde a full strayte and holy lyfe, in sydes the Mountaynes of Stones, whiche grete penaunce and abstynence, and he is ful well knowen, and than he made governed his monkes ful vertuously. hym redy and sayled thyder with his And than within shorte tyme after, monkes. And whan he came thyder, there came to hym an holy abbot that he lyked that place full well, where he hyght Beryne to vysyte hym, and eche and his monkes served our Lorde full of them was joyfull of other; and than devoutly.” And than Beryne sawe in saynt Brandon began to tell to the ab- a visyon that this monke Meruoke was bot Beryne of many wonders that he sayled ryght ferre eestwarde into the had seen in dyverse londes. And whan see more than thre dayes saylynge, and Beryne herde that of saynt Brandon, sodeynly to his semynge there came a he began to sygh, and sore wepte. derke cloude and overcovered them, And saynt Brandon comforted him in that a grete parte of the daye they sawe the best wyse he coude, sayenge, “ Ye no lyght; and as our Lorde wold, the come hyther for to be joyfull with me, cloude passed awaye, and they sawe a and therfore for Goddes love leve your full fayr ylond, and thyderwarde they mournynge, and tell me what mervayles drewe. In that ylonde was joye and ye have seen in the grete see occean, myrth ynough, and all the erth of that that compasseth all the worlde aboute, ylonde shyned as bryght as the sonne, and all other waters comen out of hym, and there were the fayrest trees and whiche renneth in all the partyes of herbes that ever ony man sawe, and the erth.”
there were many precyous stones shynAnd than Beryne began to tell to ynge bryght, and every herbe there saynt Brandon and to his monkes the was ful of fygures, and every tree ful mervaylles that he had seen, full sore of fruyte ; so that it was a glorious wepynge, and sayd, “I have a sone, his sight, and an hevenly joye to abyde name is Meruoke, and he was a monke there. And than there came to them of grete fame, whiche had grete desyre a fayre yonge man, and full curtoysly to seke aboute by shyppe in dyverse he welcomed them all, and called every countrees, to fynde a solytary place monke by his name, and sayd that wherein he myght dwell secretly out they were much bounde to prayse the name of our Lorde Jesu, that wold of toke his leve of all his bretherne, and his grace shewe to them that glorious toke xij. monkes with him. But or place, where is ever day, and never they entred into the shyppe they fastnight, and this place is called paradyse ed xl. dayes, and lyved devoutly, and terrestre. But by this ylonde is an eche of them receyved the sacrament. other ylonde wherein no man may And whan saynt Brandon with his xij. come. And this yonge man sayd to monkes were entred into the shyppe, them, “ Ye have ben here halfe a yere there came other two of his monkes, without meet, drynke, or slepe.” And and prayed hym that they myght sayle they supposed that they had not ben with hym. And than he sayd, “ Ye there the space of half an houre, so may sayle with me, but one of you mery and joyfull they were there. And shall go to hell, or ye come agayn.” the yonge man tolde them that this is But not for that they wold go with the place that Adam and Eve dwelte hym. in fyrst, and ever should have dwelled And than saynt Brandon badde the here, yf that they had not broken the shypmen to wynde up the sayle, and commaundement of God. And than forth they sayled in Goddes name, so the yonge man brought them to theyr that on the morow they were out of shyppe agayn, and sayd they might no syght of ony londe ; and xl. dayes and lenger abyde there ; and whan they xl. nightes after they sayled playn eest, were all shypped, sodeynly this yonge and than they sawe an ylonde ferre fro man vanysshed away out of theyr sight. them, and they sayled thyder-warde as And than within shorte tyme after, by fast as they coude, and they sawe a the purveyaunce of our Lorde Jesu, grete roche of stone appere above all they came to the abbey where saynt the water, and thre dayes they sayled Brandon dwelled, and than he with his aboute it or they coude gete in to the bretherne receyved them goodly, and place. But at the last, by the purveydemaunded where they had ben so aunce of God, they founde a lytell halonge ; and they sayd, “ We have ben ven, and there went a-londe everychin the Londe of By heest, to-fore the one. . ... gates of Paradyse, where as is ever And than they sayled forth, and daye, and never night.” And they came soone after to that lond; but bysayd all that the place is full delecta- cause of lytell depthe in some place, ble, for yet all theyr clothes smelled and in some place were grete rockes, of the swete and joyfull place. And but at the last they wente upon an than saynt Brandon purposed soone af- ylonde, wenynge to them they had ter for to seke that place by Goddes ben safe, and made theron a fyre for helpe, and anone began to purvey for to dresse theyr dyner, but saynt Brana good shyppe, and a stronge, and vy- don abode styll in the shyppe. And taylled it for vij. yere ; and than he whan the fyre was ryght hote, and the