The Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory and St. Bartholomew the Great, West Smithfield: Volume 1. Originally published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1921.
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AND HERE BEGYNNETH THE PROLOG OF THE SECUNDE.
To us confessynge to God, and bigynnynge to telle his mervels, we truste feithfully he shall yeve a goode endynge, the whiche hath yeve a goode begynnynge. Nowe rennyth to oure mynde one solempne thynge, to be seied for many, and whan this hath be movyd, both by opyn resunne and unyversall wytnes, more licencyous we may passe yn to othir, y don by like vertu, and evyn power. Hedirto we have writyn examplys of myracles, the whiche were don, in the dayes of goode remembrawnce of Rayer priore and foundatore of this place to the laude of God, and excitament of holynes; and nowe it is for to do and procede of these thynges that we han seyn and herde don in the dayes and tymes of the successores of the forsaide priore. The grete solempne thynge ys thys, ffirst whan the rememberid priour was ȝit a lyve, the whiche edified the frame of this precious worke upon the fowndament of appostles and prohetys, ffor as moche as the bygynnynges of grete thyynges, nedith gretter helpe, thanne most was prompte and presente haunttid plenty of mynystryd grace from God, (fn. 1) ffurthermore those than aftir to the avowers, that the celestiall fadir drewe yn to the odur of his oynnementys renuydde a newe solempnyte, of them, than ranne to religion with an ynwarde newydde devocyon. Also a newe solempnyte was for obvencyouns and ȝiftes; in money, in howseholde, in corne, and in meveable goodis, grete nowmbyr. And than aftir a joconde feiste, bisy in th s place was hadde of recoverynge men yn to helthe, of them that langwsshid; of drye men, [of contracte men, (fn. 2) ] of blynde men, dome men, and deif men, ffor these causys whan the day of his natyvyte in to hevyn was knowyn it was solempnyzed and honourid with grete myrth and dawnsynge yn erth. And menne presydde hydder thykly for variawnte causys, and shuldrid to gider, and as languyshynge men were there abidynge the mevynge of the water of grace, that yn a certeyn place, as this same, and yn certeyn tyme they shold presume, and truste well the wonte grace, to be ȝeven to them, as was beforn to othyr, as the dayly relikys of them, preche and schew to us, and this is, that, that we seide beforn, oone solempne for many, or els many to make one solempne feiste. Ffor as the blesside kyngdome of Israel, all was, as it hadde be one proficye of Cryste and of his chirche, so al these thynges that ben seide or shall be seide, they beholde the ende and consummacion of this document, ffor trewly God is yn this place, and though there be non place with owte hym, the whiche God yn place ys not comprehended, nothir mesurid, nat for the place these be doon oonly, but for man, ffor the whiche bothe man and place is reverencid. Neverthelese there is no so privy man of Crystes secretys, that may contempne the reverence of holy place, whiche deputat ys only to dyvyne use, and consecrate ys to the remedye of soulys, where oure holy thynges be put, wher is the distribucion of the sacramentis, and wher that is, that is most beste, the presence of Crystes body, nat withoute experience of his vertuys with grete office of angely mynystracion, and with solempne worschip of devocyon of all seyntes, dredefull therfore is this place to the understander, ther is no thyng her els, but the howse of God and the gate of hevyn, to the belever. Trewly they that byleve nat ne undirstonde not by charite yn belevynge of these mysteryes, but scornyth oure Sabatte dayes, and poluteth oure halowys that clensyn othir men, we schall take them as men transfiguryng them self, yn to an angell of lighte thowgh they be darke bodyes: demynge pyte to be feynyd for lucre, and so they sholde be takyn till the consummacion of synne, antecryste, shall come whan the erthe shall be take unto wykkid men, and halowys yn to conculcacion, (fn. 3) that they may be opyn than, that now be hydde yn the denne of theyfes. Spirituall sothly seyntwary, (fn. 4) that heir ys bilid of qwyke stonys: abilydnge certeynly styddefastly here permanent unspottid shall be translatid yn to the kyngdome everlastynge; and as yn the erthly empyr unfittynge it is, and suspecte any man excepte only oone persone, to schewe knyghthode yn his propre name, we have oone of these that Oure Lorde hathe ordeynyd prynces uppon erthe, we have as I seye, the doer of mervels oure patrone, and duke, (fn. 5) seynt Bartholomew, whom by the grace that he hath plentwesly receyvyd of Cryste, we beseke hym, that with his myghty auctorite, that commendeth the vertu of his mayster, us aftir hym nat oonly he wolde lede, but also that he drawe and heigge oure wayes, with thornys, that we go nat aftir the desires of oure fleshe. And with fadirly chastynge compelle us to entre the soper of the lambe, and the everlastyng mariage of hym, that takith awey the synnys of the worlde, the whiche peticion he vouychesafe to ȝeve us, the which lyvyth and reigneth God per all worldes with owtyn ende, Amen.
Also as we be lernyd of worldly kunnynge, as it were by the spoylys of egipcyanys, the office of a necligent man is, nat to know the begynnynges of his werkys, nethir to charge the endynges, gretly yn us it semyth reproveable, that ar lernyd men, nat to know the grownde and the reson of them, that we worschippe: Moyses sothly, that fyrst taught us, to spoyle the egipcians he taught us, how we shulde answere to oure aftir cummers, askyng upon oure sacramentis what they wolde meyn, seyng thus, for to signyfie to them, the religion of the same. Therfore aftir the ȝerys of his prelacie xxii and vi monthes, the .xxty. day of September the vii moneth, the cley howse of thys worlde he forsoke, and the howse everlastynge he enterid, that fowndid this howse in to the laude and honoure of the name of Cryst, that yn the howse of his fadir he myght be crownyd yn his myildnes, and yn his mercyes. And in asmykil, as of no workys with owte charite cummyth forth profeite with owte whiche charite, othir goodys may not prevayle, the whiche also charite may nat be hadde with owte other goodys, by the whiche man is made goode: rightly so we of hym have this hope that no thynge hath he omysid by hym that tochith grace, of that, that we seke here in thys passyng lyfe, as is the communyon of Crystis feith, and communycacion of his sacramentis and namly insignys of a contrite herte by penaunce, ffor why, amonge these we trust that be passid, and yn thys we trust as we hope in the meritorie helpe of oure myghty patrone, to whom the litil flokke of xiii chanonns as a few sheippe he hath lefte with litil lande, and right fewe rentys, neverthelese with copious obvencyons of the awter and helpynge of the nygh parties of the populous cyte that were holpyn. Sothly they florysch now, with lesse fruite than that tyme, whan the forsayd solempnyties of myracles were excercysyd by a lykewyse, as it were a plante whan yt is wele y rotyd, the ofte wateryng of hym cesith. The tyme of a ȝere turnyd abowte, succedid to the prepositure and the dignyte of the priore of this new plantacion admyttid by the bysshope of London lorde Robert, Thomas oone of the chanonns of the chirche of seynt Osyth, the ȝere of oure Lorde M°.and Cm°.and xliiijti. the sevyn indiction, reignynge Stephyn, the sone of Stevyn, Erle Blesence, the whiche promovyd (fn. 6) Theobalde Beccence, in to the archebisshope of Cawntirbery. This Thomas as we have provyd in comyn, was a man of jocunde companye, and felowly jocundite, of grete eloquence, and of grete cunnynge, instruct in philosophy, and dyvyne bokys exercisid and he hadde yt in prompte, what sumever he wolde uttir, to speke yt metyrly, and he hadde in use every solempne day, whan the case requyrid, to dispense the worde of God, and flowynge to hym the prees of peple, he ȝave and so addid to hym glorie utward, that ynward hadde ȝeve hym this grace. He was prelate to us mekly almost xxx ȝere, and in age an hundrid wyntir almost, with hole wyttis, with all crystyn solempnyte, tochynge Crystes grace he decessid and was put to his fadres, the ȝere of Oure Lorde. M.C.lxxiiij, of the papassie of blesside Alexawndir the third, xv, ȝere, of the coronacion of the most unskunfitid kynge of Englonde Henry the secunde xx.ti ȝere, the xvij day of the moneth of Janyuer, yn the same ȝere of the election of lorde Richard Archbysshop of Cawntirbery, aforne whom oure brethren were put, and sette of his goode grace hym praynge, whom the grace of God from the forsayid paucyte, encresid yn to xxxv.to Encresyng with them temporall goodes evynly, the whiche the ȝever of all goodys, promysid to be cast to them, that sekith the kyngdome of God, yn this manys tyme grewe the plante of this appostolike branche yn glorie, and grace before God, and man, and with moor ampliat bylyng, were the skynnys of oure tabernaculys dylatid, to the laude and glorie of oure lorde Ihu Criste to whom, be honoure, and glory, worlde with owtyn ende. Amen.
CAPITULUM I. SECUNDI LIBRI. of a deyf mayde dum blyndeand contracte.
The ȝere from the incarnacion of Oure Lorde M.C.xlviij. aftir the obite of Harry the first, kynge of Englonde, the xij yere, whan the golden path of the son, reducid to us the desirid joyes of festfull celebrite, than with a newe solempnyte, of the blessid apostle was yllumynyd with newe myracles this holy place. Langwissyng men grevyd with variant sorys, soiftly lay yn the chirche with schynynge lightys, prostrate, besekynge the mercy of God, and the presence of seynt Bartholomew. And certyn the longe mercy of God, was not fer fro them the whiche alway is present to the vowis of feithfull besekers. Summan, joyed with voyce of jubilacion, that he hadde receyvyd remedie of his akynge hede, an nothir for reparacion of his goyng, that he lackyd, an nothir from ryngyng of his erys. This man was free from corrupcion of lymmys, this man putte a syde bleriednes of yen, and joyid the clerenes of sharp sight recevyd, many other men joyid to be swagid from the vexacion of feverys, ȝevynge thanke to the honoure of the appostle. Certeyn whyle everywhere, for suche thynges was ȝeve applause and gladenes of all the peple, in the lyfte corner of the chirche, of summen was herde wepyng and waylyng where lay a certeyn damsell deyf and dum lackyng sight, of boeth yen, and with returnyd leggis contract whoes parentys waylynge lay grovelynge to the pavyment, and cesid not from prayer, tyl all thyng was fynyschid of the clergy, that was expedient to so grete a feste. It plesid therfore the goodnes of God to condescende to ther peticionns, and not furthermore his creature of the malicious power to be vexid, but from every bownde of syknes fully and perfitly to be delyveryd, therfore whan the chanonns sange the seconde evyn songe, the mayde began grevously to be turmentyd and sorer than she was woonnte to be vexid, frotyng at the moweth, smytynge her breste and betynd her hede a ȝenste the grownde, trewly whan they come to the ympne (fn. 7) of oure blessid lady, that the altarys shulde be yncensid the forsaid mayde began with a sharpe voyce to crye, and her membrys with a grete myght she strecchid owt, anoon joyfull skippyng forth here yen now newe, and now clere, with the lynnyn clothe, that she was clothid yn, wypyd them, and dryed them, and thus with stedfast stondyng whan she was repayrid of heryng, and of the acceptable light of seying so gracyously receyvyd, she ran to the table of the holy awter, spredyng owte bothe handys to hevyn and so she that a litill beforne was dum now joyng in laude of God perfitly sowndyd her wordes, and to her parentys ther for joye wepynge plenteously affirmyd her self free from all maner of syknes.
CAPITULUM II. of a child (fn. 8) delyveryd owte of bondys.
Hit happid on a tyme, that a pore man for to bye his vitayles, cam to London, also his wyfe to sustene ther pore lyfe, was wonnt also from the contray cume to the cite, to receyve her wagys, for that she hadde sponne, this pore man with his wyf hadde yn custome every ȝere to visite the place of Seynt Bartholomew with his offerynge, and mekly commend hym self to the holy relikys of the same chirch. The olde serpent enemy to all mankynde, the whiche ever is besy, to devoure, or els to troble, the pees of feithfull men, enviynge the tranquyllite of these man and woman, and the honest poverte, he suggestid to a certeyn bayly of his byssynne that he shulde pretende, to the foreseide pore man leynge awayte and a spyes, he roos therfore erly, yn the mornnynge, this gylfull man namyd Alureid, the bedyl or forcryer, and leyid wacche, as a rampawnde lyon, aȝenst the pore man, ther was no taryng, but the ynnocent and the theyf meitt, and whan this gallowus man toke hym by the skyrtis, of his palle or mantyl, he cryed uppon hym horriblely, undir nymdid hym, and reprevid hym of thefte, and smytte hym wykkidly with his fyste, seiynge 'Wher be thy mersmentes, that thou by theifte hast take away, deceyvyng the mynystrys of the shereve with drawyng tol a thowsand tymes'. And whan the pore man arayed hym to answere, ther come rennynge to hym, many of the same gylefull felschip, accusynge the ynnocent, they smytte hym, they trode hym undir fote, they bownde hym, and yn captyvyte led hym to pryson, and whan they come to the howse of this forcryer or bedyl, or y may say of that robber, they bownde hym with fetterys, beit hym with scorgys, askyng of hym, that he hadde nat, that is to say gret quantyte of money. At the last wery of betyng, they put abowte his necke a coller of iren, of grete weighte and a grete chayne on othir parte of the inner towre, rennyng thorow the myddyl of the wallys that they myghte kepe hym more surly, and fastnyd the ende of the cheyne, with a staake, thus this wrecche, withowt remedye, withowt mercy, yn wepynge and sighynge, in colde, and brosynge, drayf forth many dayes. Upon a day whan of custome the chanons of the chirche of seynt Bartholomewes a fore the mornynge, the matens endid, and began to synge, Te deum laudamus, and the peyll of bell was roonge, the forsayed pore man the whiche was artid in bondys, herynge the sownde of the bellis, and the melodye of ympnys, the howse sothly that he was crucyat yn was nygh by to the chirche, and he began with devout soule and lamentable voice to crye, and as he cowde or myght to calle upon seynt Bartholomewe whan he hadde so don intently and ofte, he deservyd to have the affecte of his feithfull peticion, and felt now, nat as beforn hym self so chargid with ferramentes and iryns, wherefore leftynge up handys and armys he fownde hym self y losid, and skippynge forth with all iryn machynamentis, he came to the doer, and fownde yt opyn, and whan the grete cheyne and coller of iryn and of the fetterys grete payse (fn. 9) that he bare made so grete anoyse, the forsaide Alurede sodaynly, awakid, skippid owte of his bedde, and with a swyft paase folowid. Anoon as he was owte, and his fugityve by the mone light sawh, he wolde a folowid hym, and he wolde a cried, but thorow the wylle of God, nethir he myght meve his fote, nethir breke owt with his voyce. So the pore man skapyng by seynt Barthilmew help, and with a grete joye enterynge his chirch, prostrayt hym self afore the holy auter of the apostle makyng knowlegge that by his helpe he was delyvered, yeldyng to God, and hym thankynges, and tolde to them, that stoid abowte, the ordir of the benefeit i ȝeven to hym.
CAPITULUM III. of shippemen yn grete peryll.
Certeyn marchawntes havyng ther shippis stuffid with nessessaries to howseholde, with hope of lucur commytted them self to the meveable wyndis, and uncerteyn see, purposyng to London to eschange with encreys (fn. 10) of the marchawn dise, sothly whan they were mevyd from the porte of Flawndrys, and with swifte course bygan to passe thorow the see, the light of the son was closid yn derke clowdys, and the eyr was changid and began to be fulle of stormys and thonderygne horrible. All the elementys portendid to the wrecchid shipmen deith of nature. And whan a litil a forn xi schippis fro the havyn of the peseble porte, with joye ther shulde be losid, a mervelous happe and a lamentable caase, in a breyf space, with the wodnes of wynde, every of them were cast from othir, ther was amonge othir, one grete schippe amonge them, that were yn peryll, with so grete a violence of contrary wynde so smyt and festnyd yn the derke sandys, that as mykil as it was yn mannys knowlege, stode to the myddis yn the sande: neverthelese ther was oone a monge the wepers, and waylers and mystrustres ripyr and sadder of age whiche with a meke and contryte herte, offerynge sacrifice to God seid, 'I warne yowe, overcumme in labour, and now here felowis of peryll, unto this tyme, that the goodnys of God hath be mercyfull to us, lette not us be unkynde to the procedent meritis of oure former: (fn. 11) lette us prayse oure maker for the perceyvyd ȝiftis of affluent grace, and also for this evylles that we suffre, justly oure demerytys requyrynge, lette us take hit with a pacient soule. Now now as ye se, stondith yn to us, the day of oure jugement: now, wil we, nul we, we become for oure synnys to the butte and terme or marke of universall kynde of man. Nevertheles, O you men trust ye, ȝit remaynyth hope, and ȝit here ther is place of foryevdnesse, and God may delyver us from our peryll: noo cownsell artyth (fn. 12) hym, noo thyng excludith he from them that callith upon hym yn trewith and yn tyme of angwyssh, whoes dyvyn will, eternally precedith every creature, his dignyte transcendith and his power disposith, lette us confesse to hym oure synnys, lette us shewe to hym the nakidnes of oure synfull nature, lette us now or never, begyn to be ashamyd of the wykkidnes of oure shamefull conversacion, lette us calle to us the citycens of the hevenly courte, and beseke the helpe of the blessid modir of God Marye, that she peys to us the kynge of eternall glorie. And ȝit ther is a litill space, I beseke you with oo sowyl to here: and ȝe here me paciently now, now, it shall be opyn to you the way of helth, the porte of jocundite, the gate of youre dilyverawnce, I have herde specialy of oo seynt, an hevynly cityseyn, I have herde of seynt Barthilmewe that a monge the knyghtis of the hevynly kynge ys worthy to be callid uppon whiche plesawntly oon, descendith to the prayers of devoute askers, therfor lette us offer oure vowys to so grete a patrone that it may plese hym, by hys prayers to delyver us, and oure shippe with marchawndyse. Lette us therfore lyfte up oure handis to hevyn, and avowe with clere devocion, that whan we cum whidir we purpose to Lundon, we shall bere thedir, in the honoure of seynt Barthilmewe a shippe of sylver, aftir the forme of oure shippe, made on oure costys and collecte or gaderyng maade amongse us, offerynge yt to that chirche yn mynde of oure delyverance.' Unneith he cesid of speche, that al men ther togidir helde up an highe ther handys, and made ther vowys, callyng on seynt Barthilmewe, and nat yn ydle. Al men trewly by holdyng and the houre of the nyghe deith abidynge: presente was seynt Barthilmewe mercyfully, and with his holy hande drewe forth the shippe by the for ende the which goynge forth with his wonnte pase, in the over party (fn. 13) of the see come in to the streym, and was delyvered from the sandys, than at the laste all were gladde, and blowynge a goode wynde they come to the porte of the desired cyte. And so they goynge owt of the shippe, that litill shippe forgyd and made of silvyr joyfully they bare, to the chirche of the holy apostle, and to the prior i callid with summe of his chanonns they tellid the processe of all this storie, yeldynge thankys to almyghty God, and to the glorious apostle and martir seynt Barthilmewe.
CAPITULUM IV. of the oratory of oure lady.
In the eeste parte of the same chirche ys an oratory, and yn that, an awter yn the honoure of the most blessid, and perpetuall vergyne Mary y consecrate. Ther was in the congregacion of those brethren a certeyn man Hubert byname, cumme of grete kyn, informyd yn liberall science, of goode age and of wondirfull myldenes, that yn his all thyng worldly hadde forsake for the love of Criste, nakidly askapynge the wrake of this worlde. And the habite that he did on of holy religion, with feithfull maners worshipfully he bewtified, whan he was admyttid in to the feleship of brethren he turnyd all his study to love God, and to prayer, and redynge bysyly toke hede, and many that were his elders he passid yn rightwysnes, and trewth. This man yn the forsayd oratorye, afore the holy awter ofte prostrate hym self, and offerid hym self, a loveable and qwyke hooste in to odure of swetnesse to God, and to his blessid modir. To this man a monge praynge yn the same place, sumtyme apperid the modyr of mercy, seiyng with a hony and swete moweth 'Chanons,' she sayed, 'of this chirche thy bretheryn, my derlynges, yn this place consecrate to my name, sumtyme payid to me solempne office of massys, and devoute servyce of feithfull reverence ȝeif to me, and now hath undircrept them necligence, charite chyillith, that nethir heir the holy mysterys of my son be hawntid, nethir to me wonnte praysyng of them be ȝevyn, therfore from the highe descense of hevynnes by the consent of my son hedir I descende, for the ȝevyn obsequy of honoure to ȝeve thankys, and for the necligence to undirnym and reprove, and for to warne my derlynges. Heer sothly prayers and vowys of them I shall receyve and mercy and blisse I shall yeve to them everlastyng,' thus she seyed, and from the sight of hym sodanly dysperyshid. He that these wordys herde, opynly expressid them to hys bretheryn. And yn to the servyce of the modir of God made them moore prompte and fervent. O wyth what reverence, with what feithfull and swete affeccion, ys that place worthy to be worshippid, whiche ys so holy, wher the shynynge queyn of hevyn, the lady of the worlde, the modir and most cleene spowse of the eternall kynge hath vouchesayf to shew her propre presence, and to the puttying forth and praysyng of her name, mercyfully hath excited with plesaunte exhortacion, repellynge the sleweth of her servantys.
CAPITULUM V. of a certeyn clerke.
It happid yn a towne that ys callid Enfelde, beestis to dye, with harde and sodayne pestlence, the whiche pestlence was causid, of the corrupcion of the ayre, or els as we bettir trow, for to noye man to his amendment, ȝeven of God from above. Hit did grete harme yn townys neir adjacent, also ther was a mong them a certeyn clerk a lover of treweth, and equyte, that lyk unfortune, lyke harm had sufferid, ix of his oxys with this pestilence weere slayn; and a yonge hefker alone levyng, lay yn thryssheholde lyke deithe as the othur abidynge. The seied clerk thes thinges consideryng seied thes wordes 'Lo our synnes askyng the unmercy of oure Lordys ire, howgh yt commyth uppon us, and the bestys that ben ordeynyd, to the use of man, by and by dyen, this is expedient us for to do, that be tweyn oure squorgyng, ȝeve we thankynges to God, in that God ȝevyth, and God takyth, and as it plesith God, so it is don, blessid be the name of God. In that, this clensyng scourge, may be withdrawe from us, and this pestlence furthermore attayn nat, to oure bowndys, this hefker, that is oonly leyfte to me, ȝyf it leve, I avowe yt to be sent to the chirche of most blessid Barthylmewe the apostle, that by his glorious prayers, may be turnyd from us, the respect of Goddis yndignacion, and ȝyf this beist dye, whan the skyn shall be takyn from the fleshe and I have solde hit I shall make the pryse to be sent, to the same chirche.' In the meyn whyle a marchaunte was att hande, with whom the clerke began to treit of sale of this beist, demynge it shulde not escape the peryll of deith and whyle they alterid to gidir the hefker airisupp hole, and sownde, and began to ete of the hey that was by, and the clerke this beholdyng, anoon payed his vowe and sent this hefker to this forsayd chirche, with goode hope made full gladde that Oure Lorde by the merytis of the glorious apostle, hadde accepte his vowe and his prayer.
CAPITULUM VI. of a calf hevenly y markyd yn bothe erys.
A certeyn woman dwellynge beside the castell of Munfychet (fn. 14) ledyd an holy lyif and thow she stode yn the bonde of mariage, as it was us seyid, she ȝave her soule to contynence and with prayers and abstynence did her devir (fn. 15) God to plese. She hadde a cowe with calfe the whiche by tokenys outwarde drewe neir to calvyng, and stondyng neyr the tyme that the fruyt shulde be proferid forth, the cowe began inwardly with throwys to be tormentid hugely, that it was trowid to suffer deith, that beholdyng this devoute woman seyid to her servauntys, 'Yf the glorious apostle Barthilmewe of his wonnt pite wyll restore to us oure cowe hole, the calfe that she bryngeth forth, we shall marke yt on the ere, and diligently norysche hit, and whan it is wenyd I shall sende yt to his chirche.' And with owt taryng whan all therto was assentynge, the doloure was swagid, the fruyt was forth brought, and a mervelous thyng, and a novelte wondirfull there nowe happid, the calfe that newly was browght forth yn to the light from his modir is wombe, hadde boith endes of his erys kyt of. And the same tokyn and marke that the woman seied beforn she wolde make yn one ere, apperid y made yn boith. And havynge no tokyn of the wonde newe, but as a thynge hadde be kut of, and helid aȝeyn, so vestige apperid, who was the doer, or with what instrument thei were kut, we commyt that to hym, that serchid the deyp secretes of man to whom is no thynge harde, no thynge ympossible, they wondrid all, that wer presente, and with a grete astonyynge, all hertys were smyten, this woman acceptable to God norysshyd forth this calf berynge yn hymselfe opyn toknys of the hevenly marks, and yn due tyme browght with her the calf to the chirche of the apostle and fulfillid her vowe, blessynge God, that makith grete and unsercheable thynges with owte numbre, whoes grete vertu and wysdome is with owte numbre.
CAPITULUM VII. a grete myracle of a fragment of brede.
Certyn shypmen at Sandwyche glad and mery, with a prosperous cowrse forowid the dowtable see. (fn. 16) And them askyng the depth of the see, that, that was beforn y pesid, now was excitid by the rage of wyndys and the forwarners of variannte tempeste to come, the clowdys yn hevyn ranne a bowte the swellynge, yn his fervor with the hepys growyng of wavvys, leift up hym self, and cast the shippe nowe hydyr, now thydyr. The governer wyste never whydyr to come, whydyr he shulde turne hym, yn that, that the gretenes of peryll hadde stonyid ther mynde, berefte them discrecyon of ther crafte, the wavvys smyte upon them and more myghtly caste them in to the wavvys, than bare them up, and the unhappy shypmen thus owte of the wey y caste. At the laste they were drownd, oone of them oonly clevyd to the flyttynge maste, and with all his myghtys, ascendid on the tree, and saate a bove. Whiche ther sittynge and sumwhat commynge to hymself, to the erys of Godis, he sesid nat to crye and askid the blessid apostle of Cryist, seynt Barthilmew to be nygh hym, that sumwyse he myght this peryll askape, and whan he longe hadde y multiplied his prayer, and no remedye sawe commynge neir, he seid, 'O glorious apostle of Criste, Barthilmewe, how ofte have I callid the, in the article of so grete nede, and I have not deservyd to be graciously i herde, therfore ther is no thynge els nowe to me but deithe, I beseke the, at the mercy of God, be meyn for my synnys, that I, that have not deservyd to be delyvered from these perellys, lette nat me be deputid to everlastyng flammys, that whatsumever yn this presente lyf be denayid me of mercy, may be fulfilled yn tyme to come, by thyn intervencion and merytys.' To hym thus seyynge beholde anoon was present the glorious apostle of God, with gladsum face and plesaunte chere, and at his beke or wyll the ire of wyndys were restreynyd, the fervor of the swellyng see was i sesid, clerenes to hevyn, tranquyllite to the see was i ȝeven, he beyng nygh to the criynge man seyed, 'Thy wepyng sighys of thyn contrite herte sownyd yn to myn erys, ne I denayid nat to ȝeve the helpe, but delayd hit, nowe therfore come I to the, a messanger of good tydynges, to ȝeve the a ȝeifte of desirid helth, for why the mercyful lorde hath perdonyd thy lyif. And loo a shippe of Dovyr shall come to the, and receyve the, and glad and hole restore the to thy frendys.' He thus seyynge porrectid (fn. 17) to him a pece of breid, and yn a moment vanysshid away, from his sight. An anoon a shipp of Dovyr was presente, yn the whiche he was recevuyd aftir the worde of apostle, hole and glad come home to his, and than tho thyngys the whiche the pite of glorious apostle anenst hym magnyficently hadde i shewid, with feithfull relacyon he made opyn, and to the confirmacion of the hevenly benefeit, the part of breid that the apostle ȝave hym he shewid, magnifiynge God whiche puttyth a terme to the see, whiche all thynge, whatsumever he will he doith.
CAPITULUM VIII. also a myracle y donne yn the see.
An nothir tyme befell a nothir myracle, marchauntys of Flawndrys with chargid vessellys, with marchaundise havynge wynde and wedir, enterid the see dredyng noon adversyte, and faveryng the see, purposid to Lundon. And whan they were passyng by the myddys of the see, loo here gladnes was turnyd yn to waylyng, and joye in to sorowe, lyif yn to deith, unwarys brake up an violent tempest, and swellyng the wavvys of the see, with unhappy fortune the last happe of unfortune was trowid nygh to them. What shall I drawe my sermon a longe, the wyndis contynually wexynge woyde, boith shipp and shipmen were cast in to the depthe of the see, and both the shipp of her marchauntyse and they of ther lyif ar privatid, oone of them only lenyng to the maste yn the same ii dayes myghtly clevynge gret peyne sufferyd and yn meyn while he usyng the benefeit of his voice, he prayid the undefawtyng mercy of Criyst, by the meritys of seynt Barthilmewe myght be neir hym, yn that highest angwyse, to whom whan for defawtynge of his hert the utteryng of his voice began to breke, beholde aforne the weylyng man seynt Barthilmewe stoid cherefully confortynge hym, puttyng forth his hande, and drewe hym owte of the wavvys, and with drye stappys, sette hym at Dykysmuth porte, and so disparisshid. And he fre from all peryll was not unkende to the vertu and grace of the apostle but what he hadde sufferid of greyf, what of mercy he hadde optenyd, by the holy apostle, with trewe worde he made hit opyn, ȝevynge thankys to God, in whom who that trustith, ys nat confowndid, and who that callith hym in to hymself is not cotempnyed.
CAPITULUM IX. of a yonge man robert by name.
A certeyn yonge cumly of person, Robert by name, from his yonge age norysshid yn courte, from Northampton purposid to London. And it happid hym, thorow a thyke woode to make his passage, where he wery of his jorney, toke his reste, on the grownd and a while with a litill slepe recreate hym, that his way begon, the swyfterly he myght parforme; but loo whyle he sowghte reest, he fownde labur, and whan he wolde with a litill reest his wery lymys refresshe he was yntanglyd with the snarys of his ennemy. In his slepe he was raveshid from his resonable wyttys, in his slepe his olde ennemy apperid to hym, yn the forme of a right fair woman, the whiche with flateryng chere it semyd to have sitte at his hede, and whan with flaterynge blandysh, a goodwhyle she hadde flateryd hym, and smothid hym, she put a litill bird in to his moweth, and so apperid no more. The man awakid, was afrayed of this unwonnt vision, and the same houre he lost his wytte and reson and of all myght was private, (fn. 18) and what was to be don, or lefte he knew nat, ledynge hym woidenes, (fn. 19) nowe this way, now that way, he wanderid rennynge, unknowynge what he did, hastyly he went whedyr the impetuosnes of the malicious woodnes ympellid hym. At the last he was takyn at Lundon and browght to the chirche of seynt Barthilmewes, and ther yn shorte space his witte was recoveryd where a litill tyme he taried, blessyng God that to his apostles hath vouchesaf to commytte his excellent power, to hele syke, to clense lepers, and to caste owte feendys.
CAPITULUM X. of a certeyn knyght radulph (fn. 20) by name.
A certeyn knyght Rayf by name, of the howseholde of William Demunfychet, (fn. 21) whan he made his wey by Essex to London, by the dome (fn. 22) of God, he was ravashid of a feende, and made woid, and yn to a reprovable witte be taken, and he so woid i made, slyde down from his hors ant rent his clothis, the money that he bar he skaterid a brode, and thrywh stonys to them, that he mette with, and now erryng yn wodis, nowe yn hillys, and now a monge he medyllyd hym self. Amonge the preysse of peple and them that came aȝenst hym he cast them yn peryll, or yn drede. Thys man on a tyme, thowh gretely he withstode, was take, and browght to the same chirche, and whan he hadde taryed ther ii nyghtys he come to his mynde agayn.
CAPITULUM XI. of a certeyn mannys sone.
Ther was also in the towne of Berwyk (fn. 23) a certeyn man, Spylman by name, that usid the plowe, and solde woode, and with woode to sylle, he come to London. Y know to many men he hadde a childe that was grevously syke, with the fallynge evill. The fallynge evill aftir phisiciens is a syknes, that compressith the ventriclis and the weys of the brayn, lettyng the operacion of the wyttis, as sight, heryng and othir bodyly wyttys takith a way, and werith all the body with an harde passion. This childe laborynge yn this sykenes, was browght to the forsaid chirche, yn the solempnyte of the glorious apostle, and whan the iiij lesson of his passion was redde, the helth receyvyd of all his membris he come to kysse the auctur, and than nat a litill he accendid yn to devocion, all that wer ther presente to the laude of God, and the blessid apostle, and nat oonly of the comyn pepyll, but also of the clergye, thankynges were ȝeve to God, for why he ys good, and forwhy in to the worlde his mercy is.
CAPITULUM XII. of the doughtyr of wymunde the preyst.
A preiste Wymunnde by name, that governyd the chirche of seynt Martyn, that is situate yn the corner of the wey, that ledith to Westmynster, many yeres he had receyvyd on hym by the institucyon of the bysshoppe of London, the deynrye of nygh chirches for maters ecclesiasticall to discusse. This man byȝonde equyte ȝeven to voluptuous lyif, and his incontinence, was ever redy to slyde to the worse, nat refreynynge, with the bridill of clennes and chastite, purchasid hym a lemman, and of her unlefully begait a doughtir, whom he lovynge with fadirly affeccion yn yonge age put her to lernynge, and whan she came to age of mariage, put her to a matrone, the whiche yn a wommannys breyste hadde a mannys herte, and refreynyd her from that vice that folowyth that age, and with wholsumme doctryne studied to enforme her. The mayde therfore was kepte attendawntly and with chaaste discipline informyd, and she began to be wyser than her techer, and for to shewe the forme and example of virgynal puryte, to all them that lyved abowte her. Certeyn whan of many wowers, this virgyn was desirid, she myght nat by noon cautelys or suttyll suggesstion be deceyvyd, for neider wolde not she admytte the flatterynge speche of bawdys or lechorys, but the carnal drawghtes of voluptuosite she tamynge myghtly troid them undir foit, unspottid evermore abidyng. Thys clennes envied the ennemye of man kynde, wyllynge to subverte yn her the purpos of clennes. And new suttelteys of noyyng he consellid and sowghte, and unherde deceytys ordeynyd and fownde, aȝenst the virgyne, the whiche sufferynge the rightwysnes of God not oonly we merveyle but also drede, ffor thowh God ynwardly beholdynge howh it myght be don, we be demynge to us this a monstruous thynge. Therfore this suttell serpent transformyng hym self, yn to the lyknes of a fair yonge man, as he hadde be a gentill man of the kynges blode, more vylyfycat with precyous ornamentis, than y bewtified for shynyng of his bewte, thus sodenly slyde yn to the chambyr, where sole this mayde sate, the whiche y seyn, with a sodayn fray she was smytte, and whens he came, and howe he entrid she was astonyed and mervellid, and behelde the bewty, and the shynynge of his chere with a sympyl but nat with a prudent ye. The ennemy felt the drede, of the light wommanhede, wherfore he drewe nyghyr and sate down by her syde, and owte of mortall and dedly breste he cast owte harde venym. Ffirst trewly with swete venemys wordis comfortid the dredfull and than prayers and promyssis medillid, yn that she wolde grawnte her assent to fowylle use, and yn the meyn while he knytte his engynnys, of sotell deseyt. The mayde a litill withdrewe her drede and toke an hardynes of speche, and thus she answerd, 'It is no prudent mannys dede, that usith reson suche a conseyvyd desire yn herte, so unshamfully to uttyr, ne so unsemely will to do, ffirste, it were fittyng the nobiley of thy birthe to shewe to my parentys, and than with consent of us both the lawe of matrymony to make, and that i contracte and streghthyd with solempne auctorite of the chirche halowynge, and so to pay the dette of body eche of us to othyr nat for bernynge luste, but oonly by cause of generacion. Thou purposist alweyes the contrary way, thou makyst no mencion of God, nethir of man, but oonly purposist the fury and wodenys of thyn voluptuous soule, and so the shame of God and man y putte behynde, thou prayst me to consent to thyn maligne voluptuosyte, ffyrst forsothe telle me who and what thou art, and by whom a wyttnes thou art hydder admyttyd, and of other thynges heeraftyr use thou bettyr concell and be bettyr avisid.' To this the ennemy answerid, 'what sekist thou heyr the ordir of reson, wher only we talke togidre for oure wylle, heyr pite is wynnyng, religion is supersticion, where oure dede and purpos ys of the wracke of chastite, no lawe, no custome is to be consellyd, but oonly the rewarde of unclennesse is to be attendid wherfore to aske this, who I am and howh I cam hidyr it is but voyde to enquere, oonly to my peticion joyne thyn affeccion, and aftir promysse swiftly an hastly shall folowe effecte.' Aftir theys and moo yn this wyse whan they hadde togider said, the noryssh of the virgyn cummynge uppon mervellid with whom she spake, she herde a voyce of oone that spake, but she sawh no man, but the mayden. At whois cummyng, the ennemy disparysshid a wey, but ȝeit he was nat forȝeitfull of the unshamefaste boldnes, wher that ever the mayd he sawh aloyn, in the manner of a wantan joly yonge man, yn like ordyr he callid on the mayde: she trewly with prayer, and tokyn of the crosse, her self wardyng, so defendyd, that for all his engynnys and waytys she skapid untowchid. On a day whan the mayde was sole yn her chambre, this malignynge theyf was presente fayryr than he was wont, with shynynge chere, and first he yave prayers, and aftir promysse, and whan with this nothyng he profitid, he arayed to brynge yn violence, whois boldes the virgyne felynge beforn, with grete cryes she fulfillid the howse. In the meyn whyle, whan the servauntes raan to the noyse, the malignyng ennemy went his way, and smytte the virgyne seyyng, ' Why wolt nat thou consente, and receyve of my ȝyftis, sumwhat now thou shalt feil, what may the hande doo of myn enmyte.' And an noon yn the goynge a way of the ennemy, the virgyne fyll down yn to erth, owte of her wytte, and with a grete passion, yn her body was tormentid and wallowynge ofte, and aȝen turnyng with ynordynate gesture of her lymmys, the sorow wytnesyd deith. (fn. 24) To whom rennyng the servauntes fownde her halfe a lyve and with a compleynynge noyse fulfillid the howses. The neyghborys were gaderyd all abowte and grete confluence of peple, for the novelte of suche a dede, and all the peple were turnyd, yn to a stonyynge, and an horror, and whan the virgyne was thus longe y tormentid, at the laste fomynge at the moweth, aftyr many sighynges, a litill she toke breith, and tolde was don abowte here how the spirite of malice, hadde aperid, and with what promysse, he hadde atemptid, to drawe here to consente of unclennesse, and howe confusid goyng away, he smytte her, and aftir the stroke so grevous ynfermyte folowid, and uneith she hadde endid her wordys, and loo aȝeen the same wyse as beforne she began to be tormentid. Therefore whan, twyes, or thryes every day and sumwhyle moer oftynner she was so i tormentid, by the peticion of the same virgyne and consell of her parentys, she was browghte to the chirche of seynt Barthilmewe, and she was born forth on a carpete (fn. 25) and passid forth aforn the hospitall of the same, the forsaid ennemy was present, seyynge to the virgyne, 'Whidir art thou born, trowyst thou, that the apostle shall delyver the from myn handys yf thou graunte nat and consent to me, with lenger and harder dysesys thou vexid and made wery shall dye.' Aȝen also whan she was put down from the carpent for to be born yn to the chirche he apperid to her seyyng 'Stonde mayde stonde and forbydde to be born yn to the chirche, for I shall ȝeve the helth, and all that is desirable to helth at thyn wylle I shall make ȝevyn to flowe to thyn hande,' and to this, the mayde answerde no thynge, but trustid yn God, and her handys lyfte up yn to hevyn she besowghte the mercy of God. Therfore this wykkid ennemy seynge hymself thus deluded, and scorned with sharper prikkynges wexid woide aȝenste the virgyne, and with a moore grevous passion, than he was wonnt smyt her. The channons of the chirche was ther present, seyng this, and with devout prayers besowght the apostle, that with his woonnte pyte he wolde succur this laborynge virgyne. Our Lorde graciously herde his praynge servauntes, askynge that was right and by the merytys of the holy apostle, delyverid the virgyn from the feende, and so delyverd, restorid her fully to her helth. The mayde than was betake to her parentys, the whiche all yn God joyynge, prechid everywhere, the vertu of the apostle, preysyng and blessyng God, the whiche hatyth no thynge that he hath made, whois domys ben manyfolde depe derkenesse. (fn. 26)
CAPITULUM XIII. of a feverus man that lackid his ye sight.
A certeyn man of the castell of Chillam, (fn. 27) take with grete syknes, in sorowe and byttyrnes of herte, lede his unhappy lyfe. Atte the laste sorowe grewe, uppon sorowe, for his axses (fn. 28) encresynge he lost the light of boith yen, therfor he graspid abowte, trustynge to othir mennys paysse, and sayynge his way with his stayff, and so a certyn tyme he sate yn derknes. Now the ixthe monyth was passid, whan the wrecch cessid nat of his contynuall syknes, ever cryynge and askyng and askyng and criynge, till the mercy of God wolde here hym.
Whan he come trewly to the chirche of seynt Barthylmewe the holy apostle, he receyvyd light of boith yen, and for the gyfte opteynyd, he ȝyldynge thankys to God, boith to lerned and othir that stoide abowte witnessid feithfully the vertu of Cryistes apostle.
CAPITULUM XIV. of a certeyn yonge man y bownde.
A certeyn yonge man takyn of his ennemyes y bownde, was born yn a carte, for to be commyttyd, to a streyter warde. And whan the passage was made by the same chirche, yn goynge, he callid uppon the name of the holy apostle, and sodenly he fownde hym self i losid, and an noon he skippid owte of the carte and enteryd the chirche. And yn this wyse he skapid, the handis of his ennemyes.
CAPITULUM XV. of a certeyn yonge man dum.
A certeyn yonge man, while haply he lay grovelynge on the grownde, desirynge awhile to rest hym self, by the malice of the olde ennemye, he wexed dumme, and so lakkynge his speche of a certeyn yonge woman cosyn to hym, was leid and browght to the same chirche. And boith of them knelid down, afore the holy awter, and with waylyng hertys besowghte the helpe of seynt Barthilmewe, and the same day, was restorid to hym, the office of his tonge.
CAPITULUM XVI. of a marchaunt.
Ther cam on a day to the sayd chirche a certeyn man, and askid to speke with the bretheryn, and what that happid to hym, he wolde expresse. He was browghte yn to the chapter howse, and the chanonns beyng presente, thus he began to speke ' That ye may knowe how pituous and howe giorious a patron ye have, her my lordis, what late happid to me, and to my felshippe, and consider that he that ye worship yn erthe, yn hevyn and yn the see, is of grete mercy, and of grete vertu. We were yn a shippe, many of us togidir, and arysynge up a sodayn tempest, we began to perysshe, yn so mykill, that mystrustynge to leve, oonly we abyded the last houre of oure perill: in the meyn whyle, we cessid nat to wayle for oure synnys, to knocke oure brystys, to calle yn to us many helpys of seyntes, and trewly yn the hyndyr part of the shippe, with tremulynge lippys, and sorowfull herte y besowghte the mercy of God, where I herde a voice seyyng, " what crye ȝe upon so many namys of seyntes, and youre patron by specyal prevylege, grawntid of God, to yow, ȝe lacches to calle:" to whom I seyed, "who is that my lord," and he seid, " most blessid Barthilmew calle ye yn to you, and hym ȝe shall feill most prompte helper in this present perill," and forthwith, I cam to my felshippe, and tellid what I herde, and that they shulde yeve feith, therto, yn all wyse I monyschid them, and than to gidyr with one soule, and inwarde affeccion of hert, with grete clamoure of voice, we callid yn the holy apostle to ȝeve his helpe, to wrecchis perysshynge, and to grannte us port salfe seyynge, "Lord, Lord, save us, we perysch, oure helth ys yn thyn hande, lette thy mercy loke uppon us, and securly we shall serve the." O mervellous is to sey, to the aȝeyn criynge, of that holy name the elementys yeve way to us, and servyd oure wille, the sky that beforn was derke clothid hym yn hys light, the see cesid from his fervor, the trowblys tempestuous wyndis uttirly rested them. And so forth than aftyr brethynge of softe plesaunte wynde, that ys callid ȝephirus we saylid and optenyd a port, and nowe we came to the chirche of oure delyverer, and for the benefeit y govyn to us of so grete a pite both to hym and to you the servantys and frendys of hym, we ȝeve thankynge and to God, O ye happy and weylsum ȝe, and most weylsum religious men, that joye her undyr so clere a duke, so myghty a prince, and so mercyfull a fadir. Of us ye may considre, howe muche ȝe may trust and hope of hym, of consolacion and of grace for whyle he was so mercyfull to us, so strange from his his servyce, what benygnyte and how muche reservyth he, to his most belovyd servantys.' Thus he seyid, and commendynge hym self to the prayers of the bretheryn, he offerid his oblacion, and joynge from joyfulmen, he toke his way.
CAPITULUM XVIII. (fn. 29) of a certevn marchaunte.
In that tyme that the secunde kynge (fn. 30) of Englond besegid Walys, with strange hande, it happid a notable myracle, and worthy to be tolde. Ther was a man of Colchester, havyng oportunyte to execute that he had decreid, yn his mynde, that were nedefull to the hoyste lyynge at the seygge. Of his goodis he studied to bryng thidir, and that he wolde be solde, he sette yt at a price as he wolde, and with yn shorte tyme wan muche money. And whan he hadde layid it uppe diligently, in certeyn the seyid man had sum penyes the whiche of a vowe, were dettefull to the chirche of seynt Barthylmewe, nevertheles he reteynyd these, that these with othir of his owne, by ofte eschangynge he wolde had multiplied, and yn oportune tyme bothe his vowe, and whatsumever encressid a bove of his vowe, he wolde brynge hyt to the forsaid chirche. Therfore whan he disposid hym self to turne home to his, and be watyr he was coartid to make his passage, the shippe with othir no thynge demynge of evyl, he enterid, and whan they saylid forth, he slepyd, his money layid, undir his hede, in the meyn whyle, oone that wente with hym, conceyvyd hit, And he overcumme with desire of that money, theyfly withdrew hyt, and whan they cam to the port, undyr a certeyn stone, nat fer from the port, he hidde hit, the man awakid sowghte his money and fownde it nat, inquyryd of hys felship, yf ony man yn game or ernest had take hyt, they for his demawndynge ȝeif hym rebukys, havynge scorne that he shulde reprove them of theyft, the whiche feithfull felship he hadde. Therfore wher he sawh that mannys help was uttirly denayd hym, with all his soule he convertid hym self to God and with an ynward waylynge, shedynge owte for sorowe terys, cessid nat to calle on the mercy of the blessid apostle Barthylmewe, and loo in the sylence of the derke nyghte, to hym slepynge apperid yn a vision the glorious apostle of God, and in thys maner many thynges with hym he talkid, 'O,' he said, 'man, what cryiste thou soo oncessantly and with importune cryes cessist nat to unreste me,' and he sayd, 'thou knowist and well knowist syr, the cause of my crye, and it is no nede to opyn to the, the maner of my wrecchidnesse, the whiche so many sighyngys yn wepynge and waylyng I have opynd aforne thy face, and ageyn reherssid hyt, no it is not hidde from thy pite, from how grete joye, in to how grete waylyng, from how grete ricches, with sodeyn case, I am come yn nedynes, and of so grete an hurte, ther is to me no remedy, ne no cownsell ȝevyn, therfore the allone I trustid, that my solace shulde come, thou therefore, that thou mayist ȝoe and for thou mayste, helpe me, havyng mercy of me.' To whom answered the seynt, 'This money for whoes lost, thus thou lamentyst, unrightwysly thou hast gotyn, and whyle with myn helpe thou askyst to be of that restorid, so thou askist that thou woldyst make me partyner of thyn synne, the whiche of the rightwys dome of God, thou hast lost and for cause yn rycchynge of thy self, othir men thou spoylid, undredfully, now thou begynnyst to nede, and othir have and consume thy rycches: ȝe forsothe marchauntis, men of untrew soule, forsakers of trewth and equite, nat dredynge God, ne havynge compassion of youre evyn crysten, (fn. 31) with gyle and othys al men bygilynge, ye presente God and his seyntes, wytnes to youre wyckednes, consumynge othir mennys poochys to fulfill your pursys, who therfore shulde have mercy on yowe, who shulde norysshe suche wreechis, nat mercyable yn so grete a malice.' 'Lord,' he seyide, 'yf I have unrightwysly gete my money, ȝit sum of that I have decreid, to converte yn to goode werkys and with them to visite thy chirche, and purpose to rewarde thy servauntys ther.' 'O,' seid he, 'this is yur woodnes, that whan with many wylys, ȝe have spoylyd pore men, that of the raveyn of pore men, sumwhat to the worship of God ye depart, that more securly ye may abyde yn youre synne, and yn thys wyse ȝe trowe to pees God, but God hatyth raveyn ȝeven yn to sacryfyce, and no more the ȝiftis of suche men plesith hym, than the wagis of strompethode, or the sacrifice of an hownde, (fn. 32) or as he that wolde sacrifice the childe to the fadyr. Nevertheles wher of joyest thou telle me, and whan thou visitid my chirch.' 'I wolde,' he seyid, 'and purposid, but with dyvers bysynes, i lette I myght nat come thidyr.' And than the seynt answerid, 'Whan all thyng habowndid with the, thou haddist no tyme, to come to my chirche, to prayse God to redeme thy synnys, now y sped and delyveryd of all, thou hast noon impediment, ne no perill of drede, surely whidir that ever thou wolt, thou mayst goo.' And he seyid, 'Lord, how may I presume thy glorious temple to aske or desire, and voyde from sacrifice, in the sight of God and of the to appere.' 'Nay,' sayid he, 'I nede nat thy ȝiftis, it is sufficient to me y nowh the grace of God, for to provyde for the nede of my clerkes ne I am nat unmyghty to ȝeve fode to them, that servyth me.' 'That ys trowth,' seyid the merchawnt, 'therfore my goode lorde, leste hapley my wykydnes be more than thy copyous goodnys, loo heyr before the, of my trespace I repente, behestyng amendes, that the mony whiche summtyme I promysid, to thy chirche, and more I avowe me thedir to brynge.' To this the apostle answeryd,' And I,' seyid he, 'undir this condicion, trewly shall not dyscover the gilty by name, but to hym of whom thy money shulde dewly be asked ageyn, I shall gyf cownsell, to seye, that he of thy felship late skunfitid in batayll, (fn. 33) prively toke a way thy money, and yn to thys tyme hath kepte hyt hole, and I of this nat unknowynge, have not y sufferid hym to lessen hit, in that I knewe beforne, that thou calledist upon me, that by me, thou myghtstid thy loosse recove.' At theys wordys speche and vision made an ende. The man awakid, that he sawh and herde besyly revolvyd yn his mynde, discussynge diligently, the life and dede of his felshipp, and by hym self no thyng certeyn myght comprehende. At the laste he ȝave way to a flittyng and a tempestuous varyaunte soule, and began to aske and cownsell a preyst i lernyd by scripture yn suche visions, what were goode yn thys to be done. And the preyste cownsellid, dowtys layid a parte, and commawndid hym to ȝeve feith, to that he herde, seynge hit were impossible, to be othirwyse, than the apostle hadde sayde. It plesid therfore, them bothe to calle oone of the kynges mynystris for that to such men dyvers thynges ben knowe that be doyn in many placys, the which ofte ben present yn pleys in quarellys in sclaundrys, in jugementes; therfor thei went to gidir to the provost of that place and with promyssys prayed him to be favorable to the be forsaid, and so they declarid to him al the processe of this mater. And by the dylygence of this man, the man was sowght and fownde, and browght yn to a secrete place, and only presente the provost and the doer of the trespace, he was callid yn of the preyste and opposid, and the preyste prayed hym, and exhortid hym, that he wolde restore the money, that he toke a way, undyr the mannys hede, whan he slepid, and this he seyed I was shewid and ynformyd veryly with so trew a wytnesse, the whiche by commyn estymacion myght nat lye, therfore yf he wolde ynclyne, to ther cownsellys he may go unhurte, yf he wolle denay hit, the kynges officer, hym as a theyf may holde, and sesyn, and for to be condempnyd, betake hym to the jugys. He anoon full of drede, drewe the priest a parte, and his gilt confessid, restorid to hym the money yn hole summe, and no harme sufferynge frely went his way. By this maner the forsaid man by seynt Barthylmewe receyvyd, that was take from hym, and aftirward comyng to his chirche, offerid that he vowid, and to the bretheryn of the place, all thyng that was donne abowte hym opynly declaryd.
CAPITULUM XIX. of a certeyn yonge woman.
A certeyn yonge woman was yn the cyte of London i know to many men, and as an hyryd servaunt, wonnte to serve many men; the more was knowe, thys woman on a day, by a bawde bigilid, from the profite of her just laboure, to voluptuousnes of uncleyne synne and by the robber of her clennesse wylfully admyttynge she was robbid of yncomperable tresure. Ne it was nat longe, but loo the reward of syn folowid, and where her hole body and fleyssh she made sugget to synne, uttirly she lost her hole mynde, and that membris that were armore of wykkidnes, be turnyd ynto armur of woodnesse. The hert that is pryncipall of man with oppresion of the feende, the whiche was onyd (fn. 34) to hym was derkid, and that which yn syn, God wolde nat drede, yn peyne, nethir God, ne hym self undirstode, the yen now left up an hye, now dredfully rollid abowte, her clothis be rente with her handys, the tonge was unbridillid to blasfemy, and rybawdy, and encresynge her woodenes, y streyned she was yn streyghte bondys, these bondys with her woodnys myght, lightly y broke, othir were addid, therto, thus she was browght to the hospitale of the seyid chirche, and yn short tyme folowid contraxion of all membris, that yn no wyse myght she use them frely, and yn so grete a wrecchidnes, was presente the mercy of the blessid apostle, the whiche the madde woman losid of her woodnes mercyfully, and erectid the contracte myghtly, and fulhole went home to her owne.
CAPITULUM XX. of a woman y take with the palsy.
An nothir woman dyssolvyd with the palsy, and growynge ynwardly, the grevous syknes sufferid throwys of all her membrys. She dwellid uppon Temse, and to the same howse she was browght, and the same woman with the vertu of the apostle, aftir a litill tyme was curid of her syknes and joynge wente home to her howse, toke an howsbond and browght forth childryn.
CAPITULUM XXI. a myracle of a mayde.
A certeyn mayde and servaunt of a cytyseyn of London was browghte to the forsaid hospitalle, the whiche myght nat strecche forth ony fote that she hadde, or for longe syknes y vexid, she hadde kepte her bedde longe, or by cause her synewys of hammys were contract. The blessid apostle on a nyght apperid to her yn her slepe, and commaundid her to strecche owte her feite, and she at the commawndment of the apostle, lightly her foit did owte strecche, and yn the mornyng risynge up she hadde helth of the toone, and at evensong tyme she hadde fre use of both, they mervelid that were presente, and askid her what betidid her that nyght, and she tolde, what she sawh, and confessid the auctor of her helth, praysynge the apostle of Cryist and ȝevyng thankynges to God.
CAPITULUM XXII. also a myracle of a certeyn woman.
The yeir of incarnation of Oure Lord MC and Lti and nyne, of the reigne of kynge Richard the secunde, the sixtene, (fn. 35) yn the solempnyte of the apostle seynt Barthilmewe, many tokynnes of vertu were shewid yn his holy chirche. A certeyn womman laborynge yn grevous skyenes, that was born yn an horslytter to that holy temple; and beholde yn the vigill of the same apostle, abowte the houre of complyn, she began bettir to have, and a litill her myghtys that she hadde lost she resumyd, and forthermore anoon aftir ful helth optenyd, ffor why joynge and hole she rooys oute of her lyttyr, and come to kys the hye auter, offerynge her self yn to an acceptable hoist to God, with grace and thankes yeldynge. Anooyn the godly myracle was made opyn and of the convent of that chirche, and mykil peple praysyng and thanke was ȝeve to God, devoutly, and to his blessid apostle.
CAPITULUM XXIII. of a childe that receyvyd his syght.
In the same solempnyte a certeyn childe, that hadde lost hys sight, by the meyn of the holy apostle receyvyd hit ageyn, and he seynge with othir seers the mercy of God, and the vertu of the blessid apostle seynt Barthymewe, with the shewyng of the hevenly tokyn gretly he magnyfied and prechid.
CAPITULUM XXIV. of a womman that hadde lost her oone syde.
In the same chirche yn the forsaid solempnyte a certeyn woman was browght, the whiche on a tyme slepynge on the toone syde, was smyte with a palsy, and lost that side, and yn that destitucyon of her lymmys, duryd nat a litill tyme. This woman yn the nyght of the holy solempnyte was helid, and with joye hole went home to her owne.
CAPITULUM XXV. of a litill childe that was madde.
Aftir the utas (fn. 36) of the same feiste, a certeyn litill childe was browght of his modyr to that chirche, the whiche from the feist of seynt Lawrence the martyr, hadde lost all felynge of reson, and for his woodnes laborid sore, grevous and intollerable to the modir he was, and as she seid, he was bore by many placys of seyntis a forn that tyme, but never optenyd remedy, and whan his modyr hadde browght hym to the forsayd place, and ther hadde fulfillid holy wacche and prayer, she deservyd of the most mekest Crystis apostle, the effecte of her peticion, and so optenyd to her self gladnes, and to the childe helth, and every Sonday followyng shewid hym to all the peple.
CAPITULUM XXVI. of a certeyn womman.
A certeyn woman of Wyndesover, havynge many beystys sufferid a grete harme and losse of them by sodeyn deith, onely oo cow, she hadde a lyve remaynyng of that pestilence. And she lackynge foode, almost was browght to the deth, her neyghborys abowte her havynge compassion of her, and of her sorowys, ȝave her cownsell, that she shulde beseke the mercy of the blessid apostle for this harmys, and make to hym sum promysse that he wolde restore her cow by hys myghty power, that began to dye, she yevynge grete credence to holsome cownsell, anoon began to mesure her cowe, that she myght have the mesure, for a light to ben offeryd, of that lengith, and so here vow to be parformyd, and a mervelous thynge; an noon the cowe revyved, and began to ete, as noone harme hadde happid her. In dew tyme the womman came to the forsayid chirche to ȝelde thankynges to God, and to his glorious apostle, and offerid the light that she avowid, and expressid the benefite of pite, that so mercyfully she hadde receyvyd.
CAPITULUM XXVII. of the repercion and fyndynge of an hors.
A certeyn preist of Kente commynge neyr the gladnesse of the feist glorious purposid to come to of the oftesayid chirche, sittynge on a goode hors, the whiche was deyr to hym, with othir men, that intendid to the same place, and whan the sonne went almost to rest, and nyght derke sprede on the erthe, nede compellid them to take ther yn, and whan they lokid abowte on every side, and sye noon hostrye, whydyr they myghte drawe, it plesid them to late ther hors to pasture, and they kepte wacche yn kepynge of ther horssys yn the same place. This y don, the prestis hors brake further, noone of them considerynge, nethir the preyst fast a slepe wyttynge, but what myghte falle, to them of adversite, that hastid with a desire, to that place of unwastid pite, as who seith noon evyn by the slepynge preiste, a certeyn man apperid, havyng a shynynge chere, and shooke the vestment that he weyr softly and seyid, 'A rise why art thou so longe oppressid with slummrynge?' and he with a litill noyse awakid risid up and lokid this way, and that way, and parsayvyd nat his hors, neir abowte hym, and whan sorowfully he hadde ranne abowte, and did all his diligence to seke his hors, he herde the nehyng, of his hors, two furowlongis from hym, as he myghte parceyve with opyn eere. And annoyn with his felshipp he folowid, and that he sowghte he fownde, and skippid on hym, and whan he was commyn to the place desirid, aforne the ymage of the apostle he fill prostrate, and ȝave thankynges, for fyndyng of his hors, and wittnessid that the ymage that he sawh was most like to hym that waked hym no thing doughtyng yn hym self, but that was the apostle of Cryste, that so benyngly hadde directed his way, and his hors that so deliciously he lovyd, and so negligently hadde lost, myghtly hadde restoryd.
CAPITULUM XXVIII. of an howse untouchid yn myddyl of the fyer.
Who suffisid to opyn expressly, all the benefetys of the unwasted pite, that men be wonnt to telle, that hath be don yn the portys of the see, by the holsome meritys of the blessid apostle seynt Bartholomewe, unsessyngly, of the whiche I have herde many of them, but for the prolixite of this tretyse, and the symyltude of myracles I have omysid to write. Therfore they that be brennynge yn his only love and usualy be fervent yn his servyce to his chirche, or els to his relikys, bringe ther oblacions and certeynly sumwhat that commyth of wynnyng of ther shippys frely they brynge kyndely and joyfully, nat only men but women, that ben devoute abowte his servyce and worshipp, han ben refresshid with his ofte consolacion, and be expert, that he is nygh to them, that callith uppon hym yn treweth, and therfore it is that many of them yerely, with lightis and oblacions peesfull vowys and prayers visite hys holy chirche, and be glad to telle of his holy myracles, that hav be don abowte them. The whiche syth it is harde all to expresse, nevertheles oone by grace of example I shall knytte (fn. 37) to the forseyed, of the whiche ther be so many wittnes almost, as ther be men dwellyng, yn the porte of Hastynge. It fill upon a tyme, or els be unwarnes of men, or more by the vengeawnce of God, the towne callid Hastynge began with woodnesse of fyer to perisshe. Ther was ther a worshipfull matrone, Ceale by name, whois howsbonde was callid Helys, a man commynge home from be ȝoonde the see with his shippe chargid with wyne and applied at London, and the same day unknowynge the hurte at home he visitted the chirche of the holy apostle, and for hym self and for all that pertenyd to hym meke prayers he offerid up to God, and to the holy apostle. The forsaid woman whan she sawh the flammys of fyer, drawynge neir to her howse, utterly unexpert of mannys cownsell and helpe, with full feith, yave her self to the suffragyes of seynt Barthylmewe, the blessid apostle, callynge on hym besily with ynwarde herte, and devoutly ofte callynge with yn her, hys glorious name rehersyng and duplynge prayers to make a vowe of light to be browghte to his chirche yn to his honoure. And she began annoyn with a long threid to compasse the howse, and leyfte hit ther fixed, and loo amervelous thynge to seye, and beforne dayes unherde, the fyer ferid the feith of the womman, and on every parte bernyd, and all thyng turnyd yn to asshis, and nat presumyd to touche the threid, but flow over to the nexte howsys: the howse that was mesurid with the threid hit myght nat hurte: ȝeit abydyth that mervelous and glorious myracle of that howse to be seyn howh the fyer comyng to that howse touchid the pynnacles, levyng them half brent, but with the feith of the woman hit was putte a wey and lefte them so halfe brent. But ther wer neir howsys right nygh by, the whiche all were consumyd and turnyd yn to asshys. Loo howh by the merytis of the blessid apostle Barthilmewe, the fyer hadde forȝeit the myght of his vertu, that the howse shulde nat feill his brennyng that bar his tokyn.