G. G. (George Gordon) Coulton.

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earth. But, lest any scruple of doubt cling yet to your
hearts, let now a furnace be heated seven times ; and I,
taking this head, will enter it without hesitation to
make known the merits of that blessed virgin." To
whom the Bishop scoffingly replied : "I for my part
would not enter into a cup of hot water with this head,
and wouldst thou enter into a burning fiery furnace ? "
Whereupon the Archbishop, no longer suffering this
prelate's excessive babbHng, signed to him to hold his
peace, for he approved this devout Brother's pure
and sincere devotion to the holy virgin. Moreover,
that folly which the Bishop's foul mouth had vomited
against the blessed virgin could by no means remain
unpunished ; for God shall destroy them that speak
leasing ; wherefore this Bishop in later days, involved
in many crimes, was cast forth from his see and wretch-
edly ended his unworthy life by a death worthy [of
his sins].

The good canon's zeal misleads liim here : this sceptical Bishop of
Orleans enjoyed an excellent reputation, and died peaceably in his
bishopric more than twenty years after this event. The anecdote here
following is from a later chapter of St. William's Life (§58, p. 633).

114 A Medieval Garner.

43 —a lg)reciou0 minDfall.

HILE Abbot William was yet in this cor-
ruptible body, weighed down with old age,
two teeth were torn from his head, which
he committed to Brother Saxo saying :
" Keep these two teeth in thy charge, and
see that thou lose them not." He did as the Abbot had
required him, pondering in his own mind wherefore this
command had been laid upon him. When however the
Lord had taken him away from before our face, then
his surviving disciples, in memory of so holy a Father,
besought that somewhat might be given to them of his
possessions or of his garments ; among whom one
Brice, the Sacrist, complained that naught had fallen
to his share saving a fur cap which the Saint had been
wont to wear on his head. To which complaints this
Brother made answer to whom these teeth had been
entrusted : "I will give thee no small gift — nay, a
mighty one, a pearl of price, no less than a tooth of our
Father who in his lifetime loved thee not only with a
special love, but thee above all others." With these
words he delivered to him the tooth ; and the Sacrist,
rendering manifold thanks for this grace conferred upon
him, took the tooth and held it in that dear veneration
which it deserved. Oh what gifts did God afterwards
confer upon mortal men through that tooth ! — gifts
which, if they were written down, man's weak intellect
would never be content to believe !

44.— a TBatcf) Of Superstitions.

Superstitions condemned in the Poenitentiale of Bartholomew Iscanus,
Bishop of Exeter, 1161-1186. (M.S. Cotton. Faust. A. viii., fol. 32,
printed in Rel. Ant. I. 285).

IHOSOEVER shall strive to take away from
another, and gain for himself, by any incan-
tation or witchcraft, another's plenty of
milk or honey or of other things ; (ii) Who-
soever, ensnared by the Devil's wiles, may
believe and profess that they ride with countless multi-

Witchcraft. 1 1 5

tildes of others in the train of her whom the fooHsh
vulgar call Herodias or Diana, and that they obey her
behests ; (iii) Whosoever has prepared a table with
three knives for the service of the fairies, that they may
predestinate good to such as are born in the house ;
(iv) Whosoever shall have made a vow by a tree or
water, or anything save a church ; (v) Whosoever
shall pollute New Year's Day by magic enquiries into
the future, after the pagan fashion, or who begin their
works on that day, that they may prosper better than
in any other year ; (vi) Whosoever make knots or
sorceries and divers enchantments by charms of witch-
craft, and hide them in the grass or in a tree or in a
branching road, in order to free their beasts from
murrain ; (vii) Whosoever shall have set his child on
the house-roof or in an oven [or furnace] to recover its
health,* or for the same purpose shall have used charms
or characters or anything fashioned for divination, or
any artifice whatsoever save only godly prayers or the
liberal art of medicine ; (viii) Whosoever, while gather-
ing medicinal simples, shall have said any charm save
such as are godly, as the Lord's Prayer or the Creed or
suchlike ; (ix) Whosoever, labouring in wool or dyeing
or other works, shall use charms or lay spells thereon
that thej^ maj^ prosper ; or who shall forbid the carry-
ing away of fire or aught else from his house, lest the
young of his beasts perish ; (x) Whosoever shall work
witchcraft from a dead man's funeral or corpse or
garments, lest the dead folk take some vengeance, or

* " Ellen Cushion and Anastatia Eourkes were arrested at Clonmel on
Saturday, charged with cruelly illtreating a child, three years old,
named Philip Dillon. The prisoners were taken before the Mayor,
when evidence was given showing an extraordinary survival of supersti-
tious belief. It appears that the neighbours fancied that the child,
which had not the use of its limbs, was a changeling, left by the fairies
in exchange for the original child, while the mother was absent.
Prisoners entered her house and placed the child, naked, on the hot
shovel, under the impression that this would ' break the charm.' The
poor Httle thing was severely burnt, and is in a precarious condition.
Prisoners, who were hooted by an indignant crowd, were remanded."
{Lynn News, May 24th, 1884). Etienne de Bourbon, as will presently
be seen, tells a similar tale from his own experience.

1 1 6 A Medieval Garner.

lest some other die in that same house, or to obtain
thereby some other profit or well-being ; (xi) Whoso-
ever on St. John's Day shall have wrought any witch-
craft to foretell the future ; (xii) Whosoever shall
beHeve that good or evil comes to him from the croak
of a jackdaw or raven, or from meeting a priest or any
animal whatsoever ; (xiii) Whosoever shall cast into
his barn or his cellar a bow, or any other plaything
soever wherewith the devils called fairies should play,
that they may bring the greater plenty ; (xiv) Whoso-
ever, in visiting the sick, shall conceive any omen of
good or evil from the motion of any stone on his out-
ward or homeward way, or by any other sign whatso-
ever ; (xv) Whosoever shall believe that a man or
woman may be changed into the shape of a wolf or
other beast ; (xvi) Whosoever shall spy out the foot-
steps of Christian folk, beUeving that they may be
bewitched by cutting away the turf whereon they have
trodden ; (xvii) (From the Council of Agde.) The
priest must enquire whether there be any woman who
professeth to be able to change men's minds by sorcery
and enchantments, as from hate to love or from love to
hate, or to bewitch or steal men's goods : also whether
there be any professing to ride on certain nights and
upon certain beasts with a host of demons in women's
shape, and to be enrolled in the company of such. Let
any woman of this sort be chastised with birchen twigs
and cast forth from the parish.

45.— Ct)e Priest of (2Bt)il ©men.

From Cardinal Jacques de Vitry's Exempla, ed. Crane, p. 112 :
Wright. Latin Stories, p. 77.

N certain districts I have seen men when
they meet priests [the first thing in the
morning] forthwith crossing themselves,
saying that it is an evil omen to meet a
priest. Moreover, I have heard on sure
authority that in a certain town of France wherein
many of all conditions died, men said among them-

Evil Omens. 1 1 7

selves " This deadly plague can never cease unless,
before we lay a dead man in his grave, we shall first
cast our own parson into the same pit ! " Whence it
came to pass that, when the priest came to the edge of
the grave to bury a dead parishioner, then the country-
folk, men and women together, seized him, arrayed as
he was in his priestly vestments, and cast him into
the pit. These are inventions of the devil and
demoniacal illusions.

46.— Superstition IPunisfteD.

T. Wright, Latin Stories, p. 110.

ERE is an example of a woman who used to
make the sign of the Cross, as it is said,
when she met her priest in the morning, and
who answered that she did this lest some
mishap should betide her that day. Where-
unto he said : " Dost thou believe that it will be the
worse to thee for having met me ? " And she replied :
" I fear it." Then said he : "It shall indeed be to
thee as thou hast believed ; for thou shalt have one
mishap because thou hast met me." And, seizing her
by the shoulders, he cast her into a muddy ditch,
saying : " Be it unto thee even as thou hast believed ! "

In Germany the same superstition was attacked in the 13th century
by the Franciscan Berthold of Regensburg. (Ed. PfeifEer, vol. I.
p. 264.) " Thus some folk believe in unlucky meetings, and that a wolf
is lucky to fall in with — a wolf, that doth evil to all the world, and is so
unclean a beast that he stinketh in men's nostrils and no man may
thrive within scent of him ! — and again they believe that an anointed
priest is unlucky to meet ; yet all our faith lieth on the priest, and God
hath exalted him above all men ! "

The three following passages are here put together as illustrating the
too common attitude of the medieval church towards the Jews. Popes
did indeed often protect the Israelites, but (if we are to beUeve their
contemporaries) mainly for the same causes which moved so many lay
lords to protect them, as profitable beasts of commerce. Saints Uke
St. Bernard might also protest against massacres of the Jews ; but the

1 1 8 A Medieval Garner.

mass of the clergy, and especially of the monastic clergy, were among
their hottest persecutors. No. 47 is from the Chronicle of Prior Geofirey,
printed in Dom Bouquet's Historiens, vol. xii., p. 436. No. 48 is from
the Life of St. Theodard, Bishop of Narbonne (Duchesne, Scripores,
vol. iii., p. 430). No. 49 is from the Chronicle of Adhemar de Chabannes
(Ed. Chavanon, p. 175.)

47.— jFattjer, jForgitje tftem !

•^AYMUND TRENCHAVAL, viscount of
Beziers, returned from Jerusalem in the
year of Grace 1152, whereupon he received
money to release the Jews from the afflic-
tion which they suffered from the Christians
in the week of our Lord's Passion. I will narrate the
matter at length to such as may be ignorant of it.
Many Jews have dwelt in the town of Beziers from
time immemorial ; on Palm Sunday the bishop, having
preached a mystic sermon to the people, was wont to
exhort them in many words to the following effect : " Lo !
ye see before you the descendants of those who con-
demned the Messiah, and who still deny that Mary was
the Mother of God. Lo ! here is the time wherein our
heart echoes more often to the injury done to Christ.
Lo ! these are the days wherein ye have leave from the
prince to avenge this so great iniquity. Now therefore,
taught by the custom of your ancestors and fortified
with our benediction after that of the Lord, cast ye
stones against the Jews while there is yet time, and,
in so far as in you Keth, atone manfully for the evil
done to our Lord." When, therefore, the bishop had
blessed them and (as in former days) the prince had
given them the customary leave, then they would
batter the Jews' houses with showers of stones, and
very many were oftentimes wounded on either side.
This fight was commonly continued from Palm Sunday
until Easter Eve, and ended about the fourth hour ;
yet none were permitted to use other arms but stones
alone. All this, as we have said, was forgiven to the
faithless Jews by this Raymund.

Jews at Eastertide.



The Jews were accused of having betrayed Toulouse to the Saracens ;
therefore, when the city was recaptured by the citizens, all were con-
demned indiscriminately to death; but at length Charlemagne had
mercy on them, and contented himself with the execution of the actual

EVERTHELESS, they who had assented to,
but had not been present at the afore-
said treacherous compact were suffered to
Hve and dwell in the city only on condition
of submitting to the following punishment.
On the day of the Lord's Birth, on the night of His
Passion, and on that of His Ascension to Heaven, one
of these Jews themselves, or one of their descendants,
was chosen yearly to be buffeted before the porch of
the Cathedral Church, receiving one blow only from
some strong man, and having first offered a tribute of
three pounds of wax.

This " so holy and so just condition " was solemnly registered
under the king's seal and that of many bishops, in order that who-
soever presumed to break it " might know that he must be con-
demned to eternal vengeance and have no part in the Kingdom of
Christ and God." Under Carloman the Jews attempted to shake
this ofE ; a conference was held between them and the bishops in the
king's presence, the Jews in vain pleading that the sons should not
bear the iniquity of their fathers. They were not only non-suited,
but the court accepted St. Theodard's suggestion that in future the
victim should confess before the blow that he had justly deserved
this as the descendant of those who had smitten Christ : in default
of which confession " let him be smitten seven times, that the words
may be fulfilled which are written in their law : ' I will increase
your pains sevenfold, turning My face against you.' "


T came to pass on the Good Friday of tliis
year (1020), after the adoration of the
Cross, that the city of Rome was imperilled
by an earthquake and an exceeding great
whirlwind ; and forthwith a certain Jew
brought word to the lord Pope that at that hour the
Jews in their synagogues were wont to make a mock of

I20 A Medieval Garner.

the image of the crucified Lord ; which Benedict VIII.
carefully sought out and, finding it to be true, he
presently condemned the authors of that crime to
death. No sooner had they been beheaded than the
fury of the winds ceased. At this same time Hugh,
chaplain to Aimery, viscount of Rochechouart, passed
his Easter at Toulouse with his master, where he gave
the customary buffet to the Jew at Eastertide, with
which buffet he suddenly smote the brain and eyes
from the fellow's faithless head and scattered them on
the earth ; whereupon the dead man was taken forth-
with from the church of St. Stephen to the Jews'
synagogue and there buried.*

* The Editor notes that this deed is attributed by other chroniclers
to Aimery himself, and referred to the year 1102.

Petrus Cantor, " Peter the Precentor," was also Eector for many
years of the Cathedral School at Paris — i.e., of perhaps the busiest centre
of learning in Europe. In 1191 he was chosen Bishop of Tournay ; but
the election was contested, and he wilhngly withdrew his claim ; soon
afterwards he entered a Cistercian monastery, and died in 1197. Cardinal
Jacques de Vitry, who had known him personally, described him as " a
lily among thorns, or a rose among thistles. ... A man mighty in
word and in deed. . . . whose uprightness of hfe added weight and
graAaty to his doctrine." The following extracts are from his Verhum
Abhreviatwn. (Migne, Pat. Lat., vol. 205.)

50.— amasses anD a^onep.

(Cap. xxvi, col. 97).

jIKEWISE I say that temporal things should
not be set among spiritual things in order
that men may perform these latter, or
at least perform them more promptly and
swiftly. ... To this purpose is that de-
testable example of the clergy who, playing at
dice, fled in a disorderly and indecent fashion
to vespers when they heard that there would be
vesper-money for singing that service, and that it

Masses and Money. 1 2 1

would be distributed beforehand in the church.*
Another example is that of the prelate who besought
the choir of Ms church to make St. Stephen's day
a feast of double solemnity in silken vestments and
ecclesiastical chants, but who could only obtain it by
promising to his clergy an annual feast, and by doubling
the payment for mattins that night ; so that they thus
rather celebrated the Feast of the Double Money than
the Feast of St. Stephen. . . . When the bell rang for
the hour of distribution at a certain church, and a bar
was set across the entrance to the choir, the clergy ran
as though to a solemn feast, even as old women run for
the greased pig ;t some stooping below to enter, others
jumping over the bar, and others rushing in disorderly
fashion through the great portal, whereby it is lawful
for no man to enter save only for the dignitaries of the
church. By reason of which baseness of filthy lucre,
a certain layman besought one of the clergy not 'to
attend at that service, for very shame's sake. But
what could he do ? If he entered into the choir, he
would risk the suspicion of covetousness among the
laity ; if not, the clergy would suspect him of pride. . . .
What can be more despicable than that the laity should
call two of the services in a certain church, the Lord's
Hours, for the singing of which there is no certain pay-
ment, and the rest the Penny Hours, nay, rather the
De^/il's hours ? ... In short, even as it was honour-
able and laudable, before the ordinance of this miserable
bargain, to enter the choir and perform divine service
assiduously, so it is now dishonourable and of evil
report, since this assiduity bringeth us rather the repute
of covetousness than of devotion : so that now, in the
words of the poet, " the Church (a name once noble

* To ensure regularity of attendance on the part of ministers at the
great cathedral and collegiate churches, the authorities paid a consider-
able part of their salaries in ready money, handed over each time in the
vestry to such only as had attended that particular service. See
No. 272, for those who waited about the church for their " distri-
butions " without properly celebrating the service.

I Tanquam vetulce ad unctum. See Strutt, Sports and Pastimes,
Book iv., chap. 3, § xxxi.

122 A Medieval Garner.

and venerable) is prostituted, and sits like a harlot
gaping for gain."

If this venahty, the leprosy of Gehazi and the simony
of the Magus, is so foul and damnable in the mere
appendages to the Sacraments, as we have said above,
then how much more so in the very substances of the
Sacraments, and especially in the Eucharist ?* . . .
What, pray, is the cause why the other church services
remain in the simplicity and purity of their first institu-
tion, and are never doubled, and this alone [of the
Mass] is doubled, contrary to its first institution ?
Certainly the cause is in the offerings : for at the Mass
we offer and at no other service. . . And, sad to relate,
from such offerings altars are erected, sanctuaries are
adorned, and monasteries built, by monks who thus
abuse the Apostle's precept, " asking no questions for
conscience' sake " : though the Apostle speaketh only
to ^such as sometimes ate with idolaters, that they
might preach unto them. Moreover, we sell Christ
more shamefully than Judas did ; for we are worse
than he. He, when his family was in need, sold one
whom he believed to be a mere man ; but we. Him
Whom we know to be God and Man. He for thirty
pieces of silver, and we for the vile price of a penny.
He again, repenting (though with no true repentance),
brought back the thirty pieces and cast them from
him ; but there is none among us in the Church who
casteth away such ill-gotten gains. Moreover his
thirty pieces, being the price of blood, were not put
into the treasury : but nowadays from base oblations
and ill-gotten gains altars are raised, churches and
suchlike buildings are made. . . . Moreover (I say it
even weeping), this sacrament alone is tiurned by some
to magic arts, men celebrating masses over images of
wax as a curse upon others ; nay even, for such a curse,
they sing the mass of the faithful ten times or more,
that their enemy may die by the third day or at least
within a brief while afterwards, and may be laid with

* It was at tliis time still illegal to demand any fixed sum for saying
mass : voluntary offerings might be accepted, but no fixed charge was

Architecture. 123

the dead in the grave. Some, again, have invented a
mass for the slaughter of those lately slain round about
Jerusalem, as of newly-made martyrs : by which mass
they think to entice to themselves the greater oblations,
by reason of the favour that men bear to such men
slain [on the crusades]. To expel this many-headed
disease from the Church I see but this one remedy ; to
wit, that there should be few churches, few altars there-
in, few and picked men to be ordained, and even those
already ordained to be sifted before admission : above
all, the strictest choice of such as are set over the lesser
priests : and the extreme remedy, deUberated by Pope
Gregory VIII., would be the abohshment of all oblations
save thrice a year, namely at Christmas, Whitsuntide,
and Easter, and on the Feast of the church's patron
saint, and in presence of a dead body, and on any
anniversary day. See how there was in all Israel only
one temple, one tabernacle, one altar of offerings in the
open court of the temple ! for there was indeed in the
Holy Place an altar of incense, yet naught was offered
thereon save a little frankincense. Of this multitude
of altars Hosea spake in detestation, saying, " because
my people hath made many altars to sin, altars are
become to him unto a sin : they shall offer victims,
and the Lord will not receive them." Wherefore, after
the example of this one temple, we should have a single
church in each city — or, in a populous city, a few
churches, yet all subject to one greater church. For
the multitude of chapels hath begotten unlawful
ministries, with many other portentous and strange

51.— Cbc (BiQbtb Lamp of arciitcctute.

(Cap. Ixxxvi, col. 255).

VEN as, in the superfluity and curiousness
of raiment and food, the labour of nature
is perverted and the matter falleth into
wrong if it be mthout art, so also is it
in the superfluity, curiousness and sumptu-
osity of buildings. For behold how far we are
departed from the simplicity of the ancients in this

124 A Medieval Garner.

matter of buildings. We read that Abraham, in
the first days of faith, dwelt in tabernacles, possess-
ing on this earth not even whereon the sole of
his foot might rest : for he pitched his tent between
Bethel and Ai, not as a citizen, but hke unto a stranger
and pilgrim that hath no abiding habitation ; and
under this roof-tree — that is, under his thatched hut —
he had the angels for guests. So likewise Lot and Noah
abode in tents ; as some of the ancients dwelt in rocky
caverns, others under the bark of hollow trees, so that,
being seen to issue thence, they were fabulously believed
by some to be born of stones and trees. Elisha had no
dweUing of his own, but (by the charity of a widow) a
little chamber under another's roof, where he had his
little chamber, his httle table, his little bed and his
candlestick. . . . Moreover, seeing that not only in
stature but even in length of life we [moderns] are
abridged by reason of our manifold superfluities and
our sins ; seeing that the end of the world and the
consummation of all things are come upon us, what
madness and excess is it that we should be so solicitous
concerning the bigness and curiousness and costhness
of the buildings that we make, as though such works
would never perish ! More especially seeing that the
ancients — to whom God granted longer lives, and who,
bom at the very birth of the world, were far removed
from its end — cared for no such things, believing
rather that at the end of the world all the foundations
of the earth shall be moved ; to wit, that she shall be
purged even to her inmost bowels, so far as the works
of sinful men have gone downwards, and so far as their
works have risen upwards into the air. Wherefore
said a certain clerk of Reims, " If these builders believed
that the world would ever come to an end, no such lofty
masses would be reared up to the very sky, nor would
such foundations be laid even in the abysses of the
earth.* Wherein they resemble those giants who built

* Peter wrote during that wave of architectural enthusiasm described
above in No. 39. It is probable that the rebuilding of Notre-Dame,
his own cathedral, as we see it to-day, was already planned at this
moment, if not actually begun.

Architecture. 125

the tower of Babel, rearing themselves up against the
Lord : wherefore let them fear lest they themselves
also be scattered abroad from the face of the earth

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