G. G. (George Gordon) Coulton.

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when tTie morning beginneth, flyen to me wicked spirits
being mad in all cruelness, and drawen me again to the
place of my pains, where evermore, all the daytime, I am
gTeatly pained in fire ; nevertheless with a certain
amendment of lesser disease, though it be Httle. And
again when night cometh, I am restored to the place
where I left last my journey, and so I go forth on my
pilgrimage ; and when the morning is come I am
drawn again and cast to pains. And aU that have
vowed to go to the Holy Land, and after did cast from
them their cross, and went not thither, in like wise as
I go, they be compelled to do their pilgrimage : if so
be they may have the grace of God in their last end to
repent them, a? I had to repent me for breaking of my
vow, and then by the wholesome remedy of confession
this sin that was deadly sin may be changed to a venial
sin. Otherwise all that break that same vow be put to
eternal damnation.

64.— Priests in purgatotp.

(p. 81).

LSO many priests that by the grace of
God left their vicious living of unchastity
in very contrition of heart with confession
of mouth when they lived, and because they
had not done penance sufficiently, I saw
them tormented in innumerable pains. Truly then I
thought to myself that full few priests were there found,
of the great number that is of them in all the world that

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had deserved pains after their death for breaking their
chastity ; and to this it was so answered : " Therefore
full few be here tormented of the number of such
persons, for unnethe it is seldom seen that any man of
them were verily penitent and contrite while they lived
for their sins ; wherefore it is no doubt but that the
great multitude of them be utterly damned."

65.— Cbe Oision of IParatiise.

(p. 107).

FURTHERMORE now when we were past
all these places and sights aforesaid, and
had gone a good space more inward, and
ever grew to us more and more joy and
fairness of places : also at the last we saw
afar a full glorious wall of crystal whose height no man
might see and length no man might consider : and when
we came thither I saw within-forth a full fair bright
shining gate, and stood open, save it was signed and
laid over with a cross. Truly thither came flockmeal
the multitude of those blessed souls that were next to
it, and would come in at that fair gate. The cross was
set in the midst of that gate ; and now she was Hft up
on high and so gave to them that came thither an open
and a free entering ; and afterward she was letten
down again, and so sparred others out that would have
comen in. But how joyful they were that went in, and
how reverently they tarried that stood without abiding
the lifting up of the cross again, I cannot tell by no
words. Soothly here St. Nicholas and I stood still
together ; and the liftings up of the cross and the
lettings down again, whereby some went in and some
tarried without, I beheld long time with great wonder.
And at the last St. Nicholas and I came thither to the
same gate hand in hand. And when we came thither
the cross was lifted up ; and so they that were there
went in. Soothly then my fellow St. Nicholas freely
went in and I followed ; but suddenly and unadvised
the cross of the gate came down upon our hands and

The Vision of Paradise. 151

departed me from my fellow, St. Nicholas ; and when
I saw this, full sore afeard I was. Then said St.
Nicholas to me, ' Be not afeard, but have only full
certain faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and doubtless
thou shalt come in.' And after this my hope and
trust came again, and the cross was Uft up, and so T
came in : but what brightness and clearness of light
was there-withinforth, all about, no man ask nor seek
of me ; for I can not only [not] tell it by word but also
I cannot remember it in mind. That glorious shining
light was bright and smooth, and so ravished a man
that beheld it that it bare a man above liimself by the
great brightness of Hght ; in so mickle that, whatsoever
I saw before, it was as nothing methought in comparison
of it. That brightness, though it were inestimable,
nevertheless it dulled not a man's sight ; it rather
sharpened it. Soothly it shined full marvellously, but
more inestimably it delighted a man that beheld it, and
wonderfully compelled a man's sight to see it. And
withinforth nothing I might see, but light and the wall
of crystal through the which we came in. And also
from the ground up to top of that wall were degrees
ordained and disposed fair and marvellously, by the
which the joyful company that was come in at the afore-
said gate gladly ascended up. There was no labour,
there was no difficulty, there was no tarr3dng in their
ascending ; and the higher they went the gladder they
were. Soothly I stood beneath on the ground, and
long time I saw and beheld how they that came in at
the gate ascended up by the same degrees. And at
the last as I looked up higher I saw in a throne of joy
sitting our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in
hkeness of man, and about Him as it seemed to me were
a five hundred souls which late had chmbed up to that
glorious throne, and so they came to our Lord and
worshipped Him and thanked Him for His great mercy
and grace showed and done to them. And some were
seen on the upper parts of the wall as they had walked
hither and thither. Truly I knew for certain that this
place, where I saw our Lord sitting on a throne, was not
the high heaven of heavens where the blessed spirits of

152 A Medieval Gamer.

angels and the holy souls of righteous men joy in the
sight of God, seeing Him in His majesty as He is ;
where also innumerable thousands of holy spirits and
angels serve Him and assist Him : but then from thence
withouten any hardness or tarrying, they ascend up to
the high heaven, the which is blessed of the sight of the
everlasting Godhead, where only the holy angels and
the souls of righteous men that be of angels' perfection
see the invisible and immortal King of all worlds face
to face, the which hath only immortahty, and dwelleth
in light that is inaccessible : for no man may come to
it, the which no mortal man seeth neither may see.
Soothly he is seen only of holy spirits that be pure and
clean, the which be not grieved by no corruption of
body neither of soul. And in this vision that I saw, so
mickle I conceived in my soul of joy and gladness that
whatsoever may be said of it by men's mouth full
little it is, and unsufficient to express the joy of mine
heart that I had there.

Therefore, when I had seen all these sights aforesaid
and many other innumerable, my lord St. Nicholas
that held me by the hand said shortly this to me, " Lo
son," he said, " now partly after thy petition and great
desire thou hast seen and beholden the state of the
world that is to come, as it might be to-possible. Also
the perils of them that offenden and earn the pains of
smners ; the rest also of them that have done their
purgation ; the desires of them that be going to heaven-
ward ; and the joys of them that now be come to the
court of heaven ; and also the joy of Christ's reigning.
And now thou must go again to thyself and to thine,
and to the world's fighting. Truly thou shalt have
and perceive the joys that thou hast seen, and mickle
more, if thou continue and persevere in the dread of
God. And when he had said this to me, he brought me
forth through the same gate that we came in ; where-
fore full heavy and sorry was I and more than a man
may suppose ; for well I knew that I must turn again
from that heavenly bhss to this world's wretchedness.
And greatly he exhorted me, how I should dispose me
to abide the day of my calling out of my body in clean-

Easter Bells. 153

ness of heart and of body, and meekness of spirit with
dihgent keeping of my religion. ' Dihgently ' (he said
to me) ' keep the commandments of God, and dispose thy
Kving after the example of righteous men. And truly
so it shall be, that after the term of thy bodily living
thou shall be admitted blessedly to their fellowship

And while the holy confessor St. Nicholas this wise
spake yet with me, suddenly I heard there a solemn
peal and a ringing of a marvellous sweetness, and as all
the bells in the world, or whatsoever is of sounding, had
been rungen together at once. Truly in this peal and
ringing brake out also a marvellous sweetness, and a
variant mingling of melody sounded withal. And I
wot not whether the greatness of melody or the sweet-
ness of sounding of bells was more to be wondered.
And to so great a noise I took good heed, and full
greatly my mind was suspended to hear it. Soothly
anon as that great and marvellous sounding and noise
was ceased, suddenly I saw myself departed from the
sweet fellowship of my duke and leader St. Nicholas.
Then was I returned to myself again ; and anon
heard the voice of my brethren that stood about our
bed ; also my bodily strength came again to me a little
and a httle, and mine eyes opened to the use of seeing,
as ye saw right well. Also my sickness and feebleness
by the which I was long time full sore diseased was
utterly excluded and gone from me, and sat up before
you so strong and mighty as I was before by it sorrow-
ful and heavy. And I weened that I had been then in
the church afore the altar, where I worshipped first
the cross. ..."

[To which the writer of the work adds an epilogue.]

Many instructions and open examples be here at the
beginning of this narration that evidently proven|this
vision not to be of man's conceit, but utterly of the^will
of God, the which would have it shewed to christian
people. Nevertheless, if there be so great infidelity or
infirmity of any persons that cannot believe to these
things aforesaid, let them consider the great sickness
and feebleness of him that saw it, so suddenly and so

154 A Medieval Garner.

soon healed into a very witness and truth of this vision
that he saw. Also let them marvel the great noise
that was about him, and also how that he was pricked
in his feet [by the Brethren] with needles, by the which
he could not in any wise be moved. Furthermore let
them take heed to his eyes that were so far fallen down
into his head, and [how he] was not seen unnethe to
breathe the space of ij days, and also after a full long
space of hours unnethe [at the] last might be perceived
in him a full small moving as a thin thread in his vital
veins. Also let them consider his continual weeping
and tears the which he had afterward many days.
. . . [But] full delectable it was to him, as he said,
from that time forth, as oft as he heard any solemn peal
of ringing of bells ; because it would then come to his
mind again, the full sweet peal and melody the which
he heard when he was among the blessed souls in
Paradise. Soothly, after that he was come to himself
and his brethren had told him that now is the holy
time of Easter, then first he believed, when he heard
them ring solemnly to compline : for then he knew
certainly that the peal and melody that he heard in
Paradise with so great joy and gladness betokened the
same solemnity of Easter in the which our blessed Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ rose up visibly and bodily
from death unto life ; to Whom with the Father and
the Holy Ghost be now and evermore everlasting joy
and bliss. Amen.

Roger de Hoveden, R.S., vol. iii., p. 35 ; laws published by Richard I.
for those who sailed on his Crusade. Similar and more elaborate
legislation for Crusaders may be found in A. Schultz, Hofisches Leben,
etc., vol. ii., 220 fE.

66.— ^f)ipman's Hato.

EANWHILE [A.D. 1190] King Richard went
into Gascony, and laid siege to the castle
of WilHam de Chisi and took it, and
hanged William himself, the lord of that
castle, for that he had robbed pilgrims to

Compostella and others that passed over his domains.

Then the King went to Chinon in Anjou, where he

Shipman^s Law. 155

appointed Gerard bishop of Auch, and Bernard bishop
of Bayonne, and Robert de Sablun, and Richard de
Camville, and Wilham de Forz of Oleron as leaders and
constables over his whole fleet which was to sail for
Silves ;* unto whom he gave a charter in this form
following : " Richard by the grace of God king of
England, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and
Count of Anjou, to all his men who are about to go to
Jerusalem by sea, greeting. Know that we, by the
common counsel of honourable men, have made these
rules of justice here following. Whosoever shall kill a
man on board ship, let him be bound to the corpse and
cast into the sea ; but if he kill him on land, let him be
bound to the corpse and buried ahve. Whosoever
hath been convicted by lawful witnesses of drawing
his knife to strike another, or of striking him even to
the shedding of blood, let him lose his hand : but if he
have struck him with the palm, and shed no blood, let
him be thrice dipped in the sea. If any cast upon his
fellow either contumely or reviling or God's curse, then,
so often as he have reviled him, so many ounces of
silver let him pay. If any robber be convicted of
theft, let him be shorn Hke a champion, and boiling
pitch be poured over his head, and let the feathers of a
feather-bed be shaken over his head that all men may
know him ; and at the first spot where the ships shall
come to land, let him be cast forth. Given at Chinon,
under our own hand." Moreover the King enjoined in
another brief under his own hand, that all his men who
were to go by sea should obey the words and precepts
of these aforesaid justiciars of his fleet.

* Near Cape St. Vincent, where they were to laud on their way to
Palestine. The tale of their doings at Lisbon (Hoveden, p. 45) suggests
that Eichard's laws were scarcely more strictly kept than those of
other medieval sovereigns. Schultz (I.e.) gives other evidence to the
same effect.

The account of the journey itself, though too long for insertion here,
is extremely interesting. It may be found in Riley's translation of
Hoveden (Bohn, 1853, vol. ii., pp. 143 ff.). I subjoin as an illustration
of the above ship-laws, some extracts from T. D. Wunderer's account

156 A Medieval Garner.

of Ids voyage on a great Hanse Sliip from Kiga to Tramiind in 1590.
(Fichard, Frankfurtisches Archiv., ii., 245.) Though the date is late,
the main features of the ordinances there described had doubtless been
handed down from very early times.

67.— Life on a i^anse ^bip*

|FTER we had driven half a day under full
sail [from Riga], then the Skipper, Bernhard
Schultz of Liibeck, called us together ac-
cording to custom and made the usual speech
to us, who were forty-seven all told, to the
following purport : " Seeing that we are now at the mercy
of God and the elements, each shall henceforth be held
equal to his fellows, without respect of persons. And
because, on this voyage, we are in jeopardy of sudden
tempests, pirates, monsters of the deep and other perils,
therefore we cannot navigate the ship without strict
government. Wherefore I do hereby most earnestly
warn and instantly beseech every man, all and singular,
that we hear first of all a reading of God's word from the
Scriptures, both text and notes ; and then that we ap-
proach God steadfastly with prayer and hymn that He
may vouchsafe us fair winds and a prosperous journey.
After which we will set about to ordain and establish
a government by the most prudent according to the
customary sea-laws ; which office (as sea-law hath it)
no man may refuse to undertake, but must rather be
ready to exercise it strictly and without respect of
persons, even as each desireth that God may deal with
him at his last end and at that dreadful day, truly and
without flinching, and with all dihgence that may be."
Then followed the preaching and prayers ; after which
the aforesaid Skipper, by universal consent, chose as
our judge or Reeve a noted citizen of Riga, Dietrich
Finger by name : after whom he chose four assessors,
firstly Herr Albrecht Veldthusen, a Councillor of
Mittau, the capital of Curland ; secondly and thirdly
me and my fellow-traveller Conrad Dasypodius of
Strassburg ; and fourthly Ehas Kiesel, baihff of the
castle of Candau in Curland. Lastly, to serve these,
he chose two Procurators, a Watchmaster, a Scribe, an

Life on a Hansc Ship. 157

Executor or Masterman, and a Provost-Marshal with
two servants. After which ordinance of our govern-
ment, then the following sea-laws were read out from
the ^\Titten text, that men might obey them. [A few
of these regulations may here be given : e.g. IV.
Let every man beware of sleeping on his watch ;
if he be caught sleeping, let him be punished
by common sea-law : that is, let him be hauled through
under the keel : yet this law must be interpreted with
due respect of persons. VI. No man shall cause
tumult or disturbance on board, under penalty of the
common mariners' punishment ; that is, let him be
hauled through under the keel, yet with due respect of
circumstances and persons. IX. No man shall draw
his sword in anger against another on board ship,
whether the weapon be long or short, under penalty of
sea-law : that is, let the weapon be struck through the
offender's hand into the foremast, so that, if he will go
free, he must himself draw the sword out of his hand :
yet this should be interpreted with due respect to
circumstances. X. No man shall promise another to
fight or quarrel mth him when he is come to land,
under penalty of the [land] court when the fact is
established. XII. No man shall spill or pour away
more beer than he can cover with his foot, under
penalty of a cask of beer, or less according to the cir-
cumstances.] . . .When therefore we were come
within near half a day's sail of the port of Tramiind, in
the territory of Liibeck, then the Keelmaster or Skipper
made his reckoning according to custom, after which
the Bailiff resigned the command which he had held
with the following words : " Whatsoever hath passed
and befallen on shipboard all this time, each man
should forgive to every man his feUow, overlook it,
and let it be dead and gone, even as I for my part am
glad to do ; for, whatsoever doom I and my assessors
may have given, all must needs be so dealt and kept
for judgment's and justice' sake. Wherefore I beseech
all and singular, with regard to all our honest judg-
ments, that each will lay aside such enmity as he may
have conceived against another, and swear an oath by

158 A Medieval Garner.

salt and bread that he will never more think bitterly
of that matter. If however any yet thinketh that any
matter have been unwarrantably judged, let him
speak out now when we can yet dispute of that matter ;
whereunto I for my part will give all possible diligence
to settle the dispute, and leave no stone unturned.
Otherwise, let him appeal to the Portreeve at Tramiind,
as hath been the custom from time immemorial unto
this day, and claim a judgment before this day's
sundown. And may God Almighty hear me now and
grant me further good fortune, health, and all well-
being in all future voyages ; which also I wish from
the bottom of my heart to all here present." Then
each man took forthwith salt and bread, in token of
hearty forgiveness for all that might have befallen.

The following extract, while illustrating that phrase in King Kichard's
laws, " shorn like a champion," will also throw light on one of the most
characteristic customs of the earlier Middle Ages. It is from the book
wliich goes under the name of Britton, a Norman-French legal compila-
tion made from authoritative sources about the year 1290. The
translation here quoted is that of the standard edition (F. M. Nichols,
Clarendon Press, 1865, vol. i., pp. 104 ff. For further references to this
subject, see Extract, No. 210.)

68 — Crial ftp IBattle.

F the defendant cannot abate the appeal,
then it shall be in his election, whether he
will defend himself by his body or by the
country,* and so in all felonies prosecuted
by private persons, except in special cases,
as of women, persons maimed, and others who neither
can nor ought to wage battle. And if he says, by his
body, and it be in the case of felony at the prosecution
of another, then let the matter be examined before
battle is joined, whether the cause be trespass or
felony ; and if trespass, let the appeal be abated by
the Justices ex officio. But if felony, then let the

* i.e.y by referring the case to a jury.

Trial by Battle.


defendant give security to defend himself, and the
appellor security to prove the cause ; next let a day be
given them to provide themselves with arms, and let
the defendant in the meantime remain in prison.

When they appear armed in Court, let the plaintiff
repeat his appeal word for word as he did before, and


From a 13th-century encaustic tile found on the site of Chertsey Abbey.
(H. Shaw's Specimens of Tile Pavements, pi. xvii).

the defendant defend himself as before ; and after-
wards let them take each other by the hand, and let the
defendant swear first in this manner, and the appellor
afterwards as shall be presently more fully set forth.
" Hear this, you man whom I hold by the hand, who
call yourself John by your name of baptism, that I,
Peter, did not in such a year, nor on such a day, nor in
such a place, compass or propose the death aforesaid,
nor did assent to such felony as you have charged me

1 60 A Medieval Garner,

with, so help me God and the Saints." Afterwards the
appellor shall swear thus. " Hear this, you man whom
I hold by the hand, who call yourself Peter by your
name of baptism, that you are perjured, inasmuch as
on such a day, in such a year, and in such a place, you
did propose such a treason or such a death as I have
said against you in the appeal, so help me God and the

Then let them both be brought to a place appointed
for that purpose, where they must swear thus. " Hear
this, ye Justices, that I John (or I Peter) have neither
eaten nor drunk anything, nor done or caused to be
done for me any other thing, whereby the law of God
may be abased, and the law of the devil advanced or
exalted." And thus let it be done in all battles in
appeals of felony. And let proclamation be imme-
diately made, that no one, except the combatants,
whatever thing he see or hear, be so bold as to stir, or
cry aloud, whereby the battle may be disturbed ;
and whosoever disobeys the proclamation shall be
imprisoned a year and a day.

Next, let them go to combat, armed without iron and
without the slightest armour, their heads uncovered,
their hands and feet bare, with two staves tipped with
horn of equal length, and each of them a target of four
corners, without any other arms, whereby either of
them may annoy the other ; and if either of them have
any other arms concealed about him, and therewith
annoy or offer to annoy his adversary, let it be done as
shall be mentioned in treating of battle in a plea of

If the defendant can defend himself until the stars
can be seen in the firmament, and demands judgment
whether he ought to combat any longer, our will is,
that judgment pass for the defendant, and so in all
battles between champions ; and in the case of felony
the appellor shall be committed to prison. And if the
defendant will confess the felony before he is otherwise
attainted, and appeal others of consenting to the same,
we allow him to be admitted thereto.

And if the defendant be vanquished, let the judg-

The Child and the Christ. 161

ment be this, that he be drawn and hanged, or put to
such other painful death as we sliall direct, and that all
his movable goods be ours, and his heirs disinherited ;
and his children shall be incapable of ever holding land
in our realm. And let not any, unless they would be
suspected themselves of the felony, presume to intercede
for him ; and let the accuser, who without delay shall
prosecute such felony with good effect, receive from us
a''notable reward.

The following anecdote from the Speculum Historiale of Vincent of
Beauvais, lib. vi., c. 99, occurs also in a MS. of the Bibliotheque
Nationale of the end of the 12th century. See Toulmin Smith, Contes
de Nicole Bozon, pp. 140, 279.

69.— etc CWID ann t|)e CJrist.

HERE is a famous city on the Rhine named
Speyer, where men worship an image of
St. Mary, Mother of God, with her child.
A httle child, while his mother was pra3dng
afar, came to this statue with a sUce of
bread in his hand, and broke off a crumb which he
held out to the image of the wailing Child, beseeching

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