G. G. (George Gordon) Coulton.

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in Cassian., Coll. II., cap. 2 : Moses. But let him
have recourse to devout, religious, and discreet men, as
was that Father of whom I told above. Nor need he
when confessing explain in too full detail such foul
thoughts as these ; but it sufficeth so to say that the
confessor may understand his mind, and this once only.
If the temptation buffet him still, it is enough that he
should confess it again to the same priest simply in
general terms. . . . [Let us be as little children learning
to walk, who are not too downcast or angry with their
falls ; but who] humbly and faithfully stretch out their
hands to their loving Mother that she may raise them
up, seeing that they cannot rise of their own accord.



315.— a il3ot)le T5i0[)op.

(L. Dacheux, l.c; app. XXXVI. Letter of Geiler in 1486 to his former pupil,
Count Friedrich von Zollern, now Bishop-Elect of Augsburg).

KNOW that, if thou wert now here, thou
wouldst say, " Well, what tliinkest thou ?
Counsel me ; shall I or shall I not undertake
this burden from which even an angel's
shoulders might shrink ? " I would first
say that (like St. Bernard when a bishop-elect consulted
him in a similar case) I say nothing. For St. Bernard




684 A Medieval Garner.

would give no advice to such a prelate-elect, but left
him to his own conscience ; so also will I. In short I
say nothing, because if I shall tell you (as Jesus said to
those who said to Him, " tell us ") you will not believe
me nor let go. But perchance thou urgest me and
wilt have me speak. If therefore thou wilt have it, I
tell thee again and again, without hesitation : if thou
wilt follow in the footsteps of the bishops of our days,
saying within thyself, " Lo, I will have so many horses ! "
and acting accordingly, then [fear] that which thou hast
so often heard from my lips. Again, if thou wilt follow
the counsel of men of this world, holding on thy course
with excommunications and such other things as are
commonly done in bishops' courts, not visiting thy
diocese nor effectually extirpating vices, not spending
thy goods on the poor to whom indeed they pertain,
not seeing to spiritual things thyself and leaving
worldly things to others, but on the contrary neglecting
ordinations and such duties — in short, unless thou wilt
become as it were a prodigy among bishops, a phoenix,
single of thine own kind, then would it be better for
thee that thou hadst never been bom !




316.— Duke anti TBisftop,

(Geiler, Navicula Fatuorum. Turba XLIII, nola 2).

ijOME men, when they are about to enter a
church, equip themselves like hunters, bear-
ing hawks and bells on their wrists, and
followed by a pack of baying hounds, that
trouble God's service. Here the bells
jangle, there the barking of dogs echoes in our ears, to
the hindrance of preachers and hearers, of all who do
their masses and of all who say their prayers. Brother,
this is no ground for huntsmen, but for bedesmen ! Such
conduct is most reprehensible in all men, but especially
in the clergy, albeit some of these would fain excuse
many things in themselves under pretext of their noble
birth, claiming the right to do that which would be



Duke and Bishop. 685

clearly unlawful for the commonalty, and saying that
they must show themselves nobles at one time, clerics
at another.* Against whom I am reminded of that
shrewd answer which is recorded from a peasant to a
bishop. This prelate, as he rode through the fields
escorted by a noisy army of knights, saw a boor who
had left his plough and stood on the mound that fenced
his field, staring at him with open mouth and goggling
eyes of wonder. To whom the Bishop said, " What
thinkest thou, to stand staring thus with gaping throat
and cheeks cleft to the ears ? " "I was thinking,"
quoth he, " whether St. Martin, who himself also was a
bishop, was wont to go along the high road with all this
din of arms and all this host of knights." Whereunto
the Bishop replied, with somewhat of a blush, " I am
not only a Bishop, but a Duke of the Empire, wherefore
I now play the Duke. But if thou wouldst fain see the
Bishop, come to the Church on such a day," (and
therewith he named him a day), " and I will show you
the prelate." To which the rustic made answer, with
a little laugh, " But if (which Heaven forfend !) the Duke
were to go and find his deserts in hell, what then would
become of our Bishop ? "

* In the Cathedrals of Auxerre and Nevers, for instance, the trea-
surers had the legal right of coming to service with hawk on wrist. This
was because those particular canonries were hereditary in noble
families ; but already in the middle of the 15th century we find this
permission causing scandal among the faithful. {Menagier de Paris
(1846), vol. I., p. 296.) The abuse of conferring high church offices
on nobles was worse in Germany, however, than in most other countries.



317.— Cf)e OBtJc of tbc Ecformation.

(Geiler, Nav. Fat. Turba ClI, nola G).

LORD my God, how falsely now do even
those live who seem most spiritual — Par-
sons and Monks, Beguines and Penitents !
Their study is not to work God's works but
to conceal the devil's works. Among these
all is outward show, and there is no truth, nought else
but dung be-snowed or buried under snow ; without is




686 A Medieval Garner.

the glistering whiteness of righteousness and honesty,
but within a conscience reeking with vermin and with
the stench of sin. The day shall come when the Sun
of Righteousness shall melt the snow, and then shall
the secrets of your hearts be revealed. And would
that the filth of our sins were at least covered with the
appearance of snow, that our sin, like Sodom, were not
published abroad without shame !




318.— propbets toittiout JE)onour.

(Geiler, Peregrinus. Strassburg, 1513. Mos. XVIl).

HIS much is certain, that all who would live
piously in Christ Jesus suffer persecutions,
(II. Thess. iii :) which is true of all Religious,
Clerics, and Layfolk. Religious, I say ; for
if anyone in a monastery would fain keep
the Rule, would fain be chaste, live continently, obey,
and keep the ceremonies, then he is mocked by the
rest.* " Lo ! " say they, " our pietist would fain be
wiser than all others ; while so many learned men and
luminaries of the world live thus, he alone striveth
against them ! " I confess indeed that these are
luminaries of the world, but such as shine for themselves
and their followers to everlasting damnation ; 'tis
great pity that any such should perish ! . . . They say
against such a pietist, in the words of the second chapter
of Wisdom, " Come, let us lie in wait for him, because
he is not to our turn and he is contrary to our doings ! '*
Truly they say thus ; for they stand round him as he
sitteth among them like an owl among the birds, or
Daniel among the lions, or Stephen among those that
stoned him. Nor is it only there [in monasteries] but
among clerics also it is the same, if any of the number
wear the proper garments and tonsure, living without

* This is a frequent complaint in the later Middle Ages. The lax
Religious, says St. Catherine of Siena, " fall upon such as would fain
keep their Rule, as ravening wolves upon lambs, scoffing and scorning
them " (Dialogo, cap. 125 ; cf. cap. 162).



Prophets without Honour. 687

covetousness, content with a single benefice, chaste,
avoiding the company of women, an ahnsgiver, charit-
able, temperate, keeping his fasts, no frequenter of
banquets, gentle, peaceful, not vindictive, ready for
divine things, reading masses and praying and chanting,
and so forth. Such a man, I say, is a laughing-stock.
'' Lo, here is our daily fellow ! he sticks in the choir
like a nail in a tile ! " All inveigh against him, even
as the birds flock together and chatter round an owl ;
each will have his peck at him. " Oh ! " quoth they,
" this fellow was ever singular ! " holy singularity !
many are called, but few are chosen : broad is the way
to damnation, and many shall go thereby ; narrow is
the path to life, and few are they that find it. So also
are laymen and lay wo men mocked if they betake them-
selves and their friends to church on Sundays, and to
confession in this season of Lent, or if they clothe
themselves and their wives and children in becoming
garb ; and why should I make a long story ? It is
truly \^Titten in the 12th chapter of Job : " The simpli-
city of the just man is laughed to scorn ; the lamp,
despised in the thoughts of the rich, is ready for the
time appointed " ; for which see St. Gregory's Moraliz-
ations upon Job. (He who will, let him here extend this
discourse throughout all the deadly sins, as we have
done above in speaking of clerics). Wherefore halt
not nor go thou backward for all their derision, but go
ever forwards, seeing that this is no new thing, but
liath flowed down to us from ancient days, and all men
are in the same case.



Strassburg had followed from time immemorial the common medieval
custom of denying Communion and Christian burial to condemned
criminals. Geiler attacked this custom ; the magistrates and all the
Rehgious of the city, except one, defended it. The Bishop tried to
settle the dispute by consulting his clergy : here again opinions were
divided. At last, in 1482, the Papal Nuncio consulted the University
of Heidelberg, which decided in Geiler's favour. Yet it was not until
1485 that Geiler won his point, with the help of his pupil Peter Schott,
himself a distinguished patrician of the city. For the whole negotiation




688 A Medieval Garner.

see L. Daclieux {Jean Geiler, pp. 45 ff), who adds : " When Strassburg
was incorporated with France, the condemned were again denied
Communion, according to the custom of the Gallican Church." In
Sicily, it appears that they were even refused spiritual help of any kind
until the middle of the 16th century. (Th. Trede. Heidentum, u.s.w.
Gotha, 1890, pt. III., p. 349.) The following extract is from Peter
Schott's letter to the Nuncio, printed in his rare Lucuhratiunculae
(Strassburg, 1497). After a preface defending Geiler against the
slanders of those who were interested in upholding the ancient abuses,
Schott proceeds (f. 116) :

319.— Enottp problems.

fIRST, as to the criminals led to execution,
whereas ye desired to know the opinion of
the Heidelberg Doctors, if ye had put off
your departure for four days, ye might have
seen the concordant opinions both of the
theologians and of the jurists, that the Sacrament of
the Eucharist should by no means be refused to such
persons, if only they show signs of repentance and
desire it. But there are other points also, though they
have not as yet given rise to such open conflict, whereof
this eminent Doctor [Geiler], stirred by the same zeal
for God's glory, prayeth that he may be confirmed and
strengthened by men of learning and great authority
with a more settled and certain mind, lest the truth be
again gainsaid when it is thus constantly preached in
public as need requireth. These then, inter cetera, are
the chief points of doubt. One statute of the city of
Strassburg ordaineth that whoso entereth into a Reli-
gious Order, however wealthy he be, may not bear into
the monastery more than 100 pounds, (or 200 gold
pieces of the Rhine) ; the rest he is compelled to leave
to his heirs as though he were intestate. i\nother
statute ordaineth that a citizen of Strassburg who
slayeth a stranger or foreigner (that is, a non-citizen)
is free of all penalty on payment of 30 pence (or about
three Rhenish florins) ; yet if the same should steal
from a foreigner, though it were but a little, he should
be hanged. If again any man, even a citizen, should
slay a citizen, albeit in self-defence and without undue
violence, he is slain. Again, it is ordained by statute



Knotty Problems. 689

that naught may be left by will or bj^ deathbed gift,
even to holy places and pious uses. We would know,
then, are the makers or enforcers of such statutes in a
state of salvation ? Again, they give public warranty
or safe conduct against justice, so that the man thus
privileged need not abide by the law. Again, they
exact promiscuously from the clergy taxes and imposts
and tolls, even upon the necessaries of life such as wine
and corn.

Again, they have set on high in the cathedral a
certain boorish image under the organ, which they thus
misuse ; On the sacred days of Whitsuntide themselves,
whereon folk from all parts of the diocese are wont to
enter the cathedral in procession with relics of saints
and devotions, singing and chanting glad songs to God's
praise, then a certain buffoon hideth behind that image
and, with uncouth gestures and loud voice, belcheth
forth profane and indecorous canticles to drown the
hymns of those that come in, grinning meanwhile and
mocking at them ; so that he not only turneth their
devotion to distraction and their groans to rude laughter,
but impedeth even the clergy in their chants of God ;
nay, in the case of the divine solemnities of the mass
(for such are sung not far from that spot), they inflict
abominable and execrable disturbance, far and wide,
upon such as are zealous for the worship of the church,
or rather of God. Moreover, the Biirgermeister hath
his own place in the Cathedral, wherein he is wont
promiscuously to make answer and give audience to
parties called before him ; moreover, he hath been
accustomed to talk with others there, even at times
when masses are being sung by priests in the vicinity,
who are troubled by so great murmur and noise. More-
over, they commit other irreverences also in the holy
places, buying and selling in the church porch, though
that too be a consecrated spot, and bearing fowls or
pigs or vessels through the church, even in times of
divine service, by which walking they obey the devil
rather than God. Moreover, especially between the
Feast of St. Nicholas and the Octave of the Innocents
[Dec. 6 to Jan. 4] a boy is clad in episcopal ornaments

T2



690 A Medieval Garner.

and singeth collects in the church ; he bestoweth
public benedictions, and a masked crowd troubleth all
right and justice in the churches. Moreover, the
Lord's Day is thus belittled by a corrupt abuse ; for
there is a statute that on that day and no other the
bakers from without the city shall bring together a
great mass of bread, and offer it for sale only at that
time whereat the people should be the more intent
upon divine worship. Again, whatsoever holy day
falleth on a Friday, even though it be that of the
Blessed Virgin, yet the public market is not forbidden.
Seeing that all these things stir the wrath of our zealous
man, he would fain first be informed what he must
think of these things ? Are all who do such in mortal
sin, or all who, (having the power,) hinder them not ?
Secondly : Should those hold their peace or speak
against these things, who have been commissioned to
preach in the bishop's stead ?




320.— Paul's Walk

Guillaume Pepin, Prior of the Dominicans at Evreux, was a famous
preacher who died in 1532 or 3. His works were reprinted in a collected
form at Cologne in 1610. The following is from his Sermones de Imita-
tione Sanctorum. (Venice, 1594, fol. 106 a.)

OTE that many come into the Temple (that
is, to Church) in the spirit indeed, but not
always in a holy or good spirit. Here we
must mark that some come thither in
divers spirits. First, in the spirit of cove-
tousness and greed, as many prebendaries who come
to the canonical hours and to the funeral services in
order to receive distributions [of money], and who
would not otherwise come at all. How then do these ?
certainly, for the most part, they are present only at
the beginning and end of the service ; for the rest of
the time they wander about the church, spending the
time in many confabulations and levities with layfolk
or other persons. Yet this abuse is strictly forbidden



PauFs Walk. 691

[in two separate passages of Canon Law]. Again, those
enter the Church in the spirit of greed who procure
ordination or promotion for the sake of benefices and
dignities, that they may thus live in greater comfort
and ease. The same may be said of such as enter into
endowed Religious Orders, and similar fraternities.
A second class come thither in the spirit of ambition
and pride, as many do who stalk in pompously on
feast days, that they may be seen and honoured, or
praised for the magnificence of their dress ; in which
pomp and abuse women are more excessive than men
. . . The third are those who come in the spirit of
fornication and lechery, of which kind are many
incontinent, vagabond and inconstant women, who
wander about the church and the holy places to see
and be seen ; who pollute the holy temple, at least in
their hearts. The fourth come to the temple in the
spirit of surfeiting and drunkenness, as do many country-
folk who keep certain gild commemorations, in honour
whereof (as they say) they come together on certain
days of the year and hold their feasts within the church,*
perchance because they have no houses large enough
to hold so large a company ; and thus with their
surfeiting and drunkenness, with their filthiness and
clamour, they profane and pollute the sanctuary of
God. Wherein they resemble those Corinthians of the
early church, who, after taking the revered Sacrament
of the Altar, feasted magnificently within the church :
and whom St. Paul reproveth (1 Cor. xi. 22.) saying
*' What, have you not houses to eat and to drink in ?
Or despise ye the church of God : and put them to
shame that have not ? " For [as it is written in Canon
Law], the church is no place for meetings or assemblies,
or for the tumult of bawling voices. Enough in this
place. [He repeats the same complaints more briefly
in another sermon, Fer. 2a post 4. Dom. Quad.]

* These are of course the Church Ales which the puritan party among
the Reformers laboured so hard to put down. In many English parishes
Church Houses were built for these feasts.




692 A Medieval Garner.

Gotz von Berlichingen " of the Iron Hand," born in 1480 of a knightly
family in Wurttemberg, may be called the last of the robber-knights of
the Middle Ages. For the first half of his Hfe he played the part of a
William of Deloraine with varying fortunes : from 1541 onwards he
fought imder Charles V. in greater wars, first against the Turks (1541)
and then against the French (1544). He died in his own castle of
Hornberg (1562), leaving an autobiography on which Goethe founded
his first play, and from which much of Sir Walter Scott's romantic
spirit was indirectly derived. His descendants still flourish in two
separate lines.

321.— a Page's Ciuarrel.

(a.d. 1497, Gotz aged 17).

WAS brought up as a page in the house of
the Markgraf [of Ansbach] ; on whom, in
company with other pages, I must needs
wait at table. Now it befel upon a time
that I sat at meat beside a Pole, who had
waxed his hair with eggs : and by chance I was wearing
a long coat of outlandish fashion, which my lord Veit
von Lentersheim had let make for me in Namur : so
that, when I sprang up from my place beside the
aforenamed Pole, I ruffled his fine hair with my skirt ;
and I was aware, even as I sprang up, that he thrust
at me with a breadknife, but missed me. Whereat I
waxed wroth, and not without cause : so that, whereas
I had both a long and a short blade by my side, yet
I drew but the short one, and smote him therewith
about the pate : notwithstanding I continued to wait
on my wonted service, and stayed that night in the
castle. In the morning betimes, the Markgraf went
to hear mass at the parish church, as indeed he was a
godfearing prince ; after which, when we came back
to the castle from the church, I found the gates shut
behind me, and the Provost-Marshal came up and told
me that I must yield myself prisoner. Then I bade
him let me alone, for this might not be, and I must
needs first get speech of the young princes ; and truly
I gave him few gentle words for his pains. But the
good man was wiser than I, and let me go ; for, had
he laid hands on me, I had surely defended myself ;
and fallen into an evil case. Then I went upstairs to
the Princes, and told them of all that had befallen



A Pagers Quarrel. 693

with the Provost-Marshal and this Pole : they were
then about to go to table for their morning meal,
wherefore they bade me stay where I was ; and, if any
came, that I should go into their chamber and hide
myself in the inner room and lock the door from within.
I did as they bade me, and waited till the Princes came
back from table and reported how they had spoken
on my behalf to the lord their father, and the royal
lady their mother*, and besought them to save me
from punishment in the matter of this Pole : but all
their words had naught availed, and the old Markgraf
might in no wise find peace with his lady, nor the
Princes grace in the eyes of their mother, but she must
first have assurance that her lord would cause me to be
cast into the tower. Yet the two young Princes bade
me in no wise resist, for they would not leave me there
longer than one quarter of an hour. But I answered :
" Wherefore should I to the tower, since the first
offence was of the Pole's giving ? " Yet they assured
me over again that they would not suffer me to lie
there but only for the space of a quarter of an hour :
whereupon I let myself be persuaded, and was locked
in of my own free will. Prince George would have
given me a velvet cloak furred with marten and sable
skins, to cover me withal : but I asked What should
I with this ? for in lying down with it, I might as well
chance upon a foul spot as upon a clean ; and seeing
that my durance was like to be so short, I had no need
of the cloak, but would go quietly without it to the
tower. The Princes kept their word, for I lay but a
bare quarter of an hour in that tower ; then came my
brave captain, Herr Paul v. Absberg, and set me free
again, bidding me tell him again the cause of the whole
matter. Then this honest knight brought me before
the Council, and spake in my behalf, and excused me :
moreover, all the squires and noble pages who were
at that time at the Markgraf s court, to the number of
fifty or sixty, stood by me : and Herr Paul v. Absberg
pleaded vehemently that the Pole also should be locked
into the tower : yet here he might not prevail.

* The Markgrafin was daughter to King Casimir IV of Poland.




694 A Medieval Garner,



322.— an ancient jFeuD.

(a.d. 1502).

HORTLY after the Niimberg fight, (which,
was fought, as aforesaid, on the Sunday
after St. Vitus' day), about the time of
Michaelmas, it chanced that I was riding
down the Sodenberg with Neidhart von
Thiingen, on whom I had waited in former times. We
were aware, as we went, of two horsemen near a wood,
close by the village of Obereschenbach. This was
Endriss von Gemiind, Bailiff of Saaleck, with his
squire, nicknamed the Ape. — Now you must know
that before this, when first I came into Herr Neidhart's
service, there had been a meeting at Hammelburg,
whereat my cousin Count Wilhelm von Henneberg and
Count Michael von Wertheim were present, and where
the quarrel of the aforesaid Michael von Wertheim with
an enemy of his was judged and appeased. One day,
then, when I would have joined Herr Neidhart and
his troopers in their hostel, who indeed were mostly
drunken, there among others I met this aforesaid Ape,
and he was very heavy with drink and had much wind
in his nose,* and spake strange words. " What brings
this squireling hither ? " quoth he ; " is he also to be
one of us ? " and suchlike scornful words, wherewith
he thought to provoke me to wrath. This angered
me, and I answered him "What care I for thy scornful
speeches and thy drunkenness ? If we meet one day
in the field, then will we see who of us twain is squire,
and who is trooper." — Now therefore, as we rode down
the Sodenberg, I thought within myself, " That is
the Ape with his master ! " wherefore, galloping forth-
with up a high hill, spanning my arblast as I went, I
rode far across towards him. His master rode towards
the village, to raise the peasants against me, as I
supposed. The Ape also had a crossbow : but he
fled like his master. Now, as I pressed hard after

* Cf. Chaucer, Cant. Tales A. 4151, and H. 61.



An Ancient Feud. 695

him, he must needs pass through a deep sunken way
towards the village : and I had still far to go to the
corner whereat this way led in [to the village]. So I
let him ride into the sunken way, and shot after him
as he fled. I would now have spanned my arblast



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