صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

man,

Sangreal would appear in his bouse and feed him and all them, and they came on board. And all this was done by the fellowship of the Round Table. Thereupon they went the procurement of that lady, for she was Sir Percival's home unto Winchester, and so to even song in the great sister, and a holy maiden indeed. So the ship took them minster.

away until they arrived up betwixt two marvellous great And while they sat at meat they heard a great thunder- rocks, where there was danger, from the swallow of the sea. blast, and in the midst there entered a sunbeam seven times There they saw another ship, rich enough, but there was clearer than ever they saw day. And all being en- neither man nor woman therein, and on the stern there lightened of the Holy Ghost, every knight began to behold were two fair letters written which said, “ Thou man his neighbour, and all seemed fairer than ever they were be- " which shalt enter into this ship, beware thou be in steadfore, and they looked upon one another as though they had “ fast belief, for I am Faith. And therefore beware how been dumb." Then there entered into the hall the Holy “thou enterest, for, an thou fail, I shall not help thee." Greal, covered with white samite, but there was none might Then they all blessed them, and went on board. And see it, nor who bare it. And the hall was filled with rich after they had achieved there the marvellous adventures of odours, and before each knight there appeared set the meats the Sword Perilous, and the marvellous Girdle and Sheath and drinks he best loved. And, after the Holy Greal had thereof, and had heard the marvellous tale of the Three passed through the hall, it suddenly departed, and all got Spindles, and the Royal Bed of Solomon,-all of which it breath to speak, and the King gave thanks to Gol. And, at were long to tell here, but they may be told hereafter, for Sir Gawaine's example, one hundred and fifty Knights of they are written in the “ Book of the Noble Knight Sir the Round Table, among whom was Sir Galahad, made " Galahad,”--they went from that ship of Faith, and came their vow to go in quest of that Sangreal for a twelvemonth again into the other, and the wind drove them, till on the and a day, and not to return until they had seen it more morn they came to Carteloyse Castle, in the Scottish openly. And so they departed. But because for the Marches, where they had a great adventure. Then they greater part those knights were in deadly sin, and took departed, and came into a waste forest, and before them that quest upon them without confession, it was foretold they saw a white hart, which four lions led, and they folunto Sir Gawaine, by a holy man, that many should die lowed these beasts into a valley, where was a liermitage, and by the hands of one another, nor achieve the Sangreal; and the hart and the lions entered there. that only Sir Launcelot should have mercy to do penance for Then the three knights and that lady turned them to the his sins, and to see the Sangreal, How beit, Sir Galahad chapel, where they saw the good man of the hermitage in and Sir Percival, who were clean and spotless, and Sir Bors, religious weeds and the armour of our Lord, for he would sing who had only once trespassed, and had been forgiven, Mass of the Holy Ghost, and so they entered in and heard should perfectly achieve that precious mystery, that secret it. At the secret of the Mass they marvelled to see the thing of our Lord Jesu Christ.

host become man, and set him upon the altar on a rich So on the fourth day, after even song, Sir Galahad came ! seat; and three of the four lions were changed, the one to a to a white abbey, where he was received with great re- the other to an eagle, and the third to an ox; and verence. And on the morrow be had an adventure with a then all three, with the fourth lion, took their seat where white knight, who showed him the shield which St. Joseph the host sat, and went out through a glass window, and of Arimathea gave to King Evelake when he made him nothing was perished nor broken.* Then they heard a Christian ; and it was a white shield, with a marvellous red voice say, “ In such a manner entered the Son of God in cross, which St. Joseph bad made thereon with his own “ Maid Mary's womb, whose virginity neither was perished blood. Also, the white knight showed unto Sir Galahad “nor hurt;" and there shone a great clear light, and they how that St. Joseph had foretold that he should bear that fell down for fear. Then they prayed the good man to say shield after King Evelake. And, because he had no shield, the truth of all they had seen, and they told him what they he took the same, and hanged it about his neck. Then the had seen. “ Ah! lords,” said he, “ye be welcome! Now, white knight vanished. And Sir Galabad went on and “wot I well, ye be the good knights who shall bring the had many adventures ; and at the end of each adventure

Sangreal to an end. Our Lord is well signified by the there would come unto him some holy man or woman, and " hart, which, when he is old, waxeth young again in his tell him what the adventure betokened. And ever the sig. " white skin. Right so cometh again our Lord from death nification of his adventures was of heavenly deeds and of “ to life, and for that cause appeared our Lord as a white knightly deeds in God's works; for, of all true knightly " hart without spot. And the four that were with him are adventures whereof ye read in books, such is the significa- " the four Evangelists which set in writing a part of Jesu tion, and no other. And in all of these there is hidden some “ Christ's deeds that he did sometime when he was among mystery.

us earthly men. For weet ye well, oftimes ere this Now, when this quest began, these good knights, Sir“ our Lord showed him unto good men and unto good Galahad, Sir Percival, and Sir Bors, were each apart from “ knights in likeness of a hart." other. But, before it ended, they came together in the Then they joyed much and so departed. way ye shall see. For Sir Bors lay sleeping in an abbey And after this they got a strange adventure, wherein, out which was nigh the sea, and there came a voice to him of her great pity and for God's love, that holy sister of which bade him go to the sea. Then he started up, and Sir Percival let herself die for the healing of a sick lady. made a sign of the cross in the midst of his forehead, and But it were too long to tell here, and yet is it all in that took his armour, and made ready his horse, and mounted “ Book of the Noble Knight Sir Galahad.” And she prayed him, and rode him to the strand. There he found a ship her brother, saying, “ Fair brother Percival, I require you covered with white samite, and he alighted and betook him- “ that ye bury me not in this country, but, as soon as I am self to Jesu Christ, and went on board. Then the ship “ dead, put me in a boat at the next haven, and let me go went suddenly out to sea, as though it were flying; and it " as adventure will lead me. And, as soon as ye three come being yet dark, he laid bim down, and slept till day. When to the city of Saracens, there to achieve the Holy Greal, he awoke, he was aware of another knight who lay in the 'ye shall find me under a tower arrived, and there bury me midships all armed, save his helm, and he knew him to be in the spiritual place, for there Galahad sball be buried, Sir Percival, and they had great joy together. And they " and ye also in the same place.” Then he granted it her, told one another of their trials and adventures, and the and wept. And a voice said, “ Lords and fellows, tomarvellous warnings that had brought them there into the “morrow at prime ye three shall leave one another till adsame ship. And ever they drifted in the sea, one while “ venture bring ye together once again.” And then that backward and another while forward. But ever they com- lady asked for her Saviour, and, when she had received forted one another, and were often in their prayers, and Him, her soul departed. But Sir Percival wrote down then said Sir Percival to Sir Bors, “ We lack nothing but these strange adventures in a letter, and put it in her hand, “ Galahad, the good knight.”

and herself he laid in a barge covered with black silk, and And it befel that Sir Galahad rode down to the sea, and

* This beautiful image was, doubtless, suggested by porwith him came a lady riding upon a palfrey, and there they traitures on the great window of some rural chapel of the four lighted on the ship, and Sir Bors and Sir Percival called 'Evangelists.

66

66

the wind arose and drove it out of their sight. And next visage, and therewith he fell to the earth, and lay still as a day at prime they kissed together, and, weeping, prayed to dead man, and in such manner he abode for 24 days and meet again soon, and so they parted.

nights. And at the end he opened his eyes, and he saw much

people about him, and he said, “Why have ye awaked me, SIR GALAHAD.-PART II.

for I was more at ease than I am now?" “Sir," said they, The good knight Sir Launcelot came to the water of the quest of the Sangreal is now achieved in you, that Mortoyse, and there he laid him down and slept. And“ never shall ye see no more of it than ye have seen.” And there came a vision unto him and said, “ Launcelot, arise Sir Launcelot thanked God of his great mercy that he had

up, and take thine armour, and enter into the first ship shown him so much, and he took his horse and armour " thou shalt find.” And he awoke, and there was a great and departed, and so came back unto King Arthur's court. clear light, and he blessed himself. So he took his arms, But Sir Galahad his son, after much adventure, came and journeyed till that he came to a strand, where he found into a certain forest, and there he lighted upon Sir Percia barge, without sail or oar, and he went on board. And val, and after that upon Sir Bors, and they were right glad there he laid him down, for it was yet dark, and slept till to meet again. And they came to the castle where Sir day. And when it was day he was aware of a fair bed, and Launcelot had been, and where he saw the Sangreal; and, thereon lay a gentlewoman dead, and it was Sir Percival's warned by a heavenly voice, they sat them down to meat sister. And he took the writing that was in her hand and there. Then there came as from heaven one clad in bishop's read it, and it told him of her lineage and her adventures. vestments, with a cross in his hand, and on his head a In that barge Sir Launcelot abode a month and more. If mitre, and four angels bearing him in a chair, and they ye would ask how he lived, He that fed the people of seated him before a table of silver, whereon the Holy Greal Israel with manna in the desert, by Him was he fed. For, was; and that bishop had letters written on his forehead, every day when he hail said his prayers, he was sustained which said, This is Joseph, our first bishop, whom our with the grace of the Holy Ghost. And of a night while "Saviour himself did consecrate in the city of the Saracens." he was playing him by the water side, for he was somewhat Then there was opened a door, and they saw coming out weary of the barge, he was aware of a knight who came thereat those four angels, two bearing tapers of wax all riding down to the strand, and he took off the saddle and burning, and the third a towel of crimson samite, and the the bridle of his horse and went on board. Then the twain fourth a spear, which dropped marvellously with blood into saluted each other, and the strange knight said, “ What is a box, and he held the box in one of his hands. And they

your name, for much my heart giveth unto you?” Then set the candles upon the table, and the towel upon the Holy he told him. “Sir,” said the other, “then be ye welcome, Greal, and the spear upright upon that; and then Joseph " for ye were the beginner of me in this world.” “Ah!” seemed to go on with the Mass. Then he took a Host from said Sir Launcelot, are ye Galahad ?” “ Yea, forsooth,” out of that Holy Vessel, and, at the lifting of it up, there said he; and he kneeled down and asked him his blessing, came down a figure like unto a Young Child, whose visage and took off his helm and kissed him. And there was great was red as flaming fire, and He smote himself into the joy between them, and many a friendly word spoken, as bread, so that they all clearly saw that the bread had taken kind would, the which is no need here to be rehearsed. the fleshly form of man. And, when Joseph bad shown It So they dwelled within that barge for half a year together, them for a good space, he put It back within the Holy and had many strange adventures in isles far from folk. Vessel. And, after the sacrifice was done, he came to Sir But one day when they had arrived at the edge of a forest, Galahad and kissed him, and made him kiss his fellows, before a cross, they were aware of a white knight on and prayed them all as servants of Jesus Christ to seat horseback, leading a white horse in his band, and he saluted themselves at that table, and to receive from their Lord's them on our Lord's behalf, and said, “ Galahad, Sir, ye hand food such as they had tasted never. And therewith “ have been long enough with your father. Come out of Joseph vanished, and they seated themselves as he had " the ship, and start upon this horse, and go where adven- said. But while they wept for fear, and cried mercy

ture shall lead ye in the quest of the Sangreal.” Then unto their Lord, they beheld as it were a Naked Man, all he went to his father, and kissed him sweetly, and there bathed in blood, who came out of that Holy Greal, and they took leave of one another, and each asked the other's said, My knights and my servants, ye shall now have a prayers ; and they heard a voice that said, “ Think for to part of my relics and my secrets."

." Then He came unto do well, for the one shall never see the other before the Sir Galahad, who kneeled down before Him, and He gave “ dreadful Day of Doom.” So Sir Galabad entered the Himself unto him as his Saviour; and Galahad received Him forest, and a great wind arose, which drove Sir Launcelot with great humbleness, with his hands closed in prayer, as did more than a month through the sea, and he slept but little, the rest, and they thought Him marvellously sweet. Then but ever prayed God for tidings of the Sangreal.

He told them that the Holy Greal was the dish wherein He And Sir Launcelot at the last came unto a rich castle, ate the lamb on Maunday Thursday. But He bade them go and he landed there and entered the castle, till he found a unto the city of Saracens, wbere they should behold these chamber whereof the door was shut, and, though he strove things more openly, and thither they should bear with them mickle to undo it, yet could he not. Then he heard a voice that Holy Vessel. For this night it shall depart from the wbich sang sweetly and like none earthly thing, and it said, “realm that it shall never be seen more here; for God is “ Joy and honour be to the Father of Ileaven.” Well wist “not served nor worshipped to his right by them of this he then that the Sangreal was within that chamber, and so “ land; for they be turned to evil living. Therefore I he kneeled down and prayed our fair sweet Father, Jesu “ shall disinherit them of the honour which I have done Christ, that he might see it. With that the door opened, “ them.” Then He gave them His blessing and vanished and there came out a great clear light like as all the torches away; and in all haste the three knights took their arms and of the world were there. But a voice warned him that he departed. should not enter there. Then he saw in the midst of the Then they came to a strand where lay the Ship of Faith, chamber a silver table laid, and on it the Sangreal covered whereof the tale speaketh heretofore, and in the midst with red samite, and many angels about it, whereof one thereof they found the table of silver, and on it the Sanheld a burning wax candle, and another a cross and church greal lay, covered with red samite, and they entered the ornaments. And before that Holy Vessel a good man in ship, and made great reverence to the Holy Vessel. Thence priest's garments stood, as at the sacryng of the Mass. they sailed on till they came to the city of Saracens, and And above his hands there seemed THRÉE MEN, whereof there they espied under a tower at the landing-place the the TWO put the YOUNGEST by likeness between that barge wherein Sir Percival had laid his sister. And, for priest's hands, and so he lift him right up on high, and dread of the marvels which the Sangreal there wrought, seemed to show HIM unto the people. And because the the men of the whole city forced Sir Galahad to be their priest seemed greatly charged therewith, so as that he would king, in the place of the king that was dead; else would have fallen to the earth, Sir Launcelot prayed to our Lord, they have slain Sir Galahad. Now he had made a chest and entered into the chamber for to have helped him. But of gold, set with precious stones, to cover about the Holy there came a breath as of fire, and it smote him sore on the Vessel and the Table ; and before it three knights would

[ocr errors]

ROUEN. come every day and make their prayers. But, the day, after he was crowned king, Sir Galahad came with his (From the forthcoming, Second Edition of a volume of Poems

by J. H.Keane.] fellows to the palace, and he saw before him there the

A thousand reminiscences arise, Holy Vessel, and, amid a great fellowship of angels, one

All of the olden time, for him who strays, kneeling before it in the likeness of a bishop. Then he Stern Rouen, through thy streets, with poet eyes, arose, and began the Mass of our Lady. And when he had

For thou’rt a portrait of long-buried days. come to the sacryng of the Host, and had done it, he called Thy grotesque hostelries and ancient ways

The fancy please, and, through it, win the heart. to Sir Galahad, “ Come forth, thou servant of Jesu Christ,

But most thy churches, sombre, vast, sublime, " and thou shalt see what thou hast much desired tu see.

The very spirit of past days impart. And he trembled right hard, for his deadly flesh began to

Harki their low midnight bells slow-booming chimebehold the spiritual things ; and he lifted up his hands to

For millions now no more they've chimed ofttime.

Rouen ! it the sainted dead have powerheaven, and thanked God of his great bounty, and prayed

As chronicled in quaint old Norman rhyme him that he might no longer live, if it pleased God. There

Earth to revisit, it must be at this hour with the Bishop took our Lord's body between his hands,

In some lone fane of thine, or crumbling tower. and gave it unto Sir Galahad, and he received it right gladly, and meekly. Then said the Bishop, “I am Joseph SUNDAY IN GENEVA.- I happened to be at Geneva one * of Arimathea, whom our Lord hath sent here to bear Sunday morning as the bells were tolling to church. The " thee fellowship, for in thy chastity thou hast resembled very sounds which once called the powerful minds of a Calvin,

me, and also in that thou hast seen the marvels of the a Knox, a Zwingli, to religious exercise and meditation, were Sangreal.”

now summoning the descendants of their contemporaries to Then Sir Galahad kissed Sir Percival, and also Sir Bors, I the same house of prayer. There are few Scotchmen whose and commended them to God, and bade them salute him to hearts would not respond to such a call. I hastened to the Sir Launcelot, his father, and to pray him to remember him from which Calvin had preached, to sit possibly in the very

ancient cathedral, the church of Saint Peter, to see the pulpit of this unstable world. Therewith he kneeled down before seat from which John Knox has listened, to hear the pure the Silver Table, and made his prayers, and then suddenly doctrines of Christianity from the preachers who now stand his soul departed to Jesu Christ, and, in the sight of his where once the great champions of the Reformation stood; to two fellow-knights, there went up with it a great multitude mark, too, the order and observances of the Calvinistic service of angels bearing it. And they saw come from heaven a here in its native church ; to revive, too, in my mind, Scotland hand, but the body saw they not; and the hand came to and the picturesque Sabbath days of Scotland in a foreign the Holy Vessel, and took it, and also the spear, and so land. But where is the stream of citizens' families in the bare them both up to heaven.

streets, so remarkable a feature in every Scotch town when Then did Sir Percival and Sir Bors bury Sir Galahad the bells are tolling to church, family after family, all so in the spiritual place, where also they had buried the sister decent and respectable in their Sunday clothes, the fathers of Sir Percival, and they and the people were right heavy and mothers leading the younger children, and all walking that he had left them. And Sir Percival took the religious silently churchwards? and where the quiet, the repose, the habit, and dwelled in a hermitage, and though Sir Bors stillness of the Sabbath morning, so "remarkable in every took not the habit, yet he was always with him in the her- vinism, the fountain-head from which the pure and living

Geneva, the seat and centre of Cal. mitage. And, after leading a most holy life there, Sir Percival died, and Sir Bors buried him in the spiritualities, by tern, the Rome of our Presbyterian doctrine and practice, has

waters of our Scottish Zion flow, the earthly source, the pathis sister and Sir Galahad.

fallen lower from her own original doctrine and practice than So Sir Bors departed from the city of the Saracens, and ever Rome fell. Rome has still superstition : Geneva has not came into England, and journeyed till he arrived in Win- even that semblance of religion. In the head church of the chester, where King Arthur kept his court. And there he original seat of Calvinism, in a city of five-and-twenty thou. told of all these adventures, and specially he gave Sir sand souls, at the only service on the Sabbath day—there Launcelot the message which Sir Galahad had prayed him. being no evening service-I sat down in a congregation of And ever after was there sweet friendship between Sir about two hundred females, and three-and-twenty males, Launcelot and Sir Bors. And the King made great clerks mostly elderly men of a former generation, with scarcely a to come before him. And all the adventures of the San- youth, or boy, or working man among them. A meagre greal, such as had befallen Sir Galahad, Sir Bors, and Sir liturgy, or printed form of prayer, a sermon, which as far as Percival, and also those which Sir Launcelot had seen, were religion was concerned, might have figured the evening before told unto them by Sir Bors and Sir Launcelot. And all

at a meeting of some geological society, as an “ingenious

essay" on the Mosaic chronology, a couple of psalm tunes this was made into great books, and put up in the archives

on the organ, and a waltz to go out with, were the church at Salisbury.

service. In the afternoon the only service in towns or in the Since then was never man so hardy as to say that he had country is reading a chapter of the Bible to the children, and seen the Sangreal.

hearing them gabble over the Catechism in a way which

shows they have not a glimpse of the meaning. A pleasure Tillage of the Poor.-Increase of the productive power tour in the steam-boats, which are regularly advertised for a of human labour applied to the inert material, the soil, will Sunday promenade round the lake, a picknick dinner in the increase its products in some kind of proportion to itself. To country, and overflowing congregations in the evening at the diminish producers of food is the way our scientific agricultu theatre, the equestrian circus, the concert saloons, ball-rooms, rists propose in their speculations to increase its quantity in a and coffee-houses, are all that distinguish Sunday from Moncountry. They attain thus only an apparent increase by a day in that city in which, three centuries before, Calvin moved different and perhaps not very beneficial distribution of it. the senate and the people to commit to the flames his own The quantity actually raised on the great scale, as in a whole early friend Servetus, the discoverer of the circulation of the country, undoubtedly is greatest on the system of small farms blood, and one of the first philosophers of that age, for preunder a garden-like cultivation. The densest populations in suming to differ in opinion and strength of argument from his Europe are those of Flanders and of Lombardy, and they are own religious dogma. This is action and re-action in resubsisted in comfort by land cultivated by small farmers. The ligious spirit, with a vengeance. In the village churches experience of half a century in France proves that by the along the Protestant side of the Lake of Geneva-spots upon occupation of the country under small working farmers, the this earth specially intended, the traveller would say, to land is producing one third more food, and supporting a popu- elevate the mind of man to his Creator by the glories of the lation one third greater than it did when it was possessed in surrounding scenery--the rattling of the billiard balls, the large masses. America also proves that the land in the hands rumbling of the skittle-trough, the shout, the laugh, the of small working farmers adminsters all that a people of distant shots of the rifle-gun clubs, are heard above the psalm, similar tastes and habits to our own require, and far more the sermon, and the barren forms of state prescribed prayer, abundantly than our system. "There is much food," says during the one brief service on Sundays, delivered to very Solomon, " in the tillage of the poor :"—there is much sound | scanty congregations, in fact, to a few females and a dozen or economy to be found in Solomon's Proverbs.-Laing's Notes of two old men, in very populous parishes supplied with able and a Traveller.

zealous ministers.-Laing's Notes of a Traveller,

SAMPSON OF ST. EDMUNDSBURY.-No. II. Whilst the abbotship was void, oftimnes, as it beseemed

During the voidance of the abbotship the prior studied us to do, we besought our Lord and the holy martyr above all things to keep the peace in our community, and Edmund that they would give unto us and our church a to maintain our church's worship in hospitality to strangers, becoming pastor. Thrice a week we sang the Seven Peniloth to trouble anybody, or provoke his wrath; so that he tential Psalms prostrate in the quire, after going forth might be able to keep all men and all things in peace; from chapter. And yet there were some who, had they howbeit dissembling with some things demanding rebuke in known what man was to be their Abbot, would not have our officials, and specially the Sacrist, who seemed as prayed so devoutly. About the choice of an Abbot (should though he cared not what he did with the sacristship, and the King grant us a free choice), divers talked after divers who, whilst the abbotship was vacant, neither paid off a fashions, some openly, some in whispers; and there were as debt nor did any building work, but let the oblations and many opinions as heads. At this time Augustine, Archobventions be idly wasted. Wherefore the Prior, who was bishop of Norway (Drontlieim), was sojourning with us in head of the community, seemed blameable to many of us, the Abbot's quarters, having out of the abbatial coffers 10s. and was called a careless one: and this our brethren did a day by the King's command. He availed us greatly in among themselves remember, when we came to choose the getting our free election, giving testimony of good on our new Abbot.

behalf, and openly before the King protesting of what he Our Cellarist entertained at the charges of the com- had seen and heard. At the same time [10 June, 1181] munity all guests of whatsoever condition. William the was the holy lad Robert martyred (by Jews], and buried in Sacrist, on his side, did give away and spend ;-a bountiful our church, and there were many signs and wonders done man he was, giving away what he ought and what he ought among the people, as we have written in another book. not, blinding the eyes of all men with his gifts.

[1182, Feb.) After the lapse of a year and three months Sampson, the Subsacrist, as master of the workmen, did from Abbot Hugh's death, our Lord the King by his letters his best to leave nothing broken, nothing cracked, nothing commanded our Prior and twelve of the community, by rent, nothing out of repair ; whereby he gained favour in whose mouth the opinion of the whole body might be dethe sight of the community, and specially of the cloistered. cided, to appear on a given day before him

and choose an In those days our quire was built by Sampson's means; Abbot. On the morrow of our receiving the letters we met he also chose historical subjects for its paintings, and in chapter to handle this weighty matter. First were read dictated elegiacs for the inscriptions. He gathered great to the community our Lord the King's letters ; then we store of stone and sand for building the great tower of the besought and charged the Prior, upon his soul's peril, that church. And being asked whence gat be the moneys for he should nominate according to liis conscience the twelve this ? he answered that sundry burgesses had privily given who were to go with him, and that their life and conversabim money towards building the tower and finishing it. tion were to be such as would assure us that they would Howbeit certain of our brethren did say that Warren, our never swerve from the right. Who, granting our demands, monk, Keeper of the Shrine, and Sampson, the Subsacrist, by inspiration of the Poly Ghost, named six from one by concert, and as it were furtively, had been nibbling at side of the quire and six from the other side, and satisfied us the oblations to the shrine, with a view to the needments all without denial. From the right hand were Geoffrey of of the church, and specially to the building of this tower; Fordham, Bennet, Master Dennis, Master Sampson the being thereto moved upon seeing how those oblations Subsacrist, Hugh the third-Prior, and Master Hermer, at were wasted on extraordinary purposes by others, who, to that time a novice ; from the left hand were William the say truth, were pilfering them. And, to take away all sus- Sacrist, Andrew, Peter de Broc, Roger the Cellarist, Master picion of that lucky theft of theirs, the aforesaid two men Ambrose, and Master Walter the Leech. But one of us made some kind of poor-box, hollow and slit at the centre said, “What shall be done if these thirteen cannot agree or the end, and fastened with an iron lock, and they gat“ before the King upon the election of the Abbot ?" and it put up in the High Church, nigh to the door outside the one answered, “That were to us and to our church an quire, where the folk in common do pass, so as that men "everlasting reproach.” Therefore many would that the might let drop therein their alms for the building of the election should take place at home before the others detower.

parted, that by this foresight no differences might arise But William the Sacrist held his fellow Sampson in mis- before the King. But, without the King's assent, that did trust, and so did many more, who favoured the same Wil- seem unto us a silly and discordant thing to do; for as liam's side, as well Christian men as Jews. Jews, quoth I; yet it was not certain that we might obtain a free election whose father and patron the Sacrist was called, --who re- from our Lord the King. Quoth Sampson, the Subsacrist, joiced in his protection; and were free to come in and go speaking in the spirit, “ Let us go midway, so as to shun out; and backward and forward went they through the “ the perils that are on either side. Let there be chosen monastery, strolling about the altars and round the shrine, "four confessors of the coinmunity and two of the senior while the mysteries of the Mass were being solemnized." priors of the community, men of repute; who, in view of And their moneys were lodged in our treasury, under the " the holies, and the gospels in their hands, shall choose Sacrist's ward; and, what was more foolish still, their wives, “ among thein the three men of the community most fitted with their little ones, were entertained in time of war within “ for the post by the rule of St. Benedict, and shall reduce our Pittancery.

“their names to writing, and enclose the same under seal, Taking counsel, therefore, how they should assault Samp- “and commit it unto us who are going tỏ court. And son, his enemies or foemen spake with Robert de Cokefeld “when we are come before the King, and have ascertained and his fellow, who were Wardens of the Abbey, and gat “ that we are to have a free election, then let the seal be at them to forbid, in the King's name, any work or any “ last broken, and thus shall we be certain of the three to building to be done as long as the abbotship was void; " be named before the King. And if we ascertain that our but rather that the moneys of the oblations should be “ Lord the King will not grant us one of our own monks, gathered and kept in hand for paying off of debts. And let the seal be carried back unbroken, and delivered unto so was Sampson deceived, and his strength departed from “ those six sworn men, so as that their secret may be for him; neither henceforth could he do anything as he would. "ever hidden upon their souls' peril.” To this counsel we Truly, his foes might put him off for a time, but not utterly; all assented, and the four confessors were named--to wit, for, after he was restored to his strength, and those two Eustace, Gilbert d'Alveth, Hugh the third-Prior, and pillars were shaken down-that is, when the two wardens Anthony; and the other two elders, Thurston and Ruald. of the abbey, on whom the wickedness of others rested, were Which done, we went forth chaunting

• Verba mea removed-God gave him, in the course of time, the power [Psalm 5], and the aforesaid six abode there, having St. to accomplish bis vow of building the aforesaid tower, and Benedict's rule before them, and they fulfilled the task as of finishing it at his will. And it came to pass, as though it was set. After some delay, the community, on summons, it had been said unto him from God, “Well fare thee, returned to chapter ; and the elders told them that they had good and faithful servant! because thou hast been faithful done as they had been commanded. Then the Prior asked over a few things, I will place thee over many things,” &c. what was to be, if our Lord the King would none of those

[ocr errors]

three named in the roll? And it was answered that there of York, that they should name three of our community. was only one way for our church : for that whomsoever the Then the Prior and brethren, turning aside as though about King would, he must be received by us. It was added, also, to talk together, drew out the roll and brake the seal, and that if those thirteen brethren should see in that roll any- found these names written, and in this order-Sampson the thing that they ought to set right, they should set it right Subsacrist, Roger the Cellarist, Hugh the third-Prior. by God's law and by common assent or counsel. Sampson, Then those brethren who were of higher rank than these the Subsacrist, sitting at the Prior’s feet, said, that “ it were put to the blush. Also all did marvel that the same “ would advantage the church if we were all to swear on Hugh was both elector and elect. Howbeit, because the “ the Word of Truth that upon whomsoever of us the lot of thing could not be undone, by common counsel they “ choice might fall he would deal in reason with the com- changed the order of the names, reading first Hugh, for he “munity, neither change the chief officials without the was third-Prior, next Roger the Cellarist, and Sampson “ assent of the community, nor be burthensome on the third ; making, as the Word hath it, the last first, and the “ Sacrist, nor make any man monk without the pleasure of first last. But the King, first asking if they were born in the community;” and this thing we granted him, all his land, and in whose lordship, said that he knew them raising our right hands in token thereof. It was provided not; and charged that with those three they should name that, if our Lord the King would make any stranger Abbot, other three of the community : which being agreed to, he should not be received as such by the thirteen, otherwise William the Sacrist said, “Our Prior ought to be named, than by counsel of their brethren ahiding at home.

“ for he is our head;" which was agreed to quickly. Then On the morrow, therefore, those thirteen set out for the said the Prior, “ William the Sacrist is a good man;" and court. Last of them all was Sampson, the keeper of their likewise was it said of Dennis, and agreed. Who being accounts (for he was Subsacrist), with a pouch hanging from named before the King without any delay, the King did his neck, wherein the letters of the community were con- marvel, saying, “ These men have wrought speedily. God tained. As the servant of them all he went forth to court, | “is with them.” Then the King charged that for his following his comrades afar off, alone and unsquired, with realm's worship they should name three persons from other his frock hanging from his elbows. The same day that the monasteries ; which hearing, our brethren did fear, misthirteen left us, while we were sitting together in the cloister, trusting some craft. At length they took counsel to name William Hastings one of our brethren, said, “ I am sure three, but upon terms; to wit, that they were to receive that we are to have an Abbot from among ourselves :" and neither of them save by counsel of the community at home. being asked how knew he that, he answered that he had And they named three-- Master Nicholas, of Warringford, seen in his dreams a prophet clad in white raiment, who afterwards Abbot of Malmesbury; and Bertrand, Prior of stood before the gates of the monastery, and that he had St. Faith's, afterwards Abbot of Chertsey ; and Lord H., of asked him, in the Lord's name, whether we were to have St. Neot's, a monk of Bec, a godly man indeed, and in one of our own men for our Abbot? And the prophet temporals and in spirituals indeed circumspect. Which being answered, “ One of yours ye shall have, but he shall done, the King with thanks commanded three out of the

rage among ye like a wolf.” Of which dream the mean- nine to be struck off, and straightway there were struck off ing partly followed since, for, as many did say, the Abbot, the three strangers, to wit, the Prior of St. Faith, and that then was to be, studied more to be feared than loved. Nicholas of St. Alban's, and the Prior of St. Neot. WilAlso there sat with us another brother, by name Edmund, liam the Sacrist resigned; two out of the five were struck who averred that Sampson was to be Abbot, and he told a out by the King's command, and afterward one out of the vision he had seen the night before. He had seen in his three; and then two remained, to wit, the Prior and dreams Roger, the Cellarist, and Hugh, the third-Prior, Sampson. Then, at last, the above-named delegates of our standing before the altar, and Sampson between them, Lord the King were called to counsel with our brethren ; higher than both from the shoulders and upward, wrapped and Dennis speaking, one man for all, began to praise the in a long pall, that reached to his heels, and was fastened persons of the Prior and Sampson, and said that each was round his shoulders, and standing in the posture of a boxer well lettered, each good, each praiseworthy of life, and of at a match. And, as it seemed to him dreaming, St. Ed- sound fame; but ever in a corner of his discourse he put mund arose from his shrine, and, as though he were sick, Sampson forward, multiplying words in praise of him, and put forward his feet and legs, which were all bare; and calling him strict in his converse, severe in correction of when somebody approached and would have covered the excesses, apt for work, in worldly matters prudent, and in Saint's feet, then the Saint said, “ Approach not. Lo! divers offices approved. Then answered my Lord of Winhe shall veil my feet :” pointing his finger towards Sampson. chester, “Well wot we what ye would say. By your words This is the interpretation of the dream. By that he seemed " we gather that your Prior seemeth unto ye somewhat rea boxer was meant that the Abbot, which then was to be, "miss, and that ye would him ye call Sampson.” Then should always be in travail

, stirring strife one while with the answered Dennis, “ Each is good, but, if God will, we Archbishop of Canterbury, touching pleas of the Crown; “ would the better." Unto whom the Bishop, another while with the Knights of St. Ellmund's, to make “ good things the better should be chosen. Say it clearly, them render entire scutages; another while with the bur- “ will ye have Sampson ?” And it was so answered gesses for their encroachments on the market-place; by many and the greater part, “We would Sampson;" another while with the plough-tenants, touching the hun- none denying, yet some holding their peace discreetly; dred courts :-in all of these did he, like a boxer, his en- willing to offend neither the one nor the other. After deavour to beat down his foes, and win back unto his church Sampson had been named before our Lord the King, and he her rights and liberties. Also he may be said to have had held brief counsel with his own, all were called back, veiled the holy martyr's feet, when he completely finished and the King said, “ Ye have presented Sampson unto me; the church-towers (at the end], which had been begun a “ I know him not. Had ye presented unto me your Prior, hundred years before him. Dreams of this fashion did our “ whom I have seen and known, I would have accepted brethren dream. The which were forthwith made known “ him. Howbeit I can but do as ye would. Take heed to first through cloister, and then through court, so that be- “ yourselves; by the very eyes of God, if ye have done ill fore eventide it was openly said among the folk, this, and “ herein, I will betake me unto ye.” And he asked the that, and the other have been chosen, and one of them will Prior if he assented hereto and willed it? who answered be Abbot.

that he was willing, and that Sampson was worthy of much Now, after much toil and tarrying, the Prior and the greater worship. Then the elect, kneeling and kissing the twelve who were with him stood before the King at King's feet, suddenly stood up, and as suddenly made his Waltham, a manor of the Bishop of Winchester, on the way to the altar, chanting, with his brethren, “ Miserere second Sunday in Lent.[21 Feb., 1182), whom the King “ mei Deus” (Psalm 50), his head erect, and unchanged of graciously received, asserting that he would deal after God's countenance ; which, when the King had seen, he said to law, and unto our church's worship; and he charged our the bystanders, “ By God's eyes, this elect seemeth in his brethren by bis delegates, to wit, Richard, Bishop of Win- “ own eyes right worthy of the wardship of his abbey." chester, and Geoffrey, the Chancellor, afterward Archbishop When the tale of this election had reached the commu

“ Of two

« السابقةمتابعة »