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man. At this he was greatly surprised, and, starting back, in a fit of amazement, shouted out with a loud voice, Come all of you and see a wonder; I have found a woman who is a man!' Immediately on this, his servants and acquaintances who were standing at a distance came up, and with a gentle kind of violence pushed him back and ordered him to hold his tongue; upon which the fisherman held his peace and the clamour ceased, and this hermaphrodite sat waiting there. In the meantime a woman, who had come from the town, seeing the linen cloth, which he or rather she, was carrying as though on sale, came and began to ask what was the price, and for how much he would let her have an ell. He, however, made no answer, as he was utterly unacquainted with the English language; on which she pressed the more; and shortly after another woman came up, who urgently made the same enquiry, and pressed him very hard to let her know the price at which he would sell it. As he answered nothing at all, but rather laughed in his sleeve, they began to talk among themselves, and to enquire what could be the meaning of it. Then, suspecting some imposture, they laid hands upon the hood with which his face was covered, and pulling it backward from his nose, beheld the swarthy features of a man, lately shaved, on which they began to be extremely astonished. Then rushing to the dry land,^they lifted their voices to the stars, crying out, “Come, let us stone this monster, who is a disgrace to either sex.' Immediately a crowd of men and women were collected together, tearing the hood from off his head, and ignominiously dragging him prostrate on the ground by his sleeves and cape along the sand and over the rocks, not without doing him considerable injury. In the meanwhile his servants made an attack two or three times on the multitude for the purpose of rescuing him, but were not able, as all the populace were inflicting vengeance upon him with insatiate eagerness, reviling him, inflicting blows and spitting upon him; and after much other disgraceful treatment, they dragged him through the whole of the town, and then, dragging him, or rather dragging him to pieces, they shut
him up in a dark cellar with a guard over him, for a prison. Thus cumstances by all the chroniclers, and no doubt the bishop of Coventry was wishful that it should lose nothing in his way of telling it. The first part of this extract is exceedingly improbable.
Terram," in contradistinction to the sea-shore.
was he dragged who had dragged another, made captive who had been the captor, bound who had been the binder, incarcerated who had been the one to incarcerate, that so with the extent of the offence the extent of the punishment might seem to be commensurate. For he became an object of extreme disgrace to his neighbours, of dread to his acquaintances, and was made a laughing-stock for all the people. I only wish that he had polluted himself alone, the priest, and not the priestly office. May, then, the Church of Rome make due provision that such great guiltiness may be punished in such a way, that the offence of one may not contaminate all, and that the priestly authority may not be lessened thereby. And further, may the king of England take all precaution to appoint such a person over his realm, that by him the royal dignity may be preserved, and his authority may suffer no diminution through him; but rather that the clergy and the people may have cause to congratulate themselves upon his government. The Letter of Master Peter of Blois on behalf of William, bishop
of Ely.43 “ To his former lord and friend, Hugh, so called, bishop of Coventry and Chester, Peter of Blois, archdeacon of Bath, may he remember God with fear. The excesses of a traitorous faction this day reveal to what lengths malice may proceed, what envy may be guilty of. The bishop of Ely, one beloved by God and men, a man amiable, wise, generous, kind, and meek, bounteous and liberal to the highest degree, had by the dispensations of the Divine favour, and in accordance with the requirements of his own manners and merits, been honored with the administration of the state, and had thus gained the supreme authority. With feelings of anger you beheld this, and forthwith he became the object of your envy. Accordingly, your envy conceived vexation and brought forth iniquity; whereas he, walking in the simplicity of his mind, received you into the hallowed precincts of his acquaintanceship, and with singleness of heart, and into the bonds of friendship and strict alliance. His entire spirit reposed upon you, and all your thoughts unto him were for evil. Woe,' says Ecclesiasticus, 'to a double
43 The Editor of the “ Pictorial History of England” remarks, respecting this letter, “ Peter of Blois took Hugh to account for this satire, which was evidently intended to put Longchamp in a more ridiculous and degrading light than archbishop Geoffrey had been in at the same place, Dover."
heart and to wicked lips, and to the sinner that goeth two ways." The face of the hypocrite veiled the wickedness of the conscience within with a kind of pretence of friendship, and in secret you were inflicting upon an innocent man the injuries caused by a seditious and petulant tongue. Solomon says, 'Curse the whisperer and double-tongued: for such have destroyed many that were at peace.' All his inward thoughts did he pour forth into your bosom : you he looked upon as a second self, and yet you, to find a pretence for causing his fall, thought fit to ply him with the adulation of a betrayer. Oh detestable treachery! Judas betrayed with a kiss, you with words ; without, you made a show of the regard of an attentive friend, and your tongue was planning treachery. As you sat, you spoke against your brother, and in the way of the son of your mother did you lay a stumbling-block. Woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.'46 This guilty conduct, indeed, has branded you with the lasting stain of bad opinion, and if by the bounty of nature you had received any commendable points, this fault has done away with them for ever. In like manner, Joab acted valiantly on many occasions, but his treachery to Amasa and Abner, blackened in him all the glories of his valorous deeds. Oh lips of detraction! Oh tongue of abuse and treachery! What, O Lord shall be applied to this treacherous tongue? Would that arrows might be applied thereto, that they might pierce it through and through, and that desolating coals of fire might consume it; would that thou, Seraph, who with the live coal from heaven 47 didst purge the lips of the prophet, wouldst with the flames of hell, in purging his whole face and tongue, destroy the same, that so we might be able to sing and say, 'In cleansing him thou hast destroyed him.' Lips consecrated by the Gospel, are never ceasing to babble forth their lying words to the winds. That is entirely devoted to vanity which was due and owing to truth. But the man of froward tongue will not be guided on the earth ; wherefore,ʻlet him that standeth take care lest he fall,' for before ruin the heart is exalted. Do you exult, unhappy man, and make it your boast that you have supplanted an innocent man? But know beyond a doubt, that he has been thus laid low for both the downfall and the uprising of many, for the uprising of himself and of his people,
44 Ecclus. ii. 12. Our version has it, “ Woe be to fearful hearts and faint hands.”
46 Ecclus. xxvii. 31. 46 St. Matt. xviii. 7.
47 Alluding to Isaiah vi. 6,7.
and for the downfall of yourself and your accomplices. This punishment will fall upon your own head. 47 For every deceit suffers from its own recoil: from your treachery nought but the fruit of sorrow will you gather; and you have commenced the web, that you may be wrapped in a double cloak. It is Isaiah who
says, * Ye who begin the web and put your trust in the darkness of Egypt, await the day of bitterness.' 49 You publicly make it your boast and vaunt that it was you who created this tumult, that it was you who deceived him when not on his guard, and that it was you induced the multitude to attack with arms an unarmed man, and an innocent man with insidiousness. Why boast of your malice, you, who are so powerful in your iniquity? Why vaunt of your malice, which in most countries, as your infamous character has become circulated, is in the mouths of all classes ? But about you and
like you it may justly be said, “They rejoice when they have done evil, and they exult at things that bring the greatest disgrace.' Besides, it is the remark of the wise man, that he' who rejoiceth at the ruin of another, shall be punished ;'50 and Solomon says,
Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth—lest the Lord see it, and He turn his wrath upon thee.'1 Indeed, it was always the usual accomplishment, and one peculiar to your family, to sow the materials for dissension; and the pestilent branch has contracted its evil qualities from the root of the noxious tree. Oh evil generation! Oh provoking race
! Oh generation of vipers, who hath taught you to flee from the wrath to come?' Do you think that God will not behold this, and require an account thereof? It was for this same reason that the wicked man caused the anger of the Lord, 'For he said in his heart, he will not require the same. '53 But, beyond a doubt, the Lord will require it; He will also require to know as to whose misfortunes you are now boasting; and at a future day, by the bounty of the Lord, he shall breathe again. For wisdom will not forsake the righteous man when sold, and in time shall he gain respect. It rather befitted the gravity of your rank to promote peace among the people, to allay sedition, and espe
47 “ Faba hæc recudetur in aput tuum.” It is not improbable that the archdeacon was a reader of Terence.
48 He puns upon the resemblance between “dolo” and “dolore."
49 This passage does not appear in our version. It may perhaps allude to chap. xix. 9.
50 Alluding probably to Eccl. viii. 7. 61 Prov. xxiv. 17. 18. 53 St. Matt. iii. 7. St. Luke ii. 7.
53 Ps X. 13.
cially in England, which, receiving you poor enough, amplified you with mighty honors. Also, when speaking to those who were in the Babylonish captivity, he says :
Seek the peace the city, in which the Lord hath caused you to be carried away captives, for in the peace thereof shall ye
On another occasion I wrote to you, and with salutary warning entreated you to abstain from such courses. However, the harp of David never fully allayed the madness of Saul; and your hand has been extended to the commission of such deeds as these. Therefore, remember, man, if only man you are, remember, I say, your condition; remember the shortness of this life; remember the strict and dreadful judge; remember the punishment so fearful, so terrible, so interminable, and so intolerable, which is reserved for you to everlasting, if you desist not from such a course of wickedness.”
In eight days after this, John, earl of Mortaigne, gave orders that the chancellor should be liberated from prison, and should take his departure. Accordingly, he took his departure, and, crossing the sea, landed at Witsand, in Flanders. But while he was on his road, some nobles of that country, whom he had injured while in England, laid hands upon him, and kept him till he had made satisfaction to them. Proceeding thence, he arrived at Paris, and gave to Mauricius, the bishop, sixty marks of silver, upon condition that he should be received there with a procession, which was accordingly done. After this, he returned into Normandy; but, by the command of the archbishop of Rouen, he was considered there as an excommuni. cated person, and in every place to which he came, throughout the whole of the archbishopric of Rouen, an end was put to Divine service as long as he was staying there.
On this, he sent messengers to pope Celestinus, and to his lord the king of England, informing them, how John, earl of Mortaigne, and his accomplices, had expelled him from the kingdom; and, complaining of the injuries done him, he demanded restitution of what had been taken from him, at the same time making offer, on his part, to obey the law, and further stating, that if his acts and expenditure should not prove satisfactory to his lord the king, he would in all things give satisfaction according to his demands. Upon this, the Supreme Pontiff was provoked to anger, and wrote, to the following effect, to all the archbishops and bishops of England:
54 Jer. xxxix. 7.