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SIR JOHN FROISSART Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the adjoining countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV. Vol.2

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SIR JOHN FROISSART
Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the adjoining countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV. Vol.2
page 279



and could not, by their rules, remain in any town more than one night : they travelled in companies of more or, lefs in number, and thus journeyed through the country performing their penitence for thirty-three days, being the number of years JESUS CHRIST remained on earth, and then returned to their own homes. Thefe penitencies were thus per-formed, to intreat the Lord to reftrain his janger, and withhold his vengeance; for, at this period, an epidemic malady ravaged the earth, and deftroy-ed a third part of its inhabitants. They were chief-ly done in thofe countries the moft affliôted, whither fcarcely any could travel, but were not long con-tinued, as the church fet itfelf againft them. None of thefe companies entered France : for the king tad ftri&ly forbidden them, by defire of'the pope, who difap proved of fuch meafures, by found and fenfible reafons, but which I (hall pafs over. All clerks, or perfons holding livings, that counte-nanced them were excommunicated, and feveral were forced, to go to Rome to purge themfelves. About this time, the Jews throughout the world were arretted and burnt, and their fortunes feized by thofe lords under whofe jurifdiélions they had lived, except at Avignon, and the territories of the church dependent on the pope. Each poor Jew, when he was able to hide himfelf, and arrive in that country, efteemed himfelf fafe. It was prophc lied, that for one hundred years people were to come, with iron fcourges, to deftroy them : and this would now have been the cafe, had not thefe peni-tents 264


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