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ROGER OF WENDOVER Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.2

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ROGER OF WENDOVER
Flowers of history. The history of England from the descent of the saxons to A.D. 1235. vol.2
page 600



A.D. 1-201.] AVARICE OP A PRIEST. 599 a high wall round this corn of the devil's, and setting fire to it consumed it all, that the reptiles might not escape and infect the whole district. Another miraculous circumstance concerning the avarice of a certain priest. There was in the same county of York a certain rich vicar, distinguished in his holy office of preaching, hut withal avaricious; and about this time he was taken ill, and, as his physicians thought, of a deadly disease. Owing to the fame of the religious notions which he entertained, which were opposed to the opinions of all the county, he was visited hy the neighbouring abbats and priors, all being unaware that ho was like the wolf in the fable, and a snake in the grass. After respectfully greeting the prelates who had come to see hiin, the sick man made no mention of the salvation of his soul, but told them, that out of his regard for them he bequeathed them a large quantity of corn which he had in his court not stowed away in the bams, dividing it amongst them as it appeared best to him. The abbats and priors then went out, by the sick priest's orders, to look at the corn bequeathed to them, but on approaching the ricks, they saw standing near them a man like the sick vicar whom they had left in the house, clothed the same, of the same bodily appearance, and in every respect similar to him ; this figure, addressing them sharply, said to them, " What do yon want hero ? I would have you to know that all this corn, as well as the person who is to all appearance the owner of it, belongs to me ; for the vicar who bequeathed it to you is my subject, and all that belongs to him is mine, since he has done homage to me with clasped hands. And you may rest undoubtedly assured that on the fourth day hence he will die, and then I shall fully recover all that is my own, together with the man whom I made rich when he was poor." The abbats and those with them, on hearing this were struck with alarm, and returning to the vicar, whom they new found in the last extremities, told him ali they had seen and heard; and on their telling him that the man belonged to the devil, the vicar replied, " lie speaks the truth, for it is now twenty years since, when I was a poor man, I did homage to the devil who has now spoken to you, in order that I might obtain earthly honour and temporal wealth." Immediately afterwards he resorted to repentance and confession, renouncing the devil and all his works and pomps, on which, by the divine compassion, he was at once released from all bodily pain, and allowed a proper time for repentance ; wdience it is quite evident that God desires not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live. Of a remarkable miracle which happened during this year. Although in the two above written chapters it ha3 been plainly shown in what detestation the crime of avarice ought to lie held by all Christians, I will add even a third case that every word may


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