Capitulum vicesimum nonum.
ABOWTE this tyme there was a proctor of Gascoigne, Steven by name, whiche hade governede that cuntre nobly in the tymes of kynge Henricus the secunde, and of this kynge Richarde. Ne|verthelesse this Steven, coniecturynge in mynde the tendernes of the body of kynge Richarde, and perelle of that iourneye to the holy Londe, supposede veryly that he scholde not have commen Page 135, vol.8 þens. Wherefore he began to make excesse in that powere taken to hym, and inquirede of a nigromancyer wheþer that kynge Richarde scholde returne and comme from the holy Londe. Whiche bryngynge Steven proctor of Gascoigne unto a secrete place, and schewynge to hym an hedde of brasse havynge a spiritte inclusede in hyt, saide to hym, "Inquire of this hedde what thow wylle in fewe wordes, for hit wille not answere [folio 370a] to mony thynges." Then this proctor inquirede of the hedde thre thynges. The firste was wheþer he scholde see kynge Richarde, and hit was ansuerede by the hedde nay. Also he inquirede how longe his administracion scholde endure. The spiritte seide unto his dethe. In the thrydde tyme he in|quirede where he scholde dye, and the spiritte seide in Plume. After that he commaundede that noo thynge of plume or fethers scholde be putte nye to hym in eny wyse, and after that he began to oppresse poore peple, and ryche also. Never|thelesse the seide person and proctor pursuynge a noble man Page 137, vol.8 to his castelle, and departede from his feloweschippe by a grete space, was taken by that noble man and sleyne. For that castelle was callede Plume, and so the decepcion of the spiritte was expressede. ℞. A similitude accordynge to this processe is rehersede of Albericus, erle of Northumbrelonde, whiche beynge a man of grete myȝhte, and not contente of his state, hade knowlege by a spiritte that he scholde possede Grece, the seide erle supposynge that he scholde have rejoycede the londe of Grece. The seide erle entrenge to the londe of Grece, hit was knowen anoon amonge the Grekes by the communicacion of that erle that he scholde say he scholde be lorde of that londe. Wherefore the Grekes takynge his goodes from hym expulsede hym from that cuntre. And so Albericus trowblede and vexede soore come at the laste to Normandy to kynge Henricus, where the seide kynge toke to hym a noble wedowe to wife. This erle, herynge in the benediccion of the wed|dynge the preste to inquire of the woman in this wise, "Dame Grece, pleasethe hit not yow to have this man," perceyvede anoon the allusion of the spiritte whiche hade erecte his Page 139, vol.8 mynde into veyne glory. Kynge Richarde makynge provision for xx. Ml marke whiche was unpayde to the duke of Austrye for his redempcion, the plegges lefte þer apperede sodenly afore the kynge, seyenge and rehersynge the dethe of that tyraunte by the iuggement of God, and mony grete mis|chefes schewede to that cuntre, and mony cites to have bene brente in hit; and also the water of Danubius to have des|troyede his cuntre, and cornes in the feldes to have wedrede, and how he was excommunicate by the pope. Also thei ex|pressede [folio 370b] that the seide duke cowthe not be absolvede untille that he hade made promyse to obbey the iuggemente of the churche for the iniuryes doen to Richarde kynge of Ynglond. That othe made thei seide thei were delyverede. And so after that tyme kynge Richarde began to amende his lyfe. Also an other thynge movede the kynge to correcte his life: A man of Page 141, vol.8 Cenomanny goynge to Seynte Iame come ageyne in goode heale. Neverthelesse, the seide man movede in lyke devocion wente to visitte the sepulcre of oure Lorde, to whom a terrible spiritte apperede. That man afrayede gretely with the siȝhte of hym made a signe of the holy crosse. But the spiritte as havynge noo regarde þerof seide: "Thow schalle not escape soe, but thow schalle be myne; neverthelesse, and if þow wylle falle to the grownde and honoure me y schalle make the a ryche man." Then the man seide: "Now y knowe that thow art a wykked spiritte; kepe thy goodes to thy selfe, for the goodes that God hathe ȝiffen to me be sufficiaunte to my person, whom y honoure with alle my herte." Then the spiritte seide: "Thow schalle have some thynge of me" and with that he caste on his hedde a palle of a thynne mater, whiche brente the heire of his hedde, and from that tyme the skynne of his hedde was as blacke as pycche. That man trowblede soore callede to helpe seynte Iame, whiche presente þer anoon, blamede the develle, inquirynge of hym what he Page 143, vol.8 was. The spiritte seide: "Y am a develle contrarious, and an enemye to mankynde at alle tymes. I lette the kynges of Christianite in theire laboure in the holy Londe; I causede kynge Ricardus to be taken in captivite by my ministre the duke of Austry. Also y compasse abowte the bedde of kynge Ricardus, and in especiall his treasures whom he gedrethe avarousely." These wordes y-seide the develle evaneschede, and that man returnede to Cenomanny, schewynge and ex|pressynge to kynge Ricardus the þinges that he hade seene and herde, causynge the kynge to correcte his lyfe. Hubertus arche|bischop of Cawnterbery, havynge auctorites of the pope and of the kynge, wente to Yorke abowte þis tyme, and kepede a cown|saile þer.