Capitulum vicesimum nonum.
ABOUTE þat tyme oon Stevene, procuratour of Angeoy,*. [Anjoye, β.] þat hadde wiseliche i-bore hym in þe secounde kyng Henries tyme, and in þis kyng Richard his tyme also;55 he supposed þat þe kyng, þat was tender of body, schulde be overcome wiþ*. [wiþ . . . come] om. α.] longe way and peril þat he schulde nevere come*. [wiþ . . . come] om. α.] aȝen, oþer ȝif Page 135, vol.8 he come aȝe it schulde be unneþe; þerfore he bygan rabbis|liche*. [rabbyschliche, α.] to passe his waraunt in absens of þe kyng. Þan oon þat was homeliche wiþ hym counsaillede hym to aske*. [axe, Cx.] of a nigro|mansere wheþer*. [where, α.] kyng Richard schulde come aȝen oþer no. Þe nigromansere ladde Stephene*. [Stevyn, γ., et infra.] into a prive place, and schewed hym a brasen heed, in þe whiche was a spirit i-closed: "Aske of þis what þou wilt," quod þe nigromansere, "but fewe and schortlyche, for he answereþ nat to greet iangelynge." "Schal I nevere*. [ich ever, β.; ever, Cx.] see kyng Richard?" quoþ Stevene. "Nay," quod þe spirit. "How*. [How . . . spirit] om. α.] longe schal myn office dure?" quod Stephene. "To þy lyves ende," quod þe spirit.*. [How . . . spirit] om. α.] "Where schal I deie?"*. [Ich dyȝe, γ.] quod Stephene. "In Pluma,". quod*. [quoþ, β.] þe spirit. Þanne moste he aske*. [axe, α. and β.] no more, but he wente from his prophet, and forbeed his men and heet hem þat they schulde bringe no feþeres*. [non veþeres, γ.] nyh hym in no manere wise, and þat [bycause that a fether]*. [From Cx.; for a feþer, β. vor veþer ys, γ] is Pluma in*. [in] a, β.] Latyn. Þerafter he gan to worche þe more boldloker,*. [boldlyche, γ.; boldly, Cx.] and greved his*. [his, from α., β., and Cx. hire MS.] sugettes ful sore, and nameliche a noble man þat fliȝ somtyme to his Page 137, vol.8 owne castel, for Stevene pursued hym. Þis man aspied whan Stevene was recheles in þe seege, and took hym, and al to|hakked hym: þat castel heet Pluma, and so þe cautel of þe gileful*. [gylfol, γ.] spirit was i-knowe; and so it fel of Gerebertus the false*. [valse, γ.] pope, as it is i-seide toforehonde. ℞.*. [R.] om. α.] And so it fil*. [befell, Cx.] of oon Albericus erl of Norþhumberlond, þat was a myȝti man with alle, and hulde*. [heelde, β.] hym nouȝt apaide with his owne estate;*. [staat, α.] but he counsailled wiþ a feend, þat tolde hym þat he schulde have*. [habbe, γ.] Grecia, þat is Grees;*. [Grece, β. and Cx., bis.] þerfore he wente estward, and cam into Grees. Whan þe Grees*. [Grekes, β. and Cx.] herde*. [hurde, γ.] telle þat he schulde regne over hem, þei took of hym al þat he hadde, and putte hym out of her lond; but after somwhat of ȝeres þis was wery of travaille and of woo, and cam to kyng Henry into Normandie, and hadde of hym a nobil wedewe*. [widewe, β.] to wyf, and whanne þe preost*. [prust, γ.] schulde wedde hem he axede of þe womman, and seide, "Dame Grecia, hast þou wille to þis man?" Þo Albericus knewe þe gile and þe fraude of þe false spirit þat arered his owne coveytous Page 139, vol.8 hert into a veyne hope. Whan kyng*. [kyng . . . Richard] om. α.] Richard had i-made redy to paye þe duke of Austrige*. [duc of Austryche, Cx.] twenty þowsande pounde þat was behynde of raunsoun, þe plegges þat kyng Richard*. [kyng . . . Richard] om. α.] hadde i-lefte wiþ hym come sodenliche and tolde þat þe tiraund*. [tyraunt, Cx.] was over|torned by wreche of Goddes doome,*. [Godus dome, γ.] and his land tofore his deth was greved with many [grete]*. [From α., β., γ., and Cx.] mescheves; for citees were sodenliche i-brend,*. [y-barnd, γ.] and þe ryver Danubius passed þe brymmes,*. [brynkes, β. and Cx.] and dede grete harm fer aboute; sedes þat were i-sowe for|dried*. [druyde, α.] in þe erþe. Also þis duke was acorsed of þe pope for þe takynge of kyng Richard, and scorned þe corsynge; also in a seint Stephenes day he rood to þe feeldes,*. [veldes, γ.] and hurte so his*. [his, from β. and Cx.; þe MS.] foot*. [vot, γ.] þat it moste be and was*. [and was] om. γ.] kutte of, and he wiþoute hope of lyf siȝ*. [sawe, Cx.] þat he moste deie, and in presens of þe lordis of his lond he prayed to be assoilled*. [asoyled, γ.] of þe sentens þat he was yn i-bounde. Þe clergie answerde and seide þat it myȝte noȝt be, but he wolde swere*. [swerye, γ.] to stonde to holy chirche ordenaunce touchinge þe wrong þat he hadde i-doo kyng Richard. Þe duke swore, and delyvered kyng Richard his plegges anon after his ooþ.*. [othe, Cx.] Þan þe kyng amended his lyf, and had also anoþer warnynge for to amende his lyf. For a man of Cenomannia Page 141, vol.8 wente to Seint James for greet devocioun, and cam hom aȝen save*. [saaf, β.; sauf, Cx.] and sownde. Þerafter he hadde a grete devocioun to wende, and wente to þe Holy Lond to se oure Lordes grave. As he wente by þe wey uppon caas*. [case, γ.] alone, he siȝ oon wiþ a dredful face, and was a-drad*. [adred, α.; aferd, Cx.] ful sore, and blessid hym self wel faste wiþ þe signe of þe cros in everiche side. Þan þe oþer, as it were despisynge þe signe of þe cros, seide, "Þou myȝte nouȝt defende þe in þat manere but þou schalt be myne; [and]*. [From β.] ȝif þou wilt falle*. [valle, γ.] doun to þe grounde and worschippe me, I schal make þe riche." "Now," quod the man, "it semeþ þat þou art contrarie and of þe oþer side; take þou þyn owne; [Crist his owne]*. [From β. and γ.] ȝift is*. [ȝiftes, MS.] ynow for me; I worschip hym allone." "Wilt þou nelt þou,"*. [Wolt þou nylt þou, β.; Wolt thou nylt, quoth he, Cx.] quod he, "þou most have somwhat of myne," and þrewe*. [þruwe, γ.] anon uppon þe manis heed as it were a þynne mantel, þat brende þe heer of his heed, and made þe skyn of his heed*. [and . . . heed] om. α.] al blak. Þe man was sore aferde, and cride to seint Iame. Seynt Iame com anon and aroute*. [arouted, β. and Cx.] þe fende, and axede what he was, and wherof Page 143, vol.8 he servede. "I*. [Ich, β., tris.] am a feend,"*. [Ich am a vend, γ.] quod he, "and greve mankynde. I*. [Ich, β., tris.] lettede þe Cristen kynges in þe iorney in þe Estlondes; I*. [Ich, β., tris.] took kyng Richard prisoner by*. [by, from Cx.; be MS.] my servaunt þe duke of Austrige. After þat kyng Richard was delyvered I besette hym al aboute, and nameliche aboute his chambre and his tresour, þat he gadereþ besiliche." Whan þese wordes were i-seide, þe fend vansched awey, and þe man was conforted, and left his wey þat he hadde i-ment, and tornede home aȝe to Cenomannia, and tolde kyng Richard what he hadde i-seie and i-herd, and schewed hym his heed þat was i-sweled and i|scalded; þanne þe kyng amended his owne lyf and his maneres. Aboute þat tyme Hubert archebisshop of Caunterbury was leeftenaunt*. [lutenant, β.; levetenaunt, γ.; lieutenant, Cx.] of þe pope and of the kyng of*. [in, Cx.] Engelond, þe archebisshop of ȝork was dede, and Hubert made a grete counsaile at ȝork.