Alphabet of tales : an English 15th century translation of the Alphabetum narrationum of Etienne de Besançon, from Additional MS. 25,719 of the British Museum
Etienne de Besançon
Mary Macleod Banks
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LXXI.
Ave Maria dictum deuote liberat hominem de potestate diaboli.

We rede how som̛ tyme þer was a knyght þat was a thieff, and vsid̛ forto rob men̛ be þe way. So on̛ a tyme þer come be þe way a man̛ of religion̛, and onone he was taken̛ with þis knyghtis men̛, Page  54 þat was thevis. And when̛ þai had taken̛ hym̛ he prayed̛ þaim speciallie to hafe hym̛ to þer maister; and when̛ he come afor̛ þe knyght he prayed þe knyght þat he wold̛ latt hym̛ se aƚƚ his men̛; and he grauntid̛, & garte feche aƚƚ his men̛. And when̛ þat aƚƚ was befor̛ hym̛, þis holie man̛ of religion̛ askid̛ þis knyght if þer was aƚƚ, and þai said̛, "ya"; and he sayd̛ it was not sa. So þai lukid̛ aboute þaim, & one of þaim sayd̛ þat þe chamberlayn̛ was wantand. And þe knyght sent for̛ hym̛ & he come, bod yit it was with iƚƚ wiƚƚ. And when̛ he saw þis holie man̛ of religion̛, he starte bakk & glorid̛ with his een̛ as he had bene wude, & wulde com̛ no ner for noght at no man̛ cuthe do. Than̛ þis holie man̛ said vnto hym̛; "I adiure þe in þe name of God̛ at þou teƚƚ me what þou erte, and wharefor þou come hedur." And þan̛ he ansswerd̛ agayn̛ & sayd̛; "Allas! now moste me nedis teƚƚ what I am̛! I am̛," he said̛, "a fend̛, & I made me like a man̛, & I hafe wunte with þis knyght þis xiiij yere, & alway ligen̛ in wayte if I cuthe wache what day he sayd̛ not, 'Aue Maria → '; ffor what day he had faylid̛ þeroff, I sulde hafe strangled hym̛; and what day as he said̛ þat Ave, I had nevur power on̛ hym̛, nor not mot hafe. And aƚƚ þe tyme þat I hafe bene with hym̛ he faylid̛ nevur a day, bod he said̛ it a tyme of þe day." And when̛ þe knyght hard þis, he was hugelie astonyd̛ & had grete mervayle, & feƚƚ down̛ on̛ his kneis befor̛ þis holie man̛, & askid̛ hym̛ forgifnes, & was shrevyn̛, & tuke penance and amendid̛ his life. And þis holie man̛ commandid̛ þis fend̛ at he sulde go his ways, and nevur aftur presume to dissese any creatur̛ þat had deuocion̛ vnto our̛ ladie, Saynt Marie. et c̛.

  • Antiphonam Regina celi Angeli cantauerunt. Infra de Maria. x.

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