The Haunting of Snowball the Tailor
            This tale is the second in a collection of twelve ghost stories written by a Cistercian monk at Byland Abbey in Yorkshire, England around the year 1400.  It tells of a tailor’s encounter with a spirit, who is seeking absolution for sins he committed  during life.  Many of the Byland monk’s stories follow similar patterns and conform to certain traditions and ideas about the relationship between the living and the dead in the medieval world.  Worth noting in this particular story are the monk’s narrative strategies and character development, the historical, cultural, religious, and geographical aspects of the tale, and its relation to other contemporary works, including the other Byland stories.
            The story is a long narrative concerning, the monk begins, “an extraordinary contest between a spirit and one living in the time of King Richard the Second” (lines 1-2).  A tailor, named Snowball, riding home to Ampleforth, encounters a spirit which appears to him in many forms.  He at first tries to fight the being, but then conjures it and interrogates it about its presence there.  The spirit, a soul not yet at rest and seeking absolution for sins he committed during his life, solicits Snowball’s assistance to obtain this absolution from certain priests.  Snowball has no choice; if he does not help the unnamed spirit, “his flesh will rot and [his] skin will shrivel and melt away from within [him] in a short (time)” (lines 28-29).  Thus Snowball sets out on a quest (as all good heroes are wont to do) to aid the ghost, and is successful.  He conjures the spirit again through a ritual, and confirms that his efforts were beneficial to the ghost.  After a short conversation with the tailor, the ghost departs as abruptly as he arrived, soon to be at rest.  Snowball returns home and, we are told, “through several days was violently ill” (line 102).  The monk does not say what becomes of Snowball after this.  Story II is much longer than the other stories; it is over a hundred lines.  The plot consequently is more involved than the others.  The monk may have been more familiar with this tale and thus was able to give more detail.  Alternatively, this story may have simply involved more elements and required more description.  Whatever the reason, the great length of this story leaves many literary and cultural topics to consider.
            The author of this tale employs a linguistic style that is clearly medieval.  The Latin can be easily distinguished from other authors within the same codex, like Cicero.  He writes in simple prose, and gives preference to constructions not found in classical literature.  Unlike classical Latin, which uses an accusative subject and an infinitive verb to denote indirect statement, these stories tend to use the adverb “quod,” taken to mean “that,” along with conjugated verb forms for this purpose.   The monk’s narrative is abundant with dialogue, both direct and indirect.  His sentences often flow between the two.  He might begin, as in line 20, with a direct quote from the tailor, “I will conjure him,” then continue on in the same sentence, “that he may speak with him” (line 21), with the tailor referenced in the third person (“him”).  Without transition, the speaker has transferred from Snowball to the narrator.   Additional peculiarities of the narration include the monk’s fondness of “qui,” which acts in many cases like a “hic” would in classical Latin, and of “quidam,” which he uses to describe almost all of the characters in his tales.  He is also fond of the word “predictus,” which he uses several times in stories 2, 3, 4, 6, 11, and 12.
            The monk is very careful with names from the story.  He gives Snowball’s surname and occupation, making it possible for contemporary readers to identify him with a real person.  However, he omits the tailor’s first name, leaving a physical blank space in the manuscript.  This might be by design, to protect the real Snowball, or by accident.  It is possible that the monk did not know Snowball’s first name, and had intended to fill it in later.  Contrastingly, he completely excludes the names of all the spirits.  The main spirit, who at one point appears in the figure of a certain king, could have been the spirit of an important person.  When Snowball goes to see the priests, they take time to decide about his absolution, suggesting again that the spirit belongs to an important figure, and that the sins for which he was excommunicated were great.  Because the spirit admits to having been excommunicated, it is likely that the monk chose to avoid the name of this spirit because of his importance during life.  The use of the word “quidam” to describe many characters further adds to the purposeful ambiguity.  For example, it does not say which neighbor interrogates Snowball, only that “quidam presumptuosus vicinus” (line 57) did so.
            The scene with the nosy neighbor (“presumptuosus vicinus,” line 57) is comic relief to this serious and somewhat scary story.  The neighbor at first is insistent on learning what Snowball has been up to, and on knowing when he will return from his journey.  Once the tailor tells him, however, he changes his mind, preferring only to pray for the tailor rather than to go with him.  The digression adds nothing to the plot of the story, but provides a break between Snowball’s retrieval of the absolution and his reunion with the spirit. The neighbor is also an interesting comparison to Snowball.  He has two major character traits, curiosity and cowardice.  Snowball shows no signs of cowardice.  In the beginning of the story, he is afraid of the spirit, but quickly regains his courage and fights it off several times.  Once the spirit appears in its human form, Snowball is no longer afraid to talk to it.  Even after being wounded and threatened by the spirit, the tailor readily sets upon the task of obtaining his absolution.  The tailor and his neighbor both exhibit curiosity, however.  Snowball asks the spirit first about the two other spirits, and later about his own position.   The simultaneous similarity and difference between the two characters shows the difference between a character who simply prays and a character who acts.
            The original manuscript, transcribed by M.R. James, contains several scribal abbreviations.  These abbreviations, or sigla, are common in medieval manuscripts.  They allow the authors and copyists to save time and space.  The forms of these abbreviations vary from region to region (Translation Directory).  The author of the Byland stories makes particular use of scribal abbreviations in story II, likely because it is so long and limited space was available for writing.  The first time scribal abbreviations appears is in line 10.  M.R. James transcribes the word as “encardi,” which unfortunately does not exist.  There are four scribal marks: two that denote a missing “m” or “n,” one that denotes a missing “tur,” “ter” “ur” or “er,” and a mark of contraction before the last two letters.  The possibilities for this word are many, but the one that seems to fit best in this case is some form of “emitto.”  The phrase, “quasi spacium lapidis encardi” suggests distance; the raven flew about a stone’s throw away.  Thus “encardi” should come from a word carrying some meaning like “throwing.”  Another scribal abbreviation which the monk uses looks like an apostrophe added to the end of “euangelist’,” in line 35.  This abbreviation can mean any number of declension endings.  In this case it seems to have a genitive plural meaning, “of the Evangelists,” referring to the Gospels.  The last scribal notation shortens the ending of the word for York, Eboꝝ.  It appears first as an accusative in line 44, and again as a genitive in line 54. The scribal notations are an element distinctly medieval, and highlights the dialectal style of the story.
            Because this story is longer than all the other Byland stories, its characters are more developed, particularly the main spirit.  The hero-tailor Snowball seems to have no relation to the spirit before the encounter.  The monk portrays the him as an ordinary craftsman .  Unlike some of the other stories, the ghost is not a relative or friend of the tailor; this is at least not included in the story.  Thus the reason the spirit chose Snowball to procure his absolution is unclear.  It is true that he did not attend Mass or receive the Eucharist on that day, but apart from this no reason is given.  It is also striking that the tailor is willing to give up so much for the spirit.  In order to obtain the absolution, Snowball must pay five shillings which is a large amount of money. A master craftsman might have made six pence in a day and there were 12 pence in a shilling (  Neither Ampleforth nor Gilling were very large towns suited for a master craftsman.  This represents at least two, and more likely three or more, weeks of wages for the tailor.  Additionally, Snowball must move once he has helped the spirit.  Associating with the dead and digging in graves would have given Snowball a bad reputation, and would hurt his business as a tailor, which the spirit mentions.   Why Snowball sacrifices his reputation and business, as well as gives up a considerable amount of money, is unclear.
            The spirit is violent and authoritative in the beginning of the story.  He forces Snowball to help him through bribery and direct threats.  When Snowball first encounters the spirit as a raven, it injures him.  Later, the spirit offers to tell Snowball what will cure the injury, but only after he procures absolution for him.  And if that was not enough to convince the tailor to help the spirit, the spirit threatens him with rotting flesh and melting skin.  Interestingly, the spirit becomes much more agreeable as soon as the absolution is delivered to his tomb.  He is grateful to the tailor, and even helps him.  He tells Snowball that he must return some garments to an old friend, and tells him where this friend can be found so that Snowball can return the clothes and escape eternal punishment for this sin.  He also tells the tailor that the people of the town are talking about him, and that if he stays, he will have some enemies and be poor.  The spirit’s change in attitude shows how dire his situation was.  Assuming they would be in charge of his soul in a short period of time, devils were torturing the spirit.  He must have been close to eternal damnation, which is why he was so aggressive with Snowball in the beginning.
            In addition to his transformation of attitude, the spirit is transformed physically several times in the story.  At first he is only heard, sounding like ducks bathing themselves.  Next he appears as a raven, then as a chained dog.  Finally he appears as a man, after being conjured, and in this form speaks with Snowball.  No full description is given of this form, until it appears “quasi igneus” (line 32), at which point Snowball is able to see through its exterior.  Later, the spirit appears as a she-goat, before reappearing as a tall man resembling a certain king.  Two minor spirits are discussed in the story, which also take on different forms.  The first appears as either fire or a thorn bush and later as a blind and deaf and dumb calf, and the second appears as a hunter.  The changing of forms for a spirit also appears in the first story.  The spirit appears to the protagonist first “quasi equum,” then like a floating, spinning, and glowing bale of hay, before appearing in its human form.
            The Byland stories are very clearly a product of the time in which they were written, and in which they take place.  Historical, cultural, and religious markers in this story connect to the attitude of the period.  Snowball’s story takes place during the reign of King Richard the Second (1377-1399).  The Byland stories were likely written at the end of this period or shortly after.  Snowball’s age is not given, but it is mentioned that he took part in the “war across the sea” (line 88), which was likely the Hundred Years’ War between England and France from 1337 to 1453. These stories were clearly not just adapted with different names; they were novel stories.
             The notion of time in the story also reflects the medieval idea of time.  The spirit references the “ninth hour” when he stood behind Snowball while he was burying the absolution.   The exact time which this refers to is questionable.  It could be referring to the modern day idea of 9 o'clock, since mechanical clocks were around during the time of this story.  However since a monk wrote these stories, and the towns of Ampleforth, Gilling, and others were small towns perhaps lacking a town clock, the ninth hour might be the ninth canonical hours as denoted by church bells.  All the daylight would have been divided into twelve equal parts with each one being labeled as an hour.  This means that daylight hours would be longer in the summer and shorter in the winter.  The process is the same for nighttime hours.  The ninth hour could have fallen anywhere between 1:40 to 3:00 in the afternoon depending on the time of year this story takes place.  However the story does not distinguish night time hours from day time hours, so this part could be taking place at night as well (Farrell).
              Although the Byland stories were written by a monk, they have more in common with local folklore than religious tales of the time.  The characters are for the most part laypeople, and their interactions with the wandering dead reflect popular beliefs.  The hero of Story II is a tailor, a common craftsman who, as far as is made clear in the story, has no previous experience with spirits.  A tailor at this time would likely have belonged to a merchant gild of modest social status and wealth.  As a craftsman, a tailor would enjoy some freedom and privilege, but would be of lower status than someone, for example, in the clergy (Davies).  On example of his status is when he refers to the presbyter as “Domine” in line 48.  Despite this, he is able to conjure the spirit successfully, agreeing with the popular belief that anyone could conjure. These stories are clearly not moral lessons written to make good Christians, but rather historical tales, concerned about peoples’ well-being.
            Naturally this story, written by a monk, is abundant with religious imagery and practices.  It is centered around the absolution of a certain spirit who is suffering on account of a sin he committed during life.  Although the hero of the story is a layman, he is devout and thus a good candidate to help the suffering soul.  Snowball’s piety is evident throughout the story, beginning with his first encounter with the spirit.  During this scene, he fights off the raven-spirit with faith alone.   Upon the second meeting, he fights the raven with his sword, but still relies on his faith.   The third encounter begins with Snowball holding the “cross of his sword” (line 18) in front of him; perhaps this is the monk’s symbolism for God standing between the tailor and peril.  Snowball also relies on his faith in this encounter.   When he conjures the spirit, he does so “in the name of the Holy Trinity and through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ through the five wounds” (lines 20-21).  Later in the story, he dutifully wakes his neighbor to announce his departure, “lest it be displeasing to God” (line 60).  It is evident that Snowball exhibits qualities of a good Christian.  However, he did not attend Mass on the day of the encounter, which is the reason the spirit can appear to him.   Still, Snowball willingly helps to save the soul of the spirit, and does so “religiously” (line 56), further demonstrating his piety.
            The spirit seeking absolution has been excommunicated   by a certain presbyter of the church.  The monk does not say what sin caused this, but describes the details of his absolution.  The required absolution seems to be a physical one, paid for by Snowball and buried in the tomb of the spirit’s body, along with many Masses said for the salvation of his soul.   To obtain this, Snowball must go all the way to York and Pickering to discuss the matter with the local priests, including the priest who had excommunicated the spirit.  As soon as this absolution is obtained and delivered to the dead man, his soul is saved.  He is no longer tormented by the three devils who had been “punishing [him] with torments of all sorts after [Snowball] conjured [him] on the first occasion continuously to [his] absolution” (lines 74-75).  Because Snowball completed the quest the spirit had sent him on, the spirit, along with thirty other spirits with him, would soon go to the “everlasting joy” (line 77) in Heaven.
            Throughout the story, the monk references several apotropaic items and words.  These are not a feature of early Christianity or the Bible, but rather reflect a medieval attitude toward the saving power of God and an obsession with relics.  Sometime during the Middle Ages, the subjunctive verb “absit” came to mean “God forbid” (Latham 1).  Although this is used as more of an exclamation than an apotropaic prayer, it held some power for many people.  Snowball first uses the word to ward off the raven, saying, “God forbid that you have the power of doing harm to me at this time, but let you withdraw” (line 16).  Later, his neighbor uses it, but this is more of the colloquial, secular usage than the religious one.
            Several physical religious objects are present in this story.  When Snowball first embarks on his journey, he takes with him, on the spirit’s advice, the four Gospels, as well as the triumphal title of Jesus Nazarene (lines 35-36).  These are supposed to protect him from the two other spirits in that place.   He also has certain “scripta” which he takes with him to further protect him (line 61), and later which he lays above his head, on the instruction of the hunter-spirit (line 99).  These scripta were textual amulets which had bible verses or other such sacred words written on them. Later, during his ritual, he makes use of reliquaries, which contained relics (Skemer 70).  These would be considered holy and would be used to protect the wearer or holder from harm.  The monk does not mention where Snowball obtained these items.  He might have had access to the Gospels, but the triumphal title and scripta would have required someone who was literate to produce them for him, as he was likely not literate.  The reliquaries might also have come from a literate, perhaps religious figure, such as Richard or one of the other priests.  The importance of physical objects is a common inclusion in medieval texts.
              An integral part of this story is Snowball’s conjuring.  Conjuring is used in almost all of the Byland stories and is a process used to be able to speak with the spirits.  Conjuring appears to be like an easy process, since all of the conjuring that occurred throughout the Byland stories was effective.  However, the monk only describes the conjuring process with three words, “Et fecit ita.”  The first time Snowball conjures the spirit, he does so that, “he may speak with him and by no means injure himself but stand immovable and respond to the things asked and say to him his name and the reason for his punishment with a suitable remedy” (lines 21-23).  The second time Snowball conjures the spirit he initiates a complex protection ritual.  He draws a circle around himself and places reliquaries around it.   This long process is to protect him from any harm.  While the spirit is in a much calmer mood during this second encounter, this mood change might be in part because of the precautions  Snowball took.  Shortly after the ritual is completed, the spirit appears as a she-goat, travels three times around the circle bleating, then immediately melts into the floor and rises up as a man.  The monk does not tell why this occurs in such a way.  While this conjuring is one of the more complex of the Byland stories, it is a vital part to the narrative story and to the Byland stories as a whole.
The imagery of the cross which Jesus bore and was crucified on is a very common and very powerful image for Christians.  It first appears when Snowball signs himself in line 9.  This gesture of signing oneself consists of making the shape of a cross by touching the forehead, chest, and left and right shoulders respectively.  The monk also uses the word “crucem” in line 18 to describe the hilt of the tailor’s sword, which he holds in front of him.  This could be the monk’s way of showing that Jesus Christ will protect Snowball from harm; the sword, representative of the cross, is between the tailor and the raven.  The next instance in which the image of a cross appears is when Snowball prepares his ritual.  He creates, either inside a circle or with a circle inside, a cross on which he places four reliquaries.   This image is significant to Christians, and thus it is not surprising that it appears several times in this story.
             The Christian liturgy, or Mass, was central to the religion.  Pious Christians attended Mass at least once a week, on Sundays, if not more often.  In this story, Snowball did not do this important task on the day in which the story takes place, which is why the spirit was able to appear to him in such a way.  Additionally, part of the spirit’s absolution includes the saying of Masses on his behalf.   This also occurs in most of the other Byland stories.  Masses were large gatherings of the faithful in prayer, and thus having one or many dedicated to a soul would serve to save that soul from purgatory or hell.  These Masses were bought by the families of the deceased, and would benefit both the suffering soul and the Church treasury.
            The spirit discusses his punishment in purgatory, the “everlasting joy” of Heaven, and the apocalyptic Day of Judgment.  These three themes are extremely important in Christianity.  The concept of purgatory, the liminal stage between Heaven and hell in which souls carry out punishment for an established period of time, is not biblical.  Rather, the idea derives from Christians over time attempting to develop a sense of what happens to a soul after death.  The spirit, one can assume, is experiencing this liminal stage, and is nearing the end of his time there.  He mentions the three devils which were tormenting him, because they expected that he would be joining them in hell shortly since his absolution had not been made, and thanks Snowball for obtaining this absolution, thus freeing the spirit from their torments.  The “everlasting joy” which the spirit mentions is referring to Heaven, the kingdom of eternal peace good souls inhabit after death.  Unlike purgatory, this concept comes from the bible, appearing numerous times throughout.   Because Snowball obtained the necessary absolution, the spirit will be free from purgatory and join thirty other spirits in Heaven.  Another biblical concept, the Day of Judgment, is also mentioned by the spirit concerning the eternal fate of two spirits which were present while Snowball buried the absolution.   This refers to the end of time, when the world (and the universe) will end, and all souls will be judged by God at the same time, and either be brought to Heaven or sent to hell.   The religious aspects mentioned by the spirit and throughout the story reflect both biblical and medieval ideas.
            Most of the stories written by the monk take place near Byland Abbey, with the exception of stories IX, X, XI, and XII.  The places referenced by the monk are still inhabited today.  Ampleforth, which is where the tailor lives, is 3.5 km east of Byland Abbey.  This town is also the location of stories VIII and XII.  The tailor is introduced coming back to Ampleforth from Gilling.  The modern day Gilling East is roughly the same distance southeast of Ampleforth.  Pickering, where Snowball visits the priest Richard, is a larger town 23 kilometers east of Ampleforth.  Hodge Beck, a brook running between Ampleforth and Pickering, is the first place the tailor suggests for the spirit to wait while he obtains the absolution.  Brink Hill, the next place the tailor mentions, is next to Byland Abbey.  The tailor’s friend lives in Alnwick, which is much further away.  It is over 140 km north of the other locations of the story.  Because the monk is relating local stories he has heard, it is natural that most of the places mentioned are local to the abbey.
            The collection of stories is quite clearly the work of a single author.  A brief analysis of the language and narrative styles of each shows this.  Nine of the stories begin with the introductory word “de,” followed by a brief introduction to the central plot point or idea.  The stories share a vocabulary, notably the words “qui,” “quidam,” and “predictus,” which the monk uses to describe almost all of his characters.  They also share the peculiar usage of “quod” to introduce indirect statement.  More noteworthy, however, are the similarities in theme among the tales.  Most of the stories involve the conjuring of a spirit, who in most cases is seeking absolution.  Additionally, many of the stories involve the saying of Mass for the souls.  Absolution seems to be, in most of these stories, the saying of Mass or obtaining some kind of physical absolution.  Finally, in several stories, the spirit appears in different forms.  In story I, a spirit appears like a horse, then like a bale of hay, before appearing as a human.  In story II, the spirits appear in many forms, mostly of animals.  In story X, the spirit appears, interestingly, as the digger who had been stealing meat.
            Other details like the Byland stories together as well, although they are not major plot points.  The “timores nocturnos” in story II appear again in stories XI and XII.  This phrase also appears in the Vulgate in Psalm 90:5 and Song 3:8.  It means any manner of nighttime fears from human to supernatural.  In story XII, the spirit is conjured in a place some distance from the town, due to the nighttime fears of the townspeople.  These same fears lead the protagonist in story XI to keep watch while he and his companions spent the night in a wood in Spain.  In story II, Snowball keeps textual amulets with him for this reason.   Likewise, the presence of the little boy is similar to story X.  This reflects the contemporary theme of the power of virgins, perhaps a reflection of the theme of the Virgin Mother of Jesus which occurs throughout the New Testament. Also mentioned in several stories is the fact that the spirit cannot or does not wish to go near rivers.  In story II, the tailor suggests that the spirit wait for him at Hodge Beck, which the spirit vehemently refuses.  A similar situation occurs in story I.  The spirit, who has been helping a man carry beans, refuses to go with him any farther once they reach a river.  This likely stems from popular belief about ghosts.  Just as vampires cannot cross thresholds, so spirits cannot cross rivers.
             The Byland stories are not unique.  They reflect a tradition of folktales about ghosts which grew and evolved during the Middle Ages.  The Byland stories are mirabila, secular tales about marvelous or extraordinary occurrences (Schmitt 59).  These stories were generally not written by a monk,which makes the Byland stories so intriguing.  They are full of religious imagery and themes, yet the strange aspects of the stories (namely, the appearance of spirits) are not the result of God, nor do they involve saints as protagonists.  These are truly folktales, with religious influences.
            Comparable to this collection of tales are the tales of Marmoutier, Cluny, and William of Newbergh.  The tales of Marmoutier, dating about two centuries earlier, also concern the acquisition of absolution and prayers for the dead.  In one story, a dying man offers his property and the property which a certain debtor owes him to the Marmoutier monastery.  After his death, the monks pray for him until the debtor fails to give them what he owes.  The spirit of the dead man appears to the debtor, who still refuses to pay his debt.  He soon experiences intense pain, and summons the spirit back, intending to pay his debts (Schmitt 69-70).  In this case, the state of the spirit at the time of his apparition is not discussed.  Rather, it is the punishment of the living debtor which is the focus.  However, this story and the Byland stories all concern the necessary prayer and absolution for the salvation of the spirit.  Written around the same time as the Marmoutier stories were the stories from Cluny (Schmitt 71-75).  These, like the Byland stories and the Marmoutier stories, are primarily concerned with the salvation of souls that appeared, and are numerous.  In some stories, the apparitions give advice or instruction, as is the case in Byland story II, when the spirit tells Snowball how he can avoid eternal punishment. Also in the same period are the stories of William of Newburgh, which take place in Yorkshire.  The spirits in his stories are very different from those of the Byland monk; they are malevolent and dangerous (Schmitt 82-83).  In the first story, the protagonist (an archdeacon) is pressured by the public to fix the ghost problem in their town and consults with priests both local and from other towns.  They decide that the best solution is to put an absolution in the graves of the spirits, on their chests.  This situation is similar to Byland story II, in which Snowball consults several priests, and buries the absolution in the tomb of the spirit.  These are examples of the many stories concerning ghosts that were written during this period.  These stories, both religious and secular, share elements with the Byland Abbey stories, and in particular story II.
            The second Byland Abbey tale is indeed a medieval literary work.  Its themes, style, and lexicon are prime examples of medieval writing, stemming from a long and rich tradition of supernatural literature.  The Christian influence runs thick through this story, and indeed all the Byland stories, and provides insight into the religious thinking of that time.  Its historical qualities must also not be underrated.  Being so intertwined with the North Yorkshire community, these stories provide a source for the culture of this region.  This story contains many answers, but also prompts further research.  Without a doubt this story will continue to be a link between the modern day and medieval England.

For example, “Dicitur quod quidam scissor cognomine [blank] Snawball equitando remeauit ad domum...” (lines 3-4)

The other instance in which this confusing construction occurs is in lines 99-101: “Spiritus autem alius per ipsum adiutus consuluit eum quod poneret optima sua scripta in suo capite dum dormiret et non dicas amplius vel minus quam que precipio tibi, et respicias ad terram et ne respicias ignem materialem ista nocte ad minus.”

“iuit Eboꝝ ad predictum presbiterum, qui dudum excommunicauit eum, petens absolucionem.  Qui renuit absoluere eum, vocans sibi alium capellanum ipsum consulendo.  At ille vocauit adhuc alium, et alius tercium de absolucione huius musitantes.” (lines 44-47)

“Qui interrogatus de nominibus duorum spirituum respondit.  Non possum dicere tibi illorum nomina.  Iterum inquisitus de statu eorundem” (line 79-81)

“Postea inquisiuit eundem spiritum de suo proprio statu.” (lines 86-87)

“Sed si manseris in tali loco eris diues et in tali loco eris pauper, et habes aliquos inimicos” (lines 94-95).

“et steti ad dorsum hora nona quando infodisti absolucionem meam in sepulcro” (lines 72-73)

“signauit se et prohibuit eum ex parte dei” (line 9)

“constans in fide” (line 14); “prohibuit eum et defendit ex parte dei” (line 15)

“animatus in fide” (line 19)

the spirit informs him, “hodie non audiuisti missam neque ewangelium Iohannis scilicet 'In principio' neque vidisti consecracionem corporis et sanguinis domini obuiaui tibi ad presens, alioquin non haberem plenarie potestatem tibi apparendi” (lines 29-31).  The Gospel reference is John 1:1.

He gives the consulting priests “quinque solidos” (lines 49-50)

“absolucionem inscriptam in quadam cedula” (line 50); “fodit predictam absolucionem prout sibi fuerat imperatum in sepulcro” (lines 55-56)

“nouies viginti missas pro me celebrandas” (lines 25-26)

“propter duos alios spiritus hic com-morantes, quorum vnus nequit loqui coniuratus et est in specie ignis vel dumi et alter est in figura venatoris, et sunt in obuia valde periculosi” (line 36-38)

“venit ad locum constitutum et fecit magnum circulum crucis,9 et habuit super se quatuor ewangelia et alia sacra verba, et stetit in medio circuli ponens quatuor monilia 10 in modum crucis in fimbriis eiusdem circuli, in quibus monilibus inscripta erant verba salutifera scilicet Ihesus Nazarenus etc. et expectauit aduentum spiritus eiusdem.” (lines 64-68)

“venit ad locum constitutum et fecit magnum circulum stetit in medio circuli ponens quatuor monilia in modum crucis in fimbriis eiusdem circuli” (lines 65-68)

“Et oportet me implere nouies viginti missas pro me celebrandas.” (lines 25-26)

“tres diaboli fuerunt ibidem presentes, qui omnimodis tormentis puniebant me postquam coniurasti me prima vice vsque ad absolucionem meam, suspicantes se permodicum tempus me in sua custodia habituros ad puniendum” (lines 73-76)

“Scias igitur quod die lune proxime futura ego cum aliis triginta spiritibus ibimus in gaudium sempiternum.” (lines 76-77)

One particularly appropriate example comes from 1 Peter 1:4-6: “ an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith, to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.  In this you rejoice...”

“unus illorum...non habebit remedium ante diem iudicii...Et alius...habebit remedium” (lines 81-85)

Examples: “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” (John 12:48); “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed...we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.” (2 Peter 3:10-13)

stories I, II, III, VI, VII, VIII, IX, XI, and XII

“scriptis meis que porto super. me propter timores nocturnos” (lines 61-62)

“Tu detines iniuste capucium et togam quondam amici et socii tui in guerra vltra mare.  Satisfacies ergo ei vel grauiter lues.”