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(*) There is no author's name to this story in any of the


_Of a cure who wore a short gown, like a gallant about to be married,

for which cause he was summoned before the Ordinary, and of the sentence

which was passed, and the defence he made, and the other tricks he

played afterwards--as you will plainly hear._

In Picardy, in the diocese of Therouenne, there liv
d about a year and

a half ago, in one of the large towns, a cure who aped the fashionable

youth of the time. He wore a short gown, and high boots, as was the

fashion at Court, and, in short, was as great a gallant as you would

see,--which gave no small offence to all good Churchmen.

The Ordinary of Therouenne--who is generally known as the "big devil"

--was informed of the behaviour of this cure, and cited him to appear to

be punished, and ordered to change his method of dressing.

He appeared in his short gown, as though he cared little for the

Ordinary, or thinking, perhaps, that he was going to be let off for his

good looks, but this did not happen, for when he was before the judge,

the "promoter" related the case at full length, and demanded that these

clothes and other vanities should be forbidden him, and that he should

be condemned to pay certain fines.

The judge, seeing at a glance what sort of man our cure was, forbade

him, by all the penalties of canon law, to disguise himself in the way

he had done, and ordered that he was to wear long gowns and long hair,

and moreover, to pay a good sum of money.

The cure promised that he would do so, and never again be summoned for a

similar offence. He left the Court and returned to his cure, and as soon

as he came there, he called the draper and the tailor, and he had a gown

made which trailed three quarters of an ell on the ground; for he

told the tailor how he had been reproved for wearing a short gown, and

ordered to wear a long one.

He put on this long robe, and allowed his beard and hair to grow, and in

this habit performed his parochial duties, sang Mass, and did everything

that a priest has to do.

The promoter was soon informed that the cure behaved in a way not

compatible with good morals, whereupon a fresh summons was issued, and

the priest appeared in his long gown.

"What is this?" asked the judge when the cure appeared before him. "It

seems that you make fun of the statutes and ordinances of the Church!

Why do you not dress like the other priests? If it were not for some of

your friends I should send you to prison."

"What, monseigneur!" said the cure. "Did you not order me to wear a long

gown, and long hair? Have I not done as I was commanded? Is not my gown

long enough? Is not my hair long? What do you wish me to do?"

"I wish," said the judge, "and I command that your gown and hair should

be half long, neither too much nor too little, and for this great fault

that you have committed, I condemn you to pay a fine of ten pounds to

the Prosecutor, twenty pounds to the Chapter, and as much to the Bishop

of Therouenne for his charities."

Our cure was much astonished, but there was nothing for it but

to comply. He took leave of the judge, and returned to his house,

considering how he should attire himself in order to obey the judge's

sentence. He sent for the tailor, whom he ordered to make a gown as long

on one side as that we have mentioned, and, as short as the first one

on the other side, then he had himself shaved on one side only--that on

which the gown was short--and in this guise went about the streets, and

performed his sacred duties; and although he was told this was not right

of him, he paid no attention.

The Prosecutor was again informed, and cited him to appear a third

time. When he appeared, God knows how angry the judge was--he was almost

beside himself, and, could scarcely sit on the Bench when he saw the

cure dressed like a mummer. If the priest had been mulcted before he was

still more so this time, and was condemned to pay very heavy fines.

Then the cure, finding himself thus amerced in fines and amends, said to

the judge.

"With all due respect, it seems to me that I have obeyed your orders.

Hear what I have to say, and I will prove it."

Then he covered his long beard with his hand, and said;

"If you like, I have no beard." Then, covering the shaved side of his

face, he said, "If you like, I have a long beard. Is not that what you


The judge, seeing that he had to do with a joker, who was making fun of

him, sent for a barber and a tailor, and before all the public, had

the cure's hair and beard dressed, and his gown cut to a proper and

reasonable length; then he sent him back to his cure where he conducted

himself properly--having learned the right manner at the expense of his