The Obsequious Priest
By Philippe De Laon.
_Of a priest of Boulogne who twice raised the body of Our Lord whilst
chanting a Mass, because he believed that the Seneschal of Boulogne
had come late to the Mass, and how he refused to take the Pax until the
Seneschal had done so, as you will hear hereafter._
Once when the Seneschal of the County of Boulogne was travelling through
the district visiting ea
h town, he passed through a hamlet where the
bell was ringing for Mass, and as he expected that he should not reach
the town to which he was going in time to hear Mass, for the hour was
then nearly noon, he thought that he would dismount at this hamlet to
see God in passing.
He left his horse at the door of the church, and took a seat near the
altar, where high Mass was being celebrated, and placed himself so
near the priest, that the latter could see his profile whilst he was
celebrating the Mass.
When he raised the cup, and other things that he should, he thought to
himself that he had noticed the Seneschal behind him, and not knowing
whether he had come early enough to see the elevation, but believing
that he had come too late, the priest called his clerk, and made him
light the candles, and, performing all the ceremonies that he should,
he again raised the Host, saying that that was for Monseigneur le
And after that he proceeded until he came to the _Agnus Dei_ which,
when he had said three times, and his clerk gave him the Pax to kiss, he
refused, approaching his clerk and saying that he should first present
it to the Seneschal, who refused it two or three times.
When the priest saw that the Seneschal would not take the Pax before
him, he put down the Host which he had in his hands, and took the Pax,
which he carried to my lord the Seneschal, and told him that if my lord
did not take it first, he would not take it himself.
"For it is not right," said the priest, "that I should take the Pax
Then the Seneschal, seeing that wisdom was not to be found in that
place, gave in to the cure and took the Pax first, and the cure followed
him; and that being done he returned to perform the rest of the Mass.
And this is all that was related to me.