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

before you."

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.