With a reall divell

THERE was (after a sermon made, wherein this storie of S. Margaret was recited, for in such stuffe consisted not onelie their service, but also their sermons in the blind time of poperie:) there was (I saie) a certeine yoong man, being a Lombard, whose simplicitie was such, as he had no respect unto the commoditie of worldlie things, but did altogither affect the salvation of his soule, who hearing how great S. Margarets triumph was, began to consider with himselfe, how full of slights the divell was. And among other things thus he said; Oh that God would suffer, that the divell might fight with me hand to hand in visible forme! I would then surelie in like maner overthrow him, and would fight with him till I had the victorie. And therefore about the twelfe houre he went out of the towne, and finding a convenient place where to praie, secretlie kneeling on his knees, he praied among other things, that God would suffer the divell to appeare unto him in visible forme, that according to the example of S. Margaret, he might overcome him in battell. And as he was in the middest of his praiers, there came into that place a woman with a hooke in hir hand, to gather certeine hearbs which grew there, who was dumme borne. And when she came into the place, and saw the yoong man among the hearbs on his knees, she was afraid, and waxed pale, and going backe, she rored in such sort, as hir voice could not be understood, and with hir head and fists made threatning signes unto him. The yoong man seeing such an ilfavoured fowle queane, that was for age decrepit and full of wrinkles, with a long bodie, leane of face, pale of colour, with ragged cloathes, crieng verie lowd, and having a voice not understandable, threatning him with the hooke which she carried in hir hand, he thought surelie she had beene no woman, but a divell appearing unto him in the shape of a woman, and thought God had heard his praiers. For the which causes he fell upon hir lustilie, and at length threw hir downe to the ground, saieng; Art thou come thou curssed divell, art thou come? No no, thou shalt not overthrow me in visible fight, whome thou hast often overcome in invisible temptation.

And as he spake these words, he caught hir by the haire, and drew hir about, beating hir sometimes with his hands, sometimes with his heeles, and sometimes with the hooke so long, and wounded hir so sore, that he left hir a dieng. At the noise whereof manie people came running unto them, and seeing what was doone, they apprehended the yoong man, and thrust him into a vile prison. S. Vincent by vertue of his holines understanding all this matter, caused the bodie that seemed dead to be brought unto him, and thereupon (according to his maner) he laid his hand upon hir, who immediatlie revived, and he called one of his chaplines to heare hir confession. But they that were present said to the man of God, that it were altogether in vaine so to doo, for that she had beene from hir nativitie dumbe, and could neither heare nor understand the priest, neither could in words confesse hir sinnes. Notwithstanding, S. Vincent bad the priest heare hir confession, affirming that she should verie distinctlie speake all things unto him. And therfore, whatsoever the man of God commanded, the priest did confidentlie accomplish and obeie: and as soone as the priest approched unto hir, to heare hir confession, she, whome all Cathalonia knew to be dumbe borne, spake, and confessed hir selfe, pronouncing everie word as distinctue, as though she had never beene dumbe. After hir confession she required the eucharist and extreame unction to be ministred unto hir, and at length she commended hir selfe to God; and in the presence of all that came to see that miracle, she spake as long as she had anie breath in hir bodie. The yoong man that killed hir being saved from the gallowes by S. Vincents meanes, and at his intercession, departed home into Italie. This stone last rehearsed is found in Speculo exemplorum, and repeated also by Robert Garocul: bishop of Aquinas, and manie others, and preached publikelie in the church of Rome.

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