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The life and English writings of John Capgrave Fredeman, Elta Jane 1970

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THE LIFE AND ENGLISH WRITINGS OF JOHN CAPGRAVE by ELTA JANE FREDEMAN B.A. , University of British Columbia, 1963 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in the Department of ENGLISH We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA Apr i l , 1970 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree tha p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumbia V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada Date Abstract This dissertation i s the f i r s t c r i t i c a l examination of the English works of the fifteenth-century Augustinian f r i a r , John.Capgrave (1393-1464). The appraisal of them is placed within the context of his whole career, for i t i s important to recognize that much of his time was devoted to duties as an o f f i c i a l of his order and that while his vernacular canon is extensive, i t is not.as large as his Latin. The biographical chapter synthesizes details about Capgrave's home convents, the conventual l i f e and educational system of the Augustinians, the people Capgrave came in contact with and the duties of the offices he held in order to make new conjectures about certain periods in his l i f e , to demonstrate that he was not a sequestered figure ignorant of the turbulent world about him, and to provide the background for some of the characteristic s t y l i s t i c traits identi-fiable in his vernacular works. In terms of Capgrave's whole career, i t is apparent that the English works are in one sense an interruption, for a l l four of the saints' lives and The Solace of Pilgrims were written in a twelve-year period before he became provincial of the order in England, and after he had mainly ceased writing the b i b l i c a l commentaries which had gained him his theological reputation' in" the 1430's and would preoccupy him once more in the 1450's. Before the individual saints' lives are treated,, a general chapter demonstrates that Capgrave's four lives a l l follow the Antonian i i i model of the longer Latin l i f e and are therefore divergent from the native English tradition which focused on a few c r i t i c a l moments, especially the martyrdom i t s e l f . It includes a survey of the develop-ment of the genre in England, a summary of the features of the Latin lives, and an analysis of traits common to Capgrave's works. The next four chapters deal with Capgrave's lives in the order of their composition, and the contents of each chapter are inevitably conditioned by the state of scholarship on the work and the materials available. The study of The Life of St. Norbert, a poem which i s s t i l l unpublished and has received no c r i t i c a l attention, i s chiefly concerned with an identification of the Latin source and a comparison of i t with the more legendary version which Capgrave produced. At the same time i t considers the various aspects of treatment and style which make Capgrave's poem more dramatic than i t s source. The probable sources of Capgrave's second rime royal legend, The Life of St. Katherine of Alexandria, have already been established; and after treating some of the assumptions about the manuscript trans-mission, this chapter moves to a more purely literary analysis. Since the poem is so long, the discussion centres on poetic techniques, characterization, and the structure of the two elaborate debates. The two prose lives are much briefer; each depends on a single Latin source, one identified, the other apparently" no longer extant. The f i r s t , The Life of St. Augustine, is closely compared with i t s source, a Vita by another Augustinian f r i a r , Jordanus of Saxony, to isolate illustrations of traits already described as characteristic of iv Capgrave!s work in the earlier chapters and to provide examples of his s k i l l as translator. These same techniques are also discussed in rela-tion to The Life of St. Gilbert of Sempringham, but, here, more emphasis is placed on the correction of misapprehensions about the actual source and on the construction of the work. In the last chapter, the survey concludes with r a study of Capgrave's two "original" works, The Solace of Pilgrims and The  Chronicle of England. The derivative nature of their materials is acknowledged and illustrated, but attention is focused on Capgrave's concern for structure and the details which reveal i t . The conclusion indicates, that devotional works such as . Capgrave wrote are more.characteristic of the fifteenth century than the few secular works which are subjected to continual scrutiny in most studies of the period and that further examination of his works and their techniques would lead to a more r e a l i s t i c appraisal of the methods and taste of the time. TABLE OF CONTENTS Page INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . 1 I. BIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . 9 I I . THE ENGLISH SAINTS' LIVES . . . . . . 70 I I I . THE LIFE OF. ST. NORBERT 102 IV. THE LIFE OF ST.. KATHERINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157 V. THE LIFE OF ST. AUGUSTINE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231 VI. THE LIFE OF ST. GILBERT 264 VII, THE CHRONICLE OF ENGLAND and THE SOLACE OF PILGRIMS . . 310 CONCLUSION .... . . . . . . . . . . -. . . . .. . , 369 BIBLIOGRAPHY 374 . INTRODUCTION John Capgrave (1393-1464) was born seven years before Chaucer died; he was a contemporary of Bokenham, Hoccleve, Lydgate, Pecock, and many of the Scottish Chaucerians; and before his death, both Malory and Caxton, the two most important late 15th-century writers, had been launched on their respective literary careers. Yet Capgrave, who was regarded in his own lifetime as a highly learned man with considerable influence, i s assigned no more than a minor entry in the annals of 15th-century literature, even though his writings in English exceed in bulk and in variety those of Bokenham and Hoccleve. In the general derogation and dismissal of 15th-century literature that has dominated scholarship, Capgrave has not been so much condemned as i g -nored; and his works have received l i t t l e more than editorial—and that scarcely accurate—attention. It is the purpose of this disser-tation to reinstate Capgrave in his rightful position in the literary history of the period. To that end, the dissertation offers both a study of his l i f e and a comprehensive examination of his vernacular writings, which places him within the context of his age and indicates the p o s s i b i l i t i e s suggested by several unexplored approaches to his works. For nearly four-hundred years after Capgrave's death, only a single work attributed to him was available in printed form. That work, the Latin Nova Legenda Anglia, a collection of saints' lives , is now known to be almost entirely composed by John of Tynemouth. 2 Between 1858 and 1911, manuscript discoveries revived i n t e r e s t i n Capgrave, and during t h i s period a l l but one of h i s English works were printed. Their e d i t o r s , eager to provide texts for another medieval author, were unfortunately content to accept u n c r i t i c a l l y the long-standing appraisal of Capgrave's learning and to perpetuate the many errors i n the received biography. More serious, the editions themselves are i n f e r i o r . The two 19th-century texts—Hingston's e d i t i o n of The  Chronicle of England (1858) and Horstmann's e d i t i o n of The L i f e of St. Katherine of Alexandria ( 1 8 9 3 ) — r e f l e c t poor manuscript choices; and the introductions to both J . J . Munro's e d i t i o n of The Lives of St. Augustine and St. G i l b e r t and a Sermon (1910) and C A . M i l l ' s e d i t i o n of The Solace of Pilgrims (1911) f a i l to correct obvious errors or to provide any l i t e r a r y evaluation. W.H. Clawson's projected e d i t i o n of the Huntington manuscript of The L i f e of St. Norbert was never com-pleted, but t h i s l a s t unpublished English work i s now being edited by Father C L . Smetana, O.S.A. Only since 1943 has Capgrave been given more than perfunctory notice i n l i t e r a r y h i s t o r i e s and i n r e l i g i o u s and h i s t o r i c a l r e f e r -ences. However, the body of c r i t i c a l comment on him i s s t i l l i n o r d i n -ately small. There i s no book devoted to Capgrave; and the few important a r t i c l e s are concerned with s p e c i f i c problems—of biography, bibliography, and s o u r c e s — r a t h e r than with general assessment. The best and most extensive s i n g l e study i s A l b e r i c de Meijer's three-part bio-bibliography published i n Augustiniana i n 1955-1957, which corrects many of the accumulated errors of the past century and contains the 3 only detailed bibliography. The sources of one poetic and one prose saint's l i f e — t h e St. Katherine and the St. Augustine—have been exam-ined, and the place of the latter in the religious dispute over precedence between Augustine's order and the Augustinian canons regular has been investigated and evaluated. Of the remaining works, The Solace  of Pilgrims has received some slight attention, because of the light i t sheds on the history of medieval Rome, while The Chronicle of  England is only mentioned in passing in catalogues of the his t o r i c a l writings of the period. The commentators have not, however, provided a survey of Capgrave's total achievement which examines the course of his career as man and writer for materials which help to explain the style of his vernacular writings and describes the qualities of his particular literary contribution. The dissertation is divided into seven chapters, consisting of an introductory biographical survey, a general chapter on medieval saints' lives , four central chapters on Capgrave's poetic and prose saints' l i v e s , and a fi n a l chapter treating the two later prose works. Treatment necessarily depends on the nature of the mater-i a l under consideration in each of the chapters. Thus, the disserta-tion i s descriptive, h i s t o r i c a l , and c r i t i c a l ; i t seeks to defend no single thesis, either about Capgrave in particular or about Middle English writing in general. Chapter one u t i l i z e s , but goes well beyond, the biographical discoveries of, de Meijer. In addition to fleshing out the skeleton provided by de Meijer regarding Capgrave's education and his l i f e as 4 an Augustinian, the chapter seeks to establish with as great a pre-cision as possible the chronology of his l i f e , especially as i t illum-inates the so-called twelve "lost years" between 1423-1440. In his biographical a r t i c l e , de Meijer turned up several new documents relat-ing to Capgrave, but he failed to enlarge and.interpret the bare l i f e records. To remedy this paucity of "body" in Capgrave's biography, this chapter includes a discussion of the communal l i f e of the Augustinians, additional details on Capgrave's home convents, the course of his studies, and his trip to Rome; i t also provides a record of his contacts with other Austin friars who achieved literary or ecclesiastical prominence in the period, a study of his patrons and of his duties as prior-provincial, and some reflections on the.probable influence of his education and position on his literary productions. In this instance external materials are adduced.to provide both the background for Capgrave's works and the evidence for conjectures about certain periods in his l i f e . If, for example, no one has treated the early years of Capgrave's education because there is no documentary evidence, there is enough data about the schools of the Augustinian friars to make a relatively detailed description of i t possible. By this method, the effects of Capgrave's lengthy scholastic training and ecclesiastical vocation on his choice of subjects and treatment of them are made more recognizable and immediate. Although the applica-tion of these materials may sometimes seem circuitous, i t s result i s not digressive, for i t makes possible the recreation of a far more v i t a l figure than the l i f e records alone could ever provide. 5 Besides this synthesis, the chapter argues for new dates for some of.the known events in Capgrave's career, different places than those usually assumed for his residence during certain years, and.a reduction in the number of works attributed to him. For a man whose, l i f e i s so thinly documented, every fact has potential significance, and the attempt in this chapter has been to get beneath the fi c t i v e facade of Capgrave as simply "the most learned of the Augustinians" to an authentic recreation of the author of the literary works that he is known to have produced. The main body of the dissertation consists of a discussion of Capgrave's English works. It opens with a chapter establishing the background and context of Capgrave's saints' lives. Capgrave himself clearly believed deeply in the church's teachings on saints and miracles; and i t i s imperative that an attempt be made to ill u s t r a t e the nature of his commitment. In one sense i t is fortunate that Capgrave's work has not been subjected to scrutiny by any generation of c r i t i c s , for i t means that there is no need to disprove theories unifying what seems disorganized or disruptive in i t . Part of the purpose in this chapter i s to demonstrate that Capgrave worked within the traditions of.his own time, and that, consequently, i t i s inac-curate to describe the structure, organization, or development of his work as crude or primitive, as the literary historians have generally done. Following this general analysis of their context, of their divergence from the native model, and of their common features, a 6 chapter is devoted to each of the four lives. Instead of conforming to a single, ri g i d model, each chapter follows a pattern intended to an-swer the most immediate and important questions,about i t s subject. Chapter three treats The Life of St. Norbert, a poem which has received no c r i t i c a l attention whatsoever, and it,includes.a summary biography of this l i t t l e known saint, an identification of the Latin sources, and a discussion of the omissions which increase the marvel-lous elements while reducing the historical figure, and of the aspects of style which make Capgrave's version more dramatic. Chapter four deals with Capgrave's second rime royal l i f e , The Life of St. Katherine. The study is facil i t a t e d by the recent (1961) work on i t s sources by Auvo Kurvinen, and after correcting some of.her statements, i t moves to a more purely literary analysis, treating the poetic techniques, the more sophisticated and complex characterization, and the.carefully polished structure of.the highly elaborate debates. At the end of this chapter, the two poetic lives are compared and the considerable advance which The Life of St. Katherine represents is discussed. The-two prose,lives are briefer, but each has i t s peculiar problems. ' The only complete copies extant appear in a single manu-script, Capgrave's holograph; but though they were printed sixty years ago, neither has been:analyzed for i t s reflection of English prose style in the mid-fifteenth century or for evidence of Capgrave's characteristic techniques. In chapter five, the f i r s t of them, The  Life of St. Augustine is compared to i t s source, a Latin Vita 7 identified by Arbesmann and Sanderlin in 1943. Since this i s the only case where the source i s both known and in the same medium (i.e. prose), this comparison provides the most concrete demonstration of Capgravian traits already identified in The Life of St. Norbert and The Life of St. Katherine. And, again because direct comparisons can be made, The Life of St. Augustine provides the best examples of Capgrave's s k i l l as a translator. Some of these techniques are also discussed in relation to the second prose l i f e , The Life of St. Gilbert of Sempringham; but more emphasis i s put on the correction of misapprehensions about Capgrave's actual source and on the construction of his work. The last chapter concludes the survey with a study of Capgrave's two "original" works, The Solace of Pilgrims and The Chronicle of  England. While their materials are derivative, they are innovations, in the sense that Capgrave designed their formats and selected his entries from a variety of sources. In this section attention i s paid to the details which reveal his concern for the structure, some further-examples of his characteristic annotation are provided, and the, texture of his prose in original composition as opposed to direct translation is considered. In sum, this study i s intended to provide an account of.the l i f e and works of a p r o l i f i c fifteenth-century writer to whom count-less references are made in the catalogues of literary histories, but for whom not a single study in depth i s available. It is.hoped that the analyses, focusing, as f i r s t and general studies must, on sources, methods of adaptation, and prose basis for future examinations of receive the.attention they merit passed•over when.general studies made. and poetic style, w i l l provide the Capgrave.'s works, so that they w i l l and their author w i l l no longer be of the literature of the period are CHAPTER I THE LIFE OF JOHN CAPGRAVE I The received biography of John Capgrave i s characterized as are many other medieval l i v e s by errors and u n c r i t i c a l accretions, most of them the r e s u l t s of confusion, lack of information, and the acceptance of unsubstantiated t r a d i t i o n s . Only a few dates i n Capgrave's l i f e may be given with c e r t a i n t y : h i s b i r t h on A p r i l 23, 1393; h i s promotion to the f i n a l pre-degree status of l e c t o r on A p r i l 8, 1421; h i s appointment as a student to Cambridge on A p r i l 13, 1422; h i s formal completion of the bachelor's degree on March 20, 1423; h i s reception of Henry VI while he was p r i o r at the Austin convent i n Lynn on August 1, 1446; h i s e l e c t i o n as p r i o r - p r o v i n c i a l of England on July 22, 1453 at Winchester and h i s confirmation i n the o f f i c e on May 8,, 1454; his r e - e l e c t i o n at Lynn on August 15, 1455 and reconfirmation on February 14, 1456; h i s recognition of Edmund Rede as the founder of the Austin convent at Ox-ford i n 1456; and h i s death on August 12, 1464. For the rest there i s l i t t l e sure evidence. Some of the problems have been convincingly resolved i n recent years, and i t i s hoped others w i l l be s e t t l e d or c l a r i f i e d i n the course of t h i s chapter. There are no further records of a pub l i c r o l e which would ac-count f o r the great reputation Capgrave apparently enjoyed i n his own time and c e r t a i n l y had attained by the time the l i t e r a r y biographers 10 began to take note of him in the next century. He is l i t t l e help him-self, for he makes only minimal and bare references to a few of the people he met and he makes no comment at a l l on the internal conditions of contemporary England. To come to some understanding of how he could have reached a prominence which is not reflected in his vernacular works, i t is important to realize that he always lived not in a rural monastery but in convents in the centre of busy towns, that he came in contact with many of the important religious and p o l i t i c a l figures of his time, that he travelled abroad, and that he rose to the highest post in the English province of his order. Some aspects of this knowl-edge, especially the study of his educational course, aid in the inter-pretation of his works, but chiefly they administer a corrective to the view of Capgrave as a sequestered figure, unaware of or uninvolved in the l i f e about him. In The Chronicle of England Capgrave gives his birthdate as April 23, 1393,^ and in The Life of St. Katherine he specifically says; 2 "My cuntre is of northfolke, of be town of lynne." Apart from these bare statements, the only genealogical relationship which has ever been suggested for Capgrave is that he was the nephew and namesake of a fourteenth century Austin f r i a r , who was appointed to study at Oxford on the recommendation of the masters, bachelors, and priors of the Oxford limit (administrative district) and who received his doctorate in theology in 1390. Unfamiliar with the Augustinian archives, the early biographers were unaware that there had been two men of the same name; and in the only instance before Alberic de Meijer's 1955 11. biography where they are both mentioned, the literary productions are 3 assigned to the earlier man. It is possible to use the few details known about the f i r s t John Capgrave to remove certain errors in the author's history. Apparently the biographies of the two men, one obscure and the other renowned in his own age, were soon confused; and they were cer-tainly conflated as early as the sixteenth century. Without exception u n t i l the eighteenth century, the commentators name Oxford as the writer's university. After his own works with their references to Cam-bridge were discovered, i t became customary to describe Capgrave as a "doctor of both the universities." In i t s e l f this description i s sus-pect, for the places at the universities were few and zealously guarded in the middle ages. Now that a John Capgrave who did attend Oxford is known, the anomaly is resolved. This new awareness of the f i r s t John Capgrave also helps answer the question of the author's birthplace. In absolute terms, the state-ment in the S_t. Katherine that he was a man of Lynn, Norfolk may mean no more than that he was a resident of the Lynn convent at the time of the poem's composition while he originally came from Kent as his f i r s t biographers say. But, although there is no mention of his unusual sur-name in the l i s t s of guild members and borough o f f i c i a l s or in any of the legal documents extant in the town records, there is reason to assume that he was born either in Lynn i t s e l f or in the immediate v i -cinity . 12 In the f i r s t place, one of the statutes of the Austin f r i a r s required that a novice enter and thereafter be considered a conventual 4 of the convent nearest his parental home. Since Capgrave was sent to Cambridge, i t i s reasonable to assume that he belonged o r i g i n a l l y to the l i m i t which i t served, that i s , to one of the houses at Cambridge, Norwich, Clare, Lynn, L i t t l e Yarmouth, Orford, Huntingdon, or Thetford. Because he was made p r i o r at Lynn by 1446 at the l a t e s t , kept the house as h i s permanent residence even during the period when he was p r i o r -p r o v i n c i a l , and remained there u n t i l h i s death i n 1464, i t seems most l i k e l y that he had also entered the order there. Second, there are i n t e r n a l i n d i c a t i o n s i n h i s works which reveal a f a m i l i a r i t y with Norfolk, and p a r t i c u l a r l y with Lynn, i n his early years. Most important are the references to l o c a l events which he makes i n The Chronicle of England. Throughout the book, he takes note of disasters such as f i r e s i n the county and gives more s p e c i f i c ac-counts of the actions of the various bishops of Norwich than of any others. More p a r t i c u l a r l y , for the year 1400, between the notice of the death of Richard II and the report of the r e b e l l i o n of Owen Glen-dower, he records the capture of some S c o t t i s h f i s h i n g boats by men of Lynn and t h e i r being brought to the town (pp. 276-277). In 1404, when he was eleven, he was apparently an eyewitness to the departure of Princess P h i l i p p a from Lynn f o r her marriage to King E r i c of Norway (Chronicle, p. 292, De I l l u s t r i b u s H e n r i c i s , p. 109). And, f i n a l l y , among the more national events of 1416, he reports the s t e a l i n g of three c h i l d r e n of Lynn by beggars and t h e i r l a t e r recovery i n London (Chronicle, p. 316). 13 F i n a l l y , since the elder Capgrave was nominated to the univer-s i t y by the senior members of the Oxford l i m i t , he c l e a r l y came from one of the eight convents under t h e i r j u r i s d i c t i o n . One of these was i n Kent, at Canterbury, and i t may well have been his home. In any case, though t h i s explanation does not help place the writer i n Norfolk, i t makes i t more l i k e l y that i t was the f i r s t John Capgrave who was " i n Cantiorum comitatu natus." Since the medieval populace was not highly mobile and since these pieces of evidence strongly suggest that the fourteenth century Capgrave was from the south and Capgrave the author from East Anglia, the hypothetical uncle-nephew l i n k between the two i s questionable. In the face of the h i s t o r i c a l evidence, de Meijer's l i t e r a l reading of "faders" as "kinsmen" i n the following l i n e s i s exceedingly tenuous: Owt of be world to my profyte I cam On-to pe brotherhode quech I am I n n e — Godd 3eue me grace neuyr for to blynne To folow be steppes of my faders be-for, Whech to be rewle of Austen wer swore. (The L i f e of St. Katherine, Prologue, 11. 241-245) Thus, while i t i s tempting to provide Capgrave with some bond i n the past, i t i s more pr a c t i c a b l e to regard him autonomously and look f i r s t at the town where he spent so much of h i s l i f e . Whether he was born i n the town i t s e l f or i n one of the nearby hamlets, Lynn would have provided Capgrave with opportunities to view the f u l l range of medieval economic, s o c i a l , and r e l i g i o u s a c t i v i t i e s . Although i t i s no longer a prominent centre, Lynn's geographical p o s i -t i o n made i t an important port and market town i n the f i f t e e n t h century. By 1377 i t was ninth i n s i z e among the c i t i e s of England;^ and a 14 petition in 1422 for additional chapels to serve the public gives evi-dence of the numbers who frequented the town. In the same way, the total of fifty-two churches, chapels and oratories shows that there were great resources available for private endowment. That one of the four remaining English factories of the Hanseatic League was in Lynn demonstrates i t s continuing involvement in the Baltic trade. And, while much of England's international trade was destroyed by the wars with the French, by the shifting alliances in the Low Countries, and by the increasing isolation and eastward turning of the Baltic merchants, the merchants of Lynn entered the newly developing Icelandic ventures by 1420 and continually sought to preserve their rights in i t by nego-tiations on their own behalf with the king of the Danes.'7 As concomitants of this busy trading activity, Lynn not only had g a relatively large alien population for an English town, but also f e l t the struggle for p o l i t i c a l strength on the part of the middle class. The increasing prosperity of the members of the seventy-five trade guilds in Lynn f i n a l l y brought them into open conflict with the local merchants in the early years of the fifteenth century while John Cap-grave was a student f r i a r . And though Lynn was to become "one of the 9 closest of the close boroughs" in the end, for the moment the small oligarchy controlling the guild of the Holy Trinity was forced by the general class of burgesses in conjunction with the privileged group of episcopal tenants to allow greater participation in the choice of o f f i c i a l s . The increased democracy the townsmen had earned did not last long, but their capacity to get their grievances heard and to 15 force agreements r e f l e c t s the communal power and, therefore, t h e i r r e l a t i v e affluence. Many of the meetings at which corporate a f f a i r s were discussed and compromises established were held within the Augus-t i n i a n convent. Such intrusions of the outside world upon t h e i r r e l i g i o u s l i f e were of course c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the mendicant orders i n the l a t e middle ages, and witnessing the struggle at close range, Capgrave must have become aware early of p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s . With so large a population and so much prosperity, Lynn enjoyed dramatic entertainments s i m i l a r to those i n other large centres. There i s no evidence for a mystery cycle, but plays of St. Thomas and of Mary and Gabriel were c e r t a i n l y a c t e d ; ^ and the various public records of Lynn mention several payments f o r plays or to players (including min-s t r e l s ) during the f i r s t half of the f i f t e e n t h c e n t u r y . ^ Since the Augustinian convent was located i n the centre of the town and frequently housed v i s i t i n g d i g n i t a r i e s , i t i s l i k e l y that Capgrave saw both the public spectacles i n the nearby streets and market place and the p r i -vate entertainments occasionally staged for guests. As l a t e r chapters w i l l show, two aspects of Capgrave's s t y l e i n h i s s a i n t s ' l i v e s bear considerable resemblance to the techniques of the medieval stage. Everywhere, he focuses on c e n t r a l , objective and dramatically r e a l i -zable episodes, and whenever an occasion a r i s e s i n the narrative for a debate, an exorcism, or a conversion, the scene i s e i t h e r c a r e f u l l y described or, at l e a s t , established by some prominent object. Since i t i s now possible to account f o r Capgrave's whereabouts between 1413 and 1415, there i s no longer any reason to question Father 16 de M e i j e r ' s conjecture that Capgrave had j o i n e d the Augustinian order no l a t e r than 1410. Why he chose the Augustinians over the Fr a n c i s c a n s , Dominicans, or Carmeli t e s , a l l of whom were represented i n Lynn, cannot be determined. C e r t a i n l y , h i s order was an important one i n the town, w i t h a house l a r g e enough to e n t e r t a i n Bishop Arundel and h i s r e t i n u e 13 i n 1383 and the Duke and Duchess of Clarence w i t h three hundred horse 14 i n 1413. Moreover, i t was chosen as the arena f o r the meetings of the re p r e s e n t a t i v e s of the town and of the Bishop of Norwich which have been r e f e r r e d to e a r l i e r . As p r i o r , Capgrave was to r e c e i v e Henry VI there i n 1446.'''"' There were many d i f f e r e n c e s i n the o r i g i n a l i n t e n t i o n s of the founders of the great mendicant orders, but w i t h i n a few generations, they had grown e s s e n t i a l l y a l i k e . For i n s t a n c e , at the command of the pope — whether or not he was i n s p i r e d i n a v i s i o n by St. Augustine, as Capgrave would have i t ^ - - the Augustinians l e f t t h e i r r u r a l convents f o r the urban l i f e of the other f r i a r s . The Minors soon neglected St. F r a n c i s ' i n j u n c t i o n to renounce human l e a r n i n g and w i t h the other o r -ders followed the Dominicans i n developing advanced schools f o r the study of theology and a l l i e d a r t s . Moreover, a l l the orders of f r i a r s sought to disseminate the b a s i c C h r i s t i a n b e l i e f s to the people, and i n order to discourage concern f o r l o c a l i n t e r e s t s and la r g e e s t a t e s such as occupied so many monastic establishments, they denigrated w o r l d l y possessions and created c e n t r a l i z e d c o n t r o l s u l t i m a t e l y vested i n the pope. F i n a l l y , d e s p i t e the Great Schism and the attempts of s e c u l a r a u t h o r i t i e s to gain t h e i r support f o r n a t i o n a l i s t i c g o a l s , they a l l 17 remained committed to the authority of Rome. Among them, the Augus-t i n i a n theologians provided the chief arguments for the pope's dominion. In the l a t e middle ages the s p i r i t u a l state and moral authority of the f r i a r s weakened; and they became subject to charges of w o r l d l i -ness as they f e l l away from absolute p o v e r t y . ^ Medieval sources point to a general decline i n t h e i r i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t y as w e l l . The change from great strength to weakness i s perhaps less noticeable i n the case of the Augustinians because they were t h i r d i n s i z e among the orders of f r i a r s i n England, and because they did not produce any scholars at Oxford and Cambridge as important i n the shaping of medi-eval thought as the Franciscans Roger Bacon, Duns Scotus, and William Ockham or the Dominican Nicholas T r i v e t . I t must also be remembered that what appears on the surface as a sudden increase i n the number of Augustinians attending the u n i v e r s i t i e s i n the l a s t decades of the fourteenth century and the beginning of the f i f t e e n t h , and might be taken as evidence of an upsurge i n the academic l e v e l , i s i n f a c t one of the r e s u l t s of the Great Schism (1382-1417). Since France supported the Anti-pope, the Paris studium generale was closed to the other Euro-pean f r i a r s whose countries s t i l l adhered to Rome. In consequence, they were drawn to Oxford, Cambridge, and London, and t h e i r names i n 18 the r o l l s of students hide the continuing decline to a c e r t a i n extent. For a l l t h i s , although the period which saw scholasticism devel-oped to i t s greatest subtlety by a ser i e s of b r i l l i a n t English f r i a r doctors had ended a century before, i t was s t i l l among the mendicant rather than the monastic orders that the leading theologians were found 18 i n the f i f t e e n t h century; and, i n t h i s respect, the Augustinians were not unimportant. They provided t h e i r share of bishops, p a r t i c u l a r l y to I r i s h sees; the Augustinian Geoffrey Hardeby was foremost i n replying to Archbishop F i t z r a l p h ' s attacks on the f r i a r s ; and members of the order were given equal place with other orders i n the great meetings on the h e r e t i c a l teachings of Wyclif which were held at B l a c k f r i a r s under 19 Archbishop William Courtenay and at Oxford and i n the f i f t e e n t h cen-tury heresy t r i a l s which followed the passage of the statute De 20 Haeretico Comburendo. Augustinian h i s t o r i a n s do not discuss the connection i n d e t a i l , but t h e i r order, or at le a s t the Oxford convent of i t , had good reason to sympathize with Wyclif's opinions i n the early stages of the contro-versy. Since disputations were r e g u l a r l y held i n the Austin convent, i t i s not e s p e c i a l l y important that Wyclif was l e c t u r i n g there when he received the news of his condemnation. But many of h i s b e l i e f s were derived from the greatest of the Augustinian theologians, G i l e s of 21 Rome; and the l a t e r p r i o r - p r o v i n c i a l , Thomas Winterton, was one of his close associates. In addition, the appearance of W y c l i f s Determinatio i n the c o l l e c t i o n of works made by another Austin f r i a r , 22 Adam Stocton, i n the 1370's also r e f l e c t s i n t e r e s t i n W y c l i f s ideas. Af t e r the au t h o r i t a t i v e condemnation of W y c l i f s opinions by the mendicant theologians and by Archbishop Courtenay at the B l a c k f r i a r s (or "Earthquake") Council of 1382, there i s , with the sing l e exception 23 of Peter Pateshull, no occasion to question the orthodoxy of the English Augustinians. In f a c t , t h e i r r eaction was as immediate and 19 severe as might be expected i n the atmosphere of fear and shock which developed when e s s e n t i a l doctrines were questioned. Wyclif's f r i e n d Thomas Winterton, f o r example, answered Wyclif's t r e a t i s e Confessio i n a work e n t i t l e d Absolutio, r e l y i n g heavily on the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c Augustinian doctrines of lordship and grace; and, i n a r e v i s i o n , the words of praise for Wyclif i n Stocton's c o l l e c t i o n were removed.. Cambridge, where Capgrave was to go, never had s i g n i f i c a n t contact with the heresy though the th e o l o g i c a l students must have been aware of the controversy; and few attempts were made to r a i s e the issues at Oxford a f t e r Archbishop Arundel's v i s i t a t i o n i n 1411. 2 * Persecution was moderate i n England and most heretic s recanted; but the severity of the penalties ensured that orthodoxy was at pains to demonstrate i t s e l f . Yet i f only his English works were considered, Capgrave would seem to have had l i t t l e i n t e r e s t i n debating t h e o l o g i c a l points. Apart from notes on the d o c t r i n a l issues r a i s e d i n the early days of the church, condemnations of Wyclif and Oldcastle, a few r e f -erences to L o l l a r d a c t i v i t i e s i n the years before his Chronicle ends i n 1417, and explanations of the s p e c i f i c heresies the saint combatted i n The L i f e of St. Augustine, he does not touch the subject. In f a c t , however, t h i s i s another instance where the l i t e r a r y personality and the public man are widely divergent, for Capgrave must often have been i n close contact with the disputes. For example, he cannot have been unaware that suspicions of the L o l l a r d heresy were several times raised i n Lynn; and investigations which must have been part of the common gossip were frequently c a r r i e d out i n the diocese of Norwich. 20 A s i n g l e i l l u s t r a t i o n w i l l s u f f i c e to show to what extent he covered his own opinions with an anonymous s t y l e . In 1401, when Capgrave was a boy of eight, a townsman, William Sawtre, was the f i r s t man executed under the new statute; and l a t e r Capgrave recorded the event i n h i s Chronicle. He gives not a si n g l e d e t a i l which suggests any personal knowledge: In the t h i r d 3ere of t h i s Herry was a Parlement at London, wher was mad a statute ageyn L o l l a r d i s , that where evyr th e i were founde preching her evel doctrine, t h e i schuld be take, and presentid to the bischop; and i f thei meynten here opiniones, the i schuld be committed to the seculere hand, and th e i schuld brenne hem and her bokes. This statute was practized i n a prest that sone a f t i r was brent at Smythfeld. (Chronicle, p. 277) How f a r the a t t i t u d e displayed i n his written work r e f l e c t s either apathy or cautious time-serving on Capgrave's part i s d i f f i c u l t to judge; but given the p o s i t i o n he attained, either i s u n l i k e l y . What i s known i s that when Capgrave entered the Order of Hermits of St. Augustine, he found himself i n a community of men who were o f f i c i a l l y committed to the authority of the church both by t h e i r Rome-centred government and by t h e i r newly tested and newly strengthened i n t e l l e c -t u a l convictions. The s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e t h e i r rules required and the education t h e i r most promising students underwent enabled them to pro-vide many of the foremost defenders of the f a i t h . The events of the immediately preceding decades must have deeply affected the men who taught Capgrave and Wyclif's opinions must have been answered and con-demned i n the lectures he heard. In addition, as the next section w i l l show, even i f he was not himself involved i n heresy t r i a l s or public answers to h e r e t i c a l opinions, a number of his fellow conventuals were. 21 II I t i s hoped that t h i s survey of some of the more important events i n the town of Lynn and i n the r e l i g i o u s orders during t h i s period may help to place Capgrave i n his h i s t o r i c a l context. S i m i l a r l y , an examination of the a v a i l a b l e materials on t h e o l o g i c a l education at the time reveals both the content of the works which were.his frame of reference and the a n a l y t i c a l method which i s such an important aspect of h i s l i t e r a r y s t y l e . However, although a number of scholars i n the l a s t decade have unearthed a large body of f a c t s , there i s s t i l l uncer-tainty about the d e t a i l s of courses pursued by medieval students and the periods of time necessary to complete the various requirements. For example, the f u l l grammar course apparently took four years, but i n 25 t h e i r regulations, the Augustinians mention only one a f t e r entry. On the other hand, they also expected the novice to be able to read and sing d i s t i n c t l y when he entered, and, therefore, the young f r i a r s had presumably already had some elementary t r a i n i n g . In f a c t , there are frequent references to boys who do not seem to be members of the order 26 studying grammar i n the convents; and i t may w e l l be that there were provisions for a period of p r e - t r a i n i n g which would resolve the anomaly. Accepting these l i m i t a t i o n s , i t i s possible to provide a reasonably accurate picture of the course of Capgrave's education. Father de Meijer chooses the f i r s t of the two p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n -herent i n Capgrave's statement that he was ordained four or f i v e years before the b i r t h of Henry VI i n 1421 (De I l l u s t r i b u s H e n r i c i s , p. 127) and places the ordination i n 1417. Then he subtracts seven years from 22 thi s date and puts Capgrave's entry into the order i n 1410. There i s i n f a c t no evidence to confirm or refute h i s choice. The average age of entry was fourteen; but the Austins were allowed to accept boys as young as eleven and some cases of ten year olds being admitted are 27 known. As the following discussion w i l l show, the most that can be said i s that to have become a l e c t o r i n 1421, Capgrave cannot have joined l a t e r than 1410 and that i f he were seventeen (as he was then), he had probably previously completed the f u l l grammar course. So far as the e f f e c t on his l a t e r work i s concerned, the systematic d i v i s i o n of the material into orthography, prosody, syntax, and ethimologia, using compilations such as those of Donatus, P r i s c i a n , and Alexander de 28 V i l l a Dei, would have been much the same whether Capgrave studied i n 29 his own convent, the Lynn grammar school, or at the school of one of the other orders. Having entered, Capgrave spent h i s n o v i t i a t e learning the obser-vances of the r u l e . Their constitutions required the Austins to cele -brate f i v e canonical hours and they had i n addi t i o n a conventual mass which a l l of the brothers attended. For the purposes of s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e , they held a chapter of f a u l t s twice a week, kept s t r i c t s i l e n c e (except for the reader at the lectern) during t h e i r two d a i l y meals, and ob-served a great many obligatory f a s t s . A f t e r h i s n o v i t i a t e , a young f r i a r was to take grammar f o r an ad d i t i o n a l year; but, being older than the average, Capgrave had doubt-30 less f i n i s h e d the course, and he probably studied d i a l e c t i c s . This second year done, the consti t u t i o n s of the order provided f o r three years of study at what was known as a studium p a r t i c u l a r e , a school of elementary philosophy. For the Cambridge l i m i t t h i s school was l o c a t e d i n Norwich; and i f Capgrave d i d f o l l o w the course o u t l i n e d above, he must have been sent there by the end of 1412. Apart from the f a c t that i t was a well-known studium, f r e q u e n t l y attended by f o r e i g n f r i a r s , 31 l i t t l e i s known about the school i n Norwich. I f the three-year courses i n the Old and New Logic were given c o n c u r r e n t l y as they seem 32 to have been, Capgrave would have completed h i s term at Norwich and 33 returned to Lynn about the end of 1415. His recording of two Norwich events of 1415 (a f i r e and the death of the bishop, p. 303) i n the C h r o n i c l e provides at l e a s t c i r c u m s t a n t i a l c o n f i r m a t i o n . The methods of i n s t r u c t i o n i n these lower schools were essen-t i a l l y the same as i n the u n i v e r s i t i e s . Texts were read; problems were i s o l a t e d , e x p l i c a t e d , and argued i n d e t a i l ; and then the i n d i v i d u a l p a r t s were r e i n t e g r a t e d . D i s p u t a t i o n s were made on grammatical p o i n t s j u s t as they were on t h e o l o g i c a l . In f a c t , i n the schools of the f r i -a r s , the b a s i c t r a i n i n g i n " a r t s " was intended to prepare the student f o r h i s higher s t u d i e s . The l i t e r a l sense of the B i b l e could not be understood without a thorough grounding i n language and grammar. A r i t h m e t i c was e s s e n t i a l f o r number symbolism; and n a t u r a l h i s t o r y f o r the symbolism of b i r d s and beasts. F i n a l l y , r h e t o r i c was r e q u i r e d both 3 A i n the student's own work and f o r h i s l a t e r teaching and preaching. S i m i l a r l y , the r u l e s of r e l i g i o u s observance went f a r beyond the i n c u l c a t i o n of p i e t y and s e l f - d i s c i p l i n e . The p u b l i c examinations of conscience held twice-weekly and the heavy p e n a l t i e s f o r e r r o r s i n 24 l i t u r g i c a l r e c i t a t i o n encouraged b o t h a c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e and p r e c i s i o n i n p e r f o r m a n c e . Thus, i t i s h a r d l y s u r p r i s i n g t h a t Capgrave's works bear t h e i m p r e s s o f h i s e a r l y t r a i n i n g , s i n c e he had sp e n t t h i r t y y e a r s i n t h e o r d e r as a s t u d e n t and t e a c h e r b e f o r e he w r o t e h i s f i r s t e x t a n t 35 E n g l i s h work i n 1440. Though none of t h e p u b l i s h e d r e g i s t e r s c o n t a i n h i s name — and 36 few e x i s t f o r t h e whole d i o c e s e o f N o r w i c h i n any case — Capgrave must have e n t e r e d upon t h e v a r i o u s degrees o f o r d i n a t i o n from f i r s t t o n s u r e - t h r o u g h a c c o l y t e , subdeacon, and deacon - t o p r i e s t d u r i n g h i s y e a r s i n Lynn and N o r w i c h . G i v e n t h e vagueness o f Capgrave's d a t i n g o f h i s f i n a l vows, i t i s q u i t e p o s s i b l e t h a t t h e y were t a k e n i n 1416, perhaps even i n 1415. I n f a c t , an e a r l i e r d a t e t h a n 1417 i s more l i k e l y , f o r o r d i n a t i o n n o r m a l l y f o l l o w e d soon a f t e r t h e c o m p l e t i o n o f 37 p r e - t h e o l o g i c a l s t u d i e s , and Capgrave must have been e n t e r e d upon t h e s i x y e a r c o u r s e as s t u d e n t and c u r s o r by e a r l y 1416 a t t h e l a t e s t i n 38 o r d e r t o have co m p l e t e d i t by 1421 when he was made a l e c t o r . Concessimus v e n e r a b i l i v i r o W i l l e l m o W e l l i s p r o v i n c i a l i p r o v i n c i e A n g l i e u t c o m p l e t a forma d e b i t a f r a t r u m I o h a n n i s Capgrave c u r s o r i s L o n d o n i s ac G i l b e r t o Grey p o s s i t i p s i s c o n f e r r e gradum l e c t o r i i n u n i v e r s i t a t e O x o n i e n s i v e l C a n t a b r i g g e n s i , p r o u t i p s i c o n i u n c t i m v e l d i v i s i m e l l e g e r i n t , h a b i t a tamen d e p o s i t i o n e q u a t u o r m a g i s t r o r u m e t c . E t s i i p s e p r o v i n c i a l i s non p o s s e t d i c t o s f r a t r e s l e c t o r a r e , c o m m i t t a t a l t e r i v i c e s suas a u c t o r i t a t e n o s t r a . Concedentes i n s u p e r d i c t i s i u v e n i b u s e t v o l e n t e s , u t s c i l i c e t p r i m o , v i d e l i c e t f r a t r i I o h a n n i , quod annus p r i m u s l e c t u r e s e n t e n c i a r u m computetur p r o primo anno u n i v e r s i t a t i s , e t q u a r t u s annus l e c t u r e n a t u r a l i u m commutetur s i m i l i t e r i n annum t h e o l o g i e d i c t o f r a t r i G i l b e r t o Grey de g r a t i a s p e c i a l i . By t h e ti m e he had f i n i s h e d a t t h e s t u d i u m p a r t i c u l a r e i n Nor-w i c h ( c . 1415) Capgrave's s c h o l a s t i c a b i l i t i e s must have been r e c o g n i z e d , 25 for the prior-provincial had to recommend promotion to the few places available i n the higher schools. Though there can be l i t t l e doubt that the masters of Capgrave's own area supported him, there is an addition-a l factor which cannot be ignored in accounting for Capgrave's extra-39 ordinarily rapid preferment. The long-time prior-provincial (1402-1417; 1419-1422) Willam Welles was himself originally a member of the Lynn convent, and he is known to have spent much of his time there. Since he must have met Capgrave, he may have personally sponsored him. For most students the universities offered the only avenue for the pursuit of advanced studies, but after a series of disputes early in the fourteenth century the fr i a r s won certain privileges. The uni-versity faculties of arts preserved their rights to the extent that the theological degrees of the fr i a r s were subject to the approval of a l l the regents and that only one member of each order could receive the doctorate every two years; but the fr i a r s were customarily exempt from the requirement that the arts programme be f u l l y satisfied and they were allowed to study elsewhere and yet receive Oxford and Cambridge 40 degrees. The end result of this compromise was that there were two kinds of schools in which the requirements of the f i r s t years of the theological programme could be f u l f i l l e d by a member of the mendicant orders. The lesser of these was the so-called studium generale  provinciae, a school of theology under the control of the prior-provincial. The major ones, the studia generalis ordinis, under the direct control of the prior-general, were located in the university towns, and they were more international in character. But since the 26 Augustinians, like the other orders of f r i a r s , did not enter the facul-ty of theology proper and studied instead at their own houses with their own lectors, the courses given in the university towns varied l i t t l e from those provided by the other established studia. Lynn and London were both among the three known studia provinciae in the English Augustinian province, and i t was in them that Capgrave followed the theological course. In a l l probability, he spent the f i r s t two years (1415-1417) at Lynn where there had been a lector in 41 theology since at least 1382, and then moved to London for the period 1417-1422. The basis of the assumption that Capgrave was at Lynn for his f i r s t two years in theology is that, following the statutes of the order, he would not have been permitted to spend more than five years in London and that he is known to have remained there un t i l 1422. Accordingly, he passed through the three pre-degree grades of student, cursor, and lector with their increasing degrees of responsibility for responses and lectures before he reached Cambridge. Two of his student years were at Lynn, and then he was one year a student, three a cursor, and one a lector at the London convent, long the largest and most im-portant one in the country. Perhaps of less relative importance than the one in Lynn so far as the citizenry was concerned, the Austin convent in London was never-theless imposing. It was located against the city walls at Bishopsgate and i t s enormous church, built in 1354, was not much smaller than Canterbury Cathedral. Large crowds — including the water-bearers whose guild church i t was — f i l l e d the preaching apse on Sundays, and rooms were frequently l e t to them and others f o r o f f i c e s , meetings, and entertainments. Guild members as w e l l as prominent c i t i z e n s and mem-42 bers of the roy a l family were buried there, and bequests, c o n d i t i o n a l or otherwise, were frequent. A l l of these d e t a i l s emphasize the many connections the f r i a r s had with the outside world. The p a r t i c u l a r s of Capgrave's l i f e i n London cannot be p r e c i s e l y reconstructed. Unfortunately f o r the h i s t o r i a n , the f r i a r s were exempt from episcopal v i s i t a t i o n ; and records which would doubtless have r e -vealed some of the more c h a r a c t e r i s t i c t r i a l s of group l i v i n g are not a v a i l a b l e . Surely there were complaints (ranging from the f o u l meat supplied by the kitchener's r e l a t i v e s to the favouritism of the p r i o r ) as were made to Bishop Alnwich when he v i s i t e d the abbey of St. James at Northampton, where Capgrave's f r i e n d , the Augustinian canon regular John Watford, was abbot. If so, they were unrecorded or l o s t , and only more prosaic accounts of conventual l i f e are l e f t . One s p e c i a l i z e d r u l e f o r the government of an Augustinian studium generale which has been published i s the Mare Magnum produced about 1354 under the d i r e c t i o n of the prior-general, Thomas de Stras-43 bourg, for the Paris convent. Since the extant copy i s dated 1468, i t was c l e a r l y i n force i n the f i f t e e n t h century, and probably the rules for London were s i m i l a r . Much i s concerned with the handling of expenses, d i e t , the choice of o f f i c i a l s , and punishments a l l o t t e d for f a i l u r e to comply with the regulations. Hearing or reading of the mass was a d a i l y requirement f o r a l l the brothers, with ordained students below the rank of master or bachelor ordered to celebrate i t at le a s t three times weekly. This is the only religious observance s p e c i f i -cally mentioned, but certainly the hours would also have been cele-brated . Some additional details about the organization of studies are also found in the Mare Magnum. Two elected bachelors of theology or lectors were to examine the student within six days of his entry to determine that his Latin was not merely conversational but according to the rules of grammar; that he adequately understood the principles of logic and philosophy; and that he was sufficiently versed in theo-45 logical terms to complete the course in the specified time. The whole course is not outlined, but the actual lectures on the books of the Bible were to be finished in two years - the f i r s t devoted to a study of the Pentateuch; the second, to the prophets and the New Testa-46 ment. Disputations, with the students who were to argue and respond appointed by an elected master of studies, were held weekly, and they were attended by a l l the bachelors and masters. According to this rule, the student was to be admitted as a lector when he had finished the three year course. However, i t seems li k e l y that here the term lector reflects the usage of an earlier peri-od, for by Capgrave's time an intermediate three years as cursor, when the student had to lecture on the Bible and the Sentences as well as 47 continue his studies, was required. Obviously, the three daily lec-tures and the disputations were not the student's total occupation. Each had a study, of which he might be deprived for various faults, and i t was there that he read privately. Each student was allowed to 29 borrow three books at a time from the library, and the rules to protect these after their heavy use are a further indication that these theo-logical studies were not mere rote exercises but allowed for, and indeed required, individual interest and i n i t i a t i v e . Some of the other items the author, of this rule f e l t obliged to include are reminders that these students were not ascetics divorced from the world outside, but high-spirited young men living in the cen-tre of a bustling city. Punishments are enjoined for "immoderate laughing, whistling, shouting, hand-clapping . . . and beating of dishes"^ in the dormitory, chapter-room, cloister, church, or refec-tory, for staying overnight in the city, and for frequenting taverns. Similarly, the insertion of rules against eating in the cells or enter-taining seculars there, even against removing or selling items of fur-niture from the rooms suggests that a good deal of misbehaviour was either expected or known to exist. By the fifteenth century, b i b l i c a l study had evolved to a point where the theological questions had been separated from the study of 49 l i t e r a l meanings or moral applications. The debates to resolve ap-parent contradictions in doctrinal questions had led to the establish-ment of disputations as a teaching method and to the systematization of doctrine in such works as Peter Lombard's Sentences which with the Vulgate and i t s glosses were the standard textbooks of the period. In practice this separation meant that in his f i r s t years of theologi-cal study the student heard lectures on the books of the Bible and the Glosses, often given by a cursor or lector rather than a master. Each 30 passage of the text was explained at the l i t e r a l and moral level, phrase by phrase, or word by word i f necessary, and homely examples were frequently given. During the course of the lecture, the theo-logical ^uae^iones^ (doctrinal problems) would be pointed out and these would frequently be set for the disputations of the senior students. These disputations were intended not just to be scholastic exercises but to make more clear the reason for accepting proven truths. In the later years, of course, the student's primary focus was doctrinal and the Sentences his major study. Specific illustrations of the effects of these exercises on Capgrave's style w i l l be discussed in later chapters. Throughout his works there is a tendency to state opposing views which he sometimes, in Origen's fashion, refuses to choose between and, sometimes, tries to resolve as the Lombard and his successors did. Similarly, his con-stant pauses for l i t e r a l explanations, etymologies, and moral and symbolic applications a l l clearly show the shaping force of his long years of b i b l i c a l study as i t was constituted at the time. The most important p o l i t i c a l events of his years in London could not have escaped Capgrave's notice, but the only direct reference he makes in his works is to the birth of Henry VI i n December of 1421 and the public rejoicing on that o c c a s i o n . H i s Chronicle stops before the period he was in London; and his De Illustribus Henricis demonstra-bly relies on popular reports. He may have had opportunities to meet John Kemp who was later one of his patrons and some of the other dig-nitaries who frequented the Austin convent; but there is no evidence that he did. 31 C e r t a i n l y he would have been concerned with the scandalous d i s -putes over the e l e c t i o n of the p r o v i n c i a l i n 1419 and with the r e s u l t i n g turmoil i n the order; but his primary occupation was almost c e r t a i n l y with his i n d i v i d u a l duties as student and conventual i n London. The record has disappeared, but Capgrave must have been made a cursor early i n 1418 i n order to complete the f u l l three year term before his ap-pointment as l e c t o r i n 1421. When he assumed the p o s i t i o n of cursor, he enjoyed some s p e c i a l p r i v i l e g e s and shared the l e c t u r i n g duties; but i n a convent as large as London there were many f r i a r s of senior rank. The l i t t l e that i s known about h i s fellow f r i a r s i n London r e -f l e c t s the climate i n which he l i v e d . Some twenty, including the p r i o r , are merely names from ordination l i s t s or from the r e g i s t e r s of the prior-general; but others, l i k e Henry of Colchester who was a medi-ator i n the 1419 dispute, Nicholas Bonet who sat at the heresy t r i a l of William Taylour i n 1423, and the l e c t o r John Stocton who l a t e r became the p r i o r at Oxford, were figures of some s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the order. The man who was to become Capgrave's successor as p r i o r - p r o v i n c i a l , John Bury, came to London from Clare i n 1417, about the same time as Capgrave arri v e d from Lynn. With his i l l e g a l t r i p to Rome and adven-tures i n France, Bury was c l e a r l y a less serious student than Capgrave. Nevertheless, he eventually received h i s doctorate and had reputation enough to be appointed by Bishop Bourgchier, at the instance of John Lowe, to write an answer to Reginald Pecock's The Repressor of Over  Much Blaming of the Clergy i n 1457. John Lowe, the only Austin f r i a r elevated" to an English see during Capgrave's l i f e t i m e , was himself appointed to London i n 1420. With Bonet he was a judge at Taylour's t r i a l , and he went on to become p r i o r - p r o v i n c i a l from 1427-1433 confessor to the king i n 1432, Bishop of St. Asaph i n 1433, and Bishop of Rochester i n 1444. While he was Bishop of St. Asaph, he was one of Capgrave's patrons and i t may have been he who commended Capgrave's exegetical s k i l l to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. . To complete the catalogue, mention should be made of the f a r less important but equally i n t e r e s t i n g Thomas Southwell, one of the few f r i a r s whose t r a i n i n g was i n arts and medicine rather than theology. Southwell was instrumental i n the founding of the College of Physicians and Surgeons i n London i n 1423, and he was l a t e r arrested with Duke Humphrey's wife Eleanor Cobham on charges of necromancy. Afte r Capgrave was made a l e c t o r , he would normally have spent an a d d i t i o n a l four years before being admitted as a bachelor of theo-52 logy. In the f i r s t three years be was to give lectures on the Bible and the Sentences and i n the l a s t year, the one known formally as the "opponency," he was expected to engage i n a ser i e s of d i f f i c u l t formal disputations. However, numbers made i t impossible for a l l candidates to give a f u l l course of lec t u r e s , and Capgrave had already been a cursor for three years. Consequently as the document c i t e d above states, he was granted exemption from the lectures on the Sentences when he was appointed a l e c t o r on A p r i l 8, 1421. There was apparently no place immediately a v a i l a b l e at either u n i v e r s i t y , f or Capgrave was s t i l l i n London eight months l a t e r when Henry VI was born on December 6, 1421; and a second l e t t e r of appoint-33 ment, this time specifically to Cambridge, appears in the prior-53 general's registers for April 13, 1422: Assignavimus f r a t r i Iohanni Capgrave, lectori formato provincie Anglie, proximum bacchalario, promoti locum alienigenis debitum in universitate Cantabriggensi eiusdem provincie, i t a quod cum promoto pro limite Cantabriggensi debeat commutari et quartus annus ab anno presenti pro oppositione s i b i deputetur in eadem universitate. Eoque ordine procedat usque ad gradum magisterii inclusive, non obstante quacumque prdinatione aut statuto quomodo-libet huius oppositum dictante, super quibus omnibus dispensamus. This appointment i s in the standard form, assuming that the student w i l l not be presented for the bachelor's degree for four years and then w i l l proceed to his magisterium (doctorate in theology) without any impediment. However, not only must Capgrave's earlier exemption from the Sentences have been honoured, but his additional year in London must also have been construed as his year on the Bible, for, as he him-self confirms, he entered the year of opponency immediately and was 54 promoted to the baccalaureate on March 20, 1423: Fecimus fratrem Iohannem Capgrave lectorem provincie Anglie Bacchalarium auctoritate nostra, assignantes e i promotum Bacchalarii promoti locum alienigenis debitum in nostro conventu et universitate Cantabrigensi de gratia speciali. Because no documentary evidence exists, i t is not possible to date Capgrave's f i n a l degree with certainty. It is clear from the form of his appointment to Cambridge in 1422 that i t was assumed that Cap-grave would proceed directly from the baccalaureate to the magisterium. And both that document and the one awarding him his bachelor's degree assigned him to a "locum alienigensis debitum," a phrase which indicates that Capgrave was among the select group of four students in the convent 34 at various stages in their studies for the highest degree. Since each order of fri a r s was permitted only one promotion to the magisterium every two years, the Austins restricted the number preparing for the degree at each university to four; two from the English province, one.; from Italy, and one from another foreign country. After the Schism had ended and the number of other studia generalia for the order had i n -creased, i t was less necessary for foreigners to come to Oxford and Cambridge. Consequently, Capgrave was assigned one of the two places formerly reserved for foreign f r i a r s when he was made a baccalarius formatus; that i s , when, having completed a l l the requirements as a lector, he was waiting to be able to incept as a magister. To this point the evidence is relatively uncomplicated, but unfortunately missing details make a definitive chronology or catalogue of the Austin magisters at Cambridge impossible. It i s known that a Geoffrey Schale was the Austin magister in 1421; but whether or not the Thomas Lassell who was directed in 1420 to qualify for the degree ever did i s uncertain, for there are no further references to him."'"' If he did take the degree, i t was probably in 1423; i f he did not, there is one other possibility for that year — the poet Osbern Bokenham. Bokenham was made a baccalarius the day after Capgrave had been (March 21, 1423), and i t i s possible as Father Roth suggests that the words "incorporari possit" in the document conferring the degree on him meant he was to incept as magister directly."^ Some circumstantial evidence: that he did so comes from the fact that he applied for and received permission to go to Rome later in that same year. If he had become a 35 magister, he would not have been interrupting his studies, although he could not then have performed the two year tour of duty as a regent performing academic functions that was required of each new master. Because, in fact, Bokenham did not go to the continent un t i l about ten years later, in a l l probability he did take the degree in 1423, act as regent un t i l 1425, and then return to his home convent of Clare where he is to be found by 1427. Following him, Capgrave would have incepted in 1425 and remained at Cambridge as a regent un t i l at least 1427."^ During his f i r s t three years at Cambridge Capgrave must have engaged in public disputations, for sixteen were required in the year of opponency before the bachelor's degree was awarded and two more were part of the formalities surrounding the inception as magister. How-ever, there is no record of them; and, i n fact, no bachelor's Responsiones (the ideas he presented in answer to the question which was set for the disputation) or master's Determinationes (the pronounce-ment of the correct answer at the end of the disputation) have survived 58 for any English Austin f r i a r . Capgrave's one required sermon, which he preached in 1422, exists in his own later English redaction appended to his Life of St. Gilbert. His subject, the orders under the rule of St. Augustine, is not typical of the moral and doctrinal points on which most sermons were based, but i t was timely. The dispute between the canons regular and the hermits over their respective antiquity and relationship to the communities founded by St. Augustine was longstanding; and an Augus-tinian canon had published a tract ridiculing the direct descent of the 36 order of hermits from St. Augustine's desert establishments in the same 59 year. Within i t s brief compass, this sermon demonstrates the ingenu-ity of practitioners of the exegetical method; and i t provides a devel-oped example of the kind of contrived analogy which become character-i s t i c brief digressions in Capgrave's vernacular works. It begins by likening Augustine to Jacob in three ways; but the specific purpose of the comparison is to prepare for the use of the twelve tribes of Israel, Jacob's sons, as a schema on which to arrange the twelve orders. Fol-lowing this introduction, Capgrave proceeds in logical order, mentioning one of Jacob's sons, giving the etymology of his name, and adducing a reason why a certain order may be likened to him. As a bachelor and then master, Capgrave enjoyed privileges denied those of lesser academic rank. He was entitled to at least one servant, to additional books for his personal use, and even to larger portions at meal times. More important, however, were the dispensations from the rules which allowed him opportunity for private conversations with his own brothers and freedom to meet and entertain acquaintances from outside the order. Only one other Austin f r i a r present at the Cambridge convent during these years is s t i l l a familiar name, the poet Bokenham. If he had indeed shown such promise as a theologian that he was preferred to the magisterium before Capgrave, there is no evidence of i t in his later works. Bokenham spent most of his l i f e in the Clare convent, and though he had a c i r c l e of friends among the Suffolk gentry who commissioned his works, he never achieved the reputation for learn-ing or the distinguished patronage that Capgrave did. Provincial 37 chapter meetings ensured the continuing contact of the two f r i a r s , and Bokenham i s known to have seen Capgrave's L i f e of St. Katherine before he began h i s own. However, there i s no clear evidence of influence — r e c i p r o c a l or u n i l a t e r a l . Capgrave may have known the Premonstratensian canon John Wygenhale before he came to Cambridge, f or a l l four of the Norfolk towns c a l l e d Wiggenhall l i e within close proximity to Lynn. Since the pr i o r y of the white canons was d i r e c t l y across from the Austin convent, they c e r t a i n l y had every opportunity to meet at the u n i v e r s i t y . I t i s also possible that Capgrave faced such future bishops as William Ayscough, Marmaduke Lumley and Robert Fitzhugh i n the disputations and that he was able to use such associations to advantage l a t e r . The f i r s t two were close friends of the Duke of Suffolk who was, i n turn, the protector of S i r Thomas Tuddenham who financed Capgrave's t r i p to Rome. There can be no doubt that Capgrave sharpened h i s c r i t i c a l sen-ses i n the wider f i e l d of the un i v e r s i t y ' s t h e o l o g i c a l h a l l s and that as a regent he became expert i n the r e s o l u t i o n of debated points. When he was replaced as regent by whoever became the new Austin magister i n 1427, Capgrave was ready to move back into the system of his order and begin t r a i n i n g younger men i n the labourious course he had j u s t f i n i s h e d . 38 III From the completion of his Cambridge studies in 1427 un t i l 1437, there is no reference to Capgrave's a c t i v i t i e s . Furnivall speculated 60 that i t was during these years that he travelled to Rome, but his hypothesis was invalidated by the discovery of Capgrave's Solace of  Pilgrims, his guide-book to the holy city, which can be conclusively dated c. 1450 on internal grounds. De Meijer thinks " i t is possible that Capgrave returned to his native friary, dedicating himself to his-torical studies and theological commentaries."^''' It is equally possible that he was appointed to lecture at one of the other convents in the province and the b i b l i c a l studies he superintended for young fr i a r s provided the basis for his earliest writings. One convent where he may well have gone was the one in Northampton. It was so short of brothers by 1427, the year in which Capgrave finished his term as regent, that the prior-general empowered the superior of the house to "receive and keep four brethren from each English limit and six brethren from each 62 ultra-marine province." Because he had just finished his academic duties and had not embarked on any other course, i t is quite l i k e l y that Capgrave was chosen to swell i t s members. Residence in Northamp-ton would account for Capgrave's otherwise unexplained acquaintance with the abbot of the abbey of St. James there, John Watford, to whom he addressed his Concordia, a work intended to reconcile the d i f f e r -63 ences between the Austin f r i a r s and the Augustinian canons regular. In addition, i f he were living at Northampton rather than Lynn, his 39 trip to Woodstock in 1439 to present his Genesis commentary to Duke Humphrey of Gloucester would have been far more feasible. The l i s t of works no longer extant which are attributed to Cap-grave is lengthy. A l l of them are presumed to be in Latin; and, with the exception of a l i f e of Duke Humphrey, they are a l l theological in content, but the authorities for their existence are of unequal value. For example, Bale gives incipits for the three missing commentaries on books of the Pentateuch and for commentaries on the Psalms, the Pauline Epistles, and the Apocalypse, but none for those on Joshua, Judges, Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Isaiah, Daniel, the twelve minor prophets or the canonical epistles or the four evangelists; and, thus, these may well be ghosts. Capgrave certainly wrote commentaries on the four books of Kings. He mentions them in his dedicatory letter to the Genesis com-mentary; books I and III were among the works given to the Oxford l i b -rary by Duke Humphrey in 1444; and Leland notes that he saw commentaries 64 on Kings, presumably to books II and IV, dedicated to John Lowe, both at a former library of the Austin friars in Cambridge and at Walsingham monastery. Two of the lost manuscripts, those of the Manipulus Doctrinae Christianae and of the Concordia or De Augustino et Suis Sequacibus, were in the library of Leland's friend Thomas Key; and the Concordia, which is mentioned by Capgrave in two of his other works,^ found i t s 66 way into Bale's possession. The early biographers further credit Capgrave with five works of a scholastic character: Commentarii  Quattuor Super Sententias, Determinationes Theologiae, Ordinariae 40 Disputationes, Ad Positiones Erroneas, and Orationes ad Clerum. There is not a single in c i p i t preserved for any of these works, however, any more than there is for a book of sermons some have attributed to him; and given the tendency of early bibiographers to take the various kinds of scriptural and scholastic works and assign them at random to swell the catalogues, there seems l i t t l e reason to perpetuate these t i t l e s in Capgrave's canon. And, f i n a l l y , a history of the illustrious Augus-tinians which may correspond to the Concordia mentioned earlier i s usually attributed to him.^^ 68 Capgrave is generally regarded as a patronized writer, but he was never as fashionable as John Lydgate nor did he enjoy a coterie fame comparable to that of his fellow f r i a r , Osbern Bokenham. Theo-logical commentary was not the genre sought after by the new patrons or by the humanists, and they did not entreat the man Bale was to describe as "the most learned of the Augustinians" to write for them.^  Patrons normally paid for the elaborate dedication copies of manuscripts, and those who received Capgrave's may well have done so too, especially since books made in the convent scriptorium, as his were, were not to 69 be alienated unless they were sold with special permission. However, Capgrave never petitions for more money; at most he includes a plea to be remembered in his patron's prayers as he does at the end of his Life  of St. Augustine.^ In the few works which Capgrave is known to have written on re-quest, the subject is always appropriate to the recipient. The St. Norbert was written for a canon of his order, John Wygenhale; the St. 41 Augustine, for an unnamed lady born on the saint's feast day; and the St. Gilbert for Nicholas Reysby, the master of the Order of Sempringham. These volumes contain neither the long dedications of the Latin works nor the sycophantic tone which Furnivall condemns and others apologize f o r . ^ In each case, Capgrave praises the piety of his patrons, but only in modest terms. Some of his B i b l i c a l commentaries were also written on request, but as in his De Illustribus Henricis, The Chronicle of England, and The Solace of Pilgrims, he was basically drawn to the task of explica-tion through his own interest in the subject matter. In the commentar-ies the dedications are compliments on the attainments of the man addressed and expressions of esteem for the position he holds. Capgrave dedicated a l l or part of his commentary on Kings to the former prior-provincial of his order, John Lowe, during the years (1433-1437) when Lowe was the bishop of St. Asaph. The manuscripts are lost, but the form was the same as he later used in the Genesis and Exodus commentaries which he presented to Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. As he explains to the Duke at the beginning of the Genesis, Capgrave's method involved a " t r i p l e exposition" for each passage, giving the l i t e r a l , allegorical, and moral interpretations. Capgrave points out that the exegesis in these works is not original and that he regards himself merely as the selector and organizer of the fruits of his re-search. But, while this is true, in examining his sources c r i t i c a l l y , choosing and selecting his materials in terms of his own beliefs, Cap-grave was employing the same scholarly method as is evident in his 42 English works. Because Duke Humphrey owned two volumes of the commentary on 72 Kings, i t has often been assumed that they were dedicated to him. However, since John Lowe had been the young king's confessor while Gloucester was his guardian and since i t was at least partially through 73 Humphrey's intercession that he obtained his bishopric, he may well have forwarded Capgrave's work to the Duke. Humphrey of Gloucester was certainly the most important English patron of his day, supporting both native and continental writers. He received dedications from many of the contemporary English poets and chroniclers including John Whethamstede, John Lydgate, John Russell, George Ashley, and Thomas de Norton. Studies of fifteenth century humanism have revealed his correspondence with Decembrio, who trans-lated the Republic for him; he commissioned a number of other trans-lations into Latin from Greek by his secretary Beccaria and by Leonardo Bruni; and he gave financial support to Tito Livio Frulovisi among many others. Moreover, his large gifts of books were essential to the growth of the library at Oxford. For a l l this, i t is easy to over-emphasize Humphrey's role and literary character. When the contents of his library are analyzed i t is clear that his interests were primarily theological and historical, and thus John Capgrave f i t s easily into the mainstream of those the Duke patronized. On the other hand, i t is improbable that their relationship was as close as biographers since the seventeenth century have implied when they state that Capgrave was the Duke's confessor. It may be that Humphrey chose Augustinians for this capacity in his personal retinue and certainly an Austin f r i a r named John South was his confessor in 1446. But that Capgrave ever was is not demonstrable. Leland says only that Humphrey "toties l i t e r a t i s s i m i Capogrevi prudentissimo consilio utebatur;" and Bale does not necessarily mean more than that the two men discussed moral problems in private when he says: Ilium igitur prae a l i i s elegit piissimus sui temporis princeps Umfridus Glocestriae dux praedictus, Henrici quinti frater, ut ei adesset a conscientiae secretis. or Ilium ergo prae a l i i s multis elegit piisimus eius temporis princeps, Hunfridus Glocestriae dux, i l l u s t r i s s i m i Henrici quinti Anglorum regis frater, ut s i b i interdum esset a conscientiae colloquio. It was John Pits who f i n a l l y introduced the word "confess" into the standard biography in 1619: Singularum habuit patronum Humfredum Glocestriae Ducem, princepem optimum, apud quem multum valuit gratia nec minus auctoritate. Erat enim i l l i a confessionum secretis . . . . And, f i n a l l y , in a work published in 1644 a Spanish Augustinian f r i a r Tomas de Herrera, makes the relationship clearly sacramental: Fuit a sacris confessiohibus Hunfrido Duci Glocestriae, Henrici V Anglorum regis fratri.74 These quotations demonstrate the gradual alterations in a written record which was unsubstantiated in the f i r s t instance; and there i s , in fact, no evidence that Capgrave met Humphrey more than once, i n January, 1439, when he presented his dedication copy of the Genesis commentary to the Duke at Woodstock. 44 The reasons Capgrave gives for dedicating the Genesis to Humphrey do not suggest that the two had any personal relationship earlier: Meditationes meas, quibus in Scriptuarum campo ludens del ectabar, scriptis mandare intendens, alliisque communicare cupiens, n u l l i alio melius destinandas putabam, serenissime Princeps, quam Dominationi vestrae, quippe qui, acumine i n -tellectus subtilissimi vigens, studiosissime, ut fertur, in scrutandis veterum auctorum opusculis indulgetis. Etj quia excellentior via humani studii Sancta Scriptura esse dino-scitur, ideo ad earn specialissime invisendam Spiritus I l l e Supremi Patris vos, ut audivi, inspiravit. 0 quam gloriosum mihi est videre Principem, in his diebus malis, quibus ab ecclesiasticis quasi repellitur scientia, scientiae insudantem et tanquam i i s , qui in ecclesia sunt et studium negligunt sanctum, . . . . . . Causa ergo studii vestri, qua occupatisssime animum l i b r i s impenditis, me maxime movit ut i l l u c opusculum parvitatis meae mitterem, ubi scientia judicandi de l i t t -eratura invenitur. Sed et, Annualia mea revolvens, aliud inveni quod me monet. Scriptum enim in i i s reperi, quod anno Domini M. CCXLVIII. fundatus fuerat Ordo Heremitarum Sancti Augus-t i n i in Anglia per Ricardum de Clara, filium Gilberti de Clara, comitemque Gloverniae. Quia igitur per gloriosos progenitores vestros in hanc ubertatis terram ducti sumus, digne ad ilium, qui generalis fundator noster est, ego tot-ius Ordinis novissimus hoc opus meum direxi, ut s i qua Catholice, et ad Fidem aedificandam, i b i inventa fuerint, ipse non tantum fundator, sed et protector eorum habeatur. Si qua vero inculta, aut p i i s moribus dissona, i l l i c inven-iantur, ipse correctionis lima benignissime emendet. Movit me etiam hoc tertium, quod contra venenosas l i n -guas modernorum Dominatio vestra murus s i t , qui tunciones excipiat . . . .Non ignoramus, i n c l i t e Domine, quod ex bona voluntate vestra optimoque desiderio tota salus nostra dependeat, nec sumus apti ad reddendas vices tuarum sanct-arum meditationum, quas Deo offerimus.75 In this passage Capgrave makes clear, f i r s t of a l l , that he had no dedicatee in mind when he undertook his exegesis; and then he enu-merates three considerations which prompted his choice of Humphrey. He pays tribute to the Duke for taking an interest in theology in a time when many clerics themselves are seeking more worldly rewards; he A5 recalls that an earlier Duke of Gloucester was a founder of the Augus-tinian order in England; and f i n a l l y he points to the present duke as their guardian against "poisonous tongues." This last item seems to be a reference to Humphrey's intervention at Oxford in 1438 when he threatened to withdraw his support after an Austin f r i a r and then the whole convent had been suspended; and i t may be, therefore, an indirect expression of gratitude to the duke from Capgrave and his order. At a l l events, the author and his work were well enough recommended that Capgrave was allowed to make a personal presentation of the book on January 1, 1439; the reception apparently being favourable, he began his commentary on Exodus a l i t t l e more than two weeks l a t e r ^ and dedi-cated i t to the duke as well. Capgrave probably worked on these scriptural exegeses systemat-i c a l l y in the hours he had free from his teaching and canonical duties. In addition to them, he also wrote the lost Concordia, commonly called De Augustino et suis sequacibus by the biographers, during this f i r s t period of literary a c t i v i t y . ^ Dated c. 1440, the Concordia was dedi-cated to the Augustinian canon regular John Watford, who headed his priory in Northampton from 1430 un t i l his death in 1445. Capgrave provides a precis of i t s contents in The Solace of Pilgrims where he calls i t "a maner of concord betwix be chanonys and us," that i s , be-tween the canons regular under the rule of St. Augustine and the Austin f r i a r s . And he also says i t contains some additional material concerning how "monica came thider [to Rome] and in whos tyme." Obviously the work was part of the same long literary dispute over the priority of 46 the Augustinian orders which Capgrave had used a few years earlier as the topic of his university sermon. In keeping with his avowed desire for "concord," Capgrave would have avoided the polemical tone in his treatise, although his conclusion there as elsewhere was doubtless that 78 "heremites of this ordre be the very childyrn of seynt Austyn." His methods in his other works suggest that he cited the various arguments, expressed scepticism about some, and resolved others to his own satis-faction. Besides continuing with his religious pieces, Capgrave wrote six of his seven English works between 1440 and 1453; and i t is chiefly from a knowledge of their backgrounds and from a few internal referen-ces in them and in the Latin De Illustribus Henricis that i t is possible to describe his non-literary career. For example, the fact that he 79 completed his long poetic Life of St. Norbert in August, 1440, short-ly after he finished work on the Exodus commentary, is important on the literary level because i t provides a reminder that the methods of bib-l i c a l exegesis were natural to him and that they are bound to be appar-ent in his vernacular works as well. But also what is known about the dedicatee of the Life of St. Norbert is the basis for the conjecture that by this time Capgrave was again a member of the Austin convent at Lynn. It was produced at the request of John Wygenhale who had been his contemporary at Cambridge and had become the abbot of the Premon-stratensian Priory at West Dereham, Norfolk. The renewed association of the two men which the commission of the poem assumes would be most likely i f Capgrave had returned to Lynn, for West Dereham is less than 47 ten miles away. The only direct evidence Capgrave provides of his movements in the early part of the decade occurs in De Illustribus Henricis (p. 133) when he mentions his presence in Cambridge at the laying of the corner-stone for King's College in 1441. While i t would not have been d i f f i -cult for him to go to Cambridge from Lynn for such an occasion, the reference is too vague to be used to confirm or refute any conjecture about his home at the time. However, he was certainly in Lynn by the time he undertook his second and last poetic work, The Life of St. Katherine of Alexandria, for i t was there that he says he found his source. And since Osbern Bokenham had seen Capgrave's work when he when he wrote his own version of the l i f e for Katherine Denston, Cap-grave must have completed his poem by 1445. A l l four of the manuscripts 80 of i t are dated in the mid-fifteenth century; and none is the author's / original. The number of extant manuscripts probably reflects less Cap-grave's popularity than that of saints' lives in general and lives of St. Katherine in particular, but that there should be so many so close in date suggests that i t was copied rapidly. The _St. Katherine is the only one of the English works which bears neither a dedication nor words of praise for some t i t l e d person, and this fact substantiates Capgrave's statement that he was modernizing 81 an older version which was the work of a priest who died at Lynn. It also suggests that Capgrave had a broader purpose than the satisfaction of a single patron when he wrote the poem. What evidence there is about the provenance of the manuscripts gives no indication that the 48 St. Katherine ever spread beyond Norfolk and Suffolk or that i t was ever read or heard by any but a r e l i g i o u s audience. Even the copy with the fewest of Capgrave's l i n g u i s t i c forms was presented to the Augus-82 t i n i a n canonesses at Campsey Ash, Suffolk. Its a r t i s t i c propensities w i l l be discussed l a t e r , but throughout the work there are summaries and comments on the method of composition which i n d i c a t e that the poem was intended to be heard by an audience rather than read p r i v a t e l y ; and i t may have been designed to be read as a work of devotion during meal-times i n convents. Because both his L a t i n and English works were either requested or at l e a s t g r a t e f u l l y received by important as well as l e s s e r figures, i t i s clear that Capgrave's t h e o l o g i c a l reputation was established by t h i s time. There i s also evidence that he had become a highly regarded member of h i s order, for by 1446, and perhaps as early as 1440, Cap-grave was elected p r i o r at Lynn. In t h i s capacity he would have con-tinued to attend the p r o v i n c i a l chapters as he presumably had done since, on obtaining the magisterium i n 1425, he became e l i g i b l e to vote. His o f f i c e as p r i o r had to be confirmed at each meeting of the p r o v i n c i a l chapter, but t h i s confirmation was l a r g e l y a formality. As a p r i o r , his influence would have been greater than i t had been when he was simply a master, and probably he held various o f f i c e s subordinate to the p r o v i n c i a l before h i s l a t e r e l e c t i o n to that highest o f f i c e , as those who succeeded him, including Bury, Halam, and Penketh, are known to have done. Unfortunately, however, the leaves i n the prior-general's r e g i s t e r which should cover t h i s period i n the h i s t o r y of the English 49 province are missing. It is not even certain who the prior-provincial were, much less the minor o f f i c i a l s and the places where the meetings were held. In his De Illustribus Henricis (pp. 137-139), Capgrave records the v i s i t of Henry VI to Lynn in 1446 and the conversation they had on their tour around the convent. He also says that the house numbered thirty priests and sixteen boys, evidently attending grammar school, and an unspecified number of brothers in minor orders. Such a popula-tion makes Lynn one of the largest of the Austin convents; and the presence of so many junior members suggests that i t was at this time a 83 studium provinciae. The administration of.the financial and r e l i -gious activities in the convent, including the appointment of confes-sors and preachers to the well-attended church, agreements with ser-vants, tenants, and public o f f i c i a l s , and the supervision of students and studies l e f t Capgrave l i t t l e time for literary work. Nevertheless, he apparently inserted a chapter on Henry VI and finished the De Illustribus Henricis,soon after the king's v i s i t ; The holograph manuscript with i t s different coloured inks and marginal ad-ditions . makes clear that Capgrave composed the parts sporadically; and marked changes in the .script, ink, and ruling demonstrate that the sev-84 enth gathering on Henry VI was added later. It should also be noted that this work contains the only reference to Capgrave's intention to write a l i f e of the Duke of Gloucester (p. 109), and i t is ,possible that Leland and Bale and others following them credited Capgrave with such a work without any further manuscript evidence. As the t i t l e indicates, the book is thoroughly adulatory and uncritical in tone even of such recent figures as Henry Despenser, Bishop of Norwich, with whose true character and history Capgrave must have been familiar. Sometime during his years as prior or earlier, Capgrave became acquainted with the notorious extortionist Sir Thomas Tuddenham who with his fellow justice of.the peace, Thomas Heydon, blackmailed and terrorized many among the Norfolk gentry, including notably the Paston family. Tuddenham's estate at Oxburgh was near Lynn, and he doubtless frequented the borough. Not only was he a man whose enmity was to be feared and, therefore, one whom Capgrave would seek to mollify, he was also evidently a benefactor of the Augustinian f r i a r s , for he was buried in the church of their London convent after his execution for 85 treason in 1461. The precise association Capgrave had with him is not known, but i t was at Tuddenham's expense that Capgrave made his only documented v i s i t outside England, a pilgrimage to Rome. Since Capgrave himself does not date his trip and.no record of an exit permit for him has been discovered, only the general dates c. 1447-1452 can be given for the composition of The Solace of Pilgrims. The, terminus a quo reflects his notice of the April 1447 death of Car-dinal Beaufort; the terminus ad quern, the fact that he refers to John, Kemp as cardinal t i t u l a r of St. Balbina and Archbishop of York rather than as cardinal bishop of St. Rufina and Archbishop of Canterbury as he became in 1452. There was a steady stream.of English travellers to Rome during 86 the middle ages, several hundred a year by Capgrave's time, both on business to the papal curia and on pilgrimages. De Meijer speculates that Capgrave's trip was in 1450, the year of Pope Nicholas' jubilee, 87 on the grounds that Capgrave several times mentions large crowds, but there are a number of reasons for suggesting that 1449 is a more likely year. Not only would Capgrave surely have noted the special celebra-tions of a holy year, but also the crowds at certain shrines on days of indulgence would have seemed large to an Englishman who had spent most of his l i f e in smaller, less holy centres regardless of the year. There are, however, two stronger reasons for choosing 1449. F i r s t , i t is known that there was a meeting of the General Chapter of the order in that year; since there is no evidence of another English represen-tative having been sent, i t is not unlikely that Capgrave, who was appointed prior-provincial only four years later, was chosen. Moreover, Capgrave's patron Tuddenham immediately f e l l from his position of promi-nence on the death of the Duke of Suffolk in 1450, and he and Heydon were the subjects of a great series of lawsuits during that year. While the charges were ultimately dismissed and Tuddenham restored, Capgrave would not have been likely to commemorate Tuddenham at the beginning of the Solace in the year of his disgrace. Capgrave l e f t no description of his trip to Italy, but he proba-bly stopped at Paris which was a major studium generale where he may have seen the manuscript of Jordanus of Saxony's Vita Saricti Augustini, the 88 source for his own Life of St. Augustine. Travelling through Italy, he no doubt visited other major Augustinian houses, including Lecceto where the English Austin f r i a r William Flete, a confidant of St. 52 Catherine of Siena, lived his hermit existence. His stay in Rome was long enough to enable him to see a l l the major shrines; and i t was extended by an i l l n e s s . While he was i l l , he was befriended by William Gray. They may have met more than a decade earlier when Capgrave entered the cir c l e surrounding Duke Humphrey and Gray was a B a l l i o l student. Gray's lineage would have given him entry into the group, and his own theo-logical interests and knowledge of Humphrey's f i r s t g i f t to the univer-sity would have attracted him to Woodstock. By the time Capgrave came to Rome, Gray was himself a distinguished collector of manuscripts and a well-known patron as well as Henry VI's proctor at the papal court. It i s a significant indication of Capgrave's reputation, and further evidence that he was not acting in a private capacity on the trip that he should be attended by a man whom the pope personally, albeit unsuc-cessfully, was to try to promote to a bishopric in 1450. Capgrave may have had access to Gray's extensive library where 89 he would have seen many Italian works not often found in England, and he probably made at least the outline of his Solace of Pilgrims during his period of recuperation. Apart from the recollection of scenes in considerable detail, the many inscriptions which he records suggest that he worked on the book while he was s t i l l in Rome. One authority suggests that Capgrave remained in Rome for a year 90 and a half. If so, he must indeed have begun his trip in 1449 and worked on the Solace of Pilgrims during his absence, for he had returned 91 to England and completed his last two saints' lives by 1451. For an 53 Augustinian author, a l i f e of the founder was a natural project, and Capgrave's Life of St. Augustine reveals a close familiarity with both the genuine and spurious writings in the saint's canon, especially i n the early chapters where he is not depending on his main source. S t y l i s t i c considerations w i l l be dealt with in detail later, but the St. Augustine is in every way superior to the hastily composed Life of  St. Gilbert which followed i t . When the master of the order of Semp-ringham, Nicholas Reysby, made known his admiration for the j5t^ . Augus- tine and requested a similar work on his patron, he may well have pro-vided the Latin manuscript which Capgrave took as his source. It is an ill-conceived work containing two recensions of the l i f e . Capgrave applied l i t t l e of his usual c r i t i c a l judgment in his translation; he made few additions; and there is no indication that he tried to remove the repetitions in i t . The only other work which has been assigned to this period immediately before his election to the provincialate is the lost Manipulus doctrinae Christianae which, according to Bale, was dedica-ted to John Kemp. Bale's note on i t is ambiguous, however, for he refers to Kemp as both Cardinal of Balbina and Archbishop of Canterbury, t i t l e s he did not hold concurrently. It is more likely that Bale added the better known t i t l e than that Capgrave erred in his dedication, and, consequently the work has to be dated anywhere between 1439 and 1454. Circumstantial evidence for a date closer to 1454 is provided by Bale's cryptic note "Poggio allegat," indicating that Capgrave makes some allusion to the Italian humanist. Poggio had visited England between 54 1418 and 1422, and he was well known after that time. Moreover, Duke Humphrey owned at least one of his works, and Capgrave could have seen i t . However, since Capgrave so infrequently refers to contemporaries 92 and since Gray was friendly with Poggio during his stay in Italy, i t is most likely that Capgrave's reference to the scholar would follow his lengthy exposure to the humanist group in Rome. In 1453 Capgrave was elected provincial at Winchester, and the 93 choice was confirmed by the prior-general the following year. Confirmavimus in priorem provincialem fratrem Iohannem Capgrave provincie Anglie electum unanimiter et concorditer in capitulo provinciali Veyntonie celebrato 1453 in festo Marie Magdalene approbando electionem ac confirmationem eius per vicarium nostrum de eo factam, dando s i b i auctori-tatem in temporalibus et spiritualibus ut a l i i s provincialibus dare consuevimus, precipiendo singulis fratribus dicte provincie, ut s i b i sicut legitimo pastori obedient. Confirmavimus acta predicti capituli precipientes prefato provinciali ut i l i a observari faciat. Two, years later the chapter met at Lynn, where Capgrave made his 94 permanent home, and re-elected him: Confirmavimus in priorem provincialem huius provincie magistrum Iohannem Capgrave electum unanimiter et concorditer in capitulo Lynie celebrato 6a die mensis Augusti 1455, approbando elect-ionem et confirmationem eius per vicarium nostrum de eo factam dando s i b i omnem auctoritatem et potestatem sicut alias habuit in huiusmodi o f f i c i o provincialatus et confirmavimus omnia acta et diffinitiones in dicto capitulo, precipiendo ut obser-varet et observari faceret similiter diffinitiones capitulorum generalium. The only record of his public duties appears in two documents concern-ing the recognition of Sir Edmund Rede as a founder of the Oxford con-95 vent. Capgrave attended the formal services at the convent church on that occasion and many of his activities must have been of a similar 55 functional kind. He was also responsible for ensuring that the general rules of the order were observed in the thirty convents of the province, and to that end he made visitations and heard complaints like those noted by the author of the Augustinian rule the Mare Magnum. Other duties were the recommendation of students to the studia generalia, the provision of lectorships, the arbitration of disputes, and the award-ing of special dispensations and licenses. Recent scholars agree that Capgrave finished his term as provin-c i a l in 1457 and returned to a quiet l i f e at Lynn, carrying on with his last commentaries and The Chronicle of England. Only two of these commentaries are extant; those on the Acts of the Apostles and on the Creed. Both of them are dedicated to William Gray, and they s t i l l re-main at B a l l i o l College where Bishop Gray deposited them. With the Apocalypse of John, Capgrave finished his gathering of "eld exposiciones upon scripture into o collection" (Chronicle, p. 1), and turned to an enlargement of the Annualia which he had mentioned as early as 1438 in the Dedication to the Genesis commentary. Capgrave's dedication of this book to the new king, Edward IV, earned him the contempt of F.J. Furnivall, and Furnivall's condemnation of him as a time-server has too long been part of the standard characterization. The power struggles which resulted in the c i v i l war had their origins in events which took place before Capgrave's birth; and they were not concluded until two decades after his death. The older his-torical interpretation which placed a l l fifteenth century figures on either the Lancastrian or Yorkist side has been supplanted by a far 56 more complex view. It is now clear that the battles with the Percies, the r i v a l r i e s of Henry V's brothers (the Dukes of Bedford and Glouces-ter) for influence in the councils of the young king Henry VI during the 1420's, the disgrace of Gloucester in the 1440's and of the Duke of Suffolk in 1450, as well as the battles of the next three decades were a l l manifestations at the courtly level of the struggle for the control of wealth and policy which is seen not only in the alliances formed by aristocratic families but also in borough a c t i v i t i e s . Many of the lesser known disputes, important for their effect on the social and economic sta b i l i t y of fifteenth century England, took place in the Northern counties and in East Anglia. The troubles in Lynn i t s e l f were mentioned earlier, severe riots took place in Norwich in the 1420's, and the general lawlessness in the county is reflected in reports in the Paston Letters. The administration of justice was dependent on influence, and the cost of appeals was so great that there was l i t t l e the average person could do i f he were injured. Moreover, without wealth, he had l i t t l e chance of effecting any change in the situation. In such c i r -cumstances the loyalty of the individual lay with those who could pro-tect his interests, and, obviously, his concern was primarily on a local level. There is no doubt that the office of the king was respec-ted, but i t is equally certain that the general populace was willing to support whoever could gain the throne. The source of the conflict was not the justice of either side's claim to the crown. In addition, the small numbers involved in actual battles forcibly demonstrates that the mass of people were not moved by the issues. Most of Capgrave's associates have been described as vio-lent adherents of one or the other side; but i n fact they were moved by considerations of advantage rather than principle. What their actions show above a l l is that Capgrave, without family or high ecclesiastical position, would not have been required to take sides and that he had l i t t l e reason to do so. And i t i s hardly surprising, nor a matter for condemnation, then, that Capgrave, among many others, should laud Henry VI in the dedication to one work and Edward IV in another. Whether his Chronicle was cut short because of his death, be-cause he was concerned not to indulge in controversy, or because he had partially covered the ground in his De Illustribus Henricis cannot be definitively determined. While his sources are well known and he added l i t t l e , the work is an interesting pastiche of medieval interests and beliefs. Moreover, there is individuality in the characteristic scep-ticism of many of his comments. Capgrave died in Lynn, where he had spent most of his l i f e , on August 12, 1464. His reputation for learning, enhanced by the report 96 that Henry VII tried to have him beatified, was passed from annalist to annalist, but for nearly four hundred years the only work considered to be his that was ever printed was a version of John of Tynmouth's 97 Nova Legenda Angliae. Even in his own day his works do not seem to have been as well known as he was. However, The Life of St. Katherine, as has been shown, was circulated locally, and The Chronicle of England was copied in the next century. Extant fragments indicate that a 58 second Solace of Pilgrims, a second S_t. Gilbert, and a second De Illustribus Henricis once existed, and references suggest that addi-tional copies were made of the commentaries on Genesis, Kings II and IV, and the Creed. The survey of Capgrave's career which this chapter has made provides the context for a literary evaluation of his long-ignored vernacular works. It makes clear that while his writings are the major source of information about him, they — and especially the vernacular ones — are by no means the most important side of his active career. And while the discussion of his works proceeds, i t is important to be mindful of the distinction between Capgrave the learned f r i a r chiefly concerned with theology and his religious duties and Capgrave the author who occasionally, almost avocationally, wrote devotional pieces. Through Capgrave, a new perspective on certain aspects of fifteenth century letters may be achieved, for he i s the only recognized scholar of the time with a large vernacular canon. His English works are not characteristic of his writings as a whole in the sense that they are not exegetical in intention, but they are more interesting because they show the s t y l i s t i c effects of a s t r i c t scholastic education on familiar genres and because, through Capgrave's own comments on his points of divergence from his sources, his method of composition may be seen. In the following chapters a l l of the English works w i l l be discussed, be-ginning with the largest group, the saints' lives. 59 Footnotes * The handling of Latin words, phrases, and quotations accords with standard usage throughout the text with one exception. For emphasis, direct Latin quotations (followed immediately by a reference to their source in parentheses) are i t a l i c i z e d and not placed within quotation marks when they are used for purposes of comparing Capgrave's translations. 1Ed. F. C. Hingston (London, 1858), p. 259. 2 Ed. C. Horstmann, E.E.T.S., O.S. 100 (London, 1893), Prologue, 1. 240. 3 L. T o r e l l i , Secoli Agostiniani, VII (Bologna, 1682), 314. A. de Meijer comes to the same conclusion in his three part a r t i c l e on Capgrave. With the single t i t l e , "John Capgrave, O.E.S.A.," the three parts were published respectively in Augustiniana, V (1955), 400-440; and Augustiniana, VII (1957), 118-148, 531-574. They w i l l be cited subsequently as de Meijer, Part I, Part II, or Part III. De Meijer discusses the relationship of the two John Capgraves in Part I, 405-406. A F. Roth, The English Austin Friars, 1249-1538, I (New York, 1966), 47. ^J.C. Russell, British Medieval Population (Albuquerque, 1948), p. 142. He estimates Lynn's population as 4,691. The eight towns larger than Lynn and their estimated populations in 1377 were: London, 34,971; York, 10,872; Bris t o l , 9,518; Plymouth, 7,256; Coventry, 7,226; Norwich, 5,928; Lincoln, 5,354; and Salisbury, 4,839. ^The contents of the petition are known from the reply to i t contained in the Calendar of Entries in the Papal Registers relating to  Great Britain and Ireland: Papal Letters, Vol. VII, A.D. 1417-1431, ed. J.A. Twenlow (London, 1906), 441-442: To the bishop of Ely. Mandate as below. The recent petition of the townsmen of Bishop's Lynn (opidanorum v i l l e de Lenne  episcopi) in the diocese of Norwich contained that within the bounds of their parish church of St. Margaret, appropriated by papal authority to the prior and convent of Norwich, and served by four monks thereof, one of them called prior, who are re-moveable at the pleasure of the said prior and convent, and by a hired chaplain, a secular priest, the parishioners built at a time immemorial a chapel of St. James and another of St. Nicholas, in each of which a chaplain has hitherto been and s t i l l i s / placed by the said prior and convent, who celebrates 60 therein mass and other divine o f f i c e s and administers to a number of the parishioners by old custom a l l e c c l e s i a s t i c a l sacraments, but not baptism, marriage nor churching of women; and adding that i n the said town the multitude and devotion of the said parishioners has increased so much that on Easter day every year about 1,600 persons receive the communion (sacramento E u c a r i s t i communicantur) i n the said p a r i s h church, and i n the said chapels of St. Nicholas and St. James about 1,400 and 900 r e s p e c t i v e l y . The pope orders the above bishop, i f he finds the f a c t s to be as stated, to grant to the p a r i s h -ioners that they may i n the said chapels hear mass and other divine o f f i c e s by the said chaplains and receive from them the said sacraments, and that the said chaplains may f r e e l y admini-ster to them the same; saving the r i g h t of the parish church and of any other. Ammonet nos suscepti cura. ^B. Power and M.M. Postan, Studies i n English Trade i n the  F i f t e e n t h Century (London, 1933), p. 166. 8H.J.M. Ke r l i n g , "Aliens i n the County of Norfolk, 1436-1485," Norfolk Archaeology, XXXIII (1962), 200-212. 9 J . T a i t , The Medieval English Borough (Manchester, 1936), p. 148. 1 0E.K. Chambers says, i n The Medieval Stage, II (Oxford, 1903), 374: There was a Corpus C h r i s t i g u i l d as early as 1400, and the T a i l o r ' s Ordinances of 1441 require them to take part i n the Corpus C h r i s t i procession; but I do not f i n d evidence of regular annual plays. The Chamberlain's Accounts f o r 1385, however, include: ' i i j s i i i j d to c e r t a i n players, playing an i n t e r l u d e on Corpus C h r i s t i day.' ' i i j s i i i j d paid by the Mayor's g i f t to persons playing the interlude of St. Thomas the Martyr.' and those f o r 1462 — ' i i j s paid f o r two flagons of red wine, spent i n the house of Arnulph Tixonye, by the Mayor and most of h i s brethren, being there to see a c e r t a i n play at the Feast of Corpus C h r i s t i . ' In t h i s same year the Skinners and S a i l o r s 'of the town' received rewards 'for t h e i r labour about the procession of Corpus C h r i s t i t h i s year.' In 1409-1410 Lady de Beaufort came to see a play. and Chambers, Ibid., p. 384, also records: In 1444 the corporation of Lynn showed a play with Mary and Gabriel before Lord Scales, [at Middleton, Norfolk] 61 Further payments are recorded in the extracts from the Lynn records published in the Historical Manuscripts Commission, Eleventh  Report, Part III (London, 1887), 162-163. 12 de Meijer, Part I, 407. 13 M. Aston, Thomas Arundel (Oxford, 1967), pp. 184-185. ^H.J. Hillen, A History of the Borough of King 1s Lynn, (Norwich, 1907), p. 165. ^As he reports in his De Illustribus Henricis, ed. F.C. Hingston (London, 1858), pp. 137-139. 16 In The Chronicle of England, p. 157. ^Throughout his work, Father Roth mentions individual cases of lapsed friars and he discusses frequently recorded cases of the abuse of the vow of poverty (I, 186-189). In addition, he seeks to refute charges of Lollardry made against the Austins. He agrees that the two masters who "spoke against the shirking of taxes by the higher clergy" in 1374 were on the royal or nationalist, as opposed to papal side — "while i t i s true that they voiced only the popular sentiment i t also indicates the inroads W y c l i f s teaching had made among those whose f i r s t allegiance should have been to the Pope," (I, 64). But, he says later, "It has often been said that some English Austins sided with Wyclifs social teaching. Whatever their ideas in the matter might have been, his attack upon faith turned them against him" (I, 66). Finally, while he suggests there was a decline in scholarship after Capgrave's death (I, 430), he does not see spiritual desuetude u n t i l about forty years before the Act of Supremacy (I, p. 431ff.). For a more generalized view of the possible truth behind charges made against the f r i a r s , see A. Williams, "Relations between the Mendicant Friars and the Secular Clergy in England in the Later Fourteenth Century," Annuale Medievale, I (1969), 22-93. 18 A survey of the data in A.B. Emden's two biographical regis-ters substantiates these conclusions. These two monumental works, A Biographical Register of the University of Oxford to 1500, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1957-1959) and A Biographical Register of the University of  Cambridge (Cambridge, 1963), include notices of some 434 Augustinian f r i a r s . (This number was arrived at by reducing the combined total of 212 at Cambridge and 244 at Oxford by the 22 who are either repeated in the Oxford volumes — Abyndon, de Venezia, de Lucca, Hervy, and Schwarzenberg — or who occur in the registers of both universities — Berewyck, Newbigging, Herford, Godwick, Owenby, Cressall, Constanz, Colchester, Marpes, Benit, Sharyngton, Penketh, Galyon, Curteys, Thwaytes, Rose, Toneys.) Of these, 135 received the magisterium, the doctorate in theology. The proportion completing the degree reached 62 nearly 50% i n the generation immediately p r i o r to Capgrave's (35 of 76 English f r i a r s between 1360 and 1400). In addition, none of the 66 foreign f r i a r s — p r i m a r i l y I t a l i a n and German— appears before 1358, and there are only 17 a f t e r the beginning of the f i f t e e n t h century. Even more obvious than these i n d i c a t i o n s of the i s o l a t i o n of the Eng-l i s h province of the Augustinian order i s the sharp decline i n the number of f r i a r s who are l i s t e d as licensed to preach a f t e r c. 1352. Between 1274 and 1352, 42 of 84 are licensed, but only 4 of 113 between 1360 and 1400. Cert a i n l y more would have been covered by the blanket licenses issued by some bishops; and, of course, Emden's r e g i s t e r s do not include any of the f r i a r s who received enough t h e o l o g i c a l t r a i n i n g to be licensed to preach but who did not attend either of the univer-s i t i e s . Such data provides a meaningful comment on the men who were Cap-grave's teachers and senior colleagues. When one-third of those r e -corded at the convents i n u n i v e r s i t y towns were foreigners and nearly one-half continued to the f i n a l degree, there can be no doubt that t h e i r view extended well beyond the i n s u l a r and that the disputations they undertook were sophisticated and diverse. 19 H.B. Workman, John W i c l i f : A Study of the English Medieval  Church, II (Oxford, 1926). At the B l a c k f r i a r s Council each of the mendicant orders had two representatives. 20 One of the most famous was the t r i a l of William Taylour.in 1423. At that time John Lowe, l a t e r Bishop of St. Asaph, was one of the Augustinian doctors. 21 A. Gwynn, The English Austin F r i a r s i n the Time of Wyclif (London, 1940), pp. 230, 235. 2 2 I b i d . , pp. 236-239. 23 Ibid ., pp. 274-275. Capgrave mentions his defection i n The  Chronicle of England, p. 244. 24 1965) See: J.A.F. Thomson, The Later L o l l a r d s , 1414-15 20 (London, 2 5Roth, I, 143. Same. 2 7 I b i d . , p. 137. 28 The terms had s p e c i a l i z e d meanings i n the middle ages. Thus, orthography taught the student to s p e l l and write L a t i n words; and prosody, to read aloud c o r r e c t l y . Then he proceeded to syntax, a study of the rules of grammar and t h e i r a p p l i c a t i o n to the construction of 63 sentences; and, f i n a l l y , he studied the parts of speech by themselves in the division known as ethimologia. Brother Bonaventura discusses these divisions and many of the texts in his a r t i c l e , "The Teaching of Latin in Later Medieval England," Medieval Studies, III (1961), 1-20. Father Roth specifies the three books mentioned in the text as the basic grammars used by the Augustinians (I, 142). 29 When Capgrave was prior at Lynn more than thirty years later, he mentions that sixteen boys were studying at the convent (De  Illustribus Henricis, p. 189), and i t is reasonable to assume that the practice was a long-standing one. 30 Father Roth sees a conflict between the order's prescriptions for education and what is known of medieval education. Thus, he says of the f i r s t year following the novitiate: "Only one year of grammar school was prescribed though both the course in logic (dialectics) and that in grammar lasted one year. From an analogy with the course in philosophy we must surmise that the missing course was taught at the next higher studium or had been anticipated i n the novitiate" (I, 143). In Capgrave's case i t is possible to resolve the problem in another way and suggest that, as he appears to have been older than the average entrant, he had studied his grammar earlier. 3 1Roth, I, 314. 32 Ibid., p. 145. In addition, he l i s t s the texts Capgrave probably used; "The textbooks for the Old Logic were the Isagoge of Porphyrius, the Categories or Praedicamenta of Aristotle and his Perihermeneias, a l l of them in the translation of Boethius. The New Logic comprehended in particular the teaching of syllogisms as propounded in the Topica, Analytica Priora and Posteriora of Aristotle." 33 N. Toner, "Augustinian Spiritual Writers of the English Province in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries," Sanctus Augustinus, II (1959), 508. Because Capgrave does not mention the Duke of Claren-ce's v i s i t to Lynn in 1413, Father Toner doubts whether he had yet joined the order. If he was in Norwich, he would not have seen i t himself. 34 B. Smalley, The Study of the Bible in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1952), p. 26. 35 The Life of St. Norbert. See Chapter three. 36 Sede vacante registers for the see of Norwich in the period 1415-1417 appear in The Register of Bishop Chichele, ed. E.F. Jacob, III (Oxford, 1945), 347-425, but Capgrave's name does not appear. 64 37 Roth, I, 141, n. 253. The age of ordination varied, the candidate usually being 22 in Capgrave's time. If Capgrave may be allowed some further looseness in his account, perhaps he was ordained six years before Henry VI's birth, i.e. in 1415, the year he was 22 and the year he finished his pre-theological studies in Norwich. 38 General Archives, O.E.S.A., Register Dd 4, f. 55 as printed by de Meijer, Part I, 408, n. 40. 3 9Roth, I, 174. 40 D. Knowles, The Religious Orders in England (Cambridge, 1950), pp. 190-191. 41 Since he was nominated as a lector in 1421, had been at London only since 1417, and was required to spend a total of six years (three as a student and three as a cursor) before he was eligible for this rank, there can have been no break in his studies. 42 Roth, I, 280-291 l i s t s some of the better known. 4 3Ed. E. Ypma, Augustiniana, VI (1956), 275-321. 44 Ibid., p. 282. 4 5 I b i d . , p. 310-311. 4 6 I b i d . , p. 308-309. 4 7Roth, I, 160. 48Ypma, pp. 304-305. 4 9Smalley, p. 209. 5 0Roth, I, 147-170. ~^ De Illustribus Henricis, p. 127. 5 2Roth, I, 166-169. 53 General Archives O.E.S.A., Register Dd 4, f. 75v as printed by de Meijer, Part I, 409, n. 42. 54 In his Prologue to The Life of St. Gilbert of Sempringham, ed. J.J. Munro, E.E.T.S., O.S. 140 (London, 1910), 61 Capgrave mentions a sermon he wrote "be 3er befor myn opposicion," and at the opening of the sermon i t s e l f (Ibid., p. 145) he gives the precise date. Clearly, he means by "opposicion" the end of the year of opponency, for his 65 bachelor's degree was awarded early in 1423. The document is preserved in the General Archives O.E.S.A., Register Dd 4, f. 106. "^According to the General Archives O.E.S.A., Register Dd 4, f. 18 as printed in F. Roth, The English Austin Friars, 1249-1538, II (New York, 1961), 295, he was directed to take the magisterium at either Oxford or Cambridge, but A.B. Emden assigns him to Cambridge in his Register. 5 6Roth, I, 172. ~^The matter of Capgrave's progression from lector to magister is unnecessarily confused in the biographies of both Father de Meijer and Father Roth. Much of this confusion comes from the awkward handling of recorded dates. It must be recognized at the outset that while the c i v i l year began on March 25th in England, the dates in the registers of the Augustinian priors-general accord with modern usage as the foliation makes perfectly clear. So, for example, a permission for a certain f r i a r William to make a pilgrimmage to Jerusalem which was given on March 14, 1422 occurs on f. 73v and a dispensation for another f r i a r to practice medicine i n contravention of the order's regulations which is dated April 12, 1422 occurs on f. 75 (Roth, II, 298). In any case, only one of the documents concerning Capgrave is dated before March 25th. Nevertheless, Father de Meijer states (Part I, 408) that Cap-grave was f i r s t appointed a lector in 1422 and he repeats this date on the following page. But in his evidence, the entry in Register Dd 4, f. 55 (Part I, 408, n. 40), he gives the date as "8 Aprilis 1421." That this i s in fact the correct year for the i n i t i a l appointment de Meijer seems to have recognized, for when he cites the document of April 13, 1422 from Register Dd 4, f. 75v (Part I, 409, n. 42) assign-ing Capgrave specifically to Cambridge, he says i t is "a year later" and then goes on to say "This year was 1422" (Part I, 410), using Cap-grave's own date in the sermon cited in n. 55 as further evidence. There is a further inconsistency in de Meijer's account. In his two references (Part I, 406-407, 409) to the notice of the cele-brations in London at the time of King Henry VI's birth in December 1421 found in De Illustribus Henricis, de Meijer seems to accept Cap-grave's self-denomination studens in a s t r i c t rather than a generic sense. But, as the document of April 8, 1421 shows, Capgrave was already a cursor when he was made a lector. At either of these ranks, Capgrave was responsible for certain lectures; and though space appar-ently prevented him from gaining immediate preferment to one of the universities, there was nothing to prevent him from undertaking the required lectures at the London studium. Indeed, i t is presumably because he did so that he was dispensed from the lectures on the Sen- tences and proceeded to the bachelor's degree with such rapidity. Father Roth derived most of his biographical information from Father de Meijer's articles, although he does place the document of 66 1421 i n the proper context. In one sentence (I, 111) of his discussion of Capgrave as p r i o r - p r o v i n c i a l , however, he doubles the length of Capgrave's stay i n London and as a consequence places the completion of Capgrave's academic t r a i n i n g i n 1433. In turn, t h i s date scarcely coincides with his conclusion on p. 174, that "The f a s t e s t promotion on record i s that of John Capgrave, the author, who obtained the magister- ium ten years a f t e r his ordination and j u s t within the prescribed time l i m i t . " In t h i s instance he has no a d d i t i o n a l evidence for the date of either the ordination or of the inception; and he i s not following de Meijer, who places the ordination i n 1417 and the magisterium i n 1425, a period of only eight years. 5 8Roth, I, 169. 5 9 I b i d . , p. 105. 60 The L i f e of St. Katherine, Forewords, p. v i i i . 6 1 P a r t I, 411. 62 General Archives O.E.S.A., Register Dd 4, f . 220v as printed i n Roth, I I , 308. 63 This work i s now l o s t . Capgrave describes i t s contents i n h i s Ye Solace of Pilgrimes, ed. C A . M i l l s (Oxford, 1911), p. 92; John Bale once had i t i n his possession and noted the i n c i p i t with the dedication to Watford. See de Meijer, Part I I I , 548. 64 The dedication to the Genesis Commentary i s printed as an appendix i n De I l l u s t r i b u s Henricis and the reference i n i t to the commentary on Kings appears p. 231; Leland's note appears i n h i s Commentarii de s c r i p t o r i b u s b r i t a n n i c i s , ed. A. H a l l , II (Oxford, 1709), 453. ^ I n Ye Solace of Pilgrimes (see n. 64) and i n the sermon delivered at Cambridge (see n. 55) pp. 146,147. de Meijer, Part I I , 120, n. 8 and Part I I I , 548. 6 7 d e Meijer, Part I I I , 548-549. 6 8 As such he i s discussed by S. Moore i n h i s a r t i c l e , "Patrons of Letters i n Norfolk and Suffolk c. 1450," PMLA, XXVIII (1913), 97-100 and by K. Holzknecht i n h i s L i t e r a r y Patronage i n the Middle Ages (Philadelphia, 1923), pp. 55, 69, 94n, 104n, 112, 121, 145n, 146, 151, 160, 178 among others; and i t i s standard f o r the biographers to r e f e r to Duke Humphrey and John Lowe e s p e c i a l l y as Capgrave's patrons. 69 Roth, I, 371-378 discusses the various r u l i n g s . 67 7 0ed. J.J. Munro, E.E.T.S., O.S. 140 (London, 1910), 60. 7 1See: Furnivall in the Forewords to The Life of St. Katherine, pp. xv-xvi, Hingston in the Preface to De Illustribus Henricis, p. xvi, de Meijer, Part I, 439-440, Roth, I, 417-418, and D. Brimson in "John Capgrave, O.S.A.," Tagastan, IX (1946), 110-111. 72 It is certain Humphrey owned two volumes (1 and 3) of the commentary on Kings, because they were among the books he donated to Oxford in 1443. (See the record of the bequest as printed in the Introduction to The Chronicle of England, pp. xiv-xv). However, the incipits for these are nowhere recorded, while the other two volumes were seen by Leland before their disappearance and their dedication to Lowe noted. 7 3Roth, I, 106. 74 The comments of Leland, Bale, Pits and Herrera have a l l been collated against xeroxed copies of the originals; for convenience, however, they are here cited as they appear in de Meijer, Part II, 119-128. After the seventeenth century, i t was standard to c a l l Capgrave Humphrey's confessor as Father de Meijer did as late as 1955 (Part I, 419). Without explicitly disagreeing, Father Roth suggests that such a formal relationship was improbable: Within the English province Capgrave is notT known to have done anything against the ever growing tendency for personal independence, though his dislike i s evident from his attitude towards honorary papal chaplains. For the same reason he probably disliked the constant recruiting of his best men for the service of noble families. (I, 115) And, recently, on grounds similar to my own, Peter Lucas has denied the possibility, "John Capgrave, O.S.A., (1393-1464), Scribe and 'Publisher'," Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society, V, Part I (1969), p. 31. John South's dispensation to act as Humphrey's chaplain is reprinted from the Calendar of Papal Registers in Roth, II, 328. 7^De Illustribus Henricis, Appendix IV, 229-231. 76 See the colophon as printed in de Meijer, Part III, 539: Incepit hoc opus frater Johannes capgrave in festo sancti antonii  confessoris que occurit mense ianuarii anno domini m.cccc. xxxviii . [i.e. 17 Jan. 1439]. 7 7de Meijer, Part III, 548. The assumption is strengthened by the evidence that suggests Capgrave returned to Lynn c. 1440. 78 Ye Solace of Pilgrimes, p. 93 68 79 As Capgrave says in his epilogue: the f r e r i s name pat translate pis story Thei called Ion Capgraue, whech in Assumpcion weke Made a end of a l l his rymyng cry The 3er of Crist our Lord, wit3~outen ly, A thousand, four hundred & fourty euene. (11. 4104-4108) 80 See P. Lucas, pp. 4-5, for the following dates: BM. MSS. Arundel 20 (1460-1500); Arundel 168 (1460-1500); Arundel 396 (1445-1460); and Bodley MS. Rawlinson poet. 118 (1460-1500). 8 1The Life of St. Katherine, Book I, Prologue, 11. 218-219. 82 Arundel 396, See The Life of St. Katherine, Forewords, pp. xxix-xxx and de Meijer, Part III, 564-565. Q O Roth, I, 291. 8 4Lucas, pp. 12-16. Roth, I, 291. ft f\ G. Parks, The English Traveller to Italy, I (Palo Alto, 1954). Park's figures are inexact because precise records are scanty and the data scattered. It is interesting that he says of 1450, the year many assume Capgrave made his trip .-'.to Rome: In 1450 a l l records Were-, said to be broken when. .40,000 pilgrims were thought to arrive daily;: during this year nearly 200 persons, were trampled to death in a panic on the crowded bridge. Such a crowd would indeed have been one to reckon with. I find no evi-dence of so great a crush in The Solace of Pilgrims. Q-7 Part I, 422. 88 R. Arbesmann, "Jordanus of Saxony's Vita Sancti Augustini, the source for John Capgrave's Life of St. Augustine," Traditio, I (1943), 353. 89 R. Weiss, Humanism in England in the Fifteenth Century (Oxford, 1957), pp. 86-96. 90 Toner, p. 508. He offers no documentary evidence, however. 91 The Life of St. Gilbert, which Capgrave says was composed shortly after The Life of St. Augustine (p. 61), ends with a precise date: Thus endith be l i f of Seint Gilbert translat in-to our moder tonge, be 3ere of be incarnacioun of our Lord a Mccccli. (p. 142) 69 92 Weiss, p. 90. 93 General Archives O.E.S.A., Register Dd 6, f. 16, as printed by de Meijer, Part I, 401. 94 General Archives O.E.S.A., Register Dd 6, f. 16, as printed by de Meijer, Part I, 400. 95 Printed in The Chronicle of England, Appendix II, 329-334. 96 The origin of this report i s not ascertainable: de Meijer gives the Introduction to Mi l l s ' edition of Ye Solace of Pilgrimes p. v i i i as his only source and Mills in turn has none. I have found no evidence that Henry VII made any petition to Rome. 97 This legendary has been printed under Capgrave's name since 1516, although i t was long ago conceded that l i t t l e of the material was original. In fact, none of the manuscripts contain Capgrave's name. Peter Lucas has an article forthcoming in The Library surveying Cap-grave's traditional relationship with the Nova Legenda Angliae and suggesting "that Capgrave's role in connection with this work was probably n i l . " See his previously cited a r t i c l e , p. 4. CHAPTER II CAPGRAVE AND THE MEDIEVAL SAINTS' LIVES I Despite the popularity of hagiography as a literary form and the endeavours of many scholars to put i t into an historical and literary context,''" the controlling force underlying the genre tends to be mis-understood. The cliched summaries of their repetitious and incredible contents often distort not only the evaluation of the lives as l i t e r a -ture but also the beliefs of the men who wrote them and the essential purposes to which they were directed. It is necessary, before discus-sing Capgrave's particular application of the form, to examine in some detail the background of the saints' lives in which he was working. The antecedents of the fully developed saint's l i f e l i e far in the past. For some early martyrs genuine records of examinations and 2 executions do exist, and historical works contemporary with the eras of persecution refer to the sufferings of many individual Christians. In the case of later saints, the source materials of the vitae may include notices i n chronicles and even such personal documents as their correspondence and other preserved writings, or reminiscences by friends and pthers who knew them. These sources are essential to any examination of the historical truth of recorded events; but of more importance to the student of literature is the way in which these accounts, whether authenticated or not, are transformed into literary 71 materials and shaped into a recognizable and persistent form. It is unnecessary in the present discussion to trace the complicated proces-ses by which the rhetoric of Greek panegyric was grafted onto the stock of historical records of passions to produce an elementary model for later formal hagiographies. It is important, however, to remember that in the development of the form there is not a direct chronological pro-gression. Rather, the simplest, unadorned varieties of the lives continued to' exist simultaneously with the more sophisticated elabora-tions, and this pattern was repeated as the various stages entered the European vernaculars. Three independent types may be isolated in the evolutionary development of the form: calendars, martyrologies, and longer, semi-3 biographical lives. Using the unchanging solar calendar as a basis, churchmen in both the east and west catalogued the Christian martyrs in l i s t s which were read at certain of the solemn feasts. Tangentially, certain of these calendars were expanded to include the anniversaries of other saintly men and women, some of whom were honoured only in their own regions. In the mainstream of development, however, the more usual tendency was to elaborate the calendars into martyrologies, which passed beyond the mere notation of names and places to include descriptions of the passions suffered, together with accounts of mir-acles which preceded, attended, or followed the saint's death. Some of these martyrologies were in turn extracted and became the foundation for longer, individual accounts. Finally, as the age of the early martyrs receded in time and Christianity produced new proselytizing and ascetic heroes, the desire for longer memorials in narrative form grew, and, with motives of instruction and exhortation to prayer providing additional impetus for composition, individual lives , frequently imbed-ded in sermons, became familiar parts of;private devotional exercises and monastic and public service. In,all three stages, the church ca l -endar provided a logical structure for grouping related works, and everywhere collections flourished. Examples of a l l three varieties survive in the Anglo-Latin and early English literary remains. Both prose and poetic simple calendars exist in Old English. Their contents are virtually identical (one i n -cludes thirty-seven, the other thirty-eight dates), but the verse Meno-4 logium with i t s characteristic Anglo-Saxon poetic devices is better known. The paucity of information contained in these listings i s well illustrated by the note on Gregory the Great, the chief instigator of the Christianization of the new Anglo-Saxon inhabitants of England: l5^nne se halga p3?s emb XI niht a^pele scynde Gregorius in godes ware, breme in Brytene. (11. 37-40) Proof that the calendars remained in vogue during the entire medieval period is offered by.Lydgate's fifteenth-century Kalendare.^ With the dates of the year inscribed line by line in the margin, the calendar i t s e l f becomes a poetic device determining the length of the.poem and forcing condensation of the notices. Here the number of anniversaries ' recorded rises to one hundred and ninety-two; and the anglicization of the genre is reflected by the introduction of many native saints. 73 Obviously, such works were inadequate instruments for use in the religious training of monks and l a i t y in a country distant in time and place from the events and shrines commemorated in them, and i t was necessary for clerics to write their own longer Latin and vernacular lives. Using the Martyrologium Hieronymianum in conjunction with longer vitae in his possession, Bede, for instance, produced a Latin martyrology between 725 and 731 which, probably because i t was one of the most c r i t i c a l and reliable examples of i t s kind, became a source book for writers in subsequent centuries.^ The intention of such works is c l a r i f i e d by Bede's assertion at the end of his Ecclesiastical History that he had not set out in the martyrology to provide either spiritual or l i t e r a l biographies but merely to commemorate the day and manner of each saint's death. 7 In fact, Bede's entries vary in length from the excessively brief II Kl. Oct. In Bethleem Iuda, deposition sancti Hieronimi presbyteri, g qui obiit anno nonagesimo primo. 9 through such notices as that of St. Quentin, to which the miracle of the rediscovery of his body is appended, to quite elaborate accounts such as that on St. Apollinaris, bishop of Ravenna, whose original ordination and assignment to missionary work by St. Peter are included together with a lengthy description of the tortures he endured.^ Four transcripts of an English example of this middle stage of development, known only as An Old English Martyrology (c. 850), are also extant.''"''' In this work, the notices are often so abbreviated that the editor suggests that they may have been mere reminders for a reader, probably a preacher, familiar with the events from other, presumably 12 Latin, sources. In any case, the accounts are similar to Bede's, though brief details of miracles more frequently appear. Longer lives were also common in England in the early Middle Ages. Much of Bede's Ecclesiastical History is comprised of lives of saintly kings, bishops, and other holy men, many of them deriving from earlier vitae; and Bede, of course, wrote both poetic and prose ver-sions of The Life of St. Cuthbert. The other most frequently cited Anglo-Latin lives of the period are The Life of St. Guthlac by Felix of Crowland and The Life of Gregory the Great written by an anonymous monk of Whitby. Though their merits are unequal, the best Latin lives f o l -low a continental model sometimes referred to as the Antonian after Evragius' Vita Antonii, the most influential and mature example of the form. The content of those lives which follow the Antonian model is a l l more or less consistent and is characterized by the following recognizable features: 1) an apology for the author's incapacity to perform the task before him; 2) an account of the parentage of the saint; 3) the recording of the wonders attendant on his birth; 4) a description of his vicious or rash youth; 5) a c a l l to the religious vocation accompanied by various mental struggles preceding acquiescence; 6) a departure for an isolated area; 7) a narration of battles with demons and other temptations; 8) the establishment of a growing reputa-tion for piety and holiness; 9) the appearance of groups of pilgrims seeking blessings and cures; and, inevitably, 10) an account of the 13 saint's death and the miracles which follow i t . Both Bede and Felix 75 follow the Antonian model. Though they seem eager to impress their readers with the credibility of the reports by reference to eyewitnes-ses, the verbal echoes of Evragius in Bede's work, and of both Evragius and Bede in Felix's, are f o r t i f i e d by some direct borrowing of actual 14 incident. However, their disregard for l i t e r a l truth stems not so much from ignorance of historical c r i t e r i a as from a belief in higher, ethical truths which transcend the factual details in the l i f e which they record. While the Latin model was being imitated in this way, another tradition was adopted i n the vernacular. Although they are quite dis-tinct, the well-known Anglo-Saxon poems Andreas, Elene,^ Juliana, and 16 Guthlac A and B share certain attributes with the prose lives found in compilations such as the Blickling Homilies,^ 7 Aelfric's Catholic  Homilies,^ and Lives of the Saints,^ and other individual works. Though they are a l l highly developed, these lives conform to a pattern (established in the martyrologies) of ignoring or truncating the events of a saint's l i f e which do not deal with his conversion, physical t r i -als, passion, or miracles. When the early history of a saint is dis-cussed, i t is treated perfunctorily, following certain conventions which w i l l be discussed shortly. The Andreas is concerned with the saint's adventures in Myrmi-donia; Elene really commemorates the discovery of the true cross; both of the Guthlac poems emphasize his t r i a l s and death; and the primary interest of the Juliana l i e s in her confrontation of the tyrant and her passion. The same focus on a single major event, or on a brief period 76 of time, is characteristic of the homilies. Other examples include the 20 Life of St. Chad, which does not begin u n t i l Chad has been made a 21 bishop; The Legend of St. Veronica, in which the interest in the saint i s entirely subordinated to the desire to procure the r e l i c to 22 cure Tyberius; and the Passion of St. Margaret, which, like the many treatments to follow, describes with reli s h the demons, dragons, and tortures, but leaves the saint l i t t l e more than a f l a t stereotype. It must be firmly maintained at this point that the type of l i f e just described, dealing exclusively with c r i t i c a l moments in the his-tory of the saint, was not an invention of Anglo-Saxon writers. Many continental Latin "passions" from which the English works derive were precisely this kind of l i f e . However, the adoption of this model, with i t s concomitant emphasis on marvels and debate to the exclusion of the broader Antonian concerns, established a vernacular tradition from which, as w i l l be shown, a l l four of Capgrave's saints' lives diverge. Although the continuity of the preserved records is often broken, hagiography in Middle English evinces few variations from the conven-tional patterns established i n the earlier period. The most frequently discussed early vernacular lives i n Middle English are the three heroic tales of virginity preserved and the devil defeated in the West-Midland Katherine-group. Much longer than the Old English homilies and most of the other prose lives, these legends s t i l l adhere to the English tradi-tion by their emphasis on the t r i a l s , torments, and martyrdom of the saints. The author of Seinte Marherete, for example, spends only twenty lines on the saint's biography before introducing her f i r s t 77 tormenter, and five of those lines are devoted to her choice of Christ 23 as her lover; the similar preamble to Seinte Iuliene i s even further 24 fore-shortened. Lives of other saints are similarly reduced and simplified: those of Joseph of Arimathea begin only after the cruci-25 fixion; those of St. Anne emphasize the birth and early l i f e of 26 Mary; St. George becomes exclusively a slayer of dragons; and young, native saints such as Edward and Kenelm are the innocent victims of treacherous plots. Lydgate's short legends f a l l into this category, as do the twelve lives Osbern Bokenham collected as the Legendys of Hooly 27 Wummen. When a saint is being treated whose l i f e is relatively 28 uneventful, such as St. Robert of Knaresborough, there is certainly a tendency to manufacture activities and miracles, and the distinction between these and the Antonian type blurs — except insofar as the sub-ject of the short l i f e never wavers in his faith; he may be attacked but he is never tempted, and there i s thus l i t t l e or no sp i r i t u a l growth evident. Moreover, when the saint has sinned, like St. Mary of 29 Egypt or St. Julian, the emphasis a l l f a l l s on the expiation and on God's grace and forgiveness. Besides the South English Legendary and the Northern Homily 30 Cycle, other English and Latin collections flourished in the Middle English period. In the f i r s t part of the 14th century, John of Tyne-31 mouth produced a Latin Sanctilogium organized according to the calen-dar which, revised, enlarged, and rearranged in alphabetical order, has 32 long been attributed to Capgrave under the t i t l e , Nova Legenda Anglia. The most popular of the European collections was Jacob of Voragine's 78 33 Legenda Aurea. Long before the f i r s t complete translation was made 34 in 1438, i t s 192 short chapters proved a compendious reference work for the compilers of sermon collections which remained in vogue u n t i l well beyond Capgrave's time. Two known compilations are John Mirk's 35 Festial and the anonymous Speculum Sacerdotale. Both of these works were apparently composed a generation before Capgrave was writing, and i f they were not actually known to him, certainly they i l l u s t r a t e the kind of vernacular l i f e with which he was familiar. Like the short Latin lives just mentioned, and the other English types which have been previously considered, these works: ignore or rapidly, pass over the saints' early days and, except for occasional brief catalogues of mir-acles, portray their subjects as unswerving in their course toward martyrdom. As prose compositions, these sermons are often s t y l i s t i c a l -ly immature. Few transitions are employed as the preacher recounts the events documenting the history of the saint's l i f e , and the l i t t l e unity that exists depends almost exclusively on the opening explanation of the significance of the feast day and upon the closing exhortation to prayer. Apart from the representative lives already discussed, i t should be noted that there were also Anglo-Norman lives — many of them writ-ten on the Antonian model — dealing with nearly contemporary, or at least historically verifiable, saints, and usually directed at a more learned audience. However, because these l i e outside the English ver-nacular and belong to a different hagiographic tradition, they are less germane to a discussion of Capgrave's art than those types, already 79 surveyed, which belong to the early English and Latin literary remains. The differences between certain f u l l y developed Latin lives that ap-proximate biographical methodology by their subordination of miracles to higher sp i r i t u a l and ethical aims and that large and important class of brief Latin and vernacular lives which, by their reliance on conven-tions and on the cataloguing of incredible marvels, concentrate on a single event or quality has already been pointed out. It remains now to identify these conventions and to elaborate the reasons for their use by English writers of saints' lives. II No extant work contains a l l the features which might be des-cribed as "typical" of the saint's l i f e , but i f such a l i f e did exist, i t would follow something like this pattern, presented in chronological order. The noble parents of the saint are aged and barren. If they are Christians, the birth of the child w i l l attest to their great piety. If not, they w i l l either die early in the child's l i f e or be converted to the true faith by him; most commonly, however, such par-ents are rejected by their offspring. Irrespective of their religious convictions, the parents are generally given some premonition of the child's greatness, sometimes by means of a vision, or perhaps by a light issuing from the child's mouth. From i t s earliest days, the child manifests signs of virtue and an aptness for learning. If the saint is pagan by birth, he w i l l be converted suddenly, often through the agency of heavenly visions and conversations, frequently accompanied 80 by a period of fasting reminiscent of Christ in the wilderness. A female saint w i l l almost certainly become the object of advances by the lord of the land or his son; and, as she has already sworn perpetual virginity, she w i l l reject his offers. Male saints have rather more di f f i c u l t y running headlong into martyrdom, but their testing leads equally to a rejection which infuriates the lord or emperor, who, dis-covering that the saint i s a Christian, threatens dire consequences i f the saint refuses to make sacrifice to the pagan gods. During the re-fusal, or a series of refusals couched in the most aggressive and defi-ant terms, the saint proves the worthlessness of the pagan gods by causing statues of idols to f a l l and through his actions converts many of the learned men in the kingdom. Next the saint is subjected to physical tortures such as scourging with iron rods which enable him to exhibit both his fearlessness and the intensity of his belief. While incarcerated in a dark and f i l t h y prison where he is given no food, the saint is visited, fed, and healed of his wounds by angelic attendants who flood the c e l l with light and sweet odour; they also give the saint the courage and strength to overcome the devils and monsters who threaten his endurance. During his confinement, the saint frequently converts both his j a i l e r and sometimes even members of the lord's im-mediate family who, professing their Christianity, are executed before the saint. Removed from his prison c e l l , the saint, persisting in his refusal to revere the pagan gods, is subjected to public tortures, such as f i r e s , racks, and boiling o i l , none of which can k i l l him. In his severest agonies he prophesies events of the future and converts 81 thousands of by-standers. Before he i s f i n a l l y executed with a sword, the saint prays that a l l who ask grace in his name be granted i t , and a sign from heaven confirms that his prayer has been heard. After the saint's death, the body remains incorruptible and perfumed o i l seeps from the tomb; visions of the saint are seen amid the heavenly choir, and miracles are performed at the sepulchre. As the above reconstruction indicates, most of the events in saints' lives are highly romanticized. Besides the conventional cata-logue of events, and the etymology of the saint's name which often introduces the l i f e , other reiterated motifs are apparent, especially those relating to the miracles performed by the saints. These legends clearly echo incidents from the lives of Christ and the prophets. Samuel, Mary, and John the Baptist, for instance, were a l l born to aged and barren parents, and each of their respective births was preceded by an annunciation. The rejection of pagan parents reflects the total immersion in Christ's way and recalls Christ's wedding command that the husband shall leave his father's house and cleave unto his wife (that i s , the church). Similarly, the refusal of worldly wealth, sometimes represented by the suitor, follows Christ's injunction to give up a l l earthly goods and signifies a desire for s p i r i t u a l values. Signs of early virtue and learning parallel Christ's youth and recall his ap-pearance with the doctors i n the temple. The aff l i c t i o n s to which the saint i s subjected, especially the scourgings, are certainly intended to remind the reader (or listener) of Christ's passion; and the incor-r u p t i b i l i t y of the saint's body and the visions of him among the 82 heavenly choirrare conscious, reminders of the Resurrection and Ascen-sion. Even the miracles performed by the saint during his l i f e , or after at his tomb, are modelled on accounts of Christ. Chiefly, these miracles concern physical cures, but some,saints are credited with res-urrections and the exorcising of devils. That these parallels are inten-tional seems clear from the fact that the authors of saints' lives a r b i t r a r i l y assign actions, speeches, visions, and miracles to indi-vidual saints without any regard for documentary evidence. Indeed, there is no perceptible difference in the treatment of historical saints and wholly f i c t i o n a l ones whose entire l i f e may depend on a 36 false etymology or on the misreading of a source inscription. The stereotyped personalities, the recurrence of identical tor-tures in the martyrdom of the saints, and the repetition of miracles which they are reputed to have performed.have long.been used, together with distinct verbal echoes and even direct borrowings, as evidence against the historicity of the events.recorded. Yet praise has been given to such Old English religious poems as Guthlac and Andreas as . survivals of a form which preserves to some degree the heroic motifs of the pagan myths; and Aelfric's Lives of the Saints, coming at the end of the early period, are regarded as examples of the means by which Christian stories were passed on to the people. When they encounter the medieval legendaries, however, c r i t i c s begin to speak with scorn of the credulity of the authors and auditors, of the physical torments and of the sheer repetitiousness of events. Some few works such as Chau-cer's Second Nun's Tale and Lydgate's The Life of Our Lady are conceded 83 genuine a r t i s t i c merit but the majority of saints' lives are considered merely quaint examples of the credulous piety of medieval man. Such a view of the genre is oversimplified. What has too often been obscured is the fact that the authors of saints' lives, motivated as they certainly were by pious devotion, possessed a conception of 37 ethical as opposed to historical truth which in i t s effect posits a demand not unlike Coleridge's "willing suspension of disbelief," which is requisite both for the poet who seeks to create and the reader who wants to perceive. Whatever the credulous reader-listener may have believed, the theologians, and most of the writers, denied both the importance of miracles themselves and those standards of historical veracity which are today adduced against them. There is no need to repeat here the arguments by which Father Delehaye, C.W. Jones, and others following them have amply illustrated the universalizing quali-ties apparent in the development of martyrologies and saints' lives from the calendars. These writers have clearly shown that as early as the 8th Century writers were perfectly aware that they were writing moral exempla rather than l i t e r a l histories of the saints. To Augus-tine and Gregory, miracles were no more than manifestations of the goodness of God which could be easily comprehended by the vulgar. Because God's grace rather than the event was important, i t mattered l i t t l e that a specific action was attributed to the wrong person or, indeed, that the chronological sequence of events might be violated. Appeals to authority and insistence that the author is conforming as closely as he can to l i t e r a l truth must be understood to be subordinate 84 to the primary aim of exhortation to the good l i f e , a view made unequiv-ocal by the anonymous author of the Anglo-Latin Life of St. Gregory: And neither should anyone be offended i f any of these deeds were actually done by some other of the saints, since the holy apostle, through the mystery of one body with i t s members the saints, by comparing i t with the living body has so brought them into union that we should attribute to each member the works of the other in turn. Jo Because the saints are seen as ideals, assembled in a heavenly commu-nity of souls, praise of one is honour for a l l ; and in a metaphorical, or perhaps even an ethical, sense, they a l l j o i n in any "saintly" act or virtue. Therefore, i t was not regarded as reprehensible to a t t r i -bute any action or words to a saint so long as they accorded with the kind of behaviour he might have been expected to practice. In fact, since real documents were so scarce, the majority of saints' lives were constructed on precisely this principle. Too many literary c r i t i c s seem to expect from saints' lives the sophistication of modern f i c t i o n or biography. Working backwards from contemporary aesthetic principles, they look for evidence of r e a l i s t i c characterization — motivation, revelation, development, internal i l l u -mination or awareness — and would exact from the genre qualities that i t never possessed and purposes which were never intended by the authors. As a mode, saints' lives are monolithic i n structure; a l l elements are subordinated to the controlling moral function. Inten-tionally didactic, the lives work from a fixed set of assumptions. It is inconceivable in hagiography, for example, that any sympathy should be expressed either for heretics or for persecutors of martyrs; and the 85 portraits of tyrants are infused with every e v i l t r a i t that the author can marshal. If the modern reader is tempted to find these unrelieved and hyperbolic characterizations ludicrous, he should remember that they are meant to be read as iconographic symbols of e v i l rather than as individuals with a flesh and blood reality. Characters in saints' lives do not exist for their own sakes, or independent of the didactic intent that colours the whole presentation. Flat, stereotyped charac-ters and conventional, unmotivated actions are simply the components, 39 not so much the limitations, of the species as i t was conceived. I l l Thus, when Capgrave decided, in 1440, to translate a Latin prose saint's l i f e into English verse, he was working in a well-established and conventional genre with which he was undoubtedly thoroughly famil-iar. The popularity of the species, especially among clerics, makes i t self-evident that he had read and heard a great many examples before embarking on his own adaptation. Even the metrical form he chose for his f i r s t two works, rime royal, was no innovation; both Chaucer and 40 Lydgate had employed the form for similar purposes and Capgrave knew the works of both these famous predecessors, i f not their many imita-tors . The only reasonable explanation for Capgrave's sudden turn from the composition of Latin scriptural exegeses, scholastic treatises, and other theological works to English vernacular poetry at the age of forty-seven is accident. Piously willing to accept the task imposed by 86 his friend John Wygenhale, he nowhere evinces a natural inclination for translation or for the popularization of seldom-read texts. Neverthe-less, within eleven years Capgrave did produce four saints' lives; and they contain enough shared traits and commentaries to show ful l y and clearly what was one 15th-century author's conception of the genre. The studies of the individual works which appear in later chapters w i l l demonstrate that Capgrabe's handling of the species bears more the stamp of his education than of his personality, and that while he f o l -lowed identifiable principles in his adaptations, he seldom diverges very far from his immediate source. whether or not Capgrave actually revised John of Tynemouth's Sanctilogium, a series of narratives on the lives of the English saints arranged according to the calendar year, he doubtless knew i t or other collections of short lives based on the Legenda Aurea just as most other clerics did. As a scholar who had had the opportunity to use the convent libraries in the studia at London and Cambridge, he was also probably familiar with a large number of longer ones; and his acquaint-ance with them would have reinforced his tendency to include more scenes than the usual English l i f e . But, as later chapters w i l l show, his rendering of them is much more elaborate and dramatic than that of his antecedents. Capgrave's vernacular works are thus distinct from most of the works in the "native" tradition, because they are Antonian, delineating the whole of a saint's career. In the one case where his source did not deal with the saint's ancestry or early years at a l l , The Life of St. Augustine, Capgrave supplied the lacunae from other 87 sources. Partially because of this tendency, and even more because they modify the contents of their immediate and f a i r l y lengthy Latin sources only slightly, Capgrave's works are much longer than most Eng-l i s h writings, with the exception of one or two of Lydgate's works 41 which in length r i v a l Capgrave's Life of St. Norbert. A l l of Capgrave's vernacular lives share these superficial and obvious qualities of length and completeness — qualities which immedi-ately differentiate them from other contemporary lives in English. In addition, however, they have in common at least four more subtle ele-ments — relating to their genesis, point of view, sources, and style — which identify them as the products of a single, individual writer who is exercising conscious control over his materials. F i r s t , three of the four works were written at the request not of a patron but of a friend: The Life of St. Norbert for John Wygen-hale, abbot of the Premonstratensian monastery at West Dereham; The Life of St. Augustine for an unnamed gentlewoman born on the saint's feast day; and The Life of St. Gilbert for the Master of the Order of Sempringham, Nicholas Reysby. The other l i f e , St_. Katherine, was a translation into his own dialect of an earlier English l i f e preserved at the Lynn convent. Since St. Katherine was specially honoured by the order, the prior may well have asked Capgrave to prepare his version. for the information of the less-learned members of the order. The fact that the Katherine exists in four manuscripts, none of them Capgrave's 42 holograph and a l l 6 f Norfolk or Suffolk provenance, reinforces the possibility that the work was intended mainly for local dissemination. 88 If such were the case, i t is probable that Capgrave would assume his readers were aware of his purpose and that he would have no need for honouring a dedicatee. Second, in each of his works, Capgrave observes the rhetorical topos of alleging his incapacity for his task, though he is by no means unique among writers of English saints' lives in his employment of this device. Bokenham's Prologue to the Legendys of Hooly Wummen and Lyd-gate's Prologue to The Life of Our Lady contain but two of the many contemporary examples of i t s use, and Chaucer's whole comic pretense of dullness throughout his works is an adaptation of the theme. S t i l l , the device is more usual in Latin than in English writings, and Cap-43 grave uti l i z e s i t in both English and Latin. His most elaborate extension of the apologetic technique occurs in The Life of St. Norbert where his simple assertion that he is "of rymeris now pe leest" (1. 5) is f o r t i f i e d by other conventional motifs associated with the theme: that he has been ordered to write the Life; that c r i t i c s are so severe in this age that nothing escapes their censure; that he bears great love to his subject; and that he hopes the matter w i l l be honoured even i f the manner be deplorable. The amount of space devoted to the apolo-gy is considerably reduced in his later works. In the St_. Katherine, for example, he asks in the most glancing way only for indulgence: Trostyng on other men pat her charyte Schall helpe me in pis cas to wryte and to seyn. (11. 234-235) In The Life of St. Augustine, he moves even farther as he grants that he is "sumwhat endewid in l e t t i r u r " (p. 1, 1. 9), although he s t i l l 89 maintains the f i c t i o n of humility by adding, "3et dar I not take/ up-on me forto be dettour on-to hem bat be endewid in sciens mor ban I" (p.l, 11. 9-11). And in The Life of St. Gilbert, the topos i s reduced to the formulaic statement, "I, ffrer I. C., amongis doctouris lest" (p. 61, 1. 3), before he passes on to a l i t e r a l explanation of the request for the translation. A third feature a l l four lives share is their dependence on specified sources. Capgrave uses such general line f i l l e r s as "myne auctour seyth" and "as be bok t e l l i t h " as often as do other medieval authors in his poetic lives, but he goes beyond them in both poetry and prose by describing in sufficient detail to make recognizable the work he is translating. The Life of St. Norbert derives directly from the standard Latin l i f e of the saint with revisions and additions which had been made by the end of the 12th century. Obviously, Capgrave does not describe his source in such precise terms, but he announces at the out-set that his purpose is to "sewe and translate pis story" (1. 23); and when he comes to the point where the Latin concludes the f i r s t descrip-tion of the Life, he not only makes a firm conclusion but he also ex-plains the nature of the briefer rescension, made by a brother of the Cappenburg monastery, which he is about to translate: These wordis folowand ar drawyn f u l schortly Owt of a book bat l i t h at Capenbregense Her foundouris l i f is wrytin ber seriously; But bei hem-selve bus in schorter sentense Brigged i t thus on-to be complacense Of her breberin, which desired bis l i f And of her desire were r i t h inquysitif (11. 3851-3857) The "seriously" in the third line clearly refers to the longer l i f e . 90 Much of the long prologue to The Life of St. Katherine is an account of the unfinished poetic version which Capgrave had before him. Twice he refers to the "straungenesse of [the] dyrke langage" (1. 62, 1. 209); and later he speculates on the dialect of the author, a man he identifies only as a sometime "parson of Seynt Pancras": Of the west cuntre i t semeth pat he was, Be his maner of speche and be his style; (Book I, Prologue, 11. 225-226) For the last book of his Life, Capgrave had to turn to a second source which he "translated now newe fro Latyn" (Book V, Prologue, 1. 62). In this instance, neither the poetic nor the prose source has survived. In the case of the prose lives, only one has an extant source. By whatever process of transmission he received i t , Capgrave translates a Life of St. Augustine written just over a century earlier by another Augustinian f r i a r at the Paris convent. This author Capgrave never identifies by name, and, indeed, this work contains fewer references to his source than do his other writings. Since there can be l i t t l e doubt that Capgrave himself knew the provenance of his source, i t is reason-able to assume, following the argument for his omitting a dedication to The Life of St. Katherine, that he regarded material emanating from his own order as common property, to whose compiler no particular reference need be made. The Life of St. Gilbert presents far more d i f f i c u l t problems regarding sources, and a great part of a later chapter is devoted to a reconstruction of the probable primary source. At this point, i t need only be noted that Capgrave directly states in his prologue (p.61, 11. 91 15-18) that he has been asked to make a translation, and that he recog-nizes a break in his source at the end of Chapter 13. It i s natural that close adherence to widely varying sources would obscure many of the common features of style which are associated with a single author, and certainly i t is not easy to isolate s t y l i s t i c features which identify a work as unmistakably by Capgrave. Neverthe-less, although he seems never to have been concerned with recasting his source in order to make his own "style" predominate, there are a number of characteristic methods of adaptation which he consistently employs. Despite the great length of his own translations, Capgrave omits, and readily admits to so doing, passages which he considers prolix, repetitive, or irrelevant. He is harshest on the author of the "west cuntre" Life of St. Katherine. Omitting passages from Kath-erine's debate with the philosophers, Capgrave suggests that while there may be those who love argument for i t s own sake, he finds repeti-tion boring: But the same resons that other dede sewe Reherseth my[n] auctor, as he dooth f u l ofte I suffer the leuys to lyL~e]n s t i l l e f u l softe, lete other men here hem that love nugacyon; (Bk. IV, 11. 2112-2115, i t a l i c s added) and: Eke a l this mater, as thenketh me, A- forn i s his werk bis man dede i t tras; Wherfore fro alle these bus schortly I pas, Supposyng that bis same prolyxite Wulde make men wery of reedynge to be. (Bk. IV, 11. 2152-2156) Later, he dismisses another part of the debate as irrelevant: 92 . . . but this dilatacyon, As me thynketh, longeth not to this lyf present, It occupieth ny a l the newe testament, That men myght plod i n her, i f bat hem lyst, Wherfore myn entent I wold that 3e wyst: I love no longe tale, evere hangynge in oon. (Bk. IV, 11. 2278-2283) Sometime, he does retain a passage but hints at i t s irrelevance as he explains i t s inclusion. For example, because he was engaged in certain marriage negotiations, St. Norbert happened to arrive in Spires when the bishop of Magdeburg was being chosen. The report of the d i f f i c u l t i e s in arranging the marriage is both disjointed and frag-mented in the Latin. Capgrave, however, instead of either summarizing or omitting i t , carries the flaw over into his version and clumsily tries to rectify the awkwardness: But of pis mater schul we sese as now, Myn auctour telleth of i t not o word moo. Be-cause i t longeth not to be lyneal bow Of Norbertes lyf but rennyth berfro a l row, He bout3 i t was but a mater occasionate, Whech broute bis Norbert to his grete a-state. (11. 2816-2821) Such omissions and explanations are by no means the only indications that Capgrave did not follow his sources verbatim. He contradicts his author when he feels he has better authority: In bis reknyng myne auctour & I are too: ffor he acordeth not wyt3 cronicles bat ben olde, But diuersyth from hem, & bat in many thyngis per he acordyth, ber I hym hold; And where he diuersyth in ordre of beis kyngis, I leve hym, & to oder mennys rekenyngis I 3eue more credens whech be-fore hym & me Sette a l l bese men i n ordre & degre. (Katherine, Bk. I, 11. 686-693) And, i f he is not wholly convinced, he cites additional p o s s i b i l i t i e s : 93 . . . be othir hith bus, As bis story seith, Petir be leoun; But othir bokes sey he hith Anacletus. (Norbert, 11. 3547-3549) Occasionally, too, he moves to another source i f he feels that his principal author is insufficiently clear or not detailed enough. When the important subject of the incarnation is being discussed, for example, Capgrave w i l l not trust a translation of his source's "derk" speech: And yet his langage vnnethe I undirstande; Wherfore with other auctouris I enforce hym thus, Which spoke more pregnauntly as in this matere. (Katherine, Bk. IV, 11. 2198-2200) Similarly, there are passages in which he indicates his recourse to other works, even i f his search has been unproductive. Thus, he reasons about Norbert's birthplace: This mannys name Norbert boo bei called; Of Teutonys nacioun, be story seith r i t h soo; Whech word made me of stody a l a-palled; For whedyr i t is a cyte weel I-walled Or elles a cuntre, auctouris touch him nowt. But aftirward, whann I was bettir be- bowt, I supposed pan pis cuntre stant in Germayne Be-cause pis man, of whech we haue now told, Was sumtyme dwelling in be cite of Colayne. (Norbert, 11. 79-87) These comparisons are a logical extension of Capgrave's exegeti-cal training, during which he was taught to collate commentaries and texts with painstaking care and to look for any unresolved issues which they might contain. Further, because he learned to explain the l i t e r a l and allegorical meanings of b i b l i c a l stories, i n a l l his lives he both explicates b i b l i c a l references, drawing significant parallels between 94 these and similar events in the saint's l i f e , and extends these by pro-viding the appropriate moral applications. His thoroughgoing use of this technique of elaboration w i l l be demonstrated in later chapters, but i t is interesting to note at this point that Capgrave employs chiefly moral exhortation in the St.. Norbert, a combination in the St. Katherine, and almost exclusively explication in the two prose lives. About the basic materials of his lives Capgrave shows l i t t l e skepticism, and he makes few attempts to expand his narrative beyond l i t e r a l reporting. The prefigurations of the unborn Norbert and G i l -bert's greatness; the marvels attending the conversions of Augustine, Norbert and Katherine; the gifts of prophecy revealed in Gilbert and Katherine; the visions seen by the saints or by their close associates; and most of the miracles — a l l are simply accepted as they occur in the source and included without reference to their spiritual implica-tions. However, since he had not himself made the selection of mate-r i a l s , i t would be an unfair judgment to suggest that CW. Jones' 44 statement that for the medieval theologian miracula = virtutes, that i s , that miracles are only important as manifestations of the saint's virtue, is not applicable in Capgrave's case. There are many instances when he questions the means by which something was achieved or the actual nature of the event. Thus, he says he cannot explain how Adrian was transported from his c e l l to Alexandria and back, or how the celes-t i a l beings who received Katherine in the desert appeared to her. In these cases, he suggests that the miraculous is inexpressible i n human terms. Sometimes, indeed, he states that i t is not required of faith 95 to believe the circumstances of his story, as when he describes the way in which Katherine is miraculously fed in prison: . . . I wil no man bynde But i f he wil, for to leue my tale. She was fed — that haue we of trewthe; (Katherine, Bk. V, 11. 910-912) Moreover, in the lives of St_. Norbert and ^ t . Katherine, where pagans people the stage, Capgrave frequently points out the efficacy of mira-cles in conversion, and i n both lives he is careful to apply sp i r i t u a l interpretations to physical events. The healing of Katherine's wounds, for example, shows that Thus can oure lord redresse a l doloure whiche men suffre, be i t in heed or sole, (Bk. V, 11. 834-835) And, following one of Norbert's miraculous escapes from a would-be murderer, he says: Thus a l l men bat wil our Lord plese Schul scape daungeris, P O U 3 pat pei be grete, (11. 3260-3261) Also, there i s no doubt that the majority of miracles which occur in these lives occur because of the singular virtue of the saint, which they are intended to i l l u s t r a t e . On the other hand, when the miracles can be read as symbolic representations of internal struggles - as i n the case of St. Norbert's many battles with an especially stubborn devil, or in the slanders which both Norbert and Gilbert endure - Capgrave never presses the interpretation on the reader. For him, ethical issues are enforced by direct exhortation; they may be suggested by the actions of a saint 96 but they are not regarded as direct corollaries. Finally, one or two examples w i l l suffice to show that Capgrave did adhere to the conception of "ethical" as opposed to "his t o r i c a l " truth, outlined earlier in this chapter. Each of his lives tends to follow a roughly chronological line, though in both the j3jt. Norbert and the St_. Gilbert there are in fact two rescensions. Nevertheless, Cap-grave says in the jTt. Norbert that there is no need to follow any order in recording the acts (1. 1799). He also clearly believed that unau-thenticated, or even historically untrue, good words and deeds could be attributed to a saint, for he is untroubled by the many new speeches that he adds in his lives. If, however, a man's character might be damaged by a false conclusion, he refuses to proceed without authority: Ne I my-selue l i s t not for to ryme Neythir of her vertues ne of her cryme, But i f I fond therfor sum auctoryte. Me pinkith reson pat i t so schuld be. (Norbert, 11. 1992-1995) A l l these t r a i t s , which can be found to a greater or lesser extent in other medieval writers, place Capgrave firmly in the tradi-tion of his time. In combination, however, they coalesce to produce a literary persona and give to Capgrave's writings a character that is distinctly his own. Certainly, Capgrave is no Chaucer viewing l i f e humanely and humourously; neither i s he a Langland trying to capture truths in a language that Capgrave would have regarded as "mysty" i n -deed. His mind and his method were concrete, and he modified his sources chiefly for purposes of cl a r i t y . To comprehend how he worked, how he made the figurative l i t e r a l , and how he achieved so many a r t i s t i c a l l y effective scenes is the aim of successive chapters which examine in detail his individual works. 98 Footnotes References to Capgrave's works are provided internally through-out. Though seemingly inconsistent, references are determined by '/ the available text of each work. Because The Life of St. Katherine, ed. C. Horstmann, E.E.T.S., O.S. 100 (London, 1893), is enumerated separately in the Prologue and i n each of the individual books, nota-tions include both book and line numbers (e.g. Katherine, Bk. I, 11. 35-36); The Life of St. Norbert (unpublished MS. edition of W.H. Claw-son) is consecutively numbered and cited only by line reference (e.g. Norbert, 11. 3216-24); The Lives of St. Augustine and Sjt. Gilbert of  Sempririgham, ed. J.J. Munro, E.E.T.S., O.S. 140 (London, 1910), are referred to by page and line number. ^Notably, Hippolyte Delehaye, Henri Quentin, Rene Aigrain, and, for English lives in particular, C.W. Jones, Bertram Colgrave, and, most recently, Theodore Wolpers. See the Bibliography. 2 In many of his books and articles, Father Delehaye has shown that supposedly original documents are in reality later reconstructions. Chapter one of his Passions des martyrs et les genres litte"raires (2nd. ed., Bruxelles, 1966), for example, is largely devoted to the subject. In addition, as Rene Aigrain points out in L'Hagiographie (Paris, 1953, p. 95), as early as the 16th century scholars such as Baronius knew that the "Acts," that i s , the testimonies of the ancient martyrs, had been destroyed on Diocletian's orders and that available documents were only inventions or ill-remembered remains. 3 For an interesting discussion of the timeless and pagan solar calendar which became the basis of the church calendar and of the Heb-raic lunar calendar which, originally used to establish the dates of the moveable feasts, became the recording table for historical events, see C.W. Jones, Saints' Lives and Chronicles in Early England (Ithaca, 1947), 5-13. 4 The Anglo-Saxon Minor Poems, ed. E. Dobbie, Vol. VI of The  Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records (New York, 1942), 49-55. "*The Minor Poems of John Lydgate, ed. H.N. MacCracken, E.E.T.S., E.S. 107 (London, 1911), 363-377. Henri Quentin, Les Martyrologes historiques du moyen age (Paris, 1908), 17-119. In his lengthy opening chapter on Bede, Quentin evaluates the manuscripts and attempts to demonstrate what the precise nature of the original was before later accretions. See The Old English Version of Bede's Ecclesiastical History, ed. T. Miller, E.E.T.S., O.S. 96 (London, 1890), 484. g Quentin, p. 108. 9Ibid., p. 110. 1 0 I b i d . , p. 106. U E d . G. Herzfeld, E.E.T.S., O.S. 116 (London, 1900). 1 2 T M , Ibid., p. x i . 13 Adapted from the comments of Bertram Colgrave, "The Earliest Saints' Lives Written in England," Proceedings of the British Academy, XLIV (1958), 38. 14 Ibid., p. 52. 1 5The Vercelli Book, ed. G.P. Krapp, Vol. II of The Anglo-Saxon  Poetic Records (New York, 1932), 3-51, 66-102. 1 6The Exeter Book, ed. G.P. Krapp and E.V. Dobbie, Vol. I l l of The Anglo-Saxon Poetic Records (New York, 1936), 49-88, 113-133. 1 7Ed. R. Morris, E.E.T.S., O.S. 58, 63, 73 (London, 1880). 18 Ed. B. Thorpe, 2 vols. (London, 1844, 1846). 19 Ed. W.W. Skeat, E.E.T.S., O.S. 76, 82 (London, 1881), and O.S. 94, 114 (London, 1900). 20 Ed. Rudolf Vleeskruyer (Amsterdam, 1953). 21 Anglesachsische Homilien und Heiligenleben, ed. Bruno Assmann, III (Darmstadt, 1964), 181-192. 2 2 I b i d . , 170-180. 2 3Ed. F.M. Mack, E.E.T.S., O.S. 193 (London, 1934), p. 4. 1. 15 -p. 6, 1. 21. 24 Ed. S.R.T.O, d'Ardenne, E.E.T.S., O.S. 248 (London, 1961), p. 3, 1. 11 - p. 5, 1. 21. 2 5Ed. W.W. Skeat, E.E.T.S., O.S. 44 (London, 1871). 26 Ed. R.E. Parker, E.E.T.S., O.S. 174 (London, 1930). 27 Ed. M.S. Serjeantson, E.E.T.S., O.S. 206 (London, 1938). 28 Ed. J. Bazire, E.E.T.S., O.S. 228 (London, 1953). 100 29 These and other saints' lives for which editions are not separately cited are found most frequently i n collections such as those noted below. 30 Eds. C. D'Evelyn and A.J. M i l l , E.E.T.S., O.S. 235, 236 (London, 1956), with an introduction by C. D'Evelyn in E.E.T.S., O.S. 244 (London, 1959). 31 John of Tynemouth was a monk at St. Alban's when he made his collection. He apparently travelled extensively in a diligent search for sources. However, the earliest manuscript (Cotton Tiberius E 1) is fire-damaged and has never been printed. None of the extant 15th-cen-tury manuscripts include Capgrave's name, and i t is unlikely that the attribution of the work to him can ever be made with certainty. For a f u l l discussion see Nova Legenda Anglie: As Collected by John of  Tynemouth, John Capgrave and Others, and F i r s t Printed, with New Lives by Wynkyn de Worde, ed. Carl Horstmann, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1901). 32 See above reference. 33 Ed. T. Graesse (Dresden, 1846). 34 One of the many valuable articles dealing with the establish-ment of a genuine text of Voragine's work by screening out later accre-tions is Sister Mary Jeremy's "Caxton's Golden Legend and Varagine's Legenda Aurea," Speculum, XXI (1946), 211-211. 3 5Ed. T. Erbe, E.E.T.S., O.S. 96 (London, 1905), and E.H. Weatherly, E.E.T.S., O.S. 200 (London, 1936). 36 ' H. Delehaye, The Legends of the Saints, trans. D. Attwater (London, 1962), 61-62, discusses several examples of just such misread-ing. Delehaye also surveys other ways in which apparently historical but purely f i c t i o n a l saints are created. 37 This idea is most explicitly stated in Jones, p. 83, but i t is basic to most of the recent historians of the saint's l i f e . 38 The Life of St. Gregory, in Jones, p. 118. The early part of this l i f e also includes a discussion of miracles as a demonstration of relative saintliness (see especially p. 99); and the work makes no pretense to chronological order in i t s recitation of anecdotes. 39 Despite the attempts at rehabilitation, and a f a i r l y general acceptance of the principles involved, there has been no wide-spread change of attitude towards the saints' lives. Guthlac's battles, Margaret's dragon, and the tale told by Chaucer's second nun have cap-tured c r i t i c s ' imaginations by their fineness of imagery and by the intensity of their feelings of religious or poetic fervour. Dozens of 101 other fine passages are buried unread in works that have never been anthologized. In the Life of St. Thomas a. Becket in the South English  Legendary, to cite only one example, the archbishop is not examined for human flaws as he has been by countless historians, and in many modern plays. Instead, with a l l the accoutrements of predicated holiness, wise youth, and chastity present during his engagement with secular a c t i v i t i e s , he becomes through his speeches a real and steadfast de-fender of the faith, devoid of the overbearing arrogance so common in other lives. 40 Chaucer's two saints' lives, The Prioress's Tale and The  Second Nun's Tale, are both in rime royal as are his two stories of long-suffering women, The Man of Law's Tale and The Clerk's Tale. Many of Lydgate's saints' lives are also in rime royal: The Life of Our  Lady, St. Austin at Compton, Edmund and Fremund, The Legend of St. George, The Legend of St. Margaret. St. Albon and St. Amphabel is a mixture of seven and eight line stanzas. 41 The Lyf of Our Lady has 5932 lines, Edmund and Fremund 3694, and Albon and Amphabel 4724; The Life of St, Norbert has 4109 lines, and The Life of St. Katherine 8624. 42 The evidence is partially orthographic-linguistic (see F.J. Furnivall's Introduction to The Life of St. Katherine, pp. xxiv-xxxi) and partially circumstantial. Even the manuscript with the least of Capgrave's forms (Arundel 396) once belonged to the Canonesses of St. Augustine of Campsey Ash Priory, Suffolk. See A. de Meijer, "John Capgrave, O.E.S.A.," Augustiniana, VII (1957), 564. 43 In De Illustribus Henricis, ed. F.C. Hingston (London, 1858), p. 1, i t appears as "suus infirmus servulus, Frater Johannes Capgrave, Doctorum minimus . . . ," and in the Dedication to his Genesis Commen-tary (Ibid., p. 229) as "suus humilis in Christo, et orator sedulus, frater Johannes, inter Doctores minimus." None of his other extant Latin work is printed. 44 ^P. 76. CHAPTER III THE LIFE OF ST. NORBERT I To judge from preserved records, John Capgrave had had no practice in vernacular composition nor shown any inclination towards i t when he undertook to provide an English version of The Life of St. Norbert for John Wygenhale, the abbot of the Premonstratensian monas-tery at West Dereham. Since the poem is unpublished, i t s Latin source accessible but hardly known, and the saint himself unfamiliar to most English-speaking people, a summary of Norbert's well-documented career must precede any evaluation of Capgrave's motives or achievement in his version. This biographical survey w i l l also serve to distinguish Norbert from the other saints Capgrave commemorated, particularly St. Gilbert, Norbert's contemporary, who, like him, also established a religious order; and i t w i l l indicate the degree to which the h i s t o r i -cal figure has been subordinated to the v i r Dei in the poem i t s e l f . Born at Xanten between 1080 and 1085, Norbert was highly con-nected on both sides. His father was count of Gennep and a cousin of the Emperor Henry V. His mother was a descendant of the dukes of Lorraine and her most important blood relative was Godfrey of Bouillon, the king of Jerusalem. For their eldest son, Norbert, they provided the formal education typical of noble families, and at the age of eight or nine Norbert was preferred as a subdeacon to the prebend of the 103 c o l l e g e of canons a t X a n t e n . D e s p i t e h i s mother's hopes, N o r b e r t d i d n o t i n i t i a l l y embark on a r e l i g i o u s c a r e e r . A f t e r s p e n d i n g some t i m e as a member of t h e w o r l d l y c o u r t of t h e b i s h o p o f C o l o g n e , F r e d e r i c k of C a r i n t h i a , N o r b e r t j o i n e d t h e emperor's c o u r t and c o u n c i l , where as c h a p l a i n he e x e r t e d c o n s i d e r a b l e i n f l u e n c e and f r e q u e n t l y spoke i n t h e emperor's name. The o n l y p a r t i c u l a r mark o f p i e t y he e x h i b i t e d d u r i n g t h e s e y e a r s was i n t h e y e a r 1111, when, h a v i n g accompanied Henry V on h i s t r i p t o Rome t o c l a i m t h e r i g h t s of i n v e s t i t u r e , N o r b e r t , d i s -t r e s s e d by t h e emperor's s e i z u r e of t h e pope, p r o s t r a t e d h i m s e l f and begged a b s o l u t i o n . He n e v e r t h e l e s s remained w i t h t h e emperor and c o n t i n u e d t o r e f u s e t h e e c c l e s i a s t i c a l p o s i t i o n s t h a t were o f f e r e d t o him. I n 1115, however, t h e y e a r when t h e emperor was excommunicated, N o r b e r t underwent a sudden and m i r a c u l o u s c o n v e r s i o n . S e e k i n g r e t r e a t a t t h e Abbey of S i g e b e r g , he went t h r o u g h a p e r i o d o f penance b e f o r e r e q u e s t i n g o r d i n a t i o n f r o m t h e a r c h b i s h o p of C o l o g n e . F o r t h r e e more y e a r s N o r b e r t o c c u p i e d h i m s e l f w i t h s t u d y and c o n t e m p l a t i o n , v i s i t i n g h o l y men and e n d u r i n g c o m p l a i n t s about t h e a u s t e r i t y of h i s own l i f e and t h e r u l e he a t t e m p t e d t o impose on h i s canons a t X a n t e n . He d i d p r e a c h d u r i n g t h e s e y e a r s , b u t i t was n o t u n t i l 1118, f o l l o w i n g b i t t e r c h a r g e s made a t F r i x l a r a g a i n s t h i s c o n d u c t , t h a t he d e c i d e d on h i s a p o s t o l i c m i s s i o n . I n t h e same y e a r he v i s i t e d Pope G e l a s i u s a t S t . G i l e s and r e c e i v e d f r o m him h i s g e n e r a l l i c e n s e . B e s i d e s t h e t h e o l o g i c a l s u b j e c t s w h i c h he t r e a t e d b e f o r e monas-t i c a u d i e n c e s , N o r b e r t ' s c h i e f message t o t h e p e o p l e was p e a c e . 104 Everywhere he was received enthusiastically, and he was instrumental in ending many local wars between feudal lords. In 1119, his license was confirmed by the new pope, Calixtus II, and Norbert was placed under the special protection of Bishop Bartholemew of Laon. It was Bartholemew who gave him the land on which, late i n 1119, the Abbey Premontre was bui l t , and by Easter of 1120, Norbert headed a small house of fourteen canons. Because Norbert frequently absented himself on preaching missions, some of his followers were tempted to f a l l away from the rigorous adaptation of the Augustinian rule that he had ordained. S t i l l , novices flocked to him from a l l walks of l i f e , attracted both by his powerful personality and by his growing reputa-tion as a worker of miracles. Among the most powerful princes who sought him out were Godfrey, count of Cappenburg, whose gifts made him a second founder of Norbert's new order, and Theobald, count of Champagne and grandson of William the Conqueror. While his order was expanding rapidly, Norbert continued to regard his main role as that of a missionary. His greatest success was in the extirpation of Tanchelin's heresy in Antwerp, but his fame spread gradually throughout a l l of Europe. He gained papal approval of his order in 1126, and later that year he was chosen as archbishop of Magdeburg. Here as elsewhere, his attempts to correct abuses met with strong challenges from both the landed aristocracy and the local clergy, and for three years he was subjected to violations of his authority and even to attacks on his l i f e . His new status as archbishop lending dig-nity to his own rank and his established reputation, he was often 105 called upon to take part in affairs of state. In 1127, he aided his friend Otto of Bamberg i n the conversion of the pagan Wends, but his most important activities in his last years centered on the schism. It was Norbert who brought together Pope Innocent and the Emperor Lothar and induced the latter to undertake the expedition against the Anti-pope Peter Leo. During his trip to Rome, Norbert was instrumental in conducting the negotiations, and indeed a papal bull credits him with saving the papacy. Norbert continued to act as Lothar's chancel-lor on the return journey, but his health was f a i l i n g and he died in Magdeburg on 6 June 1134. Excluded from this account are the many miracles and super-natural events associated with his l i f e and death on which the Vita focuses. Clearly, Norbert was a man of distinction whose name figures prominently in many of the most important p o l i t i c a l controversies of the 12th century. He was regarded as a spiritual peer by contemporary religious figures including Bernard of Clairvaux, and his magnetic personality attracted followers from the highest ranks of medieval society. A friend of popes and a confidant and advisor to emperors, Norbert was reviled by Peter Abelard and attacked by other clerics either jealous or fearful of his power. Notwithstanding his p o l i t i c a l significance, however, Norbert has not attained an important place in church history. Perhaps because he wrote l i t t l e and so had a minimal intellectual influence and because the order he founded never rose to great prominence, his name is less familiar than that of lesser men. 106 The documentary evidence on which the foregoing account of Norbert's l i f e is based^" is sufficient to demonstrate that the portrait of the saint contained in Capgrave's Latin Vita source and in his poetic Life does not reveal in f u l l the true character of the man. In large measure the lack of balance is the result of the aims and conven-tions of the genre i t s e l f . The saint's l i f e seldom provides any detailed rationale for the deeds of the person commemorated; l i t t l e internal motivation is provided, apart from the passionate love of God, and the words and acts reported are used chiefly to emphasize the virtues of the saint and to exhort the reader. The skeletal biography presented in the Vita i s , of course, based on fact. Norbert did found a religious order, restore peace among various warring feudal factions by admonishing them in Christ's name, defeat a heresy, repair the many inroads made upon the possessions of his archdiocese, and play an important role in ending the schism. Moreover, he was sincerely devout, and his biographer, writing a memorial for his followers, had every reason to stress Norbert's humility, patience, and courage in the face of physical and verbal attacks. But i t was not part of his concern to describe Norbert's high birth or early years during which he took more 2 interest in the courtly l i f e than in his religious duties at Xanten. A fu l l e r knowledge of the historical Norbert than is offered by the Vita biographer enables the modern reader to understand more read-i l y those aspects of his spiritual l i f e on which the Vita concentrates. The absence of these motivational details, which must have been acces-sible to the writer who, after a l l , knew Norbert personally, is another 107 indication of the simplicity of many saints' lives as examples of the biographical genre. A knowledge of what Norbert sacrificed strengthens the impact of his conversion to a harsh, ascetic l i f e and his adherence to the pope rather than to the emperor; i t also explains such minor details as the charge that he wrongfully abandoned the clothing to 3 which he was entitled. Similarly, an awareness of his high birth and station in l i f e helps to cl a r i f y his role in the major events in which he was involved, for his status would assure his being treated with some deference, and when he confronted lords with their wrongdoings he spoke as their equal or superior and not simply as a humble man of God. These observations are not made to suggest either than Norbert was haughty or arrogant or that the author of the Vita wilfully misrepre-sented his subject; the point to be drawn i s that religious purposes overshadowed historical objectivity in the composition of the saints' lives. This conflict between the concerns of the historian and the hagiographer applies equally to the treatment of Norbert's adversaries. A striking instance of the hagiographic tendency to view them simplis-t i c a l l y as only enemies of God, without regard to their possible moti-vation, occurs in section 32 of the Vita (cols. 1304-1306), in which Count Godfrey of Cappenburg, embracing voluntary poverty, decides to give land to Norbert for religious use. Although his wife and her brother are at f i r s t opposed, they f i n a l l y agree to the plan. God-frey's father-in-law, Count Frederick, however, asserts that the prop-erty in question was part of his daughter's dowry and cannot be disposed 108 of. The passage exhibits the habitually slanted style of the saint's . l i f e . Godfrey is a comes . . . praepotentissimus . . . dives, potens .  in armis, ut pote homo iuvenis, in praediis multis, servis, .,et a n c i l l i s satis locupletatus (col. 1304) — in short, the fine, honourable gentle-4 man whom the canons revere as the founder of three monasteries; but while he no doubt was admirable, he must have had human failings as well. His wife's whole role i s shadowy, and i t is by the w i l l of God that she and her brother are converted. The original reference to Count Frederick's objection i s neutral — de dote f i l i a e suae esse  dicebat (col. 1305) — but when he f a i l s to retreat, the author begins to assail his character. Thus he acts ambitioni suae indulgens (col. 1305); now he is seen only as praetendens [the land] esse dotem f i l i a e  suae (col. 1305). His reported threat — arrogantia verba (col. 1305) — to hang Norbert and his ass in the balance to see which one is heavier (col. 1305) marks him as crude and makes the humble, unarmed priest who returns only the threat of God's wrath the hero of the scene. Naturally, Frederick's painful death from a stomach disorder a short time later is seen as a just and f i t t i n g end. Although almsgiving and the endowment of churches were valued as unquestionable signs of the giver's piety and virtue as well as a means of ensuring perpetual prayers for his soul, disputes over the alienation of family lands, the rights of possible heirs, and the ownership of the dowry have been the subject of li t i g i o u s debate throughout the centu-ries. Literary students are mindful of Chaucer's Man of Law, " A l l was fee simple to him in effect," and no historian considering this episode 109 in Norbert rs l i f e could disregard the rights of the landlord, with the attendant losses of revenue. But to the hagiographer any opposition to the saint is villainous. Similarly, when Norbert sets out to reappro-priate lands formerly belonging to his church, no allowance is made for the fact that many of them had been held by their new owners for several generations. No distinctions are made; the lords as a group are casti-gated as revilers of the archbishop and defilers of the church. And when Norbert decides to replace the canons of St. Mary's with members of his own order, no sympathy is expressed for the displaced clergy's attachment to their church. They are presented as disobedient and impious, be chanonis of be gret cherch seid him f u l plat Ther schuld no man wit3 hood ne wit3 hat Take a-wey fro hem here possession. (11. 3119-3121) while Norbert's high-handedness is apparently regarded as appropriate: . . . at be last his hert gan he up pulle And took vp-on him auctorite at be f u l l e , That sith he was hed and souereyn of hem al l e , Nedys to his entent bey must bowe and f a l l e Rather than he to hem, pis was the ende. (11. 3126-3130) In these respects, Capgrave's Life of St. Norbert.is even less objective than the Latin Vita, as reference to the index of the contents of the thirty-seven sections of Capgrave's work and the fifty-four of the Latin schematized at the end of this chapter w i l l easily show. By large omissions Capgrave reduces the Vita's picture of Norbert's compel-ling impression on individuals as opposed to faceless groups, and there-by he diminishes to a certain extent the strength of personality 110 inherent in the Latin version. He also discards v i t a l episodes in the saint's l i f e . The story of Godfrey of Cappenburg's family relations related above is not pleasant, but i t does indicate Norbert's appeal, as do the reports of his influence on Hugh of Fosse, Count Theobald, and the countess of Namur. Capgrave omits not only the violent attack on Norbert by the citizens of Magdeburg and his f l i g h t , which might suggest widespread resentment of the bishop, but also the general accounts of the enthusiastic reception he received everywhere, his meeting with Pope Gelasius, his defeat of Tanchelin's heresy, his settlement of the c i v i l disorders at Fosse, and his trip to Rome to have his order confirmed i n 1125/26 together with the secular activities associated with i t . Capgrave's work, however, found i t s audience not among men s t i l l mindful of the names and events but among the saint's disciples three hundred years after his death, in England, a country Norbert had never visited. This audience was less interested in Norbert's tribulations than i n his glories; and continental French and Saxon nobility had not sponsored the foundations in England. Naturally enough, then, the supernatural element, the universal and generalizing features of the saint's l i f e , took on larger proportions. Since Norbert's l i f e was f i l l e d with confrontations by demons, reported as fact rather than as evidence of psychological struggles, the result of the at t r i t i o n of historical content is an emphasis on the repeated and to some extent repetitious defeat of the forces of e v i l by a saintly man. I l l Capgrave is not necessarily the exclusive culprit in this bowd-lerization of Norbert's history. There is evidence to show that he set out to translate, not to revise, his source and that another hand was probably involved in the actual abridgement. Moreover, as the later part of this chapter w i l l prove, Capgrave employed several methods to v i t a l i z e those scenes from Norbert's l i f e which he does include. The specific ways in which he modified the Vita's portrait of Norbert w i l l be discussed in connection with his s t y l i s t i c devices. However, since the purpose of the work and the structure and content of the poem govern the poss i b i l i t i e s in characterization as well as the whole tone, they must be examined f i r s t . II Capgrave did not choose Norbert's l i f e for a subject; i t was, as he makes perfectly clear in the Prologue, written on request: . . . I haue myn entent So I plese him pat 3aue me comaundment To make pis werk . . . (11. 13-15) At this point his patron is unnamed and referred to only as "my goodly fader," but in the envoy to the Life Capgrave expressly identifies him: Sey pou were made to be abbot of Derham; The abbotes name was called at bat tyde The good Ion Wygnale . . . . (11. 4095-4102) In the Prologue also, amid compliments to the white canons as fellow adherents of the Augustinian rule and assertions that he had long since 112 placed himself under Norbert's protection, Capgrave suggests that his poem is in part payment for hospitality granted to him and other f r i a r s at the Premonstratensian abbey at West Dereham: I write to 3 0 U wit3 f u l pur entent; Thankyng 3 0 U euyr of 30ur hertly chere, Whech 36 make us whan we ar oute sent; (11. 58-60) Besides this internal evidence, there are external facts to support conjectures about the circumstances under which the poem was written. F i r s t , although priests were expected to have a working ac-quaintance with Latin, the Premonstratensians were never known as a learned o r d e r f o r this reason a vernacular l i f e of their founder would be a prized accession. Second, the population of the monastery at West Dereham was always small,^ and a priest with the time and s k i l l to make the translation could not likely be found there. But, third, the canons were not restricted to their own group. They had consider-able property and they were celebrated for their hospitality. The monastery at West Dereham was well endowed, and among their many v i s i -tors must have been friars from Capgrave's convent at Lynn, for the two towns are separated by only ten miles. Despite the fact that episcopal records for Norwich are scanty during this period, i t can reasonably be assumed that members of the house at Lynn were licensed to preach and i t is surely to their excursions that Capgrave refers when he says, "whan we ar oute sent." More convincing, perhaps, is the f i n a l piece of external evi-dence, which relates to Capgrave himself. When he returned to Lynn, he t 113 came not just as a learned man to whom Wygenhale might reasonably turn for this translation or for other theological works, but probably as an old acquaintance. There i s no record of Wygenhale's birthdate, but the two men must have been contemporaries. They were studying at Cambridge in the same years; Capgrave received his doctorate in theology and Wygenhale his license or bachelor's degree in canon law in 1425;7 and, as was noted in the biographical chapter, the Augustinian convent in Cambridge faced the Premonstratensian priory. There can be l i t t l e doubt that the two young men from Norfolk would have met and continued to hear of each other as they pursued their respective successful ca-reers. Whether Capgrave volunteered for this translation, and why he chose poetry as his vehicle are unanswerable questions; but i t is cer-tain that his motives were friendly and that his desire to honour the saint was sincere. The precise manuscript Capgrave had to "sewe and translate" i s not known but i t derives ultimately from the standard (B) Vita composed g between 1155 and 1164 rather than the shorter (A) version. Most of the extant copies of the Latin l i f e are of the longer version; and, like Capgrave's Life of St. Norbert, they usually contain as an appen-dix a contemporary abridgment of Vita B with a few unparalleled addi-tions made by a brother of the Cappenburg house. Capgrave's Life reports no events that are found only in A, includes many details which 9 are unique to B, and s t i l l recognizes the Cappenburg source of the second recension: 114 These wordis folowand ar drawyn f u l schortly Owt of a book bat l i t h at Capenbregense. Her founderis l i f is wrytin ber seriously; But pel hem-selue bus in schorter sentense Brigged i t thus on-to the complacense Of her breberin. (11. 3851-3856) However, one piece of internal evidence suggests that Capgrave may have been working from a shortened revision and not from the entire Vita B. When he treats Norbert's part in Theobald's marriage negotia-tions, Capgrave can only suppose that the count's fiancee was "longing to Germayn, wher Norbert came fro" (1. 2798). Had he seen chapter 34 of the Vita, he should have remembered that the g i r l was the daughter of Englebert of Ratisbon. It i s also demonstrable from the poem that Capgrave's immediate source was written during the Great Schism (1378-1417). This fact makes i t of much later composition than any of the extant manuscripts, for they are a l l of the 12th or early 13th century; and i t makes more probable the suggestion that the passage of time accounted for the excision of matters no longer of general interest. The evidence of the reviser's hand (if he was more than a copyist) is contained in the following lines: In pis tyme, as elde cronicles seyn, f f e l a scisme of whech is dool to her; But neuerpelasse I must telle ^ou a l pleyn Swech maner ping as I fynde wrytin her. Too popes regnes at ones pat same 3er, As now pei doo, God amende pe caas. (11. 3529-3534, i t a l i c s added) Drawing a comparison between the schism Norbert helped heal and the one during which he lived, the writer clearly dates his work. 115 Unfortunately, though there are three references which point to an English composer, they are too vague to help in deciding whether the abridgement was made by the author of this intermediary source or by Capgrave himself. It is likely that any Englishman would have omitted the twice-repeated detail that the faithless novice was an "Anglicus"; and either of them might have added the observation that asses are unknown in "bis cuntre." The last reference, to the fact that a spe-c i f i c water jug is cleaner than any "hens to Kent," is probably Cap-grave's own, but since i t seems to be inserted only for purposes of, rhyme, i t s value as evidence is slight. With the manuscript lost and no other contemporary references in the poem, i t is f u t i l e to speculate how extensive may have been Capgrave's revisions. In the particular instance cited above, lines 3530-3532 would appear to be Capgrave's, for they constitute a familiar poetic topos to allege f i d e l i t y to the source. On other occasions, where specific citations are made to "our langage," or where concrete explications of figures of speech occur, Capgrave almost certainly intrudes. But given this break in the manu-script transmission, i t is not possible to consider changes as neces-sarily examples of the author's style; they can only be treated as part of the overall texture of the poem. Like Capgrave's other saints' lives, The Life of St. Norbert follows the tradition of the long Latin lives giving the saint's whole history (i.e. the Antonian) rather than the native model which concen-trates on a few c r i t i c a l moments. Although Capgrave denies that he is following any order in presenting the miracles of Norbert's l i f e , the 116 work is clearly organized along chronological lines, but with only two dates explicitly mentioned — Norbert's conversion in 1115 and his death in 1134.^ The f i r s t six sections of the poem (11. 1-539) are concerned with his birth, conversion, and early preaching acti v i t i e s ; sections nine and ten (11. 659-833) provide the background for his choice of Premontre as the site for his abbey and the coming of his f i r s t adherents; the description of the setting of the abbey and the construction of the church occupy sections seventeen and eighteen (11. 1604-1799); his elevation to the archbishopric, his installation, his activities to recover the church's lands and to establish his canons in the church of our lady are the subject of sections twenty-seven to twenty-nine (11. 2780-3143); his provision of new abbots for the Premon-stratensian monasteries is dealt with in section thirty-two (11. 3326-3465); and his role in the schism, his il l n e s s , death, and burial are treated in sections thirty-four and thirty-five (11. 3529-3710). In the remaining sections, the focus is either on Norbert's personal be-haviour and governance of his order or on the miraculous events connec-ted with him and his followers. This basic division does not, however, assume any change of tone. A l l the major episodes of his career are attended by some sign proving Norbert's special status or at least by some circumstance which allows the narrator to add instructive commentary. His mother, for example, is informed of his future preferment by a "heuenely vision": "Be mery & glad, woman, & not a-frayde; "ffor he bat is now in bi wombe conceyuyd A herchbisschop schal be." (11. 105-107) 117 His conversion follows a c a l l from God (11. 148-161) and a massive thunderbolt which digs a man-size pit in.the ground (11. 163-168); and the building site for the church at Premontre is shown to one of the brothers by a vision of Christ on the cross (11. 1667-1686). Similarly, the chance that takes Norbert to Spires where he is chosen as archbishop is seen as an instance of the strange workings of God's w i l l : A wonder ping is who God can dispose To worchep a man pat semeth f u l onlikly As to our doom and eke f u l on-weldy. (11. 2784-2786) When the porter at the gate of the archbishop's palace f a i l s to recog-nize Norbert in his threadbare garments as the new lord, there is an opportunity for Norbert to demonstrate his humility and for the narrator both to praise the saint and to exhort his readers: "Thin eyne be mor cler, I t e l l e the r i t now, "That callest me a begger, ban her eyne were That chose me to worchep or to degree. Hide not thi-selue ne f i e not for fere. Trost me sikerly bou hast thank of me, So art bou worthi, bou f l a t e r i s t not, parde!" 0 noble meknesse, bat hast mad bi nest In Norbertis herte and ber hast bi rest! Euyr art bou stabil i n bat same place And euyr wilt bou dwelle to his lyuys ende! Thus was this man stuffid a l with grace, Thus be-gan he in his exaltacioun.to bende . His lyf a l to mekeness. Crist mot us sende Euyr swech condiciones to rest in our breest Whech wer I-founde in this noble preest. (11. 2975-2989) The same motives of instruction, exhortation, and confirmation of Norbert's saintly powers inform the sections dealing with his miracles and his characteristic demeanour. Capgrave certainly regarded 118 the marvellous events as factual, but biographical accuracy was not his chief aim. Throughout the poem, he makes brief statements accounting for the inclusion of certain episodes. When some of Norbert's brethren disparage him with complaints about the rule, Capgrave says: And for pe mannes name was pus defamed God ordeyned a remedy to rere i t a-geyn; With whech mene he was mor I-named Than euer he was be-for, for as clerkys seyn, The deuele, whech is euyr mor in peyn, Exalteth seyntes with his temptacioun With whech pat he supposed to brynge a l a-down. (11. 1023-1029) And there are many more occasions when he interrupts his narrative to praise God for his concern for men or to pray that Norbert's example may serve as a guide. Some are lengthy, like the general prayer to Christ for direction and salvation in the Prologue, which is almost an invocation, 0 Lord Ihesu, of a l l religious men Abbot and maystir, bryng us to vnyte And 3eue us grace wit3 bi comaundmentis ten To f u l f i l l be councell whech wer 30ue be be; That we may dwelle in parfith charite Whil we be her & a f t i r our endyng day To se bat ioye whech bat lasteth ay. (11. 64-70) or the conclusion to the f i r s t recension (11. 3834-3850). Others, specifically commend one of the saint's attributes. Thus Norbert's humility calls forth the "0 noble meknesse" passage already quoted (p. 117). Most of the shorter examples however have the tone of a refrain or of a perfunctory response, pious and platitudinous interpolations with l i t t l e v i t a l i t y , such as: God be euyr bankid in his seyntis alle And on her helpyng mote we calle. (11. 2456-2457) 119 Beyond these, Capgrave digresses to explain what he considers the significance of a given event, in the following example providing a moral for the name of the Premontre and stating the suitability of i t s location: f f u l r i t h f u l l y is be name called Premonstrate, ffor Premonstrate in our langage he soundit-j bus— A place schewid befor, whech was desolate, And a f t i r schuld be inhabit wit3 folk vertuous. It was schewid be name, ban now is i t plenteuous Of schewyng in dede, as we se at y3e. Euyr be i t soo thorw Goddis mercy3e! Rith as be verytees whech are in owr feith Wer schewid be figuris in be elde Testament, Rith so bis ordre whech Norbert forth l e i t h , f f u l of religion, f u l of holy entent, Took in bis place a very fundament. As in a figure schewyd mystily, Amongis busschis & breris hid f u l pryuyly. (11. 757-770) He also employs b i b l i c a l parallels and gives characteristic explanations of terms his author has used. The temptations, misfortunes, and slan-ders which befall Norbert and his brethren are j u s t i f i e d as God's w i l l . One such example follows the disappearance of a novice with money be-longing to the order: God wold hem be weyis of perfeccion lede And lerne hem be smale bingis who bei schuld do in grete; Therfor with temporal duresse he wold hem bete. (11. 1601-1603) Elsewhere Capgrave makes general statements revealing that miracles are meant both to glorify the saint (1. 294) and to give concrete demon-12 strations of the faith to the unlearned. Few of these explanations are found in the Vita, and they are one of the principal marks of Cap-grave's style. Again and again i n the succeeding chapters, the l i t e r a l -120 minded exegete clarifying his materials for a less learned audience w i l l be seen condensing and expanding his source. The Life of St. Norbert also contains examples of less relevant excursions in which Capgrave outlines various possible interpretations but refuses to force a single resolution. Lines 1475-1512, for example, are occupied with a discussion of the habit ordained for the white canons by Norbert. The Vita says only: Laneis ad carnem, laneis ad laborem u t i , et absque ulla tinctura praecepit; l i c e t asperrimo c i l i c i o assidue vestiretur. In sanctuario vero et ubi divina sacramenta tractanda fuerant, vel celebranda, propter munditiam et multimodam honestatem lin e i s u t i voluit, et omni tempore utenda disposuit. (col. 1294) Capgrave f i r s t confirms the wearing of the wool for labour with a bu l l of Pope Innocent (11. 1479-1484); he then states the problem: But for be-cause bat ber is dyuersite In oppiniones of pese clothes partyng, Now lynen, now wollen, to make a vnyte Of this mater, and who I the wrytyng Vndirstand, I w i l l wit3 ony lettyng Telle 3 0 U now vndir pis protestacion That I take up-on me here no dominacyon. (11. 1485-1491) Next, he translates the Latin in two prolix stanzas (11. 1492-1505); and, f i n a l l y , he declares: If men wil algate of here deuocyoun Were lynend alwey; I wil i t not dispraue; Lete euery man a f t i r his discrecioun His obseruances in his monastery haue. But bis wold I, be vynte for to saue, That a l l schuld go l i c h , to kepe honeste, Euene as alle cleyme of o religioun to be. (11. 1506-1512) 121 Thus, he makes a claim for uniformity and gives an opinion, but he w i l l not presume to set a rule. An elaboration of this kind is clearly d i -rected at Capgrave's immediate audience, for i t involves a contemporary dispute. Another passage which exemplifies Capgrave's concern for ques-tions which may arise in his readers' minds even though he cannot answer them occurs at the end of the passage dealing with two brothers who were deluded by the devil into believing they had powers to inter-pret prophetic scriptures. The f i n a l statement in the Latin is that the brothers quarrelled. Aware that this climax i s unsatisfactory, Capgrave points out that he i s not omitting anything w i l f u l l y : Wheythir pei wer mad at on a f t i r pis tyme Mi book te l l e t not; with-outen doute; Ne I my-selue l i s t not for to ryme Neythir of her vertues ne of her cryme, But-if I fond therfor sum auctoryte. Me binkith reson bat i t so schuld be. (11. 1990-1995) This passage offers an interesting sidelight on the whole principle of veracity in the saint's l i f e . Since he elsewhere creates ex nihilo speeches for saint and demon alike, Capgrave certainly did not always demand authority. The difference is that such speeches are written with a view to the black or white character of the subject, and they are therefore "ethically" true. Were he to make a statement of reso-lution at this point, however, he might falsely praise or blame. Since for Capgrave the narrative continuity is always subordi-nated to the didactic purpose for retelling the l i f e of the saint in the f i r s t place, his digressions follow a f a i r l y consistent pattern. 122 And his preoccupation with the lessons of the l i f e rather than with the man also explains his excisions and departures from his source. That Capgrave was at least to some degree aware of the c r i t i c a l problem i s suggested by his candid admission that he has been selective, Alle bese byngis bat we haue teld in 30ur audiens Are but a fewe of many that he dede. (11. 659-660) and by his denial that any significance attaches to the chronological ordering of events in the saint's l i f e : . . . now wil we turne To t e l l e 30U treuly his occupacyon, Nout3 only his, but also we schul returne Alle be condicioun of hem bat ber soiorne, So as her actes r i t h wer do indede, ffolowyng non ordr, for i t is no nede. (11. 1794-1799) Throughout, Capgrave is shaping subtly the materials of his source to produce a calculated effect. Digressions, exclusions, selection, shading of emphasis — a l l reinforce the basic assumptions that under-l i e his handling of the genre. Like other saints' lives, the St. Norbert is intentionally didactic. Directed outwards, with the audi-ence and the impact always in mind, i t exemplifies both those qualities native to the form and the particular adaptations of i t s author. How these are conveyed, and their success, depends on the poetic and s t y l -i s t i c techniques that now remain to be examined. I l l By any definition of poetry compatible with 20th-century aes-thetic theory, Capgrave's writing would be found wanting; but such a 123 comparison puts too negatively and too uncompromisingly the limitations of his verse without sufficient regard for those positive qualities which i t does contain. That he was more comfortable in prose than po-etry is immediately apparent from even a superficial reading of his four saints' lives; but that he should have tested his vernacular a b i l -ity in both media is in i t s e l f an important fact about him as a writer. Why he chose to write in verse cannot, as has already been pointed out, really be adduced, but that he did makes possible areas of comparison — of style, language (syntax, and diction) — that otherwise could not be seen. It is manifestly f a i r to state that Capgrave was not by instinct poetically inclined. He was, clearly, familiar with the conventions of his time as regards language, metre, and stanza form, and competent to reproduce them, but he does not advance the art i n any significant way; indeed, i t can be argued whether in fact he ever managed to transcend the level of poetic exposition. Without exaggerating his achievement, i t is no small accomplishment to turn Latin prose into English rime royal while at the same time maintaining a considerable f i d e l i t y to the original text. Capgrave makes syntactical inversions required by the rhyme and employs tags which are relatively unobtrusive to f i l l out lines metrically; but there is l i t t l e evidence that he sensed the evo-cative possibilities inherent i n patterns of sound and imagery. For example, the a l l i t e r a t i o n that occurs is most frequent in the kind of doublets that are characteristic of English, ones such as "rend..and race" and "derk and dym." End rhymes seem more often chosen for 124 convenience than for p r e c i s i o n of meaning; and while hi s rhythm i s not monotonously regular, i t i s not patterned or varied to arrest the reader's attention at c r u c i a l moments, and i t i s not always even par-t i c u l a r l y harmonious. In f a c t , his use of metre shows that Capgrave i s a f i g u r e of t r a n s i t i o n i n poetic as well as i n prose composition. Many of the verses may be scanned as iambic pentameter, the l i n e already made pop-ular by Chaucer and soon to be standard. But examination suggests that the influence of the older native metre with i t s four strong stresses and a varying number of unaccented s y l l a b l e s was s t i l l great. When s y l l a b l e counting i s replaced by a regard for the s y n t a c t i c a l l y , ety-mologically, and r h e t o r i c a l l y emphasized words i n a stanza l i k e the following where the number of s y l l a b l e s varies from eight to twelve, his tendency towards a four-stress l i n e i s r e a d i l y apparent: Swech maner sout3 he i n poo dayes. To lerne l e t t i r u r , to lerne eke prudens. To dyuers men made he dyuers asayes. To vse vertu and to voyde necligens Was 3oue a l h i s b y s i , studious eloquens. This was h i s l y f a l l these thre 3er, Saue sumtyme i n preching pe puple wold he l e r . (11. 309-315) The following passage i l l u s t r a t e s amply the e s s e n t i a l l y prosaic nature of The L i f e of Saint Norbert: In t h i s same cherch, of chanones seculer Was ban a college of twenty persones & no moo. Thei kept her obseruaunce i n cloyster & i n qwere Mech be b e t t i r pat he cam too and froo So often as he ded. But he desired boo, Be-cause i t was ny him, his breberin schuld be ber. He seide he him-self wold a l be costes ber 125 Both to the Pope and eke on-to be kyng. He profered hem eke a better place pan pat. This peticioun was not to her lykyng; f f o r be chanonis of be gret cherch seid him f u l p l a t Ther schuld no man wit3 hood ne wit3 hat Take a-wey f r o hem here possession f f o r i f he dede he schuld haue be malyson Of Iesu C r i s t e and owre fader the Pope, whech had confermed i t be many a b u l l e . Thus was our Norbert f r u s t r a t e of h i s hope. But 3et at the l a s t h i s hert gan he up p u l l e And took vp-on him auc t o r i t e at be f u l l e , That s i t h he was hed and souereyn of hem a l l e , Nedys to his entent bey must bowe and f a l l e Rather ban he to hem, b i s was the ende. (11. 3109-3130) While the two expressions, "& no moo" (1. 3110) and "too and froo" (1. 3111) are the only tags used, and only three l i n e s (3109-3110, 3129) and one phrase ("up p u l l e , " 1. 3126) are noticeably inverted i n syntax, there are i n t h i s passage no images and the rhymes are commonplace and bear l i t t l e s t r e s s . Moreover, the highly varied metre of t h i s passage does not serve an a r t i s t i c purpose. Most of the l i n e s may be scanned as iambic pentamer i f the free use of anacrusis i n Middle English verse i s used to account f o r the extra s y l l a b l e s . But the l a s t three l i n e s of the f i r s t stanza are more s a t i s f a c t o r i l y seen as hexameters, and many l i n e s , even such decasyllabic ones as: Of Iesu C r i s t e and owre fader the Pope whech had confermed i t be many a b u l l e , r e a l l y have only four stresses. It i s i n his dramatization of the incidents rather than i n h i s poetic s t y l e that Capgrave's l i t e r a r y s k i l l i s most apparent. A str u c -ture with l i t t l e necessary connection between the events i s common i n 126 medieval narratives, and the Latin Vita S. Norberti is i t s e l f episodic. By his greater awareness of causal relationships and by the subordi-nation of lesser elements, Capgrave improves on the logic of the d i v i -sions and the transitions. On three occasions he draws together previously separated events. Thus he groups Norbert's attendance at the council of Reims, where he was commended to Bishop Bartholemew, with the later events in Laon; and he combines Theobald's request for Norbert to intervene in his marriage arrangements with the result that his journey causes Norbert to be in Spires when the new archbishop is chosen. In the third case, the grouping together of the three miracles concerning the wolf, Capgrave seems to have been guided simply by their logical relation. In two cases in which he allocates a particular event to a different section, he improves both the logic and the overall dramatic effect. Thus, he ends his second section with Norbert's conversion and relegates the stay at Sigeberg to section three, along with the other details of Norbert's period of penance and study. And, later, he dis-sociates the story of the faithless novice from the description of the desolate ground at Premontre and puts i t where i t belongs, with the vision showing the site where the church should be located. With few exceptions, the Latin sections begin with an expression 14 that conveys the passage of time. Generally, however, the author limits himself to the conventional forms — f u i t , itaque, deinde, cum- que, eo tempore, post,or igitur — frequently modified to a degree by an ablative absolute. In Capgrave's Life, many episodes open with a 127 summary of the matter they contain or with some connective linking them with a previous passage. The summary may remove the possibility of suspense by pre-stating the outcome of the narrative, as i t does in A f f t i r pis not longe tyme, as I wene, He sayde a masse in a f u l lowe voute; Where f e i a caas of stoynyng & of tene, Vn-to him eke f u l desesy in thoute; But fynaly i t harmed hym r i t h noute. This was be caas . . . (11. 246-251) or, i t may more generally denote the importance of the section. The f i r s t lines of section three, for example, show that Capgrave saw Nor-bert's conversion, the subject of the previous section, as a climactic event and that he wished to isolate i t dramatically from the period of religious training which ensued: Now riseth he up, a-stoyned and a-drad. He fleth be pres pe besinesse he had er, Ther he was wone to singe & be f u l glad Now ar his corage, his wordes, & his cher Turned on-to sadnesse. A redy, a good skoler, To holy ordres he hastith now in a l wise; His stody is now to lerne dyuyne seruyse. (11. 176-182) t When he conneo'ts one episode with a preceding one, Capgrave usually relies on common transitionals such as "thus," though sometimes he achieves a new coherence with his links. For example, although he has f a l s i f i e d history by telescoping the council of Frixlar and Nor-bert's meeting with Gelasius at Saint-Giles, Capgrave manages both to remind the readers that Norbert had obtained a general license to preach and to prepare them for the following four stanzas which effectively summarize Norbert's evangelical travels: 128 Whan he had take bus bis general licens To preche to be puple ouer-al wher he cam, With too deuoute felawis f u l of Innocens, Swech as he was, his iornay sone he nam. Ouyr be feldys, be marys, and be dam Went bei r i t h forth, bei spared no hardnesse; Her hertis were 3oue only to hardynesse. (11. 393-399) More interesting, however, are the ways in which, having increased both the length of the scenes he retains and the episodic nature of the St. Norbert by introductions setting off the parts, by moral applications of the events, and by explications of terms and references, Capgrave s t i l l renders his action more dramatically effective than that in his source. Nearly every episode contains examples of his chief methods: increased use of direct speech, colloquialisms in the idiom, homely imagery, and more detailed description of the actions of characters. Before two scenes are examined more thoroughly, a few brief i l l u s t r a -tions w i l l suffice to cl a r i f y his use of these techniques. Sometimes Capgrave simply lengthens the direct speech given in his Latin source. Thus, when one of the feuding lords at Gemlacum agrees to Norbert's petition for peace, Capgrave replaces the Latin Fiat quod vis; non est aliqua certae rationis oppositio, quam possit aliquis objicere, tuae contradicendo vel obsistendo petitioni. (col. 1281) with "God bank 3 0 U , ser, for bat 3e l i s t to lere "Swech as I am both loue and charyte. I wil obeye on-to 3ou in a l l maner wyse; Rith as 3e wil, r i t 3 so schal i t be. I am a-ferd of bat hye iustyse That whan he s i t t i t h in his grete assyse He wil elles dampne me but I do sum good." (11. 588-594) 129 In this instance Capgrave does not employ a particularly colloquial idiom; but, turning away from the academic appeal to reason, he does draw on the preacher's threat of eternal damnation. In addition, of course, in the f i r s t four lines he creates a different impression of Norbert's personal effect by emphasizing "loue and charyte." Elsewhere, Capgrave either invents whole speeches or elaborates them from indirect statements in the Latin. For example, according to the Vita, after he was told of the vision concerning the location of the church, Norbert gratias egit Domino Deo (col. 1297). From this hint, Capgrave supplies a seven-line prayer: "Euyr be bou worcheped for pi hye graas, And neuer be bin honour fro mannis hert layde; ffor whan a l l frenschipis haue be a-sayde Than is bin best, bou 3euest, Lord, coumfort Of bing bat is passed, & eke i f we resort "On-to pi proteccion for any comyng nede, pan 3euest bou us knowlech of pin hye grace." (11. 1690-1696) The introduction of colloquial phrases also serves to alter the tone of the work. He makes a character like the faithless novice more r e a l i s -t i c by having him assure Norbert that "we lese not in this house a heryng-cobbe" (1. 1582) on the night before he commits the robbery. Occasionally, the interjection is personal. Referring to one of the many times when Norbert was undeservedly slandered, Capgrave cannot refrain from an outburst which has a fine, impatient ring: And eke for pe slaundir whech was be-falle Of be euele tungis whech can neuer but knok And clater in euele tyme — wold God bei had a. lok To schet with her tunge — (11. 1648-1651, i t a l i c s added) 130 Such changes and additions as these are frequent in the St_. Nor-bert, and they give a more forceful tone to the English version. Some of the images also contribute to this effect by their more concrete and homely nature. When Norbert declares his choice of the white habit, for example, Capgrave's approval of his argument is indicated by the introductory line, "Thus wit3 his malle be nayle-hed he h i t " (1. 1363). To describe the movement of a demon, Capgrave uses a simile picturing a f l u f f - b a l l blown by the wind: Euene as be wynde l i f t e t h up a wullock ffor very lithnesse, r i t h soo pese s p i r i t i s flye ffro place to place, and pat f u l hastilye. (11. 2189-2191) The juxtaposition of e v i l and harmless elements is by no means ironic; rather, i t reflects a conception of them as co-existing aspects of man's world. Capgrave could also use a brief image to render a scene concrete or to v i v i f y otherwise unrealized characters. When Norbert f i r s t enters Magdeburg as bishop, he is pictured as "walled/ A l l with men" (11. 2938-2939); and the indirectly reported speech of his adversaries is given a proverbial tone with The othir part seid he had leyd his ore fferther in the watyr bann he myth rowe. (11. 3043-3044) Additional descriptions of physical action appear everywhere. When the possessed man is brought into Norbert's presence at Traiect, for example, the crowd is given a dynamic role. From the brief Latin phrase, cum magno suffragio plebis circumstantis (col. 1303), Capgrave 131 makes a tableau wherein the people f i r s t kneel praying to Norbert to help the b a i l i f f (11. 2208-2212) and then form separate groups on either side to watch the conflict (11. 2213-2217). Sometimes, so many new details appear that the episode could be pantomimed. For the Latin author, the importance of the devil's appearance to the labourer at Viviers i s to show the efficacy of the invocation of the saint's name. In Capgrave, on the other hand, i t becomes a vivid realization of the powerful effect of apparitions. In this case, Capgrave removes a l l the dialogue. He depicts the man sweating in the f i e l d (11. 2381-2385), running to the well (1. 2386), looking into i t (1. 2390), starting away in terror (1. 2393), meeting the devil (11. 2394-2395), swooning (1. 2399), tearing his clothes as he is possessed (1. 2401), and being seized by other men (1. 2404) — a l l previous to any mention of the saint. These same techniques obviously coalesce and function together in some of the more extended episodes. New, direct speeches frequently include colloquialisms and homely images, and movement is often i n d i -cated during the scenes in which the speeches are made. Perhaps the most singular example of the combination, which most clearly reveals the total effect of Capgrave's changes, is the possession and exorcism recorded in section twenty (11. 1996-2184). During one of Norbert's absences, one of the brothers is seized by the devil and afterwards bound by his fellows. The devil cries out against the prior who comes to conjure him; but he is forced to admit his identity, and, indeed, he testifies to Christ's lordship when he sees the crucifix. One of the 132 young brethren volunteers to lead the possessed man to the holy-water single-handedly; and in short order the devil appears on the man's tongue in the form of a lettuce seed, makes one more effort to pervert the brothers, and f i n a l l y disappears. The account i s dramatic enough in the Latin; much of i t i s in direct speech and the references to such apparatus as would be required for a stage performance — including the crucifix and the font — are already clear. What Capgrave does i s , in the f i r s t place, to lengthen the speeches, both by repetition and extension, so that the prior and the devil become more developed adversaries, and to alter the tone of the devil's speeches so that he becomes cruder. Then, he introduces additions which make the secondary characters more visible and their actions on the stage more effective. In the Latin version of the devil's f i r s t speech, Modo intrabit ad me, modo intrabit ad me, modo venit, modo venit magister i l l e cum clavata tunica sua, maledicantur i p s i ; firmate ostium, firmiter firmate quam celerimme. (col. 1301) the repetition creates a sense of anxiety and impending conflict. How-ever, while Capgrave retains the essential outlines, he depicts a more obvious copy of the ranting devil of the medieval stage: "Now schal he come, be cursed prest & proude, He schal now entre, and sor on me croude, This daffid fool, with his barred cote! Cursed be he, and hanged be be throte! "Spere be dor, men, & barr i t sor & fast." (11. 2013-2017) 133 In adding the devil's vain threats to bar the prior's way with a tree (11. 2019-2022), Capgrave increases the interval before the prior's f i r s t words and so makes his lack of hesitation more forceful. In the next speech, Capgrave has the devil address the prior as "dotard balled schrewe" (1. 2035) and replaces the l i s t of t i t l e s (magister, tutor, doctor) with the generalized slur, "man pat werith hood or hat" (1. 2033). In his remaining speeches, there are no further examples of this particular line of offense. But as the devil reveals himself as especially spiteful against Norbert and his followers and defiant in his attempts, despite his powerlessness, Capgrave's expansions increase the sense that his efforts are hopeless. The devil is made to stress his own e v i l and misery by repetition and to remind the audience of his previous defeat: " . . . Ey me! Ey my! What schal I do? I must now t e l l my name. I am pat deuele, I am r i t h pat same "Whech dwell sumtyme in pat fayr 3ong mayde At Nyuygelle, whech mayde bo was browt Be-for 30ur Norbert, where he his charmes sayde. He lessed my power and set me a l at nowt. If I had power i t schuld f u l der be bowt. Cursed be bat our bat 30ur Norbert was bore, He and hise, bei contrary me euyrmore." (11. 2063-2072) In the Vita, he says only: Ei mi, ei mi, quid agam? Ego sum...ille, qui f u i in puella Nivigellae coram Norberto magistro tuo, albo cane. Maledicatur hora, in qua unquam natus f u i t . (col. 1302) Much of the expansion in Capgrave's f i r s t few lines (11. 2063-2067) is only by repetition, and by the addition of adjectives; but in the 134 remainder, the devil reiterates the events at Nivelles (11. 2068-2069), wishes he had the power to revenge himself (1. 2070), and includes Nor-bert's followers among his adversaries (1. 2072). In the case of the prior the expansions involve expressions of his complete trust in Christ and his acceptance of God's w i l l . So, there is nothing in his long speech conjuring the devil (11. 2045-2061) which is not implicit in the Latin (cols. 1301-1302). The distinction is always between good and e v i l , but because he emphasizes Christ's sacrifice and his love, the prior is a somewhat more humanized figure in Capgrave than his counterpart in the Latin source. The presence of the other members is realized mainly by two additions which give the convent as a whole an active role. The f i r s t is a speech (11. 2079-2088) in which they a l l take part in the decision to pray, fast, and undergo corporal punishment to speed the cure of their brother, rather than merely to accept the command of the prior. Later, by expanding aquam in vase ad hoc habili benedicunt, et cum processione eunt ubi erat demon. . . . (col. 1302) to And to be hous a-non streith bei 3ede. They made haliwater with grete deuocyoun, A vessel f u l , ordeyned for that cause. A l l be couent went on processioun, Syngyng and seying many a holy clause. Whan bei cam bedir . . . (11. 2093-2098) Capgrave provides a participating audience for the f i n a l action. 135 Thus, on stage for the denouement, along with the possessed brother, the demon, and the prior i s the rest of the convent, and to them Capgrave adds a young boy holding the cross. Finally, the part allocated to the young canon who leads the victim to the font is i n -creased. After the prior dramatically pauses to consider his request, a stanza is inserted to focus greater attention on his moment. In place of the abrupt, i l l e solus tenuit et usque ad aquam benedictam a d d u x i t . . . . (col. 1302) Capgrave elaborates: No man halpe him with hand ne wit3 tonge, But brout3 him a-lone l i c h a childe bat is led wit3 norce whil he i s f u l 3unge. This man, bat was be-for-tyme so wilde, Now i s he made in maner meke and milde. The deuele qwook in bis mannes presens, Whech was so hardy to f u l f i l l e obediens. (11. 2143-2149) Another and much briefer example of Capgrave's a b i l i t y to drama-tize an event is found in section thirty-one (11. 3263-3325). His account derives from the following passage in the Latin: Non cessabat aemula iniquitas in occulto, in manifesto mansuetam simulans aequitatem, et tanto gravius et nequius, quanto magis a domesticis fiebat et familiaribus. Familiari-tas vere dicenda est; quia cum quodam noctis tempore, ad celebranda cum c l e r i c i s suis Matutinarum solemnia, more solito surrexisset, advenerat clericus quidam de domesticis, et retro ad ostium se in i n s i d i i s posuerat, iniquitate plenus et crudeli malitia; utpote armatus competentibus armis, quibus innocentum caute et in dolo ferire posset et interficere. Egressisque capellanis qui praecedebant, sicut mos est in terra (praecedunt enim dominos suos capellani) i l l e de i n s i d i i s prosiliens, novissimum putans episcopium, unum ex c l e r i c i s media veste conscissa percussit. Cumque i l l e exclamaret et diceret: "Quis est que me laedit?" i l l e , sonitu vocis, non esse ipsum quem 136 quaerebat agnoscens. "Putavi, inquit, hunc novissimum esse, quem morti tradere disponebam." Praecesserat enim episcopus mistim inter alios, eundem eventum, quasi futurorum praescius, timens. At i l l e concito curso in fugam versus est, et cum a l i i ad capiendum ilium insequerentur: "Sinite, a it v i r Dei, fugere eum, nec malum pro malo reddatus; fecit quippe quantum potuit et quantum ei Deus permisit. nondum enim venit hora mea. Sed qui miserunt eum, non dormient nec quiescent; donee opprobriis suis satientur, et me vel morti tradant, vel, s i divinum s i t opus quod agitur de me, manifeste probatum reddant. (col. 1328) After a two-stanza introduction (11. 3263-3276) stating that Norbert's good example was despised by certain malicious individuals, Capgrave establishes the scene of this particular episode — Norbert's habitual solemn attendance at the chapel (11. 3277-3280). Then, he gives the unknown clericus a motive; f a i l i n g to observe the rule s t r i c t l y , he has been frequently reprimanded by Norbert (11. 3281-3287). Next, Capgrave inserts a speech made by some of the would-be k i l l e r ' s relatives, so that when the actual c r i s i s occurs, no explanation is necessary: "This sory bisschop," bei seid, "bat is so lene, Schal neuer be in pees, but grucchin a l l his l y f . Go forth, bou man, take in bin hand a knyf. "Wayte vp-on him whan he to mateyns goth; Take and serue him, pan schul we be in pees. He is euyr chidyng, euyr angry and wrooth." (11. 3288-3293) Finally, the tableau is presented: the clerk lying i n wait (11. 3294-3296), the procession passing by (1. 3298) while the v i l l a i n waits for the last man (11. 3202-3203), Norbert by chance walking in the middle. (1. 3305), and the f a l l i n g of the blow (11. 3309-3310). Then Capgrave adds a speech by the wounded brother to stop the action at the c r i s i s point: 137 "What art bou?" he seid, "in vertu of God a-boue, That smytest me soo, and I greue be nowt. This maner brothirhod is not groundid in loue." (11. 3312-3314) At the conclusion, he alters the words of the v i l l a i n to include a more natural expression of surprise: "0!" seyde pis theef, "al mys haue I wrowt! That i l k man whech pat I haue sowt He is skaped and goo or pat I wist!" (11. 3315-3317) Both of these extended scenes cl a r i f y Capgrave's relationship to his material. As a scholar-poet, he maintains a f i d e l i t y to his sour-ces without that slavish commitment of the copyist which would s t i f l e any recreation of their contents. Although he is working with charac-ters who are conventional and stereotyped and who permit him l i t t l e opportunity for shading or individuation, he manages by a careful manipulation of the scene and setting to give them a dimension through dramatization which they do not have in the Latin original. It is this sense of dramatic balance that distinguishes Capgrave as a writer. That quality more than any other compensates for deficiencies in his poetic and narrative art and gives to his work a stamp of originality. In the second of his poetic lives, The Life of St. Katherine, Capgrave's capacity for dramatic realizations combines with features of design and improved poetic techniques to produce a more a r t i s t i c a l l y effective work. To demonstrate the differences between the two poems more clearly and to show how far they may indicate a greater maturity in Capgrave's work, the next chapter w i l l discuss the sources, style, characterization, and dramatic arrangement of the debates in The Life of St. Katherine. 139 APPENDIX A SUMMARY OF THE CONTENTS OF LATIN VITA B COLLATED WITH CAPGRAVE'S LIFE OF ST. NORBERT Roman numerals in left-hand column refer to sections in Capgrave's Life; the number of stanzas and line numbers are\ given below the Roman numerals [17: 1212-1330]. Arabic numerals refer to chapters in the Vita, Chapters in the Vita that are omitted by Capgrave are so indi-cated [Omit]; when Capgrave's sections do not correspond exactly with the Vita chapters, the break is indicated by a slanted stroke [/]. When no Roman numeral appears opposite a Vita chapter not indicated as omitted in Capgrave, i t can be assumed that i t is included in the previously cited chapter of Capgrave's Life. I 1. Birth of Norbert in 1115 to Herbertus and Hadwig at 8: Xanten, following maternal vision; Norbert's youth 71-126 in the courts of the archbishop of Cologne and the emperor; loved by a l l , he was both intelligent and attractive. II 2. Unsure of the way to turn in the midst of corruption, 7: Norbert, setting off in a thunderstorm with a single 127-75 servant, hears a heavenly voice; he begins to reform III his ways,/ turns his l i f e to study, and resides at Sigeberg. 3. Asks ordination as deacon and priest from archbishop 10: of Cologne; the devil who appears is easily defeated. 140 176-245 spends 40 days at Sigeberg before returning to Xanten. 4. There, the next day, he gives a sermon on eternal l i f e ; his efforts to restore pristine rule are at-tacked but he accepts the contumely and so shows his patience. Omit 5. A dissertation on the reasons holy men endure e v i l . IV 6. The miracle wherein Norbert swallows a spider from 10: the chalice and expells i t through his nose is here 246-315 used to show his faith in God and his disdain for l i f e . 7. Thus, upheld by patience and faith, Norbert spends three years in his austere manner of l i f e and stud-ies, v i s i t i n g Sigeberg, Roda, and the hermit Liudolf. V 8. A council i s held at Frixlar and Norbert is accused 11: of usurping rights of preachers, wearing a habit 316-92 when he is not in orders, and abandoning the clothes to which his rank entitles him; he gives his answers. Omit 9. Deciding to watch in prayer the whole night, Norbert begins to f a i l , but rouses to confront a devil who taunts him. Realizing the reasons some had accused him, he goes to the archbishop and resigns his bene-fices and then gives up a l l his patrimony and sets out barefoot with two companions. Omit 10. At St. Giles he meets Pope Gelasius who absolves him from fault in his double ordination. The pope wished 141 to keep him but Norbert refuses the l i f e of the papal court. Seeing his constancy, the pope gives him f u l l license to preach. Norbert sets off again in icy weather, is joined by a third companion at Orleans and arrives at Valence on Palm Sunday. There his preaching is understood though he spoke in German, not French; his intention to depart is hindered by the illness of his three companions who ultimately die. Meanwhile, his old friend Burchard, bishop of Cambrai arrives and they meet again. During an illness suffered by Norbert, one of the bishop's followers decides he wishes to become Norbert's disciple and sets out to settle his affairs before joining the saint. Thus in 1118, Norbert received Hugh who was later to succeed him. Norbert again sets out preaching and everywhere men from a l l ranks of l i f e collect to hear him; he is successful in reconciling enemies, and he is always received gladly at tables. He also preaches to religious communities on more s t r i c t l y theological subjects. On every side, he leads people away from error, makes them penitent, and restrains them from crime. 142 Omit 14. By Norbert's example and exhortation, Hugh is led towards the perfect l i f e . Omit 15. At Fosse, the people t e l l Norbert of great and murderous disputes. After long prayers and cele-brating the Mass, Norbert exhorts the people to forgive their enemies and peace is established. VII 16. The next day he proceeds to Gemlacum and there seeks 12: to reconcile two warring lords. One recognizes the 540-623 wisdom of Norbert's words, but the other remains ob-stinate. Norbert prophesies that the latter w i l l be seized by his enemies and the truth of his words is proved. VIII 17. Norbert proceeds to Colroy where he again urges 5: peace. When one of the disputants flees the church, 624-58 his horse refuses to move. Thus, he is led to re-pent and God's glory is shown. IX 18. The author urges the truth of the preceding reports 16: against possible derogation. They are in fact only 659-770 a few of Norbert's deeds. Gelasius died that same year (1119) and Calixtus II was chosen as his suc-cessor. The new pope called a council at Reims where Norbert received confirmation of his apostolic letters. 19. Calixtus ordered Bartholemew, bishop of Laon, to take Norbert to his court, and eager to keep holy 143 men in his city, Bartholemew urged him to accept the abbacy of the church of St. Martin. After f i r s t re-fusing, Norbert accepted the task, but the canons soon complained of his stringency. At this time Hugh returned to be Norbert's companion. The bishop continued to urge Norbert to accept a place in his diocese and f i n a l l y he settled on the desolate Premontre'. X 20. The winter being over, Norbert again went on his 9: rounds of preaching, and soon Evermode of Cambrai 771-833 and Antonius of Nivelles became his disciples. With these two, Hugh, and ten others, Norbert took pos-session of Premontre at Easter. XI 21. The demons, enemies of God, naturally attempted to 21: disrupt this new foundation. One brother is tempted 834-980 by a devil pretending to be the t r i n i t y , but he eas-i l y recognizes the delusion. Later, another partic-ularly renowned for the harshness of his fasts is tempted from his abstinence. The others cannot pre-vent his f a l l despite their exhortations; at his return Norbert immediately senses the e v i l . However, he soon perceives the diabolic inspiration and leads the brother back to his customary rigour. XII 22. Then Norbert returns to his preaching, continuing to 33: pacify discord and eventually he returns to Nivelles. 144 981-1211 Certain men there who had not been able to endure the rigour of the l i f e at Premontre sowed opprobrium against him, but the power of his words was greater than their e v i l . He cures a g i r l who had been vexed by a demon for a year and thus i t is proved that Norbert is a true apostle. Omit 23. Norbert goes on to Cologne seeking rel i c s for the church he wishes to build. He fasts and prays and during the night one of the 11,000 virgins appears to him and t e l l s him where her body l i e s . Her body is found and on the following day, after prayers, he also discovers the body of St. Gereon. He is given rel i c s and goes back on his way. The countess of Namur hears, of him and urges him to accept Flo-reffe as a new establishment for his order. He agrees and returns to Premontre at Christmas where there are now thirty lay brothers and clerics. XIII 24. The number increases to forty clerics and more lay 17: brothers, and Norbert night and day exhorts them to 1212-1330 heavenly thoughts. However, he knows that a rule must be established; some advise the eremetical, some the anchorite, some the Cistercian way of l i f e . Norbert chooses the Augustinian rule as most suitable to the combination of canonical and apostolic l i f e he wants./ 145 XIV 8: 1331-86 XV 21: 1387-1533 XVI 10: 1534-1603 XVII 16: 1604-1715 XVIII 12: 1716-99 In ad d i t i o n he sel e c t s the white habit. 25. D e t a i l s of Norbert's austere p r e s c r i p t i o n s are given. 26. One day, on h i s way to Reims, Norbert hears two voices describing one of the novices accompanying him as f a i t h f u l , the other not. The l a t t e r i n s i s t s that he has no plan, but at night absconds with the money^hiddeh-behind the. a l t a r . ; Such an event serves to confirm the lack of concern for wordly things./ Norbert has to consider the place-ment of the buildings i n the rugged area of Premon-t r e , and he and h i s companions pray f o r guidance. 27. One of the brothers has a v i s i o n of Chri s t i n d i c a t i n g the spot f o r the church. 28. Bishop Bartolemew and Lord Thomas of Corey aid i n the b u i l d i n g . The German and French workmen argue u n t i l they are placed on opposite sides during the b u i l d -ing, and then with the s p i r i t of contest, i t i s rushed to completion. During the consecration, the great a l t a r i s moved and the necessary reconstruction i s l a t e r c a r r i e d on s e c r e t l y . In the record of v a r i -ous events which follow, i t i s not possible to discuss the order or to include everything. 146 XIX 29. Norbert returns to preaching peace and unanimity to 28: c l e r i c s and to lay people. Meanwhile, armed demons 1800-1995 appear to some of his brothers who t r y to f i g h t them, but others, recognizing the delusion, banish the demons with holy water and the sign of the cross. The d e v i l could not prevent men of a l l ranks from j o i n i n g Norbert's order. One of the brothers be-li e v e s he can expound Daniel's prophecies and fo r e -t e l l s the future of some of the others. Soon, those who had been confused recognize the delusion. Another thinks he can expound the Apocalypse but wiser brothers refuse to hear him u n t i l Norbert returns. The demon, angered, sets the two expound-ers against each other. XX 30. The demon then seizes another brother who i s so 23: v i o l e n t that he has to be bound. The demon acknowl-1996-2184 edges that i t was he who tormented the g i r l at Ni v e l l e s and a f t e r much e f f o r t he i s f i n a l l y exorcized. XXI 31. Leaving the brothers, the demon pursues Norbert to 26: T r a i e c t and enters a man who i s brought to Norbert 2185-2338 for curing. In h i s raging, the man accuses by-standers of secret s i n s . F i n a l l y , Norbert manages to e f f e c t the cure, but points out that the man has been tormented because of h i s own e v i l deeds. 147 This chapter deals with the conversion of Count God-frey of Cappenburg. Against the desires of his wife, brother, and father-in-law, he decides to change his c a s t l e into a monastery. His wife and brother accept the holy path, but his raging father-in-law, a f t e r attacks and threats, f i n a l l y dies the p a i n f u l death he deserves. Thus the order continues to grow. Everything cannot be t o l d , but Norbert's fame grew i n both France and Germany. Count Theobald, for example, wanted to give up a l l h i s lands to him. Norbert reminds him of his other duties but agrees to give him a r u l e of l i f e and to choose a wife for him. On h i s way to Rome to have his order confirmed, Norbert stops at Ratisbon and gets the Marquis Englebert to agree to give h i s daughter to Theobald. Norbert receives what he asks from the pope and on the return journey a heavenly voice predicts he w i l l be made bishop of Parthenopolis. He i s a f r a i d to l i n g e r at Herbipolis whose l a s t s y l l a b l e i s the same, and there a b l i n d woman i s cured while he celebrates Mass. On h i s way back to Premontre', he establishes houses of the order at Laon and V i v i e r . At V i v i e r a demon possesses a labourer as he drinks at the fountain. 148 The man i s c a r r i e d to Norbert and" seems to be cured. Norbert knows the demon i s not gone, however, and the exorcism i s not completed u n t i l the next day. People focus on these demonic events, but i t should not be forgotten how he was c a l l e d to Antwerp by the heresy of Tanchelin and how e a s i l y his eloquence r e -c a l l e d the people to the f a i t h . Among other things that happened i s the strange event at Premontre. When the brothers a r r i v e d with water, Norbert said i t was f o u l and ordered i t poured out. This happened twice more and f i n a l l y a huge toad i s poured out. Norbert says the d e v i l has a thousand t r i c k s . Another time some brothers f i n d a wolf devouring a k i d . When they take i t from him, he follows them home. Norbert discovers the theft and orders the ki d returned. A boy who guards the sheep i s j o c u l a r l y asked how he would chase off a wolf. He r e p l i e s that he would command him to depart i n Norbert's name. When the event occurs, the wolf does leave. On another occas-sion, the wolf helps guard the sheep and demands payment f o r his labour at the monastery. Norbert recognizes h i s claim and again shows h i s brothers proper behaviour by example. 149 XXVI 9: 2717-2779 XXVII 27: 2780-2933 XXV 40. The demon appears to a man l a t e at n i g h t , but he 9: b r a v e l y pursues him u n t i l he catches a t r e e and 2654-2716 recognizes the i l l u s i o n . Another one, a f t e r long remaining immobile, makes the demon disappear w i t h the s i g n of the cro s s . 41. The demon a l s o appears to Norbert i n the shape of a bear, but the s a i n t e a s i l y d r i v e s him o f f . 42. The time approaches f o r Theobald's marriage and Nor-bert agrees to i n q u i r e i n t o the reasons the b r i d e has not appeared. He sends h i s expense money to the brothers at Premontre - to a i d i n feeding the poor. On h i s way, he a r r i v e s at Spires where the f i r s t c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the c o u n c i l i s the choice of a new bishop f o r Parthenopolis (Magdeberg). Pointed out as the best man by one of the other nominees, Alberon, l a t e r archbishop of Treves, Norbert i s made bishop of the perverse Slavs and Saxons. XXVIII 43. When Norbert enters h i s possessions, the p o r t e r turns 24: him back because of h i s poor dress. Norbert merely 2934-3101 smiles and says the man knows him b e t t e r than those who chose him. 44. A f t e r h i s cons e c r a t i o n , he discove r s the bad s t a t e of the church's revenues and sets out to recover a l i e n a t e d lands. N a t u r a l l y , he has to endure much 150 calumny both from the lords who hold the possessions and from the c l e r i c s whose i r r e l i g i o u s l i f e he endeavours to correct. XXIX 45. After i n i t i a l d i f f i c u l t i e s , he establishes some of 6: h i s own canons i n the church of the Blessed V i r g i n 3102-43 i n front of the episcopal palace. XXX 46. His order grows i n Saxony. Much murmuring continues 17: against him and on one occasion a man who plans to 3144-3262 murder him i s marvellously revealed by Norbert. XXXI 47. He has enemies even among h i s close s t associates and 9: one t r i e s to k i l l him as he leaves the cathedral. 3263-3325 XXXII 48. He allows an e l e c t i o n of a new abbot f o r Premontre 20: since h i s f l o c k has so long been unattended. Soon 3326-3465 he also chooses abbots f o r the other f i v e monaster-ies and the order continues to multiply. Omit 49. When Honorius dies, the church i s broken by a schism. Norbert attends the true pope's council at Reims and has h i s order and p o s i t i o n confirmed. When he returns to Magdeburg, many accuse him of f a i l i n g to maintain the glory of the church. He shows his constancy, however. At the same time the church was d e f i l e d and Norbert i n s i s t e d on re-con-secrating i t . His enemies said i t was unnecessary and accused him of planning to s t e a l the church's 151 treasure. After a long night hidden i n the church, Norbert i s saved by the a r r i v a l of the count, and he i s able to show that nothing has been disturbed. Omit 50. His enemies continue to r i s e up against him and he XXXIII i s compelled to leave the c i t y . / F i n a l l y , however, 9: the people perceive the truth and o f f e r r e s t i t u t i o n 3466-3528 which Norbert considers unnecessary, 51. Forty marks of s i l v e r are given to repair the damage done his palace. Thus Norbert shows himself able to endure a l l i l l s . XXXIV 52. Lothar, the German emperor, sets up an expedition to 13: re-seat the true pope i n Rome and has Norbert accom-3529-3619 pany him. The t r i p i s successful, but the much weak-ened Norbert dies a short time a f t e r t h e i r return. XXV 53. The cathedral and the church of h i s canons dispute 13: over the body of the s a i n t , and Lothar decides i n 3620-3710 favour of the Premonstratensians. His body has r e -mained uncorrupted while the d e c i s i o n was being made. XXXVI 54. One of h i s distant canons has a v i s i o n of Norbert 20: with an o l i v e branch as a symbol of the order he 3711-3850 has planted, and i t i s found to be the day of the saint's death. Another brother sees a v i s i o n of Norbert who changes into a l i l y and the p r i o r notes the day, which turns out to be the day of h i s b u r i a l . Yet another brother, one of the e a r l i e s t converted, 152 has a v i s i o n of Norbert i n b l i s s . F i n a l assurance of the author that these things are true because they were reported by eyewitnesses. [XXXVIi] [ The second recension of St. Norbert's l i f e , which 37: i s found i n a l l extant versions, follows here.] 3851-4109 153 Footnotes Internal references are to: John Capgrave, The L i f e of St. Norbert, ed. W.H. Clawson, unpublished manuscript i n the Huntington Library (HM55). Line numbers are taken from Professor Clawson's unpublished t r a n s c r i p t , the manuscript of which i s i n the University of Toronto Library. And V i t a S. Norberti, P.L., CLXX (Paris, 1894), c o l s . 1258-1344. References to Capgrave are by l i n e number, to the V i t a by column number. ^Most of the documents are c i t e d i n Godefroid Madelaine, H i s t o i r e de Saint Norbert ( L i l l e , 1886). Of the r e l i g i o u s biographer, Madelaine says, "Pour l u i l e grand r ^ l e p o l i t i q u e du saint para'it secondaire, et i l n'en parle qu'incidemment" (p. 14). 2 H.M. Colvin, The White Canons i n England (Oxford, 1951), p. 1. 3 The excommunication of the emperor i s not mentioned i n the St. Norbert; for the accusation on his apparel see Capgrave, 11. 342-343. Certain materials were r e s t r i c t e d to members of s p e c i f i c ranks, and they were expected to wear garments su i t a b l e to t h e i r s t a t i o n . As a member of the n o b i l i t y who had as yet not renounced h i s p o s i t i o n , Nor-bert was vulnerable to t h i s attack. 4 Cappenburg, Elvestat, and Varlar i n V i t a , c o l . 1306. ^Colvin, p. 315. 6 I b i d . , p. 307. 7A.B. Emdem, A Biographical Register of the University of Cam- bridge (Cambridge, 1963). Wygenhale i s l i s t e d under h i s family name, Saresson. Further information about his career i s contained i n Colvin, pp. 321-323. g The l a t e 19th-century controversy over the p r i o r i t y of the two early versions has not yet been f i n a l l y resolved. Roger Wilmans edited as V i t a A a l i f e which he discovered and believed to be e a r l i e r i n Monumenta His tor i a Germanica: Scriptores, XII (Hanover, 1856),- 670-703. His dating was challenged by Godefroid Madelaine i n his H i s t o i r e  de Saint Norbert ( L i l l e , 1886), pp. 17-19. The l a t t e r c l e a r l y estab-l i s h e s (p. 18) that the standard L i f e (B) i s of French o r i g i n , A of German. However the sing l e l i n g u i s t i c example that he c i t e s f o r JS's ultimate p r i o r i t y i s scarcely s u f f i c i e n t proof, and his whole argument i s so dogmatic as to cause doubts i n the reader. 9 The three l i s t s which follow c l a r i f y Capgrave's precise r e l a -tionship to V i t a A and 13. While he selects f r e e l y from ]3 (as the t h i r d 154 l i s t i n d i c a t e s ) , he follows B both i n the d e t a i l s omitted from A ( l i s t 2) and i n the addition of d e t a i l s which do not appear i n A at a l l ( l i s t 1). 1) Deta i l s which appear i n Capgrave and 13 but not i n A - Troye as an alternate name for Xanten (1. 93) - The d e t a i l that Evermode kneeled i n Norbert's footsteps when he f i n i s h e d preaching (11. 786-789) - The name of Norbert's second d i s c i p l e (1. 811) - That the t h i r d d i s c i p l e was Hugh of Fosse (11. 813-814) - That Norbert arr i v e d with his d i s c i p l e s at Premontre' i n Passion Week (1. 822) - The generalizing statement that the d e v i l awaits his chance (11. 988-991) - Norbert's d i r e c t speech (1. 1045) and the explanation that he understood the d e v i l ' s t r i c k s (11. 1086-1089) - The explanation that a monk was standing i n the crowd (11. 1095-1098) - The degree to which Norbert's speech ravished his d i s c i p l e s (11. 1235-1239) - The discussion of modification of the rules (11. 1443-1454) - The conclusion to section XV (Chapter 25) that Norbert taught by example (11. 1527-1533) - The moral to the story of the young novice's theft (11. 1599-1603) - The generalized discussion of the doubts of many concerning the success of the order (11. 1629-1658) - Norbert's address to the brothers on Satan's i n e v i t a b l e future assaults (11. 1699-1710) - Norbert's designation of deputies while he i s absent preaching (11. 1800-1816) - Norbert's consultation concerning the brother who wishes to expound b i b l i c a l prophecies (11. 1921-1929) - The speech of those who wished to hear and the i n d i r e c t speech of those who refused to hear the second expounder (11. 1966-1974) - Introductory statement to Section XX (Chapter 30) (11. 1966-1998) - The f a c t that a boy holds the cross during the exorcism (11. 2119-2120) - The image of the order growing as the f r u i t of a tree (11. 2351-2354) - Norbert's ordination of an abbot at V i v i e r s (11. 2362-2363) - The f a c t that the d e v i l was following Norbert (1. 2368) - A d d i t i o n a l d e t a i l s i n the seizure (11. 2380-2455) - Norbert's d i r e c t speech to the brothers about impure water (11. 2474-2476) - The three supernatural events concerning the wolf (11. 2514-2639) 155 - The brother catching a tree as he pursues the devil (1. 2694) - The transition from the t r i a l s of the brothers to Norbert (11. 2717-2719) - The fact that Norbert was involved with negotiations for Duke Theobald when he happened to be in Spires and the arrangements he had made with his brothers (11. 2787-2846) - That Alberon indicated Norbert should be chosen as archbishop (11. 2868-2870) - The explanat ion of the names of the Slavs and Saxons (11. 2913— 2920) - The comparison to Leah and Rachel (11. 2926-2927) - The fact that Norbert's original intention had been to minister to the heathen (11. 2927-2928) - The doorkeeper's speech and the response of the people (11. 2963-2965) - The dialogue between Norbert and o f f i c i a l s on the wasting of church revenue (11. 3008-3024) - Additional details in the reports of his attempts to restore the church's possessions (11. 3037-3100) and of his d i f f i c u l -ties in establishing his canons in the church of Our Lady (11. 3101-3144) - The details concerning the Anti-pope's possession of Rome by the power of his kindred (11. 3542-3556) - Post mortem visions (11. 3711-3826) 2) Details omitted by Capgrave and B from the account in A - Norbert's speech to the pope (Wilmans, p. 678, 11. 30-38) - Chapter 11 (p. 681). Not the same as B/s chapter 11, this sequence concerns a barren woman and a holy child born to her after Norbert's prayers. - The speech of the prior (p. 686, 11. 25, 30) - An appearance by the devil (p.687, 11. 21-36) - The date 1125 (p. 693, 1. 22) - Cardinal's name (p. 694, 1. 4) and his speech (11. 17-24) 3) Capgrave's omissions from J3 (see Appendix) - The Prologue - Chapters 5, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 23, 32, 33, 34, 49, half of 50 - Numerous shorter passages ^The Latin also includes a reference to the year 1118 (col. 1256). Other examples are found in lines: 195-96, 652-58, 1209, 2181-84, 2338, 2642-43, 2987-89, 3499-3500, 3901. 156 He sees the incorruptibility of the saint's body as proof of bodily resurrection (11. 3669-75), for example. Among other ex-planations of the significance of events, the following lines may be cited: 643-44, 1883-90, 2372-73, 2775-79, 2848-49, 3174-76, 3260-63, 3961-69. 13 A theological question concerning the treatment of unclean objects which f a l l upon the altar is at the core of the third example (11. 281-97). 14 The exceptions are chapters 5, 25, 28, 33, 36, 39, 41, 45, 46, 47, 48, 52, 54; three of them (25, 45, 52) begin with erat and two others (46, 47) with other past tense verbs suggesting a time division; three more (5, 33, 36) are omitted in Capgrave's poem; and two (41, 54) begin with generalizing statements. CHAPTER IV THE LIFE OF ST. KATHERINE I The second of Capgrave's poetic lives, The Life of.St. Katherine, may be approximately dated from Osbern Bokenham's acknowledgement of i t in his Legendys of Hooly Wummen.^  This collection of lives was written for various noble ladies who lived in the vi c i n i t y of Bokenham's convent 2 at Clare, and i t was complete by 1447, when yet another Austin f r i a r , 3 Thomas Burgh, had the whole transcribed in Cambridge. In this manu-script. The Lyf of S. Katherine follows The Lyf of Marye Maudelyn, com-posed after Bokenham returned from a,pilgrimage to St. James of Campos-tello in 1445. It is reasonable to suppose that not much time elapsed between the completion of the f i r s t and the commencement of the second l i f e , on which Bokenham says (1.7367) he spent only "dayis fyve," and that, therefore, Capgrave's "newly compyled" version (1.6357)—which Bokenham says is available for consultation—was already finished and in circulation, at least in his order. More important than the date, however, or even the confirmation that Capgrave intended his work for dissemination among Augustinians, is the contemporary assessment of Capgrave's s k i l l — t h e only extant c r i t i c a l commentary—contained in the following lines: More-ouyr a l l bo pat redyn or here Shal pis tretyhs, as lowly as I kan,. I beseche no wyse to lokyn here 158 That.I shuld tell e hou she fyrst began To be crystyne, & howe oon clepyd Adryan Hyr conuertyd & crystnyd in hyr youthe, For bat mater to me is f u l vnkouthe, But who-so lyst knowleche for to haue, And in bat mater enuereyd to be, My fadrys book, maystyr loon Capgrave, Wych pat but newly compylyd he, Mote he seke, & he bere shal se In balaadys rymyd ful craftyly Alle bat for ingnorance here nowe.leue I. But for-as-mych as pat book is rare And straunge to gete, at myn estymacyoun Compendyously of al I wyl declare No more but oonly be passyoun . . . , • (11.6347-6364) Obviously, Bokenham's main concern is to justify his translation of the l i f e of St. Katherine found in the Legenda Aurea, which, like most other medieval versions, deals only with the debate with the,philos-ophers and.the martyrdom. At the same time, he is clearly concerned to acknowledge Capgrave's greater competence to handle the theological materials of Katherine's conversion, which figure so prominently in Capgrave's longer L i f e . The passage also has some biographical relevance. Capgrave's position in the order at this time is not documented by contemporary records, but Bokenham's.use of the term "my fadyr," despite the fact that the two men were exact contemporaries and i t was Bokenham who was f i r s t preferred to the doctorate, suggests a clear priority. Though his reference to "balaadys rymed f u l craftyly" is merely a descriptive tag and need not be regarded as a serious.literary judgment, Bokenham's tribute i s more than simply a conventional expression of humility toward a superior in the,order, for the whole passage emphasizes Capgrave's-skill .and his : great 159 reputation for learning. There is a certain justice in the man who was to be dignified by the epithet, "the most:learned of the Augustinians,"^ choosing the most learned of the virgin martyrs as a subject, though, of course, Capgrave himself saw.no such correspondence, and, as usual, he derived his poem from a source which came into his hands without his having sought i t . While there are no.comtemporary accounts of St. Katherine, she may well have been one of the Alexandrian martyrs. It was the opinion of Hippolyte Delehaye, the most productive and scholarly Bollandist of this century, that i t would never be determined whether she was truly a saint or simply a real person around whom a cult developed."* What-ever the case, she was one of the most popular saints of the medieval period, chiefly revered for her learning. The Augustinians recognized her as their patroness of knowledge, and her anniversary was doubtless celebrated by many more convents than the Paris studium generale, for whose fe s t i v i t i e s there is documentation.^ As her legend grew, i t attracted nearly a l l the common fic t i o n a l devices. There are probably earlier lost notices of Katherine, but the version of the Menologium  Basilianum (886) is the f i r s t known: The martyr Aikaterina was the daughter of a rich and noble chieftain of Alexandria. She was very beautiful and being at the same time highly talented, she devoted herself to Grecian l i t e r -ature, and to the study of the languages of a l l nations, and so became wise and learned. And i t happened that the Greeks held a festival in honour of their idols; and seeing the slaughter of the animals, she was so greatly moved that she-went to the King Maximinus and expostulated with him in these words: "why hast though l e f t the liv i n g God to worship l i f e l e s s idols?" But the 160 emperor caused her to be thrown into prison, and to be punished severely. He then ordered f i f t y orators to be brought, and bade them to reason with Aikaterina, and confute her, & threatening to burn them a l l i f they should f a i l to overpower her. The orators, however, when they saw themselves vanquished, received baptism, and were burnt forthwith. She, on the contrary was-beheaded.7 Even in this early source, the embellishments for the g l o r i f i -cation of the saint are apparent. She is beautiful, of noble birth, and credited with great learning. Moreover, she appears not before the Roman judge, as she would have in fact, but before the emperor himself. Her expostulation with the emperor, her debate with the orators, and their conversion are a l l obvious f i c t i o n a l trappings and f i t subjects for the devices of amplification so familiar to medieval rhetoricians. Thus, by description of scenes and persons, by the addition of dialogues—including expositions of doctrine and prayers— by hyperbole, by magnification and elaboration of the torments endured, and by the creation or borrowing of miraculous voices and events, medieval Latin hagiographers created a biography on.the Antonian model g for Katherine as they did for so many other saints. Amplification by the invention of events was not Capgrave's method, as has previously been shown; here as elsewhere, he provides evidence which would precisely identify his source were i t s t i l l extant. By Capgrave's time, the story had acquired a great many stan-dard incidents, among them: Katherine's genealogy; the marriage debate; her conversion and the visionary marriage to Christ; the development of the debate with the philosophers; the tortures; the conversion of the queen and of the king's steward; the prayers, conversions, and miracles 161 at her execution; and the miraculous translation of her body to Mount Sinai. No new incidents are added in Capgrave's Life of St. Katherine, and i t is doubtful even whether any of the details relating to the incidents, such as names and numbers, which are unique in Capgrave's. version,•were actually invented by him. Given what is known about his reworking of identified sources, i t is almost certain that these details were present in the lost,source that l i e s behind St. Katherine. Indeed^ some indication that he was following carefully a specific source is provided by several reservations which he articulates re-garding certain of the recorded events and details, such as the mode of Adrian and Katherine's' voyage to his hermitage from Alexandria, the concreteness of the visions surrounding Katherine's' mystical marriage-to Christ, and the reports of the miracles at her tomb in Sinai. A close Latin prose parallel to Capgrave's poem, in a 15th-century hand, was discovered by Auvo Kurvinen in Bodl. MS. Laud Misc. 9 205; She effectively demonstrates that even though the two share many details, they do not derive from each other; however, she asserts that they depend on a mutual and non-extant source, which she attrib-utes, on the basis of internal evidence in Capgrave's poem, to one' "Arrek." The author of the Latin prose version paralleling Capgrave's poem, she identifies as the John Staneborn whose name appears as a running headline in the liber primus. There are at least two major errors in Dr. Kurvinen's recon-struction, both relating to the transmission of manuscript sources. Dr. Kurvinen' clearly misses a stage' when she claims that "Staneborn" 162 and Capgrave had a single source, although i t may be that Capgrave's source and "Staneborn" had a common Latin o r i g i n a l . ^ That this is so is attested to by Capgrave's categorical statement that his pre-eminent source was an incomplete English version written in a western dialect: he mad p i l y f f in englysch tunge f u l well. But 3et he deyed or he had fu l l y doo: (Bk. I, Prologue,11.57-58) Of be west c u n t r e i t semeth bat he was, Be hys maner spech & be hys style. (Bk; I, Prologue,11.225-226) Supporting evidence (not entirely circumstantial) derives from a con-sideration of the probabilities of transmission. In the f i r s t placej i t would be a virtually unique, and therefore highly unlikely, for a Latin translation to have been made from a vernacular original. Second, since the author of the English source died at Lynn (11.218-219) and presumably l e f t his unfinished manuscript there, and since "Staneborn," as Dr. Kurvinen indicates, may have been only a scribe or a previous owner, and has no known association with Lynn, there is no reason for assuming that he, or whoever was the author of the Latin prose version, had consulted the work,of Capgrave's- "preest." Kurvinen's second error involves her claim that Capgrave used two versions of "Arrek's" work, one.in English and one in Latin, a claim impossible to support from Capgrave's own observations."^ Apart from the fact that Capgrave says that his author died leaving the, work unfinished, his only reference to his source for the last book occurs in the Prologue to Book;V:;, "This sehal be translated' now-newe fro 163 Latyn" (1.62). There is no suggestion in Capgravels comment that this Latin author is identical with the author of his English source. Unfortunately, Laud Misc. 205 lacks many leaves, and i t s assumed fourth, book is not extant. There i s , therefore, no way to demonstrate whether this missing book may have been derived from the same Latin source as Capgrave's version of the martyrdom, which does come from a Latin source. A further ambiguity relating to the sources must also be resolved. The identification of "Arrek" as the author of the f i r s t Latin l i f e and the equating of him with the priest who wrote the English version (who was for a time the rector of St.Pancras, and who died at Lynn) stems from a misreading of the text made by.Furnivall, a misreading which Dr. Kurvinen adopts. Considering Capgrave's weak transition, i t was easy for this mistake to occur. In the Prologue, lines 47-126 deal with the eighteen-year search (11.49-76) made by an English priest for Katherine's l i f e and the vision he has (1.78ff.), which leads him to a book buried by Amylyon f i t z amarak in "Cyprelond" (1.121). At this point, Capgrave says: And in pope vrban tyme,.I vndyrstond be fyfte of rome, f e l l a l l bis matere wheche 3e haue herd and 3et 3e schall more clere. (11.124-126) What he means by "more clere" is the elaboration (11.127-320) of the contents of this buried book,- Capgrave begins with a long passage on Katherine's confessor, Athanasius,:who wrote.her l i f e in Greek and remained bishop in Alexandria long after her persecutor, Maxentius', 164 death (11.127-129). Then he says that ^Catherine's name was l i t t l e known unti l Arrek made a translation of Athanasius' Greek l i f e ; and he explains how Arrek spent twelve years in Alexandria learning the language before he found and translated the l i f e (11.170-203). It i s "pis new werk" (1.199), Arrek's Latin l i f e , that was "on-to englisch-man/I-soute & founde, & broute un-to londe" (11.203-204) by Capgrave's. priest. Arrek's Latin l i f e , then, i s the immediate source n o t o f Capgrave's l i f e , but of the English l i f e which Capgrave is versifying, and i t was discovered by the English priest in.the time of Pope Urban, that i s , between 1362 and 1370 (11.124-125). Arrek's translation was made a hundred years after Athanasius' death (11.198-201) , that i s , no 12 later than the beginning of the 5th century. Finally, in giving Katherine's genealogy, Capgrave further distinguishes his English source, reinforcing, by his comparison of i t with older (obviously Latin rather than Greek) chronicles, the.argument that i t is a compo-sition of f a i r l y recent origin: In pis reknyng myne auctour & I are too; ffor he acordeth not wyt3 cronicles pat ben olde, But diuersyth from hem, & bat in many thyngis. bere he acordyth, per I hym hold; And. where he diuersyth in ordre of peis kyngis, I leue hym, & to order mennys.rekenyngis I 3eue more credens whech be-fore hym & me Sette alle pese men in ordre & degre. (Bk. 1,11.686-693) To recapitulate, the above argument.is perhaps best c l a r i f i e d visually by using a manuscript tree, Furnivall and later Kurvinen have traced the source transmission in a direct line from Athanasius 165 to Capgrave, identifying Arrek's translation as the common source of both Capgrave's Life and (in Kurvinen's case) "Staneborn's" prose parallel, and Arrek and Capgrave's "preest" as one: . Capgrave's Katherine "Staneborn's" parallel English source Arrek.(5thC) Athanasius' Greek l i f e Their account f a i l s , however, to consider a l l the evidence: i t ignores Capgrave's own positive statements about his "auctour," or immediate English source, and i t begs the question of his having to rely on an additional Latin source to f i l l in the lacunae occasioned by the incom-pleteness of the English version. If the transmission I have suggested above is accurate—and i t derives wholly from Capgrave's own discussions of his source—the line of descent is as follows: Capgrave's Katherine I "Staneborn's" parallel English source I Latin source - I "Arrek" Athanasius 166 Since none.of the immediate sources for either Capgrave' s Life.. or "Staneborn's" Latin.parallel are extant, source arguments must be limited to problems of transmission, and Capgrave's u t i l i z a t i o n of his sources becomes only a topic for speculation. The matter is of more than academic interest, however, for i t can now be established un-equivocally that for the St• Katherine he drew primarily upon a ver-nacular source—the unique instance in his canon where this is the case. That he did so may reflect only his adaptation of materials convenient to hand; but i t may also, when added to the extensiveness of his English writings, say something about his concern for the vernacular and reinforce his claim to be regarded as an early and serious writer in English. II . These observations bring no closer the identification of the English priest, and unless the manuscript should suddenly come to light, there would be no particular profit in pursuing his identity. The second problem which arises is no easier to resolve. Given the date of composition and Capgrave's reference.to the "style" as well as the "maner speche" (Bk. I, Prologue,1.225) as evidence of the west country origin of the author, one suspects that.the lost work was an example of the works in highly stylized prose and poetry which flourished in the western regions. Many of the lines in that part of the Prologue which describes the Latin rather than the. English source are strikingly, a l l i t e r a t i v e : 167 Aungellys bar her, be deuelys bar hys beer (1.159) Who sche for lofe her lyffe hath bus layde (1.178) had brent be bokys, bobe be leffe & be brede (1.192) Countless others which have only two all i t e r a t i v e words echo early 13 14th-century examples from the North-West Midlands dialect. Beyond the al l i t e r a t i o n , there i s one pervasive s t y l i s t i c characteristic of the poem which is found nowhere else in Capgrave's, writing and which is presumably a survival from the or i g i n a l — r e p e t i - . tion and balance in form and/or meaning, in which two nouns, verbs, or adjectives, identical in meaning, are juxtaposed: pe spede & pe sauacyoun (1.164) hys help & hys socour (1.174) hys conquest & hys victory (1.283) ordeyned & sett (1.199) cryeth & wayleth (1.212) pased & I-gon (1.226) ful huge & f u l grete (1.76) mek & mylde (1.241) Any of these kinds of doublets may be extended to phrase or clause length; and two or more parts of speech may be paralleled: in ioye & in mekyll myrthe.(1.150) many a good coment & many a holy exhortacyon (1.132) for hys owyn spouse & for hys wyffe der (1.191) Schall sche now grone, schall sche now crye? (1.207) every man may know & euery man ler (1.291) 168 Contraries are similarly employed: Bope s t y l l & lowde (1.10) bothe fer & ner (1.11) Wer i t in pees or e l l i s in wer (1.75)-of hethnes & of cristyndome (1.80) loue ne dred (1.146) per wold sche sytte, & per wold sche ryse (1.348) Whech ar of goode wyll & whech ar of i l l e (1.396) Generally, almost any phrase or clause capable of.this kind of ampli-fication receives i t . Thus, in the following cases, while there i s neither identity nor opposition, the expansion cannot be said to advance the narrative: of felde, of town or of see (1.89) in towr & in walle (1.109) wyth fyr & wyth yryn I-slayn & I-brent (1.121) be kyng i s f u l febyll, be qwen f u l eld now (1.206) ladyes in be chaumbyr & lordys in be halle (1.210) Aftyr her age & aftyr her dygnyte (1.324) who men schall speke, & who bei schall wryte (1.368) Sometimes this device i s found in long sequences of lines, occasionally with shorter parallel syntactical units embedded in longer ones. For example, Alexander's admiral's speech is rhetorically sup-ported by twin parallel "loke" admonitions, followed by a "how"-"why"-"wherefore" series: 169 "Loke bat 3e brow not now a l l i n pe mere! Loke pat 3e lese not now your gret namyd lose, Whan pat 3e may so heyly i t endoos! • "Who honoure 3e 3our owne grete astate! Why hate 3e now pat i l k lady must haue? Wherfore haue 3e swech ping i n hate That may 3oure londes & eke 30ur-self saue? (Bk. 11,11.880-886) Lines 882 and.886, which disrupt the s t y l i z e d sequence and add nothing to the debate, may w e l l be Capgrave's additions, concessions to the requirements of the rhyme. Katherine's testament of f a i t h to the philosopher provides two other examples of a s i m i l a r s e r i e s , and here the portions which Capgrave added to meet the demands of h i s verse form are much more obvious: "I lerne how god i s l o r d of creature, I lerne hough he the.heuene white and blew, The water, the feyr, the erthe, eer bat i t grew, Made a l of n o u g h t — t h i s i s now my lernyng. I lerne also that he a c h i l d f u l ying "Was bore i n erthe of Mary, . . . (Bk. IV,11.1354-1359) Line 1355 was almost c e r t a i n l y simply, "I lerne how he made a l of nought"; and " t h i s i s now my l e a r n i n g " (1.13.58) i s indisputably only a l i n e f i l l e r . S i m i l a r l y , i n the following l i n e s , "This i s my scole, b i s i s my philosophie This i s be scyens I hope schal neuere l y e ; "This i s my feyth, t h i s i s my v i c t o r i e . (Bk. IV,11.1371-1373) the second (1.1372) seems merely an addition to meet the requirements of the f i n a l rhyme. In any case, i f these three examples—or any of the hundreds more that might be c i t e d i n the 8624 l i n e s of The L i f e of St. 170 Katherine—are compared to passages which are unquestionably Capgrave's, such as the genealogy passage quoted above, the sections in the.intro-ductory chapter in which he discusses his author's prolixity, his original prologues and conclusions to the various books; or his whole manner in The Life of St. Norbert, there can be l i t t l e doubt that this technique was part of his source, not his own invention. It would be , hazardous to suggest, however, that his original was necessarily a poem, for i t is precisely these features of a l l i t e r a t i o n and balanced constructions which led many 19th century scholars to assume that.the works in the 12th century, West-Midland Katherine Group were poems. It seems most lik e l y that like them, Capgrave's source was one of the highly stylized prose works preserved in the western dialects. The fact that the f i f t h book also reveals these characteristics leads to the further supposition that the original English version derived from an equally rhetorical Latin source. Apart from the correction of his material from what he consider-ed more authoritative works, then, Capgrave seems to have followed his unknown original closely. However, he does make a few other direct comments on the subject matter which reflect the scholar's belief that the vernacular is not a f i t vehicle for the mysteries of faith,.indeed, that making certain.ideas accessible to the :unlearned is a dangerous undertaking. In Book I, he says: . . ;. mych other thyng Was seyd & do, whech nedyth not to rehers, ffor happyly sume foik myght than be be wers To her swech maummentrye & swych-maner rytes. (11.474-477) 171 Later, he editorializes: It is f u l hard swiche pingis for to ryme, To vtter pleynly in langage of oure nacyon Swhiche straunge doutes pat longe to the incarnacioun, But that myn auctour took swiche ping on.hande, And yet his langage vnnethe I vndirstande; Wherfore with other auctouris I enforce hym thus, Whiche spoke more pregnauntly as in this matere. (Bk. IV,11.2194-2200) At the end, refusing to confirm or deny the miracles he has heard and read of at Katherine's tomb, he clearly means that he has no Latin authority and shows that he is fully aware of his own reputation as a theologian: But for be-cause I haue noon auctorite, I dar not wryte heere her declaracyon, lest that I poyson all e myn forsayd weerk, lest pat men eke.of myn owne nacyon Shulde ymagen bat I, whiche am a clerk, Might of swiche thyngis take a wrong merk, Wherfore I commytte a l this thyng in-feere On-to the discrecyon of hem bat shul i t heere, ffor I wil determyne noo conclusyon as in this mater;. (Bk. V,11.1967-1976) The prosaic nature of his intrusions i s , of course, evident again, both in this passage and in the one to follow. What Capgrave is willing to elaborate on for his vernacular audience, in the St. Katherine as in others of his works, are natural phenomena and figures of speech. For example, he explains Katherine and Adrian's i n v i s i b i l i t y as they pass through Alexandria as the result of a spell of blindness invoked by God on the population: 172 . . . a sekenes meruelous— It is called acrisia, i t maketh men seme blynde As for a tyme, for sykyr a l l her mynde Schall be so a-stoyned pat.pei schull not see bing bat in her hand vp hap ban bee. (Bk. 111,11.801-805) When he refers to Katherine as "blynde" during her heathen period, he i n -terrupts the progress of his narrative with the following explanation: Blynd I calle hir whil she was in that l y f , Knewe not c r i s t , baptem had noon I-take, Of heuenly thyngis l i t e l inquisityf hir old oppynyons had she no3t forsake, ffro this blyndenesse cryst made hir a-wake, In oure thredde book ryght as we seyde before--It nedeth not as now reherce i t no more. (Bk. V,11.43-49) Such digressions are frequent in the St. Katherine. At various points in the narrative, he explains why St. Augustine called the Apostles "ydyotis" (Bk. 1,1.288) and identifies God's servants as angels (Bk. V.1.699), pauses to discuss earlier meanings of the names f r i a r , hermit, and monk (Bk. 111,11.84-91), and predicates that Adrian was happily occupied while Katherine was ravished to heaven (Bk. I l l , 11.1012-1015); he conjectures why Mary and Katherine had no company when they approached Christ's throne.(Bk. Ill,11.1019-1022), discusses whether Katherine was fed physically or spiritually (Bk..V,11.896-912), and gives Maxentius' later history (Bk. V,11.1097-1110). Proportionately speaking, however, Capgrave's intrusions tend less toward exposition in this work than in his other writings, perhaps because so much of the material is i t s e l f expository. Instead, they tend to be editorial in nature, as when he disparages pagan rites (Bk, I, 1.450, Bk. IV,11.405-406) , makes certain the reader recognizes the false logic of anyone,who speaks against Katherine (Bk. 11,11,1143), and provides his source for a particular statement,(Bk. .1,11.554-557, Bk. V,11.1697-1698). Occasionally, he intrudes personal allusions, such as the anachronistic reference to the Lollards (Bk. 111,1.327), and his acknowledgement of his own ignorance of astrology (Bk. I, 11.390-392) or of a character's name (Bk. 11,1.108). In addition, 14 • there are a great many purely conventional addresses to the reader. As in the St. Norbert, Capgrave uses aphorisms to express observations about l i f e in general, Solitary l y f f to stodyers is comfort (Bk. 1,1.350) or about God's power over a l l : Thus can oure lord the pacyens proue Of hem bat am chosen to dwelle a l aboue In heuene in his presens. (Bk. IV,.11.942-944) Such aphorisms, however, are noticeably less hortatory in the St. Katherine than in the previous work."'""' Although Capgrave refers to his audience variously as either "readers" or "hearers," i t i s clear that he expected his work to be included as part of some edifying or devotional exercise and to be. read in sections, perhaps a book at a time, to a gathered assembly. The five-part structure provides a convenient frame for the separation of episodes in Katherine's l i f e . At the end of Book I, after having recounted Katherine's "byrth, her kynrod & her countre," Capgrave en-forces a distinct interruption of the narrative: It wyl be long or pat pis tale be told; berfor I counsell bat we make her a pause 174 And eke a-rest ryth euene at bis clause. (11.1041-1043) The conclusion of the second book is also definite, although "Amen" (1.1498) need imply no suggestion that the reading must necessarily stop there. On the other hand, Book III begins with a recapitulation of the contents of the preceding parts, which seems to assume a.lapse of time: ffor I haue tolde 30W - schortly, as I can, be byrth, be kynrod, be nobyllhed of bis mayde, be gret disputyng of lordes who i t be-gan, And eke hyr answer, what sche to hem sayd; bis haue I pleynly now be-for 30W layde In swech ryme, as I coude best deuyse— (11.8-13) The book ends with a statement that i s already long enough and a prayer which conclusively divides i t from the succeeding prologue: pis same book whech we hafe be long a-boute, We wyll now ende, i f 36 ber-to acorde.: God sende vs alle of vnite acorde, To plese hym oonly a-boue a l l menne— ber-to sey we alle wyth 0 0 voys AmEN. -(11.1501-1505) The last two books, the prologues of which commence with origin-al, and elaborate similes not directly associated with the narrative, are more s k i l l f u l l y demarcated as structural.units than the f i r s t three. In the f i r s t forty-two lines of Book IV, men are compared to bees; "Some w i l l laboure, and some w i l l neuere thryue" (1.5). The workers take true nourishment from "goddis lawe" while the drones only sleep; the church is their hive with cells of honey and wax. The application of this general simile begins at line 43, where, unt i l line 71, the simile is elaborated to suggest Katherine's study of holy books during the two year interval before her persecutor arrives. Capgrave adduces no further reason for concluding the fourth book than that i t is " f u l convenient" (1.2341), but he adds a prayer • (11.2342-2345) to make his ending more convincing. The opening of the last book is the most interesting for i t demonstrates unequivocally that the five part division of the work was intentional from the outset, and that Capgrave was as capable as.any other author of employing conventional medieval symbols in an allegor-i c a l , fashion. Again suggesting an interval of time in the.reading, Capgrave compares both Katherine and his version of her l i f e to a rose: Now is i t come, oure leyser and oure space, In whiche we may, after oure grete labour, Of other maters, now, whil we haue grace, Turne ageyn and taaste the swete sauour Of this elene virgyne, of this weel sauoured.flour, Whiche with fyue braunches grew thus here in erthe. T h e f i r s t e , the secounde, the thredde, and the feerde haue 3e perceyued, i f 3e haue red a l l e ; Now shal the fyfte be shewed on-to joure sight. ffor now we lyste this lady a rose .to calle, . . . (11.1-10) He then explains that the redness of the rose stands for Katherine's martyrdom; the thorns represent both her suffering and her heathen ancestry. The leaves, protecting the flower and then opening to reveal i t s redness, il l u s t r a t e that her whole l i f e was directed towards martyr-dom. The application of the comparison to his own work follows. Like a rose, two of the leaves have no rough edges; these are the two books which concern her l i f e before her conversion. The last three are the leaves of "vertu," and thus they are "berdes." Finally, because the 176 leaves are evergreen, the reader is reminded that Katherine's grace is everlasting. These two elaborate introductory figures of speech, stylized openings in medieval poetry, are in no way characteristic of Capgrave's writing. While they testify to his familiarity with rhetorical devices employed in.the poetic compositions of his time, they are virtually unique examples of figurative elaborations. In fact, the only others extended to any length are a comparison of the.sparks which indicate that "summe fyre is nye" to the holy.words and deeds which prove that "pe fyre of charite & loue" burns in Katherine long before she is aware of i t (Bk. 11,11.1-18), the description of how the "sercle" of virtues operates (Bk. 11,11.35-49), and Katherine's explanation that she is "lych a g r i f f . . vp-on an elde stoke" (Bk. 11,11.1239-1253). And dev-eloped and appropriate on an expository level as they may be, these figures are not original and none adds any l y r i c a l feeling to.the poem. Occasional similes and colloquialisms in dialogue do vi v i f y some passages: . . .as wyth-Inne be wale Of a strong schyppe a man is bor a-lofte, . . . (Bk. 11,11.642-643) The sturdy herte in hym which was soo stoute, Was.hid with langage as venym in a cloute; . . . (Bk. V,11.1005-1006) But for the most part, what l i t t l e imagery there is tends to be casual, undeveloped, repetitious, unimaginative—even t r i t e . Katherine's swooning mother, for example, lie s in a heap "as rownd as any balle" 177 (Bk. 11,1.1461); and to describe a heart as "heuyas led" (Bk. V,1.784) must have been to overwork a cliche even in the 15th Century. Capgrave repeatedly uses the martyr's symbol, the rose, for Katherine without developing i t (Bk. 1,1.201; Bk. 111,1.949; Bk. IV,1.490, 1.1040); and he so automatically employs either the simile "as strem out of welle" or the metaphor "be welle" whenever virtues are mentioned, that any force i s lost. And, similarly, in two of the less obvious metaphors he uses, neither of them new, he cannot omit the l i t e r a l explanation:, These vessells of gold, martires I mene (Bk. 1,1.120) these ciclopes, smethes I mene (Bk. V,1.1409) In his diction there is neither the abrupt shifting of levels which creates humour in Chaucer and awkwardness in unskilled hands, nor the aureate style of the Scottish Chaucerians; There are words of French and Latin origin throughout, and some of them (like "nugacyon" and "vinolent") were short-lived; but the basic vocabulary is simple and native. As his language tends towards a prosaic or plain style, so also there i s l i t t l e technical originality in Capgrave's poetry. His metre is clearly accentual with additional syllables freely admitted, but he vacillates between tetrameter and pentameter lines without any apparent pattern. Thus, four-beat lines like the following are the most common: So sprong our lady oute of pe Iewys, And kateryne of hethen, bis tale f u l trew i s . (Bk. 1,11.55-56) 178 Our lady had called hem on-to pat deute To comfort pis mayde & do hyr seruyse. Tho spak bis lorde, pis hye iustyse: . . (Bk. 111,11.1202-1204) ffor he hath stodied with al.herte and meende Thi virgynal body to destroye and shende; . . . (Bk. V,11.1313-1314) But they frequently alternate with five beat ones such as:, "ffor i f men take heed, oft-tyme bei may se "Owte of a tre growyng dyuerse frute, And bat same tre bat sumetyme bar be grene, Now bereth he reed or qwyte, of dyuerse sute. (Bk. 11,11.1239-1242) and But I passe ouere, 3euynge to 30ur assayles Tyme and space. I prey god pat 3our entrayles he endewe with grace, that 3e may knowe the truthe. (Bk. IV,11.1733-1735) Capgrave expresses his belief in the relative unimportance of the technique in comparison to the subject when he says: bis haue I pleynly be-for 30W layde In swech ryme, as I coude best deuyse— (Bk. 111,11.12-13) and later he suggests that both the vernacular i t s e l f and his imposed form inhibit his attempts at explanation: It i s f u l hard swiches pingis for to ryme, To vtter pleynly in langage of oure nacyon Swhiche straunge doutes pat longe to the incarnacion, . (Bk. IV,11.2194-2196) Consequently, i t is not surprising that he does not explore the possi-b i l i t i e s of rhyme any more than any other technical device. There are stanzas where the rhyme words have weight, but both the high proportion of feminine rhymes and the perfunctory use of.words like "pis," 'ber-by," "wyse" and "soo" to complete a set lessens the general, im-pact. And, f i n a l l y , conventional line f i l l e r s , like "schortly for to seye" or "myn auctour seith," and weak transitions, such as "What schuld I lenger hyde now my mater" or "what schuld I lenger to 30W tale now make," are commonplace. For Capgrave, the requirements of metre which demanded their,use were only obstacles to be overcome, and he met these, as he did problems of rhyme, with perfunctory solutions that evince l i t t l e imagination. Examples have already been given of Capgrave's tendency to add lines merely to pad out a stanza; in a l l his poetry, there are more of these compentently composed but unin-spired stanzas than there are ones in which form and sense combine. The single measure of advance in metric s k i l l in the St. Katherine over the level of the St^ . Norbert is in the increased use of paired rhyming lines that function almost as heroic couplets. Even in this area, however, the advance is less the result of conscious artistry on Capgrave's part—though change and experience obviously figure—than of the exigencies of dialogue which is so prominent a characteristic of the St. Katherine. Before her debate with the p h i l -osophers begins, Katherine states her unshakeable commitment to Christ "I wil neuere chaunge, wil I have l y f , I shal been evere to hym truwe spouse and wyf." (Bk. IV,11.1049-1050) In the next stanza, Maxentius sets out the inevitable consequence of her commitment, martyrdom: .180 "Avise 30W of too thyngls whiche ye wil take; Eyther shal 3e deye, or youre lawe forsake." (Bk. .IV,11.1056-1057) In both debates, a high proportion of the speeches end in couplets in which the speaker summarizes his statement, demands an answer, or simply underscores rhetorically the conclusion of his argument. "3e ber vs downn wyth 3our philosophye; But at be last 3e must bowe, hardylye." (Bk. .II ,.11.692-693) "lat vs know pleynly, lady, what 36 mene;. We be 30ur,men, binkyth 3e be.our qwene." (Bk. 11,11.769-770) "Thinke on othir bat haue abyden long, And at be last bei haue walked wrong." ' (Bk. II,11..909-910) Capgrave also uses rhymed lines effectively in the narrative portions of the S^ t. Katherine. Dozens of examples might be provided, but the following couplet, which reminds the reader of Katherine's situation and isolates the episode in which the. emperor exhorts the philosophers from the following day's debate, is especially interesting because, by bridging the two episodes, i t functions structurally as a.transitional link while at the same time it.prepares the reader for the narrative advancement which is to follow: ' Thus leue I hem s t i l l e in thoughtful besynesse, And Katarine, oure mayden, in presun and distresse. (Bk. IV,11.1014-1015) III This.is. not to make an exaggerated claim for Capgrave's sense of the fusion of form and meaning in his writing—that the various aspects of his technique can be so readily isolated militates against any such conclusion—however, i t is f a i r to say that even though the poetic quality of the ^ t . Katherine, like the 3^t_. Norbert, is no more than competent, he does.succeed, in his treatment of literary materials in the St. Katherine, in introducing elements,which distinguish i t from any other extant l i f e of the martyred virgin. Chief among his changes are the development of the heroine into a more r e a l i s t i c character, the humanizing of other conventional.figures, and the manipulation of the material of the debate scenes so that