The Legend of the Three Companions - 69 

times he had the most expensive material sewed together with the cheapest cloth onto the same garment.

3He was naturally courteous in manner and speech and, following his heart's intent, never uttered a rude or offensive word to anyone. Moreover, since he was such a light-hearted and undisciplined youth, he proposed to answer back those speaking to him rarely in a brusque manner. His reputation, because of this, became so widespread throughout almost the entire region, that many who knew him said that, in the future, he would be something great.

From these stepping stones of natural strengths, he was brought to that grace that prompted him to look within himself: "You are generous and courteous to those from whom you receive nothing except passing and worthless approval. Is it not right that, on account of God who repays most generously, you should be courteous and generous to the poor?" From that day he looked on poor people generously and provided them affluently with alms. Although a merchant, he was a very flamboyant squanderer of wealth.

One day when he was in the shop where he was selling cloth, totally absorbed in business of this sort, a poor man came in, begging alms for the love of God. Preoccupied with thoughts of wealth and the care of business, he did not give him alms. Touched by divine grace, he accused himself of great rudeness, saying: "If that poor man had asked something from you for a great count or baron, you would certainly have granted him his request. How much more should you have done this for the King of kings and the Lord of all!"

Because of this incident, he resolved in his heart, from then on, not to deny a request to anyone asking in the name of so great a Lord.

Chapter II
HOW HE WAS IMPRISONED IN PERUGIA
AND THE TWO VISIONS HE HAD WHILE HE WANTED TO BECOME A KNIGHT

4At that time, war broke out between Perugia and Assisi.a Together with many of his fellow citizens, Francis was captured and

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1375-1377


8In curiositate etiam tantum erat vanus quod aliquando in eodem indumento pannum valde carum panno vilissimo consui faciebat.

3 1Erat tamen quasi naturaliter curialis in moribus et in verbis, iuxta cordis sui propositum nemini dicens verbum iniuriosum vel turpe, immo, cum sic esset iuvenis iocosus et lascivus, proposuit turpia sibi dicentibus minime respondere. 2Unde ex hoc fama eius quasi per totam provinciam est adeo divulgata b ut a multis qui cognoscebant eum diceretur aliquid magni futurus.

3A quibus virtutum naturalium gradibus ad hanc provectus est gratiam ut diceret ad seipsum conversus: « Ex quo largus et curialis es apud homines a quibus nihil recipis nisi favorem transitorium et inanem, iustum est ut, propter Deum qui largissimus est in retribuendo, pauperibus sis curialis et largus ». 4Libenter igitur ex tunc videbat pauperes tribuens eis eleemosynas affluenter. 5Et licet esset mercator, dispensator erat vanissimus opulentiae saecularis.

6Cum autem quadam die in apotheca ubi pannos vendebat circa huiusmodi staret sollicitus, venit quidam pauper ad eum petens eleemosynam amore Dei. 7Cumque cupiditate divitiarum et mercationis cura detentus illi eleemosynam denegasset, divina prospectus gratia seipsum arguit magnae rusticitatis, 8dicens: « Si pro magno comite vel barone pauper ille a te aliquid postulasset, certe postulatum sibi dedisses. 9Quanto ergo magis pro Rege regum et omnium Domino id facere debuisti! ». 10Cuius rei causa exinde in corde suo proposuit pro tanto Domino postulata de cetero non negare.

Caput II
Qualiter captivatus fuit Perusii,
et de duabus Visionibus quas habuit volens fieri miles.

4 1Quodam tempore, guerra inter Perusium et Assisium existente, captus est Franciscus cum multis suis concivibus et Perusii captivatus, tamen, quia nobilis erat moribus, cum. militibus captivus est positus.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 69

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