The Legend of the Three Companions - 71 

asked him the reason why he was beaming with joy, he answered: "I know that I will become a great prince."

6The day before the vision occurred, the promise of great chivalry and nobility was so strong in him, that it may be believed that the vision itself may have provided the motive. On that day, in fact, he donated all the refined and expensive clothes he had recently acquired to a poor knight.

When he set out for Apulia, he got as far as Spoleto, where he began to feel a little ill. No less anxious about the trip, as he was falling to sleep, half awake, he heard someone asking him where he wanted to go. When Francis revealed to him his entire plan, the other said: "Who can do more good for you? The lord or the servant?" When [Francis] answered him: "The lord," he again said to him: "Then why are you abandoning the lord for the servant, the patron for the client?" And Francis said: "Lord, what do you want me to do?" "Go back to your land," he said, "and what you are to do will be told to you. You must understand in another way the vision which you saw."

When he woke up, he began to think very carefully about this vision. Just as the first vision had caused him to be almost completely carried away with great joy in a desire for worldly prosperity, the second made him completely introspective, causing him to marvel at and consider its strength, so that he was unable to sleep any more that night.

Therefore when it was morning, buoyant and happy, he quickly returned to Assisi, expecting that the Lord, who had revealed these things to him, would show him His will and give him counsel about salvation. Changed in mind, he now refused to go to Apulia and desired to conform completely to the divine will.

Chapter III
HOW THE LORD VISITED FRANCIS'S HEART FOR THE FIRST TIME
FILLING IT WITH MARVELOUS TENDERNESS THAT GAVE HIM STRENGTH
TO BEGIN TO PROGRESS SPIRITUALLY IN LOOKING DOWN ON HIMSELF
AND ALL VANITIES,
IN PRAYER, ALMSGIVING, AND POVERTY

7A few days after he returned to Assisi, one evening his friends chose him to be in charge so that, according to his whim, he would pay their expenses. He made arrangements for a sumptuous banquet, as he had done so often in the past.

When they left the house bloated, his friends walked ahead of him, singing throughout the city. Holding in his hand the scepter of

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Legenda Trium Sociorum, Fontes Franciscani, p. 1378-1380


8Tantum vero laetior solito est effectus ut pluribus admirantibus et quaerentibus unde sibi esset tanta laetitia responderet: « Scio me magnum principem affuturum ».

6 1Quoddam tamen magnae curialitatis et nobilitatis indicium in eo praecesserat die immediate praecedenti visionem praedictam quod ipsius visionis non modica occasio creditur exstitisse. 2Nam omnia indumenta sua quae de novo sibi fecerat curiosa et cara cuidam pauperi militi donaverat illa die.

3Cum ergo iter arripiens ivisset usque Spoletum ut in Apuliam pergeret coepit aliquantulum aegrotare. 4Sollicitus autem nihilominus de suo itinere, cum se sopori dedisset, audivit semidormiens quemdam interrogantem ipsum quo tendere cupiebat. 5Cui Franciscus cum totum suum propositum revelasset, adiecit ille: « Quis potest tibi melius facere? Dominus aut servus? ». 6Cui cum respondisset: « Dominus », iterum dixit illi: « Cur ergo relinquis pro servo dominum et principem pro cliente? ». 7Et Franciscus ait: « Quid me vis facere, Domine? ». 8 « Revertere, inquit, in terram tuam et tibi dicetur quid sis facturus. Nam visionem quam vidisti aliter intelligere te oportet ».

9Evigilans autem coepit de hac visione diligentissime cogitare, 10et sicut in prima visione fuerat quasi totus extravagatus prae magna laetitia prosperitatem desiderans temporalem, 11sic in ista collegit intus se totum, vim eius admirans et considerans adeo diligenter quod illa nocte ultra dormire nequivit.

12Mane itaque facto, versus Assisiurn revertitur festinanter, laetus et gaudens quamplurimum, exspectansque voluntatem Domini qui sibi haec ostenderat et de salute sua ab ipso consilium sibi dari. 13Immutatusque iam mente, in Apuliam ire recusat et se voluntati divinae desiderat conformare.

Caput III
Qualiter Dominus primo visitavit cor eius mirabili dulcedine, virtute cuius coepit proficere per contemptum sui et omnium vanitatum atque per orationem et eleemosynas
et amorem paupertatis.

7 1Postquam vero Assisium est reversus, non post multos dies, quodam sero a sociis suis eligitur in dominum ut secundum voluntatem suam faceret expensas. 2Fecit ergo tunc sumptuosam comestionem parari, sicut multotiens fecerat.

3Cumque refecti de domo exissent, sociique simul eum praecederent euntes per civitatem cantando, ipse portans in manu baculum quasi dominus parum retro ibat post illos non cantando sed diligentius meditando.

Francis of Assisi: Early Documents, vol. 2, p. 71

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