Black Books

“Be silent, old fool,” the Red One interrupted him [Monk].

If I had not been present, you would have become an outright pig.

When you saw me, you finally pulled yourself together, cursed the drinking and the women, and returned to the monastery.

Now hear my story, damned pagan hobgoblin.

I fell into your snare, and your pagan arts enticed me.

After the conversation at that time, where you caught me in the fox trap with your remark about  dancing, I became serious, so serious that I went into the monastery, prayed, fasted, and converted myself.

In my blindness I wanted to reform the Church liturgy, and with the bishop’s approval I introduced dancing.

I had become Abbot and, as such, alone had the sole right to dance before the altar, like David before the Ark of the Covenant.

But little by little, the brothers also began to dance; indeed, even the congregation and finally the whole city danced.

It was terrible.

I fled into solitude and danced all day until I dropped.

I sought to escape from myself, and wandered around at night, in the daytime I kept myself secluded and danced alone in the forests and deserted mountains.

And thus gradually I wandered through the whole of Italy, until I reached the South.

There I attracted less attention than in the north and could mingle with the crowds.

In Naples m I somewhat found my way again, and there I also found this ragged man of God.

His appearance gave me strength.

Through him I could regain my health.

You’ve heard how he he took heart from me, too, and found his way again. ~The Red One,The Black Books, Vol. III, Page 118