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The Deeds of Wiprecht

Negligent Bero


Once, Wiprecht gave Bero thirty marks for the use of the brothers and the expenses of the buildings. Bero lost them when going into the bathhouse, fastening the key to his belt. There was a certain man, a conversus from the laity, corrupt in character and in cunning. His abbot had not at all noticed his deceitfulness, because he was of an exceedingly simple nature—and because good men sometimes disguise what they are, while in every endeavour bad men pretend to be what they are not. Thus Bero had taken him into his employ ahead of other men. This man, like Judas, having wickedly taken advantage of benefits of this kind, finally, after a long time, stumbled (I think) upon the opportunity he had premeditated. With his abbot entering the bath, he stealthily stole the key and fled with the donated money. Wiprecht learned this, having experienced the abbot’s negligence not for the first time now. Although he considered it to have happened out of simplicity and not an evil desire, he nevertheless thought to remove the abbot from himself, because he realized that his place [i.e., Pegau] could not readily be advanced through such a man. The abbot promised to restore every loss that had occurred and returned to his monastery [Münsterschwarzach], having obtained a reprieve from Wiprecht, so that he might not incur the ill fame of such a great loss. Within a short time, he recovered from acquaintances and relatives the full amount of silver negligently lost. Then, having returned [to Pegau], for his whole life he laboured as much as he was able and yet increased the number of brothers not at all. He departed to the Lord without pastoral consecration, quite old, on the tenth Kalends of January [23 December], and was buried there.

Analysis