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[001] on the morrow the tenant appears but the demandant does not, and both appear
[002] on the third day, let a balance be made between them, as was said above, and so
[003] always until the fourth day and on the fourth day; beyond that only if the demandant
[004] consents. The tenant, and sometimes, in the same way, the demandant,
[005] may excuse himself up to the fourth day in many ways. The tenant, before he has
[006] appeared in court, if he denies the summons and the default, and the essoins, both of
[007] difficulty in coming and bed-sickness, if they have been cast, as was said above in the
[008] tractate on summonses.1 He may also excuse himself up to the fourth day, and on
[009] the fourth day, [and even after the fourth day,] by reasonable intervening impediments,
[010] if they are proved, if within the fourth day he is lawfully excused by a messenger
[011] who shows the impediment before the justices in court,2 which may be these:

Excuses for one who does not appear.

[013] If he has been detained by force majeure which he could not resist, as where he has
[014] been captured and kept in prison, provided it was not his own fault. [If he falls
[015] among thieves who bind and rob him and so detain him that he cannot send a messenger
[016] within the fourth day, he will be excused after the fourth day, provided the
[017] impediment is proved.]3 Also by flood waters and storm. Also if a bridge has been
[018] destroyed, or a ship taken away by the defendant's deceit, provided it may not be
[019] objected against him that he could go in another way, or that others crossed without
[020] difficulty or danger on the day he ought to have crossed. It is otherwise if it was
[021] dangerous, for no one need expose himself to dangers and calamities.4 An intervening
[022] impediment may take the form of snow and ice and many others. But if he
[023] does not appear or excuse himself within the fourth day, as said above, whether he
[024] has been impeded or has not, let the thing claimed be seized into the king's hand
[025] for default by the view of lawful men, and let the enrolment be this, the demandant
[026] offering himself for suit: ‘A. offered himself on the fourth day against B. in the plea
[027] that he render to him so much land with the appurtenances in such a vill (or ‘the
[028] advowson of such a church,’ or ‘common of pasture for so many beasts’) which he
[029] claims as his right against him (or ‘as her dower,’ and so of all other things which
[030] are claimed by this action). And B. does not come and he was summoned etc.
[031] Judgment etc. Let the land (or the thing) be seized into the king's hand and a day
[032] etc. And let him be summoned to appear


1. Supra 67, 124

2. Supra 72, 104

3. Infra 158, 161

4. Supra 73

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