writ.1 If he does not have it, let the matter proceed to default against the absentee  as against one who has no excuse. Similarly, the reason of pilgrimage excuses,  whether it is short or long. And here we must also see whether the summons came  first or did not. Serious ill-health also excuses one who has been summoned, for he  does not suffer the penalty for contumacy whose defence is ill-health.2 It sometimes  arises from illness on the journey, called of difficulty in coming, [sometimes] from  illness at home, called of bed-sickness.3 One is also excused because he is occupied  in a more important case,4 as where one is impleaded in the lord king's court, or  called before it for some reason; he is excused in all inferior courts.5 But what is to  be said of court christian, since we must obey God before men? I say that the suit  must still be deferred,6 and that the king may warrant [the postponement], because  of the reverence due the prince. 7The onset of an overpowering force which cannot  be resisted8 excuses the absence of one who fails to appear up to the fourth day,9  as where one on the way to court, having no other excuse, is captured by the enemy  and detained by force so that he cannot appear. And so if he falls among thieves.  And so because of accident,10 because of the force of a river, or because a bridge is  down, or because a heavy gale makes shipping hazardous,11 provided that the person  summoned cannot come in due season by a circuitous route, for if he may come  in time by so doing he is not excused by such accidental occurrence.
The excuses of one who does not come to court after summons.
 One is not excused if he leaves home later than is proper, if had [he left] earlier he  could have come without difficulty and the accident would not have hindered him.12  And so if he leaves home earlier than he ought and meets with an accident, that  must be imputed to him, because had [he left] at a suitable time he would not have  met with it. And so [though] the person summoned may be in a case by which his  appearance is impeded,13 if he sought the disputes and causes whereby he was impeded,  provided it was after the summons and not before. And so if he has fallen  into an accident willingly, when he could easily have avoided it, and here we must  also see whether the accident befell him before the day of summons or after it; if  before, the excuse lies for him, as described above. 14It will not lie if he puts forward  a reason why he could not come, as15 because a bridge was down, and on the same  day