Full Text of The vision of Piers Plowman

William Langland's The vision of Piers Plowman
William Langland's The vision of Piers Plowman

Full Text of The Vision of Piers Plowman

Author: Langland, William, 1330?-1400?
Title: William Langland’s The Vision of Piers Plowman
Transcribed from: The vision of Piers Plowman William Langland
London and New York: J.M. Dent and E.P. Dutton, 1978

Page 1
In a somer seson, whan softe was the sonne, P.1
I shoop me into shroudes as I a sheep were, P.2
In habite as an heremite unholy of werkes, P.3
Wente wide in this world wondres to here. P.4
Ac on a May morwenynge on Malverne hilles P.5
Me bifel a ferly, of Fairye me thoghte. P.6
I was wery forwandred and wente me to reste P.7
Under a brood bank by a bourne syde; P.8
And as I lay and lenede and loked on the watres, P.9
I slombred into a slepyng, it sweyed so murye. P.10
Thanne gan I meten a merveillous swevene– P.11
That I was in a wildernesse, wiste I nevere where. P.12
A[c] as I biheeld into the eest an heigh to the sonne, P.13
I seigh a tour on a toft trieliche ymaked, P.14
A deep dale bynethe, a dongeon therinne, P.15
With depe diches and derke and dredfulle of sighte. P.16
A fair feeld ful of folk fond I ther bitwene– P.17
Of alle manere of men, the meene and the riche, P.18
Werchynge and wandrynge as the world asketh. P.19
Somme putten hem to the plough, pleiden ful selde, P.20
In settynge and sowynge swonken ful harde, P.21
And wonnen that thise wastours with glotonye destruyeth
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And somme putten hem to pride, apparailed hem therafter, P.23
In contenaunce of clothynge comen disgised- P.24
In preieres and penaunce putten hem manye, P.25
Al for the love of Oure Lord lyveden ful streyte P.26
In hope to have heveneriche blisse– P.27
As ancres and heremites that holden hem in hire selles, P.28
Coveiten noght in contree to cairen aboute P.29
For no likerous liflode hire likame to plese. P.30
And somme chosen chaffare; they cheveden the bettre– P.31
As it semeth to oure sight that swiche men thryveth; P.32
And somme murthes to make as mynstralles konne, P.33
And geten gold with hire glee– [gilt]lees, I leeve- P.34
Ac japeres and jangeleres, Judas children, P.35
Feynen hem fantasies, and fooles hem maketh– P.36
And han wit at wille to werken if they wolde. P.37
That Poul precheth of hem I wol nat preve it here: P.38
Qui loquitur turpiloquium is Luciferes hyne- P.39
Bidderes and beggeres faste aboute yede P.40
[Til] hire bely and hire bagge [were] bredful ycrammed, P.41
Faiteden for hire foode, foughten at the ale. P.42
In glotonye, God woot, go thei to bedde, P.43
And risen with ribaudie, tho Roberdes knaves; P.44
Sleep and sory sleuthe seweth hem evere. P.45
Pilgrymes and palmeres plighten hem togidere P.46
For to seken Seint Jame and seintes at Rome;
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Wenten forth in hire wey with many wise tales, P.48
And hadden leve to lyen al hire lif after. P.49
I seigh somme that seiden thei hadde ysought seintes: P.50
To ech a tale that thei tolde hire tonge was tempred to lye P.51
Moore than to seye sooth, it semed bi hire speche. P.52
Heremytes on an heep with hoked staves , P.53
Wenten to Walsyngham–and hire wenches after: P.54
Grete lobies and longe that lothe were to swynke P.55
Clothed hem in copes to ben knowen from othere, P.56
And shopen hem heremytes hire ese to have. P.57
I fond there freres, alle the foure ordres, P.58
Prechynge the peple for profit of [the wombe]: P.59
Glosed the gospel as hem good liked; P.60
For coveitise of copes construwed it as thei wolde. P.61
Manye of thise maistres mowe clothen hem at likyng P.62
For hire moneie and hire marchaundise marchen togideres. P.63
Sith charite hath ben chapman and chief to shryve lordes P.64
Manye ferlies han fallen in a fewe yeres. P.65
But Holy Chirche and hii holde bettre togidres P.66
The mooste meschief on molde is mountynge up faste. P.67
Ther preched a pardoner as he a preest were: P.68
Broughte forth a bulle with bisshopes seles, P.69
And seide that hymself myghte assoillen hem alle P.70
Of falshede of fastynge, of avowes ybroken. – P.71
Lewed men leved hym wel and liked hise wordes, P.72
Comen up knelynge to kissen his bulle. P.73
He bonched hem with his brevet and blered hire eighen, P.74
And raughte with his rageman rynges and broches.
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–Thus ye gyven youre gold glotons to helpe, P.76
And leneth it losels that leccherie haunten” P.77
Were the bisshop yblessed and worth bothe his eris, P.78
His seel sholde noght be sent to deceyve the peple. P.79
Ac it is noght by the bisshop that the boy precheth– P.80
For the parisshe preest and the pardoner parten the silver P.81
That the povere [peple] of the parissche sholde have if they ne were. P.82
Persons and parisshe preestes pleyned hem to the bisshop P.83
That hire parisshes weren povere sith the pestilence tyme, P.84
To have a licence and leve at London to dwelle, P.85
And syngen ther for symonie, for silver is swete. P.86
Bisshopes and bachelers, bothe maistres and doctours– P.87
That han cure under Crist, and crownynge in tokene P.88
And signe that thei sholden shryven hire parisshens, P.89
Prechen and praye for hem, and the povere fede– P.90
Liggen at Londoun in Lenten and ellis. P.91
Somme serven the King and his silver tellen, P.92
In Cheker and in Chauncelrie chalangen his dettes P.93
Of wardes and of wardemotes, weyves and streyves. P.94
And somme serven as servaunts lordes and ladies, P.95
And in stede of stywardes sitten and demen. P.96
Hire messe and hire matyns and many of hire houres P.97
Arn doone undevoutliche; drede is at the laste P.98
Lest Crist in Consistorie acorse ful manye” P.99
I parceyved of the power that Peter hadde to kepe– P.100
To bynden and unbynden, as the Book telleth– P.101
How he it lefte with love as Oure Lord highte P.102
Amonges foure vertues, most vertuous of al1e vertues,
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That cardinals ben called and closynge yates P.104
There Crist is in kyngdom, to close and to shette, P.105
And to opene it to hem and hevene blisse shewe. P.106
Ac of the Cardinals at court that kaughte of that name P.107
And power presumed in hem a Pope to make P.108
To han the power that Peter hadde. impugnen I nelle– P.109
For in love and in lettrure the eleccion bilongeth; P.110
Forthi I kan and kan naught of court speke moore. P.111
Thanne kam ther a Kyng: Knyghthod hym ladde; P.112
Might of the communes made hym to regne. P.113
And thanne cam Kynde Wit and clerkes he made, P.114
For to counseillen the Kyng and the Commune save. P.115
The Kyng and Knyghthod and Clergie bothe P.116
Casten that the Commune sholde hem [communes] fynde. P.117
The Commune contreved of Kynde Wit craftes, P.118
And for profit of al the peple plowmen ordeyned P.119
To tilie and to travaille as trewe lif asketh. P.120
The Kyng and the Commune and Kynde Wit the thridde P.121
Shopen lawe and leaute–eeh lif to knowe his owene. P.122
Thanne loked up a lunatik, a leene thyng withalle, P.123
And knelynge to the Kyng clergially he seide, P.124
“Crist kepe thee, sire Kyng, and thi kyngryche, P.125
And lene thee lede thi lond so leaute thee lovye, P.126
And for thi rightful rulyng be rewarded in hevene”‘ P.127
And sithen in the eyr on heigh an aungel of hevene P.128
Lowed to speke in Latyn–for lewed men ne koude P.129
Jangle ne jugge that justifie hem sholde, P.130
But suffren and serven–forthi seide the aungel:
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” Sum Rex, sum Princeps”,- neutrum fortasse deinceps ” P.132
O qui iura regis Christi specialia regis, P.132
Hoc qiiod agas nielius–iustus es, esto pius ” P.132
Nudum ius a te vestiri vult pietate. P.135
Qualia vis nietere, talia grana sere: P.135
Si ius nudatur, nudo de iure metatur; P.135
Si seritur pietas, de pietate metas’. P.135
Thanne greved hym a goliardeis, a gloton of wordes, P.136
And to the aungel an heigh answerde after: P.140
” Dum ” rex” a ” regere ” dicatur nomen habere, P.141
Nomen habet sine re nisi studet iura tenere’. P.141
Thanne [c]an al the commune crye in vers of Latyn P.142
To the Kynges counseil–construe whoso wolde– P.143
“Precepta Regis sunt nobis vincula legis”‘ P.143
With that ran ther a route of ratons at ones P.144
And smale mees myd hem: mo than a thousand P.145
Comen to a counseil for the commune profit; P.146
For a cat of a court cam whan hym liked P.147
And overleep hem lightliche and laughte hem at his wille, P.150
And pleide with hem perillousli and possed aboute. P.151
“For doute of diverse dredes we dar noght wel loke” P.152
And if we grucche of his gamen he wol greven us alle– P.153
Cracchen us or clawen us and in hise clouches holde. P.154
That us lotheth the lif er he late us passe. P.155
Mighte we with any wit his wille withstonde, P.156
We myghte be lordes olofte and lyven at oure ese’. P.157
A raton of renoun, moost renable of tonge, P.158
Seide for a sovereyn [salve] to hem alle,
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“I have yseyen segges’, quod he, “in the Cite of Londoun P.160
Beren beighes ful brighte abouten hire nekkes, P.161
And somme colers of crafty work; uncoupled they wenden P.162
Bothe in wareyne and in waast where hem leve liketh, P.163
And outher while thei arn elliswhere, as I here telle. P.164
Were ther a belle on hire beighe, by Jesus, as me thynketh, P.165
Men myghte witen wher thei wente and awey renne. P.166
And right so’, quod that raton, “reson me sheweth P.167
To bugge a belle of bras or of bright silver P.168
And knytten it on a coler for oure commune profit P.169
And hangen it upon the cattes hals–thanne here we mowen P.170
Wher he ryt or rest or rometh to pleye; P.171
And if hym list for to laike, thanne loke we mowen P.172
And peeren in his presence the while hym pleye liketh, P.173
And if hym wratheth, be war and his wey shonye’. P.174
Al the route of ratons to this reson assented; P.175
Ac tho the belle was ybrought and on the beighe hanged P.176
Ther ne was raton in al the route, for al the reaume of France, P.177
That dorste have bounden the belle aboute the cattes nekke, P.178
Ne hangen it aboute his hals al Engelond to wynne, P.179
[Ac] helden hem unhardy and hir counseil feble, P.180
And leten hire laboure lost and al hire longe studie. P.181
A mous that muche good kouthe, as me tho thoughte, P.182
Strook forth sternely and stood bifore hem alle, P.183
And to the route of ratons reherced thise wordes: P.184
“Though we hadde ykilled the cat, yet sholde ther come another P.185
To cracchen us and al oure kynde, though we cropen under benches. P.186
Forthi I counseille al the commune to late the cat worthe, P.187
And be we nevere so bolde the belle hym to shewe. P.188
The Vision of Piers Plowman
Page 8
The while he caccheth conynges he coveiteth noght oure caroyne, P.189
But fedeth hym al with venyson; defame we hym nevere. P.190
For bettre is a litel los than a long sorwe: P.191
The maze among us alle, theigh we mysse a sherewe! P.192
For I herde my sire seyn, is seven yeer ypassed, P.193
“”Ther the cat is a kitoun, the court is ful elenge”. P.194
That witnesseth Holy Writ, whoso wole it rede– P.195
Ve terre ubi puer rex est, &c. P.196
For may no renk ther reste have for ratons by nyghte. P.197
For many mennes malt we mees wolde destruye, P.198
And also ye route of ratons rende mennes clothes, P.199
Nere the cat of the court that kan you overlepe; P.200
For hadde ye rattes youre [raik] ye kouthe noght rule yowselve. P.201
“I seye for me’, quod the mous, ” I se so muchel after, P.202
Shal nevere the cat ne the kiton by my counseil be greved, P.203
Ne carpynge of this coler that costed me nevere. P.204
And though it costned me catel, biknowen it I nolde, P.205
But suffren as hymself wolde [s]o doon as hym liketh– P.206
Coupled and uncoupled to cacche what thei mowe. P.207
Forthi ech a wis wight I warne–wite wel his owene!’ P.208
(What this metels bymeneth, ye men that ben murye, P.209
Devyne ye–for I ne dar, by deere God in hevene)! P.210
Yet hoved ther an hundred in howves of selk– P.211
Sergeants, it semed, that serveden at the Barre, P.212
Pleteden for penyes and pounded the lawe, P.213
And noght for love of Oure Lord unlose hire lippes ones. P.214
Thow myghtest bettre meete myst on Malverne Hilles P.215
Than get a “mom’ of hire mouth til moneie be shewed! P.216
Barins and burgeises and bondemen als
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I seigh in this assemblee, as ye shul here after; P.218
Baksteres and brewesteres and bochiers manye, P.219
Wollen webbesters and weveres of lynnen, P.220
Taillours and tynkers and tollers in markettes, P.221
Masons and mynours and many othere craftes: P.222
Of alle kynne lybbynge laborers lopen forth somme- P.223
As dykeres and delveres that doon hire dedes ille P.224
And dryveth forth the longe day with “Dieu save Dame Emme!’ P.225
Cokes and hire knaves cryden, ” Hote pies, hote! P.226
Goode gees and grys! Go we dyne, go we!’ P.227
Taverners until hem tolden the same: P.228
“Whit wyn of Oseye and wyn of Gascoigne, P.229
Of the Ryn and of the Rochel, the roost to defie!’ P.230
–Al this I seigh slepyng, and sevene sythes more. P.231
Passus 1
What this mountaigne bymeneth and the merke dale 1.001
And the feld ful of folk, I shal yow faire shewe. 1.002
A lovely lady of leere in lynnen yclothed 1.003
Cam doun fom [the] castel and called me faire, 1.004
And seide, “Sone, slepestow? Sestow this peple- 1.005
How bisie they ben aboute the maze? 1.006
The mooste partie of this peple that passeth on this erthe, 1.007
Have thei worship in this world, thei wilne no bettre; 1.008
Of oother hevene than here holde thei no tale’. – 1.009
I was afeed of hire face, theigh she faire weere, 1.010
And seide, ” Mercy, madame, what [may] this [be] to mene?’
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“The tour upon the toft’, quod she, “Truthe is therinne, 1.012
And wolde that ye wroughte as his word techeth. 1.013
For he is fader of feith and formed yow alle 1.014
Bothe with fel and with face and yaf yow fyve wittes 1.015
For to worshipe hym therwith while that ye ben here. 1.016
And therfore he highte the erthe to helpe yow echone 1.017
Of woilene, of lynnen, of liflode at nede 1.018
In mesurable manere to make yow at ese; 1.019
And comaunded of his curteisie in commune three thynges: 1.020
Are none nedfulle but tho, and nempne hem I thynke, 1.021
And rekene hem by reson–reherce thow hem after. 1.022
“That oon is vesture from chele thee to save, 1.023
And mete at meel for mysese of thiselve, 1.024
And drynke whan thow driest–ac do noght out of reson, 1.025
That thow worthe the wers whan thow werche sholdest. 1.026
For Lot in hise lifdayes, for likynge of drynke, 1.027
Dide by hise doughtres that the devel liked: 1.028
Delited hym in drynke as the devel wolde, 1.029
And leccherie hym laughte, and lay by hem bothe– 1.030
And al he witte it the wyn, that wikked dede: 1.031
Inebriemus eum vino dormiamusque cum eo, ut 1.031
servare possimus de patre nostro semen. 1.031
Thorugh wyn and thorugh wommen ther was Loth acombred, 1.032
And there gat in glotonie gerles that were cherles. 1.033
Forthi dred delitable drynke and thow shalt do the bettre. 1.034
Mesure is medicine, though thow muchel yerne. 1.035
Al is nought good to the goost that the gut asketh, 1.036
Ne liflode to the likame that leef is to the soule. 1.037
Leve nought thi likame, for a liere hym techeth– 1.038
That is the wrecched world, wolde thee bitraye.
Page 11
For the fend and thi flessh folwen togidere, 1.040
And that [shendeth] thi soule; set it in thin herte. 1.041
And for thow sholdest ben ywar, I wisse thee the beste.’ 1.042
“A, madame, mercy,’ quod l, ” me liketh wel youre wordes. 1.043
Ac the moneie of this molde that men so faste holdeth– 1.044
Telleth me to whom that tresour appendeth.’ 1.045
Go to the Gospel,’ quod she, “that God seide hymselven, 1.046
Tho the poeple hym apposede with a peny in the Temple 1.047
Wheither thei sholde therwith worshipe the kyng Cesar. 1.048
And God asked of hem, of whom spak the lettre, 1.049
And the ymage ylike that therinne stondeth? 1.050
Cesares, thei seiden, “we seen it wel echone.’ 1.051
“”Reddite Cesari,” quod God, “” that Cesari bifalleth, 1.052
Et que sunt Dei Deo, or ellis ye don ille.’ 1.053
–For rightfully Reson sholde rule yow alle, 1.054
And Kynde Wit be wardeyn youre welthe to kepe, 1.055
And tutour of youre tresor, and take it yow at nede, 1.056
For housbondrie and he holden togidres.’ 1.057
Thanne I frayned hire faire, for Hym that hire made, 1.058
“That dongeon in the dale that dredful is of sighte– 1.059
What may it bemeene, madame, I yow biseche?’ 1.060
“That is the castel of care–whoso comth therinne 1.061
May banne that he born was to bodi or to soule! 1.062
Therinne wonyeth a wight that Wrong is yhote, 1.063
Fader of falshede–and founded it hymselve. 1.064
Adam and Eve he egged to ille, 1.065
Counseilled Kaym to killen his brother, 1.066
Judas he japed with Jewen silver, 1.067
And sithen on an eller hanged hym after. 1.068
He is lettere of love and lieth hem alle: 1.069
That trusten on his tresour bitrayed arn sonnest.’
Page 12
Thanne hadde I wonder in my wit what womman it weere 1.071
That swiche wise wordes of Holy Writ shewed, 1.072
And halsede hire on the heighe name, er she thennes yede, 1.073
What she were witterly that wissed me so faire. 1.074
“Holi Chirche I am,’ quod she, thow oughtest me to knowe. 1.075
I underfeng thee first and the feith taughte. 1.076
Thow broughtest me borwes my biddyng to fulfille, 1.077
And to loven me leelly the while thi lif dureth.’ 1.078
Thanne I courbed on my knees and cried hire of grace, 1.079
And preide hire pitously to preye for my synnes, 1.080
And also kenne me kyndely on Crist to bileve, 1.081
That I myghte werchen His wille that wroghte me to man: 1.082
“Teche me to no tresor, but tel me this ilke = 1.083
How I may save my soule, that seint art yholden.’ 1.084
“Whan alle tresors arn tried,’ quod she, -Treuthe is the beste. 1.085
I do it on Deus caritas to deme the sothe; 1.086
It is as dereworthe a drury as deere God hymselven. 1.087
Who is trewe of his tonge and telleth noon oother, 1.088
And dooth the werkes therwith and wilneth no man ille, 1.089
He is a god by the Gospel, agrounde and olofte, 1.090
And ylik to Oure Lord, by Seint Lukes wordes. 1.091
The clerkes that knowen this sholde kennen it aboute, 1.092
For Cristen and uncristen cleymeth it echone. 1.093
” Kynges and knyghtes sholde kepen it by reson– 1.094
Riden and rappen doun in reaumes aboute, 1.095
And taken transgressores and tyen hem faste 1.096
Til treuthe hadde ytermyned hire trespas to the ende. 1.097
For David in hise dayes dubbed knyghtes, 1.098
And dide hem sweren on hir swerd to serven truthe evere. 1.099
And that is the profession apertly that apendeth to knyghtes,
Page 13
And naught to Fasten o Friday in fyve score wynter, 1.101
But holden with hym and with here that wolden alle truthe, 1.102
And never leve hem for love ne for lacchynge of silver– 1.103
And whoso passe[th] that point is apostata in the ordre. 1.104
– But Crist, kyngene kyng, knyghted ten– 1.105
Cherubyn and Seraphyn, swiche sevene and another, 1.106
And yaf hem myght in his majestee–the murier hem thoughte– 1.107
And over his meene meynee made hem archangeles; 1.108
Taughte hem by the Trinitee treuthe to knowe, 1.109
To be buxom at his biddyng–he bad hem nought ellis. 1.110
“Lucifer with legions lerned it in hevene, 1.111
[And was the lovelokest to loke after Oure Lord (one)] 1.112
Til he brak buxomnesse; his blisse gan he tyne, 1.113
And fel fro that felawshipe in a fendes liknesse 1.114
into a deep derk helle to dwelle there for evere. 1.115
And mo thousandes myd hym than man kouthe nombre 1.116
Lopen out with Lucifer in lothliche forme 1.117
For thei leveden upon hym that lyed in this manere: 1.118
Ponam pedem in aquilone, et similis ero Altissimo. 1.119
And alle that hoped it myghte be so, noon hevene myghte hem holde, 1.120
But fellen out in fendes liknesse [ful] nyne dayes togideres, 1.121
Til God of his goodnesse [garte the hevene to stekie 1.122
And gan stable it and stynte] and stonden in quiete. 1.123
” Whan thise wikkede wenten out, wonderwise thei fellen– 1.124
Somme in eyr, somme in erthe, somme in helle depe; 1.125
Ac Lucifer lowest lith of hem alle:
Page 14
For pride that he putte out, his peyne hath noon ende. 1.127
And alle that werchen with wrong wende thei shulle 1.128
After hir deth day and dwelle with that sherewe; 1.129
Ac tho that werche wel as Holy Writ telleth, 1.130
And enden as I er seide in truthe, that is the beste, 1.131
Mowe be siker that hire soules shul wende to hevene, 1.132
Ther Treuthe is in Trinitee and troneth hem alle. 1.133
Forthi I seye, as I seyde er, by sighte of thise textes– 1.134
Whan alle tresors arn tried, Truthe is the beste. 1.135
Lereth it th[u]s lewed men, for lettred it knoweth– 1.136
That Treuthe is tresor the trieste on erthe.’ 1.137
“Yet have I no kynde knowynge,’ quod I, “ye mote kenne me bettre 1.138
By what craft in my cors it comseth, and where.’ 1.139
“Thow doted daffe!’ quod she, dulle are thi wittes. 1.140
To litel Latyn thow lernedest, leode, in thi youthe: 1.141
Heu michi quia sterilem duxi vitam iuvenilem! 1.141
It is a kynde knowynge that kenneth in thyn herte 1.142
For to loven thi Lord levere than thiselve, 1.143
No dedly synne to do, deye theigh thow sholdest– 1.144
This I trowe be truthe; who kan teche thee bettre, 1.145
Loke thow suffre hym to seye, and sithen lere it after; 1.146
For thus witnesseth his word; worche thow therafter. 1.147
” For Truthe telleth that love is triacle of hevene: 1.148
May no synne be on hym seene that that spice useth. 1.149
And alle his werkes he wroughte with love as hym liste, 1.150
And lered it Moyses for the leveste thyng and moost lik to hevene, 1.151
And also the plante of pees, moost precious of vertues : 1.152
For hevene myghte nat holden it, so was it hevy of hymself, 1.153
Til it hadde of the erthe eten his fille. 1.154
And whan it hadde of this fold flessh and blood taken, 1.155
Was nevere leef upon lynde lighter therafter, 1.156
And portatif and persaunt as the point of a nedle,
Page 15
That myghte noon armure it lette ne none heighe walles. 1.158
” Forthi is love ledere of the Lordes folk of hevene, 1.159
And a meene, as the mair is, [inmiddes] the kyng and the commune; 1.160
Right so is love a ledere and the lawe shapeth: 1.161
Upon man for hise mysdedes the mercyment he taxeth. 1.162
And for to knowen it kyndely–it comseth by myght, 1.163
And in the herte, there is the heed and the heighe welle. 1.164
For in kynde knowynge in herte ther [coms]eth a myght– 1.165
And that falleth to the Fader that formed us alle, 1.166
Loked on us with love and leet his sone dye 1.167
Mekely for oure mysdedes, to amenden us alle. 1.168
And yet wolde he hem no wo that wroughte hym that peyne, 1.169
But mekely with mouthe mercy he bisoughte, 1.170
To have pite of that peple that peyned hym to dethe. 1.171
” Here myghtow sen ensample in hymself oone– 1.172
That he was myghtful and meke, and mercy gan graunte 1.173
To hem that hengen hym heigh and his herte thirled. 1.174
” Forthi I rede yow riche, haveth ruthe of the povere, 1.175
Though ye be myghty to mote, beeth meke in youre werkes, 1.176
For the same mesure that ye mete, amys outher ellis, 1.177
Ye shulle ben weyen therwith whan ye wenden hennes: 1.178
Eadem mensura qua mensifueritis remecietur vobis. 1.178
For though ye be trewe of youre tonge and treweliche wynne, 1.179
And as chaste as a child that in chirche wepeth, 1.180
But if ye loven leelly and lene the povere 1.181
Of swich good as God sent, goodliche parteth, 1.182
Ye ne have na moore merite in Masse ne in houres
Page 16
Than Malkyn of hire maydenhede, that no man desireth. 1.184
For James the gentile jugged in hise bokes 1.185
That feith withouten feetis (feblere] than nought, 1.186
And as deed as a dorenai but if the dedes folwe: 1.187
Fides sine operibus mortua est &c. 1.187
“Forthi chastite withouten charite worth cheyned in helle; 1.188
It is as lewed as a lampe that no light is inne. 1.189
Manye chapeleyns arn chaste, ac charite is aweye; 1.190
Are none hardere than hii whan [hii] ben avaunced: 1.191
Unkynde to hire kyn and to alle Cristene, 1.192
Chewen hire charite and chiden after moore– 1.193
Swich chastite withouten charite worth cheyned in helle. 1.194
Manye curatours kepen hem clene of hire bodies; 1.195
Thei ben acombred with coveitise, thei konne noght out crepe, 1.196
So harde hath avarice yhasped hem togideres. 1.197
And that is no truthe of the Trinite, but tricherie of helle, 1.198
And lernynge to lewed men the latter for to deele. 1.199
For [thise ben wordes] writen in the [Euaungelie]: 1.200
“” Date, et dabitur vobis–for I deeIe yow alle. 1.201
And that is the lok of love that leteth out my grace, 1.202
To conforten the carefulle acombred with synne.” 1.203
Love is leche of lif and next Oure Lord selve, 1.204
And also the graithe gate that goth into hevene. 1.205
Forthi I seye as I seide er by sighte of the textes: 1.206
Whan alle tresors ben tried, Treuthe is the beste. 1.207
“Now have I told thee what truthe is–that no tresor is bettre– 1.208
I may no lenger lenge thee with; now loke thee Oure Lord!’ 1.209
Page 17
Passus 2
Yet I courbed on my knees and cried hire of grace, 2.001
And seide, ” Mercy, madame, for Marie love of hevene, 2.002
That bar that blisful barn that boughte us on the Rode– 2.003
Kenne me by sorn craft to knowe the false.’ 2.004
Loke upon thi let-t half, and lo where he stondeth– 2.005
Bothe Fals and Favel, and hire feeres manye!’ 2.006
I loked on my left half as the Lady me taughte, 2.007
And was war of a womman wonderliche yclothed– 2.008
Purfiled with pelure, the pureste on erthe, 2.009
Ycorouned with a coroune, the Kyng hath noon bettre. 2.010
Fetisliche hire fyngres were fretted with gold wyr, 2.011
And thereon rede rubies as rede as any gleede, 2.012
And diamaundes of derrest pris and double manere saphires, 2.013
Orientals and ewages envenymes to destroye. 2.014
Hire robe was ful riche, of reed scarlet engreyned, 2.015
With ribanes of reed gold and of riche stones. 2.016
Hire array me ravysshed, swich richesse saugh I newere. 2.017
I hadde wonder what she was and whos wif she were. 2.018
“What is this womman,’ quod I, so worthili atired?’ 2.019
“That is Mede the mayde.’ quod she, hath noyed me ful ofte, 2.020
And ylakked my lemman that Leautee is hoten, 2.021
And bilowen h[ym] to lordes that lawes han to kepe. 2.022
In the Popes paleis she is pryvee as myselve, 2.023
But soothnesse wolde noght so–for she is a bastard, 2.024
For Fals was hire fader that hath a fikel tonge, 2.025
And nevere sooth seide sithen he com to erthe; 2.026
And Mede is manered after hym, right as [asketh kynde]: 2.027
Qualis pater, talis filius. Bona arbor bonum fructum facit.
Page 18
“I oughte ben hyere than [heo]–I kam of a bettre. 2.028
My fader the grete God is and ground of alle graces, 2.029
Oo God withouten gynnyng, and I his goode doughter, 2.030
And hath yeven me Mercy to marie with myselve; 2.031
And what man be merciful and leelly me love 2.032
Shal be mylord and I his leef in the heighe hevene; 2.033
And what man taketh Mede. myn heed dar I legge 2.034
That he shal lese for hire love a lappe of Caritatis. 2.035
“How construeth David the King of men that [cacch]eth Mede, 2.036
And men of this moolde that maynteneth truthe, 2.037
And how ye shul save yourself? The Sauter bereth witnesse: 2.038
Domine, quis hubitabit in tabernaculo tuo, &c. 2.038
“And now worth this Mede ymaried to a mansed sherewe, 2.040
To oon Fals Fikel-tonge, a fendes biyete. 2.041
Favel thorugh his faire speche hath this folk enchaunted, 2.042
And al is Lieres ledynge that [lady] is thus ywedded. 2.043
Tomorwe worth ymaked the maydenes bridale; 2.044
And there myghtow witen if thow wilt whiche thei ben alle 2.045
That longen to that lordshipe, the lasse and the moore. 2.046
Knowe hem there if thow kanst, and kepe [thee from hem alle], 2.047
And lakke hem noght but lat hem worthe, til Leaute oe Justice 2.048
And have power to punysshe hem–thanne put forth thi reson. 2.049
Now I bikenne thee Crist,’ quod she, “and his clene moder, 2.050
And lat no conscience acombre thee for coveitise of Mede.’ 2.051
Thus lefte me that lady liggynge aslepe, 2.052
And how Mede was ymaried in metels me thoughte– 2.053
That al the riche retenaunce that regneth with the False 2.054
Were boden to the bridale on bothe two sides, 2.055
Of alle manere of men, the meene and the riche. 2.056
To marien this mayde was many man assembled, 2.057
As of knyghtes and of clerkes and oother commune peple, 2.058
As sisours and somonours, sherreves and hire clerkes, 2.059
Bedelles and baillifs and brocours of chaffare,
Page 19
Forgoers and vitaillers and vokettes of the Arches; 2.061
I kan noght rekene the route that ran aboute Mede. 2.062
Ac Symonie and Cyvylle and sisours of courtes 2.063
Were moost pryvee with Mede of any men, me thoughte. 2.064
Ac Favel was the firste that fette hire out of boure 2.065
And as a brocour broughte hire to be with Fals enjoyned. 2.066
Whan Symonye and Cyvylle seighe hir bother wille, 2.067
Thei assented for silver to seye as bothe wolde. 2.068
Thanne leep Liere forth and seide, “Lo! here a chartre 2.069
That Gile with his grete othes gaf hem togidere,’– 2.070
And preide Cyvylle to see and Symonye to rede it. 2.071
Thanne Symonye and Cyvylle stonden forth bothe 2.072
And unfoldeth the feffement that Fals hath ymaked, 2.073
And thus bigynnen thise gomes to greden ful heighe: 2.074
“Sciant presentes & futuri, &c. 2.074
Witeth and witnesseth, that wonieth upon this erthe, 2.075
That Mede is ymaried moore for hire goodes 2.076
Than for any vertue or fairnesse or any free kynde. 2.077
Falsnesse is fayn of hire for he woot hire riche; 2.078
And Favel with his fikel speche feffeth by this chartre 2.079
To be Princes in Pride, and poverte to despise, 2.080
To bakbite and to bosten and bere fals witnesse, 2.081
To scorne and to scolde and sclaundre to make, 2.082
Unbuxome and bolde to breke the ten hestes. 2.083
And the erldom of Envye and Wrathe togideres, 2.084
With the chastiIet of cheste and chaterynge out of reson. 2.085
The countee of Coveitise and alle the costes about– 2.086
That is usure and avarice–al I hem graunte 2.087
In bargaynes and in brocages with al the burghe of thefte, 2.088
And al the lordshipe of Leccherie in lengthe and in brede– 2.089
As in werkes and in wordes and in waitynges with eighes, 2.090
And in wedes and in wisshynges and with ydel thoughtes 2.091
Ther as wil wolde and werkmanshipe faylith.’ 2.092
Glotonye he gaf hem ek and grete othes togidere, 2.093
And al day to drynken at diverse tavernes,
Page 20
And there to jangle and jape and jugge hir evencristen, 2.095
And in fastynge dayes to frete er ful tyme were. 2.096
And thanne to sitten and soupen til sleep hem assaille, 2.097
And breden at burgh swyn, and bedden hem esily, 2.098
Til Sleuthe and sleep sliken hise sydes; 2.099
And thanne wanhope to awaken hym so with no wil to amende, 2.100
For he leveth be lost–this is his laste ende. 2.101
“And thei to have and to holde, and hire heires after, 2.102
A dwellynge with the devel, and dampned be for evere, 2.103
With alle the appurtinaunces of Purgatorie into the pyne of helle- 2.104
Yeldynge for this thyng at one yeres ende 2.105
Hire soules to Sathan, to suffre with hym peynes, 2.106
And with hym to wonye with wo while God is in hevene.’ 2.107
In witnesse of which thyng Wrong was the firste, 2.108
And Piers the Pardoner of Paulynes doctrine, 2.109
Bette the Bedel of Bokynghamshire, 2.110
Reynald the Reve of Rutland Sokene, 2.111
Munde the Millere–and many mo othere. 2.112
“1n the date of the devel this dede I assele 2.113
By sighte of Sire Symonie and Cyvyles leeve.’ 2.114
Thanne tened hym Theologie whan he this tale herde, – 2.115
And seide to Cyvyle, “Now sorwe mote thow have– 2.116
Swiche weddynges to werche to wrathe with Truthe! 2.117
And er this weddynge be wroght, wo thee bitide! 2.118
For Mede is muliere, of Amendes engendred; 2.119
And God graunted to gyve Mede to truthe, 2.120
And thow hast gyven hire to a gilour–now God gyve thee sorwe! 2.121
The text telleth thee noght so, Truthe woot the sothe, 2.122
For Dignus est operarius his hire to have– 2.123
And thow hast fest hire to Fals; fy on thi lawe! 2.124
For al bi lesynges thow lyvest and lecherouse werkes. 2.125
Symonye and thiself shenden Holi Chirche, 2.126
The notaries and ye noyen the peple. 2.127
Ye shul abiggen bothe, by God that me made! 2.128
” Wel ye witen, wernardes, but if youre wit faille,
Page 21
That Fals is feithlees and fikel in hise werkes 2.130
And as a bastarde ybore of Belsabubbes kynne. 2.131
And Mede is muliere, a maiden of goode, 2.132
And myghte kisse the Kyng for cosyn and she wolde. 2.133
Forthi wercheth by wisdom and by wit also, 2.134
And ledeth hire to Londoun, there lawe is yshewed, 2.135
If any lawe wol loke thei ligge togideres. 2.136
And though justices juggen hire to be joyned with Fals, 2.137
Yet be war of the weddynge–for witty is Truthe, 2.138
And Conscience is of his counseil and knoweth yow echone, 2.139
And if he fynde yow in defaute and with the false holde, 2.140
It shal bisitte youre soules ful soure at the laste.’ 2.141
Herto assenteth Cyvyle, ac Symonye ne wolde, 2.142
Til he hadde silver for his se[el] and [signes] of notaries. 2.143
Thanne fette Favel forth floryns ynowe 2.144
And bad Gile, “Go gyve gold al aboute, 2.145
And namely to the notaries, that hem noon faille; 2.146
And feffe Fals-witnesse with floryns ynowe, 2.147
For he may Mede amaistrye and maken at my wille.’ 2.148
Tho this gold was ygyve, gret was the thonkyng 2.149
To Fals and to Favel for hire faire yiftes, 2.150
And comen to conforten from care the- False, 2.151
And seiden, “Certes, sire, cessen shul we nevere, 2.152
Til Mede be thi wedded wif thorugh wit of us alle; 2.153
For we have Mede amaistried with oure murie speche, 2.154
That she graunteth to goon with a good wille 2.155
To London, to loken if the lawe wolde 2.156
Juggen yow joyntly in joie for evere.’ 2.157
Thanne was Falsnesse fayn and Favel as blithe, 2.158
And leten somone alle segges in shires aboute, 2.159
And bad hem alle be bown, beggers and othere, 2.160
To wenden with hem to Westmynstre to witnesse this dede. 2.161
Ac thanne cared thei for caples to carien hem thider; 2.162
And Favel fette forth thanne foles ynowe 2.163
And sette Mede upon a sherreve shoed al newe, 2.164
And Fals sat on a sisour that softeli trotted 2.165
And Favel on a flaterere fetisly atired.
Page 22
Tho hadde notaries none; anoyed thei were 2.167
For Symonye and Cyvylle sholde on hire feet gange. 2.168
Ac thanne swoor Symonye and Cyvylle bothe 2.169
That somonours golde be sadeled and serven hem echone. 2.170
“And late apparaille thise provisours in palfreyes wise; 2.171
Sire Symonye hymself shal sitte upon hir bakkes. 2.172
Denes and southdenes, drawe yow togideres; 2.173
Erchedekenes and officials and alle youre registrers, 2.174
Lat sadle hem with silver oure synne to suffre– 2.175
As devoutrye and divorses and derne usurie– 2.176
To bere bisshopes aboute abrood in visitynge. 2.177
Paulynes pryvees for pleintes in consistorie 2.178
Shul serven myself that Cyvyle is nempned. 2.179
And cartsadle the commissarie–oure cart shal he [drawe], 2.180
And fecchen us vitailles at fornicatores, 2.181
And maketh of Lyere a lang cart to leden alle thise othere, 2.182
As fobberes and faitours that on hire feet rennen.’ 2.183
And thus Fals and Favel fareth forth togideres, 2.184
And Mede in the middes and alle thise men after. 2.185
I have no tome to telle the tail that hem folweth, 2.186
Of many maner man that on this molde libbeth, 2.187
Ac Gyle was forgoer and gyed hem alle. 2.188
Sothnesse seigh hem wel, and seide but litel, 2.189
A[c] priked his palfrey and passed hem alle, 2.190
And com to the Kynges court and Conseience it tolde, 2.191
And Conseience to the Kyng carped it after. 2.192
” Now, by Cryst!’ quod the Kyng, “and I cacche myghte 2.193
Fals or Favel or any of hise feeris, 2.194
I wolde be wroken of tho wrecches that wercheth so ille, 2.195
And doon hem hange by the hals and alle that hem maynteneth. 2.196
Shal nevere man of this molde meynprise the leeste, 2.197
But right as the lawe loke[th], lat falle on hem alle!’ 2.198
And comaunded a constable that com at the firste,
Page 23
To attachen tho tyraunts: “For any [tresor], I hote, 2.200
Fettreth Falsnesse faste, for any kynnes yiftes, 2.201
And girdeth of Gyles heed–lat hym go no ferther; 2.202
And bringeth Mede to me maugree hem alle! 2.203
And if ye lacche Lyere, lat hym noght ascapen 2.204
Er he be put on the pillory, for any preyere, I hote.’ 2.205
Drede at the dore stood and the doom herde, 2.206
And how the Kyng comaunded constables and sergeaunts 2.207
Falsnesse and his Felawship to fettren and to bynden. 2.208
Thanne Drede wente wyghtliche and warned the False, 2.209
And bad hym fle for fere, and hise feeris alle. 2.210
Falsnesse for fere thanne fleigh to the freres 2.211
And Gyle dooth hym to go, agast for to dye. 2.212
Ac marchaunts metten with hym and made hym abyde, 2.213
And bishetten hym in hire shoppes to shewen hire ware, 2.214
Apparailed hym as a prentice the peple to serve. 2.215
Lightliche Lyere leep awey thennes, 2.216
Lurkynge thorugh lanes, tolugged of manye. 2.217
He was nowher welcome for his manye tales, 2.218
Over al yhonted and yhote trusse, 2.219
Til pardoners hadde pite, and pulled hym into house. 2.220
They wesshen hym and wiped hym and wounden hym in cloutes, 2.221
And senten hym [on Sondayes with seles] to chirches, 2.222
And gaf pardoun for pens poundemele aboute. 2.223
Thanne lourede leches, and lettres thei sente 2.224
That he sholde wonye with hem watres to loke. 2.225
Spycers speken with hym to spien hire ware, 2.226
For he kouthe on hir craft and knew manye gommes. 2.227
Ac mynstrales and messagers mette with hym ones, 2.228
And [with]helden hym an half yeer and ellevene dayes. 2.229
Freres with fair speche fetten hymthen, 2.230
And for knowynge of comeres coped hym as a frere; 2.231
Ac he hath leve to lepen out as ofte as hym liketh,
Page 24
And is welcome whan he wile, and woneth with hem ofte. 2.233
Alle fledden for fere and flowen into hernes; 2.234
Save Mede the mayde na mo dorste abide. 2.235
Ac trewely to telIe, she trembled for fere, 2.236
And ek wepte and wrong whan she was attached. 2.237
Passus 3
Now is Mede the mayde and no mo of hem alle, 3.001
With bedeles and baillies brought bifore the Kyng. 3.002
The Kyng called a clerk–l kan noght his name– 3.003
To take Mede the maide and maken hire at ese. 3.004
I shal assayen hire myself and soothliche appose 3.005
What man of this world that hire were levest. 3.006
And if she werche bi wit and my wil folwe 3.007
I wol forgyven hire this gilt, so me God helpe!’ 3.008
Curteisly the clerk thanne, as the Kyng highte, 3.009
Took Mede bi the myddel and broghte hire into chambre. 3.010
Ac ther was murthe and mynstralcie Mede to plese; 3.011
That wonyeth at Westmynstre worshipeth hire alle. 3.012
Gentilliche with joye the justices somme 3.013
Busked hem to the bour ther the burde dwellede, 3.014
Conforted hyre kyndely by Clergies leve, 3.015
And seiden, ” Mourne noght, Mede, ne make thow no sorwe, 3.016
For we wol wisse the Kyng and thi wey shape 3.017
To be wedded at thi wille and wher thee leef liketh 3.018
For al Conscienees cast or craft, as I trowe.’ 3.019
Mildely Mede thanne merciede hem alle
Page 25
Of hire grete goodnesse–and gaf hem echone 3.021
Coupes of clene gold and coppes of silver, 3.022
Rynges with rubies and richesses manye, 3.023
The Ieeste man of hire meynee a moton of golde. 3.024
Thanne laughte thei leve thise lordes at Mede. 3.025
With that comenclerkes to conforten hire the same, 3.026
And beden hire be blithe– “For we beth thyne owene 3.027
For to werche thi wille the while thow myght laste.’ 3.028
Hendiliche heo thanne bihighte hem the same– 3.029
To loven hem lelly and lordes to make, 3.030
And in the consistorie at the court do callen hire names. 3.031
” Shal no lewednesse lette the clerke that I lovye, 3.032
That he ne worth first avaunced for I am biknowen 3.033
Ther konnynge clerkes shul clokke bihynde.’ 3.034
Thanne cam ther a confessour coped as a frere; 3.035
To Mede the mayde [mekeliche he loutede] 3.036
And seide ful softely, in shrift as it were, 3.037
“Theigh lewed men and lered men hadde leyen by thee bothe. 3.038
And Falshede hadde yfolwed thee alle thise fifty wynter, 3.039
I shal assoille thee myself for a seem of whete, 3.040
And also be thi bedeman, and bere wel thyn er[ende], 3.041
Amonges knyghtes and clerkes, Conscience to torne. 3.042
Thanne Mede for hire mysdedes to that man kneled, 3.043
And shrof hire of hire sherewednesse–shamelees, I trowe; 3.044
Tolde hym a tale and took hym a noble 3.045
For to ben hire bedeman and hire brocour als. 3.046
Thanne he assoiled hire soone and sithen he seide, 3.047
” We have a wyndow in werchynge, wole stonden us ful hye; 3.048
Woldestow glaze that gable and grave therinne thy name, 3.049
Sykir sholde thi soule be hevene to have.’ 3.050
” Wiste I that,’ quod the womman, – I wolde noght spare 3.051
For to be youre frend, frere, and faile yow nevere 3.052
While ye love lordes that lecherie haunten 3.053
And lakketh noght ladies that loven wel the same.
Page 26
lt is a freletee of flessh–ye fynden it in bokes– 3.055
And a cours of kynde. wherof we comen alle. 3.056
Who may scape the sclaundre, the scathe is soone amended; 3.057
It is synne of the sevene sonnest relessed. 3.058
Have mercy,’ quod Mede, of men that it haunteth 3.059
And I shal covere youre kirk, youre cloistre do maken, 3.060
Wowes do whiten and wyndowes glazen, 3.061
Do peynten and portraye [who paied] for the makynge, 3.062
That every segge shall see I am suster of youre house.’ 3.063
Ac God to alle good folk swich gravynge defendeth– 3.064
To writen in wyndowes of hir wel dedes– 3.065
An aventure pride be peynted there, and pomp of the world; 3.066
For God knoweth thi conscience and thi kynde wille, 3.067
And thi cost and thi coveitise and who the catel oughte. 3.068
Forthi I lere yow lordes, leveth swiche w[rityng]es– 3.069
To writen in wyndowes of youre wel dedes 3.070
Or to greden after Goddes men whan ye [gyve] doles, 3.071
On aventure ye have youre hire here and youre hevene als. 3.072
Nesciat sinsitra quid faciat dextra: 3.072
Lat noght thi left half, late ne rathe, 3.073
Wite what thow werchest with thi right syde– 3.074
For thus bit the Gospel goode men doon hir almesse. 3.075
Maires and maceres, that menes ben bitwene 3.076
The kyng and the comune to kepe the lawes, 3.077
To punysshe on pillories and on pynynge stooles 3.078
Brewesters and baksters, bochiers and cokes– 3.079
For thise are men on this molde that moost harm wercheth 3.080
To the povere peple that parcelmele buggen. 3.081
For thei poisone the peple pryveliche and ofte,
Page 27
Thei richen thorugh regratrie and rentes hem biggen 3.083
With that the povere peple sholde putte in hire wombe. 3.084
For toke thei on trewely, thei tymbred nought so heighe, 3.085
Ne boughte none burgages–be ye ful certeyne! 3.086
Ac Mede the mayde the mair h[eo] bisought[e] 3.087
Of alle swiche selleris silver to take, 3.088
Or presents withouten pens–as pieces of silver, 3.089
Rynges or oother richesse the regratiers to mayntene. 3.090
” For my love,’ quod that lady, love hem echone, 3.091
And suffre hem to selle somdel ayeins reson.’ 3.092
Salamon the sage a sermon he made 3.093
For to amenden maires and men that kepen lawes, 3.094
And tolde hem this teme that I telle thynke: 3.095
Ignis devorabit tabernacula eorum qui libenter accipiunt munera, &c. 3.095
Among thise lettrede leodes this Latyn is to mene 3.096
That fir shall falle and [for]brenne al to bloo askes 3.097
The houses and the homes of hem that desireth 3.098
Yiftes or yeresyeves because of hire offices. 3.100
The Kyng fro counseil cam, and called after Mede, 3.101
And ofsente hire as swithe with sergeaunts manye 3.102
That broughte hire to boure with blisse and with joye. 3.103
Curteisly the Kyng thanne comsed to telle; 3.104
To Mede the mayde he melleth thise wordes: 3.105
” Unwittily, womman, wroght hastow ofte; 3.106
Ac worse wroghtest thow nevere than tho thow Fals toke. 3.107
But I forgyve thee that gilt, and graunte thee my grace; 3.108
Hennes to thi deeth day do so na moore! 3.109
I have a knyght, Conscience, cam late fro biyonde; 3.110
If he wilneth thee to wif, wiltow hym have?’ 3.111
“Ye, Iord,’ quod that lady, ” Lord forbede it ellis! 3.112
But I be holly at youre heste, lat hange me soone!’ 3.113
Thanne was Conscience called to come and appere 3.114
Bifore the Kyng and his conseil, as clerkes and othere.
Page 28
Knelynge Conseience to the Kyng louted, 3.116
To wite what his wille were and what he do sholde. 3.117
“Woltow wedde this womman,’ quod the Kyng, “if I wole assente? 3.118
For she is fayn of thi felaweshipe, for to be thi make.’ 3.119
Quod Conscience to the-Kyng, “Crist it me forbede! 3.120
Er I wedde swich a wif, wo me bitide! 3.121
For she is frele of hire feith, fikel of hire speche, 3.122
And maketh men mysdo many score tymes. 3.123
In trust of hire tresor she t[en]eth ful manye: 3.124
Wyves and widewes wantounnesse she techeth, 3.125
And lereth hem lecherie that loveth hire yiftes. 3.126
Poure fader she felled thorugh false biheste, 3.127
And hath apoisoned popes and peired Holy Chirche. 3.128
Is noght a bettre baude, by Hym that me made, 3.129
Bitwene hevene and helle, in erthe though men soghte! 3.130
For she is tikel of hire tail, talewis of tonge, 3.131
As commune as the cartwey to [knaves and to alle]– 3.132
To monkes, to mynstrales, to meseles in hegges; 3.133
Sisours and somonours, swiche men hire preiseth, 3.134
Sherreves of shires were shent if she ne were– 3.135
For she dooth men lese hire lond and hire lif bothe. 3.136
She leteth passe prisoners and paieth for hem ofte, 3.137
And gyveth the gailers gold and grotes togidres 3.138
To unfettre the Fals–fle where hym liketh; 3.139
And taketh the trewe bi the top and tieth hym faste, 3.140
And hangeth hym for hatrede that harm[e]de nevere. 3.141
“To be cursed in consistorie she counteth noght a russhe 3.142
For she copeth the commissarie and coteth hise clerkes. 3.143
She is assoiled as soone as hireself liketh; 3.144
She may neigh as muche do in a monthe ones 3.145
As youre secret seel in sixe seore dayes! 3.146
She is pryvee with the Pope–provisours it knoweth, 3.147
For Sire Symonie and hirselve seleth hire bulles. 3.148
She blesseth thise bisshopes, theigh thei be lewed;
Page 29
Provendreth persones and preestes she maynteneth 3.150
To h[old]e lemmans and lotebies alle hire lif daies 3.151
And bryngen forth barnes ayein forbode lawes. 3.152
“Ther she is wel with the kyng, wo is the reaume– 3.153
For she is favorable to Fals and defouleth truthe ofte. 3.154
By Jesus! with hire jeweles youre justice she shendeth 3.155
And lith ayein the lawe and letteth hym the gate, 3.156
That feith may noght have his forth, hire floryns go so thinke. 3.157
She ledeth the lawe as hire list and lovedaies maketh, 3.158
And doth men lese thorugh hire love that lawe myghte wynne– 3.159
The maze for a mene man, though he mote evere! 3.160
Lawe is so lordlich, and looth to maken ende: 3.161
Withouten presents or pens he pleseth wel fewe. 3.162
“Barons and burgeises she bryngeth in sorwe, 3.163
And al the comune in care that coveiten lyve in truthe, 3.164
For cIergie and coveitise she coupleth togidres. 3.165
This is the lif of that lady–now Lord yyve hire sorwe, 3.166
And alle that maynteneth hire men, meschaunee hem bitide! 3.167
For povere men may have no power to pleyne though thei smerte, 3.168
Swich a maister is Mede among men of goode.’ 3.169
Thanne mournede Mede and mened hire to the Kynge 3.170
To have space to speke, spede if she myghte. 3.171
The Kyng graunted hire grace with a good wille: 3.172
“Excuse thee if thow kanst; I kan namoore seggen, 3.173
For Conscience accuseth thee, to congeien thee for evere.’ 3.174
“Nay, lord,’ quod that lady, “leveth hym the werse 3.175
Whan ye witen witterly wher the wrong liggeth. 3.176
Ther that meschief is gret, Mede may helpe. 3.177
And thow knowest, Conscience, I kam noght to chide, 3.178
Ne to deprave thi persone with a proud herte. 3.179
WeI thow woost, wernard, but if thow wolt gabbe, 3.180
Thow hast hanged on myn half ellevene tymes, 3.181
And also griped my gold, and gyve it where thee liked. 3.182
ow wrathest thee now, wonder me thynketh !
Page 30
Yet I may, as I myghte, menske thee with yiftes 3.184
And mayntene thi manhode moore than thow knowest. 3.185
“Ac thow hast famed me foule bifore the Kyng here; 3.186
For killed I nevere no kyng, ne counseiled therafter, 3.187
Ne dide as thow demest–I do it on the Kynge. 3.188
In Normandie was he noght noyed for my sake– 3.189
Ac thow thiself, soothly, shamedest hym ofte: 3.190
Crope into a cabane for cold of thi nayles, 3.191
Wendest that wynter wolde han ylasted evere, 3.192
And dreddest to be ded for a dym cloude, 3.193
And hyedest homward for hunger of thi wombe. 3.194
Withouten pite, pilour, povere men thow robbedest 3.195
And bere hire bras at thi bak to Caleis to selle, 3.196
Ther I lafte with my lord his lif for to save. 3.197
I made his men murye and mournynge lette; 3.198
I batred hem on the bak and boldede hire hertes, 3.199
And dide hem hoppe for hope to have me at wille. 3.200
Hadde I ben marchal of his men, by Marie of hevene! 3.201
I dorste have leyd my lif and no lasse wedde, 3.202
He sholde have be lord of that lond in lengthe and in brede, 3.203
And also kyng of that kith his kyn for to helpe– 3.204
The leeste brol of his blood a barones piere! 3.205
Cowardly thow, Conscience, conseiledest hym thennes– 3.206
To leven his lordshipe for a litel silver, 3.207
That is the richeste reaume that reyn overhoveth. 3.208
“It bicometh to a kyng that kepeth a reaume 3.209
To yeve [men mede] that mekely hym serveth– 3.210
To aliens and to alle men, to honouren hem with yiftes; 3.211
Mede maketh hym biloved and for a man holden. 3.212
Emperours and erles and alle manere lordes 3.213
Thorugh yiftes han yonge men to yerne and to ryde. 3.214
The Pope and alle prelates presents underfongen 3.215
And medeth men hemserven to mayntene hir lawes, 3.216
Servaunts for hire servyce, we seeth wel the sothe, 3.217
Taken mede of hir maistres, as thei mowe acorde. 3.218
Beggeres for hir biddynge bidden men mede. 3.219
Mynstrales for hir myrthe mede thei aske. 3.220
The Kyng hath mede of his men to make pees in londe. 3.221
Men that [kenne clerkes] craven of hem mede. 3.222
Preestes that prechen the peple to goode
Page 31
Asken mede and massepens and hire mete [also]. 3.224
Alle kyn crafty men craven mede for hir prentices. 3.225
Marchaundise and mede mote nede go togideres: 3.226
No wight, es I wene, withouten Mede may libbe! 3.227
Quod the Kyng to Conscience, “By Crist, as me thynketh, 3.228
Mede is worthi the maistrie to have!- 3.229
“Nay,’ quod Conscience to the Kyng and kneled to the erthe, 3.230
“Ther are two manere of medes, my Iord, by youre leve. 3.231
That oon God of his grace graunteth in his blisse 3.232
To tho that wel werchen while thei ben here. 3.233
The Prophete precheth therof and putte it in the Sauter: 3.234
Domine, quis habitabit in tabernaculo tuo? 3.234
Lord, who shal wonye in thi wones with thyne holy seintes 3.235
Or resten in thyne holy hilles?–This asketh David. 3.236
And David assoileth it hymself, as the Sauter telleth: 3.237
Qui ingreditur sine macula et operatur iusticiam. 3.237
Tho that entren of o colour and of one wille, 3.238
And han ywroght werkes with right and with reson, 3.239
And he that useth noght the lyf of usurie 3.240
And enformeth povere men and pursueth truthe: 3.241
Qui pecuniam fuam non dedis ad usuram, et munera super inflocentem &c. 3.241
And alle that helpen the innocent and holden with the rightfulle, 3.242
Withouten mede doth hem good and the truthe helpeth– 3.243
Swiche manere men, my lord, shul have this firste mede 3.244
Of God at a gret nede, whan thei gon hennes. 3.245
“Ther is another mede mesurelees, that maistres desireth: 3.246
To mayntene mysdoers mede thei take, 3.247
And therof seith the Sauter in a salmes ende– 3.248
In quorum manibus iniquitates sunt; dextra eorum repleta est muneribus: 3.248
And he that gripeth hir gold, so me God helpe,
Page 32
Shal abien it bittre, or the Book lieth! 3.251
Preestes and persons that plesynge desireth, 3.252
That taken mede and moneie for masses that thei syngeth, 3.253
Taken hire mede here as Mathew us techeth: 3.254
Amen, amen, receperunt mercedem suam. 3.254
That laborers and lewede [leodes] taken of hire maistres, 3.255
It is no manere mede but a mesurable hire. 3.256
In marchaundise is no mede, I may it wel avowe: 3.257
It is a permutacion apertly–a penyworth for another. 3.258
“Ac reddestow nevere Regum, thow recrayed Mede, 3.259
Whi the vengeaunce fel on Saul and on his children? 3.260
God sente to Saul by Samuel the prophete 3.261
That Agag of Amalec and al his peple after 3.262
Sholden deye for a dede that doon hadde hire eldres. 3.263
“Forthi,’ seide Samuel to Saul, “God hymself hoteth thee 3.264
To be buxom at his biddynge, his wil to fulfille. 3.265
Weend to Amalec with thyn oost, and what thow fyndest there–sle it: 3.266
Burnes and beestes–bren hem to dethe! 3.267
Widwes and wyves, wommen and children, 3.268
Moebles and unmoebles, and al thow myght fynde– 3.269
Bren it, bere it noght awey, be it never so riche; 3.270
For mede ne for monee, loke thow destruye it! 3.271
Spille it and spare it noght–thow shalt spede the bettre.” 3.272
And for he coveited hir catel and the kyng spared, 3.273
Forbar hym and his beestes bothe as the Bible witnesseth 3.274
Otherwise than he was warned of the prophete, 3.275
God seide to Samuel that Saul sholde deye, 3.276
And al his seed for that synne shenfulliche ende. 3.277
Swich a meschief Mede made the kyng to have 3.278
That God hated hym for evere and alle his heires after. 3.279
“The culorum of this cas kepe I noght to shewe; 3.280
On aventure it noyed me, noon ende wol I make, 3.281
For so is this wor1d went with hem that han power
Page 33
That whoso seith hem sothest is sonnest yblamed! 3.283
“I, Conseience, knowe this, for Kynde Wit it me taughte– 3.284
That Reson shal regne and reaumes governe, 3.285
And right as Agag hadde, happe shul somme: 3.286
Samuel shal sleen hym and Saul shal be blamed, 3.287
And David shal be diademed and daunten hem alle, 3.288
And oon Cristene kyng kepen [us] echone. 3.289
Shal na moore Mede be maister as she is nouthe, 3.290
Ac love and lowenesse and leautee togideres– 3.291
Thise shul ben raaistres on moolde [trewe men] to save. 3.292
And whoso trespaseth ayein truthe or taketh ayein his wille, 3.293
Leaute shal don hym lawe, and no lif ellis. 3.294
Shal no sergeant for his service were a sik howve, 3.295
Ne no pelure in his [paviloun] for pledynge at the barre. 3.296
” Mede of mysdoeres maketh manye lordes, 3.297
And over lordes Iawes [led]eth the reaumes. 3.298
Ac kynde love shal come yit and Conscience togideres 3.299
And make of lawe a laborer; swich love shal arise 3.300
And swich pees among the peple and a parfit truthe 3.301
That Jewes shul wene in hire wit, and wexen wonder glade, 3.302
That Moyses or Messie be come into this erthe, 3.303
And have wonder in hire hertes that men beth so trewe. 3.304
“Alle that beren baselard, brood swerd or launce, 3.305
Ax outher hachet or any wepene ellis, 3.306
Shal be demed to the deeth but if he do it smythye 3.307
into sikel or to sithe, to shaar or to kultour– 3.308
Conflabunt gladios suos in vomeres, &c– 3.308
Ech man to pleye with a plow, pykoise or spade, 3.309
Spynne, or sprede donge, or spille hymself with sleuthe; 3.310
Preestes and persons with Plucebo to hunte, 3.311
And dyngen upon David eche day til eve. 3.312
Huntynge or haukyng if any of hem use, 3.313
His boost of his benefice worth bynomen hym after.
Page 34
“Shal neither kyng ne knyght, constable ne meire 3.315
Over[carke] the commune ne to the court sompne, 3.316
Ne putte hem in panel to doon hem plighte hir truthe; 3.317
But after the dede that is doon oon doom shal rewarde 3.318
Mercy or no mercy as Truthe [moste] acorde. 3.319
” Kynges court and commune court, consistorie and chapitle– 3.320
Al shal be but oon court, and oon b[ur]n be justice: 3.321
That worth Trewe-tonge, a tidy man that tened me nevere. 3.322
Batailles shul none be, ne no man bere wepene, 3.323
And what smyth that any smytheth be smyte therwith to dethe! 3.324
Non levabit gens contra gentem gladium &c. 3.324
“And er this fortune falle, fynde men shul the worste, 3.325
By sixe sonnes and a ship and half a shef of arwes; 3.326
And the myddel of a moone shal make the Jewes torne, 3.327
And Sarsynes for that sighte shul synge Gloria in excelsis &c– 3.328
For Makometh and Mede myshappe shul that tyme; 3.329
For Melius est bonum nomen quam divicie multe.’ 3.330
Also wroth as the wynd weex Mede in a while. 3.331
” I kan no Latyn?’ quod she. “Clerkes wite the sothe! 3.332
Se what Salomon seith in Sapience bokes: 3.333
That thei that yyven yiftes the victorie wynneth, 3.334
And muche worshipe have therwith, as Holy Writ telleth– 3.335
Honorem adquiret qui dut munera, &c.’ 3.335
” I leve wel, lady,’ quod Conscience, “that thi Latyn be trewe. 3.336
Ac thow art lik a lady that radde a lesson ones, 3.337
Was omnia probate, and that plesed hire herte– 3.338
For that lyne was no lenger at the leves ende. 3.340
Hadde she loked that other half and the leef torned, 3.341
She sholde have founden fele wordes folwynge therafter:
Page 35
Quod bonum est tenete–Truthe that text made. 3.343
And so [mys]ferde ye, madame–ye kouthe na moore fynde 3.344
Tho ye loked on Sapience, sittynge in youre studie. 3.345
This text that ye han told were [tidy] for lordes, 3.346
Ac yow failed a konnynge clerk that kouthe the leef han torned. 3.347
And if ye seche Sapience eft, fynde shul ye that folweth. 3.348
A ful tenefuI text to hem that taketh mede: 3.349
350 And that is Animam autem oufert accipientium &c. 3.349
And that is the tail of the text of that tale ye shewed– 3.350
That theigh we wynne worshipe and with mede have victorie, 3.351
The soule that the soude taketh by so muche is bounde.- 3.352
Passus 4
” Cesseth!’ seide the Kyng, ” I suffre yow no lenger. 4.001
Ye shul saughtne, forsothe, and serve me bothe. 4.002
Kis hire,’ quod the Kyng, “Conscience, I hote!’ 4.003
” Nay, by Crist!’ quod Conscience, ” congeye me rather! 4.004
But Reson rede me therto, rather wol I deye.’ 4.005
“And I comaunde thee,’ quod the Kyng to Conseience thanne, 4.006
“Rape thee to ryde, and Reson that thow fecche. 4.007
Comaunde hym that he come my counseil to here, 4.008
For he shal rule my reaume and rede me the beste 4.009
Mede and of mo othere, what man shal hire wedde,
Page 36
And acounte with thee, Conscience, so me Crist helpe, 4.011
How thow lernest the peple, the lered and the lewed!’ 4.012
“I am fayn of that foreward,’ seide the freke thanne, 4.013
And ryt right to Reson and rouneth in his ere, 4.014
And seide hym as the Kyng seide, and sithen took his leve. 4.015
“I shal arraye me to ryde,’ quod Reson, -reste thee a while,’ 4.016
And called Caton his knave, curteis of speche, 4.017
And also Tomme Trewe-tonge-tel-me-no-tales 4.018
Ne lesynge-to-laughen-of-for-I-loved-hem-nevere. 4.019
” Set my sadel upon Suffre-til-l-se-my-tyme, 4.020
And lat warroke hym wel with witty-wordes gerthes. 4.021
Hange on hym the hevy brydel to holde his heed lowe, 4.022
For he wol make “”wehee” twies er he be there.’ 4.023
Thanne Conscience on his capul caireth forth faste, 4.024
And Reson with hym ryt, rownynge togideres 4.025
Whiche maistries Mede maketh on this erthe. 4.026
Oon Waryn Wisdom and Witty his fere 4.027
Folwed hem faste, for thei hadde to doone 4.028
In th’Eseheker and in the Chauncerye, to ben descharged of thynges, 4.029
And riden faste for Reson sholde rede hem the beste 4.030
For to save hem for silver from shame and from harmes. 4.031
A[c] Conscience knew hem wel, thei loved coveitise, 4.032
And bad Reson ryde faste and recche of hir neither: 4.033
“Ther are wiles in hire wordes, and with Mede thei dweneth– 4.034
Ther as wrathe and wranglynge is, ther wynne thei silver; 4.035
Ac there is love and leautee, thei wol noght come there: 4.036
Contricio et infelicitas in viis eorum &c. 4.036
Thei ne gyveth noght of God one goose wynge: 4.037
Non est timor Dei ante oculos eorum &c. 4.037
For thei wolde do moore for a dozeyne chiknes 4.038
Than for the love of Oure Lorde or alle hise leeve seintes!
Page 37
Forthi, Reson, lat hem ride, tho riche by hemselve– 4.040
For Conscience knoweth hem noght, ne Crist, as I trowe.’ 4.041
And thanne Reson rood faste the righte heighe gate, 4.042
As Conscience hym kenned, til thei come to the Kynge. 4.043
Curteisly the Kyng thanne com ayeins Reson, 4.044
And bitwene hymsel and his sone sette hym on benche, 4.045
And wordeden wel wisely a gret while togideres. 4.046
And thame com Pees into parliment and putte up a bill- 4.047
How Wrong ayeins his wille hadde his wif taken, 4.048
Aad how he ravysshede Rose, Reignaldes loove, 4.049
And Margrete of hir maydenhede maugree hire chekes. 4.050
” Bothe my gees and my grys hise gadelynges feccheth; 4.051
I dar noght for fere of hem fighte ne chide. 4.052
He borwed of me bayard and broughte hym hom nevere 4.053
Ne no ferthyng therfore, for nought I koude plede. 4.054
He maynteneth hise men to murthere myne hewen, 4.055
Forstalleth my feires and fighteth in my chepyng, 4.056
And breketh up my berne dores and bereth awey my whete, 4.057
And taketh me but a taille for ten quarters otes. 4.058
And yet he beteth me therto and lyth by my mayde; 4.059
I am noght hardy for hym unnethe to loke!’ 4.060
The Kyng knew he seide sooth. for Conscience hym tolde 4.061
That Wrong was a wikked luft and wroghte muche sorwe. 4.062
Wrong was afered thanne, and Wisdom he soughte 4.063
To maken pees with hise pens, and profred hym manye, 4.064
And seide, “Hadde I love of my lord the Kyng, litel wolde I recche 4.065
Theigh Pees and his power pleyned hym evere!’ 4.066
Tho wan Wisdom and Sire Waryn the Witty, 4.067
For that Wrong hadde ywroght so wikked a dede, 4.068
And warnede Wrong tho with swich a wis tale– 4.069
“Whoso wereheth by wille, writhe maketh ofte.
Page 38
I seye it by myself–thow shalt it wel fynde: 4.071
But if Mede it make, thi meschief is uppe; 4.072
For bothe thi lif and thi lond lyth in his grace.’ 4.073
Thanne wowede Wrong Wisdom ful yerne 4.074
To maken his pees with his pens, handy dandy payed. 4.075
Wisdom and Wit thanne wenten togidres, 4.076
And token Mede myd hem mercy to wynne. 4.077
Pees putte forth his heed and his panne blody: 4.078
“Withouten gilt, God woot, gat I this seathe.’ 4.079
Conseicnce and the commune knowen wel the sothe, 4.080
Ac Wisdom and Wit were aboute faste 4.081
To overcomen the Kyng with catel, if thei myghte. 4.082
The Kyng swor by Crist and by his crowne bothe 4.083
That Wrong for hise werkes sholde wo tholie, 4.084
And combundede a eonstable to casten hym in irens, 4.085
“And lete hym noght this seven yer seen his feet ones. 4.086
“God woot,’ quod Wisdom, “that were noght the beste! 4.087
And he amendes mowe make, Iat Maynprise hym have 4.088
And be borgh for his bale, and buggen hym boote, 4.089
And so amenden that is mysdo, and everemoore the bettre.’ 4.090
Wit acorded therwith, and seide the same, 4.091
“Bettre is that boote bale adoun brynge 4.092
Than baIe be ybet, and boote nevere the bettre!’ 4.093
Thanne gan Mede to meken hire, and mercy bisoughte, 4.094
And profrede Pees a present al of pure golde. 4.095
“Have this, man, of me,’ quod she, “to amenden thi scathe, 4.096
For I wol wage for Wrong, he woI do so na moore.’ 4.097
Pitously Pees thanne preyde to the Kynge 4.098
To have mercy on that man that mysdide hym so ofte. 4.099
“For he hath waged me wel, as Wisdom hym taughte, 4.100
And I forgyve hym that gilt with a good wille. 4.101
So that the Kyng assente, I kan seye no bettre,
Page 39
For Mede hath maad myne amendes–I may na moore axe.’ 4.103
“Nay’, quod the Kyng tho, “so me Crist helpe! 4.104
Wrong wendeth noghtawey er I wite more. 4.105
Lope he so lightly, laughen he wolde, 4.106
And eft the boldere be to bete myne hewen. 4.107
But Reson have ruthe on hym, he shal reste in my stokkes 4.108
As longe as [I] lyve, but lowenesse hym borwe.’ 4.109
Somme radde Reson tho to have ruthe on that shrewe, 4.110
And for to counseille the Kyng and Conscience after 4.111
That Mede moste be maynpernour, Reson thei bisoughte. 4.112
” Reed me noght,’ quod Reson, “no ruthe to have 4.113
Til lordes and ladies loven alle truthe 4.114
And haten alle harlotrie, to heren or to mouthen it; 4.115
Til Pernelles purfill be put in hire hucche 4.116
And childrene cherissynge be chastised with yerdes, 4.117
And harlottes holynesse be holden for an hyne; 4.118
Til clerkene coveitise be to clothe the povere and fede, 4.119
And religiouse romeris Recordare in hir cloistres 4.120
As Seynt Beneyt hem bad, Bernard and Fraunceis; 4.121
And til prechours prechynge be preved on hemselve; 4.122
Til the Kynges counseil be the commune profit; 4.123
Til bisshopes bayardes ben beggeris chaumbres, 4.124
Hire haukes and hire houndes help to povere religious; 4.125
And til Seint James be sought there I shal assigne– 4.126
That no man go to Galis but if he go for evere; 4.127
And alle Rome renneres for robberes of biyonde
Page 40
Bere no silver over see that signe of kyng sheweth– 4.129
Neither grave ne ungrave, gold neither silver– 4.130
Upon forfeture of that fee, who fynt hym at Dovere, 4.131
But if it be marchaunt or his man, or messager with lettres, 4.132
Provysour or preest, or penaunt for hise synnes. 4.133
“And yet,’ quod Reson, “by the Rode! I shal no ruthe have 4.134
Whiff Mede hath the maistrie in this moot-halle. 4.135
Ac I may shewe ensamples as I se outher. 4.136
I seye it by myself,’ quod he, “and it so were 4.137
That I were kyng with coroune to kepen a reaume, 4.138
Sholde nevere Wrong in this world that I wite myghte 4.139
Ben unpunysshed in my power, for peril of my soule, 4.140
Ne gete my grace thorugh giftes, so me God save! 4.141
Ne for no mede have mercy, but mekenesse it made; 4.142
For “”Nullum molum the man mette with inpunitum 4.143
And bad Nullum bonum be irremuneratum.” 4.144
Lat thi confessour, sire Kyng, construe this [E]ngl[ys]sed, 4.145
And if ye werchen it in werk, I wedde myne eris 4.146
That Lawe shal ben a laborer and lede afeld donge 4.147
And Love shal lede thi lond as the leef liketh.’ 4.148
Clerkes that were confessours coupled hem togideres 4.149
Al to construe this clause, and for the Kynges profit, 4.150
Ac noght for confort of the cornmune, ne for the Kynges soule, 4.151
For I seigh Mede in the moot-halle on men of lawe wynke, 4.152
And thei laughynge lope to hire and lefte Reson manye. 4.153
Waryn Wisdom wynked upon Mede 4.154
And seide, ” Madame, I am youre man, what so my mouth jangle; 4.155
I falle in floryns,’ quod that freke, “and faile speche ofte.’ 4.156
Alle rightfulle recorded that Reson truthe tolde. 4.157
[Kynde] Wit acorded therwith and comendede hise wordes, 4.158
And the mooste peple in the halle and manye of the grete, 4.159
And leten Mekenesse a maister and Mede a mansed sherewe. 4.160
Love leet of hire light, and Leaute yet lasse, 4.161
And seide it so heighc that a1l the halle it herde:
Page 41
“Whoso wilneth hire to wyve, For welthe of hire goodes– 4.163
But he be knowe for a cokewold, kut of my nose!’ 4.164
Mede mornede tho, and made hevy chere, 4.165
For the mooste commune of that court called hire an hore. 4.166
Ac a sisour and a somonour sued hire faste, 4.167
And a sherreves clerk bisherewed al the route: 4.168
” For ofte have I,’ quod he, ‘holpen yow at the barre, 4.169
And yet yeve ye me nevere the worth of a risshe!’ 4.170
The Kyng callede Conseience and afterward Reson, 4.171
And recordede that Reson hadde rightfully shewed ; 4.172
And modiliche upon Mede with myght the Kyng loked, 4.173
And gan wexe wroth with Lawe, for Mede almoost hadde shent it, 4.174
And seide, -Thorugh youre lawe, as I leve, I lese manye chetes; 4.175
Mede overmaistreth Lawe and muche truthe letteth. 4.176
Ac Reson shal rekene with yow, if I regne any while, – 4.177
And deme yow, bi this day, as ye han deserved. 4.178
Mede shal noght maynprise yow, by the Marie of hevene! 4.179
I wole have leaute in lawe, and lete be al youre jangling, 4.180
And as moost folk witnesseth wel, Wrong shal be demed.’ 4.181
Quod Conscience to the Kyng, ‘But the commune wole assente,- 4.182
It is ful hard, by myn heed, herto to brynge it, 4.183
[And] alle youre lige leodes to lede thus evene.’ 4.184
“By Hym that raughte on the Rood!’ quod Reson to the Kynge, 4.185
But if I rule thus youre reaume, rende out my guttes– 4.186
If ye bidden buxomnesse be of myn assent.’ 4.187
“And I assente,’ seith the Kyng, ” by Seinte Marie my lady, 4.188
Be my Counseil comen of clerkes and of erles. 4.189
Ac redily, Reson, thow shalt noght ride hennes; 4.190
For as longe as I lyve, lete thee I nelle.’ 4.191
‘I am al redy.’ quod Reson, “to reste with yow evere; 4.192
So Conscience be of oure counceil, I kepe no bettre.’ 4.193
“And I graunte,’ quod the Kyng, “Goddes forbode he faile! 4.194
Als longe as oure lyf lasteth, lyve we togideres!’ 4.195
Page 42
Passus 5
The Kyng and hise knyghtes to the kirke wente 5.001
To here matyns of the day and the masse after. 5.002
Thanne w~ked I of my wynkyng and wo was withalle 5.003
That I ne hadde slept sadder and yseighen moore. 5.004
Ac er I hadde faren a furlong, feyntise me hente, 5.005
That I ne myghte ferther a foot for defaute of slepynge. 5.006
I sat softely adoun and seide my bileve, 5.007
And so I bablede on my bedes, thei broughte me aslepe. 5.008
And thanne saugh I muche moore than I bifore tolde– 5.009
For I seigh the feld ful of folk that I before of seide, 5.010
And how Reson gan arayen hym al the reaume to preche, 5.011
And with a cros afore the Kyng comsede thus to techen. 5.012
He preved that thise pestilences were For pure synne, 5.013
And the south-westrene wynd on Saterday at even 5.014
Was pertliche for pride and for no point ellis. 5.015
Pyries and plum-trees were puffed to the erthe 5.016
In ensample, ye segges, ye sholden do the bettre. 5.017
Beches and brode okes were blowen to the grounde 5.018
And turned upward here tail in tokenynge of drede 5.019
That dedly synne er domesday shal fordoon hem alle. 5.020
Of this matere I myghte mamelen ful longe, 5.021
Ac I shal seye as I saugh, so me God helpe, 5.022
How pertly afore the peple prechen gan Reson. 5.023
He bad Wastour go werche what he best kouthe 5.024
And wynnen his wastyng with som maner crafte. 5.025
He preide Pemele hir purfil to lete, 5.026
And kepe it in hire cofre for catel at hire nede. 5.027
Tomme Stowue he taughte to take two staves 5.028
And fecche Felice horn fro wyve pyne.
Page 43
He warnede Watte his wif was to blame 5.030
For hire heed was worth half marc and his hood noght worth a grote, 5.031
And bad Bette kutte a bough outher tweye 5.032
And bete Beton therwith but if she wolde werche. 5.033
And thanne he chargede chapmen to chastisen hir children: 5.034
“Late no wynnyng forwanye hem while thei be yonge, 5.035
Ne for no poustee of pestilence plese hem noght out of reson. 5.036
My sire seide so to me, and so dide my dame, 5.037
That the levere child the moore loore bihoveth; 5.038
And Salamon seide the same, that Sapience made– 5.039
” Qui parcit virge odit fitium. 5.039
Whoso spareth the spryng spilleth hise children.”’ 5.040
And sithen he preide prelates and preestes togideres, 5.041
” That ye prechen to the peple, preve it yowselve, 5.042
And dooth it in dede–it shal drawe yow to goode. 5.043
If ye leven as ye leren us, we shul leve yow the bettre.’ 5.044
And sithen he radde Religion hir rule to holde– 5.045
” Lest the Kyng and his Conseil youre comunes apeire 5.046
And be stywards of youre stedes til ye be [stew]ed bettre.’ 5.047
And sithen he counseiled the Kyng his commune to lovye: 5.048
“It is thi tresor, if treson ne were, and tryacle at thy nede.’ 5.049
And sithen he preide the Pope have pite on Holy Chirche, 5.050
And er he gyve any grace, governe first hymselve. 5.051
“And ye that han lawes to kepe, lat Truthe be youre coveitise 5.052
Moore than gold outher giftes if ye wol God plese;
Page 44
For whoso contrarieth Truthe. He telleth in the Gospel, 5.054
Amen dico vobis, nescio Vos. 5.055
And ye that seke Seynt James and seyntes of Rome, 5.056
Seketh Seynt Truthe, for he may save yow alle. 5.057
Qui cum Patre et Filio–that faire hem bifalle 5.058
That seweth my sermon’–and thus seyde Reson.” 5.059
Thanne ran Repentaunce and reherced his teme 5.060
And gart Wille to wepe water with hise eighen. 5.061
Pernele Proud-herte platte hire to the erthe 5.062
And lay longe er she loked, and – Lord, mercy!’ cryde, 5.063
And bihighte to Hym that us alle made 5.064
She sholde unsowen hir serk and sette there an heyre 5.065
To affaiten hire flessh that fiers was to synne. 5.066
” Shal nevere heigh herte me hente, but holde me lowe 5.067
And suffre to be mysseyd–and so dide I nevere. 5.068
But now wole I meke me and mercy biseche 5.069
For al that I have hated in myn herte.’ 5.070
Thanne Lechour seide “Allas!’ and on Oure Lady cryde, 5.071
To maken mercy for hise mysdedes bitwene God and his soule 5.072
With that he sholde the Saterday seven yer therafter 5.073
Drynke but myd the doke and dyne but ones. 5.074
Envye with hevy herte asked after shrifte 5.075
And carefully mea culpa he comsed to shewe. 5.076
He was as pale as a pelet, in the palsy he semed, 5.077
And clothed in a kaurymaury–l kouthe it nought discryve– 5.078
In kirtel and courtepy, and a knyf by his syde; 5.079
Of a freres frokke were the foresleves. 5.080
And as a leek that hadde yleye longe in the sonne, 5.081
So loked he with lene chekes, lourynge foule. 5.082
His body was to-bollen for wrathe, that he boot hise lippes,
Page 45
And wryngynge he yede with the fust–to wreke hymself he thoughte 5.084
With werkes or with wordes whan he seyghe his tyme. 5.085
Ech a word that he warp was of a neddres tonge; 5.086
Of chidynge and of chalangynge was his chief liflode, 5.087
With bakbitynge and bismere and berynge of fals witnesse: 5.088
This was al his curteisie where that evere he shewed hym. 5.089
“I wolde ben yshryve,’ quod this sherewe, “and I for shame dorste. 5.090
I wolde be gladder, by God! that Gybbe hadde meschaunce 5.091
Than though I hadde this wouke ywonne a weye of Essex chese. 5.092
I have a neghebore neigh me, I have anoyed hym ofte, 5.093
And lowen on hym to lordes to doon hym lese his silver, 5.094
And maad his frendes be his foon thorugh my false tonge. 5.095
His grace and his goode happes greven me ful soore. 5.096
Bitwene mayne and mayne I make debate ofte, 5.097
That bothe lif and lyme is lost thorugh my speche. 5.098
And whan I mete hym in market that I moost hate, 5.099
I hailse hym hendely, as I his frend were; 5.100
For he is doughtier than I, I dar do noon oother; 5.101
Ac hadde I maistrie and myght–God woot my wille! 5.102
“And whan I come to the kirk and sholde knele to the Roode 5.103
And preye for the peple as the preest techeth– 5.104
For pilgrymes and for palmeres, for al the peple after– 5.105
Thanne I crye on my knees that Crist yyve hem sorwe 5.106
That baren awey my bolle and my broke shete. 5.107
Awey fro the auter thanne turne I myne eighen 5.108
And biholde how [Hayne hath a newe cote; 5.109
I wisshe thanne it were myn, and al the web after. 5.110
And of his lesynge I laughe–that li[ght]eth myn herte; 5.111
Ac for his wynnynge I wepe and waille the tyme; 5.112
And deme men that thei doon ille, there I do wel werse: 5.113
Whoso undernymeth me herof, I hate hym dedly after. 5.114
I wolde that ech a wight were my knave, 5.115
For whoso hath moore than I, that angreth me soore.
Page 46
And thus I lyve lovelees like a luther dogge 5.117
That al my body bolneth for bitter of my galle. 5.118
I myghte noght ete many yeres as a man oughte, 5.119
For envye and yvel wil is yvel to defie. 5.120
May no sugre ne swete thyng aswage my swellyng, 5.121
Ne no diapenidion dryve it fro myn herte, 5.122
Ne neither shrifte ne shame, but whoso shrape my mawe?’ 5.123
“Yis, redily!’ quod Repentaunce, and radde hym to the beste, 5.124
” Sorwe for synnes is savacion of souIes.’ 5.125
” I am evere sory,’ quod [Envye], ” I am but selde oother, 5.126
And that maketh me thus megre, for I ne may me venge. 5.127
Amonges burgeises have I be, [bigg]yng at Londoun, 5.128
And gart bakbityng be a brocour to blame mennes ware. 5.129
Whan he solde and I nought, thanne was I redy 5.130
To lye and to loure on my neghebore and to lakke his chaffare. 5.131
I wole amende this if I may, thorugh myght of God Almyghty.’ 5.132
Now awaketh Wrathe, with two white eighen, 5.133
And nevelynge with the nose, and his nekke hangyng. 5.134
“I am Wrathe,’ quod he, “I was som tyme a frere, 5.135
And the coventes gardyner for to graffen impes. 5.136
On lymitours and listres lesynges I ymped, 5.137
Til thei beere leves of lowe speche, lordes to plese, 5.138
And sithen thei blosmede abrood in boure to here shriftes. 5.139
And now is fallen therof a fruyt–that folk han wel levere 5.140
Shewen hire shriftes to hem than shryve hem to hir persons. 5.141
And now persons han parceyved that freres parte with hem, 5.142
Thise possessioners preche and deprave freres; 5.143
And freres fyndeth hem in defaute, as folk bereth witnesse, 5.144
That whan thei preche the peple in many places aboue’ 5.145
I, Wrathe, walke with hem and wisse hem o 5.146
Thus thei speken of spiritualte, that either despiseth oother,
Page 47
Til thei be bothe beggers and by my spiritualte libben, 5.148
Or ellis al riche and ryden aboute; I, Wrathe, reste nevere 5.149
That I ne moste folwe this wikked folk. For swich is my grace. 5.150
“I have an aunte to nonne and an abbesse: 5.151
Hir were levere swowe or swelte than suffre any peyne. 5.152
I have be cook in hir kichene and the covent served 5.153
Manye monthes with hem. and with monkes bothe. 5.154
I was the prioresse potager and other povere ladies, 5.155
And maad hem joutes of janglyng–that Dame Johane was a bastard, 5.156
And Dame Clarice a knyghtes doughter–ac a cokewold was hir sire, 5.157
And Dame Pernele a preestes fyle–Prioresse worth she nevere, 5.158
For she hadde child in chirie-tyme, al oure Chapitre it wiste! 5.159
Of wikkede wordes I Wrathe hire wortes made, 5.160
Til “”Thow lixt!” and “”Thow lixt!” lopen out at ones 5.161
And either hitte oother under the cheke; 5.162
Hadde thei had knyves, by Crist! hir either hadde kild oother. 5.163
Seint Gregory was a good pope, and hadde a good forwit 5.164
That no Prioresse were preest–for that he [purveiede]: 5.165
Thei hadde thanne ben infumis the firste day, thei kan so yvele hele counseil. 5.166
“Among monkes I myghte be, ac manye tyme I shonye, 5.167
For ther ben manye felle frekes my feeris to aspie– 5.168
Bothe Priour and Suppriour and oure Pater Abbus; 5.169
And if I telle any tales, thei taken hem togideres, 5.170
And doon me faste Frydayes to breed and to watre; 5.171
And am chalanged in the Chapitrehous as I a child were, 5.172
And baleised on the bare ers–and no brech bitwene! 5.173
Forthi have I no likyng with tho leodes to wonye;
Page 48
I ete there unthende fissh and feble ale drynke. 5.175
Ac outher while whan wyn cometh, whan I drynke wyn at eve, 5.176
I have a flux of a foul mouth wel fyve dayes after. 5.177
Al the wikkednesse that I woot by any of oure bretheren, 5.178
I cou[gh]e it in oure cloistre, that al oure covent woot it.’ 5.179
“Now repente thee,’ quod Repentaunce, “and reherce thow nevere 5.180
Counseil that thow knowest, by contenaunce ne by speche; 5.181
And drynk nat over delicatly, ne to depe neither, 5.182
That thi wille by cause therof to wrathe myghte turne. 5.183
Esto sobrius!’ he seide, and assoiled me after, 5.184
And bad me wilne to wepe my wikkednesse to amende. 5.185
And thanne cam Coveitise, I kan hym naght discryve– 5.186
So hungrily and holwe Sire Hervy hym loked. 5.187
He was bitelbrowed and baberlipped, with two blered eighen; 5.188
And as a letheren purs lolled hise chekes– 5.189
Wel sidder than his chyn thei chyveled for elde; 5.190
And as a bondeman of his bacon his berd was bidraveled; 5.191
With an hood on his heed, a lousy hat above, 5.192
In a [torn] tabard of twelf wynter age; 5.193
But if a lous couthe lepe the bettre, 5.194
She sholde noght wa[ndr]e on that Welche, so was it thredbare! 5.195
” I have ben coveitous,’ quod this caytif, ” I biknowe it here; 5.196
For som tyme I served Symme-atte-Style, 5.197
And was his prentice yplight his profit to wayte.
Page 49
First I lerned to lye a leef outher tweyne: 5.199
Wikkedly to weye was my firste lesson. 5.200
To Wy and to Wynchestre I wente to the feyre 5.201
With many manere marchaundise, as my maister me highte. 5.202
Ne hadde the grace of gyle ygo amonges my ware, 5.203
It hadde ben unsold this seven yer, so me God helpe! 5.204
“Thanne drough I me among drapiers, my Donet to lerne, 5.205
To drawe the liser along–the lenger it semed; 5.206
Among the riche rayes I rendred a lesson– 5.207
To broche hem with a pak-nedle, and playte hem togideres, 5.208
And putte hem in a press[our] and pyned hem therinne 5.209
Til ten yerdes or twelve tolled out thrittene. 5.210
“My wif was a webbe and wollen cloth made; 5.211
She spak to spynnesteres to spynnen it oute. 5.212
The pound that she paied by peised a quartron moore 5.213
Than myn owene auncer wh[an I] weyed truthe. 5.214
“I boughte hire barly–she brew it to selle. 5.215
Peny ale and puddyng ale she poured togideres; 5.216
For laborers and lowe folk, that lay by hymselve. 5.217
The beste ale lay in my bour or in my bedchambre, 5.218
And whoso burned therof boughte it therafter– 5.219
A galon for a grote, God woot, no lesse, 5.220
[Whan] it cam in cuppemele–this craft my wif used! 5.221
Rose the Regrater was hir righte name; 5.222
She hath holden hukkerye [this ellevene wynter]. 5.223
Ac I swere now (so thee lk!) that synne wol I lete, 5.224
And nevere wikkedly weye ne wikke chaffare use, 5.225
But wenden to Walsyngham, and my wif als, 5.226
And bidde the Roode of Bromholm brynge me out of dette.’ 5.227
– Repentedestow evere? ‘ quod Repentaunce, ” or restitucion madest? ‘
Page 50
Yis: ones I was yherbemed’, quod he. with an heep of charmen: 5.229
I roos whan thei were al-reste and riflede hire malest 5.230
“That was no restitucion,’ quod Repentaunce, “but a robberis thefte; 5.231
Thow haddest be bettre worthi ben hanged therfore 5.232
Than for al that that thow hast here shewed! ‘ 5.233
-I wende riflynge were restitucion.’ quod he, “for I lerned nevere rede on 5.234
And I kan no Frenssh. in feith, but of the Fertheste ende of Northfolk.’ 5.235
” Usedestow evere usurie,’ quod Repentaunce. – in al thi lif tyme? ‘ 5.236
” Nay, sothly,’ he seide, “save in my youthe; 5.237
I lerned among Lumbardes a lesson, and of Jewes– 5.238
To weye pens with a peis. and pare the hevyeste, 5.239
And lene it for love of the cros, to legge a wed and lese it. 5.240
Swiche dedes I dide write if he his day breke; 5.241
I have mo manoirs thorugh rerages than thorugh Miseretur et commodat. 5.242
I have lent lordes and ladies my chaffare, 5.243
And ben hire brocour after, and bought it myselve. 5.244
Eschaunges and chevysaunces–with swich chaffare I dele, 5.245
And lene folk that lese wole a lippe at every noble. 5.246
And with Lumbardes lettres I ladde gold to Rome, 5.247
And took it by tale here and told hem there lasse.’ 5.248
” Lentestow evere lordes for love of hire mayntenaunce?’ 5.249
“Ye, I have lent lordes. loved me nevere after, 5.250
And have ymaad many a knyght bothe mercer and draper 5.251
That payed nevere For his prentishode noght a peire of gloves!’ 5.252
“Hastow pite on povere men that [purely] mote nedes borwe?’ 5.253
“I have as muche pite of povere men as pedlere hath of cattes, 5.254
That wolde kille hem, if he cacche hem myghte, for coveitise of hir skynnes! 5.255
“Artow manlich among thi neghebores of thi mete and drynke?’ 5.256
” I am holden,’ quod he, “as hende as hounde is in kichene; 5.257
Amonges my neghebores namely swich a name ich have.’
Page 51
“Now [but thow repente the rather,’ quod Repentaunce, “God lene thee – nevere] 5.259
The grace on this grounde thi good wel to bisette, 5.260
Ne thyne heires after thee have joie of that thow wynnest, 5.261
Ne thyne executours wel bisette the silver that thow hem levest: 5.262
And that was wonne with wrong, with wikked men be despended. 5.263
For were I a frere of that hous ther good feith and charite is, 5.264
I nolde cope us with thi catel, ne oure kirk amende, 5.265
Ne have a peny to my pitaunce, so God [pyne] my soule in helle, 5.266
For the beste book in oure hous, theigh brent gold were the leves, 5.267
And I wiste witterly thow were swich as thow tellest! 5.268
Servus es al/erius, cum fercula pinguia queris. 5.268
Pane tuo pocius vescere, liber eris. 5.268
“Thow art an unkynde creature–I kan thee noght assoille 5.269
Til thow make restitucion’ quod Repentaunce, -and rekene with hem alle. 5.270
And sithen that Reson rolle it in the Registre of hevene 5.271
That thow hast maad ech man good, I may thee noght assoille. 5.272
Non dimittitur peccatum donec restituatur ablatum. 5.272
For alle that han of thi good, have God my trouthe, 5.273
Ben holden at the heighe doom to helpe thee to restitue; 5.274
And who so leveth noght this be sooth, loke in the Sauter glose, 5.275
In Miserere mei, Deus, wher I mene truthe: 5.276
Ecce enim veritatem dilexisti, &c.
Page 52
Shal nevere werkman in this world thryve with that thow wynnest. 5.277
Cum sancto sanctus eris construwe me this on Englissh.’ 5.278
Thanne weex that sherewe in wanhope and wolde han hanged hymself 5.279
Ne hadde Repentaunce the rather reconforted hym in this manere: 5.280
” Have mercy in thi mynde, and with thi mouth biseche it, 5.281
For [his] mercy is moore than alle hise othere werkes– 5.282
Misericordia eius super omnia opera eius, &c– 5.282
And al the wikkednesse in this world that man myghte werche or thynke 5.283
Nis na moore to the mercy of God than in[middes] the see a gleede: 5.284
Omnis iniquitas quantum ad misericordiam Dei est quasi scintilla in medio maris 5.285
Forthi have mercy in thy mynde–and marchaundise, leve it! 5.285
For thow hast no good ground to gete thee with a wastel 5.286
But if it were with thi tonge or ellis with thi two hondes. 5.287
For the good that thow hast geten bigan al with falshede, 5.288
And as longe as thow lyvest therwith, thow yeldest noght but borwest. 5.289
And if thow wite nevere to wh[om] ne wh[ere] to restitue, 5.290
Ber it to the Bisshop, and bid hym of his grace 5.291
Bisette it hymself as best is for thi soule. 5.292
For he shal answere for thee at the heighe dome, 5.293
For thee and for many mo that man shal yeve a rekenyng: 5.294
What he lerned yow in Lente, leve thow noon oother, 5.295
And what he lente yow of Oure Lordes good, to lette yow fro synne’. 5.296
Now bigynneth Gloton for togoto shrifte, 5.297
And kaireth hym to kirkewarde his coupe to shewe.
Page 53
Ac Beton the Brewestere bad hym good morwe 5.299
And asked of hym with that, whiderward he wolde. 5.300
“To holy chirche,’ quod he, “for to here masse, 5.301
And sithen I wole be shryven, and synne na moore.’ 5.302
” I have good ale, gossib,’ quod she, ” Gloton, woltow assaye?’ 5.303
” Hastow,’ quod he, “any hote spices?’ 5.304
“I have pepir and pione,’ quod she, “and a pound of garleek, 5.305
A ferthyngworth of fenel seed for fastynge dayes. 5.306
Thanne goth Gloton in, and grete othes after. 5.307
Cesse the Souteresse sat on the benche, 5.308
Watte the Warner and his wif bothe, 5.309
Tymme the Tynkere and tweyne of his [knav]es, 5.310
Hikke the Hakeneyman and Hugh the Nedlere, 5.311
Clarice of Cokkeslane and the Clerk of the chirche, 5.312
Sire Piers of Pridie and PerneIe of Flaundres, 5.313
Dawe the Dykere, and a dozeyne othere– 5.314
A Ribibour, a Ratoner, a Rakiere of Chepe, 5.315
A Ropere, a Redyngkyng, and Rose the Dysshere, 5.316
Godefray of Garlekhithe and Griffyn the Walshe, 5.317
And [of] upholderes an heep, erly by the morwe, 5.318
Geve Gloton with glad chere good ale to hanselle. 5.319
Clement the Cobelere caste of his cloke, 5.320
And at the newe feire nempned it to selle. 5.321
Hikke the Hakeneyman hitte his hood after, 5.322
And bad Bette the Bocher ben on his syde. 5.323
Ther were chapmen ychose this chaffare to preise: 5.324
Whoso hadde the hood sholde han amcndes of the cloke. 5.325
Tho risen up in rape and rouned togideres, 5.326
And preised the penyworthes apart by hemselve.
Page 54
[There were othes an heep, for oon sholde have the werse]; 5.328
Thei kouthe noght by hir conscience acorden in truthe, 5.329
Til Robyn the Ropere arise the[i by]sou[ght]e, 5.330
And nempned hym for a nounpere, that no debat nere. 5.331
Hikke the Hostiler hadde the cloke 5.332
In covenaunt that Clement sholde the cuppe fille 5.333
And have Hikkes hood the Hostiler, and holden hym yserved; 5.334
And whoso repented rathest shoulde aryse after 5.335
And greten Sire Gloton with a galon ale. 5.336
There was laughynge and lourynge and ” Lat go the cuppe!’ 5.337
[Bargaynes and beverages bigonne to arise;] 5.338
And seten so til evensong, and songen umwhile, 5.339
Til Gloton hadde yglubbed a galon and a gille. 5.340
His guttes bigonne to gothelen as two gredy sowes; 5.341
He pissed a potel in a Paternoster-while, 5.342
And blew his rounde ruwet at his ruggebones ende, 5.343
That alle that herde that horn helde hir nose after 5.344
And wisshed it hadde ben wexed with a wispe of firses! 5.345
He myghte neither steppe ne stonde er he his staf hadde, 5.346
And thanne gan he to go like a glemannes bicche 5.347
Som tyme aside and som tyme arere, 5.348
As whoso leith lynes for to lacche foweles. 5.349
And whan he drough to the dore, thanne dymmed hise eighen; 5.350
He [thr]umbled on the thresshfold and threw to the erthe. 5.351
Clement the Cobelere kaughte hym by the myddel 5.352
For to liften hym olofte, and leyde hym on his knowes. 5.353
Ac Gloton was a gret cherl and a grym in the liftyng, 5.354
And koughed up a cawdel in Clementes lappe. 5.355
Is noon so hungry hound in Hertfordshire 5.356
Dorste lape of that levynge, so unlovely it smaughte!
Page 55
With al the wo of this world, his wif and his wenche 5.358
Baren hym to his bed and broughte hym therinne; 5.359
And after al this excesse he had an accidie. 5.360
That he sleep Saterday and Sonday, till sonne yede to reste. 5.361
Thanne waked he of his wynkyng and wiped hise eighen; 5.362
The first word that he spak was–‘Where is the bolle?’ 5.363
His wif [and his wit] edwyte[d] hym tho how wikkedly he lyvede. 5.364
And Repentaunce right so rebuked hym that tyme: 5.365
“As thow with wordes and werkes hast wroght yvele in thi lyve, 5.366
Shryve thee and be shamed therof, and shewe it with thi mouthe.’ 5.367
‘I, Gloton,’ quod the gome, ‘gilty me yelde– 5.368
That I have trespased with my tonge, I kan noght telle how ofte 5.369
Sworen “”Goddes soule and his sydes!’ and “So helpe me God and halidome!’ 5.370
Ther no nede was nyne hyndred tymes; 5.371
And overseyen me at my soper and som tyme at Nones, 5.372
That I, Gloton, girte it up er I hadde gon a myle, 5.373
And yspilt that myghte be spared and spended on som hungry; 5.374
Over delicatly on f[ee]styng dayes dronken and eten bothe, 5.375
And sat som tyme so long there that I sleep and eet at ones. 5.376
For love of tales in tavernes [in]to drynke the moore I dy[v]ed; 5.377
And hyed to the mete er noon [on] fastyng dayes.’ 5.378
” This shewynge shrift,’ quod Repentaunce, ” shal be meryt to the.’ 5.379
And thanne gan Gloton greete, and gret dcel to make 5.380
For his Iuther Iif that he lyved hadde, 5.381
And avowed to faste–“For hunger or for thurste, 5.382
Shal never fyssh on Fryday defyen in my wombe
Page 56
Til Abstinence myn aunte have yyve me leeve– 5.384
And yet have I hated hire al my lif tyme!- 5.385
Thanne cam Sleuthe al bislabered, with two slymy eighen. 5.386
“l moste sitte,’ seide the segge, “or ellis sholde I nappe. 5.387
I may noght stonde ne stoupe ne withoute a stool knele. 5.388
Were I brought abedde, but if my tailende it made, 5.389
Sholde no ryngynge do me ryse er I were ripe to dyne.’ 5.390
He bigan Benedicite with a bolk, and his brest knokked, 5.391
Raxed and rored–and rutte at the laste. 5.392
-What, awake, renk!- quod Repentaunce, ‘and rape thee to shryfte!’ 5.393
“If I sholde deye bi this day,’ quod he, “me list nought to 1oke. 5.394
I kan noght parfitly my Paternoster as the preest it syngeth, 5.395
But I kan rymes of Robyn Hood and Randolf Erl of Chestre, 5.396
Ac neither of Oure Lord ne of Oure Lady the leeste that evere was maked. 5.397
I have maad avowes fourty, and foryete hem on the morwe; 5.398
I parfournede nevere penaunce as the preest me highte, 5.399
Ne right sory for my synnes, yet [seye I] was I nevere. 5.400
And if I bidde any bedes, but if it be in wrathe, 5.401
That I telle with my tonge is two myle fro myn herte. 5.402
I am ocupied eche day, halyday and oother, 5.403
With ydel tales at the ale and outherwhile in chirches; 5.404
Goddes peyne and his passion, [pure] selde thenke I on it; 5.405
I visited nevere feble men ne fettred folk in puttes; 5.406
I have levere here an harlotrye or a somer game of souters, 5.407
Or lesynges to laughen of and bilye my neghebores, 5.408
Than al that evere Marc made, Mathew, Johan and Lucas.
Page 57
And vigilies and fastyng dayes–alle thise late I passe, 5.410
And ligge abedde in Lenten and my lemman in myne armes 5.411
Til matyns and masse be do, and thanne moste to the Freres; 5.412
Come I to Ite, missa est I holde me yserved. 5.413
I am noght shryven som tyme, but if siknesse it make, 5.414
Noght twyes in two yer, and thanne [telle I up gesse]. 5.415
“I have be preest and person passynge thritty wynter, 5.416
Yet kan I neyther solve ne synge ne seintes lyves rede, 5.417
But I kan fynden in a feld or in a furlang an hare 5.418
Bettre than in Beutus vir or in Beati omnes 5.419
Construe clausemeI[e] and kenne it to my parisshens, 5.420
I kan holde lovedayes and here a reves rekenyng, 5.421
Ac in Canoun nor in Decretals I kan noght rede a lyne. 5.422
“If I bygge and borwe aught, but if it be ytailed, 5.423
I foryete it as yerne, and yif men me it axe 5.424
Sixe sithes or sevene, I forsake it with othes; 5.425
And thus tene I trewe men ten hundred tymes. 5.426
And my servaunts som tyme, hir salarie is bihynde: 5.427
Ruthe is to here the rekenyng whan we shal rede acountes, 5.428
So with wikked wil and wrathe my werkmen I paye! 5.429
“If any man dooth me a bienfait or he1peth me at nede, 5.430
I am unkynde ayeins his curteisie and kan nought understonden it; 5.431
For I have and have had somdel haukes maneres– 5.432
I am noght lured with love but ther ligge aught under the thombe. 5.433
The kyndenesse that myn evenecristene kidde me fernyere 5.434
Sixty sithes I, Sleuthe, have foryete it siththe 5.435
In speche and insparge of speche; yspilt many a tyme
Page 58
Bothe flessh and fissh and manye othere vitailles, 5.437
Bothe bred and ale. buttre, melk and chese 5.438
Forsleuthed in my service til it myghte serve no man. 5.439
I [yarn] aboute in youthe, and yaf me naught to lerne 5.440
And evere sitthe have I be beggere [be] my foule sleuthe: 5.441
Heu michi quia serilem vitam duxi iuvenilem !’ 5.441
“Repentedestow the noght?’ quod Repentaunce–and right with that he swowned 5.442
Til Vigilate the veille fette water at hise eighen 5.443
And flatte it on his face and faste on hym cryde 5.444
And seide, ‘Ware thee–for Wanhope wolde thee bitraye. 5.445
“”I am sory for my synnes”, seye to thiselve, 5.446
And beet thiself on the brest, and bidde Hym of grace, 5.447
For is no gilt here so gret that his goodnesse nys moore.’ 5.448
Thanne sat Sleuthe up and seyned hym swithe, 5.449
And made avow tofore God for his foule sleuthe: 5.450
“Shal no Sonday be this seven yer, but siknesse it [make], 5.451
That I ne shal do me er day to the deere chirche 5.452
And here matyns and masse as I a monk were. 5.453
Shal noon ale after mete holde me thennes 5.454
Til I have evensong herd–I bihote to the Roode! 5.455
And yet wole I yelde ayein. [y]if I so muche have, 5.456
Al that I wikkedly wan sithen I wit hadde; 5.457
And though my liflode lakke, leten I nelle 5.458
That ech man shal have his er I hennes wende; 5.459
And with the residue and the remenaunt, bi the Rode of Chestre, 5.460
I shal seken truthe erst er I se Rome!’ 5.461
Roberd the Robbere on Reddite loked, 5.462
And for ther was noght wher[with], he wepte swithe soore. 5.463
And yet the synfulle sherewe seide to hymselve:
Page 59
“Crist, that on Calvarie upon the cros deidest, 5.465
Tho Dysmas my brother bisoughte thee of grace, 5.466
And haddest mercy on that man for Memento sake; 5.467
So rewe on this Rober[d] that Reddere ne have, 5.468
Ne nevere wene to wynne with craft that I knowe; 5.469
But for thi muchel mercy mitigacion I biseche: 5.470
Dampne me noght at Domesday for that I dide so ille!’ 5.471
What bifel of this feloun I kan noght faire shewe. 5.472
Wel I woot he wepte faste water with hise eighen, 5.473
And knoweliched his [coupe] to Crist yet eftsoones, 5.474
That Penitencia his pik he sholde polshe newe 5.475
And lepe with hym over lond al his lif tyme, 5.476
For he hadde leyen by Latro, Luciferis Aunte. 5.477
And thanne hadde Repentaunce ruthe and redde hem alle to knele. 5.478
” For I shal biseche for a1le synfulle Oure Saveour of grace 5.479
To amenden us of oure mysdedes and do mercy to us alle. 5.480
Now God,’ quod he, “that of Thi goodnesse gonne the world make, 5.481
And of naught madest aught and man moost lik to thiselve, 5.482
And sithen suffredest hym to synne, a siknesse to us alle– 5.483
And al for the beste, as I bileve, whatevere the Book telleth: 5.484
0 felix culpa ! 0 necessarium peccutum Ade ! 5.484
For thorugh that synne thi sone sent was to this erthe 5.485
And bicam man of a maide mankynde to save– 5.486
And madest Thiself with Thi sone us synfulle yliche: 5.487
Faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram; Et anoi 5.487
Qui manet in caritate, in Deo manet, et Deus in eo;
Page 60
And siththe with Thi selve sone in oure sute deidest 5.488
On Good Fryday for mannes sake at ful tym~ of the day; 5.489
Ther Thiself ne Thi sone no sorwe in deeth feledest, 5.490
But in oure secte was the sorwe, and Thi sone it ladde: 5.491
Captivum duxit captivitatem. 5.491
The sonne for sorwe therof lees sight for a tyme 5.492
Aboute mydday whan moost light is and meel-tyme of seintes– 5.493
Feddest tho with Thi fresshe blood oure forefadres in derknesse: 5.494
Populus qui ambulabat in tenebris vidit lucem mugnam. 5.494
And the light that lepe out of Thee, Lucifer it blente, 5.495
And blewe alle Thi blessed into the blisse of Paradys! 5.496
“The thridde day therafter Thow yedest in oure sute: 5.497
A synful Marie The seigh er Seynte Marie Thi dame, 5.498
And al to solace synfulle Thow suffredest it so were– 5.499
Non veni vocare iustos set peccatores ad penitenciam. 5.499
“And al that Marc hath ymaad, Mathew, Johan and Lucas 5.500
Of Thyne doughtiest dedes was doon in oure armes: 5.501
Verbum caro factum est et hubitavit in nobis. 5.501
And by so muche it semeth the sikerer we mowe 5.502
Bidde and biseche, if it be Thi wille 5.503
That art oure fader and oure brother–be merciable to us, 5.504
And have ruthe on thise ribaudes that repenten hem soore 5.505
That evere thei wrathed Thee in this world, in word, thought or dede!’ 5.506
Thanne hente Hope an horn os Deuf tu conversus vivificabis nos 5.507
And blew it with Beati quorum remisse sunt iniquitate
Page 61
That alle Seintes in hevene songen at ones 5.509
“Homines et iumenta salvabis, quemadmodum multiplicasti misericordiam tuam, D 5.510
A thousand of men tho thrungen togideres, 5.510
Cride upward to Crist and to his clene moder 5.511
To have grace to go [seke Truthe–God leve that they moten!] 5.512
Ac there was wight noon so wys, the wey thider kouthe, 5.513
But blustreden forth as beestes over ba[ch]es and hilles, 5.514
Til late was and longe, that thei a 1eode mette 5.515
Apparailled as a paynym in pilgrymes wise. 5.516
He bar a burdoun ybounde with a brood liste 5.517
In a withwynde wise ywounden aboute. 5.518
A bolle and a bagge he bar by his syde. 5.519
An hundred of ampulles on his hat seten, 5.520
Signes of Synay and shelles of Galice, 5.521
And many a crouch on his cloke, and keyes of Rome, 5.522
And the vernicle bifore, for men sholde knowe 5.523
And se bi hise signes whom he sought hadde. 5.524
This folk frayned hym first fro whennes he come. 5.525
” Fram Synay,’ he seide, ” and fram [the] Sepulcre. 5.526
In Bethlem and in Babiloyne, I have ben in bothe, 5.527
In Armonye, in Alisaundre, in manye othere places. 5.528
Ye may se by my signes that sitten on myn hatte 5.529
That I have walked ful wide in weet and in drye 5.530
And sought goode Seintes for my soule helthe.’ 5.531
” Knowestow aught a corsaint,’ [quod thei], ” that men calle Truthe? 5.532
Koudestow wissen us the wey wher that wye dwelleth?’ 5.533
“Nay, so me God helpe!’ seide the gome thanne. 5.534
“I seigh nevere palmere with pyk ne with scrippe 5.535
Asken after hym er now in this place.’ 5.536
“Peter!’ quod a Plowman, and putte forth his hed, 5.537
“I knowe hym as kyndely as clerc doth hise bokes. 5.538
Conscience and Kynde Wit kenned me to his place
Page 62
And diden me suren hym si[ththen] to serven hym for evere, 5.540
Bothe to sowe and to sette the while I swynke myghte. 5.541
I have ben his folwere al this fourty wynter– 5.542
Bothe ysowen his seed and suwed hise beestes, 5.543
Withinne and withouten waited his profit, 5.544
Idyke[d] and id[o]lve, ido that he hoteth. 5.545
Som tyme I sowe and som tyme I thresshe, 5.546
In taillours craft and tynkeris craft, what Truthe kan devyse, 5.547
I weve and I wynde and do what Truthe hoteth. 5.548
For though I seye it myself, I serve hym to paye; 5.549
I have myn hire of hym wel and outherwhiles moore. 5.550
He is the presteste paiere that povere men knoweth: 5.551
He withhalt noon hewe his hire that he ne hath it at even. 5.552
He is as lowe as a lomb and lovelich of speche. 5.553
And if ye wilneth to wite where that he dwelleth, 5.554
I [wol] wisse yow [wel right] to his place.’ 5.555
‘Ye, leve Piers!’ quod thise pilgrimes, and profred hym huyre. 5.556
‘Nay, by [the peril of] my soule!’ quod Piers and gan to swere, 5.557
” I nolde fange a ferthyng, for Seint Thomas shryne! 5.558
Truthe woIde love me the lasse a long tyme after. 5.559
Ac if ye wilneth to wende wel, this is the wey thider: 5.560
Ye moten go thorugh Mekenesse, bothe men and wyves, 5.561
Til ye come into Conscience, that Crist wite the sothe, 5.562
That ye loven Oure Lord God levest of alle thynges, 5.563
And thanne youre neghebores next in none wise apeire 5.564
Otherwise than thow woldest h[ii] wroughte to thiselve. 5.565
“And so boweth forth by a brook, “” Beth-buxom-of-speche’, 5.566
[Forto] ye fynden a ford, ” Youre-fadres-honoureth’ : 5.567
Honora patrem et matrem &c. 5.567
Wadeth in that water and wassheth yow wel there, 5.568
And ye shul lepe the lightloker al youre lif ty
Page 63
And so shaltow se “Swere-noght-but-if-it-be-for-nede- 5.570
And-nameliche-on-ydel-the-name-of-God-Almyghty.” 5.571
“Thanne shaltow come by a croft, but come thow noght therinne: 5.572
The croft hatte “” Coveite-noght-mennes-catel-ne-hire-wyves- 5.573
Ne-noon-of-hire-servaunts-that-noyen-hem-myghte.” 5.574
Loke thow breke no bowes there but if it be [thyn] owene. 5.575
“Two stokkes ther stondeth. ac stynte th[ow] noght there: 5.576
Thei highte “”Stele-noght” and “” Sle-noght”–strik forth by bothe, 5.577
And leve hem on thi lift half and loke noght therafter, 5.578
And hold wel thyn haliday heighe til even. 5.579
“Thanne shaltow blenche at a bergh, “Bere-no-t-ais-witnesse”; 5.580
He is frythed in with floryns and othere fees manye: 5.581
Loke thow plukke no plaunte there, for peril of thi soule. 5.582
” Thanne shaIt thow see “” Seye-sooth-so-it-be-to-doone 5.583
In-no-manere-ellis-noght-for-no-mannes-biddyng.” 5.584
“Thanne shaltow come to a court as cler as the sonne. 5.585
The moot is of Mercy the rnanoir aboute, 5.586
And alle the walles ben of Wit to holden Wil oute, 5.587
And kerneled with Cristendom that kynde to save, 5.588
Botrased with “” Bileef-so-or-thow-beest-noght-saved.” 5.589
“And alle the houses ben hiled, halles and chambres, 5.590
With no leed but with love and lowe speche, as bretheren [of o wombe]. 5.591
The brugge is of ” Bidde-wel-the-bet-may-thow-spede;” 5.592
Ech piler is of penaunce, of preieres to seyntes; 5.593
Of almesdedes are the hokes that the gates hangen on. 5.594
“Grace hatte the gateward, a good man for sothe; 5.595
His man hatte “”Amende-yow”–many man hym knoweth. 5.596
Telleth hym this tokene: “”Truthe[w] the sothe–
Page 64
I parfourned the penaunce that the preest me enjoyned 5.598
And am sory for my synnes and so I shal evere 5.599
Whan I thynke theron, theigh I were a Pope.’ 5.600
“Biddeth Amende-yow meke hym til his maister ones 5.601
To wayven up the wiket that the womman shette 5.602
Tho Adam and Eve eten apples unrosted: 5.603
Per Evam cunctis clausa est et per Mariam virginem iterum patefacta est. 5.603
For he hath the keye and the cliket, though the kyng slepe. 5.604
And if Grace graunte thee to go in in this wise 5.605
Thow shalt see in thiselve Truthe sitte in thyn herte 5.606
In a cheyne of charite, as thow a child were, 5.607
To suffren hym and segge noght ayein thi sires wille. 5.608
“Ac be war thanne of Wrathe, that wikked sherewe: 5.609
He hath envye to hym that in thyn herte sitteth, 5.610
And poketh forth pride to preise thiselven. 5.611
The boldnesse of thi bienfetes maketh thee blynd thanne 5.612
And [so] worstow dryven out as dew, and the dore closed, 5.613
Keyed and cliketted to kepe thee withouten 5.614
Happily an hundred wynter er thow eft entre! 5.615
Thus myghtestow lesen his love, to lete wel by thiselve, 5.616
And [gete it ayein thorugh] grace [ac thorugh no gifte ellis]. 5.617
“Ac ther are seven sustren that serven Truthe evere 5.618
And arn porters of the posternes that to the place longeth. 5.619
That oon hatte Abstinence, and Humilite another; 5.620
Charite and Chastite ben hise chief maydenes; 5.621
Pacience and Pees, muche peple thei helpeth; 5.622
Largenesse the lady, she let in ful manye– 5.623
Heo hath holpe a thousand out of the develes punfolde. 5.624
“And who is sib to thise sevene, so me God helpe, 5.625
He is wonderly welcome and faire underfongen. 5.626
And but if ye be sibbe to some of thise sevene– 5.627
It is ful hard, by myn heed,’ quod Piers, “for any of yow alle
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To geten ingong at any gate but grace be the moore!’ 5.629
“Now, by Crist!’ quod a kuttepurs, – I have no kyn there.’ 5.630
” Ne I’, quod an apeward, – by aught that I knowe.’ 5.631
“Wite God,’ quod a wafrestere, “wiste I this for sothe, 5.632
Sholde I never ferther a foot for no freres prechyng.’ 5.633
” Yis! ‘ quod Piers the Plowman, and poked hem alle to goode, 5.634
“Mercy is a maiden there, hath myght over hem alle; 5.635
And she is sib to alle synfulle, and hire sone also, 5.636
And thorugh the help of hem two–hope thow noon oother– 5.637
Thow myght gete grace there–so thow go bityme.’ 5.638
“Bi Seint Poul!’ quod a pardoner, paraventure I be noght knowe there: 5.639
I wol go fecche my box with my brevettes and a bulle with bisshopes lettres. 5.640
“By Crist!’ quod a commune womman, thi compaignie wol I folwe. 5.641
Thow shalt seye I am thi suster.’ I ne woot where thei bicome. 5.642
Passus 6
“This were a wikkede wey but whoso hadde a gyde 6.001
That [myghte] folwen us ech a foot’–thus this folk hem mened. 6.002
Quod Perkyn the Plowman, ” By Seint Peter of Rome! 6.003
I have an half acre to erie by the heighe weye; 6.004
Hadde I cryed this half acre and sowen it after, 6.005
I wolde wende with yow and the wey teche.’ 6.006
“This were a long lettyng,’ quod a lady in a scleyre;
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“What sholde we wommen werche the while?’ 6.008
“Somme shul sowe the sak ‘ quod Piers, ” for shedyng of the whete; 6.009
And ye lovely ladies with youre longe fyngres, 6.010
That ye have silk and sandel to sowe whan tyme is 6.011
Chesibles for chapeleyns chirches to honoure. 6.012
Wyves and widewes, wolle and flex spynneth: 6.013
Maketh cloth, I counseille yow, and kenneth so youre doughtres. 6.014
The nedy and the naked, nymeth hede how thei liggeth, 6.015
And casteth hem clothes, for so commaundeth Truthe. 6.016
For I shal lenen hem liflode, but if the lond faille, 6.017
As longe as I lyve, for the Lordes love of hevene. 6.018
And alle manere of men that by mete and drynke libbeth, 6.019
Helpeth hym to werche wightliche that wynneth youre foode.’ 6.020
“By Crist!’ quod a knyght thoo, “he kenneth us the beste; 6.021
Ac on the teme, trewely, taught was I nevere. 6.022
Ac kenne me,’ quod the knyght, “and by Crist I wole assaye!’ 6.023
“By Seint Poul!’ quod Perkyn, “Ye profre yow so faire 6.024
That I shal swynke and swete and sowe for us bothe, 6.025
And [ek] labour[e] for thi love al my lif tyme, 6.026
In covenaunt that thow kepe Holy Kirke and myselve 6.027
Fro wastours and fro wikked men that this world destruyeth; 6.028
And go hunte hardiliche to hares and foxes, 6.029
To bores and to bukkes that breken down myne hegges; 6.030
And go affaite thi faucons wilde foweles to kille, 6.031
For thei cometh to my croft and croppeth my whete.’ 6.032
Curteisly the knyght thanne co[nseyved] thise wordes: 6.033
“By my power, Piers, I plighte thee my trouthe 6.034
To fulfille this forward, though I fighte sholde; 6.035
Als longe as I lyve I shal thee mayntene.’ 6.036
” Ye, and yet a point,’ quod Piers, “I preye yow of moore:
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Loke ye tene no tenaunt but Truthe wole assente; 6.038
And though ye mowe amercy hem, lat mercy be taxour 6.039
And mekenesse thi maister, maugree Medes chekes. 6.040
And though povere men profre yow presentes and yiftes, 6.041
Nyme it noght, an aventure thow mowe it noght deserve; 6.042
For thow shalt yelde it ayein at one yeres ende 6.043
In a ful perilous place–Purgatorie it hatte. 6.044
And mysbede noght thi bondemen–the bettre may thow spede; 6.045
Though he be thyn underlyng here, wel may happe in hevene 6.046
That he worth worthier set and with moore blisse: 6.047
Amice, ascende superius. 6.047
For in charnel at chirche cherles ben yvel to knowe, 6.048
Or a knyght from a knave there–knowe this in thyn herte. 6.049
And that thow be trewe of thi tonge, and tales that thow hatie, 6.050
But if thei ben of wisdom or of wit, thi werkmen to chaste. 6.051
Hold with none harlotes ne here noght hir tales, 6.052
And namely at the mete swiche men eschuwe– 6.053
For it ben the develes disours, I do the to understonde.’ 6.054
“I assente, by Seint Jame,’ seide the knyght thanne, 6.055
“For to werche by thi wordes the while my lif dureth.’ 6.056
“And I shal apparaille me,’ quod Perkyn, “in pilgrymes wise 6.057
And wende with yow I wile til we fynde Truthe.’ 6.058
[He] caste on [hise] clothes, yclouted and hole, 6.059
[Hise] cokeres and [hise] coffes for coId of [hise] nailes, 6.060
And [heng his] hoper at [his] hals in stede of a scryppe:
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“A busshel of bred corn brynge me therinne, 6.062
For I wol sowe it myself, and sithenes wol I wende 6.063
To pilgrymage as palmeres doon, pardon for to have. 6.064
And whoso helpeth me to erie or sowen here er I wende, 6.065
Shal have leve, by Oure Lord, to lese here in hervest 6.066
And make hym murie thermyd, maugree whoso bigruccheth it. 6.067
And alle kynne crafty men that konne lyven in truthe, 6.068
I shal fynden hem fode that feithfulliche libbeth– 6.069
Save Jakke the Jogelour and Jonette of the Stuwes, 6.070
And Danyel the Dees-pleyere and Denote the Baude, 6.071
And Frere the Faitour, and folk of his ordre, 6.072
And Robin the Ribaudour, for hise rusty wordes. 6.073
Truthe tolde me ones and bad me telle it forth: 6.074
Deleantur de libro vivencium–I sholde noght dele with hem, 6.075
For Holy Chirche is hote, of hem no tithe to aske, 6.076
Quia cum iustis non scribantur. 6.076
Thei ben ascaped good aventure–now God hem amende!’ 6.077
Dame Werch-whan-tyme-is Piers wif highte; 6.078
His doughter highte Do-right-so-or-thi-dame-shal-thee-bete; 6.079
His sone highte Suffre-thi-Sovereyns-to-haven-hir-wille: 6.080
Deme-hem-noght-for-if-thow-doost-thow-shalt-it-deere-abugge; 6.081
Lat-God-yworthe-with-al-for-so-His-word-techeth. 6.082
“For now I am old and hoor and have of myn owene, 6.083
To penaunce and to pilgrimage I wol passe with thise othere; 6.084
Forthi I wole er I wende do write my biqueste. 6.085
In Dei nomine, Amen, I make it myselve. 6.086
‘ He shal have my soule that best hath deserved it, 6.087
And [defende it fro the fend], for so I bileve, 6.088
Til I come to hise acountes as my crede me telleth,
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To have a relees and a remission–on that rental I leve. 6.090
“The kirke shal have my caroyne, and kepe my bones, 6.091
For of my corn and catel he craved the tithe. 6.092
I paide it hym prestly, for peril of my soule; 6.093
Forthi is he holden, I hope, to have me in his masse 6.094
And mengen me in his memorie amonges alle Cristene. 6.095
” My wif shal have of that I wan with truthe, and namoore, 6.096
And dele among my doughtres and my deere children; 6.097
For though I deye today, my dettes are quyte; 6.098
I bar hom that I borwed er I to bedde yede. 6.099
And with the residue and the remenaunt, by the Rode of Lukes! 6.100
I wol worshipe therwith Truthe by my lyve, 6.101
And ben His pilgrym atte plow for povere mennes sake. 6.102
My plowpote shal be my pikstaf, and picche atwo the rotes, 6.103
And helpe my cultour to kerve and clense the furwes.’ 6.104
Now is Perkyn and thise pilgrimes to the plow faren. 6.105
To erie this half-acre holpen hym manye; 6.106
Dikeres and delveres digged up the balkes; 6.107
Therwith was Perkyn apayed and preised hem faste. 6.108
Othere werkmen ther were that wroghten ful yerne: 6.109
Ech man in his manere made hymself to doone, 6.110
And somme to plese Perkyn piked up the wedes. 6.111
At heigh prime Piers leet the plough stonde, 6.112
To oversen hem hymself; whoso best wroghte, 6.113
He sholde be hired therafter, whan hervest tyme come. 6.114
Thanne seten somme and songen atte nale, 6.115
And holpen ere this half acre with “How trol1y lolly!’
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“Now, by the peril of my soule!’ quod Piers al in pure tene, 6.117
“But ye arise the rather and rape yow to werche, 6.118
Shal no greyn that here groweth glade yow at nede, 6.119
And though ye deye for doel, the devel have that recche!’ 6.120
Tho were faitours afered, and feyned hem blynde; 6.121
Somme leide hir legges aliry, as swiche losels konneth, 6.122
And made hir [pleynt] to Piers and preide hym of grace: 6.123
“For we have no lymes to laboure with, lord, ygraced be ye! 6.124
Ac we preie for yow, Piers, and for youre plowgh bothe, 6.125
That God of his grace youre greyn multiplie 6.126
And ye1de yow of youre almesse that ye yyve us here; 6.127
For we may neither swynke ne swete, swich siknesse us eyleth.’ 6.128
If it be sooth.’ quod Piers, “that ye seyn, I shal it soone aspie. 6.129
Ye ben wastours, I woot wel, and Truthe woot the sothe; 6.130
And I am his olde hyne and highte hym to warne 6.131
Whiche thei were in this world hise werkmen apeired. 6.132
Ye wasten that men wynnen with travaille and with tene; 6.133
Ac Truthe shal teche yow his teme to dryve, 6.134
Or ye shul eten barly breed and of the broke drynke; 6.135
But if he be blynd or brokelegged or bolted with irens, 6.136
He shal ete whete breed and [with myselve drynke] 6.137
Til God of his goodnesse garisoun] hym sende. 6.138
Ac ye myghte travaille as Truthe wolde and take mete and hyre 6.139
To kepe kyen in the feld, the corn fro the bestes, 6.140
Diken or delven or dyngen upon sheves, 6.141
Or helpe make morter or bere muk afeld. 6.142
In lecherie and losengerie ye lyven, and in sleuthe, 6.143
And al is thorugh suffraunce that vengeaunce yow ne taketh! 6.144
“Ac ancres and heremites that eten but at Nones
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And na moore er morwe–myn almesse shul thei have, 6.146
And of my catel to cope hem with that han cloistres and chirches. 6.147
Ac Robert Renaboute shal [right] noght have of myne, 6.148
Ne postles, but thei preche konne and have power of the bisshop: 6.149
Thei shul have payn and potage and [put] hemself at ese– 6.150
For it is an unresonable Religion that hath right noght of certein.’ 6.151
Thanne gan Wastour to wrathen hym and wolde have yfoughte, 6.152
And to Piers the Plowman he profrede his glove. 6.153
A Bretoner, a braggere, abosted Piers als 6.154
And bad hym go pissen with his plowgh, forpynede sherewe! 6.155
‘Wiltow or neltow, we wol have oure wille 6.156
Of thi flour and of thi flesshe–fecche whanne us liketh, 6.157
And maken us murye thermyde, maugree thi chekes.’ 6.158
Thanne Piers the Plowman pleyned hym to the knyghte 6.159
To kepen hym as covenaunt was fro cursede sherewes 6.160
And fro thise wastours wolveskynnes that maketh the world deere: 6.161
” For tho wasten and wynnen noght, and that [while ilke] 6.162
Worth nevere pIentee among the peple the while my plowgh liggeth.’ 6.163
Curteisly the knyght thanne, as his kynde wolde, 6.164
Warnede Wastour and wissed hym bettre: 6.165
“Or thow shalt abigge by the lawe, by the ordre that I bere!’ 6.166
” I was noght wont to werche,’ quod Wastour, “and now wol I noght bigynne! ‘- 6.167
And leet light of the lawe, and lasse of the knyghte, 6.168
And sette Piers at a pese, and his plowgh bothe, 6.169
And manaced Piers and his men if thei mette eftsoone. 6.170
” Now, by the peril of my soule!’ quod Piers, ” I shal apeire yow alle’– 6.171
And houped after Hunger, that herde hym at the firste. 6.172
“Awreke me of thise wastours,’ quod he, “that this world shendeth!’ 6.173
Hunger in haste thoo hente Wastour by the mawe
Page 72
And wrong hym so by the wombe that al watrede hise eighen. 6.175
He buffetted the Bretoner aboute the chekes 6.176
That he loked lik a lanterne al his lif after. 6.177
He bette hem so bothe, he brast ner hire guttes; 6.178
Ne hadde Piers with a pese loot- preyed [hym bileve], 6.179
They hadde be dolven bothe–ne deme thow noon oother. 6.180
“Suffre hem lyve,’ he seide -and lat hem etc with hogges, 6.181
Or ellis benes and bren ybaken togideres.’ 6.182
Faitours for fere herof flowen into bernes 6.183
And flapten on with flailes fro morwe til even, 6.184
That hunger was noght hardy on hem for to loke 6.185
For a potful of peses that Piers hadde ymaked. 6.186
An heep of herernytes henten hem spades 6.187
And kitten hir copes and courtepies hem maked. 6.188
And wente as werkmen with spades and with shoveles, 6.189
And dolven and dikeden to dryve awey Hunger. 6.190
Blynde and bedreden were bootned a thousand, 6.191
That seten to begge silver, soone were thei heeled ; 6.192
For that was bake for Bayard was boote for many hungry; 6.193
And many a beggere for benes buxum was to swynke, 6.194
And ech a povere man wel apaied to have pesen for his hyre, 6.195
And what Piers preide hem to do as prest as a sperhauk. 6.196
And [Piers was proud therof ], and putte hem to werke 6.197
And yaf hem mete as he myghte aforthe and mesurable hyre. 6.198
Thanne hadde Piers pite, and preide Hunger to wende 6.199
Hoom into his owene erd and holden hym there [evere]: 6.200
” For I am wel awroke of wastours thorugh thy myghte. 6.201
Ac I preie thee, er thow passe,’ quod Piers to Hunger, 6.202
“Of beggeris and of bidderis what best be to doone? 6.203
For I woot wel, be thow went, thei wol werche ful ille; 6.204
Meschief it maketh thei be so meke nouthe, 6.205
And for defaute of hire foode this folk is at my wille.
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[And] it are my blody bretheren, for God boughte us alle. 6.207
Truthe taughte me ones to loven hem ech one 6.208
And to helpen hem of alle thyng, ay as hem nedeth. 6.209
Now wolde I wite of thee, what were the beste, 6.210
And how I myghte amaistren hem and make hem to werche.’ 6.211
” Here now,’ quod Hunger, “and hoold it for a wisdom: 6.212
Bolde beggeris and bigge that mowe hir breed biswynke, 6.213
With houndes breed and horse breed hoold up hir hertes– 6.214
Aba[v]e hem with benes, for bollynge of hir wombe; 6.215
And if the gomes grucche, bidde hem go swynke, 6.216
And he shal soupe swetter whan he it hath deserved. 6.217
“Ac if thow fynde any freke that Fortune hath apeired 6.218
Or any manere false men, fonde thow swiche to knowe: 6.219
Conforte hem with thi catel for Cristes love of hevene; 6.220
Love hem and lene hem, for so Iawe of [kynde wolde]: 6.221
Alter alterius onlera portate. 6.222
And alle manere of men that thow myght aspie 6.223
That nedy ben [or naked, and nought han to spende, 6.224
Love hem and lakke hem noght–lat God take the vengeaunce; 6.225
Theigh thei doon yvele, lat thow God yworthe: 6.226
Michi vindictam et ego retribuam. 6.226
And if thow wilt be gracious to God, do as the Gospel techeth, 6.227
And bilove thee amonges lowe men–so shaltow lacche grace: 6.228
Facite vobis amicos de mammona iniquitatis.’
Page 74
“I wolde noght greve God,’ quod Piers, -for al the good on grounde!’ 6.229
Mighte I synnelees do as thow seist?’ seide Piers thanne. 6.230
“Ye, I bihote thee,’ quod Hunger, “or ellis the Bible lieth 6.231
Go to Genesis the geaunt, the engendrour of us alle: 6.232
“”In sudore and swynk thow shalt thi mete tilie, 6.233
And laboure for thi liflode,” and so Oure Lord highte. 6.234
And Sapience seith the same–I seigh it in the Bible: 6.235
“” Piger pro frigore no feeld nolde tilie– 6.236
And therfore he shal begge and bidde, and no man bete his hunger.” 6.237
” Mathew with mannes face moutheth thise wordes– 6.238
That servus nequam hadde a mnam, and for he wolde noght chaffare, 6.239
He hadde maugree of his maister everemoore after; 6.240
And bynam hym his mnam for he ne wolde werche, 6.241
And yaf that mnam to hym that ten mnames hadde, 6.242
And with that he seide, that Holy Chirche it herde: 6.243
“” He that hath shal have and helpe there it nedeth; 6.244
And he that noght hath shal noght have, and no man hym helpe, 6.245
And that he weneth weI to have, I wole it hym bireve.” 6.246
” Kynde Wit wolde that ech a wight wroghte, 6.247
Or in [te]chynge or in [tell]ynge or travaillynge in preieres– 6.248
Contemplatif lif or Actif lif, Crist wolde men wroghte. 6.249
The Sauter seith in the psalme of Beat omnes, 6.250
The freke that fedeth hymself with his feithful labour, 6.251
He is blessed by the book in body and in soule: 6.252
Labores manuum tuarum &c.’ 6.252
” Yet I preie yow,’ quod Fiers, “pur charite, and ye konne 6.253
Any leef of lechecraft, lere it me, my deere; 6.254
For some of my servaunts and myself bothe 6.255
Of al a wike werche noght, so oure wombe aketh.’
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“I woot wel,’ quod Hunger, “what siknesse yow eyleth; 6.257
Ye han manged over muche–that maketh yow grone. 6.258
Ac I hote thee,’ quod Hunger, “as thow thyn hele wilnest, 6.259
That thow drynke no day er thow dyne somwhat. 6.260
Ete noght, I hote thee, er hunger thee take 6.261
And sende thee of his sauce to savore with thi lippes; 6.262
And keep som til soper tyme and sitte noght to longe; 6.263
Arys up er appetit have eten his fille. 6.264
Lat noght Sire Surfet sitten at thi borde– 6.265
Love hym noght, for he is lecherous and likerous of tonge, 6.266
And after many maner metes his mawe is afyngred. 6.267
“And if thow diete thee thus, I dar legge myn eris 6.268
That Phisik shal his furred hood for his fode selle, 6.269
And his cloke of Calabre with alle the knappes of golde, 6.270
And be fayn, by my feith, his phisik to lete, 6.271
And lerne to laboure with lond [lest] liflode [hym faille]. 6.272
Ther aren mo [li]eres than leches–Lord hem amende! 6.273
They do men deye thorugh hir drynkes er destynee it wolde.’ 6.274
” By Seint Poul,’ quod Piers, “thise arn profitable wordes! 6.275
For this is a lovely lesson, Lord it thee foryelde! 6.276
Wend now, Hunger, whan thow wolt, that wel be thow evere.’ 6.277
” I bihote God,’ quod Hunger, ” hennes ne wole I wende 6.278
[Er] I have dyned bi this day and ydronke bothe.’ 6.279
” I have no peny,’ quod Piers, “pulettes to bugge, 6.280
Neither gees ne grys, but two grene cheses, 6.281
A fewe cruddes and creme and [a cake of otes], 6.282
And two loves of benes and bran ybake for my fauntes. 6.283
And yet I seye, by my soule, I have no salt bacon 6.284
Ne no cokeney, by Crist, coloppes to maken!
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Ac I have percile and porettes and manye [plaunte coles], 6.286
And ek a cow and a calf, and a cart mare 6.287
To drawe afeld my donge the while the droghte lasteth. 6.288
By this liflode we mote lyve til Lammesse tyme. 6.289
And by that I hope to have hervest in my crofte; 6.290
Thanne may I dighte thi dyner as me deere liketh.’ 6.291
Al the povere peple tho pescoddes fetten; 6.292
Benes and baken apples thei broghte in hir lappes, 6.293
Chibolles and chervelles and ripe chiries manye, 6.294
And profrede Piers this present to plese with Hunger. 6.295
Al Hunger eet in haste and axed after moore. 6.296
Thanne povere folk for fere fedden Hunger yerne; 6.297
With grene poret and pesen to poisone hym thei thoghte! 6.298
By that it neghed neer hervest and newe corn cam to chepyng; 6.299
Thanne was folk fayn, and fedde Hunger with the beste– 6.300
With good ale, as Gloton taghte–and garte Hunger to slepe. 6.301
And tho wolde Wastour noght werche, but wandren aboute, 6.302
Ne no beggere ete breed that benes inne were, 6.303
But of coket and clermatyn or ellis of clene whete, 6.304
Ne noon halfpeny ale in none wise drynke, 6.305
But of the beste and of the brunneste that [brewesteres] selle. 6.306
Laborers that have no land to lyve on but hire handes 6.307
Deyned nought to dyne aday nyght-olde wortes; 6.308
May no peny ale hem paie, ne no pece of bacoun, 6.309
But if it be fressh flessh outher fissh fryed outher ybake– 6.310
And that chaud and plus chaud, for chillynge of hir mawe. 6.311
And but if he be heighliche hyred, ellis wole he chide– 6.312
And that he was werkman wroght wa[ri]e the tyme.
Page 77
Ayeins Catons counseil comseth he to jangle: 6.314
Paupertatis onus pacienter ferre memento. 6.314
He greveth hym ageyn God and gruccheth ageyn Reson. 6.315
And thanne corseth he the Kyng and al his Counseil after 6.316
Swiche lawes to loke, laborers to greve. 6.317
Ac whiles Hunger was hir maister, ther wolde noon of hem chide, 6.318
Ne stryven ayeins his statut, so sterneliche he loked! 6.319
Ac I warne yow werkmen–wynneth whil ye mowe, 6.320
For Hunger hiderward hasteth hym faste! 6.321
He shal awake [thorugh] water, wastours to chaste, 6.322
Er fyve yer be fulfilled swich famyn shal aryse: 6.323
Thorugh flodes and thorugh foule wedres, fruytes shul faille– 6.324
And so seith Saturne and sent yow to warne: 6.325
Whan ye se the [mo]ne amys and two monkes heddes, 6.326
And a mayde have the maistrie, and multiplie by eighte, 6.327
Thanne shal deeth withdrawe and derthe be justice, 6.328
And Dawe the Dykere deye for hunger– 6.329
But if God of his goodnesse graunte us a trewe. 6.330
Passus 7
Treuthe herde telle herof, and to Piers sente 7.001
To taken his teme and tilien the erthe, 7.002
And purchaced hym a pardoun a pena et a culpa 7.003
For hym and for hyse heirs for ever oore after-
Page 78
And bad hym holde hym at home and erien hise Ieyes, 7.005
And alle that holpen hym to erye, to sette or to sowe, 7.006
or any [man]er mestier that myghte Piers availe– 7.007
Pardon with Piers Plowman Truthe hath ygraunted. 7.008
Kynges and knyghtes that kepen Holy Chirche 7.009
And rightfully in remes rulen the peple, 7.010
Han pardon thorugh purgatorie to passen ful lightly, 7.011
With patriarkes and prophetes in paradis to be felawe. 7.012
Bysshopes yblessed, if thei ben as thei sholde 7.013
Legistres of bothe lawes, the lewed therwith to preche, 7.014
And in as muche as thei mowe amenden alle synfulle, 7.015
Arn peres with the Apostles–this pardon Piers sheweth– 7.016
And at the day of dome at the heighe deys to sitte. 7.017
Marchaunts in the margyne hadde manye yeres, 7.018
Ac noon A pena et a culpa the Pope nolde hem graunte. 7.019
For thei holde noght hir halidayes as Holy Chirche techeth, 7.020
And for thei swere ‘by hir soule’ and -so God moste hem helpe’ 7.021
Ayein clene Conseience, hir catel to selle. 7.022
Ac under his secret seel Truthe sente hem a lettre, 7.023
[And bad hem] buggen boldely what hem best liked 7.024
And sithenes selle it ayein and save the wynnyng, 7.025
And amende mesondieux thermyd and myseise folk helpe; 7.026
And wikkede weyes wightly amende, 7.027
And do boote to brugges that tobroke were; 7.028
Marien maydenes or maken hem nonnes; 7.029
Povere peple and prisons fynden hem hir foode, 7.030
And sette soolers to scole or to som othere craftes; 7.031
Releve Religion and renten hem bettre. 7.032
“And I shal sende yow myselve Seynt Michel myn angel,
Page 79
That no devel shal yow dere ne [in youre deying fere yow], 7.034
And witen yow fro wanhope, if ye wol thus werche, 7.035
And sende youre soules in saufte to my Seintes in joye.’ 7.036
Thanne were marchaunts murie–manye wepten for joye- 7.037
And preiseden Piers the Plowman, that purchaced this bulle. 7.038
Men of lawe leest pardon hadde that pleteden for mede, 7.039
For the Sauter saveth hem noght, swiche as take yiftes, 7.040
And nameliche of innocents that noon yvel ne konneth: 7.041
Super innocentem munera non accipies. 7.041
Pledours sholde peynen hem to plede for swiche and helpe; 7.042
Princes and prelates sholde paie for hire travaille: 7.043
A regibus et principibus erit merces eorum. 7.043
Ac many a justice and jurour wolde for Johan do moore 7.044
Than pro Deipietate–leve thow noon oother! 7.045
Ac he that spendeth his speche and speketh for the povere 7.046
That is innocent and nedy and no man apeireth, 7.047
Conforteth hym in that caas, coveit[eth noght hise] yiftes, 7.048
And [for Oure Lordes love lawe for hym sheweth]– 7.049
Shal no devel at his deeth day deren hym a myte 7.050
That he ne worth saaf and his soule, the Sauter bereth witnesse: 7.051
Domine, quis habitubit in tubernuculo tuo ? 7.051
Ac to bugge water, ne wynd, ne wit, ne fir the ferthe– 7.052
Thise foure the Fader of Hevene made to this foold in commune: 7.053
Thise ben Truthes tresores trewe folk to helpe,
Page 80
That nevere shul wex ne wanye withouten God hymselve. 7.055
Whan thei drawen on to the deth, and indulgences wolde have, 7.056
His pardon is ful petit at his partyng hennes 7.057
That any mede of mene men for hir motyng taketh. 7.058
Ye legistres and lawieres, [if I lye witeth Mathew]: 7.059
Quodcumque vultis utfaciant vobis homines, fucite eis. 7.059
Alle libbynge laborers that lyven with hir hondes, 7.060
That treweliche taken and treweliche wynnen, 7.061
And lyven in love and in lawe, for hir lowe herte 7.062
Haveth the same absolucion that sent was to Piers. 7.063
Beggeres and bidderes beth noght in the bulle 7.064
But if the suggestion be sooth that shapeth hem to begge: 7.065
For he that beggeth or bit, but it he have nede, 7.066
He is fals with the feend and defraudeth the nedy, 7.067
And also gileth the gyvere ageynes his wille; 7.068
For if he wiste he were noght nedy he wolde [that yyve] 7.069
Another that were moore nedy than he–so the nedieste sholde be holpe. 7.070
Caton kenneth me thus, and the Clerc of the Stories: 7.071
Cui des, videto is Catons techyng; 7.072
And in the Stories he techeth to bistowe thyn almesse: 7.073
Sit elemosina tua in manu tua donec studes cui des. 7.073
Ac Gregory was a good man, and bad us gyven alle
Page 81
That asketh for His love that us al leneth: 7.075
Non eligas cui miserearis, ne forte pretereaf ittum qui meretur 7.075
accipere; quia incerum est pro quo Deo magis placeas. 7.075
For wite ye nevere who is worthi – ac God woot who hath nede. 7.076
In hym that taketh is the trecherie, if any treson walke – 7.077
For he that yeveth, yeldeth, and yarketh hym to reste, 7.078
And he that biddeth, borweth, and bryngeth hymself in dette. 7.079
For beggeres borwen everemo, and hir borgh is God Almyghty- 7.080
To yelden hem that yeveth hem, and yet usure moore: 7.081
Quare noon dedisti pecuniam mean ad mensam, ut 7.081
ego enioens cum usuris exegissem utique illam? 7.081
Forthi biddeth noght, ye beggeres, but if ye have gret nede. 7.082
For whoso hath to buggen hym breed – the Book bereth witnesse- 7.083
He hath ynough that hath breed ynough, though he have noght ellis: 7.084
Satis dives est qui non indiget pane. 7.084
Lat usage be your solas of seintes lyves redyng; 7.085
The Book banneth beggerie, and blameth hem in this manere: 7.086
Iuniou fui etenim senui, et non vidi iustum derelictum nec 7.086
semen eius querens panem. 7.086
For [thei] lyve in no love, ne no lawe holde: 7.087
[Thei] ne wedde no womman that [thei] with deele, 7.088
But as wilde bestes with “wehee” worthen uppe and werchen, 7.090
And bryngen forth barnes that bastardes men calleth. 7.091
Or the bak or som soon their breketh in his youthe,
Page 82
And goon [and] faiten with hire fauntes for everemoore after. 7.093
Ther is moore mysshapen amonges thise beggeres 7.094
Than of alle [othere] manere men that on this moolde walketh. 7.095
Tho that lyve thus hir lif mowe lothe the tyme 7.096
That evere he was man wroght, whan he shal hennes fare. 7.097
Ac olde men and hore that helplees ben of strengthe, 7.098
And wommen with childe that werche ne mowe, 7.099
Blynde and bedreden and broken hire membres, 7.100
That taken this myschief mekeliche, as mesels and othere, 7.101
Han as pleyn pardon as the Plowman hymselve. 7.102
For Iove of hir lowe hertes Oure Lord hath hem graunted 7.103
Hir penaunce and hir Purgatorie upon this [pure] erthe. 7.104
” Piers,’ quod a preest thoo, ” thi pardon moste I rede; 7.105
For I shal construe ech clause and kenne it thee on Englissh.’ 7.106
And Piers at his preiere the pardon unfoldeth– 7.107
And I bihynde hem bothe biheld al the bull 7.108
In two lynes it lay, and noght a le[ttre] moore, 7.109
And was writen right thus in witnesse of truthe: 7.110
Et qui bona egerunt ibunt in vitam eternam. 7.110
Qui vero mala, in ignem eternum. 7.110
” Peter! ‘ quod the preest thoo, ” I kan no pardon fynde 7.111
But “-Do wel and have wel. and God shal have thi soule,’ 7.112
And ” Do yvel and have yvel, and hope thow noon oother 7.113
That after thi deeth day the devel shal have thi soule!’ 7.114
And Piers for pure tene pulled it atweyne 7.115
And seide, – Si ambulavero in medio umbre mortis 7.116
Non timebo mala, quoniam tu mecum es.
Page 83
“I shal cessen of my sowyng,’ quod Piers, “and swynke noght so harde, 7.118
Ne aboute my bely joye so bisy be na moore; 7.119
Of preieres and of penaunce my plough shal ben herafter, 7.120
And wepen whan I sholde slepe, though whete breed me faille. 7.121
“The prophete his payn eet in penaunce and in sorwe, 7.122
By that the Sauter seith–so dide othere manye. 7.123
That loveth God lelly, his lifiode is ful esy: 7.124
Fuerunt michi lacrime mee panes die ac nocte. 7.124
“And but if Luc lye, he lereth us by foweles 7.125
We sholde noght be to bisy aboute the worldes blisse: 7.126
Ne soliciti sitis, he seith in the Gospel 7.127
And sheweth us by ensamples us selve to wisse. 7.128
The foweles in the feld, who fynt hem mete at wynter? 7.129
Have thei no gerner to go to, but God fynt hem alle.’ 7.130
“What!’ quod the preest to Perkyn, “Peter! as me thynketh, 7.131
Thow art lettred a litel–who lerned thee on boke?’ 7.132
“Abstynence the Abbesse,’ quod Piers, -myn a.b.c. me taughte, 7.133
And Conscience cam afterward and kenned me muche moore.’ 7.134
” Were thow a preest, Piers,’ quod he, ” thow myghtest preche where thow sh 7.135
As divinour in divinite, with Dixit insipiens to thi teme.’ 7.136
” Lewed lorel!’ quod Piers, “litel lokestow on the Bible; 7.137
On Salomons sawes selden thow biholdest– 7.138
Eice derisores et iurgia cum eis ne crescant &c.’ 7.138
The preest and Perkyn apposeden either oother– 7.139
And I thorugh hir wordes awook, and waited aboute, 7.140
And seigh the sonne in the south sitte that tyme. 7.141
Metelees and moneilees on Malverne hulles, 7.142
Musynge on this metels a my[le] wey ich yede. 7.143
Many tyme this metels hath maked me to studie 7.144
Of that I seigh slepynge–if it so be myghte; 7.145
And for Piers the Plowman ful pencif in herte,
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And which a pardon Piers hadde, al the peple to conforte, 7.147
And how the preest inpugned it with two propre wordes. 7.148
Ac I have no savour in songewarie, for I se it ofte faille; 7.149
Caton and canonistres counseillen us to leve 7.150
To sette sadnesse in songewarie–for sompnia ne cures. 7.151
Ac for the book Bible bereth witnesse 7.152
How Daniel divined the dremes of a kyng 7.153
That was Nabugodonosor nempned of clerkes . . . 7.154
Daniel seide, “Sire Kyng, thi dremels bitokneth 7.155
That unkouthe knyghtes shul come thi kyngdom to cleyme; 7.156
Amonges lower lordes thi lond shal be departed.’ 7.157
And as Daniel divined, in dede it fel after: 7.158
The kyng lees his lordshipe, and lower men it hadde. 7.159
And Joseph mette merveillously how the moone and the sonne 7.160
And the ellevene sterres hailsed hym alle. 7.161
Thanne Jacob jugged Josephes swevene : 7.162
” Beau fiz,’ quod his fader, ” for defaute we shullen– 7.163
I myself and my sones–seche thee for nede.’ 7.164
It bifel as his fader seide, in Pharaoes tyme, 7.165
That Joseph was Justice Egipte to loke: 7.166
It bifel as his fader tolde–hise frendes there hym soughte. 7.167
Al this maketh me on metels to thynke– 7.168
And how the preest preved no pardon to Dowel, 7.169
And demed that Dowel indulgences passed, 7.170
Biennals and triennals and bisshopes lettres, 7.171
And how Dowel at the Day of Dome is digneliche underfongen, 7.172
And passeth al the pardon of Seint Petres cherche. 7.173
Now hath the Pope power pardon to graunte 7.174
The peple, withouten penaunce to ja into [joye]; 7.175
This is [a leef of] oure bileve, as lettred men us techeth: 7.176
Quodcumque ligaveris super terram erit ligatum et in celis &c.
Page 85
And so I leve leelly (Lord forbede ellis!) 7.177
That pardon and penaunce and preieres doon save 7.178
Soules that have synned seven sithes dedly. 7.179
Ac to trust on thise triennals–trewely, me thynketh, 7.180
It is noght so siker for the soule, certes, as is Dowel. 7.181
Forthi I rede yow renkes that riche ben on this erthe, 7.182
Upon trust of youre tresor triennals to have, 7.183
Be ye never the bolder to breke the ten hestes; 7.184
And namely ye maistres, meires and jugges, 7.185
That have the welthe of this world and wise men ben holden, 7.186
To purchace yow pardon and the Popes bulles. 7.187
At the dredful dome, whan dede shulle arise 7.188
And comen alle bifore Crist acountes to yelde– 7.189
How thow laddest thi lif here and hise lawes keptest, 7.190
And how thow didest day by day the doom wole reherce. 7.191
A pokeful of pardon there, ne provincials lettres, 7.192
Theigh ye be founde in the fraternite of alle the foure ordres 7.193
And have indulgences doublefold–but Dowel yow helpe, 7.194
I sette youre patentes and youre pardon at one pies hele! 7.195
Forthi I counseille alle Cristene to crie God mercy, 7.196
And Marie his moder be oure meene bitwene, 7.197
That God gyve us grace here, er we go hennes, 7.198
Swiche werkes to werche, while we ben here, 7.199
That after oure deth day, Dowel reherce 7.200
At the day of dome, we dide as he highte. 7.201
Page 86
Passus 8
Thus yrobed in russet I romed aboute 8.001
Al a somer seson for to seke Dowel, 8.002
And frayned ful ofte of folk that I mette 8.003
If any wight wiste wher Dowel was at inne, 8.004
And what man he myghte be of many man I asked. 8.005
Was nevere wight as I wente that me wisse kouthe 8.006
Where this leode lenged, lasse ne moore– 8.007
Til it bifel on a Friday two freres I mette, 8.008
Maistres of the Menours, men of grete witte. 8.009
I hailsed hem hendely, as I hadde ylerned, 8.010
And preide hem, pur churite, er thei passed ferther, 8.011
If they knewe any contree or costes [aboute] 8.012
Where that Dowel dwelieth–“Dooth me to witene; 8.013
For [ye] be men of this moolde that moost wide walken, 8.014
And knowen contrees and courtes and many kynnes places– 8.015
Bothe princes paleises and povere mennes cotes, 8.016
And Dowel and Do-yvele, wher thei dwelle bothe.’ 8.017
“[Marie!]’, quod the Menours, ” [amonges us he dwelleth], 8.018
And evere hath, as I hope, and evere shal herafter.’ 8.019
“Contra!’ quod I as a clerc, and comsed to disputen, 8.020
And seide, “Soothly, Sepcies in die cadit iustus. 8.021
Sevene sithes, seith the Book, synneth the rightfulle, 8.022
And whoso synneth,’ I seide, ” [certes] dooth yvele, as me thynketh, 8.023
And Dowel and Do-yvele mowe noght dwelle togideres. 8.024
Ergo he nys noght alwey at hoom amonges yow freres: 8.025
He is outhemhile elliswhere to wisse the peple.’ 8.026
” I shal seye thee, my sone,’ seide the frere thanne,
Page 87
“How seven sithes the sadde man synneth on the day. 8.028
By a forbisne,’ quod the frere, “I shal thee faire shewe. 8.029
“Lat brynge a man in a boot amydde a brode watre: 8.030
The wynd and the water and the [waggyng of the boot] 8.031
Maketh the man many tyme to falle and to stonde. 8.032
For stonde he never so stif, he stumbleth if he meve– 8.033
Ac yet is he saaf and sound, and so hym bihoveth; 8.034
For if he ne arise the rather and raughte to the steere, 8.035
The wynd wolde with the water the boot overthrowe, 8.036
And thanne were his lif lost thorugh lachesse of hymselve. 8.037
” Right thus it fareth,’ quod the frere, ” by folk here on erthe. 8.038
The water is Iikned to the world, that wanyeth and wexeth; 8.039
The goodes of this grounde arn lik the grete wawes 8.040
That as wyndes and wedres walweth aboute; 8.041
The boot is likned to oure body that brotel is of kynde, 8.042
That thorugh the fend and the flessh and the frele worlde 8.043
Synneth the sadde man [seven sithes a day]. 8.044
“Ac dedly synne doth he noght, for Dowel hym kepeth, 8.045
And that is charite the champion, chief help ayein synne; 8.046
For he strengtheth man to stonde, and steereth mannes soule 8.047
That, though thi body bowe as boot dooth in the watre, 8.048
Ay is thi soule saaf but thow thiselve wole 8.049
Folwe thi flessh and the fend after- 8.050
Do a deedly synne and drenche so thiselve.
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God wole suffre wel thi sleuthe, if thiself liketh; 8.052
For he yaf thee to yeresyyve to yeme wel thiselve– 8.053
And that is wit and free will, to every wight a porcion, 8.054
To fleynge foweles, to fisshes and to beestes; 8.055
Ac man hath moost therof, and moost is to blame 8.056
But if he werche wel therwith, as Dowel hym techeth.’ 8.057
I have no kynde knowyng,’ quod I, “to conceyve alle thi wordes, 8.058
Ac if I may lyve and loke, I shal go lerne bettre.’ 8.059
“I bikenne thee Crist,’ quod he, that on the cros deyde.’ 8.060
And I seide, -The same save yow fro myschaunce, 8.061
And yyve yow grace on this grounde goode men to worthe!’ 8.062
And thus I wente widewher, walkyng myn one, 8.063
By a wilde wildernesse, and by a wodes side; 8.064
Blisse of the briddes abide me made, 8.065
And under a lynde upon a launde lened I a stounde 8.066
To lythe the layes tho lovely foweles made. 8.067
Murthe of hire mouthes made me ther to slepe; 8.068
The merveillouseste meteIs mette me thanne 8.069
That ever dremed [dr]ight in [doute], as I wene. 8.070
A muche man, as me thoughte, lik to myselve, 8.071
Cam and called me by my kynde name. 8.072
” What art thow?’ quod I tho, ” that thow my name knowest?’ 8.073
“That thow woost wel,’ quod he, “and no wight bettre.’ 8.074
“Woot I,’ [quod I, “who art thow?’] “Thought,’ seide he thanne. 8.075
“I have sued thee this seven yeer; seye thow me no rather?’ 8.076
“Art thow Thought?’ quod I, “thoo thow koudest me wisse 8.077
Where that Dowel dwelleth, and do me to knowe.’
Page 89
“Dowel,’ quod he, “and Dobet and Dobest the thridde 8.079
Arn thre faire vertues, and ben noght fer to fynde. 8.080
Whoso is trewe of his tunge and of his two handes, 8.081
And thorugh his labour or thorugh his land his liflode wynneth, 8.082
And is trusty of his tailende, taketh but his owene, 8.083
And is noght dronkelewe ne dedeynous–Dowel hym folweth. 8.084
“Dobet dooth right thus, ac he dooth muche moore; 8.085
He is as lowe as a lomb and lovelich of speche, 8.086
And helpeth alle men after that hem nedeth. 8.087
The bagges and the bigirdles, he hath tobroke hem alle 8.088
That the Erl Avarous heeld, and hise heires; 8.089
And with Mammonaes moneie he hath maad hym frendes, 8.090
And is ronne into Religion, and hath rendred the Bible, 8.091
And precheth to the peple Seint Poules wordes– 8.092
Libenter suffertis insipientes cum sitis ipsi sapientes. 8.093
[Ye wise], suffreth the unwise with yow to libbe, 8.094
And with glad wille dooth hem good, for so God yow hoteth. 8.095
“Dobest is above bothe and bereth a bisshopes cro[c]e, 8.096
is hoked on that oon ende to halie men fro helle. 8.097
A pik is on that potente, to pulte adown the wikked 8.098
That waiten any wikkednesse Dowel to tene. 8.099
And Dowel and Dobet amonges hem ordeyned 8.100
To crowne oon to be kyng to [kepen] hem bothe, 8.101
That if Dowel or Dobet dide ayein Dobest, 8.102
Thanne shal the kyng come and casten hem in irens, 8.103
And but if Dobest bede for hem, thei to be ther for evere.
Page 90
Thus Dowel and Dobet and Dobest the thridde 8.105
Crowned oon to be kyng to kepen hem alle 8.106
And rule the reme by [rede of hire] wittes, 8.107
And ootherwise [ne ellis noght], but as thei thre assented.’ 8.108
I thonked Thoght tho that he me [so] taughte. 8.109
“Ac yet savoreth me noght thi seying, so me Crist helpe! 8.110
For more kynde knowynge I coveite to lerne– 8.111
How Dowel, Dobet and Dobest doon among the peple.’ 8.112
“But Wit konne wisse thee.’ quod Thoght, ” where tho thre dwelle; 8.113
Ellis [n]oot I noon that kan, that now is alyve.’ 8.114
Thoght and I thus thre daies we yeden 8.115
Disputyng upon Dowel day after oother– 8.116
And er we war were, with Wit gonne we mete. 8.117
He was long and lene, lik to noon oother; 8.118
Was no pride on his apparaille, ne poverte neither; 8.119
Sad of his semblaunt and of [a] softe [speche]. 8.120
I dorste meve no matere to maken hym to jangle 8.121
But as I bad Thoght thoo be mene bitwene 8.122
And pute forth som purpos to preven hise wittes, 8.123
What was Dowel fro Dobet, and Dobest from hem bothe. 8.124
Thanne Thoght in that tyme seide thise wordes: 8.125
” Wher Dowel and Dobet and Dobest ben in londe 8.126
Here is Wil wolde wite if Wit koude teche; 8.127
And wheither he be man or no manthis man wolde as 8.128
And werchen as thei thre wolde–this is his entente.’ 8.129
Page 91
Passus 9
“Sire Dowel dwelleth,’ quod Wit, “noght a day hennes 9.001
In a castel that Kynde made of foure kynnes thynges. 9.002
Of erthe and eyr is it maad, medled togideres, 9.003
With wynd and with water wittily enjoyned. 9.004
Kynde hath closed therinne craftily withalle 9.005
A lemman that he loveth lik to hymselve. 9.006
Anima she hatte; [to hir hath envye] 9.007
A proud prikere of Fraunce, Princeps huius mundi, 9.008
And wolde wynne hire awey with wiles and he myghte. 9.009
“Ac Kynde knoweth this wel and kepeth hire the bettre, 9.010
And hath doon hire with Sire Dowel, Duc of thise marches. 9.011
Dobet is hire damyselle, Sire Doweles doughter, 9.012
To serven this Iady leelly bothe late and rathe. 9.013
Dobest is above bothe, a bisshopes peere; 9.014
That he bit moot be do–he [bidd]eth hem alle. 9.015
[By his leryng] is lad [that lady Anima]. 9.016
“Ac the Constable of that castel, that kepeth [hem alle], 9.017
Is a wis knyght withal1e–Sire 1nwit he hatte, 9.018
And hath fyve faire sones by his firste wyve: 9.019
Sire Se-wel, and Sey-wel, and Here-wel the hende, 9.020
Sire Werch-wel-with-thyn-hand, a wight man of strengthe, 9.021
And Sire Godefray Go-wel–grete lordes [alle]. 9.022
Thise sixe ben set to save this lady Anima 9.023
Til Kynde come or sende to kepen hire hymselve.’ 9.024
“What kynnes thyng is Kynde?’ quod, “kanstow me telle?’ 9.025
” Kynde,’ quod Wit, “is creatour of alle kynnes thynges, 9.026
Fader and formour of al that evere was maked–
Page 92
And that is the grete God that gynnyng hadde nevere, 9.028
Lord of lif and of light, of lisse and of peyne. 9.029
Aungeles and alle thyng arn at his wille, 9.030
Ac man is hym moost lik of marc and of shape. 9.031
For thorugh the word that he [warp] woxen forth beestes: 9.032
Dixit et facta sunt. 9.032
“A[c] he made man [moost] li[k] to hymself, 9.033
And Eve of his ryb bon withouten any mene. 9.034
For he was synguler hymself and seide Eaciamus– 9.035
As who seith, “” Moore moot herto than my word oone: 9.036
My myght moot helpe now with my speche.” 9.037
Right as a lord sholde make lettres, and hym lakked [no] parchemyn, 9.038
Though he [wiste] write never so wel, if he hadde no penne, 9.039
The lettre, for al the lordshipe, I leve were nevere ymaked! 9.040
“And so it semeth [there he seide, as the Bible telleth, 9.041
Faciamus hominem ad imaginem nostram]– 9.042
He moste werche with his word and his wit shewe. 9.043
And in this manere was man maad thorugh myght of God almyghty, 9.044
With his word and werkmanshipe and with lif to 1aste. 9.045
And thus God gaf hym a goost, of the godhede of hevene, 9.046
And of his grete grace graunted hym blisse– 9.047
And that is lif that ay shal 1aste to al his lynage after. 9.048
And that is the castel that Kynde made, Caro it hatte, 9.049
And is as muche to mene as “man with a soule.”
Page 93
And that he wroghte with werk and with word bothe: 9.051
Thorgh myght of the mageste man was ymaked. 9.052
” Inwit and alle wittes yclosed ben therinne 9.053
For love of the lady Anima, that lif is ynempned. 9.054
Over al in mannes body he[o] walketh and wandreth, 9.055
Ac in the herte is hir hoom and hir mooste reste. 9.056
Ac Inwit is in the heed, and to the herte he loketh 9.057
What Anima is leef or looth–he Iat hire at his wille; 9.058
For after the grace of God, the gretteste is Inwit. 9.059
“Muche wo worth that man that mysruleth his Inwit, 9.060
And that ben glotons glubberes–hir God is hire wombe: 9.061
Quorum deus venter est. 9.061
For thei serven Sathan, hir soules shal he have: 9.062
That lyven synful lif here, hir soule is lich the devel. 9.063
And alle that lyven good lif are lik to God almyghty: 9.064
Qui manet in caritate, in Deo manet &c. 9.064
“Allas! that drynke sha1 fordo that God deere boughte, 9.065
And dooth God forsaken hem that he shoop to his liknesse: 9.066
Amen dico vobis, nescio vos. Et alibi, Et dimisi eos 9.066
secundum desideria eorum. 9.066
” Fooles that fauten Inwit, I fynde that Holy Chirche 9.067
Sholde fynden hem that hem fauteth, and faderlese children, 9.068
And widewes that han noght wherwith to wynnen hem hir foode, 9.069
Madde men and maydenes that helplese were– 9.070
Alle thise lakken Inwit, and loore bihoveth. 9.071
“Of this matere I myghte make a long tale 9.072
And fynde fele witnesses among the foure doctours, 9.073
And that I lye noght of that I lere thee, Luc bereth witnesse.
Page 94
“Godfader and godmoder that seen hire godchildren 9.075
At myseise and at myschief and mowe hem amende 9.076
Shul [pre]ve penaunce in purgatorie, but thei hem helpe. 9.077
For moore bilongeth to the liteI barn er he the lawe knowe 9.078
Than nempnynge of a name, and he never the wiser! 9.079
Sholde no Cristene creature cryen at the yate 9.080
Ne faille payn ne potage, and prelates dide as thei sholden. 9.081
A Jew wolde noght se a Jew go janglyng for defaute 9.082
For alle the mebles on this moolde, and he amende it myghte. 9.083
“Allas that a Cristene creature shal be unkynde til another! 9.084
Syn Jewes, that we jugge Judas felawes, 9.085
Eyther helpeth oother of that that hym nedeth. 9.086
Whi nel we Cristene of Cristes good [as kynde be] 9.087
As Jewes, that ben oure loresmen? Shame to us alle! 9.088
The commune for hir unkyndenesse, I drede me, shul abye. 9.089
” Bisshopes shul be blamed for beggeres sake; 9.090
He is [jugged] wors than Judas that yyveth a japer silver 9.091
And biddeth the beggere go, for his broke clothes: 9.092
Proditor est prelatus cum Iudu qui patrimonium Christi 9.092
minus distribuit. Et alibi, Perniciosus dispensator est 9.092
qui res pauperum Christi inutiliter consumit. 9.092
He dooth noght wel that dooth thus, ne drat noght God almyghty, 9.093
Ne loveth noght Salomons sawes, that Sapience taughte: 9.094
Inicium sapiencie timor Domini. 9.094
“That dredeth God, he dooth wel; that dredeth hym for love 9.095
And noght for drede of vengeaunce, dooth therfore the bettre. 9.096
He dooth best that withdraweth hym by daye and by nyghte
Page 95
To spille any speche or any space of tyme: 9.098
Qui offendit in uno, in omnibus est reus. 9.098
” [Tyn]ynge of tyme, Truthe woot the sothe, 9.099
Is moost yhated upon erthe of hem that ben in hevene; 9.100
And siththe to spille speche, that spire is of grace, 9.101
And Goddes gleman and a game of hevene. 9.102
Wolde nevere the feithful fader his fithele were untempred, 9.103
Ne his gleman a gedelyng, a goere to tavernes. 9.104
“To alle trewe tidy men that travaille desiren, 9.105
Oure Lord loveth hem and lent, loude outher stille, 9.106
Grace to go to hem and of gon hir liflode: 9.107
Inquirentes autem Dominum non minuentur omni bono. 9.107
“In this world is Dowel trewe wedded libbynge folk], 9.108
For thei mote werche and wynne and the world sustene. 9.109
For of hir kynde thei come that Confessours ben nempned, 9.110
Kynges and knyghtes, kaysers and clerkes, 9.111
Maidenes and martires–out of o man come. 9.112
The wif was maad the w[y]e for to helpe werche, 9.113
And thus was wedlok ywroght with a mene persone– 9.114
First by the fadres wille and the frendes conseille, 9.115
And sithenes by assent of hemself, as thei two myghte acorde; 9.116
And thus was wedlok ywroght, and God hymself it made; 9.117
In erthe the heven is–hymself was the witnesse. 9.118
“Ac fals folk feithlees, theves and lyeres, 9.119
Wastours and wrecches out of wedlok, I trowe, 9.120
Conceyved ben in yvel tyme, as Caym was on Eve. 9.121
Of swiche synfulle sherewes the Sauter maketh mynde: 9.122
Concepit dolorem et peperit iniquitatem. 9.122
And alle that come of that Caym come to yvel ende.
Page 96
“For God sente to Seem and seide by an aungel, 9.124
“Thyn issue in thyn issue, I woI that thei be wedded, 9.125
And noght thi kynde with Caymes ycoupled ne yspoused.” 9.126
” Yet some, ayein the sonde of Oure Saveour of hevene, 9.127
Caymes kynde and his kynde coupIed togideres– 9.128
Til God wrathed with hir werkes, and swich a word seide, 9.129
” That I makede man, now it me forthynketh: 9.130
Penitet me fecisse hominem.’ 9.130
“And com to Noe anon and bad hym noght lette: 9.131
“Swithe go shape a ship of shides and of bordes. 9.132
Thyself and thi sones thre and sithen youre wyves, 9.133
Busketh yow to that boot and bideth therinne 9.134
Til fourty daies be fulfild, that flood have ywasshen 9.135
Clene awey the corsed blood that Caym hath ymaked. 9.136
“Bestes that now ben shul banne the tyme 9.137
That evere that cursed Caym coom on this erthe. 9.138
Alle shul deye for his dedes by dales and hulles, 9.139
And the foweles that fleen forth with othere beestes, 9.140
Excepte oonliche of ech kynde a couple 9.141
That in thi shyngled ship shul ben ysaved.’ 9.142
“Here aboughte the barn the belsires giltes, 9.143
And alle for hir forefadres thei ferden the werse.. 9.144
The Gospel is heragein in o degre, I fynde: 9.145
Filius non portabit iniquitatem patris et pater non portabit iniquitatem filii. 9.146
Ac I fynde, if the fader be fals and a sherewe, 9.147
That somdel the sone shal have the sires tacches. 9.148
Impe on an ellere, and if thyn appul be swete 9.149
Muchel merveille me thynketh; and moore of a sherewe 9.150
That bryngeth forth any barn, but if he be the same 9.151
And have a savour after the sire–selde sestow oother: 9.152
Numquam colligunt de spinis uvas nec de tribulis ficus.
Page 97
“And thus thorugh cursed Caym cam care upon erthe, 9.153
And al for thei wroghte wedlokes ayein [the wille of God]. 9.154
Forthi have thei maugre of hir mariages, that marie so hir children. 9.155
For some, as I se now, sooth for to telle, 9.156
For coveitise of catel unkyndely ben wedded. 9.157
As careful concepcion cometh of swiche mariages 9.158
As bit-el of the folk that I bifore of tolde. 9.159
For goode sholde wedde goode, though thei no good hadde; 9.160
“I am via et veritas,” seith Crist, “I may avaunce alle.” 9.161
“It is an uncomly couple. by Crist! as me thynketh– 9.162
To yeven a yong wenche to an [y]olde feble, 9.163
Or wedden any wodewe for welthe of hir goodes 9.164
That nevere shal barn bere but if it be in armes! 9.165
In jelousie joyelees and janglynge on bedde, 9.166
Many a peire sithen the pestilence han plight hem togideres. 9.167
The fruyt that thei brynge forth arn.[manye] foule wordes; 9.168
Have thei no children but cheeste and chopp[es] hem bitwene. 9.169
Though thei do hem to Dunmowe, but if the devel helpe 9.170
To folwen after the flicche, fecche thei it nevere; 9.171
But thei bothe be forswore, that bacon thei tyne. 9.172
” Forthi I counseille alle Cristene coveite noght be wedded 9.173
For coveitise of catel ne of kynrede riche; 9.174
Ac maidenes and maydenes macche yow togideres; 9.175
Wideweres and wodewes, wercheth the same; 9.176
For no londes, but for love, loke ye be wedded, 9.177
And thanne gete ye the grace of God, and good ynough to live with.
Page 98
“And every maner seculer that may noght continue, 9.179
Wisely go wedde, and ware hym fro synne; 9.180
For lecherie in likynge is lymeyerd of helle. 9.181
Whiles thow art yong, and thi wepene kene, 9.182
Wreke thee with wyvyng, if thow wolt ben excused: 9.183
Dum sis vir fortis, ne des tua robora scortis. 9.183
Scribitur in poriis, meretrix est ianua mortis. 9.183
“Whan ye han wyved, beth war, and wercheth in tyme– 9.184
Noght as Adam and Eve whan Caym was engendred. 9.185
For in untyme, trewely, bitwene man and womman 9.186
Ne sholde no [bedbourde] be: but if thei bothe were clene 9.187
Of lif and in [love of] soule, and in [lawe also], 9.188
That ilke derne dede do no man ne sholde. 9.189
Ac if thei leden thus hir lif, it liketh God almyghty, 9.190
For he made wedlok first and hymself it seide: 9.191
Bonum est ut unusquisque uxorem suam habeat propter fornicacionem. 9.192
“That othergates ben geten, for gedelynges arn holden, 9.193
And fals folk, fondlynges, faitours and lieres, 9.194
Ungracious to gete good or love of the peple; 9.195
Wandren and wasten what thei cacche mowe. 9.196
Ayeins Dowel thei doon yvel and the devel serve, 9.197
And after hir deeth day shul dwelle with the same 9.198
But God gyve hem grace here hemself to amende.
Page 99
“Dowel, my frend, is to doon as lawe techeth. 9.200
To love thi frend and thi foo–leve me, that is Dobet. 9.201
To yyven and to yemen bothe yonge and olde, 9.202
To helen and to helpen, is Dobest of alle. 9.203
“And thus Dowel is to drede God, and Dobet to suffre, 9.204
And so cometh Dobest of bothe, and bryngeth adoun the mody– 9.205
And that is wikked wille that many werk shendeth, 9.206
And dryveth awey Dowel thorugh dedliche synnes.’ 9.207
Passus 10
Thanne hadde Wit a wif, was hote Dame Studie, 10.001
That lene was of lere and of liche bothe. 10.002
She was wonderly wroth that Wit me thus taughte, 10.003
And al staiynge Dame Studie sterneliche seide. 10.004
“Wel artow wis,’ quod she to Wit, “any wisdomes to telle 10.005
To flatereres or to fooles that frenetike ben of wittes!’– 10.006
And blamed hym and banned hym and bad hym be stille– 10.007
“With swiche wise wordes to wissen any sottes!’ 10.008
And seide, ” Noti mittere, man, margery perles 10.009
Among hogges that han hawes at wille. 10.010
Thei doon but dryvele theron–draf were hem levere 10.011
Than al the precious perree that in paradis wexeth. 10.012
I seye it by swiche,’ quod she, “that sheweth by hir werkes 10.013
That hem were levere lond and lordshipe on erthe, 10.014
Or richesse or rentes and reste at hir wille 10.015
Than alle the sooth sawes that Salamon seide evere.
Page 100
“Wisdom and wit now is noght worth a kerse 10.017
But if it be carded with coveitise as clotheres kemben hir wolle. 10.018
Whoso can contreve deceites and conspire wronges 10.019
And lede forth a loveday to lette with truthe– . 10.020
That swiche craftes kan to counseil [are] cleped ; 10.021
Thei lede lordes with lesynges and bilieth truthe. 10.022
” Job the gentile in hise gestes witnesseth 10.023
That wikked men, thei welden the welthe of this worlde, 10.024
And that thei ben lordes of ech a lond, that out of lawe libbeth: 10.025
Quare impii vivunt ? bene est omnibus qui prevaricantur et inique agunt ? 10.025
“The Sauter seith the same by swiche that doon ille: 10.026
Ecce ipsi peccatores habundantes in seculo obtinuerunt divicias. 10.026
” Lo!’ seith holy lettrure, ” whiche lordes beth thise sherewes!’ 10.027
Thilke that God moost gyveth, leest good thei deleth, 10.028
And moost unkynde to the commune, that moost catel weldeth: 10.029
Que perfecisti destruxerunt, iustus autem &c. 10.029
“Harlotes for hir harlotrie may have of hir goodes, 10.030
And japeris and jogelours and jangleris of gestes; 10.031
Ac he that hath Holy Writ ay in his mouthe 10.032
And kan telle of Tobye and of the twelve Apostles 10.033
Or prechen of the penaunce that Pilat wroghte 10.034
To Jesu the gentile, that Jewes todrowe– 10.035
Litel is he loved that swich a lesson sheweth, 10.036
Or daunted or drawe forth–I do it on God hymselve! 10.037
“But thoo that feynen hem foolis and with faityng libbeth 10.038
Ayein the lawe of Oure Lord, and lyen on hemselve, 10.039
Spitten and spuen and speke foule wordes, 10.040
Drynken and drevelen and do men for to gape, 10.041
Likne men and lye on hem that leneth hem no yiftes– 10.042
Thei konne na moore mynstralcie ne musik men to glade
Page 101
Than Munde the Millere of Multa fecit Deus. 10.044
Ne were hir vile harlotrye, have God my trouthe, 10.045
Sholde nevere kyng ne knyght ne canon of Seint Poules 10.046
Yyve hem to hir yeresyyve the value of a grote! 10.047
“Ac murthe and mynstralcie amonges men is nouthe 10.048
Lecherie, losengerye and losels tales– 10.049
Glotonye and grete othes, this [game] they lovyeth. 10.050
“Ac if thei carpen of Crist, thise clerkes and thise lewed, 10.051
At mete in hir murthe whan mynstrals beth stille, 10.052
Thanne telleth thei of the Trinite [how two slowe the thridde], 10.053
And bryngen forth a balled reson, and taken Bernard to witnesse, 10.054
And puten forth a presumpcion to preve the sothe. 10.055
Thus thei dryvele at hir deys the deitee to knowe, 10.056
And gnawen God with the gorge whanne hir guttes fullen. 10.057
“Ac the carefu1le may crie and carpen at the yate, 10.058
Bothe afyngred and afurst, and for chele quake; 10.059
Is non to nyme hym neer his noy to amende, 10.060
But hun[s]en hym as an hound and hoten hym go thennes. 10.061
Litel loveth he that Lord that lent hym al that blisse, 10.062
That thus parteth with the povere a parcell whan hym nedeth ! 10.063
Ne were mercy in meene men moore than in riche, 10.064
Mendinaunts metelees myghte go to bedde. 10.065
God is muche in the gorge of thise grete maistres, 10.066
Ac amonges meene men his mercy and hise werkes. 10.067
And so seith the Sauter–I have seighen it [in Memento]: 10.068
* Ecce audivimus eam in Effrata; invenimus eam in campis silve. 10.068
Clerkes and othere kynnes men carpen of zgod faste, 10.069
And have hym muche in hire mouth, ac meene men in herte.
Page 102
” Freres and faitours han founde [up] swiche questions 10.071
To plese with proude men syn the pestilence tyme, 10.072
And prechen at Seint Poules, for pure envye of clerkes, 10.073
That folk is noght fermed in the feith, ne free of hire goodes, 10.074
Ne sory for hire synnes; so is pride woxen 10.075
In religion and in al the reme amonges riche and povere 10.076
That preieres have no power thise pestilences to lette. 10.077
For God is deef nowadayes and deyneth noght his eres to opene, 10.078
That girles for hire giltes he forgrynt hem alle. 10.079
And yet the wrecches of this world is noon ywar by oother, 10.080
Ne for drede of the deeth withdrawe noght hir pride, 10.081
Ne beth plentevouse to the povere as pure charite wolde, 10.082
But in gaynesse and glotonye forglutten hir good hemseIve, 10.083
And breketh noght to the beggere as the Book techeth: 10.084
Frange esurienti panem tuum &c. 10.084
And the moore he wynneth and welt welthes and richesse 10.085
And lordeth in ledes and londes, the lasse good he deleth. 10.086
” Tobye techeth yow noght so! Taketh hede, ye riche, 10.087
How the book Bible of hym bereth witnesse: 10.088
Si tibi sit copia, habundantur tribue; si autem exiguum,illud impertiri libente 10.089
Whoso hath muche, spende manliche–so meneth Tobye– 10.090
And whoso litel weldeth, [loke] hym therafter, 10.090
For we have no lettre of oure lif, how longe it shal dure.
Page 103
Swiche lessons lordes sholde lovye to here, 10.092
And how he myghte moost meynee manliche fynde— 10.093
Noght to fare as a fithelere or a frere for to seke festes, 10.094
Homliche at othere mennes houses, and hatien hir owene. 10.095
“Elenge is the halle, ech day in the wike, 10.096
Ther the lord ne the lady liketh noght to sitte. 10.097
Now hath ech riche a rule–to eten by hymselve 10.098
In a pryvee parlour for povere mennes sake, 10.099
Or in a chambre with a chymenee, and leve the chief ha1le 10.100
That was maad for meles, men to eten inne, 10.101
And al to spare to spille that spende shal another. 10.102
“I have yherd heighe men etyng at the table 10.103
Carpen as thei clerkes were of Crist and of hise myghtes, 10.104
And leyden fautes upon the fader that formede us alle, 10.105
And carpen ayein clerkes crabbede wordes: 10.106
” Why wolde Oure Saveour suffre swich a worm in his blisse, 10.107
That bi[w]iled the womman and the [wye] after, 10.108
Thorugh whiche wiles and wordes thei wente to helle, 10.109
And al hir seed for hir synne the same deeth suffrede? 10.110
” Here lyeth youre lore,’ thise lordes gynneth dispute, 10.111
” Of that ye clerkes us kenneth of Crist by the Gospel: 10.112
Filius non portabit iniquitatem patris &c. 10.112
Why sholde we that now ben, for the werkes of Adam 10.113
Roten and torende? Reson wolde it nevere! 10.114
Unusquisque portabit onus suum &c.’ 10.114
“Swiche motyves they meve, thise maistres in hir glorie, 10.115
And maken men in mysbileve that muse muche on hire wordes. 10.116
Ymaginatif herafterward shal answere to youre purpos. 10.117
“Austyn to swiche argueres, he telleth hem this teme: 10.118
Non plus sapere quam oport. 10.118
Wilneth nevere to wite why that God wolde
Page 104
Suffre Sathan his seed to bigile; 10.120
Ac bileveth lelly in the loore of Holy Chirche, 10.121
And preie hym of pardon and penaunce in thi lyve, 10.122
And for his muche mercy to amende yow here. 10.123
For alle that wilneth to wite the whyes of God almyghty, 10.124
I wolde his eighe were in his ers and his fynger after 10.125
That evere wilneth to wite why that God wolde 10.126
Suffre Sathan his seed to bigile, 10.127
Or Judas the Jew Jesu bitraye. 10.128
Al was as he wolde–Lord, yworshiped be thow– 10.129
And al worth as thow wolt whatso we dispute. 10.130
“And tho that useth thise havylons to [a]blende mennes wittes 10.131
What is Dowel fro Dobet, now deef mote he worthe, 10.132
Siththe he wilneth to wite whiche thei ben alle. 10.133
But if he lyve in the lif that longeth to Dowel, 10.134
I dar ben his bolde borgh that Dobet wole he nevere, 10.135
Theigh Dobest drawe on hym day after oother.’ 10.136
And whan that Wit was ywar what Dame Studie tolde, 10.137
He bicom so confus he kouthe noght loke, 10.138
And as doumb as a dore nail drough hym aside. 10.139
And for no carpyng I kouthe after, ne knelyng to the grounde, 10.140
I myghte gete no greyn of his grete wittes, 10.141
But al laughynge he louted and loked upon Studie 10.142
In signe that I sholde bisechen hire of grace. 10.143
And whan I was war of his wille, to his wif gan I loute, 10.144
And seide, ” Mercy, madame; youre man shal I worthe 10.145
As longe as I lyve, bothe late and rathe, 10.146
For to werche youre wille the while my lif dureth, 10.147
With that ye kenne me kyndely to knowe what is Dowel.’ 10.148
” For thi mekenesse, man,’ quod she, “and for thi mylde speche, 10.149
I shal kenne thee to my cosyn that Clergie is hoten. 10.150
He hath wedded a wif withinne thise sixe monthes, 10.151
Is sib to the sevene arts–Scripture is hir name. 10.152
They two, as I hope, after my techyng,
Page 105
Shullen wissen thee to Dowel, I dar wel undertake.’ 10.154
Thanne was I as fayn as fowel of fair morwe, 10.155
Gladder than the gleman that gold hath to yifte, 10.156
And asked hire the heighe wey where that Clergie dwelte, 10.157
“And tel me som tokene,’ quod I, “for tyme is that I wende.’ 10.158
“Aske the heighe wey,’ quod she, -hennes to Suffre- 10.159
Bothe-wele-and-wo, if that thow wolt lerne; 10.160
And ryd forth by richesse, ac rest thow noght therinne, 10.161
For if thow couplest thee therwith to Clergie comestow nevere. 10.162
“And also the likerouse launde that Lecherie hatte– 10.163
Leve hym on thi left half a large myle or moore, 10.164
Til thow come to a court, Kepe-wel-thi-tunge- 10.165
Fro-lesynges-and-lither-speche-and-likerouse-drynkes. 10.166
Thanne shaltow se Sobretee and Sympletee-of-speche, 10.167
That ech wight be in wille his wit thee to shewe; 10.168
And thus shaltow come to Clergie, that kan manye thynges. 10.169
“Seye hym this signe: I sette hym to scole, 10.170
And that I grete wel his wif, for I wroot hire [the bible], 10.171
And sette hire to Sapience and to the Sauter glosed. 10.172
Logyk I lerned hire, and [al the Lawe after], 10.173
And alle the musons in Musik I made hire to knowe. 10.174
“Plato the poete, I putte hym first to boke; 10.175
Aristotle and othere mo to argue I taughte. 10.176
Grammer for girles I garte first write, 10.177
And bette hem with a baleys but if thei wolde lerne. 10.178
Of alle kynne craftes I contreved tooles– 10.179
Of carpentrie, of kerveres, and compased masons, 10.180
And lerned hem level and lyne, though I loke dymme.
Page 106
“Ac Theologie hath tened me ten score tymes: 10.182
The moore I muse therinne, the myst[lok]er it semeth, 10.183
And the depper I devyne, the derker me it thynketh. 10.184
lt is no science, forsothe, for to sotile inne. 10.185
[If that love nere, that lith therinne, a ful lethi thyng it were]; 10.186
Ac for it let best by love, I love it the bettre, 10.187
For there that love is ledere, ne lakked nevere grace. 10.188
Loke thow love lelly, if thee liketh Dowel, 10.189
For Dobet and Dobest ben of loves k[e]nn[yng]. 10.190
“In oother seience it seith–I seigh it in Catoun– 10.191
Qui simulat verbis, nec corde est fidus amicus, 10.191
Tu quoque fac simile; sic ars deluditur arte: 10.191
Whoso gloseth as gylours doon, go me to the same, 10.192
And so shaltow fals folk and feithlees bigile– 10.193
This is Catons kennyng to clerkes that he lereth. 10.194
Ac Theologie techeth noght so, whoso taketh yeme; 10.195
He kenneth us the contrarie ayein Catons wordes, 10.196
For he biddeth us be as bretheren, and bidde for oure enemys, 10.197
And loven hem that lyen on us, and lene hem whan hem nedeth, 10.198
And to do good agein yvel–God hymself hoteth: 10.199
Dum tempus habemus, operemur bonum ad omnes, 10.199
maxime autem ad domesticos fidei. 10.199
“Poul preched the peple, that parfitnesse lovede, 10.200
To do good for Goddes love and gywen den that asked, 10.201
And [sovereyn]ly to swiche that suwen oure bileve, 10.202
And alle that lakketh us or lyeth us, Oure Lord techeth us to lovye,
Page 107
And noght to greven hem that greveth us–God hymself forbad it: 10.204
Michi vindictam et ego retribuam. 10.204
Forthi loke thow lovye as longe as thow durest, 10.205
For is no science under sonne so sovereyn for the soule. 10.206
“Ac Astronomye is hard thyng, and yvel for to knowe: 10.207
Geometry and Geomesie is gynful of speche; 10.208
Whoso thynketh werche with tho t[hre] thryveth ful late– 10.209
For sorcerie is the sovereyn book that to the science bilongeth. 10.210
” Yet ar ther fibicches in forceres of fele mennes makynge, 10.211
Experiments of Alkenamye the peple to deceyve; 10.212
If thow thynke to dowel, deel therwith nevere! 10.213
Alle thise sciences I myself sotilede and ordeynede, 10.214
And founded hem formest folk to deceyve. 10.215
“Tel Clergie thise tokenes, and to Scripture after, 10.216
To counseille thee kyndely to knowe what is Dowel.’ 10.217
I seide, ” Graunt mercy, madame,’ and mekely hir grette, 10.218
And wente wightly my wey withoute moore lettyng– 10.219
And til I com to Clergie I koude nevere stynte. 10.220
I grette the goode man as the goode wif me taughte, 10.221
And afterwardes the wif, and worshiped hem bothe, 10.222
And tolde hem the tokenes that me taught were. 10.223
Was nevere gome upon this ground, sith God made the worlde, 10.224
Fairer underfongen ne frendloker at ese 10.225
Than myself, soothly, soone so he wiste 10.226
That I was of Wittes hous and with his wif Dame Studie. 10.227
I seide to hem soothly that sent was I thider 10.228
Dowel and I and Dobt to leme. 10.229
“It is a commune lyf,’ quod Mergie, “on Holy Chirche to bileve,
Page 108
With alle the articles of the feith that falleth to be knowe: 10.231
And that is to bileve lelly, bothe lered and lewed, 10.232
On the grete God that gynnyng hadde nevere, 10.233
And on the soothfast Sone that saved mankynde 10.234
Fro the dedly deeth and the develes power 10.235
Thorugh the help of the Holy Goost, the which goost is of bothe– 10.236
Thre propre persones, ac noght in plurel nombre, 10.237
For al is but oon God and ech is God hymselve: 10.238
Deus Pater, Deus Filius, Deus Spiritus Sanctus– 10.238
God the Fader, God the Sone, God Holy Goost of bothe, 10.239
Maker of mankynde and of [animal]es bothe. 10.240
“Austyn the olde herof made bokes, 10.241
And hymself ordeyned to sadde us in bileve. 10.242
Who was his auctour? Alle the foure Evaungelistes; 10.243
And Crist cleped hymself so, the [same] bereth witnesse: 10.244
Ego in patre et pater in me est, et qui videt me 10.244
videt et patrem meum. 10.244
“Alle the clerkes under Crist ne koude this assoille, 10.245
But thus it bilongeth to bileve to lewed that willen dowel. 10.246
For hadde nevere freke fyn wit the feith to dispute, 10.247
Ne man hadde no merite, myghte it ben ypreved: 10.248
fides non habet meritum ubi humana racio prebet experimentum. 10.248
“[Siththen] is Dobet to suffre for thi soules helthe 10.249
Al that the Book bit bi Holi Cherches techyng– 10.250
And that is, man, bi thy myght, for mercies sake, 10.251
Loke thow werche it in werk that thi word sheweth; 10.252
Swich as thow semest in sighte be in assay yfounde: 10.253
Appare quod es vel esto quod appares.
Page 109
And lat no body be by thi beryng bigiled, 10.254
But be swich in thi soule as thow semest withoute. 10.255
“Thanne is Dobest to be boold to blame the gilty, 10.256
Sythenes thow seest thiself as in souIe clene; 10.257
Ac blame thow nevere body and thow be blameworthy: 10.258
Si culpare velis culpabilis esse cavebis, 10.258
Dogma tuum sordet cum te tua culpa remordet. 10.258
God in the Gospel grymly repreveth 10.259
Alle that lakketh any lif and lakkes han hemselve: 10.260
Quid consideras festucam in oculo fratris tui, trabem in 10.260
oculo tuo, &c. 10.260
Why mevestow thi mood for a mote in thi brotheres eighe, 10.261
Sithen a beem in thyn owene ablyndeth thiselve? 10.262
Eice primo trabem de oculo tuo, &c. 10.262
Which letteth thee to loke, lasse outher moore? 10.263
” I rede ech a blynd bosard do boote to hymselve– 10.264
As persons and parissh preestes, that preche sholde and teche 10.265
Alle maner men to amenden, bi hire myghte. 10.266
This text was told yow to ben war, er ye taughte, 10.267
That ye were swiche as ye seyde to salve with othere. 10.268
For Goddes word wolde noght be lost–for that wercheth evere; 10.269
If it availled noght the commune, it myghte availle yowselve. 10.270
“Ac it semeth now soothly, to [sighte of the worlde], 10.271
That Goddes word wercheth no [wi]ght on lered ne on lewed 10.272
But in swich a manere as Marc meneth in the Gospel: 10.273
Dum cecus ducit cecum, ambo in foveam cadunt. 10.273
“Lewed men rnay likne yow thus–that the beem lith in youre eighen, 10.274
And the festu is fallen, for youre defaute,
Page 110
In alle manere men thorugh mansede preestes. 10.276
The Bible bereth witnesse that alle the [barnes] of Israel 10.277
Bittre aboughte the giltes of two badde preestes, 10.278
Offyn and Fynes–for hir coveitise 10.279
Archa Dei myshapped and Ely brak his nekke. 10.280
” Forthi, ye correctours, claweth heron, and correcteth first yowselve, 10.281
And thanne mowe ye manliche seye, as David made the Sauter: 10.282
Existimasti inique quod ero tui similis: Arguam te, et statuam contra faciem t 10.283
“And thanne shul burel clerkes ben abasshed to blame yow or to greve, 10.284
And carpen noght as thei carpe now, and calle yow doumbe hounoes– 10.285
Canes non valentes latrare– 10.285
And drede to wrathe yow in any word, youre werkmanshipe to lette, 10.286
And be prester at youre preiere than for a pound of nobles. 10.287
And al for youre holynesse–have ye this in herte. 10.288
“Amonges rightful religious this rule sholde be holde. 10.289
Gregorie, the grete clerk and the goode pope, 10.290
Of religioun the rule reherseth in his Morales 10.291
And seith it in ensample for thei sholde do therafter: 10.292
” Whan fisshes faillen the flood or the fresshe water, 10.293
Thei deyen for droughte, whan thei drie ligge; 10.294
Right so religion ro[i]leth [and] sterveth
Page 111
That out of covent and cloistre coveiten to libbe.” 10.296
For if hevene be on this erthe, and ese to any soule, 10.297
It is in cloistre or in scole, by manye skiles I fynde. 10.298
For in cloistre cometh no man to chide ne to fighte, 10.299
But al is buxomnesse there and bokes, to rede and to lerne. 10.300
“In scole there is scorn but if a clerk wol lerne, 10.301
And gret love and likyng, for ech of hem l[er]eth oother. 10.302
Ac now is Religion a rydere, a romere by stretes, 10.303
A ledere of lovedayes and a lond buggere, 10.304
A prikere on a palfrey fro manere to manere, 10.305
An heep of houndes at his ers as he a lord were; 10.306
And but if his knave knele that shal his coppe brynge, 10.307
He loureth on hym and asketh hym who taughte hym curteisie? 10.308
Litel hadde lordes to doon to yyve lond from hire heires 10.309
To religious that han no routhe though it reyne on hir auters. 10.310
“In many places ther thei persons ben, by hemself at ese, 10.311
Of the povere have thei no pite–and that is hir pure charite, 10.312
Ac thei leten hem as lordes, hir lond lith so brode. 10.313
“Ac ther shal come a kyng and confesse yow religiouses, 10.314
And bete yow, as the Bible telleth, for brekynge of youre rule, 10.315
And amende monyals, monkes and chanons, 10.316
And puten hem to hir penaunce–Ad pristinum statum ire, 10.317
And barons with erles beten hem, thorugh Beatus virres techyng, 10.318
[Biyeten] that hir barnes clayrnen, and blame yow foule: 10.319
Hii in curribus et hii in equis ipsi obligati sunt &c.
Page 112
“And thanne freres in hir fraytour shul fynden a keye 10.320
Of Costantyns cofres, in which [the catel is] 10.321
That Gregories godchildren [g]an yvele despende. 10.322
“And thanne shal the Abbot of Abyngdoun and al his issue for evere 10.323
Have a knok of a kyng, and incurable the wounde. 10.324
That this worth sooth, seke ye that ofte overse the Bible: 10.325
Quomodo cessavit exactor, quievit tributum? Contrivit Dominus 10.325
baculum impiorum, et virgam dominancium cedencium plaga insanabili. 10.325
“Ac er that kyng come Caym shal awake, 10.326
Ac Dowel shal dyngen hym adoun and destruye his myghte.’ 10.327
“Thanne is Dowel and Dobet,’ quod I, “dominus and knyghthode?’ 10.328
” I nel noght scorne,’ quod Scripture; ” but if scryveynes lye, 10.329
Kynghod ne knyghthod, by noght I kan awayte, 10.330
Helpeth noght to heveneward oone heeris ende, 10.331
Ne richesse right noght, ne reautee of lordes. 10.332
” Poul preveth it impossible–riche men to have hevene. 10.333
Salamon seith also that silver is worst to lovye: 10.334
Nichil iniquius quam amare pecuniam: 10.334
And Caton kenneth us to coveiten it naught but as nede techeth: 10.335
Dilige denarium set parce dilige formam. 10.335
And patriarkes and prophetes and poetes bothe 10.336
Writen to wissen us to wilne no richesse, 10.337
And preiseden poverte with pacience; the Apostles bereth witnesse 10.338
That thei han eritage in hevene–and by trewe righte, 10.339
Ther riche men no right may cleyme, but of ruthe and grace.’ 10.340
” Contra,’ quod I, ” by Crist! That kan I repreve, 10.341
And preven it by Peter and by Poul bothe: 10.342
That is baptized beth saaf, be he riche or povere.’ 10.343
“That is in extremis,’ quod Scripture, ” amonges Sarsens and Jewes– 10.344
They mowen be saved so, and [so] is oure bileve: 10.345
That an uncristene in that caas may cristen an hethen, 10.346
And for his lele bileve, whan he the lif tyneth, 10.347
Have the heritage of hevene as any man Cristene. 10.348
“Ac Cristene men withoute moore maye noght come to hevene,
Page 113
For that Crist for Cristene men deide, and confermed the lawe 10.350
That whoso wolde and wilneth with Crist to arise– 10.351
Si cum Christo surrexistis &c– 10.351
He sholde lovye and lene and the lawe fulfille. 10.352
That is, love thi Lord God levest aboven alle, 10.353
And after, alle Cristene creatures in commune, ech man oother; 10.354
And thus bilongeth to lovye, that leveth to be saved. 10.355
And but we do thus in dede er the day of dome, 10.356
It shal bisitten us ful soure, the silver that we kepen, 10.357
And oure bakkes that mothe-eten be, and seen beggeris go naked, 10.358
Or delit in wyn and wildefowel, and wite any in defaute. 10.359
For every Cristene creature sholde be kynde til oother, 10.360
And sithen hethen to helpe in hope of amendement. 10.361
-God hoteth heighe and lowe that no man hurte oother, 10.362
And seith, “Slee noght that semblable is to myn owene liknesse, 10.363
But if I sende thee som tokene,’ and seith ” Non mecaberis– 10.364
Is slee noght but suffre, and al[so] for the beste, 10.365
For Michi vindictam et ego retribuam. 10.366
“”For I shal punysshe in purgatorie or in the put of helle 10.367
Ech man for hise mysdedes, but mercy it lette.’ 10.368
” This is a long lesson.’ quod I, ” and litel am I the wiser! 10.369
Where Dowel is or Dobet derkliche ye shewen. 10.370
Manye tales ye tellen that Theologie lerneth, 10.371
And that I man maad was, and my name yentred 10.372
In the legende of lif longe er I were, 10.373
Or ellis unwriten for som wikkednesse, as Holy Writ witnesseth: 10.374
Nemo ascendit ad celum nisi qui de celo descendit. 10.374
“And I leve it wel, by Oure Lord and on no lettrure bettre. 10.375
For Salomon the Sage that Sapienee [made]
Page 114
God gaf hym grace of wit and alle goodes after 10.377
To rule the reume and riche to make; 10.378
He demed wel and wisely, as Holy Writ telleth. 10.379
Aristotle and he–who wissed men bettre? 10.380
Maistres that of Goddes mercy techen men and prechen, 10.381
Of hir wordes thei wissen us for wisest as in hir tyme– 10.382
And al Holy Chirche holdeth hem bothe [in helle]! 10.383
And if I sholde werche by hir werkes to wynne me hevene, 10.384
That for hir werkes and wit now wonyeth in pyne– 10.385
Thanne wroughte I unwisly. whatsoevere ye preche! 10.386
“Ac of fele witty, in feith, litel ferly I have 10.387
Though hir goost be ungracious God for to plese. 10.388
For many men on this moolde moore setten hir herte 10.389
In good than in God–forthi hem grace failleth 10.390
At hir mooste mesehief, whan [men] shal lif lete, 10.391
As Salamon dide and swiche othere, that shewed grete wittes, 10.392
Ac hir werkes, as Holy Writ seith, was evere the contrarie. 10.393
Forthi wise witted men and wel ylettred clerkes 10.394
As thei seyen hemself selde doon therafter: 10.395
Super cathedram Moysi &c. 10.395
“Ac I wene it worth of manye as was in Noes tyme 10.396
Tho he shoop that ship of shides and of bordes: 10.397
Was nevere wrighte saved that wroghte theron, ne oother werkman ellis, 10.398
But briddes and beestes and the blissed Noe 10.399
And his wif with hise sones and also hire wyves: 10.400
Of wrightes that it wroghte was noon of hem ysaved. 10.401
“God lene it fare noght so bi folk that the feith techeth 10.402
Of Holi Chirche, that herberwe is and Goddes hous to save 10.403
And shilden us from shame therinne, as Noes ship dide beestes. 10.404
And men that maden it amydde the flood adreynten. 10.405
The culorum of this clause curatours is to mene, 10.406
That ben carpenters Holy Kirk to rnake for Cristes owene beestes: 10.407
Homines et iumenta salvabis, Domine, &c.
Page 115
At domesday the deluvye worth of deth and fir at ones; 10.408
Forthi I counseille yow clerkes, of Holy [Kirke] the wrightes, 10.409
Wercheth ye werkes as ye sen ywrite, lest ye worthe noght therinne! 10.410
“On Good Friday, I fynde, a felon was ysaved 10.411
That hadde lyved al his lif with lesynges and with thefte; 10.412
And for he beknew on the cros and to Crist shrof hym, 10.413
He was sonner ysaved than Seint Johan the Baptist 10.414
And or Adam or Ysaye or any of the prophetes, 10.415
That hadde yleyen with Lucifer many longe yeres. 10.416
A robbere was yraunsoned rather than thei alle 10.417
Withouten penaunce of purgatorie to perpetuel blisse. 10.418
” Than Marie Maudeleyne wh[o myghte do] werse? 10.419
Or who worse dide than David, that Uries deeth conspired? 10.420
Or Poul the Apostle that no pite hadde 10.421
Cristene kynde to kille to dethe? 10.422
And now ben thise as sovereyns with seintes in hevene– 10.423
Tho that wroughte wikkedlokest in world tho thei were; 10.424
And tho that wisely wordeden and writen manye bokes 10.425
Of wit and of wisedom, with dampned soules wonye. 10.426
– That Salomon seith I trowe be sooth and certein of us alle: 10.427
Sunt iusti atque sapientes, et opera eorum in manu Dei sunt, &c. 10.427
Ther are witty and wel libbynge, ac hire werkes ben yhudde 10.428
In the hondes of almyghty God, and he woot the sothe– 10.429
Wher for love a man worth allowed there and hise lele werkes, 10.430
Or ellis for his yvel wille and envye of herte, 10.431
And be allowed as he lyved so, for by luthere men knoweth the goode 10.432
“And wherby wiste men which is whit, if alle thyng blak were,
Page 116
And who were a good man but if ther were som sherewe? 10.434
Forthi lyve we forth with lithere men–I leve fewe ben goode– 10.435
For “quant OPOR TET vient en place il ny ad que PA TI,’ 10.436
And he that may al amende, have mercy on us alle! 10.437
For sothest word that ever God seide was tho he seide Nemo bonus. 10.438
“[And yet have I forgete ferther of fyve wittes techyng 10.439
That] Clergie of Cristes mouth comended was it [nevere]; 10.440
For he seide to Seint Peter and to swiche as he lovede, 10.441
” Dum steteritis ante reges et presides &c. 10.441
Though ye come bifore kynges and clerkes of the lawe, 10.442
Beth noght abasshed, for I shal be in youre mouthes, 10.443
And yyve yow wit at wille [with] konnyng to conclude hem 10.444
Alle that ayeins yow of Cristendom disputen.’ 10.445
“David maketh mencion, he spak amonges kynges, 10.446
And myghte no kyng overcomen hym as by konnynge of speche. 10.447
But wit ne wisedom wan nevere the maistrie 10.448
When man was at meschief withoute the moore grace. 10.449
“The doughtieste doctour and devinour of the Trinitee, 10.450
Was Austyn the olde, and heighest of the foure, 10.451
Seide thus in a sermon–I seigh it writen ones– 10.452
” Ecce ipsi idiote rapiunt celum ubi nos sapientes in inbferno mergimur’ 10.452
And is to mene to Englissh men, moore ne lesse, 10.453
Arn none rather yravysshed fro the righte bileve 10.454
Than an thise konnynge clerkes that konne manye bokes, 10.455
Ne none sonner saved, ne sadder of bileve 10.456
Than plowmen and pastours and povere commune laborers, 10.457
Souteres and shepherdes–swiche lewed juttes 10.458
Perce with a Paternoster the paleys of hevene
Page 117
And passen purgatorie penauncelees at hir hennes partyng 10.460
Into the blisse of paradis for hir pure bileve, 10.461
That inparfitly here knewe and ek lyvede. 10.462
” Ye, men knowe clerkes that han corsed the tyme 10.463
That evere thei kouthe or knewe moore than Credo in Deum patrem 10.464
And principally hir paternoster–many a persone hath wisshed. 10.465
“I se ensamples myself and so may manye othere, 10.466
That servaunts that serven lordes selde fallen in arerage 10.467
But tho that kepen the lordes catel–clerkes and reves. 10.468
Right so lewed men and of litel knowyng, 10.469
Selden falle thei so foule and so fer in synne 10.470
As clerkes of Holy Kirke that kepen Cristes tresor– 10.471
The which is mannes soule to save, as God seith in the Gospel: 10.472
“”Ite vos in vineam meam.”’ 10.473
Passus 11
Thanne Scriptare scorned me and a skile tolde, 11.001
And lakked me in Latyn and light by me sette, 11.002
And seide, ” Multi multa sciunt et seipsos nesciunt.’ 11.003
Tho wepte I for wo andwrathe of hir speche 11.004
And in a wynkynge w[o]rth til I [weex] aslepe.
Page 118
A merveillous metels mette me thanne. 11.006
For I was ravysshed right there–for Fortune me fette 11.007
And into the lond of longynge and love she me broughte, 11.008
And in a mirour that highte Middelerthe she made me to biholde. 11.009
Sithen she seide to me, -Here myghtow se wondres, 11.010
And knowe that thow coveitest, and come therto, peraunter.’ 11.011
Thanne hadde Fortune folwynge hire two faire damyseles: 11.012
Concupiscencia Carnis men called the elder mayde, 11.013
And Coveitise of Eighes ycalled was that oother. 11.014
Pride of Parfit Lyvynge pursued hem bothe, 11.015
And bad me for my contenaunce acounten Clergie lighte. 11.016
Concupiscencia Carnis colled me aboute the nekke 11.017
And seide, “Thow art yong and yeep and hast yeres ynowe 11.018
For to lyve longe and ladies to lovye; 11.019
And in this mirour thow might se myrthes ful manye 11.020
That leden thee wole to likynge al thi lif tyme.’ 11.021
The secounde seide the same: ” I shal sewe thi wille; 11.022
Til thow be a lord and have lond, leten thee I nelle 11.023
That I ne shal folwe thi felawship, if Fortune it like.’ 11.024
” He shal fynde me his frend,’ quod Fortune therafter; 11.025
“The freke that folwede my wille failled nevere blisse.’ 11.026
Thanne was ther oon that highte Elde, that hevy was of chere, 11.027
” Man,’ quod he, “if I mete with thee, by Marie of hevene 11.028
Thow shalt fynde Fortune thee faille at thi mooste nede, 11.029
And Concupiscencia Carnis clene thee forsake. 11.030
Bittrely shaltow banne thanne, bothe dayes and nyghtes, 11.031
Coveitise of Eighe, that evere thow hir knewe; 11.032
And Pride of Parfit Lyvynge to muche peril thee brynge.’ 11.033
” Ye? Recche thee nevere!’ quod Rechelesnesse, stood forth in raggede clothes 11.034
” Folwe forth that Fortune wole–thow has wel fer til Elde. 11.035
A man may stoupe tyme ynogh whan he shal tyne the crowne.
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“”Homo proponit,” quod a poete, and Plato he highte, 11.037
“”And Deus disponit” quod he, “lat God doon his wille.” 11.038
If Truthe wol witnesse it be wel do, Fortune to folwe, 11.039
Concupiscencia Carnis ne Coveitise of Eighes 11.040
Ne shal noght greve thee graithly, ne biglIe thee but thow wolt.’ 11.041
” Ye, farewel Phippe! ‘ quod Faunteltee, and forth gan me drawe, 11.042
Til Concupiscencia Carnis acorded til alle my werkes. 11.043
“Allas, eighe!’ quod Elde and Holynesse bothe, 11.044
“That wit shal torne to wrecchednesse for wil to have his likyng!’ 11.045
Coveitise of Eighes conforted me anoon after 11.046
And folwed me fourty wynter and a fifte moore, 11.047
That of Dowel ne Dobet no deyntee me thoughte. 11.048
I hadde no likyng, leve me, [o]f the leste of hem ought to knowe. 11.049
Coveitise of Eighes com ofter in mynde 11.050
Than Dowel or Dobet among my dedes alle. 11.051
Coveitise of Eighes conforted me ofte, 11.052
And seide, ” Have no conscience how thow come to goode. 11.053
Go confesse thee to som frere and shewe hym thi synnes. 11.054
For whiles Fortune is thi frend freres wol thee lovye, 11.055
And fe[stn]e thee in hir fraternitee and for thee biseke 11.056
To hir Priour Provincial a pardon for to have, 11.057
And preien for thee pol by pol if thow be pecuniosus. 11.058
Pena pecuniaria non sufficit pro spiritualibus delictis. 11.058
By wissynge of this wenche I dide, hir wordes were so swete, 11.059
Til I foryat youthe and yarn into elde. 11.060
And thanne was Fortune my foo, for al hir faire biheste, 11.061
And poverte pursued me and putte me lowe. 11.062
And tho fond I the frere afered and flittynge bothe 11.063
Ayeins oure firste forward, for I seide I nolde
Page 120
Be buried at hire hous but at my parisshe chirche 11.065
(For I herde ones how Conscience it tolde 11.066
That there a man were cristned, by kynde he sholde be buryed). 11.067
And for I seide thus to freres, a fool thei me helden, 11.068
And loved me the lasse for my lele speche. 11.069
Ac yet I cryde on my confessour that [so konnyng heeld hymself]. 11.070
“By my feith, frere!’ quod I, ” ye faren lik thise woweris 11.071
That wedde none widwes but for to welden hir goodes. 11.072
Right so, by the roode, roughte ye nevere ‘ 11.073
Where my body were buryed, by so ye hadde my silver! 11.074
Ich have muche merveille of yow, and so hath many another, 11.075
Whi youre covent coveiteth to confesse and to burye 11.076
Rather than to baptize barnes that ben catecumelynges. 11.077
Baptizynge and buryinge bothe beth ful nedefulle; 11.078
Ac muche moore meritorie me thynketh it is to baptize; – 11.079
For a baptized man may, as maistres telleth, . 11.080
Thorugh contricion come to the heighe hevene– 11.081
Sola contricio delet peccatum– 11.081
Ac a barn withouten bapteme may noght so be saved– 11.082
Nisi quis renatus fuerit. 11.082
Loke, ye lettred men, wheither I lye or do noght.’ 11.083
And Lewte tho lo[ugh] on me, for I loured after. 11.084
“Wherfore lourestow?’ quod Lewtee and loked on me harde. 11.085
“If I dorste [amonges men,’ quod I], “this metels avowe!’ 11.086
” Yis, by Peter and by Poul!’ quod he, ” and take hem bothe to witnesse: 11.087
Non oderis fratres secrete in corde tuo set publice argue illos.’ 11.088
“They wole aleggen also,’ quod I, ” and by the Gospel preven: 11.089
Nolite iudicure quemquam. 11.090
“And wherof serveth lawe,’ quod Lewtee, if no lif undertoke it– 11.091
Falsnesse ne faiterie? For somwhat the Apostle seide 11.092
Non oderis fratrem. 11.093
And in the Sauter also seith David the prophete 11.094
95 Existimasti inique quod ero tui similis &c. 11.094
It is licitum for lewed men to [l]egge the sothe 11.095
If hem liketh and lest–ech a lawe it graunteth’. 11.096
Except persons and preestes and prelates of Holy Chirche: 11.097
It falleth noght for that folk no tales to telle– 11.098
Though the tale were trewe–and it touched synne. 11.100
“Thyng that al the world woot, wherfore sholdestow spare 11.101
To reden it in retorik to arate dedly synne? 11.102
Ac be neveremoore the firste the defaute to blame; 11.103
Though thow se yvel, seye it noght first–be sory it nere amended. 11.104
No thyng that is pryve, publice thow it nevere;- 11.105
Neither for love laude it noght, ne lakke it For envye: 11.106
Parum lauda; vitupero parcius.’ 11.106
” He seith sooth,’ quod Scripture tho, and skipte an heigh and preched; 11.107
Ac the matere that she meved, if lewed men it knewe, 11.108
The lasse, as I leve, lovyen thei wolde 11.109
The bileve o[f Oure] Lord that lettred men techeth. 11.110
This was hir teme and hir text–I took ful good hede: 11.111
“Multi to a mangerie and to the mete were sompned; 11.112
And whan the peple was plener comen, the porter unpynned the yate 11.113
And plukked in Pauci pryveliche and leet the remenaunt go rome.’ 11.114
Al for tene of hir text trembled myn herte, 11.115
And in a weer gan I wexe, and with myself to dispute 11.116
Wheither I were chose or noght chose; on Holy Chirche I thoughte,
Page 122
That underfeng me atte font for oon of Goddes chosene. 11.118
For Crist cleped us alle, come if we wolde– 11.119
Sarsens and scismatikes, and so he dide the Jewes: 11.120
0 vos omnes sicientes, venite &c; 11.120
And bad hem souke for synne sa[l]ve at his breste. 11.121
And drynke boote for bale, brouke it whoso myghte. 11.122
“Thanne may alle Cristene come,’ quod I, -and cleyme there entree 11.123
By the blood that he boughte us with and thorugh bapteme after: 11.124
Qui crediderit et baptizatus fuerit &c. 11.124
For though a Cristen man coveited his Cristendom to reneye, 11.125
Rightfully to reneye no reson it wolde. 11.126
” For may no cherl chartre make, ne his c[h]atel selle 11.127
Withouten leve of his lord–no lawe wol it graunte. 11.128
Ac he may renne in arerage and rome fro home, 11.129
And as a reneyed caytif recchelesly aboute. 11.130
Ac Reson shal rekene with hym and rebuken hym at the laste, 11.131
And Conscience acounte with hym and casten hym in arerage, 11.132
And putten hym after in prison in purgatorie to brenne, 11.133
For his arerages rewarden hym there right to the day of dome, 11.134
But if Contricion wol come and crye by his lyve 11.135
Mercy for hise mysdedes with mouthe or with herte.’ 11.136
” That is sooth,’ seide Scripture; ” may no synne lette 11.137
Mercy al to amende, and mekenesse hir folwe; 11.138
For thei beth, as oure bokes telleth, above Goddes werkes: – 11.139
Misericordia eius super omnia opera eius.’ 11.139
“Ye, baw for bokes!’ quod oon was broken out ofhelle. 11.140
” I Troianus, a trewe knyght, take witnesse at a pope 11.141
How I was ded and dampned to dwellen in pyne ‘
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For an uncristene creature; clerkes wite the sothe– 11.143
That al the clergie under Crist ne myghte me cracche fro helle 11.144
But oonliche love and leautee and my laweful domes. 11.145
“Gregorie wiste this wel, and wilned to my soule 11.146
Savacion for soothnesse that he seigh in my werkes. 11.147
And after that he wepte and wilned me were graunted grace, 11.148
Withouten any bede biddyng his boone was underfongen, 11.149
And I saved, as ye may see, withouten syngynge of masses, 11.150
By love and by lernyng of my lyvynge in truthe, 11.151
Broughte me fro bitter peyne ther no biddyng myghte 11.152
” Lo! ye lordes, what leautee dide by an Emperour of Home 11.153
That was an uncristene creature, as clerkes fyndeth in bokes. 11.154
Nought thorugh preiere of a pope but for his pure truthe 11.155
Was that Sarsen saved, as Seint Gregorie bereth witnesse. 11.156
Wel oughte ye lordes that lawes kepe this lesson to have in mynde, 11.157
And on Troianus truthe to thenke; and do truthe to the peple. 11.158
“This matere is merk for many of yow–ac, men of Holy Chirche, 11.159
The Legend[a] Sanctorum yow lereth more largere than I yow telle. 11.160
Ac thus leel love and lyvyng in truthe 11.161
Pulte out of pyne a paynym of Rome. 11.162
Yblissed be truthe that so brak helle yates 11.163
And saved the Sarsyn from Sathanas and his power, 11.164
Ther no clergie ne kouthe, ne konnyng of lawes! 11.165
Love and leautee is a lell science, 11.166
For that is the book blissed of blisse and of joye: 11.167
God wroughte it and wroot it with his owene fynger 11.168
And took it to Moises upon the mount, alle men to lere. 11.169
“Lawe withouten love,’ quod Troianus, “ley ther a bene– 11.170
Or any science under sonne, the seven arts and alle!
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–But thei ben lerned for Oure Lordes love, lost is al the tyme, 11.172
For no cause to cacche silver therby, ne to be called a maister, 11.173
But al for love of Oure Lord and the bet to love the peple. 11.174
“For Seint Johan seide it, and sothe arn hise wordes: 11.175
Qui non diligit manet in morte. 11.175
Whoso loveth noght, leve me, he lyveth in deeth deyinge; 11.176
And that alle manere men, enemyes and frendes, 11.177
Love hir eyther oother, and lene hem as hemselve. 11.178
Whoso leneth noght, he loveth noght, Oure Lord woot the sothe 11.179
And comaundeth ech creature to conformen hym to lovye – 11.180
His neighebour as hymselve and hise enemyes after. 11.181
For hem that haten us is oure merite to lovye, 11.182
And sovereynly povere peple to plese–hir preieres maye us helpe. 11.183
For oure joy and oure [ju]ele, Jesu Crist of hevene, 11.184
In a povere mannes apparaille pursueth us evere, 11.185
And loketh on us in hir liknesse and that with lovely chere, 11.186
To knowen us by oure kynde herte and castynge of oure eighen, 11.187
Wheither we love the lordes here bifore the Lord of blis 11.188
And exciteth us by the Evangelie that whan we maken festes, 11.189
We sholde noght clepe oure kyn therto, ne none kynnes riche: 11.190
Cum facitis conviva, nolite invitare amicos. 11.190
“”Ac calleth the carefulle therto, the croked and the povere; 11.191
For youre frendes wol feden yow, and founde yow to quyte 11.192
Youre festynge and youre faire yifte–ech frend quyteth so oother. 11.193
Ac for the povere I shal paie, and pure wel quyte hir travaille 11.194
That yyveth hem mete or moneie and loveth hem for my sake.’
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“Almighty God myghte ha[ve] maad riche alle men, if he wolde, 11.196
Ac for the beste ben som riche and some beggeres and povere. 11.197
For alle arc we Cristes creatures, and of his cofres riche, 11.198
And bretheren as of oo blood, as wel beggeres as erles. 11.199
For at Calvarie of Cristes blood Cristendom gan sprynge, 11.200
And blody bretheren we bicome there, of o body ywonne, 11.201
As quasi modo geniti gentil men echone– 11.202
No beggere ne boye amonges us but if it synne made. 11.203
Quifacit peccatum servus est peccati. 11.203
ln the olde lawe, as the lettre telleth, “mennes sones” men called us, 11.204
Of Adames issue and Eve, ay til God-Man deide; 11.205
And after his resurexcion Redemptor was his name. 11.206
And we hise bretheren thorugh hym ybought, bothe riche and povere. 11.207
Forthi love we as leve children shal, and ech man laughe of oother, 11.208
And of that ech man may forbere, amende there it neaeth, 11.209
And every man helpe oother–for hennes shul we alle: 11.210
Alter alterius onera portate. 11.210
And be we noght unkynde of oure catel, ne of oure konnyng neither, 11.211
For woot no man how neigh it is to ben ynome fro bothe. 11.212
Forthi lakke no lif oother, though he moore Latyn knowe, 11.213
Ne undernyme noght foule, for is noon withoute defaute. 11.214
For whatevere clerkes carpe of Cristendom or ellis, 11.215
Crist to a commune womman seide in commune at a feste 11.216
That Fides sua sholde saven hire and salven hire of synnes. 11.217
“Thanne is bileve a lele help, above logyk or lawe. 11.218
Of logyk ne of lawe in Legendo Sanctorum 11.219
Is litel alowaunce maad, but if bileve hem helpe; 11.220
For it is overlonge er logyk any lesson assoille, 11.221
And lawe is looth to lovye but if he lacche silver. 11.222
Bothe logyk and lawe, that loveth noght to lye, 11.223
I conseille alle Cristene, clyve noght theron to soore, 11.224
For some wordes I fynde writen, were of Feithes techyng, 11.225
That saved synful men, as Seint Johan bereth witnesse: 11.226
Eadem mensura qua mensifueritis remecietur vobis. 11.226
Forthi lerne we the lawe of love as Oure Lord taughte; 11.227
And as Seint Gregorie seide, for mannes soule heIthe, 11.228
Melius est scrutari scelera nostra quam naturas rerum. 11.229
“Why I meve this matere is moost for the povere; 11.230
For in hir liknesse Oure Lord ofte hath ben yknowe. 11.231
Witnesse in the Pask wyke whan he yede to Emaus– 11.232
Cleophas ne knew hym noght, that he Crist were, 11.233
For his povere apparaille and pilgrymes wedes, 11.234
Til he blessede and brak the breed that thei eten. 11.235
So bi hise werkes thei wisten that he was Jesus, 11.236
Ac by clothyng thei knewe hym noght, ne by carpynge of tonge. 11.237
And al was ensample, for sooth, to us synfulle here, 11.238
That we sholde be lowe and loveliche of speche, 11.239
And apparaille us noght over proudly–for pilgrymes are we alle. 11.240
And in the apparaille of a povere man and pilgrymes liknesse 11.241
Many tyme God hath ben met among nedy peple, 11.242
Ther nevere segge hym seigh in secte of the riche. 11.243
“Seint Johan and othere seintes were seyen in poore clothyng, 11.244
And as povere pilgrymes preyed mennes goodes. 11.245
Jesu Crist on a Jewes doghter lighte: gentil womman though she were, 11.246
Was a pure povere maide and to a povere man ywedded. 11.247
“Martha on Marie Maudelayne an huge pleynt she made,
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And to Oure Saveour self seide thise wordes: 11.249
Domine, non est tibi cure quod soror mea reliquit me solam ministrare ? 11.250
And hastily God answerde, and eitheres wille ful [wel lo]wed, 11.251
Bothe Marthaes and Maries, as Mathew bereth witnesse; 11.252
Ac poverte God putte bifore, and preised it the bettre: 11.253
Maria optimam partem elegit, que non auferetur ab ea. 11.253
“And alle the wise that evere were, by aught I kan aspye, 11.254
Preisen poverte for best Iif. if Facience it folwe, 11.255
And bothe bettre and blesseder by many fold than Richesse. 11.256
Although it be sour to suffre, ther cometh swete after; 11.257
As on a walnote–withoute is a bitter barke, 11.258
And after that bitter bark, be the shelle aweye, 11.259
is a kernel of confort kynde to restore. 11.260
So is after poverte or penaunce paciently ytake, 11.261
Maketh a man to have mynde in God and a gret wille 11.262
To wepe and to wel bidde, wherof wexeth mercy, 11.263
Of which Crist is a kernell to conforte the soule. 11.264
And wel sikerer he slepeth, the segge that is povere, 11.265
And lasse he dredeth deeth and in derke to ben yrobbed 11.266
Than he that is right riche–Reson bereth witnesse: 11.267
Pauper ego ludo dum tu dives meditaris. 11.267
“Although Salomon seide, as folk seeth in the Bible, 11.268
Divicias nec paupertates &c, 11.268
Wiser than Salomon was bereth witnesse and taughte 11.270
That parfit poverte was no possession to have, 11.271
And lif moost likynge to God, as Luc bereth witnesse: 11.272
Si vis perfectusesse, vade et vende &c–
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And is to mene to men that on this moolde lyven, 11.273
Whoso wole he pure parfit moot possession forsake. 11.274
Or selle it, as seith the Book. and the silver dele 11.275
To beggeris that goon and begge and bidden good for Goddes love. 11.276
For failed nevere man mete that myghtful God serveth, 11.277
As David seith in the Sauter; to swiche that ben in wille 11.278
To serve God goodliche, ne greveth hym no penaunce– 11.279
Nichil inpossibile volenti– 11.279
Ne lakketh nevere liflode, lynnen ne wollen: 11.280
*Iuquirentes autem Dominum non minuentur omni bono. 11.280
“If preestes weren wise, thei wolde no silver take 11.281
For masses ne for matyns, noght hir mete of usureres, 11.282
Ne neither kirtel ne cote, theigh thei for cold sholde deye, 11.283
And thei hir devoir dide, as David seith in the Sauter: 11.284
Iudica me, Deus, et discerne causam meam. 11.284
“Spera in Deo speketh of preestes that have no spendyng silver 11.285
That if thei travaille truweliche and truste in God almyghty, 11.286
Hem sholde lakke no liflode, neyther lynnen ne wollen. 11.287
And the title that ye take ordres by telleth ye ben avaunced; 11.288
Thanne nedeth yow noght to [nyme] silver for masses that ye syngen. 11.289
For he that took yow youre title sholde take yow youre wages, 11.290
Or the bisshop that blessed yow, if that ye ben worthi. 11.291
“For made nevere kyng no knyght but he hadde catel to spende 11.292
As bifel for a knyght, or foond hym for his strengthe. 11.293
It is a careful knyght, and of a caytif kynges makyng, 11.294
That hath no lond ne lynage riche ne good loos of hise handes. 11.295
The same I segge for sothe by a1le swiche preestes 11.296
That han neither konnynge ne kyn, but a crowne one 11.297
And a title, a tale of noght, to his liflode at meschief.
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He hath moore bileve, as I leve, to lacche thorugh his croune 11.299
Cure than for konnynge or “knowen for clene of berynge.’ 11.300
I Have wonder for why and wherfore the bisshop 11.301
Maketh swiche preestes, that lewed men bitrayen ! 11.302
“A chartre is chalangeable bifore a chief justice: 11.303
If fals Latyn be in that lettre, the lawe it impugneth, 11.304
Or peynted parentrelynarie, parcelles overskipped. 11.305
The gome that gloseth so chartres for a goky is holden. 11.306
“So is it a goky, by God! that in his gospel failleth 11.307
Or in masse or in matyns maketh any defaute: 11.308
Qui offendit in uno, in omnibus est reus. 11.308
And also in the Sauter seith David to overskipperis, 11.309
PsalliteDeonostro,psallite;quoniamrex terrae Deus Israel, psallite sapienter. 11.310
“The bisshop shal be blamed bifore God, as I leve, 11.311
That crouneth swiche Goddes knyghtes that konneth noght sapienter 11.312
Synge, ne psalmes rede, ne seye a masse of the day. 11.313
Ac never neither is blamelees, the bisshop ne the chapeleyn; 11.314
For hir either is endited, and that of “Ignorancia 11.315
Non excusat episcopos nec ydiotes preestes.’ 11.316
“This lokynge on lewed preestes hath doon me lepe from poverte– 11.317
The which I preise, ther pacience is, moore parfit than richesse.’ 11.318
Ac muche moore in metynge thus with me gan oon dispute– 11.319
And slepynge I seigh al this; and sithen cam Kynde 11.320
And nempned me by my name, and bad me nymen hede, 11.321
And thorugh the wondres of this world wit for to take. 11.322
And en a mountaigne that Myddelerthe highte, as me tho thoughte, 11.323
I was fet forth by ensaumples to knowe,
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Thorugh ech a creature, Kynde my creatour to lovye. 11.325
I seigh the sonne and the see and the sond after, 11.326
And where that briddes and beestes by hir make thei yeden, 11.327
Wilde wormes in wodes, and wonderful foweles 11.328
With fleckede fetheres and of fele colours. 11.329
Man and his make I myghte se bothe; 11.330
Pverte and plentee, both pees and werre, 11.331
Blisse and bale — bothe I seigh at ones, 11.332
And how men token Mede and Mercy refused. 11.333
Reson I seigh soothly sewen all beestes 11.334
In etynge, in drynkynge and in engendrynge of kynde. 11.335
And after cours of concepcion noon toke kepe of oother 11.336
As whan thei hadde ryde in rotey tume; anoonright therafter 11.337
Males drowen hem to males amornynge by hemselve, 11.338
And [femelles to femelles ferded and drowe]. 11.339
Ther ne was cow ne cowkynde that conceyved hadde 11.340
That wolde belwe after bole, ne boor after sowe. 11.341
Both hors and houndes and alle othere beestes 11.342
Medled noght with hir makes that [mid] fole were. 11.343
Briddes I biheld that in buskes made nestes; 11.344
Hadde nevere wye wit to werche the leese. 11.345
I hadde wonder at whom and wher the pye 11.346
Lerned to legge the stikkes in which she leyeth and bredeth. 11.347
Ther nys wrighte, as I wene, sholde werche hir nest to paye; 11.348
If any mason made a molde therto, muche wonder it were. 11.349
And yet me merveilled moore: many othere briddes 11.350
Hidden and hileden hir egges ful derne 11.351
In mareys and moores for men sholde hem noght fynde, 11.352
And hidden hir egges whan thei therfro wente, 11.353
For fere of othere foweles and for wilde beestes. 11.354
And some troden hir makes and on trees bredden
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And broughten forth hir briddes so al above the grounde. 11.356
And some briddes at the bile thorugh brethyng conceyved, 11.357
And some caukede; I took kepe how pecokkes bredden. 11.358
Muche merveilled me what maister thei hadde, 11.359
And who taughte hem on trees to tymbre so heighe 11.360
That neither burn ne beest may hir briddes rechen. 11.361
And sithen I loked on the see and so forth on the sterres; 11.362
Manye selkouthes I seigh, ben noght to seye nouthe. 11.363
I seigh floures in the fryth and hir faire colours, 11.364
And how among the grene gras growed so manye hewes, 11.365
And some soure and some swete–selkouth me thoughte. 11.366
Of hir kynde and hir colour to carpe it were to longe. 11.367
Ac that moost meved me and my mood chaunged– 11.368
That Reson rewarded and ruled alle beestes 11.369
Save man and his make: many tyme and ofte 11.370
No Reson hem folwede, [neither riche ne povere]. 11.371
And thanne I rebukede Reson, and right til hymselven I seyde. 11.372
“I have wonder of thee, that witty art holden, 11.373
Why thow ne sewest man and his make, that no mysfeet hem folwe.’ 11.374
And Reson arated me, and seide, “Recche thee nevere 11.375
Why I suffre or noght suffre–thiself hast noght to doone. 11.376
Amende thow it if thow myght, for my tyme is to abide. 11.377
Suffraunce is a soverayn vertue, and a swift vengeaunce. 11.378
Who suffreth moore than God?’ quod he; “no gome, as I leeve. 11.379
He myghte amende in a minute while al that mysstandeth, 11.380
Ac he suffreth for som mannes goode, ad so is oure bettre.
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” Holy Writ,’ quod that wye, “wisseth men to suffre: 11.382
Propter Deum subiecti estote omni creature. 11.382
Frenche men and fre men affaiteth thus hire children: 11.383
Bele vertue est suffraunce; mal dire est petite vengeance. 11.383
Bien dire et bien suffrir fait lui suffrant a bien venir. 11.383
Forthi I rede,’ quod Reson, “thow rule thi tonge bettre, 11.385
And er thow lakke my lif, loke if thow be to preise. 11.386
For is no creature under Crist can formen hymselven, 11.387
And if a man myghte make hymself good, 11.388
Ech a lif wolde be laklees–leeve thow non other. 11.389
Ne thow shalt fynde but fewe fayne for to here 11.390
Of here defautes foule bifore hem reherced. 11.391
“The wise and the witty wroot thus in the Bible:- 11.392
De re que te non molestat noli certare. 11.393
For be a man fair or foul. it falleth noght to lakke 11.394
The shap ne the shaft that God shoop hymselve; 11.395
For al that he wrought was wel ydo, as Holy Writ witnesseth: 11.396
Et vidit Deus cuncta que fecerat, et erant valde bona. 11.396
And bad every creature in his kynde encreesse, 11.397
Al to murthe with man that moste wo tholie 11.398
In fondynge of the flessh and of the fend bothe. 11.399
For man was maad of swich a matere he may noght wel asterte 11.400
That som tyme hym bitit to folwen his kynde. 11.401
Caton acordeth therwith–Nemo sine crimine vivit!’ 11.402
Tho caughte I colour anoon and comsed to ben ashamed,
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And awaked therwith. Wo was me thanne 11.404
That I in metels ne myghte moore have yknowen. 11.405
And thanne seide I to myself, and [sherewe]de that tyme, 11.406
“Now I woot what Dowel is,’ quod l, ” by deere God, as me thynketh!’ 11.407
And as I caste up myne eighen, oon loked on me and asked 11.408
Of me, what thyng it were? ” Ywis, sire,’ I seyde, 11.409
“To se muche and suffre moore, certes,’ quod 1, “is Dowel.’ 11.410
“Haddestow suffred,’ he seide, “slepynge tho thow were. 11.411
Thow sholdest have knowen that Clergie kan and conceyved moore thorugh Reson- 11.412
For Reson wolde have reherced thee right as Clergie seide. 11.413
Ac for thyn entremetynge here artow forsake: 11.414
Philosophus esses, si tacuisses. 11.414
“Adam, whiles he spak noght, hadde paradis at wille; 11.415
Ac whan he mamelede aboute mete and entremeted to knowe 11.416
The wisedom and the wit of God, he was put fram blisse. 11.417
And right so ferde Reson bi thee–thow with thi rude spec 11.418
Lakkedest and losedest thyng that longed noght to doone. 11.419
Tho hadde he no likyng for to lere the moore. 11.420
” Pryde now and presumpcion paraventure wol thee appele, 11.421
That Clergie thi compaignye ne kepeth noght to suwe. 11.422
For shal nevere chalangynge ne chidynge chaste a man so soone 11.423
As shal shame, and shenden hym, and shape hym to amende. 11.424
For lat a dronken daffe in a dyk falle, 11.425
Lat hym ligge, loke noght on hym til hym liste aryse. 11.426
For though Reson rebuked hym thanne, reccheth he nevere; 11.427
Of Clergie ne of his counseil he counteth noght a risshe. 11.428
[To blame] or for to bete hym thanne, it were but pure synne.
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Ac whan nede nymeth hym up, for doute leste he [ne] sterve, 11.430
And shame shrapeth hise clothes and hise shynes wassheth, 11.431
Thanne woot the dronken daffe wherfore he is to blame.’ 11.432
“Ye siggen sooth, by my soule,’ quod l, “lch have yseyen it ofte. 11.433
Ther smyt no thyng so smerte, ne smelleth so foule 11.434
As shame, there he sheweth hym–for ech man shonyeth his felaweshipe. 11.435
Why ye wisse me thus,’ quod l, “was for I rebuked Reson.’ 11.436
“Certes,’ quod he, “that is sooth,’ and shoop hym for to wal n. 11.437
And I aroos up right with that and [raughte] hym after, 11.438
And preyde hym [if his wille were, he wolde] telle me his name. 11.439
Passus 12
” I am Ymaginatif,’ quod he, “ydel was I nevere, 12.001
Though I sitte by myself, in siknesse nor in helthe. 12.002
I have folwed thee, in feith, thise fyve and fo 12.003
And manye tymes have meved thee to [mlyn[n]e on thyn ende, 12.004
And how fele fernyeres are faren, and so fewe to come: 12.005
And of thi wilde wantownesse [whan] thow yong were, 12.006
To amende it in thi myddel age, lest myght the faille 12.007
In thyn olde elde, that yvele kan suffre 12.008
Poverte or penaunce, or preyeres bidde: 12.009
Si non in prima vigilia nec in secunda &c.
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“Amende thee while thow myght; thow hast ben warned ofte 12.010
With poustees of pestilences, with poverte and with angres– 12.011
And with thise bittre baleises God beteth his deere children: 12.012
Quem diligo, castiga. 12.012
And David in the Sauter seith, of swiche that loveth Jesus, 12.013
“” Virga tua et baculus tuus, ipsa me consolata sunt. 12.013
Although thow strike me with thi staf, with stikke or with yerde, 12.014
It is but murthe as for me to amende my soule.” 12.015
And thow medlest thee with makynges–and myghtest go seye thi Sauter, 12.016
And bidde for hem that yyveth thee breed; for ther are bokes ynowe 12.017
To telle men what Dowel is, Dobet and Dobest bothe, 12.018
And prechours to preve what it is, of many a peire freres.’ 12.019
I seigh wel he seide me sooth and, somwhat me to excuse, 12.020
Seide, “Caton conforted his sone that, clerk though he were, 12.021
To solacen hym som tyme–a[lso] I do whan I make: 12.022
Interpone tuis interdum gaudia curis. 12.022
“And of holy men I herde,’ quod l, “how thei outherwhile 12.023
Pleyden, the parfiter to ben, in [places manye]. 12.024
Ac if ther were any wight that wolde me telle 12.025
What were Dowel and Dobet and Dobest at the laste, 12.026
Wolde I nevere do werk, but wende to holi chirche 12.027
And there bidde my bedes but whan ich ete or slepe.’ 12.028
“Poul in his pistle,’ quod he, “preveth what is Dowel: 12.029
Fides, spes, caritas, et maior horum &c– 12.029
Feith, hope and charitee, and alle ben goode, 12.030
And saven men sondry tymes, ac noon so soone as charite. 12.031
For he dooth wel, withouten doute, that dooth as lewte techeth; 12.032
That is, if thow be man maryed, thi make thow lovye, 12.033
And lyve forth as lawe wole while ye lyven bothe. 12.034
” Right so, if thow be religious, ren thow nevere ferther 12.035
To Rome ne to Rochemador, but as thi rule techeth,
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And holde thee under obedience, that heigh wey is to hevene. 12.037
“And if thow be maiden to marye, and myght wel continue, 12.038
Seke thow nevere seint ferther for no soule helthe! 12.039
For what made Lucifer to lese the heighe hevene, 12.040
Or Salomon his sapience, or Sampson his strengthe? 12.041
job the Jew his joye deere he it aboughte; 12.042
Aristotle and othere mo, Ypocras and Virgile, 12.043
Alisaundre that al wan, elengliche ended. 12.044
Catel and kynde wit was combraunce to hem alle. 12.045
” Felice hir fairnesse fel hire al to sclaundre, 12.046
And Rosamounde right so reufulliche bisette 12.047
The beaute of hir body; in baddenesse she despended. 12.048
Of manye swiche I may rede–of men and or wommen– 12.049
That wise wordes wolde shewe and werche the contrarie: 12.050
Sunt hamines nequam bene de virtute loquentes. 12.050
“And riche renkes right so gaderen and sparen, 12.051
And tho men that thei moost haten mynistren it at the laste; 12.052
And for thei suffren and see so manye nedy folkes 12.053
And love hem noght as Oure Lord bit, lesen hir soules: 12.054
Date et dabitur vobis. 12.054
So catel and kynde wit acombreth ful manye; 12.055
Wo is hym that hem weldeth but he hem wel despende: 12.056
Scient [es] et nan facient [es] variis flagellis vapulab[un]t. 12.057
Sapience, seith the Bok, swelleth a mannes soule: 12.057
Sapiencia inflat &c. 12.057
And richesse right so, but if the roote be trewe. 12.058
“Ac grace is a gras therfore, tho grevaunces to abate. 12.059
Ac grace ne groweth noght but amonges [gomes] lowe: 12.060
Paciwnce and poverte the place is ther groweth,
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And in lele lyvynge men and in lif holy, 12.062
And thorugh the gifte of the Holy Goost, as the Gospel telleth: 12.063
Spiritus ubi vult spirat. 12.063
“Clergie and kynde wit cometh of sighte and techyng, 12.064
As the Book bereth witnesse to burnes that kan rede: 12.065
Quad scimus ioquimur, quod vidimus testamur. 12.065
Of quod scimus cometh clergie, a konnynge of hevene, 12.066
And of quad vidimus cometh kynde wit, of sighte of diverse peple. 12.067
Ac grace is a gifte of God, and of greet love spryngeth; 12.068
Knew nevere clerk how it cometh forth, ne kynde wit the weyes: 12.069
Nescit aliquis unde venit aut quo vadit &c. 12.069
“Ac yet is clergie to comende, and kynde wit bothe, 12.070
And namely clergie for Cristes love, that of clergie is roote. 12.071
For Moyses witnesseth that God wroot for to wisse the peple 12.072
ln the Olde Lawe, as the lettre telleth, that was the lawe of Jewes, 12.073
That what womman were in avoutrye taken, were she riche or poore, 12.074
With stones men sholde hir strike. and stone hire to dethe. 12.075
A womman, as we fynden, was gilty of that dede; 12.076
Ac Crist of his curteisie thorugh clergie hir saved. 12.077
For thorugh caractes that Crist wroot, the Jewes knewe hemselve 12.078
Giltier as afore God and gretter in synne 12.079
Than the womman that there was, and wenten awey for shame. 12.080
The clergie that there was conforted the womman. 12.081
Holy Kirke knoweth this–that Cristes writyng saved; 12.082
So clergie is confort to creatures that repenten, 12.083
And to mansede men meschief at hire ende. 12.084
“For Goddes body myghte noght ben of breed withouten clergie, 12.085
The which body is bothe boote to the rightfulle, 12.086
And deeth and dampnacion to hem that deyeth yvele; 12.087
As Cristes caracte confortede and bothe coupable shewed 12.088
The womman that the Jewes broughte, that Jesus thoughte to save: 12.089
Nolite iudicare et nan iudicabimini. 12.089
Right so Goddes body, bretheren, but it be worthili taken, 12.090
Dampneth us at the day of dome as dide the caractes the Jewes. 12.091
“Forthi I counseille thee for Cristes sake. clergie that thow lovye, 12.092
For kynde wit is of his kyn and neighe cosynes bothe 12.093
To Oure Lord, leve me–forthi love hem, I rede. 12.094
For bothe ben as mirours to amenden oure det-autes, 12.095
And lederes for lewed men and for lettred bothe. 12.096
“Forthi lakke thow nevere logik, lawe ne hise custumes, 12.097
Ne countreplede clerkes–l counseille thee for evere! 12.098
For as a man may noght see that mysseth hise eighen. 12.099
Na moore kan no clerk but if he caughte it first thorugh bokes. 12.100
Although men made bokes, God was the maister, 12.101
And Seint Spirit the samplarie, and seide what men sholde write. 12.102
And right as sight serveth a man to se the heighe strete, 12.103
Right so lereth lettrure lewed men to reson. 12.104
And as a blynd man in bataille bereth wepne to fighte, 12.105
And hath noon hap with his ax his enemy to hitte, 12.106
Na moore kan a kynde witted man, but clerkes hym teche, 12.107
Come, for al his kynde wit, to Cristendom and be saved– 12.108
Which is the cofre of Cristes tresor, and clerkes kepe the keyes, 12.109
To unloken it at hir likyng, and to the lewed peple 12.110
Yyve mercy for hire mysdedes, if men it wole aske 12.111
Buxomliche and benigneliche, and bidden it of grace. 12.112
“Archa Dei in the Olde Lawe, Levites it kepten; 12.113
Hadde nevere lewed man leve to leggen hond on that cheste 12.114
But he were preest or preestes sone, patriark or prophete.
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“Saul, for he sacrificed, sorwe hym bitidde, 12.116
And his sones also for that synne mischeved, 12.117
And manye mo other men that were no Levites, 12.118
That with archa Dei yeden, in reverence and in worship, 12.119
And leiden hond theron to liften it up–and loren hir lif after. 12.120
“Forthi I conseille alle creatures no clergie to dispise, 12.121
Ne sette short by hir science, whatso thei don hemselve. 12.122
Take we hir wordes at worth, for hire witnesses be trewe, 12.123
And medle we noght muche with hem to meven any wrathe, 12.124
Lest cheste cha[f]en us to choppe ech man other: 12.125
Nolite tangere christos meos &c. 12.125
” For clergie is kepere under Crist of hevene; 12.126
[Com] ther nevere no knyght but clergie hym made. 12.127
Ac kynde wit cometh of alle kynnes sightes– 12.128
Of briddes and of beestes, [of blisse and of sorwe], 12.129
Of tastes of truthe and [oft] of deceites. 12.130
“[Olde] lyveris toforn us useden to marke 12.131
The selkouthes that thei seighen, hir sones for to teche, 12.132
And helden it an heigh science hir wittes to knowe. 12.133
Ac thorugh hir science soothly was nevere no soule ysaved, 12.134
Ne broght by hir bokes to blisse ne to joye; 12.135
For alle hir kynde knowyng com but of diverse sightes. 12.136
” Patriarkes and prophetes repreveden hir science, 12.137
And seiden hir wordes ne hir wisdomes was but a folye; 12.138
As to the clergie of Crist, counted it but a trufle: 12.139
Sapiencia huius mundi stultitia est apud Deum.
Page 140
“For the heighe Holy Goost hevene shal tocleve, 12.140
And love shal lepe out after into this lowe erthe, 12.141
And clennesse shal cacchen it and clerkes shullen it fynde: 12.142
Pastores laquebantur ad invicem. 12.142
” He speketh there of riche men right noght, ne of right witty, 12.143
Ne of lordes that were lewed men, but of the hyeste lettred oute: 12.144
Ibant magi ab oriente. 12.145
(If any frere were founde there, I yyve thee fyve shillynges!) 12.146
Ne in none beggers cote was that barn born, 12.147
But in a burgeises place, of Bethlem the beste: 12.148
Sed non erat ei locus in diversorio–et pauper nan habet diversorium. 12.148
“To pastours and to poetes appered the aungel, 12.149
And bad hem go to Bethlem Goddes burthe to honoure, 12.150
And songe a song of solas, Gloria in excelsis Deo.! 12.151
Riche men rutte tho and in hir reste were, 12.152
Tho it shon to shepherdes, a shewer of blisse. 12.153
Clerkes knewen it wel and comen with hir presents, 12.154
And diden hir homage nurably to hym that was almyghty. 12.155
“Why I have told thee I this–I took ful good hede 12.156
How thow contrariedest lergie with crabbede wordes, 12.157
How that lewed men lightloker than lettrede were saved, 12.158
Than clerkes or kynde witted men, of Cristene peple. 12.159
And thow seidest sooth of somme–ac se in what manere. 12.160
“Tak two stronge men and in Themese cast hem, 12.161
And bothe naked as a nedle, hir noon sikerer than other; 12.162
That oon hath konnynge and kan swymmen and dyven, 12.163
That oother is lewed of that labour, lerned nevere swymme. 12.164
Which trowestow of tho two in Themese is in moost drede– 12.165
He that nevere ne dyved ne noght kan of symmyng 12.166
Or the swymmere that is saff by so hymself like, 12.167
Ther his felawe fleteth forthas the flood liketh,
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And is in drede to drenche, that nevere dide swymme?’ 12.169
“That swymme kan noght,’ I seide, “it semeth to my wittes.’ 12.170
” Right so,’ quod the renk, ” reson it sheweth, 12.171
That he that knoweth clergie kan sonner arise 12.172
Out of synne and be saaf, though he synne ofte, 12.173
If hym liketh and lest, than any lewed, leelly. 12.174
For if the clerk be konnynge, he knoweth what is synne, 12.175
And how contricion withoute confession conforteth the soule, 12.176
As thow seest in the Sauter in salmes oon or tweyne, 12.177
How contricion is comended for it cacheth awey synne: 12.178
Beati quorum remisse sunt iniquitates et quorum tecta sunt pecata. 12.178
And this conforteth ech a clerk and kevereth hym fro wanhope, 12.179
In which flood the fend fondeth a man hardest; 12.180
Ther the lewed lith stille and loketh after Lente, 12.181
And hath no contricion er he come to shrifte–and thanne kan he litel telle, 12.182
But as his loresman lereth hyrn bileveth and troweth, 12.183
And that is after person or parissh preest, and paraventure bothe unkonnynge 12.184
To lere lewed men, as Luc bereth witnesse: 12.185
Dum cecus ducit cecum &c. 12.185
“Wo was hym marked that wade moot with the lewed! 12.186
Wel may the barn blesse that hym to book sette, 12.187
That lyvynge after lettrure saved hym lif and soule. 12.188
Dominus pars hereditatis mee is a murye verset 12.189
That hath take fro Tybourne twenty stronge theves, 12.190
Ther lewed theves ben lolled up–loke how thei be saved! 12.191
“The thef that hadde grace of God on Good Fryday as thow speke,
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Was for he yald hym creaunt to Crist on the cros and knewliched hym gilty, 12.193
And grace asked of God, that to graunten is evere redy 12.194
To hem that buxomliche biddeth it, and ben in wille to amenden hem. 12.195
Ac though that theef hadde hevene, he hadde noon heigh blisse, 12.196
As Seint Johan and othere seintes that deserved hadde bettre. 12.197
Right as som man yeve me mete and sette me amydde the floor: 12.198
I hadde mete moore than ynough. ac noght so muche worshipe 12.199
As tho that seten at the syde table or with the sovereynes of the halle, 12.200
But sete as a beggere bordlees by myself on the grounde. 12.201
So it fareth by that felon that a Good Friday was saved: 12.202
He sit neither with Seint Johan, Symond ne Jude, 12.203
Ne with maydenes ne with martires ne confessours ne wydewes, 12.204
But by hymself as a soleyn, and served on the erthe. 12.205
For he that is ones a thef is everemoore in daunger, 12.206
And as lawe liketh to lyve or to deye: 12.207
De peccato propiciato noli esse sine metu. 12.207
And for to serven a seint and swich a thef togideres– 12.208
It were neither reson ne right to rewarde both yliche. 12.209
“And right as Troianus the trewe knyght tilde noght depe in helle 12.210
That Oure Lord ne hadde hym lightly out, so leve I [by] the thef in hevene: 12.211
For he is in the loweste of hevene, if oure bileve be trewe,
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And wel losely he lolleth there, by the lawe of Holy Chirche, 12.213
Quia reddit uicuiqae iuxta opera sua. 12.213
“Ac why that oon theef on the cros creaunt hym yald 12.214
Rather than that oother theef, though thow woldest appose, 12.215
Alle the clerkes under Crist ne kouthe the skile assoille: 12.216
Quare placuit ? Quia voluit. 12.216
And so I seye by thee, that sekest after the whyes, – 12.217
And aresonedest Reson, a rebukynge as it were, 12.218
And willest of briddes and of beestes and of hir bredyng knowe, 12.219
Why some be alough and some aloft, thi likyng it were; 12.220
And of the floures in the fryth and of hire faire hewes– 12.221
Wherof thei cacche hir colours so clere and so brighte, 12.222
And of the stones and of the sterres–thow studiest, as I leve, 12.223
How evere beest outher brid hath so breme wittes . . . 12.224
“Clergie ne Kynde Wit ne knew nevere the cause, 12.225
Ac Kynde knoweth the cause hymself and no creature ellis. 12.226
He is the pies patron and putteth it in hir ere 12.227
That there the thorn is thikkest to buylden and brede. 12.228
And Kynde kenned the pecok to cauken in swich a kynde, 12.229
And Kynde kenned Adam to knowe his pryve membres, 12.230
And taughte hym and Eve to helien hem with leves. 12.231
” Lewed men many tymes maistres thei apposen, . 12.232
Whi Adam ne hiled noght first his mouth that eet the appul, 12.233
Rather than his likame alogh?–lewed asken thus clerkes. 12.234
Kynde knoweth whi he dide so, ac no clerk ellis! 12.235
“Ac of briddes and of beestes men by olde tyme 12.236
Ensamples token and termes, as telleth thise poetes, 12.237
And that the faireste fowel foulest engendreth, 12.238
And feblest fowel of flight is that fleeth or swymmeth. 12.239
And that is the pecok and the pehen–proude riche men thei bitokneth 12.240
For the pecok and men pursue hym may noght flee heighe:
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For the trailynge of his tail overtaken is he soone. 12.242
And his flessh is foul flessh, and his feet bothe, 12.243
And unlovelich of ledene and looth for to here. 12.244
“Right so the riche, if he his richesse kepe 12.245
And deleth it noght til his deeth day, the tail of alle is sorwe. 12.246
Right as the pennes of the pecok peyneth hym in his flight, 12.247
So is possession peyne of pens and of nobles 12.248
To alle hem that it holdeth til hir tail be plukked. 12.249
And though the riche repente thanne and birewe the tyme 12.250
That evere he gadered so grete and gaf therof so litel, 12.251
Though he crye to Crist thanne with kene wil, I leve 12.252
His ledene be in Oure Lordes ere lik a pies chiteryng; 12.253
And whan his caroyne shal come in cave to be buryed, 12.254
I leve it flawme ful foule the fold al aboute, 12.255
And alle the othere ther it lith envenymeth thorugh his attre. 12.256
By the po feet is understande, as I have lerned in Avynet, 12.257
Executours–false frendes that fulfille noght his wille 12.258
That was writen, and thei witnesse to werche right as it wolde. 12.259
Thus the poete preveth that the pecok for his fetheres is reverenced; 12.260
Right so is the riche by reson of hise goodes. 12.261
“The larke, that is a lasse fowel, is moore lovelich of ledene, 12.262
And wel awey of wynge swifter than the pecok, 12.263
And of flessh by felefold fatter and swetter; 12.264
To lowe libbynge men the larke is resembled. 12.265
[“Swiche tales he telleth, Aristotle the grete clerk]; 12.266
Thus he likneth in his logik the leeste fowel oute. 12.267
And wheither he be saaf or noght saaf, the sothe woot no clergie, 12.268
Ne of Sortes ne of Salamon no seripture kan telle. 12.269
Ac God is so good, I hope that siththe he gaf hem wittes 12.270
To wissen us wyes therwith, that wisshen to be saved, 12.271
(And the bettre for hir bokes to bidden we ben holden)
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That God for his grace gyve hir soules reste– 12.273
For lettred men were lewed yet, ne were loore of hir bokes.’ 12.274
“Alle thise clerkes,’ quod I tho, “that on Crist leven. 12.275
Seyen in hir sermons that neither Sarsens ne Jewes 12.276
Ne no creature of Cristes liknesse withouten Cristendom worth saved.’ 12.277
” Contra.! quod Ymaginatif thoo,and comsed for to loure, 12.278
And seide, ” Salvabitur vix iustus in die iudicii, 12.279
Ergo–salvabitur!’ quod he, and seide no moore Latyn. 12.280
“Troianus was a trewe knyght and took nevere Cristendom, 12.281
And he is saaf, so seith the book, and his soule in hevene. 12.282
Ac ther is fullynge of font and fullynge in blood shedyng, 12.283
And thorugh fir is fullyng, and that is ferme bileve: 12.284
A hienit ignis divinus, non comburens set illuminans &c. 12.284
“Ac truthe that trespased nevere ne traversed ayeins his lawe, 12.285
But lyveth as his lawe techeth and leveth ther be no bettre, 12.286
(And if ther were, he wolde amende) and in swich wille deieth– 12.287
Ne wolde nevere trewe God but trewe truthe were allowed. 12.288
And wheither it worth or noght worth, the bileve is gret of truthe, 12.289
And an hope hangynge therinne to have a mede for his truthe; 12.290
For Deus dicitur quasi dans vitam eternam suis, hoc est fidelibus. 12.291
Et alibi, Si ambulavero in medio umbre mortis &c.
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The glose graunteth upon that vers a greet mede to truthe. 12.292
And wit and wisdom,’ quod that wye, ” was som tyme tresor 12.293
To kepe with a commune–no catel was holde bettre– 12.294
And muche murthe and manhod’–and right with that he vanysshed. 12.295
Passus 13
And I awaked therwith, witlees nerhande, 13.001
And as a freke that fey were, forth gan I walke 13.002
In manere of a mendynaunt many yer after, 13.003
And of this metyng many tyme muche thought I hadde: 13.004
First how Fortune me failed at my mooste nede, 13.005
And how that Elde manaced me, myghte we evere mete; 13.006
And how that freres folwede folk that was riche, 13.007
And [peple] that was povere at litel pris thei sette, 13.008
And no corps in hir kirkyerd ne in hir kirk was buryed 13.009
But quik he biquethe hem aught or sholde helpe quyte hir dettes; 13.010
And how this coveitise overcom clerkes and preestes; 13.011
And how that lewed men ben lad, but Oure Lord hem helpe, 13.012
Thorugh unkonnynge curatours to incurable peynes; 13.013
And how that Ymaginatif in dremels me tolde 13.014
Of Kynde and of his konnynge, and how curteis he is to bestes, 13.015
And how lovynge he is to bestes on londe and on watre: 13.016
Leneth he no lif lasse ne moore; 13.017
The creatures that crepen of Kynde ben engendred; 13.018
And sithen how Ymaginatif seide, ” Vix iustus salvabitur,’ 13.019
And whan he hadde seid so, how sodeynliche he passed. 13.020
I lay down longe in this thoght, and at the laste I slepte;
Page 147
And as Crist wolde ther com Conscience to conforte me that tyme, 13.022
And bad me come to his court–with Clergie sholde I dyne. 13.023
And for Conscience of Clergie spak, I com wel the rather; 13.024
And there I [merkede] a maister–what man he was I nyste– 13.025
That lowe louted and loveliche to Scripture. 13.026
Conscience knew hym wel and welcomed hym faire; 13.027
Thei wesshen and wipeden and wenten to the dyner. 13.028
Ac Pacience in the paleis stood in pilgrymes clothes, 13.029
And preyde mete par charite for a povere heremyte. 13.030
Conscience called hym in, and curteisliche seide, 13.031
” Welcome, wye, go and wassh; thow shalt sitte soone.’ 13.032
This maister was maad sitte as for the mooste worthi, 13.033
And thanne Clergie and Conscience and Pacience cam after. 13.034
Pacience and I were put to be mettes, 13.035
And seten bi oureselve at a side borde. 13.036
Conscience called after mete, and thanne cam Scripture 13.037
And served hem thus soone of sondry metes manye– 13.038
Of Austyn, of Ambrose, of alle the foure Evaungelistes: 13.039
Ehentes et bibentes que apud eos sunt. 13.039
Ac this maister ne his man no maner flessh eten, 13.040
Ac thei eten mete of moore cost–mortrews and potages: 13.041
Of that men myswonne thei made hem wel at ese. 13.042
Ac hir sauce was over sour and unsavourly grounde 13.043
In a morter, Post mortem, of many bitter peyne– 13.044
But if thei synge for tho soules and wepe salte teris: 13.045
Vos qui peccata hominum comeditis, nisi pro eis lacrimas et 13.045
oraciones effuderitis, ea que in deliciis comeditis, in tormentis evometis. 13.045
Conscience ful curteisly tho commaunded Scripture 13.046
Bifore Pacience breed to brynge and me that was his mette. 13.047
He sette a sour loof toforn us and seide, “Agite penitenciam,’ 13.048
And siththe he drough us drynke: “Dia perseverans–
Page 148
As longe,’ quod he,-“as lif and lycame may dure.’ 13.050
” Here is propre service,’ quod Pacience, “ther fareth no prince bettre!’ 13.051
And he broughte us of Beati quorum of Beatus virres makyng, 13.052
And thanne he broughte us forth a mees of oother mete, of Miserere mei, Deus 13.053
Et quorum tecta sunt peccata 13.053
In a dissh of derne shrifte, Dixi et confitebor tibi. 13.054
“Bryng Pacience som pitaunce,’ pryveliche quod Conseience; 13.055
And thanne hadde Pacience a pitaunce, Pro hac orabit ad te 13.056
omnis sanctus in tempore oportuno. 13.056
And Conseience conforted us, and carped us murye tales: 13.057
Cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies. 13.057
Pacience was proude of that propre service, 13.058
And made hym murthe with his mete; ac I mornede evere, 13.059
For this doctour on the heighe dees drank wyn so faste: 13.060
Ve vobis qui potentes estis ad bibendum vinum ! 13.060
He eet manye sondry metes, mortrews and puddynges, 13.061
Wombe cloutes and wilde brawen and egges yfryed with grece. 13.062
Thanne seide I to myself so Pacience it herde, 13.063
” It is noght foure dayes that this freke, bifore the deen of Poules, 13.064
Preched of penaunces that Paul the Apostle suffrede– 13.065
In fame et frigore and flappes of scourges: 13.066
Ter cesus sum et a Iudeis quinquies quadragenas &c; 13.067
Ac o word thei overhuppen at ech a tyme that thei preche 13.068
That Poul in his Pistle to al the peple tolde– 13.069
Periculum est in falslis fraribus!’
Page 149
(Holi Writ bit men be war–I wol noght write it here 13.070
In Englissh, on aventure it sholde be reherced to ofte 13.071
And greve therwith that goode men ben–ac gramariens shul rede: 13.072
Unusquisque a fratre se custodiat, quia, ut dicitur, 13.072
periculum est in falsis fratribus. 13.072
Ac I wiste nevere freke that as a frere yede bifore men on Englissh 13.073
Taken it for his teme, and telle it withouten glosyng! 13.074
They prechen that penaunce is profitable to the soule, 13.075
And what meschief and maleese Crist for man tholede). 13.076
“Ac this Goddes gloton,’ quod I, “with hise grete chekes, 13.077
Hath no pite on us povere; he parfourneth yvele. 13.078
That he precheth, he preveth noght,’ to Pacience I tolde, 13.079
And wisshed witterly, with wille ful egre, 13.080
That disshes and doublers bifore this doctour 13.081
Were molten leed in his mawe, and Mahoun amyddes! 13.082
“I shal jangle to this jurdan with his juste wombe 13.083
To telle me what penaunce is, of which he preched rather!’ 13.084
Pacience parceyved what I thoughte, and [preynte] on me to be stille, 13.085
And seide, “Thow shalt see thus soone, whan he may na moore, 13.086
He shal have a penaunce in his paunche and puffe at ech a worde, 13.087
And thanne shullen his guttes gothele, and he shal galpen after; 13.088
For now he hath dronken so depe he wole devyne soone 13.089
And preven it by hir Pocalips and passion of Seint Avereys 13.090
That neither bacon ne braun ne blancmanger ne mortrews 13.091
Is neither fissh ne flessh but fode for a penaunt. 13.092
And thanne shal he testifie of a trinite, and take his felawe to witnesse 13.093
What he fond in a f[or]el after a freres lyvyng;
Page 150
And but the first leef be lesyng, leve me nevere after! 13.095
And thanne is tyme to take and to appose this doctour 13.096
Of Dowel and Dobet and if Dobest be any penaunce.’ 13.097
And I sat stille as Pacience seide, and thus soone this doctour, 13.098
As rody as a rose ruddede hise chekes, 13.099
Coughed and carped; and Conscience hym herde, 13.100
And tolde hym of a trinite, and toward us he loked. 13.101
“What is Dowel, sire doctour?’ quod I; “is Dobest any penaunce?’ 13.102
” Dowel?’ quod this doctour–and drank after– 13.103
” Do noon yvel to thyn evencristen–nought by thi power.’ 13.104
“By this day, sire doctour,’ quod I, “thanne [in Dowel be ye noght]! 13.105
For ye han harmed us two in that ye eten the puddyng, 13.106
Mortrews and oother mete–and we no morsel hadde. 13.107
And if ye fare so in youre fermerye, ferly me thynketh 13.108
But cheeste be ther charite sholde be, and yonge children dorste pleyne! 13.109
I wolde permute my penaunce with youre–for I am in point to dowel.’ 13.110
Thanne Conscience ful curteisly a contenaunce he made, 13.111
And preynte upon Pacience to preie me to be stille, 13.112
And seide hymself, “Sire doctour, and it be youre wille, 13.113
What is Dowel and Dobet? Ye dyvynours knoweth.’ 13.114
“Dowel?’ quod this doctour; “do as clerkes techeth; 13.115
And Dobet is he that techeth and travailleth to teche othere; 13.116
And Dobest doth hymself so as he seith and precheth: 13.117
Qui facit et docuerit magnus vocabitur in regno celorum.’ 13.117
“Now thow, Clergie,’ quod Conscience. “carpe us what is Dowel.’ 13.118
” I have sevene sones,’ he seide, “serven in a castel 13.119
Ther the lord of lif wonyeth, to leren hem what is Dowel. 13.120
Til I se tho sevene and myself acorde 13.121
I am unhardy,’ quod he, “to any wight to preven it. 13.122
For oon Piers the Plowman hath impugned us alle, 13.123
And set alle sciences at a sop save love one; 13.124
And no text ne taketh to mayntene his cause
Page 151
But Dilige Deum and Domine quis habitabit; 13.126
And seith that Dowel and Dobet arn two infinites, 13.127
Whiche infinites with a feith fynden out Dobest, 13.128
Which shal save mannes soule–thus seith Piers the Plowman.’ 13.129
” I kan noght heron,’ quod Conscience, “ac I knowe wel Piers. 13.130
He wol noght ayein Holy Writ speken, I dar x el undertake. 13.131
Thanne passe we over til Piers come and preve this in dede. 13.132
Pacience hath be in many place, and paraunter knoweth 13.133
That no clerk ne kan, as Crist bereth witnesse: 13.134
Pacientes vincunt &c.’ 13.134
“At youre preiere,’ quod Pacience tho, “so no man displese hym: 13.135
Disce,’ quod he, ” doce; dilige inimicos. 13.136
Disce, and Dowel; doce, and Dobet; 13.137
Dilige, and Dobest–[do] thus taughte me ones 13.138
A lemman that I lovede–Love was hir name. 13.139
“”With wordes and with werkes,” quod she, “and wil of thyn herte 13.140
Thow love leelly thi soule al thi lif tyme. 13.141
And so thow lere the to lovye, for the Lordes love of hevene, 13.142
Thyn enemy in alle wise eveneforth with thiselve. 13.143
Cast coles on his heed of alle kynde speche; 13.144
Bothe with werkes and with wordes fonde his love to wynne, 13.145
And leye on him thus with love til he laughe on the; 13.146
And but he bowe for this betyng, blynd mote he worthe!’ 13.147
“Ac for to fare thus with thi frend–folie it were; 13.148
For he that loveth thee leelly, litel of thyne coveiteth. 13.149
Kynde love coveiteth noght no catel but speche. 13.150
With half a laumpe lyne in Latyn, Ex vi transicionis, 13.151
I bere ther, in a bou[s]te, faste ybounde Dowel, 13.152
In a signe of the Saterday that sette first the kalender, 13.153
And al the wit of the Wodnesday of the nexte wike after; 13.154
The myddel of the rnoone is the myght of bothe. 13.155
And herwith am I welceme ther I have it with me. 13.156
” Undo it–lat this doctour deme if Dowel be therinne;
Page 152
For, by hym that me made, myghte nevere poverte, 13.158
Misese ne mischief ne man with his tonge, 13.159
Coold, ne care, ne compaignye of theves. 13.160
Ne neither hete, ne hayl, ne noon helle pouke, 13.161
Ne neither fuyr, ne flood, ne feere of thyn enemy. 13.162
Tene thee any tyme, and thow take it with the: 13.163
Caritas nichil timet. 13.163
“And ek, have God my soule! and thow wilt it crave, 13.164
Ther nys neither emperour ne emperesse, erl ne baroun, 13.165
Pope ne patriark, that pure reson ne shal make thee 13.166
Maister of alle tho men thorugh myght of this redels– 13.167
Nought thorugh wicchecraft but thorugh wit; and thow wilt thiselve 13.168
Do kyng and quene and alle the comune after 13.169
Yyve thee al that thei may yyve, as thee for best yemere, 13.170
And as thow demest wil thei do alle hir dayes after: 13.171
Pacientes vincunt.’ 13.171
” It is but a dido,’ quod this doctour, “a disours tale! 13.172
Al the wit of this world and wight mennes strengthe 13.173
Kan noght [par]formen a pees bitwene the Pope and hise enemys, 13.174
Ne bitwene two Cristene kynges kan no wight pees make 13.175
Profitable to either peple–and putte the table fro hym, 13.176
And took Clergie and Conscience to conseil, as it were, 13.177
That Pacience tho most passe–for pilgrymes konne wel lye.’ 13.178
Ac Conscience carped loude and curteisliche seide, 13.179
” Frendes, fareth wel,’ and faire spak to Clergie, 13.180
” For I wol go with this gome, if God wol yeve me grace, 13.181
And be nilgrym with Pacience til I have preved moore.’ 13.182
“What! ‘ quod Clergie to Conscience, “are ye coveitous nouthe 13.183
After yeresyeves or yiftes. or yernen to rede redels? 13.184
I shal brynge yow a Bible, a book of the olde lawe, 13.185
And lere yow, if yow like, the leeste point to knowe, 13.186
That Pacience the pilgrym parfitly knew nevere.’ 13.187
” Nay, by Crist!’ quod Conscience to Clergie, ” God thee foryelde.
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For al that Pacience me profreth, proud am I litel; 13.189
Ac the wil of the wye and the wil of folk here 13.190
Hath meved my mood to moorne for my synnes. 13.191
The goode wil of a wight was nevere bought to the fulle: 13.192
For ther nys no tresour therto to a trewe wille. 13.193
“Hadde noght Marie Maudeleyne moore for a box of salve 13.194
Than Zacheus for he seide, ” Dimiaium bonorum meorum do pauperibus,’ 13.195
And the poore widewe for a peire of mytes 13.196
Than alle tho that offrede into gazophilacium ?’ 13.197
Thus curteisliche Conscience congeyed first the frere, 13.198
And sithen softeliche he seide in Clergies ere, 13.199
“Me were levere, by Oure Lord, and I lyve sholde, 13.200
Have pacience parfitliche than half thi pak of bokes! ‘ 13.201
Clergie of Conscience no congie wolde take, 13.202
But seide ful sobreliche, “Thow shalt se the tyme 13.203
Whan thow art wery forwalked, wilne me to counseille.’ 13.204
“That is sooth,’ seide Conscience, “so me God helpe! 13.205
If Pacience be oure partyng felawe and pryve with us bothe, 13.206
Ther nys wo in this world that we ne sholde amende, 13.207
And conformen kynges to pees, and alle kynnes londes– 13.208
Sarsens and Surre, and so forth alle the Jewes– 13.209
Turne into the trewe feith and intil oon bileve.’ 13.210
“That is sooth,’ quod Clergie, “I se what thow menest. 13.211
I shall dwelle as I do, my devoir to shewe, 13.212
And confermen fauntekyns oother folk ylered 13.213
Til Pacience have preved thee and parfit thee maked.’ 13.214
Conscience tho with Pacience passed, pilgrymes as it were. 13.215
Thanne hadde Pacience, as pilgrymes han, in his poke vitailles: 13.216
Sobretee and symple speche and soothfast bileve, 13.217
To conforte hym and Conscience if thei come in place 13.218
There unkyndenesse and coveitise is, hungry contrees bothe. 13.219
And as thei wente by the weye, of Dowel thei carped; 13.220
Thei mette with a mynstral, as me tho thoughte.
Page 154
Pacience apposed hym first and preyde he sholde telle 13.222
fo Conscience what craft he kouthe, and to what contree he wolde. 13.223
“I am a mynstral,’ quod that man, “my name is Activa Vita. 13.224
Al ydel ich hatie, for of Actif is my name, 13.225
A wafrer, wol ye wite, and serve manye lordes– 13.226
And fewe robes I fonge or furrede gownes. 13.227
Couthe I lye and do men laughe, thanne lacchen I sholde 13.228
Outher mantel or moneie amonges lordes mynstrals. 13.229
Ac for I kan neither taboure ne trompe ne telle no gestes, 13.230
Farten ne fithelen at festes, ne harpen, 13.231
Jape ne jogele ne gentilliche pipe, 13.232
Ne neither saille ne sautrie ne synge with the gyterne, 13.233
I have no goode giftes of thise grete lordes 13.234
For no breed that I brynge forth–save a benyson on the Sonday, 13.235
Whan the preest preieth the peple hir Paternoster to bidde 13.236
For Piers the Plowman and that hym profit waiten– 13.237
And that am I, Actif, that ydelnesse hatie; 13.238
For alle trewe travaillours and tiliers of the erthe, 13.239
Fro Mighelmesse to Mighelmesse I fynde hem with wafres. 13.240
“Beggeris and bidderis of my breed craven, 13.241
Faitours and freres and folk with brode crounes. 13.242
I fynde payn for the Pope and provendre for his palfrey, 13.243
And I hadde nevere of hym, have God my trouthe, 13.244
Neither provendre ne personage yet of the Popes yifte, 13.245
Save a pardon with a peis of leed and two polles amyddes! 13.246
Hadde ich a clerc that couthe write I wolde caste hym a bille 13.247
That he sente me under his seel a salve for the pestilence, 13.248
And that his blessynge and hise bulles bocches myghte destruye: 13.249
In nomine meo demonia eicient et super egros manus imponent et bene habebunt. 13.249
And thanne wolde I be prest to the peple, paast for to make, 13.250
And buxom and busy aboute breed and drynke 13.251
For hyrn and for alle hise, founde I that his pardoun
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Mighte lechen a man–as I bileve it sholde. 13.253
For sith he hath the power that Peter hadde, he hath the pot with the salve: 13.254
Argentum et aurum non est michi: quod autem habeo, 13.254
tibi do: In nomine Domini surge et ambula. 13.254
“Ac if myght of myracle hym faille, it is for men ben noght worthi 13.255
To have the grace of God, and no gilt of the Pope. 13.256
For may no blessynge doon us boote but if we wile amende, 13.257
Ne mannes masse make pees among Cristene peple, 13.258
Til pride be pureliche fordo, and that thorugh payn defaute. 13.259
For er I have breed of mele, ofte moot I swete, 13.260
And er the commune have corn ynough many a cold morwenyng; 13.261
So, er my wafres be ywroght, muche wo I tholye. 13.262
“Al Londoun, I leve, liketh wel my wafres, 13.263
And louren whan thei lakken hem; it is noght longe ypassed 13.264
There was a careful commune whan no cart com to towne 13.265
With bake breed fro Stratford; tho gonnen beggeris wepe, 13.266
And werkmen were agast a lite–this wole be thought longe; 13.267
In the date of Oure Drighte, in a drye Aprill, 13.268
A thousand and thre hundred, twies thritty and ten, 13.269
My wafres there were gesene, whan Chichestre was maire.’ 13.270
I took greet kepe, by Crist, and Conscience bothe, 13.271
Of Haukyn the Actif Man, and how he was yclothed. 13.272
He hadde a cote of Cristendom as Holy Kirke bileveth; 13.273
Ac it was moled in many places with manye sondry plottes– 13.274
Of pride here a plot, and there a plot of unbuxom speche, 13.275
Of scornyng and of seoffyng and of unskilful berynge; 13.276
As in apparaill andin porte proud amonges the peple; 13.277
Ootherwise than he hath with herte or sighte shewynge; 13.278
Hym wilnyng that alle men wende he were that he is noght,
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Forwhy he bosteth and braggeth with manye bolde othes; 13.280
And inobedient to ben undernome of any lif lyvynge; 13.281
And so singuler by hymself as to sighte of the peple 13.282
Was noon swich as hymself, ne noon so pope holy; 13.283
Yhabited as an heremyte, an ordre by hymselve– 13.284
Religion saunz rule and resonable obedience; 13.285
Lakkynge lettrede men and lewed men bothe; 13.286
In likynge of lele lif and a liere in soule; 13.287
With inwit and with outwit ymagynen and studie 13.288
As best for his body be to have a bold name; 13.289
And entremetten hym over al ther he hath noght to doone; 13.290
Wilnyge that men wende his wit were the beste, 13.291
Or for his crafty konnynge or of clerkes the wisest, 13.292
Or strengest on stede, or styvest under girdel, 13.293
And lovelokest to loken on and lelest of werkes, 13.294
And noon so holy as he ne of lif clennere, 13.295
Or feirest of feitures, of forme and of shafte, 13.296
And most sotil of song other sleyest of hondes, 13.297
And large to lene lo[o]s therby to cacche; 13.298
And if he gyveth ought to povere gomes, [go] telle what he deleth; 13.299
Povere of possession in purs and in cofre,” 13.300
And as a lyoun on to loke and lordlich of speche; 13.301
Boldest of beggeris, a bostere that noght hath, 13.302
In towne and in tavernes tales to telle 13.303
And segge thyng that he nevere seigh and for sothe sweren it, 13.304
Of dedes that he nevere dide demen and bosten, 13.305
And of werkes that he wel dide witnesse and siggen,
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“Lo! if ye leve me noght, or that I lye wenen, 13.307
Asketh at hym or at hym, and he yow kan telle 13.308
What I suffrede and seigh and somtymes hadde, 13.309
And what I kouthe and knew, and what kyn I com of.’ 13.310
Al he wolde that men wiste of werkes and of wordes – 13.311
Which myghte plese the peple and preisen hymselve: 13.312
Si hominibus placerem, Christi servus non essem. Et alibi: 13.312
Nemo potest duobus dominis servire. 13.312
“By Crist!’ quod Conseience tho, “thi beste cote, Haukyn, 13.313
Hath manye moles and spottes–it moste ben ywasshe!’ 13.314
“Ye, whoso toke hede,’ quod Haukyn, “bihynde and bifore, 13.315
What on bak and what on body half and by the two sides– 13.316
Men sholde fynde manye frounces and manye foule plottes.’ 13.317
And he torned hym as tyd, and thanne took I hede; 13.318
It was fou1er bi fele fold than it first semed. 13.319
It was bidropped with wrathe and wikkede wille, 13.320
With envye and yvel speche entisynge to fighte, 13.321
Lying and lakkynge and leve tonge to chide; 13.322
Al that he wiste wikked by any wight, tellen it, 13.323
And blame men bihynde hir bak and bidden hem meschaunce; 13.324
And that he wiste by Wille, [to Watte tellen it], 13.325
And that Watte wiste, Wille wiste it after, 13.326
And made of frendes foes thorugh a fals tonge: 13.327
“Or with myght of mouth or thorugh mannes strengthe 13.328
Avenged me fele tymes, other frete myselve withinne 13.329
As a shepsteres shere, ysherewed men and cursed hem.’ 13.330
Cuius malediccione os plenum est et amaritudine; sub lingua 13.330
eius labor et dolor. Et alibi: Filii hominum dentes eorum 13.330
arma et sagitte et lingua eorum gladius acutus.
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“Ther is no lif that I lovye lastynge any while; 13.331
For tales that I telle no man trusteth to me. 13.332
And whan I may noght have the maistrie, swich malencolie I take 13.333
That I cacche the crampe, the cardiacle som tyme, 13.334
Or an ague in swich an angre, and som tyme a fevere 13.335
That taketh me al a twelvemonthe, til that I despise 13.336
Lechecraft of Oure Lord and leve on a wicche, 13.337
And seye that no clerc ne kan–ne Crist, as I leve– 13.338
To the Soutere of Southwerk, or of Shordych Dame Emme, 13.339
And seye that [God ne] Goddes word gaf me nevere boute, 13.340
But thorugh a charme hadde I chaunce and my chief heele.’ 13.341
I waitede wisloker, and thanne was it soilled 13.342
With likynge of lecherie as by lokynge of his eighe. 13.343
For ech a maide that he mette, he made hire a signe 13.344
Semynge to synneward, and somtyme he gan taste 13.345
Aboute the mouth or bynethe bigynneth to grope, 13.346
Til eitheres wille wexeth kene, and to the werke yeden, 13.347
As wel fastyng dayes as Fridaies and forboden nyghtes, 13.348
And as lef in Lente as out of Lente, alle tymes yliche: 13.349
Swiche werkes with hem were nevere out of seson, 13.350
Til thei myghte na moore–and thanne hadde murye tales, 13.351
And how that lecchours lovye laughen and japen, 13.352
And of hir harlotrye and horedom in hir elde tellen. 13.353
Thanne Pacience parceyved, of pointes his cote 13.354
Was colomy thorugh coveitise and unkynde desiryng. 13.355
Moore to good than to God the gome his love caste, 13.356
And ymagynede how he it myghte have 13.357
With false mesures and met, and [mid] fals witnesse 13.358
Lened for love of the wed and looth to do truthe, 13.359
And awaited thorugh w[itte]s wyes to bigile,
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And menged his marchaundise and made a good moustre: 13.361
“The worst withinne was–a greet wit I let it! 13.362
And if my neghebore hadde an hyne, or any beest ellis, 13.363
Moore profitable than myn, manye sleightes I made 13.364
How I myghte have it–al my wit I caste; 13.365
And but I it hadde by oother wey, at the laste I stale it, 13.366
Or pryveliche his purs shook, unpikede hise lokes; 13.367
Or by nyghte or by daye, aboute was ich evere 13.368
Thorugh gile to gaderen the good that ich have. 13.369
“If I yede to the plowgh, I pynched so narwe 13.370
That a foot lond or a forow fecchen I wolde 13.371
Of my nexte neghebore, nymen of his erthe; 13.372
And if I rope, overreche, or yaf hem reed that ropen 13.373
To seise to me with hir sikel that I ne sew nevere. 13.374
“And whoso borwed of me aboughte the tyme 13.375
With presentes pryvely, or paide som certeyn– 13.376
So wolde he or noght wolde he, wynnen I wolde; 13.377
And bothe to kith and to kyn unkynde of that ich hadde. 13.378
“And whoso cheped my chaffare, chiden I wolde 13.379
But he profrede to paie a peny or tweyne 13.380
Moore than it was worth, and yet wolde I swere 13.381
That it coste me muche moore–swoor manye othes. 13.382
“In haly daies at holy chirche, whan ich herde masse 13.383
Hadde I nevere wille, woot God, witterly to biseche 13.384
Mercy for my mysdedes, that I ne moorned moore 13.385
For losse of good, leve me, than for likames giltes; 13.386
As, if I hadde dedly synne doon, I dredde noght that so soore 13.387
As whan I lened and leved it lost or longe er it were paied. 13.388
So if I kidde any kyndenesse myn evencristen to helpe, 13.389
Upon a cruwel coveitise my conscience gan hange. 13.390
“And if I sente over see my servaunts to Brugges, 13.391
Or into Prucelond my Prentis my profit to waiten,
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To marchaunden with moneie and maken here esehaunges, 13.393
Mighte nevere me conforte in the mene tyme 13.394
Neither masse ne matynes, ne none maner sightes; 13.395
Ne nevere penaunce parfournede ne Paternoster seide 13.396
That my mynde ne was moore on my good in a doute 13.397
Than in the grace of God and hise grete helpes.’ 13.398
Ubi thesaurus tuus, ibi et cor tuum. 13.398
Yet that glotoun with grete othes his garnement hadde soiled 13.399
And foule beflobered it, as with fals speche, 13.400
As, there no nede ne was, Goddes name an idel– 13.401
Swoor therby swithe ofte and al biswatte his cote; 13.402
And moore mete eet and dronk than kynde myghte defie– 13.403
“And kaughte siknesse somtyme for my surfetes ofte; 13.404
And thanne I dradde to deye in dedlich synne’– 13.405
That into wanhope he w[orth] and wende nought to be saved, 13.406
The whiche is sleuthe, so slow that may no sleightes helpe it, 13.407
Ne no mercy amenden the man that so deieth. 13.408
Ac whiche ben the braunches that bryngen a man to sleuthe? 13.409
Is whan a man moorneth noght for hise mysdedes, ne maketh no sorwe, 13.410
Ac penaunce that the preest enjoyneth parfourneth yvele, 13.411
Dooth non almesdede, dred hym of no synne, 13.412
Lyveth ayein the bileve and no lawe holdeth. 13.413
Ech day is halyday with hym or an heigh ferye, ” 13.414
And if he aught wol here, it is an harlotes tonge. 13.415
Whan men carpen of Crist, or of clennesse of soule, 13.416
He wexeth wroth and wol noght here but wordes of murthe. 13.417
Penaunce and povere men and the passion of seintes– 13.418
He hateth to here therof and alle that it telleth.
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Thise been the braunches, beth war! that bryngen a man to wanhope. 13.420
Ye lordes and ladies and legates of Holy Chirche 13.421
That fedeth fooles sages, flatereris and lieris, 13.422
And han likynge to lithen hem [in hope] to do yow laughe– 13.423
Ve vobis qui ridetis &c– 13.423
And yyveth hem mete and mede, and povere men refuse, 13.424
In youre deeth deyinge, I drede me soore 13.425
Lest tho thre maner men to muche sorwe yow brynge: 13.426
Consencientes et agentes pari pena punientur. 13.426
Patriarkes and prophetes, prechours of Goddes wordes, 13.427
Saven thorugh hir sermon mannes soule fro helle; 13.428
Right so flatereris and fooles arn the fendes disciples 13.429
To entice men thorugh hir tales to synne and harlotrie. 13.430
Ac clerkes, that knowen Holy Writ, sholde kenne lordes 13.431
What David seith of swiche men, as the Sauter telleth: 13.432
Non habitabit in medio domus mee quifacit superbiam; qui loquitur iniqua . . . 13.432
Sholde noon harlot have audience in halle ne in chambre 13.433
Ther wise men were–witnesseth Goddes wordes– 13.434
Ne no mysproud min amonges lordes ben allowed. 13.435
Clerkes and knyghtes welcometh kynges minstrales, 13.436
And for love of hir lord litheth hem at festes; 13.437
Muche moore, me thynketh, riche men sholde 13.438
Have beggeres bifore hem, the whiche ben Goddes minstrales, 13.439
As he seith hymself–Seynt Johan bereth witnesse: 13.440
Qui vos spernit me spernit. 13.440
Forthi I rede yow riche, reveles whan ye maketh, 13.441
For to solace youre soules, swiche minstrales to have– 13.442
The povere for a fool sage sittynge at th[i] table, 13.443
And a lered man to lere thee what Oure Lord suffred 13.444
For to save thi soule fram Sathan thyn enemy, 13.445
And fithele thee, withoute fl,terynge, of Good Friday the storye,
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And a blynd man for a bourdeour, or a bedrede womman 13.447
To crie a largesse bifore Oure Lord, your good loos to shewe. 13.448
Thise thre maner minstrales maketh a man to laughe, 13.449
And in his deeth deyinge thei don hym gret confort 13.450
That bi his lyve lithed hem and loved hem to here. 13.451
Thise solaceth the soule til hymself be falle 13.452
In a welhope, [for he wroghte so], amonges worthi seyntes, 13.453
There flatereres and fooles thorugh hir foule wordes 13.454
Leden tho that loved hem to Luciferis feste 13.455
With turpiloquio, a lay of sorwe, and Luciferis fithele. 13.456
Thus Haukyn the actif man hadde ysoiled his cote, 13.457
Til Conscience acouped hym therof in a curteis manere, 13.458
Why he ne hadde wasshen it or wiped it with a brusshe. 13.459
Passus 14
“I have but oon hool hater,’ quod Haukyn, “1 am the lasse to blame 14.001
Though it be soiled and selde clene–I slepe therinne o nyghtes; 14.002
And also I have an houswif, hewen and children– 14.003
Uxorem duxi, et ideo non possum venire– 14.003
That wollen bymolen it many tyme, maugree my chekes.
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It hath be laved in Lente and out of Lente bothe 14.005
With the sope of siknesse, that seketh wonder depe, 14.006
And with the losse of catel, that looth me w[ere] 14.007
For to agulte God or any good man, by aught that I wiste; 14.008
And was shryven of the preest, that [for my synnes gaf me] 14.009
To penaunce, pacience, and povere men to fede, 14.010
Al for coveitise of my Cristendom in clennesse to kepen it. 14.011
And kouthe I nevere, by Crist! kepen it clene an houre, 14.012
That I ne soiled it with sighte or som ydel speche, 14.013
Or thorugh werk or thorugh word, or wille of myn herte, 14.014
That I ne flobre it foule fro morwe til even.’ 14.015
“And I shal kenne thee,’ quod Conscience, “of Contricion to make 14.016
That shal clawe thi cote of alle kynnes filthe– 14.017
Cordis contricio &c; 14.017
Dowel shal wasshen it and wryngen it thorugh a wis confessour– 14.018
Oris confessio &c; 14.018
Dobet shal beten it and bouken it as bright as any scarlet, 14.019
And engreynen it with good wille and Goddes grace to amende the, 14.020
And sithen sende thee to Satisfaccion for to sonnen it after: 14.021
Satisfaccio. 14.021
“And Dobest kepe[th] clene from unkynde werkes. 14.022
Shal nevere my[te] bymolen it, ne mothe after biten it, 14.023
Ne fend ne fals man defoulen it in thi lyve. 14.024
Shal noon heraud ne harpour have a fairer garnement 14.025
Than Haukyn the Actif man, and thow do by my techyng, 14.026
Ne no mynstrall be moore worth amonges povere and riche 14.027
Than Haukyn wi[l] the wafrer, which is Activa Vita.’ 14.028
“And I shal purveie thee paast,’ quod Pacience, “though no plough erye, 14.029
And flour to fede folk with as best be for the soule; 14.030
Though nevere greyn growed, ne grape upon vyne, 14.031
Alle that lyveth and loketh liflode wolde I fynde, 14.032
And that ynogh–shal noon faille of thyng that hem nedeth.
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We sholde noght be to bisy abouten oure liflode: 14.034
Ne soliciti sitis &c; Volucres celi Deus pascit &c; Pacientes vincunt &c; 14.034
Thanne laughed Haukyn a litel, and lightly gan swerye, 14.035
“Whoso leveth yow, by Oure Lord, I leve noght he be blessed!’ 14.036
“No?’ quod Pacience paciently, and out of his poke hente 14.037
Vitailles of grete vertues for alle manere beestes, 14.038
And seide, ” Lo! here liflode ynogh, if oure bileve be trewe. 14.039
For lent nevere was lif but liflode were shapen, 14.040
Wherof or wherfore or wherby to libbe. 14.041
” First the wilde worm under weet erthe, 14.042
Fissh to lyve in the flood, and in the fir the criket, 14.043
The corlew by kynde of the eyr, moost clennest flessh of briddes, 14.044
And bestes by gras and by greyn and by grene rootes, 14.045
In menynge that alle men myghte the same 14.046
Lyve thorugh leel bileve and love, as God witnesseth: 14.047
Quodcumque pecieritis a patre in nomine meo &c; Et alibi, Non 14.047
in solo pane vivit homo, set in omni verbo, quod procedit de ore Dei;’ 14.047
But I lokede what liflode it was that Pacience so preisede; 14.048
And thanne was it a pece of the Paternoster– Fiat voluntas tua. 14.049
“Have, Haukyn,’ quod Pacience, “and et this whan the hungreth, 14.050
Or whan thow clomsest for cold or clyngest for droughte; 14.051
And shul nevere gyves thee greve ne gret lordes wrathe, 14.052
Aison ne peyne–for pacientes vincunt. 14.053
By so that thow be sobre of sighte and of tonge, 14.054
In [ond]ynge and in handlynge and in alle thi fyve wittes, 14.055
Darstow nevere care for corn ne lynnen cloth ne wollen, 14.056
Ne for drynke, ne deeth drede, but deye as God liketh, 14.057
Or thorugh hunger or thorugh hete–at his wille be it. 14.058
For if thow lyvest after his loore, the shorter lif the bettre: 14.059
Si quis amat Christum mundum non diligit istum.
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“For thorugh his breeth beestes woxen and abrood yeden: 14.060
Dixit et facta sunt, &c. 14.060
Ergo thorugh his breeth mowen [bothe] men and beestes lyven, 14.061
As Holy Writ witnesseth whan men seye hir graces: 14.062
*Aperis tu manum tuam, et imples omne animal benediccione. 14.062
“It is founden that fourty wynter folk lyvede withouten tulying, 14.063
And out of the flynt sprong the flood that folk and beestes dronken; 14.064
And in Elyes tyme hevene was yclosed, 14.065
That no reyn ne roon–thus rede men in bokes, 14.066
That manye wyntres men lyveden and no mete ne tulieden. 14.067
“Sevene slepe, as seith the book, sevene hundred wynter, 14.068
And lyveden withouten lifiode–and at the laste thei woken. 14.069
And if men lyvede as mesure wolde, sholde nevere moore be defaute 14.070
Amonges Cristene creatures, if Cristes wordes ben trewe. 14.071
Ac unkyndenesse caristiam maketh amonges Cristen peple, 14.072
And over-plentee maketh pryde amonges poore and riche; 14.073
Ac mesure is so muche worth it may noght be to deere; 14.074
For the meschief and the meschaunce amonges men of Sodome 14.075
Weex thorugh plentee of payn and of pure sleuthe: 14.076
Ociositas et habundancia panis peccatum turpissimum nutrivit. 14.076
For thei mesured noght hemself of that thei ete and dronke, 14.077
Diden dedly synne that the devel liked, 14.078
Vengeaunce fil upon hem for hir vile synnes; 14.079
[So] thei sonken into helle, the citees echone. 14.080
” Forthi mesure we us wel and make oure feith oure sheltrom; 14.081
And thorugh feith cometh contricion, conscience woot wel, 14.082
Which dryveth awey dedly synne and dooth it to be venial. 14.083
And though a man myghte noght speke, contricion myghte hym save,
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And brynge his soule to blisse, by so that feith bere witnesse 14.085
That whiles he lyvede he bilevede in the loore of Holy Chirche. 14.086
Ergo contricion, feith and conscience is kyndeliche Dowel, 14.087
And surgiens for dedly synnes whan shrift of mouthe failleth. 14.088
Ac shrift of mouth moore worthi is, if man be ynliche contrit, 14.089
For shrift of mouthe sleeth synne be it never so dedly– 14.090
Per confessionem to a preest peccata occiduntur– 14.091
Ther contricion dooth but dryveth it doun into a venial synne, 14.092
As David seith in the Sauter, et quorum tecta sunt peccata. 14.093
Ac satisfaccion seketh out the roote, and bothe sleeth and voideth, 14.094
And as it nevere [n]adde ybe, to noghte bryngeth dedly synne, 14.095
That it nevere eft is sene ne soor, but semeth a wounde yheeled.’ 14.096
“Where wonyeth Charite?’ quod Haukyn. “I wiste nevere in my lyve 14.097
Man that with hym spak, as wide as I have passed.’ 14.098
“Ther parfit truthe and poore herte is, and pacience of tonge– 14.099
There is Chante the chief, chaumbrere for God hymselve.’ 14.100
“Wheither paciente poverte,’ quod Haukyn, “be moore plesaunt to Oure Dright 14.101
Than richesse rightfulliche wonne and resonably despended?’ 14.102
” Ye–quis est ilie?’ quod Pacience, ” quik–laudabimus eum ! 14.103
Though men rede of richesse right to the worldes ende, 14.104
I wiste nevere renk that riche was, that whan he rekene sholde, 14.105
Whan he drogh to his deeth day, that he ne dredde hym soore, 14.106
And that at the rekenyng in arrerage fel, rather than out of dette. 14.107
Ther the poore dar plede, and preve by pure reson 14.108
To have allowaunce of his lord; by the lawe he it cleymeth: 14.109
Joye, that nevere joye hadde, of rightful jugge he asketh, 14.110
And seith, “”Lo! briddes and beestes, that no blisse ne knoweth, 14.111
And wilde wormes in wodes, thorugh wyntres thow hem grevest, 14.112
And makest hem wel neigh meke and mylde fer defaute, 14.113
And after thew sedet hem somer, that is hir soveyn joye,
Page 167
And blisse to alle that ben, bothe wilde and tame.’ 14.115
“Thanne may boggeris, as beestes, after boote waiten, 14.116
That al hir lif han lyved in langour and in defaute. 14.117
But God sente hem som tyme som manere joye 14.118
Outher here or elliswhere, kynde wolde it nevere; 14.119
For to wrotherhele was he wroght that nevere was joye shapen! 14.120
“Aungeles that in helle now ben hadden joye som tyme, 14.121
And Dives in deyntees lyvede and in douce vie; 14.122
Right so reson sheweth that tho men that [riche were] 14.123
And hir makes also lyvede hir lif in murthe. 14.124
“Ac God is of a wonder wille, by that kynde wit sheweth, 14.125
To yyve many men his mercymonye er he it have deserved. 14.126
Right so fareth God by some riche: ruthe me it thynketh– 14.127
For thei han hir hire heer, and hevene, as it were, 14.128
And greet likynge to lyve withouten labour of bodye, 14.129
And whan he dyeth, ben disalowed, as David seith in the Sauter: 14.130
Dormierunt et nichil in venerunt; et alibi, Velud sompnum surgencium, 14.130
Domine, in civitate tua, et ad nichilum rediges &c. 14.130
Allas, that richesse shal reve and robbe mannes soule 14.131
From the love of Oure Lord at his laste ende! 14.132
” Hewen that han hir hire afore arn everemoore nedy; 14.133
And selden deyeth he out of dette that dyneth er he deserve it 14.134
And til he have doon his devoir and his dayes journee. 14.135
For whan a werkman hath wroght, than may men se the sothe– 14.136
What he were worthi for his werk, and what he hath deserved, 14.137
And noght to fonge bifore, for drede of disalowyng. 14.138
“So I seye by yow riche–it semeth noght that ye shulle 14.139
Have hevene in youre here-beyng and hevene therafter,
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Right as a servaunt taketh his salarie bifore, and siththe wolde clayme moore, 14.141
As he that noon hadde, and hath hire at the laste. 14.142
It may noght be, ye riche men, or Mathew on God lyeth: 14.143
De deliciis ad delicias aifficile est transire ! 14.143
“Ac if ye riche have ruthe, and rewarde wel the poore, 14.144
And lyven as lawe techeth, doon leaute to hem alle, 14.145
Crist of his curteisie shal conforte yow at the laste 14.146
And rewarden alle double richesse that rewful hertes habbeth. 14.147
And as an hyne that hadde his hire er he bigonne, 14.148
And whan he hath doon his devoir wel, men dooth hym oother bountee– 14.149
Yyveth hym a cote above his covenaunt–right so Crist yyveth hevene 14.150
Bothe to riche and to noght riche that rewfulliche libbeth; 14.151
And alle that doon hir devoir wel han double hire for hir travaille– 14.152
Here forgifnesse of hir synnes, and hevene blisse after. 14.153
“Ac it is but selde yseien, as by holy seintes bokes, 14.154
That God rewarded double reste to any riche wye. 14.155
For muche murthe is amonges riche, as in mete and clothyng, 14.156
And muche murthe in May is amonges wilde beestes, 14.157
And so forth while somer lasteth hir solace dureth. 14.158
Ac beggeris aboute Midsomer bredlees thei soupe, 14.159
And yet is wynter for hem worse, for weetshoed thei gauge, 14.160
Afurst soore and afyngred, and foule yrebuked 14.161
And arated of riche men, that ruthe is to here . . . 14.162
Now, Lord, sende hem somer, and som maner joye, 14.163
Hevene after hir hennes goyng, that here han swich defaute! 14.164
For alle myghtestow have maad noon mener than oother, 14.165
And yliche witty and wise, if thee wel hadde liked. 14.166
And have ruthe on thise riche men that rewarde noght thi prisoners; 14.167
Of the good that thow hem gyvest ingrati ben manye; 14.168
Ac God, of thi goodnesse, gyve hem grace to amende. 14.169
For may no derthe be hem deere, droghte ne weet, 14.170
Ne neither hete ne hayll, have thei hir heele; 14.171
Of that thei wilne and wolde wanteth hem noght here. 14.172
“Ac poore peple, thi prisoners, Lord, in the put of meschief–
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Conforte tho creatures that muche care suffren 14.174
Thorugh derthe, thorugh droghte, alle hir dayes here, 14.175
Wo in wynter tymes for wantynge of clothes, 14.176
And in somer tyme selde soupen to the fulle; 14.177
Conforte thi carefulle, Crist, in thi riche– 14.178
For how thow confortest alle creatures clerkes bereth witnesse: 14.179
Convertimini ad mi et salvi eritis. 14.179
“Thus in genere of gentries Jesu Crist seide 14.180
To robberis and to reveris, to riche and to poore, 14.181
To hores, to harlotes, to alle maner peple, 14.182
Thou taughtest hem in the Trinite to taken bapteme 14.183
And be clene thorugh that cristnyng of alle kynnes synne, 14.184
And if us fille thorugh folie to falle in synne after, 14.185
Confession and knowlichynge and cravynge thi mercy 14.186
Shulde amenden us as manye sithes as man wolde desire. 14.187
Ac if the pouke wolde plede herayein, and punysshe us in conscience, 14.188
We sholde take the acquitaunce as quyk and to the queed shewen it– 14.189
Pateat &c: Per passionem Domini– 14.189
And putten of so the pouke, and preven us under borwe. 14.190
Ac the parchemyn of this patente of poverte be moste, 14.191
And of pure pacience and parfit bileve. 14.192
Of pompe and of pride the parchemyn decourreth, 14.193
And principalliche of alle peple; but thei be poore of herte. 14.194
Ellis is al on ydel, al that evere we wr[ogh]ten– 14.195
Paternostres and penaunce and pilgrimage to Rome,
Page 170
But oure spences and spendynge sprynge of a trewe welle; 14.197
Ellis is al oure labour lost–lo, how men writeth 14.198
ln fenestres at the freres!–if fals be the foundement. 14.199
Forthi Cristene sholde be in commune riche, noon coveitous for hymselve. 14.200
” For sevene synnes ther ben, that assaillen us evere; 14.201
The fend folweth hem alle and fondeth hem to helpe, 14.202
Ac with richesse tho ribaudes rathest men bigileth. 14.203
For ther that richesse regneth, reverences folweth, 14.204
And that is plesaunt to pride, in poore and in riche. 14.205
And the riche is reverenced by reson of his richesse 14.206
Ther the poore is put bihynde, and paraventure kan moore 14.207
Of wit and of wisdom, that fer awey is bettre 14.208
Than richesse or reautee, and rather yherd in hevene. 14.209
For the riche hath muche to rekene, and right softe walketh; 14.210
The heighe wey to heveneward ofte richesse letteth– 14.211
Ita inpossibile diviti &c– 14.211
Ther the poore preesseth bifore, with a pak at his rugge– 14.212
Opera enim iilorum sequuntur illos– 14.212
Batauntliche, as beggeris doon, and boldeliche he craveth 14.213
For his poverte and his pacience a perpetuel blisse: 14.214
Beati pauperes: quoniam ipsorum est regnum celorum. 14.214
“And pride in richesse regneth rather than in poverte: 14.215
Or in the maister or in the man som mansion he haveth. 14.216
Ac in poverte ther pacience is, Pride hath no mygte, 14.217
Ne none of the sevene synnes sitten ne mowe ther longe, 14.218
Ne have power in poverte, if pacience it folwe. 14.219
For the poore is ay prest to plese the riche,
Page 171
And buxom at his biddyng for his broke loves; 14.221
And buxomnesse and boost ben everemoore at werre, 14.222
And either hateth oother in alle maner werkes. 14.223
If Wrathe wrastle with the poore he hath the worse ende, 14.224
For if thei bothe pleyne, the poore is but feble, 14.225
And if he chide or chatre, hym cheveth the worse, 14.226
For lowliche he loketh and lovelich is his speche 14.227
That mete or money of othere men moot asken. 14.228
“And if Glotonie greve poverte, he gadereth the lasse. 14.229
For his rentes wol naught reche no riche metes to bigge; 14.230
And though his glotonye be to good ale, he goth to cold beddyng, 14.231
And his heved unheled, unesiliche ywrye– 14.232
For whan he streyneth hym to strecche, the strawe is his shetes. 14.233
So for his Glotome and his greete Sleuthe he hath a grevous penaunce, 14.234
That is welawo whan he waketh and wepeth for colde– 14.235
And som tyme for his synnes–so he is nevere murie 14.236
Withoute mournynge amonge and meschief to bote. 14.237
“And though Coveitise wolde cacche the poore, thei may noght come togideres 14.238
And by the nekke, namely, hir noon may hente oother. 14.239
For men knowen wel that Coveitise is of a kene wille, 14.240
And hath hondes and armes of a long lengthe, 14.241
And Poverte nys but a petit thyng, apereth noght to his navele– 14.242
And lovely layk was it nevere bitwene the longe and the shorte. 14.243
And though Avarice wolde angre the poore, he hath but litel myghte, 14.244
Fer Poverte hath but pokes to putten in hise goodes,
Page 172
Ther Avarice hath almaries and yren-bounden cofres. 14.246
And wheither be lighter to breke? Lasse boost it maketh– 14.247
A beggeris baggethan an yren-bounde cofre ! 14.248
” Lecherie loveth hym noght, for he yyveth but litel silver, 14.249
Ne dooth hym noght dyne delicatly ne drynke wyn ofte. 14.250
A straw for the stuwes! lt stoode noght, I trowe, 14.251
Hadde thei noon [haunt] but of poore men–hir houses stoode untyled! 14.252
“And though Sleuthe suwe Poverte, and serve noght God to paie, 14.253
Meschief is his maister, and maketh hym to thynke 14.254
That God is his grettest help and no gorne ellis, 14.255
And he his servaunt, as he seith, and of his sute bothe. 14.256
And wheither he be or be noght, he bereth the signe of poverte, 14.257
And in that secte Oure Saveour saved al mankynde. 14.258
Forthi al poore that pacient is, may [asken and cleymen], 14.259
After hir endynge here, heveneriche blisse. 14.260
“Muche hardier may he asken, that here myghte have his wille 14.261
In lond and in lordshipe and likynge of bodie, 14.262
And for Goddes love leveth al and lyveth as a beggere. 14.263
And as a mayde for mannes love hire moder forsaketh, 14.264
Hir fader and alle hire frendes, and folweth hir make– 14.265
Muche is that maide to love of [a man] that swich oon taketh, 14.266
Moore than a maiden is that is maried thorugh brocage, 14.267
As by assent of sondry parties and silver to boote, 14.268
Moore for coveitise of good than kynde love of bothe– 14.269
So it fareth by ech a persone that possession forsaketh 14.270
And put hym to be pacient, and poverte weddeth,
Page 173
The which is sib to God hymself, and so neigh is poverte.’ 14.272
“Have God-my trouthe,’ quod Haukyn, “l here ye preise faste poverte. 14.273
What is poverte, Pacience,’ quod he, “proprely to mene?’ 14.274
” Paupertas.’ quod Pacience, ” est odibile bonum– 14.275
Remocio curarum, possessio sine calumpnia, donum Dei, 14.275
sanitatis mater, absque sollicitudine semita, sapiencie 14.275
temperatrix, negocium sine dampno, incerta fortuna, 14.275
absque sollicitudine felicitas.’ 14.275
“I kan noght construe al this,’ quod Haukyn, “ye moste kenne me this on Englis 14.276
” In Englissh,’ quod Pacience, “it is wel hard, wel to expounen, 14.277
Ac somdeel I shal seyen it, by so thow understonde. 14.278
Poverte is the firste point that Pride moost hateth; 14.279
Thanne is it good by good skile–al that agasteth pride. 14.280
Right as contricion is confortable thyng, conseience woot wel, 14.281
And a sorwe of hymself, and a solace to the soule, 14.282
So poverte propreliche penaunce [is to the body 14.283
And joye also to the soule], pure spiritual helthe, 14.284
And contricion confort, and cura animarum: 14.285
Ergo paupertas est odibile bonum. 14.285
“Selde sit poverte the sothe to declare, 14.286
Or as justice to jugge men enjoyned is no poore, 14.287
Ne to be mair above men, ne mynystre under kynges;
Page 174
Selde is any poore yput to punysshen any peple; 14.289
Remocio curarum. 14.289
Ergo poverte and poore men parfournen the comaundement–
Page 121
Nolite iudicare quemquam. 14.290
“Selde is poore right riche but of rightful heritage: 14.291
Wynneth he noght with wightes false ne with unseled mesures, 14.292
Ne borweth of hise neighebores but that he may wel paie: 14.293
Possessio sine calumpnia. 14.293
“The ferthe is afor-tune that florissheth the soule 14.294
With sobretee fram alle synne and also yit moore; 14.295
It afaiteth the flessh fram folies ful manye– 14.296
A collateral confort, Cristes owene yifte: 14.297
Donum Dei. 14.297
“The fifte is moder of [myght and of mannes] hele, 14.298
A frend in alle fondynges, [of foule yveles leche], 14.299
And for the lewde evere yliche a lemman of alle clennesse: 14.300
Sanitatis mater. 14.300
“The sixte is a path of pees–ye, thorugh the paas of Aulton 14.301
Poverte myghte passe withouten peril of robbyng! 14.302
For ther that Poverte passeth pees folweth after, 14.303
And ever the lasse that he [led]eth, the [light]er he is of herte– 14.304
Cantabit paupertas coram latrone viator– 14.304
And an hardy man of herte among an heep of theves; 14.305
Forthi seith Seneca Paupertas est absque sollicitudine semita. 14.306
“The seventhe is welle of wisedorn and fewe wordes sheweth, 14.307
For lordes alloweth hym litel or listneth to his reson. 14.308
He tempreth the tonge to trutheward, that no tresor coveiteth: 14.309
Sapiencie temperatrix. 14.309
“The eightethe is a lele labour and looth to take moore
Page 175
Than he may [sothly] deserve, in somer or in wynter, 14.311
And if he chaffareth, he chargeth no losse mowe he charite wynne: 14.312
Negocium sine dampno. 14.312
“The nynthe is swete to the soule, no sugre is swetter; 14.313
For pacience is payn for poverte hymselve, 14.314
And sobretee swete drynke and good leche in siknesse. 14.315
Thus lered me a lered man for Oure Lordes love, Seint Austyn– 14.316
A blessed lif withouten bisynesse for body and for soule: 14.317
Absque sollicitudine feiicitas. 14.317
Now God, that alle good gyveth, graunte his soule reste 14.318
That thus first wroot to wissen men what Poverte was to mene!’ 14.319
“Allas,’ quod Haukyn the Actif Man tho, “that after my cristendom 14.320
I ne hadde be deed and dolven for Dowelis sake! 14.321
So hard it is,’ quod Haukyn, “to lyve and to do synne. 14.322
Synne seweth us evere,’ quod he, and sory gan wexe, 14.323
And wepte water with hise eighen and weyled the tyme 14.324
That evere he dide dede that deere God displesed– 14.325
Swouned and sobbed and siked ful ofte 14.326
That evere he hadde lond or lordshipe, lasse other moore, 14.327
Or maistrie over any man mo than of hymselve.. 14.328
” I were noght worthi, woot God,’ quod Haukyn, ” to werien any clothes, 14.329
Ne neither sherte ne shoon, save for shame one 14.330
To covere my careyne’, quod he, and cride mercy faste, 14.331
And wepte and wailede–and therwith I awakede. 14.332
Page 176
Passus 15
Ac after my wakynge it was wonder longe 15.001
Er I koude kyndely knowe what was Dowel. 15.002
And so my wit weex and wanyed til I a fool weere; 15.003
And some lakked my lif–allowed it fewe– 15.004
And leten me for a lorel and looth to reverencen 15.005
Lordes or ladies or any lif ellis– 15.006
As persons in pelure with pendaunts of silver; 15.007
To sergeaunts ne to swiche seide noght ones, 15.008
” God loke yow, lordes!’–ne loutede faire, 15.009
That folk helden me a fool; and in that folie I raved, 15.010
Til reson hadde ruthe on me and rokked me aslepe, 15.011
Til I seigh, as it sorcerie were, a sotil thyng withalle– 15.012
Oon withouten tonge and teeth, tolde me whider I sholde 15.013
And wherof I cam and of what kynde. I conjured hym at the laste, 15.014
If he were Cristes creature for Cristes love me to tellen. 15.015
” I am Cristes creature,’ quod he, “and Cristene in many a place, 15.016
In Cristes court yknowe wel, and of his kyn a party. 15.017
Is neither Peter the Porter, ne Poul with the fauchon, 15.018
That wole defende me the dore, dynge I never so late. 15.019
At mydnyght, at mydday, my vois is so yknowe 15.020
That ech a creature of his court welcometh me faire.’ 15.021
“What are ye called?’ quod I, “in that court among Cristes peple?’ 15.022
“The whiles I quykne the cors,’ quod he, “called am I Anima; 15.023
And whan I wilne and wolde, Animus ich hatte; 15.024
And for that I kan and knowe, called am I Mens; 15.025
And whan I make mone to God, Memoria is my name; 15.026
And whan I deme domes and do as truthe techeth, 15.027
Thanne is Racio my righte name–“”reson'” on Englissh; 15.028
And whan I feele that folk telleth, my firste name is Sensus– 15.029
And that is wit and wisdom, the welle of alle craftes; 15.030
And whan I chalange or chalange noght, chepe or refuse,
Page 177
Thanne am I Conseience ycalled, Goddes clerk and his notarie; 15.032
And whan I love leelly Oure Lord and alle othere, 15.033
Thanne is “”lele Love” my name, and in Latyn Amor; 15.034
And whan I flee fro the flessh and forsake the careyne, 15.035
Thanne am I spirit spechelees–and Spiritus thanne ich hatte. 15.036
Austyn and Ysodorus, either of hem bothe 15.037
Nempnede me thus to name–now thow myght chese 15.038
How thow coveitest to calle me, now thow knowest alle my names. 15.039
Anima pro diversis accionibus diversa nomina sortitur: dum 15.039
vivificat corpus, anima est; dum vult, animus est; dum seit, 15.039
mens est; dum recoIit, memoria est; dum iudicat, racio est; 15.039
dum sentit, sensus est; dum amat, Amor est ; dum negat vel 15.039
consentit, consciencia est; dum spirat, spiritus est.’ 15.039
“Ye ben as a bisshop,’ quod I, al bourdynge that tyme, 15.040
” For bisshopes yblessed, thei bereth manye names– 15.041
Presul and Pontifex and Metropolitanus, 15.042
And othere names an heep, Episcopus and Pastor.’ 15.043
“That is sooth,’ seide he, “now I se thi wille! 15.044
Thow woldest knowe and konne the cause of alle hire names, 15.045
And of myne, if thow myghtest, me thynketh by thi speche!’ 15.046
” Ye, sire,’ I seide, “by so no man were greved, 15.047
Alle the sciences under sonne and alle the sotile craftes 15.048
I wolde I knewe and kouthe kyndely in myn herte!” 15.049
“Thanne artow inparfit,’ quod he, “and oon of Prides knyghtes! 15.050
For swich a lust and likyng Lucifer fel from hevene: 15.051
Ponam pedem meum in aquilone et simiiis ero Altissimo. 15.051
“It were ayeins kynde,’ quod he, “and alle kynnes reson 15.052
That any creature sholde konne al, except Crist oone. 15.053
Ayein swiche Salomon speketh, and despiseth hir wittes, 15.054
And seith, Sicut qui mel comedit multum non est ei bonum, 15.055
Sic qui scrutator est maiestatis opprimitur a gloria. 15.055
“To Englisshe men this is to mene, that mowen speke and here,
Page 178
The man that muche hony eteth his mawe it engleymeth, 15.057
And the moore that a man of good matere hereth, 15.058
But he do therafter it dooth hym doubie scathe. 15.059
“” Beatus est,’ seith Seint Bernard, “” qui scripturas iegit 15.060
Et verba vertit in opera fulliche to his power.” 15.061
Coveitise to konne and to knowe science 15.062
Putte out of Paridis Adam and Eve: 15.063
Sciencic appetitus hominem inmortalitatis gloriam spoliavit. 15.063
“And right as hony is yvel to defie and engleymeth the mawe, 15.064
Right so that thorugh reson wolde the roote knowe 15.065
Of God and of hise grete myghtes–hise graces it letteth. 15.066
For in the likynge lith a pride and licames coveitise 15.067
Ayein Cristes counseil and alle clerkes techynge– 15.068
That is Non plus sapere quam oportet sapere. 15.069
” Freres and fele othere maistres that to the lewed men prechen, 15.070
Ye moeven materes unmesurable to tellen of the Trinite, 15.071
That oftetymes the lewed peple of hir bileve doute. 15.072
Bettre it were by many doctours to bileven swich techyng 15.073
And tellen men of the ten comaundements, and touchen the sevene synnes, 15.074
And of the braunches that burjoneth of hem and bryngen men to helle, 15.075
And how that folk in folies mysspenden hir fyve wittes– 15.076
As wel freres as oother folk, foliliche spenden 15.077
In housynge, in haterynge, in to heigh clergie shewynge 15.078
Moore for pompe than for pure charite–the peple woot the sothe! 15.079
That I lye noght, loo!–for lordes ye plesen, 15.080
And reverencen the riche the rather for hir silver: 15.081
Confundantur omines qui adorant sculptilia. Et alibi, 15.081
Ut quid diligitis vanitatem, et queritis mendam? 15.081
“Goeth to the glose of the vers, ye grete clerkes;
Page 179
If I lye on yow to my lewed wit, ledeth me to brennyng! 15.083
For as it semeth ye forsaketh no mannes almesse– 15.084
Of usurers, of hoores, of varouse chapmen– 15.085
And louten to thise lordes that mowen lene yow nobles 15.086
Aye in youre rule and religion–I take record at Jesus, 15.087
That seide to hise disciples, “” Ne sitis acceptores personarum.” 15.088
Of this matere I myghte make a long bible; 15.089
Ac of curatours of Cristen peple, as clerkes bereth witnesse, 15.090
I shal tellen it for truthes sake–take hede whoso liketh! 15.091
“As holynesse and honeste out of Holy Chirche spredeth 15.092
Thorugh lele libbynge men that Goddes lawe techen, 15.093
Right so out of Holy Chirche alle yveles spredeth 15.094
There inparfit preesthode is, prechours and techeris. 15.095
And se it by ensaumple in somer tyme on trowes: 15.096
Ther some bowes ben leved and some bereth none, 15.097
Ther is a meschief in the more of swiche manere bowes. 15.098
Right so persons and preestes and prechours of Holi Chirche 15.099
Is the roote of the right feith to rule the peple; 15.100
Ac ther the roote is roten, reson woot the sothe, 15.101
Shal nevere fiour ne fruyt, ne fair leef be grene. 15.102
“Forthi wolde ye lettrede leve the lecherie of clothyng, 15.103
And be kynde as bifel for clerkes and curteise of Cristes goodes, 15.104
Trewe of youre tonge and of youre tail bothe, 15.105
And hatien to here harlotrie, and aught to underfonge 15.106
Tithes of untrewe thyng ytilied or chaffared– 15.107
Lothe were lewed men but thei youre loore folwede 15.108
And amenden hem that thei mysdoon, moore for youre ensaumples 15.109
Than for to prechen and to preven it noght–ypocrisie it semeth! 15.110
For ypocrisie in Latyn is likned to a dongehill 15.111
That were bisnewed with snow, and snakes withinne,
Page 180
Or to a wal that were whitlymed and were foul withinne. 15.113
Right so manye preestes, prechours and prelates– 15.114
Ye [b]en enblaunched with bele paroles and with clothes, 15.115
Ac youre werkes and wordes therunder aren ful w[o]lveliche. 15.116
Johannes Crisostomus of clerkes speketh and preestes: 15.117
Sicut de templo omne bonum progreditur, sic de templo omne 15.117
malum procedit. Si sacerdocium integrum fuerit, tota floret 15.117
ecclesia; si autem corruptum fuerit, omnium fides marcida est. 15.117
Si sacerdocium fuerit in peccatis, totus populus con vertitur 15.117
ad peccandum. Sicut cum videris arborem pallidam et marcidam 15.117
intelligis quod vicium habet in radice, ita cum videris 15.117
populum inaisciplinatum et irreligiosum, sine dubio 15.117
sacerdocium eius non est sanum. 15.117
“If lewed men wiste what this Latyn meneth, 15.118
And who was myn auctour, muche wonder me thinketh 15.120
But if many preest beere, for hir baselardes and hir broches, 15.121
A peire of bedes in hir hand and a book under hir arme. 15.122
Sire Johan and Sire Geffrey hath a girdel of silver, 15.123
A baselard or a ballok-knyf with botons overgilte. 15.124
Ac a porthors that sholde be his plow, Placebo to sigge, 15.125
Hadde he nevere, [his] service to [h]ave, 15.126
[And save he have] silver therto, seith it with ydel wille. 15.127
“Allas, ye lewed men, muche lese ye on preestes! 15.128
Ac thing that wikkedly is wonne, and with false sleightes, 15.129
Wolde nevere the wit of witty God but wikkede men it hadde–
Page 181
The whiche arn preestes inparfite and prechours after silver, 15.131
Executours and sodenes, somonours and hir lemmannes. 15.132
This that with gile was geten, ungraciousliche is spended. 15.133
So harlotes and hores arn holpe with swiche goodes, 15.134
Ac Goddes folk for defaute therof forfaren and spillen. 15.135
“Curatours of Holy Kirke, and clerkes that ben avarouse, 15.136
Lightliche that thei leven, losels it habbeth, 15.137
Or deieth intestate, and thanne [entreth the bisshop] 15.138
And maketh murthe therwith, and hise meyne both, 15.139
And seyen, “”He was a nygard, that no good myghte aspare 15.140
To frend ne to fremmed–the fend have his soule! 15.141
For a wrecehede hous he held al his lif tyme, 15.142
And that he spared and bispered, spende we in murthe!” 15.143
“By lered, by lewed, that looth is to spende– 15.144
Thus goon hire goodes, be the goost faren. 15.145
Ac for goode men, God woot, greet doel men maken, 15.146
And bymeneth goode meteyyveres, and in mynde haveth 15.147
In preieres and in penaunces and in parfit charite.’ 15.148
” What is charite?’ quod I tho. “A childissh thyng,’ he seide– 15.149
” Nisi efficiamini sicut parvuli, non intrabitis in regnum celorum– 15.149
Withouten fauntelte or folie a fre liberal wille.’ 15.150
“Where sholde men fynde swich a frend with so fre an herte? 15.151
I have lyved in londe,’ quod I, “my name is Longe Wille– 15.152
And fond I nevere ful charite, bifore ne bihynde. 15.153
Men beth merciable to mendinaunts and to poore, 15.154
And wollen lenc ther thei leve lelly to ben paied. 15.155
Ac charite that Poul preiseth best and moost plesaunt to Oure Saveour– 15.156
As Non inflatur, non est ambiciosa, non querit que sua sunt– 15.157
I seigh nevere swich a man, so me God helpe,
Page 182
That he ne wolde aske after his, and outherwhile coveite 15.159
Thyng that neded hym noght–and nyme it, if he myghte! 15.160
“Clerkes kenne me that Crist is in alle places; 15.161
Ac I seigh hym nevere soothly but as myself in a mirour: 15.162
Hic in enigmate, tunc facie ad faciem. 15.162
And so I trowe trewely, by that men telleth of charite, 15.163
It is noght chaumpions fight, ne chaffare, as I trowe.’ 15.164
“Charite,’ quod he, “ne chaffareth noght, ne chalangeth, ne craveth; 15.165
As proud of a peny as of a pound df golde, 15.166
And is as glad of a gowne of a gray russet 15.167
As of a tunycle of Tarse of of trie scarlet. 15.168
He is glad with alle glade and good til alle wikkede, 15.169
And leneth and loveth alle that Oure Lord made. 15.170
Corseth he no creature, ne he kan bere no wrathe, 15.171
Ne no likynge hath to lye ne laughe men to scorne. 15.172
Al that men seyn, he leet it sooth, and in solace taketh, 15.173
And alle manere meschiefs in myldenesse he suffreth. 15.174
Coveiteth he noon erthely good but heveneriche blisse.’ 15.175
“Hath he any rentes or richesse, or any riche frendes?’ 15.176
“Of rentes ne of richesse rekketh he nevere, 15.177
For a frend that fyndeth hym, failed hym nevere at nede: 15.178
Fiat voluntas tua fynt hym everemoore, 15.179
And if he soupeth, eteth but a sop of Spera in Deo. 15.180
He kan portreye wel the Paternoster and peynte it with Aves, 15.181
And outherwhile he is woned to wenden on pilgrymages 15.182
Ther poore men and prisons liggeth, hir pardon to have; 15.183
Though he bere hem no breed, he bereth hem swetter liflode, 15.184
Loveth hem as Oure Lord biddeth and loketh how thei fare. 15.185
“And whan he is wery of that werk than wole he som tyme 15.186
Labouren in a lavendrye wel the lengthe of a mile, 15.187
And yerne into youthe, and yepeliche seche 15.188
Pride, with al the appurtenaunces, and pakken hem togideres, 15.189
And bouken hem at his brest and beten hern clene, 15.190
And leggen on longe with Laboravi in gemitu memo,
Page 183
And with warm water at hise eighen wasshen hem after. 15.192
Thanne he syngeth whan he doth so, and som tyme seith wepynge, 15.193
Cor contritum et humiliatum, Deus, non despicies.’ 15.193
“By Crist! I wolde that I knewe hym,’ quod I, “no creature levere!’ 15.195
“Withouten help of Piers Plowman,’ quod he, “his persone sestow nevere.’ 15.196
“Wheither clerkes knowen hym,’ quod I, “that kepen Holi Kirke?’ 15.197
“Clerkes have no knowyng,’ quod he, “but by werkes and by wordes. 15.198
Ac Piers the Plowman parceyveth moore depper 15.199
What is the wille, and wherfore that many wight suffreth: 15.200
Et vidit Deus cogitaciones eorum. 15.200
For ther are ful proude herted men, pacient of tonge 15.201
And buxome as of berynge to burgeises and to lordes, 15.202
And to poore peple han pepir in the nose, 15.203
And as a lyoun he loketh ther men lakken hise werkes. 15.204
” For ther are beggeris and bidderis, bedemen as it were, 15.205
Loken as lambren and semen lif-holy– 15.206
Ac it is moore to have hir mete on swich an esy manere 15.207
Than for penaunce and parfitnesse, the poverte that swiche taketh. 15.208
“Therfore by colour ne by clergie knowe shaltow hym nevere, 15.209
Neither thorugh wordes ne werkes, but thorugh wil oone, 15.210
And that knoweth no clerk ne creature on erthe 15.211
But Piers the Plowman–Petrus, id est, Christus. 15.212
For he nys noght in lolleris ne in londleperis heremytes, 15.213
Ne at ancres there a box hangeth–alle swiche thei faiten. 15.214
Fy on faitours and infautores suos! 15.215
For Charite is Goddes champion, and as a good child hende, 15.216
And the murieste of mouth at mete where he sitteth. 15.217
The 1ove that lith in his herte maketh hym light of speche, 15.218
And is compaignable and confortatif, as Crist bit hymselve: 15.219
Nolite fieri sicut ypocrite tristes &c. 15.219
For I have seyen hym in silk and som tyme in russet, 15.220
Bothe in grey, and in grys, and in gilt harneis– 15.221
And as gladliche he it gaf to gomes that it neded. 15.222
” Edmund and Edward, either were kynges
Page 184
And seintes yset–[s]til[le] charite hem folwede. 15.224
“I have yseyen charite also syngen and reden, 15.225
Riden, and rennen in raggede wedes; 15.226
Ac biddynge as beggeris biheld I hym nevere. 15.227
Ac in riche robes rathest he walketh, 15.228
Ycalled and ycrymyled and his crowne yshave. 15.229
And in a freres frokke he was yfounden ones– 15.230
Ac it is fern ago, in Seint Fraunceis tyme; 15.231
In that secte siththe to selde hath he ben knowen. 15.232
” Riche men he recomendeth, and of hir robes taketh 15.233
That withouten wiles ledeth hir lyves: 15.234
Beatus est dives qui, &c. 15.234
“In kynges court he cometh ofte, ther the counseil is trewe; 15.235
Ac if coveitise be of the counseil he wol noght come therinne. 15.236
In court amonges japeris he cometh but selde, 15.237
For braulynge and bakbitynge and berynge of fals witnesse. 15.238
“In the consistorie bifore the commissarie he corneth noght ful ofte, 15.239
For hir lawe dureth overlonge but if thei lacchen silver, 15.240
And matrimoyne for moneie maken and unmaken, 15.241
And that conseience and Crist hath yknyt faste, 15.242
Thei undoon it un[digne]ly, tho doctours of lawe. 15.243
“Amonges erchebisshopes and other bisshopes and prelates of Holy Chirche, 15.244
For to wonye with hem his wone was som tyme, 15.245
And Cristes patrimonye to the poore parcelmele dele. 15.246
Ac avarice hath the keyes now and kepeth for his kynnesmen 15.247
And for his seketoures and his servaunts, and som for hir children. 15.248
“Ac I ne lakke no lif, but, Lord, amende us alle. 15.249
And gyve us grace, goode God, charite to folwe! 15.250
For whoso myghte meete with hym, swiche maneres hym eileth–
Page 185
Neither he blameth ne banneth, bosteth ne preiseth, 15.252
Lakketh, ne loseth, ne loketh up sterne, 15.253
Craveth, ne coveiteth, ne crieth after moore: 15.254
In pace in idipsum dormiam &c. 15.254
The mooste liflode that he lyveth by is love in Goddes passion; 15.255
Neither he biddeth, ne beggeth, ne borweth to yelde; 15.256
Misdooth he no man, ne with his mouth greveth. 15.257
“Amonges Cristene men this myldenesse sholde laste, 15.258
In alle manere angres have this at herte– 15.259
That theigh thei suffrede al this, God suffrede for us moore 15.260
In ensample we sholde do so, and take no vengeaunce 15.261
Of oure foes that dooth us falsnesse–that is oure fadres wille. 15.262
For wel may every man wite, if God hadde wold hymselve, 15.263
Sholde nevere Judas ne Jew have Jesu doon on roode, 15.264
Ne han martired Peter ne Poul, ne in prison holden. 15.265
Ac he suffre in ensample that we sholde suffren also, 15.266
And seide to swiche that suffre wolde that Pacientes vincunt. 15.267
” Verbi gratia,’ quod he–and verred ensamples manye. 15.268
“In Legenda Sanctorum, the lif of holy seintes, 15.269
What penaunce and poverte and passion thei suffrede– 15.270
In hunger, in hete, in alle manere angres. 15.271
“Antony and Egidie and othere holy fadres 15.272
Woneden in wildernesse among wilde beestes; 15.273
Monkes and mendinaunts. men by hemselve 15.274
In spekes and in spelonkes, selde speken togideres. 15.275
Ac neither Antony ne Egidie ne heremyte that tyme 15.276
Of leons ne of leopardes no liflode ne toke, 15.277
But of foweles that fleeth–thus fyndeth men in bokes– 15.278
Except that Egidie after an hynde cride, 15.279
And thorugh the mylk of that mylde beest the man was sustened; 15.280
And day bi day hadde he hire noght his hunger for to slake, 15.281
But selden and sondry tymes, as seith the book and techeth. 15.282
Antony adayes aboute noon tyme 15.283
Hadde a brid that broughte hym breed that he by lyvede; 15.284
And though the gome hadde a gest, God fond hem bothe. 15.285
“Poul primus heremita hadde parroked hymselve,
Page 186
That no man myghte hym se for mosse and for leves. 15.287
Foweles hym fedde fele wyntres with alle 15.288
Til he foundede freres of Austynes ordre. 15.289
Poul, after his prechyng, paniers he made, 15.290
And wan with hise hondes that his wornbe neded. 15.291
Peter fisshed for his foode, and his felawe Andrew: 15.292
Som thei solde and som thei soden, and so thei lyved bothe. 15.293
And also Marie Maudeleyne by mores lyvede and dewes, 15.294
Ac moost thorugh devocion and mynde of God Almyghty. 15.295
I sholde noght thise seven daies siggen hem alle 15.296
That lyveden thus for Oure Lordes love many longe yeres. 15.297
“Ac ther ne was leoun ne leopard that on laundes wenten, 15.298
Neither bere, ne boor, ne oother beest wilde 15.299
That ne fil to hir feet and fawned with the tailles; 15.300
And if thei kouthe han ycarped, by Crist, as I trowe, 15.301
Thei wolde have yfed that folk bifore wilde foweles. 15.302
For al the curteisie that beestes konne, thei kidde that folk ofte, 15.303
In likkyng and in lowynge, there thei on laundes yede. 15.304
Ac God sente hem foode by foweles, and by no fierse beestes, 15.305
In menynge that meke thyng mylde thyng sholde fede. 15.306
As who seith religious rightfulle men sholde fynde, 15.307
And lawefulle men to lif-holy rnen liflode brynge; 15.308
And thanne wolde lordes and ladies be looth to agulte, 15.309
And to taken of hir tenaunts more than trouthe wolde, 15.310
Founde thei that freres wolde forsake hir almesses, 15.311
And bidden hem bere it there it was yborwed. 15.312
For we ben Goddes foles and abiden alwey, 15.313
Til briddes brynge us that we sholde [by lyve]. 15.314
For hadde ye potage and payn ynogh, and peny ale to drynke, 15.315
And a mees thermyd of o maner kynde,
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Ye hadde right ynogh ye religiouse–and so youre rule me tolde. 15.317
Numquid, dicit Job rugiet onager cum habuerit herbam ? 15.317
Aut mugiet bos cum ante plenum presepe steterit ? Brutorum 15.317
animalium natura te condempnat, quia cum eis pabulum commune 15.317
sufficiat; ex adipe prodiit iniquitas tua. 15.317
“If lewed men knewe this Latyn, thei wolde loke whom thei yeve, 15.318
And avisen hem bifore a fyve dayes or sixe 15.319
Er thei amortisede [moore] to monkes or chanons hir rentes. 15.320
Allas! lordes and ladies, lewed counseil have ye 15.321
To yyve from youre heires that youre aiels you lefte, 15.322
And yyveth to bidde for yow to swiche that ben riche, 15.323
And ben founded and feffed ek to bidde for othere! 15.324
“Who parfourneth this prophecie, of the peple that now libbeth– 15.325
Dispersit, dedit pauperibus ? 15.326
If any peple parfourne that tent, it are thise poore freres: 15.327
For that thei beggen aboute, in buyldynge thei spende, 15.328
And on hemself som, and swiche as ben hir laborers; 15.329
And of hem that habbeth thei taken, and yyveth hem that ne habbeth! 15.330
“Ac clerkes and knyghtes, and communers that ben riche, 15.331
Fele of yow fareth as if I a forest hadde 15.332
That were ful of faire trees, and I fondede and caste 15.333
How I myghte mo therinne amonges hem sette. 15.334
Right so ye riche–ye robeth that ben riche, 15.335
And helpeth hem that helpeth yow, and yyveth ther no nede is; 15.336
As whoso filled a tonne ful of a fressh ryver, 15.337
And wente forth with that water to woke with Themese. 15.338
Right so ye riche, ye robeth and fedeth
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Hem that han as ye han–hem ye make at ese. 15.340
“Ac religiouse that riche ben sholde rather feeste beggeris 15.341
Than burgeises that riche ben, as the book techeth: 15.342
Quia sacrilegium est res pauperum non pauperibus dare. 15.342
Item: peccatoribus dare est demonibus immolare. 15.342
Item: monache, si indiges et accipis, pocius das quam accipis; 15.342
Si autem non eges et accipis, rapis. 15.342
Porro non indiget monachus, si habeat quod nature sufficit. 15.342
” Forthi I counseille alle Cristene to conformen hem to charite– 15.343
For charite withouten chalangynge unchargeth the soule, 15.344
And many a prison fram purgatorie thorugh hise preieres he delivereth. 15.345
Ac ther is a defaute in the folk that the feith kepeth, 15.346
Wherfore folk is the febler, and noght ferm of bileve. 15.347
As in lussheburwes is a luther alay, and yet loketh he lik a sterlyng: 15.348
The merk of that monee is good, ac the metal is feble. 15.349
And so it fareth by som folk now: thci han a fair speche, 15.350
Crowne and Cristendom, the kynges mark of hevene, 15.351
Ac the metal, that is mannes soule, with [many] synne is foule[d]. 15.352
Bothe lettred and lewed beth alayed now with synne, 15.353
That no lif loveth oother, ne Oure Lord, as it semeth. 15.354
For what thorugh werre and wikkede werkes and wederes unresonable, 15.355
Wederwise shipmen and witty clerkes also 15.356
Have no bileve to the lifte, ne to the loore of philosophres. 15.357
“Astronomiens alday in hir art faillen 15.358
That whilom warned bifore what sholde falle after; 15.359
Shipmen and shepherdes, that with ship and sheep wenten, 15.360
Wisten by the walkne what sholde bitide, 15.361
Tilieris that tiled the erthe tolden hir maistres 15.362
By the seed that thei sewe whit thei selle myghte, 15.363
And what to leve and to lyve by, the lond was so trewe;
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Now failleth the folk of the flood and of the lond bothe– 15.365
Shepherdes and shipmen, and so do thise tilieris: 15.366
Neither thei konneth ne knoweth oon cours bifore another. 15.367
“Astronomyens also aren at hir wittes ende: 15.368
Of that was calculed of the clem[a]t, the contrarie thei fynde. 15.369
Grammer, the ground of al, bigileth now children: 15.370
For is noon of thise newe clerkes–whoso nymeth hede– 15.371
That kan versifye faire ne formaliche enditen, 15.372
Ne naught oon among an hundred that an auctour kan construwe, 15.373
Ne rede a lettre in any langage but in Latyn or in Englissh. 15.374
“Go now to any degree, and but if gile be maister, 15.375
And flaterere his felawe [to fourmen under hym], 15.376
Muche wonder me thynketh amonges us alle! 15.377
Doctours of decrees and of divinite maistres, 15.378
That sholde konne and knowe alle kynnes clergie, 15.379
And answere to arguments and a1so to a quodlibet– 15.380
I dar noght siggen it for shame–if swiche were apposed, 15.381
Thei sholde faillen of hir Philosophie, and in Phisik bothe. 15.382
“Wherfore I am afered of folk of Holy Kirke, 15.383
Lest thei overhuppen, as oothere doon, in Office and in Houres. 15.384
Ac if thei overhuppe–as I hope noght–oure bileve suffiseth; 15.385
As clerkes in Corpus Christi feeste syngen and reden 15.386
That sola fides sufficit to save with lewed peple– 15.387
And so may Sarsens be saved, scribes and Jewes. 15.388
“Allas thanne! but oure looresmen lyve as thei leren us, 15.389
And for hir lyvynge that lewed men be the lother God agulten. 15.390
For Sarsens han somwhat semynge to oure bileve, 15.391
For thei love and bileve in o [Lede] almyghty, 15.392
And we, lered and lewed, [bileveth in oon God]– 15.393
Cristene and uncristene on oon [creatour] bileveth.
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Ac oon Makometh, a man, in mysbileve 15.395
Broughte Sarsens of Surree–and see in what manere. 15.396
“This Makometh was a Cristene man and for he moste noght ben a pope, 15.397
Into Surrie he soughte. and thorugh hise sotile wittes 15.398
Daunted a dowve, and day and nyght hire fedde. 15.399
The corn that she croppede, he caste it in his ere; 15.400
And if he among the peple preched, or in places come, 15.401
Thanne wolde the colvere come to the clerkes ere 15.402
Menynge as after mete–thus Makometh hire enchauntede, 15.403
And dide folk thanne falle on knees, for he swoor in his prechyng 15.404
That the colvere that com so com from God of hevene 15.405
As messager to Makometh, men for to teche. 15.406
And thus thorugh wiles of his wit and a whit dowve 15.407
Makometh in mysbileve men and wommen broughte, 15.408
That lered there and lewed yit leeven on hise lawes. 15.409
“And siththe Oure Saveour suffred the Sarsens so bigiled 15.410
Thorugh a Cristene clerk acorsed in his soule– 15.411
Ac for drede of the deeth I dar noght telle truthe, 15.412
How Englisshe clerkes a colvere fede that Coveitise highte, 15.413
And ben manered after Makometh, that no man useth trouthe. 15.414
“Ancres and heremytes, and monkes and freres 15.415
Peeren to Apostles thorugh hire parfit lyvynge. 15.416
Wolde nevere the feithful Fader that hise ministres sholde 15.417
Of tiraunts that teneth trewe men taken any almesse, 15.418
But doon as Antony dide, Dominyk and Fraunceys, 15.419
Beneit and Bernard [bo]the, whiche hem first taughte 15.420
To lyve by litel and in lowe houses by lele mennes almesse. 15.421
Grace sholde growe and be grene thorugh hir goode lyvynge, 15.422
And folkes sholden fynde, that ben in diverse siknesse, 15.423
The bettre for hir biddynges in body and in soule. 15.424
Hir preieres and hir penaunces to pees sholde brynge 15.425
Alle that ben at debaat, and bedemen were trewe: 15.426
Petite et accipietis &c.
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” Salt saveth catel,’ siggen thise wyves ; 15.427
Vos estis sal terre &c. 15.427
The hevedes of Holy Chirche–and thei holy were– 15.428
Crist calleth hem salt for Cristene soules, 15.429
Et si sal evanuerit, in quo salietur ? 15.429
Ac fressh flessh outher fissh, whan it salt failleth, 15.430
It is unsavory, for sothe, ysoden or ybake; 15.431
So is mannes soule, soothly, that seeth no good ensample 15.432
Of hem of Holi Chirche that the heighe wey sholde teche 15.433
And be gide, and go bifore as a good banyer, 15.434
And hardie hem that bihynde ben, and yyve hem good evidence. 15.435
” Ellevene holy men al the world tornede 15.436
Into lele bileve; the lightloker, me thynketh. 15.437
Sholde alle maner men, we han so manye maistres- 15.438
Preestes and prechours, and a pope above, 15.439
That Goddes salt sholde be, to save mannes soule. 15.440
“Al was hethynesse som tyme Engelond and Walis, 15.441
Til Gregory garte clerkes to go here and preche. 15.442
Austyn [cristnede the kyng at Caunterbury], 15.443
And thorugh miracles, as men mow rede, al that marche he tornede 15.444
To Crist and to Cristendom, and cros to honoure, 15.445
And follede folk faste, and the feith taughte 15.446
Moore thorugh miracles than thorugh muche prechyng, 15.447
As wel thorugh hise werkes as with hise holy wordes, 15.448
And [fourmed] what fullynge and feith was to mene. 15.449
“Clooth that cometh fro the wevyng is noght comly to were 15.450
Til it be fulled under foot or in fullyng stokkes, 15.451
Wasshen wel with water and with taseles cracched, 15.452
Ytouked and yteynted and under taillours hande; 15.453
And so it fareth by a barn that born is of wombe: 15.454
Til it be cristned in Cristes name and confermed of the bisshop, 15.455
It is hethene as to heveneward, and helplees to the soule. 15.456
” Hethen’ is to mene after heeth and untiled erthe– 15.457
As In wilde wildernesse wexeth wilde beess,
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Rude and unresonable, rennynge withouten keperes. 15.459
“Ye mynnen wel how Mathew seith, how a man made a feste: 15.460
He fedde hem with no venyson, ne fesaunts ybake, 15.461
But with foweles that fram hym nolde, but folwede his whistlyng: 15.462
Ecce altilia mea et omnia parata sunt– 15.462
And with calves flessh he fedde the folk that he lovede. 15.463
“The calf bitokneth clennesse in hem that kepeth lawes; 15.464
For as the cow thorugh kynde mylk the calf norisseth til an oxe, 15.465
So love and leaute lele men susteneth; 15.466
And maidenes and mylde men mercy desiren 15.467
Right as the cow-calf coveiteth swete melk– 15.468
So [muche] don rightfulle men mercy and truthe. 15.469
And by the hond-fedde foweles his folk understonde 15.470
That looth ben to lovye withouten lernynge of ensaumples. 15.471
Right as capons in a court cometh to mennes whistlynge– 15.472
In menynge after mete folweth men that whistlen– 15.473
Right so rude men that litel reson konneth 15.474
Loven and bileven by lettred mennes doynges, 15.475
And by hire wordes and werkes wenen and trowen: 15.476
And as tho foweles to fynde foode after whistlynge, 15.477
So hope thei to have hevene thorugh hir [wiss]ynge. 15.478
And the man that made the feste the mageste bymeneth– 15.479
That is God, of his grace gyveth alle men blisse. 15.480
With wederes and with wondres he warneth us with a whistlere 15.481
Where that his wil is, to worshipen us alle, 15.482
And feden us and festen us for everemoore at oones. 15.483
“Ac who beth that excuseth hem that arn persons and preestes 15.484
(That hevedes of Holy Chirche ben) that han hir wil here 15.485
Withouten travaille the tithe deel that trewe men biswynken– 15.486
Thei wol be wrooth for I write thus-ac to witnesse I take
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Bothe Mathew and Mark and Memento Domine David: 15.488
Ecce auaivimus e[a]m in Effrata &c. 15.488
What pope or prelate now parfourneth that Crist highte- 15.489
Ite in universum mundum et predicate &c? 15.489
“Allas, that men so longe on Makometh sholde bileve! 15.490
So manye prelates to preche as the Pope maketh– 15.491
Of Nazareth, of Nynyve, of Neptalym and Damaske. 15.492
That thei ne wente as Crist wisseth–sithen thei wilne a name– 15.493
To be pastours and preche the passion of Jesus, 15.494
And as hymself seide, so to lyve and dye: 15.495
Bonus pastor animam suam ponit &c, 15.496
And seide it in salvacion of Sarsens and othere– 15.497
For Cristene and uncristene, Crist seide to prechours, 15.498
Ite vos in vineam meam &c. 15.498
“And sith that thise Sarsens, scribes and Jewes 15.499
Han a lippe of oure bileve, the lightloker, me thynketh, . 15.500
Thei sholde turne, whoso travaile wolde to teche hem of the Trinite: 15.501
Querite et invenietis &c. 15.501
For alle paynymes preieth and parfitly bileweth 15.502
In the [grete holy] God, and his grace asken, 15.503
And make hir mone to Makometh, hir message to shewe. 15.504
Thus in a feith leveth that folk, and in a fals mene, 15.505
And that is routhe for rightful men that in the reawme wonyen, 15.506
And a peril to the Pope and prelates that he maketh, 15.507
That bere bisshopes names of Bethleem and Babiloigne.
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“Whan the hye kyng of hevene sente his sone to erthe, 15.509
Many miracles he wroughte man for to turne, 15.510
In ensaumple that men sholde se by sadde reson 15.511
Men myghte noght be saved but thorugh mercy and grace, 15.512
And thorugh penaunce, and passion, and parfit byleve; 15.513
And bicam man of a mayde, and metropolitanus, 15.514
And baptised and bishined with the blode of his herte 15.515
Alle that wilned and wolde with inwit bileve it. 15.516
Many a seynt siththen hath suffred to deye, 15.517
Al for to enforme the feith in fele contrees deyeden– 15.518
In Inde, and in Alisaundre, in Ermonye and in Spayne, 15.519
In doelful deth deyeden for hir feith sake. 15.520
In savacion of the feith Seint Thomas was ymartired: 15.521
Amonges unkynde Cristene for Cristes love he deyede, 15.522
And for the right of al this reume and alle reumes Cristene. 15.523
Holy Chirche is honoured heighliche thorugh his deying; 15.524
He is a forbisene to alle bisshopes and a bright myrour, 15.525
And sovereynliche to swiche that of Surrye bereth the name, 15.526
And naught to huppe aboute in Engelond to halwe mennes auteres, 15.527
And crepe in amonges curatours and confessen ageyn the lawe: 15.528
Nolite mitterefalsem in messem alienam &c. 15.528
Many man for Cristes love was martired amonges Romaynes 15.529
Er Cristendom were knowe ther or any cros honoured. 15.530
“It is ruthe to rede how rihtwise men lyved–
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How thei defouled hir flessh, forsoke hir owene wille, 15.532
Fer fro kyth and fro kyn yvele yclothed yeden, 15.533
Baddely ybedded, no book but conscience, 15.534
Ne no richesse but the roode to rejoisse hem inne: 15.535
Absit nobis gloriari nisi in cruce Domini nostri &c. 15.535
“And tho was plentee and pees amonges poore and riche; 15.536
And now is routhe to rede how the rede noble 15.537
Is reverenced er the roode, receyved for the worthier 15.538
Than Cristes cros that overcam deeth and dedly synne. 15.539
And now is werre and wo, and whoso why asketh– 15.540
For coveitise after cros; the croune stant in golde. 15.541
Bothe richc and religious, that roode thei honoure 15.542
That in grotes is ygrave and in gold nobles. 15.543
For coveitise of that cros [clerkes] of Holy Kirke 15.544
Shul torne as Templers dide–the tyme approcheth faste. 15.545
” [Mynne] ye noght, wise men, how tho men honoured 15.546
Moore tresor than trouthe? I dar noght telle the sothe; 15.547
Reson and rightful doom tho religious demede. 15.548
Right so, ye clerkes, for youre coveitise, er [come aught] longe, 15.549
Shal thei demen dos ecclesie, and [depose youre pride]: 15.550
Deposuit potentes de sede &c. 15.550
“If knyghthod and kynde wit, and the commune and conscience 15.551
Togideres love leelly, leveth it wel, ye bisshopes– 15.552
The lordshipe of londes [lese ye shul for evere], 15.553
And lyven as Levitici, as Oure Lord yow techeth: 15.554
Per primicias et decimas &c. 15.554
“Whan Costantyn of curteisie Holy Kirke dowed 15.555
With londes and ledes, lordshipes and rentes, 15.556
An aungel men herden an heigh at Rome crye,
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” Dos ecclesie this day hath ydronke venym, 15.558
And tho that han Petres power arn apoisoned alle!’ 15.559
A medicyne moot therto that may amende prelates, 15.560
That sholden preie for the pees; possession hem letteth. 15.561
Taketh hire landes, ye lordes, and leteth hem lyve by dymes; 15.562
If possession be poison, and inparfite hem make, 15.563
Good were to deschargen hem for Holy Chirehes sake, 15.564
And purgen hem of poison, er moore peril falle. 15.565
If preesthode were parfit, the peple sholde amende, 15.566
That contrarien Cristes lawe, and Cristendom dispise. 15.567
“Every bisshop that bereth cros, by that he is holden 15.568
Thorugh his province to passe, and to his peple to shewe hym, 15.569
Tellen hem and techen hem on the Trinite to bileve, 15.570
And feden hem with goostly foode, and nedy folk to fynden. 15.571
Ac Ysaie of yow speketh and Osias bothe, 15.572
That no man sholde be bisshop but if he hadde bothe 15.573
Bodily foode and goostly foode to gyve there it nedeth: 15.574
In domo mea non est panis neque vestimentum, et ideo nolite constituere me re 15.575
Osias seith for swiche that sike ben and feble, 15.575
Inferte omnes decimas in orreum meum, ut sit cibus in domo mea. 15.575
“Ac we Cristene creatures, that on the cros bileven, 15.576
Arn ferme as in the feith-Goddes forbode ellis!– 15.577
And han clerkes to kepen us therinne, and hem that shul come after us. 15.578
And Jewes lyven in lele lawe-0ure Lord wroot it hymselve 15.580
In stoon, for it stedefast was, and stonde sholde evere– 15.581
Dilige Deum et proximum, is parfit Jewen lawe– 15.582
And teok it Moyses to teche men, til Messie coom 15.583
And on that lawe thei leve, and leten it for the beste.
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And yit knewe thei Crist, that Cristendom taughte, 15.585
And for a parfit prophete that muche peple savede 15.586
Of selkouthe sores; thei seighen it ofte– 15.587
Bothe of miracles and merveilles, and how he men festede, 15.588
With two fisshes and fyve loves fyve thousand peple– 15.589
And by that mangerie thei myghte wel se that Messie he semede; 15.590
And whan he lifte up Lazar, that leid was in grave, 15.591
And under stoon deed and stank, with stif vois hym callede, 15.592
Lazare, veniforas, 15.592
Dide hym rise and rome right bifore the Jewes. 15.593
Ac thei seiden and sworen, with sorcerie he wroughte, 15.594
And studieden to struyen hym–and struyden hemselve, 15.595
And thorugh his pacience hir power to pure noght he broughte: 15.596
Pacientes vincunt. 15.596
“Daniel of hire undoynge devyned and seide, 15.597
Cum sanctus sanctorum veniat cessabit unxio vestra. 15.598
And yit wenen tho wrecches that he were pseudo-propheta 15.599
And that his loore be lesynges, and lakken it alle, 15.600
And hopen that he be to come that shal hem releve– 15.601
Moyses eft or Messie hir maistres devyneth. 15.602
“Ac pharisees and sarsens, scribes and Jewes 15.603
Arn folk of oon feith–the fader God thei honouren. 15.604
And sithen that the Sarsens and also the Jewes 15.605
Konne the firste clause of oure bileve, Credo in Deum patrem omnipotentem, 15.606
Prelates of Cristene provinces sholde preve, if thei myghte, 15.607
Lere hem litlum and litlum Et in Jesum Chrisium filium, 15.608
Til thei kouthe speke and spelle Et in Spiritum santum, 15.609
And rendren it and recorden it with remissionem peccatorum, 15.610
Carnis resurreccionem et vitam eternam. Amen.’ 15.610
Page 198
Passus 16
“Now faire falle yow,’ quod I tho, “for youre faire shewyng! 16.001
For Haukyns love the Actif Man evere I shal yow lovye. 16.002
Ac yit am I in a weer what charite is to mene.’ 16.003
“It is a ful trie tree,’ quod he, “trewely to telle. 16.004
Mercy is the more therof; the myddul stok is ruthe; 16.005
The leves ben lele wordes, the lawe of Holy Chirche; 16.006
The blosmes beth buxom speche and benigne lokynge; 16.007
Pacience hatte the pure tree, and pore symple of herte, 16.008
And so thorugh God and thorugh goode men groweth the fruyt Charite.’ 16.009
“I wolde travaille,’ quod 1, “this tree to se, twenty hundred myle, 16.010
And to have my fulle of that fruyt forsake a1 other saulee. 16.011
Lord !’ quod I, ” if any wight wite whiderout it groweth?’ 16.012
“It groweth in a gardyn,’ quod he, “that God made hymselve; 16.013
Amyddes mannes body the more is of that stokke. 16.014
Herte highte the herber that it inne groweth, 16.015
And Liberum Arbitrium hath the lond to ferme, 16.016
Under Piers the Plowman to piken it and to weden it.’ 16.017
” Piers the Plowman!’ quod I tho, and al for pure joye 16.018
That I herde nempne his name anoon I swowned after, 16.019
And lay longe in a lone dreem; and at the laste me thoughte 16.020
That Piers the Plowman al the place me shewed, 16.021
And bad me toten on the tree, on top and on roote. 16.022
With thre piles was it underpight–I parceyved it soone. 16.023
” Piers,’ quod I, ” I preie thee–whi stonde thise piles here?’ 16.024
” For wynde, wiltew wite,’ quod he, “to witen it fro fallyng– 16.025
Cum ceciderit iustus non eollidetur quia Dominus supponit manum suam– 16.025
And in blowyng tyme abite the flowres, but- if thise piles helpe.
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The world is a wikked wynd to hem that willen truthe: 16.027
Coveitise comth of that wynd and crepeth among the leves 16.028
And forfreteth neigh the fruyt thorugh manye faire sightes. 16.029
Thanne with the firste pil I palle hym doun–that is Potencia Dei Patris. 16.030
“The flessh is a fel wynd, and in flouryng tyme, 16.031
Thorugh likynge and lustes so loude he gynneth blowe 16.032
That it norisseth nyce sightes and som tyme wordes, 16.033
And wikkede werkes therof, wormes of synne, 16.034
And forbiteth the blosmes right to the bare leves. 16.035
“Thanne sette I to the secounde pil, Sapiencia Dei Patris– 16.036
That is the passion and the power of oure prince Jesu. 16.037
Thorugh preieres and thorugh penaunces and Goddes passion in mynde, 16.038
I save it til I se it ripen and somdel yfruyted. 16.039
“And thanne fondeth the fend my fruyt to destruye 16.040
With alle the wiles that he kan, and waggeth the roote, 16.041
And casteth up to the crop unkynde neighebores, 16.042
Bakbiteris brewecheste, brawleris and chideris, 16.043
And leith a laddre therto–of lesynges are the ronges– 16.044
And feccheth awey my floures somtyme bifore bothe myne eighen. 16.045
Ac Liberum Arbitrium letteth hym som tyme, 16.045
That is lieutenaunt to loken it wel, bi leve of myselve: 16.046
Videatis qui peccat in Spiritum Sanctum numquam remittetur 16.046
&c,- hoc est idem, qui peccat per liberum arbitrium non repugnat. 16.047
“Ac whan the fend and the flessh forth with the world 16.048
Manacen bihynde me, my fruyt for to fecche, 16.049
Thanne Liberum Arbitrium laccheth the thridde planke 16.050
And palleth adoun the pouke pureliche thorugh grace 16.051
And help of the Holy Goost–and thus have I the maistrie.’ 16.052
“Now faire falle yow, Piers!’ quod I, “so faire ye discryven 16.053
The power of thise postes and hire propre myghte. 16.054
Ac I have thoughtes a threve af thise thre piles– 16.055
In what wode thei woxen, and where that thei 8rowed, 16.056
For alle are thei aliche longe, noon lasse than oother, 16.057
And to my mynde, as me thynketh, on o more thei growed; 16.058
And of o greetnesse and grene of greyn thei semen.’
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“That is sooth,’ seide Piers, “so it may bifalle. 16.060
I shal telle thee as tid what this tree highte. 16.061
The ground there it groweth, goodnesse it hatte; 16.062
And I have told thee what highte the tree: the Trinite it meneth’– 16.063
And egreliche he loked on me, and therfore I spared 16.064
To asken hym any moore therof, and bad hym ful faire 16.065
To di[ff]yne the fruyt that so faire hangeth. 16.066
” Heer now bynethe,’ quod he tho, “if I nede hadde, 16.067
Matrimoyne I may nyme, a moiste fruyt withalle. 16.068
Thanne Continence is neer the crop as kaylewey bastard. 16.069
Thanne bereth the crop kynde fruyt and clennest of alle– 16.070
Maidenhode, aungeles peeris, and [ar]est wole be ripe, 16.071
And swete withouten swellyng–sour worth it nevere.’ 16.072
I preide Piers to pulle adoun an appul, and he wolde, 16.073
And suffre me to assaien what savour it hadde. 16.074
And Piers caste to the crop, and thanne comsed it to crye; 16.075
And waggede widwehode, and it wepte after; 16.076
And whan he meved matrimoyne, it made a foul noise, 16.077
That I hadde ruthe whan Piers rogged, it gradde so rufulliche. 16.078
For evere as thei dropped adoun the devel was redy, 16.079
And gadrede hem alle togideres, bothe grete and smale– 16.080
Adam and Abraham and Ysaye the prophete, 16.081
Sampson and Samuel, and Seint Johan the Baptist; 16.082
Bar hem forth boldely–no body hym letted– 16.083
And made of holy men his hoord in Limbo Inferni, 16.084
There is derknesse and drede and the devel maister. 16.085
And Piers, for pure tene, that a pil he laughte, 16.086
And hitte after hym, happe how it myghte, 16.087
Eilius by the Fader wille and frenesse of Spiritus Sancti, 16.088
To go robbe that rageman and reve the fruyt fro hym. 16.089
And thanne spak Spiritus Sanctus in Gabrielis mouthe 16.090
To a maide that highte Marie, a meke thyng withalle, 16.091
That oon Jesus, a justices some, mostejouke in hir chambre 16.092
Til plenitudo temporis tyme comen were
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That Piers fruyt floured and felle to be rype. 16.094
And thanne sholde Jesus juste therfore, bi juggement of armes, 16.095
Wheither sholde fonge the fruyt–the fend or hymselve. 16.096
The maide myldeliche tho the messager graunted, 16.097
And seide hendeliche to hym, “Lo me his handmaiden 16.098
For to werchen his wille withouten any synne: 16.099
Ecce ancilla Domini, fat michi &c.’ 16.099
And in the wombe of that wenche was he fourty woukes, 16.100
Til he weex a faunt thorugh hir flessh, and of fightyng kouthe, 16.101
To have yfoughte with the fend er ful tyme come. 16.102
And Piers the Plowman parceyved plener tyme, 16.103
And lered hym lechecraft. his lif for to save, 16.104
That though he were wounded with his enemy, to warisshen hymselve; 16.105
And dide hym assaie his surgenrie on hem that sike were, 16.106
Til he was parfit praktisour, if any peril fille; 16.107
And soughte out the sike and synfulle bothe, 16.108
And salvede sike and synfulle, bothe blynde and crokede, 16.109
And commune wommen convertede [to goode]: 16.110
Non est sanis opus medicus, set male habentibus. 16.110
Bothe meseles and mute, and in the menyson blody– 16.111
Ofte he heeled swiche, he ne held it for no maistrie, 16.112
Save tho he leched Lazar, that hadde yleye in grave 16.113
Quatriduanus quelt–quyk dide hym walke. 16.114
Ac a[r] he made the maistrie, mestus cepit esse, 16.115
And wepte water with hise eighen- -ther seighen it manye. 16.116
Some that the sighte seighen seiden that tyme 16.117
That he was leche of lif, and lord of heigh hevene. 16.118
Jewes jangled therayein that juggede lawes, 16.119
And seide he wroghte thorugh wichecraft and with the develes myghte: 16.120
Demonium habes &c.
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“Thanne are ye cherles,’ quod Jesus, “and youre children bothe, 16.121
And Sathan youre Saveour–yowself now ye witnessen: 16.122
For I have saved yowself, and youre sones after, 16.123
Youre bodies. youre beestes, and blynde men holpen, 16.124
And fed yow with fisshes and with fyve loves, 16.125
And lefte baskettes ful of broke mete–bere awey whoso wolde–‘ 16.126
And mysseide the Jewes manliche, and manaced hem to bete, 16.127
And knokked on hem with a corde, and caste adoun hir stalles 16.128
That in chirche chaffareden or chaungeden any moneie, 16.129
And seide it in sighte of hem alle, so that alle herden, 16.130
” I shal overturne this temple and adoun throwe, 16.131
And in thre daies after edifie it newe, 16.132
And maken it as muche outher moore in alle manere poyntes 16.133
As evere it was, and as wid-wherfore I hote yow, 16.134
Of preieres and of parfitnesse this place that ye callen: 16.135
Domus mea domus oracionis vocabitur.’ 16.135
Envye and yvel wil ar[ne] in the Jewes: 16.136
Thei casten and contreveden to kulle hym whan thei myghte; 16.137
Eche day after oother hir tyme thei awaiteden, 16.138
Til it bifel on a Friday, a litel bifore Pasqe. 16.139
The Thursday bifore, there he made his cene, 16.140
Sittynge at the soper he seide thise wordes: 16.141
“I am sold thorugh so[m] of yow–he shal the tyme rewe 16.142
That evere he his Saveour solde for silver or ellis.’ 16.143
Judas jangled therayein, ac Jesus hym tolde 16.144
It was hymself soothly, and seide, ” Tu dicis.’ 16.145
Thanne wente forth that wikked man and with the Jewes mette, 16.146
And tolde hem a tokne how to knowe with Jesus, 16.147
The which tokne to this day to muche is yused– 16.148
That is, kissynge and fair countenaunce and unkynde wille. 16.149
And so was with Judas tho, that Jesus bitrayed: 16.150
” Ave, raby,’ quod that ribaud, and right to hym he yede,
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And kiste hym, to be caught therby and kulled of the Jewes. 16.152
Thanne Jesus to Judas and to the Jewes seide, 16.153
” Falsnesse I fynde in thi faire speche, 16.154
And gile in thi glad chere, and galle is in thi laughyng. 16.155
Thow shalt be myrour to many, men to deceyve, 16.156
Ac the worse, and thi wikkednesse shal worthe upon thiselve: 16.157
Necesse est ut veniant scandala: ve homini illi, per quem scandalum venit. 16.157
Though I bi treson be take, and [to] youre owene wille, 16.158
Suffreth myne apostles in pays, and in pees gange.’ 16.159
On a Thursday in thesternesse thus was he taken . 16.160
Thorugh Judas and Jewes–Jesus was his name 16.161
That on the Friday folwynge for mankyndes sake 16.162
Justed in Jerusalem, a joye to us alle. 16.163
On cros upon Calvarie Crist took the bataille 16.164
Ayeins deeth and the devel, destruyed hir botheres myghtes– 16.165
Deide, and deeth fordide, and day of nyght made. 16.166
And I awaked therwith, and wiped myne eighen, 16.167
And after Piers the Plowman pried and stared, 16.168
Estward and westward I waited after faste, 16.169
And yede forth as an ydiot, in contree to aspie 16.170
After Piers the Plowman–many a place I soughte. 16.171
And thanne mette I with a man, a myd-Lenten Sonday, 16.172
As hoor as an hawethorn, and Abraham he highte. 16.173
I frayned hym first fram whennes he come, 16.174
And of whennes he were, and whider that he thoughte. 16.175
“I am Feith,’ quod that freke, “it falleth noght me to lye, 16.176
And of Abrahames hous an heraud of armes. 16.177
I seke after a segge that I seigh ones, 16.178
A ful bold bacheler–I knew hym by his blasen.’ 16.179
” What berth that buyrn,’ quod I tho, ” so blisse thee bitide?’ 16.180
” Thre leodes in oon lyth, noon lenger than oother, 16.181
Of oon muchel and myght in mesure and in lengthe. 16.182
That oon dooth, alle dooth, and ech dooth bi his one. 16.183
The firste hath myght and majestee, makere of alle thynges:
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Pater is his propre name, a persone by hymselve. 16.185
The secounde of that sire is Sothfastnesse Filius, 16.186
Wardeyn of that wit hath, was evere withouten gynnyng. 16.187
The thridde highte the Holi Goost, a persone by hymselve, 16.188
The light of al that lif hath a londe and a watre, 16.189
Confortour of creatures–of hym cometh alle blisse. 16.190
“So thre bilongeth for a lord that lordshipe cleymeth: 16.191
Might, and a mene [his owene myghte to knowe], 16.192
Of hymself and of his servaunt, and what suffreth hem bothe. 16.193
So God, that gynnyng hadde nevere, but tho hym good thoughte, 16.194
Sente forth his sone as for servaunt that tyme, 16.195
To ocupien hym here til issue were spronge– 16.196
That is, children of charite, and Holi Chirche the moder. 16.197
Patriarkes and prophetes and apostles were the children, 16.198
And Crist and Cristendom and alle Cristene Holy Chirche 16.199
In menynge that man moste on o God bileve, 16.200
And there hym likede and lovede, in thre [leodes] hym shewede. 16.201
And that it may be so and sooth [sheweth it manhode]: 16.202
Wedlok and widwehode with virginite ynempned, 16.203
In tokenynge of the Trinite was taken out of o man– 16.204
Adam, oure alle fader; Eve was of hymselve, 16.205
And the issue that thei hadde it was of hem bothe, 16.206
And either is otheres joye in thre sondry persones, 16.207
And in hevene and here oon singuler name. 16.208
And thus is mankynde and manhede of matrimoyne yspronge, 16.209
And bitokneth the Trinite and trewe bileve. 16.210
“Might is it in matrimoyne, that multiplieth the erthe, 16.211
And bitokneth trewely, telle if I dorste, 16.212
Hym that first formed al, the Fader of hevene.
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The Sone, if I it dorste seye, resembleth wel the widewe: 16.214
Deus meus, Deus meus, ut quid dereliquisti me ? 16.214
That is, creatour weex creature to knowe what was bothe. 16.215
As widewe withouten wedlok was nevere yit yseyghe, 16.216
Na moore myghte God be man but if he moder hadde. 16.217
So widewe withouten wedlok may noght wel stande, 16.218
Ne matrimoyne withouten muliere is noght muche to preise: 16.219
Maledictus homo qui non reliquit semen in Israel. 16.219
“Thus in thre persones is parfitliche pure manhede– 16.220
That is, man and his make and mulliere hir children. 16.221
And is noght but gendre of a generacion, bifore Jesu Crist in hevene; 16.222
So is the fader forth with the Sone and Fre Wille of bothe– 16.223
Spiritus procedens a Patre et Filio &c– 16.223
Which is the Holy Goost of alle, and alle is but o God. 16.224
“Thus in a somer I hym seigh as I sat in my porche. 16.225
I roos up and reverenced hym, and right faire hym grette. 16.226
Thre men, to my sighte, I made wel at ese, 16.227
Wessh hir feet and wiped hem, and afterward thei eten 16.228
Calves flessh and cakebreed, and knewe what I thoughte. 16.229
Ful trewe toknes betwene us is, to telle whan me liketh. 16.230
” First he fonded me, if I lovede bettre 16.231
Hym or Ysaak myn heir, the which he highte me kulle. 16.232
He wiste my wille bi hym; he wol me it allowe; 16.233
I am ful siker in my soule therof, and my sone bothe. 16.234
“I circumcised my sone sithen for his sake– 16.235
Myself and my meynee and alle that male weere 16.236
Bledden blood for that Lordes love, and hope to blisse the tyme. 16.237
affiaunce and my feith is ferme in this bileve, 16.238
For hymself bihighte to me and to myn issue bothe 16.239
Lond and lordshipe and lif withouten ende.
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To me and to myn issue moore yet he me grauntede– 16.241
Mercy for oure mysdedes as many tyme as we asken: 16.242
Quam olim Abrahe promisisti et semini eius. 16.242
“And siththe he sente me, to seye I sholde do sacrifise, 16.243
And doon hym worship with breed and with wyn bothe, 16.244
And called me the foot of his feith, his folk for to save, 16.245
And defende hem fro the fend, folk that on me leveden. 16.246
“Thus have I ben his heraud here and in helle, 16.247
And conforted many a careful that after his comynge waiten; 16.248
And thus I seke hym,’ he seide, “for I herde seyn late 16.249
Of a buyrn that baptised hym–Johan Baptist was his name– 16.250
That to patriarkes and to prophetes and to oother peple in derknesse 16.251
Seide, that he seigh here that sholde save us alle: 16.252
Ecce Agnus Dei &c.’ 16.252
I hadde wonder of hise wordes, and of hise wide clothes; 16.253
For in his bosom he bar a thyng, and that he blissed evere. 16.254
And I loked in his lappe: a lazar lay therinne 16.255
Amonges patriarkes and prophetes pleyinge togideres. 16.256
“What awaitestow?’ quod he, ” and what woldestow have?’ 16.257
“I wolde wite,’ quod I tho, “what is in youre lappe.’ 16.258
” Lo!’ quod he–and leet me se. ” Lord, mercy!’ I seide. 16.259
“This is a present of muche pris; what prynce shal it have?’ 16.260
“It is a precious present,’ quod he, “ac the pouke it hath attached, 16.261
And me thenvith,’ quod that wye, “may no wed us quyte, 16.262
Ne no buyrn be oure borgh, ne brynge us fram his daunger; 16.263
Out of the poukes pondfold no maynprise may us fecche 16.264
Til he come that I carpe of: Crist is his name 16.265
That shal delivere us som day out of the develes power, 16.266
And bettre wed for us [wa]ge than we ben alle worthi– 16.267
That is, lif for lif–or ligge thus evere
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Lollynge in my lappe, til swich a lrd us fecche.’ 16.269
“Allas!’ I seide, “that synne so longe shall lette 16.270
The myght of Goddes mercy, that myghte us alle amende!’ 16.271
I wepte for hise wordes. With that saugh I another 16.272
Rapeliche renne forth the righte wey he wente. 16.273
I affrayned hym first fram whennes he come, 16.274
What he highte and whider he wolde–and wightly he tolde. 16.275
Passus 17
“I am Spes, a spie,’ quod he, “and spire after a knyght 17.001
That took me a maundement upon the mount of Synay 17.002
To rule alle reames therewith–l bere the writ here.’ 17.003
“Is it asseled?” I seide. “May men see thi lettres?’ 17.004
“Nay.’ he seide. “I seke hym that hath the seel to kepe– 17.005
And that is cros and Cristendom, and Crist theron to honge. 17.006
And whan it is asseled so, I woot wel the sothe– 17.007
That Luciferis lordshipe laste shal no lenger!’ 17.008
” Lat se thi lettres,’ quod I, “we myghte the lawe knowe.’ 17.009
He plukkede forth a patente, a pece of an hard roche, 17.010
Whereon was writen two wordes on this wise yglosed;
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Dilige Deum et proximum tuum– 17.012
This was the tixte trewely–I took ful good yeme. 17.013
The glose was gloriously writen with a gilt penne: 17.014
In hiis duobus mandatis tota lex penhet et prophete. 17.015
” Is here alle thi lordes lawes?’ quod I. ” Ye, leve me,’ he seide. 17.016
“And whoso wet cheth after this writ, I wol undertaken, 17.017
Shal nevere devel hym dere, ne deeth in soule greve. 17.018
For though I seye it myself, I have saved with this charme 17.019
Of men and of wommen many score thousand.’ 17.020
” He seith sooth,’ seide this heraud, ” I have yfounde it ofte. 17.021
Lo! here in my lappe that leeved on that charme– 17.022
Josue and Judith and Judas Macabeus, 17.023
Ye, and sixti thousand biside forth that ben noght seyen here!’ 17.024
” Youre wordes arn wonderfulle,’ quod I tho. ” Which of yow is trewest, 17.025
And lelest to leve on for lif and for soule? 17.026
Abraham seith that he seigh hoolly the Trinite, 17.027
Thre persones in parcelles departable fro oother, 17.028
And alle thre but o God–thus Abraham me taughte– 17.029
And hath saved that bileved so and sory for hir synnes, 17.030
He kan noght siggen the somme, and some arn in his lappe. 17.031
What neded it thanne a newe lawe to brynge, 17.032
Sith the firste suffiseth to savacion and to blisse? 17.033
And now cometh Spes and speketh, that hath aspied the lawe, 17.034
And telleth noght of the Trinite that took hym hise lettres– 17.035
To bileeve and lovye in o Lord almyghty, 17.036
And siththe right as myself so lovye alle peple. 17.037
“The gorne thit gooth with o staf–he semeth in gretter heele 17.038
Than he that gooth with two staves, to sighte of us alle. 17.039
And right so, bi the roode, reson me sheweth 17.040
It is lighter to lewed men o lesson to knowe 17.041
Than for to techen hem two, and to hard to lerne the leeste! 17.042
It is ful hard for any man on Abraham bileve,
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And wel awey worse yit for to love a sherewe. 17.044
lt is lighter to leeve in thre lovely persones 17.045
Than for to lovye and lene as wel lorels as lele. 17.046
Go thi gate, ‘quod I to Spes; “so me God helpe, 17.047
Tho that lernen thi lawe wol litel while usen it!’ 17.048
And as we wenten thus in the wey, wordynge togideres, 17.049
Thanne seighe we a Samaritan sittynge on a mule, 17.050
Ridynge ful rapely the righte wey we yeden, 17.051
Comynge from a contree that men called Jerico– 17.052
To a justes in Jerusalem he [j]aced awey faste. 17.053
Bothe the heraud and Hope and he mette atones 17.054
Where a man was, wounded, and with theves taken. 17.055
He myghte neither steppe ne stande, ne stere foot ne handes, 17.056
Ne helpe hymself soothly, for semyvif he semed, 17.057
And as naked as a nedle, and noon help abouten. 17.058
Feith hadde first sighte of hym, ac he fleigh aside, 17.059
And nolde noght neghen hym by nyne londes lengthe. 17.060
Hope cam hippynge after, that hadde so ybosted 17.061
How he with Moyses maundement hadde many men yholpe; 17.062
Ac whan he hadde sighte of that segge, aside he gan hym drawe 17.063
Dredfully, bi this day, as doke dooth fram the faucon! 17.064
Ac so soone so the Samaritan hadde sighte of this leode, 17.065
He lighte adown of lyard and ladde hym in his handes, 17.066
And to the wye he wente hise woundes to biholde, 17.067
And parceyved by his pous he was in peril to dye, 17.068
And but he hadde recoverer the rather, that rise sholde he nevere; 17.069
And breide to hise boteles, and bothe he atamede. 17.070
With wyn and with oille hise woundes he wasshed, 17.071
Enbawmed hym and bond his heed, and in his lappe hym leide, 17.072
And ladde hym so forth on lyard to Lex Christi, a graunge 17.073
Wel sixe mile or sevene biside the newe market; 17.074
Herberwed hym at an hostrie and to the hostiler called,
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And [quod], ” Have, kepe this man, til I come fro the justes, 17.076
And lo here silver,’ he seide, “for salve to hise woundes.’ 17.077
And he took hym two pens to liflode as it weere, 17.078
And seide, “What he [moore spendeth] I make thee good herafter, 17.079
For I may noght lette,’ quod that leode–and lyard he bistrideth, 17.080
And raped hym to Jerusalemward the righte wey to ryde. 17.081
Feith folwede after faste, and fondede to mete hym, 17.082
And Spes spakliche hym spedde, spede if he myghte 17.083
To overtaken hym and talke to hym er thei to towne coome. 17.084
And whan I seigh this, I sojourned noght. but shoop me to renne, 17.085
And suwed that Samaritan that was so ful of pite, 17.086
And graunted hym to ben his groom. “Graunt mercy,’ he seide, 17.087
“Ac thi frend and thi felawe,’ quod he, “thow fyndest me at nede.’ 17.088
And I thanked hym tho and siththe I hym tolde 17.089
How that Feith fleigh awey and Spes his felawe bothe 17.090
For sighte of the sorweful [segge] that robbed was with theves. 17.091
” Have hem excused,’ quod he, “hir help may litel availle: 17.092
May no medicyne under molde the man to heele brynge– 17.093
Neither Feith ne fyn Hope, so festred be hise woundes, 17.094
Withouten the blood of a barn born of a mayde. 17.095
And be he bathed in that blood, baptised as it were, 17.096
And thanne plastred with penaunce and passion of that baby, 17.097
He sholde stonde and steppe–ac stalworthe worth he nevere 17.098
Til he have eten al the barn and his blood ydronke. 17.099
For wente nevere wye in this world thorugh that wildernesse 17.100
That he ne was robbed or rifled, rood he there or yede, 17.101
Save Feith and [myselve and] Spes [his felawe], 17.102
And thiself now and swiche as suwen oure werkes. 17.103
” For Outlawe is in the wode and under bank lotieth, 17.104
And may ech man see and good mark take 17.105
Who is bihynde and who bifore and who ben on horse–
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For he halt hym hardier on horse than he that is a foote. 17.107
For he seigh me that am Samaritan suwen Feith and his felawe 17.108
On my capul that highte Caro–of mankynde I took it– 17.109
He was unhardy, that harlot, and hidde hym in Inferno. 17.110
Ac er this day thre daies, I dar undertaken 17.111
That he worth fettred, that feloun, faste with cheynes, 17.112
And nevere eft greve gome that gooth this ilke gate: 17.113
0 Mors ero mors tua &c. 17.113
“And thanne shal Feith be forster here and in this fryth walke, 17.114
And kennen out comune men that knowen noght the contree, 17.115
Which is the wey I wente, and wher forth to Jerusalem; 17.116
And Hope the hostilers man shal be ther [an helyng the man lith], 17.117
And alle that feble and feynte be, that Feith may noght teche, 17.118
Hope shal lede hem forth with love, as his lettre telleth, 17.119
And hostele hem and heele thorugh Holy Chirche bileve 17.120
Til I have salve for alle sike–and thanne shal I returne, 17.121
And come ayein bi this contree and conforten alle sike 17.122
That craveth it or coveiteth it and crieth therafter. 17.123
For the barn was born in Bethleem that with his blood shal save 17.124
Alle that lyven in Feith and folwen his felawes techynge.’ 17.125
“A, swete sire!’ I seide tho, “wher I shal bileve– 17.126
As Feith and his felawe enformed me bothe– 17.127
In thre persones departable that perpetuele were evere, 17.128
And alle thre but o God? Thus Abraham me taughte; 17.129
And Hope afterward he bad me to lovye 17.130
O God with al my good, and alle gomes after, 17.131
Lovye hem lik myselve–ac Oure Lord aboven alle.’ 17.132
“After Abraham,’ quod he, “tat heraud of armes, 17.133
Sette faste thi feith and ferme bileve; 17.134
And as Hope highte thee, I hote that thow lovye 17.135
Thyn evenecristene everemoore eveneforth with thiselve.
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And if conscience carpe therayein, or kynde wit eyther, 17.137
Or eretikes with arguments–thyn hond thow hem shewe: 17.138
For God is after an hand–yheer now and knowe it. 17.139
“The Fader was first as a fust with o fynger foldynge, 17.140
Til hym lovede and liste to unlosen his fynger 17.141
And profrede it forth as with a pawme to what place it sholde. 17.142
The pawme is purely the hand, and profreth forth the fyngres, 17.143
To ministren and to make that myght of hand knoweth; 17.144
And bitokneth trewely, telle whoso liketh, 17.145
The Holy Goost of hevene–he is as the pawme. 17.146
The fyngres that fre ben to folde and to serve 17.147
Bitoknen soothly the Sone, that sent was til erthe, 17.148
That touched and tastede at techynge of the pawme 17.149
Seinte Marie, a mayde, and mankynde laughte: 17.150
Qui conceptus est de spiritu sancto &c. 17.150
“The Fader is thanne as a fust with fynger to touche– 17.151
Quia “”Omnia traham ad me ipsum &c”– 17.151
Al that the pawme parceyveth profitable to feele. 17.152
Thus are thei alle but oon, as it an hand weere, 17.153
And thre sondry sightes in oon shewynge. 17.154
The pawme for he put forth fyngres and the fust bothe, 17.155
Right so, redily, reson it shewith, 17.156
How he that is Holy Goost Sire and Sone preveth. 17.157
And as the hand halt harde and alle thyng faste 17.158
Thorugh foure fyngres and a thombe forth with the pawme, 17.159
Right so the Fader and the Sone and Seint Spirit the thridde 17.160
Halt al the wide world withinne hem thre– 17.161
Bothe wolkne and the wynd, water and erthe, 17.162
Hevene and helle and al that ther is inne. 17.163
Thus it is–nedeth no man to trowe noon oother– 17.164
That thre thynges bilongeth in Oure Lord of hevene, 17.165
And aren serelepes by hemself, asondry were thei nevere,
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Namoore than may an hande meve withoute fyngres. 17.167
“And as my fust is ful hand yfolden togideres, 17.168
So is the Fader a ful God, formour and shappere— 17.169
Tu fabricator omnium &c– 17.169
And al the myght myd hym is in makynge of thynges. 17.170
“The fyngres formen a ful hand to portreye or peynten; 17.171
Kervynge and compasynge is craft of the fyngres. 17.172
Right so is the Sone the science of the Fader 17.173
And ful God as is the Fader, no febler ne no bettre. 17.174
“The pawme is pureliche the hand, hath power by hymselve 17.175
Otherwise than the writhen fust, or werkmans ipe of fyngres; 17.176
For the pawme hath power to putte out the j ntes 17.177
And to unfolde the fust, for hym it bilongeth, 17.178
And receyve that the fyngres recheth and refuse bothe 17.179
Whan he feleth the fust and the fyngres wille. 17.180
“So is the Holy Goost God, neither gretter ne lasse 17.181
Than is the Sire or the Sone, and in the same myghte, 17.182
And alle are thei but o God, as is myn hand and my fyngres, 17.183
Unfolden or folden, my fust and my pawme– 17.184
Al is but an hand, howso I turne it. 17.185
“Ac who is hurte in the hand, evene in the myddes, 17.186
He may receyve right noght–reson it sheweth; 17.187
For the fyngres that folde sholde and the fust make, 17.188
For peyne of the pawme, power hem failleth 17.189
To clucche or to clawe, to clippe or to holde. 17.190
“Were the myddel of myn hand ymaymed or ypersshed, 17.191
I sholde receyve right noght of that I reche myghte; 17.192
Ac though rny thombe and my fynges bothe were toshullen
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And the myddel of myn hand withoute male ese, 17.194
In many kynnes maneres I myghte myself helpe 17.195
Bothe meve and amende, though alle my fyngres oke. 17.196
“By this skile,’ he seide, I se an evidence 17.197
That whoso synneth in the Seint Spirit, assoilled worth he nevere, 17.198
Neither here ne elliswhere, as I herde telle– 17.199
Qui peccat in Spiritum Sanctum &c– 17.199
For he priketh God as in the pawme, that peccat in Spiritu[m] Sanctu[m]. 17.200
For God the Fader is as a fust; the Sone is as a fynger; 17.201
The Holy Goost of hevene is as it were the pawme. 17.202
So whoso synneth ayeyns the Seint Spirit, it semeth that he greveth 17.203
God that he grypeth with, and wolde his grace quenche. 17.204
“For to a torche or a tapur the Trinite is likned– 17.205
As wex and a weke were twyned togideres, 17.206
And thanne a fir flawmynge forth out of bothe. 17.207
And as wex and weke and warm fir togideres 17.208
Fostren forth a flawmbe and a fair leye 17.209
[That serveth thise swynkeres to se by anightes], 17.210
So dooth the Sire and the Sone and also Spiritus Sanctus 17.211
Fostren forth amonges folk love and bileve, 17.212
That alle kynne Cristene clenseth of synnes. 17.213
And as thow seest som tyme sodeynliche a torche– 17.214
The blase therof yblowe out, yet brenneth the weke– 17.215
Withouten leye or light, that [lowe] the macche brenneth; 17.216
So is the Holy Goost God, and grace withoute mercy 17.217
To alle unkynde creatures that coveite to destruye 17.218
Lele love or lif that Oure Lord shapte. 17.219
“And as glowynge gledes gladeth noght thise werkmen 17.220
That werchen and waken in wyntres nyghtes, 17.221
As dooth a kex or a candle that caught hath fir and blaseth, 17.222
Namoore dooth Sire ne Sone ne Seint Spirit togideres 17.223
Graunte no grace ne forgifnesse of synnes 17.224
Til the Holy Goost gynne to glowe and to blase;
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So that the Holy Goost gloweth but as a glede 17.226
Til that lele love ligge on hym and blowe. 17.227
And thanne flawmeth he as fir on Fader and on Filius 17.228
And melteth hire myght into mercy– as men may se in wyntre 17.229
Ysekeles in evesynges thorugh hete of the sonne 17.230
Melte in a mynut while to myst and to watre. 17.231
“So grace of the Holy Goost the greet myght of the Trinite 17.232
Melteth to mercy–to merciable and to noon othere. 17.233
And as wex withouten moore on a warm glede 17.234
Wol brennen and blasen, be thei togideres, 17.235
And solacen hem that mowe [noght] se, that sitten in derknesse, 17.236
So wol the Fader foryyve folk of mylde hertes 17.237
That rufully repenten and restitucion make, 17.238
In as muche as thei mowen arnenden and paien; 17.239
And if it suffise noght for assetz, that in swich a wille deyeth, 17.240
Mercy for his mekenesse wol maken good the remenaunt. 17.241
And as the weke and fir wol maken a warm flaumbe 17.242
For to murthen men with that in merke sitten, 17.243
So wole Crist of his curteisie, and men crye hym mercy, 17.244
Bothe foryyve and foryete, and yit bidde for us 17.245
To the Fader of hevene foryifnesse to have. 17.246
“Ac hewe fir at a flynt foure hundred wynter– 17.247
But thow have tache to take it with, tonder or broches, 17.248
Al thi labour is lost and al thi long travaille; 17.249
For may no fir flaumbe make, faille it his kynde. 17.250
So is the Holy Goost God and grace withouten mercy 17.251
To alle unkynde creatures–Crist hymself witnesseth: 17.252
Amen dico vobis, nescio vos &c. 17.252
“Be unkynde to thyn evenecristene, and al that thow kanst bidde– 17.253
Delen and do penaunce day and nyght evere, 17.254
And purchace al the pardon of Pampilon and Rome, 17.255
And indulgences ynowe, and be ingratus to thi kynde, 17.256
The Holy Goest hereth thee neght, ne help may thee by reson;
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For unkyndenesse quencheth hym, that he kan noght shyne, 17.258
Ne brenne ne blase clere, for blowynge of unkyndenesse. 17.259
Poul the Apostel preveth wheither I lye: 17.260
Si linguis hominum loquar &c. 17.260
” Forthi beth war, ye wise men that with the world deleth, 17.261
That riche ben and reson knoweth–ruleth wel youre soule; 17.262
Beth noght unkynde, I conseille yow, to youre evenecristene; 17.263
For manye of yow riche men, by my soule, men telleth, 17.264
Ye brenne, but ye blase noght, and that is a blynd bekene!– 17.265
Non omnis qui dicit Domine, Domine, intrabit &c. 17.265
” Dives deyde dampned for his unkyndenesse 17.266
Of his mete and his moneie to men that it nedede. 17.267
Ech a riche, I rede, reward at hym take, 17.268
And gyveth youre good to that God that grace of ariseth. 17.269
For that ben unkynde to hise. hope I noon oother 17.270
But thei dwelle ther Dives is dayes withouten ende. 17.271
“Thus is unkyndenesse the contrarie that quencheth, as it were, 17.272
The grace of the Holy Goost, Goddes owene kynde. 17.273
For that kynde dooth, unkynde fordooth–as thise corsede theves, 17.274
Unkynde Cristene men, for coveitise and envye 17.275
Sleeth a man for hise moebles, with mouth or with handes. 17.276
For that the Holy Goost hath to kepe, tho harlotes destruyeth– 17.277
The which is lif and love, the leye of mannes body. 17.278
For every manere good man may be likned to a torche, 17.279
Or ellis to a tapur, to reverence the Trinite; 17.280
And whoso morthereth a good man, me thynketh, by myn inwit, 17.281
He fordooth the levest light that Oure Lord lovyeth. 17.282
“Ac yet in manye mo maneres men offenden the Holy Geost; 17.283
Ac this is the worste wise that any wight myghte 17.284
Synnen ayein the Seint Spirit–assenten to destruye 17.285
For coveitise of any kynnes thyng that Crist deere boughte.
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How myghte he aske mercy, or any mercy hym hel 17.287
That wikkedliche and wilfulliche wolde mercy aniente? 17.288
“Innocence is next God, and nyght and day it crieth 17.289
“”Vengeaunce ! Vengeaunce! Foryyve be it nevere 17.290
That shente us and shedde oure blood–forshapte us, as it semed: 17.291
Vindica sanguinem iustorum .” 17.291
Thus “” Vengeaunce, vengeaunce!” verrey charite asketh; 17.292
And sith Holy Chirche and charite chargeth this so soore, 17.293
Leve I nevere that Oure Lord wol love that charite lakketh, 17.294
Ne have pite for any preiere [that he pleyneth ther].’ 17.295
“I pose I hadde synned so, and sholde now deye, 17.296
And now am sory that I so the Seint Spirit agulte, 17.297
Confesse me and crye his grace, God that al made, 17.298
And myldeliche his mercy aske–myghte I noght be saved?’ 17.299
“Yis,’ seide the Samaritan, “so thow myghte repente 17.300
That rightwisnesse thorugh repentaunce to ruthe myghte turne. 17.301
Ac it is but selden yseighe, ther soothnesse bereth witnesse, 17.302
Any creature be coupable afore a kynges justice, 17.303
Be raunsoned for his repentaunce ther alle reson hym dampneth. 17.304
For ther that partie pursueth the peel is so huge 17.305
That the kyng may do no mercy til bothe men acorde 17.306
And eyther have equite, as holy writ telleth: 17.307
Numquam dimittitur peccatum &c. 17.307
Thus it fareth by swich folk that falsly al hire lyves 17.308
Yvele lyven and leten noght til lif hem forsake. 17.309
Drede of desperacion thanne dryveth awey grace, 17.310
That mercy in hir mynde may noght thanne falle; 17.311
Good hope, that helpe sholde, to wanhope torneth–
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Noght of the nounpower of God, that he ne is myghtful 17.313
To amende al that amys is, and his mercy gretter 17.314
Thanne alle our wikkede werkes, as Holy Writ telleth– 17.315
Misericordia eius super omnia opera eius– 17.315
Ac er his rightwisnesse to ruthe torne, som restitucion bihoveth: 17.316
His sorwe is satisfaccion for [swich] that may noght paie. 17.317
“Thre thynges ther ben that doon a man by strengthe 17.318
For to fleen his owene hous, as Holy Writ sheweth. 17.319
That oon is a wikkede wif that wol noght be chastised: 17.320
Hir feere fleeth hire for feere of hir tonge. 17.321
And if his hous be unhiled, and reyne on his bedde, 17.322
He seketh and seketh til he slepe drye. 17.323
And whan smoke and smolder smyt in his sighte, 17.324
It dooth hym worse than his wif or wete to slepe. 17.325
For smoke and smolder smerteth hise eighen 17.326
Til he be bler eighed or blynde and [the borre] in the throte, 17.327
Cogheth and curseth that Crist gyve hym sorwe 17.328
That sholde brynge in bettre wode, or blowe it til it brende! 17.329
“Thise thre that I telle of thus ben to understonde: 17.330
The wif is oure wikked flessh that wol noght be chastised, 17.331
For kynde clyveth on hym evere to contrarie the soule. 17.332
And though it falle, it fynt skiles, that “” Frelete it made,” 17.333
And “”That is lightly foryyven and foryeten bothe 17.334
To man that mercy asketh and amende thenketh.” 17.335
“The reyn that reyneth ther we reste sholde 17.336
Ben siknesses and sorwes that we suffren oughte, 17.337
As Poul the Apostle to the peple taughte: 17.338
Virtus in infirmitate perficitur. 17.338
And though that men make muche doel in hir angre, 17.339
And ben inpacient in hir penaunce, pure reson knoweth 17.340
That thei han cause to contrarie, by kynde of hir siknesse;
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And lightliche Oure Lord at hir lyves ende 17.342
Hath mercy on swiche men, that so yvele may suffre. 17.343
“Ac the smoke and the smolder that smyt in oure eighen, 17.344
That is coveitise and unkyndenesse, that quencheth Goddes mercy. 17.345
For unkyndenesse is the contrarie of alle kynnes reson; 17.346
For ther nys sik ne sory, ne noon so muche wrecche 17.347
That he ne may lovye, and hym like, and lene of his herte 17.348
Good wille, good word–bothe wisshen and wilnen 17.349
Alle manere men mercy and foryifnesse, 17.350
And lovye hem lik hymself, and his lif amende. 17.351
“I may no lenger lette!’ quod he, and lyard he prikede, 17.352
And wente awey as wynd–and therwith I awakede. 17.353
Passus 18
Wolleward and weetshoed wente I forth after 18.001
As a recchelees renk that [reccheth of no wo], 18.002
And yede forth lik a lorel al my lif tyme, 18.003
Til I weex wery of the world and wilned eft to slepe, 18.004
And lened me to a Lenten–and longe tyme I slepte; 18.005
Reste me there and rutte faste til ramis palmarum. 18.006
Of gerlis and of Gloria, laus gretly me dremed 18.007
And how osanna by organye olde folk songen,
Page 220
And of Cristes passion and penaunce, the peple that ofraughte. 18.009
Oon semblable to the Samaritan, and somdeel to Piers the Plowman, 18.010
Barefoot on an asse bak bootles cam prikye, 18.011
Withouten spores other spere; spakliche he loked, 18.012
As is the kynde of a knyght that cometh to be dubbed, 18.013
To geten hym gilte spores on galoches ycouped. 18.014
Thanne was Feith in a fenestre, and cryde “At Fili David!’ 18.015
As dooth an heraud of armes whan aventrous cometh to iustes. 18.016
Olde Jewes of Jerusalem for joye thei songen, 18.017
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini. 18.017
Thanne I frayned at Feith what al that fare bymente, 18.018
And who sholde juste in Jerusalem. “jesus,’ he seide, 18.019
“And fecche that the fend claymeth–Piers fruyt the Plowman.’ 18.020
“Is Piers in this place?’ quod I, and he preynte on me. 18.021
“This Jesus of his gentries wol juste in Piers armes, 18.022
In his helm and in his haubergeon–humana natura. 18.023
That Crist be noght biknowe here for consummatus Deus, 18.024
In Piers paltok the Plowman this prikiere shal ryde; 18.025
For no dynt shal hym dere as in deitate Patris.’ 18.026
“Who shal juste with Jesus?’ quod I, “Jewes or scrybes?’ 18.027
“Nay,’ quod Feith, “but the fend and fals doom to deye. 18.028
Deeth seith he shal fordo and adoun brynge 18.029
Al that lyveth or loketh in londe or in watre. 18.030
Lif seith that he lieth, and leieth his lif to wedde 18.031
That, for al that Deeth kan do, withinne thre daies to walke 18.032
And fecche fro the fend Piers fruyt the Plowman, 18.033
And legge it ther hym liketh, and Lucifer bynde,
Page 221
And forbete and adoun brynge bale-deeth for evere: 18.035
O Mors ero mors tua!’ 18.035
Thanne cam Pilatus with muche peple, sedens pro tribunali, 18.036
To se how doghtiliche Deeth sholde do, and deme hir botheres right. 18.037
The Jewes and the justieeayeins Jesu thei weere, 18.038
And al the court on hym cryde ” Crucifige!’ sharpe. 18.039
Tho putte hym forth a p[e]lour bifore Pilat and seide, 18.040
“This Jesus of oure Jewes temple japed and despised, 18.041
To fordoon it on o day, and in thre dayes after 18.042
Edifie it eft newe–here he stant that seide it– 18.043
And yit maken it as muche in alle manere poyntes 18.044
Bothe as long and as large a lofte and by grounde.’ 18.045
” Crucifige!’ quod a cachepol, ” I warante hym a wicche!’ 18.046
” Tolle, tolle!’ quod another, and took of kene thornes, 18.047
And bigan of [gr]ene thorn a garland to make, 18.048
And sette it sore on his heed and seide in envye, 18.049
“A ve, rabyt’ quod that ribaud–and threw reedes at hym, 18.050
Nailed hym with thre nailes naked on the roode, 18.051
And poison on a poole thei putte up to hise lippes, 18.052
And beden hym drynken his deeth-yvel–hise dayes were ydone– 18.053
And [seiden], ” If that thow sotil be, help now thiselve; 18.054
If thow be Crist and kynges sone, com down of the roode; 18.055
Thanne shul we leve that lif thee loveth and wol noght lete thee deye!’ 18.056
” Consummatum est,’ quod Crist, and comsede for to swoune, 18.057
Pitousliche and pale as a prison that deieth; 18.058
The lord of lif and of light tho leide hise eighen togideres. 18.059
The day for drede withdrough and derk bicam the sonne. 18.060
The wal waggede and cleef, and al the world quaved. 18.061
Dede men for that dene come out of depe graves, 18.062
And tolde why that tempeste so longe tyme durede. 18.063
“For a bitter bataille,’ the dede body seide; 18.064
“Lif and Deeth in this derknesse, hir oon fordeoth hir oother. 18.065
Shal no wight wite witterly who shal have the maistrie 18.066
Er Sonday aboute sonne risyng’–and sank with that til erthe.
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Some seide that he was Goddes sone, that so faire deyde: 18.068
Vere filius Dei erat iste. 18.068
And some seide he was a wicche–“Good is that we assaye 18.069
Wher he be deed or noght deed, doun er he be taken.’ 18.070
Two theves also tholed deeth that tyme 18.071
Upon a croos bisides Crist–so was the comune lawe. 18.072
A cachepol cam forth and craked bothe hir legges, 18.073
And hir armes after of either of tho theves. 18.074
Ac was no boy so boold Goddes body to touche; 18.075
For he was knyght and kynges sone, Kynde foryaf that throwe 18.076
That noon harlot were so hardy to leyen hond upon hym. 18.077
Ac ther cam forth a knyght with a kene spere ygrounde, 18.078
Highte Longeus, as the lettre telleth, and longe hadde lore his sight. 18.079
Bifore Pilat and oother peple in the place he hoved. 18.080
Maugree his manye teeth he was maad that tyme 18.081
To [justen with Jesus, this blynde Jew Longeus]. 18.082
For alle thei were unhardy, that hoved on horse or stode, 18.083
To touchen hym or to tasten hym or taken hym doun of roode, 18.084
But this blynde bacheler, that baar hym thorugh the herte. 18.085
The blood sprong doun by the spere and unspered the knyghtes eighen. 18.086
Thanne fil the knyght upon knees and cryde Jesu mercy: 18.087
“Ayein my wille it was, Lord, to wownde yow so soore!” 18.088
He sighed and seide, ” Soore it me athynketh! 18.089
For the dede that I have doon I do me in youre grace. 18.090
Have on me ruthe, rightful Jesu!’–and right with that he wepte. 18.091
Thanne gan Feith felly the false Jewes despise– 18.092
Callede hem caytyves acorsed for evere: 18.093
” For this foule vileynye vengeaunce to yow falle! 18.094
To do the blynde bete hym ybounde, it was a boyes counseille. 18.095
Cursede caytyves! Knyghthood was it nevere
Page 223
To mysdo a deed body by daye or by nyghte. 18.097
The gree yit hath he geten, for al his grete wounde. 18.098
” For youre champion chivaler, chief knyght of yow alle, 18.099
Yilt hym recreaunt rennyng, right at Jesus wilk. 18.100
For be this derknesse ydo, Deeth worth yvenquisshed; 18.101
And ye, lurdaynes, han ylost–for Lif shal have the maistrye. 18.102
And youre fraunchyse, that fre was, fallen is in thraldom, 18.103
And ye, cherles, and youre children, cheve shulle ye nevere, 18.104
Ne have lordshipe in londe, ne no lond tilye, 18.105
But al barayne be and usurie usen, 18.106
Which is lif that Oure Lord in alle lawes acurseth. 18.107
Now youre goode dayes arn doon, as Daniel prophecied: 18.108
Whan Crist cam hir kyngdom the crowne sholde lese– 18.109
Cum veniat sanctus sanctorum cessabit unxio vestra.’ 18.109
What for feere of this ferly and of the false Jewes, 18.110
I drow me in that derknesse to descendit ad inferna, 18.111
And there I saugh soothly, secundum scripturas, 18.112
Out of the west coste, a wenche, as me thoughte, 18.113
Cam walkynge in the wey; to helleward she loked. 18.114
Mercy highte that mayde, a meke thyng with alle, 18.115
A ful benigne burde, and buxom of speche. 18.116
Hir suster, as it semed, cam softely walkynge 18.117
Evene out of the est, and westward she lokede– 18.118
A ful comely creature [and a clene], Truthe she highte; 18.119
For the vertue that hire folwede, afered was she nevere. 18.120
Whan thise maydenes mette, Mercy and Truthe, 18.121
Either asked oother of this grete wonder– 18.122
Of the dyn and of the derknesse, and how the day rowed, 18.123
And which a light and a leme lay bifore helle. 18.124
“Ich have ferly of this fare, in feith,’ seide Truthe, 18.125
“And am wendynge to wite what this wonder meneth.’ 18.126
“Have no merveille’, quod Mercy, “murhte it bitokneth.
Page 224
A maiden that highte Marie, and moder withouten felyng 18.128
Of any kynde creature, conceyved thorugh speche 18.129
And grace of the Holy Goost; weex greet with childe; 18.130
Withouten wem into this world she broghte hym; 18.131
And that my tale be trewe, I take God to witnesse. 18.132
“Sith this barn was ybore ben thritti wynter passed, 18.133
Which deide and deeth tholed this day aboute mydday– 18.134
And that is cause of this clips that closeth now the sonne, 18.135
In menynge that man shal fro merknesse be drawe 18.136
The while this light and this leme shal Lucifer ablende. 18.137
For patriarkes and prophetes han preched herof often– 18.138
That man shal man save thorugh a maydenes helpe, 18.139
And that was tynt thorugh tree, tree shal it wynne, 18.140
And that Deeth down broughte, deeth shal releve.’ 18.141
“That thow tellest; quod Truthe, “is but a tale of waltrot! 18.142
For Adam and Eve and Abraham with othere 18.143
Patriarkes and prophetes that in peyne liggen, 18.144
Leve thow nevere that yon light hem alofte brynge, 18.145
Ne have hem out of helle–hold thi tonge, Mercy! 18.146
It is but trufle that thow tellest–I, Truthe, woot the sothe. 18.147
For that is ones in helle, out cometh it nevere; 18.148
Job the prophete patriark repreveth thi sawes: 18.149
Quia in inferno nulla est redempcio.’ 18.149
Thanne Mercy ful myldely mouthed thise wordes: 18.150
“Thorugh experience,’ quod he[o], ” I hope thei shul be saved. 18.151
For venym fordooth venym–and that I preve by reson. 18.152
For of alle venymes foulest is the scorpion; 18.153
May no medicyne [am]e[nd]e the place ther he styngeth, 18.154
Til he be deed and do therto–the yvel he destruyeth, 18.155
The firste venymouste, thorugh vertu of hymselve. 18.156
So shal this deeth fordo–I dar my lif legge– 18.157
Al that deeth dide first thorugh the develes entisyng; 18.158
And right as thorugh [gilours] gil;e [bigiled was man], 18.159
So shal grace that al bigan make a good ende
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[And bigile the gilour–and that is good] sleighte: 18.161
Ars ut artem falleret.’ 18.161
“Now suffre we!’ seide Truthe, ” I se, as me thynketh, 18.162
Out of the nyppe of the north, noght ful fer hennes, 18.163
Rightwisnesse corne rennynge; reste we the while, 18.164
For he[o] woot moore than we–he[o] was er we bothe.’ 18.165
“That is sooth,’ seide Mercy, “and I se here by sowthe 18.166
Where cometh Pees pleyinge, in pacience yclothed. 18.167
Love hath coveited hire longe–leve I noon oother 18.168
But [Love] sente hire som lettre, what this light bymeneth 18.169
That overhoveth helle thus; she us shal telle.’ 18.170
Whan Pees in pacience yclothed approched ner hem tweyne, 18.171
Rightwisnesse hire reverenced for hir riche clothyng, 18.172
And preide Pees to telle hire to whit place she wolde 18.173
And in hire gaye garnements whom she grete thoughte? 18.174
“My wil is to wende,’ quod she, “and welcome hem alle 18.175
That many day myghte I noght se for merknesse of synne– 18.176
Adam and Eve and othere mo in helle, 18.177
Moyses and many mo; Mercy shul [synge], 18.178
And I shal daunce therto–do thow so, suster! 18.179
For Jesus justede wel, joye bigynneth dawe: 18.180
Ah vesperum demorabitur fletus, et ad matutinum leticia. 18.180
” Love, that is my lemman, swiche lettres me sente 18.181
That Mercy, my suster, and I mankynde sholde save, 18.182
And that God hath forgyven and graunted me, Pees, and Mercy 18.183
To be mannes meynpernour for everemoore after. 18.184
Lo, here the patente!’ quod Pees, “ln pace in idipsum, 18.185
And that this dede shal dure, dormiam et requiescam.’ 18.186
“What, ravestow?’ quod Rightwisnesse; “or thow art righty dronke!
Page 226
Levestow that yond light unlouke myghte helle 18.188
And save mannes soule? Suster, wene it nevere! 18.189
At the bigynnyng God gaf the doom hymselve– 18.190
That Adam and Eve and alle that hem suwede 18.191
Sholden deye downrighte, and dwelle in peyne after 18.192
If that thei touchede a tree and of the fruyt eten. 18.193
Adam afterward, ayeins his defence, 18.194
Freet of that fruyt, and forsook, as it were, 18.195
The love of Oure Lord and his loore bothe 18.196
And folwede that the fend taughte and his felawes wille 18.197
Ayeins reson–I, Rightwisnesse, recorde thus with Truthe 18.198
That hir peyne be perpetuel and no preiere hem helpe. 18.199
Forthi lat hem chewe as thei chosen, and chide we noght, sustres, 18.200
For it is botelees bale, the byte that thei eten.’ 18.201
“And I shal preie,’ quod Pees, “hir peyne moot have ende, 18.202
And wo into wele mowe wenden at the laste. 18.203
For hadde thei wist of no wo, wele hadde thei noght knowen; 18.204
For no wight woot what wele is, that nevere wo suffrede, 18.205
Ne what is hoot hunger, that hadde nevere defaute. 18.206
If no nyght ne weere, no man, as I leve, 18.207
Sholde wite witterly what day is to meene. 18.208
Sholde nevere right riche man that lyveth in reste and ese 18.209
Wite what wo is, ne were the deeth of kynde. 18.210
So God that bigan al of his goode wille 18.211
Bicam man of a mayde mankynde to save, 18.212
And suffrede to be sold, to se the sorwe of deying, 18.213
The which unknytteth alle care, and comsynge is of reste. 18.214
For til modicum mete with us, I may it wel avowe, 18.215
Woot no wight, as I wene, what is ynogh to mene. 18.216
” Forthi God, of his goodnesse, the firste gome Adam, 18.217
Sette hym in solace and in sovereyn murthe; 18.218
And siththe he suffred hym synne, sorwe to feele– 18.219
To wite what wele was, kyndeliche to knowe it. 18.220
And after, God auntrede hymself and took Adames kynde 18.221
To wite what he hath suffred in thre sondry places,
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Bothe in hevene and in erthe–and now til helle he thenketh, 18.223
To wite what alle wo is, that woot of alle joye. 18.224
“So it shal fare by this folk: hir folie and hir synne 18.225
Shal lere hem what langour is, and lisse withouten ende. 18.226
Woot no wight what werre is ther that pees regneth, 18.227
Ne what is witterly wele til “”weylawey” hym teche.’ 18.228
Thanne was ther a wight with two brode eighen; 18.229
Book highte that beaupeere, a bold man of speche. 18.230
“By Goddes body!’ quod this Book, “I wol bere witnesse 18.231
That tho this barn was ybore, ther blased a sterre 18.232
That alle the wise of this world in o wit acordeden– 18.233
That swich a barn was ybore in Bethleem the citee 18.234
That mannes soule sholde save and synne destroye. 18.235
“And alle the elements,’ quod the Book, “herof beren witnesse. 18.236
That he was God that al wroghte the wolkne first shewed: 18.237
Tho that weren in hevene token stella comata 18.238
And tendeden hire as a torche to reverencen his burthe; 18.239
The light folwede the Lord into the lowe erthe. 18.240
The water witnesseth that he was God, for he wente on it; 18.241
Peter the Apostel parceyved his gate, 18.242
And as he wente on the water wel hym knew, and seide, 18.243
“”tube me venire ad te super aquas.” 18.244
And lo! how the sonne gan louke hire light in hirselve 18.245
Whan she seigh hym suffre, that sonne and see made. 18.246
The erthe for hevynesse that he wolde suffre 18.247
Quaked as quyk thyng and al biquasshed the roche. 18.248
“Lo! helle myghte nat holde, but opnede tho God tholede, 18.249
And leet out Symondes sones to seen hym hange on roode. 18.250
And now shal Lucifer leve it, though hyrn looth thynke. 18.251
For Gigas the geaunt with a gyn engyned 18.252
To breke and to bete adoun that ben ayeins Jesus. 18.253
And I, Book, wole be brent, but Jesus rise to lyve 18.254
In alle myghtes of man, and his moder gladie,
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And conforte al his kyn and out of care brynge, 18.256
And al the Jewene joye unjoynen and unlouken; 18.257
And but thei reverencen his roode and his resurexion, 18.258
And bileve on a newe lawe, be lost, lif and soule!’ 18.259
“Suffre we!’ seide Truthe, “1 here and see bothe 18.260
A spirit speketh to helle and biddeth unspere the yates: 18.261
“”Attolite portas.” 18.261
A vois loude in that light to Lucifer crieth, 18.262
“”Prynees of this place, unpynneth and unlouketh! 18.263
For here cometh with crowne that kyng is of glorie.'” 18.264
Thanne sikede Sathan, and seide to helle, 18.265
“Swich a light, ayeins oure leve, Lazar it fette; 18.266
Care and combraunce is comen to us alle! 18.267
If this kyng come in, mankynde wole he fecche, 18.268
And lede it ther Lazar is, and lightliche me bynde. 18.269
Patriarkes and prophetes han parled herof longe– 18.270
That swich a lord and a light shal lede hem alle hennes.’ 18.271
“Listneth!’ quod Lucifer, “for I this lord knowe; 18.272
Bothe this lord and this light, is longe ago I knew hym. 18.273
May no deeth this lord dere, ne no develes queyntise, 18.274
And where he wole, is his wey–ac ware hym of the perils! 18.275
If he reve me of my right, he robbeth me by maistrie; 18.276
For by right and by reson the renkes that ben here 18.277
Body and soule beth myne, bothe goode and ille. 18.278
For hymself seide, that sire is of hevene, 18.279
That if Adam ete the appul, alle sholde deye, 18.280
And dwelle [in deol] with us develes–this thretynge he made. 18.281
And [sithen] he that Soothnesse is seide thise wordes, 18.282
And I sithen iseised sevene [thousand] wynter, 18.283
I leeve that lawe nyl noght lete hym the leeste.’
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“That is sooth,’ seide Satan, “but I me soore drede; 18.285
For thow gete hem with gile, and his gardyn breke, 18.286
And in semblaunce of a serpent sete on the appultre, 18.287
And eggedest hem to ete, Eve by hirselve, 18.288
And toldest hire a tale–of treson were the wordes; 18.289
And so thou haddest hem out and hider at the laste. 18.290
It is noght graithly geten, ther gile is the roote!’ 18.291
” For God wol noght be bigiled,’ quod Gobelyn, ” ne byjaped. 18.292
We have no trewe title to hem, for thorugh treson were thei dampned.’ 18.293
” Certes, I drede me,’ quod the Devel, “lest Truthe wol hem fecche. 18.294
Thise thritty wynter, as I wene, he wente aboute and preched. 18.295
I have assailled hym with synne, and som tyme I asked 18.296
Wheither he were God or Goddes sone–he gaf me short answere; 18.297
And thus hath he trolled forth thise two and thritty wynter. 18.298
And whan I seigh it was so, slepynge I wente 18.299
To warne Pilates wif what done man was Jesus; 18.300
For Jewes hateden hym and han doon hym to dethe. 18.301
I wolde have lengthed his lif–for I leved, if he deide, 18.302
That his soule wolde suffre no synne in his sighte; 18.303
For the body, while it on bones yede, aboute was evere 18.304
To save men from synne if hemself wolde. 18.305
And now I se wher a soule cometh [silynge hiderward] 18.306
With glorie and with gret light–God it is, I woot wel! 18.307
I rede we fle,’ quod he, “faste alle hennes– 18.308
For us were bettre noght be than biden his sighte. 18.309
For thi lesynges, Lucifer, lost is al oure praye. 18.310
First thorugh the we fellen fro hevene so heighe; 18.311
For we leved thi lesynges, we lopen out alle with thee; 18.312
And now for thi laste lesynge, ylorn we have Adam, 18.313
And al oure lordshipe, I leve, a londe and a watre: 18.314
Nunc Princeps huius mundi eicietur foras.’
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Eft the light bad unlouke, and Lucifer answerde, 18.315
” Quis est iste ? 18.316
What lord artow?’ quod Lucifer. The light soone seide, 18.317
Rex glorie, 18.318
The lord of myght and of mayn and alle manere vertues– 18.319
Dominus virtutum. 18.319
Dukes of this dymme place, anoon undo thise yates, 18.320
That Crist may come in, the Kynges sone of Hevene!’ 18.321
And with that breeth helle brak, with Belialles barres– 18.322
For any wye or warde, wide open the yates. 18.323
Patriarkes and prophetes, populus in tenebris, 18.324
Songen Seint Johanes song, ” Ecce Agnus Dei.’ 18.325
Lucifer loke ne myghte, so light hym ablente. 18.326
And tho that Oure Lord lovede, into his light he laughte, 18.327
And seide to Sathan, “Lo! here my soule to amendes 18.328
For alle synfulle soules, to save tho that ben worthi. 18.329
Myne thei ben and of me–I may the bet hem cleyme. 18.330
Although reson recorde, and right of myselve, 18.331
That if thei ete the appul, alle sholde deye, 18.332
I bihighte hem noght here helle for evere. 18.333
For the dede that thei dide, thi deceite it made; 18.334
With gile thow hem gete, ageyn alle reson. 18.335
For in my paleis, Paradis, in persone of an addre, 18.336
Falsliche thow fettest there thyng that I lovede. 18.337
“Thus ylik a lusard with a lady visage, 18.338
Thefliche thow me robbedest; the Olde Lawe graunteth 18.339
That gilours be bigiled–and that is good reson: 18.340
Dentem pro dente et oculum pro oculo.
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Ergo soule shal soule quyte and synne to synne wende, 18.341
And al that man hath mysdo, I, man, wole amende it. 18.342
Membre for membre [was amendes by the Olde Lawe], 18.343
And lif for lif also–and by that lawe I clayme 18.344
Adam and al his issue at my wille herafter. 18.345
And that deeth in hem fordide, my deeth shal releve, 18.346
And bothe quyke and quyte that queynt was thorugh synne; 18.347
And that grace gile destruye, good feith it asketh. 18.348
So leve it noght, Lucifer, ayein the lawe I fecche hem, 18.349
But by right and by reson raunsone here my liges: 18.350
Non veni solvere legem set adimplere. 18.350
“Thow fettest myne in my place ayeins alle reson– 18.351
Falsliche and felonliche; good feith me it taughte, 18.352
To recovere hem thorugh raunsoun, and by no reson ellis, 18.353
So that with gile thow gete, thorugh grace it is ywonne. 18.354
Thow, Lucifer, in liknesse of a luther addere 18.355
Getest bi gile tho that God lovede; 18.356
And I, in liknesse of a leode, that Lord am of hevene, 18.357
Graciousliche thi gile have quyt–go gile ayein gile! 18.358
And as Adam and alle thorugh a tree deyden, 18.359
Adam and alle thorugh a tree shal turne to lyve; 18.360
And gile is bigiled, and in his gile fallen: 18.361
Et cecidit in foveam quam fecit. 18.361
Now bigynneth thi gile ageyn thee to turne 18.362
And my grace to growe ay gretter and widder. 18.363
The bitternesse that thow hast browe, now brouke it thiselve; 18.364
That art doctour of deeth, drynk that thow madest! 18.365
“For I that am lord of lif, love is my drynke, 18.366
And for that drynke today, I deide upon erthe. 18.367
I faught so, me thursteth yet, for mannes soule sake; 18.368
May no drynke me moiste, ne my thurst stake,
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Til the vendage falle in the vale of Josaphat, 18.370
That I drynke right ripe must, resureccio mortuorum. 18.371
And thanne shal I come as a kyng, crouned, with aungeles, 18.372
And have out of helle alle mennes soules. 18.373
” Fendes and fendekynes bifore me shul stande 18.374
And be at my biddyng wheresoevere [be] me liketh. 18.375
Ac to be merciable to man thanne, my kynde it asketh, 18.376
For we beth bretheren of blood, but noght in baptisme alle. 18.377
Ac alle that beth myne hole bretheren, in blood and in baptisme, 18.378
Shul noght be dampned to the deeth that is withouten ende: 18.379
Tibi soli peccavi &c. 18.379
“It is noght used on erthe to hangen a feloun 18.380
Ofter than ones, though he were a tretour. 18.381
And if the kyng of that kyngdom corne in that tyme 18.382
There the feloun thole sholde deeth oother juwise, 18.383
Lawe wolde he yeve hym lif, and he loked on hym. 18.384
And I that am kyng of kynges shal come swich a tyme 18.385
There doom to the deeth dampneth alle wikked; 18.386
And if lawe wole I loke on hem, it lith in my grace 18.387
Wheither thei deye or deye noght for that thei diden ille. 18.388
Be it any thyng abought, the boldnesse of hir synnes, 18.389
I may do mercy thorugh rightwisnesse, and alle my wordes trewe. 18.390
And though Holy Writ wole that I be wroke of hem that diden ille– 18.391
Nullum malum impunitum &c– 18.391
Thei shul be clensed clerliche and [clene] wasshen of hir synnes 18.392
In my prisone Purgatorie, til parce it hote. 18.393
And my mercy shal be shewed to manye of my bretheren;
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For blood may suffre blood bothe hungry and acale, 18.395
Ac blood may noght se blood blede, but hym rewe.’ 18.396
Auaivi archana verba que non iicet homini loqui. 18.396
“Ac my rightwisnesse and right shal rulen al helle, 18.397
And mercy al mankynde bifore me in hevene. 18.398
For I were an unkynde kyng but I my kyn helpe— 18.399
And nameliche at swich a nede ther nedes help bihoveth: 18.400
Non intres in iudicium cum servo tuo. 18.400
“Thus by lawe,’ quod Oure Lord, “lede I wole fro hennes 18.401
Tho [leodes] that I lov[e] and leved in my comynge. 18.402
And for thi lesynge, Lucifer, that thow leighe til Eve, 18.403
Thow shalt abyen it bittre!”–and bond hym with cheynes. 18.404
As troth and al the route hidden hem in hernes; 18.405
They dorste noght loke on Oure Lord, the [lothli]este of hem alle, 18.406
But leten hym lede forth what hym liked and lete what hym liste. 18.407
Manye hundred of aungeles harpeden and songen, 18.408
” Culpat caro, purgat caro, regnat Deus Dei caro.’ 18.409
Thanne pipede Pees of poesie a note: 18.410
” Clarior est solito post maxima nebula phebus; 18.410
Post inimicicias clarior est et amor. 18.410
” After sharpest shoures,’ quod Pees, ” moost shene is the sonne; 18.411
Is no weder warmer than after watry cloudes; 18.412
Ne no love levere; ne lever frendes 18.413
Than after werre and wo, whan love and pees ben maistres. 18.414
Was nevere werre in this world, ne wikkednesse so kene, 18.415
“That Love, and hym liste, to laughyng ne broughte, 18.416
And Pees, thorugh pacience, alle perils stoppede.’
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” Trewes!’ quod Truthe; ” thow tellest us sooth, by Jesus! 18.418
Clippe we in covenaunt, and ech of us kisse oother.’ 18.419
“And lete no peple,’ quod Pees, “parceyve that we chidde; 18.420
For inpossible is no thyng to Hym that is almyghty.’ 18.421
“Thow seist sooth,’ seide Rightwisnesse, and reverentliche hire kiste, 18.422
Pees, and Pees h[i]re, per secula seculorum. 18.423
Misericordia et Veritas obviaverunt sibi, justicia et Pax osculate sunt. 18.423
Truthe trumpede tho and song Te Deum laudamus, 18.424
And thanne lutede Love in a loud note, 18.425
” Ecce quam bonum et quam iocundum &c.’ 18.425
Til the day dawed thise damyseles carolden, 18.426
That men rongen to the resurexion–and right with that I wakede, 18.427
And called Kytte my wif and Calote my doghter: 18.428
“Ariseth and reverenceth Goddes resurexion, 18.430
And crepeth to the cros on knees, and kisseth it for a juwel! 18.431
For Goddes blik body it bar for eure body, 18.432
And it afereth the fend–for swich is the myghte, 18.433
May no grisly goost glide there it shadweth!’ 18.434
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Passus 19
Thus I awaked and wroot what I hadde ydremed, 19.001
And dighte me derely, and dide me to chirche, 19.002
To here holly the masse and to be housled after. 19.003
In myddes of the masse, tho men yede to offryng, 19.004
I fel eftsoones aslepe–and sodeynly me mette 19.005
That Piers the Plowman was peynted al blody, 19.006
And com in with a cros bifore the comune peple, 19.007
And right lik in alle lymes to Oure Lord Jesu. 19.008
And thanne called I Conscience to kenne me the sothe: 19.009
“Is this Jesus the justere,’ quod I, “that Jewes dide to dethe? 19.010
Or it is Piers the Plowman! Who peynted hym so rede?’ 19.011
Quod Conscience, and kneled tho, ” Thise arn Piers armes– 19.012
Hise colours and his cote armure; ac he that cometh so blody 19.013
Is Crist with his cros, conquerour of Cristene.’ 19.014
“Why calle ye hym Crist?’ quod l, “sithen Jewes called hym Jesus? 19.015
Patriarkes and prophetes prophecied bifore 19.016
That alle kynne creatures sholden knelen and bowen 19.017
Anoon as men nempned the name of God Jesu. 19.018
Ergo is no name to the name of Jesus, 19.019
Ne noon so nedeful to nempne by nyghte ne by daye. 19.020
For alle derke develes arn adrad to heren it, 19.021
And synfulle aren solaced and saved by that name; 19.022
And ye callen hym Crist; for what cause, telleth me? 19.023
Is Crist moore of myght and moore worthi name 19.024
Than Jesu or Jesus, that al oure joye com of?’ 19.025
“Thow knowest wel,’ quod Conscience, “and thow konne reson, 19.026
That knyght, kyng, conquerour may be o persone. 19.027
To be called a knyght is fair, for men shul knele to hym; 19.028
To be called a kyng is fairer, for he may knyghtes make; 19.029
Ac to be conquerour called, that cometh of special grace, 19.030
And of hardynesse of herte and of hendemesse– 19.031
To make lordes of laddes, of lond that he wynneth, 19.032
And fre men foule thralles, that folwen noght hise lawes.
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‘The Jewes, that were gentil men, Jesu thei despised– 19.034
Bothe his loore and his lawe; now are thei lowe cherles. 19.035
As wide as the world is, wonyeth ther noon 19.036
But under tribut and taillage as tikes and cherles; 19.037
And tho that bicome Cristene bi counseil of the Baptiste 19.038
Aren frankeleyns, free men thorugh fullynge that thei toke 19.039
And gentil men with Jesu–for Jesus was yfulled 19.040
And upon Calvarie on cros ycrouned kyng of Jewes. 19.041
” lt bicometh to a kyng to kepe and to defende, 19.042
And conqueror of his conquest hise lawes and his large. 19.043
And so dide Jesus the Jewes–he justified and taughte hem 19.044
The lawe of lif that laste shal evere, 19.045
And fended from foule yveles, feveres and fiuxes, 19.046
And from fendes that in hem was, and false bileve. 19.047
Tho was he Jesus of Jewes called, gentile prophete, 19.048
And kyng of hir kyngdom, and croune bar of thornes. 19.049
“And tho conquered he on cros as conquerour noble; 19.050
Mighte no deeth hym fordo, ne adoun brynge, 19.051
That he n’aroos and regnede and ravysshed helle. 19.052
And tho was he conquerour called of quyke and of dede. 19.053
For he yaf Adam and Eve and othere mo blisse 19.054
That longe hadde yleyen bifore as Luciferis cherles. 19.055
And took [Lucifer the lothly], that lord was of helle, 19.056
And bond [hym] as [he is bounde], with bondes of yrene. 19.057
Who was hardiere than he? His herte blood he shadde 19.058
To maken alle folk free that folwen his lawe. 19.059
And sith he yeveth largely al his lele liges 19.060
Places in Paradis at hir partynge hennes, 19.061
He my wel be called conquerour–and that is ” Crist ‘ to mene. 19.062
“Ac the cause that he cometh thus with cros of his passion 19.063
Is to wissen us therwith, that whan we ben tempted,
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Therwith to fighte and fenden us fro fallynge into synne, 19.065
And se bi his sorve that whoso loveth joye, 19.066
To penaunce and to poverte he moste puten hymselven, 19.067
And muche wo in this world wilnen and suffren. 19.068
“Ac to carpe moore of Crist, and how he com to that name, 19.069
Faithly for to speke, his firste name was jesus. 19.070
Tho he was born in Bethleem, as the Book telleth, 19.071
And cam to take mankynde, kynges and aungeles 19.072
Reverenced hym right faire with richesses of erthe. 19.073
Aungeles out of hevene come knelynge and songe, 19.074
Gloria in excelsis Deo &c. 19.074
“Kynges come after, knelede and offrede sense, 19.075
Mirre and muche gold withouten mercy askynge 19.076
Or any kynnes catel, but knoweliched[en] hym sovereyn 19.077
Both of sond, sonne and see, and sithenes thei wente 19.078
Into hir kyngene kith by counseil of aungeles. 19.079
And there was that word fulfilled the which thow of speke– 19.080
Omnia celestia, terrestria, flectantur in hoc nomine Iesu. 19.080
” For alle the aungeles of hevene at his burthe knelede, 19.081
And al the wit of the world was in tho thre kynges. 19.082
Reson and Rightwisnesse and Ruthe thei offrede, 19.083
Wherfore and why wise men that tyme 19.084
Maistres and lettred men, Magi hem callede. 19.085
” That o kyng cam with Reson, covered under sense. 19.086
The seconde kyng siththe soothliche offrede 19.087
Rightwisnesse under reed gold, Resones felawe. 19.088
Gold is likned to Leautee that laste shal evere, 19.089
And Reson to riche[ls]–to right and to truthe. 19.090
“The thridde kyng tho kam, and knelede to Jesu, 19.091
And presented hym with Pitee, apperynge by mirre; 19.092
For mirre is mercy to mene, and mylde speche of tonge. 19.093
Ertheliche honeste thynges was offred thus at ones
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Thorugh thre kynne kynges knelynge to Jesu. 19.095
“Ac for alle thise preciouse presents Oure Lord Prynce Jesus 19.096
Was neither kyng ne conquerour til he [comsede] wexe 19.097
In the manere of a man, and that by muchel sleighte– 19.098
As it bicometh a conquerour to konne manye sleightes, 19.099
And manye wiles and wit, that wole ben a ledere; 19.100
And so dide Jesu in hise dayes, whoso hadde tyme to telle it. 19.101
“Som tyme he suffrede, and som tyme he hidde hym, 19.102
And som tyme he faught faste, and fleigh outherwhile, 19.103
And som tyme he gaf good and grauntede heele bothe, 19.104
Lif and lyme–as hym liste he wroghte. 19.105
As kynde is of a conquerour, so comsede Jesu 19.106
Til he hadde alle hem that he for bledde. 19.107
” ln his juventee this Jesus at Jewene feeste 19.108
Water into wyn turnede, as Holy Writ telleth, 19.109
And there bigan God of his grace to do wel. 19.110
For wyn is likned to lawe and lifholynesse; 19.111
And lawe lakkede tho, for men lovede noght hir enemys; 19.112
And Crist counseileth thus–and comaundeth bothe– 19.113
Bothe to lered and to lewede, to lovyen oure enemys. 19.114
So at that feeste first, as I bifore tolde, 19.115
Bigan God of his grace and goodnesse to dowel: 19.116
And tho was he cleped and called noght oonly Crist but Jesu– 19.117
A fauntekyn ful of wit, filius Marie. 19.118
For bifore his moder Marie made he that wonder, 19.119
That she first and formest sholde ferme bileve 19.120
That he thorugh Grace was gete, and of no gome ellis. 19.121
He wroghte that by no wit but thorugh word one, 19.122
After the kynde that he cam of; there comsede he Dowel. 19.123
“And whan he was woxen moore, in his moder absence, 19.124
He made lame to lepe and yaf light to blynde, 19.125
And fedde with two fisshes and with fyve lowes 19.126
Sore afyngred folk, mo than fyve thousand. 19.127
Thus he confortede carefulle and caughte a gretter name, 19.128
The which was Dobet, where that he wente.
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For deve thorugh hise doynges and dombe speke and herde, 19.130
And alle he heeled and halp that hym of grace askede. 19.131
And tho was he called in contre of the comune peple, 19.132
For the dedes that he dide, Fili David, lhesus. 19.133
For David was doghtiest of dedes in his tyme, 19.134
The burdes tho songe, Saul interfecit mille et David decem milia. 19.135
Forthi the contree ther Jesu cam called hym fili David, 19.136
And nempned hym of Nazareth–and no man so worthi 19.137
To be kaiser or kyng of the kyngdom of Juda, 19.138
Ne over Jewes justice, as Jesus was, hem thoughte. 19.139
“Wherof hadde Cayphas envye, and othere of the Jewes, 19.140
And for to doon hym to dethe day and nyght thei casten; 19.141
And killeden hym on cros wise at Calvarie on Friday, 19.142
And sithen buriede his body, and beden that men sholde 19.143
Kepen it fro nyghtcomeris with knyghtes yarmed, 19.144
For no frend sholde it fecche; for prophetes hem tolde 19.145
That that blissede body of burieles sholde risen, 19.146
And goon into Galilee and gladen hise Apostles 19.147
And his moder Marie–thus men bifore demede. 19.148
“The knyghtes that kepten it biknewe hemselven 19.149
That aungeles and archaungeles er the day spronge 19.150
Come knelynge to that corps and songen 19.151
Christus resurgens–and it aroos after, 19.152
Verray man bifore hem alle, and forth with hem he yede. 19.153
“The Jewes preide hem of pees, and [pre-ide] the knyghtes 19.154
Telle the comune that ther cam a compaignie of hise Apostles 19.155
And biwicched hem as thei woke, and awey stolen it.
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“Ac Marie Maudeleyne mette hym by the weye 19.157
Goynge toward Galilee in godhede and manhede, 19.158
And lyves and lokynge–and she aloud cride 19.159
In ech a compaignie ther she cam, “” Christus resurgens!” 19.160
Thus cam it out that Crist overcoom, recoverede and lyvede: 19.161
Sic oportet Christum pati et intrare &c. 19.161
For that wommen witeth may noght wel be counseille! 19.162
“Peter parceyved al this and pursued after, 19.163
Bothe James and Johan, Jesu for to seke. 19.164
Thaddee and ten mo. with Thomas of Inde. 19.165
And as alle thise wise wyes weren togideres 19.166
In an hous al bishet and hir dore ybarred, 19.167
Crist cam in–and al closed both dore and yates– 19.168
To Peter and to hise Apostles, and seide, “” Pax vobis;’ 19.169
And took Thomas by the hind and taughte hym to grope. 19.170
And feele with hise fyngres his flesshliche herte. 19.171
“Thomas touched it, and with his tonge seide, 19.172
” Dominus meus et Deus meus. 19.173
Thow art my lord, I bileve, God Lord Jesu! 19.174
Thow deidest and deeth tholedest and deme shalt us alle, 19.175
And now art lyvynge and lokynge, and laste shalt evere!’ 19.176
“Crist carpede thanne, and curteisliche seide, 19.177
“”Thomas, for thow trowest this and treweliche bilevest it, 19.178
Blessed mote thow be, and be shalt for evere. 19.179
And blessed mote thei be, in body and in soule, 19.180
That nevere shul se me in sighte as thow seest nowthe, 19.181
And lelliche bileve al this I love hem and blesse hem: 19.182
Beati qui non viderunt et crediderunt.” 19.182
“And whan this dede was doon, Dobest he [thou]ghte, 19.183
And yaf Piers power, and pardon he grauntede: 19.184
To alle maner men, mercy and foryifnesse; 19.185
[To] hym, myghte men to assoille of alle manere synnes.
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In covenaunt that thei come and kneweliche to paye 19.187
To Piers pardon the Plowman–Redde quod debes. 19.188
“Thus hath Piers power, be his pardon paied, 19.189
To bynde and unbynde bothe here and ellis, 19.190
And assoille men of alle synnes save of dette one. 19.191
“Anoon after an heigh up into hevene 19.192
He wente, and wonyeth there, and wol come at the laste, 19.193
And rewarde hym right wel that reddit quod debet– 19.194
Paieth parfitly, as pure truthe wolde. 19.195
And what persone paieth it nought, punysshen he thenketh, 19.196
And demen hem at domesday, bothe quyke and dede– 19.197
The goode to the Godhede and to greet joye, 19.198
And wikkede to wonye in wo withouten ende.’ 19.199
Thus Conscience of Crist and of the cros carpede, 19.200
And counseiled me to knele therto; and thanne cam, me thoughte, 19.201
Oon Spiritus Paraclitus to Piers and to hise felawes. 19.202
In liknesse of a lightnynge he lighte on hem alle 19.203
And made hem konne and knowe alle kynne langages. 19.204
I wondred what that was, and waggede Conscience, 19.205
And was afered of the light, for in fires liknesse 19.206
Spiritus Paraclitus overspradde hem alle. 19.207
Quod Conscience, and knelede, “This is Cristes messager, 19.208
And cometh fro the grete God–Grace is his name. 19.209
Knele now,’ quod Conscience, “and if thow kanst synge, 19.210
Welcome hym and worshipe hym with Veni Creator Spiritus !’ 19.211
Thanne song I that song, and so dide manye hundred, 19.212
And cride with Conscience, ” Help us, God of grace!’ 19.213
And thanne bigan Grace to go with Piers Plowman, 19.214
And counseillede hym and Conscience the comune to sompne: 19.215
“For I wole dele today and dyvyde grace 19.216
To alle kynne creatures that kan hise fyve wittes– 19.217
Tresour to lyve by to hir lyves ende.
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And wepne to fighte with that wole nevere faille. 19.219
For Antecrist and hise al the world shul greve, 19.220
And acombre thee, Conscience, but if Crist thee helpe. 19.221
“And false prophetes fele, flatereris and gloseris, 19.222
Shullen come and be curatours over kynges and erles. 19.223
And thanne shal Pride be Pope and prynce of Holy Chirche, 19.224
Coveitise and Unkyndenesse Cardinals hym to lede. 19.225
Forthi,’ quod Grace, “er I go, I wol gyve yow tresor, 19.226
And wepne to fighte with whan Antecrist yow assailleth.’ 19.227
And gaf ech man a grace to gye with hymselven, 19.228
That Ydelnesse encombre hym noght, ne Envye ne Pride: 19.229
Divisiones graciarum sunt. 19.229
Some [wyes] he yaf wit, with wordes to shewe– 19.230
Wit to wynne hir liflode with, as the world asketh, 19.231
As prechours and preestes, and prentices of lawe– 19.232
They lelly to lyve by labour of tonge, 19.233
And by wit to wissen othere is grace hem wolde teche. 19.234
And some he kennede craft and konnynge of sighte. 19.235
With sellynge and [by] buggynge hir bilyve to wynne. 19.236
And some he lered to laboure on lond and on watre, 19.237
And lyve by that labour–a lele lif and a trewe. 19.238
And some he taughte to tilie, to dyche and to thecche, 19.239
To wynne with hir liflode bi loore of his techynge. 19.240
And some to devyne and divide, [diverse] noumbres to kenne: 19.241
And some to compace craftily, and colours to make; 19.242
And some to se and to seye whit sholde bifalle, 19.243
Bothe of wele and of wo, telle it [wel] er it felle– 19.244
As astronomyens thorugh astronomye, and philosofres wise. 19.245
And some to ryde and to recovere that unrightfully was wonne: 19.246
He wissed hem wynne it ayein thorugh wightnesse of handes,
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And fecchen it fro false men with Folvyles lawes. 19.248
And some he lered to lyve in longynge to ben hennes, 19.249
In poverte and in pacience to preie for alle Cristene. 19.250
And alle he lered to be lele, and ech a craft love oother, 19.251
And forbad hem alle debat–that noon [be] among hem. 19.252
“Though some be clenner than some, ye se wel,” quod Grace, 19.253
“That he that useth the faireste craft, to the fouleste I kouthe have put hym. 19.254
Thynketh [that alle craftes, quod Grace]. “cometh of my yifte; 19.255
Loketh that noon lakke oother, but loveth alle as bretheren. 19.256
“And who that moost maistries kan, be myldest of berynge; 19.257
And crouneth Conscience kyng, and maketh Craft youre stiward, 19.258
And after Craftes conseil clotheth yow and fede. 19.259
For I make Piers the Plowman my procuratour and my reve, 19.260
And registrer to receyve redde quod debes. 19.261
My prowor and my plowman Piers shal ben on erthe, 19.262
And for to tilie truthe a teeme shal he have.’ 19.263
Grace gaf Piers a teeme–foure grete oxen. 19.264
That oon was Luk, a large beest and a lowe chered, 19.265
And Mark, and Mathew the thridde–myghty beestes bothe; 19.266
And joyned to hem oon Johan, moost gentil of alle, 19.267
The pris neet of Piers plow, passynge alle othere. 19.268
And yit Grace of his goodnesse gaf Piers foure stottes– 19.269
Al that hise oxen eriede, thei to harewen after. 19.270
Oon highte Austyn, and Ambrose another, 19.271
Gregori the grete clerk, and [the goode Jerom]. 19.272
Thise foure, the feith to teche, folweth Piers teme, 19.273
And harewede in an handwhile al Holy Scripture 19.274
With two [aithes] that thei hadde, an oold and a newe, 19.275
Id est, Vetus Testamentum et Novum. 19.275
And Grace gaf Piers greynes–cardynales vertues, 19.276
And sew it in mannes soule, and sithen he tolde hir names. 19.277
Spiritus Prudencie the firste seed highte;
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And whoso ete that, ymagynen he sholde, 19.279
Er he dide any dede, devyse wel the ende; 19.280
And lerned men a ladel bugge with a long stele 19.281
That caste for to kepe a crokke, and save the fatte above. 19.282
The seconde seed highte Spiritus Temperancie. 19.283
He that etc of that seed hadde swich a kynde, 19.284
Sholde nevere mete ne meschief make hym to swelle; 19.285
Ne sholde no scornere out of skile hym brynge; 19.286
Ne wynnynge ne wele of worldliche richesse, 19.287
Waste word of ydelnesse ne wikked speche moeve; 19.288
Sholde no curious clooth comen on his rugge, 19.289
Ne no mete in his mouth that Maister Johan spicede. 19.290
The thridde seed that Piers sew was Spiritus Fortitudinis; 19.291
And whoso ete of that seed hardy was evere 19.292
To suffren al that God sente, siknesse and angres. 19.293
Mighte no lesynges, ne lyere, ne los of worldly catel. 19.294
Maken hym, for any mournynge, that he nas murie in soule, 19.295
And bold and abidynge bismares to suffre, 19.296
And pletede al with pacience and Parce michi, Domine, 19.297
And covered hym under conseille of Caton the wise: 19.298
Esto forti animo cum sis dampnatus inique. 19.298
The ferthe seed that Piers sew was Spiritus Iusticie, 19.299
And he that ete of that seed sholde be evere trewe 19.300
With God, and naught agast but of gile one. 19.301
For gile gooth so pryvely that geod feith outher while 19.302
May nought ben espied [thorugh] Spiritus Iusticie.
Page 245
Spiritus Iusticie spareth noght to spille hem that ben gilty, 19.304
And for to correcte the kyng if he falle in [any kynnes] gilt. 19.305
For counteth he no kynges wrathe whan he in court sitteth 19.306
To demen as a domesman–adrad was he nevere 19.307
Neither of duc ne of deeth, that he ne dide the lawe; 19.308
For present or for preiere or any prynces lettres, 19.309
He dide equyte to alle eveneforth his power. 19.310
Thise foure sedes Piers sex, and siththe he dide hem harewe 19.311
With Olde Lawe and Newe Lawe, that love myghte wexe 19.312
Among thise foure vertues, and vices destruye. 19.313
” For comunliche in contrees cammokes and wedes 19.314
Foulen the fruyt in the feld ther thei growen togideres; 19.315
And so doon vices vertues–[f]orthi,’ quod Piers, 19.316
“Hareweth alle that konneth kynde wit by conseil of thise doctours, 19.317
And tilieth after hir techynge the cardynale vertues.’ 19.318
“Ayeins thi greynes,’ quod Grace, ” bigynneth for to ripe, 19.319
Ordeigne thee an hous, Piers, to herberwe inne thi cornes. 19.320
“By God! Grace,’ quod Piers, ‘ye moten gyve tymber, 19.321
And ordeigne that hous er ye hennes wende.’ 19.322
And Grace gaf hym the cros, with the croune of thornes, 19.323
That Crist upon Calvarie for mankynde on pyned; 19.324
And of his baptisme and blood that he bledde on roode 19.325
He made a manere morter, and mercy it highte. 19.326
And therwith Grace bigan to make a good foundement, 19.327
And watlede it and walled it with hise peynes and his passion, 19.328
And of al Holy Writ he made a roof after, 19.329
And called that hous Unite–Holy Chirche on Englissh. 19.330
And whan this dede was doon, Grace devysede 19.331
A cart highte Cristendom, to carie home Piers sheves, 19.332
And gaf hym caples to his carte, Contricion and Confession; 19.333
And made Preesthod hayward, the while hymself wente
Page 246
As wide as the world is, with Piers to tilie truthe 19.335
And the lo[nd] of bileve, the lawe of Holy Chirche. 19.336
Now is Piers to the plow. Pride it aspide 19.337
And gadered hym a greet oost: greven he thynketh 19.338
Conscience and alle Cristene and Cardinale Vertues– 19.339
Blowe hem doun and breke hem and bite atwo the mores; 19.340
And sente forth Surquidous, his sergeaunt of armes, 19.341
And his spye Spille-Love, oon Spek-yvel-bihynde. 19.342
Thise two coome to Conscience and to Cristen peple, 19.343
And tolde hem tidynges–that tyne thei sholde 19.344
The sedes that [Sire] Piers sew, the Cardynale Vertues: 19.345
“And Piers bern worth ybroke, and thei that ben in Unitee 19.346
Shulle come out, and Conscience; and youre [caples two], 19.347
Confession and Contricion, and youre carte the Bileeve 19.348
Shal be coloured so queyntely and covered under oure sophistrie, 19.349
That Conscience shal noght knowe by Contricion 19.350
Ne by Confession who is Cristene or hethene; 19.351
Ne no manere marchaunt that with moneye deleth 19.352
Wheither he wynne with right, with wrong or with usure.’ 19.353
With swiche colours and queyntise cometh Pride y-armed, 19.354
With the lord that lyveth after the lust of his body– 19.355
“To wasten on welfare and on wikked kepynge 19.356
Al the world in a while thorugh oure wit!’ quod Pryde. 19.357
Quod Conseience to alle Cristene tho, ” My counseil is to wende 19.358
Hastiliche into Unitee and holde we us there, 19.359
And praye we that a pees weere in Piers berne the Plowman. 19.360
For witterly, I woot wel, we beth noght of strengthe 19.361
To goon agayn Pride, but Grace weere with us.’ 19.362
And thanne kam Kynde Wit Conscience to teche, 19.363
And cryde, and comaundede alle Cristene peple
Page 247
For to delven and dyche depe aboute Unitee 19.365
That Holy Chirche stode in [holynesse], as it a pyl weere. 19.366
Conscience comaundede tho alle Cristene to delve, 19.367
And make a muche moot that myghte ben a strengthe 19.368
To helpe Holy Chirche and hem that it kepeth. 19.369
Thanne alle kynne Cristene–save comune wommen– 19.370
Repenteden and refusede synne, [right] save thei one, 19.371
And [a sisour and a somonour] that were forsworen ofte; 19.372
Witynge and wilfully with the false [thei] helden, 19.373
And for silver were forswore–soothly thei wiste it! 19.374
Ther nas no Cristene creature that kynde wit hadde– 19.375
Save sherewes one swiche as I spak of– 19.376
That he ne halp a quantite holynesse to wexe: 19.377
Some by bedes biddynge and some by pilgrymage 19.378
And other pryve penaunce, and somme thorugh penyes delynge. 19.379
And thanne wellede water for wikkede werkes, 19.380
Egreliche ernynge out of mennes eighen. 19.381
Clennesse of the comune and clerkes clene lyvynge 19.382
Made Unitee Holy Chirche in holynesse stonde. 19.383
” I care noght,’ quod Conscience, ” though Pride come nouthe; 19.384
The lord of lust shal be letted al this Lente, I hope. 19.385
Cometh,’ quod Conscience, “ye Cristene, and dyneth, 19.386
That han laboured lelly al this Lenten tyme. 19.387
Here is breed yblessed, and Goddes body therunder. 19.388
Grace, thorugh Goddes word, gaf Piers power, 19.389
Myght to maken it, and men to ete it after 19.390
In helpe of hir heele ones in a monthe, 19.391
Or as ofte as thei hadde nede, tho that hadde ypaied 19.392
To Piers pardon the Plowman, redde quod debes.’ 19.393
” How?’ quod al the comune. “Thow conseillest us to yelde
Page 248
Al that we owen any wight er we go to housel?’ 19.395
“That is my conseil,’ quod Conscience, “and Cardinale Vertues; 19.396
That ech man foryyve oother, and that wole the Paternoster– 19.397
Et dimitte nobis debita nostra &c– 19.397
And so to ben assoilled, and siththen ben houseled.’ 19.398
” Ye? Baw!’ quod a brewere, ” I wol noght be ruled, 19.399
By Jesu! for al youre janglynge, with Spiritus Iusticie, 19.400
Ne after Conscience, by Crist! while I kan selle 19.401
Bothe dregges and draf, and drawe at oon hole 19.402
Thikke ale and thynne ale; that is my kynde, 19.403
And noght hakke after holynesse–hold thi tonge, Conscience! 19.404
Of Spiritus Iusticie thow spekest muche on ydel.’ 19.405
” Caytif! ‘ quod Conscience, “cursede wrecche! 19.406
Unblessed artow, brewere, but if thee God helpe. 19.407
But thow lyve by loore of Spiritus Iusticie, 19.408
The chief seed that Piers sew, ysaved worstow nevere. 19.409
But Conscience be the comune fode, and Cardinale Vertues, 19.410
Leve it wel, thei ben lost, bothe lif and soule.’ 19.411
“Thanne is many [leode] lost!” quod a lewed vicory. 19.412
“I am a curatour of Holy Kirke, and cam nevere in my tyme 19.413
Man to me that me kouthe telle of Cardinale Vertues, 19.414
Or that acountede Conscience at a cokkes fethere! 19.415
I knew nevere Cardynal that he ne cam fro the Pope: 19.416
And we clerkes, whan thei come, for hir comunes paieth, 19.417
For hir pelure and hir palfreyes mete and pilours that hem folweth. 19.418
The comune clamat cotidie, ech a man til oother, 19.419
“”The contree is the corseder that cardinals come inne, 19.420
And ther thei ligge and lenge moost lecherie there regneth!”‘ 19.421
” Forthi,’ quod this vicory, ” by verray God! I wolde 19.422
That no cardynal coome among the comune peple,
Page 249
But in hir holynesse helden hem stille 19.424
At Avynoun among Jewes–Cum sancto sanctus eris &c– 19.425
Or in Rome, as hir rule wole, the relikes to kepe; 19.426
And thow Conscience in kynges court, and sholdest nevere come thennes; 19.427
And Grace, that thow gredest so of, gyour of alle clerkes ; 19.428
And Piers with his newe plough and ek with his olde 19.429
Emperour of al the world–that alle men were Cristene. 19.430
“Inparfit is that Pope, that al peple sholde helpe, 19.431
And s[ou]deth hem that sleeth swiche as he sholde save. 19.432
A[c] wel worthe Piers the Plowman, that pursueth God in doynge, 19.433
Qui pluit super iustos et iniustos at ones, 19.434
And sent the sonne to save a cursed mannes tilthe 19.435
As brighte as to the beste man or to the beste womman. 19.436
Right so Piers the Plowrnan peyneth hym to tilye 19.437
As wel for a wastour and wenches of the stewes 19.438
As for hymself and hise servaunts, save he is first yserved. 19.439
[So blessed be Piers Plowman, that peyneth hym to tilye], 19.440
And travailleth and tilieth for a tretour also soore 19.441
As for a trewe tidy man, alle tymes ylike. 19.442
And worshiped be He that wroghte al, bothe good and wikke, 19.443
And suffreth that synfulle be til som tyme that thei repente. 19.444
And God [the Pope amende], that pileth Holy Kirke, 19.445
And cleymeth bifore the kyng to be kepere over Cristene, 19.446
And counteth noght though Cristene ben killed and robbed, 19.447
And fynt folk to fighte and Cristen blood to spille 19.448
Ayein the Olde Lawe and Newe Lawe, as Luc bereth witnesse: 19.449
Non occides : mihi vindictam &c. 19.449
It semeth, bi so hymself hadde his wille, 19.450
That he ne reccheth right noght of al the remenaunt. 19.451
“And Crist of his curtesie the cardinals save,
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And torne hir wit to wisdom and to welthe of soule! 19.453
For the comune,’ quod this curatour, “counten ful litel 19.454
The counseil of Conscience or Cardinale Vertues 19.455
But if thei sowne, as by sighte, somwhat to wynnyng. 19.456
Of gile ne of gabbyng gyve thei nevere tale, 19.457
For Spiritus Prudencie among the peple is gyle, 19.458
And alle tho faire vertues, as vices thei semeth. 19.459
Ech man subtileth a sleighte synne to hide, 19.460
And coloureth it for a konnynge and a clene lyvynge.’ 19.461
Thanne lough ther a lord, and “By this light! seide, 19.462
I holde it right and reson of my reve to take 19.463
Al that myn auditour or ellis my styward 19.464
Counseilleth me bi hir acounte and my clerkes writynge. 19.465
With Spiritus Intellectus thei toke the reves rolles, 19.466
And with Spiritus Fortitudinis fecche it–wole [he, nel he].” 19.467
And thanne cam ther a kyng and by his croune seide, 19.468
“I am kyng with croune the comune to rule, 19.469
And Holy Kirke and clergie fro cursed men to defende. 19.470
And if me lakketh to lyve by, the lawe wole I take it 19.471
Ther I may hastilokest it have–for I am heed of lawe: 19.472
For ye ben but membres and I above alle. 19.473
And sith I am youre aller heed, I am youre aller heele, 19.474
And Holy Chirches chief help and chieftayn of the comune. 19.475
And what I take of yow two, I take it at the techynge 19.476
Of Spiritus Iusticie–for I jugge yow alle. 19.477
So I may boldely be housled, for I borwe nevere, 19.478
Ne crave of my comune but as my kynde asketh.’ 19.479
“In condicion,’ quod Conscience, “that thow [the comune] defende, 19.480
And rule thi reaume in reson, right wol and truthe
Page 251
That thow [have thyn askyng], as the lawe asketh: 19.482
Omnia sunt tua ad defendendum set non ad deprehendendum.’ 19.483
The viker hadde fer hoom, and faire took his leeve– 19.484
And I awakned therwith, and wroot as me mette. 19.485
Passus 20
Thanne as I wente by the way, whan I was thus awaked, 20.001
Hevy chered I yede, and elenge in herte; 20.002
For I ne wiste wher to ete ne at what place, 20.003
And it neghed neigh the noon, and with Nede I mette, 20.004
That afrounted me foule and faitour me called. 20.005
“Coudestow noght excuse thee, as dide the kyng and othere– 20.006
That thow toke to thy bilyve, to clothes and to sustenaunce, 20.007
Was by techynge and by tellynge of Spiritus Temperancie, 20.008
And that thow nome na moore than nede thee taughte, 20.009
And nede ne hath no lawe, ne nevere shal falle in dette 20.010
For thre thynges he taketh his lif for to save?– 20.011
That is, mete whan men hym werneth, and he no moneye weldeth, 20.012
Ne wight noon wol ben his borugh, ne wed hath noon to legge; 20.013
And he ca[cch]e in that caas and come therto by sleighte,
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He synneth noght, soothliche, that so wynneth his foode. 20.015
And though he come so to a clooth, and kan no bettre chevyssaunce, 20.016
Nede anoon righte nymeth hym under maynprise. 20.017
And if hym list for to lape, the lawe of kynde wolde 20.018
That he dronke at ech dych, er he [deide for thurst]. 20.019
So Nede, at gret nede, may nymen as for his owene, 20.020
Withouten conseil of Conscience or Cardynale Vertues– 20.021
So that he sewe and save Spiritus Temperancie. 20.022
“For is no vertue bi fer to Spiritus Temperancie– 20.023
Neither Spiritus Iusticie ne Spiritus Fortitudinis. 20.024
For Spiritus Fortitudinis forfeteth ful ofte: 20.025
He shal do moore than mesure many tyme and ofte, 20.026
And bete men over bittre, and som body to litel, 20.027
And greve men gretter than good feith it wolde. 20.028
“And Spiritus Iusticie shal juggen, wole he, nel he, 20.029
After the kynges counseil and the comune like. 20.030
And Spiritus Prudencie in many a point shal faille 20.031
Of that he weneth wolde falle if his wit ne weere. 20.032
Wenynge is no wysdom, ne wys ymaginacion: 20.033
Homo proponit et Deus disponit– 20.033
[God] governeth alle goode vertues; 20.034
And Nede is next hym, for anoon he meketh 20.035
And as lowe as a lomb, for lakkyng that hym nedeth; 20.036
For nede maketh nede fele nedes lowe-herted. 20.037
Philosophres forsoke welthe for thei wolde be nedy, 20.038
And woneden wel elengely and wolde noght be riche. 20.039
“And God al his grete joye goostliche he lefte, 20.040
And cam and took mankynde and bicam nedy.” 20.041
So he was nedy, as seith the Book, in manye sondry places, 20.042
That he seide in his some on the selve roode, 20.043
“‘the Fox and fowel may fle to hole and crepe,
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And the fissh hath fyn to flete with to reste, 20.045
Ther nede hath ynome me, that I moot nede abide 20.046
And suffre sorwes ful soure, that shal to joye torne.” 20.047
Forthi be noght abasshed to bide and to be nedy, 20.048
Sith he that wroghte al the world was wilfulliche nedy, 20.049
Ne nevere noon so nedy ne poverer deide.’ 20.050
Whan Nede hadde undernome rne thus, anoon I fil aslepe, 20.051
And mette ful merveillously that in mannes forme 20.052
Antecrist cam thanne, and al the crop of truthe 20.053
Torned it [tid] up-so-doun, and overtilte the roote, 20.054
And made fals sprynge and sprede and spede mennes nedes. 20.055
In ech a contree ther he cam he kutte awey truthe. 20.056
And gerte gile growe there as he a god weere. 20.057
Freres folwede that fend, for he gaf hem copes, 20.058
And religiouse reverenced hym and rongen hir belles, 20.059
And al the covent cam to welcome that tyraunt, 20.060
And alle hise as wel as hym–save oonly fooles; 20.061
Whiche fooles were wel gladdere to deye 20.062
Than to lyve lenger sith Leute was so rebuked, 20.063
And a fals fend Antecrist over alle folk regnede. 20.064
And that were rnylde men and holye, that no meschief dradden, 20.065
Defyed alle falsnesse and folk that it usede; 20.066
And what kyng that hem conforted, knowynge h[ir] gile, 20.067
They cursed, and hir conseil–were it clerk or lewed. 20.068
Antecrist hadde thus soone hundredes at his baner, 20.069
And Pride bar it bare boldely aboute, 20.070
With a lord that lyveth after likyng of body, 20.071
That cam ayein Conscience, that kepere was and gyour 20.072
Over kynde Cristene and Cardynale Vertues. 20.073
“I conseille,’ quod Conscience tho, “cometh with me, ye fooles, 20.074
Into Unite Holy Chirche, and holde we us there. 20.075
And crye we to Kynde that he come and defende us 20.076
Fooles fro thise fendes lymes, for Piers love the Plowman. 20.077
And crye we on al the comune that thei come to Unitee, 20.078
And there abide and bikere ayeins Beliales children.’
Page 254
Kynde Conscience tho herde, and cam out of the planetes, 20.080
And sente forth his forreyours — feveres and fluxes, 20.081
Coughes and cardiacles, crampes and toothaches, 20.082
Rewmes and radegundes and roynouse scalles, 20.083
Biles and bocches and brennynge agues, 20.084
Frenesies and foule yveles–forageres of Kynde 20.085
Hadde ypriked and prayed polles of peple; 20.086
Largeliche a legion lees hir lif soone. 20.087
There was ” Harrow!’ and ” Help! Here cometh Kynde, 20.088
With Deeth that is dredful, to undo us alle!’ 20.089
The lord that lyved after lust tho aloud cryde 20.090
After Confort, a knyght, to come and bere his baner. 20.091
“Alarme! Alarme!’ quod that lord, “ech lif kepe his owene!’ 20.092
Thanne mette thise men, er mynstrals myghte pipe, 20.093
And er heraudes of armes hadden discryved lordes, 20.094
Elde the hoore; he was in the vauntwarde, 20.095
And bar the baner bifore Deeth–bi right he it cleymede. 20.096
Kynde cam after hym, with many kene soores, 20.097
As pokkes and pestilences–and muche peple shente; 20.098
So Kynde thorugh corrupcions kilde ful manye, 20.099
Deeth cam dryvynge after and al to duste passhed 20.100
Kynges and knyghtes, kaysers and popes. 20.101
Lered ne lewed, he lefte no man stonde 20.102
That he hitte evene, that evere stired after. 20.103
Manye a lovely lady and [hir] lemmans knyghtes 20.104
Swowned and swelted for sorwe of Dethes dyntes. 20.105
Conscience of his curteisie to Kynde he bisoughte 20.106
To cesse and suffre, and see wher thei wo1de 20.107
Leve Pride pryvely and be parfite Cristene. 20.108
And Kynde cessede tho, to se the peple amende. 20.109
Fortune gan flatere thanne tho fewe that were alyve, 20.110
And bihighte hem long lif–and lecherie h 20.111
Amonges alle manere men, wedded and unwedded,
Page 255
And gaderede a greet hoost al agayn Conscience. 20.113
“This Lecherie leide on with laughynge chiere 20.114
And with pryvee speche and peyntede wordes, 20.115
And armede hym in ydelnesse and in heigh berynge. 20.116
He bar a bowe in his hand and manye brode arewes, 20.117
Weren fethered with fair biheste and many a fals truthe. 20.118
With untidy tales he tened ful ofte 20.119
Conscience and his compaignye, of Holy Kirke the techeris. 20.120
Thanne cam Coveitise and caste how he myghte 20.121
Overcome Conscience and Cardinale Vertues, 20.122
And armed hym in avarice and hungriliche lyvede. 20.123
His wepne was al wiles, to wynnen and to hiden; 20.124
With glosynges and with gabbynges he giled the peple. 20.125
Symonye hym s[ue]de to assaille Conscience, 20.126
And preched to the peple, and prelates thei hem maden 20.127
To holden with Antecrist, hir temporaltees to save; 20.128
And cam to the kynges counseille as a kene baroun, 20.129
And kneled to Conscience in Court afore hem alle, 20.130
And garte Good Feith flee and Fals to abide; 20.131
And boldeliche bar adoun with many a bright noble 20.132
Muche of the wit and wisdom of Westmynstre Halle. 20.133
He jogged til a justice and justed in his eere, 20.134
And overtilte al his truthe with “Tak this up amendement.’ 20.135
And to the Arches in haste he yede anoon after, 20.136
And tornede Cyvyle into Symonye, and siththe he took the Official: 20.137
For a menever mantel he made lele matrymoyne 20.138
Departen er deeth cam, and a devors shapte. 20.139
“Allas!’ quod Conscience, and cryde tho, “wolde Crist of his grace 20.140
That Coveitise were Cristene, that is so kene to fighte, 20.141
And boold and bidynge the while his bagge lasteth!’ 20.142
And thanne lough Lyf, and leet daggen hise clothes,
Page 256
And armed hym in haste in harlotes wordes, 20.144
And heeld Holynesse a jape and Hendenesse a wastour, 20.145
And leet Leautee a cherl and Lyere a fre man; 20.146
Conscience and counseil, he counted it folye. 20.147
Thus relyede Lif for a litel fortune, 20.148
And priked forth with Pride–preiseth he no vertue, 20.149
Ne careth noght how Kynde slow, and shal come at the laste 20.150
And kille alle erthely creature save Conscience oone. 20.151
Lyf lepte aside and laughte hym a lemman. 20.152
“Heele and I,’ quod he, “and heighnesse of herte 20.153
Shal do thee noght drede neither deeth ne elde. 20.154
And to foryyte sorwe and yyve noght of synne.” 20.155
This likede Lif and his lemman Fortune, 20.156
And geten in hir glorie a gadelyng at the laste, 20.157
Oon that muche wo wroughte, Sleuthe was his name. 20.158
Sleuthe wax wonder yerne and soone was of age, 20.159
And wedded oon Wanhope, a wenche of the stuwes. 20.160
Hir sire was a sysour that nevere swoor truthe— 20.161
Oon Tomme Two-tonge, atteynt at ech a queste. 20.162
This Sleuthe was war of werre, and a slynge made. 20.163
And threw drede of dispair a dozeyne myle aboute. 20.164
For care Conscience tho cryde upon Elde, 20.165
And bad hym fonde to fighte and afere Wanhope. 20.166
And Elde hente good hope, and hastiliche he shifte hym, 20.167
And wayved awey Wanhope and with Lif he fighteth. 20.168
And Lif fleigh for feere to Phisik after helpe, 20.169
And bisoughte hym of socour, and of his salve hadde, 20.170
And gaf hym gold good woon that gladede his herte– 20.171
And thei gyven hym ageyn a glazene howve. 20.172
Lyf leeved that lechecraft lette sholde Elde, 20.173
And dryven awey deeth with dyas and drogges. 20.174
And Elde auntred hym on Lyf–and at the laste he hitte 20.175
A phisicien with a furred hood, that he fel in a palsie, 20.176
And there dyed that doctour er thre dayes after. 20.177
“Now I se,’ seide Lif, “that surgerie ne phisik
Page 257
May noght a myte availle to medle ayein Elde.’ 20.179
And in hope of his heele good herte he hente 20.180
And rood so to Revel, a riche place and a murye– 20.181
The compaignye of confort men cleped it som tyme– 20.182
And Elde anoon after hym, and over myn heed yede, 20.183
And made me balled bifore and bare on the croune: 20.184
So harde he yede over myn heed it wol be sene evere. 20.185
“Sire yvele ytaught Elde!’ quod I, “unhende go with the! 20.186
Sith whanne was the wey over menne heddes? 20.187
Haddestow be hende,’ quod I, “thow woldest have asked leeve!’ 20.188
“Ye–leve, lurdeyn?’ quod he, and leyde on me with age, 20.189
And hitte me under the ere–unnethe may ich here. 20.190
Helbuffetted me aboute the mouth and bette out my wangteeth, 20.191
And gyved me in goutes–I may noght goon at large. 20.192
And of the wo that I was inne my wif hadde ruthe, 20.193
And wisshed wel witterly that I were in hevene. 20.194
For the lyme that she loved me fore, and leef was to feele– 20.195
On nyghtes, namely, whan we naked weere– 20.196
I ne myghte in no manere maken it at hir wille, 20.197
So Elde and he[o] hadden it forbeten. 20.198
And as I seet in this sorwe, I saugh how Kynde passede, 20.199
And deeth drogh neigh me–for drede gan I quake, 20.200
And cryde to Kynde, “Out of care me brynge! 20.201
Lo! how Elde the hoore hath me biseye: 20.202
Awreke me if youre wille be, for I wolde ben hennes! 20.203
“If thow wolt be wroken, wend into Unitee, 20.204
And hold thee there evere, til I sende for thee; 20.205
And loke thow konne som craft er thow come thennes.’ 20.206
“Counseille me, Kynde,’ quod I, “what craft be best to lerne?’ 20.207
“Lerne to love,’ quod Kynde, “and leef alle othere.’ 20.208
“How shal I come to catel so, toclothe me and to feede?’ 20.209
“And thow love lelly, lakke shal thee nevere 20.210
Weede ne worldly mete, while thi lif lasteth.’
Page 258
And there by conseil of Kynde I comsed to rome 20.212
Thorugh Contricion and Confession til I cam to Unitee. 20.213
And there was Conscience conestable Cristene to save, 20.214
And bisegede soo[r]ly with sevene grete geaunts 20.215
That with Antecrist helden harde ayein Conscience. 20.216
Sleuthe with his slynge an hard saut he made. 20.217
Proude preestes coome with hym–pange an hundred 20.218
In paltokes and pyked shoes and pisseris longe knyves 20.219
Coomen ayein Conscience–with Coveitise thei helden. 20.220
“By the Marie!’ quod a mansed preest, was of the march of Irlonde, 20.221
“I counte na moore Conscience, by so I cacche silver, 20.222
Than I do to drynke a draughte of good ale!’ 20.223
And so seiden sixty of the same contree, 20.224
And shotten ayein with shot, many a sheef of othes, 20.225
And brode hoked arwes–Goddes herte and hise nayles– 20.226
And hadden almoost Unitee and holynesse adown. 20.227
Conscience cryede, ” Help, Clergie. or ellis I falle 20.228
Thorugh inparfite preestes and prelates of Holy Chirche! 20.229
Freres herden hym crye, and comen hym to helpe– 20.230
Ac for thei kouthe noght wel hir craft, Conscience forsook hem. 20.231
Nede neghede tho neer, and Conscience he tolde 20.232
That thei come for coveitise to have cure of soules. 20.233
“And for thei are povere, paraventure, for patrymoyne hem failleth, 20.234
Thei wol flatere, to fare wel, folk that ben riche. 20.235
And sithen thei chosen chele and cheitiftee, poverte– 20.236
Lat hem chewe as thei chose, and charge hem with no cure! 20.237
For lomere he lyeth, that liflode moot begge, 20.238
Than he that laboureth for liflode and leneth it beggeres. 20.239
And sithen freres forsoke the felicite of erthe,
Page 259
Lat hem be as beggeris, or lyve by aungeles foode!’ 20.241
Conscience of this counseil tho comsede for to laughe, 20.242
And curteisliche conforted hem and called in alle freres, 20.243
And seide, Sires, soothly welcome be ye alle 20.244
To Unitee and Holy Chirche–ac o thyng I yow preye: 20.245
Holdeth yow in unitee, and haveth noon envye 20.246
To lered ne to lewed, but lyveth after youre reule. 20.247
And I wol be youre borugh, ye shal have breed and clothes 20.248
And othere necessaries ynowe–yow shal no thyng lakke, 20.249
With that ye leve logik and lerneth for to lovye. 20.250
For love lafte thei lordshipe, bothe lond and scole– 20.251
Frere Fraunceys and Domynyk–for love to be holye. 20.252
“And if ye coveite cure, Kynde wol yow telle 20.253
That in mesure God made alle manere thynges, 20.254
And sette it at a certein and at a siker nombre, 20.255
And nempnede hem names newe, and noumbrede the sterres: 20.256
Qui numerat multitudinem stellarum et omnibus eis &c. 20.256
“Kynges and knyghtes, that kepen and defenden, 20.257
Han officers under hem, and ech of hem a certein. 20.258
And if thei wage men to werre, thei write hem in noumbre; 20.259
Wol no tresorere taken hem wages, travaille thei never so soore, 20.260
[But thei ben nempned in the noumbre of hem that ben ywaged]. 20.261
Alle othere in bataille ben yholde brybours– 20.262
Pylours and pykeharneys, in ech a parisshe ycursed. 20.263
” Monkes and moniales and alle men of religion– 20.264
Hir ordre and hir reu1e wole to han a certein noumbre; 20.265
Of lewed and of lered the lawe wole and asketh 20.266
A certein for a certein–save oonliche of freres!
Page 260
Forthi,’ quod Conscience, “by Crist! kynde wit me telleth 20.268
It is wikked to wage yow–ye wexen out of noumbre! 20.269
Hevene hath evene noumbre, and helle is withoute noumbre; 20.270
Forthi I wolde witterly that ye were in the registre 20.271
And youre noumbre under notarie sygne, and neither mo ne lasse!’ 20.272
Envye herde this and heet freres go to scole 20.273
And lerne logyk and lawe–and ek contemplacion– 20.274
And preche men of Plato, and preve it by Seneca 20.275
That alle thynges under hevene oughte to ben in cornune. 20.276
He lyeth, as I leve, that to the lewed so precheth: 20.277
For God made to men a lawe and Moyses it taughte– 20.278
Non concupisces rem proximi tui. 20.279
And yvele is this yholde in parisshes of Engelonde; 20.280
For persons and parissh preestes, that sholde the peple shryve, 20.281
Ben curatours called to knowe and to hele. 20.282
Alle that ben hir parisshens penaunces enjoigne, 20.283
And ben ashamed in hir shrift; ac shame maketh hem wende 20.284
And fleen to the freres—as fals folk to Westmynstre, 20.285
That borweth, and bereth it thider, and thanne biddeth frendes 20.286
Yerne of foryifnesse or lenger yeres leve. 20.287
Ac while he is in Westmynstre he wol be bifore 20.288
And maken hym murie with oother menne goodes. 20.289
And so it fareth with muche folk that to freres shryveth; 20.290
As sisours and executours–thei shul yyve the freres
Page 261
A parcel to preye for hem, and [purchace] hem mur[th]e 20.292
With the remenaunt that othere [renkes] biswonke, 20.293
And suffre the dede in dette to the day of doome. 20.294
Envye herfore hatede Conscience, 20.295
And freres to philosophie he fond hem to scole, 20.296
The while Coveitise and Unkyndenesse Conscience assaillede. 20.297
In Unitee Holy Chirche Conscience held hym, 20.298
And made Pees porter to pynne the yates 20.299
Of alle taletelleris and titeleris in ydel. 20.300
Ypocrisie and h[ii] an hard saut thei made. 20.301
Ypocrisie at the yate harde gan fighte, 20.302
And woundede wel wikkedly many a wise techere 20.303
That with Conscience acordede and Cardynale Vertues. 20.304
Conscience called a leche, that coude wel shryve, 20.305
To go salve tho that sike were and thorugh synne ywounded. 20.306
Shrift shoop sharp salve, and made men do penaunce 20.307
For hire mysdedes that thei wroght hadde, 20.308
And that Piers [pardon] were ypayed, redde quod debes. 20.309
Some liked noght this leche, and lettres thei sente, 20.310
If any surgien were in the sege that softer koude plastre. 20.311
Sire Leef-to-lyve-in-lecherie lay there and gronede; 20.312
For fastynge of a Fryday he ferde as he wolde deye: 20.313
“Ther is a surgien in this sege that softe kan handle, 20.314
And moore of phisik bi fer, and fairer he plastreth– 20.315
Oon Frere Flaterere, is phisicien and surgien.’ 20.316
Quod Contricion to Conscience, “Do hym come to Unitee; 20.317
For here is many a man hurt thorugh Ypocrisye.’ 20.318
“We han no nede,’ quod Conscience, “I woot no bettre leche 20.319
Than person or parissh preest, penitauncer or bisshop– 20.320
Save Piers the Plowman, that hath power over alle, 20.321
And indulgence may do, but if dette lette it.
Page 262
I may wel suffre,’ seide Conscience, “syn ye desiren, 20.323
That Frere Flaterere be fet and phisike yow sike.’ 20.324
The frere herof herde and hiede faste 20.325
To a lord for a lettre, leve to have to curen 20.326
As a curatour he were, and cam with his lettre 20.327
Boldely to the bisshop, and his brief hadde, 20.328
In contrees ther he coome, confessions to here– 20.329
And cam there Conseience was, and knokked at the yate. 20.330
Pees unpynned it, was porter of Unitee, 20.331
And in haste askede what his wille were. 20.332
“In faith,’ quod this frere, “for profit and for helthe 20.333
Carpe I wolde with Contricion, and therfore cam I hider,’ 20.334
“He is sik,’ seide Pees, “and so are manye othere; 20.335
Ypocrisie hath hurt hem–ful hard is if thei kevere.’ 20.336
“I am a surgien,’ seide the frere, “and salves can make. 20.337
Conscience knoweth me wel and what I kan do bothe.’ 20.338
“I praye thee,’ quod Pees tho, “er thow passe ferther, 20.339
What hattestow? I praye thee, hele noght thi name.’ 20.340
“Certes,’ seide his felawe, ” Sire Penetrans-domos.’ 20.341
“Ye? Go thi gate!’ quod Pees, “by God, for al thi phisik, 20.342
But thow konne any craft, thow comest nought herinne! 20.343
I knew swich oon ones, noght eighte wynter passed, 20.344
Coom in thus ycoped at a court there I dwelde, 20.345
And was my lordes leche–and my ladies bothe. 20.346
And at the laste this lymytour, tho my lord was oute, 20.347
He salvede so oure wommen til some were with childe.’ 20.348
Hende-Speche heet Pees tho, ” Opene the yates. 20.349
Lat in the frere and his felawe, and make hem fair cheere. 20.350
He may se and here here, so may bifalle, 20.351
That Lif thorugh his loore shal leve coveitise, 20.352
And be adrad of deeth and withdrawe hym fram pryde, 20.353
And acorde with Conseience and kisse hir either oother.’ 20.354
Thus thorugh Hende-Speche entred the frere, 20.355
And cam in to Conseience and curteisly hym grette. 20.356
” Thow art welcome,’ quod Conscience, “kanstow heele sike? 20.357
Here is Contricion,’ quod Conscience, “my cosyn, ywounded. 20.358
Conforte hym,’ quod Conscience, “and take kepe to hise soores. 20.359
The plastres of the person and poudres ben to soore,
Page 263
And lat hem ligge overlonge and looth is to chaunge hem; 20.361
Fro Lenten to Lenten he lat his plastres bite.’ 20.362
“That is overlonge!’ quod this lymytour, ” I leve–I shal amende it’– 20.363
And gooth, gropeth Contricion, and gaf hym a plastre 20.364
Of “A pryvee paiement, and I shal praye for yow, 20.365
And for al [hem] that ye ben holden to, al my lif tyme, 20.366
And make yow [and] my Lady in masse and in matyns 20.367
As freres of oure fraternytee for a litel silver.’ 20.368
Thus he gooth and gadereth, and gloseth there he shryveth– 20.369
Til Contricion hadde clene foryeten to crye and to wepe, 20.370
And wake for hise wikked werkes as he was wont to doone. 20.371
For confort of his confessour contricion he lafte, 20.372
That is the soverayneste salve for alle[s]kynnes synnes. 20.373
Sleuth seigh that, and so dide Pryde, 20.374
And comen with a kene wille Conscience to assaille. 20.375
Conseience cryed eft [Clergie come] helpe hym, 20.376
And [bad] Contricion [come] to kepe the yate. 20.377
” He lith adreynt,’ seide Pees, “and so do manye othere; 20.378
The frere with his phisyk this folk hath enchaunted, 20.379
And plastred hem so esily [that hii] drede no synne!’ 20.380
“By Crist!’ quod Conscience tho, ” I wole bicome a pilgrym, 20.381
And walken as wide as the world lasteth, 20.382
To seken Piers the Plowman, that Pryde myghte destruye, 20.383
And that freres hadde a fyndyng, that for nede flateren 20.384
And countrepledeth me, Conscience. Now Kynde me avenge, 20.385
And sende me hap and heele, til I have Piers the P1owman!’ 20.386
And siththe he gradde after Grace, til I gan awake. 20.387

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