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1 By that the Maunciple hadde his tale al ended,
2 The sonne fro the south lyne was descended
3 So lowe that he nas nat, to my sighte,
4 Degrees nyne and twenty as in highte.
5 Foure of the clokke it was tho, as I gesse,
6 For ellevene foot, or litel moore or lesse,
7 My shadwe was at thilke tyme, as there
8 Of swiche feet as my lengthe parted were
9 In sixe feet equal of proporcioun.
10 Therwith the moones exaltacioun —
11 I meene Libra — alwey gan ascende
12 As we were entryng at a thropes ende;
13 For which oure Hoost, as he was wont to gye,
14 As in this caas, oure joly compaignye,
15 Seyde in this wise: “Lordynges everichoon,
16 Now lakketh us no tales mo than oon.
17 Fulfilled is my sentence and my decree;
18 I trowe that we han herd of ech degree;
19 Almoost fulfild is al myn ordinaunce.
20 I pray to God, so yeve hym right good chaunce,
21 That telleth this tale to us lustily.
22 “Sire preest,” quod he, “artow a vicary?
23 Or arte a person? Sey sooth, by thy fey!
24 Be what thou be, ne breke thou nat oure pley;
25 For every man, save thou, hath toold his tale.
26 Unbokele and shewe us what is in thy male;
27 For trewely, me thynketh by thy cheere
28 Thou sholdest knytte up wel a greet mateere.
29 Telle us a fable anon, for cokkes bones!”
30 This Persoun answerde, al atones,
31 “Thou getest fable noon ytoold for me,
32 For Paul, that writeth unto Thymothee,
33 Repreveth hem that weyven soothfastnesse
34 And tellen fables and swich wrecchednesse.
35 Why sholde I sowen draf out of my fest,
36 Whan I may sowen whete, if that me lest?
37 For which I seye, if that yow list to heere
38 Moralitee and vertuous mateere,
39 And thanne that ye wol yeve me audience,
40 I wol ful fayn, at Cristes reverence,
41 Do yow plesaunce leefful, as I kan.
42 But trusteth wel, I am a Southren man;
43 I kan nat geeste ‘rum, ram, ruf,’ by lettre,
44 Ne, God woot, rym holde I but litel bettre;
45 And therfore, if yow list — I wol nat glose —
46 I wol yow telle a myrie tale in prose
47 To knytte up al this feeste and make an ende.
48 And Jhesu, for his grace, wit me sende
49 To shewe yow the wey, in this viage,
50 Of thilke parfit glorious pilgrymage
51 That highte Jerusalem celestial.
52 And if ye vouche sauf, anon I shal
53 Bigynne upon my tale, for which I preye
54 Telle youre avys; I kan no bettre seye.
55 “But nathelees, this meditacioun
56 I putte it ay under correccioun
57 Of clerkes, for I am nat textueel;
58 I take but the sentence, trusteth weel.
59 Therfore I make protestacioun
60 That I wol stonde to correccioun.”
61 Upon this word we han assented soone,
62 For, as it seemed, it was for to doone —
63 To enden in som vertuous sentence,
64 And for to yeve hym space and audience,
65 And bade oure Hoost he sholde to hym seye
66 That alle we to telle his tale hym preye.
67 Oure Hoost hadde the wordes for us alle;
68 “Sire preest,” quod he, “now faire yow bifalle!
69 Telleth,” quod he, “youre meditacioun.
70 But hasteth yow; the sonne wole adoun;
71 Beth fructuous, and that in litel space,
72 And to do wel God sende yow his grace!
73 Sey what yow list, and we wol gladly heere.”
74 And with that word he seyde in this manere.

The Tale

75 Oure sweete Lord God of hevene, that no man wole perisse but wole that
75 A we comen alle to the knoweleche of hym and to the blisful lif that is perdurable,
76 amonesteth us by the prophete Jeremie, that seith in thys wyse:
77 “Stondeth upon the weyes, and seeth and axeth of olde pathes (that is to seyn, of olde sentences) which is the goode wey,
78 and walketh in that wey, and ye shal fynde refresshynge for youre soules, etc.”
79 Manye been the weyes espirituels that leden folk to oure Lord Jhesu Crist and to the regne of glorie.
80 Of whiche weyes ther is a ful noble wey and a ful covenable, which may nat fayle to man ne to womman
80 A that thurgh synne hath mysgoon fro the righte wey of Jerusalem celestial;
81 and this wey is cleped Penitence, of which man sholde gladly herknen and enquere with al his herte
82 to wyten what is Penitence, and whennes it is cleped Penitence, and in how manye maneres been the acciouns or werkynges of Penitence,
83 and how manye speces ther been of Penitence, and whiche thynges apertenen and bihoven to Penitence, and whiche thynges destourben Penitence.
84 Seint Ambrose seith that Penitence is the pleynynge of man for the gilt that he hath doon,
84 A and namoore to do any thyng for which hym oghte to pleyne.
85 And som doctour seith, “Penitence is the waymentynge of man that sorweth for his synne and pyneth hymself for he hath mysdoon.”
86 Penitence, with certeyne circumstances, is verray repentance of a man that halt hymself in sorwe and oother peyne for his giltes.
87 And for he shal be verray penitent, he shal first biwaylen the synnes that he hath doon,
87 A and stidefastly purposen in his herte to have shrift of mouthe, and to doon satisfaccioun,
88 and nevere to doon thyng for which hym oghte moore to biwayle
88 A or to compleyne, and to continue in goode werkes, or elles his repentance may nat availle.
89 For, as seith Seint Ysidre,
89 A “He is a japere and a gabbere and no verray repentant that eftsoone dooth thyng for which hym oghte repente.”
90 Wepynge, and nat for to stynte to do synne, may nat avayle.
91 But nathelees, men shal hope that every tyme that man falleth, be it never so ofte,
91 A that he may arise thurgh Penitence, if he have grace; but certeinly it is greet doute.
92 For, as seith Seint Gregorie, “Unnethe ariseth he out of his synne, that is charged with the charge of yvel usage.”
93 And therfore repentant folk, that stynte for to synne and forlete synne er that synne forlete hem,
93 A hooly chirche holdeth hem siker of hire savacioun.
94 And he that synneth and verraily repenteth hym in his laste, hooly chirche yet hopeth his savacioun,
94 A by the grete mercy of oure Lord Jhesu Crist, for his repentaunce; but taak the siker wey.
95 And now, sith I have declared yow what thyng is Penitence, now shul ye understonde that ther been three acciouns of Penitence.
96 The firste is that if a man be baptized after that he hath synned.
97 Seint Augustyn seith, “But he be penytent for his olde synful lyf, he may nat bigynne the newe clene lif.”
98 For, certes, if he be baptized withouten penitence of his olde gilt, he receyveth the mark of baptesme
98 A but nat the grace ne the remission of his synnes, til he have repentance verray.
99 Another defaute is this: that men doon deedly synne after that they han receyved baptesme.
100 The thridde defaute is that men fallen in venial synnes after hir baptesme fro day to day.
101 Therof seith Seint Augustyn that penitence of goode and humble folk is the penitence of every day.
102 The speces of Penitence been three. That oon of hem is solempne, another is commune, and the thridde is privee.
103 Thilke penance that is solempne is in two maneres;
103 A as to be put out of hooly chirche in Lente for slaughtre of children, and swich maner thyng.
104 Another is, whan a man hath synned openly, of which synne the fame is openly spoken in the contree,
104 A and thanne hooly chirche by juggement destreyneth hym for to do open penaunce.
105 Commune penaunce is that preestes enjoynen men communly in certeyn caas, as for to goon peraventure naked in pilgrimages, or barefoot.
106 Pryvee penaunce is thilke that men doon alday for privee synnes, of whiche we shryve us prively and receyve privee penaunce.
107 Now shaltow understande what is bihovely and necessarie to verray parfit Penitence. And this stant on three thynges:
108 Contricioun of Herte, Confessioun of Mouth, and Satisfaccioun.
109 For which seith Seint John Crisostom, “Penitence destreyneth a man to accepte benygnely every peyne that hym is enjoyned,
109 A with contricioun of herte, and shrift of mouth, with satisfaccioun, and in werkynge of alle manere humylitee.”
110 And this is fruytful penitence agayn three thynges in which we wratthe oure Lord Jhesu Crist;
111 this is to seyn, by delit in thynkynge, by reccheleesnesse in spekynge, and by wikked synful werkynge.
112 And agayns thise wikkede giltes is Penitence, that may be likned unto a tree.
113 The roote of this tree is Contricioun, that hideth hym in the herte of hym that is verray repentaunt,
113 A right as the roote of a tree hydeth hym in the erthe.
114 Of the roote of Contricioun spryngeth a stalke that bereth braunches and leves of Confessioun, and fruyt of Satisfaccioun.
115 For which Crist seith in his gospel, “Dooth digne fruyt of Penitence”; for by this fruyt may men knowe this tree,
115 A and nat by the roote that is hyd in the herte of man, ne by the braunches, ne by the leves of Confessioun.
116 And therfore oure Lord Jhesu Crist seith thus: “By the fruyt of hem shul ye knowen hem.”
117 Of this roote eek spryngeth a seed of grace, the which seed is mooder of sikernesse, and this seed is egre and hoot.
118 The grace of this seed spryngeth of God thurgh remembrance of the day of doom and on the peynes of helle.
119 Of this matere seith Salomon that in the drede of God man forleteth his synne.
120 The heete of this seed is the love of God and the desiryng of the joye perdurable.
121 This heete draweth the herte of a man to God and dooth hym haten his synne.
122 For soothly ther is nothyng that savoureth so wel to a child as the milk of his norice,
122 A ne nothyng is to hym moore abhomynable than thilke milk whan it is medled with oother mete.
123 Right so the synful man that loveth his synne, hym semeth that it is to him moost sweete of any thyng;
124 but fro that tyme that he loveth sadly oure Lord Jhesu Crist,
124 A and desireth the lif perdurable, ther nys to him no thyng moore abhomynable.
125 For soothly the lawe of God is the love of God; for which David the prophete seith.
125 A “I have loved thy lawe and hated wikkednesse and hate”; he that loveth God kepeth his lawe and his word.
126 This tree saugh the prophete Daniel in spirit, upon the avysioun of the kyng Nabugodonosor, whan he conseiled hym to do penitence.
127 Penaunce is the tree of lyf to hem that it receyven,
127 A and he that holdeth hym in verray penitence is blessed, after the sentence of Salomon.
128 In this Penitence or Contricioun man shal understonde foure thynges; that is to seyn, what is Contricioun,
128 A and whiche been the causes that moeven a man to Contricioun, and how he sholde be contrit, and what Contricioun availleth to the soule.
129 Thanne is it thus: that Contricioun is the verray sorwe that a man receyveth in his herte for his synnes,
129 A with sad purpos to shryve hym, and to do penaunce, and neveremoore to do synne.
130 And this sorwe shal been in this manere, as seith Seint Bernard:
130 A “It shal been hevy and grevous, and ful sharp and poynaunt in herte.”
131 First, for man hath agilt his Lord and his Creatour; and moore sharp and poynaunt for he hath agilt hys Fader celestial;
132 and yet moore sharp and poynaunt for he hath wrathed and agilt hym that boghte hym, that with his precious blood hath delivered us
132 A fro the bondes of synne, and fro the crueltee of the devel, and fro the peynes of helle.
133 The causes that oghte moeve a man to Contricioun been sixe. First a man shal remembre hym of his synnes;
134 but looke he that thilke remembraunce ne be to hym no delit by no wey, but greet shame and sorwe for his gilt.
134 A For Job seith, “Synful men doon werkes worthy of confusioun.”
135 And therfore seith Ezechie, “I wol remembre me alle the yeres of my lyf in bitternesse of myn herte.”
136 And God seith in the Apocalipse, “Remembreth yow fro whennes that ye been falle”;
136 A for biforn that tyme that ye synned, ye were the children of God and lymes of the regne of God;
137 but for youre synne ye been woxen thral, and foul, and membres of the feend, hate of aungels, sclaundre of hooly chirche,
137 A and foode of the false serpent, perpetueel matere of the fir of helle;
138 and yet moore foul and abhomynable, for ye trespassen so ofte tyme as dooth the hound that retourneth to eten his spewyng.
139 And yet be ye fouler for youre longe continuyng in synne and youre synful usage,
139 A for which ye be roten in youre synne, as a beest in his dong.
140 Swiche manere of thoghtes maken a man to have shame of his synne, and no delit, as God seith by the prophete Ezechiel,
141 “Ye shal remembre yow of youre weyes, and they shuln displese yow.” Soothly synnes been the weyes that leden folk to helle.
142 The seconde cause that oghte make a man to have desdeyn of synne is this:
142 A that, as seith Seint Peter, “whoso that dooth synne is thral of synne”; and synne put a man in greet thraldom.
143 And therfore seith the prophete Ezechiel: “I wente sorweful in desdayn of myself.”
143 A Certes, wel oghte a man have desdayn of synne and withdrawe hym from that thraldom and vileynye.
144 And lo, what seith Seneca in this matere? He seith thus: “Though I wiste that neither God ne man ne sholde nevere knowe it,
144 A yet wolde I have desdayn for to do synne.”
145 And the same Seneca also seith, “I am born to gretter thynges than to be thral to my body,
145 A or than for to maken of my body a thral.”
146 Ne a fouler thral may no man ne womman maken of his body than for to yeven his body to synne.
147 Al were it the fouleste cherl or the fouleste womman that lyveth, and leest of value,
147 A yet is he thanne moore foul and moore in servitute.
148 Evere fro the hyer degree that man falleth, the moore is he thral, and moore to God and to the world vile and abhomynable.
149 O goode God, wel oghte man have desdayn of synne, sith that thurgh synne ther he was free now is he maked bonde.
150 And therfore seyth Seint Augustyn: “If thou hast desdayn of thy servant,
150 A if he agilte or synne, have thou thanne desdayn that thou thyself sholdest do synne.”
151 Tak reward of thy value, that thou ne be to foul to thyself.
152 Allas, wel oghten they thanne have desdayn to been servauntz and thralles to synne, and soore been ashamed of hemself
153 that God of his endelees goodnesse hath set hem in heigh estaat, or yeven hem wit, strengthe of body, heele, beautee, prosperitee,
154 and boghte hem fro the deeth with his herte-blood,
154 A that they so unkyndely, agayns his gentilesse, quiten hym so vileynsly to slaughtre of hir owene soules.
155 O goode God, ye wommen that been of so greet beautee, remembreth yow of the proverbe of Salomon. He seith,
156 “Likneth a fair womman that is a fool of hire body
156 A lyk to a ryng of gold that were in the groyn of a soughe.”
157 For right as a soughe wroteth in everich ordure, so wroteth she hire beautee in the stynkynge ordure of synne.
158 The thridde cause that oghte moeve a man to Contricioun is drede of the day of doom and of the horrible peynes of helle.
159 For as Seint Jerome seith, ” At every tyme that me remembreth of the day of doom I quake;
160 for whan I ete or drynke, or what so that I do, evere semeth me that the trompe sowneth in myn ere:
161 ‘Riseth up, ye that been dede, and cometh to the juggement.'”
162 O goode God, muchel oghte a man to drede swich a juggement, “ther as we shullen been alle,”
162 A as Seint Poul seith, “biforn the seete of oure Lord Jhesu Crist”;
163 whereas he shal make a general congregacioun, whereas no man may been absent.
164 For certes there availleth noon essoyne ne excusacioun.
165 And nat oonly that oure defautes shullen be jugged, but eek that alle oure werkes shullen openly be knowe.
166 And, as seith Seint Bernard, “Ther ne shal no pledynge availle, ne no sleighte; we shullen yeven rekenynge of everich ydel word.”
167 Ther shul we han a juge that may nat been deceyved ne corrupt. And why?
167 A For, certes, alle oure thoghtes been discovered as to hym, ne for preyere ne for meede he shal nat been corrupt.
168 And therfore seith Salomon, “The wratthe of God ne wol nat spare no wight, for preyere ne for yifte”;
168 A and therfore, at the day of doom ther nys noon hope to escape.
169 Wherfore, as seith Seint Anselm, “Ful greet angwyssh shul the synful folk have at that tyme;
170 ther shal the stierne and wrothe juge sitte above, and under hym the horrible pit of helle open to destroyen hym
170 A that moot biknowen his synnes, whiche synnes openly been shewed biforn God and biforn every creature;
171 and in the left syde mo develes than herte may bithynke, for to harye and drawe the synful soules to the peyne of helle;
172 and withinne the hertes of folk shal be the bitynge conscience, and withouteforth shal be the world al brennynge.
173 Whider shal thanne the wrecched synful man flee to hiden hym? Certes, he may nat hyden hym; he moste come forth and shewen hym.”
174 For certes, as seith Seint Jerome, “the erthe shal casten hym out of hym, and the see also,
174 A and the eyr also, that shal be ful of thonder-clappes and lightnynges.”
175 Now soothly, whoso wel remembreth hym of thise thynges, I gesse that his synne shal nat turne hym into delit,
175 A but to greet sorwe for drede of the peyne of helle.
176 And therfore seith Job to God, “Suffre, Lord, that I may a while biwaille and wepe,
176 A er I go withoute returnyng to the derke lond, covered with the derknesse of deeth,
177 to the lond of mysese and of derknesse, whereas is the shadwe of deeth,
177 A whereas ther is noon ordre or ordinaunce but grisly drede that evere shal laste.”
178 Loo, heere may ye seen that Job preyde respit a while to biwepe and waille his trespas,
178 A for soothly oo day of respit is bettre than al the tresor of this world.
179 And forasmuche as a man may acquiten hymself biforn God by penitence in this world, and nat by tresor,
179 A therfore sholde he preye to God to yeve hym respit a while to biwepe and biwaillen his trespas.
180 For certes, al the sorwe that a man myghte make fro the bigynnyng of the world
180 A nys but a litel thyng at regard of the sorwe of helle.
181 The cause why that Job clepeth helle the “lond of derkness.”:
182 understondeth that he clepeth it “lond” or erthe, for it is stable and nevere shal faille; “derk,”
182 A for he that is in helle hath defaute of light material.
183 For certes, the derke light that shal come out of the fyr that evere shal brenne
183 A shal turne hym al to peyne that is in helle for it sheweth him to the horrible develes that hym tormenten.
184 “Covered with the derknesse of deeth” — that is to seyn, that
184 A he that is in helle shal have defaute of the sighte of God, for certes the sighte of God is the lyf perdurable.
185 “The derknesse of deeth” been the synnes that the wrecched man hath doon, whiche that destourben hym to see the face of God,
185 A right as dooth a derk clowde bitwixe us and the sonne.
186 “Lond of misese,” by cause that ther been three maneres of defautes,
186 A agayn three thynges that folk of this world han in this present lyf; that is to seyn, honours, delices, and richesses.
187 Agayns honour, have they in helle shame and confusioun.
188 For wel ye woot that men clepen honour the reverence that man doth to man, but in helle is noon honour ne reverence.
188 A For certes, namoore reverence shal be doon there to a kyng than to a knave.
189 For which God seith by the prophete Jeremye, “Thilke folk that me despisen shul been in despit.”
190 Honour is eek cleped greet lordshipe; ther shal no wight serven other, but of harm
190 A and torment. Honour is eek cleped greet dignytee and heighnesse, but in helle shul they been al fortroden of develes.
191 And God seith, “The horrible develes shulle goon and comen upon the hevedes of the dampned folk.” And this is for as muche as
191 A the hyer that they were in this present lyf, the moore shulle they been abated and defouled in helle.
192 Agayns the richesse of this world shul they han mysese of poverte, and this poverte shal been in foure thynges:
193 In defaute of tresor, of which that David seith, “The riche folk, that embraceden and oneden al hire herte to tresor of this world,
193 A shul slepe in the slepynge of deeth; and nothyng ne shal they fynden in hir handes of al hir tresor.”
194 And mooreover the myseyse of helle shal been in defaute of mete and drinke.
195 For God seith thus by Moyses: “They shul been wasted with hunger, and the briddes of helle shul devouren hem with bitter deeth,
195 A and the galle of the dragon shal been hire drynke, and the venym of the dragon hire morsels.”
196 And forther over, hire myseyse shal been in defaute of clothyng, for they shulle be naked in body as of clothyng,
196 A save the fyr in which they brenne, and othere filthes;
197 and naked shul they been of soule, as of alle manere vertues, which that is the clothyng of the soule.
197 A Where been thanne the gaye robes, and the softe shetes, and the smale shertes?
198 Loo, what seith God of hem by the prophete Ysaye: that
198 A “under hem shul been strawed motthes, and hire covertures shulle been of wormes of helle.”
199 And forther over, hir myseyse shal been in defaute of freendes.
199 A For he nys nat povre that hath goode freendes; but there is no frend,
200 for neither God ne no creature shal been freend to hem, and everich of hem shal haten oother with deedly hate.
201 “The sones and the doghtren shullen rebellen agayns fader and mooder, and kynrede agayns kynrede, and chiden
201 A and despisen everich of hem oother bothe day and nyght,” as God seith by the prophete Michias.
202 And the lovynge children, that whilom loveden so flesshly everich oother, wolden everich of hem eten oother if they myghte.
203 For how sholden they love hem togidre in the peyne of helle,
203 A whan they hated everich of hem oother in the prosperitee of this lyf?
204 For truste wel, hir flesshly love was deedly hate, as seith the prophete David: “Whoso that loveth wikkednesse, he hateth his soule.”
205 And whoso hateth his owene soule, certes, he may love noon oother wight in no manere.
206 And therfore, in helle is no solas ne no freendshipe, but evere the moore flesshly kynredes that been in helle,
206 A the moore cursynges, the more chidynges, and the moore deedly hate ther is among hem.
207 And forther over, they shul have defaute of alle manere delices.
207 A For certes, delices been after the appetites of the fyve wittes, as sighte, herynge, smellynge, savorynge, and touchynge.
208 But in helle hir sighte shal be ful of derknesse and of smoke,
208 A and therfore ful of teeres; and hir herynge ful of waymentynge and of gryntynge of teeth, as seith Jhesu Crist.
209 Hir nose-thirles shullen be ful of stynkynge stynk; and, as seith Ysaye the prophete, “hir savoryng shal be ful of bitter galle”;
210 and touchynge of al hir body ycovered with “fir
210 A that nevere shal quenche and with wormes that nevere shul dyen,”
210B as God seith by the mouth of Ysaye.
211 And for as muche as they shul nat wene that they may dyen for peyne, and by hir deeth flee fro peyne,
211 A that may they understonden by the word of Job, that seith, “ther as is the shadwe of deeth.”
212 Certes, a shadwe hath the liknesse of the thyng of which it is shadwe,
212 A but shadwe is nat the same thyng of which it is shadwe.
213 Right so fareth the peyne of helle; it is lyk deeth for the horrible angwissh, and why?
213 A For it peyneth hem evere, as though they sholde dye anon; but certes, they shal nat dye.
214 For, as seith Seint Gregorie, “To wrecche caytyves shal be deeth withoute deeth, and ende withouten ende, and defaute withoute failynge.
215 For hir deeth shal alwey lyven, and hir ende shal everemo bigynne, and hir defaute shal nat faille.”
216 And therfore seith Seint John the Evaungelist, “They shullen folwe deeth,
216 A and they shul nat fynde hym; and they shul desiren to dye, and deeth shal flee fro hem.”
217 And eek Job seith that in helle is noon ordre of rule.
218 And al be it so that God hath creat alle thynges in right ordre, and no thyng withouten ordre,
218 A but alle thynges been ordeyned and nombred; yet, nathelees, they that been dampned been nothyng in ordre, ne holden noon ordre,
219 for the erthe ne shal bere hem no fruyt.
220 For, as the prophete David seith, “God shal destroie the fruyt of the erthe as fro hem;
220 A ne water ne shal yeve hem no moisture, ne the eyr no refresshyng, ne fyr no light.”
221 For, as seith Seint Basilie, “The brennynge of the fyr of this world shal God yeven in helle to hem that been dampned,
222 but the light and the cleernesse shal be yeven in hevene to his children,”
222 A right as the goode man yeveth flessh to his children and bones to his houndes.
223 And for they shullen have noon hope to escape, seith Seint Job atte laste that “ther shal horrour and grisly drede dwellen withouten ende.”
224 Horrour is alwey drede of harm that is to come, and this drede shal evere dwelle in the hertes of hem that been dampned.
224 A And therfore han they lorn al hire hope, for sevene causes.
225 First, for God, that is hir juge, shal be withouten mercy to hem; and they may nat plese hym ne noon of his halwes;
225 A ne they ne may yeve no thyng for hir raunsoun;
226 ne they have no voys to speke to hym; ne they may nat fle fro peyne;
226 A ne they have no goodnesse in hem, that they mowe shewe to delivere hem fro peyne.
227 And therfore seith Salomon: “The wikked man dyeth, and whan he is deed, he shal have noon hope to escape fro peyne.”
228 Whoso thanne wolde wel understande thise peynes and bithynke hym weel that he hath deserved thilke peynes for his synnes,
228 A certes, he sholde have moore talent to siken and to wepe than for to syngen and to pleye.
229 For, as that seith Salomon, “Whoso that hadde the science to knowe the peynes
229 A that been establissed and ordeyned for synne, he wolde make sorwe.”
230 “Thilke science,” as seith Seint Augustyn, “maketh a man to waymenten in his herte.”
231 The fourthe point that oghte maken a man to have contricion is the sorweful remembraunce of the good
231 A that he hath left to doon heere in erthe, and eek the good that he hath lorn.
232 Soothly, the goode werkes that he hath lost, outher they been the goode werkes that he wroghte er he fel into deedly synne
232 A or elles the goode werkes that he wroghte while he lay in synne.
233 Soothly, the goode werkes that he dide biforn that he fil in synne been al mortefied and astoned and dulled by the ofte synnyng.
234 The othere goode werkes, that he wroghte whil he lay in deedly synne,
234 A thei been outrely dede, as to the lyf perdurable in hevene.
235 Thanne thilke goode werkes that been mortefied by ofte synnyng,
235 A whiche goode werkes he dide whil he was in charitee, ne mowe nevere quyken agayn withouten verray penitence.
236 And therof seith God by the mouth of Ezechiel, that
236 A “if the rightful man returne agayn from his rightwisnesse and werke wikkednesse, shal he lyve?”
237 Nay, for alle the goode werkes that he hath wroght ne shul nevere been in remembraunce, for he shal dyen in his synne.
238 And upon thilke chapitre seith Seint Gregorie thus: that “we shulle understonde this principally;
239 that whan we doon deedly synne,
239 A it is for noght thanne to rehercen or drawen into memorie the goode werkes that we han wroght biforn.”
240 For certes, in the werkynge of the deedly synne, ther is no trust to no good werk that we han doon biforn;
240 A that is to seyn, as for to have therby the lyf perdurable in hevene.
241 But nathelees, the goode werkes quyken agayn, and comen agayn, and helpen,
241 A and availlen to have the lyf perdurable in hevene, whan we han contricioun.
242 But soothly, the goode werkes that men doon whil they been in deedly synne,
242 A for as muche as they were doon in deedly synne, they may nevere quyke agayn.
243 For certes, thyng that nevere hadde lyf may nevere quykene; and nathelees, al be it that they ne availle noght to han the lyf perdurable,
243 A yet availlen they to abregge of the peyne of helle, or elles to geten temporal richesse,
244 or elles that God wole the rather enlumyne and lightne the herte of the synful man to have repentaunce;
245 and eek they availlen for to usen a man to doon goode werkes, that the feend have the lasse power of his soule.
246 And thus the curteis Lord Jhesu Crist ne wole that no good werk be lost, for in somwhat it shal availle.
247 But, for as muche as the goode werkes that men doon whil they been in good lyf been al mortefied by synne folwynge,
247 A and eek sith that alle the goode werkes that men doon whil they been in deedly synne been outrely dede
247B as for to have the lyf perdurable,
248 wel may that man that no good werk ne dooth synge thilke newe Frenshe song, “Jay tout perdu mon temps et mon labour.”
249 For certes, synne bireveth a man bothe goodnesse of nature and eek the goodnesse of grace.
250 For soothly, the grace of the Hooly Goost fareth lyk fyr, that may nat been ydel;
250 A for fyr fayleth anoon as it forleteth his wirkynge, and right so grace fayleth anoon as it forleteth his werkynge.
251 Then leseth the synful man the goodnesse of glorie, that oonly is bihight to goode men that labouren and werken.
252 Wel may he be sory thanne, that oweth al his lif to God as longe as he hath lyved, and eek as longe
252 A as he shal lyve, that no goodnesse ne hath to paye with his dette to God to whom he oweth al his lyf.
253 For trust wel, “He shal yeven acountes,” as seith Seint Bernard,
253 A “of alle the goodes that han be yeven hym in this present lyf, and how he hath hem despended,
254 [in] so muche that ther shal nat perisse an heer of his heed, ne a moment of an houre
254 A ne shal nat perisse of his tyme, that he ne shal yeve of it a rekenyng.”
255 The fifthe thyng that oghte moeve a man to contricioun
255 A is remembrance of the passioun that oure Lord Jhesu Crist suffred for oure synnes.
256 For, as seith Seint Bernard, “Whil that I lyve I shal have remembrance of the travailles that oure Lord Crist suffred in prechyng:
257 his werynesse in travaillyng, his temptaciouns whan he fasted, his longe wakynges
257 A whan he preyde, hise teeres whan that he weep for pitee of good peple,
258 the wo and the shame and the filthe that men seyden to hym, of the foule spittyng that men spitte in his face,
258 A of the buffettes that men yaven hym, of the foule mowes, and of the repreves that men to hym seyden,
259 of the nayles with whiche he was nayled to the croys,
259 A and of al the remenant of his passioun that he suffred for my synnes, and no thyng for his gilt.”
260 And ye shul understonde that in mannes synne is every manere of ordre or ordinaunce turned up-so-doun.
261 For it is sooth that God, and resoun, and sensualitee, and the body of man been so ordeyned
261 A that everich of thise foure thynges sholde have lordshipe over that oother,
262 as thus: God sholde have lordshipe over resoun, and resoun over sensualitee, and sensualitee over the body of man.
263 But soothly, whan man synneth, al this ordre or ordinaunce is turned up-so-doun.
264 And therfore thanne, for as muche as the resoun of man ne wol nat be subget ne obeisant to God, that is
264 A his lord by right, therfore leseth it the lordshipe that it sholde have over sensualitee, and eek over the body of man.
265 And why? For sensualitee rebelleth thanne agayns resoun, and by that way leseth resoun the lordshipe over sensualitee and over the body.
266 For right as resoun is rebel to God, right so is bothe sensualitee rebel to resoun and the body also.
267 And certes this disordinaunce and this rebellioun oure Lord Jhesu Crist aboghte upon his precious body ful deere, and herkneth in which wise.
268 For as muche thanne as resoun is rebel to God, therfore is man worthy to have sorwe and to be deed.
269 This suffred oure Lord Jhesu Crist for man, after that he hadde be bitraysed of his disciple, and distreyned and bounde
269 A so that his blood brast out at every nayl of his handes, as seith Seint Augustyn.
270 And forther over, for as muchel as resoun of man ne wol nat daunte sensualitee whan it may,
270 A therfore is man worthy to have shame; and this suffred oure Lord Jhesu Crist for man, whan they spetten in his visage.
271 And forther over, for as muchel thanne as the caytyf body of man is rebel bothe to resoun and to sensualitee,
271 A therfore is it worthy the deeth.
272 And this suffred oure Lord Jhesu Crist for man upon the croys,
272 A where as ther was no part of his body free withouten greet peyne and bitter passioun.
273 And al this suffred Jhesu Crist, that nevere forfeted. And therfore resonably may be seyd of Jhesu in this manere:
273 A “To muchel am I peyned for the thynges that I nevere deserved, and to muche defouled for shendshipe that man is worthy to have.”
274 And therfore may the synful man wel seye, as seith Seint Bernard,
274 A ” Acursed be the bitternesse of my synne, for which ther moste be suffred so muchel bitternesse.”
275 For certes, after the diverse [disordinaunces] of oure wikkednesses was the passioun of Jhesu Crist ordeyned in diverse thynges.
276 As thus: Certes, synful mannes soule is bitraysed of the devel by coveitise of temporeel prosperitee, and scorned by deceite
276 A whan he cheseth flesshly delices; and yet is it tormented by inpacience of adversitee and bispet by servage and subjeccioun of synne;
276B and atte laste it is slayn fynally.
277 For this disordinaunce of synful man was Jhesu Crist first bitraysed,
277 A and after that was he bounde, that cam for to unbynden us of synne and peyne.
278 Thanne was he byscorned, that oonly sholde han been honoured in alle thynges and of alle thynges.
279 Thanne was his visage, that oghte be desired to be seyn of al mankynde, in which visage aungels desiren to looke, vileynsly bispet.
280 Thanne was he scourged, that no thyng hadde agilt; and finally, thanne was he crucified and slayn.
281 Thanne was acompliced the word of Ysaye, “He was wounded for oure mysdedes and defouled for oure felonies.”
282 Now sith that Jhesu Crist took upon hymself the peyne of alle oure wikkednesses, muchel oghte synful man wepen and biwayle,
282 A that for his synnes Goddes sone of hevene sholde al this peyne endure.
283 The sixte thyng that oghte moeve a man to contricioun is the hope of three thynges; that is to seyn, foryifnesse of synne,
283 A and the yifte of grace wel for to do, and the glorie of hevene, with which God shal gerdone man for his goode dedes.
284 And for as muche as Jhesu Crist yeveth us thise yiftes of his largesse and of his sovereyn bountee,
284 A therfore is he cleped Jhesus Nazarenus rex Judeorum.
285 Jhesus is to seyn “saveour” or “salvacioun,” on whom men shul hope to have foryifnesse of synnes, which that is proprely salvacioun of synnes.
286 And therfore seyde the aungel to Joseph, “Thou shalt clepen his name Jhesus, that shal saven his peple of hir synnes.”
287 And heerof seith Seint Peter: “Ther is noon oother name under hevene
287 A that is yeve to any man, by which a man may be saved, but oonly Jhesus.”
288 Nazarenus is as muche for to seye as “florisshynge,” in which a man shal hope that
288 A he that yeveth hym remissioun of synnes shal yeve hym eek grace wel for to do.
288B For in the flour is hope of fruyt in tyme comynge, and in foryifnesse of synnes hope of grace wel for to do.
289 “I was atte dore of thyn herte,” seith Jhesus, “and cleped for to entre. He that openeth to me shal have foryifnesse of synne.
290 I wol entre into hym by my grace and soupe with hym,” by the goode werkes that he shal doon,
290 A whiche werkes been the foode of God; “and he shal soupe with me” by the grete joye that I shal yeven hym.
291 Thus shal man hope, for his werkes of penaunce that God shal yeven hym his regne, as he bihooteth hym in the gospel.
292 Now shal a man understonde in which manere shal been his contricioun. I seye that it shal been universal and total.
292 A This is to seyn, a man shal be verray repentaunt for alle his synnes that he hath doon
292B in delit of his thoght, for delit is ful perilous.
293 For ther been two manere of consentynges: that oon of hem is cleped consentynge of affeccioun,
293 A whan a man is moeved to do synne, and deliteth hym longe for to thynke on that synne;
294 and his reson aperceyveth it wel that it is synne agayns the lawe of God,
294 A and yet his resoun refreyneth nat his foul delit or talent, though he se wel apertly that it is agayns the reverence of God.
294B Although his resoun ne consente noght to doon that synne in dede,
295 yet seyn somme doctours that swich delit that dwelleth longe, it is ful perilous, al be it nevere so lite.
296 And also a man sholde sorwe namely for al that evere he hath desired agayn the lawe of God
296 A with parfit consentynge of his resoun, for therof is no doute, that it is deedly synne in consentynge.
297 For certes, ther is no deedly synne that it nas first in mannes thought
297 A and after that in his delit, and so forth into consentynge and into dede.
298 Wherfore I seye that many men ne repenten hem nevere of swiche thoghtes and delites,
298 A ne nevere shryven hem of it, but oonly of the dede of grete synnes outward.
299 Wherfore I seye that swiche wikked delites and wikked thoghtes been subtile bigileres of hem that shullen be dampned.
300 Mooreover, man oghte to sorwe for his wikkede wordes as wel as for his wikkede dedes.
300 A For certes, the repentaunce of a synguler synne, and nat repente of alle his othere synnes,
300B or elles repenten hym of alle his othere synnes and nat of a synguler synne, may nat availle.
301 For certes, God almyghty is al good, and therfore he foryeveth al or elles right noght.
302 And heerof seith Seint Augustyn,
303 “I wot certeynly that God is enemy to everich synnere.” And how thanne?
303 A He that observeth o synne, shal he have foryifnesse of the remenaunt of his othere synnes? Nay.
304 And forther over, contricioun sholde be wonder sorweful and angwissous; and therfore yeveth hym God pleynly his mercy;
304 A and therfore, whan my soule was angwissous withinne me, I hadde remembrance of God that my preyere myghte come to hym.
305 Forther over, contricioun moste be continueel, and that man have stedefast purpos to shriven hym, and for to amenden hym of his lyf.
306 For soothly, whil contricioun lasteth, man may evere have hope of foryifnesse;
306 A and of this comth hate of synne, that destroyeth synne, bothe in himself and eek in oother folk at his power.
307 For which seith David: “Ye that loven God, hateth wikkednesse.”
307 A For trusteth wel, to love God is for to love that he loveth, and hate that he hateth.
308 The laste thyng that men shal understonde in contricioun is this:
308 A wherof avayleth contricioun. I seye that somtyme contricioun delivereth a man fro synne;
309 of which that David seith, “I seye,” quod David (that is to seyn,
309 A I purposed fermely) “to shryve me, and thow, Lord, relessedest my synne.”
310 And right so as contricion availleth noght withouten sad purpos of shrifte,
310 A if man have oportunitee, right so litel worth is shrifte or satisfaccioun withouten contricioun.
311 And mooreover contricion destroyeth the prisoun of helle, and maketh wayk and fieble alle the strengthes of the develes,
311 A and restoreth the yiftes of the Hooly Goost and of alle goode vertues;
312 and it clenseth the soule of synne, and delivereth the soule fro the peyne of helle, and fro the compaignye of the devel,
312 A and fro the servage of synne, and restoreth it to alle goodes espirituels, and to the compaignye and communyoun of hooly chirche.
313 And forther over, it maketh hym that whilom was sone of ire to be sone of grace;
313 A and alle thise thynges been preved by hooly writ.
314 And therfore, he that wolde sette his entente to thise thynges, he were ful wys;
314 A for soothly he ne sholde nat thanne in al his lyf have corage to synne,
314B but yeven his body and al his herte to the service of Jhesu Crist, and therof doon hym hommage.
315 For soothly oure sweete Lord Jhesu Crist hath spared us so debonairly in oure folies that
315 A if he ne hadde pitee of mannes soule, a sory song we myghten alle synge.
316 The seconde partie of Penitence is Confessioun, that is signe of contricioun.
317 Now shul ye understonde what is Confessioun,
317 A and wheither it oghte nedes be doon or noon, and whiche thynges been covenable to verray Confessioun.
318 First shaltow understonde that Confessioun is verray shewynge of synnes to the preest.
319 This is to seyn “verray,” for he moste confessen hym of alle the condiciouns that bilongen to his synne, as ferforth as he kan.
320 Al moot be seyd, and no thyng excused ne hyd ne forwrapped, and noght avaunte thee of thy goode werkes.
321 And forther over, it is necessarie to understonde whennes that synnes spryngen, and how they encreessen, and whiche they been.
322 Of the spryngynge of synnes seith Seint Paul in this wise: that “Right as by a man synne entred first into this world,
322 A and thurgh that synne deeth, right so thilke deeth entred into alle men that synneden.”
323 And this man was Adam, by whom synne entred into this world, whan he brak the comaundementz of God.
324 And therfore, he that first was so myghty that he sholde nat have dyed, bicam swich oon that he moste nedes dye,
324 A wheither he wolde or noon, and al his progenye in this world, that in thilke man synneden.
325 Looke that in th’ estaat of innocence, whan Adam and Eve naked weren in Paradys, and nothyng ne hadden shame of hir nakednesse,
326 how that the serpent, that was moost wily of alle othere beestes that God hadde maked, seyde to the womman,
326 A “Why comaunded God to yow ye sholde nat eten of every tree in Paradys?”
327 The womman answerde: “Of the fruyt,” quod she, “of the trees in Paradys we feden us,
327 A but soothly, of the fruyt of the tree that is in the myddel of Paradys, God forbad us for to ete,
327B ne nat touchen it, lest per aventure we sholde dyen.”
328 The serpent seyde to the womman, “Nay, nay, ye shul nat dyen of deeth; for sothe, God woot that
328 A what day that ye eten therof, youre eyen shul opene and ye shul been as goddes, knowynge good and harm.”
329 The womman thanne saugh that the tree was good to feedyng, and fair to the eyen, and delitable to the sighte.
329 A She took of the fruyt of the tree, and eet it, and yaf to hire housbonde,
329B and he eet, and anoon the eyen of hem bothe openeden.
330 And whan that they knewe that they were naked, they sowed of fige leves a maner of breches to hiden hire membres.
331 There may ye seen that deedly synne hath, first, suggestion of the feend, as sheweth heere by the naddre;
331 A and afterward, the delit of the flessh, as sheweth heere by Eve; and after that, the consentynge of resoun, as sheweth heere by Adam.
332 For trust wel, though so were that the feend tempted Eve — that is to seyn, the flessh —
332 A and the flessh hadde delit in the beautee of the fruyt defended, yet certes, til that resoun — that is to seyn, Adam —
332B consented to the etynge of the fruyt, yet stood he in th’ estaat of innocence.
333 Of thilke Adam tooke we thilke synne original,
333 A for of hym flesshly descended be we alle, and engendred of vile and corrupt mateere.
334 And whan the soule is put in oure body, right anon is contract original synne;
334 A and that that was erst but oonly peyne of concupiscence is afterward bothe peyne and synne.
335 And therfore be we alle born sones of wratthe and of dampnacioun perdurable, if it nere baptesme that we receyven,
335 A which bynymeth us the culpe. But for sothe, the peyne dwelleth with us, as to temptacioun, which peyne highte concupiscence.
336 And this concupiscence, whan it is wrongfully disposed or ordeyned in man, it maketh hym coveite, by coveitise of flessh,
336 A flesshly synne, by sighte of his eyen as to erthely thynges, and eek coveitise of hynesse by pride of herte.
337 Now, as for to speken of the firste coveitise, that is concupiscence, after the lawe of oure membres
337 A that weren lawefulliche ymaked and by rightful juggement of God,
338 I seye, forasmuche as man is nat obeisaunt to God, that is his lord,
338 A therfore is the flessh to hym disobeisaunt thurgh concupiscence, which yet is cleped norrissynge of synne and occasioun of synne.
339 Therfore, al the while that a man hath in hym the peyne of concupiscence,
339 A it is impossible but he be tempted somtime and moeved in his flessh to synne.
340 And this thyng may nat faille as longe as he lyveth.
340 A it may wel wexe fieble and faille by vertu of baptesme and by the grace of God thurgh penitence,
341 but fully ne shal it nevere quenche, that he ne shal som tyme be moeved in hymself,
341 A but if he were al refreyded by siknesse, or by malefice of sorcerie, or colde drynkes.
342 For lo, what seith Seint Paul: “The flessh coveiteth agayn the spirit, and the spirit agayn the flessh;
342 A they been so contrarie and so stryven that a man may nat alway doon as he wolde.”
343 The same Seint Paul, after his grete penaunce in water and in lond —
343B in water by nyght and by day in greet peril and in greet peyne;
343C in lond, in famyne and thurst, in coold and cloothlees, and ones stoned almoost to the deeth
344 — yet seyde he, ” Allas, I caytyf man! Who shal delivere me fro the prisoun of my caytyf body?”
345 And Seint Jerome, whan he longe tyme hadde woned in desert, where as he hadde no compaignye but of wilde beestes,
345 A where as he ne hadde no mete but herbes, and water to his drynke, ne no bed but the naked erthe,
345B for which his flessh was blak as an Ethiopeen for heete, and ny destroyed for coold,
346 yet seyde he that “the brennynge of lecherie boyled in al his body.”
347 Wherfore I woot wel sykerly that they been deceyved that seyn that they ne be nat tempted in hir body.
348 Witnesse on Seint Jame the Apostel, that seith that “every wight is tempted in his owene concupiscence”; that is to seyn,
348 A that everich of us hath matere and occasioun to be tempted of the norissynge of synne that is in his body.
349 And therfore seith Seint John the Evaungelist, “If that we seyn that we be withoute synne,
349 A we deceyve us selve, and trouthe is nat in us.”
350 Now shal ye understonde in what manere that synne wexeth or encreesseth in man.
350 A The firste thyng is thilke norissynge of synne of which I spak biforn, thilke flesshly concupiscence.
351 And after that comth the subjeccioun of the devel —
351 A this is to seyn, the develes bely, with which he bloweth in man the fir of flesshly concupiscence.
352 And after that, a man bithynketh hym wheither he wol doon or no thilke thing to which he is tempted.
353 And thanne, if that a man withstonde and weyve the firste entisynge of his flessh and of the feend,
353 A thanne is it no synne; and if it so be that he do nat so, thanne feeleth he anoon a flambe of delit.
354 And thanne is it good to be war and kepen hym wel,
354 A or elles he wol falle anon into consentynge of synne; and thanne wol he do it, if he may have tyme and place.
355 And of this matere seith Moyses by the devel in this manere: “The feend seith,
355 A ‘I wole chace and pursue the man by wikked suggestioun, and I wole hente hym by moevynge or stirynge of synne.
355B And I wol departe my prise or my praye by deliberacioun, and my lust shal been acompliced in delit.
355C I wol drawe my swerd in consentyng.'” —
356 for certes, right as a swerd departeth a thyng in two peces, right so consentynge departeth God fro man —
356 A “‘and thanne wol I sleen hym with myn hand in dede of synne’; thus seith the feend.”
357 For certes, thanne is a man al deed in soule.
357 A And thus is synne acompliced by temptacioun, by delit, and by consentynge; and thanne is the synne cleped actueel.
358 For sothe, synne is in two maneres; outher it is venial or deedly synne.
358 A Soothly, whan man loveth any creature moore than Jhesu Crist oure Creatour, thanne is it deedly synne.
358B And venial synne is it, if man love Jhesu Crist lasse than hym oghte.
359 For sothe, the dede of this venial synne is ful perilous,
359 A for it amenuseth the love that men sholde han to God moore and moore.
360 And therfore, if a man charge hymself with manye swiche venial synnes,
360 A certes, but if so be that he somtyme descharge hym of hem by shrifte,
360B they mowe ful lightly amenuse in hym al the love that he hath to Jhesu Crist;
361 and in this wise skippeth venial into deedly synne. For certes, the moore that a man chargeth his soule with venial synnes,
361 A the moore is he enclyned to fallen into deedly synne.
362 And therfore lat us nat be necligent to deschargen us of venial synnes. For the proverbe seith that “Manye smale maken a greet.”
363 And herkne this ensample. A greet wawe of the see comth som tyme with so greet a violence that it drencheth the ship.
363 A And the same harm doon som tyme the smale dropes of water, that entren thurgh a litel crevace into the thurrok,
363B and in the botme of the ship, if men be so necligent that they ne descharge hem nat by tyme.
364 And therfore, although ther be a difference bitwixe thise two causes of drenchynge, algates the ship is dreynt.
365 Right so fareth it somtyme of deedly synne, and of anoyouse veniale synnes,
365 A whan they multiplie in a man so greetly that [the love of] thilke worldly thynges that he loveth,
365B thurgh whiche he synneth venyally, is as greet in his herte as the love of God, or moore.
366 And therfore, the love of every thyng that is nat biset in God, ne doon principally for Goddes sake,
366 A although that a man love it lasse than God, yet is it venial synne;
367 and deedly synne whan the love of any thyng weyeth in the herte of man as muchel as the love of God, or moore.
368 “Deedly synne,” as seith Seint Augustyn, “is whan a man turneth his herte fro God,
368 A which that is verray sovereyn bountee, that may nat chaunge, and yeveth his herte to thyng that may chaunge and flitte.”
369 And certes, that is every thyng save God of hevene.
369 A For sooth is that if a man yeve his love, the which that he oweth al to God with al his herte, unto a creature,
369B certes, as muche of his love as he yeveth to thilke creature, so muche he bireveth fro God;
370 and therfore dooth he synne. For he that is dettour to God ne yeldeth nat to God al his dette;
370 A that is to seyn, al the love of his herte.
371 Now sith man understondeth generally which is venial synne, thanne is it covenable to tellen specially of synnes whiche that many
371 A a man peraventure ne demeth hem nat synnes, and ne shryveth him nat of the same thynges, and yet natheless they been synnes
372 soothly, as thise clerkes writen; this is to seyn, that at every tyme that a man eteth or drynketh
372 A moore than suffiseth to the sustenaunce of his body, in certein he dooth synne.
373 And eek whan he speketh moore than it nedeth, it is synne. Eke whan he herkneth nat benignely the compleint of the povre;
374 eke whan he is in heele of body and wol nat faste whan other folk faste, withouten cause resonable;
374 A eke whan he slepeth moore than nedeth, or whan he comth by thilke enchesoun to late to chirche, or to othere werkes of charite;
375 eke whan he useth his wyf withouten sovereyn desir of engendrure to the honour of God
375 A or for the entente to yelde to his wyf the dette of his body;
376 eke whan he wol nat visite the sike and the prisoner, if he may;
376 A eke if he love wyf or child, or oother worldly thyng, moore than resoun requireth.
376B eke if he flatere or blandise moore than hym oghte for any necessitee;
377 eke if he amenuse or withdrawe the almesse of the povre;
377 A eke if he apparailleth his mete moore deliciously than nede is, or ete it to hastily by likerousnesse;
378 eke if he tale vanytees at chirche or at Goddes service, or that he be a talker
378 A of ydel wordes of folye or of vileynye, for he shal yelden acountes of it at the day of doom;
379 eke whan he biheteth or assureth to do thynges that he may nat parfourne;
379 A eke whan that he by lightnesse or folie mysseyeth or scorneth his neighebor;
380 eke whan he hath any wikked suspecioun of thyng ther he ne woot of it no soothfastnesse:
381 thise thynges, and mo withoute nombre, been synnes, as seith Seint Augustyn.
382 Now shal men understonde that, al be it so that noon erthely man may eschue alle venial synnes,
382 A yet may he refreyne hym by the brennynge love that he hath to oure Lord Jhesu Crist,
382B and by preyeres and confessioun and othere goode werkes, so that it shal but litel greve.
383 For, as seith Seint Augustyn, “If a man love God in swich manere that al that evere he dooth
383B is in the love of God and for the love of God verraily, for he brenneth in the love of God,
384 looke how muche that a drope of water that falleth in a fourneys ful of fyr anoyeth
384 A or greveth, so muche anoyeth a venial synne unto a man that is parfit in the love of Jhesu Crist.”
385 Men may also refreyne venial synne by receyvynge worthily of the precious body of Jhesu Crist;
386 by receyvynge eek of hooly water, by almesdede, by general confessioun of Confiteor at masse and at complyn,
386 A and by blessynge of bisshopes and of preestes, and by oothere goode werkes.
387 Now is it bihovely thyng to telle whiche been the sevene deedly synnes,
387 A this is to seyn, chieftaynes of synnes. Alle they renne in o lees, but in diverse manneres.
387B Now been they cleped chieftaynes, for as muche as they been chief and spryng of alle othere synnes.
388 Of the roote of thise sevene synnes, thanne, is Pride the general roote of alle harmes.
388B For of this roote spryngen certein braunches, as Ire, Envye, Accidie or Slewthe, Avarice or Coveitise (to commune understondynge), Glotonye, and Lecherye.
389 And everich of thise chief synnes hath his braunches and his twigges, as shal be declared in hire chapitres folwynge.
390 And thogh so be that no man kan outrely telle the nombre of the twigges and of the harmes that cometh of Pride,
390 A yet wol I shewe a partie of hem, as ye shul understonde.
391 Ther is inobedience, avauntynge, ypocrisie, despit, arrogance, inpudence, swellynge of herte, insolence, elacioun, inpacience, strif, contumacie, presumpcioun, irreverence, pertinacie, veyneglorie,
391 A and many another twig that I kan nat declare.
392 Inobedient is he that disobeyeth for despit to the comandementz of God, and to his sovereyns, and to his goostly fader.
393 Avauntour is he that bosteth of the harm or of the bountee that he hath doon.
394 Ypocrite is he that hideth to shewe hym swich as he is and sheweth hym swich as he noght is.
395 Despitous is he that hath desdeyn of his neighebor —
395 A that is to seyn, of his evene-Cristene — or hath despit to doon that hym oghte to do.
396 Arrogant is he that thynketh that he hath thilke bountees in hym that he hath noght,
396 A or weneth that he sholde have hem by his desertes, or elles he demeth that he be that he nys nat.
397 Inpudent is he that for his pride hath no shame of his synnes.
398 Swellynge of herte is whan a man rejoyseth hym of harm that he hath doon.
399 Insolent is he that despiseth in his juggement alle othere folk,
399 A as to regard of his value, and of his konnyng, and of his spekyng, and of his beryng.
400 Elacioun is whan he ne may neither suffre to have maister ne felawe.
401 Inpacient is he that wol nat been ytaught ne undernome of his vice, and by strif werreieth trouthe wityngly, and deffendeth his folye.
402 Contumax is he that thurgh his indignacioun is agayns everich auctoritee or power of hem that been his sovereyns.
403 Presumpcioun is whan a man undertaketh an emprise that hym oghte nat do, or elles that he may nat do;
403 A and this is called surquidrie. Irreverence is whan men do nat honour there as hem oghte to doon, and waiten to be reverenced.
404 Pertinacie is whan man deffendeth his folie and trusteth to muchel to his owene wit.
405 Veyneglorie is for to have pompe and delit in his temporeel hynesse, and glorifie hym in this worldly estaat.
406 Janglynge is whan a man speketh to muche biforn folk, and clappeth as a mille, and taketh no keep what he seith.
407 And yet is ther a privee spece of Pride that waiteth first to be salewed
407 A er he wole salewe, al be he lasse worth than that oother is, peraventure;
407B and eek he waiteth or desireth to sitte, or elles to goon above hym in the wey,
407C or kisse pax, or been encensed, or goon to offryng biforn his neighebor,
408 and swiche semblable thynges, agayns his duetee, peraventure, but that he hath his herte
408 A and his entente in swich a proud desir to be magnified and honoured biforn the peple.
409 Now been ther two maneres of Pride: that oon of hem is withinne the herte of man, and that oother is withoute.
410 Of whiche, soothly, thise forseyde thynges, and mo than I have seyd, apertenen to Pride that is in the herte of man;
410 A and that othere speces of Pride been withoute.
411 But natheles that oon of thise speces of Pride is signe of that oother,
411 A right as the gaye leefsel atte taverne is signe of the wyn that is in the celer.
412 And this is in manye thynges: as in speche and contenaunce, and in outrageous array of clothyng.
413 For certes, if ther ne hadde be no synne in clothyng,
413 A Crist wolde nat so soone have noted and spoken of the clothyng of thilke riche man in the gospel.
414 And, as seith Seint Gregorie, that “precious clothyng is cowpable for the derthe of it, and for his softenesse,
414 A and for his strangenesse and degisynesse, and for the superfluitee, or for the inordinat scantnesse of it.”
415 Allas, may man nat seen, as in oure dayes, the synful costlewe array of clothynge,
415 A and namely in to muche superfluite, or elles in to desordinat scantnesse?
416 As to the first synne, that is in superfluitee of clothynge, which that maketh it so deere, to harm of the peple;
417 nat oonly the cost of embrowdynge, the degise endentynge or barrynge, owndynge, palynge, wyndynge or bendynge, and semblable wast of clooth in vanitee,
418 but ther is also costlewe furrynge in hir gownes, so muche pownsonynge of chisels to maken holes, so muche daggynge of sheres;
419 forth-with the superfluitee in lengthe of the forseide gownes, trailynge in the dong and in the mire, on horse and eek on foote,
419 A as wel of man as of womman, that al thilke trailyng is verraily as in effect wasted, consumed, thredbare, and roten with donge,
419B rather than it is yeven to the povre, to greet damage of the forseyde povre folk.
420 And that in sondry wise; this is to seyn that the moore that clooth is wasted,
420 A the moore moot it coste to the peple for the scarsnesse.
421 And forther over, if so be that they wolde yeven swich pownsoned and dagged clothyng to the povre folk,
421 A it is nat convenient to were for hire estaat, ne suffisant to beete hire necessitee, to kepe hem fro the distemperance of the firmament.
422 Upon that oother side, to speken of the horrible disordinat scantnesse of clothyng, as been thise kutted sloppes, or haynselyns,
422 A that thurgh hire shortnesse ne covere nat the shameful membres of man, to wikked entente.
423 Allas, somme of hem shewen the boce of hir shap, and the horrible swollen membres,
423 A that semeth lik the maladie of hirnia, in the wrappynge of hir hoses;
424 and eek the buttokes of hem faren as it were the hyndre part of a she-ape in the fulle of the moone.
425 And mooreover, the wrecched swollen membres that they shewe thurgh disgisynge,
425 A in departynge of hire hoses in whit and reed, semeth that half hir shameful privee membres weren flayne.
426 And if so be that they departen hire hoses in othere colours,
426 A as is whit and blak, or whit and blew, or blak and reed, and so forth,
427 thanne semeth it, as by variaunce of colour, that half the partie of hire privee membres were corrupt
427 A by the fir of Seint Antony, or by cancre, or by oother swich meschaunce.
428 Of the hyndre part of hir buttokes, it is ful horrible for to see.
428 A For certes, in that partie of hir body ther as they purgen hir stynkynge ordure,
429 that foule partie shewe they to the peple prowdly in despit of honestitee,
429 A which honestitee that Jhesu Crist and his freendes observede to shewen in hir lyve.
430 Now, as of the outrageous array of wommen, God woot that though the visages of somme of hem seme ful chaast and debonaire,
430 A yet notifie they in hire array of atyr likerousnesse and pride.
431 I sey nat that honestitee in clothynge of man or womman is uncovenable, but certes the superfluitee or disordinat scantitee of clothynge is reprevable.
432 Also the synne of aornement or of apparaille is in thynges that apertenen to ridynge,
432 A as in to manye delicat horses that been hoolden for delit, that been so faire, fatte, and costlewe;
433 and also in many a vicious knave that is sustened by cause of hem; and in to curious harneys,
433 A as in sadeles, in crouperes, peytrels, and bridles covered with precious clothyng, and riche barres and plates of gold and of silver.
434 For which God seith by Zakarie the prophete, “I wol confounde the rideres of swiche horses.”
435 This folk taken litel reward of the ridynge of Goddes sone of hevene, and of his harneys whan he rood upon the asse,
435 A and ne hadde noon oother harneys but the povre clothes of his disciples;
435B ne we ne rede nat that evere he rood on oother beest.
436 I speke this for the synne of superfluitee, and nat for resonable honestitee, whan reson it requireth.
437 And forther over, certes, pride is greetly notified in holdynge of greet meynee, whan they be of litel profit or of right no profit,
438 and namely whan that meynee is felonous and damageous to the peple by hardynesse of heigh lordshipe or by wey of offices.
439 For certes, swiche lordes sellen thanne hir lordshipe to the devel of helle, whanne they sustenen the wikkednesse of hir meynee.
440 Or elles, whan this folk of lowe degree, as thilke that holden hostelries, sustenen the thefte of hire hostilers,
440 A and that is in many manere of deceites.
441 Thilke manere of folk been the flyes that folwen the hony,
441 A or elles the houndes that folwen the careyne. Swich forseyde folk stranglen spiritually hir lordshipes;
442 for which thus seith David the prophete:
442 A “Wikked deeth moote come upon thilke lordshipes, and God yeve that they moote descenden into helle al doun,
442B for in hire houses been iniquitees and shrewednesses and nat God of hevene.”
443 And certes, but if they doon amendement, right as God yaf his benysoun to [Laban] by the service of Jacob,
443 A and to [Pharao] by the service of Joseph, right so God wol yeve his malisoun
443B to swiche lordshipes as sustenen the wikkednesse of hir servauntz, but they come to amendement.
444 Pride of the table appeereth eek ful ofte; for certes, riche men been cleped to festes, and povre folk been put awey and rebuked.
445 Also in excesse of diverse metes and drynkes, and namely swich manere bake-metes and dissh-metes, brennynge of wilde fir
445 A and peynted and castelled with papir, and semblable wast, so that it is abusioun for to thynke.
446 And eek in to greet preciousnesse of vessel and curiositee of mynstralcie, by whiche a man is stired the moore to delices of luxurie,
447 if so be that he sette his herte the lasse upon oure Lord Jhesu Crist, certeyn it is a synne;
447 A and certeinly the delices myghte been so grete in this caas that man myghte lightly falle by hem into deedly synne.
448 The especes that sourden of Pride, soothly whan they sourden of malice ymagined, avised, and forncast,
448 A or elles of usage, been deedly synnes, it is no doute.
449 And whan they sourden by freletee unavysed, and sodeynly withdrawen
449 A ayeyn, al been they grevouse synnes, I gesse that they ne been nat deedly.
450 Now myghte men axe wherof that Pride sourdeth and spryngeth, and I seye,
450 A somtyme it spryngeth of the goodes of nature, and somtyme of the goodes of fortune, and somtyme of the goodes of grace.
451 Certes, the goodes of nature stonden outher in goodes of body or in goodes of soule.
452 Certes, goodes of body been heele of body, strengthe, delivernesse, beautee, gen

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