Robert of Brunne's "Handlyng synne".
Mannyng, Robert, fl. 1288-1338., William, de Wadington, 13th cent., Furnivall, Frederick James, 1825-1910.

[The Seventh Commandment.*. [Non Furtum Facies. Septimum Mandatum. D.]]

The seuenþe shul we nat forhele
'No mannys*. [mans O, mannys good D.] godë shalt þou stele,'
For þys ys one of ten;*. [þe ten D.]
Þarefore y pray*. [preyȝe D.] allë men
Þat þey kepe hem fro þys*. [kepyn . . þat D.] synne, Page  74
For þere ys moche veniauuce þerynne;*. [ynne O.]
yn þys worldë,*. [wrlde O.] shamely dede;*. [deþ]
     2053
And seþyn, helle; for god hyt forbed.*. [lines 2053-4, om. D.]
God forbedyþ men*. [man D.] to stele [folio 14b]
Any maner of worldës*. [wrldys OD.] wele.
     2056
"Þou man, beþenke þe wel before*. [be-forn D.]
how þou mayst þerfore be lore,*. [for þou . . . for lorn D.]
And what þou shalt haue*. [qwat . . . han D.] þarefore,
yn þys world, and elyswhore."
     2060
But manyone wyl neuer beware
Tyl sum myschaunce make hem aȝenchare;*. [myshap bringiþ hym in car D.]
Slayn,*. [takyn & slayn D.] or, yn prysun*. [prysone O, presoun D.] be,
Or hanged, þat al þe worlde may se.
     2064
So shul men þe body shende;
And ȝyt to peyne þe soule shal*. [þi soule to peyne D.] wende.
wuldë men se what myschaunce
Cumþ for þeft,*. [þyfte O, comyth for þefte & ȝit D.] and what penaunce,
     2068
Þeftë*. [þyfte O.] shulde nat be so lefe;
A foule poynt*. [poynt O.] ys, be clepyd a þefe.*. [name it is to be callyd þef D.]
Ouþer poyntes of wykkednes
Mow be soffred, sum more, sum les;
     2072
But þefte*. [þyfte O.] serueþ of wykkede note,*. [seruyse]
hyt hangeþ hys*. [þe D.] mayster by þe þrote,
Or doþe hym lese hys godë fame,*. [good name D.]
Or bryngeþ hym oute*. [ellyswher O, ellis qwere D.] of þe towne forshame.
'Þefte shal neuere more be hyd,
     2077
For, here or elyswhore,*. [O. hyt out . . wyþ OD, (D om. hym, hyt, þe).] hyt shal be kyd;'
Þus seyþ þe prophete þat men on leuys,
And*. [þat D (om. 2nd to).] spekeþ to fals men and to þeuys.
Þe synne ys nat forȝyuen*. [is not forȝoue D.] þe man
     2081
But he restore þat he haue*. [haþ O, b. þou r. þat þou hast D.] tan;
For ȝyf þou make any man*. [ȝyf þou ony good D.] falsly tyne,*. [lese]Page  75
As for þeft,*. [þefte OD.] þou shalt haue pyne;
     2084
And mochë more, for swyche*. [mechil m. for sum D.] falsnes,
Þan for any ouþer falsnes þat es.*. [for sum þat falsnesse isse D.]*. [A tale]
*. A tale in margin HO.]A gode ensample þes clerkys wote*. [woot O, þat cl. wot D.]
Of a tale þat an abbot wrote,*. [wroot O, þat in a bok he wrot D.]
     2088
Þat þeuys shulde*. [schuldyn D.] before hem loke
Ar*. [or D.] þey ouþer mennys þyng toke;—
yn 'vytas patrum' hyt ys wryte;*. [wrete O, wreten D.]
hyt ys a boke þat*. [þat þys cl. O, þat cl. weten D.] clerkys wete,
     2092
And*. [And a OD.] ful fayre techyng ys þer-ynne*. [lernyng þerin D.] [folio 14b:2]
For to leue of þeft*. [þyfte O, to letyn of þefte þat s. D.] þe synne.
[The Tale of Zenon, the would-be Thief: how he reformd himself.] *. [[Vitas Patrum, ed. Roseweyd, p. 569.—G. Paris.]]
Þys yche abbot, Ȝenon he*. [It was an ab. þat ȝenan D.] hyght,
And wel*. [weyl O.] he was with god almyght;
Vppon a day*. [tyme D.] he went hys wey
     2097
To Palestyne, þat ys an*. [ys an, om. D.] abbey,
To make hys vysytacyun
As falleþ yn*. [it falliþ in his D.] relygyun;
     2100
And as he went by*. [wente be O.] þe strete
he behelde a fruyt ryȝt feyre and*. [frut þat was ful D (om. he).] swete;
Þys yche fruyt he desyred*. [ilke frut he coueytid D.] faste,
And hys herte moche þarto*. [þar to moche O, þerto mechil (om. And) D.] he caste,
'Gourdys'*. [Gourdus O, turcus . . . calle D.] þus men clepe þe name;
     2105
Þys gode man þoght, "y am to blame
Ȝyf y take ouþer mennys þyng
wyþ-outë leue of any*. [my D.] askyng.
     2108
For soþe, he seyde, þan were y a þefe*. [þef OD (om. he seyde D).]Page  76
And þefte ne ys gode, ne gode*. [gode O, no H, þ. to god is not lefe D.] man lefe;*. [lef O.]
And ȝyf y stele, y am a felun;
hanged y shal be, þurgh*. [hangen schal I be D.] ryȝt resun.
     2112
Fyrst y wylle wyte*. [wete O, wete þe certeyn D.] þe soþe certeyne.
Ȝyf y may suffre þat yche*. [ilke D.] peyne
Þat þefys*. [þeuys OD.] suffre for þeft*. [þefte O, þeftis D.] sake,
Ar y wyl*. [wyle O, or I wil ony D.] oght of þe fruyt take;
     2116
And ȝyf y may nat suffre þat wo,
To þeftë wyl*. [þan wil D.] y neuer go."
Ryght as he þoght, he dede eche dele,
he ȝede and clambe*. [þer he clomb D.] vpp on a pele,*. [peyl O, pel D.]*. [perche]
     2120
And hyng*. [hynge O, heng D.] þeron by þe hond,*. [handys D.]—
Nat by þe nekke, y vndyrstonde*. [not be . . . we vnderstandis D.]—
For hyt ys nat oueral þe lawe
For to do so, men to*. [men so to O, don men so of D.] dawe.
     2124
Fyuë days he hyng*. [hynge O, hong D.] þere stylle
Aȝens þe sunnë by*. [þat synne be D.] hys wylle;
And hyt was*. [& was D.] yn þe somerys tyde,
whan þe hete ys al yn*. [qwan hete is in al his D.] pryde.
     2128
Þan seyd*. [spak D.] he, to hymself þore,
"Þys peynë wyl*. [wyle O, of þ. fr. wil D.] y suffre no more:
Þefte, he seyde, y here*. [here I D.] forsake; [folio 15a]
Þys fruyt, wyl*. [wyle O.] y nat take.
     2132
Syn*. [Siþþin (om. for) D.] y may nat suffre for grefe
Þe peyne þat befalleþ to*. [falliþ for D.] a þefe."
Þys ensample were gode to kone,*. [example is good to knowe D.]
Alle hem þat to þefte hem wone;*. [þat to þefte wil hym drawe D.]
     2136
Þo þat haue here handys as lyme,*. [han hool handis & lym D.]
To hem were gode to here þys ryme; Page  77
Þan myght þey wytë*. [wete OD.] redly
what*. [redily; qwat D.] shamë þat þey were wurþy,
     2140
And swych grace myȝt god*. [god myȝt D.] hem sende
Þat þey, þurgh þys myȝt*. [myȝte þorwh þis D.] hem amende.
A*. [O om. A.] þefë to hys þefte haþ*. [in to þ. hath alwey D.] rape,
For he weneþ euer-more for*. [more HO, om. D; for HD, om. O.] to skape;
yn þat hope he doþe hys euyl,
     2145
And al ys*. [is þe OD.] entycement of þe deuyl.
Þarefore beþenke þe wel*. [weyl, man O, man wel D (om. þarfore).] with-ynne
Þat þefte ys cumbrement*. [encumbrement D.] of synne.
     2148
Ȝyf a man make a chylde oght*. [owht a child to D.] stele,
Swyche styl*. [stylle O, stille D.] þefte shal he nat hele;
A þefte hyt ys, ȝyf þou do so,
To tyse*. [tyce O, teche D.] a chylde swyche synne to do.
Or ȝyf þou euer stale a*. [þou stele ony D.] chylde aweye,
yn swychë þefte ys grete affraye.*. [it is gret fray D.]
yn þys twey þynges and yn þys*. [Of þese to þingis & of swych D.] fame
Are wymmen mochë for*. [arn many women meche D.] to blame.
     2156
For þey haue*. [han D.] cumlyngys yn and oute;
Of swyche shuld men haue*. [han D.] gretë*. [gret OD.] doute.
Þey shul neuer weyte but wo,
Swychë cumlyngys, to ne*. [sueche . . and D.] fro,
     2160
Þey are wurþy to be shent
yn þys yche*. [ilke D.] comaundëment.
Ȝyf þou brake euer any kyrke*. [O. gloss. 'cherche,' werk D.]
On day, or yn*. [on O.] nyȝt, yn myrke,*. [day or nyȝt in þe merke D.]*. [derke]
     2164
Þou art a-cursed, þou wostë*. [wost OD.] weyl,
And hange were wurþy*. [& wurþi to hangen vp D.] on a peyl. Page  78
And ȝyf þou bere*. [beryst O, bere D (om. ȝyf).] awey þe þyng,
Þe more þou fallest yn cursyng.
     2168
Ȝyf þou haue be a þefe of pray [folio 15a:2]
To robbë men be*. [vsyd to robbe men D.] nyȝt or be*. [OD om. be.] day,
Gretly þou dost aȝens þe lawe,
Þou oghtyst to do swyche men a*. [o O, of D.]dawe.
Or ȝyf þou swyche foly began*. [began OD.]
     2173
To rauyshë any*. [to rauaschyn euere ony D.] womman,
Þat ys to seye, any*. [seyne ony D.] wedded wyfe,
Þe more ys þy synne &*. [in D.] perel of lyfe.
     2176
Ȝyf þou rauyssh any*. [a O, rauasehedyst ony mayde D.] mayden clene—
Aȝens here wyl, þat*. [it D.] ys to mene,—
hyt ys seyde þurgh lawë wrete,
Þat þyn hede shulde be of smete*. [wretyn . . his hed . . smeten D.]
     2180
(Lawe makeþ þat commandëment)
with-outyn any iuggëment;
Þat mayst þou fyndë al an*. [and O.] sum
In code 'de raptu virginum.'
     2184
Ȝyf þou rauysshe a mayden powre,*. [rauaschyst . . pure D.]
Þou art holdyn*. [holde O, be holde hir to recure O.] to here socoure;
And, þat shal be*. [þat schal be don D.] at here wylle,
For, as she wyl,*. [wyle O, & al þat sche wile D.] þou shalt fulfylle;
     2188
For þou hast do here*. [here a O, don hire a D.] tresun,
Þou hast stole here*. [& stolyn hir chef D.] warysun;
hyt may þe brynge to more cumbryng
Þan þoght*. [þogh O.] þou haddest stole moche*. [þan þou had stole meche D.] ouþer þyng.
To comun lechours, y þys*. [þis I D.] seye,
Many with-outë shryfte shul deye.
Ȝyf þou be a*. [a gret D.] lordyng,
And outraiusly*. [þat outrageusly D.] takyst mennys þyng
     2196
yn tyme of werre or tyme of pes,
Þou stelyst hyt, with-outë les,— Page  79
But þurgh ryȝt or þurgh cunnaunte,*. [ryȝt of comenaunt D.]—
Þou art a þefe ȝyf þou hyt haunte.
     2200
And ȝyf*. [ȝif þou be D.] a lorde of a tounne
Robbe hys men oute of*. [& þi men robbe with-out D.] resoune,
Þogh hyt be yn*. [al be it in his D.] bondage,
Aȝens ryȝt*. [þe ryȝt D.] he doþe outrage.
     2204
he shal so take, þat he may lyue,*. [leue O, schuld . . oþere myȝt D.]
And as lawe of londe wyl*. [wyle O, wil ȝeue D.] forȝyue;
For ȝyf*. [& ȝif D.] he take ouer mesure, [folio 15b]
lytyl tymë shal hyt dure.*. [endure D.]
     2208
Þogh*. [ȝif D.] god haue ȝeue*. [ȝeue O, ȝouyn D.] hym þe seynorye,*. [lordshyp]
he ȝaf hym no leue to do*. [make (om. hym) D.] robborye;
For god haþ ordeyned al mennys*. [alle mens O, for he . . . euery mannys D.] state,
how to lyue,*. [leue O, schuld . . oþere myȝt D.] and yn what gate;*. [O. gloss 'maner.' How he schal lyuyn & on qwat g. D.]
     2212
And þoȝt he ȝyue*. [þogh he ȝeue O, ȝif he ȝeue a man meche m. D.] one ouer oþer myȝt,
he wyl,*. [wyle O.] þat he do hym*. [he do no man (om. þat) D.] but ryȝt.
Þys ys þe ryȝt of goddys lokyng,
"Ȝelde euery man hys ownë*. [owyn D.] þyng."
     2216
But god takeþ euermore*. [mechil D.] veniaunce
Of lordys, for swych myschaunce,
For swych robbery þat*. [as D.] þey make
Þat*. [þat þey O.] oftë of þe poure*. [pore O, of þe pore with wrong ofte þei t. D.] men take.
     2220
y shal ȝou telle a. lytyl wyght
how hyt befel onys of*. [be fil of suyche D.] a knyȝt. *. [A tale.]*. [narracio D.]
[The Tale of the Knight who robd a Poor Man.]
Sum tymë was, hyt were twey*. [it was þer were to D.] knyȝtys
Þat loued weyl at*. [louedyn to-gedere with al D.] herë myȝtys;
     2224
A sykenes*. [syknes O, syknesse on þat oon D.] on þe toon gan falle, Page  80
he deydë*. [& deyȝed D.] sone, as we shul alle.
Þe touþer knyȝt seyd ofte, alas,
For*. [þat oþer . . þat D.] hys felawe so sone dede was.
     2228
Fyl hyt*. [it fel . . lyuende D.] so, þys lyuyng knyȝt,
yn hys bed he lay*. [lay on D.] a nyght,
And was yn swyche a-wakyng
Þat he myȝt*. [myghte O, myȝt not D (om. þat).] slepë for no þyng;
     2232
Þe mone shone yn hys*. [hys OD, om. H.] chaumbre flore;
Þe knyȝt lay, and lokyd furþe.*. [foor D.]
At a*. [þe D.] wyndowe come yn a beme,
And yn þe shynyng he saghe a gleme
Ryght lyche þat knyȝt euery*. [eury O.]deyl
     2237
Þat sum tyme he loued ful*. [was he louede so D.] weyl.
Þys knyȝt þoght 'hyt ys*. [þe k. hym þouȝt it was D.] fantome
Þat y se þus yn þe monë*. [yn þe mone þus O, he saw in þe mone lyȝt D.] come.'
     2240
He was a-frayd*. [a ferd D.] with-outë fayle,
And, þat was no grete merueyle.
But þe knyȝt þat was dede
Cumfortyd hym sone, & seyde hys rede,
"Be nat adred,*. [a ferd D.] for hyt am y [folio 15b:2]
     2245
Þat þou louedyst*. [þe louede D.] so specyaly.
Y was þy felaw, þy trewe frere,
For help y come to þe now here:
     2248
Þogh y be dede, þou darst*. [darst þou O, ȝif þou be ded, þar þe not D.] nat drede,
Of helpe had y neuer er nede.
At nedë shul men proue*. [preue O, preuyn D.] here frendys,
And frendes loue oþer whyle wel*. [weyl O, sumtyme wel D.] endys.
help me now, y am yn wo,
     2253
Þat y may come þe sonner*. [þe sunner come O, come þe sonere D.] þerfro." Page  81
Þe*. [þis D.] knyȝt, þat lay yn hys bed,
wax bolder, and lasse*. [wex boldere & was not D.] a-dred,
     2256
And seyd "felaw, for charyte,
what ys þy wo? shewe hyt*. [qwat is þi wo, þou telle it D.] me."
Þan spake to hym þe dedë knyȝt,
     2259
"Þoght*. [Þogh O, ȝif D.] y had space a day & a*. [O om. 'a.'] nyȝt,
Alle þe penaunce ne coude y telle,
Þat y suffre yn a welle.
A peyne y suffre hard*. [harde, om. D.] for þe nones,
For a cloþe þat y refte*. [stal D.] ones
     2264
Of a poure*. [pore OD.] man with-outë ryȝt;
Alas þat euer y say*. [sagh O, hadde D.] þat syȝt;
Þat cloþe ys caste on me to peyne
As heuy as any mounteyne;
     2268
Hyl ne mounteyne, erþe ne stone,
Vndyr heuene so heuy ys none;
No so hote fyre*. [fere O, fyr D.] ys yn no land*. [is now in londe D.]
As hyt ys aboute me brennand.*. [aboue me brennande D.]
     2272
Þarfore, felaw, y pray*. [preyȝe to D.] þe,
Þat þou haue on me*. [on me þou haue D.] pyte,
And, to pore men do noun*. [do þou non D.] ylle,
Ne aȝens holy chyrches wylle;
     2276
But al þe gode þat þou mayst,*. [alwey good þat þou D.] werche
To porë men and*. [do and O, boþe to p. m. & D.] to holy chyrche.
Me were leuere deye an hundyr syþe*. [to deyȝe an hundred syþe D.]
     2279
Þan suffre þys peyne þat noght may*. [þat may not D.] lyþe."
Þan seyde þe knyȝt, & wepe*. [þis kn. & wepyd D.] ful sore,
"My swete felaw, telle me ȝyt*. [now telle me D.] more,
Ȝyf any þyng be so*. [ony þing were ful D.] certeyne [folio 16a]
Þat may delyuer þe*. [myȝtte delyuere þe out D.] of peyne." Page  82
     2284
Þan seyd þe knyȝt, "y myȝt*. [myghte O, myȝt D.] be clere
Þurgh þe sacrament of þe autere."
Þe knyȝt nemnede prestes*. [Harl. 'p'test,' om. OD.] manyone;
Þan stode þe dedë, stylle as*. [stille as a D.] stone,
     2288
"wylt þou þan*. [þat O, þat þei for D.] any of þese for þe syng,*. [syngge O.]
Þe of peynë*. [out of peynys D.] for to brynge?"*. [bryngge O.]
Þe dede meuede hys hede*. [hys hede meuede O.] to & fro,
For he was payd of noun*. [plecyd with non D.] of þo.
     2292
wete ȝe forsoþe, boþe*. [boþe, om. D.] man and wyfe,
Þey were nat of*. [alle of D.] clenë lyfe;
Of hem þe dede ȝaf noun answere,
he made no fors of here preyere.
     2296
Neþeles,*. [Noþeles O, not for þan þe self D.] þe seluyn messe
ys noþer þe wursë, ne þe*. [neuere þe wers no of pris D.] lesse;
Þe sunne, hys feyrnes neuer he*. [ne.] tynes,*. [O. gloss 'lesyþ.']
Þogh hyt on þe muk hepe*. [mukhyl D.] shynes,
But þe muk ys þe more stynkyngge*. [mukhil . . stynkend D.]
     2301
Þere þe sunne ys more shynyngge.*. [hoot schynyng D.]
Ne*. [No O, no more is lorn D.] more hyt ys lore, þe vertu
Of þe messe, but*. [to D.] mannys pru.
     2304
Þogh*. [If D.] þe prest be fals or frow,
Þe messe, ys euer gode ynow;*. [a now D.]
But þe preyere haþ*. [preyeris of hym han D.] no myȝt,
For hys lyfe ys nat clene dyȝt.
     2308
Þe knyȝt nemnede one at þe laste,
A gode man, and a ryȝt*. [ryȝt, om. D.] stedefaste:
"wylt þou þat he preye for þe?"
Þo seyde þe dede "wel were þan me*. [þou seyde . . were me D.]
     2312
ȝyf he wuldë for me syngge,
he myȝt me of*. [out of D.] peynës bryngge." Page  83
Þe knyȝt seyd*. [he seyde D.] truly, "truste to me,
Þat samë prest shal prey*. [preye O, ilke p. s. preyȝe D.] for þe;
     2316
And þat þy peyne mow*. [myȝt . . lesse (om. And) D.] be þe lasse,
Euery day shal he for þe*. [for þe shal he O, certeyn dayȝis schal he for þe s. masse D.] synge a masse."
"May y þan trust to þy*. [trusten þan to þe D.] sawe
Þat þou be now my*. [þou wilt be to me (om. þat) D.] trew felawe?"
     2320
"ȝe, as y am a trew knyȝt, [folio 16a:2]
hyt shal be do, at*. [don with al D.] my myȝt."
"A tokene betwyxe*. [be-twen D.] þe and me,"*. [me and þe O.]
Þan seyd þe dedë,*. [þe dede seyde þat D.] "shal þys be?"
     2324
he toke and grepe*. [grypyd D.] þe knyȝtys arme,
But he felt þer-of none harme;
Also he touched hys bare þe;*. [so he touched þe bare skyn D.]
Þe bare bone myȝt men euer after se;*. [myȝt be sen D.]
But sorë*. [sor O, and for D.] þerof felt*. [felte O D.] he noght,
     2329
But for þe felyng, more on hym*. [on hym more (om. but) D.] he þoght.
Þat mark saw alle men comunly,*. [þe tokene saw many on þerby D.]
But no man wyst*. [wyste O, non wyste r. qwy D.] redely why.
     2332
Þe dedë seyd "þou shalt leue*. [not lyuyn D.] here
No lenger but*. [þan D.] þys two ȝere."
he tolde what day þat he shuld deye,*. [t. he schulde deyȝe & qwat day D.]
And seþyn he went forþe*. [ȝede furþ O, þe dede knyȝt þo ȝede D.] hys weye.
     2336
Þe knyȝt amended seþyn*. [seþen amendede O, siþþe amendyd D.] hym weyl,
And to þe dede was as trew*. [trewe (om. as) D.] as steyl;
For he dede*. [(om. For) he dede for hym D.] as he hym hette,
Þe prest for hym song þat he hem hette.*. [hym to synge he let D.]
Þys aperyng,*. [schewyng D.] yn my*. [myne O, myn D.] auys,
     2341
Auayled*. [It a-vayled D.] to boþe partys. Page  84
Seþyn*. [Syn O, siþþe . . a palmerys D.] toke þe knyȝt palmers wede,
And yn*. [yn om. D.] to þe holy londe he ȝede;
     2344
Ihesu cryst*. [crystys O, cristis D.] sepulcre he soght,
For þe synnys*. [synne hadde D.] þat he had wroght;
And, at þe*. [at þe, OD, at H.] two ȝerës ȝende,
God almyghty for hym gan sende;
     2348
For þat day þat*. [þe same day D.] þe dede knyȝt seyde,
Þe touþer knyghte þat same day*. [for soþe þat oþer knyȝt D.] deyde.
Blessyd be god, of*. [grace be god D.] heuene kyng,
Þat sent hym þat yche*. [to hym þat D.] tokenyng.
     2352
Now may ȝe se, by þys tale,
Þat þeftë breweþ mochë*. [mechil D.] bale.
Certys þefte ryȝt*. [ful D.] wykked ys
whan*. [qwan D.] þe dede bereþ wytnes,
     2356
Namly, pore men for*. [a namely pore men D.] to pele
Or*. [And O (om. D), robben & beten w. o. skele D.] robbe or bete with-outë skyle.
Þeftë wyl hys mayster shende, [folio 16b]
And hym fordo*. [& for don D.] wyþ-outyn ende.
     2360
Ȝyf þou be a serïaunt,*. [were euere ony seruaunt D.]
And takë*. [toke . . . comnaunt D.] more þan þy cunnaunt,
Custummablychë, mete or drynk*. [drynge O, & drynk D.]—
Þoht for noght hyt be þe þyng*. [it is al for nouȝt as þe þinkith D.]—
     2364
y redë þat*. [rede sum tyme D.] þou þer-of lete,
For many smale makeþ a grete.
holy chyrche callyþ hyt þefte,
wyþ-outë skylle, for hyt*. [skyl al þat þat D.] ys refte.
     2368
Ȝyf þou euer reysyddyst*. [receydist ony fals D.] custome,
Þou mayst be sykyr of hard*. [myȝt . . ryȝt hard D.] dome.
But ȝyf þat þou mayst hyt*. [ȝif þou may for don it & D.] felle,
hyt ys robbery, gostly to telle.*. [g. þou gost to helle D.]Page  85
     2372
Ȝyf hyt so betyde þat hyt lasteþ*. [laste O, so be it l. D.] ay,
Þy medë*. [song D.] shal be welaway.
Ȝyf þou amende hyt nat yn þy lyue,
what*. [qwat D.] prest may þe þer-of shryue?
     2376
Now telle we forþe, þat ȝe*. [we D.] may lere,
how þeftë comþ*. [comyþ OD, & on qwat m. D.] yn queynt manere:—
Ȝyf þou*. [þat þou D.] euer þy werke withdrowe,
Or dedyst hyt nat weyl to*. [dede it not wel to þe ful D.] prowe,
     2380
Tyde or tyme þat þou shuldest*. [shust O, qwhan þou schal D.] werche,
'Þou art a þefe,' seyþ holy cherche.
Ȝyf þou do custummablyche swych*. [þys OD.] lak,
To begyle*. [falsyn D.] þy mayster be-hynde hys bak,
Þou mayst nat excuse þe with rous,*. [proud wordys]*. [must not defende þe with ros D.]
     2385
And sey, 'al þe worlde so dous.'*. [þowh al þe wyde word so gos D.]
Þe worldë may nat sauë*. [word may not sauyn D.] þe:
Shryue*. [amende . . word D.] þy defaute, and late þe world be.
Ȝyf þe be leyde a borde*. [þou ley ony hurd D.] to wedde,
     2389
Or a cloþe to bak or bedde,
Ȝyf þou hyt vse aȝens hys*. [her D.] wylle,
holy cherche seyþ þat þou dost*. [doust O, þou dost (om. þat) D.] ylle,*. [yl O, wil . . . il D.]
And warneþ þe þerof ȝyt efte,
     2393
Þat hyt ys boþe okyr*. [gowl D.] and þefte.
Okur*. [goul D.] hyt ys, for þe outrage
To take þy catel, and haue*. [haue, om. D.] auauntage;
And for þefte, he may þe greue [folio 16b:2]
     2397
To vse hys þyng aȝens hys leue;
And ȝyf hyt be so þat þus ys*. [be sueche forth D.] gone,
Charyte ne cristyndome*. [trewe charyte D.] ys þer none.
     2400
Þyn euencristyn þou owyst to lene,*. [releue or relene D.]
Ȝyf þou mayst spare hyt,*. [hyt, om. D.] þat y mene.
Also,*. [As D.] ȝyf a þyng be þe lent Page  86
And þou wyþ-outë hys asent
     2404
lene furþer þat þyng*. [put þat þing often D.] to were,
For þefte to hym*. [to hym O, þer of D, om. H.] þou shalt answere.
Þou wost weyl, þou dost*. [doust O, þou dost (om. þat) D.] nat ryȝt;
Þat a-noþer hyt useþ, hyt ys þy plyȝt.*. [to a-peyre his good forsoþe I plyȝt. D.]
     2408
Ȝyf þou haue a þyng yn ferme
To a certeyn day of terme,
And ȝyf þou ouer þat terme day
Trauelyst hyt*. [Traueylyst hyt O, trauaylyst it D; hyt om. H.] aȝens hys pay,
     2412
Þou hast synned yn a spece,*. [I telle þe D.]
yn þeftë þou art come a grece.*. [In a spyce of þefte in þat degre D.]
Now wyl y speke of okerers,*. [gouleris D.]
Þat þefys ben*. [beyn O, arn on þe same D.] yn sum maners.
     2416
To whom þat vsery*. [he þat to gowle D.] ys lefe,
Gost[e]ly,*. [gostly to telle D.] he ys a þefe.
Ȝyf þou of any okerere*. [ony gowlere D.]
wyþ wrong hys þyng awey dest*. [a-wey his good D.] bere,
     2420
Þoghe*. [ȝif D.] he be no cristyn man,
Þefte vnto*. [to D.] þy self þou wan;
Þou ne owyst nat of hys*. [þou owyst not of hym D.] to haue
with wrong, ȝyf þou þy self wylt*. [wylt om. D.] saue.
Also, ȝyf þou haue founde a þyng,
     2425
And makyst þerfore*. [þer of D.] none askyng
At cherche ne at þe market an hy,*. [hij O, þe cherche ne market by D.]
But forhelest*. [kepist D.] hyt pryuyly
     2428
So þat þe þyng with þe dwelle,
hyt ys þefte, þys clerkys telle.
Ȝyf þou withdrawest*. [wyþdraghst O, with-drawe H.] a mannys*. [mans.] ryȝt
Styllyche, þat hyt be nat yn*. [þat he haue þer-of no D.] syght,
     2432
Þogh*. [alþowh D.] a man parseyue hyt noght, Page  87
Þou stelyst hyt, and þefte*. [& as a þef D.] hast wroght.
Ȝyf þou wyþholdest*. [withdrawe D.] a mannys seruyse [folio 17a]
For euyl herte or fals*. [for D.] queyntyse,
     2436
Or withdrawest*. [wyþdrahst O, with-drawyst ony mannys D.] any manere pay,
And ledyst hym furþe*. [& taryest hym D.] fro day to day,
But ȝyf hyt be*. [Harl. omits 'be'; be O, be be D.] with grete resun,
Of þeftë þou art*. [art þe O, art þou D.] enchesun.
     2440
For þe gospel commaundeþ ryȝt
'holde nat*. [withholde non D.] hys seruyse ouer nyght;'
whan þe man haþ do*. [qwan a m. h. don D.] hys dede,
God wol*. [wyle O, wil D.] þat he haue hys mede.
     2444
what sey*. [qwat seyn (om. þes) D.] men of þes fals husbandys
Þat ere aweye falsly*. [falsly ere awey O, falsly eryn a-wey oþer D.] mennys landys;
Of a land, þurgh and þurgh,
Takyn and eryn awey a furgh?*. [takiþ welny a wey a forw D.]
     2448
Þat ys boþe thefte and*. [ȝit it is a þefte & a D.] robberye,
And hyt ful derë shal he a-bye.*. [he O, om. H., & ful dere he schal it a-bey D.]
Of swychë, fewe men*. [fo men god D.] hem amende,
For þey beyn*. [þo men arn D.] þe deuylys frende.
     2452
Tauuarsyns*. [gannokerys D.] and vserers,
Þys are, Lucyfer, þy*. [arn lucyferys D.] peres;
For þey are alle*. [þei arn D.] þe deuyl betaght
Þat okeryn falsly þe worldes aght.*. [gode]
     2456
Okyr ys also,*. [goul it is D.] ȝyf þou hyt haunte,
To lenë þyng to*. [vp D.] certeyn cunnaunt;
Also, to bye*. [a noþer to beyȝe D.] a þyng byfore,
halfe vn-to þe*. [þe OD, om. Harl.] sellers*. [soweris D.] lore;
     2460
For ȝyf þe byer may weyl*. [ȝif þe beyȝere myȝt wel D] lene
Þat þyng*. [þynge O.] with-outë losse or*. [trey & D.] tene, Page  88
he ys holde to helpe*. [þou art bounden to helpyn D.] hym with-alle,
Or holy cherche seyþ, þat he hyt stalle.*. [seith þou it stal D.]
Okeryng ys on many*. [goulyng haþ a noþer D.] manere,
     2465
Mo þan y kan telle now here.
But wete ȝe weyl, swyche gode shal go
As hyt come, with sorowe and wo;
     2468
For some haue*. [summe han (om. For) D.] so grete cumbrement
Þat þey may make no testament;
For holy cherche neuer vndyrstode
To haue of okerer[ë]s gode.*. [han ony of goulerys good D.]
     2472
[The Tale of Seint Forsyne's Visit to Hell.] *. [[Acta Sanctorum, Jan. iii. 404.—G. Paris, Hist. Litt. de la France, xxviii. 196.]]
[folio 17a:2] A tale ys tolde of Seynt Forsyne,*. [A tale]
wharefor he suffryd onys*. [qwerfore . . meche D.] pyne.
Þys samë tale*. [þat ilke D.] tellyþ seynt Bede
yn hys gestys þat men*. [gestys men it D.] rede.
     2476
whan*. [qwan D.] seynt Fursyne had lyued long,
Þyr toke hym þan*. [hym took þanne (om. þyn) D.] an euyl strong;
Þat tymë þat he wende*. [tyme wende he al for D.] to deye,
Come one to hym and*. [þer cam an aungel to hym D.] þus gan seye,
"Rys vp, Fursyne, and go with me!
     2481
Merueyl mochë shalt þou*. [mechil þou schalt D.] see."
wheþer he wulde, or he ne wulde,*. [qwheþer he wolde or he nolde D.]
he toke hym vp, and furþe he shulde;
Many stedys he late*. [lete O, many a place he lete D.] hym se,
     2485
Merueylys and grete*. [grete & of D.] pryuyte;
he shewed hym þe*. [hym þe OD, om. Harl.] depnes of helle,
And þe peynes þat þeryn dwelle;
     2488
Seþþe þey toke a weye ryȝt*. [gate ful D.] euene, Page  89
As hym þoght, toward heuene.
yn þe fyrmament as þey ȝede,
Foure fyres he sawe*. [ferys hi sagh O, fyrys he saw D.] of gretë*. [gret OD.] drede;
Þes foure fyres*. [ferys O, fyris wexyn D.] wax hygh & hote,
     2493
And yn-to one, alle*. [al O, to on of þo (om. And yn) D.] foure þey smote.
wndurful*. [wunderfully D.] was þan þat fyre,*. [fere O, fyr D.]
And dredful, and also*. [And also dredful, & O, & so dredful D.] brynnyng shere.
Þe aungel þydyrward*. [to hym ward D.] toke þe weye;
     2497
Þo*. [þo om. D.] þoght seynt Fursyne, 'here shal y deye.'
Þe aungel ȝede furþ ful boldely,
But seynt Fursyne durst nat come ny.
     2500
Þe aungel say*. [sagh O, saw D.] he gan abyde,
"Come furþe," he seyd, "and þe*. [þou D.] nat hyde;
Of þys fere ne drede*. [fyr drede D.] þe noght,
But þou with wrong euer toke oght;
     2504
Ȝyf þou haue take any*. [any om. D.] þyng with wrong,
Þou shalt brenne yn þys fyre*. [brennyn in þis (om. fyre) D.] strong.
with mochë*. [mechil D.] þoght, sorowe, and drede,
Fursyne vnto þat fyre*. [þe fyr D.] ȝede.
     2508
Þe fyre*. [fere O, fyr D.] on boþë half hym was,*. [halue was D.]
But furþ he ȝede fast*. [faste he ȝede furþ O, (forth) D.] on hys pas,
yn þat fyre saghe*. [fere sagh O, fyr saw D.] he lye [folio 17b]
Saulys brennyng,*. [soulys brennende D.] and ruly crye;
     2512
Þe fendës ȝedë*. [ȝeden D.] hem among,
And fast echone on oþer þrong
with brynnyng crokys sorowfuly,*. [hokys dolefully D.]
And pyned hem*. [sore pyned hem D.] with-oute mercy.
     2516
None lay by hemself a-lone,
But eche*. [ache O, eche D.] on oþer, with sorowe and wone.*. [mone D.]
Echone*. [eche D.] to oþer was sorowe and peyne,
with-outyn endë for*. [þis is D.] certeyn.
     2520
For pynyng, for wepyng, for cryyng,*. [for-pyned and cryed he seyde D.] alas,
Fursyne almoste*. [ny D.] confunded was. Page  90
As he sagh þys sorowe so grym,
Come a deuyl rennyng*. [Cam . . rennende D.] to hym
     2524
with glesyng yȝen*. [eȝyn O, grysly eyȝen & hook D.] and croke yn hande,
Þe steme stode oute of hys mouþ brennand:*. [ȝenande O.]
he broght on þat brynnyng croke*. [kroke O, hook D.]
A brennyng soule þat al to-shoke.*. [sore quook D.]
     2528
Toward Fursyne*. [þe prist D.] he*. [he OD, hys Harl.] ran hys cours,
And calyd*. [kalde O, callyd hym feloun of tretours D.] hym 'fals, felun, treytours.'
"haue þys soule! þys hast þou slayn!
Þou ȝeldyst nat*. [hym nat O, ȝelde hym now D.] hys gode aȝeyn.
     2532
he kast þe soule vpp-on þe prest,
And brenned hys o*. [he brent his oo D.] syde, and half hys brest.
he went*. [wende O.] þat tyme haue deydë*. [wende þ. t. a be left D.] þore,
For the soule brennyd*. [þat saule brende O, þat soule hadde brent D.] hym so sore;
     2536
he hopyde neuer to haue come þen,*. [þeþen O, wende . . þenne D.]
So had*. [hadde O, had D.] þe soule broght hym be-neþen.*. [on brenne D.]
But at þe last þan gan he crye,
17 And seyd, "mayster, me17*. [17_17 mayster D.] helpe now, or y dey!"
     2540
Þan seyde þe aungel to Fursyne:
"y tolde þe langer of þys*. [er. þis is þi D.] þyne;
y sed langer*. [seyde þe er D.] at þe bygynnyng,
Ȝyf þou haddest of oþer mennys þyng
     2544
Þat þou madest nat of, amendëment,
yn þys fyre hyt shulde be brent.
loke now, ȝyf þou kanst hyt oght*. [can it D.] knowe,
Þe soule þat þe brenned*. [brennede O, þat þer brent D.] so lowe."
"Ȝe," [folio 17b:2] seyde Fursyne,*. [þan side þe prist D.] "y knowe hyt wele
For whom*. [qwom D.] y suffre þys peyne eche dele:
Þys he dede, whan*. [qwan D.] he shuld deye,
he ȝaf me a cloþe for hym to preye;
     2552
For no maystry, ne for noun eyuyl,*. [non ille D.]Page  91
he ȝaf it me; but with*. [me be D.] hys gode wyl.
And now, weyl y hyt*. [& wel I knowe now & D.] graunte,
Þat y helde hym nat*. [not his (om. þat) D.] cunnaunt;
     2556
wyllyng, certys, y dyd*. [dede O, aȝens his wil certis dede he D.] hyt noght,
But for rechelesshepe*. [rentylnesse D.] of þoght."
Þe aungel þo toke þe*. [þat (þo, om. D.)] soule forlore,
And dyd*. [dede OD.] hyt þere hyt was byfore,
     2560
yn-to þe peyne, þere*. [þe, þere, om. D.] for to dwelle,—
hyt was an okerere,*. [he was a gowlere D.] y ȝou telle;—
Þan touched Fursynys*. [touched he Fursyns O, þe aungel touchyd hym D.] brest and syde,
And þe fyre myȝt no lenger*. [no lenger myght O, myȝt no lengere (om. And) D.] abyde.
     2564
Þurghoute þe*. [þat O, þorw þe fyr he hadde hym D.] fyre he ledde hym euene,
And shewed hym of þe blys of heuene:
he shewed hym alle*. [of al D.] þe pryuyte
Þere men befalleþ yn flessh to be.*. [þat men falle . . to se D.]
     2568
he broght hym þan*. [brout hym D.] to þe body aȝen
For*. [For, om. D.] to shewe þat hyt was certeyn.
Þre days keptë men*. [dayȝes men keptyn D.] þe body,
Alle for dedë comunly.*. [þanne contynuelly D.]
     2572
he lyued seþþen many ȝeres,
A quyk man, and a feres.*. [ȝerys . . fers D.]
But þe brynnyng alle*. [be O.] be dene,*. [O. gloss. 'rewe.']
Euermore aftyrward was hyt*. [hyt, om. O, it was D.] sene;
     2576
As long as he here*. [longe after as he D.] lyued,
Þe brynnyng on hys*. [þe D.] body cleued.
y trowe god shewed þys merueyle,
For þou ne shuldest of*. [ne shust of þy O, þat non schulde D.] trowþë fayle.
     2580
Seþen leuyd*. [leuede O, lyuede D.] he so holyly
Þat men callyn hym nowe*. [now O, om. D.] seynt Fursy;
He was fyrst*. [fyrst, om. D.] founder and syre
Of þe cherche of Knares*. [Canyes D.]-myre; Page  92
     2584
And of Norwyche þe modyr cherche
he ded hyt fyrst make and werche;
And þere he lyþ be-ȝunde þe see, [folio 18a]
he ordeyned a mynster*. [mynstyr O, mynstre D, mynyster H.] for to be;
     2588
Foure ȝere or*. [ar O, om. D.] þe cherche were ful set*. [was endyd D.]
was hys soulë to god*. [heuene O, or h. s. was to heuene sendyd D.] fet.
Okerers men oght to weyue,*. [gouleris owyn for to whyue D.; O. gloss 'fle.']
Ȝeue hem noght, ne of hem receyue,*. [ȝif hym nouȝt ne not retyue D.]
     2592
ȝyf þou wetë what þey are,*. [OD. transpose these lines. In 2593, D reads 'qwat þei ware.']—
yn no manere of chaffare.*. [OD. transpose these lines. In 2593, D reads 'qwat þei ware.']
Sum tyme þer was yn*. [Sumtyme was D.] a cyte,
Þat ȝyf an okerer*. [ȝif ony goulere þerin D.] myȝt founde*. [founden O.] be,
     2596
Þey helde hym vyler*. [hyldyn hym wers D.] þan a Iew,
For no man wuldë hys prew;*. [O. gloss 'profyte,' held hem but on-trew D.]
Men clepyde*. [callyd D.] hys hous yn euery strete
'Þe hous of þe fendës sete.'
     2600
Fyre,*. [Fer O, þe fer & D.] watyr, þat he shuld note,*. [O. gloss 'okepye.']
Þey cursed hyt*. [hyt, om. D.] euery grote;
And euery syde to ouþer, "sere,*. [men seyde to oþer sone D.]
lo, þere þe cursed vsurere!"*. [qwhere þe cursyd goulere come D.]
     2604
yn cherchë no man ȝaf*. [ȝeue D.] hym pes,*. [O. gloss 'pax.']
For a fend þey*. [men D.] hym ches.*. [[6 syllables]]
No man was so hardy*. [[6 syllables]]
To bryng hym þyng*. [bryngyn hym good D.] opunly,
     2608
Þat he ne shulde vyly*. [but þat he schulde opynly D.] be shent
Of alle þat by þe stretë*. [stret O, strete D.] went.
And whan any vsurere*. [qwhan a goulere D.] was dede,
Þe cherchëȝerde þey hym forbede. Page  93
     2612
Þey wuld nat, for loue ne awe,*. [O. gloss 'drede.']
Ȝeue hym crystyn mennys*. [ȝeuyn . . mannys D.] lawe;
'Requiem' ne shulde be note*. [wyþ note O, r. schulde noon D.] be sunge
Ne seyd for hym, wyþ mannys tunge.
     2616
'Lux perpetua,' and he, were wroþe,
For*. [For, om. D.] yn hys lyue he solde hem boþe.
A nyȝt, when men hadde here*. [qwen men holde D.] reste,
he okered pens yn hys*. [goulyd pens he put in (om. He) D.] cheste;
     2621
And also, vpp*. [vpp, om. D.]-on þe day lyȝt
he gadered gode*. [pens D.] with alle hys myȝt.
Þan semyþ hyt weyl yn oure lay
     2623
Þat he solde*. [he selliþ (om. þat) D.] boþe þe nyȝt and þe day;
'Requiem,' (þe reste with outen ende,) [folio 18a:2]
Þar-to*. [to þat D.] shal he neuer wende;
Ne 'lux perpetua'*. [l. p. ne D.]—þe endles lyȝt—
Þer-of shal he neuer haue syȝt;
     2628
where*. [þer D.] he ys wurþy, þer shal he be;
yn hym nas neuer no*. [founde D.] charyte.
Now of þeft haue we*. [þan haue I D.] seyd,
And þese*. [þys O, of þese gouleris D.] vsurers made vp-breyde.
     2632
god ȝeue vs gracë þefte to fle,
And al*. [alle O.] okerers wel*. [wylle D, alle gouleris, euele mote þei be D.] to amendyd be.