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

[Of the Fifth Sacrament—Holy Orders.]

NOw of þe fyfþë sacrament,
Þe order of þe bysshopes presentement.
þys falleþ to þese lordynges,
As popës, emperoures, and kynges,
And to alle þat clerkys auaunce
To holy cherches portynaunce;*. [purtynaunce.]
Swyche men, þat are of grete nobley,
Yn þys sacrament þan synne þey,
Þat þey graunte, for mede þat þey take,
Vnwurþyly, a bysshope to make,
Of whom þat ys þe famë ryfe
Þat he ys, of febyl lyfe,
Or oþer to auaunce, hyt ys folye,
wyþoutyn resonable clergye.
Clerk behoueþ*. [behouede.] hym for to be,
Þat shulde receyue swyche dygnyte
For to gouerne holy cherche;
with clergy, behoueþ hym algate werche.
But now ys fulfylled þe prophecye
Þat, sorë wepyng, seyþ Isaye,
"Ryȝt swych shal be þe prest*. [[6 syllables]]Page  340
As þe lewed man lyue, þou sest."
lytyl kan lasse þe lewed man
þan some of þesë prestës kan.
who ȝyuen hem more to worldly þyng
þan prestës do, for alle here prechyng?
ȝyf he be clerk, and euyl dous, [folio 73a]
Of hym ys nat to make no rous.
what vayleþ to vndyrstonde þe lettyr,
And hys lyfe be neuer þe bettyr?
Alle þat clergye, y telle it but lore,
when he lyueþ neuer þe bettyr þer-fore.
But how seyþ Salamon yn hys spellyng,
"wo þe land, þere chylde ys kyng!"
And wo þe folk, þat kan nat lyue
whan holy cherchë ys mys-ȝyue!
And to þe husbonde, wo ys*. [ys H, om. O.] hys lyfe,
þat haþ yn hys*. ['hys' omitted.] hous a fole to wyfe!
ȝe lordes, do ȝe Goddes ordynaunce,
And godë men ȝe shul auaunce;
To gode men ȝyueþ ȝoure benefyces
Þat kun hem kepe fro wykked vyces;
Þan make ȝe gode presentëment
To order of þys sacrament.
Also, haþ he wykkedly doun
Þat letteþ gode mannes eleccyoun;
'Eleccyoun' ys, 'weyl chesyng
A gode man to kepe holy þyng.'
Þese hyghë men do grete trespas,
Þat chese nat ryȝt, alas! alas!
Þát were wurþy, hem þey spare,
And þe vnwurþy auaunced are;
And, þat ys nat lytyl synne
To hem þat hyt ȝyuen, and eke so wynne;
Hyt may be tolde for symonye,
For ȝyfte to auaunce þe vnwurþy. Page  341
By a tale, y may ȝow shewe
þat hyt ys synne to chese a shrewe;
And ȝyt ys he yn wers entent,
þat letteþ gode mannes auauncëment.
Seynt Gregory telleþ þarfore a tale*. [A tale.]
þat telþ many one, what grete and smale,
he telleþ mo hymself a-lone,
þan alle þe doctours do echone.
[The Tale of Paschasius's Punish|ment for not agreeing to the Election of the best Man for Pope.]
Yn þe cherche of Rome, he telleþ þus, [folio 73a:2]
A dekene was þat hyghte Pascasyus,
A man of almës þan was he,
Þat ofte of þe porë had pyte;
Þat yche tyme was elleccyone
To chese here pope, as er*. [ere.] was wone.
Twey men were yn choys to take,
Oþer Laurence, oþer*. [or.] Symake;
hys felaus alle, Symakus chese,
So þat Laurence hys voys lese;
Pascasyus graunted neuer þartyl,
But chese Laurence at hys owne wyl;
He repented hym neuer noȝt,
But yn Laurencë stode hys þoȝt.
Yn þys popes tyme, syre Symakus,
Deyde þe dekene Pascasyus:
Þys dekene was an holy man,
As yn þe cuntre þe famë ran,
And dyd þys myrácle, as ȝe mowe*. [may.] here:
A wode man touched on hys bere,
And a party of hys cloþyng, Page  342
And a-none he hadde botenyng.
longë, aftyr þat þys was,
Fyl of þys dekene a merueylous kas;
For þere besydë, yn a paþ
was a wasshyng, at an hote baþ;
'Termes' men calle þat watyr wasshele,
For many one had þerat here hele.
Þus þe holy bysshope seynt Germyne
Com þedyr to be wasshe þer-ynne;
Þere fonde he þys dekene Pascas,
And at þe*. [þat.] watyr seruyng was:
Þys bysshope merueyled yn hys þoȝt,
wheþer hyt were Pascas or noȝt;
At þe laste, seynt Germyne seyde
"Art þou nat Pascas þat deyde,
Þat we helde a man holy?"
"Ȝys," seyd Pascas, "hyt am y;
And at þys water, serue y þus, [folio 73b]
For y graunted neuer*. [nat.] to Symakus,
But to Laurence, with alle my myȝt,
Þat was nat so gode yn Goddys syȝt;
y ne repented yn alle my hope,*. [nat in al myn hope.]
For y wulde haue hadde hym pope.
But wuldest þou prey for me, Germyne,
y shulde come sone oute of þys pyne;
And þat*. [þat O, om. H.] mayst þou wete yn þys manere,
Ȝyf þou fynde me no more here."
Þe bysshope Germyne, home he ȝede,
And preyd to God for hys mysdede.
Þe nextë tyme þat he come þore,
Of Pascas, sagh he no more.
Lokë,*. [Lokeþ.] lordes, how ȝe mysdo,
Þat eleccyoun dystroubleþ*. [dystourbleþ.] so;
For a ȝyfte, or a presént, Page  343
Ȝe suffre holy cherche to*. [to H, om. O.] be shent;
Ȝourë synnë shal be greuous,
whan þys dekene Pascasyus,
For so lytyl, to purgatorye ȝede,
For whom was shewed myrácle yn dede.
Aȝens God, he ys nat quyte,
Þat suffreþ for hys owne profyte,
Holy cherche, wrongly be ȝyue
To þo men þat wykkedly lyue;
Þey shul be a-couped of tresoun,
As traytours yn eleccyoun;
Many shul go a deuyl wey,
Or be encumbred or*. [ar.] þey dey.
Ȝyt shal y telle, among þese talys,
A tale þat now late fyl yn Wales:
yn þe tyme of seynt Dauy
Fyl þys þyng, a grete ferly.
[A Tale of Warning against buying Bishoprics, and worshipping Bad Bishops' Bodies.]
As þe munkës shulde do werche
werk þat fyl vn-to here cherche,
As þey dalue dowun yn þe clay,
Þey fonde a bysshope alle hole lay,
with flesshe and blode, and hole sendal, [folio 73b:2]
And, wyþ ouþer vestement alle,
As fresshë as he were depeynt.
þey wende he had be a corseynt;
þey toke hym vp, euerychone,
And, leyd hym vppon a stone,*. [a tumbe of stone.]
And wurscheped hyt moche with-alle,
For þey wende myrácles shulde falle.
At hygh feste tymës of þe ȝere
Þey ensensed þe body as*. [as H O,? for 'at.'] þe hygh autere.
A nyȝt, whan þe sekesteyn yn bede was leyd,
Hym þoȝt one come, and to hym seyd, Page  344
"Ensense þe body no more so,
Ne do no wurschep þar-vnto."
Þe sekesteyn, for alle þat defense,
Ȝyt he ȝaue þe body ensense.
Anouþer nyȝt, fór þat same,
Efte þe sekesteyn he gan blame,
and seyd, "holde hyt no more yn prys,
þat yche body, þat þere lys."
þe munkë seyd, "telle me why
þat he to wurschep*. [to be wrshepede.] ne ys wurþy."
"loke to morne, and þou mayst wyte
what lyþ yn hys mytyr wryte."
þe munkë ros vp on þe morne,
And, fonde yn hys mytyr horne
Þesë verse wryte on a scrowe,
For þat he shulde þe bettyr trowe:
Þese are þo ychë twey verse,
Þat to holynes are reuers,
Quem lapis ille tegit, sandalia viliter emit;
Estuat in baratro, pessimus ille latro.
"he þat þys stone hyleþ one*. [on.] lyche,
wykkedly boȝt hys bysshopryche.
yn helle he welleþ pynë*. [yn pyne.] grefe,
For alþerwerst*. [alþerwest.] þan was he þefe."
Alþerwerst*. [alþerwest.] þen shal hem be,
Þat for mede come to dygnyte.
hyt ys nat to speke, ne to*. ['to' omitted.] preche, [folio 74a]
Þe clergye werche*. [wercheþ.] moche aftyr wreche.
Ne þou shalt no dedë werche,
Noþer to iangle, yn holy cherche;
Namely yn tyme of holy feste,
Þán shuldë men iangle leste.
Þat tyme make many one, gaderyng
yn holy cherche of ydul þyng;
And of alle shalt þou ȝelde acounte,
To whos godenesse hyt shuld amounte.
y haue touched of þys*. [swych.] outrage Page  345
whan y spake of sacrylage.*. [[p. 292]]
Ne þou oghtes*. [oghtest.] nat to be enchesun
To sturble mannys deuocyoun.
Ȝyf þou ne wylte Goddes seruyse here,
lette none ouþer of here preyere;
Fole ys, þat foly þat*. ['þat' omitted.] wyl nat drede,
And more þat letteþ alle oþer gode dede.
Ryȝt so*. [so O, om. H.] seyþ Salamon þe wyse,
Vs alle of foly to*. [for to.] chastyse.
Clerk to bete, or handes on ley
yn vyolence, hyt ys grete eye;
Hyt longeþ to þys sacrament
Þurgh bysshopës commaundëment;
yn sacrylagë þer y spake,*. [[p. 280]]
y touched of þat ychë lak;
And yn þe ten commaundëmens,*. [[p. 72, 77]]
y wene y touched of þys defens;
Þarforë, now hyt ys beste,
Of þys sacrament to reste.
God grauntë þesë lordynges,
weyl to do yn allë þynges,
And late hem neuer here soulës lese
For no wrongës*. [no wrons O, wronges H.] þat þey chese!