The lanterne of lizt, ed. from ms. Harl. 2324
Wycliffe, John, d. 1384., Swinburn, Lilian M. (Lilian Mary)
Page  145


p. 4, l. 6. seint Jon Crisostum seiþ. This passage, in common with many others attributed to Chrysostom in the text, is from a collection of sermons on St. Matthew's Gospel by an unknown writer (cf. Opera D. Ioannis Chrysostomi, vol. ii, p. 710, ed. by S. Gelenius, 1547).

p. 7, l. 5. þe philosophur: a designation specially applied to Aristotle.

p. 8, l. 25. Lincoln: Robert Grosseteste, Bishop of Lincoln from 1235 to 1253. He was born c. 1175, and studied at Oxford and Paris. On his appointment to the see of Lincoln, he set himself to reform the abuses existing in his diocese. He exercised considerable influence upon English thought and literature for two centuries. He is frequently quoted by Wyclif (cf. English Works of Wyclif, edited by F. D. Matthew, E.E.T.S., pp. 56, 92, 112, 385). Some of Grosseteste's 'Dicta' were printed by Brown in Fasciculus Rerum Expetendarum et Fugiendarum, 1690. None of those quoted in this text occur in Brown's collection (cf. Dict. Nat. Biog., vol. xxiii, art. Grosseteste).

p. 11, l. 8. þei seien þis man haþ eten a fliȝe. Evidently a taunt brought against the Lollards by their enemies. They are looked upon as followers of Beelzebub, the god of flies, through whose agency they obtain their knowledge of God's law. To have 'eten a fliȝe' is probably equivalent to being possessed by a devil. 'Fly' is used later by B. Jonson for a 'familiar demon' (1610).

p. 11, l. 11. Lollardis. The name 'Lollard' is of uncertain origin; some derive it from 'lolium'—tares, citing Chaucer as their authority (Shipman's Prologue, ll. 15-17):

'This Loller here wol prechen us somwhat ...
He wolde sowen som difficulte,
Or sprengen cokkel in our clene corn.'

But the more generally received explanation derives the word from M. Du. lollen, lullen, to sing softly, to mumble. The earliest official use of the name in England occurs in 1387 in a mandate of the Bishop of Worcester against five 'poor preachers', 'nomine seu ritu Lollardorum confoederatos'. Though the first example given in N.E.D. of the form 'Lollard' is in 1415—Lord Scrope in 43 Rep. Deputy Kpr. Rec. 591, 'Yif he drue to Loulardis thai wolde subuert thisl onde & the chirge'—the word is implied in 'Lollardy' (first used c. 1390). The form Loller, a variant of Lollard, occurs earlier in Chaucer, Shipman's Prologue, ll. 11, 15, 'I smelle a lollere in the wynde quod he'; and 'This lollere here wol prechen us somewhat'; and in Piers Plowman, C. vi. 2, 'Cloþed as a lollere ... Among lollares of london and lewede heremytes.'

p. 12, l. 15. þe maister of sentence. 'Magister sententiarum' was the name given to Peter Lombard, Bishop of Paris in the twelfth century, fromPage  146 his book Sententiarum libri quattuor—a collection of comments from the Fathers on passages of Holy Scripture.

p. 13, l. 21. for ȝe pullen as foxis to her hoolis children from fadris. The charge of kidnapping or enticing children for their order, was one very frequently made against the friars; cf. English Works of Wyclif, E.E.T.S., p. 68, 'freris forsaken þe perfit pouert of Crist ... to geten ȝonge childre to here feyned ordre by symonye, as aplis, purses, & oþere iapes & false bihestis, & bi false stelynge aȝenst here frendis wille, and aȝenst goddis comaundement.' The same charge is made in Jacke Upland:

'Why steal ye mens children
for to make hem of your sect,
sith that theft is against Gods hests
and sith your sect is not perfect?'

Political Poems and Songs, ii, p. 22 (R. S.).

p. 14, l. 21. Lettir of lisence. A copy of one of these letters of licence is preserved in Wilkins's Concilia, vol. iii, p. 389. It was granted to William Lyndewode, a bitter opponent of Lollardy, to whom the Lanterne of Liȝt was handed over for examination at the trial of John Claydon (see Introduction, p. viii). The text runs as follows: 'Licentia concessa Willelmo Lyndewode ab archiepiscopo Cant. ad praedicandum. Henricus, etc., dilecto in Christo filio magistro Willelmo Lyndewode utriusque iuris doctori . . . salutem. Ut in quibuscumque locis ad hoc convenientibus et honestis infra nostras civitatem, diocesim, et provinciam Cantuar. ubilibet constitutio verbum Dei clero et populo in lingua Latina seu vulgari licite proponere et praedicare valeatis, non obstante constitutione provinciali Oxon. nuper per bonae memoriae dominum Thomam Arundel Cant. archiepiscopum, praedecessorem nostrum, edita, et aliis constitutionibus nostris et praedecessorum nostrorum contra praedicantes huiuscemodi editis non obstantibus quibuscumque, vobis, quem literarum scientia, morumque laudabilis vitae meritis, aliisque virtutum praeconiis sufficienter (novimus) insignitum, liberam tenore praesentium concedimus facultatem.'

p. 16, l. 19. þe weye of Caym. To a Lollard, the word Caym (Cain) stood for the four orders of friars, because the four letters which make up the word were taken to designate respectively the Carmelites, the Augustinians, the Jacobites (or Dominicans), and the Minorites (Franciscans). This explains the term 'Caymes Castles' used by Wyclif for the monasteries (cf. S. E. W., iii, p. 348, l. 19 and note, p. 368, l. 27; Wyclif, E.E.T.S., p. 508, note).

p. 16, l. 19. possessioners: that is, such orders among the clergy as held possessions or endowments.

p. 17, l. 26. þise newe constituciouns: the constitutions of Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, issued in 1409 (see Introd., p. xii).

p. 18, l. 25. sensuris: a spiritual punishment inflicted by some ecclesiastical judge.

p. 22, l. 16. Lire: Nicholaus of Lyra, born at Lyra in Normandy, 1270, died at Paris, 1340. The tradition that he was of Jewish descent appears to have been an unfounded statement dating only from the fifteenth century. He took the Franciscan habit, studied theology, received the doctor's degree at Paris, and became a professor at the Sorbonne. He was the author ofPage  147 numerous theological works, the most famous of which is the Postillae Perpetuae in Universam S. Scripturam. It soon became the favourite manual of exegesis, and was the first Biblical commentary to be printed (cf. Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. xi, p. 63).

p. 23, l. 23. þe dedication of þe chirche. The service held at the dedication of a church according to the Use of Sarum contains the following words: 'Christus enim desponsat hodie matrem nostram norma iustitiae, quam de lacu traxit miseriae ecclesiam. In spiritus sancti clementia, sponsa sponsi laetatur gratia, reginis laudis cum gloria, felia dicta.... Sic typicis descripta sensibus, nuptiarum induta vestibus, coeli praestet hodie civibus, Christo iuncta.'

The service from which this passage is taken occurs in an early fifteenth-century pontifical in the Cambridge University Library (cf. Maskell, Monumenta Ritualia Ecclesiae Anglicanae, 2nd edit., vol. i, p. 237). Although the words as quoted in the text do not actually occur in this service, they must have been taken from one very similar.

p. 27, l. 8. To bigynne at Mary Cristis modir ... A similar enumeration occurs in Don Michel's Ayenbite of Inwyt (E.E.T.S.), pp. 266, 267; and in 'Sawles Warde', Morris, Specimens of Early English, Pt. I, p. 91.

p. 28, l. 19. Mardoche = Mordecai (Vulg. Mardochaeus).

p. 35, l. 13. As Odo seiþ. Probably Odo of Cheriton or Sherston, an English Cistercian monk (d. 1247). His sermons on the Sunday Gospels were completed in 1219, and were printed at Paris by Matthew Macherel under the title 'Flores Sermonum ac Evangeliorum Dominicalium excellentiss. Magistri Odonis Cancellarii Parrhisien.' The author in this edition is designated as 'Cancellarius Parisiensis' possibly from confusion with Odon de Châteauroux, Chancellor of Paris in 1238. This edition is extremely rare (cf. Dict. Nat. Biog., vol. xli, p. 428, art. Odo of Cheriton).

p. 35, l. 14. anfest. No verb 'anfest' is recorded. 'Anfest' perhaps = 'Hanfest' for 'handfest', betroth, make a contract of marriage. The text shows several examples of irregularity in the use of the initial 'h'; cf. aile storm, p. 46, l. 10; hesiliar, p. 125, l. 23; eire beside heire, p. 20, l. 25, p. 46, l. 9. The omission of medial d before f is not unknown in ME.; cf. Caxton, Sonnes of Aymon, iii. 107 (1489), 'Ye ben not worth an hanfull of strawe.'

p. 35, l. 17. haruest. Perhaps an error for 'hanuest' = handfest, marriage contract. No example of a noun 'handfest' is given in N.E.D. before 1611, Shaks. Cymb., I. v. 78, 'The Remembrancer of her, to hold The handfast to her Lord.' For the form see note on 'anfest'.

p. 36, l. 19. as Jerom seiþ. The passage quoted does not seem to occur in the writings of Jerome. The exact words are to be found in one of the Homilies formerly attributed to St. John Chrysostom (see note on p. 4, l. 6).

p. 38, l. 3. William de Seint Amor. Born in 1202 of humble parents. He was educated at the University of Paris and became a stern opposer of the mendicant orders. His most famous work is 'Tractatus brevis de novissimorum temporum periculis ex scripturis excerptus et in certa capitula digestus' (cf. Maitre Guillaume de Saint-Amour, par Maurice Perrod, Paris, 1895).

p. 48, l. 10. louedaies: a day appointed for a meeting with a view to an amicable settlement of a dispute, and hence, an agreement entered into at such a meeting (N.E.D.); cf. Chaucer, Prologue, l. 258, 'In love-dayes therPage  148 coude he mochel helpe'; and Piers Plowman, iii. 157, 'She ledeth þe lawe as hire list & lovedayes maketh.'

p. 54, l. 18. For it draweþ hem toward heuene as bocket in to welle. Evidently a proverbial expression; cf. 'Complaint of the Ploughman', 'They follow Christ that shed his blood To heaven, as buckette into the well' (Pol. Poems and Songs, ii, p. 312, R. S.). For a somewhat different use of the same proverbial phrase, cf. Chaucer, Knight's Tale, l. 675, 'Now up, now down, as boket in a welle.'

p. 56, l. 23. Ordinal: a book setting forth the services of the Church, as they existed before the Reformation.

p. 59, l. 11. Gregor in his decre. 'In sancta Romana ecclesia dudum consuetudo est valde reprehensibilis exorta, ut quidam ad sacri altaris ministerium cantores eligantur, et in diaconatus ordine constituti modulationi vocis inserviant, quos ad praedicationis officium, et eleemosynarum studium vacare congruebat. Unde fit plerumque, ut ad sacrum ministerium, dum blanda vox quaeritur, quaeri congrua vita negligatur et cantor minister Deum moribus stimulet, quum populum vocibus delectat. Qua in re praesenti decreto constituo, ut in hac sede sacri altaris ministri cantare non debeant, solumque evangelicae lectionis officium missarum solennia exsolvant; psalmos vero ac reliquas lectiones censeo per subdiaconos vel, si necessitas exigit, per minores ordines exhiberi. Si quis autem contra hoc decretum meum venire tentaverit, anathema sit' (Migne, tom. 187, col. 430).

p. 60, l. 2. Lucifer. In Christian theology, Lucifer was regarded as the name of Satan before his fall, hence his association with 'the children of pride' (cf. the phrase, 'as proud as Lucifer').

p. 60, l. 4. Belzebub. From the New Testament designation of Beelzebub as the 'prince of demons', the word became, at an early period, one of the popular names of the devil. It is assumed that the Beelzebub of the New Testament is to be identified with the Philistine god of flies, one of whose special prerogatives it was to drive away the flies troubling the sacrifice, who were looked upon as evil spirits with no right to be there. The connexion of Beelzebub with 'the envious' is difficult. On p. 11, l. 1, there is a reference to Beelzebub as the 'god of flies, or ellis a god þat makiþ discorde', an idea which may have arisen from the passage in St. Matthew xii. 24-8, in which Christ refutes the charge of exorcizing devils by Beelzebub the prince of devils. The 'god þat makiþ discorde' might be looked upon as the spreader of calumny, and so as the lord of the envious.

p. 60, l. 5. Abadon. The name of the angel of the bottomless pit (Rev. ix. 11). 'Wanhope' or despair is one of the attributes of Sloth; hence the connexion between the lord of the bottomless pit and the slothful.

p. 60, l. 6. Mammon. The Aramaic word for 'riches' occurring in the Greek text of Matthew vi. 24 and Luke xvi. 9-13. Owing to the quasipersonification in these passages the word was taken by mediaeval writers as the proper name of the devil of covetousness. Cf. Piers Plowman, A. ix. 81, 'He . . . with Mammonas moneye hath maked him frendes'; and Ord. Crysten Men (1502), II. xi. 117, 'A devyll named Mammona made unto the covetous man VI commaundementes.'

p. 60, l. 8. Belphegor. A form of Baal-Peor (cf. Deut. iv. 3, Num.Page  149 xxv. 5, Ps. cvi. 28). His connexion with gluttony may be accounted for by the fact that human sacrifices were offered to him.

p. 60, l. 9. Asmodeus (cf. Book of Tobit, iii. 8). In the Apocrypha occurs the story of the love of Asmodeus, an evil demon, for Sara, the daughter of Raguel, whose seven husbands were slain in succession by him on their respective bridal nights. From the part played by him in this story, he is regularly associated with the sin of lechery.

p. 60, l. 22. As Parisiens seiþ. Probably Peter Cantor Parisiensis, a native of Poitiers, died at Long Pont Abbey in 1197. In 1180 he was invested with the office of Precentor in the Cathedral of Paris. His Verbum Abbreviatum is quoted in the Apology for Lollard Doctrines, edited by J. H. Todd (1842), p. 53. Cf. Dr. Todd's note, p. 154.

p. 61, l. 3. Summe maken lettris . . . to selle alle her suffragis. The reference is to the custom of granting letters of fraternity by the convents to their benefactors. These letters entitled those named in them to a share in the benefits of all prayers or merits of the convent or order. Cf. Jacke Upland:

'Freer, what charity is this,
. . . . .
to such rich men give letters of fraternite,
confirmed by your generall seale,
and thereby to bear him in hand,
that he shal have part of all your masses,
mattens, preachings,
fastings, wakings,
and all other good deeds
done by your brethren of your order,
both whilest he liveth,
and after that he is dead.'

(Pol. Poems and Songs, R. S., ii, p. 33.)

p. 61, l. 6. þe decre saluator. A decree of Urban II against the practice of simony, beginning 'Salvator praedicit in evangelio'.

p. 67, l. 1. But pees-makars in þe fendis chirche confidren hem togidir in a fals pees. Cf. S. E. W., i, p. 321, 'Here men seien soþeli þat þer ben two peesis, verri pees and fals pees, and þei ben ful dyvers. . . . Fals pees is groundid in reste wiþ oure enemys, whanne we assente to hem wiþouten aȝenstonding,' &c.;

p. 68, l. 2. Moneþ him. It is doubtful whether the verb 'moan' occurs before the sixteenth century. 'Mone' is often a misprint or a misreading for 'moue' = move, or for 'mene' = to lament. Two fifteenth-century instances are given in N.E.D., but possibly the true readings may be 'mene' and 'mournyd' respectively. 1425, Castle of Perseverance, Macro Plays, 125, 'Mankynde! take kepe of chastite, & mone þee to maydyn Marye'. 1471, Paston Letters, iii. 4, 'Ther was kyllyd uppon the ffelde . . . Sir Omffrey Bowghsher off our countre, whyche is a sore moonyd man her.'

p. 69, l. 10. þe comune gloose. Glossa Ordinaria, thus called from its common use in the Middle Ages. Its author, Walafrid Strabo (d. 849), had some knowledge of Greek, and made extracts chiefly from the Latin Fathers, and from the writings of his master, Rabanus Maurus, for the purpose ofPage  150 illustrating the various meanings of Scripture. Until the seventeenth century it remained the favourite commentary on the Bible. The second gloss, Glossa Interlinearis, was the work of Anselm of Laon (d. 1117). After the twelfth century, copies of the Vulgate were usually supplied with both these glosses, while later, from the fourteenth century onwards, the Postilla of Nicolaus of Lyra were added (cf. Cath. Encyclop., vol. vi, p. 588).

p. 75, l. 26. þe maistir of sentence. See note on p. 12, l. 15.

p. 88, l. 29. Ordinarijs. An ordinary is an officer who has of his own right, and not by special deputation, immediate jurisdiction in ecclesiastical cases (N.E.D.).

p. 88, l. 30. Purgacioun. Canonical purgation is the affirmation on oath of his innocence by the accused in a spiritual court, confirmed by the oaths of several of his peers (N.E.D.).

p. 91, l. 4. Greet feires of þe ȝeere for þe moost partie ben sett on þe saboth dai. It seems to have been customary for fairs to have been held on Sunday and on High Feast Days, for in the middle of the fifteenth century a statute was enacted whereby fairs and markets were forbidden to be held on these days (Statutes of the Realm, 27 Hen. VI, c. 5). Cf. Town Life in the Fifteenth Century, Mrs. J. R. Green, vol. i, p. 156.

p. 92, l. 27. As doctour Odo seiþ. See note on p. 35, l. 13. The passage quoted here occurs also in an English translation in the Apology for Lollard Doctrines, p. 57. The editor, Mr. J. H. Todd, states that he discovered the original in the Flores Sermonum printed by Matthew Macherel in 1520. No copy of this work has been found in the British Museum or the Bodleian.

p. 97, l. 27. seint Siluestir took þis possession. For a similar passage cf. English Works of Wyclif, E.E.T.S., pp. 380-2, especially, 'And so musten oure clerkis argue whan þai aleggen for her lordeschip þe lyuynge of her patrons & sayntis, & sayen þus: Seynt thomas & seynt hwe & seynt Swiþune wer þus lordis, & in þis þai suyd cristis lyuynge & his lore; þerfore we may lefulli be þus lordis' (p. 382).

seint Siluestir. Silvester, Bishop of Rome, 314-35. The accounts of his papacy preserved in the Liber pontificalis are little else than a record of the gifts said to have been conferred on the Roman church by Constantine the Great.

p. 97, l. 28. seint Swiþun (d. 862): bishop of Winchester, and patron saint of Winchester Cathedral from the tenth to the sixteenth centuries. He was the tutor of Æthelwulf, King of Wessex, whom he persuaded to give a tenth of his royal lands to the Church.

p. 97, l. 28. seint William: perhaps William Fitzherbert, Archbishop of York. He was elected Archbishop in 1142 at the instance of the King, in opposition to the candidature of Henry Murdoc, a Cistercian monk. The validity of the election was disputed on the ground of alleged simony and royal influence. In 1143 the Pope decided that William should be consecrated if he could clear himself from the accusation of bribery. This he did conclusively, and the legate consecrated him Archbishop in the same year. He died in 1153, and was canonized in 1227.

p. 101, l. 6. hauntriþ: perhaps a frequentative of 'haunten', to frequent, resort to, although such a verb is not recorded. More probably hauntriþ = auntriþ, to venture to go, with an inorganic initial h, which is common in this text.

Page  151p. 104, l. 31. þe sumnour. For a somewhat similar description of the corrupt practices of the summoner, cf. Chaucer, Canterbury Tales, Prologue, 11. 649-58.

p. 107, l. 5. þis is expouned in þe þridde comaundement, cf. p. 93.

p. 112, l. 21. þe fende . . . haþ ȝouun leve to XII men for twelue grootis to passe forþe on a quest: a reference to the bribery and corruption of juries which prevailed at the time. Cf. England in the Age of Wycliffe, Trevelyan, pp. 216, 217; Paston Letters, i, nos. 155, 159.

p. 113, l. 33. oþir payment gete þei noon but a whit stik. Cf. English Works of Wyclif, E.E.T.S., p. 233, 'Also lordis many tymes don wrongis to pore men bi extorscions & unresonable mercymentis & unresonable taxis, & taken pore mennus goodis & paien not þerfore but white stickis . . .' The reference is to the custom of 'purveyance'—the right of the sovereign when travelling through the country to receive food and maintenance for himself and his retinue. Thȝ custom was liable to grave abuses. Not infrequently no payment was made; when it was, it often took the form of tallies—the 'whit stik' of the text—which gave the recipient the right to deduct the amount from any taxes he might have to pay in the future (cf. Encyclop. Brit., art. 'Purveyance'; Stubbs, Const. Hist., ii).

p. 120, l. 30. Geizi = Gehazi.

p. 120, l. 32. Helesie = Elisha.

p. 124, l. 8. Seynt Hewe seiþ. Perhaps Hugh of St. Victor (1078-1141), mystic philosopher, the author of many books. He, however, was not canonized. St. Hugh of Avalon (c. 1140-1200), Bishop of Lincoln, may be the 'seynt Hewe' of the text, but there is no evidence that he made any contribution to literature.

p. 132, l. 5. Magistrum historiarum: Peter Comestor (d. 1178), author of Historia Scholastica, a sacred history beginning at the Creation and continuing to the end of the incidents recorded in the Acts. It is from this work that he is known as 'Magister historiarum'.

p. 132, l. 6. þere ben þoo men þat boosen her bristis ... For a similar passage, cf. Select Works of J. Wyclif, Arnold, vol. iii, p. 124, 'And so soche men þat boosen hor brestis, or pynchen hor belyes, to make hom smale wastes, or streynen hor hosis to schewe hor strong legges, semen to chalange God of giftes þat he hafs gyven hem . . .' For an interesting account of fashions in dress in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, cf. English Life and Manners in the Later Middle Ages, Abram, pp. 152-72.

p. 132, l. 7. parten her hosis = wear parti-coloured hose. For this use of 'part' cf. Wyclif (E.E.T.S.), p. 471, 'Herfore biddiþ God in his lawe þat his men shulden not be cloþid in wollun & lynnun partid to-gidere,' and (1570) North, Doni's Philos., 70, 'So goodly a beaste . . . with his parted hide (halfe blacke, halfe white).' N.E.D.

p. 132, l. 7. cracowen her schoos. This refers to the custom of wearing shoes with long pointed toes which projected far beyond the end of the foot; it is said to have been introduced into England by Anne of Bohemia, wife of Richard II, and the shoes were called 'cracowes', probably because they came from Cracow in Poland, at that time incorporated with Bohemia. Cf. Monk of Evesham, Life of Richard II, p. 126: 'Cum ista Regina (i.e. Anne of Bohemia) venerunt de Boemia in Angliam abusiones illae execrabiles, sotularesPage  152 cum longis rostis (Anglice Cracowys vel Pykys) dimidiam virgam largiter habentes ita ut oporteret eos ad tibiam ligari cum cathenis argenteis, antequam cum eis possent incedere.'

p. 132, l. 11. gigge-haltiris: probably a coined word used contemptuously for the chains or collars which were worn round the neck. Gigge = a flighty, giddy girl.

p. 132, l. 11. Honycombis: evidently the name given to some kind of head-dress fashionable at the time.

p. 135, l. 19. þanne may þe soule seie to þe bodi. The Dialogue between the Soul and the Body after Death was one of the most popular themes treated in mediaeval religious poetry, poems of the kind being found in nearly every Western European language.