The lanterne of lizt, ed. from ms. Harl. 2324
Wycliffe, John, d. 1384., Swinburn, Lilian M. (Lilian Mary)
Page  139



As is the case with most mediaeval theological writers, the author supports his argument by frequent references to Scripture and to the writings of the Fathers and famous mediaeval divines, although, in accordance with the views of the Lollards with regard to the relative value of these two authorities, he evidently looked upon the latter as of secondary importance. The quotations from patristic literature are as a rule adduced in support and interpretation of Biblical passages.*. [The chief exception to this is on p. 37, where the author supports his attack on the costly decoration of churches mainly by an appeal to St. Jerome, St. Bernard, and William de St. Amour.]

In quoting from the Bible, the author's general practice is to give the text in Latin with an English translation. An investigation of the sources of both the Latin and the English texts follows.

A. Latin Quotations.

The Latin text of the Bible in use in the Middle Ages was the Vulgate. That there were many versions of this text current in England in the late fourteenth century is proved by contemporary evidence. The writer of the Prologue to the 1388 translation of the Bible bears witness to the corrupt state of the Latin Bibles of the time and speaks of the difficulty of making an accurate Latin text as not the least part of his task. 'First this symple creature hadde myche trauaile, with diuerse felowis and helperis, to gedere manie elde biblis, and othere doctouris and comune glosis . . . to make oo Latyn bible sumdel trewe. . . . If ony wijs man fynde ony defaute of the truthe of translacioun, let him sette in the trewe sentence and opin of holi writ, but loke that he examyne truli his Latyn Bible, for no doute he shal fynde ful manye biblis in Latyn ful false, if he loke manie, nameli newe; and the comune Latyn biblis han more nede to be correctid, as many as I have seen in my lif, than hath the English bible late translatid.'*. [The Holy Bible . . . in the earliest English version by Wyclif, ed. by J. Forshall and Sir F. Madden, 1850, vol. i, p. 57.]

Page  140It is possible, to some extent, to reconstruct the standardized Latin text upon which the Wycliffite translation was based. The 1380 version, in particular, is a close literal rendering of the Latin original, and a comparison with it of the Biblical passages in the Lanterne of Liȝt shows that the author of the latter could not have used the same Latin text. As would naturally be expected, the original of the Wycliffite translation is nearer to the sixteenth-century standard Clementine edition of the Vulgate (C) than that used by the writer of the tract. Compare:

    1 John ii. 18. L. of L.
  • 'Nunc autem sunt multi antichristi.'
  • W. V.
  • 'Now many antecristes ben made.'
  • C.
  • 'Nunc Antichristi multi facti sunt.'
    Rom. viii. 9. L. of L.
  • 'Qui non habet spiritum Christi nec est eius.'
  • W. V.
  • 'If ony hath not the spirit of Crist, this is not his.
  • C.
  • 'Si quis autem spiritum Christi non habet, hic non est eius.'
    Ecclesiasticus xiv. 20. L. of L.
  • 'Omne opus corruptibile in fine deficiet et qui fecit illud peribit cum illo.'
  • W. V.
  • 'Eche corruptible werc in the ende shal faile; and he that wercheth it, shal go with it.'
  • C.
  • 'Omne opus corruptibile in fine deficiet et qui operatur illud, ibit cum illo.'
    Ephesians i. 22. L. of L.
  • 'Ipsum dedit caput ecclesiae.'
  • W. V.
  • '(God) ȝaf him heed upon al the chirche.'
  • C.
  • 'Ipsum dedit caput supra omnem ecclesiam.'

In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries there were in existence a number of different versions of the Vulgate, which might conceivably have been known to the author. Of these, the best is the Codex Amiatinus (A), a version written in Northumbria in the seventh or eighth century at the command of Ceolfrid, Abbot of Wearmouth. The passages quoted in the text have been compared with A, and although they agree in many cases, the divergences of reading are too numerous to allow of the assumption that A was the text used by the author. Compare:

    2 Pet. ii. 1. L. of L.
  • 'Magistri mendaces qui introducent sectas perditionis.'
  • A.
  • 'Magistri mendaces qui inducent sectas perditionis.'
    Matt. xxiii. 15. L. of L.
  • 'Vae vobis scribe et pharisei quia circuitis terram et mare.'
  • A.
  • 'Vae vobis scribae et pharisaei hypocritae: quia circuitis mare et aridam.'
    Jude ii. 16. L. of L.
  • 'Mirantes personas hominum questus causa.'
  • A.
  • 'Mirantes personas questus causa.'

A comparison with other codices (e.g. Codex Armachanus,Page  141 Codex Cavensis, Codex Fuldensis) has been made where the Latin of the tract exhibits marked peculiarities. This has led to the same result as the comparison with A, namely, that the peculiarities of the text are not entirely shared by any of the more famous of the extant Vulgate versions.

It might be urged that when quoting from the Vulgate, the author relied entirely upon his own memory, and that the divergences from any other known Latin text are due to this fact. In a few cases the nature of the differences in reading lends colour to this theory, e.g.:

    Matt. xiii. 25. L. of L.
  • 'Inimicus homo superseminavit zizaunia.'
  • A. and W. V.
  • 'Inimicus eius superseminavit zizania,' but
  • v. 28,
  • 'Inimicus homo hoc fecit.'

and many places where the difference consists solely in the omission of such particles as 'enim', 'autem', 'vero', or in the inversion of two words; but such differences are equally likely to have arisen among the variant texts of the Vulgate in existence at the time, and it is more probable that the author of the Lanterne of Liȝt quoted from some actual current version. As has been shown, the particular text which he used differed from that upon which the Wycliffite translations of 1380 and 1388 were based, and also from that of the famous codices extant at the time, such as the Codex Amiatinus. In all probability it was one of the many 'Latyn biblis' current at that period, to the existence of which the Prologue to the 1388 Wycliffite Bible bears witness, but that it was not one of the more corrupt of these is proved by the fact that out of the two hundred and seventy-four passages quoted, one hundred and seventy agree with the readings of the standard Clementine version.

B. The English Translation.

By the beginning of the fifteenth century there were in existence a number of translations of different parts of the Bible in addition to the famous Wycliffite versions of 1380 and 1388. They are as follows:

I. The Psalter translated by Richard Rolle of Hampole.*. [Bramley, The Psalter ... by R. Rolle of Hampole, Oxford, 1884.]

II. The West Midland Psalter.*. [Bülbring, Earliest Complete English Prose Psalter, E.E.T.S.]

III. Commentaries upon the Gospels of St. Matthew, St. Mark, and St. Luke.*. [Cf. Wycl. Bible, i, p. ix.]

IV. Translation of the Gospels for Sundays and Festivals, arranged to form a continuous narrative.*. [MS. Pepys, 2498; cf. Paues, English Bibl. Version, 1902, Introduction.]

Page  142V. The Pauline Epistles with a Commentary.*. [MS. Parker, 32, Corpus Christi College; cf. Wycl. Bible, i. p. xiii.]

VI. Apocalypse with a Commentary.*. [Formerly attributed to Wyclif; now proved to be a verbal rendering of twelfth-century Norman Apocalypse; cf. Paues, Fourteenth-century English Bible Version, p. xxvii.]

VII. Part of St. Matthew, the Acts, Catholic Epistles, and Pauline Epistles.*. [Paues, Fourteenth-century English Bible Version.]

VIII. Wycliffite Translations of the Bible, 1380 and 1388.*. [The Holy Bible . . . in the earliest English version by Wyclif, ed. by J. Forshall and Sir F. Madden, 1850.]

It might be expected that in a work of this kind, written during the early years of the fifteenth century and evidently directly inspired by the teaching of Wyclif, the English rendering of the quotations from the Vulgate would have been taken from either of the two Wycliffite translations of the Bible. This, however, is not the case, for on a comparison being made, it was found that in spite of occasional similarities of rendering, the divergences in translation are too many to allow of the theory that the author of the Lanterne of Liȝt used either the 1380 or the 1388 version.

The renderings in the text have also, where possible, been compared with those in the Biblical versions mentioned above. The comparison proved that none of these translations were used by the author, although with regard to the version edited by Miss Paues, there are three passages in the text which closely resemble its renderings:

    James v. 16. MS.
  • 'Þe bisi preier of þe riȝtwise is miche worþe.'
  • P.
  • 'For muche worþ is a bysy preyere of a riȝtful man.'
    James i. 18. MS.
  • 'God haþ wilfulli & of his owene free wille gotun us þoruȝ þe worde of trouþe, þat we mai be summe bigynnyng of his creature.'
  • P.
  • 'For wylfullyche he haþ bygeten ous þoruȝ þe word of trewþe, þat we ben sum bygynnynge of his creature.'
    Acts v. 42. MS.
  • 'Forsoþe iche dai in þe temple & aboute housis: þei ceessid not teching & preching Crist Jesu.'
  • P.
  • 'Soþely euery day in þe temple & abowte howses þei cessed noghte of techinge ande prechinge of Jesu Criste.'

Elsewhere, however, the renderings are so different, that the resemblances in these three passages must be looked upon as accidental.

The natural inference is that the author of the Lanterne of Liȝt made his own translation from the Latin, a deduction which is borne out by the fact that Wyclif pursued a similar plan. Throughout his English works, the passages which Wyclif quotes from the Bible are not taken from the early Wycliffite version, but are translated from the Latin independently.*. [Cam. Hist. of Engl. Lit., vol. ii, pp. 52, 60.]

Page  143

C. The Value of the Translation.

As an actual translation, the rendering in the Lanterne of Liȝt is of less value than the 1388 Wycliffite version. The translation is freer, and the author frequently adds words and phrases for which there is no justification in the Latin original. Sometimes these additions are merely explanatory; occasionally they are used to give a certain bias to the passage in order to make it more apposite to the argument. It was doubtless a tendency of this kind on the part of the Lollards which led to the constitution of 1409, which forbade unauthorized translations of the Bible or of any part of it, and which caused a popular writer against the Lollards to say:

'Ther the Bibelle is al myswent
To jangle of Job or Jeremie,
That construen hit after her entent
For lewde lust of Lollardie.'*. [Political Poems and Songs, R. S., vol. ii, p. 243.]

Examples of such glossed passages will be found in the following:

p. 12. 1 John ii. 1. 'Filioli mei haec scribo vobis, ut non peccetis.'

'Mi litil sones, þise þingis I write unto ȝou, þat ȝe synne not in þe synne of dispeire.'

p. 23. Isaiah ix. 15. 'Longevus & venerabilis ipse est caput, propheta docens mendacium ipse est cauda.'

'A man of greet agee & worschipful holden to þe world, he is heed and cheef anticrist; a prophete or a prechour techyng lesing: he is þe taile of þis anticrist.'

p. 26. Jude i. 11. 'Vae qui in via Caym abierunt, & in errore Balaam mercede effuci sunt: & in contradictione Chore perierunt.'

'Woo to hem þat walken in þe weye of Caym: þise ben fals possessioners. And woo to hem þat ben schadde out for mede in þe errour of Balaam: þise ben miȝti nedles mendiners. And woo to hem þat han perischide in þe aȝenseiyng of Chore: þise ben proude sturdi maynteners.'

p. 63. Ecclesiasticus xiv. 20. 'Omne opus corruptibile in fine deficiet, & qui fecit illud peribit cum illo.'

'Iche corruptible werke or iche werke þat is rotun in þe roote schal faile in þe ende, & he þat is foundir of suche ungroundid werk schal faile & worþe to nouȝt þerwiþ in þe last daies.'

From the point of view of language, the renderings in the text compare very favourably with the 1388 version, and are greatly superior as regards idiomatic ease and clearness of expression to the 1380 translation.Page  144

The following passages may exemplify this:

L. of L.

Rom. viii. 18. 'Þe passiouns of þis tyme ... ben as noo passiouns in comparisoun to þe glorie þat is to come þat schal be schewid in us.'

Matt. xiii. 47. 'Þe rewme of heuenes is lijk to a nett þat is sent in to þe see & gadriþ to-gidre in to his cloos of alle þe kynde of diverse fisches & whanne þis nett was ful of fisches þe fischers drowen it to þe lond & þei sitting biside þe see brynk chosen þe good into her vessellis, þe yuel forsoþe þei sentten oute: & kesten hem aȝen in to þe see.'

Ps. xl. 1. 'Blessid be he þat takiþ hede on þe nedi & pore.'

Ecclesiasticus xxix. 20. 'Forgete þou not þe kyndenes of þi borow; forsoþe he haþ ȝouun for þee his lijf.'

1380 W. V.

'The passiouns of this tyme ben not euene worthi to the glorie to comynge, that schal be schewid in us.'

'The kingdom of heuenes is lic to a nette sent in to the see, and of alle kynd of fishis gedrynge; the whiche whan it was fulfillid men ledynge out, and sittinge bysidis the brynke, cheesiden the good into her vessels, but thei senten out the yuel.'

'Blisful that understant up on the nedi and pore.'

'The grace of the borȝ ne forgete thou; forsothe he ȝaf for thee his soule.'

1388 W. V.

'The passiouns of this time ben not worthi to the glorie to comynge, that schal be shewid in us.'

'The kyngdom of heuenes is lijk to a nette cast into the see, and that gaderith togidere of al kynde of fisschis; which whanne it was ful, thei drowen up, and seten bi the brenke, and chesen the goode in to her vessels, but the yuel thei kesten out.'

'Blessid is he that undurstondith on a nedi man and pore.'

'Forȝete thou not the grace of the borewe; for he ȝaf his lijf for thee.'

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.