The pilgrimage of the life of man, English by John Lydgate, A. D. 1426, from the French of Guillaume de Deguileville, A. D. 1330, 1335. The text ed. by F. J. Furnivall ... With introduction, notes, glossary and indexes by Katharine B. Locock ...
Guillaume, de Deguileville, 14th cent.
Page  457
¶ And whyle I made my prayere,
The Owgly Smyth / as ye shall here /
y-callyd / Trybulacïoun,
Whan She herde / myn Orysoun,
And Saugh / by nōōn Occasyoun
I wolde nat leue / my Bordoun
Nor my Skryppe / ffor no manace;
And sawh how / In the samë place
I haddë Chose / to myn Entent /
Reffuge / that was Suffycyent,
In alle Trouble and dysese,
Myn hertly Sorwys / to apese,
And stynte / alle myn Aduersyte,
Anōōn she seydë / thus to me:
Trybulacion. /
¶ 'I am,' quod she / 'lyk off manere
To thylkë wynde / (as thow shalt here,)
That with his blast / maketh fful offte
The levys Ryse / and fflen aloffte
Toward the Skyes / hyh in the heyr. /
Thus haue I / causyd thy Repeyr /
Thurgh my Trowble / pryked tho,
Vn-to Reffuge / ffor to ffle. /
'Caste thy look / toward the hevene / [Stowe folio 301b]
ffer abowe / the Sterrys Sevene /
In thy Contemplacïon /
That wer but / as a leff her doun,
ffor-welkyd / and caste a-way,
Wych by the ground ful lowë lay,*. [[Cotton MS. begins again.]] [folio 242a]
But, thorgh my commyssïoun,
I ha tournd the vp-se*. [[so St.]]-doun,
And many a-nother ek also,
With my trouble and with my wo;
And with my toongës I hem chace,
Ageyn the lord whan they trespace,
That I cause hem for to ffle
To god, on hem to han pyte.
'And somme I have ek causyd offte
To fflen vn-to the sterre aloffte,
To whom thow fleddyst with gret labour, Page  458
'ffor to have off hyre, socour,
Confort and consolacïoun,
Ageyn al tribulacïoun;
Wher-in thow erryst neueradel,
But wrouhtest prudently and wel.
'Kep the wel in hyr presence,
ffor, by verray experyence,
As sone as thow art from hyr go,
I shal nat longë be the fro,
By vertu off my commyssïoun,
ffor to don execucïoun,
As I ha don to many on;
With my toongës made hem gon,
That wer out off the weyë ferre, [Stowe folio 302a]
Resorte ageyn vn-to that sterre,
Ther to haue proteccïoun
In euery trybulacïoun.
'And thus I kan, in many wyse,
With my yerdë wel chastyse
Swych folkys as be dyssolut,
And chace at hem in my pursut,
Namly, folk predestynaat,
And swych as be preordynaat
To kome vn-to savacïoun,
That kan in trybulacioun
Suffren, and have pacyence.
'And yiff that thow, for thyn offence, [folio 242b] *. [[C. & St.]]
Hast her-to-forn haad nede off me,*. [[C. & St.]]
And, in partye, I ha to thè*. [[C. & St.]]
Parcel declaryd off myn offys,*. [[C. & St.]]
As thow mayst fele (yiff thow be wys)
With-outen any gret owtrage
Don to the, or gret damage,
With-outen many wordys mo,
A dieu! farwel! for I wyl go.
And be war, in thy passage,
That thow do wel thy pylgrymage,
And in thy way be iust and stable,
Lych a pylgrym good and hable.'
The Pylgrym:*. [[St., om. C.]]Page  459
And as I stood allone, al sool, [Stowe folio 302b]
Gan compleyne, and makë dool,
Havyng no thyng vp-on to reste,
Saue (as me semptë for the beste)
I lenede me on my bordoun;
ffor thogh that Trybulacïoun
Wer departyd in certeyn,
She sayde she woldë kome ageyn.
But I (wherso I wooke or slepte,)
With my refuge, ay I me kepte,*. [[slepe . . kepe St.]]
To have, by hyre, proteccïoun
Ageyn ech trybulacïoun,
But for that I, by gret owtrage,
Was off my port, wylde and savage,
Dyuers off my condycïoun,
And al day turnynge vp and doun,
fful off chaung and doubylnesse,
Havyng in me no stabylnesse.
And whyl I wentë thus musynge,
With-Inne my sylff ymagynynge,
I ffyl a-noon, in my passage,
In-to a woodë ful savage;
Me thouhte the weyë peryllous,
And by to passë, Encombrous; [folio 243a] *. [[C. & St.]]
I knew nat what was best to done,*. [[C. & St.]]
ffor, in a woode, a man may soone*. [[C. & St.]]
Lese his weye, and gon amys,*. [[C. & St.]]
Or he be war; and thus yt ys,*. [[C. & St.]]
As pylgrymes knowë wel echon,
That on pylgrymagë gon:
Passage they fynde, narwh and streyth; [Stowe folio 303a]
Brygauntys lyn*. [[lyen St.]] ek in a-wayt,
And wylde bestys many on,
Tassayllë pylgrymes, wher they gon:
ffolk expert, the trouthë knowe.
And in a valey that stood lowe,
I sawh on stonden in my way,
Old and owgly, off array
Dysguysed wonder queyntëly,
Off port and chere ryht vngoodly, Page  460
Semyng to me (yt ys no faylle)
That she woldë me assaylle;
Yt semptë so, as by hyr cher;
And al my lyff, fer or*. [[nor St.]] ner,
Radde I neuer, in book nor geste,
Off so merveyllous a beste;
Nat in the Book off Danyel,
Nouther in Ezechyel,
Nor in Thapocalyps off Iohan,
Swych a bestë fond I noon.
I was abaysshed a-noon ryht,
Whan fyrst off hyre I hadde a syht;
In hyre I fond so many a lak:
ffyrst, she hadde a brookë bak,
Corbyd and haltyng, bothë two;
Off rowh frese, she hadde also
A garnëment shape lyk a sak,
Wych she werede vp-on*. [[weryde on St.]] hyr bak:
Gret noumbre ther-on I tolde,
Off cloutys and off pachchys olde. [folio 243b]
Aboute hyr necke, I sawh ek wel, [Stowe folio 303b]
That ther heng a gret sachel;*. [[C. & St.]]
She shop hyr no-thyng for the flyht;
ffor, that poket (to my syht,)
She felde yt ful (in éspecyal)
Off Coper, yren, and off metal.
And as yt sempte to me also,
Hyr ownë tonge halp wel ther-to,
Wych heng out at hyr mouth ful*. [[ful om. St.]] long.
And aboute hyr neckë strong,
Thys lady, with hyr corbyd bak,
Was y-moselyd with that sak,
Sowyd sore, that nyht nor day
Yt myghte nat wel falle A-way.
In noumbre she hadde (I gan beholde*. [[as I . . holde St.]])
Syxë handys, for I hem tolde;
And tweyne (to myn Inspeccïoun)
Wer the pawmys off A gryffoun.
And I beheld the samë whyle,
In On hand she held*. [[hadde St.]] a ffyle, Page  461
fforgyd off ful myghty stel;
And (as fer as I koude fel,)
The ffylë was ymad and ment
To ffylë brydles, off entent.
Touchynge hyr other gouernaunce,*. [Here the 15th century hand in the Stowe MS. 952 stops, and old John Stowe's handwriting begins, and goes on to the end.]
She held also a gret ballaunce,
Only off purpos (yiff she konne,)
To peyse the sodyak*. [[zodiak St.]] and the sonne,
And caste hem in the wynd in veyn,
And neuere to callyn hem ageyn:
A largë dyssh, ek I beheld,
In hyr hand how that she held.
And in hyr ffyffthe hand a kroket;
And on hyr hed a gret mawmet.
Hyr syxthë hand she gan to launche
Lowë doun vn-to hyr haunche,
Wych causë was (vn-to my syht) [Stowe folio 304a] [folio 244a]
She haltede, and wentë nat vp-ryht,
Lyk as a crepyl, with potente;
Evene me thouhtë so she wente.*. [[9 lines blank in MS. for an Illumination.]]
And, by maner off bataylle,
Thys vekkë gan me to assaylle, [prose cap iii]
Off malys and inyquyte,*. [[Cap. ii. is omitted.]]
And felly saydë thus to me:
The old Avarice:*. [[St., om. C.]]
'I swer to the, by my mawmet
Wych vp-on myn hed ys set,
In whom ys holy my plesaunce,
My trust pleynly, and my creaunce,
I have abyde vp-on thys way
Tawayte on thè ful many a day.
'Ley doun thy skryppe and thy bordoun,
And do homage to my Mahown!
ffor yt ys he (thow shalt wel knowe)
By whom that I, off hih and lowe
Allowyd am, and off gret prys. Page  462
Yholdë prudent, and ryht wys.
ffor no man hath, with-outë me,
Worshepe nor no dygnyte;
In hih estat ys no whyht Set,
But thorgh favour off my mawmet,
To whom thow mvst submyttë the,
Or thow shalt deye; so mot I the!'
Pilgrim:*. [[St., om. C.]]
"ffyrst, thow mvst declarë me [folio 244b] *. [[St. & C.]]
Thy power and thyn Auctoryte, [prose cap iv] *. [[St. & C.]]
Thow oldë, ryvelyd off vysage,*. [[St. & C.]]
Thy kynrede, and thy lynáge,*. [[St. & C.]]
Thy contre and thy nacïoun,
And also off what regïoun
That thow art born, (I wyl ffyrst knowe,)
With bak and chynë courbyd lowe;
The maner ek off thy mawmet,
Shapë lyk a marmoset:
Tel me hys condicïoun;
ffor me thynketh yt no resoun
Off equyte, nor by no ryht,
Syth he ys dowmb, and blynd off syht,
I that am born off good lynage,
Sholde vn-to hym do now homage."
Avarice:*. [[St., om. C.]]
'Syth thow wylt fyrst yse, [prose cap v]
And what my namë sholdë be,
I wyl, as now, no thyng spare;
But the trouthe to thè declare,
That thow shalt (with-oute offence)
Yive to me the mor credence.
'Yiff thow lyst the trouthë se,
Kom on a-noon, and folwe me,
And thow shalt (yiff thow kanst espye)
Herë me ful lowdë crye;
ffor I shall*. [[shall St., shan C.]] sen, duryng my lyff, [Stowe folio 304b]
The vale off sorwen*. [[sorow St.]] and off stryff,
The woful Interieccïoun
Most ful off lamentacïoun.'
Pilgrim:*. [[St., om. C.]]Page  463
And trewëly*. [[trewly C., truly St.]] (I took good kep,)
She wente vp to a fosse kaue dep;
And ther she bad me lokë doun; [prose cap vi]
Wher I hadde inspeccïoun
Off an abbey, wych euerydel
(As I beheld the maner wel) [folio 245a]
Was foundyd besyden a cheker,*. [[C. & St.]]
Squar as ys a Tabler.*. [[8 lines blank in MS. for an Illumination.]]
And I beheld*. [[lokyd St.]] also with-al,
Ther wer esches, bothe gret and smal,
fful wel ywrouht in allë thynges.
Ther sawh I rookys and ek kynges,
And knyhtys (ek in verray soth)
Drawen, as a ffers y-doth
In travers wysë, by bataylle,
Euerych other gan assaylle
Wyth sharpë swerdys, thus thauhtë me,
A dysguysë thyng to se;
ffor at the ches, in al my lyff,
Sawh I neuere swych a stryff,
Nor so fers A contenaunce;
ffor everyche gan hym sylff avaunce,
Whan ther bataylle was ado,
To make hem redy for to go
To that abbay ther besyde,
And, be surquedye and pryde,
Ther to forreye, what they may,
Robbe and spoylle, and ber a-way,
And revë hem off ther rychesse,
And brouhten hem in swych dystresse,
That no thyng leffte to ther refut,
But made al bare and destytut.
Whan I hadde al thys yseyn, [folio 245b]
How al was makyd wast and pleyn,*. [[C. & St.]]
Quod I, "what thyng meneth thys, [prose cap vii] *. [[C. & St.]]
That thys cherche destroyed ys?*. [[C. & St.]]
Thys ys (to myn oppynyoun)
The woful Interieccïoun,
Wher-off pleynly (me semeth so) Page  464
Euerych wyse man sholde ha wo,
And compleyne (I the ensure)
Thys vnhappy áventure."
Avarice:*. [[St., om. C.]]
'Wher thow be wel or evele apayd, [prose cap viii]
Lo her ys al that I ha sayd.
Thys mescheff (yiff thow kanst yt se)
Ys ydon and wrouht by me,
And acomplysshed vp in dede,
Al-thogh that yt be no nede; [Stowe folio 305a]
Wher-off, in hys prophesye,
The nobyle prophete Ieremye
(As he that lyst no thyng to feyne)
Weptë sore, and gan compleyne:
'Allas!' quod he, 'how the pryncesse,
Off folkys allë cheff maystresse,
Ys trybutarye, and bor doun,
And brouhte in-to subieccïoun!'
'The prophete wyste aforn ryht wel,
That I sholde causen euerydel
Thys gretë desolacïon
And thys habomynacïon.
I and myne (yiff yt be souht)
Have thys gretë mescheff wrouht.
'Thys the custom (in substaunce),
Holy the maner and vsaunce,
Off al that to my scolë go,
By my doctrynë to do so,
And so to werke, by my techyng;
ffor ther ys nouther rook nor kyng, [folio 246a]
But ech off hem (for ther part) [prose cap ix]
Sorë studyen in that art,
Euerych off hem to fynde a waye,
How they may to me obeye.
Thow mayst me leve in sykernesse;
Ther ownë werkys ber wytnesse.'
Pilgrim:*. [[St., om. C.]]
"I may nat levyn (fer nor ner) [prose cap x]
Thow sholdest han so gret power,
Wych that art so poryly Page  465
"Arrayed, and so dysguesyly;
Halt and lame, (as semeth me)
Brokë-bakkyd, and foul to se.
And with al thys (I the ensure),
A verray monstre in nature,
(Who lyst looke, he shal yt fynde,)
And engendryd a-geyn kynde.
How sholdystow, with al thys thynges,
Ouer erlys, dukys,*. [[dukes earls St.]] kynges,
Have power or domynacïon
To brynge hem in subieccïon,
Sythen they, by gret noblesse,
Haven off kyndë swych fayrnesse,
And brouht forth by engendrure,
Kyndëly, as by nature?"
Avarice:*. [[St., om. C.]]
'Yiff thow wylt a whylë dwelle, [prose cap xi]
A good exaumple I shal the telle,
Reporte me wel in euery thyng:
'Ther was onys a myghty kyng,
Wych that hadde, to hys plesaunce,
A lady in hys governaunce,
Whom that he louede paramour,
And took to hyre al hys tresour, [Stowe folio 305b]
Good*. [[goods St.]] and Iowelles euerydel,
Be-cause that he louede hyr so wel. [folio 246b]
And shortly, thus with hym stood,
She gouérnede al hys good,
Whos name was Lyberalyte:
She was benygnë, large and fre,
Wych, in euery regïoun,
Hadde gret fame and gret Renoun.
And she dyde euere hyr labour,
So to dyspendyn hys tresour,
That hys worshepe on euery syde
Gan encrece and spredë wyde;
Gat hym honour and gret ffame,
And with al thys, a ryht good name.
'The story doth also specefye,
She made hys goodys multeplye, Page  466
'And causede also, how that he
Was wel belovyd in hys contre;
ffor love excellyth in worthynesse
Euery tresour and rychesse.
'But whan that I thys dyde*. [[dyd this St.]] espye, [prose cap xii]
I hadde ther-off ful gret envye,
And caste to fynde occasïoun
ffor to tourne al vp-so-doun.
I gan taproche the court ful ner,
A-queyntede me with the porter
And with thoffycerys euerychon;
And in-to chaumbre I kam a-noon,
Wher as the kyng a beddë lay.
Whyl he slepte, I stal away
(Throgh my sleyhte in prevyte,)
Hys paramour Lyberalyte;
And or the kyng yt koude espye,
Benchauntëment And sorcerye
I gan at hyrë so enchace,*. [[tenchase St.]]
That she was voyded fro that place;
And, by fals collusïoun, [folio 247a]
I shet hyre in a strong prysoun,
Wher I ha cast, (shortly to telle,)
Whyl that I lyve, she shal ther dwelle;
And in hyr stedë (off entente,)
To bedde vn-to the kyng I wente,
Whyl that he sleptë vnwarly.*. [[slept vnwarely St.]]
'And whan he wook al sodeynly,
In stede off Lyberalyte,
In hys Armys he took me;
At wych tyme, by sorcerye,
I blentë so the kyngës Eye,
That I be-kam hys paramour,
And hadde in guarde al hys tresour.
Wherso that he wook or slep,
Off hys worshepe I took no kep; [Stowe folio 306a]
Hys honour, gold, hys goodë fame,
Al I tournede yt to shame;
ffor he ne myghte (who-so me knewe)
ffynde noon offycere mor vntrewe. Page  467
'I am the samë (thys the cas,)
Off whom that whylom wrot Esdras,
Apemenen, wych, hyr sylff al sool,
Made the kyng so gret a fool:
Whan she was hevy, he was sad;
Whan she lowh, than he was glad;
She took hys crowne, and leyd yt doun,
And he, by lowh subieccïoun,
Al hyr lustys dyde obeye,
ffor he durste hyr nat with-seye:
Thus yt stood, and thus yt was,
As thow shalt fynden in Esdras.
'By wych exaumple, thow mayst se
That yt fareth thus by me;
ffor I kan, by my werkynges, [folio 247b]
Deceyuë prynces and ek kynges;
And al the meyne off the cheker,
I kan make off herte enter,
To robben abbeys euerychon,
And to dyspoylle hem, on by on,
With-outen any compassïoun.
'And touchyng ek my nacïoun, [prose cap xiii]
And my name (yiff I shal telle,)
I was engendryd fyrst in helle;
And ther the pryncë Sathanas
(Yiff thow wylt wyte,) my fader was;
And in that Valey Infernal
I was begete: lo her ys al.
'And my name ek to devyse,
I am callyd Covetyse
(Off verray ryht, and nat off wrong,)
And Avaryce, somwhyle Among;
But Coveytysë, men calle me
Off verray ryht and equyte,
Whan I am mevyd in*. [[om. C., St.]] my blood
To coueyte other mennys good.
And Avarycë men me calle,
Whan that I fro folkys alle
Kepe al that euere I getë kan,
And wyl departë with no man, Page  468
'Wher they be wel or evele apayed.
'And that I am thus evele arrayed,
I do yt only off entent
That my gold ne be nat spent,
On clothys wastyd, nor my good.
And levere me were, bothe gowne and hood
Wer with wermys day be day
Conswmyd, and yffret a-way, [Stowe folio 306b]
Than porë folk (so god me spede,)
Sholdë were hem in ther nede;
ffor I caste me nat at al, [folio 248a]
Neuere for to be lyberal
Whyl I may walken on the ground;
ffor I resemble vn-to that hound
Wych lyggeth in a stak off hay,
Groynynge al the longë day,
Wyl suffre no beste ther-to to gon,
And yet hym sylff wyl etë noon.
'Myn handys off merveyllous fasoun, [prose cap xiv]
Lyk the pawmys off a gryffoun,
Be mad (wher-so I slepe or wake,)
Nat to yive, but for to take.
To axe me good, wer gret foly;
ffor thys my purpos, (fynaly,
And as me semeth for the beste)
To shette my gold vp in my cheste:
Thys al myn hool entencïon,
Offys and occupacïon.
Al good, wher yt be grene or rype,
I kan wel glenyn, I kan wel grype,
Bothe to-forn and at the bak:
What I may gete, goth in-to sak,
Off entent (be wel certeyn)
Neuere to taken yt out ageyn.
'My wyl ys euere vnstaunchable,
And my desyr in-sacyable;
My thouht nor myn affeccïoun
Ha neuere ful replecïoun.
I am the swolwh (who lyst to se)
Wych that in the saltë see, Page  469
'Al that euere goth forth by,
He devoureth yt Outterly,
And neuere ne sent no thyng ageyn.
Tawayte ther affter wer but veyn,
ffor shortly, he devoureth al,
Coper, yren, and metal;
Al that peyseth or yiveth soun, [folio 248b]
To the botmë yt goth*. [[botome it goythe St.]]
To gretter wrak than on a rok.
'And as an Ape vn-to a blok
Or to a clog, tyed with a cheyne,
Ryht so I do my bysy peyne;
I teye my sylff (by gret dystresse)
And byndë me to my rychesse;
I bynde yt nat; yt byndeth me,
That I am bonde, and nothyng fre,
ffor to have theroff plesaunce.
ffor lak only off suffysaunce,
I am so teyd (I may nat skape,)
With a clog, ryht as an Ape, [Stowe folio 307a]
Wych in soth so letteth me,
That I ha no lyberte
To gon at largë hih nor lowe.
'And yiff thow lyst also to knowe [prose cap xv]
What my vj*. [[syxë 473/17666]] handys be,
I shal declare a-noon to the,
And make a demonstracïon:
I Gryppe and streyne lyk a Gryffoun,
And faste I holdë ther-with-al
Coper, yren, and ech metal;
Streyhtly kepe yt in myn hond,
Bothe in water and on lond.
And thow aforn dyst neuere se
So cursyd handys as they be;
Enarmyd abouten Envyroun
With the pawmys off a Gryffoun.
'The fyrstë hand (for to dyffyne)
By ryht ycallyd ys 'Ravyne,'
That sheweth Gentyl outward alway,
Tyl that he*. [[it St.]] may cachche hys pray; Page  470
'Dyspoylleth*. [[dispoylyn St.]] pylgrymes est and west,
Bothe in woode and in fforest,
With-outen any excepcïon: [folio 249a]
Thys ys my condycïon,
To robbe and reue with al my myght.
'I cleymë al thyng myn off ryht;
Myn hand ys lyk vnto*. [[lyk to C., lyke to St.]] a kyte:
I takë chykenys that be lyte;
Wher I ham fyndë, fer or ner,
I ber hem hoom to my dyner.
Gret robbery, on folk I make;
Hors and cartë, bothe I take,
With porvyaunce and wyth vytaylle.
And off malys I wyl nat faylle:
Yiff a pore man haue a kowh,
Oxe or mare that draweth hys plowh,
I make hem selle hem by duresse,
ffor to staunche my gredynesse,
Wher any swych I kan espye.
And as an yreyne sowketh the flye, [prose cap xvi]
And hyr entroyllës*. [[entralls St.]] draweth oute,
Evene lyk I renne aboute,
And cesse nat, whan I ha be-gonne,
Tyl that I my pray ha wonne.
'The tother hand, to do gret wrak,
Ys set behynden at the bak, [prose cap xvii]
That no man ne sholde espye
The maner off my roberye.
So secretly I kan yt vse,
Outward my falsnesse to exeuse.
Thys hand ful hih vp-on A tre
Maketh many on enhangyd be; [Stowe folio 307b]
And with hys ffeet (wych ys nat fayr,)
ffor to waggen in the hayr*. [[ayre St.]]
fful hih a-loffte, yt ys no dred.
'Thys hand, fro many manhys hed,
Causeth the Erys be kut away;
And thys hand, fro day to day,
Ys the hand off gret dyffame, [folio 249b]
Callyd Cuttëpurs by name, Page  471
'Wych hath a knyff ful 1sharp of egge,1*. [[1_1 Stowe]]
And yet he dar no glovys begge;*. [[Stowe]]
ffor, to vse hys robbery
Off the glovere openly,
He kepeth hym cloos, al out off syht,
And vseth for to walke a*. [[on St.]] nyht
In narwe lanys, vp and doun.
Whan that the monë ys go doun,
Than he maketh hys ordynaunce
(By gret mescheff and gret meschaunce)
ffor to vse ther brybery,
And for to havnte ther robbery:
On no thyng ellys they sette her thouht,
ffor off hyr owne they ha ryht nouht.
'Thys hand, by force, ageyn al ryht,
Breketh vp howsys toward nyht,
Bothe in bowrys and in hallys,
And maketh hoolys thorgh the wallys.
'Thys hand kan dygge and makë mynys;
Thys hand kan Royne also florynes;
Thys hand ful selde hath any reste;
Thys hand kan brake Cofer and cheste;
Thys hand, (in cold and ek in hete,)
Kan falsly selys counterfete,
And the prent ther-off y-graue;
And thys hand wyl also haue
(By som Engyn, or sleyhtë weye)
Vn-to euery look*. [[locke St.]] a keye.
'Thys hand kan forge (I vndertake)
ffals monye, and the prent make.
Thys hand in frenshe*. [[frenche St.]] (I dar expresse)
Ys callyd 'Poitevyneresse,'
ffor yt forgeth (thys the ffyn)
A monye callyd Poytevyn, [folio 250a] *. [Poitevine, monnaie de Poitou. 'Une poitevine, c'est le quart d'un parisi (1273 Carl de Ponthieu, Richel., l. 10112, 1o, 159 ro.).' —Godefroi. Sol Parisien . . as much as the Tornois & a quarter. Sol Tournois, The tenth part of one shilling.—Cotgrave, 1611.]
Wych ys in valu (by a-countyng)
fful skarsly worth halff a fferthyng.
'Thys hand ek falsly beyth and sylleth; Page  472
'And in reknynge, thys hand mystelleth.
Thys hand also (yt ys no drede)
Kan spoyllë folk whan they be dede.
Thys hand kan al the nyht wachche,
And ful streythly glene and kachche, [Stowe folio 308a]
And rendyn vp (yt ys no nay,)
Al that euere lyth in hys way.
'Thys hand, thogh men haddë sworn,
Kan robbe and bern away the corn
Out off bernys and garnerys;
Thys hand kan ferette in konnyngherys*. [[conyngers St.]]
Be nyhtë tymë, whan men slepe;
Thys hand, by holys kan in crepe,
And bern a-way what he may fynde,
And lyst to leue nothyng behynde;
Thys hand maketh ydel offycerys
And many falsë labourerys.
Thys hand (ageyns al resoun)
Doth many gret extorsïoun
In euery lond and*. [[in struck out, a over C, and St.]] ech contre,
Worthy enhangyd for to be,
Yiff the falsnesse wer yknowe
That he doth, bothe hyh and lowe;
ffor thys hand wyl neuere spare
Porë folk, to make hem bare
And nakyd (off entencïon)
ffrom al ther pocessïoun.
'My thryddë hand, mad by gret wyle*. [[; cap. xviii omit|ted.]]
With the wych I ber the ffyle,
I shal, as kometh to remembraunce,
Declarë to the (in substaunce)
What thyng yt doth specefye. [folio 250b] *. [[St. & C.]]
And the trouthe doth sygnefye,*. [[St. & C.]]
Thys hand ys wrouht ageyn nature,*. [[St. & C.]]
Wych euere doth hys besy cure*. [[St. & C.]]
Alway (off entent vntrewe)
To forgë money newe and newe,
Other folkys gold dystresse,
And hys ownë to encresse,
By som fals collusïoun. Page  473
'And euere in hys entencïoun
He ffynt out weyës sotylly
ffor tencresse hym-sylff ther-by;
By maner off enchauntement
He ffyndeth out (in hys entent)
To tournë, by hys sotylte,
A Tourneys to A parysee*. [[worth a fourth more: see note, p. 471.]];
By hys engyn, wyl vndertake,
Off fyvë, syxë for to make.
'Thys hand kan also (in certeyn)
In gernerys shette vp hys greyn,
Abydynge (with an hevy chere)
Tyl ther kome A derë yere,
At avauntage yt to selle,
And the pans*. [[pens St.]] ful streyhtly telle,
Vsynge ther-in ful many a whyle.
'And thys hand that halt the ffyle, [Stowe folio 308b]
Wasteth bothë gret and smal,
Consumeth and devoureth al,
Off porë folkys, the substaunce:
I pray god yive hym evele chaunce;
ffor nothyng may thys fyle endure.
'Thys hand ycallyd ys 'Vsure,'
Vsyd in ful many place,
Wych ys to god a gret trespace,
Bothe at marketys and at ffayres.
And also provostys and ek mayres
In tounës,*. [[touns C., St.]] borwys and cytes— [folio 251a]
ffolk off hyh and lowh degres—*. [[St. & C.]]
Echon they may nat hem excuse*. [[excuse St., C. burnt.]]
But that somme off hem yt vse.'
Pilgrim:*. [[St., om. C.]]
"Declarë to me (in substaunce,) [prose cap xx]
Wher-off serueth thy balaunche.
I trowe thow wylt ther-in ryht sone
Peysë ther-in bothe sonne and mone,
The sterrys ek, or thow ha do,
And the zodyak / also."
Avarice:*. [[St., om. C.]]
'Lerne, and vnderstond me wel, Page  474
'And I shal telle the euerydel:
Gracë dieu, ful yore agon,
Among the planetys euerychon,
(As clerkys wel rehersë konne,)
In the zodyak sette a sonne,
ffor to shede hys bemys bryht,
And to mynystre hys cler lyht
Indyfferently (I the ensure)
Vn-to euery crëature,
And to be comoun, ther-with-al,
To al the world in general;
To make the Erthe with frut habounde,
That ther wer no dyffautë founde.
'Whér-off (yiff I shal nat lye)
I hadde in herte ful gret envye;
ffor, yt wente nat as I wolde;
ffor, my wyl were, that yt sholde
Vn-to my lust appropryd be,
By exaumple as thow shalt se.
'ffyrst, ageyn[e]s al resoun,
I wolde, by vsurpacïoun,
ffro poynt to poynt in ech degre,
The zodyak sholde obeyë me, [folio 251b] *. [[me St., C. burnt]]
Sonne and mone (ageyns alle skyll),*. [[St. & C.]]
Wynd and wether were at my wyll;*. [[C. & St.]]
Al put in my governaunce,*. [[C. & St.]]
Yt to weye in my ballaunce.
'Al thys thyng (as thow shalt se*. [[se St., C. burnt]])
I vsurpe yt vp-on me:
The yer, I weye yt in ballaunce, [Stowe folio 309a]
And selle [yt] ek at my plesaunce;
I selle the wyke, I selle the day,
(To wych no man dar seyë*. [[sey C., say St.]] nay)
Somtyme by twelue and by thryttene,
By twenty ek, and by nyntene;
And in a yer (who kan yt telle)
The pound for xxty pans*. [[pens St.]] I selle;
The moneth also, by reknyng,
I selle for ix. or .x. shyllyng;*. [[C. & St.]]
The wyke also for vj. or fyve, Page  475
'At a-counte that we nat stryve
Affter the somme, whan al ys do,
That my loonë kometh to;
And lyk as euery man doth take,
Ther-on my reknyng I do make.'
Pilgrim:*. [[St., om. C.]]
Than, quod I anon, "lat se [prose cap xxi]
Touchyng that I shal axen the;
I wolde ther-on have thy devys:
Her ys a woode off lytel prys,
Wych a woodeman selleth me;
And in the salë, thus seyth he,
'ffor .xxx.ty shyllyng I wyl yt selle,
So that a-noon (as I shal telle)
That thow to me, (lych myn entent,)
Makë to me thys payëment
With-outen any mor delay.
But yiff I graunte a lenger day,
As thus, tabyde a yerys space,
Thanne I wyl (withoutë grace*. [[without grace St., C. burnt]]) [folio 252a]
Have fourty shyllyng (by iuste reknyng)*. [[C. & St.]]
By-cause off myn ábydyng:'*. [[C. & St.]]
Vp-on thys caas I woldë se*. [[C. & St.]]
Whér lyk (as yt semeth the)
The sellere off the wych I telle,
Outher peysseth or doth selle
The tyme, outher the zodyak,
Off the wyche to-forn we spak."
Avarice:*. [[St., om. C.]]
'Touchyng thys thyng, now herkne me,
And I shal answerren vn-to the:
Thys cas (yiff thow lyst to lere,)
Ys vnderstonde in twey manere:
Par cas som man, (as thow shalt se,)
Off nede and off necessyte,
Hys woode, that were by good reknyng
Worth off valu syxty shyllyng,
ffor verray nede and indygence,
Off bothe to makë recompense,
ffor fourty shyllyng doth yt selle; Page  476
The causë pleynly for to telle,
He muste haue redy payëment. [Stowe folio 309b]
Thys marchaunt (to my Iugëment,
Who-so off resoun lookë wel)
The tymë selleth neueradel;
'But that marchaunt (with-outë wher,)
That abydeth al a yer,
Off hym the cas stant other wyse,
As I shal to the devyse:
By Oldë*. [[Old C., St.]] tymë (lyst my tale,)
Chapmen that made off woodë*. [[of wood mad St.]] sale,
They made her sale (who taketh hede)
By A mesour off lengthe and brede;
And to the byggere they wolde seyn:
'Yiff thow wylt my woddë beyn,
At O word, (so god me saue!)
At swych a prys thow shalt yt haue, [folio 252b]
So that my payement be leyd doun
With-outen mor dylacïon.
And yiff thow byde a yerys day
Off my payment by dillay,*. [[delay St.]]
I shal the telle by short avys,
I wyl yt sette at hiher prys;
ffor yiff that I A yer abyde,
My wodë shal on euery syde
Wexe and encresse (I the ensure),
And multeplyen off nature.'
'And yiff the marchaunt, in bargeynyng,
Telle hym thus in hys sellyng,
To-forn, or that the wode be bouht,
The tyme in soth he selleth nouht,
Nouther weyeth yt in ballaunce;
But yiff the wode (par cas or chaunce)
Wer yhewe, or feld a-doun
Tó-for ther convencïon,
Wych affterward (wo kan espye)
May nat encresse nor multeplye;
Yiff he sette the sale vp sore,
As thus to sellyn yt for more,
By cause off bydyng off A yer,— Page  477
'Than I suppose (with-outë wer,)
He peyseth (as I rehersë shal,)
Hys long abydyng tyme and al.
'But whan the wode may multeplye,
Wexe and encressen at the Eye,
Than thencres and wexyng al
Ys mesuryd in espécyal,
And yweyed in ballaunce,
Who loketh euery cyrcumstaunce.
'Now shal I make descrypcïon,
And a cler declaracïon
(Yiff thow kanst wel vnderstond):
Thys dyssh that I holde in myn hond, [Stowe folio 310a] [prose cap xxii]
(In ffrenche callyd 'Coquynerye' [folio 253a]
And in ynglyssh 'Trwandrye,')
Thys hand I vse in bryberye,
In beggyng and in lasyngrye.
At euery dore I axe and craue,
My sustenauncë for to haue,
And offtë sythe (yt ys no dred)
I put vp many a lompe off bred
In-to my sak, (so mot I the,)
And kepe yt tyl yt mowlyd be,
That yt may nothyng avaylle.
'And euery man I kan asaylle
With myn Importáble cry,
I sparë noon that goth forby;
And thus I axë my purchace.
And I wyl payen in no place,
What vytaylle euere that I spende;
And to nothyng I do*. [[that I St.]] entende,
But for to axen and to crye;
And al labour I do defye;
I wyl nat travaylle in no wyse;
I kan my sylff so wel desguyse
With my mantel al-to-rent,
That the peple ys verray blent
With my fals illusïoun
And feyned symulacïoun.
'I crye and coniure al the day Page  478
'On pylgrymes that passe by the way,
As I wer fallyn in A rage;
And wer that folk ha most passage,
Ther I kan sytte in gret dystresse,
And crye on hem for ther almesse
With a pytous feyned face.
And, in hem to fyndë grace,
I feyne ful many a mallady,
As I wer in A dropësy,
Or sodeynly podagre falle;
And alway, affter good I calle; [folio 253b] *. [[C. & St.]]
I feyne me blynd, I feyne me lame;*. [[St. & C.]]
And for to lye, I ha no shame;*. [[St. & C.]]
I crye with bak ycorbyd doun,*. [[St. & C.]]
And makë many a pytous soun.*. [[St. & C.]]
And thogh I fele no maner peyne,
I kan ful wel a causë feyne,
That I am falle in indygence,
ffor to beggyn my dyspence.
'And yiff that folk ne yiff me nouht,
Than with a gruchchynge hevy*. [[hevy om. St.]] thouht
I curse hem in-to hellë pet.
Myn herte on malys ys so set,*. [[pit . . syt St.]]
On all I wolde avengyd be,
That wyl no pyte han off me. [Stowe folio 310b]
'Thys ys the hand off faussemblaunce; [prose cap xxiii]
And with thys hand, I kan avaunce
Alle thys trwauntys euerychon
Wych that on my dauncë gon,
That, by her offyce and her name,
ffor to axë, haue no shame:
Brybours that gon vp and doun,
Devoyde off occupacïoun,
And lyst hem sylff nothyng avaunce,
To travaylle for ther sustenaunce,
As thow mayst sen ful many On
That aboute the world so gon.
'Somme axë bred, somme axë chese;
And for that they wer loth to lese,
Somme axe clothys and cootys olde; Page  479
'And some off hem arn ek ful bolde,
Off dyvers housys to axe a rente,
Wych on the byldyng neuere spente,
As menstrallys and Tregetours,*. [[Trigetours St.]]
And other feyned sowdyours,
That with patentys aboutë gon;
And among hem euerychon,
I holde thys falsë pardownerys.*. [[Many leaves, Chapters 24-32 of the prose, are here out of C.]]
[Stowe folio 310b] I will nat spekyn of no ffrerys,
whiche, in every regïon,
ar bound by theyr professyon
vnto wilfull poverte.
wherfore they haven lyberte
to beggen, as them selff affyrm,
and on this text they them confyrm:
Christ axyd, when he was her[e] man,
water of the Samaritan—
I mene, the woman at the well—
in erthë, when he dyd her[e] dwell;
wherfore, befull [it] is to frerys,
sythe they be no processionerys,
to get theyr lyvelode wher they may.
'To ther beggyng I say nat nay,
so that they fayn[ë] not in dede
to axë nat, but for veray nede,
thayr trewë sustentacïon,
without all symulatïon,
that wilfully men to them profrys;
nat to shit vp gold in coffers,
nor to setten ther labowr
to gathar and hepe gret tresure.
'as to myn opynyon,
I hold it no perfectïon,
thowghe that my dyshe & my sachell
can techen them the craft [ful] well;
for bothë two (in sothfastnes)
be gret[ë] tookens of falsnes; [Stowe folio 311a]
and who that evar dothe them vse,
I ne can them nat excuse,
bothe of hyghe and low degre, Page  480
'but they be servants vnto me.
'And also, yf thow lyst to loke,
touchynge myn hand eke with the crooke,
I will the tell, or I ha do,
in what wyse I cam therto:
thou shalt know[ë] certaynly,
that Symon Magus and Gyosy,
bothë twayn, in theyr entent,
made ther-of to me present.
but the crooke, by óblacion,
was gyven tó me of Symon.
'and yf I shall the truthe atame,
the fyrst[ë] letter of his name
is an .s. (who takythe hede,)
of shape y-krokyd in the hed;
and of his name (be well certeyn)
it is chefe capytall & cheftayn.
thow wost full well thy selfe, ywys,
that every .s. y-crokyd is,
lyche a crose highe in the top,
lyche the staffe of a byshope,
or of an abot, wher it be,
thow mayst example ther-of se.
'and of an abbey, in sothnesse,
I am callyd an abbesse.
whiche abbey, by gret vyllenye,
ys [y]callyd symonye.
and as myn hand her with this hook,
of the .s. his nam[ë] tooke,
ryght so, in conclusïon,
symonye cam of symon.
'and fyrst thow shalt well vnderstond,
that by falsnes of this hond,
most horryble and odyous,
was brought fyrst in-to christis hous
the falsë vyce of symonye.
and by his feyned trecherye,
by his sleyhte, and by his gyn,
at the dore he cam not in;
but at some travas, lych a theffe, Page  481
'wher he dothe full gret myschefe;
for wher so evar he dothe aproche,
with this staffe he can a-croche
the herts of folks by covetyse,
and ordeynythe in full cursyd wyse
sheppards to kepë christis shepe,
whiche of theyr offyse toke no kepe.
'an herd man is [y]sayd, in dede,
only, for he shuld[ë] fede
his shepe with spyrituall doctryn; [Stowe folio 311b]
but they draw by an othar lyn:
they may be callyd, for ther werkynge,
pastours only of fedynge.
they fede them selff with háboundaunce,
and let ther shepe go to myschaunce;
I trow it is full well ysene,
them selfe be fatt, ther shepe be lene.
I trow, the most[ë] part of all,
men shuld them rather wolv[ë]s call
than trwë herd[ë]s; yong and old,
they come to robb[ë] christis fold;
they shuld ther shepe from wolv[ë]s were;
the wool, the mylke, a-way they bere.
I can not se wher-of they serue,
that lat ther shepe at meschefe starue,
and put them selffe in gret defame.
'and they would ekë makë lame
gracë dieu of cursydnesse,
lyke as I shall a-non exprese,
ffrom the trone of hir mageste,
by gyfte of temporalite:
his fals office I can well tell;
he can now byen, he can now sell,
by bound[ë]s of collusyon;
and all comythe in by syr symon.
'yet at the last it shall be found
that gracë dïeu is nat bound,
nor, hathe not lost hir fraunchise
by none suche fals[ë] marchandyse,
as comythe in by symony, Page  482
'nor couetyse of Gyësy.
'this hand also with his crochet,
in swyche a maner is yset
to sell and byen this gret vertwe
whiche is callyd gracë dieu;
but, kyndly to specify,
the byggyng is callyd symony,
and the sellyng in certeyn,
(for to speke in wordës pleyn,)
they that it sell, for gret or lyt,
bene y-callyd Gyësite;
but symony, (who can entend,)
dothe bothe nam[ë]s comprehend;
and all that woldë thus enchace
gracë dieu out of hir place,
to sellen hir for gold & good,
they be mad, or el[le]s wood;
and resemblen (in swiche cas,
I dare affirm,) vnto Iudas,
that ihesu christ for mony sold [Stowe folio 312a]
full fallsly, and the panns he told.
'and suche folke (as thynkythe me)
wers than iudas, yet thay be;
for the pennis that iudas toke,
aftarward he it forsoke,
and restoryd it agayn;
but this folke, be well certeyn,
will for no predicatïon
nevar make restitucïon,
and cawsë why, (who lokythe well,)
is only this, for the sachell
whiche hangythe fro my nekë doune,
of nature and condicïoun:
'what-evar into my sake ther gothe,
(who that evar be lesse or lothe,)
it will nevar ysswe out ageyn;
the entre is bothe large and pleyne,
and the mouthe to gon in by
is evar open at the entry.
but to comyn out, that wyll nat be Page  483
'by no maner of sotelte;
the way is narow & streyght certeyn,
for to comyn out ageyn,
lyke a wyle in a ryver,
to cache the fysche bothe fer and nere;
the entre large / the comynge out
is so strayt, it stant in dout.
'A-nothar hand I have also,
with whiche I werkë mychë wo
by a maner of roberye:
and it is callyd 'trecherye,'
withe the whiche, (who can conceyve,)
full many folk[ës] I deceve.
vndar colour of ryghtwysnes,
I do to folke full gret falsnes,
that be symple and inocent.
withe my frawd they be so blent
in marchandysë that I vse,
I can my selffe nat well excuse.
'in deceyt stant my labowr,
by fals weyght and fals mesure:
by largë mesure I can byen,
and streight mesure I sell ageyn;
in byggyng I wyll ha trwe wayt,
but in my salle I do gret slayt,
bothe in peys and in balance.
'with sobar cher and countenance
my chaffér I can well sell,
and to symple folke I tell
that it is bettar than it is,
and wittyngly I do a-mys
touchynge the pris, how that it gothe, [Stowe folio 312b]
and falsly swere many an othe,
sober all-way, and sad of chere.
'and whan that I am a drapere,
I hange out courteyns in the lyght,
for to blyndë folkës syght,
that men may not sen at ye full
nothar the colowr nor the wull;
set it at hyghë pris therto, Page  484
and swere I myght ha sold it so
the last[ë] day, to a chapman:
thus I begyll many a man
¶ withe this hand of whiche I tell,
bothë when I by and sell.
'this hand myght nat well be worse:
some tyme ther-with I can sell horse,
and lyke a falce coursar, I can
with othis deceyue many a man.
'som tyme by borows and by towns
I walke about[en] with pardons,
with reliks, and dedë bones,
closyd vndar glase and stons:
I shew them vndar sell and bull,
and thus the pore people I pull,
of ther sylvar I make them quite,
in falsnes I ha so gret delyght.
'to abbeys eke I can wel gon,
stell ymagis of tre and stone,
thowghe they ben old, & paynt them newe,
and make them semë freshe of hewe,
with colours bothë whit and redd;
and at theyr brestis and at ther hedd
I set berryls and crystall;
vndar, I make an hole full smale;
I put in oylë, wyne, and blood,
and melke also, to get[ten] good;
make the lycour round about,
at small holes to rennyn out,
as it were done by myracle,
that ther nis balme nor triacle
in this world, so ryche of prys,
of foltyshe people that ben nat wys.
'I set eke out swyche ymagis,
in stret[i]s and at hermytagis,
and in subbarbys at many a towne,
with bullis fret full of pardon;
byshops seles be nat behynd:
and thus I makë folk[ë]s blynd,
by my sleyght and by my guyle. Page  485
'and yet I vse a-nothar whyle:
I go to faytours of entent,
and make them eke of myn assent, [Stowe folio 313a]
and, by fals colusyon,
and cursyd dissymulatïon,
I menë suche as ha no shame,
to fayne them selffe bothe blynd and lame,
crokyd, halt, and dome with all,
on euery leg a gret mormall,
full of plastars old and new,
to make the people on them rew.
'and, for more decepcïon,
I make them to be leyd a-doun,
¶ to-forn the ymagys down to ly,
and for helthë lowd[ë] cry,
ther to have amendëment.
and they and I of one assent,
I lyft them vp my selfe anon,
and make them on ther fet to gon
with-outen eny more obstácle,
as all wér wrowght by myrácle.
'the people, takynge none hede therto,
supposythe pleynly that it wer so;
with offerynge and with pilgrimágis
come full oft to suche ymágis,
for to done ther óbservaunce:
and thus I can my selffe avaunce
as othár loséngars can,
with good that is full falsly won,
whiche that the people obeyethe full sore.
but of this thynge, as now no more
I wyll nat makë réhersall.
'& for this hand may myche avayle
to profet me bothe day and nyght,
I take none hede of wronge or ryght,
thowghe it to folks do gret domage,
whill I ther-in fynd ádvauntage.
it hathe of falshed many a braunche,
and why? I*. [[MS. It]] put it to my haunche,
and to my tonge reyse it agayne: Page  486
'the cawse I woll vnto thè sayne:
myn haunchë is callyd lesynge,
and my tongë forswerynge;
and, to this twayn, trechery
is famylyar, and of aly,
and to them bothe, of kyndly lawe,
of custome she will evar drawe.
wher they ben old or yong of age,
they be echon of o lynage,
and, by hyrë, fyrst, certeyne,
myne haunchë cawhtë this spaven.
'she made my tongë fyrst taplye
to fynd out lesynge, and to ly;
and of lyenge I made to-forne,
was forswerynge fyrst yborn; [Stowe folio 313b]
for wher that evar forsweryng be,
lesynge is nyhe, as men may se;
and wher-so-evar that they go,
barret is nat fer them fro;
all thre bene of on accord,
with truthe evar-more at dyscord.'
"Tell on, I pray, let me se
in what wysë may this be;
thow callyst thy tonge 'forswerynge,'
and thyn haunche also 'lyenge,'
whiche is so halt and corbyd doun;
tell me here-on some reson."
quod avaricë, 'lay to ere,
and anon thow shalt well here,
how that I this othar day
mett with truthe vp-on the way;
withe her was also equite,
and bothë tweyn, I dyd se.
of them, as I tokë hede,
how they begged bothe ther bred;
they were so poorë bothë two,
for theyr frynd[ë]s wer all go.
and yf I shall the truthë showe, Page  487
'this day they ha but frynd[ë]s fewe,
ne non ne shal, yf that I may.
'and when I met them on the way,
I gan to turne the bake full sone;
with them I had no thynge to done;
for me sempte, to my plesaunce,
they myght me no thynge avaunce,
nor no profit done to me.
therfore from them I gan to fle
over the feld[ë]s as they lay,
and I ne cept none hyghë way,
but forthe, lyke myn opinïon.
as I rann, I fell doune;*. [[as, I, each a foot]]
and with that fall ther was no gayne,
but that I cawht a great spavayne
vpon my lege, whiche madë me
for to halt, as thow mayst se;
and sothly yet, (who lokë well,)
to halt, I hate it nevar a dell.
for when with haltynge I am dull,
it makythe my sake to be more full;
haltynge dothe me more avaunce;
therby I makë chevysaunce,
for in haltynge is no synne;
who dothe vpryght, may nothynge wynn;
haltynge me wynnythe many a grote,
it maketh me hatter than my cote, [Stowe folio 314a]
that I must my tunge in sothe
cast out as a doggë dothe.
'and than full offe it falleth so,
that to the kyng[ë]s court I goo,
and am ther, of no man afferyd.
and whan I have the lawës leryd,
and am come to hyghe estat,
than I become an advocat,
and makë folk[ë]s to me drawe,
swyche as hav to don with lawe.
'but first I swere, with-out[en] doute,
my tunge I shall nat puten oute,
for ryght ne wronge, ne for no thynge, Page  488
'but wher I se ryght gret wynnynge.
'on that party evar I hold,
lyche a balaunce of whiche y told,
whose tungë draweth to that cost,
wher the weyht gothe dounë most:
to that party he wyll nat fyne
the balauncë to enclyne.
and so fare I when I begyne,
to holden ther I may most wyne.
'whan folke me pray with all ther myght
for to help them in theyr ryght,
wher the cawse be grene or rype,
a-non as I the money grype,
than I dare swaryn, by bone & blood,
that theyr cawse is trwe and good,
thoughe I know the contrary.
and than anon I wyll not tary,
for gold and sylvar evar amonge,
to makë ryght, thowghe it be wronge;
for I can make, vnto hir syght,
ryght of wronge, and wrong of ryght;
tourne the matere vp se doune,
and preue it out by good reson,
that in the case there is no lake:
and all I do, to fyll my sake
withe gold and othar men[në]s good,
how evar aforne the casë stode.
'thus haue I told the by resonne,
and mad a demonstracïon,
why that my tonge (by dyscryvynge)
is [y]callyd 'forswerynge.'
and withe lesyngs, (who lyst know,)
vp and downe it is y-sowe;
to falshed I do most avauntage,
and to truthë gretyst damage.
and in this plyht, as I the told,
ever my purpos I shall hold,
that yf the lawe ne chaungë nought,
I will be fals of word and thought,
in every place, wher evar I be, [Stowe folio 314b] Page  489
'that no man shall levë me:
now I ha told the of my sake.
'touchinge the bonche vpon my bake,
I wyll to the now specifye
what thynge it dothe signefye.
this is the boch gret and hydous,
with whiche this folke relygïous
bene ybonchyd, full many on;|
som, I say, nat everychon,
suche as by transgressyon
kepe not theyr professyon,
as they be bound by theyr degre.
'and by example, (as thow mayst se,)
so as a boche or a fellon
ar cawsyd of corruptïon
of wyckyd humours & corrupt blood,
of colore adust, fervent and wood,
and othar suparfluyte;
ryght so, ryches and gret plente
ar cawsë that a rychë man,
as the gospell rehers[ë] can,*. [The readable part of MS. Cotton Tiberius, A. vii, begins here.]
May in-to heven have none entre, [Stowe folio 314b] [Tib folio 39a] *. [[St. & Tib.]]
But euen lyke as ye may se,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
A camell may hym-silffe applye*. [[St. & Tib.]]
To passen thorugh a nedelyes eye,*. [[St. & Tib.]] [Tib folio 39a]
Whiche is a thyng not credible,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
But a maner impossible,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
Thys beste is so encomerous,*. [[Stowe]] [prose cap xxxiii]
Off bak corbyd and tortuous,*. [[Stowe]]
And so to passë, no thyng able.*. [[Stowe]]
'And euene lyk in caas sembláble,
ffolkis off relygyoun,
Bounde by ther professyoun
ffor to lyue in pouerte
Off ther ownë volunte,
And to pouert hem*. [[hym C., them St.]] silffe proffesse,
Ȝeue they be bocchyd with*. [[by St.]] richesse,
To gadre vp good*. [[good St., and Tib.]] in ther bandoun,
Tresoure, and greet pocescyoun;*. [[St. & Tib.]]Page  490
'ffor hard it is ffor hem to trace,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
Or by so smal an hoole to passe*. [[St. & Tib.]]
Vp to that heuenly mansyoun,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
To cleyme there habytacyoun.*. [[St. & Tib.]]
THis lytle hoolë (who kan se,)*. [[St. & Tib.]]
Bytokeneth willefful pouerte,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
Receyued with-outen eny stryffe;*. [[St. & Tib.]]
ffor, pore we kam in-to this lyffe,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
And nakyd, (who taketh heede ther-to,)*. [[St. & Tib.]]
Out off this lyffe we schal eke go. [Stowe folio 315a] *. [[St. & Tib.]]
'Wherffore late ffolkis good heede take,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
(Swyche as han this world fforsake,)*. [[St. & Tib.]]
Hem to preserue by holynesse*. [[St. & Tib.]]
ffrom the bocche off ffalse richesse,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
Whiche is a thyng (who kan discerne)*. [[St. & Tib.]]
That wyl closë the posterne*. [[St. & Tib.]]
Of Paradys*. [[St. (Tib. blurd)]] and the entre,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
And stope the hole*. [[St. (Tib. blurd)]] off pouerte,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
Whiche is, to parffyte ffolke, the gate [Tib folio 39b] *. [[St. & Tib.]]
To lete hem in, erly and late,
Alle that ben ffounden vertuous
In ffolkis eke relygyous.
'THis bocche is callyd 'Properte,' [prose cap xxxiv]
Whiche is afferd off Pouerte;
ffor pouerte (as clerkys teche)
Is bothë medicyne*. [[medcyne Tib., medisyn St.]] and leche
To launche the bocche off Properte,
And voyde alle superfluyte,
And the bollynge in echë*. [[on eche a St.]] syde.
'But Properte dar not Abyde*. [[Tib. & St.]]
To suffre Pouerte hym to kerue,*. [[Tib. & St.]]
Leste off the wounde he schulyë sterue*. [[Tib. & St.]]
Leuere he hathe, in peyne tendure,*. [[Tib. & St.]]
Than pouerte schulde his bocche recure;
ffor he is dredefful, and eke arwh,*. [[Tib. & St.]]
To passe an hole that is so narwh*. [[Tib. & St.]]
As hym*. [[it St.]] semyth in his devys,*. [[Tib. & St.]]
Outher to heven or paradys:*. [[Tib. & St.]]
His herte is no thyng ther-on set.*. [[Tib. & St.]]Page  491
'Now wole I speke off my mawmet.
The Mawmet:
'ANd off myn ydol that is so oold, [prose cap xxxv]
Made off siluer and off gold,
In the whiche (I the ensure)
Is the ymage and the ffygure
And the prynte (as thou mayste see)
Off the lord off the contre.
This is the god whiche, by depos,*. [[depose St.]]
Loueth to be schutte in hucches clos.
¶ Somwhyle, that men may hym not knowe, [Tib folio 40a]
He wole hym hyde in erthë lowe.
'This god kan makë ffolkys blynde,
That to his óbseruaunce hem bynde;
And causith hem, ageyn resoun,
To caste her lokës lowë down
In-to the erthe, ageyne nature,
Hem-silffe so mykel they assure
In eerthely tresoure, whiche at*. [[in St.]] o day
Schal vnwarely passe away;
ffor lawe*. [[low St.]] in erthe, on euery syde, [Stowe folio 315b]
Lyche a mollë they abyde;
In erthe is hoolly ther labour;
In erthe ys also ther tresour;
Erthe is ther Ioye and ther plesaunce;
No thyng but erthe may hem avaunce;
Gold and seluer makyth hem nygh wood;
Gold is ther god, gold is ther good;
I worschipe gold and my tresour
As ffor my god and savyour;
Saue gold, noon other god I haue.*. [[Illumination.]]
'I Thenke not how I schal be grave
In eerthë lowe, ther to be ffreete,
Corupcyoun and wormës mete,
Hydous, stynkynge, and horryble, [Tib folio 40b]
And to loke vp-on, odyble:
What may my gold thanne me*. [[me than St.]] avayle,
Whanne wormes han*. [[have St.]] with me batayle?
But here, while I haue lyberte, Page  492
'This thyng to-fforne I kan no*. [[nat St.]] se,
ffor in no thyng I*. [[I St., that I Tib.]] kan affye,
But gold and good to multeplye.
Gold is my god and my Mawmet;
¶ And al on gold myne herte*. [[all [my] hert to gold St.]] is sette;
ffor golde, I dyde fful greet offence,
In colys to rostë seynt Laurence.
For he, off pite (thus it stood)*. [[St. & Tib.]]
Ȝaue the tresoure and the good
Off holy churchë ffor almesse,
To pore ffolkis he*. [[to folke that he St.]] ffonde in distresse.*. [[Illumination.]]
'BUt I,*. [[I St., om. Tib.]] in myne oppynyoun,
am*. [[am St., I am Tib.]] not off that condicioun:
To getë good is my laboure,
And to awmentë my tresoure,
And (as it is to ffolke fful kouthe,)
More in agë thanne in ȝouthe,
Som tyme with lesynges and with ffablys,
Som tyme at*. [[at St., at the Tib.]] chesse, som tyme at tablys,
At merels and the botevaunt, [Tib folio 41a]
At hasard and at*. [[at St., om. Tib.]] [the] devaunt,
And at these pleyës euerychon,
My mawmet I worschipe euere in oon.
¶ ffor, wher-so*. [[so St., om. Tib.]] it be vyce or synne,
I do no thyng but ffor to wynne;
To good is al-way my repayre.
'And, ffor my Mawmet is so ffayre,
And ffulffylled off*. [[withe St.]] alle plesaunce,
Do*. [[Do St., To do Tib.]] ther-to som óbseruaunce,
And knele anoon vpon thy kne, [Stowe folio 316a]
Lowely to*. [[vnto St.]] his dëyte.
ffor, but*. [[for but . . do St., But ffor . . a Tib.]] thow do with-out[ë] more,
Thow schalt abyggen it fful sore;
And I schal ellys verrey*. [[warreye St.]] the;
Thow geteste no lenger trewys off me.'
¶ The Pylgryme:
ANd whilë sche gan me*. [[me Tib., me to St.]] assayle
fful cruelly, as by batayle,
Alle sodeynely I dydë sen, Page  493
How that ȝouthë wente atwen,
Bytwyxen Avarise and me,
Cryed trewys, and bad let be.
¶ Than ȝouthe spak:*. [[youthe St.]]
'DO to hym no vyolence,
ffor I am komen in his diffence,
Ageynse*. [[agaynst St.]] the to make hym stronge.
Thow schalt to hym do now no wronge,
(Thow*. [[thowghe St.]] thow be cruel off entent,)
While that I am here present.'
¶ Auaryce:
'ȜEue*. [[yf St.]] thow ne were not ffastë by, [Tib folio 41b]
Thow myghtteste trustë ffynaly,
That I ffor no thyng woldë lette,
But that I schulde vp-on hym sette.*. [[Illustration.]]
¶ Thy komynge is not to my pay;
Thow haste me lettyd off my pray;
ffor the whiche, I am fful wo;
But now to hym I may nat do,
ffor to ffulffillë my talent,
While thow art with hym present.
But go thi way, and late hym be,
And anoon thow schalt wel se,
I schal hem cacchen*. [[cachen St., cacche Tib.]] in a trappe,
And aresten by the lappe,
That he schal not skape away
ffro my daungere, ȝeue*. [[yf St.]] I may.'
¶ The Pylgryme:
ANd whanne that I was at my large,
And thought I woldë me*. [[me St., not Tib.]] discharge,
ffrom allë daunger to go ffre,
ffrom Auaryce at lyberte, [Tib folio 42a]
Thorough helpe and ffavour (in this cas)
Off ȝouthë that my guydë was,
I wolde, as tho, no lenger byde,
But in-tawodë*. [[into a wood St.]] there bysyde
I entryd, whiche stood ffastë*. [[but fast St.]] by.
And as I wente, alle sodeynely
I herde oon wonder lowdë crye, Page  494
And afftir me gan ffaste hym hye,
As he hádde ben in a rage.
And so straunge was his langage,
That I ne vnderstood hym nought;
ffor I conceyued in my thought, [Stowe folio 316b]
How he that affter me gan gon:
ffrenche*. [[ffrenchs Tib., Frenche St.]] nor Latyn he spak noon.
And in his hand (I was wel war,)
A nakyd swerde how that he bar,
fful scharpë growndë ffor to byte,
And redy as he woldë smyte,
And bade, I schulde me ffastë dresse,
Kome to speke with his Maystresse.
Amydde*. [[and myd St.]] the way, vpon a lond,
With-in a cercle I hym ffond,*. [[Illustration.]]
WIth-in whiche (so god me save,) [Tib folio 42b]
I sawgh fful many a ffygure grave,
fful meruelous, as in workynge;
And he bare armys off A kynge,
A Boxë, lyche a Messangere.
And trewely, as I neyghed nere,
By sygnës that I dydë se,
I wendë so that he hadde be,
Hopynge the bette, at lyberte,
ffrom al daunger to skapë ffre:
¶ To whom I spake fful boldëly,
And seyde, "I merveyl*. [[mervayll St., merveyled Tib.]] ryght greetly
That thow byddeste me ffaste dresse
ffor to kome to thi maystresse;
And by no tokene that I kan se,
I wote not what sche schuldë be;
ffor whiche, I preye the not to spare,
Off hir the maner to declare."
¶ And he to me in wordës ffewe,
With his ffynger gan me schewe
fful ffastë by, a mansyoun,
Ryght vp, lyche a pávyloun;
And on the pomel (who lyste knowe)
Wonder hygh ther sate a krowe, Page  495
His whynges splayynge to and ffro;
And with the noyse he madë tho,
The messangere gan newe abreyde,
And vn-to me ryght thus he seyde:
¶ The Messangere:
'Byhoolde ȝone habytacyoun
And the hyghë*. [[hyghe St., hygh Tib.]] pávylloun:
In that place (I dar expresse)
There abydith my maystresse,
Whiche cessith, nowther nyght nor day,
To teche hir scolers what sche may, [Tib folio 43a]
fful many wonderfful lessouns,
And many dyuerse cónclusyouns.*. [[Illustration.]]
'ANd, therffore, I callyd the,
That thow scholdeste the maner se [Stowe folio 317a]
Off hir scole, and knowe it offte.
And ffor this skele, the crowe aloffte
Is sette, (ȝeue*. [[yf St.]] thow kanste espye,)
Afftir hir scolerys ffor to crye;
That fforby passe, bothe este and west;
Thereffore sche hath made there*. [[ther made St.]] hir nest.'
¶ The pylgryme:
"CErtis me semyth it were ffolye
To komë there, or go fforby,
But ȝeue I knewë (in sentence)
What doctryne or what science,
To hir scolers sche dothe teche.
Thereffore, opunly in thy speche,
Declarë what it schuldë be,
Or ellys I wole not go with the."
¶ The Messangere:
4'A yerë,' quod he, 'and no mo,
ther I had to scolë go;4*. [[4_4 St., om. Tib.]]
COuetysë, off entente, [Tib folio 43b]
To that scolë sche me sente;
And sothely, as it semyth me,
So I trowe sche dydë the.'
¶ The Pylgryme:
"CErteynely that is not so;
Though sche and I (bothë two) Page  496
"Hadde I-ffere longe dalyaunce,
Sche made no*. [[no St., me no Tib.]] maner off rémembraunce
Off this scole, in no degre,
Off whiche thow spekist off*. [[off, om. St.]] to me."
¶ The messangere:
'THan I dar seyn (as thow schalt ffynde)
That it was, out off hyre mynde;
ffor at this scole ther comyth no wyght
ffor to leernë, day nor nyght,
But ȝeue that he, ffirste, (off entent,)
Be ffro covetyse I-sent.
'Ȝit off this scole, (ȝeue thow wylte dwelle,)
The maner, I schal the telle:
¶ ffirste, whanne I was heder sent,
I wolde, by som experiment,
Or by som schorte conclusyoun,
Haue preued*. [[provyd St.]] out my lessoun;
ffor speculatyff and the practyk
Off this scolë be not lyk;
ffor speculátyff (in sentence)
With-outen good experience,
Avaylith lytle or ellis nought,
How longe euere that it be sought.
¶ Now take heede, and thow schalt se
I wolde hauë*. [[haue a St.]] dygnyte,
Or som other greet tresour, [Tib folio 44a]
And ther-on settë my labour;
And woldë knowe, to*. [[to to Tib., to St.]] this estat [Stowe folio 317b]
Wher I schal be ffortunat.
¶ ffirste, with my swerd, vp-on the ground
I make a cercle large and round,
With karectis and with*. [[with om. Tib., St.]] ffygures,
And knowë not the áventures,
Nor the dirkenesse hydde with-Inne,
Off the karectis, whanne I gynne
To emprynte: al*. [[tyll St.]] they be sene,
I wotë neuere what they mene;*. [[Illustration.]]
SAue I conyecte yt may so be,
That spiritis scholde obeye to*. [[obey St.]] me, Page  497
'By my*. [[myne St.]] invocacyouns
To answere to my questyouns,
Swyche sperytis as I kalle;
And ȝit I knowe noon off hem alle,
Saue off entente, as thow mayste se,
That they schuldë grauntë me
Som maner gyffte, or som gerdoun,
Concernynge myn oppynyoun,
By vertu off the cercle round,
And Carectis graven in the ground,
By schewynge or by ápparence, [Tib folio 44b]
Affter that I ȝeue credence.'
¶ The pylgryme:
"Alle that thow doste specyffye,
Is but ffalsehed and ffantesye
And cursyd ymagynacyoun,
Brouth*. [[brought St.]] in ffirste by Illusïoun.
"This scole is nought, in sotheffastenesse,
Whos doctryne is but cursydnesse.
The scolers there-off, I holde hem wood;
Swyche spiritis may don to the no good;
And ȝeue thow koudeste the trouthe entende,
Harme they may, but not amende:
They wole wyrke in*. [[to St.]] thi damáge,
But no thyng to thyne ávauntage,
Who that kan lokë wel aboute.
"Also thi siluen*. [[my selffe St.]] stante in doute
Where-off thi cercle scholdë serue;
And thyngës that thow doste obserue,
Alle is but ffoly and mysbyleve,*. [[fals beleve St.]]
Towchynge the spiritis, thow mayste wel leve;
ffor the they wyl no thynge do wel,
ffor they the louen neuere a del."
¶ The Messangere:
'IDar afferme (with-outë*. [[with-out C., St.]] slouthe)
In party that thow haste seyde trouthe,
Excepte oonly (it is no nay)
In many thynges they helpë may,
A man*. [[man St., C. blurd]] greetly to magnyffye,
Encresse also, and multeplye, [Stowe folio 318a] Page  498
Whanne they be cónstreyned to do so,
And haue no power to go ther-ffro,
Comaunded*. [[commaundyd St., comaunde Tib.]] to swyche óbseruaunce
By hym*. [[them St.]] that hathe the gouernaunce [Tib folio 45a]
I mene the kyng, to whom, eche weye,
Mawgre ther myght, they muste obeye.'
¶ The Pylgryme:
"IConceyue, and se wel here,
Thow art the kyngës messangere,
By the armes that thow dost were,
And by the sygnes I se the bere;
But makë*. [[make a St.]] demonstracyoun
To me off thi comyssyoun,
By what power or by what peyne
Thát thow mayste*. [[mayst St., muste Tib.]] hem so constreyne."
¶ The Messangere:
'COmmyssyoun I haue neuere on;
And trewely I dar axë non;
And though I dyde (as thow schalt se)
He woldë grauntë noon to me.'
¶ The Pylgryme:
"THanne wote I wel, (ȝeue it be sought,)
ffor the, that they wole do ryght nought."
¶ The Messangere:
'HEre vp-on, what so ȝe seye,
Wotë*. [[I wott . . .that they will St.]] wel they wole*. [[I wott . . .that they will St.]] obeye
Pleynely vnto my byddynge;
ffor they wene that, off the kynge
I haddë fful auctorite,
Commyssyoun and fful pouste,
To maken them, lyche*. [[lyke St.]] myn entent, [Tib folio 45b]
To óbeye*. [[or t'obeyë]] my comaundëment
By vertu off myn orysoun,*. [[orisons . . .commyssions St.]]
Karectys and coniurysoun*. [[orisons . . .commyssions St.]];
ffor drede off whiche, (be wel certeyn,)
I knowe they dar me not with-seyn.'
¶ The Pilgryme:
"WHer thow be wel or yuel apayd,
Take good heed what thow haste sayd:
Thow haste ben ffalse in thi workyng, Page  499
"And wrongely don vn-to thi kyng;
Wher-ffore thow shalt I-ponysshed*. [[punishid St.]] be
ffor thi greet Inequyte,*. [[iniquite St.]]
To make spiritys the to obeye,*. [[tobbaye St.]]
And swychë charges on hem leye
By disseyte and ffalse tresoun,
And, haste*. [[hast St.]] no commyssïoun
ffor the to schewe on see nor lond,
And haste*. [[hast St.]] I-made eke, with thyn hand,
Karectis and cercle round,
And compassid it vp-on the ground;
And art so blynd, thow kanste not seen, [Stowe folio 318b]
On no party, what they mene.
"And swyche karectis (I dar wel telle)
Be markis off the deuel off helle,
ffirste ordeyned (who kan conceyue)
Innocentis to disceyue.
And thow mayste also (trustë me)
There-with thow schalt dysseyued be;
ffor this selis, thow schalt ffynde,
Constreynë the, and sorë bynde
By a maner állyaunce
To do the deuel swyche óbseruaunce
Made to thi conffusïoun,
As bonde or oblygacyoun;
By whiche he wole (off verrey myght)
Cleymë the his man off ryght;
By swyche a tytle, make hym stronge.
"And to spiritis thow doste greet wronge,
Hem to constreyne in thi workynge
To brynge thé other mennës thynge,
(Be it by day, be it by nyght,)
Vn-to whiche thow haste no ryght;
Where-in thow art greetly*. [[gretly St., greet Tib.]] to blame,
To bydde hem in the kyngës name
Or constreyne hem, ageyne resoun,
By karecte or by*. [[by, om. St.]] comyssyoun,
To robbe or steele, to thi ffavour,
Off other ffolkës*. [[ffolkis St., ffolke Tib.]] ther tresour,
By verrey fforce, ageynë*. [[agaynst St.]] ryght. Page  500
"And ȝeue thow loke aboutë*. [[about Tib., St.]] ryght,
To the kyng, vsynge this vice,
Thow doste fful greet preivdice*. [[preiudice St.]]
Ageyne his lawefful ordynaunce,
Where it is boden*. [[bodyn St.]] (in substaunce)
And dyffendid, (who kan espye,)
Alle maner theffte and robrye,*. [[robery St.]]
In peyne off deth: take heede her-to,
And with-drawe thyne hand ther-ffro
With al thi myght and al thy peyne.
Thow standeste*. [[stanst St.]] in daunger atwene tweyne;
Outher off God or off Sathan
Thow art off the leegë man;
And therffore, ffor to lyue in reste,
Leeue the worste, and cheese the beste;
ffor (schortly I schal devyse,)
Thow schalt be quytte lyke thi servyse,
In hellë with dampnacyoun,
Or heuene, to thi savacïoun."*. [[C. & St.]]
¶ The Messangere: [Tib folio 46b]
'OF thy wordës I*. [[words when I St.]] take hede,
They puttë me*. [[me St., me not Tib.]] in fful greet drede:
But, o thyng comfforteth me,
Whanne that I considere and se
There is so greet a companye, [Stowe folio 319a]
Me to susteyne in my ffolye,
Off ffolkis that to-fforne haue be
Off wonder greet autoryte,
As whylom was kyng Salamoun,
And Virgyle, off greet renoun,
Cypryan and Albalart,
And many an-other in this art,*. [[Tib. & C.]]
Maystres by experyence,
And hadde also ther-to lycence
(With-outen*. [[outen St., out Tib.]] eny noyse or stryffe,)
ffor to vse it al her lyffe.
'And this ilkë craffte also
(Who that takyth heed ther-to,)
Is not in rewarde so perillous,
Dredefful, nor superstycïous, Page  501
'As som crafftis that haue be do
With sacriffyce, and eke also
With óbseruáunces, vpon mownteynes,
In desérte,*. [[decrert St.]] and eke in pleynes,
And in placis fful*. [[full of St.]] savage,
Solytarye, and fful off rage,
That, alle the maner ffor to noumbre,
It wolde a man greetly encombre,
As thow schalt se and knowe anon
Ȝeue thow lyste with me to gon;
And ffynally, thi pas to dresse*. [[Tib. & St.]]
To hir that is the cheff maystresse*. [[Tib. & St.]]
Off alle this thyng that I haue tolde,
That, ȝeue thow be hardy and bolde*. [[Tib. & St.]] [Tib folio 47a]
ffor to proche*. [[taproche St.]] to hir presence,
Thow schalt haue fful experyence.'
¶ The Pylgryme:
"THat euere I schuldë this thyng se,*. [[shuld . . yse St.]]
God, off his grace, dyffendë me;
And he be my proteccyoun
Fro*. [[fro St.,? Tib.]] thylkë habytacyoun!
ffor, by opene evidence,
And by recorde off thi sentence,
Thilkë place, with-outë*. [[with out Tib., St.]] wene,
To good*. [[god St.]] it doth no-thyng partene;
ffor, by the crowe that sytte aloffte,
Makyth noyse and cryeth offte,
It schewith wel how thylkë place
Is devoyde, and ffer ffro grace,
And longeth (as I rehersë kan)
To the Deuel and to Sathan;
ffor, save the Deuel, noon other wyght
Hathe power there, off verray ryght.
Therffore I wole me holden heere,
And to that placë kome noon nere;
And trewëly, (to my devys,)
Thi-silff also (ȝeue thow be wys,)
Thow schalt wysely with-drawë the, [Stowe folio 319b]
And abydë*. [[abyden St.]] here with me
ffor thyne ownë ávauntage, Page  502
"Leste it turne to thi damage;
ffor, who gothe to that mancyoun,
Gothe streytte to his destruccyoun,
As ther haue do fful many oon,
Whiche here-to-fforne haue theder gon,
Resemblynge (as I kan devyse)
To hym that was the Duke of*. [[of St., om. Tib.]] Fryse,
Whiche, whanne he shuld ha be baptisyd, [Tib folio 47b] *. [[Tib. & St.]]
(In storye as it ys devysed,
And as bokës kan wel telle,)
His o ffoot was putte in the welle,
To haue receyved cristis lawe,
But he in haste gan it with-drawe;*. [[Illustration.]]
FOr hym thought he herde a cry,
That affermed certeynely,
ffor synne and ffor Inyquyte,
How mo ffolke schuldë dampned be
At the day off Iugëment,
Gon to helle, there to be brent,
Ȝe mo (as in comparisoun)
Thanne ffolk ffor ther savacyoun
Scholde that day receyued be,
To dwelle in heuene, that ffayre cyte.
¶ But this duke, hym-silff to encombre,*. [[tencomber St.]]
Seyde*. [[Seyd St.]] with the gretteste nowmbre,
And woldë go,*. [[he would go St.]] thorough his ffolye,
And with hem holdë*. [[kepe St.]] companye,
There-with affermynge, in his thought,
That, off baptysme, he sette*. [[sett St.]] nought.
ffor whiche, me semeth it were ffolye,
The to halden companye
With swyche ffolke in thyn entent, [Tib folio 48a] *. [[Tib. & St.]]
Off whiche affter thow schalt repente.
"ffor I suppose that Salamoun
(Off whom thow madest mencyoun)
Wher in-ffectte, or hadde his parte,
In his dayës, off swyche arte,
As som ffolk seyne, (who kan entende,)
That hym-silffe he dyde amende Page  503
"Off that and many another thyng,
To-ffore the hour off his deiyng,
And resceyued was to grace,
And hath in heuene a dwellynge place.
¶ And semblabely, the tother man,
The gretë clerke callyd Cypryan,
To-fforne his deth, lyste to fforsake
This craffte, and ffor Crystis sake,
Suffred (as made is mencyoun) [Stowe folio 320b]
Martirdam and passyoun,
And is in heuene stelleffyed,
And with seyntis gloreffyed.
¶ Take heede to hem, by reed off me,
And not to hem that dampned be.
Thenke on hem that ben in blysse;
And where as*. [[what that St.]] thow haste don amysse,
With-drawe thy ffoot, and do penaunce,
And haue in hertë répentaunce."
¶ The Messangere:
'CErtys,' quod he ('ȝeue thow lyste se,)
That thow seyste, ne may not be.
Though thyne argumente be stronge,
At that scole I haue ben longe,
And fful wel lernëd my lessoun;
And by sodeyne departysoun,
(Who takyth heede, it is no nay,)
So sone I may not part away, [Tib folio 48b] *. [[Tib. & St.]]
As*. [[And St.]] I kan not (in myne entente)
ffynde in myne hertë to repente,
Nor to departe vp-on no syde;
I am with-hoolde; I muste abyde,
With other scolers mo than oon,
Whiche that there to scolë goon,
As ffolke may sen ther, gret ffoysoun.
'And eke my skrippe and my bordoun
Ben I-leffte in that hostage,
And lyne in maner off morgage;*. [[Tib. & St.]]
And I ne may not hem*. [[them nat St.]] recure;
And also (as*. [[eke St.]] I the ensure)
I gyue no forcë,*. [[fors St.]] in certeyn, Page  504
'Though I neuere hem haue ageyn.'
¶ The Pylgryme:
ANd whanne that I these wordës herde,
In maner*. [[St., Tib. blurd]] trewëly I fferde
As though I hadde astonyed be;
And, as it semed vn-to me,
I stood in a perélous*. [[perillous St.]] cas.
And therffore I abasched was,
And sawe no bette reffute to me,
But ffro that placë ffor to ffle;
ffor he (schortely, in sentence)
To whome I neuere dyde offence,
Me to bryngen in-to*. [[in St.]] distresse,
Gan to callen his maystresse
To kome vpon*. [[vpon St., on Tib.]] me in greet rape,
That I schulde hir not escape.
And sche, off ffalse entencyoun,
Kam out off hir pávilloun*. [[pavylyon St.]]
Affter me, that I wente abak,
Hydous off look, oolde and blak,
Off whom I greetly*. [[gretly I St.]] was afferd. [Tib folio 49a]
In the*. [[In the, om. St.]] mydde off a book, sche heelde a swerd;
Other scawberk hadde sche noon;
And, as I byhelde anoon,
Sche hadde (in sothe, as thoughtë*. [[thought Tib., St.]] me) [Stowe folio 320b]
Largë whyngës ffor to ffle.
¶ And, by a maner ffelonye,
Sche gan loudë ffor to crye;
And, me manasynge off pryde,
Bad me that I schulde abyde;
And ellis, mawgrey al my myght,
I schulde not skape out off hir*. [[his St.]] syght
Til I haddë in partye
Somwhat seyne off hir maystrye.
And towarde me hir look sche caste,
And gan to come vp-on fful ffaste;
But as sche kam, it semptë me,
That sche sate hygh vp-on a tre,
And pleynely gan to speceffye,
Hir namë was 'Nygrómauncye,' Page  505*. [[Illustration.]]
WHiche, by my craffte*. [[be craft St.]] (in substaunce)
Kan ffolke encresse, and wel avaunce,
That ben in my subieccyoun
And lyste to leernë my lessoun.
2This ilkë book that thou*. [[that thou om. Tib.]] wolte se, [Tib folio 49b]
Is I-callyd Mors Anime,
Whiche is in englysche (ffor to seyn,)
'Dethe off the sowlë,' in certeyn.
And this nakyd swerd whiche I hoolde,
(As thow mayste thi silffe byholde,)
There-with (ffor schorte conclusyoun,)
Whanne thow haste herdë my lessoun,2*. [2_2 om. St. The good old tailor's eye caught the second 'lesson,' l. 18914, in his MS. instead of the first, l. 18906.]
There-with thow schalt yslaynë*. [[yslayn St., slayne Tib.]] be.
And thus sche gan manassë me,
Where-off I stood in fful greet drede;
But off grace, (as I toke hede)
A whitë dowuë I dyde se
ffleen sodeynely towardës me;
But with me, where as I stood,
Sche ne made no lenger*. [[longe St.]] abood.
And I ne made no greet delay,
But wentë fforthe vp-on my way;
And I mette (or I was war)
An oolde oon, whiche that*. [[a St.]] ffagot bar
Vpon hir bak, and eke therto,
In hir hand sche heelde also
A peyrë cysours scharpe I-grownde.
And, to me-ward as sche was bounde,
Sche bad (ffor schorte conclusyoun)
ffor to leye my skryppe adoun;
And gan vp-on me ffor to ffrowne,
Lowdë cryed, hir lyste not rowne:
¶ Heresye:
'FOr but thow leyë here adoun,
I schal, to thi conffusyoun,
Schape thi skryppe off newe array,
ffor it is not to my pay; Page  506
'I schal it kutte in other wyse,
Lyche as my-syluen lyste devyse.'*. [[Illustration.]] [Tib folio 50a]
¶ The Pylgryme:
"THow ooldë vekke, as semeth me,
That thow mayste not clerely se;
Wherffore me lyste, by thi byddynge,
ffor to do no maner thyng,
But ȝeue to-fforne I knowe and se [Stowe folio 321a]
Thy powere and thyn autorite;
Thy worke also, and thyne office,
I wole ffirste knowe in myn avyce."*. [[Illustration.]]
Heresie:*. [[St., om. Tib.]]
'FOr pleynëly, off lasse and more,
Evene afftir my ffadris lore,
I wole (off bothë*. [[bothe of St.]] ffalse and trewe,)
The skrippës kutte and schapë newe,
Off pylgrymës greet and smale,
Kutte hem alle on pecys smale; [Tib folio 50b]
ffor it was I, my-silffe allon,
That schope the skryppës ȝore agon;
ffirste, off this Pellagyens,
And also off these Arryens,
And off other sectys newe,
ffoundë ffalsë, and*. [[and full St.]] vntrewe,
As ooldë bokës speciffye;
ffor I am callyd 'Heresye,'
The whiche do alwey*. [[all ways St., awey Tib.]] my labour
To bryngë ffolke in greet errour,
That ffolwe*. [[folow St., ffolke Tib.]] my condissiouns;
Only by ffalse oppynyouns,
Make her hertis to declyne
ffro the trouthe off Iuste doctryne,
And cause hem ffor to don ther cure,
And amys to*. [[Amys St.]] expowne hooly scripture.
'And, trewëly, naddë bene
The greetë*. [[greet Tib., gret St.]] counceyle at Nycene,
Ordeyned by greet Constantyn,
And nadde ben also Augustyn Page  507
'And many other greet doctours
ffor to anullë*. [[tanull St.]] myn errours,
The skryppes off holy churche echon,
I hadde ffor-don (fful ȝore agoon,)
Off pylgrymes that passe by the way,
Sythen goon fful many a day.
'And ȝit I schal, what so byffalle,
Assaylë thé amonge hem alle,
And myn ooldë purpos holde,
In ffyre, though that*. [[that om. St.]] I brennë schulde,
I wole my wyttës alle applye,
Hardyd with obstýnacye,
Contynue til the ffyre be hoot;
Therffore I berë this ffagot.
'And ffirste, thow schalt me not escape,
But newe I wole thy skryppës schape, [Tib folio 51a]
Or ellis I dar vndirtake
Thát thow schalt it here fforsake,
And leve it with me vtterly*. [[entterly St.]]:
My ffader is here ffastë by, [Stowe folio 321b]
Whiche hathe power (as thow mayste se)
And*. [[ye St.]] bothë vp-on londe and see,
Thow schalt not skape hym (in certeyne,)
But with daunger and greet peyne.'
¶ The Pylgryme:
Myne eyen tho*. [[then St.]] I gan vnffolde,
And anoon I gan byholde
In the weyë me byfforne,
An huntë stoodë*. [[stood Tib., stode St.]] with his horne,
Off chere and lookë*. [[look Tib., loke St.]] ryght pervers.
And the passage, in travers,
With cordes he gan it ouere-leyne,
ffrette with nettys alle the pleyne.
And he brought in his companye
The ffalsë vekkë Heresye.
And, that men schulde hym wel knowe,
His horne he gan fful lowdë blowe;
As it were to catche his pray,
Ryght so he blewë on*. [[blew vp on St.]] the way,*. [[Illustration.]]Page  508
Bad*. [[bad St., And Tib.]] his doughter Heresye,
The passage so to*. [[so to St., to Tib.]] kepe and guye,
That I scholde not, in no syde, [Tib folio 51b]
ffrom ther damage my sylffe provyde.
And trewëly (as I haue sayd)
The nettys were so narewe layd,
On*. [[on St., In Tib.]] lond, on water, and in the hayr,
That I myght haue no repayr
To passë ffreely that passáge.
It was so fful off mortal rage,
Off daunger and adversite,
That, but yiff*. [[yiff that Tib., yf St.]] I amydde the see
Durstë swymme, ther was no way
ffor me to passë, nyght nor day.
And there he dyde also malygne
To leyne out nettys, and assigne,
There to stoppen my passáge;
So that I ffonde noon ávauntage,
ffrom his dawngere to declyne;
ffor many an hook and many a lyne
Were caste in-to*. [[in St.]] that peryllous se,
Off entente to letten me;*. [[Illustration.]]
THat, mawgre alle my fforce and myght,
But ȝeue I kowdë swymme aryght
Amonge the wawys ffeerse and ffelle, [Tib folio 52a]
I muste vndir his dawnger dwelle.
But ffirste, while he his trappys leyde,*. [[C. & Tib.]]
Vnto*. [[St., Tib. blurd]] the huntë thus I sayde:
The Pylgryme:
"Hvntë," quod I, "telle me now,
What maner officere arthow,*. [[art tou St.]]
Whiche [thus] lyggeste on the way,
Vnlaweffully*. [[vnlawfully St., vnlawefull Tib.]] to cacchë pray,
Thus to makë thyne arestis,
Namely on the kyngës beestis? [Stowe folio 322a]
I trowe thow haueste no lycence
ffor to don so greet offence;
I dar afferme (eerly and late),
Swyche hunters, the kyng doth hate; Page  509
"And it semyth, by thi manere,
Off his, thow art noon officere."
¶ The hunte*. [[huntar St.]]:
QVod he, 'what makystetow swyche stryff?
Thow art wonder Inquysytyff,
Besy also, by argument,
To hoolde with me a parlement,
By langáge, and longe pletyng;
ffor, though I longe not to the kyng,
(And thow conceyue aryght I-wys,)
Som tyme I was oon off his;
And though I hauë no congé*. [[liberte St.]]
Off hym, to hunte in this contré,
He suffryth me here, in this place,
At his beestis ffor to chace,
And assaute on hem to make.
And whanne that I by fforce hem take,
Be it by day, be it by nyght, [Tib folio 52b]
I cleyme hem to ben myn off ryght.'
¶ The Pylgryme:
ANd while I herde alle his resouns
And ffrowarde oppynyouns,
Myne herte abaschyd, gan to colde,
Namely whanne I gan byholde
Pylgrymes, by greet aduersite,
fful many oon swymme*. [[swymmen St.]] in the see;
And they were clothyd euerychon.
And som off hem, I sawe anoon,
Ther ffeet reversed vp so doun;
And som (in myn inspeccyoun)
Swommë fforth fful euene and*. [[a St.]] ryght;
And som hadde whyngës ffor the fflyght,
That afforcyd*. [[offeryd St.]] hem silff fful offte
For to fflowe*. [[for taflowe St.]] fful hygh alloffte.
And though ther*. [[the St.]] purpos was so sette,
The see hath hem fful offtë lette;*. [[Illustration.]]
SOmme, by the ffeet were boundë stronge
With knottys, off*. [[of the St.]] herbis longe;
And somme, with wawës wood and rage, Page  510
Were ysmytt*. [[St., Tib. blurd]] in ther vysage,
That they losten look and syght, [Tib folio 53a]
And ffeble were*. [[wex St.]] off fforce and myght:
And, by dyuerse ápparaylle,
The ragë so gan hem assayle,
In many another dyuerse wyse,
Mo than I may as now devyse.
The Hunte:*. [[huntar St.]]
'IDo fful wel,' quod he,*. [[quod he full well St.]] 'espye
Where-on thow castyste so thyne eye.
ffor alle thy wylës and thi Iape,
Thow schalt not so ffro me eskape; [Stowe folio 322b]
I schal the cacchë by som crook;
I haue leyde ffor the, las and hook,
As thow mayste thy-syluen se:
Thow schalt not skapen by this see.'
¶ The Pylgryme:
"TElle me anoon, and lyë nought,
As it lythe, ryght in thy thought,
These pylgrymes allë that I se,
Who hathe thus putte hem in thys*. [[thy St.]] see?"
¶ The hunte:
'IS not this,' quod he anoon,
'An hyghë*. [[hyghe St., hygh Tib.]] way ffor ffolke to goon
Therby, alle day in ther vyage,
Swyche as goon on pilgrymage?
I hadde not ellis (as I haue seyde)
Myne hookys and my nettys leyde,
To cacchen allë in this place
ffolke that fforby here do pace;
ffor this greetë*. [[greet Tib., gret St.]] largë see [Tib folio 53b]
Whichë that thow here doste se,'
It is the world, ay fful off trowble,
fful off many wawys dowble,
And fful off woo and greet torment,
In whiche fful many a man is schent,
With bellewys blowe on euery syde,
Which that myne ownë douhter, Pryde,
Is wontë, with hir ffor to bere,
Good pylgrymës ffor to dere. Page  511
'And many a pylgryme thow mayste se
Swymme in this perélous see:
Sómme off hem, (whiche is not ffeyre,)
Ther ffeet han vpwarde in the ayre*. [[hayr St.]];
And allë swyche (ȝeue thow lyste se)
Ben thylkë ffolke that charged be
With the sak off couetyse,
And ouere-lade in many wyse,
That they, to swymmë be not able,
Ther burthen is so Importáble;
Whiche, by ffalse affeccyoun,
Ploungith her heedës low a-down
Vnder the wawys off this world here,
That they may not (in no manere)
Swymmë, ffor the hevynesse
That they bere, off greet rychesse.
OTher ther ben that swymmen ryght,
And haue eke wyngës ffor the fflyght;
And tho ben ffolkis whiche, in this lyffe,
In hertë ben contemplatyffe,
In wordely thyng haue no plesaunce,
Save in ther barë sustenaunce:
In this world, ther Ioye is nought;
ffor alle ther herte and alle ther thought,
And ffynal truste off ther workynge,
Is sette vp-on the heuenly kynge.
'But ffor alle that, (I the assure,*. [[ensure St.]]) [Stowe folio 323a] [Tib folio 54a]
In this see they muste endure
Bodily, by greet penaunce,
In hevene hem sylffë*. [[them selven St.]] to avaunce.
And, ffor the love*. [[love St., lawe Tib.]] off crist ihesu,
They make hem whyngës off vertu,
To ffleen (by clene affeccyoun)
To the heuenly mansyoun;
Whiche greetly displesith me,
Theder whanne I se hem ffle.
Swychë ffolke resemblen alle
Vn-to a bryd that clerkes calle
Ortigometra in ther bokys;
And this bryd caste his lokys Page  512
'To-fforne hym prudently, to se
Whanne he schal swymmë in the see:
This ffoul hath whyngës ffor the fflyght,
Be he*. [[to be St.]] anoon off kyndely ryght.
Whanne he is wery off travayle,
And that his ffederes do*. [[done St.]] hym ffayle,
Anoon (off his condiscyoun)
In-to the water he fallith doun,
And thanne*. [[that St.]] to swymmë wole not ffayle:
Off his o whynge, he makith a ssayle,
Amonge the sturdy wawys alle
To kepe hym silffe, that he not ffalle,
Til he resume ageyne his myght,
Off acustom,*. [[custom St.]] to take his fflyght.
Thus stoundëmel ȝe may hym se,
Som tymë swymme, som tymë fflee,
In bokys as it is I-ffounde.
'But they that hauë*. [[haue ther St.]] ffeet I-bounde
With herbës and with wedës greene,
That they may not aryght sustene,
Nowther to swymmë nor to fflee,
They be so bounden in the see
Off wordely*. [[worldly St.]] delectacyoun [Tib folio 54b]
In ther inwarde affeccyoun;
ffor alle ther hool ffelicyte
Is sette in veyne*. [[veyne St., verrey Tib.]] prosperite
Off the world, and in rychesse,
fful off chaunge and dowblenesse,
With whiche they be so*. [[so St., om. Tib.]] sorë bounde,
That her soulis yt wole conffounde;
ffor they haue power none,*. [[none St., Tib. blurd]] nor myght,
Nowther to swymme nor ffleen*. [[flyen St.]] aryght;
So sore the world doth hem constreyne,
That it were to hem greet peyne,
Her hertis ffro the world to vnbynde.*. [[tuunbynd St.]]
'And som also be makyd*. [[made St.]] blynde,
Ther eyen cloos, they may not se,
ffor to considere the vanyte
Off this worldis ffalse veyneglorye,
Euere vnsure and transitorye, Page  513
'And fful off mvtabylyte,*. [[mutabylyte St., mvtabyte Tib.]]
Whiche schewith to hem fful greet bewete [Stowe folio 323a]
By a*. [[a St., om. Tib.]] maner off ápparence,
But it is ffalse in éxistence;
That is fful ffoule, dothe schewë ffayre,
Lyche a ffloure that dothe vnapayre*. [[Tib. & St. apayre St.]]
Whanne it is plukkyd and leyde lowe,
Or with som sodeyne wynde I-blowe.
Whiche bewete (as wryte Salamoun)*. [¶ Prouerbiorum, 31o. Proverbs. 31. St.]
Is but a ffalse decepcyoun;
And ffolkis that beth there-with blente,
Or they be war, beth offtë schente,
ffor lak ther eyen be not clere.
¶ 'Eke som ther swymmes*. [[swyme St.]] (as ȝe may leere)
With hand and armys strecchyd out;
Swyche as parte her good aboute
To porë ffolkis that haue neede;
And swyche vnbynde*. [[vnbynd St., vnkynde Tib.]] her ffeet, in deede,
ffrom wordely*. [[worldly St.]] delectacyoun, [Tib folio 55a]
And off devoute entencyoun,
By councel off her cónffessour,
Vnbynde her ffeet, by*. [[with St.]] greet labour,
ffor to goon in there vyáges,
Barffote, to sekë pilgrymáges;
Off ther synnës to haue pardoun,
fforȝeuenesse and remyssyoun,
Whanne ther menynge trewëly
Is voyde ffrom al ypocrysy.
ANd thus as now (withoutë*. [[without Tib., St.]] slouthe)
To the I hauë tolde the trouthe.
'And trewely*. [[sothly St.]] ȝit, ouere alle thyng,
I hatë trowthe in my workyng;
And off malys, bothe day and nyght,
Werrey*. [[werray St., Verrey Tib.]] trouthe with al my myght.
'By namë, callyd I am Sathan;
The whiche, as ffer as euere I kan,
I worke, in myne entencyoun,
ffor to cacche, in my bandoun,
Alle pylgrymes (as thow mayst se,)
That swymmen in the wawy see Page  514
'Off this world, fful off disseyte.
'And euere I lye in greet awayte,
And no moment I ne ffyne
ffor to leyne out hook and lyne.
'My lyne (by demonstracyoun)
I-callyd is Temptacyoun;
And whanne that ffolke (in ther entente)
Off herte and wylle ther-to concente,
Thanne on myn hook (by ffalse awayte,)
They ben I-cacchyd with the bayte;
And thannë, by fful mortal lawe,
Tó my bandoun, I hem drawe.
'I leye out nettës nyght and day,
In water and lond, to cacche my pray.
'With nettys, I haue eke my repayre [Tib folio 55b] [Stowe folio 224a]
ffor bryddes that ffleen eke in the hayre,
ffor to make hem ffalle adown
ffrom ther contemplacyown.
And, thus ffolkys to bygyle,
I am a ffoulere eke som whyle;
ffor alle that hygh or lowë goon,
I makë nettis ffor euerychoon,
(In myne entente, it is no drede),
To cacche hem, outher*. [[or St.]] by ffoot or hede,
As an vreyne wewyth*. [[wevithe St.]] a calle,
To makë fflyes there-in to*. [[to om. St.]] ffalle.
'But I ne may not do no wronge
To ffolke that ben in vertu stronge.
I venquysche (nouther nygh nor fferre)
No man that halte ageyne me werre;
And ffeble is my vyolence,
Whanne ther is manly résystence.
ANd ȝit I haue a thowsande treynes,
And as many laas and cheynes,
With*. [[om. St.]] whiche I compasse, day by day,
To lettë pylgrymes on ther way;
ffor I, by ffalse illusyoun
And by dyssumylacyoun,*. [[dyssimilasyon St.]]
Kan me*. [[me St., mys Tib.]] transfformë (anoon ryght,)
To lykenesse off an aungel bryght; Page  515
'Take off hym the résemblaunce,
The vesage and the contenaunce,
So to disseyuen, in couert;
And to an heremyte in desert;
I*. [[And I Tib., I St.]] dyde oonës so appere,
fful off ffetheres bryght and clere,
And toke*. [[toke St., do Tib.]] on me the message
Off an aungel, by my vysage,
And bad vn-to that hooly man
To kepe hym warly ffrom Sathan,
ffor he was schapen, by batayle, [Tib folio 56a]
The nexte morewe, hym to assayle;
And tolde hym also, (ffynally,
ffor to disceyve hym sotylly,)
He woldë takë, (in sothenesse,)
Off hys ffader the lyknesse,
Bothe vesage and contenaunce,
The maner and the résemblaunce.*. [[Illustration.]]
'ANd bad the heremyte anoon ryght
To fforce hym, at the ffirstë syght,
To smyte hym ffirste, with knyffe or swerde,
And no thyng to ben afferde
With al his myghtty vyolence,
Whanne he cam ffirste to his presence.
¶ And so, vpon the nextë morewe,
ffor to encresse his dool and sorewe,
I made his ffader hym vesyte;
And anoon, this seyde heremyte, [Stowe folio 324b]
This Innocent, thys cely man,
Wenynge hit haddë be Sathan,
Vp sterte anoon, and toke a knyff,
And raffte his ffader off his lyff,
That he to groundë ffel downe deed.
'And thus I kan (who takyth heed)
A thousande weyës, ffolke*. [[ffolke to St.]] dysceyue, [Tib folio 56b]
Or they my treynës*. [[trappis St.]] kan conceyue.
And therffore,*. [[therfore St., herffore Tib.]] be wel war off me,
ffor I caste eke*. [[eke to St.]] dysseyuë the;
Ȝeue I at largë may the ffynde, Page  516
'In my laas*. [[lace St.]] I schal the bynde;
¶ ffor, as seynt Petre lyste endyte,*. [[tendit St.]]*. [¶ Prima Petri. 7o. Tanquam leo rugiens . . ]
And in his pystelys ffor to wryte,
I go and serchë, day and nyght,
With alle my fforce, with al my myght,
Lyche a ravenous lyoun,
ffor to devoure, vp and doun,
Allë ffolkys, ȝonge and oolde,
That lambre*. [[lambes St.]] be off cristis ffoolde.
I haue off hem, fful ȝore agoon,
Off hem devoured many oon;
Strangelyd mo than I kan telle;
And that*. [[it St.]] were to longe to dwelle,
ffor to rekene hem alle in nowmbre,
Thousandis mo than I kan nowmbre;
And trewely, in two hundred ȝer,
I koude not tellë the maner
Off alle my treynës by and by.
'And I warne the outerly,
Thow schalt not lyghttely (ȝeue I may,)
ffro my daunger skape away.'
¶ The Pylgryme:
"WHer thow be wel or yuel apayd
In the wordes that thow haste sayd,
I haue ffounden a greet dyffence,
To make ageyne thé, résistence,
And conceyued*. [[conseyvyd St., conceyue Tib.]] it in my thought.
Blowe thyne horne, and sparë nought,
ffor thow schalt ffayle (ȝeue that I may)
To make off me*. [[the St.]] schortely thi pray." [Tib folio 57a]
And to be more stronge in vertu,
With the crosse off crist ihesu,
And off his gracë moste benygne,
I gan me crossen, and eke sygne,
ffor to assurë*. [[tassure St.]] my passage
Ageyne his laas so fful off rage.
And by my crossynge, I anoon
Gan to passe hem euerichoon;
They hadde no power ffor to laste;
ffor, by the vertu, they to-braste; Page  517
And I anoon gan ffastë fflee, [Stowe folio 325a]
And wolde haue taken anoon the see;
But, longe or I entter myght,
Whan*. [[St., Tib. blurd]] Sathan off me hadde a syght,
He gan to crye (so stood the cas)
'Out and harow! allas, allas!'
¶ Sathan the hunte weymentith*. [[huntar St.]] And tormentyth with hym silffe.*. [[sathan ye huntar St.]]*. [[Illustration.]]
'Vnhappy,*. [[St., I vnhappy Tib.]] and fful off meschaunce
I was, whanne I dyde me avaunce
In any wysë ffor to teche
Vertu, or*. [[of St.]] trowthë ffor to preche;
ffor, it longeth not to me
To techë trouthe in no degre;
But, off ffortune it happë so, [Tib folio 57b]
That I be cónstreynëd ther-to,
By vertu off som orysoun
Or by som conyurisoun,*. [[coniurasion St.]]
That greetë*. [[greet Tib., grete St.]] clerkës me compelle,
The verrey trowthë ffor to telle,
Mawgrey my wylle, off many a thyng,
By vertu off the greetë*. [[gret St., greet Tib.]] kyng.
ffor ellys (who that kan espye)
My purpos is, euere ffor to lye,
And*. [[I St.]] haue disseyued fful many a man,
Ryght as dydë Iulyan.
'Though I were by hym constreyned,
And by his charmës greetly peyned,
Ȝit at the laste, whanne I abrayde,
I lyëd, alle that euere I sayde.
And now I oughte a-cursyd be,
Whanne that I gan medle me
To seyne a trouthe agaynës*. [[agayns Tib., St.]] kynde,
Sethen men, in me may*. [[ne may in me St.]] noon ffynde;
There-off I répente me fful sore,
With trowthë, medle I wole no more.'
¶ The Pylgryme answerth to Satan:*. [[pilgrim St.]]
"OSathan, thi displesaunce
Was to me fful greet plesaunce, Page  518
"Releuynge me off my distresse."
I took there-off greet hardynesse,
Made as tho*. [[thow St.]] no lenger lette,
I spared nowther hook nor nette,
But, trustynge (in conclusyoun)
Vp-on my skrippe and my burdoun,
And there-vp-on I bylened*. [[lened St.]] me
Whanne I entryd in-to the see;
And, in swymmynge to be more stable, [Tib folio 58a]
Me thought my skryppë proffitable
To kepe me sure in herte and thought,
In my way, that I errëd nought.*. [[Illustration.]]
TRewely,*. [[yet truly St.]] in this dredefful see,
Is*. [[om. St.]] greet myscheeff and aduersyte:
Many a perel (I ȝou ensure,)
And many a straungë áventure
I ffeltë tho in my passage,
Off wawys and off*. [[of St., om. Tib.]] rokkis rage, [Stowe folio 325b]
And many a tempeste (in certeyn)
Off thondrynge, lyghtnynge, and off reyn,
And other perels that be-ffelle,
That, ȝeue I schulde hem allë telle,
Or the myschévës alle endyte,
They were to longë for*. [[for St., om. Tib.]] to wryte.
But while that I, in my passáge,
Byheelde the see, sterne and saváge,
Me thought I sawe bysydë me,
That there stood a greenë tre;
And I was glad alle*. [[of St.]] thilkë while,
Wenynge there hadde ben an yle,
In hopë that I schuldë londe,
Hastely, vp at som stronde,
Whiche was to me fful greet plesaunce. [Tib folio 58b]
And as I gan my silffe avaunce,
And thederward gan ffastë hye,
Anoon my sylffe I dyde aspye
(Whanne that I gan lokë wel)
That I was caste vp-on a whel,
Off whiche to-fforne I sawgh no thynge; Page  519
ffor the ffloodes, in ther fflowynge,
Hadde with his wawës euerydel
Ouere-fflowyd so that whel,
That I toke no heede there-at,
Tyl sodeynely there-on I sat.
And wyldëly the wawys smette
Vp-on this whel, ay as they mette;
ANd euere round, (as thoughtë me,)
This whel wente aboute the tre,
Where-off, I astonyed was,
Whanne I sawe this sodeyne caas.
Vp on whichë tre anoon,
I sawgh nestys fful many oon;
And bryddës (that I koudë knowe,)
Sommë hyh, and sommë*. [[som Tib., some St.]] lowe,
Ther nestis made (I toke good hede)
Grete and smale (it is no drede).
¶ And I demëd,*. [[it semyd St.]] in certeyne, [Tib folio 59a]
That this tre haddë hoolys tweyne;
And on the hygher hoole aloffte,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
I sawe an hand putte out fful offte.*. [[St. & Tib.]]
And this hand (as to my look)*. [[St. & Tib.]]
To the nestis put up an hook,*. [[St. & Tib.]]
And (as to myne inspeccyoun)
Was besy to pulle the nestis doun.
And as I stode a lytel throwe*. [[St. & Tib.]]
At the hoole that stood moste lowe,
I sawgh heedës lokynge oute
Towarde the braunches rounde aboute,
In purpos (ȝeue it myght haue be)
To clymbe vp hyghë on that*. [[hygh . . that Tib., highe . . thilke St.]] tre: [Stowe folio 236a]
They wolde haue take it ffayne in honde.
And there I sawe a lady stonde
Amonge the wyldë wawys trowble,
Vp-on a whel dyuerse and dowble.
Departyd was her garnemente,
Halffe hool, and haluendel was rente;
The to party, as snow was white
To loke vp-on, off greet delyte;
The tother party (ás thought me) Page  520
Was ffoule and owgely on to se.
And hir vysage eke also
Was departyd euene a two;
The to party was amyable,
And to byholdë délytable,
Bothe off porte and off manere,
Glad and lawynge off hir chere;
¶ The tother syde, hydous and old,
Whiche was ryuelyd many ffold;
And on hir schuldres rownd and square,
A crokyd staffe in sothe sche bare.
And whanne I gan al this aduerte,
Dyscomffórtyd in myn herte*. [[Illustration.]]
THanne was I, greetly agaste*. [[I was, and gretly gan gaste St.]]; [Tib folio 59b]
And my burdoun I heelde ryghte ffaste,
And dyde also greetly my peyne
To grype it with myne handës tweyne;
And seyde, (off sodeyne moscyoun,)
"Bordoun," quod I, "bordoun, bordoun!
But thow me helpë*. [[helpe now St.]] in this caas,
I may*. [[may well St.]] wepe and seyne 'allas,'
My peynës ben so scharpe and kene.
And but thow helpë to sustene
Myne nownpowere and inpotence,*. [[impotence St.]]
That I may stonden at dyffence
Vp-on my ffeet, and that anoon,
ffare-wel! my Ioye is alle agoon!"
¶ But tho, thorough helpe off my bordoun,
I roos vp as a champyoun.
But whanne this lady dyde espye
That I was vp, sche gan to hye
ffor to haue putte*. [[taput St.]] me doun ageyn;
And I trowe ryght wel certeyn,
That, but I haddë spoken ffayre,
And off my porte be debonayre,
I hadde ben to*. [[to St., fful Tib.]] ffeble off myght,
Vp-on my ffeet to stonde*. [[tastand St.]] vp ryght.
BVt I abrayde, and bade in deede [Tib folio 60a]
that sche scholdë taken heede Page  521
To thilkë party that was ffayre
Off hir, and putte me ffro dispayre,
And schewë, lyke hir contenaunce,
Som counfforte or som plesaunce;
And that sche wolde expownë me
What lady that sche schuldë be,
Hir name, hir power, euerydel, [Stowe folio 326b]
Bothe off hir and off hir whel,
And off the tre, and off the croppe,
And off the nestis in the coppe,*. [[cop St.]]
And do to*. [[done to St., do Tib.]] me som ávauntage,
To ffurthre me in my vyage.*. [Stowe leaves a blank of 10 lines in his copy, and puts a side|note "fortune should be porturatyd."]
¶ ffortune:
'IN me (schortely to expresse)
There is no maner stablenesse;
ffor, (be hereoff ryght wel certeyn,)
Alle that I worke, is vncerteyn;
Lyke my dowble contenaunce,
I am so fful off variaunce.
Therffore, to axe how I me guye,
It is no wysdam, but ffolye;
I worke no thyng in certeynte,
But fful off greet duplycyte.
I am what-euere I do provyde;
ffor I lawe*. [[lawghe St.]] on the ryghtë*. [[ryght Tib., St.]] syde,
And schewe a cher off greet delyte
On the party that I am white.*. [[delyt . . . whit St.]]
Thanne men me callë 'glad ffortune';
But, no while I do contune;
ffor, longe or ffolke may aparceyue,
I kan hem sodeynely disseyue,
*. [The text is now again taken up from MS. Cott. Vit. c. xiii. leaf 253.]And make her Ioyë go to wrak [Stowe folio 327a] *. [[Cott. Vitell. C. 13.]]
Wyth ffroward mowhës at the bak. [Tib folio 60b]
'Than y, lykned*. [[lykenyd St.]] to the moone,
ffolk wyl chaunge my namë sone;
And fro my whel whan they are falle, Page  522
"Infortunë' they me calle.
To ffolk vnworthy, and nat dygne,
I am somwhylë most benygne,
Lyggynge awayt in euery cost,
Off ffolk whom that*. [[that Tib., om. C., St.]] I cherysshe most.
And who that on me set hys lust,
I kan deceyve hym off hys trust.
Tak hed pleynly, and thow shalt se
A pleyn exaumple off thys tre,
How thys tre (at O word)
May be resemblyd to the world.
¶ 'ffyrst, in thys world be grete estatys,
Off kyngës, prynces, and off*. [[off om. Tib., of St.]] prelátys,
Wych in thys erthë*. [[world St.]] chaungen offte.
And the nestys hyh aloffte
Ben degrëes*. [[degrees Tib., degres C., St.]] off lordshepe,
That so offte on heihtë lepe,
Bothe off hyh and lowh degre.
'And they that al by-nethë be,
Loke vp-ward, and al day gaze,
As yt wer vp-on A maze:
Tho be they, that so offte
Desyre for to clymbe aloffte
To hih estat and hih degre,
ffrom ther estaat off pouerte.
'Somme*. [[(? None), Some Tib., St.]] off hem may longe abyde,
ffor I sette hem offte asyde;
Wych thyng to hym ys no thyng soote,
Whan they be longe pút vnder ffoote
Thorgh my double varyaunce.
And sommë kan han*. [[haue St., som kan haue Tib.]] suffysaunce,
And ben ryht glad in ther entent [folio 254b]
Off the lytel that god hath sent; [Tib folio 61a]
They ha*. [[haueth Tib.]] no care for*. [[of St., for Tib.]] ther dyspence.
And somme haue euere Indygence,
And kan with no thyng be content,
With coveytyse they be so blent,
Wych, for ther ounë wrechchydnesse, [Stowe folio 327b]
Lyve euere in pouert and dystresse.
'Touchyng my whel (yt ys no doute,) Page  523
'Wych tourneth euere round aboute,
Ther may no man aloffte Abyde
But yiff so be I be hys guyde.
Yt turneth euere to and ffro;
The pley ther-off ys meynt with wo;
The wychë whel (who that*. [[C., St., whiche whel who Tib.]] kan se,)
Ys a pereyl off the se,
On, the grettest off echon,*. [[one . . . one St.]]
ffor to rekne hem on by on;
And, thys phylisoffres alle,
'Karybdis' lyst yt for to calle,
Yt devoureth so many A man,
Ye, mo than I rehersë kan.'
¶ The Pylgrym*. [[Tib., pilgryme St., om. C.]]:
"Touchyng thy staff, tel on, lat se
What maner tookne yt may be,
That yt corbyd lych and*. [[an Tib.]] Crook,
And mad in maner off*. [[lyke St.]] an hook."
¶ Dame Fortune*. [[Tib., om. C.]]:
'With thys Crook, by gret vengaunce,
ffolk, that to soon*. [[to fforne Tib., St.]] I dyde avaunce,
Thorgh my transmutacïoun,
Al sodeynly I rende hem doun,
That sat in chayerys hih aloffte;
To whom ther fal ys*. [[falls St.]] no thyng soffte. [Tib folio 61b]
Reyse vp ageyn al sodeynly
Other that be nothyng worthy,
And cause ek sommë (Est and west)
ffor to bylde fful hih ther nest [folio 255a]
And ther habytcïoun;
Somtyme, off wyl, nat off resoun,
I take noon hed off no degre,
But only off my volunte.'
¶ The Pylgryme*. [[Tib., om. C.]]:
"fful ffayn I wolde ek vnderstonde
The menyng also off the hond,
At the hoolë hyh aloffte,
That reyseth vp his crook so offte,
The nestys for to rende a-doun:
Tel me thexposicïoun." Page  524
¶ Dame Fortune*. [[Tib., om. C.]]:
'The nestys hih vp-on the tre,
That ben hyest off degre,
Ben they off ryht and good resoun
That entre by successïoun, [Stowe folio 328a]
As kynges, by iust enherytaunce,
Whom that trouthë lyst avaunce*. [[trouthe habundaunce Tib.]]
Only by lyneal dyscent,
Hys lyges echon*. [[leegis echone Tib.]] off assent;
Or,*. [[Or Tib., Off C., of St.]] for lak off successïoun,
Swyche as by elleccïoun
Ben reysed vp to hih degre,
As many princes and lordys be.
'Thogh I to hem have envye,
To reve hem off ther Regalye,
Yet, thogh I ther-to haue no myght
ffor to robbe hem off ther ryht, [Tib folio 62a]
Yet (who lyst looke with Eyen cler)
They be ful offte in my daunger;
ffor they may nat assuryd be
Ageyn my mutabylyte,
Nor ageyn my mortal stryff;
ffor offtë sythe they lese her lyff
By compassyng off ffals Tresoun,
By mordre also, and poysoun.
And trewly, al thys frowardnesse [folio 255b]
Ys tookned*. [[tokenyd St.]] by the crookydnesse
Off my staff and off my crok,
Wrong*. [[wronge St.]] at the ende, as ys an hook.
'And whan I loke with Eyen cler,
Lawhe on ffolk,*. [[folk, om. Tib., folke St.]] and make hem cher,
Thanne lygge I rathest in a-wayt,
ffor to don hem som deceyt.
'Lo, her ys al; go forth*. [[fforthe Tib., forthe St., foth C.]] thy way;
And trustë wel, yiff that I may,
What weye euere that thow go,
Or thy pylgrymage be do,—
Tourne yt to sour, outher to swete,—
Onys I shal yet*. [[ther St.]] with the mete.'
¶ Fortune is walkyd.*. [[Tib., om. C., St.]]Page  525
And ffortune wente her way A-noon.
And also sone as she was gon,
I stood in dred and in gret doute
Vp-on hyr whel turnynge aboute,
Tyl that,*. [[That I, Tib.]] by reuolucïoun,
I*. [[I om. Tib.]] was cast fful lowe A-doun,
By power off that*. [[the Tib.]] double quene;
ffor, I myghte me nat sustene,
In iupartye and in gret dred,
Wysshynge that I hadde be ded. [Stowe folio 238b]
And in trouble and gret peyne, [Tib folio 62b]
Thanne I gan my sylff*. [[lyffe St.]] compleyne,
Dysconsolaat off al vertu,
Only for lak off Gracë Dieu,
That was whylom to me ffrendly,
Whom I ha lost thorgh my foly,*. [[Stowe]]
Wher-off I felte ful*. [[ful, om. Tib.]] gret offence,
That I forsook so penytence,
Only (allas!) for lak off grace,
By hyr sharpë heggh*. [[sharp highe St.]] to passe,
Wher I myhte have had socours,
And medycyne to myn Errours,
By hyr spyrytual doctryne
ffro the wyche I dyde enclyne.
Allas, my woful aventure, [folio 256a]
That I lefftë myn Armure
Behyndë me, allas, in veyn!
But yiff I myhte hem gete ageyn,*. [[ageyn Tib., hole in MS. C., get them agayne St.]]
I sholdë*. [[would St.]] lyue bettre in pes,
And nó mor ben so rekëles;*. [[rekeles Tib., rekles C., recles St.]]
But, allas my woful ffaate!
I make my cómpleynt al to late;
ffor I stonde in Iupartye
Only off deth, thorgh my ffolye.
Allas! what may I now best werche?
O sacramentys off the cherche,
I hope by gracë wel certeyn,
I receyvede yow nat in veyn;
But now, allas, that I am falle,
I ha lost yow,*. [[yow yow C., ȝou Tib., yow St.]] on and*. [[and om. Tib.]] alle, Page  526
And ha no sustentacïoun
In my skryppe nor my bordoun,
Wher-on that I may lenë me,
Toward Ierusalem the cyte.
And thogh al day I studye and muse,
How shal I my sylff excuse,
Or what answere*. [Some leaves are out of Tib. A. vii, after these catchwords, 'Or what answere.'] shal I make,
Off al that I ha vndertake,
And behihte in my corage,
To fulfyllë my vyage,
What*. [[(? Whan,) what St.]] fyrst I hadde inspeccïoun
Off that noble Royal toun,
Wyth-Inne A merour, shene and bryht,
Wych gaff to me so cler a lyht,
That ther-wyth-al I was a-noon [Stowe folio 329a]
Ravysshëd, thyder for to gon;
But I may syngë 'weyllaway';
I am arestyd on the way,
And dystourblyd her, wepynge.
And whyl I lay thus cómpleynynge,
And knewh non helpë nor respyt,
A-noon ther kam A dowë whyht
Towardys me, by goddys wylle, [folio 256b]
And brouhtë me a lytel bylle,
And vndyde yt in my syht;
And affter that she took hyr flyht,*. [[St. & C.]]
And, fro me gan passe away.
And I, with-outë mor delay,
Gan the byllë to vnfolde;
And ther-in I gan beholde,
How Gracë dieu, to myn avayl,
In that bylle gaff me counsayl,
'That I sholde, ful humblëly
Knelynge on my knes,*. [[on knes St.]] deuoutly
Saluë, with fful good avys,
The blyssede quen off paradys,
Wych bar, for Our savacïon,*. [[savation St.]]Page  527
The ffrut off Our redempcïon*. [[redemtion St.]]
And the ffourme off thys prayere
Ys ywrete, as ye shal here,
In Ordre pleynly (who kan se)
By maner off An .A. b. c.;
And ye may knowe yt sone, and rede,
And seyn yt whan that ye ha nede.
the translator*. [[St., om. C.]]:
And touchynge the translacioun
Off thys noble Orysoun,
Whylom (yiff I shal nat feyne)
The noble poete off Breteyne,
My mayster Chaucer, in hys tyme,
Affter the Frenche he dyde yt ryme,
Word by word, as in substaunce,
Ryght as yt ys ymad in Fraunce,
fful devoutly, in sentence,
In worshepe, and in reuerence
Off that noble hevenly quene,
Bothe moder and a maydë clene.
And sythe, he dyde yt vndertake,
ffor to translate yt ffor hyr sake,
I pray thys [Quene] that ys the beste, [folio 257a] *. [[C. & St.]]
ffor to brynge hys soule at reste,*. [[C. & St.]]
That he may, thorgh hir prayere, [Stowe folio 329b] *. [[C. & St.]]
Aboue the sterrys bryht and clere,*. [[C. & St.]]
Off hyr mercy and hyr grace
Apere afforn hyr sonys fface,*. [[C. & St.]]
Wyth seyntys euere, for A memórye,
Eternally to regne*. [[regrne C., rengne St.]] in glorye.
And ffor memoyre off that poete,
Wyth al hys rethorykës swete,
That was the ffyrste in any age
That amendede our langage;
Therfore, as I am bounde off dette,
In thys book I wyl hym sette,
And ympen thys Oryson
Affter hys translacïon,
My purpós to détermyne,
That yt shal énlwmyne Page  528
Thys lytyl book, Rud off makyng,
Wyth som clause off hys wrytyng.*. [Compare Scogan's quoting Chaucer's Balade of Gentilnesse, though without its Envoy, in his Poem to his pupils, Henry IV.'s sons. Thynne's Chaucer, 1532, leaf 380, back, col. 1; Urry's, p. 547, col. 1.]
And as he made thys Orysoun
Off ful devout entencïoun,
And by maner off a prayere,
Ryht so I wyl yt settyn here,
That men may knowe and pleynly se
Off Our lady the .A. b. c.*. [The remainder of this leaf, 257 of the MS., is left blank, the scribe never having copied-in Chaucer's poem. It is printed above from the first of the Society's Parallel-Texts. John Stowe also left blank three leaves of his copy, putting A, B, C, etc., where the successive stanzas should start.]