William Langland's The vision of Piers Plowman
William Langland

Passus 10

Thanne hadde Wit a wif, was hote Dame Studie,
     10.001
That lene was of lere and of liche bothe.
     10.002
She was wonderly wroth that Wit me thus taughte,
     10.003
And al staiynge Dame Studie sterneliche seide.
     10.004
"Wel artow wis,' quod she to Wit, "any wisdomes to telle
     10.005
To flatereres or to fooles that frenetike ben of wittes!'--
     10.006
And blamed hym and banned hym and bad hym be stille--
     10.007
"With swiche wise wordes to wissen any sottes!'
     10.008
And seide, " Noti mittere, man, margery perles
     10.009
Among hogges that han hawes at wille.
     10.010
Thei doon but dryvele theron--draf were hem levere
     10.011
Than al the precious perree that in paradis wexeth.
     10.012
I seye it by swiche,' quod she, "that sheweth by hir werkes
     10.013
That hem were levere lond and lordshipe on erthe,
     10.014
Or richesse or rentes and reste at hir wille
     10.015
Than alle the sooth sawes that Salamon seide evere. Page  100
     10.016
"Wisdom and wit now is noght worth a kerse
     10.017
But if it be carded with coveitise as clotheres kemben hir wolle.
     10.018
Whoso can contreve deceites and conspire wronges
     10.019
And lede forth a loveday to lette with truthe-- .
     10.020
That swiche craftes kan to counseil [are] cleped ;
     10.021
Thei lede lordes with lesynges and bilieth truthe.
     10.022
" Job the gentile in hise gestes witnesseth
     10.023
That wikked men, thei welden the welthe of this worlde,
     10.024
And that thei ben lordes of ech a lond, that out of lawe libbeth:
     10.025
Quare impii vivunt ? bene est omnibus qui prevaricantur et inique agunt ?
     10.025
"The Sauter seith the same by swiche that doon ille:
     10.026
Ecce ipsi peccatores habundantes in seculo obtinuerunt divicias.
     10.026
" Lo!' seith holy lettrure, " whiche lordes beth thise sherewes!'
     10.027
Thilke that God moost gyveth, leest good thei deleth,
     10.028
And moost unkynde to the commune, that moost catel weldeth:
     10.029
Que perfecisti destruxerunt, iustus autem &c.
     10.029
"Harlotes for hir harlotrie may have of hir goodes,
     10.030
And japeris and jogelours and jangleris of gestes;
     10.031
Ac he that hath Holy Writ ay in his mouthe
     10.032
And kan telle of Tobye and of the twelve Apostles
     10.033
Or prechen of the penaunce that Pilat wroghte
     10.034
To Jesu the gentile, that Jewes todrowe--
     10.035
Litel is he loved that swich a lesson sheweth,
     10.036
Or daunted or drawe forth--I do it on God hymselve!
     10.037
"But thoo that feynen hem foolis and with faityng libbeth
     10.038
Ayein the lawe of Oure Lord, and lyen on hemselve,
     10.039
Spitten and spuen and speke foule wordes,
     10.040
Drynken and drevelen and do men for to gape,
     10.041
Likne men and lye on hem that leneth hem no yiftes--
     10.042
Thei konne na moore mynstralcie ne musik men to glade Page  101
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Than Munde the Millere of Multa fecit Deus.
     10.044
Ne were hir vile harlotrye, have God my trouthe,
     10.045
Sholde nevere kyng ne knyght ne canon of Seint Poules
     10.046
Yyve hem to hir yeresyyve the value of a grote!
     10.047
"Ac murthe and mynstralcie amonges men is nouthe
     10.048
Lecherie, losengerye and losels tales--
     10.049
Glotonye and grete othes, this [game] they lovyeth.
     10.050
"Ac if thei carpen of Crist, thise clerkes and thise lewed,
     10.051
At mete in hir murthe whan mynstrals beth stille,
     10.052
Thanne telleth thei of the Trinite [how two slowe the thridde],
     10.053
And bryngen forth a balled reson, and taken Bernard to witnesse,
     10.054
And puten forth a presumpcion to preve the sothe.
     10.055
Thus thei dryvele at hir deys the deitee to knowe,
     10.056
And gnawen God with the gorge whanne hir guttes fullen.
     10.057
"Ac the carefu1le may crie and carpen at the yate,
     10.058
Bothe afyngred and afurst, and for chele quake;
     10.059
Is non to nyme hym neer his noy to amende,
     10.060
But hun[s]en hym as an hound and hoten hym go thennes.
     10.061
Litel loveth he that Lord that lent hym al that blisse,
     10.062
That thus parteth with the povere a parcell whan hym nedeth !
     10.063
Ne were mercy in meene men moore than in riche,
     10.064
Mendinaunts metelees myghte go to bedde.
     10.065
God is muche in the gorge of thise grete maistres,
     10.066
Ac amonges meene men his mercy and hise werkes.
     10.067
And so seith the Sauter--I have seighen it [in Memento]:
     10.068
* Ecce audivimus eam in Effrata; invenimus eam in campis silve.
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Clerkes and othere kynnes men carpen of zgod faste,
     10.069
And have hym muche in hire mouth, ac meene men in herte. Page  102
     10.070
" Freres and faitours han founde [up] swiche questions
     10.071
To plese with proude men syn the pestilence tyme,
     10.072
And prechen at Seint Poules, for pure envye of clerkes,
     10.073
That folk is noght fermed in the feith, ne free of hire goodes,
     10.074
Ne sory for hire synnes; so is pride woxen
     10.075
In religion and in al the reme amonges riche and povere
     10.076
That preieres have no power thise pestilences to lette.
     10.077
For God is deef nowadayes and deyneth noght his eres to opene,
     10.078
That girles for hire giltes he forgrynt hem alle.
     10.079
And yet the wrecches of this world is noon ywar by oother,
     10.080
Ne for drede of the deeth withdrawe noght hir pride,
     10.081
Ne beth plentevouse to the povere as pure charite wolde,
     10.082
But in gaynesse and glotonye forglutten hir good hemseIve,
     10.083
And breketh noght to the beggere as the Book techeth:
     10.084
Frange esurienti panem tuum &c.
     10.084
And the moore he wynneth and welt welthes and richesse
     10.085
And lordeth in ledes and londes, the lasse good he deleth.
     10.086
" Tobye techeth yow noght so! Taketh hede, ye riche,
     10.087
How the book Bible of hym bereth witnesse:
     10.088
Si tibi sit copia, habundantur tribue; si autem exiguum,illud impertiri libente
     10.089
Whoso hath muche, spende manliche--so meneth Tobye--
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And whoso litel weldeth, [loke] hym therafter,
     10.090
For we have no lettre of oure lif, how longe it shal dure. Page  103
     10.091
Swiche lessons lordes sholde lovye to here,
     10.092
And how he myghte moost meynee manliche fynde---
     10.093
Noght to fare as a fithelere or a frere for to seke festes,
     10.094
Homliche at othere mennes houses, and hatien hir owene.
     10.095
"Elenge is the halle, ech day in the wike,
     10.096
Ther the lord ne the lady liketh noght to sitte.
     10.097
Now hath ech riche a rule--to eten by hymselve
     10.098
In a pryvee parlour for povere mennes sake,
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Or in a chambre with a chymenee, and leve the chief ha1le
     10.100
That was maad for meles, men to eten inne,
     10.101
And al to spare to spille that spende shal another.
     10.102
"I have yherd heighe men etyng at the table
     10.103
Carpen as thei clerkes were of Crist and of hise myghtes,
     10.104
And leyden fautes upon the fader that formede us alle,
     10.105
And carpen ayein clerkes crabbede wordes:
     10.106
" Why wolde Oure Saveour suffre swich a worm in his blisse,
     10.107
That bi[w]iled the womman and the [wye] after,
     10.108
Thorugh whiche wiles and wordes thei wente to helle,
     10.109
And al hir seed for hir synne the same deeth suffrede?
     10.110
" Here lyeth youre lore,' thise lordes gynneth dispute,
     10.111
" Of that ye clerkes us kenneth of Crist by the Gospel:
     10.112
Filius non portabit iniquitatem patris &c.
     10.112
Why sholde we that now ben, for the werkes of Adam
     10.113
Roten and torende? Reson wolde it nevere!
     10.114
Unusquisque portabit onus suum &c.'
     10.114
"Swiche motyves they meve, thise maistres in hir glorie,
     10.115
And maken men in mysbileve that muse muche on hire wordes.
     10.116
Ymaginatif herafterward shal answere to youre purpos.
     10.117
"Austyn to swiche argueres, he telleth hem this teme:
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Non plus sapere quam oport.
     10.118
Wilneth nevere to wite why that God wolde Page  104
     10.119
Suffre Sathan his seed to bigile;
     10.120
Ac bileveth lelly in the loore of Holy Chirche,
     10.121
And preie hym of pardon and penaunce in thi lyve,
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And for his muche mercy to amende yow here.
     10.123
For alle that wilneth to wite the whyes of God almyghty,
     10.124
I wolde his eighe were in his ers and his fynger after
     10.125
That evere wilneth to wite why that God wolde
     10.126
Suffre Sathan his seed to bigile,
     10.127
Or Judas the Jew Jesu bitraye.
     10.128
Al was as he wolde--Lord, yworshiped be thow--
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And al worth as thow wolt whatso we dispute.
     10.130
"And tho that useth thise havylons to [a]blende mennes wittes
     10.131
What is Dowel fro Dobet, now deef mote he worthe,
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Siththe he wilneth to wite whiche thei ben alle.
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But if he lyve in the lif that longeth to Dowel,
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I dar ben his bolde borgh that Dobet wole he nevere,
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Theigh Dobest drawe on hym day after oother.'
     10.136
And whan that Wit was ywar what Dame Studie tolde,
     10.137
He bicom so confus he kouthe noght loke,
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And as doumb as a dore nail drough hym aside.
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And for no carpyng I kouthe after, ne knelyng to the grounde,
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I myghte gete no greyn of his grete wittes,
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But al laughynge he louted and loked upon Studie
     10.142
In signe that I sholde bisechen hire of grace.
     10.143
And whan I was war of his wille, to his wif gan I loute,
     10.144
And seide, " Mercy, madame; youre man shal I worthe
     10.145
As longe as I lyve, bothe late and rathe,
     10.146
For to werche youre wille the while my lif dureth,
     10.147
With that ye kenne me kyndely to knowe what is Dowel.'
     10.148
" For thi mekenesse, man,' quod she, "and for thi mylde speche,
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I shal kenne thee to my cosyn that Clergie is hoten.
     10.150
He hath wedded a wif withinne thise sixe monthes,
     10.151
Is sib to the sevene arts--Scripture is hir name.
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They two, as I hope, after my techyng, Page  105
     10.153
Shullen wissen thee to Dowel, I dar wel undertake.'
     10.154
Thanne was I as fayn as fowel of fair morwe,
     10.155
Gladder than the gleman that gold hath to yifte,
     10.156
And asked hire the heighe wey where that Clergie dwelte,
     10.157
"And tel me som tokene,' quod I, "for tyme is that I wende.'
     10.158
"Aske the heighe wey,' quod she, -hennes to Suffre-
     10.159
Bothe-wele-and-wo, if that thow wolt lerne;
     10.160
And ryd forth by richesse, ac rest thow noght therinne,
     10.161
For if thow couplest thee therwith to Clergie comestow nevere.
     10.162
"And also the likerouse launde that Lecherie hatte--
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Leve hym on thi left half a large myle or moore,
     10.164
Til thow come to a court, Kepe-wel-thi-tunge-
     10.165
Fro-lesynges-and-lither-speche-and-likerouse-drynkes.
     10.166
Thanne shaltow se Sobretee and Sympletee-of-speche,
     10.167
That ech wight be in wille his wit thee to shewe;
     10.168
And thus shaltow come to Clergie, that kan manye thynges.
     10.169
"Seye hym this signe: I sette hym to scole,
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And that I grete wel his wif, for I wroot hire [the bible],
     10.171
And sette hire to Sapience and to the Sauter glosed.
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Logyk I lerned hire, and [al the Lawe after],
     10.173
And alle the musons in Musik I made hire to knowe.
     10.174
"Plato the poete, I putte hym first to boke;
     10.175
Aristotle and othere mo to argue I taughte.
     10.176
Grammer for girles I garte first write,
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And bette hem with a baleys but if thei wolde lerne.
     10.178
Of alle kynne craftes I contreved tooles--
     10.179
Of carpentrie, of kerveres, and compased masons,
     10.180
And lerned hem level and lyne, though I loke dymme. Page  106
     10.181
"Ac Theologie hath tened me ten score tymes:
     10.182
The moore I muse therinne, the myst[lok]er it semeth,
     10.183
And the depper I devyne, the derker me it thynketh.
     10.184
lt is no science, forsothe, for to sotile inne.
     10.185
[If that love nere, that lith therinne, a ful lethi thyng it were];
     10.186
Ac for it let best by love, I love it the bettre,
     10.187
For there that love is ledere, ne lakked nevere grace.
     10.188
Loke thow love lelly, if thee liketh Dowel,
     10.189
For Dobet and Dobest ben of loves k[e]nn[yng].
     10.190
"In oother seience it seith--I seigh it in Catoun--
     10.191
Qui simulat verbis, nec corde est fidus amicus,
     10.191
Tu quoque fac simile; sic ars deluditur arte:
     10.191
Whoso gloseth as gylours doon, go me to the same,
     10.192
And so shaltow fals folk and feithlees bigile--
     10.193
This is Catons kennyng to clerkes that he lereth.
     10.194
Ac Theologie techeth noght so, whoso taketh yeme;
     10.195
He kenneth us the contrarie ayein Catons wordes,
     10.196
For he biddeth us be as bretheren, and bidde for oure enemys,
     10.197
And loven hem that lyen on us, and lene hem whan hem nedeth,
     10.198
And to do good agein yvel--God hymself hoteth:
     10.199
Dum tempus habemus, operemur bonum ad omnes,
     10.199
maxime autem ad domesticos fidei.
     10.199
"Poul preched the peple, that parfitnesse lovede,
     10.200
To do good for Goddes love and gywen den that asked,
     10.201
And [sovereyn]ly to swiche that suwen oure bileve,
     10.202
And alle that lakketh us or lyeth us, Oure Lord techeth us to lovye, Page  107
     10.203
And noght to greven hem that greveth us--God hymself forbad it:
     10.204
Michi vindictam et ego retribuam.
     10.204
Forthi loke thow lovye as longe as thow durest,
     10.205
For is no science under sonne so sovereyn for the soule.
     10.206
"Ac Astronomye is hard thyng, and yvel for to knowe:
     10.207
Geometry and Geomesie is gynful of speche;
     10.208
Whoso thynketh werche with tho t[hre] thryveth ful late--
     10.209
For sorcerie is the sovereyn book that to the science bilongeth.
     10.210
" Yet ar ther fibicches in forceres of fele mennes makynge,
     10.211
Experiments of Alkenamye the peple to deceyve;
     10.212
If thow thynke to dowel, deel therwith nevere!
     10.213
Alle thise sciences I myself sotilede and ordeynede,
     10.214
And founded hem formest folk to deceyve.
     10.215
"Tel Clergie thise tokenes, and to Scripture after,
     10.216
To counseille thee kyndely to knowe what is Dowel.'
     10.217
I seide, " Graunt mercy, madame,' and mekely hir grette,
     10.218
And wente wightly my wey withoute moore lettyng--
     10.219
And til I com to Clergie I koude nevere stynte.
     10.220
I grette the goode man as the goode wif me taughte,
     10.221
And afterwardes the wif, and worshiped hem bothe,
     10.222
And tolde hem the tokenes that me taught were.
     10.223
Was nevere gome upon this ground, sith God made the worlde,
     10.224
Fairer underfongen ne frendloker at ese
     10.225
Than myself, soothly, soone so he wiste
     10.226
That I was of Wittes hous and with his wif Dame Studie.
     10.227
I seide to hem soothly that sent was I thider
     10.228
Dowel and I and Dobt to leme.
     10.229
"It is a commune lyf,' quod Mergie, "on Holy Chirche to bileve, Page  108
     10.230
With alle the articles of the feith that falleth to be knowe:
     10.231
And that is to bileve lelly, bothe lered and lewed,
     10.232
On the grete God that gynnyng hadde nevere,
     10.233
And on the soothfast Sone that saved mankynde
     10.234
Fro the dedly deeth and the develes power
     10.235
Thorugh the help of the Holy Goost, the which goost is of bothe--
     10.236
Thre propre persones, ac noght in plurel nombre,
     10.237
For al is but oon God and ech is God hymselve:
     10.238
Deus Pater, Deus Filius, Deus Spiritus Sanctus--
     10.238
God the Fader, God the Sone, God Holy Goost of bothe,
     10.239
Maker of mankynde and of [animal]es bothe.
     10.240
"Austyn the olde herof made bokes,
     10.241
And hymself ordeyned to sadde us in bileve.
     10.242
Who was his auctour? Alle the foure Evaungelistes;
     10.243
And Crist cleped hymself so, the [same] bereth witnesse:
     10.244
Ego in patre et pater in me est, et qui videt me
     10.244
videt et patrem meum.
     10.244
"Alle the clerkes under Crist ne koude this assoille,
     10.245
But thus it bilongeth to bileve to lewed that willen dowel.
     10.246
For hadde nevere freke fyn wit the feith to dispute,
     10.247
Ne man hadde no merite, myghte it ben ypreved:
     10.248
fides non habet meritum ubi humana racio prebet experimentum.
     10.248
"[Siththen] is Dobet to suffre for thi soules helthe
     10.249
Al that the Book bit bi Holi Cherches techyng--
     10.250
And that is, man, bi thy myght, for mercies sake,
     10.251
Loke thow werche it in werk that thi word sheweth;
     10.252
Swich as thow semest in sighte be in assay yfounde:
     10.253
Appare quod es vel esto quod appares.Page  109
     10.253
And lat no body be by thi beryng bigiled,
     10.254
But be swich in thi soule as thow semest withoute.
     10.255
"Thanne is Dobest to be boold to blame the gilty,
     10.256
Sythenes thow seest thiself as in souIe clene;
     10.257
Ac blame thow nevere body and thow be blameworthy:
     10.258
Si culpare velis culpabilis esse cavebis,
     10.258
Dogma tuum sordet cum te tua culpa remordet.
     10.258
God in the Gospel grymly repreveth
     10.259
Alle that lakketh any lif and lakkes han hemselve:
     10.260
Quid consideras festucam in oculo fratris tui, trabem in
     10.260
oculo tuo, &c.
     10.260
Why mevestow thi mood for a mote in thi brotheres eighe,
     10.261
Sithen a beem in thyn owene ablyndeth thiselve?
     10.262
Eice primo trabem de oculo tuo, &c.
     10.262
Which letteth thee to loke, lasse outher moore?
     10.263
" I rede ech a blynd bosard do boote to hymselve--
     10.264
As persons and parissh preestes, that preche sholde and teche
     10.265
Alle maner men to amenden, bi hire myghte.
     10.266
This text was told yow to ben war, er ye taughte,
     10.267
That ye were swiche as ye seyde to salve with othere.
     10.268
For Goddes word wolde noght be lost--for that wercheth evere;
     10.269
If it availled noght the commune, it myghte availle yowselve.
     10.270
"Ac it semeth now soothly, to [sighte of the worlde],
     10.271
That Goddes word wercheth no [wi]ght on lered ne on lewed
     10.272
But in swich a manere as Marc meneth in the Gospel:
     10.273
Dum cecus ducit cecum, ambo in foveam cadunt.
     10.273
"Lewed men rnay likne yow thus--that the beem lith in youre eighen,
     10.274
And the festu is fallen, for youre defaute, Page  110
     10.275
In alle manere men thorugh mansede preestes.
     10.276
The Bible bereth witnesse that alle the [barnes] of Israel
     10.277
Bittre aboughte the giltes of two badde preestes,
     10.278
Offyn and Fynes--for hir coveitise
     10.279
Archa Dei myshapped and Ely brak his nekke.
     10.280
" Forthi, ye correctours, claweth heron, and correcteth first yowselve,
     10.281
And thanne mowe ye manliche seye, as David made the Sauter:
     10.282
Existimasti inique quod ero tui similis: Arguam te, et statuam contra faciem t
     10.283
"And thanne shul burel clerkes ben abasshed to blame yow or to greve,
     10.284
And carpen noght as thei carpe now, and calle yow doumbe hounoes--
     10.285
Canes non valentes latrare--
     10.285
And drede to wrathe yow in any word, youre werkmanshipe to lette,
     10.286
And be prester at youre preiere than for a pound of nobles.
     10.287
And al for youre holynesse--have ye this in herte.
     10.288
"Amonges rightful religious this rule sholde be holde.
     10.289
Gregorie, the grete clerk and the goode pope,
     10.290
Of religioun the rule reherseth in his Morales
     10.291
And seith it in ensample for thei sholde do therafter:
     10.292
" Whan fisshes faillen the flood or the fresshe water,
     10.293
Thei deyen for droughte, whan thei drie ligge;
     10.294
Right so religion ro[i]leth [and] sterveth Page  111
     10.295
That out of covent and cloistre coveiten to libbe.''
     10.296
For if hevene be on this erthe, and ese to any soule,
     10.297
It is in cloistre or in scole, by manye skiles I fynde.
     10.298
For in cloistre cometh no man to chide ne to fighte,
     10.299
But al is buxomnesse there and bokes, to rede and to lerne.
     10.300
"In scole there is scorn but if a clerk wol lerne,
     10.301
And gret love and likyng, for ech of hem l[er]eth oother.
     10.302
Ac now is Religion a rydere, a romere by stretes,
     10.303
A ledere of lovedayes and a lond buggere,
     10.304
A prikere on a palfrey fro manere to manere,
     10.305
An heep of houndes at his ers as he a lord were;
     10.306
And but if his knave knele that shal his coppe brynge,
     10.307
He loureth on hym and asketh hym who taughte hym curteisie?
     10.308
Litel hadde lordes to doon to yyve lond from hire heires
     10.309
To religious that han no routhe though it reyne on hir auters.
     10.310
"In many places ther thei persons ben, by hemself at ese,
     10.311
Of the povere have thei no pite--and that is hir pure charite,
     10.312
Ac thei leten hem as lordes, hir lond lith so brode.
     10.313
"Ac ther shal come a kyng and confesse yow religiouses,
     10.314
And bete yow, as the Bible telleth, for brekynge of youre rule,
     10.315
And amende monyals, monkes and chanons,
     10.316
And puten hem to hir penaunce--Ad pristinum statum ire,
     10.317
And barons with erles beten hem, thorugh Beatus virres techyng,
     10.318
[Biyeten] that hir barnes clayrnen, and blame yow foule:
     10.319
Hii in curribus et hii in equis ipsi obligati sunt &c.Page  112
     10.319
"And thanne freres in hir fraytour shul fynden a keye
     10.320
Of Costantyns cofres, in which [the catel is]
     10.321
That Gregories godchildren [g]an yvele despende.
     10.322
"And thanne shal the Abbot of Abyngdoun and al his issue for evere
     10.323
Have a knok of a kyng, and incurable the wounde.
     10.324
That this worth sooth, seke ye that ofte overse the Bible:
     10.325
Quomodo cessavit exactor, quievit tributum? Contrivit Dominus
     10.325
baculum impiorum, et virgam dominancium cedencium plaga insanabili.
     10.325
"Ac er that kyng come Caym shal awake,
     10.326
Ac Dowel shal dyngen hym adoun and destruye his myghte.'
     10.327
"Thanne is Dowel and Dobet,' quod I, "dominus and knyghthode?'
     10.328
" I nel noght scorne,' quod Scripture; " but if scryveynes lye,
     10.329
Kynghod ne knyghthod, by noght I kan awayte,
     10.330
Helpeth noght to heveneward oone heeris ende,
     10.331
Ne richesse right noght, ne reautee of lordes.
     10.332
" Poul preveth it impossible--riche men to have hevene.
     10.333
Salamon seith also that silver is worst to lovye:
     10.334
Nichil iniquius quam amare pecuniam:
     10.334
And Caton kenneth us to coveiten it naught but as nede techeth:
     10.335
Dilige denarium set parce dilige formam.
     10.335
And patriarkes and prophetes and poetes bothe
     10.336
Writen to wissen us to wilne no richesse,
     10.337
And preiseden poverte with pacience; the Apostles bereth witnesse
     10.338
That thei han eritage in hevene--and by trewe righte,
     10.339
Ther riche men no right may cleyme, but of ruthe and grace.'
     10.340
" Contra,' quod I, " by Crist! That kan I repreve,
     10.341
And preven it by Peter and by Poul bothe:
     10.342
That is baptized beth saaf, be he riche or povere.'
     10.343
"That is in extremis,' quod Scripture, " amonges Sarsens and Jewes--
     10.344
They mowen be saved so, and [so] is oure bileve:
     10.345
That an uncristene in that caas may cristen an hethen,
     10.346
And for his lele bileve, whan he the lif tyneth,
     10.347
Have the heritage of hevene as any man Cristene.
     10.348
"Ac Cristene men withoute moore maye noght come to hevene, Page  113
     10.349
For that Crist for Cristene men deide, and confermed the lawe
     10.350
That whoso wolde and wilneth with Crist to arise--
     10.351
Si cum Christo surrexistis &c--
     10.351
He sholde lovye and lene and the lawe fulfille.
     10.352
That is, love thi Lord God levest aboven alle,
     10.353
And after, alle Cristene creatures in commune, ech man oother;
     10.354
And thus bilongeth to lovye, that leveth to be saved.
     10.355
And but we do thus in dede er the day of dome,
     10.356
It shal bisitten us ful soure, the silver that we kepen,
     10.357
And oure bakkes that mothe-eten be, and seen beggeris go naked,
     10.358
Or delit in wyn and wildefowel, and wite any in defaute.
     10.359
For every Cristene creature sholde be kynde til oother,
     10.360
And sithen hethen to helpe in hope of amendement.
     10.361
-God hoteth heighe and lowe that no man hurte oother,
     10.362
And seith, "Slee noght that semblable is to myn owene liknesse,
     10.363
But if I sende thee som tokene,' and seith " Non mecaberis--
     10.364
Is slee noght but suffre, and al[so] for the beste,
     10.365
For Michi vindictam et ego retribuam.
     10.366
""For I shal punysshe in purgatorie or in the put of helle
     10.367
Ech man for hise mysdedes, but mercy it lette.'
     10.368
" This is a long lesson.' quod I, " and litel am I the wiser!
     10.369
Where Dowel is or Dobet derkliche ye shewen.
     10.370
Manye tales ye tellen that Theologie lerneth,
     10.371
And that I man maad was, and my name yentred
     10.372
In the legende of lif longe er I were,
     10.373
Or ellis unwriten for som wikkednesse, as Holy Writ witnesseth:
     10.374
Nemo ascendit ad celum nisi qui de celo descendit.
     10.374
"And I leve it wel, by Oure Lord and on no lettrure bettre.
     10.375
For Salomon the Sage that Sapienee [made] Page  114
     10.376
God gaf hym grace of wit and alle goodes after
     10.377
To rule the reume and riche to make;
     10.378
He demed wel and wisely, as Holy Writ telleth.
     10.379
Aristotle and he--who wissed men bettre?
     10.380
Maistres that of Goddes mercy techen men and prechen,
     10.381
Of hir wordes thei wissen us for wisest as in hir tyme--
     10.382
And al Holy Chirche holdeth hem bothe [in helle]!
     10.383
And if I sholde werche by hir werkes to wynne me hevene,
     10.384
That for hir werkes and wit now wonyeth in pyne--
     10.385
Thanne wroughte I unwisly. whatsoevere ye preche!
     10.386
"Ac of fele witty, in feith, litel ferly I have
     10.387
Though hir goost be ungracious God for to plese.
     10.388
For many men on this moolde moore setten hir herte
     10.389
In good than in God--forthi hem grace failleth
     10.390
At hir mooste mesehief, whan [men] shal lif lete,
     10.391
As Salamon dide and swiche othere, that shewed grete wittes,
     10.392
Ac hir werkes, as Holy Writ seith, was evere the contrarie.
     10.393
Forthi wise witted men and wel ylettred clerkes
     10.394
As thei seyen hemself selde doon therafter:
     10.395
Super cathedram Moysi &c.
     10.395
"Ac I wene it worth of manye as was in Noes tyme
     10.396
Tho he shoop that ship of shides and of bordes:
     10.397
Was nevere wrighte saved that wroghte theron, ne oother werkman ellis,
     10.398
But briddes and beestes and the blissed Noe
     10.399
And his wif with hise sones and also hire wyves:
     10.400
Of wrightes that it wroghte was noon of hem ysaved.
     10.401
"God lene it fare noght so bi folk that the feith techeth
     10.402
Of Holi Chirche, that herberwe is and Goddes hous to save
     10.403
And shilden us from shame therinne, as Noes ship dide beestes.
     10.404
And men that maden it amydde the flood adreynten.
     10.405
The culorum of this clause curatours is to mene,
     10.406
That ben carpenters Holy Kirk to rnake for Cristes owene beestes:
     10.407
Homines et iumenta salvabis, Domine, &c.Page  115
     10.407
At domesday the deluvye worth of deth and fir at ones;
     10.408
Forthi I counseille yow clerkes, of Holy [Kirke] the wrightes,
     10.409
Wercheth ye werkes as ye sen ywrite, lest ye worthe noght therinne!
     10.410
"On Good Friday, I fynde, a felon was ysaved
     10.411
That hadde lyved al his lif with lesynges and with thefte;
     10.412
And for he beknew on the cros and to Crist shrof hym,
     10.413
He was sonner ysaved than Seint Johan the Baptist
     10.414
And or Adam or Ysaye or any of the prophetes,
     10.415
That hadde yleyen with Lucifer many longe yeres.
     10.416
A robbere was yraunsoned rather than thei alle
     10.417
Withouten penaunce of purgatorie to perpetuel blisse.
     10.418
" Than Marie Maudeleyne wh[o myghte do] werse?
     10.419
Or who worse dide than David, that Uries deeth conspired?
     10.420
Or Poul the Apostle that no pite hadde
     10.421
Cristene kynde to kille to dethe?
     10.422
And now ben thise as sovereyns with seintes in hevene--
     10.423
Tho that wroughte wikkedlokest in world tho thei were;
     10.424
And tho that wisely wordeden and writen manye bokes
     10.425
Of wit and of wisedom, with dampned soules wonye.
     10.426
- That Salomon seith I trowe be sooth and certein of us alle:
     10.427
Sunt iusti atque sapientes, et opera eorum in manu Dei sunt, &c.
     10.427
Ther are witty and wel libbynge, ac hire werkes ben yhudde
     10.428
In the hondes of almyghty God, and he woot the sothe--
     10.429
Wher for love a man worth allowed there and hise lele werkes,
     10.430
Or ellis for his yvel wille and envye of herte,
     10.431
And be allowed as he lyved so, for by luthere men knoweth the goode
     10.432
"And wherby wiste men which is whit, if alle thyng blak were, Page  116
     10.433
And who were a good man but if ther were som sherewe?
     10.434
Forthi lyve we forth with lithere men--I leve fewe ben goode--
     10.435
For "quant OPOR TET vient en place il ny ad que PA TI,'
     10.436
And he that may al amende, have mercy on us alle!
     10.437
For sothest word that ever God seide was tho he seide Nemo bonus.
     10.438
"[And yet have I forgete ferther of fyve wittes techyng
     10.439
That] Clergie of Cristes mouth comended was it [nevere];
     10.440
For he seide to Seint Peter and to swiche as he lovede,
     10.441
" Dum steteritis ante reges et presides &c.
     10.441
Though ye come bifore kynges and clerkes of the lawe,
     10.442
Beth noght abasshed, for I shal be in youre mouthes,
     10.443
And yyve yow wit at wille [with] konnyng to conclude hem
     10.444
Alle that ayeins yow of Cristendom disputen.'
     10.445
"David maketh mencion, he spak amonges kynges,
     10.446
And myghte no kyng overcomen hym as by konnynge of speche.
     10.447
But wit ne wisedom wan nevere the maistrie
     10.448
When man was at meschief withoute the moore grace.
     10.449
"The doughtieste doctour and devinour of the Trinitee,
     10.450
Was Austyn the olde, and heighest of the foure,
     10.451
Seide thus in a sermon--I seigh it writen ones--
     10.452
" Ecce ipsi idiote rapiunt celum ubi nos sapientes in inbferno mergimur'
     10.452
And is to mene to Englissh men, moore ne lesse,
     10.453
Arn none rather yravysshed fro the righte bileve
     10.454
Than an thise konnynge clerkes that konne manye bokes,
     10.455
Ne none sonner saved, ne sadder of bileve
     10.456
Than plowmen and pastours and povere commune laborers,
     10.457
Souteres and shepherdes--swiche lewed juttes
     10.458
Perce with a Paternoster the paleys of hevene Page  117
     10.459
And passen purgatorie penauncelees at hir hennes partyng
     10.460
Into the blisse of paradis for hir pure bileve,
     10.461
That inparfitly here knewe and ek lyvede.
     10.462
" Ye, men knowe clerkes that han corsed the tyme
     10.463
That evere thei kouthe or knewe moore than Credo in Deum patrem
     10.464
And principally hir paternoster--many a persone hath wisshed.
     10.465
"I se ensamples myself and so may manye othere,
     10.466
That servaunts that serven lordes selde fallen in arerage
     10.467
But tho that kepen the lordes catel--clerkes and reves.
     10.468
Right so lewed men and of litel knowyng,
     10.469
Selden falle thei so foule and so fer in synne
     10.470
As clerkes of Holy Kirke that kepen Cristes tresor--
     10.471
The which is mannes soule to save, as God seith in the Gospel:
     10.472
""Ite vos in vineam meam.'''
     10.473