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Title: Chaucer's Translation of Boethius's 'De Consolatione Philosophiae'
Author: Chaucer, Geoffrey, 1343?-1400
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  Chaucer’s Translation of
  BOETHIUS’S “DE CONSOLATIONE
  PHILOSOPHIÆ”


  EARLY ENGLISH TEXT SOCIETY

  Extra Series, No. 5

  1868
  (Reprinted 1889, 1894, 1895, etc., 1969)

  Price 40s.



  Chaucer’s Translation of
  BOETHIUS’S “DE CONSOLATIONE
  PHILOSOPHIÆ”

  Edited From
  British Museum Additional MS. 10,340
  Collated With
  Cambridge University Library MS. Ii.3.21

  By

  RICHARD MORRIS


  _Published for_
  THE EARLY ENGLISH TEXT SOCIETY
  _by the_
  OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS
  London New York Toronto



  First Published 1868

  Reprinted 1889, 1894, 1895, etc.,
  and 1969


  Extra Series, No. 5

  Originally printed by
  Richard Clay & Sons Ltd., London and Bungay
  and now reprinted lithographically in Great Britain
  at the University Press, Oxford
  by Vivian Ridler
  Printer to the University



INTRODUCTION.


When master hands like those of Gibbon and Hallam have sketched the life
of _Boethius_, it is well that no meaner man should attempt to mar their
pictures. They drew, perhaps, the most touching scene in Middle-age
literary history,--the just man in prison, awaiting death, consoled by
the Philosophy that had been his light in life, and handing down to
posterity for their comfort and strength the presence of her whose
silver rays had been his guide as well under the stars of Fortune as the
mirk of Fate. With Milton in his dark days, Boece in prison could say,--

                                  ‘I argue not
  Against Heaven’s hand or will, nor bate a jot
  Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
  Right onward. What supports me, dost thou ask?
  The conscience, friend, to have lost them overplied
  In liberty’s defence, my noble task,
  Of which all Europe rings from side to side.’

For, indeed, the echoes of Boethius, Boethius, rang out loud from every
corner of European Literature. An Alfred awoke them in England, a
Chaucer, a Caxton would not let them die; an Elizabeth revived them
among the glorious music of her reign.[I-1] To us, though far off, they
come with a sweet sound. ‘The angelic’ Thomas Aquinas commented on him,
and many others followed the saint’s steps. Dante read him, though,
strange to say, he speaks of the Consolation as ‘a book not known by
many.’[I-2] Belgium had her translations--both Flemish[I-3] and
French[I-4]; Germany hers,[I-5] France hers,[I-6] Italy hers.[I-7] The
Latin editors are too numerous to be catalogued here, and manuscripts
abound in all our great libraries.

No philosopher was so bone of the bone and flesh of the flesh of
Middle-age writers as Boethius. Take up what writer you will, and you
find not only the sentiments, but the very words of the distinguished
old Roman. And surely we who read him in Chaucer’s tongue, will not
refuse to say that his full-circling meed of glory was other than
deserved. Nor can we marvel that at the end of our great poet’s life, he
was glad that he had swelled the chorus of Boethius’ praise; and ‘of the
translacioun of Boece de Consolacioun,’ thanked ‘oure Lord Ihesu Crist
and his moder, and alle the seintes in heuen.’

The impression made by Boethius on Chaucer was evidently very deep. Not
only did he translate him directly, as in the present work, but he read
his beloved original over and over again, as witness the following list,
incomplete of course, of passages from Chaucer’s poems translated more
or less literally from the _De Consolatione_:

    [Footnote I-1: Other translations are by John Walton of Osney, in
    verse, in 1410 (Reg. MS. 18, A 13), first printed at Tavistock in
    1525, and to be edited some time or other for the E.E.T.S. An
    anonymous prose version in the Bodleian. George Coluile, alias
    Coldewel, 1556; J. T. 1609; H. Conningesbye, 1664; Lord Preston,
    1695, 1712; W. Causton, 1730; Redpath, 1785; R. Duncan, 1789;
    anon. 1792 (Lowndes).]

    [Footnote I-2: Dante, in his _Convito_, says, “Misimi a legger
    quello _non conosciuto da molti_ libro di Boezio, nel quale
    captivo e discacciato consolato s’avea.”]

    [Footnote I-3: Printed at Ghent, 1485.]

    [Footnote I-4: By Reynier de Seinct Trudon, printed at Bruges,
    1477.]

    [Footnote I-5: An old version of the 11th cent., printed by Graff,
    and a modern one printed at Nuremberg, 1473.]

    [Footnote I-6: By Jean de Méung, printed at Paris, 1494.]

    [Footnote I-7: By Varchi, printed at Florence, 1551; Parma, 1798.]


I. LOVE.

  Wost thou nat wel the olde clerkes sawe,
  That who schal yeve a lover eny lawe,
  Love is a grettere lawe, by my pan,
  Then may be yeve to (of) eny erthly man?

    (_Knightes Tale, Aldine Series_, vol. ii. p. 36, 37.)

  But what is he þat may ȝeue a lawe to loueres. loue is a gretter
  lawe and a strengere to hym self þan any lawe þat men may ȝeuen.

    (_Chaucer’s Prose Translation_, p. 108.)

  _Quis legem det amantibus?
  Major lex amor est sibi._

    (Boeth., lib. iii. met. 12.)


II. A DRUNKEN MAN.

  A dronke man wot wel he hath an hous,
  But he not[I-8] which the righte wey is thider.

    (_Knightes Tale_, vol. ii. p. 39.)

  _Ryȝt as a dronke man not nat[I-9] by whiche paþe he may retourne
  home to hys house._

    (Chaucer’s Trans., p. 67.)

  _Sed velut ebrius, domum quo tramite revertatur, ignorat._

    (Boeth., lib. iii. pr. 2.)

    [Footnote I-8: The Harl. MS. reads _not nat_, to the confusion of
    the metre.]

    [Footnote I-9: = ne wot nat = knows not.]


III. THE CHAIN OF LOVE.

  The firste moevere of the cause above,
  Whan he first made the fayre cheyne of love,
  Gret was theffect, and heigh was his entente;
  Wel wist he why, and what therof he mente;
  _For with that faire cheyne of love he bond
  The fyr, the watir, the eyr, and eek the lond
  In certeyn boundes, that they may not flee._

    (_Knightes Tale_, p. 92.)

  That þe world with stable feith / varieth acordable chaungynges //
  þat the contraryos qualite of elementȝ holden amonge hem self
  aliaunce perdurable / þat phebus the sonne with his goldene
  chariet / bryngeth forth the rosene day / þat the mone hath
  commaundement ouer the nyhtes // whiche nyhtes hesperus the eue
  sterre hat[h] browt // þat þe se gredy to flowen constreyneth with
  a certeyn ende hise floodes / so þat it is nat l[e]ueful to
  strechche hise brode termes or bowndes vp-on the erthes // þat is
  to seyn to couere alle the erthe // Al this a-cordaunce of thinges
  is bownden with looue / þat gouerneth erthe and see / and [he]
  hath also commaundementȝ to the heuenes / and yif this looue
  slakede the brydelis / alle thinges þat now louen hem to-gederes /
  wolden maken a batayle contynuely and stryuen to fordoon the
  fasoun of this worlde / the which they now leden in acordable
  feith by fayre moeuynges // this looue halt to-gideres poeples /
  ioygned with an hooly bond / and knytteth sacrement of maryages of
  chaste looues // And loue enditeth lawes to trewe felawes // O
  weleful weere mankynde / yif thilke loue þat gouerneth heuene
  gouerned yowre corages /.

    (_Chaucer’s Boethius_, bk. ii. met. 8.)

  Quod mundus stabili fide
  Concordes variat vices,
  Quod pugnantia semina
  Fœdus perpetuum tenent,
  Quod Phœbus roseum diem
  Curru provehit aureo,
  Ut quas duxerit Hesperus
  Phœbe noctibus imperet,
  Ut fluctus avidum mare
  Certo fine coerceat,
  Ne terris liceat vagis
  Latos tundere terminos;
  _Hanc rerum seriem ligat,
  Terras ac pelagus regens,
  Et cœlo imperitans amor._
  Hic si fræna remiserit,
  Quicquid nunc amat invicem,
  Bellum continuo geret:
  Et quam nunc socia fide
  Pulcris motibus incitant,
  Certent solvere machinam.
  Hic sancto populos quoque
  Junctos fœdere continet,
  Hic et conjugii sacrum
  Castis nectit amoribus,
  Hic fidis etiam sua
  Dictat jura sodalibus.
  O felix hominum genus,
  Si vestros animos amor,
  Quo cælum regitur, regat.

    (_Boeth._, lib. ii. met. 8.)

  Love, that of erth and se hath governaunce!
  Love, that his hestes hath in hevene hye!
  Love, that with an holsom alliaunce
  Halt peples joyned, as hym liste hem gye!
  Love, that knetteth law and compaignye,
  And couples doth in vertu for to dwelle!

    (_Troylus & Cryseyde_, st. 243, vol. iv. p. 296.)

  That, that the world with faith, which that is stable
  Dyverseth so, his stoundes concordynge;--
  That elementz, that ben so discordable,
  Holden a bond, perpetualy durynge;--
  That Phebus mot his rosy carte forth brynge,
  And that the mone hath lordschip overe the nyghte;--
  Al this doth Love, ay heryed be his myght!

  That, that the se, that gredy is to flowen,
  Constreyneth to a certeyn ende so
  Hise flodes, that so fiersly they ne growen
  To drenchen erth and alle for everemo;
  And if that Love aught lete his brydel go,
  Al that now loveth asonder sholde lepe,
  And lost were al that Love halt now to kepe.

    (_Ibid._ st. 244, 245.)


IV. MUTABILITY DIRECTED AND LIMITED BY AN IMMUTABLE AND DIVINE
INTELLIGENCE.

  That same prynce and moevere eek, quod he,
  Hath stabled, in this wrecched world adoun,
  Certeyn dayes and duracioun
  To alle that er engendrid in this place,
  Over the whiche day they may nat pace,
  Al mowe they yit wel here dayes abregge;
  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
  Than may men wel by this ordre discerne
  That thilke moevere stabul is and eterne.
  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
  And therfore of his wyse purveaunce
  He hath so wel biset his ordenaunce,
  That spices of thinges and progressiouns
  Schullen endure by successiouns
  And nat eterne be, withoute any lye.

    (_Knightes Tale_, vol. ii. p. 92, 93.)

  Þe engendrynge of alle þinges quod she and alle þe progressiouns
  of muuable nature. and alle þat moeueþ in any manere takiþ hys
  causes. hys ordre. and hys formes. of þe stablenesse of þe deuyne
  þouȝt [and thilke deuyne thowht] þat is yset and put in þe toure.
  þat is to seyne in þe heyȝt of þe simplicite of god. stablisiþ
  many manere gyses to þinges þat ben to don.

    (_Chaucer’s Boethius_, bk. iv. pr. 6, p. 134.)


V. THE PART IS DERIVED FROM THE WHOLE, THE IMPERFECT FROM THE PERFECT.

  Wel may men knowe, but it be a fool,
  That every partye dyryveth from his hool.
  For nature hath nat take his bygynnyng
  Of no partye ne cantel of a thing,
  But of a thing that parfyt is and stable,
  Descendyng so, til it be corumpable.

    (_Knightes Tale_, vol. ii. p. 92.)

  For al þing þat is cleped inperfit . is proued inperfit by þe
  amenusynge of perfeccioun . or of þing þat is perfit . and her-of
  comeþ it . þat in euery þing general . yif þat . þat men seen any
  þing þat is inperfit . certys in þilke general þer mot ben somme
  þing þat is perfit. For yif so be þat perfeccioun is don awey .
  men may nat þinke nor seye fro whennes þilke þing is þat is cleped
  inperfit . For þe nature of þinges ne token nat her bygynnyng of
  þinges amenused and inperfit . but it procediþ of þingus þat ben
  al hool . and absolut . and descendeþ so doune in-to outerest
  þinges and in-to þingus empty and wiþ-oute fruyt . but as I haue
  shewed a litel her byforne . þat yif þer be a blisfulnesse þat be
  frele and vein and inperfit . þer may no man doute . þat þer nys
  som blisfulnesse þat is sad stedfast and perfit.’

    (bk. iii. pr. 10, p. 89.)

  Omne enim quod imperfectum esse dicitur, id deminutione perfecti
  imperfectum esse perhibetur. Quo fit ut si in quolibet genere
  imperfectum quid esse videatur, in eo perfectum quoque aliquod
  esse necesse sit. Etenim perfectione sublata, unde illud, quod
  imperfectum perhibetur, extiterit, ne fingi quidem potest. _Neque
  enim ab diminutis inconsummatisque natura rerum cepit exordium,
  sed ab integris absolutisque procedens in hæc extrema atque effœta
  dilabitur._ Quod si, uti paulo ante monstravimus, est quædam boni
  fragilis imperfecta felicitas, esse aliquam solidam perfectamque
  non potest dubitari.

    (_Boeth._, lib. iii. pr. 10.)


VI. GENTILITY.

  For gentilnesse nys but renomé
  Of thin auncestres, for her heigh bounté
  Which is a straunge thing to thy persone.

    (_The Wyf of Bathes Tale_, vol. ii. p. 241.)

  For if þe name of gentilesse be referred to renoun and clernesse
  of linage. þan is gentil name but a foreine þing.

    (_Chaucer’s Boethius_, p. 78.)

  _Quæ_ [nobilitas], _si ad claritudinem refertur, aliena est._

    (_Boethius_, lib. iii. pr. 6.)


VII. NERO’S CRUELTY.

  No teer out of his eyen for that sighte
  Ne cam; but sayde, a fair womman was sche.
  Gret wonder is how that he couthe or mighte
  Be domesman on hir dede beauté.

    (_The Monkes Tale_, vol. iii. p. 217.)

  Ne no tere ne wette his face, but he was so hard-herted þat he
  myȝte ben domesman or iuge of hire dede beauté.

    (_Chaucer’s Boethius_, p. 55.)

  Ora non tinxit lacrymis, sed esse
  Censor extincti potuit decoris.

    (_Boethius_, lib. ii. met. 6.)


VIII. PREDESTINATION AND FREE-WILL.

In ‘Troylus and Cryseyde’ we find the following long passage taken from
Boethius, book v. prose 2, 3.

Book iv. st. 134, vol. iv. p. 339.

  (1) Syn God seth every thynge, out of doutaunce,
      And hem disponeth, thorugh his ordinaunce,
      In hire merites sothely for to be,
      As they shul comen by predesteyné

136

  (2) For som men seyn if God seth al byforne,
      Ne God may not deseyved ben pardé!
      Than moot it fallen, theigh men hadde it sworne,
      That purveyaunce hath seyn befor to be,
      Wherfor I seye, that, from eterne, if he
      Hathe wiste byforn our thought ek as oure dede,
      We have no fre choys, as thise clerkes rede.

137

  (3) For other thoughte, nor other dede also,
      Myghte nevere ben, but swich as purveyaunce,
      Which may nat ben deceyved nevere moo,
      Hath feled byforne, withouten ignoraunce;
      For if ther myghte ben a variaunce,
      To wrythen out fro Goddes purveyinge,
      Ther nere no prescience of thynge comynge;

138

  (4) But it were rather an opinyon
      Uncertein, and no stedfast forseynge;
      And certes that were an abusyon
      That God shold han no parfit clere wetynge,
      More than we men, that han douteous wenynge,
      But swich an erroure upon God to gesse
      Were fals, and foule, and wikked corsednesse.

139

  (5) They seyn right thus, that thynge is nat to come,
      For that the prescience hath seyne byfore
      That it shal come; but they seyn that therfore
      That it shal come, therfor the purveyaunce
      Woot it bifore, withouten ignorance.

140

  (6) And in this manere this necessité
      Retourneth in his part contrarye agayn;
      For nedfully byhoveth it not to be,
      That thilke thynges fallen in certeyn
      That ben purveyed; but nedly, as they seyne,
      Bihoveth it that thynges, which that falle,
      That thei in certein ben purveied alle.

141

  (7) I mene as though I labourede me in this,
      To enqueren which thynge cause of whiche thynge be;

  (8) As, whether that the prescience of God is
      The certein cause of the necessité
      Of thynges that to comen ben, pardé!
      Or, if necessité of thynge comynge
      Be cause certein of the purveyinge.

142

  (9) But now nenforce I me nat in shewynge
      How the ordre of causes stant; but wel woot I
      That it bihoveth that the bifallynge
      Of thynges, wiste bifor certeinly,
      Be necessarie, al seme it nat therby
      That prescience put fallynge necessaire
      To thynge to come, al falle it foule or faire.

143

 (10) For, if ther sit a man yonde on a see, [seat]
      Than by necessité bihoveth it,
      That certes thyn opinioun soth be,
      That wenest or conjectest that he sit;
      And, further over, now ayeinwarde yit,
      Lo right so is it on the part contrarie,
      As thus,--nowe herkene, for I wol nat tarie:--

144

 (11) I sey, that if the opinion of the
      Be soth for that he sit, than seye I this,
      That he moot sitten by necessité;
      And thus necessité in either is,
      For in hym nede of sittynge is, ywis,
      And in the, nede of soth; and thus forsoth
      Ther mot necessité ben in yow bothe.

145

 (12) But thow maist seyne, the man sit nat therfore,
      That thyn opinioun of his sittynge sothe is;
      But rather, for the man sat there byfore,
      Therfor is thyn opinioun soth, ywys;
      And I seye, though the cause of soth of this
      Cometh of his sittynge, yet necessité
      Is interchaunged both in hym and the.

146

 (13) Thus in the same wyse, out of doutaunce,
      I may wel maken, as it semeth me,
      My resonynge of Goddes purveiaunce,
      And of the thynges that to comen be; . . .

147

 (14) For although that for thynge shal come, ywys,
      Therfor it is purveyed certeynly,
      Nat that it cometh for it purveied is;
      Yet, natheles, bihoveth it nedfully,
      That thynge to come be purveied trewly;
      Or elles thynges that purveied be.
      That they bitiden by necessité.

148

 (15) And this sufficeth right ynough, certeyn,
      For to distruye oure fre choys everydele.

  (1) Quæ tamen ille ab æterno cuncta prospiciens providentiæ cernit
  intuitus, et suis quæque meritis prædestinata disponit. . . . .
  (_Boethius_, lib. v. pr. 2.)  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

  (2) Nam si cuncta prospicit Deus neque falli ullo modo potest,
  evenire necesse est, quod providentia futurum esse præviderit.
  Quare si ab æterno non facta hominum modo, sed etiam consilia
  voluntatesque prænoscit, nulla erit arbitrii libertas;

  (3) Neque enim vel factum aliud ullum vel quælibet existere
  poterit voluntas, nisi quam nescia falli providentia divina
  præsenserit. Nam si res aliorsum, quam provisæ sunt detorqueri
  valent, non jam erit futuri firma præscientia;

  (4) Sed opinio potius incerta; quod de Deo nefas credere judico.

  (5) Aiunt enim non ideo quid esse eventurum quoniam id providentia
  futurum esse prospexerit; sed e contrario potius, quoniam quid
  futurum est, id divinam providentiam latere non possit.

  (6) Eoque modo necessarium est hoc in contrariam relabi partem;
  neque enim necesse est contingere quæ providentur, sed necesse est
  quæ futura sunt provideri.

  (7) Quasi vero quæ cujusque rei causa sit,

  (8) Præscientiane futurorum necessitatis an futurorum necessitas
  providentiæ, laboretur.

  (9) At nos illud demonstrare nitamur, quoquo modo sese habeat ordo
  causarum, necessarium esse eventum præscitarum rerum, etiam si
  præscientia futuris rebus eveniendi necessitatem non videatur
  inferre.

  (10) Etenim si quispiam sedeat, opinionem quæ eum sedere conjectat
  veram esse necesse est: at e converso rursus,

  (11) Si de quopiam vera sit opinio quoniam sedet eum sedere
  necesse est. In utroque igitur necessitas inest: in hoc quidem
  sedendi, at vero in altero veritatis.

  (12) Sed non idcirco quisque sedet, quoniam vera est opinio: sed
  hæc potius vera est, quoniam quempiam sedere præcessit. Ita cum
  causa veritatis ex altera parte procedat, inest tamen communis in
  utraque necessitas.

  (13) Similia de providentia futurisque rebus ratiocinari patet.

  (14) Nam etiam si idcirco, quoniam futura sunt, providentur: non
  vero ideo, quoniam providentur, eveniunt: nihilo minus tamen a Deo
  vel ventura provideri, vel provisa evenire necesse est:

  (15) Quod ad perimendam arbitrii libertatem solum satis est.

    (lib. v. pr. 3.)

See _Chaucer’s Boethius_, pp. 154-6.


IX. THE GRIEF OF REMEMBERING BYGONE HAPPINESS.

  For, of fortunes scharp adversité,
  The worste kynde of infortune is this,
  A man to han ben in prosperité,
  And it remembren, when it passed is.

     (_Troylus and Cryseyde_, bk. iii. st. 226, vol. iv. p. 291.)

  Sed hoc est, quod recolentem me vehementius coquit. Nam in omni
  adversitate fortunæ infelicissimum genus est infortunii, fuisse
  felicem.[I-10]

    (_Boethius_, lib. ii. pr. 4.)

    [Footnote I-10: Cf. Dante, _Inferno_, V. 121.

              Nessun maggior dolore
      Che ricordarsi del tempo felice
      Nella miseria; e ciò sa ’l tuo Dottore.]


X. VULTURES TEAR THE STOMACH OF TITYUS IN HELL.

  ----Syciphus in Helle,
  Whos stomak fowles tyren everemo,
  That hyghten volturis.

    (_Troylus and Cryseyde_, book i. st. 113, p. 140.)

  Þe fowel þat hyȝt voltor þat etiþ þe stomak or þe giser of ticius.

    (_Chaucer’s Boethius_, p. 107.)


XI. THE MUTABILITY OF FORTUNE.

  For if hire (Fortune’s) whiel stynte any thinge to torne
  Thanne cessed she Fortune anon to be.

    (_Troylus and Cryseyde_, bk. i. st. 122, p. 142.)

  If fortune bygan to dwelle stable. she cesed[e] þan to ben fortune.

    (_Chaucer’s Boethius_, p. 32.)

(Compare stanzas 120, 121, p. 142, and stanza 136, p. 146, of ‘Troylus
and Cryseyde’ with pp. 31, 33, 35, and p. 34 of Chaucer’s Boethius.)

  At omnium mortalium stolidissime, si manere incipit, fors esse
  desistit.

    (_Boethius_, lib. ii. prose 1.)


XII. WORLDLY SELYNESSE

  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
  Imedled is with many a bitternesse.
  Ful angwyshous than is, God woote, quod she,
  Condicion of veyn prosperité!
  For oyther joies comen nought yfeere,
  Or elles no wight hath hem alwey here.

    (_Troylus and Cryseyde_, bk. iii. st. 110, p. 258.)

  Þe swetnesse of mannes welefulnesse is yspranid wiþ many[e]
  bitternesses.

    (_Chaucer’s Boethius_, p. 42.)

  --ful anguissous þing is þe condicioun of mans goodes. For eyþer
  it comeþ al to-gidre to a wyȝt. or ellys it lasteþ not perpetuely.

    (_Ib._ p. 41.)

  Quam multis amaritudinibus humanæ felicitatis dulcedo respersa
  est!

    (_Boethius_, lib. ii. prose 4.)

  Anxia enim res est humanorum conditio bonorum, et quæ vel nunquam
  tota proveniat, vel nunquam perpetua subsistat.

    (_Ib._)

  O, brotel wele of mannes joie unstable!
  With what wight so thow be, or how thow pleye,
  Oither he woot that thow joie art muable,
  Or woot it nought, it mot ben on of tweyen:
  Now if he woot it not, how may he seyen
  That he hath veray joie and selynesse,
  That is of ignoraunce ay in distresse?

  Now if he woote that joie is transitorie,
  As every joie of worldly thynge mot fle,
  Thanne every tyme he that hath in memorie,
  The drede of lesyng maketh hym that he
  May in no parfyte selynesse be:
  And if to lese his joie, he sette not a myte,
  Than semeth it, that joie is worth ful lite.

    (_Troylus and Cryseyde_, bk. iii. st. 111, 112, vol. iv. p. 258.)

  (1) What man þat þis toumblyng welefulnesse leediþ, eiþer he woot
  þat [it] is chaungeable. or ellis he woot it nat. And yif he woot
  it not. what blisful fortune may þer be in þe blyndenesse of
  ignoraunce.

  (2) And yif he woot þat it is chaungeable. he mot alwey ben adrad
  þat he ne lese þat þing. þat he ne douteþ nat but þat he may
  leesen it.  .  .  .  .  . For whiche þe continuel drede þat he haþ
  ne suffriþ hym nat to ben weleful. Or ellys yif he leese it he
  wene[þ] to be dispised and forleten hit. Certis eke þat is a ful
  lytel goode þat is born wiþ euene hert[e] whan it is loost.

    (_Chaucer’s Boethius_, pp. 43, 44.)

  (1) Quem caduca ista felicitas vehit, vel scit eam, vel nescit
  esse mutabilem. Si nescit, quænam beata sors esse potest
  ignorantiæ in cæcitate?

  (2) Si scit, metuat necesse est, ne amittat, quod amitti posse non
  dubitat; quare continuus timor non sinit esse felicem. An vel si
  amiserit, negligendum putat? Sic quoque perexile bonum est, quod
  æquo animo feratur amissum.

    (_Boethius_, lib. ii. prose 4.)


XIII. FORTUNE.

         ----Fortune
  That semeth trewest when she wol bigyle,
  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
  And, when a wight is from hire whiel ithrowe,
  Than laugheth she, and maketh hym the mowe.

    (_Troylus and Cryseyde_, bk. iii. st. 254, vol. iv. p. 299.)

  She (Fortune) vseþ ful flatryng familarité wiþ hem þat she
  enforceþ to bygyle.

    (_Chaucer’s Boethius_, p. 30.)

  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  She lauȝeþ and scorneþ þe wepyng of hem þe
  whiche she haþ maked wepe wiþ hir free wille  .  .  .  . Yif þat a
  wyȝt is seyn weleful and ouerþrowe in an houre.

    (_Ib._ p. 33.)

In book v., stanza 260, vol. v. p. 75, Chaucer describes how the soul of
Hector, after his death, ascended ‘up to the holughnesse of the seventhe
spere.’ In so doing he seems to have had before him met. 1, book 4, of
Boethius, where the ‘soul’ is described as passing into the heaven’s
utmost sphere, and looking down on the world below. See _Chaucer’s
Boethius_, p. 110, 111.

Ætas Prima is of course a metrical version of lib. ii. met. 5.

Hampole speaks of the wonderful sight of the Lynx; perhaps he was
indebted to Boethius for the hint. --(See _Boethius_, book 3, pr. 8,
p. 81.)

I have seen the following elsewhere:

  (1) Value not beauty, for it may be destroyed by a three days’
  fever.

    (See _Chaucer’s Boethius_, p. 81.)

  (2) There is no greater plague than the enmity of thy familiar
  friend.

    (See _Chaucer’s_ translation, p. 77.)

       *       *       *       *       *

Chaucer did not English Boethius second-hand, through any early French
version, as some have supposed, but made his translation with the Latin
original before him.

Jean de Méung’s version, the only early French translation, perhaps,
accessible to Chaucer, is not always literal, while the present
translation is seldom free or periphrastic, but conforms closely to the
Latin, and is at times awkwardly literal. A few passages, taken
haphazard, will make this sufficiently clear.

  _Et dolor ætatem jussit inesse suam._ And sorou haþ comaunded his
  age to be in me (p. 4).

  Et ma douleur {com}ma{n}da a vieillesse
  Entrer en moy / ains quen fust hors ieunesse.

  _Mors hominum felix, quæ se nec dulcibus annis
  Inserit, et mæstis sæpe vocata venit._

  Þilke deeþ of men is welful þat ne comeþ not in ȝeres þat ben
  swete (i. _mirie_). but comeþ to wrecches often yclepid. (p. 4)

  On dit la mort des ho{m}es estre eureuse
  Qui ne vie{n}t pas en saiso{n} pla{n}tureuse
  Mais des tristes mo{u}lt souue{n}t appellee
  Elle y affuit nue / seche et pelee.

  _Querimoniam lacrymabilem._ Wepli compleynte (p. 5). Fr. ma
  complainte moy esmouuant a pleurs.

  _Styli officio._ Wiþ office of poyntel (p. 5). Fr. (que ie
  reduisse) p{ar} escript.

  _Inexhaustus._ Swiche . . . þat it ne myȝt[e] not be emptid (p.
  5). Fr. inconsumptible.

  _Scenicas meretriculas._ Comune strumpetis of siche a place þat
  men clepen þe theatre (p. 6). Fr. ces ribaudelles fardees.

  _Præcipiti profundo._ In ouer-þrowyng depnesse (p. 7).

  [L]As que la pensee de lomme
  Est troublee et plongie comme
  En _abisme precipitee_
  Sa propre lumiere gastee.

  _Nec pervetusta nec incelebris._ Neyþer ouer-oolde ne vnsolempne
  (p. 11). Fr. desquelz la memoire nest pas trop ancienne ou no{n}
  recitee.

  _Inter secreta otia._ Among my secre restyng whiles (p. 14). Fr.
  entre mes secrettes {et} oyseuses estudes.

  _Palatini canes._ Þe houndys of þe palays (p. 15). Fr. les chiens
  du palais.

  _Masculæ prolis._ Of þi masculyn children (p. 37). Fr. de ta
  lignie masculine.

  _Ad singularem felicitatis tuæ cumulum venire delectat._ It
  deliteþ me to comen now to þe singuler vphepyng of þi welefulnesse
  (p. 37). Fr. Il me plait venir au singulier monceau de ta
  felicite.

  _Consulare imperium._ Emperie of consulers (p. 51). Fr. le{m}pire
  consulaire.

  _Hoc ipsum brevis habitaculi._ Of þilke litel habitacle (p. 57).
  Fr. de cest trespetit habitacle.

  _Late patentes plagas._ Þe brode shewyng contreys (p. 60).

  QVico{n}ques tend a gloire vaine
  Et le croit estre souueraine
  Voye _les regions pate{n}tes_
  Du ciel  .  .  .  .  .  .

  _Ludens hominum cura._ Þe pleiyng besines of men (p. 68).

  Si quil tollist par doulz estude
  Des hommes la solicitude  .  .

  _Hausi cœlum._ I took heuene (p. 10). Fr. ie . . . regarday le
  ciel.

  _Certamen adversum præfectum prætorii communis commodi ratione
  suscepi._ I took strif aȝeins þe prouost of þe pretorie for comune
  profit (p. 15). Fr. ie entrepris lestrif a lencontre du prefect du
  parlement royal a cause de la commune vtilite.

  _At cujus criminis arguimur summam quæris?_ But axest þou in somme
  of what gilt I am accused? (p. 17). Fr. Mais demandes tu la somme
  du pechie duquel pechie nous so{m}mes arguez?

  _Fortuita temeritate._ By fortunouse fortune (p. 26). Fr. par
  fortuite folie.

  _Quos premunt septem gelidi triones._ Alle þe peoples þat ben
  vndir þe colde sterres þat hyȝten þe seuene triones (p. 55). Fr.
  ceulx de septentrion.

  _Ita ego quoque tibi veluti corollarium dabo._ Ryȝt so wil I ȝeue
  þe here as a corolarie or a mede of coroune (p. 91). Fr.
  semblablement ie te donneray ainsi que vng correlaire.

  _In stadio._ In þe stadie or in þe forlonge (p. 119). Fr. ou (for
  au) champ.

  _Conjecto._ I coniecte (p. 154). Fr. ie coniecture.

  _Nimium . . . adversari ac repugnare videtur._ It semeþ . . . to
  repugnen and to contrarien gretly. Fr. Ce semble chose trop
  contraire et repugnante.

  _Universitatis ambitum._ Envirounynge of þe vniuersite (p. 165).
  Fr. lauironnement de luniuersalite.

  _Rationis universum._ Vniuersite of resoun (p. 165). Fr.
  luniuersalite de Raison.

  _Scientiam nunquam deficientis instantiæ rectius æstimabis._ Þou
  shalt demen [it] more ryȝtfully þat it is science of presence or
  of instaunce þat neuer ne fayleþ (p. 174). Fr. mais tu la diras
  plus droittement et mieulx science de instante p{re}sentialite non
  iamais defaillant mais eternelle.

Many of the above examples are very bald renderings of the original, and
are only quoted here to show that Chaucer did not make his translation
from the French.

Chaucer is not always felicitous in his translations:--thus he
translates _clavus atque gubernaculum_ by _keye and a stiere_ (p. 103),
and _compendium_ (gain, acquisition) by _abreggynge_ (abridging,
curtailment), p. 151. Many terms make their appearance in English for
the first time,--and most of them have become naturalized, and are such
as we could ill spare. Some few are rather uncommon, as _gouernaile_
(gubernaculum), p. 27; _arbitre_ (arbitrium), p. 154. As Chaucer takes
the trouble to explain _inestimable_ (inæstimabilis), p. 158, it could
not have been a very familiar term.

Our translator evidently took note of various readings, for on p. 31 he
notes a variation of the original. On p. 51 he uses _armurers_
(= armures) to render _arma_, though most copies agree in reading
_arva_.

There are numerous glosses and explanations of particular passages,
which seem to be interpolated by Chaucer himself. Thus he explains what
is meant by the _heritage of Socrates_ (p. 10, 11); he gives the
meaning of _coemption_ (p. 15); of _Euripus_ (p. 33); of the _porch_
(p. 166).[I-11] Some of his definitions are very quaint; as, for
instance, that of Tragedy--‘_a dité of a prosperité for a tyme þat endiþ
in wrechednesse_’ (p. 35). One would think that the following definition
of Tragedian would be rather superfluous after this,--‘_a maker of dites
þat hyȝten_ (are called) _tregedies_’ (p. 77).

  _Melliflui . . . oris Homerus_

is thus quaintly Englished: _Homer wiþ þe hony mouþe, þat is to seyn.
homer wiþ þe swete dites_ (p. 153).

       *       *       *       *       *

The present translation of the _De Consolatione_ is taken from
Additional MS. 10,340, which is supposed to be the _oldest_ manuscript
that exists in our public libraries. After it was all copied out and
ready for press, Mr Bradshaw was kind enough to procure me, for the
purpose of collation, the loan of the Camb. University MS. Ii. 3. 21,
from which the various readings at the foot of the pages are taken.

Had I had an opportunity of examining the Cambridge MS. carefully
throughout before the work was so far advanced, I should certainly have
selected it in preference to the text now given to the reader. Though
not so ancient as the British Museum MS., it is far more correct in its
grammatical inflexions, and is no doubt a copy of an older and very
accurate text.

The Additional MS. is written by a scribe who was unacquainted with the
force of the final _-e_. Thus he adds it to the preterites of strong
verbs, which do not require it; he omits it in the preterites of weak
verbs where it is wanted, and attaches it to passive participles (of
weak verbs), where it is superfluous. The scribe of the Cambridge MS. is
careful to preserve the final _-e_ where it is a sign (1) of the
definite declension of the adjective; (2) of the plural adjective;
(3) of the infinitive mood; (4) of the preterite of weak verbs; (5) of
present participles;[I-12] (6) of the 2nd pers. pret. indic. of strong
verbs; (7) of adverbs; (8) of an older vowel ending.

The Addit. MS. has frequently _thilk_ (singular and plural), and _-nes_
(in _wrechednes_, &c.), when the Camb. MS. has _thilke_[I-13] and
_-nesse_.

For further differences the reader may consult the numerous collations
at the foot of the page.

If the Chaucer Society obtains that amount of patronage from the
literary public which it deserves, but unfortunately has yet not
succeeded in getting, so that it may be enabled to go on with the great
work which has been so successfully commenced, then the time may come
when I shall have the opportunity of editing the Camb. MS. of Chaucer’s
Boethius for that Society, and lovers of Early English Literature will
have two texts instead of one.

    [Footnote I-11: See pages 39, 50, 61, 94, 111, 133, 149, 153,
    159.]

    [Footnote I-12: In the Canterbury Tales we find participles in
    _-yngë_.]

    [Footnote I-13: It is nearly always _thilkë_ in the Canterbury
    Tales.]



APPENDIX TO INTRODUCTION.


The last of the ancients, and one who forms a link between the classical
period of literature and that of the middle ages, in which he was a
favourite author, is Boethius, a man of fine genius, and interesting
both from his character and his death. It is well known that after
filling the dignities of Consul and Senator in the court of Theodoric,
he fell a victim to the jealousy of a sovereign, from whose memory, in
many respects glorious, the stain of that blood has never been effaced.
The _Consolation of Philosophy_, the chief work of Boethius, was written
in his prison. Few books are more striking from the circumstances of
their production. Last of the classic writers, in style not impure,
though displaying too lavishly that poetic exuberance which had
distinguished the two or three preceding centuries, in elevation of
sentiment equal to any of the philosophers, and mingling a Christian
sanctity with their lessons, he speaks from his prison in the swan-like
tones of dying eloquence. The philosophy that consoled him in bonds, was
soon required in the sufferings of a cruel death. Quenched in his blood,
the lamp he had trimmed with a skilful hand gave no more light; the
language of Tully and Virgil soon ceased to be spoken; and many ages
were to pass away, before learned diligence restored its purity, and the
union of genius with imitation taught a few modern writers to surpass in
eloquence the Latinity of Boethius. --(Hallam’s _Literature of Europe_,
i. 2, 4th ed. 1854.)

The Senator Boethius is the last of the Romans whom Cato or Tully could
have acknowledged for their countryman. As a wealthy orphan, he
inherited the patrimony and honours of the Anician family, a name
ambitiously assumed by the kings and emperors of the age; and the
appellation of Manlius asserted his genuine or fabulous descent from a
race of consuls and dictators, who had repulsed the Gauls from the
Capitol, and sacrificed their sons to the discipline of the Republic. In
the youth of Boethius the studies of Rome were not totally abandoned; a
Virgil is now extant, corrected by the hand of a consul; and the
professors of grammar, rhetoric, and jurisprudence, were maintained in
their privileges and pensions by the liberality of the Goths. But the
erudition of the Latin language was insufficient to satiate his ardent
curiosity; and Boethius is said to have employed eighteen laborious
years in the schools of Athens, which were supported by the zeal, the
learning, and the diligence of Proclus and his disciples. The reason and
piety of their Roman pupil were fortunately saved from the contagion of
mystery and magic, which polluted the groves of the Academy, but he
imbibed the spirit, and imitated the method, of his dead and living
masters, who attempted to reconcile the strong and subtle sense of
Aristotle with the devout contemplation and sublime fancy of Plato.
After his return to Rome, and his marriage with the daughter of his
friend, the patrician Symmachus, Boethius still continued, in a palace
of ivory and [glass] to prosecute the same studies. The Church was
edified by his profound defence of the orthodox creed against the Arian,
the Eutychian, and the Nestorian heresies; and the Catholic unity was
explained or exposed in a formal treatise by the _indifference_ of three
distinct though consubstantial persons. For the benefit of his Latin
readers, his genius submitted to teach the first elements of the arts
and sciences of Greece. The geometry of Euclid, the music of Pythagoras,
the arithmetic of Nicomachus, the mechanics of Archimedes, the astronomy
of Ptolemy, the theology of Plato, and the logic of Aristotle, with the
commentary of Porphyry, were translated and illustrated by the
indefatigable pen of the Roman senator. And he alone was esteemed
capable of describing the wonders of art, a sun-dial, a water-clock, or
a sphere which represented the motions of the planets. From these
abstruse speculations, Boethius stooped, or, to speak more truly, he
rose to the social duties of public and private life: the indigent were
relieved by his liberality; and his eloquence, which flattery might
compare to the voice of Demosthenes or Cicero, was uniformly exerted in
the cause of innocence and humanity. Such conspicuous merit was felt and
rewarded by a discerning prince: the dignity of Boethius was adorned
with the titles of consul and patrician, and his talents were usefully
employed in the important station of master of the offices.
Notwithstanding the equal claims of the East and West, his two sons were
created, in their tender youth, the consuls of the same year. On the
memorable day of their inauguration, they proceeded in solemn pomp from
their palace to the forum amidst the applause of the senate and people;
and their joyful father, the true Consul of Rome, after pronouncing an
oration in the praise of his royal benefactor, distributed a triumphal
largess in the games of the circus. Prosperous in his fame and fortunes,
in his public honours and private alliances, in the cultivation of
science and the consciousness of virtue, Boethius might have been styled
happy, if that precarious epithet could be safely applied before the
last term of the life of man.

A philosopher, liberal of his wealth and parsimonious of his time, might
be insensible to the common allurements of ambition, the thirst of gold
and employment. And some credit may be due to the asseveration of
Boethius, that he had reluctantly obeyed the divine Plato, who enjoins
every virtuous citizen to rescue the state from the usurpation of vice
and ignorance. For the integrity of his public conduct he appeals to the
memory of his country. His authority had restrained the pride and
oppression of the royal officers, and his eloquence had delivered
Paulianus from the dogs of the palace. He had always pitied, and often
relieved, the distress of the provincials, whose fortunes were exhausted
by public and private rapine; and Boethius alone had courage to oppose
the tyranny of the Barbarians, elated by conquest, excited by avarice,
and, as he complains, encouraged by impunity. In these honourable
contests his spirit soared above the consideration of danger, and
perhaps of prudence; and we may learn from the example of Cato, that a
character of pure and inflexible virtue is the most apt to be misled by
prejudice, to be heated by enthusiasm, and to confound private enmities
with public justice. The disciple of Plato might exaggerate the
infirmities of nature, and the imperfections of society; and the mildest
form of a Gothic kingdom, even the weight of allegiance and gratitude,
must be insupportable to the free spirit of a Roman patriot. But the
favour and fidelity of Boethius declined in just proportion with the
public happiness; and an unworthy colleague was imposed to divide and
control the power of the master of the offices. In the last gloomy
season of Theodoric, he indignantly felt that he was a slave; but as his
master had only power over his life, he stood without arms and without
fear against the face of an angry Barbarian, who had been provoked to
believe that the safety of the senate was incompatible with his own. The
Senator Albinus was accused and already convicted on the presumption of
_hoping_, as it was said, the liberty of Rome.

“If Albinus be criminal,” exclaimed the orator, “the senate and myself
are all guilty of the same crime. If we are innocent, Albinus is equally
entitled to the protection of the laws.” These laws might not have
punished the simple and barren wish of an unattainable blessing; but
they would have shown less indulgence to the rash confession of
Boethius, that, had he known of a conspiracy, the tyrant never should.
The advocate of Albinus was soon involved in the danger and perhaps the
guilt of his client; their signature (which they denied as a forgery)
was affixed to the original address, inviting the emperor to deliver
Italy from the Goths; and three witnesses of honourable rank, perhaps of
infamous reputation, attested the treasonable designs of the Roman
patrician. Yet his innocence must be presumed, since he was deprived by
Theodoric of the means of justification, and rigorously confined in the
tower of Pavia, while the senate, at the distance of five hundred miles,
pronounced a sentence of confiscation and death against the most
illustrious of its members. At the command of the Barbarians, the occult
science of a philosopher was stigmatized with the names of sacrilege and
magic. A devout and dutiful attachment to the senate was condemned as
criminal by the trembling voices of the senators themselves; and their
ingratitude deserved the wish or prediction of Boethius, that, after
him, none should be found guilty of the same offence.

While Boethius, oppressed with fetters, expected each moment the
sentence or the stroke of death, he composed in the tower of Pavia the
_Consolation of Philosophy_; a golden volume not unworthy of the leisure
of Plato or Tully, but which claims incomparable merit from the
barbarism of the times and the situation of the author. The celestial
guide, whom he had so long invoked at Rome and Athens, now condescended
to illumine his dungeon, to revive his courage, and to pour into his
wounds her salutary balm. She taught him to compare his long prosperity
and his recent distress, and to conceive new hopes from the inconstancy
of fortune. Reason had informed him of the precarious condition of her
gifts; experience had satisfied him of their real value; he had enjoyed
them without guilt; he might resign them without a sigh, and calmly
disdain the impotent malice of his enemies, who had left him happiness,
since they had left him virtue. From the earth, Boethius ascended to
heaven in search of the SUPREME GOOD; explored the metaphysical
labyrinth of chance and destiny, of prescience and free-will, of time
and eternity; and generously attempted to reconcile the perfect
attributes of the Deity with the apparent disorders of his moral and
physical government. Such topics of consolation, so obvious, so vague,
or so abstruse, are ineffectual to subdue the feelings of human nature.
Yet the sense of misfortune may be diverted by the labour of thought;
and the sage who could artfully combine in the same work the various
riches of philosophy, poetry, and eloquence, must already have possessed
the intrepid calmness which he affected to seek. Suspense, the worst of
evils, was at length determined by the ministers of death, who executed,
and perhaps exceeded, the inhuman mandate of Theodoric. A strong cord
was fastened round the head of Boethius, and forcibly tightened till his
eyes almost started from their sockets; and some mercy may be discovered
in the milder torture of beating him with clubs till he expired. But his
genius survived to diffuse a ray of knowledge over the darkest ages of
the Latin world; the writings of the philosopher were translated by the
most glorious of the English kings, and the third emperor of the name of
Otho removed to a more honourable tomb the bones of a Catholic saint,
who, from his Arian persecutors, had acquired the honours of martyrdom
and the fame of miracles. In the last hours of Boethius, he derived some
comfort from the safety of his two sons, of his wife, and of his
father-in-law, the venerable Symmachus. But the grief of Symmachus was
indiscreet, and perhaps disrespectful; he had presumed to lament, he
might dare to revenge, the death of an injured friend. He was dragged in
chains from Rome to the palace of Ravenna; and the suspicions of
Theodoric could only be appeased by the blood of an innocent and aged
senator.--Gibbon’s _Decline and Fall_, 1838, vol. vii. p. 45-52 (without
the notes).



INDEX


_(Giving the first line of each Metre, the first words of each Prose,
and the corresponding page of the translation)._

Book  Metre  Prose                                              Page

  I     1     --    Carmina qui quondam studio florente peregi     4
  „    --      1    Hæc dum mecum tacitus ipse reputarem           5
  „     2     --    Heu, quam præcipiti mersa profundo             7
  „    --      2    Sed medicinæ, inquit, potius tempus est        8
  „     3     --    Tunc me discussa liquerunt nocte tenebræ       9
  „    --      3    Haud aliter tristitiæ nebulis dissolutis,
                      hausi cœlum                                 10
  „     4     --    Quisquis composito serenus ævo                12
  „    --      4    Sentisne, inquit, hæc, atque animo
                      illabuntur tuo?                             13
  „     5     --    O stelliferi conditor orbis                   21
  „    --      5    Hæc ubi continuato dolore delatravi           23
  „     6     --    Cum Phœbi radiis grave                        25
  „    --      6    Primum igitur paterisne me pauculis
                      rogationibus                                26
  „     7     --    Nubibus atris                                 29
 II    --      1    Posthæc paulisper obticuit                    29
  „     1     --    Hæc cum superba verterit vices dextra         33
  „    --      2    Vellem autem pauca tecum fortunæ ipsius       33
  „     2     --    Si quantas rapidis flatibus incitus           35
  „    --      3    His igitur si pro se tecum fortuna
                      loqueretur                                  36
  „     3     --    Cum polo Phœbus roseis quadrigis              39
  „    --      4    Tum ego, Vera, inquam, commemoras             39
  „     4     --    Quisquis volet perennem                       44
  „    --      5    Sed quoniam rationum jam in te mearum
                      fomenta                                     45
  „     5     --    Felix nimium prior ætas                       50
  „    --      6    Quid autem de dignitatibus, potentiaque
                      disseram                                    51
  „     6     --    Novimus quantas dederit ruinas                55
  „    --      7    Tum ego, Scis, inquam, ipsa                   56
  „     7     --    Quicumque solam mente præcipiti petit         60
  „    --      8    Sed ne me inexorabile contra fortunam         61
  „     8     --    Quod mundus stabili fide                      62
 III    --     1    Jam cantum illa finierat                      63
  „     1     --    Qui serere ingenuum volet agrum               64
  „    --      2    Tum defixo paululum visu                      64
  „     2     --    Quantas rerum flectat habenas                 68
  „    --      3    Vos quoque, o terrena animalia                69
  „     3     --    Quamvis fluente dives auri gurgite            71
  „    --      4    Sed dignitates honorabilem reverendumque      72
  „     4     --    Quamvis se Tyrio superbus ostro               74
  „    --      5    An vero regna regumque familiaritas
                      efficere potentem valent?                   75
  „     5     --    Qui se volet esse potentem                    77
  „    --      6    Gloria vero quam fallax sæpe,
                      quam turpis est!                            77
  „     6     --    Omne hominum genus in terris                  78
  „    --      7    Quid autem de corporis voluptatibus loquar?   79
  „     7     --    Habet omnis hoc voluptas                      80
  „    --      8    Nihil igitur dubium est, quin                 80
  „     8     --    Eheu, quam miseros tramite devio              81
  „    --      9    Hactenus mendacis formam felicitatis
                      ostendisse                                  82
  „     9     --    O qui perpetua mundum ratione gubernas        87
  „    --     10    Quoniam igitur quæ sit imperfecti             88
  „    10     --    Huc omnes pariter venite capti                94
  „    --     11    Assentior, inquam.                            95
  „    11     --    Quisquis profunda mente vestigat verum       100
  „    --     12    Tum ego, Platoni, inquam, vehementer
                      assentior                                  101
  „    12     --    Felix qui potuit boni                        106
 IV    --      1    Hæc cum Philosophia, dignitate               108
  „     1     --    Sunt etenim pennæ volucres mihi              110
  „    --      2    Tum ego, Papæ, inquam, ut magna promittis!   112
  „     2     --    Quos vides sedere celso                      118
  „    --      3    Videsne igitur quanto in cœno probra
                      volvantur                                  119
  „     3     --    Vela Neritii ducis                           122
  „    --      4    Tum ego, Fateor, inquam, nec injuria
                      dici video                                 123
  „     4     --    Quid tantos juvat excitare motus             130
  „    --      5    Hic ego, Video, inquam, quæ sit vel
                      felicitas                                  131
  „     5     --    Si quis Arcturi sidera nescit                132
  „    --      6    Ita est, inquam.                             133
  „     6     --    Si vis celsi jura tonantis                   143
  „    --      7    Jamne igitur vides, quid hæc omnia
                      quæ diximus, consequatur?                  144
  „     7     --    Bella bis quinis operatus annis              147
  V    --      1    Dixerat, orationisque cursum ad alia quædam  149
  „     1     --    Rupis Achæmeniæ scopulis, ubi versa
                      sequentum                                  151
  „    --      2    Animadverto, inquam, idque uti tu dicis,
                      ita esse consentio.                        152
  „     2     --    Puro clarum lumine Phœbum                    153
  „    --      3    Tum ego, En, inquam, difficiliori rursus
                      ambiguitate confundor.                     154
  „     3     --    Quænam discors fœdera rerum                  159
  „    --      4    Tum illa, Vetus, inquit, hæc est de
                      Providentia querela                        161
  „     4     --    Quondam porticus attulit                     166
  „    --      5    Quod si in corporibus sentiendis, quamvis    168
  „     5     --    Quam variis terras animalia permeant
                      figuris!                                   170
  „    --      6    Quoniam igitur, uti paulo ante
                      monstratum est                             171

  Appendix.--Ætas Prima                                          180
      „      Balades de Vilage sanz Peinture                     182



TABLE OF CONTENTS.

++[I]NCIPIT TABULA LIBRI BOICII DE CONSOLAC{I}O{N}E PHILOSOPHIE.

  [_Additional MS. 10,340, fol. 3._]


    [Sidenote: [fol. 3.]]

LIBER PRIMUS.

   1 Carmina qui quondam studio flore{n}te p{er}egi.
   2 Hic dum mecum tacitus.
   3 Heu q{ua}m precipiti.
   4 Set medicine inquit tempus.
   5 Tunc me discussa.
   6 Haut[C-1] aliter tristicie.
   7 Quisquis composito.
   8 Sentis ne inquit.
   9 O stelliferi conditor orbis.
  10 Hic ubi continuato dolore.
  11 Cum phebi radijs.
  12 Primu{m} igit{ur} pateris rogac{i}o{n}ib{us}.
  13 Nubib{us} atris condita.

EXPLICIT LIBER PRIMUS.


LIBER SECUNDUS.

   1 Postea paulisper[C-2] conticuit.
   2 Hec cum superba.
   3 Uellem autem pauca.
   4 Si quantas rapidis.
   5 His igitur si {et} pro se.
   6 Cum primo polo.
   7 Tunc ego uera inq{ua}m.
   8 Contraq{ue}.
   9 Quisq{ui}s ualet p{er}hennem cantus.
  10 Set cum racionu{m} iam in te.
  11 Felix i{n} miru{m} iam prior etas.
  12 Quid au{tem} de dignitatib{us}.
  13 Nouim{us} quantos dederat.
  14 Tu{m} ego scis inq{ua}m.
  15 Quicu{n}q{ue} solam mente.
  16 Set ne me inexorabile.
  17 Q{uo}d mu{n}dus stabile fide.

EXPLICIT LIBER S{E}C{UN}DUS.


LIBER TERCIUS.

   1 Iam tantu{m} illa.
   2 Qui serere ingeniu{m}.
   3 Tunc defixo paululu{m}.
   4 Quantas reru{m} flectat.
   5 Uos quoq{ue} terrena a{n}i{m}alia.
   6 Qua{m}uis fluenter diues.
   7 Set dignitatib{us}.
   8 Qua{m}uis se tirio.
   9 An uero regna.
  10 Qui se ualet esse potentem.
  11 Gloria uero q{uam} fallax.
  12 Omne hominu{m} genus in terris.
  13 Quid au{tem} de corporib{us}.
  14 Habet hoc uoluptas.
  15 Nichil igit{ur} dubiu{m} est.
  16 Heu q{ue} miseros tramite.
  17 Hacten{us} me{n}dacio forma{m}.
  18 O qui p{er}petua.
  19 Q{uonia}m igit{ur} qui scit.
  20 Nunc omnes pariter.
  21 Assencior inq{ua}m cuncta.
  22 Quisq{ue} profunda.
  23 Tunc ego platoni inq{ua}m.
  24 Felix qui poterit.

EXPLICIT LIBER T{ER}CIUS.


LIBER QUARTUS.

   1 Hec cum philosophia.
   2 Sunt eteni{m} penne.
   3 Tunc ego pape inq{uam}.
   4 Quos uides sedere celsos.
   5 Uides ne igitur quanto.
   6 U[e]la naricij ducis.
   7 Tunc ego fateor inq{ua}m.
   8 Quid tantos iuuat.
   9 Huic ego uideo inq{ua}m.
  10 Si quis arcturi[C-3] sydera.
  11 Ita est inq{ua}m.
  12 Si uis celsi iura.
  13 Iam ne igit{ur} uides.
  14 Bella bis quinis.

EXPLICIT LIBER QUARTUS.


INCIPIT LIBER QUINTUS.

   1 Dixerat orac{i}onis q{ue} cursu{m}.
   2 Rupis achemenie.
   3 Animaduerto inq{ua}m.
   4 Puro claru{m} lumine.
   5 Tamen ego en inq{ua}m.
   6 Que nam discors.
   7 Tamen illa uetus.
   8 Quonda{m} porticus attulit.
   9 Quod si i{n} corporib{us}.
  10 Qua{m} uarijs figuris.
  11 Quonia{m} igit{ur} uti paulo ante.

EXPLICIT LIBER QUI{N}TUS {ET} ULTIMUS.

    [Footnote C-1: MS. hanc.]

    [Footnote C-2: MS. luper.]

    [Footnote C-3: MS. arituri.]



                                                                [[pg 4]]
    [Headnote:
    BOETHIUS DEPLORES HIS MISFORTUNES.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 3 _b_.]]

*LIBER PRIMUS.


INCIPIT LIBER BOICII DE CO{N}SOLAC{I}O{N}E PHILOSOPHIE.

Car{m}i{n}a qui q{u}onda{m} studio flore{n}te p{er}egi.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrste Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Boethius deplores his misfortunes in the following
    pathetic elegy.]

  ++Allas I wepyng am constreined to bygynne vers of
  sorouful matere. ¶ Þat whilom in florysching
  studie made delitable ditees. For loo rendyng muses
  of poetes enditen to me þinges to be writen. and drery               4
  v{er}s of wrecchednes weten my face wiþ v{er}ray teers.
  ¶ At þe leest no drede ne myȝt[e] ouer-come þo muses.
  þat þei ne were{n} felawes {and} folweden my wey. þat is
  to seyne when I was exiled.

    [Sidenote: ypalage antithesis]

          þei þat weren glorie of                                      8
  my youȝth whilom weleful {and} grene co{n}forten now þe
  sorouful werdes of me olde man.

    [Sidenote: Laments his immature old age.]

          for elde is comen vnwarly
  vpon me hasted by þe harmes þat I haue. {and}
  sorou haþ comau{n}ded his age to be in me. ¶ Heeres                 12
  hore ben schad ouertymelyche vpon myne heued. and
  þe slak[e] skyn trembleþ vpon myn emty body.

    [Sidenote: Death turns a deaf ear to the wretched.]

          þilk[e]
  deeþ of men is welful þat ne comeþ not in ȝeres þat
  ben swete (.i. mirie.) but comeþ to wrecches often                  16
  yclepid.

    [Linenotes:
    1 _of_--MS. of of.
    2 _florysching_--floryssynge
    3 _rendyng_--rendynge
    4 _be_--ben
    5 _wrecchednes_--wrecchednesse
      _teers_--teeres
    6 _leest_--leeste
      _myȝt[e] ouer-come_--myhte ouercomen
    8 _seyne when_--seyn whan
    9 _youȝth_--MS. þoȝt, C. yowthe
    10 _sorouful werdes_--sorful wierdes [i. fata]
    12 _sorou_--sorwe
       _haþ_--MS. haþe
       _be_--ben
    13 _hore_--hoore
       _ben_--arn
       _myne_--myn
    14 _slak[e]_--slake
       _vpon_--of
       _emty_--emptyd
       _þilk[e]_--thilke
    15 _welful_--weleful
       _comeþ not_--comth nat
    16 _.i. mirie_--omitted]

  ¶ Allas allas wiþ how deef an eere deeþ cruel
  to{ur}neþ awey fro wrecches {and} naieþ to closen wepyng
  eyen.

    [Sidenote: When Fortune was favourable Death came near Boethius,
    but in his adversity life is unpleasantly protracted.]

          ¶ While fortune vnfeiþful fauored[e] me                     20
  wiþ lyȝte goodes (.s. temp{or}els.) þe sorouful houre þat
  is to seyne þe deeþ had[de] almost dreynt myne heued.
  ¶ But now for fortune clowdy haþ chaunged hir disceyuable
  chere to me warde. myn vnpitouse lijf draweþ                        24
  a long vnagreable dwellynges in me.

    [Sidenote: Why did his friends call him happy? He stood not firm
    that hath thus fallen.]

          ¶ O ȝe my
  frendes what or wherto auaunted[e] ȝe me to be weleful:       [[pg 5]]
  for he þat haþ fallen stood not i{n} stedfast degree.

    [Linenotes:
    19 _tourneþ_--torneth
       _naieþ_--nayteth
       _wepyng_--wepynge
    20 _While_--Whil
       _fauored[e]_--fauorede
    21 _lyȝte_--lyhte
       _.s. temporels_--omitted
       _sorouful houre_--sorwful howr{e}
    22 _seyne_--seyn
       _had[de]_--hadde
       _myne_--myn
    23 _haþ_--MS. haþe
       _chaunged hir disceyuable_--chaungyd hyre deceyuable
    24 _vnpitouse lijf_--vnpietous lyf]


    [Headnote:
    PHILOSOPHY APPEARS TO BOETHIUS.]

HIC DUM MECUM TACITUS.

  [Sidenote: [The firste p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: Philosophy appears to Boethius, like a beautiful woman,
    and of great age.]

  ++IN þe mene while þat I stille recorded[e] þise þinges             28
  wiþ my self. {and} markede my wepli compleynte wiþ
  office of poyntel. I saw stondyng aboue þe heyȝt of my
  heued a woman of ful greet reuerence by semblaunt
  hir eyen brennyng {and} clere seing ouer þe comune                  32
  myȝt of men. wiþ a lijfly colo{ur} {and} wiþ swiche vigoure
  {and} strenkeþ þat it ne myȝt[e] not be emptid. ¶ Al
  were it so þat sche was ful of so greet age. þat men ne
  wolde not trowe i{n} no manere þat sche were of oure                36
  elde.

    [Sidenote: Her height could not be determined, for there were
    times when she raised her head higher than the heavens.]

          þe stature of hir was of a doutous iugement. for
  su{m}tyme sche constreyned[e] {and} schronk hir selue{n}
  lyche to þe comune mesure of men. {and} su{m}tyme it
  semed[e] þat sche touched[e] þe heuene wiþ þe heyȝte                40
  of hir heued. and when sche hef hir heued heyer sche
  p{er}ced[e] þe selue heuene. so þat þe syȝt of men lokyng
  was i{n} ydel.

    [Sidenote: Her clothes were finely wrought and indissoluble, but
    dark and dusky, like old besmoked images.]

          ¶ Hir cloþes weren maked of ryȝt delye
  þredes {and} subtil crafte of p{er}durable matere. þe wyche         44
  cloþes sche hadde wouen wiþ hir owen hondes: as I
  knew wel aftir by hir selfe. declaryng {and} schewyng
  to me þe beaute. þe wiche cloþes a derkenes of a forleten
  and dispised elde had[de] duskid {and} dirkid as                    48
  it is wo{n}t to dirken by-smoked ymages.

    [Sidenote: On the lower hem of her garment was the letter Π
    and on the upper Θ.]

          ¶ In þe neþerest[e]
  hem or bordure of þese cloþes me{n} redden                   [[pg 6]]
  ywouen in swiche a gregkysche .P. þat signifieþ þe lijf
  actif. And abouen þ{a}t l{ett}re in þe heyȝest[e] bordure           52
  a grekysche T. þat signifieþ þe lijf contemplatif.

    [Linenotes:
    26 _auaunted[e]_--auauntede
       _be_--ben
    27 _haþ_--MS. haþe
       _not_--nat
       _stedfast_--stidefast
    28 _In þe mene_--omitted
       _recorded[e]_--recordede
    30 _saw_--MS. sawe, C. sawh
       _stondyng above_--MS. studiyng aboue, C. stondinge abouen
       _heyȝt_--heyhte
       _my_--myn
    31 _greet_--gret
    32 _brennyng_--brennynge
       _clere seing_--cleer seynge
    33 _swiche_--swych
    34 _strenkeþ_--strengthe
       _it----emptid_--it myhte nat ben emted
       _Al_--alle
    36 _wolde----trowe_--wolden nat trowen
    37 _iugement_--Iuggement
    38 _sumtyme_--somtyme
       _constreyned[e]_--constreynede
       _schronk_--MS. schronke, C. shronk
    39 _lyche_--lyk
    40 _semed[e]_--semede
       _touched[e]_--towchede
    41 _when_--whan
       _hef_--MS. heued, C. hef
       _heyer_--hyere
    42 _perced[e]_--percede
       _syȝt_--syhte
       _lokyng_--lookynge
    44 _crafte_--craft
    45 _wouen_--MS. wonnen, C. wouen
       _owen hondes_--owne handes
    46 _knew_--MS. knewe, C. knewh
       _selfe declaryng_--self declarynge
       _schewyng_--shewynge
    47 _derkenes_--dirknesse
       _forleten_--forletyn
    48 _dispised_--despised
       _had[de] duskid_--hadde dusked
       _dirkid_--derked
    49 _by-smoked_--the smokede
       _neþerest[e]_--nethereste
    50 _þese_--thise
    51 _swiche_--omitted
       _gregkysche_--grekyssh{e}
       _signifieþ_--syngnifieth
    52 _heyȝest[e]_--heyeste]

    [Headnote:
    A DESCRIPTION OF PHILOSOPHY.]

    [Sidenote: Between the letters were steps like a ladder.]

  ¶ And by-twene þese two l{ett}res þere weren seien degrees
  nobly wrouȝt in manere of laddres. By wyche
  degrees men myȝt[en] clymbe fro þe neþemast[e] l{ett}re             56
  to þe ouermast[e].

    [Sidenote: Philosophy’s garments were tattered and torn, and
    pieces had been carried violently off.]

          ¶ Naþeles hondes of su{m} men
  hadde korue þ{a}t cloþe by vyolence {and} by strenkeþ.
  ¶ And eueryche man of hem hadde born away syche
  peces as he myȝte geet[e].

    [Sidenote: In her right hand she bore her books, and in her left a
    sceptre.]

          ¶ And forsoþe þis forsaide                                  60
  woman ber bookes in hir ryȝt honde. {and} in hir lefte
  honde sche ber a ceptre. ¶ And when sche sauȝ þese
  poetical muses ap{ro}chen aboute my bedde. {and} endytyng
  wordes to my wepynges. sche was a lytel ameued                      64
  and glowed[e] wiþ cruel eyen.

    [Sidenote: Philosophy bids the Muses leave Boethius, as they only
    increase his sorrow with their sweet venom.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 4.]]

          ¶ Who q{uo}d sche haþ
  suffred ap{ro}chen to þis seek[e] man þise comune strumpetis
  of siche a place þat *men clepen þe theatr{e}.
  ¶ Þe wyche only ne asswagen not his sorowes. wiþ no                 68
  remedies. but þei wolde fede {and} norysche hem wiþ
  swete venym. ¶ Forsoþe þise ben þo þat wiþ þornes
  {and} prykkynges of talentȝ or affecciou{n}s wiche þat
  ben no þing frutefiyng nor p{ro}fitable destroyen þe                72
  cornes plenteuouse of frutes of reson.

    [Sidenote: They may accustom the mind to bear grief, but cannot
    free it from its malady.]

          ¶ For þei
  holden þe hertes of men i{n} usage. but þei ne delyuere
  not folk fro maladye. but if ȝe muses hadde wiþdrawen
  fro me wiþ ȝoure flateries. any vnkonnyng
                  {and} vnp{ro}fitable                          [[pg 7]]
  man as men ben wont to fynde comunely amonges                       77
  þe peple. I wolde wene suffre þe lasse greuously.

    [Linenotes:
    54 _by-twene þese_--bytwixen thise
       _þere_--ther
       _seien_--seyn
    55 _nobly wrouȝt_--nobely ywroght
       _wyche_--whiche
    56 _myȝt[en] clymbe_--myhten clymbyn
       _neþemast[e]_--nethereste
    57 _ouermast[e]_--vppereste
       _sum_--some
    58 _hadde korue_--hadden koruen
       _cloþe_--cloth
       _strenkeþ_--strengthe
    59 _born_--MS. borne, C. born
       _away syche_--awey swiche
    60 _geet[e]_--geten
       _forsaide_--forseide
    61 _ber_--MS. bere, C. bar
       _bookes_--smale bookes
       _honde_--hand
       _lefte honde_--left hand
    62 _ber_--MS. bere, C. baar
       _sauȝ þese_--say thise
    63 _bedde_--bed
       _endytyng_--enditynge
    64 _ameued_--amoued
    65 _glowed[e]_--glowede
       _haþ_--MS. haþe, C. hath
    66 _seek[e]_--sike
       _þise_--the
       _strumpetis_--strompetes
    67 _siche_--swich
       _clepen_--clepyn
    68 _only ne_--nat oonly ne
       _not his_--nat hise
       _no_--none
    69 _wolde fede_--wolden feeden
       _norysche hem_--noryssyn hym
    72 _ben_--ne ben
       _frutefiyng_--fructefiynge
    73 _cornes plenteuouse_--corn plentyuos
    74 _þe_ and _ne_--both omitted
    75 _not_--nat
       _if ȝe_--MS. if þe, C. yif ye
       _hadde_--hadden
    76 _vnkonnyng_--vnkunnynge
    78 _peple_--poeple]

    [Headnote:
    PHILOSOPHY REBUKES THE MUSES.]

    [Sidenote: Philosophy is deeply grieved, because they have not
    seduced one of the profane, but one who has been brought up in
    Eleatic and Academic studies.]

  ¶ For-why in syche an vnp{ro}fitable man myne ententes
  weren no þing endamaged. ¶ But ȝe wiþdrawen me                      80
  þis man þat haþ ben norysched in studies or scoles of
  Eleaticis {and} of achademicis in grece.

    [Sidenote: She bids the syrens begone.]

          ¶ But goþ now
  raþer awey ȝe meremaydenes wyche ben swete til it
  be at þe laste. {and} suffreþ þis man to be cured {and}             84
  heled by myne muses. þat is to say by notful sciences.

    [Sidenote: Blushing for shame they pass the threshold.]

  ¶ And þus þis compaygnie of muses I-blamed casten
  wroþely þe chere adou{n}ward to þe erþe {and} schewyng
  by redenesse hir schame þei passeden sorowfuly þe                   88
  þreschefolde. ¶ And I of whom þe syȝt plonged i{n}
  teres was derked so þat I ne myȝt[e] not knowe what
  þat woman was of so i{m}perial auctorite.

    [Sidenote: Boethius is astonished at the presence of the august
    dame.]

          ¶ I wex al
  a-besid {and} astoned. {and} caste my syȝt adoune in to þe          92
  erþe. {and} bygan stille forto abide what sche wolde don
  afterwarde. ¶ Þo come sche nere {and} sette hir doun
  vpon þe vterrest[e] corner of my bedde.

    [Sidenote: Philosophy expresses her concern for Boethius.]

          {and} sche byholdyng
  my chere þat was cast to þe erþe heuy {and}                         96
  greuous of wepyng. co{m}pleinede wiþ þise wordes þ{a}t I
  schal sey þe p{er}t{ur}bac{i}ou{n} of my þouȝt.

    [Linenotes:
    79 _syche_--swhiche
       _myne_--myn
    80 _weren_--ne weeren
       _ȝe_--ye
    81 _haþ_--MS. haþe, C. hath
       _ben_--be
       _scoles_--schooles
    82 _goþ_--MS. goþe, C. goth
    83 _wyche_--whiche þat
    85 _say_--seyn
       _notful_--noteful
    86 _I-blamed_--Iblamyd
    87 _wroþely_--wrothly
       _adounward_--downward
    88 _redenesse_--rednesse
       _sorowfuly_--sorwfully
    89 _þreschefolde_--thresshfold
       _syȝt_--syhte
    90 _derked_--dyrked
       _myȝt[e]----knowe_--myhte nat knowen
    91 _wex_--wax
    92 _a-besid_--abaysshed
       _caste_--cast
       _adoune in to_--down to
    93 _don_--MS. done
    95 _vterrest[e] corner_--vttereste corner{e}
       _bedde_--bed
    97 _compleinede_--compley[n]de
    98 _sey_--seyen]


    [Headnote:
    PHILOSOPHY ADDRESSES BOETHIUS.]

HEU Q{UAM} PRECIPITI MERSA PROFUNDO.

  [Sidenote: [The 2de Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Drowned in the depth of cares the mind loses its proper
    clearness.]

  ++Allas how þe þouȝt of man dreint in ouer þrowyng
  depnesse dulleþ {and} forletiþ hys p{ro}pre clerenesse.            100
  myntynge to gone in to foreyne derknesses as
  ofte as hys anoious bisines wexiþ wiþ-oute{n} mesure.
  þ{a}t is dryuen to {and} fro wiþ worldly wyndes.              [[pg 8]]

    [Sidenote: Man in his freedom knew each region of the sky, the
    motions of the planets, and was wont to investigate the causes of
    storms, the nature and properties of the seasons, and the hidden
    causes of nature.]

          ¶ Þis
  man þat su{m}tyme was fre to who{m} þe heuene was open             104
  {and} knowen {and} was wont to gone in heuenelyche
  paþes. {and} sauȝ þe lyȝtnesse of þe rede sunne. {and} sauȝ
  þe sterres of þe colde moone. {and} wyche sterre i{n}
  heuene vseþ wandryng risorses yflit by dyuerse speres.             108
  ¶ Þis man ouer comere hadde co{m}p{re}hendid al þis by
  noumbre. of accountyng in astronomye. ¶ And ouer
  þis he was wont to seche þe causes whennes þe sounyng
  wy{n}des moeuen {and} bisien þe smoþe water of þe                  112
  see. {and} what spirit turneþ þe stable heuene. {and}
  whi þe sterre ryseþ oute of þe reede eest. to falle
  in þe westren wawes. and what attempriþ þe lusty
  houres of þe fyrste somer sesou{n} þat hiȝteþ {and} apparaileþ     116
  þe erþe wiþ rosene floures. ¶ And who
  makeþ þat plenteuouse autu{m}pne in fulle ȝeres fletiþ
  wiþ heuy grapes. ¶ And eke þis ma{n} was wont to
  telle þe dyuerses causes of nature þat weren yhid.                 120

    [Sidenote: But now, alas, he is constrained to keep his face to
    the ground.]

  ¶ Allas now lieþ he emptid of lyȝt of hys þouȝt. {and}
  hys nekke is p{re}ssid wiþ heuy cheynes {and} bereþ his
  chere enclined adoune for þe greet[e] weyȝt. and is
  constreyned to loke on foule erþe.                                 124

    [Linenotes:
    101 _gone_--goon
    102 _bisines_--bysynesse
        _outen_--owte
    103 _worldly_--wordely
    104 _sumtyme_--whilom
    105 _gone_--goon
    106 _paþes_--paathes
        _sauȝ_--sawh
        _lyȝtnesse_--lythnesse
        _sunne_--sonne
        _sauȝ_--MS. sue, C. sawgh
    107 _wyche_--which
    108 _risorses_--recourses
    111 _seche_--seken
        _sounyng_--sownynge
    114 _ryseþ oute_--aryseth owt
        _falle_--fallen
    115 _westren_--westrene
    116 _fyrste_--fyrst
    119 _eke_--ek
    120 _dyuerses_--diuerse
        _yhid_--MS. yhidde
    121 _lieþ_--lith
        _emptid_--emted
    123 _adoune_--adown
        _greet[e] weyȝt_--grete weyhte
    124 _loke----foule_--looken on the fool]


    [Headnote:
    PHILOSOPHY ENLIGHTENS BOETHIUS.]

SET MEDICINE INQUIT TEMPUS.

  [Sidenote: [The ij^de p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: More need of medicine than of complaint.]

  ++Bvt tyme is now q{uo}d sche of medicine more þen of
  compleynte. ¶ Forsoþe þen sche entendyng to
  me warde wiþ al þe lokyng of hir eyen saide.

    [Sidenote: Philosophy addresses Boethius.]

          ¶ Art
  not þou he q{uo}d sche þat su{m}tyme I-norschid wiþ my             128
  mylke {and} fostre[d] wiþ my meetes were ascaped {and}
  comen to corage of a p{er}fit man. ¶ Certys I ȝaf þe
  syche armures þat ȝif þou þi self ne haddest first caste      [[pg 9]]
  hem away. þei schulden haue defendid þe in sykernesse              132
  þat may not be ouer-comen. ¶ Knowest þou me not.

    [Sidenote: She fears his silence proceeds from shame rather than
    from stupidity.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 4 _b_.]]

  *Why art þou stille. is it for schame or for astonynge.
  It were me leuer þat it were for schame. but it semeþ
  me þat astony{n}ge haþ opp{re}ssed þe.

    [Sidenote: She finds him, however, in a lethargy, the distemper of
    a disordered mind.]

          ¶ And whan                                                 136
  sche say me not oonly stille. but wiþ-outen office of
  tonge {and} al doumbe. sche leide hir honde softely vpon
  my brest {and} seide. ¶ Here nis no p{er}il q{uod} sche.
  ¶ He is fallen in to a litargie. whiche þat is a comune            140
  sekenes to hertes þat ben desceiued. ¶ He haþ a litel
  forȝeten hym self. but certis he schal lyȝtly reme{m}bren
  hym self. ¶ Ȝif so be þat he haþ knowe{n} me or now.

    [Sidenote: To make his recovery an easy matter, she wipes his
    eyes, which were darkened by the clouds of mortal things, and
    dries up his tears.]

  {and} þat he may so done I wil wipe a litel hys eyen.      144
  þat ben derked by þe cloude of mortel þinges ¶ Þise
  wordes seide sche. and wiþ þe lappe of hir garment
  yplitid in a frounce sche dried[e] myn eyen þat were
  ful of þe wawes of my wepynges.                                    148

    [Linenotes:
    125, 126 _þen_--than
    127 _al_--alle
        _saide_--seyde
    128 _sumtyme_--whilom
        _I-norschid_--MS. I-norschide, C. noryssed
    129 _fostre[d]_--fostered
        _my_--myne
    130 _Certys_--Certes
        _ȝaf_, yaf
    131 _syche_--swiche
        _ȝif_--yif
        _caste_--C. cast
    132 _away_--awey
        _schulden haue_--sholden han
    133 _not be_--nat ben
        _Knowest þou_--knowestow
    134 _art þou_--artow
    136 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    138 _tonge_--tunge
        _doumbe_--dowmb
        _honde_--hand
    139 _Here_--her
    140 _litargie whiche_--litarge which
    141 _sekenes_--sykenesse
    141, 143 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    144 _done_--doon
        _wil wipe_--wol wypen
    146 _garment_--garnement
    147 _dried[e]_--dryede
        _were_--weeren
    148 _ful_--fulle]


    [Headnote:
    BOETHIUS RECOGNIZES HIS PHYSICIAN.]

TUNC ME DISCUSSA.

  [Sidenote: [The 3^de Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Her touch dispels the darkness of his soul, just as the
    heavy vapours, that darken the skies and obscure the sunlight, are
    chased away by the north wind, causing the return of the hidden
    day, when the sun smites our wondering sight with his sudden
    light.]

  ++Þus when þat nyȝt was discussed {and} chased awey.
  derknesses forleften me. {and} to myn eyen repeyre
  aȝeyne her firste strenkeþ. and ryȝt by ensample as
  þe sonne is hid when þe sterres ben clustred. þat is to            152
  sey whe{n} sterres ben couered wiþ cloudes by a swifte
  wynde þat hyȝt chorus. {and} þat þe firmame{n}t stont
  derked by wete ploungy cloudes. and þat þe sterres not
  apperen vpo{n} heuene. ¶ So þat þe nyȝt semeþ sprad                156
  vpo{n} erþe. ¶ Yif þan þe wynde þat hyȝt borias
  sent out of þe kaues of þe contre of Trace betiþ þis         [[pg 10]]
  nyȝt. þat is to seyn chasiþ it away {and} descouereþ þe
  closed day. ¶ Þan schineþ pheb{us} yshaken wiþ                     160
  sodeyne lyȝt {and} smyteþ wiþ hys bemes i{n} m{er}uely{n}g
  eyen.

    [Linenotes:
    149 _when_--whan
    150 _myn_--myne
        _repeyre_--repeyrede
    151 _aȝeyne_--omitted
        _her firste_--hir fyrst
    152 _hid_--MS. hidde, C. hid
        _when_--whan
    153 _sey_--seyn
        _when_--whan
    154 _hyȝt_--heyhte
        _chorus_--MS. thorus
        _stont_--MS. stonde, C. stant
    157 _þan_--thanne
        _wynde_--wynd
        _hyȝt_--hyhte
    158 _sent_--isent
    160 _þan_--thanne
    161 _sodeyne_--sodeyn]


    [Headnote:
    THE TRIALS OF PHILOSOPHY AND PHILOSOPHERS.]

HAUT[1] ALITER TRISTICIE.

    [Footnote 1: MS. hanc.]

  [Sidenote: [The 3^de p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: The clouds of sorrow being dispelled, Boethius
    recollects the features of his Physician, whom he discovers to be
    Philosophy.]

  ++Ryȝt so {and} none oþer wyse þe cloudes of sorowe
  dissolued {and} don awey. ¶ I took heuene. {and}                   164
  receyuede mynde to knowe þe face of my fyciscien.
  ¶ So þat I sette myne eyen on hir {and} festned[e] my
  lokyng. I byholde my norice philosophie. in whos
  houses I hadde conuersed {and} haunted fro my ȝouþe.               168
  {and} I seide þus.

    [Sidenote: He addresses her.]

          ¶ O þou maistresse of alle uertues
  descendid fro þe souereyne sete. Whi art þou comen
  in to þis solitarie place of myn exil. ¶ Art þou comen
  for þ{o}u art mad coupable wiþ me of fals[e] blames.               172

    [Sidenote: She expresses her concern for him, and tells him that
    she is willing to share his misfortunes.]

  ¶ O q{uod} sche my norry scholde I forsake þe now. and
  scholde I not parte wiþ þe by comune trauaille þe charge
  þat þou hast suffred for envie of my name. ¶ Certis
  it nar[e] not leueful ne sittyng to philosophie to leten           176
  wiþ-outen compaignie þe wey of hym þat is i{n}nocent.

    [Sidenote: She fears not any accusation, as if it were a new
    thing.]

  ¶ Scholde I þan redoute my blame {and} agrisen as þouȝ
  þer were byfallen a newe þing. q. d. non. ¶ For
  trowest þou þat philosophi be now alþerfirst assailed              180
  i{n} p{er}ils by folk of wicked[e] maneres.

    [Sidenote: For before the age of Plato she contended against
    folly, and by her help Socrates triumphed over an unjust death.]

          ¶ Haue I not
  stryuen wiþ ful greet strife in olde tyme byfore þe
  age of my plato aȝeins þe foolhardines of foly {and}
  eke þe same plato lyuyng. hys maistre socrates                     184
  deserued[e] victorie of vnryȝtful deeþ in my presence.

    [Sidenote: Of the inheritance of Socrates the rout of Epicureans
    and Stoics wanted to get a part.]

  ¶ Þe heritage of wyche socrates. þe h{er}itage is to seyne
  þe doctrine of þe whiche soc{ra}tes in hys oppiniou{n} of    [[pg 11]]
  felicite þat I clepe welfulnesse ¶ Whan þat þe people              188
  of epicuriens {and} stoyciens {and} many oþer enforceden
  hem to go rauische eueryche man for his part þat is
  to seyne. þat to eueryche of hem wolde drawen to þe
  defence of his oppiniou{n} þe wordes of socrates.                  192

    [Sidenote: Philosophy withstood them, whereupon they tore her
    robe, and, departing with the shreds, imagined that they had got
    possession of her.]

          ¶ Þei
  as in p{ar}tie of hir preye todrowe{n} me criynge {and}
  debatyng þer aȝeins. {and} tornen {and} torente{n} my cloþes
  þat I hadde woue{n} wiþ myn handes. {and} wiþ þe
  cloutes þat þei hadden arased oute of my cloþes. þei               196
  wenten awey wenyng þat I hadde gon wiþ he{m} euery
  dele.

    [Sidenote: Thus, clothed with her spoils, they deceived many.]

          In whiche epicuryens {and} stoyciens. for as
  myche as þer semed[e] so{m}me traces {and} steppes of
  myne habit.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 5.]]

          þe folye of men wenyng þo epicuryens                       200
  {and} stoyciens my *familers p{er}uertede (.s. p{er}sequend{o})
  so{m}me þoruȝ þe errour of þe wikked[e] or vnkunnyng[e]
  multitude of hem.

    [Sidenote: Philosophy adduces examples of wise men, who had
    laboured under difficulties on account of being her disciples.]

          ¶ Þis is to seyne for þei
  semeden philosophres: þei weren p{ur}sued to þe deeþ               204
  and slayn. ¶ So yif þou hast not knowen þe exilynge
  of anaxogore. ne þe empoysenyng of socrates. ne þe
  to{ur}mentȝ of ȝeno for þei [weren] straungers. ¶ Ȝit
  myȝtest þou haue knowe{n} þe senectiens {and} þe Canyos            208
  {and} þe sorancis of wyche folk þe renou{n} is neyþer ouer
  oolde ne vnsolempne. ¶ Þe whiche men no þing ellys
  ne brouȝt[e] hem to þe deeþ but oonly for þei weren
  enfourmed of my maneres. {and} semede{n} moste vnlyke              212
  to þe studies of wicked folk. ¶ And forþi þou auȝtest
  not to wondre þouȝ þ{a}t I in þe bitter see of þis lijf be
  fordryuen wiþ tempestes blowyng aboute.                      [[pg 12]]

    [Sidenote: It is the aim of Philosophy to displease the wicked,
    who are more to be despised than dreaded, for they have no
    leader.]

          in þe whiche
  te{m}peste þis is my most p{ur}pos þat is to seyn to displese      216
  to wikked[e] men. ¶ Of whiche schrews al be
  þe oost neuer so grete it is to dispyse. for it nis gouerned
  wiþ no leder of resoune. but it is rauysched only by
  flityng errour folyly {and} lyȝtly.

    [Sidenote: If Philosophy is attacked by the wicked, she retires
    within her fortress, leaving the enemy busy among the useless
    baggage, and laughing to scorn such hunters of trifles.]

          ¶ And if þei somtyme                                       220
  maky{n}g an ost aȝeynest vs assaile vs as strengere. oure
  leder draweþ to gedir hys rycchesse i{n} to hys toure.
  {and} þei ben ententif aboute sarpulers or sachels vnp{ro}fitable
  forto taken. but we þat ben heyȝ abouen syker                      224
  fro al tumulte {and} wode noise. ben stored {and} enclosed
  in syche a palays. whider as þat chateryng or anoying
  folye ne may not attayne. ¶ We scorne swiche
  rauiners {and} honters of foulest[e] þinges.                       228

    [Linenotes:
    163 _none oþer_--non oother
        _sorowe_--sorwe
    165 _knowe_--knowen
    166 _myne_--myn
        _festned[e]_--fastnede
    170 _fro_--from
    170, 171 _art þou_--artow
    172 _mad_--MS. made, C. maked
        _fals[e]_--false
    174 _parte_--parten
    176 _nar[e]_--nere
        _sittyng_--sittinge
    178 _þan_--thanne
    179 _þing_--thing
        _q.d. non_--omitted
    180 _trowest þou_--trowestow
        _alþerfirst_--alderfirst
    181 _wicked[e]_--wikkede
    182 _strife_--strif
    183 _aȝeins_--ayenis
        _foolhardines_--foolhardinesse
        _foly_--folie
    184 _eke_--ek
    185 _deserued[e]_--desseruede
    186 _wyche_--the which
        _seyne_--seyn
    188 _welfulnesse_--welefulnesse
    189 _oþer_--oothre
    190 _go_--gon
        _eueryche_--euerich
    191 _seyne_--seyn
        _to_--omitted
        _eueryche_--euerich
    194 _tornen_--_read_ coruen, C. koruen
    195 _wouen_--MS. wonne{n}, C. wouen
    196 _arased_--arraced
    197 _gon_--MS. gone, C. gon
    198 _dele_--del
    199 _myche_--moche
        _semed[e]_--semede
        {and}--or
    200 _myne_--myn
        _wenyng_--MS. wevyng, C. weninge
    202 _þoruȝ_--thorw
        _wikked[e]_--wikkede
        _vnkunnyng[e]_--vnkunnynge
    203 _seyne_--seyn þ{a}t
    204 _semeden_--semede
        _pursued_--MS. pursuede, C. pursued
    205 _slayn_--MS. slayne, C. slayn
    207 [_weren_]--weeren
    208 _myȝtest þou haue_--myhtestow han
    209 _sorancis_--sorans
        _wyche_--which
        _is_--nis
    210 _oolde_--MS. colde, C. old
    211 _brouȝt[e]_--browhte
    212 _enfourmed_--MS. vnfourmed, C. enformyd
        _my_--myne
        _vnlyke_--vnlyk
    213 _wicked folk_--wikkede foolk{e}
        _auȝtest_--owhtest
    214 _wondre_--wondren
        _bitter_--bittre
    216 _displese_--displesen
    217 _wikked[e]_--wikkede
        _schrews_--shrewes
    218 _oost_--glossed _acies_ in C.
        _grete_--gret
    219, 222 _leder_--leder{e}
    220 _flityng_--fleetynge
        _lyȝtly_--lythly
        _if_--yif
    221 _aȝeynest_--ayenis
    222 _to----rycchesse_, to gydere hise rychesses
        _toure_--towr
    224 _heyȝ_--heye
    225 _al_--alle
        _ben_--omitted
        _stored_--warnestored
    226 _syche_--swich
        _þat_--omitted
    227 _scorne_--schorne
    228 _rauiners----þinges_--rauyneres & henteres of fowleste thinges]


    [Headnote:
    THE AIM OF PHILOSOPHY.]

QUISQ{UI}S COMPOSITO.

  [Sidenote: [The ferthe Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: He who hath triumphed over fate, and remained
    insensible to the changes of Fortune, shall not be moved by
    storms, nor by the fires of Vesuvius, nor by the fiercest
    thunderbolts.]

  ++Who so it be þat is clere of vertue sad {and} wel ordinat
  of lyuyng. þat haþ put vnderfote þe prowed[e]
  wierdes {and} lokiþ vpryȝt vpon eyþer fortune. he may
  holde hys chiere vndiscomfited. ¶ Þe rage ne þe manace             232
  of þe co{m}moeuyng or chasyng vpwarde hete fro þe
  botme. ne schal not moeue þat man. ne þe vnstable
  mountaigne þat hyȝt veseuus. þat wircheþ oute þoruȝ
  hys broken[e] chemineys smokyng fires. ¶ Ne þe wey                 236
  of þonder lyȝt þat is wont to smyte heyȝe toures ne
  schal not mouene þat man.

    [Sidenote: Fear not the tyrant’s rage.]

          ¶ Wherto þen wrecches
  drede ȝe tyrauntes þat ben wode {and} felownes wiþ-outen
  ony strenkeþ.

    [Sidenote: He who neither fears nor hopes for anything disarms the
    tyrant.]

          ¶ Hope after no þing ne drede nat. {and}                   240
  so schalt þou desarmen þe ire of þilke vnmyȝty tyraunt.      [[pg 13]]

    [Sidenote: He whose heart fails him, yields his arms, and forges
    his own fetters.]

  ¶ But who so þat quakyng dredeþ or desireþ þing þat
  nis not stable of his ryȝt. þat man þat so doþ haþ cast
  awey hys schelde {and} is remoeued fro hys place. {and}            244
  enlaceþ hym i{n} þe cheyne wiþ whiche he may be
  drawen.

    [Linenotes:
    229 _clere_--cleer
    230 _lyuyng_--leuynge
        _haþ_--MS. haþe
        _vnderfote_--vndir-foot
        _prowed[e]_--prowde
    231 _may----chiere_--may his cheere holde
    232 _manace_--manesses
    233 _þe_--þe see
    235 _hyȝt_--hihte
        _veseuus_--MS. vesenus
        _wircheþ_--writith
    236 _broken[e]_--brokene
        _smokyng_--smokynge
    237 _smyte_--smyten
    238 _Wherto þen_--wharto thanne
    239 _felownes----ony_--felonos withowte any
    241 _schalt þou desarmen_--shaltow deseruien
    243 _doþ_--MS. doþe, C. doth
        _haþ_--MS. haþe, C. hath
        _cast_--MS. caste, C. cast
    244 _schelde_--sheld
        _remoeued fro_--remwed from
    245 _whiche_--the which
        _be_--ben]


    [Headnote:
    BOETHIUS SPEAKS OF HIS TROUBLES.]

SENTIS NE INQUIT.

  [Sidenote: [The verthe p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: Philosophy seeks to know the malady of Boethius.]

  ++FElest þou q{uod} sche þise þinges {and} entren þei ouȝt
  in þi corage. ¶ Art þou like an asse to þe harpe.                  248
  Whi wepest þou whi spillest þou teres. ¶ Yif þou
  abidest after helpe of þi leche. þe byhoueþ discouere þi
  wounde.

    [Sidenote: Boethius complains of Fortune’s unrelenting rage.]

          ¶ Þo .I. þat hadde gadered strenkeþ in my
  corage answered[e] {and} seide. {and} nedeþ it ȝitte q{uod}        252
  .I. of rehersyng or of amonic{i}ou{n}. {and} scheweþ it not
  ynouȝ by hym self þe scharpnes of fortune þat wexeþ
  woode aȝeynes me.

    [Sidenote: Is not she moved, he asks, with the aspect of his
    prison?]

          ¶ Ne moeueþ it nat þe to seen þe
  face or þe man{er}e of þis place (.i. p{r}isou{n}.).

    [Sidenote: His library, his habit, and his countenance are all
    changed.]

          ¶ Is þis                                                   256
  þe librarie wyche þat þou haddest chosen for a ryȝt
  certeyne sege to þe i{n} myne house. ¶ Þere as þou
  desputest of[te] wiþ me of þe sciences of þinges touching
  diuinitee {and} touchyng mankynde. ¶ Was þan                       260
  myn habit swiche as it is now. was þan my face or
    [Interlinear: quasi d{ice}ret non.]
  my chere swiche as now.

          ¶ Whan I souȝt[e] wiþ þe
  secretys of nature. whan þou enfo{ur}medest my maners
  {and} þe resou{n} of al my lijf. to þe ensaumple of þe ordre       264
  of heuene.

    [Sidenote: Is this, he asks, the reward of his fidelity?]

    [Interlinear: ironice]
          ¶ Is nat þis þe gerdou{n} þat I refere to þe
  to whom I haue be obeisaunt. ¶ Certis þou enfo{ur}medist
  by þe mouþe of plato þis sentence.

    [Sidenote: Plato (de Rep. v.) says that those Commonwealths are
    most happy that are governed by philosophers, or by those who
    study to be so.]

          þat is to
  seyne þat co{m}mune þinges or comunabletes weren                   268
  blysful yif þei þat haden studied al fully to wisdom         [[pg 14]]
  gouerneden þilke þinges.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 5 _b_.]]

          or ellys yif it so by-felle þat
  þe gouernours *of co{m}munalites studieden in grete wisdomes.

    [Linenotes:
    247 _Felest þou_--Felistow
        _ouȝt_--awht
    248 _art þou_--artow
    249 _wepest þou_--wepistow
        _spillest þou_--spillestow
    252 _answered[e]_--answerede
    255 _woode_--wood
    257 _wyche_--which
    258 _myne house þere_--myn hows ther
    259 _desputest of[te]_--desputedest ofte
    260 _þan_--thanne
    261 _it_ and _þan_--both omitted
    261, 262 _swiche_--swich
    262 _souȝt[e]_--sowhte
    263 _secretys_--secretȝ
        _my_--MS. me, C. my
    264 _al_--alle
    265 _gerdoun_--gerdouns
    266 _enfourmedist_--conformedest
    267 _mouþe_--mowht
    268 _comunabletes_--comunalitees
    270 _by-felle_--byfille
    271 _in grete wisdomes_--to geten wysdom]

    [Headnote:
    PHILOSOPHERS TO BE POLITICIANS.]

    [Sidenote: The same Plato urged philosophers to take upon them the
    management of public affairs, lest it should fall into the hands
    of unprincipled citizens.]

  ¶ Þou saidest eke by þe mouþe of þe same                           272
  plato þat it was a necessarie cause wyse men to taken
  {and} desire þe gou{er}nau{n}ce of comune þi{n}ges. for þat þe
  gou{er}nementes of comune citees y-left in þe hondes of
  felonous to{ur}mento{ur}s Citiȝenis ne scholde not brynge          276
  inne pestile{n}ce {and} destrucc{i}ou{n} to goode folk.

    [Sidenote: Boethius declares that he desired to put in practice
    (in the management of public affairs) what he had learnt in his
    retirement.]

          ¶ And
  þerfore I folowynge þilk auctoritee (.s. platonis). desiryng
  to put[te] furþe in execusiou{n} {and} in acte of comune
  admi{ni}st{ra}c{i}ou{n} þo þinges þat .I. hadde lerned of þe       280
  among my secre restyng whiles. ¶ Þou {and} god þ{a}t
  put[te] þee in þe þouȝtis of wise folk ben knowen wiþ
  me þat no þing brouȝt[e] me to maistrie or dignite: but
  þe comune studie of al goodenes.

    [Sidenote: He sought to do good to all, but became involved in
    discord with the wicked.]

          ¶ And þer-of comeþ                                         284
  it þat by-twixen wikked folk {and} me han ben greuouse
  discordes. þat ne myȝten not be relesed by p{ra}yeres.

    [Sidenote: Consciousness of integrity made him despise the anger
    of the most powerful.]

  ¶ For þis libertee haþ fredom of conscience þat þe wraþþe
  of more myȝty folk haþ alwey ben despised of me for                288
  saluac{i}ou{n} of ryȝt.

    [Sidenote: He opposed Conigastus, and put a stop to the doings of
    Triguilla.]

          ¶ How ofte haue .I. resisted {and}
  wiþstonde þilk man þat hyȝt[e] conigaste þat made
  alwey assautes aȝeins þe p{ro}pre fortunes of poure feble
  folke. ¶ How ofte haue .I. ȝitte put of. or cast out               292
  hy{m} trigwille p{ro}uost of þe kynges hous boþe of þe
  wronges þat he hadde bygon[ne] to done {and} eke fully
  p{er}formed. ¶ How ofte haue I couered {and} defended
  by þe auctorite of me put aȝeins p{er}ils.

    [Sidenote: He put his authority in peril for the defence of poor
    folk.]

          þat is to seine put                                        296
  myne auctorite in peril for þe wreched pore folke. þat
  þe couetise of straungeres vnpunysched to{ur}mentid alwey    [[pg 15]]
  wiþ myseses {and} greuaunces oute of noumbre.

    [Linenotes:
    272 _eke_--ek
    275 _comune_--omitted
        _y-left_--MS. ylefte, C. yleft
    276 _Citiȝenis_--citesenes
        _brynge inne_--bryngen in
    278 _þerfore_--therfor
        _þilk_--thilke
        _desiryng_--desired
    279 _put[te] furþe_--putten forth
    280 _þo_--thilke
    282 _put[te]_--putte
    283 _brouȝt[e]_--ne browhte
    284 _þe_--omitted
        _al goodenes_--alle goodnesse
        _comeþ_--comth
    287, 288 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    289 _saluacioun_--sauacioun
    290 _þilk_--thilke
        _hyȝt[e]_--hyhte
    290 _conigaste_--MS. coniugaste
    292 _ofte_--ofte ek
        _ȝitte_--omitted
    294 _bygon[ne]_--bygunne
        _done_--don
    295 _couered_--MS. couerede, C. couered
    296 _put_--MS. putte, C. put
        _seine_--seyn
    297 _myne_--myn
    298 _vnpunysched_--vnpunyssed
    299 _myseses_--myseyses]

    [Headnote:
    BOETHIUS DEFENDS HIS OWN CONDUCT.]

    [Sidenote: I never deviated, he says, from the path of justice.]

  ¶ Neuer man drow me ȝitte fro ryȝt to wro{n}g. When I say þe       300
  fortunes {and} þe rychesse of þe people of þe p{ro}uinces
  ben harmed eyþer by p{r}iue rauynes or by comune
  tributis or cariages.

    [Sidenote: I felt for those that were wrongfully oppressed.]

          as sory was I as þei þat suffred[e]
  þe harme. _Glosa._ ¶ Whan þat theodoric þe kyng of                 304
  gothes in a dere ȝere hadde hys gerners ful of corne
  {and} comaundede þat no ma{n} ne schold[e] bie no corne
  til his corne were solde {and} þat at a dere greuous pris.
  ¶ But I w{i}t{h}stod þat ordinaunce {and} ouer-com it              308
  knowy{n}g al þis þe kyng hym self. ¶ Coempciou{n} þat
  is to seyn comune achat or bying to-gidere þat were
  establissed vpon poeple by swiche a manere imposiciou{n}
  as who so bouȝt[e] a busshel corn he most[e] ȝeue þe               312
  ky{n}g þe fifte p{ar}t. _Textus._

    [Sidenote: I opposed successfully Coemption in Campania.]

          ¶ Whan it was in þe
  soure hungry tyme þere was establissed or cried greuous
  {and} inplitable coempciou{n} þat men seyn wel it schulde
  greetly to{ur}me{n}tyn {and} endamagen al þe p{ro}uince of         316
  co{m}paigne I took strif aȝeins þe p{ro}uost of þe pretorie
  for comune p{ro}fit. ¶ And þe kyng knowyng of it I
  ouercom it so þat þe coempciou{n} ne was not axed ne
  took effect.

    [Sidenote: I saved Paulinus out of the hands of the hounds of the
    palace (_Palatini canes_).]

          ¶ Paulyn a counseiller of Rome þe rychesse                 320
  of þe whyche paulyn þe houndys of þe palays. þat is to
  seyn þe officeres wolde han deuoured by hope {and}
  couetise ¶ Ȝit drow I hym out of þe Iowes .s. faucib{us}
  of hem þat gapede{n}.

    [Sidenote: I defended Albinus against Cyprian.]

          ¶ And for as myche as þe peyne                             324
  of þe accusac{i}ou{n} aiuged byforn ne scholde not sodeynly
  henten ne punischen wrongfuly Albyn a counseiller of
  Rome. I put[te] me aȝenis þe hates {and} indignac{i}ou{n}s   [[pg 16]]
  of þe accuso{ur} Ciprian. ¶ Is it not þan ynought yseyn            328
  þat I haue p{ur}chased greet[e] discordes aȝeins my self.

    [Sidenote: For the love of justice I forfeited all favour at
    Court.]

  but I aughte be more asseured aȝenis alle oþer folk þat
  for þe loue of ryȝtwisnesse .I. ne reserued[e] neuer no
  þing to my self to hem ward of þe kynges halle .s. officers.       332
  by þe whiche I were þe more syker. ¶ But þoruȝ þe
  same accuso{ur}s accusyng I am co{n}dempned.

    [Linenotes:
    300 _drow_--MS. drowe, C. weth drowh
        _ȝitte_--yit
        _wrong_--wronge
    301 _rychesse_--richesses
        _þe_ (2)--omitted
    302 _harmed eyþer_--harmyd or amenused owther
    303 _tributis_--tributȝ
        _suffred[e]_--suffreden
    304 _harme_--harm
    305 _ȝere_--yer
        _hys_--hise
    305, 306, 307 _corne_--corn
    306 _schold[e] bie_--sholde byen
    308 _But I withstod_--Boece withstood (MS. withstode)
        _com_--MS. come, C. com
    311 _swiche_--swich
    312 _bouȝt[e]_--bowhte
        _busshel_--bossel
        _most[e] ȝeue_--moste yeue
    315 _inplitable_--vnplitable
        _seyn_--sayen
    319 _ouercom_--MS. ouercome, C. ouer com
    320 _counseiller_--consoler
        _rychesse_--rychesses
    321 _whyche_--which
    322 _wolde_--wolden
    323 _drow_--MS. drowe, C. drowh
    324 _myche_--moche
    326 _punischen_--punisse
    327 _putt[e]_--putte
    328 _yseyn_--MS. yseyne
    329 _greet[e]_--grete
    330 _aughte be_--owhte be the
        _oþer_--oothre
    333 _by þe whiche_--by which
        _þoruȝ þe_--thorw tho]

    [Headnote:
    THE ACCUSERS OF BOETHIUS.]

    [Sidenote: Boethius makes mention of his accusers, Basilius,
    Opilio, Gaudentius, men who had been commanded to leave the city
    on account of their many crimes.]

  ¶ Of þe noumbre of whiche accuso{ur}s one basilius þat somtyme
  was chased out of þe kynges seruice. is now co{m}pelled            336
  i{n} accusyng of my name for nede of foreine
  moneye. ¶ Also opilion {and} Gaudenci{us} han accused
  me. al be it so þat þe Iustice regal hadde su{m}tyme demed
  hem boþe to go in to exil. for her treccheries {and} fraudes       340
  wiþ-outen noumbre. ¶ To whiche iugement þei wolde
  not obeye. but defended[e] hem by sykernesse of holy
  houses.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 6.]]

          *þat is to seyne fledden in to seyntuaries. {and}
  whan þis was ap{er}ceiued to þe kyng. he comaunded[e]              344
  but þat þei voided[e] þe citee of Rauenne by certeyne
  day assigned þat men scholde merken hem on þe forheued
  wiþ an hoke of iren {and} chasen hem out of toune.
  ¶ Now what þing semeþ þe myȝt[e] be lykned to þis                  348
  cruelte.

    [Sidenote: But, on the day this sentence was to be executed, they
    accused him, and their testimony against him was accepted.]

          For certys þilk same day was receyued þe accusyng
  of my name by þilk[e] same accuso{ur}s. ¶ What
  may be seid herto. haþ my studie {and} my konnyng
  deserued þus. or ellys þe forseide dampnaciou{n} of me.            352
  made þat hem ryȝtful accuso{ur}s or no (q.d. no{n}).

    [Sidenote: Fortune, if not ashamed at this, might at least blush
    for the baseness of the accusers.]

  ¶ Was not fortune asshamed of þis. [Certes alle hadde
  nat fortune ben asshamyd] þat i{n}nocence was accused.
  ȝit auȝt[e] sche haue had schame of þe filþe of myn accuso{ur}s.   356

    [Linenotes:
    335 _whiche_--the whiche
        _one_--oon
        _somtyme_--whilom
    339 _sumtyme_--whilon
    340 _go_--gon
        _her_--hir
    341 _wiþ-outen_--withowte
        _wolde not_--nolden nat
    342 _defended[e]_--defendedyn
        _by_--by the
    343 _seyne_--seyn
        _seyntuaries_--sentuarye
    344 _was_--omitted
        _comaunded[e]_--comaundede
    345 _voided[e]_--voidede
        _certeyne_--certeyn
    346 _men_--me
        _merken_--marke
    347 _hoke of iren_--hoot yren
    348 _þe_--omitted
        _myȝt[e] be_--myhte ben
    349 _þilk_--thilke
    350 _þilk[e]_--thilke
    351 _be_--ben
        _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyd
        _haþ_--MS. haþe
    354, 355 [_Certes----asshamyd_]--from C.
    356 _auȝt[e]_--owte
        _haue had_--han had, MS. hadde]

                                                               [[pg 17]]
    [Headnote:
    THE ACCUSATIONS AGAINST BOETHIUS.]

  ¶ But axest þou in so{m}me of what gilt .I.
  am accused.

    [Sidenote: Boethius says he is accused of trying to save the
    Senate, and of having embarrassed an informer against the Senate.]

          men seyne þat I wolde sauen þe co{m}paignie
  of þe senato{ur}s. ¶ And desirest þou to here
  in what manere .I. am accused þat I scholde han distourbed         360
  þe accuso{ur} to beren l{ett}res. by whiche he
  scholde han maked þe senatours gilty aȝeins þe kynges
  Real maieste. ¶ O meistresse what demest þou of
  þis. schal .I. forsake þis blame þat I ne be no schame to          364
  þe (q. d. no{n}).

    [Sidenote: It is true that he tried to save the Senate, for he has
    and will have its best interests always at heart.]

          ¶ Certis .I. haue wold it. þat is to
  seyne þe sauuaciou{n} of þe senat. ne I schal neuer leten
  to wilne it. {and} þat I confesse {and} am a-knowe. but
  þe entent of þe accusour to be destourbed schal cese.              368
  ¶ For schal I clepe it a felonie þan or a synne þat I
  haue desired þe sauuaciou{n} of þe ordre of þe senat.
  and certys ȝit hadde þilk same senat don by me þoruȝ
  her decretȝ {and} hire iugementys as þouȝ it were a synne          372
  or a felonie þat is to seyne to wilne þe sauuaciou{n} of
  he{m} (.s senat{us}).

    [Sidenote: (Folly cannot change the merit of things.]

          ¶ But folye þat lieth alwey to hym
  self may not chaunge þe merit of þinges.

    [Sidenote: According to Socrates’ judgment it is not lawful to
    hide the truth nor assent to a falsehood.)]

          ¶ Ne .I.
  trowe not by þe iugement of socrates þ{a}t it were leueful         376
  to me to hide þe soþe. ne assent[e] to lesynges.
  ¶ But certys how so euer it be of þis I put[te] it to gessen
  or p{re}ise{n} to þe iugeme{n}t of þe {and} of wise folk. ¶ Of
  whiche þing al þe ordinaunce {and} þe soþe for as moche            380
  as folk þat ben to comen aftir our{e} dayes scholle{n}
  knowen it.

    [Sidenote: Boethius determines to transmit an account of his
    prosecution to posterity.]

          ¶ I haue put it in scripture {and} remembraunce.
  for touching þe l{ett}res falsly maked. by
  whiche l{ett}res I am accused to han hooped þe fredom of           384
  Rome. What app{er}teneþ me to speken þer-of.

    [Sidenote: Boethius says that he could have defeated his accusers
    had he been allowed the use of their confessions.]

  Of whiche l{ett}res þe fraude hadde ben schewed ap{er}tly if
  I hadde had libertee forto han vsed {and} ben at þe          [[pg 18]]
  co{n}fessiou{n} of myn accuso{ur}s. ¶ Þe whiche þing in            388
  alle nedys haþ grete strenkeþ. ¶ For what oþ{er} fredo{m}
  may men hopen.

    [Sidenote: But there is now no remains of liberty to be hoped
    for.]

          Certys I wolde þat some oþ{er} fredom
  myȝt[e] be hoped. ¶ I wolde þan haue answered by
  þe wordes of a man þat hyȝt[e] Canius. for whan he was             392
  accused by Gayus Cesar Germeins son þat he (cani{us})
  was knowyng {and} consentyng of a coniurac{i}ou{n} maked
  aȝeins hym (.s. Gai{us}). ¶ Þis Canius answered[e]
  þus. ¶ Yif I had[de] wist it þou haddest not wist it.              396

    [Linenotes:
    357 _axest þou_--axestow
    358 _seyne_--seyn
        _sauen_--saue
    359 _desirest þou_--desires thow
        _here_--hereen
    362 _maked_--MS. maken, C. makyd
    363 _demest þou_--demestow
    365 _wold_--MS. wolde, C. wold
    366 _seyne_--seyn
    367 _þat_--omitted
        _am_--I am
    368 _be_--ben
    369 _it_--it thanne
        _þan_--omitted
    371 _þilk_--thilke
    372 _her_--hir
        _hire_--hir
        _þouȝ_--thogh
    373 _or_--and
        _seyne_--seyn
    374 _lieth_--MS. lieþe, C. lieth
    377 _assent[e]_--assente
    381 _schollen_--shellen
    382 {and}--{and} in
    385 _speken_--speke
    385-86 _of----lettres_--C. omits
    386 _if_--yif
    387 _had_--MS. hade, C. had
    388 _myn_--myne
    389 _haþ_--MS. haþe, C. hath
        _grete_--gret
        _what_--omitted
    390 _some_--som
    391 _myȝt[e] be_--myhte ben
        _þan haue_--thanne han
    392 _hyȝt[e]_--hyhte
    394 _maked_--ymaked
    395 _answered[e]_--answerede
    396 _had[de]_--hadde]

    [Headnote:
    BOETHIUS COMPLAINS TO PHILOSOPHY.]

    [Sidenote: It is not strange that the wicked should conspire
    against virtue.]

  In whiche þing sorwe haþ not so dulled my witte
  þ{a}t I pleyne oonly þat schrewed[e] folk apparailen
  folies aȝeins vertues. ¶ But I wondre gretly how þat
  þei may p{er}forme þinges þat þei had[de] hoped forto              400
  done.

    [Sidenote: The will to do ill proceeds from the defects of human
    nature.]

          For why. to wylne schrewednesse þat comeþ
  p{ar}auenture of oure defaute. ¶ But it is lyke to a
  monstre {and} a meruaille.

    [Sidenote: It is a marvel how such evil acts can be done under the
    eye of an Omniscient God.]

          ¶ How þat in þe p{re}se{n}t
  syȝt of god may ben acheued {and} p{er}formed swiche               404
  þinges. as euery felonous man haþ conceyued in hys
  þouȝt aȝeins i{n}nocent. ¶ For whiche þing oon of þi
  familers not vnskilfully axed þus.

    [Sidenote: If there be a God, whence proceeds evil? If there is
    none, whence arises good?]

          ¶ Ȝif god is. whennes
  comen wikked[e] þinges. {and} yif god ne is whennes                408
  comen goode þinges. but al hadde it ben leueful þat
  felonous folk þat now desiren þe bloode {and} þe deeþ of
  alle goode men. {and} eke of al þe senat han wilned to
  gone destroien me. whom þei han seyn alwey bataile{n}              412
  {and} defenden goode men {and} eke al þe senat. Ȝit
  hadde I not desserued of þe fadres. þat is to seyne of
  þe senatours þat þei scholde wilne my destrucc{i}ou{n}.

    [Sidenote: Boethius defends the integrity of his life.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 6 _b_.]]

  ¶ Þou remembrest wele as I gesse þat whan I wolde            [[pg 19]]
  don or *seyn any þing. þou þi self alwey p{re}sent reweledest me.  417

    [Sidenote: He defended the Senate at Verona.]

  ¶ At þe citee of verone wha{n} þat þe
  kyng gredy of comune slauȝter. caste hym to t{ra}nsporten
  vpon al þe ordre of þe senat. þe gilt of his real                  420
  maieste of þe whiche gilt þat albyn was accused. wiþ
  how grete sykernesse of p{er}il to me defended[e] I al
  þe senat.

    [Sidenote: He spake only the truth, and did not boast.]

          ¶ Þou wost wel þat I seide soþe. ne I
  auaunted[e] me neuer in preysyng of my self.                       424

    [Sidenote: (Boasting lessens the pleasure of a self approving
    conscience.)]

          ¶ For
  alwey when any wyȝt resceiueþ p{re}ciouse renou{n} in
  auauntyng hym self of hys werkes: he amenusiþ þe
  secre of hys conscience. ¶ But now þou mayst wel
  seen to what ende I am comen for myne i{n}nocence.                 428

    [Linenotes:
    397 _whiche_--which
        _sorwe_--sorw
        _haþ_--MS. haþe
        _witte_--wit
    398 _schrewed[e]_--shrewede
    399 _folies_--felonies
        _vertues_--vertu
    400 _had[de]_--han
    401 _done_--don
        _comeþ_--comth
    402 _lyke to a_--lyk a
    404 _syȝt_--syhte
    405 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    406 _innocent_--innocentȝ
        _whiche_--which
    408 _wikked[e]_--wykkede
    410 _bloode_--blod
    411 _eke_--ek
    412 _gone_--gon {and}
        _seyn_--seyen
    413 _eke_--ek
    414 _seyne_--seyn
    415 _scholde_--sholden
    416 _wele_--wel
    417 _don_--MS. done, C. doon
        _seyn_--seyen
    418 _þe_ (1)--omitted
    419 _slauȝter_--slawhtre
    420 _transporten vpon_--transpor vp
    422 _grete_--gret
        _defended[e]_--deffendede
    423 _seide soþe_--seye soth
    424 _auaunted[e]_--auauntede
    425 _when_--whan
        _preciouse_--presious]

    [Headnote:
    OF HIS FALSE ACCUSERS.]

    [Sidenote: But as the reward of his innocence he is made to suffer
    the punishment due to the blackest crime.]

  I receiue peyne of fals felonie in gerdou{n} of verray
  vertue. ¶ And what open co{n}fessiou{n} of felonie
  had[de] euer iugis so accordaunt i{n} cruelte. þat is to
  seyne as myne accusyng haþ. ¶ Þat oþer errour of                   432
  mans witte or ellys co{n}diciou{n} of fortune þat is vncerteyne
  to al mortal folk ne submytted[e] su{m}me of he{m}. þat is
  to seyne þat it ne cheyned[e] su{m}me iuge to han pitee
  or compassiou{n}.                                                  436

    [Sidenote: Had he been accused of a design to burn temples,
    massacre priests, he would have been allowed to confront his
    accusers.]

          ¶ For al þouȝ I had[de] ben accused
  þat I wolde brenne holy houses. {and} strangle p{re}stys
  wiþ wicked swerde. ¶ or þat .I. had[de] grayþed deeþ
  to alle goode men algatis þe sentence scholde han
  punysched me p{re}sent confessed or co{n}uict.

    [Sidenote: But now this is denied him, and he is proscribed and
    condemned to death.]

          ¶ But                                                      440
  now I am remewed fro þe Citee of rome almost fyue-hundreþ
  þousand pas. I am wiþ outen defence dampned
  to p{ro}sc{ri}pciou{n} {and} to þe deeþ. for þe studie {and}
  bountees þat I haue done to þe senat. ¶ But o wel ben              444
  þei worþi of mercye (as who seiþ nay.) þer myȝt[e] neuer
  ȝit non of hem ben conuicte. Of swiche a blame as            [[pg 20]]
  myn is of swiche t{r}espas myn accuso{ur}s seyen ful wel þe dignitee.

    [Linenotes:
    429 _in_--for
    430 _vertue_--vertu
    431 _had[de]_--hadde
    432 _seyne_--seyn
        _myne_--myn
        _haþ_--MS. haþe
    433 _witte_--wit
        _vncerteyne_--vncerteyn
    434 _al_--alle
        _submytted[e]_--submittede
    435 _seyne_--seyn
        _cheyned[e]_--enclinede
    436 _had[de]_--hadde
    438 _wicked_--wykkede
        _had[de]_--hadde
    441 _almost_--almest
    442 _þousand_--MS. þousas
        _wiþ outen_--withowte
    444 _done_--doon
    445 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    446 _ben_--be
        _swiche_--swich
    447 _myn_ (_both_)--myne
        _swiche_--whiche
        _seyen_--sayen]

    [Headnote:
    BOETHIUS ACCUSED OF SORCERY.]

    [Sidenote: Boethius says that his enemies accused him of sorcery.]

  þe wiche dignite for þei wolde derken it                           448
  wiþ medelyng of some felonye. þei beren me on honde
  {and} lieden. þat I hadde polute {and} defouled my conscience
  wiþ sacrelege. for couetise of dignite. ¶ And
  certys þou þi self þat art plaunted in me chacedest oute           452
  þe sege of my corage al couetise of mortal þinges. ne
  sacrilege ne had[de] no leue to han a place in me byforne
  þine eyen.

    [Sidenote: He affirms that he has always followed the golden maxim
    of Pythagoras,-- ἕπου Θεῷ.]

          ¶ For þou drouppedest euery day in myn
  eer{e}s {and} in my þouȝt þilk comaundement of pictogoras.         456
  þat is to seyne men schal seruen to god. {and} not to
  goddes. ¶ Ne it was no couenaunt ne no nede to
  taken helpe of þe foulest spirites. ¶ I þat þou hast
  ordeyned or set in syche excellence þ{a}t [þou] makedest           460
  me lyke to god. and ouer þis þe ryȝt clene secre
  chaumbre of myn house.

    [Sidenote: His family and friends could clear him from all
    suspicion of the crime of sorcery.]

          þat is to seye my wijf {and} þe
  co{m}paignie of myn honeste frendis. {and} my wyues
  fadir as wel holy as worþi to ben reuerenced þoruȝ                 464
  hys owen dedis. defenden me of al suspecciou{n} of syche
  blame. ¶ But o malice. ¶ For þei þat accusen me
  taken of þe philosophie feiþe of so grete blame.

    [Sidenote: Because he has given himself up to Philosophy, his
    enemies accuse him of using unlawful arts.]

          ¶ For                                                      467
  þei trowen þat .I. haue had affinite to malyfice or enchau{n}tementȝ
  by cause þat I am replenissed {and} fulfilled
  wiþ þi techynges. {and} enformed of þi maners.
  ¶ And þus it sufficeþ not only þat þi reuerence ne auayle
  me not. but ȝif þat þou of þi fre wille raþer be blemissed         472
  wiþ myne offensiou{n}. ¶ But certys to þe harmes þat I
  haue þere bytydeþ ȝit þis encrece of harme.

    [Linenotes:
    448 _wolde_--wolden
    449 _some_--som
        _beren_--baren
        _on honde_--an hand
    450 _polute_--polut
    451 _sacrelege_--C. _has_ sorcerie _as a gloss to_ sacrilege
    453 _al_--alle
    454 _had[de]_--hadde
        _byforne_--byforn
    455 _drouppedest_--droppedest
        _myn_--myne
    456 _þilk_--thilke
    457 _seyne_--seyn
        _seruen_--serue
        _god_--godde
    459 _helpe_--help
        _spirites_--spirite
    460 _set_--MS. sette, C. set
        _syche_--swiche
        [_þou_]--thow
    461 _lyke_--lyk
    462 _house_--hows
        _seye_--seyn
    463 _myn_--my
    465 _owen_--owne
        _of al_--from alle
        _syche_--swich
    467 _philosophie_--philosophre
        _feiþe_--feyth
        _grete_--gret
    468 _had_--MS. hadde, C. had
    473 _myne_--myn
    474 _þere_--ther
        _harme_--harm]

                                                               [[pg 21]]
    [Headnote:
    BOETHIUS DEPLORES THE POPULAR CENSURE.]

  þat þe gessinge {and} þe iugement of myche folk ne loken no
  þing to þe[de]sertys of þinges but only to þe aue{n}t{ur}e         476
  of fortune.

    [Sidenote: Most people imagine that that only should be judged to
    be undertaken with prudent foresight which is crowned with
    success.]

          ¶ And iugen þat only swiche þinges ben
  p{ur}ueied of god. whiche þat temporel welefulnesse
  co{m}mendiþ. _Glosa._ ¶ As þus þat yif a wyȝt haue
  prosperite. he is a good man {and} worþi to haue þat               480
  p{ro}sperite.

    [Sidenote: The unfortunate lose the good opinion of the world.]

          and who so haþ aduersite he is a wikked
  man. {and} god haþ forsake hym. {and} he is worþi to
  haue þat aduersite. ¶ Þis is þe opiniou{n} of so{m}me
  folke.

    [Sidenote: [* Text begins again.]]

          *{and} þer of comeþ þat good gessyng. ¶ Fyrste of          484
  al þi{n}g forsakeþ wrecches certys it greueþ me to þink[e]
  ryȝt now þe dyuerse sentences þat þe poeple seiþ of
  me. ¶ And þus moche I seye þat þe laste charge of
  contrarious fortune is þis.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 7.]]

          *þat whan þat ony blame is                                 488
  laid vpon a caytif. men wenen þat he haþ deserued þat
  he suffreþ.

    [Sidenote: Boethius laments the loss of his dignities and
    reputation.]

          ¶ And I þat am put awey fro{m} goode men
  {and} despoiled from dignitees {and} defoulid of my name
  by gessyng haue suffred torment for my goode dedis.                492

    [Sidenote: The wicked, he says, sin with impunity, while the
    innocent are deprived of security, protection, and defence.]

  ¶ Certys me semeþ þat I se þe felonus couines of
  wikked men abounden in ioie {and} in gladnes. ¶ And
  I se þat euery lorel shapiþ hy{m} to fynde oute newe
  fraudes forto accusen goode folke. and I se þat goode              496
  men ben ou{er}þrowen for drede of my p{er}il. ¶ and
  euery luxurious to{ur}mentour dar don alle felonie vnpunissed
  {and} ben excited þerto by ȝiftes. and i{n}nocentȝ
  ne ben not oonly despoiled of sykernesse but of defence            500
  {and} þerfore me list to crien to god in þis manere.

    [Linenotes:
    475 _myche_--moche
    476 _þe[de]sertys_--the desertȝ
    479 _Glosa_--glose
    480 _good_--MS. goode, C. good
        _haue_--han
    481 _so_--omitted in C.
    481, 482 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    483 _haue_--han
    484 _Fyrste_--fyrst
    485 _al_--alle
        _þink[e]_--thinke
    488 _ony_--any
    489 _laid_--MS. laide, C. leyd
        _haþ_--MS. haþe
    490 _put_--MS. putte, C. put
    491 _from_--of
    494 _abounden_--habownden
        _gladnes_--gladnesse
    495 _oute_--owt
    496 _accusen_--accuse
    497 _ben_--beth
    501 _manere_--wise]


    [Headnote:
    THE CRUEL CHANGES OF FORTUNE]

O STELLIFERI CONDITOR ORBIS.

  [Sidenote: [The fifthe met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Author of the starry sky, Thou, seated on high, turnest
    the spheres, and imposest laws upon the stars and planets.]

  ++O þou maker of þe whele þat bereþ þe sterres. whiche
  þat art fastned to þi p{er}durable chayere. {and}
  turnest þe heuene wiþ a rauyssyng sweigh{e}
                  {and} {con}streinest                         [[pg 22]]
  þe sterres to suffren þi lawe. ¶ So þ{a}t þe                       505
  mone somtyme schynyng wiþ hir ful hornes metyng
  wiþ alle þe bemes of þe sonne.

    [Sidenote: The sun obscures the lesser lights, and quenches even
    the moon’s light.]

          ¶ Hir broþer hideþ þe
  sterres þat ben lasse. {and} somtyme whan þe mone                  508
  pale wiþ hir derke hornes approcheþ þe sonne. leesith
  hir lyȝtes.

    [Sidenote: Thou raisest Hesperus to usher in the shades of night,
    and again causest him to be the harbinger of day, whence his name
    Lucifer.]

          ¶ And þat þe euesterre esperus whiche
  þat in þe first[e] tyme of þe nyȝt bryngeþ furþe hir
  colde arysynges comeþ eft aȝeynes hir vsed cours. {and}            512
  is pale by þe morwe at þe rysynge of þe sonne. and is
  þan cleped lucifer. ¶ Þou restreinest þe day by schorter
  dwellyng in þe tyme of colde wynter þat makeþ þe
  leues to falle. ¶ Þou diuidest þe swifte tides of þe               516
  nyȝt when þe hote somer is comen.

    [Sidenote: Thou controllest the changing seasons of the year.]

          ¶ Þi myȝt attempre[þ]
  þo variau{n}tȝ sesons of þe ȝere. so þat
  ȝepherus þe deboneire wynde bringeþ aȝein in þe first[e]
  somer sesou{n} þe leues þat þe wynde þat hyȝt[e] boreas            520
  haþ reft awey in autu{m}pne. þat is to seyne in þe laste
  eende of somer. and þe sedes þat þe sterre þat hyȝt arctur{us}
  saw ben waxen hey[e] cornes whan þe sterre
  sirius eschaufeþ hym.                                              524

    [Sidenote: All nature is bound by thy eternal law.]

          ¶ Þere nis no þing vnbounde
  from hys olde lawe ne forleteþ hym of hys p{ro}pre estat.

    [Linenotes:
    502 _whele_--whel
        _whiche_--which
    503 _fastned_--yfastned
        _chayere_--chayer
    504 _sweighe_--sweyh
        _constreinest_, MS. contreuiest, C. constreynest
    506 _hir_--her{e}
    508 _lasse_--lesse
    510 _esperus whiche_--hesperus which
    511 _first[e]_--fyrste
        _furþe_--forth
    512 _eft_--est
    514 _restreinest_--MS. restreniest
    516 _to_--omitted
    518 _attempre[þ] þo_--atempreth the
        _sesons_--sesoun
        _ȝere_--yer
    519 _wynde bringeþ_--wynd brengeth
    520 _wynde_--wynd
        _hyȝt[e]_--hihte
    521 _reft_--MS. refte, C. reft
        _seyne_--seyn
    522 _hyȝt_--hihte
        _arcturus_--MS. aritur{us}
    523 _saw_--MS. saweþ, C. sawgh
        _hey[e]_--hyye
    524 _hym_--hem
        _þere_--ther
        _þing_--thinge
    525 _from_--fram
        _forleteþ hym of_--forleetheth þe werke of]

    [Headnote:
    CONTRASTED WITH THE ORDER OF NATURE.]

    [Sidenote: Why, then, leavest thou man’s actions uncontrolled?]

  ¶ O þou gouerno{ur} gouernyng alle þinges by certeyne
  ende. why refusest þou oonly to gouerne þe werkes of
  men by dewe manere.

    [Sidenote: Why should fickle fortune be allowed to work such
    mighty changes in the world?]

          ¶ Whi suffrest þ{o}u þat slidyng                           528
  fortune turneþ to grete vtter chaungynges of þinges.
  so þat anoious peyne þat scholde duelly punissh{e} felouns
  punissitȝ innocentȝ.

    [Sidenote: The wicked are prosperous, while the righteous are in
    adversity.]

          ¶ And folk of wikked[e]
  man{er}es sitten in heiȝe chaiers. {and} anoienge folk             532
  treden {and} þat vnryȝtfully in þe nekkes of holy men.       [[pg 23]]
  ¶ And vertue clere {and} schynyng naturely is hid in
  dirke dirkenesses. {and} þe ryȝtful man beriþ þe blame
  {and} þe peyne of þe felowne. ¶ Ne þe forsweryng ne                536
  þe fraude couered {and} kembd wiþ a fals colo{ur} ne
  a-noyeþ not to schrewes. ¶ Þe whiche schrewes whan
  hem lyst to vsen her strengþe þei reioisen hem to
  putte{n} vndir hem þe souerayne kynges. whiche þ{a}t               540
  poeple wiþ[outen] noumbre dreden.

    [Sidenote: O thou that bindest the disagreeing elements, look upon
    this wretched earth, and, as thou dost govern the spacious
    heavens, so let the earth be firmly bound.]

          ¶ O þou what so
  euer þou be þat knyttes[t] alle bondes of þinges loke
  on þise wrecched[e] erþes. we men þat ben nat a
  foule party but a faire party of so grete a werke we               544
  ben turmentid in þe see of fortune. ¶ Þou gouerno{ur}
  wiþdraw {and} restreyne þe rauyssinge flodes {and} fastne
  {and} forme þise erþes stable wiþ þilke [bonde] wiþ
  whiche þou gouernest þe heuene þat is so large.                    548

    [Linenotes:
    527 _refusest þou_--refowsestow
    529 _to----þinges_--so grete entrechaunginges of thynges
    531 _punissitȝ_--punysshe
        _wikked[e]_--wykkede
    532 _heiȝe_--heer{e}
    533 _in_--oon
    534 {and}--omitted
    536 _Ne þe forsweryng_--Ne forswerynge
    537 _kembd_--MS. kembde, C. kembd
    541 _wiþ[outen]_--withhowtyn
    542 _knyttes[t]_--knyttest
    543 _wrecched[e]_--wrecchede
    544 _a_ (2)--omitted
    545 _þe_--this
    546 _wiþdraw_--MS. wiþdrawe, C. withdrawh
        _þe_--thei
    547 _forme_--ferme
        [_bonde_]--from C.
        _wiþ_--by]


    [Headnote:
    PHILOSOPHY CONSOLES BOETHIUS,]

HIC UBI CONTINUATO DOLORE.

  [Sidenote: [The fyfthe p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: Philosophy consoles Boethius.]

  ++Whan I hadde wiþ a continuel sorwe sobbed or
  broken out þise þinges sche wiþ hir chere peisible
  {and} no þi{n}g amoeued. wiþ my compleyntes seide þ{us}.
  whan I say þe q{uod} sche sorweful {and} wepyng I wist[e]          552
  on-one þat þou were a wrecche {and} exiled. but I
  wist[e] neuer how fer þine exile was: ȝif þi tale ne
  hadde schewed it to me. but certys al be þou fer fro þi
  contre.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 7 _b_.]]

          þou nart *nat put out of it. but þou hast                  556
  fayled of þi weye {and} gon amys.

    [Sidenote: She speaks to him of his country.]

          ¶ and yif þou hast
  leuer forto wene þan þou be put out of þi contre. þan
  hast þou put oute þi self raþer þen ony oþer wyȝt haþ.

    [Linenotes:
    550 _broken_--borken
    552 _wist[e]_--wyste
    553 _on-one_--anon
    554 _wist[e]_--wyste
        _fer_--ferr{e}
    555 _ne hadde_--nadde
    557 _gon_--MS. gone, C. gon
    558 _leuer_--leuer{e}
    558, 559 _put_--MS. putte, C. put
    559 _haþ_--MS. haþe]

    [Headnote:
    AND PROPOSES TO ADMINISTER REMEDIES.]

  ¶ For no wyȝt but þi self ne myȝt[e] neuer haue don                560
  þat to þe.                                                   [[pg 24]]

    [Sidenote: She reminds him that he is a citizen of a country not
    governed by a giddy multitude, but εἷς κοίρανός ἐστιν, εἷς
    βασιλεύς.]

          ¶ For ȝif þou remembre of what contre þou
  art born. it nis not gou{er}ned by emp{er}oures. ne by
  gouernement of multitude. as weren þe contres of hem
  of athenes. ¶ But o lorde {and} o kyng {and} þat is god            564
  þat is lorde of þi contree. whiche þat reioiseþ hym of
  þe dwellyng of hys Citeȝenis. {and} not forto putte hem
  in exile. Of þe whiche lorde it is a souerayne fredom
  to be gouerned by þe bridel of hym and obeie to his                568
  iustice.

    [Sidenote: The Commonwealth of Boethius.]

          ¶ Hast þou forȝeten þilke ryȝt olde lawe of þi
  Citee. in þe whiche Citee it is ordeyned {and} establissed
  þat what wyȝt þat haþ leuer founden þer i{n}ne hys sete
  or hys house. þen ellys where: he may not be exiled                572
  by no ryȝt fro þat place. ¶ For who so þat is co{n}tened
  in-wiþ þe paleis [{and} the clos] of þilke Citee. þer nis
  no drede þat he may deserue to ben exiled. ¶ But
  who þat letteþ þe wille forto enhabit[e] þere. he forleteþ         576
  also to deserue to ben Citeȝein of þilke Citee.

    [Sidenote: Philosophy says she is moved more by the looks of
    Boethius than by his gloomy prison.]

  ¶ So þat I seye þat þe face of þis place ne amoeueþ me
  nat so myche as þine owen face. Ne .I. ne axe not
  raþer þe walles of þi librarie apparailled {and} wrouȝt            580
  wiþ yvory {and} wiþ glas þan after þe sete of þi þouȝt.

    [Sidenote: Books are to be valued on account of the _thoughts_
    they contain.]

  In whiche I putte nat somtyme bookes. but .I. putte
  þat þat makeþ bookes worþi of p{ri}s or p{re}cious þat is
  to sein þe sentence of my books. ¶ {And} certeinly of              584
  þi dec{er}tes by-stowed in co{m}mune good. þou hast seid
  soþe but after þe multitude of þi goode dedys. þou hast
  seid fewe. {and} of þe vnhonestee or falsnesse of þinges
  þat ben opposed aȝeins þe. þou hast remembred þinges               588
  þat be{n} knowe to alle folk.

    [Sidenote: Boethius has rightfully and briefly recounted the
    frauds of his accusers.]

          and of þe felonies {and}
  fraudes of þine accuso{ur}s. it semeþ þe haue I-touched
  it forsoþe ryȝtfully {and} schortly. ¶ Al myȝten þo
  same þinges bettere {and} more plentiuousely be couth        [[pg 25]]
  in þe mouþe of þe poeple þ{a}t knoweþ al þis. ¶ Þou                593
  hast eke blamed gretly {and} compleyned of þe wrongful
  dede of þe senat. ¶ And þou hast sorwed for my
  blame.

    [Sidenote: Thou hast, said Philosophy, bewailed the loss of thy
    good name, thou hast complained against Fortune, and against the
    unequal distribution of rewards and punishments.]

          {and} þou hast wepen for þe damage of þi renoune           596
  þat is appaired. {and} þi laste sorwe eschaufed
  aȝeins fortune {and} co{m}pleinest þat gerdou{n}s ne ben not
  euenliche ȝolde to þe desertes of folk. {and} in þe l{att}re
  ende of þi woode muse þou p{r}iedest þ{a}t þilke pees þat          600
  gouerneþ þe heuene scholde gou{er}ne þe erþe ¶ But
  for þat many tribulac{i}ou{n}s of affecc{i}ou{n}s han assailed
  þe. {and} sorwe {and} Ire {and} wepyng todrawen þee
  dyuersely

    [Sidenote: Strong medicines are not proper for thee now,
    distracted by grief, anger, and sadness.]

          ¶ As þou art now feble of þouȝt. myȝtyer                   604
  remedies ne schullen not ȝit touchen þe for whiche
  we wil[e] vsen somedel lyȝter medicines.

    [Sidenote: Light medicines must prepare thee for sharper
    remedies.]

          So þat þilk[e]
  passiou{n}s þat ben woxen harde in swellyng by p{er}turbac{i}ou{n}
  folowyng in to þi þouȝt mowen woxe esy                             608
  {and} softe to receyue{n} þe strenkeþ of a more myȝty {and}
  more egre medicine by an esier touchyng.

    [Linenotes:
    560 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
        _haue_--han
        _don_--MS. done, C. don
    562 _born_--MS. borne, C. born
    566 _hys_--hise
        _putte_--put
    568 _be_--ben
    571 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    572 _house_--hows
    574 [_and----clos_]--from C.
    576 _wille_--wyl
        _enhabit[e]_--enhabyte
    578 _seye_--sey
        _amoeueþ_--moueth
    579 _myche_--mochel
        _owen_--owne
        _ne_ (2)--omitted
    582 _putte_ (_both_)--put
        _somtyme_--whilom
    585 _decertes_--desertes
        _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyde
    586 _soþe_--soth
    587 _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyd
    588 _opposed_--aposyd
    599 _knowe_--knowyn
    592 _be couth_--MS. be couth{e}, C. ben cowth
    596 _wepen_--wopen
    597 _laste_--last
        _eschaufed_--eschaufede
    598 _not_--omitted
    599 _ȝolde_--yolden
    602 _many_--manye
    604 _myȝtyer_--myhtyer{e}
    605 _whiche_--which
    606 _wil[e]_--wol
        _lyȝter_--lyhter{e}
        _þilk[e]_--thilke
    607 _harde_--hard
    608 _folowyng_--Flowyng
        _woxe_--wexen
    610 _esier_--esyer{e}]


    [Headnote:
    PHILOSOPHY QUESTIONS BOETHIUS.]

CU{M} PHEBI RADIIS G{RA}UE CA{N}C{R}I SID{US} ENESTUAT.

  [Sidenote: [The sixte met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: He who sows his seed when the sun is in the Sign of
    Cancer, must look for no produce.]

  ++Whan þat þe heuy sterre of þe cancre eschaufeþ by
  þe beme of pheb{us}. þat is to seyne whan þat pheb{us}             612
  þe sonne is in þe signe of þe Cancre. Who so ȝeueþ
  þan largely hys sedes to þe feldes þat refuse to receiuen
  hem. lete hym gon bygyled of trust þat he
  hadde to hys corn. to acorns or okes.

    [Sidenote: Think not to ingather violets in the wintry and stormy
    season.]

          yif þou wilt                                               616
  gadre violettȝ. ne go þou not to þe purp{er} wode whan
  þe felde chirkynge agriseþ of colde by þe felnesse of
  þe wynde þat hyȝt aquilon

    [Sidenote: If you wish for wine in autumn let the tendrils of the
    vine be free in the spring.]

          Yif þou desirest or
  ¶ wolt vsen grapes ne seke þou nat wiþ a gloto{n}us hande    [[pg 26]]
  to streine {and} p{re}sse þe stalkes of þe vine in þe first        621
  somer sesou{n}. for bachus þe god of wyne haþ raþer
  ȝeuen his ȝiftes to autu{m}pne þe latter ende of somer.

    [Sidenote: To every work God assigns a proper time, nor suffers
    anything to pass its bounds.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 8.]]

  ¶ God tokeniþ {and} assigneþ *þe tymes. ablyng hem                 624
  to her p{ro}pre offices. ¶ Ne he ne suffreþ not stoundes
  whiche þat hym self haþ deuided {and} co{n}streined to
  be medeled to gidre

    [Sidenote: Success does not await him who departs from the
    appointed order of things.]

          ¶ And forþi he þat forleteþ
  certeyne ordinaunce of doynge by ou{er}þrowyng wey.                628
  he ne haþ no glade issue or ende of hys werkes.

    [Linenotes:
    612 _beme_--beemes
        _seyne_--seyn
    614 _hys_--hise
        _refuse_--refusen
    615 after _hem_ C. adds [s. corn]
        _lete hym gon_ (MS. _gone_)--lat hym gon
    616 _or_--of
        _wilt gadre_--wolt gadery
    618 _felde_--feeld
        _felnesse_--felnesses
    619 _hyȝt_--hyhte
    620 _hande_--hond
    622 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    625 _her propre_--heer{e} propres
        _not_--nat the
    626 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    627 _be medeled_--ben I-medled
    628 _certeyne_--certeyn
    629 _haþ_--MS. haþe]


    [Headnote:
    DISCOVERS THE CAUSE OF HIS DISTEMPER.]

PRIMU{M} IGITUR PATERIS ROGACIONIB{US}.

  [Sidenote: [The syxte p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: Philosophy proposes to question Boethius.]

  ++FIrst wolt þou suffre me to touche {and} assaie þe stat
  of þi þouȝt by a fewe demaundes. so þat I may
  vnderstonde what be þe manere of þi curac{i}ou{n}. ¶ Axe           632
  me q{uod} .I. atte þi wille what þou wilt. {and} I schal
  answer{e}.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Is the world governed by Chance?]

          ¶ Þo saide sche þus. wheþer wenest þou q{uo}d
  sche þ{a}t þis worlde be gouerned by foolisshe happes
  {and} fortunes. or elles wenest þou þat þer be i{n} it any         636
  gouerneme{n}t of resou{n}.

    [Sidenote: _B._ By no means. The Creator presides over his own
    works.]

          Certes q{uod} .I. ne trowe not
  in no manere þat so certeyne þinges scholde be moeued
  by fortunouse fortune. but I wot wel þat god maker
  {and} mayster is gouerno{ur} of þis werk.

    [Sidenote: I shall never swerve from this opinion.]

          Ne neuer nas                                               640
  ȝit day þat myȝt[e] putte me oute of þe soþenesse of
  þat sentence.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Yes! Thou didst say as much when thou didst
    declare man alone to be destitute of divine care.]

          ¶ So is it q{uod} sche. for þe same þing
  songe þou a lytel here byforne {and} byweyledest {and}
  byweptest. þat only men weren put oute of þe cure of               644
  god. ¶ For of alle oþer þinges þou ne doutest nat
  þat þei nere gouerned by reso{n}.

    [Sidenote: Still thou seemest to labour under some defect even in
    this conviction.]

          but how (.i. pape.).
  I wondre gretly certes whi þat þou art seek. siþen þou
  art put in to so holesom a sentence. but lat vs seken              648
  depper. I coniecte þat þere lakkeþ I not what.               [[pg 27]]

    [Sidenote: Tell me how the world is governed.]

  but sey me þis. siþen þat þou ne doutest nat þ{a}t þis worlde
  be gouerned by god ¶ wiþ swycche gouernailes takest
  þou hede þat it is gouerned.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I do not thoroughly comprehend your question.]

          ¶ vnneþ q{uod} .I. knowe                                   652
  .I. þe sente{n}ce of þi q{ue}stiou{n}. so þat I ne may nat
  ȝit answeren to þi demaundes.

    [Sidenote: _P._ I was not deceived, then, when I said there was
    some defect in thy sentiment.]

          ¶ I nas nat deceiued
  q{uod} sche þat þere ne faileþ su{m}what. by whiche þe
  maladie of p{er}turbac{i}ou{n} is crept in to þi þouȝt. so         656
  as þe strengþe of þe paleys schynyng is open.

    [Sidenote: Tell me what is the chief end of all things; and
    whither all things tend.]

          ¶ But
  seye me þis reme{m}brest þou ouȝt what is þe ende of
  þi þinges. whider þat þe entenc{i}ou{n} of al kynde tendeþ.
  ¶ I haue herd told it somtyme q{uod} .I. but drerynesse            660
  haþ dulled my memorie. ¶ Certys q{uod} sche
  þou wost wel whe{n}nes þat alle þinges ben comen {and}
  p{ro}ceded.

    [Sidenote: _B._ God is the beginning of all things.]

          I wot wel q{uod} .I. {and} ansewered[e] þat
  god is þe bygynnyng of al.

    [Sidenote: _P._ How, then, art thou ignorant of their end?]

          ¶ And how may þis be                                       664
  q{uod} sche þat siþen þ{o}u knowest þe bygynnyng of
  þinges. þat þou ne knowest not what is þe endyng of
  þinges.

    [Sidenote: But it is the nature of these perturbations (which thou
    endurest) to unsettle men’s minds.]

          but swiche ben þe customes of p{er}turbac{i}ou{n}s.
  {and} þis power þei han. þat þei may moeue a ma{n} fro             668
  hys place. þat is to seyne from þe stablenes {and} p{er}fecc{i}ou{n}
  of hys knowyng. but certys þei may not al
  arace hym ne alyene hy{m} in al. ¶ But I wolde þat
  þou woldest answere to þis.

    [Sidenote: Dost thou remember that thou art a man?]

          ¶ Remembrest þou þat                                       672
  þou art a man

    [Sidenote: _B._ Certainly I do.]

          ¶ _Boice._ ¶ Whi scholde I nat remembre
  þat q{uod} .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ What is man?]

          _Philosophie._ ¶ Maiste þou not telle
  me þan q{uod} sche what þing is a man.

    [Sidenote: _B._ If you ask me whether I am a rational and mortal
    creature, I know and confess I am.]

          ¶ Axest not
  me q{uod} I. wheþir þat be a resonable best mortel. I              676
  wot wel {and} I confesse wel þat I am it.

    [Sidenote: _P._ But dost thou not know that thou art more than
    this?]

          ¶ Wistest
  þou neuer ȝit þat þou were ony oþer þing q{uod} she.

    [Linenotes:
    630 _wolt þou_--woltow
        _stat_--estat
    633 _atte_--at
        _wilt_--wolt
    635 _worlde_--world
        _foolisshe_--foolyssh
    636 _fortunes_--fortunows
    638 _scholde_--sholden
    639 _wot_--MS. wote, C. woot
    641 _myȝt[e] putte_--myhte put
    644 _put_--MS. putte
    645 _doutest_--dowtedest
    646 _how_--owh
    647 _seek siþen_--syk{e} syn
    648 _put_--MS. putte, C. put
    649 _depper_--depper{e}
        _not what_--not ner{e} what
    650 _siþen_--syn
        _worlde_--world
    651 _takest þou_--takestow
    658 _seye_--sey
        _remembrest þou_--remenbres thow
        _ouȝt_--omitted
    659 _al_--alle
    660 _herd told_--MS. herde tolde
        _herd told it_--herd yt toold
    661 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    663 _proceded_--procedeth
        _ansewered[e]_--answerede
    664 _þe_--omitted
        _al_--alle
    665 _siþen_--syn
    668 _fro_--owt of
    669 _seyne from_--seyn fro
    672 _Remembrest þou_--Remenbresthow
    674 _Maiste þou_--Maysthow
    675 _þan_--þanne
        _þing_--thinge
        _Axest_--Axestow
    677 _Wistest þou_--wystesthow
    678 _þing_--thinge]

                                                               [[pg 28]]
    [Headnote:
    BOETHIUS NEEDS LIGHT REMEDIES.]

    [Sidenote: _B._ No.]

  No q{uod} .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Now I know the principal cause of thy distemper.]

          now wot I q{uod} she oþer cause of þi
  maladie {and} þat ryȝt grete ¶ Þou hast left forto                 680
  knowe þi self what þou art. þoruȝ whiche I haue pleynelyche
  knowen þe cause of þi maladie. or ellis þe
  entre of recoueryng of þin hele.

    [Sidenote: Thou hast lost the knowledge of thyself, thou knowest
    not the end of things, and hast forgotten how the world is
    governed.]

          ¶ Forwhy for þou
  art co{n}founded wiþ forȝetyng of þi self. forþi sorwest           684
  þou þat þou art exiled of þi p{ro}pre goodes. ¶ And
  for þou ne wost what is þe ende of þinges. for[þi] demest
  [þou] þat felono{us} {and} wikked men ben myȝty {and} weleful
  for þou hast forȝeten by whiche gouernementȝ þe worlde             688
  is gouerned. ¶ Forþi wenest þou þat þise mutac{i}ou{n}s
  of fortune fleten wiþ oute{n} gouerno{ur}.

    [Sidenote: These are not only great occasions of disease, but also
    causes of death itself.]

          þise ben grete
  causes not oonly to maladie. but certes grete causes to
  deeþ

    [Sidenote: I thank God that Reason hath not wholly deserted thee.]

          ¶ But I þanke þe auctour {and} þe makere of                692
  heele þat nat{ur}e haþ not al forleten þe.

    [Sidenote: I have some hope of thy recovery since thou believest
    that the world is under Divine Providence, for this small spark
    shall produce vital heat.]

          {and} I haue
  g[r]ete norissinges of þi hele. {and} þat is þe soþe sentence
  of gou{er}nau{n}ce of þe worlde.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 8 _b_.]]

          þat þou byleuest
  þat þe gou{er}nynge of it nis nat subgit ne vnderput               696
  to þe folie *of þise happes auenterouses. but to þe
  resou{n} of god ¶ And þer fore doute þe noþing.
  For of þis litel spark þine heet of lijf schal shine.

    [Sidenote: But as this is not the time for stronger remedies, and
    because it is natural to embrace false opinions so soon as we have
    laid aside the true, from whence arises a mist that darkens the
    understanding, I shall endeavour therefore to dissipate these
    vapours so that you may perceive the true light.]

          ¶ But
  for as muche as it is not tyme ȝitte of fastere remedies           700
  ¶ And þe nature of þouȝtes disseiued is þis þat as ofte
  as þei casten aweye soþe opyniou{n}s: þei cloþen hem in
  fals[e] opiniou{n}s. [of which{e} false opyniou{n}s] þe derknesse
  of p{er}turbac{i}ou{n} wexeþ vp. þat comfoundeþ þe verray          704
  insyȝt. {and} þat derkenes schal .I. say somwhat to
  maken þi{n}ne {and} wayk by lyȝt {and} meenelyche remedies.
  so þat after þat þe derknes of desseyuynge
  desyrynges is don awey. þou mow[e] knowe þe schynyng               708
  of verray lyȝt.

    [Linenotes:
    680 _hast left_--MS. haste lefte, C. hast left
    681 _knowe_--knowen
        _pleynelyche knowen_--pleynly fwonde [= founde]
    684 _sorwest þou_--sorwistow
    686 _for[þi] demest [þou]_--For thy demesthow
    687 _wikked_--MS. wilked, C. wykkyd
    688 _worlde_--world
    689 _wenest þou_--wenestow
    690 _outen_--owte
    693 _haþ_--MS. haþe
        _al_--alle
    694 _þi_--thin
    696 _vnderput_--vndyrputte
    697 _to_ (2)--omitted
    698 _fore_--for
        _noþing_--nothinge
    699 _spark þine heet_--sparke thin hete
    700 _muche_--meche
    702 _aweye_--away
    703 [_of----opyniouns_]--from C.
    705 _insyȝt_--insyhte
        _say_--assaye
    706 _lyȝt_--lyhte
    708 _don_--MS. don{e}
        _mow[e]_--mowe]

                                                               [[pg 29]]
    [Headnote:
    HE IS NOT TO TAKE HIS LOSSES TO HEART.]

NUBIB{US} ATRIS CONDITA.

  [Sidenote: [The seuende Metyr.]]

    [Sidenote: Black clouds obscure the light of the stars.]

  ++ÞE sterres cou{er}ed wiþ blak[e] cloudes ne mowen
  geten a dou{n} no lyȝt.

    [Sidenote: If the south wind renders the sea tempestuous, the
    waves, fouled with mud, will lose their glassy clearness.]

          Ȝif þe trouble wy{n}de þat
  hyȝt auster stormynge {and} walwy{n}g þe see medleþ þe             712
  heete þat is to seyne þe boylyng vp from þe botme
  ¶ Þe wawes þ{a}t somtyme weren clere as glas {and}
  lyke to þe fair[e] bryȝt[e] dayes wiþstant anon þe
  syȝtes of men. by þe filþe {and} ordure þat is resolued.           716
  {and} þe fletyng streme þat royleþ dou{n} dyuersely fro
  heyȝe mou{n}taignes is arestid {and} resisted ofte tyme
  by þe encountrynge of a stoon þ{a}t is dep{ar}tid {and}
  fallen from some roche.                                            720

    [Sidenote: If thou wouldst see truth by the clearest light, pursue
    the path of right.]

          ¶ And forþi yif þou wilt
  loken {and} demen soþe wiþ clere lyȝt. {and} holde þe
  weye wiþ a ryȝt paþe.

    [Sidenote: Away with joy, fear, hope, and sorrow.]

          ¶ Weyue þou ioie. drif fro þe
  drede. fleme þou hope. ne lat no sorwe ap{ro}che.

    [Sidenote: Let none of these passions cloud thy mind.]

          þat is
  to sein lat noon of þise four passiou{n}s ouer come þe.            724
  or blynde þe.

    [Sidenote: Where these things control, the soul is bound by strong
    fetters.]

          for cloudy {and} dirke is þilk þouȝt {and}
  bounde w{i}t{h} bridles. where as þise þinges regnen.

  EXPLICIT LIBER PRIMUS.

    [Linenotes:
    710 _blak[e]_--blake
    712 _stormynge_--turnyng
    713 _from_--fro
    714 _somtyme_--whilom
    715 _lyke_--lyk
        _fair[e]----wiþstant_ (MS. wiþstante)--fayr{e} cleer{e} dayes
        {and} brihte withstand
    716 _syȝtes_--syhtes
    717 _streme_--strem
    718 _heyȝe_--hy
    720 _from some_--fram som
        _wilt_--wolt
    721 _soþe_--soth
        _clere_--cleer
        _holde_--holden
    722 _weye_--wey
        _paþe_--paath
    724 _come_--comen
    725 _blynde_--blende
        _þilk_--thilke]



    [Headnote:
    PHILOSOPHY EXHIBITS TO BOETHIUS THE WILES OF FORTUNE.]

INCIPIT LIBER SECUNDUS.


POSTEA [PAU]LISPER CONTICUIT.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrst p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: Philosophy exhorts Boethius not to torment himself on
    account of his losses.]

  ++After þis she stynte a litel. and after þat she hadde
  gadred by atempre stillenesse myn attenciou{n} she                 728
  seide þus.

    [Sidenote: Thou art, she says, affected by the loss of thy former
    fortune.]

          ¶ As who so myȝt[e] seye þus. After þise
  þinges she stynt[e] a lytel. {and} whanne she ap{er}ceiued[e]
  by atempre stillenesse þat I was ententif to
  herkene hire. she bygan to speke in þis wyse. ¶ Yif                732
  I q{uod} she haue vnderstonde{n} {and} knowe vtterly þe      [[pg 30]]
  causes {and} þe habit of þi maladie. þou languissed {and}
  art deffeted for talent {and} desijr of þi raþer fortune.

    [Sidenote: It hath perverted thy faculties.]

  ¶ She þat ilke fortune only þat is chaunged as þou                 736
  feinest to þe ward. haþ p{er}uerted þe clerenesse {and} þe
  astat of þi corage.

    [Sidenote: I am well acquainted with all the wiles of that Prodigy
    (_i. e._ Fortune).]

          ¶ I vnderstonde þe felefolde
  colo{ur} {and} deceites of þilke merueillous monstre fortune.
  and how she vseþ ful flatryng familarite wiþ hem                   740
  þat she enforceþ to bygyle. so longe til þat she co{n}founde
  wiþ vnsuffreable sorwe hem þat she haþ left
  in despeir vnpurueyed.

    [Sidenote: Though she has left thee, thou hast not lost anything
    of beauty or of worth.]

          ¶ and if þou remembrest wel
  þe kynde þe maners {and} þe desert of þilke fortune. þow           744
  shalt wel knowe as in hir þou neuer ne haddest ne
  hast ylost any fair þing. But as I trowe I shal not
  gretly trauaile to don þe remembren of þise þinges.

    [Sidenote: Thou wert once proof against her allurements.]

  ¶ For þou were wont to hurtlen [{and} despysen] hir                748
  wiþ manly wordes whan she was blaundissinge {and}
  presente {and} p{ur}sewedest hir wiþ sentences þat were
  drawe{n} oute of myne entre. þat is to seyne out of
  myn i{n}formac{i}ou{n}

    [Sidenote: But sudden change works a great alteration in the minds
    of men, hence it is that thou art departed from thy usual peace of
    mind.]

          ¶ But no sudeyne mutac{i}ou{n} ne                          752
  bytideþ nat wiþ oute{n} a maner chau{n}gyng of curages.
  and so is it byfallen þat þou art dep{ar}ted a litel fro
  þe pees of þi þouȝt.

    [Sidenote: But with some gentle emollients I shall prepare thee
    for stronger medicines.]

          but now is tyme þat þou drynke
  {and} atast[e] some softe {and} delitable þinges. so þat whan      756
  þei ben entred wiþ i{n}ne þe. it mow make weye to
  strenger drynkes of medycynes.

    [Sidenote: Approach then, Rhetoric, with thy persuasive charms,
    and therewith let Music also draw near.]

          ¶ Com nowe furþe
  þerfore þe suasiou{n} of swetnesse Rethoryen. whiche
  þat goþ oonly þe ryȝt wey whil she forsakeþ not myne               760
  estatutȝ. ¶ And wiþ Rethorice com forþe musice a
  damoisel of oure house þat syngeþ now lyȝter moedes
  or p{ro}lac{i}ou{n}s now heuyer.                             [[pg 31]]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 9.]]

          *what ayleþ þe man. what
  is it þat haþ cast þe in to murnyng {and} in to wepyng.            764
  I trow[e] þat þou hast sen some newe þing {and} uncouþe.

    [Sidenote: Thou thinkest that Fortune is changed towards thee.]

  ¶ Þou wenest þat fortune be chaunged aȝeins þe

    [Sidenote: But thou art deceived.]

  ¶ But þou wenest wrong. yif þou [þat] wene.

    [Sidenote: In this misadventure of thine she hath preserved her
    constancy in changing.]

  Alwey þo ben hire maners. she haþ raþer [kept] as to               768
  þe ward hire p{ro}pre stablenes in þe chaungyng of hyre
  self. ¶ Ryȝt swyche was she whan she flatered[e]
  þe. {and} desseiued[e] þe wiþ vnleueful lykynges of
  false welefulnesse.

    [Sidenote: You have seen the double face of this blind divinity.]

          þou hast now knowen {and} ataynt                           772
  þe doutous or double visage of þilke blynde goddesse
  fortune. ¶ She þat ȝit couereþ hir {and} wympleþ hir
  to oþer folk. haþ shewed hir euerydel to þe. ¶ Ȝif
  þou app{ro}uest hir {and} þenkest þat she is good. vse             776
  hir maners {and} pleyne þe nat.

    [Sidenote: If thou dost abhor her perfidy cast her off, for her
    sports are dangerous.]

          ¶ And if þou agrisest
  hir fals[e] trecherie. dispise {and} cast aweye hir þat
  pleyeþ so harmefully. for she þat is now cause of so
  myche sorwe to þe. sholde be to þe cause of pees {and}             780
  [of] ioie. ¶ she haþ forsaken þe forsoþe. þe whiche
  þat neuer man may be syker þat she ne shal forsake
  hym. _Glose._ ¶ But naþeles some bookes han þe text
  þus. For soþe she haþ forsaken þe ne þer nis no man                784
  syker þat she ne haþ not forsaken.

    [Sidenote: Is that happiness which is so transient?]

          ¶ Holdest þou
  þan þilke welefulnesse p{re}ciouse to þe þat shal passen.

    [Sidenote: Is the attendance of Fortune so dear to thee, whose
    stay is so uncertain, and whose removal causes such grief?]

  {and} is p{re}sent fortune derworþi to þe. whiche þat nis
  not feiþful forto dwelle. {and} whan she goþ aweye þat             788
  she bryngeþ a wyȝt in sorwe ¶ For syn she may nat
  be wiþholde{n} at a mans wille. she makeþ hym a wrecche
  whe{n} she dep{ar}teþ fro hym.

    [Sidenote: What is she (Fortune) but the presage of future
    calamity?]

          ¶ What oþer þing is
  flitti{n}g fortune but a manere shewyng of wrycchednesse     [[pg 32]]
  þat is to comen. ne it ne suffriþ nat oo[n]ly to loken             793
  of þing þat is p{re}sent byforne þe eyen of man. but
  wisdom lokeþ {and} mesureþ þe ende of þinges.

    [Sidenote: Her mutability should make men neither fear her threats
    nor desire her favours.]

          {and} þe
  same chau{n}gyng from one to an oþer. þat is to seyne              796
  fro aduersite to p{ro}sperite makeþ þat þe manaces of
  fortune ne ben not forto dreden. ne þe flatrynges of
  hir to ben desired. ¶ Þus atte þe last it byhoueþ þe
  to suffren wiþ euene wille in pacience al þat is don               800
  inwiþ þe floor of fortune. þat is to seyne in þis worlde.

    [Linenotes:
    727 _she_ (2)--I
    729 _myȝt[e] seye_--myht{e} seyn
    730 _stynt[e]_--stynte
    732 _hire_--here
    733 _knowe vtterly_--knowen owtrely
    734 _languissed_--languyssest
    737 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    738 _astat_--estat
        _felefolde_--feelefold
    739 _colour_--colours
        _deceites_ (MS. decrites)--deceytes
        _merueillous_--meruayles
    742 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    743 _if_--yif
    746 _any_ (MS. my)--any
        _þing_--thinge
    747 _trauaile_--travaylen
        _don_--do
        _remembren of_--remenbre on
    748 [_and despysen_]--from C.
    749 _was_--omitted
    750 _were_--weren
    751 _myne_--myn
        _seyne_--sayn
    752 _sudeyne_--sodeyn
    753 _outen_--owte
    757 _inne_--in
        _mow----weye_--mowe maken way
    758 _strenger_--strengere
        _Com nowe furþe_--MS. Come; C. Com now forth
    760 _goþ_--MS. goþe
    761 _com_--MS. come, C. com
    762 _house_--hows
        _lyȝter_--lyhter{e}
    763 _prolaciouns_--p{ro}basyons
        _heuyer_--heuyer{e}
        _ayleþ_--eyleth
    765 _trow[e]_--trowe
        _sen_--MS. sene, C. seyn
        _some_--som
        _þing_--thinge
        _uncouþe_--vnkowth
    766 _aȝeins_--ayein
    767 _wenest_--weenes
        [_þat_]--C. that
    768 _haþ_--MS. haþe
        [_kept_]--from C.
    769 _stablenes in þe_--stabylnesse standeth in the
    770 _swyche_--swich
    771 _vnleueful_--vnlefful
    775 _haþ_--MS. had, C. hat
    776 _good_--MS. goode, C. god
    777 _agrisest_--MS. agrised, C. agrysyst
    778 _fals[e]_--false
    780 _myche_--mochel
    781 [_of_]--from C.
        _haþ_--MS. haþe
    783 _text_--texte
    784 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    785 _forsaken_--forsake
        _Holdest þou_--holdestow
    786 _þan_--thanne
        _preciouse_--p{re}syes
    787 _derworþi_--dereworthe
        _whiche_--which
    788 _feiþful_--feythfulle
        _goþ_--MS. goþe
        _aweye_--awey
    790 _mans_--mannys
    791 _when_--wan
        _þing_--thinge
    793 _suffriþ_--suffiseth
    794 _of þing_--on thynge
        _byforne_--MS. byforne byforne
        _man_--a man
    795 _mesureþ_--amesureth
    796 _from one_--fram oon
        _seyne_--seyn
    797 _fro_--from
        _to_--into
    799 _atte þe last_--at the laste]

    [Headnote:
    PHILOSOPHY EXPOSTULATES WITH BOETHIUS.]

    [Sidenote: If you submit to her yoke you must patiently endure her
    inflictions.]

  ¶ Syþen þou hast oones put þi nekke vnder þe ȝokke
  of hir. for if þou wilt write a lawe of wendyng {and} of
  dwellyng to fortune whiche þat þou hast chosen frely               804
  to be þi lady

    [Sidenote: Impatience will only embitter your loss.]

          ¶ Art þou nat wrongful in þat {and}
  makest fortune wroþe {and} asp{er}e by þin inpacience.
  {and} ȝit þou mayst not chaungen hir.

    [Sidenote: You cannot choose your port if you leave your vessel to
    the mercy of the winds.]

          ¶ Yif þou co{m}mittest
  [{and}] bitakest þi sayles to þe wynde. þou shalt                  808
  be shouen not þider þat þou woldest(:) but whider þat
  þe wy{n}de shoueþ þe ¶ Yif þou castest þi seedes in þe
  feldes þou sholdest haue in mynde þat þe ȝeres ben
  oþer while plenteuous {and} oþ{er} while bareyne.

    [Sidenote: You have given yourself up to Fortune; it becomes you
    therefore to obey her commands.]

          ¶ Þou                                                      812
  hast bytaken þiself to þe gouernaunce of fortune.
  {and} forþi it byhoueþ þe to ben obeisaunt to þe manere
  of þi lady.

    [Sidenote: Would you stop the rolling of her wheel?]

          and enforcest þou þe to aresten or wiþstonden
  þe swyftnesse {and} þe sweyes of hir to{ur}nyng                    816
  whele.

    [Sidenote: Fool! if Fortune once became stable she would cease to
    exist.]

          ¶ O þou fool of alle mortel fooles if fortune
  bygan to dwelle stable. she cesed[e] þan to ben fortune.

    [Linenotes:
    801 _seyne_--seyn
        _worlde_--world
    802 _Syþen_--Syn
        _ȝokke_--yok{e}
    803 _if_--yif
        _write_--wryten
    804 _whiche_--which
    805 _lady_--ladye
        _Art þou_--Artow
    806 _wroþe_--wroth
        _þin_--thine
    807 _chaungen_--chaunge
    808 [_and_]--from C.
    809 _þider_--thedyr
        _whider_--whedyr
    811 _haue_--han
    814 _manere_--maneres
    815 {and}--omitted
        _wiþstonden_--withholden
    816 _sweyes_--sweyȝ
    818 _cesed[e]_--cesede]


                                                               [[pg 33]]
    [Headnote:
    THE INCONSTANCY OF FORTUNE.]

HEC CUM SUPERBA.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrst met{ur}.]

    [Sidenote: Fortune is as inconstant as the ebb and flow of
    Euripus.]

  ++Whan fortune wiþ a proude ryȝt hande haþ turnid
  hir chau{n}gyng stoundes she fareþ lyke þe maners                  820
  of þe boillyng eurippe. _Glose._ Eurippe is an arme of
  þe see þ{a}t ebbith {and} flowiþ. {and} somtyme þe streme
  is on one syde {and} somtyme on þat oþer. _Texte_

    [Sidenote: She hurls kings from their thrones, and exalts the
    captive.]

          ¶ She
  cruel fortune kasteþ adoune kynges þat somtyme weren               824
  ydred. {and} she deceiuable enhau{n}seth vp þe humble
  chere of hym þat is discomfited.

    [Sidenote: She turns a deaf ear to the tears and cries of the
    wretched.]

          {and} she neyþer hereþ
  ne reccheþ of wrecched[e] wepynges. {and} she is so harde
  þat she lauȝeþ {and} scorneþ þe wepyng of hem þe whiche            828
  she haþ maked wepe wiþ hir free wille.

    [Sidenote: Thus she sports and boasts her power and presents a
    marvel to her servants if, in the space of an hour, a man is
    hurled from happiness into adversity.]

          ¶ Þus she
  pleyeþ {and} þ{us} she p{re}ueþ hir strengþe {and} sheweþ a
  grete wondre to alle hir seruau{n}tȝ. ¶ Yif þat a wyȝt
  is seyn weleful {and} ou{er}þrowe in an houre.                     832

    [Linenotes:
    819 _proude_--prowd
        _hande_--hand
        _haþ_--MS. haþe
    820 _lyke_--lik
    821 _arme_--arm
    822 _streme_--strem
    823 _one_--o
    821 _adoune_--adown
        _somtyme_--whilom
    825 _ydred_ (MS. _ydredde_)--ydrad
        _humble_--vmble
    827 _reccheþ_--rekkeþ
        _wrecched[e]_--wrecchede
        _harde_--hard
    828 _lauȝeþ_--lyssheth
        _wepyng_--wepynges
    830 _strengþe_--strengthes]


    [Headnote:
    PROSPERITY DOES NOT CONSTITUTE FELICITY.]

VELLEM AUTE{M} PAUCA.

  [Sidenote: [The secunde p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: Philosophy expostulates with Boethius in the name of
    Fortune.]

  ++CErtis I wolde plete wiþ þee a fewe þinges vsynge
  þe wordes of fortune tak heede now þi self. yif þ{a}t
  she axeþ ryȝt.

    [Sidenote: Why do you accuse me (Fortune) as guilty?]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 9 _b_.]]

          *¶ O þou man wher fore makest þou
  me gilty by þine euerydayes pleynynges. what wronges               836
  haue I don þe.

    [Sidenote: What goods or advantages have I deprived you of?]

          what goodes haue I byreft þe þat weren
  þine. stryf or plete wiþ me by fore what iuge þat þou
  wilt of þe possessiou{n} of rycchesse or of dignites

    [Sidenote: Can you prove that ever any man had a fixed property in
    his riches?]

          ¶ And
  yif þou maist shewe me þat euer any mortal man haþ                 840
  receyued any of þese þinges to ben his in p{ro}pre. þan
  wol I graunt[e] frely þat [alle] þilke þinges were{n} þine
  whiche þat þou axest.

    [Sidenote: You came naked into the world, and I cherished you and
    encompassed you with affluence.]

          ¶ Whan þat nature brouȝt[e] þe
  forþe out of þi moder wombe. I receyued[e] þe naked                844
  {and} nedy of al þing. {and} I norysshed[e] þe wiþ my        [[pg 34]]
  rychesse. {and} was redy {and} ententif þo{ru}ȝ my fauo{ur} to
  sustene þe. ¶ And þat makeþ þe now i{n}pacient aȝeins
  me. {and} I envirounde þe wiþ al þe habundaunce {and}              848
  shinyng of al goodes þat ben in my ryȝt.

    [Sidenote: Now that I have a mind to withdraw my bounty, be
    thankful and complain not.]

          ¶ Now it
  lykeþ me to wiþ drawe myne hande. þou hast had grace
  as he þat haþ vsed of foreyne goodes. þou hast no ryȝt to
  pleyne þe. as þouȝ þou haddest vtterly lorn alle þi                852
  þinges. whi pleynest þou þan. I haue don þe no wrong.

    [Sidenote: Riches and honours are subject to me.]

  Ricches hono{ur}es {and} swyche oþer þinges ben of my
  ryȝt.

    [Sidenote: They are my servants, and come and go with me.]

          ¶ My seruauntes knowen me for hir lady. þei
  comen wiþ me {and} dep{ar}ten whan I wende. I dar wel              856
  affermen hardyly. þat yif þo þinges of whiche þou
  pleynest þat þou hast forlorn hadde ben þine. þou ne
  haddest not lorn he{m}.

    [Sidenote: Shall I alone be forbidden to use my own right?]

          ¶ shal I þan only be defended
  to vse my ryȝt.

    [Sidenote: Doth not heaven give us sunny days and obscure the same
    with dark nights?]

          ¶ Certis it is leueful to þe heuene to                     860
  make clere dayes. {and} after þat to keuere þe same dayes
  wiþ derke nyȝtes.

    [Sidenote: Is not the earth covered with frost as well as with
    flowers?]

          ¶ Þe erþe haþ eke leue to apparaile
  þe visage of þe erþe now w{i}t{h} floures {and} now wiþ
  fruyt. {and} to confounde he{m} so{m}tyme wiþ raynes {and}         864
  wiþ coldes.

    [Sidenote: The sea sometimes appears calm, and at other times
    terrifies us with its tempestuous waves.]

          ¶ Þe see haþ eke hys ryȝt to be somtyme
  calme {and} blaundyshing wiþ smoþe water. {and}
  somtyme to be horrible wiþ wawes {and} wiþ tempestes.

    [Sidenote: Shall I be bound to constancy by the covetousness of
    men?]

  ¶ But þe couetyse of men þat may not be staunched                  868
  shal it bynde me to be stedfast. syn þat stedfastnesse
  is vnkouþ to my maneres. ¶ Swyche is my strengþe.

    [Sidenote: I turn my rolling wheel and amuse myself with exalting
    what was low, and bringing down what was high.]

  {and} þis pley. I pley[e] co{n}tinuely. I tourne þe whirly{n}g
  whele wiþ þe tournyng cercle ¶ I am glade to chaunge               872
  þe lowest to þe heyeste. {and} þe heyest to þe loweste.

    [Linenotes:
    833 _plete_--pleten
    834 _tak_--MS. take, C. tak
    835 _makest þou_--makes thow
    836 _wronges_--wro{n}ge
    837 _don_--MS. done, C. don
        _byreft_--MS. byrefte, C. byreft
    838 _stryf_--MS. stryue, C. stryf
        _plete_--pleten
        _by fore_--by forn
    839 _wilt_--wolt
        _rycchesse_--rychesses
    840 _shewe_--shewyn
        _euer_--eu{er}e
        _haþ_--MS. haþe
    841 _þese_--tho
        _his_--hise
    842 _graunt[e]_--grau{n}te
        [_alle_]--from C.
    845 _al þing_--alle thinges
        _norysshed[e]_--noryssede
    846 _rychesse_--rychesses
    848, 849 _al_--alle
    848 _habundaunce_--abou{n}dau{n}ce
    850 _wiþ----hande_--withdrawen myn hand
        _had_--MS. hadde, C. had
    851 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    852 _vtterly_--outrely
        _lorn_--MS. lorne, C. for lorn.
    853 _don_--MS. done, C. don
    854 _Ricches_--Rychesses
    858 _forlorn_--MS. forlorne, C. forlorn
    859 _lorn_--MS. lorne, C. lorn
    860 _vse_--vsen
    861 _keuere þe_--coeu{er}yn tho
    862 _derke_--dirk
        _erþe_--yer
        _haþ_--MS. haþe
    864 _confounde_--co{n}fownden
    865 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    866 _calme_--kalm
    867 (2nd) _wiþ_--omitted
    869 _stedfast_--stidefast
        _stedfastnesse_--stidefastnesse
    870 _vnkouþ_--MS. vnkouþe, C. vnkowth
        _Swyche_--Swych
    871 _pley[e]_--pleye
    872 _whele_--wheel
        _glade_--glad
        _chaunge_--chaungy{n}]

                                                               [[pg 35]]
    [Headnote:
    BE SUBJECT TO FORTUNE’S CHANGES.]

    [Sidenote: Ascend if you will, but come down when my sport
    requires it.]

  worþe vp yif þou wilt. so it be by þis lawe. þat þou
  ne holde not þat I do þe wronge þouȝ þou descende
  dou{n} whanne resou{n} of my pleye axeþ it.

    [Sidenote: Know you not the history of Crœsus and of Paulus
    Æmilius?]

          Wost þou                                                   876
  not how Cresus kyng of lyndens of whiche kyng Cir{us}
  was ful sore agast a litel byforne þat þis rewlyche
  Cresus was cauȝt of Cirus {and} lad to þe fijr to be
  brent. but þat a reyne desce{n}ded[e] dou{n} from heuene           880
  þat rescowed[e] hym ¶ And is it out of þi mynde how
  þat Paulus consul of Rome whan he hadde take þe
  kyng of p{er}ciens weep pitou[s]ly for þe captiuitee of þe
  self[e] kyng.

    [Sidenote: What else does the weeping muse of Tragedy deplore but
    the overthrow of kingdoms by the indiscriminate strokes of
    Fortune?]

          What oþer þinges bywaylen þe criinges of                   884
  Tragedies. but only þe dedes of fortune. þat wiþ an
  vnwar stroke ouert{ur}neþ þe realmes of grete nobley
  ¶ _Glose._ Tragedie is to seyne a dite of a p{ro}sp{er}ite for
  a tyme þat endiþ in wrechednesse.

    [Sidenote: Did you not learn whilst a youth, that at the gates of
    Jove’s palace stand two vessels, one full of blessings, the other
    of woes?]

          Lernedest nat þou                                          888
  in grek whan þou were ȝonge þat in þe entre or in þe
  seler of Iuppiter þer ben couched two tunnes. þat on
  is ful of good þat oþer is ful of harme.

    [Sidenote: What if you have drunk too deep of the first vessel?]

          ¶ What ryȝt
  hast þou to pleyne. yif þou hast taken more plenteuously           892
  of þe goode syde þat is to seyne of my rycchesse {and}
  p{ro}sp{er}ites. {and} what eke. yif I be nat departed fro þe.

    [Sidenote: My mutability gives thee hope of happier days.]

  What eke. yif my mutabilitee ȝiueþ þe ryȝtful cause of
  hope to han ȝit better þi{n}ges.

    [Sidenote: Desire not to be exempted from the vicissitudes of
    humanity.]

          ¶ Naþeles desmaie þe                                       896
  nat in þi þouȝt. and þ{o}u þat art put in comune realme
  of alle: ne desijr[e] nat to lyue by þine oonly p{ro}pre ryȝt.

    [Linenotes:
    874 _worþe_--worth
        _wilt_--wolt
    876 _doun_--adou{n}
        _whanne_--wan
        _pleye_--pley
        _Wost þou_--wistesthow
    877 _kyng_ (1)--the kyng
        _lyndens_--lydyens
    878 _byforne_--byforn
    880 _reyne descended[e]_--rayn dessendede
        _from_--fro
    881 _rescowed[e]_--rescowede
    882 _take_--takyn
    885 _an_--a
    886 _þe_--omitted
    887 _seyne_--seyn
    890 _tunnes_--tonnes
    891 _harme_--harm
    892 _hast þou_--hasthow
    893 _seyne_--seyn
        _rycchesse_--rychesses
    894 _I be nat_--I ne be nat al
    896 _better_--beter{e}
    898 _lyue_--lyuen
        _þine_--thin]


    [Headnote:
    THE COVETOUS ARE EVER DISCONTENTED.]

SI Q{UA}NTAS RAPIDIS.

  [Sidenote: [the secu{n}de met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Though Plenty, from her teeming horn, poured down as
    many riches on the world as there are sands on the sea-shore, or
    stars in heaven, mankind would not cease to complain.]

  ++ÞOuȝ plentee þat is goddesse of rycches hielde adou{n}
  wiþ ful horn. {and} wiþdraweþ nat hir hand. ¶ As                   900
  many recches as þe see turneþ vpwardes sandes whan it
  is moeued wiþ rauysshing blastes. or ellys as many           [[pg 36]]
  rycches as þer shynen bryȝt[e] sterres on heuene on þe
  sterry nyȝt. Ȝit for al þat mankynde nolde not cesce to            904
  wope wrecched[e] pleyntes.

    [Sidenote: Though Heaven may grant every desire, they will still
    cry for more.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 10.]]

          ¶ And al be it so *þat
  god receyueþ gladly her p{ra}yers {and} ȝeueþ hem as ful
  large muche golde {and} app{ar}aileþ coueytous folk wiþ
  noble or clere hono{ur}s. ȝit semeþ hem haue I-gete noþing.        908
  but alwey her cruel ravyne deuourynge al þat þei
  han geten shewiþ oþer gapinges. þat is to seye gapen
  {and} desiren ȝit after moo rycchesse.

    [Sidenote: What rein can restrain unbounded avarice?]

          ¶ What brideles
  myȝten wiþholde to any certeyne ende þe desordene                  912
  coueitise of men ¶ Whan euere þe raþer þ{a}t it fletiþ in
  large ȝiftis: þe more ay brenneþ in hem þe þrest of
  hauyng.

    [Sidenote: He who thinks himself poor, though he be rich, doth
    truly labour under poverty.]

          ¶ Certis he þat quakyng {and} dredeful weneþ
  hym seluen nedy. he ne lyueþ neu{er}e mo ryche.                    916

    [Linenotes:
    899 _rycches_--rychesses
    901 _recches_--rychesses
        _vpwardes_--vpward
    902 _rauysshing_--rauyssynge
    903 _rycches_--rychesses
        _bryȝt[e]_--bryhte
        _on_ (1)--in
    904 _nyȝt_--nyhtes
    905 _wope wrecched[e]_--wepe wrecchede
    906 _her_--hir
        _ful_--fool
    907 _muche_--meche
        _folk_--men
    908 _haue_--hauen
        _I-gete_--I-getyn
    909 _her_--hir
    910 _seye_--seyn
    911 _rycchesse_--rychesses
    912 _wiþholde_--wytholden
        _certeyne_--certeyn
    914 _þrest_--thurst
    915 _dredeful_--dredful
    916 _lyueþ_--leueth]


    [Headnote:
    BOETHIUS IS NOT UNHAPPY.]

HIIS IGITUR SI PRO SE.

  [Sidenote: [The thrydde p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: If Fortune spake thus to you, you could not defend your
    complaint.]

  ++Þerfore yif þat fortune spake wiþ þe for hir self in
  þis manere. For soþe þou ne haddest [nat] what
  þou myȝtest answere. and if þou hast any þi{n}g wherwiþ.
  þou mayist ryȝtfully tellen þi co{m}pleynt. ¶ It                   920
  byhoueþ þe to shewen it. {and} .I. wol ȝeue þe space to
  tellen it.

    [Sidenote: _B._ What you have said is very specious, but such
    discourses are only sweet while they strike our ears.]

          ¶ Certeynely q{uod} I þan þise ben faire
  þinges {and} enoyntid wiþ hony swetnesse of rethorike
  {and} musike. {and} only while þei ben herd þei ben                924
  deliciouse.

    [Sidenote: They cannot efface the deep impressions that misery has
    made in the heart.]

          ¶ But to wrecches is a deppere felyng of
  harme. þis is to seyn þat wrecches felen þe harmes þat
  þei suffren more greuously þan þe remedies or þe delites
  of þise wordes mowe gladen or comforten hem. so þat                928
  whan þise þinges stynten forto sou{n}[e] in eres. þe sorwe   [[pg 37]]
  þat is inset greueþ þe þouȝt.

    [Sidenote: _P._ So it is indeed; for my arguments are not designed
    as remedies, but as lenitives only.]

          Ryȝt so is it q{uod} she.
  ¶ For þise ne ben ȝit none remedies of þi maladie. but
  þei ben a manere norissinges of þi sorwe ȝit rebel                 932
  aȝeyne þi curac{i}ou{n}.

    [Sidenote: When time serves, I will administer those things that
    shall reach the seat of your disease.]

          ¶ For whan þat tyme is. I shal
  moue swiche þinges þat p{er}cen hem self depe.

    [Sidenote: But you are not among the number of the wretched.]

          ¶ But
  naþeles þ{a}t þou shalt not wilne to leten þi self a
  wrecche. ¶ Hast þou forȝeten þe nou{m}bre {and} þe                 936
  manere of þi welefulnesse.

    [Sidenote: I shall not speak of your happiness in being provided
    for (in your orphanage) by the chief men of the city; nor of your
    noble alliance with Festus and Symmachus;]

          I holde me stille how þat
  þe souerayn men of þe Citee toke{n} þe in cure {and}
  kepynge whan þou were orphelyn of fadir {and} modir.
  {and} were chosen i{n} affinite of p{r}inces of þe Citee.          940
  ¶ And þou bygu{n}ne raþer to ben leef {and} deere þan
  forto ben a neyȝbo{ur}. þe whiche þing is þe most p{re}ciouse
  kynde of any p{ro}pinquitee or aliau{n}ce þat may
  ben. ¶ Who is it þat ne seide þou nere ryȝt weleful                944
  wiþ so grete a nobley of þi fadres in lawe.

    [Sidenote: nor of your virtuous wife, and manly sons.]

          ¶ {And} wiþ
  þe chastite of þi wijf. {and} wiþ þe oportunite {and}
  noblesse of þi masculyn children. þat is to seyne þi
  sones {and} ou{er} al þis me lyst to passe of comune þinges.       948
  ¶ How þou haddest in þi þouȝt dignitees þat weren
  warned to olde men. but it deliteþ me to comen now to
  þe singuler vphepyng of þi welefulnesse. ¶ Yif any
  fruyt of mortal þinges may han any weyȝte or price of              952
  welefulnesse.

    [Sidenote: Can you ever forget the memorable day that saw your two
    sons invested with the dignity of Consuls?]

          ¶ Myȝtest þou euere forȝeten for any
  charge of harme þat myȝt[e] byfallen. þe remembrau{n}ce
  of þilke day þat þou sey[e] þi two sones maked conseillers.
  {and} ylad to gidre from þin house vndir so gret                   956
  assemble of senatours. {and} vndir þe blyþenesse of poeple.
  {and} whan þou say[e] hem sette in þe court in her
  chaieres of dignites. ¶ Þou rethorien or p{ro}nou{n}cere     [[pg 38]]
  of kynges p{re}ysinges. deseruedest glorie of wit {and} of         960
  eloquence.

    [Sidenote: When in the circus you satisfied the expectant
    multitude with a triumphal largess?]

          whan þou sittyng bytwix þi two sones conseillers
  in þe place þat hyȝt Circo. {and} fulfildest þe
  abydyng of multitude of poeple þat was sprad about þe
  wiþ large p{ra}ysynge {and} laude as me{n} syngen in victories.    964

    [Sidenote: By your expressions you flattered Fortune, and obtained
    from her a gift which never before fell to any private person.]

  þo ȝaue þou wordes of fortune as I trowe. þat
  is to seyne. þo feffedest þou fortune wiþ glosynge
  wordes {and} desseiuedest hir. whan she accoied[e] þe
  {and} norsshed[e] þe as hir owen delices. ¶ Þou hast               968
  had of fortune a ȝifte þat is to seyn swiche gerdou{n}
  þat she neu[er]e ȝaf to p{re}ue man

    [Sidenote: Will you therefore call Fortune to account?]

          ¶ Wilt þou þerfore
  leye a rekenyng wiþ fortune.

    [Sidenote: She now begins, I own, to look unkindly on you; but if
    you consider the number of your blessings, you must confess that
    you are still happy.]

          she haþ now twynkeled
  first vpon þe wiþ a wykked eye. ¶ Yif þou considere                972
  þe nou{m}bre {and} þe manere of þi blysses. {and} of þi
  sorwes.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 10 _b_.]]

          *þou maist nat forsake þat þou nart ȝit blysful.

    [Linenotes:
    918 [_nat_]--from C.
    919 _if_--yif
    920 _mayist_--mayst
        _tellen_--defendyn
    921 _ȝeue_--yeuyn
    922 _þan_--thanne
        _ben_--bet (= beth)
    923 _swetnesse_--swetenesse
    924 _while_--whil
        _herd_--MS. herde
    926 _harme_--harm
    928 _mowe_--mowen
    929 _soun[e]_-sowne
    930 _inset_--MS. insette, C. inset
    932 _sorwe_--sorwes
    933 _aȝeyne_--ayein
    934 _moue swiche_--moeue swych
    938 _souerayn_--sou{er}ane
    943 _neyȝbour_--neysshebo{ur}
    944 _nere_--were
    945 _nobley_--nobleye
        _fadres_--fadyr-is
    947 _seyne_--seyn
    948 _lyst_--lyste
        _passe of_--passen the
    949 _þouȝt_--yowthe
    950 _warned_--werned
    952 _fruyt_--frute
        _price_--p{r}is
    953 _Myȝtest þow_--myhtes-thow
    954 _harme_--harm
        _myȝt[e] byfallen_--myhte befalle
    955 _sey[e]_--saye
    956 _from_--fro
        _gret_--MS. grete, C. gret
    958 _say[e]_--saye
        _sette_--set
        _her_--heer{e}
    961 _bytwix_--bytwyen
    962 _hyȝt_--hihte
    963 _of_ (1)--of the
        _about_--abowten
    964 _wiþ_--w{i}t{h} so
    965 _ȝaue_--MS. þan, C. yaue
        _of_--to
    966 _seyne_--seyn
    967 _accoied[e]_--acoyede
    968 _norsshed[e]_--noryssede
        _owen_--owne
        _þou----of_--thow bar away of
    969 _had_--MS. hadde
        _swiche_--swich
    970 _preue_--pryue
    971 _leye_--lye
        _haþ_--MS. haþe
    972 _wykked_--wyckede
    973 _blysses_--blysse
    974 _forsake_--forsakyn
        _nart_--art
        _blysful_--blysseful]

    [Headnote:
    ADVERSITY IS BUT TRANSIENT.]

    [Sidenote: These evils that you suffer are but transitory.]

  For if þou þerfore wenest þi self nat weleful for þinges
  þat þo semeden ioyful ben passed. ¶ Þer nis nat whi                976
  þou sholdest wene þi self a wrecche. for þinges þat now
  semen soory passen also. ¶ Art þou now comen firste
  a sodeyne gest in to þe shadowe or tabernacle of þis
  lijf.

    [Sidenote: Can there be any stability in human affairs, when the
    life of man is exposed to dissolution every hour?]

          or trowest þou þ{a}t any stedfastnesse be in mannis        980
  þinges. ¶ Whan ofte a swifte houre dissolueþ þe same
  man. þat is to seyne whan þe soule dep{ar}tiþ fro þe
  body. For al þouȝ þat yelde is þer any feiþ þat fortunous
  þinges willen dwelle.

    [Sidenote: The last day of life puts an end to Prosperity.]

          ȝit naþeles þe last[e] day                                 984
  of a ma{n}nis lijf is a man{er}e deeþ to fortune. {and} also
  to þilke þat haþ dwelt.

    [Sidenote: What matters it then, whether you by death leave it, or
    it (Fortune) by flight doth leave you?]

          {and} þerfore what wenist þou
  þar recche yif þou forlete hir i{n} dey{n}ge or ellys þ{a}t she
  fortune forlete þe i{n} fleenge awey.                              988

    [Linenotes:
    978 _soory_--sorye
        _firste_--fyrst
    979 _sodeyne_--sodeyn
        _shadowe_--shadwe
    980 _stedfastnesse_--stedefastnesse
    981 _swifte_--swyft
        _dissolueþ_--dyssoluede
    983 _al þouȝ þat_--al þ{a}t thowgh
        _fortunous_--fortune
    984 _willen dwelle_--wolen dwellyn
        _last[e]_--laste
    986 _haþ_--MS. haþe
        _wenist þou_--weenestow
    987 _þar recche_--dar recke
    988 _awey_--away]


                                                               [[pg 39]]
    [Headnote:
    MANY BLESSINGS STILL REMAIN.]

CUM PRIMO POLO.

  [Sidenote: [The .iij. Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: The stars pale before the light of the rising sun.]

  ++Whan phebus þe sonne bygynneþ to spreden his clerenesse
  w{i}t{h} rosene chariettes. þan þe sterre ydimmyd
  paleþ hir white cheres. by þe flamus of þe so{n}ne þat
  ouer comeþ þe sterre lyȝt. ¶ Þis is to seyn whan þe                992
  sonne is risen þe day sterre wexiþ pale {and} lesiþ hir
  lyȝt for þe grete bryȝtnesse of þe sonne.

    [Sidenote: Westerly winds deck the wood with roses, but easterly
    winds cause their beauty to fade.]

          ¶ Whan þe
  wode wexeþ redy of rosene floures in þe first somer
  sesou{n} þoruȝ þe breþe of þe wynde Zephirus þat wexeþ             996
  warme. ¶ Yif þe cloudy wynde auster blowe felliche.
  þan goþ awey þe fayrnesse of þornes.

    [Sidenote: Now the sea is calm, and again it is tempestuous.]

          Ofte þe see is
  clere {and} calme wiþoute moeuy{n}g floodes. And ofte
  þe horrible wynde aq{u}ilon moeueþ boylyng tempestes              1000
  {and} ouer whelweþ þe see.

    [Sidenote: If all things thus vary, will you trust in transitory
    riches?]

          ¶ Yif þe forme of þis worlde
  is so [ȝeelde] stable. {and} yif it to{ur}niþ by so many
  entrechau{n}gynges. wilt þou þa{n} truste{n} in þe trublynge
  fortunes of me{n}. wilt þou trowen i{n} flittyng goodes.          1004

    [Sidenote: All here below is unstedfast and unstable.]

  It is certeyne {and} establissed by lawe p{er}durable þat no
  þi{n}g þ{a}t is engendred nys stedfast no stable.

    [Linenotes:
    989 _his_--hyr
    990 _þan_--thanne
    991 _flamus_--flambes
    995 _redy_--rody
        _rosene_--rosyn
    997 _warme_--warm
    998 _goþ_--MS. goþe, C. goth
        _fayrnesse_--fayrenesse
    999 _clere_--cleer
        _calme_--kalm
    1000 _wynde_--wynd
    1001 _whelweþ_--welueeth
    1002 [_ȝeelde_]--from C.
    1003, 1004 _wilt þou_--wolthow
    1003 _þan_--thanne
         _trublynge_--towmbly{n}ge
    1004 _in flittyng_--on flettynge
    1005 _It is_--is it
    1006 _no_--ne
         _stable_--estable]


    [Headnote:
    MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR.]

TUNC EGO UERA INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The ferthe prose.]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ I cannot deny my sudden and early prosperity.]

  ++ÞAnne seide I þus. O norice of alle uertues þou
  seist ful soþe. ¶ Ne I may nat forsake þe ryȝt[e]                 1008
  swifte cours of my p{ro}speritee. þat is to seine. þat
  p{ro}speritee ne be comen to me wondir swiftly {and}
  soone. but þis is a þing þat gretly smertiþ me whan it
  remembreþ me.

    [Sidenote: It is the remembrance of former happiness that adds
    most to man’s infelicity.]

          ¶ For in alle aduersitees of fortune þe                   1012
  most vnsely kynde of contrariouse fortune is to han
  ben weleful.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Recollect that you have yet much affluence.]

          ¶ But þat þou q{uo}d she abaist þus þe
  to{ur}ment of þi fals[e] opiniou{n} þat maist þou not ryȝtfully
  blamen ne aretten to þinges. as who seiþ for þou             [[pg 40]]
  hast ȝitte many habundaunces of þinges. ¶ _Textus._               1017
  For al be it so þat þe ydel name of auenterouse welefulnesse
  moeueþ þe now. it is leueful þat þou rekene
  w{i}t{h} me of how many[e] þinges þou hast ȝit plentee.           1020

    [Sidenote: What you esteemed most precious in your happy days, you
    still retain, and ought therefore not to complain.]

  ¶ And þerfore yif þat þilke þing þat þou haddest for
  most p{re}cious in alle þi rycchesse of fortune be kept
  to þe by þe grace of god vnwemmed {and} vndefouled.
  Mayst þou þa{n} pleyne ryȝtfully vpon þe myschief of fortune.     1024
  syn þou hast ȝit þi best[e] þinges. ¶ Certys ȝit
  lyueþ in goode poynt þilke p{re}cious hono{ur} of mankynde.

    [Sidenote: Symmachus, dear to you as life, is safe and in health.]

  ¶ Symacus þi wyues fadir whiche þat is a
  man maked al of sapience {and} of vertue. þe whiche               1028
  man þou woldest b[i]en redely wiþ þe pris of þin owen
  lijf. he byweyleþ þe wronges þat men don to þee. {and}
  not for hym self. for he liueþ in sykernesse of any
  sentence put aȝeins him.

    [Sidenote: Your wife Rusticiana is also alive, and bewails her
    separation from you.]

          ¶ And ȝit lyueþ þi wif þat                                1032
  is attempre of witte {and} passyng oþer women in clennes
  of chastitee. and for I wol closen shortly her bountes
  she is lyke to hir fadir. I telle þe welle þat she lyueþ
  looþ of hir life. {and} kepiþ to þee oonly hir goost. {and}       1036
  is al maat {and} ouer-comen by wepyng {and} sorwe for
  desire of þe ¶ In þe whiche þing only I mot graunten
  þat þi welefulnesse is amenused.

    [Sidenote: Why need I mention your two sons, in whom so much of
    the wit and spirit of their sire and grandsire doth shine?]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 11.]]

          ¶ What shal I seyn
  eke of þi two sones conseillours of whiche as of children         1040
  of hir age þer shineþ *þe lyknesse of þe witte of
  hir fadir {and} of hir eldefadir.

    [Sidenote: And since it is the chief care of man to preserve life;
    you are still most happy in the possession of blessings which all
    men value more than life.]

          and siþen þe souereyn
  cure of alle mortel folke is to sauen hir owe{n} lyues.

    [Linenotes:
    1008 _soþe_--soth
         _Ne I may_--Ne I ne may
    1009 _seine_--seyn
    1011 _a_--omitted
         _gretly_--gretely
    1012 _aduersitees_--adu{er}syte
    1013 _most_--mooste
    1014 _abaist_--abyest
    1015 _tourment_--tormentȝ
         _fals[e]_--false
    1016 _seiþ_--MS. seiþe, C. seyh
    1017 _ȝitte_--yit
    1019 _leueful_--leefful
    1020 _many[e] þinges_--manye grete thinges
    1022 _alle_--al
    1023 _þe by_--the yit by
    1024 _myschief_--meschef
    1025 _best[e]_--beste
    1026 _lyueþ_--leueth
         _goode_--good
    1027 _whiche_--which
    1028 _al_--alle
         _of_ (2)--omitted
    1029 _b[i]en_--byen
         _owen_--owne
    1030 _byweyleþ_--bewayleth
         _don_--MS. done, C. don
    1031 _liueþ_--leueth
    1033 _witte_--wyt
         _women_--wymmen
    1034 _shortly_--shortely
    1035 _lyke_--lik
         _welle_--wel
    1036 _hir life_--this lyf
    1037 _maat_--maad
    1038 _whiche_--weche
    1039 _amenused_--amenyssed
         _seyn_--(MS. seyne) seyn
    1041 _lyknesse_--lykenesse
         _witte_--wyt
    1042 {and} (1)--or
         _eldefadir_--eldyr fadyr
         _siþen_--syn
    1043 _folke_--folk]

    [Headnote:
    THE CONDITION OF HUMAN BLISS.]

  ¶ O how weleful art þou þouȝ þou knowe þi goodes.                 1044
  ¶ But ȝitte ben þer þinges dwelly{n}g to þe wardes þat no    [[pg 41]]
  man douteþ þat þei ne ben more derworþe to þe þen
  þine owen lijf.

    [Sidenote: Dry up thy tears, thou hast still present comfort and
    hope of future felicity.]

          ¶ And forþi drie þi teres for ȝitte nys
  nat eueriche fortune al hateful to þe warde. ne ou{er}            1048
  greet tempest haþ nat ȝit fallen vpon þe. whan þat þin
  ancres cliue fast[e] þat neiþer wole suffre þe comfort of þis
  tyme p{re}sent. ne þe hope of tyme comynge to passen
  ne to falle{n}.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I hope these will never fail me.]

          ¶ And I p{re}ie q{uod} I þat fast[e] mot[en]              1052
  þei holden. ¶ For whiles þat þei halden. how so eu{er}e
  þat þinges ben. I shal wel fleten furþe and eschapen.

    [Sidenote: But do you not see how low I am fallen?]

  ¶ But þou mayst wel seen how greet[e] apparailes {and}
  aray þat me lakkeþ þat ben passed awey fro me.                    1056

    [Sidenote: _P._ I should think that I had made progress if you did
    not repine so at your fate.]

  ¶ I haue su{m}what auau{n}ced {and} forþered þe q{uod} she. if
  þat þou anoie nat or forþenke nat of al þi fortune. As
  who seiþ. ¶ I haue somwhat comforted þe so þat þou
  tempest nat þe þus wiþ al þi fortune. syn þou hast                1060
  ȝit þi best[e] þinges.

    [Sidenote: It grieves me to hear you complain while you possess so
    many comforts.]

          ¶ But I may nat suffre þin
  delices. þat pleinst so wepyng. {and} anguissous for þat
  oþer lakkeþ somwhat to þi welefulnesse.

    [Sidenote: Every one, however happy, has something to complain
    of.]

          ¶ For what
  man is so sad or of so p{er}fit welefulnesse. þat he ne           1064
  stryueþ or pleyneþ on some half aȝeine þe qualitee of
  his estat.

    [Sidenote: The condition of human enjoyment is anxious; for either
    it comes not all at once, or makes no long stay when it does
    come.]

          ¶ For whi ful anguissous þing is þe condiciou{n}
  of mans goodes. ¶ For eyþer it comeþ al to
  gidre to a wyȝt. or ellys it lasteþ not p{er}petuely.             1068

    [Linenotes:
    1044 _art þou þouȝ_--arthow yif
    1045 _But ȝitte_--for yit
         _dwellyng_--dwellyd
         _wardes_--ward
    1046 _þat_--than
         _derworþe_--dereworthe
         _þen þine_--than thin
    1047 _ȝitte_--yit
    1049 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _þin_--thyne
    1050 _cliue fast[e]_--cleuen faste
         _wole suffre_--wolen suffren
    1052 _fallen_--faylen
         _fast[e] mot[en]_--faste moten
    1053 _holden_--halden
    1054 _furþe_--forth
    1055 _mayst_--mayste
         _greet[e]_--grete
    1058 _forþenke_--forthinke
    1061 _best[e]_--beste
         _suffre þin_--suffren thi
    1063 _oþer_--ther
    1064 _perfit_--parfyt
    1065 _or_--and
         _some half aȝeine_--som halue ayen
    1067 _mans_--mannes
         _comeþ al_--comth nat al
    1068 _lasteþ_--last
         _perpetuely_--p{er}petuel]

    [Headnote:
    HAPPINESS ARISES FROM CONTENTMENT.]

    [Sidenote: One man is very wealthy, but his birth is obscure.]

  ¶ For som man haþ grete rycchesse. but he is asshamed
  of hys vngentil lynage.

    [Sidenote: Another is conspicuous for nobility of descent, but is
    surrounded by indigence.]

          {and} som man is renomed
  of noblesse of kynrede. but he is enclosed in so
  grete angre for nede of þinges. þat hym were leuer þat            1072
  he were vnknowe.

    [Sidenote: A third is blest with both advantages, but is
    unmarried.]

          and som ma{n} habundeþ boþe i{n}
  rychesse {and} noblesse. but ȝit he bywaileþ hys chast[e]
  lijf. for he haþ no wijf.                                    [[pg 42]]

    [Sidenote: This man is happy in a wife, but is childless, while
    that other man has the joy of children, but is mortified by their
    evil ways.]

          ¶ and som man is wel {and}
  selily maried but he haþ no children. {and} norissheþ his         1076
  ricchesse to þe heires of straunge folk. ¶ And som
  man is gladded wiþ children. but he wepiþ ful sory for
  þe trespas of his son or of his douȝtir.

    [Sidenote: Thus we see that no man can agree easily with the state
    of his fortune.]

          ¶ and for þis
  þer accordeþ no wyȝt lyȝtly to þe condic{i}ou{n} of his fortune.  1080
  for alwey to euery man þere is i{n} mest somwhat
  þat vnassaieþ he ne wot not or ellys he drediþ þat he
  haþ assaied.

    [Sidenote: The senses of the happy are refined and delicate, and
    they are impatient if anything is untoward.]

          ¶ {And} adde þis also þat euery weleful
  man haþ a wel delicat felyng. ¶ So þat but yif alle               1084
  þinges fallen at hys owen wille for he inpacient or is
  nat vsed to han none aduersitee. an-oone he is þrowe
  adoũne for euery lytel þing.

    [Sidenote: The happiness of the most fortunate depends on
    trifles.]

          ¶ And ful lytel þinges
  ben þo þat wiþdrawen þe so{m}me or þe p{er}fecc{i}ou{n} of        1088
  blisfulnesse fro hem þat ben most fortunat.

    [Sidenote: How many would think themselves in heaven if they had
    only a part of the remnant of thy fortune!]

          ¶ How
  many men trowest þou wolde demen hem self to ben
  almost in heuene yif þei myȝten atteyne to þe leest[e]
  p{ar}tie of þe remenaunt of þi fortune. ¶ Þis same place          1092
  þat þou clepist exil is contre to hem þat enhabiten
  here.

    [Sidenote: Thy miseries proceed from the thought that thou art
    miserable.]

          {and} forþi. Noþing wrecched. but whan þou
  wenest it

    [Sidenote: Every lot may be happy to the man who bears his
    condition with equanimity and courage.]

          ¶ As who seiþ. þouȝ þi self ne no wyȝt
  ellys nys no wrecche but whan he weneþ hym self a                 1096
  wrecche by reputac{i}ou{n} of his corage.

    [Linenotes:
    1069 _rycchesse_--Rychesses
    1070 _renomed_--renowned
    1072 _angre for_--Angwysshe of
         _leuer_--leu{er}e
    1074 _chast[e]_--caste
    1075, 1076 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1076 _maried_--ymaryed
         _his_--hise
    1077 _ricchesse_--Rychesses
         _heires_--eyres
         _folk_--foolkys
    1080 _þer_--þ{er} ne
    1081 _mest_--omitted
    1082 _vnassaieþ_--vnassaied
         _wot_--MS. wote, C. wot
    1083, 1084 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1084 _wel_--ful
    1085 _fallen_--byfalle
         _wille_--wyl
    1086 _none_--non
         _an-oone_--Anon
         _þrowe_--throwen
    1087 _adoũne_--adou{n}
    1090 _wolde_--wolden
    1095 _it_--hyt
         _who_--ho
    1096 _no_--a]


    [Headnote:
    THE SOURCE OF TRUE HAPPINESS.]

CONTRAQ{UE}.

    [Sidenote: When patience is lost then a change of state is
    desired.]

  ++And aȝeinewarde al fortune is blisful to a man by þe
  agreablete or by þe egalite of hym þat suffreþ it.
  ¶ What man is þat. þat is so weleful þat nolde chau{n}ge{n}       1100
  his estat whan he haþ lorn pacience. þe swetnesse of
  mannes welefulnesse is yspranid wiþ many[e] bitternesses.
  þe whiche welefulnesse al þouȝ it seme swete {and}           [[pg 43]]
  ioyeful to hym þat vseþ it. ȝit may it not be wiþ-holden          1104
  þat it ne goþ away whan it wol.

    [Sidenote: How much is human felicity embittered!]

          ¶ Þan is it wel sen
  how wrecched is þe blisfulnesse of mortel þinges.

    [Sidenote: It will not stay with those that endure their lot with
    equanimity, nor bring comfort to anxious minds.]

  þat neiþ{er} it dwelliþ p{er}petuel wiþ hem þat euery fortune
  receyuen agreablely or egaly. ¶ Ne it ne deliteþ not in           1108
  al. to hem þat ben anguissous.

    [Sidenote: Why then, O mortals, do ye seek abroad for that
    felicity which is to be found within yourselves?]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 11 _b_.]]

          ¶ O ye mortel folkes
  what seke *ȝe þan blisfulnesse oute of ȝoure self. whiche
  þat is put in ȝoure self. Erro{ur} {and} folie co{n}fou{n}deþ
  ȝow ¶ I shal shewe þe shortly. þe poynt of souereyne              1112
  blisfulnesse.

    [Sidenote: Nothing is more precious than thyself.]

          Is þer any þing to þe more p{re}ciouse þan
  þi self ¶ Þou wilt answere nay.

    [Sidenote: If thou hast command over thyself, Fortune cannot
    deprive thee of it.]

          ¶ Þan if it so be þat
  þou art myȝty ouer þi self þat is to seyn by tranquillitee
  of þi soule. þan hast þou þing i{n} þi power þat þou              1116
  noldest neuer lesen. ne fortune may nat by-nyme it þe.

    [Sidenote: Happiness does not consist in things transitory.]

  {and} þat þou mayst knowe þat blisfulnesse [ne] may
  nat standen in þinges þat ben fortunous {and} te{m}perel.

    [Sidenote: If happiness be the supreme good of nature, then that
    thing cannot be it which can be withdrawn from us.]

  ¶ Now vndirstonde {and} gadir it to gidir þus                     1120
  yif blisfulnesse be þe souereyne goode of nature þat
  liueþ by resou{n} ¶ Ne þilke þing nis nat souereyne
  goode þat may be taken awey in any wyse. for more
  worþi þing {and} more digne is þilke þing þ{a}t may nat be        1124
  taken awey.

    [Sidenote: Instability of fortune is not susceptive of true
    happiness.]

          ¶ Þan shewiþ it wele þat þe vnstablenesse
  of fortune may nat attayne to receyue verray
  blisfulnes. ¶ And ȝit more ouer.

    [Sidenote: He who is led by fading felicity, either knows that it
    is changeable or does not know it.]

          ¶ What man þat
  þis toumblyng welefulnesse leediþ. eiþer he woot þat              1128
  [it] is chaungeable. or ellis he woot it nat.

    [Sidenote: If he knows it not, what happiness has he in the
    blindness of his ignorance?]

          ¶ And yif
  he woot it not. what blisful fortune may þer be in þe
  blyndenesse of ignorau{n}ce. and yif he woot þat it is
  chaungeable. he mot alwey ben adrad þ{a}t he ne lese              1132
  þat þing. þat he ne douteþ nat but þat he may leesen it.

    [Linenotes:
    1098 _aȝeinewarde al_--ayeinward alle
    1099 _it_--hyt
    1101 _whan_--what
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _lorn_--MS. lorne, C. lost
    1102 _yspranid_--spraynyd
         _bitternesses_--beternesses
    1104 _hym_--hem
         _it_--hyt
         _be_--ben
    1105 _goþ_--MS. geþe
         _wol_--woole
         _sen_--MS. sene
    1107 _dwelliþ_--dureth
    1109 _folkes_--folk{e}
    1110 _oute_--owt
    1112 _shortly_--shortely
    1114 _wilt_--MS. wilte, C. wolt
         _if_--yif
    1117 _by-nyme_--be-neme
    1118 _blisfulnesse [ne]_--blyssefulnesse ne
    1120 _to gidir_--to gidere
    1121, 1122 _souereyne goode_--sou{er}eyn good
    1125 _wele_--wel
    1126 _receyue_--resseyuen
    1129 [_it_]--from C.
         _it_--hyt
    1130 _be_--ben
    1131 _blyndenesse_--blyndnesse]

                                                               [[pg 44]]
    [Headnote:
    RICHES DO NOT CONSTITUTE HAPPINESS.]

    [Sidenote: If he knows it is fleeting he must be afraid of losing
    it, and this fear will not suffer him to be happy.]

  ¶ As whoo seiþ he mot ben alwey agast lest he
  leese þat he wot wel he may leese. ¶ For whiche þe
  continuel drede þat he haþ ne suffriþ hym nat to ben              1136
  weleful. ¶ Or ellys yif he leese it he wene to be
  dispised {and} forleten hit. ¶ Certis eke þat is a ful
  lytel goode þat is born wiþ euene hert[e] whan it is
  loost. ¶ Þat is to seyne þat men don no more force.               1140
  of þe lost þan of þe hauynge.

    [Sidenote: Since thou art convinced of the soul’s immortality,
    thou canst not doubt that if death puts an end to human felicity,
    that all men when they die, are plunged into the depths of
    misery.]

          ¶ And for as myche as
  þou þi self art he to who{m} it haþ ben shewid {and} p{ro}ued
  by ful many[e] demonstrac{i}ou{n}s. as I woot wel þat þe
  soules of men ne mowen nat dien in no wise. and eke               1144
  syn it is clere. {and} certeyne þat fortunous welefulnesse
  endiþ by þe deeþ of þe body. ¶ It may nat ben douted
  þat yif þat deeþ may take awey blysfulnesse þat al þe
  kynde of mortal þi{n}g{us} ne descendiþ in to wrecchednesse       1148
  by þe ende of þe deeþ.

    [Sidenote: But we know that many have sought to obtain felicity,
    by undergoing not only death, but pains and torments.]

          ¶ And syn we knowen
  wel þat many a man haþ souȝt þe fruit of blisfulnesse
  nat only wiþ suffryng of deeþ. but eke wiþ suffryng of
  peynes {and} to{ur}mentes.

    [Sidenote: How then can this present life make men truly happy,
    since when it is ended they do not become miserable?]

          how myȝt[e] þan þis p{re}sent                             1152
  lijf make men blisful. syn þat whanne þilke self[e]
  lijf is endid. it ne makeþ folk no wrecches.

    [Linenotes:
    1134 _it_--hyt
         _seiþ_--MS. seiþe, C. seyth
    1135 _wot_--MS. wote, C. wot
         _leese_ (2)--leese it
         _whiche_--which
    1136 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1137 _ellys_--omitted
         _wene_--weneth
    1138 _hit_--omitted
    1139 _goode_--good
         _born_--MS. borne, C. born
         _hert[e]_--herte
    1140 _seyne_--seyn
         _don_--MS. done, C. do
         _force_--fors
    1142 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1143 _many[e]_--manye
    1144 _mowen_--mowe
         _dien_--deyen
    1145 _clere_--cleer
         _certeyne_--certeyn
    1147 _al_--alle
    1150 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _fruit_--frut
    1152 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    1153 _make_--maken
         _self[e]_--selue]


    [Headnote:
    RICHES HAVE NO INTRINSIC VALUE.]

QUISQUIS UOLET[2] P{ER}HENNEM CAUTUS.

    [Footnote 2: MS. ualet.]

  [Sidenote: [The ferthe met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: He who would have a stable and lasting seat must not
    build upon lofty hills; nor upon the sands, if he would escape the
    violence of winds and waves.]

  ++What maner man stable {and} war þat wil founden hym
  a p{er}durable sete {and} ne wil not be cast doune                1156
  wiþ þe loude blastes of þe wynde Eurus. {and} wil dispise
  þe see manassynge wiþ floodes ¶ Lat hym eschewe to
  bilde on þe cop of þe mou{n}tay{n}gne. or in þe moyste
  sandes. ¶ For þe fel[le] wynde auster to{ur}menteþ þe cop         1160
  of þe mou{n}tayngne wiþ alle his strengþes. ¶ and þe
  lowe see sandes refuse to beren þe heuy weyȝte.              [[pg 45]]

    [Sidenote: If thou wilt flee perilous fortune, lay thy foundation
    upon the firmer stone, so that thou mayst grow old in thy
    stronghold.]

  {and} forþi yif þou wolt flee þe p{er}ilous auenture þat is to
  seine of þe worlde ¶ Haue mynde certeynly to ficchyn              1164
  þi house of a myrie site in a lowe stoone. ¶ For al
  þouȝ þe wynde troublyng þe see þondre wiþ ouereþrowynges
  ¶ Þou þat art put i{n} quiete {and} welful by
  strengþe of þi palys shalt leden a cleer age. scornyng            1168
  þe wodenesses and þe Ires of þe eir.

    [Linenotes:
    1155, 1156, 1157 _wil_--wole
    1156 _be cast_--MS. be caste, C. ben cast
    1157 _wynde_--wynd
    1158 _eschewe_--eschewen
    1160 _fel[le]_--felle
    1161 _his_--hise
    1162 _lowe_--lavse
         _see_--omitted
         _refuse_--refusen
         _weyȝte_--wyhte
    1163 _flee_--fleen
    1164 _seine_--seyn
    1165 _þi_--thin
         _lowe stoone_--lowh stoon
    1167 _welful_--weleful
    1169 _wodenesses_--woodnesses]


    [Headnote:
    GLORY NOT IN RICHES; THEY ADD NOTHING TO VIRTUE.]

SET CUM RACIONU{M} IAM IN TE.

  [Sidenote: [The fyfthe p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: It is now time to use stronger medicines, since lighter
    remedies have taken effect.]

  ++But for as moche as þe noryssinges of my resou{n}s
  descenden now in to þe. I trowe it were tyme to
  vsen a litel strenger medicynes.

    [Sidenote: What is there in the gifts of Fortune that is not vile
    and despicable?]

          ¶ Now vndirstonde                                         1172
  here al were it so þat þe ȝiftis of fortune nar[e] nat
  brutel ne t{ra}nsitorie.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 12.]]

          what is þer in hem þat may be
  þine *in any tyme. or ellis þat it nys foule if þat it be
  considered {and} lokid p{er}fitely.

    [Sidenote: Are riches precious in themselves, or in men’s
    estimation?]

          ¶ Richesse ben þei                                        1176
  p{re}ciouse by þe nature of hem self. or ellys by þe
  nature of þe.

    [Sidenote: What is most precious in them, quantity or quality?]

          What is most worþi of rycchesse. is it
  nat golde or myȝt of moneye assembled.

    [Sidenote: Bounty is more glorious than niggardliness.]

          ¶ Certis
  þilke golde {and} þilke moneye shineþ {and} ȝeueþ better          1180
  renou{n} to hem þat dispenden it. þen to þilke folke þat
  mokeren it.

    [Sidenote: Avarice is always hateful, while liberality is
    praise-worthy.]

          For auarice makeþ alwey mokeres to be
  hated. {and} largesse makeþ folke clere of renou{n}
  ¶ For syn þat swiche þi{n}g as is t{ra}nsfered from o             1184
  man to an oþer ne may nat dwellen wiþ no man.

    [Sidenote: Money cannot be more precious than when it is dispensed
    liberally to others.]

  Certis þan is þilke moneye p{re}cious. whan it is translated
  in to oþer folk. {and} stynteþ to ben had by
  vsage of large ȝeuy{n}g of hym þat haþ ȝeuen it.                  1188

    [Sidenote: If one man’s coffers contained all the money in the
    world, every one else would be in want of it.]

  {and} also yif al þe moneye þat is ouer-al in þe world were
  gadered towar[d] o man. it sholde maken al oþer men          [[pg 46]]
  to ben nedy as of þat. ¶ And certys a voys al hool
  þat is to seyn wiþ-oute amenusynge fulfilleþ to gyder             1192
  þe heryng of myche folke.

    [Sidenote: Riches cannot be dispensed without diminution.]

          but Certys ȝoure rycchesse
  ne mowen nat passen vnto myche folk wiþ-oute amenussyng
  ¶ And whan þei ben apassed. nedys þei maken
  hem pore þat forgon þe rycchesses.

    [Sidenote: O the poverty of riches, that cannot be enjoyed by many
    at the same time, nor can be possessed by one without
    impoverishing others!]

          ¶ O streite {and}                                         1196
  nedy clepe I þise rycchesses. syn þat many folke [ne]
  may nat han it al. ne al may it nat comen to on man
  wiþ-oute pouerte of al oþer folke. ¶ And þe shynynge
  of ge{m}mes þat I clepe p{re}ciouse stones. draweþ it nat         1200
  þe eyen of folk in to hem warde. þat is to seyne for þe
  beaute.

    [Sidenote: The beauty of precious stones consists only in their
    brightness, wherefore I marvel that men admire that which is
    motionless, lifeless, and irrational.]

          ¶ For certys yif þer were beaute or bounte
  in shynyng of stones. þilke clerenesse is of þe stones
  hem self. {and} nat of men. ¶ For whiche I wondre                 1204
  gretly þat men merueilen on swiche þinges. ¶ For
  whi what þing is it þat yif it wa{n}teþ moeuyng {and}
  ioynture of soule {and} body þat by ryȝt myȝt[e] semen
  a faire creature to hym þat haþ a soule of resou{n}.              1208

    [Sidenote: Precious stones are indeed the workmanship of the
    Creator, but their beauty is infinitely below the excellency of
    man’s nature.]

  ¶ For al be it so þat ge{m}mes drawen to hem self a
  litel of þe laste beaute of þe worlde. þoruȝ þe entent
  of hir creato{ur} {and} þoruȝ þe distincc{i}ou{n} of hem self.
  ȝit for as myche as þei ben put vndir ȝoure excellence.           1212
  þei han not desserued by no weye þat ȝe shullen
  merueylen on hem.

    [Sidenote: Doth the beauty of the field delight thee?]

          ¶ And þe beaute of feeldes deliteþ
  it nat mychel vnto ȝow.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Why should it not? for it is a beautiful part of a
    beautiful whole.]

          _Boyce._ ¶ Whi sholde it nat
  deliten vs. syn þat it is a ryȝt fayr porciou{n} of þe ryȝt       1216
  fair werk. þat is to seyn of þis worlde.

    [Sidenote: Hence, we admire the face of the sea, the heavens, as
    well as the sun, moon, and stars.]

          ¶ And ryȝt
  so ben we gladed somtyme of þe face of þe see whan
  it is clere. And also merueylen we on þe heuene {and}
  on þe sterres. {and} on þe sonne. {and} on þe mone.          [[pg 47]]

    [Sidenote: _P._ Do these things concern thee? darest thou glory in
    them?]

  _Philosophie._ ¶ App{er}teineþ q{uo}d she any of þilke            1221
  þinges to þe. whi darst þou glorifie þe in þe shynynge
  of any swiche þinges.

    [Sidenote: Do the flowers adorn you with their variety?]

          Art þou distingwed {and} embelised
  by þe spryngyng floures of þe first somer                         1224
  sesou{n}. or swelliþ þi plente in fruytes of somer. whi
  art þou rauyshed wiþ ydel ioies.

    [Sidenote: Why embracest thou things wherein thou hast no
    property?]

          why enbracest þou
  straunge goodes as þei weren þine.

    [Sidenote: Fortune can never make that thine which the nature of
    things forbids to be so.]

          Fortune shal neuer
  maken þat swiche þinges ben þine þat nature of þinges             1228
  maked foreyne fro þe.

    [Sidenote: The fruits of the earth are designed for the support of
    beasts.]

          ¶ Syche is þat wiþ-oute{n}
  doute þe fruytes of þe erþe owen to ben on þe
  norssinge of bestes.

    [Sidenote: If you seek only the necessities of nature, the
    affluence of Fortune will be useless.]

          ¶ And if þou wilt fulfille þi
  nede after þat it suffiseþ to nature þan is it no nede            1232
  þat þou seke after þe sup{er}fluite of fortune.

    [Sidenote: Nature is content with a little, and superfluity will
    be both disagreeable and hurtful.]

          ¶ For
  wiþ ful fewe þinges {and} w{i}t{h} ful lytel þing nature
  halt hire appaied. {and} yif þou wilt achoken þe fulfillyng
  of nat{ur}e wiþ sup{er}fluites ¶ Certys þilke                     1236
  þinges þ{a}t þou wilt þresten or pouren in to nature
  shullen ben vnioyeful to þe or ellis anoies.

    [Sidenote: Does it add to a man’s worth to shine in variety of
    costly clothing?]

          ¶ Wenest
  þou eke þat it be a fair þinge to shine wiþ dyuerse
  cloþing.

    [Sidenote: The things really to be admired are the beauty of the
    stuff or the workmanship of it.]

          of whiche cloþing yif þe beaute be agreable               1240
  to loken vpon. I wol merueylen on þe nature of þe
  matere of þilke cloþes. or ellys on þe werkeman þat
  wrouȝt[e] hem.

    [Sidenote: Doth a great retinue make thee happy?]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 12 _b_.]]

          but al so a longe route of meyne. makiþ
  þat a blisful *man.

    [Sidenote: If thy servants be vicious, they are a great burden to
    the house, and pernicious enemies to the master of it.]

          þe whiche seruauntes yif þei ben                          1244
  vicioũs of condic{i}ou{n}s it is a greet charge {and} a
  destrucc{i}ou{n} to þe house. {and} a g{r}eet enmye to þe lorde
  hym self

    [Sidenote: If they be good, why should the probity of others be
    put to thy account?]

          ¶ {And} yif þei ben goode men how shal
  straung[e] or foreyne goodenes ben put in þe nou{m}bre            1248
  of þi rycchesse.

    [Sidenote: Upon the whole, then, none of those enjoyments which
    thou didst consider as thy own did ever properly belong to thee.]

          so þ{a}t by alle þise forseide þinges. it is
  clerly shewed þat neuer none of þilke þinges þat þou
  accou{m}ptedest for þin goodes nas nat þi goode.

    [Sidenote: If they be not desirable, why shouldst thou grieve for
    the loss of them?]

          ¶ In
  þe whiche þinges yif þer be no beaute to ben desired.             1252

    [Linenotes:
    1172 _strenger_--strenger{e}
         _vndirstonde_--vndyrstond
    1173 _nar[e]_--ne weere
    1174 _be þine_--ben thyn
    1175 _foule_--fowl
    1176 _Richesse_--Rychessis
    1178 _rycchesse_--rychesses
    1179, 1180 _golde_--gold
    1180 _better_--betere
    1181 _þen_--thanne
    1182 _mokeres_--mokereres
    1183 _folke clere_--folk cler
    1184 _swiche_--swich
         _from_--fram
    1187 _stynteþ_--stenteth
    1188 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1189 _world_--worlde
    1190 _al_--alle
    1191 _al hool_--omitted
    1193 _myche folke_--moche folk{e}
         _rycchesse_--rychesses
    1194 _myche_--moche
    1196 _forgon_--MS. forgone
    1197 _þise_--this
         _rycchesses_--rychesse
         [_ne_]--from C.
    1198 _on_--o
    1199 _wiþ-oute_--with-owten
         _al_--alle
         _folke_--folk{e}
    1200 _preciouse_--p{re}syous
    1201 _in_--omitted
         _warde_--ward
         _seyne_--seyn
    1202 _beaute_ (1)--beautes
         _For_--but
    1203 _in_--in the
    1204 _whiche_--which
    1207 _ioynture_--Ioyngture
    1208 _faire_--fayr
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1210 _laste_--last
         _worlde_--world
    1212 _myche_--mochel
    1213 _desserued_--MS. desseyued, C. desseruyd
         _weye_--wey
         _shullen_--sholden
    1215 _mychel_--mochel
    1217 _fair werk_--fayr{e} werke
         _worlde_--world
    1219 _clere_--cler
    1222 _darst þou glorifie_--darsthow gloryfyen
    1225 _in_--in the
    1229 _Syche_--Soth
    1230 _on_--to
    1231, 1235, 1237 _wilt_--wolt
    1238 _shullen_--shollen
    1239 _fair_--fayre
    1240 _whiche_--which
    1242 _werkeman_--werkman
    1246 _house_--hows
         _lorde_--lord
    1248 _goodenes_--goodnesse
    1250 _shewed_--I-shewyd
         _none_--oon
    1251 _þin_--thine
         _goode_--good]

                                                               [[pg 48]]
    [Headnote:
    RICHES BRING ANXIETIES.]

  whi sholdest þou be sory yif þou leese hem. or whi
  sholdest þou reioysen þe to holden hem.

    [Sidenote: If they are fair by nature, what is that to thee?]

          ¶ For if þei
  ben fair of hire owen kynde. what app{er}teneþ þat to þe.

    [Sidenote: They would be equally agreeable whether thine or not.]

  for as wel sholde þei han ben faire by hem self.                  1256
  þouȝ þei were{n} dep{ar}tid from alle þin rycchesse.

    [Sidenote: They are not to be reckoned precious because they are
    counted amongst thy goods, but because they seemed so before thou
    didst desire to possess them.]

          ¶ For-why
  faire ne p{re}cioũs ne weren þei nat. for þat þei
  comen amonges þi rycchesse. but for þei semeden fair
  {and} p{re}cious. þerfore þou haddest leuer rekene hem            1260
  amonges þi rycchesse.

    [Sidenote: What, then, is it we so clamorously demand of Fortune?]

          but what desirest þou of fortune
  wiþ so greet a noyse {and} wiþ so greet a fare

    [Sidenote: Is it to drive away indigence by abundance?]

          ¶ I
  trowe þou seke to dryue awey nede wiþ habundaunce
  of þinges.

    [Sidenote: But the very reverse of this happens, for there is need
    of many helps to keep a variety of valuable goods.]

          ¶ But certys it turneþ to ȝow al in þe                    1264
  contrarie. for whi certys it nediþ of ful many[e] helpynges
  to kepen þe dyuersite of preciouse ostelmentȝ.

    [Sidenote: They want most things who have the most.]

  and soþe it is þat of many[e] þinges han þei nede þat
  many[e] þinges han.

    [Sidenote: They want the fewest who measure their abundance by the
    necessities of nature, and not by the superfluity of their
    desires.]

          {and} aȝeyneward of litel nediþ                           1268
  hem þat mesuren hir fille after þe nede of kynde {and}
  nat after þe outrage of couetyse

    [Sidenote: Is there no good planted within ourselves, that we are
    obliged to go abroad to seek it?]

          ¶ Is it þan so þat ye
  men ne han no p{ro}pre goode. I-set in ȝow. For
  whiche ȝe moten seken outwardes ȝoure goodes in                   1272
  foreine {and} subgit þinges.

    [Sidenote: Are things so changed and inverted, that god-like man
    should think that he has no other worth but what he derives from
    the possession of inanimate objects?]

          ¶ So is þan þe condic{i}ou{n}
  of þinges turned vpso dou{n}. þat a man þat is a devyne
  beest by merit of hys resou{n}. þinkeþ þat hy{m}
  self nys neyþer fair ne noble. but if it be þoruȝ                 1276
  possessiou{n} of ostelmentes. þat ne han no soules.

    [Linenotes:
    1255 _fair_--fayr{e}
         _hire owen_--hyr owne
    1256 _sholde_--sholden
         _self_--selue
    1257 _þin rycchesse_--thyne rychesses
    1259 _amonges_--among{e}
    1259, 1261 _rycchesse_--Rychesses
    1259 _fair_--fayr{e}
    1260 _leuer rekene_--leu{er}e rekne
    1262 _greet_ (2)--grete
    1265, 1267 _many[e]_--manye
    1267 _soþe_--soth
    1272 _outwardes_--owtward
    1276 _fair_--fayr{e}
         _if_--yif]

    [Headnote:
    IGNORANCE CRIMINAL IN MAN.]

    [Sidenote: Inferior things are satisfied with their own
    endowments, while man (the image of God) seeks to adorn his nature
    with things infinitely below him, not understanding how much he
    dishonours his Maker.]

  ¶ And certys al oþ{er} þi{n}ges ben appaied of hire owen
  beautes. but ȝe men þat ben semblable to god by ȝour{e}
  resonable þouȝt desiren to apparaille ȝour{e} excellent           1280
  kynde of þe lowest[e] pinges. ne ȝe ne vndirstonde nat
  how gret a wro{n}g ȝe don to ȝoure creato{ur}.

    [Sidenote: God intended man to excel all earthly creatures, yet
    you debase your dignity and prerogative below the lowest beings.]

          for he
  wolde þat man kynde were moost worþi {and} noble of
  any oþer erþely þinges. and ȝe þresten adou{n} ȝoure         [[pg 49]]
  dignitees by-neþen þe lowest[e] þinges.

    [Sidenote: In placing your happiness in despicable trifles, you
    acknowledge yourselves of less value than these trifles, and well
    do you merit to be so esteemed.]

          ¶ For if þat al                                           1285
  þe good of euery þing be more p{re}ciouse þan is þilk
  þing whos þat þe good is. syn ȝe demen þat þe
  foulest[e] þinges ben ȝoure goodes. þanne summytten               1288
  ȝe {and} putten ȝoure self vndir þo foulest[e] þinges by
  ȝoure estimac{i}ou{n}. ¶ And certis þis bitidiþ nat wiþ
  out ȝour{e} desert.

    [Sidenote: Man only excels other creatures when he knows himself.]

          For certys swiche is þe co{n}dic{i}ou{n}
  of al man kynde þat oonly whan it haþ knowyng of it               1292
  self. þan passeþ it i{n} noblesse alle oþer þinges.

    [Sidenote: When he ceases to do so, he sinks below beasts.]

  and whan it forletiþ þe knowyng of it self. þan it is
  brouȝt byneþen alle beestes.

    [Sidenote: Ignorance is natural to beasts, but in men it is
    unnatural and criminal.]

          ¶ For-why alle oþer
  [leuynge] beestes han of kynde to knowe not hem                   1296
  self. but whan þat men leten þe knowyng of hem self.
  it comeþ hem of vice.

    [Sidenote: How weak an error is it to believe that anything
    foreign to your nature can be an ornament to it.]

          but how brode sheweþ þe erro{ur}
  {and} þe folie of ȝow men þat wenen þat ony þing may
  ben apparailled wiþ straunge apparaillementȝ ¶ but                1300
  for-soþe þat may nat be don.

    [Sidenote: If a thing appear beautiful on account of its external
    embellishments, we admire and praise those embellishments alone.]

          for yif a wyȝt shyneþ wiþ
  þi{n}ges þat ben put to hym. as þus. yif þilke þinges
  shynen wiþ whiche a man is apparailled. ¶ Certis
  þilke þinges ben commendid {and} p{re}ised wiþ whiche             1304
  he is apparailled.

    [Sidenote: The thing covered still continues in its natural
    impurity.]

          ¶ But naþeles þe þing þat is
  couered {and} wrapped vndir þat dwelleþ in his filþe.

    [Sidenote: I deny that to be a good which is hurtful to its
    owner.]

  and I denye þat þilke þing be good þat anoyeþ hym
  þat haþ it.

    [Sidenote: Am I deceived in this? You will say no; for riches have
    often hurt their possessors.]

          ¶ Gabbe I of þis. þou wolt seye nay.                      1308
  ¶ Certys rycchesse han anoyed ful ofte hem þat han þe
  rycchesse.

    [Sidenote: Every wicked man desires another’s wealth, and esteems
    him alone happy who is in possession of riches.]

          ¶ Syn þat euery wicked shrew {and} for
  hys wickednesse þe more gredy aftir oþer folkes rycchesse
  wher so euer it be in any place. be it golde or                   1312
  p{re}cious stones.                                           [[pg 50]]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 13.]]

          {and} weniþ hym *only most worþi þat
  haþ hem

    [Sidenote: You, therefore, who now so much dread the instruments
    of assassination, if you had been born a poor wayfaring man,
    might, with an empty purse, have sung in the face of robbers.]

          ¶ þou þan þat so besy dredest now þe swerde
  {and} þe spere. yif þou haddest entred in þe paþe of þis
  lijf a voide wayfaryng man. þan woldest þou syng[e]               1316
  by-fore þe þeef. ¶ As who seiþ a poure man þat bereþ
  no rycchesse on hym by þe weye. may boldly syng[e]
  byforne þeues. for he haþ nat wher-of to ben robbed.

    [Sidenote: O the transcendant felicity of riches! No sooner have
    you obtained them, than you cease to be secure.]

  ¶ O preciouse {and} ryȝt clere is þe blysfulnesse of              1320
  mortal rycchesse. þat wha{n} þou hast geten it. þan hast
  þou lorn þi syke[r]nesse.

    [Linenotes:
    1278 _hire owen_--hir owne
    1281 _ne_ (2)--omitted
         _vndirstonde_--vndyrstondyn
    1282 _gret_--MS. grete, C. gret
    1284 _oþer erþely_--oothre worldly
         _þresten_--threste
    1285 _by-neþen_--by-nethe
         _if_--yif
    1286 _good_--MS. goode, C. good
         _þing_--thinge
         _preciouse_--p{re}syos
         _þilk þing_--thilke thinge
    1287 _þe_ (2)--tho
    1288 _summytten_--submitten
    1289 _self_--seluen
         _foulest[e]_--fowleste
    1290 _bitidiþ_--tydeth
    1291 _out_--owte
         _desert_--desertes
    1292 _al_--alle
    1293 _self_--selue
    1294 _it is_--is it
    1296 [_leuynge_]--from C.
         _hem_--hym
    1297 _þat_--omitted
    1298 _comeþ_--comth
    1299 _þing_--thinge
    1302 _put_--MS. putte, C. put
    1303 _whiche_--which
    1306 _filþe_--felthe
    1307 _þing_--thinge
         _good_--MS. goode, C. good
    1308 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1309 _rycchesse_--Rychesses
         _þe_--tho
    1310 _rycchesse_--Rychesses
         _shrew_--shrewe
    1311 _rycchesse_--rychesses
    1312 _golde_--gold
    1314 _haþ_--MS. haþe, C. hat
         _besy_--bysy
         _swerde_--swerd
    1315 _paþe_--paath
    1316 _wayfaryng_--wayferynge
         _syng[e]_--synge
    1317 _by-fore_--by-forn
         _seiþ_--MS. seiþe, C. seyth
         _poure_--pore
         _bereþ_--berth
    1318 _boldly syng[e]_--boldely synge
    1319 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1320 _preciouse_--p{re}cyos
         _clere_--cler
    1321 _rycchesse_--rychesses
    1322 _lorn_--MS. lorne, C. lorn]


    [Headnote:
    THE GOLDEN AGE.]

FELIX IN MIRU{M} PRIOR ETAS.

  [Sidenote: [The fyfthe met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Happy was the first age of men. They were contented
    with what the faithful earth produced.]

  ++Blysful was þe first age of men. þei helden hem
  apaied wiþ þe metes þat þe trewe erþes brouȝten                   1324
  furþe. ¶ þei ne destroyed[e] ne desceyued[e] not hem
  self wiþ outerage.

    [Sidenote: With acorns they satisfied their hunger.]

          ¶ þei weren wont lyȝtly to slaken
  her hunger at euene wiþ acornes of okes

    [Sidenote: They knew not Hypocras nor Hydromel.]

          ¶ þei ne
  couþe nat medle þe ȝift of bacus to þe clere hony.                1328
  þat is to seyn. þei couþe make no piment of clarre.

    [Sidenote: They did not dye the Serian fleece in Tyrian purple.]

  ne þei couþe nat medle þe briȝt[e] flies of þe co{n}tre
  of siriens wiþ þe venym of tirie. þis is to seyne. þei
  couþe nat dien white flies of sirien contre wiþ þe                1332
  blode of a manar shelfysshe. þat men fynden in tyrie.
  wiþ whiche blode men deien purper.

    [Sidenote: They slept upon the grass, and drank of the running
    stream, and reclined under the shadow of the tall pine.]

          ¶ þei slepen
  holesom slepes vpon þe gras. and dronken of þe rynnyng
  watres. {and} laien vndir þe shadowe of þe heyȝe                  1336
  pyne trees.

    [Sidenote: No man yet ploughed the deep, nor did the merchant
    traffick with foreign shores.]

          ¶ Ne no gest ne no straunger [ne] karf
  ȝit þe heye see wiþ oores or wiþ shippes. ne þei ne
  hadden seyne ȝitte none newe strondes to leden merchaundyse  [[pg 51]]
  in to dyuerse co{n}tres.

    [Sidenote: The warlike trumpet was hushed and still.]

          ¶ þo weren þe cruel                                       1340
  clariou{n}s ful whist {and} ful stille.

    [Sidenote: Bloodshed had not yet arisen through hateful quarrels.]

          ne blode yshed by
  egre hate ne hadde nat deied ȝit armurers.

    [Sidenote: Nothing could stimulate their rage to engage in war,
    when they saw that wounds and scars were the only meeds.]

          for wherto
  or whiche woodenesse of enmys wolde first moeuen
  armes. whan þei seien cruel woundes ne none medes                 1344
  ben of blood yshad

    [Sidenote: O that those days would come again!]

          ¶ I wolde þat oure tymes sholde
  turne aȝeyne to þe oolde maneres.

    [Sidenote: The thirst of wealth torments all; it rages more
    fiercely than Ætna’s fires.]

          ¶ But þe anguissous
  loue of hauyng brenneþ in folke moore cruely þan þe
  fijr of þe Mou{n}taigne of Ethna þat euer brenneþ.                1348

    [Sidenote: Cursed be the wretch who first brought gold to light.]

  ¶ Allas what was he þat first dalf vp þe gobets or
  þe weyȝtys of gold couered vndir erþe. {and} þe p{re}cious
  stones þat wolden han ben hid. he dalf vp p{re}cious
  perils. þat is to seyne þat he þat hem first vp dalf. he          1352
  dalf vp a p{re}cious peril.

    [Sidenote: It has since proved perilous to many a man.]

          for-whi. for þe p{re}ciousnesse
  of swyche haþ many man ben in peril.

    [Linenotes:
    1324 _erþes_--feeldes
    1325 _furþe_--forth
         _destroyed[e]_--dystroyede
    1327 _her_--hyr
         _at_--MS. as, C. at
         _euene_--euen
    1328 _couþe_--cowde
         _medle_--medly
         _ȝift_--yifte
         _clere_--cleer
    1329 _couþe_--cowde
         _of_--nor
    1330 _couþe_--cowde
         _briȝt[e] flies_--bryhte fleeȝes
    1331 _siriens_--Seryens
         _seyne_--seyn
    1332 _couþe_--cowde
         _dien_--deyen
         _flies_--fleȝes
    1333 _blode_--blood
         _shelfysshe_--shyllefyssh
    1334 _blode_--blood
    1335 _holesom_--holsom
         _rynnyng watres_--rennynge wateres
         _shadowe_--shadwes
         _heyȝe_--heye
    1337 _pyne_--pyn
         _no_ (2)--omitted
         [_ne_]--from C.
         _karf_--karue
    1339 _hadden seyne ȝitte_--hadde seyn yit
    1341 _whist_--hust
         _blode yshed_--blod I-shad
    1343 _whiche woodenesse_--whych wodnesse
    1344 _seien_--say
    1346 _turne aȝeyne_--torne ayein
    1347 _folke_--folk
    1348 _þe_--omitted
         _euer_--ay
    1351 _hid_--MS. hidde, C. hydd
    1352 _seyne_--seyn
         _he_ (2)--omitted
    1354 _swyche_--swych thinge
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _ben_--be]


    [Headnote:
    OF DIGNITIES AND POWERS.]

QUID AUTE{M} DE DIGNITATIB{US} {ET} C{ETERA}.

  [Sidenote: [The sixte p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: But why should I discourse of dignities and powers
    which (though you are ignorant of true honour and real power) you
    extol to the skies?]

  ++But what shal I seyne of dignitees {and} of powers.
  þe whiche [ye] men þ{a}t neiþer knowen verray dignitee            1356
  ne verray power areysen hem as heye as þe
  heuene.

    [Sidenote: When they fall to the lot of a wicked man, they produce
    greater calamities than the flaming eruption of Ætna, or the most
    impetuous deluge.]

          þe whiche dignitees {and} powers yif þei come
  to any wicked man þei don [as] greet[e] damages {and}
  distrucc{i}ou{n} as doþ þe fla{m}me of þe Mou{n}taigne            1360
  Ethna whan þe fla{m}me wit walwiþ vp ne no deluge
  ne doþ so cruel harmes.

    [Sidenote: You remember that your ancestors desired to abolish the
    Consular government (the commencement of the Roman liberty),
    because of the pride of the Consuls; as their ancestors before for
    the same consideration had suppressed the title of King.]

          ¶ Certys ye remembriþ wel
  as I trowe þat þilke dignitee þat men clepiþ þe emperie
  of {con}sulers þe whiche þat somtyme was bygynnyng                1364
  of fredom. ¶ Ȝoure eldres coueiteden to han
  don a-wey þat dignitee for þe p{r}ide of þe conseilers.

    [Linenotes:
    1355 _seyne_--seye
    1358 _come_--comen
    1359 _don_--MS. done, C. don
         _[as] greet[e]_--as grete
    1360 _distruccioun_--destrucciou{n}s
         _doþ_--MS. doþe, C. doth
         _flamme_--flaumbe
    1361 _flamme_--flawmbe
         _wit_--omitted
    1362 _doþ_--MS. doþe, C. doth
    1363 _clepiþ_--clepyn
    1364 _whiche_--whych
         _somtyme_--whilom
    1366 _for_--MS. of, C. for]

                                                               [[pg 52]]
    [Headnote:
    HONOURS NOT INTRINSICALLY GOOD,]

  ¶ And ryȝt for þe same p{r}ide ȝoure eldres byforne þat
  tyme hadden don awey out of þe Citee of rome þe                   1368
  kynges name. þat is to seien. þei nolden haue no
  lenger no kyng ¶ But now yif so be þ{a}t dignitees
  {and} powers ben ȝeuen to goode men. þe whiche þing
  is ful ȝelde. what agreable þi{n}ges is þer in þo dignitees.      1372
  or powers. but only þe goodenes of folk þat vsen hem.

    [Linenotes:
    1368 _don_--MS. done, C. don
    1369 _seien_--seyn
    1370 _lenger_--lenger{e}
         _kyng_--kynge
    1371 _whiche_--which
    1373 _folk_--foolkys]

    [Headnote:
    FOR THEY FALL TO THE LOT OF THE WICKED.]

    [Sidenote: Virtue is not embellished by dignities, but dignities
    derive honour from virtue.]

  ¶ And þerfore it is þus þat hono{ur} ne comeþ nat to
  vertue for cause of dignite. but aȝeinward. hono{ur}
  comeþ to dignite by cause of vertue.

    [Sidenote: But what is this power, so much celebrated and
    desired?]

          but whiche is                                             1376
  ȝoure derworþe power þat is so clere {and} so requerable

    [Sidenote: What are they over whom you exercise authority?]

  ¶ O ȝe erþelyche bestes considere ȝe nat ouer whiche
  þing þat it semeþ þat ȝe han power.

    [Sidenote: If thou sawest a mouse assuming command over other
    mice, wouldst thou not almost burst with laughter?]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 13 _b_.]]

          ¶ Now yif þou
  say[e] a mouse amo{n}g{us} *oþer myse þat chalenged[e] to         1380
  hymself ward ryȝt {and} power ouer alle oþer myse. how
  gret scorne woldest þou han of hit. ¶ _Glosa._ ¶ So
  fareþ it by men. þe body haþ power ouer þe body.

    [Sidenote: What is more feeble than man, to whom the bite of a fly
    may be the cause of death?]

  For yif þow loke wel vpon þe body of a wyȝt what                  1384
  þing shalt þou fynde moore frele þan is mannes kynde.
  þe whiche ben ful ofte slayn wiþ bytynge of smale
  flies. or ellys wiþ þe entryng of crepyng wormes in to
  þe priuetees of mennes bodyes.

    [Sidenote: But how can any man obtain dominion over another,
    unless it be over his body, or, what is inferior to his
    body,--over his possessions, the gifts of Fortune?]

          ¶ But wher shal                                           1388
  men fynden any man þat may exercen or haunten any
  ryȝt vpon an oþer ma{n} but oonly vpon hys body. or
  ellys vpo{n} þinges þat ben lower þen þe body. whiche
  I clepe fortunous possessiou{n}s

    [Sidenote: Can you ever command a freeborn soul?]

          ¶ Mayst þou euer haue                                     1392
  any comaundement ouer a fre corage

    [Sidenote: Can you disturb a soul consistent with itself, and knit
    together by the bond of reason?]

          ¶ Mayst þou
  remuen fro þe estat of hys p{ro}pre reste. a þouȝt þat is
  cleuyng to gider in hym self by stedfast resou{n}. ¶ As
  somtyme a tiraunt wende to co{n}founde a freeman of               1396
  corage ¶ {And} wende to co{n}streyne hym by to{ur}ment       [[pg 53]]
  to maken hym dyscoueren {and} acusen folk þat wisten
  of a coniurac{i}ou{n}. whiche I clepe a confederacie þat
  was cast aȝeins þis tyraunt

    [Sidenote: Have you not read how Anaxarchus bit off his tongue and
    spat it in the face of Nicocreon?]

          ¶ But þis free man boot                                   1400
  of hys owen tunge. {and} cast it in þe visage of þilke
  woode tyrau{n}te. ¶ So þat þe to{ur}mentȝ þat þis
  tyrau{n}t wende to han maked mater{e} of cruelte. þis
  wyse man maked[e it] matere of vertues.

    [Sidenote: What is it that one man can do to another that does not
    admit of retaliation?]

          ¶ But what                                                1404
  þing is it þat a man may don to an oþer man. þat he
  ne may receyue þe same þing of oþer folke i{n} hym
  self. or þus. ¶ What may a man don to folk. þat folk
  ne may don hym þe same.

    [Sidenote: Busiris used to kill his guests, but at last himself
    was killed by Hercules, his guest.]

          ¶ I haue herd told of                                     1408
  busirides þat was wo{n}t to sleen hys gestes þat herburghden
  in hys hous. and he was slayn hym self of
  ercules þat was hys gest

    [Sidenote: Regulus put his Carthaginian prisoners in chains, but
    was afterwards obliged to submit to the fetters of his enemies.]

          ¶ Regulus had[de] taken in
  bataile many men of affrike. and cast hem in to fetteres.         1412
  but sone after he most[e] ȝiue hys handes to
  ben bounden w{i}t{h} þe cheynes of hem þat he had[de]
  somtyme ou{er}comen.

    [Sidenote: Is he mighty that dares not inflict what he would upon
    another for fear of a requital?]

          ¶ Wenest þou þan þat he be
  myȝty. þat may nat don a þing. þat oþer ne may don                1416
  hym. þat he doþ to oþer.

    [Sidenote: If powers and honours were intrinsically good, they
    would never be attained by the wicked.]

          {and} ȝit more ou{er} yif it so
  were þat þise dignites or poweres hadden any p{ro}pre
  or naturel goodnesse in hem self neuer nolden þei
  comen to shrewes.

    [Sidenote: An union of things opposite is repugnant to nature.]

          ¶ For contrarious þinges ne ben                           1420
  not wont to ben yfelawshiped togidres. ¶ Nature refuseþ
  þat contra[r]ious þinges ben yioigned.

    [Sidenote: But as wicked men do obtain the highest honours, it is
    clear that honours are not in themselves good, otherwise they
    would not fall to the share of the unworthy.]

          ¶ And so
  as I am in certeyne þat ryȝt wikked folk han dignitees
  ofte tymes. þan sheweþ it wel þat dignitees {and} powers          1424
  ne ben not goode of hir owen kynde. syn þat þei suffren
  hem self to cleue{n} or ioynen hem to shrewes.

    [Sidenote: The worst of men have often the largest share of
    Fortune’s gifts.]

  ¶ And certys þe same þing may most digneliche Iugen
  {and} seyen of alle þe ȝiftis of fortune
                  þat most plenteuously                        [[pg 54]]
  comen to shrewes.

    [Sidenote: We judge him to be valiant who has given evidence of
    his fortitude.]

          ¶ Of þe whiche ȝiftys I                                   1429
  trowe þat it auȝt[e] ben considered þat no man doutiþ
  þat he nis strong. in whom he seeþ strengþe. {and} in
  whom þat swiftnesse is ¶ Soþe it is þat he is swyfte.             1432

    [Sidenote: So music maketh a musician, &c.]

  Also musyk makeþ musiciens. {and} fysik makeþ phisiciens.
  {and} rethorik rethoriens.

    [Sidenote: The nature of everything consists in doing what is
    peculiar to itself, and it repels what is contrary to it.]

          ¶ For whi þe nature
  of euery þing makiþ his p{ro}pretee. ne it is nat
  ent{er}medled wiþ þe effect{is} of co{n}trarious þinges.          1436

    [Linenotes:
    1374 _comeþ_--comth
    1375, 1376 _vertue_--vertu
    1376 _comeþ_--comth
         _by_--for
         _whiche_--which
    1377 _derworþe_--dereworthe
         _clere_--cleer
    1378 _whiche_--which
    1379 _han_--MS. hanne, C. han
    1380 _say[e]_--saye
         _mouse amongus_--mous amonges
         _myse_--musȝ
    1382 _scorne_--scorn
    1383 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1385 _mannes_--man
    1386 _þe----slayn_--the whiche men wel ofte ben slayn
    1388 _mennes bodyes_--mannes body
    1391 _lower_--lower{e}
         _whiche_--the which
    1395 _stedfast_--stidefast
    1396 _somtyme_--whylom
    1399 _whiche_--which
    1401 _owen_--owne
    1406 _receyue_--resseyuen
         _oþer_--oothre
    1408 _herd told_--MS. herde tolde, C. herd told
    1409 _hys_--hise
         _herburghden_--herberweden
    1410 _slayn_--sleyn
    1411 _had[de]_--hadde
    1413 _most[e]_--moste
    1414 _bounden_--bownde
         _cheynes_--MS. þeues, C. cheynes
         _had[de]_--hadde
    1415 _somtyme_--whylom
    1416 _þat----þing_--that hath no power to don a thinge
         _oþer_--oothre
    1417 _hym_--in hym
         _doþ_--MS. doþe, C. doth
         _to oþer_--in oothre
    1421 _togidres_--to-gider{e}
    1423 _certeyne_--certein
    1424 _tymes_--tyme
    1425 _owen_--owne
    1429 _whiche_--which
    1430 _auȝt[e]_--owhte
    1432 _Soþe_--soth
         _swyfte_--swyft
    1435 _is_--nis
    1436 _effectis_--effect]

    [Headnote:
    POWER DOES NOT CONFER GOODNESS.]

  ¶ And as of wil it chaseþ oute þinges þat to it ben
  contrarie

    [Sidenote: Riches cannot restrain avarice. Power cannot make a man
    master of himself if he is the slave of his lusts.]

          ¶ But certys rycchesse may nat restreyne
  auarice vnstaunched ¶ Ne power [ne] makeþ nat a
  ma{n} myȝty ouer hym self. whiche þat vicious lustis              1440
  holden destreined wiþ cheins þat ne mowen nat ben
  vnbounden.

    [Sidenote: Dignities conferred upon base men do not make them
    worthy, but rather expose their want of merit.]

          {and} dignitees þat ben ȝeuen to shrewed[e]
  folk nat oonly ne makiþ hem nat digne. but it sheweþ
  raþer al openly þat þei ben vnworþi {and} vndigne.                1444

    [Sidenote: Why is it so? ’Tis because you give false names to
    things. You dignify riches, power, and honours, with names they
    have no title to.]

  ¶ And whi is it þ{us}. ¶ Certis for ȝe han ioye to
  clepen þinges wiþ fals[e] names. þat beren hem al in
  þe co{n}t{ra}rie. þe whiche names ben ful ofte reproued
  by þe effect of þe same þinges.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 14.]]

          so þat *þise ilke rycchesse                               1448
  ne auȝten nat by ryȝt to ben cleped rycchesse.
  ne whiche power ne auȝt[e] not ben cleped power. ne
  whiche dignitee ne auȝt[e] nat ben cleped dignitee.

    [Sidenote: In fine, the same may be said of all the gifts of
    Fortune, in which nothing is desirable, nothing of natural good in
    them, since they are not always allotted to good men, nor make
    them good to whom they are attached.]

  ¶ And at þe laste I may conclude þe same þinge of                 1452
  al þe ȝiftes of fortune in whiche þer nis no þing to
  ben desired. ne þat haþ in hym self naturel bounte.
  ¶ as it is ful wel sene. for neyþer þei ne ioygne{n}
  hem nat alwey to goode men. ne maken hem alwey                    1456
  goode to who{m} þei be{n} y-ioigned.

    [Linenotes:
    1437 _oute_--owt
    1441 _ben_--be
    1442 _shrewed[e]_--shrewede
    1446 _fals[e]_--false
         _al_--alle
    1447 _whiche_--which
    1449 _auȝten_--owhten
         _rycchesse_--rychesses
    1450 _whiche_--swich
         _auȝt[e]_--owhte
    1451 _whiche_--swich
         _auȝt[e]_--owht
    1453 _al_--alle
    1454 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1455 _sene_--I-seene]


                                                               [[pg 55]]
    [Headnote:
    NERO’S CRUELTY.]

NOUIMUS QUANTOS DEDERAT.

  [Sidenote: [The sixte Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: We know what ruin Nero did.]

  ++WE han wel knowen how many g{r}eet[e] harmes {and}
  destrucc{i}ou{n}s weren doñ by þe Emp{er}oure Nero.

    [Sidenote: He burnt Rome, he slew the conscript fathers, murdered
    his brother, and spilt his mother’s blood.]

  ¶ He letee brenne þe citee of Rome {and} made slen þe             1460
  senato{ur}s. and he cruel somtyme slouȝ hys broþer. {and}
  he was maked moyst wiþ þe blood of hys modir. þat is
  to seyn he let sleen {and} slitte{n} þe body of his modir to
  seen where he was conceiued.

    [Sidenote: He looked unmoved upon his mother’s corpse, and passed
    judgment upon her beauty.]

          {and} he loked[e] on euery                                1464
  half vpon hir colde dede body. ne no tere ne wette
  his face. but he was so hard herted þat he myȝt[e] ben
  domesman or Iuge of hire dede beaute.

    [Sidenote: Yet this parricide ruled over all lands, illumined by
    the sun in his diurnal course, and controlled the frozen regions
    of the pole.]

          ¶ And ȝitte
  neuerþeles gouerned[e] þis Nero by Ceptre al þe peoples           1468
  þat phebus þe sonne may seen comyng from his outerest
  arysyng til he hidde his bemes vndir þe wawes. ¶ þat
  is to seyne. he gouerned[e] alle þe peoples by Ceptre imp{er}ial
  þat þe so{n}ne goþ aboute from est to west ¶ And                  1472
  eke þis Nero goueyrende by Ceptre. alle þe peoples þat
  ben vndir þe colde sterres þat hyȝten þe seuene triones.
  þis is to seyn he gouerned[e] alle þe poeples þat ben vndir
  þe p{ar}ties of þe norþe.

    [Sidenote: He governed, too, the people in the torrid zone.]

          ¶ And eke Nero gouerned[e]                                1476
  alle þe poeples þat þe violent wynde Nothus scorchiþ
  {and} bakiþ þe brennynge sandes by his drie hete. þat
  is to seyne. alle þe poeples in þe souþe.

    [Sidenote: But yet Nero’s power could not tame his ferocious
    mind.]

          [but yit ne
  myhte nat al his heye power torne the woodnesse of                1480
  this wykkyd nero /

    [Sidenote: It is a grievous thing when power strengthens the arm
    of him whose will prompts him to deeds of cruelty.]

          Allas it is greuous fortune it is]. as
  ofte as wicked swerde is ioygned to cruel venym. þat is
  to sein. venimous cruelte to lordshipe.

    [Linenotes:
    1458 _greet[e]_--grete
    1460 _letee_--let
    1461 _somtyme slouȝ_--whilom slow
    1463 _let_--lette
    1464 _where_--wher
    1465 _half_--halue
    1466 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    1467 _hire_--hyr
    1468 _neuerþeles_--natheles
         _gouerned[e]_--gou{er}nede
         _al_--alle
    1469 _from_--fram
         _outerest_--owtereste
    1470 _hidde_--hide
    1471 _seyne_--seyn
    1472 _goþ_--MS. goþe, C. goth
    1473 _goueyrende_--gou{er}nyd
    1474 _triones_--tyryones
    1475 _gouerned[e]_--gou{er}nede
    1476 _parties_--p{ar}ty
         _norþe_--north
         _gouerned[e]_--gou{er}nede
    1477 _wynde_--wynd
         _scorchiþ_--scorklith
    1479 _seyne_--seyn
         _souþe_--sowth
    1479-81 [_but----it is_]--MS. _has_: but ne how greuous fortune is
    1482 _swerde_--swerd]


                                                               [[pg 56]]
    [Headnote:
    THE LOVE OF GLORY.]

TU{M} EGO SCIS INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The seuende p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ Thou knowest that I did not covet mortal and
    transitory things.]

  ++ÞAnne seide I þus. þou wost wel þiself þat þe                   1484
  couetise of mortal þinges ne hadden neuer lordshipe
  of me. but I haue wel desired matere of þinges
  to done. as who seiþ.

    [Sidenote: I only wished to exercise my virtue in public concerns,
    lest it should grow feeble by inactivity.]

          I desired[e] to han matere of
  gou{er}naunce ouer comunalites. ¶ For vertue stille ne            1488
  sholde not elden. þat is to seyn. þat list þat or he wex
  olde ¶ His uertue þat lay now ful stille. ne sholde
  nat p{er}isshe vnexcercised i{n} gouernaunce of comune.
  ¶ For whiche men myȝten speke or write{n} of his                  1492
  goode gouernement.

    [Sidenote: _P._ A love of glory is one of those things that may
    captivate minds naturally great, but not yet arrived at the
    perfection of virtue.]

          ¶ _Philosophie._ ¶ For soþe q{uo}d
  she. {and} þat is a þing þat may drawen to gouernaunce
  swiche hertes as ben worþi {and} noble of hir nature.
  but naþeles it may nat drawen or tollen swiche hertes as          1496
  ben y-brouȝt to þe ful[le] p{er}fecciou{n} of vertue. þat is
  to seyn couetyse of glorie {and} renou{n} to han wel
  administred þe comune þinges. or doon goode decertes
  to p{ro}fit of þe comune.

    [Sidenote: But consider how small and void of weight is that
    glory.]

          for se now {and} considere how                            1500
  litel {and} how voide of al prise is þilke glorie.

    [Sidenote: Astronomy teaches us that this globe of earth is but a
    speck compared with the extent of the heavens, and is as nothing
    if compared with the magnitude of the celestial sphere.]

          ¶ Certeine
  þing is as þou hast lerned by demonstrac{i}ou{n} of
  astronomye þat al þe envyronynge of þe erþe aboute
  ne halt but þe resou{n} of a prykke at regard of þe gretnesse     1504
  of heuene. þat is to seye. þat yif þat þer were
  maked co{m}parisou{n} of þe erþe to þe gretnesse of
  heuene. men wolde Iugen in alle þat erþe [ne] helde
  no space

    [Sidenote: Ptolemy shows that only one-fourth of this earth is
    inhabited by living creatures.]

          ¶ Of þe whiche litel regiou{n} of þis worlde              1508
  þe ferþe partie is enhabitid wiþ lyuyng beestes þat
  we knowen. as þou hast þi self lerned by tholome þat
  p{ro}uitħ it.

    [Sidenote: Deduct from this the space occupied by seas, marshes,
    lakes, and deserts, and there remains but a small proportion left
    for the abode of man.]

          ¶ yif þou haddest wiþ drawen {and} abated
  in þi þouȝte fro þilke ferþe partie as myche space as þe          1512
  see {and} [the] mareys contenen {and} ouergon {and} as
  myche space as þe regiou{n} of droughte ou{er}streccheþ.

    [Linenotes:
    1487 _desired[e]_--desyr{e}
    1489 _wex olde_--wax old
    1492 _whiche_--which
         _speke_--spekyn
    1496 _tollen_--MS. tellen, C. tollen
    1497 _ful[le]_--fulle
    1501 _al prise_--alle prys
    1505 _seye_--seyn
    1507 _wolde_--woldyn
         _alle_--al
         [_ne_]--from C.
    1510 _lerned_--ylerned
    1512 _þouȝte_--thowht
         _myche_--moche
    1513 [_the_]--from C.
    1514 _myche space_--moche spaces]

                                                               [[pg 57]]
    [Headnote:
    FAME IS CIRCUMSCRIBED.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 14 _b_.]]

  þat is to seye sandes {and} desertes wel vnneþ sholde
  *þer dwellen a ryȝt streite place to þe habitaciou{n} of          1516
  men.

    [Sidenote: And do you, who are confined to the least point of this
    point, think of nothing but of blazing far and wide your name and
    reputation?]

          {and} ȝe þan þat ben environed {and} closed wiþ
  i{n}ne þe leest[e] prikke of þilk prikke þenke ȝe to
  manifesten ȝoure renou{n} {and} don ȝoure name to ben
  born forþe.

    [Sidenote: What is there great in a glory so circumscribed?]

          but ȝour{e} glorie þat is so narwe {and} so               1520
  streyt yþronge{n} in to so litel boundes. how myche
  conteinþe it in largesse {and} in greet doynge.

    [Sidenote: Even in this contracted circle, there is a great
    variety of nations, to whom not only the fame of particular men,
    but even of great cities, cannot extend.]

          And also
  sette þis þer to þat many a nac{i}ou{n} dyuerse of tonge
  {and} of maneres. {and} eke of resou{n} of hir lyuyng ben         1524
  enhabitid in þe cloos of þilke litel habitacle. ¶ To þe
  whiche nac{i}ou{n}s what for difficulte of weyes. {and} what
  for diu{er}site of langages. {and} what for defaute of
  vnusage entercomunynge of marchau{n}dise. nat only þe             1528
  names of singler men ne may [nat] strecchen. but eke
  þe fame of Citees ne may nat strecchen.

    [Sidenote: In the time of Marcus Tullius the fame of Rome did not
    reach beyond Mount Caucasus.]

          ¶ At þe
  last[e] Certis in þe tyme of Marcus tulyus as hym
  self writeþ in his book þat þe renou{n} of þe comune of           1532
  Rome ne hadde nat ȝitte passed ne clou{m}ben ou{er} þe
  mou{n}taigne þat hyȝt Caucasus. {and} ȝitte was þilk
  tyme rome wel wexen {and} gretly redouted of þe p{ar}thes.
  and eke of oþer folk enhabityng aboute.

    [Sidenote: How narrow, then, is that glory which you labour to
    propagate.]

          ¶ Sest þou                                                1536
  nat þan how streit {and} how comp{re}ssed is þilke glorie
  þat ȝe t{ra}uaile{n} aboute to shew {and} to multiplie.

    [Sidenote: Shall the glory of a Roman citizen reach those places
    where the name even of Rome was never heard?]

  May þan þe glorie of a singlere Romeyne strecchen þider
  as þe fame of þe name of Rome may nat clymben ne                  1540
  passen.

    [Sidenote: Customs and institutions differ in different
    countries.]

          ¶ And eke sest þ{o}u nat þat þe maners of
  diu{er}se folk {and} eke hir lawes ben discordau{n}t amonge
  hem self.

    [Sidenote: What is praise-worthy in one is blame-worthy in
    another.]

          so þ{a}t þilke þing þat so{m}men iugen worþi of
  p{re}ysynge. oþer folk iugen þat it is worþi of torment.          1544

    [Linenotes:
    1515 _seye_--seyn
    1516 _streite_--streyt
    1517 _þan_--thanne
    1518 _inne_--in
         _leest[e]_--leste
         _þilk_--thilke
         _þenke ȝe_--thinken ye
    1520 _born forþe_--MS. borne, C. born, forth
         _narwe_--narwh
    1521 _streyt_--streyte
         _myche_--mochel
    1522 _conteinþe_--coueyteth
    1525 _habitacle_--MS. habitache, C. habytacule
    1529 [_nat_]--from C.
    1531 _last[e]_--laste
    1532 _writeþ_--writ
    1533 _hadde_--hadden
         _ȝitte_--omitted
    1534 _hyȝt_--hyhte
         _þilk_--thikke
    1535 _wexen_--waxen
    1536 _Sest þou_--sestow
    1538 _shew_--shewe
    1539 _singlere_--singler]

    [Headnote:
    FAME IS NOT ETERNAL.]

    [Sidenote: It is not the interest of any man who desires renown to
    have his name spread through many countries.]

  ¶ and þer of comeþ þat þouȝ a man delite hy{m} in
  p{re}ysyng of his renou{n}. he ne may nat i{n} no wise       [[pg 58]]
  bryngen furþe ne sprede{n} his name to many manere
  peoples.

    [Sidenote: He ought, therefore, to be satisfied with the glory he
    has acquired at home.]

          ¶ And þerfore euery man{er} man auȝte to ben              1548
  paied of hys glorie þat is puplissed among hys owen
  neyȝbores.

    [Sidenote: But of how many personages, illustrious in their times,
    have the memorials been lost through the carelessness and neglect
    of writers.]

          ¶ And þilke noble renou{n} shal be
  restreyned wiþ-i{n}ne þe boundes of o maner folk but how
  many a man þat was ful noble in his tyme. haþ þe                  1552
  nedy {and} wrecched forȝetynge of writers put oute of
  mynde {and} don awey.

    [Sidenote: But writings do not preserve the names of men for
    ever.]

          ¶ Al be it so þat certys þilke
  writynges p{ro}fiten litel. þe whiche writy{n}ges longe {and}
  derke elde doþ aweye boþe he{m} {and} eke her auto{ur}s.          1556

    [Sidenote: But perhaps you suppose that you shall secure
    immortality if your names are transmitted to future ages.]

  but ȝe men semen to geten ȝow a p{er}durablete whan ȝe
  þenke þat in tyme comyng ȝoure fame shal lasten.

    [Sidenote: If you consider the infinite space of eternity you will
    have no reason to rejoice in this supposition.]

          ¶ But
  naþeles yif þou wilt maken co{m}parisou{n} to þe endeles
  space of eternite what þing hast þou by whiche þou                1560
  maist reioysen þe of lo{n}g lastyng of þi name.

    [Sidenote: If a _moment_ be compared with 10,000 years, there is a
    proportion between them, though a very small one.]

          ¶ For
  if þer were maked co{m}parysou{n} of þe abidyng of a
  mome{n}t to ten þousand wynter. for as myche as boþe
  þo spaces ben endid. ¶ For ȝit haþ þe moment some                 1564
  porciou{n} of hit al þouȝ it a litel be.

    [Sidenote: But this number of years, multiplied by whatever sum
    you please, vanishes when compared with the infinite extent of
    eternity.]

          ¶ But naþeles
  þilke self nou{m}bre of ȝeres. and eke as many ȝeres as
  þer to may be multiplied. ne may nat certys be comparisou{n}d
  to þe p{er}durablete þat is een[de]les.

    [Sidenote: There may be comparison between finite things, but none
    between the infinite and finite.]

          ¶ For of                                                  1568
  þinges þat han ende may be mad co{m}parisou{n} [but of
  thinges that ben w{i}t{h}-owtyn ende to thinges þ{a}t han ende
  may be maked no {com}parysou{n}].

    [Sidenote: Hence it is, that Fame (however lasting), compared with
    eternity, will seem absolutely nothing.]

          ¶ And for þi is it al
  þouȝ renou{n} of as longe tyme as euer þe lyst to þinken          1572
  were þouȝt by þe regard of et{er}nite. þat is vnstauncheable
  {and} infinit. it ne sholde nat oonly semen litel. but
  pleinliche ryȝt nouȝt.

    [Sidenote: But yet you do good from no other view than to have the
    empty applause of the people, foregoing the pleasures of a good
    conscience in order to have the insignificant praises of other
    people.]

          ¶ But ȝe men certys ne konne
  don no þing aryȝt. but ȝif it be for þe audience of poeple.  [[pg 59]]
  {and} for ydel rumo{ur}s. {and} ȝe forsaken þe grete worþinesse   1577
  of conscience {and} of vertue. {and} ȝe seke{n} ȝoure
  gerdou{n}s of þe smale wordes of st{ra}nge folke.

    [Linenotes:
    1545 _comeþ_--comth it
    1547 _furþe_--forth
         _manere_--maner
    1548 _þerfore_--ther-for
         _auȝte_--owhte
    1549 _paied_--apayed
         _hys owen_--hise owne
    1550 _neyȝbores_--nesshebours
         _be_--ben
    1552 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1553 _put_ (MS. _putte_) _oute_--put owt
    1556 _derke_--derk
         _doþ aweye_--MS. doþe, C. doth a-wey
         _her autours_--hir actorros
    1557 _ȝe_--yow
         _semen_--semeth
    1558 _comyng_--to comynge
    1559 _wilt_--wolt
    1560 _whiche_--which
    1563 _myche_--mochel
    1564 _þo_--the
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _some_--som
    1566 _self_--selue
    1567 _be_ (2)--ben
    1568 _een[de]les_--endeles
    1569 _mad_--MS. made, C. maked
         [_but----comparysoun_]--from C.
    1573 _by_--to]

    [Headnote:
    VANITY REPROVED.]

    [Sidenote: This silly vanity was once thus ingeniously and
    pleasantly rallied.]

  ¶ Haue now here {and} vndirstonde i{n} þe lyȝtnesse of whiche     1580
  p{r}ide {and} veyne glorie. how a man scorned[e] festiualy
  {and} myrily swiche vanite.

    [Sidenote: A certain man, who had assumed the name of a
    philosopher through a love of vain-glory, was told by a man of
    humour that he could prove he was a philosopher by bearing
    patiently the injuries offered him.]

          somtyme þere was a man þat
  had[de] assaied wiþ striuyng wordes an oþer ma{n}. ¶ þe
  whiche nat for vsage of verrey vertue. but for proude             1584
  veyne glorie had[de] take{n} vpon hym falsly þe name
  of a philosopher. ¶ þis raþer man þat I speke of
  þouȝt[e] he wolde assay[e] where he þilke were a
  philosopher or no.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 15.]]

          þat is to seyne yif he wolde han suffred                  1588
  lyȝtly in pacience þe wro{n}ges *þat weren don vnto hym.

    [Sidenote: After counterfeiting patience for a while, the sophist
    said to the other, ‘You must surely confess that I am a
    philosopher.’]

  ¶ þis feined[e] philosophre took pacience a
  litel while. {and} whan he hadde receiued wordes of
  outerage he as in stryuynge aȝeine {and} reioysynge of            1592
  hym self seide at þe last[e] ryȝt þus. ¶ vndirstondest
  þou nat þat I am a philosophere.

    [Sidenote: ‘I might have believed it,’ said the other, ‘had you
    held your tongue.’]

          þat oþer man answered[e]
  aȝein ful bityngly {and} seide. ¶ I had[de]
  wel vndirstonden [yt]. yif þou haddest holde{n} þi tonge          1596
  stille.

    [Sidenote: What advantage is it to great and worthy men to be
    extolled after death?]

          ¶ But what is it to þise noble worþi men.
  For certys of swyche folk speke .I. þat seken glorie wiþ
  vertue. what is it q{uo}d she. what atteiniþ fame to
  swiche folk whan þe body is resolued by þe deeþ. atte             1600
  þe last[e].

    [Sidenote: If body and soul die, then there can be no glory; nor
    can there be when he (to whom it is ascribed) does not exist.]

          ¶ For yif so be þat men dien in al. þat is
  to seyne body {and} soule. þe whiche þing oure resou{n}
  defendiþ vs to byleuen þanne is þere no glorie in no
  wyse. For what sholde þilke glorie ben. for he of                 1604
  who{m} þis glorie is seid to be nis ryȝt nouȝt in no wise.

    [Sidenote: But if the soul is immortal when it leaves the body, it
    takes no thought of the joys of this world.]

  and ȝif þe soule whiche þat haþ in it self science of
  goode werkes vnbounden fro þe p{r}isou{n} of þe erþe         [[pg 60]]
  wendeþ frely to þe heuene. dispiseþ it nouȝt þan alle             1608
  erþely occupac{i}ou{n}s. {and} beynge i{n} heuene reioiseþ þat
  it is exempt from alle erþely þinges [as wo seith /
  thanne rekketh the sowle of no glorye of renou{n} of this
  world].                                                           1612

    [Linenotes:
    1580 _whiche_--swych
    1581 _scorned[e]_--scornede
    1582 _swiche_--swych
         _somtyme_--whilom
    1583 _had[de]_--hadde
    1584 _whiche_--which
         _proude_--prowd
    1586 _speke_--spak
    1587 _þouȝt[e]_--thowhte
         _assay[e]_--assaye
    1588 _seyne_--seyn
    1590 _feined[e]_--feynede
    1592 _aȝeine_--ayein
    1593 _last[e]_--laste
         _vndirstondest þou_--vndyrstondow
    1594 _answered[e]_--answerde
    1595 _had[de]_--hadde
    1596 [_yt_]--from C.
    1601 _last[e]_--laste
    1602 _seyne_--seyn
    1604 _for_ (2)--whan
    1605 _þis_--thilke
         _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyd
         _nouȝt_--nawht
    1606 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1608 _nouȝt þan_--nat thanne
    1610 _from_--fro
    1610-1612 [_as----world_]--from C.]


    [Headnote:
    DEATH PUTS AN END TO RENOWN.]

QUICUMQ{UE} SOLAM MENTE.

  [Sidenote: [The 7th Metre.]]

    [Sidenote: Let him who seeks fame, thinking it to be the sovereign
    good, look upon the broad universe and this circumscribed earth;
    and he will then despise a glorious name limited to such a
    confined space.]

  ++Who so þat wiþ ouerþrowyng þouȝt only sekeþ glorie
  of fame. {and} weniþ þat it be souereyne good
  ¶ Lete hym loke vpon þe brode shewyng contreys of
  þe heue{n}. {and} vpo{n} þe streite sete of þis erþe. {and}       1616
  he shal be ashamed of þe encres of his name. þat may
  nat fulfille þe litel compas of þe erþe. ¶ O what
  coueiten proude folke to liften vpon hire nekkes in
  ydel {and} dedely ȝok of þis worlde.

    [Sidenote: Will splendid titles and renown prolong a man’s life?]

          ¶ For al þouȝ                                             1620
  [þ{a}t] renoune y-spradde passynge to ferne poeples goþ
  by dyuerse tonges. and al þouȝ grete houses {and} kynredes
  shyne wiþ clere titles of hono{ur}s.

    [Sidenote: In the grave there is no distinction between high and
    low.]

          ȝit naþeles
  deeþ dispiseþ al heye glorie of fame. {and} deeþ wrappeþ          1624
  to gidre þe heye heuedes {and} þe lowe {and} makeþ egal
  {and} euene þe heyest[e] to þe lowest[e].

    [Sidenote: Where is the good Fabricius now?]

          ¶ where
  wone{n} now þe bones of trewe fabricius.

    [Sidenote: Where the noble Brutus, or stern Cato?]

          what is
  now brutus or stiern Caton þe þinne fame ȝit lastynge             1628
  of hir ydel names is markid wiþ a fewe lettres.

    [Sidenote: Their empty names still live, but of their persons we
    know nothing.]

  but al þouȝ we han knowe{n} þe faire wordes of þe fames of
  hem. it is nat ȝeuen to knowe he{m} þat ben dede {and}
  consumpt.

    [Sidenote: Fame cannot make you known.]

          Liggiþ þanne stille al vtterly vnknowable                 1632
  ne fame ne makeþ ȝow nat knowe. and yif ȝe wene
  to lyuen þe leng{er} for wynde of ȝoure mortal name.
  whan o cruel day shal rauyshe ȝow. þan is þe secunde
  deeþ dwellyng in ȝow.

    [Sidenote: It will be effaced by conquering Time, so that death
    will be doubly victorious.]

          _Glosa._ þe first deeþ he clepiþ                          1636
  here þe dep{ar}tynge of þe body {and} þe soule. ¶ and        [[pg 61]]
  þe secunde deeþ he clepeþ as here. þe styntynge of
  þe renoune of fame.[3]

    [Linenotes:
    1615 _Lete_--Lat
         _loke_--looken
    1616 _sete_--Cyte
    1617 _be_--ben
    1619 _vpon_--vp
    1620 _and dedely_--in the dedly
    1621 _y-spradde_--ysprad
         [_þat_]--from C.
         _ferne_--MS. serue, C. ferne
         _goþ_--MS. goþe, C. goth
    1622 {and} (2)--or
    1623 _shyne_--shynen
         _clere_--cler
    1624 _al_--alle
    1626 _heyest[e]_--heyoste
         _lowest[e]_--loweste
    1628 _stiern_--MS. sciern, C. stierne
    1632 _consumpt_--{con}sumpte
    1634 _lenger_--longer{e}
    1637 _þe_ (1)--omitted
    1639 _renoune_--renou{n}]

    [Footnote 3: The next three chapters are from the Camb. MS.]


    [Headnote:
    ADVERSE FORTUNE IS BENEFICIAL.]

[SET NE ME INEXORABILE CONTRA.

  [Sidenote: [The viij p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: ‘But do not believe,’ said Philosophy, ‘that I am an
    implacable enemy to Fortune.]

  ++BVt for-as-mochel as thow shalt nat wenen q{uod} she            1640
  þ{a}t I bere vntretable batayle ayenis fortune //

    [Sidenote: This inconstant dame sometimes deserves well of men,
    when she appears in her true colours.]

  yit som-tyme it by-falleth þ{a}t she desseyuable desserueth
  to han ryht good thank of men // {And} þ{a}t is whan she
  hir{e} self opneth / {and} whan she descou{er}eth hir frownt /    1644
  {and} sheweth hir maneres p{ar}-auentur{e} yit vndirstondesthow
  nat þ{a}t .I. shal seye //

    [Sidenote: And what I say may perhaps appear paradoxical.]

          it is a wondyr þ{a}t .I.
  desyr{e} to telle /

    [Sidenote: That is, that adverse fortune is more beneficial than
    prosperous fortune.]

          {and} forthi vnnethe may I. vnpleyten my
  sentense w{i}t{h} wordes for I. deme þ{a}t contraryos fortune     1648
  p{ro}fiteth mor{e} to men than fortune debonayr{e} //

    [Sidenote: The latter lies and deceives us, the former displays
    her natural inconstancy.]

  For al-wey whan fortune semeth debonayr{e} than she lyeth
  falsly in by-hetynge the hope of welefulnesse // but forsothe
  {con}traryos fortune is alwey sothfast / whan she                 1652
  sheweth hir self vnstable thorw hyr chau{n}gynge //

    [Sidenote: That deceives us, this instructs us; that, by a
    fallacious show of good, enslaves the mind; this, by the knowledge
    of her fickleness, frees and absolves it.]

  the amyable fortune desseyueth folk / the contrarye fortune
  techeth // the amyable fortune byndeth w{i}t{h} the beaute
  of false goodys the hertes of folk þ{a}t vsen he{m} / the         1656
  contrarye fortune vnbyndeth he{m} by þ^e knowynge of
  freele welefulnesse //

    [Sidenote: The one is wavering and incapable of reflection, the
    other is staid and wise through experience of adversity.]

          the amyable fortune maysthow sen
  alwey wyndynge {and} flowynge / {and} eu{er}e mysknowynge         1659
  of hir self // the contrarye fortune is a-tempre {and} restreynyd
  {and} wys thorw excersyse of hir aduersyte //

    [Sidenote: Lastly, prosperous fortune leads men astray. Adversity
    teaches them wherein real happiness consists.]

  at the laste amyable fortune w{i}t{h} hir flaterynges draweth
  mys wandrynge men fro the souereyne good // the contraryos
  fortune ledith ofte folk ayein to sothfast goodes /               1664
  {and} haleth hem ayein as w{i}t{h} an hooke /

    [Sidenote: It renders us no inconsiderable service in enabling us
    to recognize our true friends.]

          weenesthow
  thanne þ{a}t thow owhtest to leten this a lytel thing / þ{a}t
  this aspre {and} horible fortune hath discoueryd to the / the
  thowhtes of thy trewe frendes // For-why this ilke fortune        1668
  hath departyd {and} vncou{er}yd to the bothe the             [[pg 62]]
  certeyn vysages {and} ek the dowtos visages of thy
  felawes // wha{n} she dep{ar}tyd awey fro the / she took
  awey hyr frendes {and} lafte the thyne frendes //                 1672

    [Sidenote: At what price would you not have bought this knowledge
    in your prosperity?]

  now whan thow wer{e} ryche {and} weleful as the semede / w{i}t{h}
  how mochel woldesthow han bowht the fulle knowynge
  of this // þ{a}t is to seyn the knowynge of thy
  verray freendes //

    [Sidenote: Complain not, then, of loss of wealth, since thou hast
    found infinitely greater riches in your true friends.]

          now pleyne the nat thanne of Rychesse                     1676
  .I.-lorn syn thow hast fowndyn the moste p{re}syos kynde
  of Rychesses þ{a}t is to seyn thy verray frendes.


    [Headnote:
    ALL THINGS BOUND BY THE CHAIN OF LOVE.]

QUOD MU{N}DUS STABILI FIDE.

  [Sidenote: [The viij Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: This world, by an invariable order, suffers change.]

  ++THat þ^e world w{i}t{h} stable feith / varieth acordable
  chaungynges //

    [Sidenote: Elements, that by nature disagree, are restrained by
    concord.]

          þ{a}t the contraryos qualite of elementȝ                  1680
  holden among{e} hem self aliau{n}ce p{er}durable / þ{a}t pheb{us}
  the sonne w{i}t{h} his goldene chariet / bryngeth forth the
  rosene day / þ{a}t the mone hath {com}mau{n}dement ou{er} the
  nyhtes // whiche nyhtes hesp{er}us the eue sterre hat browt //    1684

    [Sidenote: The sea is thus kept within its proper bounds.]

  þ{a}t þ^e se gredy to flowen constreyneth w{i}t{h} a certeyn ende
  hise floodes / so þ{a}t it is nat l[e]ueful to strechche hise
  brode termes or bowndes vp-on the erthes // þ{a}t is to seyn
  to cou{er}e alle the erthe //

    [Sidenote: This concord is produced by love, which governeth earth
    and sea, and extends its influence to the heavens.]

          Al this a-cordau{n}ce of thinges                          1688
  is bownden w{i}t{h} looue / þ{a}t gou{er}neth erthe {and} see / {and}
  hath also {com}mau{n}dementȝ to the heuenes /

    [Sidenote: If this chain of love were broken all things would be
    in perpetual strife, and the world would go to ruin.]

          {and} yif
  this looue slakede the brydelis / alle thinges þ{a}t now
  louen hem to gederes / wolden maken a batayle contynuely          1692
  {and} stryuen to fordoon the fasou{n} of this worlde /
  the which they now leden in acordable feith by fayre
  moeuynges //

    [Sidenote: Love binds nations together, it ties the nuptial knot,
    and dictates binding laws to friendship.]

          this looue halt to gideres poeples Ioygned
  w{i}t{h} an hooly bond / {and} knytteth sacrement of maryages     1696
  of chaste looues // And loue enditeth lawes to
  trewe felawes //

    [Sidenote: Men were truly blest if governed by this celestial
    love!’]

          O weleful weer{e} mankynde / yif thilke
  loue þ{a}t gouerneth heuene gouerned[e] yowr{e} corages /

  EXPLICIT LIB{ER} 2_^us_.

    [Linenote:
    1690 _hath_--H. he hath]



                                                               [[pg 63]]
    [Headnote:
    BOETHIUS IS COMFORTED BY PHILOSOPHY’S SONG.]

INCIPIT LIB{ER} 3^_us_.


IAM CANTU{M} ILLA FINIERAT.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrste p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: Philosophy now ended her song.]

  ++By this she hadde endid hir{e} song{e} / whan the swetnesse     1700
  of hir{e} ditee hadde thorw p{er}ced me þ{a}t was desirous
  of herkninge /

    [Sidenote: I was so charmed that I kept a listening as if she were
    still speaking.]

          {and} .I. astoned hadde yit streyhte myn
  Eres / þ{a}t is to seyn to herkne the bet / what she wolde
  seye //

    [Sidenote: At last I said, O sovereign comforter of dejected
    minds, how much hast thou refreshed me with the energy of thy
    discourse, so that I now think myself almost an equal match for
    Fortune and able to resist her blows.]

          so þ{a}t a litel her{e} aft{er} .I. seyde thus // O thow  1704
  þ{a}t art sou{er}eyn comfort of Angwissos corages // So thow
  hast remou{n}ted {and} norysshed me w{i}t{h} the weyhte of thy
  sentenses {and} w{i}t{h} delit of thy syngynge // so þ{a}t .I. trowe
  nat now þ{a}t .I. be vnparygal to the strokes of fortune / as     1708
  who seyth. I. dar wel now suffren al the assautes of fortune
  {and} wel deffende me fro hyr //

    [Sidenote: I fear not, therefore, thy remedies, but earnestly
    desire to hear what they are.]

          {and} tho remedies
  whyche þ{a}t thow seydest hir{e} byforn weren ryht sharpe
  Nat oonly p{a}t .I. am nat agrysen of hem now // but .I. desiros  1712
  of herynge axe gretely to heeren tho remedyes //

    [Sidenote: _P._ When I perceived that, silent and attentive, you
    received my words, I expected to find such a state of mind in you,
    or rather, I created in you such an one.]

  than seyde she thus // þ{a}t feelede .I. ful wel q{uod} she //
  whan þ{a}t thow ententyf {and} stylle rauysshedest my
  wordes // {and} .I. abood til þ{a}t thow haddest swych habyte     1716
  of thy thowght as thow hast now // or elles tyl þ{a}t .I.
  my self had[de] maked to the the same habyt / which
  þ{a}t is a moore verray thing{e} //

    [Sidenote: What remains to be said is of such a nature that when
    it is first tasted it is pungent and unpleasant, but when once
    swallowed it turns sweet, and is grateful to the stomach.]

          And certes the remenau{n}t
  of thinges þ{a}t ben yit to seye / ben swyche // þ{a}t fyrst      1720
  whan men tasten hem they ben bytynge / but whan
  they ben resseyuyd w{i}t{h}-inne a whyht than ben they
  swete //

    [Sidenote: But because you say you would now gladly hear, with
    what desire would you burn if you could imagine whither I am going
    to lead you?]

          but for thow seyst þ{a}t thow art so desirous to
  herkne hem // wit[h] how gret brennynge woldesthow                1724
  glowen / yif thow wystest whyder .I. wol leden the //

    [Sidenote: _B._ Whither is that, I pray?]

  whydyr{e} is þ{a}t q{uod} .I. //

    [Sidenote: _P._ To that true felicity, of which you seem to have
    but a faint foretaste.]

          to thilke verray welefulnesse
  q{uod} she // of whyche thynge herte dremeth //

    [Sidenote: But your sight is clouded with false forms, so that it
    cannot yet behold this same felicity.]

  but for as moche as thy syhte is ocupied {and} distorbed / by     1728
  Imagynasyon of herthely thynges / thow mayst nat yit
  sen thilke selue welefulnesse //

    [Sidenote: _B._ Show me, I pray, that true happiness without
    delay.]

          do q{uod} .I. {and} shewe
  me / what is thilke verray welefulnesse / .I. preye the      [[pg 64]]
  w{i}t{h}-howte tarynge //

    [Sidenote: _P._ I will gladly do so at your desire, but I will
    first describe that false cause (of happiness), so that you may be
    better able to comprehend the exact model.]

          þ{a}t wole .I. gladly don q{uod} she /                    1732
  for the cause of the // but .I. wol fyrst marken the by
  wordes / {and} I wol enforcen me to enformen the //
  thilke false cause of blysfulnesse þ{a}t thow more knowest /
  so þ{a}t whan thow hast fully by-holden thilke false              1736
  goodes {and} torned thyne eyen to þ{a}t oother syde / thow
  mowe knowe the clernesse of verray blysfulnesse //]

    [Linenotes:
    1702 _streyhte_--H. strenghed
    1712 _am nat_--H. nam nought
    1718 _had[de]_--H. hade
    1734 _wol_--H. shall{e}
    1739 _wil_--wole
         _felde_--feeld]


    [Headnote:
    AWAY WITH FALSE FELICITY!]

    [Sidenote: * Here the Add. MS. begins again.]

*QUI SERERE I{N}GENIUM.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrst met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: He who would sow seed must first clear the ground of
    useless weeds, so that he may reap an abundant harvest.]

  ¶ Who so wil sowe a felde plentiuous. lat hym first
  delyuer it of þornes {and} kerue asondre wiþ his hooke            1740
  þe bushes {and} þe ferne so þat þe corne may come{n} heuy
  of eres {and} of greins.

    [Sidenote: Honey tastes all the sweeter to a palate disgusted by
    offensive flavours.]

          hony is þe more swete yif mouþes
  han firste tastid sauoures þ{a}t ben wikke.

    [Sidenote: The stars shine all the clearer when the southern
    showery blasts cease to blow.]

          ¶ þe sterres
  shynen more agreably whan þe wynde Nothus letiþ his               1744
  ploungy blastes.

    [Sidenote: When Lucifer has chased away the dark night, then
    Phœbus mounts his gay chariot.]

          {and} aftir þat lucifer þe day sterre haþ
  chased awey þe derke nyȝt. þe day þe feir{e}r lediþ þe
  rosene horse of þe sonne.

    [Sidenote: So you, beholding the false felicity, and withdrawing
    your neck from the yoke of earthly affections, will soon see the
    sovereign good.]

          ¶ Ryȝt so þou byholdyng
  first þe fals[e] goodes. bygynne to wiþdrawe þi nek[ke]           1748
  fro þe ȝok of erþely affecc{i}ou{n}s. {and} afterwarde þe
  verrey goodes sholle{n} entre i{n} to þi corage.

    [Linenotes:
    1740 _delyuer_--delyuere
         _of_--fro
         _hooke_--hook
    1741 _bushes_--bosses
         _ferne_--fern
         _corne_--korn
    1743 _firste_--fyrst
         _wikke_--wyckyd
    1744 _wynde_--wynd
         _his_--hise
    1745 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1746 _feirer_--fayrere
    1747 _horse_--hors
         _Ryȝt_--And Ryht
    1748 _fals[e]_--false
         _bygynne_--bygyn
         _wiþdrawe_--w{i}t{h} drawen
         _nek[ke]_--nekke
    1749 _afterwarde_--afft{er}ward
    1750 _entre_--entren]


    [Headnote:
    THE DESIRE OF THE TRUE GOOD.]

TUNC DEFIXO PAULULU{M}.

  [Sidenote: [The 2^de p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: Philosophy, with a serious air, and appearing to
    recollect herself, and to rouse up all her faculties, thus began.]

  ++ÞO fastned[e] she a lytel þe syȝt of hir eyen {and} wiþdrow
  hir ryȝt as it were in to þe streite sete of hir                  1752
  þouȝt. {and} bygan to speke ryȝt þ{us}.

    [Sidenote: All the cares and desires of men seek one
    end--happiness.]

          Alle þe cures
  q{uo}d she of mortal folk whiche þat trauaylen hem i{n}
  many manere studies gon certys by diu{er}se weies.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 15 _b_.]]

  ¶ But naþeles þei enforced hem *to comen oonly to on              1756
  ende of blisfulnesse                                         [[pg 65]]

    [Sidenote: True happiness is that complete good which, once
    obtained, leaves nothing more to be desired.]

          [And blysfulnesse] is swiche a goode
  þat who so haþ geten it he ne may ouer þat no þing more
  desiire.

    [Sidenote: It is the sovereign good, and comprehends all others.
    It lacks nothing, otherwise it could not be the supreme good.]

          and þis þing for soþe is þe souereyne good þat conteiniþ
  in hym self al man{er}e goodes. to þe whiche goode                1760
  yif þere failed[e] any þing. it myȝt[e] nat ben souereyne
  goode. ¶ For þan were þere som goode out of þis ilke souereyne
  goode þ{a}t myȝt[e] ben desired.

    [Sidenote: Happiness is, therefore, that perfect state, in which
    all other goods meet and centre.]

          Now is it clere {and}
  certeyne þa{n} þat blisfulnesse is a p{er}fit estat
                  by þe congregac{i}ou{n}                           1764
  of alle goodes.

    [Sidenote: It is the object which all men strive after.]

          ¶ þe whiche blisfulnesse as
  I haue seid alle mortal folke enforcen hem to geten by
  dyuerse weyes.

    [Sidenote: A desire of the true good is a natural instinct, but
    error misleads them to pursue false joys.]

          ¶ For-whi þe couetise of verray goode
  is naturely y-plaunted in þe hertys of men. ¶ But þe              1768
  myswandryng erro{ur} myslediþ hem in to fals[e] goodes.

    [Sidenote: Some, imagining the supreme good to consist in lacking
    nothing, labour for an abundance of _riches_; others, supposing
    that this good lies in the _reverence_ and _esteem_ of their
    fellow men, strive to acquire honourable positions.]

  ¶ of þe whiche men some of hem wenen þat souereygne
  goode is to lyue wiþ outen nede of any þing.
  {and} t{ra}ueile{n} hem to ben habundaunt of rycchesse.           1772
  and some oþer men deme{n}. þat sou{er}ein goode be forto
  be ryȝt digne of reu{er}ences. {and} enforce{n} hem to ben
  reu{er}enced among hir neyȝbo{ur}s. by þe hono{ur}s þat þei
  han ygeten

    [Sidenote: There are some, again, who place it in supreme _power_,
    and seek to rule, or to be favoured by the ruling powers.]

          ¶ {and} some folk þer ben þat halden þat                  1776
  ryȝt heyȝe power to be souereyn goode. {and} enforcen
  he{m} forto regnen or ellys to ioigne{n} he{m} to hem þat
  regnen.

    [Sidenote: There are those who fancy _fame_ to be the height of
    happiness, and seek by the arts of war or peace to get renown.]

          ¶ And it semeþ to some oþer folk þat noblesse
  of renou{n} be þe sou{er}ein goode. {and} hasten hem to           1780
  geten glorious name by þe artes of werre or of pees.

    [Sidenote: Many there are who believe nothing to be better than
    _joy_ and _gladness_, and think it delightful to plunge into
    luxury.]

  and many folke mesuren {and} gessen þ{a}t sou{er}ein goode
  be ioye {and} gladnesse {and} wenen þat it be ryȝt blisful
  [thyng{e}] to ploungen hem i{n} uoluptuous delit.

    [Sidenote: Some there are who use these causes and ends
    interchangeably, as those who desire riches as a means of getting
    power; or who desire power in order to get money or renown.]

          ¶ And                                                     1784
  þer ben folk þat enterchaungen þe causes {and} þe endes
  of þise forseide goodes as þei þat desire{n} rycchesse to    [[pg 66]]
  han power {and} delices. Or ellis þei desiren power forto
  han moneye or for cause of renou{n}.

    [Sidenote: In all they do they have a particular end in view.]

          ¶ In þise þinges                                          1788
  {and} i{n} swyche oþer þinges is to{ur}ned al þe entenc{i}ou{n}
  of desirynges {and} [of] werkes of me{n}. ¶ As þus.

    [Linenotes:
    1751 _fastned[e]_--fastnede
         _wiþdrow_--MS. wiþdrowen, C. w{i}t{h} drowh
    1752 _sete_--Cyte
    1756 _enforced_--enforsen
    1757 [_And blysfulnesse_]--from C.
         _goode_--good
    1758 _so_--so þ{a}t
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    1759 _souereyne_--sou{er}eyn
    1760 _al_--alle
         _goode_--good
    1761 _þere_--ther
         _failed[e]_--faylyde
         _myȝt[e]_--myhte
         _souereyne goode_--sou{er}eyn good
    1762 _þan_--thanne
         _þere_--ther
         _goode_--good
         _souereyne_--sou{er}eyn
    1763 _goode_--good
         _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    1764 _certeyne_--certein
    1766 _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyd
         _folke_--foolk
    1767 _goode_--good
    1769 _fals[e]_--false
    1770 _souereygne goode is_--sou{er}eyn good be
    1771 _lyue wiþ outen_--lyuen w{i}t{h} owte
    1772 _rycchesse_--Rychesses
    1773 _some_--som
         _goode be_--good ben
    1774 _be_--ben
    1775 _neyȝbours_--nesshebors
    1776 _halden_--holden
    1777 _heyȝe_--heyh
         _to_--omitted
         _goode_--good
    1780 _goode_--good
    1781 _or_--{and}
    1782 _folke_--folk
         _goode_--good
    1783 _be_--by
    1784 [_thynge_]--from C.
    1786 _rycchesse_--rychesses
    1787 _delices_--delytes
    1789 _oþer_--oothre
         _al_--alle
    1790 [_of_]--from C.]

    [Headnote:
    FRIENDSHIP A SACRED THING.]

    [Sidenote: Nobility and popular favour are sought after by some in
    order to become famous.]

  ¶ Noblesse {and} fauo{ur} of poeple whiche þat ȝiueþ as it
  semeþ a manere clernesse of renou{n}.

    [Sidenote: By others, wives and children are only desired as
    sources of pleasure.]

          ¶ and wijf {and}                                          1792
  children þat men desiren for cause of delit {and} mirinesse.

    [Sidenote: Friendship must not be reckoned among the goods of
    fortune, but among those of virtue, for it is a very sacred
    thing.]

  ¶ But forsoþe frendes ne shollen nat ben rekkened
  among þe goodes of fortune but of vertue. for it
  is a ful holy man{er}e þing.

    [Sidenote: All else are desired either for the power or pleasure
    they afford.]

          alle þise oþer þinges forsoþe                             1796
  ben taken for cause of power. or ellis for cause of
  delit.

    [Sidenote: The goods of the body fall under the same predicament.]

          ¶ Certis now am I redy to referen þe goodes of
  þe body to þise forseide þinges abouen.

    [Sidenote: Strength and a good stature seem to give power and
    worthiness.]

          ¶ For it semeþ
  þ{a}t strengþe {and} gretnesse of body ȝeuen power {and}          1800
  worþinesse.

    [Sidenote: Beauty and swiftness give glory and fame; and health
    gives delight.]

          ¶ and þat beaute {and} swiftenesse ȝeuen
  noblesse {and} glorie of renou{n}. {and} hele of body semeþ
  ȝiuen delit.

    [Sidenote: In all these happiness alone is sought.]

          ¶ In alle þise þi{n}g{us} it semeþ oonly þat
  blisfulnesse is desired.

    [Sidenote: What a man most wishes for, that he esteems the supreme
    good, which, as we have defined, is happiness.]

          ¶ For-whi þilke þing þat euery                            1804
  man desireþ moost ouer alle þinges. he demiþ þat be þe
  souereyne goode. ¶ But I haue diffined þat blisfulnesse
  is þe souereyne goode. for whiche euery wyȝt
  demiþ þat þilke estat þat he desireþ ouer alle þinges þat         1808
  it be þe blisfulnesse.

    [Sidenote: Thou hast now before thee a view of human felicity
    (falsely so called), that is, riches, honours, power, glory, and
    delight, which last _Epicurus_ considered as the sovereign good.]

          ¶ Now hast þou þan byforne
  [thy eyen] almost al þe p{ur}posed forme of þe welfulnesse
  of ma{n}ky{n}de. þat is to seyne rycchesse. hono{ur}s.
  power. glorie. {and} delitȝ. þe whiche delit oonly considered     1812
  Epicurus Iuged {and} establissed. þat delit is þe
  souereyne goode. for as myche as alle oþer þinges as
  hym þouȝt[e] by-refte awey ioie {and} myrþe fro{m} þe
  herte.

    [Sidenote: I now return to the inclinations and pursuits of
    mankind.]

          ¶ But I reto{ur}ne aȝeyne to þe studies of meen.          1816
  of whiche men þe corage alwey rehersiþ {and} seekeþ þe       [[pg 67]]
  souereyne goode of alle be it so þ{a}t it be wiþ a derke
  memorie [but he not by whiche paath].

    [Sidenote: Their minds are bent upon the chief good, and are ever
    seeking it with a darkened understanding, like a drunken man, who
    cannot find his way home.]

          ¶ Ryȝt as a
  dronke ma{n} not nat by whiche paþe he may reto{ur}ne             1820
  home to hys house.

    [Sidenote: Do they go astray who strive to keep themselves from
    want?]

          ¶ Semeþ it þanne þat folk folyen
  {and} erren þat enforcen he{m} to haue nede of no þing

    [Linenotes:
    1794 _shollen_--sholden
    1795 _þe_--tho
    1796 _oþer_--oothre
    1801 _swiftenesse_--sweftnesse
    1803 _ȝiuen_--MS. ȝiueþ, C. yeuen
    1806, 1807 _souereyne goode_--sou{er}eyn good
    1807 _whiche_--whych
    1809 _þe_--omitted
         _þan byforne_--thanne byforn
    1810 [_thy eyen_]--from C.; MS. _has_ ȝeuen aȝeyne
         _almost_--almest
         _welfulnesse_--welefulnesse
    1811 _seyne rycchesse_--seyn Rychesses
    1814 _souereyne goode_--sou{er}eyn good
         _myche_--moche
         _oþer_--oothre
    1815 _þouȝt[e]_--thowhte
         _from_--fram
    1816 _aȝeyne_--ayein
    1818 _souereyne goode_--sou{er}eyn good
         _of_--omitted
         _alle_--al
         _derke_--dirkyd
    1819 [_but----paath_]--from C.
    1820 _dronke_--dronken
         _paþe_--paath
    1821 _home_--hym]

    [Headnote:
    ALL SEEK THE CHIEF GOOD.]

    [Sidenote: By no means. No state is happier than that in which a
    man is above want, and independent of others.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 16.]]

  ¶ Certys þer nys non oþer þing þat may so weel p{er}fo{ur}ny
  blisfulnesse as an estat plenteuo{us} *of alle                    1824
  goodes þat ne haþ nede of none oþer þing. but þat it is
  suffisant of hy{m} self. vnto hym self.

    [Sidenote: Are they guilty of folly that seek esteem and
    reverence?]

          and foleyen
  swyche folk þanne. þat wenen þat þilk þing þ{a}t is
  ryȝt goode. þat it be eke ryȝt worþi of honour {and} of           1828
  reuerence.

    [Sidenote: No; for that is not contemptible for which all men
    strive.]

          ¶ Certis nay. for þat þing nys neyþer foule
  ne worþi to ben dispised þat al þe entenc{i}ou{n} of mortel
  folke trauaille forto geten it.

    [Sidenote: Is not power to be reckoned amongst desirable goods?]

          ¶ And power auȝt[e]
  nat þat eke to be rekened amonges goodes

    [Sidenote: Why not? For that is not an insignificant good which
    invests a man with authority and command.]

          what ellis.                                               1832
  for it nys nat to wene þat þilke þing þat is most
  worþi of alle þinges be feble {and} wiþ out strengþe {and}
  clernesse of renou{n} auȝte þat to ben dispised.

    [Sidenote: Fame also is to be regarded, for everything excellent
    is also shining and renowned.]

          ¶ Certys
  þer may no man forsake þat al þing þat is ryȝt excellent          1836
  {and} noble. þat it ne semeþ to be ryȝt clere {and} renomed.

    [Sidenote: We hardly need say that happiness is not an unjoyous
    and melancholy state, for in the pursuit of the smallest matters
    men seek only pleasure.]

  ¶ For certis it nediþ nat to seie. þat blisfulnesse
  be anguissous ne dreri ne subgit to greua{n}ces ne
  to sorwes. syn þat in ryȝt litel þi{n}g{us} folk seken to         1840
  haue {and} to vsen þat may deliten hem.

    [Sidenote: Hence it is that mankind seek riches, &c., because by
    them they hope to get independence, honour, &c.]

          ¶ Certys þise
  ben þe þi{n}ges þat men wolen {and} desyren to geten.
  and for þis cause desiren þei rycches. dignites. regnes.
  glorie {and} delices ¶ For þerby wenen þei to han suffisau{n}ce   1844
  hono{ur} power. renou{n} {and} gladnesse.

    [Sidenote: However varied their desires, _happiness_ is their sole
    pursuit.]

          ¶ þanne
  is it goode. þ{a}t men seken þus by so many dyu{er}se
  studies. In whiche desijr it may lyȝtly be shew{e}d.
  how grete is þe strengþe of nature.                          [[pg 68]]

    [Sidenote: However various men’s opinions are respecting
    happiness, all agree in pursuing it as the end of their actions
    and desires.]

          ¶ For how so þat                                          1848
  men han dyuerse sentences {and} discordyng algates men
  accordyn alle in lyuynge þe ende of goode.

    [Linenotes:
    1823 _perfourny_--p{er}forme
    1825 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _none_--non
    1827 _þilk_--thilke
    1828 _goode_--good
    1829 _foule_--fowl
    1830 _al_--welneyh alle
    1831 _trauaille_--trauaylen
         _auȝt[e]_--owhte
    1832 _be_--ben
    1834 _out_--owte
    1835 _auȝte_--owhte
    1836 _al_--alle
    1837 _be_--ben
         _clere_--cleer
    1843 _rycches_--Rychesses
    1846 _goode_--good
    1847 _be_--ben
    1848 _grete_--gret
    1849 _algates_--Allegates
    1850 _goode_--good]


    [Headnote:
    OF NATURE’S LAWS.]

Q{UA}NTAS RER{UM} FLECTAT.

  [Sidenote: [The 2^de Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: I will now sing of Nature’s laws, by which the universe
    is governed.]

  ++IT likeþ me to shew[e] by subtil songe wiþ slakke {and}
  delitable sou{n} of strenges how þat nature myȝty enclineþ        1852
  {and} flitteþ gouernementȝ of þinges ¶ {and} by
  whiche lawes she p{ur}ueiable kepiþ þe grete worlde. {and}
  how she bindynge restreineþ alle þing{us} by a bonde þat
  may nat be vnbounden.

    [Sidenote: [j]]
    [Sidenote: The Punic lion submits to man, and dreads the keeper’s
    lash; yet, if he once taste blood, his savage instincts revive,
    and his keeper falls a victim to his fury.]

          ¶ Al be it so þat þe liou{n}s of                          1856
  þe contree of pene beren þe fair[e] cheines. {and} taken
  metes of þe handes of folk þat ȝeuen it hem. {and}
  dreden her sturdy maystres of whiche þei ben wont to
  suffren [betinges]. yif þat hir horrible mouþes ben bi-bled.      1860
  þat is to sein of bestes devoured. ¶ Hir corage
  of tyme passeþ þat haþ ben ydel {and} rested. repaireþ
  aȝein þat þei roren greuously. {and} reme{m}bren on hir
  nature. {and} slaken hir nekkes from hir cheins vnbounden.        1864
  and hir maistre first to-teren wiþ blody toþe
  assaieþ þe woode wraþþes of hem. ¶ þis is to sein þei
  freten hir maister.

    [Sidenote: [ij]]
    [Sidenote: If the caged bird though daintily fed, gets a sight of
    the pleasant grove where she was wont to sing, she will spurn her
    food, and pine for the beloved woods.]

          ¶ And þe Iangland brid þat syngiþ
  on þe heye braunches. þis is to sein in þe wode {and}             1868
  after is inclosed in a streit cage. ¶ al þouȝ [þ{a}t] þe
  pleiyng besines of men ȝeueþ hem honied[e] drinkes
  {and} large metes. wiþ swete studie. ¶ ȝit naþeles yif
  þilke brid skippynge oute of hir streite cage seeþ þe             1872
  agreable shadewes of þe wodes. she defouleþ wiþ hir
  fete hir metes yshad {and} sekeþ mournyng oonly þe
  wode {and} twitriþ desirynge þe wode wiþ hir swete
  voys.

    [Sidenote: [iij]]
    [Sidenote: The sapling, bent down by a mighty hand, will resume
    its natural position as soon as the restraining force is removed.]

          ¶ þe ȝerde of a tree þat is haled adou{n} by myȝty        1876
  strengþe bowiþ redely þe croppe adou{n}. but yif þat þe      [[pg 69]]
  hande of hym þat it bente lat it gon aȝein. ¶ An oon
  þe crop lokeþ vp ryȝt to heuene.

    [Sidenote: [iiij]]
    [Sidenote: Though the sun sets in the western main at eve, yet by
    a secret path he takes his wonted journey toward the east.]

          ¶ þe sonne phebus
  þat failleþ at euene in þe westrene wawes retorniþ aȝein          1880
  eftsones his cart by a priue paþe þere as it is wont
  aryse.

    [Sidenote: All things pursue their proper course, obedient to the
    source of order.]

          ¶ Alle þinges seken aȝein in to hir p{ro}pre
  cours. and alle þinges reioisen hem of hir retournynge
  aȝein to hir nature ne noon ordinaunce nis bytaken to             1884
  þi{n}ges but þat.

    [Sidenote: Hence, throughout the world entire stability is found,
    for all things, having fulfilled their appointed course, return
    from whence they came.]

          þat haþ ioignynge þe endynge to þe
  bygynnynge. {and} haþ makid þe cours of it self stable
  þat it chaungeþ nat fro{m} hys p{ro}pre kynde.

    [Linenotes:
    1851 _shew[e]_--shewe
    1854 _whiche_--MS. swiche, C. whyche
         _worlde_--world
    1856 _be_--ben
         _vnbounden_--vnbownde
    1857 _fair[e]_--fayr{e}
    1860 [_betinges_]--from C.
    1862 _passeþ_--passed
    1864 _from_--fram
         _vnbounden_--vnbownde
    1865 _to-teren_--to-torn
         _toþe_--toth
    1867 _Iangland_--Iangelynge
    1869 _streit_--streyht
    1870 _pleiyng_--MS. pleinyng, C. pleyynge
         _besines_--bysynesse
         _honied[e]_--honyede
    1872 _oute_--owt
    1873 _agreable_--agreables
    1874 _fete_--feet
    1875 _twitriþ_--twiterith
    1877 _croppe_--crop
    1878 _hande_--hand
         _bente_--bent
    1880 _failleþ_--falleth
    1881 _cart_--carte
         _a_--omitted
         _paþe_--paath
    1883 _of_--MS. of of
    1885 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _ioignynge_--Ioyned
    1886 _haþ_--MS. haþe]


    [Headnote:
    THE SEARCH AFTER FELICITY.]

VOSQ{UE} TERRENA ANIMALIA.

  [Sidenote: [The 3^de p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: O earthly animals, you have an indistinct perception of
    your beginning, and you have ever the true end of felicity in
    view, but your natural instincts are perverted by many errors.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 16 _b_.]]

  *++CErtis also ȝe men þat ben erþelich{e} bestes dreme{n}         1888
  alwey [yowre bygynnynge] al þouȝ it be wiþ a
  þinne ymaginac{i}ou{n}. {and} by a maner þouȝt al be it
  nat clerly ne p{er}fitly ȝe looken from a fer til þilk            1891
  verray fyn of blisfulnesse. and þerfore þe naturel entenc{i}ou{n}
  ledeþ ȝow to þilk verray good ¶ But
  many manere errours misto{ur}niþ ȝow þer fro.

    [Sidenote: Can men obtain the end they have in view by the means
    they usually employ in the pursuit of happiness?]

          ¶ Considere
  now yif þat be þilke þinges by whiche a man
  weniþ to gete hym blysfulnesse. yif þat he may comen              1896
  to þilke ende þat he weneþ to come by nature

    [Sidenote: If riches and honours and the like make men happy, so
    that they shall want for nothing, then happiness may be procured
    by these acquisitions.]

          ¶ For
  yif þat moneye or hono{ur}s or þise oþer forseide þinges
  bryngen to men swiche a þing þat no goode ne faille
  hem. ne semeþ faille. ¶ Certys þan wil I graunt[e]                1900
  þat þei ben maked blisful. by þilke þinges þat þei han
  geten.

    [Sidenote: But if these things cannot make good what they promise,
    if there still be something to be desired, then they are
    delusions, and the felicity after all is a counterfeit.]

          ¶ but yif so be þat þilke þi{n}ges ne mowe nat
  p{er}fo{ur}men þat þei by-heten {and} þat þer be defaute of
  many goodes. ¶ Sheweþ it nat þan clerely þ{a}t fals               1904
  beaute of blisfulnesse is knowe {and} a-teint in þilke
  þinges. ¶ First {and} forward þou þi self þat haddest
  haboundaunces of rycchesses nat long agon.                   [[pg 70]]

    [Sidenote: In your prosperity were you never annoyed by some wrong
    or grievance?]

          ¶ I axe
  ȝif þat in þe haboundaunce of alle þilk[e] rycchesses             1908
  þou were neuer anguissous or sory in þi corage of any
  wrong or greuau{n}ce þat by-tidde þe on any syde.

    [Linenotes:
    1889 [_yowre bygynnynge_]--from C.
         _al_--MS. as, C. Al
    1891 _from_--fram
         _til þilk_--to thylke
    1892 _þe_--omitted
    1893 _þilk_--thylke
    1895 _be_--by
    1896 _gete_--geten
    1899 _swiche_--swych
         _goode_--good
    1900 _wil_--wole
         _graunt[e]_--grau{n}te
    1904 _many_--manye
         _clerely_--clerly
         _fals_--false
    1905 _knowe_--knowen
    1908 _þilk[e]_--thylke]

    [Headnote:
    NONE ARE FREE FROM CARE.]

    [Sidenote: _B._ I must confess that I cannot remember ever being
    wholly free from some trouble or other.]

  ¶ Certys q{uo}d I it remembreþ me nat þat euere I was
  so free of my þouȝt. þat I ne was al-wey in anguysh{e} of         1912
  somwhat.

    [Sidenote: _P._ That was because something was absent which you
    did desire, or something present which you would fain be quit of.]

          þ{a}t was þat þou lakkedest þat þou noldest
  han lakked. or ellys þou haddest þat þou noldest
  han had.

    [Sidenote: _B._ That’s quite true.]

          ryȝt so is it q{uod} I þan.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Then you did desire the presence of the one and
    the absence of the other?]

          desiredest þou
  þe p{re}sence of þat oon {and} þe absence of þat oþer.            1916

    [Sidenote: _B._ I confess I did.]

  I graunt[e] wel q{uod} .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Every man is in need of what he desires.]

          for soþe q{uod} she þan nediþ þer
  somwhat þat euery man desireþ.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Certainly he is.]

          ȝe þer nediþ q{uod} I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ If a man lack anything can he be supremely happy?]

  ¶ Certis q{uod} she {and} he þat haþ lakke or nede of a
  wyȝt nis nat in euery way suffisaunt to hym self.                 1920

    [Sidenote: _B._ No.]

  no q{uod} .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Did you not in your abundance want for somewhat?]

          {and} þou q{uo}d she in alle þe plente of þi
  rycchesse haddest þilke lak of suffisaunce.

    [Sidenote: _B._ What then if I did?]

          ¶ what
  ellis q{uod} .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ It follows that riches cannot put a man beyond all
    want, although this was what they seemed to promise.]

          ¶ þanne may nat rycchesse maken þat a
  man nis nedy. ne þat he be suffisaunt to hym self. {and}          1924
  þat was it þ{a}t þei byhyȝten as it semeþ.

    [Sidenote: Money may part company with its owner, however
    unwilling he may be to lose it.]

          ¶ and eke
  certys I trowe þat þis be gretly to consydere þat moneye
  ne haþ nat in hys owen kynde þat it ne may ben by-nomen
  of hem þat han it maugre hem.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I confess that’s true.]

          ¶ I by-knowe                                              1928
  it wel q{uod} I

    [Sidenote: _P._ It ought to be confessed when every day we see
    _might_ prevailing over _right_.]

          ¶ whi sholdest þou nat by-knowen it
  q{uod} she. whan euery day þe strenger folke by-nymen
  it fram þe febler maugre hem.

    [Sidenote: From whence springs so much litigation, but from this,
    that men seek to recover their own of which they have been
    unjustly deprived?]

          ¶ Fro whennes comen
  ellys alle þise foreine compleintes or quereles of                1932
  plety{n}g{us}. ¶ But for þat men axen aȝeine her moneye
  þat haþ be by-nomen hem by force or by gyle. {and}
  alwey maugre hem.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Nothing is more true.]

          ¶ Ryȝt so it is q{uod} I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Then a man needs the assistance of others in order
    to keep his riches.]

          þan q{uo}d
  she haþ a man nede to seke{n} hym foreyne helpe by                1936
  whiche he may defende hys moneye. who may say nay q{uod} .I.

    [Linenotes:
    1913 _þat----lakkedest_--And was nat þ{a}t q{uod} she for
         þ{a}t the lacked som-what
    1915 _had_--MS. hadde, C. had
    1917 _graunt[e]_--grau{n}te
    1919 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _a wyȝt_--awht
    1921 _alle_--al
    1922 _rycchesse_--Rychesses
         _lak_--lakke
    1923 _rycchesse_--Rychesses
    1927 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _owen_--owne
    1930 _strenger folke by-nymen_--strenger{e} folk by-nemyn
    1931 _fram_--fro
         _febler_--febeler{e}
         _Fro_--for
    1933 _aȝeine_--ayeyn
    1934 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _be_--ben
    1936 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _helpe_--help
    1937 _say_--sey]

                                                               [[pg 71]]
    [Headnote:
    RICHES BRING ANXIETIES.]

    [Sidenote: If he had no money to lose he would not stand in need
    of this help?]

  ¶ Certis q{uod} she {and} hym nediþ no helpe
  yif he ne hadde no moneye þat he myȝt[e] leese.

    [Sidenote: _B._ That is beyond all doubt.]

          ¶ þat
  is doutles q{uod} .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Then the very reverse of what was expected (from
    riches) takes place? For riches add to a man’s necessities.]

          þanne is þis þi{n}g turned in to þe contrarie             1940
  q{uod} she ¶ For rycchesse þat men wenen sholde
  make suffisau{n}ce. þei maken a man raþer han nede of
  foreine helpe.

    [Sidenote: Tell me how do riches drive away necessity? Are not
    rich men liable to hunger, thirst, and cold?]

          ¶ whiche is þe manere or þe gise q{uod}
  she þat rycches may dryuen awey nede. ¶ Riche folk                1944
  may þei neiþer han hungre ne þrest. þise ryche men
  may þei feele no colde on hir lymes in wynter.

    [Sidenote: You will say that the rich have wherewithal to satisfy
    these wants.]

          ¶ But
  þou wilt answere þat ryche men han y-nouȝ wher wiþ
  þei may staunchen her hunger. {and} slaken her þrest              1948
  {and} don awey colde.

    [Sidenote: By riches indigence may be alleviated, but they cannot
    satisfy every want.]

          ¶ In þis wise may nede be co{n}forted
  by rycchesses. but certys nede ne may nat al
  out{er}ly be don awey.

    [Sidenote: Even if gaping and greedy necessity be filled with
    riches, yet some cravings will remain.]

          for þouȝ þis nede þat is alwey
  gapyng {and} gredy be fulfilled wiþ rycchesses. {and} axe         1952
  any þing ȝit dwelleþ þanne a nede þat myȝt[e] ben fulfilled.

    [Sidenote: A little suffices for nature, but avarice never has
    enough.]

  ¶ I holde me stille {and} telle nat how þat litel
  þing suffiseþ to nature. but certys to auarice ynouȝ ne
  suffiseþ no þinge.

    [Sidenote: If riches, then, add to our wants, why should you think
    that they can supply all your necessities?]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 17.]]

          *¶ For syn þat rychesse ne may nat                        1956
  al don awey nede. but rychesse maken nede. what may
  it þanne be þat ȝe wenen þat rychesses mowen ȝeue{n}
  ȝow suffisau{n}ce.

    [Linenotes:
    1938 _nediþ no helpe_--nedede non help
    1939 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    1940 _doutles_--dowteles
    1941 _rycchesse_--Rychesses
    1943 _helpe_--help
         _whiche_--whych
    1944 _rycches_--Rychesse
         _dryuen_--dryue
    1945 _hungre_--hungyr
         _þrest_--thurst
    1946 _þei_--the
         _colde_--coold
         _in_--on
    1947 _wilt answere_--wolt Answeren
         _y-nouȝ_--y-now
    1948 _þrest_--thurst
    1949 _colde_--coold
    1950 _nat_--omitted
    1951 _outerly_--vtrely
    1953 _myȝt[e] ben_--myhte be
    1957 _rychesse_--Rychesses]


QUAMUIS FLUENTER DIUES.

  [Sidenote: [The 3^de Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: The rich man, had he a river of gold, would never rest
    content.]

  ++Al were it so þat a ryche couetous man hadde riuer              1960
  fletynge alle of golde ȝitte sholde it neuer staunche
  hys couetise.

    [Sidenote: Though his neck be loaded with precious pearls, and his
    fields be covered with innumerable herds, yet shall unquiet care
    never forsake him; and at his death his riches shall not bear him
    company.]

          ¶ And þouȝ he hadde his nekke I-charged
  wiþ p{re}ciouse stones of þe rede see. {and} þouȝ he do
  erye his feldes plentiuo{us} wiþ an hundreþ oxen neuere           1964
  ne shal his bytyng bysynesse forleten hym while he
  lyueþ. ne þe lyȝt[e] rychesses ne shal nat beren hym         [[pg 72]]
  compaignie whanne he is dede.

    [Linenotes:
    1960 _riuer_--a Ryu{er}
    1961 _alle_--al
         _golde_--gold
         _ȝitte_--yit
         _staunche_--stau{n}chyn
    1962, 1963 _þouȝ_--thow
    1964 _erye_--Ere
         _hundreþ_--hundred
    1965 _while_--whyl
    1966 _lyȝt[e]_--lyhte
         _shal_--shol
    1967 _dede_--ded]


    [Headnote:
    OF DIGNITIES.]

SET DIGNITATIB{US}.[4]

    [Footnote 4: Read _dignitates_.]

  [Sidenote: [The 4^the p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: It may be said that _dignities_ confer honour on their
    possessors.]

  ++Bvt dignitees to whom þei ben comen make þei hym                1968
  honorable {and} reuerent.

    [Sidenote: But have they power to destroy vice or implant virtue
    in the heart?]

          han þei nat so grete strengþe
  þat þei may putte vertues in þe hertis of folk. þat vsen
  þe lordshipes of hem. or ellys may þei don awey þe
  vices.

    [Sidenote: So far from expelling vicious habits, they only render
    them more conspicuous.]

          Certys þei [ne] ben nat wont to don awey wikkednesses.    1972
  but þei ben wont raþer to shew[en] wikkednesses.

    [Sidenote: Hence arises the indignation when we see dignities
    given to wicked men.]

  {and} þer of comeþ it þat I haue ryȝt grete desdeyne.
  þat dignites ben ȝeuen ofte to wicked men.

    [Sidenote: Hence Catullus’ resentment against Nonius, whom he
    calls the botch, or impostume of the State.]

  ¶ For whiche þing catullus clepid a consul of Rome þat            1976
  hyȝt noni{us} postum. or boch. as who seiþ he clepiþ
  hy{m} a congregac{i}ou{n} of uices in his brest as a postum
  is ful of corrupc{i}ou{n}. al were þis noni{us} set in a
  chayere of dignitee.

    [Sidenote: The deformities of wicked men would be less apparent if
    they were in more obscure situations.]

          Sest þou nat þan how gret vylenye                         1980
  dignitees don to wikked men. ¶ Certys vnworþines of
  wikked men shold{e} ben þe lasse ysen yif þei nere renomed
  of none hono{ur}s.

    [Sidenote: Would you free yourself from peril by accepting a
    magistracy along with Decoratus a buffoon and informer?]

          ¶ Certys þou þi self ne
  myȝtest nat ben brouȝt wiþ as many p{er}ils as þou                1984
  myȝtest suffren þat þ{o}u woldest bere þi magistrat wiþ
  decorat. þat is to seyn. þat for no p{er}il þat myȝt[e] bifalle{n}
  þe by þe offence of þe kyng theodorik þou noldest
  nat ben felawe in gouernaunce w{i}t{h} decorat. whanne            1988
  þou say[e] þat he had[de] wikkid corage of a likerous
  shrewe {and} of an acusor.

    [Sidenote: Honours do not render undeserving persons worthy of
    esteem.]

          ¶ Ne I ne may nat for swiche
  honours Iuge{n} hem worþi of reuerence þat I deme {and}
  holde vnworþi to han þilke same hono{ur}s.

    [Sidenote: If you find a man endowed with wisdom you deem him
    worthy of respect and of the wisdom which he professes.]

          ¶ Now yif                                                 1992
  þou saie a man þat were fulfilled of wisdom. certys þou
  ne myȝtest nat demen þ{a}t he were vnworþi to þe             [[pg 73]]
  hono{ur}. or ellys to þe wisdom of whiche he is fulfilled.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I could not do otherwise.]

  No q{uod} .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Virtue has her proper worth, which she ever
    transfers to her votaries.]

          ¶ Certys dignitees q{uod} she app{er}tienen               1996
  p{ro}perly to vertue. {and} uertue transporteþ dignite anon
  to þilke man to whiche she hir self is conioigned.

    [Linenotes:
    1969 _make_--maken
    1969 _grete_--gret
    1972 [_ne_]--from C.
         _ben_--be
    1972, 1973 _wikkednesses_--wykkydnesse
    1973 _to_--omitted
         _shew[en]_--shewen
    1974 _comeþ_--comth
         _grete desdeyne_--gret desdaign
    1976 _whiche_--which
    1977 _hyȝt_--hyhte
         _nonius_--MS. vonn{us}, C. nomy{us}
         _boch_--MS. boþe, C. boch
         _clepiþ_--clepyd
    1979 _nonius_--MS. uonn{us}, C. nomy{us}
         _set_--MS. sette, C. set
    1980 _Sest þou_--Sesthow
         _þan_--thanne
         _vylenye_--fylonye
    1981 _vnworþines_--vnworthynesse
    1982 _ben_--be
         _ysen_--MS. ysene, C. I-sene
    1984 _many_--manye
    1985 _bere_--beren
    1986 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    1987 _þe_ (2)--omitted
    1988 _whanne_--whan
    1989 _say[e]_--saye
         _had[de]_--hadde
    1994 _demen_--deme
    1995 _whiche_--which
    1996 _quod she_--omitted
    1997 _vertue_--vertu
         _uertue_--vertu
    1998 _whiche_--whych]

    [Headnote:
    DIGNITIES APPERTAIN TO VIRTUE.]

    [Sidenote: Honours conferred by the populace do not make men
    worthy of them, for they have no intrinsic merit to bestow.]

  ¶ And for as moche as hono{ur}s of poeple ne may nat
  maken folk digne of hono{ur}. it is wel seyn clerly þat           2000
  þei ne han no p{ro}pre beaute of dignite. ¶ And ȝit men
  auȝten take more hede in þis.

    [Sidenote: Dignities conferred upon shrews only make their vices
    the more conspicuous.]

          ¶ For if it so be þat he
  is most out cast þat most folk dispisen. or as dignite ne
  may nat maken shrewes worþi of no reuerences. þan                 2004
  makeþ dignites shrewes more dispised þan p{re}ised. þe
  whiche shrewes dignit[e] scheweþ to moche folk

    [Sidenote: Nor do dignities themselves escape without injury; for
    worthless men take their revenge upon them, and defile them by
    their contagious villanies.]

          ¶ {and}
  for soþe nat vnpunissed. þat is forto sein. þat shrewes
  reuengen hem aȝeinward vpon dignites. for þei ȝelden              2008
  aȝein to dignites as gret gerdou{n} whan þei byspotten
  {and} defoulen dignites wiþ hire vylenie.

    [Sidenote: These shadowy honours have nothing in their nature to
    procure respect; for if a man, having borne the honours of the
    consulate, should go among barbarians would this honour gain him
    their respect?]

          ¶ And for as
  moche as þou mow[e] knowe þat þilke verray reuerence
  ne may nat comen by þe shadewy t{ra}nsitorie dignitees.           2012
  vndirstonde now þis. yif þat a man hadde vsed {and}
  hadde many manere dignites of consules {and} were
  come{n} p{er}auenture amonges straunge nac{i}ou{n}s. sholde
  þilke hono{ur} maken hym worshipful {and} redouted of             2016
  straunge folk

    [Sidenote: If respect were an attribute of honour it would
    infallibly bring esteem everywhere, just as heat is ever an
    attribute of fire.]

          ¶ Certys yif þat honour of poeple were
  a naturel ȝifte to dignites. it ne myȝte neuer cesen
  nowher amonges no maner folke to done hys office.

    [Linenotes:
    2000 _clerly_--MS. clerkly, C. clerly
    2002 _auȝten----hede_--owhten taken mor heed
    2002-3 _For----dignite_--For yif so be þ{a}t a wykkyd whyght be
         so mochel the fowler{e} {and} the moore owt cast þ{a}t he
         is despised of most folk so as dignete
    2004-2007 _maken----soþe_--maken shrewes digne of Reu{er}ence
         the whych shrewes dignete sheweth to moche foolk thanne
         makith dignete shrewes rather so moche mor{e} despised than
         preysed {and} forsothe
    2008 _ȝelden_--yilden
    2009 _byspotten_--by-spetten
    2010 _hire_--hyr
    2011 _moche_--mochel
         _mow[e]_--mowe
    2012 _þe shadewy_--thyse shadwye
    2013 _vndirstonde_--vndyrstond
         _þis_--thus
    2014 _hadde_--had
    2018 _ȝifte_--yift
    2019 _folke_--foolk
         _done_--don]

    [Headnote:
    DIGNITIES DO CONFER ESTEEM.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 17 _b_.]]

  ¶ Ryȝt as fire i{n} euery contre ne stinteþ nat to                2020
  enchaufen {and} *to ben hote.

    [Sidenote: Honours arise from the false opinions of men, and
    vanish when they come among those who do not esteem them, that is,
    among foreign nations.]

          but for as myche as forto
  be holden honorable or reuerent ne comeþ nat to folk of
  hir p{ro}pre strengþe of nat{ur}e. but only of þe fals[e]    [[pg 74]]
  opiniou{n} of folk. þat is to sein. þat wenen þat dignites        2024
  maken folk digne of hono{ur}. An on þerfore whan þat
  þei comen þer as folk ne knowe{n} nat þilke dignites.
  her hono{ur}s vanissen awey {and} þat on oon. but þat is
  a-mong straung folk. maist þou sein.

    [Sidenote: Do they always endure in those places that gave birth
    to them?]

          but amo{n}g{us}                                           2028
  hem þat þei weren born duren þilk[e] dignites alwey.

    [Sidenote: The Prætorate was once a great honour, but now it is
    only an empty name and a heavy expense.]

  ¶ Certys þe dignite of þe p{ro}uostrie of Rome was somtyme
  a grete power. now is it no þing but an ydel
  name. {and} þe rente of þe senatorie a g{r}et charge.             2032

    [Sidenote: What is more vile than the office of the
    superintendency of provisions?]

  {and} yif a whiȝt somtyme hadde þe office to taken he[de] to
  þe vitailes of þe poeple as of corne {and} what oþer þinges
  he was holden amonges grete. but what þing is more
  nowe out cast þanne þilke p{ro}uostrie

    [Sidenote: That which hath no innate beauty must lose its
    splendour or value according as popular opinion varies concerning
    it.]

          ¶ And as I haue                                           2036
  seid a litel here byforne. þat þilke þing þat haþ no
  p{ro}pre beaute of hym self resceyueþ somtyme pris {and}
  shinynge {and} somtyme lesiþ it by þe opiniou{n} of
  vsaunces.

    [Sidenote: If dignities cannot confer esteem, if they become vile
    through filthy shrews, if they lose their lustre by the change of
    times, if they become worthless by the change of popular opinion,
    what beauty do they possess which should make them desirable, or
    what dignity can they confer on others?]

          ¶ Now yif þat dignites þanne ne mowen                     2040
  nat maken folk digne of reuerence. {and} yif þ{a}t dignites
  wexen foule of hir wille by þe filþe of shrewes. ¶ and
  yif þat dignites lesen hir shynynge by chaungyng of
  tymes. and yif þei wexen foule by estimac{i}ou{n} of              2044
  poeple. what is it þat þei han in hem self of beaute
  þat auȝte ben desired. as who seiþ none. þanne ne
  mowen þei ȝiuen no beaute of dignite to none oþer.

    [Linenotes:
    2020 _enchaufen_--eschaufen
    2021 _myche_--mochel
    2022 _be_--ben
    2023 _fals[e]_--false
    2024 _þat_ (2)--omitted
    2027 _her_--hyr
         _vanissen_--vanesshen
    2028 _a-mong_--amonges
         _straung_--strau{n}ge
         _but_--ne
    2029 _þat_--ther
         _duren þilk[e]_--ne duren nat thylke
    2030 _somtyme_--whylom
    2031 _grete_--gret
    2032 _þe_ (2)--omitted
    2033 _somtyme_--whylom
         _þe_--MS. þe þe
    2034 _corne_--corn
         _what_--omitted
    2035 _more nowe_--now more
    2036 _cast_--MS. caste, C. cast
    2037 _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyd
         _here byforne_--her by-forn
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2042 _filþe_--felthe
    2043 _þat_--omitted
    2046 _auȝte_--owhte
         _none_--non
    2047 _þei_--MS. ȝe, C. they
         _none_--non]


QUA{M}UIS SE TIRIO.

  [Sidenote: [The 4^the Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Nero, though invested with the purple and adorned with
    pearls, was hated by all men.]

  ++Al be it so þat þe proude nero wiþ al his woode luxurie         2048
  kembed hym {and} apparailed hym wiþ faire purp{er}s
  of Tirie {and} wiþ white perles. Algates ȝitte throf he
  hateful to alle folk ¶ þis is to seyn þat
                  al was he by-hated                           [[pg 75]]
  of alle folk.

    [Sidenote: Yet he had lordship, and gave to the senators the
    dishonoured seats of dignity.]

          ¶ ȝitte þis wicked Nero hadde gret                        2052
  lordship {and} ȝaf somtyme to þe dredeful senatours þe
  vnworshipful setes of dignites. ¶ vnworshipful setes
  he clepiþ here fore þat Nero þat was so wikked ȝaf þo
  dignites.

    [Sidenote: Who then can think that felicity resides in honours
    given by vicious shrews?]

          who wolde þanne resonably wenen þat blysfulnesse          2056
  were in swiche hono{ur}s as ben ȝeuen by vicious
  shrewes.

    [Linenotes:
    2048 _al_ (2)--alle
    2049 _kembed_--kembde
         _apparailed_--MS. apparailen, C. a-paraylede
    2050 _ȝitte_--yit
    2053 _lordship_--lorshippe
         _ȝaf somtyme_--yaf whylom
         _dredeful_--reu{er}encȝ
    2055 _fore_--for
         _ȝaf_--yaf]


    [Headnote:
    KINGDOMS DO NOT MAKE A MAN MIGHTY.]

AN UERO REGNA.

  [Sidenote: [The 5^the p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _P._ Do kingdoms and a familiarity with princes make a
    man mighty?]

  ++Bvt regnes {and} familarites of kynges may þei maken a
  ma{n} to ben myȝty.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Why should they not if they are durable?]

          how ellys. ¶ whanne hir                                   2060
  blysfulnesse dureþ p{er}petuely

    [Sidenote: _P._ Past ages, as well as the present, furnish us with
    many examples of princes who have met with dismal reverses of
    fortune.]

          but certys þe olde age of
  tyme passeþ. {and} eke of p{re}sent tyme now is ful of
  ensau{m}ples how þ{a}t kynges þat han chaunged in to
  wrechednesse out of hir welefulnesse.

    [Sidenote: O then how noble and glorious a thing is power that is
    too weak to preserve itself!]

          ¶ O a noble þing                                          2064
  {and} a cler þing is power þat is nat founden myȝty to
  kepe it self.

    [Sidenote: If dominion brings felicity, then misery will follow if
    it be defective.]

          ¶ And yif þat power of realmes be auctour
  {and} maker of blisfulnesse. yif þilke power lakkeþ on
  any side. amenusiþ it nat þilke blisfulnesse {and} bryngeþ        2068
  in wrechednesse.

    [Sidenote: But human rule has its limits, therefore wherever power
    ceases there impotence enters, bringing misery along with it.]

          but yif al be it so þat realmes of mankynde
  stretchen b{r}oode. ȝit mot þer nede ben myche
  folk ouer whiche þat euery kyng ne haþ no lordshipe
  no comaundement ¶ and certys vpon þilke syde þat                  2072
  power failleþ whiche þat makiþ folk blisful. ryȝt on þat
  same side nou{n}power entriþ vndirneþ þat makeþ hem
  wreches.

    [Sidenote: Kings, therefore, have a larger portion of misery than
    of felicity.]

          ¶ In þis manere þanne moten kynges han
  more porciou{n} of wrechednesse þan of welefulnesse.              2076

    [Linenotes:
    2060 _myȝty_--MS. vnmyȝty, C. myhty
    2062 _passeþ_--passed
         _of_ (2)--omitted
    2063 _kynges þat han_--kynges ben
    2066 _kepe_--kepen
    2067 _maker_--maker{e}
    2069 _yif_--yit
         _realmes_--the Reaumes
    2070 _stretchen_--strechchen
         _myche_--moche
    2071 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2073 _whiche_--whych
    2074 _vndirneþ_--vndyr-nethe]

    [Headnote:
    POWER DOES NOT DRIVE AWAY CARE.]

    [Sidenote: Dionysius of Sicily, conscious of this condition,
    exhibited the fears and cares of royalty by the terror of a naked
    sword hanging over the head of his friend and flatterer Damocles.]

  ¶ A tyraunt þat was kyng of sisile þat had[de] assaied
  þe p{er}il of his estat shewid[e] by similitude þe dredes
  of realmes by gastnesse of a swerde þat heng ouer þe
  heued of his familier.

    [Sidenote: What then is this thing called Power, which cannot do
    away with care or fear?]

          what þing is þan þis power þat                            2080
  may nat don awey þe bytynges of besines ne eschewe           [[pg 76]]
  þe prikkes of drede.

    [Sidenote: Men would live in security but cannot, and yet they
    glory in their power.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 18.]]

          and certys ȝit wolden þei lyuen
  *in sykernesse. but þei may nat. and ȝit þei glorifien
  hem in her power

    [Sidenote: Is he powerful who cannot do what he wishes?]

          ¶ Holdest þou þan þat þilk[e] man                         2084
  be myȝty þat þ{o}u seest þat he wolde don þat he may
  nat don.

    [Sidenote: Is he a mighty man who goes surrounded with an armed
    guard, to terrify those whom he himself fears, and whose power
    depends solely upon his numerous retinue?]

          ¶ And holdest þou þan hym a myȝty man
  þat haþ environed hise sydes wiþ men of armes or
  seruauntes {and} dredeþ more [hem] þat he makeþ agast.            2088
  þen þei dreden hym. {and} þat is put in þe handes of hise
  seruauntȝ. for he sholde seme myȝty but of familiers
  [or] seruauntȝ of ky{n}ges.

    [Sidenote: Why need I enlarge upon the favourites of princes
    having thus displayed the imbecility of kings!]

          ¶ what sholde I telle þe
  any þing. syn þat I my self haue shewed þe þat realmes            2092
  hem self ben ful of gret feblenesse.

    [Sidenote: Their prosperity is affected by the caprice of their
    fortunate masters as well as by the adversity to which they are
    incident.]

          þe whiche familiers
  certis þe real power of kynges in hool estat {and} in estat
  abated ful [ofte] þroweþ adou{n}.

    [Sidenote: Nero only allowed his master Seneca to choose the
    manner of his death.]

          ¶ Nero co{n}streined[e]
  his familier {and} his maistre seneca to chesen on what           2096
  deeþ he wolde deien.

    [Sidenote: Antonius (Caracalla) commanded Papinian to be slain by
    the swords of his soldiers.]

          ¶ Antonius comau{n}did[e] þat
  knyȝtis slowen wiþ her swerdis Papinian his familier
  whiche Papinian had[de] ben long tyme ful myȝty
  a-monges hem of þe courte.

    [Sidenote: Yet both would have given up all they possessed.]

          and ȝit certis þei wolde boþe                             2100
  han renou{n}ced her power.

    [Sidenote: Seneca begged for poverty and exile. But relentless
    fortune precipitated them to destruction, and did not permit them
    to choose their fate.]

          of whiche [two] senek enforced[e]
  hym to ȝiue{n} to Nero his rychesses. {and} also
  to han gon in to solitarie exil. ¶ But whan þe grete
  weyȝt. þat is to sein of lordes power or of fortune               2104
  draweþ hem þat sholden falle. neyþer of hem ne
  myȝt[e] do þat he wolde.

    [Sidenote: What then is Power, which terrifies its possessors, and
    which cannot be got rid of at pleasure?]

          what þing is þanne þilke
  power þat þouȝ men han it þat þei ben agast. ¶ {and}
  whan þou woldest han it þou nart nat siker. ¶ And                 2108
  yif þou woldest forleten it þou mayst nat eschewen it.

    [Sidenote: No advantage is to be gained by friendship based on
    prosperity instead of virtue.]

  ¶ But wheþir swiche men ben frendes at nede as ben
  conseiled by fortune {and} nat by vertue.

    [Sidenote: Adversity will turn this sort of friendship into
    enmity. And what greater plague can there be than the enmity of
    thy familiar friend?]

          Certys swiche
  folk as weleful fortune makeþ frendes. contrarious fortune   [[pg 77]]
  makeþ hem enmyse. ¶ And what pestilence is                        2113
  more myȝty forto anoye a wiȝt þan a familier enemy.

    [Linenotes:
    2077 _had[de]_--hadde
    2078 _shewid[e]_--shewede
    2079 _realmes_--Reaumes
         _swerde_--swerd
         _heng_--MS. henge, C. heng
    2081 _besines_--bysynesse
    2083 _ȝit_--yif
         _glorifien_--gloryfye
    2084 _þilk[e]_--thylke
    2087 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _environed_--enuyrownede
    2088 [_hem_]--from C.
    2089 _þen_--than
    2091 [_or_]--from C.
    2092 _realmes_--Reames
    2093 _feblenesse_--feblesse
    2094 _real_--Ryal
    2095 [_ofte_]--from C.
         _constreined[e]_--co{n}streynede
    2096 _his_ (1)--hyr
         _seneca_--Senek
    2097 _comaundid[e]_--comau{n}dede
    2098 _her_--hyr
    2099 _whiche_--which
         _had[de] ben long_--þ{a}t hadde ben longe
    2100 _courte_--court
         _wolde_--wolden
    2101 [_two_]--from C.
         _enforced[e]_--enforcede
    2102 _ȝiuen_--yeuen
         _his_--hyse
    2104 _weyȝt_--weyhte
    2105 _sholden_--sholen
    2106 _myȝt[e]_--myhte]


    [Headnote:
    GLORY IS DECEPTIVE.]

QUI SE UALET[5] ESSE POTENTEM.

    [Footnote 5: Read _uolet_]

  [Sidenote: [The 5^the Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: He who would obtain sovereign power must obtain
    conquest over himself, and not yield to his passions.]

  ++Who so wolde ben myȝty he mot dau{n}ten hys cruel
  corage. ne put[te] nat his nekke ouercomen vndir                  2116
  þe foule reines of lecherie.

    [Sidenote: Though your dominion extended from India to Thule, yet
    if thou art tormented by care thou hast no real power.]

          for al be it so þat þi lordship[e]
  strecche so fer þat þe contre Inde quakiþ at þi
  comaundement. or at þi lawes. {and} þat þe leest isle in
  þe see þat hyȝt tile be þral to þe ¶ ȝit yif þou mayst            2120
  nat pute{n} awey þi foule derk[e] desijres {and} dryue{n}
  oute fro þe wreched co{m}pleyntes. Certis it nis no
  power þat þou hast.

    [Linenotes:
    2115 _wolde ben_--wole be
    2116 _put[te]_--putte
    2117 _lordship[e]_--lordshype
    2119 _comaundement_--comau{n}dementȝ
         _leest isle_--last Ile
    2120 _hyȝt_--hyhte
    2121 _puten_--putten
         _derk[e]_--dyrke
    2122 _oute_--owt]


    [Headnote:
    GENTILITY IS FOREIGN TO RENOWN.]

GLORIA UERO QUA{M} FALLAX.

  [Sidenote: [The 6^the p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: How deceptive and deformed a thing is glory! Well did
    the Tragedian exclaim--ὦ δόξα δόξα μυρίοισι δὴ βροτῶν, οὐδὲν
    γεγῶσι βίοτον ὤγκωσας μέγαν, for the undeserving have been
    crowned with glory and renown by popular and erring opinion.]

  ++Bvt glorie how deceiuable {and} how foule is it ofte. for       2124
  whiche þing nat vnskilfully a tregedien þat is to
  sein a maker of dites þat hyȝten tregedies cried[e] {and}
  seide. ¶ O glorie glorie q{uod} he. þou nart no þing
  ellys to þousandes of folkes. but a gret sweller of eres.         2128
  for many[e] han had ful gret renou{n} by þe fals[e] oppiniou{n}
  of poeple.

    [Sidenote: What can be more infamous than renoun founded on the
    prejudices of the vulgar?]

          and what þing may ben þouȝt fouler
  þen swiche p{re}isynge

    [Sidenote: Those that are undeservedly praised ought to blush for
    shame.]

          for þilk[e] folk þat be{n} p{re}ised
  falsly. þei moten nedes han shame of hir p{re}isynges.            2132

    [Sidenote: If a wise man gets well-merited praise it does not add
    to his felicity.]

  {and} yif þat folk han gete{n} hem þank or p{re}ysyng by
  her desertes. what þing haþ þilk pris echid or encresed
  to þe conscience of wise folk þ{a}t mesure{n} hire
  good. not by þe rumo{ur} of þe poeple. but by þe soþefastnesse    2136
  of conscience.

    [Sidenote: If it be a good thing to spread abroad one’s fame, it
    must be dishonourable not to do so.]

          {and} yif it seme a fair þing a
  man to han encresid {and} sprad his name. þan folweþ
  it. þat it is demed to ben a foule þinge yif it ne be        [[pg 78]]
  ysprad ne encresed.

    [Sidenote: But a good name cannot penetrate everywhere, and the
    most illustrious names must be unknown to the greatest part of the
    world.]

          but as I seide a litel her byforne.                       2140
  þat syn þer mot nedes ben many folk to whiche folk þe
  renou{n} of a man ne may nat comen. it byfalleþ þat he
  þat þou wenest be glorious {and} renomed. semiþ in þe
  nexte p{ar}ties of þe erþe to ben wiþ out glorie. {and} wiþ       2144
  out renou{n}.

    [Sidenote: The favour of the people is worth but little as it is
    seldom judicious and never permanent.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 18 _b_.]]

          ¶ and certis amo{n}ges þise þinges I ne trowe
  nat þat þe p{r}is {and} grace of þe poeple nis neiþer worþi
  *to ben remembrid ne comeþ of wise iugement. ne is
  ferm p{er}durably.

    [Sidenote: How empty and transitory are titles of nobility!]

          ¶ But now of þis name of gentilesse.                      2148
  what man is it þat ne may wel seen how veyne {and}
  how flittyng a þing it is.

    [Sidenote: Gentility is wholly foreign to renown, and to those who
    boast of noble birth.]

          ¶ For if þe name of gentilesse
  be referred to renou{n} {and} clernesse of linage. þan
  is gentil name but a for[e]ine þing. þat is to sein to            2152
  hem þat glorifien hem of hir linage.

    [Sidenote: Nobility is fame derived from the merits of one’s
    ancestors.]

          ¶ For it semeþ
  þat gentilesse be a maner p{re}ysynge þat comeþ of decert
  of auncestres.

    [Sidenote: If praise can give nobility they are noble who are
    praised.]

          ¶ And yif p{re}ysynge makeþ gentilesse
  þan moten þei nedes be gentil þat ben p{re}ysed.                  2156

    [Sidenote: Then if thou hast no nobility of thy own, thou canst
    not derive any splendour from the merits of others.]

  For whiche þing it folweþ. þat yif þou ne haue no gentilesse
  of þi self. þat is to sein pris þ{a}t comeþ of þi deserte
  foreine gentilesse ne makeþ þe nat gentil.

    [Sidenote: If there be any good in nobleness of birth, it consists
    alone in this, that it imposes an obligation upon its possessors
    not to degenerate from the virtues of their ancestors.]

          ¶ But certis
  yif þer be any goode in gentilesse. I trowe it be i{n} al         2160
  oonly þis. þat it semeþ as þat a maner necessitee be imposed
  to gentil men. for þat þei ne sholden nat outraien
  or forliuen fro þe uertues of hire noble kynrede.

    [Linenotes:
    2124 _foule_--fowl
    2125 _whiche_--whych
    2126 _maker_--maker{e}
         _cried[e]_--cryde
    2127 _he_--she
    2128 _sweller_--sweller{e}
    2129 _many[e]_--manye
         _had_--MS. hadde, C. had
         _fals[e]_--false
    2130 _fouler_--fowler{e}
    2131 _þen_--thanne
         _þilk[e]_--thylke
    2133 _or_--of
    2134 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _þilke_--thylke
    2139 _foule þinge_--fowl thing
    2140 _ne_--{and}
         _byforne_--byforn
    2144 _parties_--partye
         _erþe_--Erthes
         _out_--owte
    2145 _out_--owhte
    2148 _ferm_--ferme
    2149 _veyne_--veyn
    2150 _if_--yif
    2154 _comeþ of_--comth of the
    2157 _whiche_--which
    2158 _pris_--preys
         _comeþ_--comth
    2160 _goode_--good
         _in_ (2)--omitted
    2161 _maner_--maner{e}]


OMNE HOMINU{M} GENUS IN TERRIS.

  [Sidenote: [The 6^th Metre.]]

    [Sidenote: All men have the same origin.]

  ++Al þe linage of men þat ben i{n} erþe ben of semblable          2164
  burþe.

    [Sidenote: They have one father and one king, who gave the moon
    her horns, and adorned the sun with his rays.]

          On al one is fadir of þinges. On alone
  minyst[r]eþ alle þinges. ¶ He ȝaf to þe sonne hys
  bemes. he ȝaf to þe moone hir hornes.

    [Sidenote: The same gave the earth to man and adorned the sky with
    stars.]

          he ȝaf þe men to
  þe erþe. he ȝaf þe sterres to þe heuene.

    [Sidenote: He breathed into man the breath of life.]

          ¶ he encloseþ                                             2168
  wiþ membres þe soules þat comen fro hys heye sete.           [[pg 79]]

    [Sidenote: All men spring from this illustrious source.]

  ¶ þanne comen alle mortal folk of noble seed.

    [Sidenote: Why then do they boast of pedigree?]

  whi noysen ȝe or bosten of ȝoure eldris

    [Sidenote: He alone is ignoble who submits to vice and forgets his
    noble origin.]

          ¶ For yif þou
  look[e] ȝoure bygy{n}ny{n}g. and god ȝoure aucto{ur} {and}        2172
  ȝoure makere. þan is þer no forlyued wyȝt but ȝif he
  norisse his corage vnto vices {and} forlete his p{ro}pre
  burþe.

    [Linenotes:
    2166 _hys_--hyse
    2167 _hir_--hyse
    2169 _fro hys_--fram hyse
    2170 _seed_--sede
    2171 _bosten_--MS. voscen, C. bosten
    2172 _look[e]_--loke]


    [Headnote:
    SENSUAL PLEASURES FULL OF ANXIETY.]

QUID AUTEM DE CORPORIBUS.[6]

    [Footnote 6: Read _corporis voluptatibus_.]

  [Sidenote: [The 7^the p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: But what shall I say with respect to sensual pleasures,
    the desire of which is full of anxiety, and the enjoyment of them
    full of repentance?]

  ++But what shal I seie of delices of body. of whic[h]e            2176
  delices þe desiringes ben ful of anguisse. {and} þe
  fulfillinges of he{m} ben ful of penaunce.

    [Sidenote: What diseases and intolerable pains (the merited fruits
    of vice) are these delights wont to bring upon those who enjoy
    them!]

          ¶ How grete
  sekenesse {and} how grete sorwes vnsuffrable ryȝt as a
  manere fruit of wickednesse ben þilke delices wont to             2180
  bryngen to þe bo[d]ies of folk þat vsen hem.

    [Sidenote: I am unable to see what joy is to be found in the
    gratification of them.]

          ¶ Of
  whiche delices I not what ioye may ben had of hir
  moeuyng.

    [Sidenote: The remembrance of criminal indulgence brings with it
    bitter remorse.]

          ¶ But þis woot I wel þat who so euere wil
  remembren hym of hys luxuries. he shal wel vndirstonde.           2184
  þat þe issues of delices ben sorowful {and} sory.

    [Sidenote: If such things make men happy, then may brutes attain
    to felicity, since by their instinct they are urged to satisfy
    their bodily delights.]

  ¶ And yif þilke delices mowen make folk blisful. þan
  by þe same cause moten þise bestes ben clepid blisful.
  ¶ Of whiche bestes al þe entenc{i}ou{n} hasteþ to fulfille        2188
  hire bodyly iolyte.

    [Sidenote: A wife and children do not always bring happiness, for
    some have found tormentors in their own offspring.]

          and þe gladnesse of wijf [{and}]
  children were [an] honest þing. but it haþ ben seid.
  þat it is ouer myche aȝeins kynde þat children han ben
  fou{n}den tormentours to hir fadres I not how many.               2192
  ¶ Of whiche children how bitynge is euery condic{i}ou{n}.
  It nedeþ nat to tellen it þe þat hast or þis tyme assaied
  it. {and} art ȝit now anguysso{us}.

    [Sidenote: I approve of this opinion of Euripides, that he who is
    childless is happy in his misfortune.]

          In þis approue I þe
  sentence of my disciple Euridippus. þat seide þat he              2196
  þat haþ no children is weleful by i{n}fortune.

    [Linenotes:
    2173 _is_--nis
    2176 _delices_--delites
         _body_--bodye
    2177 _anguisse_--Angwyssh
    2178 _grete_--gret
    2179 _sekenesse_--sykenesse
         _grete sorwes_--gret soruwes
    2180 _fruit_--frut
    2182 _had_--MS. hadde, C. had
    2183 _wil_--wole
    2184 _hys_--hyse
    2185 _sorowful_--sorwful
         _sory_--sorye
    2186 _make_--makyn
    2189 [_and_]--from C.
    2190 [_an_]--from C.
         _haþ_--haþe
         _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyd
    2191 _myche_--mochel
    2192 _many_--manye
    2196 _Euridippus_--Eurydyppys; _read_ Euripides
    2197 _haþ_--MS. haþe]


                                                               [[pg 80]]
    [Headnote:
    NO HAPPINESS IN EXTERNAL THINGS.]

HABET HOC UOLUPTAS.

  [Sidenote: [The 7^de Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Pleasure leaves a pain behind it.]

  ++Euery delit haþ þis. þat it anguisseþ hem wiþ prikkes
  þ{a}t vsen it.

    [Sidenote: The bee gives us agreeable honey, but try to hold it,
    and it quickly flies, leaving its sting behind.]

          ¶ It resembliþ to þise flying flyes þat
  we clepen been. þat aftre þat þe bee haþ shed hys agreable        2200
  honies he fleeþ awey {and} styngeþ þe hertes of he{m}
  þat ben ysmyte wiþ bytynge ouer longe holdynge.

    [Linenotes:
    2198 _Euery_--MS. Ouery, C. Every
    2198, 2200 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _shed hys_--shad hyse]


    [Headnote:
    MEN ARE LED ASTRAY BY IGNORANCE.]

NICHIL IGITUR DUBIUM EST.

  [Sidenote: [The 8^the p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: It appears then that happiness is not to be found in
    the above-mentioned external things.]

  ++Now nis it no doute þan þ{a}t þise weyes ne ben a
  maner mysledy{n}g to blisfulnesse. ne þat þei ne                  2204
  mowe nat leden folke þider as þei byheten to lede{n}
  hem.

    [Sidenote: These false ways are perplexed with many evils, as I
    shall presently show thee.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 19.]]

          ¶ But wiþ how grete harmes þise *forseide weyes
  ben enlaced. ¶ I shal shewe þe shortly.

    [Sidenote: Do you want to amass wealth, then you must take it from
    your neighbours.]

          ¶ For whi
  yif þou enforcest þe to assemble moneye. þou most by-reuen        2208
  hym his moneye þat haþ it.

    [Sidenote: Would you shine in dignities, then you must beg for
    them and disgrace yourself by a humiliating supplication.]

          and yif þou wilt
  shynen wiþ dignites. þou most bysechen {and} supplien
  hem þat ȝiue{n} þo dignitees. ¶ And yif þou coueitest
  by hono{ur} to gon by-fore oþer folk þ{o}u shalt defoule þi       2212
  self by hu{m}blesse of axing.

    [Sidenote: If power be your ambition, you expose yourself to the
    snares of inferiors.]

          yif þou desiryst power.
  þou shalt by awaites of þi subgitȝ anoyously be cast
  vndir many p{er}iles.

    [Sidenote: Do you ask for glory, to be distracted by vexations and
    so lose all security.]

          axest þou glorie þ{o}u shalt ben so
  destrat by aspre þinges þat þou shalt forgone sykernesse.         2216

    [Sidenote: Do you prefer a voluptuous life? Think then that all
    men will despise him who is a thrall to his body.]

  ¶ And yif þou wilt leden þi lijf in delices.
  euery whiȝt shal dispisen þe {and} forleten þe as þou þat
  art þral to þing þat is ryȝt foule {and} brutel. þat is [to]
  sein seruau{n}t to þi body.

    [Sidenote: They build upon a weak foundation that place bodily
    delights above their own reason.]

          ¶ Now is it þan wel yseen                                 2220
  how lytel {and} how brutel possessiou{n} þei coueiten þat
  putten þe goodes of þe body abouen hire owe{n} resou{n}.

    [Sidenote: Can you surpass the elephant in bulk, or the bull in
    strength?]

  ¶ For mayst þou so{ur}mou{n}te{n} þise olifuñtȝ in gretnesse
  or weyȝt of body. Or mayst þou ben strenger þan þe                2224
  bole.

    [Sidenote: Art thou swifter than the tiger?]

          Mayst þou ben swifter þan þe tigre.

    [Sidenote: Behold the immense extent of the heavens and cease to
    admire vile or lesser things.]

          biholde þe
  spaces {and} þe stablenesse {and} þe swyfte cours of þe      [[pg 81]]
  heuene. {and} stynte somtyme to wondren on foule
  þinges.

    [Sidenote: Admire what is still more admirable, the consummate
    wisdom that governs them.]

          þe whiche heuene certys nis nat raþer for þise            2228
  þinges to ben wondred vpon. þan for þe resou{n} by
  whiche it is gouerned.

    [Sidenote: How fleeting is beauty!]

          but þe shynynge of þi forme þat
  is to seien þe beaute of þi body. how swiftly passyng is
  it {and} how transitorie.

    [Sidenote: It fades sooner than the vernal flowers.]

          ¶ Certis it is more flittynge                             2232
  þan þe mutabilite of floures of þe som{er} sesou{n}.

    [Sidenote: For, as Aristotle says, if a man were lynx-eyed and
    could look into the entrails of Alcibiades (so fair outwardly) he
    would find all foul and loathsome.]

          For so
  as aristotil telleþ þat yif þat men hadden eyen of a
  beest þat hiȝt lynx. so þat þe lokyng of folk myȝt[e]
  percen þoruȝ þe þinges þ{a}t wiþstonden it. who so lokid          2236
  þan in þe entrailes of þe body of alcibiades þat was
  ful fayr in þe sup{er}fice wiþ oute. it shulde seme ryȝt
  foule.

    [Sidenote: Thy nature does not make thee seem beautiful, but the
    imperfect view of thy admirers.]

          {and} for þi yif þou semest faire. þi nature ne
  makiþ nat þat. but þe desceiuau{n}ce of þe fieblesse of þe        2240
  eyen þat loken.

    [Sidenote: Prize bodily perfections as much as you will, yet a
    three days’ fever will destroy them.]

          ¶ But p{re}ise þe goodes of þi body as
  moche as euer þe list. so þat þou know[e] algates þat
  what so it be. þat is to seyn of þe goodes of þi body
  whiche þat þ{o}u wondrest vpon may ben destroied or               2244
  dessolued by þe hete of a feuere of þre dayes. ¶ Of
  alle whiche forseide þinges I may reduce{n} þis shortly in
  a so{m}me.

    [Sidenote: Worldly goods do not give what they promise, do not
    comprise every good, are not the paths to felicity, nor can of
    themselves make any one happy.]

          ¶ þat þise worldly goodes whiche þat ne
  mowen nat ȝiuen þat þei byheten. ne ben nat p{er}fit by           2248
  þe congregac{i}ou{n} of alle goodes. þat þei ne ben nat
  weyes ne paþes þat bryngen men to blysfulnesse ne
  maken men to ben blysful.

    [Linenotes:
    2203 _nis_--is
    2204 _mysledyng_--mysledynges
    2205 _folke_--folk
    2208 _enforcest_--MS. enforced, C. enforcest
    2209 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _wilt_--wolt
    2211 _ȝiuen_--yeuen
    2212 _gon_--MS. gone, C. gon
         _by-fore_--byforn
         _shalt_--shal
    2213 _by_--thorw
    2214 _by_--be
         _be_--ben
    2216 _destrat_--MS. destralle, C. destrat
         _forgone_--forgoon
    2217 _wilt_--wolt
    2218 _whiȝt_--wyht
    2219 _foule_--fowl
         [_to_]--from C.
    2220 _yseen_--seen
    2221 _brutel_--brotel
    2222 _owen_--owne
    2224 _weyȝt_--weyhty
         _strenger_--strenger{e}
    2225 _swifter_--swyfter{e}
         _biholde_--by-hold
    2227 _stynte_--stynt
    2228 _whiche_--whych
    2230 _whiche_--wych
    2231 _seien_--seyn
    2234 _as_--omitted
    2235 _hiȝt_--hyhte
         _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    2237 _alcibiades_--MS. alcidiades
    2238 _fayr_--fayr{e}
         _þe_--omitted
         _shulde_--sholde
    2239 _foule_--fowl
         _faire_--fayr
         _ne_--omitted
    2240 _desceiuaunce of þe fieblesse_--deceyuable or the feblesse
    2242 _moche_--mochel
         _know[e]_--knowe
    2243 _þe_--omitted
         _þi body whiche_--the body whych
    2247 _a_--omitted]


    [Headnote:
    MEN PURSUE FALSE JOYS.]

HEU Q{UE} MISEROS TRAMITE.

  [Sidenote: [The 8^the Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Alas! how through folly and ignorance do men stray from
    the path of true happiness!]

  ++Allas whiche folie {and} whiche ignorau{n}ce myslediþ           2252
  wandryng wrecches fro þe paþe of verrey good.

    [Sidenote: Ye do not seek gold upon trees nor diamonds from the
    vine.]

  ¶ Certis ȝe ne seken no golde in grene trees. ne ȝe ne
  gadren [nat] p{re}cious stones in þe vines.                  [[pg 82]]

    [Sidenote: Ye lay not your nets to catch fish upon the lofty
    hills.]

          ne ȝe ne
  hiden nat ȝoure gynnes in heyȝe mou{n}taignes to kachen           2256
  fisshe of whiche ȝe may maken ryche festes.

    [Sidenote: The hunter goes not to the Tyrrhene waters to hunt the
    roe.]

          and yif
  ȝow lykeþ to hunte to roos. ȝe ne gon nat to þe foordes
  of þe water þat hyȝt tyrene.

    [Sidenote: Men know where to look for white pearls, and for the
    fish that yields the purple dye.]

          {and} ouer þis men knowen
  wel þe crikes {and} þe cau{er}nes of þe see yhidd in þe           2260
  floodes. {and} knowen eke whiche water is most plentiuo{us}
  of white perles. {and} knowen whiche water habundeþ
  most of rede purpre. þat is to seyen of a maner shelfisshe
  w{i}t{h} whiche men dien purpre.

    [Sidenote: They know where the most delicate of the finny race
    abound and where the fierce sea-urchin is to be found.]

          {and} knowen                                              2264
  whiche strondes habounden most of tendre fisshes or
  of sharpe fisshes þat hyȝten echynnys.

    [Sidenote: But where the Sovereign Good abides blinded mortals
    never know, but plunge into the earth below to look for that which
    has its dwelling in the heavens.]

          but folk suffren
  hem self to ben so blynde þat hem ne recchiþ nat to
  knowe where þilk[e] goodes ben yhidd whiche þat þei               2268
  coueiten but ploungen hem in erþe {and} seken þere
  þilke goode þ{a}t so{ur}mou{n}teþ þe heuene þat bereþ þe
  sterres.

    [Sidenote: What doom do the silly race deserve?]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 19 _b_.]]

          ¶ what *p{re}yere may I make þat be digne to
  þe nice þouȝtis of men.

    [Sidenote: May they pursue such false joys, and having obtained
    them, too late find out the value of the true.]

          but I p{re}ye þat þei coueite{n}                          2272
  rycches {and} hono{ur}s so þat whan þei han geten þo
  false goodes wiþ greet trauayle þat þerby þei mowe
  knowen þe verray goodes.

    [Linenotes:
    2252 _whiche_ (_both_)--whych
    2253 _paþe_--paath
         _good_--goode
    2254 _golde_--gold]


    [Headnote:
    THE INSUFFICIENCY OF WORLDLY BLISS.]

HACTENUS MENDACIS FORMA{M}.

  [Sidenote: [The 9^ne p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _P._ I have been describing the form of counterfeit
    happiness, and if you have considered it attentively I shall
    proceed to give you a perfect view of the true.]

  ++IT suffisiþ þat I haue shewed hider to þe forme of              2276
  false wilfulnesse. so þat yif þou look[e] now clerely
  þe ordre of myn entenc{i}ou{n} requeriþ from hennes forþe
  to shewe{n} þe verray wilfulnesse.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I now see that there is no sufficiency in riches,
    no power in royalty, no esteem in dignities, nor nobility in
    renown, nor joy in carnal pleasures.]

          ¶ For q{uod} .I. (b) [I.]
  se wel now þat suffisau{n}ce may nat comen by richesse. ne        2280
  power by realmes. ne reuere{n}ce by dignitees. ne gentilesse
  by glorie. ne ioye by delices. and (p) hast þou wel
  knowen q{uo}d she þe cause whi it is. Certis me semeþ
  q{uod} .I. þat .I. se hem ryȝt as þouȝ
                  it were þoruȝ a litel                        [[pg 83]]
  clifte.

    [Sidenote: I have a glimpse of the cause of all this, but I should
    like a more distinct view.]

          but me were leuer knowen hem more openly of               2285
  þe. Certys q{uod} she þe resou{n} is al redy

    [Sidenote: _P._ The cause is obvious--for that which is by nature
    one and indivisible human ignorance separates and divides, and
    reverses the true order of things.]

          ¶ For
  þilk þing þat symply is on þing wiþ outen ony
  diuisiou{n}. þe errour {and} folie of mankynde departeþ           2288
  {and} diuidiþ it. {and} mislediþ it {and} t{ra}nsporteþ from
  verray {and} p{er}fit goode. to goodes þat ben false {and}
  inp{er}fit.

    [Sidenote: Does that state which needs nothing stand in need of
    power?]

          ¶ But seye me þis. wenest þou þat he þat haþ
  nede of power þat hy{m} ne lakkeþ no þing.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I should say no. _P._ Right! That which wants
    power needs external aid.]

          Nay q{uo}d                                                2292
  .I ¶ Certis q{uo}d she þou seist aryȝt. For yif so be
  þ{a}t þer is a þing þat in any p{ar}tie be fieble of power.

    [Sidenote: _B._ That is true! _P._ Sufficiency and power therefore
    are of one nature. _B._ It seems so indeed.]

  Certis as in þat it most[e] nedes be nedy of foreine
  helpe. ¶ Riȝt so it is q{uo}d .I. Suffisaunce and power           2296
  ben þan of on kynde ¶ So semeþ it q{uod} I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Are power and sufficiency to be despised? Are they
    not rather worthy of universal respect?]

          ¶ And
  demyst þou q{uo}d she þat a þing þat is of þis manere.
  þat is to seine suffisau{n}t {and} myȝty auȝt[e] to ben dispised.
  or ellys þ{a}t it be ryȝt digne of reuerences abouen              2300
  alle þinges.

    [Sidenote: _B._ They are doubtless highly estimable. _P._ Add
    respect to sufficiency and power, and consider all three as one
    and the same thing.]

          ¶ Certys q{uo}d I it nys no doute þat it
  nis ryȝt worþi to ben reuerenced. ¶ Lat vs q{uo}d she þan
  adden reuerence to suffisaunce {and} to power ¶ So þat
  we demen þat þise þre þinges ben alle o þing.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I see no objection to that view.]

          ¶ Certis                                                  2304
  q{uo}d I lat vs adden it. yif we willen graunten þe soþe.

    [Sidenote: _P._ But can that be obscure and ignoble which
    possesses three such attributes? is it not noble and worthy of a
    shining reputation?]

  what demest þou þan q{uo}d she is þat a dirke þing {and}
  nat noble þat is suffisau{n}t reu{er}ent {and} myȝty. or ellys
  þat is ryȝt clere {and} ryȝt noble of celebrete of renou{n}.      2308

    [Linenotes:
    2256 _heyȝe_--the hyye
         _kachen_--kachche
    2257 _fisshe_--fyssh
    2258 _hunte_--honte
         _roos_--Rooes
    2259 _hyȝt_--hyhte
    2260 _crikes_--brykes
         _yhidd_--MS. yhidde, C. I-hyd
    2261, 2262 _whiche_--whych
    2263 _shelfisshe_--shelle fysh
    2264, 2265 _whiche_--whych
    2264 _dien_--deyen
    2265 _of_--w{i}t{h}
    2266 _echynnys_--MS. ethynnys, C. Echynnys
    2268 _yhidd_--MS. yhidde, C. I-hydd
    2270 _goode_--good
    2271 _make_--maken
    2273 _rycches_--Rychesse
    2277 _wilfulnesse_--welefulnesse
         _look[e]_--loke
         _clerely_--clerly
    2279 _wilfulnesse_--welefulnesse
         _For_--For-sothe
         [_I._]--from C.
    2280 _richesse_--Rychesses
    2281 _realmes_--Reames
    2287 _þilk_--thylke
         _on_--o
    2290 _goode_--good
    2291 _seye_--sey
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2294 _fieble_--febler{e}
    2295 _most[e]_--mot
    2296 _helpe_--help
    2297 _on_--o
    2298 _demyst þou_--demesthow
    2299 _seine_--seyn
         _auȝt[e]_--owhte
    2300 _reuerences_--Reu{er}ence
    2302 _nis ryȝt_--is ryht
    2304 _alle_--al
    2305 _willen_--wolen
    2306 _dirke_--dyrk
    2308 _clere_--cler
         _of celebrete_--by celebryte]

    [Headnote:
    THE UNITY OF TRUE FELICITY.]

    [Sidenote: He who is most powerful and worthy of renown--if he
    lack fame which he cannot give to himself, must (by this defect)
    seem in some measure more weak and abject.]

  ¶ Considere þan q{uo}d she as we han grau{n}tid her byforne.
  þat he þat ne haþ ne[de] of no þing {and} is most
  myȝty {and} most digne of hono{ur} yif hym nediþ any
  clernesse of renou{n} whiche clernesse he myȝt[e] nat             2312
  graunten of hym self. ¶ So þat for lakke of þilke
  clerenesse he myȝt[e] seme febler on any syde or þe
  more outcaste. _Glosa._ þis is to seyne nay.                 [[pg 84]]

    [Sidenote: He that is sufficiently mighty and esteemed will have
    necessarily an illustrious name.]

          ¶ For who
  so þat is suffisau{n}t myȝty {and} reuerent. clernesse of         2316
  renou{n} folweþ of þe forseide þinges. he haþ it alredy of
  hys suffisaunce.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I cannot deny it, for reputation seems inseparable
    from the advantages you have just mentioned.]

          boice. I may nat q{uo}d I denye it.
  ¶ But I mot graunten as it is. þat þis þing be ryȝt
  celebrable by clernesse of renou{n} {and} noblesse.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Therefore Renown differs in no wise from the three
    above-mentioned attributes.]

          ¶ þan                                                     2320
  folweþ it q{uo}d she þat we adden clernesse of renou{n} to
  þe þre forseide þinges. so þat þer ne be amonges hem
  no difference. {and} þis is a consequente q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: And if any one then stands in need of no external aid,
    can have all he wants, and is illustrious and respected--is not
    his condition very agreeable and pleasant?]

  þis þing þan q{uo}d she þat ne haþ no nede of no foreine          2324
  þing. {and} þat may don alle þinges by his strengþes.
  {and} þat is noble {and} hono{ur}able. nis nat þat a myrie
  þing {and} a ioyful.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I cannot conceive how such a one can have grief or
    trouble.]

          _boice._ but wenest q{uo}d I þ{a}t any
  sorow myȝt[e] comen to þis þing þat is swiche. ¶ Certys           2328
  I may nat þinke.

    [Sidenote: _P._ It must then be a state of happiness; and we may
    also affirm that sufficiency, power, nobility, differ only in
    name, but not in substance.]

          _P._ ¶ þanne moten we graunt[e] q{uod}
  she þat þis þing be ful of gladnesse yif þe þorseide þinges
  be soþe. ¶ And also certys mote we graunten. þat
  suffisaunce power noblesse reuerence {and} gladnesse ben          2332
  only dyuerse bynames. but hir substaunce haþ no
  diu{er}site.

    [Sidenote: _B._ It is a necessary consequence.]

          _Boice._ It mot nedely be so q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ The depravity of mankind then divides that which
    is essentially indivisible; and, seeking for a part of that which
    has no parts, they miss the entire thing which they so much
    desire.]

          _P._ þilke
  þinge þan q{uo}d she þat is oon {and} simple i{n} his nature.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 20.]]

  þe wikkednesse of men departiþ it *diuidiþ it. {and}              2336
  whan þei enforcen hem to gete p{ar}tie of a þing þat ne
  haþ no part. þei ne geten hem neiþer þilk[e] p{ar}tie þat
  nis none. ne þe þing al hole þat þei ne desire nat.

    [Sidenote: _B._ How is that?]

  _.b._ In whiche manere q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ He that seeks riches in order to avoid poverty, is
    not solicitous about power; he prefers meanness and obscurity, and
    denies himself many natural pleasures that he may not lessen his
    heaps of pelf.]

          _p._ þilke man q{uo}d she þat                             2340
  sekeþ rychesse to fleen pouerte. he ne trauayleþ hym
  nat to for to gete power for he haþ leuer ben dirk {and}
  vile. {and} eke wiþdraweþ from hym selfe many naturel
  delitȝ for he nolde lesen þe moneye þat he haþ assembled.         2344

    [Sidenote: He who lacks power, is pricked with trouble, and
    rendered an outcast and obscure by his sordid ways, does not
    possess sufficiency.]

  but certis in þis manere he ne getiþ hym nat                 [[pg 85]]
  suffisaunce þat power forletiþ. {and} þat moleste p{re}keþ.
  {and} þat filþe makeþ outcaste. {and} þat derknesse hideþ.

    [Sidenote: He who only aims at power squanders his riches, and
    despises delights and honours unaccompanied by power.]

  and certis he þ{a}t desireþ only power he wastiþ {and}            2348
  scatriþ rychesse {and} dispiseþ delices {and} eke hono{ur}
  þat is wiþ out power. ne he ne p{re}iseþ glorie no þing.

    [Linenotes:
    2310 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2312 _whiche_--whych
         _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    2314 _clerenesse_--clernesse
         _myȝt[e]_--myhte
         _febler_--the febeler{e}
    2315 _seyne_--seyn
    2317 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2324 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2325 _his_--hyse
    2326 _myrie_--mery
    2327 _wenest_--whennes
    2328 _sorow myȝt[e]_--sorwe myhte
    2329 _graunt[e]_--grau{n}te
    2331 _be_--ben
         _also certys_--certes also
    2333 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2334 _nedely_--nedly
    2335 _þinge_--thing
    2337 _gete_--geten
    2338 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _þilk[e]_--thilke
    2339 _none_--non
         _hole_--hool
    2340 _whiche_--whych
    2341 _rychesse_--Rychesses
         _fleen_--MS. sleen, C. flen
    2342 _leuer_--leu{er}
    2343 _vile_--vyl
         _selfe_--self
    2344 _delitȝ_--delices
         _lesen_--lese
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2346 _prekeþ_--prykketh
    2347 _derknesse_--dyrknesse
    2349 _scatriþ_--schatereth
         _delices_--delycȝ
    2350 _wiþ out_--w{i}t{h} owte]

    [Headnote:
    OF FALSE FELICITY.]

  ¶ Certys þus seest þou wel þat many þi{n}g{us} failen to
  hym. for he haþ somtyme faute of many necessites.                 2352

    [Sidenote: Such a one must be subject to many anxieties.]

  {and} many anguysses biten hym

    [Sidenote: And when he cannot get rid of these evils he ceases to
    have what he most desired--power.]

          ¶ {and} whan he may
  nat don þo defautes awey. he forleteþ to ben myȝty.
  {and} þat is þe þing þat he most desireþ.

    [Sidenote: In the same way honour, glory, and pleasure, are all
    inseparable; he that seeks one without the other will fail to
    obtain his desires.]

          {and} ryȝt þus
  may I make semblable resou{n}s of hono{ur}s {and} of glorie       2356
  {and} of delices. ¶ For so as euery of þise forseide
  þinges is þe same þat þise oþer þinges ben. þat is to
  sein. al oon þing. who so þat euer sekeþ to geten þat
  oon of þise {and} nat þat oþer. he ne geteþ nat þat he            2360
  desireþ.

    [Sidenote: _B._ What then if a man should desire to gain them all
    at once?]

          _Boice._ ¶ what seist þou þan yif þat a man
  coueiteþ to geten alle þise þinges to gider.

    [Sidenote: _P._ He would then indeed desire perfect felicity--but
    can he ever expect to find it in the acquisitions above mentioned,
    which do not perform what they promise?]

          _P._ Certys
  q{uo}d she .I. wolde seie þat he wolde geten hym souereyne
  blisfulnes. but þat shal he nat fynde in þo þinges                2364
  þat .I. haue shewed þat ne mowe nat ȝeuen þat þei by-heten.

    [Sidenote: _B._ No, surely!]

  _boice._ Certys no q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Then happiness is not to be sought in these things
    which are falsely supposed capable of satisfying our desires?]

          ¶ þan q{uod} she ne
  sholden men nat by no weye seken blysfulnesse in
  swiche þinges as men wenen þat þei ne mowe                        2368
  ȝeuen but o þing senglely of alle þ{a}t me{n} seken.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I confess it, and nothing can be more truly
    affirmed than this.]

  I graunt[e] wel q{uo}d .I. ne no soþer þing ne may nat
  ben said.

    [Sidenote: Turn your mind’s eye upon the reverse of all this
    _false felicity_ and you will perceive _the true happiness_.]

          _P._ ¶ Now hast þou þan q{uo}d she þe forme
  {and} þe causes of false welefulnesse. ¶ Now turne {and}          2372
  flitte þe eyen of þi þouȝt. for þere shalt þou seen an oon
  þilk verray blysfulnesse þ{a}t I haue byhyȝt þee.

    [Sidenote: _B._ It is very clear, and I had a complete view of it
    when you explained to me the causes of its counterfeit.]

  _b._ Certys q{uo}d .I. it is cler {and} opyn. þouȝ þat it were to
  a blynde man. {and} þat shewedest þou me [ful wel] a              2376
  lytel her byforne. whan þou enforcedest þe to shewe me       [[pg 86]]
  þe causes of þe false blysfulnesse

    [Sidenote: True felicity consists in a state of sufficiency, of
    power, and honour--as well as of a shining reputation and every
    desirable pleasure: and I must confess that true felicity is that
    which is bestowed by these advantages, as they are in reality all
    one and the same.]

          ¶ For but yif I be by-giled.
  þan is þilke þe verray p{er}fit blisfulnesse þat p{er}fitly
  makiþ a man suffisau{n}t. myȝty. hono{ur}able noble.              2380
  {and} ful of gladnesse. {and} for þou shalt wel knowe þat I
  haue wel vndirstonden þise þinges wiþ i{n}ne myne herte.
  I knowe wel þilke blisfulnesse þat may verrayly ȝeuen
  on of þe forseide þinges syn þei ben al oon .I. knowe             2384
  douteles þat þilke þing is þe fulle of blysfulnesse.

    [Sidenote: _P._ O my nursling, how happy are you in this
    conviction, provided you add but one limitation.]

  _P._ O my nurry q{uod} she by þis oppiniou{n} q{uo}d she I
  sey[e] þat þou art blisful yif þou putte þis þer to þat I
  shal seine.

    [Sidenote: _B._ What is that?]

          what is þat q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Thinkest thou that any thing in this world can
    confer this happiness? (the sovereign good).]

          ¶ Trowest þou þat                                         2388
  þer be any þing in þis erþely mortal toumblyng þinges
  þat may bryngen þis estat.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I think not; for nothing can be desirable beyond
    such a state of perfection.]

          Certys q{uo}d I trowe it nat.
  {and} þou hast shewed me wel þat ouer þilke goode þer
  is no þing more to ben desired.

    [Sidenote: _P._ These imperfect things above mentioned only confer
    the shadow of the supreme good, or at most only an imperfect
    felicity, but they cannot bestow true and perfect happiness.]

          _P._ þise þinges þan                                      2392
  q{uo}d she. þat is to seyne erþely suffisaunce {and} power.
  {and} swiche þinges eyþer þei semen likenesse of verray
  goode. or ellys it semeþ þat þei ȝeuen to mortal folk a
  maner of goodes þat ne ben nat perfit. ¶ But þilke                2396
  goode þat is verray {and} p{er}fit. þat may þei nat ȝeuen.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I quite agree with you.]

  _boice._ I. accorde me wel q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Then, knowing the difference between true and
    false felicity you must now learn where to look for this supreme
    felicity.]

          þan q{uo}d she for as
  moche as þou hast knowen whiche is þilke verray blisfulnesse.
  {and} eke whiche þilke þinges ben þat lien                        2400
  falsly blisfulnesse. þat is to seyne. þat by desceit
  seme{n} verray goodes.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 20 _b_.]]

          ¶ Now byhoueþ þe to knowe{n}
  *whennes {and} where þou mowe seek[e] þilke verray
  blisfulnesse. ¶ Certys q{uo}d I þat desijr I gretly {and}         2404
  haue abiden longe tyme to herkene it.

    [Sidenote: _P._ But, as Plato says that even in the least things
    the Divine assistance ought to be implored, what ought we do, to
    render us worthy of so important a discovery as the true source
    and seat of the sovereign good?]

          ¶ But for as
  moche q{uo}d she as it likeþ to my disciple plato in his
  book of i{n} thimeo. þat in ryȝt lytel þinges men sholde
  bysechen þe helpe of god. ¶ what iugest þou þat be                2408
  [now] to done so þat we may deserue to fynde þe sete of      [[pg 87]]
  þilke souereyne goode.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Let us invoke the Father of all things.]

          _B._ ¶ Certys q{uo}d .I. I. deme
  þat we shulle clepen to þe fadir of alle goodes. ¶ For
  wiþ outen hym nis þer no þing founden aryȝt.

    [Sidenote: You are right, said Philosophy, and thus she sang:--]

          þou seist                                                 2412
  a-ryȝt q{uo}d she. and bygan on-one to syngen ryȝt þus.

    [Linenotes:
    2351 _many_--manye
    2352 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _faute_--defaute
    2353 _may_--ne may
    2354 _don_--MS. done, C. don
    2356 _make_--maken
    2357 _forseide_--MS. sorseide
    2363 _souereyne_--sou{er}eyn
    2365 _mowe_--mowen
    2368 _wenen_--wene
         _mowe_--mowen
    2370 _graunt[e]_--grau{n}te
         _soþer_--sother{e}
    2371 _said_--MS. saide, C. sayd
    2376 [_ful wel_]--from C.
    2377 _byforne_--by-forn
    2378 _blysfulnesse_--MS. blyndenesse, C. blysfulnesse
    2385 _of_--omitted
    2386 _nurry_--norye
    2387 _sey[e]_--seye
    2388 _seine_--seyn
    2389 _þis_--thise
    2390 _nat_--nawht
    2393 _seyne_--sey
    2395 _ȝeuen_--yeue
    2397 _goode_--good
    2399 _whiche_--which
    2401 _seyne_--seyn
    2402 _knowen_--knowe
    2403 _seek[e]_--seke
    2405 _herkene_--herknen
    2407 _sholde_--sholden
    2408 _bysechen_--by-shechen
         _helpe_--help
    2409 [_now_]--from C.
    2410 _souereyne goode_--verray good
    2411 _shulle_--shollen
         _to_--omitted
    2413 _on-one_--anon]


    [Headnote:
    IN SEEKING SUPREME FELICITY THE DIVINE AID IS TO BE INVOKED.]

O QUI PERPETUA.

  [Sidenote: [The 9^ne Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: O Father and Maker of heaven and earth, by whose
    eternal reason the world is governed, and by whose supreme command
    Time flows from the birth of ages, Thou, firm and unchanged
    thyself, makest all things else to move!]

  ++O þou fadir creatour of heuene {and} of erþes þat
  gouernest þis worlde by p{er}durable resou{n} þat comaundist
  þe tymes for to gon from tyme þat age had[de]                     2416
  bygy{n}ny{n}g. þou þat dwellest þi self ay stedfast {and}
  stable {and} ȝiuest alle oþer þinges to ben moeued.

    [Sidenote: Thy sovereign will to floating matter gave its various
    forms, impelled by no exterior causes, but by the Idea of the Best
    in thy great mind conceived void of malice.]

  ne forein causes necesseden þe neuer to co{m}poune werke
  of floterynge mater. but only þe forme of souereyne               2420
  goode y-set wiþ i{n}ne [þe] wiþ outen envie þat moeued[e]
  þe frely.

    [Sidenote: Fairest thyself bearing the world’s figure in thy
    thought, thou didst create the world after that prototype, and
    dost draw all things from the image of the fair Supreme, and dost
    command that this world should have perfect parts.]

          þou þat art alþerfairest beryng þe faire worlde
  in þi þouȝt. formedest þis worlde to þe likkenesse
  semblable of þat faire worlde in þi þouȝt. þou drawest            2424
  alle þinges of þi souereyne ensampler. {and} comaundedist
  þat þis worlde p{er}fitlyche ymaked haue frely {and}
  absolut hyse p{er}fit parties.

    [Sidenote: By harmonious measures thou dost bind fast the
    elements, so that there is no discordance between things cold and
    hot, or between the moist and the dry.]

          ¶ þou byndest þe elementȝ
  by noumbres p{ro}porcionables. þat þe colde þinges                2428
  mowen accorde wiþ þe hote þinges. {and} þe drye þi{n}ges
  wiþ þe moyst þinges.

    [Sidenote: That the fire may not fly too high, and that weight may
    not press the earth and water lower than they are now placed,]

          þat þe fire þat is purest ne fleye
  nat ouer heye. ne þat þe heuynesse ne drawe nat adou{n}
  ouer lowe þe erþes þat ben plounged in þe watres.                 2432

    [Linenotes:
    2415 _worlde_--world
    2416 _from----age_--from syn þ{a}t age
         _had[de]_--hadde
    2417 _stedfast_--stedefast
    2418 _oþer_--oothre
    2419 _forein_--foreyne
         _werke_--werk
    2420 _souereyne goode_--sou{er}eyn good
    2421 _y-set_--MS. y-sette, C. Iset
         _wiþ inne_--w{i}t{h} in
         [_þe_]--the
         _wiþ outen_--w{i}t{h} owte
         _moeued[e]_--moeuede
    2422 _alþerfairest_--alderfayrest
    2422-24-26 _worlde_--world
    2423 _likkenesse_--lyknesse
    2426 _and absolut_--C. omits
    2427 _hyse_--hys
    2430 _fire_--fyr
         _fleye_--fle
    2431 _drawe_--drawen]

    [Headnote:
    GOD IS THE FOUNTAIN OF FELICITY.]

    [Sidenote: thou didst join the Middle Soul (of a threefold nature)
    moving all things, and then by agreeing numbers didst resolve it.]

  ¶ þou knyttest to-gidre þe mene soule of treble kynde
  moeuyng alle þinges. {and} diuidest it by membres accordynge.

    [Sidenote: When that is done, cut into two orbs, it moves about
    returning to itself, and then encompassing the profound mind doth
    by that fair idea turn the heaven.]

  ¶ And whan it is þus diuided it haþ assembled
  a moeuyng in two roundes. ¶ It goþ to to{ur}ne                    2436
  aȝein to hym owen self. {and} environeþ a fulle deep         [[pg 88]]
  þouȝt. {and} to{ur}niþ þe heuene by semblable ymage.

    [Sidenote: Thou by such causes dost raise all souls and lesser
    lives, and adaptest them to their light vehicles.]

  þou by eue{n}lyk causes enhau{n}sest þe soules {and} þe lasse
  liues {and} ablynge hem heye by lyȝt[e] cartes.                   2440

    [Sidenote: Thou sowest them in heaven and earth, and they return
    to thee by thy kind law like a recoiling flame.]

  þou sewest hem in to heuene {and} in to erþe. {and} whan þei
  ben conuertid to þe by þi benigne lawe. ¶ þou makest
  hem retorne aȝeine to þe by aȝein ledyng fijr.

    [Sidenote: O Father, elevate our souls and let them behold thy
    august throne.]

          ¶ O
  fadir yif þou to þi þouȝt to stien vp in to þi streite sete.      2444
  {and} graunte [hym] to enviroune þe welle of good.

    [Sidenote: Let them behold the fountain of all good. Dispel the
    mists of sense, remove the weights of earth-born cares, and in thy
    splendour shine (in our minds).]

  {and} þe lyȝte yfounde graunte hym to ficchen þe clere syȝtes
  of hys corage in þe. ¶ And scatre þou {and} to-breke
  [thow] þe weyȝtes {and} þe cloudes of erþely heuynesse.           2448
  {and} shyne þou by þi bryȝtnes.

    [Sidenote: For thou art ever clear, and to the good art peace and
    rest. He who looks on thee beholds beginning, support, guide, path
    and goal, combined!]

          for þou art clernesse þou
  art peisible to debonaire folke. ¶ þou þi self art bygy{n}ny{n}ge.
  berere. ledere. paþ {and} t{er}me to loke on þe
  [þat] is oure ende. _Glose._                                      2452

    [Linenotes:
    2435 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2436 _goþ_--MS. goþe
    2437 _owen_--C. omits
    2438 _tourniþ_--MS. to{ur}niþe
    2439 _euenlyk_--euene lyke
    2440 _lyȝt[e]_--lyhte
    2442 _benigne_--bygynnynge
    2444 _yif_--yiue
         _þi streite_--the streyte
    2445 [_hym_]--from C.
    2446 _lyȝte_--lyht
    2448 [_thow_]--from C.
    2449 _bryȝtnes_--bryhtnesse
    2451 _paþ_--MS. paþe; paath
    2452 [_þat_]--that]


    [Headnote:
    GOD THE SUPREME GOOD.]

QUONIAM IGITUR QUI SCIT.[7]

    [Footnote 7: Read que sit.]

  [Sidenote: [The 10^the p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: Now that thou hast had a faithful representation of
    future felicity as well as of the true happiness, I shall show
    thee in what the Perfection of Happiness consists.]

  ++FOr as moche þan as þou hast seyn. whiche is þe
  forme of goode þat nys nat p{er}fit. {and} whiche is þe
  forme of goode þat is p{er}fit. now trowe I þat it were
  goode to shewe in what þis p{er}fecc{i}ou{n} of blisfulnesse is   2456
  set.

    [Sidenote: Our best plan will be to inquire whether there be in
    nature such a good as thou hast lately defined, lest we be
    deceived by the vanity of Imagination and be carried beyond the
    truth of the matter subjected to our inquiry.]

          {and} in þis þing I trowe þat we sholden first enquere
  forto witen yif þat any swiche manere goode as þilke
  goode þat þou hast diffinissed a lytel her byforne. þat
  is to seine souereyne goode may be founden in þe nature           2460
  of þinges. For þat veyne ymaginac{i}ou{n} of þouȝt ne
  desceiue vs nat. {and} putte vs oute of þe soþefastnesse
  of þilke þinge þat is su{m}myttid to vs. þis is to seyne.
  but it may nat ben denoyed þat þilke goode ne is.                 2464
  ¶ and þat it nis ryȝt as a welle of alle goodes.

    [Sidenote: The sovereign good does exist, and is the source of all
    other good.]

          ¶ For
  al þing þat is cleped i{n}p{er}fit.
                  is proued i{n}p{er}fit by þe                 [[pg 89]]
  amenusynge of p{er}fecc{i}ou{n}. or of þing þat is p{er}fit.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 21.]]

    [Sidenote: When we say that a thing is _imperfect_ we assert that
    there is something else of its kind _perfect_.]

  {and} her of comeþ it. þat in euery þing general. yif þat.        2468
  þat men seen any þing þat is i{n}p{er}fit *certys in þilke general
  þer mot ben so{m}me þing þat is p{er}fit. ¶ For yif so
  be þat p{er}fecc{i}ou{n} is don awey. men may nat þinke
  nor seye fro whe{n}nes þilke þing is þat is cleped inperfit.      2472

    [Sidenote: Nature takes not her origin from things diminished and
    imperfect; but, proceeding from an entire and absolute substance,
    descends into the remotest and most fruitless things.]

  ¶ For þe nature of þinges ne token nat her bygynnyng
  of þinges amenused {and} i{n}p{er}fit. but it p{ro}cediþ of
  þi{n}g{us} þat ben al hool. {and} absolut. {and} descendeþ so
  doune in to outerest þinges {and} in to þi{n}g{us} empty {and}    2476
  wiþ oute fruyt.

    [Sidenote: If there be an imperfect and fading felicity there must
    also be one stable and perfect.]

          but as I haue shewed a litel her byforne.
  þat yif þer be a blisfulnesse þat be frele {and} vein {and}
  inp{er}fit. þer may no man doute. þat þer nys som blisfulnesse
  þat is sad stedfast {and} p{er}fit. b. þis is concludid           2480
  q{uo}d I fermely {and} soþefastly.

    [Sidenote: But now consider wherein this felicity resides. That
    God is the governor of all things is proved by the universal
    opinion of all men.]

          _P._ But co{n}sidere
  also q{uo}d she in wham þis blisfulnesse enhabiteþ. þe
  co{m}mune acordaunce {and} conceite of þe corages of men
  p{ro}ueþ {and} graunteþ þat god p{r}ince of alle þi{n}g{us} is    2484
  good.

    [Sidenote: For since nothing may be conceived better than God,
    then He who has no equal in goodness must be good.]

          ¶ For so as no þing ne may ben þouȝt bettre þan
  god. it may nat ben douted þan þat [he þ{a}t] no þing is
  bettre. þat he nys good.

    [Sidenote: Reason clearly demonstrates (1) that God is good, and
    (2) that the sovereign good exists in him.]

          ¶ Certys resou{n} sheweþ þat
  god is so goode þat it p{ro}ueþ by verray force þat p{er}fit      2488
  goode is in hym.

    [Sidenote: If it were not so He could not be the Ruler of all
    things, for there would be some other being excelling him who
    possesses the supreme good and who must have existed before Him.]

          ¶ For yif god ne is swiche. he ne
  may nat ben p{r}ince of alle þinges. for certis som þing
  possessyng in hy{m} self p{er}fit goode sholde ben more
  þan god. {and} [it] sholde seme þat þilke þing were first         2492
  {and} elder þan god.

    [Sidenote: And we have already shown that the perfect precedes the
    imperfect;]

          ¶ For we han shewed ap{er}tly þat
  alle þinges þat ben p{er}fit. ben first or þinges þat ben inperfit.

    [Linenotes:
    2453 _whiche_--which
    2454-55-56-58-59 _goode_--good
    2454 _whiche_--whych
    2457 _set_--MS. sette, C. set
    2460 _seine_--seyn
         _souereyne goode_--souereyn good
         _be founden_--ben fownde
    2461 _veyne_--veyn
    2463 _þis is to seyne_--C. omits
    2464 _denoyed_--MS. deuoyded, C. denoyed
         _goode_--good
    2465 _of_--MS. of of
    2466 _al þing_--alle thing
    2468 _her of comeþ_--ther of comht
    2470 _somme_--som
    2471 _don_--MS. done, C. don
    2473 _token_--took
    2475 _hool_--hoole
    2476 _doune_--down
    2477 _wiþ oute fruyt_--w{i}t{h} owten frut
    2480 _stedfast_--stydefast
    2481 _fermely_--MS. fennely, C. fermely
         _soþefastly_--sothfastly
    2486 [_he þat_]--from C.
         _is bettre_--nis bettr{e}
    2488-89-91 _goode_--good
    2489 _swiche_--swych
    2492 [_it_]--from C.
         _seme_--semen
    2493 _elder_--elder{e}]

    [Headnote:
    GOD THE SOURCE OF TRUE FELICITY.]

    [Sidenote: wherefore, that our reasonings may not run on with
    infinity, we must confess that the Supreme God is full of perfect
    and consummate good.]

  ¶ And for þi for as moche as [that] my resou{n}
  or my p{ro}ces ne go nat awey wiþoute an ende. we                 2496
  ouȝt[e] to graunten þat þe souereyne god is ryȝt ful of
  souereyne p{er}fit goode.                                    [[pg 90]]

    [Sidenote: And as we have seen that the perfect good is true
    happiness, it follows that the true felicity resides in the
    Supreme Divinity.]

          and we han establissed þat þe
  souereyne goode is verrey blisfulnesse. þan mot it nedes
  ben [þ{a}t verray blysfulnesse is] yset i{n} souereyne god.       2500
  _B._ þis take I wel q{uo}d .I. ne þis ne may nat be wiþseid
  in no manere.

    [Sidenote: But let us see how we can firmly and irrefragably prove
    that the Supreme God contains in his own nature a plenitude of
    perfect and consummate good.]

          ¶ But I p{re}ie þe q{uo}d she see now how
  þou mayst preuen holily {and} wiþ-oute{n} corrupciou{n} þis
  þat I haue seid. þat þe souereyne god is ryȝt ful of              2504
  souereyne goode. [In whych man{er}e q{uo}d I.] wenest
  þou ouȝt q{uo}d she þat þis p{r}ince of alle þinges haue
  ytake þilke souereyne good any where þan of hym self.
  ¶ of whiche souereyne goode men p{ro}ueþ þat he is ful            2508
  ryȝt as þou myȝtest þinken. þat god þat haþ blisfulnesse
  in hym self. {and} þat ilke blisfulnesse þat is in hym
  were diu{er}s in substaunce.

    [Sidenote: If you think that God has received this good from
    without, then you must believe that the giver of this good is more
    excellent than God the receiver.]

          ¶ For yif þou wene þat
  god haue receyued þilke good oute of hy{m} self. þou              2512
  mayst wene þat he þat ȝaf þilke good to god. be more
  goode þan is god.

    [Sidenote: But we have concluded that there is nothing more
    excellent than God.]

          ¶ But I am byknowen {and} confesse
  {and} þat ryȝt dignely þat god is ryȝt worþi abouen alle
  þinges.

    [Sidenote: But if this supreme good is in Him by nature, and is
    nevertheless of a different substance, we cannot conceive, since
    God is the author of all things, what could have united these two
    substances differing one from another.]

          ¶ And yif so be þat þis good be in hym by                 2516
  nature. but þat it is diu{er}s from [hym] by wenyng
  resou{n}. syn we speke of god p{r}ince of alle þinges feyne
  who so feyne may. who was he þat [hath] co{n}ioigned
  þise diu{er}s þinges to-gidre.

    [Sidenote: Lastly, a thing which essentially differs from another
    cannot be the same with that from which it is supposed to differ.]

          {and} eke at þe last[e] se                                2520
  wel þat o þing þat is diu{er}s from any þing. þat þilke
  þing nis nat þat same þing. fro whiche it is vndirstonde{n}
  to ben diu{er}s.

    [Sidenote: Consequently, what in its nature differs from the chief
    good cannot be the supreme good.]

          þan folweþ it. þat þilke þi{n}g þat
  by hys nature is dyuers from souereyne good. þat þat              2524
  þing nys nat souereyne good.

    [Sidenote: But it would be impious and profane thus to conceive of
    God, since nothing can excel Him in goodness and worth.]

          but certys þat were a
  felonous corsednesse to þinken þat of hym. þat no þing
  nis more worþe.

    [Sidenote: In fact, nothing can exist whose nature is better than
    its origin.]

          For alwey of alle þinges. þe nat{ur}e
  of hem ne may nat ben better þan his bygy{n}nyng.                 2528

    [Linenotes:
    2495 [_that_]--from C.
    2496 _proces_--p{ro}cesses
    2497 _ouȝt[e]_--owen
    2498 _goode_--good
    2499 _souereyne goode_--souereyn good
    2500 [_þat----is_]--from C.
         _yset_--MS. ysette, C. set
    2501 _be_--ben
         _wiþseid_--MS. wiþseide, C. withseid
    2503 _wiþ-outen_--w{i}t{h}-owte
    2504 _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyd
    2505 _souereyne goode_--souereyn good
         [_In----I_]--from C.
    2506 _ouȝt_--awht
    2507 _þan of_--owt of
    2508 _whiche_--whych
         _souereyne goode_--souereyn good
    2509 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2510 _þat ilke_--thilke
    2511 _were_--weren
    2514 _goode_--worth
    2517 _from_--fro
         [_hym_]--from C.
    2518 _feyne_--faigne
    2519 _feyne_--feigne
         [_hath_]--from C.
    2520 _last[e]_--laste
    2521 _o_--a
    2522 _whiche_--whych
    2524 _from_--fro
    2527 _nis_--is
    2528 _better_--bettre]

    [Headnote:
    THERE CANNOT BE TWO CHIEF GOODS.]

    [Sidenote: We may therefore conclude that the Author of all things
    is really and substantially the supreme Good.]

  ¶ For whiche I may concluden by ryȝt uerray resou{n}.        [[pg 91]]
  þat þilke þat is bygynnyng of alle þinges. þilke same
  þing is good in his substaunce.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Most rightly said!]

          _B._ þou hast seid ryȝtfully
  q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ But you have owned that true felicity is the
    sovereign good; then you must also grant that God is that true
    felicity.]

          _P._ But we han graunted q{uo}d she þat                   2532
  souereyne good is blysfulnes. þat is soþe q{uo}d .I. þan
  q{uo}d she mote we nedes graunten {and} confessen þat
  þilke same souereyne goode be god.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Your conclusions follow from your premises.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 21 _b_.]]

          ¶ Certys *q{uo}d
  .I. I ne may nat denye ne wiþstonde þe resou{n}s p{ur}posed.      2536
  and I see wel þat it folweþ by strengþe of þe
  p{re}misses.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Let us see whether we cannot prove this more
    convincingly by considering it in this view, that there cannot be
    two sovereign goods which differ in themselves.]

          ¶ Loke nowe q{uo}d she yif þis be proued
  [yit] more fermely þus. ¶ þat þer ne mowen nat ben
  two souereyne goodes þat ben diuerse amo[n]ges hem                2540
  self.

    [Sidenote: For it is plain that of the goods that differ one
    cannot be what the other is; wherefore neither of them can be
    perfect where one wants the other.]

          þat on is nat þat þat oþer is. þan [ne] mowen
  neiþer of hem ben p{er}fit. so as eyþer of hem lakkiþ to
  oþir.

    [Sidenote: That which is not perfect cannot be the supreme good.]

          but þat þat nis nat p{er}fit men may seen apertly
  þat it nis nat souereyne.

    [Sidenote: Neither can the chief good be essentially different.]

          þe þinges þan þat ben                                     2544
  souereynely goode ne mowen by no wey ben diuerse.

    [Sidenote: But it has been shown that God and happiness are the
    chief good, wherefore the sovereign felicity and the Supreme
    Divinity are one and the same.]

  ¶ But I haue wel conclude þat blisfulnesse {and} god ben
  [the] souereyne goode. For whiche it mot nedes be þat
  souereyne blisfulnesse is souerey[ne] dyuynite. ¶ No              2548
  þing q{uo}d I nis more soþefast þan þis ne more ferme by
  resou{n}. ne a more worþi þing þan god may nat ben
  concluded.

    [Sidenote: Following then the examples of geometricians who deduce
    their consequences from their propositions, I shall deduce to thee
    something like a corollary as follows:--]

          _P._ vpon þise þinges þan q{uo}d she. ryȝt as
  þise geometriens whan þei han shewed her p{ro}posiciou{n}s        2552
  ben wont to brynge{n} in þinges þat þei clepen porismes
  or declarac{i}ou{n}s of forseide þinges. ryȝt so wil I ȝeue
  þe here as a corolarie or a mede of coroune.

    [Sidenote: Because by the attainment of felicity men become happy,
    and as felicity is the same as Divinity itself, therefore by the
    attainment of Divinity men are made happy.]

          For whi.
  for as moche as by þe getynge of blisfulnesse men ben             2556
  maked blysful. {and} blisfulnesse is diuinite. ¶ þan is
  it manifest {and} open þat by þe gety{n}g of diuinite men
  ben makid blisful.

    [Sidenote: But as by the participation of justice or of wisdom men
    become just or wise,]

          ryȝt as by þe getynge of iustice . . .
  {and} by þe getyng of sapience þei ben maked wise.                2560

    [Linenotes:
    2529 _whiche_--whych
    2531 _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyd
    2533 _soþe_--soth
    2534 _mote_--moten
    2539 [_yit_]--from C.
    2541 _is_ (1)--nis
         _oþer_--othre
         [_ne_]--from C.
    2546 _conclude_--concluded
    2547 [_the_] from C.
         _goode_--good
         _be_--ben
    2549 _soþefast_--sothfast
         _ferme_--MS. forme, C. ferme
    2552 _proposiciouns_--MS. p{ro}porsiou{n}s, C. p{ro}posiciou{n}s
    2553 _porismes_--MS. poeismes, C. porysmes
    2554 _wil_--wole]

    [Headnote:
    THE HAPPY MAN IS A GOD.]

    [Sidenote: so by partaking of Divinity they must necessarily,
    and by parity of reason, become gods.]

  ¶ Ryȝt so nedes by þe semblable resou{n}
                  wha{n} þei han getyn                         [[pg 92]]
  diuinite þei ben maked goddys.

    [Sidenote: Every happy man then is a god. But by nature there is
    only _One_; but by participation of Divine essence there may be
    many gods.]

          þan is euery blisful
  man god. ¶ But certis by nature. þer nys but oon god.
  but by þe p{ar}ticipac{i}ou{n}s of diuinite þere ne letteþ ne     2564
  disturbeþ no þing þat þer ne ben many goddes. ¶ þis
  is q{uo}d .I. a faire þing {and} a p{re}cious. ¶ Clepe it as
  þ{o}u wolt. be it corolarie or porisme or mede of coroune
  or declarynges ¶ Certys q{uo}d she no þing nis fairer.            2568
  þan is þe þing þat by resou{n} sholde ben added to þise
  forseide þinges. what þing q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: But as happiness seems to be an assemblage of many
    things, ought we not to consider whether these several things
    constitute conjointly the body of happiness, or whether there is
    not some one of these particular things that may complete the
    substance or essence of it, and to which all the rest have a
    relation?]

          ¶ So q{uo}d she as
  it semeþ þat blisfulnesse conteniþ many þinges. it were
  forto witen wheþir [þ{a}t] alle þise þinges maken or              2572
  conioignen as a maner body of blysfulnesse by diuersite
  of parties or [of] me{m}bris. Or ellys yif any of alle
  þilke þi{n}g{us} be swyche þat it acomplise by hy{m} self þe
  substaunce of blisfulnesse. so þat alle þise oþer þinges          2576
  ben referred and brouȝt to blisfulnesse. þat is to seyne
  as to þe chief of hem.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Illustrate this matter by proper examples.]

          ¶ I wolde q{uo}d I þat þou
  makedest me clerly to vndirstonde what þou seist. {and}
  þat þou recordest me þe forseide þinges.

    [Sidenote: _P._ As you grant that happiness is a good, you may say
    the same of all the other goods; for perfect sufficiency is
    identical with supreme felicity; so is supreme power, likewise
    high rank, a shining reputation, and perfect pleasure.]

          ¶ Haue I nat                                              2580
  iuged q{uo}d she. þat blisfulnesse is goode. ȝis forsoþe
  q{uo}d .I. {and} þat souereyne goode. ¶ Adde þan q{uo}d
  she þilke goode þat is maked blisfulnes to alle þe forseide
  þinges. ¶ For þilke same blisfulnesse þat is                      2584
  demed to ben souereyne suffisaunce. þilke self is
  souereyne power. souereyne reuerence. sou{er}eyne clernesse
  or noblesse {and} souereyne delit.

    [Sidenote: What say you, then; are all these things, sufficiency,
    power, and the rest, to be considered as constituent parts of
    felicity? or are they to be referred to the sovereign good as
    their source and principal?]

          what seist þou
  þan of alle þise þinges. þat is to seyne. suffisance power        2588
  {and} þise oþer þinges. ben þei þan as membris of blisfulnesse.
  or ben þei referred {and} brouȝt to souereyne good.
  ¶ Ryȝt as alle þinges þat ben brouȝt to þe chief of hem.

    [Linenotes:
    2563 _oon_--o
    2564 _letteþ_--let
    2566 _faire_--fayr
    2567 _porisme_--MS. pousme, C. porisme
    2572 [_þat_]--from C.
    2573 _maner_--maner{e}
         _by_--be
    2574 [_of_]--from C.
    2575 _swyche_--swych
    2576 _oþer_--oothr{e}
    2577 _seyne_--seyn
    2578 _chief_--chef
    2581 _goode ȝis_--good ys
    2582 _souereyne goode_--sou{er}eyn good
    2583 _goode_--good
    2585 _self_--selue
    2588 _þise_--C. omits
         _seyne_--seyn
    2589 _oþer_--oothre]

    [Headnote:
    GOOD, THE RULE AND SQUARE OF THINGS DESIRABLE.]

    [Sidenote: _B._ I see what you are aiming at, and I am desirous to
    hear your arguments.]

  b. I vndirstonde wel q{uo}d .I. what þou p{ur}posest to      [[pg 93]]
  seke. but I desijr[e] to herkene þat þou shewe it me.             2593

    [Sidenote: _P._ If all these things were members of felicity, they
    would differ one from another, for it is the property of diverse
    parts to compose one body.]

  _p._ Take now þus þe discressiou{n} of þis questiou{n} q{uo}d
  she. yif al þise þinges q{uo}d she weren membris to
  felicite. þan weren þei diu{er}se þat oon fro þat oþer.           2596
  ¶ And swiche is þe nat{ur}e of p{ar}ties or of membris.
  þat dyuerse me{m}bris compounen a body.

    [Sidenote: But it has been well shown that all these things are
    the same and do not differ--therefore they are not parts, for if
    they were, happiness might be made up of one member--which is
    absurd and impossible.]

          ¶ Certis
  q{uo}d I it haþ wel ben shewed her byforne. þat alle þise
  þinges ben alle on þing. þan ben þei none membris q{uo}d          2600
  she.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 22.]]

          for ellys it sholde seme þat blisfulnesse were
  conioigned *al of one membre alone. but þat is a þi{n}g
  þat may nat ben doon.

    [Sidenote: _B._ This I doubt not, but I desire to hear the
    sequel.]

          þis þing q{uo}d .I. nys nat
  doutous. but I abide to herkene þe remenaunt of þe                2604
  questiou{n}.

    [Sidenote: _P._ All the things above-mentioned must be tried by
    Good, as the rule and square.]

          þis is ope{n} {and} clere q{uo}d she. þat alle oþer
  þinges ben referred {and} brouȝt to goode.

    [Sidenote: Sufficiency, power, &c., are all desired, because they
    are esteemed a good.]

          ¶ For þerfore
  is suffisaunce requered. For it is demed to ben
  good. {and} forþi is power requered. for men trowen also          2608
  þat it be goode. and þis same þing mowe we þinken {and}
  coueiten of reuerence {and} of noblesse {and} of delit.

    [Sidenote: Good is the cause why all things are desired.]

  þan is souereyne good þe soume {and} þe cause of alle þat
  auȝt[e] be desired.

    [Sidenote: For that which contains no good, either in reality or
    appearance, can never be desired.]

          forwhi þilke þing þat wiþ-holdeþ no                       2612
  good in it self ne semblaunce of goode it ne may nat
  wel in no manere be desired ne requered.

    [Sidenote: On the contrary, things not essentially good are
    desired because they appear to be real goods.]

          {and} þe contrarie.
  For þouȝ þat þinges by hir nature ne ben nat
  goode algates yif men wene þat þei be{n} goode ȝit ben            2616
  þei desired as þouȝ [þ{a}t] þei were verrayly goode.

    [Sidenote: Hence, Good is esteemed as the cause and end of all
    things that we desire.]

  {and} þerfore is it þat men auȝte{n} to wene by ryȝt þat bounte
  be souereyne fyn {and} þe cause of alle þinges þat ben to
  requeren.

    [Sidenote: That which is the cause of our desiring any thing is
    itself what we chiefly want.]

          ¶ But certis þilke þ{a}t is cause for whiche              2620
  men requeren any þing. ¶ it semeþ þat þilke same
  þing be most desired.

    [Sidenote: If a man desire to ride on account of health--it is not
    the ride he wants so much as its salutary effects.]

          as þus yif þat a wyȝt wolde ryde
  for cause of hele. he ne desireþ nat so mychel þe
  moeuyng to ryden as þe effect of his heele.                  [[pg 94]]

    [Sidenote: Since all things are sought after for the sake of Good,
    they cannot be more desirable than the good itself.]

          Now þan                                                   2624
  syn þat alle þinges ben requered for þe grace of good.
  þei ne ben [nat] desired of alle folk more þan þe same
  good

    [Sidenote: It has been shown that all the aforesaid things are
    only pursued for the sake of happiness--hence it is clear that
    good and happiness are essentially the same.]

          ¶ But we han graunted þat blysfulnesse is þat
  þing for whiche þat alle þise oþer þinges ben desired.            2628
  þan is it þus þat certis only blisfulnesse is requered {and}
  desired ¶ By whiche þing it sheweþ clerely þat good
  {and} blisfulnesse is al oone {and} þe same substaunce.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I see no cause to differ from you.]

  ¶ I se nat q{uo}d I wher fore þat men myȝt[en] discorden          2632
  in þis.

    [Sidenote: _P._ It has been proved that God and happiness are
    identical and inseparable.]

          _p._ {and} we han shewed þat god {and} verrey blysfulnesse
  is al oon þing

    [Sidenote: _B._ That is true.]

          ¶ þat is soþe q{uod} .I.

    [Sidenote: Therefore the substance of God is also the same as that
    of the Supreme Good.]

  þan mowe we conclude sikerly þ{a}t þe substaunce of god is
  set in þilke same good {and} in noon oþer place.                  2636

    [Linenotes:
    2591 _brouȝt_--MS wrouȝt, C. browht
    2593 _desijr[e] to herkene_--desir{e} for to herkne
    2594 _Take_--tak
    2596 _fro_--from
    2597 _swiche_--swhych
    2600 _on þing_--othing
    2602 _one_--on
    2603 _ben doon_--be don
    2604 _herkene_--herknen
    2605 _clere_--cler
         _oþer_--oothre
    2606 _goode_--good
    2609 _goode_--good
         _mowe_--mowen
    2617 [_þat_]--from C.
         _were verrayly_--weeren verraylyche
    2618 _þerfore_--therfor
         _auȝten_--owhten
    2619 _alle_--alle the
    2620 _whiche_--whych
    2623 _mychel_--mochel
    2624 _moeuyng_--moeuynge
    2626 [_nat_]--from C.
    2628 _oþer_--oothr{e}
    2630 _clerely_--clerly
         _good and blisfulnesse_--of good {and} of blysfulnesse
    2631 _oone_--oon
    2632 _myȝt[en]_--myhten
    2634 _oon_--oo
         _soþe_--soth
    2635 _mowe_--mowen
    2636 _set_--MS. sette, C. set]


    [Headnote:
    GOD A HAVEN OF REST.]

NUNC OMNES PARITER {ET}C.

  [Sidenote: [The 10^the Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Come hither, all ye that are captives--bound and
    fettered with the chains of earthly desires;--come to this source
    of goodness, where you shall find rest and security.]

  ++O Comeþ alle to-gidre now ȝe þat ben ycauȝt {and}
  ybounde wiþ wicked[e] cheines by þe deceiuable
  delit of erþely þinges inhabytynge in ȝoure þouȝt. here
  shal ben þe reste of ȝoure laboures. here is þe hauene            2640
  stable in peisible quiete. þis al oone is þe open refut to
  wreches.

    [Sidenote: [Chaucer’s gloss upon the Text.]

          _Glosa._ þis is to seyn. þat ȝe þat ben combred
  {and} deceyued wiþ worldly affecc{i}ou{n}s comeþ now
  to þis souereyne good þat is god. þat is refut to hem þat         2644
  wolen come to hym.

    [Sidenote: Not the gold of Tagus or of Hermus, nor the gems of
    India, can clear the mental sight from vain delusions, but rather
    darken it.]

          _Textus._ ¶ Alle þe þinges þat þe
  ryuere Tagus ȝiueþ ȝow wiþ his golden[e] grauels. or
  ellys alle þe þynges þat þe ryuere herm{us}. ȝiueþ wiþ his
  rede brynke. or þat yndus ȝiueþ þat is nexte þe hote              2648
  p{ar}tie of þe worlde. þat medeleþ þe grene stones
  (smaragd{e}) wiþ þe white (margarits). ne sholde nat
  cleren þe lokynge of ȝoure þoȝt. but hiden raþer ȝoure
  blynde corages wiþ i{n}ne hire dirkenesse

    [Sidenote: Such sources of our delight are found in the earth’s
    gloomy caverns,--but the bright light that rules the heavens
    dispels the darkness of the soul.]

          ¶ Alle þat                                                2652
  likeþ ȝow here {and} excitiþ {and} moeueþ ȝoure þouȝtes.
  þe erþe haþ noryshed it in hys lowe caues. but þe            [[pg 95]]
  shynyng by þe whiche þe heuene is gouerned {and}
  whennes þat it haþ hys strengþe þat chaseþ þe derke               2656
  ouerþrowyng of þe soule.

    [Sidenote: He who has seen this light will confess that the beams
    of the sun are weak and dim.]

          ¶ And who so euer may
  knowen þilke lyȝt of blisfulnesse. he shal wel seine þat
  þe white bemes of þe sonne ne ben nat cleer.

    [Linenotes:
    2638 _wicked[e]_--wyckyde
    2639, 2640 _here_--her
    2640 _hauene_--MS. heuene, C. hauene
    2641 _al oone_--allone
    2643 _worldly_--worldely
    2645 _come_--comyn
    2646 _golden[e] grauels_--goldene grauayles
    2647 _þynges_--MS. rynges, C. thinges
         _hermus_--MS. herin{us}, C. herynus
    2648 _nexte_--next
    2649 _worlde_--world
    2654, 2656 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2654 _hys_--hyse
    2656 _chaseþ þe derke_--eschueth the dyrke
    2657 _euer_--C. omits
    2658 _seine_--seyn]


    [Headnote:
    MEN DO NOT SEEK TRUE FELICITY.]

ASSENCIOR INQ{UA}M CUNCTA. Boice.

  [Sidenote: [The 11 p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ I assent, and am convinced by the force of your
    arguments.]

  ++I assent[e] me q{uo}d .I. For alle þise þinges ben              2660
  strongly bounden wiþ ryȝt ferme resou{n}s.

    [Sidenote: _P._ But how greatly would you value it, did you fully
    know what this good is?]

  how mychel wilt þou p{re}isen it q{uo}d she. yif þat þou
  knowe what þilke goode is.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I should value it infinitely if at the same time I
    might attain to the knowledge of God, who is the sovereign good.]

          I wol p{re}ise it q{uo}d I by
  price wiþ outen ende. ¶ yif it shal bytyde me to                  2664
  knowe also to-gidre god þat is good.

    [Sidenote: _P._ I shall elucidate this matter by incontrovertible
    reasons if thou wilt grant me those things which I have before
    laid down as conclusions.]

          ¶ certys q{uo}d she
  þ{a}t shal I do þe by verray resou{n}.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 22 _b_.]]

          yif þat þo þinges þat
  I haue conclude[d] a litel her by *forne dwellen oonly
  in hir first[e] graunty{n}g.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I grant them all.]

          _Boice._ þei dwellen graunted                             2668
  to þe q{uo}d .I. þis is to seyne as who seiþ .I. graunt þi
  forseide conclusiou{n}s.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Have I not shown that the things which the
    majority of mankind so eagerly pursue are not true and perfect
    goods, for they differ from one another; and because where one of
    them is absent the others cannot confer absolute happiness (or
    good)?]

          ¶ Haue I nat shewed þe q{uo}d
  she þat þe þinges þat ben requered of many folke. ne
  ben nat verray goodes ne p{er}fit. for þei ben diu{er}se þat      2672
  oon fro þat oþer. {and} so as eche of hem is lakkyng to
  oþer. þei ne han no power to bryngen a good þ{a}t is ful
  {and} absolute.

    [Sidenote: Have I not shown, too, that the true and chief good is
    made up of an assemblage of all the goods in such a way, that if
    sufficiency is an attribute of this good, it must at the same time
    possess power, reverence, &c.]

          ¶ But þan atte arst ben þei verray good
  whan þei ben gadred to-gidre al in to a forme {and} in            2676
  to oon wirchy{n}g. so þat þilke þing þat is suffisaunce.
  þilk same be power {and} reuerence. {and} noblesse {and}
  mirþe.

    [Sidenote: If they be not one and the same, why should they be
    classed among desirable things?]

          ¶ And forsoþe but alle þise þi{n}ges ben alle o
  same þing þei ne han nat wher by þat þei mowen ben                2680
  put in þe nou{m}bre of þinges. þat auȝten ben requered
  or desired. _b._ ¶ It is shewed q{uo}d .I. ne her of may
  þer no man douten.

    [Sidenote: While these things differ from one another they are not
    goods; but as soon as they become one then they are made
    goods.--Do not they owe their being good to their unity?]

          _p._ þe þinges þan q{uo}d she þat ne
  ben none goodes whan þei ben diu{er}se. {and} whan þei       [[pg 96]]
  bygynnen to ben al o þing. þan ben þei goodes. ne                 2685
  comiþ it hem nat þan by þe getynge of unite þat þei ben
  maked goodes.

    [Sidenote: _B._ So it appears.]

          _b._ so it semeþ q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Do you confess that everything that is good
    becomes such by the participation of the sovereign good or no?]

          but alle þing þat
  is good q{uo}d she grauntest þou þat it be good
                  by p{ar}ticipac{i}ou{n}                           2688
  of good or no.

    [Sidenote: _B._ It is so.]

          ¶ I graunt[e] it q{uo}d .I.

    [Linenotes:
    2660 _assent[e]_--assente
    2662 _mychel_--mochel
    2663 _goode_--good
    2664 _price_--prys
    2669 _is_--omitted
         _seyne_--seyn
    2671 _folke_--folkes
    2673 _oþer_--oothre
         _eche_--ech
    2675 _absolute_--absolut
         _atte arst_--at erste
    2676 _al_--alle
         _a_--O
    2677 _to_--omitted
         _wirchyng_--wyrkynge
    2678 _þilk_--thilke
    2681 _put_--MS. putte, C. put
         _auȝten_--owhten
    2684 _none_--no
    2685 _al o_--alle oon
    2686 _comiþ_--comth
    2689 _graunt[e]_--graunte]

    [Headnote:
    UNITY NECESSARY TO EXISTENCE.]

    [Sidenote: _P._ Then you must own that unity and good are the same
    (for the substance of those things must be the same, whose effects
    do not naturally differ).]

  ¶ þan mayst þou graunt[en] it q{uo}d she by sembleable
  resou{n} þat oon {and} good ben o same þing. ¶ For of
  þinges [of] whiche þat þe effect nis nat naturely diuerse         2692
  nedys þe substaunce mot ben o same þinge.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I cannot gainsay it.]

          I ne may
  nat denye it q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Do you not perceive that everything which exists
    is permanent so long as it preserves its unity--but as soon as it
    loses this, it is dissolved and annihilated?]

          ¶ Hast þou nat knowen wel q{uo}d
  she. þat al þing þat is haþ so longe his dwellyng {and}
  his substaunce. as longe is it oone. ¶ but wha{n} it              2696
  forletiþ to ben oone it mot nedis dien {and} corrumpe togidre.

    [Sidenote: _B._ How so?]

  ¶ In whiche manere q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ In the animal creation as long as the soul and the
    body are united and conjoined in one, this being is called an
    animal or beast, but when the union is dissolved by the separation
    of these, the animal perishes and is no longer a beast.]

          ¶ Ryȝt as in
  beestes q{uod} she. whan þe soule {and} þe body ben
  co{n}ioigned in oon {and} dwellen to-gidre it is cleped a         2700
  beest. {and} whan hire vnite is destroied by disseueraunce
  þat oon fram þ{a}t oþir. þan sheweþ it wel þat it is a
  dede þi{n}g. {and} þat it is no lenger no beste.

    [Sidenote: The same may be said of man and all other things; they
    subsist while unity is preserved, but as soon as that is destroyed
    the things themselves lose their existence.]

          {and} þe
  body of a wyȝt while it dwelleþ in oon forme by coniuncc{i}ou{n}  2704
  of membris it is wel seyn þat it is a figure of
  mankynde. and yif þe partyes of þe body ben [so]
  diuide[d] {and} disseuered þat oon fro þat oþir þat þei
  destroien vnite. þe body forletiþ to ben þat it was byforne.      2708
  ¶ And who so wolde renne in þe same manere
  by alle þinges he sholde seen þat wiþ outen doute euery
  þinge is in his substaunce as longe as it is oon. {and}
  whan it forletiþ to ben oon it dieþ {and} p{er}issiþ.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I believe we should find this true in every case.]

          _boice._                                                  2712
  whan I considre q{uo}d I many þinges I see noon oþ{er}.

    [Linenotes:
    2690 _mayst þou graunt[en]_--mosthow grau{n}ten
    2692 [_of_]--from C.
    2695 _al_--alle
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2696, 2697 _oone_--oon
    2698 _whiche_--which
    2703 _dede_--ded
         _lenger_--lenger{e}
         _beste_--beest
    2704 _while_--whil
         _oon_--oo
    2706 _[so] diuide[d]_--so deuydyd
    2709 _so_--omitted
    2713 _many_--manye]

    [Headnote:
    NATURE SUSTAINS VEGETATION.]

    [Sidenote: _P._ Is there anything which acts naturally that
    forgoes this desire of existence and wishes for death and
    corruption?]

  ¶ Is þer any þing þanne q{uo}d she þat in as moche as
  it lyueþ naturely. þat forletiþ þe appetit or talent of           2715
  hys beynge. {and} desireþ to come to deeþ
                  {and} to corrupc{i}ou{n}.                    [[pg 97]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ I do not find any creature endowed with volition,
    which, of itself and without constraint, renounces or despises
    life and self-preservation or willingly hastens to destruction.]

  ¶ yif I considere q{uod} I þe beestes þat han
  any manere nature of willy{n}ge or of nillynge I ne
  fynde no þing. but yif it be constreyned fro wiþ out
  forþe. þat forletiþ or dispiseþ to lyue {and} to dure{n}          2720
  or þat wole his þankes hasten hy{m} to dien. ¶ For
  euery beest trauayleþ hy{m} to defende {and} kepe þe
  sauuac{i}ou{n} of lijf. {and} escheweþ deeþ {and} destrucc{i}ou{n}.

    [Sidenote: But with regard to herbs and trees, I am doubtful
    whether I ought to have the same opinion of them, for they have no
    sensitive soul, nor any natural volition like animals.]

  _b._ but certys I doute me of herbes {and} of trees. þat is       2724
  to seyn þat I am in a doute of swiche þinges as herbes
  or trees þat ne han no fely{n}g soule. ne no naturel
  wirchynges seruy{n}g to appetite as beestes han wheþer
  þei han appetite to dwelle{n} {and} to duren.

    [Sidenote: _P._ There is no cause for doubt in respect to these.]

          ¶ Certis                                                  2728
  q{uo}d she ne þer of þar þe nat doute.

    [Sidenote: Herbs and trees first choose a convenient place to grow
    in, where, agreeably to their respective natures, they are sure to
    thrive, and are in no danger of perishing; for some grow on
    plains, some on mountains, &c.; and if you try to transplant them,
    they forthwith wither and die.]

          ¶ Now look
  vpon þise herbes {and} þise trees. þei waxen firste in
  swiche place as be{n} couenable to hem. in whiche place
  þei ne mowen nat sone dien ne dryen as longe as hire              2732
  nature may defenden he{m}. ¶ For some of hem waxen
  in feldes {and} some in mou{n}taignes. {and} oþir waxen i{n}
  mareis. [_A leaf lost here, and supplied from C._]
  [{and} oothre cleuyn on Roches / {and} soume waxen plentyuos      2736
  in sondes / {and} yif þ{a}t any wyht enforce hym to
  beryn hem in to oother places / they wexen drye //

    [Sidenote: To everything that vegetates, nature gives what is
    needful for its subsistence, and takes care that they should not
    perish before their time.]

  For natur{e} yeueth to eu{er}y thing þ{a}t /
                  þ{a}t is co{n}uenient to
  hym {and} trauaylith þ{a}t they ne dye nat as longe as they       2740
  han power to dwellyn {and} to lyuen //

    [Sidenote: Need I tell you that plants are nourished by their
    roots (which are so many mouths hid in the earth), and diffuse
    strength throughout the whole plant, as through their marrow?]

          what woltow seyn
  of this / þ{a}t they drawen alle hyr norysshynges by hyr
  rootes / ryht as they haddyn hyr Mowthes I.-plounged              2743
  w{i}t{h} in the erthes / {and} shedyn by hyr maryes (i. medull{as})
  hyr wode {and} hyr bark /

    [Sidenote: And further, it is admirably contrived that the pith,
    the most tender part of plants, is hid in the middle of the trunk,
    surrounded with hard and solid wood, and with an outer coat of
    bark to ward off the storms and weather.]

          {and} what woltow seyn
  of this þ{a}t thilke thing / þ{a}t is ryht softe as the marye (i.
  sapp) is / þ{a}t is alwey hidd in the feete al w{i}t{h} inne {and}
  þ{a}t it is defendid fro w{i}t{h} owte by the stidefastnesse of   2748
  wode // {and} þ{a}t the vttereste bark is put ayenis
                  the destemprau{n}ce
  of the heuene / as a defendowr myhty to suffren              [[pg 98]]
  harm /

    [Sidenote: Admire, too, the diligence of nature in propagating
    plants by a multiplicity of seeds, which are as a foundation for a
    building, not to remain for a time, but as it were for ever.]

          {and} thus certes maystow wel sen / how gret is
  the diligence of natur{e} / For alle thinges renouelen {and}      2752
  pupllisen hem w{i}t{h} seed .I.-multiplyed / nether nis no man
  þ{a}t ne wot wel þ{a}t they ne ben ryht as a foundement {and}
  edyfice for to duren / nat only for a tyme / but ryht as forto
  duren p{er}durablely by generacyou{n} //

    [Sidenote: Things inanimate incline to what is most suitable to
    their beings, and to preserve continuance.]

          {and} the thinges ek                                      2756
  þ{a}t men wenen ne hauen none sowles / ne desir{e} they nat ech
  of hem by sem[b]lable resou{n} to kepyn þ{a}t that is hirs / þ{a}t
  is to seyn þ{a}t is acordynge to hyr natur{e} in conseruaciou{n}
  of hyr beynge {and} endurynge //

    [Sidenote: For why should the flame mount upwards by lightness,
    and the earth tend towards its centre by gravity (weight), unless
    these motions were agreeable to their respective natures?]

          For wher for elles berith                                 2760
  lythnesse the flaumbes vp / {and} the weyhte p{re}sseth the
  erthe a-dou{n} // but For as moche as thilke places and
  thilke moeuynges ben couenable to eu{er}ich of hem //

    [Linenotes:
    2718 _willynge_--wylnynge
         _or_--{and}
    2719 _þing_--beest
         _out forþe_--owte forth
    2720 _lyue_--lyuen
    2723 _of lijf_--of hys lyf
    2726 _soule_--sowles
    2727 _appetite_--appetites
    2729 _look_--loke
    2730 _waxen firste_--wexen fyrst
    2733, 2734 _some_--som
    2734 _oþir_--oothre
    2753 _pupllisen_--H. publisshen)
    2755 _edyfice_--MS. edyfite
         _a tyme_--H. oon) tyme
    2758 _that_--H. omits
         _hirs_--H. his]

    [Headnote:
    THE LOVE OF LIFE IS INSTINCTIVE.]

    [Sidenote: Whatever is agreeable to the nature of a thing
    preserves it. So what is contrary to its nature destroys it.]

  {and} forsothe eu{er}y thing kepith thilke þ{a}t is acordynge     2764
  {and} propre to hym // ryht as thinges þ{a}t ben contraryes
  {and} enemys corompen hem //

    [Sidenote: Dense bodies, such as stones, resist an easy separation
    of parts; whereas the particles of liquid or flowing things, such
    as air and water, are easily separated and soon reunited.]

          {and} yit the harde thinges
  as stoones clyuen {and} holden hyr partyes to gydere
  ryht faste {and} harde / {and} deffenden hem in withstondenge     2768
  þ{a}t they ne departe nat lyhtly a twyne // {and} the
  thinges þ{a}t ben softe {and} fletynge as is water {and} Eyr
  they departyn lyhtly // {and} yeuen place to hem þ{a}t
  brekyn or deuyden hem // but natheles they retorne{n}             2772
  sone ayein in to the same thinges fro whennes they ben
  arraced //

    [Sidenote: Fire avoids and utterly refuses any such division.]

          but fyr [fleetħ] {and} refuseth alle deuysyou{n} /

    [Sidenote: I am not now treating of the voluntary motion of a
    conscious soul, but of the natural intention and instinct.]

  ne I. ne trete nat heer{e} now of weleful moeuynges of the
  sowle þ{a}t is knowynge // but of the naturel entenciou{n}        2776
  of thinges //

    [Sidenote: We swallow our meat without thinking of it, and we draw
    our breath in sleep without perception.]

          As thus ryht as we swolwe the mete þ{a}t we
  resseyuen {and} ne thinke nat on it / {and} as we drawen
  owr{e} breth in slepynge þ{a}t we wite it nat whil we slepyt //

    [Sidenote: The love of life in animals is not derived from an
    intellectual will, but from natural principles implanted in them.]

  For certes in the beestys the loue of hyr lyuynges ne of          2780
  hyr beeinges ne comth nat of the wilnynges of the sowle //
  but of the bygynnyngis of natur{e} //

    [Sidenote: For the will, induced by powerful reasons, sometimes
    chooses and embraces death, although nature dreads and abhors it.]

          For certes thorw
  constreynynge causes / wil desireth {and} embraceth ful
  ofte tyme / the deth þ{a}t natur{e} dredith
                  // that is to seyn                           [[pg 99]]
  as thus that a man may ben constreynyd so by som                  2785
  cause that his wil desireth and taketh the deth which
  þ{a}t natur{e} hateth {and} dredeth ful sore //

    [Sidenote: And, on the contrary, we see that concupiscence (by
    which alone the human race is perpetuated) is often restrained by
    the will.]

          And som tyme
  we seeth the contrarye / as thus that the wil of a wight /        2788
  destorbeth {and} constreyneth þ{a}t þ{a}t natur{e} desireth / and
  requereth al-wey // that is to sein the werk of gen{er}aciou{n} /
  by the whiche gen{er}aciou{n} only / dwelleth {and} is sustenyd
  the longe durablete of mortal thinges //

    [Sidenote: Self-love possessed by every creature is not the
    product of volition, but proceeds from a natural impression or
    intention of nature.]

          And thus                                                  2792
  this charite and this Loue þ{a}t eu{er}y thing hath to hym
  self ne comth nat of the moeuynge of the sowle / but of
  the entenciou{n} of natur{e} //

    [Sidenote: Providence has implanted in all created things an
    instinct, for the purpose of self-preservation, by which they
    desire to prolong existence to its utmost limits.]

          For the puruyance of god
  hat yeuen to thinges þ{a}t ben creat of hym / this þ{a}t is       2796
  a ful gret cause / to lyuen {and} to duren / for which they
  desiren naturelly hyr lyf as longe as eu{er} they mowen //

    [Linenotes:
    2774 [_fleeth_]--from H.
    2775 _weleful_--H. wilfull{e}
    2779 _slepyt_--H. slepe{n}
    2788 _seeth_--H. seen)
         _wil_--H. will{e}
    2792 _And_--H. as
    2796 _hat_--H. haue]

    [Headnote:
    THE WILL IS SUPERIOR TO INSTINCT.]

    [Sidenote: Doubt not, therefore, that everything which exists
    desires existence and avoids dissolution.]

  For w[h]ych thou maist nat drede by no manere / that
  alle the thinges / that ben anywher{e} / that they ne requeren    2800
  naturelly / the ferme stablenesse of p{er}durable
  dwellynge / and ek the eschuynge of destruccyou{n} //

    [Sidenote: _B._ You have made those things perfectly plain and
    intelligible, which before were obscure and doubtful.]

          B //
  now confesse I. wel q{uod} I. that I. see wel now certeynly /
  w{i}t{h} owte dowtes / the thinges that whylom semeden            2804
  vncerteyn to me /

    [Sidenote: _P._ That which desires to subsist desires also to
    retain its unity for if this be taken away it cannot continue to
    exist.]

          P. // but q{uod} she thilke thyng þ{a}t
  desiretħ to be {and} to dwellyn p{er}durablely / he desireth
  to ben oon // For yif þ{a}t that oon weer{e} destroied // certes
  beinge ne shulde ther non dwellyn to no wiht //

    [Sidenote: _B._ That is very true!]

          that                                                      2808
  is sotħ q{uod} I. //

    [Sidenote: _P._ All things then desire one thing--unity.]

          Thanne q{uod} she desirin alle thinges
  oon //

    [Sidenote: _B._ They do.]

          .I. assente q{uod} .I. //

    [Sidenote: _P._ Unity then is the same as good.]

          {and} I haue shewyd q{uod} she
  that thilke same oon is thilke that is good //

    [Sidenote: _B._ Yes.]

          B // ye forsothe
  q{uod} I. //

    [Sidenote: _P._ Thus all things desire good--and it is one and the
    same good that all creatures desire.]

          Alle thinges thanne q{uod} she requyren                   2812
  good // And thilke good thanne [þow] maist descryuen
  ryht thus // Good is thilke thing þ{a}t euery wyht desireth //

    [Sidenote: _B._ Nothing is more true. For either all things must
    be reduced to nothing (or have no relation to anything else), and,
    destitute of a head, float about without control or order; or if
    there be anything to which all things tend, that must be the
    supreme good.]

  Ther ne may be thowht q{uod} .I. no moor{e}
  verray thing / for either alle thinges ben referred {and}         2816
  browht to nowht / {and} floteryn w{i}t{h} owte gou{er}nour
  despoiled of oon / as of hir propre heued / or elles yif    [[pg 100]]
  ther be any thinge / to which þ{a}t alle thinges tenden
  {and} hyen / that thing moste ben the souereyn good of            2820
  alle goodes /

    [Sidenote: _P._ I rejoice greatly, my dear pupil, that you so
    clearly apprehend this truth, of which but just now you were
    ignorant.]

          P /. thanne seyde she thus // O my norry
  q{uod} she I haue gret gladnesse of the // For thow
  hast fichched in thin herte the myddel sothtfastnesse //
  that is to seyn the prykke // but this thing hath ben             2824
  descouered to the / in that thow seydyst þ{a}t thow
  wystest nat a lytel her by-forn //

    [Sidenote: _B._ What was that?]

          what was th{a}t q{uod} I. //

    [Headnote:
    THE END OF ALL THINGS.]

    [Sidenote: _P._ The _End of all things_. And this is what every
    one desires; but we have shown that _good_ is the thing desired by
    all, therefore _Good_ is the _End of all things_.]

  That thow ne wystest nat q{uod} she whych was
  the ende of thinges // and Certes that is the thing þ{a}t         2828
  eu{er}y wiht desireth // and for as mochel as we han
  gaderid / {and} co{m}p{re}hendyd that good is thilke thing
  that is desired of alle / thanne moten we nedes confessun /
  that good is the fyn of alle thinges.                             2832

    [Linenotes:
    2800 _the_--H. þo
    2806 _perdurablely_--H. p{er}durably
    2807 _destroied_--H. destrued
    2811 _thilke_ (1)--H. ilke
    2818 _heued or elles_--H. hede or els
    2820 _hyen_--H. hyen) to
         _moste_--H. must]


    [Headnote:
    TRUTH INTUITIVE.]

QUISQUIS P{RO}FUNDA MENTE.

  [Sidenote: [The .11. Met{ru}m.]]

    [Sidenote: He who seeks truth with deep research and is unwilling
    to go wrong, should collect his slumbering thoughts, and turn the
    inner light upon the soul itself.]

  ++WHo so that sekith sotħ by a deep thoght And
  coueyteth nat to ben deseyuyd by no mys-weyes //
  lat hym rollen {and} trenden w{i}t{h} Inne hym self / the Lyht
  of his inward syhte // And lat hym gader{e} ayein enclynynge      2836
  in to a compas the longe moeuynges of hys
  thowhtes /

    [Sidenote: The knowledge that he seeks without he will find
    treasured up in the recesses of the mind.]

          And lat hym techen his corage that he hath
  enclosed {and} hyd / in his tresors / al þ{a}t he compaseth or
  sekith fro w{i}t{h} owte //

    [Sidenote: The light of Truth will disperse Error’s dark clouds,
    and shine forth brighter than the sun.]

          And thanne thilke thing that the                          2840
  blake cloude of errour whilom hadde y-couered / shal
  lyhten more clerly tha{n}ne pheb{us} hym self ne shyneth //

    [Sidenote: [Chaucer’s gloss.]]

  Glosa // who so wole seken the dep[e] grounde / of soth           2843
  in his thowht / {and} wol nat be deceyuyd by false p{ro}posiciou{n}s /
  that goon amys fro the trouthe // lat hym wel
  examine / {and} rolle w{i}t{h} inne hym self the natur{e} {and}
  the p{ro}pretes of the thing // and lat hym yit eft sones
  examine {and} rollen his thowhtes by good deliberaciou{n}         2848
  or that he deme // and lat hym techen his sowle that it     [[pg 101]]
  hat by naturel pryncyplis kyndeliche y-hyd w{i}t{h} in
  it self alle the trowthe the whiche he ymagynith to ben
  in thinges w{i}t{h} owte // And thanne alle the dyrknesse of      2852
  his mysknowynge shal seen more euydently to [þe]
  syhte of his vndyrstondynge thanne the sonne ne semyth
  to [þe] syhte w{i}t{h} owte forth /

    [Sidenote: For when the body enclosed the soul and cast oblivion
    o’er its powers it did wholly exterminate the heaven-born light.]

          For certes the body
  bryngynge the weyhte of foryetynge / ne hath nat chasyd           2856
  owt of yowr{e} thowhte al the clernesse of yowre knowyng //

    [Sidenote: The germs of truth were latent within, and were fanned
    into action by the gentle breath of learning.]

  For certeynly the seed of sooth haldith {and} clyueth
  w{i}t{h} in yowr{e} corage / {and} it is a-waked {and} excited by
  the wynde {and} by the blastes of doctryne //

    [Sidenote: Were not truth implanted in the heart, how could man
    distinguish right from wrong?]

          For wher{e}                                               2860
  for elles demen ye of yowr{e} owne wyl the ryhtes whan
  ye ben axed // but yif so wer{e} þ{a}t the noryssynges of
  resou{n} ne lyuede .I.-plowngyd in the depthe of yowr{e}
  herte // this [is] to seyn how sholden men demen þe               2864
  sooth of any thing þ{a}t weer{e} axed / yif ther neer{e} a
  Roote of sothfastnesse þ{a}t weer{e} yplowngyd {and} hyd in
  the natur{e}[l] pryncyplis / the whiche sothfastnesse
  lyued w{i}t{h} in the depnesse of the thowght //

    [Sidenote: So, if what Plato taught is true, ‘to learn is no other
    than to remember what had been before forgotten.’]

          {and} yif                                                 2868
  so be þ{a}t the Muse {and} the doctryne of plato syngyth
  sooth // al þ{a}t eu{er}y whyht lerneth / he ne doth no
  thing elles tha{n}ne but recordeth as me{n} recordyn thinges
  þ{a}t ben foryetyn.                                               2872

    [Linenotes:
    2838 _his_--H. þis
         _that_--H. {and} þ{a}t
    2841 _blake_--H. blak
         _hadde y-couered_--H. had cou{er}ed
    2842 _lyhten_--H. light
    2843 _dep[e]_--C. dep, H. depe
    2847 _thing_--H. þyng{es}
    2863 _depthe_--H. depe
    2864 [_is_]--from H.
         _sholden_--H. shulde
    2867 _nature[l]_--H. nat{ur}ell{e}]


    [Headnote:
    THE WORLD GOVERNED BY GOD.]

TUM EGO PLATONI INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The .12. p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ I am quite of Plato’s opinion, for you have now a
    second time recalled these things to my remembrance which had been
    forgotten, first by the contagious union of soul and body, and
    afterwards by the pressure of my afflictions.]

  ++THanne seide I thus // I acorde me gretly to plato / for
  thow remenbrist {and} recordist me thise thinges yit]

    [Sidenote: [*_Addit. MS. 10,340, fol. 23._]]

  *þe seconde tyme. þat is to seyn. first whan I lost[e] my
  memorie by þe co{n}tagioũs coniuncc{i}ou{n} of þe body wiþ        2876
  þe soule. {and} eftsones afterward whan I lost[e] it co{n}founded
  by þe charge {and} by þe burden of my sorwe.

    [Sidenote: _P._ If you will reflect upon the concessions you have
    already made, you will soon call to mind that truth, of which you
    lately confessed your ignorance.]

  ¶ And þan sayde she þus. ¶ If þou look[e] q{uo}d she
  firste þe þinges þat þou hast graunted it ne shal nat             2880
  ben ryȝt feer þat þou ne shalt remembren þilke þing þat     [[pg 102]]
  þou seidest þat þou nistest nat.

    [Sidenote: _B._ What is that?]

          what þing q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ It was, by what power the world is governed.]

  ¶ by whiche gouerme{n}t q{uo}d she þat þis worlde is
  gouerned.

    [Sidenote: _B._ With regard to that, I own I confessed my
    ignorance, but though I now remotely see what you infer, yet I
    wish for further explanation from you.]

          Me remembriþ it wel q{uo}d I. {and} I confesse            2884
  wel þat I ne wist[e] it nat ¶ But al be it so þat
  I se now fro{m} afer what þou p{ur}posest ¶ Algates I
  desire ȝit to herkene it of þe more pleynely.

    [Sidenote: _P._ You acknowledged a little while ago that this
    world was governed by God?]

          ¶ þou ne
  wendest nat q{uo}d she a litel here byforne þat men               2888
  sholden doute þat þis worlde is gouerned by god.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I still cling to this opinion, and will give you
    my reasons for this belief.]

  ¶ Certys q{uo}d I ne ȝitte doute I it nauȝt. ne I nil
  neuer wene þat it were to doute. as who seiþ. but I
  wot wel þat god gouerneþ þis worlde. ¶ And I shal                 2892
  shortly answere þe by what resou{n}s I am brouȝt to þis.

    [Sidenote: The discordant elements of this world would never have
    assumed their present form unless there had been a wise
    Intelligence to unite them; and even after such a union, the
    joining of such opposites would have disunited and ruined the
    fabric made up of them, had not the same conjoining hand kept them
    together.]

  ¶ þis worlde q{uod} I of so many dyuerse {and} co{n}trarious
  p{ar}ties ne myȝten neuer han ben assembled in o forme.
  but yif þere ne were oon þat conioigned so many[e                 2896
  diu{er}se] þinges. ¶ And þe same diuersite of hire
  natures þat so discordeden þat oon fro þat oþer most[e]
  dep{ar}ten {and} vnioigne{n} þe þi{n}ges þat ben co{n}ioigned.
  yif þere ne were oon þat contened[e] þat he haþ co{n}ioigned      2900
  {and} ybounde.

    [Sidenote: The order that reigns throughout nature could not
    proceed so regularly and uniformly if there were not a Being,
    unchangeable and stedfast, to order and dispose so great a
    diversity of changes.]

          ne þe certein ordre of nature ne
  sholde. nat brynge furþe so ordinee moeuynge. by
  places. by tymes. by doynges. by spaces. by qualites.
  yif þere ne were oon þat were ay stedfast dwellynge.              2904
  þat ordeyned[e] {and} disposed[e] þise diuersites of
  moeuynges.

    [Sidenote: This Being, the creator and ruler of all things, I call
    God.]

          ¶ and þilke þinge what so euer it be. by
  whiche þat alle þinges ben maked {and} ylad. I clepe
  hym god þat is a worde þat is vsed to alle folke.                 2908

    [Sidenote: _P._ As thy sentiments on these points are so just I
    have but little more to do--for thou mayest be happy and secure,
    and revisit thy own country.]

  þan seide she. syn þou felest þus þise þinges q{uo}d she. I
  trowe þat I haue lytel more to done. þat þou myȝty of
  wilfulnesse hool {and} sounde ne se eftsones þi contre.

    [Linenotes:
    2875, 2877 _lost[e]_--loste
    2878 _burden_--burdene
    2879 _look[e]_--looke
    2880 _firste_--fyrst
    2883 _whiche_--which
         _gouerment_--gou{er}nement
         _worlde_--wordyl
    2885 _wist[e]_--wiste
    2887 _pleynely_--pleynly
    2888 _here byforne_--her byforn
    2889 _worlde is_--world nis
    2890 _ȝitte doute_--yit ne dowte
         _nil_--nel
    2892 _wot_--MS. wote, C. wot
    2892, 2894 _worlde_--world
    2893 _answere_--answeren
    2894 _many_--manye
    2895 _myȝten_--myhte
    2896 _þere_--ther
         _many[e]_--manye
    2897 [_diuerse_]--from C.
         _hire_--hir
    2898 _most[e]_--moste
    2900 _þere_--ther
         _contened[e]_--contenede
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    2902 _furþe_--forth
         _ordinee moeuynge_--ordene moeuynges
    2904 _þere_--ther
         _stedfast_--stidefast
    2905 _ordeyned[e]_--ordeynede
         _disposed[e]_--disponede
    2907 _whiche_--which
         _ben_--be
         _ylad_--MS. yladde, C. I-ladd
    2908 _worde_--word
         _folke_--foolk
    2911 _wilfulnesse_--welefulnesse]

    [Headnote:
    GOD IS ALL-SUFFICIENT.]

    [Sidenote: But let us reflect a little more upon these matters.]

  ¶ But lat vs loken þe þinges þat we han
                  p{ur}posed her-byforn.                      [[pg 103]]

    [Sidenote: Did we not agree that _Sufficiency_ is of the nature of
    true happiness?]

  ¶ Haue I nat nou{m}bred {and} seid q{uod} she                     2913
  þat suffisaunce is in blisfulnesse.

    [Sidenote: And have we not seen that God is that true felicity,
    and that He needs no external aid nor instruments?]

          {and} we han accorded
  þat god is {and} þilke same blisfulnesse. ¶ yis forsoþe q{uo}d
  I. {and} þat to gouerne þis worlde q{uod} she. ne shal he         2916
  neuer han nede of none helpe fro wiþoute.

    [Sidenote: For if he should, he would not be self-sufficient.]

          for ellys yif
  he had[de] nede of any helpe. he ne sholde not haue
  [no] ful suffisau{n}ce. ȝis þus it mot nedes be q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: And he directs all things by himself alone?]

  ¶ þan ordeyneþ he by hym self al oon alle þinges q{uo}d           2920
  she.

    [Sidenote: _B._ It cannot be gainsaid.]

          þat may nat ben denied q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ I have shown that God is the chief good; God must,
    therefore, direct and order all things by _good_, since he governs
    them by himself, whom we have proved to be the _supreme good_, and
    he is that helm and rudder, by which this machine of the world is
    steadily and securely conducted.]

          ¶ And I haue
  shewed þat god is þe same good. ¶ It reme{m}breþ me
  wel q{uo}d I. ¶ þan ordeineþ he alle þinges by þilke
  goode q{uod} she. Syn he whiche we han accorded to                2924
  ben good gouerneþ alle þi{n}g{us} by hym self. {and} he is a
  keye {and} a stiere by whiche þat þe edifice of þis worlde
  is ykept stable {and} wiþ oute corumpynge

    [Sidenote: _B._ I entirely agree to this, and partly anticipated
    your remarks.]

          ¶ I accorde
  me gretly q{uod} I. {and} I ap{er}ceiuede a litel here byforn     2928
  þat þou woldest seyne þus. Al be it so þat it were by
  a þinne suspeciou{n}.

    [Sidenote: _P._ I believe it; for your eyes are now more intent
    upon these great truths relating to true felicity; but what I am
    going to say is not less open to your view.]

          I trowe it wel q{uo}d she. ¶ For as
  I trowe þou leedest nowe more ententifly þine eyen to
  loken þe verray goodes ¶ but naþeles þe þinges þat I              2932
  shal telle þe ȝit ne sheweþ nat lasse to loken.

    [Sidenote: _B._ What is that?]

          what is
  þat q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ As we believe that God governs all things by his
    goodness, and that all things have a natural tendency towards the
    _good_, can it be doubted but that they all voluntarily submit to
    the will and control of their ruler?]

          ¶ So as men trowen q{uo}d she {and} þat
  ryȝtfully þat god gouerneþ alle þinges by þe keye of his
  goodnesse. ¶ And alle þise same þinges as I [haue]                2936
  tauȝt þe. hasten hem by naturel ente{n}c{i}ou{n} to comen
  to goode þer may no man doute{n}. þat þei ne ben
  gouerned uoluntariely. {and} þat þei ne conuerten [hem]
  nat of her owe{n} wille to þe wille of hire ordeno{ur}.           2940

    [Linenotes:
    2912 _han_--ha
    2913 _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyd
    2916 _worlde_--world
    2917 _none helpe_--non help
    2918 _had[de]_--hadde
         _helpe_--help
    2919 [_no_]--from C.
    2920 _al oon_--allone
    2921 _ben denied_--be denoyed
    2924, 2926 _whiche_--which
    2925 _ben_--be
    2926 _worlde_--world
    2928 _gretly_--gretely
         _here_--her
    2929 _seyne_--seye
    2931 _nowe_--now
    2932 _naþeles_--nat[h]les
    2935 _ryȝtfully_--MS. on ryȝtfully
    2936 [_haue_]--from C.
    2938 _goode_--good
    2939 [_hem_]--from C.
    2940 _nat_--omitted
         _her_--hir
         _owen_--owne
         _wille_ (_both_)--wil
         _hire_--hyr]

    [Headnote:
    ALL THINGS SUBMIT TO GOD.]

  as þei þat ben accordyng {and} enclinynge to her gouerno{ur}
  {and} her kyng.                                             [[pg 104]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ It cannot be otherwise. There would be no safety
    for those who obey, if the discord of a portion were allowed.]

          ¶ It mot nedys be so q{uo}d. I.

    [Sidenote: [* Fol. 23 _b_.]]

  *¶ For þe realme ne sholde not seme blisful ȝif þere were a ȝok
  of mysdrawynges in diu{er}se p{ar}ties ne þe sauynge of           2944
  obedient þinges ne sholde nat be.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Is there anything that follows the dictates of
    nature that seeks to counteract the will of God?]

          þan is þere no þing
  q{uo}d she þ{a}t kepiþ hys nature[;] þat enforceþ hym to
  gone aȝeyne god.

    [Sidenote: _B._ No.]

          ¶ No q{uo}d. I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ If there should be any such, it could not prevail
    against him, who is supremely happy and consequently omnipotent.]

          ¶ And if þat any þi{n}g
  enforced[e] hym to wiþstonde god. myȝt[e] it auayle at            2948
  þe laste aȝeyns hym þat we han g{ra}unted to ben al
  myȝty by þe ryȝt of blisfulnesse. ¶ Certis q{uo}d I al
  outerly it ne myȝt[e] nat auaylen hym.

    [Sidenote: Then there is nothing that either will or can withstand
    this supreme good?]

          þan is þere no
  þing q{uo}d she þat eyþer wol or may wiþstonde to þis             2952
  souereyne good.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Nothing, certainly.]

          ¶ I trowe nat q{uo}d. I

    [Sidenote: _P._ It is then the supreme good that governs and
    orders all things powerfully and benignly.]

          ¶ þan is
  þilke þe souereyne good q{uo}d she þat alle þi{n}g{us}
  gouerneþ strongly {and} ordeyneþ hem softly.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I am delighted with your _conclusions_, but much
    more with your _language_; so that fools may be ashamed of their
    objections to the divine government.]

          þa{n} seide I
  þus. I delite me q{uo}d I nat oonly in þe endes or in þe          2956
  so{m}mes of [the] resou{n}s þat þou hast concludid {and}
  p{ro}ued. ¶ But þilke wordes þat þ{o}u vsest deliten me
  moche more. ¶ So at þe last[e] fooles þat so{m}tyme
  renden greet[e] þinges auȝte{n} ben asshamed of hem               2960
  self.

    [Sidenote: [Chaucer’s gloss.]]

          ¶ þat is to seyne þ{a}t we fooles þat rep{re}henden
  wickedly þe þi{n}g{us} þat touchen goddes gouernaunce we
  auȝte{n} ben asshamed of oure self. As I þat seide god
  refuseþ oonly þe werkes of men. {and} ne entremetiþ nat           2964
  of he{m}.

    [Sidenote: _P._ You have read the Poets’ fables, how the Giants
    stormed heaven--how they were repulsed and punished according to
    their deserts; but may we not compare our reasons together, for by
    so doing some clear spark of truth may shine forth?]

          _p._ þou hast wel herd q{uo}d she þe fables of þe
  poetes. how þe geauntes assailden þe heuene wiþ þe
  goddes. but for soþe þe debonaire force of god disposed[e]
  hem so as it was worþi. þat is to seyne distroied[e] þe           2968
  geauntes. as it was worþi. ¶ But wilt þou þat we
  ioygnen togedre þilke same resou{n}s. for p{er}auenture of
  swiche coniuncc{i}ou{n} may sterten vp some faire sp{er}kele
  of soþe

    [Sidenote: _B._ As you please.]

          ¶ Do q{uo}d I as þe list.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Is God omnipotent?]

          wenest þou q{uo}d she                                     2972
  þat god ne is almyȝty. no man is in doute of it.            [[pg 105]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ No one doubts it.]

          Certys
  q{uo}d I no wyȝt ne defendiþ it if he be in hys mynde.

    [Linenotes:
    2941 _her_--hyr
    2943 _realme_--Reaume
         _seme_--semen
    2945 _þere_--ther
    2947 _gone aȝeyne_--goon ayein
    2948 _enforced[e]_--enforcede
         _myȝt[e]_--myhte
         _auayle_--auaylen
    2949 _aȝeyns_--a-yenis
    2951 _outerly_--owtrely
         _myȝt[e]_--myhte
         _auaylen_--MS. aualeyne, C. auaylen
         _hym_--hem
         _þere_--ther
    2952 _wol_--wole
         _wiþstonde_--w{i}t{h}-stondyn
         _þis souereyne_--his sou{er}eyn
    2955 _softly_--softtely
    2957 _sommes_--somme
         [_the_]--from C.
    2959 _last[e]_--laste
    2960 _greet[e]_--grete
    2960, 2963 _auȝten_--owhten
    2961 _seyne_--seyn
    2965 _of hem_--of it
         _herd_--MS. herde, C. herd
    2967 _disposed[e]_--desposede
    2968 _seyne distroied[e]_--seyn destroyede
    2971 _swiche_--swych
         _some_--som
    2972 _soþe_--soth
         _list_--liste
    2973 _is_ (1)--be
         _man_--omitted
         _is_ (2)--nis
    2974 _defendiþ_--dowteth]

    [Headnote:
    EVIL HAS NO EXISTENCE.]

    [Sidenote: _P._ If he is almighty, there are, then, no limits to
    his power?]

  but he q{uo}d she þat is al myȝty þere nis no þing þat he
  ne may do.

    [Sidenote: _B._ He can doubtless do all things.]

          þat is soþe q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ May God do evil?]

          May god done yuel                                         2976
  q{uo}d she.

    [Sidenote: _B._ No.]

          nay for soþe q{uo}d. I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Is evil nothing, since God, who is almighty,
    cannot do it?]

          ¶ þan is yuel no þing
  q{uo}d she. ¶ Syn þat he ne may not done yuel þat
  may done alle þinges.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Dost thou mock me or play with me, leading me with
    thy arguments into an inextricable labyrinth, and enclosing me in
    a wonderful circle of Divine Simplicity?]

          scornest þou me q{uo}d. I. or ellys
  pleyest þou or deceiuest þou me. þat hast so wouen me             2980
  wiþ þi resou{n}s. þe house of didalus so entrelaced. þat it
  is vnable to ben vnlaced. þou þat oþer while entrest
  þere þou issest {and} oþer while issest þere þou entrest.
  ne fooldest þou nat to gidre by replicac{i}ou{n} of wordes a      2984
  maner wondirful cercle or envirounynge of symplicite
  deuyne.

    [Sidenote: For thou didst first begin with happiness, and didst
    say that it was the sovereign good, and that it resided in God;
    then, that God was that _Good_ and the perfection of happiness;
    and, hence, thou didst infer that nobody could be happy unless he
    became likewise a God.]

          ¶ For certys a litel her byforn{e} whan þou bygu{n}ne
  atte blisfulnesse þ{o}u seidest þat it is souereyne
  good. {and} seidest þat it is set in souereyne god. {and} þat     2988
  god is þe ful[le] blisfulnesse. for whiche þou ȝaf[e] me
  as a couenable ȝifte. þat is to seyne þ{a}t no wyȝt nis
  blisful. but yif he be good al so þer wiþ

    [Sidenote: Again, thou saidst that the very form of good was the
    substance whereof God and happiness were composed, and that it was
    the object and desire of all things in nature.]

          {and} seidest
  eke þat þe forme of goode is þe substaunce of god. {and}          2992
  of blisfulnesse. {and} seidest þ{a}t þilke same oone is þilke
  same goode þat is requered {and} desired of al þe kynde
  of þinges.

    [Sidenote: Thou didst prove that God rules the world by his
    goodness, and that all things willingly obeyed him; and that evil
    has no existence.]

          {and} þou p{ro}euedest in disputynge þat god
  gouerneþ alle [the] þinges of þe worlde by þe gouernementys       2996
  of bountee. {and} seydest þat alle þinges wolen
  ybeyen to hym. and seidest þat þe nature of yuel nis
  no þing.

    [Sidenote: These truths you established by forcible and natural
    arguments, and by no strained and far-fetched reasons.]

          {and} þise þinges ne shewedest þou nat wiþ no
  resou{n}s ytake fro wiþoute but by proues in cercles {and}        3000
  homelyche knowen. ¶ þe whiche p{ro}eues drawen to hem
  self hir feiþ {and} hir accorde eu{er}iche [of] hem of oþer. þan
  seide she þus.

    [Sidenote: _P._ I have not deluded you, for by the Divine aid we
    have accomplished our chief task.]

          I ne scorne þe nat ne pleye ne desseyue
  þe. but I haue shewed to þe þinge þat is grettest ouer      [[pg 106]]
  alle þinges by þe ȝifte of god þat we some tyme prayden           3005

    [Linenotes:
    2975 _þere_--ther
    2976 _do_--C. omits
         _soþe_--soth
         _done_--don
    2978, 2979 _done_--don
    2980 _wouen_--MS. wonnen, C. wouen
    2981 _house_--hows
    2983 _þere_ (_both_)--ther
    2987 _atte_--at
    2988 _set_--MS. sette, C. set
    2989 _ful[le]_--fulle
         _whiche_--which
         _ȝaf[e]_--yaue
    2990 _ȝifte_--yift
         _seyne_--seyn
    2992, 2994 _goode_--good
    2993 _oone_--oon
    2994 _al_--alle
    2996 [_the_]--from C.
    2998 _ybeyen_--obeyen
    2999 _no_ (2)--none
    3000 _ytake_--I-taken
    3001 _homelyche_--hoomlich
    3002 _eueriche_--eu{er}ich
         [_of_]--from C.
    3004 _þe þinge_--the the thing
    3005 _ȝifte_--yift
         _some tyme prayden_--whilom preyeden]

    [Headnote:
    GOD IS LIKE A SPHERE.]

    [Sidenote: I have proved to you that it is an essential property
    of the Divine nature not to go out of itself, nor to receive into
    itself anything extraneous.]

  ¶ For þis is þe forme of [the] deuyne substaunce. þat
  is swiche þat it ne slydeþ nat in to outerest foreine
  þinges. ne ne rec[e]yueþ no st{ra}nge þinges in hym.              3008

    [Sidenote: Parmenides says of the Deity that _God is like a
    well-rounded sphere_.]

  but ryȝt as p{ar}maynws seide in grek of þilke deuyne substaunce.
  he seide þus þat þilke deuyne substaunce
  torneþ þe worlde {and} þilke cercle moeueable of þinges
  while þilke dyuyne substau{n}ce kepiþ it self wiþ outen           3012
  moeuynge.

    [Sidenote: He causes the moving globe to revolve, but is himself
    immovable.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 24.]]

          þat *is to seyne þat it ne moeuiþ neuere mo.
  {and} ȝitte it moeueþ alle oþer þinges.

    [Sidenote: If I have chosen my arguments from the subjects within
    range of our discussion, do not let that surprise you, for, as
    Plato has taught us, there ought to be an alliance between the
    words and the subject of discourse.]

          but na-þeles yif I
  [haue] stered resou{n}s þat ne ben nat taken fro wiþ oute
  þe compas of þe þinge of whiche we treten. but resou{n}s          3016
  þat ben bystowed wiþ i{n}ne þat compas þere nis nat whi
  þat þou sholde[st] merueylen. sen þou hast lerned by
  þe sentence of plato þat nedes þe wordes moten ben
  cosynes to þo þinges of whiche þei speken.                        3020

    [Linenotes:
    3006 [_the_]--from C.
    3007 _swiche_--swich
    3009 _parmaynws_--a p{ar}manides
    3011 _worlde_--world
    3012 _while_--whil
         _wiþ outen_--w{i}t{h} owte
    3013 _seyne_--seyn
    3014 _ȝitte_--yit
         _oþer_--oothre
    3015 [_haue_]--from C.
    3016 _whiche_--which
    3017 _wiþ inne_--w{i}t{h} in
    3020 _cosynes_--MS. conceyued, C. cosynes
         _þo_--þe
         _whiche_--which]


    [Headnote:
    THE POWER OF MUSIC.]

FELIX QUI POTERIT. {ET} CET{ER}A.

  [Sidenote: [The .12. Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Happy is he that hath seen the lucid spring of truth!
    Happy the man that hath freed himself from terrestrial chains!]

  ++Blisful is þat man þat may seen þe clere welle of good.
  blisful is he þat may vnbynde hym fro þe bonde of
  heuy erþe.

    [Sidenote: The Thracian poet, consumed with grief for the loss of
    his wife, sought relief from music.]

          ¶ þe poete of t{ra}ce [orphe{us}] þat somtyme
  hadde ryȝt greet sorowe for þe deeþ of hys wijf.

    [Sidenote: His mournful songs drew the woods along; the rolling
    rivers ceased to flow; the savage beasts became heedless of their
    prey; the timid hare was not aghast at the hound.]

          aftir þat                                                 3024
  he hadde maked by hys wepely songes þe wodes meueable
  to rennen. {and} hadde ymaked þe ryueres to stonden
  stille. {and} maked þe hertys {and} hyndes to ioignen
  dredles hir sides to cruel lyou{n}s to herkene his songe.         3028
  {and} had[de] maked þat þe hare was nat agast of þe
  hounde whiche þat was plesed by hys songe.

    [Sidenote: But the songs that did all things tame, could not allay
    their master’s ardent love.]

          so þat
  whane þe most[e] ardaunt loue of hys wijf brende þe
  entrailes of his brest. ne þe songes þat hadde ouer         [[pg 107]]
  comen alle þinges ne myȝten nat assuage hir lorde                 3033
  orpheus.

    [Sidenote: He bewailed the cruelty of the gods above, and
    descended to Pluto’s realm.]

          ¶ He pleyned[e] hym of þe godes þat were{n}
  cruel to hym. he wente hym to þe houses of helle

    [Sidenote: There he struck his tuneful strings and sang,
    exhausting all the harmonious art imparted to him by his mother
    Calliope.]

  {and} þere he tempred[e] hys blaundissyng songes by resounyng     3036
  of hys strenges. ¶ And spak {and} song in
  wepynge alle þat euer he hadde resceyued {and} laued
  oute of þe noble welles of hys modir calliope þe goddesse.

    [Sidenote: In songs dictated both by grief and love, he implored
    the infernal powers to give him back his Eurydice.]

  {and} he song wiþ as mychel as he myȝt[e] of                      3040
  wepynge. {and} wiþ as myche as loue þat doubled[e] his
  sorwe myȝt[e] ȝeuen hym {and} teche hy{m} in his seke
  h{er}te. ¶ And he commoeuede þe helle {and} requered[e]
  {and} souȝte by swete p{re}iere þe lordes of soules in helle      3044
  of relesynge. þat is to seyne to ȝelden hym hys wif.

    [Sidenote: Cerberus, Hell’s three-headed porter, stood amazed;]

  ¶ Cerberus þe porter of helle wiþ his þre heuedes was
  cauȝt {and} al abaist for þe new[e] songe.

    [Sidenote: the Furies, tormentors of guilty souls, did weep;]

          {and} þe þre goddesses
  furijs {and} vengerisse of felonies þat to{ur}mente{n}            3048
  {and} agaste{n} þe soules by anoye wexen sorweful {and} sory
  {and} wepen teres for pitee.

    [Sidenote: Ixion, tormented by the revolving wheel, found rest;]

          þan was nat þe heued of
  Ixion{e} yto{ur}mented by þe ou{er}þrowi{n}g whele.

    [Sidenote: Tantalus, suffering from a long and raging thirst,
    despised the stream;]

          ¶ And
  tantalus þat was destroied by þe woodnesse of longe               3052
  þrust dispiseþ þe flodes to drynke.

    [Sidenote: and the greedy vulture did cease to eat and tear the
    growing liver of Tityus.]

          þe fowel þat hyȝt
  voltor þat etiþ þe stomak or þe giser of ticius is so fulfilled
  of his songe þat it nil etyn ne tyren no more.

    [Linenotes:
    3022 _vnbynde_--vnbyndyn
         _bonde_--bondes
    3023 [_orpheus_]--from C.
         _somtyme_--whilom
    3024 _sorowe_--sorwe
    3028 _dredles_--dredeles
         _to herkene_--forto herknen
    3029 _had[de]_--hadde
    3030 _þat_ (2)--omitted
    3031 _most[e]_--moste
    3032 _hadde_--hadden
    3033 _assuage_--asswagen
         _lorde_--lord
    3034 _pleyned[e]_--pleynede
         _godes_--heuene goodes
    3035 _wente_--MS. wenten, C. wente
    3036 _tempred[e] hys_--temprede hise
    3037 _of hys_--C. omits
         _spak_--MS. spakke, C. spak
         _song_--MS. songe, C. soonge
    3038 _alle_--al
    3039 _oute_--owt
         _goddesse_--goddes
    3040 _song_--MS. songe, C. soonge
         _mychel_--mochel
    3041 _myche_--moche
         _doubled[e]_--dowblede
    3042 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
         _ȝeuen_--yeue
         _teche_--thechen
         _in----herte_--omitted
    3043 _commoeuede_--MS. comaunded, C. co{m}moeuede
    3044 _souȝte_--by-sowhte
    3045 _ȝelden_--yilden
    3046 _his_--hise
    3047 _cauȝt_--MS. cauȝte, C. cawht
         _new[e] songe_--newe song
    3049 _anoye----sorweful_--anoy woxen soruful
    3050 _þan_--tho ne
    3051 _whele_--wheel
    3053 _þrust_--thurst
         _hyȝt_--hihte
    3054 _fulfilled_--fulfyld
    3055 _songe_--song]

    [Headnote:
    FIX NOT THE THOUGHTS ON EARTHLY THINGS.]

    [Sidenote: At length Pluto himself relented, crying out, ‘We are
    overcome! Let us give him back his wife, he hath well won her by
    his song.]

  ¶ Atte þe laste þe lorde {and} Iuge of soules was moeued          3056
  to misericordes {and} cried[e] we ben ouer comen q{uo}d
  he. yif[e] we to orpheus his wijf to bere hym co{m}paignye
  he haþ welle I-bouȝt hir by his faire songe {and}
  his ditee.                                                  [[pg 108]]

    [Sidenote: But we will lay this injunction upon him. Till he
    escape the infernal bounds, he shall not cast a backward look.’]

          but we wil putte{n} a lawe in þis. {and} couenaunt        3060
  in þe ȝifte. þ{a}t is to seyne. þat til he be out of
  helle yif he loke byhynden hym [þ{a}t] hys wijf shal
  come{n} aȝeine to vs

    [Sidenote: But, who shall give a lover any law? Love is a greater
    law than may be given to any earthly man.]

          ¶ but what is he þat may ȝeue a
  lawe to loueres. loue is a gretter lawe {and} a strengere to      3064
  hym self þan any lawe þ{a}t men may ȝeuen.

    [Sidenote: Alas! having left the realms of night, Orpheus cast a
    look behind and lost his too-much-loved Euridice.]

          ¶ Allas
  whan Orpheus {and} his wijf were al most at þe termes of
  þe nyȝt. þat is to seyne at þe last[e] boundes of helle.
  Orpheus loked[e] abakwarde on Erudice his wijf {and}              3068
  lost[e] hir {and} was deed.

    [Sidenote: This fable belongs to all you, whose minds would view
    the Sovereign Good.]

          ¶ þis fable app{er}teineþ to
  ȝow alle who so euer desireþ or sekiþ to lede his þouȝte
  in to þe souereyne day. þat is to seyne to clerenes[se]
  of souereyne goode.

    [Sidenote: For he who fixes his thoughts upon earthly things and
    low, must lose the noble and heaven-imparted Good.]

          ¶ For who so þat eu{er}e be so ouer                       3072
  come{n} þat he fycche hys eyen in to þe put[te] of helle.
  þat is to seyne who so setteþ his þouȝtes in erþely
  þinges. al þat euer he haþ drawen of þe noble good
  celestial he lesiþ it whan he lokeþ þe helles. þat is to          3076
  seyne to lowe þinges of þe erþe.

  EXPLICIT LIBER TERCIUS.

    [Linenotes:
    3056 _Atte_--At
         _lorde_--lord
    3057 _cried[e]_--cryde
    3058 _yif[e]_--yiue
    3059 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _welle_--wel
         _faire_--C. omits
         _songe_--song
    3060 _wil putten_--wol putte
    3062 _byhynden_--by-hynde
         [_þat_]--from C.
    3063 _to_--vn-to
    3064 _gretter_--gret
    3066 _were al most_--weren almest
    3067 _last[e]_--laste
    3068 _loked[e] abakwarde_--lookede abacward
    3069 _lost[e]_--loste
    3070 _þouȝte_--thowht
    3071 _clerenes[se]_--clernesse
    3072 _souereyne goode_--sou{er}eyn god
    3073 _put[te]_--putte
    3074 _setteþ_--sette
    3075 _haþ_--MS. haþe]



    [Headnote:
    THE EXISTENCE OF EVIL.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 24 _b_.]]

*INCIPIT LIBER QUARTUS.


HEC CUM PHILOSOPHIA DIGNITATE UULT{US}.

  [Sidenote: [The 1^ma p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: When P. with grace and dignity had poured forth her
    songs, I, not quite quit of my load of grief, interrupted her as
    she was continuing her discourse.]

  ++Whanne philosophie hadde songe{n} softly {and} delitably
  þe forseide þinges kepynge þe dignitee of hir
  choere in þe weyȝte of hir wordes. I þan þat ne hadde             3080
  nat al out{er}ly forȝeten þe wepyng {and} mournyng
  þat was set in myne herte for-brek þe entenc{i}ou{n} of hir
  þat entended[e] ȝitte to seyne oþ{er} þinges.

    [Sidenote: All your discourses, O my conductress to the true
    light! have been very clear and unanswerable, both by the divine
    testimony which they carry along with them, and by thy
    irrefragable arguments.]

          ¶ Se q{uo}d
  I. þou þat art gideresse of verray lyȝte þe þinges þat þou        3084
  hast seid [me] hider to ben to me so clere
                  {and} so shewyng                            [[pg 109]]
  by þe deuyne lokyng of hem {and} by þi resou{n}s þat
  þei ne mowe nat ben ouercomen.

    [Sidenote: Through the oppression of grief I had forgotten these
    truths, but was not wholly ignorant of them.]

          ¶ And þilke þi{n}g{us}
  þat þou toldest me. al be it so þat I hadde som tyme              3088
  fo[r]ȝeten hem for [the] sorwe of þe wronge þat haþ ben
  don to me. ȝit naþeles þei ne were nat alouterly vnknowen
  to me.

    [Sidenote: The principal cause of my trouble is this--that, whilst
    the absolute Ruler of all things is goodness itself, evil exists
    and is allowed to pass unpunished.]

          but þis same is namly a gret cause of
  my sorwe. þat so as þe gouernoure of þinges is goode.             3092
  yif þat yuelys mowen ben by any weyes. or ellys yif
  þat yuelys passen wiþ outen punyssheinge.

    [Sidenote: This, to say the least, is astonishing.]

          þe whiche
  þinge oonly how worþi it is to ben wondred vpon. þou
  considerest it weel þi self certeynly.

    [Sidenote: Moreover, while _vice_ flourishes _virtue_ is not only
    unrewarded, but trampled under foot by base and profligate men,
    and suffers the punishment due to impiety.]

          but ȝitte to þis                                          3096
  þing þere is an oþer þing y-ioigned more to ben ywondred
  vpon. ¶ For felonie is emperisse {and} flowreþ ful of
  rycchesse. and vertues nis nat al oonly wiþ outen medes.
  but it is cast vndir {and} fortroden vndir þe feet of felonous    3100
  folk. {and} it abieþ þe to{ur}me{n}tes in sted of
  wicked felou{n}s

    [Sidenote: Here is cause for wonderment, since such things are
    possible under the government of an omniscient and omnipotent God,
    who wills nothing but what is the best.]

          ¶ Of al[le] whiche þing þer nis no wyȝt
  þat [may] merueyllen ynouȝ ne compleyne þat swiche
  þinges ben don in þe regne of god þat alle þinges woot.           3104
  and alle þinges may {and} ne wool nat but only goode
  þinges.

    [Sidenote: _P._ It were indeed, not only marvellous, but also
    horribly monstrous, if, in the well-regulated family of so great a
    master, the worthless vessels should be honoured and the precious
    ones be despised:--but it is not so.]

          ¶ þan seide she þus. certys q{uo}d she þat were
  a grete meruayle {and} an enbaissynge wiþouten ende.
  {and} wel more horrible þan alle monstres yif it were as          3108
  þ{o}u wenest. þat is to sein. þat in þe ryȝt ordeyne house
  of so mochel a fader {and} an ordenour of meyne. þat þe
  vesseles þat ben foule {and} vyle sholde ben hono{ur}ed
  {and} heried. and þe p{re}cious uesseles sholde ben defouled      3112
  {and} vyle. but it nis nat so.

    [Sidenote: For if the conclusions we have come to, be sound and
    irrefragable, we must confess that under God’s rule the _good_ are
    always powerful and mighty, and the _wicked_ weak and
    contemptible;]

          For yif þe þinges
  þat I haue co{n}cluded a litel here byforne ben kept hoole  [[pg 110]]
  {and} vnraced. þou shalt wel knowe by þe auctorite of
  god. of þe whos regne I speke þat certys þe good[e]               3116
  folk ben alwey myȝty. {and} shrewes ben alwey yuel {and}
  feble.

    [Sidenote: that vice never passes unpunished, nor virtue goes
    unrewarded;]

          ne þe vices ben neu{e}re mo wiþ outen peyne[;] ne
  þe vertues ne ben nat wiþ outen mede.

    [Sidenote: that happiness attends good men, and misfortune falls
    to the lot of the wicked.]

          and þat blisfulnesses
  comen alwey to goode folke. {and} infortune comeþ                 3120
  alwey to wicked folke.

    [Sidenote: These and many other truths of like nature shall be
    proved to thee, and shall put an end to thy complaints, and
    strengthen thee with firmness and solidity.]

          ¶ And þou shalt wel knowe
  many[e] þinges of þis kynde þ{a}t sholle cessen þi pleyntes.
  {and} stedfast þe wiþ stedfast saddenesse.

    [Sidenote: Having shown you a picture of true felicity, and
    wherein it resides, I shall now trace out the way which will lead
    you to your home.]

          ¶ And for þou
  hast seyn þe forme of þe verray blisfulnesse by me þat            3124
  [haue] somtyme I-shewed it þe. And þou hast knowen
  i{n} whom blysfulnesse is set. alle þinges I treted þ{a}t I
  trowe ben nessessarie to put[te] furþe ¶ I shal shewe
  þe. þe weye þat shal brynge þe aȝeyne vnto þi house               3128

    [Sidenote: I will give your soul wings to soar aloft, so that all
    tribulation being removed, you may, under my guiding, by my road,
    and with my vehicle, return whole and sound into your own
    country.]

  {and} I shal ficche feþeres in þi þouȝt by whiche it may
  arysen in heyȝte. so þat al tribulac{i}ou{n} don awey þou
  by my gidyng & by my paþe {and} by my sledes shalt
  mowen retourne hool {and} sounde in to þi contre.                 3132

    [Linenotes:
    3078 _softly_--softely
    3080 _choere in_--cheere {and}
    3082 _set_--MS. sette, C. set
         _myne_--Myn
         _for-brek_--MS. for-breke, C. Forbrak
    3083 _entended[e]_--entendede
    3084 _lyȝte_--lyht
    3085 _seid_--MS. seide, C. seid
         [_me_]--from C.
    3086 _þi_--the
    3087 _mowe_--mowen
    3088 _som tyme_--whilom
    3089 [_the_]--from C.
         _wronge_--wrong
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3090 _don_--MS. done, C. don
         _were_--weeren
    3091 _namly_--namely
    3092 _goode_--good
    3094 _wiþ outen_--w{i}t{h} owte
    3095 _þinge_--thing
    3097 _þere_--ther
         _ben ywondred_--be wondryd
    3098 _flowreþ_--MS. folweþ, C. flowrith
    3099 _rycchesse_--Rychesses
         _vertues_--vertu
         _wiþ outen_--w{i}t{h} owte
    3101 _in sted_--in stide
    3102 _wicked_--wikkede
         _al[le]_--alle
         _þing_--thinges
    3103 [_may_]--from C.
    3104 _don_--MS. done, C. doon
    3105 _wool_--wole
         _goode_--good
    3107 _grete_--gret
         _enbaissynge_--enbasshinge
    3108 _alle_--al
    3109 _ordeyne house_--ordenee hows
    3111, 3113 _vyle_--vyl
    3112 _heried_--he heryed
         _sholde_--sholden
    3113 _þe_--tho
    3114 _here byforne_--her byforn
         _kept_--MS. kepte, C. kept
    3116 _good[e]_--goode
    3117 _alwey_ (2)----_feble_--alwey owt cast {and} feble
    3118, 3119 _wiþ outen_--w{i}t{h} owte
    3119 _vertues_--vertuus
    3122 _many[e]_--manye
         _sholle cessen_--shollen cesen
    3123 _stedfast----stedfast_--strengthyn the w{i}t{h} stidfast
    3124 _seyn_--MS. seyne, C. seyn
    3125 [_haue_]--from C.
         _somtyme_--whilom
    3126 _set_--MS. sette, C. I-set
    3127 _put[te] furþe_--putten forth
    3128 _weye_--wey
         _brynge_--bryngen
         _þi house_--thin hows
    3129 _ficche_--fycchen
    3130 _arysen_--areysen
         _don_--MS. done, C. ydoñ
    3131 _paþe_--paath
         _shalt mowen_--shal mowe
    3132 _sounde_--sownd]


    [Headnote:
    VIRTUE NEVER GOES UNREWARDED.]

SU{N}T ETENIM PENNE. {ET} C{ETERA}.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrste met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: I have nimble wings that enable the mind to rise from
    earth to heaven, to leave the clouds behind, to pass the region of
    perpetual flame, and to reach the starry mansion, journeying
    either by Phœbus’ radiant path, or accompanying cold and aged
    Saturn, or riding, as a soldier, with Mars.]

  ++I Haue for soþe swifte feþeres þat surmou{n}ten þe heyȝt
  of þe heuene whan þe swifte þouȝt haþ cloþed it self.
  in þo feþeres it dispiseþ þe hat[e]ful erþes. {and} surmou{n}teþ
  þe heyȝenesse of þe greet[e] eyir. {and} it seiþ þe               3136
  cloudes by-hynde hir bak {and} passeþ þe heyȝt of þe
  regiou{n} of þe fire þat eschaufiþ by þe swifte moeuyng of
  þe firmament. til þat she a-reisiþ hir in til þe houses þ{a}t
  beren þe sterres. {and} ioygneþ hir weyes wiþ þe sonne      [[pg 111]]
  phebus. {and} felawshipeþ þe weye of þe olde colde                3141
  saturnus. and she ymaked a knyȝt of þe clere sterre.

    [Sidenote: [Chaucer’s Gloss.]]

  þat is to seyne þat þe soule is maked goddys knyȝt by
  þe sekyng of treuþe to comen to þe verray knowlege of             3144
  god.

    [Sidenote: Through every sphere she (the mind) runs where night is
    most cloudless and where the sky is decked with stars, until she
    reaches the heaven’s utmost sphere--]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 25.]]

          and þilke soule renne[þ] by þe cercle *of þe sterres
  in alle þe places þere as þe shynyng nyȝt is depeynted.
  þat is to seyne þe nyȝt þat is cloudeles. for on nyȝtes þat
  ben cloudeles it semeþ as þe heuene were peynted wiþ              3148
  dyuerse ymages of sterres. {and} whan þe soule haþ gon
  ynouȝ she shal forleten þe last[e] poynt of þe heuene.

    [Linenotes:
    3133 _heyȝt of þe heuene_--heyhte of heuene
    3134 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3136 _heyȝenesse----eyir_--Rou{n}dnesse of the grete ayr
         _seiþ_--seth
    3137 _hir_--his
    3138 _fire_--Fyr
         _eschaufiþ_--MS. eschaufiþe
    3139 _she_--he
         _hir_--hym
    3140 _hir_--his
    3141 _weye_--wey
         _þe----saturnus_--MS. saturnus þe olde colde
    3142 _saturnus_--sat{ur}nis
         _she_--he
    3143 _soule_--thowght
    3144 _treuþe_--trowthe
         _knowlege_--knoleche
    3145 _soule_--thoght
    3146 _depeynted_--painted
    3149-50 _and whan----she shal_--{and} whanne he hath I-doon
         ther{e} I-nowh he shal
    3149 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3150 _þe last[e]----heuene_--the laste heuene]

    [Headnote:
    VICE IS ALWAYS PUNISHED.]

    [Sidenote: then pressing on she shall be prepared to see the true
    Source of Light, where the great King of kings bears his mighty
    sceptre, and holds the reins of the universe.]

  {and} she shal p{re}ssen {and} wenden on þe bak of þe swifte
  firmament. and she shal ben maked p{er}fit of þe dredefulle       3152
  clerenesse of god. ¶ þere haldeþ þe lorde of kynges
  þe ceptre of his myȝt {and} atte{m}p{er}eþ þe gouernementes
  of þis worlde.

    [Sidenote: Here the great Judge, standing in shining robes, firmly
    guides his winged chariot, and rules the tumultuous affairs of the
    world.]

          {and} þe shynynge iuge of þinges stable i{n}
  hy{m} self gouerneþ þe swifte carte. þat is to seyne þe           3156
  circuler moeuyng of [the] sonne.

    [Sidenote: If you at length shall arrive at this abode, you will
    say this is my country--here I was born--and here will I abide.]

          {and} yif þi weye ledeþ
  þe aȝeyne so þat þou be brouȝt þider. þan wilt þou seye
  now þat þat is þe contre þat þou requeredest of whiche þou
  ne haddest no mynde. but now it remenbreþ me wel                  3160
  here was I born. here wil I fastne my degree. here wil
  I dwelle.

    [Sidenote: And should you deign to look on the gloomy earth,
    you’ll see those tyrants, the fear of wretched folk, banished from
    those fair realms.]

          but yif þe lyke þan to loken on þe derkenesse
  of þe erþe þat þou hast for-leten. þan shalt þou seen þat
  þise felonous tyrauntes þat þe wrecched[e] poeple dredeþ          3164
  now shule ben exiled from þilke faire contre.

    [Linenotes:
    3151-2 _she_--he
    3152-3 _of þe----of god_--of the worshipful lyht of god
    3153 _þere haldeþ_--ther halt
    3155 _þis worlde_--the world
    3156 _carte_--cart or wayn
    3157 [_the_]--from C.
    3159 _whiche_--which
    3161 _here_ (1, 2, 3)--her
         _born_--MS. borne, C. born
         _wil_ (1)--wol
         _wil_ (2)--wole
    3162 _lyke_--liketh
         _derkenesse_--dyrknesses
    3164 _wrecched[e]_--wrecchede
    3165 _shule_--shollen
         _from_--fro]


                                                              [[pg 112]]
    [Headnote:
    THE GOOD ARE ALWAYS STRONG.]

TUNC EGO PAPE INQ{UA}M. {ET} C{ETERA}.

  [Sidenote: [The 2^e p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ Ah! thou promisest me great things indeed!--but
    without delay, satisfy the expectations you have raised.]

  ++ÞAnne seide I þus. [owh] I wondre me þat þou by-hetest
  me so grete þinges. ne I ne doute nat þat þ{o}u
  ne mayst wel p{er}forme þat þou by-hetest. but I preie þe         3168
  oonly þis. þat þou ne tarie nat to telle me þilke þinges
  þat þou hast meoued.

    [Sidenote: _P._ You must first be convinced that the good are
    always strong and powerful and the wicked destitute of strength.]

          first q{uo}d she þou most nedes
  knowen. þ{a}t good[e] folk ben al wey strong[e] {and}
  myȝty. and þe shrewes ben feble {and} desert {and} naked          3172
  of alle strengþes.

    [Sidenote: These assertions do mutually demonstrate each other.]

          and of þise þinges certys eueryche of
  hem is declared {and} shewed by oþ{er}.

    [Sidenote: For since good and evil are contrary, if good be
    powerful evil must be impotent.]

          ¶ For so as good
  {and} yuel ben two cont{ra}ries. yif so be þat goode be
  stedfast. þa{n} sheweþ þe fieblesse of yuel al openly.            3176

    [Sidenote: And if the frailty of evil is known, the strength and
    stability of good must also be known to you.]

  and yif þou knowe clerely þe freelnesse of yuel. þe stedfastnesse
  of goode is knowen.

    [Sidenote: But to convince you I shall proceed to prove it from
    both these principles, establishing these truths, by arguments
    drawn first from one of these topics and then from the other.]

          but for as moche as þe fey of
  my sentence shal be þe more ferme {and} habou{n}daunt. I
  wil goon by þat oon wey {and} by þat oþer {and} I wil conferme    3180
  þe þinges þat ben p{ur}posed now on þis side {and}
  now on þ{a}t syde.

    [Sidenote: Two things are necessary to every action--the Will and
    the Power; if either be wanting, nothing can be effected.]

          ¶ Two þinges þer ben in whiche þe
  effect of alle þe dedes of man kynde standiþ. þat is to
  seyn. wil {and} power. and yif þat oon of þise two fayleþ         3184
  þere nis no þing þat may be don.

    [Sidenote: A man can do nothing without the concurrence of his
    will, and if power faileth the will is of no effect.]

          for yif þat wil lakkeþ
  þere nys no wyȝt þat vndirtakeþ to done þat he wol not
  don. and yif power fayleþ þe wille nis but i{n} ydel {and}
  stant for nauȝt.

    [Sidenote: Hence, if you see a person desirous of getting what he
    cannot procure, you are sure he lacks power to obtain it.]

          and þer of comeþ it þat yif þou se a                      3188
  wyȝt þat wolde gete{n} þat he may nat geten. þou mayst
  nat douten þat power ne fayleþ hy{m} to haue{n} þat he
  wolde. ¶ þis is open {and} clere q{uo}d I. ne it may nat
  ben denyed in no manere.

    [Sidenote: And if you see another do what he had a mind to do, can
    you doubt that he had the power to do it?]

          and yif þou se a wyȝt q{uo}d                              3192
  she. þat haþ don þat he wolde don þ{o}u nilt nat douten
  þat he ne haþ had power to done it.

    [Sidenote: _B._ No, surely. _P._ A man, then, is esteemed
    powerful in respect of what he is able to do, and weak in
    relation to what he is unable to perform.]

          no q{uo}d. I. and in
  þat. þat euery wyȝt may. in þat þat men may holden
  hym myȝty. as who seiþ i{n} as moche as a man is myȝty      [[pg 113]]
  to done a þing. in so moche men halden hy{m} myȝty.               3197
  and in þat þat he ne may. in þat men demen hym to
  ben feble.

    [Sidenote: _B._ That is true.]

          I confesse it wel q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Do you remember that I proved that the will of
    man, following different pursuits, seeks happiness only?]

          Remembriþ þe q{uo}d
  she þat I. haue gadred {and} shewed by forseide resou{n}s         3200
  þat al þe entenc{i}ou{n} of þe wil of ma{n}kynde whiche þat
  is lad by diuerse studies hastiþ to comen to blisfulnesse.
  ¶ It reme{m}breþ me wel q{uo}d I þat it hath ben shewed.

    [Linenotes:
    3166 [_owh_]--from C.
    3171 _good[e]_--goode
         _strong[e]_--stronge
    3172 _desert_--dishert
    3173 _eueryche_--eu{er}ich
    3175 _goode_--good
    3176 _stedfast_--stidefast
    3177 _freelnesse_--frelenesse
         _stedfastnesse_--stidefastnesse
    3178 _goode_--good
    3180 _oon_--oo
         _wil_ (2)--wole
    3185-6 _þere_--ther
    3185 _don_--MS. done, C. don
    3186 _done_--don
    3187 _wille_--wil
    3188 _comeþ_--comht
    3189 _mayst_--MS. mayste, C. mayst
    3191 _clere_--cler
    3192 _denyed_--denoyed
    3193-4 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3193 _don_ (_both_)--MS. done, C. doon
    3194 _had_--MS. hadde, C. had
         _done_--doon
    3196 _as moche_--so moche
    3197 _done_--doon
         _moche_--mochel
         _halden_--halt
    3201 _whiche_--which
    3202 _lad_--MS. ladde, C. lad
    3203 _it hath ben_--MS. I herde þe, C. it hath ben]

    [Headnote:
    THE IMPOTENCY OF THE WICKED.]

    [Sidenote: Do you recollect too, that it has been shown that
    happiness is the supreme good of men--and all desire this good,
    since all seek happiness?]

  {and} recordeþ þe nat þan q{uo}d she. þat blisfulnesse is         3204
  þilke same goode þat men requeren.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 25 _b_.]]

          so þat whan þat
  blisfulnesse is requered *of alle. þat goode [also] is
  requered {and} desired of al. It recordeþ me wel q{uo}d I.
  for haue it gretly alwey ficche[d] in my memorie.

    [Sidenote: All men, then, good and bad, seek to acquire good?]

          alle                                                      3208
  folk þan q{uo}d she goode {and} eke badde enforcen he{m}
  wiþ oute difference of entenc{i}ou{n} to come{n} to goode.
  þat is a uerray consequence q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: And it is certain that when men obtain good they become
    good?]

          and certeyne is q{uo}d
  she þat by þe gety{n}g of goode ben men ymaked goode.             3212

    [Sidenote: _B._ It is most certain.]

  þis is certeyne q{uo}d. I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Do good men, then, get what they desire?]

          ¶ þan geten goode men þat þei
  desiren.

    [Sidenote: _B._ It seems so.]

          so semeþ it q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ If evil men obtain the good, they can be no longer
    evil?]

          but wicked[e] folk q{uo}d
  she yif þei geten þe goode þat þei desire{n} þei [ne]
  mowen nat ben wicked.

    [Sidenote: _B._ It is so.]

          so is it q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Since then both parties pursue the good, which
    only the virtuous obtain, we must believe that good men are
    powerful, and that the wicked are weak and feeble?]

          ¶ þan so as                                               3216
  þat oon {and} þat oþer [q{uod} she] desiren good. {and} þe
  goode folk geten good {and} nat þe wicked folk ¶ þan
  nis it no doute þat þe goode folk ne ben myȝty {and} þe
  wicked folk ben feble.

    [Sidenote: _B._ None can doubt this, save such as either consider
    not rightly the nature of things, or are incapable of
    comprehending the force of any reasoning.]

          ¶ who so þat euer q{uo}d I                                3220
  douteþ of þis. he ne may nat considre þe nature of
  þi{n}ges. ne þe consequence of resou{n}. and ouer þis q{uo}d she.

    [Linenotes:
    3205-6 _goode_--good
    3206 [_also_]--from C.
    3207 _al_--alle
         _It----I_--it ne recordeth me nat q{uod} I
    3210-12(1)-15 _goode_--good
    3214 _wicked[e]_--wikkede
    3215 [_ne_]--from C.
    3216 _mowen_--mowe
    3217 [_quod she_]--from C.
    3218 _wicked_--wilk{e} (? wikke)
    3220 _wicked_--wikkede]

    [Headnote:
    THE WICKED DO NOT SEEK ARIGHT THE SUPREME GOOD.]

    [Sidenote: _P._ If two beings have the same end in view--and one
    of them accomplishes his purpose by the use of natural means,
    while the other not using legitimate means does not attain his
    end--which of these two is the most powerful?]

  ¶ yif þat þer ben two þinges þat han o same                       3223
  p{ur}pos by kynde. {and} þat one of he{m} p{ur}sueþ {and} p{er}formeþ
  þilke same þinge by naturel office. {and} þat oþer
  ne may nat done þilk naturel office. but folweþ by
  oþer manere þan is couenable to nat{ur}e ¶ Hym þat
  acomplisiþ hys p{ur}pos kyndely.
                  {and} ȝit he ne acomplisiþ                  [[pg 114]]
  nat hys owen purpos. wheþer of þise two demest                    3229
  þou for more myȝty.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Illustrate your meaning more clearly.]

          ¶ yif þat I coniecte q{uo}d .I. þat
  þou wilt seye algates. ȝit I desire to herkene it more
  pleynely of þe.

    [Sidenote: _P._ The motion of walking is natural to man? And this
    motion is the natural office of the feet? Do you grant this?]

          þou nilt nat þan denye q{uo}d she þat þe                  3232
  moeueme{n}tȝ of goynge nis in men by kynde. no for soþe
  q{uo}d I. ne þou ne doutest nat q{uo}d she þ{a}t þilke naturel
  office of goynge ne be þe office of feet.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I do.]

          I ne doute
  it nat q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ If, then, he who is able to use his feet walks,
    whilst another lacking this power creeps on his hands--surely he
    that is able to move naturally upon his feet is more powerful than
    he who cannot.]

          þan q{uo}d she yif þat a wyȝt be myȝty to                 3236
  moeue {and} goþ vpon hys feet. and anoþer to whom
  þilke naturel office of feet lakkeþ. enforceþ hym to gone
  crepynge vpo{n} hys handes. ¶ whiche of þise two auȝte
  to ben holden more myȝty by ryȝt. knyt furþe þe remenaunt         3240
  q{uo}d I. ¶ For no wyȝt ne douteþ þat he þat
  may gone by nat{ur}el office of feet. ne be more myȝty
  þan he þat ne may nat

    [Sidenote: _P._ The good and bad seek the supreme good: the good
    by the natural means of virtue--the wicked by gratifying divers
    desires of earthly things (which is not the natural way of
    obtaining it).]

          ¶ but þe souereyne good q{uo}d
  she þat is euenlyche p{ur}posed to þe good folk {and} to          3244
  badde. þe good folke seken it by naturel office of
  uertues. {and} þe shrewes enforcen hem to geten it by
  dyuerse couetise of erþely þinges. whiche þat nis no
  naturel office to geten þilke same souereyne goode.               3248

    [Sidenote: Do you think otherwise?]

  trowest þou þat it be any oþer wyse.

    [Sidenote: _B._ The consequence is plain, and that follows from
    what has been granted--that the good are powerful, while the
    wicked are feeble.]

          nay q{uo}d .I. for þe
  co{n}seque{n}ce is open {and} shewynge of þinges þat I haue
  graunted. ¶ þat nedes goode folk moten ben myȝty.
  {and} shrewes feble {and} vnmyȝty.

    [Sidenote: _P._ You rightly anticipate me; for it is a good sign,
    as physicians well know, when Nature exerts herself and resists
    the malady.]

          ¶ þou rennest aryȝt                                       3252
  byfore me q{uo}d she. {and} þis is þe iugement þat is to
  seyn. ¶ I iuge of þe ryȝt as þise leches ben wont forto
  hopen of seke folk whan þei ap{er}ceyuen þat nature is
  redressed {and} wiþstondeþ to þe maladie.

    [Sidenote: But, as you are so quick of apprehension, I shall
    continue this mode of reasoning.]

          ¶ But for I                                               3256
  see þe now al redy to þe vndirstandynge I shal shewe
  þe more þilke {and} continuel resou{n}s.

    [Sidenote: The weakness of the wicked is conspicuous--they cannot
    attain the end to which their natural disposition prompts and
    almost compels them; what would become of them without this
    natural prompting, so powerful and irresistible?]

          ¶ For loke now
  how gretly shewiþ þe feblesse {and} infirmite of wicked     [[pg 115]]
  folke. þat ne mowen nat come to þat hire naturel                  3260
  entenc{i}ou{n} ledeþ hem. {and} ȝitte almost þilk naturel
  entenc{i}ou{n} constreineþ hem. ¶ and what wer{e} to deme
  þan of shrewes. yif þilke naturel helpe hadde for-leten
  hem. ¶ þe whiche naturel helpe of entenc{i}ou{n} goþ alwey        3264
  byforne hem. {and} is so grete þat vnneþ it may be
  ou{er}comen.

    [Sidenote: Consider how great is the impotence of the wicked. (The
    greater the things desired, but unaccomplished, the less is the
    power of him that desires, and is unable to attain his end.)]

          ¶ Considre þan how gret defaute of power
  {and} how gret feblesse þere is in grete felonous folk as
  who seiþ þe gretter þi{n}ges þat ben coueited {and} þe desire     3268
  nat accomplissed of þe lasse myȝt is he þat coueiteþ it
  {and} may nat acomplisse. ¶ And forþi philosophie seiþ
  þus by souereyne good.

    [Sidenote: The wicked seek after no trivial things--which they
    fail to obtain; but they aspire in vain to the sovereign good,
    which they endeavour day and night to obtain.]

          ¶ Sherewes ne requere nat
  lyȝt[e] medes ne veyne gaines whiche þei ne may nat               3272
  folwen ne holden. but þei fayle{n} of þilke some of þe
  heyȝte of þinges þat is to seyne souereyne good. ne þise
  wrecches ne comen nat to þe effect of souereyne good.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 26.]]

  *þe whiche þei enforcen hem oonly to gete{n} by nyȝtes            3276
  {and} by dayes.

    [Sidenote: The good attain the end of their desires, and therein
    their power is manifested.]

          ¶ In þe getyn[g] of whiche goode þe
  strengþe of good folk. is ful wel ysen.

    [Sidenote: For as you deem him a good walker that goes to the end
    of his journey, so you must esteem him powerful that attains his
    desires, beyond which there is nothing to desire.]

          For ryȝt so as
  þ{o}u myȝtest demen hym myȝty of goynge þat goþ on
  hys feet til he myȝt[e] come to þilke place fro þe whiche         3280
  place þere ne lay no wey forþer to be gon. Ryȝt so
  most þou nedes demen hym for ryȝt myȝty þat getiþ
  {and} atteiniþ to þe ende of alle þinges þat ben to desire.
  by-ȝonde þe whiche ende þat þer nis no þing to desire.            3284

    [Linenotes:
    3226 _þilk_--thilke
    3229 _owen_--owne
    3231 _wilt_--wolt
         _herkene_--herkne
    3232 _pleynely_--pleynly
         _denye_--denoye
    3233 _moeuementȝ_--Moeuement
    3237 _goþ_--MS. goþe
         _hys_--hise
    3238 _gone_--goon
    3239 _hys_--hise
         _whiche_--which
    3240 _more_--the Moore
         _furþe_--forth
    3242 _gone_--gon
    3245 _good_--goode
    3246 _uertues_--vertuus
    3247 _whiche_--which
    3248 _goode_--good
    3253 _byfore_--by-forn
    3254 _forto_--to
    3255 _seke_--sike
    3259 _wicked_--wikkede
    3260 _come_--comyn
    3261 _þilk_--thilke
    3262 _deme_--demen
    3263-4 _helpe_--help
    3264 _whiche_--which
         _goþ_--MS. goþe
    3265 _grete_--gret
         _vnneþ_--vnnethe
         _be ouercomen_--ben ou{er}come
    3267 _þere_--ther
         _grete_--wikkede
    3268 _þinges_--thing
         _ben_--is
    3271 _Sherewes ne requere_--ne shrewes ne requeren
    3272 _lyȝt[e]_--lyhte
         _veyne_--veyn
         _nat_--omitted
    3276 _whiche_--which
    3277 _getyn[g]_--getinge
         _whiche goode_--which good
    3278 _ysen_--MS. and C. ysene
    3279 _goþ_--MS. goþe
    3280 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    3281 _þere_--ther
         _lay_--laye
         _forþer_--forthere
         _be_--ben
    3283 _desire_--desired
    3284 _þat_--omitted]

    [Headnote:
    THE WICKED HAVE NO REAL EXISTENCE.]

    [Sidenote: Wicked men, then, are destitute of those powers which
    the good so amply possess.]

  ¶ Of whiche power of good folk men may conclude þat
  wicked men semen to ben bareyne {and} naked of alle
  strengþe.

    [Sidenote: Wherefore do they leave virtue, and follow vice? Is it
    because they are ignorant of good?]

          For whi forleten þei v{er}tues {and} folwen
  vices. nis it nat for þat þei ne knowen nat þe goodes.            3288

    [Sidenote: What is more weak and base than the blindness of
    ignorance? Or do they know the way they ought to follow, but are
    led astray by lust and covetousness?]

  ¶ But what þing is more feble {and} more caitif þan is þe   [[pg 116]]
  blyndenesse of ignoraunce. or ellys þei knowen ful wel
  whiche þinges þat þei auȝten to folwen ¶ but lecherye
  {and} couetise ouerþroweþ hem mysturned.

    [Sidenote: And so, indeed, weak-minded men are overpowered by
    intemperance, for they cannot resist vicious temptations.]

          ¶ and certis                                              3292
  so doþ distemp{er}aunce to feble men. þat ne mowe{n} nat
  wrastle aȝeins þe vices

    [Sidenote: Do they willingly desert Good and turn to Evil? If they
    do so, they not only cease to be powerful, but even cease to
    exist.]

          ¶ Ne knowen þei nat þan wel
  þat þei foreleten þe good wilfully. {and} turnen hem vilfully
  to vices. ¶ And in þis wise þei ne forleten nat                   3296
  oonly to ben myȝty. but þei forleten al outerly in any
  wise forto ben

    [Sidenote: For those who neglect the common end of all beings,
    cease to exist.]

          ¶ For þei þat forleten þe comune fyn of
  alle þinges þat ben. þei for-leten also þerwiþ al forto
  ben.

    [Sidenote: You may marvel that I assert that the wicked, the
    majority of the human race, have no existence--but it is, however,
    most true.]

          and p{er}auenture it sholde semen to som folk þat         3300
  þis were a merueile to seyne þat shrewes whiche þat
  contienen þe more p{ar}tie of me{n} ne ben nat. ne han no
  beynge. ¶ but naþeles it is so. {and} þus stant þis þing

    [Sidenote: That the wicked are bad I do not deny--but I do not
    admit that they have any real existence.]

  for þei þat ben shrewes I denye nat þat þei ben shrewes.          3304
  but I denye {and} sey[e] symplely and pleynly þat þei
  [ne] ben nat. ne han no beynge.

    [Sidenote: You may call a corpse a dead man, but you cannot with
    propriety call it a man.]

          for ryȝt as þou myȝtest
  seyn of þe careyne of a man þat it were a ded man.
  ¶ but þou ne myȝtest nat symplely callen it a man.                3308

    [Sidenote: So the vicious are profligate men, but I cannot confess
    they absolutely exist.]

  ¶ So graunt[e] I wel for soþe þat vicious folk ben
  wicked. but I ne may nat graunten absolutely {and}
  symplely þat þei ben.

    [Sidenote: That thing exists that preserves its rank, nature, and
    constitution, but when it loses these essentials it ceases to be.]

          ¶ For þilk þing þat wiþ
  holdeþ ordre {and} kepiþ nature. þilk þing is {and} haþ           3312
  beynge. but þat þing þat faileþ of þat. þat is to seyne
  he þ{a}t forletiþ naturel ordre he for-letiþ þilk beyng
  þat is set in hys nature.

    [Sidenote: But, you may say that the wicked have a _power_ to act,
    nor do I deny it; but their power is an effect of weakness.]

          but þou wolt sein þat shrewes
  mowen. ¶ Certys þat ne denye I nat. ¶ but certys                  3316
  hir power ne descendeþ nat of strengþe but of feblesse.

    [Sidenote: They can do evil, but this they could not do, if they
    retained the power of doing good.]

  for þei mowen don wickednesses. þe whiche þei ne
  myȝten nat don yif þei myȝte{n} dwelle in þe forme {and}
  in þe doynge of goode folke.                                [[pg 117]]

    [Sidenote: This power, then, clearly shows their impotence.]

          ¶ And þilke power                                         3320
  sheweþ ful euydently þat þei ne mowen ryȝt nauȝt.

    [Linenotes:
    3285 _whiche_--the which
         _þat_--þ{a}t the
    3286 _ben_--be
    3291 _auȝten to folwen_--owhten folwe
    3293 _doþ_--MS. doþe, C. doth
    3394 _wrastle_--wrastlen
    3295 _vilfully_--wilsfully
    3297 _outerly_--owtrely
    3301 _seyne_--seyen
    3304-5 _denye_--denoye
    3305 _sey[e] symplely_--seye sympeli
    3306 [_ne_]--from C.
    3307 _seyn_--seyen
    3309 _graunt[e]_--graunte
    3311-12 _þilk_--thilke
    3312 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3313 _þat_ (1)--what
         _seyne_--seyn
    3314 _þilk_--thilke
    3315 _set_--MS. sette, C. set
    3316 _denye_--denoye
    3318 _don_--MS. done, C. don
    3319 _myȝten_ (1)--myhte
         _dwelle_--dwellin
    3320 _goode_--good]

    [Headnote:
    POWER, AN ATTRIBUTE OF THE CHIEF GOOD.]

    [Sidenote: For as evil is nothing, it is clear that while the
    wicked can only do evil they can do nothing.]

  ¶ For so as I haue gadered {and} p{ro}ued a lytel her byforn
  þat yuel is nauȝt. {and} so as shrewes mowen oonly
  but shrewednesse. þis conclusiou{n} is al clere. þat              3324
  shrewes ne mowen ryȝt nat to han power.

    [Sidenote: That you may understand the force of this power, I have
    proved that nothing is more powerful than the sovereign good.]

          and for as
  moche as þou vndirstonde whiche is þe strengþe þat is
  power of shrewes. I haue diffinised a lytel here byforn
  þat no þing nis so myȝty as souereyne good

    [Sidenote: _B._ That is true.]

          ¶ þat is                                                  3328
  soþe q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ And that supreme good can do no evil?]

          [{and} thilke same souereyn good may don
  non yuel //

    [Sidenote: _B._ Certainly not.]

          Certes no q{uod} I]

    [Sidenote: _P._ Is there any one who thinks that man can do all
    things?]

          ¶ Is þer any wyȝt þan
  q{uo}d she þat weniþ þat men mowen don alle þinges.

    [Sidenote: _B._ No sane man can think so.]

  No man q{uo}d .I. but yif he be out of hys witte.

    [Sidenote: _P._ But men may do evil.]

          ¶ but                                                     3332
  certys sherewes mowen doñ yuel q{uo}d she.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I would to God they could not.]

          ¶ ȝe wolde
  god q{uo}d I þat þei ne myȝte{n} don none.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Since he that can do good, can do all things, and
    he that has power to do evil cannot do all things, therefore the
    evil-doers are less powerful.]

          þat q{uo}d she
  so as he þat is myȝty to done oonly but good[e] þinges
  may don alle þinges. and þei þat ben myȝty to done                3336
  yuel[e] þinges ne mowen nat alle þinges. þan is þis open
  þing {and} manifest þat þei þ{a}t mowe{n} don yuel ben of
  lasse power.

    [Sidenote: Let me add too that _power_ is one of the things to be
    desired, and that all such things are to be referred to the chief
    good (the perfection of their nature).]

          and ȝitte to p{ro}ue þis conclusiou{n} þere
  helpeþ me þis þat I haue shewed here byforne. þat al              3340
  power is to be nou{m}bred amonge þinges þat men auȝten
  requere. {and} haue shewed þat alle þi{n}ges þat auȝten ben
  desired ben referred to good ryȝt as to a manere heyȝte
  of hyr nature.

    [Sidenote: But the power of doing evil has no relation to that
    Good, therefore it is not desirable; but as all power is
    desirable, it is clear that the ability to do evil is not power.]

          ¶ But for to mowen don yuel {and}                         3344
  felonye ne may nat ben referred to good. þan nis nat
  yuel of þe nou{m}bre of þinges þat auȝte{n}.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 26 _b_.]]

          *be desired. but
  al power auȝt[e] ben desired {and} requered. ¶ þan is
  it open {and} cler þat þe power ne þe moeuyng of shrewes          3348
  nis no powere.

    [Sidenote: It clearly follows from this reasoning, that the good
    only are powerful while the vicious are feeble.]

          {and} of alle þise þinges it sheweþ wel þat
  þe goode folk ben certeynly myȝty. {and} þe shrewes ben     [[pg 118]]
  douteles vnmyȝty

    [Sidenote: And Plato’s opinion is hereby verified that the _wise_
    only have the power to do what they desire; the wicked may follow
    the dictates of their lusts, but their great aim and desire,
    _i. e._ HAPPINESS, they can never attain.]

          ¶ And it is clere {and} open þat þilke
  sentence of plato is uerray {and} soþe. þ{a}t seyþ þat oonly      3352
  wiseme{n} may [doon] þat þei desiren. {and} shrewes
  mowen haunten þat hem lykeþ. but þat þei desiren þat
  is to seyne to comen to souereyne good þei ne han no
  power to acomplissen þat.

    [Sidenote: The wicked may gratify their desires, thinking to
    attain the chief good (for which they wish), but they can never
    possess it, for impiety and vice can never be crowned with
    happiness.]

          ¶ For shrewes don þat hem                                 3356
  list whan by þo þinges in whiche þei deliten þei wenen
  to atteyne to þilke good þat þei desiren. but þei ne geten
  ne atteynen nat þer to. ¶ for vices ne comen nat to
  blisfulnesse.                                                     3360

    [Linenotes:
    3324 _shrewednesse_--shrewednesses
         _clere_--cleer
    3325 _nat----power_--nawht ne han no power
    3326 _whiche_--which
         _þat is_--of this
    3327 _here_--her
    3328 _nis_--is
    3329 _soþe_--soth
    3329, 3330 [_and thilke----quod I_]--from C.
    3334 _don_--MS. done, C. don
         _none þat_--non thanne
    3335 _done_--doon
         _good[e]_--goode
    3336 _don_--MS. done, C. don
         _done_--don
    3337 _yuel[e]_--yuele
         _þis_--it
    3338 _don_--MS. done, C. don
    3339 _ȝitte_--yit
         _þere_--ther
    3340 _shewed here byforne_--Ishewed her by-forn
         _al_--alle
    3341 _amonge_--among
    3344 _don_--MS. done, C. don
    3346 _auȝten be_--owhte ben
    3347 _al_--alle
         _auȝt[e]_--owhte
    3351 _clere_--cler
    3352 _soþe_--soth
         _þat seyþ_--MS. but siþe, C. þ{a}t seyth
    3353 [_doon_]--from C.
    3355 _seyne_--seyn
    3357 _whiche_--which]


    [Headnote:
    THE WICKED ARE UNHAPPY.]

QUOS UIDES SEDERE CELSOS.

  [Sidenote: [The ij^de Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Whosoever might strip of their purple coverings, proud
    kings, who, surrounded by their guards, sit on lofty thrones, and
    whose stern looks wear fierce threatenings, and boiling breasts
    breathe fury; would see those mighty lords inwardly fettered, and
    tormented by lust, passion, grief, and delusive hopes.]

  ++Who so þat þe couertures of her veyn apparailes
  myȝt[e] strepen of þise proude kynges þat þou
  seest sitten on heyȝe in her chayeres glyterynge in
  shynynge purpre envyroned wiþ sorweful arm{ur}es                  3364
  manasyng wiþ cruel mouþe. blowyng by woodnesse of
  herte. ¶ He sholde se þan þat ilke lordes beren wiþ
  i{n}ne hir corages ful streyte cheynes for leccherye tormentiþ
  he{m} on þat oon syde wiþ gredy venyms {and}                      3368
  troublable Ire þat araiseþ in hem þe floodes of troublynges
  tourmentiþ vpon þat oþer side hir þouȝt. or sorwe halt
  he{m} wery or ycauȝt. or slidyng {and} disseyuyng hope
  tourmentiþ hem.

    [Sidenote: Since, then, so many tyrants bear sway over one
    head--that lord, oppressed by so many masters (i. e. vices), is
    weak and feeble, and his actions are not obedient to his will.]

          And þerfore syn þou seest on heed.                        3372
  þat is to seyne oon tyraunt bere so many[e] tyrauntis.
  þa{n} ne doþ þilk tyraunt nat þat he desiriþ. syn he
  is cast doune wiþ so many[e] wicked lordes. þat is to
  seyn wiþ so many[e] vices. þat han so wicked lordshipes           3376
  ouer hym.

    [Linenotes:
    3361-63 _her_--hir
    3362 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    3363 _heyȝe_--heygh
    3364 _sorweful_--sorwful
    3365 _mouþe_--Mowth
    3366 _se_--seen
         _ilke_--thilke
    3368 _on_--in
    3369 _hem_--hym
    3371 _disseyuyng_--deceyuynge
    3373 _seyne_--seyn
         _bere_--beeren
    3373-75-76 _many[e]_--manye
    3373 _tyrauntis_--tyranyes
    3374 _doþ_--MS. doþe
         _þilk_--thilke
    3375 _doune_--down
         _wicked_--wikkede
    3376 _wicked_--wikkedly]


                                                              [[pg 119]]
    [Headnote:
    THEY DO NOT ESCAPE PUNISHMENT.]

VIDES NE IGITUR QUANTO.

  [Sidenote: [The iij.^de p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: See you not in how great and filthy a mire the wicked
    wallow?]

  ++SEest þou nat þan in how gret filþe þise shrewes ben
  ywrapped. {and} wiþ whiche cleernesse þise good
  folk shynen.

    [Sidenote: This is a proof that good folks do not go unrewarded,
    nor do the evil-doers escape punishment.]

          In þis sheweþ it wel þat to good folk ne                  3380
  lakkeþ neuer mo hir medes. ne shrewes ne lakken
  neuer mo to{ur}mentis.

    [Sidenote: Every action is done for a certain end, and that end is
    the reward of the action.]

          for of alle þinges þat ben ydon
  þilke þing for whiche any þing is doon. it semeþ as by
  ryȝt þat þilke þing be þe mede of þat. as þus. ¶ yif a            3384
  man renneþ in þe stadie or in þe forlonge for þe corone.
  þan lieþ þe mede in þe corone for whiche he renneþ.

    [Sidenote: But Happiness is that good for which all things are
    done. Therefore happiness is the reward which all the human race
    seek as the reward of their actions.]

  ¶ And I haue shewed þat blisfulnesse is þilke same
  good for whiche þat alle þi{n}g{us} ben don. þan is þilke         3388
  same good p{ur}posed to þe werkes of mankynde ryȝt as
  a comune mede.

    [Sidenote: This good is inseparable from the virtuous, therefore
    virtue can never want its reward.]

          whiche mede ne may ben disseuered
  fro good folk. for no wyȝt as by ryȝt fro þennes forþe
  þ{a}t hym lakkiþ goodnesse ne shal ben cleped good.               3392
  For whiche þing folk of good[e] maneres her medes ne
  forsaken hem neuer mo.

    [Sidenote: Evil men may rage as they please against the good, but
    the crown of the wise shall not fall nor fade.]

          For al be it so þat sherewes
  waxen as wood as hem list aȝeynes good[e] folk. ȝitte
  neuer þe les þe corone of wise men ne shal nat fallen             3396
  ne faden.

    [Sidenote: The wickedness of another cannot deprive a virtuous
    soul of its own honour.]

          ¶ For foreine shrewednesse ne bynymeþ
  nat fro þe corages of good[e] folk hire p{ro}pre honoure.

    [Linenotes:
    3379 _whiche_--which
    3380 _good_--goode
    3381 _ne_ (2)--omitted
    3383 _whiche_--which
    3385 _forlonge_--forlong
    3386-88-90 _whiche_--which
    3391 _forþe_--forth
    3393 _whiche_--which
         _good[e]_--goode
    3395 _wood_--woode
         _good[e]_--goode
    3396 _les_--leese
         _ne_--omitted
    3398 _good[e]_--goode]

    [Headnote:
    THE REWARD OF THE GOOD.]

    [Sidenote: If a man pride himself on the possession of an
    advantage received from another, he may be deprived of it, either
    by the giver or by others.]

  but yif þat any wyȝt reioiseþ hem of goodnesse þat þei
  had[de] taken fro wiþoute. as who seiþ yif [þ{a}t] any            3400
  wyȝt had[de] hys goodnesse of any oþer man þan of
  hym self. certys he þat ȝaf hym þilke goodnesse or
  ellys som oþer wyȝt myȝt[e] bynym[e] it hym.

    [Sidenote: But, as the reward of the virtuous is derived from
    virtue, a man cannot lose this meed unless he ceases to be
    virtuous.]

          but for
  as moche as to euery wyȝt hys owen p{ro}pre bounte                3404
  ȝeueþ hy{m} hys mede. þan at arst shal he faylen of
  mede whan he forletiþ to ben good.

    [Sidenote: Lastly, since a reward is desired because it is
    supposed to be a good, can we believe that he who is capable of
    good is deprived of the recompence?]

          {and} at þe laste so
  as alle medes be{n} requered for men wenen þat þei ben
  good[e]. who is he þat wolde deme þat he þat is ryȝt        [[pg 120]]
  myȝty of goode were p{ar}tles of mede.                            3409

    [Sidenote: What reward shall he receive?]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 27.]]

          *{and} of what
  mede shal he be gerdoned.

    [Sidenote: Certainly the fairest and richest of all rewards.]

          certys of ryȝt faire mede
  {and} ryȝt greet abouen alle medes.

    [Sidenote: Call to mind that excellent corollary I have already
    given thee, and reason thus:--]

          ¶ Remembre þe of
  þilk noble corolarie þat I ȝaf þe a lytel here byforne.           3412
  {and} gadre it to gidre in þis manere.

    [Sidenote: Since the supreme good is happiness, it follows that
    all good men are happy in as much as they are good; but if they
    are happy they must become as it were gods.]

          so as god hym self
  is blisfulnesse. þan is it clere {and} certeyn. þat alle good
  folk ben makid blisful for þei ben good[e]. and þilke
  folk þat ben blisful it accordiþ {and} is couenable to ben        3416
  godde[s].

    [Sidenote: The reward (_i. e._ divinity) of the righteous is such
    that no time can impair it, no power can diminish it, nor can any
    wickedness obscure it.]

          þan is þe mede of goode folk swiche. þat no
  day [ne] shal enpeyren it. ne no wickednesse shal endirken
  it. ne power of no wyȝt ne shal nat amenusen it
  þat is to seyn to ben maked goddes.

    [Sidenote: Since, then, happiness belongs to good men, punishment
    inseparably attends the wicked.]

          ¶ and syn it is                                           3420
  þus þat goode men ne faylen neuer mo of hir{e} medes.

    [Linenotes:
    3399 _reioiseþ_--reioyse
         _hem_--hym
         _þei had[de]_--he hadde
    3400 [_þat_]--from C.
    3401 _had[de]_--hadde
    3402 _self_--MS. selk
    3403 _myȝt[e] bynym[e]_--myhte be-nyme
    3404 _owen_--owne
    3406 _laste_--last
    3408 _good[e]_--goode
         _wolde_--nolde
    3409 _goode_--good
         _of_ (2)--of the
    3411 _greet_--grete
    3412 _here byforne_--her by-forn
    3413 _god_--good
    3414 _is_ (1)--his
         _clere_--cleer
    3415 _good[e]_--goode
    3417 _godde[s]_--goddes
         _swiche_--swich
    3418 [_ne_]--from C.
         _endirken_--derken]

    [Headnote:
    VIRTUE EXALTS MANKIND.]

  ¶ certys no wise man ne may doute of þe vndep{ar}table
  peyne of shrewes. ¶ þat is to seyn þat þe peyne of
  shrewes ne dep{ar}tiþ nat from hem self neuer mo.                 3424

    [Sidenote: For since _good_ and _evil_ are contraries, so are
    _rewards_ and _punishments_.]

  ¶ For so as goode {and} yuel {and} peyne {and} medes ben
  contrarie it mot nedes ben þ{a}t ryȝt as we seen by-tiden
  in gerdou{n} of goode.

    [Sidenote: It is evident that rewards follow good actions, and
    punishments attend evil actions; then as virtue itself is the
    reward of the virtuous, so vice is the punishment of the vicious.]

          þat also mot þe peyne of yuel
  answer{e} by þe contrarie partye to shrewes. now þan so           3428
  as bounte {and} prowesse ben þe medes to goode folk.
  also is shrewednesse it self torment to shrewes

    [Sidenote: He who is punished with pain and uneasiness knows that
    he is afflicted with evil.]

          ¶ þan
  who so þat euer is entecched {and} defouled wiþ yuel.

    [Sidenote: If, then, the wicked did rightly understand themselves
    they would perceive that they are not exempted from punishment.]

  yif shrewes wolen þan p{re}isen hem self may it semen             3432
  to hem þat þei ben wiþ oute{n} p{ar}tye of tourment.

    [Sidenote: Since vice, the extreme and worst kind of evil, not
    only afflicts them, but infects and entirely pollutes them.]

  syn þei ben swiche þat þe [vtteriste wikkednesse / þ{a}t is to
  seyn wikkede thewes / which þ{a}t is the] out{er}este {and}
  þe w[or]ste kynde of shrewednesse ne defouliþ nat ne              3436
  entecehiþ nat hem oonly but infectiþ {and} enuenemyþ
  he{m} gretely

    [Sidenote: But contemplate the punishment of the wicked.]

          ¶ And al so loke on shrewes þat ben þe
  contrarie p{ar}tye of goode men.
                  how grete peyne felawshipeþ                 [[pg 121]]
  {and} folweþ hem.

    [Sidenote: You have been taught that _unity_ is essential to being
    and is good--and all that have this unity are good; whatsoever,
    then, fails to be good ceases to exist.]

          ¶ For þou hast lerned a litel                             3440
  here byforn þat al þi{n}g þat is {and} haþ beynge is oon.
  {and} þilke same oon is good. þan is þis consequence þat
  it semeþ wel. þat al þat is {and} haþ bey{n}ge is good. þis
  is to seyne. as who seiþ þat beynge {and} vnite {and}             3444
  goodnesse is al oon. {and} in þis manere it folweþ þan.
  þat al þing þat faileþ to ben good. it styntiþ forto be.
  {and} forto haue any beynge.

    [Sidenote: So that it appears that evil men must cease to be what
    they were.]

          wher fore it is þat shrewes
  stynten forto ben þat þei weren.

    [Sidenote: That they were once men, the outward form of the body,
    which still remains, clearly testifies.]

          but þilke oþer forme                                      3448
  of mankynde. þat is to seyne þe forme of þe body wiþ
  oute. shewiþ ȝit þat þise shrewes were somtyme men.

    [Linenotes:
    3422 _wise man_--wysman
         _þe_--omitted
         _vndepartable_--MS. vndirp{ar}table, C. vndepartable
    3423 _of_ (1)--of the
    3428 _answere_--answery
         _þe_--omitted
    3434 [_vtteriste----is the_]--from C.
    3438 _gretely_--gretly
    3439 _grete_--gret
    3441 _al_--alle
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3443 _al_--alle
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3446 _al_--alle
    3447 _haue_--han
    3448 _stynten_--MS. styntent
    3450 _were somtyme_--weeren whilom]

    [Headnote:
    HE WHO CEASES TO BE VIRTUOUS CEASES TO BE A MAN.]

    [Sidenote: Wherefore, when they degenerate into wickedness they
    lose their human nature.]

  ¶ wher fore whan þei ben p{er}uerted {and} torned in to
  malice. certys þan han þei forlorn þe nature of mankynde.         3452

    [Sidenote: But as virtue alone exalts one man above other men, it
    is evident that vice, which divests a man of his nature, must sink
    him below humanity.]

  but so as oonly bounte {and} prowesse may enhawnse
  euery man ouer oþer men. þan mot it nedes be
  þat shrewes whiche þat shrewednesse haþ cast out of þe
  condic{i}ou{n} of mankynde ben put vndir þe merite {and}          3456
  þe deserte of men.

    [Sidenote: You cannot, therefore, esteem him to be a man whom you
    see thus transformed by his vices.]

          þan bitidiþ it þat yif þou seest a
  wyȝt þat be t{ra}nsformed in to vices. þou ne mayst nat
  wene þat he be a man.

    [Sidenote: The greedy robber, you will say, is like a _wolf_.]

          ¶ For ȝif he [be] ardaunt in
  auarice. {and} þat he be a rauyno{ur} by violence of              3460
  foreine rychesse. þou shalt seyn þat he is lyke to a
  wolf.

    [Sidenote: He who gives no rest to his abusive tongue, you may
    liken to a _hound_.]

          {and} yif he be felonous {and} wiþ out reste {and}
  ex{er}cise hys tonge to chidynges. þou shalt lykene hym
  to þe hounde.

    [Sidenote: Does he delight in fraud and trickery? then is he like
    young _foxes_.]

          {and} yif he be a p{re}ue awaito{ur} yhid {and}           3464
  reioyseþ hym to rauysshe by wyles. þou shalt seyne
  hym lyke to þe fox whelpes.

    [Sidenote: Is he intemperate in his anger? then men will compare
    him to a raging _lion_.]

          ¶ And yif he be distempre
  {and} quakiþ for ire men shal wene þat he bereþ
  þe corage of a lyou{n}.

    [Sidenote: If he be a coward, he will be likened to a _hart_.]

          {and} yif he be dredeful {and} fleynge                    3468
  and dredeþ þinges þat ne auȝten nat ben dred. men
  shal holde hym lyke to þe h{er}te.                          [[pg 122]]

    [Sidenote: If he be slow, dull, and lazy, then is he like an
    _ass_.]

          {and} yif he be slowe
  {and} astoned {and} lache. he lyueþ as an asse.

    [Sidenote: Is he fickle and inconstant? Then is he like a _bird_.]

          {and} yif he
  be lyȝt {and} vnstedfast of corage {and} chaungeþ ay his          3472
  studies. he is lickened to briddes.

    [Sidenote: Doth he wallow in filthy lusts? Then doth he roll
    himself in the mire like a nasty _sow_.]

          ¶ {and} yif he be
  plounged in foule {and} vnclene luxuries. he is wiþholden
  in þe foule delices of þe foule soowe.

    [Sidenote: It follows, then, that he who ceases to be virtuous,
    ceases to be a man; and, since he cannot attain divinity, he is
    turned into a beast.]

          ¶ þan folweþ it
  þat he þat forletiþ bountee {and} prowesse. he forletiþ to        3476
  ben a man. syn he ne may nat passe in to þe condic{i}ou{n}
  of god. he is tourned in to a beest.

    [Linenotes:
    3452 _forlorn_--MS. forlorne, C. forlorn
    3453 _as_--omitted
         _enhawnse_--enhawsen
    3455 _whiche_--which
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3459 [_be_]--from C.
    3464 _yhid_--MS. yhidde, C. I-hidd
    3465 _seyne_--seyn
    3468 _dredeful_--dredful
    3469 _ben_--to ben
         _dred_--MS. dredde, C. dredd
    3470 _holde_--holden
         _lyke_--lyk
         _herte_--hert
         _slowe_--slowh
    3472 _vnstedfast_--vnstidefast
         _his_--hise
    3475 _þan_--MS. þat, C. thanne
    3477 _passe_--passen]


    [Sidenote: [* fol. 27 _b_.]]

*V[E]LA NARICII DUCIS.

  [Sidenote: [The 3^de Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Ulysses was driven by the eastern winds upon the shores
    of that isle where Circe dwelt, who, having entertained her guests
    with magic draughts, transformed them into divers shapes--one into
    a boar, another into a lion;]

  ++Evrus þe wynde aryueþ þe sayles of vlixes duc of þe
  contre of narice. {and} hys wandryng shippes by þe                3480
  see in to þe isle þere as Circe þe fayre goddesse douȝter
  of þe sonne dwelleþ þat medlyþ to hir newe gestes
  drynkes þat ben touched {and} maked wiþ enchau{n}tmentȝ.
  {and} after þat hir hande myȝty of þe herbes                      3484
  had[de] chau{n}ged hir gestes i{n} to dyuerse maneres. þat
  oon of hem is couered his face wiþ forme of a boor. þat
  oþer is chau{n}ged in to a lyou{n} of þe contre of marmorike.
  {and} his nayles {and} his teþe wexen.

    [Sidenote: some into howling wolves, and others into Indian
    tigers.]

          ¶ þat                                                     3488
  oþer of hem is newliche chaunged in to a wolf. {and}
  howeliþ whan he wolde wepe. þat oþer goþ debonairly
  in þe house as a tigre of Inde.

    [Sidenote: But Mercury, the Arcadian god, rescued Ulysses from the
    Circean charms. Yet his mariners, having drunk of her infected
    drinks, were changed to swine, and fed on acorns.]

          but al be it so þat þe
  godhed of mercurie þat is cleped þe bride of arcadie haþ          3492
  had mercie of þe duc vlixes byseged wiþ diu{er}se yueles
  {and} haþ vnbounden hym fro þe pestilence of hys
  oosteresse algates þe rowers {and} þe maryners hadden by
  þis ydrawen in to hir mouþes {and} dronken þe wicked[e]           3496
  drynkes þei þat were woxen swyne hadden by þis              [[pg 123]]
  chau{n}ged hire mete of brede forto ete acorns of ookes.

    [Sidenote: All traces of the human form were lost, and they were
    bereft of speech.]

  non of hir lymes ne dwelliþ wiþ he{m} hoole. but
  þei han lost þe voys {and} þe body.

    [Sidenote: Their souls, unchanged, bewailed their dreadful fate.]

          Oonly hir{e} þouȝt                                        3500
  dwelleþ wiþ hem stable þ{a}t wepiþ {and} bywailiþ þe
  monstruous chaungynge þat þei suffren.

    [Sidenote: O most weak, are Circe’s powers compared with the
    potency of vice, to transform the human shape!]

          ¶ O ouer lyȝt
  hand. as who seiþ. ¶ O feble {and} lyȝt is þe hand of
  Circes þe enchaunteresse þat chaungeþ þe bodies of folk           3504
  in to bestes to regarde {and} to co{m}parisou{n} of mutac{i}ou{n}
  þat is makid by vices.

    [Sidenote: Circe’s herbs may change the body, but cannot touch the
    mind, the inward strength of man.]

          ne þe herbes of circes ne ben nat
  myȝty. for al be it so þat þei may chau{n}gen þe lymes
  of þe body. ¶ algates ȝit þei may nat chau{n}ge þe                3508
  hertes. for wiþ inne is yhid þe strengþe {and} þe vigour
  of me{n} in þe secre toure of hire hertys. þat is to seyn
  þe strengþe of resou{n}.

    [Sidenote: But vice is more potent than Circe’s poisonous charms.]

          but þilke uenyms of vices to-drawen
  a man to hem more myȝtily þan þe venym of                         3512
  circes.

    [Sidenote: Though it leaves the body whole, it pierces the inner
    man, and inflicts a deadly wound upon the soul.]

          ¶ For vices ben so cruel þat þei percen {and}
  þoruȝ passen þe corage wiþ i{n}ne. {and} þouȝ þei ne anoye
  nat þe body. ȝitte vices wooden to distroien men by
  wounde of þouȝt.                                                  3516

    [Linenotes:
    3479 _aryueþ_--aryuede
         _vlixes_--MS. vluxies, C. vlixes
    3481 _Circe_--Circes
    3483 _enchauntmentȝ_--enchauntementȝ
    3484 _hande_--hand
         _of_--ou{er}
    3485 _had[de]_--hadde
         _gestes_--MS. goostes, C. gestes
    3486 _boor_--boer{e}
    3488 _his_ (1)--hise
         _his teþe_--hise teth
    3489 _newliche_--neweliche
    3490 _goþ_--MS. goþe
    3491 _house_--hows
    3492 _bride_--bryd
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3493 _mercie_--MS. mercurie, C. mercy
    3494 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3495 _oosteresse_--oostesse
    3496 _wicked[e]_--wikkede
    3497 _were woxen swyne_--weeren wexen swyn
    3498 _chaunged_--Ichaunged
         _brede_--bred
         _forto_--MS. {and} forto
         _ete acorns_--eten akkornes
    3499 _hoole_--hool
    3501 _wepiþ_--MS. kepiþ, C. weepith
    3502 _monstruous_--MS. monstronous, C. Monstruos
    3504 _Circes_--MS. Cirtes
         _folk_--folkys
    3509 _yhid_--MS. yhidde, C. I-hydd
    3515 _wooden_--MS. wolden, C. wooden]


    [Headnote:
    THE WICKED ARE TORMENTED BY A THREEFOLD WRETCHEDNESS.]

TUNC EGO FATEOR INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The ferthe p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ I confess that vicious men are rightly called
    beasts.]

  ++Þan seide I þus I confesse {and} am aknowe q{uo}d I. ne
  I ne se nat þat men may seyn as by ryȝt.

    [Sidenote: They retain the outward form of man, but the qualities
    of their souls prove them to be beasts.]

          þ{a}t
  shrewes ne ben nat chaunged in to beestes by þe
  qualite of hir soules. ¶ Al be it so þ{a}t þei kepen ȝitte        3520
  þe forme of þe body of mankynde.

    [Sidenote: I wish, however, that the wicked were without the power
    to annoy and hurt good men.]

          but I nolde nat of
  shrewes of whiche þe þouȝt cruel woodeþ alwey in to
  destrucc{i}ou{n} of good[e] men. þat it wer{e} leueful to hem
  to done þat.

    [Sidenote: _P._ They have no power, as I shall presently show
    you.]

          ¶ Certys q{uo}d she ne it nis nat leueful                 3524
  to hem as I shal wel shewen þe in couenable place.

    [Sidenote: But were this power, which men ascribe to them, taken
    away from the wicked, they would be relieved of the greatest part
    of their punishment.]

  ¶ But naþeles yif so were þat þilke þat me{n} wene{n} ben
  leueful for shrewes were bynomen hem. so þat þei ne         [[pg 124]]
  myȝten nat anoyen or don harme to goode men. ¶ Certys             3528
  a gret p{ar}ty of þe peyne to shrewes shulde ben allegged
  {and} releued.

    [Sidenote: The wicked are more unhappy when they have accomplished
    their evil designs than when they fail to do so.]

          ¶ For al be it so þ{a}t þis ne seme nat
  credible þing p{er}auent{ur}e to so{m}me folk ȝit mot it
  nedes be þat shrewes ben more wrecches {and} vnsely.              3532
  whan þei may don {and} p{er}forme þat þei coueiten [than
  yif they myhte nat complyssen þ{a}t they coueyten].

    [Sidenote: If it is a miserable thing to will evil, it is a
    greater unhappiness to have the power to execute it, without which
    power the wicked desires would languish without effect.]

          ¶ For
  yif so be þat it be wrecchednesse to wilne to don yuel[;]
  þan is it more wrecchednesse to mowen don yuel.                   3536
  wiþ oute whiche moeuyng þe wrecched wille sholde
  languisshe wiþ oute effecte.

    [Sidenote: Since, then, each of these three things (_i. e._ the
    will, the power, and the accomplishment of evil) hath its misery,
    therefore a threefold wretchedness afflicts those who both will,
    can, and do commit sin.]

          ¶ þan syn þat eueryche of
  þise þinges haþ hys wrecchednesse. þat is to seyne wil
  to done yuel. and moeuynge to done yuel. it mot nedes             3540
  be. þat þei (shrewes) ben constreyned by þre vnselynesses
  þat wolen {and} mowen {and} p{er}formen felonyes
  {and} shrewednesses.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I grant it--but still I wish the vicious were
    without this misfortune.]

          ¶ I accorde me q{uo}d I. but I
  desire gretely þat shrewes losten sone þilke vnselynesses.        3544
  þat is to seyne þat shrewes were despoyled of moeuyng
  to don yuel.

    [Sidenote: _P._ They shall be despoiled of it sooner than you wish
    perhaps, or than they themselves imagine.]

          ¶ so shulle{n} þei q{uo}d she.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 28.]]

          sonnere
  p{er}auenture þen þ{o}u woldest *or sonnere þen þei hem
  self wenen to lakken mowynge to done yuel.

    [Sidenote: In the narrow limits of this life, nothing, however
    tardy it appears, can seem to an immortal soul to have a very long
    duration.]

          ¶ For                                                     3548
  þere nis no þing so late in so short bou{n}des of þis lijf
  þat is longe to abide. namelyche to a corage inmortel.

    [Sidenote: The great hopes, and the subtle machinations of the
    wicked, are often suddenly frustrated, by which an end is put to
    their wickedness.]

  Of whiche shrewes þe grete hope {and} þe heye co{m}passy{n}g{us}
  of shrewednesse is often destroyed by a                           3552
  sodeyne ende or þei ben war. {and} þat þing establiþ to
  shrewes þe ende of hir shrewednesse.

    [Sidenote: If vice renders men wretched, the longer they are
    vicious the longer must they be miserable.]

          ¶ For yif þat
  shrewednesse makiþe wrecches. þan mot he nedes be
  most wrecched þat lengest is a shrewe.

    [Sidenote: And they would be infinitely wretched if death did not
    put an end to their crimes.]

          þe whiche                                                 3556
  wicked shrewes wolde ydemen aldirmost vnsely {and}
  caytifs yif þat hir shrewednes ne were yfinissed. at þe     [[pg 125]]
  leste weye by þe outerest[e] deeþ.

    [Sidenote: It is clear, as I have already shown, that eternal
    misery is infinite.]

          for [yif] I haue concluded
  soþe of þe vnselynesse of shrewednesse. þan sheweþ                3560
  it clerely þat þilke shrewednesse is wiþ outen ende þe
  whiche is certeyne to ben p{er}durable.

    [Sidenote: _B._ This consequence appears to be just, but difficult
    to assent to.]

          ¶ Certys q{uo}d I
  þis [conclusion] is harde {and} wonderful to graunte. ¶ But
  I knowe wel þat it accordeþ moche to [the] þi{n}ges þat I         3564
  haue graunted her byforne.

    [Sidenote: _P._ You think rightly; but if you cannot assent to my
    conclusion you ought to show that the premises are false, or that
    the consequences are unfairly deduced; for if the premises be
    granted, you cannot reject the inferences from them.]

          ¶ þou hast q{uo}d she þe ryȝt
  estimac{i}ou{n} of þis. but who so euere wene þat it be an
  harde þing to acorde hym to a conclusiou{n}. it is ryȝt
  þat he shewe þat so{m}me of þe p{re}misses ben fals. or           3568
  ellys he mot shewe þat þe colasiou{n} of p{re}posic{i}ou{n}s
  nis nat spedful to a necessarie conclusio{n}. ¶ and yif it
  be nat so. but þat þe p{re}misses ben yg{ra}nted þer nis
  nat whi he sholde blame þe argument.

    [Sidenote: What I am about to say is not less wonderful, and it
    follows necessarily from the same premises.]

          for þis þing þat                                          3572
  I shal telle þe nowe ne shal not seme lasse wondirful.

    [Linenotes:
    3517 _aknowe_--aknowe it
    3518 _seyn_--sayn
    3523 _good[e]_--goode
    3524 _done_--don
    3526 _ben_--be
    3527 _for_--to
    3528 _myȝten_--myhte
         _don_--MS. done, C. doon
         _harme_--harm
    3529 _gret_--MS. grete, C. gret
    3533-36 _don_--MS. done, C. doon
    3533-34 [_than----coueyten_]--from C.
    3537 _moeuyng_--mowynge
         _wille_--wil
    3539 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _seyne_--seyn
    3540 _done_ (1)--doon
         _moeuynge to done_--Mowynge to don
         _mot_--MS. mote, C. mot
    3544 _gretely_--gretly
    3545 _seyne_--seyn
         _were_--weeren
         _moeuyng_--mowynge
    3548 _wenen_--weene
         _to lakken----yuel_--omitted
    3549 _þere_--ther
         _so_ (2)--the
    3550 _longe_--long
    3552 _shrewednesse_--shrewednesses
         _often_--ofte
    3558 _shrewednes_--shrewednesse
         _yfinissed_--fynyshed
    3559 _weye_--wey
         _outerest[e]_--owtteryste
         [_yif_]--from C.
    3560 _soþe_--soth
    3561 _clerely_--cleerly
    3563 [_conclusion_]--from C.
         _harde_--hard
    3564 [_the_]--from C.
    3567 _harde_--hard
    3568 _fals_--false
    3573 _nowe_--now]

    [Headnote:
    THE WRETCHEDNESS OF THE WICKED IS DIMINISHED BY PUNISHMENT.]

  but of þe þinges þat ben taken al so it is necessarie as
  who so seiþ it folweþ of þat whiche þat is p{ur}posed
  byforn.

    [Sidenote: _B._ What is that?]

          what is þat q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ That the wicked who have been punished for their
    crimes, are happier than if justice had allowed them to go
    unpunished.]

          ¶ certys q{uo}d she þat is                                3576
  þat þ{a}t þise wicked shrewes ben more blysful or ellys
  lasse wrecches. þat byen þe tourmentes þat þei han
  deserued. þan yif no peyne of Iustice ne chastied[e]
  hem.

    [Sidenote: I do not appeal to popular arguments, that punishment
    corrects vice, that the fear of chastisement leads them to take
    the right path, and that the sufferings of evil-doers deter others
    from vice, but I believe that guilty men, unpunished, become much
    more unhappy in another way.]

          ne þis ne seye I nat now for þat any man myȝt[e]          3580
  þenk[e] þat þe maneres of shrewes ben coriged {and}
  chastised by veniaunce. {and} þat þei ben brouȝt to þe
  ryȝt wey by þe drede of þe tourment. ne for þat þei
  ȝeuen to oþer folk ensample to fleyen fro{m} vices. ¶ But         3584
  I vndirstonde ȝitte [in] an oþer manere þat shrewes
  ben more vnsely whan þei ne ben nat punissed al be it
  so þat þere ne ben had no resou{n} or lawe of correcc{i}ou{n}.
  ne none ensample of lokynge.

    [Sidenote: _B._ In what way do you mean?]

          ¶ And what manere                                         3588
  shal þat ben q{uo}d I. ouþer þan haþ ben told here          [[pg 126]]
  byforn

    [Sidenote: _P._ Are not good people happy, and evil folk
    miserable?]

          ¶ Haue we nat graunted þan q{uo}d she þat
  good[e] folk ben blysful. {and} shrewes ben wrecches.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Yes.]

  ȝis q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ If good be added to the wretchedness of a man,
    will not he be happier than another whose misery has no element of
    good in it?]

          [thanne q{uod} she] ȝif þat any good were                 3592
  added to þe wrecchenesse of any wyȝt. nis he nat more
  blisful þan he þat ne haþ no medelyng of goode in hys
  solitarie wrecchednesse.

    [Sidenote: _B._ It seems so.]

          so semeþ it q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ And if to the same wretched being another misery
    be annexed, does not he become more wretched than he whose misery
    is alleviated by the participation of some good?]

          and what
  seyst þou þan q{uo}d she of þilke wrecche þat lakkeþ alle         3596
  goodes. so þat no goode nis medeled in hys wrecchednesse.
  {and} ȝitte ouer alle hys wickednesse for whiche
  he is a wrecche þat þer be ȝitte anoþer yuel anexid {and}
  knyt to hym. shal not men demen hym more vnsely                   3600
  þan þilke wrecche of whiche þe vnselynesse is re[le]ued
  by þe p{ar}ticipac{i}ou{n} of som goode.

    [Sidenote: _B._ He does.]

          whi sholde he nat
  q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ When evil men are punished they have a degree of
    good annexed to their wretchedness, to wit, the punishment itself,
    which as it is the effect of justice is good.]

          ¶ þan certys q{uo}d she han shrewes whan þei
  ben punissed somwhat of good anexid to hir wrecchednesse.         3604
  þat is to seyne þe same peyne þat þei suffren
  whiche þat is good by þe resou{n} of Iustice.

    [Sidenote: And when these wretches escape punishment something
    more of ill (_i. e._ exemption from punishment) is added to their
    condition.]

          And whan
  þilke same shrewes ascapen wiþ outen tourment. þan
  han þei somwhat more of yuel ȝit ouer þe wickednesse              3608
  þat þei han don. þat is to seye defaute of peyne.
  whiche defaute of peyne þou hast graunted is yuel.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I cannot deny it.]

  ¶ For þe desert of felonye I ne may nat denye it q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Much more unhappy are the wicked when they enjoy
    an unmerited impunity than when they suffer a lawful
    chastisement.]

  ¶ Moche more þan q{uo}d she ben shrewes vnsely                    3612
  whan þei ben wrongfully delyuered fro peyne. þan
  whan þei beþ punissed by ryȝtful vengeaunce.

    [Sidenote: It is just to punish evil-doers, and unjust that they
    should escape punishment.]

          but þis is
  open þi{n}g {and} clere þat it is ryȝt þat shrewes ben
  punissed. {and} it is wickednesse {and} wrong þat þei             3616
  escapin vnpunissed.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Nobody denies that.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 28 _b_.]]

          ¶ who myȝt[e] denye *þat q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Everything, too, which is just is good; and, on
    the contrary, whatsoever is unjust is evil.]

  but q{uo}d she may any ma{n} denye. þat al þat is ryȝt nis
  good. {and} also þe contrarie. þat alle þat is wrong nis
  wicked.                                                     [[pg 127]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ These are just inferences from our former
    premises.]

          certys q{uo}d I þise þinges ben clere ynouȝ. {and}        3620
  þat we han concludid a litel here byforn{e}.

    [Sidenote: But is there any punishment for the soul after death of
    the body?]

          but I p{re}ye
  þe þat þou telle me yif þou accordest to leten no to{ur}ment
  to þe soules aftir þat þe body is dedid by þe deþe.
  þis [is] to seyn. vndirstondest þou ouȝt þat soules han           3624
  any to{ur}ment after þe deþe of þe body.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Yes, and great ones too. Some punishments are
    rigorous and eternal.]

          ¶ Certis q{uo}d
  she ȝe {and} þat ryȝt grete. of whiche soules q{uo}d she I
  trowe þat so{m}me ben to{ur}mentid by asprenesse of
  peyne.

    [Sidenote: Others have a corrective and purifying force, and are
    of finite duration.]

          {and} so{m}me soules I trowe be exc{er}cised by a         3628
  p{ur}ging mekenesse.

    [Sidenote: But this is not to our purpose.]

          but my conseil nys nat to determyne
  of þis peyne. but I haue trauayled and told it
  hider to.

    [Sidenote: I want you to see that the power of the wicked is in
    reality nothing, that the wicked never go unpunished; that their
    licence to do evil is not of long duration, and that the wicked
    would be more unhappy if it were longer, and infinitely wretched
    if it were to continue for ever.]

          ¶ For þou sholdest knowe þat þe mowynge
  [.i. myght] of shrewes whiche mowynge þe semeþ to                 3632
  ben. vnworþi nis no mowynge. {and} eke of shrewes of
  whiche þou pleynedest þat þei ne were nat punissed.
  þat þou woldest seen þat þei ne weren neuer mo wiþ
  outen þe torment of hire wickednesse. {and} of þe licence         3636
  of mowynge to done yuel. þat þou p{re}idest þat it
  myȝt[e] sone ben endid. {and} þat þou woldest fayne
  lerne. þat it ne sholde nat longe endure. {and} þat
  shrewes ben more vnsely yif þei were of lenger duryng.            3640
  {and} most vnsely yif þei weren p{er}durable.

    [Sidenote: After this I showed that evil men are more unhappy,
    having escaped punishment, than if justly chastised.]

          {and} after
  þis I haue shewed þe þat more vnsely ben shrewes
  whan þei escapen wiþ oute ryȝtful peyne. þan whan þei
  ben punissed by ryȝtful uengeaunce.

    [Sidenote: Wherefore when they are supposed to get off scot-free
    they suffer most grievously.]

          and of þis sentence                                       3644
  folweþ it þat þan be{n} shrewes constreyned atte laste wiþ
  most greuous tourment. whan men wene þat þei ne ben
  nat ypunissed.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Your reasoning appears convincing and conclusive.
    But your arguments are opposed to current opinions, and would
    hardly command assent, or even a hearing.]

          whan I considre þi resou{n}s q{uo}d I. I.
  ne trowe nat þat men seyn any þing more verrely. {and}            3648
  yif I to{ur}ne aȝeyn to þe studies of men. who is [he] to
  who{m} it sholde seme þat [he] ne sholde nat only leue{n}
  þise þinges. but eke gladly herkene he{m}.

    [Sidenote: _P._ It is so. For those accustomed to the darkness of
    error cannot fix their eyes on the light of perspicuous truth,
    like birds of night which are blinded by the full light of day.]

          Certys q{uo}d
  she so it is. but men may nat. for þei han hire eyen so     [[pg 128]]
  wont to derkenesse of erþely þinges. þat þei may nat              3653
  liften hem vp to þe lyȝt of clere soþefastnes. ¶ But
  þei ben lyke to briddes of whiche þe nyȝt lyȝtneþ hyre
  lookyng. {and} þe day blyndeþ hem.

    [Sidenote: They consider only the gratification of their lusts,
    they think there is happiness in the liberty of doing evil and in
    exemption from punishment.]

          for whan men loken                                        3656
  nat þe ordre of þinges but hire lustes {and} talentȝ. þei
  wene þat oþir þe leue or þe mowynge to done wickednesse
  or ellys þe escapi{n}g wiþ oute peyne be weleful.

    [Linenotes:
    3575 _who so seiþ_--ho seyth
         _whiche_--which
    3578 _byen_--a-byen
    3579 _chastied[e]_--chastysede
    3580 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    3581 _þenk[e]_--thinke
    3584 _ȝeuen_--MS. ȝeuene, C. yeuen
         _fleyen_--flen
    3585 _ȝitte_--yif
         [_in_]--from C.
    3588 _none_--non
    3589 _ouþer_--oother
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _ben_--be
         _told_--MS. tolde, C. told
    3591 _good[e]_--goode
    3592 [_thanne----she_]--from C.
    3594 _blisful_--weleful
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3594-97 _goode_--good
    3598 _alle_--al
         _whiche_--which
    3600 _knyt_--knytte
    3601 _re[le]ued_--releued
    3602 _goode_--good
    3605 _seyne_--seyn
    3606 _whiche_--which
    3607 _outen_--owte
    3609 _don_--MS. done
         _seye_--seyn
    3610 _whiche_--which
    3611 _desert_--deserte
    3614 _beþ_--MS. beþe, C. ben
    3615 _clere_--cler
    3617 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    3618 _is ryȝt nis_--MS. nis ryȝt is
    3619 _alle_--al
         _nis wicked_--is wykke
    3621 _here_--her
    3623 _dedid_--endyd
         _deþe_--deth
    3624 [_is_]--from C.
         _ouȝt_--awht
    3625 _deþe_--deth
    3626 _grete_--gret
    3628 _be_--ben
    3629 _determyne_--determenye
    3630 _peyne_--peynes
         _told_--MS. tolde
    3632 [_.i. myght_]--from C.
    3632-34 _whiche_--which
    3633 _eke_--ek
    3635 _seen_--seyn
    3637 _done_--don
    3638 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
         _fayne lerne_--fayn lernen
    3639 _endure_--dur{e}
    3645 _atte_--at the
         _laste_--MS. þast, C. laste
    3647 _resouns_--resoun
    3649-50 [_he_]--from C.
    3651 _eke_--ek
    3653 _derkenesse_--derknesse
    3654 _clere soþefastnes_--cleer sothfastnesse
    3655 _whiche_--which
    3658 _oþir_--eyther
         _done_--don
    3659 _escaping_--schapynge]

    [Headnote:
    VIRTUE ITS OWN REWARD.]

    [Sidenote: Do you attend to the eternal law written in your own
    heart. Conform your mind to what is good, and you will stand in no
    need of a judge to confer a reward upon you--for you have it
    already in the enjoyment of the best of things (_i. e._ virtue).]

  but co{n}sider{e} þe iugement of þe p{er}durable lawe. for if     3660
  þou conferme þi corage to þe beste þinges. þou ne hast
  no nede to no iuge to ȝiue{n} þe p{r}is or meede. for þou
  hast ioigned þi self to þe most excellent þing.

    [Sidenote: If you indulge in vice, you need no other
    chastisement--you have degraded yourself into a lower order of
    beings.]

          and yif
  þou haue enclined þi studies to þe wicked þinges. ne              3664
  seek no foreyn wrekere out of þi self. for þou þi self
  hast þrest þe in to wicked þinges. ryȝt as þou myȝtest
  loken by dyuerse tymes þe foule erþe {and} þe heuene.
  {and} þat alle oþer þinges stynten fro wiþ oute. so þat           3668
  þou [ner{e} neyther in heuene ne in erthe] ne say[e] no
  þing more. þan sholde it semen to þe as by only resou{n}
  of lokynge. þat þou were in þe sterres. {and} now in þe
  erþe.

    [Sidenote: The multitude doth not consider this.]

          but þe poeple ne lokeþ nat on þise þinges.

    [Sidenote: What then? Shall we take them as our models who
    resemble beasts?]

          what                                                      3672
  þan shal we þan app{ro}chen vs to hem þat I haue
  shewed þat þei ben lyke to þe bestes. (q. d. no{n})

    [Linenotes:
    3662 _to_ (1)--of
    3665 _foreyn_--foreyne
    3666 _þrest_--thryst
         _wicked_--wikke
    3669 [_nere----erthe_]--from C.
         _heuene_--C. heuenene
         _say[e]_--C. saye
    3672 _on_--in
    3674 _lyke_--lyk
         _q. d._--MS. q{uo}d]

    [Headnote:
    THE WICKED NEED PITY.]

    [Sidenote: If a man who had lost his sight, having even forgotten
    his blindness, should declare that his faculties were all perfect,
    shall we weakly believe that those who retain their sight are
    blind?]

  ¶ And what wilt þou seyne of þis ¶ yif þat a man
  hadde al forlorn hys syȝt. {and} had[de] forȝeten þat he          3676
  euer saw {and} wende þ{a}t no þing ne fayled[e] hym of
  p{er}fecc{i}ou{n} of ma{n}kynde. now we þat myȝten sen þe
  same þing wolde we nat wene þat he were bly{n}de (q. d.
  sic).

    [Sidenote: The vulgar will not assent to what I am going to say,
    though supported by conclusive arguments--to wit, that persons are
    more unhappy that do wrong than those who suffer wrong.]

          ne also ne accordeþ nat þe poeple to þat I shal           3680
  seyne. þe whiche þing is susteyned by a stronge foundement
  of resou{n}s. þat is to seyn þat more vnsely ben þei
  þat don wrong to oþer folk. þen þei þat þe wrong            [[pg 129]]
  suffren.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I would willingly hear your reasons.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 29.]]

          ¶ I wolde heren þilke *same resou{n}s q{uo}d I            3684

    [Sidenote: _P._ Do you deny that every wicked man deserves
    punishment?]

  ¶ Deniest þou q{uo}d she þat alle shrewes ne ben worþi
  to han to{ur}ment.

    [Sidenote: _B._ No, I do not.]

          nay q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ I am satisfied that impious men are in many ways
    miserable.]

          but q{uo}d she I am certeyne
  by many resou{n}s þat shrewes ben vnsely.

    [Sidenote: _B._ They are so.]

          it accordeþ
  q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Then those that deserve punishment are miserable.]

          þan [ne] dowtest þou nat q{uo}d she þat                   3688
  þilke folk þat ben worþi of to{ur}ment þat þei ne ben
  wrecches.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I admit it.]

          It accordeþ wel q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ If you were a judge, upon whom would you inflict
    punishment? upon the wrong-doer, or upon the injured?]

          yif þou were þan
  q{uo}d she yset a Iuge or a knower of þinges. wheþer
  trowest þou þ{a}t men sholde to{ur}ment[e] hym þat haþ            3692
  don þe wronge. or hym þat haþ suffred þe wronge.

    [Sidenote: _B._ I should not hesitate to punish the offender as a
    satisfaction to the sufferer.]

  I ne doute nat q{uo}d I. þat I nolde don suffissaunt satisfacc{i}ou{n}
  to hym þat had[de] suffred þe wrong by þe
  sorwe of hym þat had[de] don þe wronge.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Then you would deem the injuring person more
    unhappy than he who had been wronged?]

          ¶ þan                                                     3696
  semeþ it q{uo}d she þat þe doar of wrong is more wrecche
  þan he þat haþ suffred þe wrong.

    [Sidenote: _B._ That follows naturally.]

          þat folweþ wel q{uo}d [I].

    [Sidenote: _P._ From this then, and other reasons of like nature,
    it seems that vice makes men miserable, and an injury done to any
    man is the misery of the doer, and not of the sufferer.]

  þan q{uo}d she by þise causes {and} by oþer causes
  þat ben enforced by þe same roate þat filþe or synne by           3700
  þe p{ro}pre nature of it makeþ men wretches. {and} it
  sheweþ wel þat þe wrong þat me{n} don nis nat þe
  wrecchenesse of hym þat receyueþ þe wrong. but þe
  wrecchednesse of hym þat doþ þe wronge

    [Sidenote: But our advocates think differently--they try to obtain
    pity for those that have suffered cruelty and oppression;]

          ¶ but certys                                              3704
  q{uo}d she þise orato{ur}s or aduocatȝ don al þe contrarie
  for þei enforcen hem to co{m}moeue þe iuges to han pite
  of he{m} þat han suffred {and} resceyued þe þinges þat ben
  greuous {and} aspre.

    [Sidenote: but the juster pity is really due to the oppressors,
    who ought, therefore, to be led to judgment as the sick are to the
    physician, not by angry but by merciful and kind accusers, so
    that, by the physic of chastisement, they may be cured of their
    vices.]

          {and} ȝitte men sholden more ryȝtfully                    3708
  han pitee on hem þat don þe greuaunces {and} þe
  wronges. þe whiche shrewes it were a more couenable
  þing þat þe accuso{ur}s or aduocatȝ not wroþe but pitous
  {and} debonaire ladden þe shrewes þat han don wro{n}g to          3712
  þe Iugement. ryȝt as men leden seke folk to þe leche.

    [Linenotes:
    3675 _wilt þou seyne_--woltow seyn
    3676 _forlorn_--MS. forlorne, C. for-lorn
         _syȝt_--syhte
         _had[de]_--hadde
    3677 _saw_--MS. sawe, C. sawh
         _fayled[e]_--faylede
    3678 _sen_--MS. sene, C. sen
    3679 _þing_--thinges
         _q. d._--MS. q{uod}
    3681 _whiche_--which
    3683 _don_--MS. done, C. don
         _oþer_--oothr{e}
    3688 [_ne_]--from C.
    3691 _yset_--MS. ysette, C. yset
         _wheþer_--omitted
    3692 _tourment[e]_--tormenten
    3692-3 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3693 _wronge_ (2)--wrong
    3695 _had[de]_--hadde
    3696 _had[de]_--hadden
         _wronge_--wrong
    3697 _doar_--doere
    3698 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3699 [_I_]--from C.  [[_word moved to l. 3698_]]
    3700 _ben_--ben of
         _roate_--Roote
    3703-4 _but----wronge_--omitted
    3704 _doþ_--MS. doþe
    3711 _wroþe_--wroth
    3712 _þe_--tho
         _don_--MS. done, C. don
    3713 _seke_--syke]

    [Headnote:
    THE DUTY OF ADVOCATES.]

  for þat þei sholden seken out þe maladies of synne by
  to{ur}mentȝ.                                                [[pg 130]]

    [Sidenote: I would not have the guilty defrauded by their
    advocates. Their duty is to accuse, and not to excuse offenders.]

          and by þis couenaunt eyþer þe entent of þe
  defendo{ur}s or aduocatȝ sholde fayle {and} cesen in al. or       3716
  ellys yif þe office of aduocatȝ wolde bettre p{ro}fiten to
  men. it sholde be to{ur}ned in to þe habit of accusac{i}ou{n}.
  þat is [to] s[e]yn þei sholde{n} accuse shrewes. {and} nat
  excuse hem.

    [Sidenote: Were it permitted the wicked to get a slight view of
    virtue’s beauty, which they have forsaken, and could they be
    persuaded of the purifying effects of lawful chastisement, they
    surely would not consider punishment as an evil, but would
    willingly give themselves up to justice and refuse the defence of
    their advocates.]

          {and} eke þe shrewes hem self. ȝit it were                3720
  leueful to hem to seen at any clifte þe vertue þat þei
  han forleten. {and} sawen þat þei sholde putten adou{n}
  þe filþes of hire vices by [the] to{ur}mentȝ of peynes. þei
  ne auȝten nat ryȝt for þe reco{m}pensac{i}ou{n} forto geten       3724
  hem bounte {and} prowesse whiche þat þei han lost demen
  ne holden þat þilke peynes weren to{ur}mentes to hem.
  {and} eke þei wolden refuse þe attendau{n}ce of hir aduocatȝ
  {and} taken hem self to hire iuges {and} to hir accusours.        3728

    [Sidenote: The wise hate nobody, only a fool hates good men; and
    it is as irrational to hate the wicked.]

  for whiche it bytideþ [þ{a}t] as to þe wise folk
  þer nis no place ylete to hate. þat is to seyn. þat hate
  ne haþ no place amonges wise men. ¶ For no wyȝt
  wolde haten gode men. but yif he were ouer moche a                3732
  fole. ¶ and forto haten shrewes it nis no resou{n}.

    [Sidenote: Vice is a sickness of the soul, and needs our
    compassion, and not our hate, for the distempers of the soul are
    more deplorable than those of the body, and have more claims upon
    our compassion.]

  ¶ For ryȝt so as languissing is maladie of body. ryȝt
  so ben vices {and} sy{n}ne maladies of corage. ¶ and so as
  we ne deme nat þat þei þat ben seek of hire body ben              3736
  worþi to ben hated. but raþer worþi of pite. wel more
  worþi nat to ben hated. but forto ben had in pite ben
  þei of whiche þe þouȝtes ben constreined by felonous
  wickednesse. þat is more cruel þa{n} any languissinge of          3740
  body.

    [Linenotes:
    3715 _tourmentȝ_--torment
         _þe_ (2)--omitted
    3719 _[to] s[e]yn_--to seyn
    3722 _sawen_--sawh
         _sholde_--sholden
    3723 [_the_]--from C.
    3724 _auȝten_--owhte
    3725-29 _whiche_--which
    3729 _bytideþ_--MS. byndeþ, C. bytidith
         [_þat_]--from C.
    3730 _ylete_--I-leten
    3731 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3732 _wolde_--nyl
         _moche_--mochel
    3733 _fole_--fool
    3736 _seek_--syke]


    [Headnote:
    THE FOLLY OF WAR.]

QUID TANTOS IUUAT.

  [Sidenote: [The ferthe Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: What frenzy causes man to hasten on his fate, that is,
    by war or by strife.]

  ++What deliteþ it ȝow to exciten so grete moewynges of
  hatredes {and} to hasten {and} bisien [the] fatal disposic{i}ou{n}
  of ȝoure deeþ wiþ ȝoure p{ro}pre handes. þat is                   3744
  to seyn by batailes or [by] contek.

    [Sidenote: If death is desired he delays not to come.]

          for yif ȝe axen þe
  deeþ it hastisiþ hym of hys owen wille. ne deeþ ne          [[pg 131]]
  tarieþ nat hys swifte hors.

    [Sidenote: Why do they who are exposed to the assaults of beasts
    of prey and venomous reptiles seek to slay each other with the
    sword.]

          and [the] men þat þe serpentȝ
  {and} þe lyou{n}s. {and} þe tigre. {and} þe beere {and} þe        3748
  boore seken to sleen wiþ her teþe. ȝit þilke same men
  seken to sleen eueryche of hem oþer wiþ swerde.

    [Sidenote: Lo! their manners and opinions do not accord, wherefore
    they engage in unjust wars, and fiercely urge on each other’s
    destiny.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 29 _b_.]]

          loo for
  her man{er}s ben *diuerse {and} discordaunt ¶ þei
  moeuen vnryȝtful oostes {and} cruel batailes. {and} wilne         3752
  to p{er}isse by enterchaungynge of dartes.

    [Sidenote: But this is no just reason for shedding blood.]

          but þe resou{n}
  of cruelte nis nat ynouȝ ryȝtful.

    [Sidenote: Wouldst thou reward each as he deserves? Then love the
    good as they deserve, and have pity upon the wicked.]

          wilt þou þan ȝelden a
  couenable gerdou{n} to þe desertes of men ¶ Loue ryȝtfully
  goode folk[;] {and} haue pite on shrewes.                         3756

    [Linenotes:
    3743 [_the_]--from C.
    3745 [_by_]--from C.
    3746 _hastisiþ_--hasteth
         _owen wille_--owne wyl
    3747 [_the_]--from C.
    3749 _boore_--boor
         _teþe_--teth
    3750 _swerde_--swerd
    3751 _her_--hir
    3752 _wilne_--wylnen
    3753 _enterchaungynge_--entrechaungynges]


    [Headnote:
    THE OPERATIONS OF CHANCE.]

HINC EGO UIDEO INQ{UA}M. {ET} CET{ERA}.

  [Sidenote: [The fyfthe p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ I see plainly the nature of that felicity which
    attends the virtues of the good, and of the misery that follows
    the vices of the wicked.]

  ++Þus see I wel q{uo}d I. eyþer what blisfulnesse or ellys
  what vnselinesse is estab[l]issed in þe desertys of
  goode men {and} of shrewes.

    [Sidenote: But in Fortune I see a mixture of good and evil. The
    wise man prefers riches, &c., to poverty, &c.]

          ¶ but in þis ilke fortune
  of poeple I see somwhat of goode. {and} somwhat of                3760
  yuel. for no wise man haþ nat leuer ben exiled pore
  {and} nedy {and} nameles. þan forto dwellen in hys Citee
  {and} flouren of rychesses. {and} be redoutable by honoure.
  {and} stronge of power

    [Sidenote: And wisdom appears more illustrious, when wise men are
    governors and impart their felicity to their subjects; and when
    imprisonment, torture, &c., are inflicted only upon bad citizens.]

          for in þis wise more clerely {and}                        3764
  more witnesfully is þe office of wise men ytretid whan
  þe blisfulnes {and} [the] pouste of gouerno{ur}s is as it
  were yshad amonges poeples þat ben neyȝboures {and}
  subgitȝ. syn þat namely prisou{n} lawe {and} þise oþer            3768
  to{ur}mentȝ of lawful peynes ben raþer owed to felonous
  Citeȝeins. for þe whiche felonous Citeȝeins þo peynes
  ben establissed. þan for goode folk.

    [Sidenote: Why, then, should things undergo so unnatural a
    change? Why should the worthy suffer and the vicious receive
    the reward of virtue?]

          ¶ þan I m{er}ueile
  me gretly q{uo}d I. whi [þ{a}t] þe þinges ben so mys              3772
  entrechaunged. þat to{ur}mentȝ felounes pressen {and}
  confounden goode folk. {and} shrewes rauyssen medes of
  vertue {and} ben i{n} hono{ur}s. {and} in grete estatis.    [[pg 132]]

    [Sidenote: I should like to hear the reason of so unjust a
    distribution.]

          and I
  desire eke to wite{n} of þe. what semeþ þe to ben þe              3776
  resou{n} of þis so wrongful a confusiou{n}

    [Sidenote: I should not marvel so much if _Chance_ were the cause
    of all this confusion.]

          ¶ For I wolde
  wondre wel þe lasse yif I trowed[e] þat alle þise þinges
  were medeled by fortuouse hap.

    [Sidenote: But I am overwhelmed with astonishment when I reflect,
    that God the director of all things thus unequally distributes
    rewards and punishments.]

          ¶ But now hepeþ
  {and} encreseþ myne astonyenge god gouerno{ur} of þinges.         3780
  þat so as god ȝeueþ ofte tymes to good[e] men goodes
  {and} myrþes. {and} to shrewes yuel and aspre þinges.
  {and} ȝeueþ aȝeynewarde to goode folk hardnesse. {and} to
  shrewes [he] g{ra}unteþ hem her wille {and} þat þei desiren.      3784

    [Sidenote: What difference is there, then, unless we know the
    cause, between God’s proceedings and the operations of Chance?]

  what difference þan may þer be bitwixen þ{a}t þat
  god doþ. {and} þe hap of fortune. yif men ne knowe nat
  þe cause whi þat [it] is.

    [Sidenote: _P._ It is not at all surprising that you think you see
    irregularities, when you are ignorant of that order by which God
    proceeds.]

          it nis no merueile q{uo}d she þouȝ
  þat men wenen þat þer be somwhat folysche and confus              3788
  whan þe resou{n} of þe order is vnknowe.

    [Sidenote: But, forasmuch as God, the good governor, presides over
    all, rest assured that all things are done rightly and as they
    ought to be done.]

          ¶ But alle
  þouȝ þou ne know nat þe cause of so gret a disposic{i}ou{n}.
  naþeles for as moche as god þe good[e] gouernour attempreþ
  {and} gouerneþ þe world. ne doute þe nat þat                      3792
  alle þinges ne ben doon aryȝt.

    [Linenotes:
    3760 _goode_--good
    3761 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _nat_--omitted
         _leuer_--leu{er}e
    3762 _þan_--MS. þat, C. than
    3763 _redoutable_--MS. redentable, C. redowtable
    3764 _stronge_--strong
         _clerely_--clerly
    3766 [_the_]--from C.
    3767 _neyȝboures_--nesshebors
    3769 _lawful_--laweful
    3771 _goode_--good
    3772 [_þat_]--from C.
    3775 _grete_--gret
    3776 _to witen_--forto weten
    3778 _trowed[e]_--trowede
         _alle_--al
    3779 _were_--weeren
         _fortuouse_--fortunous
    3780 _myne_--myn
    3781 _good[e]_--goode
    3782 _yuel_--yuelis
    3783 _hardnesse_--hardnesses
    3784 [_he_]--from C.
         _wille_--wyl
    3785 _difference_--MS. differenee
    3786 _doþ_--MS. doþe
         _hap_--happe
    3787 [_it_]--from C.
         _it_--ne it
    3788 _confus_--confuse
    3789 _alle_--al
    3791 _good[e]_--goode
    3793 _ne_--omitted]


    [Headnote:
    THE HIDDEN CAUSES OF THINGS.]

SI QUIS ARCTURI[8] SYDERA.

    [Footnote 8: MS. arituri]

  [Sidenote: [The fyfthe Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: He who knows not that the Bear is seen near the Pole,
    nor has observed the path of Boötes, will marvel at their
    appearance.]

  ++Who so þat ne knowe nat þe sterres of arctour
  yto{ur}ned neye to þe souereyne contre or point.
  þat is to seyne yto{ur}ned neye to þe souereyne pool of þe        3796
  firmament {and} woot nat whi þe sterre boetes passeþ or
  gaderiþ his wey[n]es. {and} drencheþ his late flaumbes in
  þe see. {and} whi þat boetes þe sterre vnfoldiþ his ouer
  swifte arisynges. þan shal he wo{n}dre{n} of þe lawe of þe        3800
  heye eyre.

    [Sidenote: The vulgar are alarmed when shadows terrestrial obscure
    the moon’s brightness, causing the stars to be displayed.]

          {and} eke if þat he ne knowe nat why þat þe
  hornes of þe ful[le] moene waxen pale {and} infect by þe
  bou{n}des of þe derke nyȝt ¶ and how þe moene dirk
  {and} confuse discouereþ þe sterres. þat she had[de]        [[pg 133]]
  ycouered by hir clere visage.

    [Sidenote: Thinking the eclipse the result of enchantment, they
    sought to destroy the charms by the tinkling of brazen vessels or
    cymbals.]

          þe co{m}mune errour moeueþ                                3805
  folk {and} makiþ wery hir bacines of bras by þikke
  strookes. þat is to seyne þat þer is a maner poeple þat
  hyȝt[e] coribandes þat wenen þat whan þe moone is in              3808
  þe eclips þat it be enchau{n}tid. and þerfore forto rescowe
  þe moone þei betyn hire basines wiþ þikke strokes.

    [Sidenote: Yet none marvel when the north-west wind renders the
    sea tempestuous; nor when vast heaps of congealed snow are melted
    by the warm rays of the sun, because the causes are apparent.]

  ¶ Ne no man ne wondreþ whan þe blastes of þe wynde
  chorus betyn þe strondes of þe see by quakynge floodes.           3812
  ne no man ne wondreþ whan þe weyȝte of þe snowe
  yhardid by þe colde. is resolued by þe brennynge hete
  of phebus þe sonne. ¶ For here seen men redyly þe
  causes.

    [Sidenote: Things whose causes are unknown disquiet the human
    mind.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 30.]]

          but þe *causes yhid þat is to seye in heuene              3816
  trouble þe brestes of men.

    [Sidenote: The fickle mob stands amazed at every rare or sudden
    phenomenon.]

          ¶ þe moeueable poeple is
  a-stoned of alle þinges þat comen selde {and} sodeynely in
  oure age.

    [Sidenote: Fear and wonder, however, soon cease when ignorance
    given place to certain knowledge.]

          but yif þe troubly errour of oure ignora{n}ce
  departid[e] from vs. so þat we wisten þe causes whi þat           3820
  swiche þinges bitiden. certys þei sholde{n} cesse to seme
  wondres.

    [Linenotes:
    3794 _arctour_--MS. aritour
    3795 _neye_--neygh
    3796 _seyne_--seyn
         _neye_--nygh
    3797-99 _boetes_--MS. boeces, C. boetes
    3798 _his_ (1)--hise
         _wey[n]es_--weynes
    3802 _ful[le]_--fulle
    3804 _had[de]_--hadde
    3806 _bacines_--MS. batines
         _þikke_--MS. þilke, C. thilke
    3807 _seyne_--seyn
    3808 _hyȝt[e]_--hihte
    3809 _eclips_--eclypse
    3812 _chorus_--MS. thorus, C. chorus
    3813 _snowe_--sonwh = snowh
    3815 _here_--her
         _redyly_--redely
    3816 _yhid_--MS. yhidde, C. I-hid
         _seye_--seyn
    3817 _trouble_--trowblen
    3820 _departid[e] from_--departede fro]


    [Headnote:
    FIVE GREAT QUESTIONS.]

ITA EST INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The syxte p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ So it is. But as thou hast promised to unfold the
    hidden causes of things, and unveil things wrapt up in darkness; I
    pray thee deliver me from my present perplexity, and explain the
    mystery I mentioned to you.]

  ++Þvs is it q{uo}d I. but so as þou hast ȝeuen or byhyȝt
  me to vnwrappe{n} þe hidde causes of þinges ¶ and                 3824
  to discoueren me þe resou{n}s couered w{i}t{h} dirknesses I
  p{re}ye þe þat þou diuise {and} Iuge me of þis matere. {and}
  þat þou do me to vndrestonde{n} it. ¶ For þis miracle
  or þis wondre troubleþ me ryȝt gretely.

    [Sidenote: _P._ You ask me to declare to you the most intricate of
    all questions, which I am afraid can scarce be answered.]

          {and} þan she a                                           3828
  litel [what] smylyng seide. ¶ þou clepest me q{uo}d
  she to telle þing. þat is grettest of alle þinges þat mowen
  ben axed. ¶ And to þe whiche questiou{n} vnneþ[e]s is
  þere auȝt ynow to lauen it. as who seiþ. vnneþes is þer           3832
  suffisauntly any þing to answere p{er}fitly to þi questiou{n}.

    [Sidenote: For the subject is of such a kind, that when one doubt
    is removed, innumerable others, like the heads of the hydra,
    spring up.]

  ¶ For þe matere of it is swiche þat whan oon doute is       [[pg 134]]
  determined {and} kut awey þer wexe{n} oþer doutes wiþ-outen
  nou{m}bre. ryȝt as þe heuedes waxen of ydre þe                    3836
  serpent þat hercules slouȝ.

    [Sidenote: Nor would there be any end of them unless they were
    restrained by a quick and vigorous effort of the mind.]

          ¶ Ne þere ne were no
  man{er}e ne noon ende. but yif þat a wyȝt co{n}streined[e]
  þo doutes. by a ryȝt lyuely {and} a quik fire of þouȝt. þat
  is to seyn by vigo{ur} {and} strengþe of witte.

    [Sidenote: The question whereof you want a solution embraces the
    five following points: 1. Simplicity, or unity of Providence. 2.
    The order and course of Destiny.]

          ¶ For in                                                  3840
  þis matere me{n} weren wont to maken questiou{n}s of þe
  simplicite of þe p{ur}ueaunce of god {and} of þe ordre of
  destine.

    [Sidenote: 3. Sudden chance. 4. Prescience of God, and divine
    predestination. 5. Free-will.]

          {and} of sodeyne hap. {and} of þe knowyng {and}
  p{re}destinac{i}ou{n} deuine {and} of þe lyberte of fre wille.    3844
  þe whiche þing þou þi self ap{er}ceiust wel of what weyȝt
  þei ben. but for as mochel as þe knowynge of þise
  þinges is a manere porc{i}ou{n} to þe medicine to þe. al be it
  so þat I haue lytel tyme to don it.

    [Sidenote: I will try to treat of these things:--]

          ȝit naþeles I wole                                        3848
  enforcen me to shewe somwhat of it. ¶ but al þouȝ
  þe norissinges of dite of musike deliteþ þe þow most
  suffren. {and} forberen a litel of þilk delite while þat I
  weue (contexo) to þe resou{n}s yknyt by ordre ¶ As it likeþ       3852
  to þe q{uo}d I so do.

    [Sidenote: Resuming her discourse as from a new principle,
    Philosophy argued as follows:--]

          ¶ þo spak she ryȝt a[s] by an oþer
  bygynnyn[ge] {and} seide þus.

    [Sidenote: The generation of all things, every progression of
    things liable to change, and everything that moveth, derive their
    causes, order, and form from the immutability of the divine
    understanding.]

          ¶ þe enge{n}drynge of alle
  þinges q{uo}d she {and} alle þe progressiou{n}s of muuable
  nat{ur}e. {and} alle þ{a}t moeueþ in any manere takiþ hys         3856
  causes. hys ordre. {and} hys formes. of þe stablenesse of þe
  deuyne þouȝt

    [Sidenote: Providence directs all things by a variety of means.]

          [{and} thilke deuyne thowht] þat is yset {and}
  put in þe toure. þat is to seyne in þe heyȝt of þe simplicite
  of god. stablisiþ many manere gyses to þinges þat                 3860
  ben to don.

    [Sidenote: These means, referred only to the divine intelligence,
    are called Providence; but when contemplated in relation to the
    things which receive motion and order from them, are called
    Destiny.]

          ¶ þe whiche manere whan þat men loken
  it i{n} þilke pure clerenesse of þe deuyne i{n}telligence. it
  is ycleped p{ur}ueaunce ¶ but whan þilke manere is referred
  by me{n} to þinges þat it moeueþ {and} disponeþ þan         [[pg 135]]
  of olde men. it was cleped destine.

    [Linenotes:
    3823 _byhyȝt_--by-hyhte
    3824 _hidde_--hyd
    3826 _preye_--p{re}ey
         _diuise_--deuyse
    3827 _do_--don
    3828 _gretely_--gretly
    3829 [_what_]--from C.
    3832 _þere auȝt_--ther awht
    3834 _swiche_--swych
         _oon_--o
    3835 _wiþouten noumbre_--w{i}t{h}-owte nowmbyr
    3836 _waxen_--wexen
    3837 _þere_--ther
    3838 _constreined[e]_--constreynede
    3839 _lyuely_--lyfly
    3840 _witte_--wit
    3843 _hap_--happe
    3845 _weyȝt_--wyht
    3848 _wole_--wol
    3850 _þow_--MS. now, C. þ{o}u
         _most suffren_--MS. moste to souereyne; C. most suffren
    3851 _þilk_--thilke
    3853 _þo_--so
         _spak_--MS. spake, C. spak
         _a[s]_--as
    3856 _alle_--al
    3858 [_and----thowht_]--from C.
         _yset_--MS. ysette, C. yset
    3859 _toure_--towr
         _seyne_--seyn
         _heyȝt_--heyhte
    3861 _don_--done
    3862 _clerenesse_--klennesse]

    [Headnote:
    OF FATE AND PROVIDENCE.]

    [Sidenote: Reflection on the efficacy of the one and the other
    will soon cause us to see their differences.]

          ¶ þe whiche                                               3865
  þinges yif þat any wyȝt lokeþ wel in his þouȝt.
  þe strengþe of þat oon {and} of þat oþer he shal lyȝtly mowen
  seen þat þise two þinges ben diuers.

    [Sidenote: Providence is the divine intelligence manifested in the
    disposition of worldly affairs.]

          ¶ For p{ur}ueau{n}ce                                      3868
  is þilke deuyne resou{n} þat is establissed in þe souereyne
  p{r}ince of þinges. þe whiche p{ur}ueaunce disponiþ alle
  þinges.

    [Sidenote: Destiny or Fate is that inherent state or condition of
    movable things by means whereof Providence retains them in the
    order in which she has placed them.]

          but destine is þe disposic{i}ou{n} {and} ordenaunce
  cleuynge to moeuable þinges. by þe whiche disposic{i}ou{n}        3872
  þe p{ur}ueaunce knyteþ alle þinges in hire ordres.

    [Sidenote: Providence embraces all things, although diverse and
    infinite; but Fate gives motion to every individual thing, and in
    the place and under the form appropriated to it.]

  ¶ For p{ur}ueaunce enbraceþ alle þi{n}ges to hepe. al þouȝ þat
  þei ben dyuerse {and} al þouȝ þei ben wiþ outen fyn. but
  destynie dep{ar}teþ {and} ordeyneþ alle þinges singlerly          3876
  {and} diuideþ. in moeuynges. in places. in formes. in
  tymes. dep{ar}tiþ [as] þus.

    [Sidenote: So that the explication of this order of things wrapt
    up in the divine intelligence is Providence; and being unfolded
    according to time and other circumstances, may be called Fate.]

          so þat þe vnfoldyng of temp{or}el
  ordenaunce assembled {and} ooned in þe lokyng of
  þe deuyne þouȝt ¶ Is p{ur}ueaunce {and} þilke same                3880
  assemblynge. {and} oonyng diuided {and} vnfolden by
  tymes. lat þat ben called destine.

    [Sidenote: Though these things appear to differ, yet one of them
    depends on the other, for the order of Fate proceeds from the
    unity of Providence.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 30 _b_.]]

          {and} al be *it so þat
  þise þinges ben dyuerse. ȝitte naþeles hangeþ þat oon
  on þat oþer. forwhi þe ordre destinal p{ro}cediþ of þe            3884
  simplicite of purueaunce.

    [Sidenote: For as a workman, who has formed in his head the plan
    of a work which he is desirous to finish, executes it afterwards,
    and produces after a time all the different parts of the model
    which he has conceived;]

          for ryȝt as a werkma{n} þat
  ap{er}ceiueþ in hys þouȝt þe forme of þe þing þat he wil
  make moeueþ þe effect of þe werke. {and} lediþ þat he
  had[de] loked byforne in hys þouȝt symply {and} p{re}sently       3888
  by temp{or}el þouȝt.

    [Sidenote: so God in the plan of his Providence disposes
    everything to be brought about in a certain order and in a proper
    time;]

          ¶ Certys ryȝt so god disponiþ
  in hys p{ur}ueaunce singlerly {and} stably þe þinges
  þat ben to done. but he amynistreþ in many maneres
  {and} in dyuerse tymes by destyne. þilke same þinges              3892
  þat he haþ disponed þan wheþir þat destine be excercised.

    [Linenotes:
    3872 _cleuynge_--clyuynge
    3875 _wiþ outen fyn_--Infynyte
    3876 _singlerly_--syngulerly
    3877 _in_ (3)--MS. {and}, C. in
    3878 _departiþ_--omitted
         [_as_]--from C.
         _so þat_--lat
    3884 _on_--of
    3886 _wil_--wol
    3888 _had[de]_--hadde
         _symply_--symplely
    3889 _þouȝt_--ordinau{n}ce
    3890 _singlerly_--syngulerly
         _stably_--stablely
    3893 _haþ_--MS. haþe]

    [Headnote:
    PROVIDENCE CONTROLS FATE.]

    [Sidenote: and afterwards, by the ministry of Fate, he
    accomplishes what he has planned, conformably to that order and
    that time.]

  eyþer by so{m}me dyuyne spirites seruaunteȝ to
  þe deuyne p{ur}ueaunce. or ellys by so{m}me soule (a{n}i{m}a
  mundi). or ellys by al nature seruynge to god. or ellys     [[pg 136]]
  by þe celestial moeuyng of sterres. or ellys by þe vertue         3897
  of aungels. or ellys by þe dyuerse subtilite of deueles.
  or ellys by any of he{m}. or ellys by hem alle þe destynal
  ordynau{n}ce is ywouen or accomplissed. certys it is open         3900
  þing þat þe p{ur}ueaunce is an vnmoeueable {and} symple
  forme of þinges to done. {and} þe moeueable bonde {and}
  þe temp{or}el ordynaunce of þinges whiche þat þe deuyne
  simplicite of p{ur}ueaunce haþ ordeyned to done. þat is           3904
  destine.

    [Sidenote: So then, however Fate be exercised, it is evident that
    things subject to Destiny are under the control of Providence,
    which disposes Destiny.]

          For whiche it is þat alle þinges þat ben put
  vndir destine ben certys subgitȝ to p{ur}ueaunce. to
  whiche p{ur}ueaunce destine it self is subgit {and} vndir.

    [Sidenote: But some things under Providence are exempt from the
    control of Fate; being stably fixed near to the Divinity himself,
    and beyond the movement of Destiny.]

  ¶ But so{m}me þinges ben put vndir purueaunce þat                 3908
  so{ur}mounten þe ordinaunce of destine. {and} þo ben
  þilke þat stably ben yficched ney to þe first godhed þei
  so{ur}mou{n}ten þe ordre of destinal moeuablite.

    [Sidenote: For even, as among several circles revolving round one
    common centre, that which is innermost approaches nearest to the
    simplicity of the middle points, and is, as it were, a centre,
    round which the outward ones revolve;]

          ¶ For
  ryȝt as cercles þat to{ur}nen aboute a same Centre or             3912
  about a poynt. þilke cercle þat is inrest or moost wiþ-ynne
  ioineþ to þe symplesse of þe myddel {and} is as it
  were a Centre or a poynt to þat oþer cercles þat tourne{n}
  aboute{n} hym.

    [Sidenote: whilst the outermost, revolving in a wider
    circumference, the further it is from the centre describes a
    larger space--but yet, if this circle or anything else be joined
    to the middle point, it is constrained to be immovable.]

          ¶ and þilke þat is outerest compased by                   3916
  larger envyronnynge is vnfolden by larger spaces in so
  mochel as it is forþest fro þe mydel symplicite of þe
  poynt. and yif þer be any þi{n}g þat knytteþ {and} felawshippeþ
  hym selfe to þilke mydel poynt it is constreyned                  3920
  in to symplicite. þat is to seyn in to [vn]moeueablete.
  {and} it ceseth to ben shad {and} to fleti{n} dyuersly.

    [Sidenote: By parity of reason, the further anything is removed
    from the first intelligence, so much the more is it under the
    control of Destiny;]

          ¶ Ryȝt
  so by semblable resou{n}. þilke þinge þat dep{ar}tiþ firþest
  fro þe first þouȝt of god. it is vnfolde{n} {and} su{m}mittid     3924
  to grettere bondes of destine.

    [Sidenote: and the nearer anything approaches to this
    Intelligence, the centre of all things, the more stable it
    becomes, and the less dependent upon Destiny.]

          and in so moche is þe
  þing more free {and} lovs fro destyne as it axeþ {and}
  holdeþ hym ner to þilke Centre of þinges. þat is to         [[pg 137]]
  seyne god.

    [Linenotes:
    3894 _eyþer_--owther
         _seruaunteȝ_--MS. seruaunceȝ
    3895 _somme_--som
    3896 _al_--alle
    3897 _moeuyng_--moeuynges
    3900 _ywouen_--MS. ywonnen, C. ywouen
         _or_--{and}
    3902 _bonde_--bond
    3904 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3905 _whiche_--which
    3912 _as_--as of
    3913 _about_--a-bowte
         _inrest_--innerest
    3917 _larger_ (1)--a large
    3918 _mochel_--moche
         _forþest_--ferther{e}
    3920 _selfe_--self
    3921 _[vn]moeueablete_--vnmoeuablete
    3922 _ceseth_--MS. fleþe, C. cesith
    3923 _þinge_--thing
    3924 _of_--MS. to, C. of
    3926 _lovs_--laus
    3927 _ner_--ner{e}]

    [Headnote:
    DESTINY RULES NATURE.]

    [Sidenote: And if we suppose that the thing in question is joined
    to the stability of the supreme mind, it then becomes immovable,
    and is beyond the necessity and power of destiny.]

          ¶ and if þe þinge cleueþ to þe stedfastnesse              3928
  of þe þouȝt of god. {and} be wiþ oute moeuyng certys it
  so{ur}mounteþ þe necessite of destyne.

    [Sidenote: As reasoning is to the understanding, as that which is
    produced to that which exists of itself, as time to eternity, as
    the circle to the centre, so is the movable order of Fate to the
    stable simplicity of Providence.]

          þan ryȝt swiche
  comparisou{n} as [it] is of skilynge to vndirstondyng {and}
  of þing þat is engendred to þing þat is. {and} of tyme to         3932
  eternite. {and} of þe cercle to þe Centre. ryȝt so is þe
  ordre of moeueable destine to þe stable symplicite of
  p{ur}ueaunce.

    [Sidenote: Destiny rules nature.]

          ¶ þilke ordinaunce moeueþ þe heuene
  {and} þe sterres {and} attempreþ þe elymentȝ to gider             3936
  amonges hem self. {and} t{ra}nsformeþ hem by enterchau{n}gable
  mutac{i}ou{n}. ¶ and þilke same ordre neweþ
  aȝein alle þinges growyng {and} fallyng a-doune by sembleables
  p{ro}gressiou{n}s of seedes {and} of sexes. þat is                3940
  to sein. male {and} female.

    [Sidenote: It controls the actions of men by an indissoluble chain
    of causes, and is, like their origin, immutable.]

          and þis ilke ordre co{n}streyneþ
  þe fortunes {and} þe dedes of men by a bonde of causes
  nat able to ben vnbou{n}den (indissolubili). þe whiche
  destinal causes whanne þei passen oute fro þe bygynnynges         3944
  of þe vnmoeueable purueaunce it mot nedes
  be þat þei ne be nat mutable.

    [Sidenote: Thus, then, are all things well conducted, since that
    invariable order of cause has its origin in the simplicity of the
    Divine mind, and by its inherent immutability exercises a
    restraint upon mutable things, and preserves them from
    irregularity.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 31.]]

          {and} þus ben þe þinges ful
  wel ygouerned. yif þat þe symplicite dwelly{n}ge *in þe
  deuyne þouȝt sheweþ furþe þe ordre of causes. vnable to           3948
  be I-bowed. {and} þis ordre constreyneþ by hys p{ro}pre
  stablete þe moeueable þinges. or ellys þei sholde fleten
  folily

    [Sidenote: To those who understand not this order, things appear
    confused--nevertheless, the proper condition of all things directs
    and inclines it to their true good.]

          for whiche it is þat alle þinges semen to be confus
  {and} trouble to vs men. for we ne mowe nat co{n}sider{e}         3952
  þilke ordinaunce. ¶ Naþeles þe p{ro}pre manere of
  euery þing dressynge hem to goode disponit hem alle.

    [Sidenote: For there is nothing done for the sake of evil, not
    even by the wicked, who, in seeking for felicity, are led astray
    by crooked error.]

  for þere nis no þinge don for cause of yuel. ne þilke
  þing þat is don by wicked[e] folk nis nat don for yuel            3956
  þe whiche shrewes as I haue shewed [ful] plentiuously
  seken goode. but wicked errour mysto{ur}niþ he{m}.

    [Linenotes:
    3928 _seyne_--seyn
         _þinge cleueþ_--thing clyueth
         _stedfastnesse_--stydefastnesse
    3930 _swiche_--swych
    3931 [_it_]--from C.
    3932 _to_ (2)--MS. of, C. to
    3937 _enterchaungable_--MS. enterchau{n}gyngable,
         C. entrechaungeable
    3939 _a-doune_--a-down
         _sembleables_--semblable
    3942 _bonde_--bond
    3943 _ben vnbounden_--be vnbownde
    3944 _oute_--owt
    3948 _furþe_--forth
    3949 _I-bowed_--MS. vnbounde{n}, C. I-bowed
    3950 _sholde_--sholden
    3951 _whiche_--which
    3952 _mowe_--mowen
    3956 _wicked[e]_--wykkede
    3957 [_ful_]--from C.
    3958 _goode_--good]

                                                              [[pg 138]]
    [Headnote:
    NOTHING DONE FOR EVIL’S SAKE.]

    [Sidenote: But the order proceeding from the centre of supreme
    goodness does not mislead any.]

  ¶ Ne þe ordre comynge fro þe poynt of souereyne goode ne
  declineþ nat fro hys bygynnynge.

    [Sidenote: But you may say, what greater confusion can there be
    than that both prosperous and adverse things should at times
    happen to good men, and that evil men should at one time enjoy
    their desires and at another be tormented by hateful things.]

          but þou mayst sein                                        3960
  what vnreste may ben a wors co{n}fusiou{n} þan þ{a}t goode
  men han so{m}me tyme aduersite. {and} so{m}tyme p{ro}sperite.
  ¶ and shrewes also han now þinges þat þei
  desiren.

    [Sidenote: Are men wise enough to discover, whether those whom
    they believe to be virtuous or wicked, are so in reality?]

          {and} now þi{n}ges þat þei haten ¶ wheþer men             3964
  lyuen now in swiche hoolnesse of þouȝt. as who seiþ.
  ben men now so wise. þat swiche folk as þei demen to
  ben goode folk or shrewes þ{a}t it mot nedes ben þat folk
  ben swiche as þei wenen.

    [Sidenote: Opinions differ as to this matter. Some who are deemed
    worthy of reward by one person, are deemed unworthy by another.]

          but in þis manere þe domes                                3968
  of men discorden. þat þilke men þ{a}t so{m}me folk demen
  worþi of mede. oþer folk demen hem worþi of to{ur}ment.

    [Sidenote: But, suppose it were possible for one to distinguish
    with certainty between the good and the bad?]

  but lat vs graunt[e] I pose þat som man may wel demen
  or knowen þe goode folk {and} þe badde.

    [Sidenote: Then he must have as accurate a knowledge of the mind
    as one has of the body.]

          May he þan                                                3972
  knowen {and} seen þilke inrest attemp{er}aunce of corages.
  as it haþ ben wont to be said of bodyes. as who saiþ
  may a man speken {and} determine of attemp{er}aunce in
  corages. as men were wont to demen or speken of complexiou{n}s    3976
  {and} attemp{er}aunces of bodies (q’ non).

    [Sidenote: It is miraculous to him who knows it not, why sweet
    things are agreeable to some bodies, and bitter to others; why
    some sick persons are relieved by lenitives and others by sharper
    remedies.]

  ne it [ne] is nat an vnlyke miracle to hem þat ne knowe{n}
  it nat. ¶ As who seiþ. but is lyke a merueil or a
  miracle to hem þat ne knowe{n} it nat. whi þat swete              3980
  þinges [ben] couenable to some bodies þat ben hool {and}
  to some bodies bittre þinges ben couenable. {and} also
  whi þat some seke folk ben holpen w{i}t{h} lyȝt medicines
  [{and} some folk ben holpen w{i}t{h} sharppe medicynes]           3984

    [Sidenote: It is no marvel to the leech, who knows the causes of
    disease, and their cures.]

  but naþeles þe leche þ{a}t knoweþ þe manere {and} þe attemp{er}aunce
  of heele {and} of maladie ne merueileþ of it no
  þing.

    [Sidenote: What constitutes the health of the mind, but goodness?
    And what are its maladies, but vice?]

          but what oþer þing semeþ hele of corages but
  bounte {and} prowesse. {and} what oþer þing semeþ maladie         3988
  of corages but vices.

    [Sidenote: Who is the preserver of good, or the driver away of
    evil, but God, the physician of souls, who knows what is necessary
    for men, and bestows it upon them?]

          who is ellys kep{er}e of good or
  dryuere awey of yuel but god gouerno{ur} {and} leecher of   [[pg 139]]
  þouȝtes. þe whiche god wha{n} he haþ by-holden from þe
  heye toure of hys p{ur}ueaunce he knoweþ what is                  3992
  couenable to euery wyȝt. {and} leneþ hem þat he wot
  [þat] is couenable to hem.

    [Sidenote: From this source springs that great marvel--_the order
    of destiny_--wrought by the wisdom of God, and marveled at by
    ignorant men.]

          Loo here of comeþ {and}
  here of is don þis noble miracle of þe ordre destinal.

    [Linenotes:
    3959 _goode_--good
    3960 _declineþ_--MS. enclineþ, C. declynyth
    3961 _wors_--worse
    3962 _somme tyme_--somtyme
    3965 _swiche_--swych
    3967 _goode_--good
         _mot_--moste
    3971 _graunt[e]_--graunte
    3973 _inrest_--Inneryste
    3974 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _said_--MS. saide, C. seyd
    3975 _determine_--det{er}minen
    3978 [_ne_]--from C.
         _vnlyke_--vn-lyk
    3979 _lyke_--lik
    3981 [_ben_]--from C.
         _hool_--hoole
    3984 [_and----medicynes_]--from C.
    3991 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    3993 _wot_--MS. wote, C. wot
    3994 [_þat_]--from C.
    3995 _don_--MS. done, C. don
         _miracle_--MS. mirache, C. myracle
         _ordre_--MS. ordre of]

    [Headnote:
    GOD THE SOUL’S PHYSICIAN.]

  whan god þat alle knoweþ doþ swiche þing. of whiche               3996
  þing [þat] vnknowyng folk ben astoned

    [Sidenote: But, now let us notice a few things concerning the
    depth of the Divine knowledge which human reason may comprehend.]

          but forto constreine
  as who seiþ ¶ But forto co{m}prehende {and} telle
  a fewe þinges of þe deuyne depnesse þe whiche þat mans
  resou{n} may vnderstonde.

    [Sidenote: The man you deem just, may appear otherwise to the
    omniscient eye of Providence.]

          ¶ þilk man þat þou wenest                                 4000
  to ben ryȝt Iuste {and} ryȝt kepyng of eq{u}ite. þe contrarie
  of þat semeþ to þe deuyne p{ur}ueaunce þat al woot.
  ¶ And lucan my familier telleþ þat þe victories cause
  liked[e] to þe goddes {and} causes ouercomen liked[e] to          4004
  cato{u}n.

    [Sidenote: When you see apparent irregularities--unexpected and
    unwished for--deem them to be rightly done.]

          þan what so euer þou mayst seen þat is don in
  þis [world] vnhoped or vnwened. certys it is þe ryȝt[e]
  ordre of þinges. but as to þi wicked[e] oppiniou{n} it is a
  co{n}fusiou{n}.

    [Sidenote: Let us suppose a man so well behaved, as to be approved
    of God and man--but not endowed with firmness of mind, so that the
    reverses of fortune will cause him to forgo his probity, since
    with it he cannot retain his prosperity.]

          but I suppose þat som man be so wel yþewed.               4008
  þat þe deuyne Iugement {and} þe Iugeme{n}t of mankynde
  accorden hem to gidre of hym. but he is so vnstedfast
  of corage [þat] yif any aduersite come to hym he wolde
  for-leten p{er}auenture to continue i{n}nocence by þe             4012
  whiche he ne may nat wiþholden fortune.

    [Sidenote: A wise Providence, knowing that adversity might destroy
    this man’s integrity, averts from him that adversity which he is
    not able to sustain.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 31 _b_.]]

          ¶ þan þe
  wise dispensac{i}ou{n} of god spareþ hym þe whiche
  man{er}e adu{er}site *myȝt[e] enpeyren. ¶ For þat god
  wil nat suffren hym to trauaile. to whom þat trauayl              4016
  nis nat couenable.

    [Sidenote: Another man is thoroughly virtuous, and approaches to
    the purity of the deity--him Providence deems it an injustice to
    oppress by adversity, and therefore exempts him even from bodily
    disease.]

          ¶ An oþ{er} man is p{er}fit in alle
  uertues. {and} is an holy man {and} neye to god so þat þe
  p{ur}ueaunce of god wolde demen þat it were a felony
  þat he were touched wiþ any aduersites. so þat he ne              4020
  wil nat suffre þat swiche a man be moeued wiþ any           [[pg 140]]
  manere maladie. ¶ But so as seide a philosophre [the
  moore excellent by me]. þe adu{er}sites comen nat (he
  seide in grec[;]) þere þ{a}t uertues han edified þe bodie         4024
  of þe holy man.

    [Sidenote: Providence often gives the direction of public affairs
    to good men, in order to curb and restrain the malice of the
    wicked.]

          and ofte tyme it bitideþ þat þe
  so{m}me of þinges þat ben to don is taken to good folk
  to gouerne. for þat þe malice habundaunt of shrewes
  sholde ben abatid.

    [Sidenote: To some is given a mixture of good and evil, according
    to what is most suitable to the dispositions of their minds.]

          {and} god ȝeueþ {and} dep{ar}tiþ to oþer                  4028
  folk p{ro}sp[er]ites {and} aduersites ymedeled to hepe aftir
  þe qualite of hire corages {and} remordiþ som folk by
  adu{er}sites.

    [Sidenote: Upon some are laid moderate afflictions, lest they wax
    proud by too long a course of prosperity.]

          for þei ne sholden nat wexen proude by
  longe welefulnesse.

    [Sidenote: Others suffer great adversities that their virtues may
    be exercised, and strengthened by the practice of patience.]

          {and} oþer folk he suffreþ to ben                         4032
  trauayled wiþ harde þinges. ¶ For þat þei sholden conferme
  þe vertues of corage by þe vsage {and} ex{er}citac{i}ou{n}
  of pacie{n}ce.

    [Sidenote: Some fear to be afflicted with what they are able to
    endure. Others despise what they are unable to bear; and God
    punishes them with calamities, to make them sensible of their
    presumption.]

          and oþer folke dreden more þen þei auȝten
  þe wiche þei myȝt[en] wel beren. {and} þilke folk god             4036
  lediþ in to exp{er}ience of hem self by aspre {and} sorweful
  þinges.

    [Sidenote: Many have purchased a great name by a glorious death.]

          ¶ And many oþer folk han bouȝt honorable
  renoune of þis worlde by þe pris of glorious deeþ.

    [Sidenote: Others by their unshaken fortitude, have shown that
    virtue cannot be overcome by adversity.]

  and som men þat ne mowen nat ben ouer-comen by                    4040
  tourment han ȝeuen ensample to oþer folk þat vertue ne
  may nat be ouer-comen by aduersites.

   [[Transcriber’s Note:
   The sidenote “Others despise what they are unable to bear” does not
   correspond to anything in the text. Skeat’s edition includes the
   phrase “and somme dispyse that they mowe nat beren” (Book IV,
   Prose 6: _Ita Est Inquam_).]]

    [Linenotes:
    3996 _alle_--al
         _doþ_--MS. doþe
         _whiche_--which
    3997 [_þat_]--from C.
    3999 _mans_--mannes
    4000 _þilk_--thilke
    4004 _liked[e]_ (_both_)--lykede
    4005 _is don_--MS. is to don
    4006 [_world_]--from C.
         _ryȝt[e]_--ryhte
    4007 _wicked[e]_--wykkede
    4010 _vnstedfast_--vnstydefast
    4011 [_þat_]--from C.
         _wolde_--wol
    4015 _manere_--man
         _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    4016 _wil_--wol
    4018 _neye_--negh
    4021 _wil_--wol
         _swiche_--swych
    4022 _manere_--bodyly
    4022-3 [_the----me_]--from C.
    4023 _þe aduersites----nat_--omitted
    4024 _þere_--omitted
    4026 _don_--done
         _to_ (2)--MS. so
         _to good----gouerne_--to gou{er}ne to goode folk
    4028 _oþer_--oothr{e}
    4030 _som_--some
    4031 _sholden_--sholde
    4033 _conferme_--confermen
    4034 _corage_--corages
    4036 _myȝt[en]_--myhten
    4037 _hem_--hym
         _sorweful_--sorwful
    4038 _oþer_--oothr{e}
    4039 _worlde_--world
         _of_ (2)--of the
    4041 _oþer_--othr{e}]

    [Headnote:
    HOW PROVIDENCE DEALS WITH MANKIND.]

    [Sidenote: These things are done justly, and in order, and are for
    the good of those to whom they happen.]

          ¶ and of alle
  þise þinges þer nis no doute þ{a}t þei ne ben don ryȝtfully
  {and} ordeinly to þe p{ro}fit of hem to whom we                   4044
  seen þise þinges bitide.

    [Sidenote: From the same causes it happens, that sometimes
    adversity and sometimes prosperity falls to the lot of the
    wicked.]

          ¶ For certys þat aduersite
  comeþ some tyme to shrewes. {and} some tyme þat þei
  desiren it comeþ of þise forseide causes

    [Sidenote: None are surprised to see bad men afflicted--they get
    what they deserve.]

          {and} of sorweful
  þinges þat bytyden to shrewes. Certys no man ne                   4048
  wondreþ. For alle me{n} wenen þat þei han wel deserued it.

    [Sidenote: Their punishment, too, may cause amendment, or deter
    others from like vices.]

  {and} þei ben of wicked m{er}ite of whiche
  shrewes þe to{ur}ment som tyme agasteþ oþer to done         [[pg 141]]
  folies. {and} som tyme it amendeþ hem þat suffren þe              4052
  to{ur}mentis.

    [Sidenote: When the wicked enjoy felicity--the good should learn
    how little these external advantages are to be prized, which may
    fall to the lot of the most worthless.]

          ¶ And þe p{ro}sp{er}ite þat is ȝeuen to
  shrewes sheweþ a grete argument to good[e] folk what
  þing þei sholde demen of þilk wilfulnesse þe whiche
  p{ro}sperite men seen ofte serue to shrewes.

    [Sidenote: Another reason for dispensing worldly bliss to the
    wicked is, that indigence would prompt naturally violent and
    rapacious minds to commit the greatest enormities.]

          in þe whiche                                              4056
  þing I trowe þat god dispensiþ. for p{er}auenture þe nature
  of som man is so ouerþrowyng to yuel {and} so vncouenable
  þat þe nedy pouerte of hys house-hold myȝt[e]
  raþer egren hym to done felonies.

    [Sidenote: Their disease God cures by the medicine of money.]

          and to þe maladie                                         4060
  of hym god puttiþ remedie to ȝiuen hym rychesse.

    [Sidenote: Some men will cease to do wrong for fear, lest their
    wealth be lost through their crimes.]

  {and} som oþer man byholdiþ hys conscience defouled wiþ
  synnes {and} makiþ co{m}parisou{n} of his fortune {and} of
  hym self ¶ and drediþ p{er}auenture þat hys blisfulnesse          4064
  of whiche þe vsage is ioyful to hym þat þe lesynge of
  þilke blisfulnesse ne be nat sorweful to hym. {and} þerfore
  he wol chaunge hys maneres. and for he drediþ
  to lese hys fortune. he forletiþ hys wickednesse.                 4068

    [Sidenote: Upon others unmerited happiness is conferred, which at
    last precipitates them into deserved destruction.]

  to oþer folk is welefulnesse yȝeue{n} vnworþily þe whiche
  ouerþroweþ hem in to destrucc{i}ou{n} þat þei han deserued.

    [Sidenote: To some there is given the power of chastisement, in
    order both to exercise the virtues of the good and to punish the
    wicked.]

  and to som oþer folk is ȝeuen power to
  punisse{n}. for þat it shal be cause of continuac{i}ou{n} {and}   4072
  ex{er}cisinge to good[e] folk. {and} cause of to{ur}ment to
  shrewes.

    [Sidenote: For as there is no alliance between good and bad, so
    neither can the vicious agree together.]

          ¶ For so as þer nis none alyaunce bytwixe
  good[e] folke {and} shrewes. ne shrewes ne mowen nat
  accorde{n} amo{n}ges hem self

    [Sidenote: And how should they? Their vices make them at war with
    themselves, rending and tearing their consciences, and there is
    scarce anything they do, but what afterwards they disapprove of.]

          {and} whi nat. for shrewes                                4076
  discorde{n} of hem self by her vices þe whiche vices al to
  renden her consciences. {and} don oft[e] tyme þinges þe
  whiche þinges whan þei han don hem. þei demen þat
  þo þinges ne sholde nat han ben don.

    [Sidenote: Hence arises a signal miracle brought about by
    Providence--that evil men have often made wicked men good.]

          for whiche þinge                                          4080
  þilke souereyne p{ur}ueaunce haþ maked oft[e] tyme
  [fair{e}] miracle so þ{a}t shrewes han maked oftyme         [[pg 142]]
  shrewes to ben good[e] men.

    [Sidenote: For these latter having suffered injuries from the
    former, have become virtuous, in order that they might not
    resemble those whom they so detested.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 32.]]

          for whan þat som shrewes
  *seen þat þei suffren wrongfully felonies of oþer shrewes         4084
  þei wexen eschaufed in to hat[e] of hem þat anoien
  hem. {and} retournen to þe fruit of uertue. when þei
  studien to ben vnlyke to he{m} þat þei han hated.

    [Linenotes:
    4046 _comeþ_--comth
         _some_ (_both_)--som
         _þat þei_--MS. þei þat, C. þ{a}t that they
    4047 _comeþ_--comth
         _sorweful_--sorwful
    4050 _wicked_--wykkede
         _merite_--MS. u{er}ite, C. m{er}yte
    4051 _oþer_--oothr{e}
         _done_--don
    4052 _folies_--felonies
    4054 _grete_--gret
         _good[e]_--goode
    4055 _sholde_--sholden
         _þilk_--thilke
    4056 _serue_--seruen
         _whiche_--which
    4057 _dispensiþ_--MS. dispisiþ, C. dispensith
    4059 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    4060 _done_--don
    4061 _rychesse_--Rychesses
    4065 _whiche_--which
    4068 MS. wrongly inserts _welefulnesse_ after _wickednesse_
    4069-71 _oþer_--oothr{e}
    4073 _good[e]_--goode
    4074 _none_--non
    4075 _good[e]_--goode
    4076 _accorden_--acordy
    4078 _don_--MS. done, C. don
         _oft[e]_--ofte
    4079 _don_--MS. done, C. don
    4080 _sholde_--sholden
         _whiche þinge_--which thing
    4081 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _oft[e]_--ofte
    4082 [_faire_]--from C.
         _oftyme_--omitted
    4083 _good[e]_--goode
    4085 _hat[e]_--hate
         _anoien_--anoyeden
    4087 _studien_--omitted
         _vnlyke_--vnlyk]

    [Headnote:
    EVIL IS OVERRULED FOR GOOD.]

    [Sidenote: It is only the Divine power that can turn evil to good,
    overruling it for his own purposes.]

  ¶ Certys þis only is þe deuyne myȝt to þe whiche myȝt             4088
  yueles ben þan good. whan it vseþ þo yueles couenably
  {and} draweþ out þe effect of any good. as who seiþ þat
  yuel is good oonly by þe myȝt of god. for þe myȝt of
  god ordeyneþ þilk yuel to good. For oon ordre enbrasiþ            4092
  alle þinges. so þat what wyȝt [þ{a}t] dep{ar}tiþ fro
  þe resou{n} of þe ordre whiche þat is assigned to hym.
  algates ȝit he slideþ in to an oþ{er} ordre.

    [Sidenote: Nothing occurs by the caprice of chance in the realms
    of Divine Providence.]

          so þat noþing
  nis leueful to folye in þe realme of þe deuyne p{ur}ueaunce.      4096
  as who seiþ no þing nis wiþouten ordinaunce in
  þe realme of þe deuyne purueaunce.

    [Sidenote: Since God is the governor of all things, it is not
    lawful to man to attempt to comprehend the whole of the Divine
    economy, or to explain it in words.]

          ¶ Syn þat þe ryȝt
  strong[e] god gouerniþ alle þinges in þis worlde for it
  nis nat leueful to no man to co{m}p{re}henden by witte ne         4100
  vnfolden by worde alle þe subtil ordinaunces {and} disposic{i}ou{n}s
  of þe deuyne entent.

    [Sidenote: Let it suffice to know that God orders all things for
    the best.]

          for oonly it auȝt[e]
  suffice to han loked þat god hym self makere of alle
  natures ordeyniþ and dressiþ alle þinges to good.

    [Sidenote: And while he retains things created after his own
    likeness conformably to his goodness, he banishes evil by the
    cause of destiny out of his empire.]

          while                                                     4104
  þat he hastiþ to wiþhalden þe þinges þat he haþ maked
  in to hys semblaunce. þat is to seyn forto wiþholden
  þinges in to good. for he hym self is good he chaseþ
  oute al yuel of þe boundes of hys co{m}munalite by þe             4108
  ordre of necessite destinable.

    [Sidenote: So that those evils which you seem to see are only
    imaginary.]

          For whiche it folweþ þat
  yif þou loke þe p{ur}ueaunce ordeynynge þe þinges þat
  men wenen ben haboundaunt in erþes. þou ne shalt not
  seen in no place no þing of yuel.

    [Sidenote: But you are exhausted and weary with the prolixity of
    my reasoning, and look for relief from the harmony of my verse.]

          ¶ but I se now þat                                        4112
  þou art charged wiþ þe weyȝte of þe questiou[n] {and}       [[pg 143]]
  wery wiþ lengþe of my resou{n}. {and} þat þou abidest som
  swetnesse of songe.

    [Sidenote: Take, then, this draught, with which when refreshed,
    you may more strongly proceed to higher matters.]

          tak þa{n} þis drauȝt {and} whan þou
  art wel refresshed {and} refet þou shalt ben more stedfast        4116
  to stye in to heyere questiou{n}s.

    [Linenotes:
    4089-90 _good_--goode
    4092 _þilk_--thilke
    4093 [_þat_]--from C.
    4094 _þe_ (2)--thilke
         _whiche_--which
    4096 _realme_--Reame
    4099 _strong[e]_--stronge
         _worlde_--world
    4100 _no_--omitted
         _witte_--wit
    4101 _worde alle_--word al
    4102 _auȝt[e]_--owhte
    4104 _good while_--goode wyl
    4105 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4108 _of_ (1)--fro
    4109 _whiche_--which
    4111 _ben haboundaunt_--ben out{ra}ious / or habowndant
    4115 _tak_--MS. take, C. tak
    4116 _refet_--refect
         _shalt ben_--shal be
         _stedfast_--stydefast]


    [Headnote:
    LOVE TEMPERS ALL THINGS.]

SI UIS CELSI IURA.

  [Sidenote: [The syxte Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: If thou wouldst explore the laws of the high Thunderer,
    behold the lofty heavens, where, bound by fixed laws, the stars
    keep their ancient peace.]

  ++Yif þou wolt demen in þi pur{e} þouȝt þe ryȝtes or þe
  lawes of þe heye þund[ere]re. þat is to seyne of god.
  loke þou {and} bihold þe heyȝtes of souereyne heuene.             4120
  ¶ þere kepen þe sterres by ryȝtful alliaunce of þinges
  hir olde pees.

    [Sidenote: There the rosy Sun does not invade the moon’s colder
    sphere. Nor doth the Bear stray from his appointed bounds, to
    quench his light in the western main.]

          þe sonne ymoeued by hys rody fire. ne
  destourbiþ nat þe colde cercle of þe moone. ¶ Ne þe
  sterre yclepid þe bere. þ{a}t encliniþ hys rauyssynge             4124
  courses abouten þe souereyne heyȝt of þe worlde. ne þe
  same sterre vrsa nis neuer mo wasshen in þe depe
  westerne see. ne coueitiþ nat to dyȝen hys flaumbes in
  þe see of [the] occian. al þouȝ he see oþer sterres yplounged     4128
  in to þe see.

    [Sidenote: Vesper always makes its wonted appearance at eve.
    Lucifer ushers in the morn.]

          ¶ And hesperus þe sterre
  bodiþ {and} telliþ alwey þe late nyȝtes. And lucifer þe
  sterre bryngeþ aȝeyne þe clere day.

    [Sidenote: So mutual love moves all things, and from the starry
    region banishes all strife.]

          ¶ And þus makiþ
  loue enterchaungeable þe p{er}durable courses. {and} þus          4132
  is discordable bataile yput oute of þe contre of þe sterres.

    [Sidenote: This concord in equal measures tempers the elements, so
    that the moist atoms war no more with the dry, nor heat with cold
    contends; but the aspiring flame soars aloft, while down the heavy
    earth descends.]

  þis accordaunce atte{m}preþ by euene-lyke manere[s] þe
  elementes. þat þe moyste þinges striuen nat wiþ þe
  drye þinges. but ȝiuen place by stoundes. and þat þe              4136
  colde þinges ioynen hem by feiþ to þe hote þinges. {and}
  þat þe lyȝt[e] fyre arist in to heyȝte. {and} þe heuy erþes
  aualen by her weyȝtes.

    [Sidenote: By these same causes the flowing year yields sweet
    smells in the warm spring-tide; the hot summer ripens the corn.]

          ¶ by þise same cause þe floury
  yere ȝeldeþ swote smellys in þe fyrste somer sesou{n}             4140
  warmynge. {and} þe hote somer dryeþ þe cornes.

    [Sidenote: Autumn comes crowned with plenty, and winter wets the
    earth with showers.]

  {and} autumpne comeþ aȝeyne heuy of apples. and þe fletyng  [[pg 144]]
  reyne bydeweþ þe wynter. þis attemp{er}aunce noryssiþ
  {and} brynggeþ furþe al þinge þat brediþ lyfe in þis              4144
  worlde.

    [Sidenote: These changes give life and growth to all that breathe;
    and at last by death efface whatever has had birth.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 32 _b_.]]

          ¶ and þilk same attemp{er}aunce rauyssyng hideþ
  {and} bynymeþ {and} drencheþ vndir þe last[e] deþe alle
  *þinges yborn.

    [Sidenote: Meanwhile the world’s Creator, the Source of all, the
    Lawgiver, the wise Judge, sits above equitably directing all
    things.]

          ¶ Amonges þise þinges sitteþ þe heye
  makere kyng {and} lorde. welle {and} bygynnynge. lawe             4148
  {and} wise Iuge. to don equite {and} gouerniþ {and} encliniþ
  þe bridles of þinges.

    [Sidenote: Those things which have been set in motion by him are
    also checked and forced to move in an endless round, lest they go
    from their source, and become chaotic.]

          {and} þo þinges þat he stireþ to don
  by moeuynge he wiþdraweþ {and} arestiþ {and} affermiþ þe
  moeueable or wandryng þinges. ¶ For ȝif þat he ne                 4152
  clepiþ nat aȝein þe ryȝt goynge of þinges. {and} ȝif þat he
  ne constreyned[e] hem nat eftesones in to roundenesse
  enclined þe þinges þ{a}t ben now continued by stable
  ordinaunce. þei sholde deperten from hir welle. þat is            4156
  to sein from hir bygynnynge {and} failen. þat is to sein
  to{ur}nen in to nauȝt.

    [Sidenote: This love is common to all things, and all things tend
    to good; so, urged by this, they all revert to that First Cause
    that gave them being.]

          ¶ þis is þe co{m}mune loue of alle
  þinges. {and} alle þi{n}ges axen to be holden by þe fyn of
  good. For ellys ne myȝten þei nat lasten yif þei ne               4160
  come nat eftesones aȝeine by loue retourned to þe cause
  þat haþ ȝeuen he{m} beynge. þat is to seyn to god.

    [Linenotes:
    4118 _þou wolt_--þ{o}u wys wilt
    4119 _þund[ere]re_--thonderer{e}
         _seyne_--seyn
    4120 _bihold_--MS. biholde, C. byhold
    4122 _rody_--MS. redy, C. rody
         _fire_--Fyr
    4123 _cercle_--clerke
    4125 _courses_--cours
         _heyȝt_--heyhte
    4127 _westerne_--westrene
         _dyȝen_--deeyn
    4128 [_the_]--from C.
         _he see_--MS. it sewe, C. he see
         _oþer_--oothr{e}
    4131 _aȝeyne_--ayein
    4133 _oute_--owt
    4134 _euene-lyke manere[s]_--euenelyk maneres
    4135 _striuen_--stryuynge
         _nat_--omitted
    4136 _but_--omitted
    4138 _lyȝt[e] fyre arist_--lyhte fyr arysith
    4140 _yere_--ȝer
    4142 _comeþ aȝeyne_--comth ayein
    4143 _reyne_--reyn
    4144 _furþe al þinge_--forth alle thing
         _brediþ lyfe_--berith lyf
    4145 _worlde_--world
         _þilk_--thilke
    4146 _last[e] deþe_--laste deth
    4147 _yborn_--MS. yborne, C. I-born
    4148 _lorde_--lord
    4149 _wise_--wys
    4150 _stireþ_--sterith
         _don_--gon
    4151 _þe_--omitted
    4153 _clepiþ_--klepede
    4154 _constreyned[e]_--constreynede
         _roundenesse_--Rowndnesses
    4156 _sholde_--sholden
    4158 _tournen_--torne
         _of_--to
    4159 _be_--ben
    4161 _eftesones aȝeine_--eft sones ayein
    4162 _haþ_--MS. haþe]


    [Headnote:
    ALL FORTUNE IS BENEFICIAL.]

IAM NE IGITUR UIDES.

  [Sidenote: [The seuende p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _P._ Do you see what follows from our arguments?]

  ++Sest þou nat þan what þing folweþ alle þe þinges þat I
  haue seid.

    [Sidenote: _B._ What is it?]

          what þing q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ That all fortune is good.]

          ¶ Certys q{uo}d she                                       4164
  outerly þat al fortune is good.

    [Sidenote: _B._ How can that be?]

          and how may þat be
  q{uo}d .I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Since all fortune, whether prosperous or adverse,
    is for the reward of the good or the punishment of the bad, all
    fortune is good which is either just or useful.]

          ¶ Now vndirstand q{uo}d she so as [alle
  fortune wheyther so it be Ioyeful fortune / or aspr{e}]
  fortune is ȝiuen eiþer by cause of g{er}donynge or ellys of       4168
  ex{er}cisynge of goode folk or ellys by cause to punissen.
  or ellys to chastysen shrewes. ¶ þan is alle fortune        [[pg 145]]
  good. þe whiche fortune is certeyne þat it be eiþer ryȝtful
  or p{ro}fitable.

    [Sidenote: But let us put this opinion among those positions which
    thou saidst were not commonly believed by the people.]

          ¶ For soþe þis is a ful verray resou{n}                   4172
  q{uo}d I. and yif I considere þe p{ur}ueau{n}ce {and} þe
  destine þat þou tauȝtest me a litel here byforne þis sentence
  is susteyned by stedfast resou{n}s. but yif it like
  vnto þe lat vs nou{m}bre hem amonges þilk[e] þinges of            4176
  whiche þou seidest a litel here byforne þat þei ne were
  nat able to ben ywened to þe poeple.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Why so?]

          ¶ whi so q{uo}d she.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Because it is a common expression that _the
    fortune of such a one is bad_.]

  for þat þe comune worde of men mysusiþ q{uo}d I.
  þis manere speche of fortune. {and} sein ofte tymes [þ{a}t]       4180
  þe fortune of som wyȝt is wicked.

    [Linenotes:
    4163 _þing_--thinge
    4165 _outerly_--al owtrely
         _al_--alle
    4166-7 [_alle----aspre_]--from C.
    4169 _goode_--good
    4174 _here byforne_--her by-forn
    4175 _stedfast_--stydefast
    4176 _noumbre_--nowmbren
         _þilk[e]_--thilke
    4177 _here byforne_--her by-forn
    4178 _ywened_--weened
    4179 _worde_--word]

    [Headnote:
    PUNISHMENT IS BENEFICIAL.]

    [Sidenote: _P._ Do you wish me to conform for awhile to the
    language of the people, lest we should seem to depart too much
    from the popular mode of expression?]

          wilt þou þan q{uo}d
  she þat I p{ro}che a litel to þe wordes of þe poeple so it
  seme nat to hem þat I be ouer moche dep{ar}tid as fro þe
  vsage of man kynde.

    [Sidenote: _B._ As you please.]

          as þou wolt q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Is everything profitable that is good?]

                  ¶ Demest                                          4184
  þou nat q{uo}d she þat al þing þat p{ro}fitiþ is good.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Yes, certainly.]

  ȝis q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ That which exercises or corrects is profitable?]

          certis þilk þing þat ex{er}cisiþ or corigiþ profitiþ.

    [Sidenote: _B._ It is.]

  I confesse it wel q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Therefore it is good?]

          þan is it good q{uo}d she.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Yes.]

  whi nat q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ This is the fortune of the virtuous who combat
    with adversity, or of those who, relinquishing vice, pursue the
    path of virtue?]

          but þis is þe fortune [q{uod} she] of                     4188
  hem þat eiþer ben put in vertue {and} batailen aȝeins
  aspre þinges. or ellys of hem þat eschewen {and} declinen
  fro vices {and} taken þe weye of vertue.

    [Sidenote: _B._ It is.]

          ¶ þis ne may
  nat I denye q{uo}d I

    [Sidenote: _P._ The vulgar regard that prosperity which is
    bestowed as a reward on the good to be beneficial, and they
    believe those calamities by which the wicked are punished as the
    most miserable things that can be imagined.]

          ¶ But what seist þou of þe myrye                          4192
  fortune þat is ȝeuen to good folk in gerdou{n} deuiniþ
  ouȝt þe poeples þat it is wicked. nay forsoþe q{uo}d I. but
  þei demen as it soþe is þat it is ryȝt good. ¶ And what
  seist þou of þat oþer fortune q{uo}d she. þat al þouȝ it          4196
  be aspre {and} restreiniþ þe shrewes by ryȝtful tourment.
  weniþ ouȝt þe poeple þ{a}t it be good. nay q{uo}d I. ¶ But
  þe poeple demiþ þat it be most wrecched of alle þinges
  þat may ben þouȝt.

    [Sidenote: But in following the popular opinion, let us beware of
    being involved in some new and incredible consequence.]

          war now {and} loke wel q{uo}d she                         4200
  lest þat we in folwyng þe opyniou{n} of poeple haue confessed
  {and} co{n}cluded þing þat is vnable to be wened to         [[pg 146]]
  þe poeple.

    [Sidenote: _B._ What is that?]

          what is þat q{uo}d I

    [Sidenote: _P._ We have decided that the fortune of the virtuous
    or of those growing up in virtue must needs be good--but that the
    fortune of the wicked must be most wretched.]

          ¶ Certys q{uo}d she it
  folweþ or comeþ of þinges þ{a}t ben graunted þat alle             4204
  fortune what so euer it be. of hem þat eyþer ben i{n}
  possessiou{n} of vertue. [or in the encres of vertu] or ellys
  in þe purchasynge of vertue. þat þilke fortune is good.
  ¶ And þat alle fortune is ryȝt wicked to hem þat                  4208
  dwellen in shrewednesse. as who seiþ. {and} þus weneþ
  nat þe poeple.

    [Linenotes:
    4180 [_þat_]--from C.
    4181 _wicked_--wykkede
    4182 _proche_--aproche
    4185 _al_--alle
    4186 _þilk_--thilke
    4188 [_quod she_]--from C.
    4191 _weye_--wey
    4193 _deuiniþ_--demyth
    4194 _ouȝt_--awht
    4195 _soþe_--soth
    4198 _ouȝt_--awht
    4199 _be_--is
    4204 _comeþ_--comth
    4206 [_or----vertu_] from C.
    4208 _wicked_--wykkede]

    [Headnote:
    THE FORTUNE OF THE VIRTUOUS IS GOOD.]

    [Sidenote: _B._ That’s true, though none dare acknowledge it.]

          ¶ þat is soþe q{uo}d I. ¶ Al be it so
  þat noma{n} dar confesse{n} it ne byknowen it.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Why so? The wise man ought not to be cast down,
    when he has to wage war with Fortune, no more than the valiant man
    ought to be dismayed on hearing the noise of the battle.]

          ¶ whi so
  q{uo}d she.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 33.]]

          For ryȝt as no strong man ne semeþ nat to                 4212
  abassen or disdaigne{n} as *ofte tyme as he hereþ þe noise
  of þe bataile. ne also it ne semeþ nat to þe wyse man to
  beren it greuously as oft[e] as he is lad in to þe strif of
  fortune.

    [Sidenote: The dangers of war enable the one to acquire more
    glory, and the difficulties of the other aid him to confirm and
    improve his wisdom.]

          for boþe to þat on man {and} eke to þat oþ{er}            4216
  þilke difficulte is þe matere to þat oon man of encrese
  of his glorious renou{n}. {and} to þat oþer man to conferme
  hys sapience. þat is to seine þe asprenesse of hys estat.

    [Sidenote: Thus virtue, in its literal acceptation, is a power
    that, relying on its own strength, overcomes all obstacles.]

  ¶ For þerfore is it called uertue. for þat it susteniþ {and}      4220
  enforceþ by hys strengþes þat it nis nat ouer-come{n} by
  aduersites.

    [Sidenote: You, who have made so much progress in virtue, are not
    to be carried away by delights and bodily lusts.]

          ¶ Ne certys þou þat art put in þe encrese
  or in þe heyȝt of uertue ne hast nat comen to fleten wiþ
  delices {and} forto welken in bodyly lust.

    [Sidenote: You must engage in a fierce conflict with every
    fortune--with adversity, lest it dismay you--with prosperity, lest
    it corrupt you.]

          ¶ þou sowest                                              4224
  or plauntest a ful egre bataile in þi corage aȝeins euery
  fortune. for þat þe sorweful fortune ne co{n}fou{n}de þe nat.
  ne þat þe myrye fortune ne corrumpe þe nat.

    [Sidenote: Seize the _golden mean_ with all your strength. All
    below or above this line is a contemptible and a thankless
    felicity.]

          ¶ Occupy
  þe mene by stedfast strengþes. for al þat euer is vndir           4228
  þe mene. or ellys al þat ou{er}-passeþ þe mene despiseþ
  welefulnesses. ¶ As who seiþ. it is vicious {and} ne haþ
  no mede of hys trauaile.

    [Sidenote: The choice of fortune lies in your own hands, but
    remember that even adverse fortune, unless it exercises the
    virtues of the good or chastises the wicked, is a punishment.]

          ¶ For it is set in ȝour{e} hand.
  as who seiþ it lieþ in ȝour{e} power what fortune ȝow is          4232
  leuest. þat is to seyne good or yuel. ¶ For alle fortune
  þat semeþ sharpe or aspre yif it ne ex{er}cise nat þe good  [[pg 147]]
  folk. ne chastisiþ þe wicked folk. it punisseþ.

    [Linenotes:
    4210 _soþe_--soth
    4211 _confessen_--co{n}fesse
    4212 _no strong_--the stronge
    4213 _abassen_--abayssen
    4215 _oft[e]_--ofte
    4219 _seine_--seyn
    4223 _heyȝt_--heyhte
    4224 _welken_--wellen
    4226 _confounde_--MS. co{n}fou{n}ded, C. confownde
    4227 _Occupy_--Ocupye
    4228 _stedfast_--stydefast
    4230 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4231 _set_--MS. sette, C. set
    4232 _lieþ_--lith
    4233 _seyne_--seyn
    4234 _sharpe_--sharp]


    [Headnote:
    WE CHOOSE OUR OWN FORTUNE.]

BELLA BIS QUENIS. {ET} C{ETERA}.

  [Sidenote: [The seuende Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Atrides carried on a ten years’ war to punish the
    licentious Paris.]

  ++ÞE wrekere attrides ¶ þat is to seyne agamenon þat              4236
  wrouȝt[e] {and} continued[e] þe batailes by ten ȝere
  recouered[e] {and} p{ur}ged[e] in wrekyng by þe destrucc{i}ou{n}
  of troie þe loste chambres of mariage of hys broþer
  þis is to seyn þat [he] agamenon wan aȝein Eleine þat             4240
  was Menelaus wif his broþer.

    [Sidenote: With blood he purchased propitious gales for the
    Grecian fleet, by casting off all fatherly pity, and sacrificing
    his daughter Iphigenia to the vengeance of Diana.]

          In þe mene while þat
  þilke agamenon desired[e] to ȝeuen sailes to þe grekyssh{e}
  nauye {and} bouȝt[e] aȝein þe wyndes by blode. he
  vncloþed[e] hym of pite as fad{er}. {and} þe sory p{re}st         4244
  ȝiueþ in sacrifiynge þe wreched kuyttyng of þrote of þe
  douȝter. ¶ þat is to sein þat agamenon lete kuytte{n} þe
  þrote of hys douȝter by þe prest. to maken alliaunce wiþ
  hys goddes. {and} for to haue wynde wiþ whiche he                 4248
  myȝt[e] wende to troie.

    [Sidenote: Ulysses bewailed his lost mates, devoured by
    Polyphemus, but, having deprived the Cyclop of his sight, he
    rejoiced to hear the monster’s roar.]

          ¶ Itakus þat is to sein vlixies
  bywept[e] hys felawes ylorn þe whiche felawes þe
  fiers[e] pholifem{us} ligginge in his grete Caue had[de]
  freten {and} dreint in hys empty wombe. but naþeles               4252
  polifem{us} wood for his blinde visage ȝeld to vlixies ioye
  by hys sorowful teres. þis is to seyn þat vlixes smot
  oute þe eye of poliphem{us} þat stod in hys forhede.

    [Linenotes:
    4236 _seyne_--seyn
    4237 _wrouȝt[e]_--wrowhte
         _continued[e]_--continuede
         _ȝere_--ȝer
    4238 _purged[e]_--purgede
    4240 [_he_]--from C.
         _wan_--MS. wanne, C. wan
    4242 _desired[e]_--desirede
    4243 _bouȝt[e]_--bowhte
         _blode_--blod
    4244 _vncloþed[e]_--vnclothede
         _as_--of
    4245 _kuyttyng_--MS. knyttyng, C. kuttynge
    4246 _lete_--let
         _kuytten_--MS. knytte{n}, C. kuttyn
    4248 _haue_--han
    4249 _myȝt[e] wende_--myhte wenden
    4250 _bywept[e]_--by-wepte
         _ylorn_--MS. ylorne, C. y-lorn
    4251 _fiers[e]_--feerse
         _had[de]_--hadde
    4253 _ȝeld_--yald
    4254 _sorowful_--sorwful
         _smot_--MS. smote, C. smot
    4255 _oute_--owt
         _stod_--MS. stode, C. stood
         _forhede_--forehed]

    [Headnote:
    THE LABOURS OF HERCULES.]

  for whiche vlixes hadde ioie whan he saw poliphem{us}             4256
  wepyng {and} blynde.

    [Sidenote: Hercules is renowned for his many labours, so
    successfully overcome.]

          ¶ Hercules is celebrable for hys
  hard[e] trauaile

    [Sidenote: He overthrew the proud Centaurs;]

          he dawntede þe proude Centauris half
  hors half man.

    [Sidenote: he slew the Nemean lion and wore his skin as a trophy
    of his victory;]

          {and} he rafte þe despoylynge fro þe
  cruel lyou{n} þat is to seyne he slouȝ þe lyou{n} {and}     [[pg 148]]
  rafte hy{m} hys skyn.

    [Sidenote: he smote the Harpies with his arrows;]

          he smot þe brids þat hyȝte{n}                             4261
  arpijs [in þe palude of lyrne] wiþ certeyne arwes.

    [Sidenote: he caried off the golden apples of the Hesperides, and
    killed the watchful dragon;]

  he rauyssed[e] applis fro þe wakyng dragou{n}. {and}
  hys hand was þe more heuy for þe golde[ne]                        4264
  metal.

    [Sidenote: he bound Cerberus with a threefold chain;]

          He drouȝ Cerberus þe hound of helle by
  hys treble cheyne.

    [Sidenote: he gave the body of proud Diomede as food for the
    tyrant’s horses;]

          he ouer-comer as it is seid haþ
  put an vnmeke lorde fodre to hys cruel hors ¶ þis is
  to sein. þat hercules slouȝ diomedes {and} made his hors          4268
  to etyn hym.

    [Sidenote: he slew the serpent Hydra;]

          and he hercules slouȝ Idra þe serpent {and}
  brend[e] þe venym.

    [Sidenote: he caused Achelous to hide his blushing head within his
    banks;]

          and achelaus þe flode defouled[e] in
  his forhede dreint[e] his shamefast visage in his
  strondes. þis is to sein þat achelaus couþe transfigure           4272
  hym self in to dyuerse lykenesse. {and} as he fauȝt wiþ
  orcules at þe laste he t{ur}nid[e] hym in to a bole and
  hercules brak of oon of hys hornes. {and} achelaus for
  shame hidde hym in hys ryuer.

    [Sidenote: he left Antæus dead upon the Lybian shore;]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 33 _b_.]]

          ¶ And [he] hercules                                       4276
  *cast[e] adou{n} Antheus þe geaunt in þe strondes of
  libye.

    [Sidenote: he appeased Evander’s wrath by killing Cacus;]

          {and} kacus apaised[e] þe wraþþes of euander. þis
  is to sein þat hercules slouȝ þe Monstre kacus {and}
  apaised[e] wiþ þat deeþ þe wraþþe of euander.

    [Sidenote: he slew the Erymanthean boar;]

          ¶ And                                                     4280
  þe bristled[e] boor marked[e] wiþ scomes þe sholdres of
  hercules. þe whiche sholdres þe heye cercle of heuene
  sholde þreste.

    [Sidenote: and bore the weight of Atlas upon his shoulders.]

          {and} þe laste of his labo{ur}s was þat he
  sustened[e] þe heuene vpo{n} his nekke vnbowed.

    [Sidenote: These labours justly raised him to the rank of a god.]

          {and} he                                                  4284
  deserued[e] eftsones þe heuene to ben þe pris of his
  laste trauayle

    [Sidenote: Go then, ye noble souls, and follow the path of this
    great example.]

          ¶ Goþ now þan ȝe stronge men þere as
  þe heye weye of þe grete ensample ledeþ ȝou. ¶ O nice
  men whi nake ȝe ȝoure bakkes. as who seiþ.

    [Sidenote: O ye slothful ones, wherefore do ye basely fly!]

          ¶ O ȝe                                                    4288
  slowe {and} delicat men whi fley ȝe aduersites. {and} ne    [[pg 149]]
  fyȝte{n} nat aȝeins hem by vertue to wynnen þe mede of
  þe heuene.

    [Sidenote: He who conquers earth doth gain the heavens.]

          for þe erþe ouer-come{n} ȝeueþ þe sterres.
  ¶ þis is to seyne þat whan þat erþely lust is ouer-comen.         4292
  a man is maked worþi to þe heuene.

  EXPLICIT LIBER QUARTUS.

    [Linenotes:
    4256 _saw_--say
    4258 _hard[e] trauaile_--harde trauayles
         _dawntede_--MS. dawnded, C. dawntede
    4259 _half_--MS. hals
         _rafte_--byrafte
         _fro_--from
    4260 _seyne_--seyn
    4261 _smot_--MS. smote, C. smot
    4262 [_in----lyrne_]--from C.
    4263 _rauyssed[e]_--rauysshede
    4266 _seid_--MS. seide, C. sayd
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4267 _lorde_--lord
    4269 _etyn_--freten
    4270 _brend[e]_--brende
         _flode defouled[e]_--flood defowlede
    4271 _forhede dreint[e]_--forhed dreynte
    4273 _lykenesse_--lyknesses
    4274 _turnid[e]_--tornede
    4275 _brak_--MS. brake, C. brak
         _hys_--hise
    4276 [_he_]--from C.
    4278-80 _apaised[e]_--apaysede
    4281 _bristled[e]_--brystelede
         _marked[e]_--markede
    4282 _cercle_--clerke
    4283 _þreste_--thriste
    4285 _deserued[e]_--deseruede
    4286 _Goþ_--MS. Goþe
         _þere_--ther
    4287 _weye_--way
    4288 _nake_--MS. make, C. nake
    4289 _slowe_--MS. slouȝ, C. slowe
         _fley_--flee
    4292 _seyne_--seyn]



    [Headnote:
    THE EXISTENCE OF CHANCE.]

INCIPIT LIBER QUINTUS.


DIXERAT ORACIONISQ{UE} CURSUM.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrste prose.]]

    [Sidenote: When Philosophy had thus spoken, and was about to
    discuss other matters I interrupted her.]

  ++She hadde seid {and} to{ur}ned[e] þe cours of hir resou{n} to
  so{m}me oþ{er} þinges to ben tretid {and} to ben ysped.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Thy exhortation is just and worthy of thy
    authority, but thou saidst that the question of the Divine
    Superintendence or Providence is involved with many others--and
    this I believe.]

  þan seide I. Certys ryȝtful is þin amonestyng {and} ful           4296
  digne by auctorite. but þat þou seidest som tyme þat
  þe questiou{n} of þe deuyne p{ur}ueaunce is enlaced wiþ
  many oþer questiou{n}s. I vndir-stonde wel {and} p{ro}ue it
  by þe same þinge.

    [Sidenote: I am desirous, however, of knowing whether there be
    such a thing as _Chance_, and what thou thinkest it is.]

          but I axe yif þat þou wenest þat hap                      4300
  be any þing in any weys. {and} if þou wenest þat hap be
  any [thing] what is it.

    [Sidenote: _P._ I hasten to fulfil my promise and to show the road
    to your own country.]

          þan q{uo}d she. I haste me to
  ȝelden {and} assoilen þe to þe dette of my byheste {and}
  to shewen {and} opnen þe wey by whiche wey þou maist              4304
  come aȝein to þi contre.

    [Sidenote: But although these things you question me about are
    profitable to know, yet they lead us a little out of our way.]

          ¶ but al be it so þat þe þinges
  whiche þat þou axest b{e}n ryȝt p{ro}fitable to knowe.
  ȝitte ben þei diuers somwhat fro þe paþe of my purpos.

    [Sidenote: And by straying from the path you may be too fatigued
    to return to the right road.]

  And it is to douten þat þou ne be maked weery by                  4308
  mysweys so þat þou ne mayst nat suffise to mesure{n} þe
  ryȝt weye.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Don’t be afraid of that, for it will refresh me as
    much as rest to know these things in which I am delightfully
    interested.]

          ¶ Ne doute þe þer-of no þing q{uo}d I. for
  forto knowen þilke þinges to-gidre in þe whiche þinges
  I delite me gretly. þat shal ben to me in stede of reste.         4312
  Syn it nis nat to douten of þe þinges folwy{n}ge whan
  euery side of þi disputisou{n} shal be stedfast to me by
  vndoutous feiþ. þan seide she. þat manere wol I don
  þe. {and} byga{n} to speken ryȝt þus                        [[pg 150]]

    [Sidenote: _P._ I will then comply with thy requests.]

          ¶ Certys q{uo}d she                                       4316
  yif any wyȝt diffinisse hap in þis manere. þat is to seyn.

    [Linenotes:
    4294 _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyd
         _þe_--by
    4297 _som tyme_--whilom
    4298 _þe_ (2)--thy
    4300 _þinge_--thing
    4302 [_thing_]--from C.
    4303 _ȝelden_--yilden
         _assoilen_--MS. assailen, C. assoylen
         _byheste_--byhest
    4304-6 _whiche_--which
    4306 _ben_--MS. b{e}n{e}
    4307 _paþe_--paath
    4312 _stede_--styde
    4314 _disputisoun_--disputaciou{n}
         _be_--han ben
         _stedfast_--stydefast
    4317 _seyn_--seyng]

    [Headnote:
    DEFINITION OF CHANCE.]

    [Sidenote: If we define Chance to be an event produced by an
    unintelligent motion, and not by a chain or connection of causes,
    I should then affirm that Chance is nothing and an empty sound.]

  þat hap is bytidynge y-brouȝt forþe by foelyshe
  moeuynge. {and} by no knyttyng of causes. ¶ I conferme
  þat hap nis ryȝt nauȝt in no wise. and I deme al                  4320
  outerly þat hap nis ne dwelliþ but a voys. ¶ As who
  seiþ. but an ydel worde wiþ outen any significac{i}ou{n} of
  þing summittid to þat vois.

    [Sidenote: What room is there for folly and disorder where all
    things are restrained by order, through the ordinance of God?]

          for what place myȝt[e] ben
  left or dwellynge to folie {and} to disordinau{n}ce. syn þat      4324
  god lediþ {and} streyniþ alle þinges by ordre.

    [Sidenote: For it is a great truth that nothing can spring out of
    nothing.]

          ¶ For þis
  sentence is verray {and} soþe þat no þinge ne haþ his
  beynge of nouȝt. to [the] whiche sentence none of þise
  olde folk ne wiþseide neuere al be it so þat þei ne               4328
  vndirstoden ne moeueden it nauȝt by god p{r}ince {and}
  gynner of wirkyng. but þei casten as a manere foundement
  of subgit material. þat is to seyn of [the] nature
  of alle resou{n}.

    [Sidenote: Now, if anything arises without the operation of a
    cause, it proceeds from nothing.]

          {and} ȝif þat ony þinge is woxen or comen                 4332
  of no causes. þan shal it seme þat þilke þinge is comen
  or woxen of nouȝt.

    [Sidenote: But if this is impossible, then there can be no such a
    thing as Chance, as we have defined it.]

          but yif þis ne may nat ben don.
  þan is it nat possible þat þere haþ ben any swiche þing
  as I haue diffinissid a litel here byforne.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Is there nothing, then, that may be called Chance
    or Fortune?]

          ¶ How shal                                                4336
  it þan ben q{uo}d I. nis þer þan no þing þat by ryȝt may
  be cleped eyþer hap{pe} or ellis auenture of fortune.

    [Sidenote: Is there nothing (hid from the vulgar) to which these
    words may be applied?]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 34.]]

          or is
  þer ouȝt al *be it so þat it is hidd fro þe poeple to
  whiche þise wordes ben couenable.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Aristotle defines this matter with much precision
    and probability.]

          Myn aristotul q{uo}d                                      4340
  she. in þe book of his phisik diffinisseþ þis þing by
  short resou{n} and neyȝe to þe soþe.

    [Sidenote: _B._ How?]

          ¶ In whiche manere
  q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ So often as a man does anything for the sake of
    any other thing, and another thing than what he intended to do is
    produced by other causes, that thing so produced is called
    _Chance_.]

          ¶ As ofte q{uo}d she as men don any þing for
  grace of any oþer þing. {and} an oþer þinge þan þilke             4344
  þing þat men ententen to doon bytideþ by som[e] causes
  it is ycleped hap{pe}.

    [Sidenote: As if a man trench the ground for tillage and find
    gold, then this is believed to happen by chance, although it is
    not so.]

          ¶ Ryȝt as a man dalf þe erþe by
  cause of tylienge of þe felde. {and} fond þere a gobet of   [[pg 151]]
  golde by-doluen. þan wenen folk þat it is fallen by fortunous     4348
  bytydyng. but for soþe it nis nat for nauȝt for
  it haþ hys p{ro}pre causes of whiche causes þe cours vnforseyn
  and vnwar semiþ to han maked hap{pe}.

    [Sidenote: For if the tiller had not ploughed the field, and if
    the hider of the gold had not concealed it in that spot, the gold
    had not been found.]

          ¶ For
  yif þe tilier in þe erþe ne delue nat in þe felde. and yif        4352
  þe hider of þe golde ne hadde hidd þe golde in þilke
  place. þe golde ne had[de] nat ben founde.

    [Sidenote: These, then, are the causes of a fortuitous acquisition
    which proceeds from a conflux of encountering causes, and not from
    the intention of the doer.]

          þise ben
  þan þe causes of þe abreggynge of fortune hap. þe whiche
  abreggynge of fortune hap comeþ of causes encountrynge            4356
  {and} flowyng to-gidre to hem selfe. {and} nat by þe entenc{i}ou{n}
  of þe doer.

    [Sidenote: For neither the hider of the gold nor the husbandman
    intended or understood that the gold should be found.]

          ¶ For neiþer þe hider of þe gold.
  ne þe deluer of þe felde ne vndirstanden nat þat þe
  golde sholde han be founde. but as I seide.

    [Sidenote: But it happened by the concurrence of these two causes
    that the one did dig where the other had hidden the money.]

          it bytidde                                                4360
  {and} ran to-gidre þat he dalf þere as þat oþer hadde hidd
  þe golde.

    [Sidenote: Chance, then, is an unexpected event, by a concurrence
    of causes, following an action designed for a particular purpose.]

          Now may I þus diffinissen hap{pe}. ¶ Hap{pe}
  is an vnwar bytydyng of causes assembled in þinges þat
  ben don for som oþer þinge. but þilke ordre p{ro}cedynge          4364
  by an vneschewable byndynge to-gidre.

    [Sidenote: This concurrence of causes proceeds from that order
    which flows from the fountain of Providence and disposes all
    things as to place and time.]

          whiche þat
  descendeþ fro þe wel of purueaunce þat ordeineþ alle
  þinges i{n} hir{e} places {and} in hire tymes makeþ þat þe
  causes rennen {and} assemblen to-gidre.                           4368

    [Linenotes:
    4318 _forþe_--forth
    4322 _worde_--word
    4323 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    4324 _left_--lefte
    4325 _streyniþ_--constreynyth
    4326 _soþe_--soth
         _no þinge_--nothing
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4327 [_the_]--from C.
    4330 _gynner_--bygynner{e}
    4331 [_the_]--from C.
    4332 _ȝif_--MS. ȝit, C. yif
         _þinge_--thing
    4335 _þat----ben_--þ{a}t hap be
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _swiche_--swych
    4338 _happe_--hap
    4339 _hidd_--MS. hidde, C. hidd
    4340 _whiche_--which
    4342 _neyȝe_--nehg
         _whiche_--which
    4343 _don_--MS. done, C. don
    4344 _þinge_--thing
    4345 _som[e]_--some
    4346 _happe_--hap
    4347 _of_ (1)--to
         _fond_--MS. fonde, C. fownde
    4348 _golde_--gold
         _fallen_--byfalle
    4349 _for_ (2)--of
    4350 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _hys_--hise
    4351 _happe_--hap
    4352 _tilier_--tylyer{e}
         _delue_--dolue
    4353 _hider_--hyder{e}
         _golde_--gold
         _hidd_--MS. hidde
    4353-4 _golde_--gold
    4354 _had[de]_--hadde
    4355 _fortune_--fortuit
         _whiche_--which
    4356 _fortune_--fortuit
         _comeþ_--comth
    4357 _flowyng_--MS. folwyng, C. flowynge
         _selfe_--self
    4358 _doer_--doer{e}
         _hider_--hider{e}
    4359 _deluer_--deluer{e}
         _felde_--feeld
         _vndirstanden_--vndirstoden
    4360 _golde_--gold
    4361 _hidd_--MS. hidde, C. hyd
    4362 _happe_ (_both_)--hap
    4365 _whiche_--which
    4366 _descendeþ_--MS. defendeþ, C. descendith
         _wel_--welle]


RUPIS ACHEMENIE.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrste Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Where the flying Parthian doth pierce his pursuers with
    his shafts, there from the Achemenian heights flow the Tigris and
    Euphrates, but soon their streams divide and flow into separate
    channels.]

  ++TIgris [{and}] eufrates resoluen {and} spryngen of a welle in
  þe kragges of þe roche of þe contre of achemenye þer{e}
  as þe fleenge [batayle] ficchiþ hire dartes reto{ur}nid in
  þe brestes of hem þat folwen hem. ¶ And sone aftre                4372
  þe same ryueres tigris {and} eufrates vnioygne{n} {and} dep{ar}ten
  hir{e} watres.                                              [[pg 152]]

    [Sidenote: But should they unite again, in the impetuous stream,
    boats, ships, and trees would be all intermingled, whirled about;
    and blind Chance seems to direct the current’s course.]

          and yif þei comen to-gidre {and} ben
  assembled {and} clepid to-gidre in to o cours. þan moten
  þilke þinges fletyn to-gidre whiche þat þe water of þe            4376
  entrechau{n}gyng flode bry{n}geþ þe shippes {and} þe stokkes
  araced wiþ þe flood moten assemble. {and} þe watres
  ymedlyd wrappiþ or implieþ many fortunel happes or
  maneres.

    [Sidenote: But the sloping earth, the laws of fluids, govern these
    things.]

          þe whiche wandryng happes naþeles þilke enclinyng         4380
  lowenes of þe erþe. {and} þe flowynge ordre of
  þe slidyng water gouerniþ.

    [Sidenote: So though Chance seems to wander unrestrained, it is
    nevertheless curbed and restrained by Divine Providence.]

          ¶ Ryȝt so fortune þat
  semeþ as [þat] it fletiþ wiþ slaked or vngouerned[e]
  bridles. It suffriþ bridles þat is to seyn to ben gouerned        4384
  {and} passeþ by þilke lawe. þat is to sein by þe deuyne
  ordinaunce.

    [Linenotes:
    4369 [_and_]--from C.
         _a_--oo
    4371 [_batayle_]--from C.
    4373 _þe_--tho
    4374 _to-gidre_--to-gyderes
    4376 _whiche_--which
    4377 _flode_--flod
    4378 _assemble_--assemblyn
    4380 _enclinyng_--declynynge
    4381 _lowenes_--lownesse
    4383 [_þat_]--from C.
         _vngouerned[e]_--vngou{er}nede
    4385 _þe_--thilke]


    [Headnote:
    ON FREE WILL.]

A{N}I{M}ADUERTO INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The .2^de. p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ Is there any _free-will_ in this chain of cohering
    causes?]

  ++Þis vndirstonde I wel q{uo}d I. {and} accorde wel þat it
  is ryȝt as þou seist. but I axe yif þer be any liberte            4388
  or fre wil in þis ordre of causes þat cliue{n} þus to-gidre
  in hem self.

    [Sidenote: Or doth the _chain of destiny_ constrain the motions of
    the human mind?]

          ¶ or ellys I wolde witen yif þat þe
  destinal cheine co{n}streiniþ þe moeueuynge of þe corages
  of me{n}.

    [Sidenote: _P._ There is a freedom of the will possessed by every
    rational being.]

          yis q{uo}d she þer is liberte of fre wille. ne þer        4392
  ne was neuer no nature of resou{n} þat it ne hadde liberte
  of fre wille.

    [Sidenote: A rational being has judgment to judge of and discern
    everything.]

          ¶ For euery þing þat may naturely vsen
  resou{n}. it haþ doom by whiche it discerniþ {and} demiþ
  euery þing.

    [Sidenote: Of himself he knows what he is to avoid or to desire.
    He seeks what he judges desirable, and he shuns what he deems
    should be avoided.]

          ¶ þan knoweþ it by it self þinges þat be{n}               4396
  to fleen. {and} þinges þat ben to desiren. {and} þilk þing
  þat any wyȝt demeþ to ben desired þ{a}t axeþ or desireþ
  he {and} fleeþ [thilke] þing þat he troueþ ben to fleen.

    [Linenotes:
    4389 _or_--of
    4390 _hem_--hym
    4392 _yis_--MS. yif, C. yis
    4392-94 _wille_--wil
    4395 _whiche_--which
    4397 _þilk_--thilke
    4399 [_thilke_]--from C.]

    [Headnote:
    PROVIDENCE SEES ALL THINGS.]

    [Sidenote: A rational being possesses, then, the liberty of
    choosing and rejecting.]

  ¶ wher-fore in alle þinges þ{a}t resou{n} is. i{n} hem also is    4400
  libertee of willyng {and} of nillynge.

    [Sidenote: This liberty is not equal in all beings.]

          ¶ But I ne ordeyne
  nat. as who seiþ. I ne graunte nat þat þis lib{er}tee be
  euene like in alle þinges.

    [Sidenote: In heavenly substances, as spirits, &c., judgment is
    clear, and the will is incorruptible, and has a ready and
    efficacious power of doing things which are desired.]

          forwhi in þe souereyns deuynes
  substau{n}ces.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 34 _b_.]]

          þat is to *seyn in spiritȝ ¶ Iugement is                  4404
  more clere {and} wil nat be corumped. {and} haþ myȝt        [[pg 153]]
  redy to speden þinges þat ben desired.

    [Sidenote: The souls of men must needs be more free when employed
    in the contemplation of the Divine Mind, and less so when they
    enter into a body, and still less free when enclosed and confined
    in earthly members; but the most extreme servitude is when they
    are given over to vice and wholly fallen from their proper
    reason.]

          ¶ But þe soules
  of men moten nedes ben more free whan þei loken hem
  in þe speculac{i}ou{n} or lokynge of þe deuyne þouȝt. {and}       4408
  lasse free whan þei sliden in to þe bodies. {and} ȝit lasse
  free whan þei ben gadred to-gidre {and} co{m}p{re}hendid in
  erþely membris. but þe last[e] seruage is whan þat þei
  ben ȝeue{n} to vices. {and} han yfalle fro þe possessiou{n} of    4412
  hire p{ro}pre resou{n}

    [Sidenote: For at once they are enveloped by the cloud of
    ignorance and are troubled by pernicious desires, by yielding to
    which they aid and increase that slavery which they brought upon
    themselves, and thus even under the liberty proper to them, they
    remain captives.]

          ¶ For after þat þei han cast aweye
  hir eyen fro þe lyȝt of þe souereyn soþefastnesse to lowe
  þinges {and} dirke ¶ Anon þei dirken by þe cloude of
  ignoraunce {and} ben troubled by felonous talentȝ. to þe          4416
  whiche talentȝ whan þei app{ro}chen {and} assenten. þei
  hepen {and} encresen þe seruage whiche þei han ioigned
  to hem self. and in þis manere þei ben caitifs fro hire
  p{ro}pre libertee.

    [Sidenote: Yet the eye of Providence, beholding all things from
    eternity, sees all this and disposes according to their merit all
    things as they are predestinated.]

          þe whiche þinges naþeles þe lokynge of                    4420
  þe deuyne purueaunce seeþ þ{a}t alle þinges byholdeþ
  {and} seeþ fro et{er}ne. and ordeyneþ hem eueryche i{n} her
  merites. as þei ben p{ro}destinat.

    [Sidenote: He, as Homer says of the sun, _sees and hears all
    things_.]

          {and} it is seid in grek.
  þat alle þinges he seeþ {and} alle þinges he hereþ.               4424

    [Linenotes:
    4405 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4411 _last[e]_--laste
    4412 _fro_--from
    4415 _cloude_--clowdes
    4418 _whiche_--which
    4423 _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyd]


PURO CLARU{M} LUMINE.

  [Sidenote: [The .2^de. Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: The sweet-tongued Homer sings of the sun’s pure light.
    Yet the sun’s beams cannot pierce into the inner bowels of the
    earth, nor into the depths of the sea.]

  ++HOmer wiþ þe hony mouþe. þat is to seyn. homer
  wiþ þe swete dites syngeþ þat þe sonne is cleer by
  pure lyȝt. naþeles ȝit ne may it nat by þe inferme lyȝt
  of hys bemes breke{n} or p{er}ce{n} þe inwarde entrailes of       4428
  þe erþe. or ellys of þe see.

    [Sidenote: But God, the world’s maker, beholding from on high, has
    his vision impeded neither by earth nor cloud.]

          ¶ so ne seeþ nat god makere
  of þe grete worlde to hym þat lokeþ alle þinges from on
  heye ne wiþstandiþ nat no þinges by heuynesses of erþe.
  ne þe nyȝt ne wiþstondeþ nat to hy{m} by þe blake                 4432
  cloudes.

    [Sidenote: At a glance he sees all events, present, past, and
    future.]

          ¶ þilke god seeþ i{n} o strook of þouȝt alle
  þinges þat ben or weren or schullen come.

    [Sidenote: God, then, that alone sees all things, may indeed be
    called the true Sun.]

          ¶ and þilke
  god for he lokeþ {and} seeþ alle þinges al oon. þou maist   [[pg 154]]
  seyn þat he is þe verray sonne.                                   4436

    [Linenotes:
    4425 _mouþe_--Mowth
    4428 _percen_--MS. p{er}te{n}, C. p{er}cen
         _inwarde_--inward
    4430 _worlde_--world
         _on heye_--an hegh
    4431 _nat_--omitted
    4434 _schullen come_--shollen comyn
    4435 _al oon_--alone]


    [Headnote:
    GOD’S FOREKNOWLEDGE AND MAN’S FREE WILL.]

TAMEN EGO EN INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The .3^de. p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _B._ I am distracted by a more difficult doubt than
    ever.]

  ++ÞAn seide I now am I co{n}fou{n}ded by a more harde
  doute þan I was. what doute is þat q{uo}d she.
  ¶ For certys I coniecte now by whiche þinges þou art
  troubled.

    [Sidenote: God’s foreknowledge seems to me inconsistent with man’s
    free-will.]

          It semeþ q{uo}d I to repugnen {and} to contrarien         4440
  gretly þat god knoweþ byforn alle þinges. {and}
  þat þer is any fredom of liberte.

    [Sidenote: For if God foresees all things, and cannot be deceived,
    then that which Providence hath foreseen must needs happen.]

          for yif so be þat god
  lokeþ alle þinges byforn. ne god ne may nat ben
  desseiuid in no manere. þan mot it nedes ben þat alle             4444
  þinges bytyden þe whiche þat þe purueaunce of god haþ
  sein byforn to comen.

    [Sidenote: If God from eternity doth foreknow not only the works,
    but the designs and wills of men, there can be no liberty of
    will--nor can there be any other action or will than that which a
    Divine and infallible Providence hath foreseen.]

          ¶ For whiche yif þat god
  knoweþ by-forn nat oonly þe werkes of men. but also
  hir conseils {and} hir willes. þan ne shal þer be no              4448
  liberte of arbitre. ne certys þer ne may ben noon oþer
  dede ne no wille but þilke whiche þe deuyne purueaunce
  þat ne may nat ben desseiued haþ feled byforn

    [Sidenote: For if things fall out contrary to such foreseeing, and
    are wrested another way, the prescience of God in regard to
    futurity would not be sure and unerring--it would be nothing but
    an uncertain opinion of them: but I take it to be impious and
    unlawful to believe this of God.]

          ¶ For
  yif þat þei myȝten wryþen awey in oþer manere þan þei             4452
  ben purueyed. þan ne sholde þer ben no stedfast p{re}science
  of þinge to comen but raþer an vncerteyn
  oppiniou{n}. þe whiche þinge to trowen on god I deme it
  felonie {and} vnleueful.

    [Sidenote: Nor do I approve of the reasoning made use of by some.
    For they say that a thing is not necessarily to happen because God
    hath foreseen it, but rather because it is to happen it cannot be
    hid from the divine Providence.]

          ¶ Ne I ne proeue nat þilk                                 4456
  same resou{n}. as who seiþ I ne allowe nat. or I ne p{re}ise
  nat þilke same resou{n} by whiche þat som men wenen
  þat þei mowen assoilen {and} vnknytten þe knot of þis
  questiou{n}. ¶ For certys þei seyn þ{a}t þing nis nat to          4460
  come for þat þe purueaunce of god haþ seyn it byforn{e}.
  þat is to comen but raþer þe cont{ra}rie. ¶ And þat
  is þis þat for þat þe þing is to comen þat þerfore
  ne may it nat ben hyd fro þe purueaunce of god.                   4464

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 35.]]

    [Sidenote: Now by this reason necessity appears to change sides.
    For it is not necessary that the things which are foreseen should
    happen, but it is necessary that the things which are to befall
    should be foreseen.]

  *{and} in þis manere þis necessite slydiþ aȝein in to þe    [[pg 155]]
  contrarie p{ar}tie. ne it ne byhoueþ [nat] nedes þat þinges
  bytiden þat ben ypurueid. [but it by-houeth nedes /
  þ{a}t thinges þ{a}t ben to comyn ben yporueyid] but as it         4468
  were yt{ra}uailed.

    [Sidenote: As if the question was, which was the cause of the
    other--_prescience_ the cause of the necessity of future events,
    or the _necessity_ the cause of the prescience of future events?]

          as who seiþ. þat þilke answere p{ro}cediþ
  ryȝt as þouȝ men trauailden or weren bysy to
  enqueren þe whiche þing is cause of whiche þinges. as
  wheþer þe p{re}science is cause of þe necessite of þinges to      4472
  comen. or ellys þat þe necessite of þi{n}ges to comen is
  cause of þe purueau{n}ce.

    [Sidenote: But I will prove that, however the order of causes may
    stand, the event of things foreseen is necessary, although
    prescience doth not seem to impose a necessity upon future things
    to fall out.]

          ¶ But I ne enforce me nat now
  to shewe{n} it þat þe bytidyng of þinges y-wist byforn is
  necessarie. how so or in what manere þat þe ordre of              4476
  causes haþ it self. al þouȝ þat it ne seme nat þat þe
  p{re}science brynge in necessite of bytydynge of þinges
  to comen.

    [Sidenote: For if a man sit--the belief in the sitting is true;
    and, on the other hand, if the opinion is true of his sitting, he
    must needs sit.]

          ¶ For certys yif þat any wyȝt sitteþ it byhoueþ
  by necessite þat þe oppiniou{n} be soþe of hym                    4480
  þ{a}t coniectiþ þat he sitteþ. and aȝeinward. al so is it of
  þe contrarie. yif þe oppiniou{n} be soþe of any wyȝt for
  þat he sitteþ it byhoueþ by necessite þat he sitte

    [Sidenote: In both cases there is a necessity--in the latter that
    the person sits--in the former, that the opinion concerning the
    other is true.]

          ¶ þan
  is here necessite in þat oon {and} in þ{a}t oþer. for in þat      4484
  oon is necessite of sittynge.

    [Sidenote: But the man does not sit because the opinion of his
    sitting is true, but the opinion is true because the action of his
    being seated was antecedent in time.]

          {and} certys in þat oþer is
  necessite of soþe but þerfore ne sitteþ nat a wyȝt for þat
  þe oppiniou{n} of sittyng is soþe. but þe oppiniou{n} is
  raþer soþe for þat a wyȝt sitteþ by-forn.

    [Sidenote: So that although the cause of truth arises from the
    sitting, there is a common necessity in both.]

          and þus al                                                4488
  þouȝ þ{a}t þe cause of soþe comeþ of [þe] syttyng. and
  nat of þe trewe oppiniou{n}. Algates ȝitte is þer comune
  necessite in þat oon {and} in þat oþer.

    [Sidenote: Thus may we reason concerning Providence and future
    events.]

          ¶ þus sheweþ it
  þ{a}t I may make semblable skils of þe p{ur}ueau{n}ce of god      4492
  {and} of þinges to come.

    [Sidenote: For allowing things are foreseen because they are to
    happen, and that they do not befall because they are foreseen, it
    is necessary that future events should be foreseen of God, or if
    foreseen that they should happen; and this alone is sufficient to
    destroy all idea of _free-will_.]

          ¶ For al þouȝ for þat þat þinges
  ben to comen. þer-fore ben þei p{ur}ueid. nat certys for
  þei ben p{ur}ueid. þer-fore ne bytide þei nat. ȝit naþeles
  byhoueþ it by necessite þat eiþer þe þinges to comen              4496
  ben yp{ur}ueied of god. or ellys þat þe þinges þat ben
  p{ur}ueied of god bitiden [.s.] by necessite. ¶ And þis     [[pg 156]]
  þing oonly suffiseþ I-nouȝ to distroien þe fredome of
  oure arbitre. þat is to seyn of oure fre wille

    [Sidenote: But it is preposterous to make the happening of
    temporal things the cause of eternal prescience, which we do in
    imagining that God foresees future events because they are to
    happen.]

          ¶ But now                                                 4500
  [certes] sheweþ it wel how fer fro þe soþe {and} how vp
  so dou{n} is þis þing þat we seyn þat þe bytidinge of
  temp{or}el þinges is þe cause of þe eterne p{re}science.
  ¶ But forto wenen þat god p{ur}ueiþ [the] þinges to comen.        4504
  for þei ben to comen. what oþer þing is it but forto
  wene þat þilke þinges þat bitiden som tyme ben causes
  of þilke souereyne p{ur}ueaunce þat is i{n} god.

    [Sidenote: And, moreover, when I know that anything exists, it is
    necessary for my belief that it should be.]

          ¶ And
  her-to I adde ȝitte þis þing þat ryȝt as whan þat I woot          4508
  þat o þing is it byhoueþ by necessite þat þilke self þing be.

    [Sidenote: So also when I know that an event shall come to pass,
    it must needs happen.]

  {and} eke þat whan I haue knowe þat any þi{n}ge shal
  bitiden so byhoueþ it by necessite þ{a}t þilk[e] same
  þing bytide.

    [Sidenote: The event, therefore, of a thing foreseen must befall.]

          so folweþ it þan þat þe bytydynge of þe                   4512
  þinge Iwist by-forn ne may nat ben eschewed.

    [Sidenote: Lastly, if a person judge a thing to be different to
    what it is--this is not knowledge, but a false opinion of it, and
    far from the true knowledge.]

          ¶ And
  at þe last[e] yif þat any wyȝt wene a þing to ben oþer
  weyes þan it is. it nys nat oonly vnscience. but it is deceiuable
  oppiniou{n} ful diuerse {and} fer fro þe soþe of                  4516
  science.

    [Linenotes:
    4437 _harde_--hard
    4445 _haþ_--MS. haþ{e}
    4446 _whiche_--which
    4450 _wille_--wil
         _whiche_--which þ{a}t
    4451 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4453 _stedfast_--stydefast
    4454-55 _þinge_--thing
    4455 _on_--of
    4456 _þilk_--thilke
    4458 _whiche_--which
    4459 _knot_--knotte
    4461 _come_--comyn
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4464 _hyd_--MS. hydde, C. hidde
    4466 [_nat_]--from C.
    4467-8 [_but----yporueyid_]--from C.
    4471 _þinges_--thing
    4477 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4480-82 _soþe_--soth
    4486 _soþe_--sooth
    4487 _soþe_--soth
    4488 _soþe_--sooth
    4489 _soþe comeþ_--sooth comth
         [_þe_]--from C.
    4490 _comune_--MS. comme, C. comune
    4493 _come_--comyn
    4494 _to_--omitted
    4494-95 _purueid_--MS. p{ur}ueide, C. p{ur}ueyid
    4498 [_.s._]--from C.
    4499 _fredome_--freedom
    4500 _wille_--wil
    4501 [_certes_]--from C.
    4504 _purueiþ_--MS. p{ur}ueiþe
         [_the_]--from C.
    4506 _bitiden_--bytydden
         _som tyme_--whilom
    4509 _o_--a
         _self_--selue
    4510 _þinge_--thing
    4511 _þilk[e]_--thilke
    4513 _þinge_--thing
    4514 _last[e]_--laste
    4515 _nys_--is]

    [Headnote:
    FREEDOM OF THE HUMAN WILL.]

    [Sidenote: If, therefore, a thing be so to happen that the event
    of it is neither necessary nor certain, how can any one foresee
    what is to happen?]

          ¶ wher-fore yif any þing be so to comen so þat
  þe bytydynge of it ne be nat certeyne ne necessarie.
  ¶ who may weten [byforn] þ{a}t þilke þing is to come.

    [Sidenote: For as pure knowledge has no element in it of
    falsehood, so what is comprehended by true knowledge cannot be
    otherwise than as comprehended.]

  ¶ For ryȝt as science ne may nat be medelyd wiþ falsnesse.        4520
  as who seiþ þat yif I woot a þing. it ne may nat
  be fals þat I ne woot it. ¶ Ryȝt so þilk þing þat
  is conceyued by science ne may [nat] ben noon
  oþ{er} weyes þan [as] it is conceiued.

    [Sidenote: Hence it is that true knowledge cannot err, because
    everything must precisely be what true knowledge perceives it to
    be.]

          For þat is þe cause                                       4524
  whi þat science wa{n}tiþ lesynge. as who seiþ. whi þat
  witynge ne receyueþ nat lesynge of þat it woot. ¶ For
  it byhoueþ by necessite þat euery þi{n}ge [be] ryȝt as science
  co{m}p{re}hendiþ it to be.

    [Sidenote: What follows, then? How does God foreknow these
    uncertain contingencies?]

          what shal I þan sein. ¶ In                                4528
  whiche man{er}e knoweþ god byforn þe þinges to comen.
  ¶ yif þei ne be nat certeyne.                               [[pg 157]]

    [Sidenote: For if he thinks that a thing will inevitably happen,
    which possibly may not, he is deceived--but this is sheer
    blasphemy.]

          ¶ For yif þat he deme
  þat þei ben to comen vneschewably.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 35 _b_.]]

          {and} so may be þat
  it is possible þat þei ne shulle{n} *nat comen. god is            4532
  desseiued. but nat only to trowen þat god is desseiued.
  but for to speke it wiþ mouþe it is a felonous sy{n}ne.

    [Sidenote: But if God discerns that just as things are to come
    they shall come; if he knows that they may or may not come, what
    sort of prescience is this, which comprehends nothing certain,
    nothing invariable?]

  ¶ But yif þat god woot þat ryȝt so as þinges ben to
  comen. so shulle þei comen. so þat he wit[e] egaly. as            4536
  who seiþ indifferently þat þinges mowen ben don or
  ellys nat don. what is þilke p{re}science þat ne comp{re}hendiþ
  no certeyne þinge ne stable.

    [Sidenote: Or how does divine prescience differ from human
    opinion, if He hath an uncertain judgment of things, whereof the
    events are uncertain and unfixed?]

          or ellys what difference
  is þer bytwixe þe p{re}science. {and} þilke iape-worþi            4540
  dyuynynge of Tiresie þe diuino{ur} þat seide. ¶ Al þat
  I seie q{uo}d he eyþer it shal be. or ellys it ne shal nat
  be. Or ellis how moche is worþe þe diuyne p{re}science
  more þan þe oppiniou{n} of mankynde yif so be þat it              4544
  demeþ þe þinges vncerteyne as me{n} don. of þe whiche
  domes of men þe bytydynge nis nat certeyne.

    [Sidenote: But if there can be no uncertainty in his knowledge,
    who is the source of all certainty; the event of all things which
    he foreknows must be fixed and inevitable.]

          ¶ But
  yif so be þ{a}t noon vncerteyne þinge may ben in hym
  þat is ryȝt certeyne welle of alle þinges. þa{n} is þe            4548
  bytydynge certeyne of þilke þinges whiche he haþ wist
  byforn fermely to come{n}.

    [Sidenote: Whence it follows that men have no freedom in their
    designs and actions; because the Divine Mind, endowed with an
    infallible foresight, constrains and binds them to a certain
    event.]

          For whiche it folweþ þat þe
  fredom of þe co{n}seils {and} of þe werkes of mankynde nis
  non syn þat þe þouȝt of god seeþ alle þinges w{i}t{h} outen       4552
  erro{ur} of falsnesse byndeþ {and} co{n}streiniþ hem to a
  bitidynge by necessite. and yif [this] þi{n}g be on-is
  grau{n}tid {and} receyued. þat is to seyn. þat þer nis no
  fre wille. þan sheweþ it wel how gret distrucc{i}ou{n} {and}      4556
  how grete damages þer folwen of þinges of mankynde.

    [Linenotes:
    4518 _it_--hit
    4519 [_byforn_]--from C.
    4522 _fals_--false
    4523 [_nat_]--from C.
         _ben_--MS. by, C. ben
    4524 _þan [as] it is_--MS. þan it is be
    4527 [_be_]--from C.
    4529 _whiche_--which
    4534 _mouþe_--Mowth
    4536 _shulle_--shullyn
         _wit[e]_--wite
    4538 _don_--MS. done, C. y-doon
    4543 _moche_--mochel
         _worþe_--worth
    4549 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4550 _whiche_--which
    4551 _mankynde_--man-kynd
    4554 [_this_]--from C.
    4555 _grauntid_--ygraunted]

    [Headnote:
    FATE UNDER THE CONTROL OF PROVIDENCE.]

  ¶ For in ydel ben þer þan p{ur}posed and byhyȝt medes
  of goode folk. {and} peynes to badde folk. syn þat no
  moeuynge of free corage uoluntarie ne haþ nat deserued            4560
  hem. þat is to seyn neiþer mede nor peyne.

    [Sidenote: Rewards and punishments now deemed just and equitable,
    will be considered most unjust, when, it is allowed, that mankind
    are not prompted by any will of their own, to either virtue or
    vice, but in all their actions are impelled by a fatal necessity.]

          ¶ And it
  sholde seme þan þat þilke þinge is alþer worste whiche
  þat is nowe demed. for alþ{er} moste iuste {and} moste      [[pg 158]]
  ryȝtful. þat is to seyn þat shrewes ben punyssed. or              4564
  ellys þ{a}t good[e] folk ben ygerdoned. þe whiche folk
  syn þat þe p{ro}pre wille [ne] sent hem nat to þ{a}t oon ne
  to þat oþer. þat is to seyn. neþer to good[e] ne to
  harme. but constreineþ hem certeyne necessite of þinges           4568
  to comen.

    [Sidenote: Nor would there be such things as virtue or vice, but
    such a medley of the one and the other as would be productive of
    the greatest confusion.]

          ¶ þanne ne sholle{n} þer neuer ben ne neuer
  weren vice ne vertue. but it sholde raþer ben co{n}fusiou{n}
  of alle desertes medlid wiþoute discresiou{n}. ¶ And
  ȝitte þer folweþ an oþer i{n}co{n}uenient of þe whiche þer        4572
  ne may ben þouȝt ne more felonous ne more wikke.

    [Sidenote: And from this it will follow--that since all order
    comes of Divine Providence, and that there is no freedom of the
    human will, that also our vices must be referred to the author of
    all good--which is a most impious opinion.]

  {and} þat is þis þat so as þe ordre of þinges is yledd {and}
  comeþ of þe purueaunce of god. ne þat no þing nis
  leueful to þe conseils of mankynde. as who seiþ þat               4576
  men han no power to done no þing. ne wilne no þing.
  þan folweþ it þat oure vices ben refferred to þe mak[er]e
  of alle good. as who seiþ þan folweþ it. þat god auȝt[e]
  han þe blame of oure vices. syn he co{n}streiniþ by               4580
  necessite to don vices.

    [Sidenote: Then is it useless to hope for anything from God, or to
    pray to him.]

          þan nis þer no resou{n} to han
  hopen in god. ne forto p{re}ien to god.

    [Sidenote: For why should men do either, when all they can desire
    is irreversibly predestined?]

          ¶ For what
  sholde any wyȝt hopen to god. or whi sholde he p{re}ien
  to god. syn þat þe ordenaunce of destine whiche þat ne            4584
  may nat ben enclined. knytteþ {and} streiniþ alle þinges
  þat men may desire{n}.

    [Sidenote: Hope and prayer being thus ineffectual, all intercourse
    is cut off between God and man.]

          ¶ þan sholde þere be don awey
  þilke oonly alliaunce bytwixen god {and} men. þat is to
  seien to hopen {and} to p{re}ien.

    [Sidenote: By reverent and humble supplication we earn divine
    grace, a most inestimable favour, and are able to associate with
    the Deity, and to unite ourselves to the inaccessible light.]

          but by þe p{re}is of ryȝtfulnesse                         4588
  {and} of veray mekenesse we deserue þe gerdou{n}
  of þe deuyne grace whiche þat is inestimable. þat is to
  sein þat it is so grete þat it ne may nat ben ful yp{re}ised.
  {and} þis is oonly þe manere. þat is to seyen hope {and}          4592
  prayeres. for whiche it semeþ þat [men] mowen speken
  wiþ god. {and} by resou{n} of supplicac{i}ou{n}
                  ben conioigned                              [[pg 159]]
  to þilk clernesse þat nis nat app{ro}ched no raþer or
  þat men byseken it {and} emp{re}nten it.

    [Sidenote: If men believe that hope and prayer have no power
    because of the necessity of future events, by what other way can
    we be united, and hold fast to the sovereign Lord of all things?]

          And yif men                                               4596
  ne wene [nat] þat [hope] ne p{re}iers ne han no strengþes.
  by þe necessite of þinges to comen y-resceiued. what
  þi{n}g is þer þan by whiche we mowen be co{n}ioygned
  {and} clyuen to þilke souereyne p{r}ince of þinges.

    [Sidenote: Wherefore mankind must be dissevered and disunited from
    the source of its existence, and shrink from its beginning.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 36.]]

          ¶ For                                                     4600
  whiche it byhoueþ by necessite þat þe lynage of mankynde
  as *þou songe a litel here byforne ben dep{ar}ted
  {and} vnioyned from hys welle {and} faylen of hys bygynnynge.
  þat is to seien god.                                              4604

    [Linenotes:
    4558 _medes of_--Meedes to
    4560 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4562 _alþer worste whiche_--alderworst which
    4563 _nowe_--MS. newe, C. now
         _alþer moste iuste_--alder moost Iust
         _moste_--most
    4565-67 _good[e]_--goode
    4566 _wille_--wil
         [_ne_]--from C.
    4571 _wiþoute_--w{i}t{h}-owten
    4573 _þouȝt_--thoght
    4574 _yledd_--MS. yledde, C. yled
    4575 _comeþ_--comth
    4577 _done_--doon
    4578 _mak[er]e_--maker{e}
    4579 _auȝt[e]_--owhte
    4584 _whiche_--which
    4588 _preis_--prys
         _ryȝtfulnesse_--Rihtwessenesse
    4589 _deserue_--desseruyn
    4590 _deuyne_--MS. deuynes, C. dyuyne
    4590-93 _whiche_--which
    4591 _grete_--gret
    4593 [_men_]--from C.
         _speken_--speke
    4595 _þilk_--thilke
    4596 _emprenten_--impetrent
    4597 [_nat_]--from C.
         [_hope_]--from C.
    4601 _whiche_--which
    4602 _byforne_--by-forn]


    [Headnote:
    THE UNKNOWN CANNOT BE DESIRED.]

QUE NAM DISCORS

  [Sidenote: [The .3^de. Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Say what discordant cause looses the bonds of things?]

  ++What discordable cause haþ to-rent {and} vnioigned þe
  byndyng or þe alliaunce of þinges. þat is to seyne
  þe coniuncc{i}ou{n} of god {and} of man.

    [Sidenote: What power doth make these two great truths (_i. e._
    Providence and Free-will) contend, which when separate are plain
    and clear, but united appear dark and perplexed?]

          ¶ whiche god
  haþ establissed so grete bataile bitwixe{n} þise two soþefast     4608
  or verray þinges. þat is to sein bytwixen þe p{ur}ueaunce
  of god {and} fre wille. þat þei ben synguler {and}
  diuided. ne þat þei ne wolen nat ben medeled ne
  coupled to-gidre. but þer nis no discorde to [tho] verray         4612
  þinges. but þei cleuen certeyne al wey to hem self.

    [Sidenote: The mind of man encumbered by the earthly body, can
    never, with her cloudy sight, discover the subtle and close bonds
    of things.]

  but þe þouȝt of man co{n}founded {and} ouerþrowen by þe dirke
  membris of þe body ne may nat by fir of his dirk[ed]
  lokynge. þat is to seyn by þe vigo{ur} of hys insyȝt while        4616
  þe soule is in þe body knowen þe þinne subtil knyttynges
  of þinges.

    [Sidenote: But why does man burn with ardour to learn the hidden
    notes of truth?]

          ¶ But wherfore eschaufiþ it so by so
  grete loue to fynden þilke note[s] of soþe y-cou{er}ed. (_glosa_)
  þat is to sein wherfore eschaufiþ þe þouȝt of man by so           4620
  grete desir to knowen þilke notificac{i}ou{n}s þat ben yhidd
  vndir þe couerto{ur}s of soþe.

    [Sidenote: Why gropes he for he knows not what? None seek to know
    what is known.]

          woot it ouȝt þilke þinges
  þat it anguissous desireþ to knowe. as who seiþ nay.        [[pg 160]]
  ¶ For no man ne trauaileþ forto witen þinges þat he woot.         4624
  {and} þerfore þe texte seiþ þus. ¶ [_Glosa_] Si eni{m} a{n}i{m}a
  ignorat istas subtiles co{n}nexiones. r{espo}nde. vn{de} est
  q{uo}d desiderat scire cu{m} nil ignotu{m} possit desiderare.
  ¶ But who traua[i]leþ to wyten þinges y-knowe.

    [Sidenote: If he knows them not, what does he so blindly seek?]

          and yif                                                   4628
  þat he ne knoweþ hem nat. what sekiþ þilke blynde
  þouȝt.

    [Sidenote: Who wishes for things he hath never known?]

          what is he þat desireþ any þinge of whiche he
  woot ryȝt nat. as who seiþ who so desiriþ any þing
  nedis som what he knoweþ of it. or ellys he ne couþe              4632
  nat desire it. or who may folwen þinges þat ne ben nat
  ywist

    [Sidenote: Or if he seek, where shall he find them? Or if he find,
    how shall he be sure that he has found what he sought for?]

          ¶ and þouȝ [þ{a}t] he seke þo þinges where shal
  he fynde{n} hem. what wyȝt þat is al vnknowynge {and}
  ignoraunt may knowe þe forme þat is yfounde.

    [Sidenote: The pure soul that sees the divine thought, knows all
    the secret chains of things.]

          ¶ But                                                     4636
  whan þe soule byholdeþ {and} seeþ þe heye þouȝt. þat is
  to seyn god. þan knoweþ it to-gidre þe so{m}me {and} þe
  singularites. þat is to seyn þe p{r}inciples {and} eueryche
  by hym self.

    [Sidenote: Yet, though now hidden in its fleshly members, it hath
    some remembrance of its pure state--it retains the sums of things,
    but has lost their particulars.]

          ¶ But now while þe soule is hidd in þe                    4640
  cloude {and} in þe derknesse of þe membris of þe body.
  it ne haþ nat al forȝeten it selfe. but it wiþholdeþ þe
  so{m}me of þinges {and} lesiþ þe singularites.

    [Sidenote: He who seeks truth is not in either circumstance
    (_i. e._ seeking for what he knows or knows not), he knoweth not
    all things, nor hath he wholly forgotten all.]

          þan who so
  þat sekeþ soþenesse. he nis in neiþ{er} nouþir habit. for         4644
  he not nat alle ne he ne haþ nat alle for-ȝeten.

    [Sidenote: But he ponders on what he knows, that he may add those
    things that he hath forgotten to those that he retains.]

          ¶ But
  ȝitte hym remembriþ þe so{m}me of þinges þat he wiþholdeþ
  {and} axeþ cou{n}seil {and} tretiþ depelyche þi{n}ges
  ysein byforne. [_Glosa_] þat is to sein þe grete so{m}me in       4648
  hys mynde. [_textus_] so þat he mowe adden þe p{ar}ties
  þat he haþ forȝeten. to þilke þat he haþ wiþholden.

    [Linenotes:
    4605 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4606 _seyne_--seyn
    4607 _whiche_--which
    4608 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _grete_--gret
         _soþefast_--soothfast
    4610 _wille_--wil
    4612 _discorde_--discord
         [_tho_]--from C.
    4613 _cleuen_--clyuen
    4615 _dirk[ed]_--derkyd
    4616 _while_--whil
    4617 _knowen_--knowe
    4619-21 _grete_--gret
         _note[s]_--notes
    4619 _soþe_--soth
    4621 _yhidd_--MS. yhidde, C. Ihyd
    4622 _soþe_--sooth
         _þinges_--thing
    4625 [_Glosa_]--from C.
    4630 _þinge_--thing
         _whiche_--which
    4631 _woot_--not
         _nat_--nawht
    4632 _couþe_--kowde
    4634 [_þat_]--from C.
         _where_--wher
    4635 _what_--MS. þat, C. what
         _vnknowynge_--vnkunnynge
    4639 _eueryche_--eu{er}ych
    4640 _while_--whil
         _þe_--MS. þe þe
         _hidd_--MS. hidde, C. hidde
    4641 _derknesse_--derkenesse
    4642 _haþ_--MS. haþe
         _selfe_--self
    4644 _nouþir habit_--nother habite
    4645 _alle_ (_both_)--al
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4648 [_Glosa_]--from C.
    4649 [_textus_]--from C.
    4650 _haþ_ (_both_)--MS. haþe]


                                                              [[pg 161]]
    [Headnote:
    ANSWERS TO OBJECTIONS AGAINST PROVIDENCE.]

TAMEN ILLA UETUS INQ{U}IT HEC EST.

  [Sidenote: [The 4^the p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: _P._ This is the old objection against Providence, so
    ably handled by Cicero in his _Book of Divination_; and you
    yourself have anxiously discussed it.]

  ++Þanne seide she. þis is q{uo}d she þe olde questiou{n} of
  þe p{ur}ueaunce of god. {and} marcus tulius whan he               4652
  deuided[e] þe deuinac{i}ou{n}s. þat is to sein in hys booke
  þat he wroot of deuinac{i}ou{n}s. he moeued[e] gretly þis
  questiou{n}. {and} þou þi self hast souȝt it mochel {and}
  outerly {and} lo{n}g[e].

    [Sidenote: But neither of you have offered a satisfactory solution
    of the difficulty.]

          but ȝit ne haþ it nat ben determined                      4656
  ne yspedd fermely {and} diligently of any of yow.

    [Sidenote: The cause of this mystery is that the human
    understanding cannot conceive the simplicity of the divine
    prescience, for if it were possible to comprehend this, every
    difficulty would at once disappear.]

  ¶ And þe cause of þis derkenesse {and} [of this] difficulte
  is for þat þe moeuynge of þe resou{n} of mankynde ne
  may nat moeue{n} to. þat is to sein applien or ioygnen to         4660
  þe simplicite of þe deuyne p{re}science. ¶ þe whiche
  symplicite of þe deuyne p{re}science ȝif þat men [myhten
  thinken it in any maner{e} / þ{a}t is to seyn / þ{a}t yif men] myȝte
  þinken {and} co{m}p{re}henden þe þinges as god seeþ hem.          4664
  þan ne sholde þer dwellen outerly no doute.

    [Sidenote: I shall, therefore, try to explain and solve this
    difficult question.]

          þe whiche
  resou{n} {and} cause of difficulte I shal assaie at þe laste
  to shewen {and} to speden.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 36 _b_.]]

          ¶ whan I haue *firste
  [yspendyd / {and}] ansewered to þo resou{n}s by whiche þ{o}u      4668
  art ymoeued.

    [Sidenote: I ask, then, why you do not approve the reasoning of
    such as think--that Prescience does not obstruct the liberty of
    the will, because it is not the necessitating cause of future
    events?]

          ¶ For I axe whi þ{o}u wenest þat þilk[e]
  resou{n}s of hem þat assoilen þis questiou{n} ne ben nat
  spedeful ynouȝ ne sufficient þe whiche soluc{i}ou{n} or þe
  whiche resou{n} for þat it demiþ þat þe p{re}science nis nat      4672
  cause of necessite to þinges to comen. þan ne weneþ it
  nat þat fredom of wille be distourbed or ylett by p{re}science.

    [Linenotes:
    4653 _deuided[e]_--deuynede
         _booke_--book
    4654 _moeued[e]_--moeuede
    4655 _souȝt_--I-sowht
    4656 _long[e]_--longe
         _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4657 _yspedd_--MS. yspedde, C. Isped
         _fermely_--MS. feruently, C. fermely
    4658 _derkenesse_--dirknesse
         [_of this_]--from C.
    4662-3 [_myhten----men_]--from C.
    4663 _myȝte_--myhten
    4667 _firste_--fyrst
    4668 [_yspendyd and_]--from C.
         _þo_--the
         _whiche_--which
    4669 _art_--MS. arte
         _þilk[e]_--thilke
    4671 _spedeful_--spedful
    4672 _whiche_--which
    4674 _wille_--wyl]

    [Headnote:
    NECESSITY AND PRESCIENCE.]

    [Sidenote: Do you draw an argument of the necessity of future
    events, from any other topic than this,--that those things which
    are foreknown must of necessity happen?]

  for ne drawest þou nat argumentes from ellys
  where of þe necessite of þinges to comen. As who seiþ             4676
  any oþer wey þan þus. but þat þilke þinge[s] þat þe p{re}scie{n}ce
  woot byforn [ne] mowen nat vnbitide. þat is to
  seyn þat þei moten bitide.

    [Sidenote: If divine prescience imposes no necessity upon future
    things, must not the issue of things be voluntary, and man’s will
    free and unconstrained?]

          ¶ But þan yif þat p{re}science
  ne putteþ no necessite to þinges to comen. as þou þi self         4680
  hast confessed it {and} byknowen a litel herbyforn{e}.
                  ¶ what                                      [[pg 162]]
  cause [or what] is it. as who seiþ þere may no cause be.
  by whiche þat þe endes (exitus) uoluntarie of þinges
  myȝten be constreyned to certeyne bitydyng.

    [Sidenote: For argument sake let us suppose there is no
    prescience, would, then, the events which proceed from free-will
    alone be under the power of necessity?]

          ¶ For                                                     4684
  by grace of possessiou{n}. so þat þou mowe þe better vndirstonde
  þis þat folweþ. ¶ I pose (inpossibile) þat
  þer ne be no p{re}science. þan axe I q{uo}d she in as
  moche as app{er}teniþ to þat. sholde þan þinges þat               4688
  comen of frewille ben constreined to bytiden by
  necessite.

    [Sidenote: _B._ No.]

          {Boici}us. nay q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ Let us, then, admit Prescience, but that it
    imposes no necessity on what is to happen; the freedom of the will
    would still remain entire and absolute.]

          þan aȝeinward q{uo}d
  she. I suppose þat þere be p{re}science but þat ne putteþ
  no necessite to þinges. þan trowe I þat þilk self fredom          4692
  of wille shal dwelle{n} al hool {and} absolut {and} vnbounden.

    [Sidenote: But although Prescience, you may say, is not the
    necessary cause of future events, yet it is a sign that they shall
    necessarily happen, and hence it follows that, although there were
    no prescience, future events would still be an inevitable
    necessity.]

  but þou wolt sein þat al be it so þat p{re}science
  nis nat cause of þe necessite of bitidynge to þinges to
  comen. ¶ Algates ȝitte it is a signe þ{a}t þe þinges ben          4696
  to bytiden by necessite. by þis manere þan al þouȝ þe
  p{re}science ne hadde neuer yben. ȝit algate or at þe
  lest[e] wey. it is certeyne þing þat þe e{n}dys {and} þe
  bitydynges of þinges to come{n} sholde ben necessarie.            4700

    [Sidenote: For the sign of a thing is not really the thing itself,
    but only points out what the individual is.]

  ¶ For euery sygne sheweþ {and} signifieþ oonly what þe
  þing is ¶ but it ne makiþ nat þe þing þat it signifieþ.

    [Sidenote: Wherefore, it must be first proved that everything
    happens by necessity before we can conclude that prescience is a
    sign of that necessity.]

  ¶ For whiche it byhoueþ firste to shewen þat no þing
  ne bitidiþ [þ{a}t it ne bytydith] by necessite. so þat it         4704
  may apere þ{a}t þe p{re}scie{n}ce is signe of þis necessite

    [Sidenote: For if there be no necessity, prescience cannot be the
    sign of that which has no existence.]

  ¶ or ellys yif þere nere no necessite. certys þilke p{re}science
  ne myȝt[e] nat ben signe of þinge þat nis nat.

    [Linenotes:
    4677 _þinge[s]_--thinges
    4683 _whiche_--which
    4685 _better_--beter{e}
    4688 _moche_--mochel
    4689 _frewille_--free wyl
    4691 _þat ne_--þat is ne
    4692 _þat_--MS. þan
         _þilk self_--thilke selue
    4693 _wille_--wil
    4699 _lest[e]_--leeste
    4700 _sholde_--sholden
    4703 _whiche_--which
         _firste_--fyrst
    4704 [_þat----bytydith_]--from C.
    4707 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
         _þinge_--thing]

    [Headnote:
    NOT ALL THINGS CONTROLLED BY NECESSITY.]

    [Sidenote: The assertion that nothing happens but by necessity,
    must be proved by arguments drawn from causes connected and
    agreeing with this necessity, and not from signs or foreign
    causes.]

  ¶ But certys it is nowe certeyne þat þe preue of þis              4708
  susteniþ by stedfast resou{n} ne shal nat ben ladd ne
  p{ro}ued by signes ne by argumentys ytaken fro wiþ oute.
  but by causes couenable {and} necessarie ¶ But þou
  mayst sein how may it be þat þe þinges ne bitiden nat             4712
  þat ben ypurueyed to comen. but certys ryȝt as we           [[pg 163]]
  trowen þat þo þinges whiche þat þe p{ur}ueau{n}ce woot byforn
  to comen. ne ben nat to bitiden. but [þ{a}t] ne sholde
  we nat demen. but raþer al þouȝ [þat] þei schal bitiden.          4716
  ȝit ne haue þei no necessite of hire kynde to bitiden.
  {and} þis maist þou lyȝtly ap{er}ceyue{n} by þis þat I shal
  seyn.

    [Sidenote: We see many things when they are done before our eyes;
    such as a charioteer driving his chariot, and other things of like
    nature.]

          but we seen many þinges whan þei ben don byforn
  oure eyen ryȝt as men seen þe karter worken in þe                 4720
  to{ur}nynge {and} in attempryng or in adressy{n}g of hys
  kartes or chariottes. ¶ and by þis manere as who seiþ
  mayst þou vnd{er}sto{n}de of alle manere oþir werkeme{n}.

    [Sidenote: Now, is there any necessity which compels these things
    to be done?]

  ¶ Is þere þanne any necessite as who seiþ in oure lokynge         4724
  [þ{a}t] constreineþ or compelliþ any of þilke þinges
  to ben don so.

    [Sidenote: _B._ No. For if all things were moved by
    compulsion--the efforts of art would be vain and fruitless.]

          b. nay q{uo}d I ¶ For in ydel {and} in
  veyne were alle þe effect of crafte yif þat alle þinges
  weren moeued by constreynynge. þat is to seyn by constreynynge    4728
  of oure eyen or of oure syȝt.

    [Sidenote: _P._ The things, then, which are done are under no
    necessity that they should be done; then first before they were
    done, they were under no necessity of coming to pass; wherefore
    some things happen, the event of which is unconstrained by
    necessity.]

          _P._ þise þi{n}g{us}
  þan q{uo}d she þat whan men don hem ne han non
  necessite þat men don hem. eke þo same þinges first or
  þei be don. þei ben to comen wiþ out necessite.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 37.]]

          for whi                                                   4732
  þer ben so{m}me þinges to bytide of whiche þe endys
  {and} þe bitidynges of hem ben absolut *{and} quit of alle
  necessite.

    [Sidenote: These things therefore, although foreknown, have free
    events: for as the knowledge of present things imposes no
    necessity upon things which are now done, so neither does the
    foreknowledge of futurities necessitate the things which are to
    come.]

          for certys I ne trowe nat þat any man wolde seyn
  þis. þat þo þinges þat men don now þ{a}t þei ne weren             4736
  to bitiden. first or þei were ydon ¶ and þilk same
  þinges al þouȝ þ{a}t men hadde{n} ywyst hem by-forn.
  ȝitte þei han fre bitidynges. for ryȝt as science of
  þinges p{re}sent ne bryngeþ in no necessite to þinges             4740
  [þ{a}t men doon // Ryht so the p{re}science of thinges to
  comen ne bryngeth in no necessite to thinges] to bytiden

    [Sidenote: But you may doubt whether there can be any certain
    prescience of things, of which the event is not necessitated: for
    here there seems to be an evident contradiction.]

  but þou mayst seyn þat of þilke same it is ydouted. as
  wheþer þat of þilke þinges þat ne han non endes {and}             4744
  bytidynges necessaryes yif þer-of may ben any p{re}science

    [Linenotes:
    4708 _nowe_--now
    4709 _susteniþ_--ysustenyd
         _stedfast_--stydefast
         _ladd_--MS. ladde, C. lad
    4714 _whiche_--which
    4715 [_þat_]--from C.
         _sholde_--sholden
    4716 _demen_--MS. denyen
         [_þat_]--from C.
    4717 _necessite_--MS. necessites
    4721 _hys_--hise
    4725 [_þat_]--from C.
    4727 _veyne_--veyn
         _alle_--al
         _crafte_--craft
    4729 _þise_--MS. þise þise, C. the
    4732 _wiþ out_--w{i}t{h}-owte
    4733 _bytide_--bytyden
         _whiche_--which
    4737 _were_--weeren
         _ydon_--MS. ydone, C. I-doon
         _þilk_--thilke
    4741-2 [_þat----thinges_]--from C.
    4744 _endes_--issues]

                                                              [[pg 164]]
    [Headnote:
    THE NATURE OF TRUE KNOWLEDGE.]

    [Sidenote: If things are foreknown, you may contend they must
    necessarily happen; and if their event is not necessary, they
    cannot be foreseen, because true knowledge can comprehend nothing
    but what is absolutely certain.]

  ¶ For certys þei seme to discorde. for þou
  wenest þat yif þat þinges ben yseyn byforn þat necessite
  folweþ hem. and yif ({et} putas) necessite faileþ hem þei ne      4748
  myȝten nat ben wist byforn. {and} þat no þinge ne may
  ben comp{re}hendid by science but certeyne.

    [Sidenote: And if things uncertain in their events are foreseen as
    certain, this knowledge is nothing more than a false opinion.]

          {and} yif þo
  þinges þat ne han no certeyne bytidynges ben ypurueied
  as certeyn.

    [Sidenote: For it is very remote from true knowledge to judge of
    things otherwise than they really are.]

          it sholde ben dirkenesse of oppiniou{n} nat               4752
  soþefastnesse of science [{and} þ{o}u weenyst þ{a}t it be diu{er}se
  fro the hoolnesse of science / þ{a}t any man sholde deme
  a thing to ben oother weys thanne it is it self].

    [Sidenote: The cause of this error is that men imagine that their
    knowledge is wholly derived from the nature of the things known,
    whereas it is quite the reverse.]

          and þe
  cause of þis errour is. þat of alle þe þinges þat euery           4756
  wyȝt haþ yknowe. þei wenen þat þo þinges ben y-knowe
  al oonly by þe strengþe {and} by þe nature of þe þinges
  þat ben ywyst or yknowe. {and} it is al þe contrarie. for
  alle þat eu{er}e is yknowe.

    [Sidenote: Things are not known from their inherent properties,
    but by the faculties of the observer.]

          it is raþer comp{re}hendid {and}                          4760
  yknowe{n} nat after his strengeþ {and} hys nature. but after
  þe faculte þat is to seyn þe power {and} [the] nature of
  hem þat knowen.

    [Sidenote: The roundness of a body affects the sight in one way,
    and the touch in another.]

          {and} for þat þis shal mowe shewen by
  a short ensample þe same roundenes of a body .O. oþer             4764
  weyes þe syȝt of þe eye knoweþ it. {and} oþer weyes þe
  touchi{n}g.

    [Sidenote: The eye, from afar, darts its rays upon the object, and
    by beholding it comprehends its form.]

          þe lokynge by castynge of his bemes waiteþ
  {and} seeþ fro afer alle þe body to-gider wiþ oute mouynge
  of it self.

    [Sidenote: But the object is not distinguished by the touch unless
    the hand comes in contact with it and feels it all round.]

          but þe touchinge cliuiþ {and} conioigneþ to þe            4768
  rounde body (orbi) {and} moueþ abouten þe environynge.
  {and} comp{re}hendiþ by p{ar}ties þe roundenesse.

    [Linenotes:
    4746 _seme_--semyn
         _discorde_--discorden
    4749 _þat_--yif
    4753-5 [_and----self_]--from C.
    4757 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4760 _alle_--al
    4763 _mowe_--mowen
    4764 _roundenes_--Rowndnesse
    4765 _syȝt_--sihte
    4767 _alle_--al
    4769 _abouten_--abowte
    4770 _roundenesse_--Rowndnesse]

    [Headnote:
    SENSE, REASON, AND INTELLIGENCE.]

    [Sidenote: Man himself is surveyed in divers ways--by the senses,
    by the imagination, by reason, and by the intelligence (of the
    Deity).]

  ¶ and þe man hym self oþer weies wyt byholdiþ hym. {and}
  oþ{er}weyes ymaginac{i}ou{n} {and} oþer weyes resou{n}. {and}     4772
  oþer weyes intelligence.

    [Sidenote: The senses take note of his material figure--the
    imagination considers the form alone, exclusive of the matter.]

          ¶ For þe wit co{m}p{re}he{n}diþ
  fro wiþ outen furþe þe figure of þe body of þe man. þat
  is establissed in þe matere subiect. But þe ymaginac{i}ou{n}
  [comp{re}hendith only the figur{e} w{i}t{h} owte the mater{e} /   4776

    [Sidenote: Reason transcends the imaginations, and examining
    existences in general discovers the particular species, but the
    eye of Intelligence soars still higher; for, going beyond the
    bounds of what is general, it surveys the _simple forms_
    themselves, by its own pure and subtle thought:]

  Resou{n} surmou{n}teth ymaginaciou{n}]
                  {and} co{m}p{re}hendeþ                      [[pg 165]]
  by an vniuersel lokynge þe co{mmun}e spece (sp{eci}em)
  þat is in þe singuler peces. ¶ But þe eye of intelligence
  is heyȝer for it so{ur}mou{n}teþ þe envirounynge of þe            4780
  vniu{er}site {and} lookeþ ouer þat by pure subtilite of þouȝt.

    [Sidenote: in which this is chiefly to be considered, that the
    higher power of perception embraces the lower; but the inferior
    cannot attain to the energy of the superior:]

  þilk same symple forme of man þat is p{er}durably in þe
  deuyne þouȝt. in whiche þis auȝt[e] gretely to ben considered
  þat þe heyest strengþe to co{m}prehenden þinges                   4784
  enbraceþ {and} conteyneþ þe lower[e] strengþe [but the
  lower{e} strengthe ne arysith nat in no maner{e} to heyer{e}
  strengthe].

    [Sidenote: for the senses cannot go beyond the perception of
    matter; the imagination cannot comprehend existences in general,
    nor can the reason conceive the simple form.]

          for wit ne may no þinge co{m}p{re}hende oute of
  matere. ne þe ymagynac{i}ou{n} ne lokeþ nat þe vniuerseles        4788
  speces. ne resou{n} ne takeþ nat þe symple forme. so as
  i{n}telligence takeþ it.

    [Sidenote: But the Intelligence looking down (as from above) and
    having conceived the form, discerns all things that are below it,
    and comprehends what does not fall within the reach of the other
    faculties of the mind.]

          but þe intelligence þat lokeþ al
  abouen whan it haþ co{m}p{re}hendid þe forme it knoweþ
  {and} demeþ alle þe þinges þat be{n} vndir þat forme. but         4792
  she knoweþ he{m} vndir þilke manere in þe whiche it
  comp{re}hendiþ þilke same symple forme þat ne may
  neuer be knowen to non of þat oþer. þat is to seyn to
  non of þo þre forseide strengþes of þe soule.

    [Sidenote: Without the aid of those faculties Intelligence
    comprehends things _formally_ (_i. e._ by beholding their simple
    forms) by one effort of mind.]

          for it                                                    4796
  knoweþ þe vniuersite of resou{n} {and} þe figure of
                  þe ymaginac{i}ou{n}.
  {and} þe sensible mat{er}ial conseiued. {and} þou
  wenest þ{a}t it be diuerse fro þe hoolnesse of science. þat
  any man sholde deme a þing to ben oþ{er}weyes þan it is           4800
  it self {and} þe cause of þis erro{ur} {et}c’. {vt sup}ra. by wit.

    [Sidenote: Reason, without the aid of Imagination and Sense, in
    considering things in general, comprehends all imaginable and
    sensible things.]

  ne it ne vseþ nat nor of resou{n} ne of ymaginac{i}ou{n} ne
  of wit wiþ oute forþe but it byholdeþ alle þinges so as I
  shal seye. by a strok of þouȝt formely wiþ oute disco{ur}s        4804
  or collac{i}ou{n} ¶ Certys resou{n} whan it lokeþ any þing
  vniu{er}sel it ne vseþ nat of ymaginac{i}ou{n} nor of wit {and}
  algates ȝit [it] co{m}prendiþ þe þinges ymaginable {and}
  sensible.

    [Sidenote: For instance, reason defines her general conceptions
    thus:--]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 37 _b_.]]

          for resou{n} is she þat *diffinisseþ þe vniuersel         4808
  of hir conseite ryȝt þus.                                   [[pg 166]]

    [Sidenote: Man is a rational two-footed animal, which, though it
    be a general idea, yet every one knows that man thus defined is
    perceived both by the imagination and the senses, notwithstanding
    that in this instance reason does not make use of imagination or
    the senses, but of her own rational conception.]

          ¶ Man is a resonable t[w]o-footid
  beest. and how so þat þis knowynge [is] vniuersel.
  ȝit nys þer no wyȝt þat ne woot wel. þat a ma{n} is [a thing]
  ymaginable {and} sensible ¶ and þis same co{n}sidereþ wel         4812
  resou{n}. but þat nis nat by ymaginac{i}ou{n}. nor by witte.
  but it lokiþ it by [a] resonable concepc{i}ou{n}.

    [Sidenote: The imagination also, although it derives its power of
    seeing and forming figures from the senses, yet in the absence and
    without the use of the senses it considers and comprehends all
    sensible things by its own imaginative power.]

          ¶ Also ymaginac{i}ou{n}
  al be it so. þat it takeþ of wit þe bygyny{n}g{us}
  to seen {and} to formen þe figures. algates al þouȝ þat wit       4816
  ne ware not p{re}sent. ȝit it envirouniþ {and} co{m}p{re}hendiþ
  alle þinges sensible. nat by resou{n} sensible of demynge.
  but by resou{n} ymaginatif.

    [Sidenote: Do not you see that men attain to the knowledge of
    things more by their own faculties, than by the inherent property
    of things?]

          ¶ sest þou nat þan þat alle
  þe þinges in knowynge vsen more of hir faculte or of hir          4820
  power. þan þei don of [the] faculte or of power of þinges
  þat ben yknowen.

    [Sidenote: Nor is it unreasonable that it should be so--for since
    every judgment is the act of the person judging; every one must
    needs do his own work by the help of his own faculties, and not by
    the aid of foreign power.]

          ne þat nis no wronge. for so as euery
  iugement is þe dede or þe doynge of hym þat demeþ. It             4823
  byhoueþ þat euery wyȝt p{er}forme þe werke {and} hys entenc{i}ou{n}
  nat of forein power[;] but of hys propre power.

    [Linenotes:
    4774 _fro wiþ outen furþe_--w{i}t{h} owte forth
    4776-7 [_comprehendith----ymaginacioun_]--from C.
    4777 _comprehendeþ_--MS. co{m}p{re}hendynge
    4778 _an_--omitted
    4780 _heyȝer_--heyer{e}
    4783 _whiche_--which
         _auȝt[e]_--owhte
    4784 _heyest_--heyiste
    4785 _lower[e]_--lower{e}
    4785-7 [_but----strengthe_]--from C.
    4787 _wit_--witte
         _oute_--owt
    4791 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4793 _whiche_--which
    4795-6 _non_--none
    4796 _strengþes_--thinges
    4798-4801 _and þou----vt supra_--omitted
    4805 _collacioun_--MS. callac{i}ou{n}, C. collaciou{n}
    4806 _wit_--witte
    4810 [_is_]--from C.
    4813 _witte_--wit
    4821 _don_--MS. done, C. doon
         [_the_]--from C.
    4822 _yknowen_--Iknowe]
         _no wronge_--nat wrong
    4824 _werke_--werk
    4825 _forein_--foreyne]


    [Headnote:
    HOW OUR KNOWLEDGE OF OUTWARD THINGS IS GAINED.]

QUONDAM PORTICUS ATTULIT.

  [Sidenote: [The 4^the Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Fallacious and obscure was the lore of the Stoics,]

  ++ÞE porche þat is to sein a gate of þe toune of athenis
  þer as philosophres hadde hir congregac{i}ou{n} to dispoyten.
  {and} þilke porche brouȝt[e] so{m}tyme olde men ful               4828
  derke in hire sentences. þ{a}t is to sein philosophers þat
  hyȝten stoiciens.

    [Sidenote: who taught that images of things obvious to the senses
    were imprinted on the mind by external objects, and that the soul
    is at first like a mirror or a clean parchment, free from figures
    and letters.]

          þat wenden þat ymages [{and}] sensibilites
  þat is to sein sensible ymaginac{i}ou{n}s. or ellys ymaginac{i}ou{n}
  of sensible þinges were{n} i{n}p{re}ntid in to soules             4832
  fro bodies wiþ oute forþe. ¶ As who seiþ þat þilke
  stoiciens wenden þ{a}t þe soule hadde ben naked of it
  self. as a mirour or a clene p{ar}chemyn. so þat alle
  fygures mosten [fyrst] comen fro þinges fro wiþ oute in to        4836
  soules. {and} ben inp{re}ntid in to soules. _Textus._ Ryȝt
  as we ben wont some tyme by a swift poyntel to ficchen
  l{ett}res emp{re}ntid in þe smoþenesse or in þe plainesse of
  þe table of wex. or in p{ar}chemyn þat ne haþ no figure     [[pg 167]]
  [ne] note in it.

    [Sidenote: But if the mind is passive in receiving the impressions
    of outward objects, whence proceeds the knowledge by which the
    mind comprehends all things?]

          _Glosa._ But now arguiþ boece aȝeins þat                  4841
  oppiniou{n} {and} seiþ þus. but yif þe þriuyng soule ne
  vnplitiþ no þing. þat is to sein ne doþ no þing by hys
  p{ro}pre moeuynges. but suffriþ {and} lieþ subgit to þe           4844
  figures {and} to þe notes of bodyes wiþ oute forþe. {and}
  ȝeldeþ ymages ydel {and} veyne in þe manere of a
  mirour. whennes þriueþ þan or whennes comeþ þan
  þilke knowyng in oure soule. þat discerniþ {and} byholdeþ         4848
  alle þinges.

    [Sidenote: Whence its force to conceive individual existences, to
    separate those things when known, to unite divided things, and to
    choose and change its path, soaring to the highest and descending
    to the lowest things--and returning to itself, to confute false
    things by the true?]

          and whennes is þilke strengþe þat
  byholdeþ þe syngulere þinges. or whennes is þe strengþe
  þat dyuydeþ þinges yknowe. {and} þilke stre{n}gþe þat
  gadereþ to-gidre þe þinges deuided. {and} þe strengþe þat         4852
  cheseþ hys entrechau{n}ged wey for som tyme it heueþ
  vp þe heued. þat is to sein þat it heueþ vp þe ente{n}c{i}ou{n}
  to ryȝt heye þinges. {and} som tyme it discendiþ in
  to ryȝt lowe þinges. {and} whan it retourniþ in to hym            4856
  self. it rep{re}uiþ {and} destroieþ þe false þinges by þe
  trewe þinges.

    [Sidenote: This cause is more efficacious and powerful to see and
    to know things, than that cause which receives the characters
    impressed like servile matter.]

          ¶ Certys þis strengþe is cause more
  efficient {and} mochel more myȝty to seen {and} to knowe
  þinges. þan þilke cause þat suffriþ and resceyueþ þe              4860
  notes {and} þe figures inp{re}ssed in manere of matere

    [Sidenote: Yet the sense in the living body excites and moves the
    mental powers; as when the light striking the eyes causes them to
    see, or as the voice rushing into the ear excites hearing.]

          algates
  þe passiou{n} þat is to seyn þe suffraunce or þe wit
  i{n} þe quik[e] body goþ byforne excitynge {and} moeuyng
  þe strengþes of þe þouȝte. ryȝt so as whan þat                    4864
  clerenesse smyteþ þe eyen {and} moeuiþ hem to seen. or
  ryȝt so as voys or soune hurtliþ to þe eres {and} co{m}moeuiþ
  hem to herkne.

    [Sidenote: Then is the force of thought excited; it calls forth
    the images within itself, and adds to them the outward forms,
    blending external images with the counterparts concealed within.]

          þan is þe stre{n}gþe of þe þouȝt
  ymoeuid {and} excitid {and} clepeþ furþe þe semblable             4868
  moeuynges þe speces þat it halt wiþ i{n}ne it self. {and}
  addiþ þo speces to þe notes {and} to þe þinges wiþ out
  forþe. {and} medeleþ þe ymages of þinges wiþ out forþe
  to þe forme[s] yhid wiþ i{n}ne hym self.                          4872

    [Linenotes:
    4827 _hadde_--hadden
         _dispoyten_--desputen
    4828 _brouȝt[e]_--browhte
    4830 [_and_]--from C.
    4837 _inprentid_--aprentyd
    4838 _some tyme_--somtyme
         _swift_--swyfte
    4840 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4843 _vnplitiþ_--vnpleyteth
         _doþ_--MS. doþe
    4845 _þe_--tho
    4863 _quik[e]_--qwyke
         _goþ_--MS. goþe
    4864 _þouȝte_--thoght
    4865 _clerenesse_--cleernesse
    4866 _soune_--sown
    4868 _furþe_--forth
    4870 _out_--owte
    4871 _out forþe_--owte forth
    4872 _forme[s]_--formes
         _yhid_--I-hidde]


                                                              [[pg 168]]
    [Headnote:
    INTELLIGENCE A DIVINE ATTRIBUTE.]

Q{UO}D SI IN CORPORIB{US} SENCIEND{IS}.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 38.]]

*QUESTIO.

  [Sidenote: [The .5.^the p{ro}se.]]

    [Sidenote: Although there are in objects certain qualities which
    strike externally upon the senses, and put their instruments in
    motion; although the passive impression upon the body precedes the
    action of the mind,]

  ++But what [yif] þat in bodies to be{n} feelid þat is
  to sein in þe takynge of knowelechinge of bodyly
  þinges. and al be it so þat þe qualites of bodies þ{a}t ben       4875
  obiect fro wiþ oute forþe moeuen {and} entalenten þe instrumentes
  of þe wittes.

    [Sidenote: and although the former rouses the latter to action,
    yet if in the perception of bodily things, the soul is not by the
    impression of external things made to know these things, but by
    its own power judgeth of these bodily impressions,]

          and al be it so þat þe passiou{n}
  of þe body þat is to seyn þe witte [or the] suffrau{n}ce
  [goth to-forn the strengthe of the workynge corage / the
  which passiou{n} or suffraunce] clepiþ furþe þe dede of           4880
  þe þouȝt in hym self. {and} moeueþ {and} exiteþ in þis
  mene while þe formes þ{a}t resten wiþ in forþe. and yif
  þat i{n} sensible bodies as I haue seid oure corage nis nat
  ytauȝt or enp{re}ntid by passiou{n} to knowe þise þinges.         4884
  but demiþ {and} knoweþ of hys owen strengþe þe passiou{n}
  or suffrau{n}ce subiect to þe body.

    [Sidenote: how much more shall those pure spiritual beings (as God
    or angels) discern things by an act of their understanding alone,
    without the aid of impressions from external objects?]

          Moche more þan þoo
  þinges þat ben absolut {and} quit fram alle talentȝ or
  affecc{i}ou{n}s of bodies. as god or hys aungels ne folwen        4888
  nat in discernynge þinges obiect from wiþ oute forþe.
  but þei accomplissen {and} speden þe dede of hir þouȝt

    [Sidenote: For this reason, then, there are several sorts of
    knowing distributed among various beings.]

          by þis resou{n}.
  ¶ þan þere comen many manere knowynges
  to dyu{er}se {and} differy{n}g substaunces.

    [Sidenote: For sense (or sensation) destitute of all other
    knowledge is allotted to those creatures that have no motion, as
    shell-fish.]

          for þe wit                                                4892
  of þe body þe whiche witte is naked {and} despoyled of
  alle oþer knowynges. þilke witte comeþ to bestes þat ne
  mowen nat moeuen hem self here ne þere. as oystres
  {and} muscles {and} oþer swiche shelle fysshe of þe see.          4896
  þ{a}t cliue{n} {and} ben norissed to roches.

    [Sidenote: But imagination is given to such brutes capable of
    motion, and having in some degree the power of desiring or
    refusing.]

          but þe ymaginac{i}ou{n}
  comeþ to remuable bestes þat seme{n} to han talent
  to fleen or to desiren any þinge.

    [Sidenote: Reason, however, is the attribute of man alone, as
    Intelligence is that of God.]

          but resou{n} is al only to
  þe lynage of mankynde ryȝt as i{n}telligence is oonly þe          4900
  deuyne nature.

    [Sidenote: Hence His (i. e. God’s) knowledge exceeds all other,
    comprehending both what belongs to His own nature, and what is
    comprehended by all inferior creatures.]

          of whiche it folweþ þat þilke knowyng
  is more worþe þan [th]is[e] oþer. syn it knoweþ by hys
  p{ro}pre nature nat only hys subiect. as who seiþ it ne     [[pg 169]]
  knoweþ nat al oonly þat app{er}teiniþ p{ro}prely to hys           4904
  knowynge. but it knoweþ þe subgitȝ of alle oþer knowynges.

    [Linenotes:
    4873 [_yif_]--from C.
    4878 [_or the_]--from C.
         _suffraunce_--MS. suffisau{n}ce, C. suffraunce
    4879-80 [_goth----suffraunce_]--from C.
    4883 _seid_--MS. seide, C. seyd
    4887 _quit_--quite
    4888 _hys_--hise
    4889 _discernynge_--MS. discryuyng, C. discernynge
         _from_--fro
    4893-94 _witte_--wit
    4895 _mowen_--mowe
         _here ne þere_--her {and} ther
    4901 _whiche_--which
    4902 _[th]is[e] oþer_--thise oothr{e}]

    [Headnote:
    THE POWERS OF SENSE AND IMAGINATION.]

    [Sidenote: But how shall it be then, if sense and imagination
    oppose reason, affirming that the general idea of things, which
    reason thinks it so perfectly sees, is nothing?]

  but how shal it þan be yif þat wit {and} ymaginac{i}ou{n}
  stryuen aȝeins resonynge {and} sein þat of þilke
  vniuersel þinges. þat resou{n} weneþ to seen þat it nis           4908
  ryȝt nauȝt.

    [Sidenote: For what falls under the cognisance of the senses and
    imagination cannot be general.]

          for wit {and} ymaginac{i}ou{n} seyn þat þat. þat
  is sensible or ymaginable it ne may nat ben vniuersel.
  þan is eiþer þe iugement of resou{n} [soth]. ne þat
  þer nis no þinge sensible. or ellys for þat resou{n} woot         4912
  wel þat many þinges ben subiect to wit {and} to ymaginac{i}ou{n}.
  þan is þe co{n}sepc{i}ou{n} of resou{n} veyn {and} fals
  whiche þat lookeþ {and} co{m}p{re}hendiþ. þat þat is
  sensible {and} synguler as uniuersele.

    [Sidenote: But if reason should answer to this--that in her idea
    of what is general she comprehends whatever is sensible and
    imaginable; but as to the senses and imagination, they cannot
    attain to the knowledge of what is general, since their knowledge
    is confined to material figures; and therefore in all real
    knowledge of things we must give the greatest credit to that
    faculty which has a more steadfast and perfect judgment of
    things.]

          and ȝif þat resou{n}                                      4916
  wolde answeren aȝein to þise two þat is to sein to wit
  {and} to ymaginac{i}ou{n}. {and} sein þat soþely she hir self.
  þat is to seyn þat resou{n} lokeþ {and} comp{re}hendiþ by
  resou{n} of vniuersalite. boþe þat þat is sensible {and} þat      4920
  þat is ymaginable. {and} þat þilke two þat is to seyn wit
  {and} ymaginac{i}ou{n} ne mowe{n} nat strecchen ne enhaunsen
  hem self to knowynge of vniuersalite for þat
  þe knowy{n}g of hem ne may exceden nor so{ur}mou{n}te{n}          4924
  þe bodyly figure[s] ¶ Certys of þe knowyng of þinges
  men auȝten raþer ȝeue credence to þe more stedfast {and}
  to þe more p{er}fit iugement.

    [Sidenote: In a controversy of this kind ought not we, who possess
    faculties of reason, &c., to side with reason and espouse her
    cause?]

          In þis manere stryuynge
  þan we þat han strengþe of resonynge {and} of ymaginynge          4928
  {and} of wit þat is to seyn by resou{n} {and} by ymaginac{i}ou{n}
  {and} by wit. [{and}] we sholde raþer p{re}ise þe cause
  of resou{n}. as who seiþ þan þe cause of wit or ymaginac{i}ou{n}.

    [Linenotes:
    4907 _aȝeins_--ayein
    4908 _vniuersel_--vniu{er}sels
    4911 [_soth_]--from C.
    4914 _fals whiche_--false which
    4917 _wit_--witte
    4918 _soþely_--soothly
    4923 _knowynge_--knowy
    4926 _ȝeue_--yeuen
         _stedfast_--stidefast
    4930 [_and_]--from C.
    4931 _or_--{and} of]

    [Headnote:
    REASON SHOULD SUBMIT TO INTELLIGENCE.]

    [Sidenote: The case is entirely similar when human reason thinks
    the Divine Intelligence cannot behold future events in any other
    way than she herself is capable of perceiving them.]

  semblable þinge is it þat þe resou{n} of mankynde                 4932
  ne weneþ nat þat þe deuyne intelligence byholdeþ or
  knoweþ þinges to comen. but ryȝt as þe resou{n} of mankynde
  knoweþ hem.

    [Sidenote: For thus you argue:--
    What things are not necessitated cannot be foreknown; therefore
    there is no prescience of these things, for, if there were,
    everything would be fixed by an absolute necessity.]

          for þou arguist {and} seist þus. þat
  yif it ne seme nat to men þat so{m}me þinges han certeyne   [[pg 170]]
  {and} necessarie bytidynges. þei ne mowen nat ben wist            4937
  byforn certeynely to bytiden. þa{n} nis [ther] no p{re}science
  of þilke þinges. {and} yif we trowen þat p{re}science
  ben in þise þinges. þan is þer no þinge þat it ne                 4940
  bitidiþ by necessite.

    [Sidenote: If it were possible to enjoy the intelligence of the
    Deity, we should then deem it right that sense and imagination
    should yield to reason, and also judge it proper that human reason
    should submit to the Divine Intelligence.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 38 _b_.]]

          but certys yif we myȝte{n} han þe
  iugeme{n}t of þe deuyne þouȝt as we *ben p{ar}son{er}s of
  resou{n}. ryȝt so as we han demed. it byhoueþ þat ymaginac{i}ou{n}
  {and} wit ben byneþe resou{n}. ryȝt so wolde                      4944
  we deme{n} þat it were ryȝtful þing þat ma{n}s resou{n}
  auȝt[e] to su{m}mitten it self {and} to ben byneþe þe deuyne
  þouȝt.

    [Sidenote: Let us, therefore, strive to elevate ourselves to the
    height of the supreme intelligence--there shall reason see what
    she cannot discover in herself; and that is in what manner the
    prescience of God sees and defines all things; although they have
    no certain event; and she will see that this is no mere
    conjecture, but rather simple, supreme, and unlimited knowledge.]

          for whiche þat yif we mowen. as who seiþ.
  þat yif þat we mowe{n} I conseil[e] þat we enhanse vs in          4948
  to þe heyȝt of þilke souereyne i{n}telligence. for þere shal
  resou{n} wel seen þat þat it ne may nat by-holden in it
  self. and certys þat is þis in what manere þe p{re}science
  of god seeþ alle þinges c{er}teins {and} difinissed al þouȝ þei   4952
  ne han no certein issues or by-tydynges. ne þis is non
  oppiniou{n} but it is raþer þe simplicite of þe souereyn
  science þat nis nat enclosed nor yshet wiþi{n}ne no boundes.

    [Linenotes:
    4938 [_ther_]--from C.
    4939 _trowen_--trowe
    4942 _parsoners_--parsoneres
    4945 _mans_--mannes
    4946 _auȝt[e]_--owte
    4947 _whiche_--which
    4948 _þat yif_--yif þ{a}t
    4949 _heyȝt_--heihte
         _þere_--ther
    4952 _þouȝ_--MS. þouȝt
    4955 _no_--none]


QUAM UARIIS FIGURIS.

  [Sidenote: [The 5^the Met{ur}.]]

    [Sidenote: Various are the shapes of created beings. Some creep
    along the ground and trace the dust in furrows as they go;]

  ++ÞE bestes passen by þe erþes by ful dyuerse figures             4956
  for so{m}me of hem han hir bodies strauȝt {and}
  crepe{n} in þe dust {and} drawen after he{m} a t{ra}is or a
  forghe contynued. þat is to sein as addres or snakes.

    [Sidenote: others with nimble wings float through the air;]

  and oþer bestes by [the] wandryng lyȝtnesse of hir                4960
  wenges beten þe wyndes {and} ouer-swymme{n} þe spaces
  of þe longe eyer by moist flee[y]nge.

    [Sidenote: some with their feet impress the ground, or tread
    lightly o’er the meads, or seek the shady grove.]

          and oþer bestes
  gladen hem to diggen her traas or her stappes i{n} þe
  erþe wiþ hir goynge or wiþ her feet. or to gone eyþe[r]           4964
  by þe grene feldes or [elles] to walken vnder þe wodes.

    [Sidenote: Though we see an endless variety of forms, yet all are
    prone; to the earth they bend their looks, increasing the
    heaviness of their dull sense.]

  {and} al be it so þ{a}t þou seest þat þei
                  alle discorden by                           [[pg 171]]
  dyuerse formes. algate hir{e} [faces] enclini[n]g heuieþ hir{e}
  dulle wittes.

    [Sidenote: Man alone doth raise aloft his noble head; light and
    erect he spurns the earth.]

          Onlyche þe lynage of man heueþ heyest hys                 4968
  heyȝe heued {and} stondeþ lyȝt wiþ hys vpryȝt body {and}
  byholdeþ þe erþe vndir hym.

    [Sidenote: Thou art admonished by this figure then, unless by
    sense deceived, that whilst taught by thy lofty mien to look
    above, thou shouldst elevate thy mind lest it sink below its
    proper level.]

          [and] but-ȝif þou erþely man
  wexest yuel oute of þi witte. þis figure amonesteþ þe þ{a}t
  axest þe heuene wiþ þi ryȝt[e] visage. {and} hast areised         4972
  þi forhede to beren vp on heye þi corage so þat þi þouȝt
  ne be nat yheuied ne put lowe vndir foot. sen þat þi
  body is so heye areised.

    [Linenotes:
    4957 _somme_--som
    4959 _forghe contynued_--forwh Ikonntynued
         _addres_--nadris
    4960 [_the_]--from C.
    4963 _hem_--hem self
         _stappes_--steppis
    4964 _or to gone_--{and} to gon
         _eyþe[r]_--eyther
    4965 [_elles_]--from C.
    4967 [_faces_]--from C.
         _algate_--algates
         _enclini[n]g_--enclynyd
    4968 _Onlyche_--Oonly
         _heyest_--heyeste
    4970 _erþe_--erthes
    4971 _oute_--owt
         _witte_--wit
    4972 _ryȝt[e]_--ryhte
         _hast_--MS. haþe, C. hast
    4973 _forhede_--foreheuyd
         _on heye_--a heygh
    4974 _foot sen_--foote syn]


    [Headnote:
    DEFINITION OF ETERNITY.]

PR{O}SA VLTI{M}A.

QUONIA{M} IGITUR UTI PAULO ANTE.

  [Sidenote: [The 6^te p{ro}se {and} the laste.]]

    [Sidenote: Since everything which is known is not, as I have
    shown, perceived by its own inherent properties, but by the
    faculties of those comprehending them, let us now examine the
    disposition of the Divine nature.]

  ++ÞEr-fore þan as I haue shewed a litel her byforne þat           4976
  al þinge þat is ywist nis nat knowen by hys nature
  p{ro}pre. but by þe nature of he{m} þat comp{re}henden it.
  ¶ Lat vs loke now in as moche as it is leueful to vs. as
  who seiþ lat vs loken now as we mowen whiche þ{a}t þe             4980
  estat is of þe deuyne substaunce so þat we mowen [ek]
  knowen what his science is.

    [Sidenote: All rational creatures agree in affirming that God is
    eternal.]

          þe comune iugement of alle
  creatures resonables þan is þis þat god is eterne. lat vs
  considere þa{n} what is et{er}nite. For certys þat shal           4984
  shewen vs to-gidre þe deuyne nature {and} þe deuyne
  science

    [Sidenote: And eternity is a full, total, and perfect possession
    of a life which shall never end. This will appear more clearly
    from a comparison with temporal things.]

          ¶ Eternite þan is p{er}fit possessiou{n} {and} al
  togidre of lijf interminable {and} þat sheweþ more clerely
  by þe co{m}parisou{n} or collac{i}ou{n} of temp{or}el þinges.     4988

    [Sidenote: Temporal existence proceeds from the past to the
    present, and thence to the future.]

  for al þing þat lyueþ in tyme it is p{re}sent {and} p{ro}cediþ fro
  preteritȝ in to fut{ur}es. þat is to sein. fro tyme passed
  in to tyme comynge.

    [Sidenote: And there is nothing under the law of time, which can
    at once comprehend the whole space of its existence.]

          ne þer nis no þing establissed i{n}
  tyme þat may enbracen to-gidre al þe space of hys lijf.           4992

    [Linenotes:
    4977 _al þinge_--alle thinges
    4979 _moche_--mochel
    4980 _loken_--loke
         _whiche_--which
    4981 [_ek_]--from C.
    4987 _clerely_--cleerly
    4989 _al_--alle]

    [Headnote:
    THE WORLD IS NOT ETERNAL.]

    [Sidenote: Having lost _yesterday_ it does not as yet enjoy
    _to-morrow_; and as for _to-day_ it consists only in the present
    transitory moment.]

  for certys ȝit ne haþ it nat taken þe tyme of þe morwe.
  {and} it haþ lost þat of ȝister-day. and certys in þe lijf
  of þis day ȝe ne lyuen no more but ryȝt
                  as in þis moeueable                         [[pg 172]]
  {and} t{ra}nsitorie moment.

    [Sidenote: Whatever, therefore, is subjected to a temporal
    condition, as Aristotle thought of the world, may be without
    beginning and without end; and although its duration may extend to
    an infinity of time, yet it cannot rightly be called eternal: for
    it doth not comprehend at once the whole extent of its infinite
    duration, having no knowledge of things future which are not yet
    arrived.]

          þan þilke þinge þat suffriþ                               4996
  temp{or}el condic{i}ou{n}. a[l]þough{e} þat [it] bygan neuer
  to be. ne þough{e} it neu{er}e cese forto be. as aristotle
  demde of þe worlde. and al þouȝ þat þe lif of it be
  strecchid wiþ infinite of tyme.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 39.]]

          ȝit al*gates nis it no                                    5000
  swiche þing þat men myȝten trowen by ryȝt þat it is
  eterne. for al þouȝ þat it comp{re}hende {and} embrace þe
  space of life infinite. ȝit algates ne [em]braceþ it nat þe
  space of þe lif alto-gidre. for it ne haþ nat þe fut{ur}es        5004
  þat ne ben nat ȝit. ne it ne haþ no lenger þe p{re}t{er}itȝ
  þat ben ydon or ypassed.

    [Sidenote: For what is eternal must be always present to itself
    and master of itself, and have always with it the infinite
    succession of time.]

          but þilke þing þan þat haþ
  {and} co{m}prehendiþ to-gidre alle þe plente of þe lif i{n}terminable.
  to whom þere ne failiþ nat of þe fut{ur}e.                        5008
  {and} to whom þer nis nat of þe p{re}t{er}it escapid nor
  ypassed. þilk[e] same is ywitnessed or yproued by ryȝt
  to ben eterne. and it byhoueþ by necessite þat þilke
  þinge be alwey p{re}sent to hym self {and} co{m}potent. as        5012
  who seiþ alwey p{re}sent to hym self {and} so myȝty þat al
  by ryȝt at hys plesaunce. {and} þ{a}t he haue al p{re}sent
  þe infinit of þe moeuable tyme.

    [Sidenote: Therefore some philosophers, who had heard that Plato
    believed that this world had neither beginning nor end, falsely
    concluded, that the created universe was coeternal with its
    Creator.]

          wherfore som men
  trowe{n} wrongefully þat whan þei heren þat it semid[e]           5016
  to plato þat þis worlde ne had[de] neuer bygynnynge
  of tyme. ne þat it neu{er}e shal haue faylynge. þei wenen
  i{n} þis man{er}e þat þis worlde ben maked coet{er}ne wiþ
  his makere. as who seiþ. þei wenen þat þis worlde {and}           5020
  god ben maked to-gidre eterne. and it is a wrongful
  wenynge.

    [Sidenote: But it is one thing to be conducted through a life of
    infinite duration, which was Plato’s opinion of the world, and
    another thing to comprehend at once the whole extent of this
    duration as present which, it is manifest, can only belong to the
    Divine mind.]

          for oþer þing is it to ben yladd by lif interminable
  as plato graunted[e] to þe worlde. {and} oþer
  þing is it to embracen to-gidre alle þe p{re}sence to þe lif      5024
  interminable. þe whiche þing it is clere {and} manifest
  þat it is p{ro}pre to þe deuine þouȝt.                      [[pg 173]]

    [Sidenote: Nor ought it to seem to us that God is prior to and
    more ancient than his creatures by the space of time, but rather
    by the simple and undivided properties of his nature.]

          ne it ne sholde nat
  semen to vs þat god is elder þan þinges þat ben ymaked
  by quantite of tyme. but raþer by þe p{ro}prete of hys            5028
  symple nature.

    [Sidenote: The infinite progression of temporal things imitates
    the ever-present condition of an immovable life:]

          for þis ilke infinit[e] moeuyng of temp{or}el
  þinges folwiþ þis p{re}sentarie estat of þe lijf i{n}moeueable.

    [Linenotes:
    4993-4 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    4993 _þe_ (2)--to
    4994 _þat_--the tyme
    4997 _a[l]þoughe_--al-thogh
         [_it_]--from C.
    4999 _worlde_--world
    5001 _swiche_--swych
    5002 _eterne_--from C., MS. eternite
    5003 _life_--lyf
    5004-5-6 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    5006 _ydon_--MS. ydone, C. I-doon
    5007 _alle_--al
    5008-9 _nat_--nawht
    5010 _þilk[e]_--thilke
         _or_--{and}
    5014 _by_--be
    5016 _semid[e]_--semede
    5017 _worlde_--world
         _had[de]_--hadde
    5018 _haue_--han
    5019-20 _worlde_--world
    5022 _yladd_--MS. yladde, C. I-lad
    5023 _worlde_--world
    5024 _embracen_--enbrace
         _alle_--al
         _presence to_--p{re}sent of
    5025 _clere_--cleer]

    [Headnote:
    GOD IS ETERNAL.]

    [Sidenote: and since it cannot copy nor equal it from an immovable
    and simply present state, it passes into motion and into an
    infinite measure of past and future time.]

  {and} so as it ne may nat contrefeten it ne feyne{n}
  it ne ben euene lyke to it. for þe inmoeueablete. þat is          5032
  to seyn þat is i{n} þe eternite of god. ¶ it faileþ {and}
  falleþ in to moeuynge fro þe simplicite of [the] p{re}sence
  of god. {and} disencresiþ to þe infinite quantite of
  fut{ur}e {and} of p{re}terit.

    [Sidenote: But since it cannot possess at once the whole extent of
    its duration, yet, as it never ceases wholly to be, it faintly
    emulates _that_ whose perfection it can neither attain nor
    express, by attaching itself to the present fleeting moment,
    which, because it resembles the durable present time, imparts to
    those things that partake of it an appearance of existence.]

          {and} so as it ne may nat han togidre                     5036
  al þe plente of þe lif. algates ȝitte for as moche as
  it ne cesiþ neuere forto ben in som manere it semeþ
  somde[l] to vs þat it folwiþ {and} resembliþ þilke þing
  þ{a}t it ne may nat attayne to. ne fulfille. {and} byndeþ it      5040
  self to som manere p{re}sence of þis litel {and} swifte
  moment. þe whiche p{re}sence of þis lytele {and} swifte
  moment. for þat it bereþ a manere ymage or lykenesse
  of þe ay dwellynge p{re}sence of god. it graunteþ to              5044
  swiche manere þinges as it bitidiþ to þat it semeþ hem
  þat þise þinges han ben {and} ben

    [Sidenote: But as it cannot stop or abide it pursues its course
    through infinite time, and by gliding along it continues its
    duration, the plenitude of which it could not comprehend, by
    abiding in a permanent state.]

          {and} for [þ{a}t] þe p{re}sence
  of swiche litel moment ne may nat dwelle þer-for
  [it] rauyssid[e] {and} took þe infinit[e] wey of tyme. þat        5048
  is to seyn by successiou{n}. {and} by þis man{er}e it is ydon.
  for þat it sholde continue þe lif in goynge of þe whiche
  lif it ne myȝt[e] nat embrace þe plente in dwellynge.

    [Sidenote: If we would follow Plato in giving things their right
    names, let us say that God is _eternal_ and the world
    _perpetual_.]

  {and} for þi yif we willen putte worþi name[s] to þinges          5052
  {and} folwen plato. lat vs seyn þa{n} soþely þat god is
  et{er}ne. {and} þat þe worlde is p{er}petuel.

    [Sidenote: His knowledge, surpassing the progression of time, is
    ever present, containing the infinite space of past and future
    times, and embraces in his clear insight all things, as if they
    were now transacting.]

          þan syn þat
  euery iugeme{n}t knoweþ {and} comp{re}hendiþ by hys owen
  nature þinges þat ben subiect vnto hym. þere is soþely            5056
  al-wey to god an et{er}ne {and} p{re}sentarie estat. {and} þe
  science of hym þat ouer-passeþ alle
                  temp{or}el moe[ue]m{en}t                    [[pg 174]]
  dwelliþ in þe symplicite of hys p{re}sence {and} embraceþ
  {and} considereþ alle þe infinit spaces of tymes                  5060
  p{re}teritȝ {and} fut{ur}es {and} lokeþ in þis symple knowynge
  alle þinges of p{re}t{er}it ryȝt as þei weren ydoon p{re}sently
  ryȝt now

    [Sidenote: Prescience is, then, a foreknowledge, not of what is to
    come, but of the present and _never-failing now_ (in which God
    sees all things as if immovably present).]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 39 _b_.]]

          ¶ yif þou wolt þan þenke {and} avise{n} þe
  p{re}science by whiche it knoweþ al[le] þi{n}ges *þou ne          5064
  shalt nat demen it as p{re}science of þinges to comen.

    [Linenotes:
    5032 _lyke_--lyk
    5034 [_the_]--from C.
    5039 _somde[l]_--somdel
    5040 _fulfille_--fullfyllen
    5041 _litel_--from C., MS. lykly
    5042 _whiche_--which
         _lytele_--from C., MS. lykly
    5046 _ben_ (1)--yben
         [_þat_]--from C.
    5047 _swiche_--swych
    5048 [_it_]--from C.
    5051 _myȝt[e]_--myhte
    5052 _willen putte_--wollen putten
         _name[s]_--names
    5053 _soþely_--sothly
    5054 _worlde_--world
    5055 _owen_--owne
    5056 _soþely_--sothly
    5057 _al-wey_--al-weys
    5058 _alle_--al
         _moe[ue]ment_--moeueme{n}t
    5063 _þenke_--thinken
         _avisen_--auyse
    5064 _whiche_--which
         _al[le]_--alle]

    [Headnote:
    DEFINITION OF PRESCIENCE.]

  but þou shalt deme{n} [it] more ryȝtfully þat it is science
  of presence or of instaunce þat neuer ne fayleþ.

    [Sidenote: Therefore _foreknowledge_ is not so applicable a term
    as _providence_--for God looks down upon all things from the
    summit of the universe.]

  for whiche it nis nat ycleped p{ro}uidence but it sholde raþer    5068
  be cleped purueaunce þat is establissed ful fer fro ryȝt
  lowe þinges. {and} byholdeþ from a-fer alle þinges ryȝt as
  it were fro þe heye heyȝte of þinges.

    [Sidenote: Do you think that God imposes a necessity on things by
    beholding them? It is not so in human affairs.]

          whi axest þou þan
  or why disputest þou þan þat þilke þinges ben don by              5072
  necessite whiche þat ben yseyen {and} yknowen by þe
  deuyne syȝt. syn þat for soþe men ne maken nat þilke
  þi{n}ges necessarie. whiche þat þe[i] seen be ydoon in
  hir{e} syȝt.

    [Sidenote: Does your view of an action lay any necessity upon it?]

          for addiþ þi byholdynge any necessite to þilke            5076
  þinges þat þou byholdest p{re}sent.

    [Sidenote: _B._ No.]

          ¶ Nay q{uo}d I.

    [Sidenote: _P._ By parity of reason it is clear that whilst you
    see only some things in a limited instant, God sees all things in
    his ever-present time.]

  _p._ Certys þan yif men myȝte maken any digne comparisou{n}
  or collac{i}ou{n} of þe p{re}sence diuine. {and} of þe p{re}
  of mankynde. ryȝt so as ȝe seen so{m}me þinges in þis             5080
  temp{or}el presente. ryȝt so seeþ god alle þinges by hys
  eterne p{re}sent.

    [Sidenote: His Divine prescience therefore does not change the
    nature of things--but only beholds those things as present to him
    which shall in time be produced.]

          ¶ wherfore þis dyuyne p{re}science ne
  chaungeþ nat þe nature ne þe p{ro}prete of þinges but
  byholdeþ swyche þinges present to hym ward. as þei                5084
  shollen bytiden to ȝow ward in tyme to come.

    [Sidenote: Nor does he judge confusedly of them, but knows at one
    view what will necessarily and what will not necessarily happen.]

          ne it ne
  co{n}foundeþ nat þe Iugementȝ of þinges but by of syȝt
  of hys þouȝt he knoweþ þe þinges to comen as wel
  necessarie as nat necessarie. ryȝt so as whan ȝe seen togidre     5088
  a man walke on þe erþe {and} þe sonne arysen in
  [the] heuene. al be it so þat ȝe seen {and} byholde{n} þat
  oon {and} þat oþer to-gidre. ȝit naþeles ȝe demen {and}     [[pg 175]]
  discerne þat þat oon is uolu{n}tarie
                  {and} þat oþer is necessarie.                     5092

    [Linenotes:
    5066 _shalt_--shal
         [_it_]--from C.
    5068 _whiche_--which
    5074-76 _syȝt_--syhte
    5075 _whiche_--which
         _þe[i]_--they
    5085 _come_--comyn
    5086 _of syȝt_--O syhte
    5087 _he knoweþ_--MS. repeats
    5090 [_the_]--from C.
    5092 _discerne_--discernen]

    [Headnote:
    THE NATURE OF DIVINE PRESCIENCE.]

    [Sidenote: The eye of God, seeing all things, doth not alter the
    properties of things, for everything is present to him, though its
    temporal event is future.]

  ¶ Ryȝt so þan [the] deuyne lokynge byholdynge
  alle þi{n}ges vndir hym ne troubleþ nat þe qualite of
  þinges þat ben certeynely p{re}sent to hy{m} ward. but as
  to þe condic{i}ou{n} of tyme for soþe þei ben fut{ur}e.           5096

    [Sidenote: When God knows that anything is to be, he knows at the
    same time that it is not under the necessity of being--but this is
    not conjecture, but certain knowledge founded upon truth.]

  for whiche it folwiþ þat þis nis non oppiniou{n}. but raþer a
  stedfast knowyng ystrengeþed by soþenes. þat whan
  þat god knoweþ any þinge to be he ne vnwoot nat þat
  þilke þinge wanteþ necessite to be. þis is to seyn þat            5100
  whan þat god knoweþ any þinge to bitide. he woot wel
  þat it ne haþ no necessite to bitide.

    [Sidenote: If you insist that _what God foresees shall and must
    happen; and that which cannot do otherwise than happen, must needs
    happen_, and so bind me to admit a necessity, I must confess that
    things are under such a restraint; but it is a truth that we
    scarce can comprehend, unless we be acquainted with the Divine
    counsels.]

          {and} yif þ{o}u seist
  here þat þilke þinge þat god seeþ to bytide it ne may
  nat vnbytide. as who seiþ it mot bitide. ¶ and þilke              5104
  þinge þat þat ne may nat vnbytide it mot bitide by
  necessite. and þat þou streine me to þis name of necessite.
  certys I wol wel confessen {and} byknowe a þinge of
  ful sadde trouþe. but vnneþ shal þere any wyȝt [mowe]             5108
  seen it or comen þer-to. but yif þat he be byholder of þe
  deuyne þouȝte.

    [Sidenote: For I will answer you thus. That the thing which is to
    happen in relation to the Divine knowledge is necessary; but,
    considered in its own nature, seems free and absolute.]

          ¶ for I wol answer{e} þe þus. þat þilke
  þinge þat is future whan it is referred to þe deuyne              5111
  knowy{n}g þan is it necessarie. but certys whan it is vndirstonden
  in hys owen kynde me{n} sen it [is] vtterly fre
  {and} absolut from alle necessite.

    [Sidenote: There are two kinds of necessity--one simple; as men
    must necessarily die--the other is conditional, as if you know a
    man walks he must necessarily walk--for that which is known cannot
    be otherwise than what it is apprehended to be.]

          for certys þer ben two
  maneres of necessites. þat oon necessite is symple as
  þus. þat it byhoueþ by necessite þat alle men be mortal           5116
  or dedely. an oþ{er} necessite is condicionel as þus. yif
  þou wost þat a man walkiþ. it byhoueþ by necessite þat
  he walke. þilke þinge þan þat any wyȝt haþ yknowe to
  be. it ne may ben non oþer weyes þan he knoweþ it to be.          5120

    [Linenotes:
    5093 [_the_]--from C.
    5097 _whiche_--which
    5098 _stedfast_--stidefast
         _soþenes_--sothnesse
    5102 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    5104 _bitide_--bide
    5108 _sadde_--sad
         _vnneþ_--vnnethe
         [_mowe_]--from C.
    5109 _comen_--come
    5110 _þouȝte_--thoght
         _answere_--answeren
    5113 _sen_--MS. sene, C. sen
         [_is_]--from C.
    5117 _dedely_--dedly
    5119 _haþ_--MS. haþe]

    [Headnote:
    PRESCIENCE AND NECESSITY.]

    [Sidenote: But this condition does not infer the absolute
    necessity, for the nature of the thing itself does not here
    constitute the necessity, but the necessity arises from the
    conjunction of the condition.]

  ¶ but þis condicioun ne draweþ nat wiþ hir þilke
  necessite symple. For certys þis necessite condicionel.
  þe p{ro}pre nature of it ne makeþ it nauȝt.
                  but þe adiecc{i}ou{n}                       [[pg 176]]
  of þe condic{i}ou{n} makiþ it.

    [Sidenote: No necessity compels a man to walk who does so
    willingly, but it must be necessary that he walk when he does step
    forward.]

          for no necessite ne constreyneþ                           5124
  a man to [gon / þ{a}t] gooþ by his p{ro}pre wille. al be it
  so þat whan he gooþ þat it is necessarie þat he gooþ.

    [Sidenote: So everything that is present to the eye of Providence
    must assuredly be, although there is nothing in its own nature to
    constitute that necessity.]

  ¶ Ryȝt on þis same manere þan. yif þat þe p{ur}ueaunce
  of god seeþ any þing p{re}sent.

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 40.]]

          þan mot þilke *þinge be                                   5128
  by necessite. al þouȝ þat it ne haue no necessite of hys
  owen nature.

    [Sidenote: Since God beholds all future events proceeding from
    free-will as actually present--these events in relation to Divine
    sight are necessary--yet in relation to themselves they are
    absolutely free.]

          but certys þe fut{ur}es þat bytyden by fredom
  of arbitre god seeþ hem alle to-gidre p{re}sentȝ. þise
  þinges þan [yif] þei ben referred to þe deuyne syȝt.              5132
  þan ben þei maked necessarie to þe condic{i}ou{n} of þe
  deuyne knowynge. but certys yif þilke þinges ben considred
  by hem self þei ben absolut of necessite. {and} ne
  forleten nat ne cesen nat of þe liberte of hire owe{n}            5136
  natur{e}.

    [Sidenote: All things which God foresees shall surely come to
    pass; but some of these things proceed from free-will, which
    although they happen,]

          þan certys wiþ outen doute alle þe þing{us}
  shollen be doon whiche þat god woot by-forn þat þei
  ben to comen. but so{m}me of hem comen {and} bitiden of
  [free] arbitre or of fre wille. þat al be it so þat þei bytiden.  5140

    [Linenotes:
    5121 _condicioun_--from C., MS. _necessite_
    5123 _nauȝt_--nat
    5125 [_gon þat_]--from C.
         _wille_--wil
    5128 _mot_--MS. mote, C. mot
    5131 _presentȝ_--p{re}sent
    5132 [_yif_]--from C.
         _syȝt_--syhte
    5137 _wiþ outen_--w{i}t{h}-owte
    5138 _whiche_--which
    5139 _somme_--som
    5140 [_free_]--from C.]

    [Headnote:
    PROVIDENCE AND HUMAN INTENTIONS.]

    [Sidenote: yet do not thereby change their nature, as before they
    happened they had it in their power not to happen.]

  ȝit algates ne lese þei nat hire p{ro}pre nature ne
  beynge. by þe whiche first or þat þei were doon þei
  hadden power nat to han bitidd.

    [Sidenote: But it is a thing of no moment then, whether things are
    necessary in their own nature or not, since by the condition of
    the Divine knowledge they fell out as if they were necessitated.]

          _Boece._ what is þis
  to seyn þa{n} q{uo}d I. þat þinges ne ben nat necessarie by       5144
  hire p{ro}pre nature. so as þei comen in alle maneres in
  þe lykenesse of necessite by þe condic{i}ou{n} of þe deuyne
  science.

    [Sidenote: _P._ The difference is explained in the instances
    lately given you, of the man walking, &c.]

          {Ph}ilosoph{ie}. þis is þe difference q{uo}d she. þat
  þo þinges þat I p{ur}posed[e] þe a litel here byforn. þat         5148
  is to seyn þe sonne arysynge {and} þe man walkynge þat
  þerwhiles þat þilke þinges ben ydon. þei ne myȝten nat
  ben vndon.

    [Sidenote: The event of the former was necessary before it befell,
    whereas that of the latter was altogether free.]

          naþeles þat oon of hem or it was ydon it
  byhoued[e] by necessite þat it was ydon. but nat þat              5152
  oþ{er}. ryȝt so it is here þat þe þinges þat god haþ p{re}sent.
  wiþ outen doute þei shulle ben.
                  but so{m}me of hem descendiþ                [[pg 177]]
  of þe nature of þinges as þe sonne arysynge.
  {and} so{m}me descendiþ of þe power of þe doers as þe man         5156
  walkynge.

    [Sidenote: _B._ Then I did not go from the truth when I said that
    some things referred to the Divine knowledge are necessary, while
    considered in themselves they are not under the bond of
    necessity.]

          ¶ þan seide I. no wronge þat yif þat þise
  þinges ben referred to þe deuyne knowynge þan ben þei
  necessarie. {and} yif þei ben considered by he{m} selfe þan
  ben þei absolut from þe bonde of necessite.

    [Sidenote: In the same way everything that is an object of sense
    is _general_ when considered in relation to reason--but particular
    when considered by itself.]

          ryȝt so [as]                                              5160
  alle þinges þat appiereþ or sheweþ to þe wittes yif þou
  referre it to resou{n} it is vniuersel. {and} yif þou referre
  it or look[e] it to it self. þan is it sy{n}guler.

    [Sidenote: But you may say--If I am able to change my purpose I
    can deceive providence by changing that which she hath foreseen I
    would do.]

          but now
  yif þou seist þus þ{a}t yif it be in my power to chaunge          5164
  my p{ur}pose. þan shal I voide þe p{ur}ueaunce of god.
  whan þat p{er}auenture I shal han chau{n}ged þo þinges
  þat he knoweþ byforn. þan shal I answere þe þus

    [Linenotes:
    5141 _ne_ (2)--C. in
    5142 _whiche_--which
         _were doon_--weeryn Idoon
    5143 _bitidd_--MS. bitidde, C. bityd
    5148 _purposed[e]_--p{ur}posede
    5150 _ydon_--MS. ydone, C. I-doon
         _myȝten_--myhte
    5151 _vndon_--MS. vndone, C. vndoon
    5151-2 _ydon_--MS. ydone, C. I-doon
    5152 _byhoued[e]_--houyd
    5153 _haþ_--MS. haþe
    5154 _wiþ outen_--with-owte
         _shulle_--shollen
    5156 _doers_--doeres
    5157 _wronge_--wrong
    5159 _selfe_--self
    5160 _from_--fro
         _bonde_--bond
         [_as_]--from C.
    5163 _look[e]_--loke
    5166 _þo_--the]

    [Headnote:
    GOD’S KNOWLEDGE FIXED AND UNCHANGED.]

    [Sidenote: _P._ You may perhaps alter your purpose--but as
    providence takes note of your intentions, you cannot deceive her;
    for you cannot escape the divine prescience though you have the
    power, through a free-will, to vary and diversify your actions.]

  ¶ Certys þou maist wel chaungen þi p{ur}pos but for as            5168
  mochel as þe p{re}sent soþenesse of þe deuyne p{ur}ueaunce
  byholdeþ þat þou mayst chau{n}ge{n} þi p{ur}pose. {and}
  wheþir þou wolt chaunge it or no. {and} whider-ward
  þat þou tourne it. þ{o}u maist nat eschewen þe deuyne             5172
  p{re}science ryȝt as þou ne mayst nat fleen þe syȝt of þe
  p{re}sent eye. al þouȝ þat þou tourne þi self by þi fre
  wille in to dyu{er}se acc{i}ou{n}.

    [Sidenote: But you may say--Shall the divine knowledge be changed
    according to the mutability of my disposition, and the
    apprehensions of the Deity fluctuated with my changing purposes?]

          ¶ But þou mayst seyn
  aȝeyne how shal it þan be. shal nat þe dyuyne science             5176
  ben chaunged by my disposic{i}ou{n} whan þat I wol o
  þing now {and} now an oþer. {and} þilke p{re}science ne
  semeþ it nat to enterchau{n}ge stoundes of knowynges.
  as who seiþ. ne shal it nat seme to vs þat þe deuyne              5180
  p{re}science enterchaungeþ hys dyuers stoundes of knowynge.
  so þat it knowe so{m}me tyme o þing {and} so{m}me tyme
  þe contrarie.

    [Sidenote: No, indeed! The view of the Deity foreruns every future
    event, and brings it back into the presence of his own knowledge,
    which does not vary, as you imagine, to conform to your caprices,
    but remaining fixed, at once foresees and comprehends all your
    changes.]

          ¶ No for soþe. [q{uod} I] for þe deuyne syȝt
  renneþ to-forne {and} seeþ alle fut{ur}es {and} clepeþ hem aȝein  5184
  {and} reto{ur}niþ hem to þe p{re}sence of
                  hys p{ro}pre knowynge.                      [[pg 178]]
  ne he ne entrechaungeþ nat [so] as þou wenest þe
  stoundes of forknowyng [as] now þis now þat. but he
  ay dwellynge comiþ byforn {and} enbraceþ at o strook              5188
  alle þi mutac{i}ou{n}s.

    [Sidenote: This faculty of comprehending and seeing all things as
    present, God does not receive from the issue of futurities, but
    from the simplicity of his own nature.]

          and þis p{re}sence to co{m}p{re}henden
  {and} to sen alle þinges. god ne haþ nat take{n} it of þe
  bitydynge of þinges forto come. but of hys p{ro}pre symplicite.

    [Linenotes:
    5169 _soþenesse_--sothnesse
    5170 _chaungen_--chaunge
    5173 _syȝt_--syhte
    5175 _wille_--wyl
    5177 _wol_--wole
    5179 _enterchaunge_--MS. enterchau{n}gyng, C. entrechau{n}ge
    5181 _hys_--hise
    5182 _somme_ (1)--su{m}
         _somme_ (2)--som
    5183 _syȝt_--syhte
    5184 _to-forne_--to-forn
    5186 [_so_]--from C.
    5187 [_as_]--from C.
    5188 _comiþ_--comth
    5190 _haþ_--MS. haþe]

    [Headnote:
    AN ANSWER TO FORMER OBJECTIONS.]

    [Sidenote: Here, then, is an answer to your former objection--that
    it is folly to think that our future actions and events are the
    causes of the prescience of God.]

  ¶ and her by is assoiled þilke þing þat þou                       5192
  puttest a litel her byforne. þat is to seyne þat it is vnworþi
  þinge to seyn þat oure futures ȝeuen cause of þe
  science of god

    [Sidenote: For the Divine mind, embracing and comprehending all
    things by a present knowledge, plans and directs all things and is
    not dependent upon futurity.]

    [Sidenote: [* fol. 41 _b_.]]

          ¶ For c{er}tys *þis strengþe of þe deuyne
  science whiche þat enbraceþ alle þinge by his p{re}sentarie       5196
  knowynge establisseþ manere to alle þi{n}g{us} {and} it
  ne awiþ nat to lattere þinges.

    [Sidenote: Since no necessity is imposed upon things by the Divine
    prescience, there remains to men an inviolable freedom of will.]

          {and} syn þat þise þinges
  ben þus. þat is to seyn syn þat necessite nis nat in
  þinges by þe deuyne p{re}science. þan is þer fredom of            5200
  arbitre. þat dwelleþ hool {and} vnwemmed to mortal men.

    [Sidenote: And those laws are just which assign rewards and
    punishments to men possessing free-will.]

  ne þe lawes ne p{ur}pose nat wikkedly meedes {and} peynes
  to þe willynges of men þat ben vnbounde {and} quit of
  alle necessite.

    [Sidenote: Moreover, God, who sits on high, foreknows all things,
    and the eternal presence of his knowledge concurs with the future
    quality of our actions, dispensing rewards to good and punishments
    to evil men.]

          ¶ And god byholder {and} forwiter of                      5204
  alle þinges dwelliþ aboue {and} þe p{re}sent eternite of hys
  syȝt renneþ alwey wiþ þe dyuerse qualite of oure dedes
  dispe{n}syng {and} ordeynynge medes to good[e] men. {and}
  tourmentȝ to wicked men.

    [Sidenote: Nor are our hopes and prayers reposed in, and addressed
    to God in vain, which when they are sincere cannot be
    inefficacious nor unsuccessful.]

          ne in ydel ne i{n} veyn ne ben                            5208
  þer nat put in god hope {and} p{ra}yeres. þat ne mowen
  nat ben vnspedful ne wiþ oute effect whan þei ben ryȝtful

    [Sidenote: Resist and turn from vice--honour and love virtue,
    exalt your mind to God (the truest hope), offer up your prayers
    with humility.]

  ¶ wiþstond þan {and} eschewe þou vices. worshippe
  {and} loue þou vertus. areise þi corage to ryȝtful hoopes.        5212
  ȝelde þou humble p{re}iers an heyȝe.

    [Sidenote: If you are sincere you will feel that you are under an
    obligation to lead a good and virtuous life, inasmuch as all your
    actions and works are done in the presence of an all-discerning
    Judge.]

          grete necessite of
  prowesse {and} vertue is encharged {and} comaunded to
  ȝow yif ȝe nil nat dissimulen. ¶ Syn þat ȝe worchen
  {and} doon. þat is to seyn ȝoure dedes {and} ȝoure workes         5216
  by-fore þe eyen of þe Iuge þat seeþ {and} demeþ alle        [[pg 179]]
  þinges. [To whom be goye {and} worshipe bi Infynyt
  tymes / AMEN.]

  EXPLICIT LIBER QUINTUS. {ET} VLTIM{US}.

    [Linenotes:
    5193 _seyne_--seyn
    5196 _whiche_--which
    5198 _awiþ_--oweth
    5199 _þat is to----prescience_--omitted
    5203 _vnbounde_--vnbownden
         _quit_--quite
    5206 _syȝt_--sihte
    5207 _good[e]_--goode
    5211 _wiþstond_--MS. wiþstonde, C. withstond
    5213 _an heyȝe_--a heygh
         _grete_--Gret
    5215 _worchen_--workyn
    5216 {and} (2)--or
    5217 _by-fore_--by-forn
    5218 [_To whom----Amen_]--from C.; MS. reads _et cetera_ after
    ‘þinges.’ C. ends with the following rubric:

  Explicit expliceat luder{e} scriptor eat
  Finito libro sit laus {et} gloria {Christ}o
  Corpore scribentis sit gr{ati}a cunctipotentis]



                                                              [[pg 180]]
    [Headnote:
    ÆTAS PRIMA.]

APPENDIX.

    [_Camb. Univ. MS._ Ii. 3. 21, _fol._ 52 _b_.]


Chawc{er} vp-on this fyfte met{ur} of the second book

  ++A Blysful lyf a paysyble {and} a swete
  Ledden the poeples in the former age
  They helde hem paied of the fructes þ{a}t þey ete
  Whiche þ{a}t the feldes yaue hem by vsage                        4
  They ne weer{e} nat forpampred w{i}t{h} owtrage
  Onknowyn was þ^e quyerne {and} ek the melle
  They eten mast hawes {and} swych pownage
  And dronken wat{er} of the colde welle                           8

  ¶ Yit nas the grownd nat wownded w{i}t{h} þ^e plowh
  But corn vp-sprong vnsowe of mannes hond
  Þe which they gnodded {and} eete nat half .I.-nowh
  No man yit knewe the forwes of his lond                         12
  No man the fyr owt of the flynt yit fonde
  Vn-koruen and vn-grobbed lay the vyne
  No man yit in the morter spices grond
  To clarre ne to sawse of galentyne                              16

  ¶ No Madyr welde or wod no litester{e}
  Ne knewh / the fles was of is former hewe
  No flessh ne wyste offence of egge or sper{e}
  No coyn ne knewh man which is fals or trewe                     20
  No ship yit karf the wawes grene {and} blewe
  No Marchau{n}t yit ne fette owt-landissh war{e}
  No batails trompes for the werres folk ne knewe
  Ne towres heye {and} walles rownde or square                    24

  ¶ What sholde it han avayled to werreye                     [[pg 181]]
  Ther lay no p{ro}fyt ther was no rychesse

    [Sidenote: [fol. 53.]]

  But corsed was the tyme .I. dar+ wel seye
  Þ{a}t men fyrst dede hir swety bysynesse                        28
  To grobbe vp metal lurkynge in dirkenesse
  {And} in þe Ryuerys fyrst gemmys sowhte
  Allas than sprong+ vp al the cursydnesse
  Of coueytyse þ{a}t fyrst owr sorwe browhte                      32

  ¶ Thyse tyrau{n}tȝ put hem gladly nat in pres
  No places wyldnesse ne no busshes for to wynne
  Ther pou{er}te is as seith diogenes
  Ther as vitayle ek is so skars {and} thinne                     36
  Þ{a}t nat but mast or apples is ther Inne
  But þ{er} as bagges ben {and} fat vitaile
  Ther wol they gon {and} spar{e} for no synne
  W{i}t{h} al hir ost the Cyte forto a-sayle                      40

  ¶ Yit was no paleis chaumbres ne non halles
  In kaues {and} wodes softe {and} swete
  Sleptin this blyssed folk+ w{i}t{h}-owte walles
  On gras or leues in p{ar}fyt Ioye reste {and} quiete            44
  No down of fetheres ne no bleched shete
  Was kyd to hem but in surte they slepte
  Hir hertes weer{e} al on w{i}t{h}-owte galles
  Eu{er}ych of hem his feith to oother kepte                      48

  ¶ Vnforged was the hawberke {and} the plate
  Þ^e lambyssh poeple voyded of alle vyse
  Hadden no fantesye to debate
  But eche of hem wolde oother wel cheryce                        52
  No p{r}ide non enuye non Auaryce
  No lord no taylage by no tyranye
  Vmblesse {and} pes good feith the emp{er}ice
   . . . . . . . . . . . . . .                                    56

  ¶ Yit was nat Iuppit{er} the lykerous                       [[pg 182]]
  Þ{a}t fyrst was fadyr of delicasie
  Come in this world ne nembroth desyrous
  To regne had nat maad his towres hye                            60
  Allas allas now may [men] wepe And crye
  For in owr{e} dayes nis but couetyse
  Dowblenesse {and} tresou{n} {and} enuye
  Poyson {and} manslawhtr{e} {and} mordre in sondry wyse          64

    [Linenotes:
    39, 40 MS. transposes the lines
    44 _On_--MS. Or
    56 A line omitted, but no gap left for one.]


    [Headnote:
    BALADES DE VILAGE SANZ PEINTURE.]

CAUS{ER} / BALADES DE VILAGE SANZ PEINT{UR}E

  ¶ This wrecched worlde-is t{ra}nsmutaciou{n}
  As wele / or wo / now poeer{e} {and} now hono{ur}
  W{i}t{h}-owten ordyr or wis descresyou{n}
  Gou{er}ned is by fortunes errour                                 4
  But natheles the lakke of hyr fauowr+
  Ne may nat don me syngen thowh I. deye

    [Sidenote: [fol. 53 _b_.]]

  Iay tout p{er}du mou{n} temps {et} mou{n} labour
  For fynaly fortune .I. the deffye                                8

  ¶ Yit is me left the lyht of my resou{n}
  To knowen frend fro foo in thi merowr+
  So mochel hath yit thy whirlynge vp {and} down
  I-tawht me for to knowe in an howr                              12
  But trewely no fors of thi reddowr+
  To hym þ{a}t ou{er} hym self hath the maystrye
  My suffysau{n}ce shal be my socour+
  For fynaly fortune I. thee deffye                               16

  ¶ O socrates þ{o}u stidfast chau{m}pyou{n}
  She neu{er} myht[e] be thi tormentowr
  Thow neu{er} dreddest hyr opp{re}ssyou{n}
  Ne in hyr cher{e} fownde thow no sauour+                        20
  Thow knewe wel the deseyte of hyr colour+
  And þ{a}t hir most[e] worshipe is to lye
  I knew hir ek a fals dissimulour+
  For fynaly fortune .I. the deffye                               24

                                                              [[pg 183]]
LE RESPOU{N}CE DE FORTUNE A PLEINTIF.

  ¶ No man ys wrechchyd but hym self yt wene
  {And} he þ{a}t hath hym self hat suffisaunce
  Whi seysthow tha{n}ne y am [to] the so kene
  Þ{a}t hast thy self owt of my gou{er}nau{n}ce                   28
  Sey thus grau{n}t m{er}cy of thyn habou{n}dau{n}ce
  That thow hast lent or this why wolt þ{o}u stryue
  What woost thow yit how y the wol auau{n}ce
  {And} ek thow hast thy beste frende a-lyue                      32

  ¶ I haue the tawht deuisyou{n} by-twene
  Frend of effect+ {and} frende of cowntenau{n}ce
  The nedeth nat the galle of no hyene
  Þ{a}t cureth eyen derkyd for penau{n}ce                         36
  Now se[st] thow cleer þ{a}t weere in ignorau{n}ce
  Yit halt thin ancre {and} yit thow mayst aryue
  Ther bownte berth the keye of my substau{n}ce
  {And} ek þ{o}u hast thy beste frende alyue                      40

  ¶ How manye haue .I. refused to sustigne
  Syn .I. the fostred haue in thy plesau{n}ce
  Wolthow thanne make a statute on þy quyene
  Þ{a}t .I. shal ben ay at thy ordynau{n}ce                       44
  Thow born art in my regne of varyau{n}ce
  Abowte the wheel w{i}t{h} oother most thow dryue
  My loore is bet than wikke is thi greuau{n}ce
  {And} ek þou hast thy beste frende a-lyue                       48

    [Linenotes:
    37 _se[st]_--partly erased and _ist_ written on it in a later hand.
    41 _igne_ of _sustigne_ is in a later hand.]


LE RESPOU{N}CE DU PLEINTIF COU{N}TR{E} FORTUNE.

    [Sidenote: [fol. 54.]]

  ¶ Thy loor{e} y dempne / it is adu{er}syte
  My frend maysthow nat reuen blynde goddesse
  Þ{a}t .I. thy frendes knowe .I. thanke to the
  Tak hem agayn / lat hem go lye on p{re}sse                      52
  The negardye in kepynge hyr rychesse
  P{re}nostik is thow wolt hir+ towr+ asayle
  Wikke appetyt comth ay before sykenesse                     [[pg 184]]
  In general this rewle may nat fayle                             56


LE RESPOU{N}CE DE FORTUNE COU{N}TR{E} LE PLEINTIF

  ¶ Thow pynchest at my mutabylyte
  For .I. the lente a drope of my rychesse
  And now me lykyth to w{i}t{h}-drawe me
  Whi sholdysthow my realte ap{re}sse                             60
  The see may ebbe {and} flowen moor{e} or lesse
  The welkne hath myht to shyne reyne or hayle
  Ryht so mot .I. kythen my brutelnesse
  In general this rewle may nat fayle                             64


LE PLEINTIF

  ¶ Lo excussyou{n} of the maieste
  Þ{a}t al purueyeth of his ryhtwysnesse
  That same thinge fortune clepyn ye
  Ye blynde beestys ful of lewednesse                             68
  The heuene hath p{ro}prete of sykyrnesse
  This world hath eu{er} resteles trauayle
  Thy laste day is ende of myn inter[e]sse
  In general this rewele may nat fayle                            72


LENUOY DE FORTUNE

  ¶ Prynses .I. prey yow of yowr{e} gentilesses
  Lat nat this man on me thus crye {and} pleyne
  And .I. shal quyte yow yowr{e} bysynesse
  At my requeste as thre of yow or tweyne                         76
  Þ{a}t but yow lest releue hym of hys peyne
  Preyeth hys best frend of his noblesse
  That to som beter{e} estat he may attayne


       *       *       *       *       *
           *       *       *       *


_CHAUCER’S TEXT ONLY_

The following section contains the text alone of Chaucer’s translation
of _De Consolatione Philosophiae_, without the editor’s annotations.
It is followed by the Glossarial Index.



LIBER PRIMUS.


INCIPIT LIBER BOICII DE CO{N}SOLAC{I}O{N}E PHILOSOPHIE.

Car{m}i{n}a qui q{u}onda{m} studio flore{n}te p{er}egi.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrste Met{ur}.]]

++Allas I wepyng am constreined to bygynne vers of sorouful matere.
¶ Þat whilom in florysching studie made delitable ditees. For loo
rendyng muses of poetes enditen to me þinges to be writen. and drery
v{er}s of wrecchednes weten my face wiþ v{er}ray teers. ¶ At þe leest no
drede ne myȝt[e] ouer-come þo muses. þat þei ne were{n} felawes {and}
folweden my wey. þat is to seyne when I was exiled. þei þat weren glorie
of my youȝth whilom weleful {and} grene co{n}forten now þe sorouful
werdes of me olde man. for elde is comen vnwarly vpon me hasted by þe
harmes þat I haue. {and} sorou haþ comau{n}ded his age to be in me.
¶ Heeres hore ben schad ouertymelyche vpon myne heued. and þe slak[e]
skyn trembleþ vpon myn emty body. þilk[e] deeþ of men is welful þat ne
comeþ not in ȝeres þat ben swete (.i. mirie.) but comeþ to wrecches
often yclepid.

¶ Allas allas wiþ how deef an eere deeþ cruel to{ur}neþ awey fro
wrecches {and} naieþ to closen wepyng eyen. ¶ While fortune vnfeiþful
fauored[e] me wiþ lyȝte goodes (.s. temp{or}els.) þe sorouful houre þat
is to seyne þe deeþ had[de] almost dreynt myne heued. ¶ But now for
fortune clowdy haþ chaunged hir disceyuable chere to me warde. myn
vnpitouse lijf draweþ a long vnagreable dwellynges in me. ¶ O ȝe my
frendes what or wherto auaunted[e] ȝe me to be weleful: for he þat haþ
fallen stood not i{n} stedfast degree.


HIC DUM MECUM TACITUS.

  [Sidenote: [The firste p{ro}se.]]

++IN þe mene while þat I stille recorded[e] þise þinges wiþ my self.
{and} markede my wepli compleynte wiþ office of poyntel. I saw stondyng
aboue þe heyȝt of my heued a woman of ful greet reuerence by semblaunt
hir eyen brennyng {and} clere seing ouer þe comune myȝt of men. wiþ a
lijfly colo{ur} {and} wiþ swiche vigoure {and} strenkeþ þat it ne
myȝt[e] not be emptid. ¶ Al were it so þat sche was ful of so greet age.
þat men ne wolde not trowe i{n} no manere þat sche were of oure elde. þe
stature of hir was of a doutous iugement. for su{m}tyme sche
constreyned[e] {and} schronk hir selue{n} lyche to þe comune mesure of
men. {and} su{m}tyme it semed[e] þat sche touched[e] þe heuene wiþ þe
heyȝte of hir heued. and when sche hef hir heued heyer sche p{er}ced[e]
þe selue heuene. so þat þe syȝt of men lokyng was i{n} ydel. ¶ Hir
cloþes weren maked of ryȝt delye þredes {and} subtil crafte of
p{er}durable matere. þe wyche cloþes sche hadde wouen wiþ hir owen
hondes: as I knew wel aftir by hir selfe. declaryng {and} schewyng to me
þe beaute. þe wiche cloþes a derkenes of a forleten and dispised elde
had[de] duskid {and} dirkid as it is wo{n}t to dirken by-smoked ymages.
¶ In þe neþerest[e] hem or bordure of þese cloþes me{n} redden ywouen in
swiche a gregkysche .P. þat signifieþ þe lijf actif. And abouen þ{a}t
l{ett}re in þe heyȝest[e] bordure a grekysche T. þat signifieþ þe lijf
contemplatif. ¶ And by-twene þese two l{ett}res þere weren seien degrees
nobly wrouȝt in manere of laddres. By wyche degrees men myȝt[en] clymbe
fro þe neþemast[e] l{ett}re to þe ouermast[e]. ¶ Naþeles hondes of su{m}
men hadde korue þ{a}t cloþe by vyolence {and} by strenkeþ. ¶ And
eueryche man of hem hadde born away syche peces as he myȝte geet[e].
¶ And forsoþe þis forsaide woman ber bookes in hir ryȝt honde. {and} in
hir lefte honde sche ber a ceptre. ¶ And when sche sauȝ þese poetical
muses ap{ro}chen aboute my bedde. {and} endytyng wordes to my wepynges.
sche was a lytel ameued and glowed[e] wiþ cruel eyen. ¶ Who q{uo}d sche
haþ suffred ap{ro}chen to þis seek[e] man þise comune strumpetis of
siche a place þat men clepen þe theatr{e}. ¶ Þe wyche only ne asswagen
not his sorowes. wiþ no remedies. but þei wolde fede {and} norysche hem
wiþ swete venym. ¶ Forsoþe þise ben þo þat wiþ þornes {and} prykkynges
of talentȝ or affecciou{n}s wiche þat ben no þing frutefiyng nor
p{ro}fitable destroyen þe cornes plenteuouse of frutes of reson. ¶ For
þei holden þe hertes of men i{n} usage. but þei ne delyuere not folk fro
maladye. but if ȝe muses hadde wiþdrawen fro me wiþ ȝoure flateries. any
vnkonnyng {and} vnp{ro}fitable man as men ben wont to fynde comunely
amonges þe peple. I wolde wene suffre þe lasse greuously. ¶ For-why in
syche an vnp{ro}fitable man myne ententes weren no þing endamaged. ¶ But
ȝe wiþdrawen me þis man þat haþ ben norysched in studies or scoles of
Eleaticis {and} of achademicis in grece. ¶ But goþ now raþer awey ȝe
meremaydenes wyche ben swete til it be at þe laste. {and} suffreþ þis
man to be cured {and} heled by myne muses. þat is to say by notful
sciences. ¶ And þus þis compaygnie of muses I-blamed casten wroþely þe
chere adou{n}ward to þe erþe {and} schewyng by redenesse hir schame þei
passeden sorowfuly þe þreschefolde. ¶ And I of whom þe syȝt plonged i{n}
teres was derked so þat I ne myȝt[e] not knowe what þat woman was of so
i{m}perial auctorite. ¶ I wex al a-besid {and} astoned. {and} caste my
syȝt adoune in to þe erþe. {and} bygan stille forto abide what sche
wolde don afterwarde. ¶ Þo come sche nere {and} sette hir doun vpon þe
vterrest[e] corner of my bedde. {and} sche byholdyng my chere þat was
cast to þe erþe heuy {and} greuous of wepyng. co{m}pleinede wiþ þise
wordes þ{a}t I schal sey þe p{er}t{ur}bac{i}ou{n} of my þouȝt.


HEU Q{UAM} PRECIPITI MERSA PROFUNDO.

  [Sidenote: [The 2de Met{ur}.]]

++Allas how þe þouȝt of man dreint in ouer þrowyng depnesse dulleþ {and}
forletiþ hys p{ro}pre clerenesse. myntynge to gone in to foreyne
derknesses as ofte as hys anoious bisines wexiþ wiþ-oute{n} mesure.
þ{a}t is dryuen to {and} fro wiþ worldly wyndes. ¶ Þis man þat su{m}tyme
was fre to who{m} þe heuene was open {and} knowen {and} was wont to gone
in heuenelyche paþes. {and} sauȝ þe lyȝtnesse of þe rede sunne. {and}
sauȝ þe sterres of þe colde moone. {and} wyche sterre i{n} heuene vseþ
wandryng risorses yflit by dyuerse speres. ¶ Þis man ouer comere hadde
co{m}p{re}hendid al þis by noumbre. of accountyng in astronomye. ¶ And
ouer þis he was wont to seche þe causes whennes þe sounyng wy{n}des
moeuen {and} bisien þe smoþe water of þe see. {and} what spirit turneþ
þe stable heuene. {and} whi þe sterre ryseþ oute of þe reede eest. to
falle in þe westren wawes. and what attempriþ þe lusty houres of þe
fyrste somer sesou{n} þat hiȝteþ {and} apparaileþ þe erþe wiþ rosene
floures. ¶ And who makeþ þat plenteuouse autu{m}pne in fulle ȝeres
fletiþ wiþ heuy grapes. ¶ And eke þis ma{n} was wont to telle þe
dyuerses causes of nature þat weren yhid. ¶ Allas now lieþ he emptid of
lyȝt of hys þouȝt. {and} hys nekke is p{re}ssid wiþ heuy cheynes {and}
bereþ his chere enclined adoune for þe greet[e] weyȝt. and is
constreyned to loke on foule erþe.


SET MEDICINE INQUIT TEMPUS.

  [Sidenote: [The ij^de p{ro}se.]]

++Bvt tyme is now q{uo}d sche of medicine more þen of compleynte.
¶ Forsoþe þen sche entendyng to me warde wiþ al þe lokyng of hir eyen
saide. ¶ Art not þou he q{uo}d sche þat su{m}tyme I-norschid wiþ my
mylke {and} fostre[d] wiþ my meetes were ascaped {and} comen to corage
of a p{er}fit man. ¶ Certys I ȝaf þe syche armures þat ȝif þou þi self
ne haddest first caste hem away. þei schulden haue defendid þe in
sykernesse þat may not be ouer-comen. ¶ Knowest þou me not. Why art þou
stille. is it for schame or for astonynge. It were me leuer þat it were
for schame. but it semeþ me þat astony{n}ge haþ opp{re}ssed þe. ¶ And
whan sche say me not oonly stille. but wiþ-outen office of tonge {and}
al doumbe. sche leide hir honde softely vpon my brest {and} seide.
¶ Here nis no p{er}il q{uod} sche. ¶ He is fallen in to a litargie.
whiche þat is a comune sekenes to hertes þat ben desceiued. ¶ He haþ a
litel forȝeten hym self. but certis he schal lyȝtly reme{m}bren hym
self. ¶ Ȝif so be þat he haþ knowe{n} me or now. {and} þat he may so
done I wil wipe a litel hys eyen. þat ben derked by þe cloude of mortel
þinges ¶ Þise wordes seide sche. and wiþ þe lappe of hir garment yplitid
in a frounce sche dried[e] myn eyen þat were ful of þe wawes of my
wepynges.


TUNC ME DISCUSSA.

  [Sidenote: [The 3^de Met{ur}.]]

++Þus when þat nyȝt was discussed {and} chased awey. derknesses
forleften me. {and} to myn eyen repeyre aȝeyne her firste strenkeþ. and
ryȝt by ensample as þe sonne is hid when þe sterres ben clustred. þat is
to sey whe{n} sterres ben couered wiþ cloudes by a swifte wynde þat hyȝt
chorus. {and} þat þe firmame{n}t stont derked by wete ploungy cloudes.
and þat þe sterres not apperen vpo{n} heuene. ¶ So þat þe nyȝt semeþ
sprad vpo{n} erþe. ¶ Yif þan þe wynde þat hyȝt borias sent out of þe
kaues of þe contre of Trace betiþ þis nyȝt. þat is to seyn chasiþ it
away {and} descouereþ þe closed day. ¶ Þan schineþ pheb{us} yshaken wiþ
sodeyne lyȝt {and} smyteþ wiþ hys bemes i{n} m{er}uely{n}g eyen.


HAUT ALITER TRISTICIE.

  [Sidenote: [The 3^de p{ro}se.]]

++Ryȝt so {and} none oþer wyse þe cloudes of sorowe dissolued {and} don
awey. ¶ I took heuene. {and} receyuede mynde to knowe þe face of my
fyciscien. ¶ So þat I sette myne eyen on hir {and} festned[e] my lokyng.
I byholde my norice philosophie. in whos houses I hadde conuersed {and}
haunted fro my ȝouþe. {and} I seide þus. ¶ O þou maistresse of alle
uertues descendid fro þe souereyne sete. Whi art þou comen in to þis
solitarie place of myn exil. ¶ Art þou comen for þ{o}u art mad coupable
wiþ me of fals[e] blames. ¶ O q{uod} sche my norry scholde I forsake þe
now. and scholde I not parte wiþ þe by comune trauaille þe charge þat
þou hast suffred for envie of my name. ¶ Certis it nar[e] not leueful ne
sittyng to philosophie to leten wiþ-outen compaignie þe wey of hym þat
is i{n}nocent. ¶ Scholde I þan redoute my blame {and} agrisen as þouȝ
þer were byfallen a newe þing. q. d. non. ¶ For trowest þou þat
philosophi be now alþerfirst assailed i{n} p{er}ils by folk of wicked[e]
maneres. ¶ Haue I not stryuen wiþ ful greet strife in olde tyme byfore
þe age of my plato aȝeins þe foolhardines of foly {and} eke þe same
plato lyuyng. hys maistre socrates deserued[e] victorie of vnryȝtful
deeþ in my presence. ¶ Þe heritage of wyche socrates. þe h{er}itage is
to seyne þe doctrine of þe whiche soc{ra}tes in hys oppiniou{n} of
felicite þat I clepe welfulnesse ¶ Whan þat þe people of epicuriens
{and} stoyciens {and} many oþer enforceden hem to go rauische eueryche
man for his part þat is to seyne. þat to eueryche of hem wolde drawen to
þe defence of his oppiniou{n} þe wordes of socrates. ¶ Þei as in
p{ar}tie of hir preye todrowe{n} me criynge {and} debatyng þer aȝeins.
{and} tornen {and} torente{n} my cloþes þat I hadde woue{n} wiþ myn
handes. {and} wiþ þe cloutes þat þei hadden arased oute of my cloþes.
þei wenten awey wenyng þat I hadde gon wiþ he{m} euery dele. In whiche
epicuryens {and} stoyciens. for as myche as þer semed[e] so{m}me traces
{and} steppes of myne habit. þe folye of men wenyng þo epicuryens {and}
stoyciens my familers p{er}uertede (.s. p{er}sequend{o}) so{m}me þoruȝ
þe errour of þe wikked[e] or vnkunnyng[e] multitude of hem. ¶ Þis is to
seyne for þei semeden philosophres: þei weren p{ur}sued to þe deeþ and
slayn. ¶ So yif þou hast not knowen þe exilynge of anaxogore. ne þe
empoysenyng of socrates. ne þe to{ur}mentȝ of ȝeno for þei [weren]
straungers. ¶ Ȝit myȝtest þou haue knowe{n} þe senectiens {and} þe
Canyos {and} þe sorancis of wyche folk þe renou{n} is neyþer ouer oolde
ne vnsolempne. ¶ Þe whiche men no þing ellys ne brouȝt[e] hem to þe deeþ
but oonly for þei weren enfourmed of my maneres. {and} semede{n} moste
vnlyke to þe studies of wicked folk. ¶ And forþi þou auȝtest not to
wondre þouȝ þ{a}t I in þe bitter see of þis lijf be fordryuen wiþ
tempestes blowyng aboute. in þe whiche te{m}peste þis is my most
p{ur}pos þat is to seyn to displese to wikked[e] men. ¶ Of whiche
schrews al be þe oost neuer so grete it is to dispyse. for it nis
gouerned wiþ no leder of resoune. but it is rauysched only by flityng
errour folyly {and} lyȝtly. ¶ And if þei somtyme maky{n}g an ost
aȝeynest vs assaile vs as strengere. oure leder draweþ to gedir hys
rycchesse i{n} to hys toure. {and} þei ben ententif aboute sarpulers or
sachels vnp{ro}fitable forto taken. but we þat ben heyȝ abouen syker fro
al tumulte {and} wode noise. ben stored {and} enclosed in syche a
palays. whider as þat chateryng or anoying folye ne may not attayne.
¶ We scorne swiche rauiners {and} honters of foulest[e] þinges.


QUISQ{UI}S COMPOSITO.

  [Sidenote: [The ferthe Met{ur}.]]

++Who so it be þat is clere of vertue sad {and} wel ordinat of lyuyng.
þat haþ put vnderfote þe prowed[e] wierdes {and} lokiþ vpryȝt vpon eyþer
fortune. he may holde hys chiere vndiscomfited. ¶ Þe rage ne þe manace
of þe co{m}moeuyng or chasyng vpwarde hete fro þe botme. ne schal not
moeue þat man. ne þe vnstable mountaigne þat hyȝt veseuus. þat wircheþ
oute þoruȝ hys broken[e] chemineys smokyng fires. ¶ Ne þe wey of þonder
lyȝt þat is wont to smyte heyȝe toures ne schal not mouene þat man.
¶ Wherto þen wrecches drede ȝe tyrauntes þat ben wode {and} felownes
wiþ-outen ony strenkeþ. ¶ Hope after no þing ne drede nat. {and} so
schalt þou desarmen þe ire of þilke vnmyȝty tyraunt. ¶ But who so þat
quakyng dredeþ or desireþ þing þat nis not stable of his ryȝt. þat man
þat so doþ haþ cast awey hys schelde {and} is remoeued fro hys place.
{and} enlaceþ hym i{n} þe cheyne wiþ whiche he may be drawen.


SENTIS NE INQUIT.

  [Sidenote: [The verthe p{ro}se.]]

++FElest þou q{uod} sche þise þinges {and} entren þei ouȝt in þi corage.
¶ Art þou like an asse to þe harpe. Whi wepest þou whi spillest þou
teres. ¶ Yif þou abidest after helpe of þi leche. þe byhoueþ discouere
þi wounde. ¶ Þo .I. þat hadde gadered strenkeþ in my corage answered[e]
{and} seide. {and} nedeþ it ȝitte q{uod} .I. of rehersyng or of
amonic{i}ou{n}. {and} scheweþ it not ynouȝ by hym self þe scharpnes of
fortune þat wexeþ woode aȝeynes me. ¶ Ne moeueþ it nat þe to seen þe
face or þe man{er}e of þis place (.i. p{r}isou{n}.). ¶ Is þis þe
librarie wyche þat þou haddest chosen for a ryȝt certeyne sege to þe
i{n} myne house. ¶ Þere as þou desputest of[te] wiþ me of þe sciences of
þinges touching diuinitee {and} touchyng mankynde. ¶ Was þan myn habit
swiche as it is now. was þan my face or my chere swiche as now.

  [Interlinear: quasi d{ice}ret non.]

¶ Whan I souȝt[e] wiþ þe secretys of nature. whan þou enfo{ur}medest my
maners {and} þe resou{n} of al my lijf. to þe ensaumple of þe ordre of
heuene.

  [Interlinear: ironice]

¶ Is nat þis þe gerdou{n} þat I refere to þe to whom I haue be
obeisaunt. ¶ Certis þou enfo{ur}medist by þe mouþe of plato þis
sentence. þat is to seyne þat co{m}mune þinges or comunabletes weren
blysful yif þei þat haden studied al fully to wisdom gouerneden þilke
þinges. or ellys yif it so by-felle þat þe gouernours of co{m}munalites
studieden in grete wisdomes. ¶ Þou saidest eke by þe mouþe of þe same
plato þat it was a necessarie cause wyse men to taken {and} desire þe
gou{er}nau{n}ce of comune þi{n}ges. for þat þe gou{er}nementes of comune
citees y-left in þe hondes of felonous to{ur}mento{ur}s Citiȝenis ne
scholde not brynge inne pestile{n}ce {and} destrucc{i}ou{n} to goode
folk. ¶ And þerfore I folowynge þilk auctoritee (.s. platonis). desiryng
to put[te] furþe in execusiou{n} {and} in acte of comune
admi{ni}st{ra}c{i}ou{n} þo þinges þat .I. hadde lerned of þe among my
secre restyng whiles. ¶ Þou {and} god þ{a}t put[te] þee in þe þouȝtis of
wise folk ben knowen wiþ me þat no þing brouȝt[e] me to maistrie or
dignite: but þe comune studie of al goodenes. ¶ And þer-of comeþ it þat
by-twixen wikked folk {and} me han ben greuouse discordes. þat ne myȝten
not be relesed by p{ra}yeres. ¶ For þis libertee haþ fredom of
conscience þat þe wraþþe of more myȝty folk haþ alwey ben despised of me
for saluac{i}ou{n} of ryȝt. ¶ How ofte haue .I. resisted {and} wiþstonde
þilk man þat hyȝt[e] conigaste þat made alwey assautes aȝeins þe
p{ro}pre fortunes of poure feble folke. ¶ How ofte haue .I. ȝitte put
of. or cast out hy{m} trigwille p{ro}uost of þe kynges hous boþe of þe
wronges þat he hadde bygon[ne] to done {and} eke fully p{er}formed.
¶ How ofte haue I couered {and} defended by þe auctorite of me put
aȝeins p{er}ils. þat is to seine put myne auctorite in peril for þe
wreched pore folke. þat þe couetise of straungeres vnpunysched
to{ur}mentid alwey wiþ myseses {and} greuaunces oute of noumbre. ¶ Neuer
man drow me ȝitte fro ryȝt to wro{n}g. When I say þe fortunes {and} þe
rychesse of þe people of þe p{ro}uinces ben harmed eyþer by p{r}iue
rauynes or by comune tributis or cariages. as sory was I as þei þat
suffred[e] þe harme. _Glosa._ ¶ Whan þat theodoric þe kyng of gothes in
a dere ȝere hadde hys gerners ful of corne {and} comaundede þat no ma{n}
ne schold[e] bie no corne til his corne were solde {and} þat at a dere
greuous pris. ¶ But I w{i}t{h}stod þat ordinaunce {and} ouer-com it
knowy{n}g al þis þe kyng hym self. ¶ Coempciou{n} þat is to seyn comune
achat or bying to-gidere þat were establissed vpon poeple by swiche a
manere imposiciou{n} as who so bouȝt[e] a busshel corn he most[e] ȝeue
þe ky{n}g þe fifte p{ar}t. _Textus._ ¶ Whan it was in þe soure hungry
tyme þere was establissed or cried greuous {and} inplitable coempciou{n}
þat men seyn wel it schulde greetly to{ur}me{n}tyn {and} endamagen al þe
p{ro}uince of co{m}paigne I took strif aȝeins þe p{ro}uost of þe
pretorie for comune p{ro}fit. ¶ And þe kyng knowyng of it I ouercom it
so þat þe coempciou{n} ne was not axed ne took effect. ¶ Paulyn a
counseiller of Rome þe rychesse of þe whyche paulyn þe houndys of þe
palays. þat is to seyn þe officeres wolde han deuoured by hope {and}
couetise ¶ Ȝit drow I hym out of þe Iowes .s. faucib{us} of hem þat
gapede{n}. ¶ And for as myche as þe peyne of þe accusac{i}ou{n} aiuged
byforn ne scholde not sodeynly henten ne punischen wrongfuly Albyn a
counseiller of Rome. I put[te] me aȝenis þe hates {and}
indignac{i}ou{n}s of þe accuso{ur} Ciprian. ¶ Is it not þan ynought
yseyn þat I haue p{ur}chased greet[e] discordes aȝeins my self. but I
aughte be more asseured aȝenis alle oþer folk þat for þe loue of
ryȝtwisnesse .I. ne reserued[e] neuer no þing to my self to hem ward of
þe kynges halle .s. officers. by þe whiche I were þe more syker. ¶ But
þoruȝ þe same accuso{ur}s accusyng I am co{n}dempned. ¶ Of þe noumbre of
whiche accuso{ur}s one basilius þat somtyme was chased out of þe kynges
seruice. is now co{m}pelled i{n} accusyng of my name for nede of foreine
moneye. ¶ Also opilion {and} Gaudenci{us} han accused me. al be it so
þat þe Iustice regal hadde su{m}tyme demed hem boþe to go in to exil.
for her treccheries {and} fraudes wiþ-outen noumbre. ¶ To whiche
iugement þei wolde not obeye. but defended[e] hem by sykernesse of holy
houses. þat is to seyne fledden in to seyntuaries. {and} whan þis was
ap{er}ceiued to þe kyng. he comaunded[e] but þat þei voided[e] þe citee
of Rauenne by certeyne day assigned þat men scholde merken hem on þe
forheued wiþ an hoke of iren {and} chasen hem out of toune. ¶ Now what
þing semeþ þe myȝt[e] be lykned to þis cruelte. For certys þilk same day
was receyued þe accusyng of my name by þilk[e] same accuso{ur}s. ¶ What
may be seid herto. haþ my studie {and} my konnyng deserued þus. or ellys
þe forseide dampnaciou{n} of me. made þat hem ryȝtful accuso{ur}s or no
(q.d. no{n}). ¶ Was not fortune asshamed of þis. [Certes alle hadde nat
fortune ben asshamyd] þat i{n}nocence was accused. ȝit auȝt[e] sche haue
had schame of þe filþe of myn accuso{ur}s. ¶ But axest þou in so{m}me of
what gilt .I. am accused. men seyne þat I wolde sauen þe co{m}paignie of
þe senato{ur}s. ¶ And desirest þou to here in what manere .I. am accused
þat I scholde han distourbed þe accuso{ur} to beren l{ett}res. by whiche
he scholde han maked þe senatours gilty aȝeins þe kynges Real maieste.
¶ O meistresse what demest þou of þis. schal .I. forsake þis blame þat I
ne be no schame to þe (q. d. no{n}). ¶ Certis .I. haue wold it. þat is
to seyne þe sauuaciou{n} of þe senat. ne I schal neuer leten to wilne
it. {and} þat I confesse {and} am a-knowe. but þe entent of þe accusour
to be destourbed schal cese. ¶ For schal I clepe it a felonie þan or a
synne þat I haue desired þe sauuaciou{n} of þe ordre of þe senat. and
certys ȝit hadde þilk same senat don by me þoruȝ her decretȝ {and} hire
iugementys as þouȝ it were a synne or a felonie þat is to seyne to wilne
þe sauuaciou{n} of he{m} (.s senat{us}). ¶ But folye þat lieth alwey to
hym self may not chaunge þe merit of þinges. ¶ Ne .I. trowe not by þe
iugement of socrates þ{a}t it were leueful to me to hide þe soþe. ne
assent[e] to lesynges. ¶ But certys how so euer it be of þis I put[te]
it to gessen or p{re}ise{n} to þe iugeme{n}t of þe {and} of wise folk.
¶ Of whiche þing al þe ordinaunce {and} þe soþe for as moche as folk þat
ben to comen aftir our{e} dayes scholle{n} knowen it. ¶ I haue put it in
scripture {and} remembraunce. for touching þe l{ett}res falsly maked. by
whiche l{ett}res I am accused to han hooped þe fredom of Rome. What
app{er}teneþ me to speken þer-of. Of whiche l{ett}res þe fraude hadde
ben schewed ap{er}tly if I hadde had libertee forto han vsed {and} ben
at þe co{n}fessiou{n} of myn accuso{ur}s. ¶ Þe whiche þing in alle nedys
haþ grete strenkeþ. ¶ For what oþ{er} fredo{m} may men hopen. Certys I
wolde þat some oþ{er} fredom myȝt[e] be hoped. ¶ I wolde þan haue
answered by þe wordes of a man þat hyȝt[e] Canius. for whan he was
accused by Gayus Cesar Germeins son þat he (cani{us}) was knowyng {and}
consentyng of a coniurac{i}ou{n} maked aȝeins hym (.s. Gai{us}). ¶ Þis
Canius answered[e] þus. ¶ Yif I had[de] wist it þou haddest not wist it.
In whiche þing sorwe haþ not so dulled my witte þ{a}t I pleyne oonly þat
schrewed[e] folk apparailen folies aȝeins vertues. ¶ But I wondre gretly
how þat þei may p{er}forme þinges þat þei had[de] hoped forto done. For
why. to wylne schrewednesse þat comeþ p{ar}auenture of oure defaute.
¶ But it is lyke to a monstre {and} a meruaille. ¶ How þat in þe
p{re}se{n}t syȝt of god may ben acheued {and} p{er}formed swiche þinges.
as euery felonous man haþ conceyued in hys þouȝt aȝeins i{n}nocent.
¶ For whiche þing oon of þi familers not vnskilfully axed þus. ¶ Ȝif god
is. whennes comen wikked[e] þinges. {and} yif god ne is whennes comen
goode þinges. but al hadde it ben leueful þat felonous folk þat now
desiren þe bloode {and} þe deeþ of alle goode men. {and} eke of al þe
senat han wilned to gone destroien me. whom þei han seyn alwey
bataile{n} {and} defenden goode men {and} eke al þe senat. Ȝit hadde I
not desserued of þe fadres. þat is to seyne of þe senatours þat þei
scholde wilne my destrucc{i}ou{n}. ¶ Þou remembrest wele as I gesse þat
whan I wolde don or seyn any þing. þou þi self alwey p{re}sent
reweledest me. ¶ At þe citee of verone wha{n} þat þe kyng gredy of
comune slauȝter. caste hym to t{ra}nsporten vpon al þe ordre of þe
senat. þe gilt of his real maieste of þe whiche gilt þat albyn was
accused. wiþ how grete sykernesse of p{er}il to me defended[e] I al þe
senat. ¶ Þou wost wel þat I seide soþe. ne I auaunted[e] me neuer in
preysyng of my self. ¶ For alwey when any wyȝt resceiueþ p{re}ciouse
renou{n} in auauntyng hym self of hys werkes: he amenusiþ þe secre of
hys conscience. ¶ But now þou mayst wel seen to what ende I am comen for
myne i{n}nocence. I receiue peyne of fals felonie in gerdou{n} of verray
vertue. ¶ And what open co{n}fessiou{n} of felonie had[de] euer iugis so
accordaunt i{n} cruelte. þat is to seyne as myne accusyng haþ. ¶ Þat
oþer errour of mans witte or ellys co{n}diciou{n} of fortune þat is
vncerteyne to al mortal folk ne submytted[e] su{m}me of he{m}. þat is to
seyne þat it ne cheyned[e] su{m}me iuge to han pitee or compassiou{n}.
¶ For al þouȝ I had[de] ben accused þat I wolde brenne holy houses.
{and} strangle p{re}stys wiþ wicked swerde. ¶ or þat .I. had[de] grayþed
deeþ to alle goode men algatis þe sentence scholde han punysched me
p{re}sent confessed or co{n}uict. ¶ But now I am remewed fro þe Citee of
rome almost fyue-hundreþ þousand pas. I am wiþ outen defence dampned to
p{ro}sc{ri}pciou{n} {and} to þe deeþ. for þe studie {and} bountees þat I
haue done to þe senat. ¶ But o wel ben þei worþi of mercye (as who seiþ
nay.) þer myȝt[e] neuer ȝit non of hem ben conuicte. Of swiche a blame
as myn is of swiche t{r}espas myn accuso{ur}s seyen ful wel þe dignitee.
þe wiche dignite for þei wolde derken it wiþ medelyng of some felonye.
þei beren me on honde {and} lieden. þat I hadde polute {and} defouled my
conscience wiþ sacrelege. for couetise of dignite. ¶ And certys þou þi
self þat art plaunted in me chacedest oute þe sege of my corage al
couetise of mortal þinges. ne sacrilege ne had[de] no leue to han a
place in me byforne þine eyen. ¶ For þou drouppedest euery day in myn
eer{e}s {and} in my þouȝt þilk comaundement of pictogoras. þat is to
seyne men schal seruen to god. {and} not to goddes. ¶ Ne it was no
couenaunt ne no nede to taken helpe of þe foulest spirites. ¶ I þat þou
hast ordeyned or set in syche excellence þ{a}t [þou] makedest me lyke to
god. and ouer þis þe ryȝt clene secre chaumbre of myn house. þat is to
seye my wijf {and} þe co{m}paignie of myn honeste frendis. {and} my
wyues fadir as wel holy as worþi to ben reuerenced þoruȝ hys owen dedis.
defenden me of al suspecciou{n} of syche blame. ¶ But o malice. ¶ For
þei þat accusen me taken of þe philosophie feiþe of so grete blame.
¶ For þei trowen þat .I. haue had affinite to malyfice or
enchau{n}tementȝ by cause þat I am replenissed {and} fulfilled wiþ þi
techynges. {and} enformed of þi maners. ¶ And þus it sufficeþ not only
þat þi reuerence ne auayle me not. but ȝif þat þou of þi fre wille raþer
be blemissed wiþ myne offensiou{n}. ¶ But certys to þe harmes þat I haue
þere bytydeþ ȝit þis encrece of harme. þat þe gessinge {and} þe iugement
of myche folk ne loken no þing to þe[de]sertys of þinges but only to þe
aue{n}t{ur}e of fortune. ¶ And iugen þat only swiche þinges ben
p{ur}ueied of god. whiche þat temporel welefulnesse co{m}mendiþ.
_Glosa._ ¶ As þus þat yif a wyȝt haue prosperite. he is a good man {and}
worþi to haue þat p{ro}sperite. and who so haþ aduersite he is a wikked
man. {and} god haþ forsake hym. {and} he is worþi to haue þat aduersite.
¶ Þis is þe opiniou{n} of so{m}me folke. {and} þer of comeþ þat good
gessyng. ¶ Fyrste of al þi{n}g forsakeþ wrecches certys it greueþ me to
þink[e] ryȝt now þe dyuerse sentences þat þe poeple seiþ of me. ¶ And
þus moche I seye þat þe laste charge of contrarious fortune is þis. þat
whan þat ony blame is laid vpon a caytif. men wenen þat he haþ deserued
þat he suffreþ. ¶ And I þat am put awey fro{m} goode men {and} despoiled
from dignitees {and} defoulid of my name by gessyng haue suffred torment
for my goode dedis. ¶ Certys me semeþ þat I se þe felonus couines of
wikked men abounden in ioie {and} in gladnes. ¶ And I se þat euery lorel
shapiþ hy{m} to fynde oute newe fraudes forto accusen goode folke. and I
se þat goode men ben ou{er}þrowen for drede of my p{er}il. ¶ and euery
luxurious to{ur}mentour dar don alle felonie vnpunissed {and} ben
excited þerto by ȝiftes. and i{n}nocentȝ ne ben not oonly despoiled of
sykernesse but of defence {and} þerfore me list to crien to god in þis
manere.


O STELLIFERI CONDITOR ORBIS.

  [Sidenote: [The fifthe met{ur}.]]

++O þou maker of þe whele þat bereþ þe sterres. whiche þat art fastned
to þi p{er}durable chayere. {and} turnest þe heuene wiþ a rauyssyng
sweigh{e} {and} {con}streinest þe sterres to suffren þi lawe. ¶ So þ{a}t
þe mone somtyme schynyng wiþ hir ful hornes metyng wiþ alle þe bemes of
þe sonne. ¶ Hir broþer hideþ þe sterres þat ben lasse. {and} somtyme
whan þe mone pale wiþ hir derke hornes approcheþ þe sonne. leesith hir
lyȝtes. ¶ And þat þe euesterre esperus whiche þat in þe first[e] tyme of
þe nyȝt bryngeþ furþe hir colde arysynges comeþ eft aȝeynes hir vsed
cours. {and} is pale by þe morwe at þe rysynge of þe sonne. and is þan
cleped lucifer. ¶ Þou restreinest þe day by schorter dwellyng in þe tyme
of colde wynter þat makeþ þe leues to falle. ¶ Þou diuidest þe swifte
tides of þe nyȝt when þe hote somer is comen. ¶ Þi myȝt attempre[þ] þo
variau{n}tȝ sesons of þe ȝere. so þat ȝepherus þe deboneire wynde
bringeþ aȝein in þe first[e] somer sesou{n} þe leues þat þe wynde þat
hyȝt[e] boreas haþ reft awey in autu{m}pne. þat is to seyne in þe laste
eende of somer. and þe sedes þat þe sterre þat hyȝt arctur{us} saw ben
waxen hey[e] cornes whan þe sterre sirius eschaufeþ hym. ¶ Þere nis no
þing vnbounde from hys olde lawe ne forleteþ hym of hys p{ro}pre estat.
¶ O þou gouerno{ur} gouernyng alle þinges by certeyne ende. why refusest
þou oonly to gouerne þe werkes of men by dewe manere. ¶ Whi suffrest
þ{o}u þat slidyng fortune turneþ to grete vtter chaungynges of þinges.
so þat anoious peyne þat scholde duelly punissh{e} felouns punissitȝ
innocentȝ. ¶ And folk of wikked[e] man{er}es sitten in heiȝe chaiers.
{and} anoienge folk treden {and} þat vnryȝtfully in þe nekkes of holy
men. ¶ And vertue clere {and} schynyng naturely is hid in dirke
dirkenesses. {and} þe ryȝtful man beriþ þe blame {and} þe peyne of þe
felowne. ¶ Ne þe forsweryng ne þe fraude couered {and} kembd wiþ a fals
colo{ur} ne a-noyeþ not to schrewes. ¶ Þe whiche schrewes whan hem lyst
to vsen her strengþe þei reioisen hem to putte{n} vndir hem þe souerayne
kynges. whiche þ{a}t poeple wiþ[outen] noumbre dreden. ¶ O þou what so
euer þou be þat knyttes[t] alle bondes of þinges loke on þise
wrecched[e] erþes. we men þat ben nat a foule party but a faire party of
so grete a werke we ben turmentid in þe see of fortune. ¶ Þou
gouerno{ur} wiþdraw {and} restreyne þe rauyssinge flodes {and} fastne
{and} forme þise erþes stable wiþ þilke [bonde] wiþ whiche þou gouernest
þe heuene þat is so large.


HIC UBI CONTINUATO DOLORE.

  [Sidenote: [The fyfthe p{ro}se.]]

++Whan I hadde wiþ a continuel sorwe sobbed or broken out þise þinges
sche wiþ hir chere peisible {and} no þi{n}g amoeued. wiþ my compleyntes
seide þ{us}. whan I say þe q{uod} sche sorweful {and} wepyng I wist[e]
on-one þat þou were a wrecche {and} exiled. but I wist[e] neuer how fer
þine exile was: ȝif þi tale ne hadde schewed it to me. but certys al be
þou fer fro þi contre. þou nart nat put out of it. but þou hast fayled
of þi weye {and} gon amys. ¶ and yif þou hast leuer forto wene þan þou
be put out of þi contre. þan hast þou put oute þi self raþer þen ony
oþer wyȝt haþ. ¶ For no wyȝt but þi self ne myȝt[e] neuer haue don þat
to þe. ¶ For ȝif þou remembre of what contre þou art born. it nis not
gou{er}ned by emp{er}oures. ne by gouernement of multitude. as weren þe
contres of hem of athenes. ¶ But o lorde {and} o kyng {and} þat is god
þat is lorde of þi contree. whiche þat reioiseþ hym of þe dwellyng of
hys Citeȝenis. {and} not forto putte hem in exile. Of þe whiche lorde it
is a souerayne fredom to be gouerned by þe bridel of hym and obeie to
his iustice. ¶ Hast þou forȝeten þilke ryȝt olde lawe of þi Citee. in þe
whiche Citee it is ordeyned {and} establissed þat what wyȝt þat haþ
leuer founden þer i{n}ne hys sete or hys house. þen ellys where: he may
not be exiled by no ryȝt fro þat place. ¶ For who so þat is co{n}tened
in-wiþ þe paleis [{and} the clos] of þilke Citee. þer nis no drede þat
he may deserue to ben exiled. ¶ But who þat letteþ þe wille forto
enhabit[e] þere. he forleteþ also to deserue to ben Citeȝein of þilke
Citee. ¶ So þat I seye þat þe face of þis place ne amoeueþ me nat so
myche as þine owen face. Ne .I. ne axe not raþer þe walles of þi
librarie apparailled {and} wrouȝt wiþ yvory {and} wiþ glas þan after þe
sete of þi þouȝt. In whiche I putte nat somtyme bookes. but .I. putte
þat þat makeþ bookes worþi of p{ri}s or p{re}cious þat is to sein þe
sentence of my books. ¶ {And} certeinly of þi dec{er}tes by-stowed in
co{m}mune good. þou hast seid soþe but after þe multitude of þi goode
dedys. þou hast seid fewe. {and} of þe vnhonestee or falsnesse of þinges
þat ben opposed aȝeins þe. þou hast remembred þinges þat be{n} knowe to
alle folk. and of þe felonies {and} fraudes of þine accuso{ur}s. it
semeþ þe haue I-touched it forsoþe ryȝtfully {and} schortly. ¶ Al myȝten
þo same þinges bettere {and} more plentiuousely be couth in þe mouþe of
þe poeple þ{a}t knoweþ al þis. ¶ Þou hast eke blamed gretly {and}
compleyned of þe wrongful dede of þe senat. ¶ And þou hast sorwed for my
blame. {and} þou hast wepen for þe damage of þi renoune þat is appaired.
{and} þi laste sorwe eschaufed aȝeins fortune {and} co{m}pleinest þat
gerdou{n}s ne ben not euenliche ȝolde to þe desertes of folk. {and} in
þe l{att}re ende of þi woode muse þou p{r}iedest þ{a}t þilke pees þat
gouerneþ þe heuene scholde gou{er}ne þe erþe ¶ But for þat many
tribulac{i}ou{n}s of affecc{i}ou{n}s han assailed þe. {and} sorwe {and}
Ire {and} wepyng todrawen þee dyuersely ¶ As þou art now feble of þouȝt.
myȝtyer remedies ne schullen not ȝit touchen þe for whiche we wil[e]
vsen somedel lyȝter medicines. So þat þilk[e] passiou{n}s þat ben woxen
harde in swellyng by p{er}turbac{i}ou{n} folowyng in to þi þouȝt mowen
woxe esy {and} softe to receyue{n} þe strenkeþ of a more myȝty {and}
more egre medicine by an esier touchyng.


CU{M} PHEBI RADIIS G{RA}UE CA{N}C{R}I SID{US} ENESTUAT.

  [Sidenote: [The sixte met{ur}.]]

++Whan þat þe heuy sterre of þe cancre eschaufeþ by þe beme of pheb{us}.
þat is to seyne whan þat pheb{us} þe sonne is in þe signe of þe Cancre.
Who so ȝeueþ þan largely hys sedes to þe feldes þat refuse to receiuen
hem. lete hym gon bygyled of trust þat he hadde to hys corn. to acorns
or okes. yif þou wilt gadre violettȝ. ne go þou not to þe purp{er} wode
whan þe felde chirkynge agriseþ of colde by þe felnesse of þe wynde þat
hyȝt aquilon ¶ Yif þou desirest or wolt vsen grapes ne seke þou nat wiþ
a gloto{n}us hande to streine {and} p{re}sse þe stalkes of þe vine in þe
first somer sesou{n}. for bachus þe god of wyne haþ raþer ȝeuen his
ȝiftes to autu{m}pne þe latter ende of somer. ¶ God tokeniþ {and}
assigneþ þe tymes. ablyng hem to her p{ro}pre offices. ¶ Ne he ne
suffreþ not stoundes whiche þat hym self haþ deuided {and} co{n}streined
to be medeled to gidre ¶ And forþi he þat forleteþ certeyne ordinaunce
of doynge by ou{er}þrowyng wey. he ne haþ no glade issue or ende of hys
werkes.


PRIMU{M} IGITUR PATERIS ROGACIONIB{US}.

  [Sidenote: [The syxte p{ro}se.]]

++FIrst wolt þou suffre me to touche {and} assaie þe stat of þi þouȝt by
a fewe demaundes. so þat I may vnderstonde what be þe manere of þi
curac{i}ou{n}. ¶ Axe me q{uod} .I. atte þi wille what þou wilt. {and} I
schal answer{e}. ¶ Þo saide sche þus. wheþer wenest þou q{uo}d sche
þ{a}t þis worlde be gouerned by foolisshe happes {and} fortunes. or
elles wenest þou þat þer be i{n} it any gouerneme{n}t of resou{n}.
Certes q{uod} .I. ne trowe not in no manere þat so certeyne þinges
scholde be moeued by fortunouse fortune. but I wot wel þat god maker
{and} mayster is gouerno{ur} of þis werk. Ne neuer nas ȝit day þat
myȝt[e] putte me oute of þe soþenesse of þat sentence. ¶ So is it q{uod}
sche. for þe same þing songe þou a lytel here byforne {and} byweyledest
{and} byweptest. þat only men weren put oute of þe cure of god. ¶ For of
alle oþer þinges þou ne doutest nat þat þei nere gouerned by reso{n}.
but how (.i. pape.). I wondre gretly certes whi þat þou art seek. siþen
þou art put in to so holesom a sentence. but lat vs seken depper.
I coniecte þat þere lakkeþ I not what. but sey me þis. siþen þat þou ne
doutest nat þ{a}t þis worlde be gouerned by god ¶ wiþ swycche
gouernailes takest þou hede þat it is gouerned. ¶ vnneþ q{uod} .I. knowe
.I. þe sente{n}ce of þi q{ue}stiou{n}. so þat I ne may nat ȝit answeren
to þi demaundes. ¶ I nas nat deceiued q{uod} sche þat þere ne faileþ
su{m}what. by whiche þe maladie of p{er}turbac{i}ou{n} is crept in to þi
þouȝt. so as þe strengþe of þe paleys schynyng is open. ¶ But seye me
þis reme{m}brest þou ouȝt what is þe ende of þi þinges. whider þat þe
entenc{i}ou{n} of al kynde tendeþ. ¶ I haue herd told it somtyme q{uod}
.I. but drerynesse haþ dulled my memorie. ¶ Certys q{uod} sche þou wost
wel whe{n}nes þat alle þinges ben comen {and} p{ro}ceded. I wot wel
q{uod} .I. {and} ansewered[e] þat god is þe bygynnyng of al. ¶ And how
may þis be q{uod} sche þat siþen þ{o}u knowest þe bygynnyng of þinges.
þat þou ne knowest not what is þe endyng of þinges. but swiche ben þe
customes of p{er}turbac{i}ou{n}s. {and} þis power þei han. þat þei may
moeue a ma{n} fro hys place. þat is to seyne from þe stablenes {and}
p{er}fecc{i}ou{n} of hys knowyng. but certys þei may not al arace hym ne
alyene hy{m} in al. ¶ But I wolde þat þou woldest answere to þis.
¶ Remembrest þou þat þou art a man ¶ _Boice._ ¶ Whi scholde I nat
remembre þat q{uod} .I. _Philosophie._ ¶ Maiste þou not telle me þan
q{uod} sche what þing is a man. ¶ Axest not me q{uod} I. wheþir þat be a
resonable best mortel. I wot wel {and} I confesse wel þat I am it.
¶ Wistest þou neuer ȝit þat þou were ony oþer þing q{uod} she. No q{uod}
.I. now wot I q{uod} she oþer cause of þi maladie {and} þat ryȝt grete
¶ Þou hast left forto knowe þi self what þou art. þoruȝ whiche I haue
pleynelyche knowen þe cause of þi maladie. or ellis þe entre of
recoueryng of þin hele. ¶ Forwhy for þou art co{n}founded wiþ forȝetyng
of þi self. forþi sorwest þou þat þou art exiled of þi p{ro}pre goodes.
¶ And for þou ne wost what is þe ende of þinges. for[þi] demest [þou]
þat felono{us} {and} wikked men ben myȝty {and} weleful for þou hast
forȝeten by whiche gouernementȝ þe worlde is gouerned. ¶ Forþi wenest
þou þat þise mutac{i}ou{n}s of fortune fleten wiþ oute{n} gouerno{ur}.
þise ben grete causes not oonly to maladie. but certes grete causes to
deeþ ¶ But I þanke þe auctour {and} þe makere of heele þat nat{ur}e haþ
not al forleten þe. {and} I haue g[r]ete norissinges of þi hele. {and}
þat is þe soþe sentence of gou{er}nau{n}ce of þe worlde. þat þou
byleuest þat þe gou{er}nynge of it nis nat subgit ne vnderput to þe
folie of þise happes auenterouses. but to þe resou{n} of god ¶ And þer
fore doute þe noþing. For of þis litel spark þine heet of lijf schal
shine. ¶ But for as muche as it is not tyme ȝitte of fastere remedies
¶ And þe nature of þouȝtes disseiued is þis þat as ofte as þei casten
aweye soþe opyniou{n}s: þei cloþen hem in fals[e] opiniou{n}s. [of
which{e} false opyniou{n}s] þe derknesse of p{er}turbac{i}ou{n} wexeþ
vp. þat comfoundeþ þe verray insyȝt. {and} þat derkenes schal .I. say
somwhat to maken þi{n}ne {and} wayk by lyȝt {and} meenelyche remedies.
so þat after þat þe derknes of desseyuynge desyrynges is don awey. þou
mow[e] knowe þe schynyng of verray lyȝt.


NUBIB{US} ATRIS CONDITA.

  [Sidenote: [The seuende Metyr.]]

++ÞE sterres cou{er}ed wiþ blak[e] cloudes ne mowen geten a dou{n} no
lyȝt. Ȝif þe trouble wy{n}de þat hyȝt auster stormynge {and} walwy{n}g
þe see medleþ þe heete þat is to seyne þe boylyng vp from þe botme ¶ Þe
wawes þ{a}t somtyme weren clere as glas {and} lyke to þe fair[e]
bryȝt[e] dayes wiþstant anon þe syȝtes of men. by þe filþe {and} ordure
þat is resolued. {and} þe fletyng streme þat royleþ dou{n} dyuersely fro
heyȝe mou{n}taignes is arestid {and} resisted ofte tyme by þe
encountrynge of a stoon þ{a}t is dep{ar}tid {and} fallen from some
roche. ¶ And forþi yif þou wilt loken {and} demen soþe wiþ clere lyȝt.
{and} holde þe weye wiþ a ryȝt paþe. ¶ Weyue þou ioie. drif fro þe
drede. fleme þou hope. ne lat no sorwe ap{ro}che. þat is to sein lat
noon of þise four passiou{n}s ouer come þe. or blynde þe. for cloudy
{and} dirke is þilk þouȝt {and} bounde w{i}t{h} bridles. where as þise
þinges regnen.

  EXPLICIT LIBER PRIMUS.



INCIPIT LIBER SECUNDUS.


POSTEA [PAU]LISPER CONTICUIT.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrst p{ro}se.]]

++After þis she stynte a litel. and after þat she hadde gadred by
atempre stillenesse myn attenciou{n} she seide þus. ¶ As who so myȝt[e]
seye þus. After þise þinges she stynt[e] a lytel. {and} whanne she
ap{er}ceiued[e] by atempre stillenesse þat I was ententif to herkene
hire. she bygan to speke in þis wyse. ¶ Yif I q{uod} she haue
vnderstonde{n} {and} knowe vtterly þe causes {and} þe habit of þi
maladie. þou languissed {and} art deffeted for talent {and} desijr of þi
raþer fortune. ¶ She þat ilke fortune only þat is chaunged as þou
feinest to þe ward. haþ p{er}uerted þe clerenesse {and} þe astat of þi
corage. ¶ I vnderstonde þe felefolde colo{ur} {and} deceites of þilke
merueillous monstre fortune. and how she vseþ ful flatryng familarite
wiþ hem þat she enforceþ to bygyle. so longe til þat she co{n}founde wiþ
vnsuffreable sorwe hem þat she haþ left in despeir vnpurueyed. ¶ and if
þou remembrest wel þe kynde þe maners {and} þe desert of þilke fortune.
þow shalt wel knowe as in hir þou neuer ne haddest ne hast ylost any
fair þing. But as I trowe I shal not gretly trauaile to don þe remembren
of þise þinges. ¶ For þou were wont to hurtlen [{and} despysen] hir wiþ
manly wordes whan she was blaundissinge {and} presente {and}
p{ur}sewedest hir wiþ sentences þat were drawe{n} oute of myne entre.
þat is to seyne out of myn i{n}formac{i}ou{n} ¶ But no sudeyne
mutac{i}ou{n} ne bytideþ nat wiþ oute{n} a maner chau{n}gyng of curages.
and so is it byfallen þat þou art dep{ar}ted a litel fro þe pees of þi
þouȝt. but now is tyme þat þou drynke {and} atast[e] some softe {and}
delitable þinges. so þat whan þei ben entred wiþ i{n}ne þe. it mow make
weye to strenger drynkes of medycynes. ¶ Com nowe furþe þerfore þe
suasiou{n} of swetnesse Rethoryen. whiche þat goþ oonly þe ryȝt wey whil
she forsakeþ not myne estatutȝ. ¶ And wiþ Rethorice com forþe musice a
damoisel of oure house þat syngeþ now lyȝter moedes or p{ro}lac{i}ou{n}s
now heuyer. what ayleþ þe man. what is it þat haþ cast þe in to murnyng
{and} in to wepyng. I trow[e] þat þou hast sen some newe þing {and}
uncouþe. ¶ Þou wenest þat fortune be chaunged aȝeins þe ¶ But þou wenest
wrong. yif þou [þat] wene. Alwey þo ben hire maners. she haþ raþer
[kept] as to þe ward hire p{ro}pre stablenes in þe chaungyng of hyre
self. ¶ Ryȝt swyche was she whan she flatered[e] þe. {and} desseiued[e]
þe wiþ vnleueful lykynges of false welefulnesse. þou hast now knowen
{and} ataynt þe doutous or double visage of þilke blynde goddesse
fortune. ¶ She þat ȝit couereþ hir {and} wympleþ hir to oþer folk. haþ
shewed hir euerydel to þe. ¶ Ȝif þou app{ro}uest hir {and} þenkest þat
she is good. vse hir maners {and} pleyne þe nat. ¶ And if þou agrisest
hir fals[e] trecherie. dispise {and} cast aweye hir þat pleyeþ so
harmefully. for she þat is now cause of so myche sorwe to þe. sholde be
to þe cause of pees {and} [of] ioie. ¶ she haþ forsaken þe forsoþe. þe
whiche þat neuer man may be syker þat she ne shal forsake hym. _Glose._
¶ But naþeles some bookes han þe text þus. For soþe she haþ forsaken þe
ne þer nis no man syker þat she ne haþ not forsaken. ¶ Holdest þou þan
þilke welefulnesse p{re}ciouse to þe þat shal passen. {and} is p{re}sent
fortune derworþi to þe. whiche þat nis not feiþful forto dwelle. {and}
whan she goþ aweye þat she bryngeþ a wyȝt in sorwe ¶ For syn she may nat
be wiþholde{n} at a mans wille. she makeþ hym a wrecche whe{n} she
dep{ar}teþ fro hym. ¶ What oþer þing is flitti{n}g fortune but a manere
shewyng of wrycchednesse þat is to comen. ne it ne suffriþ nat oo[n]ly
to loken of þing þat is p{re}sent byforne þe eyen of man. but wisdom
lokeþ {and} mesureþ þe ende of þinges. {and} þe same chau{n}gyng from
one to an oþer. þat is to seyne fro aduersite to p{ro}sperite makeþ þat
þe manaces of fortune ne ben not forto dreden. ne þe flatrynges of hir
to ben desired. ¶ Þus atte þe last it byhoueþ þe to suffren wiþ euene
wille in pacience al þat is don inwiþ þe floor of fortune. þat is to
seyne in þis worlde. ¶ Syþen þou hast oones put þi nekke vnder þe ȝokke
of hir. for if þou wilt write a lawe of wendyng {and} of dwellyng to
fortune whiche þat þou hast chosen frely to be þi lady ¶ Art þou nat
wrongful in þat {and} makest fortune wroþe {and} asp{er}e by þin
inpacience. {and} ȝit þou mayst not chaungen hir. ¶ Yif þou co{m}mittest
[{and}] bitakest þi sayles to þe wynde. þou shalt be shouen not þider
þat þou woldest(:) but whider þat þe wy{n}de shoueþ þe ¶ Yif þou castest
þi seedes in þe feldes þou sholdest haue in mynde þat þe ȝeres ben oþer
while plenteuous {and} oþ{er} while bareyne. ¶ Þou hast bytaken þiself
to þe gouernaunce of fortune. {and} forþi it byhoueþ þe to ben obeisaunt
to þe manere of þi lady. and enforcest þou þe to aresten or wiþstonden
þe swyftnesse {and} þe sweyes of hir to{ur}nyng whele. ¶ O þou fool of
alle mortel fooles if fortune bygan to dwelle stable. she cesed[e] þan
to ben fortune.


HEC CUM SUPERBA.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrst met{ur}.]

++Whan fortune wiþ a proude ryȝt hande haþ turnid hir chau{n}gyng
stoundes she fareþ lyke þe maners of þe boillyng eurippe. _Glose._
Eurippe is an arme of þe see þ{a}t ebbith {and} flowiþ. {and} somtyme þe
streme is on one syde {and} somtyme on þat oþer. _Texte_ ¶ She cruel
fortune kasteþ adoune kynges þat somtyme weren ydred. {and} she
deceiuable enhau{n}seth vp þe humble chere of hym þat is discomfited.
{and} she neyþer hereþ ne reccheþ of wrecched[e] wepynges. {and} she is
so harde þat she lauȝeþ {and} scorneþ þe wepyng of hem þe whiche she haþ
maked wepe wiþ hir free wille. ¶ Þus she pleyeþ {and} þ{us} she p{re}ueþ
hir strengþe {and} sheweþ a grete wondre to alle hir seruau{n}tȝ. ¶ Yif
þat a wyȝt is seyn weleful {and} ou{er}þrowe in an houre.


VELLEM AUTE{M} PAUCA.

  [Sidenote: [The secunde p{ro}se.]]

++CErtis I wolde plete wiþ þee a fewe þinges vsynge þe wordes of fortune
tak heede now þi self. yif þ{a}t she axeþ ryȝt. ¶ O þou man wher fore
makest þou me gilty by þine euerydayes pleynynges. what wronges haue I
don þe. what goodes haue I byreft þe þat weren þine. stryf or plete wiþ
me by fore what iuge þat þou wilt of þe possessiou{n} of rycchesse or of
dignites ¶ And yif þou maist shewe me þat euer any mortal man haþ
receyued any of þese þinges to ben his in p{ro}pre. þan wol I graunt[e]
frely þat [alle] þilke þinges were{n} þine whiche þat þou axest. ¶ Whan
þat nature brouȝt[e] þe forþe out of þi moder wombe. I receyued[e] þe
naked {and} nedy of al þing. {and} I norysshed[e] þe wiþ my rychesse.
{and} was redy {and} ententif þo{ru}ȝ my fauo{ur} to sustene þe. ¶ And
þat makeþ þe now i{n}pacient aȝeins me. {and} I envirounde þe wiþ al þe
habundaunce {and} shinyng of al goodes þat ben in my ryȝt. ¶ Now it
lykeþ me to wiþ drawe myne hande. þou hast had grace as he þat haþ vsed
of foreyne goodes. þou hast no ryȝt to pleyne þe. as þouȝ þou haddest
vtterly lorn alle þi þinges. whi pleynest þou þan. I haue don þe no
wrong. Ricches hono{ur}es {and} swyche oþer þinges ben of my ryȝt. ¶ My
seruauntes knowen me for hir lady. þei comen wiþ me {and} dep{ar}ten
whan I wende. I dar wel affermen hardyly. þat yif þo þinges of whiche
þou pleynest þat þou hast forlorn hadde ben þine. þou ne haddest not
lorn he{m}. ¶ shal I þan only be defended to vse my ryȝt. ¶ Certis it is
leueful to þe heuene to make clere dayes. {and} after þat to keuere þe
same dayes wiþ derke nyȝtes. ¶ Þe erþe haþ eke leue to apparaile þe
visage of þe erþe now w{i}t{h} floures {and} now wiþ fruyt. {and} to
confounde he{m} so{m}tyme wiþ raynes {and} wiþ coldes. ¶ Þe see haþ eke
hys ryȝt to be somtyme calme {and} blaundyshing wiþ smoþe water. {and}
somtyme to be horrible wiþ wawes {and} wiþ tempestes. ¶ But þe couetyse
of men þat may not be staunched shal it bynde me to be stedfast. syn þat
stedfastnesse is vnkouþ to my maneres. ¶ Swyche is my strengþe. {and}
þis pley. I pley[e] co{n}tinuely. I tourne þe whirly{n}g whele wiþ þe
tournyng cercle ¶ I am glade to chaunge þe lowest to þe heyeste. {and}
þe heyest to þe loweste. worþe vp yif þou wilt. so it be by þis lawe.
þat þou ne holde not þat I do þe wronge þouȝ þou descende dou{n} whanne
resou{n} of my pleye axeþ it. Wost þou not how Cresus kyng of lyndens of
whiche kyng Cir{us} was ful sore agast a litel byforne þat þis rewlyche
Cresus was cauȝt of Cirus {and} lad to þe fijr to be brent. but þat a
reyne desce{n}ded[e] dou{n} from heuene þat rescowed[e] hym ¶ And is it
out of þi mynde how þat Paulus consul of Rome whan he hadde take þe kyng
of p{er}ciens weep pitou[s]ly for þe captiuitee of þe self[e] kyng. What
oþer þinges bywaylen þe criinges of Tragedies. but only þe dedes of
fortune. þat wiþ an vnwar stroke ouert{ur}neþ þe realmes of grete nobley
¶ _Glose._ Tragedie is to seyne a dite of a p{ro}sp{er}ite for a tyme
þat endiþ in wrechednesse. Lernedest nat þou in grek whan þou were ȝonge
þat in þe entre or in þe seler of Iuppiter þer ben couched two tunnes.
þat on is ful of good þat oþer is ful of harme. ¶ What ryȝt hast þou to
pleyne. yif þou hast taken more plenteuously of þe goode syde þat is to
seyne of my rycchesse {and} p{ro}sp{er}ites. {and} what eke. yif I be
nat departed fro þe. What eke. yif my mutabilitee ȝiueþ þe ryȝtful cause
of hope to han ȝit better þi{n}ges. ¶ Naþeles desmaie þe nat in þi
þouȝt. and þ{o}u þat art put in comune realme of alle: ne desijr[e] nat
to lyue by þine oonly p{ro}pre ryȝt.


SI Q{UA}NTAS RAPIDIS.

  [Sidenote: [the secu{n}de met{ur}.]]

++ÞOuȝ plentee þat is goddesse of rycches hielde adou{n} wiþ ful horn.
{and} wiþdraweþ nat hir hand. ¶ As many recches as þe see turneþ
vpwardes sandes whan it is moeued wiþ rauysshing blastes. or ellys as
many rycches as þer shynen bryȝt[e] sterres on heuene on þe sterry nyȝt.
Ȝit for al þat mankynde nolde not cesce to wope wrecched[e] pleyntes.
¶ And al be it so þat god receyueþ gladly her p{ra}yers {and} ȝeueþ hem
as ful large muche golde {and} app{ar}aileþ coueytous folk wiþ noble or
clere hono{ur}s. ȝit semeþ hem haue I-gete noþing. but alwey her cruel
ravyne deuourynge al þat þei han geten shewiþ oþer gapinges. þat is to
seye gapen {and} desiren ȝit after moo rycchesse. ¶ What brideles myȝten
wiþholde to any certeyne ende þe desordene coueitise of men ¶ Whan euere
þe raþer þ{a}t it fletiþ in large ȝiftis: þe more ay brenneþ in hem þe
þrest of hauyng. ¶ Certis he þat quakyng {and} dredeful weneþ hym seluen
nedy. he ne lyueþ neu{er}e mo ryche.


HIIS IGITUR SI PRO SE.

  [Sidenote: [The thrydde p{ro}se.]]

++Þerfore yif þat fortune spake wiþ þe for hir self in þis manere. For
soþe þou ne haddest [nat] what þou myȝtest answere. and if þou hast any
þi{n}g wherwiþ. þou mayist ryȝtfully tellen þi co{m}pleynt. ¶ It byhoueþ
þe to shewen it. {and} .I. wol ȝeue þe space to tellen it. ¶ Certeynely
q{uod} I þan þise ben faire þinges {and} enoyntid wiþ hony swetnesse of
rethorike {and} musike. {and} only while þei ben herd þei ben
deliciouse. ¶ But to wrecches is a deppere felyng of harme. þis is to
seyn þat wrecches felen þe harmes þat þei suffren more greuously þan þe
remedies or þe delites of þise wordes mowe gladen or comforten hem. so
þat whan þise þinges stynten forto sou{n}[e] in eres. þe sorwe þat is
inset greueþ þe þouȝt. Ryȝt so is it q{uod} she. ¶ For þise ne ben ȝit
none remedies of þi maladie. but þei ben a manere norissinges of þi
sorwe ȝit rebel aȝeyne þi curac{i}ou{n}. ¶ For whan þat tyme is. I shal
moue swiche þinges þat p{er}cen hem self depe. ¶ But naþeles þ{a}t þou
shalt not wilne to leten þi self a wrecche. ¶ Hast þou forȝeten þe
nou{m}bre {and} þe manere of þi welefulnesse. I holde me stille how þat
þe souerayn men of þe Citee toke{n} þe in cure {and} kepynge whan þou
were orphelyn of fadir {and} modir. {and} were chosen i{n} affinite of
p{r}inces of þe Citee. ¶ And þou bygu{n}ne raþer to ben leef {and} deere
þan0 forto ben a neyȝbo{ur}. þe whiche þing is þe most p{re}ciouse kynde
of any p{ro}pinquitee or aliau{n}ce þat may ben. ¶ Who is it þat ne
seide þou nere ryȝt weleful wiþ so grete a nobley of þi fadres in lawe.
¶ {And} wiþ þe chastite of þi wijf. {and} wiþ þe oportunite {and}
noblesse of þi masculyn children. þat is to seyne þi sones {and} ou{er}
al þis me lyst to passe of comune þinges. ¶ How þou haddest in þi þouȝt
dignitees þat weren warned to olde men. but it deliteþ me to comen now
to þe singuler vphepyng of þi welefulnesse. ¶ Yif any fruyt of mortal
þinges may han any weyȝte or price of welefulnesse. ¶ Myȝtest þou euere
forȝeten for any charge of harme þat myȝt[e] byfallen. þe remembrau{n}ce
of þilke day þat þou sey[e] þi two sones maked conseillers. {and} ylad
to gidre from þin house vndir so gret assemble of senatours. {and} vndir
þe blyþenesse of poeple. {and} whan þou say[e] hem sette in þe court in
her chaieres of dignites. ¶ Þou rethorien or p{ro}nou{n}cere of kynges
p{re}ysinges. deseruedest glorie of wit {and} of eloquence. whan þou
sittyng bytwix þi two sones conseillers in þe place þat hyȝt Circo.
{and} fulfildest þe abydyng of multitude of poeple þat was sprad about
þe wiþ large p{ra}ysynge {and} laude as me{n} syngen in victories. þo
ȝaue þou wordes of fortune as I trowe. þat is to seyne. þo feffedest þou
fortune wiþ glosynge wordes {and} desseiuedest hir. whan she accoied[e]
þe {and} norsshed[e] þe as hir owen delices. ¶ Þou hast had of fortune a
ȝifte þat is to seyn swiche gerdou{n} þat she neu[er]e ȝaf to p{re}ue
man ¶ Wilt þou þerfore leye a rekenyng wiþ fortune. she haþ now
twynkeled first vpon þe wiþ a wykked eye. ¶ Yif þou considere þe
nou{m}bre {and} þe manere of þi blysses. {and} of þi sorwes. þou maist
nat forsake þat þou nart ȝit blysful. For if þou þerfore wenest þi self
nat weleful for þinges þat þo semeden ioyful ben passed. ¶ Þer nis nat
whi þou sholdest wene þi self a wrecche. for þinges þat now semen soory
passen also. ¶ Art þou now comen firste a sodeyne gest in to þe shadowe
or tabernacle of þis lijf. or trowest þou þ{a}t any stedfastnesse be in
mannis þinges. ¶ Whan ofte a swifte houre dissolueþ þe same man. þat is
to seyne whan þe soule dep{ar}tiþ fro þe body. For al þouȝ þat yelde is
þer any feiþ þat fortunous þinges willen dwelle. ȝit naþeles þe last[e]
day of a ma{n}nis lijf is a man{er}e deeþ to fortune. {and} also to
þilke þat haþ dwelt. {and} þerfore what wenist þou þar recche yif þou
forlete hir i{n} dey{n}ge or ellys þ{a}t she fortune forlete þe i{n}
fleenge awey.


CUM PRIMO POLO.

  [Sidenote: [The .iij. Met{ur}.]]

++Whan phebus þe sonne bygynneþ to spreden his clerenesse w{i}t{h}
rosene chariettes. þan þe sterre ydimmyd paleþ hir white cheres. by þe
flamus of þe so{n}ne þat ouer comeþ þe sterre lyȝt. ¶ Þis is to seyn
whan þe sonne is risen þe day sterre wexiþ pale {and} lesiþ hir lyȝt for
þe grete bryȝtnesse of þe sonne. ¶ Whan þe wode wexeþ redy of rosene
floures in þe first somer sesou{n} þoruȝ þe breþe of þe wynde Zephirus
þat wexeþ warme. ¶ Yif þe cloudy wynde auster blowe felliche. þan goþ
awey þe fayrnesse of þornes. Ofte þe see is clere {and} calme wiþoute
moeuy{n}g floodes. And ofte þe horrible wynde aq{u}ilon moeueþ boylyng
tempestes {and} ouer whelweþ þe see. ¶ Yif þe forme of þis worlde is so
[ȝeelde] stable. {and} yif it to{ur}niþ by so many entrechau{n}gynges.
wilt þou þa{n} truste{n} in þe trublynge fortunes of me{n}. wilt þou
trowen i{n} flittyng goodes. It is certeyne {and} establissed by lawe
p{er}durable þat no þi{n}g þ{a}t is engendred nys stedfast no stable.


TUNC EGO UERA INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The ferthe prose.]]

++ÞAnne seide I þus. O norice of alle uertues þou seist ful soþe. ¶ Ne I
may nat forsake þe ryȝt[e] swifte cours of my p{ro}speritee. þat is to
seine. þat p{ro}speritee ne be comen to me wondir swiftly {and} soone.
but þis is a þing þat gretly smertiþ me whan it remembreþ me. ¶ For in
alle aduersitees of fortune þe most vnsely kynde of contrariouse fortune
is to han ben weleful. ¶ But þat þou q{uo}d she abaist þus þe to{ur}ment
of þi fals[e] opiniou{n} þat maist þou not ryȝtfully blamen ne aretten
to þinges. as who seiþ for þou hast ȝitte many habundaunces of þinges.
¶ _Textus._ For al be it so þat þe ydel name of auenterouse welefulnesse
moeueþ þe now. it is leueful þat þou rekene w{i}t{h} me of how many[e]
þinges þou hast ȝit plentee. ¶ And þerfore yif þat þilke þing þat þou
haddest for most p{re}cious in alle þi rycchesse of fortune be kept to
þe by þe grace of god vnwemmed {and} vndefouled. Mayst þou þa{n} pleyne
ryȝtfully vpon þe myschief of fortune. syn þou hast ȝit þi best[e]
þinges. ¶ Certys ȝit lyueþ in goode poynt þilke p{re}cious hono{ur} of
mankynde.¶ Symacus þi wyues fadir whiche þat is a man maked al of
sapience {and} of vertue. þe whiche man þou woldest b[i]en redely wiþ þe
pris of þin owen lijf. he byweyleþ þe wronges þat men don to þee. {and}
not for hym self. for he liueþ in sykernesse of any sentence put aȝeins
him. ¶ And ȝit lyueþ þi wif þat is attempre of witte {and} passyng oþer
women in clennes of chastitee. and for I wol closen shortly her bountes
she is lyke to hir fadir. I telle þe welle þat she lyueþ looþ of hir
life. {and} kepiþ to þee oonly hir goost. {and} is al maat {and}
ouer-comen by wepyng {and} sorwe for desire of þe ¶ In þe whiche þing
only I mot graunten þat þi welefulnesse is amenused. ¶ What shal I seyn
eke of þi two sones conseillours of whiche as of children of hir age þer
shineþ þe lyknesse of þe witte of hir fadir {and} of hir eldefadir. and
siþen þe souereyn cure of alle mortel folke is to sauen hir owe{n}
lyues. ¶ O how weleful art þou þouȝ þou knowe þi goodes. ¶ But ȝitte ben
þer þinges dwelly{n}g to þe wardes þat no man douteþ þat þei ne ben more
derworþe to þe þen þine owen lijf. ¶ And forþi drie þi teres for ȝitte
nys nat eueriche fortune al hateful to þe warde. ne ou{er} greet tempest
haþ nat ȝit fallen vpon þe. whan þat þin ancres cliue fast[e] þat neiþer
wole suffre þe comfort of þis tyme p{re}sent. ne þe hope of tyme comynge
to passen ne to falle{n}. ¶ And I p{re}ie q{uod} I þat fast[e] mot[en]
þei holden. ¶ For whiles þat þei halden. how so eu{er}e þat þinges ben.
I shal wel fleten furþe and eschapen. ¶ But þou mayst wel seen how
greet[e] apparailes {and} aray þat me lakkeþ þat ben passed awey fro me.
¶ I haue su{m}what auau{n}ced {and} forþered þe q{uod} she. if þat þou
anoie nat or forþenke nat of al þi fortune. As who seiþ. ¶ I haue
somwhat comforted þe so þat þou tempest nat þe þus wiþ al þi fortune.
syn þou hast ȝit þi best[e] þinges. ¶ But I may nat suffre þin delices.
þat pleinst so wepyng. {and} anguissous for þat oþer lakkeþ somwhat to
þi welefulnesse. ¶ For what man is so sad or of so p{er}fit
welefulnesse. þat he ne stryueþ or pleyneþ on some half aȝeine þe
qualitee of his estat. ¶ For whi ful anguissous þing is þe condiciou{n}
of mans goodes. ¶ For eyþer it comeþ al to gidre to a wyȝt. or ellys it
lasteþ not p{er}petuely. ¶ For som man haþ grete rycchesse. but he is
asshamed of hys vngentil lynage. {and} som man is renomed of noblesse of
kynrede. but he is enclosed in so grete angre for nede of þinges. þat
hym were leuer þat he were vnknowe. and som ma{n} habundeþ boþe i{n}
rychesse {and} noblesse. but ȝit he bywaileþ hys chast[e] lijf. for he
haþ no wijf. ¶ and som man is wel {and} selily maried but he haþ no
children. {and} norissheþ his ricchesse to þe heires of straunge folk.
¶ And som man is gladded wiþ children. but he wepiþ ful sory for þe
trespas of his son or of his douȝtir. ¶ and for þis þer accordeþ no wyȝt
lyȝtly to þe condic{i}ou{n} of his fortune. for alwey to euery man þere
is i{n} mest somwhat þat vnassaieþ he ne wot not or ellys he drediþ þat
he haþ assaied. ¶ {And} adde þis also þat euery weleful man haþ a wel
delicat felyng. ¶ So þat but yif alle þinges fallen at hys owen wille
for he inpacient or is nat vsed to han none aduersitee. an-oone he is
þrowe adoũne for euery lytel þing. ¶ And ful lytel þinges ben þo þat
wiþdrawen þe so{m}me or þe p{er}fecc{i}ou{n} of blisfulnesse fro hem þat
ben most fortunat. ¶ How many men trowest þou wolde demen hem self to
ben almost in heuene yif þei myȝten atteyne to þe leest[e] p{ar}tie of
þe remenaunt of þi fortune. ¶ Þis same place þat þou clepist exil is
contre to hem þat enhabiten here. {and} forþi. Noþing wrecched. but whan
þou wenest it ¶ As who seiþ. þouȝ þi self ne no wyȝt ellys nys no
wrecche but whan he weneþ hym self a wrecche by reputac{i}ou{n} of his
corage.


CONTRAQ{UE}.

++And aȝeinewarde al fortune is blisful to a man by þe agreablete or by
þe egalite of hym þat suffreþ it. ¶ What man is þat. þat is so weleful
þat nolde chau{n}ge{n} his estat whan he haþ lorn pacience. þe swetnesse
of mannes welefulnesse is yspranid wiþ many[e] bitternesses. þe whiche
welefulnesse al þouȝ it seme swete {and} ioyeful to hym þat vseþ it. ȝit
may it not be wiþ-holden þat it ne goþ away whan it wol. ¶ Þan is it wel
sen how wrecched is þe blisfulnesse of mortel þinges. þat neiþ{er} it
dwelliþ p{er}petuel wiþ hem þat euery fortune receyuen agreablely or
egaly. ¶ Ne it ne deliteþ not in al. to hem þat ben anguissous. ¶ O ye
mortel folkes what seke ȝe þan blisfulnesse oute of ȝoure self. whiche
þat is put in ȝoure self. Erro{ur} {and} folie co{n}fou{n}deþ ȝow ¶ I
shal shewe þe shortly. þe poynt of souereyne blisfulnesse. Is þer any
þing to þe more p{re}ciouse þan þi self ¶ Þou wilt answere nay. ¶ Þan if
it so be þat þou art myȝty ouer þi self þat is to seyn by tranquillitee
of þi soule. þan hast þou þing i{n} þi power þat þou noldest neuer
lesen. ne fortune may nat by-nyme it þe. {and} þat þou mayst knowe þat
blisfulnesse [ne] may nat standen in þinges þat ben fortunous {and}
te{m}perel. ¶ Now vndirstonde {and} gadir it to gidir þus yif
blisfulnesse be þe souereyne goode of nature þat liueþ by resou{n} ¶ Ne
þilke þing nis nat souereyne goode þat may be taken awey in any wyse.
for more worþi þing {and} more digne is þilke þing þ{a}t may nat be
taken awey. ¶ Þan shewiþ it wele þat þe vnstablenesse of fortune may nat
attayne to receyue verray blisfulnes. ¶ And ȝit more ouer. ¶ What man
þat þis toumblyng welefulnesse leediþ. eiþer he woot þat [it] is
chaungeable. or ellis he woot it nat. ¶ And yif he woot it not. what
blisful fortune may þer be in þe blyndenesse of ignorau{n}ce. and yif he
woot þat it is chaungeable. he mot alwey ben adrad þ{a}t he ne lese þat
þing. þat he ne douteþ nat but þat he may leesen it. ¶ As whoo seiþ he
mot ben alwey agast lest he leese þat he wot wel he may leese. ¶ For
whiche þe continuel drede þat he haþ ne suffriþ hym nat to ben weleful.
¶ Or ellys yif he leese it he wene to be dispised {and} forleten hit.
¶ Certis eke þat is a ful lytel goode þat is born wiþ euene hert[e] whan
it is loost. ¶ Þat is to seyne þat men don no more force. of þe lost þan
of þe hauynge. ¶ And for as myche as þou þi self art he to who{m} it haþ
ben shewid {and} p{ro}ued by ful many[e] demonstrac{i}ou{n}s. as I woot
wel þat þe soules of men ne mowen nat dien in no wise. and eke syn it is
clere. {and} certeyne þat fortunous welefulnesse endiþ by þe deeþ of þe
body. ¶ It may nat ben douted þat yif þat deeþ may take awey
blysfulnesse þat al þe kynde of mortal þi{n}g{us} ne descendiþ in to
wrecchednesse by þe ende of þe deeþ. ¶ And syn we knowen wel þat many a
man haþ souȝt þe fruit of blisfulnesse nat only wiþ suffryng of deeþ.
but eke wiþ suffryng of peynes {and} to{ur}mentes. how myȝt[e] þan þis
p{re}sent lijf make men blisful. syn þat whanne þilke self[e] lijf is
endid. it ne makeþ folk no wrecches.


QUISQUIS UOLET P{ER}HENNEM CAUTUS.

  [Sidenote: [The ferthe met{ur}.]]

++What maner man stable {and} war þat wil founden hym a p{er}durable
sete {and} ne wil not be cast doune wiþ þe loude blastes of þe wynde
Eurus. {and} wil dispise þe see manassynge wiþ floodes ¶ Lat hym eschewe
to bilde on þe cop of þe mou{n}tay{n}gne. or in þe moyste sandes. ¶ For
þe fel[le] wynde auster to{ur}menteþ þe cop of þe mou{n}tayngne wiþ alle
his strengþes. ¶ and þe lowe see sandes refuse to beren þe heuy weyȝte.
{and} forþi yif þou wolt flee þe p{er}ilous auenture þat is to seine of
þe worlde ¶ Haue mynde certeynly to ficchyn þi house of a myrie site in
a lowe stoone. ¶ For al þouȝ þe wynde troublyng þe see þondre wiþ
ouereþrowynges ¶ Þou þat art put i{n} quiete {and} welful by strengþe of
þi palys shalt leden a cleer age. scornyng þe wodenesses and þe Ires of
þe eir.


SET CUM RACIONU{M} IAM IN TE.

  [Sidenote: [The fyfthe p{ro}se.]]

++But for as moche as þe noryssinges of my resou{n}s descenden now in to
þe. I trowe it were tyme to vsen a litel strenger medicynes. ¶ Now
vndirstonde here al were it so þat þe ȝiftis of fortune nar[e] nat
brutel ne t{ra}nsitorie. what is þer in hem þat may be þine in any tyme.
or ellis þat it nys foule if þat it be considered {and} lokid
p{er}fitely. ¶ Richesse ben þei p{re}ciouse by þe nature of hem self. or
ellys by þe nature of þe. What is most worþi of rycchesse. is it nat
golde or myȝt of moneye assembled. ¶ Certis þilke golde {and} þilke
moneye shineþ {and} ȝeueþ better renou{n} to hem þat dispenden it. þen
to þilke folke þat mokeren it. For auarice makeþ alwey mokeres to be
hated. {and} largesse makeþ folke clere of renou{n} ¶ For syn þat swiche
þi{n}g as is t{ra}nsfered from o man to an oþer ne may nat dwellen wiþ
no man. Certis þan is þilke moneye p{re}cious. whan it is translated in
to oþer folk. {and} stynteþ to ben had by vsage of large ȝeuy{n}g of hym
þat haþ ȝeuen it. {and} also yif al þe moneye þat is ouer-al in þe world
were gadered towar[d] o man. it sholde maken al oþer men to ben nedy as
of þat. ¶ And certys a voys al hool þat is to seyn wiþ-oute amenusynge
fulfilleþ to gyder þe heryng of myche folke. but Certys ȝoure rycchesse
ne mowen nat passen vnto myche folk wiþ-oute amenussyng ¶ And whan þei
ben apassed. nedys þei maken hem pore þat forgon þe rycchesses. ¶ O
streite {and} nedy clepe I þise rycchesses. syn þat many folke [ne] may
nat han it al. ne al may it nat comen to on man wiþ-oute pouerte of al
oþer folke. ¶ And þe shynynge of ge{m}mes þat I clepe p{re}ciouse
stones. draweþ it nat þe eyen of folk in to hem warde. þat is to seyne
for þe beaute. ¶ For certys yif þer were beaute or bounte in shynyng of
stones. þilke clerenesse is of þe stones hem self. {and} nat of men.
¶ For whiche I wondre gretly þat men merueilen on swiche þinges. ¶ For
whi what þing is it þat yif it wa{n}teþ moeuyng {and} ioynture of soule
{and} body þat by ryȝt myȝt[e] semen a faire creature to hym þat haþ a
soule of resou{n}. ¶ For al be it so þat ge{m}mes drawen to hem self a
litel of þe laste beaute of þe worlde. þoruȝ þe entent of hir creato{ur}
{and} þoruȝ þe distincc{i}ou{n} of hem self. ȝit for as myche as þei ben
put vndir ȝoure excellence. þei han not desserued by no weye þat ȝe
shullen merueylen on hem. ¶ And þe beaute of feeldes deliteþ it nat
mychel vnto ȝow. _Boyce._ ¶ Whi sholde it nat deliten vs. syn þat it is
a ryȝt fayr porciou{n} of þe ryȝt fair werk. þat is to seyn of þis
worlde. ¶ And ryȝt so ben we gladed somtyme of þe face of þe see whan it
is clere. And also merueylen we on þe heuene {and} on þe sterres. {and}
on þe sonne. {and} on þe mone. _Philosophie._ ¶ App{er}teineþ q{uo}d she
any of þilke þinges to þe. whi darst þou glorifie þe in þe shynynge of
any swiche þinges. Art þou distingwed {and} embelised by þe spryngyng
floures of þe first somer sesou{n}. or swelliþ þi plente in fruytes of
somer. whi art þou rauyshed wiþ ydel ioies. why enbracest þou straunge
goodes as þei weren þine. Fortune shal neuer maken þat swiche þinges ben
þine þat nature of þinges maked foreyne fro þe. ¶ Syche is þat
wiþ-oute{n} doute þe fruytes of þe erþe owen to ben on þe norssinge of
bestes. ¶ And if þou wilt fulfille þi nede after þat it suffiseþ to
nature þan is it no nede þat þou seke after þe sup{er}fluite of fortune.
¶ For wiþ ful fewe þinges {and} w{i}t{h} ful lytel þing nature halt hire
appaied. {and} yif þou wilt achoken þe fulfillyng of nat{ur}e wiþ
sup{er}fluites ¶ Certys þilke þinges þ{a}t þou wilt þresten or pouren in
to nature shullen ben vnioyeful to þe or ellis anoies. ¶ Wenest þou eke
þat it be a fair þinge to shine wiþ dyuerse cloþing. of whiche cloþing
yif þe beaute be agreable to loken vpon. I wol merueylen on þe nature of
þe matere of þilke cloþes. or ellys on þe werkeman þat wrouȝt[e] hem.
but al so a longe route of meyne. makiþ þat a blisful man. þe whiche
seruauntes yif þei ben vicioũs of condic{i}ou{n}s it is a greet charge
{and} a destrucc{i}ou{n} to þe house. {and} a g{r}eet enmye to þe lorde
hym self ¶ {And} yif þei ben goode men how shal straung[e] or foreyne
goodenes ben put in þe nou{m}bre of þi rycchesse. so þ{a}t by alle þise
forseide þinges. it is clerly shewed þat neuer none of þilke þinges þat
þou accou{m}ptedest for þin goodes nas nat þi goode. ¶ In þe whiche
þinges yif þer be no beaute to ben desired. whi sholdest þou be sory yif
þou leese hem. or whi sholdest þou reioysen þe to holden hem. ¶ For if
þei ben fair of hire owen kynde. what app{er}teneþ þat to þe. for as wel
sholde þei han ben faire by hem self. þouȝ þei were{n} dep{ar}tid from
alle þin rycchesse. ¶ For-why faire ne p{re}cioũs ne weren þei nat. for
þat þei comen amonges þi rycchesse. but for þei semeden fair {and}
p{re}cious. þerfore þou haddest leuer rekene hem amonges þi rycchesse.
but what desirest þou of fortune wiþ so greet a noyse {and} wiþ so greet
a fare ¶ I trowe þou seke to dryue awey nede wiþ habundaunce of þinges.
¶ But certys it turneþ to ȝow al in þe contrarie. for whi certys it
nediþ of ful many[e] helpynges to kepen þe dyuersite of preciouse
ostelmentȝ. and soþe it is þat of many[e] þinges han þei nede þat
many[e] þinges han. {and} aȝeyneward of litel nediþ hem þat mesuren hir
fille after þe nede of kynde {and} nat after þe outrage of couetyse ¶ Is
it þan so þat ye men ne han no p{ro}pre goode. I-set in ȝow. For whiche
ȝe moten seken outwardes ȝoure goodes in foreine {and} subgit þinges.
¶ So is þan þe condic{i}ou{n} of þinges turned vpso dou{n}. þat a man
þat is a devyne beest by merit of hys resou{n}. þinkeþ þat hy{m} self
nys neyþer fair ne noble. but if it be þoruȝ possessiou{n} of
ostelmentes. þat ne han no soules. ¶ And certys al oþ{er} þi{n}ges ben
appaied of hire owen beautes. but ȝe men þat ben semblable to god by
ȝour{e} resonable þouȝt desiren to apparaille ȝour{e} excellent kynde of
þe lowest[e] pinges. ne ȝe ne vndirstonde nat how gret a wro{n}g ȝe don
to ȝoure creato{ur}. for he wolde þat man kynde were moost worþi {and}
noble of any oþer erþely þinges. and ȝe þresten adou{n} ȝoure dignitees
by-neþen þe lowest[e] þinges. ¶ For if þat al þe good of euery þing be
more p{re}ciouse þan is þilk þing whos þat þe good is. syn ȝe demen þat
þe foulest[e] þinges ben ȝoure goodes. þanne summytten ȝe {and} putten
ȝoure self vndir þo foulest[e] þinges by ȝoure estimac{i}ou{n}. ¶ And
certis þis bitidiþ nat wiþ out ȝour{e} desert. For certys swiche is þe
co{n}dic{i}ou{n} of al man kynde þat oonly whan it haþ knowyng of it
self. þan passeþ it i{n} noblesse alle oþer þinges. and whan it forletiþ
þe knowyng of it self. þan it is brouȝt byneþen alle beestes. ¶ For-why
alle oþer [leuynge] beestes han of kynde to knowe not hem self. but whan
þat men leten þe knowyng of hem self. it comeþ hem of vice. but how
brode sheweþ þe erro{ur} {and} þe folie of ȝow men þat wenen þat ony
þing may ben apparailled wiþ straunge apparaillementȝ ¶ but for-soþe þat
may nat be don. for yif a wyȝt shyneþ wiþ þi{n}ges þat ben put to hym.
as þus. yif þilke þinges shynen wiþ whiche a man is apparailled.
¶ Certis þilke þinges ben commendid {and} p{re}ised wiþ whiche he is
apparailled. ¶ But naþeles þe þing þat is couered {and} wrapped vndir
þat dwelleþ in his filþe. and I denye þat þilke þing be good þat anoyeþ
hym þat haþ it. ¶ Gabbe I of þis. þou wolt seye nay. ¶ Certys rycchesse
han anoyed ful ofte hem þat han þe rycchesse. ¶ Syn þat euery wicked
shrew {and} for hys wickednesse þe more gredy aftir oþer folkes
rycchesse wher so euer it be in any place. be it golde or p{re}cious
stones. {and} weniþ hym only most worþi þat haþ hem ¶ þou þan þat so
besy dredest now þe swerde {and} þe spere. yif þou haddest entred in þe
paþe of þis lijf a voide wayfaryng man. þan woldest þou syng[e] by-fore
þe þeef. ¶ As who seiþ a poure man þat bereþ no rycchesse on hym by þe
weye. may boldly syng[e] byforne þeues. for he haþ nat wher-of to ben
robbed. ¶ O preciouse {and} ryȝt clere is þe blysfulnesse of mortal
rycchesse. þat wha{n} þou hast geten it. þan hast þou lorn þi
syke[r]nesse.


FELIX IN MIRU{M} PRIOR ETAS.

  [Sidenote: [The fyfthe met{ur}.]]

++Blysful was þe first age of men. þei helden hem apaied wiþ þe metes
þat þe trewe erþes brouȝten furþe. ¶ þei ne destroyed[e] ne desceyued[e]
not hem self wiþ outerage. ¶ þei weren wont lyȝtly to slaken her hunger
at euene wiþ acornes of okes ¶ þei ne couþe nat medle þe ȝift of bacus
to þe clere hony. þat is to seyn. þei couþe make no piment of clarre. ne
þei couþe nat medle þe briȝt[e] flies of þe co{n}tre of siriens wiþ þe
venym of tirie. þis is to seyne. þei couþe nat dien white flies of
sirien contre wiþ þe blode of a manar shelfysshe. þat men fynden in
tyrie. wiþ whiche blode men deien purper. ¶ þei slepen holesom slepes
vpon þe gras. and dronken of þe rynnyng watres. {and} laien vndir þe
shadowe of þe heyȝe pyne trees. ¶ Ne no gest ne no straunger [ne] karf
ȝit þe heye see wiþ oores or wiþ shippes. ne þei ne hadden seyne ȝitte
none newe strondes to leden merchaundyse in to dyuerse co{n}tres. ¶ þo
weren þe cruel clariou{n}s ful whist {and} ful stille. ne blode yshed by
egre hate ne hadde nat deied ȝit armurers. for wherto or whiche
woodenesse of enmys wolde first moeuen armes. whan þei seien cruel
woundes ne none medes ben of blood yshad ¶ I wolde þat oure tymes sholde
turne aȝeyne to þe oolde maneres. ¶ But þe anguissous loue of hauyng
brenneþ in folke moore cruely þan þe fijr of þe Mou{n}taigne of Ethna
þat euer brenneþ. ¶ Allas what was he þat first dalf vp þe gobets or þe
weyȝtys of gold couered vndir erþe. {and} þe p{re}cious stones þat
wolden han ben hid. he dalf vp p{re}cious perils. þat is to seyne þat he
þat hem first vp dalf. he dalf vp a p{re}cious peril. for-whi. for þe
p{re}ciousnesse of swyche haþ many man ben in peril.


QUID AUTE{M} DE DIGNITATIB{US} {ET} C{ETERA}.

  [Sidenote: [The sixte p{ro}se.]]

++But what shal I seyne of dignitees {and} of powers. þe whiche [ye] men
þ{a}t neiþer knowen verray dignitee ne verray power areysen hem as heye
as þe heuene. þe whiche dignitees {and} powers yif þei come to any
wicked man þei don [as] greet[e] damages {and} distrucc{i}ou{n} as doþ
þe fla{m}me of þe Mou{n}taigne Ethna whan þe fla{m}me wit walwiþ vp ne
no deluge ne doþ so cruel harmes. ¶ Certys ye remembriþ wel as I trowe
þat þilke dignitee þat men clepiþ þe emperie of {con}sulers þe whiche
þat somtyme was bygynnyng of fredom. ¶ Ȝoure eldres coueiteden to han
don a-wey þat dignitee for þe p{r}ide of þe conseilers. ¶ And ryȝt for
þe same p{r}ide ȝoure eldres byforne þat tyme hadden don awey out of þe
Citee of rome þe kynges name. þat is to seien. þei nolden haue no lenger
no kyng ¶ But now yif so be þ{a}t dignitees {and} powers ben ȝeuen to
goode men. þe whiche þing is ful ȝelde. what agreable þi{n}ges is þer in
þo dignitees. or powers. but only þe goodenes of folk þat vsen hem.
¶ And þerfore it is þus þat hono{ur} ne comeþ nat to vertue for cause of
dignite. but aȝeinward. hono{ur} comeþ to dignite by cause of vertue.
but whiche is ȝoure derworþe power þat is so clere {and} so requerable
¶ O ȝe erþelyche bestes considere ȝe nat ouer whiche þing þat it semeþ
þat ȝe han power. ¶ Now yif þou say[e] a mouse amo{n}g{us} oþer myse þat
chalenged[e] to hymself ward ryȝt {and} power ouer alle oþer myse. how
gret scorne woldest þou han of hit. ¶ _Glosa._ ¶ So fareþ it by men. þe
body haþ power ouer þe body. For yif þow loke wel vpon þe body of a wyȝt
what þing shalt þou fynde moore frele þan is mannes kynde. þe whiche ben
ful ofte slayn wiþ bytynge of smale flies. or ellys wiþ þe entryng of
crepyng wormes in to þe priuetees of mennes bodyes. ¶ But wher shal men
fynden any man þat may exercen or haunten any ryȝt vpon an oþer ma{n}
but oonly vpon hys body. or ellys vpo{n} þinges þat ben lower þen þe
body. whiche I clepe fortunous possessiou{n}s ¶ Mayst þou euer haue any
comaundement ouer a fre corage ¶ Mayst þou remuen fro þe estat of hys
p{ro}pre reste. a þouȝt þat is cleuyng to gider in hym self by stedfast
resou{n}. ¶ As somtyme a tiraunt wende to co{n}founde a freeman of
corage ¶ {And} wende to co{n}streyne hym by to{ur}ment to maken hym
dyscoueren {and} acusen folk þat wisten of a coniurac{i}ou{n}. whiche I
clepe a confederacie þat was cast aȝeins þis tyraunt ¶ But þis free man
boot of hys owen tunge. {and} cast it in þe visage of þilke woode
tyrau{n}te. ¶ So þat þe to{ur}mentȝ þat þis tyrau{n}t wende to han maked
mater{e} of cruelte. þis wyse man maked[e it] matere of vertues. ¶ But
what þing is it þat a man may don to an oþer man. þat he ne may receyue
þe same þing of oþer folke i{n} hym self. or þus. ¶ What may a man don
to folk. þat folk ne may don hym þe same. ¶ I haue herd told of
busirides þat was wo{n}t to sleen hys gestes þat herburghden in hys
hous. and he was slayn hym self of ercules þat was hys gest ¶ Regulus
had[de] taken in bataile many men of affrike. and cast hem in to
fetteres. but sone after he most[e] ȝiue hys handes to ben bounden
w{i}t{h} þe cheynes of hem þat he had[de] somtyme ou{er}comen. ¶ Wenest
þou þan þat he be myȝty. þat may nat don a þing. þat oþer ne may don
hym. þat he doþ to oþer. {and} ȝit more ou{er} yif it so were þat þise
dignites or poweres hadden any p{ro}pre or naturel goodnesse in hem self
neuer nolden þei comen to shrewes. ¶ For contrarious þinges ne ben not
wont to ben yfelawshiped togidres. ¶ Nature refuseþ þat contra[r]ious
þinges ben yioigned. ¶ And so as I am in certeyne þat ryȝt wikked folk
han dignitees ofte tymes. þan sheweþ it wel þat dignitees {and} powers
ne ben not goode of hir owen kynde. syn þat þei suffren hem self to
cleue{n} or ioynen hem to shrewes. ¶ And certys þe same þing may most
digneliche Iugen {and} seyen of alle þe ȝiftis of fortune þat most
plenteuously comen to shrewes. ¶ Of þe whiche ȝiftys I trowe þat it
auȝt[e] ben considered þat no man doutiþ þat he nis strong. in whom he
seeþ strengþe. {and} in whom þat swiftnesse is ¶ Soþe it is þat he is
swyfte. Also musyk makeþ musiciens. {and} fysik makeþ phisiciens. {and}
rethorik rethoriens. ¶ For whi þe nature of euery þing makiþ his
p{ro}pretee. ne it is nat ent{er}medled wiþ þe effect{is} of
co{n}trarious þinges. ¶ And as of wil it chaseþ oute þinges þat to it
ben contrarie ¶ But certys rycchesse may nat restreyne auarice
vnstaunched ¶ Ne power [ne] makeþ nat a ma{n} myȝty ouer hym self.
whiche þat vicious lustis holden destreined wiþ cheins þat ne mowen nat
ben vnbounden. {and} dignitees þat ben ȝeuen to shrewed[e] folk nat
oonly ne makiþ hem nat digne. but it sheweþ raþer al openly þat þei ben
vnworþi {and} vndigne. ¶ And whi is it þ{us}. ¶ Certis for ȝe han ioye
to clepen þinges wiþ fals[e] names. þat beren hem al in þe
co{n}t{ra}rie. þe whiche names ben ful ofte reproued by þe effect of þe
same þinges. so þat þise ilke rycchesse ne auȝten nat by ryȝt to ben
cleped rycchesse. ne whiche power ne auȝt[e] not ben cleped power. ne
whiche dignitee ne auȝt[e] nat ben cleped dignitee. ¶ And at þe laste I
may conclude þe same þinge of al þe ȝiftes of fortune in whiche þer nis
no þing to ben desired. ne þat haþ in hym self naturel bounte. ¶ as it
is ful wel sene. for neyþer þei ne ioygne{n} hem nat alwey to goode men.
ne maken hem alwey goode to who{m} þei be{n} y-ioigned.


NOUIMUS QUANTOS DEDERAT.

  [Sidenote: [The sixte Met{ur}.]]

++WE han wel knowen how many g{r}eet[e] harmes {and} destrucc{i}ou{n}s
weren doñ by þe Emp{er}oure Nero. ¶ He letee brenne þe citee of Rome
{and} made slen þe senato{ur}s. and he cruel somtyme slouȝ hys broþer.
{and} he was maked moyst wiþ þe blood of hys modir. þat is to seyn he
let sleen {and} slitte{n} þe body of his modir to seen where he was
conceiued. {and} he loked[e] on euery half vpon hir colde dede body. ne
no tere ne wette his face. but he was so hard herted þat he myȝt[e] ben
domesman or Iuge of hire dede beaute. ¶ And ȝitte neuerþeles gouerned[e]
þis Nero by Ceptre al þe peoples þat phebus þe sonne may seen comyng
from his outerest arysyng til he hidde his bemes vndir þe wawes. ¶ þat
is to seyne. he gouerned[e] alle þe peoples by Ceptre imp{er}ial þat þe
so{n}ne goþ aboute from est to west ¶ And eke þis Nero goueyrende by
Ceptre. alle þe peoples þat ben vndir þe colde sterres þat hyȝten þe
seuene triones. þis is to seyn he gouerned[e] alle þe poeples þat ben
vndir þe p{ar}ties of þe norþe. ¶ And eke Nero gouerned[e] alle þe
poeples þat þe violent wynde Nothus scorchiþ {and} bakiþ þe brennynge
sandes by his drie hete. þat is to seyne. alle þe poeples in þe souþe.
[but yit ne myhte nat al his heye power torne the woodnesse of this
wykkyd nero / Allas it is greuous fortune it is]. as ofte as wicked
swerde is ioygned to cruel venym. þat is to sein. venimous cruelte to
lordshipe.


TU{M} EGO SCIS INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The seuende p{ro}se.]]

++ÞAnne seide I þus. þou wost wel þiself þat þe couetise of mortal
þinges ne hadden neuer lordshipe of me. but I haue wel desired matere of
þinges to done. as who seiþ. I desired[e] to han matere of gou{er}naunce
ouer comunalites. ¶ For vertue stille ne sholde not elden. þat is to
seyn. þat list þat or he wex olde ¶ His uertue þat lay now ful stille.
ne sholde nat p{er}isshe vnexcercised i{n} gouernaunce of comune. ¶ For
whiche men myȝten speke or write{n} of his goode gouernement.
¶ _Philosophie._ ¶ For soþe q{uo}d she. {and} þat is a þing þat may
drawen to gouernaunce swiche hertes as ben worþi {and} noble of hir
nature. but naþeles it may nat drawen or tollen swiche hertes as ben
y-brouȝt to þe ful[le] p{er}fecciou{n} of vertue. þat is to seyn
couetyse of glorie {and} renou{n} to han wel administred þe comune
þinges. or doon goode decertes to p{ro}fit of þe comune. for se now
{and} considere how litel {and} how voide of al prise is þilke glorie.
¶ Certeine þing is as þou hast lerned by demonstrac{i}ou{n} of
astronomye þat al þe envyronynge of þe erþe aboute ne halt but þe
resou{n} of a prykke at regard of þe gretnesse of heuene. þat is to
seye. þat yif þat þer were maked co{m}parisou{n} of þe erþe to þe
gretnesse of heuene. men wolde Iugen in alle þat erþe [ne] helde no
space ¶ Of þe whiche litel regiou{n} of þis worlde þe ferþe partie is
enhabitid wiþ lyuyng beestes þat we knowen. as þou hast þi self lerned
by tholome þat p{ro}uitħ it. ¶ yif þou haddest wiþ drawen {and} abated
in þi þouȝte fro þilke ferþe partie as myche space as þe see {and} [the]
mareys contenen {and} ouergon {and} as myche space as þe regiou{n} of
droughte ou{er}streccheþ. þat is to seye sandes {and} desertes wel vnneþ
sholde þer dwellen a ryȝt streite place to þe habitaciou{n} of men.
{and} ȝe þan þat ben environed {and} closed wiþ i{n}ne þe leest[e]
prikke of þilk prikke þenke ȝe to manifesten ȝoure renou{n} {and} don
ȝoure name to ben born forþe. but ȝour{e} glorie þat is so narwe {and}
so streyt yþronge{n} in to so litel boundes. how myche conteinþe it in
largesse {and} in greet doynge. And also sette þis þer to þat many a
nac{i}ou{n} dyuerse of tonge {and} of maneres. {and} eke of resou{n} of
hir lyuyng ben enhabitid in þe cloos of þilke litel habitacle. ¶ To þe
whiche nac{i}ou{n}s what for difficulte of weyes. {and} what for
diu{er}site of langages. {and} what for defaute of vnusage
entercomunynge of marchau{n}dise. nat only þe names of singler men ne
may [nat] strecchen. but eke þe fame of Citees ne may nat strecchen.
¶ At þe last[e] Certis in þe tyme of Marcus tulyus as hym self writeþ in
his book þat þe renou{n} of þe comune of Rome ne hadde nat ȝitte passed
ne clou{m}ben ou{er} þe mou{n}taigne þat hyȝt Caucasus. {and} ȝitte was
þilk tyme rome wel wexen {and} gretly redouted of þe p{ar}thes. and eke
of oþer folk enhabityng aboute. ¶ Sest þou nat þan how streit {and} how
comp{re}ssed is þilke glorie þat ȝe t{ra}uaile{n} aboute to shew {and}
to multiplie. May þan þe glorie of a singlere Romeyne strecchen þider as
þe fame of þe name of Rome may nat clymben ne passen. ¶ And eke sest
þ{o}u nat þat þe maners of diu{er}se folk {and} eke hir lawes ben
discordau{n}t amonge hem self. so þ{a}t þilke þing þat so{m}men iugen
worþi of p{re}ysynge. oþer folk iugen þat it is worþi of torment. ¶ and
þer of comeþ þat þouȝ a man delite hy{m} in p{re}ysyng of his renou{n}.
he ne may nat i{n} no wise bryngen furþe ne sprede{n} his name to many
manere peoples. ¶ And þerfore euery man{er} man auȝte to ben paied of
hys glorie þat is puplissed among hys owen neyȝbores. ¶ And þilke noble
renou{n} shal be restreyned wiþ-i{n}ne þe boundes of o maner folk but
how many a man þat was ful noble in his tyme. haþ þe nedy {and} wrecched
forȝetynge of writers put oute of mynde {and} don awey. ¶ Al be it so
þat certys þilke writynges p{ro}fiten litel. þe whiche writy{n}ges longe
{and} derke elde doþ aweye boþe he{m} {and} eke her auto{ur}s. but ȝe
men semen to geten ȝow a p{er}durablete whan ȝe þenke þat in tyme comyng
ȝoure fame shal lasten. ¶ But naþeles yif þou wilt maken co{m}parisou{n}
to þe endeles space of eternite what þing hast þou by whiche þou maist
reioysen þe of lo{n}g lastyng of þi name. ¶ For if þer were maked
co{m}parysou{n} of þe abidyng of a mome{n}t to ten þousand wynter. for
as myche as boþe þo spaces ben endid. ¶ For ȝit haþ þe moment some
porciou{n} of hit al þouȝ it a litel be. ¶ But naþeles þilke self
nou{m}bre of ȝeres. and eke as many ȝeres as þer to may be multiplied.
ne may nat certys be comparisou{n}d to þe p{er}durablete þat is
een[de]les. ¶ For of þinges þat han ende may be mad co{m}parisou{n} [but
of thinges that ben w{i}t{h}-owtyn ende to thinges þ{a}t han ende may be
maked no {com}parysou{n}]. ¶ And for þi is it al þouȝ renou{n} of as
longe tyme as euer þe lyst to þinken were þouȝt by þe regard of
et{er}nite. þat is vnstauncheable {and} infinit. it ne sholde nat oonly
semen litel. but pleinliche ryȝt nouȝt. ¶ But ȝe men certys ne konne don
no þing aryȝt. but ȝif it be for þe audience of poeple. {and} for ydel
rumo{ur}s. {and} ȝe forsaken þe grete worþinesse of conscience {and} of
vertue. {and} ȝe seke{n} ȝoure gerdou{n}s of þe smale wordes of
st{ra}nge folke. ¶ Haue now here {and} vndirstonde i{n} þe lyȝtnesse of
whiche p{r}ide {and} veyne glorie. how a man scorned[e] festiualy {and}
myrily swiche vanite. somtyme þere was a man þat had[de] assaied wiþ
striuyng wordes an oþer ma{n}. ¶ þe whiche nat for vsage of verrey
vertue. but for proude veyne glorie had[de] take{n} vpon hym falsly þe
name of a philosopher. ¶ þis raþer man þat I speke of þouȝt[e] he wolde
assay[e] where he þilke were a philosopher or no. þat is to seyne yif he
wolde han suffred lyȝtly in pacience þe wro{n}ges þat weren don vnto
hym. ¶ þis feined[e] philosophre took pacience a litel while. {and} whan
he hadde receiued wordes of outerage he as in stryuynge aȝeine {and}
reioysynge of hym self seide at þe last[e] ryȝt þus. ¶ vndirstondest þou
nat þat I am a philosophere. þat oþer man answered[e] aȝein ful bityngly
{and} seide. ¶ I had[de] wel vndirstonden [yt]. yif þou haddest holde{n}
þi tonge stille. ¶ But what is it to þise noble worþi men. For certys of
swyche folk speke .I. þat seken glorie wiþ vertue. what is it q{uo}d
she. what atteiniþ fame to swiche folk whan þe body is resolued by þe
deeþ. atte þe last[e]. ¶ For yif so be þat men dien in al. þat is to
seyne body {and} soule. þe whiche þing oure resou{n} defendiþ vs to
byleuen þanne is þere no glorie in no wyse. For what sholde þilke glorie
ben. for he of who{m} þis glorie is seid to be nis ryȝt nouȝt in no
wise. and ȝif þe soule whiche þat haþ in it self science of goode werkes
vnbounden fro þe p{r}isou{n} of þe erþe wendeþ frely to þe heuene.
dispiseþ it nouȝt þan alle erþely occupac{i}ou{n}s. {and} beynge i{n}
heuene reioiseþ þat it is exempt from alle erþely þinges [as wo seith /
thanne rekketh the sowle of no glorye of renou{n} of this world].


QUICUMQ{UE} SOLAM MENTE.

  [Sidenote: [The 7th Metre.]]

++Who so þat wiþ ouerþrowyng þouȝt only sekeþ glorie of fame. {and}
weniþ þat it be souereyne good ¶ Lete hym loke vpon þe brode shewyng
contreys of þe heue{n}. {and} vpo{n} þe streite sete of þis erþe. {and}
he shal be ashamed of þe encres of his name. þat may nat fulfille þe
litel compas of þe erþe. ¶ O what coueiten proude folke to liften vpon
hire nekkes in ydel {and} dedely ȝok of þis worlde. ¶ For al þouȝ
[þ{a}t] renoune y-spradde passynge to ferne poeples goþ by dyuerse
tonges. and al þouȝ grete houses {and} kynredes shyne wiþ clere titles
of hono{ur}s. ȝit naþeles deeþ dispiseþ al heye glorie of fame. {and}
deeþ wrappeþ to gidre þe heye heuedes {and} þe lowe {and} makeþ egal
{and} euene þe heyest[e] to þe lowest[e]. ¶ where wone{n} now þe bones
of trewe fabricius. what is now brutus or stiern Caton þe þinne fame ȝit
lastynge of hir ydel names is markid wiþ a fewe lettres. but al þouȝ we
han knowe{n} þe faire wordes of þe fames of hem. it is nat ȝeuen to
knowe he{m} þat ben dede {and} consumpt. Liggiþ þanne stille al vtterly
vnknowable ne fame ne makeþ ȝow nat knowe. and yif ȝe wene to lyuen þe
leng{er} for wynde of ȝoure mortal name. whan o cruel day shal rauyshe
ȝow. þan is þe secunde deeþ dwellyng in ȝow. _Glosa._ þe first deeþ he
clepiþ here þe dep{ar}tynge of þe body {and} þe soule. ¶ and þe secunde
deeþ he clepeþ as here. þe styntynge of þe renoune of fame.


[SET NE ME INEXORABILE CONTRA.

  [Sidenote: [The viij p{ro}se.]]

++BVt for-as-mochel as thow shalt nat wenen q{uod} she þ{a}t I bere
vntretable batayle ayenis fortune // yit som-tyme it by-falleth þ{a}t
she desseyuable desserueth to han ryht good thank of men // {And} þ{a}t
is whan she hir{e} self opneth / {and} whan she descou{er}eth hir frownt
/ {and} sheweth hir maneres p{ar}-auentur{e} yit vndirstondesthow nat
þ{a}t .I. shal seye // it is a wondyr þ{a}t .I. desyr{e} to telle /
{and} forthi vnnethe may I. vnpleyten my sentense w{i}t{h} wordes for I.
deme þ{a}t contraryos fortune p{ro}fiteth mor{e} to men than fortune
debonayr{e} // For al-wey whan fortune semeth debonayr{e} than she lyeth
falsly in by-hetynge the hope of welefulnesse // but forsothe
{con}traryos fortune is alwey sothfast / whan she sheweth hir self
vnstable thorw hyr chau{n}gynge // the amyable fortune desseyueth folk /
the contrarye fortune techeth // the amyable fortune byndeth w{i}t{h}
the beaute of false goodys the hertes of folk þ{a}t vsen he{m} / the
contrarye fortune vnbyndeth he{m} by þ^e knowynge of freele welefulnesse
// the amyable fortune maysthow sen alwey wyndynge {and} flowynge /
{and} eu{er}e mysknowynge of hir self // the contrarye fortune is
a-tempre {and} restreynyd {and} wys thorw excersyse of hir aduersyte //
at the laste amyable fortune w{i}t{h} hir flaterynges draweth mys
wandrynge men fro the souereyne good // the contraryos fortune ledith
ofte folk ayein to sothfast goodes / {and} haleth hem ayein as w{i}t{h}
an hooke / weenesthow thanne þ{a}t thow owhtest to leten this a lytel
thing / þ{a}t this aspre {and} horible fortune hath discoueryd to the /
the thowhtes of thy trewe frendes // For-why this ilke fortune hath
departyd {and} vncou{er}yd to the bothe the certeyn vysages {and} ek the
dowtos visages of thy felawes // wha{n} she dep{ar}tyd awey fro the /
she took awey hyr frendes {and} lafte the thyne frendes // now whan thow
wer{e} ryche {and} weleful as the semede / w{i}t{h} how mochel
woldesthow han bowht the fulle knowynge of this // þ{a}t is to seyn the
knowynge of thy verray freendes // now pleyne the nat thanne of Rychesse
.I.-lorn syn thow hast fowndyn the moste p{re}syos kynde of Rychesses
þ{a}t is to seyn thy verray frendes.


QUOD MU{N}DUS STABILI FIDE.

  [Sidenote: [The viij Met{ur}.]]

++THat þ^e world w{i}t{h} stable feith / varieth acordable chaungynges
// þ{a}t the contraryos qualite of elementȝ holden among{e} hem self
aliau{n}ce p{er}durable / þ{a}t pheb{us} the sonne w{i}t{h} his goldene
chariet / bryngeth forth the rosene day / þ{a}t the mone hath
{com}mau{n}dement ou{er} the nyhtes // whiche nyhtes hesp{er}us the eue
sterre hat browt // þ{a}t þ^e se gredy to flowen constreyneth w{i}t{h} a
certeyn ende hise floodes / so þ{a}t it is nat l[e]ueful to strechche
hise brode termes or bowndes vp-on the erthes // þ{a}t is to seyn to
cou{er}e alle the erthe // Al this a-cordau{n}ce of thinges is bownden
w{i}t{h} looue / þ{a}t gou{er}neth erthe {and} see / {and} hath also
{com}mau{n}dementȝ to the heuenes / {and} yif this looue slakede the
brydelis / alle thinges þ{a}t now louen hem to gederes / wolden maken a
batayle contynuely {and} stryuen to fordoon the fasou{n} of this worlde
/ the which they now leden in acordable feith by fayre moeuynges // this
looue halt to gideres poeples Ioygned w{i}t{h} an hooly bond / {and}
knytteth sacrement of maryages of chaste looues // And loue enditeth
lawes to trewe felawes // O weleful weer{e} mankynde / yif thilke loue
þ{a}t gouerneth heuene gouerned[e] yowr{e} corages /

  EXPLICIT LIB{ER} 2_^us_.



INCIPIT LIB{ER} 3._^us_


IAM CANTU{M} ILLA FINIERAT.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrste p{ro}se.]]

++By this she hadde endid hir{e} song{e} / whan the swetnesse of hir{e}
ditee hadde thorw p{er}ced me þ{a}t was desirous of herkninge / {and}
.I. astoned hadde yit streyhte myn Eres / þ{a}t is to seyn to herkne the
bet / what she wolde seye // so þ{a}t a litel her{e} aft{er} .I. seyde
thus // O thow þ{a}t art sou{er}eyn comfort of Angwissos corages // So
thow hast remou{n}ted {and} norysshed me w{i}t{h} the weyhte of thy
sentenses {and} w{i}t{h} delit of thy syngynge // so þ{a}t .I. trowe nat
now þ{a}t .I. be vnparygal to the strokes of fortune / as who seyth. I.
dar wel now suffren al the assautes of fortune {and} wel deffende me fro
hyr // {and} tho remedies whyche þ{a}t thow seydest hir{e} byforn weren
ryht sharpe Nat oonly p{a}t .I. am nat agrysen of hem now // but .I.
desiros of herynge axe gretely to heeren tho remedyes // than seyde she
thus // þ{a}t feelede .I. ful wel q{uod} she // whan þ{a}t thow ententyf
{and} stylle rauysshedest my wordes // {and} .I. abood til þ{a}t thow
haddest swych habyte of thy thowght as thow hast now // or elles tyl
þ{a}t .I. my self had[de] maked to the the same habyt / which þ{a}t is a
moore verray thing{e} // And certes the remenau{n}t of thinges þ{a}t ben
yit to seye / ben swyche // þ{a}t fyrst whan men tasten hem they ben
bytynge / but whan they ben resseyuyd w{i}t{h}-inne a whyht than ben
they swete // but for thow seyst þ{a}t thow art so desirous to herkne
hem // wit[h] how gret brennynge woldesthow glowen / yif thow wystest
whyder .I. wol leden the // whydyr{e} is þ{a}t q{uod} .I. // to thilke
verray welefulnesse q{uod} she // of whyche thynge herte dremeth // but
for as moche as thy syhte is ocupied {and} distorbed / by Imagynasyon of
herthely thynges / thow mayst nat yit sen thilke selue welefulnesse //
do q{uod} .I. {and} shewe me / what is thilke verray welefulnesse / .I.
preye the w{i}t{h}-howte tarynge // þ{a}t wole .I. gladly don q{uod} she
/ for the cause of the // but .I. wol fyrst marken the by wordes / {and}
I wol enforcen me to enformen the // thilke false cause of blysfulnesse
þ{a}t thow more knowest / so þ{a}t whan thow hast fully by-holden thilke
false goodes {and} torned thyne eyen to þ{a}t oother syde / thow mowe
knowe the clernesse of verray blysfulnesse //]


QUI SERERE I{N}GENIUM.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrst met{ur}.]]

¶ Who so wil sowe a felde plentiuous. lat hym first delyuer it of þornes
{and} kerue asondre wiþ his hooke þe bushes {and} þe ferne so þat þe
corne may come{n} heuy of eres {and} of greins. hony is þe more swete
yif mouþes han firste tastid sauoures þ{a}t ben wikke. ¶ þe sterres
shynen more agreably whan þe wynde Nothus letiþ his ploungy blastes.
{and} aftir þat lucifer þe day sterre haþ chased awey þe derke nyȝt. þe
day þe feir{e}r lediþ þe rosene horse of þe sonne. ¶ Ryȝt so þou
byholdyng first þe fals[e] goodes. bygynne to wiþdrawe þi nek[ke] fro þe
ȝok of erþely affecc{i}ou{n}s. {and} afterwarde þe verrey goodes
sholle{n} entre i{n} to þi corage.


TUNC DEFIXO PAULULU{M}.

  [Sidenote: [The 2^de p{ro}se.]]

++ÞO fastned[e] she a lytel þe syȝt of hir eyen {and} wiþdrow hir ryȝt
as it were in to þe streite sete of hir þouȝt. {and} bygan to speke ryȝt
þ{us}. Alle þe cures q{uo}d she of mortal folk whiche þat trauaylen hem
i{n} many manere studies gon certys by diu{er}se weies. ¶ But naþeles
þei enforced hem to comen oonly to on ende of blisfulnesse [And
blysfulnesse] is swiche a goode þat who so haþ geten it he ne may ouer
þat no þing more desiire. and þis þing for soþe is þe souereyne good þat
conteiniþ in hym self al man{er}e goodes. to þe whiche goode yif þere
failed[e] any þing. it myȝt[e] nat ben souereyne goode. ¶ For þan were
þere som goode out of þis ilke souereyne goode þ{a}t myȝt[e] ben
desired. Now is it clere {and} certeyne þa{n} þat blisfulnesse is a
p{er}fit estat by þe congregac{i}ou{n} of alle goodes. ¶ þe whiche
blisfulnesse as I haue seid alle mortal folke enforcen hem to geten by
dyuerse weyes. ¶ For-whi þe couetise of verray goode is naturely
y-plaunted in þe hertys of men. ¶ But þe myswandryng erro{ur} myslediþ
hem in to fals[e] goodes. ¶ of þe whiche men some of hem wenen þat
souereygne goode is to lyue wiþ outen nede of any þing. {and}
t{ra}ueile{n} hem to ben habundaunt of rycchesse. and some oþer men
deme{n}. þat sou{er}ein goode be forto be ryȝt digne of reu{er}ences.
{and} enforce{n} hem to ben reu{er}enced among hir neyȝbo{ur}s. by þe
hono{ur}s þat þei han ygeten ¶ {and} some folk þer ben þat halden þat
ryȝt heyȝe power to be souereyn goode. {and} enforcen he{m} forto regnen
or ellys to ioigne{n} he{m} to hem þat regnen. ¶ And it semeþ to some
oþer folk þat noblesse of renou{n} be þe sou{er}ein goode. {and} hasten
hem to geten glorious name by þe artes of werre or of pees. and many
folke mesuren {and} gessen þ{a}t sou{er}ein goode be ioye {and}
gladnesse {and} wenen þat it be ryȝt blisful [thyng{e}] to ploungen hem
i{n} uoluptuous delit. ¶ And þer ben folk þat enterchaungen þe causes
{and} þe endes of þise forseide goodes as þei þat desire{n} rycchesse to
han power {and} delices. Or ellis þei desiren power forto han moneye or
for cause of renou{n}. ¶ In þise þinges {and} i{n} swyche oþer þinges is
to{ur}ned al þe entenc{i}ou{n} of desirynges {and} [of] werkes of me{n}.
¶ As þus. ¶ Noblesse {and} fauo{ur} of poeple whiche þat ȝiueþ as it
semeþ a manere clernesse of renou{n}. ¶ and wijf {and} children þat men
desiren for cause of delit {and} mirinesse. ¶ But forsoþe frendes ne
shollen nat ben rekkened among þe goodes of fortune but of vertue. for
it is a ful holy man{er}e þing. alle þise oþer þinges forsoþe ben taken
for cause of power. or ellis for cause of delit. ¶ Certis now am I redy
to referen þe goodes of þe body to þise forseide þinges abouen. ¶ For it
semeþ þ{a}t strengþe {and} gretnesse of body ȝeuen power {and}
worþinesse. ¶ and þat beaute {and} swiftenesse ȝeuen noblesse {and}
glorie of renou{n}. {and} hele of body semeþ ȝiuen delit. ¶ In alle þise
þi{n}g{us} it semeþ oonly þat blisfulnesse is desired. ¶ For-whi þilke
þing þat euery man desireþ moost ouer alle þinges. he demiþ þat be þe
souereyne goode. ¶ But I haue diffined þat blisfulnesse is þe souereyne
goode. for whiche euery wyȝt demiþ þat þilke estat þat he desireþ ouer
alle þinges þat it be þe blisfulnesse. ¶ Now hast þou þan byforne [thy
eyen] almost al þe p{ur}posed forme of þe welfulnesse of ma{n}ky{n}de.
þat is to seyne rycchesse. hono{ur}s. power. glorie. {and} delitȝ. þe
whiche delit oonly considered Epicurus Iuged {and} establissed. þat
delit is þe souereyne goode. for as myche as alle oþer þinges as hym
þouȝt[e] by-refte awey ioie {and} myrþe fro{m} þe herte. ¶ But I
reto{ur}ne aȝeyne to þe studies of meen. of whiche men þe corage alwey
rehersiþ {and} seekeþ þe souereyne goode of alle be it so þ{a}t it be
wiþ a derke memorie [but he not by whiche paath]. ¶ Ryȝt as a dronke
ma{n} not nat by whiche paþe he may reto{ur}ne home to hys house.
¶ Semeþ it þanne þat folk folyen {and} erren þat enforcen he{m} to haue
nede of no þing ¶ Certys þer nys non oþer þing þat may so weel
p{er}fo{ur}ny blisfulnesse as an estat plenteuo{us} of alle goodes þat
ne haþ nede of none oþer þing. but þat it is suffisant of hy{m} self.
vnto hym self. and foleyen swyche folk þanne. þat wenen þat þilk þing
þ{a}t is ryȝt goode. þat it be eke ryȝt worþi of honour {and} of
reuerence. ¶ Certis nay. for þat þing nys neyþer foule ne worþi to ben
dispised þat al þe entenc{i}ou{n} of mortel folke trauaille forto geten
it. ¶ And power auȝt[e] nat þat eke to be rekened amonges goodes what
ellis. for it nys nat to wene þat þilke þing þat is most worþi of alle
þinges be feble {and} wiþ out strengþe {and} clernesse of renou{n} auȝte
þat to ben dispised. ¶ Certys þer may no man forsake þat al þing þat is
ryȝt excellent {and} noble. þat it ne semeþ to be ryȝt clere {and}
renomed. ¶ For certis it nediþ nat to seie. þat blisfulnesse be
anguissous ne dreri ne subgit to greua{n}ces ne to sorwes. syn þat in
ryȝt litel þi{n}g{us} folk seken to haue {and} to vsen þat may deliten
hem. ¶ Certys þise ben þe þi{n}ges þat men wolen {and} desyren to geten.
and for þis cause desiren þei rycches. dignites. regnes. glorie {and}
delices ¶ For þerby wenen þei to han suffisau{n}ce hono{ur} power.
renou{n} {and} gladnesse. ¶ þanne is it goode. þ{a}t men seken þus by so
many dyu{er}se studies. In whiche desijr it may lyȝtly be shew{e}d. how
grete is þe strengþe of nature. ¶ For how so þat men han dyuerse
sentences {and} discordyng algates men accordyn alle in lyuynge þe ende
of goode.


Q{UA}NTAS RER{UM} FLECTAT.

  [Sidenote: [The 2^de Met{ur}.]]

++IT likeþ me to shew[e] by subtil songe wiþ slakke {and} delitable
sou{n} of strenges how þat nature myȝty enclineþ {and} flitteþ
gouernementȝ of þinges ¶ {and} by whiche lawes she p{ur}ueiable kepiþ þe
grete worlde. {and} how she bindynge restreineþ alle þing{us} by a bonde
þat may nat be vnbounden.

[Sidenote: [j]]

¶ Al be it so þat þe liou{n}s of þe contree of pene beren þe fair[e]
cheines. {and} taken metes of þe handes of folk þat ȝeuen it hem. {and}
dreden her sturdy maystres of whiche þei ben wont to suffren [betinges].
yif þat hir horrible mouþes ben bi-bled. þat is to sein of bestes
devoured. ¶ Hir corage of tyme passeþ þat haþ ben ydel {and} rested.
repaireþ aȝein þat þei roren greuously. {and} reme{m}bren on hir nature.
{and} slaken hir nekkes from hir cheins vnbounden. and hir maistre first
to-teren wiþ blody toþe assaieþ þe woode wraþþes of hem. ¶ þis is to
sein þei freten hir maister.

[Sidenote: [ij]]

¶ And þe Iangland brid þat syngiþ on þe heye braunches. þis is to sein
in þe wode {and} after is inclosed in a streit cage. ¶ al þouȝ [þ{a}t]
þe pleiyng besines of men ȝeueþ hem honied[e] drinkes {and} large metes.
wiþ swete studie. ¶ ȝit naþeles yif þilke brid skippynge oute of hir
streite cage seeþ þe agreable shadewes of þe wodes. she defouleþ wiþ hir
fete hir metes yshad {and} sekeþ mournyng oonly þe wode {and} twitriþ
desirynge þe wode wiþ hir swete voys.

[Sidenote: [iij]]

¶ þe ȝerde of a tree þat is haled adou{n} by myȝty strengþe bowiþ redely
þe croppe adou{n}. but yif þat þe hande of hym þat it bente lat it gon
aȝein. ¶ An oon þe crop lokeþ vp ryȝt to heuene.

[Sidenote: [iiij]]

¶ þe sonne phebus þat failleþ at euene in þe westrene wawes retorniþ
aȝein eftsones his cart by a priue paþe þere as it is wont aryse. ¶ Alle
þinges seken aȝein in to hir p{ro}pre cours. and alle þinges reioisen
hem of hir retournynge aȝein to hir nature ne noon ordinaunce nis
bytaken to þi{n}ges but þat. þat haþ ioignynge þe endynge to þe
bygynnynge. {and} haþ makid þe cours of it self stable þat it chaungeþ
nat fro{m} hys p{ro}pre kynde.


VOSQ{UE} TERRENA ANIMALIA.

  [Sidenote: [The 3^de p{ro}se.]]

++CErtis also ȝe men þat ben erþelich{e} bestes dreme{n} alwey [yowre
bygynnynge] al þouȝ it be wiþ a þinne ymaginac{i}ou{n}. {and} by a maner
þouȝt al be it nat clerly ne p{er}fitly ȝe looken from a fer til þilk
verray fyn of blisfulnesse. and þerfore þe naturel entenc{i}ou{n} ledeþ
ȝow to þilk verray good ¶ But many manere errours misto{ur}niþ ȝow þer
fro. ¶ Considere now yif þat be þilke þinges by whiche a man weniþ to
gete hym blysfulnesse. yif þat he may comen to þilke ende þat he weneþ
to come by nature ¶ For yif þat moneye or hono{ur}s or þise oþer
forseide þinges bryngen to men swiche a þing þat no goode ne faille hem.
ne semeþ faille. ¶ Certys þan wil I graunt[e] þat þei ben maked blisful.
by þilke þinges þat þei han geten. ¶ but yif so be þat þilke þi{n}ges ne
mowe nat p{er}fo{ur}men þat þei by-heten {and} þat þer be defaute of
many goodes. ¶ Sheweþ it nat þan clerely þ{a}t fals beaute of
blisfulnesse is knowe {and} a-teint in þilke þinges. ¶ First {and}
forward þou þi self þat haddest haboundaunces of rycchesses nat long
agon. ¶ I axe ȝif þat in þe haboundaunce of alle þilk[e] rycchesses þou
were neuer anguissous or sory in þi corage of any wrong or greuau{n}ce
þat by-tidde þe on any syde. ¶ Certys q{uo}d I it remembreþ me nat þat
euere I was so free of my þouȝt. þat I ne was al-wey in anguysh{e} of
somwhat. þ{a}t was þat þou lakkedest þat þou noldest han lakked. or
ellys þou haddest þat þou noldest han had. ryȝt so is it q{uod} I þan.
desiredest þou þe p{re}sence of þat oon {and} þe absence of þat oþer.
I graunt[e] wel q{uod} .I. for soþe q{uod} she þan nediþ þer somwhat þat
euery man desireþ. ȝe þer nediþ q{uod} I. ¶ Certis q{uod} she {and} he
þat haþ lakke or nede of a wyȝt nis nat in euery way suffisaunt to hym
self. no q{uod} .I. {and} þou q{uo}d she in alle þe plente of þi
rycchesse haddest þilke lak of suffisaunce. ¶ what ellis q{uod} .I.
¶ þanne may nat rycchesse maken þat a man nis nedy. ne þat he be
suffisaunt to hym self. {and} þat was it þ{a}t þei byhyȝten as it semeþ.
¶ and eke certys I trowe þat þis be gretly to consydere þat moneye ne
haþ nat in hys owen kynde þat it ne may ben by-nomen of hem þat han it
maugre hem. ¶ I by-knowe it wel q{uod} I ¶ whi sholdest þou nat
by-knowen it q{uod} she. whan euery day þe strenger folke by-nymen it
fram þe febler maugre hem. ¶ Fro whennes comen ellys alle þise foreine
compleintes or quereles of plety{n}g{us}. ¶ But for þat men axen aȝeine
her moneye þat haþ be by-nomen hem by force or by gyle. {and} alwey
maugre hem. ¶ Ryȝt so it is q{uod} I. þan q{uo}d she haþ a man nede to
seke{n} hym foreyne helpe by whiche he may defende hys moneye. who may
say nay q{uod} .I. ¶ Certis q{uod} she {and} hym nediþ no helpe yif he
ne hadde no moneye þat he myȝt[e] leese. ¶ þat is doutles q{uod} .I.
þanne is þis þi{n}g turned in to þe contrarie q{uod} she ¶ For rycchesse
þat men wenen sholde make suffisau{n}ce. þei maken a man raþer han nede
of foreine helpe. ¶ whiche is þe manere or þe gise q{uod} she þat
rycches may dryuen awey nede. ¶ Riche folk may þei neiþer han hungre ne
þrest. þise ryche men may þei feele no colde on hir lymes in wynter.
¶ But þou wilt answere þat ryche men han y-nouȝ wher wiþ þei may
staunchen her hunger. {and} slaken her þrest {and} don awey colde. ¶ In
þis wise may nede be co{n}forted by rycchesses. but certys nede ne may
nat al out{er}ly be don awey. for þouȝ þis nede þat is alwey gapyng
{and} gredy be fulfilled wiþ rycchesses. {and} axe any þing ȝit dwelleþ
þanne a nede þat myȝt[e] ben fulfilled. ¶ I holde me stille {and} telle
nat how þat litel þing suffiseþ to nature. but certys to auarice ynouȝ
ne suffiseþ no þinge. ¶ For syn þat rychesse ne may nat al don awey
nede. but rychesse maken nede. what may it þanne be þat ȝe wenen þat
rychesses mowen ȝeue{n} ȝow suffisau{n}ce.


QUAMUIS FLUENTER DIUES.

  [Sidenote: [The 3^de Met{ur}.]]

++Al were it so þat a ryche couetous man hadde riuer fletynge alle of
golde ȝitte sholde it neuer staunche hys couetise. ¶ And þouȝ he hadde
his nekke I-charged wiþ p{re}ciouse stones of þe rede see. {and} þouȝ he
do erye his feldes plentiuo{us} wiþ an hundreþ oxen neuere ne shal his
bytyng bysynesse forleten hym while he lyueþ. ne þe lyȝt[e] rychesses ne
shal nat beren hym compaignie whanne he is dede.


SET DIGNITATIB{US}.

  [Sidenote: [The 4^the p{ro}se.]]

++Bvt dignitees to whom þei ben comen make þei hym honorable {and}
reuerent. han þei nat so grete strengþe þat þei may putte vertues in þe
hertis of folk. þat vsen þe lordshipes of hem. or ellys may þei don awey
þe vices. Certys þei [ne] ben nat wont to don awey wikkednesses. but þei
ben wont raþer to shew[en] wikkednesses. {and} þer of comeþ it þat I
haue ryȝt grete desdeyne. þat dignites ben ȝeuen ofte to wicked men.
¶ For whiche þing catullus clepid a consul of Rome þat hyȝt noni{us}
postum. or boch. as who seiþ he clepiþ hy{m} a congregac{i}ou{n} of
uices in his brest as a postum is ful of corrupc{i}ou{n}. al were þis
noni{us} set in a chayere of dignitee. Sest þou nat þan how gret vylenye
dignitees don to wikked men. ¶ Certys vnworþines of wikked men shold{e}
ben þe lasse ysen yif þei nere renomed of none hono{ur}s. ¶ Certys þou
þi self ne myȝtest nat ben brouȝt wiþ as many p{er}ils as þou myȝtest
suffren þat þ{o}u woldest bere þi magistrat wiþ decorat. þat is to seyn.
þat for no p{er}il þat myȝt[e] bifalle{n} þe by þe offence of þe kyng
theodorik þou noldest nat ben felawe in gouernaunce w{i}t{h} decorat.
whanne þou say[e] þat he had[de] wikkid corage of a likerous shrewe
{and} of an acusor. ¶ Ne I ne may nat for swiche honours Iuge{n} hem
worþi of reuerence þat I deme {and} holde vnworþi to han þilke same
hono{ur}s. ¶ Now yif þou saie a man þat were fulfilled of wisdom. certys
þoune myȝtest nat demen þ{a}t he were vnworþi to þe hono{ur}. or ellys
to þe wisdom of whiche he is fulfilled. No q{uod} .I. ¶ Certys dignitees
q{uod} she app{er}tienen p{ro}perly to vertue. {and} uertue transporteþ
dignite anon to þilke man to whiche she hir self is conioigned. ¶ And
for as moche as hono{ur}s of poeple ne may nat maken folk digne of
hono{ur}. it is wel seyn clerly þat þei ne han no p{ro}pre beaute of
dignite. ¶ And ȝit men auȝten take more hede in þis. ¶ For if it so be
þat he is most out cast þat most folk dispisen. or as dignite ne may nat
maken shrewes worþi of no reuerences. þan makeþ dignites shrewes more
dispised þan p{re}ised. þe whiche shrewes dignit[e] scheweþ to moche
folk ¶ {and} for soþe nat vnpunissed. þat is forto sein. þat shrewes
reuengen hem aȝeinward vpon dignites. for þei ȝelden aȝein to dignites
as gret gerdou{n} whan þei byspotten {and} defoulen dignites wiþ hire
vylenie. ¶ And for as moche as þou mow[e] knowe þat þilke verray
reuerence ne may nat comen by þe shadewy t{ra}nsitorie dignitees.
vndirstonde now þis. yif þat a man hadde vsed {and} hadde many manere
dignites of consules {and} were come{n} p{er}auenture amonges straunge
nac{i}ou{n}s. sholde þilke hono{ur} maken hym worshipful {and} redouted
of straunge folk ¶ Certys yif þat honour of poeple were a naturel ȝifte
to dignites. it ne myȝte neuer cesen nowher amonges no maner folke to
done hys office. ¶ Ryȝt as fire i{n} euery contre ne stinteþ nat to
enchaufen {and} to ben hote. but for as myche as forto be holden
honorable or reuerent ne comeþ nat to folk of hir p{ro}pre strengþe of
nat{ur}e. but only of þe fals[e] opiniou{n} of folk. þat is to sein. þat
wenen þat dignites maken folk digne of hono{ur}. An on þerfore whan þat
þei comen þer as folk ne knowe{n} nat þilke dignites. her hono{ur}s
vanissen awey {and} þat on oon. but þat is a-mong straung folk. maist
þou sein. but amo{n}g{us} hem þat þei weren born duren þilk[e] dignites
alwey. ¶ Certys þe dignite of þe p{ro}uostrie of Rome was somtyme a
grete power. now is it no þing but an ydel name. {and} þe rente of þe
senatorie a g{r}et charge. {and} yif a whiȝt somtyme hadde þe office to
taken he[de] to þe vitailes of þe poeple as of corne {and} what oþer
þinges he was holden amonges grete. but what þing is more nowe out cast
þanne þilke p{ro}uostrie ¶ And as I haue seid a litel here byforne. þat
þilke þing þat haþ no p{ro}pre beaute of hym self resceyueþ somtyme pris
{and} shinynge {and} somtyme lesiþ it by þe opiniou{n} of vsaunces.
¶ Now yif þat dignites þanne ne mowen nat maken folk digne of reuerence.
{and} yif þ{a}t dignites wexen foule of hir wille by þe filþe of
shrewes. ¶ and yif þat dignites lesen hir shynynge by chaungyng of
tymes. and yif þei wexen foule by estimac{i}ou{n} of poeple. what is it
þat þei han in hem self of beaute þat auȝte ben desired. as who seiþ
none. þanne ne mowen þei ȝiuen no beaute of dignite to none oþer.


QUA{M}UIS SE TIRIO.

  [Sidenote: [The 4^the Met{ur}.]]

++Al be it so þat þe proude nero wiþ al his woode luxurie kembed hym
{and} apparailed hym wiþ faire purp{er}s of Tirie {and} wiþ white
perles. Algates ȝitte throf he hateful to alle folk ¶ þis is to seyn þat
al was he by-hated of alle folk. ¶ ȝitte þis wicked Nero hadde gret
lordship {and} ȝaf somtyme to þe dredeful senatours þe vnworshipful
setes of dignites. ¶ vnworshipful setes he clepiþ here fore þat Nero þat
was so wikked ȝaf þo dignites. who wolde þanne resonably wenen þat
blysfulnesse were in swiche hono{ur}s as ben ȝeuen by vicious shrewes.


AN UERO REGNA.

  [Sidenote: [The 5^the p{ro}se.]]

++Bvt regnes {and} familarites of kynges may þei maken a ma{n} to ben
myȝty. how ellys. ¶ whanne hir blysfulnesse dureþ p{er}petuely but
certys þe olde age of tyme passeþ. {and} eke of p{re}sent tyme now is
ful of ensau{m}ples how þ{a}t kynges þat han chaunged in to wrechednesse
out of hir welefulnesse. ¶ O a noble þing {and} a cler þing is power þat
is nat founden myȝty to kepe it self. ¶ And yif þat power of realmes be
auctour {and} maker of blisfulnesse. yif þilke power lakkeþ on any side.
amenusiþ it nat þilke blisfulnesse {and} bryngeþ in wrechednesse. but
yif al be it so þat realmes of mankynde stretchen b{r}oode. ȝit mot þer
nede ben myche folk ouer whiche þat euery kyng ne haþ no lordshipe no
comaundement ¶ and certys vpon þilke syde þat power failleþ whiche þat
makiþ folk blisful. ryȝt on þat same side nou{n}power entriþ vndirneþ
þat makeþ hem wreches. ¶ In þis manere þanne moten kynges han more
porciou{n} of wrechednesse þan of welefulnesse. ¶ A tyraunt þat was kyng
of sisile þat had[de] assaied þe p{er}il of his estat shewid[e] by
similitude þe dredes of realmes by gastnesse of a swerde þat heng ouer
þe heued of his familier. what þing is þan þis power þat may nat don
awey þe bytynges of besines ne eschewe þe prikkes of drede. and certys
ȝit wolden þei lyuen in sykernesse. but þei may nat. and ȝit þei
glorifien hem in her power ¶ Holdest þou þan þat þilk[e] man be myȝty
þat þ{o}u seest þat he wolde don þat he may nat don. ¶ And holdest þou
þan hym a myȝty man þat haþ environed hise sydes wiþ men of armes or
seruauntes {and} dredeþ more [hem] þat he makeþ agast. þen þei dreden
hym. {and} þat is put in þe handes of hise seruauntȝ. for he sholde seme
myȝty but of familiers [or] seruauntȝ of ky{n}ges. ¶ what sholde I telle
þe any þing. syn þat I my self haue shewed þe þat realmes hem self ben
ful of gret feblenesse. þe whiche familiers certis þe real power of
kynges in hool estat {and} in estat abated ful [ofte] þroweþ adou{n}.
¶ Nero co{n}streined[e] his familier {and} his maistre seneca to chesen
on what deeþ he wolde deien. ¶ Antonius comau{n}did[e] þat knyȝtis
slowen wiþ her swerdis Papinian his familier whiche Papinian had[de] ben
long tyme ful myȝty a-monges hem of þe courte. and ȝit certis þei wolde
boþe han renou{n}ced her power. of whiche [two] senek enforced[e] hym to
ȝiue{n} to Nero his rychesses. {and} also to han gon in to solitarie
exil. ¶ But whan þe grete weyȝt. þat is to sein of lordes power or of
fortune draweþ hem þat sholden falle. neyþer of hem ne myȝt[e] do þat he
wolde. what þing is þanne þilke power þat þouȝ men han it þat þei ben
agast. ¶ {and} whan þou woldest han it þou nart nat siker. ¶ And yif þou
woldest forleten it þou mayst nat eschewen it. ¶ But wheþir swiche men
ben frendes at nede as ben conseiled by fortune {and} nat by vertue.
Certys swiche folk as weleful fortune makeþ frendes. contrarious fortune
makeþ hem enmyse. ¶ And what pestilence is more myȝty forto anoye a wiȝt
þan a familier enemy.


QUI SE UALET ESSE POTENTEM.

  [Sidenote: [The 5^the Met{ur}.]]

++Who so wolde ben myȝty he mot dau{n}ten hys cruel corage. ne put[te]
nat his nekke ouercomen vndir þe foule reines of lecherie. for al be it
so þat þi lordship[e] strecche so fer þat þe contre Inde quakiþ at þi
comaundement. or at þi lawes. {and} þat þe leest isle in þe see þat hyȝt
tile be þral to þe ¶ ȝit yif þou mayst nat pute{n} awey þi foule derk[e]
desijres {and} dryue{n} oute fro þe wreched co{m}pleyntes. Certis it nis
no power þat þou hast.


GLORIA UERO QUA{M} FALLAX.

  [Sidenote: [The 6^the p{ro}se.]]

++Bvt glorie how deceiuable {and} how foule is it ofte. for whiche þing
nat vnskilfully a tregedien þat is to sein a maker of dites þat hyȝten
tregedies cried[e] {and} seide. ¶ O glorie glorie q{uod} he. þou nart no
þing ellys to þousandes of folkes. but a gret sweller of eres. for
many[e] han had ful gret renou{n} by þe fals[e] oppiniou{n} of poeple.
and what þing may ben þouȝt fouler þen swiche p{re}isynge for þilk[e]
folk þat be{n} p{re}ised falsly. þei moten nedes han shame of hir
p{re}isynges. {and} yif þat folk han gete{n} hem þank or p{re}ysyng by
her desertes. what þing haþ þilk pris echid or encresed to þe conscience
of wise folk þ{a}t mesure{n} hire good. not by þe rumo{ur} of þe poeple.
but by þe soþefastnesse of conscience. {and} yif it seme a fair þing a
man to han encresid {and} sprad his name. þan folweþ it. þat it is demed
to ben a foule þinge yif it ne be ysprad ne encresed. but as I seide a
litel her byforne. þat syn þer mot nedes ben many folk to whiche folk þe
renou{n} of a man ne may nat comen. it byfalleþ þat he þat þou wenest be
glorious {and} renomed. semiþ in þe nexte p{ar}ties of þe erþe to ben
wiþ out glorie. {and} wiþ out renou{n}. ¶ and certis amo{n}ges þise
þinges I ne trowe nat þat þe p{r}is {and} grace of þe poeple nis neiþer
worþi to ben remembrid ne comeþ of wise iugement. ne is ferm
p{er}durably. ¶ But now of þis name of gentilesse. what man is it þat ne
may wel seen how veyne {and} how flittyng a þing it is. ¶ For if þe name
of gentilesse be referred to renou{n} {and} clernesse of linage. þan is
gentil name but a for[e]ine þing. þat is to sein to hem þat glorifien
hem of hir linage. ¶ For it semeþ þat gentilesse be a maner p{re}ysynge
þat comeþ of decert of auncestres. ¶ And yif p{re}ysynge makeþ
gentilesse þan moten þei nedes be gentil þat ben p{re}ysed. For whiche
þing it folweþ. þat yif þou ne haue no gentilesse of þi self. þat is to
sein pris þ{a}t comeþ of þi deserte foreine gentilesse ne makeþ þe nat
gentil. ¶ But certis yif þer be any goode in gentilesse. I trowe it be
i{n} al oonly þis. þat it semeþ as þat a maner necessitee be imposed to
gentil men. for þat þei ne sholden nat outraien or forliuen fro þe
uertues of hire noble kynrede.


OMNE HOMINU{M} GENUS IN TERRIS.

  [Sidenote: [The 6^th Metre.]]

++Al þe linage of men þat ben i{n} erþe ben of semblable burþe. On al
one is fadir of þinges. On alone minyst[r]eþ alle þinges. ¶ He ȝaf to þe
sonne hys bemes. he ȝaf to þe moone hir hornes. he ȝaf þe men to þe
erþe. he ȝaf þe sterres to þe heuene. ¶ he encloseþ wiþ membres þe
soules þat comen fro hys heye sete. ¶ þanne comen alle mortal folk of
noble seed. whi noysen ȝe or bosten of ȝoure eldris ¶ For yif þou
look[e] ȝoure bygy{n}ny{n}g. and god ȝoure aucto{ur} {and} ȝoure makere.
þan is þer no forlyued wyȝt but ȝif he norisse his corage vnto vices
{and} forlete his p{ro}pre burþe.


QUID AUTEM DE CORPORIBUS.

  [Sidenote: [The 7^the p{ro}se.]]

++But what shal I seie of delices of body. of whic[h]e delices þe
desiringes ben ful of anguisse. {and} þe fulfillinges of he{m} ben ful
of penaunce. ¶ How grete sekenesse {and} how grete sorwes vnsuffrable
ryȝt as a manere fruit of wickednesse ben þilke delices wont to bryngen
to þe bo[d]ies of folk þat vsen hem. ¶ Of whiche delices I not what ioye
may ben had of hir moeuyng. ¶ But þis woot I wel þat who so euere wil
remembren hym of hys luxuries. he shal wel vndirstonde. þat þe issues of
delices ben sorowful {and} sory. ¶ And yif þilke delices mowen make folk
blisful. þan by þe same cause moten þise bestes ben clepid blisful. ¶ Of
whiche bestes al þe entenc{i}ou{n} hasteþ to fulfille hire bodyly
iolyte. and þe gladnesse of wijf [{and}] children were [an] honest þing.
but it haþ ben seid. þat it is ouer myche aȝeins kynde þat children han
ben fou{n}den tormentours to hir fadres I not how many. ¶ Of whiche
children how bitynge is euery condic{i}ou{n}. It nedeþ nat to tellen it
þe þat hast or þis tyme assaied it. {and} art ȝit now anguysso{us}. In
þis approue I þe sentence of my disciple Euridippus. þat seide þat he
þat haþ no children is weleful by i{n}fortune.


HABET HOC UOLUPTAS.

  [Sidenote: [The 7^de Met{ur}.]]

++Euery delit haþ þis. þat it anguisseþ hem wiþ prikkes þ{a}t vsen it.
¶ It resembliþ to þise flying flyes þat we clepen been. þat aftre þat þe
bee haþ shed hys agreable honies he fleeþ awey {and} styngeþ þe hertes
of he{m} þat ben ysmyte wiþ bytynge ouer longe holdynge.


NICHIL IGITUR DUBIUM EST.

  [Sidenote: [The 8^the p{ro}se.]]

++Now nis it no doute þan þ{a}t þise weyes ne ben a maner mysledy{n}g to
blisfulnesse. ne þat þei ne mowe nat leden folke þider as þei byheten to
lede{n} hem. ¶ But wiþ how grete harmes þise forseide weyes ben enlaced.
¶ I shal shewe þe shortly. ¶ For whi yif þou enforcest þe to assemble
moneye. þou most by-reuen hym his moneye þat haþ it. and yif þou wilt
shynen wiþ dignites. þou most bysechen {and} supplien hem þat ȝiue{n} þo
dignitees. ¶ And yif þou coueitest by hono{ur} to gon by-fore oþer folk
þ{o}u shalt defoule þi self by hu{m}blesse of axing. yif þou desiryst
power. þou shalt by awaites of þi subgitȝ anoyously be cast vndir many
p{er}iles. axest þou glorie þ{o}u shalt ben so destrat by aspre þinges
þat þou shalt forgone sykernesse. ¶ And yif þou wilt leden þi lijf in
delices. euery whiȝt shal dispisen þe {and} forleten þe as þou þat art
þral to þing þat is ryȝt foule {and} brutel. þat is [to] sein seruau{n}t
to þi body. ¶ Now is it þan wel yseen how lytel {and} how brutel
possessiou{n} þei coueiten þat putten þe goodes of þe body abouen hire
owe{n} resou{n}. ¶ For mayst þou so{ur}mou{n}te{n} þise olifuñtȝ in
gretnesse or weyȝt of body. Or mayst þou ben strenger þan þe bole. Mayst
þou ben swifter þan þe tigre. biholde þe spaces {and} þe stablenesse
{and} þe swyfte cours of þe heuene. {and} stynte somtyme to wondren on
foule þinges. þe whiche heuene certys nis nat raþer for þise þinges to
ben wondred vpon. þan for þe resou{n} by whiche it is gouerned. but þe
shynynge of þi forme þat is to seien þe beaute of þi body. how swiftly
passyng is it {and} how transitorie. ¶ Certis it is more flittynge þan
þe mutabilite of floures of þe som{er} sesou{n}. For so as aristotil
telleþ þat yif þat men hadden eyen of a beest þat hiȝt lynx. so þat þe
lokyng of folk myȝt[e] percen þoruȝ þe þinges þ{a}t wiþstonden it. who
so lokid þan in þe entrailes of þe body of alcibiades þat was ful fayr
in þe sup{er}fice wiþ oute. it shulde seme ryȝt foule. {and} for þi yif
þou semest faire. þi nature ne makiþ nat þat. but þe desceiuau{n}ce of
þe fieblesse of þe eyen þat loken. ¶ But p{re}ise þe goodes of þi body
as moche as euer þe list. so þat þou know[e] algates þat what so it be.
þat is to seyn of þe goodes of þi body whiche þat þ{o}u wondrest vpon
may ben destroied or dessolued by þe hete of a feuere of þre dayes. ¶ Of
alle whiche forseide þinges I may reduce{n} þis shortly in a so{m}me.
¶ þat þise worldly goodes whiche þat ne mowen nat ȝiuen þat þei byheten.
ne ben nat p{er}fit by þe congregac{i}ou{n} of alle goodes. þat þei ne
ben nat weyes ne paþes þat bryngen men to blysfulnesse ne maken men to
ben blysful.


HEU Q{UE} MISEROS TRAMITE.

  [Sidenote: [The 8^the Met{ur}.]]

++Allas whiche folie {and} whiche ignorau{n}ce myslediþ wandryng
wrecches fro þe paþe of verrey good. ¶ Certis ȝe ne seken no golde in
grene trees. ne ȝe ne gadren [nat] p{re}cious stones in þe vines. ne ȝe
ne hiden nat ȝoure gynnes in heyȝe mou{n}taignes to kachen fisshe of
whiche ȝe may maken ryche festes. and yif ȝow lykeþ to hunte to roos. ȝe
ne gon nat to þe foordes of þe water þat hyȝt tyrene. {and} ouer þis men
knowen wel þe crikes {and} þe cau{er}nes of þe see yhidd in þe floodes.
{and} knowen eke whiche water is most plentiuo{us} of white perles.
{and} knowen whiche water habundeþ most of rede purpre. þat is to seyen
of a maner shelfisshe w{i}t{h} whiche men dien purpre. {and} knowen
whiche strondes habounden most of tendre fisshes or of sharpe fisshes
þat hyȝten echynnys. but folk suffren hem self to ben so blynde þat hem
ne recchiþ nat to knowe where þilk[e] goodes ben yhidd whiche þat þei
coueiten but ploungen hem in erþe {and} seken þere þilke goode þ{a}t
so{ur}mou{n}teþ þe heuene þat bereþ þe sterres. ¶ what p{re}yere may I
make þat be digne to þe nice þouȝtis of men. but I p{re}ye þat þei
coueite{n} rycches {and} hono{ur}s so þat whan þei han geten þo false
goodes wiþ greet trauayle þat þerby þei mowe knowen þe verray goodes.


HACTENUS MENDACIS FORMA{M}.

  [Sidenote: [The 9^ne p{ro}se.]]

++IT suffisiþ þat I haue shewed hider to þe forme of false wilfulnesse.
so þat yif þou look[e] now clerely þe ordre of myn entenc{i}ou{n}
requeriþ from hennes forþe to shewe{n} þe verray wilfulnesse. ¶ For
q{uod} .I. (b) [I.] se wel now þat suffisau{n}ce may nat comen by
richesse. ne power by realmes. ne reuere{n}ce by dignitees. ne
gentilesse by glorie. ne ioye by delices. and (p) hast þou wel knowen
q{uo}d she þe cause whi it is. Certis me semeþ q{uod} .I. þat .I. se hem
ryȝt as þouȝ it were þoruȝ a litel clifte. but me were leuer knowen hem
more openly of þe. Certys q{uod} she þe resou{n} is al redy ¶ For þilk
þing þat symply is on þing wiþ outen ony diuisiou{n}. þe errour {and}
folie of mankynde departeþ {and} diuidiþ it. {and} mislediþ it {and}
t{ra}nsporteþ from verray {and} p{er}fit goode. to goodes þat ben false
{and} inp{er}fit. ¶ But seye me þis. wenest þou þat he þat haþ nede of
power þat hy{m} ne lakkeþ no þing. Nay q{uo}d .I ¶ Certis q{uo}d she þou
seist aryȝt. For yif so be þ{a}t þer is a þing þat in any p{ar}tie be
fieble of power. Certis as in þat it most[e] nedes be nedy of foreine
helpe. ¶ Riȝt so it is q{uo}d .I. Suffisaunce and power ben þan of on
kynde ¶ So semeþ it q{uod} I. ¶ And demyst þou q{uo}d she þat a þing þat
is of þis manere. þat is to seine suffisau{n}t {and} myȝty auȝt[e] to
ben dispised. or ellys þ{a}t it be ryȝt digne of reuerences abouen alle
þinges. ¶ Certys q{uo}d I it nys no doute þat it nis ryȝt worþi to ben
reuerenced. ¶ Lat vs q{uo}d she þan adden reuerence to suffisaunce {and}
to power ¶ So þat we demen þat þise þre þinges ben alle o þing. ¶ Certis
q{uo}d I lat vs adden it. yif we willen graunten þe soþe. what demest
þou þan q{uo}d she is þat a dirke þing {and} nat noble þat is
suffisau{n}t reu{er}ent {and} myȝty. or ellys þat is ryȝt clere {and}
ryȝt noble of celebrete of renou{n}. ¶ Considere þan q{uo}d she as we
han grau{n}tid her byforne. þat he þat ne haþ ne[de] of no þing {and} is
most myȝty {and} most digne of hono{ur} yif hym nediþ any clernesse of
renou{n} whiche clernesse he myȝt[e] nat graunten of hym self. ¶ So þat
for lakke of þilke clerenesse he myȝt[e] seme febler on any syde or þe
more outcaste. _Glosa._ þis is to seyne nay. ¶ For who so þat is
suffisau{n}t myȝty {and} reuerent. clernesse of renou{n} folweþ of þe
forseide þinges. he haþ it alredy of hys suffisaunce. boice. I may nat
q{uo}d I denye it. ¶ But I mot graunten as it is. þat þis þing be ryȝt
celebrable by clernesse of renou{n} {and} noblesse. ¶ þan folweþ it
q{uo}d she þat we adden clernesse of renou{n} to þe þre forseide þinges.
so þat þer ne be amonges hem no difference. {and} þis is a consequente
q{uo}d .I. þis þing þan q{uo}d she þat ne haþ no nede of no foreine
þing. {and} þat may don alle þinges by his strengþes. {and} þat is noble
{and} hono{ur}able. nis nat þat a myrie þing {and} a ioyful. _boice._
but wenest q{uo}d I þ{a}t any sorow myȝt[e] comen to þis þing þat is
swiche. ¶ Certys I may nat þinke. _P._ ¶ þanne moten we graunt[e] q{uod}
she þat þis þing be ful of gladnesse yif þe þorseide þinges be soþe.
¶ And also certys mote we graunten. þat suffisaunce power noblesse
reuerence {and} gladnesse ben only dyuerse bynames. but hir substaunce
haþ no diu{er}site. _Boice._ It mot nedely be so q{uo}d .I. _P._ þilke
þinge þan q{uo}d she þat is oon {and} simple i{n} his nature. þe
wikkednesse of men departiþ it diuidiþ it. {and} whan þei enforcen hem
to gete p{ar}tie of a þing þat ne haþ no part. þei ne geten hem neiþer
þilk[e] p{ar}tie þat nis none. ne þe þing al hole þat þei ne desire nat.
_.b._ In whiche manere q{uo}d .I. _p._ þilke man q{uo}d she þat sekeþ
rychesse to fleen pouerte. he ne trauayleþ hym nat to for to gete power
for he haþ leuer ben dirk {and} vile. {and} eke wiþdraweþ from hym selfe
many naturel delitȝ for he nolde lesen þe moneye þat he haþ assembled.
but certis in þis manere he ne getiþ hym nat suffisaunce þat power
forletiþ. {and} þat moleste p{re}keþ. {and} þat filþe makeþ outcaste.
{and} þat derknesse hideþ. and certis he þ{a}t desireþ only power he
wastiþ {and} scatriþ rychesse {and} dispiseþ delices {and} eke hono{ur}
þat is wiþ out power. ne he ne p{re}iseþ glorie no þing. ¶ Certys þus
seest þou wel þat many þi{n}g{us} failen to hym. for he haþ somtyme
faute of many necessites. {and} many anguysses biten hym ¶ {and} whan he
may nat don þo defautes awey. he forleteþ to ben myȝty. {and} þat is þe
þing þat he most desireþ. {and} ryȝt þus may I make semblable resou{n}s
of hono{ur}s {and} of glorie {and} of delices. ¶ For so as euery of þise
forseide þinges is þe same þat þise oþer þinges ben. þat is to sein. al
oon þing. who so þat euer sekeþ to geten þat oon of þise {and} nat þat
oþer. he ne geteþ nat þat he desireþ. _Boice._ ¶ what seist þou þan yif
þat a man coueiteþ to geten alle þise þinges to gider. _P._ Certys
q{uo}d she .I. wolde seie þat he wolde geten hym souereyne blisfulnes.
but þat shal he nat fynde in þo þinges þat .I. haue shewed þat ne mowe
nat ȝeuen þat þei by-heten. _boice._ Certys no q{uo}d .I. ¶ þan q{uod}
she ne sholden men nat by no weye seken blysfulnesse in swiche þinges as
men wenen þat þei ne mowe ȝeuen but o þing senglely of alle þ{a}t me{n}
seken. I graunt[e] wel q{uo}d .I. ne no soþer þing ne may nat ben said.
_P._ ¶ Now hast þou þan q{uo}d she þe forme {and} þe causes of false
welefulnesse. ¶ Now turne {and} flitte þe eyen of þi þouȝt. for þere
shalt þou seen an oon þilk verray blysfulnesse þ{a}t I haue byhyȝt þee.
_b._ Certys q{uo}d .I. it is cler {and} opyn. þouȝ þat it were to a
blynde man. {and} þat shewedest þou me [ful wel] a lytel her byforne.
whan þou enforcedest þe to shewe me þe causes of þe false blysfulnesse
¶ For but yif I be by-giled. þan is þilke þe verray p{er}fit
blisfulnesse þat p{er}fitly makiþ a man suffisau{n}t. myȝty.
hono{ur}able noble. {and} ful of gladnesse. {and} for þou shalt wel
knowe þat I haue wel vndirstonden þise þinges wiþ i{n}ne myne herte.
I knowe wel þilke blisfulnesse þat may verrayly ȝeuen on of þe forseide
þinges syn þei ben al oon .I. knowe douteles þat þilke þing is þe fulle
of blysfulnesse. _P._ O my nurry q{uod} she by þis oppiniou{n} q{uo}d
she I sey[e] þat þou art blisful yif þou putte þis þer to þat I shal
seine. what is þat q{uo}d .I. ¶ Trowest þou þat þer be any þing in þis
erþely mortal toumblyng þinges þat may bryngen þis estat. Certys q{uo}d
I trowe it nat. {and} þou hast shewed me wel þat ouer þilke goode þer is
no þing more to ben desired. _P._ þise þinges þan q{uo}d she. þat is to
seyne erþely suffisaunce {and} power. {and} swiche þinges eyþer þei
semen likenesse of verray goode. or ellys it semeþ þat þei ȝeuen to
mortal folk a maner of goodes þat ne ben nat perfit. ¶ But þilke goode
þat is verray {and} p{er}fit. þat may þei nat ȝeuen. _boice._ I. accorde
me wel q{uo}d .I. þan q{uo}d she for as moche as þou hast knowen whiche
is þilke verray blisfulnesse. {and} eke whiche þilke þinges ben þat lien
falsly blisfulnesse. þat is to seyne. þat by desceit seme{n} verray
goodes. ¶ Now byhoueþ þe to knowe{n} whennes {and} where þou mowe
seek[e] þilke verray blisfulnesse. ¶ Certys q{uo}d I þat desijr I gretly
{and} haue abiden longe tyme to herkene it. ¶ But for as moche q{uo}d
she as it likeþ to my disciple plato in his book of i{n} thimeo. þat in
ryȝt lytel þinges men sholde bysechen þe helpe of god. ¶ what iugest þou
þat be [now] to done so þat we may deserue to fynde þe sete of þilke
souereyne goode. _B._ ¶ Certys q{uo}d .I. I. deme þat we shulle clepen
to þe fadir of alle goodes. ¶ For wiþ outen hym nis þer no þing founden
aryȝt. þou seist a-ryȝt q{uo}d she. and bygan on-one to syngen ryȝt þus.


O QUI PERPETUA.

  [Sidenote: [The 9^ne Met{ur}.]]

++O þou fadir creatour of heuene {and} of erþes þat gouernest þis worlde
by p{er}durable resou{n} þat comaundist þe tymes for to gon from tyme
þat age had[de] bygy{n}ny{n}g. þou þat dwellest þi self ay stedfast
{and} stable {and} ȝiuest alle oþer þinges to ben moeued. ne forein
causes necesseden þe neuer to co{m}poune werke of floterynge mater. but
only þe forme of souereyne goode y-set wiþ i{n}ne [þe] wiþ outen envie
þat moeued[e] þe frely. þou þat art alþerfairest beryng þe faire worlde
in þi þouȝt. formedest þis worlde to þe likkenesse semblable of þat
faire worlde in þi þouȝt. þou drawest alle þinges of þi souereyne
ensampler. {and} comaundedist þat þis worlde p{er}fitlyche ymaked haue
frely {and} absolut hyse p{er}fit parties. ¶ þou byndest þe elementȝ by
noumbres p{ro}porcionables. þat þe colde þinges mowen accorde wiþ þe
hote þinges. {and} þe drye þi{n}ges wiþ þe moyst þinges. þat þe fire þat
is purest ne fleye nat ouer heye. ne þat þe heuynesse ne drawe nat
adou{n} ouer lowe þe erþes þat ben plounged in þe watres. ¶ þou knyttest
to-gidre þe mene soule of treble kynde moeuyng alle þinges. {and}
diuidest it by membres accordynge. ¶ And whan it is þus diuided it haþ
assembled a moeuyng in two roundes. ¶ It goþ to to{ur}ne aȝein to hym
owen self. {and} environeþ a fulle deep þouȝt. {and} to{ur}niþ þe heuene
by semblable ymage. þou by eue{n}lyk causes enhau{n}sest þe soules {and}
þe lasse liues {and} ablynge hem heye by lyȝt[e] cartes. þou sewest hem
in to heuene {and} in to erþe. {and} whan þei ben conuertid to þe by þi
benigne lawe. ¶ þou makest hem retorne aȝeine to þe by aȝein ledyng
fijr. ¶ O fadir yif þou to þi þouȝt to stien vp in to þi streite sete.
{and} graunte [hym] to enviroune þe welle of good. {and} þe lyȝte
yfounde graunte hym to ficchen þe clere syȝtes of hys corage in þe.
¶ And scatre þou {and} to-breke [thow] þe weyȝtes {and} þe cloudes of
erþely heuynesse. {and} shyne þou by þi bryȝtnes. for þou art clernesse
þou art peisible to debonaire folke. ¶ þou þi self art bygy{n}ny{n}ge.
berere. ledere. paþ {and} t{er}me to loke on þe [þat] is oure ende.
_Glose._


QUONIAM IGITUR QUI SCIT.

  [Sidenote: [The 10^the p{ro}se.]]

++FOr as moche þan as þou hast seyn. whiche is þe forme of goode þat nys
nat p{er}fit. {and} whiche is þe forme of goode þat is p{er}fit. now
trowe I þat it were goode to shewe in what þis p{er}fecc{i}ou{n} of
blisfulnesse is set. {and} in þis þing I trowe þat we sholden first
enquere forto witen yif þat any swiche manere goode as þilke goode þat
þou hast diffinissed a lytel her byforne. þat is to seine souereyne
goode may be founden in þe nature of þinges. For þat veyne
ymaginac{i}ou{n} of þouȝt ne desceiue vs nat. {and} putte vs oute of þe
soþefastnesse of þilke þinge þat is su{m}myttid to vs. þis is to seyne.
but it may nat ben denoyed þat þilke goode ne is. ¶ and þat it nis ryȝt
as a welle of alle goodes. ¶ For al þing þat is cleped i{n}p{er}fit. is
proued i{n}p{er}fit by þe amenusynge of p{er}fecc{i}ou{n}. or of þing
þat is p{er}fit. {and} her of comeþ it. þat in euery þing general. yif
þat. þat men seen any þing þat is i{n}p{er}fit certys in þilke general
þer mot ben so{m}me þing þat is p{er}fit. ¶ For yif so be þat
p{er}fecc{i}ou{n} is don awey. men may nat þinke nor seye fro whe{n}nes
þilke þing is þat is cleped inperfit. ¶ For þe nature of þinges ne token
nat her bygynnyng of þinges amenused {and} i{n}p{er}fit. but it
p{ro}cediþ of þi{n}g{us} þat ben al hool. {and} absolut. {and} descendeþ
so doune in to outerest þinges {and} in to þi{n}g{us} empty {and} wiþ
oute fruyt. but as I haue shewed a litel her byforne. þat yif þer be a
blisfulnesse þat be frele {and} vein {and} inp{er}fit. þer may no man
doute. þat þer nys som blisfulnesse þat is sad stedfast {and} p{er}fit.
b. þis is concludid q{uo}d I fermely {and} soþefastly. _P._ But
co{n}sidere also q{uo}d she in wham þis blisfulnesse enhabiteþ. þe
co{m}mune acordaunce {and} conceite of þe corages of men p{ro}ueþ {and}
graunteþ þat god p{r}ince of alle þi{n}g{us} is good. ¶ For so as no
þing ne may ben þouȝt bettre þan god. it may nat ben douted þan þat [he
þ{a}t] no þing is bettre. þat he nys good. ¶ Certys resou{n} sheweþ þat
god is so goode þat it p{ro}ueþ by verray force þat p{er}fit goode is in
hym. ¶ For yif god ne is swiche. he ne may nat ben p{r}ince of alle
þinges. for certis som þing possessyng in hy{m} self p{er}fit goode
sholde ben more þan god. {and} [it] sholde seme þat þilke þing were
first {and} elder þan god. ¶ For we han shewed ap{er}tly þat alle þinges
þat ben p{er}fit. ben first or þinges þat ben inperfit. ¶ And for þi for
as moche as [that] my resou{n} or my p{ro}ces ne go nat awey wiþoute an
ende. we ouȝt[e] to graunten þat þe souereyne god is ryȝt ful of
souereyne p{er}fit goode. and we han establissed þat þe souereyne goode
is verrey blisfulnesse. þan mot it nedes ben [þ{a}t verray blysfulnesse
is] yset i{n} souereyne god. _B._ þis take I wel q{uo}d .I. ne þis ne
may nat be wiþseid in no manere. ¶ But I p{re}ie þe q{uo}d she see now
how þou mayst preuen holily {and} wiþ-oute{n} corrupciou{n} þis þat I
haue seid. þat þe souereyne god is ryȝt ful of souereyne goode. [In
whych man{er}e q{uo}d I.] wenest þou ouȝt q{uo}d she þat þis p{r}ince of
alle þinges haue ytake þilke souereyne good any where þan of hym self.
¶ of whiche souereyne goode men p{ro}ueþ þat he is ful ryȝt as þou
myȝtest þinken. þat god þat haþ blisfulnesse in hym self. {and} þat ilke
blisfulnesse þat is in hym were diu{er}s in substaunce. ¶ For yif þou
wene þat god haue receyued þilke good oute of hy{m} self. þou mayst wene
þat he þat ȝaf þilke good to god. be more goode þan is god. ¶ But I am
byknowen {and} confesse {and} þat ryȝt dignely þat god is ryȝt worþi
abouen alle þinges. ¶ And yif so be þat þis good be in hym by nature.
but þat it is diu{er}s from [hym] by wenyng resou{n}. syn we speke of
god p{r}ince of alle þinges feyne who so feyne may. who was he þat
[hath] co{n}ioigned þise diu{er}s þinges to-gidre. {and} eke at þe
last[e] se wel þat o þing þat is diu{er}s from any þing. þat þilke þing
nis nat þat same þing. fro whiche it is vndirstonde{n} to ben diu{er}s.
þan folweþ it. þat þilke þi{n}g þat by hys nature is dyuers from
souereyne good. þat þat þing nys nat souereyne good. but certys þat were
a felonous corsednesse to þinken þat of hym. þat no þing nis more worþe.
For alwey of alle þinges. þe nat{ur}e of hem ne may nat ben better þan
his bygy{n}nyng. ¶ For whiche I may concluden by ryȝt uerray resou{n}.
þat þilke þat is bygynnyng of alle þinges. þilke same þing is good in
his substaunce. _B._ þou hast seid ryȝtfully q{uo}d .I. _P._ But we han
graunted q{uo}d she þat souereyne good is blysfulnes. þat is soþe q{uo}d
.I. þan q{uo}d she mote we nedes graunten {and} confessen þat þilke same
souereyne goode be god. ¶ Certys q{uo}d .I. I ne may nat denye ne
wiþstonde þe resou{n}s p{ur}posed. and I see wel þat it folweþ by
strengþe of þe p{re}misses. ¶ Loke nowe q{uo}d she yif þis be proued
[yit] more fermely þus. ¶ þat þer ne mowen nat ben two souereyne goodes
þat ben diuerse amo[n]ges hem self. þat on is nat þat þat oþer is. þan
[ne] mowen neiþer of hem ben p{er}fit. so as eyþer of hem lakkiþ to
oþir. but þat þat nis nat p{er}fit men may seen apertly þat it nis nat
souereyne. þe þinges þan þat ben souereynely goode ne mowen by no wey
ben diuerse. ¶ But I haue wel conclude þat blisfulnesse {and} god ben
[the] souereyne goode. For whiche it mot nedes be þat souereyne
blisfulnesse is souerey[ne] dyuynite. ¶ No þing q{uo}d I nis more
soþefast þan þis ne more ferme by resou{n}. ne a more worþi þing þan god
may nat ben concluded. _P._ vpon þise þinges þan q{uo}d she. ryȝt as
þise geometriens whan þei han shewed her p{ro}posiciou{n}s ben wont to
brynge{n} in þinges þat þei clepen porismes or declarac{i}ou{n}s of
forseide þinges. ryȝt so wil I ȝeue þe here as a corolarie or a mede of
coroune. For whi. for as moche as by þe getynge of blisfulnesse men ben
maked blysful. {and} blisfulnesse is diuinite. ¶ þan is it manifest
{and} open þat by þe gety{n}g of diuinite men ben makid blisful. ryȝt as
by þe getynge of iustice . . . {and} by þe getyng of sapience þei ben
maked wise. ¶ Ryȝt so nedes by þe semblable resou{n} wha{n} þei han
getyn diuinite þei ben maked goddys. þan is euery blisful man god. ¶ But
certis by nature. þer nys but oon god. but by þe p{ar}ticipac{i}ou{n}s
of diuinite þere ne letteþ ne disturbeþ no þing þat þer ne ben many
goddes. ¶ þis is q{uo}d .I. a faire þing {and} a p{re}cious. ¶ Clepe it
as þ{o}u wolt. be it corolarie or porisme or mede of coroune or
declarynges ¶ Certys q{uo}d she no þing nis fairer. þan is þe þing þat
by resou{n} sholde ben added to þise forseide þinges. what þing q{uo}d
.I. ¶ So q{uo}d she as it semeþ þat blisfulnesse conteniþ many þinges.
it were forto witen wheþir [þ{a}t] alle þise þinges maken or conioignen
as a maner body of blysfulnesse by diuersite of parties or [of]
me{m}bris. Or ellys yif any of alle þilke þi{n}g{us} be swyche þat it
acomplise by hy{m} self þe substaunce of blisfulnesse. so þat alle þise
oþer þinges ben referred and brouȝt to blisfulnesse. þat is to seyne as
to þe chief of hem. ¶ I wolde q{uo}d I þat þou makedest me clerly to
vndirstonde what þou seist. {and} þat þou recordest me þe forseide
þinges. ¶ Haue I nat iuged q{uo}d she. þat blisfulnesse is goode. ȝis
forsoþe q{uo}d .I. {and} þat souereyne goode. ¶ Adde þan q{uo}d she
þilke goode þat is maked blisfulnes to alle þe forseide þinges. ¶ For
þilke same blisfulnesse þat is demed to ben souereyne suffisaunce. þilke
self is souereyne power. souereyne reuerence. sou{er}eyne clernesse or
noblesse {and} souereyne delit. what seist þou þan of alle þise þinges.
þat is to seyne. suffisance power {and} þise oþer þinges. ben þei þan as
membris of blisfulnesse. or ben þei referred {and} brouȝt to souereyne
good. ¶ Ryȝt as alle þinges þat ben brouȝt to þe chief of hem. b.
I vndirstonde wel q{uo}d .I. what þou p{ur}posest to seke. but I
desijr[e] to herkene þat þou shewe it me. _p._ Take now þus þe
discressiou{n} of þis questiou{n} q{uo}d she. yif al þise þinges q{uo}d
she weren membris to felicite. þan weren þei diu{er}se þat oon fro þat
oþer. ¶ And swiche is þe nat{ur}e of p{ar}ties or of membris. þat
dyuerse me{m}bris compounen a body. ¶ Certis q{uo}d I it haþ wel ben
shewed her byforne. þat alle þise þinges ben alle on þing. þan ben þei
none membris q{uo}d she. for ellys it sholde seme þat blisfulnesse were
conioigned al of one membre alone. but þat is a þi{n}g þat may nat ben
doon. þis þing q{uo}d .I. nys nat doutous. but I abide to herkene þe
remenaunt of þe questiou{n}. þis is ope{n} {and} clere q{uo}d she. þat
alle oþer þinges ben referred {and} brouȝt to goode. ¶ For þerfore is
suffisaunce requered. For it is demed to ben good. {and} forþi is power
requered. for men trowen also þat it be goode. and þis same þing mowe we
þinken {and} coueiten of reuerence {and} of noblesse {and} of delit. þan
is souereyne good þe soume {and} þe cause of alle þat auȝt[e] be
desired. forwhi þilke þing þat wiþ-holdeþ no good in it self ne
semblaunce of goode it ne may nat wel in no manere be desired ne
requered. {and} þe contrarie. For þouȝ þat þinges by hir nature ne ben
nat goode algates yif men wene þat þei be{n} goode ȝit ben þei desired
as þouȝ [þ{a}t] þei were verrayly goode. {and} þerfore is it þat men
auȝte{n} to wene by ryȝt þat bounte be souereyne fyn {and} þe cause of
alle þinges þat ben to requeren. ¶ But certis þilke þ{a}t is cause for
whiche men requeren any þing. ¶ it semeþ þat þilke same þing be most
desired. as þus yif þat a wyȝt wolde ryde for cause of hele. he ne
desireþ nat so mychel þe moeuyng to ryden as þe effect of his heele. Now
þan syn þat alle þinges ben requered for þe grace of good. þei ne ben
[nat] desired of alle folk more þan þe same good ¶ But we han graunted
þat blysfulnesse is þat þing for whiche þat alle þise oþer þinges ben
desired. þan is it þus þat certis only blisfulnesse is requered {and}
desired ¶ By whiche þing it sheweþ clerely þat good {and} blisfulnesse
is al oone {and} þe same substaunce. ¶ I se nat q{uo}d I wher fore þat
men myȝt[en] discorden in þis. _p._ {and} we han shewed þat god {and}
verrey blysfulnesse is al oon þing ¶ þat is soþe q{uod} .I. þan mowe we
conclude sikerly þ{a}t þe substaunce of god is set in þilke same good
{and} in noon oþer place.


NUNC OMNES PARITER {ET}C.

  [Sidenote: [The 10^the Met{ur}.]]

++O Comeþ alle to-gidre now ȝe þat ben ycauȝt {and} ybounde wiþ
wicked[e] cheines by þe deceiuable delit of erþely þinges inhabytynge in
ȝoure þouȝt. here shal ben þe reste of ȝoure laboures. here is þe hauene
stable in peisible quiete. þis al oone is þe open refut to wreches.
_Glosa._ þis is to seyn. þat ȝe þat ben combred {and} deceyued wiþ
worldly affecc{i}ou{n}s comeþ now to þis souereyne good þat is god. þat
is refut to hem þat wolen come to hym. _Textus._ ¶ Alle þe þinges þat þe
ryuere Tagus ȝiueþ ȝow wiþ his golden[e] grauels. or ellys alle þe
þynges þat þe ryuere herm{us}. ȝiueþ wiþ his rede brynke. or þat yndus
ȝiueþ þat is nexte þe hote p{ar}tie of þe worlde. þat medeleþ þe grene
stones (smaragd{e}) wiþ þe white (margarits). ne sholde nat cleren þe
lokynge of ȝoure þoȝt. but hiden raþer ȝoure blynde corages wiþ i{n}ne
hire dirkenesse ¶ Alle þat likeþ ȝow here {and} excitiþ {and} moeueþ
ȝoure þouȝtes. þe erþe haþ noryshed it in hys lowe caues. but þe shynyng
by þe whiche þe heuene is gouerned {and} whennes þat it haþ hys strengþe
þat chaseþ þe derke ouerþrowyng of þe soule. ¶ And who so euer may
knowen þilke lyȝt of blisfulnesse. he shal wel seine þat þe white bemes
of þe sonne ne ben nat cleer.


ASSENCIOR INQ{UA}M CUNCTA. Boice.

  [Sidenote: [The 11 p{ro}se.]]

++I assent[e] me q{uo}d .I. For alle þise þinges ben strongly bounden
wiþ ryȝt ferme resou{n}s. how mychel wilt þou p{re}isen it q{uo}d she.
yif þat þou knowe what þilke goode is. I wol p{re}ise it q{uo}d I by
price wiþ outen ende. ¶ yif it shal bytyde me to knowe also to-gidre god
þat is good. ¶ certys q{uo}d she þ{a}t shal I do þe by verray resou{n}.
yif þat þo þinges þat I haue conclude[d] a litel her by forne dwellen
oonly in hir first[e] graunty{n}g. _Boice._ þei dwellen graunted to þe
q{uo}d .I. þis is to seyne as who seiþ .I. graunt þi forseide
conclusiou{n}s. ¶ Haue I nat shewed þe q{uo}d she þat þe þinges þat ben
requered of many folke. ne ben nat verray goodes ne p{er}fit. for þei
ben diu{er}se þat oon fro þat oþer. {and} so as eche of hem is lakkyng
to oþer. þei ne han no power to bryngen a good þ{a}t is ful {and}
absolute. ¶ But þan atte arst ben þei verray good whan þei ben gadred
to-gidre al in to a forme {and} in to oon wirchy{n}g. so þat þilke þing
þat is suffisaunce. þilk same be power {and} reuerence. {and} noblesse
{and} mirþe. ¶ And forsoþe but alle þise þi{n}ges ben alle o same þing
þei ne han nat wher by þat þei mowen ben put in þe nou{m}bre of þinges.
þat auȝten ben requered or desired. _b._ ¶ It is shewed q{uo}d .I. ne
her of may þer no man douten. _p._ þe þinges þan q{uo}d she þat ne ben
none goodes whan þei ben diu{er}se. {and} whan þei bygynnen to ben al o
þing. þan ben þei goodes. ne comiþ it hem nat þan by þe getynge of unite
þat þei ben maked goodes. _b._ so it semeþ q{uo}d .I. but alle þing þat
is good q{uo}d she grauntest þou þat it be good by p{ar}ticipac{i}ou{n}
of good or no. ¶ I graunt[e] it q{uo}d .I. ¶ þan mayst þou graunt[en] it
q{uo}d she by sembleable resou{n} þat oon {and} good ben o same þing.
¶ For of þinges [of] whiche þat þe effect nis nat naturely diuerse nedys
þe substaunce mot ben o same þinge. I ne may nat denye it q{uo}d I.
¶ Hast þou nat knowen wel q{uo}d she. þat al þing þat is haþ so longe
his dwellyng {and} his substaunce. as longe is it oone. ¶ but wha{n} it
forletiþ to ben oone it mot nedis dien {and} corrumpe togidre. ¶ In
whiche manere q{uo}d .I. ¶ Ryȝt as in beestes q{uod} she. whan þe soule
{and} þe body ben co{n}ioigned in oon {and} dwellen to-gidre it is
cleped a beest. {and} whan hire vnite is destroied by disseueraunce þat
oon fram þ{a}t oþir. þan sheweþ it wel þat it is a dede þi{n}g. {and}
þat it is no lenger no beste. {and} þe body of a wyȝt while it dwelleþ
in oon forme by coniuncc{i}ou{n} of membris it is wel seyn þat it is a
figure of mankynde. and yif þe partyes of þe body ben [so] diuide[d]
{and} disseuered þat oon fro þat oþir þat þei destroien vnite. þe body
forletiþ to ben þat it was byforne. ¶ And who so wolde renne in þe same
manere by alle þinges he sholde seen þat wiþ outen doute euery þinge is
in his substaunce as longe as it is oon. {and} whan it forletiþ to ben
oon it dieþ {and} p{er}issiþ. _boice._ whan I considre q{uo}d I many
þinges I see noon oþ{er}. ¶ Is þer any þing þanne q{uo}d she þat in as
moche as it lyueþ naturely. þat forletiþ þe appetit or talent of hys
beynge. {and} desireþ to come to deeþ {and} to corrupc{i}ou{n}. ¶ yif I
considere q{uod} I þe beestes þat han any manere nature of willy{n}ge or
of nillynge I ne fynde no þing. but yif it be constreyned fro wiþ out
forþe. þat forletiþ or dispiseþ to lyue {and} to dure{n} or þat wole his
þankes hasten hy{m} to dien. ¶ For euery beest trauayleþ hy{m} to
defende {and} kepe þe sauuac{i}ou{n} of lijf. {and} escheweþ deeþ {and}
destrucc{i}ou{n}. _b._ but certys I doute me of herbes {and} of trees.
þat is to seyn þat I am in a doute of swiche þinges as herbes or trees
þat ne han no fely{n}g soule. ne no naturel wirchynges seruy{n}g to
appetite as beestes han wheþer þei han appetite to dwelle{n} {and} to
duren. ¶ Certis q{uo}d she ne þer of þar þe nat doute. ¶ Now look vpon
þise herbes {and} þise trees. þei waxen firste in swiche place as be{n}
couenable to hem. in whiche place þei ne mowen nat sone dien ne dryen
as longe as hire nature may defenden he{m}. ¶ For some of hem waxen
in feldes {and} some in mou{n}taignes. {and} oþir waxen i{n} mareis.
[_A leaf lost here, and supplied from C._] [{and} oothre cleuyn on
Roches / {and} soume waxen plentyuos in sondes / {and} yif þ{a}t any
wyht enforce hym to beryn hem in to oother places / they wexen drye //
For natur{e} yeueth to eu{er}y thing þ{a}t / þ{a}t is co{n}uenient to
hym {and} trauaylith þ{a}t they ne dye nat as longe as they han power to
dwellyn {and} to lyuen // what woltow seyn of this / þ{a}t they drawen
alle hyr norysshynges by hyr rootes / ryht as they haddyn hyr Mowthes
I.-plounged w{i}t{h} in the erthes / {and} shedyn by hyr maryes (i.
medull{as}) hyr wode {and} hyr bark / {and} what woltow seyn of this
þ{a}t thilke thing / þ{a}t is ryht softe as the marye (i. sapp) is /
þ{a}t is alwey hidd in the feete al w{i}t{h} inne {and} þ{a}t it is
defendid fro w{i}t{h} owte by the stidefastnesse of wode // {and} þ{a}t
the vttereste bark is put ayenis the destemprau{n}ce of the heuene / as
a defendowr myhty to suffren harm / {and} thus certes maystow wel sen /
how gret is the diligence of natur{e} / For alle thinges renouelen {and}
pupllisen hem w{i}t{h} seed .I.-multiplyed / nether nis no man þ{a}t ne
wot wel þ{a}t they ne ben ryht as a foundement {and} edyfice for to
duren / nat only for a tyme / but ryht as forto duren p{er}durablely by
generacyou{n} // {and} the thinges ek þ{a}t men wenen ne hauen none
sowles / ne desir{e} they nat ech of hem by sem[b]lable resou{n} to
kepyn þ{a}t that is hirs / þ{a}t is to seyn þ{a}t is acordynge to hyr
natur{e} in conseruaciou{n} of hyr beynge {and} endurynge // For wher
for elles berith lythnesse the flaumbes vp / {and} the weyhte p{re}sseth
the erthe a-dou{n} // but For as moche as thilke places and thilke
moeuynges ben couenable to eu{er}ich of hem // {and} forsothe eu{er}y
thing kepith thilke þ{a}t is acordynge {and} propre to hym // ryht as
thinges þ{a}t ben contraryes {and} enemys corompen hem // {and} yit the
harde thinges as stoones clyuen {and} holden hyr partyes to gydere ryht
faste {and} harde / {and} deffenden hem in withstondenge þ{a}t they ne
departe nat lyhtly a twyne // {and} the thinges þ{a}t ben softe {and}
fletynge as is water {and} Eyr they departyn lyhtly // {and} yeuen place
to hem þ{a}t brekyn or deuyden hem // but natheles they retorne{n} sone
ayein in to the same thinges fro whennes they ben arraced // but fyr
[fleetħ] {and} refuseth alle deuysyou{n} / ne I. ne trete nat heer{e}
now of weleful moeuynges of the sowle þ{a}t is knowynge // but of the
naturel entenciou{n} of thinges // As thus ryht as we swolwe the mete
þ{a}t we resseyuen {and} ne thinke nat on it / {and} as we drawen owr{e}
breth in slepynge þ{a}t we wite it nat whil we slepyt // For certes in
the beestys the loue of hyr lyuynges ne of hyr beeinges ne comth nat of
the wilnynges of the sowle // but of the bygynnyngis of natur{e} // For
certes thorw constreynynge causes / wil desireth {and} embraceth ful
ofte tyme / the deth þ{a}t natur{e} dredith // that is to seyn as thus
that a man may ben constreynyd so by som cause that his wil desireth and
taketh the deth which þ{a}t natur{e} hateth {and} dredeth ful sore //
And som tyme we seeth the contrarye / as thus that the wil of a wight /
destorbeth {and} constreyneth þ{a}t þ{a}t natur{e} desireth / and
requereth al-wey // that is to sein the werk of gen{er}aciou{n} / by the
whiche gen{er}aciou{n} only / dwelleth {and} is sustenyd the longe
durablete of mortal thinges // And thus this charite and this Loue þ{a}t
eu{er}y thing hath to hym self ne comth nat of the moeuynge of the sowle
/ but of the entenciou{n} of natur{e} // For the puruyance of god hat
yeuen to thinges þ{a}t ben creat of hym / this þ{a}t is a ful gret cause
/ to lyuen {and} to duren / for which they desiren naturelly hyr lyf as
longe as eu{er} they mowen // For w[h]ych thou maist nat drede by no
manere / that alle the thinges / that ben anywher{e} / that they ne
requeren naturelly / the ferme stablenesse of p{er}durable dwellynge /
and ek the eschuynge of destruccyou{n} // B // now confesse I. wel
q{uod} I. that I. see wel now certeynly / w{i}t{h} owte dowtes / the
thinges that whylom semeden vncerteyn to me / P. // but q{uod} she
thilke thyng þ{a}t desiretħ to be {and} to dwellyn p{er}durablely / he
desireth to ben oon // For yif þ{a}t that oon weer{e} destroied //
certes beinge ne shulde ther non dwellyn to no wiht // that is sotħ
q{uod} I. // Thanne q{uod} she desirin alle thinges oon // .I. assente
q{uod} .I. // {and} I haue shewyd q{uod} she that thilke same oon is
thilke that is good // B // ye forsothe q{uod} I. // Alle thinges thanne
q{uod} she requyren good // And thilke good thanne [þow] maist descryuen
ryht thus // Good is thilke thing þ{a}t euery wyht desireth // Ther ne
may be thowht q{uod} .I. no moor{e} verray thing / for either alle
thinges ben referred {and} browht to nowht / {and} floteryn w{i}t{h}
owte gou{er}nour despoiled of oon / as of hir propre heued / or elles
yif ther be any thinge / to which þ{a}t alle thinges tenden {and} hyen /
that thing moste ben the souereyn good of alle goodes / P /. thanne
seyde she thus // O my norry q{uod} she I haue gret gladnesse of the //
For thow hast fichched in thin herte the myddel sothtfastnesse // that
is to seyn the prykke // but this thing hath ben descouered to the / in
that thow seydyst þ{a}t thow wystest nat a lytel her by-forn // what was
th{a}t q{uod} I. // That thow ne wystest nat q{uod} she whych was the
ende of thinges // and Certes that is the thing þ{a}t eu{er}y wiht
desireth // and for as mochel as we han gaderid / {and} co{m}p{re}hendyd
that good is thilke thing that is desired of alle / thanne moten we
nedes confessun / that good is the fyn of alle thinges.


QUISQUIS P{RO}FUNDA MENTE.

  [Sidenote: [The .11. Met{ru}m.]]

++WHo so that sekith sotħ by a deep thoght And coueyteth nat to ben
deseyuyd by no mys-weyes // lat hym rollen {and} trenden w{i}t{h} Inne
hym self / the Lyht of his inward syhte // And lat hym gader{e} ayein
enclynynge in to a compas the longe moeuynges of hys thowhtes / And lat
hym techen his corage that he hath enclosed {and} hyd / in his tresors /
al þ{a}t he compaseth or sekith fro w{i}t{h} owte // And thanne thilke
thing that the blake cloude of errour whilom hadde y-couered / shal
lyhten more clerly tha{n}ne pheb{us} hym self ne shyneth // Glosa // who
so wole seken the dep[e] grounde / of soth in his thowht / {and} wol nat
be deceyuyd by false p{ro}posiciou{n}s / that goon amys fro the trouthe
// lat hym wel examine / {and} rolle w{i}t{h} inne hym self the natur{e}
{and} the p{ro}pretes of the thing // and lat hym yit eft sones examine
{and} rollen his thowhtes by good deliberaciou{n} or that he deme // and
lat hym techen his sowle that it hat by naturel pryncyplis kyndeliche
y-hyd w{i}t{h} in it self alle the trowthe the whiche he ymagynith to
ben in thinges w{i}t{h} owte // And thanne alle the dyrknesse of his
mysknowynge shal seen more euydently to [þe] syhte of his vndyrstondynge
thanne the sonne ne semyth to [þe] syhte w{i}t{h} owte forth / For
certes the body bryngynge the weyhte of foryetynge / ne hath nat chasyd
owt of yowr{e} thowhte al the clernesse of yowre knowyng // For
certeynly the seed of sooth haldith {and} clyueth w{i}t{h} in yowr{e}
corage / {and} it is a-waked {and} excited by the wynde {and} by the
blastes of doctryne // For wher{e} for elles demen ye of yowr{e} owne
wyl the ryhtes whan ye ben axed // but yif so wer{e} þ{a}t the
noryssynges of resou{n} ne lyuede .I.-plowngyd in the depthe of yowr{e}
herte // this [is] to seyn how sholden men demen þe sooth of any thing
þ{a}t weer{e} axed / yif ther neer{e} a Roote of sothfastnesse þ{a}t
weer{e} yplowngyd {and} hyd in the natur{e}[l] pryncyplis / the whiche
sothfastnesse lyued w{i}t{h} in the depnesse of the thowght // {and} yif
so be þ{a}t the Muse {and} the doctryne of plato syngyth sooth // al
þ{a}t eu{er}y whyht lerneth / he ne doth no thing elles tha{n}ne but
recordeth as me{n} recordyn thinges þ{a}t ben foryetyn.


TUM EGO PLATONI INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The .12. p{ro}se.]]

++THanne seide I thus // I acorde me gretly to plato / for thow
remenbrist {and} recordist me thise thinges yit] þe seconde tyme. þat is
to seyn. first whan I lost[e] my memorie by þe co{n}tagioũs
coniuncc{i}ou{n} of þe body wiþ þe soule. {and} eftsones afterward whan
I lost[e] it co{n}founded by þe charge {and} by þe burden of my sorwe.
¶ And þan sayde she þus. ¶ If þou look[e] q{uo}d she firste þe þinges
þat þou hast graunted it ne shal nat ben ryȝt feer þat þou ne shalt
remembren þilke þing þat þou seidest þat þou nistest nat. what þing
q{uo}d I. ¶ by whiche gouerme{n}t q{uo}d she þat þis worlde is gouerned.
Me remembriþ it wel q{uo}d I. {and} I confesse wel þat I ne wist[e] it
nat ¶ But al be it so þat I se now fro{m} afer what þou p{ur}posest
¶ Algates I desire ȝit to herkene it of þe more pleynely. ¶ þou ne
wendest nat q{uo}d she a litel here byforne þat men sholden doute þat
þis worlde is gouerned by god. ¶ Certys q{uo}d I ne ȝitte doute I it
nauȝt. ne I nil neuer wene þat it were to doute. as who seiþ. but I wot
wel þat god gouerneþ þis worlde. ¶ And I shal shortly answere þe by what
resou{n}s I am brouȝt to þis. ¶ þis worlde q{uod} I of so many dyuerse
{and} co{n}trarious p{ar}ties ne myȝten neuer han ben assembled in o
forme. but yif þere ne were oon þat conioigned so many[e diu{er}se]
þinges. ¶ And þe same diuersite of hire natures þat so discordeden þat
oon fro þat oþer most[e] dep{ar}ten {and} vnioigne{n} þe þi{n}ges þat
ben co{n}ioigned. yif þere ne were oon þat contened[e] þat he haþ
co{n}ioigned {and} ybounde. ne þe certein ordre of nature ne sholde. nat
brynge furþe so ordinee moeuynge. by places. by tymes. by doynges. by
spaces. by qualites. yif þere ne were oon þat were ay stedfast
dwellynge. þat ordeyned[e] {and} disposed[e] þise diuersites of
moeuynges. ¶ and þilke þinge what so euer it be. by whiche þat alle
þinges ben maked {and} ylad. I clepe hym god þat is a worde þat is vsed
to alle folke. þan seide she. syn þou felest þus þise þinges q{uo}d she.
I trowe þat I haue lytel more to done. þat þou myȝty of wilfulnesse hool
{and} sounde ne se eftsones þi contre. ¶ But lat vs loken þe þinges þat
we han p{ur}posed her-byforn. ¶ Haue I nat nou{m}bred {and} seid q{uod}
she þat suffisaunce is in blisfulnesse. {and} we han accorded þat god is
{and} þilke same blisfulnesse. ¶ yis forsoþe q{uo}d I. {and} þat to
gouerne þis worlde q{uod} she. ne shal he neuer han nede of none helpe
fro wiþoute. for ellys yif he had[de] nede of any helpe. he ne sholde
not haue [no] ful suffisau{n}ce. ȝis þus it mot nedes be q{uo}d I. ¶ þan
ordeyneþ he by hym self al oon alle þinges q{uo}d she. þat may nat ben
denied q{uo}d I. ¶ And I haue shewed þat god is þe same good. ¶ It
reme{m}breþ me wel q{uo}d I. ¶ þan ordeineþ he alle þinges by þilke
goode q{uod} she. Syn he whiche we han accorded to ben good gouerneþ
alle þi{n}g{us} by hym self. {and} he is a keye {and} a stiere by whiche
þat þe edifice of þis worlde is ykept stable {and} wiþ oute corumpynge
¶ I accorde me gretly q{uod} I. {and} I ap{er}ceiuede a litel here
byforn þat þou woldest seyne þus. Al be it so þat it were by a þinne
suspeciou{n}. I trowe it wel q{uo}d she. ¶ For as I trowe þou leedest
nowe more ententifly þine eyen to loken þe verray goodes ¶ but naþeles
þe þinges þat I shal telle þe ȝit ne sheweþ nat lasse to loken. what is
þat q{uo}d I. ¶ So as men trowen q{uo}d she {and} þat ryȝtfully þat god
gouerneþ alle þinges by þe keye of his goodnesse. ¶ And alle þise same
þinges as I [haue] tauȝt þe. hasten hem by naturel ente{n}c{i}ou{n} to
comen to goode þer may no man doute{n}. þat þei ne ben gouerned
uoluntariely. {and} þat þei ne conuerten [hem] nat of her owe{n} wille
to þe wille of hire ordeno{ur}. as þei þat ben accordyng {and}
enclinynge to her gouerno{ur} {and} her kyng. ¶ It mot nedys be so
q{uo}d. I. ¶ For þe realme ne sholde not seme blisful ȝif þere were a
ȝok of mysdrawynges in diu{er}se p{ar}ties ne þe sauynge of obedient
þinges ne sholde nat be. þan is þere no þing q{uo}d she þ{a}t kepiþ hys
nature[;] þat enforceþ hym to gone aȝeyne god. ¶ No q{uo}d. I. ¶ And if
þat any þi{n}g enforced[e] hym to wiþstonde god. myȝt[e] it auayle at þe
laste aȝeyns hym þat we han g{ra}unted to ben al myȝty by þe ryȝt of
blisfulnesse. ¶ Certis q{uo}d I al outerly it ne myȝt[e] nat auaylen
hym. þan is þere no þing q{uo}d she þat eyþer wol or may wiþstonde to
þis souereyne good. ¶ I trowe nat q{uo}d. I ¶ þan is þilke þe souereyne
good q{uo}d she þat alle þi{n}g{us} gouerneþ strongly {and} ordeyneþ hem
softly. þa{n} seide I þus. I delite me q{uo}d I nat oonly in þe endes or
in þe so{m}mes of [the] resou{n}s þat þou hast concludid {and} p{ro}ued.
¶ But þilke wordes þat þ{o}u vsest deliten me moche more. ¶ So at þe
last[e] fooles þat so{m}tyme renden greet[e] þinges auȝte{n} ben
asshamed of hem self. ¶ þat is to seyne þ{a}t we fooles þat
rep{re}henden wickedly þe þi{n}g{us} þat touchen goddes gouernaunce we
auȝte{n} ben asshamed of oure self. As I þat seide god refuseþ oonly þe
werkes of men. {and} ne entremetiþ nat of he{m}. _p._ þou hast wel herd
q{uo}d she þe fables of þe poetes. how þe geauntes assailden þe heuene
wiþ þe goddes. but for soþe þe debonaire force of god disposed[e] hem so
as it was worþi. þat is to seyne distroied[e] þe geauntes. as it was
worþi. ¶ But wilt þou þat we ioygnen togedre þilke same resou{n}s. for
p{er}auenture of swiche coniuncc{i}ou{n} may sterten vp some faire
sp{er}kele of soþe ¶ Do q{uo}d I as þe list. wenest þou q{uo}d she þat
god ne is almyȝty. no man is in doute of it. Certys q{uo}d I no wyȝt ne
defendiþ it if he be in hys mynde. but he q{uo}d she þat is al myȝty
þere nis no þing þat he ne may do. þat is soþe q{uo}d I. May god done
yuel q{uo}d she. nay for soþe q{uo}d. I. ¶ þan is yuel no þing q{uo}d
she. ¶ Syn þat he ne may not done yuel þat may done alle þinges.
scornest þou me q{uo}d. I. or ellys pleyest þou or deceiuest þou me. þat
hast so wouen me wiþ þi resou{n}s. þe house of didalus so entrelaced.
þat it is vnable to ben vnlaced. þou þat oþer while entrest þere þou
issest {and} oþer while issest þere þou entrest. ne fooldest þou nat to
gidre by replicac{i}ou{n} of wordes a maner wondirful cercle or
envirounynge of symplicite deuyne. ¶ For certys a litel her byforn{e}
whan þou bygu{n}ne atte blisfulnesse þ{o}u seidest þat it is souereyne
good. {and} seidest þat it is set in souereyne god. {and} þat god is þe
ful[le] blisfulnesse. for whiche þou ȝaf[e] me as a couenable ȝifte. þat
is to seyne þ{a}t no wyȝt nis blisful. but yif he be good al so þer wiþ
{and} seidest eke þat þe forme of goode is þe substaunce of god. {and}
of blisfulnesse. {and} seidest þ{a}t þilke same oone is þilke same goode
þat is requered {and} desired of al þe kynde of þinges. {and} þou
p{ro}euedest in disputynge þat god gouerneþ alle [the] þinges of þe
worlde by þe gouernementys of bountee. {and} seydest þat alle þinges
wolen ybeyen to hym. and seidest þat þe nature of yuel nis no þing.
{and} þise þinges ne shewedest þou nat wiþ no resou{n}s ytake fro
wiþoute but by proues in cercles {and} homelyche knowen. ¶ þe whiche
p{ro}eues drawen to hem self hir feiþ {and} hir accorde eu{er}iche [of]
hem of oþer. þan seide she þus. I ne scorne þe nat ne pleye ne desseyue
þe. but I haue shewed to þe þinge þat is grettest ouer alle þinges by þe
ȝifte of god þat we some tyme prayden ¶ For þis is þe forme of [the]
deuyne substaunce. þat is swiche þat it ne slydeþ nat in to outerest
foreine þinges. ne ne rec[e]yueþ no st{ra}nge þinges in hym. but ryȝt as
p{ar}maynws seide in grek of þilke deuyne substaunce. he seide þus þat
þilke deuyne substaunce torneþ þe worlde {and} þilke cercle moeueable of
þinges while þilke dyuyne substau{n}ce kepiþ it self wiþ outen moeuynge.
þat is to seyne þat it ne moeuiþ neuere mo. {and} ȝitte it moeueþ alle
oþer þinges. but na-þeles yif I [haue] stered resou{n}s þat ne ben nat
taken fro wiþ oute þe compas of þe þinge of whiche we treten. but
resou{n}s þat ben bystowed wiþ i{n}ne þat compas þere nis nat whi þat
þou sholde[st] merueylen. sen þou hast lerned by þe sentence of plato
þat nedes þe wordes moten ben cosynes to þo þinges of whiche þei speken.


FELIX QUI POTERIT. {ET} CET{ER}A.

  [Sidenote: [The .12. Met{ur}.]]

++Blisful is þat man þat may seen þe clere welle of good. blisful is he
þat may vnbynde hym fro þe bonde of heuy erþe. ¶ þe poete of t{ra}ce
[orphe{us}] þat somtyme hadde ryȝt greet sorowe for þe deeþ of hys wijf.
aftir þat he hadde maked by hys wepely songes þe wodes meueable to
rennen. {and} hadde ymaked þe ryueres to stonden stille. {and} maked þe
hertys {and} hyndes to ioignen dredles hir sides to cruel lyou{n}s to
herkene his songe. {and} had[de] maked þat þe hare was nat agast of þe
hounde whiche þat was plesed by hys songe. so þat whane þe most[e]
ardaunt loue of hys wijf brende þe entrailes of his brest. ne þe songes
þat hadde ouer comen alle þinges ne myȝten nat assuage hir lorde
orpheus. ¶ He pleyned[e] hym of þe godes þat were{n} cruel to hym. he
wente hym to þe houses of helle {and} þere he tempred[e] hys
blaundissyng songes by resounyng of hys strenges. ¶ And spak {and} song
in wepynge alle þat euer he hadde resceyued {and} laued oute of þe noble
welles of hys modir calliope þe goddesse. {and} he song wiþ as mychel as
he myȝt[e] of wepynge. {and} wiþ as myche as loue þat doubled[e] his
sorwe myȝt[e] ȝeuen hym {and} teche hy{m} in his seke h{er}te. ¶ And he
commoeuede þe helle {and} requered[e] {and} souȝte by swete p{re}iere þe
lordes of soules in helle of relesynge. þat is to seyne to ȝelden hym
hys wif. ¶ Cerberus þe porter of helle wiþ his þre heuedes was cauȝt
{and} al abaist for þe new[e] songe. {and} þe þre goddesses furijs {and}
vengerisse of felonies þat to{ur}mente{n} {and} agaste{n} þe soules by
anoye wexen sorweful {and} sory {and} wepen teres for pitee. þan was nat
þe heued of Ixion{e} yto{ur}mented by þe ou{er}þrowi{n}g whele. ¶ And
tantalus þat was destroied by þe woodnesse of longe þrust dispiseþ þe
flodes to drynke. þe fowel þat hyȝt voltor þat etiþ þe stomak or þe
giser of ticius is so fulfilled of his songe þat it nil etyn ne tyren no
more. ¶ Atte þe laste þe lorde {and} Iuge of soules was moeued to
misericordes {and} cried[e] we ben ouer comen q{uo}d he. yif[e] we to
orpheus his wijf to bere hym co{m}paignye he haþ welle I-bouȝt hir by
his faire songe {and} his ditee. but we wil putte{n} a lawe in þis.
{and} couenaunt in þe ȝifte. þ{a}t is to seyne. þat til he be out of
helle yif he loke byhynden hym [þ{a}t] hys wijf shal come{n} aȝeine to
vs ¶ but what is he þat may ȝeue a lawe to loueres. loue is a gretter
lawe {and} a strengere to hym self þan any lawe þ{a}t men may ȝeuen.
¶ Allas whan Orpheus {and} his wijf were al most at þe termes of þe
nyȝt. þat is to seyne at þe last[e] boundes of helle. Orpheus loked[e]
abakwarde on Erudice his wijf {and} lost[e] hir {and} was deed. ¶ þis
fable app{er}teineþ to ȝow alle who so euer desireþ or sekiþ to lede his
þouȝte in to þe souereyne day. þat is to seyne to clerenes[se] of
souereyne goode. ¶ For who so þat eu{er}e be so ouer come{n} þat he
fycche hys eyen in to þe put[te] of helle. þat is to seyne who so setteþ
his þouȝtes in erþely þinges. al þat euer he haþ drawen of þe noble good
celestial he lesiþ it whan he lokeþ þe helles. þat is to seyne to lowe
þinges of þe erþe.

  EXPLICIT LIBER TERCIUS.



INCIPIT LIBER QUARTUS.


HEC CUM PHILOSOPHIA DIGNITATE UULT{US}.

  [Sidenote: [The 1^ma p{ro}se.]]

++Whanne philosophie hadde songe{n} softly {and} delitably þe forseide
þinges kepynge þe dignitee of hir choere in þe weyȝte of hir wordes.
I þan þat ne hadde nat al out{er}ly forȝeten þe wepyng {and} mournyng
þat was set in myne herte for-brek þe entenc{i}ou{n} of hir þat
entended[e] ȝitte to seyne oþ{er} þinges. ¶ Se q{uo}d I. þou þat art
gideresse of verray lyȝte þe þinges þat þou hast seid [me] hider to ben
to me so clere {and} so shewyng by þe deuyne lokyng of hem {and} by þi
resou{n}s þat þei ne mowe nat ben ouercomen. ¶ And þilke þi{n}g{us} þat
þou toldest me. al be it so þat I hadde som tyme fo[r]ȝeten hem for
[the] sorwe of þe wronge þat haþ ben don to me. ȝit naþeles þei ne were
nat alouterly vnknowen to me. but þis same is namly a gret cause of my
sorwe. þat so as þe gouernoure of þinges is goode. yif þat yuelys mowen
ben by any weyes. or ellys yif þat yuelys passen wiþ outen punyssheinge.
þe whiche þinge oonly how worþi it is to ben wondred vpon. þou
considerest it weel þi self certeynly. but ȝitte to þis þing þere is an
oþer þing y-ioigned more to ben ywondred vpon. ¶ For felonie is
emperisse {and} flowreþ ful of rycchesse. and vertues nis nat al oonly
wiþ outen medes. but it is cast vndir {and} fortroden vndir þe feet of
felonous folk. {and} it abieþ þe to{ur}me{n}tes in sted of wicked
felou{n}s ¶ Of al[le] whiche þing þer nis no wyȝt þat [may] merueyllen
ynouȝ ne compleyne þat swiche þinges ben don in þe regne of god þat alle
þinges woot. and alle þinges may {and} ne wool nat but only goode
þinges. ¶ þan seide she þus. certys q{uo}d she þat were a grete meruayle
{and} an enbaissynge wiþouten ende. {and} wel more horrible þan alle
monstres yif it were as þ{o}u wenest. þat is to sein. þat in þe ryȝt
ordeyne house of so mochel a fader {and} an ordenour of meyne. þat þe
vesseles þat ben foule {and} vyle sholde ben hono{ur}ed {and} heried.
and þe p{re}cious uesseles sholde ben defouled {and} vyle. but it nis
nat so. For yif þe þinges þat I haue co{n}cluded a litel here byforne
ben kept hoole {and} vnraced. þou shalt wel knowe by þe auctorite of
god. of þe whos regne I speke þat certys þe good[e] folk ben alwey
myȝty. {and} shrewes ben alwey yuel {and} feble. ne þe vices ben
neu{e}re mo wiþ outen peyne[;] ne þe vertues ne ben nat wiþ outen mede.
and þat blisfulnesses comen alwey to goode folke. {and} infortune comeþ
alwey to wicked folke. ¶ And þou shalt wel knowe many[e] þinges of þis
kynde þ{a}t sholle cessen þi pleyntes. {and} stedfast þe wiþ stedfast
saddenesse. ¶ And for þou hast seyn þe forme of þe verray blisfulnesse
by me þat [haue] somtyme I-shewed it þe. And þou hast knowen i{n} whom
blysfulnesse is set. alle þinges I treted þ{a}t I trowe ben nessessarie
to put[te] furþe ¶ I shal shewe þe. þe weye þat shal brynge þe aȝeyne
vnto þi house {and} I shal ficche feþeres in þi þouȝt by whiche it may
arysen in heyȝte. so þat al tribulac{i}ou{n} don awey þou by my gidyng &
by my paþe {and} by my sledes shalt mowen retourne hool {and} sounde in
to þi contre.


SU{N}T ETENIM PENNE. {ET} C{ETERA}.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrste met{ur}.]]

++I Haue for soþe swifte feþeres þat surmou{n}ten þe heyȝt of þe heuene
whan þe swifte þouȝt haþ cloþed it self. in þo feþeres it dispiseþ þe
hat[e]ful erþes. {and} surmou{n}teþ þe heyȝenesse of þe greet[e] eyir.
{and} it seiþ þe cloudes by-hynde hir bak {and} passeþ þe heyȝt of þe
regiou{n} of þe fire þat eschaufiþ by þe swifte moeuyng of þe firmament.
til þat she a-reisiþ hir in til þe houses þ{a}t beren þe sterres. {and}
ioygneþ hir weyes wiþ þe sonne phebus. {and} felawshipeþ þe weye of þe
olde colde saturnus. and she ymaked a knyȝt of þe clere sterre. þat is
to seyne þat þe soule is maked goddys knyȝt by þe sekyng of treuþe to
comen to þe verray knowlege of god. and þilke soule renne[þ] by þe
cercle of þe sterres in alle þe places þere as þe shynyng nyȝt is
depeynted. þat is to seyne þe nyȝt þat is cloudeles. for on nyȝtes þat
ben cloudeles it semeþ as þe heuene were peynted wiþ dyuerse ymages of
sterres. {and} whan þe soule haþ gon ynouȝ she shal forleten þe last[e]
poynt of þe heuene. {and} she shal p{re}ssen {and} wenden on þe bak of
þe swifte firmament. and she shal ben maked p{er}fit of þe dredefulle
clerenesse of god. ¶ þere haldeþ þe lorde of kynges þe ceptre of his
myȝt {and} atte{m}p{er}eþ þe gouernementes of þis worlde. {and} þe
shynynge iuge of þinges stable i{n} hy{m} self gouerneþ þe swifte carte.
þat is to seyne þe circuler moeuyng of [the] sonne. {and} yif þi weye
ledeþ þe aȝeyne so þat þou be brouȝt þider. þan wilt þou seye now þat
þat is þe contre þat þou requeredest of whiche þou ne haddest no mynde.
but now it remenbreþ me wel here was I born. here wil I fastne my
degree. here wil I dwelle. but yif þe lyke þan to loken on þe derkenesse
of þe erþe þat þou hast for-leten. þan shalt þou seen þat þise felonous
tyrauntes þat þe wrecched[e] poeple dredeþ now shule ben exiled from
þilke faire contre.


TUNC EGO PAPE INQ{UA}M. {ET} C{ETERA}.

  [Sidenote: [The 2^e p{ro}se.]]

++ÞAnne seide I þus. [owh] I wondre me þat þou by-hetest me so grete
þinges. ne I ne doute nat þat þ{o}u ne mayst wel p{er}forme þat þou
by-hetest. but I preie þe oonly þis. þat þou ne tarie nat to telle me
þilke þinges þat þou hast meoued. first q{uo}d she þou most nedes
knowen. þ{a}t good[e] folk ben al wey strong[e] {and} myȝty. and þe
shrewes ben feble {and} desert {and} naked of alle strengþes. and of
þise þinges certys eueryche of hem is declared {and} shewed by oþ{er}.
¶ For so as good {and} yuel ben two cont{ra}ries. yif so be þat goode be
stedfast. þa{n} sheweþ þe fieblesse of yuel al openly. and yif þou knowe
clerely þe freelnesse of yuel. þe stedfastnesse of goode is knowen. but
for as moche as þe fey of my sentence shal be þe more ferme {and}
habou{n}daunt. I wil goon by þat oon wey {and} by þat oþer {and} I wil
conferme þe þinges þat ben p{ur}posed now on þis side {and} now on þ{a}t
syde. ¶ Two þinges þer ben in whiche þe effect of alle þe dedes of man
kynde standiþ. þat is to seyn. wil {and} power. and yif þat oon of þise
two fayleþ þere nis no þing þat may be don. for yif þat wil lakkeþ þere
nys no wyȝt þat vndirtakeþ to done þat he wol not don. and yif power
fayleþ þe wille nis but i{n} ydel {and} stant for nauȝt. and þer of
comeþ it þat yif þou se a wyȝt þat wolde gete{n} þat he may nat geten.
þou mayst nat douten þat power ne fayleþ hy{m} to haue{n} þat he wolde.
¶ þis is open {and} clere q{uo}d I. ne it may nat ben denyed in no
manere. and yif þou se a wyȝt q{uo}d she. þat haþ don þat he wolde don
þ{o}u nilt nat douten þat he ne haþ had power to done it. no q{uo}d. I.
and in þat. þat euery wyȝt may. in þat þat men may holden hym myȝty. as
who seiþ i{n} as moche as a man is myȝty to done a þing. in so moche men
halden hy{m} myȝty. and in þat þat he ne may. in þat men demen hym to
ben feble. I confesse it wel q{uo}d I. Remembriþ þe q{uo}d she þat I.
haue gadred {and} shewed by forseide resou{n}s þat al þe entenc{i}ou{n}
of þe wil of ma{n}kynde whiche þat is lad by diuerse studies hastiþ to
comen to blisfulnesse. ¶ It reme{m}breþ me wel q{uo}d I þat it hath ben
shewed. {and} recordeþ þe nat þan q{uo}d she. þat blisfulnesse is þilke
same goode þat men requeren. so þat whan þat blisfulnesse is requered of
alle. þat goode [also] is requered {and} desired of al. It recordeþ me
wel q{uo}d I. for haue it gretly alwey ficche[d] in my memorie. alle
folk þan q{uo}d she goode {and} eke badde enforcen he{m} wiþ oute
difference of entenc{i}ou{n} to come{n} to goode. þat is a uerray
consequence q{uo}d I. and certeyne is q{uo}d she þat by þe gety{n}g of
goode ben men ymaked goode. þis is certeyne q{uo}d. I. ¶ þan geten goode
men þat þei desiren. so semeþ it q{uo}d I. but wicked[e] folk q{uo}d she
yif þei geten þe goode þat þei desire{n} þei [ne] mowen nat ben wicked.
so is it q{uo}d .I. ¶ þan so as þat oon {and} þat oþer [q{uod} she]
desiren good. {and} þe goode folk geten good {and} nat þe wicked folk
¶ þan nis it no doute þat þe goode folk ne ben myȝty {and} þe wicked
folk ben feble. ¶ who so þat euer q{uo}d I douteþ of þis. he ne may nat
considre þe nature of þi{n}ges. ne þe consequence of resou{n}. and ouer
þis q{uo}d she. ¶ yif þat þer ben two þinges þat han o same p{ur}pos by
kynde. {and} þat one of he{m} p{ur}sueþ {and} p{er}formeþ þilke same
þinge by naturel office. {and} þat oþer ne may nat done þilk naturel
office. but folweþ by oþer manere þan is couenable to nat{ur}e ¶ Hym þat
acomplisiþ hys p{ur}pos kyndely. {and} ȝit he ne acomplisiþ nat hys owen
purpos. wheþer of þise two demest þou for more myȝty. ¶ yif þat I
coniecte q{uo}d .I. þat þou wilt seye algates. ȝit I desire to herkene
it more pleynely of þe. þou nilt nat þan denye q{uo}d she þat þe
moeueme{n}tȝ of goynge nis in men by kynde. no for soþe q{uo}d I. ne þou
ne doutest nat q{uo}d she þ{a}t þilke naturel office of goynge ne be þe
office of feet. I ne doute it nat q{uo}d .I. þan q{uo}d she yif þat a
wyȝt be myȝty to moeue {and} goþ vpon hys feet. and anoþer to whom þilke
naturel office of feet lakkeþ. enforceþ hym to gone crepynge vpo{n} hys
handes. ¶ whiche of þise two auȝte to ben holden more myȝty by ryȝt.
knyt furþe þe remenaunt q{uo}d I. ¶ For no wyȝt ne douteþ þat he þat may
gone by nat{ur}el office of feet. ne be more myȝty þan he þat ne may nat
¶ but þe souereyne good q{uo}d she þat is euenlyche p{ur}posed to þe
good folk {and} to badde. þe good folke seken it by naturel office of
uertues. {and} þe shrewes enforcen hem to geten it by dyuerse couetise
of erþely þinges. whiche þat nis no naturel office to geten þilke same
souereyne goode. trowest þou þat it be any oþer wyse. nay q{uo}d .I. for
þe co{n}seque{n}ce is open {and} shewynge of þinges þat I haue graunted.
¶ þat nedes goode folk moten ben myȝty. {and} shrewes feble {and}
vnmyȝty. ¶ þou rennest aryȝt byfore me q{uo}d she. {and} þis is þe
iugement þat is to seyn. ¶ I iuge of þe ryȝt as þise leches ben wont
forto hopen of seke folk whan þei ap{er}ceyuen þat nature is redressed
{and} wiþstondeþ to þe maladie. ¶ But for I see þe now al redy to þe
vndirstandynge I shal shewe þe more þilke {and} continuel resou{n}s.
¶ For loke now how gretly shewiþ þe feblesse {and} infirmite of wicked
folke. þat ne mowen nat come to þat hire naturel entenc{i}ou{n} ledeþ
hem. {and} ȝitte almost þilk naturel entenc{i}ou{n} constreineþ hem.
¶ and what wer{e} to deme þan of shrewes. yif þilke naturel helpe hadde
for-leten hem. ¶ þe whiche naturel helpe of entenc{i}ou{n} goþ alwey
byforne hem. {and} is so grete þat vnneþ it may be ou{er}comen.
¶ Considre þan how gret defaute of power {and} how gret feblesse þere is
in grete felonous folk as who seiþ þe gretter þi{n}ges þat ben coueited
{and} þe desire nat accomplissed of þe lasse myȝt is he þat coueiteþ it
{and} may nat acomplisse. ¶ And forþi philosophie seiþ þus by souereyne
good. ¶ Sherewes ne requere nat lyȝt[e] medes ne veyne gaines whiche þei
ne may nat folwen ne holden. but þei fayle{n} of þilke some of þe heyȝte
of þinges þat is to seyne souereyne good. ne þise wrecches ne comen nat
to þe effect of souereyne good. þe whiche þei enforcen hem oonly to
gete{n} by nyȝtes {and} by dayes. ¶ In þe getyn[g] of whiche goode þe
strengþe of good folk. is ful wel ysen. For ryȝt so as þ{o}u myȝtest
demen hym myȝty of goynge þat goþ on hys feet til he myȝt[e] come to
þilke place fro þe whiche place þere ne lay no wey forþer to be gon.
Ryȝt so most þou nedes demen hym for ryȝt myȝty þat getiþ {and} atteiniþ
to þe ende of alle þinges þat ben to desire. by-ȝonde þe whiche ende þat
þer nis no þing to desire. ¶ Of whiche power of good folk men may
conclude þat wicked men semen to ben bareyne {and} naked of alle
strengþe. For whi forleten þei v{er}tues {and} folwen vices. nis it nat
for þat þei ne knowen nat þe goodes. ¶ But what þing is more feble {and}
more caitif þan is þe blyndenesse of ignoraunce. or ellys þei knowen ful
wel whiche þinges þat þei auȝten to folwen ¶ but lecherye {and} couetise
ouerþroweþ hem mysturned. ¶ and certis so doþ distemp{er}aunce to feble
men. þat ne mowe{n} nat wrastle aȝeins þe vices ¶ Ne knowen þei nat þan
wel þat þei foreleten þe good wilfully. {and} turnen hem vilfully to
vices. ¶ And in þis wise þei ne forleten nat oonly to ben myȝty. but þei
forleten al outerly in any wise forto ben ¶ For þei þat forleten þe
comune fyn of alle þinges þat ben. þei for-leten also þerwiþ al forto
ben. and p{er}auenture it sholde semen to som folk þat þis were a
merueile to seyne þat shrewes whiche þat contienen þe more p{ar}tie of
me{n} ne ben nat. ne han no beynge. ¶ but naþeles it is so. {and} þus
stant þis þing for þei þat ben shrewes I denye nat þat þei ben shrewes.
but I denye {and} sey[e] symplely and pleynly þat þei [ne] ben nat. ne
han no beynge. for ryȝt as þou myȝtest seyn of þe careyne of a man þat
it were a ded man. ¶ but þou ne myȝtest nat symplely callen it a man.
¶ So graunt[e] I wel for soþe þat vicious folk ben wicked. but I ne may
nat graunten absolutely {and} symplely þat þei ben. ¶ For þilk þing þat
wiþ holdeþ ordre {and} kepiþ nature. þilk þing is {and} haþ beynge. but
þat þing þat faileþ of þat. þat is to seyne he þ{a}t forletiþ naturel
ordre he for-letiþ þilk beyng þat is set in hys nature. but þou wolt
sein þat shrewes mowen. ¶ Certys þat ne denye I nat. ¶ but certys hir
power ne descendeþ nat of strengþe but of feblesse. for þei mowen don
wickednesses. þe whiche þei ne myȝten nat don yif þei myȝte{n} dwelle in
þe forme {and} in þe doynge of goode folke. ¶ And þilke power sheweþ ful
euydently þat þei ne mowen ryȝt nauȝt. ¶ For so as I haue gadered {and}
p{ro}ued a lytel her byforn þat yuel is nauȝt. {and} so as shrewes mowen
oonly but shrewednesse. þis conclusiou{n} is al clere. þat shrewes ne
mowen ryȝt nat to han power. and for as moche as þou vndirstonde whiche
is þe strengþe þat is power of shrewes. I haue diffinised a lytel here
byforn þat no þing nis so myȝty as souereyne good ¶ þat is soþe q{uo}d
.I. [{and} thilke same souereyn good may don non yuel // Certes no
q{uod} I] ¶ Is þer any wyȝt þan q{uo}d she þat weniþ þat men mowen don
alle þinges. No man q{uo}d .I. but yif he be out of hys witte. ¶ but
certys sherewes mowen doñ yuel q{uo}d she. ¶ ȝe wolde god q{uo}d I þat
þei ne myȝte{n} don none. þat q{uo}d she so as he þat is myȝty to done
oonly but good[e] þinges may don alle þinges. and þei þat ben myȝty to
done yuel[e] þinges ne mowen nat alle þinges. þan is þis open þing {and}
manifest þat þei þ{a}t mowe{n} don yuel ben of lasse power. and ȝitte to
p{ro}ue þis conclusiou{n} þere helpeþ me þis þat I haue shewed here
byforne. þat al power is to be nou{m}bred amonge þinges þat men auȝten
requere. {and} haue shewed þat alle þi{n}ges þat auȝten ben desired ben
referred to good ryȝt as to a manere heyȝte of hyr nature. ¶ But for to
mowen don yuel {and} felonye ne may nat ben referred to good. þan nis
nat yuel of þe nou{m}bre of þinges þat auȝte{n}. be desired. but al
power auȝt[e] ben desired {and} requered. ¶ þan is it open {and} cler
þat þe power ne þe moeuyng of shrewes nis no powere. {and} of alle þise
þinges it sheweþ wel þat þe goode folk ben certeynly myȝty. {and} þe
shrewes ben douteles vnmyȝty ¶ And it is clere {and} open þat þilke
sentence of plato is uerray {and} soþe. þ{a}t seyþ þat oonly wiseme{n}
may [doon] þat þei desiren. {and} shrewes mowen haunten þat hem lykeþ.
but þat þei desiren þat is to seyne to comen to souereyne good þei ne
han no power to acomplissen þat. ¶ For shrewes don þat hem list whan by
þo þinges in whiche þei deliten þei wenen to atteyne to þilke good þat
þei desiren. but þei ne geten ne atteynen nat þer to. ¶ for vices ne
comen nat to blisfulnesse.


QUOS UIDES SEDERE CELSOS.

  [Sidenote: [The ij^de Met{ur}.]]

++Who so þat þe couertures of her veyn apparailes myȝt[e] strepen of
þise proude kynges þat þou seest sitten on heyȝe in her chayeres
glyterynge in shynynge purpre envyroned wiþ sorweful arm{ur}es manasyng
wiþ cruel mouþe. blowyng by woodnesse of herte. ¶ He sholde se þan þat
ilke lordes beren wiþ i{n}ne hir corages ful streyte cheynes for
leccherye tormentiþ he{m} on þat oon syde wiþ gredy venyms {and}
troublable Ire þat araiseþ in hem þe floodes of troublynges tourmentiþ
vpon þat oþer side hir þouȝt. or sorwe halt he{m} wery or ycauȝt. or
slidyng {and} disseyuyng hope tourmentiþ hem. And þerfore syn þou seest
on heed. þat is to seyne oon tyraunt bere so many[e] tyrauntis. þa{n} ne
doþ þilk tyraunt nat þat he desiriþ. syn he is cast doune wiþ so many[e]
wicked lordes. þat is to seyn wiþ so many[e] vices. þat han so wicked
lordshipes ouer hym.


VIDES NE IGITUR QUANTO.

  [Sidenote: [The iij.^de p{ro}se.]]

++SEest þou nat þan in how gret filþe þise shrewes ben ywrapped. {and}
wiþ whiche cleernesse þise good folk shynen. In þis sheweþ it wel þat to
good folk ne lakkeþ neuer mo hir medes. ne shrewes ne lakken neuer mo
to{ur}mentis. for of alle þinges þat ben ydon þilke þing for whiche any
þing is doon. it semeþ as by ryȝt þat þilke þing be þe mede of þat. as
þus. ¶ yif a man renneþ in þe stadie or in þe forlonge for þe corone.
þan lieþ þe mede in þe corone for whiche he renneþ. ¶ And I haue shewed
þat blisfulnesse is þilke same good for whiche þat alle þi{n}g{us} ben
don. þan is þilke same good p{ur}posed to þe werkes of mankynde ryȝt as
a comune mede. whiche mede ne may ben disseuered fro good folk. for no
wyȝt as by ryȝt fro þennes forþe þ{a}t hym lakkiþ goodnesse ne shal ben
cleped good. For whiche þing folk of good[e] maneres her medes ne
forsaken hem neuer mo. For al be it so þat sherewes waxen as wood as hem
list aȝeynes good[e] folk. ȝitte neuer þe les þe corone of wise men ne
shal nat fallen ne faden. ¶ For foreine shrewednesse ne bynymeþ nat fro
þe corages of good[e] folk hire p{ro}pre honoure. but yif þat any wyȝt
reioiseþ hem of goodnesse þat þei had[de] taken fro wiþoute. as who seiþ
yif [þ{a}t] any wyȝt had[de] hys goodnesse of any oþer man þan of hym
self. certys he þat ȝaf hym þilke goodnesse or ellys som oþer wyȝt
myȝt[e] bynym[e] it hym. but for as moche as to euery wyȝt hys owen
p{ro}pre bounte ȝeueþ hy{m} hys mede. þan at arst shal he faylen of mede
whan he forletiþ to ben good. {and} at þe laste so as alle medes be{n}
requered for men wenen þat þei ben good[e]. who is he þat wolde deme þat
he þat is ryȝt myȝty of goode were p{ar}tles of mede. {and} of what mede
shal he be gerdoned. certys of ryȝt faire mede {and} ryȝt greet abouen
alle medes. ¶ Remembre þe of þilk noble corolarie þat I ȝaf þe a lytel
here byforne. {and} gadre it to gidre in þis manere. so as god hym self
is blisfulnesse. þan is it clere {and} certeyn. þat alle good folk ben
makid blisful for þei ben good[e]. and þilke folk þat ben blisful it
accordiþ {and} is couenable to ben godde[s]. þan is þe mede of goode
folk swiche. þat no day [ne] shal enpeyren it. ne no wickednesse shal
endirken it. ne power of no wyȝt ne shal nat amenusen it þat is to seyn
to ben maked goddes. ¶ and syn it is þus þat goode men ne faylen neuer
mo of hir{e} medes. ¶ certys no wise man ne may doute of þe
vndep{ar}table peyne of shrewes. ¶ þat is to seyn þat þe peyne of
shrewes ne dep{ar}tiþ nat from hem self neuer mo. ¶ For so as goode
{and} yuel {and} peyne {and} medes ben contrarie it mot nedes ben þ{a}t
ryȝt as we seen by-tiden in gerdou{n} of goode. þat also mot þe peyne of
yuel answer{e} by þe contrarie partye to shrewes. now þan so as bounte
{and} prowesse ben þe medes to goode folk. also is shrewednesse it self
torment to shrewes ¶ þan who so þat euer is entecched {and} defouled wiþ
yuel. yif shrewes wolen þan p{re}isen hem self may it semen to hem þat
þei ben wiþ oute{n} p{ar}tye of tourment. syn þei ben swiche þat þe
[vtteriste wikkednesse / þ{a}t is to seyn wikkede thewes / which þ{a}t
is the] out{er}este {and} þe w[or]ste kynde of shrewednesse ne defouliþ
nat ne entecehiþ nat hem oonly but infectiþ {and} enuenemyþ he{m}
gretely ¶ And al so loke on shrewes þat ben þe contrarie p{ar}tye of
goode men. how grete peyne felawshipeþ {and} folweþ hem. ¶ For þou hast
lerned a litel here byforn þat al þi{n}g þat is {and} haþ beynge is oon.
{and} þilke same oon is good. þan is þis consequence þat it semeþ wel.
þat al þat is {and} haþ bey{n}ge is good. þis is to seyne. as who seiþ
þat beynge {and} vnite {and} goodnesse is al oon. {and} in þis manere it
folweþ þan. þat al þing þat faileþ to ben good. it styntiþ forto be.
{and} forto haue any beynge. wher fore it is þat shrewes stynten forto
ben þat þei weren. but þilke oþer forme of mankynde. þat is to seyne þe
forme of þe body wiþ oute. shewiþ ȝit þat þise shrewes were somtyme men.
¶ wher fore whan þei ben p{er}uerted {and} torned in to malice. certys
þan han þei forlorn þe nature of mankynde. but so as oonly bounte {and}
prowesse may enhawnse euery man ouer oþer men. þan mot it nedes be þat
shrewes whiche þat shrewednesse haþ cast out of þe condic{i}ou{n} of
mankynde ben put vndir þe merite {and} þe deserte of men. þan bitidiþ it
þat yif þou seest a wyȝt þat be t{ra}nsformed in to vices. þou ne mayst
nat wene þat he be a man. ¶ For ȝif he [be] ardaunt in auarice. {and}
þat he be a rauyno{ur} by violence of foreine rychesse. þou shalt seyn
þat he is lyke to a wolf. {and} yif he be felonous {and} wiþ out reste
{and} ex{er}cise hys tonge to chidynges. þou shalt lykene hym to þe
hounde. {and} yif he be a p{re}ue awaito{ur} yhid {and} reioyseþ hym to
rauysshe by wyles. þou shalt seyne hym lyke to þe fox whelpes. ¶ And yif
he be distempre {and} quakiþ for ire men shal wene þat he bereþ þe
corage of a lyou{n}. {and} yif he be dredeful {and} fleynge and dredeþ
þinges þat ne auȝten nat ben dred. men shal holde hym lyke to þe
h{er}te. {and} yif he be slowe {and} astoned {and} lache. he lyueþ as an
asse. {and} yif he be lyȝt {and} vnstedfast of corage {and} chaungeþ ay
his studies. he is lickened to briddes. ¶ {and} yif he be plounged in
foule {and} vnclene luxuries. he is wiþholden in þe foule delices of þe
foule soowe. ¶ þan folweþ it þat he þat forletiþ bountee {and} prowesse.
he forletiþ to ben a man. syn he ne may nat passe in to þe
condic{i}ou{n} of god. he is tourned in to a beest.


V[E]LA NARICII DUCIS.

  [Sidenote: [The 3^de Met{ur}.]]

++Evrus þe wynde aryueþ þe sayles of vlixes duc of þe contre of narice.
{and} hys wandryng shippes by þe see in to þe isle þere as Circe þe
fayre goddesse douȝter of þe sonne dwelleþ þat medlyþ to hir newe gestes
drynkes þat ben touched {and} maked wiþ enchau{n}tmentȝ. {and} after þat
hir hande myȝty of þe herbes had[de] chau{n}ged hir gestes i{n} to
dyuerse maneres. þat oon of hem is couered his face wiþ forme of a boor.
þat oþer is chau{n}ged in to a lyou{n} of þe contre of marmorike. {and}
his nayles {and} his teþe wexen. ¶ þat oþer of hem is newliche chaunged
in to a wolf. {and} howeliþ whan he wolde wepe. þat oþer goþ debonairly
in þe house as a tigre of Inde. but al be it so þat þe godhed of
mercurie þat is cleped þe bride of arcadie haþ had mercie of þe duc
vlixes byseged wiþ diu{er}se yueles {and} haþ vnbounden hym fro þe
pestilence of hys oosteresse algates þe rowers {and} þe maryners hadden
by þis ydrawen in to hir mouþes {and} dronken þe wicked[e] drynkes þei
þat were woxen swyne hadden by þis chau{n}ged hire mete of brede forto
ete acorns of ookes. non of hir lymes ne dwelliþ wiþ he{m} hoole. but
þei han lost þe voys {and} þe body. Oonly hir{e} þouȝt dwelleþ wiþ hem
stable þ{a}t wepiþ {and} bywailiþ þe monstruous chaungynge þat þei
suffren. ¶ O ouer lyȝt hand. as who seiþ. ¶ O feble {and} lyȝt is þe
hand of Circes þe enchaunteresse þat chaungeþ þe bodies of folk in to
bestes to regarde {and} to co{m}parisou{n} of mutac{i}ou{n} þat is makid
by vices. ne þe herbes of circes ne ben nat myȝty. for al be it so þat
þei may chau{n}gen þe lymes of þe body. ¶ algates ȝit þei may nat
chau{n}ge þe hertes. for wiþ inne is yhid þe strengþe {and} þe vigour of
me{n} in þe secre toure of hire hertys. þat is to seyn þe strengþe of
resou{n}. but þilke uenyms of vices to-drawen a man to hem more myȝtily
þan þe venym of circes. ¶ For vices ben so cruel þat þei percen {and}
þoruȝ passen þe corage wiþ i{n}ne. {and} þouȝ þei ne anoye nat þe body.
ȝitte vices wooden to distroien men by wounde of þouȝt.


TUNC EGO FATEOR INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The ferthe p{ro}se.]]

++Þan seide I þus I confesse {and} am aknowe q{uo}d I. ne I ne se nat
þat men may seyn as by ryȝt. þ{a}t shrewes ne ben nat chaunged in to
beestes by þe qualite of hir soules. ¶ Al be it so þ{a}t þei kepen ȝitte
þe forme of þe body of mankynde. but I nolde nat of shrewes of whiche þe
þouȝt cruel woodeþ alwey in to destrucc{i}ou{n} of good[e] men. þat it
wer{e} leueful to hem to done þat. ¶ Certys q{uo}d she ne it nis nat
leueful to hem as I shal wel shewen þe in couenable place. ¶ But naþeles
yif so were þat þilke þat me{n} wene{n} ben leueful for shrewes were
bynomen hem. so þat þei ne myȝten nat anoyen or don harme to goode men.
¶ Certys a gret p{ar}ty of þe peyne to shrewes shulde ben allegged {and}
releued. ¶ For al be it so þ{a}t þis ne seme nat credible þing
p{er}auent{ur}e to so{m}me folk ȝit mot it nedes be þat shrewes ben more
wrecches {and} vnsely. whan þei may don {and} p{er}forme þat þei
coueiten [than yif they myhte nat complyssen þ{a}t they coueyten]. ¶ For
yif so be þat it be wrecchednesse to wilne to don yuel[;] þan is it more
wrecchednesse to mowen don yuel. wiþ oute whiche moeuyng þe wrecched
wille sholde languisshe wiþ oute effecte. ¶ þan syn þat eueryche of þise
þinges haþ hys wrecchednesse. þat is to seyne wil to done yuel. and
moeuynge to done yuel. it mot nedes be. þat þei (shrewes) ben
constreyned by þre vnselynesses þat wolen {and} mowen {and} p{er}formen
felonyes {and} shrewednesses. ¶ I accorde me q{uo}d I. but I desire
gretely þat shrewes losten sone þilke vnselynesses. þat is to seyne þat
shrewes were despoyled of moeuyng to don yuel. ¶ so shulle{n} þei q{uo}d
she. sonnere p{er}auenture þen þ{o}u woldest or sonnere þen þei hem self
wenen to lakken mowynge to done yuel. ¶ For þere nis no þing so late in
so short bou{n}des of þis lijf þat is longe to abide. namelyche to a
corage inmortel. Of whiche shrewes þe grete hope {and} þe heye
co{m}passy{n}g{us} of shrewednesse is often destroyed by a sodeyne ende
or þei ben war. {and} þat þing establiþ to shrewes þe ende of hir
shrewednesse. ¶ For yif þat shrewednesse makiþe wrecches. þan mot he
nedes be most wrecched þat lengest is a shrewe. þe whiche wicked shrewes
wolde ydemen aldirmost vnsely {and} caytifs yif þat hir shrewednes ne
were yfinissed. at þe leste weye by þe outerest[e] deeþ. for [yif] I
haue concluded soþe of þe vnselynesse of shrewednesse. þan sheweþ it
clerely þat þilke shrewednesse is wiþ outen ende þe whiche is certeyne
to ben p{er}durable. ¶ Certys q{uo}d I þis [conclusion] is harde {and}
wonderful to graunte. ¶ But I knowe wel þat it accordeþ moche to [the]
þi{n}ges þat I haue graunted her byforne. ¶ þou hast q{uo}d she þe ryȝt
estimac{i}ou{n} of þis. but who so euere wene þat it be an harde þing to
acorde hym to a conclusiou{n}. it is ryȝt þat he shewe þat so{m}me of þe
p{re}misses ben fals. or ellys he mot shewe þat þe colasiou{n} of
p{re}posic{i}ou{n}s nis nat spedful to a necessarie conclusio{n}. ¶ and
yif it be nat so. but þat þe p{re}misses ben yg{ra}nted þer nis nat whi
he sholde blame þe argument. for þis þing þat I shal telle þe nowe ne
shal not seme lasse wondirful. but of þe þinges þat ben taken al so it
is necessarie as who so seiþ it folweþ of þat whiche þat is p{ur}posed
byforn. what is þat q{uo}d I. ¶ certys q{uo}d she þat is þat þ{a}t þise
wicked shrewes ben more blysful or ellys lasse wrecches. þat byen þe
tourmentes þat þei han deserued. þan yif no peyne of Iustice ne
chastied[e] hem. ne þis ne seye I nat now for þat any man myȝt[e]
þenk[e] þat þe maneres of shrewes ben coriged {and} chastised by
veniaunce. {and} þat þei ben brouȝt to þe ryȝt wey by þe drede of þe
tourment. ne for þat þei ȝeuen to oþer folk ensample to fleyen fro{m}
vices. ¶ But I vndirstonde ȝitte [in] an oþer manere þat shrewes ben
more vnsely whan þei ne ben nat punissed al be it so þat þere ne ben had
no resou{n} or lawe of correcc{i}ou{n}. ne none ensample of lokynge.
¶ And what manere shal þat ben q{uo}d I. ouþer þan haþ ben told here
byforn ¶ Haue we nat graunted þan q{uo}d she þat good[e] folk ben
blysful. {and} shrewes ben wrecches. ȝis q{uo}d I. [thanne q{uod} she]
ȝif þat any good were added to þe wrecchenesse of any wyȝt. nis he nat
more blisful þan he þat ne haþ no medelyng of goode in hys solitarie
wrecchednesse. so semeþ it q{uo}d I. and what seyst þou þan q{uo}d she
of þilke wrecche þat lakkeþ alle goodes. so þat no goode nis medeled in
hys wrecchednesse. {and} ȝitte ouer alle hys wickednesse for whiche he
is a wrecche þat þer be ȝitte anoþer yuel anexid {and} knyt to hym. shal
not men demen hym more vnsely þan þilke wrecche of whiche þe vnselynesse
is re[le]ued by þe p{ar}ticipac{i}ou{n} of som goode. whi sholde he nat
q{uo}d I. ¶ þan certys q{uo}d she han shrewes whan þei ben punissed
somwhat of good anexid to hir wrecchednesse. þat is to seyne þe same
peyne þat þei suffren whiche þat is good by þe resou{n} of Iustice. And
whan þilke same shrewes ascapen wiþ outen tourment. þan han þei somwhat
more of yuel ȝit ouer þe wickednesse þat þei han don. þat is to seye
defaute of peyne. whiche defaute of peyne þou hast graunted is yuel.
¶ For þe desert of felonye I ne may nat denye it q{uo}d I. ¶ Moche more
þan q{uo}d she ben shrewes vnsely whan þei ben wrongfully delyuered fro
peyne. þan whan þei beþ punissed by ryȝtful vengeaunce. but þis is open
þi{n}g {and} clere þat it is ryȝt þat shrewes ben punissed. {and} it is
wickednesse {and} wrong þat þei escapin vnpunissed. ¶ who myȝt[e] denye
þat q{uo}d I. but q{uo}d she may any ma{n} denye. þat al þat is ryȝt nis
good. {and} also þe contrarie. þat alle þat is wrong nis wicked. certys
q{uo}d I þise þinges ben clere ynouȝ. {and} þat we han concludid a litel
here byforn{e}. but I p{re}ye þe þat þou telle me yif þou accordest to
leten no to{ur}ment to þe soules aftir þat þe body is dedid by þe deþe.
þis [is] to seyn. vndirstondest þou ouȝt þat soules han any to{ur}ment
after þe deþe of þe body. ¶ Certis q{uo}d she ȝe {and} þat ryȝt grete.
of whiche soules q{uo}d she I trowe þat so{m}me ben to{ur}mentid by
asprenesse of peyne. {and} so{m}me soules I trowe be exc{er}cised by a
p{ur}ging mekenesse. but my conseil nys nat to determyne of þis peyne.
but I haue trauayled and told it hider to. ¶ For þou sholdest knowe þat
þe mowynge [.i. myght] of shrewes whiche mowynge þe semeþ to ben.
vnworþi nis no mowynge. {and} eke of shrewes of whiche þou pleynedest
þat þei ne were nat punissed. þat þou woldest seen þat þei ne weren
neuer mo wiþ outen þe torment of hire wickednesse. {and} of þe licence
of mowynge to done yuel. þat þou p{re}idest þat it myȝt[e] sone ben
endid. {and} þat þou woldest fayne lerne. þat it ne sholde nat longe
endure. {and} þat shrewes ben more vnsely yif þei were of lenger duryng.
{and} most vnsely yif þei weren p{er}durable. {and} after þis I haue
shewed þe þat more vnsely ben shrewes whan þei escapen wiþ oute ryȝtful
peyne. þan whan þei ben punissed by ryȝtful uengeaunce. and of þis
sentence folweþ it þat þan be{n} shrewes constreyned atte laste wiþ most
greuous tourment. whan men wene þat þei ne ben nat ypunissed. whan I
considre þi resou{n}s q{uo}d I. I. ne trowe nat þat men seyn any þing
more verrely. {and} yif I to{ur}ne aȝeyn to þe studies of men. who is
[he] to who{m} it sholde seme þat [he] ne sholde nat only leue{n} þise
þinges. but eke gladly herkene he{m}. Certys q{uo}d she so it is. but
men may nat. for þei han hire eyen so wont to derkenesse of erþely
þinges. þat þei may nat liften hem vp to þe lyȝt of clere soþefastnes.
¶ But þei ben lyke to briddes of whiche þe nyȝt lyȝtneþ hyre lookyng.
{and} þe day blyndeþ hem. for whan men loken nat þe ordre of þinges but
hire lustes {and} talentȝ. þei wene þat oþir þe leue or þe mowynge to
done wickednesse or ellys þe escapi{n}g wiþ oute peyne be weleful. but
co{n}sider{e} þe iugement of þe p{er}durable lawe. for if þou conferme
þi corage to þe beste þinges. þou ne hast no nede to no iuge to ȝiue{n}
þe p{r}is or meede. for þou hast ioigned þi self to þe most excellent
þing. and yif þou haue enclined þi studies to þe wicked þinges. ne seek
no foreyn wrekere out of þi self. for þou þi self hast þrest þe in to
wicked þinges. ryȝt as þou myȝtest loken by dyuerse tymes þe foule erþe
{and} þe heuene. {and} þat alle oþer þinges stynten fro wiþ oute. so þat
þou [ner{e} neyther in heuene ne in erthe] ne say[e] no þing more. þan
sholde it semen to þe as by only resou{n} of lokynge. þat þou were in þe
sterres. {and} now in þe erþe. but þe poeple ne lokeþ nat on þise
þinges. what þan shal we þan app{ro}chen vs to hem þat I haue shewed þat
þei ben lyke to þe bestes. (q. d. no{n}) ¶ And what wilt þou seyne of
þis ¶ yif þat a man hadde al forlorn hys syȝt. {and} had[de] forȝeten
þat he euer saw {and} wende þ{a}t no þing ne fayled[e] hym of
p{er}fecc{i}ou{n} of ma{n}kynde. now we þat myȝten sen þe same þing
wolde we nat wene þat he were bly{n}de (q. d. sic). ne also ne accordeþ
nat þe poeple to þat I shal seyne. þe whiche þing is susteyned by a
stronge foundement of resou{n}s. þat is to seyn þat more vnsely ben þei
þat don wrong to oþer folk. þen þei þat þe wrong suffren. ¶ I wolde
heren þilke same resou{n}s q{uo}d I ¶ Deniest þou q{uo}d she þat alle
shrewes ne ben worþi to han to{ur}ment. nay q{uo}d I. but q{uo}d she I
am certeyne by many resou{n}s þat shrewes ben vnsely. it accordeþ q{uo}d
I. þan [ne] dowtest þou nat q{uo}d she þat þilke folk þat ben worþi of
to{ur}ment þat þei ne ben wrecches. It accordeþ wel q{uo}d I. yif þou
were þan q{uo}d she yset a Iuge or a knower of þinges. wheþer trowest
þou þ{a}t men sholde to{ur}ment[e] hym þat haþ don þe wronge. or hym þat
haþ suffred þe wronge. I ne doute nat q{uo}d I. þat I nolde don
suffissaunt satisfacc{i}ou{n} to hym þat had[de] suffred þe wrong by þe
sorwe of hym þat had[de] don þe wronge. ¶ þan semeþ it q{uo}d she þat þe
doar of wrong is more wrecche þan he þat haþ suffred þe wrong. þat
folweþ wel q{uo}d [I]. þan q{uo}d she by þise causes {and} by oþer
causes þat ben enforced by þe same roate þat filþe or synne by þe
p{ro}pre nature of it makeþ men wretches. {and} it sheweþ wel þat þe
wrong þat me{n} don nis nat þe wrecchenesse of hym þat receyueþ þe
wrong. but þe wrecchednesse of hym þat doþ þe wronge ¶ but certys q{uo}d
she þise orato{ur}s or aduocatȝ don al þe contrarie for þei enforcen hem
to co{m}moeue þe iuges to han pite of he{m} þat han suffred {and}
resceyued þe þinges þat ben greuous {and} aspre. {and} ȝitte men sholden
more ryȝtfully han pitee on hem þat don þe greuaunces {and} þe wronges.
þe whiche shrewes it were a more couenable þing þat þe accuso{ur}s or
aduocatȝ not wroþe but pitous {and} debonaire ladden þe shrewes þat han
don wro{n}g to þe Iugement. ryȝt as men leden seke folk to þe leche. for
þat þei sholden seken out þe maladies of synne by to{ur}mentȝ. and by
þis couenaunt eyþer þe entent of þe defendo{ur}s or aduocatȝ sholde
fayle {and} cesen in al. or ellys yif þe office of aduocatȝ wolde
bettre p{ro}fiten to men. it sholde be to{ur}ned in to þe habit of
accusac{i}ou{n}. þat is [to] s[e]yn þei sholde{n} accuse shrewes.
{and} nat excuse hem. {and} eke þe shrewes hem self. ȝit it were
leueful to hem to seen at any clifte þe vertue þat þei han forleten.
{and} sawen þat þei sholde putten adou{n} þe filþes of hire vices
by [the] to{ur}mentȝ of peynes. þei ne auȝten nat ryȝt for þe
reco{m}pensac{i}ou{n} forto geten hem bounte {and} prowesse whiche þat
þei han lost demen ne holden þat þilke peynes weren to{ur}mentes to hem.
{and} eke þei wolden refuse þe attendau{n}ce of hir aduocatȝ {and} taken
hem self to hire iuges {and} to hir accusours. for whiche it bytideþ
[þ{a}t] as to þe wise folk þer nis no place ylete to hate. þat is to
seyn. þat hate ne haþ no place amonges wise men. ¶ For no wyȝt wolde
haten gode men. but yif he were ouer moche a fole. ¶ and forto haten
shrewes it nis no resou{n}. ¶ For ryȝt so as languissing is maladie of
body. ryȝt so ben vices {and} sy{n}ne maladies of corage. ¶ and so as we
ne deme nat þat þei þat ben seek of hire body ben worþi to ben hated.
but raþer worþi of pite. wel more worþi nat to ben hated. but forto ben
had in pite ben þei of whiche þe þouȝtes ben constreined by felonous
wickednesse. þat is more cruel þa{n} any languissinge of body.


QUID TANTOS IUUAT.

  [Sidenote: [The ferthe Met{ur}.]]

++What deliteþ it ȝow to exciten so grete moewynges of hatredes {and} to
hasten {and} bisien [the] fatal disposic{i}ou{n} of ȝoure deeþ wiþ ȝoure
p{ro}pre handes. þat is to seyn by batailes or [by] contek. for yif ȝe
axen þe deeþ it hastisiþ hym of hys owen wille. ne deeþ ne tarieþ nat
hys swifte hors. and [the] men þat þe serpentȝ {and} þe lyou{n}s. {and}
þe tigre. {and} þe beere {and} þe boore seken to sleen wiþ her teþe. ȝit
þilke same men seken to sleen eueryche of hem oþer wiþ swerde. loo for
her man{er}s ben diuerse {and} discordaunt ¶ þei moeuen vnryȝtful oostes
{and} cruel batailes. {and} wilne to p{er}isse by enterchaungynge of
dartes. but þe resou{n} of cruelte nis nat ynouȝ ryȝtful. wilt þou þan
ȝelden a couenable gerdou{n} to þe desertes of men ¶ Loue ryȝtfully
goode folk[;] {and} haue pite on shrewes.


HINC EGO UIDEO INQ{UA}M. {ET} CET{ERA}.

  [Sidenote: [The fyfthe p{ro}se.]]

++Þus see I wel q{uo}d I. eyþer what blisfulnesse or ellys what
vnselinesse is estab[l]issed in þe desertys of goode men {and} of
shrewes. ¶ but in þis ilke fortune of poeple I see somwhat of goode.
{and} somwhat of yuel. for no wise man haþ nat leuer ben exiled pore
{and} nedy {and} nameles. þan forto dwellen in hys Citee {and} flouren
of rychesses. {and} be redoutable by honoure. {and} stronge of power for
in þis wise more clerely {and} more witnesfully is þe office of wise men
ytretid whan þe blisfulnes {and} [the] pouste of gouerno{ur}s is as it
were yshad amonges poeples þat ben neyȝboures {and} subgitȝ. syn þat
namely prisou{n} lawe {and} þise oþer to{ur}mentȝ of lawful peynes ben
raþer owed to felonous Citeȝeins. for þe whiche felonous Citeȝeins þo
peynes ben establissed. þan for goode folk. ¶ þan I m{er}ueile me gretly
q{uo}d I. whi [þ{a}t] þe þinges ben so mys entrechaunged. þat
to{ur}mentȝ felounes pressen {and} confounden goode folk. {and} shrewes
rauyssen medes of vertue {and} ben i{n} hono{ur}s. {and} in grete
estatis. and I desire eke to wite{n} of þe. what semeþ þe to ben þe
resou{n} of þis so wrongful a confusiou{n} ¶ For I wolde wondre wel þe
lasse yif I trowed[e] þat alle þise þinges were medeled by fortuouse
hap. ¶ But now hepeþ {and} encreseþ myne astonyenge god gouerno{ur} of
þinges. þat so as god ȝeueþ ofte tymes to good[e] men goodes {and}
myrþes. {and} to shrewes yuel and aspre þinges. {and} ȝeueþ aȝeynewarde
to goode folk hardnesse. {and} to shrewes [he] g{ra}unteþ hem her wille
{and} þat þei desiren. what difference þan may þer be bitwixen þ{a}t þat
god doþ. {and} þe hap of fortune. yif men ne knowe nat þe cause whi þat
[it] is. it nis no merueile q{uo}d she þouȝ þat men wenen þat þer be
somwhat folysche and confus whan þe resou{n} of þe order is vnknowe.
¶ But alle þouȝ þou ne know nat þe cause of so gret a disposic{i}ou{n}.
naþeles for as moche as god þe good[e] gouernour attempreþ {and}
gouerneþ þe world. ne doute þe nat þat alle þinges ne ben doon aryȝt.


SI QUIS ARCTURI SYDERA.

  [Sidenote: [The fyfthe Met{ur}.]]

++Who so þat ne knowe nat þe sterres of arctour yto{ur}ned neye to þe
souereyne contre or point. þat is to seyne yto{ur}ned neye to þe
souereyne pool of þe firmament {and} woot nat whi þe sterre boetes
passeþ or gaderiþ his wey[n]es. {and} drencheþ his late flaumbes in þe
see. {and} whi þat boetes þe sterre vnfoldiþ his ouer swifte arisynges.
þan shal he wo{n}dre{n} of þe lawe of þe heye eyre. {and} eke if þat he
ne knowe nat why þat þe hornes of þe ful[le] moene waxen pale {and}
infect by þe bou{n}des of þe derke nyȝt ¶ and how þe moene dirk {and}
confuse discouereþ þe sterres. þat she had[de] ycouered by hir clere
visage. þe co{m}mune errour moeueþ folk {and} makiþ wery hir bacines of
bras by þikke strookes. þat is to seyne þat þer is a maner poeple þat
hyȝt[e] coribandes þat wenen þat whan þe moone is in þe eclips þat it be
enchau{n}tid. and þerfore forto rescowe þe moone þei betyn hire basines
wiþ þikke strokes. ¶ Ne no man ne wondreþ whan þe blastes of þe wynde
chorus betyn þe strondes of þe see by quakynge floodes. ne no man ne
wondreþ whan þe weyȝte of þe snowe yhardid by þe colde. is resolued by
þe brennynge hete of phebus þe sonne. ¶ For here seen men redyly þe
causes. but þe causes yhid þat is to seye in heuene trouble þe brestes
of men. ¶ þe moeueable poeple is a-stoned of alle þinges þat comen selde
{and} sodeynely in oure age. but yif þe troubly errour of oure
ignora{n}ce departid[e] from vs. so þat we wisten þe causes whi þat
swiche þinges bitiden. certys þei sholde{n} cesse to seme wondres.


ITA EST INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The syxte p{ro}se.]]

{Þ}vs is it q{uo}d I. but so as þou hast ȝeuen or byhyȝt me to
vnwrappe{n} þe hidde causes of þinges ¶ and to discoueren me þe
resou{n}s couered w{i}t{h} dirknesses I p{re}ye þe þat þou diuise {and}
Iuge me of þis matere. {and} þat þou do me to vndrestonde{n} it. ¶ For
þis miracle or þis wondre troubleþ me ryȝt gretely. {and} þan she a
litel [what] smylyng seide. ¶ þou clepest me q{uo}d she to telle þing.
þat is grettest of alle þinges þat mowen ben axed. ¶ And to þe whiche
questiou{n} vnneþ[e]s is þere auȝt ynow to lauen it. as who seiþ.
vnneþes is þer suffisauntly any þing to answere p{er}fitly to þi
questiou{n}. ¶ For þe matere of it is swiche þat whan oon doute is
determined {and} kut awey þer wexe{n} oþer doutes wiþ-outen nou{m}bre.
ryȝt as þe heuedes waxen of ydre þe serpent þat hercules slouȝ. ¶ Ne
þere ne were no man{er}e ne noon ende. but yif þat a wyȝt
co{n}streined[e] þo doutes. by a ryȝt lyuely {and} a quik fire of þouȝt.
þat is to seyn by vigo{ur} {and} strengþe of witte. ¶ For in þis matere
me{n} weren wont to maken questiou{n}s of þe simplicite of þe
p{ur}ueaunce of god {and} of þe ordre of destine. {and} of sodeyne hap.
{and} of þe knowyng {and} p{re}destinac{i}ou{n} deuine {and} of þe
lyberte of fre wille. þe whiche þing þou þi self ap{er}ceiust wel of
what weyȝt þei ben. but for as mochel as þe knowynge of þise þinges is a
manere porc{i}ou{n} to þe medicine to þe. al be it so þat I haue lytel
tyme to don it. ȝit naþeles I wole enforcen me to shewe somwhat of it.
¶ but al þouȝ þe norissinges of dite of musike deliteþ þe þow most
suffren. {and} forberen a litel of þilk delite while þat I weue
(contexo) to þe resou{n}s yknyt by ordre ¶ As it likeþ to þe q{uo}d I so
do. ¶ þo spak she ryȝt a[s] by an oþer bygynnyn[ge] {and} seide þus.
¶ þe enge{n}drynge of alle þinges q{uo}d she {and} alle þe
progressiou{n}s of muuable nat{ur}e. {and} alle þ{a}t moeueþ in any
manere takiþ hys causes. hys ordre. {and} hys formes. of þe stablenesse
of þe deuyne þouȝt [{and} thilke deuyne thowht] þat is yset {and} put in
þe toure. þat is to seyne in þe heyȝt of þe simplicite of god. stablisiþ
many manere gyses to þinges þat ben to don. ¶ þe whiche manere whan þat
men loken it i{n} þilke pure clerenesse of þe deuyne i{n}telligence. it
is ycleped p{ur}ueaunce ¶ but whan þilke manere is referred by me{n} to
þinges þat it moeueþ {and} disponeþ þan of olde men. it was cleped
destine. ¶ þe whiche þinges yif þat any wyȝt lokeþ wel in his þouȝt. þe
strengþe of þat oon {and} of þat oþer he shal lyȝtly mowen seen þat þise
two þinges ben diuers. ¶ For p{ur}ueau{n}ce is þilke deuyne resou{n} þat
is establissed in þe souereyne p{r}ince of þinges. þe whiche
p{ur}ueaunce disponiþ alle þinges. but destine is þe disposic{i}ou{n}
{and} ordenaunce cleuynge to moeuable þinges. by þe whiche
disposic{i}ou{n} þe p{ur}ueaunce knyteþ alle þinges in hire ordres.
¶ For p{ur}ueaunce enbraceþ alle þi{n}ges to hepe. al þouȝ þat þei ben
dyuerse {and} al þouȝ þei ben wiþ outen fyn. but destynie dep{ar}teþ
{and} ordeyneþ alle þinges singlerly {and} diuideþ. in moeuynges. in
places. in formes. in tymes. dep{ar}tiþ [as] þus. so þat þe vnfoldyng of
temp{or}el ordenaunce assembled {and} ooned in þe lokyng of þe deuyne
þouȝt ¶ Is p{ur}ueaunce {and} þilke same assemblynge. {and} oonyng
diuided {and} vnfolden by tymes. lat þat ben called destine. {and} al be
it so þat þise þinges ben dyuerse. ȝitte naþeles hangeþ þat oon on þat
oþer. forwhi þe ordre destinal p{ro}cediþ of þe simplicite of
purueaunce. for ryȝt as a werkma{n} þat ap{er}ceiueþ in hys þouȝt þe
forme of þe þing þat he wil make moeueþ þe effect of þe werke. {and}
lediþ þat he had[de] loked byforne in hys þouȝt symply {and} p{re}sently
by temp{or}el þouȝt. ¶ Certys ryȝt so god disponiþ in hys p{ur}ueaunce
singlerly {and} stably þe þinges þat ben to done. but he amynistreþ in
many maneres {and} in dyuerse tymes by destyne. þilke same þinges þat he
haþ disponed þan wheþir þat destine be excercised. eyþer by so{m}me
dyuyne spirites seruaunteȝ to þe deuyne p{ur}ueaunce. or ellys by
so{m}me soule (a{n}i{m}a mundi). or ellys by al nature seruynge to god.
or ellys by þe celestial moeuyng of sterres. or ellys by þe vertue of
aungels. or ellys by þe dyuerse subtilite of deueles. or ellys by any of
he{m}. or ellys by hem alle þe destynal ordynau{n}ce is ywouen or
accomplissed. certys it is open þing þat þe p{ur}ueaunce is an
vnmoeueable {and} symple forme of þinges to done. {and} þe moeueable
bonde {and} þe temp{or}el ordynaunce of þinges whiche þat þe deuyne
simplicite of p{ur}ueaunce haþ ordeyned to done. þat is destine. For
whiche it is þat alle þinges þat ben put vndir destine ben certys
subgitȝ to p{ur}ueaunce. to whiche p{ur}ueaunce destine it self is
subgit {and} vndir. ¶ But so{m}me þinges ben put vndir purueaunce þat
so{ur}mounten þe ordinaunce of destine. {and} þo ben þilke þat stably
ben yficched ney to þe first godhed þei so{ur}mou{n}ten þe ordre of
destinal moeuablite. ¶ For ryȝt as cercles þat to{ur}nen aboute a same
Centre or about a poynt. þilke cercle þat is inrest or moost wiþ-ynne
ioineþ to þe symplesse of þe myddel {and} is as it were a Centre or a
poynt to þat oþer cercles þat tourne{n} aboute{n} hym. ¶ and þilke þat
is outerest compased by larger envyronnynge is vnfolden by larger spaces
in so mochel as it is forþest fro þe mydel symplicite of þe poynt. and
yif þer be any þi{n}g þat knytteþ {and} felawshippeþ hym selfe to þilke
mydel poynt it is constreyned in to symplicite. þat is to seyn in to
[vn]moeueablete. {and} it ceseth to ben shad {and} to fleti{n} dyuersly.
¶ Ryȝt so by semblable resou{n}. þilke þinge þat dep{ar}tiþ firþest fro
þe first þouȝt of god. it is vnfolde{n} {and} su{m}mittid to grettere
bondes of destine. and in so moche is þe þing more free {and} lovs fro
destyne as it axeþ {and} holdeþ hym ner to þilke Centre of þinges. þat
is to seyne god. ¶ and if þe þinge cleueþ to þe stedfastnesse of þe
þouȝt of god. {and} be wiþ oute moeuyng certys it so{ur}mounteþ þe
necessite of destyne. þan ryȝt swiche comparisou{n} as [it] is of
skilynge to vndirstondyng {and} of þing þat is engendred to þing þat is.
{and} of tyme to eternite. {and} of þe cercle to þe Centre. ryȝt so is
þe ordre of moeueable destine to þe stable symplicite of p{ur}ueaunce.
¶ þilke ordinaunce moeueþ þe heuene {and} þe sterres {and} attempreþ þe
elymentȝ to gider amonges hem self. {and} t{ra}nsformeþ hem by
enterchau{n}gable mutac{i}ou{n}. ¶ and þilke same ordre neweþ aȝein alle
þinges growyng {and} fallyng a-doune by sembleables p{ro}gressiou{n}s of
seedes {and} of sexes. þat is to sein. male {and} female. and þis ilke
ordre co{n}streyneþ þe fortunes {and} þe dedes of men by a bonde of
causes nat able to ben vnbou{n}den (indissolubili). þe whiche destinal
causes whanne þei passen oute fro þe bygynnynges of þe vnmoeueable
purueaunce it mot nedes be þat þei ne be nat mutable. {and} þus ben þe
þinges ful wel ygouerned. yif þat þe symplicite dwelly{n}ge in þe deuyne
þouȝt sheweþ furþe þe ordre of causes. vnable to be I-bowed. {and} þis
ordre constreyneþ by hys p{ro}pre stablete þe moeueable þinges. or ellys
þei sholde fleten folily for whiche it is þat alle þinges semen to be
confus {and} trouble to vs men. for we ne mowe nat co{n}sider{e} þilke
ordinaunce. ¶ Naþeles þe p{ro}pre manere of euery þing dressynge hem to
goode disponit hem alle. for þere nis no þinge don for cause of yuel. ne
þilke þing þat is don by wicked[e] folk nis nat don for yuel þe whiche
shrewes as I haue shewed [ful] plentiuously seken goode. but wicked
errour mysto{ur}niþ he{m}. ¶ Ne þe ordre comynge fro þe poynt of
souereyne goode ne declineþ nat fro hys bygynnynge. but þou mayst sein
what vnreste may ben a wors co{n}fusiou{n} þan þ{a}t goode men han
so{m}me tyme aduersite. {and} so{m}tyme p{ro}sperite. ¶ and shrewes also
han now þinges þat þei desiren. {and} now þi{n}ges þat þei haten
¶ wheþer men lyuen now in swiche hoolnesse of þouȝt. as who seiþ. ben
men now so wise. þat swiche folk as þei demen to ben goode folk or
shrewes þ{a}t it mot nedes ben þat folk ben swiche as þei wenen. but in
þis manere þe domes of men discorden. þat þilke men þ{a}t so{m}me folk
demen worþi of mede. oþer folk demen hem worþi of to{ur}ment. but lat vs
graunt[e] I pose þat som man may wel demen or knowen þe goode folk {and}
þe badde. May he þan knowen {and} seen þilke inrest attemp{er}aunce of
corages. as it haþ ben wont to be said of bodyes. as who saiþ may a man
speken {and} determine of attemp{er}aunce in corages. as men were wont
to demen or speken of complexiou{n}s {and} attemp{er}aunces of bodies
(q’ non). ne it [ne] is nat an vnlyke miracle to hem þat ne knowe{n} it
nat. ¶ As who seiþ. but is lyke a merueil or a miracle to hem þat ne
knowe{n} it nat. whi þat swete þinges [ben] couenable to some bodies þat
ben hool {and} to some bodies bittre þinges ben couenable. {and} also
whi þat some seke folk ben holpen w{i}t{h} lyȝt medicines [{and} some
folk ben holpen w{i}t{h} sharppe medicynes] but naþeles þe leche þ{a}t
knoweþ þe manere {and} þe attemp{er}aunce of heele {and} of maladie ne
merueileþ of it no þing. but what oþer þing semeþ hele of corages but
bounte {and} prowesse. {and} what oþer þing semeþ maladie of corages but
vices. who is ellys kep{er}e of good or dryuere awey of yuel but god
gouerno{ur} {and} leecher of þouȝtes. þe whiche god wha{n} he haþ
by-holden from þe heye toure of hys p{ur}ueaunce he knoweþ what is
couenable to euery wyȝt. {and} leneþ hem þat he wot [þat] is couenable
to hem. Loo here of comeþ {and} here of is don þis noble miracle of þe
ordre destinal. whan god þat alle knoweþ doþ swiche þing. of whiche þing
[þat] vnknowyng folk ben astoned but forto constreine as who seiþ ¶ But
forto co{m}prehende {and} telle a fewe þinges of þe deuyne depnesse þe
whiche þat mans resou{n} may vnderstonde. ¶ þilk man þat þou wenest to
ben ryȝt Iuste {and} ryȝt kepyng of eq{u}ite. þe contrarie of þat semeþ
to þe deuyne p{ur}ueaunce þat al woot. ¶ And lucan my familier telleþ
þat þe victories cause liked[e] to þe goddes {and} causes ouercomen
liked[e] to cato{u}n. þan what so euer þou mayst seen þat is don in þis
[world] vnhoped or vnwened. certys it is þe ryȝt[e] ordre of þinges. but
as to þi wicked[e] oppiniou{n} it is a co{n}fusiou{n}. but I suppose þat
som man be so wel yþewed. þat þe deuyne Iugement {and} þe Iugeme{n}t of
mankynde accorden hem to gidre of hym. but he is so vnstedfast of corage
[þat] yif any aduersite come to hym he wolde for-leten p{er}auenture to
continue i{n}nocence by þe whiche he ne may nat wiþholden fortune. ¶ þan
þe wise dispensac{i}ou{n} of god spareþ hym þe whiche man{er}e
adu{er}site myȝt[e] enpeyren. ¶ For þat god wil nat suffren hym to
trauaile. to whom þat trauayl nis nat couenable. ¶ An oþ{er} man is
p{er}fit in alle uertues. {and} is an holy man {and} neye to god so þat
þe p{ur}ueaunce of god wolde demen þat it were a felony þat he were
touched wiþ any aduersites. so þat he ne wil nat suffre þat swiche a man
be moeued wiþ any manere maladie. ¶ But so as seide a philosophre [the
moore excellent by me]. þe adu{er}sites comen nat (he seide in grec[;])
þere þ{a}t uertues han edified þe bodie of þe holy man. and ofte tyme it
bitideþ þat þe so{m}me of þinges þat ben to don is taken to good folk to
gouerne. for þat þe malice habundaunt of shrewes sholde ben abatid.
{and} god ȝeueþ {and} dep{ar}tiþ to oþer folk p{ro}sp[er]ites {and}
aduersites ymedeled to hepe aftir þe qualite of hire corages {and}
remordiþ som folk by adu{er}sites. for þei ne sholden nat wexen proude
by longe welefulnesse. {and} oþer folk he suffreþ to ben trauayled wiþ
harde þinges. ¶ For þat þei sholden conferme þe vertues of corage by þe
vsage {and} ex{er}citac{i}ou{n} of pacie{n}ce. and oþer folke dreden
more þen þei auȝten þe wiche þei myȝt[en] wel beren. {and} þilke folk
god lediþ in to exp{er}ience of hem self by aspre {and} sorweful þinges.
¶ And many oþer folk han bouȝt honorable renoune of þis worlde by þe
pris of glorious deeþ. and som men þat ne mowen nat ben ouer-comen by
tourment han ȝeuen ensample to oþer folk þat vertue ne may nat be
ouer-comen by aduersites. ¶ and of alle þise þinges þer nis no doute
þ{a}t þei ne ben don ryȝtfully {and} ordeinly to þe p{ro}fit of hem to
whom we seen þise þinges bitide. ¶ For certys þat aduersite comeþ some
tyme to shrewes. {and} some tyme þat þei desiren it comeþ of þise
forseide causes {and} of sorweful þinges þat bytyden to shrewes. Certys
no man ne wondreþ. For alle me{n} wenen þat þei han wel deserued it.
{and} þei ben of wicked m{er}ite of whiche shrewes þe to{ur}ment som
tyme agasteþ oþer to done folies. {and} som tyme it amendeþ hem þat
suffren þe to{ur}mentis. ¶ And þe p{ro}sp{er}ite þat is ȝeuen to shrewes
sheweþ a grete argument to good[e] folk what þing þei sholde demen of
þilk wilfulnesse þe whiche p{ro}sperite men seen ofte serue to shrewes.
in þe whiche þing I trowe þat god dispensiþ. for p{er}auenture þe nature
of som man is so ouerþrowyng to yuel {and} so vncouenable þat þe nedy
pouerte of hys house-hold myȝt[e] raþer egren hym to done felonies. and
to þe maladie of hym god puttiþ remedie to ȝiuen hym rychesse. {and} som
oþer man byholdiþ hys conscience defouled wiþ synnes {and} makiþ
co{m}parisou{n} of his fortune {and} of hym self ¶ and drediþ
p{er}auenture þat hys blisfulnesse of whiche þe vsage is ioyful to hym
þat þe lesynge of þilke blisfulnesse ne be nat sorweful to hym. {and}
þerfore he wol chaunge hys maneres. and for he drediþ to lese hys
fortune. he forletiþ hys wickednesse. to oþer folk is welefulnesse
yȝeue{n} vnworþily þe whiche ouerþroweþ hem in to destrucc{i}ou{n} þat
þei han deserued. and to som oþer folk is ȝeuen power to punisse{n}. for
þat it shal be cause of continuac{i}ou{n} {and} ex{er}cisinge to good[e]
folk. {and} cause of to{ur}ment to shrewes. ¶ For so as þer nis none
alyaunce bytwixe good[e] folke {and} shrewes. ne shrewes ne mowen nat
accorde{n} amo{n}ges hem self {and} whi nat. for shrewes discorde{n} of
hem self by her vices þe whiche vices al to renden her consciences.
{and} don oft[e] tyme þinges þe whiche þinges whan þei han don hem. þei
demen þat þo þinges ne sholde nat han ben don. for whiche þinge þilke
souereyne p{ur}ueaunce haþ maked oft[e] tyme [fair{e}] miracle so þ{a}t
shrewes han maked oftyme shrewes to ben good[e] men. for whan þat som
shrewes seen þat þei suffren wrongfully felonies of oþer shrewes þei
wexen eschaufed in to hat[e] of hem þat anoien hem. {and} retournen to
þe fruit of uertue. when þei studien to ben vnlyke to he{m} þat þei han
hated. ¶ Certys þis only is þe deuyne myȝt to þe whiche myȝt yueles ben
þan good. whan it vseþ þo yueles couenably {and} draweþ out þe effect of
any good. as who seiþ þat yuel is good oonly by þe myȝt of god. for þe
myȝt of god ordeyneþ þilk yuel to good. For oon ordre enbrasiþ alle
þinges. so þat what wyȝt [þ{a}t] dep{ar}tiþ fro þe resou{n} of þe ordre
whiche þat is assigned to hym. algates ȝit he slideþ in to an oþ{er}
ordre. so þat noþing nis leueful to folye in þe realme of þe deuyne
p{ur}ueaunce. as who seiþ no þing nis wiþouten ordinaunce in þe realme
of þe deuyne purueaunce. ¶ Syn þat þe ryȝt strong[e] god gouerniþ alle
þinges in þis worlde for it nis nat leueful to no man to
co{m}p{re}henden by witte ne vnfolden by worde alle þe subtil
ordinaunces {and} disposic{i}ou{n}s of þe deuyne entent. for oonly it
auȝt[e] suffice to han loked þat god hym self makere of alle natures
ordeyniþ and dressiþ alle þinges to good. while þat he hastiþ to
wiþhalden þe þinges þat he haþ maked in to hys semblaunce. þat is to
seyn forto wiþholden þinges in to good. for he hym self is good he
chaseþ oute al yuel of þe boundes of hys co{m}munalite by þe ordre of
necessite destinable. For whiche it folweþ þat yif þou loke þe
p{ur}ueaunce ordeynynge þe þinges þat men wenen ben haboundaunt in
erþes. þou ne shalt not seen in no place no þing of yuel. ¶ but I se now
þat þou art charged wiþ þe weyȝte of þe questiou[n] {and} wery wiþ
lengþe of my resou{n}. {and} þat þou abidest som swetnesse of songe. tak
þa{n} þis drauȝt {and} whan þou art wel refresshed {and} refet þou shalt
ben more stedfast to stye in to heyere questiou{n}s.


SI UIS CELSI IURA.

  [Sidenote: [The syxte Met{ur}.]]

++Yif þou wolt demen in þi pur{e} þouȝt þe ryȝtes or þe lawes of þe heye
þund[ere]re. þat is to seyne of god. loke þou {and} bihold þe heyȝtes of
souereyne heuene. ¶ þere kepen þe sterres by ryȝtful alliaunce of þinges
hir olde pees. þe sonne ymoeued by hys rody fire. ne destourbiþ nat þe
colde cercle of þe moone. ¶ Ne þe sterre yclepid þe bere. þ{a}t encliniþ
hys rauyssynge courses abouten þe souereyne heyȝt of þe worlde. ne þe
same sterre vrsa nis neuer mo wasshen in þe depe westerne see. ne
coueitiþ nat to dyȝen hys flaumbes in þe see of [the] occian. al þouȝ he
see oþer sterres yplounged in to þe see. ¶ And hesperus þe sterre bodiþ
{and} telliþ alwey þe late nyȝtes. And lucifer þe sterre bryngeþ aȝeyne
þe clere day. ¶ And þus makiþ loue enterchaungeable þe p{er}durable
courses. {and} þus is discordable bataile yput oute of þe contre of þe
sterres. þis accordaunce atte{m}preþ by euene-lyke manere[s] þe
elementes. þat þe moyste þinges striuen nat wiþ þe drye þinges. but
ȝiuen place by stoundes. and þat þe colde þinges ioynen hem by feiþ to
þe hote þinges. {and} þat þe lyȝt[e] fyre arist in to heyȝte. {and} þe
heuy erþes aualen by her weyȝtes. ¶ by þise same cause þe floury yere
ȝeldeþ swote smellys in þe fyrste somer sesou{n} warmynge. {and} þe hote
somer dryeþ þe cornes. {and} autumpne comeþ aȝeyne heuy of apples. and
þe fletyng reyne bydeweþ þe wynter. þis attemp{er}aunce noryssiþ {and}
brynggeþ furþe al þinge þat brediþ lyfe in þis worlde. ¶ and þilk same
attemp{er}aunce rauyssyng hideþ {and} bynymeþ {and} drencheþ vndir þe
last[e] deþe alle þinges yborn. ¶ Amonges þise þinges sitteþ þe heye
makere kyng {and} lorde. welle {and} bygynnynge. lawe {and} wise Iuge.
to don equite {and} gouerniþ {and} encliniþ þe bridles of þinges. {and}
þo þinges þat he stireþ to don by moeuynge he wiþdraweþ {and} arestiþ
{and} affermiþ þe moeueable or wandryng þinges. ¶ For ȝif þat he ne
clepiþ nat aȝein þe ryȝt goynge of þinges. {and} ȝif þat he ne
constreyned[e] hem nat eftesones in to roundenesse enclined þe þinges
þ{a}t ben now continued by stable ordinaunce. þei sholde deperten from
hir welle. þat is to sein from hir bygynnynge {and} failen. þat is to
sein to{ur}nen in to nauȝt. ¶ þis is þe co{m}mune loue of alle þinges.
{and} alle þi{n}ges axen to be holden by þe fyn of good. For ellys ne
myȝten þei nat lasten yif þei ne come nat eftesones aȝeine by loue
retourned to þe cause þat haþ ȝeuen he{m} beynge. þat is to seyn to god.


IAM NE IGITUR UIDES.

  [Sidenote: [The seuende p{ro}se.]]

++Sest þou nat þan what þing folweþ alle þe þinges þat I haue seid. what
þing q{uo}d I. ¶ Certys q{uo}d she outerly þat al fortune is good. and
how may þat be q{uo}d .I. ¶ Now vndirstand q{uo}d she so as [alle
fortune wheyther so it be Ioyeful fortune / or aspr{e}] fortune is ȝiuen
eiþer by cause of g{er}donynge or ellys of ex{er}cisynge of goode folk
or ellys by cause to punissen. or ellys to chastysen shrewes. ¶ þan is
alle fortune good. þe whiche fortune is certeyne þat it be eiþer ryȝtful
or p{ro}fitable. ¶ For soþe þis is a ful verray resou{n} q{uo}d I. and
yif I considere þe p{ur}ueau{n}ce {and} þe destine þat þou tauȝtest me a
litel here byforne þis sentence is susteyned by stedfast resou{n}s. but
yif it like vnto þe lat vs nou{m}bre hem amonges þilk[e] þinges of
whiche þou seidest a litel here byforne þat þei ne were nat able to ben
ywened to þe poeple. ¶ whi so q{uo}d she. for þat þe comune worde of men
mysusiþ q{uo}d I. þis manere speche of fortune. {and} sein ofte tymes
[þ{a}t] þe fortune of som wyȝt is wicked. wilt þou þan q{uo}d she þat I
p{ro}che a litel to þe wordes of þe poeple so it seme nat to hem þat I
be ouer moche dep{ar}tid as fro þe vsage of man kynde. as þou wolt
q{uo}d I. ¶ Demest þou nat q{uo}d she þat al þing þat p{ro}fitiþ is
good. ȝis q{uo}d I. certis þilk þing þat ex{er}cisiþ or corigiþ
profitiþ. I confesse it wel q{uo}d I. þan is it good q{uo}d she. whi nat
q{uo}d I. but þis is þe fortune [q{uod} she] of hem þat eiþer ben put in
vertue {and} batailen aȝeins aspre þinges. or ellys of hem þat eschewen
{and} declinen fro vices {and} taken þe weye of vertue. ¶ þis ne may nat
I denye q{uo}d I ¶ But what seist þou of þe myrye fortune þat is ȝeuen
to good folk in gerdou{n} deuiniþ ouȝt þe poeples þat it is wicked. nay
forsoþe q{uo}d I. but þei demen as it soþe is þat it is ryȝt good. ¶ And
what seist þou of þat oþer fortune q{uo}d she. þat al þouȝ it be aspre
{and} restreiniþ þe shrewes by ryȝtful tourment. weniþ ouȝt þe poeple
þ{a}t it be good. nay q{uo}d I. ¶ But þe poeple demiþ þat it be most
wrecched of alle þinges þat may ben þouȝt. war now {and} loke wel q{uo}d
she lest þat we in folwyng þe opyniou{n} of poeple haue confessed {and}
co{n}cluded þing þat is vnable to be wened to þe poeple. what is þat
q{uo}d I ¶ Certys q{uo}d she it folweþ or comeþ of þinges þ{a}t ben
graunted þat alle fortune what so euer it be. of hem þat eyþer ben i{n}
possessiou{n} of vertue. [or in the encres of vertu] or ellys in þe
purchasynge of vertue. þat þilke fortune is good. ¶ And þat alle fortune
is ryȝt wicked to hem þat dwellen in shrewednesse. as who seiþ. {and}
þus weneþ nat þe poeple. ¶ þat is soþe q{uo}d I. ¶ Al be it so þat
noma{n} dar confesse{n} it ne byknowen it. ¶ whi so q{uo}d she. For ryȝt
as no strong man ne semeþ nat to abassen or disdaigne{n} as ofte tyme as
he hereþ þe noise of þe bataile. ne also it ne semeþ nat to þe wyse man
to beren it greuously as oft[e] as he is lad in to þe strif of fortune.
for boþe to þat on man {and} eke to þat oþ{er} þilke difficulte is þe
matere to þat oon man of encrese of his glorious renou{n}. {and} to þat
oþer man to conferme hys sapience. þat is to seine þe asprenesse of hys
estat. ¶ For þerfore is it called uertue. for þat it susteniþ {and}
enforceþ by hys strengþes þat it nis nat ouer-come{n} by aduersites.
¶ Ne certys þou þat art put in þe encrese or in þe heyȝt of uertue ne
hast nat comen to fleten wiþ delices {and} forto welken in bodyly lust.
¶ þou sowest or plauntest a ful egre bataile in þi corage aȝeins euery
fortune. for þat þe sorweful fortune ne co{n}fou{n}de þe nat. ne þat þe
myrye fortune ne corrumpe þe nat. ¶ Occupy þe mene by stedfast
strengþes. for al þat euer is vndir þe mene. or ellys al þat
ou{er}-passeþ þe mene despiseþ welefulnesses. ¶ As who seiþ. it is
vicious {and} ne haþ no mede of hys trauaile. ¶ For it is set in ȝour{e}
hand. as who seiþ it lieþ in ȝour{e} power what fortune ȝow is leuest.
þat is to seyne good or yuel. ¶ For alle fortune þat semeþ sharpe or
aspre yif it ne ex{er}cise nat þe good folk. ne chastisiþ þe wicked
folk. it punisseþ.


BELLA BIS QUENIS. {ET} C{ETERA}.

  [Sidenote: [The seuende Met{ur}.]]

++ÞE wrekere attrides ¶ þat is to seyne agamenon þat wrouȝt[e] {and}
continued[e] þe batailes by ten ȝere recouered[e] {and} p{ur}ged[e] in
wrekyng by þe destrucc{i}ou{n} of troie þe loste chambres of mariage of
hys broþer þis is to seyn þat [he] agamenon wan aȝein Eleine þat was
Menelaus wif his broþer. In þe mene while þat þilke agamenon desired[e]
to ȝeuen sailes to þe grekyssh{e} nauye {and} bouȝt[e] aȝein þe wyndes
by blode. he vncloþed[e] hym of pite as fad{er}. {and} þe sory p{re}st
ȝiueþ in sacrifiynge þe wreched kuyttyng of þrote of þe douȝter. ¶ þat
is to sein þat agamenon lete kuytte{n} þe þrote of hys douȝter by þe
prest. to maken alliaunce wiþ hys goddes. {and} for to haue wynde wiþ
whiche he myȝt[e] wende to troie. ¶ Itakus þat is to sein vlixies
bywept[e] hys felawes ylorn þe whiche felawes þe fiers[e] pholifem{us}
ligginge in his grete Caue had[de] freten {and} dreint in hys empty
wombe. but naþeles polifem{us} wood for his blinde visage ȝeld to
vlixies ioye by hys sorowful teres. þis is to seyn þat vlixes smot oute
þe eye of poliphem{us} þat stod in hys forhede. for whiche vlixes hadde
ioie whan he saw poliphem{us} wepyng {and} blynde. ¶ Hercules is
celebrable for hys hard[e] trauaile he dawntede þe proude Centauris half
hors half man. {and} he rafte þe despoylynge fro þe cruel lyou{n} þat is
to seyne he slouȝ þe lyou{n} {and} rafte hy{m} hys skyn. he smot þe
brids þat hyȝte{n} arpijs [in þe palude of lyrne] wiþ certeyne arwes. he
rauyssed[e] applis fro þe wakyng dragou{n}. {and} hys hand was þe more
heuy for þe golde[ne] metal. He drouȝ Cerberus þe hound of helle by hys
treble cheyne. he ouer-comer as it is seid haþ put an vnmeke lorde fodre
to hys cruel hors ¶ þis is to sein. þat hercules slouȝ diomedes {and}
made his hors to etyn hym. and he hercules slouȝ Idra þe serpent {and}
brend[e] þe venym. and achelaus þe flode defouled[e] in his forhede
dreint[e] his shamefast visage in his strondes. þis is to sein þat
achelaus couþe transfigure hym self in to dyuerse lykenesse. {and} as he
fauȝt wiþ orcules at þe laste he t{ur}nid[e] hym in to a bole and
hercules brak of oon of hys hornes. {and} achelaus for shame hidde hym
in hys ryuer. ¶ And [he] hercules cast[e] adou{n} Antheus þe geaunt in
þe strondes of libye. {and} kacus apaised[e] þe wraþþes of euander. þis
is to sein þat hercules slouȝ þe Monstre kacus {and} apaised[e] wiþ þat
deeþ þe wraþþe of euander. ¶ And þe bristled[e] boor marked[e] wiþ
scomes þe sholdres of hercules. þe whiche sholdres þe heye cercle of
heuene sholde þreste. {and} þe laste of his labo{ur}s was þat he
sustened[e] þe heuene vpo{n} his nekke vnbowed. {and} he deserued[e]
eftsones þe heuene to ben þe pris of his laste trauayle ¶ Goþ now þan ȝe
stronge men þere as þe heye weye of þe grete ensample ledeþ ȝou. ¶ O
nice men whi nake ȝe ȝoure bakkes. as who seiþ. ¶ O ȝe slowe {and}
delicat men whi fley ȝe aduersites. {and} ne fyȝte{n} nat aȝeins hem by
vertue to wynnen þe mede of þe heuene. for þe erþe ouer-come{n} ȝeueþ þe
sterres. ¶ þis is to seyne þat whan þat erþely lust is ouer-comen. a man
is maked worþi to þe heuene.

  EXPLICIT LIBER QUARTUS.



INCIPIT LIBER QUINTUS.


DIXERAT ORACIONISQ{UE} CURSUM.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrste prose.]]

++She hadde seid {and} to{ur}ned[e] þe cours of hir resou{n} to so{m}me
oþ{er} þinges to ben tretid {and} to ben ysped. þan seide I. Certys
ryȝtful is þin amonestyng {and} ful digne by auctorite. but þat þou
seidest som tyme þat þe questiou{n} of þe deuyne p{ur}ueaunce is enlaced
wiþ many oþer questiou{n}s. I vndir-stonde wel {and} p{ro}ue it by þe
same þinge. but I axe yif þat þou wenest þat hap be any þing in any
weys. {and} if þou wenest þat hap be any [thing] what is it. þan q{uo}d
she. I haste me to ȝelden {and} assoilen þe to þe dette of my byheste
{and} to shewen {and} opnen þe wey by whiche wey þou maist come aȝein to
þi contre. ¶ but al be it so þat þe þinges whiche þat þou axest b{e}n
ryȝt p{ro}fitable to knowe. ȝitte ben þei diuers somwhat fro þe paþe of
my purpos. And it is to douten þat þou ne be maked weery by mysweys so
þat þou ne mayst nat suffise to mesure{n} þe ryȝt weye. ¶ Ne doute þe
þer-of no þing q{uo}d I. for forto knowen þilke þinges to-gidre in þe
whiche þinges I delite me gretly. þat shal ben to me in stede of reste.
Syn it nis nat to douten of þe þinges folwy{n}ge whan euery side of þi
disputisou{n} shal be stedfast to me by vndoutous feiþ. þan seide she.
þat manere wol I don þe. {and} byga{n} to speken ryȝt þus ¶ Certys
q{uo}d she yif any wyȝt diffinisse hap in þis manere. þat is to seyn.
þat hap is bytidynge y-brouȝt forþe by foelyshe moeuynge. {and} by no
knyttyng of causes. ¶ I conferme þat hap nis ryȝt nauȝt in no wise. and
I deme al outerly þat hap nis ne dwelliþ but a voys. ¶ As who seiþ. but
an ydel worde wiþ outen any significac{i}ou{n} of þing summittid to þat
vois. for what place myȝt[e] ben left or dwellynge to folie {and} to
disordinau{n}ce. syn þat god lediþ {and} streyniþ alle þinges by ordre.
¶ For þis sentence is verray {and} soþe þat no þinge ne haþ his beynge
of nouȝt. to [the] whiche sentence none of þise olde folk ne wiþseide
neuere al be it so þat þei ne vndirstoden ne moeueden it nauȝt by god
p{r}ince {and} gynner of wirkyng. but þei casten as a manere foundement
of subgit material. þat is to seyn of [the] nature of alle resou{n}.
{and} ȝif þat ony þinge is woxen or comen of no causes. þan shal it seme
þat þilke þinge is comen or woxen of nouȝt. but yif þis ne may nat ben
don. þan is it nat possible þat þere haþ ben any swiche þing as I haue
diffinissid a litel here byforne. ¶ How shal it þan ben q{uo}d I. nis
þer þan no þing þat by ryȝt may be cleped eyþer hap{pe} or ellis
auenture of fortune. or is þer ouȝt al be it so þat it is hidd fro þe
poeple to whiche þise wordes ben couenable. Myn aristotul q{uo}d she. in
þe book of his phisik diffinisseþ þis þing by short resou{n} and neyȝe
to þe soþe. ¶ In whiche manere q{uo}d I. ¶ As ofte q{uo}d she as men don
any þing for grace of any oþer þing. {and} an oþer þinge þan þilke þing
þat men ententen to doon bytideþ by som[e] causes it is ycleped hap{pe}.
¶ Ryȝt as a man dalf þe erþe by cause of tylienge of þe felde. {and}
fond þere a gobet of golde by-doluen. þan wenen folk þat it is fallen by
fortunous bytydyng. but for soþe it nis nat for nauȝt for it haþ hys
p{ro}pre causes of whiche causes þe cours vnforseyn and vnwar semiþ to
han maked hap{pe}. ¶ For yif þe tilier in þe erþe ne delue nat in þe
felde. and yif þe hider of þe golde ne hadde hidd þe golde in þilke
place. þe golde ne had[de] nat ben founde. þise ben þan þe causes of þe
abreggynge of fortune hap. þe whiche abreggynge of fortune hap comeþ of
causes encountrynge {and} flowyng to-gidre to hem selfe. {and} nat by þe
entenc{i}ou{n} of þe doer. ¶ For neiþer þe hider of þe gold. ne þe
deluer of þe felde ne vndirstanden nat þat þe golde sholde han be
founde. but as I seide. it bytidde {and} ran to-gidre þat he dalf þere
as þat oþer hadde hidd þe golde. Now may I þus diffinissen hap{pe}.
¶ Hap{pe} is an vnwar bytydyng of causes assembled in þinges þat ben don
for som oþer þinge. but þilke ordre p{ro}cedynge by an vneschewable
byndynge to-gidre. whiche þat descendeþ fro þe wel of purueaunce þat
ordeineþ alle þinges i{n} hir{e} places {and} in hire tymes makeþ þat þe
causes rennen {and} assemblen to-gidre.


RUPIS ACHEMENIE.

  [Sidenote: [The fyrste Met{ur}.]]

++TIgris [{and}] eufrates resoluen {and} spryngen of a welle in þe
kragges of þe roche of þe contre of achemenye þer{e} as þe fleenge
[batayle] ficchiþ hire dartes reto{ur}nid in þe brestes of hem þat
folwen hem. ¶ And sone aftre þe same ryueres tigris {and} eufrates
vnioygne{n} {and} dep{ar}ten hir{e} watres. and yif þei comen to-gidre
{and} ben assembled {and} clepid to-gidre in to o cours. þan moten þilke
þinges fletyn to-gidre whiche þat þe water of þe entrechau{n}gyng flode
bry{n}geþ þe shippes {and} þe stokkes araced wiþ þe flood moten
assemble. {and} þe watres ymedlyd wrappiþ or implieþ many fortunel
happes or maneres. þe whiche wandryng happes naþeles þilke enclinyng
lowenes of þe erþe. {and} þe flowynge ordre of þe slidyng water
gouerniþ. ¶ Ryȝt so fortune þat semeþ as [þat] it fletiþ wiþ slaked or
vngouerned[e] bridles. It suffriþ bridles þat is to seyn to ben gouerned
{and} passeþ by þilke lawe. þat is to sein by þe deuyne ordinaunce.


A{N}I{M}ADUERTO INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The .2^de. p{ro}se.]]

++Þis vndirstonde I wel q{uo}d I. {and} accorde wel þat it is ryȝt as
þou seist. but I axe yif þer be any liberte or fre wil in þis ordre of
causes þat cliue{n} þus to-gidre in hem self. ¶ or ellys I wolde witen
yif þat þe destinal cheine co{n}streiniþ þe moeueuynge of þe corages of
me{n}. yis q{uo}d she þer is liberte of fre wille. ne þer ne was neuer
no nature of resou{n} þat it ne hadde liberte of fre wille. ¶ For euery
þing þat may naturely vsen resou{n}. it haþ doom by whiche it discerniþ
{and} demiþ euery þing. ¶ þan knoweþ it by it self þinges þat be{n} to
fleen. {and} þinges þat ben to desiren. {and} þilk þing þat any wyȝt
demeþ to ben desired þ{a}t axeþ or desireþ he {and} fleeþ [thilke] þing
þat he troueþ ben to fleen. ¶ wher-fore in alle þinges þ{a}t resou{n}
is. i{n} hem also is libertee of willyng {and} of nillynge. ¶ But I ne
ordeyne nat. as who seiþ. I ne graunte nat þat þis lib{er}tee be euene
like in alle þinges. forwhi in þe souereyns deuynes substau{n}ces. þat
is to seyn in spiritȝ ¶ Iugement is more clere {and} wil nat be
corumped. {and} haþ myȝt redy to speden þinges þat ben desired. ¶ But þe
soules of men moten nedes ben more free whan þei loken hem in þe
speculac{i}ou{n} or lokynge of þe deuyne þouȝt. {and} lasse free whan
þei sliden in to þe bodies. {and} ȝit lasse free whan þei ben gadred
to-gidre {and} co{m}p{re}hendid in erþely membris. but þe last[e]
seruage is whan þat þei ben ȝeue{n} to vices. {and} han yfalle fro þe
possessiou{n} of hire p{ro}pre resou{n} ¶ For after þat þei han cast
aweye hir eyen fro þe lyȝt of þe souereyn soþefastnesse to lowe þinges
{and} dirke ¶ Anon þei dirken by þe cloude of ignoraunce {and} ben
troubled by felonous talentȝ. to þe whiche talentȝ whan þei app{ro}chen
{and} assenten. þei hepen {and} encresen þe seruage whiche þei han
ioigned to hem self. and in þis manere þei ben caitifs fro hire p{ro}pre
libertee. þe whiche þinges naþeles þe lokynge of þe deuyne purueaunce
seeþ þ{a}t alle þinges byholdeþ {and} seeþ fro et{er}ne. and ordeyneþ
hem eueryche i{n} her merites. as þei ben p{ro}destinat. {and} it is
seid in grek. þat alle þinges he seeþ {and} alle þinges he hereþ.


PURO CLARU{M} LUMINE.

  [Sidenote: [The .2^de. Met{ur}.]]

++HOmer wiþ þe hony mouþe. þat is to seyn. homer wiþ þe swete dites
syngeþ þat þe sonne is cleer by pure lyȝt. naþeles ȝit ne may it nat by
þe inferme lyȝt of hys bemes breke{n} or p{er}ce{n} þe inwarde entrailes
of þe erþe. or ellys of þe see. ¶ so ne seeþ nat god makere of þe grete
worlde to hym þat lokeþ alle þinges from on heye ne wiþstandiþ nat no
þinges by heuynesses of erþe. ne þe nyȝt ne wiþstondeþ nat to hy{m} by
þe blake cloudes. ¶ þilke god seeþ i{n} o strook of þouȝt alle þinges
þat ben or weren or schullen come. ¶ and þilke god for he lokeþ {and}
seeþ alle þinges al oon. þou maist seyn þat he is þe verray sonne.


TAMEN EGO EN INQ{UA}M.

  [Sidenote: [The .3^de. p{ro}se.]]

++ÞAn seide I now am I co{n}fou{n}ded by a more harde doute þan I was.
what doute is þat q{uo}d she. ¶ For certys I coniecte now by whiche
þinges þou art troubled. It semeþ q{uo}d I to repugnen {and} to
contrarien gretly þat god knoweþ byforn alle þinges. {and} þat þer is
any fredom of liberte. for yif so be þat god lokeþ alle þinges byforn.
ne god ne may nat ben desseiuid in no manere. þan mot it nedes ben þat
alle þinges bytyden þe whiche þat þe purueaunce of god haþ sein byforn
to comen. ¶ For whiche yif þat god knoweþ by-forn nat oonly þe werkes of
men. but also hir conseils {and} hir willes. þan ne shal þer be no
liberte of arbitre. ne certys þer ne may ben noon oþer dede ne no wille
but þilke whiche þe deuyne purueaunce þat ne may nat ben desseiued haþ
feled byforn ¶ For yif þat þei myȝten wryþen awey in oþer manere þan þei
ben purueyed. þan ne sholde þer ben no stedfast p{re}science of þinge to
comen but raþer an vncerteyn oppiniou{n}. þe whiche þinge to trowen on
god I deme it felonie {and} vnleueful. ¶ Ne I ne proeue nat þilk same
resou{n}. as who seiþ I ne allowe nat. or I ne p{re}ise nat þilke same
resou{n} by whiche þat som men wenen þat þei mowen assoilen {and}
vnknytten þe knot of þis questiou{n}. ¶ For certys þei seyn þ{a}t þing
nis nat to come for þat þe purueaunce of god haþ seyn it byforn{e}. þat
is to comen but raþer þe cont{ra}rie. ¶ And þat is þis þat for þat þe
þing is to comen þat þerfore ne may it nat ben hyd fro þe purueaunce of
god. {and} in þis manere þis necessite slydiþ aȝein in to þe contrarie
p{ar}tie. ne it ne byhoueþ [nat] nedes þat þinges bytiden þat ben
ypurueid. [but it by-houeth nedes / þ{a}t thinges þ{a}t ben to comyn ben
yporueyid] but as it were yt{ra}uailed. as who seiþ. þat þilke answere
p{ro}cediþ ryȝt as þouȝ men trauailden or weren bysy to enqueren þe
whiche þing is cause of whiche þinges. as wheþer þe p{re}science is
cause of þe necessite of þinges to comen. or ellys þat þe necessite of
þi{n}ges to comen is cause of þe purueau{n}ce. ¶ But I ne enforce me nat
now to shewe{n} it þat þe bytidyng of þinges y-wist byforn is
necessarie. how so or in what manere þat þe ordre of causes haþ it self.
al þouȝ þat it ne seme nat þat þe p{re}science brynge in necessite of
bytydynge of þinges to comen. ¶ For certys yif þat any wyȝt sitteþ it
byhoueþ by necessite þat þe oppiniou{n} be soþe of hym þ{a}t coniectiþ
þat he sitteþ. and aȝeinward. al so is it of þe contrarie. yif þe
oppiniou{n} be soþe of any wyȝt for þat he sitteþ it byhoueþ by
necessite þat he sitte ¶ þan is here necessite in þat oon {and} in þ{a}t
oþer. for in þat oon is necessite of sittynge. {and} certys in þat oþer
is necessite of soþe but þerfore ne sitteþ nat a wyȝt for þat þe
oppiniou{n} of sittyng is soþe. but þe oppiniou{n} is raþer soþe for þat
a wyȝt sitteþ by-forn. and þus al þouȝ þ{a}t þe cause of soþe comeþ of
[þe] syttyng. and nat of þe trewe oppiniou{n}. Algates ȝitte is þer
comune necessite in þat oon {and} in þat oþer. ¶ þus sheweþ it þ{a}t I
may make semblable skils of þe p{ur}ueau{n}ce of god {and} of þinges to
come. ¶ For al þouȝ for þat þat þinges ben to comen. þer-fore ben þei
p{ur}ueid. nat certys for þei ben p{ur}ueid. þer-fore ne bytide þei nat.
ȝit naþeles byhoueþ it by necessite þat eiþer þe þinges to comen ben
yp{ur}ueied of god. or ellys þat þe þinges þat ben p{ur}ueied of god
bitiden [.s.] by necessite. ¶ And þis þing oonly suffiseþ I-nouȝ to
distroien þe fredome of oure arbitre. þat is to seyn of oure fre wille
¶ But now [certes] sheweþ it wel how fer fro þe soþe {and} how vp so
dou{n} is þis þing þat we seyn þat þe bytidinge of temp{or}el þinges is
þe cause of þe eterne p{re}science. ¶ But forto wenen þat god p{ur}ueiþ
[the] þinges to comen. for þei ben to comen. what oþer þing is it but
forto wene þat þilke þinges þat bitiden som tyme ben causes of þilke
souereyne p{ur}ueaunce þat is i{n} god. ¶ And her-to I adde ȝitte þis
þing þat ryȝt as whan þat I woot þat o þing is it byhoueþ by necessite
þat þilke self þing be. {and} eke þat whan I haue knowe þat any þi{n}ge
shal bitiden so byhoueþ it by necessite þ{a}t þilk[e] same þing bytide.
so folweþ it þan þat þe bytydynge of þe þinge Iwist by-forn ne may nat
ben eschewed. ¶ And at þe last[e] yif þat any wyȝt wene a þing to ben
oþer weyes þan it is. it nys nat oonly vnscience. but it is deceiuable
oppiniou{n} ful diuerse {and} fer fro þe soþe of science. ¶ wher-fore
yif any þing be so to comen so þat þe bytydynge of it ne be nat certeyne
ne necessarie. ¶ who may weten [byforn] þ{a}t þilke þing is to come.
¶ For ryȝt as science ne may nat be medelyd wiþ falsnesse. as who seiþ
þat yif I woot a þing. it ne may nat be fals þat I ne woot it. ¶ Ryȝt so
þilk þing þat is conceyued by science ne may [nat] ben noon oþ{er} weyes
þan [as] it is conceiued. For þat is þe cause whi þat science wa{n}tiþ
lesynge. as who seiþ. whi þat witynge ne receyueþ nat lesynge of þat it
woot. ¶ For it byhoueþ by necessite þat euery þi{n}ge [be] ryȝt as
science co{m}p{re}hendiþ it to be. what shal I þan sein. ¶ In whiche
man{er}e knoweþ god byforn þe þinges to comen. ¶ yif þei ne be nat
certeyne. ¶ For yif þat he deme þat þei ben to comen vneschewably. {and}
so may be þat it is possible þat þei ne shulle{n} nat comen. god is
desseiued. but nat only to trowen þat god is desseiued. but for to speke
it wiþ mouþe it is a felonous sy{n}ne. ¶ But yif þat god woot þat ryȝt
so as þinges ben to comen. so shulle þei comen. so þat he wit[e] egaly.
as who seiþ indifferently þat þinges mowen ben don or ellys nat don.
what is þilke p{re}science þat ne comp{re}hendiþ no certeyne þinge ne
stable. or ellys what difference is þer bytwixe þe p{re}science. {and}
þilke iape-worþi dyuynynge of Tiresie þe diuino{ur} þat seide. ¶ Al þat
I seie q{uo}d he eyþer it shal be. or ellys it ne shal nat be. Or ellis
how moche is worþe þe diuyne p{re}science more þan þe oppiniou{n} of
mankynde yif so be þat it demeþ þe þinges vncerteyne as me{n} don. of þe
whiche domes of men þe bytydynge nis nat certeyne. ¶ But yif so be þ{a}t
noon vncerteyne þinge may ben in hym þat is ryȝt certeyne welle of alle
þinges. þa{n} is þe bytydynge certeyne of þilke þinges whiche he haþ
wist byforn fermely to come{n}. For whiche it folweþ þat þe fredom of þe
co{n}seils {and} of þe werkes of mankynde nis non syn þat þe þouȝt of
god seeþ alle þinges w{i}t{h} outen erro{ur} of falsnesse byndeþ {and}
co{n}streiniþ hem to a bitidynge by necessite. and yif [this] þi{n}g be
on-is grau{n}tid {and} receyued. þat is to seyn. þat þer nis no fre
wille. þan sheweþ it wel how gret distrucc{i}ou{n} {and} how grete
damages þer folwen of þinges of mankynde. ¶ For in ydel ben þer þan
p{ur}posed and byhyȝt medes of goode