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Title: Chaucerian and Other Pieces - Being a Supplement to the Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer
Author: Skeat, Walter W. (Walter William), 1835-1912 [Editor]
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Chaucerian and Other Pieces - Being a Supplement to the Complete Works of Geoffrey Chaucer" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected: they
are listed at the end of the text.

       *       *       *       *       *

In this text [gh] represents the Middle English letter "yogh", which
appears similar to the numeral 3. [=a] signifies "a macron", and so forth.

       *       *       *       *       *







   * * *
  * * * *

 'And yit ye shul han better loos,
  Right in dispyt of alle your foos,
  Than worthy is; and that anoon.'
                      _Hous of Fame, 1667-9._




       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *


  INTRODUCTION.--§ 1. Works appended to those of Chaucer in various
  editions. § 2. Thynne's collection in 1532. _A Praise of Women._
  _The Lamentation of Mary Magdalen._ _The Remedy of Love._ § 3. Other
  non-Chaucerian pieces. _The Craft of Lovers._ _A Balade._ _The Ten
  Commandments of Love._ _The Nine Ladies Worthy._ _Virelai._ _The
  Judgement of Paris._ _A Balade pleasaunte._ _Another Balade._ _The
  Court of Love._ § 4. Additions by Speght. _Chaucer's Dream._ _Eight
  Goodly Questions._ § 5. Editions and MSS. consulted. § 6.
  Authorities for the pieces here printed. § 7. I. THE TESTAMENT OF
  LOVE. § 8. The acrostic found in it. Name of the author. § 9. Fate
  of Thomas Usk. § 10. Idea of the work. § 11. The author's
  plagiarisms from Chaucer. § 12. How he stole a passage from The
  House of Fame. § 13. Borrowings from Troilus and Piers Plowman.
  § 14. The author's inaccuracies. § 15. The title; and the meaning
  of Margaret. § 16. Plan of the work. § 17. Outline of Book I. § 18.
  Outline of Book II. § 19. Outline of Book III. § 20. II. THE
  PLOWMANS TALE. § 21. Never supposed to be Chaucer's. § 22. Written
  by the author of The Ploughmans Crede. § 23. III. JACK UPLAND. § 24.
  Date, A.D. 1402. § 25. Traces of two texts. § 26. Not originally
  written in alliterative verse. § 27. IV. THE PRAISE OF PEACE. By John
  Gower. § 28. The Trentham MS. § 29. Date, A.D. 1399. § 30. V. THE
  LETTER OF CUPID. By Thomas Hoccleve. § 31. VI. TWO BALADES. By Thomas
  Hoccleve. § 32. VII. A MORAL BALADE. By Henry Scogan. Date, about
  1407. § 33. The supper at the Vintry. § 34. VIII. THE COMPLAINT OF
  THE BLACK KNIGHT. By John Lydgate. § 35. His quotations from Chaucer's
  version of the Romaunt of the Rose. Date, about 1402. § 36. IX. THE
  FLOUR OF CURTESYE. By John Lydgate. Date, about 1401. § 37. X. A BALADE
  IN COMMENDATION OF OUR LADY. By John Lydgate. § 38. A new stanza and
  a new MS. § 39. XI. TO MY SOVERAIN LADY. By John Lydgate. § 40. XII.
  DOUBLENESS. By John Lydgate. § 42. XIV. A BALADE: WARNING MEN, &c.
  By John Lydgate. § 43. XV. THREE SAYINGS. By John Lydgate. § 44. XVI.
  LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCY. By Sir Richard Ros. Date, about 1460.
  § 45. Apparently in the Leicestershire dialect. § 46. Alan Chartier.
  § 47. Thynne's text and the MSS. § 48. XVII. THE TESTAMENT OF CRESSEID.
  By Robert Henryson. Date, about 1460. § 49. XVIII. THE CUCKOO AND THE
  NIGHTINGALE. Probably by Sir Thomas Clanvowe. § 50. The queen at
  Woodstock; about A.D. 1403. § 51. Clanvowe's excessive use of the
  final _-e_. § 52. His partiality for 'headless' lines. § 53. Milton's
  Sonnet to the Nightingale. § 54. XIX. ENVOY TO ALISON. Not by Clanvowe.
  § 55. XX. THE FLOWER AND THE LEAF. By the authoress of The Assembly
  of Ladies. § 56. The former is the earlier poem. Neither of them is
  by Chaucer. § 57. Variations from Chaucer's usages. § 58. Examination
  of the Rimes. § 59. Change in pronunciation. § 60. Gower on the
  Flower and the Leaf. § 61. XXI. THE ASSEMBLY OF LADIES. By the
  authoress of The Flower and the Leaf. § 62. Ordering of a medieval
  household. § 63. XXII. A GOODLY BALADE. By John Lydgate. Imperfect.
  § 64. XXIII. GO FORTH, KING. By John Lydgate. § 65. _Duodecim
  Abusiones._ § 66. XXIV. THE COURT OF LOVE. First printed in 1561.
  § 67. Tyrwhitt's plan for a Glossary to the Canterbury Tales. § 68.
  Moxon's edition of Chaucer; establishing an erroneous canon of
  Chaucer's Works. § 69. How to draw up such a canon correctly. § 70.
  The Court of Love discussed. § 71. The Trinity MS. and the language.
  § 72. Artificiality of the archaisms affected. § 73. Examination of
  the Rimes. § 74. Comparison with Chaucerian English. § 75. The
  Courts of Love. § 76. Pieces numbered XXV-XXIX. § 77. Twelve
  authors (at least) distinguished in the present volume. § 78.
  There are probably four more. § 79. Improvements in the present      PAGE
  edition                                                                ix

           BOOK I: PROLOGUE AND CHAPTERS I-X                              1
           BOOK II: CHAPTERS I-XIV                                       46
           BOOK III: CHAPTERS I-IX                                      101

      II. THE PLOWMANS TALE                                             147

     III. JACK UPLAND                                                   191

      IV. JOHN GOWER: THE PRAISE OF PEACE                               205

       V. THOMAS HOCCLEVE: THE LETTER OF CUPID                          217

      VI. THE SAME: TO THE KINGES MOST NOBLE GRACE                      233
                    TO THE LORDES AND KNIGHTES OF THE GARTER            234

     VII. HENRY SCOGAN: A MORAL BALADE                                  237

           THE COMPLAINT OF A LOVERES LYFE                              245

      IX. THE SAME: THE FLOUR OF CURTESYE                               266


      XI. THE SAME: TO MY SOVERAIN LADY                                 281

     XII. THE SAME: BALLAD OF GOOD COUNSEL                              285

    XIII. THE SAME: BEWARE OF DOUBLENESS                                291


      XV. THE SAME: THREE SAYINGS                                       297

     XVI. SIR RICHARD ROS: LA BELLE DAME SANS MERCY                     299


            GOD OF LOVE. (By Clanvowe)                                  347

     XIX. AN ENVOY TO ALISON                                            359

      XX. THE FLOWER AND THE LEAF (By a Lady)                           361

     XXI. THE ASSEMBLY OF LADIES (By the same)                          380

    XXII. A GOODLY BALADE. (By John Lydgate)                            405

   XXIII. GO FORTH, KING. (By John Lydgate)                             408

    XXIV. THE COURT OF LOVE                                             409

     XXV. A VIRELAI                                                     448

    XXVI. PROSPERITY. (By John Walton)                                  449

   XXVII. LEAULTE VAULT RICHESSE                                        449

  XXVIII. SAYINGS PRINTED BY CAXTON                                     450

    XXIX. BALADE IN PRAISE OF CHAUCER                                   450

  NOTES TO THE FOREGOING PIECES                                         451

  GLOSSARIAL INDEX                                                      555

  INDEX OF NAMES                                                        603


       *       *       *       *       *


P. 26, l. 45. _For_ conuersion _read_ conversion.

P. 32, l. 38. Mr. Bradley suggests that _maistresse_ is a misprint of
Thynne's for _maistres secrè_, i.e. master's secret; alluding to John of

P. 33, l. 75. _For_ may it be sayd in that thinge 'this man thou demest,
_read_ may it be sayd, 'in that thinge this man thou demest,

P. 50, l. 28. _For_ in sacke, sowed with wolle _perhaps read_ in sacke
sowed, with wolle.

P. 52, ll. 107, 109. Mr. Bradley suggests that 'Caynes' and 'Cayn' are
Thynne's misprints for 'Cames' and 'Cam'; where _Cam_ (misread as _Cain_)
means _Ham_, for which the Vulgate has _Cham_.

P. 153, l. 187. _Insert a hyphen in_ gold-mastling.

P. 163, l. 520. _For_ punishments _read_ punishëments. (_See_ note.)

P. 180, l. 1050. _For_ [ful] _read_ [not]. (_See_ note.)

P. 186, l. 1231. End the line with a semicolon.

P. 192, l. 36. _Insert a mark of interrogation after_ speketh of.

P. 206, l. 27. _For_ request [the] _read_ requestë. (_See_ note.)

P. 213, l. 294. _For_ men _perhaps read_ pees. (_See_ note.)

P. 215, l. 363. _For_ debated _read_ delated. (_See_ note.)

P. 237; footnotes, l. 1. _For_ 1542 _read_ 1532.

P. 256, l. 371. _For_ tha _read_ that.

P. 458; note to l. 117. See also P. Pl. B. xiii. 277, 292.

P. 458; note to l. 53. For fuller details, see the Introduction.

P. 473; note to l. 155. Chaucer's Astrolabe was not written till 1391,
after Usk's death.

P. 475; note to Ch. XI. l. 11. On the subject of Grace, see Bk. iii. ch. 8.

P. 478; note to l. 47. _For_ taken from _read_ compare.

       *       *       *       *       *


§ 1. The following pieces are selected, as being the most important, from
among the very numerous ones which have been appended to Chaucer's works in
various editions.

I use the word 'appended' advisedly. It is not true that these works were
all attributed to Chaucer in the black-letter editions. The Praise of Peace
was marked as Gower's in Thynne's first edition of 1532. Another piece in
that edition is attributed to Scogan. The Letter of Cupid is expressly
dated 1402, though Chaucer died in 1400. The Flower of Curtesye contains
the words 'Chaucer is dede'; and The Testament of Cresseid contains a
remark which, in modern English, would run thus--'Who knows if all that
Chaucer wrote is true?'

Those who, through ignorance or negligence, regard Thynne's edition of
Chaucer as containing 'Works attributed to Chaucer' make a great mistake;
and even if the mistake be excused on the ground that it has been very
generally and very frequently made, this does not lessen its magnitude. The
title of Thynne's book is very instructive, and really runs thus:--'The
Workes of Geffray Chaucer newly printed, with dyuers workes which were
neuer in print before, &c.' This is strictly and literally true; for it
contains such works of Chaucer's as had previously been printed by Caxton,
Wynkyn de Worde, and Julian Notary (see vol. i. p. 28), together with
'dyuers workes [_of various authors_] which were neuer in print before.'
Which is the simple solution of the whole matter, as far as this edition is
concerned. The same remarks apply to the second edition in 1542, and the
third, printed about 1550. But Stowe, in 1561, altered the title so as to
give it a new meaning. The title-page of his edition runs thus:--'The
Woorkes of Geffrey Chaucer, newly printed with diuers Addicions which were
neuer in printe before.' Here the authorship of Chaucer was, _for the first
time_, practically claimed for the whole of Thynne's volume. At the same
time, Stowe did not really mean what he seems to say, for it was he who
first added the words--'made by Ihon lidgate'--to the title of 'The Flower
of Curtesie,' and who first assigned a title (ascribing the poem to _dan
Ihon lidgat_) to the poem beginning 'Consider wel'; see no. 40 (vol. i. p.

§ 2. It is clear that Thynne's intention was to print a collection of
poems, including all he could find of Chaucer and anything else of a
similar character that he could lay his hands on[1]. In other words, the
collection was, from the beginning, a collection of the Works of Chaucer
_and other writers_; and this fact was in no way modified by the adoption
by Stowe and Speght of misleading titles that actually assigned to Chaucer
all the poems in the volume! See further, as to this subject, in the
discussion of The Court of Love below.

The number of pieces appended, at various times, to Chaucer's Works are so
numerous that I have been obliged to restrict myself to giving a selection
of them only.

Of the non-Chaucerian pieces printed by Thynne in 1532, I have included all
but three. The rejected pieces are those numbered 18, 21, and 22 in the
list given at p. 32 of vol. i. They are all poor and uninteresting, but I
add a few words of description.

18. _A Praise of Women._ Noticed in vol. i. p. 37. Though decisively
rejected by Tyrwhitt, and excluded from Moxon's reprint, it was revived
(for no good reason) by Bell, and consequently appeared in the Aldine
edition, which was founded on Bell's. It enumerates the merits of
womankind, and condemns the slanders of men concerning them. We ought to
worship all women out of reverence for the Queen of heaven, and we shall do
well to pray to Our Lady to bring us to the heaven in which she and all
good women will be found. Thynne is not the sole authority for this poem,
as it occurs also (in a Scottish dress) in the Bannatyne MS., fol. 275. The
whole of this MS. (written in 1568) was printed for the Hunterian Club in
1873-9; see p. 799 of that edition.

21. _The Lamentation of Mary Magdalen._ Noticed in vol. i. p. 37. This
lugubrious piece was probably the wail of a nun, who had no book but a
Vulgate version of the Bible, from which all her quotations are taken. It
bears no resemblance to any work by Chaucer, nor to any of the pieces in
the present volume. It consists of 102 seven-line stanzas. The metre
resembles Lydgate's, but the final _-e_ is hardly ever used. Bell's text is
not taken from Thynne, but from some later and inferior reprint of it. For
this poem, Thynne's first edition is the sole authority.

22. _The Remedy of Love._ Noticed in vol. i. p. 38. It appears that the
'remedy of love' is to be found in a consideration of the wicked ways of
women. Twelve whole stanzas are taken up with a metrical translation of one
of the chapters in the book of Proverbs. The author refers us to 'the fifth
chapter,' but he is wrong. He means chapter vii, verses 6-27. He also
quotes from Ecclesiasticus, ix. 9, and xxv. 25.

Nos. 28, 29, 30 (vol. i. p. 32) are not found in Thynne, but were first
printed by Stowe. I give them below, at p. 297. The first two stanzas are
Lydgate's; and probably the third is his also. It is no great matter.

No. 41 (vol. i. p. 33) was also first printed by Stowe. To save words, I
have printed it below, at p. 450, from the original MS.

§ 3. I now consider the non-Chaucerian pieces in Part II. of Stowe's
Edition (see vol. i. p. 33). Of these, nos. 45, 50, 56, and 59 are here

Nos. 46, 47, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, and 55 were all taken by Stowe from
MS. Trin. R. 3. 19. Perhaps they are sufficiently noticed in vol. i. p. 41,
as they present few points of interest. However, I enumerate them, adding a
few remarks.

No. 46. _The Craft of Lovers._ In 23 seven-line stanzas; 161 lines. Besides
the copy in the Trin. MS., there are copies (almost duplicates) in MSS.
Addit. 34360, fol. 73, back (p. 142), and Harl. 2251, fol. 53 (now called
52). Dated 1448 in the Trin. MS., but 1459 in the other two. The first line
ought to run:--'To moralise, who list these ballets sewe'; but it is clear
that some one added the words 'A similitude' in the margin, and that this
remark was afterwards incorporated in the text. Hence the first line, in
the latter MSS., stands:--'To moralise a similitude who list these balettis
sewe'; which is more than enough for a line of five accents. After two
introductory stanzas, the poem becomes a dialogue, in alternate stanzas,
between a wooer, named _Cupido_, and a lass, named _Diana_[2]; the result
of which is successful. This may be compared with La Belle Dame sans Merci,
and with the Nut-brown Maid. The twenty-third stanza forms the author's
_Conclusio_, which is followed by an Envoy in the Addit. MS., and in the
Harl. MS. only. The same MSS. _seem_ to superadd two more stanzas; but they
really belong to another piece.

No. 47. Taken by Stowe from MS. Trin. R. 3. 19, fol. 156, back. _A Balade._
In 4 seven-line stanzas; 28 lines. Begins--'Of their nature they greatly
them delite'; i.e. Women are by nature hypocrites; they like kissing live
images rather than shrines. So I advise young men to take warning: 'Beware
alwaye, the blind eateth many [a] flye'; a line which is quoted from
Lydgate's ballad printed at p. 295. The author then prays God to keep the
fly out of his dish; and ends by congratulating himself on being anonymous,
because women would else blame him.

No. 48. _The Ten Commandments of Love_; from Trin. MS., fol. 109. Also in
MS. Fairfax 16. Begins:--'Certes, ferre extendeth yet my reason.' In 14
stanzas of seven-lines; the last two form the Envoy. After two introductory
stanzas, the author gives the ladies their ten commandments. They are, it
appears, to exhibit Faith, Entencion, Discrecion, Patience, Secretnesse,
Prudence, Perseverance, Pity, Measure [Moderation], and Mercy. In the
Envoy, the author says, truly enough, that he is devoid of cunning,
experience, manner of enditing, reason, and eloquence; and that he is 'a
man unknown.'

No. 49. _The Nine Ladies Worthy._ In 9 seven-line stanzas, one stanza for
each lady. Begins: 'Profulgent in preciousnes, O Sinope the quene.' Only
remarkable for the curious selection made. The Nine Ladies are: (1) Sinope,
daughter of Marsepia, queen of the Amazons; see Orosius, Hist. i. 10; (2)
Hippolyta, the Amazon, wife of Theseus; (3) Deipyle, daughter of Adrastus,
wife of Tydeus; (4) Teuta, queen of the Illyrians; see note to C. T., F
1453 (vol. v. p. 398); (5) Penthesilea the Amazon, slain by Achilles before
Troy; (6) queen Tomyris, who slew Cyrus in battle, B.C. 529; (7) Lampeto
the Amazon, sister of Marsepia, and aunt of Sinope; (8) Semiramis of
Babylon; (9) Menalippe or Melanippe, sister of Antiope, queen of the
Amazons, taken captive by Hercules, according to Justinus, ii. 4. 23. Most
of these queens are mentioned by Orosius, i. 10, ii. 1, ii. 4; see also
Higden's Polychronicon, bk. ii. chapters 9, 21, 24, and bk. iii. c. 7. From
the Trin. MS., fol. 113, back.

[No. 50. _Virelai._ Printed below, at p. 448.]

No. 51. _A Ballade._ Begins:--'In the season of Feuerere when it was full
colde.' In 7 seven-line stanzas. In praise of the daisy. Very poor. From
the Trin. MS., fol. 160.

No. 52. _A Ballade._ Begins--'O Mercifull and o merciable.' In 12
seven-line stanzas. The Trin. MS. has 13 stanzas; but Stowe omitted the
tenth, because it coincides with st. 19 of the Craft of Lovers. It is made
up of scraps from other poems. Stanzas 1-4 form part of a poem on the fall
of man, from Lydgate's _Court of Sapience_ (see vol. i. p. 57). In st. 8
occurs the assonance of _hote_ (hot) and _stroke_; and in st. 9, that of
_cureth_ and _renueth_. From the Trin. MS., fol. 161.

No. 53. _The Judgement of Paris._ In 4 seven-line stanzas; the first is
allotted to Pallas, who tells Paris to take the apple, and give it to the
fairest of the three goddesses. After this, he is addressed in succession
by Juno, Venus, and Minerva (as she is now called). Then the poem ends.
Trin. MS., fol. 161, back.

No. 54. _A Balade pleasaunte._ Begins--'I haue a Ladie where so she bee.'
In 7 seven-line stanzas. Meant to be facetious; e.g. 'Her skin is smothe as
any oxes tong.' The author says that when he was fifteen years old, he saw
the wedding of queen Jane; and that was so long ago that there cannot be
many such alive. As Joan of Navarre was married to Henry IV in 1403, he was
born in 1388, and would have been sixty-two in 1450. It is an imitation of
Lydgate's poem entitled A Satirical Description of his Lady; see Minor
Poems, ed. Halliwell, p. 199. Trin. MS., fol. 205.

No. 55. _Another Balade._ Begins--'O mossie Quince, hangyng by your
stalke.' In 4 seven-line stanzas, of which Stowe omits the second. A
scurrilous performance. Trin. MS., fol. 205, back.

[No. 56. A Ballad by Lydgate; printed below, at p. 295.]

No. 58 is a Balade in 9 seven-line stanzas, of no merit, on the theme of
the impossibility of restoring a woman's chastity.

No. 59. _The Court of Love._ Printed below, at p. 409.

No. 60 is a genuine poem; and no. 61 is Lydgate's Story of Thebes. And here
Stowe's performance ceases.

§ 4. The subsequent additions made by Speght are discussed in vol. i. pp.
43-46. Of these, The Flower and the Leaf, Jack Upland, and Hoccleve's poem
to Henry V, are here reprinted; and Chaucer's ABC is genuine. He also
reprinted the Sayings at p. 450. The pieces not reprinted here are
Chaucer's Dream and Eight Goodly Questions.

_Chaucer's Dream_ is a false title, assigned to it by Speght; its proper
name is _The Isle of Ladies_. Begins--'Whan Flora, the quene of
pleasaunce.' The MS. at Longleat is said to have been written about 1550. A
second MS. has been acquired by the British Museum, named MS. Addit. 10303;
this is also in a hand of the sixteenth century, and presents frequent
variations in the text. It is very accessible, in the texts by Moxon, Bell,
and Morris; but how Tyrwhitt ever came to dream that it could be genuine,
must remain a mystery. I originally hoped to include this poem in the
present selection, but its inordinate length compelled me to abandon my
intention. In a prologue of seventy lines, the author truthfully states, at
l. 60, that he is 'a slepy[3] writer.' There are many assonances, such as
_undertakes_, _scapes_ (337); _named_, _attained_ (597); _tender_,
_remember_ (1115, 1415); _rome_, _towne_ (1567). Note also such rimes as
_destroied_, _conclude_ (735); _queen_, _kneen_, pl. of _knee_ (1779);
_nine_, _greene_ (1861); _vertuous_, _use_ (1889). Some rimes exhibit the
Northern dialect; as _paines_, _straines_, pr. s., 909; _wawe_,
_overthrawe_, pp., 1153; _servand_, _livand_, pres. pt., 1629; _greene_,
_eene_ (pl. of _e_, eye), 1719; _hand_, _avisand_, pres. pt., 1883; &c. Yet
the writer is not particular; if he wants a rime to _wroth_, he uses the
Southern form _goth_, 785; but if he wants a rime to _rose_, he uses the
Northern form _gose_ (goes), 1287, 1523. But before any critic can
associate this poem with Chaucer, he has first to prove that it was written
before 1450. Moreover, it belongs to the cycle of metrical romances, being
connected (as Tyrwhitt says) with the _Eliduc_ of Marie de France; and,
perhaps, with her _Lanval_.

To the _Isle of Ladies_ Speght appended two other poems, of which the
former contains a single stanza of 6 lines, and the latter is a ballad in 3
seven-line stanzas.

No. 66. _Eight Goodly Questions_; in Bell's Chaucer, iv. 421. In 9
seven-line stanzas. First printed in 1542. There are at least two
manuscript copies; one in the Trinity MS., marked R. 3. 15; and another in
the Bannatyne MS., printed at p. 123 of the print of the Bannatyne MS.,
issued by the Hunterian Club in 1873. In l. 19, the latter MS. corrects
_tree_ to _coffour_, the Scottish form of _cofre_. It is merely expanded
from the first seven lines of a poem by Ausonius, printed in Walker's
_Corpus Poetarum Latinorum_, with the title Eorundem Septem Sapientum
Sententiae. This English version is quite in Lydgate's style.


I have repeatedly explained that there were but four black-letter editions
of Collected Works before Speght's; and these I call Thynne's first edition
(1532), Thynne's second edition (1542), the undated edition (about 1550,
which I call 1550 for brevity), and Stowe's edition (1561) respectively. I
shall denote these editions below by the symbols 'Th.,' ed. 1542, ed. 1550,
and 'S.' respectively. Of these editions, the first is the best; the second
is derived from the first; the third is derived from the second; and the
fourth from the third[4]. In every case it is useless to consult a later
edition when an earlier one can be found.

The following is the list of the pieces which depend on the editions
_only_, or for which the editions have been collated. I always cite the
earliest; that the later ones _also_ contain the piece in question must,
once for all, be understood.

Caxton.--XXVIII. No. VII. was also collated with a print by Caxton.

Wynkyn de Worde.--XXIII.

Wynkyn de Worde.--VIII.

Chepman and Miller (1508).--VIII.

Th.--I. IX. XI. XXII. Also collated for IV. V. VII. VIII. X. XII. XVI.

Thynne had access to excellent MSS., and is always worth consulting.

Ed. 1542.--II. XXVIII. Collated for VI.

An early printed edition of Jack Upland.--III.

S. (1561).--XV. Collated for XIII. XIV. XXIV. XXV. XXIX.

A printed edition of the Testament of Cresseid (1593).--XVII.

Speght (1598).--XX. Collated for III.

The following twenty MSS. have been collated or consulted.

Trentham MS.--IV. (See Introduction.)

Fairfax 16.-V. VIII. XIII. XVI. XVIII. XIX. (See vol. i. p. 51.)

Bodley 638.--V. VIII. XVIII. (See vol. i. p. 53.)

Tanner 346.--V. VIII. XVIII. XIX. (See vol. i. p. 54.)

Ashmole 59.--VII. X. XIII. (See vol. i. p. 53.)

Arch. Selden B. 24.--V. VIII. XVIII. XXVI. XXVII. (See vol. i. p. 54.)

Digby 181.--V. VIII. (See vol. i. p. 54.)

Camb. Univ. Lib. Ff. 1. 6.--V. XII. XVI. XVIII. (See vol. i. p. 55.)

Pepys 2006.--VIII. (See vol. i. p. 55.)

Trin. Coll. R. 3. 19.--XIV. XVI. XXI. XXIV. XXV. XXIX. (See vol. i. p. 56.)

Trin. Coll. R. 3. 20.--V. (One of Shirley's MSS.)

Trin. Coll. O. 9. 38.--XIV.

Addit. 16165, B. M.--XIII. (See vol. i. p. 56.)

Addit. 34360, B. M.--XXI.

Harl. 372, B. M.--XVI. (See vol. i. p. 58.)

Harl. 2251, B. M.--VII. XII. XIV. (See vol. i. p. 57.)

Harl. 7578, B. M.--XIII. (See vol. i. p. 58.)

Sloane 1212, B. M.--X. (A fair copy.)

Phillipps 8151.--VI. (See Hoccleve's Poems, ed. Furnivall, p. 1.)

Ashburnham 133.--V. (See the same, p. xxvii.)

§ 6. Conversely, I here give the authorities from which each piece is
derived. For further comments on some of them, see the separate
introductions to each piece below.

I. _The Testament of Love_ (prose).--Th. (Thynne, 1532).

II. _The Plowmans Tale_ (1380 lines).--Th. (Thynne, 1542).

III. _Jack Upland_ (prose).--Early edition, Caius College library; Speght

IV. _Praise of Peace_ (385 lines).--Th. (1532); Trentham MS.

V. _Letter of Cupid_ (476 lines).--Th. (1532); Fairfax, Bodley, Tanner,
Selden, Ashburnham, Digby MSS.; Trin. Coll. R. 3. 20; Camb. Ff. 1. 6; also
in the Bannatyne MS.

VI. _To the King's Grace_ (64).--Th. (1542); Phillipps 8151.

VII. _A Moral Balade_ (189).--Th. (1532); Caxton; Ashmole 59, Harl. 2251.
(I also find a reference to Harl. 367, fol. 85, back.)

VIII. _Complaint of the Black Knight_ (681).--Th. (1532); Fairfax, Bodley,
Tanner, Digby, Selden, Pepys; Addit. 16165. Also printed, separately, by
Wynkyn de Worde (n. d.); and at Edinburgh, by Chepman and Miller, in 1508.

IX. _The Flour of Curtesye_ (270).--Th. (1532).

X. _In Commendation of our Lady_ (140).--Th.; Ashmole 59; Sloane 1212.

XI. _To my Soverain Lady_ (112).--Th.

XII. _Ballad of Good Counsel_ (133).--Th.; Camb. Ff. 1. 6; Harl. 2251.

XIII. _Beware of Doubleness_ (104).--Stowe (1561); Fairfax 16, Ashmole 59,
Harl. 7578, Addit. 16165.

XIV. _A Balade: Warning Men_ (49).--Stowe (1561); Harl. 2251, fol. 149,
back; Trin. R. 3. 19; Trin. O. 9. 38.

XV. _Three Sayings_ (21).--Stowe (1561).

XVI. _La Belle Dame sans Mercy_ (856).--Th.; Fairfax, Harl. 372; Camb. Ff.
1. 6; Trin. R. 3. 19, fol. 98.

XVII. _Testament of Cresseid_ (616).--Th.; Edinburgh edition (1593).

XVIII. _The Cuckoo and the Nightingale_ (290).--Th.; Fairfax, Bodley,
Tanner, Selden; Camb. Ff. 1. 6.

XIX. _Envoy to Alison_ (27).--Th.; Fairfax, Tanner.

XX. _The Flower and the Leaf_ (595).--Speght (1598).

XXI. _The Assembly of Ladies_ (756).--Th.; Addit. 34360; Trin. R. 3. 19.

XXII. _A goodly Balade_ (71).--Th.

XXIII. _Go forth, King_ (14).--Wynkyn de Worde; Th.

XXIV. _The Court of Love_ (1442).--Stowe (1561); Trin. R. 3. 19.

XXV. _Virelai_ (20).--Stowe (1561); Trin. R. 3. 19.

XXVI. _Prosperity_ (8); XXVII. _Loyalty_ (7).--Selden MS.

XXVIII. _Sayings_ (14).--Caxton; reprinted, Th. (1542).

XXIX. _In Praise of Chaucer_ (7).--Stowe (1561); Trin. R. 3. 19.

       *       *       *       *       *


Of this piece no MS. copy has been discovered. The only authority is
Thynne's edition of 1532, whence all later editions have been copied more
or less incorrectly. The reprints will be found to grow steadily worse, so
that the first edition is the only one worth consulting.

The present edition is printed from a transcript of Thynne (1532), made by
myself; the proof-sheets being carefully read with the original. In making
the transcript, I have altered the symbol _u_ to _v_, when used as a
consonant; and (in the few places where it occurs) the consonantal _i_ to
_j_. I have also substituted _i_ for _y_ when the vowel is short, chiefly
in the case of the suffix _-yng_ or _-ynge_, here printed _-ing_ or
_-inge_. In nearly all other cases, the original spellings are given in the
footnotes. Thynne's chief errors of printing occur in places where he has
persistently altered the spelling of the MS. to suit the spelling in
fashion in the days of Henry VIII. His chief alterations are as follows. He
prints _ea_ for open _ee_, written _ee_ or _e_ at the beginning of the
fifteenth century; thus, he has _ease_ for _ese_, and _please_ for _plese_.
He most perversely adds a useless final _e_ to the words _howe_, _nowe_,
and some others; and he commits the anachronism of printing _father_,
_mother_, _together_, _wether_, _gather_, in place of _fader_, _moder_,
_togeder_, _weder_, _gader_; whereas the termination in these words
invariably appears as _-der_ till shortly before 1500. Further, he prints
_catche_ for _cacche_, _perfection_ for _perfeccion_, and the like; and in
several other ways has much impaired the spelling of his original. Many of
these things I have attempted to set right; and the scholar who compares
the text with the footnotes will easily see why each alteration has been
made, if he happens to be at all conversant with MSS. written in the
fourteenth century.

I believe that this piece is almost unparalleled as regards the shameful
corruption of its text. It cannot be supposed that Thynne or any one else
ever read it over with the view of seeing whether the result presented any
sense. Originally written in an obscure style, every form of carelessness
seems to have been employed in order to render it more obscure than before.
In a great number of places, it is easy to restore the sense by the
insertion of such necessary words as _of_, or _but_, or _by_. In other
places, non-existent words can be replaced by real ones; or some correction
can be made that is more or less obvious. I have marked all inserted words
by placing them within square brackets, as, e.g., _am_ in l. 46 on p. 6.
Corrections of readings are marked by the use of a dagger (+); thus 'I +wot
wel' in l. 78 on p. 7 is my emendation of Thynne's phrase 'I wol wel,'
which is duly recorded in the footnote. But some sentences remain in which
the sense is not obvious; and one is almost tempted to think that the
author did not clearly know what he intended to say. That he was remarkable
for a high degree of inaccuracy will appear presently.

A strange misprint occurs in Book III. ch. 4, ll. 30, 31 (p. 117), where
nearly two whole lines occur twice over; but the worst confusion is due to
an extraordinary dislocation of the text in Book III. (c. iv. l. 56--c. ix.
l. 46), as recently discovered by the sagacity of Mr. H. Bradley, and
explained more fully below.

I have also, for the first time, revised the punctuation, which in Thynne
is only denoted by frequent sloping strokes and full stops, which are not
always inserted in the right places. And I have broken up the chapters into
convenient paragraphs.

§ 8. A very curious point about this piece is the fact which I was the
first to observe, viz. that the initial letters of the various chapters
were certainly intended to form an acrostic. Unfortunately, Thynne did not
perceive this design, and has certainly begun some of the chapters either
with the wrong letter or at a wrong place. The sense shews that the first
letter of Book I. ch. viii. should be E, not O (see the note); and, with
this correction, the initial letters of the First Book yield the

In Book II, Thynne begins Chapters XI and XII at wrong places, viz. with
the word 'Certayn' (p. 86, l. 133), and the word 'Trewly' (p. 89, l. 82).
He thus produces the words--VIRTW HAVE MCTRCI. It is obvious that the last
word ought to be MERCI, which can be obtained by beginning Chapter XI with
the word 'Every,' which suits the sense quite as well.

For the chapters of Book III, we are again dependent on Thynne. If we
accept his arrangement as it stands, the letters yielded are--ON THSKNVI;
and the three books combined give us the sentence:--MARGARETE OF VIRTW,
HAVE MERCI ON THSKNVI. Here 'Margarete of virtw' means 'Margaret endued
with divine virtue'; and the author appeals either to the Grace of God, or
to the Church. The last word ought to give us the author's name; but in
that case the letters require rearrangement before the riddle can be read
with certainty.

After advancing so far towards the solution of the mystery, I was here
landed in a difficulty which I was unable to solve. But Mr. H. Bradley, by
a happy inspiration, hit upon the idea that the text might have suffered
dislocation; and was soon in a position to prove that no less than six
leaves of the MS. must have been out of place, to the great detriment of
the sense and confusion of the argument. He very happily restored the right
order, and most obligingly communicated to me the result. I at once
cancelled the latter part of the treatise (from p. 113 to the end), and
reprinted this portion in the right order, according to the sense. With
this correction, the unmeaning THSKNVI is resolved into the two words THIN
USK, i.e. 'thine Usk'; a result the more remarkable because Mr. Bradley had
_previously_ hit upon Usk as being the probable author. For the
autobiographical details exactly coincide, in every particular, with all
that is known of the career of Thomas Usk, according to Walsingham, the
Rolls of Parliament, and the continuation of Higden's Polychronicon by John
Malverne (ed. Lumby, vol. ix. pp. 45-6, 134, 150, 169); cf. Lingard, ed.
1874, iii. 163-7.

The date of the composition of this piece can now be determined without
much error. Usk was executed on March 4, 1388, and we find him referring to
past events that happened towards the end of 1384 or later. The most likely
date is about 1387. I here append an exact account of the order of the text
_as it appears in Thynne_; every break in the text being denoted, in the
present volume, by a dark asterisk.

Thynne's text is in a correct order from p. 1 to p. 118, l. 56:--any
mouable tyme there (Th. fol. 354, col. 2, l. 11)[5].

(1) Next comes, in Thynne, the passage beginning at p. 135, l. 94:--Fole,
haue I not seyd--and ending at p. 143, l. 46:--syth god is the greatest
loue and the (Th. fol. 356, back, col. 1, l. 5).

(2) Next, in Thynne, the passage beginning at p. 131, l. 97:--ne ought to
loke thynges with resonnyng--and ending at p. 132, l. 161, at the end of a
chapter (Th. fol. 356, back, col. 2, last line).

(3) Next, in Thynne, the passage beginning at p. 124, l. 8:--Now trewly,
lady--and ending at p. 128, at the end of the chapter (Th. fol. 357, last

(4) Next, in Thynne, the passage beginning at p. 132, new chapter:--Uery
trouth (quod she)--and ending at p. 135, l. 94:--that shal bringe out frute
that (Th. fol. 358, back, col. 1, l. 25).

(5) Next, in Thynne, the passage beginning at p. 118, l. 56:--is nothyng
preterit ne passed--and ending at p. 124, l. 7:--euer to onbyde (Th. fol.
360, col. 1, l. 24).

(6) Next, in Thynne, the passage beginning at p. 128, new chapter:--Nowe,
lady (quod I) that tree to set--and ending at p. 131, l. 97:--vse ye (Th.
fol. 360, back, col. 2, l. 9).

(7) Lastly, the text reverts to the true order, at p. 143, l. 46, with the
words:--greatest wisdom (Th. fol. 360, back, col. 2, l. 9. as before). See
The Athenæum, no. 3615, Feb. 6, 1897.

It is not difficult to account for this somewhat confusing dislocation. It
is clear that the original MS. was written on quires of the usual size,
containing 8 folios apiece. The first 10 quires, which we may call _a_,
_b_, _c_, _d_, _e_, _f_, _g_, _h_, _i_, and _k_, were in the right order.
The rest of the MS. occupied quire _l_ (of 8 folios), and quire _m_ (of
only 2); the last page being blank. The seventh folio of _l_ was torn up
the back, so that the two leaves parted company; and the same happened to
both the folios in quire _m_, leaving six leaves loose. What then happened
was this:--first of all, folios _l__1--_l__4, were reversed and turned
inside out; then came the former halves of _m__1, and _m__2, and the latter
half of _l__7; next _l__5 and _l__6 (undetached), with the former half of
_l__7 thrust in the middle; so that the order in this extraordinary quire
was as follows: _l__4, _l__3, _l__2, _l__1, all inside out, half of _m__1,
half of _m__2, the latter half of _l__7, _l__5, _l__6, and the former half
of _l__7, followed by the six undetached leaves. The last quire simply
consisted of _l__8 (entire), followed by the latter halves of _m__2 and
_m__1, which were kept in the right order by the fact that the last page
was blank.

It has thus become possible for us to make some progress towards the right
understanding of the work, which has hitherto been much misunderstood.
Warton (Hist. E. Poetry, 1840, ii. 218) dismisses it in two lines:--'It is
a lover's parody of Boethius's book De Consolatione mentioned above';
whereas the author was not a lover at all, except in a spiritual sense.
Even the fuller account in Morley's English Writers (1890), v. 261, is not
wholly correct. The statement is there made, that 'it professes to be
written, and probably was written, by a prisoner in danger of his life';
but the prison[6] may have been _at first_ metaphorical, as he could hardly
have written the whole work in two or three months. In Book iii. ch. 9, ll.
131, 132, he prays that 'God's hand, which has scourged him in mercy, may
hereafter mercifully keep and defend him in good plight.' The whole tone of
the treatise shews that he is writing to justify himself, and thinks that
he has succeeded. But a stern doom was close at hand.

§ 9. The truth is that the attempts of Godwin and others to make the
autobiographical statements of the author fit into the life of Chaucer,
have quite led the critics out of the right track. That the author was
_not_ Chaucer is perfectly obvious to every one who reads the passage in
the lower half of p. 140 with moderate attention; for the author there
refers to Chaucer as Love's 'noble philosophical poet in English,' who
wrote a treatise of Love's servant Troilus, and who 'passeth all other
makers in wit and in good reason of sentence'; praise which, however true
it may be of Chaucer, the writer was certainly not entitled to claim for
himself. The sole point in which the circumstances of the author agree with
those of Chaucer is this--that they were both born in London; which is,
obviously, too slight a coincidence to build upon. Now that we know the
author's name to have been Thomas Usk, the matter assumes quite another
complexion. Usk was much inclined, in his early days, to a belief in
Lollard opinions; but when he found that persistence in such belief was
likely to lead to trouble and danger, he deemed it prudent to recant as
completely as he could[7], and contemplates his consequent security with
some complacency.

In just the same way, it appears that he had changed sides in politics. We
first find him in the position of confidential clerk to John of
Northampton, mayor of London in 1381-2 and 1382-3. In July, 1384, Usk was
arrested and imprisoned in order to induce him to reveal certain secrets
implicating Northampton. This he consented to do, and accused Northampton
before the king at Reading, on the 18th of August. Northampton strenuously
denied the charges against him, but was condemned as guilty, and sent to
Corfe castle[8]. After this, Usk joined the party of Sir Nicholas Brembre,
mayor of London in 1383-4, 1384-5, and 1385-6, and Collector of Customs in
1381-3, when Chaucer was Comptroller of the same. Brembre had been active
in procuring the condemnation of Northampton, and was, at the close of
1386, one of the few personal adherents who remained faithful to the king.
In 1387, Richard was busily devising means for the overthrow of the duke of
Gloucester's regency, Brembre and Usk being on the king's side; but his
attempts were unsuccessful, and, in November of the same year, the duke of
Gloucester and his partisans, who were called the 'appellants,' became
masters of the situation; they accused the king's councillors of treason,
and imprisoned or banished their opponents. On Feb. 3, 1388, the appellants
produced their charges against their victims, Brembre and Usk being among
the number. Both were condemned and executed, Brembre on Feb. 20, and Usk
on the 4th of March. Usk's offence was that he had been appointed
sub-sheriff of Middlesex by Brembre's influence[9], with a view to the
arrest of the duke of Gloucester and others of his party. His defence was
that all that he had done was by the king's orders, a defence on which he
doubtless relied. Unfortunately for him, it was an aggravation of his
crime. It was declared that he ought to have known that the king was not at
the time his own master, but was acting according to the counsel of false
advisers; and this sealed his fate. He was sentenced to be drawn, hung, and
beheaded, and that his head should be set up over Newgate. The sentence was
barbarously carried out; he was hung but immediately cut down, and clumsily
beheaded by nearly thirty strokes of a sword. 'Post triginta mucronis ictus
fere decapitatus semper usque ad mortem nunquam fatebatur se deliquisse
contra Johannem Northampton, sed erant omnia vera quae de eo praedicaverat
coram rege in quodam consilio habito apud Radyngum anno elapso.'--Higden,
App. 169. John of Malverne speaks as if he had some personal recollection
of Usk, of whom he says--'Satagebat namque astu et arte illorum amicitiam
sibi attrahere quos procul dubio ante capitales hostes sibi fuisse
cognovit,'--Ib. p. 45.

We can now readily understand that Usk's praise of Chaucer must have been
more embarrassing than acceptable; and perhaps it was not altogether
without design that the poet, in his House of Fame, took occasion to let
the world know how he devoted his leisure time to other than political

§ 10. Some of the events of his life are alluded to by Usk in the present
treatise. He justifies his betrayal of Northampton (p. 26, ll. 53-103, p.
28, ll. 116-201), and is grateful for the king's pardon (p. 60, ll. 120-4).
He refers to his first imprisonment (p. 60, l. 104), and tells us that he
offered wager of battle against all who disputed his statements (p. 60, l,
116; p. 31, l. 10); but no one accepted the wager.

He further tells us how he endeavoured to make his peace with the Church.
Taking his cue from the parable of the merchantman seeking goodly pearls
(p. 16, l. 84), he likens the visible Church of Christ to the pearl of
great price (p. 145, l. 103; p. 94, l. 121), and piteously implores her
mercy (p. 8, l. 135); and the whole tone of the piece shews his confidence
that he is reasonably safe (p. 144, l. 120). He sees clearly that lollardy
is unacceptable, and indulges in the usual spiteful fling against the
cockle (_lolia_) which the Lollards were reproached with sowing (p. 48, l.
93). He had once been a heretic (p. 99, l. 29), and in danger of 'never
returning' to the true Church (p. 99, l. 38); but he secured his safety by
a full submission (p. 105, l. 133).

At the same time, there is much about the piece that is vague, shifty, and
unsatisfactory. He is too full of excuses, and too plausible; in a word,
too selfish. Hence he has no real message for others, but only wishes to
display his skill, which he does by help of the most barefaced and
deliberate plagiarism. It was not from the Consolatio Philosophiae of
Boethius, but from the English translation of that work by Chaucer, that he
really drew his materials; and he often takes occasion to lift lines or
ideas from the poem of Troilus whenever he can find any that come in handy.
In one place he turns a long passage from the House of Fame into very
inferior prose. There are one or two passages that remind us of the Legend
of Good Women (i. pr. 100, ii. 3. 38, iii. 7. 38); but they are remarkably
few. But he keeps a copy of Chaucer's Boethius always open before him, and
takes from it passage after passage, usually with many alterations,
abbreviations, expansions, and other disfigurements; but sometimes without
any alteration at all. A few examples will suffice, as a large number of
parallel passages are duly pointed out in the Notes.

§ 11. In Chaucer's Boethius (bk. i. pr. 3. 10), when Philosophy, the
heavenly visitant, comes to comfort the writer, her first words are:--'_O
my norry_, sholde I forsaken thee now?' In the Testament (p. 10, l. 37),
Heavenly Love commences her consolations with the same exclamation:--'_O my
nory_, wenest thou that my maner be, to foryete my frendes or my
servaunts?' The Latin text--'An te, _alumne_, desererem?'--does not suggest
this remarkable mode of address.

This, however, is a mere beginning; it is not till further on that
plagiarisms begin to be frequent. At first, as at p. 37, the author copies
the sense rather than the words; but he gradually begins to copy words and
phrases also. Thus, at p. 43, l. 38, his '_chayres_ of domes' comes from
Chaucer's 'heye _chayres_' in bk. i. met. 5. 27; and then, in the next
line, we find '_vertue, shynende naturelly ... is hid_ under cloude,' where
Chaucer has '_vertu_, cler-_shyninge naturelly is hid_ in derke
derknesses'; bk. i. met. 5. 28. At p. 44, l. 66, we have: '_Whan nature
brought thee forth_, come thou not _naked out of thy moders wombe_? Thou
haddest no richesse'; where Chaucer has: '_Whan_ that _nature broughte thee
forth out of thy moder wombe_, I receyved thee _naked_, and nedy of alle
thinges'; bk. ii. pr. 2. 10. Just a few lines below (ll. 71-76) we have the
sense, but not the words, of the neighbouring passage in Chaucer (ll.
23-25). Further literal imitations are pointed out in the Notes to l. 85 in
the same chapter, and elsewhere. See, for example, the Notes to Book ii.
ch. iv. 4, 14, 20, 61; ch. v. 15, 57, 65, 67, 79; ch. vi. 11, 30, 74, 117,
123, 129, 132, 143; ch. vii. 8, 14, 20, 23, 30, 39, 50, 74, 95, 98, 105,
109, 114, 117, 130, 135, 139, 148; &c.

Those who require conviction on this point may take such an example as

'O! a noble thing and clere is power, that is not founden mighty to kepe
himselfe'; (p. 70, l. 20).

'O! a noble thing and a cleer thing is power, that is nat founden mighty to
kepen it-self'; Ch. Boeth. bk. iii. pr. 5. 5-7.

The Latin text is: 'O praeclara potentia quae nec ad conseruationem quidem
sui satis efficax inuenitur.' I see no reason for supposing that the author
anywhere troubled himself to consult the Latin original. Indeed, it is
possible to correct errors in the text by help of Chaucer's version; see
the last note on p. 461.

§ 12. We get the clearest idea of the author's method by observing his
treatment of the House of Fame, 269-359. It is worth while to quote the
whole passage:--

 'Lo! how a woman doth amis
  _To love_ him that unknowen is!...                  270
  Hit _is not_ al _gold_ that glareth;...
  Ther _may be under_ goodliheed
  Kevered _many_ a shrewed _vyce_;                    275
  _Therefore_ be _no wight_ so nyce,
  To take a love only for _chere_,
  For _speche_, or for frendly manere;
  For this shal every woman finde
  That som _man_, of his pure kinde,                  280
  Wol _shewen outward_ the faireste
  _Til he have_ caught that what him leste;
  And _thanne wol_ he _causes finde_,
  And swere how that she is unkinde,
  _Or fals_, or prevy, or double was ...              285
  Therfor I wol seye a proverbe,
  That "he that fully knoweth th'erbe                 290
  May saufly leye hit to his yë" ...
  Allas! is every man thus trewe,
  That every yere wolde have a newe, ...
  As thus: of _oon_ he wolde _have fame_,             305
  In magnifying of his name;
  Another _for frendship_, seith he;
  And yet ther shal the _thri de_ be,
  That shal be taken _for delyt_ ...
  _Allas, that ever_ hadde routhe                     332
  _Any woman_ on any man!
  Now see I wel, and telle can,
  We wrecched _women conne_ non art ...               335
  How sore that _ye men_ conne _grone_,
  Anoon, as we have yow receyved,
  Certeinly we _ben deceyved_;...                     340
  For through you is my name _lorn_,
  And alle my actes _red and songe_
  Over al this land on every tonge.                   348
  O wikke _Fame_!...
  Eek, thogh I mighte _duren ever_,
  _That_ I _have doon, rekever_ I _never_ ...         354
  And that I shal thus juged be--
 "Lo, right as she hath doon, now she
  Wol do eftsones, hardily."'                         359

If the reader will now turn to p. 54, l. 45, and continue down to l. 81 on
the next page, he will find the whole of this passage turned into prose,
with numerous cunning alterations and a few insertions, yet including all
such words as are printed above in italics! That is, he will find all
except the proverb in ll. 290, 291; but this also is not far off; for it
occurs over the leaf, on p. 56, at l. 115, and again at p. 22, ll. 44-45!
Surely, this is nothing but book-making, and the art of it does not seem to
be difficult.

§ 13. The author expressly acknowledges his admiration of Troilus (p. 140,
l. 292); and it is easy to see his indebtedness to that poem. He copies
Chaucer's curious mistake as to Styx being a pit (p. 3, l. 80, and the
note). He adopts the words _let-game_ (p. 18, l. 124) and _wiver_ (p. 129,
l. 27). He quotes a whole line from Troilus at p. 27, l. 78 (see note); and
spoils another one at p. 34, ch. viii. l. 5, a third at p. 80, l. 116, and
a fourth at p. 128, ch. vii. l. 2. We can see whence he took his allusion
to 'playing raket,' and to the dock and nettle, at p. 13, ll. 166, 167; and
the phrase to 'pype with an yvè-lefe' at p. 134, l. 50.

It is further observable that he had read a later text of Piers Plowman
with some care, but he seems to quote it from memory, as at p. 18, l. 153,
and p. 24, l. 118. A few other passages in which he seems to have taken
ideas from this popular and remarkable poem are pointed out in the Notes.
It is probable that he thence adopted the words _legistres_ and _skleren_;
for which see the Glossary, and consult the Notes for the references which
are there given.

§ 14. The author is frequently guilty of gross inaccuracies. He seems to
confuse Cain with Ham (p. 52, ll. 107, 109), but _Cayn_, says Mr. Bradley,
may be Thynne's misprint for _Cam_, i.e. Ham. He certainly confuses
Perdiccas with Arrhidæus (p. 52, l. 116). He speaks of the _eighth_ year,
instead of the _seventh_, as being a sabbatical year, and actually declares
that the ordinary week contains _seven_ working-days (p. 24, ll. 102-104)!
He tells us that Sunday begins 'at the first hour after noon (!) on
Saturday' (p. 82, l. 163). Hence it is not to be wondered at that some of
his arguments and illustrations are quite unintelligible.

§ 15. The title of the work, viz. THE TESTAMENT OF LOVE, readily reminds us
of the passage in Gower already quoted in vol. iii. p. xliii., in which the
goddess Venus proposes that Chaucer should write 'his testament of love,'
in order 'to sette an ende of alle his werke.' I have already explained
that the real reference in this passage is to the Legend of Good Women; but
I am not prepared, at present, to discuss the connection between the
expression in Gower and the treatise by Usk. The fact that our author
adopted the above title may have led to the notion that Chaucer wrote the
treatise here discussed; but it is quite clear that he had nothing to do
with it.

Professor Morley well says that 'the writer of this piece uses the word
Testament in the old Scriptural sense of a witnessing, and means by Love
the Divine Love, the Christian spirit encouraging and directing the wish
for the grace of God, called Margaret, the pearl beyond all price.' To
which, however, it is highly essential to add that Margaret is not used in
the sense of 'grace' alone, but is also employed, in several passages, to
signify 'the visible Church of Christ.' The author is, in fact, careful to
warn us of the varying, the almost Protean sense of the word at p. 145,
where he tells us that 'Margarite, a woman [i.e. properly a woman's name],
betokeneth _grace_, _lerning_, or _wisdom of god_, or els _holy church_.'
His object seems to have been to extend the meaning of the word so as to
give him greater scope for ingenuity in varying his modes of reference to
it. He has certainly succeeded in adding to the obscurity of his subject.
That by 'holy church' he meant the visible Church of Christ of his own
time, appears from the remarkable assertion that it is 'deedly,' i.e.
mortal (p. 94, l. 121). Such an epithet is inapplicable to the Church in
its spiritual character. It may also be observed that, however much the
sense implied by Margarite may vary, it never takes the meaning which we
should most readily assign to it; i.e. it never means a live woman, nor
represents even an imaginary object of natural human affection. The nearest
approach to such an ideal is at p. 94, l. 114, where we are told that the
jewel which he hopes to attain is as precious a pearl as a woman is by

§ 16. It hardly seems worth while to give a detailed analysis of the whole
piece. An analysis of the First Book (which is, on the whole, the best) is
given by Professor Morley; and the hints which I have already given as to
the character and situation of the author will enable the reader to regard
the treatise from a right point of view. But it is proper to observe that
the author himself tells us how he came to divide the work into three
books[10], and what are the ideas on which each book is founded. Each of
the three books has an introductory chapter. That to the First Book I have
called a Prologue; and perhaps it would have been strictly correct to have
called the first chapters of the other books by the same name. In the
introductory chapter to the Third Book, p. 101, he declares that the First
Book is descriptive of Error, or Deviation (which the editions print as
Demacion!); the Second, of Grace; and the Third, of Joy. In other words,
the First Book is particularly devoted to recounting the errors of his
youth, especially how he was led by others into a conspiracy against the
state and into deviation from orthodoxy. In the Prologue, he excuses
himself for writing in English, and announces the title of the work. He
then assures us that he is merely going to gather up the crumbs that have
fallen from the table, and to glean handfuls of corn which Boethius has
dropped. 'A sly servant in his own help is often much commended'; and this
being understood, he proceeds to help himself accordingly, as has already
been explained.

§ 17. BOOK I: CH. I. In Chapter I, he describes his misery, and hopes that
the dice will turn, and implores the help of Margaret, here used
(apparently) to typify the grace of God. He represents himself as being in
prison, in imitation of Boethius; but I suspect that, _in the present
passage_, the prison was metaphorical. (He had been imprisoned in 1384, and
in 1387 was imprisoned again; but that is another matter.)

CH. II. Heavenly Love suddenly appears to him, as Philosophy appeared to
Boethius, and is ready to console and reclaim him. She is aware of his
losses, and he tries to vindicate his constancy of character.

CH. III. He describes how he once wandered through the woods at the close
of autumn, and was attacked by some animals who had suddenly turned wild.
To save himself, he embarks on board a ship; but the reader is disappointed
to find that the adventure is wholly unreal; the ship is the ship of
Travail, peopled by Sight, Lust, Thought, and Will. He is driven on an
island, where he catches a glimpse of Love, and finds a Margaret, a pearl
of price. He appeals to Love to comfort him.

CH. IV. Love first reproves and then consoles him. She enquires further
into his complaints.

CH. V. She advises him to contemn such as have spoken against him. He
complains that he has served seven years for Rachel, and prays for comfort
in his eighth year. She exhorts him to perseverance.

CH. VI. He here goes into several details as to his previous conduct. The
authorities threatened to keep him in prison, unless he would reveal a
certain secret or plot. He was afraid that the peace of his native place,
London, would suffer; and to procure its peace, he 'declared certain
points.' Being charged upon oath to reveal certain secret dealings, he at
once did so; for which he incurred much odium.

CH. VII. To prove that he had only spoken the truth, he offered wager of
battle; and was justified by the fact that no one accepted it. He had not
perjured himself, because his oath in the law-court was superior to his
former oath of secrecy. He only meant truth, but was sadly slandered. It is
absurd to be 'a stinking martyr' in a false cause.

CH. VIII. Love tells him he has greatly erred, and must expect much
correction. Earthly fame should be despised, whilst he looks for the fame
that comes after death.

CH. IX. Love vindicates the greatness of God and the goodness of His

CH. X. The author complains of his hard fortune; he has lost his goods and
has been deprived of his office. Love explains that adversity teaches
salutary lessons, and that the true riches may still be his own.

§ 18. BOOK II. In the first chapter (or Prologue) of the Second Book, he
again discusses the object of his work. In Chapter II, Love sings him a
Latin song, introducing complaints against the clergy such as frequently
occur in Piers the Plowman. In Chapter III, we find a discourse on
womankind, largely borrowed from Chaucer's House of Fame. The next eight
chapters are chiefly devoted to a discussion of the way by which the
repentant sinner may come to 'the knot' of Heavenly bliss; and it is here,
in particular, that a large portion of Chaucer's Boethius is freely
imitated or copied. The last three chapters recount the excellences of
Margaret, which in many passages refers rather to the visible Church than
to divine Grace.

§ 19. BOOK III. The first chapter is again introductory, explaining why the
number of Books is three. 'The Margaret in virtue is likened to Philosophy,
with her three kinds.' It is remarkable that this Third Book, which is
dedicated to Joy, is the dullest of the three, being largely taken up with
the questions of predestination and free will, with more borrowings from
Chaucer's Boethius. In Chapter V, Love explains how continuance in good
will produces the fruit of Grace; and, in Chapters VI and VII, shews how
such grace is to be attained. Chapter IX recurs to the subject of
predestination; after which the work comes to a formal conclusion, with
excuses for its various imperfections.


This piece does not appear in Thynne's first edition of 1532, but occurs,
for the first time, in the second edition of 1542, where it is added at the
end of the Canterbury Tales, after the Parson's Tale. In the next (undated)
edition, probably printed about 1550, it is placed _before_ the Parson's
Tale, as if it were really Chaucer's, and the same arrangement occurs in
the fourth edition, that of 1561, by John Stowe. It is worth mentioning
that some booksellers put forward a fable as to the true date of the
undated edition being 1539, in order to enhance the value of their copies;
but the pretence is obviously false, as is shewn by collation[11]; besides
which, it is not likely that the Plowman's Tale would have been _at first_
inserted before the Parson's Tale, _then_ placed after it, and then _again_
placed before it. It is best to separate the first four editions by nearly
equal intervals, their dates being, respectively, 1532, 1542, about 1550,
and 1561.

Comparison of the black-letter editions shews that the first is the best;
and the later ones, being mere reprints, grow gradually worse. Hence, in
this case, the edition of 1542 is the sole authority, and the readings of
the inferior copies may be safely neglected. It is remarkable that Mr. T.
Wright, in his edition of this poem printed in his Political Poems and
Songs, i. 304, should have founded his text upon a reprint of Speght in
1687, when he might have taken as his authority a text more than 140 years
older. The result is, naturally, that his text is much worse than was at
all necessary.

According to Speght, there was once a MS. copy of this piece in Stowe's
library, but no one knows what became of it. According to Todd, in his
Illustrations of Gower and Chaucer, p. xxxix, there was once a black-letter
edition of it, entitled 'The Plouuman's tale compylled by syr Geffray
Chaucer knyght.' Todd says: 'It is of the duodecimo size, in the black
letter, without date, and imprinted at London in Paules churche-yarde at
the sygne of the Hyll, by Wyllyam Hyll. I have compared with the poem as
printed by Urry forty or fifty lines, and I found almost as many variations
between them[12]. The colophon of this book is, _Thus endeth the boke of
Chaunterburye Tales_. This rarity belongs to the Rev. Mr. Conybeare, the
present Professor of the Saxon language in the University of Oxford.' This
edition can no longer be traced. Hazlitt mentions a black-letter edition of
this piece, printed separately by Thomas Godfray (about 1535), on twenty
leaves; of which only one copy is known, viz. that at Britwell. There is
also a late print of it in the Bodleian Library, dated 1606.

§ 21. It is needless to discuss the possibility that Chaucer wrote this
Tale, as it is absent from all the MSS.; and it does not appear that the
ascription of it to him was taken seriously. It is obvious, from the
introductory Prologue (p. 147), that the author never intended his work to
be taken for Chaucer's; he purposely chooses a different metre from any
that occurs in the Canterbury Tales, and he introduces his Ploughman as
coming under the Host's notice quite suddenly, so that the Host is
constrained to ask him--'what man art thou?' The whole manner of the Tale
is conspicuously and intentionally different from that of Chaucer; and
almost the only expression which at all resembles Chaucer occurs in ll. 51,

 'I pray you that no man me reproche
  Whyl that I am my tale telling.'

Chaucer himself, before reciting his Tale of Melibeus, said much the same

 'And let me tellen al my tale, I preye.'

I do not know why Mr. Wright, when reprinting this piece, omitted the
Prologue. It is a pity that half of the sixth stanza is missing.

§ 22. At l. 1065 we meet with a most important statement:--

 'Of freres I have told before
  In a making of a Crede.'

It is generally agreed that the author here claims to have previously
written the well-known piece entitled Pierce the Ploughman's Crede, which I
edited for the Early English Text Society in 1867. I then took occasion to
compare the language of these two pieces (which I shall shortly call the
Crede and the Tale), and I found ample confirmation, from internal
evidence, that the claim is certainly true. There are many similarities of
expression, some of which I here lay before the reader.

      FROM THE CREDE.                      FROM THE TALE.

  Curteis Crist (1, 140).              curteys Christ (482).

  cutted cote (434).                   cutted clothes (929).

  y can noh[gh]t my Crede (8).         Suche that conne nat hir Crede

  At marketts and myracles, we         Market-beters, and medling make
    medleth us nevere (107).             (871).

  For we buldeth a burw[gh], a brod    And builde als brode as a citè
    and a large (118).                   (743).

  portreid and peint (121).            I-paynted and portred (135).
  peynt and portred (192).

  y sey coveitise catel to fongen      To catche catell as covytous (385;
    (146).                               cf. 856).

  Of double worstede y-dy[gh]t (228).  With double worsted well y-dight

  Than ther lefte in Lucifer, er he    As lowe as Lucifer such shall fall
    were lowe fallen (374).              (124).

  opon the plow hongen (421).          honged at the plow (1042).

  povere in gost God him-self          The pore in spirit gan Christ
    blisseth (521).                      blesse (915).

  ben maysters icalled, That the       Maysters be called defended he tho
    gentill Jesus ... purly defended     (1115).

  to brenne the bodye in a bale of     Thou shalt be brent in balefull
    fijr (667).                          fyre (1234).

  Thei shulden nou[gh]t after the      They nolde nat demen after the
    face ... demen (670).                face (714).

  Thei schulden delven and diggen      Threshing and dyking fro town to
    and dongen the erthe,                town,

  And mene mong-corn bred to her       With sory mete, and not half y-now
    mete fongen (785).                   (1043).

  He mi[gh]te no maistre ben kald,     Maysters be called defended he tho
    for Crist that defended (838).       (1115).

The Crede is written in alliterative verse; and it will be observed that
alliteration is employed in the Tale very freely. Another peculiarity in
the Tale may here be noticed, viz. the use of the same rime, _fall_ or
_befall_, throughout Part I, with the exception of ll. 205-228. Indeed, in
the first line of Part II, the author apologizes for being unable to find
any more rimes for _fall_, and proceeds to rime upon _amend_ throughout
that Part. In Part III, he begins to rime upon _grace_ in the first two
stanzas, but soon abandons it for the sake of freedom; however, at l. 1276,
he recurs to _grace_, and continues to rime upon it till the end. It is
clear that the author possessed considerable facility of expression. We can
date these pieces approximately without much error. The proceedings against
Walter Brute, expressly alluded to in the Crede, l. 657, lasted from Oct.
15, 1391, to Oct. 6, 1393, when he submitted himself to the bishop of
Hereford. We may well date the Crede about 1394, and the Tale (which
probably soon followed it, as the author repeats some of his expressions)
about 1395[13].

Both these pieces are written in a spirited style, and are of considerable
interest for the light which they throw upon many of the corrupt practices
of the monks, friars, and clergy. The Crede is directed against the friars
in particular, and reflects many of the opinions of Wyclif, as will easily
appear by comparing it with Wyclif's works. See, in particular, his Fifty
Heresies and Errors of Friars (Works, ed. Arnold, iii. 366). It would have
been easy to crowd the Notes with quotations from Wyclif; but it is
sufficient to point out so obvious a source. I have not observed any
passage in which the author copies the exact language of Langland. The
dialect seems to be some form of Midland, and is somewhat archaic; many of
the verbal forms are of some value to the philologist. Taken altogether, it
is a piece of considerable interest and merit. Ten Brink alludes to it as
'that transparent, half-prophetic allegory of the Quarrel between the
Griffin and the Pelican'; and adds--'The Griffin was the representative of
the prelates and the monks, the Pelican that of real Christianity in
Wyclif's sense. At a loss for arguments, the Griffin calls in at last all
the birds of prey in order to destroy its rival. The Phoenix, however,
comes to the help of the Pelican, and terribly destroys the robber-brood.'

Tyrwhitt observed, with great acuteness, that Spenser's allusion, in the
Epilogue to his Shepheards Calender, to 'the Pilgrim that the Ploughman
playde awhyle,' may well refer to the author of the Plowman's Tale rather
than to Langland[14]. Cf. p. 147, l. 12. It was natural that Spenser should
mention him along with Chaucer, because their productions were bound up
together in the same volume; a volume which was, to Spenser, a
treasure-house of archaic words.

The discussion on points of religion between the Griffin and the Pelican
clearly suggested to Dryden his discussion between the Hind and the
Panther. His choice of quadrupeds in place of birds is certainly no


Of this piece, no MS. copy is known. It is usually said to have been first
printed by Speght, in his second edition of Chaucer's Works in 1602; but I
have been so fortunate as to find a better and earlier text in the library
of Caius College, Cambridge, to which my attention was drawn by a note in
Hazlitt's Bibliographer's Handbook. This copy, here taken as the basis of
my text, and collated with Speght, is a small book consisting of only 16
leaves. The title-page contains the following words, within a square
border. ¶ Jack vp Lande | Compyled by the | famous Geoffrey | Chaucer. |
Ezechielis. xiii. | ¶ Wo be vnto you that | dishonour me to me (_sic_) peo
| ple for an handful of bar | lye & for a pece of bread. | Cum priuilegio |

At the end of the treatise is the colophon: ¶ Prynted for Ihon Gough. Cum
Priuilegio Regali.

Hazlitt conjectures that it was printed about 1540. I think we may safely
date it in 1536; for it is bound up in a volume with several other tracts,
and it so happens that the tract next following it is by Myles Coverdale,
and is dated 1536, being printed in just the very same type and style. We
can also tell that it must have been printed after 1535, because the verse
from Ezekiel xiii, as quoted on the title-page (see above), exactly
corresponds with Coverdale's version of the Bible, the first edition of
which appeared in that year.

The text of Jack Upland, in the Caius College copy, has the following
heading, in small type:--'¶ These b[=e] the lewed questions of Freres rytes
and obseruaunces the whych they chargen more than Goddes lawe, and therfore
men shulden not gyue hem what so they beggen, tyll they hadden answered and
clerely assoyled these questions.'

As this copy is, on the whole, considerably superior to Speght's both as
regards sense and spelling, I have not given his inferior readings and
errors. In a very few places, Speght furnishes some obvious corrections;
and in such instances his readings are noted.

§ 24. A very convenient reprint of Speght's text is given in Wright's
edition of Political Poems and Songs (Record Series), vol. ii. p. 16. In
the same volume, p. 39, is printed a reply to Jack Upland's questions by a
friar who facetiously calls himself Friar Daw Topias, though it appears
(from a note printed at p. 114) that his real name was John Walsingham. Nor
is this all; for Friar Daw's reply is further accompanied by Jack Upland's
rejoinder, printed, for convenience, below Friar Daw's text. It is most
likely, as Mr. Wright concludes, that all three pieces may be dated in the
same year. It was necessary that Friar Daw (who gave himself this name in
order to indicate that he is a comparatively unlearned man, yet easily able
to refute his audacious questioner) should produce his reply at once; and
we may be sure that Jack's rejoinder was not long delayed. Fortunately, the
date can be determined with sufficient exactness; for Jack's rejoinder
contains the allusion: 'and the kyng by his juges trwe [sholde] execute his
lawe, as he _did now late_, whan he hangid you traytours,' p. 86. This
clearly refers to June, 1402[15], when eight Franciscan friars were hanged
at Tyburn for being concerned in a plot against the life of Henry IV. We
may, accordingly, safely refer all three pieces to the year 1402; shortly
after Chaucer's death.

§ 25. It is also tolerably clear that there must have been two texts of
'Jack Upland,' an earlier and a later one. The earlier one, of which we
have no copy, can easily be traced by help of Friar Daw's reply, as he
quotes all that is material point by point. It only extended as far as the
54th question in the present edition (p. 199); after which followed two
more questions which do not here reappear. The later copy also contains a
few questions, not far from the beginning, which Friar Daw ignores. It is
clear that we only possess a later, and, on the whole, a fuller copy. One
of the omitted questions relates to transubstantiation; and, as any
discussion of it was extremely likely, at that date, to be ended by burning
the disputant at the stake, it was certainly prudent to suppress it. Not
perceiving this point, Mr. Wright too hastily concluded that our copy of
Jack Upland is extremely corrupt, a conclusion quite unwarranted; inasmuch
as Friar Daw, in spite of his affectation of alliterative verse, quotes his
adversary's questions with reasonable correctness. On this unsound theory
Mr. Wright has built up another, still less warranted, viz. that the
original copy of Jack Upland must have been written in alliterative verse;
for no other reason than because Friar Daw's reply is so written. It is
obvious that alliteration is conspicuously absent, except in the case of
the four lines (424-7), which are introduced, by way of flourish, at the
end. My own belief is that our copy of Jack Upland is a second edition,
i.e. an amended and extended copy, which has been reasonably well
preserved. It is more correct than the Plowmans Tale, and very much more
correct than the Testament of Love.

§ 26. Mr. Wright further imagines that Jack Upland's rejoinder to Friar
Daw's reply, which he prints from 'a contemporary MS. in the Bodleian
Library at Oxford, MS. Digby 41,' was also originally in alliterative
verse. This supposition is almost as gratuitous as the former; for,
although there are very frequent traces of alliteration as an occasional
embellishment, it is otherwise written in ordinary prose. The mere chopping
up of prose into bits of not very equal length, as in Mr. Wright's print,
does not produce verse of any kind. Friar Daw's verses are bad enough, as
he did not understand his model (obviously the Ploughman's Crede), but he
usually succeeds in making a kind of jingle, with pauses, for the most
part, in the right place. But there is no verse discoverable in Jack
Upland; he preferred straightforward prose, for reasons that are perfectly

For further remarks, I beg leave to refer the reader to Mr. Wright's
Introduction, pp. xii-xxiv, where he will find an excellent summary of the
arguments adduced on both sides. There is a slight notice of Jack Upland in
Morley's English Writers, vi. 234.


In Morley's English Writers, iv. 157, this poem is entitled 'De Pacis
Commendatione,' on MS. authority (see p. 216). Mr. E. B. Nicholson, who has
made a special study of Gower's poems, suggested 'The Praise of Peace,'
which I have gladly adopted. I am much obliged to Mr. Nicholson for his
assistance in various ways; and, in particular, for the generous loan of
his own transcript of this poem.

§ 28. In Todd's Illustrations of Gower and Chaucer, p. 95, is a notice of a
MS. 'in the present Marquis of Stafford's library at Trentham,' which had
been previously described in Warton's Hist. of E. Poetry as being 'in Lord
Gower's library.' Mr. Wright alludes to it as 'a contemporary MS. in the
possession of his grace the duke of Sutherland.' It may be called 'the
Trentham MS.' 'The Praise of Peace' was printed from it by Mr. Wright, in
his Political Poems and Songs, ii. 4-15; and I have followed his text,
which I denote by 'T.' At the same time, I have collated it with the text
of Thynne's edition of 1532, which is a very good one. The differences are

Warton describes the MS. as 'a thin oblong MS. on vellum, containing some
of Gower's poems in Latin, French, and English. By an entry in the first
leaf, in the handwriting and under the signature of Thomas lord Fairfax,
Cromwell's general, an antiquarian, and a lover and collector of curious
manuscripts, it appears that this book was presented by the poet Gower,
about 1400[16], to Henry IV; and that it was given by lord Fairfax to his
friend and kinsman Sir Thomas Gower, knight and baronet, in the year 1656.'
He goes on to say that Fairfax had it from Charles Gedde, Esq., of St.
Andrews; and that it was at one time in the possession of King Henry VII,
while earl of Richmond, who wrote in it his own name in the form

The MS. contains (1) The Praise of Peace, _preceded by_ the seven Latin
lines (386-392), which I have relegated to the end of the poem, as in
Thynne. The title is given in the colophon (p. 216); after which follow the
twelve Latin lines (393-404), printed on the same page. (2) Some
complimentary verses in Latin, also addressed to Henry IV, printed in
Wright's Political Poems, ii. 1-3. (3) Fifty Balades in French, which have
been printed by Stengel (Warton prints _four_ of them), with the
colophon--'Expliciunt carmina Joh[=i]s Gower que Gallice composita
_Balades_ dicuntur.' (4) Two short Latin poems in elegiacs; see Warton. (5)
A French poem on the Dignity or Excellence of Marriage. (6) Seventeen Latin
hexameters. (7) Gower's Latin verses on his blindness, beginning--

 'Henrici quarti primus regni fuit annus,
    Quo michi defecit visus ad acta mea,' &c.

See Todd and Warton for more minute particulars.

§ 29. The poem itself may safely be dated in the end of 1399, for reasons
given in the note to l. 393. It is of some interest, as being Gower's last
poem in English, and the spirit of it is excellent, though it contains no
very striking lines. We have not much of Gower's work in the form of
seven-line stanzas. The Confessio Amantis contains only twelve such
stanzas; iii. 349-352. I draw attention to the earliest known reference (l.
295) to the game of 'tenetz'; the enumeration of the nine worthies (ll.
281-3); and the reference to a story about Constantine which, in the
Confessio Amantis, is related at considerable length (l. 339).

We may compare with this poem the stanzas in praise of peace in Hoccleve's
De Regimine Principum, quoted in Morley's English Writers (1890), vol. vi.
pp. 131-2.


This poem needs little discussion. It is known to be Hoccleve's; see Dr.
Furnivall's edition of Hoccleve's Minor Poems, E. E. T. S., 1892, p. 72. As
explained in the notes, it is rather closely imitated from the French poem
entitled L'Epistre au Dieu d'Amours, written by Christine de Pisan. At the
end of her poem, Christine gives the date of its composition, viz. 1399;
and Hoccleve, in like manner, gives the date of his poem as 1402. The poem
consists of sixty-eight stanzas, of which not more than eighteen are wholly
independent of the original. The chief original passages are ll. 176-189,
316-329, and 374-434.

The poem is entirely occupied with a defence of women, such as a woman
might well make. It takes the form of a reproof, addressed by Cupid to all
male lovers; and is directed, in particular, against the sarcasms of Jean
de Meun (l. 281) in the celebrated Roman de la Rose.

Of this poem there are several MS. copies; see footnotes at p. 217. The
best is probably the Ashburnham MS., but it has not yet been printed. I
chiefly follow MS. Fairfax 16, which Dr. Furnivall has taken as the basis
of his text.

There is also a poor and late copy in the Bannatyne MS., at fol. 269; see
the print of it for the Hunterian Club, 1879; p. 783.


These two Balades, also by Hoccleve, were composed at the same time. The
former is addressed to King Henry V, and the latter to the Knights of the
Garter. They are very closely connected with a much longer poem of 512
lines, which was addressed to Sir John Oldcastle in August, 1415; and must
have been written at about that date. It was natural enough that, whilst
addressing his appeal to Oldcastle to renounce his heresies, the poet
should briefly address the king on the same subject at the same time. I
think we may safely date this piece, like the other, in August, 1415.

The remarkable likeness between the two pieces appears most in the
references to Justinian and to Constantine. In fact, the reference to
Justinian in l. 3 of the former of the Balades here printed would be
unintelligible but for the full explanation which the companion poem
affords. I have quoted, in the note to l. 3, the Latin note which is
written in the margin of st. 24 of the address to Oldcastle; and I quote
here the stanza itself:--

 'The Cristen emperour Justinian,
  As it is writen, who-so list it see,
  Made a lawe deffending every man,
  Of what condicion or what degree
  That he were of, nat sholde hardy be
  For to despute of the feith openly;
  And ther-upon sundry peynes sette he,
  That peril sholde eschuëd be therby.'
                  Minor Poems, ed. Furnivall, p. 14.

Compare with this the fourth stanza of Balade I.

We may regret that Hoccleve's desire to make an example of heretics was so
soon fulfilled. Only three years later, in Dec. 1418, Sir John Oldcastle
was captured in Wales, brought up to London, and publicly burnt.

My text follows the sole good MS. (Phillipps 8151); which I have collated
with the earliest printed text, that of 1542. There is, indeed, another MS.
copy of the poem in the library of Trinity College, Cambridge (R. 3. 15);
but it is only a late copy made from the printed book.


The heading to this poem is from MS. Ashmole 59; it is, unfortunately,
somewhat obscure. It is, of course, not contemporaneous with the poem, but
was added, by way of note, by John Shirley, when transcribing it. In fact,
the third son of Henry IV was not created duke of Bedford till 1415, after
the accession of Henry V; whereas Henry V is here referred to as being
still 'my lord the Prince.' Hence the poem was written in the reign of
Henry IV (1399-1413); but we can easily come much nearer than this to the
true date. We may note, first of all, that Chaucer is referred to as being
dead (l. 65); so that the date is after 1400. Again, the poem does not
appear to have been recited by the author; it was _sent_, in the author's
handwriting, to the assembled guests (l. 3). Further, Scogan says that he
was 'called' the 'fader,' i.e. tutor, of the young princes (l. 2); and that
he sent the letter to them out of fervent regard for their welfare, in
order to warn them (l. 35). He regrets that sudden age has come upon him
(l. 10), and wishes to impart to them the lessons which the approach of old
age suggests. All this points to a time when Scogan was getting past his
regular work as tutor, though he still retained the title; which suggests a
rather late date. We find, however, from the Inquisitiones post Mortem
(iii. 315), that Henry Scogan died in 1407, and I have seen it noted (I
forget where) that he only attained the age of forty-six. This shews that
he was only relatively old, owing, probably, to infirm health; and we may
safely date the poem in 1406 or 1407, the latter being the more likely. In
1407, the ages of the young princes were nineteen, eighteen, seventeen, and
sixteen respectively, and it is not likely that Scogan had been their tutor
for more than twelve years at most. This provisional date of 1407
sufficiently satisfies all the conditions.

The four sons of Henry IV were Henry, prince of Wales, born at Monmouth in
1388; Thomas, born in 1389, and created duke of Clarence in 1412; John,
born in 1390, created duke of Bedford in 1415; and Humphrey, born in 1391,
created duke of Gloucester in 1414.

§ 33. The expression _at a souper of feorthe merchande_ is difficult, and I
can only guess at the sense. _Feorthe_ is Shirley's spelling of _ferthe_,
i.e. fourth. _Merchande_ is probably equivalent to O.F. _marchandie_ or
_marchandise_. Godefroy gives an example of the latter in the sense of
'merchant's company.' I suppose that _feorthe merchande_ means 'fourth
meeting of merchants,' or the fourth of the four quarterly meetings of a
guild. Toulmin Smith, in his English Gilds, p. 32, says that quarterly
meetings for business were common; though some guilds met only once, twice,
or thrice in the course of a year.

The Vintry is described by Stow in his Survey of London (ed. Thoms, p. 90):
'Then next over against St. Martin's church, is a large house built of
stone and timber, with vaults for the stowage of wines, and is called the
Vintry.... In this house Henry Picard [lord mayor in 1356-7] feasted four
kings in one day.'

I need not repeat here what I have already said about Scogan in vol. i. p.

I may add to the note about Lewis John (vol. i. p. 84), that he was a
person of some note. In 1423 (Feb. 8), 'Ludowicus Johan, armiger,
constitutus est seneschall et receptor generalis ducatus Cornub.': see
Ordinances of the Privy Council, iii. 24. He is further mentioned in the
same, ii. 334, 342.

Chaucer's Balade on Gentilesse, quoted in full in ll. 105-125, is in
seven-line stanzas; and is thus distinguished from the rest of the poem,
which is written in eight-line stanzas. It may be noted that Scogan's rimes
are extremely correct, if we compare them with Chaucer's as a standard.

Of this piece there are two early printed copies, one by Caxton, and one by
Thynne (1532); and two MSS., Ashmole 59 and Harl. 2251. It is remarkable
that the printed copies are better than the MSS. as regards readings.


Such is the title in Thynne's edition (1532). In MS. F. (Fairfax 16), it is
entitled--'Complaynte of a Loveres Lyfe'; and there is a printed edition
with the title--'The Complaynte of a Louers Lyfe. Imprynted at London in
the flete strete at the sygne of the Sonne, by Wynkyn de Worde'; no date,
4to. on twelve leaves. In MS. S. (Arch. Selden, B. 24), there is an
erroneous colophon--'Here endith the Maying and disporte of Chaucere';
which gives the wrong title, and assigns it to the wrong author. In
accordance with the last MS., it was printed, with the erroneous
title--'Here begynnys the mayng or disport of chaucer'--in a volume
'Imprentit in the south gait of Edinburgh be Walter chepman and Androw
myllar the fourth day of ap_er_ile the yhere of god . M.CCCCC. and viii
yheris' [1508]; and this scarce copy was reprinted as piece no. 8 in The
Knightly Tale of Golagrus and Gawane, &c., as reprinted by Laing in 1827.

But the fullest title is that in MS. Ad. (Addit. 16165), written out by
John Shirley, who says: 'And here filowyng begynnethe a Right lusty amorous
balade, made in wyse of a complaynt of a Right worshipfull_e_ Knyght that
truly euer serued his lady, enduryng grete disese by fals envye and
malebouche; made by Lydegate' (fol. 190, back). Some of the pages have the
heading, 'The compleynte of a Knight made by Lidegate[17].'

This attribution of the poem to Lydgate, by so good a judge as Shirley,
renders the authorship certain; and the ascription is fully confirmed by
strong internal evidence. Much of it is in Lydgate's best manner, and his
imitation of Chaucer is, in places, very close; while, at the same time, it
is easy to point out non-Chaucerian rimes, such as _whyte_, _brighte_, 2;
_pitously_, _malady_ (Ch. _maladyë_), 137; _felyngly_, _malady_, 188;
_mente_, _diligent_, 246; _grace_, _alas_, 529; _seyn_, _payn_ (Ch.
_peynë_), 568; _diurnal_, _fal_, (Ch. _falle_), 590; _payn_, _agayn_, 650;
_queen_ (Ch. _quene_), _seen_, 674. Besides which, there are two mere
assonances in two consecutive stanzas, viz. _forjuged_, _excused_, 274; and
_wreke_, _clepe_, 284. The occurrence of this pair of assonances is quite
enough to settle the question. If we apply a more delicate test, we may
observe that, in ll. 218-220, the word _s[=o]re_ (with long _o_) rimes with
_tore_, in which the _o_ was originally short; on this point, see vol. vi.
p. xxxii.

As to this poem, Ten Brink well remarks: 'His talent was fairly qualified
for a popular form of the 'Complaint'--a sort of long monologue, interwoven
with allegory and mythology, and introduced by a charming picture of
nature. His _Complaint of the Black Knight_, which contains reminiscences
from the Romance of the Rose, the Book of the Duchesse, and the Parlement
of Foules, was long considered a production of Chaucer's, and is still
frequently included in editions of his works--although with reservations.
The critic, however, will not be deceived by the excellent descriptive
passages of this poem, but will easily detect the characteristic marks of
the imitator in the management of verse and rhyme, and especially in the
diffusiveness of the story and the monotony even of the most important

§ 35. Lydgate's reminiscences of Chaucer are often interesting. In
particular, we should observe the passages suggested by the Roman de la
Rose in ll. 36-112; for we are at once reminded of Chaucer's _own version_
of it, as preserved in Fragment A of the Romaunt. After noticing that he
uses _costey_ (36) for the F. _costoiant_, where Chaucer has _costeying_
(134); and _attempre_ (57) where Chaucer has _attempre_ (131), though one
French text has _atrempee_, it is startling to find him reproducing (80)
Chaucer's very phrase _And softe as veluët_ (R. R. 1420), where the French
original has nothing corresponding either to _soft_ or to _velvet_! This
clearly shews that Lydgate was acquainted with Fragment A of the English
version, and believed that version to be Chaucer's; for otherwise he would
hardly have cared to imitate it at all.

The date of this poem is discussed in the Introduction to Schick's edition
of the Temple of Glas, by the same author; pp. c, cxii. He dates it in
Lydgate's early period, or about A.D. 1402.

The text is based upon Thynne's edition, which is quite as good as the
MSS., though the spellings are often too late in form. The late excellent
edition by E. Krausser (Halle, 1896) reached me after my text was printed.
His text (from MS. F.) has much the same readings, and is accompanied by a
full Introduction and eleven pages of useful notes.


This piece has no author's name prefixed to it in the first three editions;
but in the fourth edition by Stowe, printed in 1561, the title is: 'The
Floure of Curtesie, made by Iohn lidgate.' Probably Stowe had seen it
attributed to him in some MS., and made a note of it; but I know of no MS.
copy now extant.

Few poems bear Lydgate's impress more clearly; there can be no doubt as to
its authorship. Schick refers it to Lydgate's early period, and dates it
about 1400-1402; see his edition of the Temple of Glas, p. cxii. As it was
written after Chaucer's death (see l. 236), and probably when that sad loss
was still recent, we cannot be far wrong if we date it about 1401; and the
Black Knight, a somewhat more ambitious effort, about 1402.

The 'Flour of Curtesye' is intended as a portrait of one whom the poet
honours as the best of womankind. The character is evidently founded on
that of Alcestis as described in the Prologue to the Legend of Good Women;
and throughout the piece we are frequently reminded of Chaucer; especially
of the Legend, the Complaint of Mars, and the Parliament of Foules.

The Envoy presents a very early example of the four-line stanza, similar to
that employed in Gray's famous Elegy.


This piece is attributed to 'Lidegate of Bury' in the Ashmole MS. no. 59;
and the ascription is obviously correct. It abounds with evident marks of
his peculiar style of metre; for which see Schick's Introduction to the
Temple of Glas, p. lvi. We note in it a few reminiscences of Chaucer, as
pointed out in the Notes; in particular, it was probably suggested by
Chaucer's A B C, which furnished hints for ll. 27, 60, and 129. It is
perhaps worth while to add that we have thus an independent testimony for
the genuineness of that poem.

As an illustration of Lydgate's verse, I may notice the additional syllable
after the cæsura, which too often clogs his lines. Thus in l. 8 we must
group the syllables thus:--

Wherefór : now pláynly : I wól : my stýlë : dréssë. Similarly, we find
_lícour_ in l. 13, _pítè_ (18), _líving_ (24), _bémës_ (25), _gínning_
(31), _mércy_ (33), _gárden_ (36), &c., all occupying places where a
monosyllable would have been more acceptable.

The poem is strongly marked by alliteration, shewing that the poet (usually
in a hurry) took more than usual pains with it. In the seventh stanza
(43-49) this tendency is unmistakably apparent.

It is hardly possible to assign a date to a poem of this character. I can
only guess it to belong to the middle period of his career; say, the reign
of Henry V. We have not yet obtained sufficient data for the arrangement of
Lydgate's poems.

§ 38. Lines 121-127 are here printed for the first time. In the old
editions, l. 120 is succeeded by l. 128, with the result that _Sion_ (120)
would not rime with _set afere_ (129); but the scribe of the Ashmole MS.
was equal to the emergency, for he altered l. 129 so as to make it end with
_fuyrless thou sette vppon_, which is mere nonsense. Thynne has _fyrelesse
fyre set on_, which is just a little better.

This addition of seven lines was due to my fortunate discovery of a new
MS.; for which I was indebted to the excellent MS. 'Index of First Lines'
in the British Museum. This told me that a poem (hitherto unrecognised)
existed in MS. Sloane 1212, of which the first line is 'A thousand
stories,' &c. On examining the MS., it turned out to be a copy, on paper,
of Hoccleve's De Regimine Principum, with four leaves of vellum at the
beginning, and two more at the end, covered with writing of an older
character. The two vellum leaves at the end were then transposed, but have
since been set right, at my suggestion. They contain a few lines of the
conclusion of some other piece, followed by the unique _complete_ copy of
the present Balade. This copy turned out to be much the best, and restored
several of the readings. Indeed, the Ashmole MS. is very imperfect, having
in it a lacuna of eight stanzas (ll. 64-119). I am thus able to give quite
a presentable text.

The correction that most interested me was one in l. 134, where the Ashmole
MS. and Thynne have _probatyf piscyne_. On June 5, 1896, I read a paper at
the Philological Society, in which (among other things) I pointed out that
the right reading must certainly be _probatik_. The very next day I found
the Sloane MS.; and behold, its reading was _probatyk_! It is not often
that a 'conjectural emendation' is confirmed, on unimpeachable authority,
within twenty-four hours.

Another remarkable correction is that of _dyamaunt_ for _dyametre_ in l.
87. It was all very well to compare Our Lady to a diamond; but to call her
a _diameter_ (as in all the editions) is a little too bad. Again, in l. 121
(now first printed) we have the remarkable expression _punical pome_ for a
pomegranate, which is worthy of notice; and in l. 123 we find a new word,
_agnelet_, which is not to be found in the New English Dictionary.

All the printed editions print the next piece as if it _formed a part_ of
the present one; but they have absolutely no point in common beyond the
fact of having a common authorship.


In all the old editions, this piece forms part of the preceding, though it
is obviously distinct from it, when attention is once drawn to the fact.
Instead of being addressed, like no. X, to the Virgin, it is addressed to a
lady whose name the poet wishes to commend (l. 7); and from whom he is
parted (51); whereas two lovers ought to be together, if they wish to live
'well merry' (64). Her goodly fresh face is a merry mirror (73); and he has
chosen her as his Valentine (111).

It is evidently a conventional complimentary poem, written to please some
lady of rank or of high renown (93), one, in fact, who is 'of women chief
princesse' (70). It is prettily expressed, and does Lydgate some credit,
being a favourable specimen of his more playful style; I wish we had more
of the same kind. L. 68--'Let him go love, and see wher [_whether_] it be
game'--is excellent.

I shall here submit to the reader a pure guess, for what it is worth. My
impression is that this piece, being a complimentary Valentine, was
suggested by queen Katherine's visit to England; the lover whose passion is
here described being no other than king Henry V, who was parted from his
queen for a week. The pair arrived at Dover on Feb. 2, 1421, and Henry went
on to London, arriving on Feb. 14; the queen did not arrive till Feb. 21,
just in time for her coronation on Feb. 23.

This hypothesis satisfies several conditions. It explains why the lover's
_English_ is not good enough to praise the lady; why so many French lines
are quoted; the significant allusion to the lily, i.e. the lily of France,
in l. 16; the lover's consolation found in English roundels (40); the
expression 'cheef princesse' in l. 70; and the very remarkable exclamation
of _Salve, regina_, in l. 83, which doubtless made Thynne imagine that the
poem was addressed to the Virgin Mary. The expression 'for your departing'
in l. 105 does not necessarily mean 'on account of your departure from me';
it is equally in accordance with Middle-English usage to suppose that it
means 'on account of your separation from me'; see _Depart_ and _Departing_
in the New English Dictionary.

It is well known that Lydgate provided the necessary poetry for the entry
of Henry VI into London in Feb. 1432.

Some resemblances to Chaucer are pointed out in the Notes. The most
interesting circumstance about this poem is that the author quotes, at the
end of his third stanza, the first line of 'Merciles Beautè'; this is a
strong point in favour of the attribution of that poem to his master.

This piece is distinguished from the preceding by the difference of its
subject; by the difference in the character of the metre (there is here no
alliteration); and, most significant of all, by its absence from MS.
Ashmole 59 and MS. Sloane 1212, both of which contain the preceding piece.
The two poems may have been brought together, in the MS. which Thynne
followed, by the accident of being written about the same time.


The title of this piece in Stowe's edition stands as follows: 'A balade of
good counseile, translated out of Latin verses into Englishe, by dan Iohn
lidgat cleped the monke of Buri.' What were the Latin verses here referred
to, I have no means of ascertaining.

This Ballad is eminently characteristic of Lydgate's style, and by no means
the worst of its kind. When he once gets hold of a refrain that pleases
him, he canters merrily along till he has absolutely no more to say. I
think he must have enjoyed writing it, and that he wrote it to please

He transgresses one of Chaucer's canons in ll. 79-82; where he rimes
_hardy_ with _foly_ and _flatery_. The two latter words are, in Chaucer,
_foly-ë_ and _flatery-ë_, and never rime with a word like _hardy_, which
has no final _-e_.

Lydgate is very fond of what may be called _catalogues_; he begins by
enumerating every kind of possibility. You may be rich, or strong, or
prudent, &c.; or fair (22) or ugly (24); you may have a wife (29), or you
may not (36); you may be fat (43), or you may be lean (46); or staid (57),
or holy (64); your dress may be presentable (71), or poor (72), or middling
(73); you may speak much (78) or little (80); and so on; for it is hard to
come to an end. At l. 106, he begins all over again with womankind; and the
conclusion is, that you should govern your tongue, and never listen to

Thynne's text is not very good; the MSS. are somewhat better. He makes the
odd mistake of printing _Holynesse beautie_ for _Eleynes beaute_ (115); but
Helen had not much to do with holiness. Two of the stanzas (71-7 and
106-112) are now printed for the first time, as they occur in the MSS.
only. Indeed, MS. H. (Harl. 2251) is the sole authority for the former of
these two stanzas.


This is a favourable example of Lydgate's better style; and is written with
unusual smoothness, owing to the shortness of the lines. It was first
printed in 1561. There is a better copy in the Fairfax MS., which has been
taken as the basis of the text. The copy in MS. Ashmole 59 is very poor.
The title--'Balade made by Lydgate'--occurs in MS. Addit. 16165. Stowe,
being unacquainted with the phrase _ambes as_ (l. 78), though it occurs in
Chaucer, turned _ambes_ into _lombes_, after which he wrongly inserted a
comma; and _lombes_ appears, accordingly, in all former editions, with a
comma after it. What sense readers have hitherto made of this line, I am at
a loss to conjecture.


First printed by Stowe in 1561, from the MS. in Trinity College Library,
marked R. 3. 19, which I have used in preference to the printed edition.

There is another, and more complete copy in the same library, marked O. 9.
38, which has contributed some excellent corrections. Moreover, it gives a
better arrangement of stanzas three and four, which the old editions
transpose. More than this, it contains a unique stanza (36-42), which has
not been printed before.

The poem also occurs in Shirley's MS. Harl. 2251, which contains a large
number of poems by Lydgate; and is there followed by another poem of seven
stanzas, attributed to Lydgate. That the present poem is Lydgate's, cannot
well be doubted; it belongs to the same class of his poems as no. XII
above. I find it attributed to him in the reprint of 'Chaucer's Poems' by
Chalmers, in 1810.

The substitution of the contracted and idiomatic form _et_ for the later
form _eteth_ is a great improvement. It is due to MS. O. 9. 38, where the
scribe first wrote _ette_, but was afterwards so weak as to 'correct' it to
_etyth_. But this 'correction' just ruins the refrain. _Et_ was no doubt
becoming archaic towards the middle of the fifteenth century.

Two variations upon the last stanza occur in the Bannatyne MS., fol. 258,
back; see the print by the Hunterian Club, 1879, pp. 754, 755.


First printed by Stowe; I know of no MS. copy. The first two Sayings are
attributed to Lydgate; so we may as well credit him with the third. The
second expresses the same statements as the first, but varies somewhat in
form; both are founded upon a Latin line which occurs in MS. Fairfax 16
(fol. 196) and in MS. Harl. 7578 (fol. 20), and runs as follows:--'Quatuor
infatuant, honor, etas, femina, uinum.'

Note that these Three Sayings constitute the _only_ addition made by Stowe
to Thynne in 'Part I' of Stowe's edition. See nos. 28, 29, 30 in vol. i. p.
32. Stowe introduced them _in order to fill a blank half-column_ between
nos. 27 and 31.


First printed in Thynne's Chaucer (1532). Tyrwhitt first pointed out that
it could not possibly be his, seeing that Alan Chartier's poem with the
same name, whence the English version was made, could not have been written
in Chaucer's lifetime. Chartier was born in 1386, and was only fourteen
years old at the time of Chaucer's death. Tyrwhitt further stated that the
author's name, Sir Richard Ros, was plainly given in MS. Harl. 372, fol.
61, where the poem has this title:--'La Belle Dame Sanz Mercy. Translatid
out of Frenche by Sir Richard Ros.' I have not been able to find the date
of the French original, as there is no modern edition of Chartier's poems;
but it can hardly have been written before 1410, when the poet was only
twenty-four years old; and the date of the translation must be later still.
But we are not wholly left to conjecture in this matter. A short notice of
Sir Richard Ros appeared in Englische Studien, X. 206, written by H.
Gröhler, who refers us to his dissertation 'Ueber Richard Ros'
mittelenglische übersetzung des gedichtes von Alain Chartier La Belle Dame
sans Mercy,' published at Breslau in 1886; of which Dr. Gröhler has most
obligingly sent me a copy, whence several of my Notes have been derived. He
tells us, in this article, that his dissertation was founded on the copy of
the poem in MS. Harl. 372, which (in 1886) he believed to be unique;
whereas he had since been informed that there are three other MSS., viz.
Camb. Ff. 1. 6, Trin. Coll. Camb. R. 3. 19, and Fairfax 16; and further,
that the Trinity MS. agrees with the Harleian as to misarrangement of the
subject-matter[18]. He also proposed to give a new edition of the poem in
Englische Studien, but I am unable to find it; and Dr. Kölbing courteously
informs me that it never appeared.

Dr. Gröhler further tells us, that Mr. Joseph Hall, of Manchester, had sent
him some account, extracted from the county history of Leicestershire by
Nichols, of the family of Roos or Ros, who were lords of Hamlake and
Belvoir in that county. According to Nichols, the Sir Richard Ros who was
presumably the poet, was the second son of Sir Thomas Ros; and Sir Thomas
was the second son of Sir W. Ros, who married Margaret, daughter of Sir
John Arundel. If this be right, we gain the further information that Sir
Richard was born in 1429[19], and is known to have been alive in 1450, when
he was twenty-one years old.

The dates suit very well, as they suggest that the English poem was
written, probably, between 1450 and 1460, or at the beginning of the second
half of the fifteenth century; which sufficiently agrees with the language
employed and with the probable age of the MSS. The date assigned in the New
English Dictionary, s.v. _Currish_, is 1460; which cannot be far wrong. It
can hardly be much later.

§ 45. The above notice also suggests that, as Sir Richard Ros was of a
Leicestershire family, the dialect of the piece may, originally at least,
have been North Leicestershire. Belvoir is situate in the N.E. corner of
Leicestershire, not far from Grantham in Lincolnshire, and at no great
distance from the birthplace of Robert of Brunne. It is well known that
Robert of Brunne wrote in a variety of the Midland dialect which coincides,
to a remarkable extent, with the form of the language which has become the
standard literary English. Now it is easily seen that La Belle Dame has the
same peculiarity, and I venture to think that, on this account, it is worth
special attention. If we want to see a specimen of what the Midland
literary dialect was like in the middle of the fifteenth century, it is
here that we may find it. Many of the stanzas are, in fact, remarkably
modern, both in grammar and expression; we have only to alter the spelling,
and there is nothing left to explain. Take for example the last stanza on
p. 301 (ll. 77-84):--

 'In this great thought, sore troubled in my mind,
  Alone thus rode I all the morrow-tide,
  Till, at the last, it happèd me to find
  The place wherein I cast me to abide

  When that I had no further for to ride.
  And as I went my lodging to purvey,
  Right soon I heard, but little me beside,
  In a gardén, where minstrels gan to play.'

A large number of stanzas readily lend themselves to similar treatment; and
this is quite enough to dissociate the poem from Chaucer. The great
difficulty about modernising Chaucer is, as every one knows, his use of the
final _-e_ as a distinct syllable; but we may search a whole page of La
Belle Dame without finding anything of the kind. When Sir Richard's words
have an extra syllable, it is due to the suffix _-es_ or the suffix _-ed_;
and even these are not remarkably numerous; we do not arrive at _cloth-ës_,
a plural in _-es_, before l. 22; and, in the course of the first four
stanzas, all the words in _-ed_ are _awak-ed_, _nak-ed_, _vex-ed_,
_tourn-ed_, and _bold-ed_, none of which would be surprising to a student
of Elizabethan poetry. That there was something of a Northern element in
Sir Richard's language appears from the rime of _long-es_ with _song-es_,
in ll. 53-55; where _longes_ is the third person singular of the present
tense; but modern English has _belongs_, with the same suffix! Again, he
constantly uses the Northern possessive pronoun _their_; but modern English
does the same!

§ 46. Another remarkable point about the poem is the perfect smoothness and
regularity of the metre in a large number of lines, even as judged by a
modern standard. The first line--'Half in a dream, not fully well
awaked'--might, from a metrical point of view, have been written yesterday.
It is a pity that the poem is somewhat dull, owing to its needless
prolixity; but this is not a little due to Alan Chartier. Sir Richard has
only eight stanzas of his own, four at the beginning, and four at the end;
and it is remarkable that these are in the seven-line stanza, while the
rest of the stanzas have eight lines, like their French original, of which
I here give the first stanza, from the Paris edition of 1617, p. 502. (See
l. 29 of the English version.)

 'N'agueres cheuauchant pensoye,
  Comme homme triste et douloreux,
  Au dueil où il faut que ie soye
  Le plus dolant des amoureux;
  Puisque par son dart rigoureux
  La mort me tolli ma Maistresse,
  Et me laissa seul langoureux
  En la conduicte de tristesse.'

I have cited in the Notes a few passages of the original text which help to
explain the translation.

§ 47. The text in Thynne is a good one, and it seemed convenient to make it
the basis of the edition; but it has been carefully controlled by collation
with MS. Ff. 1. 6, which is, in some respects, the best MS. I am not sure
that Thynne always followed his MS.; he may have collated some other one,
as he professes in some cases to have done. MS. Ff. 1. 6, the Trinity MS.,
and Thynne's principal MS. form one group, which we may call A; whilst the
Fairfax and Harleian MSS. form a second group, which we may call B: and of
these, group A is the better. The MSS. in group B sadly transpose the
subject-matter, and give the poem in the following order; viz. lines 1-428,
669-716, 525-572, 477-524, 621-668, 573-620, 429-476, 717-856. The cause of
this dislocation is simple enough. It means that the B-group MSS. were
copied from one in which three leaves, each containing six stanzas, were
misarranged. The three leaves were placed one within the other, to form a
sheet, and were written upon. Then the outer pair of these leaves was
turned inside out, whilst the second and third pair changed places. This
can easily be verified by making a little book of six leaves and numbering
each page with the numbers 429-452, 453-476, 477-500, 501-524, &c. (i.e.
with 24 lines on a page, ending with 716), and then misarranging the leaves
in the manner indicated.

The copy in MS. Harl. 372 was printed, just as it stands, by Dr. Furnivall,
in his volume entitled Political, Religious, and Love Poems, published for
the E. E. T. S. in 1866; at p. 52. The text is there, accordingly,
misarranged as above stated.

There is another MS. copy, as has been said above, in MS. Trin. Coll. Camb.
R. 3. 19; but I have not collated it. It seems to be closely related to MS.
Ff., and to present no additional information. Not only do the MSS. of the
A-group contain the text in the right order, but they frequently give the
better readings. Thus, in l. 47, we have the odd line--'My _pen_ coud never
have knowlege what it ment'; as given in MS. Ff., the Trinity MS., and
Thynne. The word _pen_ is altered to _eyen_ in MSS. H. and F.;
nevertheless, it is perfectly right, for the French original has _plume_;
see the Note on the line. Other examples are given in the Notes.

In l. 174, MS. Ff. alone has the right reading, _apert_. I had made up my
mind that this was the right reading even before consulting that MS.,
because the old reading--'One wyse nor other, prevy nor _perte_'--is so
extremely harsh. There is no sense in using the clipped form of the word
when the true _and usual_ form will scan so much better. See C. T., F 531,
Ho. Fame, 717. The Trinity MS. gets out of the difficulty by a material
alteration of the line, so that it there becomes--'In any wyse, nether
preuy nor perte.'


I do not suppose this was ever supposed to be Chaucer's even by Thynne.
Line 64--'Quha wait gif all that Chaucer wrait was trew?'--must have
settled the question from the first. No doubt Thynne added it simply as a
pendant to Troilus, and he must have had a copy before him in the Northern
dialect, which he modified as well as he could. Nevertheless, he gives us
_can_ for the Southern _gan_ in l. 6, _wrate_ for _wrote_ in l. 64, and has
many similar Northern forms.

The poem was printed at Edinburgh in 1593 with the author's name. The title
is as follows--¶ THE TESTAMENT OF CRESSEID, Compylit be M. Robert
Henrysone, Sculemai-ster in Dunfermeling. IMPRENTIT AT EDIN = burgh be
Henrie Charteris. MD. XCIII. The text is in 4to, ten leaves, black-letter.
Only one copy has been preserved, which is now in the British Museum; but
it was reprinted page for page in the volume presented by Mr. Chalmers to
the Bannatyne Club in 1824. The present edition is from this reprint, with
very few modifications, such as _sh_ for _sch_, and final _-y_ for final
_-ie_ in immaterial cases. All other modifications are accounted for in the
footnotes below. No early MS. copy is known; there was once a copy in the
Asloan MS., but the leaves containing it are lost.

Thynne's print must have been a good deal altered from the original, to
make it more intelligible. It is odd to find him altering _quhisling_ (20)
to _whiskyng_, and _ringand_ (144) to _tynkyng_. I note all Thynne's
variations that are of any interest. He must have been much puzzled by
_aneuch in_ (which he seems to have regarded as one word and as a past
participle) before he turned it into _enewed_ (110). But in some cases
Thynne gives us real help, as I will now point out.

In l. 48, E. (the Edinburgh edition) has--'Quhill Esperus reioisit him
agane'; where _Esperus_ gives no good sense. But Thynne prints _esperous_,
which at once suggests _esperans_ (hope), as opposed to _wanhope_ in the
preceding line.

In l. 155, E. has _frosnit_, which Laing interprets 'frozen,' as if the pp.
of _freeze_ could have both a strong and weak pp. suffix at the same
moment! But Thynne has _frounsed_, evidently put for _fronsit_, as used
elsewhere by Henryson in The Fable of the Paddock and the Mous, l.
43:--'The Mous beheld unto her _fronsit_ face.' A printer's error of _sn_
for _ns_ is not surprising.

In ll. 164, 178, 260, E. has _gyis_ or _gyse_; but Thynne has preserved the
true Chaucerian word _gyte_, which the printer evidently did not
understand. It is true that in l. 164 he turned it into _gate_; but when he
found it recur, he let it alone.

In l. 205, E. has _upricht_ (!); which Thynne corrects.

In l. 290, Th. has _iniure_ for _iniurie_, and I think he is right, though
I have let _injurie_ stand; _iniure_ is Chaucer's form (Troil. iii. 1018),
and it suits the scansion better.

In l. 382, Thynne corrects _Unto_ to _To_; and in l. 386, has _Beuer_ for
_bawar_. In l. 441, he has _syder_ for _ceder_. In l. 501, he has _plyte_
for _plye_, where a letter may have dropped out in E.; but see the note (p.
525). In l. 590, his reading _tokenyng_ suggests that _takning_ (as in E.)
should be _takining_ or _takinning_; the line will then scan. The
contracted form _taikning_ occurs, however, in l. 232, where the word is
less emphatic.

Note further, that in l. 216 the original must have had _Philogoney_ (see
the Note). This appears in the astonishing forms _Philologie_ (E.), and
_Philologee_ (Th.). Laing prints _Phlegonie_, which will neither scan nor
rime, without any hint that he is departing from his exemplar. All his
corrections are made silently, so that one cannot tell where they occur
without reference to the original.

For further information concerning Robert Henryson, schoolmaster of
Dunfermline, see the preface to David Laing's edition of The Poems and
Fables of Robert Henryson, Edinburgh, 1865; and Morley's English Writers,
1890, vol. vi. p. 250. He is supposed to have been born about 1425, and to
have died about 1500. On Sept. 10, 1462, the Venerable Master Robert
Henrysone, Licentiate in Arts and Bachelor in Decrees, was incorporated or
admitted a member of the newly founded university of Glasgow; and he is
known to have been a notary public. Perhaps The Testament of Cresseid was
written about 1460. It is a rather mature performance, and is his best
piece. Perhaps it is the best piece in the present volume.


Of this piece there are several MSS., which fall into two main classes:
(A)--Ff. (Ff. 1. 6, in the Camb. Univ. Library); T. (Tanner 346); Th. (MS.
used by Thynne, closely allied to T.); and (B)--F. (Fairfax 16), and B.
(Bodley 638), which are closely allied. There is also S. (Selden, B. 24)
imperfect, which has readings of its own[20]. Of these groups, A is the
better, and MS. Ff. is, in some respects, the most important. Nevertheless,
MS. Ff. has never been collated hitherto, so that I am able to give a
somewhat improved text. For example, in all former editions lines 12 and 13
are transposed. In l. 180, the reading _haire_ (as in Bell and Morris) is
somewhat comic (see the Note). In l. 203, MS. Ff. restores the true reading
_hit_, i.e. hitteth. Bell, by some accident, omits the stanza in which this
word occurs. In vol. i. p. 39, I took occasion to complain of the riming of
_now_ with _rescow-e_ in ll. 228-9, according to Bell. The right reading,
however, is not _now_, but _avow-e_, which rimes well enough. MS. Selden
has _allowe_, which Morris follows, though it is clearly inferior and is
unsupported. On the other hand, MS. Selden correctly, and alone, has _leve_
in l. 237; but the confusion between _e_ and _o_ is endless, so that the
false reading _loue_ creates no surprise.

This poem is very interesting, and has deservedly been a favourite one. It
is therefore a great pleasure to me to have found the author's name. This
is given at the end of the poem in MS. Ff. (the best MS., but hitherto
neglected), where we find, in firm distinct letters, in the same
handwriting as the poem itself, the remark--EXPLICIT CLANVOWE. Remembering
that the true title of the poem is 'The Book of Cupid, God of Love[21],' I
applied to Dr. Furnivall, asking him if he had met with the name. He at
once referred me to his preface to Hoccleve's Works, p. x, where Sir John
Clanvowe and Thomas Hoccleve are both mentioned in the same document (about
A.D. 1385). But Sir John Clanvowe died in 1391, and therefore could not
have imitated the title of Hoccleve's poem, which was not written till
1402. Our poet was probably Sir Thomas Clanvowe, concerning whom several
particulars are known, and who must have been a well-known personage at the
courts of Richard II and Henry IV. We learn from Wylie's Hist. of Henry IV,
vol. iii. p. 261, that he was one of twenty-five knights who accompanied
John Beaufort (son of John of Gaunt) to Barbary in 1390. This Sir Thomas
favoured the opinions of the Lollards, but was nevertheless a friend of
'Prince Hal,' at the time when the prince was still friendly to
freethinkers. He seems to have accompanied the prince in the mountains of
Wales; see Wylie, as above, iii. 333. In 1401, he is mentioned as being one
of 'vi Chivalers' in the list of esquires who were summoned to a council by
king Henry IV; see the Acts of the Privy Council, ed. Nicolas, temp. Henry
IV, p. 162. (It may be noted that Sir John Clanvowe was a witness, in 1385,
to the will of the widow of the Black Prince; see Testamenta Vetusta, ed.

§ 50. It now becomes easy to explain the reference to the queen at
Woodstock, which has never yet been accounted for. The poem begins with the
words--'_The God of Love!_ Ah benedicite,' quoted from Chaucer, the title
of the poem being 'The Book of Cupid, _God of Love_,' as has been said; and
this title was imitated from Hoccleve's poem of 1402. But there was no
queen of England after Henry's accession till Feb. 7, 1403, when the king
married Joan of Navarre; and it was she who held as a part of her dower the
manor and park of Woodstock; see Wylie, as above, ii. 284. Hence the
following hypothesis will suit the facts--namely, that the poem, imitating
Chaucer's manner, and having a title imitated from Hoccleve's poem of 1402,
was written by Sir Thomas Clanvowe, who held Lollard opinions[22] and was a
friend (at one time) of Henry of Monmouth. And it was addressed to Joan of
Navarre, Henry's stepmother, queen of England from 1403 to 1413, who held
as a part of her dower the manor of Woodstock. If so, we should expect it
to have been written before April, 1410, when Thomas Badby, the Lollard,
was executed in the presence of the prince of Wales. Further, as it was
probably written early rather than late in this period, I should be
inclined to date it in 1403; possibly in May, as it relates so much to the
time of spring.

I may add that the Clanvowes were a Herefordshire family, from the
neighbourhood of Wigmore. The only remarkable non-Chaucerian word in the
poem is the verb _greden_, to cry out (A.S. _gr[=æ]dan_); a word found in
many dialects, and used by Layamon, Robert of Gloucester, Langland, and

The poem is written in a light and pleasing style, which Wordsworth has
fairly reproduced. The final _-e_ is suppressed in _assay-e_ (l. 52). The
non-Chaucerian rimes are few, viz. _gren-e_ and _sen-e_ as riming with
_been_ (61-5), shewing that Clanvowe cut down those dissyllables to _green_
and _seen_. And further, the forms _ron_ and _mon_ are employed, in order
to rime with _upon_ (81-5); whereas Chaucer only has the form _man_; whilst
of _ran_ I remember no example at the end of a line[23].

§ 51. But there is one point about Clanvowe's verse which renders it, for
the fifteenth century, quite unique. In imitating Chaucer's use of the
final _-e_, he employs this suffix with unprecedented freedom, and rather
avoids than seeks elision. This gives quite a distinctive character to his
versification, and is very noticeable when attention has once been drawn to
it. If, for example, we compare it with the Parliament of Foules, which it
most resembles in general character, we find the following results. If, in
the Cuckoo and Nightingale, we observe the first 21 lines, we shall find
(even if we omit the example of _hy-e_ in l. 4, and all the examples of
final _-e_ at the end of a line) the following clear examples of its
use:--_low-e_, _lyk-e_, _hard-e_, _sek-e_, _hol-e_ (twice), _mak-e_,
_hav-e_, _wys-e_, _proud-e_, _grev-e_, _trew-e_, _hert-e_, i.e. 13
examples, besides the 5 examples of final _-en_ in _mak-en_, _bind-en_,
_unbind-en_, _bound-en_, _destroy-en_. But in the first 21 lines of the
Parliament of Foules there are only 2 examples of the final _-e_ in the
middle of a line, viz. _lust-e_ (15) and _long-e_ (21), whilst of the final
_-en_ there is none. The difference between 18 and 2 must strike even the
most inexperienced reader, when it is once brought under his notice.
However, it is an extreme case.

Yet again, if the _last_ 21 lines in the Cuckoo be compared with ll.
659-679 of the Parliament (being the _last_ 21 lines, if we dismiss the
roundel and the stanza that follows it), we find in the former 7 examples
of final _-e_ and 2 of _-en_, or 9 in all, whilst in Chaucer there are 7 of
final _-e_, and 1 of _-en_, or 8 in all; and this also happens to be an
extreme case in the other direction, owing to the occurrence in the former
poem of the words _egle_, _maple_, and _chambre_, which I have not taken
into account.

This suggests that, to make sure, we must compare much longer passages. In
the whole of the Cuckoo, I make about 120 such cases of final _-e_, and 23
such cases of final _-en_, or 143 in all. In 290 lines of the Parliament of
Foules, I make about 68 and 19 such cases respectively; or about 87 in all.
Now the difference between 143 and 87 is surely very marked.

The cause of this result is obvious, viz. that Chaucer makes a more
frequent use of elision. In the first 21 lines of the Parl. of Foules, we
find elisions of _men'_, _sor'_, _wak'_, _oft'_ (twice), _red'_ (twice),
_spek'_, _fast'_, _radd'_; i.e. 10 examples; added to which, Chaucer has
_joy(e)_, _love_, _knowe_, _usage_, _boke_, at the cæsura, and suppresses
the _e_ in _write_ (written). But in ll. 1-21, Clanvowe has (in addition to
_love_, _make_, _lowe_, _make_ (twice), _gladde_ at the cæsura) only 3
examples of true elision, viz. _fressh'_, _tell'_, and _mak'_ (15).

And further, we seldom find _two_ examples of the use of the final _-e_ in
the _same_ line in Chaucer. I do not observe any instance, in the Parl. of
Foules, till we arrive at l. 94:--'Took rest that mad-_e_ me to slep-_e_
faste.' But in Clanvowe they are fairly common. Examples are: Of sek-_e_
folk ful hol-_e_ (7); For every trew-_e_ gentil hert-_e_ free (21); That
any hert-_e_ shuld-_e_ slepy be (44); I went-_e_ forth alon-_e_ bold-e-ly
(59); They coud-_e_ that servyc-_e_ al by rote (71); and the like. In l.
73, we have even _three_ examples in _one_ line; Some song-_e_ loud-_e_, as
they hadd-_e_ playned. From all of which it appears that the critics who
have assigned the Cuckoo to Chaucer have taken no pains whatever to check
their opinion by any sort of analysis. They have trusted to their own mere
opinion, without looking the facts in the face.

§ 52. I will point out yet one more very striking difference. We know that
Chaucer sometimes employs headless lines, such as: Twénty bókes át his
béddes héed. But he does so sparingly, especially in his Minor Poems. But
in the Cuckoo, they are not uncommon; see, e.g. lines 16, 50, 72, 100, 116,
118, 146, 152, 153, 154, 155, 156, 157, 158, 161, 166, 205, 232, 242, 252,
261, 265, 268. It is true that, in Morris's edition, lines 72, 146, 153,
161, and 205 are slightly altered; but in no case can I find that the
alteration is authorised. And even then, this does not get rid of the _five
consecutive_ examples in ll. 154-158, which cannot be explained away. Once
more, I repeat, the critics have failed to use their powers of observation.

I think the poem may still be admired, even if it be allowed that Clanvowe
wrote it some three years after Chaucer's death.

§ 53. At any rate, it was admired by so good a judge of poetry as John
Milton, who of course possessed a copy of it in the volume which was so
pleasantly called 'The Works of Chaucer.' That his famous sonnet 'To the
Nightingale' owed something to Clanvowe, I cannot doubt. 'Thou with fresh
hope the lover's heart dost fill' is, in part, the older poet's theme; see
ll. 1-30, 149-155, 191-192. Even his first line reminds one of ll. 77, 288.
If Milton writes of May, so does Clanvowe; see ll. 20, 23, 34, 55, 70, 230,
235, 242; note especially l. 230. But the real point of contact is in the

 'Thy liquid notes that close the eye of day,
  First heard before the shallow cuckoo's bill,
  Portend success in love ...
  Now timely sing, ere the rude bird of hate
  Foretell my hopeless doom in some grove nigh;
  As thou from year to year hast sung too late
  For my relief, yet hadst no reason why:
  Whether the Muse or Love call thee his mate,
  Both them I serve, and of their train am I.'

With which compare:--

 'That it were good to here the nightingale
  Rather than the lewde cukkow singe': (49).
 'A litel hast thou been to longe henne;
  For here hath been the lew[e]de cukkow,
  And songen songes rather than hast thou': (102).
 'Ye, quod she, and be thou not amayed,
  Though thou have herd the cukkow er than me.
  For, if I live, it shal amended be
  The nexte May, if I be not affrayed': (232).
 'And I wol singe oon of my songes newe
  For love of thee, as loude as I may crye': (247).
 'For in this worlde is noon so good servyse
  To every wight that gentil is of kinde': (149).


This piece has always hitherto been printed _without any title_, and is
made to follow The Cuckoo and the Nightingale, as if there were some sort
of connection between them. This is probably because it happens to follow
that poem in the Fairfax and Tanner MSS., and probably did so in the MS.
used by Thynne, which has a striking resemblance to the Tanner MS. However,
the poem is entirely absent from the Cambridge, Selden, and Bodley MSS.,
proving that there is no connection with the preceding poem, from which it
differs very widely in style, in language, and in metre.

I call it an Envoy to Alison. For first, it is an Envoy[24], as it refers
to the author's 'lewd book,' which it recommends to a lady. What the book
is, no one can say; but it may safely be conjectured that it was of no
great value. And secondly, the lady's name was Alison, as shewn by the
acrostic in lines 22-27; and the author has recourse to almost ludicrous
efforts, in order to secure the first four letters of the name.

Briefly, it is a very poor piece; and my chief object in reprinting it is
to shew how unworthy it is of Clanvowe, not to mention Chaucer. We have no
right even to assign it to Lydgate. And its date may be later than 1450.


This piece many 'critics' would assign to Chaucer, merely because they like
it. This may be sentiment, but it is not criticism; and, after all, a
desire to arrive at the truth should be of more weight with us than
indulgence in ignorant credulity.

It is of some consequence to learn, first of all, that it is hardly
possible to separate this piece from the next. The authoress of one was the
authoress of the other. That The Assembly of Ladies is longer and duller,
and has not held its own in popular estimation, is no sound argument to the
contrary; for it is only partially true. Between the first eleven stanzas
of the Assembly and the first eleven stanzas of the present poem, there is
a strong general resemblance, and not much to choose. Other stanzas of the
Assembly that are well up to the standard of the Flower will be found in
lines 456-490, 511-539. The reason of the general inferiority of the
Assembly lies chiefly in the choice of the subject; it was meant to
interest some medieval household, but it gave small scope for retaining the
reader's attention, and must be held to be a failure.

The links connecting these poems are so numerous that I must begin by
asking the reader to let me denote The Flower and the Leaf by the letter F
(= Flower), and The Assembly of Ladies by the letter A (= Assembly).

The first point is that (with the sole exception of the Nutbrown Maid) no
English poems exist, as far as I remember, written previously to 1500, and
purporting to be written by a woman. In the case of F. and A., this is
assumed throughout. When the author of F. salutes a certain fair lady, the
lady replies--'_My doughter, gramercy_'; 462. And again she says, '_My fair
doughter_'; 467, 500, 547. The author of A. says she was one of five
ladies; 5-7, 407. Again, she was a woman; 18. The author of A. and some
other ladies salute Lady Countenance, who in reply says 'fair sisters';
370. Again, she and others salute a lady-chamberlain, who replies by
calling them 'sisters'; 450; &c.

The poem A. is supposed to be an account of a dream, told by the authoress
to a gentleman; with the exception of this gentleman, all the characters of
the poem are _ladies_; and hence its title. The poem F. is not quite so
exclusive, but it comes very near it; all the principal characters are
ladies, and the chief personages are queens, viz. the queen of the Leaf and
the queen of the Flower. The 'world of ladies' in l. 137 take precedence of
the Nine Worthies, who were merely men. A recognition of this fact makes
the whole poem much clearer.

But the most characteristic thing is the continual reference to colours,
dresses, ornaments, and decorations. In F., we have descriptions of, or
references to, white surcoats, velvet, seams, emeralds, purfils, colours,
sleeves, trains, pearls, diamonds, a fret of gold, chaplets of leaves,
chaplets of woodbine, chaplets of _agnus-castus_, a crown of gold,
thundering trumpets, the treasury of Prester John, white cloaks, chaplets
of oak, banners of Tartary-silk, more pearls, collars, escutcheons,
kings-of-arms, cloaks of white cloth, crowns set with pearls, rubies,
sapphires, and diamonds. Then there is a company all clad in one suit (or
livery); heralds and poursuivants, more chaplets and escutcheons, men in
armour with cloth of gold and horse-trappings, with bosses on their bridles
and peitrels--it is surely needless to go on, though we have only arrived
at l. 246.

In A., we have much the same sort of thing all over again, though it does
not set in before l. 83. Then we meet with blue colours, an embroidered
gown, and a purfil with a device. After a respite, we begin again at l.
206--'Her gown was blue'; and the lady wore a French motto. Diligence tells
the authoress that she looks well in her new blue gown (259). At l. 305,
there is another blue gown, furred with gray, with a motto on the sleeve;
and there are plenty more mottoes to follow. At l. 451 we come to a paved
floor, and walls made of beryl and crystal, engraved with stories; next, a
well-apparelled chair or throne, on five stages, wrought of 'cassidony,'
with four pommels of gold, and set with sapphires; a cloth of estate,
wrought with the needle (486); cloth of gold (521); a blue gown, with
sleeves wrought tabard-wise, of which the collar and the _vent_ (slit in
front of the neck) are described as being like ermine; it was couched with
great pearls, powdered with diamonds, and had sleeves and purfils; then we
come to rubies, enamel, a great balas-ruby, and more of the same kind.
Again, it is useless to go further. Surely these descriptions of seams, and
collars, and sleeves, are due to a woman.

The likeness comes out remarkably in two parallel stanzas. One of them is
from F. 148, and the other from A. 526.

 'As grete perles, round and orient,
  Diamondes fyne and rubies rede,
  And many another stoon, of which I want
  The names now; and everich on her hede
  A riche fret of gold, which, without drede,
  Was ful of statly riche stones set;
  And every lady had a chapelet,' &c.

 'After a sort the coller and the vent,
  Lyk as ermyne is mad in purfeling;
  With grete perles, ful fyne and orient,
  They were couched, al after oon worching,
  With dyamonds in stede of powdering;
  The sleves and purfilles of assyse;
  They were y-mad [ful] lyke, in every wyse.'

I wonder which the reader prefers; for myself, I have really no choice.

For I do not see how to choose between such lines as these following:--

  And on I put my gere and myn array; F. 26.
  That ye wold help me on with myn aray; A. 241.
  _or_, So than I dressed me in myn aray; A. 253.
  As grete perles, round and orient; F. 148.
  With grete perles, ful fyne and orient; A. 528.
  And forth they yede togider, twain and twain; F. 295.
  See how they come togider, twain and twain; A. 350.
  So long, alas! and, if that it you plese
  To go with me, I shal do yow the ese; F. 391.
  And see, what I can do you for to plese,
  I am redy, that may be to your ese; A. 447.
  I thank you now, in my most humble wyse; F. 567.
  We thanked her in our most humble wyse; A. 729.

Besides these striking coincidences in whole lines, there are a large
number of phrases and endings of lines that are common to the two poems;
such as--_the springing of the day_, F. 25, A. 218; _Which, as me thought_,
F. 36, A. 50; _wel y-wrought_, F. 49, A. 165; _by mesure_, F. 58, A. 81; _I
you ensure_, F. 60, 287, A. 52, 199; _in this wyse_, F. 98, A. 589; _I sat
me doun_, F. 118, A. 77; _oon and oon_, F. 144, A. 368, 543, 710; _by and
by_, F. 59, 146, A. 87; _withouten fail_, F. 369, A. 567, 646; _herself
aloon_, F. 458, A. 84; _ful demure_, F. 459, A. 82; _to put in wryting_, F.
589, A. 664; and others that are printed out in the Notes.

Very characteristic of female authorship is the remark that the ladies vied
with each other as to which looked the best; a remark which occurs in
_both_ poems; see F. 188, A. 384.

A construction common to both poems is the use of _very_ with an adjective,
a construction used by Lydgate, but not by Chaucer; examples are _very
rede_, F. 35; _very good_, F. 10, 315; _very round_, A. 479.

It is tedious to enumerate how much these poems have in common. They open
in a similar way, F. with the description of a grove, A. with the
description of a garden with a maze. In the eighth stanza of F., we come to
'a herber that benched was'; and in the seventh stanza of A. we come to a
similar 'herber, mad with benches'; both from The Legend of Good Women.

In F., the authoress has a waking vision of 'a world of ladies' (137); in
A. she sees in a dream the 'assembly of ladies.' In both, she sees an
abundance of dresses, and gems, and bright colours. Both introduce several
scraps of French. In both, the authoress has interviews with allegorical or
visionary personages, who address her either as daughter or sister. I have
little doubt that the careful reader will discover more points of
resemblance for himself.

§ 56. The chief appreciable difference between the two poems is that F. was
probably written considerably earlier than A. This appears from the more
frequent use of the final _-e_, which the authoress occasionally uses as an
archaic embellishment, though she frequently forgets all about it for many
stanzas together. In the former poem (F.) there seem to be about 50
examples, whilst in the latter (A.) there are hardly 10[25]. In almost
every case, it is correctly used, owing, no doubt, to tradition or to a
perusal of older poetry. The most important cases are the abundant ones in
which a final _e_ is omitted where Chaucer would inevitably have inserted
it. For example, such a line as F. 195--From the same grove, where the
ladyes come out--would become, in Chaucer--From the sam-ë grov-ë wher the
ladyes come out--giving at least twelve syllables in the line. The examples
of the omission of final _-e_, where such omission makes a difference to
the scansion, are not very numerous, because many such come before a vowel
(where they might be elided) or at the cæsura (where they might be
tolerated). Still we may note such a case as _green_ in l. 109 where
Chaucer would have written _gren-e_, giving _a fresh gren-ë laurer-tree_,
to the ruin of the scansion. Similar offences against Chaucer's usage are
_herd_ for _herd-e_, 128 (cf. 191); _spek'_ for _spek-e_, 140; _al_ for
_all-e_, plural, 165; _sight_ for _sight-e_, 174; _lyf_ for _lyv-e_, 182;
_sam'_ for _sam-e_, 195; _the tenth_ for _the tenth-e_, 203; _gret_ for
_gret-e_, plural, 214, 225; _red_ for _red-e_, 242; _the worst_ for _the
worst-e_, 255; _yed'_ for _yed-e_, 295, 301; _fast_ for _fast-e_, 304;
_rejoice_ for _rejoy-se_, 313; _noise_ for _nois-e_, 353; _sonn'_ for
_son-ne_, 355, 408; _hir fresh_ for _hir fres-she_, 357; _laft_ for
_laft-e_, pt. t., 364; _their greet_ for _hir gret-e_, 377; _sick_ for
_sek-e_, 410; _about_ for _about-e_, 411; _to soup_ for _to soup-e_, 417;
_without_ for _without-e_, 423, 549; _the hool_ for _the hol-e_, 437; _to
know_ for _to know-e_, 453; _past_ for _pass-ede_ or _past-e_, 465; _My
fair_ for _My fair-e_, vocative, 467, 500; _to tel_ for _to tell-e_, 495;
_nin(e)_ for _nyn-e_, 502; _imagin(e)_ for _imagin-en_, 525; _they last_
for _they last-e_, 562; _thy rud(e)_ for _thy rud-e_, 595. Those who
believe that The Flower and the Leaf was written by Chaucer will have to
explain away every one of these cases; and when they have done so, there is
more to be said.

§ 57. For it is well known that such a word as _sweetly_ (96) was
trisyllabic, as _swet-e-ly_, in Chaucer; C. T., A 221. Similarly, our
authoress has _trewly_ for _trew-e-ly_[26], 130; _richly_ for _rich-e-ly_,
169; _woodbind_ for _wod-e-bind-e_, 485. Similar is _ointments_ for
_oin-e-ments_, 409. And, moreover, our authoress differs from Chaucer as to
other points of grammar. Thus she has _Forshronk_ as a strong pp., 358,
which ought to be _forshronk-en_ or _forshronk-e_. Still more marked is her
use of _rood_ as the _plural_ of the past tense, 449, 454, where Chaucer
has _rid-en_; and her use of _began_ as a plural, 385, where Chaucer has
_bigonn-e_. Can these things be explained away also? If so, there is more
to be said.

§ 58. All the above examples have been made out, without so much as looking
at the rimes. But the rimes are much harder to explain away, where they
differ from Chaucer's. Here are a few specimens.

_Pas-se_ rimes with _was_, 27; so it must have been cut down to _pas_!
Similarly, _hew-e_ has become _hew_; for it rimes with _grew_, sing., 32.
_Sight-e_ has become _sight_, to rime with _wight_, 37. _Brought_ should
rather be _brought-e_, but it rimes with _wrought_, 48. Similar
difficulties occur in _peyn_ (for _peyn-e_), r. w. _seyn_ (62); _syd'_ for
_syd-e_, r. w. _espy'd_ for _espy-ed_, 72; _eet_, r. w. _sweet_ for
_swet-e_, 90; _not'_ for _not-e_, r. w. _sot_, 99; _busily_, r. w. _aspy'_
for _aspy-e_, 106; _trewly_, r. w. _armony'_ for _armony-e_, 130; _orient_
(_oriant_?), r. w. _want_ for _want-e_, 148; _person_ for _person-e_, r. w.
_everichon_, 167. It is tedious to go on; let the critic finish the list,
if he knows how to do it. If not, let him be humble. For there is more to

§ 59. Besides the grammar, there is yet the pronunciation to be considered;
and here comes in the greatest difficulty of all. For, in ll. 86-89, we
have the unusual rime of _tree_ and _be_ with _pretily_. This so staggered
Dr. Morris, that he was induced to print the last word as _pretile_; which
raises the difficulty without explaining it. For the explanation, the
reader should consult the excellent dissertation by Dr. Curtis on The
Romance of Clariodus (Halle, 1894), p. 56, § 187. He remarks that a rime of
this character gives evidence of the transition of M.E. long close _e_ to
(Italian) long _i_ [as in the change from A.S. _m[=e]_ to mod. E. _me_],
and adds: 'this change became general in the fifteenth century, but had
begun in some dialects at an earlier date.' Its occurrence in the present
poem is a strong indication that it is later than the year 1400, and
effectually disposes of any supposed connection with Midland poems of the
fourteenth century.

Both poems are remarkably free from classical allusions and from references
to such medieval authors as are freely quoted by Chaucer. There is nothing
to shew that the authoress was acquainted with Latin, though she knew
French, especially the French of songs and mottoes.

The Flower and the Leaf is chiefly famous for having been versified by
Dryden. The version is a free one, in a manner all his own, and is finer
than the original, which can hardly be said of his 'versions' of Palamon
and Arcite and The Cock and the Fox. It is doubtless from this version that
many critics have formed exaggerated ideas of the poem's value; otherwise,
it is difficult to understand for what reasons it was considered worthy of
so great a master as Geoffrey Chaucer.

§ 60. It will be seen, from the Notes, that the authoress was well
acquainted with the Prologue to The Legend of Good Women; and it can hardly
be questioned that she took the main idea of the poem from that source,
especially ll. 188-194 of the later text. At the same time she was well
acquainted with Gower's lines on the same subject, in the Conf. Amantis,
iii. 357, 358; see vol. iii. pp. xlii, 297. Gower has:--

 'Me thoughte I sigh to-fore myn hede
  Cupide with his bowe bent,
  And like unto a parlement
  Which were ordeined for the nones,
  With him cam al the world atones[27]
  Of gentil folk, that whylom were
  Lovers; I sigh hem alle there ...
  Her hedes kempt, and therupon
  Garlondes, nought of o colour,
  Some of the Lefe, some of the Flour,[28]
  And some of grete perles were.[29] ...
  So loude that on every syde
  It thoughte as al the heven cryde[30]
  In such accorde and suche a soun
  Of bombard and of clarioun ...
  So glad a noise for to here.
  The grene Leef is overthrowe[31] ...
  Despuiled is the somer fare,' &c. (p. 371).


This has already been discussed, in some measure, in considering the
preceding poem. Both pieces were written by the same authoress; but the
former is the more sprightly and probably the earlier. With the exception
of the unusual rime of _tree_ with _pretily_ (discussed above), nearly all
the peculiarities of the preceding poem occur here also. The Chaucerian
final _-e_ appears now and then, as in _commaund-e_ (probably plural), 203;
_red-e_, 215; _countenanc-e_, 295; _pen-ne_ [or else _seyd-e_], 307;
_chayr-e_, 476; _tak-e_, 565; _trouth-e_, 647; _liv-e_, 672; _sem-e_ (pr.
s. subj.), 696. But it is usually dropped, as in _The fresh_ for _The
fres-she_, 2; &c. In l. 11, Thynne prints _fantasyse_ for _fantasyes_; for
it obviously rimes with _gyse_ (monosyllabic); cf. 533-535. _Hew-e_ and
_new-e_ are cut down to _hew_ and _new_, to rime with _knew_, 67. _Bold_
rimes with _told_, clipped form of _told-e_, 94; and so on. So, again,
_trewly_ appears in place of Chaucer's _trew-e-ly_, 488. It is needless to
pursue the subject.

The description of the maze and the arbour, in ll. 29-70, is good. Another
pleasing passage is that contained in ll. 449-497; and the description of a
lady's dress in ll. 519-539. As for the lady herself--

 'It was a world to loke on her visage.'

There is a most characteristic touch of a female writer in lines 253-254:--

 'So than I dressed me in myn aray,
  And asked her, _whether it were wel or no?_'

To attribute such a question as 'how will my dress do' to a male writer is
a little too dramatic for a mere narrative poem.

The two MSS. have now been collated for the first time and afford some
important corrections, of which l. 61 presents remarkable instances. MS.
Addit. 34360 is of some value.

§ 62. A considerable part of The Assembly of Ladies that is now of little
interest may have been much appreciated at the time, as having reference to
the ordering of a large medieval household, with its chambers, parlours,
bay-windows, and galleries, carefully kept in good order by the various
officers and servants; such as Perseverance the usher, Countenance the
porter, Discretion the chief purveyor, Acquaintance the harbinger, Largesse
the steward, Bel-cheer the marshal of the hall, Remembrance the
chamberlain, and the rest. The authoress must have been perfectly familiar
with spectacles and pageants and all the amusements of the court; but she
was too humble to aspire to wear a motto.

 'And for my "word," I have non; this is trew.
  It is ynough that my clothing be blew
  As here-before I had commaundement;
  And so to do I am right wel content'; A. 312.

We must not forget that the period of the Wars of the Roses, especially
from 1455 to 1471, was one during which the composition of these poems was
hardly possible. It is obviously very difficult to assign a date to them;
perhaps they may be referred to the last quarter of the fifteenth century.
We must not put them too late, because The Assembly exists in MSS. that
seem to be as old as that period.


For this poem there is but one authority, viz. Thynne's edition of 1532. He
calls it 'A goodly balade of Chaucer'; but it is manifestly Lydgate's.
Moreover, it is really a triple Balade, with an Envoy, on the model of
Chaucer's Fortune and Compleynt of Venus; only it has seven-line stanzas
instead of stanzas of eight lines. An inspection of Thynne's volume shews
that it was inserted to fill a gap, viz. a blank page at the back of the
concluding lines of The Legend of Good Women, so that the translation of
Boethius might commence on a new leaf.

It is obvious that the third stanza of the second Balade was missing in
Thynne's MS. He did not leave it out for lack of space; for there is plenty
of room on his page.

That it is not Chaucer's appears from the first Balade, where the use of
the monosyllables _shal_ and _smal_ in ll. 8 and 10 necessitates the use of
the clipped forms _al_ for _al-le_, _cal_ for _cal-le_, _apal_ for
_apal-le_, and _befal_ for _befal-le_. Moreover, the whole style of it
suggests Lydgate, and does not suggest Chaucer.

The sixth stanza probably began with the letter _D_; in which case, the
initial letters of the stanzas give us _M_, _M_, _M_; _D_, _D_, _D_; _J_,
_C_, _Q_. And, as it was evidently addressed to a lady named _Margaret_
(see the Notes), we seem to see here _Margaret, Dame Jacques_. The name of
_Robert Jacques_ occurs in the Writs of Parliament; Bardsley's English
Surnames, 2nd ed., p. 565. Of course this is a guess which it is easy to
deride; but it is very difficult to account otherwise for the introduction
of the letters _J_, _C_, _Q_ in the third Balade; yet it was evidently
intentional, for much force was employed to achieve the result. To make the
first stanza begin with _J_, recourse is had to French; and the other two
stanzas both begin with inverted clauses.


I give this from Thynne's first edition; but add the Latin lines from the
copy printed in Schick's edition of The Temple of Glas, at p. 68. His text
is from that printed by Wynken de Worde about 1498, collated with the
second and third prints from the same press at somewhat later dates, and a
still later copy printed by Berthelet.

The only difference between Thynne's text and that given by Schick is that
Wynken de Worde printed _ar_ in the last line where Thynne has printed
_be_. Schick also notes that 'the Chaucer-Prints of 1561 and 1598 omit
_thou_' in l. 9; and I find that it is also omitted in the third edition
(undated, about 1550). But it occurs in the edition of 1532, all the same;
shewing that the later reprints cannot always be relied upon.

I have already said (vol. i. p. 40)--'Surely it must be Lydgate's.' For it
exhibits his love for 'catalogues,' and presents his peculiarities of
metre. Dr. Schick agrees with this ascription, and points out that its
appearance in the four prints above-mentioned, in all of which it is
annexed to Lydgate's Temple of Glas, tends to strengthen my supposition. I
think this may be taken as removing all doubt on the subject.

§ 65. I beg leave to quote here Schick's excellent remarks upon the poem

'There are similar pieces to these _Duodecim Abusiones_ in earlier English
literature (see ten Brink, _Geschichte der englischen Literatur_, i. 268,
and note).[32] The "twelf unþ[=e]awas" existed also in Old-English; a
homily on them is printed in Morris, _Old Eng. Homilies_, pp. 101-119[33].
It is based on the Latin Homily "De octo viciis et de duodecim abusivis
huius saeculi," attributed to St. Cyprian or St. Patrick; see Dietrich in
Niedner's _Zeitschrift für historische Theologie_, 1855, p. 518; Wanley's
_Catalogus_, passim (cf. the Index _sub voce_ Patrick). In the
Middle-English period we meet again with more or less of these "Abusions";
see Morris, _Old Eng. Miscellany_, p. 185 (11 Abusions); Furnivall, _Early
Eng. Poems_, Berlin, 1862 (Phil. Soc.), p. 161; "Five Evil Things," Wright
and Halliwell, _Reliquiae Antiquae_, i. 316, and ii. 14.'


This piece was first printed by Stowe in 1561. Stowe happened to have
access to a MS. which was really a miscellaneous collection of
Middle-English pieces of various dates; and he proceeded to print them as
being 'certaine workes of Geffray Chauser,' without paying any regard to
their contents or style. In vol. i. pp. 33, 34, I give a list of his
additions, numbered 42-60[34]. By good fortune, the very MS. in question is
now in Trinity College Library, marked R. 3. 19. We can thus tell that he
was indebted to it for the pieces numbered 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 53, 54,
55, 56, and 59. These eleven pieces are all alike remarkable for being
non-Chaucerian; indeed, no. 56 is certainly Lydgate's. But it has so
happened that no. 59, or The Court of Love, being the best of these pieces,
was on that account 'attributed' to Chaucer, whilst the others were
unhesitatingly rejected. And it happened on this wise.

§ 67. After Tyrwhitt had edited the Canterbury Tales afresh, it occurred to
him to compile a Glossary. He rightly reasoned that the Glossary would be
strengthened and made more correct if he included in it all the harder
words found in the _whole_ of Chaucer's Works, instead of limiting the
vocabulary to words which occur in the Canterbury Tales only. For this
purpose, he proceeded to draw up a List of what he conceived to be
Chaucer's _genuine_ works; and we must remember that the only process open
to him was to consider all the old editions, and _reject_ such as he
conceived to be spurious. Hence his List is not really a list of genuine
works, but one made by striking out from all previous lists the works which
he _knew_ to be spurious. A moment's reflection will show that this is a
very different thing.

Considering that he had only his own acumen to guide him, and had no access
to linguistic or grammatical tests, still less to tests derived from an
examination of rimes or phonology, it is wonderful how well he did his
work. In the matter of rejection, he did not make a single mistake. His
first revision was made by considering only the pieces numbered 1-41, in
the _first_ part of Stowe's print (see vol. i. pp. 31-33); and he struck
out the following, on the express ground that they were _known to have been
written by other authors_; viz. nos. 4, 11, 13, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 33, and

Then he went over the list again, and struck out, on internal evidence,
nos. 15, 18, 21, 22, and 32[36].

Truly, here was a noble beginning! The only non-Chaucerian pieces which he
failed to reject explicitly, among nos. 1-41, were the following, viz. 6 (A
Goodly Balade of Chaucer), 17 (The Complaint of the Black Knight), 20 (The
Testament of Love), 31 (The Cuckoo and the Nightingale), 38 (Go forth,
King), and 41 (A Balade in Praise of Chaucer). Of course he rejected the
last of these, but it was not worth his while to say so; and, in the same
way, he tacitly rejected or ignored nos. 6, 30, and 38. Hence it was that
nos. 6, 30, 38, and 41 did not appear in Moxon's Chaucer, and even no. 32
was carefully excluded. In his final list, out of nos. 1-41, Tyrwhitt
actually got rid of all but nos. 17, 20, and 31 (The Black Knight, The
Testament of Love, and The Cuckoo).

As to the remaining articles, he accepted, among the longer pieces, nos.
59, 62, and 63, i.e. The Court of Love, Chaucer's Dream, and The Flower and
the Leaf; to which he added nos. 42, 43, and 60 (as to which there is no
doubt), and also the Virelai (no. 50), on the slippery ground that it _is_
a virelai (which, strictly speaking, it is not).

§ 68. One result of his investigations was that an edition of Chaucer was
published by Moxon (my copy is dated 1855), in which all the poems were
included which Tyrwhitt accepted, followed by Tyrwhitt's Account of the
Works of Chaucer.

Owing to the popularity of this edition, many scholars accepted the poems
contained in it as being certainly genuine; but it is obvious that this was
a very risky thing to do, in the absence of external evidence; especially
when it is remembered that Tyrwhitt merely wanted to illustrate his
glossary to the Canterbury Tales by adding words from other texts. The idea
of drawing up a canon by the process of striking out from luxuriant lists
the names of pieces that are obviously spurious, is one that should never
have found acceptance.

§ 69. There is only one correct method of drawing up a canon of genuine
works, viz. that adopted by Mr. Henry Bradshaw, formerly our Cambridge
University Librarian. It is simple enough, viz. to take a clean sheet of
paper, and enter upon it, first of all, the names of all the pieces that
are admittedly genuine; and then to see if it can fairly be augmented by
adding such pieces as have reasonable evidence in their favour. In making a
list of this character, The Court of Love has no claim to be considered at
all, as I fully proved about twenty years ago[37]; and there is an end of
the matter. The MS. copy is in a hand of the sixteenth century[38], and
there is no internal evidence to suggest an earlier date.

§ 70. Our task is to determine what it really is, and what can be made of
it as it stands. We learn from the author that he was 'a clerk of
Cambridge' (913), which we may readily accept. Beyond this, there is
nothing but internal evidence; but of this there is much. That our 'clerk'
had read Ovid and Maximian appears from the Notes; he even seems to have
imbibed something of 'the new learning,' as he makes up the names
Philo-genet and Philo-bone by help of a Greek adjective[39]. Dr. Schick has
made it clear that he was well acquainted with Lydgate's Temple of Glas,
which he imitates freely; see Schick's edition of that poem, p. cxxix. Mr.
J. T. T. Brown, in his criticism on 'The Authorship of the Kingis Quair,'
Glasgow, 1896, draws many parallels between The Court of Love and The
Kingis Quair, and concludes that The Kingis Quair was indebted to The Court
of Love; but it is tolerably certain that the indebtedness was in the other
direction. For, in The Kingis Quair, some knowledge of the true use of
Chaucer's final _-e_ is still exhibited, even in a Northern poem, whilst in
The Court of Love, it is almost altogether dead, though the poem is in the
Midland dialect. I shall presently shew that our clerk, whilst very nearly
ignoring the final _-e_, occasionally employs the final _-en_; but this he
does in a way which clearly shews that he did not understand when to use it
aright, a fact which is highly significant.

I am much indebted to my friend Professor Hales for pointing out another
very cogent argument. He draws attention to the numerous instances in which
the author of The Court of Love fails to end a stanza with a stop. There is
no stop, for example, at the end of ll. 14, 567, 672, 693, 700, 763, 826,
1064, 1288; and only a slight pause at the end of ll. 28, 49, 70, 84, 189,
231, 259, 280, 371, 406, 427, &c. In Chaucer's Parlement of Foules, on the
other hand, there is but one stanza without a stop at the end, viz. at l.
280; and but one with a slight pause, viz. at l. 154. The difference
between these results is very marked, and would convince any mathematician.
I should like to add that the same test disposes of the claims of The
Flower and the Leaf to be considered as Chaucer's; it has no stop at the
end of ll. 7, 70, 154, 161, 196, 231, 280, 308, 392, 476, and has mere
commas at the end of ll. 28, 49, 56, 98, 119, 224, 259, 329, 336, &c. In
the Assembly of Ladies this departure from Chaucer's usage has been nearly
abandoned, which is one reason why that piece is in a less lively style.

§ 71. The sole MS. copy of The Court of Love belongs to the sixteenth
century, and there is nothing to shew that the poem itself was of earlier
date. Indeed, the language of it is remarkably like that of the former half
of that century. If it be compared with Sackville's famous 'Induction,' the
metrical form of the stanzas is much the same; there is the same smoothness
of rhythm and frequent modernness of form, quite different from the halting
lines of Lydgate and Hawes. This raises a suggestion that the author may
have learnt his metre from Scottish authors, such as Henryson and Dunbar;
and it is surprising to find him employing such words as _celsitude_ and
_pulcritude_, and even riming them together, precisely as Dunbar did (ll.
611-613, and the note). One wonders where he learnt to use such words, if
not from Scottish authors. Curiously enough, a single instance of the use
of a Northern inflexion occurs in the phrase _me thynkes_, 874. And I admit
the certainty that he consulted The Kingis Quair.

I have no space to discuss the matter at length; so shall content myself
with saying that the impression produced upon me is that we have here the
work of one of the heralds of the Elizabethan poetry, of the class to which
belonged Nicholas Grimoald, Thomas Sackville, Lord Surrey, Lord Vaux, and
Sir Francis Bryan. There must have been much fairly good poetry in the time
of Henry VIII that is lost to us. Tottell's Miscellany clearly shews this,
as it is a mere selection of short pieces, which very nearly perished; but
for this fortunate relic, we should not have known much about Wyat and
Surrey. Sackville, when at Cambridge, acquired some distinction for Latin
and English verse, but we possess none of it. However, Sackville was not
the author of The Court of Love, seeing that it was published in a
'Chaucer' collection in 1561, long before his death.

The fact that our clerk was well acquainted with so many pieces by Chaucer,
such as The Knight's Tale, the Complaint of Pity, The Legend of Good Women,
Troilus, and Anelida, besides giving us reminiscences of The Letter of
Cupid, and (perhaps) of The Cuckoo and Nightingale, raises the suspicion
that he had access to Thynne's edition of 1532; and it is quite possible
that this very book inspired him for his effort. This suspicion becomes
almost a certainty if it be true that ll. 495-496 are borrowed from Rom.
Rose, 2819-20; see note at p. 545. I can find no reason for dating the poem
earlier than that year.

§ 72. However this may be, the chief point to notice is that his archaisms
are affectations and not natural. He frequently dispenses with them
altogether for whole stanzas at a time. When they occur, they are such as
he found in Chaucer abundantly; I refer to such phrases as _I-wis_ or
_y-wis_; _as blyve_; the use of _ich_ for _I_ (661); _besy cure_ (36); _gan
me dresse_ (113; cf. C. T., G 1271); _by the feith I shall to god_ (131;
cf. Troil. iii. 1649); and many more. He rarely uses the prefix _i-_ or
_y-_ with the pp.; we find _y-born_ (976), _y-formed_ (1176), _y-heried_
(592), _y-sped_ (977), all in Chaucer; besides these, I only note _y-fed_
(975), _y-ravisshed_ (153), _y-stope_ (281), the last being used in the
sense of Chaucer's _stope_. The most remarkable point is the almost total
absence of the final _-e_; I only observe _His len-ë body_ (1257); _to
serv-e_ (909); _to dred-e_ (603); and _in thilk-ë place_ (642); the last of
which is a phrase (cf. R. R. 660). On the other hand, whilst thus
abstaining from the use of the final _-e_, he makes large use of the longer
and less usual suffix _-en_, which he employs with much skill to heighten
the archaic effect. Thus we find the past participles _holden_, 62;
_growen_, 182; _yoven_ or _yeven_, 742; _shapen_, 816, 1354; _blowen_,
1240; the gerunds _writen_, 35; _dressen_, 179; _byden_, 321; _semen_, 607;
_seken_, 838; _worshippen_, 1165, and a few others; the infinitives
_maken_, 81; _byden_, 189; _quyten_, 327, &c., this being the commonest
use; the present plurals _wailen_, 256; _foten_, 586; _speden_, 945, &c.;
with the same form for the first person, as in _wailen_, 1113; _bleden_,
1153; and for the second person, as in _waxen_, 958; _slepen_, 999.
Occasionally, this suffix is varied to _-yn_ or _-in_, as in _exilyn_, v.,
336; _serchyn_, v., 950; _spakyn_, pt. pl., 624; _approchyn_, pr. pl.,
1212. This may be the scribe's doing, and is consistent with East Anglian

But the artificial character of these endings is startlingly revealed when
we find _-en_ added in an impossible position, shewing that its true
grammatical use was quite dead. Yet we find such examples. A serious error
(hardly the scribe's) occurs in l. 347: 'Wheder that she me _helden_ lefe
or loth.' _Hold_ being a strong verb, the pt. t. is _held_; we could
however justify the use of _held-e_, by supposing it to be the subjunctive
mood, which suits the sense; but _held-en_ (with _-en_) is the _plural_
form, while _she_ is singular; and really this use of _-e_ in the
subjunctive must have been long dead. In l. 684, we have a case that is
even worse, viz. _I kepen in no wyse_; here the use of _-en_ saves a
hiatus, but the concord is false, like the Latin _ego seruamus_. In l. 928,
the same thing recurs, though the scribe has altered _greven_ into
_growen_[40]; for this present tense is supposed to agree with _I_! A very
clear case occurs in l. 725: _For if by me this mater springen out_; where
the use of _-en_, again meant to save a hiatus, is excruciatingly wrong;
for _mater_ is singular! This cannot be the fault of the scribe. Other
examples of false grammar are: _thou serven_, 290; _thou sene_, 499. But
the climax is attained in l. 526, where we meet with _thay kepten ben_,
where the _-en_ is required for the metre. _Kepten_, as a _past
participle_, is quite unique; let us drop a veil over this sad lapse, and
say no more about it[41].

We may, however, fairly notice the constant use of the Northern forms
_their_ and _thaim_ or _theim_, where Chaucer has _hir_ and _hem_. The use
of _their_ and _them_ (not _thaim_) was well established by the year 1500
in literary English, as, e.g., in Hawes and Skelton. Caxton uses all four
forms, _hem_ and _them_, _her_ and _their_.

§ 73. I add a few notes, suggested by an examination of the rimes employed.

The final _-e_ is not used at the end of a line. This is easily seen, if
carefully looked into. Thus _lette_ (1284) stands for _let_, for it rimes
with _y-set_; _grace_ and _trespace_ rime with _was_, 163; _kene_ rimes
with _bene_, misspelling of _been_, 252; _redde_, put for _red_, rimes with
_spred_, 302; _yerde_, put for _yerd_, rimes with _aferd_, 363; _ende_
rimes with _frend_ and _fend_, 530; and so on throughout[42]. The following
assonances occur: _here_, _grene_, 253; _kepe_, _flete_, 309; and the
following rimes are imperfect: _plaint_, _talent_, _consent_, 716; _frend_,
_mynd_, 1056; _nonne_ (for _non_), _boun_, 1149; _like_ (_i_ long), _stike_
(_i_ short), 673; and perhaps _hold_, _shuld_[43], 408; _hard_, _ferd_,
151. _Hard_ is repeated, 149, 151; 1275, 1277. A curious rime is that of
_length_ with _thynketh_, 1059; read _thenk'th_, and it is good enough.
Noteworthy are these: _thryse_ (for Chaucer's _thry-ës_), _wyse_, 537;
_hens_ (for Chaucer's _henn-ës_), _eloquence_, 935; _desire_, _here_, 961,
1301; _eke_, _like_, 561; _tretesse_ (for Chaucer's _tretys_),
_worthinesse_, 28; _write_, _aright_, 13; _sey_ (I saw), _way_, 692. In one
place, he has _discryve_, 778, to rime with _lyve_; and in another _discry_
(miswritten _discryve_, 97), to rime with _high_. As in Chaucer, he
sometimes has _dy_, to die, riming with _remedy_, 340, and elsewhere _dey_,
to rime with _pray_, 582; and again _fire_, _fyr_, riming with _hyre_, 883,
or with _desire_, 1285, and at another time the Kentish form _fere_
(borrowed from Chaucer), with the same sense, r. w. _y-fere_, 622. The most
curious forms are those for 'eye.' When it rimes with _degree_, 132, _see_,
768, we seem to have the Northern form _ee_ or _e_; but elsewhere it rimes
with _besily_, 299, _pretily_, 419, _wounderly_, 695, _dispitously_, 1139,
or with _I_, 282; and the plural _yen_ (= _y'n_) rimes with _lyne_, 135.
The sounds represented by _[=e]_ and _y_ obviously afford permissible
rimes; that the sounds were not identical appears from ll. 1051-1055, which
end with _me_, _remedy_, _be_, _dy_, _company_ consecutively.

§ 74. Perhaps an easier way for enabling a learner to recognise the
peculiarities of The Court of Love, and the difference of its language from
Chaucer, is to translate some lines of it into Chaucerian English. The
effect upon the metre is startling.

  So thanne I went-ë by straunge and fer-rë contrees; 57.
  Alceste it was that kept-ë there her sojour; 105.
  To whom obeyd-ën the ladies god-ë nynten-ë; 108.
  And yong-ë men fel-ë cam-ë forth with lusty pace; 110.
  O bright-ë Regina, who mad-ë thee so fair? 141.
  And mercy ask-ë for al my gret-ë trespas; 166.
  This eight-ë-ten-ë yeer have kept yourself at large; 184.
  In me did never worch-ë trew-ë-ly, yit I; 212.
  And ther I sey the fres-shë quene of Cartáge; 231.
  A! new-ë com-ën folk, abyde, and woot ye why; 271.
  Than gan I me present-ë tofor-ë the king; 274.
  That thou be trew-ë from henn-es-forth, to thy might; 289.
  And nam-ë-ly haw-ë-thorn brought-ën both-ë page and grom-ë; 1433.

Very many more such examples may be given. Or take the following; Chaucer
has (L. G. W. 476):--

  For Love ne wól nat countrepleted be.

And this is how it reappears in C. L. 429:--

  For Love wil not be counterpleted, indede!

Here the melody of the line is completely spoilt.

In the present state of our knowledge of the history of the English
language, any notion of attributing The Court of Love to Chaucer is worse
than untenable; for it is wholly disgraceful. Everything points to a very
late date, and tends to exclude it, not only from the fourteenth, but even
from the fifteenth century.

At the same time, it will readily be granted that the poem abounds with
Chaucerian words and phrases to an extent that almost surpasses even the
poems of Lydgate. The versification is smooth, and the poem, as a whole, is
pleasing. I have nothing to say against it, when considered on its own

§ 75. Space fails me to discuss the somewhat vexed question of the Courts
of Love, of which some have denied the existence. However, there seems to
be good evidence to shew that they arose in Provence, and were due to the
extravagances of the troubadours. They were travesties of the courts of
law, with a lady of rank for a judge, and minstrels for advocates; and they
discussed subtle questions relating to affairs of love, usually between
troubadours and ladies. The discussions were conducted with much
seriousness, and doubtless often served to give much amusement to many idle
people. Not unfrequently they led to tragedies, as is easily understood
when we notice that the first of one set of thirty-one Laws of Love runs as
follows:--'Marriage cannot be pleaded as an excuse for refusing to love.'
The reader who requires further information is referred to 'The Troubadours
and Courts of Love,' by J. F. Rowbotham, M.A., London, Swan Sonnenschein
and Co., 1895.

It is perhaps necessary to observe that the said Courts have very little to
do with the present poem, which treats of a Court of Cupid in the
Chaucerian sense (Leg. Good Women, 352). Even the statutes of the Court are
largely imitated from Lydgate.


XXV. VIRELAY. This piece, from the Trinity MS., belongs to the end of the
fifteenth century, and contains no example of the final _-e_ as
constituting a syllable. Chaucer would have used _sore_ (l. 2), _more_ (l.
12), _trouth_ (l. 13), as dissyllables; and he would not have rimed _pleyn_
and _disdayn_ with _compleyn_ and _absteyn_, as the two latter require a
final _-e_. The rime of _finde_ with _ende_ is extraordinary.

The title 'Virelai' is given to this piece in Moxon's Chaucer, and is,
strictly speaking, incorrect; in the MS. and in Stowe's edition, it has no
title at all! Tyrwhitt cautiously spoke of it as being 'perhaps by
Chaucer'; and says that 'it comes nearer to the description of a _Virelay_,
than anything else of his that has been preserved.' This is not the case;
see note to Anelida, 256; vol. i. p. 536. Tyrwhitt quotes from
Cotgrave--'_Virelay_, a round, freemen's song,' and adds--'There is a
particular description of a _Virlai_, in the _Jardin de plaisance_, fol.
xii, where it makes the _decima sexta species Rhetorice Gallicane_.' For
further remarks, see p. 554.

XXVI. PROSPERITY: BY JOHN WALTON. 'To Mr. [Mark] Liddell belongs the honour
of the discovery of John Walton as the author of the little poem on fol.
119 [of MS. Arch. Seld. B. 24]. The lines occur as part of the Prologue
(ll. 83-90) to Walton's translation of Boethius' _De Consolatione_.'--J. T.
T. Brown, _The Authorship of the Kingis Quair_, Glasgow, 1896; p. 71. See
the account of Walton in Warton's Hist. E. Poetry, sect. xx. The original
date of the stanza was, accordingly, 1410; but we here find it in a late
Scottish dress. The ascription of it to 'Chaucer,' in the MS., is an
obvious error; it was written ten years after his death.

XXVII. LEAULTE VAULT RICHESSE. This piece, like the former, has no title in
the MS.; but the words _Leaulte vault Richesse_ (Loyalty deserves riches)
occur at the end of it. If the original was in a Midland dialect, it must
belong to the latter part of the fifteenth century. Even in these eight
lines we find a contradiction to Chaucer's usage; for he always uses
_lent_, pp., as a monosyllable, and _rent-e_ as a dissyllable. It is
further remarkable that he never uses _content_ as an adjective; it first
appears in Rom. Rose, 5628.

XXVIII. SAYINGS. I give these sayings as printed by Caxton; see vol. i. p.
46, where I note that Caxton did not ascribe them to Chaucer. They are not
at all in his style.

In MS. Ashmole 59, fol. 78, I find a similar prophecy:--

      _Prophecia merlini doctoris perfecti._

  Whane lordes wol leefe theire olde lawes,
  And preestis been varyinge in theire sawes,
  And leccherie is holden solace,
  And oppressyou_n_ for truwe p_ur_chace;
  And whan the moon is on dauid stall,
  And the kynge passe Arthures hall,
  Than[44] is [the] lande of Albyon
  Nexst to his confusyoun.

It is extremely interesting to observe the ascription of these lines to
_Merlin_; see King Lear, iii. 2. 95.

XXIX. BALADE. This poor stanza, with its long-drawn lines, appears in Stowe
at the end of 'Chaucer's Works.' In the Trinity MS., it occurs at the end
of a copy of The Parlement of Foules.

§ 77. An examination of the pieces contained in the present volume leads us
to a somewhat remarkable result, viz. that we readily distinguish in them
the handiwork of _at least_ twelve different authors, of whom no two are
much alike, whilst every one of them can be distinguished from Chaucer.

These are: (1) the author of The Testament of Love, who writes in a prose
style all his own; (2) the author of The Plowmans Tale and Plowmans Crede,
with his strong powers of invective and love of alliteration, whose style
could never have been mistaken for Chaucer's in any age[45]; (3) the author
of Jack Upland, with his direct and searching questions; (4) John Gower,
with his scrupulous regularity of grammatical usages; (5) Thomas Hoccleve,
who too often accents a dissyllable on the latter syllable when it should
be accented on the former; (6) Henry Scogan, whose lines are lacking in
interest and originality; (7) John Lydgate[46], who allows his verse too
many licences, so that it cannot always be scanned at the first trial; (8)
Sir Richard Ros, who writes in English of a quite modern cast, using
_their_ and _them_ as in modern English, and wholly discarding the use of
final _-e_ as an inflexion; (9) Robert Henryson, who writes smoothly enough
and with a fine vein of invention, but employs the Northern dialect; (10)
Sir Thomas Clanvowe, who employs the final _-e_ much more frequently than
Chaucer or even Gower; (11) the authoress of The Flower and the Leaf and
The Assembly of Ladies, to whom the final _-e_ was an archaism, very
convenient for metrical embellishment; and (12) the author of The Court of
Love, who, while discarding the use of the final _-e_, was glad to use the
final _-en_ to save a hiatus or to gain a syllable, and did not hesitate to
employ it where it was grammatically wrong to do so.

§ 78. If the reader were to suppose that this exhausts the list, he would
be mistaken; for it is quite easy to add at least one known name, and to
suggest three others. For the piece numbered XXVI, on p. 449, has been
identified as the work of John Walton, who wrote a verse translation of
Boethius in the year 1410; whilst it is extremely unlikely that no. XXVII,
written in Lowland Scottish, was due to Henryson, the only writer in that
dialect who has been mentioned above. This gives a total of _fourteen_
authors already; and I believe that we require yet two more before the
Virelai and the Sayings printed by Caxton (nos. XXV and XXVIII) can be
satisfactorily accounted for. As for no. XIX--the Envoy to Alison--it _may_
be Lydgate's, but, on the other hand, it may not. And as for no. XXIX, it
is of no consequence.

Moreover, it must be remembered that I here only refer to the selected
pieces printed in the present volume. If we go further afield, we soon find
several more authors, all distinct from those above-mentioned, from each
other, and from Chaucer. I will just instance the author of the Isle of
Ladies, the authoress (presumably) of The Lamentation of Mary Magdalen, the
author of The Craft of Lovers, the 'man unknown' who wrote The Ten
Commandments of Love, and the author of the clumsy lines dignified by the
title of The Nine Ladies Worthy. It is quite certain that _not less_ than
twenty authors are represented in the mass of heterogeneous material which
appears under Chaucer's name in a compilation such as that which is printed
in the first volume of Chalmers' British Poets; which, precisely on that
very account, is useful enough in its own peculiar way.

§ 79. I believe it may be said of nearly every piece in the volume, that it
now appears in an improved form. In several cases, I have collated MSS.
that have not previously been examined, and have found them to be the best.
The Notes are nearly all new; very few have been taken from Bell's Chaucer.
Several are due to Schick's useful notes to The Temple of Glas; and some to
Krausser's edition of The Black Knight, and to Gröhler's edition of La
Belle Dame, both of which reached me after my own notes were all in type. I
have added a Glossary of the harder words; for others, see the Glossary
already printed in vol. vi.

In extenuation of faults, I may plead that I have found it much more
difficult to deal with such heterogenous material as is comprised in the
present volume than with pieces all written by the same author. The style,
the grammar, the mode of scansion, the dialect, and even the pronunciation
are constantly shifting, instead of being reasonably consistent, as in the
genuine works of Chaucer. Any one who will take the pains to observe these
points, to compile a sufficient number of notes upon difficult passages,
and to prepare a somewhat full glossary, may thus practically convince
himself, as I have done, that not a single piece in the present volume
ought ever to have been 'attributed' to Chaucer. That any of them should
have been so attributed--and some of them never were--has been the result
of negligence, superficiality, and incapacity, such as (it may be hoped) we
have seen the last of.

I wish once more to acknowledge my obligations to Mr. E. B. Nicholson, for
the loan of his transcript of The Praise of Peace; to Mr. Bradley, for his
discovery of the authorship of The Testament of Love and for other
assistance as regards the same; to Dr. E. Krausser, for his edition of The
Complaint of the Black Knight; to Dr. Gröhler, for his dissertation on La
Belle Dame sans Mercy; and to Professor Hales for his kind help as to some
difficult points, and particularly with regard to The Court of Love.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Many men there ben that, with eeres openly sprad, so
  moche swalowen the deliciousnesse of jestes and of ryme,
  by queynt knitting coloures, that of the goodnesse or of the
  badnesse of the sentence take they litel hede or els non.

  Soothly, dul wit and a thoughtful soule so sore have myned              5
  and graffed in my spirites, that suche craft of endyting wol not
  ben of myn acqueyntaunce. And, for rude wordes and boystous
  percen the herte of the herer to the in[ne]rest point, and planten
  there the sentence of thinges, so that with litel helpe it is able
  to springe; this book, that nothing hath of the greet flode of         10
  wit ne of semelich colours, is dolven with rude wordes and
  boystous, and so drawe togider, to maken the cacchers therof
  ben the more redy to hente sentence.

  Some men there ben that peynten with colours riche, and
  some with vers, as with red inke, and some with coles and              15
  chalke; and yet is there good matere to the leude people of
  thilke chalky purtreyture, as hem thinketh for the tyme; and
  afterward the sight of the better colours yeven to hem more
  joye for the first leudnesse. So, sothly, this leude clowdy occupacion
  is not to prayse but by the leude; for comunly leude                   20
  leudnesse commendeth.  Eke it shal yeve sight, that other
  precious thinges shal be the more in reverence. In Latin
  and French hath many soverayne wittes had greet delyt to
  endyte, and have many noble thinges fulfild; but certes, there
  ben some that speken their poysye-mater in Frenche, of whiche          25
  speche the Frenche men have as good a fantasye as we have
  in hering of Frenche mennes English. And many termes there
  ben in English, [of] whiche unneth we Englishmen connen declare
  the knowleginge. How shulde than a Frenche man born suche
  termes conne jumpere in his mater, but as the jay chatereth            30
  English? Right so, trewly, the understanding of Englishmen
  wol not strecche to the privy termes in Frenche, what-so-ever we
  bosten of straunge langage. Let than clerkes endyten in Latin,
  for they have the propertee of science, and the knowinge in that
  facultee; and let Frenchmen in their Frenche also endyten their        35
  queynt termes, for it is kyndely to their mouthes; and let us
  shewe our fantasyes in suche wordes as we lerneden of our dames

  And although this book be litel thank-worthy for the leudnesse
  in travaile, yet suche wrytinges excyten men to thilke thinges that    40
  ben necessarie; for every man therby may, as by a perpetual
  mirrour, seen the vyces or vertues of other, in whiche thing
  lightly may be conceyved to eschewe perils, and necessaries to
  cacche, after as aventures have fallen to other people or persons.

  Certes, [perfeccion is] the soveraynest thing of desyre, and           45
  moste +creatures resonable have, or els shulde have, ful appetyte
  to their perfeccion; unresonable beestes mowen not, sith reson
  hath in hem no werking. Than resonable that wol not is comparisoned
  to unresonable, and made lyke hem. For-sothe, the
  most soverayne and fynal perfeccion of man is in knowing of            50
  a sothe, withouten any entent disceyvable, and in love of oon
  very god that is inchaungeable; that is, to knowe and love his

  ¶ Now, principally, the mene to bringe in knowleging and
  loving his creatour is the consideracion of thinges made by the        55
  creatour, wherthrough, by thilke thinges that ben made understonding
  here to our wittes, arn the unsene privitees of god
  made to us sightful and knowing, in our contemplacion and
  understonding. These thinges than, forsoth, moche bringen us
  to the ful knowleginge [of] sothe, and to the parfit love of the       60
  maker of hevenly thinges. Lo, David sayth, 'thou hast delyted
  me in makinge,' as who sayth, to have delyt in the tune, how god
  hath lent me in consideracion of thy makinge.

  Wherof Aristotle, in the boke _de Animalibus_, saith to naturel
  philosophers: 'it is a greet lyking in love of knowinge their          65
  creatour; and also in knowinge of causes in kyndely thinges.'
  Considred, forsoth, the formes of kyndly thinges and the shap,
  a greet kindely love me shulde have to the werkman that
  hem made. The crafte of a werkman is shewed in the werke.
  Herfore, truly, the philosophers, with a lyvely studie, many           70
  noble thinges right precious and worthy to memory writen;
  and by a greet swetande travayle to us leften of causes [of] the
  propertees in natures of thinges. To whiche (therfore) philosophers
  it was more joy, more lykinge, more herty lust, in
  kyndely vertues and maters of reson, the perfeccion by busy            75
  study to knowe, than to have had al the tresour, al the richesse,
  al the vainglory that the passed emperours, princes, or kinges
  hadden. Therfore the names of hem, in the boke of perpetual
  memory, in vertue and pees arn writen; and in the contrarye, that
  is to sayne, in Styx, the foule pitte of helle, arn thilke pressed     80
  that suche goodnesse hated. And bycause this book shal be of
  love, and the pryme causes of steringe in that doinge, with passions
  and diseses for wantinge of desyre, I wil that this book be cleped

  But now, thou reder, who is thilke that wil not in scorne              85
  laughe, to here a dwarfe, or els halfe a man, say he wil rende
  out the swerde of Hercules handes, and also he shuld sette
  Hercules Gades a myle yet ferther; and over that, he had
  power of strengthe to pulle up the spere, that Alisander the
  noble might never wagge? And that, passing al thinge, to ben           90
  mayster of Fraunce by might, there-as the noble gracious Edward
  the thirde, for al his greet prowesse in victories, ne might al yet

  Certes, I wot wel, ther shal be mad more scorne and jape
  of me, that I, so unworthily clothed al-togider in the cloudy cloude   95
  of unconninge, wil putten me in prees to speke of love, or els
  of the causes in that matter, sithen al the grettest clerkes han
  had ynough to don, and (as who sayth) +gadered up clene toforn
  hem, and with their sharpe sythes of conning al mowen, and
  mad therof grete rekes and noble, ful of al plentees, to fede me      100
  and many another. Envye, forsothe, commendeth nought his
  reson that he hath in hayne, be it never so trusty. And al-though
  these noble repers, as good workmen and worthy their hyre,
  han al drawe and bounde up in the sheves, and mad many
  shockes, yet have I ensample to gadere the smale crommes,             105
  and fullen my walet of tho that fallen from the borde among
  the smale houndes, notwithstandinge the travayle of the
  almoigner, that hath drawe up in the cloth al the remissailes,
  as trenchours, and the relief, to bere to the almesse.

  Yet also have I leve of the noble husbande Boëce, al-though           110
  I be a straunger of conninge, to come after his doctrine, and
  these grete workmen, and glene my handfuls of the shedinge
  after their handes; and, if me faile ought of my ful, to encrese
  my porcion with that I shal drawe by privitees out of the shocke.
  A slye servaunt in his owne helpe is often moche commended;           115
  knowing of trouth in causes of thinges was more hardyer in the
  first sechers (and so sayth Aristotle), and lighter in us that han
  folowed after. For their passing +studies han fresshed our wittes,
  and our understandinge han excyted, in consideracion of trouth,
  by sharpnesse of their resons. Utterly these thinges be no            120
  dremes ne japes, to throwe to hogges; it is lyflich mete for
  children of trouthe; and as they me betiden, whan I pilgrimaged
  out of my kith in winter; whan the +weder out of mesure was
  boystous, and the wylde wind Boreas, as his kind asketh, with
  dryinge coldes maked the wawes of the occian-see so to aryse          125
  unkyndely over the commune bankes, that it was in poynte to
  spille al the erthe.


2. delyciousnesse; (_and elsewhere_, y _is often replaced by_ i). 4. none.
5. Sothely. wytte. 8. inrest poynte. 10. spring. boke. great floode. 12.
catchers. 13. hent. 18. afterwarde. 19. leudenesse. 20. comenly. 21.
leudenesse. 23. gret delyte.

24. fulfylde. 27. englysshe. 28. englysshe; _supply_ of. englyssh-. 29.
Howe. borne. 31. englyssh. englyssh-. 32. stretche. 34. propertie. 35.
facultie. lette. 39. boke. thanke worthy. 42. sene. 44. catche. 45. _I
supply_ perfeccion is; _to make sense_. soueraynst. 46. creature (_sic_).
reasonable. 47, 50. perfection. 47. sythe reason. 48. reasonable. 51. one.
54. Nowe. meane. 56. be (_for_ by). 57. arne.

60. _I supply_ of. parfyte. 61. haste. 62. delyte (_this sentence is
corrupt_). 64. saythe. 65. great. 66, 67. thyng_es_ co_n_sydred. Forsoth
(_sic_). 68. great. me (_sic_); _for_ men. 72. great. _Supply_ of. 73.
propertyes. 75. matters of reason. perfection. 76. treasour. 79. peace. 80.
stixe. 81. boke. 83. dyseases. boke. 85. nowe. 87. set. 89. pul. 92. great.
94. wote. made. 95. vnworthely.

98. gathered. toforne. 100. made. great. plentyes. 102. reason. hayn
(_sic_). 102. -thoughe. 103. hyer. 104. made. 105. gader. 106. fullyn.
amonge. 108. remyssayles. 109. relyef. 112. great. 113. encrease. 114.
priuytyes. 116. knoweyng. 118. study (_sic_). 120. reasons. 121. lyfelyche
meate. 122. betiden (_sic_); _past tense_. 123. wether. measure. 124. wynde
Borias. kynde. 125. dryenge. 127. spyl. (_rubric_) boke.

                          CHAPTER I.

  Alas! Fortune! alas! I that som-tyme in delicious houres
  was wont to enjoye blisful stoundes, am now drive by
  unhappy hevinesse to bewaile my sondry yvels in tene!

  Trewly, I leve, in myn herte is writte, of perdurable letters, al the
  entencions of lamentacion that now ben y-nempned! For any               5
  maner disese outward, in sobbing maner, sheweth sorowful yexinge
  from within. Thus from my comfort I ginne to spille, sith she
  that shulde me solace is fer fro my presence.  Certes, her
  absence is to me an helle; my sterving deth thus in wo it myneth,
  that endeles care is throughout myne herte clenched; blisse of         10
  my joye, that ofte me murthed, is turned in-to galle, to thinke on
  thing that may not, at my wil, in armes me hente! Mirth is
  chaunged in-to tene, whan swink is there continually that reste was
  wont to sojourne and have dwelling-place. Thus witless, thoughtful,
  sightles lokinge, I endure my penaunce in this derke prison,           15
  +caitived fro frendshippe and acquaintaunce, and forsaken of al
  that any +word dare speke. Straunge hath by waye of intrucioun
  mad his home, there me shulde be, if reson were herd as he
  shulde. Never-the-later yet hertly, lady precious Margarit, have
  mynde on thy servaunt; and thinke on his disese, how lightles he       20
  liveth, sithe the bemes brennende in love of thyn eyen are so
  bewent, that worldes and cloudes atwene us twey wol nat suffre
  my thoughtes of hem to be enlumined! Thinke that oon vertue
  of a Margarite precious is, amonges many other, the sorouful to
  comforte; yet +whyles that, me sorouful to comforte, is my lust        25
  to have nought els at this tyme, d[r]ede ne deth ne no maner
  traveyle hath no power, myn herte so moche to fade, as shulde
  to here of a twinkling in your disese! Ah! god forbede that;
  but yet let me deye, let me sterve withouten any mesure of
  penaunce, rather than myn hertely thinking comfort in ought            30
  were disesed! What may my service avayle, in absence of her
  that my service shulde accepte? Is this nat endeles sorowe to
  thinke? Yes, yes, god wot; myn herte breketh nigh a-sonder.
  How shulde the ground, without kyndly noriture, bringen forth
  any frutes? How shulde a ship, withouten a sterne, in the grete see    35
  be governed? How shulde I, withouten my blisse, my herte, my
  desyre, my joye, my goodnesse, endure in this contrarious prison,
  that thinke every hour in the day an hundred winter? Wel may
  now Eve sayn to me, 'Adam, in sorowe fallen from welth, driven
  art thou out of paradise, with swete thy sustenaunce to beswinke!'     40
  Depe in this pyninge pitte with wo I ligge y-stocked,
  with chaynes linked of care and of tene. It is so hye from thens
  I lye and the commune erth, there ne is cable in no lande maked,
  that might strecche to me, to drawe me in-to blisse; ne steyers
  to steye on is none; so that, without recover, endeles here to         45
  endure, I wot wel, I [am] purveyed. O, where art thou now,
  frendship, that som-tyme, with laughande chere, madest bothe
  face and countenaunce to me-wardes? Truely, now art thou
  went out of towne. But ever, me thinketh, he wereth his olde
  clothes, and that the soule in the whiche the lyfe of frendship was    50
  in, is drawen out from his other spirites. Now than, farewel,
  frendship! and farewel, felawes! Me thinketh, ye al han taken
  your leve; no force of you al at ones. But, lady of love, ye wote
  what I mene; yet thinke on thy servaunt that for thy love
  spilleth; al thinges have I forsake to folowen thyn hestes;            55
  rewarde me with a thought, though ye do naught els. Remembraunce
  of love lyth so sore under my brest, that other thought
  cometh not in my mynde but gladnesse, to thinke on your goodnesse
  and your mery chere; +ferdnes and sorowe, to thinke on your
  wreche and your daunger; from whiche Christ me save! My                60
  greet joye it is to have in meditacion the bountees, the vertues,
  the nobley in you printed; sorowe and helle comen at ones, to
  suppose that I be +weyved. Thus with care, sorowe, and tene
  am I shapt, myn ende with dethe to make. Now, good goodly,
  thinke on this. O wrecched foole that I am, fallen in-to so lowe,      65
  the hete of my brenning tene hath me al defased. How shulde
  ye, lady, sette prise on so foule fylthe? My conninge is thinne,
  my wit is exiled; lyke to a foole naturel am I comparisoned.
  Trewly, lady, but your mercy the more were, I wot wel al my
  labour were in ydel; your mercy than passeth right. God graunt         70
  that proposicion to be verifyed in me; so that, by truste of good
  hope, I mowe come to the haven of ese. And sith it is impossible,
  the colours of your qualitees to chaunge: and forsothe I
  wot wel, wem ne spot may not abyde there so noble vertue
  haboundeth, so that the defasing to you is verily [un]imaginable,      75
  as countenaunce of goodnesse with encresinge vertue is so in you
  knit, to abyde by necessary maner: yet, if the revers mighte falle
  (which is ayenst kynde), I +wot wel myn herte ne shulde therfore
  naught flitte, by the leste poynt of gemetrye; so sadly is it
  +souded, that away from your service in love may he not departe.       80
  O love, whan shal I ben plesed? O charitee, whan shal I ben
  esed? O good goodly, whan shal the dyce turne? O ful of
  vertue, do the chaunce of comfort upwarde to falle! O love,
  whan wolt thou thinke on thy servaunt? I can no more but here,
  out-cast of al welfare, abyde the day of my dethe, or els to see the   85
  sight that might al my wellinge sorowes voyde, and of the flode
  make an ebbe. These diseses mowen wel, by duresse of sorowe,
  make my lyfe to unbodye, and so for to dye; but certes ye, lady,
  in a ful perfeccion of love ben so knit with my soule, that deth
  may not thilke knotte unbynde ne departe; so that ye and my            90
  soule togider +in endeles blisse shulde dwelle; and there shal
  my soule at the ful ben esed, that he may have your presence, to
  shewe th'entent of his desyres.  Ah, dere god! that shal be a
  greet joye! Now, erthely goddesse, take regarde of thy servant,
  though I be feble; for thou art wont to prayse them better that        95
  wolde conne serve in love, al be he ful mener than kinges or
  princes that wol not have that vertue in mynde.

  Now, precious Margaryte, that with thy noble vertue hast
  drawen me in-to love first, me weninge therof to have blisse,
  [ther]-as galle and aloes are so moche spronge, that savour of        100
  swetnesse may I not ataste. Alas! that your benigne eyen, in
  whiche that mercy semeth to have al his noriture, nil by no
  waye tourne the clerenesse of mercy to me-wardes! Alas! that
  your brennande vertues, shyning amonges al folk, and enlumininge
  al other people by habundaunce of encresing, sheweth to me            105
  but smoke and no light! These thinges to thinke in myn herte
  maketh every day weping in myn eyen to renne. These liggen
  on my backe so sore, that importable burthen me semeth on my
  backe to be charged; it maketh me backwarde to meve, whan
  my steppes by comune course even-forth pretende. These                110
  thinges also, on right syde and lift, have me so envolved with
  care, that wanhope of helpe is throughout me ronne; trewly,
  +I leve, that graceles is my fortune, whiche that ever sheweth it
  me-wardes by a cloudy disese, al redy to make stormes of tene;
  and the blisful syde halt stil awayward, and wol it not suffre to     115
  me-wardes to turne; no force, yet wol I not ben conquered.

  O, alas! that your nobley, so moche among al other creatures
  commended by +flowinge streme +of al maner vertues, but
  ther ben wonderful, I not whiche that let the flood to come
  in-to my soule; wherefore, purely mated with sorowe thorough-sought,  120
  my-selfe I crye on your goodnesse to have pitè on this
  caytif, that in the in[ne]rest degree of sorowe and disese is left,
  and, without your goodly wil, from any helpe and recovery.
  These sorowes may I not sustene, but-if my sorowe shulde be
  told and to you-wardes shewed; although moche space is bitwene        125
  us twayne, yet me thinketh that by suche +joleyvinge wordes my
  disese ginneth ebbe. Trewly, me thinketh that the sowne of my
  lamentacious weping is right now flowe in-to your presence, and
  there cryeth after mercy and grace, to which thing (me semeth)
  thee list non answere to yeve, but with a deynous chere ye            130
  commaunden it to avoide; but god forbid that any word shuld of
  you springe, to have so litel routh! Pardè, pitè and mercy in
  every Margarite is closed by kynde amonges many other vertues,
  by qualitees of comfort; but comfort is to me right naught worth,
  withouten mercy and pitè of you alone; whiche thinges hastely         135
  god me graunt for his mercy!

CH. I. 2. enioy. 3. sondrye. 5. nowe. 6. disease outwarde. 7. comforte. 8.
ferre. 9. hell. dethe. 10. endelesse. 12. hent. 13. swynke. 14. dwellynge-.
wytlesse. 15. syghtlesse. prisone. 16. caytisned (_for_ caytifued). 17.
wode (!); _for_ worde; _read_ word. 18. made. reason. herde. 20. disease.
21. beames. 22. _For_ be-went, Th. _has_ be-we_n_t. 23. one. 25. wyl of;
_apparently an error for_ whyles (_which I adopt_). luste. 26. dede (_for_
drede). 27. myne. 28. twynckelynge. disease. 29. lette (_twice_). dey.
measure. 30. myne. comforte. 31. diseased. maye. aueyle. 32. endlesse.

33. wote; myne hert breaketh. 34. howe. grou_n_de. forthe. 35. howe.
shippe. great. 36. Howe. 39. nowe. sayne. 40. arte. weate. 44. stretche.
45. stey. endlesse. 46. wotte. _I supply_ am. spurveyde. arte. nowe. 47.
frenshyppe (_sic_). 48. nowe arte. 49. weareth. 51. Nowe. 53. leaue. 57.
lythe. 59. frendes (_sic_); _for_ ferdnes: _cf._ p. 9, l. 9. 60. Christe.
61. great. bounties. 62. hel. 63. veyned (_sic_); _for_ weyued. 64. shapte.
Nowe. 65. wretched. 66. heate. 68. wytte.

69. wote. 72. ease. sythe. 73. qualyties. 74. wote. wemme ne spotte maye.
75. _Read_ unimaginable. 77. knytte. fal. 78. wol wel (_for_ wot wel). 80.
sonded; _read_ souded. maye. 81. pleased. charyte. 82. eased. 83. comforte.
fal. 85. out caste. daye. se. 86. flodde. 87. diseases. 89. perfectyon.
knytte. dethe. 91. togyther is endelesse in blysse(!). dwel. 92. eased. 93.
thentent. 94. great. Nowe. 95. arte wonte. 98. Nowe. haste. 100. _I supply_
ther. 104. folke.

105. encreasing. 110. forthe. 112, 113. trewly and leue; _read_ trewly I
leve. 113. gracelesse. 114. disease. 115. halte. 117. (_The sentence
beginning_ O, alas _seems hopelessly corrupt; there are pause-marks after_
vertues _and_ wonderful.) 118. folowynge; _read_ flowinge. by; _read_ of.
119. flode. 122. caytife. inrest. disease. lefte. 124. maye. 125. tolde.
126. ioleynynge (_sic_). 127. disease. 128. nowe. 130. the lyst none. 131.
worde. 134. qualites of comforte. worthe.

                          CHAPTER II.

  Rehersinge these thinges and many other, without tyme
  or moment of rest, me semed, for anguisshe of disese, that
  al-togider I was ravisshed, I can not telle how; but hoolly all my
  passions and felinges weren lost, as it semed, for the tyme; and
  sodainly a maner of drede lighte in me al at ones; nought suche         5
  fere as folk have of an enemy, that were mighty and wolde hem
  greve or don hem disese. For, I trowe, this is wel knowe to many
  persones, that otherwhyle, if a man be in his soveraignes presence,
  a maner of ferdnesse crepeth in his herte, not for harme, but of
  goodly subjeccion; namely, as men reden that aungels ben aferde        10
  of our saviour in heven. And pardè, there ne is, ne may no
  passion of disese be; but it is to mene, that angels ben adradde,
  not by +ferdnes of drede, sithen they ben perfitly blissed, [but]
  as [by] affeccion of wonderfulnesse and by service of obedience.
  Suche ferde also han these lovers in presence of their loves, and      15
  subjectes aforn their soveraynes. Right so with ferdnesse myn
  herte was caught. And I sodainly astonied, there entred in-to
  the place there I was logged a lady, the semeliest and most
  goodly to my sight that ever to-forn apered to any creature; and
  trewly, in the blustringe of her looke, she yave gladnesse and         20
  comfort sodaynly to al my wittes; and right so she doth to
  every wight that cometh in her presence. And for she was so
  goodly, as me thought, myn herte began somdele to be enbolded,
  and wexte a litel hardy to speke; but yet, with a quakinge
  voyce, as I durste, I salued her, and enquired what she was;           25
  and why she, so worthy to sight, dayned to entre in-to so foule
  a dongeon, and namely a prison, without leve of my kepers.
  For certes, al-though the vertue of dedes of mercy strecchen to
  visiten the poore prisoners, and hem, after that facultees ben had,
  to comforte, me semed that I was so fer fallen in-to miserye and       30
  wrecched hid caytifnesse, that me shulde no precious thing
  neighe; and also, that for my sorowe every wight shulde ben
  hevy, and wisshe my recovery. But whan this lady had somdele
  apperceyved, as wel by my wordes as by my chere, what thought
  besied me within, with a good womanly countenance she sayde            35
  these wordes:--

  'O my nory, wenest thou that my maner be, to foryete my
  frendes or my servauntes? Nay,' quod she, 'it is my ful entente
  to visyte and comforte al my frendshippes and allyes, as wel in
  tyme of perturbacion as of moost propertee of blisse; in me shal       40
  unkyndnesse never be founden: and also, sithen I have so fewe
  especial trewe now in these dayes. Wherefore I may wel at more
  leysar come to hem that me deserven; and if my cominge may
  in any thinge avayle, wete wel, I wol come often.'

  'Now, good lady,' quod I, 'that art so fayre on to loke,               45
  reyninge hony by thy wordes, blisse of paradys arn thy lokinges,
  joye and comfort are thy movinges. What is thy name? How
  is it that in you is so mokel werkinge vertues enpight, as me
  semeth, and in none other creature that ever saw I with myne
  eyen?'                                                                 50

  'My disciple,' quod she, 'me wondreth of thy wordes and on
  thee, that for a litel disese hast foryeten my name. Wost thou
  not wel that I am LOVE, that first thee brought to thy service?'

  'O good lady,' quod I, 'is this worship to thee or to thyn
  excellence, for to come in-to so foule a place? Pardè, somtyme,        55
  tho I was in prosperitè and with forayne goodes envolved, I had
  mokil to done to drawe thee to myn hostel; and yet many
  werninges thou madest er thou liste fully to graunte, thyn home
  to make at my dwelling-place; and now thou comest goodly by
  thyn owne vyse, to comforte me with wordes; and so there-thorough      60
  I ginne remembre on passed gladnesse. Trewly, lady,
  I ne wot whether I shal say welcome or non, sithen thy coming
  wol as moche do me tene and sorowe, as gladnesse and mirthe.
  See why: for that me comforteth to thinke on passed gladnesse,
  that me anoyeth efte to be in doinge. Thus thy cominge bothe           65
  gladdeth and teneth, and that is cause of moche sorowe. Lo, lady,
  how than I am comforted by your comminge'; and with that
  I gan in teeres to distille, and tenderly wepe.

  'Now, certes,' quod Love, 'I see wel, and that me over-thinketh,
  that wit in thee fayleth, and [thou] art in pointe                     70
  to dote.'

  'Trewly,' quod I, 'that have ye maked, and that ever wol
  I rue.'

  'Wottest thou not wel,' quod she, 'that every shepherde ought
  by reson to seke his sperkelande sheep, that arn ronne in-to           75
  wildernesse among busshes and perils, and hem to their pasture
  ayen-bringe, and take on hem privy besy cure of keping? And
  though the unconninge sheep scattred wolde ben lost, renning to
  wildernesse, and to desertes drawe, or els wolden putte hem-selfe
  to the swalowinge wolfe, yet shal the shepherde, by businesse and      80
  travayle, so putte him forth, that he shal not lete hem be lost by
  no waye. A good shepherde putteth rather his lyf to ben lost for
  his sheep. But for thou shalt not wene me being of werse
  condicion, trewly, for everich of my folke, and for al tho that to
  me-ward be knit in any condicion, I wol rather dye than suffre         85
  hem through errour to ben spilte. For me liste, and it me lyketh,
  of al myne a shepherdesse to be cleped. Wost thou not wel,
  I fayled never wight, but he me refused and wolde negligently go
  with unkyndenesse? And yet, pardè, have I many such holpe
  and releved, and they have ofte me begyled; but ever, at the ende,     90
  it discendeth in their owne nekkes. Hast thou not rad how kinde
  I was to Paris, Priamus sone of Troy? How Jason me falsed,
  for al his false behest? How Cesars +swink, I lefte it for no tene
  til he was troned in my blisse for his service? What!' quod she,
  'most of al, maked I not a loveday bytwene god and mankynde,           95
  and chees a mayde to be nompere, to putte the quarel at ende?
  Lo! how I have travayled to have thank on al sydes, and yet list
  me not to reste, and I might fynde on +whom I shulde werche.
  But trewly, myn owne disciple, bycause I have thee founde, at al
  assayes, in thy wil to be redy myn hestes to have folowed, and        100
  hast ben trewe to that Margarite-perle that ones I thee shewed;
  and she alwaye, ayenward, hath mad but daungerous chere;
  I am come, in propre person, to putte thee out of errours, and
  make thee gladde by wayes of reson; so that sorow ne disese shal
  no more hereafter thee amaistry. Wherthrough I hope thou              105
  shalt lightly come to the grace, that thou longe hast desyred, of
  thilke jewel. Hast thou not herd many ensamples, how I have
  comforted and releved the scholers of my lore? Who hath
  worthyed kinges in the felde? Who hath honoured ladyes in
  boure by a perpetuel mirrour of their tr[o]uthe in my service?        110
  Who hath caused worthy folk to voyde vyce and shame? Who
  hath holde cytees and realmes in prosperitè? If thee liste clepe
  ayen thyn olde remembraunce, thou coudest every point of this
  declare in especial; and say that I, thy maistresse, have be cause,
  causing these thinges and many mo other.'                             115

  'Now, y-wis, madame,' quod I, 'al these thinges I knowe wel
  my-selfe, and that thyn excellence passeth the understanding of
  us beestes; and that no mannes wit erthely may comprehende thy

  'Wel than,' quod she, 'for I see thee in disese and sorowe,           120
  I wot wel thou art oon of my nories; I may not suffre thee so to
  make sorowe, thyn owne selfe to shende. But I my-selfe come
  to be thy fere, thyn hevy charge to make to seme the lesse. For wo
  is him that is alone; and to the sorye, to ben moned by a sorouful
  wight, it is greet gladnesse. Right so, with my sicke frendes I am    125
  sicke; and with sorie I can not els but sorowe make, til whan
  I have hem releved in suche wyse, that gladnesse, in a maner of
  counterpaysing, shal restore as mokil in joye as the passed hevinesse
  biforn did in tene. And also,' quod she, 'whan any of my
  servauntes ben alone in solitary place, I have yet ever besied me     130
  to be with hem, in comfort of their hertes, and taught hem to
  make songes of playnte and of blisse, and to endyten letters of
  rethorike in queynt understondinges, and to bethinke hem in what
  wyse they might best their ladies in good service plese; and
  also to lerne maner in countenaunce, in wordes, and in bering,        135
  and to ben meke and lowly to every wight, his name and fame to
  encrese; and to yeve gret yeftes and large, that his renomè may
  springen. But thee therof have I excused; for thy losse and thy
  grete costages, wherthrough thou art nedy, arn nothing to me
  unknowen; but I hope to god somtyme it shal ben amended, as           140
  thus I sayd. In norture have I taught al myne; and in curtesye
  made hem expert, their ladies hertes to winne; and if any wolde
  [b]en deynous or proude, or be envious or of wrecches acqueyntaunce,
  hasteliche have I suche voyded out of my scole. For
  al vyces trewly I hate; vertues and worthinesse in al my power        145
  I avaunce.'

  'Ah! worthy creature,' quod I, 'and by juste cause the name
  of goddesse dignely ye mowe bere! In thee lyth the grace
  thorough whiche any creature in this worlde hath any goodnesse.
  Trewly, al maner of blisse and preciousnesse in vertue out of         150
  thee springen and wellen, as brokes and rivers proceden from
  their springes. And lyke as al waters by kynde drawen to the see,
  so al kyndely thinges thresten, by ful appetyte of desyre, to drawe
  after thy steppes, and to thy presence aproche as to their kyndely
  perfeccion. How dare than beestes in this worlde aught forfete        155
  ayenst thy devyne purveyaunce? Also, lady, ye knowen al the
  privy thoughtes; in hertes no counsayl may ben hid from your
  knowing. Wherfore I wot wel, lady, that ye knowe your-selfe that
  I in my conscience am and have ben willinge to your service, al
  coude I never do as I shulde; yet, forsothe, fayned I never to        160
  love otherwyse than was in myn herte; and if I coude have made
  chere to one and y-thought another, as many other doon alday
  afore myn eyen, I trowe it wolde not me have vayled.'

  'Certes,' quod she, 'haddest thou so don, I wolde not now
  have thee here visited.'                                              165

  'Ye wete wel, lady, eke,' quod I, 'that I have not played raket,
  "nettil in, docke out," and with the wethercocke waved; and
  trewly, there ye me sette, by acorde of my conscience I wolde
  not flye, til ye and reson, by apert strength, maden myn herte to
  tourne.'                                                              170

  'In good fayth,' quod she, 'I have knowe thee ever of tho
  condicions; and sithen thou woldest (in as moch as in thee was)
  a made me privy of thy counsayl and juge of thy conscience
  (though I forsook it in tho dayes til I saw better my tyme), wolde
  never god that I shuld now fayle; but ever I wol be redy              175
  witnessing thy sothe, in what place that ever I shal, ayenst al tho
  that wol the contrary susteyne. And for as moche as to me is
  naught unknowen ne hid of thy privy herte, but al hast thou tho
  thinges mad to me open at the ful, that hath caused my cominge
  in-to this prison, to voyde the webbes of thyne eyen, to make thee    180
  clerely to see the errours thou hast ben in. And bycause that
  men ben of dyvers condicions, some adradde to saye a sothe, and
  some for a sothe anon redy to fighte, and also that I may not my-selfe
  ben in place to withsaye thilke men that of thee speken
  otherwyse than the sothe, I wol and I charge thee, in vertue of       185
  obedience that thou to me owest, to wryten my wordes and sette
  hem in wrytinges, that they mowe, as my witnessinge, ben
  noted among the people. For bookes written neyther dreden ne
  shamen, ne stryve conne; but only shewen the entente of the
  wryter, and yeve remembraunce to the herer; and if any wol in         190
  thy presence saye any-thing to tho wryters, loke boldely; truste on
  Mars to answere at the ful. For certes, I shal him enfourme of
  al the trouthe in thy love, with thy conscience; so that of his
  helpe thou shalt not varye at thy nede. I trowe the strongest and
  the beste that may be founde wol not transverse thy wordes;           195
  wherof than woldest thou drede?'

CH. II. 2. disease. 3. tel howe. holy. 4. loste. 5. light. 6. feare. folke.
7. done. disease. 9. ferdenesse. 10. subiection. 11. maye. 12. disease.
meane. 13. frendes; _read_ ferdnes; _see_ l. 16. perfytely. _I supply_ but
_and_ by. 14. affection. 16. aforne. ferdenesse. 18. lodged. moste. 19.
to-forne. 21. comforte sodaynely. dothe. 23. myne. beganne. 27. prisone.
leaue. 28. al-thoughe. stretchen. 29. faculties. 30. ferre. 31. wretched
hyd. thynge. 33. heauy.

37. wenyst. foryet. 38. naye. 39. frenshippes. alyes. 40. propertye. 42.
nowe. 42, 43. maye. 45. Nowe. 46. honny. paradise. 47. comforte. howe. 49.
sawe. 52. the. disease haste. Woste. 53. the. 54. worshyppe. the. thyne.
57. the. 58. graunt thyne. 59. nowe. 60. thyne. 61. thoroughe. 62. wotte.
none. 64. se. 67. howe. 69. Nowe. se.

70. wytte in the. _I supply_ thou. arte. 74. shepeherde. 75. shepe. arne.
76. amonge. 78. tho. shepe. loste. 79. put. 80. shepeherde. 81. put.
forthe. let. loste. 82. shepeherde. lyfe. loste. 83. shepe. shalte. 85.
mewarde. 86. throughe. 91. Haste. radde howe. 92. so_n_ne. 93. _For_ false
_read_ faire. howe Sesars sonke (_sic_); _corrupt_. 95. louedaye. 96.
chese. put. 97. howe. thanke. 98. rest. home; _read_ whom. 99. the. 101.
haste. the. 102. ayenwarde. made. 103. put the. 104. the. reason. disease.

105. the. 106. shalte. haste. 107. Haste. herde. howe. 111. folke. 112.
cyties. the. cleape. 113. poynte. 116. Nowe. 118. wytte. 120. se the in
disease. 121. wote. arte one. maye. the. 123. thyne. 125. great. 129.
byforne. 131. comforte. 134. please. 135. bearyng. 137. encrease. maye.
138. the. 139. great. wherthroughe. arte. arne no-thinge.

141. thus as I; _om._ as. 143. endeynous; _read_ ben deynous. wretches.
144. schole. 148. beare. the lythe. 151. the. 155. perfection. Howe. 157.
counsayle maye. hydde. 158. wote. 162. doone aldaye. 164. done. nowe. 165.
the. 166. playde. 169. reason. aperte. 171. faythe. the. 172. the. 173.
counsayle. 174. forsoke. 175. nowe.

178. hert. 179. made. 180. the. 181. se. 183. anone. fyght. maye. 184.
withsay. the. 185. the. 188. amonge. 189. onely. 191. -thynge. 194. shalte.
195. maye. transuers.

                          CHAPTER III.

  Gretly was I tho gladded of these wordes, and (as who
  saith) wexen somdel light in herte; both for the auctoritè
  of witnesse, and also for sikernesse of helpe of the forsayd
  beheste, and sayd:--

  'Trewly, lady, now am I wel gladded through comfort of                  5
  your wordes. Be it now lykinge unto your nobley to shewe
  whiche folk diffame your servauntes, sithe your service ought
  above al other thinges to ben commended.'

  'Yet,' quod she, 'I see wel thy soule is not al out of the
  amased cloude. Thee were better to here thing that thee might          10
  lighte out of thyn hevy charge and after knowing of thyn owne
  helpe, than to stirre swete wordes and such resons to here;
  for in a thoughtful soule (and namely suche oon as thou art)
  wol not yet suche thinges sinken. Come of, therfore, and let
  me seen thy hevy charge, that I may the lightlier for thy comfort      15

  'Now, certes, lady,' quod I, 'the moste comfort I might have
  were utterly to wete me be sure in herte of that Margaryte I
  serve; and so I thinke to don with al mightes, whyle my lyfe
  dureth.'                                                               20

  'Than,' quod she, 'mayst thou therafter, in suche wyse that
  misplesaunce ne entre?'

  'In good fayth,' quod I, 'there shal no misplesaunce be
  caused through trespace on my syde.'

  'And I do thee to weten,' quod she, 'I sette never yet person          25
  to serve in no place (but-if he caused the contrary in defautes
  and trespaces) that he ne spedde of his service.'

  'Myn owne erthly lady,' quod I tho, 'and yet remembre to
  your worthinesse how long sithen, by many revolving of yeres,
  in tyme whan Octobre his leve ginneth take and Novembre                30
  sheweth him to sight, whan bernes ben ful of goodes as is the
  nutte on every halke; and than good lond-tillers ginne shape
  for the erthe with greet travayle, to bringe forth more corn to
  mannes sustenaunce, ayenst the nexte yeres folowing. In suche
  tyme of plentee he that hath an home and is wyse, list not to          35
  wander mervayles to seche, but he be constrayned or excited.
  Oft the lothe thing is doon, by excitacion of other mannes
  opinion, whiche wolden fayne have myn abydinge. [Tho gan I]
  take in herte of luste to travayle and see the wynding of the erthe
  in that tyme of winter. By woodes that large stretes wern in,          40
  by smale pathes that swyn and hogges hadden made, as lanes
  with ladels their maste to seche, I walked thinkinge alone
  a wonder greet whyle; and the grete beestes that the woode
  haunten and adorneth al maner forestes, and heerdes gonne to
  wilde. Than, er I was war, I neyghed to a see-banke; and for           45
  ferde of the beestes "shipcraft" I cryde. For, lady, I trowe ye
  wete wel your-selfe, nothing is werse than the beestes that
  shulden ben tame, if they cacche her wildenesse, and ginne ayen
  waxe ramage. Thus forsothe was I a-ferd, and to shippe me
  hyed.                                                                  50

  Than were there y-nowe to lacche myn handes, and drawe me
  to shippe, of whiche many I knew wel the names. Sight was
  the first, Lust was another, Thought was the thirde; and Wil eke
  was there a mayster; these broughten me within-borde of this
  shippe of Traveyle. So whan the sayl was sprad, and this ship          55
  gan to move, the wind and water gan for to ryse, and overthwartly
  to turne the welken. The wawes semeden as they kiste togider;
  but often under colour of kissinge is mokel old hate prively
  closed and kept. The storm so straungely and in a devouring
  maner gan so faste us assayle, that I supposed the date of my          60
  deth shulde have mad there his ginning. Now up, now downe,
  now under the wawe and now aboven was my ship a greet
  whyle. And so by mokel duresse of +weders and of stormes,
  and with greet avowing [of] pilgrimages, I was driven to an yle,
  where utterly I wende first to have be rescowed; but trewly, +at       65
  the first ginning, it semed me so perillous the haven to cacche,
  that but thorow grace I had ben comforted, of lyfe I was ful
  dispayred. Trewly, lady, if ye remembre a-right of al maner
  thinges, your-selfe cam hastely to sene us see-driven, and to
  weten what we weren. But first ye were deynous of chere, after         70
  whiche ye gonne better a-lighte; and ever, as me thought, ye
  lived in greet drede of disese; it semed so by your chere.
  And whan I was certifyed of your name, the lenger I loked in
  you, the more I you goodly dradde; and ever myn herte on you
  opened the more; and so in a litel tyme my ship was out of             75
  mynde. But, lady, as ye me ladde, I was war bothe of beestes
  and of fisshes, a greet nombre thronging togider; among whiche
  a muskel, in a blewe shel, had enclosed a Margaryte-perle, the
  moste precious and best that ever to-forn cam in my sight.
  And ye tolden your-selfe, that ilke jewel in his kinde was so          80
  good and so vertuous, that her better shulde I never finde, al
  sought I ther-after to the worldes ende. And with that I held
  my pees a greet whyle; and ever sithen I have me bethought on
  the man that sought the precious Margarytes; and whan he had
  founden oon to his lyking, he solde al his good to bye that jewel.     85
  Y-wis, thought I, (and yet so I thinke), now have I founden the
  jewel that myn herte desyreth; wherto shulde I seche further?
  Trewly, now wol I stinte, and on this Margaryte I sette me for
  ever: now than also, sithen I wiste wel it was your wil that
  I shulde so suche a service me take; and so to desyre that thing,      90
  of whiche I never have blisse. There liveth non but he hath
  disese; your might than that brought me to suche service, that to
  me is cause of sorowe and of joye. I wonder of your worde that
  ye sayn, "to bringen men in-to joye"; and, pardè, ye wete wel
  that defaut ne trespace may not resonably ben put to me-wardes,        95
  as fer as my conscience knoweth.

  But of my disese me list now a whyle to speke, and to enforme
  you in what maner of blisse ye have me thronge. For truly
  I wene, that al gladnesse, al joye, and al mirthe is beshet under
  locke, and the keye throwe in suche place that it may not be          100
  founde. My brenning wo hath altred al my hewe. Whan
  I shulde slepe, I walowe and I thinke, and me disporte. Thus
  combred, I seme that al folk had me mased. Also, lady myne,
  desyre hath longe dured, some speking to have; or els at the lest
  have ben enmoysed with sight; and for wantinge of these thinges       105
  my mouth wolde, and he durst, pleyne right sore, sithen yvels
  for my goodnesse arn manyfolde to me yolden. I wonder, lady,
  trewly, save evermore your reverence, how ye mowe, for shame,
  suche thinges suffre on your servaunt to be so multiplied.
  Wherfore, kneling with a lowe herte, I pray you to rue on this        110
  caytif, that of nothing now may serve. Good lady, if ye liste,
  now your help to me shewe, that am of your privyest servantes
  at al assayes in this tyme, and under your winges of proteccion.
  No help to me-wardes is shapen; how shal than straungers in
  any wyse after socour loke, whan I, that am so privy, yet of helpe    115
  I do fayle? Further may I not, but thus in this prison abyde;
  what bondes and chaynes me holden, lady, ye see wel your-selfe.
  A renyant forjuged hath not halfe the care. But thus, syghing
  and sobbing, I wayle here alone; and nere it for comfort of your
  presence, right here wolde I sterve. And yet a litel am I gladded,    120
  that so goodly suche grace and non hap have I hent, graciously
  to fynde the precious Margarite, that (al other left) men shulde
  bye, if they shulde therfore selle al her substaunce. Wo is me,
  that so many let-games and purpose-brekers ben maked wayters,
  suche prisoners as I am to overloke and to hinder; and, for           125
  suche lettours, it is hard any suche jewel to winne. Is this, lady,
  an honour to thy deitee? Me thinketh, by right, suche people
  shulde have no maistrye, ne ben overlokers over none of thy
  servauntes. Trewly, were it leful unto you, to al the goddes
  wolde I playne, that ye rule your devyne purveyaunce amonges          130
  your servantes nothing as ye shulde. Also, lady, my moeble is
  insuffysaunt to countervayle the price of this jewel, or els to
  make th'eschange. Eke no wight is worthy suche perles to were
  but kinges or princes or els their peres. This jewel, for vertue,
  wold adorne and make fayre al a realme; the nobley of vertue is       135
  so moche, that her goodnesse overal is commended. Who is it
  that wolde not wayle, but he might suche richesse have at his
  wil? The vertue therof out of this prison may me deliver, and
  naught els. And if I be not ther-thorow holpen, I see my-selfe
  withouten recovery. Although I might hence voyde, yet wolde           140
  I not; I wolde abyde the day that destenee hath me ordeyned,
  whiche I suppose is without amendement; so sore is my herte
  bounden, that I may thinken non other. Thus strayte, lady,
  hath sir Daunger laced me in stockes, I leve it be not your wil;
  and for I see you taken so litel hede, as me thinketh, and wol        145
  not maken by your might the vertue in mercy of the Margaryte
  on me for to strecche, so as ye mowe wel in case that you liste,
  my blisse and my mirthe arn feld; sicknesse and sorowe ben
  alwaye redy. The cope of tene is wounde aboute al my body,
  that stonding is me best; unneth may I ligge for pure misesy          150
  sorowe. And yet al this is litel ynough to be the ernest-silver in
  forwarde of this bargayne; for treble-folde so mokel muste I suffer
  er tyme come of myn ese. For he is worthy no welthe, that may
  no wo suffer. And certes, I am hevy to thinke on these thinges;
  but who shal yeve me water ynough to drinke, lest myn eyen            155
  drye, for renning stremes of teres? Who shal waylen with me
  myn owne happy hevinesse? Who shal counsaile me now in
  my lyking tene, and in my goodly harse? I not. For ever the
  more I brenne, the more I coveyte; the more that I sorow, the
  more thrist I in gladnesse. Who shal than yeve me a contrarious       160
  drink, to stanche the thurste of my blisful bitternesse? Lo, thus
  I brenne and I drenche; I shiver and I swete. To this reversed
  yvel was never yet ordeyned salve; forsoth al +leches ben unconning,
  save the Margaryte alone, any suche remedye to purveye.'

CH. III. 1. gladed; _see_ l. 5. 2. somdele. 5. nowe. comforte. 6. nowe. 7.
folke. 9. se. 10. the (_twice_). 11. light. 13. one. arte.

15. sene. comforte. 16. puruey. 17. Nowe. comforte. 21. mayste. 25. the.
set. 29. howe. 30. leaue. 32. londe-. 33. great. forthe. corne. 35.
plentie. lyste. 37. doone. 38. _I supply_ Tho gan I. 39. se. 40. werne. 41.
swyne. 43. great. great. 44. gone; _read_ gonne. 45. ware. 46. shypcrafte.
48. catche. 49. a-ferde. 51. lache.

52. many; _read_ meynee. knewe. 55. sayle. shyppe. 56. wynde. 58. olde. 59.
kepte. storme. 61. made. 61, 62. nowe. 62. shyppe. 62, 64. great. 63.
wethers; _read_ weders. 64. _I supply_ of. 65. as; _read_ at. 66. catche.
67. thorowe. 69. came. 71. a-lyght. 72. great. disease. 75. shyppe. 76.
lad. ware. 77. great. amonge. 79. to-forne came. 82. helde. 83. peace.
great. 85. one. 86. nowe. 87. myne.

88. nowe. 89. Nowe. 91. none. 92. disease. 94. sayne. 95. reasonably. 96.
ferre. 97. disease. 103. folke. 106. mouthe. 107. arne. 108. howe. 111.
caytife. 112. nowe. helpe. 113. protection. 114. helpe. howe. 115. socoure.
116. maye. 117. se. 119. comforte. 120. gladed. 121. none. hente. 122.
lefte. 123. sel.

126. harde. 127. deytie. 133. weare. 139. ther-thorowe. se. 141. daye.
destenye. 143. maye. none. 145. se. 147. stretche. 148. arne. 150. miseasy.
151. ynoughe. 153. ease. maye. 156. teares. 157. myne. nowe. 158. harse
(_sic_); _for_ harme?

161. drinke. 162. sweate. 163. lyches (for leches). 164. puruey.

                          CHAPTER IV.

  And with these wordes I brast out to wepe, that every teere
  of myne eyen, for greetnesse semed they boren out the bal of
  my sight, and that al the water had ben out-ronne. Than thought
  me that Love gan a litel to hevye for miscomfort of my chere;
  and gan soberly and in esy maner speke, wel avysinge what               5
  she sayd. Comenly the wyse speken esily and softe for many
  skilles. Oon is, their wordes are the better bileved; and also, in
  esy spekinge, avysement men may cacche, what to putte forth
  and what to holden in. And also, the auctoritè of esy wordes is
  the more; and eke, they yeven the more understandinge to other         10
  intencion of the mater. Right so this lady esely and in a softe
  maner gan say these wordes.

  ¶ 'Mervayle,' quod she, 'greet it is, that by no maner of semblaunt,
  as fer as I can espye, thou list not to have any recour;
  but ever thou playnest and sorowest, and wayes of remedye, for         15
  folisshe wilfulnesse, thee list not to seche. But enquyre of thy
  next frendes, that is, thyne inwit and me that have ben thy
  maystresse, and the recour and fyne of thy disese; [f]or of disese is
  gladnesse and joy, with a ful +vessel so helded, that it quencheth
  the felinge of the firste tenes. But thou that were wont not only      20
  these thinges remembre in thyne herte, but also fooles therof to
  enfourmen, in adnullinge of their errours and distroying of their
  derke opinions, and in comfort of their sere thoughtes; now canst
  thou not ben comfort of thyn owne soule, in thinking of these
  thinges. O where hast thou be so longe commensal, that hast so         25
  mikel eeten of the potages of foryetfulnesse, and dronken so of
  ignorance, that the olde souking[es] whiche thou haddest of me
  arn amaystred and lorn fro al maner of knowing? O, this is
  a worthy person to helpe other, that can not counsayle him-selfe!'
  And with these wordes, for pure and stronge shame, I wox al            30

  And she than, seing me so astonyed by dyvers stoundes,
  sodainly (which thing kynde hateth) gan deliciously me comforte
  with sugred wordes, putting me in ful hope that I shulde the
  Margarite getten, if I folowed her hestes; and gan with a fayre        35
  clothe to wypen the teres that hingen on my chekes; and than
  sayd I in this wyse.

  'Now, wel of wysdom and of al welthe, withouten thee may
  nothing ben lerned; thou berest the keyes of al privy thinges.
  In vayne travayle men to cacche any stedship, but-if ye, lady,         40
  first the locke unshet. Ye, lady, lerne us the wayes and the
  by-pathes to heven. Ye, lady, maken al the hevenly bodyes
  goodly and benignely to don her cours, that governen us beestes
  here on erthe. Ye armen your servauntes ayenst al debates with
  imperciable harneys; ye setten in her hertes insuperable blood of      45
  hardinesse; ye leden hem to the parfit good. Yet al thing
  desyreth ye werne no man of helpe, that +wol don your
  lore. Graunt me now a litel of your grace, al my sorowes
  to cese.'

  'Myne owne servaunt,' quod she, 'trewly thou sittest nye               50
  myne herte; and thy badde chere gan sorily me greve. But
  amonge thy playning wordes, me thought, thou allegest thinges to
  be letting of thyne helpinge and thy grace to hinder; wherthrough,
  me thinketh, that wanhope is crope thorough thyn hert. God
  forbid that nyse unthrifty thought shulde come in thy mynde,           55
  thy wittes to trouble; sithen every thing in coming is contingent.
  Wherfore make no more thy proposicion by an impossible.
  But now, I praye thee reherse me ayen tho thinges that
  thy mistrust causen; and thilke thinges I thinke by reson to
  distroyen, and putte ful hope in thyn herte. What understondest        60
  thou there,' quod she, 'by that thou saydest, "many let-games
  are thyn overlokers?" And also by "that thy moeble is insuffysaunt"?
  I not what thou therof menest.'

  'Trewly,' quod I, 'by the first I say, that janglers evermore
  arn spekinge rather of yvel than of good; for every age of man         65
  rather enclyneth to wickednesse, than any goodnesse to avaunce.
  Also false wordes springen so wyde, by the stering of false lying
  tonges, that fame als swiftely flyeth to her eres and sayth many
  wicked tales; and as soone shal falsenesse ben leved as tr[o]uthe,
  for al his gret sothnesse.                                             70

  'Now by that other,' quod I, 'me thinketh thilke jewel so
  precious, that to no suche wrecche as I am wolde vertue therof
  extende; and also I am to feble in worldly joyes, any suche
  jewel to countrevayle. For suche people that worldly joyes han
  at her wil ben sette at the highest degree, and most in reverence      75
  ben accepted. For false wening maketh felicitè therin to be
  supposed; but suche caytives as I am evermore ben hindred.'

  'Certes,' quod she, 'take good hede, and I shal by reson to
  thee shewen, that al these thinges mowe nat lette thy purpos
  by the leest point that any wight coude pricke.                        80

CH. IV. 2. great-. 4. heauy. 5. easy. 6. easyly. 7. One. 8. easy speakynge.
catche. put forthe. 9. easy. 11. ladye easely. 13. great. 14. ferre. 16.
the lyste. 17. inwytte. 18. disease (_twice_). 19. nessel; _misprint for_
uessel. 20. wonte. onely. 22. distroyeng. 23. comforte. seare. 24.
comforte. 25. haste. 27. soukyng. 28. arne.

30. woxe. 33. thynge. 36. teares. 38. Nowe. wysedom. the. 39. bearest. 40.
catche. 43. done her course. 45. blode. 46. leaden. parfyte. thynge. 47.
wern. wele; _read_ wol. done. 48. nowe. 49. cease. 53. wherthroughe. 58.
nowe. the. 59. reason. 60. put. 61. lette-games. 63. meanest. 65. arne.

67. steeryng. lyeng. 68. eares. 72. wretche. 78. reason. 79. the. let.

                          CHAPTER V.

  Remembrest nat,' quod she, 'ensample is oon of the
  strongest maner[es], as for to preve a mannes purpos?
  Than if I now, by ensample, enduce thee to any proposicion, is
  it nat preved by strength?'

  'Yes, forsothe,' quod I.                                                5

  'Wel,' quod she, 'raddest thou never how Paris of Troye and
  Heleyne loved togider, and yet had they not entrecomuned of
  speche? Also Acrisius shette Dane his doughter in a tour, for
  suertee that no wight shulde of her have no maistry in my
  service; and yet Jupiter by signes, without any speche, had            10
  al his purpose ayenst her fathers wil. And many suche mo have
  ben knitte in trouthe, and yet spake they never togider; for
  that is a thing enclosed under secretnesse of privytè, why twey
  persons entremellen hertes after a sight. The power in knowing,
  of such thinges +to preven, shal nat al utterly be yeven to you        15
  beestes; for many thinges, in suche precious maters, ben
  reserved to jugement of devyne purveyaunce; for among lyving
  people, by mannes consideracion, moun they nat be determined.
  Wherfore I saye, al the envy, al the janglinge, that wel ny [al]
  people upon my servauntes maken +ofte, is rather cause of esployte     20
  than of any hindringe.'

  'Why, than,' quod I, 'suffre ye such wrong; and moun, whan
  ye list, lightly al such yvels abate? Me semeth, to you it is
  a greet unworship.'

  'O,' quod she, 'hold now thy pees. I have founden to many              25
  that han ben to me unkynde, that trewly I wol suffre every wight
  in that wyse to have disese; and who that continueth to the ende
  wel and trewly, hem wol I helpen, and as for oon of myne in-to
  blisse [don] to wende. As [in] marcial doing in Grece, who
  was y-crowned? By god, nat the strongest; but he that rathest          30
  com and lengest abood and continued in the journey, and spared
  nat to traveyle as long as the play leste. But thilke person, that
  profred him now to my service, [and] therin is a while, and anon
  voideth and [is] redy to another; and so now oon he thinketh
  and now another; and in-to water entreth and anon respireth:           35
  such oon list me nat in-to perfit blisse of my service bringe.
  A tree ofte set in dyvers places wol nat by kynde endure to bringe
  forth frutes. Loke now, I pray thee, how myne olde servauntes
  of tyme passed continued in her service, and folowe thou after
  their steppes; and than might thou not fayle, in case thou worche      40
  in this wyse.'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'it is nothing lich, this world, to tyme
  passed; eke this countrè hath oon maner, and another countrè
  hath another. And so may nat a man alway putte to his eye the
  salve that he heled with his hele. For this is sothe: betwixe          45
  two thinges liche, ofte dyversitè is required.'

  'Now,' quod she, 'that is sothe; dyversitè of nation, dyversitè of
  lawe, as was maked by many resons; for that dyversitè cometh in
  by the contrarious malice of wicked people, that han envyous hertes
  ayenst other. But trewly, my lawe to my servauntes ever hath           50
  ben in general, whiche may nat fayle. For right as mannes +lawe
  that is ordained by many determinacions, may nat be knowe for
  good or badde, til assay of the people han proved it and [founden]
  to what ende it draweth; and than it sheweth the necessitè
  therof, or els the impossibilitè: right so the lawe of my servauntes   55
  so wel hath ben proved in general, that hitherto hath it not fayled.

  Wiste thou not wel that al the lawe of kynde is my lawe, and
  by god ordayned and stablisshed to dure by kynde resoun?
  Wherfore al lawe by mannes witte purveyed ought to be underput
  to lawe of kynde, whiche yet hath be commune to every kyndely          60
  creature; that my statutes and my lawe that ben kyndely arn
  general to al peoples. Olde doinges and by many turninges of
  yeres used, and with the peoples maner proved, mowen nat so
  lightly ben defased; but newe doinges, contrariauntes suche olde,
  ofte causen diseses and breken many purposes. Yet saye I nat           65
  therfore that ayen newe mischeef men shulde nat ordaynen
  a newe remedye; but alwaye looke it contrary not the olde no
  ferther than the malice streccheth. Than foloweth it, the olde
  doinges in love han ben universal, as for most exployte[s] forth
  used; wherfore I wol not yet that of my lawes nothing be adnulled.     70
  But thanne to thy purpos: suche jangelers and lokers, and
  wayters of games, if thee thinke in aught they mowe dere, yet
  love wel alwaye, and sette hem at naught; and let thy port ben
  lowe in every wightes presence, and redy in thyne herte to
  maynteyne that thou hast begonne; and a litel thee fayne with          75
  mekenesse in wordes; and thus with sleyght shalt thou surmount
  and dequace the yvel in their hertes. And wysdom yet is to seme
  flye otherwhyle, there a man wol fighte. Thus with suche thinges
  the tonges of yvel shal ben stilled; els fully to graunte thy ful
  meninge, for-sothe ever was and ever it shal be, that myn enemyes      80
  ben aferde to truste to any fightinge. And therfore have thou no
  cowardes herte in my service, no more than somtyme thou
  haddest in the contrarye. For if thou drede suche jangleres, thy
  viage to make, understand wel, that he that dredeth any rayn, to
  sowe his cornes, he shal have than [bare] bernes. Also he that         85
  is aferd of his clothes, let him daunce naked! Who nothing
  undertaketh, and namely in my service, nothing acheveth. After
  grete stormes the +weder is often mery and smothe. After
  moche clatering, there is mokil rowning. Thus, after jangling
  wordes, cometh "huissht! pees! and be stille!"'                        90

  'O good lady!' quod I than, 'see now how, seven yere passed
  and more, have I graffed and +grobbed a vyne; and with al the
  wayes that I coude I sought to a fed me of the grape; but frute
  have I non founde. Also I have this seven yere served Laban, to
  a wedded Rachel his doughter; but blere-eyed Lya is brought to         95
  my bedde, which alway engendreth my tene, and is ful of children
  in tribulacion and in care. And although the clippinges and
  kissinges of Rachel shulde seme to me swete, yet is she so
  barayne that gladnesse ne joye by no way wol springe; so that
  I may wepe with Rachel. I may not ben counsayled with solace,         100
  sithen issue of myn hertely desyre is fayled. Now than I pray that
  to me [come] sone fredom and grace in this eight[eth] yere; this
  eighteth mowe to me bothe be kinrest and masseday, after the
  seven werkedays of travayle, to folowe the Christen lawe; and,
  what ever ye do els, that thilke Margaryte be holden so, lady, in     105
  your privy chambre, that she in this case to none other person be

  'Loke than,' quod she, 'thou persever in my service, in whiche
  I have thee grounded; that thilke scorn in thyn enemyes mowe
  this on thy person be not sothed: "lo! this man began to edefye,      110
  but, for his foundement is bad, to the ende may he it not bringe."
  For mekenesse in countenaunce, with a manly hert in dedes and
  in longe continuaunce, is the conisance of my livery to al my
  retinue delivered. What wenest thou, that me list avaunce suche
  persons as loven the first sittinges at feestes, the highest stoles   115
  in churches and in hal, loutinges of peoples in markettes and fayres;
  unstedfaste to byde in one place any whyle togider; wening his
  owne wit more excellent than other; scorning al maner devyse
  but his own? Nay, nay, god wot, these shul nothing parten of
  my blisse. Truly, my maner here-toforn hath ben [to] worship[pe]      120
  with my blisse lyons in the felde and lambes in chambre;
  egles at assaute and maydens in halle; foxes in counsayle, stil[le]
  in their dedes; and their proteccioun is graunted, redy to ben
  a bridge; and their baner is arered, like wolves in the felde.
  Thus, by these wayes, shul men ben avaunced; ensample of              125
  David, that from keping of shepe was drawen up in-to the order
  of kingly governaunce; and Jupiter, from a bole, to ben Europes
  fere; and Julius Cesar, from the lowest degrè in Rome, to be
  mayster of al erthly princes; and Eneas from hel, to be king of
  the countrè there Rome is now stonding. And so to thee I say;         130
  thy grace, by bering ther-after, may sette thee in suche plight,
  that no jangling may greve the leest tucke of thy hemmes; that
  [suche] are their +jangles, is nought to counte at a cresse in thy

CH. V. 1. one. 2. maner; _read_ maneres. purpose. 3. nowe. the. 4. proued.
6. howe. 9. suertie. 15. so; _read_ to. 17. lyueng.

19. _I supply_ al. 20. efte; _read_ ofte. 24. great. 25. holde nowe thy
peace. 27. disease. 29. one. _I supply_ don. _I supply_ in. 31. come.
abode. 32. lest. 33. nowe. _I supply_ and. 34. _I supply_ is. nowe one. 35.
nowe. 36. one. p_er_fyte. 38. nowe. the howe. 42. worlde. 43. one. 44.
alwaye put. 45. healed. 47. Nowe. 48. reasons. 51. lawes; _read_ lawe. 52.
determinati[=o]s. 53. _I supply_ founden.

58. reasoun. 59. purueyde. vnderputte. 61. arne. 65. diseases. breaken. 66.
mischefe. 68. stretcheth. 69. exployte forthe. 70. nothynge. 71. purpose.
72. the. 73. lette. porte. 75. the. 77. wysdome. 78. fyght. 79. graunt. 80.
meanynge. 84. vnderstande. rayne. 85. _I supply_ bare. 86. aferde. 88.
great. wether; _read_ weder. 90. huysshte. peace. styl. 91. se nowe howe.

92. groubed. 94. none. 101. Nowe. 102. _I supply_ come. 103. kynrest
(_sic_). 109. skorne. 110. this; _read_ thus? 120. toforne. 121. worship;
_read_ worshippe (_verb_). 122. styl. 123. protection.

130. nowe. the. 131. set the. 132. lest. 133. ianghes; _read_ jangles.

                          CHAPTER VI.

  Ever,' quod she, 'hath the people in this worlde desyred
  to have had greet name in worthinesse, and hated foule
  to bere any [en]fame; and that is oon of the objeccions thou
  alegest to be ayen thyne hertely desyre.'

  'Ye, forsothe,' quod I; 'and that, so comenly, the people wol           5
  lye, and bringe aboute suche enfame.'

  'Now,' quod she, 'if men with lesinges putte on thee enfame,
  wenest thy-selfe therby ben enpeyred? That wening is wrong;
  see why; for as moche as they lyen, thy meryte encreseth, and
  make[th] thee ben more worthy, to hem that knowen of the soth;         10
  by what thing thou art apeyred, that in so mokil thou art encresed
  of thy beloved frendes. And sothly, a wounde of thy frende [is] to
  thee lasse harm, ye, sir, and better than a fals kissing in disceyvable
  glosing of thyne enemy; above that than, to be wel with thy
  frende maketh [voyd] suche enfame. _Ergo_, thou art encresed           15
  and not apeyred.'

  'Lady,' quod I, 'somtyme yet, if a man be in disese, th'estimacion
  of the envyous people ne loketh nothing to desertes of men,
  ne to the merytes of their doinges, but only to the aventure of
  fortune; and therafter they yeven their sentence. And some             20
  loken the voluntary wil in his herte, and therafter telleth his
  jugement; not taking hede to reson ne to the qualitè of the
  doing; as thus.  If a man be riche and fulfild with worldly
  welfulnesse, some commenden it, and sayn it is so lent by juste
  cause; and he that hath adversitè, they sayn he is weked; and          25
  hath deserved thilke anoy. The contrarye of these thinges some
  men holden also; and sayn that to the riche prosperitè is purvayed
  in-to his confusion; and upon this mater many autoritès
  of many and greet-witted clerkes they alegen. And some men
  sayn, though al good estimacion forsake folk that han adversitè,       30
  yet is it meryte and encrees of his blisse; so that these purposes
  am so wonderful in understanding, that trewly, for myn adversitè
  now, I not how the sentence of the indifferent people wil jugen
  my fame.'

  'Therfore,' quod she, 'if any wight shulde yeve a trewe sentence       35
  on suche maters, the cause of the disese maist thou see
  wel. Understand ther-upon after what ende it draweth, that is to
  sayne, good or badde; so ought it to have his fame +by goodnesse
  or enfame by badnesse. For [of] every resonable person, and
  namely of a wyse man, his wit ought not, without reson to-forn         40
  herd, sodainly in a mater to juge. After the sawes of the wyse,
  "thou shalt not juge ne deme toforn thou knowe."'

  'Lady,' quod I, 'ye remembre wel, that in moste laude and
  praysing of certayne seyntes in holy churche, is to rehersen their
  conuersion from badde in-to good; and that is so rehersed, as          45
  by a perpetual mirrour of remembraunce, in worshippinge of
  tho sayntes, and good ensample to other misdoers in amendement.
  How turned the Romayne Zedeoreys fro the Romaynes,
  to be with Hanibal ayenst his kynde nacion; and afterwardes,
  him seming the Romayns to be at the next degrè of confusion,           50
  turned to his olde alyes; by whose witte after was Hanibal
  discomfited. Wherfore, to enfourme you, lady, the maner-why
  I mene, see now. In my youth I was drawe to ben assentaunt
  and (in my mightes) helping to certain conjuracions and other
  grete maters of ruling of citizins; and thilke thinges ben my          55
  drawers in; and ex[c]itours to tho maters wern so paynted and
  coloured that (at the prime face) me semed them noble and
  glorious to al the people. I than, wening mikel meryte have
  deserved in furthering and mayntenaunce of tho thinges, besyed
  and laboured, with al my diligence, in werkinge of thilke maters       60
  to the ende. And trewly, lady, to telle you the sothe, me rought
  litel of any hate of the mighty senatours in thilke citè, ne of
  comunes malice; for two skilles. Oon was, I had comfort to ben
  in suche plyte, that bothe profit were to me and to my frendes.
  Another was, for commen profit in cominaltee is not but pees and       65
  tranquilitè, with just governaunce, proceden from thilke profit;
  sithen, by counsayle of myne inwitte, me thought the firste painted
  thinges malice and yvel meninge, withouten any good avayling to
  any people, and of tyrannye purposed. And so, for pure sorowe,
  and of my medlinge and badde infame that I was in ronne, tho           70
  [the] teres [that] lasshed out of myne eyen were thus awaye
  wasshe, than the under-hidde malice and the rancour of purposing
  envye, forncast and imagined in distruccion of mokil people,
  shewed so openly, that, had I ben blind, with myne hondes al the
  circumstaunce I might wel have feled.                                  75

  Now than tho persones that suche thinges have cast to redresse,
  for wrathe of my first medlinge, shopen me to dwelle in this pynande
  prison, til Lachases my threed no lenger wolde twyne. And
  ever I was sought, if me liste to have grace of my lyfe and
  frenesse of that prison, I shulde openly confesse how pees might       80
  ben enduced to enden al the firste rancours. It was fully
  supposed my knowing to be ful in tho maters. Than, lady,
  I thought that every man that, by any waye of right, rightfully
  don, may helpe any comune +wele to ben saved; whiche thing to
  kepe above al thinges I am holde to mayntayne, and namely in           85
  distroying of a wrong; al shulde I therthrough enpeche myn
  owne fere, if he were gilty and to do misdeed assentaunt. And
  mayster ne frend may nought avayle to the soule of him that
  in falsnesse deyeth; and also that I nere desyred wrathe of the
  people ne indignacion of the worthy, for nothinge that ever I          90
  wrought or did, in any doing my-selfe els, but in the mayntenaunce
  of these foresayd errours and in hydinge of the privitees therof.
  And that al the peoples hertes, holdinge on the errours syde,
  weren blinde and of elde so ferforth begyled, that debat and
  stryf they maynteyned, and in distruccion on that other syde;          95
  by whiche cause the pees, that moste in comunaltee shulde be
  desyred, was in poynte to be broken and adnulled. Also the citee
  of London, that is to me so dere and swete, in whiche I was forth
  growen; (and more kyndely love have I to that place than to any
  other in erthe, as every kyndely creature hath ful appetyte to that   100
  place of his kyndly engendrure, and to wilne reste and pees
  in that stede to abyde); thilke pees shulde thus there have ben
  broken, and of al wyse it is commended and desyred. For knowe
  thing it is, al men that desyren to comen to the perfit pees
  everlasting must the pees by god commended bothe mayntayne and        105
  kepe. This pees by angels voyce was confirmed, our god entringe
  in this worlde. This, as for his Testament, he lefte to al his
  frendes, whanne he retourned to the place from whence he cam;
  this his apostel amonesteth to holden, without whiche man perfitly
  may have non insight. Also this god, by his coming, made not          110
  pees alone betwene hevenly and erthly bodyes, but also amonge
  us on erthe so he pees confirmed, that in one heed of love oon
  body we shulde perfourme. Also I remembre me wel how the
  name of Athenes was rather after the god of pees than of batayle,
  shewinge that pees moste is necessarie to comunaltees and citees.     115
  I than, so styred by al these wayes toforn nempned, declared
  certayne poyntes in this wyse. Firste, that thilke persones
  that hadden me drawen to their purposes, and me not weting the
  privy entent of their meninge, drawen also the feeble-witted
  people, that have non insight of gubernatif prudence, to clamure      120
  and to crye on maters that they styred; and under poyntes for
  comune avauntage they enbolded the passif to take in the
  actives doinge; and also styred innocentes of conning to crye
  after thinges, whiche (quod they) may not stande but we ben
  executours of tho maters, and auctoritè of execucion by comen         125
  eleccion to us be delivered. And that muste entre by strength of
  your mayntenaunce. For we out of suche degree put, oppression
  of these olde hindrers shal agayn surmounten, and putten you in
  such subjeccion, that in endelesse wo ye shul complayne.

  The governementes (quod they) of your citè, lefte in the handes       130
  of torcencious citezins, shal bringe in pestilence and distruccion
  to you, good men; and therfore let us have the comune administracion
  to abate suche yvels. Also (quod they) it is worthy
  the good to commende, and the gilty desertes to chastice. There
  ben citezens many, for-ferde of execucion that shal be doon; for      135
  extorcions by hem committed ben evermore ayenst these purposes
  and al other good mevinges. Never-the-latter, lady, trewly the
  meninge under these wordes was, fully to have apeched the
  mighty senatoures, whiche hadden hevy herte for the misgovernaunce
  that they seen. And so, lady, whan it fel that free                   140
  eleccion [was mad], by greet clamour of moche people, [that] for
  greet disese of misgovernaunce so fervently stoden in her eleccion
  that they hem submitted to every maner +fate rather than have
  suffred the maner and the rule of the hated governours;
  notwithstandinge that in the contrary helden moche comune meyny,      145
  that have no consideracion but only to voluntary lustes withouten
  reson. But than thilke governour so forsaken, fayninge to-forn
  his undoinge for misrule in his tyme, shoop to have letted thilke
  eleccion, and have made a newe, him-selfe to have ben chosen;
  and under that, mokil rore [to] have arered. These thinges, lady,     150
  knowen among the princes, and made open to the people,
  draweth in amendement, that every degree shal ben ordayned to
  stande there-as he shulde; and that of errours coming herafter
  men may lightly to-forn-hand purvaye remedye; in this wyse pees
  and rest to be furthered and holde. Of the whiche thinges, lady,      155
  thilke persones broughten in answere to-forn their moste soverayne
  juge, not coarted by payninge dures, openly knowlegeden, and
  asked therof grace; so that apertly it preveth my wordes ben
  sothe, without forginge of lesinges.

  But now it greveth me to remembre these dyvers sentences, in          160
  janglinge of these shepy people; certes, me thinketh, they oughten
  to maken joye that a sothe may be knowe. For my trouthe and
  my conscience ben witnesse to me bothe, that this (knowinge
  sothe) have I sayd, for no harme ne malice of tho persones, but
  only for trouthe of my sacrament in my ligeaunce, by whiche           165
  I was charged on my kinges behalfe. But see ye not now, lady,
  how the felonous thoughtes of this people and covins of wicked
  men conspyren ayen my sothfast trouth! See ye not every wight
  that to these erroneous opinions were assentaunt, and helpes to
  the noyse, and knewen al these thinges better than I my-selven,       170
  apparaylen to fynden newe frendes, and clepen me fals, and
  studyen how they mowen in her mouthes werse plyte nempne?
  O god, what may this be, that thilke folk whiche that in tyme of
  my mayntenaunce, and whan my might avayled to strecche to
  the forsayd maters, tho me commended, and yave me name of             175
  trouth, in so manyfolde maners that it was nyghe in every
  wightes eere, there-as any of thilke people weren; and on the
  other syde, thilke company somtyme passed, yevinge me name
  of badde loos: now bothe tho peoples turned the good in-to
  badde, and badde in-to good? Whiche thing is wonder, that             180
  they knowing me saying but sothe, arn now tempted to reply her
  olde praysinges; and knowen me wel in al doinges to ben trewe,
  and sayn openly that I false have sayd many thinges! And they
  aleged nothing me to ben false or untrewe, save thilke mater
  knowleged by the parties hem-selfe; and god wot, other mater          185
  is non. Ye also, lady, knowe these thinges for trewe; I avaunte
  not in praysing of my-selfe; therby shulde I lese the precious
  secrè of my conscience. But ye see wel that false opinion of the
  people for my trouthe, in telling out of false conspyred maters;
  and after the jugement of these clerkes, I shulde not hyde the        190
  sothe of no maner person, mayster ne other. Wherfore I wolde
  not drede, were it put in the consideracion of trewe and of wyse.
  And for comers hereafter shullen fully, out of denwere, al the
  sothe knowe of these thinges in acte, but as they wern, I have
  put it in scripture, in perpetuel remembraunce of true meninge.       195
  For trewly, lady, me semeth that I ought to bere the name of
  trouthe, that for the love of rightwysnesse have thus me +submitted.
  But now than the false fame, which that (clerkes sayn)
  flyeth as faste as doth the fame of trouthe, shal so wyde sprede
  til it be brought to the jewel that I of mene; and so shal I ben      200
  hindred, withouten any mesure of trouthe.'

CH. VI. 2. great. beare. 3. _read_ enfame; _see l. 6_. one. obiections. 7.
Nowe. leasynges put on the. 8. wronge. 9. se. encreaseth. 10. the. 11. arte
encreased. 12. _I supply_ is. 13. the. harme. false. 15. _I supply_ voyd.
arte. 17. disease. 22. reason. 23. fulfylde. 24. sayne. lente. 25. sayne.
weaked; _read_ wikked? 26. anoye.

27. sayne. 29. great. 30. forsaken; _read_ forsake. 31. encrease. 32. arne.
33. nowe. howe. 36. disease. se. 37. vnderstande. 38. fame or by goodnesse
enfame; _read_ fame by goodnesse or enfame. 39. _Supply_ of. reasonable.
40. wytte. reason to-forne. 41. herde. 42. toforne. 45. conuercion. 48.
Howe. zedeoreys _or_ [gh]edeoreys. 53. meane se nowe. 55. great. 56.
exitours. werne. 61. tel.

63. One. comforte. 64. profyte. 65. profyte. comynaltie. peace. 66.
profyte. 68. meanynge. 71. _I supply_ the _and_ that. 72. rancoure. 73.
fornecaste. distruction. 74. blynde. 76. Nowe. caste. 77. dwel. 78. threde.
80. howe peace. 81. endused. 84. done. maye. helpe (_repeated after_
comen); _read_ wele. thynge. 86. distroyeng. 87. misdede. 88. frende maye.
94. -forthe. debate. 95. stryfe. distruction. 96. peace. comunaltie. 97.
cytie. 98. forthe.

101-6. peace (_five times_). 104. thynge. perfyte. 107. left. 108. came.
109. perfytely. 110. none. 111-2. peace (_twice_). 112. one (_twice_). 113.
howe. 114-5. peace (_twice_). 115. comunalties and cytes. 116. toforne.
119. meanynge. feoble. 120. none. gubernatyfe. 122. passyfe. 126. election.
128. agayne. 129. subiection. 131. distruction. 135. doone.

138. meanynge. 139. heauy. 141. election. _Supply_ was mad. great
(_twice_). _Supply_ that. 142. disease. election. 143. face; _read_ fate.
146. onely. 147. reason. to-forne. 148. shope. 149. electyon. 151. amonge.
154. to forne hande. peace. 156. to forne. 158. apertely. 159. leasynges.
160. nowe. 162. maye. 164. sayde. 165. onely. leigeaunce. 166. se. nowe.
168. Se. 171. cleapen. false.

172. howe. 173. maye. folke. 174. stretch. 179. Nowe. 181. knowyuge
(_sic_). sayng. arne nowe. 183. sayne. 184. nothynge. 185. wote. 186. none.
188. se. 194. werne. 195. meanynge. 196. beare. 197. submytten (!). 198.
nowe. sayne. 199. dothe. 200. meane. 201. measure.

                          CHAPTER VII.

  Than gan Love sadly me beholde, and sayd in a changed
  voyce, lower than she had spoken in any tyme: 'Fayn
  wolde I,' quod she, 'that thou were holpen; but hast thou sayd
  any-thing whiche thou might not proven?'

  'Pardè,' quod I, 'the persones, every thing as I have sayd, han         5
  knowleged hem-selfe.'

  'Ye,' quod she, 'but what if they hadden nayed? How
  woldest thou have maynteyned it?'

  'Sothely,' quod I, 'it is wel wist, bothe amonges the greetest
  and other of the realme, that I profered my body so largely in-to      10
  provinge of tho thinges, that Mars shulde have juged the ende;
  but, for sothnesse of my wordes, they durste not to thilke juge

  'Now, certes,' quod she, 'above al fames in this worlde, the
  name of marcial doinges most plesen to ladyes of my lore; but          15
  sithen thou were redy, and thyne adversaryes in thy presence
  refused thilke doing; thy fame ought to be so born as if in dede
  it had take to the ende. And therfore every wight that any
  droppe of reson hath, and hereth of thee infame for these thinges,
  hath this answere to saye: "trewly thou saydest; for thyne             20
  adversaryes thy wordes affirmed." And if thou haddest lyed, yet
  are they discomfited, the prise leved on thy syde; so that fame
  shal holde down infame; he shal bringe [it in] upon none
  halfe. What greveth thee thyne enemye[s] to sayn their owne
  shame, as thus: "we arn discomfited, and yet our quarel is             25
  trewe?" Shal not the loos of thy frendes ayenward dequace thilke
  enfame, and saye they graunted a sothe without a stroke or fighting?
  Many men in batayle ben discomfited and overcome in
  a rightful quarel, that is goddes privy jugement in heven; but
  yet, although the party be yolden, he may with wordes saye his         30
  quarel is trewe, and to yelde him, in the contrarye, for drede of
  dethe he is compelled; and he that graunteth and no stroke hath
  feled, he may not crepe away in this wyse by none excusacion.
  Indifferent folk wil say: "ye, who is trewe, who is fals, him-selfe
  knowlegeth tho thinges." Thus in every syde fame sheweth to            35
  thee good and no badde.'

  'But yet,' quod I, 'some wil say, I ne shulde, for no dethe,
  have discovered my maistresse; and so by unkyndnesse they
  wol knette infame, to pursue me aboute. Thus enemyes of wil,
  in manyfolde maner, wol seche privy serpentynes queintyses, to         40
  quenche and distroye, by venim of many besinesses, the light of
  tr[o]uthe; to make hertes to murmure ayenst my persone, to have
  me in hayne withouten any cause.'

  'Now,' quod she, 'here me a fewe wordes, and thou shalt fully
  ben answered, I trowe. Me thinketh (quod she) right now, by            45
  thy wordes, that sacrament of swering, that is to say, charging by
  othe, was oon of the causes to make thee discover the malicious
  imaginacions tofore nempned. Every ooth, by knittinge of copulation,
  muste have these lawes, that is, trewe jugement and rightwysenesse;
  in whiche thinge if any of these lacke, the ooth is                    50
  y-tourned in-to the name of perjury. Than to make a trewe
  serment, most nedes these thinges folowe. For ofte tymes, a man
  to saye sothe, but jugement and justice folowe, he is forsworn;
  ensample of Herodes, for holdinge of his serment was [he]
  dampned.                                                               55

  Also, to saye tr[o]uthe rightfulliche (but in jugement) otherwhile
  is forboden, by that al sothes be nat to sayne. Therfore in
  jugement, in tr[o]uthe, and rightwisenesse, is every creature
  bounden, up payne of perjury, ful knowing to make, tho[ugh] it
  were of his owne persone, for drede of sinne; after that worde,        60
  "better is it to dey than live false." And, al wolde perverted people
  fals report make in unkyndnesse, in that entent thy [en]fame to
  reyse, whan light of tr[o]uthe in these maters is forth sprongen
  and openly publisshed among commens, than shal nat suche
  derke enfame dare appere, for pure shame of his falsnesse. As some     65
  men ther ben that their owne enfame can none otherwyse voide
  or els excuse, but +by hindringe of other mennes fame; which
  that by non other cause clepen other men false, but for [that]
  with their owne falsnesse mowen they nat ben avaunsed; or els
  by false sklaund[r]inge wordes other men shenden, their owne           70
  trewe sklaunder to make seme the lasse. For if such men wolden
  their eyen of their conscience revolven, [they] shulden seen the
  same sentence they legen on other springe out of their sydes, with
  so many braunches, it were impossible to nombre. To whiche
  therefore may it be sayd in that thinge, "this man thou demest,        75
  therein thy-selfe thou condempnest."

  But (quod she) understand nat by these wordes, that thou
  wene me saye thee to be worthy sclaunder, for any mater tofore
  written; truely I wolde witnesse the contrary; but I saye that
  the bemes of sclaundring wordes may not be don awaye til the           80
  daye of dome. For how shulde it nat yet, amonges so greet
  plentee of people, ben many shrewes, sithen whan no mo but
  eight persons in Noes shippe were closed, yet oon was a shrewe
  and skorned his father? These thinges (quod she) I trowe, shewen
  that fals fame is nat to drede, ne of wyse persons to accepte, and     85
  namely nat of thy Margarite, whose wysdom here-after I thinke to
  declare; wherfore I wot wel suche thing shal nat her asterte;
  than of unkyndnesse thyn ooth hath thee excused at the fulle.
  But now, if thou woldest nat greve, me list a fewe thinges to
  shewe.'                                                                90

  'Say on,' quod I, 'what ye wol; I trowe ye mene but trouthe
  and my profit in tyme cominge.'

  'Trewly,' quod she, 'that is sothe, so thou con wel kepe these
  wordes, and in the in[ne]rest secrè chambre of thyne herte so
  faste hem close that they never flitte; than shalt thou fynde hem      95
  avayling. Loke now what people hast thou served; whiche of
  hem al in tyme of thyne exile ever thee refresshed, by the valewe
  of the leste coyned plate that walketh in money? Who was sory,
  or made any rewth for thy disese? If they hadden getten their
  purpose, of thy misaventure sette they nat an hawe. Lo, whan          100
  thou were emprisonned, how faste they hyed in helpe of thy
  deliveraunce! I wene of thy dethe they yeve but lyte. They
  loked after no-thing but after their owne lustes. And if thou liste
  say the sothe, al that meyny that in this +brige thee broughten,
  lokeden rather after thyne helpes than thee to have releved.          105

  Owen nat yet some of hem money for his commens? Paydest
  nat thou for some of her dispences, til they were tourned out of
  Selande? Who yave thee ever ought for any rydinge thou madest?
  Yet, pardè, some of hem token money for thy chambre, and
  putte tho pens in his purse, unwetinge of the renter.                 110

  Lo for which a company thou medlest, that neither thee ne
  them-selfe mighten helpe of unkyndnesse; now they bere the
  name that thou supposest of hem for to have. What might thou
  more have don than thou diddest, but-if thou woldest in a fals
  quarel have been a stinkinge martyr? I wene thou fleddest, as         115
  longe as thou might, their privitè to counsayle; which thing thou
  hele[de]st lenger than thou shuldest. And thilke that ought thee
  money no penny wolde paye; they wende thy returne hadde ben
  an impossible. How might thou better have hem proved, but thus
  in thy nedy diseses? Now hast thou ensaumple for whom thou            120
  shalt meddle; trewly, this lore is worth many goodes.'

CH. VII. 2. Fayne. 3. haste. 4. -thynge. 7. Yea. Howe. 9. wyste. amongest.
greatest. 14. Nowe. 15. moste pleasen. 17. borne. 19. reason. the. 22.
leaued. 23. _Supply_ it in. 24. the. enemye (_sic_). sayne. 25. arne. 30.
partie. 33. maye.

34. folke. false. 36. the. 44. Nowe. shalte. 45. answerde. nowe. 46.
swearyng. 47. one. the. 48. othe. copulation. 50. othe. 53. forsworne. 54.
_Supply_ he. 61. false. 62. reporte. 63. forthe. 67. be; _for_ by. 68.
cleapen. _Supply_ that. 70. sklaundynge. shendyn.

72. _I supply_ they. sene. 73. legen [_for_ aleggen]. 75. maye. 77.
vndersta_n_de. 78. the. 80. beames. done. 81. howe. great. 82. plentie. 83.
one. 85. false. 86. wysedom. 87. wotte. thynge. 88. thyne othe. the. 89.
nowe. 91. meane. 92. profyte. 94. inrest. 95. shalte. 96. nowe. haste. 97.
the. 98. sorye. 99. disease. 101. howe. 103. -thynge. 104. brigge; _read_
brige. 104, 105. the.

108. the. 109. pardye. 111. the. 112. now. beare. 114. done. false. 117.
helest; _read_ heledest. the. 119. Howe. 120. diseases. Nowe haste. 121.
shalte. worthe.

                          CHAPTER VIII.

  +Eft gan Love to +steren me [with] these wordes: 'thinke
  on my speche; for trewly here-after it wol do thee lykinge;
  and how-so-ever thou see Fortune shape her wheele to tourne,
  this meditacion [shal] by no waye revolve. For certes, Fortune
  sheweth her fayrest, whan she thinketh to begyle. And as me             5
  thought, here-toforn thou saydest, thy loos in love, for thy
  rightwysenesse ought to be raysed, shulde be a-lowed in tyme cominge.
  Thou might in love so thee have, that loos and fame shul so ben
  raysed, that to thy frendes comfort, and sorowe to thyne enemys,
  endlesse shul endure.                                                  10

  But if thou were the oon sheep, amonges the hundred, were lost
  in deserte and out of the way hadde erred, and now to the flocke
  art restoored, the shepherd hath in thee no joye and thou ayen
  to the forrest tourne. But that right as the sorowe and anguisshe
  was greet in tyme of thyne out-waye goinge, right so                   15
  joye and gladnesse shal be doubled to sene thee converted; and
  nat as Lothes wyf ayen-lokinge, but [in] hool counsayle with the
  shepe folowinge, and with them grasse and herbes gadre. Never-the-later
  (quod she) I saye nat these thinges for no wantrust that
  I have in supposinge of thee otherwyse than I shulde. For              20
  trewly, I wot wel that now thou art set in suche a purpose, out of
  whiche thee liste nat to parte. But I saye it for many men there
  been, that to knowinge of other mennes doinges setten al their
  cure, and lightly desyren the badde to clatter rather than the
  good, and have no wil their owne maner to amende. They also            25
  hate of olde rancours lightly haven; and there that suche thing
  abydeth, sodaynly in their mouthes procedeth the habundaunce
  of the herte, and wordes as stones out-throwe. Wherfore my
  counsayl is ever-more openly and apertly, in what place thou sitte,
  counterplete th'errours and meninges in as fer as thou hem             30
  wistest false, and leve for no wight to make hem be knowe in
  every bodyes ere; and be alway pacient and use Jacobes wordes,
  what-so-ever men of thee clappen: "I shal sustayne my ladyes
  wrathe which I have deserved, so longe as my Margarite hath
  rightwysed my cause." And certes (quod she) I witnesse my-selfe,       35
  if thou, thus converted, sorowest in good meninge in thyne herte,
  [and] wolt from al vanitè parfitly departe, in consolacioun of al
  good plesaunce of that Margaryte, whiche that thou desyrest after
  wil of thyn herte, in a maner of a +moders pitè, [she] shul fully
  accepte thee in-to grace. For right as thou rentest clothes in         40
  open sighte, so openly to sowe hem at his worshippe withouten
  reprofe [is] commended. Also, right as thou were ensample of
  moche-folde errour, right so thou must be ensample of manyfolde
  correccioun; so good savour to forgoing +of errour causeth diligent
  love, with many playted praisinges to folowe; and than shal al         45
  the firste errours make the folowinge worshippes to seme hugely
  encresed. Blacke and white, set togider, every for other more
  semeth; and so doth every thinges contrary in kynde. But
  infame, that goth alwaye tofore, and praysinge worship by any
  cause folowinge after, maketh to ryse the ilke honour in double        50
  of welth; and that quencheth the spotte of the first enfame. Why
  wenest, I saye, these thinges in hindringe of thy name? Nay,
  nay, god wot, but for pure encresing worship, thy rightwysenesse to
  commende, and thy trouthe to seme the more. Wost nat wel
  thy-selfe, that thou in fourme of making +passest nat Adam that eet    55
  of the apple? Thou +passest nat the stedfastnesse of Noe, that
  eetinge of the grape becom dronke. Thou passest nat the
  chastitè of Lothe, that lay by his doughter; eke the nobley of
  Abraham, whom god reproved by his pryde; also Davides
  mekenesse, whiche for a woman made Urye be slawe. What?                60
  also Hector of Troye, in whom no defaute might be founde, yet
  is he reproved that he ne hadde with manhode nat suffred the
  warre begonne, ne Paris to have went in-to Grece, by whom gan
  al the sorowe. For trewly, him lacketh no venim of privè
  consenting, whiche that openly leveth a wrong to withsaye.             65

  Lo eke an olde proverbe amonges many other: "He that is
  stille semeth as he graunted."

  Now by these ensamples thou might fully understonde, that
  these thinges ben writte to your lerning, and in rightwysenesse of
  tho persones, as thus: To every wight his defaute committed            70
  made goodnesse afterwardes don be the more in reverence and in
  open shewing; for ensample, is it nat songe in holy churche,
  "Lo, how necessary was Adams synne!" David the king gat
  Salomon the king of her that was Uryes wyf. Truly, for reprofe
  is non of these thinges writte.  Right so, tho I reherce thy           75
  before-dede, I repreve thee never the more; ne for no villany of
  thee are they rehersed, but for worshippe, so thou continewe wel
  here-after: and for profit of thy-selfe I rede thou on hem thinke.'

  Than sayde I right thus: 'Lady of unitè and accorde, envy
  and wrathe lurken there thou comest in place; ye weten wel             80
  your-selve, and so don many other, that whyle I administred the
  office of commen doinge, as in rulinge of the stablisshmentes
  amonges the people, I defouled never my conscience for no
  maner dede; but ever, by witte and by counsayle of the wysest,
  the maters weren drawen to their right endes. And thus trewly          85
  for you, lady, I have desyred suche cure; and certes, in your
  service was I nat ydel, as fer as suche doinge of my cure

  'That is a thing,' quod she, 'that may drawe many hertes of
  noble, and voice of commune in-to glory; and fame is nat but           90
  wrecched and fickle. Alas! that mankynde coveyteth in so leude
  a wyse to be rewarded of any good dede, sithe glorie of fame, in
  this worlde, is nat but hindringe of glorie in tyme comminge!
  And certes (quod she) yet at the hardest suche fame, in-to heven,
  is nat the erthe but a centre to the cercle of heven? A pricke is      95
  wonder litel in respect of al the cercle; and yet, in al this pricke,
  may no name be born, in maner of peersing, for many obstacles,
  as waters, and wildernesse, and straunge langages. And nat only
  names of men ben stilled and holden out of knowleginge by these
  obstacles, but also citees and realmes of prosperitè ben letted to    100
  be knowe, and their reson hindred; so that they mowe nat ben
  parfitly in mennes propre understandinge. How shulde than the
  name of a singuler Londenoys passe the glorious name of London,
  whiche by many it is commended, and by many it is lacked, and
  in many mo places in erthe nat knowen than knowen? For in             105
  many countrees litel is London in knowing or in spech; and yet
  among oon maner of people may nat such fame in goodnes
  come; for as many as praysen, commenly as many lacken. Fy
  than on such maner fame! Slepe, and suffre him that knoweth
  previtè of hertes to dele suche fame in thilke place there nothing    110
  ayenst a sothe shal neither speke ne dare apere, by attourney
  ne by other maner. How many greet-named, and many greet
  in worthinesse losed, han be tofore this tyme, that now out
  of memorie are slidden, and clenely forgeten, for defaute of
  wrytinges! And yet scriptures for greet elde so ben defased, that     115
  no perpetualtè may in hem ben juged. But if thou wolt make
  comparisoun to ever, what joye mayst thou have in erthly name?
  It is a fayr lykenesse, a pees or oon grayn of whete, to a thousand
  shippes ful of corne charged! What nombre is betwene the
  oon and th'other? And yet mowe bothe they be nombred, and             120
  ende in rekening have. But trewly, al that may be nombred is
  nothing to recken, as to thilke that may nat be nombred. For
  +of the thinges ended is mad comparison; as, oon litel, another
  greet; but in thinges to have an ende, and another no ende,
  suche comparisoun may nat be founden. Wherfore in heven to            125
  ben losed with god hath non ende, but endlesse endureth; and
  thou canst nothing don aright, but thou desyre the rumour therof
  be heled and in every wightes ere; and that dureth but a pricke
  in respecte of the other. And so thou sekest reward of folkes
  smale wordes, and of vayne praysinges. Trewly, therin thou            130
  lesest the guerdon of vertue; and lesest the grettest valour of
  conscience, and uphap thy renomè everlasting. Therfore boldely
  renomè of fame of the erthe shulde be hated, and fame after deth
  shulde be desyred of werkes of vertue. [Trewly, vertue] asketh
  guerdoning, and the soule causeth al vertue. Than the soule,          135
  delivered out of prison of erthe, is most worthy suche guerdon
  among to have in the everlastinge fame; and nat the body, that
  causeth al mannes yvels.

CH. VIII. 1. Ofte; _read_ Eft. sterne; _read_ steren. _I supply_ with. 2.
the. 3. howe. se. 4. meditation. _I supply_ shal. 6. toforne. 8. the. 9.
co_m_forte. 11. one shepe. 12. loste. nowe. 13. arte. shepeherd. the. 15.
great. 16. the.

17. wyfe. _I supply_ in. hoole. 20. the. 21. wotte. nowe. arte sette. 22.
the. 23. bene. 26. thynge. 28. stones _repeated in_ Th. 29. counsayle.
apertely. 30. therrours. meanynges. ferre. 31. wystyst. leaue. 32. eare.
33. menne. the. 36. meanynge. 37. _I supply_ and. wolte. parfytely. 37.
consolatyoun. 38. pleasaunce. 39. hert. mothers; _read_ moders. _I supply_
she. 40. the. 42. _I supply_ is. 44. correctioun. al; _read_ of. _After_
errour _I omit_ distroyeng (_gloss upon_ forgoing). 47. encreased. sette.
48. dothe. 49. gothe. worshippe.

52. wenyste. Naye nay god wotte. 53. encreasyng. 55-7. passeth (_twice_);
passyst (_third time_). ete. 57. eatynge. become. 61. whome. 63. begon.
ganne. 65. leaueth. wronge. withsay. 68. Nowe. 71. done. 72. song. 73.
howe. gate. 74. wyfe. 75. none. 76-7. the (_twice_). 78. profyte. 81. done.
87. ferre. 88. stretcheth.

91. wretched. 96. respecte. 97. borne. 98. onely. 101. reason. 102.
parfitely. Howe. 107. one. 108. Fye. 110. nothynge. 112. Howe. great
(_twice_). 113. nowe. 115. great. 116. maye. wolte. 118. fayre. one grayne
of wheate. thousande. 120. one. thother. 121-2. maye. 123. ofte; _read_ of
the. made. one. 124. great.

126. none. 127. canste nothynge done. rumoure. 128. healed; _read_ deled?
eare. 129. rewarde. 131. valoure. consyence. 134. _Supply_ Trewly, vertue.
136. prisone. guerdone.

                          CHAPTER IX.

  Of twey thinges art thou answered, as me thinketh (quod
  Love); and if any thing be in doute in thy soule, shewe
  it forth, thyn ignoraunce to clere, and leve it for no shame.'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'there is no body in this worlde, that aught
  coude saye by reson ayenst any of your skilles, as I leve; and by       5
  my witte now fele I wel, that yvel-spekers or berers of enfame
  may litel greve or lette my purpos, but rather by suche thinge my
  quarel to be forthered.'

  'Ye,' quod she,'and it is proved also, that the ilke jewel in
  my kepinge shal nat there-thorow be stered, of the lest moment         10
  that might be imagined.'

  'That is soth,' quod I.

  'Wel,' quod she, 'than +leveth there, to declare that thy
  insuffisance is no maner letting, as thus: for that she is so worthy,
  thou shuldest not clymbe so highe; for thy moebles and thyn            15
  estate arn voyded, thou thinkest [thee] fallen in suche miserie,
  that gladnesse of thy pursute wol nat on thee discende.'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'that is sothe; right suche thought is in myn
  herte; for commenly it is spoken, and for an olde proverbe it is
  leged: "He that heweth to hye, with chippes he may lese                20
  his sight." Wherfore I have ben about, in al that ever I might,
  to studye wayes of remedye by one syde or by another.'

  'Now,' quod she, 'god forbede +that thou seke any other
  doinges but suche as I have lerned thee in our restinge-whyles,
  and suche herbes as ben planted in oure gardins. Thou shalt            25
  wel understande that above man is but oon god alone.'

  'How,' quod I, 'han men to-forn this tyme trusted in writtes
  and chauntements, and in helpes of spirites that dwellen in the
  ayre, and therby they han getten their desyres, where-as first, for
  al his manly power, he daunced behynde?'                               30

  'O,' quod she, 'fy on suche maters! For trewly, that is
  sacrilege; and that shal have no sort with any of my servauntes;
  in myne eyen shal suche thing nat be loked after. How often is
  it commaunded by these passed wyse, that "to one god shal men
  serve, and not to goddes?" And who that liste to have myne             35
  helpes, shal aske none helpe of foule spirites. Alas! is nat man
  maked semblable to god? Wost thou nat wel, that al vertue of
  lyvelich werkinge, by goddes purveyaunce, is underput to resonable
  creature in erthe? Is nat every thing, a this halfe god, mad
  buxom to mannes contemplation, understandinge in heven and             40
  in erthe and in helle? Hath not man beinge with stones, soule of
  wexing with trees and herbes? Hath he nat soule of felinge, with
  beestes, fisshes, and foules? And he hath soule of reson and
  understanding with aungels; so that in him is knit al maner
  of lyvinges by a resonable proporcioun. Also man is mad of             45
  al the foure elementes. Al universitee is rekened in him alone;
  he hath, under god, principalitè above al thinges. Now is his
  soule here, now a thousand myle hence; now fer, now nygh;
  now hye, now lowe; as fer in a moment as in mountenaunce of
  ten winter; and al this is in mannes governaunce and disposicion.      50
  Than sheweth it that men ben liche unto goddes, and children of
  moost heyght. But now, sithen al thinges [arn] underput to the
  wil of resonable creatures, god forbede any man to winne that
  lordship, and aske helpe of any-thing lower than him-selfe; and than,
  namely, of foule thinges innominable. Now than, why shuldest           55
  thou wene to love to highe, sithen nothing is thee above but god
  alone? Trewly, I wot wel that thilke jewel is in a maner even in
  lyne of degree there thou art thy-selfe, and nought above, save
  thus: aungel upon angel, man upon man, and devil upon devil
  han a maner of soveraigntee; and that shal cese at the daye            60
  of dome. And so I say: though thou be put to serve the
  ilke jewel duringe thy lyfe, yet is that no servage of
  underputtinge, but a maner of travayling plesaunce, to conquere and
  gette that thou hast not. I sette now the hardest: in my service
  now thou deydest, for sorowe of wantinge in thy desyres; trewly,       65
  al hevenly bodyes with one voyce shul come and make melody in
  thy cominge, and saye--"Welcome, our fere, and worthy to entre
  into Jupiters joye! For thou with might hast overcome deth;
  thou woldest never flitte out of thy service; and we al shul
  now praye to the goddes, rowe by rowe, to make thilk Margarite,        70
  that no routh had in this persone, but unkyndely without comfort
  let thee deye, shal besette her-selfe in suche wyse, that in erthe,
  for parte of vengeaunce, shal she no joye have in loves service;
  and whan she is deed, than shal her soule ben brought up in-to
  thy presence; and whider thou wilt chese, thilke soule shal ben        75
  committed." Or els, after thy deth, anon al the foresayd hevenly
  bodyes, by one accorde, shal +benimen from thilke perle al the
  vertues that firste her were taken; for she hath hem forfeyted
  by that on thee, my servaunt, in thy lyve, she wolde not suffre
  to worche al vertues, withdrawen by might of the hygh bodyes.          80
  Why than shuldest thou wene so any more? And if thee liste
  to loke upon the lawe of kynde, and with order whiche to me
  was ordayned, sothely, non age, non overtourninge tyme but
  +hiderto had no tyme ne power to chaunge the wedding, ne
  the knotte to unbynde of two hertes [that] thorow oon assent, in       85
  my presence, +togider accorden to enduren til deth hem departe.
  What? trowest thou, every ideot wot the meninge and the privy
  entent of these thinges? They wene, forsothe, that suche accord
  may not be, but the rose of maydenhede be plucked. Do way,
  do way; they knowe nothing of this. For consent of two hertes          90
  alone maketh the fasteninge of the knotte; neither lawe of kynde
  ne mannes lawe determineth neither the age ne the qualitè of
  persones, but only accord bitwene thilke twaye. And trewly,
  after tyme that suche accord, by their consent in hert, is enseled,
  and put in my tresorye amonges my privy thinges, than ginneth          95
  the name of spousayle; and although they breken forward bothe,
  yet suche mater enseled is kept in remembrance for ever. And
  see now that spouses have the name anon after accord, though
  the rose be not take. The aungel bad Joseph take Marye his
  spouse, and to Egypte wende. Lo! she was cleped "spouse,"             100
  and yet, toforn ne after, neither of hem bothe mente no flesshly
  lust knowe. Wherfore the wordes of trouthe acorden that my
  servauntes shulden forsake bothe +fader and moder, and be adherand
  to his spouse; and they two in unitè of one flesshe
  shulden accorde. And this wyse, two that wern firste in a litel       105
  maner discordaunt, hygher that oon and lower that other, ben
  mad evenliche in gree to stonde. But now to enfourme thee
  that ye ben liche to goddes, these clerkes sayn, and in determinacion
  shewen, that "three thinges haven [by] the names
  of goddes ben cleped; that is to sayn: man, divel, and images";       110
  but yet is there but oon god, of whom al goodnesse, al grace, and
  al vertue cometh; and he +is loving and trewe, and everlasting,
  and pryme cause of al being thinges. But men ben goddes
  lovinge and trewe, but not everlasting; and that is by adopcioun
  of the everlastinge god. Divels ben goddes, stirringe by              115
  a maner of lyving; but neither ben they trewe ne everlastinge;
  and their name of godliheed th[e]y han by usurpacion, as the
  prophete sayth: "Al goddes of gentyles (that is to say, paynims)
  are divels." But images ben goddes by nuncupacion; and they
  ben neither livinge ne trewe, ne everlastinge. After these wordes     120
  they clepen "goddes" images wrought with mennes handes.
  But now [art thou a] resonable creature, that by adopcion alone
  art to the grete god everlastinge, and therby thou art "god"
  cleped: let thy +faders maners so entre thy wittes that thou might
  folowe, in-as-moche as longeth to thee, thy +faders worship, so       125
  that in nothinge thy kynde from his wil declyne, ne from his
  nobley perverte. In this wyse if thou werche, thou art above
  al other thinges save god alone; and so say no more "thyn herte
  to serve in to hye a place."

CH. IX. 1. arte. 2. thynge. 3. thyne. leaue. 5. reason. 6. nowe. bearers.
7. purpose. 9. Yea. 10. -thorowe. steered. 13. leneth; _read_ leueth. 15.
thyne. 16. arne. _I supply_ thee. 17. the. 18. myne hert.

20. maye. 23. Nowe. are; _read_ that. 24. the. 25. shalte. 26. one. 27.
Howe. to forne. 31. fye. 38. vnderputte. 39. thynge. made. 40. buxome. 41.
manne. 43. reason. 44. knytte. 45. lyuenges. reasonable. made. 47. Nowe.
48. nowe. nowe ferre nowe. thousande. 49. nowe (_twice_). ferre. momente.
50. tenne. disposytion. 52. nowe. _I supply_ arn. vnderputte. 53.
reasonable. 54. lordshippe. thynge.

56. nothynge. the. 57. wote. euyn. 58. arte. 59. manne (_twice_). 60.
soueraygntie. cease. 61. thoughe putte. 64. haste. 64-5. nowe. 68. haste.
dethe. 70. nowe pray. 71. _For_ in _read_ on? comforte. 72. lette the. 75.
wylte. 76. dethe anone. 77. beno_m_men; _read_ benimen. 79. the. 81. the.
83. none (_twice_). 84. hytherto. 85. _Supply_ that. thorowe one. 86.
togyther. dethe. 87. ydeot wotte. 88. accorde. 89. waye (_twice_). 90.

93. onely. 93-4. accorde. 94. ensealed. 96. breaken forwarde. 97. ensealed.
kepte. 98. se nowe. accorde. 99. bade. 101. toforne. 102. luste. 103.
father and mother; _rather_, fader and moder. adherande. 105. werne. 106.
one. 107. made. nowe. the. 108. sayne. 109. thre. _I supply_ by. 110.
cleaped. 111. one. 112. his; _read_ is. 116. lyueng. 117. thy; _read_ they.
118. saythe. 121. cleapen. 122. nowe. _I supply_ art thou a. reasonable.
123. arte (_twice_). great. 124. lette. 124-5. fathers; _read_ faders. 125.
the. worshyppe.

127. arte.

                          CHAPTER X.

  Fully have I now declared thyn estate to be good, so thou
  folow therafter, and that the +objeccion first +by thee
  aleged, in worthinesse of thy Margaryte, shal not thee lette, as
  it shal forther thee, and encrese thee. It is now to declare, the
  last objeccion in nothing may greve.'                                   5

  'Yes, certes,' quod I, 'bothe greve and lette muste it nedes;
  the contrarye may not ben proved; and see now why. Whyle
  I was glorious in worldly welfulnesse, and had suche goodes in
  welth as maken men riche, tho was I drawe in-to companyes
  that loos, prise, and name yeven. Tho louteden blasours; tho           10
  curreyden glosours; tho welcomeden flatterers; tho worshipped
  thilke that now deynen nat to loke. Every wight, in such erthly
  wele habundant, is holde noble, precious, benigne, and wyse to
  do what he shal, in any degree that men him sette; al-be-it that
  the sothe be in the contrarye of al tho thinges. But he that can       15
  never so wel him behave, and hath vertue habundaunt in manyfolde
  maners, and be nat welthed with suche erthly goodes, is holde
  for a foole, and sayd, his wit is but sotted. Lo! how fals for
  aver is holde trewe! Lo! how trewe is cleped fals for wanting
  of goodes! Also, lady, dignitees of office maken men mikel             20
  comended, as thus: "he is so good, were he out, his pere shulde
  men not fynde." Trewly, I trowe of some suche that are so
  praysed, were they out ones, another shulde make him so be
  knowe, he shulde of no wyse no more ben loked after: but only
  fooles, wel I wot, desyren suche newe thinges. Wherfore I wonder       25
  that thilke governour, out of whom alone the causes proceden
  that governen al thinges, whiche that hath ordeyned this world
  in workes of the kyndely bodyes so be governed, not with
  unstedfast or happyous thing, but with rules of reson, whiche
  shewen the course of certayne thinges: why suffreth he suche           30
  slydinge chaunges, that misturnen suche noble thinges as ben we
  men, that arn a fayr parcel of the erthe, and holden the upperest
  degree, under god, of benigne thinges, as ye sayden right now
  your-selfe; shulde never man have ben set in so worthy a place
  but-if his degrè were ordayned noble. Alas! thou that knittest         35
  the purveyaunce of al thinges, why lokest thou not to amenden
  these defautes? I see shrewes that han wicked maners sitten in
  chayres of domes, lambes to punisshen, there wolves shulden ben
  punisshed. Lo! vertue, shynende naturelly, for povertee lurketh,
  and is hid under cloude; but the moone false, forsworn (as             40
  I knowe my-selfe) for aver and yeftes, hath usurped to shyne by
  day-light, with peynture of other mens praysinges; and trewly,
  thilke forged light fouly shulde fade, were the trouth away of
  colours feyned. Thus is night turned in-to day, and day in-to
  night; winter in-to sommer, and sommer in-to winter; not in            45
  dede, but in misclepinge of foliche people.'

  'Now,' quod she, 'what wenest thou of these thinges? How
  felest thou in thyn hert, by what governaunce that this cometh

  'Certes,' quod I, 'that wot I never; but-if it be that Fortune         50
  hath graunt from above, to lede the ende of man as her lyketh.'

  'Ah! now I see,' quod she, 'th'entent of thy mening! Lo,
  bycause thy worldly goodes ben fulliche dispent, thou beraft out
  of dignitè of office, in whiche thou madest the +gaderinge of thilke
  goodes, and yet diddest in that office by counsaile of wyse [before    55
  that] any thing were ended; and true were unto hem whos profit
  thou shuldest loke; and seest now many that in thilke hervest
  made of thee mokel, and now, for glosing of other, deyneth thee
  nought to forther, but enhaunsen false shrewes by witnessinge of
  trouthe! These thinges greveth thyn herte, to sene thy-selfe thus      60
  abated; and than, frayltè of mankynde ne setteth but litel by the
  lesers of suche richesse, have he never so moche vertue; and so
  thou wenest of thy jewel to renne in dispyt, and not ben accepted
  in-to grace. Al this shal thee nothing hinder. Now (quod she)
  first thou wost wel, thou lostest nothing that ever mightest thou      65
  chalenge for thyn owne. Whan nature brought thee forth, come
  thou not naked out of thy +moders wombe? Thou haddest no
  richesse; and whan thou shalt entre in-to the ende of every
  flesshly body, what shalt thou have with thee than? So, every
  richesse thou hast in tyme of thy livinge, nis but lent; thou          70
  might therin chalenge no propertee. And see now; every thing
  that is a mannes own, he may do therwith what him lyketh, to
  yeve or to kepe; bul richesse thou playnest from thee lost; if thy
  might had strecched so ferforth, fayn thou woldest have hem kept,
  multiplyed with mo other; and so, ayenst thy wil, ben they departed    75
  from thee; wherfore they were never thyn. And if thou laudest
  and joyest any wight, for he is stuffed with suche maner richesse,
  thou art in that beleve begyled; for thou wenest thilke joye to be
  selinesse or els ese; and he that hath lost suche happes to ben
  unsely.'                                                               80

  'Ye, forsoth,' quod I.

  'Wel,' quod she, 'than wol I prove that unsely in that wise is
  to preise; and so the tother is, the contrary, to be lacked.'

  'How so?' quod I.

  'For Unsely,' quod she, 'begyleth nat, but sheweth th'entent           85
  of her working. _Et e contra_: Selinesse begyleth. For in prosperitè
  she maketh a jape in blyndnesse; that is, she wyndeth him to
  make sorowe whan she withdraweth. Wolt thou nat (quod she)
  preise him better that sheweth to thee his herte, tho[ugh] it be
  with bytande wordes and dispitous, than him that gloseth and           90
  thinketh in +his absence to do thee many harmes?'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'the oon is to commende; and the other to
  lacke and dispice.'

  'A! ha!' quod she, 'right so Ese, while +she lasteth, gloseth
  and flatereth; and lightly voydeth whan she most plesauntly            95
  sheweth; and ever, in hir absence, she is aboute to do thee tene
  and sorowe in herte. But Unsely, al-be-it with bytande chere,
  sheweth what she is, and so doth not that other; wherfore
  Unsely doth not begyle. Selinesse disceyveth; Unsely put away
  doute. That oon maketh men blynde; that other openeth their           100
  eyen in shewinge of wrecchidnesse. The oon is ful of drede to
  lese that is not his owne; that other is sobre, and maketh men
  discharged of mokel hevinesse in burthen. The oon draweth
  a man from very good; the other haleth him to vertue by the
  hookes of thoughtes. And wenist thou nat that thy disese hath         105
  don thee mokel more to winne than ever yet thou lostest, and
  more than ever the contrary made thee winne? Is nat a greet
  good, to thy thinking, for to knowe the hertes of thy sothfast
  frendes? Pardè, they ben proved to the ful, and the trewe have
  discevered fro the false. Trewly, at the goinge of the ilke brotel    110
  joye, ther yede no more away than the ilke that was nat thyn
  proper. He was never from that lightly departed; thyn owne
  good therfore leveth it stille with thee. Now good (quod she);
  for how moche woldest thou somtyme have bought this verry
  knowing of thy frendes from the flatteringe flyes that thee glosed,   115
  whan thou thought thy-selfe sely? But thou that playnest of losse
  in richesse, hast founden the most dere-worthy thing; that thou
  clepest unsely hath made thee moche thing to winnen. And
  also, for conclusioun of al, he is frende that now leveth nat his
  herte from thyne helpes. And if that Margarite denyeth now nat        120
  to suffre her vertues shyne to thee-wardes with spredinge bemes,
  as far or farther than if thou were sely in worldly joye, trewly,
  I saye nat els but she is somdel to blame.'

  'Ah! pees,' quod I, 'and speke no more of this; myn herte
  breketh, now thou touchest any suche wordes!'                         125

  'A! wel!' quod she, 'thanne let us singen; thou herest no
  more of these thinges at this tyme.'


CH. X. 1. nowe. 2. abiection; _read_ objeccion. be; _read_ by. the. 3. the.
4. the. encrease the. nowe. 5. obiection. 6. let. 7. maye. se nowe. 12.
nowe. 14. set. 15. can ne never; _omit_ ne. 18. wytte. false. 19. auer
(_sic_); _for_ aueir (_avoir_). howe. cleaped. false. 24. onely. 25. wotte.
new. 26. whome. 27. worlde.

29. reason. 32. arne a fayre parsel. 33. nowe. 37. se. 39. pouertie. 40.
hydde. forsworne. 44. daye (_twice_). 46. miscleapynge. 50. wotte. 52. nowe
I se. thentent. meanyng. 53. berafte. 54. gatherynge. 55. _I supply_ before
that. 56. whose profyte. 57. nowe. 58. the (_twice_). nowe. 63. dispyte.
64. the. Nowe. 65. woste.

66. the forthe. 67. mothers; _read_ moders. 69. the. 70. haste. lente. 71.
propertie. se nowe. 72. owne. 73. the. 74. stretched. fayne. 76. the. 78.
arte. 79. ease. loste. 84. Howe. 85. thentent. 88. Wolte. 89. the. 91.
their; _read_ his. the. 92. one. 94. ease. he; _read_ she. 99. dothe.
awaye. 100-1. one (_twice_). 101. wretchydnesse.

103. one. 105. disease. 106. done the. 107. the. great. 109. Pardy. 111.
awaye. 111-2. thyne. 113. leaueth. the. Nowe. 114. howe. 115. the. 117.
thynge. 118. cleapest. the. thynge. 119. nowe leaueth. 120. hert. nowe.
121. the. spreadynge beames. 122. farre. 123. somdele. 124. peace. myne.
125. breaketh nowe. 126. lette.

                          BOOK II.

                          CHAPTER I.

  Very welth may not be founden in al this worlde; and that
  is wel sene. Lo! how in my mooste comfort, as I wende
  and moost supposed to have had ful answere of my contrary
  thoughtes, sodaynly it was vanisshed. And al the workes of man
  faren in the same wyse; whan folk wenen best her entent for to          5
  have and willes to perfourme, anon chaunging of the lift syde to
  the right halve tourneth it so clene in-to another kynde, that never
  shal it come to the first plyte in doinge.

  O this wonderful steering so soone otherwysed out of knowinge!
  But for my purpos was at the beginninge, and so dureth yet, if god     10
  of his grace tyme wol me graunt, I thinke to perfourme this
  worke, as I have begonne, in love; after as my thinne wit, with
  inspiracion of him that hildeth al grace, wol suffre. Grevously,
  god wot, have I suffred a greet throwe that the Romayne
  emperour, which in unitè of love shulde acorde, and every with         15
  other * * * * in cause of other to avaunce; and namely, sithe
  this empyre [nedeth] to be corrected of so many sectes in heresie
  of faith, of service, o[f] rule in loves religion. Trewly, al were
  it but to shende erroneous opinions, I may it no lenger suffre.
  For many men there ben that sayn love to be in gravel and sande,       20
  that with see ebbinge and flowinge woweth, as riches that sodaynly
  vanissheth. And some sayn that love shulde be in windy blastes,
  that stoundmele turneth as a phane, and glorie of renomè, which
  after lustes of the varyaunt people is areysed or stilled.

  Many also wenen that in the sonne and the moone and other              25
  sterres love shulde ben founden; for among al other planettes
  moste soveraynly they shynen, as dignitees in reverence of estates
  rather than good han and occupyen. Ful many also there ben
  that in okes and in huge postes supposen love to ben grounded,
  as in strength and in might, whiche mowen not helpen their owne        30
  wrecchidnesse, whan they ginne to falle. But [of] suche diversitè
  of sectes, ayenst the rightful beleve of love, these errours ben forth
  spredde, that loves servantes in trewe rule and stedfast fayth in
  no place daren apere. Thus irrecuperable joy is went, and anoy
  endless is entred. For no man aright reproveth suche errours,          35
  but [men] confirmen their wordes, and sayn, that badde is noble
  good, and goodnesse is badde; to which folk the prophete biddeth
  wo without ende.

  Also manye tonges of greet false techinges in gylinge maner,
  principally in my tymes, not only with wordes but also with armes,     40
  loves servauntes and professe in his religion of trewe rule pursewen,
  to confounden and to distroyen. And for as moche as holy +faders,
  that of our Christen fayth aproved and strengthed to the Jewes, as
  to men resonable and of divinitè lerned, proved thilke fayth with
  resones, and with auctoritès of the olde testament and of the newe,    45
  her pertinacie to distroy: but to paynims, that for beestes and
  houndes were holde, to putte hem out of their errour, was +miracle
  of god shewed. These thinges were figured by cominge of th'angel
  to the shepherdes, and by the sterre to paynims kinges; as who
  sayth: angel resonable to resonable creature, and sterre of miracle    50
  to people bestial not lerned, wern sent to enforme. But I, lovers
  clerk, in al my conning and with al my mightes, trewly I have no
  suche grace in vertue of miracles, ne for no discomfit falsheedes
  suffyseth not auctoritès alone; sithen that suche [arn] heretikes
  and maintaynours of falsitès. Wherfore I wot wel, sithen that          55
  they ben men, and reson is approved in hem, the clowde of errour
  hath her reson beyond probable resons, whiche that cacchende
  wit rightfully may not with-sitte. By my travaylinge studie I have
  ordeyned hem, +whiche that auctoritè, misglosed by mannes
  reson, to graunt shal ben enduced.                                     60

  Now ginneth my penne to quake, to thinken on the sentences
  of the envyous people, whiche alway ben redy, both ryder and
  goer, to scorne and to jape this leude book; and me, for rancour
  and hate in their hertes, they shullen so dispyse, that although
  my book be leude, yet shal it ben more leude holden, and by            65
  wicked wordes in many maner apayred. Certes, me thinketh,
  [of] the sowne of their badde speche right now is ful bothe myne
  eeres. O good precious Margaryte, myne herte shulde wepe if
  I wiste ye token hede of suche maner speche; but trewly, I wot
  wel, in that your wysdom shal not asterte. For of god, maker of        70
  kynde, witnesse I took, that for none envy ne yvel have I drawe
  this mater togider; but only for goodnesse to maintayn, and
  errours in falsetees to distroy. Wherfore (as I sayd) with reson
  I thinke, thilke forsayd errours to distroye and dequace.

  These resons and suche other, if they enduce men, in loves             75
  service, trewe to beleve of parfit blisse, yet to ful faithe in
  credence of deserte fully mowe they nat suffyse; sithen 'faith hath
  no merite of mede, whan mannes reson sheweth experience in
  doing.' For utterly no reson the parfit blisse of love by no waye
  may make to be comprehended. Lo! what is a parcel of lovers            80
  joye? Parfit science, in good service, of their desyre to comprehende
  in bodily doinge the lykinge of the soule; not as by
  a glasse to have contemplacion of tyme cominge, but thilke first
  imagined and thought after face to face in beholding. What
  herte, what reson, what understandinge can make his heven to be        85
  feled and knowe, without assaye in doinge? Certes, noon. Sithen
  thanne of love cometh suche fruite in blisse, and love in him-selfe
  is the most among other vertues, as clerkes sayn; the seed of
  suche springinge in al places, in al countreys, in al worldes shulde
  ben sowe.                                                              90

  But o! welawaye! thilke seed is forsake, and +mowe not ben
  suffred, the lond-tillers to sette a-werke, without medlinge of
  cockle; badde wedes whiche somtyme stonken +han caught the
  name of love among idiotes and badde-meninge people. Never-the-later,
  yet how-so-it-be that men clepe thilke +thing preciousest              95
  in kynde, with many eke-names, that other thinges that the soule
  yeven the ilke noble name, it sheweth wel that in a maner men
  have a greet lykinge in worshippinge of thilke name. Wherfore
  this worke have I writte; and to thee, tytled of Loves name,
  I have it avowed in a maner of sacrifyse; that, where-ever it be      100
  rad, it mowe in merite, by the excellence of thilke name, the
  more wexe in authoritè and worshippe of takinge in hede; and to
  what entent it was ordayned, the inseëres mowen ben moved.
  Every thing to whom is owande occasion don as for his ende,
  Aristotle supposeth that the actes of every thinge ben in a maner     105
  his final cause. A final cause is noblerer, or els even as noble,
  as thilke thing that is finally to thilke ende; wherfore accion of
  thinge everlasting is demed to be eternal, and not temporal;
  sithen it is his final cause. Right so the actes of my boke 'Love,'
  and love is noble; wherfore, though my book be leude, the cause       110
  with which I am stered, and for whom I ought it doon, noble
  forsothe ben bothe. But bycause that in conninge I am yong,
  and can yet but crepe, this leude A. b. c. have I set in-to lerning;
  for I can not passen the telling of three as yet. And if god
  wil, in shorte tyme, I shal amende this leudnesse in joininge         115
  syllables; whiche thing, for dulnesse of witte, I may not in three
  letters declare. For trewly I saye, the goodnesse of my Margaryte-perle
  wolde yeve mater in endyting to many clerkes; certes, her
  mercy is more to me swetter than any livinges; wherfore my
  lippes mowen not suffyse, in speking of her ful laude and worshippe   120
  as they shulde. But who is that [wolde be wyse] in
  knowing of the orders of heven, and putteth his resones in the
  erthe? I forsothe may not, with blere eyen, the shyning sonne of
  vertue in bright whele of this Margaryte beholde; therfore as yet
  I may her not discryve in vertue as I wolde. In tyme cominge,         125
  in another tretyse, thorow goddes grace, this sonne in clerenesse
  of vertue to be-knowe, and how she enlumineth al this day,
  I thinke to declare.

CH. I. 2. howe. comforte. 3. hadde. 5. folke. 6. anone. 10. purpose. 12.
wytte. 14. wotte. great. 16. _(Something seems to be lost here)._ 17. _I
supply_ nedeth. 18. o; _read_ of. 19. erronyous. maye. 20. menne. sayne.
26. amonge.

31. wretchydnesse. fal. _I supply_ of. 32. forthe. 33. stedfaste faythe.
34. darne. 35. endlesse. 36. _I supply_ men. 37. folke. 39. great. 40.
onely. 42. fathers; _read_ faders. 44. faythe. 47. put. miracles; _read_
miracle. 48. thangel. 50. saythe. 51. werne. 53. discomfyte. 54. _I supply_
arn. 55. wotte. 56. reason. erroure. 57. reason. bewonde (_sic_). catchende
wytte. 59. with; _read_ whiche. 60. reason. 61. Nowe. 62. alwaye. 63.
booke. rancoure. 64. althoughe. 65. booke.

67. _I supply_ of. nowe. 69. wotte. 70. wysdome 71. toke. 73. reason. 75.
reasons. 76. parfyte. 78-9. reason (_twice_). 79. parfyte. 80. maye.
persel. 81. parfyte. 85. reason. 86. none. 88. amonge. sayne. 88-91. sede.
91. mowen; _read_ mowe. 92. londe-tyllers. set. 93. hath; _read_ han. 94.
meanynge. 95. howe. menne cleape. kynge (_sic_); _read_ thing. 98. great.
99. the. 101. radde.

104. thynge. done. 107. thynge. 110. boke. 111. done (_sic_). 112. yonge.
113. canne. sette. 114. thre. 116. thynge. maye. thre. 121. that in knowyng
(_sic_); _supply_ wolde be wyse _before_ in knowing. 125. maye. 126.
thorowe. 127. howe.

                          CHAPTER II.

  In this mene whyle this comfortable lady gan singe a wonder
  mater of endytinge in Latin; but trewly, the noble colours in
  rethorik wyse knitte were so craftely, that my conning wol not
  strecche to remembre; but the sentence, I trowe, somdel have
  I in mynde. Certes, they were wonder swete of sowne, and they           5
  were touched al in lamentacion wyse, and by no werbles of
  myrthe. Lo! thus gan she singe in Latin, as I may constrewe it
  in our Englisshe tonge.

  'Alas! that these hevenly bodyes their light and course shewen,
  as nature yave hem in commaundement at the ginning of the first        10
  age; but these thinges in free choice of reson han non
  understondinge. But man that ought to passe al thing of doinge, of
  right course in kynde, over-whelmed sothnesse by wrongful tytle,
  and hath drawen the sterre of envye to gon by his syde, that the
  clips of me, that shulde be his shynande sonne, so ofte is seye,       15
  that it wened thilke errour, thorow hem come in, shulde ben myn
  owne defaute. Trewly, therfore, I have me withdrawe, and mad
  my dwellinge out of lande in an yle by my-selfe, in the occian
  closed; and yet sayn there many, they have me harberowed; but,
  god wot, they faylen. These thinges me greven to thinke, and           20
  namely on passed gladnesse, that in this worlde was wont me
  disporte of highe and lowe; and now it is fayled; they that
  wolden maystries me have in thilke stoundes. In heven on
  highe, above Saturnes sphere, in sesonable tyme were they
  lodged; but now come queynte counsailours that in no house             25
  wol suffre me sojourne, wherof is pitè; and yet sayn some that
  they me have in celler with wyne shed; in gernere, there corn is
  layd covered with whete; in sacke, sowed with wolle; in purse,
  with money faste knit; among pannes mouled in a +whicche;
  in presse, among clothes layd, with riche pelure arayed; in stable,    30
  among hors and other beestes, as hogges, sheep, and neet; and
  in many other wyse. But thou, maker of light (in winking of
  thyn eye the sonne is queynt), wost right wel that I in trewe name
  was never thus herberowed.

  Somtyme, toforn the sonne in the seventh partie was smiten,            35
  I bar both crosse and mytre, to yeve it where I wolde. With me
  the pope wente a-fote; and I tho was worshipped of al holy
  church. Kinges baden me their crownes holden. The law was
  set as it shuld; tofore the juge, as wel the poore durste shewe
  his greef as the riche, for al his money. I defended tho taylages,     40
  and was redy for the poore to paye. I made grete feestes in my
  tyme, and noble songes, and maryed damoselles of gentil feture,
  withouten golde or other richesse. Poore clerkes, for witte of
  schole, I sette in churches, and made suche persones to preche;
  and tho was service in holy churche honest and devout, in              45
  plesaunce bothe of god and of the people. But now the leude
  for symonye is avaunced, and shendeth al holy churche. Now is
  steward, for his achates; now +is courtiour, for his debates; now
  is eschetour, for his wronges; now is losel, for his songes,
  personer; and [hath his] provendre alone, with whiche manye            50
  thrifty shulde encrese. And yet is this shrewe behynde; free
  herte is forsake; and losengeour is take. Lo! it acordeth; for
  suche there ben that voluntarie lustes haunten in courte with
  ribaudye, that til midnight and more wol playe and wake, but in
  the churche at matins he is behynde, for yvel disposicion of his       55
  stomake; therfore he shulde ete bene-breed (and so did his
  syre) his estate ther-with to strengthen. His auter is broke, and
  lowe lyth, in poynte to gon to the erthe; but his hors muste ben
  esy and hye, to bere him over grete waters. His chalice poore,
  but he hath riche cuppes. No towayle but a shete, there god            60
  shal ben handled; and on his mete-borde there shal ben bord-clothes
  and towelles many payre. At masse serveth but a clergion;
  fyve squiers in hal. Poore chaunsel, open holes in every
  syde; beddes of silke, with tapites going al aboute his chambre.
  Poore masse-book and leud chapelayn, and broken surplice with          65
  many an hole; good houndes and many, to hunte after hart and
  hare, to fede in their feestes. Of poore men have they greet
  care; for they ever crave and nothing offren, they wolden have
  hem dolven! But among legistres there dar I not come; my
  doinge[s], they sayn, maken hem nedy. They ne wolde for                70
  nothing have me in town; for than were tort and +force nought
  worth an hawe about, and plesen no men, but thilk grevous and
  torcious ben in might and in doing. These thinges to-forn-sayd
  mowe wel, if men liste, ryme; trewly, they acorde nothing. And
  for-as-moch as al thinges by me shulden of right ben governed,         75
  I am sory to see that governaunce fayleth, as thus: to sene smale
  and lowe governe the hye and bodies above. Certes, that
  policye is naught; it is forbode by them that of governaunce
  treten and enformen.  And right as beestly wit shulde ben
  subject to reson, so erthly power in it-selfe, the lower shulde ben    80
  subject to the hygher. What is worth thy body, but it be
  governed with thy soule? Right so litel or naught is worth
  erthely power, but if reignatif prudence in heedes governe the
  smale; to whiche heedes the smale owen to obey and suffre in
  their governaunce. But soverainnesse ayenward shulde thinke in         85
  this wyse: "I am servaunt of these creatures to me delivered,
  not lord, but defendour; not mayster, but enfourmer; not
  possessour, but in possession; and to hem liche a tree in whiche
  sparowes shullen stelen, her birdes to norisshe and forth bringe,
  under suretee ayenst al raveynous foules and beestes, and not to       90
  be tyraunt them-selfe." And than the smale, in reste and quiete,
  by the heedes wel disposed, owen for their soveraynes helth and
  prosperitè to pray, and in other doinges in maintenaunce therof
  performe, withouten other administracion in rule of any maner
  governaunce. And they wit have in hem, and grace to come to            95
  suche thinges, yet shulde they cese til their heedes them cleped,
  although profit and plesaunce shulde folowe. But trewly, other
  governaunce ne other medlinge ought they not to clayme, ne
  the heedes on hem to putte. Trewly, amonges cosinage dar
  I not come, but-if richesse be my mene; sothly, she and other         100
  bodily goodes maketh nigh cosinage, ther never propinquitè ne
  alyaunce in lyve was ne shulde have be, nere it for her medling
  maners; wherfore kindly am I not ther leged. Povert of
  kinred is behynde; richesse suffreth him to passe; truly he saith,
  he com never of Japhetes childre. Whereof I am sory that              105
  Japhetes children, for povert, in no linage ben rekened, and
  Caynes children, for riches, be maked Japhetes heires. Alas! this
  is a wonder chaunge bitwene tho two Noës children, sithen that
  of Japhetes ofspring comeden knightes, and of Cayn discended
  the lyne of servage to his brothers childre. Lo! how gentillesse      110
  and servage, as cosins, bothe discended out of two brethern of
  one body! Wherfore I saye in sothnesse, that gentilesse in
  kinrede +maketh not gentil linage in succession, without desert
  of a mans own selfe. Where is now the lyne of Alisaundre the
  noble, or els of Hector of Troye? Who is discended of right           115
  bloode of lyne fro king Artour? Pardè, sir Perdicas, whom that
  Alisandre made to ben his heire in Grece, was of no kinges
  bloode; his dame was a tombestere. Of what kinred ben the
  gentiles in our dayes? I trow therfore, if any good be in gentilesse,
  it is only that it semeth a maner of necessitè be input to            120
  gentilmen, that they shulden not varyen fro the vertues of their
  auncestres. Certes, al maner linage of men ben evenliche in
  birth; for oon +fader, maker of al goodnes, enformed hem al,
  and al mortal folk of one sede arn greyned. Wherto avaunt men
  of her linage, in cosinage or in +elde-faders? Loke now the ginning,  125
  and to god, maker of mans person; there is no clerk ne no
  worthy in gentilesse; and he that norissheth his +corage with
  vyces and unresonable lustes, and leveth the kynde course, to
  whiche ende him brought forth his birthe, trewly, he is ungentil,
  and among +cherles may ben nempned. And therfore, he that             130
  wol ben gentil, he mot daunten his flesshe fro vyces that causen
  ungentilnesse, and leve also reignes of wicked lustes, and drawe
  to him vertue, that in al places gentilnesse gentilmen maketh.
  And so speke I, in feminine gendre in general, of tho persones,
  at the reverence of one whom every wight honoureth; for her           135
  bountee and her noblesse y-made her to god so dere, that his
  moder she became; and she me hath had so greet in worship,
  that I nil for nothing in open declare, that in any thinge ayenst her
  secte may so wene. For al vertue and al worthinesse of plesaunce
  in hem haboundeth. And although I wolde any-thing speke,              140
  trewly I can not; I may fynde in yvel of hem no maner mater.'

CH. II. 1. meane. ganne. 4. stretche. somdele. 7. ganne.

11. none. 12. thynge. 15. sey; _read_ seye _or_ seyen. 16. thorowe. 17.
made. 19. sayne. 20. wote. 21. wonte. 23. nowe. 24. seasonable. 26. sayne.
27. corne. 28. layde. 29. knytte. amonge (_twice_). wyche; _read_ whicche.
30. layde. 31. amonge horse. shepe. nete. 33. woste. 36. bare. 37. went.
40. grefe. 41. pay. great. 44. preache.

45. deuoute. 46. nowe. 47. Nowe. 48. stewarde. nowe. it; _read_ is. nowe.
49. eschetoure. nowe. 50. _I supply_ hath his. 51. encrease. 56. eate
beane-. 58. lythe. gone. horse. 59. easy. beare. great. 61. meate-. borde-.
65. boke. leude chapelayne. 66. harte. 67. great. 68. nothynge. 69. amonge.
dare. 70. sayne. 71. forthe; _read_ force. 72. worthe. pleasen. 73.
to-forne-. 74. nothynge. 76. sorye. se. 78. polesye. 79. treaten. wytte.

80. subiecte. reason. 82. worthe. 83. reignatyfe. 85. ayenwarde. 87. lorde.
88. possessoure. 89. forth bring. 90. suretie. 96. cease. 97. profyte.
pleasaunce. 99. put. dare. 100. meane. 109. comeden (_sic_); _read_ comen?
110. howe. 111. bretherne. 113. maken; _read_ maketh. deserte. 114. nowe.

118. tombystere. 123. one. father; _read_ fader. 124. folke. arne. 125.
-fathers; _read_ -faders. 126. clerke. 127. corare; _read_ corage. 128.
leaueth. 129. forthe. 130. amonge. clerkes (!); _read_ cherles. 131. mote.
132. leaue. 136. bountie. 137. great. 139. maye.

                          CHAPTER III.

  Right with these wordes she stinte of that lamentable
  melodye; and I gan with a lyvely herte to praye, if that
  it were lyking unto her noble grace, she wolde her deyne to
  declare me the mater that firste was begonne, in which she lefte
  and stinte to speke beforn she gan to singe.                            5

  'O,' quod she, 'this is no newe thing to me, to sene you men
  desyren after mater, whiche your-selfe caused to voyde.'

  'Ah, good lady,' quod I, 'in whom victorie of strength is proved
  above al other thing, after the jugement of Esdram, whos lordship
  al lignes: who is, that right as emperour hem commaundeth,             10
  whether thilke ben not women, in whos lyknesse to me ye aperen?
  For right as man halt the principaltè of al thing under his beinge,
  in the masculyne gender; and no mo genders ben there
  but masculyn and femenyne; al the remenaunt ben no gendres but
  of grace, in facultee of grammer: right so, in the femenyne, the       15
  women holden the upperest degree of al thinges under thilke
  gendre conteyned. Who bringeth forth kinges, whiche that ben
  lordes of see and of erthe; and al peoples of women ben born.
  They norisshe hem that graffen vynes; they maken men comfort
  in their gladde cheres. Her sorowe is deth to mannes herte.            20
  Without women, the being of men were impossible. They conne
  with their swetnesse the crewel herte ravisshe, and make it meke,
  buxom, and benigne, without violence mevinge. In beautee
  of their eyen, or els of other maner fetures, is al mens desyres;
  ye, more than in golde, precious stones, either any richesse.          25
  And in this degree, lady, your-selfe many hertes of men have
  so bounden, that parfit blisse in womankynde to ben men wenen,
  and in nothinge els. Also, lady, the goodnesse, the vertue of
  women, by propertè of discrecion, is so wel knowen, by litelnesse
  of malice, that desyre to a good asker by no waye conne they           30
  warne. And ye thanne, that wol not passe the kynde werchinge
  of your sectes by general discrecion, I wot wel, ye wol so enclyne
  to my prayere, that grace of my requeste shal fully ben graunted.'

  'Certes,' quod she, 'thus for the more parte fareth al mankynde,
  to praye and to crye after womans grace, and fayne many fantasyes      35
  to make hertes enclyne to your desyres. And whan these
  sely women, for freeltè of their kynde, beleven your wordes, and
  wenen al be gospel the promise of your behestes, than graunt[en]
  they to you their hertes, and fulfillen your lustes, wherthrough
  their libertè in maystreship that they toforn had is thralled; and     40
  so maked soverayn and to be prayed, that first was servaunt,
  and voice of prayer used. Anon as filled is your lust, many of you
  be so trewe, that litel hede take ye of suche kyndnesse; but
  with traysoun anon ye thinke hem begyle, and let light of that
  thing whiche firste ye maked to you wonders dere; so what              45
  thing to women it is to loven any wight er she him wel knowe,
  and have him proved in many halfe! For every glittring thing
  is nat gold; and under colour of fayre speche many vices may
  be hid and conseled. Therfore I rede no wight to trust on you
  to rathe; mens chere and her speche right gyleful is ful ofte.         50
  Wherfore without good assay, it is nat worth on many +of you
  to truste. Trewly, it is right kyndely to every man that thinketh
  women betraye, and shewen outward al goodnesse, til he have
  his wil performed. Lo! the bird is begyled with the mery voice
  of the foulers whistel. Whan a woman is closed in your nette,          55
  than wol ye causes fynden, and bere unkyndenesse her +on
  hande, or falsetè upon her putte, your owne malicious trayson
  with suche thinge to excuse. Lo! than han women non other
  wreche in vengeaunce, but +blobere and wepe til hem list stint,
  and sorily her mishap complayne; and is put in-to wening that          60
  al men ben so untrewe. How often have men chaunged her
  loves in a litel whyle, or els, for fayling their wil, in their
  places hem set! For fren[d]ship shal be oon, and fame with another
  him list for to have, and a thirde for delyt; or els were he lost
  bothe in packe and in clothes! Is this fair? Nay, god wot.             65
  I may nat telle, by thousande partes, the wronges in trechery
  of suche false people; for make they never so good a bond,
  al sette ye at a myte whan your hert tourneth. And they that
  wenen for sorowe of you deye, the pitè of your false herte is flowe
  out of towne. Alas! therfore, that ever any woman wolde take           70
  any wight in her grace, til she knowe, at the ful, on whom she
  might at al assayes truste! Women con no more craft in queynt
  knowinge, to understande the false disceyvable conjectementes
  of mannes begylinges. Lo! how it fareth; though ye men
  gronen and cryen, certes, it is but disceyt; and that preveth wel      75
  by th'endes in your werkinge. How many women have ben
  lorn, and with shame foule shent by long-lastinge tyme, whiche
  thorow mennes gyle have ben disceyved? Ever their fame shal
  dure, and their dedes [ben] rad and songe in many londes; that
  they han don, recoveren shal they never; but alway ben demed           80
  lightly, in suche plyte a-yen shulde they falle. Of whiche slaunders
  and tenes ye false men and wicked ben the verey causes; on you
  by right ought these shames and these reproves al hoolly discende.
  Thus arn ye al nighe untrewe; for al your fayre speche, your
  herte is ful fickel. What cause han ye women to dispyse? Better        85
  fruite than they ben, ne swetter spyces to your behove, mowe ye
  not fynde, as far as worldly bodyes strecchen. Loke to their
  forminge, at the making of their persones by god in joye of
  paradyce! For goodnesse, of mans propre body were they
  maked, after the sawes of the bible, rehersing goddes wordes in        90
  this wyse: "It is good to mankynde that we make to him an
  helper." Lo! in paradyse, for your helpe, was this tree graffed,
  out of whiche al linage of man discendeth. If a man be noble
  frute, of noble frute it is sprongen; the blisse of paradyse, to
  mennes sory hertes, yet in this tree abydeth. O! noble helpes          95
  ben these trees, and gentil jewel to ben worshipped of every
  good creature! He that hem anoyeth doth his owne shame; it is
  a comfortable perle ayenst al tenes. Every company is mirthed
  by their present being. Trewly, I wiste never vertue, but a woman
  were therof the rote. What is heven the worse though Sarazins         100
  on it lyen? Is your fayth untrewe, though +renegates maken
  theron lesinges? If the fyr doth any wight brenne, blame his
  owne wit that put him-selfe so far in the hete. Is not fyr gentillest
  and most comfortable element amonges al other? Fyr
  is cheef werker in fortheringe sustenaunce to mankynde. Shal          105
  fyr ben blamed for it brende a foole naturelly, by his own stulty
  witte in steringe? Ah! wicked folkes! For your propre malice
  and shreudnesse of your-selfe, ye blame and dispyse the precious[es]t
  thing of your kynde, and whiche thinges among other
  moste ye desyren! Trewly, Nero and his children ben shrewes,          110
  that dispysen so their dames. The wickednesse and gyling of
  men, in disclaundring of thilke that most hath hem glad[d]ed
  and plesed, were impossible to wryte or to nempne. Never-the-later
  yet I say, he that knoweth a way may it lightly passe; eke
  an herbe proved may safely to smertande sores ben layd. So            115
  I say, in him that is proved is nothing suche yvels to gesse.
  But these thinges have I rehersed, to warne you women al at
  ones, that to lightly, without good assaye, ye assenten not to
  mannes speche. The sonne in the day-light is to knowen from
  the moone that shyneth in the night. Now to thee thy-selfe            120
  (quod she) as I have ofte sayd, I knowe wel thyne herte; thou
  art noon of al the tofore-nempned people. For I knowe wel the
  continuaunce of thy service, that never sithen I sette thee
  a-werke, might thy Margaryte for plesaunce, frendship, ne fayrhede
  of none other, be in poynte moved from thyne herte; wherfore          125
  in-to myne housholde hastely I wol that thou entre, and al the
  parfit privitè of my werking, make it be knowe in thy understonding,
  as oon of my privy familiers. Thou desyrest (quod she)
  fayn to here of tho thinges there I lefte?'

  'Ye, forsothe,' quod I, 'that were to me a greet blisse.'             130

  'Now,' quod she, 'for thou shalt not wene that womans condicions
  for fayre speche suche thing belongeth:--

CH. III. 2. ganne. 5. beforne. 6. thynge. menne. 9. thynge. whose.

10. lignes (_sic_). 11. whose lykenesse. 12. halte. 15. facultie. 17.
forthe. 18. borne. 19. comforte. 20. dethe. 23. buxome. beautie. 27.
parfyte. 32. wotte. 38. graunt. 40. toforne.

48. golde. 51. worthe. on; _read_ of. 53. -warde. 54. birde. 56. beare.
vnha_n_de; _read_ on hande. 58. none. 59. bloder; _read_ blobere. 61. Howe.
63. sette. frenship (_sic_). one. 64. lyste. delyte. 65. faire. 66. maye.
tel. 67. bo_n_de. 69. dey. 72. trust. crafte. 74. howe. 76. thendes. Howe.
77. lorne. longe-. 78. thorowe. 79. _I supply_ ben. radde. 80. done. 81.
fal. 83. holy.

84. arne. 87. farre. stretchen. 97. dothe. 99. wyst. 101. faythe. thoughe
rennogates. 102. leasynges. fyre (_four times_) 103. wytte. farre. heate.
104, 112. moste. 104. element comfortable; _read_ comfortable element. 105.
chefe. 108. precioust. 109. amonge. 112-3. gladed and pleased. 115. layde.
120. Nowe. the.

122. arte none. 123. set the. 124. frendeshyp. fayrehede. 127. parfyte.
128. one. 129. fayne. 130. great. 131. Nowe.

                          CHAPTER IV.

  Thou shalt,' quod she, 'understonde first among al other
  thinges, that al the cure of my service to me in the parfit
  blisse in doing is desyred in every mannes herte, be he never
  so moche a wrecche; but every man travayleth by dyvers studye,
  and seke[th] thilke blisse by dyvers wayes. But al the endes            5
  are knit in selinesse of desyre in the parfit blisse, that is suche
  joye, whan men it have gotten, there +leveth no thing more to
  ben coveyted. But how that desyre of suche perfeccion in
  my service be kindely set in lovers hertes, yet her erroneous
  opinions misturne it by falsenesse of wening. And although             10
  mannes understanding be misturned, to knowe whiche shuld ben
  the way unto my person, and whither it abydeth; yet wote they
  there is a love in every wight, [whiche] weneth by that thing that
  he coveyteth most, he shulde come to thilke love; and that
  is parfit blisse of my servauntes; but than fulle blisse may not       15
  be, and there lacke any thing of that blisse in any syde. Eke it
  foloweth than, that he that must have ful blisse lacke no blisse in
  love on no syde.'

  'Therfore, lady,' quod I tho, 'thilke blisse I have desyred,
  and +soghte toforn this my-selfe, by wayes of riches, of dignitè,      20
  of power, and of renomè, wening me in tho +thinges had ben
  thilke blisse; but ayenst the heer it turneth. Whan I supposed
  beste thilke blisse have +getten, and come to the ful purpose
  of your service, sodaynly was I hindred, and throwen so fer
  abacke, that me thinketh an inpossible to come there I lefte.'         25

  'I +wot wel,' quod she; 'and therfore hast thou fayled; for
  thou wentest not by the hye way. A litel misgoing in the ginning
  causeth mikil errour in the ende; wherfore of thilke blisse thou
  fayledest, for having of richesse; ne non of the other thinges thou
  nempnedest mowen nat make suche parfit blisse in love as I shal        30
  shewe. Therfore they be nat worthy to thilke blisse; and yet
  somwhat must ben cause and way to thilke blisse. _Ergo_, there is
  som suche thing, and som way, but it is litel in usage and that
  is nat openly y-knowe. But what felest in thyne hert of the
  service, in whiche by me thou art entred? Wenest aught thy-selfe       35
  yet be in the hye way to my blisse? I shal so shewe it to
  thee, thou shalt not conne saye the contrary.'

  'Good lady,' quod I, 'altho I suppose it in my herte, yet
  wolde I here thyn wordes, how ye menen in this mater.'

  Quod she, 'that I shal, with my good wil. Thilke blisse                40
  desyred, som-del ye knowen, altho it be nat parfitly. For kyndly
  entencion ledeth you therto, but in three maner livinges is al suche
  wayes shewed. Every wight in this world, to have this blisse, oon
  of thilke three wayes of lyves must procede; whiche, after opinions
  of grete clerkes, are by names cleped bestiallich, resonablich, [and   45
  manlich. Resonablich] is vertuous. Manlich is worldlich. Bestialliche
  is lustes and delytable, nothing restrayned by bridel of reson.
  Al that joyeth and yeveth gladnesse to the hert, and it be ayenst
  reson, is lykened to bestial living, which thing foloweth lustes and
  delytes; wherfore in suche thinge may nat that precious blisse,        50
  that is maister of al vertues, abyde. Your +faders toforn you have
  cleped such lusty livinges after the flessh "passions of desyre,"
  which are innominable tofore god and man both. Than, after
  determinacion of suche wyse, we accorden that suche passions of
  desyre shul nat be nempned, but holden for absolute from al other      55
  livinges and provinges; and so +leveth in t[w]o livinges, manlich
  and resonable, to declare the maters begonne. But to make thee
  fully have understanding in manlich livinges, whiche is holden
  worldlich in these thinges, so that ignorance be mad no letter,
  I wol (quod she) nempne these forsayd wayes +by names and              60
  conclusions. First riches, dignitè, renomè, and power shul in
  this worke be cleped bodily goodes; for in hem hath ben, a gret
  throw, mannes trust of selinesse in love: as in riches, suffisance
  to have maintayned that was begonne by worldly catel; in dignitè,
  honour and reverence of hem that wern underput by maistry              65
  therby to obeye. In renomè, glorie of peoples praising, after
  lustes in their hert, without hede-taking to qualitè and maner of
  doing; and in power, by trouth of lordships mayntenaunce, thing
  to procede forth in doing. In al whiche thinges a longe tyme
  mannes coveytise in commune hath ben greetly grounded, to come         70
  to the blisse of my service; but trewly, they were begyled, and for
  the principal muste nedes fayle, and in helping mowe nat availe.
  See why. For holdest him not poore that is nedy?'

  'Yes, pardè,' quod I.

  'And him for dishonored, that moche folk deyne nat to                  75

  'That is soth,' quod I.

  'And what him, that his mightes faylen and mowe nat helpen?'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'me semeth, of al men he shulde be holden
  a wrecche.'                                                            80

  'And wenest nat,' quod she, 'that he that is litel in renomè,
  but rather is out of the praysinges of mo men than a fewe, be nat
  in shame?'

  'For soth,' quod I, 'it is shame and villany, to him that
  coveyteth renomè, that more folk nat prayse in name than preise.'      85

  'Soth,' quod she, 'thou sayst soth; but al these thinges are
  folowed of suche maner doinge, and wenden in riches suffisaunce,
  in power might, in dignitè worship, and in renomè glorie; wherfore
  they discended in-to disceyvable wening, and in that service disceit
  is folowed. And thus, in general, thou and al suche other that so      90
  worchen, faylen of my blisse that ye long han desyred. Wherfore
  truly, in lyfe of reson is the hye way to this blisse; as I thinke
  more openly to declare herafter. Never-the-later yet, in a litel to
  comforte thy herte, in shewing of what waye thou art entred
  *selfe, and that thy Margarite may knowe thee set in the hye way,      95
  I wol enforme thee in this wyse. Thou hast fayled of thy first
  purpos, bicause thou wentest wronge and leftest the hye way on
  thy right syde, as thus: thou lokedest on worldly living, and that
  thing thee begyled; and lightly therfore, as a litel assay, thou
  songedest; but whan I turned thy purpos, and shewed thee              100
  a part of the hye waye, tho thou abode therin, and no deth ne
  ferdnesse of non enemy might thee out of thilk way reve; but
  ever oon in thyn herte, to come to the ilke blisse, whan thou
  were arested and firste tyme enprisoned, thou were loth to
  chaunge thy way, for in thy hert thou wendest to have ben there       105
  thou shuldest. And for I had routhe to sene thee miscaried,
  and wiste wel thyn ablenesse my service to forther and encrese,
  I com my-selfe, without other mene, to visit thy person in comfort
  of thy hert. And perdy, in my comming thou were greetly
  glad[d]ed; after whiche tyme no disese, no care, no tene, might       110
  move me out of thy hert. And yet am I glad and greetly enpited,
  how continually thou haddest me in mynde, with good avysement
  of thy conscience, whan thy king and his princes by huge wordes
  and grete loked after variaunce in thy speche; and ever thou
  were redy for my sake, in plesaunce of the Margarite-perle and        115
  many mo other, thy body to oblige in-to Marces doing, if any
  contraried thy sawes. Stedfast way maketh stedfast hert, with
  good hope in the ende. Trewly, I wol that thou it wel knowe;
  for I see thee so set, and not chaunginge herte haddest in my
  service; and I made thou haddest grace of thy kinge, in               120
  foryevenesse of mikel misdede. To the gracious king art thou mikel
  holden, of whos grace and goodnesse somtyme hereafter I thinke
  thee enforme, whan I shew the ground where-as moral vertue
  groweth. Who brought thee to werke? Who brought this grace
  aboute? Who made thy hert hardy? Trewly, it was I. For                125
  haddest thou of me fayled, than of this purpos had[dest thou]
  never taken [hede] in this wyse. And therfore I say, thou might
  wel truste to come to thy blisse, sithen thy ginninge hath ben hard,
  but ever graciously after thy hertes desyr hath proceded. Silver
  fyned with many hetes men knowen for trew; and safely men             130
  may trust to the alay in werkinge. This +disese hath proved what
  way hence-forward thou thinkest to holde.'

  'Now, in good fayth, lady,' quod I tho, 'I am now in; me
  semeth, it is the hye way and the right.'

  'Ye, forsothe,' quod she, 'and now I wol disprove thy first           135
  wayes, by whiche many men wenen to gette thilke blisse. But
  for-as-moche as every herte that hath caught ful love, is tyed with
  queynt knittinges, thou shalt understande that love and thilke
  foresayd blisse toforn declared in this[e] provinges, shal hote the
  knot in the hert.'                                                    140

  'Wel,' quod I, 'this inpossession I wol wel understande.'

  'Now also,' quod she, 'for the knotte in the herte muste ben
  from one to an-other, and I knowe thy desyr, I wol thou understande
  these maters to ben sayd of thy-selfe, in disproving of thy
  first service, and in strengthinge of thilke that thou hast           145
  undertake to thy Margaryte-perle.'

  'A goddes halfe,' quod I, 'right wel I fele that al this case is
  possible and trewe; and therfore I +admitte it altogither.'

  '+Understand wel,' quod she, 'these termes, and loke no
  contradiccion thou graunt.'                                           150

  'If god wol,' quod I, 'of al these thinges wol I not fayle; and
  if I graunt contradiccion, I shulde graunte an impossible; and
  that were a foul inconvenience; for whiche thinges, lady, y-wis,
  herafter I thinke me to kepe.'

CH. IV. 1. shalte. amonge. 2. parfyte. 4. wretche. 5. seke; _read_ seketh.
6. p_ar_fyte. 7. lyueth; _read_ leveth. thynge. 8. howe. perfection. 9.
erronyous. 13. _I supply_ whiche. 14. moste. 15. parfyte. maye. 16. thynge.
20. sothe; _read_ soghte. toforne.

21. thrages (_sic_); _read_ thinges. 22. heere. 23. get; _read_ getten. 26.
wol; _read_ wot. 30. p_ar_fite. 33. some (_twice_). 37. the. shalte. con.
39. howe ye meanen. 41. so_m_e deale. 42. entention. thre. lyuenges. 43.
one. 44. thre. 45. great. cleaped. _I supply_ and manlich. Resonablich. 47.
nothynge. 47-9. reason (_twice_). 49. lyueng. thynge. 50. maye. 51.
fathers. toforne. 52. lyuenges. 54. determination. 56. lyuenges (_twice_).
lyueth; _read_ leveth. to; _read_ two.

57. the. 58. lyuenges. 59. made. 60. be; _read_ by. 62. cleaped. 64. begon.
65. werne. 66. obey. 70. greatly. 73. Se. 75. folke. 80. wretch. 89.
disceite. 92. reason. 94. arte.

95-6. the (_twice_). 97-100. purpose. 98. lyueng. 99. the. 100-2. the. 101.
parte. dethe. 103. one. 106. the. 107. wyst. thyne. encrease. 108. come.
mean. _For_ person _read_ prison? comforte. 109. greatly gladed. 110.
disease. 111. gladde. greatly. 112. howe. 114. great. 115. peerle. 119. se
the. 121. arte. 122. whose. 123. the. grounde. 124. the. 126. purpose. had;
_read_ haddest thou. _I supply_ hede. 128. harde. 129. desyre. 130. heates.

131. diseases (_sic_). waye. -forwarde. 133-142. Nowe (_four times_). 139.
toforne. 143. desyre. 145. stre_n_ghthynge. haste. 148. admytted; _read_
admytte it. 149. Vnderstanden (_sic_). 149-152. contradyction (_twice_).
153. foule. ladye.

                          CHAPTER V.

  'Wel,' quod she, 'thou knowest that every thing is a cause,
  wherthrough any thing hath being that is cleped "caused."
  Than, if richesse +causeth knot in herte, thilke richesse +is cause
  of thilke precious thinge being. But after the sentence of
  Aristotle, every cause is more in dignitè than his thinge caused;       5
  wherthrough it foloweth richesse to ben more in dignitè than
  thilke knot. But richesses arn kyndely naughty, badde, and
  nedy; and thilke knotte is thing kyndely good, most praysed
  and desyred. _Ergo_, thing naughty, badde, and nedy in kyndely
  understandinge is more worthy than thing kyndely good, most            10
  desyred and praysed! The consequence is fals; nedes, the
  antecedent mot ben of the same condicion. But that richesses
  ben bad, naughty, and nedy, that wol I prove; wherfore they
  mowe cause no suche thing that is so glorious and good. The
  more richesse thou hast, the more nede hast thou of helpe hem          15
  to kepe. _Ergo_, thou nedest in richesse, whiche nede thou
  shuldest not have, if thou hem wantest. Than muste richesse
  ben nedy, that in their having maken thee nedy to helpes, in
  suretee thy richesse to kepen; wherthrough foloweth, richesse to
  ben nedy. Everything causinge yvels is badde and naughty; but          20
  richesse in one causen misese, in another they mowen not evenly
  strecchen al about. Wherof cometh plee, debat, thefte, begylinges,
  but richesse to winne; whiche thinges ben badde, and by richesse
  arn caused. _Ergo_, thilke richesse[s] ben badde; whiche badnesse
  and nede ben knit in-to richesse by a maner of kyndely propertee;      25
  and every cause and caused accorden; so that it foloweth, thilke
  richesse[s] to have the same accordaunce with badnesse and nede,
  that their cause asketh. Also, every thing hath his being by his
  cause; than, if the cause be distroyed, the being of caused is
  vanisshed. And, so, if richesse[s] causen love, and richesse[s]        30
  weren distroyed, the love shulde vanisshe; but thilke knotte, and
  it be trewe, may not vanisshe, for no going of richesse. _Ergo_,
  richesse is no cause of the knot. And many men, as I sayd,
  setten the cause of the knotte in richesse; thilke knitten the
  richesse, and nothing the yvel; thilke persons, what-ever they         35
  ben, wenen that riches is most worthy to be had; and that make
  they the cause; and so wene they thilke riches be better than the
  person. Commenly, suche asken rather after the quantitè than
  after the qualitè; and suche wenen, as wel by hem-selfe as by
  other, that conjunccion of his lyfe and of his soule is no more        40
  precious, but in as mikel as he hath of richesse. Alas! how may
  he holden suche thinges precious or noble, that neither han lyf ne
  soule, ne ordinaunce of werchinge limmes! Suche richesse[s]
  ben more worthy whan they ben in +gadering; in departing,
  ginneth his love of other mennes praysing. And avarice +gadering       45
  maketh be hated, and nedy to many out-helpes; and whan leveth
  the possession of such goodes, and they ginne vanissh, than
  entreth sorowe and tene in their hertes. O! badde and strayte
  ben thilke, that at their departinge maketh men teneful and sory,
  and in the +gadering of hem make men nedy! Moche folk at               50
  ones mowen not togider moche therof have. A good gest gladdeth
  his hoste and al his meyny; but he is a badde gest that maketh
  his hoste nedy and to be aferd of his gestes going.'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'me wondreth therfore that the comune
  opinion is thus: "He is worth no more than that he hath in             55

  'O!' quod she, 'loke thou be not of that opinion; for if gold or
  money, or other maner of riches shynen in thy sight, whos is that?
  Nat thyn. And tho[ugh] they have a litel beautee, they be nothing
  in comparison of our kynde; and therfore, ye shulde nat sette          60
  your worthinesse in thing lower than your-selfe. For the riches,
  the fairnesse, the worthinesse of thilke goodes, if ther be any
  suche preciousnesse in hem, are nat thyne; thou madest hem
  so never; from other they come to thee, and to other they shul
  from thee. Wherfore enbracest thou other wightes good, as              65
  tho[ugh] they were thyn? Kynde hath drawe hem by hem-selfe.
  It is sothe, the goodes of the erth ben ordayned in your fode
  and norisshinge; but if thou wolt holde thee apayd with that
  suffyseth to thy kynde, thou shalt nat be in daunger of no suche
  riches; to kynde suffyseth litel thing, who that taketh hede.          70
  And if thou wolt algates with superfluitè of riches be a-throted,
  thou shalt hastelich be anoyed, or els yvel at ese. And fairnesse
  of feldes ne of habitacions, ne multitude of meynè, may nat be
  rekened as riches that are thyn owne. For if they be badde, it is
  greet sclaunder and villany to the occupyer; and if they be good       75
  or faire, the mater of the workman that hem made is to prayse.
  How shulde other-wyse bountee be compted for thyne? Thilke
  goodnesse and fairnesse be proper to tho thinges hem-selfe; than,
  if they be nat thyne, sorow nat whan they wende, ne glad thee
  nat in pompe and in pride whan thou hem hast. For their                80
  bountee and their beautees cometh out of their owne kynde, and
  nat of thyne owne person. As faire ben they in their not having
  as whan thou hast hem. They be nat faire for thou hast hem;
  but thou hast geten hem for the fairnesse of them-selfe. And
  there the vaylance of men is demed in richesse outforth, wenen         85
  me[n] to have no proper good in them-selfe, but seche it in
  straunge thinges. Trewly, the condicion of good wening is to
  thee mistourned, to wene, your noblesse be not in your-selfe, but
  in the goodes and beautee of other thinges. Pardy, the beestes
  that han but feling soules, have suffisaunce in their owne selfe;      90
  and ye, that ben lyke to god, seken encrese of suffisaunce from so
  excellent a kynde of so lowe thinges; ye do greet wrong to him
  that you made lordes over al erthly thinges; and ye putte your
  worthinesse under the nombre of the fete of lower thinges and
  foule. Whan ye juge thilke riches to be your worthinesse, than         95
  putte ye your-selfe, by estimacion, under thilke foule thinges;
  and than leve ye the knowing of your-selfe; so be ye viler than
  any dombe beest; that cometh of shrewde vice. Right so thilke
  persons that loven non yvel for dereworthinesse of the persone,
  but for straunge goodes, and saith, the adornement in the knot        100
  lyth in such thing; his errour is perilous and shrewd, and he
  wryeth moche venim with moche welth; and that knot may
  nat be good whan he hath it getten.

  Certes, thus hath riches with flickering sight anoyed many;
  and often, whan there is a throw-out shrewe, he coyneth al the        105
  gold, al the precious stones that mowen be founden, to have in
  his bandon; he weneth no wight be worthy to have suche thinges
  but he alone. How many hast thou knowe, now in late tyme,
  that in their richesse supposed suffisance have folowed, and now
  it is al fayled!'                                                     110

  'Ye, lady,' quod I, 'that is for mis medling; and otherwyse
  governed [they] thilke richesse than they shulde.'

  'Ye,' quod she tho, 'had not the flood greetly areysed, and
  throwe to-hemward both gravel and sand, he had mad no medlinge.
  And right as see yeveth flood, so draweth see ebbe, and               115
  pulleth ayen under wawe al the firste out-throwe, but-if good pyles
  of noble governaunce in love, in wel-meninge maner, ben sadly
  grounded; +the whiche holde thilke gravel as for a tyme, that
  ayen lightly mowe not it turne; and if the pyles ben trewe, the
  gravel and sand wol abyde. And certes, ful warning in love shalt      120
  thou never thorow hem get ne cover, that lightly with an ebbe, er
  thou be ware, it [ne] wol ayen meve. In richesse many men
  have had tenes and diseses, whiche they shulde not have had, if
  therof they had fayled. Thorow whiche, now declared, partly it is
  shewed, that for richesse shulde the knotte in herte neither ben      125
  caused in one ne in other; trewly, knotte may ben knit, and
  I trowe more stedfast, in love, though richesse fayled; and els,
  in richesse is the knotte, and not in herte. And than suche
  a knotte is fals; whan the see ebbeth and withdraweth the
  gravel, that such richesse voydeth, thilke knotte wol unknitte.       130
  Wherfore no trust, no way, no cause, no parfit being is in
  richesse, of no suche knotte. Therfore another way muste we

CH. V. 1. thynge. 2. -throughe. 3. causen; _read_ causeth. arne; _read_ is.
7. arne. 8, 9. thynge (_twice_). moste.

10. thynge. moste. 11. false. 12. mote. 15. haste. 18. the. 19. suretie.
21. misease. 22. stretchen. debate. 24. arne. richesse; _read_ richesses.
25. propertie. 27-30. richesse; _read_ richesses (_thrice_). 35. nothynge.
40. coniunction. 41. howe maye. 42. lyfe. 43. richesse; _read_ richesses.
44-5. gatheryng.

50. gatheryng. folke. 53. aferde. 55. worthe. 57. golde. 58. whose. 59.
beautie. 60. set. 64-5. the (_twice_). 68. wolte. the apayde. 72. ease. 73.
maye. 75. great. 76. workeman. 77. Howe. bountie. 79. the. 81. bountie.
beautes. 83-4. haste (_thrice_).

86. me; _read_ men. 87. co_n_dytion. 88. the. 89. beautie. 91. encrease.
92. great. 93-6. put (_twice_). 101. shreude. 102. maye. 105. throwe out.
106. golde. 108. Howe. haste. 108-9. nowe. 111. misse medlyng. 112.
_Supply_ they. 113. floode greatly. 114. hemwarde. sande. made. 115.
floode. 116. out throw. 117. meanynge. 118. to; _read_ the. 120. sande.
121. shalte. thorowe.

122. beware. _I supply_ ne. 123. diseases. 124. Thorowe. nowe. partely.
126. maye. knytte. 129. false. 131. parfyte.

                          CHAPTER VI.

  Honour in dignitè is wened to yeven a ful knot.'
  'Ye, certes,' quod I, 'and of that opinion ben many;
  for they sayn, dignitè, with honour and reverence, causen hertes
  to encheynen, and so abled to be knit togither, for the excellence
  in soverayntè of such degrees.'                                         5

  'Now,' quod she, 'if dignitè, honour, and reverence causen
  thilke knotte in herte, this knot is good and profitable. For
  every cause of a cause is cause of thing caused. Than thus:
  good thinges and profitable ben by dignitè, honour, and reverence
  caused. _Ergo_, they accorden; and dignites ben good with              10
  reverences and honour. But contraries mowen not accorden.
  Wherfore, by reson, there shulde no dignitee, no reverence, non
  honour acorde with shrewes. But that is fals; they have ben
  cause to shrewes in many shreudnes; for with hem they accorden.
  _Ergo_, from beginning to argue ayenward til it come to the laste      15
  conclusion, they are not cause of the knot. Lo, al day at eye arn
  shrewes not in reverence, in honour, and in dignitè? Yes, forsothe,
  rather than the good. Than foloweth it that shrewes
  rather than good shul ben cause of this knot. But of this [the]
  contrarie of al lovers is bileved, and for a sothe openly determined   20
  to holde.'

  'Now,' quod I, 'fayn wolde I here, how suche dignitees acorden
  with shrewes.'

  'O,' quod she, 'that wol I shewe in manifolde wyse. Ye wene
  (quod she) that dignites of office here in your citè is as the         25
  sonne; it shyneth bright withouten any cloude; [of] whiche thing,
  whan they comen in the handes of malicious tirauntes, there
  cometh moche harm, and more grevaunce therof than of the
  wilde fyre, though it brende al a strete. Certes, in dignitè of
  office, the werkes of the occupyer shewen the malice and the           30
  badnesse in the person; with shrewes they maken manyfolde
  harmes, and moche people shamen. How often han rancours,
  for malice of the governour, shulde ben mainteyned? Hath not
  than suche dignitees caused debat, rumours, and yvels? Yes,
  god wot, by suche thinges have ben trusted to make mens understanding  35
  enclyne to many queynte thinges. Thou wottest wel
  what I mene.'

  'Ye,' quod I, 'therfore, as dignitè suche thing in tene y-wrought,
  so ayenward, the substaunce in dignitè chaunged, relyed to bring
  ayen good plyte in doing.'                                             40

  'Do way, do way,' quod she; 'if it so betyde, but that is
  selde, that suche dignitè is betake in a good mannes governaunce,
  what thing is to recken in the dignitees goodnesse? Pardè, the
  bountee and goodnesse is hers that usen it in good governaunce;
  and therfore cometh it that honour and reverence shulde ben            45
  don to dignitè bycause of encresinge vertue in the occupyer,
  and not to the ruler bycause of soverayntee in dignitè. Sithen
  dignitè may no vertue cause, who is worthy worship for suche
  goodnesse? Not dignitè, but person, that maketh goodnesse in
  dignitè to shyne.'                                                     50

  'This is wonder thing,' quod I; 'for me thinketh, as the person
  in dignitè is worthy honour for goodnesse, so, tho[ugh] a person
  for badnesse ma[u]gree hath deserved, yet the dignitè leneth to
  be commended.'

  'Let be,' quod she, 'thou errest right foule; dignitè with             55
  badnesse is helper to performe the felonous doing. Pardy, were
  it kyndly good, or any propertè of kyndly vertue [that men]
  hadden in hem-selfe, shrewes shulde hem never have; with hem
  shulde they never accorde. Water and fyr, that ben contrarious,
  mowen nat togider ben assembled; kynde wol nat suffre suche            60
  contraries to joyne. And sithen at eye, by experience in doing,
  we seen that shrewes have hem more often than good men, siker
  mayst thou be, that kyndly good in suche thing is nat appropred.
  Pardy, were they kyndly good, as wel oon as other shulden
  evenlich in vertue of governaunce ben worthe; but oon fayleth in       65
  goodnesse, another doth the contrary; and so it sheweth, kyndly
  goodnesse in dignitè nat be grounded. And this same reson
  (quod she) may be mad, in general, on al the bodily goodes;
  for they comen ofte to throw-out shrewes. After this, he is
  strong that hath might to have grete burthens, and he is light         70
  and swifte, that hath soveraintè in ronning to passe other; right
  so he is a shrewe, on whom shreude thinges and badde han most
  werchinge. And right as philosophy maketh philosophers, and
  my service maketh lovers, right so, if dignites weren good or
  vertuous, they shulde maken shrewes good, and turne her malice,        75
  and make hem be vertuous. But that they do nat, as it is
  proved, but causen rancour and debat. _Ergo_, they be nat good,
  but utterly badde. Had Nero never ben Emperour, shulde
  never his dame have be slayn, to maken open the privitè of his
  engendrure. Herodes, for his dignitè, slew many children. The          80
  dignitè of king John wolde have distroyed al England. Therfore
  mokel wysdom and goodnesse both, nedeth in a person, the
  malice in dignitè slyly to brydel, and with a good bitte of arest
  to withdrawe, in case it wolde praunce otherwyse than it shulde.
  Trewly, ye yeve to dignites wrongful names in your cleping.            85
  They shulde hete, nat dignitè, but moustre of badnesse and
  mayntenour of shrewes. Pardy, shyne the sonne never so bright,
  and it bringe forth no hete, ne sesonably the herbes out-bringe of
  the erthe, but suffre frostes and cold, and the erthe barayne to
  ligge by tyme of his compas in circute about, ye wolde wonder,         90
  and dispreyse that sonne! If the mone be at ful, and sheweth
  no light, but derke and dimme to your sight appereth, and make
  distruccion of the waters, wol ye nat suppose it be under cloude
  or in clips, and that som prevy thing, unknowen to your wittes,
  is cause of suche contrarious doinge? Than, if clerkes, that han       95
  ful insight and knowing of suche impedimentes, enforme you of
  the sothe, very idiottes ye ben, but-if ye yeven credence to thilk
  clerkes wordes. And yet it doth me tene, to sene many wrecches
  rejoycen in such maner planettes. Trewly, litel con[ne] they on
  philosophy, or els on my lore, that any desyr haven suche             100
  lightinge planettes in that wyse any more to shewe.'

  'Good lady,' quod I, 'tel me how ye mene in these thinges.'

  'Lo,' quod she, 'the dignites of your citè, sonne and mone,
  nothing in kynde shew their shyning as they shulde. For the
  sonne made no brenning hete in love, but freesed envye in             105
  mennes hertes, for feblenesse of shyning hete; and the moone
  was about, under an olde cloude, the livinges by waters to

  'Lady,' quod I, 'it is supposed they had shyned as they
  shulde.'                                                              110

  'Ye,' quod she, 'but now it is proved at the ful, their beautè in
  kyndly shyning fayled; wherfore dignitè of him-selven hath no
  beautee in fayrnesse, ne dryveth nat awaye vices, but encreseth;
  and so be they no cause of the knotte. Now see, in good trouth;
  holde ye nat such sonnes worthy of no reverence, and dignites         115
  worthy of no worship, that maketh men to do the more harmes?'

  'I not,' quod I.

  'No?' quod she; 'and thou see a wyse good man, for his
  goodnesse and wysnesse wolt thou nat do him worship? Therof
  he is worthy.'                                                        120

  'That is good skil,' quod I; 'it is dewe to suche, both reverence
  and worship to have.'

  'Than,' quod she, 'a shrewe, for his shreudnesse, altho he be
  put forth toforn other for ferde, yet is he worthy, for shrewdnesse,
  to be unworshipped; of reverence no part is he worthy to have,        125
  [that] to contrarious doing belongeth: and that is good skil.
  For, right as he besmyteth the dignites, thilke same thing ayenward
  him smyteth, or els shulde smyte. And over this thou wost
  wel (quod she) that fyr in every place heteth where it be, and
  water maketh wete. Why? For kyndely werking is so y-put in            130
  hem, to do suche thinges; for every kyndely in werking sheweth
  his kynde. But though a wight had ben mayre of your city
  many winter togider, and come in a straunge place there he were
  not knowen, he shulde for his dignitè have no reverence. Than
  neither worshippe ne reverence is kyndely propre in no dignitè,       135
  sithen they shulden don their kynde in suche doinge, if any were.
  And if reverence ne worshippe kyndely be not set in dignitees,
  and they more therein ben shewed than goodnesse, for that in
  dignitè is shewed, but it proveth that goodnesse kyndely in hem
  is not grounded. I-wis, neither worshippe, ne reverence, ne           140
  goodnesse in dignitè don non office of kynde; for they have non
  suche propertee in nature of doinge but by false opinion of the
  people. Lo! how somtyme thilke that in your city wern in
  dignitè noble, if thou liste hem nempne, they ben now overturned
  bothe in worship, in name, and in reverence; wherfore                 145
  such dignites have no kyndly werching of worshippe and of
  reverence. He that hath no worthinesse on it-selfe, now it ryseth
  and now it vanissheth, after the variaunt opinion in false hertes
  of unstable people. Wherfore, if thou desyre the knotte of this
  jewel, or els if thou woldest suppose she shulde sette the knotte     150
  on thee for suche maner dignitè, than thou wenest beautee or
  goodnesse of thilke somwhat encreseth the goodnesse or vertue in
  the body. But dignite[es] of hemself ben not good, ne yeven
  reverence ne worshippe by their owne kynde. How shulde they
  than yeve to any other a thing, that by no waye mowe they have        155
  hem-selfe? It is sene in dignitè of the emperour and of many
  mo other, that they mowe not of hem-selve kepe their worshippe
  ne their reverence; that, in a litel whyle, it is now up and now
  downe, by unstedfaste hertes of the people. What bountee mowe
  they yeve that, with cloude, lightly leveth his shyninge? Certes,     160
  to the occupyer is mokel appeyred, sithen suche doinge doth
  villanye to him that may it not mayntayne. Wherfore thilke way
  to the knotte is croked; and if any desyre to come to the knot,
  he must leve this way on his lefte syde, or els shal he never come
  there.                                                                165

CH. VI. 3. sayne. 4. knytte. 6. Nowe. 12. reason. none. 13. false. 15.
ayenwarde. 16. arne. 19. _Supply_ the.

22. Nowe. fayne. howe. 26. _I supply_ of. thynge. 28. harme. 32. Howe. 34.
debate. 35. wote. 37. meane. 39. ayenwarde. 44. bountie. 45. honoure. 46.
done. encreasynge. 47. soverayntie. 53. magre. 57. _Supply_ that. men _and_
it. 59. fire.

61. ioyn. 62. sene. menne. 63. mayste. 64-5. one (_twice_). 66. dothe. 68.
made. 69. throwe out. 70. great burthyns. 77. debate. 80. slewe. 81.
Engla_n_de. 82. wysedom. 88. bring forthe. heate. 89. colde. 91. son. 93.
distruction. 94. some.

98. wretches. 99. con; _read_ conne. 100. desyre. 102. howe. mean. 107.
lyuenges. 111. nowe. 113. beautie. encreaseth. 114. Nowe se. 118. se. 119.
wysenesse wolte. 124. forthe toforne. 125. parte. 126. _I supply_ that.
127. ayenwarde. 128. woste. 129. fyre. heateth. 132. cytie.

141. done none. none. 142. propertie. 143. howe. cytie werne. 144. nowe.
147. _For_ He _read_ That thing? 147-8. nowe (_twice_). 151. the. beautie.
152. encreaseth. 153. dignite; _read_ dignitees. 154. howe. 155. thynge.
158. that that; _read_ that. nowe (_twice_). 159. bountie. 160. leaueth.
161. dothe. 162. maye. waye. 164. leaue. waye.

                          CHAPTER VII.

  Avayleth aught (quod she) power of might in mayntenaunce
  of [men, to maken hem] worthy to come to this

  'Parde,' quod I, 'ye; for hertes ben ravisshed from suche
  maner thinges.'                                                         5

  'Certes,' quod she, 'though a fooles herte is with thing
  ravisshed, yet therfore is no general cause of the powers, ne of
  a siker parfit herte to be loked after. Was not Nero the moste
  shrewe oon of thilke that men rede, and yet had he power to
  make senatours justices, and princes of many landes? Was not           10
  that greet power?'

  'Yes, certes,' quod I.

  'Wel,' quod she, 'yet might he not helpe him-selfe out of
  disese, whan he gan falle. How many ensamples canst thou
  remembre of kinges grete and noble, and huge power +helden, and        15
  yet they might not kepe hem-selve from wrecchednesse? How
  wrecched was king Henry Curtmantil er he deyde? He had not
  so moche as to cover with his membres; and yet was he oon
  of the grettest kinges of al the Normandes ofspring, and moste
  possession had. O! a noble thing and clere is power, that is not       20
  founden mighty to kepe him-selfe! Now, trewly, a greet fole is
  he, that for suche thing wolde sette the knotte in thyne herte!
  Also power of rëalmes, is not thilke grettest power amonges the
  worldly powers reckened? And if suche powers han wrecchednesse
  in hem-selfe, it foloweth other powers of febler condicion to          25
  ben wrecched; and than, that wrecchednesse shulde be cause of
  suche a knotte! But every wight that hath reson wot wel that
  wrecchednesse by no way may ben cause of none suche knotte;
  wherfore suche power is no cause. That powers have wrecchednesse
  in hem-selfe, may right lightly ben preved. If power lacke on          30
  any syde, on that syde is no power; but no power is wrecchednesse:
  for al-be-it so the power of emperours or kinges, or els
  of their rëalmes (which is the power of the prince) strecchen
  wyde and brode, yet besydes is ther mokel folk of whiche he
  hath no commaundement ne lordshippe; and there-as lacketh his          35
  power, his nonpower entreth, where-under springeth that maketh
  hem wrecches. No power is wrecchednesse and nothing els;
  but in this maner hath kinges more porcion of wrecchednesse
  than of power. Trewly, suche powers ben unmighty; for ever
  they ben in drede how thilke power from lesing may be keped            40
  of sorow; so drede sorily prikkes ever in their hertes: litel
  is that power whiche careth and ferdeth it-selfe to mayntayne.
  Unmighty is that wrecchednesse whiche is entred by the ferdful
  weninge of the wrecche him-selfe; and knot y-maked by wrecchednesse
  is betwene wrecches; and wrecches al thing bewaylen;                   45
  wherfore the knot shulde be bewayled; and there is no suche
  parfit blisse that we supposed at the ginning! _Ergo_, power in
  nothing shulde cause suche knottes. Wrecchednesse is a kyndely
  propertee in suche power, as by way of drede, whiche they mowe
  nat eschewe, ne by no way live in sikernesse. For thou wost wel        50
  (quod she) he is nought mighty that wolde don that he may not
  don ne perfourme.'

  'Therfore,' quod I, 'these kinges and lordes that han suffisaunce
  at the ful of men and other thinges, mowen wel ben
  holden mighty; their comaundementes ben don; it is nevermore           55

  'Foole,' quod she, 'or he wot him-selfe mighty, or wot it
  not; for he is nought mighty that is blynde of his might and wot
  it not.'

  'That is sothe,' quod I.                                               60

  'Than if he wot it, he must nedes ben a-drad to lesen it. He
  that wot of his might is in doute that he mote nedes lese; and so
  ledeth him drede to ben unmighty. And if he recche not to lese,
  litel is that worth that of the lesing reson reccheth nothing; and
  if it were mighty in power or in strength, the lesing shulde ben       65
  withset; and whan it cometh to the lesing, he may it not withsitte.
  _Ergo_, thilke might is leude and naughty. Such mightes
  arn y-lyke to postes and pillers that upright stonden, and greet
  might han to bere many charges; and if they croke on any syde,
  litel thing maketh hem overthrowe.'                                    70

  'This is a good ensample,' quod I, 'to pillers and postes that
  I have seen overthrowed my-selfe; and hadden they ben underput
  with any helpes, they had not so lightly falle.'

  'Than holdest thou him mighty that hath many men armed
  and many servauntes; and ever he is adrad of hem in his herte;         75
  and, for he gasteth hem, somtyme he mot the more fere have.
  Comenly, he that other agasteth, other in him ayenward werchen
  the same; and thus warnisshed mot he be, and of warnisshe the
  hour drede. Litel is that might and right leude, who-so taketh
  hede.'                                                                 80

  'Than semeth it,' quod I, 'that suche famulers aboute kinges
  and grete lordes shulde greet might have. Although a sypher in
  augrim have no might in significacion of it-selve, yet he yeveth
  power in significacion to other; and these clepe I the helpes to
  a poste to kepe him from falling.'                                     85

  'Certes,' quod she, 'thilke skilles ben leude. Why? But-if
  the shorers be wel grounded, the helpes shulden slyden and suffre
  the charge to falle; her might litel avayleth.'

  'And so me thinketh,' quod I, 'that a poste alone, stonding
  upright upon a basse, may lenger in greet burthen endure than          90
  croken pilers for al their helpes, and her ground be not siker.'

  'That is sothe,' quod she; 'for as, [if] the blynde in bering of
  the lame ginne stomble, bothe shulde falle, right so suche pillers,
  so envyroned with helpes, in falling of the grounde fayleth
  +altogider. How ofte than suche famulers, in their moste pryde         95
  of prosperitè, ben sodainly overthrowen! Thou hast knowe
  many in a moment so ferre overthrowe, that cover might they
  never. Whan the hevinesse of suche fayling cometh by case of
  fortune, they mowe it not eschue; and might and power, if ther
  were any, shulde of strength such thinges voyde and weyve; and        100
  so it is not. Lo, than! whiche thing is this power, that, tho men
  han it, they ben agast; and in no tyme of ful having be they
  siker! And if they wold weyve drede, as they mow not, litel is
  in worthines. Fye therfore on so naughty thing, any knot to
  cause! Lo! in adversitè, thilk ben his foes that glosed and           105
  semed frendes in welth; thus arn his familiers his foes and his
  enemyes; and nothing is werse, ne more mighty for to anoy than
  is a familier enemy; and these thinges may they not weyve; so
  trewly their might is not worth a cresse. And over al thinge, he
  that may not withdrawe the brydel of his flesshly lustes and his      110
  wrecched complayntes (now think on thy-selfe) trewly he is not
  mighty; I can seen no way that lyth to the knotte. Thilke
  people than, that setten their hertes upon suche mightes and
  powers, often ben begyled. Pardè, he is not mighty that may do
  any thing, that another may doon him the selve, and that men          115
  have as greet power over him as he over other. A justice that
  demeth men ayenward hath ben often demed. Buserus slew his
  gestes, and he was slayn of Hercules his geste. Hugest betraysshed
  many men, and of Collo was he betrayed. He that with
  swerde smyteth, with swerde shal be smitten.'                         120

  Than gan I to studyen a whyle on these thinges, and made
  a countenaunce with my hande in maner to ben huisht.

  'Now let seen,' quod she, 'me thinketh somwhat there is
  within thy soule, that troubleth thy understanding; saye on what
  it is.'                                                               125

  Quod I tho, 'me thinketh that, although a man by power have
  suche might over me, as I have over another, that disproveth no
  might in my person; but yet may I have power and might

  'See now,' quod she, 'thyne owne leudenesse. He is mighty             130
  that may without wrecchednesse; and he is unmighty that may it
  not withsitte; but than he, that might over thee, and he wol,
  putte on thee wrecchednesse, thou might it not withsitte. _Ergo_,
  thou seest thy-selfe what foloweth! But now (quod she) woldest
  thou not skorne, and thou see a flye han power to don harm to         135
  an-other flye, and thilke have no might ne ayenturning him-selfe
  to defende?'

  'Yes, certes,' quod I.

  'Who is a frayler thing,' quod she, 'than the fleshly body of
  a man, over whiche have oftentyme flyes, and yet lasse thing than     140
  a flye, mokel might in grevaunce and anoying, withouten any
  withsittinge, for al thilke mannes mightes? And sithen thou
  seest thyne flesshly body in kyndely power fayle, how shulde than
  the accident of a thinge ben in more suretè of beinge than
  substancial? Wherfore, thilke thinges that we clepe power is but      145
  accident to the flesshly body; and so they may not have that
  suretee in might, whiche wanteth in the substancial body. Why
  there is no way to the knotte, [for him] that loketh aright after
  the hye way, as he shulde.

CH. VII. 2. _I supply_ men, to maken hem. 8. parfyte. 9. one. 11. great.
14. disease. fal. Howe. canste. 15. great. holden; _read_ helden. 16.
wretchydnesse. Howe wretched. 18. one. 19. greatest. 20. thynge. 21. Nowe.
great. 23. greatest. 24. wretchydnesse (_several times_); wretched
(_several times_). 27. reason wote. 33. stretchen.

34. folke. 40. howe. 41. prickes. 47. parfyte. 49. propertie. 50. woste.
51-5. done (_thrice_). 57-62. wotte (_four times_). 61. a dradde. 63.
leadeth. retche. 64. worthe. reason retcheth. 68. arne. great. 69. beare.
70. thynge.

72. sene. 73. fal. 75. adradde. 76. mote. feare. 77. ayenwarde. 78. mote.
82. great (_twice_). Althoughe. 88. fal. 90. graet (_sic_). 91. grou_n_de.
92. _Supply_ if. bearyng. 93. fal. 95. al togyther. howe. 96. haste. 108.

109. worthe. 110. maye. 111. wretched. nowe thynke. 112. sene. waye. lythe.
115. maye doone. 116. great. 117. ayenwarde. slewe. 118. slayne. 122.
huyshte. 123. Nowe. sene. 130. Se nowe. 131. maye. wretchydnesse. 132. the.
133. put. the wretchydnesse. 134. nowe. 135. se. done harme. 141. anoyeng.
143. howe.

147. suretie. 148. waye. _Supply_ for him. 149. waye.

                          CHAPTER VIII.

  Verily it is proved that richesse, dignitè, and power ben not
  trewe way to the knotte, but as rathe by suche thinges the
  knotte to be unbounde; wherfore on these thinges I rede no
  wight truste to gette any good knotte. But what shul we saye of
  renomè in the peoples mouthes? Shulde that ben any cause?               5
  What supposest thou in thyn herte?'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'yes, I trowe; for your slye resons I dare not
  safely it saye.'

  'Than,' quod she, 'wol I preve that shrewes as rathe shul ben
  in the knotte as the good; and that were ayenst kynde.'                10

  'Fayn,' quod I, 'wolde I that here; me thinketh wonder how
  renomè shuld as wel knitte a shrewe as a good person; renomè
  in every degree hath avaunced; yet wist I never the contrarye.
  Shulde than renomè accorde with a shrewe? It may not sinke in
  my stomake til I here more.'                                           15

  'Now,' quod she, 'have I not sayd alwayes, that shrewes shul
  not have the knotte?'

  'What nedeth,' quod I, 'to reherse that any more? I wot wel
  every wight, by kyndely reson, shrewes in knitting wol eschewe.'

  'Than,' quod she, 'the good ought thilke knotte to have.'              20

  'How els?' quod I.

  'It were greet harm,' quod she, 'that the good were weyved
  and put out of espoire of the knotte, if he it desyred.'

  'O,' quod I, 'alas! On suche thing to thinke, I wene that
  heven wepeth to see suche wronges here ben suffred on erthe; the       25
  good ought it to have, and no wight els.'

  'The goodnesse,' quod she, 'of a person may not ben knowe
  outforth but by renomè of the knowers; wherfore he must be
  renomed of goodnesse, to come to the knot.'

  'So must it be,' quod I, 'or els al lost that we carpen.'              30

  'Sothly,' quod she, 'that were greet harm, but-if a good man
  might have his desyres in service of thilke knot, and a shrewe to
  be +weyved, and they ben not knowen in general but by lacking
  and praysing, and in renomè; and so by the consequence it
  foloweth, a shrewe to ben praysed and knit; and a good to be           35
  forsake and unknit.'

  'Ah,' quod I tho, 'have ye, lady, ben here abouten; yet wolde
  I see, by grace of our argumentes better declared, how good and
  bad do acorden by lacking and praysing; me thinketh it ayenst
  kynde.'                                                                40

  'Nay,' quod she, 'and that shalt thou see as yerne; these
  elementes han contrarious qualitees in kynde, by whiche they
  mowe not acorde no more than good and badde; and in [some]
  qualitees they acorde, so that contraries by qualitè acorden by
  qualitè. Is not erthe drye; and water, that is next and bitwene        45
  th'erthe, is wete? Drye and wete ben contrarie, and mowen not
  acorde, and yet this discordaunce is bounde to acorde by cloudes;
  for bothe elementes ben colde. Right so the eyre, that is next
  the water, is wete; and eke it is hot. This eyre by his hete
  contrarieth water that is cold; but thilke contrarioustè is oned +by   50
  moysture; for bothe be they moyst. Also the fyr, that is next
  the +eyre and it encloseth al about, is drye, wherthrough it
  contrarieth +eyre, that is wete; and in hete they acorde; for
  bothe they ben hote. Thus by these acordaunces discordantes
  ben joyned, and in a maner of acordaunce they acorden by               55
  conneccion, that is, knitting togither; of that accorde cometh
  a maner of melodye that is right noble. Right so good and bad
  arn contrarie in doinges, by lacking and praysing; good is bothe
  lacked and praysed of some; and badde is bothe lacked and
  praysed of some; wherfore their contrarioustee acorde bothe by         60
  lacking and praysing. Than foloweth it, though good be never
  so mokel praysed, [it] oweth more to ben knit than the badde;
  or els bad, for the renomè that he hath, must be taken as wel as
  the good; and that oweth not.'

  'No, forsothe,' quod I.                                                65

  'Wel,' quod she, 'than is renomè no way to the knot. Lo,
  foole,' quod she, 'how clerkes wryten of suche glorie of renomè:--"O
  glorie, glorie, thou art non other thing to thousandes of folke
  but a greet sweller of eeres!" Many oon hath had ful greet renomè
  by false opinion of variaunt people. And what is fouler than           70
  folk wrongfully to ben praysed, or by malice of the people giltlesse
  lacked? Nedes shame foloweth therof to hem that with wrong
  prayseth, and also to the desertes praysed; and vilanye and
  reproof of him that disclaundreth.

  Good child (quod she) what echeth suche renomè to the                  75
  conscience of a wyse man, that loketh and mesureth his goodnesse,
  not by slevelesse wordes of the people, but by sothfastnesse
  of conscience? By god, nothing. And if it be fayr, a mans name
  be eched by moche folkes praysing, and fouler thing that mo folk
  not praysen? I sayd to thee a litel here-beforn, that no folk in       80
  straunge countreyes nought praysen; suche renomè may not
  comen to their eeres, bycause of unknowing and other obstacles,
  as I sayde: wherfore more folk not praysen, and that is right foul
  to him that renomè desyreth, to wete, lesse folk praisen than
  renomè enhaunce. I trowe, the thank of a people is naught              85
  worth in remembraunce to take; ne it procedeth of no wyse
  jugement; never is it stedfast pardurable. It is veyne and fleing;
  with winde wasteth and encreseth. Trewly, suche glorie ought to
  be hated. If gentillesse be a cleer thing, renomè and glorie to
  enhaunce, as in reckening of thy linage, than is gentilesse of thy     90
  kinne; for-why it semeth that gentilesse of thy kinne is but
  praysing and renomè that come of thyne auncestres desertes:
  and if so be that praysing and renomè of their desertes make
  their clere gentillesse, than mote they nedes ben gentil for their
  gentil dedes, and not thou; for of thy-selfe cometh not such           95
  maner gentilesse, praysinge of thy desertes. Than gentillesse of
  thyne auncesters, that forayne is to thee, maketh thee not gentil,
  but ungentil and reproved, and-if thou continuest not their
  gentilesse. And therfore a wyse man ones sayde: "Better is it
  thy kinne to ben by thee gentyled, than thou to glorifye of thy       100
  kinnes gentilesse, and hast no desert therof thy-selfe."

  How passinge is the beautee of flesshly bodyes, more flittinge
  than movable floures of sommer! And if thyne eyen weren as good
  as the lynx, that may seen thorow many stone walles, bothe fayre
  and foule, in their entrayles, of no maner hewe shulde apere to       105
  thy sight; that were a foule sight. Than is fayrnesse by feblesse
  of eyen, but of no kynde; wherfore thilke shulde be no way to
  the knot; whan thilke is went, the knotte wendeth after. Lo,
  now, at al proves, none of al these thinges mowe parfitly ben in
  understanding, to ben way to the during blisse of the knotte.         110
  But now, to conclusion of these maters, herkeneth these wordes.
  Very sommer is knowe from the winter: in shorter cours draweth
  the dayes of Decembre than in the moneth of June; the springes
  of Maye faden and +falowen in Octobre. These thinges ben not
  unbounden from their olde kynde; they have not lost her werke         115
  of their propre estat. Men, of voluntarious wil, withsitte that
  hevens governeth. Other thinges suffren thinges paciently to
  werche; man, in what estat he be, yet wolde he ben chaunged.
  Thus by queynt thinges blisse is desyred; and the fruit that
  cometh of these springes nis but anguis and bitter; al-though it      120
  be a whyle swete, it may not be with-holde; hastely they departe;
  thus al-day fayleth thinges that fooles wende. Right thus hast
  thou fayled in thy first wening. He that thinketh to sayle, and drawe
  after the course of the sterre _de polo antartico_, shal he never
  come northward to the contrarye sterre of _polus articus_; of whiche  125
  thinges if thou take kepe, thy first out-waye-going "prison" and
  "exile" may be cleped. The ground falsed underneth, and so
  hast thou fayled. No wight, I wene, blameth him that stinteth
  in misgoing, and secheth redy way of his blisse. Now me
  thinketh (quod she) that it suffyseth in my shewing; the wayes        130
  by dignetè, richesse, renomè, and power, if thou loke clerely, arn
  no wayes to the knotte.'

CH. VIII. 2. waye. 11. Fayne. howe. 14. maye. 16. Nowe. 18. wotte. 19.
reason. 21. Howe. 22. great harme. 25. se.

31. great harme. 33. veyned; _read_ weyued. 38. se. howe. 41. se. 42.
qualyties. 43. _I supply_ some. 46. therthe. 49. hotte. 50. colde.
co_n_trariousty. my; _read_ by. 51. fyre. 52. erthe; _read_ eyre (_twice_).
56. connection. 58. arne. 60. contraryoustie. 62. _I supply_ it. 66. waye.
67. howe.

68. arte none. thynge. 69. great. one. great. 71. folke. 74. reprofe. 75.
chylde. 76. measureth. 78. fayre. 79. folke. 80. the. beforne. folke. 83.
folke. foule. 84. folke. 85. thanke. 86. worthe. 88. encreaseth. 89. clear
thynge. 97-100. the (_thrice_). 101. haste. deserte. 102. Howe. beautie.
104. maye sene thorowe.

106. fayrenesse. 109-111. nowe (_twice_). 110. waye. 111. nowe. 114.
folowen; _read_ falowen. 115. loste. 116. estate. 119. fruite. 121. maye.
122. al-daye. haste. 125. northwarde. 127. grounde. 129. Nowe. 132. ways.

                          CHAPTER IX.

  'Every argument, lady,' quod I tho, 'that ye han maked in
  these fore-nempned maters, me thinketh hem in my ful
  witte conceyved; shal I no more, if god wil, in the contrarye be
  begyled. But fayn wolde I, and it were your wil, blisse of the
  knotte to me were declared. I might fele the better how my              5
  herte might assente, to pursue the ende in service, as he hath

  'O,' quod she, 'there is a melodye in heven, whiche clerkes
  clepen "armony"; but that is not in brekinge of voice, but it is
  a maner swete thing of kyndely werching, that causeth joye[s]          10
  out of nombre to recken, and that is joyned by reson and by
  wysdome in a quantitè of proporcion of knitting. God made al
  thing in reson and in witte of proporcion of melody, we mowe not
  suffyse to shewe. It is written by grete clerkes and wyse, that,
  in erthly thinges, lightly by studye and by travayle the knowinge      15
  may be getten; but of suche hevenly melody, mokel travayle wol
  bringe out in knowing right litel. Swetenesse of this paradyse
  hath you ravisshed; it semeth ye slepten, rested from al other
  diseses; so kyndely is your herte therein y-grounded. Blisse of
  two hertes, in ful love knitte, may not aright ben imagined; ever      20
  is their contemplacion, in ful of thoughty studye to plesaunce,
  mater in bringinge comfort everiche to other. And therfore, of
  erthly thinges, mokel mater lightly cometh in your lerning.
  Knowledge of understonding, that is nigh after eye, but not so
  nigh the covetyse of knittinge in your hertes. More soverain           25
  desyr hath every wight in litel heringe of hevenly conninge than
  of mokel material purposes in erthe. Right so it is in propertee
  of my servauntes, that they ben more affiched in steringe of litel
  thinge in his desyr than of mokel other mater lasse in his
  conscience. This blisse is a maner of sowne delicious in               30
  a queynte voice touched, and no dinne of notes; there is non
  impression of breking labour. I can it not otherwyse nempne,
  for wantinge of privy wordes, but paradyse terrestre ful of delicious
  melody, withouten travayle in sown, perpetual service in ful joye
  coveyted to endure. Only kynde maketh hertes in understonding          35
  so to slepe, that otherwyse may it nat be nempned, ne in other
  maner names for lyking swetnesse can I nat it declare; al sugre
  and hony, al minstralsy and melody ben but soot and galle in
  comparison, by no maner proporcion to reken, in respect of this
  blisful joye. This armony, this melody, this perdurable joye may       40
  nat be in doinge but betwene hevens and elementes, or twey
  kyndly hertes ful knit in trouth of naturel understonding, withouten
  weninge and disceit; as hevens and planettes, whiche thinges
  continually, for kyndly accordaunces, foryeteth al contrarious
  mevinges, that in-to passive diseses may sowne; evermore it            45
  thirsteth after more werking. These thinges in proporcion be
  so wel joyned, that it undoth al thing whiche in-to badnesse by any
  way may be accompted.'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'this is a thing precious and noble. Alas!
  that falsnesse ever, or wantrust shulde ever be maynteyned, this       50
  joye to voyde. Alas! that ever any wrecche shulde, thorow wrath
  or envy, janglinge dare make, to shove this melody so farre
  a-backe, that openly dar it nat ben used; trewly, wrecches ben
  fulfilled with envy and wrathe, and no wight els. Flebring
  and tales in suche wrecches dare appere openly in every wightes        55
  eere, with ful mouth so charged, [with] mokel malice moved
  many innocentes to shende; god wolde their soule therwith were
  strangled! Lo! trouth in this blisse is hid, and over-al under
  covert him hydeth; he dar not come a-place, for waytinge of
  shrewes. Commenly, badnesse goodnesse amaistreth; with my-selfe        60
  and my soule this joye wolde I bye, if the goodnesse were
  as moche as the nobley in melody.'

  'O,' quod she, 'what goodnesse may be acompted more in
  this material worlde? Truly, non; that shalt thou understonde.
  Is nat every thing good that is contrariant and distroying yvel?'      65

  'How els?' quod I.

  'Envy, wrathe, and falsnesse ben general,' quod she; 'and
  that wot every man being in his right mynde; the knotte, the
  whiche we have in this blisse, is contrariaunt and distroyeth such
  maner yvels. _Ergo_, it is good. What hath caused any wight            70
  to don any good dede? Fynd me any good, but-if this knotte
  be the cheef cause.  Nedes mot it be good, that causeth so
  many good dedes. Every cause is more and worthier than thing
  caused; and in that mores possession al thinges lesse ben
  compted. As the king is more than his people, and hath in              75
  possession al his rëalme after, right so the knot is more than
  al other goodes; thou might recken al thinges lasse; and that
  to him longeth, oweth in-to his mores cause of worship and of
  wil +to turne; it is els rebel and out of his mores defending to
  voyde. Right so of every goodnesse; in-to the knotte and               80
  in-to the cause of his worship [it] oweth to tourne. And trewly,
  every thing that hath being profitably is good, but nothing hath
  to ben more profitably than this knot; kinges it mayntayneth,
  and hem, their powers to mayntayne. It maketh misse to ben
  amended with good governaunce in doing. It closeth hertes              85
  so togider, that rancour is out-thresten. Who that it lengest
  kepeth, lengest is glad[d]ed.'

  'I trowe,' quod I, 'heretykes and misse-mening people hence-forward
  wol maintayne this knotte; for therthorough shul they
  ben maintayned, and utterly wol turne and leve their olde yvel         90
  understanding, and knitte this goodnesse, and profer so ferre
  in service, that name of servauntes might they have. Their
  jangles shal cese; me thinketh hem lacketh mater now to alege.'

  'Certes,' quod Love, 'if they, of good wil thus turned, as thou
  sayst, wolen trewly perfourme, yet shul they be abled party            95
  of this blisse to have; and they wol not, yet shul my servauntes
  the werre wel susteyne in myn helpe of maintenaunce to the ende.
  And they, for their good travayle, shullen in reward so ben meded,
  that endelesse joye body and soule +to-gider in this shullen
  abyden. There is ever accion of blisse withouten possible             100
  corrupcion; there is accion perpetuel in werke without travayle;
  there is everlasting passife, withouten any of labour; continuel
  plyte, without cesinge coveyted to endure. No tonge may telle,
  ne herte may thinke the leest point of this blisse.'

  'God bring me thider!' quod I than.                                   105

  'Continueth wel,' quod she, 'to the ende, and thou might not
  fayle than; for though thou spede not here, yet shal the passion
  of thy martred lyfe ben written, and rad toforn the grete Jupiter,
  that god is of routhe, an high in the holownesse of heven, there
  he sit in his trone; and ever thou shalt forward ben holden           110
  amonge al these hevins for a knight, that mightest with no
  penaunce ben discomfited. He is a very martyr that, livingly
  goinge, is gnawen to the bones.'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'these ben good wordes of comfort; a litel
  myne herte is rejoyced in a mery wyse.'                               115

  'Ye,' quod she; 'and he that is in heven felith more joye,
  than whan he firste herde therof speke.'

  'So it is,' quod I; 'but wist I the sothe, that after disese
  comfort wolde folowe with blisse, so as ye have often declared,
  I wolde wel suffre this passion with the better chere. But my         120
  thoughtful sorowe is endelesse, to thinke how I am cast out
  of a welfare; and yet dayneth not this yvel non herte, non hede,
  to meward throwe: which thinges wolde greetly me by wayes
  of comfort disporte, to weten in my-selfe a litel with other me[n]
  ben y-moved; and my sorowes peysen not in her balaunce the            125
  weyght of a peese. Slinges of her daunger so hevily peysen,
  they drawe my causes so hye, that in her eyen they semen but
  light and right litel.'

  'O! for,' quod she, 'heven with skyes that foule cloudes
  maken and darke +weders, with gret tempestes and huge,                130
  maketh the mery dayes with softe shyning sonnes. Also the
  yere with-draweth floures and beautee of herbes and of erth;
  the same +yere maketh springes and jolitè in Vere so to renovel
  with peinted coloures, that erthe semeth as gay as heven. Sees
  that blasteth and with wawes throweth shippes, of whiche the          135
  living creatures for greet peril for hem dreden; right so, the
  same sees maketh smothe waters and golden sayling, and comforteth
  hem with noble haven that firste were so ferde. Hast
  thou not (quod she) lerned in thy youth, that Jupiter hath in
  his warderobe bothe garmentes of joye and of sorowe? What             140
  wost thou how soone he wol turne of the garment of care,
  and clothe thee in blisse? Pardè, it is not ferre fro thee. Lo,
  an olde proverbe aleged by many wyse:--"Whan bale is greetest,
  than is bote a nye-bore." Wherof wilt thou dismaye? Hope
  wel and serve wel; and that shal thee save, with thy good bileve.'    145

  'Ye, ye,' quod I; 'yet see I not by reson how this blisse
  is coming; I wot it is contingent; it may falle on other.'

  'O,' quod she, 'I have mokel to done to clere thyne understanding,
  and voyde these errours out of thy mynde. I wol
  prove it by reson, thy wo may not alway enduren. Every thing          150
  kyndely (quod she) is governed and ruled by the hevenly bodyes,
  whiche haven ful werchinge here on erthe; and after course
  of these bodyes, al course of your doinges here ben governed
  and ruled by kynde.

  Thou wost wel, by cours of planettes al your dayes proceden;          155
  and to everich of singuler houres be enterchaunged stondmele
  about, by submitted worching naturally to suffre; of whiche
  changes cometh these transitory tymes that maketh revolving of
  your yeres thus stondmele; every hath ful might of worchinge,
  til al seven han had her course about. Of which worchinges and        160
  possession of houres the dayes of the weke have take her names,
  after denominacion in these seven planettes. Lo, your Sonday
  ginneth at the first hour after noon on the Saturday, in whiche
  hour is than the Sonne in ful might of worching; of whom Sonday
  taketh his name. Next him foloweth Venus, and after                   165
  Mercurius, and than the Moone; so than Saturnus, after whom
  Jovis; and than Mars; and ayen than the Sonne; and so forth
  +by .xxiiii. houres togider; in whiche hour ginning in the seconde
  day stant the Moone, as maister for that tyme to rule; of whom
  Monday taketh his name; and this course foloweth of al other          170
  dayes generally in doing. This course of nature of these bodyes
  chaunging stinten at a certain terme, limitted by their first kynde;
  and of hem al governementes in this elemented worlde proceden,
  as in springes, constellacions, engendrures, and al that folowen
  kynde and reson; wherfore [in] the course that foloweth, sorowe       175
  and joy kyndely moten entrechangen their tymes; so that
  alway oon wele, as alway oon wo, may not endure. Thus seest
  thou appertly, thy sorowe in-to wele mot ben chaunged; wherfore
  in suche case to better syde evermore enclyne thou shuldest.
  Trewly, next the ende of sorowe anon entreth joy; by maner            180
  of necessitè it wol ne may non other betyde; and so thy conti[n]gence
  is disproved; if thou holde this opinion any more, thy
  wit is right leude. Wherfore, in ful conclusion of al this, thilke
  Margaryte thou desyrest hath ben to thee dere in thy herte, and
  for her hast thou suffred many thoughtful diseses; herafter shal      185
  [she] be cause of mokel mirth and joye; and loke how glad canst
  thou ben, and cese al thy passed hevinesse with manifolde
  joyes. And than wol I as blythly here thee speken thy mirthes
  in joye, as I now have y-herd thy sorowes and thy complayntes.
  And if I mowe in aught thy joye encrese, by my trouthe, on            190
  my syde shal nat be leved for no maner traveyle, that I with
  al my mightes right blythly wol helpe, and ever ben redy you
  bothe to plese.' And than thanked I that lady with al goodly
  maner that I worthily coude; and trewly I was greetly rejoysed
  in myne herte of her fayre behestes; and profered me to be            195
  slawe, in al that she me wolde ordeyne, while my lyf lested.

CH. IX. 4. fayne. 5. howe.

10. ioye; _read_ joyes. 11-3. reason. 14. great. 19. diseases. hertes;
_read_ herte. 22. comforte. 24-5. nyghe (_twice_). 25. soueraine desyre.
27. propertie. 29. desyre. 31. none. 32. breakynge laboure. canne. 35.
Onely. 38. soote. 39. respecte.

45. diseases. 51. wretch. thorowe. 53. dare. 53-5. wretches. 56. eare. _I
supply_ with. 57. innocte_n_es; _misprint for_ innoce_n_tes. 59. dare. 65.
distroyeng. 66. Howe. 71. Fynde. 72. chefe. mote. 73. thynge. 79. do;
_read_ to, _as in_ l. 81. 81. _Supply_ it.

88. meanynge. 89. forwarde. 90. leaue. 93. cease. nowe. 99. togyther.
100-1. action (_twice_). 103. ceasynge. tel. 104. hert. 108. radde toforne.
great. 110. sytte. forwarde. 114. comforte. 118. disease comforte.

121. howe. 122. none (_twice_). 123. mewarde. greatly. 124. comforte. me;
_read_ men? 130. wethers; _read_ weders. 132. beautie. 133. yeres; _read_
yere. 136. great. 141. howe. 142. the. 143. greatest. 144. wylte. 145. the.
146. se. reason howe. 147. wote. fal. 150. reason.

162. denomination. 168. be; _for_ by. 169. stante. 172. certayne. 175.
_Supply_ in. 177. on (_for_ oon; _twice_). 178. mote. 181. contygence. 184.
the. 185. diseases. 186. _Supply_ she. howe. canste. 187. cease. 188. the.
189. ioy. nowe. yherde. 190. encrease. 191. leaued.

194. worthely. greatly. 195. hert. 196. lyfe.

                          CHAPTER X.

  'Me thinketh,' quod I, 'that ye have right wel declared,
  that way to the knot shuld not ben in none of these
  disprovinge thinges; and now, order of our purpos this asketh,
  that ye shulde me shewe if any way be +thider, and whiche
  thilke way shulde ben; so that openly may be seye the verry             5
  hye way in ful confusioun of these other thinges.'

  'Thou shalt,' quod she, 'understande that [of] one of three
  lyves (as I first sayd) every creature of mankynde is sprongen,
  and so forth procedeth. These lyves ben thorow names departed
  in three maner of kyndes, as bestialliche, manliche, and resonabliche; 10
  of whiche two ben used by flesshely body, and the thirde
  by his soule. "Bestial" among resonables is forboden in every
  lawe and every secte, bothe in Cristen and other; for every
  wight dispyseth hem that liveth by lustes and delytes, as him
  that is thral and bounden servaunt to thinges right foule; suche       15
  ben compted werse than men; he shal nat in their degree ben
  rekened, ne for suche one alowed. Heritykes, sayn they, chosen
  lyf bestial, that voluptuously liven; so that (as I first sayde to
  thee) in manly and resonable livinges our mater was to declare;
  but [by] "manly" lyfe, in living after flesshe, or els flesshly wayes  20
  to chese, may nat blisse in this knotte be conquered, as by reson
  it is proved. Wherfore by "resonable" lyfe he must nedes it
  have, sithe a way is to this knotte, but nat by the firste tway lyves;
  wherfore nedes mot it ben to the thirde; and for to live in flesshe,
  but nat after flessh, is more resonablich than manliche rekened        25
  by clerkes. Therfore how this way cometh in, I wol it blythely

  See now (quod she) that these bodily goodes of manliche
  livinges yelden +sorowfulle stoundes and smertande houres. Who-so
  +wol remembre him to their endes, in their worchinges they             30
  ben thoughtful and sorie. Right as a bee that hath had his hony,
  anon at his flight beginneth to stinge; so thilke bodily goodes at
  the laste mote awaye, and than stinge they at her goinge, wherthrough
  entreth and clene voydeth al blisse of this knot.'

  'Forsothe,' quod I, 'me thinketh I am wel served, in shewing           35
  of these wordes. Although I hadde litel in respect among other
  grete and worthy, yet had I a fair parcel, as me thought, for the
  tyme, in forthering of my sustenaunce; whiche while it dured,
  I thought me havinge mokel hony to myne estat. I had richesse
  suffisauntly to weyve nede; I had dignitè to be reverenced in          40
  worship. Power me thought that I had to kepe fro myne enemyes,
  and me semed to shyne in glorie of renomè as manhood asketh
  in mene; for no wight in myne administracion coude non yvels
  ne trechery by sothe cause on me putte. Lady, your-selve
  weten wel, that of tho confederacies maked by my soverains             45
  I nas but a servaunt, and yet mokel mene folk wol fully ayenst
  reson thilke maters maynteyne, in whiche mayntenaunce [they]
  glorien them-selfe; and, as often ye haven sayd, therof ought
  nothing in yvel to be layd to me-wardes, sithen as repentaunt
  I am tourned, and no more I thinke, neither tho thinges ne             50
  none suche other to sustene, but utterly distroye, without medlinge
  maner, in al my mightes. How am I now cast out of al
  swetnesse of blisse, and mischevously [is] stongen my passed
  joy! Soroufully muste I bewayle, and live as a wrecche.

  Every of tho joyes is tourned in-to his contrary. For richesse,        55
  now have I povertè; for dignitè, now am I emprisoned; in
  stede of power, wrecchednesse I suffre; and for glorie of renomè,
  I am now dispysed and foulich hated. Thus hath farn Fortune,
  that sodaynly am I overthrowen, and out of al welth dispoyled.
  Trewly, me thinketh this way in entree is right hard; god graunt       60
  me better grace er it be al passed; the other way, lady, me
  thought right swete.'

  'Now, certes,' quod Love, 'me list for to chyde. What ayleth
  thy darke dulnesse? Wol it nat in clerenesse ben sharped?
  Have I nat by many resons to thee shewed, suche bodily goodes          65
  faylen to yeve blisse, their might so ferforth wol nat strecche?
  Shame (quod she) it is to say, thou lyest in thy wordes. Thou
  ne hast wist but right fewe that these bodily goodes had al atones;
  commenly they dwellen nat togider. He that plentè hath in riches,
  of his kinne is ashamed; another of linage right noble and wel         70
  knowe, but povert him handleth; he were lever unknowe.
  Another hath these, but renomè of peoples praysing may he nat
  have; overal he is hated and defamed of thinges right foule.
  Another is fair and semely, but dignitè him fayleth; and he that
  hath dignitè is croked or lame, or els misshapen and foully dispysed.  75
  Thus partable these goodes dwellen commenly; in one
  houshold ben they but silde. Lo! how wrecched is your truste
  on thing that wol nat accorde! Me thinketh, thou clepest thilke
  plyte thou were in "selinesse of fortune"; and thou sayest, for
  that the selinesse is departed, thou art a wrecch. Than foloweth       80
  this upon thy wordes; every soule resonable of man may nat dye;
  and if deth endeth selinesse and maketh wrecches, as nedes of
  fortune maketh it an ende. Than soules, after deth of the body,
  in wrecchednesse shulde liven. But we knowe many that han
  geten the blisse of heven after their deth. How than may this          85
  lyf maken men blisful, that whan it passeth it yeveth no wrecchednesse,
  and many tymes blisse, if in this lyfe he con live as he
  shulde? And wolt thou acompt with Fortune, that now at [t]he
  first she hath don thee tene and sorowe? If thou loke to the
  maner of al glad thinges and sorouful, thou mayst nat nay it, that     90
  yet, and namely now, thou standest in noble plyte in a good
  ginning, with good forth-going herafter. And if thou wene to be
  a wrecch, for such welth is passed, why than art thou nat wel
  fortunate, for badde thinges and anguis wrecchednesse ben passed?
  Art thou now come first in-to the hostry of this lyfe, or els the      95
  both of this worlde? Art thou now a sodayn gest in-to this
  wrecched exile? Wenest there be any thing in this erthe stable?
  Is nat thy first arest passed, that brought thee in mortal sorowe?
  Ben these nat mortal thinges agon with ignorance of beestial wit,
  and hast receyved reson in knowing of vertue? What comfort is         100
  in thy herte, the knowinge sikerly in my service [to] be grounded?
  And wost thou nat wel, as I said, that deth maketh ende of al
  fortune? What than? Standest thou in noble plyte, litel hede
  or recking to take, if thou let fortune passe dy[i]ng, or els that
  she fly whan her list, now by thy lyve? Pardy, a man hath             105
  nothing so leef as his lyf; and for to holde that, he doth al his
  cure and diligent traveyle. Than, say I, thou art blisful and
  fortunat sely, if thou knowe thy goodes that thou hast yet
  +beleved, whiche nothing may doute that they ne ben more worthy
  than thy lyf?'                                                        110

  'What is that?' quod I.

  'Good contemplacion,' quod she, 'of wel-doing in vertue in tyme
  coming, bothe in plesaunce of me and of thy Margarit-peerle.
  Hastely thyn hert in ful blisse with her shal be esed. Therfore dismay
  thee nat; Fortune, in hate grevously ayenst thy bodily person,        115
  ne yet to gret tempest hath she nat sent to thee, sithen the holding
  cables and ankers of thy lyfe holden by knitting so faste, that
  thou discomforte thee nought of tyme that is now, ne dispayre
  thee not of tyme to come, but yeven thee comfort in hope of
  weldoing, and of getting agayn the double of thy lesing, with         120
  encresing love of thy Margarite-perle therto! For this, hiderto,
  thou hast had al her ful daunger; and so thou might amende al
  that is misse and al defautes that somtyme thou diddest; and
  that now, in al thy tyme, to that ilke Margaryte in ful service of
  my lore thyne herte hath continued; wherfore she ought moche          125
  the rather enclyne fro her daungerous sete. These thinges ben
  yet knit by the holding anker in thy lyve, and holden mote they;
  to god I pray, al these thinges at ful ben perfourmed. For whyle
  this anker holdeth, I hope thou shalt safely escape; and [in a]
  whyle thy trewe-mening service aboute bringe, in dispyte of al        130
  false meners that thee of-newe haten; for [in] this trewe service
  thou art now entred.'

  'Certayn,' quod I, 'among thinges I asked a question, whiche
  was the way to the knot. Trewly, lady, how-so it be I tempt you
  with questions and answers, in speking of my first service, I am      135
  now in ful purpos in the pricke of the herte, that thilke service
  was an enprisonment, and alway bad and naughty, in no maner
  to be desyred; ne that, in getting of the knot, may it nothing
  aveyle. A wyse gentil herte loketh after vertue, and none other
  bodily joyes alone. And bycause toforn this in tho wayes I was        140
  set, I wot wel my-selfe I have erred, and of the blisse fayled; and
  so out of my way hugely have I ronne.'

  'Certes,' quod she, 'that is sothe; and there thou hast miswent,
  eschewe the path from hens-forward, I rede. Wonder
  I trewly why the mortal folk of this worlde seche these ways          145
  outforth; and it is preved in your-selfe. Lo, how ye ben confounded
  with errour and folly! The knowing of very cause and way is
  goodnesse and vertue. Is there any thing to thee more precious
  than thy-selfe? Thou shalt have in thy power that thou woldest
  never lese, and that in no way may be taken fro thee; and thilke      150
  thing is that is cause of this knot. And if deth mowe it nat reve
  more than an erthly creature, thilke thing than abydeth with thy-selfe
  soule. And so, our conclusion to make, suche a knot, thus
  getten, abydeth with this thinge and with the soule, as long as
  they laste. A soule dyeth never; vertu and goodnesse evermore         155
  with the soule endureth; and this knot is parfit blisse. Than
  this soule in this blisse endlesse shal enduren. Thus shul hertes
  of a trewe knot ben esed: thus shul their soules ben plesed: thus
  perpetually in joye shul they singe.'

  'In good trouth,' quod I, 'here is a good beginning; yeve us          160
  more of this way.'

  Quod she, 'I said to thee nat longe sithen, that resonable lyf
  was oon of three thinges; and it was proved to the soule.

CH. X. 3. nowe. purpose. 4. thyther. 5. maye be sey. 6. waye. 7. _I supply_
of. 7-10. thre (_twice_). 9. thorowe. 13. christen. 17. sayne. 18. lyfe.
19. the. lyueng_es_. 20. _Supply_ by. lyueng. 21. reason. 24. mote. 26.
howe. waye. 28. Se nowe. 29. lyuenges. soroufully; _read_ sorowfulle. 30.
wele; _read_ wol.

31. hadde. 32. anone. 36. respecte amonge. 37. great. faire. 39. estate.
42. manhode. 43. meane. -tion. 46. meane folke. 47. reason. _I supply_
they. 48. sayde. 49. nothynge. layde. 52. Howe. nowe caste. 53. _Supply_
is. 54. wretche. 56. nowe (_thrice_). 57. wretchednesse. 58. nowe. 60.
entre. harde. 61. ladye. 63. Nowe. 65. reasons. the. 66. ferforthe.

74. faire. 75. fouly. 77. sylde. howe reetched (!). 80. arte a wretch. 82.
dethe. wretches. 83. dethe. 84-6. wretchednesse. 85. dethe. Howe. 86. lyfe.
88. wolte. now. he; _read_ the. 89. done the. 91. nowe. 93. wretch. 94.
wretchednesse. 95-6. nowe (_twice_). 96. sodayne. 97. wretched. thynge. 98.
the (_sic_). 100. reason. co_m_forte. 101. hert. _I supply_ to. 102. woste.

104. rcekyng. dyng (_sic_). 106. lefe. lyfe. 109. beloued; _read_ beleued.
nothynge. 112. conte_m_plation. 114. eased. 115-9. the (_five times_). 119.
comforte. 120. agayne. encreasynge. 129. shalte. _Supply_ in a. 130.
meanyng. 131. meaners. the. _Supply_ in. 132. arte nowe. 133. Certayn
_begins with a large capital_ C, _on fol._ 306, verso. amonge. 134. howe.
136. nowe. purpose. 136-9. hert.

140. toforne. 141. sette. wote. 142. ron. 144. pathe. -forwarde. 145.
folke. 146. howe. 148. thynge. the. 150. the. 151. dethe. 152. thynge. 155.
last. 156. p_ar_fite. 158. eased. pleased. 162. the. lyfe. 163. one. thre.

                          CHAPTER XI.

  Every soule of reson hath two thinges of stering lyf, oon in
  vertue, and another in the bodily workinge; and whan the
  soule is the maister over the body, than is a man maister of him-selfe.
  And a man, to be a maister over him-selfe, liveth in vertu and
  in goodnesse, and as reson of vertue techeth. So the soule and the      5
  body, worching vertue togider, liven resonable lyf, whiche clerkes
  clepen "felicitè in living"; and therein is the hye way to this knot.
  These olde philosophers, that hadden no knowing of divine grace,
  of kyndly reson alone, wenden that of pure nature, withouten any
  helpe of grace, me might have y-shoned th'other livinges.              10
  Resonably have I lived; and for I thinke herafter, if god wol,
  and I have space, thilke grace after my leude knowing declare,
  I leve it as at this tyme. But, as I said, he that out-forth loketh
  after the wayes of this knot, [his] conning with whiche he shulde
  knowe the way in-forth, slepeth for the tyme. Wherfore he that         15
  wol this way knowe, must leve the loking after false wayes out-forth,
  and open the eyen of his conscience, and unclose his herte.
  Seest nat, he that hath trust in the bodily lyfe is so besy bodily
  woundes to anointe, in keping from smert (for al-out may they nat
  be heled), that of woundes in his true understanding he taketh no      20
  hede; the knowing evenforth slepeth so harde: but anon, as in
  knowing awake, than ginneth the prevy medicynes, for heling of
  his trewe intent, inwardes lightly +helen conscience, if it be wel
  handled. Than must nedes these wayes come out of the soule
  by stering lyfe of the body; and els may no man come to parfit         25
  blisse of this knotte. And thus, by this waye, he shal come to the
  knotte, and to the parfit selinesse that he wende have had in
  bodily goodes outforth.'

  'Ye,' quod I, 'shal he have both knot, riches, power, dignitè,
  and renomè in this maner way?'                                         30

  'Ye,' quod she, 'that shal I shewe thee. Is he nat riche that
  hath suffisaunce, and hath the power that no man may amaistrien?
  Is nat greet dignitè to have worship and reverence? And hath
  he nat glorie of renomè, whos name perpetual is during, and out
  of nombre in comparacion?'                                             35

  'These be thinges that men wenen to getten outforth,' quod I.

  'Ye,' quod she; 'they that loken after a thing that nought is
  therof, in al ne in partie, longe mowe they gapen after!'

  'That is sothe,' quod I.

  'Therfore,' quod she, 'they that sechen gold in grene trees, and       40
  wene to gader precious stones among vynes, and layn her nettes
  in mountains to fisshe, and thinken to hunte in depe sees after
  hart and hynd, and sechen in erth thilke thinges that surmounteth
  heven, what may I of hem say, but folisshe ignoraunce misledeth
  wandring wrecches by uncouth wayes that shulden be forleten,           45
  and maketh hem blynde fro the right pathe of trewe way that
  shulde ben used? Therfore, in general, errour in mankynde
  departeth thilke goodes by mis-seching, whiche he shulde have
  hole, and he sought by reson. Thus goth he begyled of that he
  sought; in his hode men have blowe a jape.'                            50

  'Now,' quod I, 'if a man be vertuous, and al in vertue liveth,
  how hath he al these thinges?'

  'That shal I proven,' quod she. 'What power hath any man
  to lette another of living in vertue? For prisonment, or any
  other disese, [if] he take it paciently, discomfiteth he nat; the      55
  tyrant over his soule no power may have. Than hath that man,
  so tourmented, suche power, that he nil be discomfit; ne overcome
  may he nat ben, sithen pacience in his soule overcometh,
  and +is nat overcomen. Suche thing that may nat be a-maistred,
  he hath nede to nothing; for he hath suffisaunce y-now, to helpe       60
  him-selfe. And thilke thing that thus hath power and suffisance,
  and no tyrant may it reve, and hath dignitè to sette at nought al
  thinges, here it is a greet dignitè, that deth may a-maistry. Wherfore
  thilke power [with] suffisaunce, so enclosed with dignitè, by
  al reson renomè must have. This is thilke riches with suffisaunce      65
  ye sholde loke after; this is thilke worshipful dignitè ye shulde
  coveyte; this is thilke power of might, in whiche ye shulde truste;
  this is the ilke renomè of glorie that endlesse endureth; and al
  nis but substaunce in vertuous lyving.'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'al this is sothe; and so I see wel that vertue      70
  with ful gripe encloseth al these thinges. Wherfore in sothe
  I may saye, by my trouth, vertue of my Margarite brought me
  first in-to your service, to have knitting with that jewel, nat sodain
  longinges ne folkes smale wordes, but only our conversacion
  togider; and than I, seinge th'entent of her trewe mening with         75
  florisshing vertue of pacience, that she used nothing in yvel, to
  quyte the wicked lesinges that false tonges ofte in her have laid,
  I have seye it my-selfe, goodly foryevenesse hath spronge out of
  her herte.  Unitè and accord, above al other thinges, she
  desyreth in a good meke maner; and suffereth many wicked               80

  Trewly, lady, to you it were a gret worship, that suche thinges
  by due chastisment were amended.'

  'Ye,' quod she, 'I have thee excused; al suche thinges as yet
  mowe nat be redressed; thy Margarites vertue I commende wel            85
  the more, that paciently suche anoyes suffreth. David king was
  meke, and suffred mokel hate and many yvel speches; no despyt
  ne shame that his enemys him deden might nat move pacience
  out of his herte, but ever in one plyte mercy he used. Wherfore
  god him-selfe took reward to the thinges; and theron suche             90
  punisshment let falle. Trewly, by reson, it ought be ensample of
  drede to al maner peoples mirth. A man vengeable in wrath no
  governance in punisshment ought to have. Plato had a cause his
  servant to +scourge, and yet cleped he his neibour to performe the
  doinge; him-selfe wolde nat, lest wrath had him a-maistred; and        95
  so might he have layd on to moche: evermore grounded vertue
  sheweth th'entent fro within. And trewly, I wot wel, for her goodnesse
  and vertue, thou hast desyred my service to her plesance
  wel the more; and thy-selfe therto fully hast profered.'

  'Good lady,' quod I, 'is vertue the hye way to this knot that         100
  long we have y-handled?'

  'Ye, forsoth,' quod she, 'and without vertue, goodly this knot
  may nat be goten.'

  'Ah! now I see,' quod I, 'how vertu in me fayleth; and I, as
  a seer tree, without burjoning or frute, alwaye welke; and            105
  so I stonde in dispeyre of this noble knot; for vertue in me
  hath no maner workinge. A! wyde-where aboute have I

  'Pees,' quod she, 'of thy first way; thy traveyle is in ydel;
  and, as touchinge the seconde way, I see wel thy meninge. Thou        110
  woldest conclude me, if thou coudest, bycause I brought thee
  to service; and every of my servantes I helpe to come to this
  blisse, as I sayd here-beforn. And thou saydest thy-selfe, thou
  mightest nat be holpen as thou wenest, bycause that vertue in
  thee fayleth; and this blisse parfitly without vertue may nat be      115
  goten; thou wenest of these wordes contradiccion to folowe.
  Pardè, at the hardest, I have no servant but he be vertuous in
  dede and thought. I brought thee in my service, yet art thou
  nat my servant; but I say, thou might so werche in vertue herafter,
  that than shalt thou be my servant, and as for my servant             120
  acompted. For habit maketh no monk; ne weringe of gilte
  spurres maketh no knight. Never-the-later, in confort of thyne
  herte, yet wol I otherwyse answere.'

  'Certes, lady,' quod I tho, 'so ye muste nedes; or els I had
  nigh caught suche a +cardiacle for sorowe, I wot it wel, I shulde     125
  it never have recovered. And therfore now I praye [thee] to
  enforme me in this; or els I holde me without recovery. I may
  nat long endure til this lesson be lerned, and of this mischeef the
  remedy knowen.'

  'Now,' quod she, 'be nat wroth; for there is no man on-lyve           130
  that may come to a precious thing longe coveited, but he somtyme
  suffre teneful diseses: and wenest thy-selfe to ben unliche to al
  other? That may nat ben. And with the more sorowe that
  a thing is getten, the more he hath joye the ilke thing afterwardes
  to kepe; as it fareth by children in scole, that for lerninge arn     135
  beten, whan their lesson they foryetten. Commenly, after a good
  disciplyning with a yerde, they kepe right wel doctrine of their

CH. XI. 1. euery (_with small_ e). reason. lyfe. one. 6. lyfe. 7. lyueng.
9. reason.

10. thother lyuenges. 13. leaue. 14. _I supply_ his. 16. leaue. 19. anoynt.
20. healed. 22. healyng. 23. healeth; _read_ helen. 25. maye. p_ar_fite.
27. p_ar_fyte. 30. waye. 31. the. 33. great. 34. whose. 35. co_m_paration.
37. thynge. 40. golde. 41. amonge. layne. 42. hunt. 43. hynde. 45.

48. mysse. 49. reason. 51. Nowe. 52. howe. 54. let. lyueng. 55. _I supply_
if. 56. maye. 59. as; _read_ is. 60. ynowe. 63. great. 64. _I supply_ with.
67. coueyt. 69. lyueng. 70. se. 74. onely. co_n_versation. 75. thentent.
76. nothynge. 77. leasynges. layde. 78. sey. 79. hert. accorde. 82. Trewly
(_with large capital_ T).

84. the. 87. dispite. 89. Werfore. 90. toke rewarde. 91. fal. reason. 94.
scoure (!); _read_ scourge. 96. layde. 97. thentent. wotte. 99. haste. 100.
waye. 104. nowe I se. howe. 105. tre. 109. Peace. 110. se. meanyng. 111.
the. 112. one. 113. beforne. 114. wenyst. 115. the. maye. 116.
co_n_tradiction. 118. the. arte.

121. habyte. monke. wearynge. 122. conforte. 125. nyghe. cordiacle; _read_
cardiacle. wotte. 126. nowe. _I supply_ thee. 127. recouerye. 128.
mischefe. 130. Nowe. wrothe. 131. maye. 132. diseases. wenyst. 133. maye.
134. thynge. 135. schole. arne. 136. beaten. 138. schole.

                          CHAPTER XII.

  Right with these wordes, on this lady I threw up myne eyen,
  to see her countenaunce and her chere; and she, aperceyving
  this fantasye in myne herte, gan her semblaunt goodly on me
  caste, and sayde in this wyse.

  'It is wel knowe, bothe to reson and experience in doinge,              5
  every active worcheth on his passive; and whan they ben togider,
  "active" and "passive" ben y-cleped by these philosophers. If
  fyr be in place chafinge thing able to be chafed or hete[d], and
  thilke thinges ben set in suche a distaunce that the oon may
  werche, the other shal suffre. Thilke Margarite thou desyrest is       10
  ful of vertue, and able to be active in goodnesse: but every herbe
  sheweth his vertue outforth from within. The sonne yeveth light,
  that thinges may be seye. Every fyr heteth thilke thing that it
  +neigheth, and it be able to be hete[d]. Vertue of this Margarite
  outforth +wercheth; and nothing is more able to suffre worching,       15
  or worke cacche of the actife, but passife of the same actife; and
  no passife, to vertues of this Margaryte, but thee, in al my Donet
  can I fynde! So that her vertue muste nedes on thee werche;
  in what place ever thou be, within distaunce of her worthinesse,
  as her very passife thou art closed. But vertue may thee nothing       20
  profyte, but thy desyr be perfourmed, and al thy sorowes cesed.
  _Ergo_, through werchinge of her vertue thou shalt esely ben
  holpen, and driven out of al care, and welcome to this longe by
  thee desyred!'

  'Lady,' quod I, 'this is a good lesson in ginning of my joye;          25
  but wete ye wel forsothe, though I suppose she have moche
  vertue, I wolde my spousaile were proved, and than may I live
  out of doute, and rejoice me greetly, in thinking of tho vertues
  so shewed.'

  'I herde thee saye,' quod she, 'at my beginning, whan I receyved       30
  thee firste for to serve, that thy jewel, thilke Margaryte thou
  desyrest, was closed in a muskle with a blewe shel.'

  'Ye, forsothe,' quod I; 'so I sayd; and so it is.'

  'Wel,' quod she, 'every-thing kyndly sheweth it-selfe; this
  jewel, closed in a blewe shel, [by] excellence of coloures sheweth     35
  vertue from within; and so every wight shulde rather loke to the
  propre vertue of thinges than to his forayne goodes. If a thing
  be engendred of good mater, comenly and for the more part, it
  foloweth, after the congelement, vertue of the first mater (and
  it be not corrupt with vyces) to procede with encrees of good          40
  vertues; eke right so it fareth of badde. Trewly, greet excellence
  in vertue of linage, for the more part, discendeth by kynde to
  the succession in vertues to folowe. Wherfore I saye, the +colour
  of every Margarit sheweth from within the fynesse in vertue.
  Kyndely heven, whan mery +weder is a-lofte, apereth in mannes          45
  eye of coloure in blewe, stedfastnesse in pees betokening within
  and without. Margaryte is engendred by hevenly dewe, and
  sheweth in it-selfe, by fynenesse of colour, whether the engendrure
  were maked on morowe or on eve; thus sayth kynde of this
  perle. This precious Margaryte that thou servest, sheweth it-selfe     50
  discended, by nobley of vertue, from this hevenlich dewe, norisshed
  and congeled in mekenesse, that +moder is of al vertues; and, by
  werkes that men seen withouten, the significacion of the coloures
  ben shewed, mercy and pitee in the herte, with pees to al other;
  and al this is y-closed in a muskle, who-so redily these vertues       55
  loken. Al thing that hath soule is reduced in-to good by mene thinges,
  as thus: In-to god man is reduced by soules resonable; and so
  forth beestes, or bodyes that mowe not moven, after place ben
  reduced in-to manne by beestes +mene that moven from place to
  place. So that thilke bodyes that han felinge soules, and move         60
  not from places, holden the lowest degree of soulinge thinges in
  felinge; and suche ben reduced in-to man by menes. So it
  foloweth, the muskle, as +moder of al vertues, halt the place of
  mekenesse, to his lowest degree discendeth downe of heven, and
  there, by a maner of virgine engendrure, arn these Margarytes          65
  engendred, and afterward congeled. Made not mekenesse so
  lowe the hye heven, to enclose and cacche out therof so noble
  a dewe, that after congelement, a Margaryte, with endelesse vertue
  and everlasting joy, was with ful vessel of grace yeven to every
  creature, that goodly wolde it receyve?'                               70

  'Certes,' quod I, 'these thinges ben right noble; I have er this
  herd these same sawes.'

  'Than,' quod she, 'thou wost wel these thinges ben sothe?'

  'Ye, forsothe,' quod I, 'at the ful.'

  'Now,' quod she, 'that this Margaryte is ful of vertue, it is wel      75
  proved; wherfore som grace, som mercy, among other vertues,
  I wot right wel, on thee shal discende?'

  'Ye,' quod I; 'yet wolde I have better declared, vertues in this
  Margarite kyndely to ben grounded.'

  'That shal I shew thee,' quod she, 'and thou woldest it lerne.'        80

  'Lerne?' quod I, 'what nedeth suche wordes? Wete ye nat
  wel, lady, your-selfe, that al my cure, al my diligence, and al my
  might, have turned by your counsayle, in plesaunce of that perle?
  Al my thought and al my studye, with your helpe, desyreth, in
  worshippe [of] thilke jewel, to encrese al my travayle and al my       85
  besinesse in your service, this Margaryte to gladde in some halve.
  Me were lever her honour, her plesaunce, and her good chere
  thorow me for to be mayntayned and kept, and I of suche thinge
  in her lykinge to be cause, than al the welthe of bodily goodes ye
  coude recken. And wolde never god but I putte my-selfe in              90
  greet jeopardy of al that I +welde, (that is now no more but
  my lyf alone), rather than I shulde suffre thilke jewel in any
  pointe ben blemisshed; as ferre as I may suffre, and with my
  mightes strecche.'

  'Suche thing,' quod she, 'may mokel further thy grace, and             95
  thee in my service avaunce. But now (quod Love) wilt thou
  graunte me thilke Margaryte to ben good?'

  'O! good +god,' quod I, 'why tempte ye me and tene with
  suche maner speche? I wolde graunt that, though I shulde anon
  dye; and, by my trouthe, fighte in the quarel, if any wight wolde     100

  'It is so moche the lighter,' quod Love, 'to prove our entent.'

  'Ye,' quod I; 'but yet wolde I here how ye wolde prove that
  she were good by resonable skil, that it mowe not ben denyed.
  For although I knowe, and so doth many other, manifold goodnesse      105
  and vertue in this Margaryte ben printed, yet some men
  there ben that no goodnesse speken; and, wher-ever your wordes
  ben herd and your resons ben shewed, suche yvel spekers, lady,
  by auctoritè of your excellence, shullen be stopped and ashamed!
  And more, they that han non aquayntaunce in her persone, yet          110
  mowe they knowe her vertues, and ben the more enfourmed in
  what wyse they mowe sette their hertes, whan hem liste in-to your
  service any entree make. For trewly al this to beginne, I wot
  wel my-selfe that thilke jewel is so precious perle, as a womanly
  woman in her kynde; in whom of goodnesse, of vertue, and also         115
  of answeringe shappe of limmes, and fetures so wel in al pointes
  acording, nothing fayleth. I leve that kynde her made with greet
  studye; for kynde in her person nothing hath foryet[en], and that
  is wel sene. In every good wightes herte she hath grace of
  commending and of vertuous praysing. Alas! that ever kynde            120
  made her deedly! Save only in that, I wot wel, that Nature,
  in fourminge of her, in no-thinge hath erred.'

CH. XII. 1. threwe. 2. se. 5. Reason. 7. ycleaped. 8. fyre. thynge. hete;
_read_ heted. 9. sette. one. 12. outforthe. 13. sey. fyre. 14. neighed;
_read_ neigheth. hete; _read_ heted.

15. wrethe (!); _read_ wercheth. nothynge. 16. catche. 17-8. the (_twice_).
20. arte. the. 21. desyre. ceased. 22. shalte easely. 24. the. 26. thoughe.
27. maye. 28. greatly. 30. the say. 31. the. 35. _Supply_ by. 38. parte.
40. encrease. 41. great. 42. parte. 43. colours; _read_ colour. 45. wether;
_read_ weder. 46. peace. 48. coloure.

52, 63. mother; _read_ moder. 53. sene. signification. 54. pytie. 56.
meane. 58. forthe. 59. meue; _misprint for_ mene. mouyn. 62. meanes. 63.
halte. 65. arne. 66. afterwarde. 67. catche. 72. herde. 73. woste. 75.
Nowe. 76. some (_twice_). amonge. 77. wotte. 77, 80. the (_twice_). 85. _I
supply_ of. encrease. 87. leauer. pleasaunce.

88. thorowe. kepte. 90. put. 91. great ieoperdye. wolde; _read_ welde.
nowe. lyfe. 94. stretche. 95. maye. 96. the. nowe. wylte. 98. good good;
_read_ good god. 99. thoughe. anone. 100. fyght. 103. howe. 104.
reasonable. 105. dothe. 108. herde. reasons. 110. none. 113. entre. wote.
115. whome. 117. nothynge. great. 118. foryet. 121. onely.

                          CHAPTER XIII.

  'Certes,' quod Love, 'thou hast wel begonne; and I aske
  thee this question: Is not, in general, every-thing good?'

  'I not,' quod I.

  'No?' quod she; '+saw not god everything that he made, and
  weren right good?'                                                      5

  'Than is wonder,' quod I, 'how yvel thinges comen a-place,
  sithen that al thinges weren right good.'

  'Thus,' quod she, 'I wol declare. Everiche qualitè and every
  accion, and every thing that hath any maner of beinge, it is of
  god; and god it made, of whom is al goodnesse and al being.            10
  Of him is no badnesse. Badde to be, is naught; good to be,
  is somwhat; and therfore good and being is oon in

  'How may this be?' quod I. 'For often han shrewes me
  assailed, and mokel badnesse therin have I founden; and so me          15
  semeth bad to be somwhat in kynde.'

  'Thou shalt,' quod she, 'understande that suche maner badnesse,
  whiche is used to purifye wrong-doers, is somwhat; and god it
  made, and being [it] hath; and that is good. Other badnesse no
  being hath utterly; it is in the negative of somwhat, and that is      20
  naught and nothing being. The parties essential of being arn
  sayd in double wyse, as that it is; and these parties ben founde
  in every creature. For al thing, a this halfe the first being, is
  being through participacion, taking partie of being; so that [in]
  every creature is difference bitwene being of him through whom         25
  it is, and his own being. Right as every good is a maner of
  being, so is it good thorow being; for it is naught other to be.
  And every thing, though it be good, is not of him-selfe good;
  but it is good by that it is ordinable to the greet goodnesse.
  This dualitè, after clerkes +determinison, is founden in every         30
  creature, be it never so single of onhed.'

  'Ye,' quod I; 'but there-as it is y-sayd that god +saw every-thing
  of his making, and [they] were right good (as your-selfe
  sayd to me not longe tyme sithen), I aske whether every creature
  is y-sayd "good" through goodnesse unfourmed eyther els fourmed;       35
  and afterward, if it be accept utterly good?'

  'I shal say thee,' quod she. 'These grete passed clerkes han
  devyded good in-to good being alone, and that is nothing but
  +god, for nothing is good in that wyse but god: also, in good by
  participacion, and that is y-cleped "good" for far fet and             40
  representative of +godly goodnesse. And after this maner manyfold
  good is sayd, that is to saye, good in kynde, and good in gendre,
  and good of grace, and good of joy. Of good in kynde Austen
  sayth, "al that ben, ben good." But peraunter thou woldest
  wete, whether of hem-selfe it be good, or els of anothers goodnesse:   45
  for naturel goodnesse of every substaunce is nothing els than his
  substancial being, which is y-cleped "goodnesse" after comparison
  that he hath to his first goodnesse, so as it is inductatife by menes
  in-to the first goodnesse. Boece sheweth this thing at the ful, that
  this name "good" is, in general, name in kynde, as it is comparisoned  50
  generally to his principal ende, which is god, knotte of
  al goodnesse. Every creature cryeth "god us made"; and so
  they han ful apeted to thilke god by affeccion such as to hem
  longeth; and in this wyse al thinges ben good of the gret god,
  which is good alone.'                                                  55

  'This wonder thing,' quod I, 'how ye have by many resons
  proved my first way to be errour and misgoing, and cause[d] of
  badnesse and feble meninge in the grounde ye aleged to be roted.
  Whence is it that suche badnesse hath springes, sithen al thinges
  thus in general ben good, and badnesse hath no being, as ye have       60
  declared? I wene, if al things ben good, I might than with the
  first way in that good have ended, and so by goodnesse have comen
  to blisse in your service desyred.'

  'Al thing,' quod she, 'is good by being in participacion out of
  the firste goodnesse, whiche goodnesse is corrupt by badnesse          65
  and badde-mening maners. God hath [ordeyned] in good thinges,
  that they ben good by being, and not in yvel; for there is absence
  of rightful love. For badnesse is nothing but only yvel wil of the
  user, and through giltes of the doer; wherfore, at the ginninge of
  the worlde, every thing by him-selfe was good; and in universal        70
  they weren right good. An eye or a hand is fayrer and betterer
  in a body set, in his kyndely place, than from the body dissevered.
  Every thing in his kyndly place, being kyndly, good doth werche;
  and, out of that place voyded, it dissolveth and is defouled him-selve.
  Our noble god, in gliterande wyse, by armony this world                75
  ordeyned, as in purtreytures storied with colours medled, in
  whiche blacke and other derke colours commenden the golden
  and the asured paynture; every put in kyndely place, oon, besyde
  another, more for other glitereth. Right so litel fayr maketh
  right fayr more glorious; and right so, of goodnesse, and of other     80
  thinges in vertue. Wherfore other badde and not so good perles
  as this Margaryte that we han of this matier, yeven by the ayre
  litel goodnesse and litel vertue, [maken] right mokel goodnesse
  and vertue in thy Margaryte to ben proved, in shyning wyse to be
  founde and shewed. How shulde ever goodnesse of pees have              85
  ben knowe, but-if unpees somtyme reigne, and mokel yvel +wrathe?
  How shulde mercy ben proved, and no trespas were, by due
  justification, to be punisshed? Therfore grace and goodnesse of
  a wight is founde; the sorouful hertes in good meninge to endure,
  ben comforted; unitè and acord bitwene hertes knit in joye to          90
  abyde. What? wenest thou I rejoyce or els accompte him among
  my servauntes that pleseth Pallas in undoinge of Mercurye, al-be-it
  that to Pallas he be knit by tytle of lawe, not according to
  resonable conscience, and Mercurie in doinge have grace to ben
  suffered; or els him that +weyveth the moone for fayrenesse of         95
  the eve-sterre? Lo! otherwhyle by nightes, light of the moone
  greetly comforteth in derke thoughtes and blynde. Understanding
  of love yeveth greet gladnesse. Who-so list not byleve, whan
  a sothe tale is shewed, a dewe and a deblys his name is entred.
  Wyse folk and worthy in gentillesse, bothe of vertue and of           100
  livinge, yeven ful credence in sothnesse of love with a good herte,
  there-as good evidence or experience in doinge sheweth not the
  contrarie. Thus mightest thou have ful preef in thy Margarytes
  goodnesse, by commendement of other jewels badnesse and
  yvelnesse in doing. Stoundemele diseses yeveth several houres         105
  in joye.'

  'Now, by my trouthe,' quod I, 'this is wel declared, that my
  Margaryte is good; for sithen other ben good, and she passeth
  manye other in goodnesse and vertue; wherthrough, by maner
  necessarie, she muste be good. And goodnesse of this Margaryte        110
  is nothing els but vertue; wherfore she is vertuous; and if there
  fayled any vertue in any syde, there were lacke of vertue. Badde
  nothing els is, ne may be, but lacke and want of good and goodnesse;
  and so shulde she have that same lacke, that is to saye,
  badde; and that may not be. For she is good; and that is good,        115
  me thinketh, al good; and so, by consequence, me semeth, vertuous,
  and no lacke of vertue to have. But the sonne is not knowe but
  he shyne; ne vertuous herbes, but they have her kynde werchinge;
  ne vertue, but it strecche in goodnesse or profyt to another, is no
  vertue. Than, by al wayes of reson, sithen mercy and pitee ben        120
  moste commended among other vertues, and they might never ben
  shewed, [unto] refresshement of helpe and of comfort, but now
  at my moste nede; and that is the kynde werkinge of these
  vertues; trewly, I wene, I shal not varye from these helpes. Fyr,
  and-if he yeve non hete, for fyre is not demed. The sonne, but        125
  he shyne, for sonne is not accompted. Water, but it wete, the
  name shal ben chaunged. Vertue, but it werche, of goodnesse
  doth it fayle; and in-to his contrarie the name shal ben reversed.
  And these ben impossible; wherfore the contradictorie, that is
  necessarye, nedes muste I leve.'                                      130

  'Certes,' quod she, 'in thy person and out of thy mouthe these
  wordes lyen wel to ben said, and in thyne understanding to be
  leved, as in entent of this Margaryte alone. And here now my
  speche in conclusion of these wordes.

CH. XIII. 1. haste. 2, 4. thynge. 4. saue; _read_ saw. 5. werne. 6. howe.
9. action. 12. one. 14. Howe. 18. wronge. 19. _I supply_ it. 21. arne. 24.
_I supply_ in. and of; _I omit_ and. 27. thorowe. 29. great. determission
(!); _read_ determinison. 32. ysayde. saue; _read_ saw. 33. _I supply_

35. ysayde. 36. afterwarde. accepte. 37. the. great. 39. good; _read_ god.
40. farre fette. 41. goodly; _read_ godly. manyfolde. 44. saythe. 47.
ycleaped. 48. meanes. 53. affection. 56. howe. reasons. 57. waye. cause;
_read_ caused. 59. baddesse (!). 65. corrupte. 66. meanynge. _I supply_
ordeyned. 68. nothynge. onely. 71. werne. hande.

72. sette. disceuered. 73. dothe. 75. worlde. 78. putte. one. 79. lytle
fayre. 80. fayre. 83. _Supply_ maken. 85. Howe. peace. 86. vnpeace. wrothe;
_read_ wrathe. 87. Howe. trespeace (!). 89. meanynge. 90. acorde. knytte.
91. amonge. 92. pleaseth. 93. knytte. 94. reasonable. 95. weneth; _read_
weyveth. 97. greatly. 98. great. lyste. 99. adewe. 100. folke. 101. hert.
103. prefe. 105. diseases. 107. Nowe.

109. wherthroughe. 111. no thynge. 113. wante. 115. maye. 119. stretche.
profyte. 120. reason. pytie. 121. amonge. 122. _Supply_ unto. comforte.
nowe. 124. Fyre. 125. none heate. 128. dothe. 133. nowe.

                          CHAPTER XIV.

  In these thinges,' quod she, 'that me list now to shewe
  openly, shal be founde the mater of thy sicknesse, and
  what shal ben the medicyn that may be thy sorowes lisse and
  comfort, as wel thee as al other that amisse have erred and out of
  the way walked, so that any drope of good wil in amendement             5
  [may] ben dwelled in their hertes. Proverbes of Salomon openly
  techeth, how somtyme an innocent walkid by the way in
  blyndnesse of a derke night; whom mette a woman (if it be leefly to
  saye) as a strumpet arayed, redily purveyed in turninge of
  thoughtes with veyne janglinges, and of rest inpacient, by             10
  dissimulacion of my termes, saying in this wyse: "Com, and be we
  dronken of our swete pappes; use we coveitous collinges." And
  thus drawen was this innocent, as an oxe to the larder.'

  'Lady,' quod I, 'to me this is a queynte thing to understande;
  I praye you, of this parable declare me the entent.'                   15

  'This innocent,' quod she, 'is a scoler lerninge of my lore, in
  seching of my blisse, in whiche thinge the day of his thought
  turning enclyneth in-to eve; and the sonne, of very light faylinge,
  maketh derke night in his conninge. Thus in derknesse of many
  doutes he walketh, and for blyndenesse of understandinge, he ne        20
  wot in what waye he is in; forsothe, suche oon may lightly ben
  begyled. To whom cam love fayned, not clothed of my livery,
  but [of] unlefful lusty habit, with softe speche and mery; and
  with fayre honyed wordes heretykes and mis-meninge people
  skleren and wimplen their errours. Austen witnesseth of an             25
  heretyk, that in his first beginninge he was a man right expert
  in resons and swete in his wordes; and the werkes miscorden.
  Thus fareth fayned love in her firste werchinges. Thou knowest
  these thinges for trewe; thou hast hem proved by experience
  somtyme, in doing to thyne owne person; in whiche thing thou hast      30
  founde mater of mokel disese. Was not fayned love redily
  purveyed, thy wittes to cacche and tourne thy good thoughtes?
  Trewly, she hath wounded the conscience of many with florisshinge
  of mokel jangling wordes; and good worthe thanked I it for
  no glose. I am glad of my prudence thou hast so manly her              35
  +weyved. To me art thou moche holden, that in thy kynde
  course of good mening I returne thy mynde. I trowe, ne had
  I shewed thee thy Margaryte, thou haddest never returned. Of
  first in good parfit joye was ever fayned love impacient, as the
  water of Siloë, whiche evermore floweth with stilnesse and privy       40
  noyse til it come nighe the brinke, and than ginneth it so out of
  mesure to bolne, with novelleries of chaunging stormes, that in
  course of every renning it is in pointe to spille al his circuit of
  +bankes. Thus fayned love prively, at the fullest of his flowinge,
  [ginneth] newe stormes [of] debat to arayse. And al-be-it that         45
  Mercurius [servants] often with hole understandinge knowen
  suche perillous maters, yet Veneriens so lusty ben and so leude
  in their wittes, that in suche thinges right litel or naught don
  they fele; and wryten and cryen to their felawes: "here is blisse,
  here is joye"; and thus in-to one same errour mokel folk they          50
  drawen. "Come," they sayen, "and be we dronken of our
  pappes"; that ben fallas and lying glose, of whiche mowe they not
  souke milke of helthe, but deedly venim and poyson, corrupcion
  of sorowe. Milke of fallas is venim of disceyt; milke of lying glose
  is venim of corrupcion. Lo! what thing cometh out of these             55
  pappes! "Use we coveited collinges"; desyre we and meddle we false
  wordes with sote, and sote with false! Trewly, this is the sorinesse
  of fayned love; nedes, of these surfettes sicknesse muste
  folowe. Thus, as an oxe, to thy langoring deth were thou drawen;
  the sote of the smoke hath thee al defased. Ever the deper thou        60
  somtyme wadest, the soner thou it founde; if it had thee killed,
  it had be litel wonder. But on that other syde, my trewe
  servaunt[s] not faynen ne disceyve conne; sothly, their doinge
  is open; my foundement endureth, be the burthen never so
  greet; ever in one it lasteth. It yeveth lyf and blisful goodnesse     65
  in the laste endes, though the ginninges ben sharpe. Thus of
  two contraries, contrarye ben the effectes. And so thilke
  Margaryte thou servest shal seen thee, by her service out of
  perillous tribulacion delivered, bycause of her service in-to newe
  disese fallen, by hope of amendement in the laste ende, with joye      70
  to be gladded. Wherfore, of kynde pure, her mercy with grace
  of good helpe shal she graunte; and els I shal her so strayne,
  that with pitè shal she ben amaystred. Remembre in thyne
  herte how horribly somtyme to thyne Margaryte thou trespasest,
  and in a grete wyse ayenst her thou forfeytest! Clepe ayen thy         75
  mynde, and know thyne owne giltes. What goodnesse, what
  bountee, with mokel folowing pitè founde thou in that tyme?
  Were thou not goodly accepted in-to grace? By my pluckinge
  was she to foryevenesse enclyned. And after, I her styred to
  drawe thee to house; and yet wendest thou utterly for ever             80
  have ben refused. But wel thou wost, sithen that I in suche
  sharpe disese might so greetly avayle, what thinkest in thy wit?
  How fer may my wit strecche? And thou lache not on thy syde,
  I wol make the knotte. Certes, in thy good bering I wol acorde
  with the psauter: "I have founde David in my service true, and         85
  with holy oyle of pees and of rest, longe by him desyred, utterly
  he shal be anoynted." Truste wel to me, and I wol thee not
  fayle. The +leving of the first way with good herte of continuance
  that I see in thee grounded, this purpose to parfourme, draweth
  me by maner of constrayning, that nedes muste I ben thyne helper.      90
  Although mirthe a whyle be taried, it shal come at suche seson,
  that thy thought shal ben joyed. And wolde never god, sithen
  thyne herte to my resons arn assented, and openly hast confessed
  thyne amisse-going, and now cryest after mercy, but-if mercy
  folowed; thy blisse shal ben redy, y-wis; thou ne wost how sone.       95
  Now be a good child, I rede.  The kynde of vertues, in thy
  Margaryte rehersed, by strength of me in thy person shul werche.
  Comfort thee in this; for thou mayst not miscary.' And these
  wordes sayd, she streyght her on length, and rested a whyle.


CH. XIV. 1. nowe. 4. the. 6. _Supply_ may. 7. teacheth. howe.

8. lefely. 11. sayeng. Come. 14. thynge. 16. scholer. 17. daye. 21. wote.
one. 22. whome came. 23. _Supply_ of. unleful lustye habyte. 24. misse-.
26. heretyke. experte. 27. resones. 29. haste. 32. catche. 35. gladde. 36.
veyned; _read_ weyved. arte. 37. meanyng. 38. the. 39. parfyte. 42.
measure. 43. spyl. 44. cankes (!); _read_ bankes.

45. _I supply_ ginneth _and_ of. debate. 46. _I supply_ servants. 51.
sayne. 52-4. lyeng. 54. disceyte. 55. thynge. 58. must. 60. the. 61. the.
63. seruaunt. 65. great. lyfe. 68. sene the. 70, 82. disease. 72. graunt.
74. howe. 75. great. 76. knowe. 77. bountie. 80. the.

82. greatly. 83. howe ferre maye my wytte stretche. 86. peace. 87. the. 88.
leanyng (!). 89. se. the. 93. reasones arne. haste. 94. nowe. 96. chylde.
98. Comforte the. 99. sayde. COLOPHON. booke. boke.

                          BOOK III.

                          CHAPTER I.

  Of nombre, sayn these clerkes, that it is naturel somme of
  discrete thinges, as in tellinge oon, two, three, and so forth;
  but among al nombres, three is determined for moste certayn.
  Wherfore in nombre certayn this werk of my besy leudenesse
  I thinke to ende and parfourme. Ensample by this worlde, in             5
  three tymes is devyded; of whiche the first is cleped +Deviacion,
  that is to say, going out of trewe way; and al that tho dyeden, in
  helle were they punisshed for a man[ne]s sinne, til grace and mercy
  fette hem thence, and there ended the firste tyme. The seconde
  tyme lasteth from the comming of merciable grace until the ende        10
  of transitorie tyme, in whiche is shewed the true way in fordoinge
  of the badde; and that is y-cleped tyme of Grace. And that
  thing is not yeven by desert of yeldinge oon benefyt for another,
  but only through goodnesse of the yever of grace in thilke tyme.
  Who-so can wel understande is shapen to be saved in souled             15
  blisse. The thirde tyme shal ginne whan transitorie thinges of
  worldes han mad their ende; and that shal ben in Joye, glorie, and
  rest, both body and soule, that wel han deserved in the tyme of
  Grace. And thus in that heven +togider shul they dwelle perpetuelly,
  without any imaginatyfe yvel in any halve. These                       20
  tymes are figured by tho three dayes that our god was closed
  in erthe; and in the thirde aroos, shewing our resurreccion to
  joye and blisse of tho that it deserven, by his merciable grace.
  So this leude book, in three maters, accordaunt to tho tymes,
  lightly by a good inseër may ben understonde; as in the firste,        25
  Errour of misse-goinge is shewed, with sorowful pyne punisshed,
  +that cryed after mercy. In the seconde, is Grace in good waye
  proved, whiche is faylinge without desert, thilke first misse
  amendinge, in correccion of tho erroures, and even way to bringe,
  with comfort of welfare in-to amendement wexinge. And in the           30
  thirde, Joye and blisse graunted to him that wel can deserve it,
  and hath savour of understandinge in the tyme of grace. Thus
  in Joye, of my thirde boke, shal the mater be til it ende.

  But special cause I have in my herte to make this proces
  of a Margarit-perle, that is so precious a gemme +whyt, clere and      35
  litel, of whiche stones or jewel[les] the tonges of us Englissh
  people tourneth the right names, and clepeth hem 'Margery-perles';
  thus varieth our speche from many other langages. For
  trewly Latin, Frenche, and many mo other langages clepeth hem,
  Margery-perles, [by] the name 'Margarites,' or 'Margarite-perles';     40
  wherfore in that denominacion I wol me acorde to other mens
  tonges, in that name-cleping. These clerkes that treten of kyndes,
  and studien out the propertee there of thinges, sayn: the Margarite
  is a litel whyt perle, throughout holowe and rounde and
  vertuous; and on the see-sydes, in the more Britayne, in               45
  muskle-shelles, of the hevenly dewe, the best ben engendred; in whiche
  by experience ben founde three fayre vertues. Oon is, it yeveth
  comfort to the feling spirites in bodily persones of reson. Another
  is good; it is profitable helthe ayenst passions of sorie mens hertes.
  And the thirde, it is nedeful and noble in staunching of bloode,       50
  there els to moche wolde out renne. To whiche perle and vertues
  me list to lyken at this tyme Philosophie, with her three speces,
  that is, natural, and moral, and resonable; of whiche thinges
  hereth what sayn these grete clerkes. Philosophie is knowing of
  devynly and manly thinges joyned with studie of good living;           55
  and this stant in two thinges, that is, conninge and opinion.
  Conninge is whan a thing by certayn reson is conceyved. But
  wrecches and fooles and leude men, many wil conceyve a thing
  and mayntayne it as for sothe, though reson be in the contrarye;
  wherfore conninge is a straunger. Opinion is whyl a thing is in        60
  non-certayn, and hid from mens very knowleging, and by no parfit
  reson fully declared, as thus: if the sonne be so mokel as men
  wenen, or els if it be more than the erthe. For in sothnesse the
  certayn quantitè of that planet is unknowen to erthly dwellers; and
  yet by opinion of some men it is holden for more than midle-erth.      65

  The first spece of philosophie is naturel; whiche in kyndely
  thinges +treteth, and sheweth causes of heven, and strength of
  kyndely course; as by arsmetrike, geometry, musike, and by
  astronomye techeth wayes and cours of hevens, of planetes, and
  of sterres aboute heven and erthe, and other elementes.                70

  The seconde spece is moral, whiche, in order, of living maners
  techeth; and by reson proveth vertues of soule moste worthy in
  our living; whiche ben prudence, justice, temperaunce, and
  strength. Prudence is goodly wisdom in knowing of thinges.
  Strength voideth al adversitees aliche even. Temperaunce distroyeth    75
  beestial living with esy bering. And Justice rightfully
  jugeth; and juging departeth to every wight that is his owne.

  The thirde spece turneth in-to reson of understanding; al
  thinges to be sayd soth and discussed; and that in two thinges is
  devyded. Oon is art, another is rethorike; in whiche two al            80
  lawes of mans reson ben grounded or els maintayned.

  And for this book is of LOVE, and therafter bereth his name,
  and philosophie and lawe muste here-to acorden by their clergial
  discripcions, as: philosophie for love of wisdom is declared, lawe
  for mainteynaunce of pees is holden: and these with love must          85
  nedes acorden; therfore of hem in this place have I touched.
  Ordre of homly thinges and honest maner of livinge in vertue,
  with rightful jugement in causes and profitable administracion in
  comminaltees of realmes and citees, by evenhed profitably to
  raigne, nat by singuler avauntage ne by privè envy, ne by soleyn       90
  purpos in covetise of worship or of goodes, ben disposed in open
  rule shewed, by love, philosophy, and lawe, and yet love, toforn
  al other. Wherfore as sustern in unitè they accorden, and oon
  ende, that is, pees and rest, they causen norisshinge; and in the
  joye maynteynen to endure.                                             95

  Now than, as I have declared: my book acordeth with discripcion
  of three thinges; and the Margarit in vertue is lykened
  to Philosophy, with her three speces. In whiche maters ever
  twey ben acordaunt with bodily reson, and the thirde with the
  soule. But in conclusion of my boke and of this Margarite-perle       100
  in knittinge togider, Lawe by three sondrye maners shal be lykened;
  that is to saye, lawe, right, and custome, whiche I wol declare.
  Al that is lawe cometh of goddes ordinaunce, by kyndly worching;
  and thilke thinges ordayned by mannes wittes arn y-cleped right,
  which is ordayned by many maners and in constitucion written.         105
  But custome is a thing that is accepted for right or for lawe,
  there-as lawe and right faylen; and there is no difference, whether
  it come of scripture or of reson. Wherfore it sheweth, that lawe
  is kyndly governaunce; right cometh out of mannes probable
  reson; and custome is of commen usage by length of tyme               110
  used; and custome nat writte is usage; and if it be writte,
  constitucion it is y-written and y-cleped. But lawe of kynde is
  commen to every nation, as conjunccion of man and woman in
  love, succession of children in heritance, restitucion of thing
  by strength taken or lent; and this lawe among al other halt          115
  the soveraynest gree in worship; whiche lawe began at the
  beginning of resonable creature; it varied yet never for no
  chaunging of tyme. Cause, forsothe, in ordayning of lawe was to
  constrayne mens hardinesse in-to pees, and withdrawing his yvel
  wil, and turning malice in-to goodnesse; and that innocence           120
  sikerly, withouten teneful anoye, among shrewes safely might
  inhabite by proteccion of safe-conducte, so that the shrewes, harm
  for harme, by brydle of ferdnesse shulden restrayne. But forsothe,
  in kyndely lawe, nothing is commended but such as goddes
  wil hath confirmed, ne nothing denyed but contrarioustee of           125
  goddes wil in heven. Eke than al lawes, or custome, or els
  constitucion by usage or wryting, that contraryen lawe of kynde,
  utterly ben repugnaunt and adversarie to our goddes wil of heven.
  Trewly, lawe of kynde for goddes own lusty wil is verily to
  mayntayne; under whiche lawe (and unworthy) bothe professe            130
  and reguler arn obediencer and bounden to this Margarite-perle
  as by knotte of loves statutes and stablisshment in kynde, whiche
  that goodly may not be withsetten. Lo! under this bonde am
  I constrayned to abyde; and man, under living lawe ruled, by that
  lawe oweth, after desertes, to ben rewarded by payne or by mede,      135
  but-if mercy weyve the payne. So than +by part resonfully may
  be seye, that mercy bothe right and lawe passeth. Th' entent
  of al these maters is the lest clere understanding, to weten, at
  th'ende of this thirde boke; ful knowing, thorow goddes grace,
  I thinke to make neverthelater. Yet if these thinges han a good       140
  and a +sleigh inseër, whiche that can souke hony of the harde
  stone, oyle of the drye rocke, [he] may lightly fele nobley of mater
  in my leude imaginacion closed. But for my book shal be of
  joye (as I sayd), and I [am] so fer set fro thilke place fro whens
  gladnesse shulde come; my corde is to short to lete my boket          145
  ought cacche of that water; and fewe men be abouten my corde
  to eche, and many in ful purpos ben redy it shorter to make, and
  to enclose th' entrè, that my boket of joye nothing shulde cacche,
  but empty returne, my careful sorowes to encrese: (and if I dye
  for payne, that were gladnesse at their hertes): good lord, send      150
  me water in-to the cop of these mountayns, and I shal drinke
  therof, my thurstes to stanche, and sey, these be comfortable
  welles; in-to helth of goodnesse of my saviour am I holpen. And
  yet I saye more, the house of joye to me is nat opened. How
  dare my sorouful goost than in any mater of gladnesse thinken to      155
  trete? For ever sobbinges and complayntes be redy refrete in
  his meditacions, as werbles in manifolde stoundes comming about
  I not than. And therfore, what maner of joye coude [I] endyte?
  But yet at dore shal I knocke, if the key of David wolde the locke
  unshitte, and he bringe me in, whiche that childrens tonges both      160
  openeth and closeth; whos spirit where he +wol wercheth,
  departing goodly as him lyketh.

  Now to goddes laude and reverence, profit of the reders,
  amendement of maners of the herers, encresing of worship among
  Loves servauntes, releving of my herte in-to grace of my jewel,       165
  and fren[d]ship [in] plesance of this perle, I am stered in this
  making, and for nothing els; and if any good thing to mennes
  lyking in this scripture be founde, thanketh the maister of grace,
  whiche that of that good and al other is authour and principal
  doer. And if any thing be insufficient or els mislyking, +wyte        170
  that the leudnesse of myne unable conning: for body in disese
  anoyeth the understanding in soule. A disesely habitacion
  letteth the wittes [in] many thinges, and namely in sorowe. The
  custome never-the-later of Love, +by long tyme of service, in
  termes I thinke to pursue, whiche ben lyvely to yeve understanding    175
  in other thinges. But now, to enforme thee of this
  Margarites goodnesse, I may her not halfe preyse. Wherfore, nat
  she for my boke, but this book for her, is worthy to be commended,
  tho my book be leude; right as thinges nat for places, but places
  for thinges, ought to be desyred and praysed.                         180

BOOK III: CH. I. 1. sayne. 2. one. thre. 3. amonge. thre. 3, 4. certayne.
4. werke. 6. thre. Demacion; _read_ Deuiacion. 8. hel.

13. thynge. deserte. one benefyte. 14. onely. 16. gyn. 17. made. 19.
togyther. dwel. 21. thre. 22. arose. resurrection. 24. boke. thre. 25.
maye. 26. erroure. 27. is (!); _read_ that. 28. deserte. 29. correction.
waye. 30. comforte. 31. canne. 34. hert. processe. 35. peerle. with; _read_
whyt (_see_ l. 44). 36. iewel; _read_ iewelles. 39. cleapeth. 40. _Supply_
by. 42. treaten. 43. propertie. sayne. 44. whyte. 47. One. 48. comforte.

51. ren. 52. thre. 54. sayn. great. 56. stante. 57. certayne. 58. wretches.
60. whyle. 61. -certayne. hydde. 62. parfyte reason. 64. certayne. 67.
treten; _read_ treteth. 69. course. 73. lyueng. 74. wysdome. 76. lyueng.
easy bearyng. 78. reason. 80. one. arte. 81. reason. 82. booke. beareth.
84. wisdome. 85. peace.

88. administration. 89. co_m_mynalties. cytes. 91. purpose. 93. susterne.
one. 94. peace. 96. Nowe. boke. discription. 97-8. thre. 99. reason. 100.
peerle. 101. thre. 105. co_n_stitution. 110. reason. 112. co_n_stitutyon.
113. co_n_iunction. 114. restitution. 115. halte. 117. reasonable. 119.
peace. 121. amonge. 122. harme for harme.

123. ferdenesse. 124. nothynge. 125. contraryoustie. 130. law. 131. arne.
133. maye. 134. lyueng. 135. payn. 136. be; _read_ by. parte reasonfully.
137. sey. thentent. 139. thende. thorowe. 141. sleight; _read_ sleigh. 142.
_I insert_ he. 143. ymagination. boke. 144. _Supply_ am. ferre. 145. let.
146-8. catch. 147. purpose. 148. thentre. 150. lorde sende. 152. sta_n_ch.
157. meditatio_n_s. 158. _I supply_ I.

160. vnshyt. bring. 161. whose spirite. wel; _read_ wol. 163. Nowe.
profite. 165. hert. 166. frenship. _I supply_ in. peerle. 170. with; _read_
wyte. 172. habitation. 173. _I supply_ in. 174. be; _read_ by. 176. nowe.
enform the. 178-9. boke (_thrice_).

                          CHAPTER II.

  'Now,' quod Love, 'trewly thy wordes I have wel understonde.
  Certes, me thinketh hem right good; and me
  wondreth why thou so lightly passest in the lawe.'

  'Sothly,' quod I, 'my wit is leude, and I am right blynd, and
  that mater depe. How shulde I than have waded? Lightly                  5
  might I have drenched, and spilte ther my-selfe.'

  'Ye,' quod she, 'I shal helpe thee to swimme. For right as
  lawe punissheth brekers of preceptes and the contrary-doers of the
  written constitucions, right so ayenward lawe rewardeth and
  yeveth mede to hem that lawe strengthen. By one lawe this              10
  rebel is punisshed and this innocent is meded; the shrewe is
  enprisoned and this rightful is corowned. The same lawe that
  joyneth by wedlocke without forsaking, the same lawe yeveth
  lybel of departicion bycause of devorse both demed and
  declared.'                                                             15

  'Ye, ye,' quod I, 'I fynde in no lawe to mede and rewarde in
  goodnes the gilty of desertes.'

  'Fole,' quod she, 'gilty, converted in your lawe, mikel merit
  deserveth. Also Pauly[n] of Rome was crowned, that by him the
  maynteyners of Pompeus weren knowen and distroyed; and yet             20
  toforn was this Paulyn cheef of Pompeus counsaile. This lawe
  in Rome hath yet his name of mesuring, in mede, the bewraying of
  the conspiracy, ordayned by tho senatours the deth. Julius Cesar
  is acompted in-to Catons rightwisnesse; for ever in trouth
  florissheth his name among the knowers of reson. Perdicas was          25
  crowned in the heritage of Alexander the grete, for tellinge of
  a prevy hate that king Porrus to Alexander hadde. Wherfore
  every wight, by reson of lawe, after his rightwysenesse apertely
  his mede may chalenge; and so thou, that maynteynest lawe of
  kynde, and therfore disese hast suffred in the lawe, reward is         30
  worthy to be rewarded and ordayned, and +apertly thy mede
  might thou chalenge.'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'this have I wel lerned; and ever hens-forward
  I shal drawe me therafter, in oonhed of wil to abyde, this
  lawe bothe maynteyne and kepe; and so hope I best entre in-to          35
  your grace, wel deservinge in-to worship of a wight, without
  nedeful compulsion, [that] ought medefully to be rewarded.'

  'Truly,' quod Love, 'that is sothe; and tho[ugh], by constitucion,
  good service in-to profit and avantage strecche, utterly
  many men it demen to have more desert of mede than good wil            40
  nat compelled.'

  'See now,' quod I, 'how +many men holden of this the contrary.
  And what is good service? Of you wolde I here this
  question declared.'

  'I shal say thee,' quod she, 'in a fewe wordes:--resonable             45
  workinges in plesaunce and profit of thy soverayne.'

  'How shulde I this performe?' quod I.

  'Right wel,' quod she; 'and here me now a litel. It is hardely
  (quod she) to understande, that right as mater by due overchaunginges
  foloweth his perfeccion and his forme, right so every                  50
  man, by rightful werkinges, ought to folowe the lefful desyres in
  his herte, and see toforn to what ende he deserveth. For many
  tymes he that loketh nat after th'endes, but utterly therof is
  unknowen, befalleth often many yvels to done, wherthrough, er he
  be war, shamefully he is confounded; th'ende[s] therof neden to        55
  be before loked. To every desirer of suche foresight in good
  service, three thinges specially nedeth to be rulers in his workes.
  First, that he do good; next, that he do [it] by eleccion in his
  owne herte; and the thirde, that he do godly, withouten any
  surquedry in thoughtes. That your werkes shulden be good, in           60
  service or in any other actes, authoritès many may be aleged;
  neverthelater, by reson thus may it be shewed. Al your werkes
  be cleped seconde, and moven in vertue of the firste wercher,
  whiche in good workes wrought you to procede; and right so
  your werkes moven in-to vertue of the laste ende: and right in         65
  the first workinge were nat, no man shulde in the seconde werche.
  Right so, but ye feled to what ende, and seen their goodnes
  closed, ye shulde no more +recche what ye wrought; but the
  ginning gan with good, and there shal it cese in the laste ende, if
  it be wel considred. Wherfore the middle, if other-wayes it drawe      70
  than accordant to the endes, there stinteth the course of good,
  and another maner course entreth; and so it is a partie by him-selve;
  and every part [that] be nat accordant to his al, is foul and
  ought to be eschewed. Wherfore every thing that is wrought
  and be nat good, is nat accordant to th'endes of his al hole; it is    75
  foul, and ought to be withdrawe. Thus the persons that neither
  don good ne harm shamen foule their making. Wherfore, without
  working of good actes in good service, may no man ben accepted.
  Truely, the ilke that han might to do good and doon it nat, the
  crowne of worship shal be take from hem, and with shame shul           80
  they be anulled; and so, to make oon werke acordant with his
  endes, every good servaunt, by reson of consequence, muste do
  good nedes. Certes, it suffiseth nat alone to do good, but goodly
  withal folowe; the thanke of goodnesse els in nought he
  deserveth. For right as al your being come from the greetest           85
  good, in whom al goodnesse is closed, right so your endes ben
  directe to the same good. Aristotel determineth that ende and
  good ben one, and convertible in understanding; and he that in
  wil doth awey good, and he that loketh nat to th'ende, loketh nat
  to good; but he that doth good and doth nat goodly, [and]              90
  draweth away the direction of th'ende nat goodly, must nedes
  be badde. Lo! badde is nothing els but absence or negative
  of good, as derkenesse is absence or negative of light. Than he
  that dooth [not] goodly, directeth thilke good in-to th'ende of
  badde; so muste thing nat good folowe: eke badnesse to suche           95
  folke ofte foloweth. Thus contrariaunt workers of th'ende
  that is good ben worthy the contrary of th'ende that is good
  to have.'

  'How,' quod I, 'may any good dede be doon, but-if goodly it
  helpe?'                                                               100

  'Yes,' quod Love, 'the devil doth many good dedes, but
  goodly he leveth be-hynde; for +ever badly and in disceyvable
  wyse he worketh; wherfore the contrary of th'ende him foloweth.
  And do he never so many good dedes, bicause goodly is away,
  his goodnes is nat rekened. Lo! than, tho[ugh] a man do good,         105
  but he do goodly, th'ende in goodnesse wol nat folowe; and thus
  in good service both good dede and goodly doon musten joyne
  togider, and that it be doon with free choise in herte; and els
  deserveth he nat the merit in goodnes: that wol I prove. For
  if thou do any-thing good by chaunce or by happe, in what thing       110
  art thou therof worthy to be commended? For nothing, by reson
  of that, turneth in-to thy praysing ne lacking. Lo! thilke thing
  doon by hap, by thy wil is nat caused; and therby shulde I
  thanke or lacke deserve? And sithen that fayleth, th'ende which
  that wel shulde rewarde, must ned[e]s faile. Clerkes sayn, no man     115
  but willinge is blessed; a good dede that he hath doon is nat
  doon of free choice willing; without whiche blissednesse may nat
  folowe. _Ergo_, neither thanke of goodnesse ne service [is] in that
  [that] is contrary of the good ende. So than, to good service
  longeth good dede goodly don, thorow free choice in herte.'           120

  'Truely,' quod I, 'this have I wel understande.'

  'Wel,' quod she, 'every thing thus doon sufficiently by lawe,
  that is cleped justice, [may] after-reward clayme. For lawe and
  justice was ordayned in this wyse, suche desertes in goodnesse,
  after quantitè in doinge, by mede to rewarde; and of necessitè of     125
  suche justice, that is to say, rightwysenesse, was free choice in
  deserving of wel or of yvel graunted to resonable creatures.
  Every man hath free arbitrement to chose, good or yvel to

  'Now,' quod I tho, 'if I by my good wil deserve this Margarit-perle,  130
  and am nat therto compelled, and have free choice to do
  what me lyketh; she is than holden, as me thinketh, to rewarde
  th'entent of my good wil.'

  'Goddes forbode els,' quod Love; 'no wight meneth otherwyse,
  I trowe; free wil of good herte after-mede deserveth.'                135

  'Hath every man,' quod I, 'free choice by necessary maner of
  wil in every of his doinges that him lyketh, by goddes proper
  purvyaunce? I wolde see that wel declared to my leude understanding;
  for "necessary" and "necessitè" ben wordes of mokel
  entencion, closing (as to saye) so mote it be nedes, and otherwyse    140
  may it nat betyde.'

  'This shalt thou lerne,' quod she, 'so thou take hede in my
  speche. If it were nat in mannes owne libertè of free wil to do
  good or bad, but to the one teyed by bonde of goddes preordinaunce,
  than, do he never so wel, it were by nedeful compulcion               145
  of thilk bonde, and nat by free choice, wherby nothing he
  desyreth: and do he never so yvel, it were nat man for to wyte,
  but onlich to him that suche thing ordayned him to done.
  Wherfore he ne ought for bad[de] be punisshed, ne for no good
  dede be rewarded; but of necessitè of rightwisnesse was therfore      150
  free choice of arbitrement put in mans proper disposicion. Truely,
  if it were otherwyse, it contraried goddes charitè, that badnesse
  and goodnesse rewardeth after desert of payne or of mede.'

  'Me thinketh this wonder,' quod I; 'for god by necessitè
  forwot al thinges coming, and so mote it nedes be; and thilke         155
  thinges that ben don +by our free choice comen nothing of necessitè
  but only +by wil. How may this stonde +togider? And so
  me thinketh truely, that free choice fully repugneth goddes
  forweting. Trewly, lady, me semeth, they mowe nat stande
  +togider.'                                                            160

CH. II. 1. Nowe. 4. blynde. 5. howe. 7. Yea. the. swym. 9. constitutions.

17. gyltie. 18. gyltie. merite. 19. Pauly (_for_ Paulyn; _first time_). 21.
toforne. chefe. 25. amonge. 25-8. reason. 26. great. 30. disease. rewarde.
31. apartly (_for_ ap_er_tly). 34. onehed. 37. _I supply_ that. 38.
constitution. 39. profite. stretch. 42. Se. howe may. 45. the. 46. profite.
47. Howe. 48. nowe. 50. perfection.

51. leful. 52. hert. se. 55. ware. 57. thre. 58. _I supply_ it. electyon.
59. hert. 62. reason. maye. 68. recth (_for_ retch); _read_ recche. 69.
cease. 73. p_ar_te. _I supply_ that. 73-5. foule. 77. harme. 79. done. 81.
one. 82. reason. 85. greatest.

90. _I supply_ and. 92. bad. negatyfe (_first time_). 94. _I supply_ not.
99. done. 101. dothe. 102. even; _read_ ever. 105. tho. 107-8. done
(_twice_). 108. hert. 109. merite. 111. reason. 113. done. shulde I; _put
for_ shuldest thou. 115. neds (_sic_). 116-7. done (_twice_). 118. _I
supply_ is _and_ that. 120. thorowe fre. hert. 122. done. 123. _I supply_
may. rewarde claym.

130. Nowe. 134. meaneth. 135. hert. 136. fre. 138. se. 140. ente_n_tion.
142. lern. 143-6. fre (_twice_). 148. onelych. 149. bad. 151. fre. 151.
disposition. 153. payn. 155. forwote. 156. be; _for_ by. fre. 157. onely
be; _for_ by. Howe. 157-60. togyther; _read_ togider. 158. fre.

                          CHAPTER III.

  Than gan Love nighe me nere, and with a noble countenance
  of visage and limmes, dressed her nigh my

  'Take forth,' quod she, 'thy pen, and redily wryte these
  wordes. For if god wol, I shal hem so enforme to thee, that thy         5
  leudnesse which I have understande in that mater shal openly be
  clered, and thy sight in ful loking therin amended. First, if thou
  thinke that goddes prescience repugne libertè of arbitrement, it is
  impossible that they shulde accorde in onheed of sothe to
  understonding.'                                                        10

  'Ye,' quod I, 'forsothe; so I it conceyve.'

  'Wel,' quod she, 'if thilke impossible were away, the repugnaunce
  that semeth to be therin were utterly removed.'

  'Shewe me the absence of that impossibilitè,' quod I.

  'So,' quod she, 'I shal. Now I suppose that they mowe                  15
  stande togider: prescience of god, whom foloweth necessitè of
  thinges comming, and libertè of arbitrement, thorow whiche thou
  belevest many thinges to be without necessitè.'

  'Bothe these proporcions be sothe,' quod I, 'and wel mowe
  stande togider; wherfore this case as possible I admit.'               20

  'Truely,' quod she, 'and this case is impossible.'

  'How so?' quod I.

  'For herof,' quod she, 'foloweth and wexeth another

  'Prove me that,' quod I.                                               25

  'That I shal,' quod she; 'for somthing is comming without
  necessitè, and god wot that toforn; for al thing comming he
  before wot, and that he beforn wot of necessitè is comming, as
  he beforn wot be the case by necessary maner; or els, thorow
  necessitè, is somthing to be without necessitè; and wheder, to         30
  every wight that hath good understanding, is seen these thinges
  to be repugnaunt: prescience of god, whiche that foloweth necessitè,
  and libertè of arbitrement, fro whiche is removed necessitè?
  For truely, it is necessary that god have forweting of thing withouten
  any necessitè cominge.'                                                35

  'Ye,' quod I; 'but yet remeve ye nat away fro myne understanding
  the necessitè folowing goddes be foreweting, as thus. God
  beforn wot me in service of love to be bounden to this Margarite-perle,
  and therfore by necessitè thus to love am I bounde; and
  if I had nat loved, thorow necessitè had I ben kept from al            40

  'Certes,' quod Love, 'bicause this mater is good and necessary
  to declare, I thinke here-in wel to abyde, and not lightly to passe.
  Thou shalt not (quod she) say al-only, "god beforn wot me to be
  a lover or no lover," but thus: "god beforn wot me to be a lover       45
  without necessitè." And so foloweth, whether thou love or not love,
  every of hem is and shal be. But now thou seest the impossibilitè
  of the case, and the possibilitè of thilke that thou wendest
  had been impossible; wherfore the repugnaunce is adnulled.'

  'Ye,' quod I; 'and yet do ye not awaye the strength of necessitè,      50
  whan it is said, th[r]ough necessitè it is me in love to
  abyde, or not to love without necessitè for god beforn wot it.
  This maner of necessitè forsothe semeth to some men in-to coaccion,
  that is to sayne, constrayning, or else prohibicion, that is,
  defendinge; wherfore necessitè is me to love of wil. I understande     55
  me to be constrayned by some privy strength to the wil
  of lovinge; and if [I] no[t] love, to be defended from the wil of
  lovinge: and so thorow necessitè me semeth to love, for I love;
  or els not to love, if I not love; wherthrough neither thank ne
  maugrè in tho thinges may I deserve.'                                  60

  'Now,' quod she, 'thou shalt wel understande, that often we
  sayn thing thorow necessitè to be, that by no strength to be
  neither is coarted ne constrayned; and through necessitè not
  to be, that with no defendinge is removed. For we sayn it is
  thorow necessitè god to be immortal, nought deedliche; and it          65
  is necessitè, god to be rightful; but not that any strength of
  violent maner constrayneth him to be immortal, or defendeth him
  to be unrightful; for nothing may make him dedly or unrightful.
  Right so, if I say, thorow necessitè is thee to be a lover or els
  noon; only thorow wil, as god beforn wete. It is nat to understonde    70
  that any thing defendeth or forbit thee thy wil, whiche shal
  nat be; or els constrayneth it to be, whiche shal be. That same
  thing, forsoth, god before wot, whiche he beforn seeth. Any
  thing commende of only wil, that wil neyther is constrayned
  ne defended thorow any other thing. And so thorow libertè of           75
  arbitrement it is do, that is don of wil. And trewly, my good
  child, if these thinges be wel understonde, I wene that non
  inconvenient shalt thou fynde betwene goddes forweting and
  libertè of arbitrement; wherfore I wot wel they may stande
  togider. Also farthermore, who that understanding of prescience        80
  properlich considreth, thorow the same wyse that any-thing be
  afore wist is said, for to be comming it is pronounced; there is
  nothing toforn wist but thing comming; foreweting is but of
  trouth[e]; dout[e] may nat be wist; wherfore, whan I sey that god
  toforn wot any-thing, thorow necessitè is thilke thing to be comming;  85
  al is oon if I sey, it shal be. But this necessitè neither
  constrayneth ne defendeth any-thing to be or nat to be. Therfore sothly,
  if love is put to be, it is said of necessitè to be; or els, for it
  is put nat to be, it is affirmed nat to be of necessitè; nat for that
  necessitè constrayneth or defendeth love to be or nat to be. For       90
  whan I say, if love shal be, of necessitè it shal be, here foloweth
  necessitè the thing toforn put; it is as moch to say as if it were thus
  pronounced--"that thing shal be." Noon other thing signifyeth
  this necessitè but only thus: that shal be, may nat togider be
  and nat be. Evenlich also it is soth, love was, and is, and shal       95
  be, nat of necessitè; and nede is to have be al that was; and
  nedeful is to be al that is; and comming, to al that shal be.
  And it is nat the same to saye, love to be passed, and love
  passed to be passed; or love present to be present, and love to
  be present; or els love to be comminge, and love comminge to be       100
  comming. Dyversitè in setting of wordes maketh dyversitè in
  understandinge; altho[ugh] in the same sentence they accorden
  of significacion; right as it is nat al oon, love swete to be swete,
  and love to be swete. For moch love is bitter and sorouful, er
  hertes ben esed; and yet it glad[d]eth thilke sorouful herte on       105
  suche love to thinke.'

  'Forsothe,' quod I, 'outherwhile I have had mokel blisse in
  herte of love that stoundmele hath me sorily anoyed. And
  certes, lady, for I see my-self thus knit with this Margarite-perle
  as by bonde of your service and of no libertè of wil, my herte wil    110
  now nat acorde this service to love. I can demin in my-selfe
  non otherwise but thorow necessitè am I constrayned in this
  service to abyde. But alas! than, if I thorow nedeful compulsioun
  maugre me be with-holde, litel thank for al my greet traveil have
  I than deserved.'                                                     115

  'Now,' quod this lady, 'I saye as I sayde: me lyketh this
  mater to declare at the ful, and why: for many men have had
  dyvers fantasyes and resons, both on one syde therof and in the
  other. Of whiche right sone, I trowe, if thou wolt understonde,
  thou shalt conne yeve the sentence to the partie more probable        120
  by reson, and in soth knowing, by that I have of this mater
  maked an ende.'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'of these thinges longe have I had greet lust
  to be lerned; for yet, I wene, goddes wil and his prescience
  acordeth with my service in lovinge of this precious Margarite-perle. 125
  After whom ever, in my herte, with thursting desyre wete,
  I do brenne; unwasting, I langour and fade; and the day of my
  desteny in dethe or in joye I +onbyde; but yet in th'ende I am
  comforted +by my supposaile, in blisse and in joye to determine
  after my desyres.'                                                    130

  'That thing,' quoth Love, 'hastely to thee neigh, god graunt
  of his grace and mercy! And this shal be my prayer, til thou be
  lykende in herte at thyne owne wil. But now to enforme thee in
  this mater (quod this lady) thou wost where I lefte; that was:
  love to be swete, and love swete to be swete, is not al oon for to    135
  say. For a tree is nat alway by necessitè white. Somtyme, er it
  were white, it might have be nat white; and after tyme it is
  white, it may be nat white. But a white tree evermore nedeful
  is to be white; for neither toforn ne after it was white, might it
  be togider white and nat white. Also love, by necessitè, is nat       140
  present as now in thee; for er it were present, it might have be
  that it shulde now nat have be; and yet it may be that it shal nat
  be present; but thy love present whiche to her, Margarite, thee
  hath bounde, nedeful is to be present. Trewly, som doing of
  accion, nat by necessitè, is comminge fer toforn it be; it may be     145
  that it shal nat be comminge. Thing forsoth comming nedeful is
  to be comming; for it may nat be that comming shal nat be
  comming. And right as I have sayd of present and of future
  tymes, the same sentence in sothnesse is of the preterit, that is
  to say, tyme passed. For thing passed must nedes be passed; and       150
  er it were, it might have nat be; wherfore it shulde nat have
  passed. Right so, whan love comming is said of love that is to
  come, nedeful is to be that is said; for thing comming never is nat
  comminge. And so, ofte, the same thing we sayn of the same; as
  whan we sayn "every man is a man," or "every lover is a lover,"       155
  so muste it be nedes. In no waye may he be man and no man togider.
  And if it be nat by necessitè, that is to say nedeful, al thing
  comming to be comming, than somthing comming is nat comminge,
  and that is impossible. Right as these termes "nedeful,"
  "necessitè," and "necessary" betoken and signify thing nedes          160
  to be, and it may nat otherwyse be, right [so] +this terme "impossible"
  signifyeth, that [a] thing is nat and by no way may it be.
  Than, thorow pert necessitè, al thing comming is comming; but
  that is by necessitè foloweth, with nothing to be constrayned.
  Lo! whan that "comming" is said of thinge, nat alway thing            165
  thorow necessitè is, altho[ugh] it be comming. For if I say,
  "to-morowe love is comming in this Margarites herte," nat therfore
  thorow necessitè shal the ilke love be; yet it may be that it shal
  nat be, altho[ugh] it were comming. Neverthelater, somtyme it
  is soth that somthing be of necessitè, that is sayd "to come"; as     170
  if I say, to-morowe +be comminge the rysinge of the sonne. If
  therfore with necessitè I pronounce comming of thing to come, in
  this maner love to-morne comminge in thyne Margarite to thee-ward,
  by necessitè is comminge; or els the rysing of the sonne
  to-morne comminge, through necessitè is comminge. Love sothely,       175
  whiche may nat be of necessitè alone folowinge, thorow necessitè
  comming it is mad certayn. For "futur" of future is said; that is to
  sayn, "comming" of comminge is said; as, if to-morowe comming
  is thorow necessitè, comminge it is. Arysing of the sonne, thorow
  two necessitès in comming, it is to understande; that oon is          180
  to-for[e]going necessitè, whiche maketh thing to be; therfore it shal
  be, for nedeful is that it be. Another is folowing necessitè, whiche
  nothing constrayneth to be, and so by necessitè it is to come; why?
  for it is to come. Now than, whan we sayn that god beforn wot
  thing comming, nedeful [it] is to be comming; yet therfore make       185
  we nat in certayn evermore, thing to be thorow necessitè comminge.
  Sothly, thing comming may nat be nat comming by no
  way; for it is the same sentence of understanding as if we say
  thus: if god beforn wot any-thing, nedeful is that to be comming.
  But yet therfore foloweth nat the prescience of God, thing thorow     190
  necessitè to be comming: for al-tho[ugh] god toforn wot al
  thinges comming, yet nat therfore he beforn wot every thing
  comming thorow necessitè. Some thinges he beforn wot comming
  of free wil out of resonable creature.'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'these termes "nede" and "necessitè" have           195
  a queint maner of understanding; they wolden dullen many
  mennes wittes.'

  'Therfore,' quod she, 'I wol hem openly declare, and more
  clerely than I have toforn, er I departe hen[ne]s.

CH. III. 1. nygh. 5. the. 6. vndersta_n_d. 8. lyberte of arbetry of
arbitrement; _omit_ arbetry of. 15. Nowe. 17. thorowe. 22. Howe. 29.
beforne. maner than (_omit_ than). thorowe. 30. whed_er_to.

38. beforne wote. 40. thorowe. kepte. 44. shalte. onely. 44-5. beforne wote
(_twice_). 47. nowe. 51. though; _read_ through. 52. beforne wote. 53.
coaction. 57. _Supply_ I; _for_ no _read_ not; _see_ l. 59. 58. thorowe.
59. thanke. 60. maye. 61. Nowe. shalte. 62. sayne. thorowe. 63. throughe.
64. sayne. 65. thorowe. 67. violente. 69. thorowe. the. 70. none. onely
thorowe. beforne. 71. the.

73-4. thynge. 74. co_m_mende; _for_ comminge. onely. 75. thorowe (_twice_).
76. done. 77. childe. vndersto_n_d. 81. thorowe. 84. trouth. dout. 85.
wote. thorowe. 86. if it shal be; _omit_ if. 92. toforne. 93. None. 94.
onely. 102. altho. 103. signification. one. 105. eased. hert. 108. hert.

109. se. peerle. 110. hert. 111. nowe. 112. thorowe. 113. thorowe. 114.
thanke. great. 116. Nowe. 118. reasons. 120. shalte con. 121. reason. 123.
great luste. 126. hert. weete. 128. vnbyde (!). 129. be; _for_ by. 133.
nowe. the. 135. one. 138. maye. 141. nowe. the. 142. nowe. maye. 143. the.
144. some.

145. action. ferre. 154. thynge. 155. sayne. 161. _I supply_ so. these
termes; _read_ this terme. 162. _I supply_ a. 163-6. thorowe. (_twice_).
166. altho. 167. hert. 169. altho. 171. by; _read_ be. 173. the warde. 176.
thorowe. 177. made certayne. 179. thorowe. 180. one. 181. to forgoing.

184. Nowe. 185. _I supply_ it. 186. certayne. thynge. thorowe. 187. maye.
190. thorowe. 191. wote. 193. thorowe. 200. hense; _read_ hennes.

                          CHAPTER IV.

  Here of this mater,' quod she, 'thou shalt understande
  that, right as it is nat nedeful, god to wilne that he wil,
  no more in many thinges is nat nedeful, a man to wilne that
  he wol. And ever, right as nedeful is to be, what that god wol,
  right so to be it is nedeful that man wol in tho thinges, whiche        5
  that god hath put in-to mannes subjeccion of willinge; as, if
  a man wol love, that he love; and if he ne wol love, that he love
  nat; and of suche other thinges in mannes disposicion. For-why,
  now than that god wol may nat be, whan he wol the wil of man
  thorow no necessitè to be constrayned or els defended for to           10
  wilne, and he wol th'effect to folowe the wil; than is it nedeful,
  wil of man to be free, and also to be that he wol. In this maner
  it is soth, that thorow necessitè is mannes werke in loving, that
  he wol do altho[ugh] he wol it nat with necessitè.'

  Quod I than, 'how stant it in love of thilke wil, sithen men           15
  loven willing of free choice in herte? Wherfore, if it be thorow
  necessitè, I praye you, lady, of an answere this question to

  'I wol,' quod she, 'answere thee blyvely. Right as men wil
  not thorow necessitè, right so is not love of wil thorow necessitè;    20
  ne thorow necessitè wrought thilke same wil. For if he wolde
  it not with good wil, it shulde nat have been wrought; although
  that he doth, it is nedeful to be doon. But if a man do sinne, it
  is nothing els but to +wilne that he shulde nat; right so sinne
  of wil is not to be [in] maner necessary don, no more than wil is      25
  necessarye. Never-the-later, this is sothe; if a man wol sinne,
  it is necessarye him to sinne, but th[r]ough thilke necessitè nothing
  is constrayned ne defended in the wil; right so thilke thing that
  free-wil wol and may, and not may not wilne; and nedeful is
  that to wilne he may not wilne. But thilke to wilne nedeful is; for    30
  impossible to him it is oon thing and the same to wilne and not to
  wilne. The werke, forsothe, of wil, to whom it is yeve that it be that
  he hath in wil, and that he wol not, voluntarie +or spontanye it is;
  for by spontanye wil it is do, that is to saye, with good wil not
  constrayned: than by wil not constrayned it is constrayned to          35
  be; and that is it may not +togider be. If this necessitè maketh
  libertè of wil, whiche that, aforn they weren, they might have ben
  eschewed and shonned: god than, whiche that knoweth al
  tr[o]uthe, and nothing but tr[o]uthe, al these thinges, as they
  arn spontanye or necessarie, +seeth; and as he seeth, so they          40
  ben. And so with these thinges wel considred, it is open at the
  ful, that without al maner repugnaunce god beforn wot al maner
  thinges [that] ben don by free wil, whiche, aforn they weren,
  [it] might have ben [that] never they shulde be. And yet ben
  they thorow a maner necessitè from free wil +discended.                45

  Hereby may (quod she) lightly ben knowe that not al thinges to
  be, is of necessitè, though god have hem in his prescience. For
  som thinges to be, is of libertè of wil. And to make thee to have
  ful knowinge of goddes beforn-weting, here me (quod she) what
  I shal say.'                                                           50

  'Blythly, lady,' quod I, 'me list this mater entyrely to

  'Thou shalt,' quod she, 'understande that in heven is goddes
  beinge; although he be over al by power, yet there is abydinge of
  devyne persone; in whiche heven is everlastinge presence, withouten    55
  any movable tyme. There * is nothing preterit ne passed,
  there is nothing future ne comming; but al thinges togider in that
  place ben present everlasting, without any meving. Wherfore, to
  god, al thing is as now; and though a thing be nat, in kyndly
  nature of thinges, as yet, and if it shulde be herafter, yet evermore  60
  we shul saye, god it maketh be tyme present, and now; for no
  future ne preterit in him may be founde. Wherfore his weting and
  his before-weting is al oon in understanding. Than, if weting
  and before-weting of god putteth in necessitè to al thinges whiche
  he wot or before-wot; ne thing, after eternitè or els after any        65
  tyme, he wol or doth of libertè, but al of necessitè: whiche thing
  if thou wene it be ayenst reson, [than is] nat thorow necessitè to
  be or nat to be, al thing that god wot or before-wot to be or nat
  to be; and yet nothing defendeth any-thing to be wist or to be
  before-wist of him in our willes or our doinges to be don, or els      70
  comminge to be for free arbitrement. Whan thou hast these
  declaracions wel understande, than shalt thou fynde it resonable
  at prove, and that many thinges be nat thorow necessitè but
  thorow libertè of wil, save necessitè of free wil, as I tofore said,
  and, as me thinketh, al utterly declared.'                             75

  'Me thinketh, lady,' quod I, 'so I shulde you nat displese, and
  evermore your reverence to kepe, that these thinges contraryen in
  any understanding; for ye sayn, somtyme is thorow libertè of
  wil, and also thorow necessitè. Of this have I yet no savour,
  without better declaracion.'                                           80

  'What wonder,' quod she, 'is there in these thinges, sithen al
  day thou shalt see at thyne eye, in many thinges receyven in hem-selfe
  revers, thorow dyvers resons, as thus:--I pray thee (quod
  she) which thinges ben more revers than "comen" and "gon"?
  For if I bidde thee "come to me," and thou come, after, whan           85
  I bidde thee "go," and thou go, thou reversest fro thy first

  'That is soth,' quod I.

  'And yet,' quod she, 'in thy first alone, by dyvers reson, was
  ful reversinge to understande.'                                        90

  'As how?' quod I.

  'That shal I shewe thee,' quod she, 'by ensample of thinges
  that have kyndly moving. Is there any-thing that meveth more
  kyndly than doth the hevens eye, whiche I clepe the sonne?'

  'Sothly,' quod I, 'me semeth it is most kyndly to move.'               95

  'Thou sayest soth,' quod she. 'Than, if thou loke to the
  sonne, in what parte he be under heven, evermore he +hyeth him
  in moving fro thilke place, and +hyeth meving toward the ilke
  same place; to thilke place from whiche he goth he +hyeth
  comminge; and without any ceesinge to that place he neigheth          100
  from whiche he is chaunged and withdrawe. But now in these
  thinges, after dyversitè of reson, revers in one thinge may be seye
  without repugnaunce. Wherfore in the same wyse, without any
  repugnaunce, by my resons tofore maked, al is oon to beleve,
  somthing to be thorow necessitè comminge for it is comming, and       105
  yet with no necessitè constrayned to be comming, but with
  necessitè that cometh out of free wil, as I have sayd.'

  Tho liste me a litel to speke, and gan stinte my penne of my
  wryting, and sayde in this wyse.

  'Trewly, lady, as me thinketh, I can allege authoritees grete,        110
  that contrarien your sayinges. Job saith of mannes person,
  "thou hast put his terme, whiche thou might not passe." Than
  saye I that no man may shorte ne lengthe the day ordayned of
  his +dying, altho[ugh] somtyme to us it semeth som man to do
  a thing of free wil, wherthorow his deeth he henteth.'                115

  'Nay, forsothe,' quod she, 'it is nothing ayenst my saying; for
  god is not begyled, ne he seeth nothing wheder it shal come of
  libertè or els of necessitè; yet it is said to be ordayned at god
  immovable, whiche at man, or it be don, may be chaunged.
  Suche thing is also that Poule the apostel saith of hem that tofore   120
  wern purposed to be sayntes, as thus: "whiche that god before
  wiste and hath predestined conformes of images of his +sone, that
  he shulde ben the firste begeten, that is to saye, here amonges
  many brethren; and whom he hath predestined, hem he hath
  cleped; and whom he hath cleped, hem he hath justifyed; and           125
  whom he hath justifyed, hem he hath magnifyed." This purpos,
  after whiche they ben cleped sayntes or holy in the everlasting
  present, wher is neither tyme passed ne tyme comminge, but ever
  it is only present, and now as mokel a moment as sevin thousand
  winter; and so ayenward withouten any meving is nothing lich          130
  temporel presence for thinge that there is ever present. Yet
  amonges you men, er it be in your presence, it is movable thorow
  libertè of arbitrement. And right as in the everlasting present
  no maner thing was ne shal be, but only _is_; and now here, in
  your temporel tyme, somthing was, and is, and shal be, but            135
  movinge stoundes; and in this is no maner repugnaunce: right
  so, in the everlasting presence, nothing may be chaunged; and,
  in your temporel tyme, otherwhyle it is proved movable by libertè
  of wil or it be do, withouten any inconvenience therof to folowe.
  In your temporel tyme is no suche presence as in the tother; for      140
  your present is don whan passed and to come ginnen entre;
  whiche tymes here amonges you everich esily foloweth other.
  But the presence everlasting dureth in oonhed, withouten any
  imaginable chaunging, and ever is present and now. Trewly, the
  course of the planettes and overwhelminges of the sonne in dayes      145
  and nightes, with a newe ginning of his circute after it is ended,
  that is to sayn, oon yeer to folowe another: these maken your
  transitory tymes with chaunginge of lyves and mutacion of people,
  but right as your temporel presence coveiteth every place, and al
  thinges in every of your tymes be contayned, and as now both          150
  seye and wist to goddes very knowinge.'

  'Than,' quod I, 'me wondreth why Poule spak these wordes
  by voice of significacion in tyme passed, that god his sayntes
  before-wist hath predestined, hath cleped, hath justifyed, and
  hath magnifyed. Me thinketh, he shulde have sayd tho wordes           155
  in tyme present; and that had ben more accordaunt to the
  everlasting present than to have spoke in preterit voice of passed

  'O,' quod Love, 'by these wordes I see wel thou hast litel
  understanding of the everlasting presence, or els of my before        160
  spoken wordes; for never a thing of tho thou hast nempned was
  tofore other or after other; but al at ones evenlich at the god
  ben, and al togider in the everlasting present be now to understanding.
  This eternal presence, as I sayd, hath inclose togider
  in one al tymes, in which close and one al thinges that ben in        165
  dyvers tymes and in dyvers places temporel, [and] without posterioritè
  or prioritè ben closed ther in perpetual now, and maked
  to dwelle in present sight. But there thou sayest that Poule shulde
  have spoke thilke forsaid sentence +by tyme present, and that
  most shulde have ben acordaunt to the everlasting presence,           170
  why gabbest thou +in thy wordes? Sothly, I say, Poule moved
  the wordes by significacion of tyme passed, to shewe fully that
  thilk wordes were nat put for temporel significacion; for al [at] thilk
  tyme [of] thilke sentence were nat temporallich born, whiche that
  Poule pronounced god have tofore knowe, and have cleped, than         175
  magnifyed. Wherthorow it may wel be knowe that Poule used tho
  wordes of passed significacion, for nede and lacke of a worde
  in mannes bodily speche betokeninge the everlasting presence.
  And therfore, [in] worde moste semeliche in lykenesse to everlasting
  presence, he took his sentence; for thinges that here-beforn          180
  ben passed utterly be immovable, y-lyke to the everlasting
  presence. As thilke that ben there never mowe not ben present,
  so thinges of tyme passed ne mowe in no wyse not ben passed;
  but al thinges in your temporal presence, that passen in a litel
  while, shullen ben not present. So than in that, it is more           185
  similitude to the everlasting presence, significacion of tyme passed
  than of tyme temporal present, and so more in accordaunce. In
  this maner what thing, of these that ben don thorow free arbitrement,
  or els as necessary, holy writ pronounceth, after eternitè he
  speketh; in whiche presence is everlasting sothe and nothing but      190
  sothe immovable; nat after tyme, in whiche naught alway ben
  your willes and your actes. And right as, while they be nat, it is
  nat nedeful hem to be, so ofte it is nat nedeful that somtyme
  they shulde be.'

  'As how?' quod I; 'for yet I must be lerned by some                   195

  'Of love,' quod she, 'wol I now ensample make, sithen I knowe
  the heed-knotte in that yelke. Lo! somtyme thou wrytest no
  art, ne art than in no wil to wryte. And right as while thou
  wrytest nat or els wolt nat wryte, it is nat nedeful thee to wryte    200
  or els wilne to wryte. And for to make thee knowe utterly that
  thinges ben otherwise in the everlastinge presence than in
  temporal tyme, see now, my good child: for somthing is in the
  everlastinge presence, than in temporal tyme it was nat; in
  +eterne tyme, in eterne presence shal it nat be. Than no reson        205
  defendeth, that somthing ne may be in tyme temporal moving,
  that in eterne is immovable. Forsothe, it is no more contrary
  ne revers for to be movable in tyme temporel, and [im]movable
  in eternitè, than nat to be in any tyme and to be alway in
  eternitè; and to have be or els to come in tyme temporel, and         210
  nat have be ne nought comming to be in eternitè. Yet never-the-later,
  I say nat somthing to be never in tyme temporel, that
  ever is [in] eternitè; but al-only in som tyme nat to be. For
  I saye nat thy love to-morne in no tyme to be, but to-day alone
  I deny it to be; and yet, never-the-later, it is alway in eternitè.'  215

  'A! so,' quod I, 'it semeth to me, that comming thing or els
  passed here in your temporal tyme to be, in eternitè ever now
  and present oweth nat to be demed; and yet foloweth nat thilke
  thing, that was or els shal be, in no maner ther to ben passed
  or els comming; than utterly shul we deny for there without           220
  ceesing it is, in his present maner.'

  'O,' quod she, 'myne owne disciple, now ginnest thou [be]
  able to have the name of my servaunt! Thy wit is clered; away
  is now errour of cloude in unconning; away is blyndnesse of
  love; away is thoughtful study of medling maners. Hastely             225
  shalt thou entre in-to the joye of me, that am thyn owne
  maistres! Thou hast (quod she), in a fewe wordes, wel and
  clerely concluded mokel of my mater. And right as there is
  no revers ne contrarioustee in tho thinges, right so, withouten
  any repugnaunce, it is sayd somthing to be movable in tyme            230
  temporel, +afore it be, that in eternitè dwelleth immovable, nat
  afore it be or after that it is, but without cessing; for right
  naught is there after tyme; that same is there everlastinge that
  temporalliche somtyme nis; and toforn it be, it may not be, as
  I have sayd.'                                                         235

  'Now sothly,' quod I, 'this have I wel understande; so that
  now me thinketh, that prescience of god and free arbitrement
  withouten any repugnaunce acorden; and that maketh the
  strength of eternitè, whiche encloseth by presence during al
  tymes, and al thinges that ben, han ben, and shul ben in any          240
  tyme. I wolde now (quod I) a litel understande, sithen that
  [god] al thing thus beforn wot, whether thilke wetinge be of tho
  thinges, or els thilke thinges ben to ben of goddes weting, and so
  of god nothing is; and if every thing be thorow goddes weting, and
  therof take his being, than shulde god be maker and auctour           245
  of badde werkes, and so he shulde not rightfully punisshe yvel
  doinges of mankynde.'

  Quod Love, 'I shal telle thee, this lesson to lerne. Myne
  owne trewe servaunt, the noble philosophical poete in Englissh,
  whiche evermore him besieth and travayleth right sore my name         250
  to encrese (wherfore al that willen me good owe to do him
  worship and reverence bothe; trewly, his better ne his pere in
  scole of my rules coude I never fynde)--he (quod she), in a tretis
  that he made of my servant Troilus, hath this mater touched, and
  at the ful this question assoyled. Certaynly, his noble sayinges      255
  can I not amende; in goodnes of gentil manliche speche, without
  any maner of nycetè of +storiers imaginacion, in witte and in
  good reson of sentence he passeth al other makers. In the boke of
  Troilus, the answere to thy question mayst thou lerne. Never-the-later,
  yet may lightly thyne understandinge somdel ben lerned,               260
  if thou have knowing of these to-fornsaid thinges; with that thou
  have understanding of two the laste chapiters of this seconde
  boke, that is to say, good to be somthing, and bad to wante al
  maner being. For badde is nothing els but absence of good;
  and [as] that god in good maketh that good dedes ben good,            265
  in yvel he maketh that they ben but naught, that they ben bad;
  for to nothing is badnesse to be [lykned].'

  'I have,' quod I tho, 'ynough knowing therin; me nedeth of
  other thinges to here, that is to saye, how I shal come to my
  blisse so long desyred.'                                              270

CH. IV. 1. shalte. 6. subiection. 8. disposition. 9. nowe. 10. thorowe. 11.
theffecte. folow. 12. fre. 13. thorowe. 14. altho. 15. howe stante.

16. thorowe. 19. the. 20-1. thorowe (_thrice_). 23. dothe. doone. 24. wyl;
_read_ wilne; _see_ l. 30. 25. _I supply_ in. done. 28. thynge. 29. frewyl.
maye. 30. maye. 30-1. _Some words repeated here._ 31. one. 32. whome. 33.
of; _read_ or. 36. togyther; _read_ togider. 37. libertie. aforne. 39.
truthe (_twice_). 40. arne. syght; _read_ seeth. 42. beforne. 43. _I
supply_ that. fre. aforne. 44. _I supply_ it _and_ that. 45. frewyl
discendeth (!). 46. maye. 48. libertie. the. 49. beforne.

53. shalte. * _A break here in_ Th. 59. nowe. thynge. 61. nowe. 63. one.
66. dothe. 67. reason. _I supply_ than is. thorowe. 69. thynge. 70. done.
71. haste. 72. declarations. 73-4. thorowe (_twice_). 76. displease. 78.
sayne. 78-9. thorowe. 80. declaration. 82. shalte se. 83. reasons. the. 84.
gone. 85-6. thee (_twice_).

89. reasone. 91. howe. 92. the. 97. heigheth; _read_ hyeth. 98. higheth;
_read_ hyeth. towarde. 99. gothe. heigheth; _read_ hyeth. 100. ceasynge.
101. nowe. 102. reason. sey. 104. reasons. one. 105. thorowe. 108. list.
stynt. 109. sayd. 110. gret. 111. sayenges. 112. putte. 113. length. 114.
doyng; _read_ dying. some. 115. thynge. -thorowe. dethe. 116. Naye. sayeng.
119. done. 120. saithe. toforne werne. 122. wyst. sonne; _read_ sone.

124. brethern. 126. purpose. 129. onely. nowe. thousande. 130. ayenwarde.
132. thorowe. 134. onely. nowe. 141. done. 142. easely. 143. onehed. 144.
nowe. 147. one yere. 148. mutation. 150. nowe. 151. sey. 152. spake. 153.
signification. 155. sayde. 159. se.

163, 167. nowe. 166. _I supply_ and. 167. therin; _read_ ther in. 168.
dwel. 169. be; _read_ by. 171. to; _read_ in. 172-3. signification
(_twice_). 173. _I supply_ at. 174. were nat thilke sentence; _transpose,
and insert_ of. borne. 176. Wherthorowe. know. 177. signification. 178.
spech. 179. _I supply_ in; _and omit_ is _after_ worde. 180. toke. 181.
beforne. 186. signification. 188. thynge. done thorowe fre. 189. writte.
197. nowe.

199. arte (_twice_). 200. the. 201. the. 203. se nowe. childe. somthynge.
205. eternite; _read_ eterne. reason. 208. movable (!). 210. and have to
be. 213. _I supply_ in. al onely. somtyme. 215. deny ne it; _omit_ ne.
alwaye. 217. nowe. 219. thynge. thereto; _read_ ther to. 221. ceasyng. 222.
nowe. _I supply_ be. 223. witte. 224. nowe. awaye. 226. shalte. 227. haste.
229. contrarioustie. 231. and for; _read_ afore.

234. toforne. maye. 236. Nowe. 237. nowe. fre. 241. nowe. 242. _I supply_
god. beforne. 244. nothynge. thorowe. 248. tel the. 251. encrease. 253.
schole. treatise. 255. sayenges. 256. gentyl manlyche. 257. nycite.
starieres (!). 258. reason. 259. mayste. 260. somdele. 263. want. 265. _I
supply_ as. 267. _I supply_ lykned. 269. howe.

                          CHAPTER V.

  'In this mater toforn declared,' quod Love, 'I have wel
  shewed, that every man hath free arbitrement of thinges in
  his power, to do or undo what him lyketh. Out of this grounde
  muste come the spire, that by processe of tyme shal in greetnesse
  sprede, to have braunches and blosmes of waxing frute in grace,         5
  of whiche the taste and the savour is endelesse blisse, in joye
  ever to onbyde.'*

  'Now, trewly, lady, I have my grounde wel understonde;
  but what thing is thilke spire that in-to a tree shulde wexe?
  Expowne me that thing, what ye therof mene.'                           10

  'That shal I,' quod she, 'blithly, and take good hede to the
  wordes, I thee rede. Continuaunce in thy good service, by longe
  processe of tyme in ful hope abyding, without any chaunge to
  wilne in thyne herte, this is the spire. Whiche, if it be wel kept
  and governed, shal so hugely springe, til the fruit of grace is        15
  plentuously out-sprongen. For although thy wil be good, yet
  may not therfore thilk blisse desyred hastely on thee discenden;
  it must abyde his sesonable tyme. And so, by processe of
  growing, with thy good traveyle, it shal in-to more and more wexe,
  til it be found so mighty, that windes of yvel speche, ne scornes      20
  of envy, make nat the traveyle overthrowe; ne frostes of mistrust,
  ne hayles of jelousy right litel might have, in harming of suche
  springes. Every yonge setling lightly with smale stormes is
  apeyred; but whan it is woxen somdel in gretnesse, than han
  grete blastes and +weders but litel might, any disadvantage to         25
  them for to werche.'

  'Myne owne soverayne lady,' quod I, 'and welth of myne
  herte, and it were lyking un-to your noble grace therthrough nat
  to be displesed, I suppose ye erren, now ye maken jelousy, envy,
  and distourbour to hem that ben your servauntes. I have lerned         30
  ofte, to-forn this tyme, that in every lovers herte greet plentee of
  jelousyes greves ben sowe, wherfore (me thinketh) ye ne ought
  in no maner accompte thilke thing among these other welked
  wivers and venomous serpentes, as envy, mistrust, and yvel
  speche.'                                                               35

  'O fole,' quod she, 'mistrust with foly, with yvel wil medled,
  engendreth that welked padde! Truely, if they were distroyed,
  jelousy undon were for ever; and yet some maner of jelousy,
  I wot wel, is ever redy in al the hertes of my trewe servauntes, as
  thus: to be jelous over him-selfe, lest he be cause of his own         40
  disese. This jelousy in ful thought ever shulde be kept, for
  ferdnesse to lese his love by miskeping, thorow his owne doing in
  leudnesse, or els thus: lest she, that thou servest so fervently, is
  beset there her better lyketh, that of al thy good service she
  compteth nat a cresse. These jelousies in herte for acceptable         45
  qualitees ben demed; these oughten every trewe lover, by kyndly
  [maner], evermore haven in his mynde, til fully the grace and
  blisse of my service be on him discended at wil. And he that
  than jelousy caccheth, or els by wening of his owne folisshe
  wilfulnesse mistrusteth, truely with fantasy of venim he is foule      50
  begyled. Yvel wil hath grounded thilke mater of sorowe in his
  leude soule, and yet nat-for-than to every wight shulde me nat
  truste, ne every wight fully misbeleve; the mene of these thinges
  +oweth to be used. Sothly, withouten causeful evidence mistrust
  in jelousy shulde nat be wened in no wyse person commenly;             55
  suche leude wickednesse shulde me nat fynde. He that is wyse
  and with yvel wil nat be acomered, can abyde wel his tyme, til
  grace and blisse of his service folowing have him so mokel esed,
  as his abydinge toforehande hath him disesed.'

  'Certes, lady,' quod I tho, 'of nothing me wondreth, sithen            60
  thilke blisse so precious is and kyndly good, and wel is and worthy
  in kynde whan it is medled with love and reson, as ye toforn
  have declared. Why, anon as hye oon is spronge, why springeth
  nat the tother? And anon as the oon cometh, why receyveth nat
  the other? For every thing that is out of his kyndly place, by ful     65
  appetyt ever cometh thiderward kyndely to drawe; and his kyndly
  being ther-to him constrayneth. And the kyndly stede of this
  blisse is in suche wil medled to +onbyde, and nedes in that it
  shulde have his kyndly being. Wherfore me thinketh, anon as that
  wil to be shewed and kid him profreth, thilke blisse shulde him        70
  hye, thilk wil to receyve; or els kynde[s] of goodnesse worchen
  nat in hem as they shulde. Lo, be the sonne never so fer, ever
  it hath his kynde werching in erthe. Greet weight on hye on-lofte
  caried stinteth never til it come to +his resting-place. Waters
  to the see-ward ever ben they drawing. Thing that is light             75
  blythly wil nat sinke, but ever ascendeth and upward draweth.
  Thus kynde in every thing his kyndly cours and his beinge-place
  sheweth. Wherfore +by kynde, on this good wil, anon as it were
  spronge, this blisse shulde thereon discende; her kynde[s] wolde,
  they dwelleden togider; and so have ye sayd your-selfe.'               80

  'Certes,' quod she, 'thyne herte sitteth wonder sore, this blisse
  for to have; thyne herte is sore agreved that it tarieth so longe;
  and if thou durstest, as me thinketh by thyne wordes, this blisse
  woldest thou blame. But yet I saye, thilke blisse is kyndly good,
  and his kyndely place [is] in that wil to +onbyde. Never-the-later,    85
  their comming togider, after kyndes ordinaunce, nat sodaynly
  may betyde; it muste abyde tyme, as kynde yeveth him leve.
  For if a man, as this wil medled gonne him shewe, and thilke
  blisse in haste folowed, so lightly comminge shulde lightly cause
  going. Longe tyme of thursting causeth drink to be the more            90
  delicious whan it is atasted.'

  'How is it,' quod I than, 'that so many blisses see I al day at
  myne eye, in the firste moment of a sight, with suche wil accorde?
  Ye, and yet other-whyle with wil assenteth, singulerly by him-selfe;
  there reson fayleth, traveyle was non; service had no tyme. This       95
  is a queynt maner thing, how suche doing cometh aboute.'

  'O,' quod she, 'that is thus. The erthe kyndely, after sesons
  and tymes of the yere, bringeth forth innumerable herbes and
  trees, bothe profitable and other; but suche as men might leve
  (though they nought in norisshinge to mannes kynde serven, or         100
  els suche as tournen sone unto mennes confusion, in case that
  therof they ataste), comen forth out of the erthe by their owne
  kynde, withouten any mannes cure or any businesse in traveyle.
  And the ilke herbes that to mennes lyvelode necessarily serven,
  without whiche goodly in this lyfe creatures mowen nat enduren,       105
  and most ben +norisshinge to mankynde, without greet traveyle,
  greet tilthe, and longe abydinge-tyme, comen nat out of the erthe,
  and [y]it with sede toforn ordayned, suche herbes to make springe
  and forth growe. Right so the parfit blisse, that we have in meninge
  of during-tyme to abyde, may nat come so lightly, but with greet      110
  traveyle and right besy tilth; and yet good seed to be sowe; for
  ofte the croppe fayleth of badde seede, be it never so wel traveyled.
  And thilke blisse thou spoke of so lightly in comming, trewly, is
  nat necessary ne abydinge; and but it the better be stamped,
  and the venomous jeuse out-wrongen, it is lykely to enpoysonen        115
  al tho that therof tasten. Certes, right bitter ben the herbes that
  shewen first [in] the yere of her own kynde. Wel the more is the
  harvest that yeldeth many graynes, tho longe and sore it hath ben
  traveyled. What woldest thou demen if a man wold yeve three
  quarters of nobles of golde? That were a precious gift?'              120

  'Ye, certes,' quod I.

  'And what,' quod she, 'three quarters ful of perles?'

  'Certes,' quod I, 'that were a riche gift.'

  'And what,' quod she, 'of as mokel azure?'

  Quod I, 'a precious gift at ful.'                                     125

  'Were not,' quod she, 'a noble gift of al these atones?'

  'In good faith,' quod I, 'for wanting of Englissh naming of
  so noble a worde, I can not, for preciousnesse, yeve it a name.'

  'Rightfully,' quod she, 'hast thou demed; and yet love, knit
  in vertue, passeth al the gold in this erthe. Good wil, accordant     130
  to reson, with no maner propertè may be countrevayled. Al the
  azure in the worlde is nat to accompte in respect of reson. Love
  that with good wil and reson accordeth, with non erthly riches
  may nat ben amended. This yeft hast thou yeven, I know it
  my-selfe, and thy Margarite thilke gift hath receyved; in whiche      135
  thinge to rewarde she hath her-selfe bounde. But thy gift, as
  I said, by no maner riches may be amended; wherfore, with
  thinge that may nat be amended, thou shalt of thy Margarites
  rightwisenesse be rewarded. Right suffred yet never but every
  good dede somtyme to be yolde. Al wolde thy Margarite with            140
  no rewarde thee quyte, right, that never-more dyeth, thy mede in
  merit wol purvey. Certes, such sodayn blisse as thou first
  nempnest, right wil hem rewarde as thee wel is worthy; and
  though at thyn eye it semeth, the reward the desert to passe,
  right can after sende suche bitternesse, evenly it to rewarde. So     145
  that sodayn blisse, by al wayes of reson, in gret goodnesse may
  not ben acompted; but blisse long, both long it abydeth, and
  endlesse it wol laste. See why thy wil is endelesse. For if thou
  lovedest ever, thy wil is ever ther t'abyde and neveremore to
  chaunge; evenhed of rewarde must ben don by right; than muste         150
  nedes thy grace and this blisse [ben] endelesse in joye to +onbyde.
  Evenliche disese asketh evenliche joye, whiche hastely thou shalt

  'A!' quod I, 'it suffyseth not than alone good wil, be it never
  so wel with reson medled, but-if it be in good service longe          155
  travayled. And so through service shul men come to the joye;
  and this, me thinketh, shulde be the wexing tree, of which ye first

CH. V. 2. fre. 4. greatnesse. 6. ioy. * _A break here in_ Th. 8. Nowe. 10.
meane. 12. the. 15. fruite. 16. al thoughe. 17. the. 24. somdele. 25.
great. wethers; _read_ weders. 28. hert. 29. displeased. nowe. 31.
to-forne. hert great plentie. 33. thynge.

38. vndone. 41. disease. 42. thorowe. 47. _I supply_ maner. 49. catcheth.
50. venyme. 53. trust. meane. 54. owen; _read_ oweth. 58. eased. 59.
diseased. 62. reason. 63. one. sprong. 64. anone. one. 66. appetite.
thiderwarde. 68. vnbyde; _read_ onbyde. 70. kydde. 71. kynde; _read_
kyndes. 72. ferre.

73. great. 74. this; _read_ his. 75. see warde. 77. course. 78. be; _read_
by. 79. kynde; _read_ kyndes. 80. sayde. 81-2. hert. 85. _I supply_ is.
vnbyde; _read_ onbyde. 87. maye. leaue. 90. drinke. 92. Howe. se. daye. 95.
reason. none. 96. thynge howe. 97. seasons. 98. forthe. 99. leaue. 100.
they were nought; _omit_ were. 101. soone. 102. forthe. 106. norisshen;
_read_ norisshinge. 106-7. great (_twice_). 108. it; _read_ yit; _see_ l.
111. seede toforne. spring.

109. forthe. parfyte. meanynge. 110. great. 111. seede. 117. _I supply_ in.
119-122. thre (_twice_). 122. peerles. 123-6. gifte (_thrice_). 129. haste.
knytte. 130. golde. 131. reason. 132. respecte. 132-3. reason (_twice_).
136. gifte. 141. the. 142. sodayne. 143. the. 144. rewarde.

146. sodayne. reason. 148. last. Se. 149. tabyde. 151. _I supply_ ben. ioy.
vnbyde (!). 152. ioy. 157. tre. * _A break here in_ Th.

                          CHAPTER VI.

  Now, lady,' quod I, 'that tree to sette, fayn wolde I lerne.'

  'So thou shalt,' quod she, 'er thou depart hence.  The
  first thing, thou muste sette thy werke on grounde siker and good,
  accordaunt to thy springes. For if thou desyre grapes, thou
  goest not to the hasel; ne, for to fecchen roses, thou sekest not       5
  on okes; and if thou shalt have hony-soukels, thou levest the
  frute of the soure docke. Wherfore, if thou desyre this blisse in
  parfit joye, thou must sette thy purpos there vertue foloweth, and
  not to loke after the bodily goodes; as I sayd whan thou were
  wryting in thy seconde boke. And for thou hast set thy-selfe in        10
  so noble a place, and utterly lowed in thyn herte the misgoing of
  thy first purpos, this +setling is the esier to springe, and the more
  lighter thy soule in grace to be lissed. And trewly thy desyr,
  that is to say, thy wil algates mot ben stedfast in this mater without
  any chaunginge; for if it be stedfast, no man may it voyde.'           15

  'Yes, pardè,' quod I, 'my wil may ben turned by frendes, and
  disese of manace and thretning in lesinge of my lyfe and of my
  limmes, and in many other wyse that now cometh not to mynde.
  And also it mot ofte ben out of thought; for no remembraunce
  may holde oon thing continuelly in herte, be it never so lusty         20

  'Now see,' quod she, 'thou thy wil shal folowe, thy free wil to
  be grounded continuelly to abyde. It is thy free wil, that thou
  lovest and hast loved, and yet shal loven this Margaryte-perle;
  and in thy wil thou thinkest to holde it. Than is thy wil knit         25
  in love, not to chaunge for no newe lust besyde; this wil techeth
  thyn herte from al maner varying. But than, although thou be
  thretened in dethe or els in otherwyse, yet is it in thyn arbitrement
  to chose, thy love to voyde or els to holde; and thilke
  arbitrement is in a maner a jugement bytwene desyr and thy             30
  herte. And if thou deme to love thy good wil fayleth, than art
  thou worthy no blisse that good wil shulde deserve; and if thou
  chose continuaunce in thy good service, than thy good wil
  abydeth; nedes, blisse folowing of thy good wil must come by
  strength of thilke jugement; for thy first wil, that taught thyn       35
  herte to abyde, and halt it from th'eschaunge, with thy reson
  is accorded. Trewly, this maner of wil thus shal abyde; impossible
  it were to turne, if thy herte be trewe; and if every
  man diligently the meninges of his wil consider, he shal wel
  understande that good wil, knit with reson, but in a false herte       40
  never is voyded; for power and might of keping this good wil is
  thorow libertè of arbitrement in herte, but good wil to kepe
  may not fayle. Eke than if it fayle, it sheweth it-selfe that good
  wil in keping is not there. And thus false wil, that putteth out
  the good, anon constrayneth the herte to accorde in lovinge of         45
  thy good wil; and this accordaunce bitwene false wil and thyn
  herte, in falsitè ben lykened +togider. Yet a litel wol I say
  thee in good wil, thy good willes to rayse and strengthe. Tak
  hede to me (quod she) how thy willes thou shalt understande.
  Right as ye han in your body dyvers membres, and fyve sondrye          50
  wittes, everiche apart to his owne doing, whiche thinges as
  instrumentes ye usen; as, your handes apart to handle; feet,
  to go; tonge, to speke; eye, to see: right so the soule hath
  in him certayne steringes and strengthes, whiche he useth as
  instrumentes to his certayne doinges. Reson is in the soule,           55
  which he useth, thinges to knowe and to prove; and wil, whiche
  he useth to wilne; and yet is neyther wil ne reson al the soule;
  but everich of hem is a thing by him-selfe in the soule. And
  right as everich hath thus singuler instrumentes by hemselfe,
  they han as wel dyvers aptes and dyvers maner usinges; and             60
  thilke aptes mowen in wil ben cleped affeccions. Affeccion is
  an instrument of willinge in his apetytes. Wherfore mokel folk
  sayn, if a resonable creatures soule any thing fervently wilneth,
  affectuously he wilneth; and thus may wil, by terme of equivocas,
  in three wayes ben understande. Oon is instrument of willing;          65
  another is affection of this instrument; and the third is use, that
  setteth it a-werke. Instrument of willing is thilke strength of the
  soule, which that constrayneth to wilne, right as reson is instrument
  of resons, which ye usen whan ye loken. Affeccion of this
  instrument is a thing, by whiche ye be drawe desyrously any-thing      70
  to wilne in coveitous maner, al be it for the tyme out
  of your mynde; as, if it come in your thought thilke thing to
  remembre, anon ye ben willing thilke to done or els to have.
  And thus is instrument wil; and affeccion is wil also, to wilne
  thing as I said; as, for to wilne helth, whan wil nothing theron       75
  thinketh; for anon as it cometh to memorie, it is in wil. And so
  is affeccion to wilne slepe, whan it is out of mynde; but anon
  as it is remembred, wil wilneth slepe, whan his tyme cometh of
  the doinge. For affeccion of wil never accordeth to sicknesse,
  ne alway to wake. Right so, in a true lovers affeccion of willing,     80
  instrument is to wilne tr[o]uthe in his service; and this affeccion
  alway abydeth, although he be sleping or thretned, or els not
  theron thinking; but anon as it cometh to mynde, anon he is
  stedfast in that wil to abyde. Use of this instrument forsothe
  is another thing by himselfe; and that have ye not but whan            85
  ye be doing in willed thing, by affect or instrument of wil
  purposed or desyred; and this maner of usage in my service
  wysely nedeth to be ruled from wayters with envy closed, from
  spekers ful of jangeling wordes, from proude folk and hautayn,
  that lambes and innocentes bothe scornen and dispysen. Thus            90
  in doing varieth the actes of willinge everich from other, and yet
  ben they cleped "wil," and the name of wil utterly owen they to
  have; as instrument of wil is wil, whan ye turne in-to purpos of
  any thing to don, be it to sitte or to stande, or any such thing
  els. This instrument may ben had, although affect and usage be         95
  left out of doing; right as ye have sight and reson, and yet alway
  use ye* +nat to loke, [ne] thinges with resonning to prove; and so
  is instrument of wil, wil; and yet varyeth he from effect and
  using bothe. Affeccion of wil also for wil is cleped, but it varyeth
  from instrument in this maner wyse, by that nameliche, whan it        100
  cometh in-to mynde, anon-right it is in willinge desyred, and the
  negatif therof with willing nil not acorde; this is closed in herte,
  though usage and instrument slepe. This slepeth whan instrument
  and us[e] waken; and of suche maner affeccion, trewly,
  some man hath more and some man lesse. Certes, trewe lovers           105
  wenen ever therof to litel to have. False lovers in litel wenen
  have right mokel. Lo, instrument of wil in false and trewe
  bothe, evenliche is proporcioned; but affeccion is more in some
  places than in some, bycause of the goodnesse that foloweth, and
  that I thinke hereafter to declare. Use of this instrument is wil,    110
  but it taketh his name whan wilned thing is in doing; but utterly
  grace to cacche in thy blisse +desyreth to ben rewarded. Thou
  most have than affeccion of wil at the ful, and use whan his
  tyme asketh wysely to ben governed. Sothly, my disciple,
  without fervent affeccion of wil may no man ben saved. This           115
  affeccion of good service in good love may not ben grounded,
  without fervent desyr to the thing in wil coveited. But he that
  never reccheth to have or not to have, affeccion of wil in that
  hath no resting-place. Why? For whan thing cometh to mynde,
  and it be not taken in hede to comin or not come, therfore in         120
  that place affeccion fayleth; and, for thilke affeccion is so litel,
  thorow whiche in goodnesse he shulde come to his grace, the
  litelnesse wil it not suffre to avayle by no way in-to his helpes.
  Certes, grace and reson thilke affeccion foloweth. This affeccion,
  with reson knit, dureth in everiche trewe herte, and evermore         125
  is encresing; no ferdnesse, no strength may it remove, whyle
  tr[o]uthe in herte abydeth. Sothly, whan falsheed ginneth entre,
  tr[o]uthe draweth away grace and joye bothe; but than thilke
  falsheed, that trouth[e] hath thus voyded, hath unknit the bond
  of understanding reson bytwene wil and the herte. And who-so          130
  that bond undoth, and unknitteth wil to be in other purpose
  than to the first accorde, knitteth him with contrarye of reson;
  and that is unreson. Lo, than, wil and unreson bringeth a man
  from the blisse of grace; whiche thing, of pure kynde, every man
  ought to shonne and to eschewe, and to the knot of wil and reson      135

  Me thinketh,' quod she, 'by thy studient lokes, thou wenest in
  these wordes me to contrarien from other sayinges here-toforn
  in other place, as whan thou were somtyme in affeccion of wil to
  thinges that now han brought thee in disese, which I have thee        140
  consayled to voyde, and thyn herte discover; and there I made
  thy wil to ben chaunged, whiche now thou wenest I argue to
  with[h]olde and to kepe! Shortly I say, the revers in these
  wordes may not ben founde; for though dronkennesse be forboden,
  men shul not alway ben drinklesse. I trowe right, for                 145
  thou thy wil out of reson shulde not tourne, thy wil in one reson
  shulde not +onbyde. I say, thy wil in thy first purpos with
  unreson was closed; constrewe forth of the remenant what thee
  good lyketh. Trewly, that wil and reson shulde be knit togider,
  was free wil of reson; after tyme thyne herte is assentaunt to them   150
  bothe, thou might not chaunge. But if thou from rule of reson
  varye, in whiche variaunce to come to thilke blisse desyred,
  contrariously thou werchest; and nothing may knowe wil and reson
  but love alone. Than if thou voide love, than +weyvest [thou]
  the bond that knitteth; and so nedes, or els right lightly, that      155
  other gon a-sondre; wherfore thou seest apertly that love holdeth
  this knot, and amaystreth hem to be bounde. These thinges, as
  a ring in circuit of wrethe, ben knit in thy soule without departing.'

  'A! let be! let be!' quod I; 'it nedeth not of this no
  rehersayle to make; my soule is yet in parfit blisse, in thinking of  160
  that knotte!'*

CH. VI. 1. Nowe. set fayne. 3. set. 5. fetchen. 6. leauest. 8. parfite ioy.
set. purpose. 10. booke. haste. 12. purpose. setteles; _read_ setling. 13.
desyre. 14. mote. 15-16. maye (_twice_). 17. disease. 18. nowe. 19. mote.
20. one.

32. Nowe se. 22, 23. frewyl (_twice_). 24. haste. 26. teacheth. 27.
varyeng. 30. desyre. 31. arte. 36. halte. 38. hert. 40. reason. 42.
thorowe. hert. 45. anone. 47. togyther. 48. the. strength. Take. 49. howe.
51-2. aparte (_twice_). 52. fete. 53. se. 55. Reason. 57. reason.

61. affections. Affection. 62. folke. 65. thre. One. 68. reason. 69.
Affection. 74. affection. 75. thynge. 77-81. affection (_four times_). 86.
affecte. 93. purpose. 94. syt.

97. * _A break here in_ Th. ne ought; _read_ nat. _I supply_ ne. 98.
effecte. 99. Affection. 100. name lyche. 102. negatyfe. 103. thoughe. 104.
vs. 104-8. affection (_twice_). 112. catche. desyred; _read_ desyreth. 113.
muste. affection (_often_). 117. desyre. 118. retcheth. 120. comyn. 124-5.
reason (_twice_). 125. knytte. 126. encreasyng. maye. 128. ioy. both. 129.
bonde. 130-2. reason. 131. bonde vndothe.

133. unreason (_twice_). 135. reason. 138. sayenges. toforne. 139.
affection. 140. nowe. the. disease. the. 146. reason (_twice_). 147.
vnbyde; _read_ onbyde. purpose. 148. unreason. remenante. the. 150. fre.
149-151. reason (_thrice_). 154. weuest; _read_ weyvest thou. 155. bonde.
156. gone. 158. ringe. 160. parfyte. * _A break here in_ Th.

                          CHAPTER VII.

  'Very trouth,' quod she, 'hast thou now conceyved of these
  thinges in thyne herte; hastely shalt thou be able very
  joye and parfit blisse to receyve; and now, I wot wel, thou
  desyrest to knowe the maner of braunches that out of the tree
  shulde springe.'                                                        5

  'Therof, lady,' quod I, 'hertely I you pray; for than leve
  I +wel, that right sone after I shal ataste of the frute that I so
  long have desyred.'

  'Thou hast herd,' quod she, 'in what wyse this tree toforn this
  have I declared, as in grounde and in stocke of wexing. First,         10
  the ground shulde be thy free wil, ful in thyne herte; and the
  stocke (as I sayde) shulde be continuaunce in good service by
  long tyme in traveyle, til it were in greetnesse right wel woxen.
  And whan this tree suche greetnesse hath caught as I have
  rehersed, the braunches than, that the frute shulde forth-bringe,      15
  speche must they be nedes, in voice of prayer in complayning
  wyse used.'

  'Out! alas!' quod I tho, 'he is soroufully wounded that
  hydeth his speche, and spareth his complayntes to make! What
  shal I speke the care? But payne, even lyk to helle, sore hath         20
  me assayled, and so ferforth in payne me thronge, that I leve my
  tree is seer, and never shal it frute forth bringe! Certes, he is
  greetly esed, that dare his prevy mone discover to a true felowe,
  that conning hath and might, wherthrough his pleint in any thinge
  may ben amended. And mokel more is he joyed, that with herte           25
  of hardinesse dare complayne to his lady what cares that he
  suffreth, by hope of mercy with grace to be avaunced. Truely
  I saye for me, sithe I cam this Margarit to serve, durst I never me
  discover of no maner disese; and wel the later hath myn herte
  hardyed suche thinges to done, for the grete bountees and worthy       30
  refresshmentes that she of her grace goodly, without any desert on
  my halve, ofte hath me rekened. And nere her goodnesse the
  more with grace and with mercy medled, which passen al desertes,
  traveyls, and servinges that I in any degre might endite, I wolde
  wene I shulde be without recover, in getting of this blisse for        35
  ever! Thus have I stilled my disese; thus have I covered my
  care; that I brenne in sorouful anoy, as gledes and coles wasten
  a fyr under deed asshen. Wel the hoter is the fyr that with
  asshen it is overleyn. Right longe this wo have I suffred.'

  'Lo,' quod Love, 'how thou farest! Me thinketh, the palasy-yvel        40
  hath acomered thy wittes; as faste as thou hyest forward,
  anon sodaynly backward thou movest!  Shal nat yet al thy
  leudnesse out of thy braynes? Dul ben thy skilful understandinges;
  thy wil hath thy wit so amaistred. Wost thou nat wel (quod she)
  but every tree, in his sesonable tyme of burjoninge, shewe his         45
  blomes fro within, in signe of what frute shulde out of him
  springe, els the frute for that yere men halt delivered, be the
  ground never so good? And though the stocke be mighty at
  the ful, and the braunches seer, and no burjons shewe, farwel the
  gardiner! He may pype with an yvè-lefe; his frute is fayled.           50
  Wherfore thy braunches must burjonen in presence of thy lady, if
  thou desyre any frute of thy ladies grace. But beware of thy lyfe,
  that thou no wode lay use, as in asking of thinges that strecchen
  in-to shame! For than might thou nat spede, by no maner way
  that I can espy. Vertue wol nat suffre villany out of him-selfe to     55
  springe. Thy wordes may nat be queynt, ne of subtel maner
  understandinge. Freel-witted people supposen in suche poesies
  to be begyled; in open understandinge must every word be used.
  "Voice without clere understanding of sentence," saith Aristotel,
  "right nought printeth in herte." Thy wordes than to abyde in          60
  herte, and clene in ful sentence of trewe mening, platly must
  thou shewe; and ever be obedient, her hestes and her wils to
  performe; and be thou set in suche a wit, to wete by a loke
  ever-more what she meneth. And he that list nat to speke, but
  stilly his disese suffer, what wonder is it, tho[ugh] he come never    65
  to his blisse? Who that traveyleth unwist, and coveyteth thing
  unknowe, unweting he shal be quyted, and with unknowe thing

  'Good lady,' quod I than, 'it hath ofte be sene, that +weders
  and stormes so hugely have falle in burjoning-tyme, and by perte       70
  duresse han beten of the springes so clene, wherthrough the frute
  of thilke yere hath fayled. It is a greet grace, whan burjons han
  good +weders, their frutes forth to bringe. Alas! than, after
  suche stormes, how hard is it to avoyde, til efte wedring and
  yeres han maked her circute cours al about, er any frute be able       75
  to be tasted! He is shent for shame, that foule is rebuked of his
  speche. He that is in fyre brenning sore smarteth for disese;
  him thinketh ful long er the water come, that shulde the fyr
  quenche. While men gon after a leche, the body is buryed.
  Lo! how semely this frute wexeth! Me thinketh, that of tho             80
  frutes may no man ataste, for pure bitternesse in savour. In this
  wyse bothe frute and the tree wasten away togider, though mokel
  besy occupacion have be spent, to bringe it so ferforth that it
  was able to springe. A lyte speche hath maked that al this labour
  is in ydel.'                                                           85

  'I not,' quod she, 'wherof it serveth, thy question to assoyle.
  Me thinketh thee now duller in wittes than whan I with thee first
  mette. Although a man be leude, commenly for a fole he is nat
  demed but-if he no good wol lerne. Sottes and foles lete lightly
  out of mynde the good that men techeth hem. I sayd therfore,           90
  thy stocke must be stronge, and in greetnesse wel herted: the
  tree is ful feble that at the firste dent falleth. And although frute
  fayleth oon yere or two, yet shal suche a seson come oon tyme or
  other, that shal bringe out frute that [is parfit]. *Fole, have I not
  seyd toforn this, as tyme hurteth, right so ayenward tyme heleth       95
  and rewardeth; and a tree oft fayled is holde more in deyntee
  whan it frute forth bringeth. A marchaunt that for ones lesinge
  in the see no more to aventure thinketh, he shal never with
  aventure come to richesse. So ofte must men on the oke smyte,
  til the happy dent have entred, whiche with the okes owne swaye       100
  maketh it to come al at ones. So ofte falleth the lethy water on
  the harde rocke, til it have thorow persed it. The even draught
  of the wyr-drawer maketh the wyr to ben even and supple-werchinge;
  and if he stinted in his draught, the wyr breketh
  a-sonder. Every tree wel springeth, whan it is wel grounded and       105
  not often removed.'

  'What shal this frute be,' quod I, 'now it ginneth rype?'

  'Grace,' quod she, 'in parfit joy to endure; and therwith thou

  'Grace?' quod I; 'me thinketh, I shulde have a reward for my          110
  longe travayle?'

  'I shal telle thee,' quod she; 'retribucion of thy good willes
  to have of thy Margarite-perle, it bereth not the name of mede,
  but only of good grace; and that cometh not of thy desert, but
  of thy Margarytes goodnesse and vertue alone.'                        115

  Quod I, 'shulde al my longe travayle have no reward but thorow
  grace? And som-tyme your-selven sayd, rightwisnesse evenliche
  rewardeth, to quyte oon benefit for another.'

  'That is sothe,' quod Love, 'ever as I sayde, as to him that
  doth good, which to done he were neyther holden ne yet                120

  'That is sothe,' quod I.

  'Trewly,' quod she, 'al that ever thou doest to thyne Margaryte-perle,
  of wil, of love, and of reson thou owest to done it; it is
  nothing els but yelding of thy dette in quytinge of thy grace, which  125
  she thee lente whan ye first mette.'

  'I wene,' quod I, 'right litel grace to me she delivered.
  Certes, it was harde grace; it hath nyghe me astrangled.'

  'That it was good grace, I wot wel thou wilt it graunte, er
  thou departe hence. If any man yeve to another wight, to whom         130
  that he ought not, and whiche that of him-selfe nothing may
  have, a garnement or a cote, though he were the cote or els
  thilke clothing, it is not to putte to him that was naked the cause
  of his clothinge, but only to him that was yever of the garnement.
  Wherfore I saye, thou that were naked of love, and of thy-selfe       135
  non have mightest, it is not to putte to thyne owne persone,
  sithen thy love cam thorow thy Margaryte-perle. _Ergo_, she was
  yever of the love, although thou it use; and there lente she thee
  grace, thy service to beginne. She is worthy the thank of this
  grace, for she was the yever. Al the thoughtes, besy doinges,         140
  and plesaunce in thy might and in thy wordes that thou canst
  devyse, ben but right litel in quytinge of thy dette; had she not
  ben, suche thing hadde not ben studyed. So al these maters
  kyndly drawen hom-ward to this Margaryte-perle, for from thence
  were they borowed; al is hoolly her to wyte, the love that thou       145
  havest; and thus quytest thou thy dette, in that thou stedfastly
  servest. And kepe wel that love, I thee rede, that of her thou
  hast borowed, and use it in her service thy dette to quyte; and
  than art thou able right sone to have grace; wherfore after mede
  in none halve mayst thou loke. Thus thy ginning and ending is         150
  but grace aloon; and in thy good deserving thy dette thou
  aquytest; without grace is nothing worth, what-so-ever thou
  werche. Thanke thy Margaryte of her grete grace that +hiderto
  thee hath gyded, and praye her of continuaunce forth in thy
  werkes herafter; and that, for no mishappe, thy grace overthwartly    155
  tourne. Grace, glorie, and joye is coming thorow good
  folkes desertes; and by getting of grace, therin shullen ende.
  And what is more glorie or more joye than wysdom and love
  in parfit charitè, whiche god hath graunted to al tho that wel
  +conne deserve?' And with that this lady al at ones sterte in-to      160
  my herte: 'here wol I onbyde,' quod she, 'for ever, and never
  wol I gon hence; and I wol kepe thee from medlinge while me
  liste here onbyde; thyne entermeting maners in-to stedfastnesse
  shullen be chaunged.'

CH. VII. 1. nowe. 2. hert. 3. parfyte. nowe. 5. spring.

7. wol; _read_ wel. soone. atast. 9. herde. tre. 11. grounde. frewyl. hert.
13. greatnesse. 14. gretnesse. 20. lyke. hel. 22. tre. bring. 23. greatly
eased. 28. came. 29. disease. 30. great bounties. 36. disease. 37. bren.
38. fyre (_twice_). 40. howe. 41. forwarde. 42. backwarde.

47. spring. halte. 48. grounde. 53. wodelay. stretchen. 56. spring. 58.
worde. 60-1. hert (_twice_). 64. meaneth. 65. disease. 69. wethers; _read_
weders. 70. fal. 71. beaten. 72. great. 73. wethers; _read_ weders. forthe.
74. howe harde. 77. disease. 78. fyre. 79. gone. 80. howe.

81. maye. sauoure. 83. occupation. spente. ferforthe. 84. spring. 87. the
nowe. 89. fooles lette. 90. teacheth. 91. greatnesse. 93. one (_twice_).
season. 94. _I supply_ is parfit. * _A break here in_ Th. 95. healeth. 96.
deyntie. 97. forthe. 102. thorowe. 103-4. wyre (_thrice_). 104. breaketh.
105. tre. 107. nowe. 108. parfyte. 109. begon; _read_ begonne. 110.
rewarde. 112. tel the. 113. beareth. 114. onely. deserte. 116. rewarde.

118. one benefyte. 120. dothe. 124. _catchword_ it is; _misprinted_ yet is
_on the next page_. 126. the lent. 127. lytle. 129. graunt. 131. nothynge
maye. 132. weare. 133. put; _read_ putte. 134. onely. 136. put. 137. came
thorowe. 138. althoughe. lent. the. 139. thanke. 141. canste. 144.
homewarde. 145. holy. 147. the. 149. arte. 151. alone. 152. worthe.

153. great. hytherto; _read_ hiderto. 154. the. forthe. 156. thorowe. 158.
wysdome. 159. parfyte. 160. canne; _read_ conne. 161. hert.

                          CHAPTER VIII.

  Soberliche tho threw I up myn eyen, and hugely tho was
  I astonyed of this sodayne adventure; and fayn wolde I have
  lerned, how vertues shulden ben knowen; in whiche thinges,
  I hope to god, here-after she shal me enfourmen; and namely,
  sithen her restinge-place is now so nygh at my wil; and anon al         5
  these thinges that this lady said, I remembred me by my-selfe, and
  revolved the +lynes of myne understondinge wittes. Tho found
  I fully al these maters parfitly there written, how mis-rule by
  fayned love bothe realmes and citees hath governed a greet
  throwe; how lightly me might the fautes espye; how rules in love       10
  shulde ben used; how somtyme with fayned love foule I was
  begyled; how I shulde love have knowe; and how I shal in love
  with my service procede. Also furthermore I found, of perdurable
  letters wonderly there graven, these maters whiche I shal nempne.
  Certes, non age ne other thing in erthe may the leest sillable of      15
  this in no poynte deface, but clerely as the sonne in myne
  understandinge soule they shynen. This may never out of my mynde,
  how I may not my love kepe, but thorow willinge in herte; wilne
  to love may I not, but I lovinge have. Love have I non, but
  thorow grace of this Margarite-perle. It is no maner doute, that       20
  wil wol not love but for it is lovinge, as wil wol not rightfully but
  for it is rightful it-selve. Also wil is not lovinge for he wol love;
  but he wol love for he is lovinge; it is al oon to +wilne to be
  lovinge, and lovinges in possession to have. Right so wil wol not
  love, for of love hath he no partie. And yet I denye not lovinge       25
  wil [may] wilne more love to have, whiche that he hath not whan
  he wolde more than he hath; but I saye, he may no love wilne
  if he no love have, through which thilke love he shuld wilne. But
  to have this loving wil may no man of him-selfe, but only through
  grace toforn-going; right so may no man it kepe, but by grace          30
  folowinge. Consider now every man aright, and let seen if that
  any wight of him-selfe mowe this loving wel gete, and he therof
  first nothing have; for if it shulde of him-selfe springe, either it
  muste be willing or not willing. Willing by him-selfe may he it not
  have, sithen him fayleth the mater that shulde it forth bringe.        35
  The mater him fayleth; why? He may therof have no knowing
  til whan grace put it in his herte. Thus willing by him-selfe may
  he it not have; and not willing, may he it not have. Pardè,
  every conseyt of every resonable creature otherwyse wil [wol] not
  graunte; wil in affirmatif with not willing by no way mowe acorde.     40
  And although this loving wol come in myn herte by freenesse of
  arbitrement, as in this booke fully is shewed, yet owe I not therfore
  as moche alowe my free wil as grace of that Margaryte to me
  lened. For neyther might I, without grace to-forn going and
  afterward folowing, thilke grace gete ne kepe; and lese shal I it      45
  never but-if free wil it make, as in willinge otherwyse than grace
  hath me graunted. For right as whan any person taketh willing
  to be sobre, and throweth that away, willing to be dronke; or els
  taketh wil of drinking out of mesure; whiche thing, anon as it is
  don, maketh (thorow his owne gilte by free wil) that [he] leseth       50
  his grace. In whiche thing therfore upon the nobley of grace
  I mote trusten, and my besy cure sette thilke grace to kepe, that
  my free wil, otherwyse than by reson it shulde werche, cause not
  my grace to voyde: for thus must I bothe loke to free wil and to
  grace. For right as naturel usage in engendring of children may        55
  not ben without +fader, ne also but with the +moder, for neyther
  +fader ne +moder in begetting may it lacke; right so grace and
  free wil accorden, and withoute hem bothe may not lovinge wil in
  no partie ben getten. But yet is not free wil in gettinge of that
  thing so mokel thank-worthy as is grace, ne in the kepinge therof      60
  so moche thank deserveth; and yet in gettinge and keping bothe
  don they accorde. Trewly, often-tyme grace free wil helpeth, in
  fordoinge of contrarye thinges, that to willinge love not accorden,
  and +strengtheth wil adversitees to withsitte; wherfore +al-togider
  to grace oweth to ben accepted, that my willing deserveth. Free        65
  wil to lovinge in this wyse is accorded. I remembre me wel how
  al this book (who-so hede taketh) considereth [how] al thinges to
  werchinges of mankynde evenly accordeth, as in turning of this
  worde 'love' in-to trouthe or els rightwisnesse, whether that it
  lyke. For what thing that falleth to man in helping of free            70
  arbitrement, thilke rightwisnesse to take or els to kepe, thorow
  whiche a man shal be saved (of whiche thing al this book mencion
  hath maked), in every poynte therof grace oweth to be thanked.
  Wherfore I saye, every wight havinge this rightwisnesse rightful
  is; and yet therfore I fele not in my conscience, that to al           75
  rightful is behoten the blisse everlastinge, but to hem that ben
  rightful withouten any unrightfulnesse. Some man after some degree
  may rightfully ben accompted as chaste men in living, and yet ben
  they janglers and ful of envy pressed; to hem shal this blisse
  never ben delivered. For right as very blisse is without al maner      80
  nede, right so to no man shal it be yeven but to the rightful, voyde
  from al maner unrightfulnesse founde; so no man to her blisse
  shal ben folowed, but he be rightful, and with unrightfulnesse not
  bounde, and in that degree fully be knowe. This rightfulnesse,
  in as moche as in him-selfe is, of none yvel is it cause; and of al    85
  maner goodnesse, trewly, it is +moder. This helpeth the spirit
  to withsitte the leude lustes of flesshly lykinge. This strengtheth
  and maintayneth the lawe of kynde; and if that otherwhyle me
  weneth harm of this precious thing to folowe, therthorough is [it]
  nothing the cause; of somwhat els cometh it aboute, who-so             90
  taketh hede. By rightfulnesse forsothe wern many holy sayntes
  good savour in swetenesse to god almighty; but that to some
  folkes they weren savour of dethe, in-to deedly ende, that com
  not of the sayntes rightwisnesse, but of other wicked mennes
  badnesse hath proceded. Trewly, the ilke wil, whiche that the          95
  Lady of Love me lerned 'affeccion of wil' to nempne, which is
  in willing of profitable thinges, yvel is it not, but whan to flesshly
  lustes it consenteth ayenst reson of soule. But that this thing
  more clerely be understande, it is for to knowe, whence and how
  thilke wil is so vicious, and so redy yvel dedes to perfourme.        100
  Grace at the ginninge ordeyned thilke wil in goodnesse ever to
  have endured, and never to badnesse have assented. Men shulde
  not byleve, that god thilke wil maked to be vicious [in] our firste
  +faders, as Adam and Eve; for vicious appetytes, and vicious wil
  to suche appetytes consentinge, ben not on thing in kynde; other      105
  thing is don for the other. And how this wil first in-to man first
  assented, I holde it profitable to shewe; but if the first condicion
  of resonable creature wol be considred and apertly loked, lightly
  the cause of suche wil may be shewed. Intencion of god was,
  that rightfully and blissed shulde resonable nature ben maked,        110
  himselfe for to kepe; but neyther blisful ne rightful might it not
  be, withouten wil in them bothe. Wil of rightfulnesse is thilke
  same rightfulnesse, as here-to-forn is shewed; but wil of blisse
  is not thilke blisse, for every man hath not thilke blisse, in whom
  the wil therof is abydinge. In this blisse, after every               115
  understandinge, is suffisaunce of covenable comoditees without any
  maner nede, whether it be blisse of aungels or els thilke that
  grace first in paradise suffred Adam to have. For al-though
  angels blisse be more than Adams was in paradyse, yet may it not
  be +denyed, that Adam in paradyse ne had suffisaunce of blisse;       120
  for right as greet herte is without al maner of coldenesse, and yet
  may another herte more hete have; right so nothing defended
  Adam in paradyse to ben blessed, without al maner nede.
  Al-though aungels blisse be moche more, forsothe, it foloweth
  not [that], lasse than another to have, therfore him nedeth; but      125
  for to wante a thing whiche that behoveth to ben had, that may
  'nede' ben cleped; and that was not in Adam at the first
  ginning. God and the Margaryte weten what I mene. Forsothe,
  where-as is nede, there is wrecchednesse. +God without cause
  to-forngoing made not resonable creature wrecched; for him to         130
  understande and love had he firste maked. God made therfore
  man blissed without al maner indigence; +togider and at ones
  took resonable creature blisse, and wil of blissednesse, and wil
  of rightfulnesse, whiche is rightfulnesse it-selve, and libertee of
  arbitrement, that is, free wil, with whiche thilke rightfulnesse may  135
  he kepe and lese. So and in that wyse [god] ordayned thilke
  two, that wil (whiche that "instrument" is cleped, as here-toforn
  mencion is maked) shulde use thilke rightfulnesse, by teching of
  his soule to good maner of governaunce, in thought and in wordes;
  and that it shulde use the blisse in obedient maner, withouten        140
  any incommoditè. Blisse, forsothe, in-to mannes profit, and
  rightwisnesse in-to his worship god delivered at ones; but rightfulnesse
  so was yeven that man might it lese, whiche if he not lost
  had, but continuelly [might] have it kept, he shulde have deserved
  the avauncement in-to the felowshippe of angels, in whiche thing      145
  if he that loste, never by him-selfe forward shulde he it mowe
  ayenward recovere; and as wel the blisse that he was in, as
  aungels blisse that to-him-wardes was coming, shulde be nome at
  ones, and he deprived of hem bothe. And thus fil man un-to
  lykenesse of unresonable bestes; and with hem to corrupcion and       150
  unlusty apetytes was he under-throwen. But yet wil of blisse
  dwelleth, that by indigence of goodes, whiche that he loste
  through greet wrecchednesse, by right shulde he ben punisshed.
  And thus, for he weyved rightfulnesse, lost hath he his blisse; but
  fayle of his desyr in his owne comoditè may he not; and +where        155
  comodites to his resonable nature whiche he hath lost may he not
  have, to false lustes, whiche ben bestial appetytes, he is turned.
  Folye of unconning hath him begyled, in wening that thilke ben
  the comoditees that owen to ben desyred. This affeccion of wil
  by libertè of arbitrement is enduced to wilne thus thing that         160
  he shulde not; and so is wil not maked yvel but unrightful, by
  absence of rightfulnesse, whiche thing by reson ever shulde he
  have. And freenesse of arbitrement may he not wilne, whan he it
  not haveth; for while he it had, thilke halp it not to kepe; so
  that without grace may it not ben recovered. Wil of commoditè,        165
  in-as-moche as unrightful it is maked by willinge of yvel lustes, willing
  of goodnesse may he not wilne; for wil of instrument to affeccion
  of wil is thralled, sithen that other thing may it not wilne;
  for wil of instrument to affeccion desyreth, and yet ben bothe they
  'wil' cleped. For that instrument wol, through affeccion it wilneth;  170
  and affeccion desyreth thilke thing wherto instrument him ledeth.
  And so free wil to unlusty affeccion ful servaunt is maked, for
  unrightfulnesse may he not releve; and without rightfulnesse ful
  fredom may it never have. For kyndly libertee of arbitrement
  without it, veyne and ydel is, forsothe. Wherfore yet I say, (as      175
  often have I sayd the same), whan instrument of wil lost hath
  rightfulnesse, in no maner but by grace may he ayen retourne
  rightfulnesse to wilne. For sithen nothing but rightfulnesse alone
  shulde he wilne, what that ever he wilneth without rightfulnesse,
  unrightfully he it wilneth. These than unrightful appetytes and       180
  unthrifty lustes whiche the +flesh desyreth, in as mokel as they ben
  in kynde, ben they nat bad; but they ben unrightful and badde for
  they ben in resonable creature, where-as they being, in no waye
  shulde ben suffred. In unresonable beestes neyther ben they yvel
  ne unrightful; for there is their kynde being.                        185

CH. VIII. 1. threwe. 2. fayne. 3. howe. 5. nowe. nyghe. 7. lyues (!).
founde. 8. parfytely. howe. mysse-. 9. cyties. great. 10-12. howe (_five
times_). 13. founde. 15. none. thynge. maye. 17. maye. 18. howe. maye.
thorowe. 19. maye. none. 20. thorowe.

23. one. wil; _read_ wilne. 26. _I supply_ may. 27. maye. 29. onely. 30.
toforne. maye. 31. nowe. sene. 32. get. 33. nothynge. spring. 35. forthe
bring. 36. maye. 39. reasonable. _I supply_ wol. 40. graunt. affyrmatife.
41. hert. frenesse. 43. frewyl (_throughout_). 44. leaned. 45. afterwarde.
get; _read_ gete. 50. done. thorowe. _I supply_ he. 52. set. 53. reason.
55. maye. 56-7. father (_twice_); _read_ fader. mother (_twice_); _read_

57-8. maye. 60. thankeworthy. 61. thanke. 62. done. 64. strength; _read_
strengtheth; _see_ l. 87. al togyther. 66. howe. 67. booke. _Supply_ how.
71. thorowe. 72. booke. 78. maye. 86. mother; _read_ moder. 89. harme.
_Supply_ it. 90. nothynge. 91. werne. 93. come; _read_ com.

96. affectyon. 98. reason. thynge. 99. vndersta_n_d. howe. 100. redye. 103.
vycious. _I insert_ in; Our (_sic_). 104. father; _read_ faders. 106. done.
howe. 108-110. reasonable (_twice_). 113. -forne. 119, 122. maye. 120.
denyded (!). 121. great. 122. heate. nothynge. 124. thoughe. 125. _I
supply_ that. 126. thynge. maye. 128. meane. 129. wretchydnesse. good;
_read_ God. 130. reasonable. wretched.

132. togyther. 133. toke reasonable. 134. lybertie. 135. fre. 136. _I
supply_ god. 137. cleaped. toforne. 138. teachyng. 141. profyte. 143. not
loste had not; _I omit second_ not. 144. _I supply_ might. kepte. 146.
forwarde. 147. ayenwarde. 150. vnreasonable. 153. great wretchydnesse. 154.
loste. 155. desyre. were; _read_ where. 156. reasonable. loste. 159.
affection. 162. reason. 163. frenesse. 164. halpe.

167-170. affection (_thrice_). 172. frewyl. affection. 173. maye. 174.
fredome. libertie. 176. loste. 181. flyes (!); _read_ flesh. 184.

                          CHAPTER IX.

  Knowen may it wel ben now of these thinges toforn
  declared, that man hath not alway thilke rightfulnesse
  which by dutè of right evermore haven he shulde, and by no way
  by him-selfe may he it gete ne kepe; and after he it hath, if he it
  lese, recover shal he it never without especial grace. Wherfore         5
  the comune sentence of the people in opinion, that every thing
  after destenee is ruled, false and wicked is to beleve. For though
  predestinacion be as wel of good as of badde, sithen that it is
  sayd, god +hath destenees made, whiche he never ne wrought; but,
  for he suffreth hem to be maked, as that he hardeth, whan he           10
  naught missayth, or +let in-to temptacion, whan he not delivereth:
  wherfore it is non inconvenient if in that maner be sayd, god toforn
  have destenyed bothe badde and her badde werkes, whan
  hem ne their yvel dedes [he] neyther amendeth ne therto hem
  grace +leneth.  But specialliche, predestinacion of goodnesse          15
  alone is sayd by these grete clerkes; for in him god doth that
  they ben, and that in goodnesse they werchen. But the negatif
  herof in badnesse is holden, as the Lady of Love hath me lerned,
  who-so aright in this booke loketh. And utterly it is to weten,
  that predestinacion properly in god may not ben demed, no more         20
  than beforn-weting. For in the chapitre of goddes beforn-weting,
  as Love me rehersed, al these maters apertly may ben founden.
  Al thinges to god ben now +togider and in presence duringe.
  Trewly, presence and predestinacion in nothing disacorden;
  wherfore, as I was lerned how goddes before-weting and free            25
  choice of wil mowe stonden +togider, me thinketh the same reson
  me ledeth, that destenye and free wil accorden, so that neyther of
  hem bothe to other in nothing contrarieth. And resonabliche
  may it not ben demed, as often as any thing falleth [thorow] free
  wil werching (as if a man another man wrongfully anoyeth, wherfore     30
  he him sleeth), that it be constrayned to that ende, as mokel
  folk cryeth and sayth: 'Lo, as it was destenyed of god toforn
  knowe, so it is thorow necessitè falle, and otherwyse might it not
  betyde.' Trewly, neyther he that the wrong wrought, ne he that
  him-selfe venged, none of thilke thinges thorow necessitè wrought;     35
  for if that [oon] with free wil there had it not willed, neyther had
  [he] wrought that he perfourmed; and so utterly grace, that free
  wil in goodnesse bringeth and kepeth, and fro badnesse it tourneth,
  in al thinge moste thank deserveth. This grace maketh
  sentence in vertue to abyde, wherfore in body and in soule, in ful     40
  plentee of conninge, after their good deserving in the everlastinge
  joye, after the day of dome shul they endelesse dwelle; and they
  shul ben lerned in that kingdom with so mokel affect of love and
  of grace, that the leste joye shal of the gretest in glorie rejoice
  and ben gladded, as if he the same joye had. What wonder,              45
  sith god is the gretest love and the *gretest wisdom? In hem
  shal he be, and they in god. Now than, whan al false folk be
  ashamed, which wenen al bestialtè and erthly thing be sweter and
  better to the body than hevenly is to the soule; this is the grace
  and the frute that I long have desyred; it doth me good the            50
  savour to smelle.

  Crist, now to thee I crye of mercy and of grace; and graunt,
  of thy goodnes, to every maner reder ful understanding in this
  leude pamflet to have; and let no man wene other cause in
  this werke than is verily the soth. For envy is ever redy, al          55
  innocentes to shende; wherfore I wolde that good speche envy
  evermore hinder.

  But no man wene this werke be sufficiently maked; for goddes
  werke passeth man[ne]s; no man[ne]s wit to parfit werke may by no
  way purvay th'ende. How shuld I than, so leude, aught wene of          60
  perfeccion any ende to gete? Never-the-later, grace, glorie, and
  laude I yelde and putte with worshipful reverences to the sothfast
  god, in three with unitè closed, whiche that the hevy langour of
  my sicknesse hath turned in-to mirthe of helth to recover. For
  right as I was sorowed thorow the gloton cloud of manifolde            65
  sickly sorow, so mirth [of] ayencoming helth hath me glad[d]ed
  and gretly comforted. I beseche and pray therfore, and I crye
  on goddes gret pitè and on his mokel mercy, that this[e] present
  scorges of my flessh mow maken medecyne and lechecraft of
  my inner man[ne]s helth; so that my passed trespas and tenes           70
  through weping of myn eyen ben wasshe, and I, voyded from
  al maner disese, and no more to wepe herafter, y-now be kept
  thorow goddes grace; so that goddes hand, whiche that merciably
  me hath scorged, herafter in good plite from thence merciably me
  kepe and defende.                                                      75

  In this boke be many privy thinges wimpled and folde; unneth
  shul leude men the plites unwinde. Wherfore I pray to the holy
  gost, he lene of his oyntmentes, mennes wittes to clere; and, for
  goddes love, no man wonder why or how this question come to
  my mynde. For my greet lusty desyr was of this lady to ben             80
  enfourmed, my leudenesse to amende. Certes, I knowe not
  other mennes wittes, what I shulde aske, or in answere what
  I shulde saye; I am so leude my-selfe, that mokel more lerninge
  yet me behoveth. I have mad therfore as I coude, but not
  sufficiently as I wolde, and as mater yave me sentence; for my         85
  dul wit is hindred by +stepmoder of foryeting and with cloude
  of unconning, that stoppeth the light of my Margarite-perle,
  wherfore it may not shyne on me as it shulde. I desyre not
  only a good reder, but also I coveite and pray a good book-amender,
  in correccion of wordes and of sentence; and only this                 90
  mede I coveite for my travayle, that every inseër and herer of
  this leude fantasye devoute horisons and prayers to god the greet
  juge yelden; and prayen for me in that wyse, that in his dome
  my sinnes mowe ben relesed and foryeven. He that prayeth for
  other for him-selfe travayleth.                                        95

  Also I praye, that every man parfitly mowe knowe thorow what
  intencion of herte this tretys have I drawe. How was it, that
  sightful manna in deserte to children of Israel was spirituel
  mete? Bodily also it was, for mennes bodies it +norisshed;
  and yet, never-the-later, Crist it signifyed. Right so a jewel        100
  betokeneth a gemme, and that is a stoon vertuous or els a perle.
  Margarite, a woman, betokeneth grace, lerning, or wisdom of
  god, or els holy church. If breed, thorow vertue, is mad holy
  flesshe, what is that our god sayth? 'It is the spirit that yeveth
  lyf; the flesshe, of nothing it profiteth.' Flesshe is flesshly       105
  understandinge; flessh without grace and love naught is worth.
  'The letter sleeth; the spirit yeveth lyfelich understanding.'
  Charitè is love; and love is charitè.
  God graunt us al[le] therin to be frended!
  And thus THE TESTAMENT OF LOVE is ended.                              110

CH. IX. 1. nowe. toforne. 4. get. 7. destenye. thoughe. 9. sayde. god
hadnest (!); _read_ god hath destenees. 11. missaythe. ledde; _read_ let =
ledeth. 12. none. toforne. 14. _I supply_ he. 15. leueth.

16. sayde. great. dothe. 17. negatyfe. 21. beforne (_twice_). 22. apertely
maye. 23. nowe to-gyther. 24. nothynge. 25. howe. 26. togyther. reason. 27.
leadeth. frewyl. 28. reasonablyche. 29. demyd. _I supply_ thorow. frewyl.
32. folke. toforne know. 33. thorowe. fal. 34. wronge. 35. thorowe. 36-7.
_I supply_ oon _and_ he. 39. thanke. 41. plentie. 42. ioy. dwel. 43.
kyngdome. affecte. 44-6. greatest (_twice_). * _A break here in_ Th. 47.
folke. 48. swetter. 50. dothe. 51. smel.

52. Christ. the. 59. mans; _read_ mannes (_twice_). 61. get. 62. put. 63.
thre. 66. _I supply_ of. 68. this; _read_ thise. 69. medecyn. lechcraft.
70. mans. 72. I now; _for_ y-now. 73. thorowe. ha_n_de. 80. great. desyre.
84. made. 86. wytte. -mother; _read_ moder.

89. onely. booke. 90. correction. onely. 92. great. 94. released. 96.
thorowe. 97. treatyse. Howe. 99. meate. norissheth; _read_ norisshed. 100.
Christ. 101. stone. 103. thorowe. made. 104. saythe. spyrite. 105. lyfe.
109. al; _read_ allë.

       *       *       *       *       *



  The Plowman plucked up his plow,
  Whan midsommer mone was comen in,
  And sayd, 'his beestes shuld ete y-now,
  And lig in the grasse, up to the chin;
  They ben feble, both oxe and cow,                       5
  Of hem nis left but boon and skin.'
  He shook of share, and cultre of-drow,
  And hong his harneys on a pin.

  He took his tabard and his staf eke,
  And on his heed he set his hat;                        10
  And sayde, he wolde saynt Thomas seke,
  On pilgrimage he goth forth plat.
  In scrippe he bar both breed and lekes,
  He was forswonke and all forswat;
  Men might have seen through both his chekes,           15
  And every wang-toth and where it sat.

  Our hoste beheld wel all about,
  And saw this man was sunne y-brent;
  He knew well by his senged snout,
  And by his clothes that were to-rent,                  20
  He was a man wont to walke about,
  He nas nat alway in cloystre y-pent;
  He coud not religiousliche lout,
  And therfore was he fully shent.

  Our host him axed, 'what man art thou?'                25
  'Sir,' quod he, 'I am an hyne;
  For I am wont to go to the plow,
  And erne my mete yer that I dyne.
  To swete and swinke I make avow,
  My wyf and children therwith to fynd,                  30
  And servë god, and I wist how;
  But we lewd men ben full[y] blynd.

  For clerkes saye, we shullen be fayn
  For hir lyvelod [to] swete and swinke,
  And they right nought us give agayn,                   35
  Neyther to ete ne yet to drinke.
  They mowe by lawë, as they sayn,
  Us curse and dampne to hell[e] brinke;
  Thus they putten us to payn,
  With candles queynt and belles clinke.                 40

  They make us thralles at hir lust,
  And sayn, we mowe nat els be saved;
  They have the corn and we the dust,
  Who speketh ther-agayn, they say he raved.'

  'What, man,' quod our host, 'canst thou preche?        45
  Come neer, and tell us some holy thing.'
  'Sir,' quod he, 'I herde ones teche
  A prest in pulpit a good preching.'
  'Say on,' quod our host, 'I thee beseche.'
  'Sir, I am redy at your bidding.                       50
  I pray you that no man me reproche
  Whyl that I am my tale telling.

                  PART OF THE TALE.

              PART I.

  A sternë stryf is stered newe
  In many stedes in a stounde,
  Of sondry sedes that ben sewe;                         55
  It semeth that som ben unsounde.
  For some be gretë growen +on grounde,
  Some ben souple, simple and small;
  Whether of hem is falser founde,
  The falser, foul mote him befall!                      60

  That oon syde is, that I of tell,
  Popes, cardinals, and prelates,
  Parsons, monkes, and freres fell,
  Priours, abbottes of grete estates;
  Of heven and hell they kepe the yates,                 65
  And Peters successours they ben all;
  This is demed by oldë dates;
  But falshed, foul mote it befall!

  The other syde ben poore and pale,
  And people put [al] out of prees;                      70
  And semë caytifs sore a-cale,
  And ever in oon without encrees,
  +I-cleped lollers and londlees;
  Who toteth on hem, they been untall.
  They ben arayed all for the pees;                      75
  But falshed, foul mote it befall!

  Many a countrey have I sought,
  To know the falser of these two;
  But ever my travail was for nought,
  All so fer as I have go.                               80
  But as I wandred in a wro,
  In a wode besyde a wall,
  Two foules saw I sitte tho;
  The falser, foul mote him befall!

  That oon did plede on the Popes syde,                  85
  A Griffon of a grim stature.
  A Pellicane withouten pryde
  To these lollers layde his lure;
  He mused his matter in mesure,
  To counsayl Christ ever gan he call.                   90
  The Griffon shewed as sharp as fyre,
  But falshed, foul mote it befall!

  The Pellican began to preche
  Both of mercy and of mekeness;
  And sayd, that "Christ so gan us teche,                95
  And meke and merciable gan bless.
  The Evangely bereth witness
  A lamb, he lykneth Christ over-all,
  In tokening that he mekest was,
  Sith pryde was out of heven fall.                     100

  And so shulde every Christned be;
  Preestes, Peters successours,
  Beth lowlich and of low degree,
  And usen none erthly honours,
  Neyther crown, ne curious cove[r]tours,               105
  Ne +pelure, ne other proudë pall;
  Ne nought to cofren up greet tresours;
  For falshed, foul mote it befall!

  Preest[e]s shuld for no cattel plede,
  But chasten hem in charitè;                           110
  Ne to no batail shuld men lede
  For inhaunsing of hir own degree;
  Nat wilnë sittings in hy see,
  Ne soverayntè in hous ne hall;
  All worldly worship defye and flee;                   115
  For who willeth highnes, foul shal fall!

  Alas! who may such sayntes call
  That wilneth welde erthly honour?
  As lowe as Lucifer such shal fall,
  In baleful blacknesse y-builde hir bour;              120
  That eggeth the people to errour,
  And maketh hem to hem [be] thrall;
  To Christ I hold suche oon traytour,
  As lowe as Lucifer such shal fall.

  That willeth to be kinges peres,                      125
  And hygher than the emperour;
  Some that were but pore freres
  Now wollen waxe a warryour.
  God is nat hir governour,
  That holdeth no man his +peragall;                    130
  Whyl covetyse is hir counsaylour,
  All such falshed mot nedë fall.

  That hye on horse willeth ryde
  In glitterand golde of grete aray,
  I-paynted and portred all in pryde;                   135
  No commun knight may go so gay.
  Chaunge of clothing every day,
  With golden girdles grete and small;
  As boystous as is bere at bay;
  All such falshed mot nedë fall.                       140

  With prydë +punysheth the pore,
  And somë they sustayn with sale;
  Of holy churche maketh an hore,
  And filleth hir wombe with wyne and ale;
  With money filleth many a male,                       145
  And chaffren churches when they fall,
  And telleth the people a lewed tale;
  Such falsë faytours, foul hem fall!

  With chaunge of many maner metes,
  With song and solace sitting long,                    150
  And filleth hir wombë, and fast fretes,
  And from the metë to the gong;
  And after mete with harp and song,
  And ech man mot hem lordes call;
  And hotë spyces ever among;                           155
  Such falsë faytours, foul hem fall!

  And myters mo than oon or two,
  I-perled as the quenes heed;
  A staf of golde, and +perrey, lo!
  As hevy as it were mad of leed;                       160
  With cloth of gold both newe and reed,
  With glitterand +gown as grene as gall,
  By dome will dampnë men to deed;
  All suche faytours, foul hem fall!

  And Christes people proudly curse                     165
  With brode bokes, and braying bell;
  To putte pennyes in hir purse
  They woll sell both heven and hell;
  And in hir sentence, and thou wilt dwell,
  They willen gesse in hir gay hall;                    170
  And though the soth thou of hem tell,
  In greet cursinge shalt thou fall.

  That is blessed, that they blesse,
  And cursed, that they cursë woll;
  And thus the people they oppresse,                    175
  And have their lordshippes at full;
  And many be marchauntes of woll,
  And to purse penyes woll come thrall;
  The porë people they all to-pull,
  Such falsë faytours, foul hem fall!                   180

  Lordes motë to hem loute,
  Obeysaunt to hir brode blessing;
  They ryden with hir royall route
  On a courser, as it were a king;
  With saddle of golde glitt[e]ring                     185
  With curious harneys quayntly crallit,
  Styroppes gaye of gold-mastling;
  All suche falshed, foul befall it!

  Christes ministers +cleped they been,
  And rulen all in robberye;                            190
  But Antichrist they serven clene,
  Attyred all in tyrannye;
  Witnesse of Johns prophecye,
  That Antichrist is hir admirall,
  Tiffelers attyred in trecherye;                       195
  All suche faytours, foul hem fall!

  Who sayth, that some of hem may sinne,
  He shal be +demed to be deed;
  Some of hem woll gladly winne
  All ayenst that which god forbed;                     200
  "All-holyest" they clepen hir heed,
  That of hir rulë is regall;
  Alas! that ever they eten breed;
  For all such falshed woll foul fall.

  Hir heed loveth all honour,                           205
  And to be worshipped in worde and dede;
  Kinges mot to hem knele and coure;
  To the apostles, that Christ forbede;
  To popes hestes such taketh more hede
  Than to kepe Christes commaundëment;                  210
  Of gold and silver mot ben hir wede,
  They holdeth him hole omnipotent.

  He ordayneth by his ordinaunce
  To parish-preestes a powére;
  To another a greter avaunce,                          215
  A greter poynt to his mystere;
  But for he is hyghest in erth here,
  To him reserveth he many a poynt;
  But to Christ, that hath no pere,
  Reserveth he neither opin ne joynt.                   220

  So semeth he above[n] all,
  And Christ aboven him nothing;
  Whan he sitteth in his stall,
  Dampneth and saveth as him think.
  Such pryde tofore god doth stink;                     225
  An angell bad John to him nat knele,
  But only to god do his bowing;
  Such willers of worship must evil fele.

  They ne clepen Christ but _sanctus deus_,
  And clepen her heed _Sanctissimus_;                   230
  They that such a sect[ë] sewis,
  I trowe, they taken hem amisse.
  In erth[ë] here they have hir blisse,
  Hir hye master is Belial;
  +Christ his people from hem wisse!                    235
  For all such falsë will foul fall!

  They mowë both[ë] binde and lose,
  And all is for hir holy lyf;
  To save or dampne they mowë chose,
  Betwene hem now [ther] is gret stryf.                 240
  Many a man is killed with knyf,
  To wete which of hem have lordship shall;
  For such, Christ suffred woundes fyve;
  For all such falshed will foul fall.

  Christ sayd: _Qui gladio percutit_                    245
  With swerdë shall [he surely] dye;
  He bad his preestes pees and grith,
  And bad hem not drede for to dye;
  And bad them be both simple and slye,
  And carkë not for no cattall,                         250
  And +truste on god that sitteth on hye;
  For all [such] falsë shull foul fall.

  These wollen makë men to swere
  Ayenst Christes commaundëment;
  And Christes membres all to-tere                      255
  On rode as he wer newe y-rent.
  Suche lawes they make by commun assent,
  Ech on it choweth as a ball;
  Thus the pore be fully shent,
  But ever falshed foule it +fall!                      260

  They usen [never] no symonye,
  But sellen churches and prioryes;
  Ne [yet] they usen no envye,
  But cursen all hem contraryes;
  And hyreth men by dayes and yeres                     265
  With strength to holde hem in hir stall;
  And culleth all hir adversaryes;
  Therefor, falshed! foul thou fall!

  With purse they purchase personage,
  With purse they paynen hem to plede;                  270
  And men of warrë they woll wage,
  To bringe hir enemyes to the dede.
  And lordes lyves they woll lede,
  And moche take, and give but small;
  But he it so get, from it shall shede,                275
  And make such falsë right foul fal!

  They halowe nothing but for hyre,
  Churchë, font, ne vestëment;
  And make[n] orders in every shyre,
  But preestes paye for the parchement;                 280
  Of ryatours they taken rent,
  Therwith they smere the shepes skall;
  For many churches ben oft suspent;
  All such falshed, yet foul it fall!

  Some liveth nat in lecherye,                          285
  But haunten wenches, widdowes, and wyves,
  And punisheth the pore for putrye;
  Them-selfe it useth all their lyves.
  And but a man to them [him] shryves,
  To heven comë never he shall;                         290
  He shal be cursed as be captyves,
  To hell they sayn that he shall fall.

  There was more mercy in Maximien,
  And in Nero, that never was good,
  Than [there] is now in some of +hem                   295
  Whan he hath on his furred hood.
  They folowe Christ that shedde his blood
  To heven, as bucket in-to the wall;
  Suche wreches ben worse than wood;
  And all such faytours, foule hem fall!                300

  They give hir almesse to the riche,
  To maynteynours, and to men of lawe;
  For to lordes they woll be liche,
  An harlottes sone nat worth an hawe!
  Sothfastnessë suche han slawe,                        305
  They kembe hir crokets with cristall;
  And drede of god they have down drawe;
  All suche faytours, foul hem fall!

  They maken parsons for the penny,
  And canons of hir cardinals;                          310
  Unnethes amongest hem all any
  That he ne hath glosed the gospell fals!
  For Christ made never no cathedrals,
  Ne with him was no cardinall
  Wyth a reed hatte as usen mynstrals;                  315
  But falshed, foul mote it befall!

  +Hir tything, and hir offring both,
  They cle[y]meth it by possessio[u]n;
  Thérof nill they none forgo,
  But robben men as [by] raunsoun.                      320
  The tything of _Turpe lucrum_
  With these maisters is meynall;
  Tything of bribry and larson
  Will makë falshed full foul fall!

  They taken to fermë hir sompnours                     325
  To harme the people what they may;
  To pardoners and false faytours
  Sell hir seles, I dar well say;
  And all to holden greet array,
  To multiply hem more metall,                          330
  They drede full litell domes day
  Whan all such [falsë] shall foul fall.

  Suche harlottes shull men disclaunder
  For they shullen make hir gree,
  And ben as proude as Alexaunder,                      335
  And sayn to the pore, "wo be ye!"
  By yere ech preest shall paye his fee
  To encrese his lemmans call;
  Suche herdes shull well yvell thee,
  And all such falsë shull foul fall!                   340

  And if a man be falsly famed,
  And woldë make purgacioun,
  Than woll the officers be agramed,
  And assigne him fro town to town;
  So nede he must[e] paye raunsoun                      345
  Though he be clene as is cristall,
  And than have an absolutioun;
  But all such falsë shull foul fall!

  Though he be gilty of the dede,
  And that he [yet] may money pay,                      350
  All the whyle his purse woll blede
  He may use it fro day to day!
  These bishoppes officers goon full gay,
  And this game they usen over-all;
  The pore to pill is all +hir pray;                    355
  All such falsë shull foul fall!

  Alas! god ordayned never such lawe,
  Ne no such craft of covetyse;
  He forbad it, by his sawe,
  Such governours mowen of god agryse;                  360
  For all his rules +ben rightwyse.
  These newe poyntes ben pure papall,
  And goddes lawë they dispyse;
  And all such faytours shul foul fall!

  They sayn that Peter had the key                      365
  Of hevin and hell, to have and hold;
  I trowe Peter took no money
  For no sinnes that he sold!
  Such successours ben to bold,
  In winning all their wit they wrall;                  370
  Hir conscience is waxen cold;
  And all such faytours, foule hem fall!

  Peter was never so great a fole
  To leve his key with such a lorell,
  Or to take such cursed such a tole                    375
  He was advysed nothing well.
  I trowe, they have the key of hell;
  +Hir maister is of that place marshall;
  For there they dressen hem to dwell,
  And with fals Lucifer there to fall.                  380

  They ben as proude as Lucifer,
  As angry, and as envious;
  From good fayth they ben full fer,
  In covetyse they ben curious;
  To catche catell as covytous                          385
  As hound, that for hunger woll yall;
  Ungoodly, and ungracious;
  And nedely, such falshed shal foul fall!

  The pope, and he were Peters heyr,
  Me think, he erreth in this cas,                      390
  Whan choyse of bishoppes is in dispeyr,
  To chosen hem in dyvers place;
  A lord shall write to him for grace,
  For his clerke +pray anon he shall;
  So shall he spede[n] his purchas;                     395
  And all such falsë, foule hem fall!

  Though he +conne no more good,
  A lordes prayer shal be sped;
  Though he be wild of will or wood,
  Nat understanding what men han red,                   400
  A boster, and (that god forbede!)
  As good a bishop +as my hors Ball,
  Suche a pope is foule be-sted,
  And at [the] lastë woll foul fall!

  He maketh bishops for erthly thank,                   405
  And nothing for Christes sake;
  Such that ben ful fatte and rank,
  To soulë hele non hede they take.
  Al is well don what ever they make,
  For they shal answere at +ones for all;               410
  For worldes thank, such worch and wake,
  And all such falsë shall foul fall!

  Suche that +connë nat hir Crede
  With prayer shull be mad prelates;
  Nother +conne the gospell rede,                       415
  Such shull now welde hye estates.
  The hye goodes frendship hem makes,
  They toteth on hir somme totall;
  Such bere the keyes of hell-yates,
  And all such falsë shall foul fall.                   420

  They forsake, for Christes love,
  Traveyl, hunger, thurst, and cold;
  For they ben ordred ever all above
  Out of youthe til they ben old.
  By the dore they go nat in-to the fold,               425
  To helpe +hir sheep they nought travall;
  Hyred men all suche I holde,
  And all such falsë, foule hem fall!

  For Christ hir king they woll forsake,
  And knowe him nought for his povert;                  430
  For Christes lovë they woll wake,
  And drink pyment [and] ale apart.
  Of god they seme nothing a-ferd;
  As lusty liveth, as Lamuall,
  And dryve hir sheep into desert;                      435
  All such faytours shull foul fall!

  Christ hath twelve apostels here;
  Now say they, ther may be but oon,
  That may nat erre in no manere;
  Who leveth nat this, ben lost echoon!                 440
  Peter erred, so dide nat John;
  Why is he cleped the principall?
  Christ cleped him Peter, but himself the stoon;
  All falsë faytours, foule hem fall!

  Why cursen they the croysery,                         445
  Christes Christen crëatures?
  For bytwene hem is now envy
  To be enhaunsed in honours.
  And Christen livers, with hir labours,
  For they leve on no man mortall,                      450
  +Ben do to dethe with dishonours;
  And all such falsë, foule hem fall!

  What knoweth a tillour at the plow
  The popes name, and what he hat?
  His crede suffyseth him y-now,                        455
  And knoweth a cardinall by his hat.
  Rough is the pore, unrightly lat,
  That knoweth Christ his god royall;
  Such maters be nat worth a gnat;
  But such false faytours, foule hem fall!              460

  A king shall knele and kisse his sho;
  Christ suffred a sinfull kisse his feet.
  Me thinketh, he holdeth him hye y-now,
  So Lucifer did, that hye +seet.
  Such oon, me thinketh, him-self foryet,               465
  Either to the trouth he was nat call;
  Christ, that suffred woundes wet,
  Shall makë such falshed foul fall!

  They layeth out hir largë nettes
  For to take silver and gold,                          470
  Fillen coffers, and sackes fettes,
  There-as they soules cacche shold.
  Hir servaunts be to +hem unhold,
  But they can doublin +hir rentall
  To bigge hem castels, and bigge hem hold;             475
  And all such falsë, foule hem fall!


              PART II.

  To accorde with this wordë "fal"
  No more English can I find;
  Shewe another now I shall,
  For I have moche to say behind,                       480
  How preestes han the people pynd,
  As curteys Christ hath me [y-]kend,
  And put this matter in my mind
  To make this maner men amend.

  Shortly to shende hem, and shewe now                  485
  How wrongfully they worche and walke;
  O hye god, nothing they tell, ne how,
  But in goddes word, +tell many a balke.
  In hernes holde hem and in halke,
  And prechin of tythes and offrend,                    490
  And untruely of the gospell talke;
  For his mercy, god it amend!

  What is Antichrist to say
  But evin Christes adversáry?
  Such hath now ben many a day                          495
  To Christes bidding full contráry,
  That from the trouthë clenë vary;
  Out of the wayë they ben wend;
  And Christes people untruely cary;
  God, for his pitè, it amend!                          500

  That liven contráry to Christes lyf,
  In hye pride agaynst mekenesse;
  Agaynst suffraunce they usen stryf,
  And angre ayenst sobrenesse;
  Agaynst wisdom, wilfulnesse;                          505
  To Christes tales litell tend;
  Agaynst mesúre, outragiousnesse;
  But whan god woll, it may amend!

  Lordly lyf ayenst lowlinesse,
  And demin all without mercy;                          510
  And covetyse ayenst largesse,
  Agaynst trewth[e], trechery;
  And agaynst almesse, envy;
  Agaynst Christ they comprehend.
  For chastitè, they maynteyn lechery;                  515
  God, for his gracë, this amend!

  Ayenst penaunce they use delytes,
  Ayenst suffraunce, strong defence;
  Ayenst god they use yvel rightes,
  Agaynst pitè, punishments;                            520
  Open yvell ayenst continence;
  Hir wicked winning wors dispend;
  Sobrenesse they sette in-to dispence;
  But god, for his goodnesse, it amend!

  Why cleymen they hoolly his powére,                   525
  And wranglen ayenst all his hestes?
  His living folowen they nothing here,
  But liven wors than witles beestes.
  Of fish and flesh they loven feestes,
  As lordes, they ben brode y-kend;                     530
  Of goddes pore they haten gestes;
  God, for his mercy, this amend!

  With +Dives such shall have hir doom
  That sayn that they be Christes frendes,
  And do nothing as they shuld doon;                    535
  All such ben falser than ben fendes.
  On the people they ley such bendes,
  As god is in erthe, they han offend;
  Sucour for suchë Christ now sende us.
  And, for his mercy, this amend!                       540

  A token of Antichrist they be,
  His careckes ben now wyde y-know;
  Receyved to preche shall no man be
  Without[ë] token of him, I trow.
  Ech Christen preest to prechen ow,                    545
  From god abovë they ben send.
  Goddes word to all folk for to show,
  Sinfull man for to amend.

  Christ sente the pore for to preche;
  The royall riche he did nat so;                       550
  Now dar no pore the people teche,
  For Antichrist is over-all hir fo.
  Among the people he mot go;
  He hath bidden, all such suspend;
  Some hath he hent, and thinketh yet mo;               555
  But all this god may well amend.

  All tho that han the world forsake,
  And liven lo[w]ly, as god bad,
  In-to hir prison shullen be take,
  Betin and bounden, and forth lad.                     560
  Herof I rede no man be drad;
  Christ sayd, his [servaunts] shulde be shend;
  Ech man ought herof be glad;
  For god ful well it woll amend.

  They take on hem royáll powére,                       565
  And saye, they havë swerdes two,
  Oon curse to hell, oon slee men here;
  For at his taking Christ had no mo,
  Yet Peter had [that] oon of tho.
  But Christ to Peter smyte gan defend,                 570
  And in-to the sheth bad putte it tho;
  And all such mischeves god amend!

  Christ bad Peter kepe his sheep,
  And with his swerde forbad him smyte;
  Swerd is no tole with sheep to kepe                   575
  But to shep[h]erdes that sheep woll byte.
  Me thinketh, suche shep[h]erdes ben to wyte
  Ayen hir sheep with swerd that contend;
  They dryve hir sheep with greet dispyte;
  But al this god may well amend.                       580

  So successours to Peter be they nought
  Whom [that] Christ madë cheef pastour;
  A swerd no shep[h]erde usen ought
  But he wold slee as a bochour.
  For who-so were Peters successour                     585
  Shuld bere his sheep till his bak bend,
  And shadowe hem from every shour;
  And all this god may wel amend.

  Successours to Peter ben these
  In that that Peter Christ forsook,                    590
  That had lever the love of god [to] lese
  Than a shep[h]erde had to lese his hook.
  He culleth the sheep as doth the cook;
  Of hem [they] taken the woll untrend,
  And falsely glose the gospell-book;                   595
  God, for his mercy, +hem amend!

  After Christ had take Peter the kay,
  Christ sayd, he mustë dye for man;
  That Peter to Christ gan withsay;
  Christ bad him, 'go behind, Sathan!'                  600
  Such counsaylours many of these men han
  For worldes wele, god to offend;
  Peters successours they ben for-than,
  But all such god may well amend.

  For Sathan is to say no more                          605
  But he that contrary to Christ is;
  In this they lernë Peters lore,
  They sewen him whan he did mis;
  They folowe Peter forsothe in this,
  In al that Christ wolde +him reprende,                610
  Nat in that that longeth to hevin blis;
  God for his mercy hem amend!

  Some of the apostels they sewen in cas,
  Of ought that I can understonde,
  Him that betrayed Christ, Judas,                      615
  That bar the purse in every londe;
  And al that he might sette on honde,
  He hidde and stal, and [gan] mispend;
  His rule these traytours han in honde;
  Almighty god [now] hem amend!                         620

  And at last his lord gan tray
  Cursedly, through his covetyse;
  So wolde these trayen him for money,
  And they wisten in what wyse!
  They be seker of the selfe ensyse;                    625
  From all sothnesse they ben frend;
  And covetyse chaungen with queyntyse;
  Almighty god all suche amend!

  Were Christ on erthë here eft-soon,
  These wolde dampnë him to dye;                        630
  All his hestes they han fordon,
  And sayn, his sawes ben heresy;
  Ayenst his +maundëments they cry,
  And dampne all his to be [y-]brend;
  For it lyketh nat hem, such losengery;                635
  God almighty hem amend!

  These han more might in England here
  Than hath the king and all his lawe,
  They han purchased hem such powére
  To taken hem whom [they] list nat knawe;              640
  And say, that heresy is hir sawe,
  And so to prison woll hem send;
  It was nat so by elder dawe,
  God, for his mercy, it amend!

  The kinges lawe wol no man deme                       645
  Angerliche, withouten answere;
  But, if any man these misqueme,
  He shal be baited as a bere;
  And yet wel wors they woll him tere,
  And in prisón woll hem [be] pend                      650
  In gyves, and in other gere;
  Whan god woll, it may [a]mend.

  The king taxeth nat his men
  But by assent of the comminaltè;
  But these, ech yere, woll raunsom hem                 655
  Maysterfully, more than doth he;
  Hir seles, by yerë, better be
  Than is the kinges in extend;
  Hir officers han gretter fee;
  But this mischeef [may] god amend!                    660

  For who-so woll prove a testament
  Thát is natt all worth ten pound,
  He shall paye for the parchëment
  The third part of the money all round.
  Thus the people is raunsound,                         665
  They say, such part to hem shulde apend;
  There as they grypen, it goth to ground;
  God, for his mercy, it amend!

  A simple fornicacioun,
  Twenty shillings he shall pay;                        670
  And than have an absolucioun,
  And al the yere usen it forth he may!
  Thus they letten hem go a-stray,
  They recke nat though the soul be brend;
  These kepin yvell Peters key,                         675
  And all such shep[h]erdes god amend!

  Wonder is, that the parliament
  And all the lordes of this lond
  Here-to taken so litell entent
  To helpe the people out of hir hond;                  680
  For they ben harder in +hir bond,
  Wors bete[n] and [more] bitter brend
  Than to the king is understond;
  God him helpe this to amend!

  What bisshoppes, what religio[u]ns                    685
  Han in this lande as moch lay-fee,
  Lordshippes, and possessio[u]ns
  More than the lordes, it semeth me!
  That maketh hem lese charitè,
  They mowë nat to god attend;                          690
  In erthe they have so high degree,
  God, for his mercy, it amend!

  The emperour yaf the pope somtyme
  So hyghe lordship him about,
  That, at [the] laste, the sely kyme,                  695
  The proudë popë putte him out!
  So of this realme is in dout,
  But lordes be ware and +hem defend;
  For now these folk be wonder stout,
  The king and lordes now this amend!                   700

                  FOLOWETH THE THIRDE.

              PART III.

  Moyses lawe forbood it tho,
  That preestes shuld no lordshippes welde,
  Christes gospel biddeth also
  Thát they shuld no lordship helde;
  Ne Christes apostels were never so bold               705
  No such lordshippes to +hem enbrace;
  But smeren hir sheep and kepe hir fold;
  God amende hem for his grace!

  For they ne ben but countrefet,
  Men may knowe hem by hir fruit;                       710
  Hir gretnesse maketh hem god foryet,
  And take his mekenesse in dispyt.
  And they were pore and had but lyte,
  They nolde nat demen after the face,
  But norishe hir sheep, and hem nat byte;              715
  God amende hem for his grace!"

    GRIFON. "What canst thou preche ayenst chanons
  Thát men clepen seculere?"
    PELICAN. "They ben curates of many towns,
  On erthë they have greet powére.                      720
  They han greet prebendes and dere,
  Some two or three, and some [han] mo,
  A personage to ben a playing-fere,
  And yet they serve the king also;

  And let to fermë all that fare                        725
  To whom that woll most give therfore;
  Some woll spende, and some woll spare,
  And some woll laye it up in store.
  A cure of soule[s] they care nat for,
  Só they mowë money take;                              730
  Whether hir soules be wonne or lore,
  Hir profits they woll nat forsake.

  They have a gedering procuratour
  That can the pore people enplede,
  And robben hem as a ravinour,                         735
  And to his lord the money lede;
  And cacche of quicke and eke of dede,
  And richen him and his lord eke,
  And to robbe the pore can give good rede
  Of olde and yonge, of hole and seke.                  740

  Therwith they purchase hem lay-fee
  In londë, there hem lyketh best,
  And builde +als brode as a citè
  Both in the est, and eke in the west.
  To purchase thus they ben ful prest,                  745
  But on the pore they woll nought spend,
  Ne no good give to goddes gest,
  Ne sende him some that all hath send.

  By hir service such woll live,
  And trusse that other in-to tresour;                  750
  Though all hir parish dye unshrive,
  They woll nat give a rosë-flour.
  Hir lyf shuld be as a mirrour
  Bothe to lered and to leude also,
  And teche the people hir leel labour;                 755
  Such mister men ben all misgo.

  Some of hem ben hardë nigges,
  And some of hem ben proude and gay;
  Some spende hir good upon [hir] gigges,
  And finden hem of greet aray.                         760
  Alas! what think these men to say
  That thus dispenden goddis good?
  At the dredfull domes day
  Such wrecches shul be worse than wood.

  Some hir churc[h]es never ne sye,                     765
  Ne never o peny thider ne sende;
  Though the pore parishens for hunger dye,
  O peny on hem wil they nat spende.
  Have they receivinge of the rent,
  They reck never of the remënant;                      770
  Alas! the devill hath clene hem blent!
  Suche oon is Sathanas sojournant.

  And usen horedom and harlotry,
  Covetysë, pompe, and pride,
  Slouthë, wrathe, and eke envy,                        775
  And sewen sinne by every syde.
  Alas! where thinkë such t'abyde?
  How woll they accomptes yeld?
  From hy god they mow hem nat hyde,
  Such willers wit is nat worth a neld.                 780

  They ben so roted in richesse,
  That Christes povert is foryete,
  Served with so many messe,
  Hem thinketh that manna is no mete.
  All is good that they mow get,                        785
  They wenë to live evermore;
  But, whan god at dome is set,
  Such tresour is a feble store.

  Unneth mot they matins say,
  For counting and for court-holding;                   790
  And yet he jangleth as a jay,
  And understont him-self nothing.
  He woll serve bothe erl and king
  For his fynding and his fee,
  And hyde his tything and his offring;                 795
  This is a feble charitè.

  Other they ben proude, or coveytous,
  Or they ben harde, or [els] hungry,
  Or they ben liberall or lecherous,
  Or els medlers with marchandry;                       800
  Or maynteyners of men with maistry,
  Or stewardes, countours, or pledours,
  And serve god in hypocrisy;
  Such preestes ben Christes fals traytours!

  They ben false, they ben vengeable,                   805
  And begylen men in Christes name;
  They ben unstedfast and unstable;
  To tray hir lord, hem thinketh no shame.
  To servë god they ben full lame,
  Goddes theves, and falsly stele;                      810
  And falsly goddes word defame;
  In winning is hir worldes wele.

  Antichrist these serven all;
  I pray thee, who may say [me] nay?
  With Antichrist such [folk] shull fall,               815
  They folowen him in dede and fay;
  They servin him in riche array,
  To servë Christ such falsly fayn;
  Why, at the dredful domes day,
  Shull they not folowe him to payn?                    820

  That knowen hem-self, that they don ill
  Ayenst Christes commaundëment,
  And amende hem never ne will,
  But serve Sathan by one assent.
  Who sayth [the] sothe, he shal be shent,              825
  Or speketh ayenst hir fals living;
  Who-so well liveth shal be brent,
  For such ben gretter than the king!

  Pope, bishoppes, and cardinals,
  Chanons, persons, and vicaire,                        830
  In goddes service, I trow, ben fals,
  That sacramentës sellen here.
  And ben as proude as Lucifere;
  Ech man loke whether that I ly!
  Who-so speketh ayenst hir powére,                     835
  It shall be holden heresy.

  Loke how many orders take
  Only of Christ, for his servyce,
  That the worldes goodes forsake?
  Who-so taketh orders +on other wyse,                  840
  I trow, that they shall sore agryse!
  For all the glose that they conne,
  All sewen not this [same] assyse;
  In yvell tyme they thus bigonne.

  Loke how many among hem all                           845
  Holden not this hyë way!
  With Antichrist they shullen fall,
  For they wolden god betray.
  God amende hem, that best may!
  For many men they maken shende;                       850
  They weten well, the sothe I say,
  Bút the divell hath foule hem blend.

  Some [up]on hir churches dwell,
  Apparailled porely, proude of port;
  The seven sacraments they don sell,                   855
  In cattel-cacching is hir comfort.
  Of ech mattér they wollen mell,
  And don hem wrong is hir disport;
  To afray the people they ben fell,
  And holde hem lower then doth the lord.               860

  For the tythinge of a ducke,
  Or of an apple, or an ay,
  They make men swere upon a boke;
  Thus they foulen Christes fay.
  Such beren yvell heven-kay,                           865
  They mowen assoyl, they mowë shryve;
  With mennes wyves strongly play,
  With trewë tillers sturte and stryve

  At the wrestling, and at the wake;
  And chefe chauntours at the nale;                     870
  Market-beters, and medling make,
  Hoppen and houten with heve and hale.
  At fayrë freshe, and at wynë stale,
  Dyne and drinke, and make debat;
  The seven sacraments set at sale;                     875
  How kepe such the kayes of heven-gat?

  Mennes wyves they wollen holde;
  And though that they ben right sory,
  To speke they shull not be so bolde
  For sompning to the consistory;                       880
  And make hem say [with] mouth "I ly,"
  Though they it sawë with hir y;
  His lemman holden openly,
  No man so hardy to axë why!

  He wol have tythinge and offringe,                    885
  Maugrè who-so-ever it gruche;
  And twyës on the day woll singe;
  Goddes prestes nere none suche!
  He mot on hunting with dogge and bic[c]he,
  And blowen his horn, and cryën "hey!"                 890
  And sorcery usen as a wicche;
  Such kepen yvell Peters key.

  Yet they mot have som stocke or stoon
  Gayly paynted, and proudly dight,
  To maken men [to] +leven upon,                        895
  And say, that it is full of might;
  About such, men sette up greet light,
  Other such stockes shull stand therby
  As darkë as it were midnight,
  For it may make no ma[i]stry.                         900

  That lewed people see it mow,
  Thou, Mary, worchest wonder thinges;
  About that, that men offren to now,
  Hongen broches, ouches, and ringes;
  The preest purchaseth the offringes,                  905
  But he nill offre to none image;
  Wo is the soule that he for singes,
  That precheth for suche a pilgrimage!

  To men and women that ben pore,
  That ben [in] Christes own lykenesse,                 910
  Men shullen offre at hir dore
  That suffren honger and distresse;
  And to suche imáges offre lesse,
  That mow not felë thurst ne cold;
  The pore in spirit gan Christ blesse,                 915
  Therfore offreth to feble and old.

  Buckelers brode, and swerdes longe,
  +Baudriks, with baselardes kene,
  Such toles about hir necke they honge;
  With Antichrist such preestes been;                   920
  Upon hir dedes it is well sene
  Whom they serven, whom they hono[u]ren;
  Antichristes they ben clene,
  And goddes goodes fa[l]sly deuouren.

  Of scarlet and grene gay[ë] gownes,                   925
  That mot be shapë for the newe,
  To clippen and kissen counten in townes
  The damoseles that to the daunce sewe;
  Cutted clothes to sewe hir hewe,
  With longë pykes on hir shoon;                        930
  Our goddes gospell is not trewe,
  Eyther they serven the divell or noon!

  Now ben prestes pokes so wyde,
  Men must enlarge the vestëment;
  The holy gospell they don hyde,                       935
  For they contrarien in rayment.
  Such preestes of Lucifer ben sent,
  Lyk conquerours they ben arayd,
  Proude pendaunts at hir ars y-pent,
  Falsly the truthe they han betrayd.                   940

  Shryft-silver suchë wollen aske is,
  And woll men crepë to the crouche;
  None of the sacraments, save askes,
  Without[ë] mede shall no man touche.
  On hir bishop their warant vouche,                    945
  That is lawe of the decrè;
  With mede and money thus they mouche,
  And +this, they sayn, is charitè!

  In the middes of hir masse
  They nill have no man but for hyre,                   950
  And, full shortly, let forth passe;
  Such shull men finde[n] in ech shyre
  That personages for profite desyre,
  To live in lykinge and in lustes;
  I dar not sayn, _sans ose ieo dyre_,                  955
  That such ben Antichristes preestes.

  Or they yef the bishops why,
  Or they mot ben in his servyce,
  And holden forth hir harlotry;
  Such prelats ben of feble empryse.                    960
  Of goddes grame such men agryse,
  For such mattérs that taken mede;
  How they excuse hem, and in what wyse,
  Me thinketh, they ought greetly drede.

  They sayn, that it to no man longeth                  965
  To reprove +hem, though they erre;
  But falsely goddes good they fongeth,
  And therwith maynteyn wo and werre.
  Hir dedes shuld be as bright as sterre,
  Hir living, lewed mannes light;                       970
  They say, the popë may not erre,
  Nede must that passë mannes might.

  Though a prest ly with his lemman al night,
  And tellen his felowe, and he him,
  He goth to massë anon-right,                          975
  And sayeth, he singeth out of sinne!
  His bryde abydeth him at his inne,
  And dighteth his dyner the mene whyle;
  He singeth his masse for he wolde winne,
  And so he weneth god begyle!                          980

  Hem thinketh long till they be met;
  And that they usen forth all the yere;
  Among the folk when he is set,
  He holdeth no man half his pere;
  Of the bishop he hath powére                          985
  To soyle men, or els they ben lore;
  His absolucion may make +hem skere;
  And wo is the soul that he singeth for!"

  The Griffon began for to threte,
  And sayd, "of monkes canst thou ought?"               990
    The Pellican sayd, "they ben full grete,
  And in this world moch wo hath wrought.
  Saynt Benet, that hir order brought,
  Ne made hem never on such manere;
  I trowe, it cam never in his thought                  995
  That they shulde use so greet powér[e];

  That a man shulde a monk lord cal,
  Ne serve on kneës, as a king.
  He is as proud as prince in pall
  In mete, and drink, and [in] all thing;              1000
  Some weren myter and ring,
  With double worsted well y-dight,
  With royall mete and riche drink,
  And rydeth on courser as a knight.

  With hauke[s] and with houndes eke,                  1005
  With broches or ouches on his hode,
  Some say no masse in all a weke,
  Of deyntees is hir moste fode.
  With lordshippes and with bondmen
  This is a royall religioun;                          1010
  Saynt Benet made never none of hem
  To have lordship of man ne town.

  Now they ben queynte and curious,
  With fyn cloth cladde, and served clene,
  Proude, angry, and envyous,                          1015
  Malyce is mochë that they mene.
  In cacching crafty and covetous,
  Lordly liven in greet lyking;
  This living is not religious
  According to Benet in his living.                    1020

  They ben clerkes, hir courtes they oversee,
  Hir pore tenaunts fully they flyte;
  The hyer that a man amerced be,
  The gladlyer they woll it wryte.
  This is fer from Christes povertè,                   1025
  For all with covetyse they endyte;
  On the pore they have no pitè,
  Ne never hem cherish, but ever hem byte.

  And comunly suche ben comen
  Of pore people, and of hem begete,                   1030
  That this perfeccion han y-nomen;
  Hir +faders ryde not but on hir fete,
  And travaylen sore for that they ete,
  In povert liveth, yonge and old;
  Hir +faders suffreth drought and wete,               1035
  Many hongry meles, thurst, and cold.

  All this the monkes han forsake
  For Christes love and saynt Benet;
  To pryde and esë have hem take;
  This religio[u]n is yvell beset.                     1040
  Had they ben out of religioun,
  They must have honged at the plow,
  Threshing and dyking fro town to town
  With sory mete, and not half y-now.

  Therfore they han this all forsake,                  1045
  And taken to riches, pryde, and ese;
  Full fewe for god woll monkes hem make,
  Litell is suche order for to prayse!
  Saynt Benet ordayned it not so,
  But bad hem be [ful] cherelich;                      1050
  In churlich maner live and go,
  Boystous in erth, and not lordlych.

  They disclaunder saynt Benet,
  Therfore they have his holy curse;
  Saynt Benet with hem never met                       1055
  But-if they thought to robbe his purse!
  I can no more herof [now] tell,
  But they ben lykë tho before,
  And clenë serve the divell of hell,
  And ben his tresour and his store.                   1060

  And all suche other counterfaytours,
  Chanons, canons, and such disgysed,
  Ben goddes enemies and traytours,
  His true religion han foul dispysed.
  Of freres I have told before                         1065
  In a making of a 'Crede,'
  And yet I coud tell worse and more,
  But men wold werien it to rede!

  As goddes goodnes no man tell might,
  Wryte ne speke, ne think in thought,                 1070
  So, hir falshed and hir unright
  May no man tell, that ever god wrought."
    The Gryffon sayd, "thou canst no good,
  Thou cam never of no gentill kind;
  Other, I trow, thou waxest wood,                     1075
  Or els thou hast [y-]lost thy mynd.

  Shuld holy churchë have no heed?
  Who shuld be her governayl?
  Who shuld her rule, who shuld her reed,
  Who shuld her forthren, who shuld avayl?             1080
  Ech man shall live by his travayl;
  Who best doth, shall have moste mede;
  With strength if men the churche assayl,
  With strength men must defende her nede.

  And the pope were purely pore,                       1085
  Nedy, and nothing ne had,
  He shuld be driven from dore to dore;
  The wicked of him nold not be drad.
  Of such an heed men wold be sad,
  And sinfully liven as hem +list;                     1090
  With strength, amendes +shuld be made,
  With wepen, wolves from sheep be +wist.

  If the pope and prelats wold
  So begge and bidde, bowe, and borowe,
  Holy churche shuld stand full cold,                  1095
  Hir servaunts sitte and soupë sorowe!
  And they were noughty, foule, and horowe,
  To worship god men woldë wlate;
  Bothe on even and on morowe
  Such harlotry men woldë hate.                        1100

  Therfore men of holy churche
  Shuld ben honest in all thing,
  Worshipfully goddes workes werche,
  So semeth it, to serve Christ hir king
  In honest and in clene clothing;                     1105
  With vessels of golde and clothes riche,
  To god honestly to make offring;
  To his lordship non is liche."

  The Pellican caste an houge cry,
  And sayd, "alas! why sayest thou so?                 1110
  Christ is our heed that sitteth on hy,
  Heddes ne ought we have no mo.
  We ben his membres both also,
  And +fader he taught us to cal him als;
  Maysters be called defended he tho;                  1115
  All other maysters ben wicked and fals,

  That taketh maystry in his name,
  Gostly, and for erthly good;
  Kinges and lordes shuld lordship han,
  And rule the people with myldë mode.                 1120
  Christ, for us that shedde his blood,
  Bad his preestes no maystership have,
  Ne carkë nat for cloth ne fode;
  From every mischef he will hem save.

  Hir riche clothing shal be rightwysnesse,            1125
  Hir tresour, trewë lyf shal be;
  Charitè shal be hir richesse,
  Hir lordship shal be unitè;
  Hope in god, hir honestè;
  Hir vessell, clenë conscience;                       1130
  Pore in spirit, and humilitè,
  Shal be holy churches defence."

  "What," sayd the Griffon, "may thee greve
  That other folkes faren wele?
  What hast thou to donë with hir +leve?               1135
  Thy falsheed ech man may fele.
  For thou canst no catell gete,
  But livest in londe, as a lorell,
  With glosing gettest thou thy mete;
  So fareth the devell that wonneth in hell.           1140

  He wold that ech man ther shuld dwell,
  For he liveth in clene envy;
  So with the tales that thou doest tell
  Thou woldest other people distry,
  With your glose, and your heresy,                    1145
  For ye can live no better lyf,
  But clenë in hypocrisy,
  And bringest thee in wo and stryf.

  And therwith have [ye] not to done,
  For ye ne have[n] here no cure;                      1150
  Ye serve the divell, +not god ne man,
  And he shall payë you your hyre.
  For ye woll farë well at feestes,
  And warm [be] clothed for the colde,
  Therfore ye glose goddes hestes,                     1155
  And begyle the people, yonge and olde.

  And all the seven sacraments
  Ye speke ayenst, as ye were sly,
  Ayenst tythings with your entents,
  And on our lordes body falsly ly.                    1160
  All this ye don to live in ese,
  As who sayeth, ther ben non suche;
  And sayn, the pope is not worth a pese,
  To make the people ayen him gruche.

  And this commeth in by fendes,                       1165
  To bringe the Christen in distaunce;
  For they wold that no man were frendes;
  Leve thy chattring, with mischaunce!
  If thou live well, what wilt thou more?
  Let other men live as hem list;                      1170
  Spende in good, or kepe in store;
  Other mennes conscience never thou nist.

  Ye han no cure to answere for;
  What meddell ye, that han not to don?
  Let men live as they han don yore,                   1175
  For thou shalt answere for no +mon."
    The Pellican sayd, "Sir, nay, [nay],
  I dispysed not the pope,
  Ne no sacrament, soth to say;
  But speke in charitè and good hope.                  1180

  But I dispyse hir hyë pryde,
  Hir richesse, that shuld be pore in spryt;
  Hir wickednesse is knowe so wyde,
  They servë god in fals habyt;
  And turnen mekenesse into pryde,                     1185
  And lowlinesse into hy degrè,
  And goddes wordes turne and hyde;
  And that am I moved by charitè

  To lettë men to livë so
  With all my conning and al my might,                 1190
  And to warne men of hir wo
  And to tell hem trouth and right.
  The sacraments be soulë-hele
  If they ben used in good use;
  Ayenst that speke I never a del,                     1195
  For then were I nothing wyse.

  But they that use hem in mis manére,
  Or sette hem up to any sale,
  I trow, they shall abye hem dere;
  This is my reson, this is my tale.                   1200
  Who-so taketh hem unrightfulliche
  Ayenst the ten commaundëments,
  Or by glosë wrechedliche
  Selleth any of the sacraments,

  I trow, they do the devell homage                    1205
  In that they weten they do wrong;
  And therto, I dar well wage,
  They serven Satan for al her song.
  To tythen and offren is hoolsom lyf,
  So it be don in dew manére;                          1210
  A man to houselin and to shryve,
  Wedding, and all the other in-fere,

  So it be nother sold ne bought,
  Ne take ne give for covetyse;
  And it be so taken, it is nought;                    1215
  Who selleth hem so, may sore agryse.
  On our Lordes body I do not ly,
  I say soth, thorow trewë rede,
  His flesh and blood, through his mystry,
  Is there, in the forme of brede.                     1220

  How it is there, it nedeth not stryve,
  Whether it be subget or accident,
  But as Christ was, when he was on-lyve,
  So is he there, verament.
  If pope or cardinall live good lyve,                 1225
  As Christ commaunded in his gospell,
  +Ayenës that woll I not stryve;
  But, me thinketh, they live not well.

  For if the pope lived as god bede,
  Pryde and hyghnesse he shuld dispyse,                1230
  Richesse, covetyse, and crowne on hede,
  Mekenesse and povert he shulde use."
    The Gryffon sayd, he shulde abye--
  "Thou shal[t] be brent in balefull fyre;
  And all thy secte I shall distrye,                   1235
  Ye shal be hanged by the swyre!

  Ye shullen be hanged and to-drawe.
  Who giveth you levë for to preche,
  Or speke +agaynës goddes lawe,
  And the people thus falsly teche?                    1240
  Thou shalt be cursed with boke and bell,
  And dissevered from holy churche,
  And clene y-dampned into hell,
  Otherwyse but ye woll worche!"

    The Pellican sayd, "that I ne drede;               1245
  Your cursinge is of litell value;
  Of god I hope to have my mede,
  For it is falshed that ye shewe.
  For ye ben out of charitè
  And wilneth vengeaunce, as did Nero;                 1250
  To suffren I woll redy be;
  I drede not that thou canst do.

  Christ bad ones suffre for his love,
  And so he taught all his servaunts;
  And but thou amend for his sake above,               1255
  I drede not all thy mayntenaunce.
  For if I drede the worldes hate,
  Me thinketh, I were litell to prayse;
  I drede nothing your hye estat,
  Ne I drede not your disese.                          1260

  Wolde ye turne and leve your pryde,
  Your hyë port, and your richesse,
  Your cursing shuld not go so wyde;
  God bring you into rightwysnesse!
  For I drede not your tyranny,                        1265
  For nothing that ye can doon;
  To suffre I am all redy,
  Siker, I recke never how soon!"

  The Griffon grinned as he were wood,
  And loked lovely as an owle!                         1270
  And swor, by cockes hertë blood,
  He wolde him terë, every doule!
  "Holy churche thou disclaundrest foule!
  For thy resons I woll thee all to-race;
  And make thy flesh to rote and moule;                1275
  Losell, thou shalt have hardë grace!"

  The Griffon flew forth on his way;
  The Pellican did sitte and weep;
  And to him-selfë he gan say,
  "God wolde that any of Christes sheep                1280
  Had herd, and y-takë kepe
  Eche a word that here sayd was,
  And wolde it wryte and well it kepe!
  God wolde it were all, for his grace!"

    PLOWMAN. I answerde, and sayd I wolde,             1285
  If for my travayl any wold pay.
    PELICAN. He sayd, "yes; these that god han sold;
  For they han [greet] store of money!"
    PLOWMAN. I sayd, "tell me, and thou may,
  Why tellest thou mennës trespace?"                   1290
    PELICAN. He said, "to amende hem, in good fay,
  If god woll give me any grace.

  For Christ him-selfe is lykned to me,
  That for his people dyed on rode;
  As fare I, right so fareth he,                       1295
  He fedeth his birdes with his blode.
  But these don yvell +ayenës good,
  And ben his foon under frendes face;
  I tolde hem how hir living stood;
  God amende hem, for his grace!"                      1300

    PLOWMAN. "What ayleth the Griffon, tell [me] why,
  That he holdeth on that other syde?"
    PELLICAN. "For they two ben [of kind], lykly,
  And with [lyk] kindes robben wyde.
  The foul betokeneth [evill] pryde,                   1305
  As Lucifer, that hygh +flowe was;
  And sith he did him in evell hyde,
  For he agilted goddes grace.

  As bird [that] flyeth up in the ayr,
  And liveth by birdes that ben meke,                  1310
  So these be flowe up in dispayr,
  And shenden sely soules eke.
  The soules that ben in sinnes seke,
  He culleth hem; knele therfore, alas!
  For brybry goddes forbode breke,                     1315
  God amende it, for his grace!

  The hinder part is a lyoun,
  A robber and a ravinere,
  That robbeth the people in erth a-down,
  And in erth holdeth non his pere;                    1320
  So fareth this foul, both fer and nere;
  With temporel strength they people chase,
  As a lyon proud in erthë here;
  God amende hem for hys grace!"

  He flew forth with his winges twayn,                 1325
  All drouping, dased, and dull.
  But soone the Griffon cam agayn,
  Of his foules the erth was full;
  The Pellican he had cast to pull.
  So greet a nombre never seen ther was;               1330
  What maner of foules, tellen I woll,
  If god woll give me of his grace.

  With the Griffon comen foules fele,
  Ravins, rokes, crowes, and pye,
  Gray foules, agadred wele,                           1335
  Y-gurd, above they woldë hye.
  Gledes and bosardes weren hem by;
  Whyt molles and puttockes token hir place;
  And lapwinges, that wel conneth ly,
  This felowship han for-gerd hir grace.               1340

  Longe the Pellican was out,
  But at [the] laste he cometh agayn;
  And brought with him the Phenix stout.
  The Griffon wolde have flowe full fayn;
  His foules, that flewen as thycke as rayn,           1345
  The Phenix tho began hem chace;
  To fly from him it was in vayn,
  For he did vengeaunce and no grace.

  He slew hem down without mercy,
  Ther astartë neyther free ne thrall;                 1350
  On him they cast a rufull cry
  When the Griffon down was fall.
  He beet hem not, but slew hem all;
  Whither he hem drove, no man may trace;
  Under the erthe, me thought, they yall;              1355
  Alas! they had a feble grace!

  The Pellican then axed right,
  "For my wryting if I have blame,
  Who woll for me fight of flight?
  Who shall sheldë me from shame?                      1360
    He that had a mayd to dame,
  The lamb that slayn [for sinners] was,
  Shall sheldë me from gostly blame;
  For erthly harm is goddes grace.

  Therfore I praye every man,                          1365
  Of my wryting have me excused."
  This wryting wryteth the Pellican,
  That thus these people hath dispysed;
  For I am, fresh, fully advysed,
  I nill not maynteyn his manace.                      1370
  For the devell is +oft disguysed,
  To bringe a man to yvell grace.

  Wyteth the Pellican, and not me,
  For herof I nil not avowe,
  In hy ne in low, ne in no degrè,                     1375
  But as a fable take it ye mowe.
  To holy churche I will me bowe;
  Ech man to amende him, Christ send space!
  And for my wryting me alowe
  He that is almighty, for his grace.'                 1380


_From_ Thynne (ed. 1542). _I give rejected spellings._

1. Ploweman; plowe. 3. eate ynowe. 4. lyge; chynne. 5. cowe. 6. bone;
skynne. 7. shoke; -drowe. 8. honge; pynne. 9. toke; tabarde; staffe. 12.
pylgremage; platte. 13. bare. 14. forswatte. 15. sene. 17. behelde wele.
18. sawe. 19. knewe; snoute. 23. coulde; loute.

27. plowe. 28. meate. 29. auowe. 30. wyfe; fynde. 31. howe. 32. leude;
bene; full (_read_ fully; _see_ l. 24); blynde. 33. fayne. 34. her;
_supply_ to; swet. 35. agayne. 36. eate. 37. The (_for_ They; 1550, They);
sayne. 38. hell. 39. payne. 41. her. 42. sayne. 43. corne. 44. speaketh.
45. preache. 46. nere; thynge. 47. ons (1550, ones); teache. 48.
preachynge. 49. Saye; the. 51. praye; noman. 52. Whyle; tellynge. COLOPHON:
fyrst parte.

53. stryfe. 55. bene. 57. great; vngrounde (!). 58. souble (_error for_
souple). 60. foule. 61. one. 63. freers. 64. great. 65. heuyn. 68. foule
mought. 70. _Supply_ al; prease. 71. caytyffes. 72. one; encrease. 73.
I-clepeth (!); londlese. 74. bene. 75. peace. 76. foule. 78. knowe. 79.
trauayle. 80. ferre. 82. wodde. 83. sawe.

85. one. 86. grymme. 89. measure. 90. counsayle. 91. sharpe. 92. foule. 93.
preache. 94. mekenesse. 95. teache. 96. blesse. 97. beareth wytnesse. 98.
lambe; lykeneth. 99. tokenynge. 103. lowlyche; lowe. 105. crowne; couetours
(_read_ covertours). 106. pylloure (_for_ pelure). 107. great treasours.
108. foule. 109. Preests shulde. 111. bateyle shulde. 112. her owne. 113.
syttynges; hye. 114. souerayntie; house. 115. worshippe. 116. Who so
(_omit_ so); foule shall.

117. suche. 118. erthlye. 119. suche shall. 120. y-buylden her boure. 122.
them to hem; _supply_ be. 123. holde; one. 124. suche one shall (_om._
one). 125. peeres. 127. poore freers. 128. Nowe. 129. her. 130. noman;
permagall. 131. Whyle; her. 132. suche; mote. 134. glytterande; great
araye. 136. co_m_men; maye; gaye. 137. daye. 138. great. 139. baye. 140.
suche; mote. 141. punyshed (!); _see_ l. 143. 142. sustayne. 144. her. 147.
leude. 148. Suche; foule them befall (_see_ ll. 156, 164).

149. meates. 150. songe; syttynge longe. 151. her. 152. meate; gonge. 153.
meate; harpe; songe. 154. eche; mote. 155. amonge. 156. Suche; foule. 157.
one. 159. staffe; pyrrey; _read_ perrey. 160. made; lead. 161. golde;
redde. 162. glytterande; golde (_repeated from_ l. 161; _read_ gown). 164.
foule. 167. her. 168. hel. 169. her. 170. her gaye. 172. great. 179. poore.
180. Suche; foule.

182, 3. her. 184. kynge. 185. glyttryng (1550, glytteryng). 187. golde.
188. foule. 189. clepen (!); bene. 194. Antichriste; her. 196. foule. 198.
done (_but_ 1550, dome; _read_ demed). 200. whiche. 201, 202. her. 204.
suche; foule. 205. Her. 207. mote. 208. forbede (= forb[=e]d). 209. suche.
211. mote; her.

215, 216. greater. 224. thynke. 225. Suche; stynke. 227. bowynge. 228. must
nede euyll; _I omit_ nede. 231. suche; sect sewys. 233. her. 234. Her. 235.
Chrystes (!); _read_ Christ his. 236. suche; foule. 238. her; lyfe. 240.
_Supply_ ther; great stryfe. 241. a knyfe (_om._ a). 243. suche. 244.
suche; foule.

246. _Supply_ he surely. 247. peace. 248. bade. 251. trusteth (!). 252.
_Supply_ such; foule. 256. roode. 257. co_m_men. 258. Echeon. 259. poore.
260. befall; _read_ fall. 261. _Supply_ never. 263. _Supply_ yet. 266. her.
267. her. 268. foule; falle. 272. her. 276. suche; foule.

282. shyppes (!); 1550, shepes. 283. ofte. 284. suche; foule. 287. poore.
289. _Supply_ him. 292. sayne. 295. _Supply_ there; nowe; them. 296. hoode.
297. blode. 298. buckette; (wall = well). 299. wode. 300. suche. 301. her.
302. _Omit_ to? 304. sonne; worthe. 306. her crokettes; christall. 307.
downe. 308. foule.

310. her. 315. Redde; vsyn. 316. falsshed foule. 317. Their (_read_ Hir);
her. 318. clemeth; _see_ l. 525. 320. _Supply_ by; raunsome. 324, 332, 340.
foule. 324. to fall (_omit_ to). 325. her. 328. her seales; dare. 329.
great. 332. suche; _supply_ false. 334. her. 336. sayne; poore. 337. eche
preeste. 338. encrease. 339. heerdes; the. 340. suche.

341. falsely. 344. towne (_twice_). 345. raunsome. 346. christall. 348.
suche. 348, 356, 364. foule. 349. gyltie. 350. _Supply_ yet; maye. 352.
maye. 353. gone. 355. poore; theyr (_read_ hir). 356. suche. 357. suche.
358. suche crafte. 359. forbade. 360. Suche. 361. is (_read_ ben). 363.
dispyce. 364. suche. 365. sayne. 366. heuyn; holde. 367. toke. 368. solde.
369. Suche; bolde. 370. wytte. 371. colde. 372. suche.

374. leaue. 375. suche (_twice_). 378. Theyr (_for_ Hir). 380. false
Lucifere. 381. Lucifarre. 383. faythe; farre. 386. hou_n_de; hungre. 387.
vngratious. 388. suche. 388, 396, 404. foule. 389. heyre. 390. thynke;
case. 391. dispeyre. 393. lorde. 394. anone pray. 395. purchase. 396.
suche. 397. can (_read_ conne). 398. spedde. 399. wylde. 400. redde. 401.
leude boster (_om._ leude). 402. byshoppe; is (_read_ as); horse. 403. be
stedde. 404. _Supply_ the; last.

405. byshoppes. 407. Suche; ranke. 408. heale none. 409. done. 410. one
fors (!); _misprint_. 411. thanke suche. 412. suche. 412, 420, 436. foule.
413. canne; _read_ conne; her. 414. made. 415. canne. 416. Suche; nowe.
418. her. 419. Suche. 420. suche. 422. Traueyle hungre; colde. 424. olde.
425. folde. 426. theyr (_for_ hir); shepe. 428. suche. 429. her. 430.
pouerte. 432. drynke; pyement; _supply_ and; aparte. 433. a ferde. 434. as
dyd (_om._ dyd). 435. dryuen her shepe; deserte. 436. suche.

437. xij. 438. Nowe; there; one. 440. echone. 443. stone. 447. nowe. 449.
her. 450. leuyn. 451. But (_read_ Ben). 452. suche. 453. plowe. 454. hate
(!). 455. to hym (_om._ to); ynowe. 456. hatte. 457. poore; latte. 459.
Suche; gnatte. 460. suche. 461. showe. 462. to kysse (_om._ to); fete. 463.
ynowe. 464. sette; _read_ seet (= sat). 465. Suche one; hym selfe foryete.
466. _For_ call _read_ tall (?); _cf. l._ 74. 467. wete. 468. suche; foule.

469. her. 470. golde. 472. catche sholde. 473. Her seruauntes; them (_read_
hem); vnholde. 474. theyr (_for_ hir). 475. holde. 476. suche. 478. fynde.
479. nowe. 480. saye behynde. 481. Howe; pynde. 482. kende; _see_ l. 530.
483. putte; mynde. 484. amende. 485. nowe. 486. Howe. 487. howe. 488.
worde; telleth (_see_ l. 487). 490. offrende. 492. amende.

493. saye. 495. Suche hathe nowe. 497. varry. 498. wende. 500. pytie;
amende. 501. lyfe. 503. sufferaunce; stryfe. 505. wysedome. 506. tende.
507. measure. 508. maye amende. 509. lyfe. 514. comprehende. 515.
maynteyne. 516. amende. 517. delyghtes. 518. stronge. 519. vsen. 520.
Agaynste pytie punishementes. 522. Her; worse dispende. 524. amende.

525. holy. 528. worse; wytlesse. 529. fyshe; fleshe. 530. ykende. 531.
poore. 532. amende. 533. Dyuers (_read_ Dives); suche; her dome. 534.
sayne. 535. shulde done. 536. suche. 537. suche. 538. offende. 539. nowe.
540. amende. 542. nowe; yknowe. 544. trowe. 545. Eche; owe (!). 546. sende.
547. worde; folke; showe. 548. amende. 549. poore. 551. Nowe dare; poore.
552. her foe. 553. Amonge; mote. 554. suche suspende. 555. hente. 556.

557. worlde. 558. loly; badde. 559. her. 560. forthe ladde. 561. dradde.
562. _Supply_ servaunts; shende. 563. Eche; gladde. 564, 572, 580, 588.
amende. 567. One; one. 569. _Supply_ that; one. 570. defende. 571. badde.
572. suche. 573. badde; shepe. 574. forbade. 575. Swerde; shepe. 576.
shepe. 578. her shepe; swerde; contende. 579. her shepe; great. 582.
_Supply_ that; chefe pastoure. 583. swerde. 584. bochoure. 586. Shulde;
shepe; backe bende. 587. shoure.

590. forsoke. 591. _Supply_ to (_as in_ l. 592). 592. hoke. 593. shepe;
dothe; coke. 594. _Supply_ they; vntrende. 595. -boke. 596. them amende.
600. badde; behynde. 601. Suche. 602. offende. 604. suche; amende. 606.
_Read_ contrar. 608. mysse. 610. Peter (_read_ him); reprehende. 611. But
nat (_om._ But); heuyn blysse. 612. amende. 613. case. 616. bare. 618.
stale; _supply_ gan; myspende. 620. _Supply_ now; amende.

622. hys false (_om._ false). 626. frende = fremd. 628. amende. 629. efte
sone. 631. fordone. 632. sayne. 633. And ayenst (_omit_ And);
commaundementes (_read_ maundements); crye. 634. brende. 635. suche. 636.
amende. 637. Englande. 638. kynge. 639. suche. 640. _Supply_ they (_or_
hem); lyste. 641. her. 642. prysone; sende. 644. amende. 648. bayghted.
649. worse. 650. prysone; _supply_ be; pende. 652. maye mende.

654. assente. 655. eche. 657. Her seales. 658. extende. 660. mischefe;
_supply_ may; amende. 662. worthe tenne pounde. 664. thyrde parte; rounde.
665. raunsounde. 666. saye suche parte; apende. 667. gothe; grounde. 668.
amende. 669. fornycatioun. 670. shyllynges; paye. 671. absolution. 672.
forthe; maye. 674. soule; brende. 676. suche; amende. 678. londe. 680. her
honde. 681. theyr (_for_ hir); bonde. 682. Worse beate; _supply_ more;
brende. 683. vnderstande. 684. amende.

685. _Read_ religiouns. 686. moche laye. 690. attende. 691. hyghe. 692.
amende. 694. aboute. 695. _Supply_ the. 697. doute. 698. them defende. 699.
nowe; folke; stoute. 700. kynge; nowe; amende. 701. forbode. 702. shulde.
704. shulde; lordshyppe. 705. bolde. 706. suche lordeshyppes; them (_for_
hem). 707. her shepe; her folde.

709. countrefete. 710. her fruite. 711. Her; foryete. 712. dispyte. 713.
poore. 715. her shepe. 720-1. great. 722. thre; _supply_ han. 723. playeng.
724. kynge. 725. lette. 729. soule; fore. 731. her. 732. Her profytes. 734.
poore. 736. lorde. 737. catche. 738. lorde. 739. poore. 740. syke (_for_
seke); _see l._ 1313.

743. also (_read_ als). 746. poore; spende. 748. sende. 749. her; suche.
750. treasour. 751. her paryshe. 752. -floure. 753. Her lyfe shulde. 755.
her lele. 756. Suche. 759. her; _supply_ hir. 760. great. 761. thynke. 763.
dredefull. 764. Suche wretches. 765. her. 767. poore; hungre. 769. rente.
770. recke. 772. one.

773. horedome. 777. suche tabyde. 778. Howe; yelde. 779. hye; mowe. 780.
Suche; wytte; nelde. 782. foryet. 785. mowe gete. 787. sette. 788. Suche
treasour. 789. mote; saye. 790. holdynge. 791. iaye. 792. selfe nothynge.
793. erle; kynge. 795. tythynge; offrynge. 798. _Supply_ els. 804. false.

808. her lorde. 811. falsely; worde. 812. her. 814. the; _supply_ me. 815.
suche; _supply_ folk. 818. suche falsely fayne. 819. dredeful. 820. payne.
821. selfe; done. 825. _Supply_ the. 826. her false. 828. suche. 830.
_Read_ vikere. 831. trowe; false. 834. Eche; lye. 835. _Read_ Who speke
ayeinës; her.

837. howe. 838. Onely; Christe. 840. or (_read_ on). 841. trowe. 843.
_Supply_ same. 845. howe; amonge. 846. waye. 848. betraye. 849. maye. 851.
saye. 852. blende. 853. on (_read_ upon); her. 854. poorely; porte. 855.
sacramentes; done. 856. catchynge; her comforte. 857. eche. 858. done;
wronge; her dysporte. 859. afraye. 860. lorde. 862. aye. 863. sweare. 865.
Suche bearen; heauen. 866. assoyle. 868. true (_better_ trewë).

869. wrestlynge. 871. Markette beaters; medlynge. 874. debate. 875.
sacramentes; sayle (!). 876. Howe; suche; gate. 879. speake. 880.
sompnynge. 881. saye; _supply_ with; lye. 882. her eye. 887. twyse; daye he
(_om._ he). 889. mote. 890. horne. 891. wytche. 892. Suchen. 893. mote;
some; stone. 895. _Supply_ to; lyuen. 896. saye. 897. Aboute suche; great.
898. suche; stande. 900. maye.

901. That it leude people se mowe. 902. Mary thou (_om._ thou). 903.
Aboute; nowe. 909. poore. 910. _Supply_ in; owne. 911. her. 914. mowe;
colde. 915. poore; sprete; Christe. 916. olde. 917. sweardes. 918. Baudryke
(_read_ Baudriks). 919. Suche; her. 920. suche; bene. 921. her. 922. Whome
(_twice_). 923. bene. 925. gay. 926. mote. 929. her. 930. her shone. 932.

933. Nowe. 934. That men (_om._ That). 935. done. 937. Suche. 938. Lyke.
arayde. 939. The proude (_om._ The); pendauntes; her. 940. Falsely;
betrayde. 941. Shryfte-. 943. sacramentes. 945. her byshoppe. 948. thus
(_read_ this); sayne. 949. her. 952. Suche; eche. 953. profyte. 955. dare;
sayne. 956. suche. 957. byshoppes. 958. mote. 959. her. 960. Suche
prelates. 961. suche. 962. suche. 963. Howe. 964. greatly.

965. sayne. 966. them (_for_ hem). 967. goddes goodesse (!). 968.
maynteyne. 969. Her; shulde. 970. Her lyuynge leude. 971. saye; maye. 972.
muste. 973. lye. 975. anone. 978. meane. 981. longe; mette. 983. Amonge;
folke; sette. 984. halfe. 985. byshoppe. 987. absolution maye; them (_for_
hem). 988. soule; fore. 993. her. 994. suche. 995. came. 996. great.

997. monke lorde. 998. kynge. 999. proude. 1000. meate; drynke; _supply_
in. 1001. wearen; rynge. 1003. meate; drynke. 1004. on a (_om._ a). 1007.
saye. 1008. deynties; her; foode. 1010. religion. 1012. lordshyppe; towne.
1013. Nowe. 1014. fyne clothe. 1016. meane. 1017. catchynge. 1018. great
lykynge. 1019. lyuynge. 1020. Accordynge; Benette; lyuynge. 1021. her;
ouerse. 1022. Her poore tenaunce. 1023. hyre (1550, hyer). 1025. farre.
1027. poore. 1028. cheryshe.

1029. co_m_menly. 1030. poore. 1031. perfection. 1032. Her fathers ryden;
her. 1034. olde. 1035. Her fathers. 1036. colde. 1037. And all (_om._ And).
1038. Benette. 1039. ease. 1040. besette. 1042. plowe. 1043. Threshynge;
dykynge; towne; towne. 1044. halfe ynowe. 1046. ease. 1050. badde; _supply_
ful; cherelyche. 1051. churlyche. 1052. earth. 1053. Benette. 1055. mette.
1057. _Supply_ now. 1060. treasoure.

1062. suche. 1064. foule. 1065. tolde. 1066. makynge. 1067. coulde. 1068.
wolde. 1069. goodnesse. 1070. speake; thynke. 1071. her (_twice_). 1074.
came; kynde. 1075. trowe. 1076. lost; mynde. 1077-80. shulde. 1078.
gouernayle. 1080. auayle. 1081. Eche; trauayle. 1083. assayle. 1085. poore.
1086. nothynge; hadde. 1087. shulde. 1088. nolde; dradde. 1089. wolde;
sadde. 1090. lust (_read_ list). 1091. such (_read_ shuld). 1092. shepe;
wust (_read_ wist).

1093. prelates wolde. 1095. shulde stande; colde. 1096. Her seruauntes.
1098. worshyppe. 1100. Suche. 1102. Shulde; thynge. 1104. her kynge. 1105.
clothynge. 1107. offrynge. 1108. lordshypppe (!) none. 1109. crye. 1111.
hye. 1114. father. 1115. to be (_om._ to). 1116. _Read_ wikke? 1118.
Goostly; earthly. 1119. shulde; hane. 1121. blode. 1122. Badde. 1124.

1125-30. Her. 1125. clothynge. 1126. treasoure; lyfe. 1128. lordshyppe.
1131. Poore; spirite. 1133. the. 1135. haste; lyue (_read_ leve). 1136.
eche. 1139. glosynge. 1141. wolde; eche; there shulde. 1142. enuye. 1146.
lyfe. 1148. the; stryfe. 1149. _Supply_ ye. 1151. neyther (_read_ not).
1154. warme; _supply_ be.

1157. sacramentes. 1158. speake; slye. 1159. tythynges offringes w_i_t_h_
(_omit_ offringes); ente_n_tes. 1160. lye. 1161. done; ease. 1162. there;
none. 1163. sayne; pease. 1167. wolde. 1168. Leaue; chattrynge. 1173. fore.
1174. done. 1175. done. 1176. shalte; man. 1177. _Supply_ nay. 1179.
sacramente. 1180. speake. 1181-3. her. 1182. shulde; poore; spirite. 1184.
false habyte. 1186. hye.

1190. connynge. 1191. her. 1193. sacramentes. 1195. speake; dele. 1196.
nothynge. 1197. vsen; mysse. 1199. trowe. 1200. reason. 1202.
co_m_maundementes. 1204. sacramentes. 1205. trowe. 1206. wronge. 1207.
dare. 1208. songe. 1209. holsome lyfe. 1210. done; dewe. 1212. Weddynge.
1213. solde. 1216. maye. 1217. lye. 1218. saye; thorowe. 1219. fleshe;
blode; mystrye.

1221. Howe. 1222. subgette. 1227. Ayenst. 1230. shulde. 1232. pouerte.
1235. dystrye. 1238. leaue; preache. 1239. speake agaynst. 1240. falsely
teache. 1245. sayde. 1248. falshede.

1253. badde. 1254. seruauntes. 1255. amende. 1259. nothynge; estate. 1260.
dysease. 1261. leaue. 1262. porte. 1263. cursynge shulde. 1264. brynge.
1266. nothynge; done. 1268. howe soone. 1269. wode. 1271. swore; bloode.
1274. reasons; the. 1275. fleshe. 1276. shalte. 1277. flewe; waye. 1278.
wepe. 1279. saye. 1280. shepe. 1281. herde. 1282. worde. 1283. wrytte.

1286. trauayle; any man wolde (_om._ man). 1287. solde. 1288. _Supply_
greet. 1293. lykened. 1297. done; ayenst gode. 1298. fone. 1299. howe her
lyuynge stode. 1301. _Supply_ me. 1303. _Supply_ Pellican (_wrongly
prefixed to_ l. 1305); _supply_ of kind. 1304. _Supply_ lyk. 1305. foule;
_supply_ evill. 1306. flewe (_read_ flowe; _see_ l. 1311). 1309. byrde;
_supply_ that; ayre. 1311. into (_read_ in); dyspayre.

1317. parte. 1319. earth a downe. 1320. none. 1321. foule; ferre. 1322. And
wyth (_om._ And). 1323. proude; earth. 1325. (Pellican _is written above
this line_); flewe; twayne. 1326. droupynge. 1327. came agayne. 1328.
earth. 1338. great; sene there. 1336. Igurde. 1338. Whyte; her. 1339. lye.
1340. for gerde her. 1342. _Supply_ the. 1343. stoute. 1344. fayne. 1345.
rayne. 1345. flye; vayne.

1349. slewe; downe. 1350. There. 1352. downe. 1353. bete; slewe. 1358.
wrytynge. 1361. mayde. 1362. And the lambe (_om._ And); _supply_ for
sinners. 1364. erthely harme. 1366-7. wrytynge. 1369. freshe. 1370.
maynteyne. 1371. often (_read_ oft). 1375. hye; lowe. 1378. Eche; sende.
1379. wrytynge.

       *       *       *       *       *


  I, Jack Uplande, make my mone to very god and to all
  true belevinge in Christ, that Antichrist and his disciples, by
  colour of holines, walken and deceiven Christes church by many
  fals figures, wherethrough, by Antichrist and his, many vertues
  been transposed to vices.                                               5

  But the fellest folk that ever Antichrist found been last
  brought into the church, and in a wonder wyse; for they been of
  divers sectes of Antichrist, sowen of divers countrees and
  kinredes. And all men knowen wel, that they ben not obedient
  to bishoppes, ne lege men to kinges; neither they tillen ne            10
  sowen, weden, ne repen woode, corn, ne gras, neither nothing
  that man shuld helpe but only hem-selves, hir lyves to sustein.
  And these men han all maner power of god, as they sayen,
  in heaven and in earth, to sell heaven and hell to whom that
  hem lyketh; and these wrecches wete never where to been                15

  And therfore, frere, if thine order and rules ben grounded on
  goddes law, tell thou me, Jack Upland, that I aske of thee; and
  if thou be or thinkest to be on Christes syde, kepe thy pacience.

  Saynt Paul techeth, that al our dedes shuld be don in charitè,         20
  and els it is nought worth, but displesing to god and harm to
  oure owne soules. And for because freres chalengen to be
  gretest clerkes of the church, and next folowinge Christ in
  livinge, men shulde, for charitè, axe hem some questions, and
  pray hem to grounde their answers in reson and in holy writ; for       25
  els their answere wolde nought be worth, be it florished never so
  faire; and, as me think, men might skilfully axe thus of a frere.

  1. Frere, how many orders be in erthe, and which is the
  perfitest order? Of what order art thou? Who made thyn
  order? What is thy rule? Is there ony perfiter rule than Christ        30
  himselfe made? If Christes rule be moost perfit, why rulest
  thou thee not therafter? Without more, why shall a frere be
  more punished if he breke the rule that his patron made, than if
  he breke the hestes that god himself made?

  2. Approveth Christ ony more religions than oon, that saynt            35
  James speketh of? If he approveth no more, why hast thou left
  his rule, and taken another? Why is a frere apostata, that leveth
  his order and taketh another secte; sith there is but oon religion
  of Christ?

  3. Why be ye wedded faster to your habits than a man is to his         40
  wyfe? For a man may leve his wyf for a yere or two, as many
  men do; and if +ye leve your habit a quarter of a yere, ye shuld
  be holden apostatas.

  4. Maketh youre habit you men of religion, or no? If it
  do, than, ever as it wereth, your religion wereth; and, after that     45
  the habit is better, is you[r] religion better. And whan ye liggen
  it besyde you, than lig ye youre religion besyde you, and ben
  apostatas. Why by ye you so precious clothes, sith no man
  seketh such but for vaine glorie, as saynt Gregory saith?

  5. What betokeneth youre grete hood, your scaplerye, youre             50
  knotted girdel, and youre wyde cope?

  6. Why use ye al oon colour, more then other Christen men
  do? What betokeneth that ye been clothed all in one maner

  7. If ye saye it betokeneth love and charitè, certes, than ye be       55
  ofte ypocrites, whan ony of you hateth other, and in that, that ye
  wollen be said holy by youre clothinge.

  8. Why may not a frere were clothing of an-other secte of
  freres, sith holines stondeth not in the clothes?

  9. Why holde ye silence in one howse more than in another;             60
  sith men ought over-al to speke the good and leve the evell?

  10. Why ete you flesh in one house more than in another,
  if youre rule and youre order be perfit, and the patron that
  made it?

  11. Why gette ye your dispensacions, to have it more esy?              65
  Certes, either it semeth that ye be unperfit; or he, that made it
  so hard that ye may not holde it. And siker, if ye holde not the
  rule of youre patrons, ye be not than hir freres; and so ye lye
  upon youre-selves!

  12. Why make ye you as dede men whan ye be professed;                  70
  and yet ye be not dede, but more quicke beggars than ye were
  before? And it semeth evell a deed man to go aboute and

  13. Why will ye not suffer youre novices here your councels in
  youre chapter-house, er that they been professed; if youre councels    75
  been trew, and after god[d]es lawe?

  14. Why make ye you so costly houses to dwell in; sith Christ
  did not so, and dede men shuld have but graves, as falleth to
  dede men? And yet ye have more gorgeous buildinges than
  many lordes of Englonde. For ye maye wenden through the                80
  realme, and ech night, wel nigh, ligge in youre owne courtes;
  and so mow but right few lordes do.

  15. Why hyre ye to ferme youre limitors, gevinge therfore
  eche yeer a certain rente; and will not suffer oon in an-others
  limitacion, right as ye were your-selves lordes of contreys?           85

  16. Why be ye not under youre bisshops visitacions, and liege
  men to oure kinge?

  17. Why axe ye no letters of bretherhedes of other mens
  prayers, as ye desyre that other men shulde aske letters of you?

  18. If youre letters be good, why graunte ye them not generally        90
  to al maner men, for the more charitè?

  19. Mow ye make ony man more perfit brother for your
  prayers, than god hath by oure beleve, by our baptyme and his
  owne graunte? If ye mowe, certes, than ye be above god.

  20. Why make ye men beleve that your golden trentall songe             95
  of you, to take therfore ten shillinges, or at the leest fyve
  shillinges, will bringe soules out of helle, or out of purgatorye?
  If this be sooth, certes, ye might bring all soules out of payne.
  And that wolle ye nought; and than ye be out of charitè.

  21. Why make ye men beleve, that he that is buried in youre           100
  habit shall never come in hell; and ye wite not of youre-selfe,
  whether ye shall to hell, or no? And if this were sooth, ye
  shulde selle youre high houses, to make many habites, for to save
  many mens soules.

  22. Why stele ye mens children for to make hem of youre               105
  secte; sith that theft is agaynst goddes heste; and sithe youre
  secte is not perfit? Ye know not whether the rule that ye binde
  him to, be best for him or worst!

  23. Why undernime ye not your brethren, for their trespas
  after the lawe of the gospell; sith that underneminge is the best     110
  that may be? But ye put them in prison ofte, whan they do after
  goddes lawe; and, by saynt Austines rule, if ony did amisse and
  wolde not amende him, ye should put him from you.

  24. Why covete ye shrifte, and burying of other mens parishens,
  and non other sacrament that falleth to Christen folke?               115

  25. Why busie ye not to here shrifte of poore folke, as well
  as of riche lordes and ladyes; sith they mowe have more plentee
  of shrifte-fathers than poore folk may?

  26. Why saye ye not the gospel in houses of bedred men; as
  ye do in riche mens, that mowe go to churche and here the             120

  27. Why covette +ye not to burye poore folk among you; sith
  that they ben moost holy, as ye sayn that ye ben for youre

  28. Why will ye not be at hir diriges, as ye been at riche mens;      125
  sith god prayseth hem more than he doth riche men?

  29. What is thy prayer worth; sith thou wilt take therefore?
  For of all chapmen ye nede to be moost wyse; for drede of

  30. What cause hast thou that thou wilt not preche the                130
  gospell, as god sayeth that thou shuldest; sith it is the best
  lore, and also oure beleve?

  31. Why be ye evell apayed that secular prestes shulde preche
  the gospel; sith god him-selfe hath boden hem?

  32. Why hate ye the gospell to be preched; sith ye be so              135
  moche holde thereto? For ye winne more by yere with
  _In principio_, than with all the rules that ever youre patrons made.
  And, in this, minstrels been better than ye. For they contraryen
  not to the mirthes that they maken; but ye contraryen the gospell
  bothe in worde and dede.                                              140

  33. Frere, whan thou receivest a peny for to say a masse,
  whether sellest thou goddes body for that peny, or thy prayer,
  or els thy travail? If thou sayest thou wolt not travaile for to
  saye the masse but for the peny, +than certes, if this be soth, than
  thou lovest to littel mede for thy soule. And if thou sellest         145
  goddes body, other thy prayer, than it is very symony; and art
  become a chapman worse than Judas, that solde it for thirty

  34. Why wrytest thou hir names in thy tables, that yeveth thee
  moneye; sith god knoweth all thing? For it semeth, by thy             150
  wryting, that god wolde not rewarde him but thou wryte him in
  thy tables; god wolde els forgetten it.

  35. Why berest thou god in honde, and sclaundrest him that he
  begged for his mete; sith he was lord over all? For than hadde
  he ben unwyse to have begged, and no nede therto.                     155

  36. Frere, after what law rulest thou thee? Wher findest thou
  in goddes law that thou shuldest thus begge?

  37. What maner men nedeth for to begge?

  Of whom oweth suche men to begge?

  Why beggest thou so for thy brethren?                                 160

  If thou sayest, for they have nede; than thou doest it for the
  more perfeccion, or els for the leest, or els for the mene. If it be
  the moost perfeccion of all, than shulde al thy brethren do so;
  and than no man neded to begge but for him-selfe, for so shuld no
  man begge but him neded. And if it be the leest perfeccion, why       165
  lovest thou than other men more than thy-selfe? For so thou art
  not well in charitè; sith thou shuldest seke the more perfeccion
  after thy power, livinge thy-selfe moost after god; and thus, leving
  that imperfeccion, thou shuldest not so begge for hem. And if
  it is a good mene thus to begge as thou doest, than shuld no man      170
  do so but they ben in this good mene; and yet such a mene,
  graunted to you, may never be grounded in goddes lawe; for
  than both lered and lewed that ben in mene degrè of this worlde
  shuld go aboute and begge as ye do. And if all suche shuld do
  so, certes, wel nigh al the world shuld go aboute and begge as        175
  ye do: and so shulde there be ten beggers agaynst oon yever.

  38. Why procurest thou men to yeve thee hir almes, and sayest
  it is so meedful; and thou wilt not thy-selfe winne thee that

  39. Why wilt thou not begge for poore bedred men, that ben            180
  poorer than ony of youre secte, that liggen, and mow not go
  aboute to helpe themselves; sith we be all brethren in god, and
  that bretherhed passeth ony other that ye or ony man coude
  make? And where moost nede were, there were moost perfeccion;
  either els ye holde hem not youre pure brethren, or worse. But        185
  than ye be imperfite in your begginge.

  40. Why make ye you so many maisters among you; sith it
  is agaynst the techinge of Christ and his apostels?

  41. Whos ben all your riche courtes that ye han, and all your
  riche jewels; sith ye sayen that ye han nought, in proper ne in       190
  comune? If ye sayn they ben the popes, why +geder ye then, of
  poore men and of lordes, so much out of the kinges honde to make
  your pope riche? And sith ye sayen that it is greet perfeccion to
  have nought, in proper ne in comune, why be ye so fast aboute to
  make the pope (that is your +fader) riche, and putte on him           195
  imperfeccion? Sithen ye sayn that your goodes ben all his, and he
  shulde by reson be the moost perfit man, it semeth openlich that
  ye ben cursed children, so to sclaunder your +fader, and make
  him imperfit. And if ye sayn that tho goodes be yours, then do
  ye ayenst youre rule; and if it be not ayenst your rule, than might   200
  ye have both plough and cart, and labour as other good men don,
  and not so begge to by losengery, and ydell, as ye don. And if ye
  say that it is more perfeccion to begge than to travaill or worch
  with youre hand, why preche ye not openly, and teche all men to
  do so, sith it is the best and moost perfit lyf to helpe of her       205
  soules, as ye make children to begge that might have been riche

  42. Why make ye not your festes to poore men, and yeveth
  hem yeftes, as ye don to the riche; sith poore men han more
  nede than the riche?                                                  210

  43. What betokeneth that ye go tweyne and tweyne +togeder?
  If ye be out of charitè, ye accorden not in soule.

  44. Why begge ye, and take salaries therto, more than other
  prestes; sith he that moost taketh, most charge he hath?

  45. Why holde ye not saynt Fraunces rule and his testament;           215
  sith Fraunces saith, that god shewed him this living and this
  rule? And certes, if it were goddes will, the pope might not
  fordo it; or els Fraunces was a lyar, that sayde on this wyse.
  And but this testament that he made accorde with goddes will,
  els erred he as a lyar that were out of charitè; and as the law       220
  sayeth, he is accursed that letteth the rightfull last will of a deed
  man lacke. And this testament is the last will of Fraunces that
  is a deed man; it seemeth therefore that all his freres ben

  46. Why wil ye not touche no coined money with the crosse,            225
  ne with the kinges heed, as ye don other jewels both of golde and
  silver? Certes, if ye despyse the crosse or the kinges heed, than
  ye be worthy to be despysed of god and the kinge. And sith ye
  will receyve money in your hertes and not with youre handes, it
  seemeth that ye holde more holinesse in your hondes than in your      230
  hertes; and than be ye false to god.

  47. Why have ye exempt you fro our kinges lawes and visitinge
  of our bishoppes more than other Christen men that liven in this
  realme, if ye be not gilty of traitory to our realme, or trespassers
  to oure bishoppes? But ye will have the kinges lawes for trespas      235
  don to you; and ye wil have power of other bishops more than
  other prestes; and also have leave to prison youre brethren as
  lordes in youre courtes, more than other folkes han that ben the
  kinges lege men.

  48. Why shal some secte of you freres paye eche yere a certaine       240
  to hir generall provinciall or minister, or els to hir soverains,
  but-if he stele a certain number of children, as some men sayn? And
  certes, if this be soth, than be ye constrayned, upon certaine
  payne, to do thefte, agaynst goddes commaundement,
  _non furtum facies_.                                                  245

  49. Why be ye so hardy, to graunte, by letters of fraternitè, to
  men and women, that they shall have part and merit of all your
  good dedes; and ye witen never whether god be apayed with
  youre dedes because of youre sinne? Also ye witen never whether
  that man or woman be in state to be saved or damned; than shall       250
  he have no merit in heven for his owne dedes, ne for none other
  mans. And all were it so, that he shuld have part of youre good
  dedes; yet shulde he have no more than god would geve him,
  after that he were worthy; and so much shall eche man have of
  goddes yefte, withoute youre limitacion. But if ye will saye that     255
  ye ben goddes felowes, and that he may not do without youre
  assent, than be ye blasphemers to god.

  50. What betokeneth that ye have ordeined, that when such
  oon as ye have mad youre brother or sister, and hath a letter of
  your sele, that letter +mot be brought in youre holy chapter and      260
  there be red; or els ye will not praye for him? But and ye willen
  not praye specially for all other that weren not mad youre brethren
  or sistren, than were ye not in right charitè; for that ought to be
  commune, and namely in goostly thinges.

  51. Frere, what charitè is this--to overcharge the people by          265
  mighty begginge, under colour of prechinge or praying or masses
  singing? Sith holy writ biddeth not thus, but even the contrary;
  for al such goostly dedes shulde be don freely, as god yeveth hem

  52. Frere, what charitè is this--to begyle children or they           270
  commen to discrecion, and binde hem to youre orders, that been
  not grounded in goddes lawe, against hir frendes wil? Sithen by
  this foly ben many apostatas, both in will and dede, and many
  ben apostatas in hir will during all hir lyfe, that wolde gladly be
  discharged if they wist how; and so, many ben apostatas that          275
  shulden in other states have ben trewe men.

  53. Frere, what charitè is this--to make so mony freres in
  every countrey, to the charge of the people? Sith persounes
  and vicares alone, ye, secular prestes alone, ye, monkes and
  chanons alone, with bishops above hem, were y-nough to the            280
  church, to do prestes office. And to adde mo than y-nough is
  a foul errour, and greet charge to the people; and this is openly
  against goddes will, that ordeined all thinges to be don in weight,
  nomber, and mesure. And Christ himself was apayed with twelve
  apostles and a few disciples, to preche and do prestes office to all  285
  the hole world; than was it better don than it is now at this tyme
  by a thousand deel. And right so as foure fingers with a thumbe
  in a mannes hande, helpeth a man to worche, and double nomber
  of fingers in one hond shuld lette him more; and the more
  nomber that there were, passing the mesure of goddes ordinaunce,      290
  the more were a man letted to worke: right so, as it semeth, it is
  of these newe orders that ben added to the church, without grounde
  of holy writ and goddes ordinaunce.

  54. Frere, what charitè is this--to lye to the people, and saye
  that ye folowe Christ in povertè more than other men don?             295
  And yet, in curious and costly howsinge, and fyne and precious
  clothing, and delicious and lykinge fedinge, and in tresoure and
  jewels and riche ornamentes, freres passen lordes and other riche
  worldly men; and soonest they shuld bringe hir cause aboute,
  be it never so costly, though goddes lawe be put abacke.              300

  55. Frere, what charitè is this--to +gader up the bokes of holy
  writ and putte hem in tresory, and so emprisoune hem from
  secular prestes and curates; and by this cautel lette hem to
  preche the gospell freely to the people without worldly mede; and
  also to defame good prestes of heresy, and lyen on hem openly,        305
  for to lette hem to shew goddes lawe, by the holy gospell, to the
  Christen people?

  56. Frere, what charitè is this--to fayn so much holines in
  your bodily clothing, that ye clepe your habit, that many blinde
  foles desyren to dye therin more than in an-other? And also,          310
  that a frere that leveth his habit (late founden of men), may not
  be assoiled till he take it again, but is an apostata, as ye sayn,
  and cursed of god and man both? The frere beleveth treuth and
  pacience, chastitè, mekenesse, and sobrietè; yet for the more
  part of his lyfe he may soone be assoiled of his prior; and if he     315
  bringe hoom to his house much good by yere, be it never so
  falsly begged and pilled of the poore and nedy people in courtes
  aboute, he shal be hold[en] a noble frere! O lord, whether this
  be charitè!

  57. Frere, what charitè is this--to prese upon a riche man,           320
  and to entyce him to be buried among you from his parish-church,
  and to suche riche men geve letters of fraternitè confirmed
  by youre generall sele, and therby to bere him in honde that he
  shall have part of all your masses, matins, prechinges, fastinges,
  wakinges, and all other good dedes don by your brethren of youre      325
  order (both whyles he liveth and after that he is deed), and yet
  ye witen never whether youre dedes be acceptable to god, ne
  whether that man that hath that letter be able by good living to
  receive ony part of youre dedes? And yet a poore man, that ye
  wite wel or supposen in certain to have no good of, ye ne geve        330
  no such letters, though he be a better man to god than suche
  a riche man; nevertheles, this poore man doth not recche therof.
  For, as men supposen, suche letters and many other that freres
  behesten to men, be full of false deceites of freres, out of reson
  and god[d]es lawe and Christen mens faith.                            335

  58. Frere, what charitè is this--to be confessoures of lordes
  and ladyes, and to other mighty men, and not amend hem in hir
  living; but rather, as it semeth, to be the bolder to pille hir poore
  tenauntes and to live in lechery, and there to dwelle in your office
  of confessour, for winning of worldly goodes, and to be holden grete  340
  by colour of suche goostly offices? This seemeth rather pryde
  of freres than charitè of god.

  59. Frere, what charitè is this--to sayn that who-so liveth
  after youre order, liveth most parfitly, and next foloweth the
  state of aposteles in povertè and penaunce; and yet the wysest        345
  and gretest clerkes of you wende, or sende, or procure to the
  court of Rome to be mad cardinales or bishoppes or the popes
  chapelayns, and to be assoiled of the vowe of povertè and
  obedience to your ministers; in the which, as ye sayn, standeth
  moost perfeccion and merite of youre orders? And thus ye faren        350
  as Pharisees, that sayen oon, and do another to the contrarye.

  60. Why name ye more the patron of youre order in youre
  _Confiteor_, whan ye beginne masse, than other saintes, as apostels,
  or marters, that holy churche holde[th] more glorious than hem,
  and clepe hem youre patrons and youre avowries?                       355

  61. Frere, whet[h]er was saint Fraunces, in making of his rule that
  he sette thyne order in, a fole and lyar, or els wyse and trew? If
  ye sayn that he was not a fole but wyse; ne a lyar, but trew; why
  shewe ye the contrary by youre doing, whan by youre suggestion to
  the pope ye said that Fraunces rule was mad so hard that ye might     360
  not live to holde it without declaracion and dispensacion of the
  pope? And so, by youre dede, ye lete your patron a fole, that made
  a rule so hard that no man may wel kepe [it]; and eke youre
  dede proveth him a lyar, where he sayeth in his rule, that he took
  and lerned it of the holy gooste.  For how might ye, for shame,       365
  praye the pope to undo that the holy goost biddeth, as whan ye
  prayed him to dispense with the hardnesse of your order?

  62. Frere, which of the foure orders of freres is best, to a man
  that knoweth not which is the beste, but wolde fain enter into the
  beste and none other? If thou sayest that thyn is the best, than      370
  sayest thou that noon of the other is as good as thyn; and in this
  eche frere in the three other orders wolle say that thou lyest; for
  in the selve maner eche other frere woll say that his order is
  beste. And thus to eche of the foure orders ben the other three
  contrary in this poynte; in the which if ony say sooth, that is oon   375
  aloon; for there may but oon be the beste of foure. So foloweth
  it, that if ech of these orders answered to this question as thou
  doest, three were false and but oon trew; and yet no man shulde
  wite who that were. And thus it semeth, that the moost part of
  freres ben or shulde be lyars in this poynt, and they shulde          380
  answere therto. If +ye say that an-other ordre of the freres is
  better than thyn or as good; why toke ye not rather therto as to
  the better, whan thou mightest have chosen at the beginning?
  And eke, why shuldest thou be an apostata, to leve thyn order
  and take thee to that that is better? And so, why goest thou not      385
  from thyn order into that?

  63. Frere, is there ony perfiter rule of religion than Christ,
  goddes sone, gave in his gospell to his brethren, or than that
  religion that saynt James in his epistle maketh mencion of?  If
  +ye saye 'yes,' than puttest thou on Christ, that is wysdom of        390
  god the +fader, uncunning, unpower, or evil will. For eyther
  than he coude not make his rule so good as an-other did his,
  (and so he hadde be uncunning, that he might not make his rule
  so good as another man might, and so were he unmighty and not
  god); or he wolde not make his rule so perfit as an-other did his     395
  (and so had he ben evill-willed, namely to himselfe!) For if he
  might, and coude, and wold[e] have mad a rule perfit without
  defaute, and did not, he was not goddes sone almighty. For if
  ony other rule be perfiter than Christes, than must Christes rule
  lacke of that perfeccion by as much as the other were more            400
  perfiter; and so were defaute, and Christ had failed in makinge
  of his rule. But to putte ony defaute or failinge in god, is
  blasphemy. If thou saye that Christes rule and that religion
  that saynt James maketh mencion of, is the perfitest; why holdest
  thou not than thilke rule without more? And why clepest thou          405
  thee rather of saynt Frances or saynt Dominiks rule or religion or
  order, than of Christes rule or Christes order?

  64. Frere, canst thou assigne ony defaute in Christes rule of
  the gospell, with the whiche he taught al men sikerly to be saved,
  if they kepte it to hir endinge? If thou saye it was to hard,         410
  than sayest thou that Christ lyed; for he saide of his rule: 'My
  yoke is softe, and my burthen light.' If thou saye Christes rule
  was to light, that may be assigned for no defaute, for the better
  may it be kept. If thou sayst that there is no defaute in Christes
  rule of the gospell, sith Christ him-selfe saith it is light and esy: 415
  what nede was it to patrons of freres to adde more therto, and so
  to make an harder religion, to save freres, than was the religion
  that Christes apostels and his disciples helden and weren saved
  by; but-if they wolden that her freres saten above the apostels
  in heven, for the harder religion that they kepen here? And so        420
  wolde they sitten in heven above Christ himselfe for the moo and
  strait observaunces; than so shulde they be better than Christ
  himselfe, with misc[h]aunce!

    Go now forth, and frayne youre clerkes,
    And grounde you in goddes lawe, and geve Jack answere.              425
    And whan ye han assoiled me that I have said, sadly in treuth,
    I shall soill thee of thyn order, and save thee to heven!

  If freres cunne not or mow not excuse hem of these questions
  asked of hem, it semeth that they be horrible gilty against god
  and hir even-Christen; for which gyltes and defautes it were          430
  worthy that the order that they calle hir order were for-don. And
  it is wonder that men susteyne hem or suffer hem live in suche
  maner. For holy writ biddeth that thou do well to the meke,
  and geve not to the wicked, but forbid to geve hem breed, lest
  they be mad thereby mightier through you.  Finis.                     435

                  ¶ Prynted for Jhon Gough.
                    Cum Priuilegio Regali.

_From_ C. (= printed copy in Caius Coll. library, Cambridge); _I give here
rejected spellings; readings marked_ Sp. _are from_ Speght.

3. walkyn. deceauen. 5, 6, 7. bene (_for_ been; _very often_). 6. folke.
founde. 9. kynreddes. 11. grasse, nether nething (_sic_). 12. onely. her
lyfes. 13. had; Sp. han. 15. hym (_for_ hem). wreches. 16. -selfes. 18.
the. 20. teacheth. don. 21. not; Sp. nought. dyspleasynge. harme. 22.
because (Sp. that). 23. greatest.

25. reason. write. 26. not; Sp. nought. 28. earthe. 29. thyne. 31. perfyte.
32. the. 33. break. 34. breake. 35. one. 36. speaketh. mor; Sp. more. lef;
Sp. left. 37. leaueth. 38. one. 39. Christe. 40. abytes; Sp. habits. 41.
leaue. wyfe. yeare. 42. you; _read_ ye. leaue. abyte; Sp. habit. yeare. 44.
abyte; Sp. habit. 45. weareth (_twice_). 46. the abbyte; Sp. your habit.
48. apostatase; Sp. apostataes. by; Sp. buy. 50. greate hoode. 51. coape.
52. one coloure. 53. bene. 57. sayde. clotynge (!). 58. maye. weare

60. Sp. _om._ in _before_ another. 61. speake. leaue. 62. eate. 65. easy.
66. ether; Sp. either. vnperfyte. 67. harde. seker; Sp. siker. 68. her. 69.
selfes. 70. ye you; Sp. _om._ ye (!). 70, 71. deade (_twice_). beggers; Sp.
beggars. ye; Sp. you. 72. deade. 74. heare. 75. eare; Sp. ere. Sp. haue ben
(C. _om._ haue). 78. Sp. falleth it to. 78, 79. deade (_twice_). 79.
gorgeous buyldi_n_ges; Sp. courts. 80. maye; Sp. now (_error for_ mow). 81.
welnygh; Sp. will (!). 83. here; Sp. heire (_read_ hyre). geuynge. 84.
yeare. certayne. one. 91. Sp. of men. 92. perfyte. Sp. brether (!). 93.
baptyme; Sp. baptisme.

96. Sp. _om._ the. least. 97. oute. 98, 102. south; Sp. sooth. 101. abyte;
Sp. habit. 103. abytes. 105. steale. 107. wether; Sp. whether. 109.
vndermyne (_for_ vndernyme); Sp. vnderneme. 111. maye. presonne; Sp.
prison. 112. Sp. Augustines. dyd; Sp. doe. 114. buryenge. 115. none. 116.
heare; Sp. heare to. 117. plentie. 118. folke maye. 120. heare. 122. _Both_
you. folke amonge. 123. sayne. 124. pouertye. 125. her. bene. 126. Sp.
other (_for_ riche). 128. Sp. _om._ of. 130. wylte. preache.

133. payed; Sp. apaid. preache. 134. gosgel (!). Sp. bodden. hym; Sp. hem.
135. preached. 136. yeare. 139. myrtes; Sp. mirths. 142. Sp. thy; C. _om._
(_before_ prayer). 144. Sp. that certes (_error for_ than certes); C. &
certes. 149. her. the. 150. thynge. 151. Sp. writest; Sp. _om._ him. 152.
Sp. forgotten (!). 153. bearest. 154. meate. 156. the. 159. C. Of; Sp. For.
162. perfection (_but_ perfeccion _in l._ 163). least. meane (_often_).
165. least. 166. arte.

167. charytye. sithe. 168. leauynge. 169. Sp. them (_for_ hem). 170.
doeste. 173. learned and lewd; Sp. lerid and leaud. 174. Sp. _om._ suche.
176. one. 177. the here. 178. C. medefull; Sp. needful. the. 182.
themselfes. 183. coulde. 185. hym; Sp. them (_read_ hem). C. or; Sp. but.
187. amonge. 188. teachynge. 189. Whose. rych. 190. yewels; Sp. iewels.
improper ne; Sp. ne in proper ne in. 191. cumune; Sp. common. sayne.
gether; Sp. gather. 192. Sp. _om._ of. 193. great. 194. in p_ro_per ne
comune; Sp. in proper be (!) in common. 195. father rych. put. 197. reason.
perfite. 198. father. 199. imperfyte. sayne. Sp. the (_for_ tho).

201. carte. done. 202. lesyngery; Sp. losengery. done. 204. preach. teach.
205. perfyte lyfe. 206. be; Sp. bin. 208. feastes. 209. done. rych. 211.
together. 212. charitie. 214. Sp. _om. 2nd_ he. 220. C. as; Sp. is (!)
charytie. 221. Sp. accursed; C. cursede. C. _om._ last. dead. 222. Sp.
_om._ lacke. least; Sp. last. 223. dead. C. _om._ therefore. 226. hedde.
done. 227. heade. 229. receaue. 229, 231. hartes (_twice_). 231. Sp. _om._
ye. 232. exempte. 234. gyltye. traytery. trespasers. 235. Sp. your (_for_
oure). Sp. the trespasse (_for_ trespas). 236. done.

240. eche yeare; Sp. ech a yere. 241. her (_twice_). 242. steale. certayne.
sayne. 247. merite. 248. whyther; Sp. whether. payde; Sp. apayed. 249.
weten; Sp. witten. 251. meryte. heauen. 252. man (_for_ mans, s _having
dropped out_); Sp. mans. 253. ye (_for_ he); Sp. he. 256. folowes; Sp.
fellowes. maye. 258. tokeneth; Sp. betokeneth. 259. one. made. 260. seale.
mought (_read_ mot). 261. redde; Sp. rad. Sp. And but. 262. Sp. _om. 1st_
not. specyally; Sp. especially. made. 264. co_m_mne (!). goostely; Sp.
ghostly. 266. myghtie. coloure. preachynge. prayeng. 267. write. 268. done
frely. 269. frely. 271. him; Sp. hem.

272. her. 273-275. apostatase; Sp. apostataes. 278. personnes. 280. him;
Sp. them. 282. foule. greate. 283. done. 284. measure. payd; Sp. apaied.
285. preache. 286. Sp. whole. Sp. _om. 2nd_ it. 287. deal; Sp. dele. 289.
let. Sp. and so the (_om._ so). 290. measure. 293. wryte. 295. pouertye.
done. 297. treasoure. 298. rych. 299. wordly; Sp. worldly. bring her. 300.
costely. abake; Sp. abacke. 301. gather (_read_ gader). 302. wryte. put.
emprysonne. 303. let. him; Sp. hem. 304. preache. frely. wordely; Sp.

306. let. 308. fayn. 309. bodely. 309, 311. abyte; Sp. habit. 311. leaueth.
311, 315. maye. 312. Sp. _om._ an. sayne. 315. parte. 316. home. by yeare;
Sp. by the yeare. 317. courtes &; Sp. countries (_perhaps better_). 318. C.
Sp. hold (_for_ holden). 320. _Both_ prease. 323. seale. beare. 324. parte.
preachynges. 325. done. 326. dead. 329. receaue. 330. certaine. 331. no;
Sp. to (!). 332. rych. reche; Sp. retch. 334. behesten; Sp. behoten.
reason; Sp. all reason. 337. laydes (_for_ ladyes). her. 338. pyl her. 339.
dwel. 340. greate.

341. coloure. 344. mooste perfytely. 345. wyseste. 346. greatest clarkes.
347. made. 348. chappelaynes. povertye. 351. one. 354. hol (_for_ holy);
Sp. holy. holde; Sp. hold (_read_ holdeth). them. 357. set. 358. sayne.
359. shew. 360. C. that Fraunces rule was made so harde; Sp. that your rule
that Francis made was so hard. C. might; Sp. mow. 363. harde. maye.
_Supply_ it. 364. toke. 365. learned. 366. Sp. _om._ to. C. byddeth; Sp.
bit. Sp. when; C. _om._ 369. fayne. 370. thyne. 371. none. thyne. 372, 374.
thre. 373. C. selfe; Sp. self same. 375. one.

376. alone. one. 378. thre. one. 381. _Both_ you; _read_ ye. 382. thine.
384. apostate; Sp. apostata. leaue. 385. the. 388. sonne. 390. _Both_ you;
_read_ ye. wysdome. 391. father vncunyng. Sp. _om._ eyther. 392, 397.
coulde (_twice_). 393. Sp. had he. 395. perfyte. 397. made. perfyte. 398.
defate; Sp. default. sonne. 401. weren. 402. put. 404. C. that saynt; Sp.
which saint. the perfytest; Sp. perfectest. 405. Sp. _om._ than. 406. the
(_read_ thee). 408. Sp. any default or (!) assigne. 409. sekerly; Sp.
sikerly. 410. her. harde.

415. easye. 416. mor; Sp. more. 418. that; Sp. of (!). 420, 421. heauen
(_twice_). 421. Christe. 424. fraye_n_ (_for_ frayne); Sp. fraine. 425. C.
ye in; Sp. ye you in (_read_ you in). 426. sayde. _Read_--And whan ye han
soiled that I saide, sadly in treuthe. 427. soyll the. thyne. order; Sp.
orders. the; Sp. thee. heauen. 428. C. cunne; Sp. kun. 430. her. 431. her.
fordone. 432. hem lyue; Sp. hir live. 433. wryte. 434. bread leste. 435.
made. Sp. _om._ Finis.

       *       *       *       *       *



  O noble worthy king, Henry the ferthe,
  In whom the gladde fortune is befalle
  The people to governe here upon erthe,
  God hath thee chose, in comfort of us alle;
  The worship of this land, which was doun falle,         5
  Now stant upright, through grace of thy goodnesse,
  Which every man is holde for to blesse.

  The highe god, of his justyce alone,
  The right which longeth to thy regalye
  Declared hath to stande in thy persone;                10
  And more than god may no man justifye.
  Thy title is knowe upon thyn auncestrye;
  The londes folk hath eek thy right affermed;
  So stant thy regne, of god and man confermed.

  Ther is no man may saye in other wyse                  15
  That god him-self ne hath the right declared;
  Wherof the land is boun to thy servyse,
  Which for defaute of helpe hath longe cared.
  But now ther is no mannes herte spared
  To love and serve, and worche thy plesaunce;           20
  And al this is through goddes purveyaunce.

  In alle thing which is of god begonne
  Ther foloweth grace, if it be wel governed;
  Thus tellen they whiche olde bokes conne,
  Wherof, my lord, I wot wel thou art lerned.            25
  Aske of thy god; so shalt thou nat be werned
  Of no request [the] whiche is resonable;
  For god unto the goode is favorable.

  King Salomon, which hadde at his askinge
  Of god, what thing him was levest to crave,            30
  He chees wysdom unto the governinge
  Of goddes folk, the whiche he wolde save;
  And as he chees, it fil him for to have;
  For through his wit, whyl that his regne laste,
  He gat him pees and reste, unto the laste.             35

  But Alisaundre, as telleth his historie,
  Unto the god besoughte in other weye,
  Of al the worlde to winne the victorie,
  So that under his swerde it might[e] obeye;
  In werre he hadde al that he wolde preye.              40
  The mighty god behight[e] him that behest;
  The world he wan, and hadde it of conquest.

  But though it fil at thilke tyme so,
  That Alisaundre his asking hath acheved,
  This sinful world was al[le] payën tho;                45
  Was noon whiche hath the highe god beleved;
  No wonder was, though thilke world was greved.
  Though a tyraunt his purpos mighte winne,
  Al was vengeaunce, and infortune of sinne.

  But now the faith of Crist is come a-place             50
  Among the princes in this erthe here,
  It sit hem wel to do pitè and grace,
  But yet it mot be tempred in manere.
  For as they fynden cause in the matere
  Upon the poynt, what afterward betyde,                 55
  The lawe of right shal nat be layd a-syde.

  So may a king of werre the viage
  Ordayne and take, as he therto is holde,
  To clayme and aske his rightful heritage
  In alle places wher it is with-holde.                  60
  But other-wyse, if god him-selve wolde
  Afferme love and pees bitween the kinges,
  Pees is the beste, above alle erthly thinges.

  Good is t'eschewe werre, and nathelees
  A king may make werre upon his right;                  65
  For of bataile the fynal ende is pees;
  Thus stant the lawe, that a worthy knight
  Upon his trouthe may go to the fight.
  But-if so were that he mighte chese,
  Betre is the pees of which may no man lese.            70

  To stere pees oughte every man on-lyve,
  First, for to sette his liege lord in reste,
  And eek these othre men, that they ne stryve;
  For so this land may standen atte beste.
  What king that wolde be the worthieste,                75
  The more he mighte our deedly werre cese,
  The more he shulde his worthinesse encrese.

  Pees is the cheef of al the worldes welthe,
  And to the heven it ledeth eek the way;
  Pees is of soule and lyfe the mannes helthe            80
  Of pestilence, and doth the werre away.
  My liege lord, tak hede of that I say,
  If werre may be left, tak pees on honde,
  Which may nat be withoute goddes sonde.

  With pees stant every crëature in reste,               85
  Withoute pees ther may no lyf be glad;
  Above al other good, pees is the beste;
  Pees hath him-self, whan werre is al bestad;
  The pees is sauf, the werre is ever adrad.
  Pees is of al[le] charitè the keye,                    90
  Whiche hath the lyf and soule for to weye.

  My liege lord, if that thee list to seche
  The sothe ensamples, what the werre hath wrought,
  Thou shalt wel here, of wyse mennes speche,
  That deedly werre tourneth in-to nought.               95
  For if these olde bokes be wel sought,
  Ther might thou see what thing the werre hath do
  Bothe of conquest and conquerour also.

  For vayne honóur, or for the worldes good,
  They that whylom the stronge werres made,             100
  Wher be they now? Bethink wel, in thy mood,
  The day is goon, the night is derke and fade;
  Hir crueltè, which made hem thanne glade,
  They sorowen now, and yet have naught the more;
  The blood is shad, which no man may restore.          105

  The werre is moder of the wronges alle;
  It sleeth the preest in holy chirche at masse,
  Forlyth the mayde, and doth her flour to falle.
  The werre maketh the grete citee lasse,
  And doth the lawe his reules overpasse.               110
  Ther is nothing, wherof mescheef may growe
  Whiche is not caused of the werre, I trowe.

  The werre bringth in póverte at his heles,
  Wherof the comun people is sore greved;
  The werre hath set his cart on thilke wheles          115
  Wher that fortune may not be beleved.
  For whan men wene best to have acheved,
  Ful ofte it is al newe to beginne;
  The werre hath nothing siker, thogh he winne.

  For-thy, my worthy prince, in Cristes halve,          120
  As for a part whos fayth thou hast to gyde,
  Ley to this olde sore a newe salve,
  And do the werre away, what-so betyde.
  Purchace pees, and sette it by thy syde,
  And suffre nat thy people be devoured;                125
  So shal thy name ever after stande honóured!

  If any man be now, or ever was
  Ayein the pees thy prevy counsaylour,
  Let god be of thy counsayl in this cas,
  And put away the cruel werreyour.                     130
  For god, whiche is of man the creatour,
  He wolde not men slowe his crëature
  Withoute cause of deedly forfayture.

  Wher nedeth most, behoveth most to loke;
  My lord, how so thy werres be withoute,               135
  Of tyme passed who that hede toke,
  Good were at home to see right wel aboute;
  For evermore the worste is for to doute.
  But, if thou mightest parfit pees attayne,
  Ther shulde be no cause for to playne.                140

  Aboute a king, good counsayl is to preyse
  Above al othre thinges most vailable;
  But yet a king within him-self shal peyse
  And seen the thinges that be resonable.
  And ther-upon he shal his wittes stable               145
  Among the men to sette pees in evene,
  For love of him whiche is the king of hevene.

  A! wel is him that shedde never blood
  But-if it were in cause of rightwysnesse!
  For if a king the peril understood                    150
  What is to slee the people, thanne, I gesse,
  The deedly werres and the hevinesse
  Wher-of the pees distourbed is ful ofte,
  Shulde at som tyme cesse and wexe softe.

  O king! fulfilled of grace and of knighthode,         155
  Remembre upon this poynt, for Cristes sake;
  If pees be profred unto thy manhode,
  Thyn honour sauf, let it nat be forsake!
  Though thou the werres darst wel undertake,
  After resoun yet temper thy corage;                   160
  For lyk to pees ther is non avauntage.

  My worthy lord, thenk wel, how-so befalle
  Of thilke lore, as holy bokes sayn;
  Crist is the heed, and we be membres alle,
  As wel the subject as the soverayn.                   165
  So sit it wel, that charitè be playn,
  Whiche unto god him-selve most accordeth,
  So as the lore of Cristes word recordeth.

  In th'olde lawe, or Crist him-self was bore,
  Among the ten comaundëments, I rede,                  170
  How that manslaughter shulde be forbore;
  Such was the wil, that tyme, of the godhede.
  But afterward, whan Crist took his manhede,
  Pees was the firste thing he leet do crye
  Ayenst the worldes rancour and envye.                 175

  And, or Crist wente out of this erthe here,
  And stigh to heven, he made his testament,
  Wher he bequath to his disciples there
  And yaf his pees, which is the foundement
  Of charitè, withouten whos assent                     180
  The worldes pees may never wel be tryed,
  Ne lovë kept, ne lawë justifyed.

  The Jewes with the payens hadden werre,
  But they among hem-self stode ever in pees;
  Why shulde than our pees stonde out of herre,         185
  Which Crist hath chose unto his owne encrees?
  For Crist is more than was Moÿses;
  And Crist hath set the parfit of the lawe,
  The whiche shulde in no wyse be withdrawe.

  To yeve us pees was causë why Crist dyde,             190
  Withoute pees may nothing stonde avayled;
  But now a man may see on every syde
  How Cristes fayth is every day assayled,
  With the payens distroyed, and so batayled
  That, for defaute of helpe and of defence,            195
  Unneth hath Crist his dewe reverence.

  The righte fayth to kepe of holy chirche
  The firste poynt is named of knighthode;
  And every man is holde for to wirche
  Upon the poynt that stant to his manhode.             200
  But now, alas! the fame is spred so brode
  That every man this thing [alday] complayneth;
  And yet is ther no man that help ordayneth.

  The worldes cause is wayted over-al;
  Ther be the werres redy, to the fulle;                205
  But Cristes owne cause in special,
  Ther ben the swerdes and the speres dulle.
  And with the sentence of the popes bulle
  As for to doon the folk payën obeye,
  The chirche is tourned al another weye.               210

  It is wonder, above any mannes wit,
  Withoute werre how Cristes fayth was wonne;
  And we that been upon this erthë yit
  Ne kepe it nat as it was first begonne.
  To every crëature under the sonne                     215
  Crist bad him-self, how that we shulde preche,
  And to the folke his evangely teche.

  More light it is to kepe than to make;
  But that we founden mad to-fore the hond
  We kepe nat, but lete it lightly slake;               220
  The pees of Crist hath al to-broke his bond.
  We reste our-self, and suffren every lond
  To slee eche other as thing undefended;
  So stant the werre, and pees is nat amended.

  But though the heed of holy chirche above             225
  Ne do nat al his hole businesse
  Among the men to sette pees and love,
  These kinges oughten, of hir rightwysnesse,
  Hir owne cause among hem-self redresse.
  Thogh Peters ship, as now, hath lost his stere,       230
  It lyth in hem that barge for to stere.

  If holy chirche after the dewetè
  Of Cristes word ne be nat al avysed
  To make pees, accord, and unitè
  Among the kinges that be now devysed,                 235
  Yet, natheles, the lawë stant assysed
  Of mannes wit, to be so resonable
  Withoute that to stande hem-selve stable.

  Of holy chirche we ben children alle,
  And every child is holde for to bowe                  240
  Unto the moder, how that ever it falle,
  Or elles he mot reson disalowe.
  And, for that cause, a knight shal first avowe
  The right of holy chirche to defende,
  That no man shal the privilege offende.               245

  Thus were it good to setten al in evene
  The worldes princes and the prelats bothe,
  For love of him whiche is the king of hevene;
  And if men shulde algate wexen wrothe,
  The Sarazins, whiche unto Crist ben lothe,            250
  Let men be armed ayenst hem to fighte,
  So may the knight his dede of armes righte.

  Upon three poynts stant Cristes pees oppressed;
  First, holy chirche is in her-self devyded;
  Which oughte, of reson, first to be redressed;        255
  But yet so high a cause is nat decyded.
  And thus, whan humble pacience is pryded,
  The remenaunt, which that they shulde reule,
  No wonder is, though it stande out of reule.

  Of that the heed is syk, the limmes aken;             260
  These regnes, that to Cristes pees belongen,
  For worldes good, these deedly werres maken,
  Which helpelees, as in balaunce, hongen.
  The heed above hem hath nat underfongen
  To sette pees, but every man sleeth other;            265
  And in this wyse hath charitè no brother.

  The two defautes bringen in the thridde
  Of miscreants, that seen how we debate;
  Between the two, they fallen in a-midde
  Wher now al-day they fynde an open gate.              270
  Lo! thus the deedly werre stant al-gate.
  But ever I hopë of king Henries grace,
  That he it is which shal the pees embrace.

  My worthy noble prince, and king anoynt,
  Whom god hath, of his grace, so preserved,            275
  Behold and see the world upon this poynt,
  As for thy part, that Cristes pees be served.
  So shal thy highe mede be reserved
  To him, whiche al shal quyten atte laste;
  For this lyf herë may no whyle laste.                 280

  See Alisandre, Hector, and Julius,
  See Machabeus, David, and Josuë,
  See Charlemayne, Godfray, and Arthus
  Fulfild of werre and of mortalitee!
  Hir fame abit, but al is vanitee;                     285
  For deth, whiche hath the werres under fote,
  Hath mad an ende, of which ther is no bote.

  So may a man the sothe wite and knowe,
  That pees is good for every king to have;
  The fortune of the werre is ever unknowe,             290
  But wher pees is, ther ben the marches save.
  That now is up, to-morwe is under grave.
  The mighty god hath alle grace in honde;
  Withouten him, men may nat longe stonde.

  Of the tenetz to winne or lese a chace                295
  May no lyf wite, or that the bal be ronne;
  Al stant in god, what thing men shal purchace:
  Th'ende is in him, or that it be begonne;
  Men sayn, the wolle, whan it is wel sponne,
  Doth that the cloth is strong and profitable,         300
  And elles it may never be durable.

  The worldes chaunces upon aventure
  Ben ever set; but thilke chaunce of pees
  Is so behovely to the crëature
  That it above al other is peerlees.                   305
  But it may nat +be gete, nathelees,
  Among the men to lasten any whyle,
  But wher the herte is playn, withoute gyle.

  The pees is as it were a sacrament
  To-fore the god, and shal with wordes playne          310
  Withouten any double entendëment
  Be treted; for the trouthe can nat feyne.
  But if the men within hem-self be vayne,
  The substaunce of the pees may nat be trewe,
  But every day it chaungeth upon newe.                 315

  But who that is of charitè parfyte,
  He voydeth alle sleightes fer aweye,
  And set his word upon the same plyte
  Wher that his herte hath founde a siker weye;
  And thus, whan conscience is trewly weye,             320
  And that the pees be handled with the wyse,
  It shal abyde and stande, in alle wyse.

  Th'apostel sayth, ther may no lyf be good
  Whiche is nat grounded upon charitè;
  For charitè ne shedde never blood.                    325
  So hath the werre, as ther, no propertè;
  For thilke vertue which is sayd 'pitè'
  With charitè so ferforth is acquaynted
  That in her may no fals sembla[u]nt be paynted.

  Cassodore, whos wryting is authorysed                 330
  Sayth: 'wher that pitè regneth, ther is grace';
  Through which the pees hath al his welthe assysed,
  So that of werre he dredeth no manace.
  Wher pitè dwelleth, in the same place
  Ther may no deedly crueltè sojourne                   335
  Wherof that mercy shulde his wey[e] tourne.

  To see what pitè, forth with mercy, doth,
  The cronique is at Rome, in thilke empyre
  Of Constantyn, which is a tale soth,
  Whan him was lever his owne deth desyre               340
  Than do the yonge children to martyre.
  Of crueltee he lefte the quarele;
  Pitè he wroughte, and pitè was his hele.

  For thilke mannes pitè which he dede
  God was pitous, and made him hool at al;              345
  Silvester cam, and in the same stede
  Yaf him baptyme first in special,
  Which dide away the sinne original,
  And al his lepre it hath so purifyed,
  That his pitè for ever is magnifyed.                  350

  Pitè was cause why this emperour
  Was hool in body and in soule bothe;
  And Rome also was set in thilke honour
  Of Cristes fayth, so that the leve, of lothe
  Whiche hadden be with Crist tofore wrothe,            355
  Receyved werë unto Cristes lore.
  Thus shal pitè be praysed evermore.

  My worthy liege lord, Henry by name,
  Which Engëlond hast to governe and righte,
  Men oughten wel thy pitè to proclame,                 360
  Which openliche, in al the worldes sighte,
  Is shewed, with the helpe of god almighte,
  To yeve us pees, which long hath be debated,
  Wherof thy prys shal never be abated.

  My lord, in whom hath ever yet be founde              365
  Pitè, withoute spotte of violence,
  Keep thilke pees alway, withinne bounde,
  Which god hath planted in thy conscience.
  So shal the cronique of thy pacience
  Among the saynts be take in-to memórie                370
  To the loënge of perdurable glorie.

  And to thyn erthely prys, so as I can,
  Whiche every man is holde to commende,
  I Gower, which am al thy liege man,
  This lettre unto thyn excellence I sende,             375
  As I, whiche ever unto my lyves ende
  Wol praye for the stat of thy persone,
  In worshipe of thy sceptre and of thy trone.

  Nat only to my king of pees I wryte,
  But to these othre princes Cristen alle,              380
  That eche of hem his owne herte endyte
  And cese the werre, or more mescheef falle.
  Set eek the rightful pope upon his stalle;
  Keep charitè, and draw pitè to honde,
  Maynteyne lawe; and so the pees shal stonde.          385


  Electus Christi,    pie rex Henrice, fuisti,
  Qui bene venisti,    cum propria regna petisti;
  Tu mala vicisti    -que bonis bona restituisti,
  Et populo tristi    nova gaudia contribuisti.

  Est mihi spes lata,    quod adhuc per te renovata     390
  Succedent fata    veteri probitate beata;
      Est tibi nam grata    gratia sponte data.

  Henrici quarti primus regni fuit annus
      Quo mihi defecit visus ad acta mea.
  Omnia tempus habent, finem natura ministrat,          395
      Quem virtute sua frangere nemo potest.
  Ultra posse nihil, quamvis mihi velle remansit,
      Amplius ut scribam non mihi posse manet.
  Dum potui, scripsi, sed nunc quia curua senectus
      Turbauit sensus, scripta relinquo scolis.         400
  Scribat qui veniet post me discretior alter,
      Ammodo namque manus et mea penna silent.
  Hoc tamen in fine verborum queso meorum,
      Prospera quod statuat regna futura deus.

                  ¶ _Explicit._

_From_ Th. (Thynne, ed. 1532.); _corrected by_ T. (Trentham MS.) _I give
the rejected spellings of_ Th. (Thynne), _except where they are corrected
by the_ MS.

1. T. worthi noble. 3. T. _om._ here. 4. _Both_ the. T. chose; Th. chosen.
9. T. regalie; Th. regaly. 11. T. iustifie; Th. iustify. 12. T. ancestrie;
Th. auncestry. 17. T. boun; Th. bounde. 20. T. wirche.

26. T. Axe; Th. Aske. 27. T. reqwest; Th. request. (_Perhaps read_--Of no
request the whiche is resonable.) 29. T. axinge; Th. askyng. 30. Th. _om._
to. 31. T. ches; Th. chase. Th. _om._ the. 33. T. ches; Th. chase. 35. T.
gat; Th. gate. T. pes; Th. peace. _So_ T.; Th. in-to his last. 36. T.
histoire; Th. storie. 39. T. might; Th. myght. 41. _Both_ behight. T.
beheste. 42. Th. _om._ he. _Both_ had. T. conqweste. 44. T. axinge. T.
achieued; Th. atcheued. 45. _Both_ al. T. paiene; Th. paynem. 46. T.
belieued. 47. T. grieued. 48. T. mihte; Th. might. 50. T. feith; Th.
faithe. 53. T. mot; Th. must. 54. Th. _om._ as.

56. T. leid; Th. layde. 57. T. viage: Th. voyage. 59. T. axe. 61. T. silve;
Th. selfe. 62, 63. T. pes; Th. peace. 70. T. Betre; Th. Better. 71. _Both_
peace. T. euery man; Th. eueriche. T. alyue. 74. Th. lande; T. world. 76.
T. cesse; Th. cease. 77. T. encresse; Th. encrease. 78. T. chief; Th.
chefe. 79, 81, 82. T. weie, aweie, seie. 83. _Both_ lefte.

90. _Both_ al. 92. _Both_ the. 93. T. that; Th. what. 96. T. soght; Th.
ysought. 97. _Both_ se. 98. T. conqueste. 101. T. bethenk. 102. _Both_
gone. 103. _Both_ Her. 108. T. _om._ doth; Th. dothe. 110. _Both_ dothe. T.
reules; Th. rules. 111. T. meschef; Th. myschefe. 113. T. bringth; Th.
bringeth. 114. T. comon; Th. co_m_men. 121. T. to; Th. be.

129. T. Lete; Th. Lette. 130. Th. crewel warryour. 132. Th. slough. 136. T.
than; Th. that. 137. _Both_ se. 146. T. euene; Th. euyn. 147. T. heuene;
Th. heuyn. 148. T. Ha. 153. Th. _om._ the. 155. Th. _om. 2nd_ of.

160. T. reson; Th. reason. 162. T. thenke; Th. thynke. 165. T. the subiit;
Th. be subiecte. 169. T. er. 173. T. aftirwards; Th. afterwarde. 174. T.
let; Th. lette. 176. T. er. 177. Th. styghed. 183. T. paiens; Th. paynyms.
185. Th. erre (!). 192. T. sen; Th. se. 194. Th. paynems. T. destruied.

200. Th. that; T. which. 201. T. helas; T. sprad. 202. _I supply_ alday.
203. Th. that; T. which. 209. T. do; Th. done. T. paien; Th. payne (_for_
payen). 211. T. to wonder; Th. wonder. _For_ any _read_ a? 216. Th. _om._
how. 217. T. euangile. 219. _Both_ made. Th. _om._ the. 222. Th. selfe; T.
selue. 227. T. men; Th. people.

231. Th. the (_for_ that). 232. Th. dewte; T. duete. 238. T. hem-selue; Th.
him-selfe. 242. Th. must. 246. T. _om._ good. T. euene; Th. euyn. 248. T.
heuene; Th. heuyn. 253. _Both_ thre. 254. Th. _om._ is. 256. _Both_ highe.
260. T. sick; Th. sicke. 263. Th. helplesse; T. heliples.

269. _Both_ Betwene. 274. T. enoignt. 276. _Both_ Beholde; se. 278. Th.
deserved (!). 280. _Both_ lyfe. 281. T. Ector. 282. T. Machabeu. 283. T.
Godefroi Arthus. 287. _Both_ made. 288. T. mai; Th. many (!). 289. T. man
(_for_ king). 291. Th. is (_for_ ben). 292. T. _om._ up. 295. T. tenetz;
Th. tennes. 296, 298. T. er (_for_ or).

305. Th. is (_for_ it). Th. _om._ is. T. piereles; Th. peerles. 306. _Both_
begete; _read_ be gete. 316. T. perfit. 318. T. plit. 321. Th. these (_for_
the pees). Th. ben. 326. T. proprite. 329. _Both_ semblant. 330. T.
Cassodre. _Both_ writinge. T. auctorized. 331. Th. _om._ ther.

336. T. wei; Th. way. 337. _Both_ se. 342. T. crualte; Th. creweltie. 347.
T. baptisme. 359. Th. England. 370. T. seintz; Th. sayntes. T. memoire; Th.
memory. 371. T. loenge; Th. legende (!). T. gloire; Th. glory.

378. Th. _om. 2nd_ of. _Both_ throne. 382. T. sese (_for_ cese); Th. se
(!). T. er (_for_ or). T. meschiefe; Th. myschefe. 383. _Both_ Sette. 384.
T. draugh. 385. T. Maintene; Th. Maynteyn. 399. Th. curua; T. torua.

       *       *       *       *       *




  Cupido, unto whos comaundëment
  The gentil kinrede of goddes on hy
  And people infernal been obedient,
  And mortel folk al serven besily,
  The goddesse sonë Cithera soothly,                      5
  To alle tho that to our deitee
  Ben sugets, hertly greting sende we!

  In general, we wolë that ye knowe
  That ladies of honour and reverence,
  And other gentil women, haven sowe                     10
  Such seed of compleynt in our audience
  Of men that doon hem outrage and offence,
  That it our eres greveth for to here;
  So pitous is th'effect of this matere.

  Passing al londes, on the litel yle                    15
  That cleped is Albion they most compleyne;
  They seyn, that there is croppe and rote of gyle.
  So conne tho men dissimulen and feyne
  With stonding dropes in hir eyen tweyne,
  When that hir hertes feleth no distresse,              20
  To blinden women with hir doublenesse.

  Hir wordes spoken ben so syghingly,
  With so pitousë chere and contenaunce,
  That every wight that meneth trewely
  Demeth that they in herte have such grevaunce;         25
  They seyn so importáble is hir penaunce
  That, but hir lady lust to shewe hem grace,
  They right anoon +mot sterven in the place.

  'A, lady myn!' they seyn, 'I yow ensure,
  As doth me grace, and I shal ever be,                  30
  Whyl that my lyf may lasten and endure,
  To yow as humble and lowe in ech degree
  As possible is, and kepe al thing secree
  Right as your-selven liste that I do;
  And elles moot myn herte breste a-two.'                35

  Ful hard it is to knowe a mannes herte;
  For outward may no man the trouthe deme;
  When word out of his mouthe may noon asterte
  But it by reson any wight shuld queme,
  So is it seyd of herte, as hit wolde seme.             40
  O feythful woman, ful of innocence,
  Thou art deceyved by fals apparence!

  By proces women, meved of pitee,
  Wening that al thing were as thise men sey,
  They graunte hem grace of hir benignitee               45
  For that men shulde nat for hir sake dey;
  And with good herte sette hem in the wey
  Of blisful lovë--kepe it if they conne;
  Thus other-whylë women beth y-wonne.

  And whan this man the pot hath by the stele,           50
  And fully is in his possessioun,
  With that woman he kepeth not to dele,
  After if he may fynden in the toun
  Any woman, his blinde affeccioun
  On to bestowë; evel mote he preve!                     55
  A man, for al his othes, is hard to leve!

  And, for that every fals man hath a make,
  (As un-to every wight is light to knowe),
  Whan this traitour this woman hath forsake,
  He faste him spedeth un-to his felowe;                 60
  Til he be there, his herte is on a lowe;
  His fals deceyt ne may him not suffyse,
  But of his treson telleth al the wyse.

  Is this a fair avaunt? is this honour,
  A man him-self accuse thus, and diffame?               65
  Now is it good, confesse him a traitour,
  And bringe a woman to a sclandrous name,
  And telle how he her body hath do shame?
  No worship may he thus to him conquere,
  But greet esclaundre un-to him and here!               70

  To herë? Nay, yet was it no repreef;
  For al for vertu was it that she wroughte;
  But he that brewed hath al this mischeef,
  That spak so faire, and falsly inward thoughte,
  His be the sclaundre, as it by reson oughte,           75
  And un-to her a thank perpetuel,
  That in a nede helpe can so wel!

  Althogh of men, through sleyght and sotiltee,
  A sely, simple, and innocent woman
  Betrayed is, no wonder, sith the citee                 80
  Of Troye--as that the storie telle can--
  Betrayed was, through the disceyt of man,
  And set on fyre, and al doun over-throwe,
  And finally destroyed, as men knowe.

  Betrayen men not citees grete, and kinges?             85
  What wight is that can shape remedye
  Ageynes thise falsly purpósed thinges?
  Who can the craft such craftes to espye
  But man, whos wit ay redy is t'aplye
  To thing that souneth in-to hy falshede?               90
  Women, beth ware of mennes sleight, I rede!

  And furthermore han thise men in usage
  That, where as they not lykly been to spede,
  Suche as they been with a double visage
  They prócuren, for to pursewe hir nede;                95
  He prayeth him in his causë to procede,
  And largely guerdoneth he his travayle;
  Smal witen wommen how men hem assayle!

  Another wrecche un-to his felowe seyth:
  'Thou fisshest faire! She that thee hath fyred        100
  Is fals and inconstaunt, and hath no feyth.
  She for the rode of folke is so desyred
  And, as an hors, fro day to day is hyred
  That, when thou twinnest fro hir companye,
  Another comth, and blered is thyn eyë!                105

  'Now prikke on fastë, and ryd thy journey
  Whyl thou art there; for she, behind thy bak,
  So liberal is, she wol no wight with-sey,
  But smertly of another take a snak;
  For thus thise wommen faren, al the pak!              110
  Who-so hem trusteth, hanged mote he be!
  Ay they desyren chaunge and noveltee!'

  Wher-of procedeth this but of envye?
  For he him-selve her ne winne may,
  He speketh her repreef and vileinye,                  115
  As mannes blabbing tonge is wont alway.
  Thus dyvers men ful often make assay
  For to distourben folk in sondry wyse,
  For they may not acheven hir empryse.

  Ful many a man eek wolde, for no good,                120
  (That hath in love his tyme spent and used)
  Men wiste, his lady his axing withstood,
  And that he were of her pleynly refused,
  Or wast and veyn were al that he had mused;
  Wherfore he can no better remedye                     125
  But on his lady shapeth him to lye:

  'Every womman,' he seyth, 'is light to gete;
  Can noon sey "nay," if she be wel y-soght.
  Who-so may leyser han, with her to trete,
  Of his purpós ne shal he faile noght,                 130
  But he on madding be so depe y-broght
  That he shende al with open hoomlinesse;
  That loven wommen nat, as that I gesse!'

  To sclaundre wommen thus, what may profyte
  To gentils namely, that hem armen sholde,             135
  And in defence of wommen hem delyte
  As that the ordre of gentilesse wolde?
  If that a man list gentil to be holde,
  He moot flee al that ther-to is contrarie;
  A sclaundring tonge is his grete adversarie.          140

  A foul vice is of tonge to be light;
  For who-so michel clappeth, gabbeth ofte.
  The tonge of man so swift is and so wight
  That, whan it is areysed up-on lofte,
  Resoun it seweth so slowly and softe,                 145
  That it him never over-take may:
  Lord! so thise men ben trusty in assay!

  Al-be-it that man fynde oo woman nyce,
  Inconstant, rechelees, or variable,
  Deynouse or proud, fulfilled of malyce,               150
  Withouten feyth or love, and deceyvable,
  Sly, queynt, and fals, in al unthrift coupable,
  Wikked and feers, and ful of crueltee.
  It foloweth nat that swiche al wommen be.

  Whan that the high god aungels formed had,            155
  Among hem alle whether ther werë noon
  That founden was malicious and bad?
  Yis! al men woot that ther was many oon
  That, for hir pryde, fil from heven anoon.
  Shul men therfore alle aungels proude name?           160
  Nay! he that that susteneth is to blame.

  Of twelve apostels oon a traitour was;
  The remënant yit godë were and trewe.
  Than, if it happe men fyndë, per cas,
  Oo womman fals, swich good is for t'eschewe,          165
  And deme nat that they ben alle untrewe.
  I see wel mennes owne falsenesse
  Hem causeth wommen for to trusten lesse.

  O! every man oghte have an herte tendre
  Unto womman, and deme her honurable,                  170
  Whether his shap be outher thikke or slendre,
  Or be he bad or good; this is no fable.
  Every man woot, that wit hath resonable,
  That of a womman he descended is:
  Than is it shame, of her to speke amis.               175

  A wikked tree good fruit may noon forth bring,
  For swich the fruit is, as that is the tree.
  Tak hede of whom thou took thy biginning;
  Lat thy moder be mirour unto thee.
  Honoure her, if thou wolt honoured be!                180
  Dispyse thou her nat, in no manere,
  Lest that ther-by thy wikkednesse appere!

  An old provérbë seyd is in English:
  Men seyn, 'that brid or foul is dishonest,
  What that he be, and holden ful churlish,             185
  That useth to defoule his owne nest.'
  Men, to sey wel of wommen it is best,
  And nat for to despyse hem ne deprave,
  If that they wole hir honour kepe and save.

  Thise ladies eek compleynen hem on clerkes            190
  That they han maad bokës of hir diffame,
  In which they lakken wommen and hir werkes
  And speken of hem greet repreef and shame,
  And causëlees yive hem a wikked name.
  Thus they despysed been on every syde,                195
  And sclaundred, and bilowen on ful wyde.

  The sory bokes maken mencioun
  How they betrayden, in especial,
  Adam, David, Sampsoun, and Salamoun,
  And many oon mo; who may rehersen al                  200
  The treson that they havë doon, and shal?
  The world hir malice may not comprehende;
  As that thise clerkes seyn, it hath non ende.

  Ovyde, in his boke called 'Remedye
  Of Lovë,' greet repreef of wommen wryteth;            205
  Wherin, I trowe, he dide greet folye,
  And every wight that in such cas delyteth.
  A clerkes custom is, whan he endyteth
  Of wommen, be it prose, or ryme, or vers,
  Sey they ben wikke, al knowe he the revers.           210

  And that book scolers lerne in hir childhede,
  For they of wommen be war sholde in age,
  And for to love hem ever been in drede,
  Sin to deceyve is set al hir corage.
  They seyn, peril to caste is avantage,                215
  And namely, suche as men han in be wrapped;
  For many a man by woman hath mishapped.

  No charge is, what-so that thise clerkes seyn;
  Of al hir wrong wryting I do no cure;
  Al hir travayle and labour is in veyn.                220
  For, betwex me and my lady Nature,
  Shal nat be suffred, whyl the world may dure,
  Thise clerkes, by hir cruel tyrannye,
  Thus upon wommen kythen hir maistrye.

  Whylom ful many of hem were in my cheyne              225
  Y-tyed, and now, what for unweldy age
  And for unlust, may not to love atteyne,
  And seyn, that love is but verray dotage.
  Thus, for that they hem-self lakken corage,
  They folk excyten, by hir wikked sawes,               230
  For to rebelle agayn me and my lawes.

  But, maugre hem that blamen wommen most,
  Suche is the force of myn impressioun,
  That sodeinly I felle can hir bost
  And al hir wrong imaginacioun.                        235
  It shal not been in hir eleccioun
  The foulest slutte of al a toun refuse,
  If that me list, for al that they can muse;

  But her in herte as brenningly desyre
  As thogh she were a duchesse or a quene;              240
  So can I folkes hertes sette on fyre,
  And (as me list) hem sende joye or tene.
  They that to wommen been y-whet so kene
  My sharpe persing strokes, how they smyte,
  Shul fele and knowe; and how they kerve and byte.     245

  Perdee, this grete clerk, this sotil Ovyde
  And many another han deceyved be
  Of wommen, as it knowen is ful wyde;
  Wot no man more; and that is greet deyntee,
  So excellent a clerk as that was he,                  250
  And other mo that coude so wel preche
  Betrapped were, for aught they coude teche.

  And trusteth wel, that it is no mervayle;
  For wommen knewen pleynly hir entente.
  They wiste how sotilly they coude assayle             255
  Hem, and what falshood they in herte mente;
  And thise clerkes they in hir daunger hente.
  With oo venym another was distroyed;
  And thus thise clerkes often were anoyed.

  Thise ladies ne thise gentils, nevertheles,           260
  Were noon of tho that wroughten in this wyse;
  But swiche filthes as were vertules
  They quitten thus thise olde clerkes wyse.
  To clerkes forthy lesse may suffyse
  Than to deprave wommen generally;                     265
  For worship shul they gete noon therby.

  If that thise men, that lovers hem pretende,
  To wommen weren feythful, gode, and trewe,
  And dredde hem to deceyven or offende,
  Wommen to love hem wolde nat eschewe.                 270
  But every day hath man an herte newe;
  It upon oon abyde can no whyle.
  What fors is it, swich a wight to begyle?

  Men beren eek thise wommen upon honde
  That lightly, and withouten any peyne,                275
  They wonne been; they can no wight withstonde
  That his disese list to hem compleyne.
  They been so freel, they mowe hem nat refreyne;
  But who-so lyketh may hem lightly have;
  So been hir hertes esy in to grave.                   280

  To maister Iohn de Meun, as I suppose,
  Than it was a lewd occupacioun
  In making of the Romance of the Rose;
  So many a sly imaginacioun
  And perils for to rollen up and doun,                 285
  So long proces, so many a sly cautele
  For to deceyve a sely damosele!

  Nat can I seen, ne my wit comprehende
  That art and peyne and sotiltee sholde fayle
  For to conquére, and sone make an ende,               290
  Whan man a feble place shal assayle;
  And sone also to venquisshe a batayle
  Of which no wight dar maken resistence,
  Ne herte hath noon to stonden at defence.

  Than moot it folwen of necessitee,                    295
  Sin art asketh so greet engyn and peyne
  A womman to disceyve, what she be,
  Of constauncë they been not so bareyne
  As that somme of thise sotil clerkes feyne;
  But they ben as that wommen oghten be,                300
  Sad, constant, and fulfilled of pitee.

  How frendly was Medea to Jasoun
  In the conquéring of the flees of gold!
  How falsly quitte he her affeccioun
  By whom victórie he gat, as he hath wold!             305
  How may this man, for shame, be so bold
  To falsen her, that from his dethe and shame
  Him kepte, and gat him so gret prys and name?

  Of Troye also the traitour Eneas,
  The feythles wrecche, how hath he him forswore        310
  To Dido, that queen of Cartágë was,
  That him releved of his smertes sore!
  What gentilesse might she han doon more
  Than she with herte unfeyned to him kidde?
  And what mischeef to her ther-of betidde!             315

  In my Legende of Martres men may fynde
  (Who-so that lyketh therin for to rede)
  That ooth noon ne behest may no man bynde;
  Of reprevable shame han they no drede.
  In mannes herte trouthe hath no stede;                320
  The soil is noght, ther may no trouthe growe!
  To womman namely it is nat unknowe.

  Clerkes seyn also: 'ther is no malyce
  Unto wommannes crabbed wikkednesse!'
  O woman! How shalt thou thy-self chevyce,             325
  Sin men of thee so muchel harm witnesse?
  No fors! Do forth! Takë no hevinesse!
  Kepë thyn ownë, what men clappe or crake;
  And somme of hem shul smerte, I undertake!

  Malyce of wommen, what is it to drede?                330
  They slee no men, distroyen no citees;
  They not oppressen folk ne overlede,
  Betraye empyres, remes, ne duchees,
  Ne men bereve hir landes ne hir mees,
  Empoyson folk, ne houses sette on fyre,               335
  Ne false contractes maken for non hyre!

  Trust, perfit love, and entere charitee,
  Fervent wil, and entalented corage
  To thewes gode, as it sit wel to be,
  Han wommen ay, of custome and usage;                  340
  And wel they can a mannes ire aswage
  With softe wordes discreet and benigne;
  What they be inward, sheweth outward signe.

  Wommannes herte un-to no crueltee
  Enclyned is, but they ben charitable,                 345
  Pitous, devout, fulle of humilitee,
  Shamfaste, debonaire, and amiable,
  Dredful, and of hir wordes mesurable:
  What womman thise hath not, peraventure,
  Ne folweth nat the wey of her nature.                 350

  Men seyn: 'our firste moder, natheles,
  Made al man-kynde lese his libertee,
  And naked it of joye, douteles;
  For goddes hestes disobeyed she,
  Whan she presumed tasten of a tree,                   355
  Which god forbad that she nat ete of sholde;
  And, nad the devel been, namore she wolde.'

  Th' envýous swelling that the feend, our fo,
  Had unto man in herte, for his welthe,
  Sente a serpent, and made her for to go               360
  To disceyve Eve; and thus was mannes helthe
  Beraft him by the fende, right in a stelthe,
  The womman noght knowing of the deceyt;
  God wot, ful fer was it from her conceyt.

  Wherfore I sey, this godë womman Eve                  365
  Our fader Adam ne deceyved noght.
  Ther may no man for a deceyt it preve
  Proprely, but-if that she, in her thoght,
  Had it compassed first, er it was wroght;
  And, for swich was nat her impressioun,               370
  Men calle it may no déceyt, by resoun.

  No wight deceyveth but he it purpóse;
  The feend this déceyt caste, and nothing she.
  Than is it wrong to demen or suppose
  That she sholde of this harm the cause be.            375
  Wyteth the feend, and his be the maugree;
  And for excused have her innocence,
  Sauf only that she brak obedience.

  And touching this, ful fewe men ther been,
  Unnethes any, dar I saufly seye--                     380
  Fro day to day, as that men mow wel seen,
  But that the hest of god they disobeye.
  Have this in mynde, sires, I yow preye;
  If that ye be discreet and resonable,
  Ye wol her holde the more excusable.                  385

  And wher men seyn, 'in man is stedfastnesse,
  And woman is of her corage unstable,'
  Who may of Adam bere swich witnesse?
  Telleth me this:--was he nat chaungeable?
  They bothe weren in a caas semblable,                 390
  Sauf willingly the feend deceyved Eve,
  And so did she nat Adam, by your leve.

  Yet was this sinne happy to mankynde,
  The feend deceyved was, for al his sleight;
  For aught he coude him in his sleightes wynde,        395
  God, to discharge mankynde of the weight
  Of his trespas, cam doun from hevenes height,
  And flesh and blood he took of a virgyne,
  And suffred deeth, him to deliver of pyne.

  And god, to whom ther may nothing hid be,             400
  If he in woman knowe had such malyce
  As men of hem recorde in generaltee,
  Of our lady, of lyf reparatryce,
  Nolde han be born; but, for that she of vyce
  Was voyde, and of al vertu (wel he wiste)             405
  Endowed, of her to be bore him liste.

  Her heped vertu hath swich excellence
  That al to lene is mannes facultee
  To déclare it, and therfor in suspence
  Her duë preysing put mot nedes be.                    410
  But this we witen verrayly, that she,
  Next god, the best frend is that to man longeth;
  The key of mercy by her girdil hongeth.

  And of mercy hath every man swich nede
  That, cessing that, farwel the joye of man!           415
  Of her power now taketh right good hede;
  She mercy may, wol, and purchace can.
  Displese her nat, honoureth that womman,
  And other wommen alle, for her sake!
  And, but ye do, your sorowe shal awake.               420

  Thou precious gemme, O martir Margarete,
  Of thy blood draddest noon effusioun!
  Thy martirdom ne may I nat foryete;
  Thou, constant womman in thy passioun,
  Overcoom the feendes temptacioun;                     425
  And many a wight converted thy doctryne
  Unto the feith of god, holy virgyne!

  But understondeth, I commende hir noght
  By enchesoun of hir virginitee;
  Trusteth right wel, it cam not in my thoght;          430
  For ever I werrey ayein chastitee,
  And ever shal; but this, lo! meveth me,
  Her loving herte and constant to her lay
  Dryve out of rémembrauncë I ne may.

  In any boke also wher can ye fynde,                   435
  That of the werkes or the dethe or lyf
  Of Jesu speketh, or maketh any mynde,
  That womman him forsook, for wo or stryf?
  Wher was ther any wight so ententyf
  Abouten him as wommen? Pardee, noon!                  440
  Th'apostels him forsoken, everichoon.

  Womman forsook him noght; for al the feyth
  Of holy chirche in womman lefte only.
  This is no lees, for holy writ thus seyth;
  Loke, and ye shal so fynde it, hardely.               445
  And therfore it may preved be therby,
  That in womman regneth stable constaunce
  And in men is the chaunge and variaunce!

  Now holdeth this for ferme and for no lye,
  That this trewe and just commendacioun                450
  Of wommen is nat told for flaterye,
  Ne to cause hem pryde or elacioun,
  But only, lo! for this entencioun,
  To yeve hem corage of perseveraunce
  In vertu, and hir honour to enhaunce.                 455

  The more vertu, the lasse is the pryde;
  Vertu so digne is, and so noble in kynde
  That vyce and she wol not in-fere abyde.
  She putteth vyce clene out of her mynde,
  She fleeth from him, she leveth him behynde.          460
  O womman, that of vertu art hostesse,
  Greet is thyn honour and thy worthinesse!

  Than wol we thus concluden and diffyne:
  We yow comaunde, our ministres, echoon
  That redy been to our hestes enclyne,                 465
  That of thise false men, our rebel foon,
  Ye do punisshëment, and that anoon!
  Voide hem our court and banish hem for ever
  So that ther-inne they ne come never.

  Fulfilled be it, cessing al delay;                    470
  Look that ther be non excusacioun.
  Writen in th'ayr, the lusty month of May,
  In our paleys (wher many a millioun
  Of loveres trewe han habitacioun)
  The yere of grace joyful and jocounde                 475
  A thousand and foure hundred and secounde.


From F (Fairfax); various readings from B (Bodley 638); T (Tanner 346); S
(Arch. Selden B. 24); A (Ashburnham MS.); Tr. (Trin. Coll. Cam. R. 3. 20).
_Also in_ Th. (Thynne, ed. 1532); D (Digby 181); Ff (Camb. Univ. Library,
Ff. 1. 6); _and in the_ Bannatyne MS. 2. F. goddis an. 3. F. pepill. F.
ben. 4. A. folk; F. folke. F. besely; A. bisyly. 5. F. Th. Of the; S. _om._
Of. S. Cithera; F. Sythera. S. sothly; F. oonly. 6. A. Tr. alle; F. al. 7.
F. sugetes. 8. A. wole; F. wol. 10. F. wymen. A. han I-sowe. 11. F. Suche.
12. A. doon; F. do. 13. F. oure. 14. F. pitouse; effecte. 15. A. And
passyng_e_ alle londes on this yle. 17. A. seyn; F. seye. 18. A.
dissimulen; F. dyssimule. 19. A. Tr. S. Th. in; F. on. F. her.

20. A. herte. 20-22. F. her. 23. A. And with so pitous. S. Tr. pitouse a.
24. A. trewely; F. truly. 25. F. hert. A. han swich. 26. A. seyn; F. sey.
F. her. 27. F. her. Tr. list. F. schew. 28. F. anoone. F. _om._ mot; S. Tr.
most; Th. must (_but read_ mot); cf. l. 35. 29. A. seyn; F. sey. F. yowe;
Th. you. 31. F. While. F. lyfe. A. lasten; F. last. 33. F. Th. thing as;
A.S. _om._ as. 34. F. youre. F. self; S. seluen. Th. lyste; F. lyst; A.
lykith. 35. A. moot myn herte; F. myn hert mote. A. breste; F. brest. 36.
F. herd. Th. knowe a mannes; F. know a manys. A. herte; F. hert. 37. F.
outwarde. 38. S. word; F. worde. F. non astert. 39. _So_ S. Tr.; A. sholde
any wight by reson; F. Th. by reson semed euery wight to queme. 40. F.
seyde; Th. sayd. F. hert; Th. herte. 41. F. _om._ of. 42. F. arte. F. be;
Th. by. 43. F. processe. A. Tr. S. wom_m_en meeued of; F. moveth oft woman.
44. S. that; _rest om._ 46. F. her. 47. F. hert set. 48. F. blesful. A.S.
they; F. ye. 49. F. And thus; A.S. Tr. _om._ And.

50. A.S. pot; Th. pan; F. penne. 52. A. he keepith; F. kepeth he. S. not;
A. nat; F. no more. 53. A. fynden; F. fynde. F. tovne. 55. A. On to; F.
Vnto. 56. A. hard; F. herde. A.S. leue; F. beleue. 59. Th. traytour; F.
traytoure. 60. A. faste him speedith; F. fast spedeth him. 61. Th. herte;
F. hert. 62. A.S. Tr. ne; F. _om._ 64. F. faire avaunte. 65. F. silfe. 66.
S. A. Tr. Now; F. _om._ S. A. him; F. Th. himselfe. A.S. a; F. _om._ 67.
A.S. a (2); F. _om._ 68. F. tel; hir; hathe. 69. F. worshippe. 70. A.
greet; F. grete. S. a sclander; T. Th. disclaunder. 71. F. hir; reprefe.
72. A. Tr. it; _rest om._ F. wroght. 73. F. myschefe. 74. F. spake; thoght.
75. F. be; Th. by. F. oght. 76. S. a thank; Tr. hye thank; F. thank. 77. D.
Th. A. nede; F. rede. 78. Th. through; F. thorgh.

81. A. that; _rest om._ F. tel. 82. Th. through; F. thorgh. 83. A.S. Tr.
Th. al; F. _om._ F. dovne. 84. F. fynaly. 85. A. Tr. Betrayen; B. S. T.
Betray; F. Betraied. 86. F. is yt that; S. A. Tr. _om._ yt. 87. A. Ageynes;
F. Ayens. F. falsely. 88. F. crafte suche. 89. F. wytte; A. Tr. wil. A. Tr.
ay reedy is; S. redy ay is; F. is euer redy. A. tapplie; Th. taply; F. to
aplye. 90. A. hy; S. Tr. hie; F. _om._ 93. T. A. Tr. as; F. _om._ F. ben.
94. B. A. Tr. Th. they; F. _om._ 95. Th. pursewe; F. pursw. 98. A. Smal
witen; F. Lytell wote; Tr. Litel knowe. 99. F. wrechch; Th. wretche. 101.
F. inconstant; feythe. 105. F. cometh. 106. F. fast (_read_ faste). F. ride
(_read_ ryd). 107. F. While. Th. behynd; F. behinde. F. bake. 109. A. snak;
F. snake; Th. smacke. 110. F. thes; pake. 111. Th. mote; F. mot.

114. F. selfe hyr. 115. F. hir reprefe; vileyny. 116. F. tong. 118. F.
folke. 120. F. eke. 124. F. wer. A. D. Th. had; F. hath. 126. F. shapith.
129. F. han leyser; D. T. Th. leisur haue; A. Tr. leiser han. 130. F.
purpose. 131. Th. madnesse. 132. F. homelynesse. 133. F. wy_m_men. 134. F.
sclaunder women. 135. F. Too. 139. A. Al moot he flee. 140. Th. tonge; F.
tong. 141. F. foule. A. vice; Th. vyce; F. thing. 143. A. Tr. Th. S. man;
F. men.

147. Th. ben; Tr. been; F. beth. A. at (_for_ in). A. Th. assay; F. asay.
148. F. hyt. F. o; Th. one. 149. F. varriable. 150. S. and (_for_ or). S.
proud; F. proude. 152. F. vnthrift; Th. vntrust. 154. F. swich; D. Th.
suche. 155. D. god the hie. 156. A. all_e_; F. al. A. whether; F. wheither.
A. was (_for_ were). 160. F. al. 161. F. _om. 2nd_ that. 163. Tr. goode; F.
good. 164. F. caas. 165. Th. good is; F. is good. 166. F. al. 167. Th. owne
falsenesse; F. oone falsnesse. 169. F. oght. 171. F. wheither. 172. F.
badde. 173. F. witte. 175. F. hir.

176. F. tre gode frute. 177. F. swiche; A. swich. 178. F. Take. 179. F.
Merour; Th. myrrour. 180. F. Honure; honured. 181. A. nat hir. 183. F.
seyde; Th. sayd. 184. F. foule. 185. F. chirlyssh; Th. churlysshe. 187. F.
wymen; Th. women. 188. D. B. T. A. Tr. for to despyse; F. to displesen.
189. F. wol. 191. F. made. 192. A. they lakken; Th. they dispyse; F.
dispisen they. Th. women and her; F. wo_m_mans; A. wo_m_menes. 193. F.
grete reprefe. 194. F. yiven; D. yeve; Th. yeue. 195. F. ben. 198. Th. D.
especial; F. special. 203. F. theys; noon. 205. F. grete reprefe. 206. F.
grete. 207. F. case.

208. F. custome. 209. F. women. D. B. A. Th. _om. 1st_ or. 210. F. Seye;
Th. Say. 211. F. boke. 212. F. women. 213. F. louen; S. D. Tr. Th. loue.
215. A. They (_glossed_ s. libri). F. perylle; Th. p_er_el. F. cast. 216.
F. B. wrappes (!) 217. D. S. Th. women. F. B. myshappes (!) 218. S. Th. is;
F. _om._ A. that; _rest om._ 222. A.S. T. nat; D. Th. not; F. noon. F.
while. 223. F. tyranie. 224. F. wy_m_men. 225. D. Th. many; F. mony. F.
wer. 226. Th. Tyed; A. Tyd. 228. F. werray; S. veray; D. verry; Th. very.
229. F. selfe; D. silf. 230. F. folke. 232. F. mawgre; Th. maugre. 233. F.
_om._ the. 234. F. sodenly; Th. sodainly. 236. F. ben; Th. be. F.
ellecciou_n_. 237. F. tovne; A. town.

239. Th. her; F. hir. Th. herte; F. hert. F. brenyngly. 241. F. hertys set.
242. F. Ioy. 243. F. ben. 244. Th. sharpe; F. sharp. 248. F. women. 249. S.
Wote; A. Wat; F. Th. What (!). F. grete; Th. great. 252. F. aght; Th.
aught. 253. Th. it; F. ys (!) F. mervaylle; Th. meruayle. 254. F. women
knywen; entent. 255. F. sotyly. 256. F. falshode; Th. falsheed. F. hert
ment; Th. herte mente. 257. F. this clerkys. F. hent; Th. hente. 261. F.
wroghten; Th. wrought. F. wysse; Th. wyse. 262. S. fillok_es_ (_for_
filthes). F. weren; Th. were. 263. F. wisse; Th. wyse. 263, 264. F.
clerkis. 264. A. Th. To; F. D. The (!). 266. F. worshippe; Th. worshyp.
268. F. women. F. good. 269. F. dreden; Th. dredde.

270. F. Women. 271. F. hert. 273. A. swich oon for to. 274. F. eke this
women. 276. F. ben. 280. F. ben; hertys; craue (!). 281. F. I (!); _for_
To. Th. Moone. 282. F. lewde. 286. F. longe processe. F. slye; Th. slygh.
287. F. damesele; Th. damosel. 288. F. wytte. 289. F. peyn; Th. payne. T.
Th. schulde; F. holde (!). 291. F. assaylle; Th. assayle. 292. F. bataylle;
Th. batayle. 293. F. whiche. 294. F. hert; Th. herte. 295. F. yt moot
folowen; A. moot it folwen. 296. F. grete. 297. F. dysceve. 298. F.
constance; ben. 299. F. clerkys. 301. F. pite.

302. F. frendely; Th. frendly. 303. F. flee (!); golde. 304. F. quyt; hir.
305. F. gate; wolde. 306. F. bolde. 307. F. hir. 308. F. kept; grete. 310.
F. wrechch; Th. wretche; A. man. 314. F. That (_for_ Than). F. hert; Th.
herte. 315. F. mischefe; hir. 316. Th. natures (_for_ Martres). 318. F.
oothe in no; A. ooth noon ne; S. T. Th. othe ne. 320. A. Th. herte; F.
hert. A. In herte of man conceites trewe arn dede. 324. A. wommannes; Th.
D. womans; F. a womans. Th. wicked crabbydnesse. 326. F. the; harme. 327.
F. No fors; A. Yee strab (_or_ scrab). Th. Beth ware women of her
fykelnesse. F. take; S. and take. 329. F. smert; Th. smerte. 331. F. sle.
332. F. folke.

335. F. Empoysone folkys; set. 337. F. perfyte. 338. D. B. Th. A.
entalented; F. entenlented. 339. F. Be; Th. Al; _rest_ To. F. sytt. 340. F.
women. 342. A. softe; F. Th. soft. 343. F. outwarde. 344. A. Wommannes; F.
Th. Womans. 346. F. Pitouse devoute ful. 348. F. _om._ and. 350. F. hir.
351. F. oure; Th. our. A. firste; F. Th. first. 353. F. Ioy; Th. ioye. 356.
A. nat; F. ne. 357. F. nade; Th. ne had; A. nad. F. she ne wolde. 358. F.
The enviouse; Tr. Thenvyous. F. suellyng. F. fend. 359. Th. herte; F. D.
hert. 359. F. Sent; hir. 361. F. deceyve; Th. disceyue. 363. F. woman. 364.
F. Gode wote; hir.

365. F. good; Tr. goode. F. woman. 369. F. er; A. Th. or. 370. F. hir. 373.
F. cast. 374. F. wronge. 375. F. harme. A. of th_a_t gilt. 376. F. fende;
mawgre. 377. F. hir. 378. F. oonly. F. breeke; D. Th. brake. 379. F. that;
Th. this. F. ben. 381. A. D. mowe; T. mow; Th. may; F. now. 385. A. Th.
holde; F. hold. 386. F. Th. where; B. whan. 388. F. swiche. 391. A. F.
feende; Tr. worme. 392. F. dide; Th. dyd. 394. F. feende. 395. F. sleythes;
Th. sleyghtes; A. sleightes.

397. F. trespase; Th. trespace. F. the hevenes; A. Tr. S. Th. _om._ the.
398. F. tooke. 401. F. suche. 403. F. Yf (_for_ Of). F. lyfe. 405. F.
woyde; Th. voyde. 406. F. hir. 408. F. leene; Th. leane; S. low; A. weyke.
410. Th. dewe. F. moot. 411. A. we witen; _rest_ I sey. F. verraly. 412. F.
men (_for_ man). 413. F. mercye; hir girdille. 414. F. mercye. 415. F.
farewel; Ioy. 417. F. mercye. 418. F. honureth; Th. honoureth. 419. A. Tr.
alle; F. al. 423. F. martirdome. Th. Thou louer trewe. thou mayden
mansuete. 425. F. feendis. 427. _From_ A; F. B. _omit_ (!).

430. A. nat; Tr. not; _rest_ neuer. 431. F. _om._ I. 433. F. hert; hir.
434. F. of my; Th. _om._ my. 435-448. _Precedes_ 421-434 _in_ Th. 435. F.
where. 436. F. werkis; lyfe. 438. F. wommen (_read_ womman, _as in_ l.
442). F. stryfe. 439. F. ententyfe. 441. _So_ Th.; F. B. forsoken hym. 442.
F. forsooke. 443. F. left oonly. 444. Tr. holy wryt thus; F. thus holy
wryt. 445. F. Lok. 446. _So_ A.; F. B. I may wel preve herby. 447, 448. F.
constance, variance. 450. F. trew; Th. trewe. 451. A. is nat told for; F.
tolde I nat for; Th. tel I for no. 453. F. oonly loo. 455. F. honure; Th.
honour. Th. auaunce. 458. A.S. she; _rest_ he.

459, 460. A.S. She; _rest_ He. S. hir; F. hi (!); _rest_ his. 461. F.
wertu. 462. F. Gret; honor. 464. F. oure; echon. 465. F. oure. 466. F. D.
_om._ false. F. reble; Th. rebel. 469. A. ynne; F. in. F. more neuer; A.
_om._ more. 471. S. Tr. that; _rest om._ 472. F. the ayer; A. their; Tr.
theyre. F. moneth. 473. F. oure; where; milion. 474. F. louers trwe. 475.
F. Iocunde.

COLOPHON. D. T. amatoribus; F. _om._ B. _has_--The lettre of Cupide, god of
love, directed to his suggestys louers.

       *       *       *       *       *




  To you, welle of honour and worthinesse,
  Our Cristen king, the heir and successour
  Un-to Justinians devout tendrenesse
  In the feith of Jesu, our redemptour;
  And to you, lordes of the Garter, 'flour                5
  Of chevalrye,' as men you clepe and calle;
  The lord of vertu and of grace auctour
  Graunte the fruit of your loos never appalle!

  O lige lord, that han eek the lyknesse
  Of Constantyn, th'ensaumple and the mirour             10
  To princes alle, in love and buxumnesse
  To holy chirche, O verray sustenour
  And piler of our feith, and werreyour
  Ageyn the heresyës bitter galle,
  Do forth, do forth, continue your socour!              15
  Hold up Cristes baner; lat it nat falle!

  This yle, or this, had been but hethenesse,
  Nad been of your feith the force and vigour!
  And yit, this day, the feendes fikilnesse
  Weneth fully to cacche a tyme and hour                 20
  To have on us, your liges, a sharp shour,
  And to his servitude us knitte and thralle.
  But ay we truste in you, our prótectour;
  On your constaunce we awayten alle.

  Commandeth that no wight have hardinesse,              25
  O worthy king, our Cristen emperour,
  Of the feith to despute more or lesse
  Openly among people, wher errour
  Springeth al day and engendreth rumour.
  Maketh swich lawe, and for aught may befalle,          30
  Observe it wel; ther-to be ye dettour.
  Doth so, and god in glorie shal you stalle.


  Ye lordes eek, shyninge in noble fame,
  To whiche appropred is the maintenaunce
  Of Cristes cause; in honour of his name                35
  Shove on, and putte his foos to the outrance!
  God wolde so; so wolde eek your ligeaunce;
  To tho two prikketh you your duëtee.
  Who-so nat kepeth this double observaunce
  Of merit and honour naked is he!                       40

  Your style seith that ye ben foos to shame;
  Now kythe of your feith the perséveraunce,
  In which an heep of us arn halte and lame.
  Our Cristen king of England and of Fraunce,
  And ye, my lordes, with your alliaunce,                45
  And other feithful people that ther be
  (Truste I to god) shul quenche al this nuisaunce
  And this land sette in hy prosperitee.

  Conquest of hy prowesse is for to tame
  The wilde woodnesse of this mescreaunce;               50
  Right to the rote repe ye that same!
  Slepe nat this, but, for goddes plesaunce
  And his modres, and in signifiaunce
  That ye ben of seint Georges liveree,
  Doth him servyce and knightly obeisaunce;              55
  For Cristes cause is his, wel knowen ye!

  Stif stande in that, and ye shul greve and grame
  The fo to pees, the norice of distaunce;
  That now is ernest, torne it into game;
  Dampnáble fro feith werë variaunce!                    60
  Lord lige, and lordes, have in rémembraunce,
  Lord of al is the blessed Trinitee,
  Of whos vertu the mighty habundaunce
  You herte and strengthe in feithful unitee! Amen.

              _Cest tout._

_From_ P. (Phillipps 8151); _also in_ Ed. (ed. 1542). 1. Ed. honour; P.
honur. 2. P. Our right cristen; Ed. _om._ right. Ed. the heire; P. _om._
the. 6. P. ch_iua_lrie; Ed. cheualry. 8. P. nat; Ed. neuer. 10. Ed. _om._
the. 11. P. loue and; Ed. humble. 14. P. bittir; Ed. bytter. 15. P. foorth;
Ed. forthe (_twice_). 16. P. Ed. Holde.

19. P. fikilnesse; Ed. crabbydnesse. 20. P. Weeneth; Ed. Weneth. 22. P.
seruiture; Ed. seruytude. 25. P. Commandith; Ed. Co_m_maundeth. 26. Ed. O;
P. Our. Ed. our; P. and. 27. Ed. dispute. 28. P. where; Ed. Her. 29. P.
Spryngith; engendrith. 30. P. Makith. P. aght; Ed. ought. 31. P. been; Ed.
be. 32. P. Dooth. 33. P. Yee. 34. P. approped (!). 38. Ed. duite. 39. P.
keepith; Ed. kepeth. 40. P. nakid; Ed. naked. 41. Ed. _om._ that. P. yee
been. 43. P. arn; Ed. be. 44. P. Engeland and; Ed. England and of. 45. P.
yee. 46. P. othir. 47. P. qwenche. P. nusance; Ed. noysaunce (_read_

49. P. Conqueste; Ed. Conquest. 50. Ed. myscreaunce. 51. P. roote rype; Ed.
rote repe. P. yee. 52. P. Sleepe; Ed. Slepe. 54. P. yee been. 55. P. Dooth.
56, 57. P. yee. 57. P. shuln; Ed. shal. P. greeue. 58. Ed. the; P. and. 59.
Ed. tourne. 60. Ed. Nowe kythe of your beleue the constaunce. 62. P.
blissid; Ed. blysfull.

       *       *       *       *       *




  My noble sones, and eek my lordes dere,
  I, your fader called, unworthily,
  Sende un-to you this litel tretys here
  Writen with myn owne hand full rudëly;
  Although it be that I not reverently                    5
  Have writen to your estats, yet I you praye,
  Myn unconning taketh benignëly
  For goddes sake, and herken what I seye.

  I complayn sore, whan I remembre me
  The sodeyn age that is upon me falle;                  10
  More I complayn my mispent juventè
  The whiche is impossible ayein to calle.
  But certainly, the most complaynte of alle
  Is for to thinke, that I have been so nyce
  That I ne wolde no virtue to me calle                  15
  In al my youthe, but vyces ay cheryce.

  Of whiche I aske mercy of thee, lord,
  That art almighty god in majestè,
  Beseking thee, to make so even accord
  Betwix thee and my soule, that vanitè                  20
  Of worldly lust, ne blynd prosperitè
  Have no lordship over my flesshe so frele.
  Thou lord of reste and parfit unitè,
  Put fro me vyce, and keep my soules hele.

  And yeve me might, whyl I have lyf and space,          25
  Me to conforme fully to thy plesaunce;
  Shewe upon me th'abundaunce of thy grace,
  In gode werkes graunt me perséveraunce.
  Of al my youthe forget the ignoraunce;
  Yeve me good wil, to serve thee ay to queme;           30
  Set al my lyf after thyn ordinaunce,
  And able me to mercy, or thou deme!

  My lordes dere, why I this complaint wryte
  To you, alle whom I love entierly,
  Is for to warne you, as I can endyte,                  35
  That tyme y-lost in youthe folily
  Greveth a wight goostly and bodily,
  I mene hem that to lust and vyce entende.
  Wherfore, I pray you, lordes, specially,
  Your youthe in vertue shapeth to dispende.             40

  Planteth the rote of youthe in suche a wyse
  That in vertue your growing be alway;
  Loke ay, goodnesse be in your exercyse,
  That shal you mighty make, at eche assay,
  The feend for to withstonde at eche affray.            45
  Passeth wysly this perilous pilgrimage,
  Thinke on this word, and werke it every day;
  That shal you yeve a parfit floured age.

  Taketh also hede, how that these noble clerkes
  Write in hir bokes of gret sapience,                   50
  Saying, that fayth is deed withouten werkes;
  So is estat withoute intelligence
  Of vertue; and therfore, with diligence,
  Shapeth of vertue so to plante the rote,
  That ye therof have ful experience,                    55
  To worship of your lyfe and soules bote.

  Taketh also hede, that lordship ne estat,
  Withoute vertue, may not longe endure;
  Thinketh eek how vyce and vertue at debat
  Have been, and shal, whyles the world may dure;        60
  And ay the vicious, by aventure,
  Is overthrowe; and thinketh evermore
  That god is lord of vertue and figure
  Of al goodnesse; and therfore folowe his lore.

  My mayster Chaucer, god his soulë have!                65
  That in his langage was so curious,
  He sayde, the fader whiche is deed and grave,
  Biquath nothing his vertue with his hous
  Unto his sone; therfore laborious
  Ought ye to be, beseching god, of grace,               70
  To yeve you might for to be vertuous,
  Through which ye might have part of his fayr place.

  Here may ye see that vertuous noblesse
  Cometh not to you by way of auncestrye,
  But it cometh thorugh leefful besinesse                75
  Of honest lyfe, and not by slogardrye.
  Wherfore in youthe I rede you edefye
  The hous of vertue in so wys manere
  That in your age it may you kepe and gye
  Fro the tempest of worldly wawes here.                 80

  Thinketh how, betwixë vertue and estat
  There is a parfit blessed mariage;
  Vertue is cause of pees, vyce of debat
  In mannes soule; for which, with ful corage,
  Cherissheth vertue, vyces to outrage:                  85
  Dryveth hem away; let hem have no wonning
  In your soules; leseth not the heritage
  Which god hath yeve to vertuous living.

  Taketh hede also, how men of povre degree
  Through vertue have be set in greet honour,            90
  And ever have lived in greet prosperitee
  Through cherisshing of vertuous labour.
  Thinketh also, how many a governour
  Called to estat, hath oft be set ful lowe
  Through misusing of right, and for errour,             95
  Therfore I counsaile you, vertue to knowe.

  Thus 'by your eldres may ye nothing clayme,'
  As that my mayster Chaucer sayth expresse,
  'But temporel thing, that man may hurte and mayme';
  Than is god stocke of vertuous noblesse;              100
  And sith that he is lord of blessednesse,
  And made us alle, and for us alle deyde,
  Folowe his vertue with ful besinesse,
  And of this thing herke how my mayster seyde:--

  _The firste stok, fader of gentilesse,_               105
  _What man that claymeth gentil for to be_
  _Must folowe his trace, and alle his wittes dresse_
  _Vertu to sewe, and vyces for to flee._
  _For unto vertu longeth dignitee,_
  _And noght the revers, saufly dar I deme,_            110
  _Al were he mytre, croune, or diademe._

  _This firste stok was ful of rightwisnesse,_
  _Trewe of his word, sobre, pitous, and free,_
  _Clene of his goste, and loved besinesse_
  _Ageinst the vyce of slouthe, in honestee;_           115
  _And, but his heir love vertu, as dide he,_
  _He is noght gentil, though he riche seme,_
  _Al were he mytre, croune, or diademe._

  _Vyce may wel be heir to old richesse;_
  _But ther may no man, as men may wel see,_            120
  _Bequethe his heir his vertuous noblesse;_
  _That is appropred unto no degree,_
  _But to the firste fader in magestee_
  _That maketh him his heir, that can him queme,_
  _Al were he mytre, croune, or diademe._               125

  Lo here, this noble poete of Bretayne
  How hyely he, in vertuous sentence,
  The losse in youthe of vertue can complayne;
  Wherfore I pray you, dooth your diligence,
  For your estats and goddes reverence,                 130
  T'enprintë vertue fully in your mynde,
  That, whan ye come in your juges presence,
  Ye be not set as vertules behynde.

  Ye lordes have a maner now-a-dayes,
  Though oon shewe you a vertuous matere,               135
  Your fervent youthe is of so false alayes
  That of that art ye have no joy to here.
  But, as a ship that is withouten stere
  Dryveth up and doun, withouten governaunce,
  Wening that calm wol lastë, yeer by yere,             140
  Right so fare ye, for very ignoraunce.

  For very shamë, knowe ye nat, by réson
  That, after an ebbe, ther cometh a flood ful rage?
  In the same wyse, whan youth passeth his séson,
  Cometh croked and unweldy palled age;                 145
  Sone after comen kalends of dotage;
  And if your youth no vertue have provyded,
  Al men wol saye, fy on your vassalage!
  Thus hath your slouth fro worship you devyded.

  Boëce the clerk, as men may rede and see,             150
  Saith, in his Boke of Consolacioun,
  What man desyreth +have of vyne or tree
  Plentee of fruit, in the ryping sesoun,
  Must ay eschewe to doon oppressioun
  Unto the rote, whyle it is yong and grene;            155
  Ye may wel see, by this conclusioun,
  That youthë vertulees doth mochel tene.

  Seeth, there-ayenst, how vertuous noblesse
  Roted in youthe, with good perséveraunce,
  Dryveth away al vyce and wrecchednesse,               160
  As slogardrye, ryote and distaunce!
  Seeth eek how vertue causeth suffisaunce,
  And suffisaunce exyleth coveityse!
  And who hath vertue hath al abundaunce
  Of wele, as fer as reson can devyse.                  165

  Taketh hede of Tullius Hostilius,
  That cam fro povertee to hy degree;
  Through vertue redeth eek of Julius
  The conquerour, how povre a man was he;
  Yet, through his vertue and humanitee,                170
  Of many a countree had he governaunce.
  Thus vertue bringeth unto greet degree
  Eche wight that list to do him entendaunce.

  Rede, here-ayenst, of Nero vertulees;
  Taketh hede also of proude Balthasar;                 175
  They hated vertue, equitee, and pees.
  Loke how Antiochus fil fro his char,
  That he his skin and bones al to-tar!
  Loke what meschauncë they had for hir vyces!
  Who-so that wol not by these signes be war,           180
  I dar wel say, infortunat or nyce is.

  I can no more; but here-by may ye see
  How vertue causeth parfit sikernesse,
  And vyces doon exyle prosperitee;
  The best is, ech to chesen, as I gesse.               185
  Doth as you list, I me excuse expresse;
  I wolde be sory, if that ye mischese.
  God you conferme in vertuous noblesse,
  So that through negligence ye nothing lese!


_From_ Th. (Thynne, ed. 1542); _collated with_ A. (Ashmole 59), _and_ Cx.
(Caxton); _readings also given from_ H. (Harl. 2251).

TITLE; _from_ A. (_which has_ folowethe nexst); Cx. _has_ Here next
foloweth a tretyse, whiche John Skogan sente vnto the lordes and gentilmen
of the kynges hows, exortyng them to lose no tyme in theyr yougthe, but to
vse vertues; Th. _has_ Scogan vnto the lordes and gentylmen of the kynges

1. Th. A. sonnes. 2. Th. A. vnworthely. 3. Th. lytel treatyse; A. balade
folowing. 4. Th. with; A. H. of. 5. Th. H. Although; Cx. And though; A.
Yitte howe. 6. Th. A. estates. A. yet; H. Th. Cx. _om._ 8. Cx. herkne
(_better_). 9. Th. me sore; A. H. _om._ me. 10. A. H. falle; Th. fal. 11.
Th. But more; A. H. Cx. _om._ But. Th. iuuentute. 12. Th. ayen for; A.
ageine. A. H. calle; Th. cal.

13. Th. H. certainly; A. comvnely. Th. A. moste. A. H. alle; Th. al. 14. A.
H. for; Th. _om._ A. beon; Th. be. 15. A. H. no; Th. _om._ A. vertue; Th.
vertues. A. calle; Th. cal. 16. A. ay; Th. aye. 17. A. thee; Th. the. Th.
lorde. 18. Th. H. god; A. lorde. 20. Th. Betwyxe; A. Bytwene. 21. A. H. Of;
Th. Cx. _om._ Th. blynde. 22. A. so freel; Th. H. to frele. 23. Th. lorde;
perfyte. 24. A. H. Cx. soules; Th. soule. 25. Th. whyle; lyfe. 26. A. H.
confourme; Th. confyrme (!). 27. A. H. vpon; Th. to. 28. Th. And in; A. H.
_om._ And. 30. A. thee; Th. the. 31. Th. lyfe. A. H. thy governaunce. 34.
A. alle whome; Cx. whom that; Th. whom. Th. moste entyrely; Cx. A.
entierly. 36. A. eloste; Th. loste; H. Cx. lost. 37. A. H. goostely and
bodely; Th. Cx. bodily and gostly. 38. Th. meane. 39. A. I prey you lordes;
Th. lordes I pray you. A. tendrely. 41. Cx. _transposes_ 41-80 _and_
81-125. A. Plantethe; Th. Cx. Plante.

43. A. ay; Th. alway. 45. Cx. The frende (!) for to withsto_n_de; A. For to
withstonde the feonde; Th. The fende to withstande. 46. Th. peryllous; H.
perilous. 47. H. Th. Cx. werke; A. vse. 48. Th. parfyte. 50. Th. Writen; A.
Wrote. Th. her. Th. great; H. grete; A. noble. 52. _So_ A.; Th. And right
so is estate with negligence. 57. A. Then kepe also that. 58. Cx. A.
Withoute; Th. Without. 59. Cx. vice; A. H. Th. vices. 60. A. whiles; Th.
while. Th. worlde. 61. A. H. ay; Th. Cx. euer. 63. Th. lorde of al; H. A.
lord of. 67. Th. sayd that the; A. saide that the; H. Cx. _om._ that. Th.
father; A. H. fader. 68. H. A. Beqwath; Th. Byqueth. Th. house. 69. _So_ A.
Cx.; Th. children and therefore laborouse. 70. H. Th. Ought; A. Aught; Cx.
Owe. Th. _om._ to. Th. besekyng; A. beseching. 72. Th. haue; A. H. gete.
Th. p_ar_te. A. feyre; Th. H. _om._

74. A. Comþe. 75. A. thorugh; Cx. thurgh; Th. by. A. leofful; Th. leful; H.
leeful. 77. Th. you ye; A. H. _om._ ye. 78. Th. house. A. soo wyse; Th. H.
suche a. 79. Th. _om._ it. 80. H. A. worldly; Th. worldes. 81. Th. howe
betwyxe; A. howe bytwene. 82. Th. parfyte. 84. H. A. for whiche with full;
Th. the whiche be ful of. 85. Th. than vertue; A. _om._ than. 86. A. Cx.
_om. 1st_ hem. 87. A. leese; H. lesith. 89. Th. howe. A. poure; Th. poore.
90, 91. Th. great. 92. Th. H. Through; A. By. 94. Th. H. Called; A. Calde.
A. offt; H. Th. Cx. _om._ 95. A. for; Th. H. Cx. of. 96. Th. And therfore;
_rest om._ And. 97. A. By auncetrye thus; Th. H. Thus by your auncestres;
Cx. Thus by your eldres. 99. Th. men (_for_ man). 100. Cx. Than god is.
101. Th. sythe; lorde. Th. blyssednesse; A. blessednesse. 102. A. That
(_for_ And). A. H. alle; Th. al (1). Cx. alle; Th. al (2). _For_ us alle A.
_has_ mankynde that.

103. _So_ A.; Th. H. Foloweth hym in vertue. 105-125. Chaucer's poem of
_Gentilesse_ is here quoted; see vol. i. p. 392. 127. A. Howe hyely he; Th.
Howe lightly. 128. A. lesse (!); Th. losse. A. H. in; Th. on. 129. A.
Wherfore; Th. And therefore. A. doothe; Th. with (!). 130. A. estates; Th.
profyte. 131. A. Tenprynte; Th. Tempereth (!). A. H. vertue fully; Th.
fully vertue. 132. Cx. in; A. H. in-to; Th. to. 133. A. H. sette as
vertulesse; Th. vertulesse than. 134. H. Cx. Ye; A. For yee; Th. Many. Th.
A. nowe. 135. Cx. H. you; Th. hem. A. Thaughe one of you here of a gode

136. Cx. H. Your feruent; Th. Her feruent; A. Your vnsure. 137. Th. arte.
Cx. H. ye; Th. they. A. That of suche artes you liste not to. 138. Cx. A.
withouten; Th. without a. 139. A. withouten; Th. without. 140. Th. calme.
A. wol laste you; Th. wolde last. Th. yere by yere. 141. Cx. A. H. ye; Th.
they. 142. Cx. A. H. ye; Th. they. 143. A. Cx. _om._ ful. 144. A. Right
euen so whane. 145. A. Comthe. 146. A. Soone; Th. And sone. Th. comen the;
Cx. come; A. comthe. 147. Th. if that; Cx. A. H. _om._ that. Cx. A. your;
Th. her. A. H. no vertue haue; Cx. no vertue hath; Th. haue no vertue. 148.
Th. fye. Cx. A. your; Th. her. 149. A. H. your; Th. her. Cx. H. you; Th.
hem. A. _has_ Thus hathe youre youthe and slouthe you al misgyded. 152. Cx.
A. H. to haue; Th. _om._ (_read_ haue). 153. A. Plenty of; Cx. Plentyuous;
Th. Plentous. Th. fruite. A. H. Cx. the; Th. _om._ A. H. Cx. riping; Th.
reapyng. 154. A. H. Cx. ay; Th. euer. A. doon; Th. do. 156. A. H. Cx. Yee
may; Th. Thus may ye. A. H. wele see; Cx. see; Th. se wel. A. H. this; Th.
that. A. Cx. conclusioun; Th. inclusyon (!). 157. A. youthe; Th. youth. A.
Th. vertulesse. Th. moche; Cx. ofte muche; A. ay michil (_read_ mochel).
158. Th. Nowe seeth; A. H. Cx. _om._ Nowe. Th. howe; A. that. 159. A.
youthe; Th. youth.

160. A. Cx. vyce; H. vice; Th. vyces. 161. A. Al (_for_ As). A. al ryote;
H. Cx. Th. _om._ al. 162. Th. eke howe. 163. _So_ A. Cx.; H. _om._; Th.
_has_ Seeth eke howe vertue voydeth al vyce (!). 164. Th. H. Cx. whoso; A.
_om._ so. 165. Th. ferre; A. far. Th. reason. 167. A. came frome pouertee;
Th. fro pouert came. Th. hygh; A. hye. 168. Th. eke. 169. Th. howe poore.
170. A. H. Cx. humanite; Th. his humylite. 171. Th. _om._ a. 172. A. unto
gret; Cx. to hye; Th. a man to great. 173. A. Cx. list; Th. H. lust. Th.
entendaunce; _rest_ attendaunce. 174. Th. nowe of; A. H. Cx. _om._ nowe.
177. Th. And loke; _rest om._ And. Th. howe; chare. 178. Th. tare. 179. A.
meschaunces. 180. Th. H. Cx. _om._ that. Th. ware. 181. A. Th. infortunate.
A. H. Cx. or; Th. and. 182. Th. no more nowe say; Cx. no more say; H. no
more; A. more (!). Th. herby; se. 183. A. Th. Howe. A. Th. perfyte. 184. A.
done exyle; Th. H. exylen al; Cx. exyles al. 185. Th. eche man to; Cx. man
to; A. dethe to (dethe _is put for_ eche). A. cheesen; Th. chose.

186. Th. A. Dothe. 187. A. Cx. wil (_for_ wolde). Th. right sorie; A. H.
Cx. _om._ right. 188. A. you conferme; Th. confyrme you. 189. A. no thing;
Cx. H. nothing; Th. not it. COLOPHON. Cx. Thus endeth the traytye wiche
John Skogan sent to the lordes and estates of the kynges hous.

       *       *       *       *       *



  In May, whan Flora, the fresshe lusty quene,
  The soile hath clad in grene, rede, and whyte,
  And Phebus gan to shede his stremes shene
  Amid the Bole, with al the bemes brighte,
  And Lucifer, to chace awey the night,                   5
  Ayen the morowe our orizont hath take
  To bidde lovers out of hir sleepe awake,

  And hertes hevy for to recomforte
  From dreriheed of hevy nightes sorowe,
  Nature bad hem ryse, and hem disporte,                 10
  Ayen the goodly, gladde, greye morowe;
  And Hope also, with seint Johan to borowe,
  Bad, in dispyt of daunger and dispeyre,
  For to take the hoolsom lusty eyre:

  And with a sigh I gan for to abreyde                   15
  Out of my slombre, and sodainly up sterte
  As he, alas! that nigh for sorowe deyde,
  My sekenes sat ay so nigh my herte.
  But, for to finde socour of my smerte,
  Or at the leste som réles of my peyne,                 20
  That me so sore halt in every veyne,

  I roos anon, and thoghte I wolde goon
  Into the wode, to here the briddes singe,
  Whan that the misty vapour was agoon
  And clere and faire was the morowning;                 25
  The dewe also, lyk silver in shyning
  Upon the leves, as any baume swete,
  Til fyry Tytan, with his persaunt hete,

  Had dryed up the lusty licour newe
  Upon the herbes in the grene mede,                     30
  And that the floures, of many dyvers hewe,
  Upon hir stalkes gonne for to sprede
  And for to splaye[n] out hir leves on-brede
  Agayn the sonne, gold-burned in his spere,
  That doun to hem caste his bemes clere.                35

  And by a river forth I gan costey
  Of water clere as berel or cristal
  Til at the laste I found a litel wey
  Toward a park, enclosed with a wal
  In compas rounde, and by a gate smal                   40
  Who-so that wolde frely mighte goon
  Into this park, walled with grene stoon.

  And in I wente, to here the briddes song,
  Whiche on the braunches, bothe in playn and vale,
  So loude songe, that al the wode rong                  45
  Lyke as it shulde shiver in peces smale;
  And, as me thoughte, that the nightingale
  With so gret mighte her voys gan out-wreste
  Right as her herte for love wolde breste.

  The soil was playn, smothe, and wonder softe           50
  Al oversprad with tapites that Nature
  Had mad her-selve, celured eek alofte
  With bowes grene, the floures for to cure,
  That in hir beautè they may longe endure
  From al assaut of Phebus fervent fere,                 55
  Whiche in his spere so hote shoon and clere.

  The eyre attempre, and the smothe wind
  Of Zepherus, among the blossomes whyte,
  So hoolsom was and norisshing by kind,
  That smale buddes, and rounde blomes lyte              60
  In maner gonnen of her brethe delyte
  To yeve us hope that hir fruit shal take,
  Ayens autumpne, redy for to shake.

  I saw ther Daphne, closed under rinde,
  Grene laurer, and the hoolsom pyne;                    65
  The myrre also, that wepeth ever of kinde;
  The cedres hye, upright as a lyne;
  The philbert eek, that lowe doth enclyne
  Her bowes grene to the erthe adoun
  Unto her knight, y-called Demophoun.                   70

  Ther saw I eek the fresshe hawëthorn
  In whyte motlè, that so swote doth smelle,
  Ash, firre, and ook, with many a yong acorn,
  And many a tree--mo than I can telle;
  And, me beforn, I saw a litel welle,                   75
  That had his cours, as I gan beholde,
  Under an hille, with quikke stremes colde.

  The gravel gold, the water pure as glas,
  The bankes rounde, the welle envyroning;
  And softe as veluët the yonge gras                     80
  That therupon lustily cam springing;
  The sute of trees aboute compassing
  Hir shadowe caste, closing the welle rounde,
  And al the herbes growing on the grounde.

  The water was so hoolsom and vertuous                  85
  Through might of herbes growing there besyde,
  Not lyk the welle, wher-as Narcisus
  Y-slayn was, through vengeaunce of Cupyde,
  Where so covertly he didë hyde
  The grayn of cruel dethe upon ech brinke,              90
  That deeth mot folowe, who that ever drinke;

  Ne lyk the pittë of the Pegacè
  Under Pernaso, where poetës slepte;
  Nor lyk the welle of pure chastitè
  Which that Dyane with her nymphes kepte,               95
  Whan she naked into the water lepte,
  That slow Acteon with his houndes felle
  Only for he cam so nigh the welle!

  Bút this welle, that I here reherce,
  So hoolsom was, that it wolde aswage                  100
  Bollen hertes, and the venim perce
  Of pensifheed, with al the cruel rage,
  And evermore refresshe the visage
  Of hem that were in any werinesse
  Of greet labour, or fallen in distresse.              105

  And I, that had, through daunger and disdayne,
  So drye a thrust, thoughte I wolde assaye
  To taste a draughte of this welle, or twayne,
  My bitter langour if it mighte alaye;
  And on the banke anon adoun I lay,                    110
  And with myn heed unto the welle I raughte,
  And of the water drank I a good draughte;

  Wherof, me thought, I was refresshed wele
  Of the brenning that sat so nigh my herte,
  That verily anon I gan to fele                        115
  An huge part relesed of my smerte;
  And therwithallë anon up I sterte,
  And thoughte I wolde walke, and see more
  Forth in the parke, and in the holtes hore.

  And through a laundë as I yede a-pace                 120
  And gan aboute faste to beholde,
  I found anon a délitable place
  That was beset with treës yonge and olde,
  Whose names here for me shal not be tolde;
  Amidde of whiche stood an herber grene,               125
  That benched was, with colours newe and clene.

  Thís herber was ful of floures inde,
  In-to the whiche as I beholde gan,
  Betwix an hulfere and a wodëbinde,
  As I was war, I saw wher lay a man                    130
  In blakke and whyte colour, pale and wan,
  And wonder deedly also of his hewe,
  Of hurtes grene and fresshe woundes newe.

  And overmore distrayned with sekenesse,
  Besyde al this, he was, ful grevously;                135
  For upon him he had an hoot accesse,
  That day by day him shook ful pitously;
  So that, for constreynt of his malady
  And hertly wo, thus lying al alone,
  It was a deeth for to here him grone.                 140

  Wherof astonied, my foot I gan withdrawe,
  Greetly wondring what it mighte be
  That he so lay, and hadde no felawe,
  Ne that I coude no wight with him see;
  Wherof I hadde routhe, and eek pitè,                  145
  And gan anon, so softely as I coude,
  Among the busshes me prively to shroude;

  If that I mighte in any wyse espye
  What was the cause of his deedly wo,
  Or why that he so pitously gan crye                   150
  On his fortune, and on his ure also;
  With al my might I layde an ere to,
  Every word to marke, what he seyde,
  Out of his swough among as he abrayde.

  But first, if I shulde make mencioun                  155
  Of his persone, and plainly him discryve,
  He was in sothe, without excepcioun,
  To speke of manhode, oon the best on-lyve;
  Ther may no man ayen the trouthe stryve.
  For of his tyme, and of his age also                  160
  He proved was, ther men shulde have ado,

  For oon the beste there, of brede and lengthe
  So wel y-mad by good proporcioun,
  If he had be in his deliver strengthe;
  But thought and seknesse were occasioun               165
  That he thus lay, in lamentacioun,
  Gruffe on the grounde, in place desolat,
  Sole by him-self, awhaped and amat.

  And, for me semeth that it is sitting
  His wordes al to putte in remembraunce,               170
  To me, that herdë al his complayning
  And al the groundë of his woful chaunce,
  If ther-withal I may you do plesaunce,
  I wol to you, so as I can, anon,
  Lyk as he sayde, reherce hem everichon.               175

  But who shal helpe me now to complayne?
  Or who shal now my style gye or lede?
  O Niobè, let now thy teres rayne
  In-to my penne; and helpe eek in this nede,
  Thou woful Mirre, that felest my herte blede          180
  Of pitous wo, and myn hand eek quake
  Whan that I wryte, for this mannes sake!

  For unto wo accordeth complayning
  And doleful cherë unto hevinesse;
  To sorowe also, syghing and weping,                   185
  And pitous mourning, unto drerinesse;
  And whoso that shal wryten of distresse
  In party nedeth to knowe felingly
  Cause and rote of al such malady.

  But I, alas! that am of witte but dulle,              190
  And have no knowing of such matere,
  For to discryve and wryten at the fulle
  The woful complaynt, which that ye shal here,
  But even-lyk as doth a skrivenere
  That can no more what that he shal wryte,             195
  But as his maister besyde doth endyte;

  Right so fare I, that of no sentement
  Saye right naught, as in conclusioun,
  But as I herde, whan I was present,
  This man complayne with a pitous soun;                200
  For even-lyk, without addicioun
  Or disencrees, either more or lesse,
  For to reherce anon I wol me dresse.

  And if that any now be in this place
  That fele in love brenning or fervence,               205
  Or hindred werë to his lady grace
  With false tonges, that with pestilence
  Slee trewe men that never did offence
  In word nor dede, ne in hir entent--
  If any suche be here now present,                     210

  Let him of routhe lay to audience,
  With doleful chere and sobre countenaunce,
  To here this man, by ful high sentence,
  His mortal wo and his gret perturbaunce
  Cómplayning, now lying in a traunce,                  215
  With lokes upcaste, and with ruful chere,
  Th' effect of whiche was as ye shal here.--


  The thought oppressed with inward sighes sore,
  The painful lyf, the body languisshing,
  The woful gost, the herte rent and tore,              220
  The pitous chere, pale in compleyning,
  The deedly face, lyk ashes in shyning,
  The salte teres that fro myn eyën falle,
  Parcel declare grounde of my peynes alle:

  Whos herte is grounde to blede in hevinesse;          225
  The thought, resceyt of wo and of complaynt;
  The brest is cheste of dole and drerinesse;
  The body eek so feble and so faynt;
  With hote and colde myn acces is so meynt,
  That now I chiver for defaute of hete,                230
  And, hoot as gleed, now sodainly I swete.

  Now hoot as fyr, now cold as asshes dede,
  Now hoot fro cold, now cold fro hete agayn;
  Now cold as ys, now as coles rede
  For hete I brenne; and thus, betwixe twayne,          235
  I possed am, and al forcast in payne;
  So that my hete plainly, as I fele,
  Of grevous cold is causë, every-deel.

  This is the cold of inward high disdayne,
  Cold of dispyt, and cold of cruel hate;               240
  This is the cold that doth his besy payne
  Ayeines trouthe to fighte and to debate.
  This is the cold that wolde the fyr abate
  Of trewe mening; alas! the harde whyle!
  This is the cold that wolde me begyle.                245

  For ever the better that in trouthe I mente
  With al my mighte faythfully to serve,
  With herte and al for to be diligent,
  The lesse thank, alas! I can deserve!
  Thus for my trouthe Daunger doth me sterve.           250
  For oon that shulde my deeth, of mercy, lette
  Hath mad despyt newe his swerd to whette

  Ayeines me, and his arowes to fyle
  To take vengeaunce of wilful crueltè;
  And tonges false, through hir sleightly wyle,         255
  Han gonne a werre that wil not stinted be;
  And fals Envye, Wrathe, and Enmitè,
  Have conspired, ayeines al right and lawe,
  Of hir malyce, that Trouthe shal be slawe.

  And Male-Bouche gan first the tale telle,             260
  To slaundre Trouthe, of indignacioun;
  And Fals-Report so loude rong the belle,
  That Misbeleve and Fals-Suspeccioun,
  Have Trouthe brought to his dampnacioun,
  So that, alas! wrongfully he dyeth,                   265
  And Falsnes now his placë occupyeth,

  And entred is in-to Trouthes lond,
  And hath therof the ful possessioun.
  O rightful god, that first the trouthe fond,
  How may thou suffre such oppressioun,                 270
  That Falshood shulde have jurisdiccioun
  In Trouthes right, to slee him giltëlees?
  In his fraunchyse he may not live in pees.

  Falsly accused, and of his foon forjuged,
  Without answere, whyl he was absent,                  275
  He dampned was, and may not ben excused,
  For Crueltè sat in jugëment
  Of hastinesse, withoute avysëment,
  And bad Disdayn do execute anon
  His jugëment, in presence of his foon.                280

  Attourney noon ne may admitted been
  T'ëxcuse Trouthë, ne a word to speke;
  To fayth or ooth the juge list not seen,
  There is no gayn, but he wil be wreke.
  O lord of trouthe, to thee I calle and clepe;         285
  How may thou see, thus in thy presence,
  Withoute mercy, murdred innocence?

  Now god, that art of trouthe soverain
  And seëst how I lye for trouthe bounde,
  So sore knit in loves fyry chain                      290
  Even at the deth, through-girt with many a wounde
  That lykly are never for to sounde,
  And for my trouthe am dampned to the deeth,
  And not abyde, but drawe along the breeth:

  Consider and see, in thyn eternal right,              295
  How that myn herte professed whylom was
  For to be trewe with al my fulle might
  Only to oon, the whiche now, alas!
  Of voluntè, withoute any trespas,
  Myn accusours hath taken unto grace,                  300
  And cherissheth hem, my deth for to purchace.

  What meneth this? what is this wonder ure
  Of purveyauncë, if I shal it calle,
  Of god of love, that false hem so assure,
  And trewe, alas! doun of the whele ben falle?         305
  And yet in sothe, this is the worst of alle,
  That Falshed wrongfully of Trouthe hath name,
  And Trouthe ayenward of Falshed bereth the blame.

  This blinde chaunce, this stormy aventure,
  In lovë hath most his experience;                     310
  For who that doth with trouthe most his cure
  Shal for his mede finde most offence,
  That serveth love with al his diligence;
  For who can faynë, under lowliheed,
  Ne fayleth not to finde grace and speed.              315

  For I loved oon, ful longë sith agoon,
  With al my herte, body, and ful might,
  And, to be deed, my herte can not goon
  From his hest, but holde that he hath hight;
  Though I be banisshed out of her sight,               320
  And by her mouth dampned that I shal deye,
  +To my behest yet I wil ever obeye.

  For ever, sithë that the world began,
  Who-so list lokë, and in storie rede,
  He shal ay finde that the trewe man                   325
  Was put abakke, wher-as the falshede
  Y-furthered was; for Love taketh non hede
  To slee the trewe, and hath of hem no charge,
  Wher-as the false goth freely at hir large.

  I take recorde of Palamides,                          330
  The trewe man, the noble worthy knight,
  That ever loved, and of his payn no relees;
  Notwithstonding his manhood and his might
  Love unto him did ful greet unright;
  For ay the bet he did in chevalrye,                   335
  The more he was hindred by envye.

  And ay the bet he did in every place
  Through his knighthood and his besy payne,
  The ferther was he from his lady grace,
  For to her mercy mighte he never attayne;             340
  And to his deth he coude it not refrayne
  For no daungere, but ay obey and serve
  As he best coude, plainly, til he sterve.

  What was the fyne also of Hercules,
  For al his conquest and his worthinesse,              345
  That was of strengthe alone pereles?
  For, lyk as bokes of him list expresse,
  He sette pillers, through his hy prowesse,
  Away at Gades, for to signifye
  That no man mighte him passe in chevalrye.            350

  The whiche pillers ben ferre beyonde Inde
  Beset of golde, for a remembraunce;
  And, for al that, was he set behinde
  With hem that Love liste febly avaunce;
  For [he] him sette last upon a daunce,                355
  Ageynes whom helpe may no stryf;
  For al his trouthe, yit he loste his lyf.

  Phebus also, for al his persaunt light,
  Whan that he wente here in erthe lowe,
  Unto the herte with fresh Venus sight                 360
  Y-wounded was, through Cupydes bowe,
  And yet his lady liste him not to knowe.
  Though for her love his herte didë blede,
  She leet him go, and took of him no hede.

  What shal I saye of yonge Piramus?                    365
  Of trew Tristram, for al his hye renoun?
  Of Achilles, or of Antonius?
  Of Arcite eke, or of him Palemoun?
  What was the endë of hir passioun
  But, after sorowe, deeth, and than hir grave?         370
  Lo, here the guerdon that these lovers have!

  But false Jason, with his doublenesse,
  That was untrewe at Colkos to Medee,
  And Theseus, rote of unkindënesse,
  And with these two eek the false Enee;                375
  Lo! thus the falsë, ay in oon degrè,
  Had in love hir lust and al hir wille;
  And, save falshood, ther was non other skille.

  Of Thebes eek the false [knight] Arcyte,
  And Demophon +also, for [al] his slouthe,             380
  They had hir lust and al that might delyte
  For al hir falshode and hir greet untrouthe.
  Thus ever Love (alas! and that is routhe!)
  His false leges forthereth what he may,
  And sleeth the trewe ungoodly, day by day.            385

  For trewe Adon was slayn with the bore
  Amid the forest, in the grene shade;
  For Venus love he feltë al the sore.
  But Vulcanus with her no mercy made;
  The foule chorl had many nightes glade,               390
  Wher Mars, her worthy knight, her trewe man,
  To finde mercy, comfort noon he can.

  Also the yonge fresshe Ipomenes
  So lusty free [was], as of his corage,
  That for to serve with al his herte he chees          395
  Athalans, so fair of hir visage;
  But Love, alas! quitte him so his wage
  With cruel daunger plainly, at the laste,
  That, with the dethe, guerdonles he paste.

  Lo! here the fyne of loveres servyse!                 400
  Lo! how that Love can his servaunts quyte!
  Lo! how he can his faythful men despyse,
  To slee the trewe, and false to respyte!
  Lo! how he doth the swerd of sorowe byte
  In hertes, suche as most his lust obeye,              405
  To save the false, and do the trewe deye!

  For fayth nor ooth, word, ne assuraunce,
  Trewe mening, awayte, or besinesse,
  Stille port, ne faythful attendaunce,
  Manhood, ne might, in armes worthinesse,              410
  Pursute of worship, nor no hy prowesse,
  In straunge lande ryding, ne travayle,
  Ful lyte or nought in lovë doth avayle.

  Peril of dethe, nother in see ne lande,
  Hunger ne thurst, sorowe ne sekenesse,                415
  Ne grete empryses for to take on hande,
  Sheding of blode, ne manful hardinesse,
  Ne ofte woundinge at sautes by distresse,
  Nor +juparting of lyf, nor deeth also--
  Al is for nought, Love taketh no hede therto!         420

  But lesings, with hir false flaterye,
  Through hir falshede, and with hir doublenesse,
  With tales newe and many fayned lye,
  By fals semblaunt and counterfet humblesse,
  Under colour depeynt with stedfastnesse,              425
  With fraude covered under a pitous face
  Accepte been now rathest unto grace,

  And can hem-selve now best magnifye
  With fayned port and fals presumpcioun;
  They haunce hir cause with fals surquedrye            430
  Under meninge of double entencioun,
  To thenken oon in hir opinioun
  And saye another; to sette hemselve alofte
  And hinder trouthe, as it is seyn ful ofte.

  The whiche thing I bye now al to dere,                435
  Thanked be Venus and the god Cupyde!
  As it is sene by myn oppressed chere,
  And by his arowes that stiken in my syde,
  That, sauf the deth, I nothing abyde
  Fro day to day; alas, the harde whyle!                440
  Whan ever his dart that him list to fyle,

  My woful herte for to ryve a-two
  For faute of mercy, and lak of pitè
  Of her that causeth al my payne and wo
  And list not ones, of grace, for to see               445
  Unto my trouthe through her crueltee;
  And, most of alle, yit I me complayne,
  That she hath joy to laughen at my peyne!

  And wilfully hath [she] my deeth y-sworn
  Al giltëlees, and wot no cause why                    450
  Save for the trouthe that I have had aforn
  To her alone to serve faithfully!
  O god of lovë! unto thee I cry,
  And to thy blinde double deitee
  Of this gret wrongë I compleyne me,                   455

  And to thy stormy wilful variaunce
  Y-meynt with chaunge and greet unstablenesse;
  Now up, now doun, so renning is thy chaunce,
  That thee to truste may be no sikernesse.
  I wyte it nothing but thy doublenesse;                460
  And who that is an archer and is +blent
  Marketh nothing, but sheteth as he +went.

  And for that he hath no discrecioun,
  Withoute avys he let his arowe go;
  For lakke of sight, and also of resoun,               465
  In his shetinge, it happeth ofte so,
  To hurte his frend rather than his fo;
  So doth this god, [and] with his sharpe floon
  The trewe sleeth, and let the false goon.

  And of his wounding this is the worst of alle,        470
  Whan he hurteth, he doth so cruel wreche
  And maketh the seke for to crye and calle
  Unto his fo, for to been his leche;
  And hard it is, for a man to seche,
  Upon the point of dethe in jupardye,                  475
  Unto his fo, to finde remedye!

  Thus fareth it now even by me,
  That to my fo, that yaf myn herte a wounde,
  Mote aske grace, mercy, and pitè,
  And namëly, ther wher non may be founde!              480
  For now my sore my leche wil confounde,
  And god of kinde so hath set myn ure,
  My lyves fo to have my wounde in cure!

  Alas! the whyle now that I was born!
  Or that I ever saw the brighte sonne!                 485
  For now I see, that ful longe aforn,
  Or I was born, my desteny was sponne
  By Parcas sustren, to slee me, if they conne;
  For they my deth shopen or my sherte
  Only for trouthe! I may it not asterte.               490

  The mighty goddesse also of Nature
  That under god hath the governaunce
  Of worldly thinges committed to her cure,
  Disposed hath, through her wys purveyaunce,
  To yeve my lady so moche suffisaunce                  495
  Of al vertues, and therwithal purvyde
  To murdre trouthe, hath take Daunger to gyde.

  For bountè, beautè, shappe, and semeliheed,
  Prudence, wit, passingly fairnesse,
  Benigne port, glad chere with lowliheed,              500
  Of womanheed right plenteous largesse,
  Nature did in her fully empresse,
  Whan she her wroughte; and alther-last Disdayne,
  To hinder trouthe, she made her chamberlayne;

  Whan Mistrust also, and Fals-Suspeccioun,             505
  With Misbeleve, she made for to be
  Cheef of counsayl to this conclusioun,
  For to exyle Routhe, and eek Pitè,
  Out of her court to make Mercy flee,
  So that Dispyt now holdeth forth her reyne,           510
  Through hasty bileve of tales that men feyne.

  And thus I am, for my trouthe, alas!
  Murdred and slayn with wordes sharpe and kene,
  Giltlees, god wot, of al maner trespas,
  And lye and blede upon this colde grene.              515
  Now mercy, swete! mercy, my lyves quene!
  And to your grace of mercy yet I preye,
  In your servyse that your man may deye!

  But if so be that I shal deye algate,
  And that I shal non other mercy have,                 520
  Yet of my dethe let this be the date
  That by your wille I was brought to my grave;
  Or hastily, if that you list me save,
  My sharpe woundes, that ake so and blede,
  Of mercy, charme, and also of womanhede.              525

  For other charme, playnly, is ther non
  But only mercy, to helpe in this case;
  For though my woundes blede ever in oon,
  My lyf, my deeth, standeth in youre grace;
  And though my gilt be nothing, alas!                  530
  I aske mercy in al my beste entente,
  Redy to dye, if that ye assente.

  For ther-ayeines shal I never stryve
  In worde ne werke; playnly, I ne may;
  For lever I have than to be alyve                     535
  To dye soothly, and it be her to pay;
  Ye, though it be this eche same day
  Or whan that ever her liste to devyse;
  Suffyceth me to dye in your servyse.

  And god, that knowest the thought of every wight      540
  Right as it is, in +al thing thou mayst see,
  Yet, ere I dye, with all my fulle might
  Lowly I pray, to graunte[n] unto me
  That ye, goodly, fayre, fresshe, and free,
  Which slee me only for defaute of routhe,             545
  Or that I dye, ye may knowe my trouthe.

  For that, in sothe, suffyseth unto me,
  And she it knowe in every circumstaunce;
  And after, I am wel apayd that she
  If that hir list, of dethe to do vengeaunce           550
  Untó me, that am under her legeaunce;
  It sit me not her doom to disobeye,
  But, at her luste, wilfully to deye.

  Withoute grucching or rebellioun
  In wille or worde, hoolly I assent,                   555
  Or any maner contradiccioun,
  Fully to be at her commaundëment;
  And, if I dyë, in my testament
  My herte I sende, and my spirit also,
  What-so-ever she list, with hem to do.                560

  And alder-last unto her womanhede
  And to her mercy me I recommaunde,
  That lye now here, betwixe hope and drede,
  Abyding playnly what she list commaunde.
  For utterly, (this nis no demaunde),                  565
  Welcome to me, whyl me lasteth breeth,
  Right at her choise, wher it be lyf or deeth!

  In this matere more what mighte I seyn,
  Sith in her hande and in her wille is al,
  Both lyf and deeth, my joy and al my payn?            570
  And fynally, my heste holde I shal,
  Til my spirit, by desteny fatal,
  Whan that her liste, fro my body wende;
  Have here my trouthe, and thus I make an ende!'

  And with that worde he gan syke as sore               575
  Lyk as his herte ryve wolde atwayne,
  And held his pees, and spak a word no more.
  But, for to see his wo and mortal payne,
  The teres gonne fro myn eyen rayne
  Ful pitously, for very inward routhe                  580
  That I him saw so languisshing for trouthe.

  And al this whyle my-self I kepte cloos
  Among the bowes, and my-self gan hyde,
  Til, at the laste, the woful man aroos,
  And to a logge wente ther besyde,                     585
  Where, al the May, his custome was t'abyde,
  Sole, to complaynen of his paynes kene,
  Fro yeer to yere, under the bowes grene.

  And for bicause that it drow to the night
  And that the sonne his ark diurnál                    590
  Y-passed was, so that his persaunt light,
  His brighte bemes and his stremes al
  Were in the wawes of the water fal,
  Under the bordure of our ocëan,
  His char of golde his cours so swiftly ran:           595

  And whyl the twylight and the rowes rede
  Of Phebus light were dëaurat a lyte,
  A penne I took, and gan me faste spede
  The woful playntë of this man to wryte
  Word by wordë, as he did endyte;                      600
  Lyk as I herde, and coude him tho reporte,
  I have here set, your hertes to disporte.

  If ought be mis, layeth the wyte on me,
  For I am worthy for to bere the blame
  If any thing [here] misreported be,                   605
  To make this dytè for to seme lame
  Through myn unconning; but, to sayn the same,
  Lyk as this man his complaynt did expresse,
  I aske mercy and forgivënesse.

  And, as I wroot, me thoughte I saw a-ferre,           610
  Fer in the weste, lustely appere
  Esperus, the goodly brighte sterre,
  So glad, so fair, so persaunt eek of chere,
  I mene Venus, with her bemes clere,
  That, hevy hertes only to releve,                     615
  Is wont, of custom, for to shewe at eve.

  And I, as faste, fel doun on my knee
  And even thus to her gan I to preye:--
  'O lady Venus! so faire upon to see,
  Let not this man for his trouthe deye,                620
  For that joy thou haddest whan thou leye
  With Mars thy knight, whan Vulcanus you fond,
  And with a chayne invisible you bond

  Togider, bothe twayne, in the same whyle
  That al the court above celestial                     625
  At youre shame gan for to laughe and smyle!
  A! fairë lady! welwilly founde at al,
  Comfort to careful, O goddesse immortal!
  Be helping now, and do thy diligence
  To let the stremes of thyn influence                  630

  Descende doun, in forthering of the trouthe,
  Namely, of hem that lye in sorowe bounde;
  Shew now thy might, and on hir wo have routhe
  Er fals Daunger slee hem and confounde.
  And specially, let thy might be founde                635
  For to socourë, what-so that thou may,
  The trewe man that in the herber lay,

  And alle trewe forther, for his sake,
  O gladde sterre, O lady Venus myne!
  And cause his lady him to grace take.                 640
  Her herte of stele to mercy so enclyne,
  Er that thy bemes go up, to declyne,
  And er that thou now go fro us adoun,
  Fór that love thou haddest to Adoun!'

  And whan that she was gon unto her reste,             645
  I roos anon, and hoom to bedde wente,
  For verily, me thoughte it for the beste;
  Prayinge thus, in al my best entente,
  That alle trewe, that be with Daunger shente,
  With mercy may, in reles of hir payn,                 650
  Recured be, er May come eft agayn.

  And for that I ne may no lenger wake,
  Farewel, ye lovers alle, that be trewe!
  Praying to god; and thus my leve I take,
  That, er the sonne to-morowe be risen newe,           655
  And er he have ayein his rosen hewe,
  That eche of you may have suche a grace,
  His owne lady in armes to embrace.

  I mene thus, that, in al honestee,
  Withoute more, ye may togider speke                   660
  What so ye listë, at good libertee,
  That eche may to other hir herte breke,
  On Jelousyë only to be wreke,
  That hath so longe, of malice and envye,
  Werreyed Trouthe with his tirannye.                   665


  Princesse, plese it your benignitee
  This litel dytè for to have in mynde!
  Of womanhedë also for to see
  Your trewe man may youre mercy finde;
  And Pitè eek, that long hath be behinde,              670
  Let him ayein be próvoked to grace;
  For, by my trouthe, it is ayeines kinde,
  Fals Daunger for to occupye his place!

  Go, litel quayre, unto my lyves queen,
  And my very hertes soverayne;                         675
  And be right glad; for she shal thee seen;
  Suche is thy grace! But I, alas! in payne
  Am left behinde, and not to whom to playne.
  For Mercy, Routhe, Grace, and eek Pitè
  Exyled be, that I may not attayne                     680
  Recure to finde of myn adversitè.


_From_ Th. (Thynne, ed. 1532); _collated with_ F. (Fairfax 16); B. (Bodley
638, _imperfect_); T. (Tanner 346); D. (Digby 181); S. (Arch. Selden B.
24); _I have also consulted_ Ad. (Addit. 16165); _and_ P. (Pepys 2006). 2.
Th. reed; F. D. rede. 4. S. his (_for 2nd_ the). 5. Th. away; F. awey. 6.
Th. D. orizont; F. T. S. orisont. 7. Th. bidde al; MSS. _om._ al. F. T.
_om._ lovers. 10. Th. bade. F. T. D. S. _om. 2nd_ hem. 11. D. gladde;
_rest_ glad. _All_ grey (_or_ gray). 13. Th. Bade; MSS. Bad. _All_ dispyte
(dispite). 14. S. go take (_rest om._ go). 15. Th. syghe. 16. F. out stert.
18. Th. sicknesse; MSS. sekenes. F. S. sat; _rest_ sate. Th. aye. Th. nye.

20. F. atte; T. at; _rest_ at the. S. sum; _rest_ some, su_m_me. P. reles;
D. relece; T. relese; F. relesse; Th. release. 21. F. halt; Th. halte. 22.
T. S. roos; _rest_ rose. Th. thought. 23. Th. wodde; S. wod; _rest_ wode.
Th. byrdes. 24. Th. T. D. vapoure; F. S. vapour. F. D. agoon; T. Th. agone.
25. F. morownyng; T. morownynge; Th. moronyng. 26. Th. lyke; F. lykyng (!);
_rest_ like; _read_ lyk. 27. Th. leaues. 32. F. the (_for_ hir). 33. Th. D.
splaye; F. T. S. splay; _read_ splayen. F. S. on; _rest_ in. 34. Th. T.
Agayne; F. Ageyn; D. Ayen. S. gold; _rest_ golde. 35. Th. T. downe; F.
dovn; D. down; S. doun. 36. Th. forthe. 37. F. berel; S. beriall; Th.
byrel; T. byrell; D. birele. 39. D. S. Toward; F. Tovard; Th. T. Towarde.
40. Th. compace; MSS. compas. 41. T. myghte; S. m_ich_ty (!); _rest_ might.
Th. gone; F. goon. 42. S. park; _rest_ parke. 43. T. wente; _rest_ went.
Th. byrdes; _rest_ briddes. S. song; _rest_ songe. 44. Th. branches; F. T.
D. braunches. Th. and (_correctly_); _rest omit_. 45. Th. sange; S. sang;
P. song; F. T. D. songe. Th. woode. S. P. rong; _rest_ ronge. 47. T.
thoughte; Th. F. D. thought.

48. T. myghte; _rest_ might. T. D. wraste; S. brest; Th. F. wrest. 49. T.
breste; D. braste; Th. F. brest; S. to-brest. 51. F. T. P. tapites; Th. D.
tapettes. 52. Th. F. T. -selfe (_better_ selve). F. celured; D. coloured;
S. silu_er_ed; Th. T. couered. 54. Th. beautie. F. T. may not (_for_ may).
55. S. assaut; _rest_ assaute. 56. Th. sphere; hotte. Th. F. T. D. shone
(_read_ shoon). 57, 59. S. wynd, kynd; _rest_ wynde, kynde. 58. S. P.
among; _rest_ amonge. T. blossomes; D. blossoms; Th. blosomes; F. blosmes.
59. _All_ holsom (holsum). Th. F. T. D. and so; S. _om._ so. 60. F. T.
blomes; S. blomys; Th. blosmes; D. blossoms. 61. _All_ gan, can; _see_ l.
579. 62. S. that; _rest om._ F. their; T. theire; Th. D. there; S. thai;
_read_ hir. 63. F. D. Ayens; Th. Ayenst; T. Agayne. 64. T. S. saw; Th. F.
D. sawe (!). F. ther; _rest_ the; _cf._ l. 71. S. Daphin; _rest_ Daphene;
_read_ Daphne. 65. Th. holsome; _rest_ holsom (-sum). 68. F. phibert; Th.
T. filberte; D. filberde; S. filbard. Th. F. dothe. 69. Th. S. adoun;
_rest_ doun. 70. F. I-called; _rest_ called. 71. Th. T. D. sawe. P.
hawethorn; _rest_ hawthorn, hawthorne, hauthorne. 72. S. motle; F. motele;
_rest_ motley. (_Read_ swoot?). Th. dothe smel. 73. _All_ Asshe; _read_
Ash. _All_ oke; _read_ ook. S. [gh]ong; T. fressh (!); _rest_ yonge. S.
accorne; _rest_ acorne.

74. Th. tel. 75. S. beforn; D. before; _rest_ beforne. Th. sawe; wel. 76.
T. cours; S. courss; _rest_ course. 77. Th. hyl; quicke streames. 78. S. P.
gold; D. colde; _rest_ golde. 78, 80. F. glas, gras; Th. glasse, grasse.
79. wel. 80. Ad. velowet. 81. Th. T. D. lustely (T. lustily) came (cam)
springyng; F. lustely gan syng (!); S. lustily gan spryng. 83. Th. F. wel;
T. D. welle. 85. _From this point I silently correct obvious errors in
spelling of_ Th. _by collation with the_ MSS. Th. holsome. S. and; _rest_
and so. 86. Th. Thorowe. S. there; _rest omit_. 87, 92, 94. _I read_ lyk
_for_ lyke. 87. F. T. D. Narcius (!). 89. T. dyde; _rest_ dyd, did. 90. S.
cruell; _rest omit_. 95. Th. that; _rest_ as. F. T. P. his; _rest_ her.
101. S. perce; D. perce; Th. peerce; F. T. perysh (!) 103. Th. ouermore

107. Th. F. thrust; T. thurste; P. D. thurst. 110. S. adoun; Th. F. P.
downe; _rest_ down, doun. 113-126. S. _omits_. 122. Th. delectable. 127. D.
ynde; T. Iende; F. cende (?); Th. gende; S. of Inde. 138. S. constreynt;
_rest_ constraynyng.

147. Th. priuely me; _rest_ me priuely. (_Read_ busshes prively me
shroude?). 151. Th. _om. 2nd_ his. 154. _For_ among _perhaps read_ anon.
159. S. the; _rest omit_. 162. Th. therto; _rest_ there. 168. F. P. awaped.
175. D. hem; S. thame; _rest om._

179. Th. _om._ this. 181. _So all._ 184. F. delful; T. delefull; S.
dulefull; D. doilfull. 187. S. quhoso; _rest_ who. S. writen; _rest_ write
(wryte). 191. D. no knowyng haue; _rest_ haue no knowyng. 192. S. writen;
_rest_ write (wryte). 198. F. S. as; _rest om._ 202. Th. disencrease; F.
disencrese; T. disencrece; D. disencrees. 205. S. louyng. 206. F. hindered;
S. hind_er_it; _rest_ hindred.

212. F. T. deleful; S. dulfull; D. wofull. 214. S. grete; _rest om._ 216.
S. with full; _rest omit_ (_I omit_ full). COMPLEYNT; _in_ F. _only_. 225.
D. grownded. 227. F. S. dule; D. dooll. 230. Th. T. chyuer; F. shyuer; D.
chevir; S. chill. 233. T. D. fro; S. from; Th. F. for (_twice_). 234. Th.
T. D. yse; F. Ise; S. Iss. 239. S. distress. 241. _So_ D. P.; S. doth his
besyness; Th. euer doth his besy payne; F. eu_er_e doth besy peyn; T. euur
doth his bysy hate (_sic_). 242. T. Agaynes; F. D. Ayens; Th. Ayenst; S.
A[gh]eynis. S. and to; _rest om._ to. 243. Th. _om._ wolde.

245. T. wolde; S. wold; Th. D. wol; F. will. 247. T. myghte; Th. F. might.
248. S. for; _rest om._ 251, 252. T. D. lette, whette; Th. F. let, whet.
_All_ despite. 253. S. A[gh]eynes; T. Agaynes; F. D. Ayens; Th. Agaynst.
257. P. of wrath. 258. S. a[gh]eynes; T. agaynes; F. D. ayens; Th. agaynst.
260, 262. Th. tel, bel; _rest_ telle, belle. S. rong; F. T. D. ronge; Th.
range. 267, 269. S. lond, fond; _rest_ londe, fonde. 271. Th. D. falshode;
F. S. falshed; T. falsehede. 276. Th. D. be; _rest_ ben.

277. S. sat; _rest_ sate, satte. 281. F. non ne may; _rest_ may non. 283.
D. oth; S. soth; _rest_ othe. 285. Th. F. T. P. clepe; D. speke; S. cleke
(!). 297. T. D. full_e_; Th. F. ful. 298. Th. S. one; _rest_ oon. 299. F.
more (_for_ any). 303. Th. cal. 305. Th. fal. 306. Th. al. 307. _All_ the
name; _I omit_ the. 308. _All_ the blame; _read_ ber'the.

314, 315. D. lowlyheed, speed; _rest_ -hede, spede. 322. _All_ Vn-to;
_read_ To. 323. F. sithe; S. sithen; _rest_ sith. 332. _Perhaps omit_ his.
D. payn; T. peyn; _rest_ payne (peyne). 337. S. bet; F. bette; _rest_
better. 338. Th. F. _om. 2nd_ his. 339. T. lady; F. ladye; _rest_ ladyes.
346. D. perelees; F. T. S. P. pereles; Th. peerles.

347. T. liste of hym; S. can of him. 349. F. Gades; S. Gadis; _rest_
Gaddes. 351. Th. P. _om._ ben. 352. S. Y-sett; D. Sette. 355. _I supply_
he. 357. S. [gh]it; _rest omit_. 360. S. fresch; _rest omit_. 363. T. dide;
_rest_ did. 368. S. eke; _rest omit_. 374. F. Tereus (_for_ Theseus). 378.
F. falshed; S. falshede. 379. _I supply_ knight. 380. _All_ eke; _read_
also. _I supply_ al.

382. S. and thair (_for_ and hir); _rest omit_ thair (= hir). 384. Th.
lieges. 386. _So all._ 391. S. worthi kny_ch_t & hir trew; _rest omit_
worthi _and_ trew. _I follow_ S.; _but omit_ and. 393. F. T. Ipomones; Th.
Ypomedes; S. P. Ypomenes; D. Ipomeus. 394. _I supply_ was. 400. F. lovers;
T. louys; _rest_ loues. 403. S. trewe; _rest_ trewe men. 405. Th. moost.
407. D. S. oth; _rest_ othe. 409. F. P. S. port; _rest_ porte. 411. S. no;
_rest omit_. 413. Th. lytel; P. litill; D. litle; _rest_ lyte.

414. F. nother; _rest_ nor. 415. Th. syknesse; F. sekenesse. 419. D.
Iupardy; _rest_ in partynge (_for_ iupartynge); _read_ juparting; cf. l.
475. 421. F. fals (_error for_ false); _rest omit_. 426. S. double (_for_
pitous). 429. S. falss; _rest om._ 435. Th. F. P. bye; D. bie; T. bey; S.
by. 437. Th. T. S. sene; F. seen; P. D. seyn. 438. Th. sticken; P. D.
stekyn. 439. S. P. the; _rest om._ 447. S. [gh]it; _rest om._

449. _I supply_ she. S. ysuorn; _rest om._ y-. 451. Th. _om._ have. 453. T.
D. S. aboue (_for_ of love); _see_ l. 454. 461. S. blend (_read_ blent);
_rest_ blynde (blinde). 462. S. as he wend (_read_ went); Th. by wende (!);
_rest_ by wenynge (!). 464. F. T. avise; D. avice; S. aviss; Th. aduyse.
467. S. P. frend; _rest_ frende. 468. B. _begins here_. _I supply_ and.
469. T. lette; F. leteth; Th. letteth; B. D. letith; S. lattith. 471. B. F.
S. he doth; Th. T. doth to. 475. Th. ieopardye; S. Iup_ar_tye; F. partie
(!); B. D. T. Iupardye; P. Iupard.

488. Th. systerne. 489. S. haue schapen (_for_ shopen). 494. F. hath; Th.
haue. 501. F. B. plentevous. Th. largnesse. 508. Th. trouthe; S. treuth;
_rest_ routhe; _see_ l. 679. 514. Th. Gyltlesse; F. Giltles; P. Gylteles.

523. F. B. P. ye (_for_ you). 530. F. B. S. gilt; _rest_ gylte (gilte).
533. S. a[gh]eynes; T. agaynes; F. B. D. ayens; Th. agaynst. 536. S. [gh]ow
to pay; _rest_ her to pay. 537. Th. _om._ eche. 538. T. D. liste; _rest_
list. 541. _All_ euery; _read_ al. 543. _All_ graunte (graunt); _read_
graunten. 545. Th. onely sle me; MSS. slee me only. 547. S. vnto; _rest
om._ 548. S. If (_for_ And). 549. S. apaid; _rest_ payd (paid). 550. _For_
to _read_ shal? 551. F. P. legeaunce; Th. D. ligeaunce; T. lygeaunce.

553. T. D. luste; Th. F. B. lust. S. Quherso hir list to do me lyue or
deye. 555. S. hoolly; Th. holy. 560. Th. T. D. lyste; F. S. P. list. 561.
S. vnto; _rest_ to. 566. S. quhill þ_a_t me. 568. Th. mater. 571. F. B. P.
hest. 573. T. liste; _rest_ list (lust). 575. T. sike; S. to sike; Th. D.
sygh; F. B. sile (!). 577. Th. no worde. 581. Th. long wisshing (!). Th. S.
for; F. B. D. P. for his; T. for her. 583. S. P. gan; _rest_ gonne (gunne).

587. S. compleynen; _rest_ complayne. 598. T. faste; _rest_ fast. 605. _I
supply_ here. 606. Th. dytte. 611. T. D. weste; _rest_ west. 617. T. D.
faste; _rest_ fast. S. D. F. doun; Th. adowne; D. T. Adoun. 622. T. you;
_rest om._

626. S. for to; _rest om._ 627. MSS. welwilly; Th. wyl I (!). 636. Th.
socouer (_misprint_). 645. S. vnto; _rest_ to. 647. S. verily; Th. T. D.
wery (!); B. very wery (!); F. werry wery (!); P. very. 650. F. B. reles;
T. D. relese; Th. release; S. relesche. 656. Th. T. S. P. _om._ his.

659. Th. _om._ that. 663. Th. ialousyes; D. Ielosies; _rest_ Ielosye. 664.
T. B. P. of; _rest_ of his. 665. S. Werreyed; D. Werried; _rest_ Werred.
666. MSS. Princes; Th. Pryncesse. Th. pleaseth; F. pleseth; P. plesith
(_read_ plese). Th. it to your; _rest om._ to. 667. S. P. for; _rest om._
669. Th. D. _om._ trewe. 673. S. for; _rest om._

       *       *       *       *       *


  In Fevrier, whan the frosty mone
  Was horned, ful of Phebus fyry light,
  And that she gan to reyse her stremes sone,
  Saint Valentyne! upon thy blisful night
  Of duëtee, whan glad is every wight,                    5
  And foules chese (to voyde hir olde sorowe)
  Everich his make, upon the nexte morowe;

  The same tyme, I herde a larke singe
  Ful lustely, agayn the morowe gray--
  'Awake, ye lovers, out of your slombringe,             10
  This gladde morowe, in al the haste ye may;
  Some óbservaunce doth unto this day,
  Your choise ayen of herte to renewe
  In cónfirming, for ever to be trewe!

  And ye that be, of chesing, at your large,             15
  This lusty day, by custome of nature,
  Take upon you the blisful holy charge
  To serve lovë, whyl your lyf may dure,
  With herte, body, and al your besy cure,
  For evermore, as Venus and Cipryde                     20
  For you disposeth, and the god Cupyde.

  For joye owe we playnly to obeye
  Unto this lordes mighty ordinaunce,
  And, mercilesse, rather for to deye
  Than ever in you be founden variaunce;                 25
  And, though your lyf be medled with grevaunce,
  And, at your herte, closed be your wounde,
  Beth alway one, ther-as ye are bounde!'

  Thát whan I had herd, and listed longe,
  With devout herte, the lusty melodye                   30
  Of this hevenly comfortable songe
  So ágreable, as by harmonye,
  I roos anon, and faste gan me hye
  Toward a grove, and the way [gan] take
  Foules to sene, everich chese his make.                35

  And yet I was ful thursty in languisshing;
  Myn ague was so fervent in his hete,
  Whan Aurora, for drery complayning,
  Can distille her cristal teres wete
  Upon the soile, with silver dewe so swete;             40
  For she [ne] durste, for shame, not apere
  Under the light of Phebus bemes clere.

  And so, for anguisshe of my paynes kene,
  And for constraynte of my sighes sore,
  I sette me doun under a laurer grene                   45
  Ful pitously; and alway more and more,
  As I beheld into the holtes hore,
  I gan complayne myn inward deedly smerte,
  That ay so sore +crampisshed myn herte.

  And whyl that I, in my drery payne,                    50
  Sat, and beheld aboute on every tree
  The foules sitten, alway twayne and twayne,
  Than thoughte I thus: 'alas! what may this be,
  That every foul hath his libertee
  Frely to chesen after his desyre                       55
  Everich his make thus, fro yeer to yere?

  The sely wrenne, the titmose also,
  The litel redbrest, have free eleccioun
  To flyen y-ferë and +togider go
  Wher-as hem liste, abouten enviroun,                   60
  As they of kynde have inclinacoun,
  And as Nature, emperesse and gyde,
  Of every thing, liste to provyde;

  But man aloon, alas! the harde stounde!
  Ful cruelly, by kyndes ordinaunce,                     65
  Constrayned is, and by statut bounde,
  And debarred from alle such plesaunce.
  What meneth this? What is this purveyaunce
  Of god above, agayn al right of kynde,
  Withoute cause, so narowe man to bynde?'               70

  Thus may I [soothly] seen, and playne, alas!
  My woful houre and my disaventure,
  That dolefully stonde in the same cas
  So fer behyndë, from al helth and cure.
  My wounde abydeth lyk a sursanure;                     75
  For me Fortune so felly list dispose,
  My harm is hid, that I dar not disclose.

  For I my herte have set in suche a place
  Wher I am never lykly for to spede;
  So fer I am hindred from her grace                     80
  That, save daunger, I have non other mede.
  And thus, alas! I not who shal me rede
  Ne for myn helpe shape remedye,
  For Male-bouche, and for false Envye:

  The whiche twayne ay stondeth in my wey                85
  Maliciously; and Fals Suspeccioun
  Is very causë also that I dey,
  Ginning and rote of my distruccioun;
  So that I fele, [as] in conclusioun,
  With hir traynes that they wol me shende,              90
  Of my labour that deth mot make an ende!

  Yet, or I dye, with herte, wil, and thought
  To god of lovë this avowe I make,
  (As I best can, how dere that it be bought,
  Wher-so it be, that I slepe or wake,                   95
  Whyl Boreas doth the leves shake)
  As I have hight, playnly, til I sterve,
  For wele or wo, that I shal [ay] her serve.

  And, for her sake, now this holy tyme,
  Saint Valentyne! somwhat shal I wryte                 100
  Al-though so be that I can not ryme,
  Nor curiously by no crafte endyte,
  Yet lever I have, that she putte the wyte
  In unconning than in negligence,
  What-ever I sayë of her excellence.                   105

  What-ever I saye, it is of duëtee,
  In sothfastnesse and no presumpcioun;
  This I ensure to you that shal it see,
  That it is al under correccioun;
  What I reherce in commendacioun                       110
  Of herë that I shal to you, as blyve,
  So as I can, her vertues here discryve.--

  ¶ Right by example as the somer-sonne
  Passeth the sterre with his bemes shene,
  And Lucifer among the skyës donne                     115
  A-morowe sheweth to voyde nightes tene,
  So verily, withouten any wene,
  My lady passeth (who-so taketh hede)
  Al tho alyve, to speke of womanhede.

  And as the ruby hath the soveraintè                   120
  Of riche stones and the regalyë;
  And [as] the rose, of swetnesse and beautè,
  Of fresshe floures, withouten any lyë;
  Right so, in sothe, with her goodly yë,
  She passeth al in bountee and fairnesse,              125
  Of maner ekë, and of gentilnesse.

  For she is bothe the fairest and the beste,
  To reken al in very sothfastnesse;
  For every vertue is in her at reste;
  And furthermore, to speke of stedfastnesse,           130
  She is the rotë; and of seemlinesse
  The very mirrour; and of governaunce
  To al example, withouten variaunce.

  Of port benigne, and wonder glad of chere,
  Having evermore her trewe advertence                  135
  Alway to reson; so that her desyre
  Is brydeled ay by witte and providence;
  Thereto, of wittë and of hy prudence
  She is the wellë, ay devoide of pryde,
  That unto vertue her-selven is the gyde!              140

  And over this, in her daliaunce
  Lowly she is, discret, wyse, [and secree],
  And goodly gladde by attemperaunce,
  That every wight, of high and low degree,
  Are gladde in herte with her for to be;               145
  Só that, shortly, if I shal not lye,
  She named is 'The Flour of Curtesye.'

  And there, to speke of femininitee,
  The leste mannish in comparisoun,
  Goodly abasshed, having ay pitee                      150
  Of hem that been in tribulacioun;
  For she aloon is consolacioun
  To al that arn in mischeef and in nede,
  To comforte hem, of her womanhede.

  And ay in vertue is her besy charge,                  155
  Sadde and demure, and but of wordes fewe;
  Dredful also of tonges that ben large,
  Eschewing ay hem that listen to hewe
  Above hir heed, hir wordes for to shewe,
  Dishonestly to speke of any wight;                    160
  She deedly hateth of hem to have a sight.

  The herte of whom so honest is and clene,
  And her entent so faithful and entere
  That she ne may, for al the world, sustene
  To suffre her eres any word to here,                  165
  Of frend nor fo, neither fer ne nere,
  Amis resowning, that hinder shulde his name;
  And if she do, she wexeth reed for shame.

  So trewëly in mening she is set,
  Without chaunging or any doublenesse;                 170
  For bountee and beautee ar togider knet
  In her personë, under faithfulnesse;
  For void she is of newëfangelnesse;
  In herte ay oon, for ever to perséver
  Ther she is set, and never to dissever.               175

  I am to rude her vertues everichoon
  Cunningly [for] to discryve and wryte;
  For wel ye wot, colour[es] have I noon
  Lyk her discrecioun craftely t'endyte;
  For what I sayë, al it is to lyte.                    180
  Whérfor to you thus I me excuse,
  That I aqueynted am not with no muse!

  By rethoryke my style to governe,
  In her preyse and commendacioun,
  I am to blind, so hyly to discerne,                   185
  Of her goodnesse to make discripcioun,
  Save thus I sayë, in conclusioun,
  If that I shal shortly [her] commende,
  In her is naught that Nature can amende.

  For good she is, lyk to Policene,                     190
  And, in fairnesse, to the quene Helayne;
  Stedfast of herte, as was Dorigene,
  And wyfly trouthë, if I shal not fayne:
  In constaunce eke and faith, she may attayne
  To Cleopatre; and therto as +secree                   195
  As was of Troye the whyte Antigone;

  As Hester meke; lyk Judith of prudence;
  Kynde as Alceste or Marcia Catoun;
  And to Grisilde lyk in pacience,
  And Ariadne, of discrecioun;                          200
  And to Lucrece, that was of Rome toun,
  She may be lykned, as for honestè;
  And, for her faith, unto Penelope.

  To faire Phyllis and to Hipsiphilee,
  For innocencë and for womanhede;                      205
  For seemlinessë, unto Canacee;
  And over this, to speke of goodlihede,
  She passeth alle that I can of rede;
  For worde and dede, that she naught ne falle,
  Acorde in vertue, and her werkes alle.                210

  For though that Dydo, with [her] witte sage,
  Was in her tyme stedfast to Enee,
  Of hastinesse yet she did outrage;
  And so for Jason did also Medee.
  But my lady is so avisee                              215
  That, bountee and beautee bothe in her demeyne,
  She maketh bountee alway soverayne.

  This is to mene, bountee goth afore,
  Lad by prudence, and hath the soveraintee;
  And beautee folweth, ruled by her lore,               220
  That she +n'offendë her in no degree;
  So that, in one, this goodly fresshe free
  Surmounting al, withouten any were,
  Is good and fair, in oon persone y-fere.

  And though that I, for very ignoraunce,               225
  Ne may discryve her vertues by and by,
  Yet on this day, for a rémembraunce,
  Only supported under her mercy,
  With quaking hondë, I shal ful humbly
  To her hynesse, my rudenes for to quyte,              230
  A litel balade here bineth endyte,

  Ever as I can suppryse in my herte,
  Alway with fere, betwixe drede and shame,
  Lest out of lose any word asterte
  In this metre, to make it seme lame;                  235
  Chaucer is deed, that hadde suche a name
  Of fair making, that [was], withoute wene,
  Fairest in our tonge, as the laurer grene.

  We may assaye for to counterfete
  His gaye style, but it wil not be;                    240
  The welle is drye, with the licour swete,
  Bothe of Clio and of Caliopè;
  And first of al, I wol excuse me
  To her, that is [the] ground of goodlihede;
  And thus I saye until hir womanhede:--                245

              BALADE SIMPLE.

  ¶ 'With al my mightë, and my beste entente,
  With al the faith that mighty god of kynde
  Me yaf, sith he me soule and knowing sente,
  I chese, and to this bonde ever I me bynde,
  To love you best, whyl I have lyf and mynde':--       250
  Thus herde I foules in the dawëninge
  Upon the day of saint Valentyne singe.

  'Yet chese I, at the ginning, in this entente,
  To love you, though I no mercy fynde;
  And if you liste I dyed, I wolde assente,             255
  As ever twinne I quik out of this lynde!
  Suffyseth me to seen your fetheres ynde':--
  Thus herde I foules in the morweninge
  Upon the day of saint Valentyne singe.

  'And over this, myn hertes lust to-bente,             260
  In honour only of the wodëbynde,
  Hoolly I yeve, never to repente
  In joye or wo, wher-so that I wynde
  Tofore Cupyde, with his eyën blynde':--
  The foules alle, whan Tytan did springe,              265
  With dévout herte, me thoughte I herde singe!


  ¶ Princesse of beautee, to you I represente
  This simple dytè, rude as in makinge,
  Of herte and wil faithful in myn entente,
  Lyk as, this day, [the] foules herde I singe.         270


_From_ Th. (Thynne, ed. 1532). TITLE: Th. The Floure of Curtesy; (ed. 1561
_adds_--made by Ihon Lidgate). _I note here the rejected spellings._ 1.
Feverier. 2. firy. 3. streames. 5. dutie. 6. her. 7. Eueryche; next. 9.
agayne. 11. glad. 12. dothe. 15. chosyng. 18. whyle; lyfe. 20. Cipride. 22.

26. lyfe. 26. closet. 27. there. 29. herde. 30. deuoute. 32. ermonye. 33.
rose. 34. Towarde; _supply_ gan. 35. eueryche chose. 39. distyl; (_read_
distille); chrystal teeres. 41. _Supply_ ne. 42. beames. 45. set; downe.
47. behelde. 48. inwarde. 49. aye; crampessh at (_read_ crampisshed). 50.
whyle. 51. Sate; behelde; tre. 52. sytte (_read_ sitten). 53. thought. 54.
foule. 55. chose (_read_ chesen). 56. Eueryche; yere to yere.

57. tytemose. 58. election. 59. togyther (_read_ togider). 60. Where as;
lyst aboute envyron. 61. inclynacion. 62. empresse (_read_ emperesse). 63.
lyst. 64. alone. 66. statute. 67. al suche. 69. agayne. 70. Without. 71.
_Supply_ soothly; sene. 73. doulfully; caas. 74. ferre. 75. lyke. 76.
lyste. 77. harme; dare. 79. lykely. 80. ferre. 81. none. 83. myne. 85. aye.
86. false suspection. 88. distruction. 89. _Supply_ as; conclusyon.

91. dethe mote. 94. howe. 95. Where so. 96. Whyle; dothe; leaues. 98. wel;
_supply_ ay. 99. nowe. 103. put. 106. say; dute (_read_ duetee). 107.
presumpcion. 108. se. 109. correction. 110. co_m_mendacion. 111. her
(_read_ here). 114. beames. 115. amonge. 122. _Supply_ as; swetenesse. 123.
without. 124. eye.

125. bountie; fayrenesse. 128. reken (_read_ reknen?). 131. semelynesse.
136. reason. 137. aye. 138. hye. 139. aye. 142. discrete and wyse (_read_
discret wyse; _and supply_ secree _for the rime_). 144. lowe. 145. glad.
147. Floure. 148. femynyte (!). 149. mannyshe; comparison. 150. aye pyte.
151. ben; trybulacion. 152. alone; -cion. 153. arne; mischefe. 155. aye.
157. Dredeful. 158. aye. 159. her (_twice_.)

164. worlde. 165. eeres; worde. 166. frende; foe; ferre. 167. Amysse. 169.
trewly; is in sette (_om._ in). 171. bountie; beautie are togyther knette.
173. voyde; newfanglenesse (_or read_ voide _and_ newfangelnesse). 174. aye
one. 175. There; sette. 176. euerychone. 177. _Supply_ for. 178. colour;
none. 179. Lyke; to endyte. 180. say. 181. Wherfore. 184. co_m_mendacion.
185. blynde; hylye. 186. discrypcion. 187. say; conclusyon. 188. _Supply_
her. 190. lyke. 191. fayrenesse.

193. wyfely. 194. faythe. 195. setrone (!); _read_ secree (_see note_).
197. lyke. 198. Alcest. 199. lyke. 202. lykened. 203. faythe. 206.
semelynesse; Canace. 208. al. 209, 210. fal, al. 211. _Supply_ her. 216.
bountie; beautie. 217. bountie. 218. meane bountie gothe. 220. beautie
foloweth. 221. ne fende (!); degre. 222. fre. 224. fayre; one.

228. Onely. 230. rudenesse. 233. feare; betwyxt. 234. Leste; worde. 236.
had. 237. fayre; _supply_ was; without. 239. assay. 240. gay. 241. lycoure.
242. Clye (!). 244. _Supply_ the; grounde. 245. say. 246. might; best
entent. 247. faythe. 248. yaue; sent. 250. whyle; lyfe. 251. daunynge. 252,
259. saynte Valentyne (? _om._ saynte). 253. begynnyng (_read_ ginning);
entent. 255. assent. 256. quicke; lyne (_misprint_). 257. sene; fethers.

258. mornynge (_for_ morweninge). 260. myne; luste. 261. onely; wodde
bynde. 262. Holy. 263. where so. 265. al. 266. deuoute hert; thought. 267.
Lenvoye. beautie; represent. 269. entent. 270. Lyke; _supply_ the.
COLOPHON: Floure; Curtesy.

       *       *       *       *       *



  A thousand stories coude I mo reherce
  Of olde poetes, touching this matere,
  How that Cupyde the hertes gan so perce
  Of his servauntes, setting hem on fere;
  Lo, here the fyn of th'errour and the were!             5
  Lo, here of love the guerdon and grevaunce
  That ever with wo his servaunts doth avaunce!

  Wherfor now playnly I wol my style dresse
  Of one to speke, at nede that wol nat fayle;
  Alas! for dole, I ne can ne may expresse               10
  Her passing pryse, and that is no mervayle.
  O wind of grace, now blow into my sayle!
  O aureat licour of Cleo, for to wryte
  My penne enspyre, of that I wolde endyte!

  Alas! unworthy I am and unable                         15
  To love suche oon, al women surmounting,
  To be benigne to me, and merciable,
  That is of pitè the welle and eek the spring!
  Wherfor of her, in laude and in praysing,
  So as I can, supported by her grace,                   20
  Right thus I say, kneling tofore her face:--

  O sterre of sterres, with thy stremes clere,
  Sterre of the see, to shipmen light and gyde,
  O lusty living, most plesaunt to apere,
  Whos brighte bemes the cloudes may not hyde;           25
  O way of lyf to hem that go or ryde,
  Haven from tempest, surest up to ryve,
  On me have mercy, for thy joyes fyve!

  O rightful rule, O rote of holinesse,
  And lightsom lyne of pitè for to playne,               30
  Original ginning of grace and al goodnesse,
  Clenest conduit of vertue soverayne,
  Moder of mercy, our trouble to restrayne,
  Chambre and closet clenest of chastitè,
  And named herberwe of the deitè!                       35

  O hoolsom garden, al voyde of wedes wikke,
  Cristallin welle, of clennesse clere consigned,
  Fructif olyve, of foyles faire and thikke,
  And redolent cedre, most dereworthly digned,
  Remembre on sinners unto thee assigned                 40
  Er wikked fendes hir wrathe upon hem wreche;
  Lanterne of light, thou be hir lyves leche!

  Paradyse of plesaunce, gladsom to al good,
  Benigne braunchelet of the pyne-tree,
  Vyneyerd vermayle, refressher of our food,             45
  Licour ayein languor, palled that may not be,
  Blisful bawme-blossom, byding in bountè,
  Thy mantel of mercy on our mischef sprede,
  And er wo wake, wrappe us under thy wede!

  O rody rosier, flouring withouten spyne,               50
  Fountayne filthles, as beryl currant clere,
  Som drope of graceful dewe to us propyne;
  Light withoute nebule, shyning in thy spere,
  Medecyne to mischeves, pucelle withouten pere,
  Flame doun to doleful light of thyn influence          55
  On thy servauntes, for thy magnificence!

  Of al Christen protectrice and tutele,
  Retour of exyled, put in prescripcioun
  To hem that erre in the pathe of hir sequele;
  To wery wandred tent and pavilioun,                    60
  The feynte to fresshe, and the pausacioun;
  Unto unresty bothe reste and remedye,
  Fruteful to al tho that in her affye.

  To hem that rennen thou art itinerárie,
  O blisful bravie to knightes of thy werre;             65
  To wery werkmen thou art diourn denárie,
  Mede unto mariners that have sayled ferre;
  Laureat crowne, streming as a sterre
  To hem that putte hem in palestre for thy sake,
  Cours of her conquest, thou whyte as any lake!         70

  Thou mirthe of martyrs, sweter than citole,
  Of confessours also richest donatyf,
  Unto virgynes eternal lauriole,
  Afore al women having prerogatyf;
  Moder and mayde, bothe widowe and wyf,                 75
  Of al the worlde is noon but thou alone!
  Now, sith thou may, be socour to my mone!

  O trusty turtle, trewest of al trewe,
  O curteyse columbe, replete of al mekenesse,
  O nightingale with thy notes newe,                     80
  O popinjay, plumed with al clennesse,
  O laverok of love, singing with swetnesse,
  Phebus, awayting til in thy brest he lighte
  Under thy winge at domesday us dighte!

  O ruby, rubifyed in the passioun                       85
  Al of thy sone, among have us in minde,
  O stedfast dyamaunt of duracioun,
  That fewe feres that tyme might thou finde,
  For noon to him was founden half so kinde!
  O hardy herte, O loving crëature,                      90
  What was it but love that made thee so endure?

  Semely saphyre, depe loupe, and blewe ewage,
  Stable as the loupe, ewage of pitè,
  This is to say, the fresshest of visage,
  Thou lovest hem unchaunged that serven thee.           95
  And if offence or wrything in hem be,
  Thou art ay redy upon hir wo to rewe,
  And hem receyvest with herte ful trewe.

  O goodly gladded, whan that Gabriel
  With joy thee grette that may not be nombred!         100
  Or half the blisse who coude wryte or tel
  Whan the holy goost to thee was obumbred,
  Wherthrough fendes were utterly encombred?
  O wemlees mayde, embelisshed in his birthe,
  That man and aungel therof hadden mirthe!             105

  Lo, here the blossom and the budde of glorie,
  Of which the prophet spak so longe aforn;
  Lo, here the same that was in memórie
  Of Isaie, so longe or she was born;
  Lo, here of David the delicious corn;                 110
  Lo, here the ground that list [him] to onbelde,
  Becoming man, our raunsom for to yelde!

  O glorious vyole, O vytre inviolat!
  O fyry Tytan, persing with thy bemes,
  Whos vertuous brightnes was in thy brest vibrat,      115
  That al the world embelisshed with his lemes!
  Conservatrice of kingdomes and remes;
  Of Isaies sede O swete Sunamyte,
  Mesure my mourning, myn owne Margaryte!

  O sovereignest, sought out of Sion,                   120
  O punical pome ayens al pestilence;
  And aureat urne, in whom was bouk and boon
  The agnelet, that faught for our offence
  Ayens the serpent with so high defence
  That lyk a lyoun in victorie he was founde;           125
  To him commende us, of mercy most habounde!

  O precious perle, withouten any pere,
  Cockle with gold dew from above berayned,
  Thou busshe unbrent, fyrles set a-fere,
  Flambing with fervence, not with hete payned;         130
  Thou during daysye, with no +weder stayned;
  Flees undefouled of gentil Gedeon,
  And fructifying yerd thou of Aaron.

  Thou misty arke, probatik piscyne,
  Laughing Aurora, and of pees olyve;                   135
  Columpne and base, up bering from abyme;
  Why nere I conning, thee for to discryve?
  Chosen of Joseph, whom he took to wyve,
  Unknowing him, childing by greet mirácle,
  And of our manhode trewe tabernacle!                  140

_From_ Th.; _collated with_ A. (Ashmole 59); _and_ Sl. (Sloane 1212). 1. A.
I kouþe to you. 2. A. clerkis (_for_ poetes); the (_for_ this). 3. A. cane
mens hertes presse (!). 4. Th. hem; A. þeire hertes. Th. in fere; A. a
fuyre. 5. A. With ful daunger payeþe his subgettes hyre. Sl. weere; Th.
fere. 7. Th. Sl. euer; A. aye. Sl. A. his ... doth; Th. her ... do. 8. Th.
nowe; A. _om._ Sl. redresse. 10. A. Ellas I ne can ne may not ful expresse.
11. Th. Sl. and that; A. the whiche. 12. Th. wynde. Sl. into; Th. unto. A.
þou blowe nowe to my. 13. Th. auryate; A. aureate. A. _om._ of. 14. A.
tenspyre of whiche I thenk to wryte. Sl. wold; Th. wol. 15. A. But sith I
am sonworthy (!). 16. Sl. on; Th. A. one. 17. A. To; Th. Sl. But she.

18. A. Whiche of pytee is welle. 19. Th. Sl. of; A. to. 20. Th. Sl. can; A.
am. 22. A. O souereine sterre. 24. Sl. lemand (_for_ living). Sl. most; Th.
A. moste. 25. Th. Whose bright beames. Th. Sl. may; A. cane. 26. A. lyff;
Th. Sl. lyfe. 27. A. frome; Th. Sl. after. 29. Sl. rote; Th. A. bote. 31.
A. gynnyng of grace and; Th. Sl. begynning of grace and al. 32. A.
Clennest; Th. And clenest. Th. Sl. _ins._ most _bef._ sovereyne. 33. A.
Moder; Th. Mother. 34. A. al cloose closette; Th. Sl. and closet clennest.
35. Th. herbrough; Sl. herberwe. A. The hyest herber (!) of al the. 36. A.
holsome; Th. Sl. closed. A. _om._ al. 37. A. Welle cristallyne. A. Sl.
clennesse; Th. clerenesse. 38. A. Fructyff; Th. Fructyfyed. Th. fayre; A.
so feyre. 39. A. _om._ And. A. _om._ most. 40. A _om._ on. Sl. pecchours
(_for_ sinners). A. unto; Th. Sl. that to the be. 41. Th. Sl. Or wikked; A.
Er foule. A. on hem þeire wrathe. Sl. upon; Th. on. 42. Th. _om._ be. 43.
A. Thou Paradys plesante, gladnesse of goode. 44. A. And benigne braunche.
45. A. Vyneyerde vermayle; Th. Sl. Vynarie enuermayled. Sl. food; Th. A.

46. Th. ayen al langour; A. geyne langoure. A. palde that; Th. Sl. that
palled. 47. Sl. Blisful bawme; A. Thou blessed; Th. Blysful blomy. 48. Sl.
misericord on our myschef. Th. on our myserie; A. vppon vs spilt thou. 49.
Th. awake. A. wake and wrappe vs ay vnder. 50. A. O rede roos raylling
withouten. Th. without. 51. Th. al fylthlesse; A. _om._ al. A. currant as
beryle. Th. byrel. 52. Th. Sl. of thy; _I omit_ thy. A. Grace of thy dewe
til vs thou do propyne. 53. Th. O light; Sl. Thou lyght. A. Thou louely
light, shynynge in bright spere. 54. A. missers; Th. mischeues; Sl.
myscheuows. A. withouten; Th. without. 55. Th. Flambe; A. Dryve. Sl. to;
Th. A. the. A. _om._ doleful. 56. A. On; Th. Sl. Rem_em_bring. 58. Sl.
Retour; Th. Returne; A. Recure. A. Sl. in; Th. in the. 59. A. To therroures
of the pathe sequele. 60. A. For (_for_ To). Sl. wandrid; Th. forwandred;
A. wandering. 61. _So_ A. Th. To faynte and to fresshe the. 62. A. To wery
wightes ful reste. 63. Th. tho that; A. that hem. A. _omits_ ll. 64-119.
64. Th. arte. 66. Sl. thou art; Th. she is. Th. diourne. 68. Th. Laureate.
69. Th. put; palastre. 71. Sl. Thow; Th. O. Th. myrthe; swetter; sytole.
72. Sl. _om._ also. Th. donatyfe.

74. Th. -tyfe. 75. Th. Mother; wyfe. 76. Sl. In all this. Sl. noon; Th.
none. 78. Sl. trewest; Th. truefastest. 81. Sl. plumed; Th. pured. 82. Sl.
larke. 83. Sl. in; Th. on. 83, 84. lyght, dyght. 85. passyon. 86. Sl.
All_e_; Th. _om._ Th. sonne. Sl. among haue us; Th. vs haue amonge. 87. Sl.
dyamaunt; Th. dyametre. 88. Sl. that; Th. any. 89. halfe. 91. the. 92. Th.
saphre (_sic_); Sl. saffyr. 95. _So_ Sl. Th. unchaunged hem. 96. Sl.
writhyng; Th. varyeng. 97. arte; her. 98. hert; _see note_. 99. gladed.
100. the. 102. goste; the. 103. Sl. vtterly; Th. bytterly. 104. wemlesse.
Th. in; Sl. with.

106. blosme. 107. Th. prophete; Sl. prophetys. Sl. spak so long aforn; Th.
so longe spake beforne. 109, 110. borne, corne. 111. Th. of lyfe in to
bilde; Sl. that list to onbelde. 113. Sl. o vitre; Th. and vyte. Th.
inuyolate. 115. Th. _om._ thy; vibrate. 116. Sl. his; Th. the. 117. Sl.
kyngdamys; Th. kynges dukes. Sl. remys; Th. realmes. 118. Sl. o; Th. _om._
120. A. souereine. Th. A. sought; Sl. sowth. Th. out of; Sl. of out; A. fer
oute. 121-127. _In_ Sl. _only_. 121. Sl. alle. 122. Sl. auryat; book and
born (!); _see note_. 125. Sl. victory. 126. Sl. moost. 127. Sl. ony. 128.
Th. golde dewe; A. glorie. 129. A. Sl. Thou; Th. Dewe (!). Sl. ferlett (!)
set affere; A. fuyrles thou sette vppon; Th. fyrelesse fyre set on. 130.
Sl. peyned; A. empeyred (!). 131. Sl. Th. _om._ Thou. A. with; Th. that.
Th. A. wether. A. disteyned. 132. Th. Fleece. A. gentyle; Th. gentylest.
133. Th. Sl. _insert_ fayrest _after_ fructifyeng (_sic_). A. yerde thowe;
Th. Sl. the yerde.

134. A. Thowe; Sl. Th. The. Sl. mysti; Th. A. mighty. Sl. probatyk; Th.
probatyfe; A. the probatyf. 135. A. Aurora; Th. aurore. A. tholyve; Sl. Th.
olyue. 136. A. Pillor from base beryng from abysme. 137. A. Why nad I
langage. Sl. the for; A. hir for; Th. here. 138. Th. toke. A. Chosen of
god, whome Joseph gaf (!) to wyve. 139. Th. Sl. childyng; A. bare Cryste.
Th. Sl. _om._ greet. 140. Th. And of our manly figure the; Sl. And of oure
mar (!) figure; A. And of Ihesus manhode truwe.

       *       *       *       *       *


  I have non English convenient and digne
  Myn hertes hele, lady, thee with t'honoure,
  Ivorie clene; therfore I wol resigne
  In-to thyn hand, til thou list socoure
  To help my making bothe florisshe and floure;           5
  Than shulde I shewe, in love how I brende,
  In songes making, thy name to commende.

  For if I coude before thyn excellence
  Singen in love, I wolde, what I fele,
  And ever standen, lady, in thy presence,               10
  To shewe in open how I love you wele;
  And sith, although your herte be mad of stele,
  To you, withoute any disseveraunce,
  _J'ay en vous toute ma fiaunce_.

  Wher might I love ever better besette                  15
  Than in this lilie, lyking to beholde?
  The lace of love, the bond so wel thou knette,
  That I may see thee or myn herte colde,
  And or I passe out of my dayes olde,
  Tofore singing evermore utterly--                      20
  'Your eyën two wol slee me sodainly.'

  For love I langour, blissed be such seknesse,
  Sith it is for you, my hertely suffisaunce;
  I can not elles saye, in my distresse,
  So fair oon hath myn herte in governaunce;             25
  And after that I +ginne on esperaunce
  With feble entune, though it thyn herte perce,
  Yet for thy sake this lettre I do reherce.

  God wot, on musike I can not, but I gesse,
  (Alas! why so?) that I might say or singe,             30
  So love I you, myn own soverain maistresse,
  And ever shal, withouten départinge.
  Mirrour of beautè, for you out shuld I ringe,
  In rémembraunce eke of your eyen clere,
  Thus fer from you, my soverain lady dere!              35

  So wolde god your love wold me slo,
  Sith, for your sake, I singe day by day;
  Herte, why nilt thou [never] breke a-two,
  Sith with my lady dwellen I ne may?
  Thus many a roundel and many a virelay                 40
  In fresshe Englisshe, whan I me layser finde,
  I do recorde, on you to have minde!

  Now, lady myn! sith I you love and drede,
  And you unchaunged finde, in o degree,
  Whos grace ne may flye fro your womanhede,             45
  Disdayneth not for to remembre on me!
  Myn herte bledeth, for I may nat you see;
  And sith ye wot my mening désirous,
  _Pleurez pur moi, si vous plaist amorous!_

  What marveyle is, though I in payne be?                50
  I am departed from you, my soveraine;
  Fortune, alas! _dont vient la destenee_,
  That in no wyse I can ne may attayne
  To see the beautè of your eyën twayne.
  Wherfore I say, for tristesse doth me grame,           55
  _Tant me fait mal departir de ma dame!_

  Why nere my wisshing brought to suche esploit
  That I might say, for joye of your presence,
  '_Ore a man cuer ce quil veuilloit,_
  _Ore a man cuer_ the highest excellence                60
  That ever had wight;' and sith myn advertence
  Is in you, reweth on my paynes smerte,
  I am so sore wounded to the herte.

  To live wel mery, two lovers were y-fere,
  So may I say withouten any blame;                      65
  If any man [per cas] to wilde were,
  I coude him [sonë] teche to be tame;
  Let him go love, and see wher it be game!
  For I am brydled unto sobernesse
  For her, that is of women cheef princesse.             70

  But ever, whan thought shulde my herte embrace,
  Than unto me is beste remedye,
  Whan I loke on your goodly fresshe face;
  So mery a mirrour coude I never espye;
  And, if I coude, I wolde it magnifye.                  75
  For never non was [here] so faire y-founde,
  To reken hem al, and also Rosamounde.

  And fynally, with mouthe and wil present
  Of double eye, withoute repentaunce,
  Myn herte I yeve you, lady, in this entent,            80
  That ye shal hoolly therof have governaunce;
  Taking my leve with hertes obeysaunce,
  '_Salve, regina!_' singing laste of al,
  To be our helpe, whan we to thee cal!

  Al our lovë is but ydelnesse                           85
  Save your aloon; who might therto attayne?
  Who-so wol have a name of gentillesse,
  I counsayle him in love that he not fayne.
  Thou swete lady! refut in every payne,
  Whos [pitous] mercy most to me avayleth                90
  To gye by grace, whan that fortune fayleth.

  Nought may be told, withouten any fable,
  Your high renome, your womanly beautè;
  Your governaunce, to al worship able,
  Putteth every herte in ese in his degree.              95
  O violet, _O flour desiree_,
  Sith I am for you so amorous,
  _Estreynez moy_, [lady,] _de cuer joyous_!

  With fervent herte my brest hath broste on fyre;
  _L'ardant espoir que mon cuer poynt, est mort,_       100
  _D'avoir l'amour de celle que je desyre_,
  I mene you, swete, most plesaunt of port,
  _Et je sai bien que ceo n'est pas mon tort_
  That for you singe, so as I may, for mone
  For your departing; alone I live, alone.              105

  Though I mighte, I wolde non other chese;
  In your servyce, I wolde be founden sad;
  Therfore I love no labour that ye lese,
  Whan, in longing, sorest ye be stad;
  Loke up, ye lovers [alle], and be right glad          110
  Ayeines sëynt Valentynes day,
  For I have chose that never forsake I may!


_From_ Th. (Thynne, ed. 1532); _I note rejected spellings_. 1. none
englysshe. 2. heale; the; to honour. 3. cleane. 4. thyne hande; socoure. 5.
helpe; flour. 6. howe. 8. thyne. 11. howe. 12. made. 13. withouten;
disceueraunce. 14. tout. 15. Where; beset. 17. bonde; knyt. 18. se the;
myne. 22. sicknesse. 23. Sythe. 24. els say. 25. fayre one; myne. 26.
begynne; _read_ ginne.

27. thyne. 28. letter. 30. wote. 31. owne; maistres. 32. without. 35.
ferre. 36. wolde (_twice_). 37. Sythe. 38. nylte; _I supply_ never; breake.
39. Sythe; dwel. 43. Nowe; myne sithe. 44. euer fynde (_om._ euer). 45.
Whose. 47. Myne; se. 48. sithe; wotte; meanyng. 49. Plures; moy. 52.
destenie. 53. canne. 54. se. 55. dothe. 56. male. 58. ioye. 61. sithe myne.

66. _Short line; I insert_ per cas. 67. _Short line; I insert_ sone. for
to; _I omit_ for. 68. Lette; se where. 70. chefe. 71. my hert shuld. 72.
best remedy. 74. espy. 76. none; _I insert_ here. 79. without. 81. holy.
82. leaue. 84. the. 86. your loue alone; _om._ loue. 89. refute. 90. Whose;
_I insert_ pitous. 92. tolde. 95. ease. 96. floure.

97. Sythe; amerous. 98. Estreynes; _I insert_ lady _to fill out the line_.
99. brost. 102. meane; porte. 103. say. 106. myght; none. 107. sadde. 109.
stadde. 110. _I supply_ alle; gladde. 111. Ayenst saynt. 112. chese (_read_

       *       *       *       *       *


  Consider wel, with every circumstaunce,
  Of what estat so-ever that thou be--
  Riche, strong, or mighty of puissaunce,
  Prudent or wyse, discrete or avisee,
  The doom of folke in soth thou mayst nat flee;          5
  What-ever that thou do, trust right wel this,
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.

  For in thy port or in thyn apparayle
  If thou be clad or honestly be-seyn,
  Anon the people, of malice, wol nat fayle,             10
  Without advyce or reson, for to sayn
  That thyn array is mad and wrought in vayn;
  What! suffre hem spekë!--and trust right wel this,
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.

  Thou wilt to kinges be equipolent,                     15
  With gretë lordes even and peregal;
  And, if thou be to-torn and al to-rent,
  Than wol they say, and jangle over-al,
  Thou art a slogard, that never thryvë shal;
  Yet suffre hem spekë!--and trust right wel this,       20
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.

  If thou be fayr, excelling of beautee,
  Than wol they say, that thou art amorous;
  If thou be foul and ugly on to see,
  They wol afferme that thou art vicious,                25
  The peple of langage is so dispitous;
  Suffre hem spekë, and trust right wel this,
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.

  And if it fallë that thou take a wyf,
  [Than] they wol falsly say, in hir entent,             30
  That thou art lykly ever to live in stryf,
  Voyd of al rest, without alegëment;
  Wyves be maistres, this is hir jugëment;
  Yet suffre hem spekë--and trust right wel this,
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.                    35

  And if it so be that, of parfitnesse,
  Thou hast avowed to live in chastitee,
  Thán wol folk of thy persone expresse
  Say thou art impotent t'engendre in thy degree;
  And thus, whether thou be chast or deslavee,           40
  Suffre hem spekë--and trust right wel this,
  A wikked tonge wel alway deme amis.

  And if that thou be fat or corpulent,
  Than wol they say that thou art a glotoun,
  A devourour, or ellës vinolent;                        45
  If thou be lene or megre of fassioun,
  Cal thee a nigard, in hir opinioun;
  Yet suffre hem spekë--and trust right wel this,
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.

  If thou be richë, som wol yeve thee laud,              50
  And say, it cometh of prudent governaunce;
  And som wol sayen, that it cometh of fraud,
  Outher by sleight, or by fals chevisaunce;
  To say the worst, folk have so gret plesaunce;
  Yet suffre hem sayë--and trust right wel this,         55
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.

  If thou be sad or sobre of countenaunce,
  Men wol say--thou thinkest som tresoun;
  And if [that] thou be glad of daliaunce,
  Men wol deme it dissolucioun,                          60
  And calle thy fair speche, adulacioun;
  Yet let hem spekë--and trust right wel this,
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.

  Who that is holy by perfeccioun,
  Men, of malyce, wol calle him ipocryte;                65
  And who is mery, of clene entencioun,
  Men say, in ryot he doth him delyte;
  Som mourne in blak; som laughe in clothes whyte;
  What! suffre them spekë--and trust right wel this,
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.                    70

  Honest array, men deme, +is pompe and pryde,
  And who goth poore, men calle him a wastour;
  And who goth [mene], men marke him on every syde,
  And saye that he is a spye or a gylour;
  Who wasteth, men seyn [that] he hath tresour;          75
  Wherfore conclude, and trust [right] wel this,
  A wikked tonge wil alway deme amis.

  Who speketh mochë, men calle him prudent;
  And who debateth, men say, he is hardy;
  And who saith litel with gret sentiment,               80
  Som men yet wol edwyte him of foly;
  Trouth is put down, and up goth flatery;
  And who list plainly know the cause of this,
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.

  For though a man were al-so pacient                    85
  As was David, through his humilitee,
  Or with Salamon in wysdom as prudent,
  Or in knighthode egal with Josuë,
  Or manly proved as Judas Machabee,
  Yet, for al that--trust right wel this,                90
  A wicked tonge wol alway deme amis.

  And though a man hadde the high prowesse
  Of worthy Hector, Troyes champioun,
  The love of Troilus or the kindenesse,
  Or of Cesar the famous high renoun,                    95
  With Alisaundres dominacioun,
  Yet, for al that--trust right wel this,
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.

  And though a man of high or low degree
  Of Tullius hadde the sugred eloquence,                100
  Or of Senek the greet moralitee,
  Or of Catoun the foresight or prudence,
  Conquest of Charles, Arthurs magnificence,
  Yet, for al that--trust right wel this,
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.                   105

  Touching of women the parfit innocence,
  Thogh they had of Hestre the mekenes,
  Or of Griseldes [the] humble pacience,
  Or of Judith the proved stablenes,
  Or Policenes virginal clennes,                        110
  Yit dar I say and truste right wel this,
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.

  The wyfly trouthë of Penelope,
  Though they it hadde in hir possessioun,
  Eleynes beautè, the kindnes of Medee,                 115
  The love unfeyned of Marcia Catoun,
  Or of Alcest the trewe affeccioun,
  Yit dar I say and truste right wel this,
  A wikked tonge wol alway deme amis.

  Than sith it is, that no man may eschewe              120
  The swerde of tonge, but it wol kerve and byte,
  Ful hard it is, a man for to remewe
  Out of hir daunger, so they hem delyte
  To hindre or slaundre, and also to bakbyte;
  For [this] hir study fynally it is                    125
  And hir plesaunce, alwey to deme amis.

  Most noble princes, cherisshers of vertue,
  Remembreth you of high discrecioun,
  The first vertue, most plesing to Jesu,
  (By the wryting and sentence of Catoun),              130
  Is a good tonge, in his opinioun;
  Chastyse the révers, and of wysdom do this,
  Withdraw your hering from al that deme amis.

_From_ Th. (Thynne's edition, 1532); _collated with_ Ff. (MS. Ff. 1. 6,
Camb. Univ. Library). _Another copy in_ H. (Harl. 2251). 1. H. with; Ff.
wiht; Th. _om._ 2. Ff. H. estat; Th. estate. Th. _om._ that. 3. Th.
stronge. 4. Ff. avisee; H. avice; Th. besy. 5. Th. Ff. dome; H. doome. Th.
sothe. H. mayst; Th. Ff. may. Th. Ff. flye; H. flee. 6. H. that; _rest om._
Ff. H. do; Th. doste. Th. _om._ right. 7. H. Ff. deme; Th. say. 8. Ff.
port; Th. porte. Th. thyne. 9. _All_ cladde. Ff. H. or; Th. and. Ff.
beseyn; Th. be sayne. 10. Ff. Anon; Th. Anone (_and so in other places I
correct the spelling by the_ MSS.). 12. _All_ made. 13. Th. H. _om._ right.
14. Ff. H. deme; Th. say. 15. Ff. H. wylt; Th. wolde. Ff. H. equipolent;
Th. equiuolent. 16. Ff. H. grete; Th. great. 17. Ff. to-torn; Th. H. torn.
19. Ff. H. Thou; Th. That thou. 20. Th. H. _om._ right. 21. Ff. H. deme;
Th. say.

22-35. _So in_ H.; Th. Ff. _transpose_ ll. 21-28 _and_ 29-35. Th. fayre
and; Ff. H. _om._ and. H. excellyng; Ff. Th. excellent. 23. Ff. H. Than;
Th. Yet. _All_ amerous. 24. _All_ foule. 26. Ff. H. peple of; Th. peoples.
27. _So_ Ff.; Th. H. Suffre al their speche and truste (H. deme) wel this.
28. Ff. H. deme; Th. say. 29. Ff. And yif hit falle; Th. If it befal. 30.
_Insert_ Than; _see_ l. 23. 31. Ff. Thou art euer lykkely to lyue in
stryve. 32. Ff. alleggement. 33. Ff. H. be maistres; Th. hem maystren. 34.
_So_ Ff.; Th. suffren their speche; _om._ right. 35. Ff. H. deme; Th. say.
36. H. And if; Ff. And yif; Th. If. H. it; Th. Ff. _om._ Th. that thou; Ff.
H. _om._ thou. 37. Ff. H. Thou hast; Th. Haue. 39. Ff. H. Say; Th. That.
Th. tengendre; Ff. to gendre. 40. Ff. Th. chaste. Ff. dyslave (_better_
deslavee); Th. delauie. 41. Th. H. _om._ right. 42. Ff. H. deme; Th. say.
43. Th. _om._ And. 44. Th. H. _om._ that. 45. Th. H. deuourer; Ff. devowrer
(_better_ devourour). 46. Ff. H. lene or megre; Th. megre or leane. 47. Ff.
H. her; Th. H. their. 48. Th. H. _om._ right. 49. Ff. H. deme; Th. say.

50. _All_ the. Th. laude; Ff. H. lawde. 52. Ff. Th. say; H. sayne. H. that;
Th. Ff. _om._ 53. Ff. Outher; Th. H. Or. 55. Th. What; Ff. H. Yit. Ff. Th.
say. Th. H. _om._ right. 56. Ff. H. deme; Th. say. 57. _All_ sadde. 58. Ff.
tresone; Th. H. treason. 59. _I supply_ that. 60. Ff. it is; Th. H. _om._
is. 61. Th. Callyng; Ff. H. And calle. Th. _om._ thy. 62. Th. H. _om._
right. 63. Ff. H. deme; Th. say. 64. Ff. H. Who; Th. And who. 65. Th. him
an; Ff. H. _om._ an. 66. Th. who that; Ff. H. _om._ that. 69. Ff. speke;
Th. say. Th. H. _om._ right. 70. Ff. H. deme; Th. say. 71-77. _In_ H.
_only_. 71. H. in; _read_ is. 72. H. vastour. 73. _I insert_ mene; _see
note_. 75. H. wastith; _I insert_ that. 76. H. coclude(!); H. _om._ right.

78. Ff. H. men calle him; Th. is holden. 79. Th. And who; Ff. H. Who that.
Th. H. say that; Ff. _om._ that. 80. Th. who that; Ff. H. _om._ that. 81.
Th. men yet; Ff. folke. Ff. H. edwyte; Th. wyte. 82. Ff. H. vp; Th. nowe.
83. H. who; Ff. ho (= who); Th. who that. Ff. H. cause; Th. trouth. 84.
_So_ H. Ff.; Th. It is a wicked tonge th_a_t alway saythe amys. 85. Ff.
also; Th. H. as. 86. Th. _om._ his. 87. H. wisdom; Th. wisedome; Ff.
wysdome. 88. Ff. to; Th. H. with. 91. _So_ Ff. H.; Th. Some wycked tonge of
hym wol say amys. 92. Ff. _om._ a. _All_ had. Ff. H. _om._ high. 94. Ff. H.
kyndenes; Th. kyndnesse. 96. Th. Wyth al; Ff. H. _om._ al. 98. _So_ Ff.;
Th. Some wycked tonge of hym wol say amys. 99. Ff. H. And; Th. Or. 101. H.
Senek; Ff. Senec; Th. Seneca. Th. great; Ff. H. _om._ 102. Ff. or prudence;
Th. H. and prouidence. 103. Th. The conquest; Ff. _om._ The. Ff. Arthurs;
Th. H. Arturs. 105. _See note to_ 96.

106-112. _Not in_ Thynne; _from_ Ff. H. 106. H. of; Ff. to. 108. Ff.
grecildes; H. Gresieldis; _I supply_ the. 110. H. Polycenes; Ff. Penilops.
113. H. wyfly; Th. wyfely; Ff. wylfull_e_ (!). Th. H. trouth; Ff. trowth;
_read_ trouthe. 114. Th. had; Ff. H. hadde. Th. her; Ff. thaire; H. theyr.
115. H. Eleynes; Ff. Eleyons; Th. Holynesse (_for_ Heleynes). Th.
kyndenesse; Ff. kyndnes. 116. Ff. H. loue; Th. lyfe (!). Th. Mertia; Ff. H.
Marcia. Th. Caton; Ff. H. and catou_n_. 117. Ff. H. Alcestys (_om._ the).
119. _So_ Ff.; Th. A wycked tonge wol say of her amys. 120. Ff. suyth; H.
sith; Th. sythen. H. it is; Ff. it; Th. it is so (_om._ that). 121. Ff.
wyll (= wol); H. wil; Th. _om._ 122. Ff. H. _om._ for. 123. H. hir; Ff. ar;
Th. theyr. Ff. so them hem delyte; Th. him for to aquyte. 124. Ff. Tho
(_for_ To) hindre sclau_n_der, and also to bacbyte; Th. Wo to the tonges
that hem so delyte. 125. Ff. For thayre study fynaly it ys; Th. To hynder
or sclaunder, and set theyr study in this (cf. l. 124). 126. Th. And theyr
pleasaunces to do and say amis; H. And theyr plesaunce alwey to deme amys;
Ff. _has (as usual)_ A wicked tonge wol alway deme amis. 127. Ff.
princesse; Th. princes. 129. Th. and most; Ff. H. _om._ and. Ff. plesing;
Th. pleasyng.

132. H. revers; Th. reuerse; Ff. reu_er_ce. H. wisdom; Th. Ff. wysdome.
133. H. Voydeth (_for_ Withdraw). Ff. deme; Th. saine.

       *       *       *       *       *



  This world is ful of variaunce
  In every thing, who taketh hede,
  That faith and trust, and al constaunce,
  Exyled ben, this is no drede;
  And, save only in womanhede,                            5
  I can [nat] see no sikernesse;
  But for al that, yet, as I rede,
  Be-war alway of doublenesse.

  Also these fresshe somer-floures
  Whyte and rede, blewe and grene,                       10
  Ben sodainly, with winter-shoures,
  Mad feinte and fade, withoute wene;
  That trust is non, as ye may seen,
  In no-thing, nor no stedfastnesse,
  Except in women, thus I mene;                          15
  Yet ay be-war of doublenesse.

  The croked mone, this is no tale,
  Som whyle is shene and bright of hewe,
  And after that ful derk and pale,
  And every moneth chaungeth newe;                       20
  That, who the verray sothe knewe,
  Al thing is bilt on brotelnesse,
  Save that these women ay be trewe;
  Yet ay be-war of doublenesse.

  The lusty fresshe somers day,                          25
  And Phebus with his bemes clere,
  Towardes night, they drawe away,
  And no lenger liste appere;
  That, in this present lyf now here
  Nothing abit in his fairnesse,                         30
  Save women ay be founde intere
  And devoid of doublenesse.

  The see eke, with his sterne wawes,
  Ech day floweth newe again,
  And, by concours of his lawes,                         35
  The ebbe foloweth, in certain;
  After gret drought ther comth a rain,
  That farewel here al stabelnesse,
  Save that women be hole and plain;
  Yet ay be-war of doublenesse.                          40

  Fortunes wheel goth round aboute
  A thousand tymes, day and night:
  Whos cours standeth ever in doute
  For to transmew; she is so light.
  For which adverteth in your sight                      45
  Th'untrust of worldly fikelnesse,
  Save women, which of kindly right
  Ne have no tache of doublenesse.

  What man may the wind restraine
  Or holde a snake by the tail,                          50
  Or a sliper eel constraine
  That it nil voide, withouten fail;
  Or who can dryve so a nail
  To make sure new-fangelnesse,
  Save women, that can gye hir sail                      55
  To rowe hir boot with doublenesse.

  At every haven they can aryve
  Wher-as they wote is good passage;
  Of innocence, they can not stryve
  With wawes nor no rokkes rage;                         60
  So happy is hir lodemanage,
  With nelde and stoon hir cours to dresse,
  That Salamon was not so sage
  To find in hem no doublenesse.

  Therfor who-so hem accuse                              65
  Of any double entencioun,
  To speke, rowne, other to muse,
  To pinche at hir condicioun;
  Al is but fals collusioun,
  I dar right wel the sothe expresse;                    70
  They have no better proteccioun
  But shroude hem under doublenesse.

  So wel fortúned is hir chaunce
  The dys to turnen up-so-doun,
  With sys and sink they can avaunce,                    75
  And than, by revolucioun,
  They sette a fel conclusioun
  Of ambes as, in sothfastnesse;
  Though clerkes make mencioun
  Hir kind is fret with doublenesse.                     80

  Sampsoun had experience
  That women were ful trewe founde,
  Whan Dalida, of innocence,
  With sheres gan his heer to rounde;
  To speke also of Rosamounde                            85
  And Cleopatras feithfulnesse,
  The stories plainly wil confounde
  Men that apeche hir doublenesse.

  Sengle thing ne is not preised,
  Nor oo-fold is of no renoun;                           90
  In balaunce whan they be peised,
  For lakke of weght they be bore doun;
  And for this cause of just resoun,
  These women alle, of rightwisnesse,
  Of chois and free eleccioun                            95
  Most love eschaunge and doublenesse.


  O ye women, which been enclyned,
  By influence of your nature,
  To been as pure as gold y-fyned
  In your trouth for to endure,                         100
  Arm your-self in strong armure
  Lest men assaile your sikernesse:
  Set on your brest, your-self t'assure,
  A mighty sheld of doublenesse.

1. _From_ F. (Fairfax 16); _collated with_ Ed. (ed. 1561). _Also in_ A.
(Ashmole 59), _in which it is much altered; other copies in_ Ha. (Harl.
7578), _and_ Ad. (Addit. 16165). 2. F. whoo. 6. _I supply_ nat. 9. F. A.
these; Ed. that. 12. F. feynt; Ha. Ed. feinte. 13. F. Ed. sene. 18. F. A.
Ad. is shene; Ed. ishene. 21. F. A. who so; Ha. Ad. Ed. who. 23. Ad. these;
_rest om._

28. Ha. Ad. no; F. Ed. non. 29. F. So; _rest_ That. 30. F. abytte; Ed.
abieth; Ad. abydeth. 32. _In the margin of_ F. Ad.--Per Antifrasim. 36. F.
Ad. Ha. foloweth; Ed. _repeats_ floweth _from_ l. 34. A. Soone affter that
comthe thebbe certeyne. 38. F. Ha. farewel al her; Ed. Ad. farewel here al.
48. F. Ad. Ha. haue; Ed. hath. F. tachche; Ed. teche. 51. F. slepur; Ha.
sleper; Ed. Ad. slipper. 52. A. nyl; Ad. nil; Ha. wol; F. wil; Ed. will.
53. A. dryve so depe a. 54. Ed. suere. 55, 56. Ad. hir; Ha. F. her; Ed.

61. F. happe; Ha. Ed. happy. F. her (= hir); Ed. their. 62. F. nelde; Ed.
Ha. nedle. F. Ha. her; Ed. their. 64. F. Ha. hem; Ed. them. 65. F. Wherfor;
Ed. Ha. Ad. Therefore. MSS. hem; Ed. them. 67. Ed. rowme (!). 68. F. hyr;
Ad. hir; Ha. her; Ed. their. 69. A. Ad. nys (_for_ is). 71. Ed. better; F.
bette; Ha. Ad. bet. 72. MSS. hem; Ed. them. 73. Ad. Ed. their. 74. F. Ed.
turne; Ad. Ha. turnen. 78. F. Ambes ase; Ad. Ha. aumbes as; Ed. lombes, as
(!) 82. F. weren; Ed. A. were. MSS. founde; Ed. ifound. 84. A. heres; Ad.
here; Ed. heere; F. hede. 87. F. Ad. Ed. The; A. Hir. 88. MSS. hir, her;
Ed. their. 90. F. oo folde; A. oone folde; Ed. ofolde.

92. F. A. Ad. weght; Ha. wight; Ed. waighte. A. borne. 96. A. Ad. Haue
stuffed hem with doublenesse. 97. A. that (_for_ which). 100. A. In alle
youre touches for. Ad. trouthe for tendure. 101. _For_ Arm _read_ Armeth?
102. Ha. assaye. 103. F. A. Ad. tassure; Ed. Ha. to assure. 104. F. Ed.
shelde; A. sheelde.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Loke wel aboute, ye that lovers be;
  Lat nat your lustes lede you to dotage;
  Be nat enamoured on al thing that ye see.
  Sampson the fort, and Salamon the sage
  Deceived were, for al hir gret corage;                  5
  Men deme hit is right as they see at y;
  Bewar therfore; the blinde et many a fly.

  I mene, in women, for al hir cheres queinte,
  Trust nat to moche; hir trouthë is but geson;
  The fairest outward ful wel can they peinte,           10
  Hir stedfastnes endureth but a seson;
  For they feyn frendlines and worchen treson.
  And for they be chaungeáble naturally,
  Bewar therfore; the blinde et many a fly.

  Though al the world do his besy cure                   15
  To make women stonde in stablenes,
  Hit may nat be, hit is agayn nature;
  The world is do whan they lak doublenes;
  For they can laughe and love nat; this is expres.
  To trust in hem, hit is but fantasy;                   20
  Bewar therfore; the blind et many a fly.

  What wight on-lyve trusteth in hir cheres
  Shal haue at last his guerdon and his mede;
  They can shave nerer then rasóurs or sheres;
  Al is nat gold that shyneth! Men, take hede;           25
  Hir galle is hid under a sugred wede.
  Hit is ful hard hir fantasy t'aspy;
  Bewar therfore; the blinde et many a fly.

  Women, of kinde, have condicions three;
  The first is, that they be fulle of deceit;            30
  To spinne also hit is hir propertee;
  And women have a wonderful conceit,
  They wepen ofte, and al is but a sleight,
  And whan they list, the tere is in the y;
  Bewar therfore; the blinde et many a fly.              35

  What thing than eyr is lighter and meveable?
  The light, men say, that passeth in a throw;
  Al if the light be nat so variable
  As is the wind that every wey [can] blow;
  And yet, of reson, som men deme and trow               40
  Women be lightest of hir company;
  Bewar therfore; the blind et many a fly.

  In short to say, though al the erth so wan
  Were parchëmyn smothe, whyte and scribable,
  And the gret see, cleped the occian,                   45
  Were torned in inke, blakker then is sable,
  Ech stik a penne, ech man a scriveyn able,
  They coud nat wryte wommannes traitory;
  Bewar therfore; the blinde et many a fly.

_From_ Trin. (Trin. Coll. Cam. R. 3. 19), _printed in_ Ed. (ed. 1561); T.
(Trin. Coll. O. 9. 38); H. (Harl. 2251). 1. Trin. welle. T. abowte; Trin.
about. 2. Trin. leede. 3. Trin. se. 4. T. H. Salamon; Trin. Salomon. 5. T.
her_e_ (_read_ hir); Trin. H. theyr (_and elsewhere_). 6. _So_ T.; Trin. H.
hit right that they se with. T. eye; Trin. ey; H. ye; (_read_ y). 7. T.
ette, _alt. to_ ettyth; Trin. H. eteth (_read_ et, _and so elsewhere_). 8.
H. T. in; Trin. of. Trin. wemen; queynt. 9. Trin. H. hem nat (T. _om._
hem). Trin. trowth; geason (T. geson). 10. T. full_e_; Trin. H. _om._ Trin.
peynt. 12. Trin. feyne. 13. T. be; Trin. ar; H. are. Trin. chaungeabylle.
15-28. _So_ T. H.; Trin. _transposes_ 15-21 _and_ 22-28. 16. Trin. wemen
stond; stabylnes. 17. T. H. may; Trin. wolle. 18. Trin. doubylnes. 19.
Trin. lawgh; expresse. H. _om._ nat. 20. H. T. in; Trin. on. Trin. theym.

22. T. yn; Trin. on. Trin. cherys. 24. T. They; Trin. For wemen. 25. Trin.
shynyth. 26. Trin. sugryd. 27. T. harde; Trin. H. queynt. Trin. to aspy.
29. T. _has the note_: Fallere flere nere tria sunt hec in muliere. Trin.
thre. 30. T. that; Trin. H. _om._ 31. T. hyt; Trin. _om._ T. properte;
Trin. p_ro_purte. 32. H. haue; T. hath; Trin. _om._ Trin. conseyte. 33.
Trin. H. For they; T. _om._ For. T. wepyth (_read_ wepen); Trin. wepe. T.
H. but; Trin. _om._ H. a sleight; T. deceyt; Trin. asteyte; Ed. a sleite.
34. Trin. teere; ey. 36-42. _In_ T. _only_. 37. T. passyth. 38. T. All yff;
waryabylle. 39. T. wynde; ys blow (_alt. to_ blowth; _read_ can blow). 40.
T. yut; summen. 41. T. ther (_for_ hir). 43. T. schorte; Trin. sothe. Trin.
erthe; wanne. 44. Trin. parchemyne; scrybabylle. 45. T. H. that clepyd is;
Trin. that callyd ys (_read_ cleped). H. _om._ the. Trin. occiane. 46. T.
yn; Trin. into; H. to. T. H. is; Trin. _om._ 47. T. H. Eche; Trin. Euery.
Trin. yche; abylle. H. scryven; T. Trin. scriuener. 48. T. They cowde not;
Trin. Nat cowde then (!). T. wymmenys; Trin. womans; H. wommans. T.
treytorye; Trin. H. trechery.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Ther beth four thinges that maketh a man a fool,
  Hónour first putteth him in outrage,
  And alder-next solitarie and sool;
  The second is unweldy croked age;
  Women also bring men in dotage;                         5
  And mighty wyne, in many dyvers wyse,
  Distempreth folk which [that] ben holden wyse.

          (B). YET OF THE SAME.

  Ther beth four thinges causing gret folye,
  Honour first, and [than] unweldy age;
  Women and wyne, I dar eek specifye,
  Make wyse men [to] fallen in dotage;
  Wherfore, by counseil of philosophers sage,             5
  In gret honour, lerne this of me,
  With thyn estat have [eek] humilitee.


  If it befalle, that god thee list visyte
  With any tourment or adversitee,
  Thank first the lord; and [than], thyself to quyte,
  Upon suffrauncë and humilitee
  Found thou thy quarrel, what-ever that it be;           5
  Mak thy defence (and thou shall have no losse)
  The rémembraunce of Crist and of his crosse.

A. _From_ Stowe (ed. 1561). 1. bethe foure; foole. 3. soole. 7. Distempren
(!); folke whiche; _supply_ that; bene.

B. _From the same._ 1. bene (_read_ beth, _as above_) foure. 2. _I supply_
than; vnwildy. 3. dare eke specify. 4. _I supply_ to. 6. learne. 7. thine
estate; _I supply_ eek.

C. _From the same._ 1. befall; the. 2. aduersite. 3. Thanke; lorde; _I
supply_ than; selfe. 4. humilite. 5. Founde; quarel. 6. Make.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Half in a dreme, not fully wel awaked,
  The golden sleep me wrapped under his wing;
  Yet nat for-thy I roos, and wel nigh naked,
  Al sodaynly my-selve rémembring
  Of a matér, leving al other thing                       5
  Which I shold do, with-outen more delay,
  For hem to whom I durst nat disobey.

  My charge was this, to translate by and by,
  (Al thing forgive), as part of my penaunce,
  A book called Belle Dame sans Mercy                    10
  Which mayster Aleyn made of rémembraunce,
  Cheef secretarie with the king of Fraunce.
  And ther-upon a whyle I stood musing,
  And in my-self gretly imagening

  What wyse I shuld performe the sayd processe,          15
  Considering by good avysement
  Myn unconning and my gret simplenesse,
  And ayenward the strait commaundement
  Which that I had; and thus, in myn entent,
  I was vexed and tourned up and doun;                   20
  And yet at last, as in conclusioun,

  I cast my clothes on, and went my way,
  This foresayd charge having in rémembraunce,
  Til I cam to a lusty green valey
  Ful of floures, to see, a gret plesaunce;              25
  And so bolded, with their benygn suffraunce
  That rede this book, touching this sayd matere,
  Thus I began, if it plese you to here.

  Nat long ago, ryding an esy paas,
  I fel in thought, of joy ful desperate                 30
  With greet disese and payne, so that I was
  Of al lovers the most unfortunate,
  Sith by his dart most cruel, ful of hate,
  The deeth hath take my lady and maistresse,
  And left me sole, thus discomfit and mate,             35
  Sore languisshing, and in way of distresse.

  Than sayd I thus, 'it falleth me to cesse
  Eyther to ryme or ditees for to make,
  And I, surely, to make a ful promesse
  To laugh no more, but wepe in clothes blake.           40
  My joyful tyme, alas! now is it slake,
  For in my-self I fele no maner ese;
  Let it be written, such fortune I take,
  Which neither me, nor non other doth plese.

  If it were so, my wil or myn entent                    45
  Constrayned were a joyful thing to wryte,
  Myn pen coud never have knowlege what it ment;
  To speke therof my tonge hath no delyte.
  And with my mouth if I laugh moche or lyte,
  Myn eyen shold make a countenaunce untrewe;            50
  My hert also wold have therof despyte,
  The weping teres have so large issewe.

  These seke lovers, I leve that to hem longes,
  Which lede their lyf in hope of alegeaunce,
  That is to say, to make balades and songes,            55
  Every of hem, as they fele their grevaunce.
  For she that was my joy and my plesaunce,
  Whos soule I pray god of his mercy save,
  She hath my wil, myn hertes ordinaunce,
  Which lyeth here, within this tombe y-grave.           60

  Fro this tyme forth, tyme is to hold my pees;
  It werieth me this mater for to trete;
  Let other lovers put hem-self in prees;
  Their seson is, my tyme is now forgete.
  Fortune by strength the forcer hath unshet             65
  Wherin was sperd al my worldly richesse,
  And al the goodes which that I have gete
  In my best tyme of youthe and lustinesse.

  Love hath me kept under his governaunce;
  If I misdid, god graunt me forgifnesse!                70
  If I did wel, yet felte I no plesaunce;
  It caused neither joy nor hevinesse.
  For whan she dyed, that was my good maistresse,
  Al my welfare than made the same purchas;
  The deeth hath set my boundes, of witnes,              75
  Which for no-thing myn hert shal never pas.'

  In this gret thought, sore troubled in my mynde,
  Aloon thus rood I al the morow-tyde,
  Til at the last it happed me to fynde
  The place wherin I cast me to abyde                    80
  Whan that I had no further for to ryde.
  And as I went my logging to purvey,
  Right sone I herde, but litel me besyde,
  In a gardeyn, wher minstrels gan to play.

  With that anon I went me bakker-more;                  85
  My-self and I, me thought, we were y-now;
  But twayn that were my frendes here-before
  Had me espyed, and yet I wot nat how.
  They come for me; awayward I me drow,
  Somwhat by force, somwhat by their request,            90
  That in no wyse I coud my-self rescow,
  But nede I must come in, and see the feest.

  At my coming, the ladies everichoon
  Bad me welcome, god wot, right gentilly,
  And made me chere, everich by oon and oon,             95
  A gret del better than I was worthy;
  And, of their grace, shewed me gret curtesy
  With good disport, bicause I shuld nat mourne.
  That day I bood stille in their company,
  Which was to me a gracious sojourne.                  100

  The bordes were spred in right litel space;
  The ladies sat, ech as hem semed best.
  Were non that did servyce within that place
  But chosen men, right of the goodliest:
  And som ther were, peravénture most fresshest,        105
  That sawe their juges, sitting ful demure,
  Without semblaunt either to most or lest,
  Notwithstanding they had hem under cure.

  Among al other, oon I gan espy
  Which in gret thought ful often com and went          110
  As man that had ben ravished utterly,
  In his langage nat gretly diligent;
  His countenaunce he kept with greet tourment,
  But his desyr fer passed his resoun;
  For ever his eye went after his entent                115
  Ful many a tyme, whan it was no sesoun.

  To make good chere, right sore him-self he payned,
  And outwardly he fayned greet gladnesse;
  To singe also by force he was constrayned
  For no plesaunce, but very shamfastnesse;             120
  For the complaynt of his most hevinesse
  Com to his voice alwey without request,
  Lyk as the sowne of birdes doth expresse
  Whan they sing loude, in frith or in forest.

  Other ther were, that served in the hal,              125
  But non lyk him, as after myn advyse;
  For he was pale, and somwhat lene with-al;
  His speche also trembled in fereful wyse;
  And ever aloon, but when he did servyse.
  Al blak he ware, and no devyce but playn.             130
  Me thought by him, as my wit coud suffyse,
  His hert was no-thing in his own demeyn.

  To feste hem al he did his diligence,
  And wel he couth, right as it semed me.
  But evermore, whan he was in presence,                135
  His chere was don; it wold non other be.
  His scole-maister had suche auctoritè
  That, al the whyle he bood stille in the place,
  Speke coude he nat, but upon her beautè
  He loked stil, with right a pitous face.              140

  With that, his heed he tourned at the last
  For to behold the ladies everichon;
  But ever in oon he set his ey stedfast
  On her, the which his thought was most upon.
  And of his eyen the shot I knew anon                  145
  Which federed was with right humble requestes.
  Than to my-self I sayd, 'By god aloon,
  Suche oon was I, or that I saw these gestes.'

  Out of the prees he went ful esely
  To make stable his hevy countenaunce;                 150
  And, wit ye wel, he syghed tenderly
  For his sorowes and woful remembraunce.
  Than in him-self he made his ordinaunce,
  And forth-withal com to bringe in the mes;
  But, for to juge his most ruful semblaunce,           155
  God wot, it was a pitous entremes!

  After diner, anon they hem avaunced
  To daunce about, these folkes everichoon;
  And forth-withal this hevy lover daunced
  Somtyme with twayn, and somtyme but with oon.         160
  Unto hem al his chere was after oon,
  Now here, now there, as fel by aventure;
  But ever among, he drew to her aloon
  Which he most dredde of living creature.

  To myn advyse, good was his purveyaunce               165
  Whan he her chase to his maistresse aloon,
  If that her hert were set to his plesaunce
  As moche as was her beauteous persone.
  For who that ever set his trust upon
  The réport of the eyen, withouten more,               170
  He might be deed and graven under stoon
  Or ever he shulde his hertes ese restore.

  In her fayled nothing, as I coud gesse,
  O wyse nor other, prevy nor apert;
  A garnison she was of al goodnesse                    175
  To make a frounter for a lovers hert;
  Right yong and fresshe, a woman ful covert;
  Assured wel her port and eke her chere,
  Wel at her ese, withouten wo or smert,
  Al underneth the standard of Daungere.                180

  To see the feest, it weried me ful sore;
  For hevy joy doth sore the hert travayle.
  Out of the prees I me withdrew therfore,
  And set me down aloon, behynd a trayle
  Ful of leves, to see, a greet mervayle,               185
  With grene withies y-bounden wonderly;
  The leves were so thik, withouten fayle,
  That thorough-out might no man me espy.

  To this lady he com ful curteisly
  Whan he thought tyme to daunce with her a trace;      190
  Sith in an herber made ful pleasauntly
  They rested hem, fro thens but litel space.
  Nigh hem were none, a certayn of compace,
  But only they, as fer as I coud see;
  And save the trayle, ther I had chose my place,       195
  Ther was no more betwix hem tweyne and me.

  I herd the lover syghing wonder sore;
  For ay the neer, the sorer it him sought.
  His inward payne he coud not kepe in store,
  Nor for to speke, so hardy was he nought.             200
  His leche was neer, the gretter was his thought;
  He mused sore, to conquere his desyre;
  For no man may to more penaunce be brought
  Than, in his hete, to bringe him to the fyre.

  The hert began to swel within his chest,              205
  So sore strayned for anguish and for payne
  That al to peces almost it to-brest,
  Whan bothe at ones so sore it did constrayne;
  Desyr was bold, but shame it gan refrayne;
  That oon was large, the other was ful cloos;          210
  No litel charge was layd on him, certayn,
  To kepe suche werre, and have so many foos.

  Ful often-tymes to speke him-self he peyned,
  But shamfastnesse and drede sayd ever 'nay';
  Yet at the last so sore he was constrayned,           215
  Whan he ful long had put it in delay,
  To his lady right thus than gan he say
  With dredful voice, weping, half in a rage:--
  'For me was purveyd an unhappy day
  Whan I first had a sight of your visage!              220

  I suffre payne, god wot, ful hoot brenning,
  To cause my deeth, al for my trew servyse;
  And I see wel, ye rekke therof nothing,
  Nor take no hede of it, in no kins wyse.
  But whan I speke after my best avyse,                 225
  Ye set it nought, but make ther-of a game;
  And though I sewe so greet an entrepryse,
  It peyreth not your worship nor your fame.

  Alas! what shulde be to you prejudyce
  If that a man do love you faithfully                  230
  To your worship, eschewing every vyce?
  So am I yours, and wil be verily;
  I chalenge nought of right, and reson why,
  For I am hool submit to your servyse;
  Right as ye liste it be, right so wil I,              235
  To bynde my-self, where I was in fraunchyse!

  Though it be so, that I can nat deserve
  To have your grace, but alway live in drede,
  Yet suffre me you for to love and serve
  Without maugrè of your most goodlihede;               240
  Both faith and trouth I give your womanhede,
  And my servyse, withoute ayein-calling.
  Love hath me bounde, withouten wage or mede,
  To be your man, and leve al other thing.'

  Whan this lady had herd al this langage,              245
  She yaf answere ful softe and demurely,
  Without chaunging of colour or corage,
  No-thing in haste, but mesurabelly:--
  'Me thinketh, sir, your thought is greet foly!
  Purpose ye not your labour for to cese?               250
  For thinketh not, whyl that ye live and I,
  In this matére to set your hert in pees!'

  _Lamant._ 'Ther may non make the pees, but only ye,
  Which ar the ground and cause of al this werre;
  For with your eyen the letters written be,            255
  By which I am defyed and put a-fer.
  Your plesaunt look, my verray lode-sterre,
  Was made heraud of thilk same défyaunce
  Which utterly behight me to forbarre
  My faithful trust and al myn affyaunce.'              260

  _La Dame._ 'To live in wo he hath gret fantasy
  And of his hert also hath slipper holde,
  That, only for beholding of an y,
  Can nat abyde in pees, as reson wolde!
  Other or me if ye list to beholde,                    265
  Our eyen are made to loke; why shuld we spare?
  I take no kepe, neither of yong nor olde;
  Who feleth smert, I counsayle him be ware!'

  _Lam._ 'If it be so, oon hurte another sore,
  In his defaut that feleth the grevaunce,              270
  Of very right a man may do no more;
  Yet reson wolde it were in remembraunce.
  And, sith Fortune not only, by her chaunce,
  Hath caused me to suffre al this payn,
  But your beautè, with al the circumstaunce,           275
  Why list ye have me in so greet disdayn?'

  _La D._ 'To your persone ne have I no disdayn,
  Nor ever had, trewly! ne nought wil have,
  Nor right gret love, nor hatred, in certayn;
  Nor your counsayl to know, so god me save!            280
  If such beleve be in your mynde y-grave
  That litel thing may do you greet plesaunce,
  You to begyle, or make you for to rave,
  I wil nat cause no suche encomberaunce!'

  _Lam._ 'What ever it be that me hath thus purchased,  285
  Wening hath nat disceyved me, certayn,
  But fervent love so sore hath me y-chased
  That I, unware, am casten in your chayne;
  And sith so is, as Fortune list ordayne,
  Al my welfare is in your handes falle,                290
  In eschewing of more mischévous payn;
  Who sonest dyeth, his care is leest of alle.'

  _La D._ 'This sicknesse is right esy to endure,
  But fewe people it causeth for to dy;
  But what they mene, I know it very sure,              295
  Of more comfort to draw the remedy.
  Such be there now, playning ful pitously,
  That fele, god wot, nat alther-grettest payne;
  And if so be, love hurt so grevously,
  Lesse harm it were, oon sorowful, than twayne!'       300

  _Lam._ 'Alas, madame! if that it might you plese,
  Moche better were, by way of gentilnesse,
  Of one sory, to make twayn wel at ese,
  Than him to stroy that liveth in distresse!
  For my desyr is neither more nor lesse                305
  But my servyce to do, for your plesaunce,
  In eschewing al maner doublenesse,
  To make two joyes in stede of oo grevaunce!'

  _La D._ 'Of love I seke neither plesaunce nor ese,
  Nor greet desyr, nor right gret affyaunce;            310
  Though ye be seke, it doth me nothing plese;
  Also, I take no hede to your plesaunce.
  Chese who-so wil, their hertes to avaunce,
  Free am I now, and free wil I endure;
  To be ruled by mannes governaunce                     315
  For erthely good, nay! that I you ensure!'

  _Lam._ 'Love, which that joy and sorowe doth departe,
  Hath set the ladies out of al servage,
  And largëly doth graunt hem, for their parte,
  Lordship and rule of every maner age.                 320
  The poor servaunt nought hath of avauntage
  But what he may get only of purchace;
  And he that ones to love doth his homage,
  Ful often tyme dere bought is the rechace.'

  _La D._ 'Ladies be nat so simple, thus I mene,        325
  So dul of wit, so sotted of foly,
  That, for wordes which sayd ben of the splene,
  In fayre langage, paynted ful plesauntly,
  Which ye and mo holde scoles of dayly,
  To make hem of gret wonders to suppose;               330
  But sone they can away their hedes wrye,
  And to fair speche lightly their eres close.'

  _Lam._ 'Ther is no man that jangleth busily,
  And set his hert and al his mynd therfore,
  That by resoun may playne so pitously                 335
  As he that hath moche hevinesse in store.
  Whos heed is hool, and sayth that it is sore,
  His fayned chere is hard to kepe in mewe;
  But thought, which is unfayned evermore,
  The wordes preveth, as the workes sewe.               340

  _La D._ 'Love is subtel, and hath a greet awayt,
  Sharp in worching, in gabbing greet plesaunce,
  And can him venge of suche as by disceyt
  Wold fele and knowe his secret governaunce;
  And maketh hem to obey his ordinaunce                 345
  By chereful wayes, as in hem is supposed;
  But whan they fallen in-to repentaunce,
  Than, in a rage, their counsail is disclosed.'

  _Lam._ 'Sith for-as-moche as god and eke nature
  Hath +love avaunced to so hye degrè,                  350
  Moch sharper is the point, this am I sure,
  Yet greveth more the faute, wher-ever it be.
  Who hath no cold, of hete hath no deyntè,
  The toon for the tother asked is expresse;
  And of plesaunce knoweth non the certeyntè            355
  But it be wonne with thought and hevinesse.'

  _La D._ 'As for plesaunce, it is nat alway oon;
  That you is swete, I thinke it bitter payne.
  Ye may nat me constrayne, nor yet right non,
  After your lust, to love that is but vayne.           360
  To chalenge love by right was never seyn,
  But herte assent, before bond and promyse;
  For strength nor force may not atteyne, certayn,
  A wil that stant enfeffed in fraunchyse!'

  _Lam._ 'Right fayr lady, god mote I never plese,      365
  If I seke other right, as in this case,
  But for to shewe you playnly my disese
  And your mercy to abyde, and eke your grace.
  If I purpose your honour to deface,
  Or ever did, god and fortune me shende!               370
  And that I never rightwysly purchace
  Oon only joy, unto my lyves ende!'

  _La D._ 'Ye and other, that swere suche othes faste,
  And so condempne and cursen to and fro,
  Ful sikerly, ye wene your othes laste                 375
  No lenger than the wordes ben ago!
  And god, and eke his sayntes, laughe also.
  In such swering ther is no stedfastnesse,
  And these wrecches, that have ful trust therto,
  After, they wepe and waylen in distresse.'            380

  _Lam._ 'He hath no corage of a man, trewly,
  That secheth plesaunce, worship to despyse;
  Nor to be called forth is not worthy
  The erthe to touch the ayre in no-kins wyse.
  A trusty hert, a mouth without feyntyse,              385
  These ben the strength of every man of name;
  And who that layth his faith for litel pryse,
  He leseth bothe his worship and his fame.'

  _La D._ 'A currish herte, a mouth that is curteys,
  Ful wel ye wot, they be not according;                390
  Yet feyned chere right sone may hem apeyse
  Where of malyce is set al their worching;
  Ful fals semblant they bere and trew mening;
  Their name, their fame, their tonges be but fayned;
  Worship in hem is put in forgetting,                  395
  Nought repented, nor in no wyse complayned.'

  _Lam._ 'Who thinketh il, no good may him befal;
  God, of his grace, graunt ech man his desert!
  But, for his love, among your thoughtes al,
  As think upon my woful sorowes smert;                 400
  For of my payne, wheder your tender hert
  Of swete pitè be not therwith agreved,
  And if your grace to me were discovert,
  Than, by your mene, sone shulde I be releved.'

  _La D._ 'A lightsom herte, a folly of plesaunce       405
  Are moch better, the lesse whyl they abyde;
  They make you thinke, and bring you in a traunce;
  But that seknesse wil sone be remedyed.
  Respite your thought, and put al this asyde;
  Ful good disportes werieth men al-day;                410
  To help nor hurt, my wil is not aplyed;
  Who troweth me not, I lete it passe away.'

  _Lam._ 'Who hath a brid, a faucon, or a hound,
  That foloweth him, for love, in every place,
  He cherissheth him, and kepeth him ful sound;         415
  Out of his sight he wil not him enchace.
  And I, that set my wittes, in this cace,
  On you alone, withouten any chaunge,
  Am put under, moch ferther out of grace,
  And lesse set by, than other that be straunge.'       420

  _La D._ 'Though I make chere to every man aboute
  For my worship, and of myn own fraunchyse,
  To you I nil do so, withouten doute,
  In eschewing al maner prejudyse.
  For wit ye wel, love is so litel wyse,                425
  And in beleve so lightly wil be brought,
  That he taketh al at his own devyse,
  Of thing, god wot, that serveth him of nought.'

  _Lam._ 'If I, by love and by my trew servyse,
  Lese the good chere that straungers have alway,       430
  Wherof shuld serve my trouth in any wise
  Lesse than to hem that come and go al-day,
  Which holde of you nothing, that is no nay?
  Also in you is lost, to my seming,
  Al curtesy, which of resoun wold say                  435
  That love for love were lawful deserving.'

  _La D._ 'Curtesy is alyed wonder nere
  To Worship, which him loveth tenderly;
  And he wil nat be bounde, for no prayere,
  Nor for no gift, I say you verily,                    440
  But his good chere depart ful largely
  Where him lyketh, as his conceit wil fal;
  Guerdon constrayned, a gift don thankfully,
  These twayn may not accord, ne never shal.'

  _Lam._ 'As for guerdon, I seke non in this cace;      445
  For that desert, to me it is to hy;
  Wherfore I ask your pardon and your grace,
  Sith me behoveth deeth, or your mercy.
  To give the good where it wanteth, trewly,
  That were resoun and a curteys maner;                 450
  And to your own moch better were worthy
  Than to straungers, to shewe hem lovely chere.'

  _La D._ 'What cal ye good? Fayn wolde I that I wist!
  That pleseth oon, another smerteth sore;
  But of his own to large is he that list               455
  Give moche, and lese al his good fame therfore.
  Oon shulde nat make a graunt, litel ne more,
  But the request were right wel according;
  If worship be not kept and set before,
  Al that is left is but a litel thing.'                460

  _Lam._ 'In-to this world was never formed non,
  Nor under heven crëature y-bore,
  Nor never shal, save only your persone,
  To whom your worship toucheth half so sore,
  But me, which have no seson, lesse ne more,           465
  Of youth ne age, but still in your service;
  I have non eyen, no wit, nor mouth in store,
  But al be given to the same office.'

  _La D._ 'A ful gret charge hath he, withouten fayle,
  That his worship kepeth in sikernesse;                470
  But in daunger he setteth his travayle
  That feffeth it with others businesse.
  To him that longeth honour and noblesse,
  Upon non other shulde nat he awayte;
  For of his own so moche hath he the lesse             475
  That of other moch folweth the conceyt.'

  _Lam._ 'Your eyen hath set the print which that I fele
  Within my hert, that, where-so-ever I go,
  If I do thing that sowneth unto wele,
  Nedes must it come from you, and fro no mo.           480
  Fortune wil thus, that I, for wele or wo,
  My lyf endure, your mercy abyding;
  And very right wil that I thinke also
  Of your worship, above al other thing.'

  _La D._ 'To your worship see wel, for that is nede,   485
  That ye spend nat your seson al in vayne;
  As touching myn, I rede you take no hede,
  By your foly to put your-self in payne.
  To overcome is good, and to restrayne
  An hert which is disceyved folily.                    490
  For worse it is to breke than bowe, certayn,
  And better bowe than fal to sodaynly!'

  _Lam._ 'Now, fair lady, think, sith it first began
  That love hath set myn hert under his cure,
  I never might, ne truly I ne can                      495
  Non other serve, whyle I shal here endure;
  In most free wyse therof I make you sure,
  Which may not be withdrawe; this is no nay.
  I must abyde al maner aventure;
  For I may not put to, nor take away.'                 500

  _La D._ 'I holde it for no gift, in sothfastnesse,
  That oon offreth, where that it is forsake;
  For suche gift is abandoning expresse
  That with worship ayein may not be take.
  He hath an hert ful fel that list to make             505
  A gift lightly, that put is in refuse;
  But he is wyse that such conceyt wil slake,
  So that him nede never to study ne muse.'

  _Lam._ 'He shuld nat muse, that hath his service spent
  On her which is a lady honourable;                    510
  And if I spende my tyme to that entent,
  Yet at the leest I am not reprevable
  Of feyled hert; to thinke I am unable,
  Or me mistook whan I made this request,
  By which love hath, of entreprise notable,            515
  So many hertes gotten by conquest.'

  _La D._ 'If that ye list do after my counsayl,
  Secheth fairer, and of more higher fame,
  Whiche in servyce of love wil you prevayl
  After your thought, according to the same.            520
  He hurteth both his worship and his name
  That folily for twayne him-self wil trouble;
  And he also leseth his after-game
  That surely can not sette his poyntes double.'

  _Lam._ 'This your counsayl, by ought that I can see,  525
  Is better sayd than don, to myn advyse;
  Though I beleve it not, forgive it me,
  Myn herte is suche, so hool without feyntyse,
  That it ne may give credence, in no wyse,
  To thing which is not sowning unto trouthe;           530
  Other counsayl, it ar but fantasyes,
  Save of your grace to shewe pitè and routhe.'

  _La D._ 'I holde him wyse that worketh folily
  And, whan him list, can leve and part therfro;
  But in conning he is to lerne, trewly,                535
  That wolde him-self conduite, and can not so.
  And he that wil not after counsayl do,
  His sute he putteth in desesperaunce;
  And al the good, which that shulde falle him to,
  Is left as deed, clene out of rémembraunce.'          540

  _Lam._ 'Yet wil I sewe this mater faithfully
  Whyls I may live, what-ever be my chaunce;
  And if it hap that in my trouthe I dy,
  That deeth shal not do me no displesaunce.
  But whan that I, by your ful hard suffraunce,         545
  Shal dy so trew, and with so greet a payne,
  Yet shal it do me moche the lesse grevaunce
  Than for to live a fals lover, certayne.'

  _La D._ 'Of me get ye right nought, this is no fable,
  I nil to you be neither hard nor strayt;              550
  And right wil not, nor maner customable,
  To think ye shulde be sure of my conceyt.
  Who secheth sorowe, his be the receyt!
  Other counsayl can I not fele nor see,
  Nor for to lerne I cast not to awayte;                555
  Who wil therto, let him assay, for me!'

  _Lam._ 'Ones must it be assayd, that is no nay,
  With such as be of reputacioun,
  And of trew love the right devoir to pay
  Of free hertes, geten by due raunsoun;                560
  For free wil holdeth this opinioun,
  That it is greet duresse and discomfort
  To kepe a herte in so strayt a prisoun,
  That hath but oon body for his disport.'

  _La D._ 'I know so many cases mervaylous              565
  That I must nede, of resoun, think certayn,
  That such entree is wonder perilous,
  And yet wel more, the coming bak agayn.
  Good or worship therof is seldom seyn;
  Wherefore I wil not make no suche aray                570
  As for to fynde a plesaunce but barayn,
  Whan it shal cost so dere, the first assay.'

  _Lam._ 'Ye have no cause to doute of this matere,
  Nor you to meve with no such fantasyes
  To put me ferre al-out, as a straungere;              575
  For your goodnesse can think and wel avyse,
  That I have made a prefe in every wyse
  By which my trouth sheweth open evidence;
  My long abyding and my trew servyse
  May wel be knowen by playn experience.'               580

  _La D._ 'Of very right he may be called trew,
  And so must he be take in every place,
  That can deserve, and let as he ne knew,
  And kepe the good, if he it may purchace.
  For who that prayeth or sueth in any case,            585
  Right wel ye wot, in that no trouth is preved;
  Suche hath ther ben, and are, that geten grace,
  And lese it sone, whan they it have acheved.'

  _Lam._ 'If trouth me cause, by vertue soverayne,
  To shew good love, and alway fynd contráry,           590
  And cherish that which sleeth me with the payne,
  This is to me a lovely adversary!
  Whan that pitè, which long a-slepe doth tary,
  Hath set the fyne of al myn hevinesse,
  Yet her comfort, to me most necessary,                595
  Shuld set my wil more sure in stablenesse.'

  _La D._ 'The woful wight, what may he thinke or say?
  The contrary of al joy and gladnesse.
  A sick body, his thought is al away
  From hem that fele no sorowe nor siknesse.            600
  Thus hurtes ben of dyvers businesse
  Which love hath put to right gret hinderaunce,
  And trouthe also put in forgetfulnesse
  Whan they so sore begin to sighe askaunce.'

  _Lam._ 'Now god defend but he be havëlesse            605
  Of al worship or good that may befal,
  That to the werst tourneth, by his lewdnesse,
  A gift of grace, or any-thing at al
  That his lady vouchsauf upon him cal,
  Or cherish him in honourable wyse!                    610
  In that defaut what-ever he be that fal
  Deserveth more than deth to suffre twyse!'

  _La D._ 'There is no juge y-set of such trespace
  By which of right oon may recovered be;
  Oon curseth fast, another doth manace,                615
  Yet dyeth non, as ferre as I can see,
  But kepe their cours alway, in oon degrè,
  And evermore their labour doth encrese
  To bring ladyes, by their gret soteltè,
  For others gilte, in sorowe and disese!'              620

  _Lam._ 'Al-be-it so oon do so greet offence,
  And be not deed, nor put to no juÿse,
  Right wel I wot, him gayneth no defence,
  But he must ende in ful mischévous wyse,
  And al that ever is good wil him dispyse.             625
  For falshed is so ful of cursednesse
  That high worship shal never have enterpryse
  Where it reigneth and hath the wilfulnesse.'

  _La D._ 'Of that have they no greet fere now-a-days,
  Suche as wil say, and maynteyne it ther-to,           630
  That stedfast trouthe is nothing for to prays
  In hem that kepe it long for wele or wo.
  Their busy hertes passen to and fro,
  They be so wel reclaymed to the lure,
  So wel lerned hem to withholde also,                  635
  And al to chaunge, whan love shuld best endure.'

  _Lam._ 'Whan oon hath set his herte in stable wyse
  In suche a place as is both good and trewe,
  He shuld not flit, but do forth his servyse
  Alway, withouten chaunge of any newe.                 640
  As sone as love beginneth to remewe,
  Al plesaunce goth anon, in litel space;
  For my party, al that shal I eschewe,
  Whyls that the soule abydeth in his place.'

  _La D._ 'To love trewly ther-as ye ought of right,    645
  Ye may not be mistaken, doutëlesse;
  But ye be foul deceyved in your sight
  By lightly understanding, as I gesse.
  Yet may ye wel repele your businesse
  And to resoun somwhat have attendaunce,               650
  Moch better than to byde, by fol simplesse,
  The feble socour of desesperaunce.'

  _Lam._ 'Resoun, counsayl, wisdom, and good avyse
  Ben under love arested everichoon,
  To which I can accorde in every wyse;                 655
  For they be not rebel, but stille as stoon;
  Their wil and myn be medled al in oon,
  And therwith bounden with so strong a cheyne
  That, as in hem, departing shal be noon,
  But pitè breke the mighty bond atwayne.'              660

  _La D._ 'Who loveth not himself, what-ever he be
  In love, he stant forgete in every place;
  And of your wo if ye have no pitè,
  Others pitè bileve not to purchace;
  But beth fully assured in this case,                  665
  I am alway under oon ordinaunce,
  To have better; trusteth not after grace,
  And al that leveth tak to your plesaunce!'

  _Lam._ 'I have my hope so sure and so stedfast
  That suche a lady shulde nat fail pitè;               670
  But now, alas! it is shit up so fast,
  That Daunger sheweth on me his crueltè.
  And if she see the vertue fayle in me
  Of trew servyce, then she to fayle also
  No wonder were; but this is the suretè,               675
  I must suffre, which way that ever it go.'

  _La D._ 'Leve this purpos, I rede you for the best;
  For lenger that ye kepe it thus in vayn,
  The lesse ye gete, as of your hertes rest,
  And to rejoice it shal ye never attayn.               680
  Whan ye abyde good hope, to make you fayn,
  Ye shal be founde asotted in dotage;
  And in the ende, ye shal know for certayn,
  That hope shal pay the wrecches for their wage!'

  _Lam._ 'Ye say as falleth most for your plesaunce,    685
  And your power is greet; al this I see;
  But hope shal never out of my rémembraunce,
  By whiche I felt so greet adversitè.
  For whan nature hath set in you plentè
  Of al goodnesse, by vertue and by grace,              690
  He never assembled hem, as semeth me,
  To put Pitè out of his dwelling-place.'

  _La D._ 'Pitè of right ought to be resonable,
  And to no wight of greet disavantage;
  There-as is nede, it shuld be profitable,             695
  And to the pitous shewing no damage.
  If a lady wil do so greet out-rage
  To shewe pitè, and cause her own debate,
  Of such pitè cometh dispitous rage,
  And of the love also right deedly hate.'              700

  _Lam._ 'To comforte hem that live al comfortlesse,
  That is no harm, but worship to your name;
  But ye, that bere an herte of such duresse,
  And a fair body formed to the same,
  If I durst say, ye winne al this defame               705
  By Crueltè, which sitteth you ful il,
  But-if Pitè, which may al this attame,
  In your high herte may rest and tary stil.'

  _La D._ 'What-ever he be that sayth he loveth me,
  And peraventure, I leve that it be so,                710
  Ought he be wroth, or shulde I blamed be,
  Though I did noght as he wolde have me do?
  If I medled with suche or other mo,
  It might be called pitè manerlesse;
  And, afterward if I shulde live in wo,                715
  Than to repent it were to late, I gesse.'

  _Lam._ 'O marble herte, and yet more hard, pardè,
  Which mercy may nat perce, for no labour,
  More strong to bowe than is a mighty tree,
  What vayleth you to shewe so greet rigour?            720
  Plese it you more to see me dy this hour
  Before your eyen, for your disport and play,
  Than for to shewe som comfort or socour
  To respite deth, that chaseth me alway!'

  _La D._ 'Of your disese ye may have allegeaunce;      725
  And as for myn, I lete it over-shake.
  Also, ye shal not dye for my plesaunce,
  Nor for your hele I can no surety make.
  I nil nat hate myn hert for others sake;
  Wepe they, laugh they, or sing, this I waraunt,       730
  For this mater so wel to undertake
  That non of you shal make therof avaunt!'

  _Lam._ 'I can no skil of song; by god aloon,
  I have more cause to wepe in your presence;
  And wel I wot, avauntour am I noon,                   735
  For certainly, I love better silence.
  Oon shuld nat love by his hertes credence
  But he were sure to kepe it secretly;
  For avauntour is of no reverence
  Whan that his tonge is his most enemy.'               740

  _La D._ 'Male-bouche in courte hath greet commaundement;
  Ech man studieth to say the worst he may.
  These fals lovers, in this tyme now present,
  They serve to boste, to jangle as a jay.
  The most secret wil wel that some men say             745
  How he mistrusted is on some partyes;
  Wherfore to ladies what men speke or pray,
  It shuld not be bileved in no wyse.'

  _Lam._ 'Of good and il shal be, and is alway;
  The world is such; the erth it is not playn.          750
  They that be good, the preve sheweth every day,
  And otherwyse, gret villany, certayn.
  Is it resoun, though oon his tonge distayne
  With cursed speche, to do him-self a shame,
  That such refuse shuld wrongfully remayne             755
  Upon the good, renommed in their fame?'

  _La D._ 'Suche as be nought, whan they here tydings newe,
  That ech trespas shal lightly have pardoun,
  They that purposen to be good and trewe--
  Wel set by noble disposicioun                         760
  To continue in good condicioun--
  They are the first that fallen in damage,
  And ful freely their hertes abandoun
  To litel faith, with softe and fayr langage.'

  _Lam._ 'Now knowe I wel, of very certayntè,           765
  Though oon do trewly, yet shal he be shent,
  Sith al maner of justice and pitè
  Is banisshed out of a ladyes entent.
  I can nat see but al is at oo stent,
  The good and il, the vyce and eek vertue!             770
  Suche as be good shal have the punishment
  For the trespas of hem that been untrewe!'

  _La D._ 'I have no power you to do grevaunce,
  Nor to punisshe non other creature;
  But, to eschewe the more encomberaunce,               775
  To kepe us from you al, I holde it sure.
  Fals semblaunce hath a visage ful demure,
  Lightly to cacche the ladies in a-wayt;
  Wherefore we must, if that we wil endure,
  Make right good watch; lo! this is my conceyt.'       780

  _Lam._ 'Sith that of grace oo goodly word aloon
  May not be had, but alway kept in store,
  I pele to god, for he may here my moon,
  Of the duresse, which greveth me so sore.
  And of pitè I pleyn me further-more,                  785
  Which he forgat, in al his ordinaunce,
  Or els my lyf to have ended before,
  Which he so sone put out of rémembraunce.'

  _La D._ 'My hert, nor I, have don you no forfeyt,
  By which ye shulde complayne in any kynde.            790
  There hurteth you nothing but your conceyt;
  Be juge your-self; for so ye shal it fynde.
  Ones for alway let this sinke in your mynde--
  That ye desire shal never rejoysed be!
  Ye noy me sore, in wasting al this wynde;             795
  For I have sayd y-nough, as semeth me.'

              VERBA AUCTORIS.

  This woful man roos up in al his payne,
  And so parted, with weping countenaunce;
  His woful hert almost to-brast in twayne,
  Ful lyke to dye, forth walking in a traunce,          800
  And sayd, 'Now, deeth, com forth! thy-self avaunce,
  Or that myn hert forgete his propertè;
  And make shorter al this woful penaunce
  Of my pore lyfe, ful of adversitè!'

  Fro thens he went, but whider wist I nought,          805
  Nor to what part he drow, in sothfastnesse;
  But he no more was in his ladies thought,
  For to the daunce anon she gan her dresse.
  And afterward, oon tolde me thus expresse,
  He rente his heer, for anguissh and for payne,        810
  And in him-self took so gret hevinesse
  That he was deed, within a day or twayne.


  Ye trew lovers, this I beseche you al,
  Such +avantours, flee hem in every wyse,
  And as people defamed ye hem cal;                     815
  For they, trewly, do you gret prejudyse.
  Refus hath mad for al such flateryes
  His castelles strong, stuffed with ordinaunce,
  For they have had long tyme, by their offyce,
  The hool countrè of Love in obeysaunce.               820

  And ye, ladyes, or what estat ye be,
  In whom Worship hath chose his dwelling-place,
  For goddes love, do no such crueltè,
  Namely, to hem that have deserved grace.
  Nor in no wyse ne folowe not the trace                825
  Of her, that here is named rightwisly,
  Which by resoun, me semeth, in this case


  Go, litel book! god sende thee good passage!
  Chese wel thy way; be simple of manere;               830
  Loke thy clothing be lyke thy pilgrimage,
  And specially, let this be thy prayere
  Un-to hem al that thee wil rede or here,
  Wher thou art wrong, after their help to cal
  Thee to correcte in any part or al.                   835

  Pray hem also, with thyn humble servyce,
  Thy boldënesse to pardon in this case;
  For els thou art not able, in no wyse,
  To make thy-self appere in any place.
  And furthermore, beseche hem, of their grace,         840
  By their favour and supportacioun,
  To take in gree this rude translacioun,

  The which, god wot, standeth ful destitute
  Of eloquence, of metre, and of coloures,
  Wild as a beest, naked, without refute,               845
  Upon a playne to byde al maner shoures.
  I can no more, but aske of hem socoures
  At whos request thou mad were in this wyse,
  Commaunding me with body and servyse.

  Right thus I make an ende of this processe,           850
  Beseching him that al hath in balaunce
  That no trew man be vexed, causëlesse,
  As this man was, which is of rémembraunce;
  And al that doon their faythful observaunce,
  And in their trouth purpose hem to endure,            855
  I pray god sende hem better aventure.


_From_ Th. (Thynne, ed. 1532); _collated with_ F. (Fairfax 16); and H.
(Harl. 372). _Also in_ Ff. (Camb. Univ. Lib. Ff. 1. 6). _Bad spellings of_
Th. _are corrected by the_ MSS. TITLE. Th. H. La ... mercy; F. Balade de la
Bele Dame sanz mercy. H. _adds_--Translatid ... Ros. 1. Th. F. Halfe; H.
Half. 2. F. H. Ff. wrapt. 3. _All_ rose. 4. Th. Ff. -selfe; H. F. self. 5.
F. matere; H. matier. Th. leuynge. 6. Th. must; F. sholde; H. shold. 7. H.
to whom; F. the which; Th. whiche. Th. F. dysobey; H. sey nay. 9. Th.
thynge. Ff. part; _rest_ parte. 10. Th. F. boke; H. book. Th. La bel; F. la
bele; H. _om._ La. H. F. sanz; Th. sauns. 11. Th. Whiche. 12. Th.
secratairie; F. secretare; H. secretarie. 13. H. ther-; Th. F. her-. Th. F.
stode; H. stood. 14. Th. greatly ymagenynge. 15. Th. shulde; F. H. sholde;
Ff. shuld. Th. the; F. H. this. 16. Ff. avysement; _rest_ adv. 17. F. H.
Ff. Myn; Th. My. F. H. Ff. symplesse.

18. Th. -warde; strayte. 19. Th. myne. 20. Th. downe. 21. Th. conclusyon.
24. H. in-to. H. green; Th. F. grene. 25. Th. se; great. 26. F. H. Ff.
bolded; Th. boldly. F. benyng; Th. benygne; H. benyngne. 27. F. H. Ff.
That; Th. Whiche. Th. F. boke; H. booke. H. F. the; Th. Ff. this. Th. _om._
seid. 28. F. H. begynne. Th. please. (_From this point I silently correct
the spelling of_ Th.) 33. Th. Ff. by; F. H. with. 35. Ff. soleyne (_for_
sole thus); _perhaps better_. 41. F. H. Ff. is; Th. doth. 42. F. felde. Th.
maner of ease. 43. F. H. I; Th. as I. 44. F. H. Ff. nor doth noon other.
46. F. H. Ff. Were constreyned. 47. H. Myn eyen; F. Myn eyn; Th. My penne;
Ff. My pen. Ff. neu_er_ haue knolege; H. haue knowlege (!); Th. neuer
knowe; F. haue no knowlych.

49. F. H. Ff. And; Th. Tho. Th. _om._ if. 53. F. H. Ff. seke; Th. sicke.
54. Th. Ff. theyr; H. F. her (_often_). 55. F. H. balade or. 60. F. H. Ff.
lyth with hir vndir hir tumbe in graue (Ff. I-graue). 65. Th. Ff. by; F. H.
with. F. hath the forser vnschete. 66. Th. sperde; Ff. spred; F. sprad; H.
spradde (!). 73. Th. H. _om._ good. 74. Th. _om._ Al. H. made than. 75. F.
Ff. set; H. sette; Th. shette. F. H. Ff. boundes; Th. bondes. 77. F. H.
thoughtes. Th. _om._ my. 79. F. I (_for_ it). 80. H. I purposid me to bide.

81. H. forth to. 83. F. H. Ff. but; Th. a. 84. F. H. gardeyn; Th. garden.
88. F. _om._ yet I; H. _om._ yet. 89. F. H. come; Th. came. 90. Th. her; F.
H. Ff. their. 92. F. H. nede; Th. nedes. 95. H. F. Ff. eueryche by one and
one; Th. euery one by one. 103. _So_ Ff.; H. F. Were none that serued in
that place (!); Th. Ther were no deedly seruaunts in the place. 105. Ff.
_per_aunt_er_. H. _om._ most. 106. Th. _om._ sitting. 110. F. com; H. come;
Th. came. 111. H. F. man; Th. one; Ff. on.

115. Th. F. Ff. went; H. yode. 116. Th. F. Ff. Ful; H. At. 117. Th. _om._
good _and_ right. 122. F. H. Come; Th. Came. 124. F. H. _om. 2nd_ in. 133.
F. H. feste; Th. feest. 134. Th. coude; _rest_ couth. F. H. _om._ it. 138.
Th. H. bode. 143. F. eey; H. yee; Th. eye. Th. F. Ff. stedfast; H. faste.
144. Th. _om._ the.

145. F. H. And; Th. For. Th. Ff. shot; H. sight; F. seght. 146. H. fedired;
F. fedred; Ff. federid; Th. fereful. 148. Th. I, or that; F. ther that; H.
I that there. Th. iestes. 151. F. H. tendirly; Th. wonderly. 154. F. H.
come; Th. came. 155. F. H. _om._ most. F. H. ruful; Ff. rewfull; Th. woful.
F. H. Ff. semblaunce; Th. penaunce. 158. F. H. these; Th. the. 159. F. H.
louer; Th. man he. 160. Th. _om._ but. 166. _All_ chase. 168. F. H.
beautevous. 169. F. H. that; Th. so. F. H. set; Th. setteth. H. trist. 170.
Th. the (_rightly_); H. there; F. Ff. their. 171. F. vndir a. 173. F. H.
as; Th. that. 174. F. Ff. O; H. On; Th. One. F. H. vice. (!). H. ner (_for
1st_ nor). Th. Ff. nor; H. or; F. ne. Ff. apert; Th. H. perte;F. pert. 175.
Th. garyson. Th. goodlynesse. 176. _All_ frounter.

178. F. H. Ff. her; Th. of (_twice_). 180. Th. standerde; F. standarte; H.
standart. 183. Th. -drawe; H. -drewh. 184. Th. Ff. alone; F. H. _om._ 186.
F. withes; H. Ff. wythyes; Th. wrethes. 188. H. Ff. thorughe; Th. through;
F. thorgh. Th. no man might. 189. Th. this; H. his. F. H. come; Th. came.
191. Th. Set (_for_ Sith). H. herbier. 192. H. them. Th. but a. 193. Th. of
a certayne. 195. Th. _om._ And. 196. _So_ F. H.; Th. bytwene hem two. 201.
Th. more; H. Ff. neer. 204. Ff. hete; Th. heate; F. H. hert.

209. Th. Ff. gan; F. H. can. 210. F. H. The toon. 213-220. F. _omits_. 224.
F. H. Ff. kyns; Th. kynde. 225. H. Ff. avise; Th. aduyse. 226. Th. it at;
F. H. _om._ at. 227. H. enterprise. 228. F. H. It; Th. Yet. 229. Th. it be;
F. H. _om._ it. 231. Th. Ff. eschewynge; F. H. escusyng. 234. F. H. to; Th.
vnto. 235. _All_ ye. Th. Ff. right; F. even; H. euyn. 237. H. _om._ that.
238. Th. alway; F. H. ay to. 239. F. H. _om._ for. 240. Th. Withouten; F.

241. H. gif; F. geve. 242. F. H. ayein; Th. any (!). 243. F. withouten; H.
withoughtyn; Th. withoute. 248. F. Ff. mesurabely; Th. H. mesurably. 249.
Th. Ff. your thought is; F. H. ye do ful. 251. Th. thynketh; F. H. think
ye. Th. whyles; H. whil that; Ff. whils that. 252. F. matere; H. matier;
Th. mater. 258. F. Ff. dyffiaunce. 259. F. H. Ff. to forbarre; Th. for to
barre. 262. Th. _om._ hath. 263 Th. eye; F. eeye; H. yee; (_read_ y). 265.
F. if that ye lyst to beholde; H. Ff. if ye liste to biholde; Th. if ye
list ye may beholde. 267. H. nor; Th. F. Ff. ne.

273. Th. _om._ not. Th. her; F. H. Ff. his. 275. F. H. Ff. But; Th. By (!).
278. H. _om._ trewly. Th. Ff. nought; F. H. neuer. 281. F. beleue; H.
bileue; Th. loue (!). 282. _So_ Ff.; H. F. _om._ greet (Th. you
dyspleasaunce!). 284. _So_ F. Th.; H. encombrance. 290. F. I-falle; H.
y-falle; Ff. falle; Th. fal. 297. Th. F. Ff. now; H. nought. 302. Th. it
were; F. H. _om._ it. 303. F. sorow; H. sorwe; Th. Ff. sory. 304. F. H.
stroye; Th. destroye. 308. F. H. oo; Th. one.

309. Th. Ff. nor; F. H. ne. 310. F. H. grete desire nor; Th. haue therin
no. Th. _om._ right. 311. F. H. seke; Th. sicke. 312. Th. of; F. H. Ff. to.
313. F. H. their; Th. her. 317. Th. that ioy; F. H. _om._ that. 318. F. H.
_om._ al. 319. F. H. their; Th. her. 320. Th. maner of age. 322. Th. by; F.
H. Ff. of. Th. purchesse; F. H. purchace. 324. Th. tymes. F. _om._ the. H.
dere his richesse bought has. Ff. rechace; _rest_ richesse. 326. Th. in
(_for 2nd_ of). 327. F. ben; Th. be; H. are. 329. H. scoolys holden dieuly.
330. F. H. of; Th. al. 331. F. H. their hedes away. 334. F. set; Ff. sette;
Th. H. setteth. 337. F. H. _om._ that. 340. Th. shewe; F. sue; H. Ff. sewe.

341. Th. Ff. awayte; F. H. abayte. 342. F. worching; H. worsching; Th.
workyng. 344. F. H. know and fele. 346. F. H. him; Th. Ff. hem. 347. F. H.
when that; Th. _om._ that. 348. F. H. their; Th. her. 350. _All_ avaunced
loue. 351. Th. sharpe. F. H. this; Th. thus. 352. F. H. It; Th. Ff. Yet.
354. F. ton; H. toon; Th. one. F. H. the tother; Th. that other. 355. Th.
_om._ the. Th. certeyne (!). 356. F. wonne; H. wonnen; Th. one (!). F. H.
with; Th. in. 358. F. H. is; Th. thi_n_ke. 363. F. nor; H. ner; Th. and.
Th. _om._ certayn. 364. F. H. stant; Th. standeth. F. enfeoffed. 366. Th.
_om._ as. 371. F. H. rightwysly; Th. vnryghtfully (!).

384. Th. Ff. ayre; F. eir; H. heire. 386. Th. Thus be. F. H. Ff. man of;
Th. maner. 387. F. layth; Th. layeth; H. latith. 388. H. losith. 389. F.
Ff. currisch; H. kurressh; Th. cursed. 391. Th. F. right; H. ful. 392. F.
H. their; Th. her. F. worchyng; H. werchyng; Th. workynge. 393. Th. and; F.
H. a. F. Th. Ff. semyng; H. menyng. 394. F. H. Their; Th. Her (_thrice_).
Th. _om._ be. Th. but; F. H. not. 400. H. sorowe. 401. Th. wheder; Ff.
whedre; F. H. wher. 403. F. H. Ff. if; Th. of. 404. F. Ff. Then; H. Thanne;
Th. That.

408. Th. sicknesse. 410. Th. disporte. Th. me. 411. Th. Ff. nor; F. H. ne.
412. F. H. Ff. it; Th. hem. 413. Th. Ff. byrde; F. bride; H. bridde. 415.
H. _om. 2nd_ him. 416. F. H. _om. 2nd_ him. 419. Th. farther. 420. F. H.
sett lesse. 422. F. H. Ff. of; Th. for. 424. F. H. of all; Th. Ff. _om._
of. 425. Th. wote; F. H. wytt. 429-716. _Misarranged in_ F. H.; Th. Ff.
_follow the right order_. 429. (Th.) = 669 (F. H.). F. _om. 2nd_ by. 431.
F. There-of. F. H. shulde; Th. shal. 432. Th. him that cometh and goth.
433. Th. holdeth. 434. Th. as to; F. H. Ff. _om._ as. 435. F. H. wolde; Th.
Ff. wyl. 436. Th. desyringe (!).

438. Th. To; F. H. With. F. H. best and tendyrly; Th. Ff. _om._ best and.
440. F. H. _om._ no. F. H. Ff. yift; Th. gyftes. 442. F. Wheryn hym. 443.
F. H. Ff. constreynte. 444. F. H. Ff. may not; Th. ca_n_ neuer. F. H. ne;
Th. Ff. nor. 445. H. seche; F. beseche. 446. F. H. _om._ it. 450. Th. a
curtyse; Ff. a corteys; F. H. curteysy. 456. Th. _om._ al. 460. H. loste
(_for_ left). 461. F. H. Ff. neuer formed (fourmed); Th. founded neuer.
467. Th. no (_for_ non). F. eeyn; H. yeen. 468. H. That ne alle ar.

472. F. feoffeth. 474. Th. be (_for_ he). 475. F. H. _om._ his. 477-524.
_Follows_ 572 _in_ F. H. 477 (Th.) = 525 (F. H.). 478. Th. Ff. so; H. sum;
F. some. 479. H. sowndith. 481. H. Ff. thus; Th. this. 486. F. _om._ ye. H.
F. your sesoun spende not. 488. H. Ff. foly; Th. folly. 489. Th. H. herte.
H. F. folyly; Th. follyly. 492. H. F. And; Th. _om._ Th. to fal. 493. H.
Th. faire. 494. H. Ff. had (_for_ hath). H. F. your; Th. Ff. his. 495. F.
H. I neuer; Th. Ff. It neuer. 496. F. H. whiles. 500. H. F. not; Ff.
nought; Th. neyther.

501. Th. gyfte; H. yifte. 502. Th. _om._ that. 503. Th. a gifte; H. F. Ff.
_om._ a. 505. H. F. _om._ an. H. hurte ful fele (!). 506. H. F. Ff. in; Th.
to. 508. H. F. neuer; Th. neyther. 509. H. F. Who; Th. Ff. He. 512. F.
_om._ the. Th. reproveable. 513. F. H. feyled; Th. fayned. 514. Th. I
mystoke; H. F. Ff. me mystoke. 515. F. entrepris. 516. H. F. goten. 517. H.
Th. liste. 518. F. H. Secheth; Th. Seche a. 519. Th. preuayle. 523. H.
hosithe (_for_ leseth). 525-572. _Follows_ 716 _in_ F. H. 528. H. hoole;
Th. hole. 529. H. F. it; Th. I. H. F. _om._ ne. 530. H. soundyng. 531. H.
F. it ar; Th. I se be. Th. Ff. fantasise; F. fantasyse; H. fantaisise.

533. H. F. Ff. folily; Th. no foly (!). 534. H. Th. parte. 536. F. condyte.
538. Th. Ff. sute; H. F. suerte. H. F. in; Th. in to. 539. Th. _om._ which.
H. F. _om._ that. 540. H. F. Ff. left as; Th. lost and. F. dethe (!). 542.
H. Ff. Whils; Th. Whyles. Th. _om._ may. 544. Th. Than; H. F. Ff. That. H.
not; Th. F. _om._ 545. Ff. full; _rest om._ Th. H. harde. 546. H. triew;
Th. true. H. grete; Th. great. F. Ff. _om._ a. 547. F. H. _om._ the; _read_
mochel less? 550. H. F. nyl; Th. wyl. H. Th. harde. 551. Th. no man (_for_
nor maner). 555. Th. cast me not. 556. H. F. ther-to; Th. therof. 558. H.
F. beth. 559. H. trewe; Th. true. Ff. devoyr; H. duetes; F. dewtis; Th.
honour. 560. Th. gotten. H. F. due; Th. dewe. 562. H. grete; Th. great. H.
Th. -forte. 564. H. F. oo; Ff. on; Th. one. H. Th. -porte.

565. Ff. H. cases; _rest_ causes. 566. H. F. Which; Th. Ff. That. 567. H.
F. Ff. entre; Th. auenture (!). 570. Th. Where I ne wyl make suche. 571.
Th. but a; H. F. _om._ a. 573-620. _Follows_ 668 _in_ H. F. 573. F. matere;
Th. mater. 574. Th. fantasyse; F. fantasise; H. fantesye. 576. F. Ff.
avyse; Th. H. aduyse. 577. H. Ff. prefe; F. p_re_ue; Th. prise. 578. H.
trouthe; Th. truthe. 579. H. Th. trewe. 581. H. Th. trewe. 583. H. Ff.
deserue; Th. discerne (!). H. Th. knewe. 585. H. Ff. sueth; F. seweth; Th.
swereth. 587. Th. geten; H. F. getith. 588. H. F. Ff. it haue; Th. haue it.
590. Th. H. shewe; fynde. 593. H. F. a slepe; Th. on slepe. 595. Th. H.
comforte. 596. Ff. Shuld; H. F. Shulde; Th. Shal.

599. Th. sycke; H. F. seke. F. _om._ his. H. F. Ff. al awaye; Th. alway.
600. H. Ff. fele; Th. felen. H. sorwe; F. Ff. sorowe; Th. sore. 602. Th.
_om._ right. Th. hindraunce. 604. H. Ff. so; Th. ful; F. _om._ 605. H. Th.
defende. H. F. haueles; Th. harmlesse (!). 607. Th. _om._ the. 608. Th.
gyfte; H. yifte. 609. Th. Ff. vouchesafe; H. vouchith sauf. 610. H. F.
cherissh; Th. Ff. cherissheth. 611. H. Th. defaute. 613. H. F. of; Th. on.
H. Th. suche. 614. H. one; F. [=o]n; Th. loue. 615. H. Th. One. 616. H. Th.
none. 617. H. Th. her; _see_ 618. Th. course; H. corse. Th. H. one; F. a.
618. H. F. euere newe; Th. Ff. euermore. Ff. their; Th. theyr; H. there; F.
thair. 619. Th. Ff. their great; H. F. _om._ great. H. F. subtilite; Th.
subtelte; Ff. sotelte. 621-668. _Follows_ 524 _in_ F. H. 621. F. oone; H.
on; Th. one. Th. dothe; great. 622. H. F. Ff. be; Th. is. H. F. Ff. Iuyse;
Th. iustyse. 625. _So_ H. F. Ff.; Th. And al euer sayd god wyl. 626. Th.
_om._ so.

627. Ff. highe; H. F. her; Th. his. H. F. shal; Th. Ff. may. 629. Th.
great; F. H. _om._ Th. dayse; H. daies. 631. H. preys; Th. prayse. 632. F.
H. Ff. for; Th. in. 633. Th. F. Theyr; H. There. 637. Th. one; H. on; Ff.
won. 638. H. Ff. which (_for_ as). 643. _So_ F. H.; Th. As for my partie
that. 644. Th. Whyle; H. F. Ff. Whils that. 645. F. H. ye; Th. it. 647. Th.
H. foule. H. F. deceyued; Th. disceyued. 648. H. F. lightly; Th. light.
649. H. F. this; Th. Ff. your. 650. H. Ff. sumwhat haue; Th. haue some.
651. _All_ Moche. H. sonner; F. sunner; Th. Ff. better. Th. to abide. Ff.
fole; _rest_ foly. Th. simplenes; _rest_ simplesse. 653. F. Ff. avyse; Th.
H. aduyse. 656. Th. as a; H. F. Ff. _om._ a.

657. H. There. Th. H. one; Ff. won. 659. Th. Ff. as (_rightly_); H. F. is.
Th. H. none. 660. Th. H. bonde. 661. H. Ff. Who loueth; F. Who love; Th. Ye
loue. H. F. hym-; Th. your-. H. F. he be; Th. ye be. 662. _So_ H. F. Ff.;
Th. That in loue stande. 664. Th. bileue ye; _rest om._ ye. 665. H. F.
beth; Th. be. Th. as in; _rest om._ as. 666. Th. alway; H. F. alwaies. Th.
one; Ff. on; H. an. 667. F. H. trusteth; Th. trust. 668. Th. H. take.
669-716. _Follows_ 428 _in_ F. H. 670. Th. lacke; H. F. Ff. faile. 673. H.
faileth. 674. F. H. Ff. then she to; Th. thoughe she do. 675. Th. my; F. H.
Ff. the. H. surtee; F. seurte. 677. H. purpos; Th. pupose. 678. Th. For the
lenger ye. H. F. Ff. thus; Th. is. 680. H. F. Ff. ye; Th. you. 684. Th.
_om._ That. H. ther; Th. her. 686. Th. great.

688. F. H. Ff. felt; Th. fele. Th. great. 691. H. F. semeth; Th. semed.
694. H. F. of; Th. do no. 696. F. damage; H. da_m_mage; Th. Ff. domage.
697. H. F. _om._ wil. 699. H. dispetous. 700. Th. suche; H. F. Ff. the.
702. Th. H. harme. H. F. Ff. worship; Th. co_m_forte. 703. H. F. Ff. bere
an; Th. haue a. Th. H. suche. 704. H. F. Ff. _om._ And. _All_ fayre. H. F.
Ff. body; Th. lady (!). H. formed to; F. Ff. y-formed to; Th. I must
affirme (!). 710. H. F. Ff. that; Th. wel. 712. H. noght; Th. not. 714. H.
F. Ff. manerles; Th. mercylesse. 717. _Here_ H. F. _agree with_ Th.
_again_. Ff. marbre. Th. H. harde.

720. H. F. Ff. vaileth; Th. auayleth. Th. great. 721. H. F. Please; Th.
Pleaseth. Th. H. dye. 722. Th. H. dysporte. 723. H. F. Ff. or; Th. and.
724. Th. H. dethe. H. F. that; Th. whiche. 725. Th. H. disease. 726. H. F.
Ff. shake; Th. slake. 728. Th. heale. 729. H. F. Ff. nyl; Th. wyl. H. F.
Ff. hate myn herte; Th. hurte my selfe. 730. Th. they I; H. F. Ff. this I.
731. H. F. wel to: Th. wyl I. 732. H. F. you; Th. hem. 733. H. noo; Th.
nat. H. F. Ff. song; Th. loue. Th. alone. 735. H. F. Ff. I; Th. ye. Th. H.
wote. Th. none. 737. Th. One; H. On. 739. Th. H. a vauntour; _cf._ l. 735.
741. Th. great. 744. H. F. Ff. to boste; Th. best. 745. H. wil wele; F. Ff.
wille wel; Th. ywis. H. F. Ff. that; Th. yet. 746. H. F. on; Th. in. F. Th.
p_ar_tyse; Ff. partyes; H. party. 747. H. F. Ff. what; Th. whan so. Th. say
(_for_ pray). 748. H. F. shal; Ff. schuld; Th. shulde.

750. Th. H. suche. Th. Ff. erth; H. F. dethe. H. F. Ff. it is not; Th. is
not al. 751. H. F. preve; Th. profe. 752. Th. great villony. 753. F. Ff. Is
it; Th. H. It is. Th. H. one. 755. H. F. refuse. 756. Th. renomed; H.
renommeed. F. H. her (_for_ their). 757. Th. here; H. herde. 758. Th. H.
eche. 759. H. purposen; F. porposyn; Th. pursuen. 760. _So_ H. F. Ff.; Th.
Wyl not set by none il d. 761. Th. in euery; H. F. _om._ euery. 763. Ff.
thair; F. ther; H. theym; Th. the. F. H. _om._ hertes. 764. Th. faithe. Th.
Ff. softe and fayre; H. faire and softe. 766. F. H. Though; Th. Ff. If.
_All_ one. 768. H. banshid. 769. H. F. oo; Th. one. 770. Th. the (_for 1st_
and); H. F. and. Ff. eke; _rest_ eke the. 771. H. Ff. shal; Th. such. 772.
H. F. ben; Ff. beth; Th. lyue. 777. F. H. Ff. visage; Th. face (!). 778. H.
F. Ff. the; Th. these. Th. H. Ff. a wayte.

779. F. H. Ff. yf that we wil; Th. if we wyl here. 780. Th. H. co_n_ceyte.
781. F. H. oo; Th. a. Th. worde. H. F. Ff. allone; Th. nat one. 782. F. H.
not; Th. nowe. Th. kepte. 783. H. F. Ff. pele; Th. appele. _All_ mone
(_read_ moon). 785. H. Ff. pleyne me; F. pleyn me; Th. complayne. 786. Th.
H. forgate. 787. H. elles. 788. Ff. H. F. he so sone put; Th. so sone am
put. 789. Th. H. forfeyte. 791. _So_ H. F. Ff.; Th. Nothing hurteth you but
your owne conceyte. 792. H. shal ye. 793. H. F. Ones for; Th. Thus. 794.
_So_ H. Ff.; _so_ F. (_with_ the _for_ ye); Th. That your desyre shal neuer
recouered be. 796. Th. ynoughe. TITLE; _in_ H. 797. Th. rose; H. rosse. H.
F. al in; Th. Ff. in al. 798. Ff. partyd; _rest_ departed. 799. Th.
to-brast; H. F. Ff. it brest. 800. H. forth walkyng; Th. Ff. walkynge
forth. 801. Th. _om._ Now. 803. Th. Ff. shorter; H. shorte; F. short. 805.
H. Ff. whider; Th. whither. 806. F. party. F. Ff. drow; H. drowh; Th.

809. Th. Ff. thus; H. it; F. _om._ 811. Th. great. TITLE; _in_ Th. 813. H.
F. Ff. Ye; Th. The. F. trew; H. trewe; Th. true. Th. thus; H. Ff. this.
814. Ff. aventours; _rest_ aventures (_see note_). Th. flie; H. F. fle.
816. Th. great. 817. Th. _omits this line; from_ H. F. Ff. H. F. made. H.
F. Ff. flaterise. 821. Th. H. estate; Ff. astate. 822. H. F. Ff. In; Th.
Of. 824. Ff. haue; F. hath; H. _om._ Th. _omits the line_. 825. H. folwe ye
not; F. folowe ye not; Ff. folowe not; Th. foule not. _After_ 828, F.
_has_--Explicit la bele dame sanz mercy; H. F. Verba translatoris. 829. Th.
H. Ff. the. 833. H. F. _om._ al. _All_ the. 834. Th. hir (_for_ their).
835. Th. H. The.

837. Th. cace; H. caas. 838. H. elles. 840, 841. Th. her (_for_ their).
843. Th. H. wote. 844. Th. _om._ and. 845. H. F. Wilde; Th. Ff. Lyke. 846.
Ff. tabyde; Th. to abyde. 847. H. axe. 848. Th. Ff. were made; F. was made;
H. made was. 850. H. F. Ff. processe; Th. prosses. 852. Th. H. trewe. 854.
Th. done her; Ff. do thair; H. dothe here; F. doth thair. 855. Th. her
(_for_ their). _After_ 856; Th. Explicit; H. Amen.

       *       *       *       *       *



  Ane dooly sesoun to ane cairfull dyte
  Suld correspond, and be equivalent.
  Richt sa it wes quhen I began to wryte
  This tragedy; the wedder richt fervent,
  Quhen Aries, in middis of the Lent,                     5
  Shouris of haill can fra the north discend;
  That scantly fra the cauld I micht defend.

  Yit nevertheles, within myn orature
  I stude, quhen Tytan had his bemis bricht
  Withdrawin doun and sylit under cure;                  10
  And fair Venus, the bewty of the nicht,
  Uprais, and set unto the west full richt
  Hir goldin face, in oppositioun
  Of god Phebus direct discending doun.

  Throwout the glas hir bemis brast sa fair              15
  That I micht see, on every syde me by,
  The northin wind had purifyit the air,
  And shed the misty cloudis fra the sky.
  The froist freisit, the blastis bitterly
  Fra pole Artyk come quhisling loud and shill,          20
  And causit me remuf aganis my will.

  For I traistit that Venus, luifis quene,
  To quhom sum-tyme I hecht obedience,
  My faidit hart of luf sho wald mak grene;
  And therupon, with humbil reverence,                   25
  I thocht to pray hir hy magnificence;
  But for greit cald as than I lattit was,
  And in my chalmer to the fyr can pas.

  Thocht luf be hait, yit in ane man of age
  It kendillis nocht sa sone as in youthheid,            30
  Of quhom the blude is flowing in ane rage;
  And in the auld the curage +douf and deid,
  Of quhilk the fyr outward is best remeid,
  To help be phisik quhair that nature failit;
  I am expert, for baith I have assailit.                35

  I mend the fyr, and beikit me about,
  Than tuik ane drink my spreitis to comfort,
  And armit me weill fra the cauld thairout.
  To cut the winter-nicht, and mak it short,
  I tuik ane quair, and left all uther sport,            40
  Writtin be worthy Chaucer glorious,
  Of fair Cresseid and lusty Troilus.

  And thair I fand, efter that Diomeid
  Ressavit had that lady bricht of hew,
  How Troilus neir out of wit abraid,                    45
  And weipit soir, with visage paill of hew;
  For quhilk wanhope his teiris can renew,
  Quhill +esperans rejoisit him agane:
  Thus quhyl in joy he levit, quhyl in pane.

  Of hir behest he had greit comforting,                 50
  Traisting to Troy that sho suld mak retour,
  Quhilk he desyrit maist of eirdly thing,
  For-quhy sho was his only paramour.
  Bot quhen he saw passit baith day and hour
  Of hir gaincome, than sorrow can oppres                55
  His woful hart in cair and hevines.

  Of his distres me neidis nocht reheirs,
  For worthy Chaucer, in the samin buik,
  In guidly termis and in joly veirs
  Compylit hes his cairis, quha will luik.               60
  To brek my sleip ane uther quair I tuik,
  In quilk I fand the fatall desteny
  Of fair Cresseid, that endit wretchitly.

  Quha wait gif all that Chauceir wrait was trew?
  Nor I wait nocht gif this narratioun                   65
  Be authoreist, or fenyeit of the new
  Be sum poeit, throw his inventioun,
  Maid to report the lamentatioun
  And woful end of this lusty Cresseid,
  And quhat distres sho thoillit, and quhat deid.        70

  Quhen Diomed had all his appetyt,
  And mair, fulfillit of this fair lady,
  Upon ane uther he set his haill delyt,
  And send to hir ane lybel of répudy,
  And hir excludit fra his company.                      75
  Than desolait sho walkit up and doun,
  And, sum men sayis, into the court commoun.

  O fair Cresseid! the flour and _A-per-se_
  Of Troy and Grece, how was thou fortunait,
  To change in filth all thy feminitee,                  80
  And be with fleshly lust sa maculait,
  And go amang the Greikis air and lait
  Sa giglot-lyk, takand thy foull plesance!
  I have pity thee suld fall sic mischance!

  Yit nevertheles, quhat-ever men deme or say            85
  In scornful langage of thy brukilnes,
  I sall excuse, als far-furth as I may,
  Thy womanheid, thy wisdom, and fairnes,
  The quilk Fortoun hes put to sic distres
  As hir pleisit, and na-thing throw the gilt            90
  Of thee, throw wikkit langage to be spilt.

  This fair lady, in this wys destitut
  Of all comfort and consolatioun,
  Richt prively, but fellowship, on fut
  Disgysit passit far out of the toun                    95
  Ane myle or twa, unto ane mansioun
  Beildit full gay, quhair hir father Calchas,
  Quhilk than amang the Greikis dwelland was.

  Quhan he hir saw, the caus he can inquyr
  Of hir cuming; sho said, syching full soir,           100
  'Fra Diomeid had gottin his desyr
  He wox wery, and wald of me no moir!'
  Quod Calchas, 'Douchter, weip thow not thairfoir;
  Peraventure all cummis for the best;
  Welcum to me; thow art full deir ane gest.'           105

  This auld Calchas, efter the law was tho,
  Wes keeper of the tempill, as ane preist,
  In quhilk Venus and hir son Cupido
  War honourit; and his chalmer was thaim neist;
  To quhilk Cresseid, with baill aneuch in breist,      110
  Usit to pas, hir prayeris for to say;
  Quhill at the last, upon ane solempne day,

  As custom was, the pepill far and neir,
  Befoir the none, unto the tempill went
  With sacrifys devoit in thair maneir.                 115
  But still Cresseid, hevy in hir intent,
  In-to the kirk wald not hir-self present,
  For giving of the pepil ony deming
  Of hir expuls fra Diomeid the king:

  But past into ane secreit orature                     120
  Quhair sho micht weip hir wofull desteny.
  Behind hir bak sho cloisit fast the dure,
  And on hir knëis bair fell down in hy.
  Upon Venus and Cupid angerly
  Sho cryit out, and said on this same wys,             125
  'Allas! that ever I maid yow sacrifys!

  Ye gave me anis ane devyn responsaill
  That I suld be the flour of luif in Troy;
  Now am I maid an unworthy outwaill,
  And all in cair translatit is my joy.                 130
  Quha sall me gyde? quha sall me now convoy,
  Sen I fra Diomeid and nobill Troilus
  Am clene excludit, as abject odious?

  O fals Cupide, is nane to wyte bot thow
  And thy mother, of luf the blind goddes!              135
  Ye causit me alwayis understand and trow
  The seid of luf was sawin in my face,
  And ay grew grene throw your supply and grace.
  But now, allas! that seid with froist is slane,
  And I fra luifferis left, and all forlane!'           140

  Quhen this was said, doun in ane extasy,
  Ravishit in spreit, intill ane dream sho fell;
  And, be apperance, hard, quhair sho did ly,
  Cupid the king ringand ane silver bell,
  Quhilk men micht heir fra hevin unto hell;            145
  At quhais sound befoir Cupide appeiris
  The sevin planetis, discending fra thair spheiris,

  Quhilk hes powèr of all thing generábill
  To reull and steir, be thair greit influence,
  Wedder and wind and coursis variábill.                150
  And first of all Saturn gave his sentence,
  Quhilk gave to Cupid litill reverence,
  But as ane busteous churl, on his maneir,
  Com crabbitly, with auster luik and cheir.

  His face fronsit, his lyr was lyk the leid            155
  His teith chatterit and cheverit with the chin
  His ene drowpit, how, sonkin in his heid
  Out of his nois the meldrop fast can rin
  With lippis bla, and cheikis leine and thin
  The yse-shoklis that fra his hair doun hang           160
  Was wonder greit, and as ane speir als lang.

  Atour his belt his lyart lokkis lay
  Felterit unfair, ourfret with froistis hoir;
  His garmound and his +gyte full gay of gray;
  His widderit weid fra him the wind out woir.          165
  Ane busteous bow within his hand he boir;
  Under his gyrdil ane flash of felloun flanis
  Fedderit with yse, and heidit with hail-stanis.

  Than Juppiter richt fair and amiábill,
  God of the starnis in the firmament,                  170
  And nureis to all thing[is] generábill,
  Fra his father Saturn far different,
  With burely face, and browis bricht and brent;
  Upon his heid ane garland wonder gay
  Of flouris fair, as it had been in May.               175

  His voice was cleir, as cristal wer his ene;
  As goldin wyr sa glitterand was his hair;
  His garmound and his gyte full gay of grene,
  With goldin listis gilt on every gair;
  Ane burely brand about his middill bair.              180
  In his right hand he had ane groundin speir,
  Of his father the wraith fra us to weir.

  Nixt efter him com Mars, the god of ire,
  Of stryf, debait, and all dissensioun;
  To chyde and fecht, als feirs as ony fyr;             185
  In hard harnes, hewmound and habirgeoun,
  And on his hanche ane rousty fell fachioun:
  And in his hand he had ane rousty sword,
  Wrything his face with mony angry word.

  Shaikand his sword, befoir Cupide he com              190
  With reid visage and grisly glowrand ene;
  And at his mouth ane bullar stude of fome,
  Lyk to ane bair quhetting his tuskis kene
  Richt tuilyour-lyk, but temperance in tene;
  Ane horn he blew, with mony bosteous brag,            195
  Quhilk all this warld with weir hes maid to wag.

  Than fair Phebus, lanterne and lamp of licht
  Of man and beist, baith frute and flourishing,
  Tender nuréis, and banisher of nicht,
  And of the warld causing, be his moving               200
  And influence, lyf in all eirdly thing;
  Without comfort of quhom, of force to nocht
  Must all ga dy, that in this warld is wrocht.

  As king royáll he raid upon his chair,
  The quhilk Phaeton gydit sum-tyme unricht;            205
  The brichtnes of his face, quhen it was bair,
  Nane micht behald for peirsing of his sicht.
  This goldin cart with fyry bemes bricht
  Four yokkit steidis, full different of hew,
  But bait or tyring throw the spheiris drew.           210

  The first was soyr, with mane als reid as rois,
  Callit Eöy, in-to the orient;
  The secund steid to name hecht Ethiös,
  Quhytly and paill, and sum-deill ascendent;
  The thrid Peros, richt hait and richt fervent;        215
  The feird was blak, callit +Philegoney,
  Quhilk rollis Phebus down in-to the sey.

  Venus was thair present, that goddes gay,
  Hir sonnis querrel for to defend, and mak
  Hir awin complaint, cled in ane nyce array,           220
  The ane half grene, the uther half sabill-blak;
  Quhyte hair as gold, kemmit and shed abak;
  But in hir face semit greit variance,
  Quhyles perfit treuth, and quhylës inconstance.

  Under smyling sho was dissimulait,                    225
  Provocative with blenkis amorous;
  And suddanly changit and alterait,
  Angry as ony serpent venemous,
  Richt pungitive with wordis odious.
  Thus variant sho was, quha list tak keip,             230
  With ane eye lauch, and with the uther weip:--

  In taikning that all fleshly paramour,
  Quhilk Venus hes in reull and governance,
  Is sum-tyme sweit, sum-tyme bitter and sour,
  Richt unstabill, and full of variance,                235
  Mingit with cairfull joy, and fals plesance;
  Now hait, now cauld; now blyth, now full of wo;
  Now grene as leif, now widderit and ago.

  With buik in hand than com Mercurius,
  Richt eloquent and full of rethory;                   240
  With pólite termis and delicious;
  With pen and ink to réport all redy;
  Setting sangis, and singand merily.
  His hude was reid, heklit atour his croun,
  Lyk to ane poeit of the auld fassoun.                 245

  Boxis he bair with fine electuairis,
  And sugerit syropis for digestioun;
  Spycis belangand to the pothecairis,
  With mony hailsum sweit confectioun;
  Doctour in phisik, cled in scarlot goun,              250
  And furrit weill, as sic ane aucht to be,
  Honest and gude, and not ane word coud le.

  Nixt efter him com lady Cynthia,
  The last of all, and swiftest in hir spheir,
  Of colour blak, buskit with hornis twa,               255
  And in the nicht sho listis best appeir;
  Haw as the leid, of colour na-thing cleir.
  For all hir licht sho borrowis at hir brothir
  Titan; for of hir-self sho hes nane uther.

  Hir gyte was gray, and full of spottis blak;          260
  And on hir breist ane churl paintit ful evin,
  Beirand ane bunch of thornis on his bak,
  Quhilk for his thift micht clim na nar the hevin.
  Thus quhen they gadderit war, thir goddis sevin,
  Mercurius they cheisit with ane assent                265
  To be foir-speikar in the parliament.

  Quha had ben thair, and lyking for to heir
  His facound toung and termis exquisyte,
  Of rhetorik the praktik he micht leir,
  In breif sermone ane pregnant sentence wryte.         270
  Befoir Cupide vailing his cap a lyte,
  Speiris the caus of that vocacioun;
  And he anon shew his intencioun.

  'Lo!' quod Cupide, 'quha will blaspheme the name
  Of his awin god, outhir in word or deid,              275
  To all goddis he dois baith lak and shame,
  And suld have bitter panis to his meid.
  I say this by yonder wretchit Cresseid,
  The quhilk throw me was sum-tyme flour of lufe,
  Me and my mother starkly can reprufe.                 280

  Saying, of hir greit infelicitè
  I was the caus; and my mother Venus,
  Ane blind goddes hir cald, that micht not see,
  With slander and defame injurious.
  Thus hir leving unclene and lecherous                 285
  Sho wald returne on me and [on] my mother,
  To quhom I shew my grace abone all uther.

  And sen ye ar all sevin deificait,
  Participant of dévyn sapience,
  This greit injúry don to our hy estait                290
  Me-think with pane we suld mak recompence;
  Was never to goddis don sic violence.
  As weill for yow as for myself I say;
  Thairfoir ga help to révenge, I yow pray.'

  Mercurius to Cupid gave answeir,                      295
  And said, 'Shir king, my counsall is that ye
  Refer yow to the hyest planeit heir,
  And tak to him the lawest of degrè,
  The pane of Cresseid for to modify;
  As god Saturn, with him tak Cynthia.'                 300
  'I am content,' quod he, 'to tak thay twa.'

  Than thus proceidit Saturn and the Mone,
  Quhen thay the mater rypely had degest;
  For the dispyt to Cupid sho had done,
  And to Venus oppin and manifest,                      305
  In all hir lyf with pane to be opprest
  And torment sair, with seiknes incurábill,
  And to all lovers be abominábill.

  This dulefull sentence Saturn tuik on hand,
  And passit doun quhair cairfull Cresseid lay;         310
  And on hir heid he laid ane frosty wand,
  Than lawfully on this wyse can he say;
  'Thy greit fairnes, and al thy bewty gay,
  Thy wantoun blude, and eik thy goldin hair,
  Heir I exclude fra thee for evermair.                 315

  I change thy mirth into melancholy,
  Quhilk is the mother of all pensivenes;
  Thy moisture and thy heit in cald and dry;
  Thyne insolence, thy play and wantones
  To greit diseis: thy pomp and thy riches              320
  In mortall neid; and greit penuritie
  Thow suffer sall, and as ane beggar die.'

  O cruel Saturn, fraward and angry,
  Hard is thy dome, and to malicious!
  On fair Cresseid quhy hes thow na mercy,              325
  Quhilk was sa sweit, gentill, and amorous?
  Withdraw thy sentence, and be gracious
  As thow was never; so shawis thow thy deid,
  Ane wraikfull sentence gevin on fair Cresseid.

  Than Cynthia, quhen Saturn past away,                 330
  Out of hir sait discendit down belyve,
  And red ane bill on Cresseid quhair sho lay,
  Contening this sentence diffinityve:--
  'Fra heil of body I thee now depryve,
  And to thy seiknes sal be na recure,                  335
  But in dolóur thy dayis to indure.

  Thy cristall ene minglit with blude I mak,
  Thy voice sa cleir unplesand, hoir, and hace;
  Thy lusty lyre ourspred with spottis blak,
  And lumpis haw appeirand in thy face.                 340
  Quhair thow cummis, ilk man sall flee the place;
  Thus sall thou go begging fra hous to hous,
  With cop and clapper, lyk ane lazarous.'

  This dooly dream, this ugly visioun
  Brocht to ane end, Cresseid fra it awoik,             345
  And all that court and convocatioun
  Vanischit away. Than rais sho up and tuik
  Ane poleist glas, and hir shaddow coud luik;
  And quhen sho saw hir face sa déformait,
  Gif sho in hart was wa aneuch, god wait!              350

  Weiping full sair, 'Lo! quhat it is,' quod she,
  'With fraward langage for to mufe and steir
  Our crabbit goddis, and sa is sene on me!
  My blaspheming now have I bocht full deir;
  All eirdly joy and mirth I set areir.                 355
  Allas, this day! Allas, this wofull tyde,
  Quhen I began with my goddis to chyde!'

  Be this was said, ane child com fra the hall
  To warn Cresseid the supper was redy;
  First knokkit at the dure, and syne coud call--       360
  'Madame, your father biddis you cum in hy;
  He has mervell sa lang on grouf ye ly,
  And sayis, "Your prayërs been to lang sum-deill;
  The goddis wait all your intent full weill."'

  Quod sho, 'Fair child, ga to my father deir,          365
  And pray him cum to speik with me anon.'
  And sa he did, and said, 'Douchter, quhat cheir?'
  'Allas!' quod she, 'father, my mirth is gon!'
  'How sa?' quod he; and sho can all expone,
  As I have tauld, the vengeance and the wrak,          370
  For hir trespas, Cupide on hir coud tak.

  He luikit on hir ugly lipper face,
  The quhilk befor was quhyte as lilly-flour;
  Wringand his handis, oftymes he said, Allas!
  That he had levit to see that wofull hour!            375
  For he knew weill that thair was na succour
  To hir seiknes; and that dowblit his pane;
  Thus was thair cair aneuch betwix tham twane.

  Quhen thay togidder murnit had full lang,
  Quod Cresseid, 'Father, I wald not be kend;           380
  Thairfoir in secreit wyse ye let me gang
  To yon hospítall at the tounis end;
  And thidder sum meit, for cheritie, me send
  To leif upon; for all mirth in this eird
  Is fra me gane; sik is my wikkit weird.'              385

  Than in ane mantill and ane bevar hat,
  With cop and clapper, wonder prively,
  He opnit ane secreit yet, and out thairat
  Convoyit hir, that na man suld espy,
  Unto ane village half ane myle thairby;               390
  Deliverit hir in at the spittail-hous,
  And dayly sent hir part of his almous.

  Sum knew hir weill, and sum had na knawlege
  Of hir, becaus sho was sa déformait
  With bylis blak, ourspred in hir visage,              395
  And hir fair colour faidit and alterait.
  Yit thay presumit, for hir hy regrait
  And still murning, sho was of nobill kin;
  With better will thairfoir they tuik hir in.

  The day passit, and Phebus went to rest,              400
  The cloudis blak ourquhelmit all the sky;
  God wait gif Cresseid was ane sorrowful gest,
  Seeing that uncouth fair and herbery.
  But meit or drink sho dressit hir to ly
  In ane dark corner of the hous allone;                405
  And on this wyse, weiping, sho maid hir mone.


  'O sop of sorrow sonken into cair!
  O caytive Cresseid! now and ever-mair
    Gane is thy joy and all thy mirth in eird;
  Of all blyithnes now art thow blaiknit bair;          410
  Thair is na salve may saif thee of thy sair!
    Fell is thy fortoun, wikkit is thy weird;
    Thy blis is baneist, and thy baill on breird!
  Under the eirth god gif I gravin wer,
    Quhar nane of Grece nor yit of Troy micht heird!    415

  Quhair is thy chalmer, wantounly besene
  With burely bed, and bankouris browderit bene,
    Spycis and wynis to thy collatioun;
  The cowpis all of gold and silver shene,
  The swete meitis servit in plaittis clene,            420
    With saipheron sals of ane gude sessoun;
    Thy gay garmentis, with mony gudely goun,
  Thy plesand lawn pinnit with goldin prene?
    All is areir thy greit royáll renoun!

  Quhair is thy garding, with thir greissis gay         425
  And fresshe flouris, quhilk the quene Floray
    Had paintit plesandly in every pane,
  Quhair thou was wont full merily in May
  To walk, and tak the dew be it was day,
    And heir the merle and mavis mony ane;              430
    With ladyis fair in carrolling to gane,
  And see the royal rinkis in thair array
    In garmentis gay, garnischit on every grane?

  Thy greit triumphand fame and hy honour,
  Quhair thou was callit of eirdly wichtis flour,       435
    All is decayit; thy weird is welterit so,
  Thy hy estait is turnit in darknes dour!
  This lipper ludge tak for thy burelie bour,
    And for thy bed tak now ane bunch of stro.
    For waillit wyne and meitis thou had tho,           440
  Tak mowlit breid, peirry, and syder sour;
    But cop and clapper, now is all ago.

  My cleir voice and my courtly carrolling,
  Quhair I was wont with ladyis for to sing,
    Is rawk as ruik, full hiddeous, hoir, and hace;     445
  My plesand port all utheris precelling,
  Of lustines I was held maist conding;
    Now is deformit the figour of my face;
    To luik on it na leid now lyking hes.
  Sowpit in syte, I say with sair siching--             450
    Lugeit amang the lipper-leid--"Alas!"

  O ladyis fair of Troy and Grece, attend
  My misery, quhilk nane may comprehend,
    My frivoll fortoun, my infelicitie,
  My greit mischief, quhilk na man can amend.           455
  Be war in tyme, approchis neir the end,
    And in your mynd ane mirrour mak of me.
    As I am now, peradventure that ye,
  For all your micht, may cum to that same end,
    Or ellis war, gif ony war may be.                   460

  Nocht is your fairnes bot ane faiding flour,
  Nocht is your famous laud and hy honour
    Bot wind inflat in uther mennis eiris;
  Your roising reid to rotting sall retour.
  Exempill mak of me in your memour,                    465
    Quhilk of sic thingis wofull witnes beiris.
    All welth in eird away as wind it weiris;
  Be war thairfoir; approchis neir the hour;
    Fortoun is fikkil, quhen sho beginnis and steiris.'--

  Thus chydand with her drery desteny,                  470
  Weiping, sho woik the nicht fra end to end,
  But all in vane; hir dule, hir cairfull cry
  Micht nocht remeid, nor yit hir murning mend.
  Ane lipper-lady rais, and till hir wend,
  And said, 'Quhy spurnis thou aganis the wall,         475
  To sla thyself, and mend na-thing at all?

  Sen that thy weiping dowbillis bot thy wo,
  I counsall thee mak vertew of ane neid,
  To leir to clap thy clapper to and fro,
  And +live efter the law of lipper-leid.'              480
  Thair was na buit, bot forth with thame sho yeid
  Fra place to place, quhill cauld and hounger sair
  Compellit hir to be ane rank beggair.

  That samin tyme, of Troy the garnisoun,
  Quhilk had to chiftane worthy Troilus,                485
  Throw jeopardy of weir had strikkin doun
  Knichtis of Grece in number mervellous.
  With greit triúmph and laud victorious
  Agane to Troy richt royally thay raid
  The way quhair Cresseid with the lipper baid.         490

  Seing that company cum, all with ane stevin
  They gaif ane cry, and shuik coppis gude speid;
  Said, 'Worthy lordis, for goddis lufe of hevin,
  To us lipper part of your almous-deid.'
  Than to thair cry nobill Troilus tuik heid;           495
  Having pity, neir by the place can pas
  Quhair Cresseid sat, nat witting quhat sho was.

  Than upon him sho kest up baith her ene,
  And with ane blenk it com in-to his thocht
  That he sum-tyme hir face befoir had sene;            500
  But sho was in sic ply he knew hir nocht.
  Yit than hir luik in-to his mind it brocht
  The sweit visage and amorous blenking
  Of fair Cresseid, sumtyme his awin darling.

  Na wonder was, suppois in mynd that he                505
  Tuik hir figure sa sone, and lo! now, quhy;
  The idole of ane thing in cace may be
  Sa deip imprentit in the fantasy,
  That it deludis the wittis outwardly,
  And sa appeiris in forme and lyke estait              510
  Within the mynd as it was figurait.

  Ane spark of lufe than till his hart coud spring,
  And kendlit all his body in ane fyre;
  With hait fevir ane sweit and trimbilling
  Him tuik, quhill he was redy to expyre;               515
  To beir his sheild his breist began to tyre;
  Within ane whyle he changit mony hew,
  And nevertheles not ane ane-uther knew.

  For knichtly pity and memoriall
  Of fair Cresseid, ane girdill can he tak,             520
  Ane purs of gold and mony gay jowáll,
  And in the skirt of Cresseid doun can swak;
  Than raid away, and not ane word he spak,
  Pensive in hart, quhill he com to the toun,
  And for greit cair oft-syis almaist fell doun.        525

  The lipper-folk to Cresseid than can draw,
  To see the equall distribucioun
  Of the almous; but quhan the gold they saw,
  Ilk ane to uther prevely can roun,
  And said, 'Yon lord hes mair affectioun,              530
  However it be, unto yon lazarous
  Than to us all; we knaw be his almous.'

  'Quhat lord is yon?' quod sho, 'have ye na feill,
  Hes don to us so greit humanitie?'
  'Yes,' quod a lipper-man, 'I knaw him weill;          535
  Shir Troilus it is, gentill and free.'
  Quhen Cresseid understude that it was he,
  Stiffer than steill thair stert ane bitter stound
  Throwout hir hart, and fell doun to the ground.

  Quhen sho, ourcom with syching sair and sad,          540
  With mony cairfull cry and cald--'Ochane!
  Now is my breist with stormy stoundis stad,
  Wrappit in wo, ane wretch full will of wane';
  Than swounit sho oft or sho coud refrane,
  And ever in hir swouning cryit sho thus:              545
  'O fals Cresseid, and trew knicht Troilus!

  Thy luf, thy lawtee, and thy gentilnes
  I countit small in my prosperitie;
  Sa elevait I was in wantones,
  And clam upon the fickill quheill sa hie;             550
  All faith and lufe, I promissit to thee,
  Was in the self fickill and frivolous;
  O fals Cresseid, and trew knicht Troilus!

  For lufe of me thou keipt gude countinence,
  Honest and chaist in conversatioun;                   555
  Of all wemen protectour and defence
  Thou was, and helpit thair opinioun.
  My mynd, in fleshly foull affectioun,
  Was inclynit to lustis lecherous;
  Fy! fals Cresseid! O, trew knicht Troilus!            560

  Lovers, be war, and tak gude heid about
  Quhom that ye lufe, for quhom ye suffer paine;
  I lat yow wit, thair is richt few thairout
  Quhom ye may traist, to have trew lufe againe;
  Preif quhen ye will, your labour is in vaine.         565
  Thairfoir I reid ye tak thame as ye find;
  For they ar sad as widdercock in wind.

  Becaus I knaw the greit unstabilnes
  Brukkil as glas, into my-self I say,
  Traisting in uther als greit unfaithfulnes,           570
  Als unconstant, and als untrew of fay.
  Thocht sum be trew, I wait richt few ar thay.
  Quha findis treuth, lat him his lady ruse;
  Nane but my-self, as now, I will accuse.'

  Quhen this was said, with paper sho sat doun,         575
  And on this maneir maid hir TESTAMENT:--
  'Heir I beteich my corps and carioun
  With wormis and with taidis to be rent;
  My cop and clapper, and myne ornament,
  And all my gold, the lipper-folk sall have,           580
  Quhen I am deid, to bury me in grave.

  This royall ring, set with this ruby reid,
  Quhilk Troilus in drowry to me send,
  To him agane I leif it quhan I am deid,
  To mak my cairfull deid unto him kend.                585
  Thus I conclude shortly, and mak ane end.
  My spreit I leif to Diane, quhair sho dwellis,
  To walk with hir in waist woddis and wellis.

  O Diomeid! thow hes baith broche and belt
  Quhilk Troilus gave me in takinning                   590
  Of his trew lufe!'--And with that word sho swelt.
  And sone ane lipper-man tuik of the ring,
  Syne buryit hir withoutin tarying.
  To Troilus furthwith the ring he bair,
  And of Cresseid the deith he can declair.             595

  Quhen he had hard hir greit infirmitè,
  Hir legacy and lamentatioun,
  And how sho endit in sik povertè,
  He swelt for wo, and fell doun in ane swoun;
  For greit sorrow his hart to birst was boun.          600
  Syching full sadly, said, 'I can no moir;
  Sho was untrew, and wo is me thairfoir!'

  Sum said, he maid ane tomb of merbell gray,
  And wrait hir name and superscriptioun,
  And laid it on hir grave, quhair that sho lay,        605
  In goldin letteris, conteining this ressoun:--
  'Lo! fair ladyis, Cresseid of Troyis toun,
  Sumtyme countit the flour of womanheid,
  Under this stane, late lipper, lyis deid!'

  Now, worthy wemen, in this ballet short,              610
  Made for your worship and instructioun,
  Of cheritè I monish and exhort,
  Ming not your luf with fals deceptioun.
  Beir in your mynd this short conclusioun
  Of fair Cresseid, as I have said befoir;              615
  Sen sho is deid, I speik of hir no moir.

_From_ E. (Edinburgh edition, 1593); _collated with_ Th. (Thynne, ed.
1532). 1. E. Ane; Th. A (_often_). E. doolie; Th. doly. E. to; Th. tyl. 4.
E. tragedie (_I substitute_ -y _for_ -ie). 6. E. Schouris (_I substitute_
Sh- _for_ Sch-). 7. Th. my[gh]t me defende. 8. E. oratur; Th. orature. 10.
Th. scyled. 16. _Both_ se. 17. Th. northern. 18. Th. shedde his. 19. Th.
frost. 20. E. Artick; Th. Artike. Th. whiskyng. 21. E. remufe; Th. remoue.

24. Th. faded. 28. Th. chambre. _Both_ fyre. 29. E. lufe; Th. loue. 30. E.
youtheid; Th. youthheed. 32. E. doif; Th. dull; _read_ douf. 34. E.
phisike. 36. E. mend; Th. made. _Both_ fyre. Th. beaked. 37. E. ane; Th. I.
40. Th. queare. 42. E. worthy; Th. lusty. 43. Th. founde. 45. Th. of his
wytte abrede. 46. Th. wepte. 48. Th. esperous; E. Esperus. 49. E. quhyle.
Th. and while (_for 2nd_ quhyl). 51. E. suld; Th. wolde. 52. Th. of al

55. E. ganecome; Th. gayncome. Th. in (_for_ than). 58. Th. in that same.
63. Th. which ended. 66. Th. authorysed or forged. 67. Th. Of some; by
(_for_ throw). 70. Th. she was in or she deyde. 71. _Both_ appetyte. 73.
Th. sette was al his delyte. 74. Th. _om._ of. 77. Th. As (_for_ And); in
the courte as co_m_mune. 78. Th. Creseyde. _Both_ floure. 79. Th. were. 80.
E. feminitie. 82. Th. early (_for_ air). 84. Th. the; E. thow.

86. E. scornefull. E. brukkilnes; Th. brutelnesse. 88. E. wisdome. 91. E.
wickit. 92. E. in; Th. on. _Both_ wyse destitute. 94. E. but; Th. without.
Th. or refute; E. on fute. 95. E. Disagysit; Th. Dissheuelde. Th. passed
out. 99. E. inquyre; Th. enquyre. 101. _Both_ desyre. 108. E. sone; Th.
sonne. 109. E. hir; Th. his. Th. chambre. E. thame; Th. _om._ 110. E.
aneuch in; Th. enewed. 113. _Both_ custome. 115. _Both_ sacrifice. Th.

117. Th. churche. 118. E. givin; Th. gyueng. E. pepill; Th. people. 120.
Th. oratore. 122. Th. closed; dore. 124. _Both_ Cupide. 125. Th. _om._
same. _Both_ wyse. 126. E. Allace; Th. Alas. _Both_ sacrifice. 127. E.
devine; Th. diuyne. 132. E. Sen; Th. Sithe. 135. E. lufe; Th. loue. E. the;
Th. that. 136. Th. vnderstande alway. 137. E. lufe; Th. loue. 138. Th.
souple grace. 139. E. allace; Th. alas. Th. frost. 140. Th. louers; -layne.
143. Th. herde. 144. _Both_ Cupide. E. ringand; Th. tynkyng. 145. Th.
in-to. 147. Th. speres.

150. Th. course. 151. _Both_ Saturne. 152. _Both_ Cupide. 153. Th.
boystous. E. on; Th. in. 154. _Both_ Come. E. crabitlie; Th. crabbedly. Th.
austryne. 155. E. frosnit (_for_ fronsit); Th. frounsed. E. lyre; Th. lere.
_Both_ lyke. 156. Th. sheuered. 157. Th. drouped hole. 158. E. of; Th. at.
Th. myldrop. 159. Th. blo. 160. E. ic-eschoklis; Th. yse-yckels. 162. E.
Atouir; Th. Attour. 163. E. ovirfret; Th. ouerfret; _read_ ourfret. 164.
Th. garment. E. gyis; Th. gate; _see_ l. 178. 165. Th. wyddred; wore. 166.
Th. boustous; bor[e]. 167. E. gyrdill. Th. a fasshe(!); flayns. 168. Th.
holstayns (!). 170. Th. sterres. 171. Th. norice; thinge. 172. _Both_
Saturne. 173. Th. burly. 174. Th. wonders. 175. E. bene; Th. ben.

177. E. wyre; Th. wyer. Th. glyttryng. 178. Th. garment. E. gyis; Th. gyte.
180. Th. A burly; myddle he beare. 182. Th. wrathe. E. weir; Th. bere. 183.
E. come; Th. came. 184. E. strife; Th. stryfe. 185. _Both_ fyre. 186. Th.
hewmo_n_de. 187. Th. fauchoun. 190. Th. Shakyng his brande. _Both_ come.
191. Th. glowyng. 192. E. bullar; Th. blubber. 193. Th. boore. 194. E.
tuilyeour; Th. tulsure (!). _Both_ lyke. 195. _Both_ horne; Th. _om._ he.
Th. boustous. 196. E. weir; Th. warre. 199. Th. norice. 201. _Both_ lyfe.
Th. erthly. 203. Th. _om._ all. Th. that al this worlde hath. 204. Th. a
chare. 205. Th. Phiton somtyme gyded. E. upricht (!); Th. unright.

210. Th. speres. 211. Th. sorde (_for_ soyr). 212. _Both_ Eoye. 213. Th.
Ethose. 215. Th. Perose; and eke. 216. E. Philologie; Th. Philologee. 218.
E. _om._ gay. 219. Th. _om._ for. 222. Th. kembet. 224. Th. While parfite.
E. perfyte. 227. E. suddanely; Th. sodaynly. 228. E. vennemous; Th.
venomous. 232. Th. tokenyng. 237. E. blyith; Th. blyth. 238. Th. wyddred.

239. _Both_ come. 242. E. reddie; Th. redy. 244. E. atouir; Th. attour.
245. _Both_ Lyke. 250. E. phisick. Th. cledde in a scarlet. 252. E. culd
lie; Th. couth lye. 253. _Both_ come. 254. Th. spere. 256. Th. tapere. 258.
E. hir (1); Th. the. 260. E. gyse; Th. gyte. 261. E. churle; Th. chorle.
262. E. bunche; Th. busshe. 263. Th. theft; no ner. 264. Th. gadred were
the. 267. E. bene. 269. E. rhetorick; Th. rethorike. E. prettick; Th.

273. E. anone. E. schew; Th. shewde. 276. E. lak; Th. losse. 278. E. yone;
Th. yonder. Th. wretche Creseyde. 280. E. starklie; Th. she stately. 281.
E. -tie. 283. Th. She called a blynde goddes and myght. 286. E. returne;
Th. retorte. E. on; Th. in. _I supply 2nd_ on. 287. E. schew; Th. shewde
(_as in_ l. 273). Th. aboue. 289. E. devyne; Th. diuyne. 290. E. iniurie;
Th. iniure. _Both_ done. 290. E. hie; Th. hye. 292. _Both_ goddes done.
295. _Both_ Cupide. 299. E. modifie; Th. modifye. 300. _Both_ Saturne.

303, 309, 323, 330. _Both_ Saturne. 304. _Both_ Cupide. E. scho; Th. that
she. 305. Th. open. 306. _Both_ lyfe. 308. E. abhominabill; Th.
abhominable. 309. Th. doleful. 318. E. in; Th. into. 319. E. and; Th. and
thy. 321. E. In; Th. Into. E. penuritie; Th. -te. 322. Th. shalte. Th. dye.
324. E. malitious. 325. E. On; Th. Of. 328. Th. sheweth through. 329. Th.
_om._ fair. 331. Th. seate.

334. E. heit; Th. heale. 336. Th. endure. 338. Th. vnplesaunt heer. 339.
Th. lere. E. ouirspred; Th. ouerspred. 342. E. This; Th. Thus. 343. Th.
cuppe. _Both_ lyke. 344. _Both_ dreame. E. uglye. 347. Th. rose she. 348.
Th. polysshed. E. culd; Th. couth. 349. E. face; Th. visage. 350. Th. were
wo, I ne wyte god wate. 352. Th. _om._ for. E. mufe; Th. moue. 353. E.
craibit; Th. crabbed. 355. Th. erthly. 356. E. Allace; Th. Alas. 357. E.
for to; Th. _om._ for. 358. E. come; Th. came. 359. _Both_ warne. Th.
Creseyde. E. reddy; Th. redy. 360. E. syne culd; Th. efte couth. 362. E.
merwel; Th. marueyle. 363. E. prayers bene; Th. bedes bethe.

365. _Both_ chylde. 366. _Both_ anone. 368. _Both_ gone. 370. E. wraik; Th.
wrake. 371. E. culd. 372. E. uglye. Th. lepers. 374. Th. _om._ he. 378. Th.
ynow. E. thame; Th. he_m_. 380. Th. Creseyde. 382. Th. To yon; E. Unto
yone. 383. Th. charite. 384. Th. lyue; erthe. 385. Th. werthe(!). 386. E.
Than; Th. Whan(!). Th. Beuer; E. bawar. 387. Th. cuppe. 388. Th. secrete
gate. 389. Th. Conueyed. 390. Th. There to. 393. E. knawledge. 395. E.
ovirspred; Th. ouerspred.

397. E. hie; Th. hye. 399. Th. there (_for_ thairfoir). 401. E.
ovirquhelmit; Th. ouerheled. 402. E. was; Th. were. 403. Th. fare. 405,
406. _Perhaps read_ alane, mane. 408. E. cative; Th. caytife. E. for now;
Th. _om._ for. 409. Th. erthe. 410. Th. blake and bare. 411. Th. helpe
(_for_ saif thee of). 412. Th. werthe (!). 413. Th. bale vnberd (!). 414.
Th. Vnder the great god. 415. Th. men (_for_ nane). Th. herd. 416. Th.
chambre. 417. Th. burly; bankers brouded. 418. Th. wyne. 419. Th. cuppes.
420. Th. plates. 421. Th. sauery sauce. 423. Th. pene (!). 424. Th. arere.

425. Th. thy greces. 430. E. mawis. 432. Th. renkes. E. array; Th. ray. Th.
_omits_ ll. 433-437. 434, 437. E. hie. 438. Th. leper loge. E. burelie; Th.
goodly. 439. E. bunche; Th. bonch. 441. E. peirrie; Th. pirate. E. ceder;
Th. syder. 442. Th. cuppe. 443. E. _om._ my. 444. Th. _om. this line_. 445.
Th. ranke as roke, ful hidous heer. Th. _om._ ll. 446, 447. 448. Th.
Deformed is. 449. Th. no pleople (_sic_) hath lykyng (!). 450. Th. Solped
in syght. 451. E. Ludgeit; Th. Lyeng. Th. leper folke. E. allace; Th. alas.
453. Th. _omits_. 454. Th. freyle fortune.

455. Th. war therfore; your ende. 456. Th. _places after_ l. 460. 459. E.
that; Th. the. 460. Th. worse, if any worse. 464. Th. rosyng. 465. Th.
memore. 468. Th. your hour. 469. Th. _omits_. 471. Th. woke. 472. Th. dole.
473. Th. remedy ne. 474. Th. rose. 477. E. Sen; Th. Sithe. E. _om._ that.
Th. but doubleth. 479. E. To leir; Th. Go lerne. 480. E. leir; Th. lerne;
_read_ live. Th. lepers lede. 486. Th. warre.

488. _Both_ tryumphe; laude. 489. Th. rode. 490. E. baid; Th. stode. 491.
E. thai come; Th. come; _read_ cum. 492. Th. shoke cuppes. 493. Th. _om._
Said. 495. Th. her (_for_ thair). 496. Th. pyte; E. pietie. 499. _Both_
come. 501. E. plye; Th. plyte. 502. E. it; Th. he. 504. E. awin; Th. owne.
508. Th. enprynted. 512. E. culd; Th. couth. 514. E. fewir; Th. feuer. Th.
in swette. _Both_ trimbling. 515. E. reddie. 516. Th. brest. 517. Th. many
a hewe.

519. Th. pyte; E. pietie. 520. Th. gan. 521. Th. many a gay iewel. 522. E.
swak; Th. shake. 523. E. _om._ he. 524. E. come; Th. came. 525. E. -syis;
Th. -syth. 526. E. can; Th. couth. 527. _Both_ se. 529. E. prewelie; Th.
priuely. 530. Th. yon; E. yone. 534. Th. That dothe. E. humanitie; Th. -te.
536. Th. _ins._ a knight _after_ is. 540. E. ovircome; Th. ouerco_m_e. 541.
Th. colde atone (!). 542. Th. brest. 543. Th. _om._ ane; Th. one (_for_
wane). 544. Th. Than fel in swoun ful ofte. E. culd; Th. wolde. Th. fone
(!); _for_ refrane. 547. E. lufe; Th. loue. Th. laude and al thy. 549. Th.
So effated (_or_ essated).

551. Th. promytted. 552. Th. thy selfe; furious (!). 554. Th. countenaunce
(_om._ gude). 557. Th. were. 558. E. in; Th. on. 562. E. Quhome; Th. Whom.
E. quhome; Th. whan. 563. Th. thrughout. 565. Th. Proue. 569. Th. Brittel;
unto. 570. Th. great brutelnesse. 572. Th. Though. 576. Th. maner. 577. E.
beteiche; Th. bequeth. Th. corse. 578. Th. toodes. 579. Th. cuppe my. 580.
E. the; Th. these.

583. E. drowrie; Th. dowry (!). 587. Th. spirite. 590. E. takning; Th.
tokenyng; _read_ takinning. 593. E. withouttin. 596. E. infirmitie; Th.
-te. 598. E. povertie; Th. -te. 600. Th. _om._ greit. 605. Th. where as
she. 607. Th. Troy the toun. 612. E. cheritie; Th. charyte. 613. E. lufe;
Th. loue. 614. E. schort; Th. sore (!). 616. E. Sen; Th. Sithe.

       *       *       *       *       *





  The god of love, a! _benedicite!_
  How mighty and how greet a lord is he!
  For he can make of lowe hertes hye,
  And of hye lowe, and lyke for to dye,
  And harde hertes he can maken free.                     5

  And he can make, within a litel stounde
  Of seke folk ful hole, fresshe and sounde,
  And of [the] hole, he can make seke;
  And he can binden and unbinden eke
  What he wol have bounden or unbounde.                  10

  To telle his might my wit may not suffyse;
  For he may do al that he wol devyse.
  For he can make of wyse folk ful nyce,
  And [eke] in lyther folk distroyen vyce;
  And proude hertes he can make agryse.                  15

  Shortly, al that ever he wol he may;
  Ageines him ther dar no wight sey nay.
  For he can gladde and greve whom him lyketh;
  And, who that he wol, he laugheth or he syketh;
  And most his might he sheweth ever in May.             20

  For every trewe gentil herte free
  That with him is, or thinketh for to be,
  Ageines May now shal have som steringe
  Other to joye, or elles to morninge,
  In no sesoun so greet, as thinketh me.                 25

  For whan they mowe here the briddes singe,
  And see the floures and the leves springe,
  That bringeth into hertes rémembraunce
  A maner ese, medled with grevaunce,
  And lusty thoughtes fulle of greet longinge.           30

  And of that longing cometh hevinesse,
  And therof groweth ofte greet seknesse,
  And al for lak of that that they desyre;
  And thus in May ben hertes sette on fyre,
  So that they brennen forth in greet distresse.         35

  I speke this of feling, trewely;
  For, althogh I be old and unlusty,
  Yet have I felt of that seknesse, in May,
  Bothe hoot and cold, an acces every day,
  How sore, y-wis, ther wot no wight but I.              40

  I am so shaken with the fevers whyte,
  Of al this May yet slepte I but a lyte;
  And also it naught lyketh unto me,
  That any herte shulde slepy be
  In whom that Love his fyry dart wol smyte.             45

  But as I lay this other night wakinge,
  I thoghte how lovers had a tokeninge,
  And among hem it was a comune tale,
  That it were good to here the nightingale
  Rather than the lewde cukkow singe.                    50

  And then I thoghte, anon as it was day,
  I wolde go som whider to assay
  If that I might a nightingalë here;
  For yet had I non herd of al this yere,
  And hit was tho the thridde night of May.              55

  And than, anon as I the day espyde,
  No lenger wolde I in my bedde abyde,
  But unto a wode, that was faste by,
  I wente forth alone, boldely,
  And held my way doun by a broke-syde,                  60

  Til I com to a launde of whyte and grene;
  So fair oon had I never in[ne] been;
  The ground was grene, y-poudred with daisye,
  The floures and the gras y-lyke hye,
  Al grene and whyte; was nothing elles sene.            65

  Ther sat I doun among the faire floures;
  And saw the briddes trippe out of her boures
  Ther-as they had hem rested al the night.
  They were so joyful of the dayes light
  That they +begonne of May to don hir houres!           70

  They coude that servyce al by rote;
  Ther was many a lovely straunge note;
  Some songe loudë, as they hadde pleyned,
  And some in other maner vois y-feyned,
  And some al out, with al the fulle throte.             75

  They proyned hem, and made[n] hem right gay,
  And daunseden, and lepten on the spray,
  And evermore two and two in-fere;
  Right so as they had chosen hem to-yere
  In Feverere, on seint Valentynes day.                  80

  And eke the river, that I sat upon,
  It made suche a noise, as it ron,
  Accordaunt with the briddes armonye,
  Me thoughte, it was the best[e] melodye
  That mighte been y-herd of any mon.                    85

  And for delyt ther-of, I wot never how,
  I fel in suche a slomber and a swow,
  Not al a-slepe, ne fully wakinge;
  And in that swow me thoughte I herde singe
  That sory brid, the lew[e]de cukkow.                   90

  And that was on a tree right fast[e] by;
  But who was than evel apayd but I?
  'Now god,' quod I, 'that dyëd on the crois
  Yeve sorow on thee, and on thy lewde vois!
  For litel joye have I now of thy cry.'                 95

  And as I with the cukkow thus gan chyde,
  I herde, in the nexte bush besyde,
  A Nightingalë so lustily singe
  That with her clere vois she made ringe
  Through-out al the grene wode wyde.                   100

  'A! goode Nightingale!' quod I thenne,
  'A litel hast thou been to longe henne;
  For here hath been the lew[e]de Cukkow,
  And songen songes rather than hast thou;
  I pray to god that evel fyr him brenne!'              105

  But now I wol you telle a wonder thing:
  As longë as I lay in that swowning,
  Me thoughte, I wiste what the briddes ment,
  And what they seyde, and what was her entent,
  And of her speche I hadde good knowing.               110

  And than herde I the Nightingale say,
  'Now, gode Cukkow! go som-where away,
  And let us that can singen dwellen here;
  For every wight escheweth thee to here,
  Thy songes be so elenge, in good fay!'                115

  'What?' quod he, 'what may thee eylen now?
  It thinketh me, I singe as wel as thou,
  For my song is bothe trewe and playn;
  Al-though I can not crakel so in vayn
  As thou dost in thy throte, I wot never how.          120

  And every wight may understande me;
  But, Nightingale, so may they not do thee;
  For thou hast many a nyce queinte cry.
  I have herd thee seyn, "_ocy! ocy!_"
  How mighte I knowe what that shulde be?'              125

  'A fole!' quod she, 'wost thou not what it is?
  Whan that I say "_ocy! ocy!_" y-wis,
  Than mene I that I wolde, wonder fayn,
  That alle they were shamfully y-slayn
  That menen aught ayeines love amis.                   130

  And also I wolde alle tho were dede
  That thenke not in love hir lyf to lede;
  For who that wol the god of love not serve,
  I dar wel say, is worthy for to sterve;
  And for that skil "_ocy! ocy!_" I grede.'             135

  'Ey!' quod the Cukkow, 'this is a queint lawe,
  That every wight shal love or be to-drawe!
  But I forsake al suchë companye.
  For myn entent is neither for to dye,
  Ne, whyl I live, in loves yok to drawe.               140

  For lovers ben the folk that been on-lyve
  That most disesë han, and most unthryve,
  And, most enduren sorow, wo, and care;
  And, at the laste, failen of welfare;
  What nedeth hit ayeines trouth to stryve?'            145

  'What?' quod she, 'thou art out of thy minde!
  How might thou in thy cherles herte finde
  To speke of loves servaunts in this wyse?
  For in this worlde is noon so good servyse
  To every wight that gentil is of kinde.               150

  For ther-of, trewly, cometh al goodnesse,
  Al honóur, and [eke] al gentilnesse,
  Worship, esë, and al hertes lust,
  Parfit joye, and ful assured trust,
  Jolitee, plesauncë, and freshnesse,                   155

  Lowliheed, and trewe companye,
  Seemliheed, largesse, and curtesye,
  Drede of shame for to doon amis;
  For he that trewly Loves servaunt is
  Were lother to be shamed than to dye.                 160

  And that this is sooth, al that I seye,
  In that beleve I wol bothe live and deye,
  And Cukkow, so rede I thou do, y-wis.'
  'Ye, than,' quod he, 'god let me never have blis
  If ever I to that counseyl obeye!                     165

  Nightingale, thou spekest wonder fayre,
  But, for al that, the sooth is the contrayre;
  For loving is, in yonge folk, but rage,
  And in olde folk hit is a greet dotage;
  Who most hit useth, most he shal apeyre.              170

  For therof comth disese and hevinesse,
  Sorowe and care, and mony a greet seknesse,
  Dispyt, debat, [and] anger, and envye,
  Repreef and shame, untrust and jelousye,
  Pryde and mischeef, povértee, and woodnesse.          175

  What! Loving is an office of dispayr,
  And oo thing is ther-in that is not fayr;
  For who that geteth of love a litel blis,
  But-if he be alway therwith, y-wis,
  He may ful sone of age have his heyr.                 180

  And, Nightingale, therfor hold thee ny;
  For, leve me wel, for al thy queynte cry,
  If thou be fer or longe fro thy make,
  Thou shalt be as other that been forsake,
  And than[ne] thou shalt hoten as do I!'               185

  'Fy!' quod she, 'on thy namë and on thee!
  The god of love ne let thee never y-thee!
  For thou art wors a thousand-fold than wood.
  For many on is ful worthy and ful good,
  That had be naught, ne hadde love y-be!               190

  For Love his servaunts ever-more amendeth,
  And from al evel taches hem defendeth,
  And maketh hem to brenne right as fyr
  In trouthë and in worshipful desyr,
  And, whom him liketh, joye y-nough hem sendeth.'      195

  'Thou Nightingale,' he seyde, 'hold thee stille;
  For Love hath no resoun but his wille;
  For ofte sithe untrewe folk he eseth,
  And trewe folk so bitterly displeseth
  That, for defaute of grace, he let hem spille.        200

  With such a lorde wol I never be;
  For he is blind alwey, and may not see;
  And whom he hit he not, or whom he fayleth;
  And in his court ful selden trouthe avayleth;
  Só dyvérs and so wilfúl is he.'                       205

  Than took I of the Nightingale kepe,
  She caste a sigh out of her herte depe,
  And seyde, 'Alas! that ever I was bore!
  I can, for tene, say not oon word more;'
  And right with that she brast out for to wepe.        210

  'Alas!' quod she, 'my herte wol to-breke
  To heren thus this false brid to speke
  Of love, and of his worshipful servyse;
  Now, god of love, thou help me in som wyse
  That I may on this Cukkow been awreke!'               215

  Me thoughte than, that I sterte up anon,
  And to the broke I ran, and gat a stoon,
  And at the Cukkow hertely I caste;
  And he, for drede, fley away ful faste;
  And glad was I when that he was a-goon.               220

  And evermore the Cukkow, as he fley,
  He seyde, 'Farewel! farewel, papinjay!'
  As though he hadde scorned, thoughte me;
  But ay I hunted him fro tree to tree
  Til he was fer al out of sighte awey.                 225

  And thanne com the Nightingale to me,
  And seyde, 'Frend, forsothe I thanke thee
  That thou hast lyked me thus to rescowe;
  And oon avow to Love I wol avowe,
  That al this May I wol thy singer be.'                230

  I thanked her, and was right wel apayed;
  'Ye,' quod she, 'and be thou not amayed,
  Though thou have herd the Cukkow er than me.
  For, if I live, it shal amended be
  The nexte May, if I be not affrayed.                  235

  And oon thing I wol rede thee also;
  Ne leve thou not the Cukkow, loves fo;
  For al that he hath seyd is strong lesinge.'
  'Nay,' quod I, 'therto shal no thing me bringe
  Fro love; and yet he doth me mochel wo.'              240

  'Ye, use thou,' quod she, 'this medicyne;
  Every day this May, or that thou dyne,
  Go loke upon the fresshe dayësyë.
  And though thou be for wo in poynt to dye,
  That shal ful gretly lissen thee of thy pyne.         245

  And loke alwey that thou be good and trewe,
  And I wol singe oon of my songes newe,
  For love of thee, as loude as I may crye;'
  And than[ne] she began this song ful hye--
  'I shrewe al hem that been of love untrewe!'          250

  And whan she hadde songe hit to the ende,
  'Nów farewel,' quod she, 'for I mot wende;
  And god of love, that can right wel and may,
  As mochel joye sende thee this day
  As ever yet he any lover sende!'                      255

  Thus took the Nightingale her leve of me.
  I pray to god, he alway with her be,
  And joye of love he sende her evermore;
  And shilde us fro the Cukkow and his lore;
  For ther is noon so fals a brid as he.                260

  Forth she fley, the gentil Nightingale,
  To al the briddes that were in that dale,
  And gat hem alle into a place in-fere,
  And +hem besoughte that they woldë here
  Her disese; and thus began her tale:--                265

  'Ye witen wel, it is not fro yow hid
  How the Cukkow and I faste have chid
  Ever sithen it was dayes light;
  I pray yow alle, that ye do me right
  Of that foule, false, unkinde brid.'                  270

  Than spak oo brid for alle, by oon assent,
  'This mater asketh good avysement;
  For we ben fewe briddes here in-fere.
  And sooth it is, the Cukkow is not here;
  And therefor we wol have a parlement.                 275

  And therat shal the Egle be our lord,
  And other peres that ben of record,
  And the Cukkow shal be after sent.
  And ther shal be yeven the jugement,
  Or elles we shal make som accord.                     280

  And this shal be, withouten any nay,
  The morow of seynt Valentynes day,
  Under a maple that is fayr and grene,
  Before the chambre-window of the quene
  At Wodestok, upon the grene lay.'                     285

  She thanked hem, and than her leve took,
  And fley into an hawthorn by the brook,
  And ther she sat, and song upon that tree,
  'Terme of [my] lyf, Love hath with-holde me,'
  So loude, that I with that song awook.                290


_From_ Th. (Thynne, ed. 1532); _collated with_ F. (Fairfax 16); B. (Bodley
638); S. (Arch. Selden, B. 24); T. (Tanner 346); _also in_ Ff. (Camb. Univ.
Ff. 1. 6). TITLE: Th. Of the C. and the N.; F. B. The boke of Cupide, god
of loue. 1. Th. ah; F. a; S. a. a. 2. Th. Howe; gret; lorde. 4. Th. of his;
Ff. S. of hye; F. B. high hertis. 6. F. B. S. Ff. And he; Th. _om._ And. 7.
Th. folke; _om._ ful. 8. _I supply_ the. S. hole folke. 9. S. And he; _rest
om._ And. Th. F. B. bynde; _read_ binden. 10. Th. T. That; F. B. Ff. What;
S. Quhom. 11. Th. tel; wytte. 12, 13. Th. T. _transpose these lines_. 12.
Th. Ff. wol; _rest_ can. 13. Th. folke. 14. _I supply_ eke. Th. T. _om._ in
(S. _has_ in-to). F. lyther; S. lidd_er_; Th. Ff. lythy; T. leþi. Th.
folke. Th. T. to distroyen; _rest om._ to.

17. Ff. T. Ageynes; S. Ageynest; Th. Agaynst; F. B. Ayenst. Th. Ff. T.
_om._ ther. 18. Th. glad; _rest_ glade. 19. Th. loweth. S. _has 2nd_ he;
_rest omit_. F. B. don hym laugh or siketh. 20. Th. T. shedeth. 21. Th.
fre. 22. F. B. _om._ for. 23. S. Ff. A[gh]eynes; F. B. Ayenst; Th. T.
Agayne. Th. nowe. 24. F. B. Other; S. Outhir; Th. T. Ff. Or. Th. ioy. F. B.
S. T. ellis; Th. els. Th. T. Ff. some mournyng; _rest om._ some. 25. F. B.
grette; Ff. S. grete; Th. moche. 26. F. then; _rest_ whan (when). Th. may;
T. mai; F. B. S. mow; Ff. mowe. Th. byrdes; S. foulis; _rest_ briddes. 27.
Th. leaues. 28. Th. T. her (_for_ hertes). 29. Th. T. ease; S. ess; F. B.
case (!). Ff. y-medled. 30. Th. ful; Ff. fulle. Th. great. 32. Th. great
sicknesse. 33. S. all; _rest om._ Th. lacke. 35. Th. forthe; great. 36. S.
trewely; Th. trewly. 37. F. B. S. For althogh; Th. T. If(!). Th. olde. 38.
Th. T. I haue; _rest_ haue I. Th. felte; sicknesse. Th. Ff. through; _rest_
in. 39. _All_ hote. Th. F. B. colde. Th. T. and (!); _for_ an. Th. axes; F.
B. acces. 40. Th. Howe; wote.

42. Th. T. _om._ yet; (Ff. _has_ ne.) Th. T. slepe; Ff. S. slepte; F. B.
slept. 43. S. naught likith vnto me; Th. T. Ff. is not lyke to me; F. B. is
vnlike for to be. 45. Th. darte. 47. Th. howe. 48. Th. amonge. 50. Th.
cuckowe. 51. Th. thought. 52. T. Ff. whider; S. quhid_er_; F. B. whedir;
Th. where. 54. Th. none herde. F. B. T. this; Ff. the; Th. S. that. 55. S.
thridde; T. thridd; Th. F. B. thirde. 56. S. than; _rest om._ Th. aspyde.
58. Ff. to; Th. T. vnto; F. B. into; S. in. Th. wodde; F. B. wode. 59. Th.
T. went; F. B. wente. Th. forthe. Th. boldely; Ff. T. boldly; _rest_
priuely. 60. Th. helde. F. B. S. my; Th. Ff. the; T. me the. Th. downe. 61.
F. B. come; S. cam; Th. T. came (_read_ com). 62. _All_ in; _read_ inne. S.
_has_ in y-ben. 63, 64. B. _transposes_. 64. F. B. gras; S. greses; Th.
greues; T. Ff. grenes. S. ylike; F. B. al I-like; Th. T. Ff. lyke. 65. Th.

66. Th. sate; downe. 67. Th. sawe; birdes. Th. trippe; T. trip; S. flee; F.
B. crepe. 68. Th. T. Ff. _om._ had. S. thame rested; _rest_ rested hem. 70.
Th. T. _om._ That. _All_ began; _read_ begonne. Ff. to don hir; Th. T. for
to done. F. B. of Mayes ben her houres (!); S. on mayes vss thair houres.
72. S. lusty (_for_ lovely). S. straunge; _rest om._ 73. Ff. lowe. T. hade;
_rest_ had. S. compleyned. 74. Th. voice yfayned. 75. Ff. S. all (2); _rest
om._ Th. Ff. T. the ful; S. full_e_; F. B. a lowde. 76. F. B. pruned. _All_
made; _read_ maden. 80. Th. Feuerere; T. Feuir[gh]ere; _rest_ Marche (!).
_All_ upon; _read_ on. 81. S. eke; _rest om._ 83. Th. T. with; _rest_ to.
T. Ff. briddes; S. birdis; Th. byrdes; F. B. foules. S. T. Ff. armonye; Th.
armony; F. B. ermonye. 84. Th. thought. _All_ best (!). 85. Th. myght;
yherde. 86. _All_ delyte. S. therof; _rest om._ Th. wotte; F. B. note; S.
wote; T. wot. F. B. ner (_for_ never). Th. howe. 87. Th. swowe; Ff. swough;
S. slowe (!); B. slow (!). 88. F. B. S. on slepe. 89. Th. swowe; thought.
90. F. B. Ff. That; _rest_ the. F. B. Ff. bridde; S. T. brid; Th. byrde.
Th. Cuckowe.

91. _All_ fast. 92. Th. yuel apayde. 93. Th. Nowe. F. B. vpon (_for_ on).
94. Th. the. 95. Th. nowe. 96. Th. cuckowe. Th. T. thus gan; Ff. now gan;
S. gan to; F. B. gan. 97. Th. B. busshe; Ff. T. bussh; F. busshes (!); S.
beugh. F. B. me beside. 100. Th. T. Ff. _om._ out. Ff. the greues of the
wode (_better_). 101. Th. Ah. Ff. S. thenne; T. thanne; _rest_ then. 102.
Th. haste. Ff. S. T. henne; _rest_ hen. 103. F. B. lewde; S. lewed; T. Ff.
loude (!). (_The line runs badly._) 104. F. B. _om._ hast. 105. Th. T.
_om._ that. Th. yuel fyre. Th. S. her; _rest_ him. Th. bren; _rest_ brenne.
106. Th. nowe; tel. 107. Th. laye. (_The line runs badly; read_ longë _or_
swowening.) 108. Th. thought; wyst. Th. T. what; _rest_ al that. 109. Th.
sayd. 110. T. hade; _rest_ had. 111. Th. _om._ And. Th. T. there (_for_
than). 112. Th. Nowe good. 113. Th. lette. 114. Th. the.

116. F. B. she (_for_ he). Th. the. 118. Th. songe; playne. 119. Th. T. And
though; _rest_ Al-though. Th. crakel; T. crakil; S. crekill; Ff. crake; F.
B. breke hit (!). Th. vayne. 120. Th. doest; S. dois; _rest_ dost. Th. Ff.
S. neuer; T. not; F. B. ner. 122. Th. done; T. S. Ff. do; F. B. _om._ Th.
the. 123. Th. haste. Th. T. Ff. nyce queynt(e); S. queynt feyned; F. B.
queint. 124. F. B. S. herd the; T. the herd; Th. the herde. Th. sayne; T.
seyn; F. B. seye; S. sing. 125. Th. Howe. F. B. Who myghte wete what; S.
Bot quho my_ch_t vnderstand quhat. 126. Th. Ah; Ff. T. A; _rest_ O. Th.
foole; woste. Th. T. Ff. it; _rest_ that. 128. Th. meane; fayne. 129. Ff.
all_e_; S. all; _rest_ al. Th. T. Ff. they; _rest_ tho. Th. yslayne. 130.
Th. meanen. S. a[gh]eines; F. B. ayen; T. again; Th. agayne. 131. F. B. al
tho were dede; Th. T. Ff. that al tho had the dede. S. And al they I wold
also were dede. 132. Th. thynke; T. think; S. thinkith; Ff. thenke; F. B.
thenk. F. B. S. Ff. her lyue in loue. 133. Th. S. who so; _rest om._ so.
Th. T. Ff. _place_ not _after_ wol. 134. Th. T. F. B. Ff. he is; S. _om._
he. Th. Ff. T. _om._ for. 136. Th. Eye; cuckowe. F. B. _insert_ ywis
_before_ this. 137. Th. T. Ff. That euery wight shal loue or be to-drawe;
F. B. That eyther I shal love or elles be slawe. 139. Th. myne. F. B.
neyther; S. nouthir; Th. T. Ff. not. 140. Th. T. Ff. Ne neuer; _rest om._
neuer. Th. T. on; _rest_ in.

141. Th. S. ben; Ff. T. bene; F. B. lyven (_for_ been). 142. Th. moste
(_twice_); disease. 143. Th. moste. F. B. S. enduren; Th. Ff. T. endure.
144. _So_ F. B. (_with_ of her _for_ of); Th. T. Ff. And leste felen of
welfare; S. And ald_er_last have felyng of welefare. 145. S. a[gh]eynes;
Th. B. ayenst; F. T. ayens. 146. S. Quhat brid q_uo_d. Th. arte. 147. Th.
T. Ff. might thou; F. maist thou; B. S. maistow. Th. Ff. churlnesse; T.
clerenes (!); F. B. cherles hert; S. cherlish hert. 148. Th. seruauntes.
149. Th. none. 152. S. Honestee estate and all gentilness; Th. T. F. Ff. Al
honour and al gentylnesse; B. Al honour and al gentillesse. 153. Th. ease.
154. Th. Parfyte. F. B. ensured. 155. S. and eke. 156, 157. _All but the
first words transposed in_ Th. T. 158. F. B. S. and for; Th. T. Ff. _om._
and. Th. done. 160. Th. T. Ff. _om. 1st_ to. 161. F. B. Ff. _om._ this. F.
B. S. al; Th. T. Ff. _om._ 162. Th. T. _om._ bothe. 163. F. B. S. rede I;
Th. T. Ff. I rede. Th. that thou. 164. Th. T. Ff. _om._ Ye. F. B. she;
_rest_ he. Th. T. _om._ god. 165. Th. T. vnto; F. B. Ff. S. to. F. B. thy
(_for_ that).

167. F. B. the sothe; S. full sooth. Th. T. Ff. is the sothe contrayre.
168. F. B. S. Ff. loving; Th. T. loue. Th. folke. 169. Th. folke; F. B. Ff.
_om._ F. B. hit is; Th. T. _om._ Th. great. 170. Th. moste (_twice_). F. B.
he; S. it; Th. T. Ff. _om._ 171. F. mony an; B. mony a; Th. T. S. Ff.
disease and. 172. Th. So sorowe; _rest om._ So. Th. many a gret. F. B.
_om._ greet. 173. Th. Dispyte debate. _I supply_ and. 174. F. Repreve and;
B. Repreff and; S. Repref and; Th. T. Deprauyng. 175. Th. T. B. Ff. _om.
1st_ and. Th. mischefe. S. pou_er_tee; Ff. pouerte; _rest_ pouert. 176. Th.
T. Ff. _om._ What. Th. dispayre. 177. B. T. oo; S. o; F. oon; Th. one. Th.
fayre. 178. Th. getteth; S. get (_better_). Th. blysse. 179. F. B. _om._
if. F. B. S. Ff. therby. 180. Th. heyre; T. eyre; S. aire; F. B. crie (!);
Ff. heiere. 181. F. B. therfor Nyghtyngale. Th. therefore holde the nye.
182. Th. Ff. T. S. queynt; F. B. loude. 183. Th. T. Ff. ferre. F. of (_for_
or). 184. Th. T. S. ben; F. B. be (_read_ been). 185. Th. Ff. than; F. B.
T. then (_read_ thanne); S. _om._ F. B. shalt thou. 186. Th. the. 188. Th.
T. worse. Th. folde. 189. Th. one; Ff. on; F. B. _om._ S. ar; _rest_ is.
190. T. hade (_twice_); _rest_ had.

191. Th. T. Ff. _put_ evermore _after_ For. Th. seruauntes; F. B. seruant.
192. Ff. T. euel; S. euell; Th. yuel; F. B. _om._ F. tachches; S. stachis
(!). F. B. him. 193. F. B. him. F. B. as eny; T. right as a; Ff. right as;
Th. right in a. S. be brynnyng as a. Th. fyre. 195. Th. whan; T. when; Ff.
whanne (_for_ whom). F. B. Ff. him; S. he; Th. T. hem. Th. ioy. 196. F. B.
Ye (_for_ Thou). Th. sayd. T. F. B. S. Ff. hold the; Th. be. Th. styl. 197.
F. B. S. Ff. his; Th. T. it is. Th. wyl. 198. F. B. Ff. sithe; Th. T. tyme;
S. tymes. Th. folke; easeth. 199. Th. folke. Th. T. Ff. he displeaseth;
_rest om._ he. 200. F. B. And (_for_ That). Th. corage; _rest_ grace. Th.
spyl. 201-205. _From_ F. B. Ff. S.; Th. T. _omit_. 201. Ff. will_e_; F.
wolde; B. wull; S. wole. 202. F. B. blynde; S. blynd. S. alweye; F. B. Ff.
_om._ 203. Ff. And whom he hit he not, or whom he failith (_best_); F. B.
And whan he lyeth he not, ne whan he fayleth; S. Quhom he hurtith he note,
ne quhom he helith (!). 204. _So_ Ff.; F. B. In; S. Into. Ff. S. his; F. B.
this. F. B. selde. 205. F. B. dyuerse. 206. Th. toke. 207. Th. T. Howe she;
F. B. S. _om._ Howe. Th. T. Ff. _om._ herte. 208. Th. sayd. 209. Th. not
say one; T. nou[gh]t sey oo. 210. Th. that worde; _rest om._ worde. F. B.
on (_for_ out). Th. _om._ for. 212. Th. leude; Ff. false; _rest_ fals. T.
B. brid; Ff. bridde; Th. byrde; S. bird. F. B. Ff. to; _rest om._ 214. Th.
helpe; some. 215. Th. cuckowe ben.

216. S. thocht; _rest_ thought (_read_ thoughte). F. B. S. that I; T. Ff.
I; Th. he. 217-219. Th. T. _omit_. 217. S. gat; F. B. gatte. 218. S.
hardily; F. B. Ff. hertly. 219. Ff. flye[gh]; F. flyed; B. flye; S. gan
flee (_read_ fley, _as in_ 221). 220. Th. _om._ when. Th. agon; T. S.
agone; Ff. goon; F. gone; B. gon. 221. F. B. fley; Th. flaye; Ff. S. flay;
T. flai. 222. Th. T. _om._ He. Th. sayd. Th. popyngaye; F. B. papyngay; S.
papaIay; Ff. papeiay. 223. T. hade; _rest_ had. F. B. Ff. thoght me; S. as
thocht me (_read_ thoughte me); Th. me alone (_to rime with_ 217). 224,
225. Th. T. _omit_. 225. F. B. Ff. sight away. 226. Th. S. than; F. B. T.
then; Ff. thanne. F. B. T. S. come; Th. Ff. came. 227. F. B. seyde; Th.
sayd. Th. the. 228. Th. haste. F. B. thus; S. for; Th. T. Ff. _om._ T.
rescow; _rest_ rescowe. 229. Th. one. Ff. I wol avowe; F. B. I avowe; Th.
T. make I nowe. S. And ry_ch_t anon to loue I wole allowe. 231. Th. apayde;
T. apaied. 232. F. B. Ff. S. amayed; Th. T. dismayde. 233. Th. herde. F. B.
er; Th. T. Ff. erst. 235. Ff. nexte; _rest_ next. Th. affrayde; T.
affraied. 236. Th. one. 237. S. leue; _rest_ loue (!). Th. cuckowe ne his;
F. B. S. _om._ ne his. 238. Th. stronge leasyng. 239. F. B. S. Ff. there
(_for_ therto). T. man (_for_ thing). 240. F. B. S. Fro; Th. T. Ff. For
(!). _So_ Ff. F. B. S.; Th. T. and it hath do me moche (T. myche) wo.

241. F. B. Yee; S. Ya. S. thou schalt vss. Th. T. Ff. _om._ thou. 242. Ff.
F. B. er; _rest_ or. Th. T. Ff. _om._ that. 243. F. B. S. fressh flour; Ff.
Th. T. _om._ flour. S. dayeseye. 245. Th. greatly. B. lisse; F. Ff. lyssen;
Th. T. S. lessen. S. _om._ thee. 246--_end_. _Lost in_ S. 247. Th. one. Ff.
my; _rest_ the. 248. Th. the. 249. Th. T. Ff. than; F. B. then (_read_
thanne). Th. songe. 250. F. B. Ff. hem al. Th. ben; T. bene. 251. Ff.
hadde; T. hade; _rest_ had. 252. Th. Nowe. F. most; B. must; Th. Ff. mote;
T. mot. 254. Ff. mochel; F. B. mekil; T. mykil; Th. moche. Th. the. 255.
_So_ F. B. Ff.; Th. T. As any yet louer he euer sende. 256. Th. T. Ff.
taketh; F. B. toke. Th. leaue. 257. Th. T. Ff. _om._ he. 259. Th. cuckowe.
260. Ff. noon; F. B. non; Th. T. not. T. Ff. brid; F. B. bridde; Th. byrde.
261. F. B. fley; T. fleigh; Ff. fle[gh]t; Th. flewe. 262. Th. byrdes;
_rest_ briddes. B. the vale; F. the wale; Th. T. Ff. that dale. 263. Th. T.
gate; F. B. gat. 264. _All put_ hem _after_ besoughte. Ff. bysought; _rest_
besoughten (!). 265. Th. T. disease.

266. Ff. Ye wyten; F. B. Ye knowe; Th. T. The cuckowe (!). F. B. fro yow
hidde; Th. T. for to hyde (!). 267. F. B. How that; _rest om._ that. Th. T.
Ff. fast; F. B. _om._ Th. chyde; T. chide; F. B. Ff. chidde. 268. Th. Ff.
daye; _rest_ dayes. 269. Th. Ff. praye; _rest_ pray (prey). Ff. all_e_;
_rest_ al. 270. Th. bride; T. Ff. brid; F. B. bridde. 271. Th. o; _rest_
oon. T. all; _rest_ al. Th. one; T. oon; F. B. _om._ 273. Th. _om._ fewe.
Th. byrdes. 274. _All_ soth. Th. cuckowe. 276. T. Ff. lord; _rest_ lorde.
277. T. Ff. record; _rest_ recorde. 278. Th. cuckowe. 279. Ff. Th. T. _om._
And. Th. There. Th. T. yeue; F. yeuen; B. yeuyn; Ff. youe. 280. F. B. make
summe; Th. T. fynally make. 281. Th. without; _rest_ withouten. Th. T. Ff.
_om._ any. 282. F. B. of; Th. T. Ff. after. 283 Th. T. Ff. a; F. B. the.
Th. fayre. 284. Th. wyndowe. 285. Th. wodestocke; F. B. wodestok. 286. F.
B. thanketh. Th. leaue toke. 287. F. B. fleye; Th. T. _om._ Th. T. Ff. an;
F. B. a. Th. hauthorne; T. hauthorn. _All_ broke. 288. _All_ sate. T. Ff.
song; _rest_ songe. Th. T. that; F. B. the; Ff. a. 289. _I supply_ my. Th.
T. Ff. lyfe; F. B. lyve. _After_ 290, Ff. _has_ Explicit Clanvowe.

       *       *       *       *       *


  O lewde book, with thy foole rudenesse,
  Sith thou hast neither beautee n'eloquence,
  Who hath thee caused, or yeve thee hardinesse
  For to appere in my ladyes presence?
  I am ful siker, thou knowest her benivolence            5
  Ful ágreable to alle hir obeyinge;
  For of al goode she is the best livinge.

  Allas! that thou ne haddest worthinesse
  To shewe to her som plesaunt sentence,
  Sith that she hath, thorough her gentilesse,           10
  Accepted thee servant to her digne reverence!
  O, me repenteth that I n'had science
  And leyser als, to make thee more florisshinge;
  For of al goode she is the best livinge.

  Beseche her mekely, with al lowlinesse,                15
  Though I be fer from her [as] in absence,
  To thenke on my trouth to her and stedfastnesse,
  And to abregge of my sorwe the violence,
  Which caused is wherof knoweth your sapience;
  She lyke among to notifye me her lykinge;              20
  For of al goode she is the best livinge.


  Aurore of gladnesse, and day of lustinesse,
  Lucerne a-night, with hevenly influence
  Illumined, rote of beautee and goodnesse,
  Suspiries which I effunde in silence,                  25
  Of grace I beseche, alegge let your wrytinge,
  Now of al goode sith ye be best livinge.


_From_ F. (Fairfax 16); _collated with_ T. (Tanner 346); _and_ Th. (Thynne,
ed. 1532). 1. F. boke; T. Th. booke. Th. foule. 2. _All_ beaute. 3. _All_
the (_twice_). 5. _So all._ 6. Th. abeyeng (!). 7. F. T. goode; Th. good.
Th. best; F. T. beste. 9. _All_ so_m_me, some. Th. plesaunt; F. plesant.
10. T. thurugh; F. thorgh; Th. through. 11. _All_ the. 12. _All_ ne
(_before_ had). 13. _So all_ (_with_ the _for_ thee). 14. Th. good. Th.
best; F. T. beste. 16. _I supply_ as. 17. T. Th. trouth; F. trouthe. 18. F.
abregge; Th. abrege; T. abrigge. T. sorow; F. sorwes; Th. sorowes. 20.
_All_ amonge. T. Th. notifye; F. notefye. 21. T. Th. al; F. alle. F. T.
goode; Th. good.

Th. Lenuoye; T. The Lenuoye; F. _om._ 24. Th. T. Illumyned; F. Enlumyned.
F. Rote (_with capital_). _All_ beaute. F. and of; Th. T. _om._ of. 25. F.
Suspiries; Th. Suspires. 26. T. beseke. Th. alege. 27. F. goode; Th. T.
good. _After_ 27: Th. Explicit; F. T. _om._

       *       *       *       *       *


  When that Phebus his chaire of gold so hy
  Had whirled up the sterry sky aloft,
  And in the Bole was entred certainly;
  Whan shoures swete of rain discended +soft,
  Causing the ground, felë tymes and oft,                 5
  Up for to give many an hoolsom air,
  And every plain was [eek y-]clothed fair

  With newe grene, and maketh smalë floures
  To springen here and there in feld and mede;
  So very good and hoolsom be the shoures                10
  That it reneweth, that was old and deede
  In winter-tyme; and out of every seede
  Springeth the herbë, so that every wight
  Of this sesoun wexeth [ful] glad and light.

  And I, só glad of the seson swete,                     15
  Was happed thus upon a certain night;
  As I lay in my bed, sleep ful unmete
  Was unto me; but, why that I ne might
  Rest, I ne wist; for there nas erthly wight,
  As I suppose, had more hertës ese                      20
  Than I, for I n'ad siknesse nor disese.

  Wherfore I mervail gretly of my-selve,
  That I so long withouten sleepë lay;
  And up I roos, three houres after twelve,
  About the [very] springing of the day,                 25
  And on I put my gere and myn array;
  And to a plesaunt grovë I gan passe,
  Long or the brightë sonne uprisen was,

  In which were okës grete, streight as a lyne,
  Under the which the gras, so fresh of hew,             30
  Was newly spronge; and an eight foot or nyne
  Every tree wel fro his felawe grew,
  With braunches brode, laden with leves new,
  That sprongen out ayein the sonnë shene,
  Som very rede, and som a glad light grene;             35

  Which, as me thought, was right a plesaunt sight.
  And eek the briddes song[ës] for to here
  Would have rejoised any erthly wight.
  And I, that couth not yet, in no manere,
  Here the nightingale of al the yere,                   40
  Ful busily herkned, with herte and ere,
  If I her voice perceive coud any-where.

  And at the last, a path of litel brede
  I found, that gretly had not used be,
  For it forgrowen was with gras and weede,              45
  That wel unneth a wight [ther] might it see.
  Thought I, this path som whider goth, pardè,
  And so I folowèd, til it me brought
  To right a plesaunt herber, wel y-wrought,

  That benched was, and [al] with turves new             50
  Freshly turved, wherof the grenë gras
  So small, so thik, so short, so fresh of hew,
  That most lyk to grene +wol, wot I, it was.
  The hegge also, that yede [as] in compas
  And closed in al the grene herbere,                    55
  With sicamour was set and eglantere,

  Writhen in-fere so wel and cunningly
  That every braunch and leef grew by mesure,
  Plain as a bord, of on height, by and by,
  [That] I sy never thing, I you ensure,                 60
  So wel [y-]don; for he that took the cure
  It [for] to make, I trow, did al his peyn
  To make it passe al tho that men have seyn.

  And shapen was this herber, roof and al,
  As [is] a prety parlour, and also                      65
  The hegge as thik as [is] a castle-wal,
  That, who that list without to stond or go,
  Though he wold al-day pryen to and fro,
  He shuld not see if there were any wight
  Within or no; but oon within wel might                 70

  Perceive al tho that yeden there-without
  In the feld, that was on every syde
  Covered with corn and gras, that, out of dout,
  Though oon wold seeken al the world wyde,
  So rich a feld [ne] coud not be espyed                 75
  [Up]on no cost, as of the quantitee,
  For of al good thing ther was [greet] plentee.

  And I, that al this plesaunt sight [than] sy,
  Thought sodainly I felt so sweet an air
  [Come] of the eglantere, that certainly,               80
  Ther is no hert, I deme, in such despair,
  Ne with [no] thoughtës froward and contrair
  So overlaid, but it shuld soone have bote,
  If it had onës felt this savour sote.

  And as I stood and cast asyde myn y,                   85
  I was ware of the fairest medle-tree
  That ever yet in al my lyf I sy,
  As full of blossomës as it might be.
  Therin a goldfinch leping pretily
  Fro bough to bough, and, as him list, he eet           90
  Here and there, of buddes and floures sweet.

  And to the herber-sydë was joining
  This fairë tree, of which I have you told;
  And, at the last, the brid began to sing,
  Whan he had eten what he etë wold,                     95
  So passing sweetly, that, by manifold,
  It was more plesaunt than I coud devyse;
  And whan his song was ended in this wyse,

  The nightingale with so mery a note
  Answéred him, that al the wodë rong                   100
  So sodainly, that, as it were a sot,
  I stood astonied; so was I with the song
  Through ravishèd, that, [un]til late and long
  Ne wist I in what place I was, ne where;
  And +ay, me thought, she song even by myn ere.        105

  Wherfore about I waited busily
  On every syde, if I her mightë see;
  And, at the last, I gan ful wel aspy
  Wher she sat in a fresh green laurer-tree
  On the further syde, even right by me,                110
  That gave so passing a delicious smel
  According to the eglantere ful wel.

  Wherof I had so inly greet plesyr
  That, as me thought, I surely ravished was
  Into Paradyse, where my desyr                         115
  Was for to be, and no ferther [to] passe
  As for that day, and on the sotë gras
  I sat me doun; for, as for myn entent,
  The birdës song was more convenient,

  And more plesaunt to me, by many fold,                120
  Than mete or drink, or any other thing;
  Thereto the herber was so fresh and cold,
  The hoolsom savours eek so comforting
  That, as I demed, sith the beginning
  Of the world, was never seen, or than,                125
  So plesaunt a ground of non erthly man.

  And as I sat, the briddës herkning thus,
  Me thought that I herd voices sodainly,
  The most sweetest and most delicious
  That ever any wight, I trow trewly,                   130
  Herde in +his lyf, for [that] the armony
  And sweet accord was in so good musyk,
  Thát the voice to angels most was lyk.

  At the last, out of a grove even by,            THE LEAF.
  That was right goodly and plesaunt to sight,          135
  I sy where there cam singing lustily
  A world of ladies; but to tell aright
  Their greet beautè, it lyth not in my might,
  Ne their array; nevertheless, I shal
  Tell you a part, though I speke not of al.            140

  +In surcotes whyte, of veluet wel sitting,
  They were [y-]clad; and the semes echoon,
  As it were a maner garnishing,
  Was set with emeraudës, oon and oon,
  By and by; but many a richë stoon                     145
  Was set [up-]on the purfils, out of dout,
  Of colors, sleves, and trainës round about;

  As gret[e] perlës, round and orient,
  Diamondës fyne and rubies rede,
  And many another stoon, of which I +want              150
  The namës now; and everich on her hede
  A richë fret of gold, which, without drede,
  Was ful of statly richë stonës set;
  And every lady had a chapëlet

  On her hede, of [leves] fresh and grene,              155
  So wel [y-]wrought, and so mervéilously,
  Thát it was a noble sight to sene;
  Some of laurer, and some ful plesauntly
  Had chapëlets of woodbind, and sadly
  Some of _agnus-castus_ ware also                      160
  Chápëlets fresh; but there were many tho

  That daunced and eek song ful soberly;
  But al they yede in maner of compas.
  But oon ther yede in-mid the company
  Sole by her-self; but al folowed the pace             165
  [Which] that she kept, whos hevenly-figured face
  So plesaunt was, and her wel-shape persòn,
  That of beautè she past hem everichon.

  And more richly beseen, by manifold,
  She was also, in every maner thing;                   170
  On her heed, ful plesaunt to behold,
  A crowne of gold, rich for any king;
  A braunch of _agnus-castus_ eek bering
  In her hand; and, to my sight, trewly,
  She lady was of [al] the company.                     175

  And she began a roundel lustily,
  That _Sus le foyl de vert moy_ men call,
  _Seen, et mon joly cuer endormi_;
  And than the company answéred all
  With voice[s] swete entuned and so small,             180
  That me thought it the sweetest melody
  That ever I herdë in my lyf, soothly.

  And thus they came[n], dauncing and singing,
  Into the middes of the mede echone,
  Before the herber, where I was sitting,               185
  And, god wot, me thought I was wel bigon;
  For than I might avyse hem, on by on,
  Who fairest was, who coud best dance or sing,
  Or who most womanly was in al thing.

  They had not daunced but a litel throw                190
  When that I herd, not fer of, sodainly
  So greet a noise of thundring trumpës blow,
  As though it shuld have départed the sky;
  And, after that, within a whyle I sy
  From the same grove, where the ladyes come out,       195
  Of men of armës coming such a rout

  As al the men on erth had been assembled
  In that place, wel horsed for the nones,
  Stering so fast, that al the erth[ë] trembled;
  But for to speke of riches and [of] stones,           200
  And men and hors, I trow, the largë wones
  Of Prester John, ne al his tresory
  Might not unneth have bought the tenth party!

  Of their array who-so list herë more,
  I shal reherse, so as I can, a lyte.                  205
  Out of the grove, that I spak of before,
  I sy come first, al in their clokes whyte,
  A company, that ware, for their delyt,
  Chapëlets fresh of okës cereal
  Newly spronge, and trumpets they were al.             210

  On every trumpe hanging a brood banere
  Of fyn tartarium, were ful richly bete;
  Every trumpet his lordës armës +bere;
  About their nekkës, with gret perlës set,
  Colers brode; for cost they would not lete,           215
  As it would seme; for their scochones echoon
  Were set about with many a precious stoon.

  Their hors-harneys was al whyte also;
  And after hem next, in on company,
  Cámë kingës of armës, and no mo,                      220
  In clokës of whyte cloth of gold, richly;
  Chapelets of greene on their hedes on hy,
  The crownës that they on their scochones bere
  Were set with perlë, ruby, and saphere,

  And eek gret diamondës many on;                       225
  But al their hors-harneys and other gere
  Was in a sute àccording, everichon,
  As ye have herd the foresayd trumpets were;
  And, by seeming, they were nothing to lere;
  And their gyding they did so manerly.                 230
  And after hem cam a greet company

  Of heraudës and pursevauntës eke
  Arrayed in clothës of whyt veluët;
  And hardily, they were nothing to seke
  How they [up]on hem shuld the harneys set;            235
  And every man had on a chapëlet;
  Scóchones and eke hors-harneys, indede,
  They had in sute of hem that before hem yede.

  Next after hem, came in armour bright,
  Al save their hedes, seemely knightës nyne;           240
  And every clasp and nail, as to my sight,
  Of their harneys, were of red gold fyne;
  With cloth of gold, and furred with ermyne
  Were the trappurës of their stedës strong,
  Wyde and large, that to the ground did hong;          245

  And every bosse of brydel and peitrel
  That they had, was worth, as I would wene,
  A thousand pound; and on their hedës, wel
  Dressed, were crownës [al] of laurer grene,
  The best [y-]mad that ever I had seen;                250
  And every knight had after him ryding
  Three henshmen, [up]on him awaiting;

  Of whiche +the first, upon a short tronchoun,
  His lordës helme[t] bar, so richly dight,
  That the worst was worth[y] the raunsoun              255
  Of a[ny] king; the second a sheld bright
  Bar at his nekke; the thridde bar upright
  A mighty spere, ful sharpe [y-]ground and kene;
  And every child ware, of leves grene,

  A fresh chapelet upon his heres bright;               260
  And clokes whyte, of fyn veluet they ware;
  Their stedës trapped and [a]rayed right
  Without[en] difference, as their lordës were.
  And after hem, on many a fresh co[u]rsere,
  There came of armed knightës such a rout              265
  That they besprad the largë feld about.

  And al they ware[n], after their degrees,
  Chapëlets new, made of laurer grene,
  Some of oke, and some of other trees;
  Some in their handës berë boughës shene,              270
  Some of laurer, and some of okës kene,
  Some of hawthorn, and some of woodbind,
  And many mo, which I had not in mind.

  And so they came, their hors freshly stering
  With bloody sownës of hir trompës loud;               275
  Ther sy I many an uncouth disgysing
  In the array of these knightës proud;
  And at the last, as evenly as they coud,
  They took their places in-middes of the mede,
  And every knight turned his horse[s] hede             280

  To his felawe, and lightly laid a spere
  In the [a]rest, and so justës began
  On every part about[en], here and there;
  Som brak his spere, som drew down hors and man;
  About the feld astray the stedës ran;                 285
  And, to behold their rule and governaunce,
  I you ensure, it was a greet plesaunce.

  And so the justës last an houre and more;
  But tho that crowned were in laurer grene
  Wan the pryse; their dintës were so sore              290
  That ther was non ayenst hem might sustene;
  And [than] the justing al was left of clene;
  And fro their hors the +nine alight anon;
  And so did al the remnant everichon.

  And forth they yede togider, twain and twain,         295
  That to behold, it was a worldly sight,
  Toward the ladies on the grenë plain,
  That song and daunced, as I sayd now right.
  The ladies, as soone as they goodly might,
  They breke[n] of both the song and dance,             300
  And yede to mete hem, with ful glad semblance.

  And every lady took, ful womanly,
  Bý the hond a knight, and forth they yede
  Unto a fair laurer that stood fast by,
  With levës lade, the boughës of gret brede;           305
  And to my dome, there never was, indede,
  [A] man that had seen half so fair a tree;
  For underneth it there might wel have be

  An hundred persons, at their own plesaunce,
  Shadowed fro the hete of Phebus bright                310
  So that they shuld have felt no [greet] grevaunce
  Of rain, ne hail, that hem hurt[ë] might.
  The savour eek rejoice would any wight
  That had be sick or melancolious,
  It was so very good and vertuous.                     315

  And with gret reverence they +enclyned low
  [Un]to the tree, so sote and fair of hew;
  And after that, within a litel throw,
  +Bigonne they to sing and daunce of-new;
  Some song of love, some playning of untrew,           320
  Environing the tree that stood upright;
  And ever yede a lady and a knight.

  And at the last I cast myn eye asyde,         THE FLOWER.
  And was ware of a lusty company
  That came, roming out of the feld wyde,               325
  Hond in hond, a knight and a lady;
  The ladies alle in surcotes, that richly
  Purfyled were with many a riche stoon;
  And every knight of greene ware mantles on,

  Embrouded wel, so as the surcotes were,               330
  And everich had a chapelet on her hede;
  Which did right wel upon the shyning here,
  Made of goodly floures, whyte and rede.
  The knightës eke, that they in hond lede,
  In sute of hem, ware chapelets everichon;             335
  And hem before went minstrels many on,

  As harpës, pypës, lutës, and sautry,
  Al in greene; and on their hedës bare
  Of dyvers flourës, mad ful craftily,
  Al in a sute, goodly chapelets they ware;             340
  And so, dauncing, into the mede they fare,
  In-mid the which they found a tuft that was
  Al oversprad with flourës in compas.

  Where[un]to they enclyned everichon
  With greet reverence, and that ful humblely;          345
  And, at the last[ë], there began anon
  A lady for to sing right womanly
  A bargaret in praising the daisy;
  For, as me thought, among her notës swete,
  She sayd, '_Si doucë est la Margarete_.'              350

  Thén they al answéred her infere,
  So passingly wel, and so plesauntly,
  Thát it was a blisful noise to here.
  But I not [how], it happed sodainly,
  As, about noon, the sonne so fervently                355
  Wex hoot, that [al] the prety tender floures
  Had lost the beautè of hir fresh coloures,

  For-shronk with hete; the ladies eek to-brent,
  That they ne wist where they hem might bestow.
  The knightës swelt, for lak of shade ny shent;        360
  And after that, within a litel throw,
  The wind began so sturdily to blow,
  That down goth al the flourës everichon
  So that in al the mede there laft not on,

  Save suche as socoured were, among the leves,         365
  Fro every storme, that might hem assail,
  Growing under hegges and thikke greves;
  And after that, there came a storm of hail
  And rain in-fere, so that, withouten fail,
  The ladies ne the knightës n'ade o threed             370
  Drye [up]on hem, so dropping was hir weed.

  And when the storm was clene passed away,
  Tho [clad] in whyte, that stood under the tree,
  They felt[ë] nothing of the grete affray,
  That they in greene without had in y-be.              375
  To hem they yedë for routh and pitè,
  Hem to comfort after their greet disese;
  So fain they were the helpless for to ese.

  Then was I ware how oon of hem in grene
  Had on a crown[ë], rich and wel sitting;              380
  Wherfore I demed wel she was a quene,
  And tho in greene on her were awaiting.
  The ladies then in whyte that were coming
  Toward[ës] hem, and the knightës in-fere
  Began to comfort hem and make hem chere.              385

  The quene in whyte, that was of grete beautè,
  Took by the hond the queen that was in grene,
  And said, 'Suster, I have right greet pitè
  Of your annoy, and of the troublous tene
  Wherein ye and your company have been                 390
  So long, alas! and, if that it you plese
  To go with me, I shal do you the ese

  In al the pleisir that I can or may.'
  Wherof the tother, humbly as she might,
  Thanked her; for in right ill aray                    395
  She was, with storm and hete, I you behight.
  And every lady then, anon-right,
  That were in whyte, oon of hem took in grene
  By the hond; which when the knightes had seen,

  In lyke wyse, ech of hem took a knight                400
  Clad in grene, and forth with hem they fare
  [Un]to an heggë, where they, anon-right,
  To make their justës, [lo!] they would not spare
  Boughës to hew down, and eek treës square,
  Wherewith they made hem stately fyres grete           405
  To dry their clothës that were wringing wete.

  And after that, of herbës that there grew,
  They made, for blisters of the sonne brenning,
  Very good and hoolsom ointments new,
  Where that they yede, the sick fast anointing;        410
  And after that, they yede about gadring
  Plesaunt saladës, which they made hem ete,
  For to refresh their greet unkindly hete.

  The lady of the Leef then gan to pray
  Her of the Flour, (for so to my seeming               415
  They should[ë] be, as by their [quaint] array),
  To soupe with her; and eek, for any thing,
  That she should with her al her people bring.
  And she ayein, in right goodly manere,
  Thanketh her of her most freendly chere,              420

  Saying plainly, that she would obey
  With al her hert al her commaundëment,
  And then anon, without lenger delay,
  The lady of the Leef hath oon y-sent
  For a palfray, [as] after her intent,                 425
  Arayed wel and fair in harneys of gold,
  For nothing lakked, that to him long shold.

  And after that, to al her company
  She made to purvey hors and every thing
  That they needed; and then, ful lustily,              430
  Even by the herber where I was sitting,
  They passed al, so plesantly singing,
  That it would have comfórted any wight;
  But then I sy a passing wonder sight:--

  For then the nightingale, that al the day             435
  Had in the laurer sete, and did her might
  The hool servyse to sing longing to May,
  Al sodainly [be]gan to take her flight;
  And to the lady of the Leef forthright
  She flew, and set her on her hond softly,             440
  Which was a thing I marveled of gretly.

  The goldfinch eek, that fro the medle-tree
  Was fled, for hete, into the bushes cold,
  Unto the lady of the Flour gan flee,
  And on her hond he set him, as he wold,               445
  And plesantly his wingës gan to fold;
  And for to sing they pained hem both as sore
  As they had do of al the day before.

  And so these ladies rood forth a gret pace,
  And al the rout of knightës eek in-fere;              450
  And I, that had seen al this wonder case,
  Thought [that] I would assay, in some manere,
  To know fully the trouth of this matere,
  And what they were that rood so plesantly.
  And, when they were the herber passed by,             455

  I drest me forth, and happed to mete anon
  Right a fair lady, I you ensure;
  And she cam ryding by herself aloon,
  Al in whyte, with semblance ful demure.
  I salued her, and bad good aventure                   460
  +Might her befall, as I coud most humbly;
  And she answered, 'My doughter, gramercy!'

  'Madam,' quod I, 'if that I durst enquere
  Of you, I wold fain, of that company,
  Wit what they be that past by this herbere?'          465
  And she ayein answéred right freendly:
  'My fair daughter, al tho that passed hereby
  In whyte clothing, be servants everichoon
  Unto the Leef, and I my-self am oon.

  See ye not her that crowned is,' quod she,            470
  'Al in whyte?' 'Madamë,' quod I, 'yis!'
  'That is Diane, goddesse of chastitè;
  And, for bicause that she a maiden is,
  In her hond the braunch she bereth, this
  That _agnus-castus_ men call properly;                475
  And alle the ladies in her company

  Which ye see of that herb[ë] chaplets were,
  Be such as han kept +ay hir maidenhede;
  And al they that of laurer chaplets bere
  Be such as hardy were and +wan, indede,               480
  Victorious name which never may be dede.
  And al they were so worthy of hir hond,
  [As] in hir tyme, that non might hem withstond.

  And tho that werë chapelets on hir hede
  Of fresh woodbind, be such as never were              485
  To love untrew in word, [ne] thought, ne dede,
  But ay stedfast; ne for plesaunce, ne fere,
  Though that they shuld hir hertës al to-tere,
  Would never flit, but ever were stedfast,
  Til that their lyves there asunder brast.'            490

  'Now, fair madam,' quod I, 'yet I would pray
  Your ladiship, if that it might be,
  That I might know[ë], by some maner way,
  Sith that it hath [y-]lyked your beautè,
  The trouth of these ladies for to tel me;             495
  What that these knightës be, in rich armour;
  And what tho be in grene, and were the flour;

  And why that some did reverence to the tree,
  And some unto the plot of flourës fair?'
  'With right good wil, my fair doughter,' quod she,    500
  'Sith your desyr is good and debonair.
  Tho nine, crownèd, be very exemplair
  Of all honour longing to chivalry,
  And those, certain, be called the Nine Worthy,

  Which ye may see [here] ryding al before,             505
  That in hir tyme did many a noble dede,
  And, for their worthines, ful oft have bore
  The crowne of laurer-leves on their hede,
  As ye may in your old[ë] bokes rede;
  And how that he, that was a conquerour,               510
  Had by laurer alway his most honour.

  And tho that bere boughës in their hond
  Of the precious laurer so notáble,
  Be such as were, I wol ye understond,
  Noble knightës of the Round[ë] Table,                 515
  And eek the Douseperes honourable;
  Which they bere in signe of victory,
  +As witness of their dedes mightily.

  Eek there be knightës olde of the Garter,
  That in hir tyme did right worthily;                  520
  And the honour they did to the laurer
  Is, for by [it] they have their laud hoolly,
  Their triumph eek, and martial glory;
  Which unto hem is more parfyt richesse
  Than any wight imagine can or gesse.                  525

  For oon leef given of that noble tree
  To any wight that hath don worthily,
  And it be doon so as it ought to be,
  Is more honour then any thing erthly.
  Witnesse of Rome that founder was, truly,             530
  Of all knighthood and dedës marvelous;
  Record I take of Titus Livius.

  And as for her that crowned is in greene,
  It is Flora, of these flourës goddesse;
  And al that here on her awaiting been,                535
  It are such [folk] that loved idlenes,
  And not delyte [had] of no busines
  But for to hunt and hauke, and pley in medes,
  And many other such [lyk] idle dedes.

  And for the greet delyt and [the] plesaunce           540
  They have [un]to the flour, so reverently
  They unto it do such [gret] obeisaunce,
  As ye may see.' 'Now, fair madame,' quod I,
  'If I durst ask what is the cause and why
  That knightës have the signe of [al] honour           545
  Rather by the Leef than by the Flour?'

  'Sothly, doughter,' quod she, 'this is the trouth:
  For knightës ever should be persévering,
  To seeke honour without feintyse or slouth,
  Fro wele to better, in al maner thing;                550
  In signe of which, with Levës ay lasting
  They be rewarded after their degree,
  Whos lusty grene may not appeired be,

  But ay keping hir beautè fresh and greene;
  For there nis storm [non] that may hem deface,        555
  Hail nor snow, wind nor frostës kene;
  Wherfore they have this propertè and grace.
  And for the Flour within a litel space
  Wol be [y-]lost, so simple of nature
  They be, that they no grevance may endure,            560

  And every storm wil blow hem sone away,
  Ne they last not but [as] for a sesoun,
  That +is the cause, the very trouth to say,
  That they may not, by no way of resoun,
  Be put to no such occupacioun.'                       565
  'Madame,' quod I, 'with al my hool servyse
  I thank you now, in my most humble wyse.

  For now I am acértainèd throughly
  Of every thing I désired to know.'
  'I am right glad that I have said, sothly,            570
  Ought to your pleysir, if ye wil me trow,'
  Quod she ayein, 'but to whom do ye ow
  Your servyce? and which wil ye honour,
  Tel me, I pray, this yeer, the Leef or Flour?'

  'Madame,' quod I, 'though I [be] leest worthy,        575
  Unto the Leef I ow myn observaunce.'
  'That is,' quod she, 'right wel don, certainly,
  And I pray god to honour you avaunce,
  And kepe you fro the wikked rémembraunce
  Of Male-Bouche, and al his crueltè;                   580
  And alle that good and wel-condicioned be.

  For here may I no lenger now abyde,
  I must folowe the gret[ë] company
  That ye may see yonder before you ryde.'
  And forth[right], as I couth, most humblely,          585
  I took my leve of her as she gan hy
  After hem, as fast as ever she might;
  And I drow hoomward, for it was nigh night;

  And put al that I had seen in wryting,
  Under support of hem that lust it rede.               590
  O litel book, thou art so unconning,
  How darst thou put thy-self in prees for drede?
  It is wonder that thou wexest not rede,
  Sith that thou wost ful lyte who shal behold
  Thy rude langage, ful boistously unfold.              595


_From_ Speght's edition (1598); _I note rejected readings_. 1. hie. 3.
Boole. 4. sweet; raine; oft (!). 6. wholesome aire. 7. plaine was clothed
faire. 8. new greene. small flours. 9. field and in mede. 10. wholsome. 11.
renueth. 13. hearbe. 14. season; _I supply_ ful. 15. season. 16. certaine.
17. sleepe. 19. earthly. 20. hearts ease. 21. Then; nad sicknesse; disease.

22. meruaile greatly; selfe. 24. rose; twelfe. 25. _I supply_ very. 26.
geare; mine. 27. pleasaunt. 28. bright. 29. great. 30. grasse. 31. sprong.
32. well; fellow. 33. lade. 34. ayen. 35. Some; red; some. 36. song (_read_
songes); fort (_sic_). 38. earthly. 40. Heare; all. 41. Full; herkened;
hart and with eare. 43. litle breade. 44. greatly. 45. grasse. 46. well; _I
supply_ ther. 47. some. 48. followed till. 49. pleasaunt; well. 50. _I
supply_ al; turfes. 52. thicke. 53. lyke vnto (_read_ to); wel (!; _read_

54. _I supply_ as. 55. (_Perhaps imperfect_); all; green. 56. eglatere;
_see_ l. 80. 57. Wrethen. 58. branch; leafe. 59. an (_better_ on). 60. _I
supply_ That; see. 61. done; tooke. 62. _I supply_ for; all; peine. 63.
all; seyne. 64. roofe. 65. _I supply_ is. 66. thicke; _I supply_ is; wall.
68. would all. 69. should. 70. one; well. 71. all. 72. field. 73. corne;
grasse; doubt. 74. one would seeke all. 75. field; _I supply_ ne; espide.
76. On; coast; quantity. 77. all; _I supply_ greet; plenty. 78. all;
pleasannt sight sie. 79. aire. 80. _I supply_ Come; eglentere. 81. heart;
dispaire. 82. with thoughts; contraire. 83. should. 84. soote.

85. mine eie. 87. all; life; sie. 88. blosomes. 89. leaping pretile. 91.
buds. 95. eaten; eat. 97. pleasaunt then. 98. when. 99. merry. 100. all;
wood. 101. sote. 103. Thorow; till. 104. I ne wist (_better_ Ne wist I).
105. ayen (!). 106. I waited about. 107. might. 108. full well. 109. greene
laurey (_error for_ laurer); _see_ l. 158. 111. smell. 112. eglentere full
well. 113. great pleasure. 115. desire. 116. _I supply_ to.

117. grasse. 118. downe; mine. 119. birds. 120. pleasaunt. 121. meat;
drinke. 123. wholsome; eke. 126. pleasaunt; none earthly. 127. birds
harkening. 128. heard. 131. Heard; their (_error for_ his); _I supply_
that. 132. musike. 133. like. 135. pleasant. 136. sie; came. 138. great
beauty; lieth. 139. shall. 140. speake; all. 141. The (!; _read_ In); wele.
142. were clad; echone. 144. Emerauds one and one. 145. rich. 146. on;

148. great pearles. 149. Diamonds; red. 150. stone; went (_for_ want). 151.
head. 152. rich; dread. 153. stately rich. 155. head; _I supply_ leves.
156. wele wrought; meruelously. 158. pleasantly. 160. were; _read_ ware,
_as in_ 335. 161. of tho (_om._ of). 162. eke. 163. all; compace. 164. one.
165. Soole; selfe; all followed. 166. _I supply_ Which; whose heauenly.
167. pleasaunt; wele. 168. beauty; -one. 169. beseene. 171. head;
pleasaunt. 172. goldë (?). 173. eke bearing. 175. _I supply_ al. 176.
roundell lustely. 177. Suse; foyle. 178. Seen (_sic_); en dormy, _before
which we should perhaps supply_ est.

180. voice sweet. 182. heard. 183. came. 186. bigone. 187. one by one. 189.
all. 190. little. 191. heard. 192. great; thundering trumps. 193. skie.
194. sie. 196. comming. 197. all. 198. wele. 199. all; earth. 200. speake;
_I supply_ of. 201. horse. 202. Pretir (!); all. 204. their (_read_ hir?);
heare. 205. rehearse. 206. spake. 207. sie; all; their (_read_ hir?). 208.
were: _read_ ware (_as in_ 329); delite. 209. seriall (_for_ cereal). 210.
sprong; all.

211. broad. 212. fine; richely. 213. lords; here (_read_ bere); _see_ 223.
214. (_and often_): their (_for_ hir). neckes; great pearles. 216. echone.
217. stone. 218. horse; all. 219. them (_for_ hem); one. 220. kings. 222.
heads; hye. 223. crowns. 224. pearle. 225. eke great Diamonds; one. 226.
all; horse; geare. 227. euerichone. 228. heard. 230. there guiding. 231.
great. 232. herauds; purseuaunts. 233. white. 235. on; should. 237. horse.
238. him (_for 2nd_ hem). 240. heads; knights. 241. claspe; naile. 242.
their (_for_ hir?); _so in_ 214, 216, 218, 222, 223, 230 (there), 240; &c.

244. their (_for_ hir?); _so in_ 248, &c. 246. boose (!); bridle; paitrell.
248. heads well. 249. _I supply_ al. 250. made; sene. 252. on. 253. whiche
euery on a. 254. lords helme bare. 255. worth. 256. a (_read_ any); shield.
257. Bare; neck; thred bare. 258. spheare (!); ground. 260. haires. 261.
fine. were; _read_ ware (_as in_ 259). 262. steeds; raied. 263. Without;
lords. 265. knights. 266. field. 267. were; _read_ waren. 270. honds bare.
272. hauthorne.

274. horses. 276. sie; disguising. 277. knights. 279. their (_for_ hir?
_see_ 275); _so in_ 286, &c. 280. horse. 281. fellow; speare. 282. rest.
283. about. 284. Some brake; some. 285. field; steeds. 287. great
pleasaunce. 290. dints. 291. none. 292. _I supply_ than; all. 293. horse.
ninth; _read_ nine. 296. worldly (_perhaps read_ worthy). 297. green. 300.
brake; they (_error for_ the). 301. meet; full. 302. tooke. 304. faire.
305. great.

307. _I supply_ A; halfe; faire. 308. underneath. 309. their (_for_ hir?);
plesance. 310. heat. 311. should; _I supply_ greet. 312. raine; haile;
hurt. 313. eke. 314. sicke; melancolius. 316. enclining; _read_ enclyned;
_see_ 344. 317. To; soot; faire. 318. little. 319. They began to. 323.
mine. 325. field. 327. all; richely. 328. rich. 330. well. 331. hed. 332.
well. 333. red. 334. knights; led. 335. euerichone. 336. before hem; one.
338. heads. 339. made full craftely.

344. Whereto. 345. great; humbly. 346. last. 348. daisie. 350. douset & la.
351. all. 352. well; pleasauntly. 354. _I supply_ how. 355. noone. 356.
Waxe whote; _I supply_ al. 357. beauty. 358. Forshronke; heat; eke. 360.
knights; lack; nie. 361. little. 363. down goeth all; euerichone. 364. all;
one. 365. succoured. 366. assaile. 367. thicke. 368. storme; haile. 369.
raine in feare; faile. 370. knights. 371. on them so; her.

372. cleane. 373. _I supply_ clad. 374. felt; great. 376. them (_for_ hem).
377. Them (_for_ Hem); great disease. 378. faine; helplesse; ease. 379.
one. 380. crown; well. 384. Toward them; knights. 386. Queen; great beauty.
387. Tooke. 388. great pity. 390. bene. 391. please. 392. shall; ease. 393.
all; pleasure. 396. heat. 398. one; them. 399. knights; sene. 400. them.
402. To. 403. iusts; _supply_ lo. 404. downe; eke.

405. great. 406. weat. 407. hearbs. 409. wholsome. 410. annointing. 411.
gadering. 412. Pleasaunt; eat. 413. great; heat. 414. leafe; began (_for_
gan). 415. floure. 416. should; _I supply_ quaint. 417. eke. 418. all. 419.
ayen. 420. friendly cheare. 421. obay. 422. all; hart all. 424. Leafe; one.
425. _I supply_ al. 426. well; faire. 427. lacked; should. 428. all. 429.
horse. 432. all; pleasantly. 434. sie. 435. all. 437. whol seruice.

438. gan. 439. leafe. 441. greatly. 442. eke; medill. 443. heat. 444.
Flower; fle. 445. hir. 446. pleasantly; wings. 448. all. 449. rode; great.
450. knights. 451. sene all. 452. _I supply_ that. 454. rode; pleasantly.
457. faire. 458. come; hir selfe alone. 459. All. 460. saluted (_read_
salued); bad her good (_omit_ her). 461. Must (_read_ Might). 464. faine.
465. arbere. 466. ayen; friendly. 467. faire; all. 468. euerichone. 469.
Leafe; selfe; one.

471. All; yes (_read_ yis). 472. goddes; chastity. 476. all. 477. hearb.
478. kepte; alway (_read_ ay); her. 479. beare. 480. manly (_read_ wan).
482. all; ther (_read_ hir). 483. _I supply_ As; none. 484. weare; ther
(_read_ hir). 486. untrue; _I supply_ ne. 487. aye; pleasance. 488. their
harts all. 490. Till; their (_read_ hir?). 491. faire. 493. know. 494.
liked. 495. tell. 496. knights. 497. weare. 499. faire. 500. will; doghter.
501. youre desire; debonaire.

502. exemplaire. 504. certaine. 505. _I supply_ here. 507. their (_read_
hir? _see_ 506); _so in_ 512, &c. 508. leaues. 509. old bookes. 512. beare.
bowes; _see_ 270. 514. woll. 515. knights; round. 516. eke; douseperis.
517. beare. 518. It is (_but read_ As). 519. Eke; knights old. 522. _I
supply_ it; wholly. 523. eke; marshall (!). 524. them; riches. 526. one
leafe. 527, 528. done. 529. earthly. 530. Witnes. 531. deeds.

535. all; beene. 536. _I supply_ folk. 537. delite of; busines. 539. _I
supply_ lyk. 540. great delite; _I supply_ the; pleasaunce. 541. to; and so
(_omit_ and). 542. _I supply_ gret. 543. faire. 544. aske. 545. knights; _I
supply_ al. 546. leafe; floure. 548. knights. 550. all. 551. leaues aye.
552. their; _read_ hir? 553. Whose; green May may (_sic_). 554. aye; their
beauty. 555. storme; _I supply_ non. 556. Haile; frosts. 557. propertie.
558. floure; little. 559. Woll; lost. 560. greeuance. 561. storme will;
them. 562. _I supply_ as; season. 563. That if their (_read_ That is the).
564. reason. 565. occupacion.

566. all mine whole. 567. thanke. 571. pleasure; will. 572. ayen; whome
doe; owe. 573. woll. 574. Tell; yeere; leafe or the flour. 575. I least.
576. leafe; owe mine. 577. well done. 580. male bouch; all; crueltie. 581.
all. 583. follow; great. 585. forth as; humbly. 586. tooke; hie. 587. them.
588. homeward. 589. all. 590. them; it to rede (_omit_ to). 591. little
booke. 594. shall. 595. full.

       *       *       *       *       *


  In Septembre, at the falling of the leef,
  The fressh sesoun was al-togider doon,
  And of the corn was gadered in the sheef;
  In a gardyn, about twayn after noon,
  Ther were ladyes walking, as was her wone,              5
  Foure in nombre, as to my mynd doth falle,
  And I the fifte, the simplest of hem alle.

  Of gentilwomen fayre ther were also,
  Disporting hem, everiche after her gyse,
  In crosse-aleys walking, by two and two,               10
  And some alone, after her fantasyes.
  Thus occupyed we were in dyvers wyse;
  And yet, in trouthe, we were not al alone;
  Ther were knightës and squyers many one.

  'Wherof I served?' oon of hem asked me;                15
  I sayde ayein, as it fel in my thought,
  'To walke about the mase, in certayntè,
  As a woman that [of] nothing rought.'
  He asked me ayein--'whom that I sought,
  And of my colour why I was so pale?'                   20
  'Forsothe,' quod I, 'and therby lyth a tale.'

  'That must me wite,' quod he, 'and that anon;
  Tel on, let see, and make no tarying.'
  'Abyd,' quod I, 'ye been a hasty oon,
  I let you wite it is no litel thing.                   25
  But, for bicause ye have a greet longing
  In your desyr, this proces for to here,
  I shal you tel the playn of this matere.--

  It happed thus, that, in an after-noon,
  My felawship and I, by oon assent,                     30
  Whan al our other besinesse was doon,
  To passe our tyme, into this mase we went,
  And toke our wayes, eche after our entent;
  Some went inward, and +wend they had gon out,
  Some stode amid, and loked al about.                   35

  And, sooth to say, some were ful fer behind,
  And right anon as ferforth as the best;
  Other ther were, so mased in her mind,
  Al wayes were good for hem, bothe eest and west.
  Thus went they forth, and had but litel rest;          40
  And some, her corage did hem sore assayle,
  For very wrath, they did step over the rayle!

  And as they sought hem-self thus to and fro,
  I gat myself a litel avauntage;
  Al for-weried, I might no further go,                  45
  Though I had won right greet, for my viage.
  So com I forth into a strait passage,
  Which brought me to an herber fair and grene,
  Mad with benches, ful craftily and clene,

  That, as me thought, ther might no crëature            50
  Devyse a better, by dew proporcioun;
  Safe it was closed wel, I you ensure,
  With masonry of compas enviroun,
  Ful secretly, with stayres going doun
  Inmiddes the place, with turning wheel, certayn;       55
  And upon that, a pot of marjolain;

  With margarettes growing in ordinaunce,
  To shewe hemself, as folk went to and fro,
  That to beholde it was a greet plesaunce,
  And how they were acompanyed with mo                   60
  Ne-m'oublie-mies and sovenez also;
  The povre pensees were not disloged there;
  No, no! god wot, her place was every-where!

  The flore beneth was paved faire and smothe
  With stones square, of many dyvers hew,                65
  So wel joynëd that, for to say the sothe,
  Al semed oon (who that non other knew);
  And underneth, the stremës new and new,
  As silver bright, springing in suche a wyse
  That, whence it cam, ye coude it not devyse.           70

  A litel whyle thus was I al alone,
  Beholding wel this délectable place;
  My felawship were coming everichone,
  So must me nedes abyde, as for a space.
  Rememb[e]ring of many dyvers cace                      75
  Of tyme passed, musing with sighes depe,
  I set me doun, and ther I fel a-slepe.

  And, as I slept, me thought ther com to me
  A gentilwoman, metely of stature;
  Of greet worship she semed for to be,                  80
  Atyred wel, not high, but by mesure;
  Her countenaunce ful sad and ful demure;
  Her colours blewe, al that she had upon;
  Ther com no mo [there] but herself aloon.

  Her gown was wel embrouded, certainly,                 85
  With sovenez, after her own devyse;
  On her purfyl her word [was] by and by
  _Bien et loyalment_, as I coud devyse.
  Than prayde I her, in every maner wyse
  That of her name I might have remembraunce;            90
  She sayd, she called was Perséveraunce.

  So furthermore to speke than was I bold,
  Where she dwelled, I prayed her for to say;
  And she again ful curteysly me told,
  "My dwelling is, and hath ben many a day               95
  With a lady."--"What lady, I you pray?"
  "Of greet estate, thus warne I you," quod she;
  "What cal ye her?"--"Her name is Loyaltè."

  "In what offyce stand ye, or in what degrè?"
  Quod I to her, "that wolde I wit right fayn."         100
  "I am," quod she, "unworthy though I be,
  Of her chambre her ussher, in certayn;