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I þe Feaderes ant i þe Sunes ant i þe Hali Gastes nome, her biginneð <title>Ancrene Wisse.

Recti diligunt te. In Canticis: sponsa ad sponsum. Est rectum gramaticum, rectum geometricum, rectum theologicum; et sunt differencie totidem regularum. De recto theologico sermo nobis est, cuius regule due sunt: vna circa cordis directionem, altera uersatur circa exteriorum rectificationem.

Recti diligunt te. Lauerd, seið Godes spuse to hire deorewurðe spus, þe rihte luuieð þe. Þeo beoð rihte þe liuieð efter riwle. Ant &yogh;e, mine leoue sustren, habbeð moni dei icrauet on me efter riwle. Monie cunne riwle beoð; ah twa beoð bimong alle þet Ich chulle speoken of þurh ower bone, wið Godes grace.

Þe an riwleð þe heorte, ant makeð efne ant smeðe wiðute cnost ant dolc of woh inwit ant of wrei&yogh;ende þe segge, Her þu sunegest, oþer Þis nis nawt ibet &yogh;et as wel as hit ahte. Þeos riwle is eauer inwið ant rihteð þe heorte. Et hec est caritas quam describit Apostolus, de corde puro et consciencia bona et fide non ficta. Þeos riwle is chearite of schir heorte ant cleane inwit ant treowe bileaue. Pretende, inquit Psalmista, misericordiam tuam scientibus te per fidem non fictam, et iusticiam tuam—id est, uite rectitudinem—hiis qui recto sunt corde—qui scilicet omnes uoluntate suas dirigunt ad regulam diuine uoluntatis. Isti dicuntur boni antonomasice: Psalmista: Benefac, Domine, bonis et rectis corde. Isti dicitur ut glorientur—testimonio uidelicet bone conscientie: Gloriamini, omnes recti corde, quos scilicet rectificauit regula illa supprema rectificans omnia, de qua Augustinus: Nichil petendum preter regulam magisterii, et Apostolus: Omnes in eadem regula permaneamus.

Þe oþer riwle is al wiðuten ant riwleð þe licome ant licomliche deden, þe teacheð al hu me schal beoren him wiðuten, hu eoten, drinken, werien, singen, slepen, wakien. Et hec est exercitio corporis, que iuxta Apostolum modicum ualet; et est quasi regula recti mechanici quod geometrico recto continetur. Ant þeos riwle nis nawt bute forte serui þe oþer. Þe oþer is as leafdi, þeos as hire þuften; for al þet me eauer deð of þe oðer wiðuten nis bute forte riwlin þe heorte wiðinnen.

Nu easki &yogh;e hwet riwle &yogh;e ancren schulen halden. &YOGH;e schulen alles weis, wið alle mihte ant strengðe, wel witen þe inre, ant te uttre for hire sake. Þe inre is eauer ilich, þe uttre is mislich; for euch schal halden þe uttre efter þet ha mei best wið hire serui þe inre. Nu þenne is hit swa þet alle ancren mahen wel halden an riwle quantum ad puritatem cordis, circa quam uersatur tota religio; þet is, alle mahen ant ahen halden a riwle onont purte of heorte, þet is cleane ant schir inwit (consciencia) wiðuten weote of sunne þet ne beo þurh schrift ibet. Þis makeð þe leafdi riwle, þe riwleð ant rihteð ant smeðeð þe heorte ant te inwit of sunne; for nawt ne makeð hire woh bute sunne ane. Rihten hire ant smeðin hire is of euch religiun ant of euch ordre þe god ant al the strengðe. Þeos riwle is imaket nawt of monnes fundles, ah is of Godes heaste; for-þi ha is eauer ant aa wiðute changunge, ant alle ahen hire in an eauer to halden. Ah alle ne mahe nawt halden a riwle, ne ne þurue nawt ne ne ahe nawt halden on a wise þe uttre riwle, quantum scilicet ad obseruantias corporales: þet is, onont licomliche locunges efter þe uttre riwle, þet Ich þuften cleopede, ant is monnes fundles, for na þing elles istald bute to serui þe inre, þe makeð feasten, wakien, calde ant hearde werien, swucche oþre heardschipes, þet moni fles mei þolien, moni ne mei nawt. For-þi mot þeos changin hire misliche efter euchanes manere ant efter hire euene. For sum is strong, sum unstrong ant mei ful wel beo cwite ant paie Godd mid leasse. Sum is clergesse, sum nawt ant mot te mare wurchen ant on oðer wise seggen hire bonen. Sum is ald ant eðelich ant is þe leasse dred of, sum is &yogh;ung ant luuelich ant is neod betere warde. For-þi schal euch ancre habben þe uttre riwle efter hire schriftes read, ant hwet-se he bit ant hat hire in obedience þe cnaweð hire manere ant wat hire strengðe. He mei þe uttre riwle changin efter wisdom, as he sið þet te inre mahe beo best ihalden.

Nan ancre bi mi read ne schal makien professiun—þet is, bihaten ase heast—bute þreo þinges, þet beoð obedience, chastete, ant stude-steaðeluestnesse (þet ha ne schal þet stude neauer mare changin bute for nede ane, as strengðe ant deaðes dred, obedience of hire bischop oðer of his herre). For hwa-se nimeð þing on hond ant bihat hit Godd as heast forte don hit, ha bint hire þer-to, ant sunegeð deadliche i þe bruche &yogh;ef ha hit brekeð willes. &YOGH;ef ha hit ne bihat nawt, ha hit mei do þah ant leauen hwen ha wel wule—as of mete, of drunch, flesch forgan oðer fisch, alle oþer swucche þinges, of werunge, of liggunge, of ures, of oþre beoden, segge swa monie oðer o swucche wise. Þeos ant þulliche oþre beoð alle i freo wil to don oðer to leten hwil me wule ant hwen me wule bute ha beon bihaten. Ah chearite, þet is luue, ant eadmodnesse ant þolemodnesse, treoweschipe ant haldunge of alle þe ten heastes, schrift ant penitence, þeos ant þulliche oþre, þe beoð summe of þe alde lahe, summe of þe neowe, ne beoð nawt monnes fundles ne riwle þet mon stalde, ah beoð Godes heastes, ant for-þi euch mon mot ham nede halden, ant &yogh;e ouer alle, for þeos riwlið þe heorte. Of hire riwlunge is al meast þet Ich write, bute i þe frumðe of þis boc ant i þe leaste ende. Þe þinges þet Ich write her of þe uttre riwle, &yogh;e ham haldeð alle, mine leoue sustren, ure Lauerd beo iþonket, ant schulen þurh his grace se lengre se betere. Ant þah nulle Ich nawt þet &yogh;e bihaten ham as heaste to halden; for as ofte as &yogh;e þrefter breken eni of ham, hit walde to swiðe hurten ower heorte ant makien ow swa offearet þet &yogh;e mahten sone—þet Godd forbeode ow!—fallen i desesperance, þet is, in an unhope ant an unbileaue forte beon iborhen. For-þi þet Ich write ow, mine leoue sustren, of uttre þinges i þe earste dale of ower boc of ower seruise, ant nomeliche i þe leaste, &yogh;e ne schule nawt bihaten hit, ah habbeð hit on heorte ant doð hit as þah &yogh;e hit hefden bihaten.

&YOGH;ef ei unweote easkeð ow of hwet ordre &yogh;e beon— as summe doð, &yogh;e telleð me, þe siheð þe gneat ant swolheð þe flehe —ondswerieð: of Sein Iames, þe wes Godes apostel ant for his muchele halinesse icleopet Godes broðer. &YOGH;ef him þuncheð wunder ant sullich of swuch ondswere, easkið him hwet beo ordre, ant hwer he funde in Hali Writ religiun openluker descriuet ant isutelet þen is i Sein Iames canonial epistel. He seið hwet is religiun, hwuch is riht ordre. Religio munda et immaculata apud Deum et Patrem hec est: visitare pupillos et viduas in necessitate sua, et immaculatum se custodire ab hoc seculo; þet is, Cleane religiun ant wiðute wem is iseon ant helpen widewen ant federlese children, ant from þe world witen him cleane ant unwemmet. Þus Sein Iame descriueð religiun ant ordre. Þe leatere dale of his sahe limpeð to reclusen; for þer beoð twa dalen, to twa manere þe beoð of religiuse. To eiðer limpeð his dale, as &yogh;e mahen iheren. Gode religiuse beoð i þe world summe, nomeliche prelaz ant treowe preachurs, þe habbeð þe earre dale of þet Sein Iame seide; þet beoð, as he seið, þe gað to helpen widewen ant feaderlese children. Þe sawle is widewe þe haueð forloren hire spus, þet is, Iesu Crist, wið eni heaued sunne. Þe is alswa federles þe haueð þurh his sunne forloren þe Feader of heouene. Gan iseon þulliche ant elnin ham ant helpen wið fode of hali lare—þis is riht religiun, he seið, Sein Iame. Þe leatere dale of his sahe limpeð to ower religiun, as Ich ear seide, þe witeð ow from þe worlt ouer oþre religiuse cleane ant unwemmet. Þus þe apostle Sein Iame, þe descriueð religiun, nowðer hwit ne blac ne nempneð he in his ordre. Ah moni siheð þe gneat ant swolheð þe flehe —þet is, makeð muche strengðe þer-as is the leaste. Pawel the Earste Ancre, Antonie ant Arsenie, Makarie ant te oþre, neren ha religiuse ant of Sein Iames ordre? Alswa Seinte Sare ant Seinte Sincletice, ant monie oþre swucche, wepmen ba ant wummen, wið hare greate matten ant hare hearde heren; neren ha of god ordre? Ant hweðer hwite oðer blake—as unwise ow easkið þe weneð þet ordre sitte i the curtel— Godd wat; noðeles ha weren wel baðe, nawt tah onont claðes, ah as Godes spuse singeð bi hire seoluen, Nigra sum set formosa.Ich am blac ant tah hwit, ha seið: unseowlich wiðuten, schene wiðinnen. O þis wise ondswerieð to þe easkeres of ower ordre, hweðer hwite oðer blake: seggeð &yogh;e beoð ba twa þurh þe grace of Godd, ant of Sein Iames ordre þet he wrat leatere: Inmaculatum se custodire ab hoc seculo—þet is þet Ich seide ear, from þe worlt witen him cleane ant unwemmet. Her-in is religiun, nawt i þe wide hod ne i þe blake cape, ne i þe hwite rochet ne i þe greie cuuel. Þer-as monie beoð igederet togederes, þer for anrednesse me schal makie strengðe of annesse of claðes, ant of oþerhwet of uttre þinges, þet te annesse wiðuten bitacni þe annesse of a luue ant of a wil þet ha alle habbeð imeane wiðinnen. Wið hare habit þet is an, þet euch haueð swuch as oþer, ant alswa of oðerhwet, ha &yogh;ei&yogh;eð þet ha habbeð alle togederes a luue ant a wil euch alswuch as oþer (loke þet ha ne lihen!). Þus hit is i cuuent. Ah hwer-se wummon liueð, oðer mon, bi him ane, hearmite oðer ancre, of þinges wiðuten hwer-of scandle ne cume nis nawt muche strengðe. Hercne Michee: Indicabo tibi, o homo, quid sit bonum et quid Deus requirat a te: vtique facere iudicium et iusticiam et sollicite ambulare cum Domino Deo tuo. Ich chulle schawi þe, mon, seið þe hali Michee, Godes prophete, Ich chulle schawi þe soðliche hwet is god, ant hwuch religiun ant hwuch ordre, hwuch halinesse Godd easkeð of þe. Low, þis; vnderstond hit. Do wel ant dem wac eauer þe seoluen, ant wið dred ant wið luue ga mid Godd ti Lauerd. Þer-as þeose þinges beoð, þer is riht religiun, þer is soð ordre; ant do al þet oðer ant lete þis nis bute trichunge ant a fals gile. Ve uobis, Scribe et Pharisei, ypocrite, qui mundatis quod deforis est calicis et parapsidis, intus autem pleni estis omni spursicia, similes sepulcris dealbatis. Al þet gode religiuse doð oþer werieð efter þe uttre riwle, al togedere is her-uore; al nis bute ase tole to timbrin her-towart, al nis bute as þuften to serui þe leafdi to riwlin þe heorte.

<lb n="96"/>Þis an boc is todealet in eahte leasse bokes. Nv, mine leoue sustren, þis boc Ich todeale on eahte destinctiuns, þet &yogh;e cleopieð dalen; ant euch wiðute monglunge spekeð al bi him seolf of sunderliche þinges, ant þah euchan riht falleð efter oðer, ant is þe leatere eauer iteiet to þe earre. Þe earste dale spekeð al of ower seruise. Þe oðer is hu &yogh;e schulen þurh ower fif wittes witen ower heorte, þet ordre ant religiun ant sawle lif is inne. I þis destinctiun aren chapitres fiue, as fif stuchen efter þe fif wittes, þe witeð þe heorte as wakemen hwer-se ha beoð treowe; ant spekeð of euch hwet sunderlepes o rawe. Þe þridde dale is of anes cunnes fuheles þe Dauið i þe Sawter eueneð him seolf to as he were ancre, ant hu þe cunde of þe ilke fuheles beoð ancren iliche. Þe feorðe dale is of fleschliche fondunges ant gasteliche baðe, ant confort a&yogh;eines ham, ant of hare saluen. Þe fifte dale is of schrift. Þe seste dale is of penitence. Þe seoueðe, of schir heorte, hwi me ah ant hwi me schal Iesu Crist luuien, ant hwet binimeð us his luue ant let us him to luuien. Þe eahtuðe dale is al of þe uttre riwle: earst of mete ant of drunch, ant of oþre þinges þet falleð þer-abuten; þrefter of þe þinges þe &yogh;e mahen underuon ant hwet þinges &yogh;e mahen witen oðer habben; þrefter of ower claðes ant of swucche þinges as þer-abuten falleð; þrefter of ower werkes; of doddunge ant of blodletunge; of ower meidnes riwle; aleast hu &yogh;e ham schulen leofliche learen.

After heorte P. 10 (1r/18), C2 adds: &YOGH;ef þe conscience—þet is, þe inwit of þi þoht ant of þin heorte—bereð witnesse i þe seolf te&yogh;eines þe seoluen þet tu art i sunne unscriuen ant þet tu misdest þet ant þet, ant hauest þet unþeaw ant þet, þulli conscience, þullic inwit is woh ant unefne ant cnosti ant dolki; ah þeos riwle efneð hire ant makeð hire smeðe ant softe (If the conscience—that is, your intellectual and emotional understanding of right and wrong—bears witness against you internally that you are in a state of sin and that you are doing wrong in such and such a case, and practising such and such a vice, that conscience, that understanding, is crooked and uneven and full of bumps and hollows; but this rule levels it out and makes it smooth and soft); similarly V, after permaneamus P. (1v/3). After inwit P. 20 (1v/21), C2 adds: þet is, conscience þe ne beo weote ne witnesse of nan gret sunne inwið hire seoluen (that is, a conscience which is not aware of, or a witness to, the presence of any great sin); similarly F, after sunne P. 20 (1v/21). After woh P. 22 (1v/24), C2 adds scraggi ant unefne (rough and uneven). C2 replaces þe(2) P. 27 (2r/6) by Þeos uttere riwle, þet is i þe ende of þis boc, þe eahtuðe distincciun, þet is, þe leaste dale (This outer rule, which is at the end of this book, the eighth distinction, that is, the final part). After euene P. 29 (2r/10), C2 adds: as hire meistre seið hire; for he bereð þeos riwle inwið his breoste, ant he efter þet sum is oðer sec oðer hal scal efter his wit changi þeos utter riwle efter euchanes euene (as her director instructs her; because he carries this rule in his heart, and depending on whether someone is ill or in good health, he must change the outer rule according to his discretion to suit each one's capacity). After ant P. 37 (2r/24), C2 adds in margin, as of fur oðer of oþer peril (as in the case of fire or of other danger). After herre P. 38 (2r/25), C2 adds, &YOGH;e ne schulen, Ich segge, makie na ma uuz of feste biheastes (You should not, I say, make any further vows with firm promises). After oþre P. 73 (3v/4), C2 adds hali men sumhwile (holy men of that time). After ordre P. 80 (3v/15), C2 adds ant of þe ilke dale (and of that part).